Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

build the temple it Jerusalem, they selected otii from the people; those men wht> Were enlightened With the true faith, and being full of Wisdom and religious fervor, were found proper to conduct those wbfks of piety.—It was on these occasions that Our predecessors appeared to the world as architects, and were formed into a body, under salutary rules, for the government of such as were employed in those great works: since which period the builders have adopted the name of Masons^ as an honorary distinction and title to their profession. I am induced to believe the name of Mason has its derivation from a language, in which it implies some strong indications of distinction, of the nature of the society; and that it has no relation to architects. The French word Maisori signifies a family t)r particular race of people:—-it seems as if the name was compounded of Mxa-luxt, Jgucro tlaivum; and the title of Masonry no more than a corruption of Mso-<)ugie««, Sum in Medio Coeliy or M«£«>fM4, Signa Coelestia. Job

Ver. 4—•" To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, "and in Brass."

Ver. 5—" And in cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of "timber, to work in all manner of workmanship."

Ver. 6—And in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have "put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee."

Ver. 7—" The tabernacle of the congregation," &c.

Ch. xxxvi. ver. I—" Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and '* every wise-hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and under*« standing, to know how to work all manner of work for the service of

* the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded."

Ver. 1—" And Moses called Bazaleel and Aholiab, and every

* wise-hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even "every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do "it."

jxiviii. 3a.—which conjecture is strengthened by our

symbols.*

I AM led to determine, that the appellation of Mmti implies a member of a religious sect, and a professed devotee of the Deity, W who is seated m the centre '< of beavers'

To prove these several propositions in Masonry ta> be true, and to demonstrate to Masons the importance of their order, shall be the subject of the following Lectures.

The principles of morality are rigorously enjoined us;—Charity and Brotherly Love are our indispensable duty :—how they are prescribed, to us, and their practice enforced, will also be treated of in the following pages.

My original design, in t;hes,fr Lectures, was not only to explain to my brethren the nature of their profession, but also to testify to the world, that our

* The titles of Masons and Masonry most probably were derived from the Greek language, as the Greek idiom is adopted by them, and is shewn in many instances in the course of this work—the druids, when they committed any thing to writing, used the Greek alphabet— and I am bold to assert, the most perfect remains of the druidical rites and ceremonies are preserved in the ceremonials of Masons, that are to be found existing among mankind.—My brethren may be able to trace . them with greater exactness than I am at liberty to explain to the public. The original names of Masons and Masonry may probably be derived from or corrupted of Muslim, res arcana, mysteries, and Mvgwfc iterit initiates mystU- tCOK initiated to sacred mysteries,

Cz

mysteries are important; and to take away the reproach which hath fallen upon the society, by the vices, ignolance, or irregularities of some profligate men, who have been found among Masons. Should the errors of a few stain and render ignominious a whole society, or bring infamy and contempt on a body of men, there is no association on earth, either civil or religious, which would escape.

[graphic]

LECTURE II.

ON THE RITES, CEREMONIES, AND INSTITUTIONS OF THE ANCIENTS.

There is no doubt that our ceremonies and mysteries were derived from the rites, ceremonies, and institutions of the ancients, and some of them from the remotest ages. Our morality is deduced from the maxims of the Grecian philosophers, and perfected by the christian revelation.

The institutors of this society had their eyes on the progressive advancement of religion, and they symbolized it, as well in the first stage, as in the succeeding orders of Masons. The knowledge of the God of Nature forms the first estate of our profession; the worship of the Deity, under the Jewish law, is described in the second stage of Masonry; and the christian dispensation is distinguished in the last and highest order.

It is extremely difficult, with any degree of certainty, to trace the exact origin of our symbols, or from whence our ceremonies or mysteries were particularly derived. I shall point out some ancient instl* tutions from whence they may have been deduced.

The Assideans, (a sect among the Jews, divided into' f3WT&X) the merciful, and £3'^*7'-V the just) the fathers and predecessors of the Pharisees and Bsstnu .--rr-rrthey preferred their traditions before the written word, and set up for a sanctity and purity that exceeded the law: they at last fell into the error of the Sadducees, in denying the resurrection, and the faith of rewards and punishments after this life.

The Essenes* were of very remote antiquity, and it hath b,e«n argued by divines, that they were as

* "The etymologies of the names Effaei, or Effem, i, e. Eseenes, "are divers; that which I prefer is from the Syiiac ^ « Asa, signifying $sg«5rsy£(v, to heal or cure diseases; for though they "gave themselves chiefly to the study of the Bible, yet wish they "studied physic.

"Concerning the beginning of this sect, from whom or when it "began it is hard to determine. Some make them as ancient as the "Rechabites, and the Rechabites to have differed only in the addition '\ of some rules and ordinances from the Kenites, mentioned Judges i. W 16, and thus by consequence the Essenes were as ancient as the

* Israelites' departure, out of Egypt: for Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, "as. appears, by the text, was a Kenite: but neither of these seemerh "probable, for the I^enites are not mentioned in scripture as a distinct "order or sect of people, but a distinct family, kindred, or nation. » Numb. xxiv. ».—Secondly, the Rechabites did not build houses, but 9 dwelt in tents; neither did they deal in, husbandry; they sowed no "seed, nor planted vineyards, nor had any. Jer. xxxv. 7.-r-The

■ on the contrary, dwelt not in tents, but in houses, and they employed "themselves especially in husbandry. Oiie of the ^iebrew^ doctors "saitb, that the Essenes were Nazarites: but that cannot be, because "the law enjoined the Nazarites, when the time of the consecratiojn "was on, to present themselves at the door of the tabernacle or temple. .. *' Numb. vi. Now the Essenes had no access to the temple; when,

* therefore, or from what author, this sect took its beginning is tracer. "tain. The first that I find mentioned by the name of an Essene "(Josephus, L xiji. c ?9.) was one Judas, who. lived in the time of

* Aristobulus, the son of Jannus tlyrcamis, hefor? oju; gavje/nr's birth "about one hundred years: however this sect was of greater antiquity, "for all three, Pharisees, Sadducees and Esiejus, were in Jooathaa'siiajft,

« AnteriorContinuar »