« AnteriorContinuar »
"burnt-cffering fer Israel"—This is said of the altar erected by David, where afterwards the brazen altar stood in Solomon's temple.
The calf was held sacred by the Druids, under whose branches they assembled, and held their solemn rites. The oak and groves of oak-were also held in great veneration by the Hebrews and other ancient nations, as appears by Deuteronomy xii. 2, 3.—Judges vi. 'F-" Kings xviii. 'F-- 2 Kings xxi. 37.—2 Chro. xv. 16, 17.—Deut. vii. 5, and xvi. 21.—-Exod. xxxiv.
13.—Judges iii. Isaiah i. 29, "They shall be
"ashamed of the oaks which they have desired." The
* Diodorus Siculus tenoeth the Gaulish priests gaywsVtft which betokenth an oak.
Bryant, in his Analysis, speaking of those who held the Armenian rites, says—" In respect to the names which this people, in process of "tane, conferred either upon the deities they worshipped, or upon the "cities they founded, we shall find them either made up of the names "of those personages, or else of the titles with which they were in
■ process of time honoured."—He proceeds to class those, and reduce them to radicals, as he terms them, and inter alias gives the monosyllable
Sar.—" Under the word Sar, says he, we are taught that, as "tab were stiled Sarmides, so likewise were the ancient Druids, by "whom the oak was held sacred.—This is the title which was given "to the priests of Gaul, as we are informed by Diodorus Siculus; and, "as a proof how far the Amonian religion was extended, and how "little we know of druidical worship, either in respect of its eticm or f'iu origin" Bryants Analysis of Ancient Mythology.
Maiimus Tyrius says, " the Celts (or Gauls) worshipped Jupiter, "whose symbol or sign is the highest oak."
The Saxons called their sages Dny, from the Druids.
f Deuteronomy xii. 2, 3—" Ye shall utterly destory all the place*' f wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon
■ the high mountains, and upon the hills, and wider every grots t ee.
French Magi held the Ajtxr, or oak, in great veneration :*—the Celts revered the oak as a type or embelm of Jupiter.f
I Have been thus particular on this subject, as it encourages a conjecture, that the Druids gained their principles and maxims from the Phoenicians, as appears from those similarities before remarked :|1 and
"And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn * their groves with fire, and ye shall hew down the graven images of "their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place."
Judges vi. 19—" The flesh he put into a basket, and he put the "broth in a pot, and he brought it out unto him under the oak, and "presented it."
1 Kings rviii. 19—" And the prophets of the groves four « hundred."
2 Kings xxi. 3—" For he built up again the high places, which Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he reared up altars for Baal, "made a grove, as did Ahab King of Israel, and worshipped all the "host of heaven, and served them."
Ver. 7—" And he set a graven image of the grove which he had "made," &c.
2 Chron. xv. 16—" He removed her from being queen, because "she made an idol in a grove."
Ver. 17—" But the high places were not taken away out of « Israel."
Deut. vii. 5—" Ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their u images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images "with fire."
Ch. xvi. ver. 21—" Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees "near unto the altar of the Lord thy God."
Exodus xxxiv. 13—f But ye shall destroy their altars, break their "images, and cut down their groves."
Judges iii. 7—" And the children of Israel, &c. served Baalim, "and the groves."
* Plin. Nat. Hist. f Maximus Tyrius.
0 « In the plain of Tormore, in the isle of Arran, are the remains thence it may be conceived, they also received from them the doctrines of Moses; and the original principles of wisdom and truth, as delivered down from the earliest ages.
The oak hieroglyphically represents strength, virtue, constancy, and sometimes longevity:—under these symbolical characters, it might be revered by the Druids: and the misletoe, which they held in the utmost veneration, has excellent medicinal qualities, which, in those days of ignorance, might form the chief of their materia medica; being a remedy for epilepsies and all nervous disorders, to which the Britons in those ages might be peculiarly subject, from the woodiness of the country, the noxious respiration proceeding from the large forests, the moisture of the air from extensive uncultivated lands, and the maritime situation of this country;
From all these religious institutions, rites, customs, and ceremonies, which bear in many degrees a striking similarity to those of this society, we may » naturally conjecture, that the founders of our maxims,
"of four circles, and by their sequestered situation, this seems to have "been sacred ground. These circles were formed for religious pur"poses: Boethius relates, that Mainus, son of Fergus I. a restorer and "cultivator of religion, after the Egyptian manner, (as he calls it) insti"tuted several new and solemn ceremonies; and caused great stones •' to be placed in form of a circle: the largest was situated towards the "south, and served as an altar for the sacrifices to the immortal gods. "Boethius, lib. u. p. 15. Boethius is right in part of his account: the "object of the worship was the Sun; and what confirms this, is the "situation of the altar, pointed towards that luminary in his meridian "glory.''" , Pennant'1 Voyage to the MetrUct,
had in view the most ancient race of Christians, at well as the first professors of the worship of the God of Nature. Our ancient record, which I have mentioned, brings us positive evidence of the Pythagorean doctrine, and Basilidian principles, making the foundation of our religious and moral rules.—The follow ing Lectures will elucidate these assertions, and enable Us, I hope, with no small degree of certainty, to prove our original principles.
THE NATURE OF THE LODGE.
I NOW take upon me to prove my first proposition, and to shew that the first state of a Mason is representative of the first stage of the worship of the true God. ,
The Lodge, when repeated to an entering Mason, discovers to him a representation of the world;* in which, from the wonders of nature, we are led to
* "The proportion of the measures of the tabernacle proved it to "be an imitation of the system of the world; for that third part "thereof which was within the four pillars to which the priests were "not admitted, is as it were an heaven peculiar to God: but the "space of the twenty cubits, is as it were sea and land, on which men, "live: and so this part is peculiar to the priests only.
"When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and "allowed two of them to the priests, as a place accessible and com"mon, he denoted the land and the sea; for these are accessible to all. "But when he set apart the third division for God, it was because "heaven is inaccessible to men. And when he ordered twelve loaves to "be set on the table, he denoted the year, as distinguished into so "many months. And when he made the candlestick of seventy parts, "he secretly intimated the decani, or seventy divisions of the planets. "And as to the seven lamps upon the candlesticks, they referred to the "course of the planets, of which that is the number. And for the ** veils, which were composed of four things, they declared the four "elements. For the fine linen, was proper to signify the earth, because "the flax grows out of the earth. The purple signified the sea, because "that colour is dyed by the blood of a sea shell fish. The blue is fit "to signify the air, and the scarlet will naturally be an indication