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will be called upon for certain fees for your initiation, it is but proper,
you should know by what authority we act. These, therefore, are our warrant from the Grand Lodge of England, the book of constitutions and the bye laws of the lodge; both of which I recommend to your most serious contemplation, as by the one you will be instructed in the duties you owe to the craft in general, and by the other in those you owe to this lodge in particular.
I now present to you the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Free-Mason, which are the twenty-four inch guage,
the common gavel and the chisel.
The twenty-four inch guage is the first instrument put into the hand of the workman, to enable him to measure and ascertain the size and extent of the work he is about to engage in, thus to compute the time and labour it may cost.
The common gavel is an important instrument of labour and highly esteemed as an implement of art; though recognized by various artists under different appellations, it is yet admitted by them all, that no work of manual skill can be completed without it.
The chisel is a small instrument, though solid in its form, and of such exquisite sharpness, as fully to compensate for the diminutiveness of its size.It is calculated to make impression on the hardest substance and the mightiest structures have been indebted to its aid.
But as we have met, on the present occasion, as speculative, rather than as operative masons. it is the moral conveyed in those, emblems that we are called upon more particularly to regard.
From the twenty-four inch guage, we derive a lesson of daily admonition and instruction; for, as it is divided into twentyfour parts, it recalls to our mind the division of the natural day into twenty-four hours, and directs us to apportionate them to their proper objects namely-prayer, labour, refreshment, and sleep.
To a mason, however, it may be further considered as the scale which comprehends the numerical apportionment of the different degrees, according to the several lodges, of which I am permitted to say, the first seven are appropriated to the Entered Apprentice.
From the common gavel, we learn, that skill without exertion is of little avail, that labour is the lot of man; for the heart may conceive and the head devise in vain, if the hand be not prompt to execute the design.
From the chisel, we learn, that perseverence is necessary to establish perfection, that the rude material can receivə its fine polish but from repeated efforts alone, that nothing short of indefatigable exertion can induce the habit of virtue, enlighten the mind, and render the soul pure.
From the whole we deduce this moral, that knowledge ground
ed on accuracy, aided by labour, prompted by perseverence, will finally overcome all difficulties, raise ignorance from despair and establish happiness in the paths of science.*
THE CHARGE. As you have now passed through the ceremonies of your initiation allow me to congratulate you on being admitted a member of our ancient and honourable society. Ancient, no doubt, it is, as having subsisted from time immemorial ; and honourable it must be acknowledged to be; because, by a natural tendency, it conduces to make all those honourable, who are strictly obedient to its precepts. Indeed, no institution can boast a more solid foundation, than that on which Freemasonry rest—the practice of social and moral virtue. To so high an eminence has its credit been advanced, that, in every age, monarchs themselves have been the promoters of the art*, have not thought it derogatory from their dignity to exchange the sceptre for the trowelt, have patronized our mysteries, and have even joined our assemblies.
As a mason, I would first recommend to your most serious contemplation, the volume of the sacred law, charging you to consider it as the unerring standard of truth and justice, and to regulate your actions by the divine precepts which it contains. I
* Yes, but not the knowledge of Freemasonry. This association is wholly calcolated to perpetuate ignorance, and the metaphorical morality which is introduced, is only that common trick of impostors to gild the poisonous pill. Freemasonry, like religion, has dressed itself in scraps of morality, the better to deceive the careless and ignorant; but morality, the only source of human happiness, cannot be properly taught in conjunction with religion or freemasonry. It is a pure principle that admits of no improvement by any mixture. To associate it with any alloy is to detract from its worth, to mix it with immorality. The metaphorical explanation of the Mason's tools is contemptible indeed ; that of the iwenty four inch guage ridiculous, prayer being made the primary duty of the day. Morality is even injured by metaphor.
They never promoted any thing, that, on a large, scale tended to the welfare of mankind; because, their very existence as mon'archs is opposed to that welfare.
+ It would be well, if they would, perpetually, hereafter, exchange the sceptre for the trowel,
1 This is enough to shew the character of the whole concern. Here is a book written by the most ignorant or compiled by the most corrupt and shameless of historians, wholly erroneous in its representations of the material system of the planets, and alike false in physics and science generally, that has no regular system of morals, nor a delineation of any one good human character, but many bad ones, recommended to Masons as the unerring standard of truth and justice !
Some reverend Masons, Brother Oliver, the Provincial Grand Chaplain of the county of Lincoln, in particular, have said that Masonry is founded upon religion. It has certainly sought of late
Therein you will be taught the important duty you owe to God, to your neighbour, and to yourself. To God, by never mentioning his name but with that awe and reverence which are due from the creature to his creators, and by imploring his aid on all your lawful undertakings, and by looking up to him in every emergency for comfort and support-To your neighbour, by acting with him upon the square, by rendering him every kind office which justice or mercy may require, by relieving his distresses and by soothing his afflictions, and by doing to him, as, in similar cases, you would wish him to do to you.—And to yourself, by such a prudent and well regulated course of discipline, as may best conduce to the preservation of your corporeal and mental faculties in their fullest energy; thereby enabling you to exert the talents where with God has blest you, as well to his glory, as to the welfare of your fellow creatures.
As a citizen of the world, I am next to enjoin you to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing, or at all countenancing, any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of Society; by paying due obedience to the laws of any state which may for a time become the place of your residence, or afford you its protection; and, above all, by never losing sight of the allegiance due to the Sovereign of your native land : ever remembering, that nature has implanted in your breast a sacred and indissoluble attachment to that country, from which you derived your birth and infant nurture.
As an individual, I am further to recommend the practice of every domestic as well as public virtue. Let Prudence direct you! Temperance chasten you! Fortitude support you ; and justice be the guide of all your actions. Be especially careful to maintain in the fullest splendour, those truly masonic ornaments which have already been amply illustrated-benevolence and charity.
Still, however, as a mason, there are other excellencies of character to which your attention may be peculiarly and forcibly di
to make a religious appearance ; but it did not originate religiously. I Have no objection to have it called the science of the Bible; but then I will not allow it to be either good or useful. Its association with religion or morality, even its pretensions to benevoleut brotherhood, are of modern origin. No pretensions of the kind existed, no purpose of the kind was pretended when the Society was confined to operative masons. It originated as all other trade Societies have originated.
On this ground as God is the creature of a diseased imagination, he ought to be called upon to perform the duties here prescribed.
rected.' Among the foremost of these are secrecy, fidelity, and obedience,
Secrecy may be said to consist in an inviolable adherence to the obligation you have entered into, never improperly to reveal any any of those masonic secrets which have now been, or may at any future time be, intrusted to your keeping ; and cautiously to shun all occasions which might inadvertantly lead you to do so.
Your fidelity must be exemplified by a strict observance of the constitutions of the fraternity by adhering to the ancient landmarks of the order; by never attempting to extort, or otherwise unduly obtain, the secrets of a superior degree ; and by refraining to recommend any one to a participation of our secrets, unless you have strong grounds to believe, that, by a similar fidelity, he will ultimately reflect honour on our choice.
So must your obedience be proved by a close conformity to our laws and regulations; by prompt attention to all signs and summonses; by modest and correct demeanour whilst in the lodge; by abstaining from every topic of relgious or political discussion; by ready acquiesence in all votes and resolutions duly passed by the brethren; and by perfect submission to the master and his wardens whilst acting in the discharge of their respective offices.
And, as a last general recommendation, let me exhort you to dedicate yourself to such pursuits as may enable you to become at once respectable in your rank of life, useful to mankind, and an ornament to the society of which you have this day been admitted a member: that you would more especially devote of your leisure hours to the study of such of the liberal arts and sciences, as may lie within the compass
your attainment, and that, without neglecting the ordinary duties of your station, you will consider yourself called upon to make a daily advancement in masonic knowledge.
From the very commendable attention which you appear to have given to this charge, I am led to hope, that you will duly appreciate the excellence of free masonry and imprint indelibly on your mind the sacred dictates of truth, honour and' virtue.
This may be considered the completion of the initiation, and I proceed to close my first letter, by describing the manner in which a lodge in the first degree is closed. In another letter, I shall describe what is called the working of a lodge and make some general comments on what has been exhibited in the first degree.
(The master knocks which is answered by a knock from the two wardens as a call to order.)
W. M. Brethren assist me to close the lodge.— Brother Junior Warden, the constant care of every mason?
J. W. To prove the lodge close tiled.
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will prove the lodge close tiled. (The I. G. gives three knocks on the inside of the door, which are answered by three knocks from the outer guard or Tiler, and indicates that the lodge is close tiled.
I. G. Brother Junior Warden, the lodge is close tiled. (This communication is made with the sign and the Junior Warden, gives three knocks, makes the sign and reports to the master that the lodge is close tiled.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, what is the next care?
W.M. To order, brethren, as masons.—Brother Senior Warden, your situation in the lodge?
S. W. In the West.
S. W. As the Sun disappears in the est, to close the day, so the Senior Warden is placed in the west to close the lodge by command of the Worshipful Master, after seeing that every one has his just dues.
W. M. Our lodge being thus duly formed before I proceed to declare it closed let us with all humility and reverence express our gratitude to the great architect of the universe for favours already received, and may he still continue to support our order, by cementing and adorning us with every moral and social virtue.
P. M. So mote it be.
W. M Brother. Senior Warden, our labours being ended, you have my command, to close the lodge.
S. W. Brethren, in the name of the great architect of the universe, and by the command of the Worshipful Master, I declare this lodge closed. .J. W. It is accordingly so done and stands closed until the barring all cases of emergency, of which the brethren shall be apprized by suinmons. (Each of the officers gives three knocks, as
each pronounced the lodge closed, and puts down the instrument · which is the ensign of his authority.)
P. M. Brethren, nothing more remains to be done; but, according to ancient custom, to lock up our secrets in the safe and sacred receptacles of our hearts, with fear, faith and fidelity, and may God be with us. (Closes the Bible.)
Occasionally, a charge is delivered at the closing of the lodge by the Master, in the following words :
When the lodge is closeri, you are to enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth, and carefully avoid excess. You are not to compel any brother to act contrary to his inclination, or give offence by word or deed; but to enjoy a free and easy conversation. You are to avoid immoral or obscene discourse, and, at all times, support, with propriety, the dignity of your character. You are to be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger may not discover or find out what is not proper to be in