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masonry.--He is conducted to the master, who gives him thể sign, word and grip.
M. Our signs, to know each other in this degree, are first, to raise the eyes to heaven, crossing the hands, with the fore finger pointing upwards, and letting them fall together on the belly. This is called the sign of admiration. The second which is the answer to it is, to lift the right-hand and to point the index towards heaven, the other fingers being clenched, to denote that there is but one being, who is the sovereign and pure truth.
The grip is to lay the hands on the breasts of a brother and to begin with one. To know a brother, you place either hand crossways, or the right-hand to his right breast. He answers with his left-hand to your left breast, and with the other hands in the same manner. This is called the good posture. The word is the 1. N. R. I. and the pass-word Emanuel.
Noodle is told to practise the grip and word with each perfect mason in the lodge and lastly with the master. After which, he receives the Rosette and Jewel of a Knight of the Eagle and Perfect Mason, and has it attached to the bottom of his grand Scotch Ribbon.
M. Brother Noodle, this, Rosette is to remind you of the loss of the word, and this Jewel will teach you, by its symbol, that masonry includes a mysterious allegory concealed from all but perfect masons. The cross of your Jewel should be known to you better than I can explain it. May you never lose the memory of it. We will proceed to your instruction in
THE HISTORICAL DEGREE OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE EAGLE
AFTER the rebuilding of the temple, the masons having neglected their labours, and abandoned to the rigours and vicissitudes of the times the valuable buildings which they had raised with so much pains, their works fitted with so much decency, the wisdomof their workmanship, the strength of the materials, and the beauty of the architecture were alike exposed to corruption, confusion, and disorder. The grand architect of the universe, determined to manifest his glory and to abandon the support of the materials to the vicissitudes of time, in order to erect in its stead the sublime and excellent spiritual geometry, whose existence human power should not be able to attack, and whose duration should be through an eternity of ages. It is in consequence of this resolution, that men have seen the miraculous phenomenon, that prodigy of prodigies, the cubical stone sweating blood and water and suffering anguish of soul. It was then, that the stone, the corner of the building, was torn by the workmen from the
How is one to know which way heaven lies?
foundation of the temple, to be thrown among the ruins, and that the mystic rose was sacrificed on a cross, planted on the summit of the mountain, which is elevated above the surface towards the celestial globe, by three squares, three circles, and three triangles cut with the point of a diamond.
In an instant, Masonry was destroyed, the veil was rent, the earth was covered with darkness, the light was obscured, the tools of masonry were broken, the blazing star disappeared, the word was lost. It may easily be imagined into what a depth of misery every mason was plunged. At that fatal moment, an unaccountable dismay, a vast consternation was the least of their pains. They were obliged, for the space of three days, to wander in the deepest obscurity, uncertain whether their life would be prolonged, or whether, by some fresh accident, it would be taken from them. Never before was such great perplexity experienced by the human heart. But the will of him, who conducts and rules all events, and who had caused this universal astonishment, at the expiration of three days, caused the light to shine again; but, as a brilliant testimony, behold a new phenomenon.-The broken tools of masonry were again made entire: the blazing star shone in all its splendour, nay, with a greater brilliancy and the word was found again. This happiness happened, however, only to those masons who had shaken off the negligence and hardness of heart, into which they had fallen. Some of them, having travelled the space of thirty-three years, in search of the word, taught others, that it was necessary to know the three pillars-Faith, Hope, and Charity, and to follow the new law, in the hope of re-entering on the mystic labours of their order. It was only by means of these new principles, that Masonry re-appeared in the light of man, under the rules which allegorically conducted them to practise it in their actions. From this time, masons no more built material edifices; but occupied themselves in spiritual buildings. They fortified their works by temperance, prudence, justice and strength; and they no longer feared the vicissitudes of the times.
May you, my dear brother, never want these supports and may the grand architect of the universe be your aid and guide.
Form of closing the Lodge.
The master and wardens give the seven reports.
M. Most excellent and perfect brother, Senior Warden, what hour is it with perfect masons?
S. W. The moment when the word has been recovered, when the pointed cubical stone has been changed, the mystic rose and blazing star restored with greater splendour, when the tools are restored entire, and the light has re-appeared to our eyes with greater brilliancy, when the darkness is dispersed and the masonic law firmly established among the labourers in masonry,
M. Most excellent and perfect brother, Senior Warden, following this law, because it is the end of all the wonders which have astonished our eyes, I pronounce, that the lodge of perfect masons is closed. The Wardens repeat these words and all the brethren give three claps and three huzzas.
THE reader will perceive, that the drift of the Knight Templars degree, and these Rosicrusian dregrees, is to make Masonry begin in Judaism and to end in Christianity, as the religion of the Bible begins in Judaism and ends in Christianity. It is a disjointed concern, has no connection, and would satisfy no sensible and reasoning mind.
The degree to come, or the ne plus ultra, is very like the last. Each has evidently been the ne plus ultra of different lodges. But like every other thing, we must take masonry as we find it. My object is not to invent or to improve; but to expose; so I proceed to the completion of my task, in the exposure of
A DESCRIPTION OF THE ROSICRUCIAN OR NE PLUS ULTRA DEGREE..
THIS dignity is considered as the ne plus ultra of masonry. The possession of it is of that importance, that the members have a right to be admitted into inferior lodges without examination. Yet the Knights of the Rosy Cross are more particular in demanding demonstrative proof from strangers, than any other order of masonry. They will not except as a visitor any brother unless he is well known, or can give a ready answer to every question proposed. They advance no person who has not been admitted into all the preceding degrees.
There are three points in the Rosicrusian system: the first and second are called sovereign chapters, and the third the mystic supper. The latter of which is held only four times a year.
The officers are called most wise, orator, secretary, and master of the ceremonies. The brethren are stiled most respectful knights.
The Jewel of this dignity is a triangle formed by a compass and a quarter of a circle. In the centre is a cross, upon which is a rose, and upon the quarter of the circle is a pelican, bleeding to feed her young. The Jewel is tied to a black rose and pendant to a black collar, in the first point, and to a crimson in the second.:!
The decorations of the lodge, in the first, a triangular altar on seven steps.. parency, with a cross and a rose painted on its middle, and an in
principal apartment, are Behind it is a large trans
scription over it, of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. Broken columns are visible on one side of the transparency and a tomb on the other in the east, with three large lights in the
This preparation serves for the three points, except at a reception when, for the first point, the whole is covered with black, and three columns are placed, with the theological virtues on them, or Faith, Hope, and Charity.-Two other apartments are esssential for the introduction; one is denominated the chamber of the last degree, and the other is called the obscure chamber, no light being admitted.
The most wise is seated on the third step of the altar, with his head supported by one of his hands. He strikes five equal and two quick strokes, saying:-What hour is it.
A. The first hour of the day.
M. W, It is time, then, to commence our labours. Invite the most respectable knights to assist us to open the sovereign chapter of the Rosy Cross. We are overcome with grief; the veil of the temple is rent; the columns of masonry are broken; the cubical stone has sweated blood and water; the word is in danger of being lost and it is almost finished.
Most respectable Knights, let us confer with each other and trace the outlines of the word, before it is too late. (They make up the word I. N. R. I.) I congratulate you all, that the word is known. What else remains for us to do?
Orator. Most wise, we respect the decrees of the most high, render homage to the supreme architect, and bend the knee to him from whom we derive our existence.
The chapter rises and turns towards the east, makes the sign, bends forward and kneels. Then all rise up and strike seven with their hands, saying, Oyer.
M. W. I declare this sovereign chapter to be assembled. Give notice to the candidate to present himself.
The candidate is in the chamber of the last degree and writes his name, his address, the degrees in masonry through which he has passed, and states his age to be thirty-three. The master of the Ceremonies conducts him to the door and demands admission as a Knight of the Red Cross, which is answered with the report of la Rosicrucian.
M. W. See who waits.
M. C. A candidate requests entrance to explore the mysteries of this degree?
A ballot for his admission takes place, and, if in the affirmitive the chapter gives seven plaudits, exclaiming oyer three times. M. W. Permit the candidate to enter.
At this moment, the M. C. puts the insignia of a Rosicrucian on him and conducts him into the chapter. The members appear sorrowful. He presents him by acquainting the Most wise, that a worthy Knight of the Red Cross requests the honour of obtaining the favour of being admitted to the sublime degree of a Rosicrucian,
M. W. Worthy Knight, who are you?
Noodle. I am born of noble parents and of the tribe of Judah. M. W. What art do you possess?
M. W. Worthy Knight, you inspire us with esteem; but you perceive, that sorrow abides with us. All is changed. The ground support of the Temple is no more. The veil is torn. The columns are broken. The most precious ornaments are taken and the word is in danger of being lost. It may be recovered by your courage, and we shall certainly employ you in that pursuit. But you must assure us by an obligation, that if you obtain the knowledge of our mysteries, you will never communicate them to others, unless they are qualified to receive them. If you are willing, approach the altar, bend your knee to the ground, and place your right hand on the Holy Law, repeating the obligation after me.
The penalty of this obligation is to be dishonoured and banished from all lodges, as being unworthy to form a companionship. with virtuous masons.
M. W. Worthy Knight of the Red Cross; This is the last time I salute you as such. Henceforward you will be dignified with greater power. The Master of the ceremonies will conduct you where you are to obtain it. The columns before you are emblematical of the theological virtues. Imprint them on your mind and let them be the foundation of your future welfare. Proceed now on your pilgrimage; but remember, that we await your return. May it be happy and may you bring with you peace and felicity.
Noodle is led to the dark chamber. Chains are rattled to intimidate him during which he traverses it seven times. In the interim, the columus are taken away and the black cloths removed, in the sovereign chapter, which makes it a transition to the apartment for
The second Point.
Noodle is brought into the chapter and the subsequent answers are dictated to him by the master of the ceremonies.
Q. Worthy Knight from whence came you?
Q. By what place have you passed?
Q. Who has conducted you.