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Josephus, in his History of the Antiquities of the Jews, speaking of Solomon's going about to erect the Temple at Jerusalem, gives copies of the epistles which passed between Solomon and Hiram of Tyre on that matter; and which he says remained in his days preserved in their books, and amongst the Tyrians also:* which epistles are as follow:
Solomor to King Hiram. “Know thou, that my father would have built a temple to God, but was hindered by wars and continual expeditions; for he did not leave off to overthrow his enemies, till he made them all subject to tribute: But I give thanks to God for the peace I at present enjoy: and on that account I am at leisure, and design to build an house to God; for God foretold to my father, that such an house should be built by me: Wherefore I desire thee to send some of thy subjects with mine to Mount Lebanon, to cut down timber; for the Sidonians are more skilful than our people in cutting of wood: as for wages for the hewers of wood, I will pay whatsoever price thou shalt determine."
Hiram to King Solomon. There is reason to bless God that he hath committed thy father's government to thee, who art a wise man and endued with all virtues: As for myself, I rejoice at the condition thou art in, and will be subservient to thee in all thou requirest; for when by my servants I have cut down many and large trees, of Cedar and Cypress wood: I will send them to sea, and will order my subjects to make floats of them, and to sail to what place soever of thy country thou shalt desire, and leave them there; after which thy servants may carry them to Jerusalem: but do thou take care to procure. corn for this timber, which we stand much in need of, because we inhabit an island."
Josephus, speaking of the progress of the building, says: “Solomon sent for an artificer out of Tyre, whose name was Hiram, by birth of the tribe of Naphtali, on the mother's side. This man was skilful in all sorts of works, but his chief skill lay in working in gold, silver, and brass: the one of the pillars which he set at the entrance of the porch at the right hand, be called Jachin, and the other at the left hand, he called Boaz."
* Eusebius preparat. Evanget. ix. 33, 34, has these letters, though greatly disguised by Eupolemeus, from whom Eusebius had his copies,
Solomon was wise in all the learning of the ancients; he was possessed of all the mystical knowledge of the eastern nations; and to perfect the same, was enlightened by the immediate gift of heaven. It was also the mode and manners of the times, in which the temple of Jerusalem was erected, to use emblematical and symbolic ornaments in the public edifices; a fashion derived from the hieroglyphic monuments of the Egyptians, and the mysterious mode in which their sages concealed their wisdom and learning from the vulgar eye, and communicated science to those of their own order only.
The pillars erected at the porch of the temple were not only ornamental, but also carried with them an emblematical import in their names. Boaz being in its literal translation, in thee is strength; and Jachin, it shall be established; which, by a very natural transposition, may be put thus: 0 Lord thou art mighty, and thy power is established from everlasting to everlasting: Or otherwise they might imply, as Boaz was the father of David, the house of David shall be establishe.l forever. I am justitied in this latter application, by the express words of Nathan the prophet unto David, inspired by the vision of the Lord.
2 Sam. vii. 12—"And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
Ver. 13. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Ver. 16. “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee; thy throne shall be established forever.”
This degree of masonry was not less useful in its original institution, nor are its effects less beneficial to mankind, than those which precede it,
By the influence of this degree, each operative mason, at the erection of the temple of Solomon, was known and distinguished by the Senior Grand Warden.
By its effects the disorder and confusion that might otherwise have attended so immense an undertaking was completely prevented; and not only the craftsmen themselves, who were eighty thousand in number, but every part of their workmanship, was discriminated with the greatest nicety, and the utmost facility. If defects were found, by the help of this degree, the overseers were enabled, without difficulty, to ascertain who was the faulty workman: so that deficien
cies might be remedied without injuring the credit, or diminishing the reward of the industrious and faithful of the craft.
Charge to be read at opening the Lodge. “Wherefore, brethren, lay aside all malice, and guile, and hypocricies, and envies, and all evil speakings.
""If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious; ye also, as living stones, be ye built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God.
“Wherefore, also, it is contained in the scriptures, Behold, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make baste to pass it over. Unto you, therefore, which
0• believe, it is an honor; and even to them which be disobcdient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.
“Brethren, this is the will of God, that with well-doing ye put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God.”
REMARKS ON THE FOURTH LECTURE.
The First Section. The first section explains the manner of convocating and opening a mark master's lodge. It teaches the stations and duties of the respective officers, and recapitulates the mystic ceremony of introducing a candidate.
In this section is exemplified the regularity and good order that was observed by the craftsmen on Mount Libanus, and in the plains and quarries of Zeredathah, and it ends with a beautiful display of the manner in which one of the principal events originated, which characterizes this degree.
The Second Section, In the second section the mark master is particularly instructed in the origin and history of this degree, and the indispensable obligations he is under to stretch forth bis assisting hand to the relief of an indigent and worthy brother, to a certain and specified extent.
Charity, heaven-born charity, is here particularly inculcated, and specially enjoined.
Charity, in the works of moralists, is defined to be the love of our brethren, or a kind of brotherly affection one towards another. The rule and standard that this babit is to be examined and regulated by, among christians, is the love we bear to ourselves, or that the Mediator bore towards us; that is, it must be unfeigned, constant, and out of no other design than their happiness,
Such are the general sentiments which the ancients entertained of this virtue, and what the modern moralists and christians define it to be at this day.
In what character charity should be received among masons, is now my purpose further to define, as it stands limited to our own society.*
As being so limited, we are not, through that channel, subject to be imposed on by false pretences; and are certain of the proper and merited administration of it. It is hence to be hoped, that it exists with us without dissembling or hypocrisy, and lives in sincerity and truth: that benefits received impress a lively degree of gratitude and affection on the minds of masons, as their bounties should be bestowed with cheerfulness, and unacquainted with the frozen finger of reluctance: the benevolence of our society should be so
* 1 Corinthians, xiii. 1. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbol.
2. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3. "And thoughl bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing:
4. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunt. eth not itself, is not puffed up.
5. “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
6. “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.
7. “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 "Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9. “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10. “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12. “For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know, even as also I ain known.
13. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
mutual and brotherly, that cach ought to endeavour to render good offices, as readily as he would receive them.*
In order to exercise this virtue, both in the character of masons and in common life, with propriety, and agreeable to such principles, we should forget every obligation but affection; for otherwise it were to confound charity with duty. The feelings of the heart ought to direct the hand of charity. To this purpose we should be divested of every idea of superiority, and estimate ourselves as being of the same rank and race of men: in this disposition of mind we may be susceptible of those sentiments, which tcharity delighteth in, to feel the woes and miseries of others with a genuine and true sympathy of soul: Compassion is of heavenly birth; it is one of the first characteristics of humanity. Peculiar to our race, it distinguishes us from the rest of creation.
He whose bosom is locked up against compassion is a barbarian; his manners must be brutal-his mind gloomy and morosc—and his passions as savage as the beasts of the forest,
What kind of man is he, who, full of opulence, and in whose hand abundance overflows, can look on virtue in dis
* “The misplacing of a benefit is worse than the not receiving of it; for the one is another man's fault, but the other is mine. The error of the giver does oft times excuse the ingratitude of the receiver; for a favor ill placed is rather a profusion than a benefit. It is the most shameful of losses, an inconsiderate bounty. I will choose a man ofintegrity, sincere, considerate, grateful, temperate, well-natured, neither covetous nor sordid; and when I have obliged such a man, though not worth a groat in the world, I have gain. ed my end. If we give only to receive, we lose the fairest objects for our charity; the absent, the sick, the captive, and the needy."-Seneca of Benefits.
“The rule is, we are to give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a henefit that sticks to the fingers. A benefit should be made acceptable by all possible means, even to the end that the receiver, who is never to forget it, may bear it in his mind with sat. isfaction."-ibid.
"It is not the value of the present, but the benevolence of the mind, that we are to consider; that which is given with pride and ostentation, is rather an ambition than a bounty.”-ibid.
† The principles which alone should attend a candidate for initiation to our society, are pathetically represented in the 15th chapter of Psalms, as follows:
1. “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall abide in thy holy hill?
2. “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3. “He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbour; nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4. “In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord; he that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.
5. "le that putieth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.