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quainted with it, is illy qualified to act as a ruler or governor of the work.
The following passage of scripture is introduced during the ceremonies.
ECCLESIASTES xii. 1-7.
« Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigb, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them ; while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain : in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened; and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low; and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird ; and all the daughters of music shall be brought low: also when they shall be afraid of that which is liigh, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond-tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail ; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets : or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern : then shall the dust return to the earth as it was ; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The working tools of a master mason, which are illustrated in this section, are all the imple. ments of masonry indiscriminately, but more especially the trowel.
The Trowel is an instrument made use of by operative masons, to spread the cement which unites a building into one common mass; but we, as free and accepted masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and af. fection ; that cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work, or best agree.
The Second Section.
This section recites the historical traditions of the order, and presents to view a finished picture, of the utmost consequence to the fraternity. It exemplifies an instance of virtue, fortitude, and integrity, seldom equalled, and never excelled, in the history of man.
Prayer at raising a Brother to the Sublime De
gree of a Master Mason.
Thou, O God ! knowest our down-sitting and our up-rising, and understandest our thoughts afar off. Shield and defend us from the evil intentions of our enemies, and support us under the trials and afflictions we are destined to endure, while travelling through this vale of tears. Man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass ; turn from him that he may rest, till he shall accomplish his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. But man dieth and wasteth away ; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he ? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down, and riseth not up till the heavens shall be no more. Yet, O Lord ! have compassion on the children of thy creation, administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation.
Amen. So mote it be.
The Third Section. The third section illustrates certain hieroglyphical emblems, and inculcates many useful lessons, to extend knowledge, and promote virtue.
In this branch of the lecture, many particulars relative to king Solomon's temple are considered.
The construction of this grand edifice was attended with two remarkable circumstances. From Josephus we learn, that although seven years were occupied in building it, yet during the whole term it rained not in the day time, that the workmen might not be obstructed in their labour : and from sacred history it appears, that there was neither the sound of the hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house, while it was in building.
This famous fabric was supported by fourteen hundred and fifty-three columns, and two thousand nine hundred and six pilasters; all hewn from the finest Parian marble. There were employed in its building three grand masters; three thousand and three hundred masters, or overseers of the work ; eighty thousand fellow crafts; and seventy thousand entered apprentices, or bearers of burthens. All these were classed and arranged in such a manner by the wisdom of Solomon, that neither envy, discord nor confusion were suffered to in
terrupt that universal peace and tranquillity, which pervaded the world at this important period.
THE POT OF INCENSE
Is an emblem of a pure heart, which is always an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity; and, as this glows with fervent heat, so should our hearts continually glow with gratitude to the great and beneficent Author of our existence, for the manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.
Is an emblem of industry, and recommends the practice of that virtue to all created beings, from the highest seraph in heaven, to the lowest reptile of the dust. It teaches us, that, as we came into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them, without inconvenience to ourselves.
When we take a survey of nature, we view man, in his infancy, more helpless and indigent than the brutal creation; he lies languishing for days, months and years, totally incapable of providing sustenance for himself, of guarding against the attack of the wild beasts of the field, or shek