[Masonry, like all other sciences, is progressive, and can only be acquired by degrees, and at intervals. When an Entered Apprentice has served the proper time, and learned properly the Ritual of the first degree, he can, and it is his duty (if he is a good and true Apprentice), to apply through a member of the Lodge for the second, or Fellow-Craft's Degree.
This application can he made orally, at a stated meeting, but before the applicant can be balloted for, he must be examined in an Entered Apprentice Lodge as to his proficiency in the first degree, and if (after closing the E. A. Lodge, and calling to labor in the Master's Degree), said examination is declared satisfactory, by the vote of the brethren present, the Lodge will proceed to ballot upon said application.]
[This degree is divided into two sections, the first of which is entirely ceremonial, and the Lecture pertaining to the same is but a recapitulation of the ceremonies used on the occasion, and should be well understood by every member of the Lodge, but more especially, by the officers.]
[The following passage of Scripture is rehearsed during the ceremony of the first section:]
"Thus he shewed me; and behold the Lord stood upon a wall made by
a plumb line, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, a plumb line, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will not again pass by them any more."
Or the following Ode may be sung:
We'll seek, in our labors, the Spirit Divine,
Our temple to bless, and our hearts to refine;
And thus to our altar a tribute we'll bring,
While joined in true friendship our an-them we sing.
See Order and Beauty rise gently to view.
Each Brother a column, so perfect and true!
When Order shall cease, and when temples decay,
May each fairer columns, immortal, survey.
Are the Plumb, Square and Level.
The Plumb is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to raise perpendiculars, the Square to square their work, and the Level to lay horizontals; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of them for more noble and glorious purposes; the Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations before God and man, squaring our actions by the Square of Virtue, and remembering that we are traveling upon the Level of Time, to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveler returns."
[This section closes with a practical illustration of the manner in which Our Ancient Brethren gained admission into the middle chamber of King Solomon's Temple.]
The Second Section * * * * * and treats of Masonry under two de nominations, Operative and Speculative.
[The Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, the Orders of Architecture, the Human Senses and the Liberal Arts and Sciences are here introduced and explained, and the learned and accomplished Mason may display his talents and skill in their elucidation.]
By Operative Masonry we allude to a proper application of the useful rules of architecture, whence a structure will derive figure, strength and beauty, and whence will result a due proportion, and a just correspondence in all its parts. It furnishes us with dwellings and convenient shelters from the vicissitudes and inclemencies of seasons, and while it displays the effects of human wisdom, as well in the choice as in the arrangement of the sundry materials of which an edifice is composed, it demonstrates that a fund of science and industry is implanted in man, for the best, most salutary and beneficent purposes.
By Speculative Masonry we learn to subdue the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practice charity. It is so far interwoven with religion as to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity, which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness.
It leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the
glorious works of creation, and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfection of his divine Creator.
Our ancient brethren, in obedience to God's law, labored six days and rested on the seventh, thereby enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of the creation, and to adore the Great Creator.
[The emblems of Unity, Peace and Plenty are explained in connection with these pillars.]
Are two artificial spherical bodies * * * * *, upon the convex surface of which are delineated various portions of the earth's surface, the planetary revolutions, fixed stars, and other particulars.
[The five orders of Architecture next require attention. By order in Architecture is meant a system of all the members, proportions and ornaments of columns and pilasters.
Its antiquity claims particular attention. From the first formation of society, order in architecture may be traced. When the rigor of the seasons first obliged man to contrive shelter from the inclemency of the weather, we learn that they planted trees on end, and then laid others across to support a covering. The bands which connected those trees at the top and bottom are said to have given rise to the
idea of the base and capital of pillars; and from this simple hint, originally proceeded the more improved art of architecture.]
Are the Tuscan, Doris, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.
Is the most simple and solid of the five orders. It was invented in Tuscany, whence it derives its name. [Its column is seven diameters high, and its capital, base and entablature have but few mouldings. The simplicity of the construction of this column renders it eligible where ornament would be superfluous.]
Which is plain and natural, is the most ancient, and was invented by the Greeks. [Its column is eight diameters high, and has seldom any ornaments on base or capital, except mouldings; though the frieze is distinguished by triglyphs and metopes, and triglyphs compose the ornaments of the frieze. The solid composition of this Order gives it a preference in structures where strength and noble simplicity are chiefly required.
The Doric is the best proportioned of all the orders. The several parts of which it is composed are founded on the natural position of solid bodies. In its first invention it was more simple than in its present
state. In after times, when it began to be adorned, it gained the name of Doric; for when it was constructed in its primitive and simple form, the name of Tuscan was conferred on it. Hence the Tuscan precedes the Doric in rank, on account of its resemblance to that pillar in its original state.]
Bears a kind of mean proportion between the more solid and delicate orders. [Its column is nine diameters high; its capital is adorned with volutes, and its cornices have dentals. There are both delicacy and ingenuity displayed in this pillar; the invention of which it attributed to the Ionians, as the famous temple of Diana, at Ephesus, was of this order. It is said to have been formed after the model of an agreeable young woman of an elegant shape, dressed in her hair, in contrast to the Doric order, which was formed after that of a strong, robust man.]
The richest of the five orders, is deemed a masterpiece of art. [Its column is ten diameters high, and its capital is adorned with two rows of leaves, and eight volutes, which sustain the abacus. The frieze is ornamented with curious devices, the cornice with dentals and modillions. This order is used in stately and superb structures. It was invented at Corinth, by Callimachus, who is said to have taken the hint of the capital of this pillar from the following remarkable circumstances: Accidentally passing by the tomb of a young lady, he perceived a basket of toys,
covered with a tile, placed over an acanthus root, it having been left there by her nurse. As the branches grew up, they compassed the basket, till, arriving at the tile, they met with an obstruction and bent downward. Callimachus, struck with the object, set about imitating the figure; the vase of the capital he made to represent the basket; the abacus the tile; and the volutes the bending leaves.]
Is compounded of the other orders, and was contrived by the Romans. [its capital has the two rows of leaves of the Corinthian, and the volutes of the Ionic. Its column has the quarter-round, as the Tuscan and Doric order; is ten diameters high, and its cornice has denticles, or simple modillions. This pillar is generally found in buildings where strength, elegance and beauty are displayed.]
Three of these orders, the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, are only revered by Masons, for these alone show invention and were invented by the Greeks); the others differ only by accident, and were added by the Romans. Hence it is to the Greeks, and not to the Romans, that we are indebted for all that is great, judicious and distinct in architecture.
Are Seeing, Hearing, Feeling, Smelling
and Tasting, (and are next in order for explanation):
Is that sense by which we distinguish objects, and in an instant of time, without change of place or situation, view armies in battle array, figures of the most stately structures, and all the agreeable variety displayed in the landscape of nature. [By this sense we find our way on the pathless ocean, traverse the globe of earth, determine its figure and dimensions, and delineate any region or quarter of it. By it we measure the planetary orbs, and make new discoveries in the sphere of the fixed stars. Nay more; by it we perceive the tempers and dispositions, the passions and affections of our fellow-creatures, when they wish most to conceal them; so that, though the tongue may be taught to lie and dissemble, the countenance would display the hypocrisy to the discerning eye. In fine, the rays of light which minister to this sense, render the eye a peculiar object of admiration, and the most astonishing part of the animated creation.]
Is that sense by which we distinguish sounds and are capable of appreciating the agreeable charms of music. [By it, we are enabled to enjoy the pleasures of society, and reciprocally to communicate to each other our thoughts and intentions, our purposes and desires; and thus our reason is rendered capable of exerting its utmost power and energy. The wise and
beneficent Author of Nature intended, by the formation of this sense, that we should be social creatures, and receive the greatest and most important part of our knowledge from social intercourse with each other. For these purposes we are endowed with hearing, that, by a proper exertion of our rational powers, our happiness may be complete.]
Is that sense by which we distinguish the different qualities of bodies, such as heat and cold, hardness and softness, roughness and smoothness, figure, solidity, motion and extension.
Is that sense by which we distinguish odors, the various kinds of which convey different impressions to the mind. [Animal and vegetable bodies, and indeed most other bodies, while exposed to air, continually send forth effluvia of vast subtlety, as well in the state of life and growth as in the state of fermentation and putrefaction. These effluvia, being drawn into the nostrils along with the air, are the means by which all bodies are smelled. Hence it is evident that there is a manifest appearance of design in the great Creator's having planted the organ of smell in the inside of that canal, through which the air continually passes in respiration.]
Enables us to make a proper distinction in the choice of our food. [The organ of
this sense guards the entrance of the alimentary canal, as that of smell guards the entrance of the canal for respiration. From the situation of both these organs, it is plain that they are intended by nature to distinguish wholesome food from that which is nauseous. Everything that enters into the stomach must undergo the scrutiny of tasting; and by it we are capable of discerning the changes which the same body undergoes in the different compositions of art, cookery, chemistry, pharmacy, etc.]
Smelling and Tasting are inseparably connected, and it is by the unnatural kind of life men commonly lead in society that these senses are rendered less fit to perform their natural offices.
Three of which, Seeing, Hearing and Feeling, are principally revered by Masons.
Are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy (and are illustrated in this section as follows):
Is the key by which alone a door can be opened to the understanding of speech. [It is Grammar which reveals the admirable art of language and unfolds its various constituent parts, its names, definitions
and respective offices; it unravels, as it were, the thread of which the web of speech is composed. These reflections seldom occur to any one before their acquaintance with the art; yet it is most certain that, without a knowledge of Grammar, it is very difficult to speak with propriety, precision and purity.]
It is by Rhetoric that the art of speaking eloquently is acquired. [To be an eloquent speaker, in the proper sense of the word, is far from being either a common or an easy attainment; it is the art of being persuasive and commanding; the art not only of pleasing the fancy, but of speaking both to the understanding and to the heart.]
Is that science which directs us how to form clear and distinct ideas of things, and thereby prevents us from being misled by their similitude, or resemblance. [Of all the human sciences, that concerning man is certainly most worthy of man. The precise business of Logic is to ex-plain the nature of the human mind, and the proper manner of conducting its several powers in the attainment of truth and knowledge. This science ought to be cultivated as the foundation, or ground-work of our inquiries; particularly in the pursuit of those sublime principles which claim our attention as Masons.]
Is the art of numbering, or that part of the mathematics which considers he
properties of numbers in general. [We have but a very imperfect idea of things without quantity, and as imperfect of quantity itself, without the help of Arithmetic.]
This science usually treats of the magnitude of bodies. [Magnitude has three dimensions, length, breadth and thickness.]
Is that elevated science which affects the passions by sound. [There are few who have not felt its charms and acknowledged its expressions to be intelligible to the heart. It is a language of delightful sensations, far more eloquent than words; it breathes to the ear the clearest intimations; it touches, and gently agitates the agreeable and sublime passions; it wraps us in melancholy, and elevates us in joy; it dissolves and inflames; it melts us in tenderness and excites to war. This science is truly congenial to the nature of man, for, by its powerful charms, the most discordant passions may be harmonized and brought into perfect unison, but it never sounds with such seraphic harmony as when employed in singing hymns of gratitude to the Creator of the Universe.]
Is that sublime science which inspires the contemplative mind to soar aloft and read the wisdom, strength and beauty of the great Creator in the heavens. [How nobly eloquent of the Deity is the celestial hemisphere!--spangled with the most magnificent
heralds of His infinite glory! They speak to the whole universe; for there is neither speech so barbarous but their language is understood, nor nations so distant but their voices are heard among them.
Assisted by Astronomy, we ascertain the laws which govern the heavenly bodies, and by which their motions are directed; investigate the power by which they circulate in their orbs, discover their size, determine their distance, explain their various phenomena, and correct the fallacy of the senses by the light of truth.]
The fifth of these sciences, Geometry, is deemed principally essential in Masonry.
By it the architect is enabled to construct his plans and execute his de-signs; the general, to arrange his soldiers; the engineer to mark out grounds for encampments; the geographer to give us the dimensions of the world, and all things therein contained; to delineate the extent of seas, and specify the divisions of empires, kingdoms and provinces. By it, also the astronomer is enabled to make his observations, and to fix the durations
of times and seasons, years and cycles. In fine, Geometry is the foundation of architecture and the root of mathematics.
Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of Freemasonry is erected. By Geometry we may curiously trace nature, through her various windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it we discover the power, wisdom and goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine. By it we discover how the planets move in their different orbits, and demonstrate their various revolutions.
By it we account for the return of seasons, and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye.
Numberless worlds are around as (all framed by the same Divine Artist), which roll through the vast expanse, and all are conducted by the same unerring laws of nature.
A survey of Nature, and the observation of her beautiful proportions,
first determined man to imitate the divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to Societies, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design, and the plans which he laid down, being improved by experience and time, have produced works which are the admiration of every age.
The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity, on which the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed. Even the Temple of Solomon, so spacious and magnificent, and constructed by so many celebrated artists, escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force.
Freemasonry, notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the sacred mysteries are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts.
Tools and implements of architecture, symbols the most expressive! are selected by the Fraternity, to imprint on the memory wise and serious truths; and thus, through a succession
of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, the excellent tenets of our institution.
This closes the second section, and finishes the degree, with the exception of the charge, which is as follows:
My Brother: Being advanced to the degree of Fellow-Craft, we congratulate you on your preferment. The internal and not the external qualifications of a man are what Masonry regards. As you increase in Masonic knowledge you will improve in social intercourse.
It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a Fellow-Craft, you are bound to discharge, or to enlarge on the importance of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience must have established their value.
The rules and regulations of a Fellow-Craft's Lodge you are strenuously to support, and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate or aggravate the offenses of your brethren; but, in the decision of every trespass against our rules you are to judge with candor,
admonish with friendship and reprehend with justice.
The study of the liberal arts and sciences, that valuable branch of education which tends so effectually to polish and adorn the mind, is earnestly recommended to your careful consideration; especially the science of Geometry, which is established as the basis of our art.
Geometry, or Masonry (originally synonymous terms), being of a divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge; while it proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality.
Your past behavior, and regular deportment, have merited the honor which we have now conferred; and in your new character it is expected that you will conform to the principles of our order, by steadily preserving in the practice of every commendable virtue. Such is the nature of your engagement as a Fellow-Craft, and to these duties you are bound by the most sacred and solemn ties.