Illustrations of Masonry, by William Morgan, , at sacred-texts.com
I will now introduce the reader to the second degree of Masonry. It is generally called passing, as will be seen in the lecture. I shall omit the ceremonies of opening and closing, as they are precisely the same as in the first degree, except two knocks are used in this degree, and the door is entered by the benefit of a pass-word. It is Shibboleth. It will be explained in the lecture.
The candidate, as before, is taken into the preparation room, and prepared in the manner following:
Note.—In modern lodges both eyes are covered, and the cable-tow is put around the naked right arm, instead of around the neck. See cut.
The Junior Deacon, who is or ought to be the conductor, answers, "A worthy brother who has heel regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, served a proper time as such, and now wishes for further light in Masonry by being passed to the degree of Fellow Craft."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request?"
Ans. "It is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon: "Is he duly and truly prepared?"
Ans. "He is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Is he worthy and well qualified?"
Ans. "He is."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?"
Ans. "He has."
[Very few know any more than they did the night they were initiated, have not heard their obligation repeated, nor one section of the lecture, and in fact a very small proportion of Masons ever learn either.]
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "By what further rights does he expect to obtain this benefit?"
Ans. "By the benefit of a pass-word."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Has he a pass-word?"
Ans. "He has not, but I have it for him."
Senior Deacon to Junior Deacon. "Give it to me."
The Junior Deacon whispers in the Senior Deacon's ear, "Shibboleth."
The Senior Deacon says, "The pass is right; since this is the case, you will wait till the Worshipful Master in the east is made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned."
The Senior Deacon then repairs to the Master and gives two knocks, as at the door, which are answered by two by the Master, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door, after which the Master says, "Since he comes with all these necessary qualifications, let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord and take heed on what he enters." As he enters, the angle of the square is pressed hard against his naked right breast,
at which time the Senior Deacon says, "Brother, when you entered this lodge the first time, you entered on the point of the compass pressing your naked left breast, which was then explained to you. You now enter it on the angle of the square pressing your naked right breast, which is to teach you to act upon the square with all mankind, but more especially with the brethren." The candidate is then conducted twice regularly round the lodge, and halted at the Junior Warden in the south, where he gives two raps, and is answered by two, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door; from thence he is conducted to the Senior Warden, where the same questions are asked and answers returned as before; he is then conducted to the Master in the east, where the same questions are asked and answers returned as before; the Master likewise demands of him from whence he came and whither he is traveling.
He answers, "From the west, and traveling to the east."
The Master asks, "Why do you leave the west and travel to the east?"
Ans. "In search of more light."
The Master then says to the conductor, "Since this is the case, you will please conduct the candidate back to the west from whence he came, and put him in care of the Senior Warden, who will teach him how to approach the east, the place of light, by advancing upon two upright regular steps to the second step [his heel is in the hollow of the right foot on this degree], his feet forming the right angle of an oblong square, and his body erect at the altar before the Worshipful Master, and place him in a proper position to take the solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason."
The Master then leaves his seat and approaches the kneeling candidate [the candidate kneels on the right knee, the left forming a square, his left arm as far as the elbow in a horizontal position, and the rest of the arm in a vertical position so as to form a square, his arm supported by the square held under his elbow] and says, "Brother, you are now placed in a proper position to take on you the solemn oath or obligation of a Fellow Craft Mason, which I assure you as before is neither to affect your religion nor politics; if you are willing to take it, repeat your name and say after me":
"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and this worshipful lodge of Fellow Craft Masons, dedicated to God, and held forth to the holy order of St. John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, in addition to my former obligation, that I will not give the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason to any one of an inferior degree, nor to any other being in the known world, except it be to a true and lawful brother or brethren Fellow Craft Masons, within the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such; and not unto him nor unto them, whom I shall hear so to be, but unto him and them only whom I shall find so to be after strict trial and due examination or lawful information. Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not wrong this lodge nor a brother of this degree to the value of two cents, knowingly, myself, nor suffer it to be done by others if in my power to prevent it. Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will support the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the United States, and of the Grand Lodge of this State, under which this lodge is held, and conform to all the by-laws, rules, and regulations of this or any other lodge of which I may at any time hereafter become a member, as far as in my power. Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I will obey all regular signs and summonses given, handed, sent, or thrown to me by the hand of a brother Fellow Craft Mason, or from the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such, provided that it be within the length of my cable-tow, or square and angle of my work. Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I will be aiding and assisting all poor and Penniless brethren Fellow Crafts, their widows and orphans, wheresoever disposed round the globe, they applying to me as such, as far as in my power without injuring myself or family. To all which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear without the least hesitation, mental reservation, or self evasion of mind in me whatever; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder and carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, there to become a prey to the wild beasts of the field, and vulture of the air, if ever I should prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation
of a Fellow Craft Mason; so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
"Detach your hands and kiss the book which is the Holy Bible, twice." The bandage is now (by one of the brethren) dropped over the other eye, and the Master says, "Brother [at the same time laying his hand on the top of the candidate's head], what do you most desire?"
The candidate answers after his prompter, "More light." The Master says, "Brethren, form on the square and assist in bringing our new made brother from darkness to light. 'And God said let there be light, and there was light.'" At this instant all the brethren clap their hands and stamp on the floor as in the preceding degree. The Master says to the candidate, "Brother, what do you discover different from before?" The Master says after a short pause, "You now discover one point of the compass elevated above the square, which donates light in this degree; but as one is yet in obscurity, it is to remind you that you are yet one material point in the dark respecting Masonry." The Master steps off from the candidate three or four steps, and says, Brother, you now discover me as master of this lodge approaching you from the east, under the sign and due-guard of a Fellow Craft Mason; do as I do as near as you can and keep your
and says, "Brother, I now present you with my right hand, in token of brotherly love and confidence, and with it the pass-grip and word of a Fellow Craft Mason." The pass, or more properly the pass-grip, is given by taking each other by the right hand, as though going to shake hands, and each putting his thumb
Ans. "A grip."
"A grip of what?"
Ans. "The grip of a Fellow Craft Mason."
"Has it a name?"
Ans. "It has.
"Will you give it to me?"
Ans. "I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it."
"What will you do with it?"
Ans. "I'll letter it or halve it."
"Halve it and you begin."
Ans. "No, begin you."
Ans. "J A."
"Right, brother, Jachin, I greet you."
As the signs, due-guards, grips, words, pass-words, and their several names comprise pretty much all the secrets of Masonry, and all the information necessary to pass us as Masons, I intend to appropriate a few passages in the latter part of this work to the exclusive purpose of explaining them; I shall not, therefore, spend much time in examining them as I progress. After the Master gives the candidate the pass-grip and grip, and their names, he says, "Brother, you ill rise and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens, as such, and convince them that you have been regularly passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason, and have got the sign and pass-grip, real grip and their names." [I do not here express it as expressed in lodges generally; the Master generally says, "You will arise and salute the Wardens, &c, and convince them, &c., that you have got the sign, pass-grip, and word." It is obviously wrong, because the first thing he gives is the sign, then due-guard, then the pass-grip, real grip, and their names.] While the Wardens are examining the candidate, the Master gets an apron, and returns to the candidate, and says, "Brother, I now have the honor of presenting you with a lambskin or white apron as before, which I hope you will continue to wear with honor to yourself and satisfaction to the brethren; you will please carry it to the Senior Warden in the west, who will teach you how to wear it as a Fellow Craft Mason." The Senior Warden ties on his apron and turns up one corner of the lower end of the apron and tucks it under the apron string. The Senior Deacon then conducts his pupil to the Master, who has by this time resumed his seat in the east, where he has, or ought to have, the floor carpet to assist him in his explanations. Master to the candidate, "Brother, as you are dressed, it is necessary you should have tools to work with. I will therefore present you with the tools of a Fellow Craft Mason. They 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 use them for a more noble and glorious purpose; the plumb teaches 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 on the level of time to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler has returned. I further present you with three precious jewels; their names are Faith, Hope, and Charity; they teach us to have faith in God, hope in immortality, and charity to all mankind." The Master to the Senior Deacon, "You will now conduct the candidate out of the lodge and invest him of what he has been divested." After he is clothed and the necessary arrangements made for his reception, such as placing the columns and floor carpet, if they have any, and the candidate is reconducted back to the lodge; as he enters the door the Senior Deacon observes, "We are now about to return to the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple." When within the door the Senior Deacon proceeds, "Brother, we have worked in speculative Masonry, but our forefathers wrought both in speculative and operative Masonry; they worked at the building of King Solomon's temple, and many other Masonic edifices; they wrought six days; they did not work on the seventh, because in six days God created the heavens and earth and rested on the seventh day; the seventh, therefore, our ancient brethren consecrated as a day of rest, thereby enjoying more frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of creation and to adore their great Creator." Moving a step or two, the Senior Deacon proceeds, "Brother, the first thing that attracts our attention are two large columns, or pillars, one on the left hand and the other on the right; the name of the one on the left hand is Boaz, and denotes strength; the name of the one on the right hand is Jachin, and denotes establishment; they collectively allude to a passage in Scripture wherein God has declared in his word, 'In strength shall this House be established.'"
These columns are eighteen cubits high, twelve in circumference, and four in diameter; they are adorned with two large Chapiters, one on each, and these Chapiters are ornamented with net-work, lily-work, and pomegranates; they denote unity, peace, and plenty. The net-work, from its connection, denotes union, the lily, from its whiteness, purity and peace, and the pomegranate, from the exuberance of its seed, denotes plenty. They also have two large globes or
balls, one on each; these globes or balls contain on their convex surface all the maps and charts of the celestial and terrestrial bodies; they are said to be thus extensive to denote the universality of Masonry, and that a Mason's charity ought to be equally extensive. Their composition is molten, or cast brass; they were cast on the river Jordan, in the clay ground, between Succoth and Zaradatha, where King Solomon ordered these and all other holy vessels to be cast; they were cast hollow, and were four inches, or a hand-breadth, thick; they were cast hollow better to withstand inundations and conflagrations, were the archives of Masonry, and contained the constitution, rolls, and records." The Senior Deacon having explained the columns, he passes between them, advancing a step or two, observing as he advances, "Brother, we will pursue our travels; the next that we come to is a long, winding staircase, with three, five, seven steps, or more." The first three allude to the three principal supports in Masonry, viz.: wisdom, strength, and beauty; the five steps allude to the five orders in architecture, and the five human senses; the five orders in architecture are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite; the five human senses are hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, the first three of which have ever been highly essential among Masons—hearing, to hear the word; seeing, to see the sign; feeling, to feel the grip whereby one Mason may know another in the dark as well as in the light. The seven steps allude to the seven sabbatical years, seven years of famine, seven years in building the temple, seven golden candlesticks, seven wonders of the world, seven planets, but more especially the seven liberal arts and sciences, which are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; for this and many other reasons the number seven has ever been held in high estimation among Masons. Advancing a few steps, the Senior Deacon proceeds, "Brother, the next thing we come to is the outer door of the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple, which is partly open, but closely tyled by the Junior Warden." [It is the Junior Warden in the south, who represents the Tyler at the outer door of the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple], who on the approach of the Senior Deacon and candidate enquires, "Who comes here? Who no comes here?"
The Senior Deacon answers, "A Fellow Craft Mason."
Junior Warden to Senior Deacon, "How do you expect to gain admission?"
Ans. "By a pass, and token of a pass."
Junior Warden to Senior Deacon, "Will you give them to me?"
The Senior Deacon or the candidate (prompted by him) gives them; this and many other tokens and grips are frequently given by strangers, when first introduced to each other. If given to a Mason he will immediately return it; they can be given by any company unobserved, even by Masons, when shaking hands. A pass and token of a pass; the pass is the word Shibboleth; the token, alias the pass-grip is given as before described, by taking each other by the right hand, as if shaking hands, and placing thumb between the forefinger and the second finger at the third joint, or where they join the hand, and pressing it hard enough to attract attention. In the lecture it is called a token, but generally called the pass-grip; it is an undeniable fact that Masons express themselves so differently, when they mean the same thing, that they frequently wholly misunderstand each other.
After the Junior Warden has received the pass, Shibboleth, he enquires, "What does it denote?
Junior Warden to Senior Deacon, "Why so?"
Ans. "From an ear of corn being placed at the water ford."
Junior Warden to Senior Deacon, "Why was this pass instituted?"
"In consequence of a quarrel, which had long existed between Jeptha, judge of Israel, and the Ephraimites, the latter of whom had long been a stubborn, rebellious people, whom Jeptha had endeavored to subdue by lenient measures, but to no effect. The Ephraimites, being highly incensed against Jeptha for not being called to fight and share in the rich spoils of the Amonitish war, assembled a mighty army and passed over the river Jordan to give Jeptha battle; but he, being apprised of their approach, called together the men of Israel, and put them to flight; and, to make his victory more complete, he ordered guards to be placed at the different
passes on the banks of the river Jordan and commanded. it the Ephraimites passed that way, that they should pronounce the word Shibboleth, but they, being of a different tribe, pronounced it Seboleth, which trifling defect proved them spies, and cost them their lives; and there fell that day at the different passes on the banks of the river Jordan forty and two thousand. This word was also used by our ancient brethren to distinguish a friend from a foe, and has since been adopted as a proper pass-word, to be given before entering any well regulated and governed lodge of Fellow Craft Masons." "Since this is the case, you will pass on to the Senior Warden in the west for further examination." As they approach the Senior Warden in the west, the Senior Deacon says to the candidate, "Brother, the next thing we come to is the inner door of the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple, which we find partly open, but more closely tyled by the Senior Warden," when the Senior Warden enquires, "Who comes here? Who comes here?"
The Senior Deacon answers, "A Fellow Craft Mason."
Senior Warden to Senior Deacon, "How do you expect to gain admission?"
Ans. "By the grip and word."
The Senior Warden to the Senior Deacon, "Will you give them to me?"
They are then given as herein before described. The word is Jachin. After they are given the Senior Warden says, "They are right, you can pass on to the Worshipful Master in the east." As they approach the Master, he enquires, "Who comes here? Who comes here?"
Senior Deacon answers, "A Fellow Craft Mason."
The Master then says to the candidate, "Brother, you have been admitted into the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple for the sake of the letter G. It denotes Deity, before whom we all ought to bow in reverence, worship and adore. It also denotes Geometry, the fifth science, it being that on which this degree was principally founded. By Geometry we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses. By it we may discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the universe, and view with delight the proportions which
connect this vast machine. By it we may discover how the planets move in their orbits, and demonstrate their various revolutions. By it we may account for the return of seasons, and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds surround us, all formed by the same Divine Architect, which roll through the vast expanse, and all conducted by the same unerring law of nature. A survey of nature, and the observations of her beautiful proportions first determined man to imitate the divine plan, and study symmetry and order. 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. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue; and the mysteries of Freemasonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and implements of architecture, and symbolic emblems, most expressive, are selected by the fraternity to imprint on the mind wise and serious truth; and thus, through a succession of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, most excellent tenets of our institution." Here ends the work part of the Fellow Craft degree. It will be observed that the candidate has received, in this place, the second section of the lecture on this degree. This course is not generally pursued, but it is much the most instructive method, and when it is omitted I generally conclude that it is for want of a knowledge of the lecture. Monitorial writers [who are by no means coeval with Masonry] all write and copy very much after each other, and they all inserted in their books all those clauses of the several lectures which are not considered by the wise ones as tending to develop the secrets of Masonry. In some instances they change the phraseology a little; in others, they are literal extracts from the lectures. This, it is said, is done to facilitate the progress of learners or young Masons when in fact it has the contrary effect. All lecture teachers (and there are
many traveling about the country with recommendations from some of their distinguished brethren) when they come to any of those clauses, will say to their pupils: "I have not committed that; it is in the Monitor; you can learn it at your leisure." This course of procedure subjects the learner to the necessity of making his own questions, and, of course, answering monitorially, whether the extracts from the lectures are literal or not. Again, there is not a perfect sameness in all the Monitors, or they could not all get copyrights; hence the great diversity in the lectures as well as the work. The following charge is, or ought to be, delivered to the candidate after he has got through the ceremonies; but he is generally told, "It is in the Monitor, and you can read it at your leisure."
"Brother, being advanced to the second degree of Masonry, we congratulate you on your preferment. The internal and not the external qualifications of a n to are what Masonry regards. As you increase in knowledge, you will improve in social intercourse. It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a Mason, you are bound to discharge, or enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them as your own experience must have established their value. Our laws and regulations you are strenuously to support and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate or aggravate the offences 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, that valuable branch of education, which tends so effectually to polish and adorn the mind, is earnestly recommended to your 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 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 the order by steadily persevering in the practice of every commendable virtue. Such is the nature of your engagements as a Fellow Craft, and to these
duties you are bound by the most sacred ties."
I will now proceed with the lecture on this degree. It is divided into two sections.