p. 6 p. 7
Seven Freemasons, viz., six Entered Apprentices and one Master Mason, acting under a charter or dispensation from some Grand Lodge, is the requisite number to constitute a Lodge of Masons, and to initiate a candidate to the First Degree of Masonry.
They assemble in a room well guarded from all cowans and eaves-droppers, in the second or third story (as the case may be) of some building suitably prepared and furnished for Lodge purposes, which is, by Masons, termed "the Ground Floor of King Solomon's Temple."
The officers take their seats, as represented in the Plate on page 8. Lodge-meetings are arranged as follows, viz.: a "regular" is held but once a month (i.e. every month on, or preceding, the full of the moon in each month); special meetings are held as often as the exigency of the case may seem to demand, if every night in the week, Sunday excepted. If Tuesday should be Lodge night, by Masons it would be termed, "Tuesday evening on or before the full of the moon, a regular night."
LODGE OF ENTERED APPRENTICES, FELLOW CRAFTS, OR MASTER MASONS. 1. Candidate prays. 2. First stop. 3. Second stop. 4. Third stop. 5. Room where candidates are prepared. 6. Ante-room where members enter the lodge. 7. Hall. 8. Doors. 9. Door through which candidates are admitted into the lodge. 10. Door through which members enter. 11. Altar. 12. Treasurer. 13. Secretary. 14. Senior Deacon. 15. Worshipful Master. 16. Junior Warden. 17 and 18. Stewards. 19. Senior Warden. 20. Junior Deacon. 21. Tyler.
All business relative to Masonry is done at a "regular," and in the Third, or Master Mason Degree. None but Master Masons are allowed to be present at such meetings; balloting for candidates is generally done on a "regular," also receiving petitions, committee reports, &c., &c.
A petition for the degrees of Masonry is generally received at a "regular" (though, as a common thing, Grand Lodges of each State make such arrangements as they may deem best for the regulation of their several subordinate Lodges).
At the time of receiving a petition for the degrees of Masonry, the Master appoints a committee of three, whose duty it is to make inquiry after the character of the applicant, and report good or bad, as the case may be, at the next regular meeting, when it is acted upon by the Lodge.
Upon reception of the committee's report, a ballot is had: if no black balls appear, the candidate is declared duly elected; but if one black ball or more appear, he is declared rejected.
No business is done in a Lodge of Entered Apprentices, except to initiate a candidate to the First Degree in Masonry, nor is any business done in a Fellow Crafts' Lodge, except to pass a Fellow Craft from the first to the second degree. To explain more thoroughly: when a candidate is initiated to the First Degree, he is styled as "entered;" when he has taken the Second Degree, "passed." and when he has taken the Third, "raised" to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason. No one is allowed to be present, in any degree of Masonry, except he be one of that same degree or higher. The Master always wears his hat when presiding as such, but no other officer, in a "Blue Lodge" (a "Blue Lodge" is a Lodge of Master Masons, where only three degrees are conferred, viz.: Entered Apprentice, 1st; Fellow Craft, 2d; Master Mason, 3d. Country Lodges are mostly all "Blue Lodges").
A Lodge of Fellow Craft Masons consists of five, viz.: Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Senior and Junior Dear hens; yet seven besides the Tyler generally assist, and take their seats as in the Entered Apprentice's Degree. The Fellow Craft Lodge is styled by Masons "the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's Temple."
Three Master Masons is the requisite number to constitute a Masters' Lodge, which is called by Masons "the Sanctum Sanctorum, or, Holy of Holies of King Solomon's Temple." Although three are all that is required by "Masonic Law" to open a Third Degree Lodge, there are generally seven besides the Tyler, as in the other degrees.
"Why was you divested of all metals when you was made a Mason?"
Ans. "Because Masonry regards no man on account of his worldly wealth or honors; it is, therefore, the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a man to Masonry."
"A second reason?"
Ans. "There was neither the sound of an axe, hammer, or any other metal tool heard at the building of King Solomon's temple."
"How could so stupendous a fabric be erected without the sound of axe, hammer, or any other metal tool?"
Ans. "All the stones were hewed, squared and numbered in the quarries where they were raised, all the timbers felled and prepared in the forests of Lebanon, and carried down to Joppa on floats, and taken from thence up to Jerusalem, and set up with wooden mauls, prepared for that purpose; which, when completed, every part thereof fitted with that exact nicety, that it had more the resemblance of the hand workmanship of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, than that of human hands."
"Why was you neither naked nor clothed?"
Ans. "As I was an object of distress at that time, it was to remind me, if ever I saw a friend, more especially a brother, in a like distressed situation, that I should contribute as liberally to his relief as his situation required, and my abilities would admit, without material injury to myself or family."
"Why were you neither barefoot or shod?"
Ans. "It was an ancient Israelitish custom, adopted among Masons; and we read, in the book of Ruth, concerning
their mode and manner of changing and redeeming, 'and to confirm all things, a brother plucked off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor, and that was testimony in Israel.' This, then, therefore, we do in confirmation of a token and as a pledge of our fidelity; thereby signifying that we will renounce our own wills in all things, and become obedient to the laws of our ancient institutions."
"Why were you hoodwinked?"
"That my heart might conceive before my eyes beheld the beauties of Masonry."
"A second reason?"
Ans. "As I was in darkness at that time, it was to remind me that I should keep the whole world so respecting Masonry."
"Why had you a Cable Tow about your neck?"
Ans. "In case I had not submitted to the manner and mode of my initiation, that I might have been led out of the lodge without seeing the form and beauties thereof."
"Why did you give three distinct knocks at the door?"
Ans. "To alarm the lodge, and let the Worshipful Master, Wardens and brethren know that a poor blind candidate prayed admission."
"What does those three distinct knocks allude to?"
Ans. "A certain passage in Scripture, wherein it says, 'Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.'"
"How did you apply this to your then case in Masonry?"
Ans. "I asked the recommendations of a friend to become a Mason, I sought admission through his recommendations, and knocked, and the door of Masonry opened unto me."
"Why was you caused to enter on the point of some sharp instrument pressing your naked left breast in the name of the Lord?"
Ans. "As this was a torture to my flesh, so might the recollection of it ever be to my heart and conscience, if ever I attempted to reveal the secrets of Masonry unlawfully."
"Why was you conducted to the center of the lodge, and there caused to kneel for the benefit of a prayer?"
Ans. "Before entering on this, or any other great and important undertaking, it is highly necessary to implore a blessing from Deity."
"Why was you asked in whom you put your trust?"
Ans. "Agreeable to the laws of our ancient institution, no atheist could be made a Mason, it was therefore necessary that I should believe in Deity; otherwise no oath or obligation could bind me."
"Why did the Worshipful Master take you by the right hand and bid you arise, follow your leader and fear no danger?"
YOU ROCK JOSEPH!!! MISS YOU BUT IM HOLDING DOWN THE FORT UNTIL YOU RETURN!!