sources, a Compendium of the Morals and Dogma of the Rite, to re. —mould sentences, change and add to words and phrases, com bine them wi th. his own. Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of . writes that Pike "intended it [Morals and Dogma] to be a supplement to that great 'connected. This is Albert Pikes' page volume of 'lectures' on the esoteric roots of Freemasonry, specifically the degree Scottish Rite. Until , this book was given to every Mason completing the 14th degree in the Southern jurisdiction of the US Scottish Rite Freemasons.

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They believed in the esoteric and exoteric meanings of the Scriptures; and, as we have already said, they had a warrant for that in the Scriptures themselves.

They found it in the Old Testament, as the Gnostics found it in the New. The Christian writers, and even Christ himself, recognized it as a truth, that all Scripture had an inner and an outer meaning. Thus we find it said as follows, in one of the Gospels: In their most characteristic elements, they go back to the time of the exile.

Intelligence, source of the oil of anointing, responds to the Holy Ghost of the Christian Faith. To others they were, as were the multitude of Subordinate Intelligences, real and distinct beings.

Knowing the slow processes by which the Deity brings about great results, he does not expect to reap as well as sow, in a single lifetime. There are Seven Seals to be opened, that its to say, Seven mysteries to know, and Seven difficulties to overcome, Seven trumpets to sound, and Seven cups to empty. The Apocalypse is, to those who recieve the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. It is written hieroglyphically with numbers and images; and the Apostle often appeals to the intelligence of the Initiated.

Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike - Hermetics Resource

Saint John, the favorite Apostle, and the Depositary of all the Secrets of the Saviour, therefore did not write to be understood by the multitude. They contain more meanings than words; their expressions are figurative as poetry and exact as numbers.

The Apocalypse sums up, completes, and surpasses all the Science of Abraham and of Solomon. The visions of Ezekiel, by the river Chebar, and of the new Symbolic Temple, are equally mysterious expressions, veiled by figures of the enigmatic dogmas of the Kabalah, and their symbols are as little understood by the Commentators, as those of Free Masonry. Masonry long wandered in error. Instead of improving, it degenerated from its primitive simplicity, and retrograded toward a system, distorted by stupidity and ignorance, which, unable to construct a beautiful machine, made a complicated one.

And upon their report of proficiency alone can their pupils be allowed to advance and receive an increase of wages.

Be not wiser in your own opinion than the Deity, nor find fault with His works, nor endeavor to improve upon what He has done. No man, no woman, no household, is sacred or safe from this new Inquisition.

Signs and tokens were invented by which the Children of Light could with facility make themselves known to each other. Different Degrees were invented, as the number of Initiates enlarged, in order that there might be in the inner apartment of the Temple a favored few, to whom alone the more valuable secrets were entrusted, and who could wield effectually the influence and power of the Order.

All persons were initiated into the lesser Mysteries; but few attained the greater, in which the true spirit of them, and most of their secret doctrines were hidden. The veil of secrecy was impenetrable, sealed by oaths and penalties the most tremendous and appalling. Innumerable ceremonies, wild and romantic, dreadful and appalling, had by degrees been added to the few expressive symbols of primitive observances, under which there were instances in which the terrified aspirant actually expired with fear.

The pyramids were probably used for the purposes of initiation, as were caverns, pagodas, and labyrinths; for the ceremonies required many apartments and cells, long passages and wells. The candidate, long wandering in darkness, truly wanted Light, and the worship taught him was the worship of God, the Source of Light. Then he was sprinkled with water whence our baptism ; certain words, now unknown, were whispered in his ear; and he was divested of his shoes, and made to go three times around the cavern.

Hence our three circuits; hence we were neither barefoot nor shot: The Kings even prohibited the revelation of them on pain of death. This secret was styled the Sacerdotal Art, and included alchemy, astrology, magism [magic], the science of spirites, etc. He gave them the key to the Hieroglyphics of all these secret sciences, which were regarded as sacred, and kept concealed in the most secret places of the Temple.

The great secrecy observed by the initiated Priests, for many years, and the lofty sciences which they professed, caused them to be honored and respected throughout all Egypt, which was regarded by other nations as the college, the sanctuary, of the sciences and arts. The mystery which surrounded them strongly excited curiosity. The Initiates in a particular science, having been instructed by fables, enigmas, allegories, and hieroglyphics, wrote mysteriously whenever in their works they touched the subject of the Mysteries, and continued to conceal science under a veil of fictions.

The pyramids, too, were built precisely by the four cardinal points. And our expression, that our Lodges extend upward to the Heavens, comes from the Persian and Druidic custom of having to their Temples no roofs but the sky.

Morals and Dogma by Freemason Albert Pike

Plato developed and spiritualized the philosophy of Pythagoras. Even Eusebius the Christian admits, that he reached to the vestibule of Truth, and stood upon its threshold. The Druidical ceremonies undoubtedly came from India; and the Druids were originally Buddhists. The word Druidh, like the word Magi, signifies wise or learned men; and they were at once philosophers, magistrates, and divines. There was a surprising uniformity in the Temples, Priests, doctrines, and worship of the Persian Magi and British Druids.

The Gods of Britian were the same as the Cabiri of Samothrace. In the remote times when they originated, these were the times corresponding with the 13th of February, 1st of May, 19th of August, and 1st of November.

Morals and Dogma by Freemason Albert Pike

The time of annual celebration was May-Eve, and the ceremonial preparations commenced at midnight, on the 29th of April. When the initiations were over, on May-Eve, fires were sited on all the cairns and cromlechs in the island, which burned all night to introduce the sports of May-day. The festival was in honor of the Sun. The initiations were performed at midnight; and there were three Degrees.

That being the longest night in the year, and the one after which the Sun comes Northward, it was commemorative of the Creation; and they termed it mother-night, as the one in which the creation of the world and light from the primitive darkness took place.

This was the Yule, Juul, or Yeol feast, which afterward became Christmas. At this feast the initiations were celebrated. The initiations were had in huge intricate caverns, terminating, as all the Mithriac caverns did, in a spacious vault, where the candidate was brought to light.

Joseph was undoubtedly initiated. And set him over the land of Egypt. So also must Moses have been initiated: You have here received only hints of the true objects and purposes of the Mysteries. Hereafter, if you are permitted to advance, you will arrive at a more complete understanding of them and of the sublime doctrines which they teach.

Be content, therefore, with that which you have seen and heard, and await patiently the advent of the greater light. And at a latter day, as we know, Nero, after committing a horrible crime, did not dare, even in Greece, to aid in the celebration of the Mysteries; nor at a still later day was Constantine, the Christian Emperor, allowed to do so, after his murder of his relatives.

By its form the serpent symbolizes life, which circulates through all nature. Curiosity was excited by secrecy, by the difficulty experienced in obtaining admission, and by the tests to be undergone. The night was almost always the time fixed for their celebration; and they were ordinarily termed nocturnal ceremonies. Initiations into the Mysteries of Samothrace took place at nightl as did those of Isis, of which Apuleius speaks.

Euripedes makes Bacchus say, that his Mysteries were celebrated at night, because there is in night something august and imposing.

They admitted that they concealed the highest truths under the veil of allegory, the more to excite the curiosity of men, and to urge them to investigation.

The secrecy in which they buried their Mysteries, had that end. Those to whom they were confided, bound themselves, by the most fearful oats, never to reveal them. They were not allowed even to speak of these important secrets with any others than the initiated; and the penalty of death was pronounced against any one indiscreet enough to reveal them, or found in the Temple without being an Initiate; and any one who had betrayed those secrets, was avoided by all, as excommunicated.

Obstacles and suspense redoubled curiosity. Those who aspired to the initiation of the Sun and in the Mysteries of Mithras in Persia, underwent many trials. They commenced by easy tests and arrived by degrees at those that were most cruel, in which the life of the candidate was often endangered. Gregory Nazianzen terms them tortures and mystic punishments. No one can be initiated, says Suidas, until after he has proven, by the most terrible trials, that he possesses a virtuous soul, exempt from the sway of every passion, and as it were impassible.

There were twelve principal tests; and some make the number larger. Eleusis closed her gates against Nero; and the Pagan Priests told Constantine that among all their modes of expiation there was none so potent as could wash from his soul the dark spots left by the murder of his wife, and his multiplied perjuries and assassinations.

Then he himself put on the costume of the Sun-God, or the Visible Source f Etherial Light, in whose Mysteries he was initiated; and passed from the empire of darkness to that of light. After having set his feet on the threshold of the palace of Pluto, he ascended to the Empyrean, to the bosom of the Eternal Principle of Light of the Universe, from which all souls and intelligences emanate. Night threw her veil over these august Myteries, which could be revealed to no one.

There the sufferings of Bakchos were represented, who, like Osiris, died, descended to hell and rose to life again; and raw flesh was distributed to the Initiates, which each ate, in memory of the death of the Deity, torn in pieces by the Titans. The Jews borrowed this from them, and represented God as appearing to Abraham in a flame of fire, and to Moses as a fire at Horeb and on Sinai. His fame spread over the world, and pupils came to him from every country.

Even Pythagoras was his scholar. After his novitiate, the candidate entered the cavern of initiation, and was received on the point of a sword presented to his naked left breast, by which he was slightly wounded. This he ordained to Joseph, for a testimony, when he came out of the land of Egypt.

In an Arabian MS. That of Virgo is a young girl with an infant by her side. Virgo was Isis; and her representation, carrying a child Horus in her arms, exhibited in her temple, was accompanied by this inscription: When Scorpio begins to rise, Orion sets: The Virgin and Bootes, setting heliacally at the Autumnal Equinox, delivered the world to the wintry constellations, and introduced into it the genius of Evil, represented by Ophiucus, the Serpent.

They raised columns to the elements, fire, and air or wind, and worshipped them; and Sabaeism, or the worship of the Starts, flourished everywhere in Babylonia.

And Timaeus of Locria says: He who made the world, true Lord of the diadems, who possesses Egypt and fills it with His glory. The New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse has twelve gates.

In Arabia it was deemed the mother of the sciences; and old libraries are full of Arabic books on this pretended science. It flourished at Rome. Constantine had his horoscope drawn by the astrologer Valens. It was a science in the middle ages, and even to this day is neither forgotten nor unpractised. Catherine de Medici was fond of it. Louis XIV consulted his horoscope, and the learned Casini commenced his career as an astrologer.

Each genius of the Decans had a name and special characteristics. They concur and aid in the effects produced by the Sun, Moon, and other planets charged with the administration of the world: It occurs many times on the Rosetta stone. The horned serpent was the hieroglyphic for a God. In the ritual of Zoroaster, the Serpent was a symbol of the Universe. In China, the ring between two Serpents was the symbol of the world governed by the power and wisdom of the Creator.

The Bacchanals carried serpents in their hands or round their heads. His ministers were styled adders. The invisible God, manifested and on one of His many sides visible, did not cease to be God to him.

He recognized Him in the evening breeze of Eden, in the whirlwind of Sinai, in the Stone of Beth-El; and identified Him with the fire or thunder or the immovable rock adored in Ancient Arabia. To him the image of the Deity was reflected in all that was pre-eminent in excellence. What is the first great Truth of the Sacred Mysteries? No man hath seen God at any time.

This is the heresy that condemns the meek. In the truest sense, we eat and drink the bodies of the dead; and cannot say that there is a single atom of our blood or body, the ownership of which some other soul might not dispute with us.

This is My body: For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins: Persons were admitted on special conditions only. To arrive at a complete knowledge of the doctrine, they had to pass three degrees of instruction.

The Initiates were consequently divided into three classes; the first, Auditors, the second, Cathechumens, and the third, the Faithful. The Auditors were a sort of novices, who were prepared by certain ceremonies and certain instruction to receive the dogmas of Christianity. A portion of these dogmas was made known to the Catechuments: These doctrines, and the celebration of the Holy Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, were kept with profound secrecy.

These Mysteries were divided into two parts: The celebration of the Mysteries of Mithras was also styled a mass; and the ceremonies used were the same. There were found all the sacraments of the Catholic Church, even the breath of confirmation. The Priest of Mithras promised the Initiates deliverance from sin, by means of confession and baptism, and a future life of happiness or misery. He celebrated the oblation of bread, image of the resurrection. The baptism of newly-born children, extreme unction, confession of sins, --all belonged to the Mithriac rites.

The candidate was purified by a species of baptism, a mark was impressed upon his forehead, he offered bread and water, pronouncing certain mysterious words.

This secret doctrine they did not communicate to every one; and among the extensive sect of the Basilideans hardly one in a thousand knew it, as we learn form Irenaeus. We know the name of only the highest class of their Initiates. They were styled Elect or Elus, and Strangers to the World. They had at least three Degrees—the Material, the Intellectual, and the Spiritual; and the lesser and greater Mysteries; and the number of those who attained the highest Degree was quite small.

Dionysius the Areopagite, the first Bishop of Athens, the tradition of the sacrament is said to have been divided into three Degrees, or grades, purification, initiation, and accomplishment or perfection; and it mentions also, as part of the ceremony, the bringing to sight.

The Mysteries were open to the Fideles or Faithful only; and no spectators were allowed at the communion. Origen, born A.

The formula which the primitive church pronounced at the moment of celebrating its Mysteries, was this: Let the Catechumens, and those who have not been admitted or initiated, go forth. They are not explained to the Gentiles at all; nor are they taught openly in the hearing of Catechumens; but much that is spoken is in disguised terms, that the Faithful, who possess the knowledge, may be still more informed, and those who are not acquainted with it, may suffer no disadvantage.

In his Catechesis he says: The splendor of glory is for those who are early enlightened: Just so the church discovers its Mysteries to those who have advanced beyond the class of Catechumens: Basil, the Great Bishop of Caesarea born in the year , and dying in the year , says: This is what the uninitiated are not permitted to contemplate; and how should it ever be proper to write and circulate among the people an account of them?

Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople, A. Our Mysteries are not to be made known to strangers.

Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, who was born in , and died in , says in his work De Mysteriis: It is not given to all to contemplate the depths of our Mysteries. The danger is not merely in violating truth, but in telling truth, if he allow himself to give hints of them to those from whom they ought to be concealed…..

Beware of casting pearls before swine! Every Mystery ought to be kept secret: Take heed that you do not incautiously reveal the Mysteries! Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, who was born in , and died in , says in one of his discourses: To have taught them openly, would have been to betray them. He says: I shall therefore avail myself to disguised terms, discoursing in a shadowy manner.

Where the holy Mysteries are celebrated, we drive away all uninitiated persons, and then close the doors. Cyril of Alexandria, who was made Bishop in , and died in , says in his 7th Book against Julian: I shall not, therefore, attempt to speak of what is so admirable in them, lest by discovering them to the uninitiated, I should offend against the injunction not to give what is holy to the impure, nor cast pearls before such as cannot estimate their worth.

I should say much more, if I were not afraid of being heard by those who are uninitiated: And the ignorant, not being aware of the weakness of their minds, condemn what they ought most to venerate. These at once lead us back to the Kabala. They confounded the type and the archetype, the symbol and the idea.

They rose no higher than the Demiurge; they took him to be the Supreme God Himself. But the spiritual men among them, on the contrary, clearly perceived, or at least divined, the ideas veiled under Judaism; they rose beyond the Demiurge, to a knowledge of the Supreme God; and are therefore properly His worshippers.

To undeceive you, if such was your conclusion, we have caused the Personifications of the Great Luminary of Heaven, under the names by which he was known to the most ancient nations, to proclaim the old primitive truths that were known to the Fathers of our race, before men came to worship the visible manifestations of the Supreme Power and Magnificence and the Supposed Attributes of the Universal Deity in the Elements and in the glittering armies that Night regularly marshals and arrays upon the blue field of the firmament.

He was also the Supreme Deity of the Moabites, Amonites, and Carthaginians, and of the Sabeasns in general; the Gauls worshipped the Sun under the name of Belin or Belinus; and Bela is found among the Celtic Deities upon the ancient monuments. The Clarian Oracle, which was of unknown antiquity, being asked which of the Deities was named I AlphaOmega , answered in these remarkable words: And they attribute its loss to the illegality of applying the Masoretic points to so sacred a Name, by which a knowledge of the proper vowels is forgotten.

It is even said, in the Gemara of Abodah Zara, that God permitted a celebrated Hebrew Scholar to be burned by a Roman Emperor, because he had been heard to pronounce the Sacred Name with points. The Jews feared that the Heathen would get possession of the Name: Josephus says it was unknown until God communicated it to Moses in the wilderness: The followers of Mahomet have a tradition that there is a secret name of the Deity which possesses wonderful properties; and that the only method of becoming acquainted with it, is by being initiated into the Mysteries of the Ism Abla….

The old Germans adored God with profound reverence, without daring to name Him, or to worship Him in Temples. The Druids expressed the name of Deity by the letters O. It is to be consumed by fire: In the eyes of the Kabalist, all men are his brothers; and their relative ignorance is, to him, but a reason for instructing them.

There were illustrious Kabalists among the Egyptians and Greeks, whose doctrines the Orthodox Church has accepted; and among the Arabs were many, whose wisdom was not slighted by the Mediaeval Church.

The Sages proudly wore the name of Kabalists. The Kabalah embodied a noble philosophy, pure, not mysterious, but symbolic. It taught the doctrine of the Unity of God, the art of knowing and explaining the essence and operations of the Supreme Being, of spiritual powers and natural forces, and of determining their action by symbolic figures; by the arrangement of the alphabet, the combinations of numbers, the inversion of letters in writing and the concealed meanings which they claimed to discover therein.

The Kabalah is the key of the occult sciences; and the Gnostics were born of the Kabalists. He invented, and applied to himself that of Philosopher, signifying one who is fond of or studies things secret and occult. The astronomy which he mysteriously taught, was astrology: Why did you seek to be received a Knight of the Kabalah?

To know, by means of numbers, the admirable harmony which there is between nature and religion Qu.: How were you announced? By twelve raps. What is a Kabalist? A man who has learned, by tradition, the Sacerdotal Art and the Royal Art. What do you mean by the number 7?

The seven sacraments. The seven planets. What is the most occult number? What is the profoundest meaning of the figure 3? From the action of these three results the triangle within the square; and from the seven angles, the decade or perfect number.

It is the Pentalpha of Pythagoras, or Pentangle of Solomon; has five lines and five angles; and is, among Masons, the outline or origin of the five-pointed Star, and an emblem of Fellowship. He is told of a difficult and dangerous path yet to be traveled, and is advised that upon that journey it depends whether he will become a Master.

A man who has a higher conception of God than those about him, and who denies that their conception is God, is very likely to be called an Atheist by men who are really far less believers in a God than he.

Thus the Christians, who said the Heathen idols were no Gods, were accounted Atheists by the People, and accordingly put to death; and Jesus of Nazareth was crucified as an unbelieving blasphemer, by the Jews.

They certainly were so among the Persians and Assyrians; and they were regarded everywhere as symbolic of the generative and productive powers of all animated beings. Many of the Christian doctors believed they were. Saint Ambrose does not doubt they have souls; and Pamphilus says that many of the Church believe they are reasonable beings, while many think otherwise, but that neither one nor the other opinion is heretical. The rude conception of sternness predominating over mercy in the Deity, can alone account for the human sacrifices, purposed, if not executed, by Abraham and Jephthah.

The true pronunciation of that name was in truth a secret, in which, however, was involved the far more profound secret of its meaning. In that meaning is included all the truth that can be known by us, in regard to the nature of God. I am Alpha and Omega , the First and the Last. They stumble at difficulties, are ensnared by temptations, and perplexed by trouble.

They are anxious, and troubled, and fearful. Pain and affliction and sorrow often gather around the steps of their earthly pilgrimage. All this is written indelibly upon the tablets of the human heart.

It is not to be erased; but Masonry sees and reads it in a new light. It does not expect these ills and trials and sufferings to be removed from life; but that the great truth will at some time be believed by all men, that they are the means, selected by infinite wisdom, to purify the heart, and to invigorate the soul whose inheritance is immortality, and the world its school.

Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and Sublime One; that universal religion, taught by Nature and by Reason. It reiterates the precepts of morality of all religions.

It venerates the character and commends the teachings of the great and good of all ages and of all countries. It extracts the good and not the evil, the truth, and not the error, from all creeds; and acknowledges that there is much which is good and true in all.

It is the first, or it is nothing. When we ask an honest man why, despite his urgent necessities, he has respected the sanctity of a deposit, he answers, because it was his duty. Asked why it was his duty, he answers, because it was right, was just, was good.

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Beyond that there is no answer to be made, but there is also no question to be asked. No one permits a duty to be imposed on him without giving himself a reason for it; but when it is admitted that the duty is commanded by justice, the mind is satisfied; for it has arrived at a principle beyond which there is nothing to seek, justice being its own principle. The primary truths include their own reason; and justice, the essential distinction between good and evil, is the first truth of morality.

Once enrolled among the children of Light, every Mason on earth becomes his brother, and owes him the duties, the kindnesses, and the sympathies of a brother. On every one he may call for assistance in need, protection against danger, sympathy in sorrow, attention in sickness, and decent burial after death. There is not a Mason in the world who is not bound to go to his relief, when he is in danger, if there be a greater probability of saving his life than of losing his own.

No Mason can wrong him to the value of anything, knowingly, himself, nor suffer it to be done by others, if it be in his power to prevent it. No Mason can speak evil of him, to his face or behind his back. Every Mason must keep his lawful secrets, and aid him in his business, defend his character when unjustly assailed, and protect, counsel, and assist his widow and his orphans.

What so many thousands owe to him, he owes to each of them. He has solemnly bound himself to be ever ready to discharge this sacred debt. In it we find the Seven genii of the Ancient Mythologies; and the doctrine concealed under its emblems is the pure Kabala, already lost by the Pharisees at the advent of the Saviour.

The pictures that follow in this wondrous epic are so many pantacles, of which the numbers 3, 4. For Christians, and in their opinion, the scientific and magical clavicules of Solomon are lost. Nevertheless, it is certain that, in the domain of intelligence governed by the WORD, nothing that is written is lost. Only those things which men cease to understand no longer exist for them, at least as WORD; then they enter into the domain of enigmas and mystery.

The mysterious founder of the Christian Church was saluted in His cradle by the three Magi, that is to say by the hieratic ambassadors from the three parts of the know world, and from the three analogical worlds of the occult philosophy. He was no Pagan, but a Gnostic, infected with the allegories of Grecian polytheism, and whose misfortune it was to find the name of Jesus Christ less sonorous than that of Orpheus.

The Initiates ought to understand this, and, lest the profane should overhear, Masonry never says too much. This ambient fluid penetrates everything. It is a ray detached from the glory of the Sun, and fixed by the weight of the atmosphere and the central attraction. It is the body of the Holy Spirit, the univesal Agent, the Serpent devouring his own tail.

With this electro-magnetic ether, this vital and luminous caloric, the ancients and the alchemists were familiar. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects?

This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from our Lodges, because they cannot regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indespensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel.

The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight; and, accordingly, the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-seeing Eye, which to the Egyptian Initiates was the emblem of Osiris, the Creator. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, remaineth still in the darkness.

But it is also the duty of Masonry to assist in elevating the moral and intellectual level of society; in coining knowledge, bringing ideas into circulation, and causing the mind of youth to grow; and in putting, gradually, by the teachings of axioms and the promulgation of positive laws, the human race in harmony with its destinies.

To this duty and work the Initiate is apprenticed There are noble and mysterious triumphs, which no eye sees, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets salutes. There is a wondrous vitality in Error.

Truth, indeed, for the most part, shoots over the heads of the masses; or if an error is prostrated for a moment, it is up again in a moment, as vigorous as ever. Thus, in that vision or apocalypse of the sublime exile of Patmos, a protest in the name of the ideal, overwhelming the real world, a tremendous satire uttered in the name of Religion and Liberty, and with its fiery reverberations smiting the throne of the Caesars, a sharp two-edged sword comes out of the mouth of the Semblance of the Son of Man, encircled by the seven golden candlesticks, and holding in his right hand seven stars.

In the seven epistles there are twelve promises. What is said of the churches in praise or blame, is completed in the number three.

It is the number of the months, the tribes, and the apostles; of the oxen under the Brazen Sea, of the stones on the breast-plate of the high priest.

But the sharper and speculator thrives and fattens. If his country is fighting by a levy en masse for her very existence, he aids her by depreciating her paper, so that he may accumulate fabulous amounts with little outlay. If his neighbor is distressed, he downloads his property for a song. If he administers upon an estate, it turns out insolvent, and the orphans are paupers. If his bank explodes, he is found to have taken care of himself in time.

Society worships its paper-and-credit kings, as the old Hindus and Egyptians worshipped their worthless idols, and often the most obsequiously when in actual solid wealth they are the veriest paupers. No wonder men think there ought to be another world, in which the injustices of this may be atoned for, when they see the friends of ruined families begging the wealthy sharpers to give alms to prevent the orphaned victims from starving, until they may find ways of supporting themselves.

He went into Judea, where he procured himself to be circumcised, that he might be admitted to the secrets of the Kabalah, which the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, not without some reservations, communicated to him.

Then, not without some difficulty, he succeeded in being admitted to the Egyptian initiation, upon the recommendation of King Amasis. The power of his genius supplied the deficiencies of the imperfect communications of the Hierophants, and he himself became a Master and a Revealer. The Word of God, which creates the Light, seems to be uttered by every Intelligence that can take cognizance of Forms and will look.

The Devil is the personification of Atheism or Idolatry. For the Initiates, this is not a Person, but a Force, created for good, but which may serve for evil.

It is the instrument of Liberty or Free Will. They represent this Force, which presides over the physical generation, under the mythologic and horned form of the GOD PAN; thence came the he-goat of the Sabbbat, brother of the Ancient Serpent, and the Light-bearer or Phosphor, of which the poets have made the false Lucifer of the legend. Fictions are necessary to the people, and the Truth becomes deadly to those who are not strong enough to contemplate it in all its brilliance…The truth must be kept secret, and the masses need a teaching proportioned to their imperfect reason.

The first Druids were the true children of the Magi, and their initiation came from Egypt and Chaldaea, that is to say, from the pure sources of the primitive Kabalah. Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanation and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.

There is no book of which so little is know as the Bible. Let whoso is content with these, seek to climb no higher. It is the first and almost the only lesson taught to the Entered Apprentice. Frequenting the same temples, kneeling at the same altars, they should feel that respect and that kindness for each other, which their common relation and common approach to one God should inspire.

You have vowed t make them the rule, the law, and the guide of your life and conduct. If you do so, you will be entitled, because fitted, to advance in Masonry.

If you do not, you have already gone too far. He may repent: he may, after agonizing struggles, regain the path of virtue: his spirit may reachieve its purity through much anguish, after many strifes; but the weaker fellow-creature whom he led astray, whom he made a sharer in his guilt, but whom he cannot make a sharer in his repentance and amendment, whose downward course the first step of which he taught he cannot check, but is compelled to witness,--what forgiveness of sins can avail him there?

There is his perpetual, his inevitable punishment, which no repentance can alleviate, and no mercy can remit. You still advance toward the Light, toward that star, blazing in the distance, which is an emblem of the Divine Truth, given by God to the first men, and preserved amid all the vicissitudes of ages in the traditions and teachings of Masonry.

To appreciate His infinite greatness and goodness, to rely implicitly upon His Providence, to revere and venerate Him as the Supreme Architect, Creator, and Legislator of the universe, is the first of Masonic duties. Masonry is not made for cold souls and narrow minds, that do not comprehend its lofty mission and sublime apostolate.

The symbols and ceremonies of Masonry have more than one meaning. They rather conceal than disclose the Truth. They hint it only, at least; and their varied meanings are only to be discovered by reflection and study. How barren a tree he is, who lives, and spreads, and cumbers the ground, yet leaves not one seed, not one good work to generate another after him! All cannot leave alike; yet all may leave something, answering their proportions and their kinds.

Those are dead and withered grains of corn, out of which there will not one ear spring. He will hardly find the way to Heaven, who desires to go thither alone.

Be ever vigilant and watchful of the interests and honor of your country! And may the Grand Architect of the Universe give you that strength and wisdom which shall enable you well and faithfully to perform these high duties!

Not one man in ten thousand knows anything about the proofs of his faith. No man, it holds, has any right in any way to interfere with the religious belief of another. For whose thousand blessings poured upon us, let us feel the sincerest gratitude, now, henceforth, and forever! The eternity in front of it is as infinite as the one behind. And Masonry cannot cease to labor in the cause of social progress, without ceasing to be true to itself, without ceasing to be Masonry. To waken that slumbering consciousness into life, and so to lead the soul up to the Light, is one office of every great ministration to human nature, whether its vehicle be the pen, the pencil, or the tongue.

We are made for this faith; and there must be something, somewhere, for us to believe in. We cannot grow healthfully, nor live happily, without it. It is therefore true. They are worth a care which nothing else is worth; and to the single, solitary individual, they out to possess an interest which nothing else possesses Men do not feel the worth of their own souls.

They are proud of their mental powers; but the intrinsic, inner, infinite worth of their own minds they do not perceive. They are the columns Jachin and Boaz, that stand at the entrace to the Masonic Temple. For the present, my Brother, let this suffice. We welcome you among us, to this peaceful retreat of virtue, to a participation in our privileges, to a share in our joys and our sorrows. In stark contrast, old Catholicism viewed the government as a wicked force.

If so, the common notions in regard to the Word grew up in the minds of the people, like other errors and fables among all the ancient nations, out of original truths and symbols and allegories misunderstood. So it has always been that allegories, intended as vehicles of truth, to be understood by the sages, have become or bred errors, by being literally accepted.

To this rule the Hebrews were no exception. The Deity of the early Hebrews talked to Adam and Eve in the garden of delight, as he walked in it in the cool of the day; he conversed with Kayin; he sat and ate with Abraham in his tent; that patriarch required a visible token, before he would believe in his positive promise; he permitted Abraham to expostulate with him, and to induce him to change his first determination in regard to Sodom; he wrestled with Jacob; he showed Moses his person, though not his face; he dictated the minutest police regulations and the dimensions of the tabernacle and its furniture, to the Israelites; he insisted on and delighted in sacrifices and burnt-offerings; he was angry, jealous, and revengeful, as well as wavering and irresolute; he allowed Moses to reason him out of his fixed resolution utterly to destroy his people; he commanded the performance of the most shocking and hideous acts of cruelty and barbarity.

He hardened the heart of Pharaoh; he repented of the evil that he had said he would do unto the people of Nineveh; and he did it not, to the disgust and anger of Jonah. Such were the popular notions of the Deity; and either the priests had none better, or took little trouble to correct these notions; or the popular intellect was not enough enlarged to enable them to entertain any higher conceptions of the Almighty.

But such were not the ideas of the intellectual and enlightened few among the Hebrews. It is certain that they possessed a knowledge of the true nature and attributes of God; as the same class of men did among the other nations—Zoroaster, Menu, Confucius, Socrates, and Plato. But their doctrines on this subject were esoteric; they did not communicate them to the people at large, but only to a favored few; and as they were communicated in Egypt and India, in Persia and Phoenicia, in Greece and Samothrace in the greater mysteries, to the Initiates.

The communication of this knowledge and other secrets, some of which are perhaps lost, constituted, under other names, what we now call Masonry, or Free or Frank-Masonry. To communicate true and correct ideas in respect of the Deity was one chief object of the mysteries. In them, Khurum the King, and Khurum the Master, obtained their knowledge of him and his attributes; and in them that knowledge was taught to Moses an Pythagoras.

By the subterranean vaults you may understand the places of initiation, which in the ancient ceremonies were generally under ground. The Temple of Solomon presented a symbolic image of the Universe; and resembled, in its arrangements and furniture all the temples of the ancient nations that practiced the mysteries. They are unfolded in the higher Degrees. The lion [which also means the altar] still holds in his mouth the key of the enigma of the sphinx.

That Rite raises a corner of the veil, even in the Degree of Apprentice; for it there declares that Masonry is a worship. This much lies open to the most ignorant and busy, as fully as to those who have most leisure and are most learned. Based upon historical truth and authentic tradition, it is still an allegory. Then we shall see, what now we can only believe. The cloud will be lifted up, the gate of mystery be passed, and the full light shine forever; the light of which that of the Lodge is a symbol.

Then that which caused us trial shall yield us triumph; and that which made our heart ache shall fill us with gladness; and we shall then feel that there, as here, the only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve; which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection.Men are but the automata of Providence, and it uses the demagogue, the fanatic, and the knave, a common trinity in Republics, as its tools and instruments to effect that of which they do not dream, and which they imagine themselves commissioned to prevent.

The Holy Spirit is the initiation into working for and believing in the Kabalist anti-Christ spoken of in the Gnostic gospels and especially Apocalypse. Will is a force.

That being the longest night in the year, and the one after which the Sun comes Northward, it was commemorative of the Creation; and they termed it mother-night, as the one in which the creation of the world and light from the primitive darkness took place. Joseph was undoubtedly initiated. Instead of improving, it degenerated from its primitive simplicity, and retrograded toward a system, distorted by stupidity and ignorance, which, unable to construct a beautiful machine, made a complicated one.