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Continued from Sept 2014

 
 THE RITUAL OF THE OPERATIVE FREE MASONS Part 2



 

The Apprentice First Degree. 
 
The usual age for an apprentice to be made is 14 to 15 years and he is bound for 7 years during which time he is taught his trade. His admission 
as an apprentice corresponds to the Speculative Initiation and is a formidable ceremony for so young a lad. He first has to apply for permission to 
join the Society, and then, if approved signs the following petition which is posted up at the entrance of the quarry or workshop for 14 days. On 
three occasions he must stand by his application when the men are going to or from work so that all may see him; and if any one knows anything 
against him they report it at the office, and the matter is investigated. 
 
Form A. 
Application to the Superintendent of the Works of The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plasterers, 
and Bricklayers. I, being the son of a Free Man, and .... years of age, humbly crave to be made an Apprentice to the Ancient and Honourable Craft. 
I am prompted by a favourable opinion preconceived of the Fraternity and the desire for knowledge to enable me to work at the Trade.  
I further promise and swear that I will conform to all the ancient usages and established customs of the Order. 
 
Witness my hand, this day of ………………  Signed ………………… Witness ……………………
 
The fact that the applicant has to state that he is the son of a Free Man shows the origin of this application dates back to a time "when all men were 
not free. Serfdom existed in Great Britain to a much later period than is generally recognized. In Saxon times the theow and the ceorl were serfs pure 
and simple. In Anglo-Norman times they became known as serfs and villeins and they were attached to the land. Usually the condition of a child followed 
the status of the mother. Hagar and Ishmael are well known Biblical examples. This rule is voiced in the old English proverb, "It is my calf that is born of 
my cow"; but by a peculiarity in the usage of Britain this was not always so, and a child followed the status of his father, certainly if born in lawful 
wedlock. Hence the applicant claims to be the son of a free man. 
 
Serfdom practically died out in England following the dislocation of society caused by the Black Death in 1348 and the Peasants' Revolt, 1377-81 
followed by the Wars of the Roses, 1 399- 1485. From this time serfdom was practically extinct in England, but remnants of this condition are to be 
found in the latter part of the XVIth Century and traces are to be found so late as the time of Charles I. In Scotland Colliers and Salters were not quite 
free until the end of the i8th Century but statutes of 1775 and 1789 removed the last traces of serfdom from the British Isles. Laus Deo! 
 
The candidate has to be proposed by one Mason, seconded by another, and supported by five more. If accepted he has to appear on the appointed 
day — the sixth of the week — at high XII to the Quarry or Workshop. The probable reason that high XII on Friday is selected is because the Guild of 
Operatives holds the tradition that it was at high XII on a Friday that Hiram Abiff was slain when he went at that hour, according to his wonted custom, 
to make his prayers; and that Friday was the last working day of the week in the days of King Solomon. He applies at the door and is admitted on 
giving the pass word F.A.O.G.R., which has been previously given to him. He is admitted within the entrance of the Lodge, usually a Porch with double 
doors, and has to take an oath not to reveal any part of the proceedings in the event of his being rejected at any part of the ceremony. This is done by 
his reading aloud his application and "kissing the book" when he says "promise and swear." (Candle wax and sealing with a kiss)
 
He also takes a second short oath that avoiding fear on the one hand and rashness on the other, he will persevere through the ceremony. Then the 
outer door is locked, and the key is taken to the Masters. The candidate puts his proper fee on the lower ledge of a "footing stone" and the Treasurer 
counts it, but does not pick it up until after the candidate has taken his obligation. Here let me draw your attention to the plan of a Lodge in this First 
Degree. You will notice the three Masters sit in the West so that they face and can see the rising sun. The Junior Warden sits in the North so that he 
can see the Sun at its meridian and the Senior Warden sits in the East so that he can see the Setting Sun. The Altar is in the centre of the Lodge under
the "G" and the Rough Ashlar Stone is on the East side of the Altar. There are three Deacons present, one for the Masters and one for each Warden. 
Inside the Porch the candidate is divested of all money and hoodwinked. Then three men come out of the Lodge, divest him of all his clothes and dirty 
him with mud. The Doctor then arrives and removes the candidate’s hoodwink. He is told to "Wash and be clean." The bath is ready and the candidate 
bathes. Seven times does he dip. The Doctor then examines him to see that he is sound in wind and limb and reports him "perfect in all his parts." 
Then he is elected by the "clean-hand" sign. He is clothed in a white cloak, where the original symbolism of white signifying a candidate is retained. 
The word candidate meaning literally, I am white (on aspiring to office or some honour; white robbed; to make white or bright; office seekers in Rome
in ancient times wore white togas; one selected by others office or honours; person deserving off or seems destined for a certain end or fate). The 
Candidate is again hoodwinked and still clothed in the white cloak. He has also a blue cord looped round his neck, held by a man in front and a man 
behind, and a second blue cord around his centre held by a man on each side. The neck cord being longer than the centre cord the four men make a 
diamond with the candidate in the centre. This diamond has a reference to Operative Masonry and the candidate and his four attendants make "five 
points" which has another reference to Operative methods. 
 
The candidate now makes application at the Inner door. How do you hope to obtain admission? By the help of El Shaddai and F.A.O.G.R. The sword 
is held to his n.l.b. so as to draw blood. He is then admitted and led to the N.E. corner. Here he is questioned. What age are you? What is your character? 
What is your knowledge? Where have you been working? Have you ever been a Member of any Guild or Company before? Do you swear you have 
never been expelled, discharged or "run away" from any work? In all cases of D and D I, W. D. you put y. t ? In El Shaddai is all my t. Right Rise. The 
Brothers in the E. .S. W. and N. will take notice that is about to pass before them. He is asked if he sees anything, he replies No, and the hookwink is 
slightly raised so that by bending his head a little forward he is able to see his own feet and for two or three feet in front of them. He is then cautioned 
to keep strictly to the track or tessellated border and is led once round it. He has put one foot in front of the other, toe to heel and so on, it is called 
"end on work" or "work in line." The candidate has to make this Perambulation once correctly, without failure. From the N.E. corner he goes to the 
S.E., then to S.W., then to N.W. Then he comes to the Junior Warden who bars his progress — on due report the bar is raised and the candidate 
proceeds. Then back to N.E. corner and so to the Senior Warden who bars progress again — on due report the bar is removed and then a strip of 
carpet is laid down leading to the Rough Ashlar Stone on the East side of the Altar, so that the candidate shall not step on the squares of the Mosaic 
pavement as he is led to the Ashlar Stone. Here he kneels with both knees bare on the Rough Ashlar Stone, with the left hand S.T.H.B.T.R.R.T. It is 
interesting to note that this is still preserved as a sign in the Lodges under the Scotch Grand Lodge, as well as among the Operative Free Masons. 

He then takes the following obligation which is the same to-day as it was when written out and signed by Robert Padget, Clearke to the Worshipful
Society of Free Masons of the City of London in 1686. This copy by Padgett is believed to have been taken by Anderson and is now in the possession
of the Lodge of Antiquity, London.

 

The Worshipful Society of the Free Masons of the City of York and Division.

 

OATH OF NIMROD.  Apprentice Degree (1st).
I, , do, in the presence of El Shaddai and of this Worshipful Assembly of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers, promise and declare that I will not at any time hereafter, by any act or circumstance whatsoever, directly or indirectly, write, print, cut, mark, publish, discover, reveal, or make known, any part or parts of the trade secrets, privileges, or counsels of the Worshipful Fraternity or Fellowship of Free Masonry, which I may have known at any time, or at any time hereafter shall be made known unto me. The penalty for breaking this great oath shall be the loss of my life. That I shall be branded with the Mark of the Traitor and slain according to ancient custom by being throttled so that my soul has no rest by night or by day. Given under my hand and sealed with my lips, this day of , 1911. So help me El Shaddai and the holy contents of this book.

The First Master Mason: Take good heed to keep it right well, for it is perilous and great danger for a man to forswear himself upon the Holy Book. A reference to a similar oath is found in the Kilwinning M.S. No. 4, under the heading of "Question and Answer."

"What punishment is inflicted on those yet reveals ye secret. Yr. heart is to be taken out alive yr head is to be cut of and yr bodys to be buried in ye sea mark and not in any place wr christians are buried."

The form of these oaths explains the archaic form of the obligation still retained in the Speculative Ritual. People in the Middle Ages believed the soul could not rest unless the body was properly buried, hence the craving for ceremonial burial which is still existent. Although the craving was for Christian burial it is really the remnant of a Pagan idea transmitted to Christian times. The ancient Romans believed that the soul of an unburied body could not pass the Styx for at least a hundred years. Many of our present funeral customs are traceable to similar Pagan and pre-Christian beliefs.

There is no doubt but that in ancient times it was contemplated that these penalties should be actually inflicted; indeed at a time when physical mutilation such as amputation of a hand, and hanging, drawing and quartering were still on our Statute books there was nothing incongruous in such an oath. Papworth and Gould record that in 1099 a Bishop of Utrecht was slain for extracting the Grand secret from the son of a Master Mason.

After taking the obligation the candidate is requested to seal it with his lips. As his lips are brought to the book a large seal of soft wax is placed underneath them; his head is forcibly pushed downwards so that an actual impression of his lips is taken by the wax, and his obligation is "sealed with his lips" actually and literally. When the obligation is finished the Master says to the Deacons, "give light that he may place his hand to the bond." A pen is put in his hand and he signs the bond "Given under my hand and sealed with my lips this day of ..." He says, "I deliver this as my act and deed." The candidate is then assisted to rise with the words, "Rise, Apprentice to the Craft of Free Masons." He is then taught the Grip, which is the same as that of the Speculatives; only it must be "covered;" and the Word which is "Jabal." Then the Charge is given, which is the same as the one that was promulgated on December 8th, 1663.

Worshipful Bro. Stretton informs me that the same Charge is used in all the eight Operative Divisions in the Kingdom. Charge to the Apprentice to the Craft op Free Mason.

1. You shall truly honour El Shaddai, and his holy Church, the King, your Master and Warden; you shall not absent yourself, but with the Licence of one or both of them from their Service, by Day or Night.
2. You shall not Purloin or Steal, or be Privy or accessary to the Purloining or Stealing of the value of six-pence from them or either of them.

3. You shall not commit Adultery or Fornication in the House of your Master, with his Wife, Daughter or Maid.

4. You shall not disclose your Master's or Warden's Secrets or Councils, which they have reported unto you, or what is to be concealed, spoken or done within the Privities of their House, by them, or either of them, or by any Freemason.
5. You shall not maintain any disobedient Argument with your Master, Warden, or any Freemason.

6. You shall reverently behave your self towards all' Freemasons, using neither Cards, Dice, or any other unlawful Games, Christmas Time excepted.
7. You shall not haunt, or frequent any Taverns or Alehouses, or so much as go inside any of them, except it be upon your Master or your Warden, their or any of their Affairs, or with their or the one of their Consents.
8. You shall not commit Adultery or Fornication in any Man's House where you shall be at table or at Work.
9. You shall not marry, or contract yourself to any woman during your Apprenticeship.

10. You shall not steal any Man's goods, but especially our Master's, or any of his Fellow Masons, nor suffer any to steal their Goods, but shall hinder the Felon, if you can; and if you cannot, then you shall acquaint the said Master and his Fellows presently.
11. All these Articles and Charges, which I have now recited unto you, you shall well and truly observe, perform and keep to the best of your Power and knowledge.

So help you El Shaddai, and the true and holy contents of this Book.

From this Charge you will see that the Operative Free Masons require their apprentices to respect the chastity of the women kind of Free Masons. It is also noteworthy that the Dame of the House where they hold a Lodge is protected; and she is also sworn not to lead any member of the Craft into sin.

The candidate is then actually presented with his Working Tools, which are the Chisel, the small Maul, and the Straight Eddge ; and is invested with the Apprentice's Apron.

He is next taken back to the N.E. corner Stone. Here he is asked by the Foreman how he is going to live until he draws his first week's money. If he says he is poor then the Foreman takes him before the Masters in the Chair, and reports that he has no means of living. The Master craves Charity for him and a collection is made on his behalf. This is doubtless the origin of the collection Speculative Free Masons ask for from the candidate. If however he says he has money or will live with his father, no collection is made.

For seven years he remains an Apprentice. During this time he wears his blue neck-cord as a sign that he is still bound as an apprentice. This wearing a collar as a sign of bondage is a very old custom. In Anglo-Saxon and Norman days in this country serfs and bondsmen were accustomed to wear collars of metal securely riveted round their necks. At the end of seven years the apprentice applies to be made free of his Bond. The following application has to be posted up at the entrance of the Stone Yard Quarry or Works.

Form B.

Application to the Super -Intendent of the Works of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Plaisterers and Bricklayers.

Having well and truly served as an Entered Apprentice to the Craft of Free Mason for seven years, and being of the full age of twenty-one years, humbly crave to be made free of that Bond, to enable me to be Passed to the Honourable Degree of Fellow of the Craft of Free Ma- son. I further promise and swear that if once admitted to the Fellowship I will for ever conform to the ancient charges, usages and established customs of the Fraternity, as Fellows have done in all ages.

 

Signed                                                                                          Registrar.

Witness my hand this day of                                                  Signed

Witness                                                                                        Certificate of Character

Signed                                                                                          Approved.

Signed .                                                                                        Enrolled.

Super-Intendent of Works.                                                      Grand Master Mason VIP.

 

The applicant has to go and kneel on the same Ashlar he was bound seven years before. The Bond is torn up, the blue cord is removed from his neck. "Rise, Free Brother, you are now superior to an Apprentice, but inferior to a Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason."' He is then given the Pass Grip and Pass Word leading from the First to the Second Degree. Both are the same as the Speculatives Here again the Grip must be "Covered." He then takes a formal farewell' of the Apprentices, and for the future he must associate with the Fellows.

 

The Fellow of the Craft. — Second Degree.

Before the Candidate can be accepted as suitable to be passed to the Second Degree he has to prepare a rough dressed ashlar stone as a specimen of his work. A rough dressed ashlar stone is the ashlar as it is prepared in the First Degree or Apprentice Yard for the more expert workman. It is dressed 1/16th of an inch too large all over; and this stone has to be prepared by the candidate and passed by the Inspector of Material before the Free Brother can be passed as a Fellow of the Craft. When the candidate goes into the Second Degree Lodge to be made a Fellow of the Craft he must have this specimen of his work with him. He must swear it is all his own work. "No man hath used a tool upon it." At the appointed time, again at XII noon on a Friday, he goes to the door of the Second Degree Yard and knocks. On giving the Pass Grip and Pass Word he is admitted. The Master gives notice, "The Fellows in the E., S., W. and N. will take notice that Brother ………is about to pass in view before them to show that he is a candidate properly prepared to be made a Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason." He is then led round the Candidate's Track twice. This time his right foot is put transversely across the axis of the Lodge and then his left foot parallel to the axis of the Lodge. This is "Header and stretcher" work, or "one atid one," (one on top of of the other) as the Operatives call it. He is then led to the Altar where kneeling on a rough dressed ashlar stone on both knees bare he takes the obligation.

 

The Worshipfull Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers. (York Division.)

OATH OF NIMROD.  Fellow of the Craft (2nd).

I….. , do, in the presence of El Shaddai and of this worshipful assembly of Fellows of the Craft of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers here present, promise and declare, that I will not at any time hereafter by any Act or circumstance whatsoever, directly or indirectly, publish, discover, reveal or make known any of the secrets, privities, or Councils of the Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason, which at this time, or at any time hereafter shall be made known unto me. That I will not permit or suffer any laborer to be employed in the proper work of Free Masonry; that I will not work with those that are not free, and that I will not teach laborers and unaccepted masons, as I would teach Apprentices, or Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and declare that I will strictly preserve the honour of all Free Masons of whatever degree; that I will not commit Adultery or Fornication with the Wife, Daughter or Maid of any Free Mason. The penalty for breaking this great oath shall be the loss of my life. That I shall be branded with the mark of the Traitor and slain according to ancient custom Given under my hand and sealed with my lips twice, this day of 1911. So help me El Shaddai and the holy contents of this Book. After the obligation it is said to him, "Rise, Accepted Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason." Then the signs of a Fellow are given. They are the same as the Speculatives except that in the second sign the hand is held flat. The word is "Bonai." This word proves he is a Fellow of the Craft and means Builder. The traditional History is now recited to him by the First Master Mason.

 

"The Traditionai, History."

 

"Good Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason, you having been passed as a Fellow of this Ancient and Worshipful Fraternity, it is our purpose to tell you how and in what manner this worthy Craft of Masonry was begun, and afterwards how it was kept by worthy Kings and Princes, and bv many other worshipful men. "Before Noah's flood there was a man that was called Lamech, and this Lamech had two wives, the one called Adah, and the other Zillah. By his first wife Adah he gat two sons, the one called Jabal and the other Jubal. And by the other wife Zillah he gat a son Tubal-Cain, and a daughter Naamah, and these four children founded the beginning of all the crafts in the world. The eldest son Jabal founded; the craft of geometry, he had sheep and lambs in the fields, and was the first mason who wrought houses and walls of stone. And his brother Jubal founded the craft of music, song of mouth, harp, organ and trumpet. And the third son Tubal-Cain found out the Smith's craft of working in gold, silver, copper, iron and steel, and all manner of forging. And the daughter Naamah found the craft of weaving. These four children knew well that God would do vengeance for sin, either by fire or water, wherefore they wrote the sciences that they had founded on two pillars of stone that they might be found after either fire or flood. The one pillar was made of marble for that it cannot bum with fire, and the other pillar was made of stone called Laternes, for that it cannot drown in any water. Our intent is to tell you truly in what manner these stones were found, on which were written these sciences.

 

"After the destruction of the world by Noah's flood, the great Hermarives, that was Cubies' son, afterwards called Hermes, the father of wisdom, found one of the seven sciences written thereon, and he taught them to other men. The first of the seven sciences is "GRAMMAR, and that teacheth a man to spell truly and' write truly. The second is "RHETORICK and that teacheth a man to speak fair and in subtle terms. The third is "LOGICK and teacheth a man to discern or know truth from falsehood. The fourth is "ARITHMETIC, which teacheth a man to reckon and to count all manner of numbers. The fifth is "GEOMETRY, and that teacheth a man to mete and' measure the earth and all other things, on which science is founded Masonry and Architecture. The sixth is called "MUSIC, and that, teacheth a man the craft of song and voice of tongue, organ, harp and trumpet. And the seventh science is called "ASTRONOMY, and that teacheth a man to know the course of the sun, of the moon, and of the stars of heaven.

 

"These be the seven liberal sciences, of which all be founded by one, that is geometry, for geometry teacheth a, man measure, ponderation and weight of all things on earth; for there is no man that worketh in any craft, but he worketh by some measure; and every man that buyeth or selleth, buy or sell by some measure or weight, and all this is geometry. And the merchants, craftsmen, and all other sciences, and especially the plowmen and the tillers of all manner of grain and seeds, vines and plants, and the setters of all manner of fruit, cannot find mete and measure without geometry, wherefore the said science of geometry is the most worthy, as all the others are founded upon it. "At the making of the Tower of Babylon was Masons first made much of, and that great King of Babylon called Nimrod was himself a Master Mason. He loved well the craft and made the Masons Free men and Free Masons in his kingdom. And when the city of Nineveh and other cities of the East were to be built, Nimrod, the King of Babylon, sent thither sixty Lodges of his Free Masons to Ashur the King of Nineveh, his cousin, and when he sent them forth he gave them a charter and a charge after his manner."

 

Then the Second Master gives "the Charge":

 

Charges of Nimrod," 2°.

 

"That the Free Masons shall be true to El Shaddai, their King, their Lord, and their Master’s “That they shall truly serve their masters for their pay, so that their masters have worship, and all that belongeth to them. "That they shall ordain the most wise and cunning men to be masters of the work, and neither for love, riches nor favour set another that hath little cunning to be master of any work whereby the Lords should be ill served, and the science shamed. "That they shall be true one to another, and that they shall live truly together. "That they shall assemble together once every year, to see how they might best serve the King, and the Masters, for their profit and their own worship.

 

"That they shall correct within themselves those that had trespassed against the craft so the worthy science be not dishonoured.” To all these charges he made them swear a great oath that men used at that time, and he ordained for them reasonable pay whereby they might live honestly. "Long after, when the Children of Israel were come into the Land of Beerhest, that is now called amongst us the country of Jerusalem, King David began to prepare the ground and the stone for the Temple of Jerusalem. And the same King David loved well the Free Masons and cherished them much, and gave them good pay — and the charges right nigh as they be now.

 

"And after the decease of King David, Solomon, that was King David's son, performed out the Temple that his father had begun and he sent for Free Masons into diverse countries and lands and gathered them together so that he had four score thousand workmen that were workers of stone and were all Free Masons, and he chose of them three thousand three hundred that were ordained to be Masters and Governors of his works.”And this same Solomon confirmed both the charges and manners that his father had given to the Masons, and thus was that worthy Craft confirmed in the country of Jerusalem and in many other kingdoms."

 

ANCIENT CHARGE.

 

To the Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason.

 

1. I am to admonish you to honour El Shaddai in his holy Church; that you use no Heresy, Schism and Error in your Undertakings, or discredit Men's Teachings.

2. To be true to our Sovereign Lord the King, his Heirs and lawful Successors; committing no Treason, Misprision of Treason, or Felony; and if any Man shall commit Treason that you know of, you shall forthwith give Notice thereof to his Majesty, his Privy Counsellors, or some other Person that hath Commission to enquire thereof.

3. You shall be true to your Fellows and Brethren of the Science of Masonry, and do unto them as you would be done unto.

4. You shall keep secret the obscure and intricate Parts of the Science, not disclosing them to any but such as study and use the same.

5. You shall do your Work truly and faithfully, endeavouring the Profit and Advantage of him that is Owner of the said work.

6. You shall call Masons your Fellows and Brethren, without Addition of knaves, or other bad Language.

7. You shall not take your Neighbour’s Wife villainously, nor his Daughter, nor his Maid or his Servant, to use ungodly.

8. You shall not carnally lye with any Woman that is belonging to the House where you are at Table.

9. You shall truly pay for your Meat and Drink, where you are at Table.

I0. You shall not undertake any Man's Work, knowing yourself unable or unexpert to perform and effect the same, that no Discredit or Aspersion may be imputed to the Science, or the Lord or Owner of the said Work be any way prejudiced.

11. You shall not take any Work to do at excessive or unreasonable Rates, to deceive the Owner thereof, but so as he may be truly and faithfully served with his own Goods.

12. You shall so take your Work, that thereby you may live honestly, and pay your Fellows the Wages as the Science doth require.

13. You shall not supplant any of your Fellows of their Work, (that is to say) if he or any of them hath or have taken any Work upon him or them, or he or they stand Master or Masters of any Lord or Owner's Work, that you shall not put him or them out from the said Work, although you perceive him or them unable to finish the same.

14. You shall not take any Apprentice to serve you in the said Science of Masonry, under the Term of Seven Years; nor any but such as are descended of good and honest Parentage, that no Scandal may be imputed to the said Science of Masonry.

15. You shall not take upon you to make any one Mason, without the Privity or Consent of six, or five at least of your Fellows, and not but such as is Freeborn, and whose Parents live in good Fame and Name, and that hath his right and perfect Limbs, and able of Body to attend the said Science.

16. You shall not pay any of your Fellows more money than he or they have deserved, that you be not deceived by slight or false working, and the Owner thereof much wronged.

17- You shall not slander any of your Fellows behind their Backs, to impair their Temporal Estate or good Name.

i8. You shall not, without any urgent Cause, answer your Fellow doggedly or ungodly, but as becomes a loving Brother in the said science.

19. You shall duly reverence your Fellows that the Bond of Charity and Mutual Love may continue steadfast and stable amongst you.

20. You shall not (except in Christmas time) use any lawless Games, as Dice, Cards, or such like.

21. You shall not frequent any Houses of Bawdery, or be a Pander to any of your Fellows or others, which will be a great scandal to the Science.

22. You shall not go out to drink by Night, or if Occasion happen that you must go, you shall not stay past Eight of the Clock, having some of your Fellows, or one at the least, to bear you Witness of the honest Place you were in, and your good Behaviour to avoid Scandal.

23. You shall come to the Yearly Assembly, if you know where it is kept, being within Ten miles of the Place of your Abode, submitting yourself to the Censure of your Fellows, wherein you have to make satisfaction, or else to defend by Order of the King's Laws.

24. You shall not make any Mould, Square, or Rule to mould Stones, withal, but such as are allowed by the Fraternity.

25. You shall set Strangers at Work, having employment for them, at least a Fortnight, and pay them their Wages truly, and if you want Work for them, then you shall relieve them with Money to defray their reasonable Charges to the next Lodge.

26. You shall truly attend your Work, and truly end the same, whether it be Task or Journey Work, if you may have the Payment and Wages according to your Agreement made with the Master or Owner thereof.

 

All these Articles and Charges, which I have now recited unto you, you shall well and truly observe, perform and keep to the best of your Power, and knowledge. So help you El Shaddai and the true and holy Contents of this Book. Then the Third Master addressing the candidate says, "The Traditional History and the Charges which have just been so ably delivered to you are the foundation stone, the commencement of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, in all parts of the World, and in all ages." The new "Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason" is now invested with the Fellow's Apron and is presented with his actual working tools which are the Plumb, the Level, and the Square, another Straight Edge, and the Perfect Ashlar Square, which is a wooden frame with the ends overlapping like an Oxford frame, being the exact size of a Royal Cubit or 21 inches inside. He is now a Free Man and a Free Mason and in olden days became a freeman of the City or town in which he had been apprenticed.

 

When he begins to work in the Fellows or Second Degree Yard he is told to commence in the N. E. corner with the new Fellows and there he is taught to make his rough dressed Ashlar Stone true and polished. Then his perfect work has to be submitted for inspection and to be tried. If the work is satisfactory he is given the word "Giblim" which means perfect stone squarer or expert mason. You will find that this word Giblim and the word Bonai which was given to him when he was admitted to the Second Degree were known to Anderson and are referred to on page 12 in the Book of Constitutions published in 1738. With this additional or superior word, Giblim, he also has an additional sign given to him of which there is no trace in the Speculative Ritual. The sign is given by placing his left arm and hand, with thumb extended, in a perpendicular position pointing upwards, and his right arm and hand, with thumb extended, in a horizontal position. Thus he represents all three of his new tools, the "square" by the angle of 90° formed by his two arms, the upright or "plumb-rule," by his left arm and the "level" by his right arm. Having made his test piece which has been passed by the Inspector of Material and having served for a year as a Fellow, he is now eligible to apply to be advanced to the Third Degree, that of a Super Fellow. The following form has to be filled up and posted at the Yard or Quarry entrance :

 

FORM C. Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers.

 

I, ……. , having well and truly served as a Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and being of the age of twenty-two years, humbly crave to be advanced to the Honourable Degree of Super Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and swear that if once advanced to the Third Degree of the Fellowship I will for ever conform to all the ancient charges, usages and established customs of the Fraternity, as Super Fellows have done in all ages.

 

Witness my hand this day of, ………………... Signed …………….. Witness …………………. Certificate of Character

Signed ' Super Intendent of the Works.              Approved :                 Grand Master Mason VII°

Enrolled:                                                             Signed                         Registrar.

 

VI. The Super Fellows Third and Fourth Degrees.

 

The word "Giblim" and the sign described in the last chapter, left arm perpendicular and right arm horizontal, are the Pass Word and Pass Sign leading from the Second to the Third Degree; and the perfect Ashlar stone the candidate has himself made is the proof for advancement to the Super Fellows or Third Degree. The Operative Third Degree and the first part of the modern Mark Degree corresponding to the old Mark Man of the Speculatives are so very similar that a Speculative Mark Mason would find himself quite at home in the Operative working. The Word and Sign of the Operative Super Fellows or Third Degree is the same as the Speculative Mark Degree. It is obvious that this precludes me as a Speculative Mark Mason from describing the ceremony fully in print. The Super Fellow is allotted his Mark, and as a Super Fellow he is charged to produce "fare work and square." In this degree the Candidate is led round the Lodge three times and he takes his obligation on the polished ashlar stone with both knees bare.

 

FORM D.

 

Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers.

 

I, …………, having well and truly served as a Super Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and being of the age of twenty-three years, humbly crave to be further advanced to the honourable degree of Super Fellow Erector of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and swear -that if once advanced to the Fourth Degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to all the ancient charges, usages and established customs of the Fraternity, as Super Fellow Erectors have done in all ages.

 

Witness my hand this day of . , , 19 . . . Signed . ……….Witness . ………….. Certificate of Character.

Signed ………….. Super Intendent of the Works.  Approved : Signed   Grand Master Mason VIP. Enrolled :

Signed ………….. Registrar.

 

The next Degree for the Operative Free Mason is that of an Erector, still a Super Fellow but one who is qualified and entitled to erect and put in position on the site the stones prepared in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Yards and Marked in the 3rd Stone Yard. This is the Operatives' Fourth Degree. The Super Fellow Erector ascertains from the marks the exact position in which each stone is intended to be placed. This is very similar to the Second Part of the modern Speculative Mark Masons Degree, corresponding to the old Speculative Mark Masters Degree ; which again precludes me as a Mark Mason from describing the ceremony fully in print.

 

In the Square Division it is the Chief N. E. Corner Head Stone that is missing, and in the Arch Division it is the Keystone of the Arch that has been lost. The moral is the same in both cases. "The Stone which the Builders refused is become the Head-stone of the corner." The Arch Masons reject the corner stone, and the Square Masons reject the Key-Stone. In the Operative account it is the negligent Mark Men who neglected to mark well who are "hove over" with a 30 cubits drop, and form the Completion Sacrifice; which is certainly in accordance with the spirit of the times of the building of King Solomon's Temple.

 

In this IVth Degree the Candidate takes his obligation on a perfect polished Ashlar stone, both knees bare as before, and he is led round the Lodge four times. The Word and Sign are the same as in the Speculative Mark Degree. All Operative Free Masons have these two Mark Degrees although the Mark was struck out by those who formulated Modern Speculative Free Masonry in 1717. The great majority of Operative Free Masons do not proceed beyond this, the Fourth Degree; as to take the Fifth Degree, -that of Superintendent, requires considerable technical knowledge.

 

FORM E.

 

Application to the Super Intendent of the Works of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers.

 

I …….. , having well and truly served as a Super Fellow Erector of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and being of the age of twenty-four years, humbly crave to be raised to the honourable degree of Intendent of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and swear that if once raised to the Fifth degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to all the ancient charges, usages, and established customs of the Fraternity, as Menatzchim have done in all ages.

 

Witness my hand this day of , 19. . ,  Signed …………………. Witness. ……………….. Certificate of Character

Super Intendent of the Works.           Signed .                             Enrolled :                          Approved :

Signed  Grand Master Mason VIF    Signed                                Registrar.

 

VII. The Overseers. Fifth and Sixth Degrees.

 

There is no Degree in Speculative Free Masonry exactly corresponding to the V° of Super Intendent in Operative Free Masonry, although the term is used in the Speculative Arch Degree for Provincial Grand Rulers, and for Grand Lodge Officers in the Speculative Craft. The ceremony is however -somewhat similar to the appointment and investiture of Officers at a Speculative Installation Meeting. Every Officer is examined as to his knowledge — actual technical knowledge — and has to take the Officer's Oath and be installed in his Chair. The word of this Degree is "Menatzchim."

 

FORM F.

 

Application to the Masters of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, R.ough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers, and Bricklayers.

 

I, having well and truly served as Intendent and Super Intendent of the Craft of Free Mason for one year, and being of the age of twenty-five years, humbly crave to be exalted to the honourable degree of Passed Master of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and swear that if once exalted to the Sixth Degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to all the ancient charges, usages, and established customs of the Fraternity, as Harodim have done in all ages.

 

Witness my hand this day of , 19 •                   Signed                             Witness.                          Certificate of Character. .-.

Signed .                                                                   Super Intendent of the Works.                           Approved :

Signed  - „ J Grand Master Mason VIP.            Enrolled:                        Signed                             Registrar.

 

The next Operative Degree that of a Passed Master VI° requires still more knowledge than the V°. A man who takes it — and the number in a Lodge is limited to 15 — must be able to conduct building operations and generally understand his profession thoroughly, consequently requiring much more technical knowledge than does a Craftsman. He has to be able to lay schemes, draw plans and take complete charge of a department. The Senior Passed Master is really the Deputy Master. His Masonic title is Adoniram. He is practically General Manager and Works Manager and is responsible to the Three Masters. The word of this Degree is "Harod," plural "Harodim." The Fifth Degree Mason is led round the Lodge Five times and the Sixth Degree Mason six times.

 

FORM G.

 

Application to the Masters of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors. Plaisterers and Bricklayers.

 

L…….. , having well and truly served as Passed Master, and Deputy Master Mason for five years, and being of the age of thirty-five years, humbly crave to be enthroned in the honourable and exalted degree of Master Mason of the Craft of Free Mason. I further promise and swear that if once enthroned in the Seventh Degree of the Fellowship I will forever conform to all the ancient charges, usages, and established customs of the Fraternity, as Enthroned Master Masons have done in all ages.

 

Witness my hand this day of , 19. ,                   Signed ,                           Witness _                        Certificate of Character and Skill

Signed ,                           Approved :                    Signed.                            Third Master Mason VII°.              Grand Master Mason VII°.

Enrolled :                       Signed                             Registrar.

 

In filling in the "Certificate of Character and Skill" for the foregoing Form G the only acceptable character is that found in II Chronicles II, v. 13 and 14. "A cunning man, endued with understanding." "Skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron,. in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson ; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him." On October 2nd, when the person who has signed Form G requires to be enthroned, this character must be read out in full before he can be considered eligible to become the Third Grand Master Mason.

 

III. The Three Masters. Seventh Degree.

 

The last and final or Seventh Degree is that of a Grand Master, of which there are three. These correspond in some measure to the Speculative Grand Master, Pro Grand Master, and Deputy Grand Master; or perhaps more nearly to the Three Principals in the Speculative Arch Degree. They represent Solomon, King of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyre; and Hiram Abiiif. On being admitted to this Degree each Master is led round the Lodge seven times. The First and Second Grand Masters hold office for life or until superannuated. The Third Grand Master is ritually slain on the 2nd of October, and a fresh one is appointed every year. The Secrets of the Three Grand Masters are the 3, 4, 5,

 

THE PRESENT MASTERS OPENING A VII LODGE, BARDON HII,!,, JUNE IS, igil. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT THEY ARE: BRO. BAILEY, 3RD MASTER; R. B. GRANT; W. GRANT, 1ST MASTER; CLEMENT E. STRETTON.

 

Triangle, the laying out of Rectangular Buildings on the Five Point System, the Swastika, the Polar Star, and the worship of the Most High, whom they venerate under his. Hebrew name of El Shaddai. This name "El Shaddai" is the great word of the VHth Degree. These secrets of the Masters have been described by me in another paper and they still further support the opinion. I have endeavoured to maintain in these articles. One of the most remarkable facts about these secrets is that the VII Degree Operative Free Masons are taught that the Polar Star is the real seat of the power of the Most High and that the Swastika is his symbol and the emblem of the Pole Star. This is esoteric teaching which has long perished in Europe and is now only to be found in India, China, Japan and in the Valley of the Euphrates. It is ridiculous to pretend that a body holding such doctrines can have emanated from a modern Society founded in 1717 or thereabouts.

 

The Operatives have one great Annual Assembly which every Mason is bound to attend if possible, as pointed out in Article 23 of the Charge to Fellows of the Craft of Free Mason, given in a former part of this paper. They traditionally base this assembly made by King Solomon and set forth, I Kings viii, i and 2. In addition to this great annual assembly, which in the York Division is usually held on October 30th, they also have three great annual ceremonies.

 

(i) The commemoration of the Foundation of King Solomon's Temple, in April.

(2) The commemoration of the Death of Hiram Abiff on October 2nd.

(3) The commemoration of the Dedication of the Temple on October 30th.

 

Their tradition is that Free Masons have held these annual Commemorations ever since the building of King Solomon's Temple, and that these ceremonies are based on their own traditions and are only illustrated by the Bible narrative. All that is certain to an observer is that there is much in their ceremonies which is beyond the Bible narrative although quite harmonious with it. On each of these great occasions the Sanhedrim is opened before the ceremony takes place. I would now direct your attention to the plan of the Vlth and Vllth Degree Lodges. Note that the Masters' Chairs are in the West, on a raised dais with 7 steps, each step representing one of the Masonic Sciences, Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. Also that Adoniram, the Deputy Master is just within the Vlth Degree Lodge Room; and that there are three pillars, hexagonal in shape, in the Lodge Room. The one in front of King Solomon in the West; another in the North East; and the third in the South East. The one in the West represents Mount Moriah, the one in the North East represents Mount Tabor, and the one in the South East represents Mount Sinai.

 

Three pillars are also to be found in Speculative Lodges, though not situated in the same places; and two of these Mounts are mentioned in Grand Lodge. Surely the three is more complete and more logical than the two. On ordinary occasions the Seventh Degree or Grand Masters' Lodge is opened by the three in private; and the Six Degree or Passed Masters' Lodge is opened by them in the same manner; then the door or screen or curtain between these two lodge rooms is opened and work goes on. But when the Annual Assembly or one of the three Great Commemorations is to be celebrated, then the Sanhedrim must be opened by these two Degrees together and conjointly. At the Sanhedrim there is no Warden present as such. King Solomon occupies the central seat of the Masters' Chair with Hiram King of Tyre on his right hand and Hiram Abiff on his left hand. The First Master asks the second and Third Masters if they agree that the Sanhedrim be opened; on their acquiescence all members of the VI Degree must prove themselves members by forming in three and make the word San-he-drim by each giving a syllable in turn. It is in this Sanhedrim that at the Foundation Commemoration in April the First Master says, quoting I Kings, v 3, 4, 5, "Thou knowest how that David my Father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord, My God hath given me rest on every side so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke unto David my father, saying. Thy son whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."

 

He then commands a levy of men, I Kings, \. 13., "a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men;" and according to I Kings, VI, 7, that "neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron shall be "heard in the house while building." This necessitates the marking of the different parts. Next the VP Masons have to get out plans and specifications and make all arrangements. Then follows the ceremony of the founding and construction of the Temple. At the Dedication Commemoration the same process of opening the Sanhedrim has to be gone through. In this ceremony the occupant of the Chair in the .South East acts as Chaplain and represents Jachin and is regarded as being placed on Mount Sinai. The occupant of the chair in the North East represents Boaz and is regarded as being placed on Mount Tabor. The hexagonal pillars in front of them as they face the West bear the same names as the occupants of the chairs and the Operatives point out that the Scriptural narrative in I Kings VII, 21., confirms their arrangement as King Solomon stands in the West and faces East, "and he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin, and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz."

 

The Grand Deputy Master whose chair is at the feet of the three Grand Masters hands a blue cord up to King Solomon who fixes it to the pillar in front of him by passing it round it, and commands that it be carried to Boaz who fixes it to the pillar in front of him, then it is carried from Boaz to Jachin who fixes it to the pillar in front of him and sends it back to King Solomon. Three separate persons take the 3 angles and these when handed to the First Master acting as King Solomon, must add up to 180; if they do not the ceremony must be repeated. This blue cord is regarded as the great line of communication between the three great mountains or High Places, Moriah, Tabor and Sinai. The Operatives further explain that the First Master represents the King, and that as Jachin was High Priest at the time of the Dedication so he represents the Church, and Boaz the founder of the Royal House of David represents the State so that King and Church and State are all represented and are all united by the symbolical blue cord.

 

At the end of the ceremony of Dedication the First Master goes in state to the pillars at the East end, as he stands facing them, he points with his right hand and says "this on my right hand I name Jachin," and pointing with his left hand, "this on my left I name Boaz'' The Goldsmith's Guild, which is represented, then fixes a gold plate on each pillar bearing its name, and the First Master representing King Solomon himself fixes the last gold bolt. These plates are fixed on the bases of the pillars and on their east side so' that all entering see the name as they approach. The First Master then raises his hands and his eyes to Heaven, and addressing El Shaddai, says, "I have completed the work that my father commanded me to perform." The Grand seven-fold Salute of the Grand Masters is then given to El Shaddai 21 times, thus, seven times, then a pause and seven times again, and then a pause and seven times" again. Then the First Master blesses the congregation, who all stand up, according to I Kings, viii, 14, "and the King turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood)."

 

Then the special sign of the Triangle is given. This is done by putting the tips of the thumbs together the thumbs being held in the same horizontal line, then join the tips of the fore-fingers together and you get as nearly as possible an equilateral triangle ; bring the hands in front of the face so that the two eyes look through the triangle thus formed. The word J. A. H. is uttered, and the sign of dispersal, you can go, is given. "The work is finished." Then the Sanhedrim is closed and after that the VII Degree and VI Degree Lodges. This ends the ceremony.

 

The question has been raised by some, who can have been but inadequately acquainted with the Operative Free Masons and their Ritual, might not the Operative Society and Ritual be derived from the Speculative Society and Ritual rather than the other way about as I claim it to have been in 'this paper. Surely this does not require much consideration to see how incredible a deduction it is. The Operative Ritual is based, as regards its ceremonies, its signs and its words, on actual operative tools, practices, and customs. The Operative Ritual is much nearer in form to that of the ancient charges which have come down to us and which date long before the foundation of speculative Freemasonry, as divorced from Operative Freemasonry in the early 18th century. The Ritual of the Operatives is more archaic in form and is much fuller than is that of the Speculatives and contains practical instruction of which only the echoes are found in the Speculative Ritual. Nearly all the Speculative teaching can be traced to the Operative Ceremonies, but there is much of the Operative teaching which has no correspondence in the Speculative ceremonies.

 

Then the reason for much of the speculative ceremonies can be seen in the Operative Rituals, while the Operative ceremonies get no elucidation from the Speculative Ritual. I would specially draw your attention to the obligation in the First Degree in which the Operative formula contains all that the Speculative does and just enough more to show its meaning and forcefulness. I think there can be no two opinions as to which is the older form of the two and is the original. Then the signs and words of the Operatives are all connected "with and based upon their trade while, extraneous signs and words are introduced into the Speculative system, for example, the Speculative Pass Word from the Second to the Third Degree is really the word of the Blacksmith's Guild. I would here specially refer to the Giblim sign of the expert craftsman of the Second Degree and to the VII Degree signs and secrets; added to which, the -Operative ceremonies are actual and concrete and refer to realities, while the Speculative ceremonies and allusions are symbolic and abstract and refer to idealatries. The actual must precede the symbolic for it to have reference and meaning, and the concrete must exist before the abstract can be conceived. The realistic exists before the idealistic can be built upon it. To any one who will compare the two Rituals and the internal evidence of each there can be no question as to which is the elder and original, quite irrespective of tradition and of the fact that the older body, the Operative, is using ceremonial forms which are admittedly the same as those of the 17th Century of at least fifty years before the formation of Speculative Free Masonry in 1717. Surely if any brother did not know or doubted the fact that the Speculative system is irrefutably based upon, and Bro. Clement E. Stretton has many and deep resemblances to, Operative Free Masonry, he must now be convinced.

 

Findel, the great German writer, in "The History of Free Masonry" published so long ago as 1865, puts my own conclusions most forcibly when he says "Originating from the Fraternity of Operative Masons, the Craft has borrowed its emblems and symbols from the Building Corporations, to impart to its members moral truths and the rules of the Royal Art." And again, speaking of the increase of the Speculative element, "Then it was that Freemasonry, as it is understood at the present day, dawned into existence, retaining the Spirit of the Ancient Brotherhood, their fundamental laws, and their traditional customs, yet all were united in relegating Architecture and Operative Masonry to the station to which they belonged. The customary technical expressions, which were excellently well suited to the symbolic Architecture of a Temple, were retained, but figuratively, withal bearing a higher signification."

 

In conclusion I must express my gratitude to the Worshipful Society of Operative Freemasons of the York Division, with special reference to W. Bro. C. E. Stretton, for their patient instruction in the technical work and ritual of their ceremonies. I also gratefully testify to their brotherly regard and desire for the extension of knowledge which has alone led them to give me permission to publish so much of their working and of their secrets. Personally, I sincerely regret and deeply deplore the fact that trade unionism and modern conditions of trade have caused the decay and threaten the existence of so useful ancient and honourable a society; but am highly gratified at having been selected as the medium to make their present existence and more widely known. Possibly the Operative Guild of Free Masons which has continued down to the present day may be doomed to extinction; but their history will ever live and their memory ever be perpetuated by their undoubted successors, the Speculative Free Masons, whose proper title is "The Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons."

 

The Swastika

 

The Swastika is probably the most ancient and most widely distributed symbol that has ever existed. The author in another paper has traced it back to the Great Yellow or Turanian Race and shows reasons to believe its distribution took place in the Bronze age and that originally it was the emblem of the Rotation of the Seven Stars of the Great Bear (The Dipper) around the Polar Star and was the symbol of the most High God who there reigned and ruled the visible universe. Among Operative Freemasons the VII° candidate is taken into a vault under the Grand Lodge Room and from the darkness looks up to the centre of its roof and there sees a large letter G. from which a plumb-line is suspended which hangs down into the chamber in which he is placed. He is told that this plumb-line comes down from the Pole Star and that the Swastika is its symbol. The Swastika is depicted on the Sacred Pedestal in front of him. When an Operative Lodge is opened in the VIP each of the Grand Masters puts his "Square" together with the Square on the Volume of the Sacred Law in such a way as to form a Swastika which is a much venerated symbol among all Operative Freemasons and is held to represent El Shaddai or the Most High, Himself.

 

 

 

 

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