The second section of this degree refers to the origin of the institution, and views Masonry under two denominations, Operative and Speculative.
By operative masonry, we allude to the proper application of the useful rules of architecture, whence a structure will derive figure, strength, and beauty, and whence will result a due proportion and just correspondence in all its parts.
It furnishes us with dwellings and convenient shelters from the vicissitudes and inclemencies of seasons; and while it displays the effects of human wisdom, as well in the choice as in the arrangement of the sundry materials of which an edifice is composed, it also demonstrates that a fund of science and industry is implanted in man for the best, most salutary and beneficent purposes.
By Speculative Masonry, we learn to subdue the passions, act upon the Square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practice charity. It is so far interwoven with religion as to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity which constitutes at once our duty and our happiness. It leads the contemplative to view with reverence and admiration the marvelous works of creation, and inspires the most exalted ideas of the perfection of his Divine Creator.
We are Speculative Masons only; our ancient brethren wrought in Operative as well as in Speculative Masonry; they wrought six days before they recieved their wages; they did not work on the seventh, because in six days: God created the heaven and the earth and rested on the seventh. The seventh, therefore, our ancient Brethren consecrated as a day of rest from their labors, thereby enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of creation and to adore their great creator.
We are now about to make a regular advance to a place representing the middle chamber of King Solomons Temple. The fellow Crafts on their Way thither Had to pass through a porch, at the entrance of which were two brazen pillars, the one on the left, called BOAZ, which denotes strength; the other on the right, JACHIN, which signinfies to establishment; together they allude to the promise of God to David that he would establish his house or kingdom forever. These pillars were cast by Hiram Abiff, a widows son, of the tribe of Naphtali, on the plains of Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredatha. They were cast hollow, the better to serve as safe repositories for the records of Freemasonry against inundations and conflagrations. They were eighteen cubics high, twelve in circumferance or four in diameter, and surfaced by chapiters of five cubits, making each twenty-three cubics high. These chapiters were ornamented with lily-work, net-work, and pomegranates. The Lily, from its purity and the retired situation in which it grows, denotes peace, The net-work, from the intimate connection of its parts, denotes unity, and the pomegranates, from the exuberance of their seed, denotes plenty.
The Globes resting upon these pillars are two artifical spherical bodies, on the convex surfaces of which are represented the countries, seas, and various parts of the earth, the face of the heavens, the planetary revolutions, and other important particulars.
They are invaluable instruments for improving the mind, as they assist in giving a more distinct idea of any problem or proposition and aid us to solve the same.
They illustrate in part the great works of the Deity, and encourage us in the study of geography, navigation, astronomy, and the arts dependent on them, by which society has been so much benefited.
After passing the pillars they arrive at flights of winding stair, consisting of three, five and seven stairs. The three steps are said to allude to the three principal officers of the Lodge, The Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Warden. (They take 3 steps) The five steps are said to allude to the five orders of architecture, The Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.
By order in architecture is meant a system of all the members, proportions and ornaments of columns and pilasters, or the arrangement of the projecting and visible parts of a building, so joined and united as to form an ideal and complete whole.
The ancient and original orders of architecture revered by Masons are no more than three, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, which were invented by the Greeks. To these the Romans have added two: the Tuscan, which they made plainer than the Doric, and the Composite, which was more ornamental, if not more beautiful than the Corinthian.
The first three orders, however, alone show invention and particular character, and essentially differ from each other. The other two have nothing but what is borrowed and differ only accidentally. The Tuscan is the Doric in its earliest state, and the Composite is the Corinthian enriched with the Ionic. To the Greeks, therefore, and not to the Romans, we are indebted for what is great, judicious and distinct in architecture.
They are also said to allude to the five human senses, hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting; The first three of which are most essential to Masons, For by the sense of hearing we hear, the word, By that of seeing we see the sign, And by that of feeling we feel the grip whereby one Mason may know another in the dark as well as in the light.
While animate creatures in general are possessed of these powers and faculties by nature, man, who is an intelligent being gifted with the additional powers of investigating and reasoning, constantly employs and is dependent on these senses in his daily intercourse with his fellows. They are the means by which he can add to his own comfort and happiness, increase his knowledge and benefit society and those about him. And it is through them that mind meets mind, and objects and extent of man's surroundings are made known to him.
Thus is opened up that vast and boundless field, extending beyond the reach of human inquiry, wherein God, in his works, is ever manifesting his power and goodness, and is ever placing before us, for our moral and intellectual advancement, object lessons from the lily of the valley to the star in the heavens.(They take 5 steps)
The seven steps are said to allude to the seven liberal arts and sciences, which are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy.
We Now arrive at a place representing the outer door of the middle chamber ***
JW - Who comes there
SD - Fellow Crafts on their way to the middle chamber
JW - Give the pass (Gives pass only - "Shibboleth")
JW - What does it denote
SD - Plenty
JW - how is it represented?
SD - By ears of corn suspended near a water-ford
JW - How did it originate as a pass
SD - In consequence of a quarrel between Jephthah, judge of Israel, and the Ephraimites; the Ephraimites had long been a turbulent and rebellious people whom Jephthah striven to subdue by lenient measures, but without effect; They being highly incensed for not being called to fight and share in the rich spoils of the Ammonitish war, gathered together a mighty army, and crossed the river Jordan to give Jephthah battle; but he, being apprised of their approach, gathered together the men of Gilead, gave them battle, and put them to flight; and, to make his victory more complete, he stationed guards at the passages of the Jordan and commanded them, should any attempt to pass, to say unto them,Say now Shibboleth, but the Ephraimites being of a different tribe could not frame to pronounce the word aright, but said Sibboleth, which trifling defect proved them enemies and cost them their lives, and there fell at that time forty and two thousand.
JW - Give me the token (SD Gives the Pass grip of a Fellow Craft)
JW - The pass and the token are right pass on
SD- (And they walk) We are now arriving at a place representing the inner door of the middle chamber ***
SW - Who come there
SD - Fellow Crafts on their way to the middle chamber
SW - Give me the grip and word
SD - (Gives the real grip of a Fellow Craft)
SW - What is this
SD - The real grip of a Fellow Craft
SW has it a name
SD - It has
SW - Give it
SD - I did not so receive it, neither can I so imart it
SW - How would you dispose of it
SD - Letter and Halve it
SW - Letter and begin
SD - You begin
SW - Begin you
SD - A
SW - C
SD - H
SW - I
SD - J
SW - N
SD - Ken
SW - JA
SD - JACHIN
SW - The grip and word are right, Pass on (The candidate is conducted to the East)
WM - Brother _____ You have now arrived at a place representing the middle chamber of Kng Solomon's Temple, where you will be entered as a Fellow Craft. You are now entitled to the wages of a Fellow Craft, which are corn, wine and oil; the Corn of nourishment, the Wine of refreshment, and the Oil of joy. You are also entitled to the jewels of a Fellow Craft which are, an attentive ear, an instructive tongue, and faithful breast. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the mysteries of Free Masonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts. I will now direct your attention to the letter "G", which is the initial of Geometry.