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The Lecture of the First Degree of Freemasonry

Introductory Address
BRETHREN, Masonry; according to the general acceptation of the term, is an Art founded on the principles of Geometry, and directed to the service and convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry embracing a wider range, and having a more noble object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement of the human mind, may, with more propriety, be called a Science, although its lessons for the most part are veiled in Allegory and illustrated by Symbols, inasmuch as, veiling itself under the terms of the former, it inculcates principles of the purest morality.To draw aside this veil therefore, or, more properly speaking, to penetrate through its mysteries, is the object of our Masonic Lectures, and by a faithful and appropriate attention to them we hope ultimately to become acquainted with all its mysteries. The Lecture of this Degree is divided into seven Sections, and throughout the whole, virtue is depicted in its most beautiful colors, the duties of morality are everywhere strictly enforced.The nature, character, the attributes and perfections of the Deity are faithfully delineated and forcibly portrayed, and are well calculated to influence our conduct towards Him, a sour Father, Benefactor, and Moral Governor, as also in the proper discharge of the duties of social life.
Section One
The mode of Masonic instruction is the catechetical, or, in more familiar terms, by question and answer; therefore, from a previous conviction that you are a Mason, permit me to ask you in that character:Q – As Free and Accepted Masons, how did you and I first meet? A – On the Square.
Q – How do we hope to part? A – On the LevelQ – Why meet and part in that particular manner? A -As Masons we should so act on the Square, as to enable us to part on the Level with all mankind, particularly a Brother Q -As a Mason whence come you? A -The West.Q- Whither directing your course? A- The East.Q -What inducement have you to leave the West, and go to the East? A- To seek a Master, and from him to gain instruction.Q- Who are you that want instruction? A- A Free and Accepted Mason.Q- What manner of man ought a Free and Accepted Mason to be? A- A free man, born of a free woman, brother to a King, fellow to a Prince or to a beggar, if a Mason, and found worthy.Q- Why freeborn? A- In allusion to that grand festival which Abraham made at the weaning of his son Isaac, when Sarah, Abraham’s wife, observing Ishmael, the son of Hagar the Egyptian bondwoman, teasing and perplexing her son, remonstrated with her husband, and said:Put away that bondwoman and her son, for such as he shall not inherit with the freeborn, even with my son Isaac. She spake as being endued with a prophetic spirit,well knowing that from Isaac’s loins would spring a great and mighty people, who would serve the Lord with freedom, fervency, and zeal; and fearing that if the two youths were brought up together, Isaac might imbibe some of Ishmael’s slavish principles; it being a general remark in those days, as well as the present, that the minds of slaves are more vitiated and less enlightened than those of the freeborn. This is the reason we, as Freemasons, give why every Mason ought to be freeborn; but in the present day,slavery being generally abolished, it has therefore been considered under our Constitution, that if a man be free, although he may not have been freeborn, he is eligible to be made a Mason.
 Q- Why those e qualities among Masons? A- We are all created equal, which is strengthened by our Mason Oath.Q- Generally speaking, as a Mason whence come you? A- From a worthy and worshipful Lodge of Brothers and Fellows A -To greet your worship well.Q.- Any other recommendation? A- Hearty good wishes.Q- Since you bring nothing but hearty good wishes, what do you come here to do? A- To learn to rule and subdue my passions, and make a further progress in Masonry.Q- By this I presume you are a Mason? A- I am so taken and accepted among Brothers and Fellows.Q- How do you know yourself to be a Mason? A- By the regularity of my initiation, repeated trials and approbations, and a willingnessat all times to undergo an examination when properly called on.Q- How do you demonstrate the proof of your being a Mason to others? A- By Signs, Tokens, and the Perfect Points of my entrance.Q – What are Signs? A- All Squares, Levels, and Perpendiculars are true and proper signs to know a Mason by. Q -What are Tokens? A- Certain regular and friendly Grips, whereby we know a Brother in the dark as well as in the light.Q – Will you give me the Points of your Entrance?. A- Give me the first, I will give you the second.
Q – What do you wish to Collect.? A- All Secrets and Mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry.Q- This being open Lodge, you may safely reveal. A- Of, At, and On.Q- Of, At, and On what? A- Of my own free will and accord; at the Door of the Lodge; on the Point of a Square presented to my naked left breast.Q- When were you made a Mason? A- When the sun was at its meridian.Q- In this country Freemasons’ Lodges are usually held in the evening: how do you account for that, which at first view appears a paradox? A- The earth constantly revolving on its axis in its orbit round the sun, and Freemasonry being universally spread over its surface, it necessarily follows that the sun must always be at its meridian with respect to Freemasonry.Q- What is Freemasonry? A- A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.Q.- Where were you made a Mason? A- In the body of a Lodge, just, perfect, and regular.Q- What is a Lodge of Freemasons? A- An assemblage of Brethren, met to expatiate on the mysteries of the Craft.Q- When met, what makes it just? A- The Volume of the Sacred Law unfolded.Q- What perfect? A – Seven, or more, regularly made Masons.Q – And what regular?
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