A MASONIC DISCOVERY.
rom the Hew York Herald.) Liflgenrmt Commander Gorringe, in remcnßg the foundations of the Cleopatra NecdujLhas made a discovery of the highest importance—a discovery which will serve as a starting point for new researches, and cannot fail to throw much light, not only on the origin of Freemasonry, but also upon the ancient mysteries of Hirom, Osiris, and Isis. For the first time there has been discovered under a public monument—and one, moreover, erected twenty-two years before the Christian era—the arrangement of a Masonic foundation. ' This foundation discloses, beyond any doubt, the ancient organisation of a Masonic Lodge—the emblems, principles, and customs of which are identical with those to-day made use of throughout the four quarters of the globe.
Lieutenant Commander Gorringe is a Freemason. His attention was drawn to the dscovery by the sight of a Masonic quaries cut out of an immense block of granite. This square bears upon its interior base three degrees corresponding to the three first Masonic grades. Under the square are three steps, also corresponding to the degrees of Apprentice, Companion and Master. These three steps were disposed as follows :—The step of the Apprentice is made of one stone, the two steps of Companion and Master were also formed of a single stone, which indicates the intimate union between those two degrees. The degree of Companion is, moreover, smaller than that of Apprentice, and much smaller than that of Master, for it anciently required less time loattain science than to serve the apprenticeship and become Companion, the friend and arm of the Master.
Towards the east, and outside of the square a block, having four faces and most beautifully and accurately dressed, was found. This block is Masonic beyond any doubt. It is the smooth Ashlar. It is the sign of a lodge, logo, in Sanscript signifying the world. The ancients believed the world to be of rectangular form. We still retain the words longitude and latitude, which suggest the trace of this ancient era. Another trace of it is retained in the Masonic expression for a Lodge, which is [. •.]. Towards the west a block was found indented and chipped by design. This is the rough Ashlar. Instead of being situated towards the east—the direction of light science and intelligence—this rough stone is placed towards the west —the direction of darkness and ignorance. This is the stone of the Apprentice, and represents human imperfection. There are also further proofs of the Masonic arrangement of the base of the Cleopatra Needle, which shows that the ancients possessed degrees higher than those of Apprentice, Companion, and Master. The lowest step is formed of eighteen blocks. In the midst of these blocks the cubic stone was found, and another stone of the purest and most brilliant whiteness, and of a special formation. No one who has yet seen this stone remembers to have seen a similar one. This stone is evidently the emblem of purity. Its brilliancy and freedom from spot or blemish represent the principle of light, which, buried in the earth, shall at a later day become the emblem of truth. alSiis may also be an emblem of the of the star and sun, according Towhich the divinity was worshipped for its brightness. The stones of the foundation were, with one solitary exception, laid with white mortar. The finely dressed, smooth Ashlar was laid with beautiful yellow cement. This is the masonic pavement, emblem of variety here below, represented by different colored stones, but are joined together by cement, indicative of unity of all the masons. .
Moreover, among these stones two exist which mark most emphatically the desire of the Freemason architect to hand down to posterity the sign of the fraternity. These two stones are placed in the direction from west to east. One of the stones has on its western end two columns. It is in fact cut in the shape of the Greek letter Omega ; this letter here serves to represent the two columns united. These two columns are the columns J and B. This stone is in front of a second stone, which bears upon its comer the capital of an lonic column, evidently intended to represent the column of perfection. On the capital is a cutting which clearly represents the right angle. Attached to another stone, and wholly oxidised, an ordinary iron Masonic trowel was found. It is extremely probable that the Freemasons of ancient Egypt have left traces which have never been examined carefully, or from a Masonic point of view. It is most likely that if excavations were made about the bases of the fallen obelisks of Upper Egypt—obelisks fallen from the result of age, and not pulled down by the caprice of the Homan or Byzantine Emperors, who would have also probably destroyed the foundations —such excavations would bo crowned with the most important results.
Additional light and further proofs would be obtained which, in connection with Lieutenant Commander Gorringe’s discovery, would lead to the solution of many Egyptian mysteries. The version of Hiram and the Temple of Solomon must be doubted. Freemasonry is much older than the Jewish King. The Jews carried Masonry with them when they fled from Egypt. Cadmus, the civiliser of Greece, had been initiated in the mysteries of Iris. Pythagoras, who preached to his disciples the laws and customs which he had himself learned from the Egyptian priests, enforced upon his followers a silence for the period of five years (a Masonic number); during all this time they were merely listeners. Later, the Jewish philosophers (“Essemens”) observed the same rules. The Phoenician Freemasons also had in the time of Solomon their Masonic temples, for Solomon having sent a Masonic medal to the King of Tyre, he sent it back to him with some wood from Mount Lebanon—thus expressing his desire to contribute to the dedication of a temple to the Great Architect of the Universe Yod, God, Gott, &c.j —the unit, the divinity. It was in vain, then, in Solomon’s time the legend of Hiram was invented, and this personage was represented as an architect on account of the traditions of the degree of Master Mason. Hiram was no other than the Egyptian Osiris, the husband or brother of Isis. It should be borne in mind that before Solomon’s time, and consequently long before the Christian era, Masonry was known and practised by the people living on the shores of the Mediterranean, owing to the Egyptian and Bohemian commerce. At Carthage the mysteries of Masonry were practised continually, and among the Greeks women were initiated in their mysteries.. Masonry degenerated at the time of Demosthenes, when oour■gezans were admitted to the mysteries of 'the fraternity, and the consequence of this immorality reached even to the sanctuary of Eleusis. Masonry, it is admitted, goes back to the most ancient tjm§, and in the ancient religious ceremonies of the Egyptians and Phoenicians, and with the Druids as well in the -/Eniad of Yirgil, those initiated have a branch as an emblem The branch was of myrtle with those initiated at Memphis and Heliopolis—it was the gui sacre among the Druids and of gold in the yEneid. Each of these three were the symbols of Masonry, just as the acacia is the Masonic emblem of to-day, which should flourish in all quarters of the globe. There is little doubt but that this branch may be found in the event of special excavations
being made. The Egyptians, moreover, considered the acacia as a sacred tree. This tree was also worshipped by the ancient Arabs, particularly by the Ghelfon tribe. It was also an emblem of the sun, like the lotus and heliotrope ; its leaves open in the sunshine, and close when the sun set. The Jews had also a rod (branch), and Solomon was so far initiated in the mysteries of Isis, that the model of his temple was the Temple of the Sun at Memphis.
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