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present amount of the fund $3400. About three thousand dollars of this
sum, it is estimated, will be exhausted in the erection of the building now
began. It is to be a handsome brick edifice, 60 by 30 feet, and two sto-
ries high. It is thought that it will be ready for occupation in February
next ; in which case the school will, probably, go into immediate opera-
tion. Of its success we cannot entertain a doubt. It is an undertaking
eminently worthy of the support of our Brethren in Mississippi, and we
are certain there are enterprise, and liberality, and Masonic pride enough
among them to sustain it, in a manner that shall make it one of the most
useful and popular institutions in their State.



ON THE STUDY OF MASONIC ANTIQUITIES.

BY BBO. THOMAS P1II&.

Conclusion of Chapter IV.

With regard to Letters —

Results are arrived at no less important and interesting. The word Hierogly-
phic, in its correct sense, means strictly " sacred writing," but regarding it in its
popular meaning as " picture-writing," we have evidently the mode adopted by the
earliest nations of the world for the communication and perpetuation of ideas—*
mode which unquestionably preceded all other written characters. The earliest
records of each nation would thus be recorded in pictures or hieroglyphical cha-
racters, long before the invention of letters ; and it is not improbable that as lan-
guage and customs gradually varied, many simple primeval alphabets may have
been invented, at first consisting of a few letters, but gradually receiving addi-
tions as necessity required. It is evident that alphabetical characters were not
inveuted by one individual, or at one period, but each nation would possess tradi-
tionary notions of some mythical personage to whose inventive genius they were
indebted for the rudiments of their alphabet, which in eacli case would probably be
formed or derived from some combinations of the pre-existing hieroglyphics. As
each tribe or nation possessed its original picture-history, it is manifest that in
some the original ideas would be either lost or perverted in the event of their
retrograding in knowledge, whilst in other countries, as in Ancient Egypt, the
art of picture-writing would be carried to a high state of perfection. Thus, in
Egypt, the important discovery of phonetic characters was made, at a period so
remote as to be lost in the mists of antiquity ; and, as observed by Dr. Lamb in



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44 ON THE STUDY OF MASONIC ANTIQUITIES.

his work on Hebrew Hieroglyphics, " when once this important discovery was
made, these characters would shortly be reduced to the same, or nearly the same,
as we now find them. The number of consonants does not depend upon the genius
oj each particular language, but upon certain organs of the animal man, and as
these are uniform throughout the whole race, the same alphabet would be appli-
cable to every language. This discovery would soon be known by the neigh-
boring nations, and in no very long time would he generally adopted. Each sepa-
rate people would not repeat the process by which the first inventor had arrived
at so happy a result, but each would (if I may be allowed the expression) trans-
late their oum pictures into the ttoo-and-ttcenty sounds already provided for them;
and hence it is that we find almost every nation claiming to itself the discovery
of letters. Each one no doubt may put in a claim for this honor, as far as it con-
sists in having reduced pictures to a phonetic language, after the first discoverers had
given them the key?

Dr. Lamb's work goes to show, and that in most instances very satisfactorily,
that each Hebrew character was derived from an hieroglyphical original ; and,
as the sacred books of the Jews were undou btedly first represented in hierogly-
phics, before their transition to alphabetic characters, this part of the inquiry be-
comes of more than ordinary importance, by enabling us to ascertain the correct
meaning of many expressions, of which, for want of the original pictures, we are
now entirely ignorant ; whereas the exhibition of those original pictures may lead
to the explanation of many difficult passages in the Bible, and to the confirma-
tion of tiiose important truths in which the whole human race are so deeply in-
terested.

I may here take occasion to observe, that the immediate reference of many of
my remarks to Freemasonry, as generally understood, cannot at once be compre-
hended by every Brother, inasmuch as it requires a full acquaintance with the
sublime and ineffable degrees to arrive at their ultimate meaning — but those who
have passed the Holy Royal Arch will be enabled to apprehend their reference —
and one of the principal objects of the present investigation is to lead the inquir-
ing Brother to the consideration of subjects so intimately interwoven with the sub-
lime mysteries of Freemasonry, and of themselves so essentially important to his
present and eternal welfare. Our Reverend Brother, Dr. Wolff, states that he
entered our venerable Fraternity for two reasons —

1. In order to increase his usefulness for the benefit of his fellow-creatures.

2. To be enabled to enter more fully into the depths of sacred antiquity.

These are rational inducements, and in precise accordance with the objects of the
present inquiry. But to proceed.

In reference to the volume of the Sacred Law, it will be perceived, on careful
perusal, that the book of Genesis contains two histories, which are perfectly dis-
tinct One, the account of the creation and the general history of mankind, up
to the dispersion, terminating in the ninth verse of the eleventh chapter,— and the
other, comprising the history of Abraham, from the call of the patriarch in the
Land of Ur, to the death of Joseph. Between these two histories, a long period
intervenes, during which the Scriptures are silent as to the history of mankind, —
and the interval can only be supplied by deeply pursuing such investigations as
those in which we are now engaged.

The Israelites thus, before the Exodus, would possess two books— one Genesis,
properly so called, and the other the History of Abraham. , In addition to these
they had another, entitled " Milchamoth-Jehovah," the wars of Jehovah, from
which a quotation is given in Numbers xxi., v. 23, — and probably another, being
a collection of national songs, entitled " Sepher-Hajashar." At all events, the
two sacred books before alluded to, were preserved to us by Moses ; and Dr.
Lamb remarks, " I am inclined to think that Moses, when, under the inspiration
of God, he indited the books of the law, prefixed to them the history of Abraham
and his posterity, as preserved by the children of Israel, and, at the same time,



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ON THE STUDY OF MASONIC ANTIQUITIES. 45


rendered their sacred records of the creation and history of man up to the disper-
sion at Babel, into the Hebrew language as toe now have them* And as the Israel-
ites, no doubt, like all other nations, held their ancient records in the highest ven-
eration, their lawgiver would preserve as much of the original as he consistently
could ; and hence it is that we have the early part of the book of Genesis so con-
cise, and evidently partaking of the nature of an hieroglyphic narrative. And it
may here be remarked, that passages which now appear obscure to us, were pro-
bably perfectly intelligible to those who, with the Hebrew text, had before them the
ancient pictures from which it was derived. Upon the books of Moses becoming
the sacred writings of the nation, the ancient hieroglyphics would be discarded,
and, in the course of a few generations, be totally forgotten."*

In thus tracing* the origin of written characters, ana particularly of those com-
prising the .Ancient Hebrew Alphabet, we can appreciate the great importance of
hieroglyphical knowledge, as connected with sacred history ; and before quitting
the subject, I will give one or two illustrations of the mode in which such know-
ledge is susceptible of practical illustration. These I have selected from Dr
Lamb's work before alluded to. . m

Let us now take the word D^iTl /N (ElohimJ and see how each letter compri-
sing that word would be compounded from the Hieroglyphics.

" In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth."

The word is here written in full, with the \ as it ought to be written. In ren-
dering this word into the corresponding pictures from whence the letters of which
it is composed were derived, it will be found, according to Dr. Lamb, that we
shall have nothing less than " a translation into phonetic characters of the image
by which our first parent communicated his knowledge of the Creator to his de-
scendants*"

But to proceed with the illustration. It has been shown in the previous chap-
ter, that

ft in ancient Hebrew would be represented in hieroglyphics by the figure of

♦The reader's attention is directed to the following sensible remarks in Faber's Origin of
Pagan Idolatry, pp. 202, 203 :

" Tihese observations necessarily lead us to adopt the opinion which Dr. Allix, though
from a different train of reasoning, was induced with so mnch sound judgment to advance ;
namely, that in writing the Book of Genesis, Moses declared nothing but what was generally
known. It is impossible that man should have known nothing of the deluge till Moses gave
an account of it ; and it is utterly incredible that all the early patriarchs, from Adam to the
Hebrew legislator, should have been profoundly ignorant of the history of the creation.
Moses, therefore, did not now for the first time reveal the origination of the worhf and its in-
habitants, neither did he now for the first time declare that tno whole race of mankind, ex-
cept a single family, had been swept away by the waters of a flood. He simply rectified the
mythological errors which had been superinduced over the primitive account of those great
events, as possessed by Adam and Noah; and while others had disfigured the truth by the
wildness of philosophical and idolatrous fiction, he was taught by the Holy Spirit of God to
give a clear and perfectly unerring recital of early history. In fact, had Moses been the first
who asserted a cosmogony, and a deluge, and had such events never been heard of until he,
in the full sense of the word, revealed them, it is easy to perceive that he must have been
immediately rejected as an impostor, even t>y the Israelites themselves."

Mr.Gliddon thus suras up the result of his investigations on this subject — " That to sup-
pose Hebrew to be the most ancient language, and the one spoken by Adam and Noah, is a
matter of opinion — contrary to evidence— immaterial in itself, as regards Christian belief—
and non-essential to any view of the case ; but to suppose that, within a comparatively few
years after Noah, the Jewish annals were the only written chronicles t and that Hebrew was
the only language in which histories of antediluvian events were, by the immediate descen-
dants oi Noah, preserved, is at the present time an untenable fallacy.

'• That to suppose Moses to be the inventor of letters, is an illusion ; though he may have
modified the Hebrew alphabet ; and there are some inferences, to be drawn from similarity
of alphabetic characters, that he may have adopted some Egyptian phonetic improvements in
the primitive Hebrew method of symbolic writings — ' like the engravings of a signet'— inas-
much as the Egyptians, for. more than one thousand years before his time, had used the same
symbolic, figurative, and phonetic si^nt, that were in popular use in his day ; for, according
to Acts Tii. 22, ' Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.' ''



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46



ON THE 8 TODY OF MASONIC ANTIQUITIES.



" A Man, ' and the transition from the original picture to the written character is
there shown. The derivation of the other letters can be similarly manifested. Thus

7 is derived from the figure of u A Lion."

^ from " a feather," which in the earliest hieroglyphics represented a bird — " Aw

Eagle."
jf signifying " breath," which in like manner represented M nostrils," — " life"—

u living creature" — " a living animal" — " A Bcll."
The derivation of the three last letters will be better shown by the following
comparative view : —



Hieroglyphic.



Transition.



Ancient Name.

nn H - H



Meauiug.
A Lion.

A FSATHBB.

The Breath.



fa'



h



Character.



?

rr



In the two last examples we shall not fail to perceive that the alphabetical char-
acter, thongh of early date, was not invented until after a considerable change had
taken place in the hieroglyphic — not only as regards form, but in its meaning ;
thus in the primitive picture, M a feather" would represent a feather only, but be-
fore the formation of letters it had attained an ideal meaning, . and represented a
bird — the bird being the original hieroglyphic, which was afterwards denoted by
the feather. In like manner, respiration, or the expulsion of breath through the
nostrils, in its ideal meaning, represented an Ox. It is, therefore, evident that
the hieroglyphics had advanced considerably beyond their primitive simple state,
and bad been used to express ideal meanings, before the time when the alphabet-
ical characters were compounded from them. The termination of the word
Elohim (D t# ) rendered in like manner, signifies " eyes many," an attribute indica-
tive of omniscience. »

It is thus seen that this sacred name p*m /N would be represented in the earli-
est hieroglyphical characters by the figures of a Man, a Lion, an Eagle and an
Ox — with the plural termination of " many eyes," expressive of attributes : and
herein we are enabled to trace the original phonetic characters of the image un-
der which the knowledge of the name and attributes of the Great Architect of the
Universe was communicated in the earliest ages.

In further illustration of this part of the subject, it now becomes important to
regard the figures under which the Deity has been manifested under the patriar-
chal, the prophetical, and the Christian dispensations ; and as to this, I would re-
fer the reader to Ezekiel, chaps, i. and x., and Revelations, chap. iv.

It will be remarked, Ezekiel i. 10, " As for the likeness of their faces, they four
had the face of a Man, and the face of a Lion on the right side ; and they four had
the face of an Ox on the left side ; they four also had the face of an Eagle."

And at chapter x. verses 12 and 14 — "And their whole body and their backs,,
and their hands and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about.
And every one had four faces ; the first face was the face of a cherub, and the
second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth
the face of an eagle" " And the cherub ims were lifted up. This is the living
creature that I saw by the river of Chebar ."



*Take the derivation of the (*), which is thus shown:—
Hieroglyphic. Transition. Character. Ancient Name.



Meaning.
The Eye.



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ON THE ITUDT OF MASONIC ANTIQUITIES. 47

Nov turn to Revelations, chap, iv., verses 6, 7, and 8 :

u Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like unto crystal ; and in the midst
of the throne, and rouud about the throne, were four beasts, fuU of eyes, before
and behind."

"And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a etdf, and the '
third beast had a face as a man* and the fourth beast was like a flying eagleS*

"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him ; they were fuU of
eyes within ; and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Lord God Al-
mighty, which was, and is, and is to come."

The vast importance of this investigation is now sufficiently manifest : we are
shown that hieroglyphical learning carries us a step farther in our knowledge of
matters of the most sublime description. In tracing out the elementary figures
and ideas, we are enabled much better to appreciate the unity and connexion of
various portions of scripture, difficult of interpretation — a6 for instance, in the illus-
tration selected, the allusions to the figures of which the cherubim were com-
pounded, are now rendered perfectly intelligible.

The Great Architect of the Universe appears to have been known only under
the name " Elohim," until the days of Seth, when he was invoked under the name
of Jehovah. This seems to be the true meaning of the 26th verse of the 4th
chapter of Genesis,* which some biblical commentators have fancifully imagined
was intended to mean that men then began to call themselves by the name of gods.
It is far more likely that the previous emblems which we have considered, may
have been perverted to idolatrous purposes,! when another name was employed,
comprehending precisely the same meaning, but less liable to abuse and corrup-
tion ; thus, if for (J$) "a man," (*), which constantly signifies "a distinguished

man," is substitued : and if for (7) " a lion," we substitute (j"J) signifying ftift,
" a living creature," we have then compounded the word,

JTlJT (JEHOVAH)
for the name of the Creator, omitting the termination p* (im) expressive of his at-
tributes.

In tbe 49th chapter of Genesis is a remarkable prophecy respecting the Mes-
siah — w The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his

feet, until |T)7^ (SfliLOH)come; and onto him the gathering of the people. 11

The word " Shiloh" has been variously interpreted, and by many divines has

been rendered ** Vie Sent ;" but Dr. Larrflrs interpretation is far more consistent

with reason and hieroglyphical analysis; he says that the word is literally \ff

a who," or " who is," J717* (Jelovah,) the very same word as HlfT** "Jeho-
vah," with the origjgal 7 restored; and thus, as he remarks — "Jacob points out
the Messiah by a title which could be applied to no other individual, and declared
the divinity of our Saviour about seventeen hundred years before his birth." It
is not certainly likely that Jacob would give the promised Messiah a mysterious

*" Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;" here for the first time written
mn\ Jehovah. The true meaning evidently being— Then began men to call upon or in-
voke tbe Lord by his name Jshovah.

tThereean tie little doubt that the abuse of the glorious manifestation of the Creator, un-
der the form of the cherubim, led to the origin of that animal worship, which prevailed at
snch an early period. As people multiplied on the earth, they idolatrously made for them-
selves representations from the picture of Elohim, and hence the lion, the bull, and the
tAGLR became especial objects of adoration. (See Faher's Origin of Pagan Idolatry, chap, vi.)

Si Paul, in ih? 1st chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, secrns unquestionably to have
had the very image of Elohim before bim, when describing the origin and progress of idola-
try :

Ver. 20 : " For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead."

And ver. 23 ; " They changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like
(0 corruptible man, and to birds, and to four-footed beasts, and creeping thing*.'*



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48 ON THB ITUDY OF MASOIUC ANTIQUITIES.

title, which might be equally applicable to any prophet, or even priest, each of
whom might fee called "the Sent," u the Messenger of God."

The three words, therefore, that we have considered, omitting the termination,
» which, as has been stated, is indicative of the attribute of omniscience, may thus
be rendered — .

ni7N, ALOVAH, the Creator.
nifPf JEHOVAH, the God of Israel.
niTi JELOVAH, the promised Messiah.

We need no further comment on the 58th verse of the 8th chapter of St John r
" Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was I am."
Before closing the remarks on this head, it will be necessary to add, that in
order to preserve the similitude of the words, the common pronunciation of Je-
hovah has been adopted for alh This is the course adopted by Dr. Lamb ; but,
as stated by him, it is not correct in either case. When the Jews met with the
sacred tetragrammaton, mfTS they read for it *J"lt$ (Adonai), and as a direc-

t -;

tion, placed the points of the' latter word to the former, and hence our common pro-
nunciation of ,nrV (Je-ho-vab) is derived. This is a question of peculiar inte-

rest to those who have directed their attention to the high degrees of the ancient
and accepted rite. Space will not, however, permit me now to go further into the
various modes of pronouncing the sacred name; I shall, therefore, merely ob-
serve, that Dr. Lamb considers that from the word Ji/B^ (Shitoh,) we may proba-
bly obtain the original punctuation of the corresponding word fill"?** T\/*tif (Shi-
loh,) is an abbreviated form of fiS^C (She-Yeloh,) for fi'^-'lE;*? (Asher-
Yeloh,) and according to their proper pronunciation, we shall have —

HI 7M» ALOH, the sacred name, as referable to the Patriarchal Dispensation ;

rTiiTt JEHOH,fotte JlfosatcaJ—and



HiS* JELOH, to the Christian,* •



Much might be added to this important part of the subject, but I trust sufficient
has been said to render it intelligible, and as I am exceeding the prescribed limits,
I must conclude the present chapter by some observations on the

Religion of Ancient Egypt.
The reduction of various hieroglyphyical texts to their true meaning, added to
correct explanations of the mythological emblems of ancient Egypt, will disclose
a purer faith, and a more correct knowledge of the fundamental doctrines of genu-
ine religion, than is generally supposed to have existed in the land of the Pha-
raoh. In her long-bidden legends we are now enabled to trace the articles of a
patriarchal creed, and in resolving her mythological emblems to their elementary
principles, we discover indications of the knowledge of truths, so awfully stupen-
dous as to have only been capable of originating- from a divine source. Thus
the nature of the Deity, and the three-fold distinctions in that nature, was a sublime
truth revealed to the initiated, and this was symbolized by the following univer-
sal and significant emblem : (^



The perfection of the divine nature, of which the sun was deemed to be the
brightest, the purest, and most glorious emblem, was designated by the circle, and
the distinctions in that nature were indicated by the eqwlaterial triangle. The



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ON THE STUDY OP MASONIC ANTIQUITIES. 49



\



essences, or divine attributes, were variously distinguished at different periods ;
butCxrzFH, Osiris, Ptha, constituted the true Egyptian triad of deity. Each
represented the same eternal Power, though under different attributes.

Thus, Cneph, " the God without beginning, and without end," represented the
supreme presiding spirit, the primordial source of life and matter, the Deity, whose
creative power fashioned all things according to his mighty will, and whose po-
tent energies pervaded the universe.

Osiris was also regarded as a manifestation of the attributes of the supreme
deity, chiefly in a two-fold character, typifying the union of divinity and humanity.
Osiris thus possessed the attributes of Cnepb, whilst in his mortal character, he
was a type of the human race, whom Cneph created. It is also to be remarked
that Osiris was invested with numerous characters, among others that of judge
of the souls of the departed. The name of Osiris was also subsequently applied
to the sun.

As heat issues from the solar orb, so Ptha. was an emanation from Osiris —
equal in divinity, but differing in essence. Ptha, in the Chaldaic philosophy, was
the same as the great first principle, the all-pervading fire, which emanating from
the central soul, or primum mobile, is diffused throughout the boundless universe.
Ptha thus represented the divine offspring of the solar fire, the prolific principle
issuing from the great fountain of light, from whence all nature was quickened
and invigorated, and which, diffusing its life-generating impulse throughout the
boundless realms of space, was sometimes designated by an appellation consonant
to tt the soul of the world."

Thus, allegorically to illustrate this triad, Osiris was the sun or centre of crea-
tion ; Ptha, the divine fire, issuing from that central source ; and Cneph, the
mighty spirit pervading and animating the material universe. The whole of the


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Online LibraryCharles W. (Charles Whitlock) MooreThe Freemason's monthly magazine → online text (page 7 of 15)