Mount Calvary is a small hill or eminence, situated due west from Mount Moriah, on which the Temple of Solomon was built. It was originally a hillock of notable size, but has, in more modern times, been greatly reduced by the excavations made in it for the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
There are several coincidences which identify Mount Calvary with the small hill where the "newly made grave," referred to in the Third Degree, was discovered by the weary Brother. Thus, Mount Calvary was a small hill ; it was situated in a westward direction from the Temple, and near Mount Moriah; and it was on the direct road from Jerusalem to Joppa, and is the very spot where a weary brother, traveling on that road, would find it convenient to sit down to rest and refresh himself; it was outside the gate of the Temple; it has at least one cleft in the rock, or cave, which was the place which subsequently became the sepulcher of our Lord. Hence Mount Calvary has always retained an important place in the legendary history of Freemasonry, and there are many traditions connected with it that are highly interesting in their import.
One of the traditions is, that it was the burial place of Adam, in order, says the old legend, that where he lay, who effected the ruin of mankind, there also might the Savior of the world suffer, die, and be buried. Sir R. Torkington, who published a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1517, says that ''under the Mount of Calvary is another chapel of our Blessed Lady and St. John the Evangelist, that was called Golgatha; and there, right under the mortise of the cross, was found the head of our forefather, Adam." Golgotha, it will be remembered, means, in Hebrew, the place of a skull ; and there may be some connection between this tradition and the name of Golgotha, by which, the Evangelists inform us, in the time of Christ, Mount Calvary was known. Calvary, or Calvaria, has the same signification in Latin.
Another tradition states that it was in the bowels of Mount Calvary that Enoch erected his nine-arched vault, and deposited on the foundation-stone of Freemasonry that Ineffable Name, whose investigation, as a symbol of Divine truth, is the great object of Speculative Freemasonry. A third tradition details the subsequent discovery of Enoch's deposit, by King Solomon, whilst making excavations in Mount Calvary during the building of the Temple.
On this hallowed spot was Christ the Redeemer slain and buried. It was there that, rising on the third day from his sepulcher, He gave, by that act the demonstrative evidence of the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul.
And it is this spot that has been selected, in the legendary history of Freemasonry, to teach the same sublime truth, the development of which by a symbol evidently forms the design of the Third or Master's Degree.
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