In the ancient initiations, the aspirant was never permitted to enter on the threshold of the Temple in which the Ceremonies were conducted until, by the most solemn warning, he had been impressed with the necessity of secrecy and caution Thus the use, for this purpose, of a Warlike Instrument in the First Degree of Freemasonry, is intended to produce the same effect A sword has always been employed for that purpose; and to substitute the point of the compasses, taken from the altar at the time, is an improper sacrifice of Symbolism to the convenience of the Senior Deacon The Compasses are peculiar to the Third Degree In the earliest instructions of the eighteenth century it is Said that the entrance is "upon the point of a sword, or spear, or some warlike instrument"
Krause (Kurlsturkunden ii, page 142), in commenting on this expression, has completely misinterpreted its signification He supposes that the sword was intended as a sign of jurisdiction now assumed by the Lodge. But the real object of the ceremony is to teach the neophyte that as the sword or warlike instrument will wound or prick the flesh, so will the betray al of a trust confided wound or prick the conscience of him who betrays it
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