Royal Arch
Part 3



 


"...And G~d spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Yahweh: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob as Shaddai G~d Almighty, but My Name Yahweh was not known unto them."

{ Exodus vi : 2, 3 }

 



The Lost Word

Freemasonry contains a legend ov a cubical stone which was inscribed with a mystical diagram that represented the Sacred NAME and was possessed ov many virtues. It informs us that this stone was in the possession ov Adam in Paradise, that he held it in the highest estimation, because it bore the sacred characters, and reminded him ov that sublime and Holy Being who had been his friend, his companion, and guide in that delightful place. On this stone he made his offerings to G~d, when the Divine promised ov a Mediator, who should bruise the head of the reptile which had caused his defection from innocence, was formally revealed to him that he might not entirely sink under the oppression and misery in which a sense ov deserving G~d's displeasure had involved him. On the same holy altar he offered a sacrifice ov praise ov thanksgiving at the birth ov his children.

According to a Jewish Talmudic legend: Enoch, under the inspiration ov the MOST HIGH, built a secret temple underground, consisting ov nine vaults or arches, situated perpendicularly under each other. A triangular plate ov gold, each side ov which was a cubit long, and enriched with presious stones, was fixed to a stone ov agate ov the same form. On this plate ov gold was engraved the "Word", or the True Name ov G~d; and the stone ov agate, to which was affixed the golden triangle, was placed on a cubical stone or pedestal ov white marble and desposited in the ninth or lowest arch. In consequence ov the deluge, all knowledge ov this secret temple was lost, together with the Sacred and Ineffable or Unutterable Name, for ages. The Lost Word was found in this long forgotten subterranean temple by David when digging the foundation for the temple, afterward built by Solomon, his son. Other versions ov this legend ascribe the building ov the underground temple and the deposit therein ov the Word to Solomon and its discovery to those who dug the foundations ov the second temple on the same spot, and connect it with the "Substitute Ark" deposited in the same place.

In ancient times, and according to the mystical theology ov those days, G~d and the Sacred Name ov G~d were supposed to be one and the same. The Word was itself considered to be, in some sense, a living, creating power. Thus Plato taught that the divine "Logos" ( Word ) was G~d. The writer ov the Fourth Gospel, attributed to Saint John, contended that this Logos was Jesus "Christ" ( Anointed ): "...In the beginning was the Word ( Logos ) and the Word was with G~d". There is another old tradition, recited in one ov the degrees, that when the Emperor Julian undertook to rebuild the temple, a stone was taken up, that covered the mouth ov a deep square cave, in which one ov the laborers, being let down by a rope, found in the center ov the floor a cubical pillar, on which lay a roll or book, wrapped in a fine linen cloth, in which in capital letters was the passage from Saint John above referred to.


According to some, the Tetragrammaton, YHVH : Yahweh, or four-lettered Name ov G~d in Hebrew, incorrectly pronounced "Jehovah" or "Yahovah", was the true Word. Others thought that the Hebrew "Yah", the Greek "Iao", the Chaldaic "Bul or "Bel", the Egyptian "On" or "Om", or the Hindu "Aum", together with various combinations ov them, consisted the "Grand Omnific Word". The Name "Yehovah" is a combination ov to Hebraic words combined, using the fullest pure name "Yahwah" = YHVH, and the vowel sounds ov the name Adoni = ADNI which just means "Lord" as a general title in Hebrew:

YAHOVIH
and reason for this, is that it was, and is forbidden to pronounce the True Name. It is also called the "Ineffable" or "Unpronounceable" Name among jews and Masons/Templars. Before the revelation ov the Ineffable Name our G~d was known as Shaddai, that is, the Almighty, the Powerful One, the Principle ov Wrath and Punishment and not Mercy, and therefore our G~d was not to be loved then before the time ov Moses, but feared. In this Name, Shaddai, ShDY, Shin-Dalath-Yod, the Hebrew letter Shin is the first letter, which is also the symbol ov Fire.

There can be no doubt in the mind ov any student ov ancient philosophy or Theology, ov the great importance attached, from a very early date and among many nations, to the knowledge ov the True Name ov G~d.

This is clearly, and strongly marked in the Hebrew Scriptures, both before and after the Divine utterance ov His Name to Moses at the foot ov Horeb. Jacob asks the Name ov the Mysterious Being who wrestled with him, evidently impresses the feeling that it was a Divine visitant with whom he had to do { Gen. xxxii : 29, 30 }, for he says, "I have seen G~d Face to face"; so also Manoah inquired ov "the angel ov Yahweh", "What is Thy Name?" { Judges xiii : 17, 18 }, and recieves for answer, "Why asketh thou thus after My Name, seeing it is secret?" or, as in the marginal rendering and in the Revised Version, "Wonderful", the Hebrew word being used in both senses; and this, with the appearance ov " the angel ", overwhelms him with terror, because "we have seen G~d". Another reason, says Mackey 33, is to be found in a rabbinical misinterpretation ov the passage in Exodus { iii : 14, 15 }, where G~d said to Moses, "Thus shalt thou say unto the children ov Israel, I Am hath sent Me unto you". He adds, "this is My Name forever", which passage the rabbis translated the word "forever" to be the word "concealed".

Whatever may have been the origin ov the Profound Veneration for this Holy Word, this Wonderful Name, it comes to us, from the very earliest point at which we meet with it in history, invested with the character ov a peculiar and most potent charm and mystery. The importance attached to it was not merely from the desire, as matter ov simple knowledge, to be possessed ov the true Name ov G~d, but also, and in later periods mainly, from the belief that there were certain great powers belonging to this Name: that they who knew it and uttered it, with the fitting solemnities and accompaniments, were able, by these means, to perform great wonders; had mastery over the elements; could evoke and control the demonic powers ov the unseen world, and exercise a portion ov the attributes ov the Divine Being, whos nature and might it was supposed to embody and express; and also, that its trivial or blasphemous use, or indeed any use which was not guarded by special solemnities and awe, would be visited by instant death upon "vain" trifler with this exalted and mighty Agency.

The Bible employs "the Name" or "My Name", etc:., very constantly, and often as an equivalent ov the Divine Presence, or the power ov G~d; but as its wont is, leaves the mere use ov it to be its own interpreter. Thus it says ov the future tabernacle and temple { Exod. xx : 24 }, "Where I record My Name, I will come unto thee"; ov Solomon { 2 Sam. vii : 13 }, "He shall build an house for My Name". It calls the temple { 1 Kings ix : 3 }, "The House thou hast built to put My Name there", "Let us exalt His Name", saith the Psalmist; "How excellent is Thy Name in all the earth", "The Name ov G~d ov Jacob defended thee", Our help is in the Name ov the Lord". Elijah brings fire down to His sacrifice upon Carmel, by calling on, "the Name YHVH {note :: ov the Lord }{ 1 Kings xviii : 24 }; and Malachi closes the Old Testament, "My Name shall be great among the heathen" { Mal. i : 11 }, and "a Book ov Rememberance was written before Him for them that feared YHVH { note :: the Lord } { Mal. iii : 16 }, and thought upon His Name.

So also in the New Testament, Jesus says ov Himself { John x : 25 }, "the works that I do in My Father's Name, they bear witness ov Me". He embodies His thought ov His own life { John xvii : 6 }, "I have manifested thy Name to the men whom thou gavest Me". His model prayer contains "Hallowed be Thy Name". The formula by which He orders His disciples to baptize the nations is, "Into the Name ov the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost", { Matt. xxviii : 19 }; the Seventy return to Him exultant in the fact that "even the devils are subject unto us through thy Name" { Luke x : 17 }.

These passagaes are but a very few among the great number in which the Supremacy, and the Might, and Presence ov G~d are expressed by "the Name", or regaurded as inherent in and belonging to Him.

To cite all the passages in which "the Name", or "His Name", or "the Name ov the Lord", is employed as equivalent to the Divine Power ov G~d, would be to transcribe a large portion ov the Old Testament, and not a few extracts from the New Testament. The Name YHVH, Yahweh, in the Hebrew written account ov the Old Testament appears 6823 times.





      
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