Table

Jan., the Garnet.

July, the Ruby.

Feb., the Amethyst.

Aug., the Sardonyx.

March, the Bloodstone.

Sept., the Sapphire.

April, the Diamond

Oct., the Opal.

May, the Emerald

Nov., the Topaz.

June, the Agate

Dec, the Turquoise.

The agate, therefore, is emblematic of the month of June, the summer solstice, and the resurrection and exaltation of the sun. The whole was placed on a cubical stone, but the cube was sacred to Apollo, who is identical with Helios, the sun-god. The altar of Apollo at Delos was in the form of a cube. The symbolism of this legend is therefore perfect in all of its details—the emblematic correspondence is too absolute to be accidental. The legend of the lost word is but another form of the solar allegory of the death and resurrection of Hiram, and teaches the same lesson.

The Masonic Ark

The ark was one of the principal features of the Egyptian Mysteries. Speaking of the religious ceremonies of the ancient Egyptians, Wilkinson says:

One of the most important ceremonies was the "procession of shrines," which is mentioned in the Rosetta Stone, and is frequently represented in the walls of the temples. The shrines were of two kinds, the one a sort of canopy, the other an ark, or sacred boat which may be termed the great shrine. This was carried with great pomp by the priests, a certain number being selected for that duty, who supported it on their shoulders by means of long staves passing through metal rings at the side of the sledge on which it stood, brought it into the temple, where it was placed on a stand or table, in order that the prescriber ceremonies might be performed before it. The same is said to have been the custom of the Jews in some of their religious processions as in carrying the ark "to its place, in the oracle of the house, to the most holy place," when the temple was built by Solomon.

(1 Kings 8. See "Ancient Egyptians," vol. i, page 267)

Wilkinson also says in his notes to "Herodotus,"

The same mode of carrying the ark was adopted by the Jews (Joshua 3:12; 1 Chron. 15:2, 15; 2 Sam. 15:24; 1 Esdras 1:4), and the gods of Babylon as well as of Egypt were borne and "set in their place" in a similar manner (Is. 46:7; Baruch 4:4-26). Some of the sacred boats, or arks, contained the emblems of life and stability. which, when the veil was drawn aside, were partly seen, and others contained the figure of the divine spirit Nef, or Nou, and some presented the sacred beetle of the sun, overshadowed by the wings of the two figures of the goddess of Themi, or Truth, which calls to mind the cherubim of the Jews."

("Ancient Egyptians," vol. 1, page 270; also, note to Rawlinson's "Herodotus," Book II, Chapters LVIII, LIX)

The following drawing is taken from Wilkinson's book and represents the Egyptian ark, with the "sacred beetle" overshadowed by the wings of the double goddess of Truth, copied from the walls of an ancient Egyptian temple.

The principal difference between the Jewish and Egyptian arks is that the Egyptian was more like a "boat" in shape, according to our ideas of a boat, while the Jewish ark is described as being of an oblong-square form; this, however it may be observed, was the exact form of Noah's "ark," as described by the Jewish Historian in Gen. 6:14-16. The idea of a boat is therefore characteristic of both of these ancient emblems, as, indeed the very name "ark" denotes.

The above is another view of the Egyptian ark of Osiris, taken from Kitto's "Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature." The heiroglyphics on the side of the ark are the emblems of dominion, stability, and life everlasting, arranged by 3 x 3.

This mysterious ark, or chest, which figured in the Mysteries of Egypt, much more nearly resembled the Jewish ark in form. After Typhon had slain Osiris,

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