The three fixed lights, or windows, subsequently exchanged for our lesser luminaries, were explained one hundred and fifty years ago to signify "the three Persons, Father, Son, Holy Ghost; " and were used to find out the meridian, "when the sun leaves the south, and breaks in at the west window of the Lodge." While the "mossy bed," the ancient signs of disgust and recognition, as well as the primitive name of a Master Mason, are equally obscure at the present day; having been swept away, along with the original method of characterising chemical bodies by symbols, as being no longer necessary to the system.
Even the Masonic cipher, of which our brethren of the last century were justly proud, is now in abeyance, if not obsolete, for it is considered by the English fraternity a useless appendage that may be well dispensed with.
In the formula of opening the Lodge before the union of ancient said modem Masons in 1813, it was announced by the chair that "all swearing, whispering, and unmannerly or profane conversation," were strictly prohibited during Lodge hours, under such penalty as "the Bylaws shall inflict or a majority think proper." And the reason publicly assigned for this prudent course was, "that the business of the Lodge being thus happily begun might be conducted with decency, and closed in harmony and brotherly love".
This formula was discontinued at the above-mentioned period, and a new form substituted, which brought the Christian tendency of the Order more prominently before the Lodge.