A | B |
C | D |
E | F |
G | H |
I | J |
K | L |
O | P |
Q | R |
S | T |
U | V |
W | X |
Y | Z
The fifteenth letter in the
English and in most of the Western alphabets The corresponding letter in the
Hebrew and Phenician alphabets was called lye, that is, eye; the primitive
form of the Phenieian letter being the rough picture of an eye, or a circle
With a dot in the center. This dot will he observed in ancient manuscripts,
but being dropped the circle forms the letter O. The numerical value is 70,
and in Hebrew is formed thus, y, the hieroglyphic being a plant, as well as at
times a circle or an eye.
OAK APPLE, SOCIETY OF THE
Instituted about 1658, and
lapsed under the disturbances in England during the reign of James II, but it
lingered among the Stuart adherents for many years.
The earliest instructor of man
in letters sciences, and arts, especially in architecture, geometry, botany.
and agriculture, and in all other useful Knowledge, was the fish-god Oannes,
according to ancient mythology. This universal teacher, according to Berossus,
appeared in the Persian Gulf, bordering on Babylonia, and, although an animal,
was endowed with reason and great knowledge.
The usual appearance of the
creature was that of a fish, having a human head beneath that of a fish, and
feet like unto a man. This personage conversed with men during the day, but
never ate with them. At Kouyunjik there was a colossal statue of the fish-god
Oannes. The following is from the Book of Enoch (volume ii, page 514): "The
Masons hold their grand festival on the day of Saint John, not knowing that
therein they merely signify the fish-god Oannes, the first Hermes and the
first founder of the Mysteries, the first messenger to whom the Apocalypse was
given, and whom they ignorantly confound with the fabulous author of the
common Apocalypse. The sun is then (midsummer day) in its greatest altitude.
In this the Naros is commemorated."
In the year 1738. Clement XII,
at that time Pope of Rome, issued a Bull of Excommunication against the
Freemasons, and assigned, as the reason of his condemnation, that the
Institution confederated persons of all religions and sects in a mysterious
bond of union, and compelled them to secrecy by an oath taken on the Bible,
accompanied by certain ceremonies, and the imprecation of heavy punishments.
This persecution of the Freemasons, on account of their having an obligatory
promise of secrecy among their ceremonies, has not been confined to the Papal
See. We shall find it existing in a sect which five should supposes of all
others, the least likely to follow in the footsteps of a Roman Pontiff. In
1757, the Associate Synod of Seceders of Scotland adopted an Act, concerning
what they called the Mason Oath, in which it is declared that all persons who
shall refuse to make such revelations as the Kirk Sessions may require, and to
promise to abstain from all future connection with the Order, "shall be
reputed under scandal and incapable of admission to sealing ordinances," or as
Pope Clement expressed it, be ipso facto (because of that fact)
In the Preamble to the Sect,
the Synod assign the reasons for their objections to this oath, and for their
ecclesiastical censure of all who contract it These reasons are:
That there were very strong
presumptions that among Masons an oath of Secrecy is administered to entrants
into their society, even under a capital penalty and before any of those
things which they swear to; keep secret be revealed to them: find that they
pretend to take some of these secrets from the Bible: besides other things
which are ground of scruple in the manner of swearing the said oath.
These have, from that day to
this, constituted the sum and substance of the objections to the obligation of
Masonic secrecy, and. for the purpose of brief examination, they may be
classed under the following heads:
1. It is an oath .
2. It is administered before the secrets are communicated.
3. It is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies.
4. It is attended by a penalty.
5. It is considered, by Freemasons, as paramount to the obligations of the
laws of the land.
In replying to these
statements, it is evident that the conscientious Freemason labors under great
disadvantage. He is at every step restrained by his honor from either the
denial or admission of his adversaries in relation to the mysteries of the
Craft. But it may be granted, for the sake of argument, that every one of the
first four charges is true, and then the inquiry will be in what respect they
are offensive or immoral. Let us consider the foregoing items in the same
numbered order as follows:
1. The oath or promise cannot,
in itself, be sinful, unless there is something immoral in the obligation it
imposes. Simply to promise secrecy, or the performance of any good action, and
to strengthen this promise by the solemnity of an oath, is not, in itself,
forbidden by any Divine or human law. Indeed, the infirmity of human nature
demands, in many instances, the sacred sanction of such an attestation; and it
is continually exacted in the transactions of man with man, without any notion
of sinfulness. Where the time, and place, and circumstances are unconnected
with levity, or profanity, or crime, the administration of an obligation
binding to secrecy, or obedience, or veracity, or any other virtue, and the
invocation of Deity to witness, and to strengthen that obligation, or to
punish its violation, is incapable, by any perversion of Scripture, of being
considered a criminal act.
2. The objection that the oath
is administered before the secrets are made known, is sufficiently absurd to
provoke a smile. The purposes of such an oath would be completely frustrated
by revealing the thing to be concealed before the promise of concealment says
made. In that case, it, would be optional with the candidate to give the
obligation, or to withhold it, as best suited his inclinations. If it be
conceded that the exaction of a solemn promise of secrecy is not, in itself,
improper, then certainly the time of exacting it is before and not after the
Doctor Harris (Masonic
Discourses, No. 9, page 184), has met this objection in the following
language: What the ignorant call the oath, is simply an obligation, covenant,
and promise exacted previously to the divulging of the specialties of the
Order, and our means of recognizing each other; that they shall be kept from
the knowledge of the world lest their original intent should be thwarted, and
their benevolent purport prevented. Now, pray, what harm is there in this? Do
you not all, when you have anything of a private nature which you are willing
to confide in a particular friend before you tell him what it xs, demand a
solemn promise of secrecy? And is there not the utmost propriety in knowing
whether your friend is determined to conceal your secret, before you presume
to reveal it? Your answer confutes your cavil.
3. The objection that the oath
is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies does not seem to be
entitled to much weight. Oaths, in all countries and at all times, have been
accompanied by peculiar rites, intended to increase the solemnity and
reverence of the act. The ancient Hebrews, when they tools an oath, placed the
hand beneath the thigh of the person to whom they swore. Sometimes the
ancients took hold of the horns of the altar, and touched the sacrificial
fire, as in the league between Latinus and Aeneas where the ceremony is thus
described by Virgil:
Tango was; mediosque ignes, et
Sometimes they extended the
right hand to heaven, and swore by earth, sea, and stars. Sometimes, as among
the Romans in private contracts, the person swearing laid his hand upon the
hand of the party to whom he swore. In all solemn covenants the oath was
accompanied by a sacrifice; and some of the hair being cut from the victim's
head, a part of it was given to all present that each one might take a share
in the oath, and be subject to the imputation. Other ceremonies were practiced
at various times and in different countries, for the purpose of throwing
around the act of attestation an increased amount of awe and respect. The oath
is equally obligatory without them; but they have their significance, and
there can be no reason why the Freemasons should not be allowed to adopt the
mode most pleasing to themselves of exacting their promises or confirming
4. It is objected that the
oath is attended with a penalty of a serious or capital nature. If this be the
case, it does not appear that the expression of a penalty of any nature
whatever can affect the purport or augment the solemnity of an oath, which is,
in fact, an attestation of God to the truth of a declaration, as a witness and
avenger; and hence every oath includes in itself, and as its very essence, the
covenant of God's wrath, the heaviest of all penalties, as the necessary
consequence of its violation. A writer, in reply to the Synod of Scotland
(Scot's Magazine, October, 1757), quotes the opinion of an eminent jurist to
It seems to be certain that
every promissory oath, in whatever form it may be conceived, whether
explicitly or implicitly, virtually contains both an attestation and an
observation; for in an oath the execration supposes an attestation as a
precedent and the attestation infers an execration as a necessary consequence.
Hence, then to the believer in a superintending Providence, every oath is an
affirmation, negation, or promise, corroborated by the attestation of the
This attestation includes an
observation of Divine punishment in case of a violation, and it is, therefore
a matter of no moment whether this observation or penalty be expressed in
words or only implied; its presence or absence does not, in any degree, alter
the nature of the obligation. If, in any promise or vow made by Freemasons,
such a penalty is inserted, it may probably be supposed that it is used only
with a metaphorical and paraphrastical significations and for the purpose of
symbolic or historical allusion. Any other interpretation but this would be
entirely at variance with the opinions of the most intelligent Freemasons,
who, it is to be presumed, best know the intent and meaning of their own
5. The last, and, indeed, the
most important objection urged is, that these oaths are construed by
Freemasons as being of higher obligation than the law of the land. It is in
vain that this charge has been repeatedly and indignantly denied; it is in
vain that Freemasons point to the integrity of character of thousands of
eminent men who have been members of the Fraternity; it is in vain that they
recapitulate the order-loving and law-fearing regulations of the Institution;
the charge is renewed with untiring pertinacity, and believed with a credulity
that owes its birth to rancorous prejudice alone. To repeat the denial is but
to provoke a repetition of the charge. The answer is, however, made by one
who, once a Freemason, was afterward an opponent and an avowed enemy of the
Institution, W. L. Stone (Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry, Letter vii,
page 69), who uses the following language:
Is it, then, to be believed
that men of acknowledged talents and worth in public stations, and of virtuous
and, frequently, religious habits, in the walks of private life, with the Holy
Bible in their hands—which they are solemnly pledged to receive as the rule
and guide of their faith and practice—and under the grave and positive charge
from the officer administering the obligation, that it is to be taken in
strict subordination to the civil laws- can understand that obligation,
whatever may be the peculiarities of its phraseology, as requiring them to
countenance vice and criminality even by silence?
Can it for a moment be
supposed that the hundreds of eminent men, whose patriotism is unquestioned,
and the exercise of whose talents and virtues has shed a luster upon the
church history of our country, and who, by their walk and conversation, have,
in their own lives, illustrated the beauty of holiness? Is it to be credited
that the tens of thousands of those persons, ranking among the most
intelligent and virtuous citizens of the most moral and enlightened people on
earth—is it, I ask, possible that any portion of this community can, on calm
redirection, believe that such men have oaths upon their consciences binding
them to eternal silence in regard to the guilt of any man because he happens
to be a Freemason, no matter what be the grade of offense, whether it be the
picking of a pocket or the shedding of blood? It does really seem to me
impossible that such an opinion could, at any moment, have prevailed, to any
considerable extent, amongst refitting and intelligent citizens.
Oaths of interest to the Craft
are obviously of various kinds and are not limited to the peculiarly Masonic
obligations assumed when receiving the Degrees. A few references may be quoted
from the Bible. Numbers, 19-21, is an instance where the warning punishment is
ceremonially accompanied by the blotting out of the record with other
Significant and symbolic acts. adjuration, a solemnly earnest appeal, is in
evidence by Deuteronomy xxvii, 15-9, where the curses that warn precede the
alternative blessings thus:
Cursed be the man that maketh
any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the
hands of the craftsman and putteth it in a secret place.
And all the people shall answer and say Amen.
Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother.
And all the people shall say, Amen.
Cursed be he that removeth his neighbollrs landmark.
And all the people shall say, Amen.
Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way.
And all the people shall say Amen.
Cursed be he that perverted the judgment of the stranzer, fatherless, and
And all the people shall say, Amen
Then follows in chapter xxviii
the promised reward for those who keep the faith: "And it shall come to pass
if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to
observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the
Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth."
Joshua vi, 26, has a curious
allusion, "And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man
before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay
the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set
up the gates of it." First Samuel xiv, 94, is a similar instance.
Attestation by an oath, to
bear witness by solemn assertion of one's willingness to suffer if untrue, we
have the case of Exodus xxii, 10, 11. "If a man deliver unto his neighbor an
ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or
driven away, no man seeing it: Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them
both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbor's goods; and the owner
of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good." another instance
is that of Nehemiah x, 29, "They clave to their Brethren, their nobles, and
entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given
by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of
the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes."
A modern continuance of the
ancient ceremonial method of pledging future personal conduct is in the
coronation of a king. In England the coronation oath is to be administered by
one of the archbishops or bishops in the presence of all the people, who, on
their parts, reciprocally take the oath of allegiance to the crown.
The archbishop or bishop shall
say: "Will you solemnly promise and Swear to govern the people of this United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dominions thereto belonging
according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the respective laws and
customs of the same?"
The king shall say: "I
solemnly promise so to do."
Archbishop or bishop: "Will
you to the utmost of your power cause law and justice, in mercy, to be
executed in all your judgments?"
King: "I will."
Archbishop or bishop: "Will
you, to the utmost of your power, maintain the laws of God, the true
profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant reformed religion established by
And will you maintain and
preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England and the doctrine,
worship, discipline and government thereof, as by law established in England?
And will you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of England, and to the
churches therein all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall
appertain to them, or any of them?"
King: "All this I promise to do."
After this the king, laying
his hand upon the holy Gospels, shall say: "The things which I have here
before promised I will perform and keep; so help me God," and then shall kiss
An unusual form of oath is
that still taken by deemsters of the Isle of Man. The word deemster is a
corruption of doomster, originally meaning the person who pronounces doom or
Sentence in their court of justice—in other words, a judge. This has been
required of all Manx deemsters for a thousand years:
By this Book, and the Holy
Contents thereof, and by the Wonderful works that God hath miraculously
wrought in the Heaven above and in the Earth beneath in six days and seven
nights, I, the person being sworn do swear that I will without respect, favor
or friendship, love or gain, consanguinity or affinity, envy or malice,
execute the laws of this Isle, and betwixt party and party, as indifferently
as the herring's backbone doth lie in the midst of the fish! So help me God
and the Contents of this Book.
Sundry old pledges found in
trade and professional associations have also an interest for us as members of
a Craft. There is the one even yet administered to those following in the
footsteps of the father of surgery, Hippocrates. He flourished during 460-361
B.C. and much technical data upon his surprising skill and great fame are
found in the works by Adams and Mumford. So prominent an expert was
Hippocrates that he was given the sacred Eleusinian rites as if possessed of
royal attributes. He has left on record a solemn pledge of his profession (see
Mumford's Surgical Memoirs): I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius,
and Health, and Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses that, according to
my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and this stipulation: To reckon
him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my
substance with him, and to relieve his necessities if required, to look upon
his offspring on the same footing as my own Brethren, and to teach them this
art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by
precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a
knowledge of the art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to
disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the rules of Medicine,
and to no others. While I continue to keep this oath inviolate, may it be
granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men,
in all times! But should I trespass and violate this oath, let the reverse be
An oath of the Masters and
Wardens of the Mysteries, Mystery being then a word used for a trade
organization, is found in the Liber Albus, the White Book (page 451, 1861
edition) compiled 1419 A.D. This book contains the various laws of London and
in referring to the several trades mentions the following pledge, evidently
taken when the officers were installed.
You shall swear, that well and
lawfully you shall overlook the art or mystery of (name the trade and or
society here) of which you are Masters, or Wardens, for the year elected. And
the good rules and ordinances of the same mystery, approved here by the Court,
you shall keep and shall cause to be kept. And all the defaults that you shall
find therein, done contrary thereto, you shall present unto the Chamberlain of
the City, from time to time, sparing no one for favor, and aggrieving no one
for hate. Extortion or wrong unto no one, by color of your office, you shall
do- nor unto anything that shall be against the estate and peace of the King,
or of the City, you shall consent. But for the time that you shall live in
office, in all things pertaining unto the said mystery, according to the good
hews and franchises of the city, well and lawfully you shall behave
yourself.—So God you help, and the Saints.
The Book ok Oaths, printed in
1649 at London, aims to give "The several forms thereof, both Ancient and
Modern, Faithfully Collected out of sundry Authentic Books and Records not
heretofore extant, compiled in one Volume" and on page 125 has the oath of the
Knights of the Round Table "in the time of King Arthur," an indefinite period
usually assigned within the fifth and sixth centuries. However, the quaint
pledge has afforded an example for later chivalric Bodies and thus is of
importance to Knights Templar.
Not to put off your armor from
your body but for requisite rest in the night. To search for marvelous
adventures, whereby to win renown. To defend the poor and simple people in
their right. Not to refuse aid into them that shall ask it in any just
quarrel. Not to hurt, offend or plan any lewd (sinful) part, the one with the
other. To fight for the protection, defense and welfare of friends. Not to
purchase any goods for particular profit but Honor and the title of honesty.
Not to break faith promised or sworn, for any cause or occasion whatsoever. To
put forth and spend life for the honor of God and Country, and to chose rather
to die honestly than to live shamefully.
All these illustrations of
various oaths may well be seriously noted in the spirit of the message brought
by Moses (Numbers xxx, 2), "If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath
to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do
according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth."
The modern form of taking an
oath is by placing the hands on the Gospels or on the Bible. The corporate, or
corporal both, is the name of the linen cloth on which, in the Roman Catholic
Church, the sacred elements consecrated as "the body of our Lord" are placed.
Hence the expression corporal oath originated in the ancient custom of
swearing while touching the corporal cloth. Relics were sometimes made use of.
The laws of the Allemanni (chapter 657), direct that he who swears shall place
his hand upon the coffer containing the relics. The idea being that something
sacred must be touched by the hand of the jurator to give validity to the
oath, in time the custom was adopted of substituting the holy Gospels for the
corporal cloth or the relics, though the same title was retained.
Haydn (Dictionary ok Dates)
says that the practice of swearing on the Gospels prevailed in England as
early as 528 A.D. The laws of the Lombards repeatedly mention the custom of
swearing on the Gospels. The sanction of the church was given at an early
period to the usage. Thus, in the history of the Council of Constantinople,
381 A.D., it is stated that "George, the well-beloved of God, a Deacon and
Keeper of the Records, having touched the Holy Gospels of God, swore in this
manner," etc. A similar practice was adopted at the Council of Alice,
fifty-six years before. The custom of swearing on the Book, thereby meaning
the Gospels, was adopted by the Medieval Gild of Freemasons, and allusions to
it are found in all the Old Constitutions. Thus in the York Manuscript, No. 1,
about the year 1600, it is said, "These charges . . . you shall well and truly
keep to your power; so help you God and by the contents of that Book." And in
the Grand Lodge Manuscript No. 1, in 1583 we find this: "These charges ye
shall keep, so help you God, and your haly dome and by this book in your hand
unto your power." The form of the ceremony required that the corporal oath
should be taken with both hands on the book, or with one hand, and then always
the right hand.
The practice of kissing the
book, which became so well established in England, appears in the Middle Ages
(see J. E. Tyler, Oaths, pages 119 and 151).
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
See Flag Ceremony
OATH OF THE GILD
The Oath that was administered
in the English Freemasons Gild of the Middle Ages is first met with in the
Harleian Manuscript, No. 1945, written about the year 1670. The 31st Article
prescribes: "That no person shall bee accepted a Free Mason, or know the
secrets of the said Society, until hee hath first taken the oath of secrecy
I, A. B. Doers in the presence
of Almighty God and my Fellows and Brethren here present promise and declare
that I will not at any time hereafter, hsante act or circumstance whatsoever,
directly or indirectly, publish, discover, reveal, or make known any of the
secrets privileges or councils of the Fraternity or fellowship of Free
Masonry, which at this time, or any time hereafter, shall be made known unto
me, so help me God and the holy contents of this book.
In the Roberts Constitutions,
published in 1722, this oath, substantially in the same words, is for the
first time printed with the amendment of "privates" for "privileges. "
Before any strange and unknown
visitor can gain admission into a Masonic Lodge, he is required in the United
States of America to take the following oath:
I, A. B., do hereby and hereon
solemnly and sincerely swear that I have been regularly initiated, passed, and
raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in a just and legally
constituted Lodge of such; that I do not now stand suspended or expelled; and
know of no reason why I should not hold Masonic communication with my
It is called the Tiler's Oath,
because it is usually taken in the Tiler's room, and was formerly administered
by that officer, whose duty it is to protect the Lodge from the approach of
unauthorized visitors. It is now administered by the Committee of Examination,
and not only he to whom it is administered, but he who administers it, and all
who are present, must take it at the same time. It is a process of purgation,
and each one present, the visitor as well as the members of the Lodge, is
entitled to know that all the others are legally qualified to be present at
the esoteric examination which is about to take place. This custom is unknown
in English Freemasonry.
A Masonic abbreviation of the
word Obligation, sometimes written O. B.
The Hebrew word meaning
serving One of nine favored officials, selected by Solomon after the death of
The doctrine of obedience to
constituted authority is strongly inculcated in all the Old Constitutions as
necessary to the preservation of the Association. In them it is directed that
''every" Mason shall prefer his elder and put him to worship." Thus the Master
Mason obeys the order of his Lodge, the Lodge obeys the mandates of the Grand
Lodge, and the Grand Lodge submits to the Landmarks and the old Regulations.
The doctrine of passive
obedience and non-resistance in polities, however much it may be supposed to
be inimical to the progress of free institutions constitutes undoubtedly the
great principle of Masonic government. Such a principle would undoubtedly lead
to an unbearable despotism, were it not admirably modified and controlled by
the compensating principle of appeal. The first duty of every Freemason is to
obey the mandate of the Master. But if that mandate should have been unlawful
or Oppressive! he will find his redress in the Grand Lodge, which will review
the case and render justice. This spirit of instant obedience and submission
to authority constitutes the great safeguard of the institution Freemasonry
more resembles a military than a political organization. The order must at
once be obeyed; its character and its consequences may be matters of
subsequent inquiry. The Masonic rule of obedience is like the nautical,
imperative: "Obey orders, even if you break owners."
OBEDIENCE OF A GRAND BODY
Obedience, used in the sense
of being under the jurisdiction, is a technicality borrowed only recently by
Masonic authorities from the French, where it has always been regularly used.
Thus 'the Grand Lodge has addressed a letter to all the Lodges of its
obedience" means "to all the Lodges under its jurisdiction." In French, "à
toutes Les Loges de son obedience." It comes originally from the usage of the
Middle Ages, in the Low Latin of which obedientia meant the homage which a
vassal owed to his lord. In the ecclesiastical language of the same period,
the word signified the duty or office of a monk toward his superior.
The Strict Observance so named
the printed Constitutions.
The obelisk is a quadrangular,
monolithic column, diminishing upward, with the sides gently inclined, but not
so as to terminate in a pointed apex, but to form at the top a Cattish,
pyramidal figure, by which the whole is finished off and brought to a point.
It was the most common species of monument in ancient Egypt, where they are
still to be found in great numbers, the sides being covered with hieroglyphic
inscriptions Obelisks were, it is supposed, originally erected in honor of the
sun god. Pliny says (in Holland's translation), "The kings of Egypt in times
past made of this stone certain long beams, which they called obelisks, and
consecrated them unto the sun, whom they honored as a god; and, indeed, some
resemblance they carry of sunbeams." In Continental Freemasonry the monument
in the Master's Degree is often made in the form of an obelisk, with the
letters M. B. inscribed upon it. And this form is appropriate, because in
Masonic, as in Christian iconography, the obelisk is a symbol of the
Two Egyptian obelisks are best
known as Cleopatra's needles and were formerly at Alexandria, Egypt. They are
made of granite and were erected by Thothmes III before the great temple of
Heliopolis, the on of the Bible, where Moses was born.
These obelisks were brought to
Alexandria shortly before the Christian Era and after the death of Cleopatra.
One of them is erected on the Thames Embankment in London and was placed there
in 1878. The other was presented to the United States by the lihedive of Egypt
and was erected in Central Park, New York City, in 1881. They are about
seventy feet high and Lieutenant Commander H. II. Gorringe reported that on
bringing the one to the United States, Masonic emblems mere discovered in the
OBJECTIONS TO FREEMASONRY
The principal objections that
have been urged by its opponents to the Institution of Freemasonry may be
arranged under six heads:
1. Its secrecy;
2 The exclusiveness of its charity;
3. Its admission of unworthy members;
4. Its claim to be a religion;
5. Its administration of unlawful oaths: and,
6. Its puerility as a system of instruction.
Each of these objections is replied to in this work under the respective heads
of the words which are italicized above.
To be obligated, in Masonic
language, is to be admitted into the Covenant of Freemasonry. "is obligated
Freemason" is tautological, needless repetition, because there can be no
Freemason who is not an obligated one.
The solemn promise made by a
Freemason on his admission into any Degree is technically called his
obligation. In a legal sense, obligation is synonymous with duty. Its
derivation shows its true meaning, for the Latin word obligatio literally
signifies a tying or binding. The obligation is that which binds a man to do
some act, the doing of which thus becomes his duty. By his obligation, a
Freemason is bound or tied to his Order. Hence the Romans called the military
oath which was taken by the soldier his obligation, and, too, it is said that
it is the obligation that makes the Freemason.
Before that ceremony, there is
no tie that binds the candidate to the Order so as to make him a part of it;
after the ceremony, the tie has been completed, and the candidate becomes at
once a Freemason, entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all
the duties and responsibilities that enure in that character. The jurists have
divided obligations into imperfect and perfect, or natural and civil. In
Freemasonry there is no such distinction.
The Masonic obligation is that
moral one which, although it cannot be enforced by the courts of lav, is
binding on the party who makes it, in conscience and according to moral
justice. It varies in each Degree, but in each is perfect. Its various
clauses, in which different duties are prescribed, are called its points,
which are either affirmative or negative, a division like that of the precepts
of the Jewish law. The affirmative points are those which require certain acts
to be performed; the negative points are those which forbid certain other acts
to be done. The whole of them is preceded by a general point of secrecy,
common to all the Degrees, and this point is called the tie.
A parallelogram, or foursided
figure, all of whose angles are equal, but two of whose sides are longer than
the others. Of course the term oblong square is strictly without any meaning,
but it is used to denote two.squares joined together to form a rectangle.
Brother Sir Walter Scott (in
chapter vii of his novel Ivanhoe) has a description of a tournament and tells
of the enclosure 'sforming a space of a quarter of a mile in length, and about
half as broad. The form of the enclosure was an oblong square, save that the
corners were considerably rounded off in order to afford more convenience for
Brother C. C. Hunt (Builder,
volume ii, page 128), says it is the survival of a term once common but now
obsolete; that at one time the word square meant right-angled, and the term a
square referred to a four sided figure, having four right angles, without
regard to the proportionate length of adjacent sides. There were thus two
classes of squares; those having all four sides equal, and those having two
parallel sides longer than the other two. The first class were called perfect
squares and the second class ob1t squares (see Orientation).
This is the symbolic form of a
Masonic Lodge, and it finds its prototype in many of the structures of our
ancient Brethren. The Ark of Noah, the Camp of the Israelites, the Ark of the
Covenant, the Tabernacle, and, lastly, the Temple of Solomon, were all oblong
squares (see Ground Floor of the Lodge).
Ventriloquism. It will be
found so denominated in the Septuagint version, Isaiah xxix, 3, also xix, 3.
Grand Master of the Order of
the Temple in 1392, according to the chronology of the Strict Observance of
Born in 1744 at Scarborough,
Maine, and died September 5, 1818, in Machias, Maine, in which town the family
of O'Brien settled down and lived shortly after the birth of Jeremiah. He was
a Captain in the American Navy in the War of the Revolution, capturing many
prizes, and winning much renown due to his bravery and perseverance. He had
five brothers, all of whom followed the sea.
Record says that Jeremiah
O'Brien made the first fight and captured the first British armed vessel at
the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775. Later in life he became
Collector of Customs at Machias. He also served in Congress, and in the War of
1812 he was made a Colonel. Captain O'Brien was a Freemason of the Lodge of
Saint Andrew, in Boston, beginning December 11, 1777, and receiving his
Master's Degree March 26, 1778. It is known that at least three of his
brothers were active Masons, and Jeremiah, with his father, Morris, started
the Warren Lodge in Machias under the Grand Lodge.
Jeremiah was its first Junior
Deacon and its Senior Warden in 17824. Up to the time of his death he wore a
queue, knee breeches, and low shoes with large shoe buckles, and it is said
that he never used stimulants except snuff, which in his day was a common
custom. Jeremiah and his father, Morris, were founders and pew holders of the
Congregational Church in Machias.
He was buried as he wished in the O'Brien burying ground on the southerly side
of the Machias River at Machias. The stone sacred to his memory may be said
liter ally to "lie like a tombstone," as it states he was seventy-nine years
old, whereas the dates stated show he was born in 1744 and died in 1818,
making him seventy-four vears of age at the time of his death. In the Maine
Historical Society-' publications, and in the History of Machias, are extended
Brother Charles T. Gallagher
said, in Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1918 (page 49). When
Revolutionars heroes were being honored I received word from Most Worshipful
Brother George W Baird, of Washington, District of Columbia, that a
proposition was before a Congressional Committee to appropriate money for a
monument to Jeremiah O'Brien an Irish-American, ete. It had the support of the
usuail politician who was looking for patronage and the Ancient Order of
Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus joined in its support. Answering
Brother Baird's inquiries, I told him of the O'Brien Masonic connections as
above related and the Admiral appeared before the Committee with them. Some of
the numerous societies thought this hero was at least entitled to be called an
unhyphenated American, and the original supporters thereupon abandoned their
first love to his fate.
Our own Ex-Governor Long as
Secretary of the Navy, however, thought the name entitled to consideration and
under his influence a destroyer of our Navy was named for him. The O'Brien was
launched at 8:30 A.M. September 24, 1900, being christened by a lineal
descendant of Joseph the youngest of the six O'Brien boys. And thus, with the
O' Brien Rifles which formed part of Maine's quota in the Spanish American
War, the name of this enterprising American family with its Masonic
affiliations gives us cause to be proud of their achievements; although the
official order for the naming of the torpedo boat states it is on account of
"Jeremiah O'Brien," he who was our Brother in Freemasonry.
OBSERVANCE, CLERKS OF STRICT
See Clerks of Strict Observance
See Lax Observance
The French expression is
Observance Relachée. This is the term by which Ragon translates the lata
observantia or lax observance applied by the disciples of Von Hund to the
other Lodges of Germany. Ragon (Orthodoxis Maconnique, page 236) calls it
incorrectly a Rite, and confounds it with the Clerks of Strict Observance (see
OBSERVANCE, STRICTSee Strict
Observance, Rite of
In numismatics that side of a
coin or medal which contains the principal figure, generally a face in profile
or a full or half-length figure, is called the obverse.
A temporary Lodge con-voked by
a Grand Master, as for the purpose of making Freemasons, after which the Lodge
is dissolved. The phrase was first used by Anderson in the second edition of
the Book of Constitutions, and is repeated by subsequent editors. To make a
Freemason in an Occasional Lodge is equivalent to making him "at sight." But
any Lodge, called temporarily by the Grand Master for a specific purpose and
immediately afterward dissolved, is an Occasional Lodge. Its organization as
to officers, and its regulations as to ritual, must be the same as in a
permanent and properly warranted Lodge (see Sight, Making Freemasons at).
Ragon, in his Orthodoxie
Maconnique, proposes the establishment of a Masonic system, which he calls
"Occult Masonry." It consists of three Degrees, which are the same as those of
Ancient Craft Freemasonry, only that all the symbols are interpreted after
alchemical principles. It is, in fact, the application of Masonic symbolism to
Hermetic symbolism—two things that never did, according to Hitchcock,
This name is given to the
sciences of alchemy, magic, and astrology, which existed in the Middle Ages.
Many of the speculations of these so-called sciences were in the eighteenth
century made use of in the construction of the higher Degrees. We have even a
Hermetic Rite which is — based on the dogmas of alchemy.
A state or kingdom where there
is a Grand Lodge organization and subordinate Lodges working under it is said
to be occupied territory, and, by the American and English law, all other
Grand Lodges are precluded from entering it and exercising jurisdiction (see
Jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge).
Includes all the islands of
the Pacific Ocean between the southeastern shores of Asia and the western
shores of America.
On March 12, 1872, Polynesia Lodge established itself at Levuka with the full
consent of the native King. Britain took possession of the Island in 1874 and
a Scottish Lodge was constituted under the same name and met at the same place
as the Lodge of 1872.
The Life of the Craft in these Islands was short- L'Amitie (Friendship) Lodge,
opened at Nukihiva by the Grand Orient of France in 1850, soon passed out of
In 1854 France took possession of New Caledonia to use it as a convict
settlement. Fourteen years later the Grand Orient of France constituted a
Lodge at Noumea. Western Polynesia Lodge, warranted by the Grand Lodge of
England on June 1, 1880, and constituted October 29, was also located at
Noumea. It is now number 86 on the register of the Grand Lodge of New South
Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands
The Supreme Council of France warranted Le Progres de l'Oceanie (Progress of
Oceania) here in 1850. Two other Lodges were instituted under the control of
the Grand Lodge of California. The King of the Islands, Kalakaua, and his
brother were both active members of the Craft, the former being elected an
honorary Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt.
The Craft was made known in Tahiti in 1834 when the Grand Orient of France
established L'Oceanie Francaise (French Oceania) Lodge One of the same name
was opened in 1850 but neither of the two has survived. Other French a Lodges
have, however, since been established.
In 1910 Oceania Lodge was constituted here by the Grand Orient of Portugal.
The regular octagon is a
geometrical figure of eight equal sides and angles. It is a favorite form in
Christian ecclesiology, and most of the Chapter-Houses of the cathedrals in
England are eight sided. It is sometimes used in the lectures of the Knights
of Malta, and then, like the eight-pointed cross of the same Order, is
referred symbolically to the eight beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew, volumes
1-11). Doctor Mackey in this comparison regards, as has been the case with
other authorities (see Peak's Commentary on the Bible, 1919, page 704) the
nine references to the beatitudes in as many verses to be counted as eight
declarations of special blessedness m the Sermon on the Mount, verses 10-2 to
have a single import. We may also compare the four references in Luke vi,
In the numerical philosophy Of
the Pythagoreans, odd numbers were male and even numbers female. It is wrong,
however, to say, as Brother Oliver and some others after him have that odd
numbers were perfect, and even numbers imperfect. The combination of two odd
numbers would make an even number, which was the most perfect. Hence, in the
Pythagorean system, 4, made by the combination of 1 and 3; and 10, made by the
addition of 3 and 7, are the most perfect of all numbers. Herein the
Pythagorean differs from the Masonic system of numerals. In this latter all
the sacred numbers are odd, such 3S 3, a, 7, 9, 97 and 81. Thus it is evident
that the Masonic theory of sacred numbers was derived, not, as it has been
supposed, from the school of Pythagoras, but from a much older system (see
The Hebrew word are. The
carnelian or agate in the High Priest's breastplate. It was of a red color,
and claimed to possess medical qualities.
The chief Scandinavian deity
and father of Balder, which see. The counterpart of Hermes and Mercury in the
Egyptian and Roman mythologies. Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve, the sons of
Boer, or the first-born, slew Ymir or Chaos, and from his body created the
world. As ruler of heaven, he sends daily his two black ravens, Thought and
Memory, to gather tidings of all that is being done throughout the world.
See Crimes, Masonic
OFFERINGS, THREE GRAND
See Ground Floor of the Lodge
The officers of a Grand Lodge,
Grand Chapter, or other Supreme Body in Freemasonry, are divided into Grand
and Subordinate; the former, who are the Grand and Deputy Grand Master, the
Grand Wardens and Grand Treasurer, Secretary, and Chaplain, are also sometimes
called the Dignitaries. The officers of a Lodge or Chapter are divided into
the Elected and the Appointed, the former in the United States of America
being the Master, Wardens, Treasurer, and Secretary, while in England only the
Master and Treasurer are elected.
See Jewels, Official
OFFICERS OF FRENCH LODGES
The office of Orator exists
throughout Continental Freemasonry. He is presumed to be a Brother of some
eloquence and facility of speech who is called upon to deliver an oration
whenever thought advisable.
Moreover, his duty is to wind
up every discussion in the Lodge, in an impartial light placing the arguments
adduced by the Brethren but at the same time expressing his own opinion of
their value and correctness. No Brother is allowed to speak on any subject
after the Orator has had his say and the vote is then immediately taken. The
office has not been usual in England but the Lodge of Antiquity No. 2 still
appoints an Orator. To the above comments by Brother George W. Speth in the
Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, we may add that Brother Oswald Wirth of
Paris made a suggestive explanation in brief, regarding the offices of Orator
and Secretary of a Lodge something after the following effect "The Orator
voices the conscience of the Lodge—the Secretary is its memory."
Brother Speth explains the use
of several Brethren as Tylers thus: In one of the letters which came under my
observation which is signed by some score of officers of the Bordeaux Lodge,
there were no less than six who signed themselves Tuilleur. I can only make
the suggestion on this matter without certainty that I am right.
I believe that at that time
and especially abroad the Tiler was not a paid servant of the Lodge. If this
is the case it is evident that the Tiler's duties must have been performed by
a member of the Lodge, and in order that there should be a sufficient number
present, and that moreover they should be able to share the duties of the
evening so as to avoid any one of those spending the whole time with the door,
several Brothers would hold the office at the same time. I think the duties of
Inner Guard were also performed by one of the Tilers.
The Expert is, I fancy, never
met in English Masonry. According to information I gathered in Antwerp, the
duty of the Expert is to be expert in the ceremonies as he is liable to be
called upon by the Worshipful Master to fill any post which may happen to be
vacant for the moment. He is, therefore, the understudy of the whole body of
officers, a superior sort of general utility man. The Frere Terrible is still
a Continental Lodge officer.
His duties are to prepare the
candidate in the several stages and introduce him into the Lodge Continental
preparation differs widely from ours and is taken much more seriously, not
only the body but also the mind must be prepared. In the earls days the
foolish and reprehensible habit of thoughtless English Brethren who directly
hinted at red-hot pokers, etc., was far outdone by the ministrations of the
Frere Terrible nor were there wanting features in the Lodge ceremonial abroad
directly intended to startle and test the nerves of the entrant.
The name Terrible, in Germans
Schreckensbruder, was therefore fit enough. I am glad to think that his
functions today no longer justify his appellation. His exhortations are rather
directed to the intellect than to the senses. I am by no means sure that he
did not also officiate as Inner Guard. Diane of the French plates professing
to show our ceremonial, place at the door a brother armed with a Word whom we
should unhesitatingly call the Inner Guard if it were not for the fact that
the references below call him the Terrible. But how far can we trust these
Brother Thomson Foley
(Transaction, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1899, volume xii, page 102), says that
"Constitutional Lodge No. 294 at Beverly annually appoints an Orator. The
first recorded appointment is William Acklam, the founder of the Lodge and its
first Worshipful Master in 1793." Brother E. J. Barron also contributed the
following comment: "In the By-Laws of Antiquity Lodge of 1820 is the
'The Orator shall deliver such
eulogiums, congratulatory or funeral orations, and lectures as by the Master
may be deemed necessary. " Lodge Le Césarée, No. 590, Jersey, of the English
Constitution, works in the French language and has an Orator. The office was
formerly most important as before the connection between the English Grand
Lodge and the Grand Orient of France was severed, there was a frequent
interchange of visits with the Lodges in Brittany. On these occasions it nas
expected that the Orator should make an elaborate flowery speech and therefore
it was of the greatest consequence that he should not only be eloquent but
also full of tact. "We have for some time past styled our Deacons Experts
particularly because their duties are more akin to those of the French Experts
and practically because the ritual we at present use so names them. We use
Respectable as exactly equivalent to Worshipful except in the case of the
Worshipful Master, who is Venerable. All our Past Masters are termed
Clavel (Histoire Pittoresque,
pages 6 and 7, 1844), has a list of officers and their duties under the Grand
Orient of France. Clavel tells us that Freemasons who are strangers to the
Lodge upon presenting themselves for purposes of visitation are Tiled, that is
to say, examined by the Expert. He also says that it is either the Expert or
his substitute, the Frere Terrible, who prepares the candidate and conducts
him during the course of the proofs to which he is submitting. Me also states
that the Orator pronounces the discourses of instruction. He requires the
observance of the General Laws of Freemasonry and of the particular By-Laws of
the Lodge if he detects the infringement of them. In all debates he gives his
logical conclusions immediately before the summing up bt the Worship ful
OFFICE, TENURE OF
In Freemasonry the tenure of
every office is not only for the time for which the incumbent was elected or
appointed, but extends to the day on which his successor is installed During
the period which elapses from the election of that successor until his
installation, the old officer is technically said to "hold-over."
The Druidical name for
Hercules who is represented with numberless fine chains proceeding from the
mouth to the ears of other people, hence possessing the powers of eloquence
The Hebrew words meaning Love
of God. This and Oheb Karobo, meaning Love of our Neighbor, are the names of
the two supports of the Ladder of Kadosh. Collectively, they allude to that
Divine passage, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On
these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew xxii,
3740)." Hence the Ladder of Kadosh is supported by these two Christian
See Oheb Eloah
With the close of the War of
the Revolution came the introduction of Freemasonry to Ohio. Several members,
including Brother Jonathan heart the Master of American Union Lodge, moved tee
Marietta. Their Charter, granted by the Saint John's Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, February 15 1776, was claimed by Brother Heart to be that of a
Lodge at large, owing allegiance to no Grand Lodge. A few years later the
Charter was destroyed by fire. but the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania refused to
issue a new one to the Lodge except as to one of its constituents. The Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts granted leave for work to be resumed under a copy of
the original Charter until such time as a Grand Lodge should be formed. On
January 4, 1808, delegates to a Convention to organize a Grand Lodge met
representing five Lodges, namely, American pinion, No. 1; Cincinnati, No. 13;
Seioto, No. 9; Erie, No. 47; Amit, No. 105. Rules were adopted and the first
Mondan in January, 1809, was appointed for a Grand Communication at
At this Communication the
delegates from American Union Lodge were absent, so the Grand Lodge was
established by four Lodges under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky. Grand Officers were elected and installed and Brother Samuel
Huntington then Governor of Ohio, was elected Grand Master General Rufus
Putnam lvas the first choice but his age and infirmities compelled him to
decline the office of Grand Masters his letter, characteristically Masonic,
closing with the words: "May the Great Architect, under whose all-seeing eye
all Masons profess to labor, have vou in His holy keeping, that when our
labors here are finished, we may, through the merits of Him that was dead, but
now is alive, and lives forevermore, be admitted into that temple not made
with hands, eternal in the heavens; Amen. So prays your friend and Brother."
A Chapter was opened at
Marietta on June l6, 1792, under authority of the Warrant of American Union
Lodge, by Robert Oliver, Rufus Putnam and Griffin Green. At a further meeting
held on December , 1792, the Brethren organized and elected these three as the
principal officers. R. J. Weigh was elected Secretary and Joseph Wood,
Treasurer. On October 21, 1816, on the invitation of Cincinnati Chapter a
meeting was held at Worthington for the purpose of forming a Grand Chapter
which was duly opened on the 94th.
Three Chapters were
represented, American Union, No. 1; Cincinnati, No. 2; Horeb, No. 3. Samuel
Hoit was elected Grand High Priest and Benjamin Gardiner Grand Secretary of
the new Body which was received into the Union of the State Grand Chapters.
The earliest record of the organization of a Council of High Priests dates
from 1828 and appears in the Proceedings of the Grand Council of Ohio.
Companion John Snow was elected President of this Council.
A Charter for a Council at
Chillieothe was sent in 1817 by Companion Jeremy L. Cross after he hael
visited Ohio, but there is no record of the organization of that Council. A
Charter, issued by the Grand Council of New York, this time for a Council at
Cleveland, was also barren of result. Companion John Barker, however,
organized several Couneils in Ohio during 1827 and 1828. Five of these
Couneils met on January 6, 1830, and formed a Grand Council for the State of
Ohio. The first Commandery in the State mas also the first to be established
by Knights Templar west of the Allegheny Mountains. Sir Thomas Smith Webb,
Deputy Grand Commander of the Grand Encampment of the United States. on March
14, 1819, granted a Dispensation to Mount Vernon Commandery, No.1, at
Worthington. A Charter was issued September 16, 1819, and the Commandery was
duly constituted September 20. Five Commanderies, namely, Mount Vernon, no 1;
Lancaster, No. 2; Cincinnati, No. 3; Massillon, No. 4, and Clinton, No. 5, met
and organized the Grand Commandery of Ohio on October 14, 1843.
On April 27, 1853, the Gibulum
Lodge of Perfection and the Dalcho Council of Princes of Jerusalem at
Cincinnati were chartered. The Cincinnati Chapter of Rose Croix was chartered
December 27, 1853, and the Ohio Consistory on May 14, 1854. These are
constituent Bodies of the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction,
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Hebrews anointed their
Kings, Prophets, and High Priests with oil mingled with the richest spices.
They also anointed themselves with oil on all festive occasions, whence the
expression in Psalm xlv, 7, "God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness
(see Corn, ravine and Oil).
The history of Freemasonry in
what is now the State of Oklahoma is the history of the Craft in Indian and
Oklahoma Territories which were originally separate from each other. The
pioneer Lodge in Indian Territory was Flint Lodge which received a Charter
from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas dated November 9, 1853. On October 5, 1874,
Muskogee, Doaksville and Caddo Lodges met in Convention and the following day
the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory was constituted Oklahoma Lodge joined soon
after, but the other two existing Lodges Flint and Alpha held back until 1878.
The Lodges located in Oklahoma for a long time held Warrants from the Grand
Lodge of Indian Territory, hut all August 16, 1892. three Lodges, namely
Guthrie No. 35; North Canadian, No. 36, and Redmond, No. 37 signed a petition
for the formation of a Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Representatives of all the
Lodges ill this Territory met on November 10, 1892; the Grand Master presided,
he installed the Grand Officers, and the Grand Lodge was declared open. The
Grand Lodge of Indian Territory and the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Territory
united in the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma, at a Convention held at
Guthrie, February 10, 1909.
Indian Chapter was organized
at McAlester, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, on March 15, 1878, by
Dispensation issued by Most Excellent General Grand High Priest John Frizzell.
A meeting was held in the same town on October 92, 1889, of Companions
representing the several Chapters in Indian Territory, namely, Indian Chapter,
No. 1; Oklahoma Chapter, No. if; Savanna Chapter, No. 4, and Tahlequah
Chapter, U. D. .& Constitution was adopted and the Grand Chapter duly
established on February 15, 1890. On April 21, 1908, it was resolved that the
name should be changed to Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Oklahoma to correspond
with the change from Territory to State.
By Charter dated September 29,
1886, Oklahoma Council, No. 1, was organized at Atoka on September 29, 1886.
Two other Councils were chartered in 1894 and representatives of the three met
on November 5, 1894, to organize a Grand Council. Companion Robert W. Hills
presided, a Constitution was adopted and officers elected. The name was
changed from Indian Territory to Oklahoma at the Grand Assembly held on April
On October 1, 1891, Wluskogee
Commandery, No. 1, was organized by Dispensation and was chartered on August
11, 1892. Sluskogee, No. 1; Chickasaw, No. 2, and McAlester, No. 3, formed the
Grand Commandery of Indian Territory by authority of the Grand Encampment on
December 17, 1895. The Grand Commandery of Oklahoma was constituted under the
same authority on February 10, 1896, by the following subordinate Commanderies:
Guthrie, No. 1; Oklahoma, No. ; Ascension, No. 3. It amalgamated with the
Grand Commandery of Indian Territory on October 6, 1911. The Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, was first introduced on October
20, 1899, when a Lodge of Perfection and a Chapter of Rose Croix, as Guthrie,
No. 1; a council of Kadosh, Desonnac, No. 1, and a Consistory, Oklahoma, No.
1, were established at Guthrie.
See Manuscripts, Old
OLD MAN, AN
Old men in their dotage are by
the laws of Freemasonry disqualified for initiation. For the reason of this
law see Dotage.
OLD MASONIC CEREMONIES
"We are accustomed to flatter
ourselves that Freemasonry has never obtained such eminence of culture as in
the present day, yet we find that even in the middle of the eighteenth
century, our ancient Brethren, possessed of elegant manners and in intimate
knowledge Of the liberal arts and sciences, adorned the Craft with a more
elaborate ceremony than now prevails; on one occasion I have noted it took
three hours to stork the first Degree, and it is common knowledge, that the
Lectures and Tracing Boards now so seldom worked in our Lodges, were up to
forty years ago generally included in the ritual" (W. H. Griffiths, page 142,
Transactions, 1902-3, Lodge of Research No. 9429, Leicester, England).
The Regulations for the
Government of the Craft, which were first compiled by Grand Master Payne in
1720, and approved by the Grand Lodge in 1721 were published by Anderson in
1723, in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, under the name of
General Regulations. In 1738 Anderson published a second edition of the Book
of Constitutions, and inserted these regulations under the name of Old
Regulations, placing in an opposite column the alterations which had been made
in them by the Grand Lodge at various times between 1723 and 1737, and called
these New Regulations. When Dermott published his Ahiman Rezon, or Book of
Constitutions of the rival Grand Lodge, he adopted Anderson's plan, publishing
in two columns the Old and the New Regulations. But he made some important
changes in the latter to accommodate the policy of his own Grand Lodge. The
Old Regulations, more properly known as the General Regulations of 1722, are
recognized as the better authority in questions of Masonic law.
In a secondary sense, the
olive plant is a symbol of peace and victory; but in its primary sense, like
all the other sacred plants of antiquity, it was a symbol of resurrection and
immortality. Hence in the Ancient Mysteries it was the analogue of the Acacia
OLIVE BRANCH IN THE EAST,
BROTHERHOOD OF THE
An Order, which was proposed
at Bombay, in 1845, by Dr. James Burnes, the author of a History of the
Knights Templar, who was then the Provincial Grand Master of India for
Scotland. It was intended to provide a substitute for native Freemasons for
the Chivalric Degrees, from which, on account of their religious faith, they
were excluded. It consisted of three classes, Novice, Companion, and Officer.
For the first, it was requisite that the candidate should have been initiated
into Freemasonry; for the second, that he should be a Master Mason; and for
the third it was recommended, but not imperatively required, that he should
have attained the Royal Arch Degree. The badge of the Order was a dove
descending with a green olive branch in its mouth. The new Order was received
with much enthusiasm by the most distinguished Freemasons of India, but it did
not secure a permanent existence.
The Rev. George Oliver, D.D.,
one of the most distinguished and learned of English Freemasons, was descended
from an ancient Scottish family of that name, some of whom came into England
in the time of James I, and settled at Clipstone Park, Nottinghamshire.
He was the eldest son of the
Rev. Samuel Oliver, rector of Lambley, Nottinghamshire, and Elizabeth,
daughter of George Whitehead. He was born at Pepplewick, November 5, 1782, and
received a liberal education at Nottingham. In 1803, when but twenty-one years
of age, he was elected second master of the Grammar School at Caiston,
Lincoln. In 1809 he was appointed to the head mastership of King Edward's
Grammar School at Great Grimsby. In 1813 he entered Holy Orders in the Church
of England, and was ordained a Deacon. The subsequent year he was made a
Priest. In the spring of 1815, Bishop Tomline collated him to the living of
Clee, his name being at the time placed on the boards of Trinity College,
Cambridge, as a ten-year man by Doctor Bayley, Sub-dean of Lincoln and
examining Chaplain to the Bishop. In the same year he was admitted as
Surrogate and a Steward of the Clerical Fund. In 1831, Bishop Kaye gave him
the living of Scopwick, which he held to the time of his death.
He graduated as Doctor of
Divinity in 1836, being then Rector of Wolverhampton, and a Prebendary of the
Collegiate Church at that place, both of which positions had been presented to
him by Doctor Hobart, Dean of Westminster. In 1846 the Lord Chancellor
conferred on him the rectory of South Hykeham, which vacated the incumbency of
Wolverhampton. At the age of seventy-two Doctor Oliver's physical powers began
to fail, and he was obliged to confine the charge of his parishes to the care
of curates, and he passed the remaining years of his life in retirement at
Lincoln. In 1805 he had married Mary Ann, the youngest daughter of Thomas
Beverley, by whom he left five children. He died March 3, 1867, at Eastgate,
To the literary world Doctor Oliver was well known as a laborious antiquary,
and his works on ecclesiastical antiquities during fifty years of his life,
from twenty-five, earned for him a high reputation. Of these works the most
important were, History and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Beverley,
History and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton, History of
the Conventual Church of Grimsby, Monumental Antiquities of Grimsby, History
of the Gild of the Holy Trinity, Sleaford, Letters on the Druidical Remains
near Lincoln, Guide to the Druidical Temple at Nottingham and Remains of
Ancient Britons between Lincoln and Sleaford.
But it is as the most learned
Freemason and the most indefatigable and copious Masonic author of his age
that Doctor Oliver principally claims our attention. He had inherited a love
of Freemasonry from his father, the Rev. Samuel Oliver, who was an expert
Master of the work, the Chaplain of his Lodge, and who contributed during a
whole year, from 1797 to 1798, an original Masonic song to be sung on every
Lodge night. His son has repeatedly acknowledged his indebtedness to him for
valuable information in relation to Masonic usages. Doctor Oliver was
initiated by his father, in the year 1801, in Saint Peter's Lodge, in the city
of Peterborough. He was at that time but nineteen years of age, and was
admitted by Dispensation during his minority, according to the practice then
prevailing, as a Lewis. Or the son of a Freemason. Under the tuition of his
father, he made muffin progress in the rites and ceremonies then in use among
the Lodges. He read with great attention every Masonic book within his reach,
and began to collect that store of knowledge which he afterward used with so
much advantage to the Craft.
Soon after his appointment as
Head Master of King Edward's Grammar School at Grimsby, he established a Lodge
in the borough, the chair of which he occupied for fourteen years. So
strenuous were his exertions for the advancement of Freemasonry, that in 1812
he was enabled to lay the first stone of a Masonic hall in the town, where,
three years before, there had been scarcely a Freemason residing. About this
time he was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason in the Chapter attached to the
Rodney Lodge at Kingston-on-Hull. In Chapters and Consistories connected with
the same Lodge he also received the advanced Degrees and those of Masonic
Knighthood. In 1813, he was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward; in 1816,
Provincial Grand Chaplain; and in 1832, Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the
Province of Lincolnshire. These are all the official honors that he received,
except that of Past Deputy Grand Master, conferred, as an honorary title, by
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
In the year 1840, Doctor
Crucefix had undeservedly incurred the displeasure of the Grand Master, the
Duke of Sussex. Doctor Oliver, between whom and Doctor Crucefix there had
always been a warm personal friendship, assisted in a public demonstration of
the Fraternity in honor of his friend and brother.
This involved him in the
odium, and caused the Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire, Brother Charles
Tennyson D'Eyncourt, to request the resignation of Doctor Oliver as his
Deputy. He complied with the resignation, and after that time withdrew from
all active participation in the labors of the Lodge. The transaction was not
considered by any means as creditable to the independence of character or
sense of justice of the Provincial Grand Master, and the Craft vera generally
expressed their indignation of the course which he had pursued, and their warm
appreciation of the Masonic services of Doctor Oliver. In 1844, this
appreciation was marked by the presentation of an offering of plate, which had
been very generally subscribed for by the Craft throughout the kingdom.
Doctor Oliver's first
contribution to the literature of Freemasonry, except a few Masonic sermons,
was a work entitled The Antiquities of Freemasonry commonly illustrations of
the fixe Grand Periods of Masonry, from the Creation of the OFF World to the
Dedication of Bring Solomons Temple, which was published in 1893. His next
production was a little work entitled The Star in the East, intended to show,
from the testimony of Masonic writers, the connection between Freemasonry and
In 1841 he published twelve
lectures on the Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry, in which he went into a
learned detail of the history and signification of all the recognized symbols
of the Order. His next important contribution to Freemasonry was The History
of Initiation in twelve lectures, comprising a detailed account of the Rites
and Ceremonies, Doctrines and Discipline, of all the Secret and Mysterious
Institutions of the Ancient World, published in 1840. The professed object of
the author was to show the resemblances between these ancient systems of
initiation and the Masonic, and to trace them to a common origin; a theory
which, under some modification, has been very generally accepted by Masonic
Following this was The
Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, a highly interesting work, in which he
discusses the speculative character of the Institution. A History of
Freemasonry from 1829 to !840 has proved a valuable appendix to the work of
Preston, an edition of which he had edited in the former year. His next and
most important, most interesting, and most learned production was his
Historical Landmarks and other Evidences of Freemasonry Explained. No work
with such an amount of facts in reference to the Masonic system had ever
before been published by any author. It will forever remain as a monument of
his vast research and his extensive reading.
But it would be no brief task
to enumerate merely the titles of the many works which he produced for the
instruction of the Craft. A few of them must suffice. These are the
Revelations of a Square, a sort of Masonic romance, detailing, in a fictitious
form, many of the usages of the last centuries, with anecdotes of the
principal Freemasons of that period. The Golden Remains of the Early Masonic
Writers, in five volumes, each of which contains an interesting introduction
by the editor; The Book of the Lodge, a useful manual, intended as a guide to
the ceremonies of the Order; The Symbol of Glory, intended to show the object
and end of Freemasonry; A Mirror for the Johannite Masons, in which he
discusses the question of the dedication of Lodges to the two Saints John; The
Origin and Insignia of the Royal Arch Degree! a title which explains itself; A
Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry, by no means the best of his works.
Almost his last contribution
to Freemasonry was his Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, a book in which he
expressed views of law that did not meet with the universal concurrence of his
English readers. Besides these elaborate works, Doctor Oliver was a constant
contributor to the early volumes of the London Freemasons Quarterly Review,
and published a valuable article, on the Gothic Constitutions, in the American
Quarterly Review of Freemasonry. The great error of Doctor Oliver, as a
Masonic teacher, was a too easy credulity or a too great warmth of
imagination, which led him to accept without hesitation the crude theories of
previous writers, and to recognize documents and legends as unquestionably
authentic whose truthfulness subsequent researches have led most Masonic
scholars to doubt or to deny.
His statements, therefore, as
to the origin or the history of the Order, have to be received with many
grains of allowance. Yet it must be acknowledged that no writer in the English
language has ever done so much to elevate the scientific character of
Freemasonry. Doctor Oliver was in fact the founder of what may well be called
the Literary School of Freemasonry. Bringing to the study of the Institution
an amount of archeological learning but seldom surpassed, an inexhaustible
fund of multifarious reading, and all the laborious researches of a genuine
scholar, he gave to Freemasonry a literary and philosophic character which has
induced many succeeding scholars to devote themselves to those studies which
he had made so attractive.
While his erroneous theories
and his fanciful speculations will be rejected, the form and direction that he
has given to Masonic speculations will remain, and to him must be accredited
the enviable title of the Father of Anglo-Sazon Masonic Literature. In
reference to the personal character of Doctor Oliver, a contemporary
journalist, Stanford Mercury has said that he was of a kind and genial
dispositions charitable in the highest sense of the words courteous, affable,
self-denying, and beneficent; humbles unassuming, and unaffected; ever ready
to obliges easy of approach, and amiable, yet firm in the right. Doctor
Oliver's theory of the system of Freemasonry may be briefly stated in these
He believed that the Order was
to be found in the earliest periods of recorded history. It was taught by Seth
to his descendants, and practiced by them under the name of Primititle or Pure
Freemasonry. It passed over to Noah, and at the dispersion of mankind suffered
a division into Pure and Spurious. Pure Freemasonry descended through the
Patriarchs to Solomon, and thence on to the present day.
The Pagans, although they had
slight glimmerings of the Masonic truths which had been taught by Noah,
greatly corrupted them, and presented in their mysteries a system of
initiation to which he gave the name of the Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity.
These views he had developed and enlarged and adorned out of the similar hut
less definitely expressed teachings of Hutchinson. Like that writer also,
while freely admitting the principle of religious tolerance, he contended for
the strictly Christian character of the Institution, and that, too, in the
narrowest sectarian view, since he believed that the earliest symbols taught
the dogma of the Trinity, and that Christ was meant by the Masonic reference
to the Deity under the title of Grand Architect of the Universe.
From the Sanskrit language and
of an especial importance as a sacred word in the religion of the Hindus. We
are told in the Katha-Upanishad, one of the Hindu treatises on philosophy,
that whoever knows this word can get all he wishes. Brahma herself is credited
in the Manu Laws with inventing the word and that he took the letters of this
sound one from each of the Vedas, the four holy books of Hindu knowledge, the
word Veda in the Sanskrit meaning to know. Om is the first word in the Puranas,
the traditional Hindu histories of the universe, and is also to be said at the
start and finish of all of the Veda instructions.
From whence originally came
the word is a matter of much speculation, East and West, both past and
present; Lewis Spence, in his Encyclopedia of Occultism, suggests it is an old
and contracted form of the Sanskrit word evan, meaning thus. Another
explanation is that the syllable is the expression of consent used by the gods
themselves, a creative utterance meaning Thas may it be. Somers times the word
is spelled Aum, but probably all that this difference may be is a matter of
pronunciation, though the three letters have been credited in their selection
and use with a potent and mysterious power and sanctity Om is also given by
the Hindus as a name for the spiritual Sun. or Source of Inner Light, to
distinguish this from the Sooruj or material sun, a physical center of
illumination and warmth (see Aum and On).
See Alpha and Omega
The Tetragrammaton is so
called because of the omnific powers attributed by the Cabalists to its
possession and true pronunciation (see Tetragrammaton). The term is also
applied to the most significant word in the Royal Arch system.
This is a significant word in
Royal Arch Masonry, and has been generally explained as being the name by
which Jehovah was worshiped among t he Egyptians. As this has been denied and
the word asserted to be only the name of a city in Egypt, it is proper that
some inquiry should be made into the authorities on the subject. The first
mention of On in the Bible is in the history of Joseph, to whom Pharoah gave
"to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On." The city of On
was in Lower Egypt, between the Nile and the Red Sea, and "adorned," says
Philippson, "by a gorgeous temple of the sun, in which a numerous priesthood
officiated." The investigations of modern Egyptologists have shown that this
is an error. On was the name of a city where the sun-god was worshiped, but On
was not the name of that god. Champollion, in his Dictionnaire Egyptien, gives
the phonetic characters, with the figurative symbols of a serpent and disk,
and a seated figure, as the name of the sun-god. Now, of these two characters,
the upper one has the power of R. and the lower of A, and hence the name of
the god is Ra. This is the concurrent testimony of Bunsen, Lepsius, Gliddon,
and all later authorities.
But although on was really the
name of a city, the founders of the Royal Arch had, with the lights then
before them, assumed that it was the name of a god, and had so incorporated it
with their system. With better light than theirs, we can no longer accept
their definition; yet the word may still be retained as a symbol of the
Egyptian god. We know not who has power to reject it; and if scholars
preserve, outside of the symbolism, the true interpretation, no harm will be
done. It is not the only significant word in Freemasonry whose old and
received meaning has been shown to be incorrect, and sometimes even absurd.
Referring to the expressions by Doctor Mackey. "This is a significant word in
Royal Arch Masonry and has generally been explained, as being the name by
which Jehovah was worshiped among the Egyptians." . . . "But although on was
really the name of a city, the founders of the Royal Arch had, with the lights
then before them, assumed that it was the name of a god and had so
incorporated it with their system," Brother David E. W. Williamson writes as
This, it seems to me, gives a
wrong impression of the Royal Arch use of the word. " on " is certainly one of
the names of the deity of Israel, and it will be found by reference to the
Septuagint that, which the Authorized Version renders "I am that I am," is
actually translated into Greek as "I am the Being." For several centuries in
the earlier part of the Christian era, the Septuagint was Considered to be
co-ordinate with, if not superior to, the Hebrew text as authority and by the
vast number of worshipers under the Orthodox rite the Greek Version is and
always has been regarded with the same veneration as English speaking people
regard the Authorized Version. To these worshipers, therefore, ON is one of
the names of the Almighty. The effect of the word; if I may make the
suggestion, merely intensifies the meaning of THE Being, so that, as nearly as
we can translate the sense into English, the original Biblical expression
would be "I AM—there, you see, I AM." If you have Westcott and Hort handy and
will refer to Revelations 14, you will see that the phrase which the
Authorized Version renders " Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is
and which was and which is to come" is literally "From the being and the was
and the coming "From the On." And see especially verse 8 in the same chapter:
etc. It seems to me that when we say Supreme Being, referring to the Almighty,
we are exactly expressing the word that meant to the Yahwist redactor of the
Pentateuch and On to the Septuagint translators, as well as to the Hebrew
Christian who wrote the Apocalypse.
Godfrey Higgins (Celtic
Druids, page 171) quotes an Irish commentator as showing that the name Ain or
on was the name of a triad of gods in the Irish language. "All etymologists, "
Higgins continues, "have supposed the word on to mean the sun; but how the
name arose has not before been explained."
In another work (Anacalypsis,
volume i, page 109), Higgins makes the following important remarks: "various
definitions are given of the word on; but they are all unsatisfactory. It is
written in the Old Testament in two ways, sun, and an. It is usually rendered
in English by the word on. This word is supposed to mean the sun, and the
Greeks translated it by the word On, or Sol. But I think it only stood for the
sun, as the emblem of the procreative power of nature." Bryan says
(Mythological Antiquity, volume i, page 19), when speaking of this word: "On,
Eon or Aon, was another title of the sun among the Amonians. The Seventy,
where the word occurs in the Scriptures, interpret it the sun, and call the
City of on, Heliopolis; and the Coptic Pentateuch renders the City on by the
City of the Sun."
Plato, in his Timoeus, says:
"Tell me of the god ON, which is and never knew beginning." And, although
Plato may have been here thinking of the Greek word QN, which means Being, it
is not improbable that he may have referred to the god worshiped at on, or
Heliopolis, as it was thence that the Greeks derived so much of their
learning. It would be vain to attempt to make an analogy between the Hindu
sacred word Aum and the Egyptian on. The fact that the m in the former word is
the initial of some secret word, renders the conversion of it into n
impossible, because it would thereby lose its signification.
The old Freemasons, misled by
the authority of Saint Cyril, and by the translation of the name of the city
into City of the Sun by the Hebrews and the Greeks, very naturally supposed
that on was the Egyptian sun-god, their supreme deity, as the sun always was,
wherever he was worshiped. Hence, they appropriated that name as a sacred word
explanatory of the Jewish Tetragrammaton. Brother Williamson points out here
that "As to the Egyptian city of that name, the Egyptian name was used by the
Jews (see Brown-Driver-Briggs Lezicon). The Greeks knew it as Heliopolis and
could not have mistaken the city for a god" (see also Aum and Om).
The Hebrew word play The bird Phenix, named after Enoch or Phenoch. Enoch
signifies initiation. The Phenix, in Egyptian mythology; call sculptures, as a
bird, is placed in the mystical palm-tree. The Phoenix is the representative
of eternal and continual regeneration, and is the Holy Spirit which brooded as
a dove over the face of the waters the dove of Noah and of Hasisatra or
Nysuthrus (which see), which bore a sprig in its mouth.
The first Masonic meetings in
Ontario were probably held by Lodge No. 156 attached to the Eighth Regiment of
Foot at Fort Niagara between 1775 and 1780. On March 7, 1792, Brother William
Jarvis was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Upper Canada by the "Ancient"
Grand Lodge of Canada. He angered the Brethren, however, by refusing to
assemble the Grand Lodge at Niagara, and they met together in 1803 and elected
Brother Forsyth Provincial Grand Master. The other Lodges in Ontario attended
meetings of a Grand Convention under Brother Ziba M. Phillips during the years
1817 to 1822.
Harmony seemed in sight when
Brother Simon McGillivray arrived in September of 1822 with authority to
reorganize the Craft in Upper Canada. A second Provincial Grand Lodge was
formed and met regularly from 1822 to 1830 when it became dormant owing to the
Morgan excitement which even here had a widespread influence. In 1845 a Third
Provincial Grand Lodge was organized and continued work until 1858.
A Grand Lodge was formed by
Irish Lodges in 1853. After all these attempts at creating a governing body,
finally, on October 10, 1855, the Grand Lodge of Canada was established at
Hamilton by representatives of forty-one Lodges. Brother William Mercer Wilson
was elected Grand Master. The Provincial Grand Lodge of England met and became
an independent Grand Lodge in 1857. Next year, however, it united with the
Grand Lodge of Canada. The Quebec Lodges withdrew in 1869 to form the Grand
Lodge of Quebec and in 1886 the Grand Lodge of Canada added the words "in the
Province of Ontario" to its title.
The word for this in Hebrew,
Oaf, is pronounced Shohem. The second stone in the fourth row of the high
priest's breastplate. It is of a bluish-black color, and represented the Tribe
OPENING OF THE LODGE
The necessity of some
preparatory ceremonies, of a more or less formal character, before proceeding
to the despatch of the ordinary business of any association, has always been
recognized. Decorum and the dignity of the meeting alike suggest, even in
popular assemblies called only for a temporary purpose, that a presiding
officer shall, with some formality, be inducted into the chair, and he then,
to use the ordinary phrase "opens" the meeting with the appointment of his
necessary assistants and with the announcement, in an address to the audience,
explanatory of the objects that have called them together.
If secular associations have
found it expedient, by the adoption of some preparatory forms, to avoid the
appearance of an unseaming abruptness in proceeding to business it may well be
supposed that religious e Societies have been still more observant of the
custom, and that, as their pursuits are more elevated, the ceremonies of their
preparation for the object of their meeting should be still more impressive.
In the Ancient Mysteries,
those sacred rites which have furnished so many models for Masonic symbolism,
the opening ceremonies were of the most solemn character- The Sacred Herald
commenced the ceremonies of opening the greater initiations by the solemn
formula of "Depart hence, ye profane!" to which was added a proclamation which
forbade the use of any language which might be deemed of un favorable augury
to the approaching rites.
In like manner a Lodge of
Freemasons is opened with the employment of certain ceremonies in which, that
attention may be given to their symbolic as well as practical importance,
every member present is expected to take a part. These ceremonies, which
slightly differ in each of the Degrees but differ so slightly as not to affect
their general character—may be considered, in reference to the several
purposes they are to effect, to be dinged into eight successive steps or
parts. 1. The Master having signified his intention to proceed to the labors
of the Lodge, every Brother is expected to assume his necessary Masonic
clothing and, if an officer, the insignia of his office, and silently and
decorously to repair to his appropriate station.
2. The next step in the
ceremony is, with the usual precautions, to ascertain the right of each one to
be present. It is scarcely necessary to say that. in the performance of this
duty, the officers who are charged with it should allow no one to remain who
is not either well known to themselves or properly vouched for by some
discreet and experienced Brother.
3. Attention is next directed
to the external avenues of the Lodge, and the officers within and without who
are entrusted with the performance of this important duty, are expected to
execute it with care and fidelity.
4. By a wise provision, it is
no sooner intimated to the Master that he may safely proceed, than he directs
his attention to an inquiry into the knowledge possessed by his officers of
the duties that they will be respectively called upon to perform.
5. Satisfied upon this point,
the Master then Announces, by formal proclamation, his intention to proceed to
business; and, mindful of the peaceful character of our Institution, he
strictly forbids all immoral or un-masonic conduct whereby the harmony of the
Lodge may be impeded, under no less a penalty than the by-laws may impose or a
majority of the Brethren present may see fit to indict. Nor, after this, is
any Brother permitted to leave the Lodge during Lodge hours, that is, from the
time of opening to that of closing, without having first obtained the
Worshipful Master's permission.
6. Certain mystic rites, which
can here be only alluded to, are then employed, by which each Brother present
signifies his concurrence in the ceremonies which have been performed, and his
knowledge of the Degree in which the Lodge is about to be opened.
7. It is a lesson which every
Freemason is taught, as one of the earliest points of his initiation, that he
should commence no important undertaking without first invoking the blessing
of Deity. Hence the next step in the progress of the opening ceremonies is to
address a prayer to the Supreme Architect of the Universe. This prayer.
although offered by the Master, is to be participated in by every Brother,
and, at its conclusion, the audible response of "So mote it be" should be made
by all present.
8. The Lodge is then declared,
in the name of God and the Holy Saints John, to be opened in due form on the
First, Second, or Third Degree of Freemasonry, so the case may be.
A Lodge is said to be opened
in the name of God and the Holy Saints John, as a declaration of the sacred
and religious purposes of the meeting, of profound reverence for that Divine
Being whose name and attributes should be the constant themes of
contemplation, and of respect for those ancient patrons whom the traditions of
Freemasonry 80 intimately connect with the history of the Institution.
It is said to be opened in due
boron, to intimate that all that is necessary, appropriate and usual in the
ceremonies, all that the law requires or ancient usage renders indispensable,
have been observed. Further, it is said to be opened on, and not in, a certain
Degree, which latter expression is often incorrectly used, in reference rather
to the speculative than to the legal character of the meeting, to indicate,
not that the members are to be circumscribed in the limits of a particular
Degree, but that they are met together to unite in contemplation on the
symbolic teachings and divine lessons of that Degree.
The manner of opening in each
Degree slightly varies. In the English system, the Lodge is opened in the
First Degree "in the name of T. G. A. O. T. U."; in the Second, "on the
square, in the name of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe"; and in the
Third, "on the center, in the name of the Most High." It is prescribed as a
ritualistic regulation that the Master shall never open or close his Lodge
without a lecture or part of a lecture. Hence, in each of the Degrees a
portion of the lecture of that Degree is incorporated into the opening and
closing ceremonies. There is in every Degree of Freemasonry, from the lowest
to the highest, an opening ceremony peculiar to the Degree. This ceremony has
always more or less reference to the symbolic lesson which it is the design of
the Degree to teach, and hence the varieties of openings are as many as the
Freemasonry is divided by
Masonic writers into two branches, an Operative Art and a Speculative Science.
The Operative Art is that which was practiced by the Stone-Masons of the
Middle Ages. The Speculative Science is that which is practiced by the
Freemasons of the present day. The technicalities and usages of the former
have been incorporated into and modified by the latter. Hence, Freemasonry is
sometimes defined as a Speculative Science founded on an Operative Art.
Freemasonry, in its character
as an Operative Art, is familiar to everyone. As such, it is engaged in the
application of the rules and principles of architecture to the construction of
edifices for private and public use, houses for the dwelling-place of man, and
temples for the worship of the Deity. It abounds, like every other art, in the
use of technical terms, and employs, in practice, an abundance of implements
and materials which are peculiar to itself. This Operative Art has been the
foundation on which has been built the Speculative Science of Freemasonry (see
Workers in stone, who
construct material edifices, in contradistinction to Speculative Masons, who
build spiritual edifices.
Name applied to those, as Dr.
Thomas Carr, Dr. C. M. Merz, Sir John A. Cochburn, Sir Frederick Pollock,
Clement E. Stretton, active in the modern study and practice of old gild
The Brotherhood of the
Serpent, which flourished in the second century, and held that there were two
principles of eons and the accompanying theology. This Egyptian fraternity
displayed a living serpent in their ceremonies, which was reverenced as a
symbol of wisdom and a type of good.
When a Masonic obligation
leaves to the person who assumes it the option to perform or omit any part of
it, it is not to be supposed that such option is to be only his arbitrary will
or unreasonable choice. On the contrary, in exercising it, he must lee
governed and restrained by the principles of right and duty, and be controlled
by the circumstances which surround the case, so that this option, which at
first would seem to be a favor, really involves a great and responsible duty,
that of exercising a just judgment in the premises. That. which at one time
would be proper to perform, at another time and in different circumstances it
would be equally proper to omit.
Much of the instruction which
is communicated in Freemasonry, and, indeed, all that is esoteric, is given
orally; and there is a law of the Institution that forbids such instruction to
be written. There is in this usage and regulation a striking analogy to what
prevailed on the same subject in all the secret institutions of antiquity. In
all the Ancient Mysteries, the same reluctance to commit the esoteric
instructions of the hierophants to writing is apparent; and hence the secret
knowledge taught in their initiations was preserved in symbols, the true
meaning of which was closely concealed from the profane. The Druids had a
similar regulation; and Caesar informs us that, although they made use of the
letters of the Greek alphabet to record their ordinary or public transactions,
yet it was not considered lawful to entrust their sacred verses to writing,
but these were always committed to memory by their disciples.
The secret doctrine of the
Cabala, or the mystical philosophy of the Hebrews, was also communicated in an
oral form, and could be revealed only through the medium of allegory and
similitude. The Cabalistic knowledge, traditionally received, was, says
Maurice (Indian Antiquities, volume iv, page 548), "transmitted verbally down
to all the great characters celebrated in Jewish antiquity, among whom both
David and Solomon were deeply conversant in its most hidden mysteries. Nobody,
however, had ventured to commit anything of this kind to paper."
The Christian Church also, in
the age immediately succeeding the apostolic period, observed the same custom
of oral instruction. The early Fathers were eminently cautious not to commit
certain of the mysterious dogmas of their religion to writing, lest the
surrounding Pagans should be made acquainted with what they could neither
understand nor appreciate. Saint Basil (De Spiritu Sancto), treating of this
subject in the fourth century, says: "We receive the dogmas transmitted to us
by writing, and those which have descended to us from the apostles, beneath
the mystery of oral tradition; for several things have been handed down to us
without writings lest the vulgar, too familiar with our dogmas, should lose a
due respect for them." And the further asks, "Hom should it ever be becoming
to write and circulate among the people an account of those things which the
uninitiated are not permitted to contemplated. A custom, so ancient as this,
of keeping the landmarks unwritten, and one so invariably observed by the
Masonic Fraternity, it may very naturally be presumed, must have been
originally established with the wisest intentions; and, as the usage was
adopted by many other institutions whose organization was similar to that of
Freemasonry, it may also be supposed that it was connected, in some way, with
the character of an esoteric instruction. Two reasons it seems to Doctor
Mackey, may be assigned for the adoption of the usage among Freemasons.
In the first place, by
confining our secret doctrines and landmarks to the care of traditions all
danger of controversies and schisms among Freemasons and in Lodges is
effectually avoided. Of these traditions, the Grand Lodge in each Jurisdiction
is the interpreter and to its authoritative interpretation every Freemason and
every Lodge in the Jurisdiction is bound to submit. There is no book, to which
every Brother may refer, whose language each one may interpret according to
his own views, and whose expressions— sometimes, perhaps, equivocal and
sometimes obscure —might afford ample sources of wordy contest and verbal
The doctrines themselves, as
well as their interpretation, are contained in the memories of the Craft; and
the Grand Lodges, as the lawful representatives of the Fraternity, are alone
competent to decide whether the tradition has been correctly preserved, and
what is its true interpretation. Hence it is that there is no institution in
which there have been so few and such unimportant controversies with respect
to essential and fundamental doctrines.
In illustration of this
argument, Doctor Oliver, while speaking of what he calls the Antediluvian
System of Freemasonry—a part of which must necessarily have been traditional,
and transmitted from father to son, and a part entrusted to symbols—makes the
Such of the legends as were communicated orally would be entitled to the
greatest degree of credence while those that were committed to the custody of
symbols, which, it is probable, many of the collateral legends would be, were
in great danger of perversion because the truth could only be ascertained by
those persons who were incrusted with the secret of their interpretation.
And if the symbols were of doubtful character and carried a double meaning, as
many of the Egyptian Hieroglyphies of a Subsequent age actually did, the
legends which then embodied might sustain very considerable alteration in
sixteen or seventeen hundred years, although passing through very few hands.
Maimonides (More Nevochim, chapter lXXi assigns a similar reason for the ulnas
written preservation of the Oral Law. He says:
This was the perfection of
wisdom in our land and by this means those evils were avoided into which it
fell in succeeding times, namely the variety and perplexity of sentiments and
opinions and the doubts which so commonly arise from written doctrines
contained in books, besides the errors shield are easily committed by writers
and copyists whence, afterwards, spring up controversies, schisms, and
confusion of parties.
A second reason that may be
assigned for the unwritten ritual of Freemasonry is, that by compelling the
Craftsman who desires to make any progress in his profession, to commit its
doctrines to memory there is a greater probability of their being thoroughly
studied and understood In confirmation of this Opinion. it will, Doctor Mackey
believed, be readily acknowledged by anyone whose experience is at all
extensive that, as a general rule, those skillful Brethren who are technically
called Bright Masons, are better acquainted with the esoteric and unwritten
portion of the lectures, which they were compelled to acquire under a
competent instructor, and by oral information than with that which is
published in the Monitors. and, therefore, always at hand to be read.
Caesar (Belli Gallae vi, 14)
thought that this was the cause of the custom among the Druids, for, after
mentioning that they did not suffer their doctrines to he committed to
writing, he adds: "They seem to me to have adopted this method for two
reasons: that their mysteries might be hidden from the common people, and to
exercise the memory of their disciples, which would be neglected if they had
books on which they might rely, as, we find, is often the case."
A third reason for this
unwritten doctrine of Freemasonry, and one, perhaps, most familiar to the
Craft, is also alluded to by Caesar in the case of the Druids, "because they
did not wish their doctrines to be divulged to the common people." Maimonides,
in the conclusion of the passage which we have already quoted, makes a similar
remark with respect to the oral law of the Jews. "But if," says he, "so much
care was exercised that the oral law should not he written in a book and laid
open to all persons, lest, peradventure, it should become corrupted and
depraved, how much more caution was required that the secret interpretations
of that law should not be divulged to every person, and pearls be thus thrown
to swine." "Wherefore," he adds, "they were entrusted to certain private
persons, and by them were transmitted to other educated men of excellent and
extraordinary gifts." For this regulation he quotes the Rabbis, who say that
the secrets of the law are not delivered to any person except a man of
prudence and wisdom.
It is, then, for these
excellent reasons—to avoid idle controversies and endless disputes; to
preserve the secrets of our Order from decay; and, by increasing the
difficulties by which they are to be obtained, to diminish the probability of
their being forgotten; and finally, to secure them from the unhallowed gaze of
the profane—that the oral instruction of Freemasonry was first instituted, and
still continues to be religiously observed. Its secret doctrines are the
precious jewels of the Order, and the memories of Freemasons are the
well-guarded caskets in which those jewels are to be preserved with unsullied
purity. Hence it is appropriately said in our instructions that "the attentive
ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the secrets of
Freemasonry are safely lodged in the Depository of faithful breasts."
The Oral Law is the name given
by the Jews to the interpretation of the written code, which is said to have
been delivered to Moses at the same time, accompanied by the Divine command:
"Thou shalt not divulge the words which I have said to thee out of my mouth."
The Oral Law was, therefore never entrusted to books; but, being preserved in
the memories of the judges, prophets, priests, and other wise men, was handed
down, from one to the other, through a long succession of ages. Maimonides has
described, according to the Rabbinical traditions, the mode adopted by Moses
to impress the principles of this Oral Law upon the people. As an example of
perseverance in the acquirement of information by oral instruction, it may be
worthy of the consideration and imitation of all those Freemasons who wish to
perfect themselves in the esoteric lessons of their Institution.
When Moses had descended from
Mount Sinai, and had spoken to the people, he retired to his tent. Here he was
visited by Aaron. to whom, sitting at his feet, he recited the law and its
explanation, as he had received it from God. Aaron then rose and seated
himself on the right hand of Moses. Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of barons
now entered the tent, and Moses repeated to them all that he had communicated
to their father; after which, they seated themselves, one on the left hand of
Moses and the other on the right hand of Aaron. Then went in the seventy
elders, and Moses taught them, in the same manner as he had taught Aaron and
his sons. Afterward, all of the congregation who desired to know the Divine
Will came in; and to them, also, Moses recited the law and its interpretation,
in the same manner as before.
The law, thus orally delivered
by Moses, had now been heard four times by Aaron, three times by his sons,
twice by the seventy elders, and once by the rest of the people. After this,
Moses withdrawing, Aaron repeated all that he had heard from Moses, and
retired; then Eleazar and Ithamar repeated it, and also withdrew; and,
finally, the same thing was done by the seventy elders; so that each of them
having heard the law repeated four times, it was thus, finally, fixed in their
The written law, divided by
the Jewish lawgivers into 613 precepts, is contained in the Pentateuch. But
the oral law, transmitted by Moses to Joshua, by him to the elders, and from
them conveyed by traditionary relation to the time of Judah the Holy, was by
him, to preserve it from being forgotten and lost, committed to writing in the
work known as the Mishna. And now, no longer an Oral Law, its percepts are to
be found in that book, with the subsidiary aid of the Constitutions of the
Prophets and Wise Alen, the Decrees of the Sanhedrim, the Decisions of the
Judges, and the Expositions of the Doctors.
The stated object of this
organization was to preserve the supremacy of the Crown and Protestantism.
Founded in 1795 by Thomas Wilson, a Freemason; composed of one grade. John
Templeton, in 1796, introduced the Purple Degree and later the Markman's Grade
and the Heroine of Jericho were added. Not a Masonic Body though somewhat
connected, evidently, with Freemasonry during that early period (see Orangeism
in Ireland and Throughout the Empire, R. M. Sibbett, Belfast).
An officer in a Lodge whose
duty it is to explain to a candidate after his initiation the mysteries of the
Degree into which he has just been admitted. The office is therefore, in many
respects, similar to that of a Lecturer. The office was created in the French
Lodges early in the eighteenth century, soon after the introduction of
Freemasonry into France. A writer in the London Freemasons Magazine for 1859
attributes its origin to the constitutional deficiency of the French in
readiness of public speaking. From the French it pulsed to the other
Continental Lodges, and was adopted by the Scottish Rite. The office ss not
generally recognized in the English and American system, where its duties are
performed by the Worshipful Master. Though a few Lodges under the English
Constitution do appoint an Orator, namely, the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, the
Pilgrim Lodge, No. 238, the Constitutional Lodge, No. 294, and the La Cesarce
Lodge, No. 590.
Brother Oswald Wirth of Paris,
in conversation with Brother Clegg, expressed a neat distinction from a French
point of view between the Orator and the Secretary, the latter guarding the
memory of the Lodge, the former voicing its conscience.
An Order may be defined to be
a brotherhood, fellowship, or association of certain persons, united by laws
and statutes peculiar to the society, engaged in a common object or design,
and distinguished by particular habits, ensigns, badges or symbols.
Johnson's definition is that
an Order is "a regular governmental society of dignified persons distinguished
by marks of honor, and a religious fraternity." In all of these senses
Freemasonry may be styled an Order. Its government is of the most regular and
systematic character; men the most eminent for dignity and reputation have
been its members; and if it does not constitute a religion in itself, it is at
least religion's handmaid.
The ecclesiastical writers
define an Order to be a congregation or society or religious persons, governed
by particular rules, living under the same superior, in the same manner, and
wearing the same habit; a definition equally applicable to the society of
Freemasons. These ecclesiastical Orders are divided into three classes:
l. Monastic, such as the
Benedictines and the Augustinians.
2. The Mendicant, as the Dominicans and the Franciscans.
3. The Military, as the Hospitalers, the Templars, and the Teutonic Knights.
Only the first and the third
have any connection with Freemasonry; the first because it was by them that
architecture was fostered, and the Masonic Gilds patronized in the Middle
Ages; and the third because it was in the bosom of Freemasonry that the
Templars found a refuge after the dissolution of their Order.
The book to which all appeals
were made, in the Order of Strict Observance, as to matters of history, usage,
or ritual. It was invariably bound in red.
The name or designation
assumed by initiates of the Illuminati, the members of the Rite of Strict
Observance, and of the Royal Order of Scotland, was called the Order Name, or
the Characteristic Name (see Eques). The Illuminati selected classical names,
of which the following are specimens: the real surnames at the left, the
assumed ones at the right:
Knigge ............... Bode
Nicolai ................... Westenreider ...... Constanza
Zwack .................... Count Savioli ..... Busche
Ecker ...................... Spartacus ........... Philo
Amelius .................. Lucian ............... Pythagoras
Diomedes ............... Cato ................... Brutus
The members of the Strict
Observance formed their Order Names in a different way. Following the custom
of the combatants in the old tournaments each called himself an Eques, or
Knight of some particular object; as, Knight of the Sword, Knight of the Star,
etc. Where one belonged both to this Rite and to that of Illuminism, his Order
Name in each was different. Thus Bode, as an Illuminatus, was, we have seen,
called Amelius, but as a Strict Observant', he was known as Eques a lilio
convallium, or Knight of the Lily-of-the-Valleys. The following examples may
suffice. A full list in Thory's Acta Latomorum.
Hund, Eques ab ense=Knight of
Jacobi, Eques à stellâ=Knight of the Star.
Count Bruhl, Eques ä gladio ancipiti=Knight of the Double-edged Sword.
Bode, Eques à lilio convallium=Enight of the Lily-of-the Valleys.
Beyerle, Edges a fasciâ=Knight of the Girdle.
Berend, Eques â septem stellis=Knight of the Seven Stars
Decker, Eques â plasula=Knight of the Curtain.
Lavater, Eques ab Æculapio=Knight of Esculapius.
Seckendorf, Eques a capricorno = Knight of Capricorn
Prince Charles Edward, Eques d sole aureo=Knight of the Golden Sun.
Zinnendorf, Eques a lapide nigro=Knight of the Black Stone.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
In every Masonic Body, the
By-laws should prescribe an Order of Business, and in proportion as that order
is rigorously observed will be the harmony and celerity with which the
business of the Lodge will be despatched. In Lodges whose By-laws have
prescribed no settled order, the arrangement of business is left to the
discretion of the presiding officer, who, however, must be governed, to some
extent, by certain general rules founded on the principles of parliamentary
law, or on the suggestions of common sense. The order of business may, for
convenience of reference, be placed in the following tabular form:
1. Opening of the Lodge.
2. Reading and confirmation of the Minutes.
3. Reports on Petitions.
4. Balloting for Candidates.
6. Reports of Special Committees.
6. Reports of Standing Committees.
7. Consideration of Motions made at a former meeting if called up by a member.
8. New business.
10. Reading of the Minutes for information and correction.
11. Closing of the Lodge.
ORDER OF CHRIST
See Christ, Order of
ORDER OF JEANNE D'ARC
Organized at Berkeley,
California, by Brother Henry Byron Phillips, who wrote the ritual, and after
whom the first Assembly was named. Membership limited to girls between the
ages of 14 and 21, sisters or daughters of Master Masons or companions of
these girls Ritual has four Degrees, Myriam, Deborah, Maria, and Jeanne d'Arc,
and the motto is Magni Dominic Umbra, Under the Shadow of a Great Name.
ORDER OF LIGHT
In l90l this body of students
in occult philosophy was revived at Bradford, England, by the Rosicrucian
Adepts, Dr. J. B. Edwards and T. H. Pattinson.
ORDER OF THE BOOKSee Stukely,
ORDER OF THE TEMPLE
See Temple, Order of the
ORDER, RULES OF
Every permanent deliberative
Body adopts a code of rules of order to suit itself; but there are certain
rules derived from what may be called the Common Law of Congress and
Parliament, the wisdom of which having been proven by long experience, that
have been deemed of force at all times and places, and are, with a few
necessary exceptions, as applicable to Lodges as to other societies. The rules
of order, sanctioned by uninterrupted usage and approved by all authorities,
may be enumerated under the following distinct heads, as applied to a Masonic
1. Two independent original
propositions cannot be presented at the same time to the meeting.
2. A subsidiary motion cannot be offered out of its rank of precedence.
3. When a Brother intends to speak, he is required to stand up in his place,
and to address himself always to the presiding officer.
4. When two or more Brethren rise nearly at the same time, the presiding
officer will indicate, by mentioning his name, the one who, in his opinion, is
entitled to the floor.
5. A Brother is not to be interrupted by any other member, except for the
purpose of calling him to order.
6. No Brother can speak oftener than the rules permit but this rule may be
dispensed with by the Master.
7. No one is to disturb the speaker by hissing unnecessary coughing, loud
whispering, or other unseemly noise, nor should he pass between the speaker
and the presiding officer.
8. No personality, abusive remarks, or other improper language should be used
by any Brother in debate.
9. If the presiding officer rises to speak while a Brother is on the floor,
that Brother should immediately sit down, that the presiding officer may be
10. Everyone who speaks should speak to the question.
11. As a sequence to this, it follows that there can be no speaking unless
there be a question before the Lodge. There must always be a motion of some
kind to authorize a debate.
For additional information consult Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of
ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE
An order in architecture is a
system or assemblage of parts subject to certain uniform established
proportions regulated by the office which such part has to perform, so that
the disposition, in a peculiar form, of the members and ornaments, and the
proportion of the columns and pilasters, is called an order. There are five
orders of architecture, the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and
Composite—the first three being of Greek and the last two of Italian origin
(see each in this work under its respective title). Considering that the
orders of architecture must have constituted one of the most important
subjects of contemplation to the Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, and that
they afforded a fertile source for their symbolism, it is strange that so
little allusion is made to them in the primitive lectures and in the earliest
catechisms of the eighteenth century. In the earliest catechism extant, they
are simply enumerated, and said to answer "to the base, perpendicular,
diameter, circumference, and square" but no explanation is given of this
reference. Nor sire they referred to in the Legend of the Craft, or in any of
the Old Constitutions. Preston however, introduced them into his system of
lectures, and designated the three most ancient orders—the Ionic, Doric, and
Corinthian—as symbols of wisdom, strength, and beauty, and referred them to
the three original Grand Masters. This symbolism has ever since been retained;
and, notwithstanding the reticence of the earlier ritualists, there is
abundant evidence, in the architectural remains of the Middle Ages, that it
was known to the old Operative Freemasons.
ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE,
The Egyptians had a system of
architecture peculiar to themselves, which, says Barlow (Essays on
Symbolistrns, page 30), "should indicate a people of grand ideas, and of
confirmed religious convictions." It was massive, and without the airy
proportions of the Greek Orders. It was, too, eminently symbolic and among its
ornaments the lotus leaf and plant predominated as a symbol of regeneration.
Among the peculiar forms of the Egyptian architecture were the fluted column,
which suggested the Ionic Order to the Greeks, and the basket capital adorned
with the lotus, which, afterward became the Corinthian. To the Masonic
student, the Egyptian style of architecture becomes interesting, because it
was undoubtedly followed by King Solomon in his construction of the Temple.
The great similarity between the pillars of the porch and the columns in front
of Egyptian temples is very apparent. Our translators have, however,
unfortunately substituted the lily for the lotus in their version.
ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD
An order of knighthood is a
confraternity of knights bound by the same rules. Of these there are many in
every kingdom of Europe, bestowed by sovereigns on their subjects as marks of
honor and rewards of merit. Such, for instance, are in England the Knights of
the Garter; in Scotland the Knights of Saint Andrew; and in Ireland the
Knights of Saint Patrick. But the only Orders of Knighthood that have had any
historical relation to Freemasonry, except the Order of Charles XII in Sweden,
are the three great religious and military Orders which were established in
the Middle Ages.
These are the Knights Templar,
the Knights Hospitaler or Knights of Malta, and the Teutonic Knights, each of
which may be seen in this work under its respective title. Of these three, the
Freemasons can really claim a connection only with the Templars. They alone
had a secret initiation, and with them there is at least traditional evidence
of a fusion. The Knights of Malta and the Teutonic Knights have always held
themselves aloof from the Masonic Order. They never had a secret form of
initiation; their reception was open and public; and the former Order, indeed,
during the latter part of the eighteenth century, became the willing
instruments of the Church in the persecution of the Freemasons who were at
that time in the Island of Malta. There is, indeed, a Masonic Degree called
Knight of Malta, but the existing remnant of the historical order has always
repudiated it. With the Teutonic Knights, the Freemasons have no other
connection than this, that in some of the advanced Degrees their peculiar
cross has been adopted. An attempt has been made, but without reason, to
identify the Teutonic Knights with the Prussian Knights, or Noachites.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
In parliamentary law,
propositions which pre-appointed for consideration at a particular hour and
day are called the orders of the day. When the day arrives for their
discussion, they talk precedence of all other matters, unless passed over by
mutual consent or postponed to another day. The same rules in reference to
these orders prevail in Masonic as in other assemblies. The parliamentary law
is here applicable without modification to Masonic Bodies.
The Old Constitutions known as
the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript, fourteenth century, speak of an ordinacio
in the sense of a law, "Alia ordinacio artis gemetriae (line 471). It is
borrowed from the Roman law, where ordtnatio signified an Imperial Edict. In
the Middle Ages, the word was used in the sense of a statute, or the decision
of a judge.
At the close of the reception
of a neophyte into the Order of Elect Cohens, the Master, while communicating
to him the mysterious words, touched him with the thumb, index, and middle
fingers, the other two being closed, on the forehead, heart, and side of the
head, thus making the figure of a triangle . This ceremony was called the
ORDNUNGEN DER STEINMETZEN
German, meaning Regukions of
the Stonecutters. For an account of the German Fraternity of Steinmetzen see
Stone Masons of the Middle Ages.
ORDO AB CHAO
A Latin expression, meaning
Order out of Chaos. A motto of the Thirty-third Degree, and having the same
allusion as lug e tenebris, which see in this work. The invention of this
motto is to be attributed to the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish petite at Charleston, and it is first met with in the Patent of Count
de Grasse, dated February 1, 1802. When De Grasse afterward carried the polite
over to France and established a Supreme Council there, he changed the motto,
and, according to Lenning, Ordo ab hoc, Order out of This, was used by him and
his Council in all their documents. If so, it was simply a blunder.
The Grand Lodge of Missouri
granted authority for the organization of Multnomah Lodge at Oregon City in
1848. When two other Lodges were opened under the Grand Lodge of California
the requisite number for the formation of a Grand Lodge of Oregon was
complete. On August 16, 1851, a Convention was held at Oregon City, with
Brother Berryman Jennings in the Chair and Brother Benjamin Stark, Secretary,
which decided in favor of a Grand Lodge. An address was sent out and a further
meeting called for September 13, 1851. Multnomah, Willamette and Lafayette
Lodges, the three then existing in the state, sent representatives, and
Brothers John Elliott and W. S. Caldwell were elected Chairman and Secretary.
Two days later a Constitution was adopted and Brothers Jennings and Stark were
installed Grand Master and Grand Secretary respectively.
Multnomah Chapter, No. 1,
Royal Arch Masons, at Salem, was granted a Dispensation about April May, 1856,
by the General Grand High Priest, Robert P. Dunlap, Brunswick, Maine, and the
first meeting held under this authority occurred on June 17 of the same year.
Records of this Chapter were submitted to the General Grand Chapter at the
Triennial Convocation in Hartford, Connecticut, later in the above year and a
Charter was issued accordingly under the date of September 11, 1856. This
Charter reached Salem in due course and Past Grand High Priest William H.
Howard, Grand Chapter of Louisiana, was chosen to constitute the Chapter under
the Charter Companion Howard residing in San Francisco, it was not until
February 14, 1857, that the Chapter was legally constituted and the officers
A Dispensation for Portland
Chapter, No. 3, at Portland, was dated January 1, 1859, and the first meeting
took place on February 12 of that year. A Charter for this Chaps ter was
issued on September 15, 1859, and the officers installed on January 12, 1860.
The Grand Chapter of Oregon was organized at Salem on September 18, 1860, by
representatives of Multnomah Chapter, No. 1, Salem; Clackamas Chapter, No. 2,
Oregon City Portland Chapter, No. 3, Portland, and Oregon Chaps ter, No. 4,
Jacksonville. Clackamas Chapter, No. 9, and Oregon Chapter, No. 4, surrendered
their Charters soon after the organization of the Grand Chapter of Oregon but
were later on chartered anew with the same names and numbers as Clackamas
Chapter No. 2, on June 12, 1893, and Oregon Chapter No. 4, on June 9, 1877.
Companion A. H. Hodson was
authorized by the General Grand Master of the General Grand Council to convene
a minimum of five Royal and Select Masters and to confer the Degrees upon not
more than nine Royal Arch Masons. Pioneer Council, No. l, was therefore
organized at McMinnville by Dispensation dated September 1, 1881. A Charter
was issued August 14, 1883. A Convention composed of representatives from the
three Councils in the State, namely, Pioneer, No. 1; Oregon, No. 2, and
Washington, No. 3, was held on February 3, 1885, and a Grand Council was
formed by Dispensation from General Grand Master George M. Osgoodby, dated
December 15, 1884.
A Special Dispensation from
the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States was issued
December 10, 1875, for Oregon Commandery, Noel. A Regular Dispensation
followed on February 15. On October 6, 1877, the Charter was signed and the
first meeting as a chartered Commandery tool place on. October 22. The Grand
Commandery of Oregon was organized in Albany, on Thursday, February
10,1887,and Sir Knight James F. Robinson was elected first Grand Commander.
The Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, Charles Roome, under date of March
4, 1887, gave his authority to complete the organization and to install the
Grand Officers, which was done on April 13, 1887.
The history of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite in Oregon begins with the establishment in Portland of
Oregon Lodge of Perfection, No. 1; Ainsworth Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1:
Multnomah Council of Eadosh, No. 1, and Oregon Consistory, No. 1. Their
Charters were dated February 5, 1870, November 14, 1871, January 11, 1872, and
March 20, 1891, respectively.
An officer in the Grand Lodge
of England, Scotland, and Ireland whose duty it is to superintend the musical
exercises on private and public occasions. He must be a Master Mason, and is
required to attend the Quarterly and other communications of the Grand Lodge.
His jewel is an antique lyre. Grand Lodges in this country do not recognize
such an officer. But an organist has been recently employed since the
introduction of musical services into Lodge ceremonies by some Lodges.
ORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND
See Grand Lodge
The East. The place where a Lodge is situated is sometimes called its Orient,
but more properly its East. The seat of a Gand Lodge has also sometimes been
called its Grand Orient; but here Grand East would, perhaps, be better. The
term Grand Orient has been used to designate certain of the Supreme Bodies on
the Continent of Europe, and also in South America; as, the Grand Orient of
France, the Grand Orient of Portugal, the Grand Orient of Brazil, the Grand
Orient of New Grenada, etc. The title always has reference to the East as the
place of honor in Freemasonry (see East, Grand ) .
See Grand Orient and East, Grand
ORIENT, GRAND COMMANDER OF THE
The French title is Grand
Commandeur d'Orient. The Forty-third Degree of the Rite of Mizraim.
A name sometimes used in
Germany to designate a Grand Chapter or superintending body of the higher
Degrees. The French title is Interieur Orient; the Gerrnan, Innere, innerster,
ORIENT OF FRANCE, GRAND
ORIENT, ORDER OF THE
In French, Ordre d'Orient. The
Order was founded, says Thory (Acta Latomorum, volume I, page 330), at Paris,
in 1806, on the system of the Templars, to whom it traced its origin.
ORIENTAL CHAIR OF SOLOMON
The seat of the Master in a
Symbolic Lodge, and so called because the Master is supposed symbolically to
fill the place over the Craft once occupied by King Solomon. For the same
reason, the seat of the Grand Master in the Grand Lodge receives the same
appellation. In England it is called the throne.
A peculiar system of doctrines
concerning the Divine Nature which is said to have originated in Persia, its
founder being Zoroaster, whence it passed through Syria, Asia Minor, and
Egypt, and was finally introduced among the Greeks, whose philosophical
systems it at times modified. Pliny calls it a magical philosophy, and says
that Democritus, having traveled into the East for the purpose of learning it,
and returning home, taught it in his Mysteries. It gave birth to the sect of
Gnostics, and most of it being adopted by the School of Alexandria, it was
taught by Philo, Jamblichus, and other disciples of that school. Its essential
feature was the theory of emanations, which see. Oriental Philosophy
permeates, sometimes to a very palpable extent, Ineffable, Philosophic, and
Hermetic Freemasonry, being mixed up and intertwined with the Jewish and
A knowledge of the Oriental
Philosophy is there fore essential to the proper understanding of these
The title first assumed by the
Rite of Memphis (see Marconis, also Memphis, Rite of ) .
The orientation of a Lodge is
its situation due East and West. The word is derived from the technical
language of architecture, where it is applied, in the expression orientation
of churches to designate a similar direction in building. Although Masonic
Lodges are still, when circumstances will permit, built on an east and west
direction, the explanation of the usage, contained in the old lectures of the
eighteenth century, that it was "because all chapels and churches are, or
ought to be so," has become obsolete, and other symbolic reasons are assigned.
Nevertheless, there can be no
doubt that such was really the origin of the usage. The orientation of
churches was a principle of ecclesiastical architecture very generally
observed by builders, in accordance with ecclesiastical law from the earliest
times after the apostolic age. Thus in the Apostolic Constitutions, which,
although falsely attributed to Saint Clement, are yet of great antiquity, we
find the express direction, Sit aedes oblonga ad orientem versus—let the
church be of an oblong boron, directed to the East—a direction which would be
strictly applicable in the building of a Lodge-room.
Saint Charles Borromeo, in his Instructiones Fabricae Ecclesiasticae, is still
more precise, and directs that the rear or altar part of the church shall look
directly to the east, in orientem versus recta spectat, and that it shall be
not ad solstitialem sed ad aequinoctialeen orientem—not to the Solstitial
East, which varies by the deflection of the sun's rising, but to the
Equinoctial East, where the sun rises at the equinoxes, that is to say, due
But we must not forget that,
as Bingham (Antiquities, book viii, chapter in) admits, although the usage was
very general to erect churches toward the East, yet "it admitted of
exceptions, as necessity or expediency"; and the same exception prevails in
the construction of Lodges, which, although always erected due East and West,
where circumstances will permit, are sometimes from necessity built in a
different direction. But whatever may be externally the situation of the Lodge
with reference to the points of the compass, it is always considered
internally that the Master's seat is in the east, and therefore that the Lodge
is "situated due East and West." As to the original interpretation of the
usage, there is no doubt that the Masonic was derived from the ecclesiastical,
that is, that Lodges were at first built East and West because churches were;
nor can we help believing that the church borrowed and Christianized its
symbol from the Pagan reverence for the place of sunrising. The admitted
reverence in Freemasonry for the east as the place of lithe, gives to the
usage the modern Masonic interpretation of the symbol of orientation. The
Fardle of Facions, printed in 1555, has a quaint description of church
arrangement. This curious essay is found in the Symbolism of Churches and
Church Ornaments 1906, John M. Neale and Benjamin Webb. Fardle, by the way,
means package or bundle. The importance of the direction of the building is
indicated by the positive instructions.
Oratories, temples, or places
of prayer, which we call churches, might not be built without the good will of
the bishop of the diocese. And when the timber was ready to be framed, and the
foundation digged, it behoved them to sende for the bishoppe, to hallowe the
firste corner stone of the foundation, and to make the signe of the Crosse
thereupon, and to laie it, and directe it juste easte and west. And then might
the masons sette upon the stone, but not afore. This churche did they use to
builds after the facion of a crosse, and not unlike the shape of a manne. The
channcelle, in the whiche is conteined the highe altars and the quiere,
directe fulle in the easte, representeth the heade, and therefore ought to be
somewhat rounde, and muche shorter than the body of the churche. And yet upon
respect that the heade is the place for the eyes, it ought to be of more
lighte, and to bee seperate with a partition, in the steade of a neeke, from
the bodye of the churche. This particion the Latine calleth cancelli, and obt
of that cometh our terme channcelle. On eche side of this channcelle
peradventure, for so fitteth it beste, should stand a turret; as it were for
two ears, and in these the belles to be hanged, to calle the people to
service, by daie and by night. Undre one of these turretts is there commonly a
vaulte, whose doore openeth into the quiere, and in this are laid up the
hallowed vessels and ornamented and other utensils of the churche.
We call it a vestrie. The
other part oughte to be fitted, that having as it were on eche side an arme,
the reste maye resemble the bodye with the fete stretched in breadthe, and in
lengthe. On eche side of the bodye the pillers to stande, upon whose
coronettes or heades the vaulte or rophe of the churche maye reste. And to the
foote beneth aulters to be joyned.
Those aulters to be orderly allay coffered with two aulter clothes, and
garnished with the erosse of Christe, or some little cofre of reliques. At
eehe ende a candelsticke, and a booke towarde the middes. The walls to be
painted without and within and diversely paineted.
That they also should have in
every parish a fair round stone, made hollow and fitt to hold water. in the
which the water consecrate for baptism may be kept for the christening of
children. Upon the right hand of the high aulter that there should be an
almorie, either cut into the wall or framed upon it, in the sthich they should
have the saerament of the Lorde's body, the holy oyle for the sieke, and
ehrismatorie, alwaie to be locked. Furthermore they would that ther should be
a pullpite in the middes of the church, wherein the prieste maye stonde upon
Sondaies and holidays to teaehe the people those things that it behoveth them
to knowe. The channeelle to serve onlsr for the priests and cierks; the rest
of the temporalle multitude to be in the bodye of the ehurche, seperate
notwithstanding, the men on the right side, and the women on the left.
Messrs. Neale and Webb show in
their introduction the tendency of the earliest churches to produce an
antitype to the typical Tabernacle, and also that it has been pointed out that
a Christian Church built at Edessa in 202 A.D., with three parts, was
expressly after the model of the Temple. Referring to the Apostolic
Constitutions we are told, " 'The Church', they say must be oblong in form,
and pointing to the Esqqt.
The oblong form was meant to
symbolize a ship, the ark which was to save us from the stormy world.
The Church of Saints Vincenzo
and Anastatio at Rome, near Saint Paolo alle Tre Fontane, built by Honorius I,
630 A.D., has its wall curbed like the ribs of a ship.
The Constitution itself refers
to the resemblance of this oblong form to a ship. It would be perfectly
unnecessary to support this obvious piece of symbolism by citations.
The orientation is an equally
valuable example of intended symbolism. We gain an additional testimony to
this from the well-known passage of Tertullian, 200 A.D., about 'The house of
our dove.' Whether this corrupt extract be interpreted with Mede or Bingham,
there can be no doubt that it its in lucem means that the church should face
the East or dayspring.
The praying towards the East
was the almost invariable custom in the early churches, and as symbolical as
their standing in prayer upon the Festivals of the Resurrection. So common was
orientation in the most ancient churches, that Socrates mentions particularly
the church at Antioch as having its 'position reversed: for the altar does not
look to the east but to the west.' This rule appears to have been more
scrupulously followed in the East than in the West; though even in Europe
examples to the contrary are exceptions" (see Oblongs) .
The ancient banner which originally belonged to the Abbey of Saint Denis, and
was borne by the Counts of Vezin, patrons of that church but which, after the
country of Vezin fell into the hands of the French crown, became the principal
banner of the kingdom. In heraldic language it is described as charged with a
saltire wavy or, with rays issuing from the center crossways;
Seccee into points, each bearing a tassel of green silk.
The banner is also described
as a red flag or gonfalon divided on the lower edge into points, as three or
five, each having a tassel of green silk, the banner carried on a gilded staff
or gold spear. In heraldry the term, oriflamme, has been applied to a red
banner charged or decorated on the surface with fleurs-de-lys of gold, the
fleurs-delys being a conventional design of some obscurity as to origin but
probably meant for repetitions of sets of three leaves or lobes representing a
flower, as a lily for example, such as were on the royal arms of France from
the reign of Charles VII (see Gonfaloat)
The old lectures of the
eighteenth century, which are now obsolete, contained the following
instruction: "There are in Freemasonry twelve original points, which form the
basis of the system and comprehend the whole ceremony of initiation. Without
the existence of these points, no man ever was, or can be, legally and
essentially received into the Order. Every person who is made a Freemason must
go through all these twelve forms and ceremonies, not only in the First
Degree, but in every subsequent one."
ORIGIN OF FREEMASONRY
The origin and source whence
first sprang the institution of Freemasonry, such as we now have it, has given
rise to more difference of opinion and discussion among Masonic scholars than
any other topic in the literature of the Institution. Writers on the history
of Freemasonry have, at different times, attributed its origin to the
1 The Patriarchal religion.
2 The Ancient Pagan Mysteries.
3. The Temple of King Solomon
4. The Crusaders.
5. The Knights Templar.
6 The Roman Colleges of Artificers
7 The Operative Masons of the Middle Ages.
8. The Rosicrucians of the sixteenth century
9. Oliver Cromwell, for the advancement of his political schemes.
10. The Pretender, for the restoration of the Eouse of Stuart to the British
11. Sir Christopher Wren at the building of Sailt Paul's Cathedral.12. Doctor
Desaguliers and his associates in the year 1717.
Each of these twelve theories
has been from time to time, and the twelfth within a recent period. sustained
with much zeal, if not always with much judgment, by their advocates. A few of
them, hon~ever, have long since been abandoned, but the others still attract
attention and find defenders. Doetor Mackey had his own views of the subject
in his boots History of Freemasonry, to which the reader is referred (see
Antiquity of Freemasonry Egyptians Mysteries; Roman College Artificers; Como;
Comacine Masters; Traveling Masons; Stone-Masons of Middle Ages; Four Old
Lodges; Revival; Speculative Freemasonry).
ORLEANS, DUKE OF
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of
Orleans, better known in history by his revolutionary name of Egalite, meaning
Equality, was the fifth Grand Master of the Masonic Order in France. As Duke
of Chartres, the title which he held during the life of his father, he was
elected Grand Master in the year 1771, upon the death of the Count de
Clermont. Having appointed the Duke of Luxemburg his Substitute, he did not
attend a meeting of the Grand Lodge until 1777, but had in the meantime paid
much attention to the interests of Freemasonry, visiting many of the Lodges,
and laying the foundation-stone of a Masonic Hall at Bordeaux.
His abandonment of his family
and his adhesion to the Jacobins during the Revolution, when he repudiated his
hereditary title of Duke of Orleans and assumed the republican one of Egalite,
forms a part of the history of the times. On the 22d of February, 1793, he
wrote a letter to Milsent, the editor, over the signature of Citoven Egalite,
which was published ain the Journal de Paris, and which contains the following
"This is my Masonic history.
At one time, when certainly no one could have foreseen our Revolution, I was
in favor of Freemasonry, which presented to me a sort of image of equality, as
I was in favor of the Parliament, which presented a sort of image of liberty.
I have since quitted the
phantom for the reality. In the month of December last, the Secretary of the
Grand Orient having addressed himself to the person who discharged the
functions, near me, of Secretary of the Grand Master, to obtain my opinion on
a question relating to the affairs of that Society, I replied to him on the
5th of January as follows: 'As I do not know how the Grand Orient is composed,
and as, besides, I think that there should be no mystery nor secret assembly
in a Republic, especially at the commencement of its establishment, I desire
no longer to mingle in the affairs of the Grand Orient, nor in the meetings of
In consequence of the
publication of this letter, the Grand Orient on May 13, 1793, declared the
Grand Mastership vacant, thus virtually deposing their recreant chief. He soon
reaped the reward of his treachery and political debasement. On the 6th of
November in the same year he suffered death on the guillotine.
ORMUS or ORMESIUS
See Rose Croiz of Gold, Brethren of the.
ORMUZD AND AHRIMAN
Ormuzd was the principle of
good and the symbol of light, and Ahriman the principle of evil and the symbol
of darkness in the old Persian religion (see Zoroaster).
ORNAMENTS OF A LODGE
The lectures describe the
ornaments of a Lodge as consisting of the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel,
and the Blazing Star. They are called ornaments because they are really the
decorations with which a properly furnished Lodge, is adorned (see these
ORNAN THE JEBUSITE
He was an inhabitant of
Jerusalem, at the time that city was called Jebus, from the son of Canaan,
whose descendants peopled it. He was the owner of the threshing-floor situated
on Mount Moriah, in the same spot on which the Temple was afterward built.
This threshing floor David bought to erect on it an altar to God (First
Chronicles xxi, 18 to 25). on the same spot Solomon afterward built the
Temple. Hence, in Masonic language, the Temple of Solomon is sometimes spoken
of as "the threshing-Soor of Ornan the Jebusite" (see Threshing-Floor).
A brief paragraph in the Book
of Constitutions edited by John Entick, M. A., 1756, announces January 31,
1738-9, the rejection of "a scheme for the placing out Mason's sons
apprentices." This was proposed by John Boaman. His proposal is in the
Rawlinson Manuscript C. 136, in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The
proposition was to raise yearly three hundred and ten pounds for the carrying
on and providing for twenty children of Masons and binding four to trades
every year. Brother Boaman prepared a careful statement and asserted that
"security given for the performance, if the Brethren cheerfully agree to pay
only one-half penny a week each." The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls was
proposed in 1788 by the Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, initiated at Bristol,
April 7, 1762, in the Bush Lodge. Formal recognition was extended to the
School at the Quarterly Communication in February, 1790, by the Grand Lodge of
Freemasonry was introduced
into Sweden from England about 1735 and seems to have taken great hold of the
wealthy classes. In 1753 Swedish Lodges were anxious to commemorate the birth
of a Princess of the royal house that sheltered them. They hit upon the plan
of establishing an orphan asylum at Stockholm. An annual concert was organized
for the benefit of this institution, and proved no less successful as a source
of revenue than the great festival of the English School. In 1767 a great
accession to the resources of the Swedish institution took place. In that year
a wealthy merchant of Stoekholm, Johann Bohmann, a member of the Grand Lodge
of Sweden, endowed it with three hundred thousand copper dollars. This sum is
not quite as formidable as it seems. Thory, from whom we borrow the account,
is careful to indicate that it represented only one hundred and thirty
thousand francs, or about fifty-two hundred pounds sterling (over twenty-five
thousand dollars). There is an odd similarity between the names of the English
Brother Boaman and the Swedish Brother Bohmann or Boman. The one sounds like
an attempt to reproduce the other.
In 1778 the Queen of Sweden
gave the Asylum an endowment of sixty dollars a year and the Burgomaster in
Stockholm a like sum. The news of this patronage incited the Brethren of
Gottemburg to emulate the beneficence of their Brethren at Stockholm and they
too founded in 1756 a benevolent institution for children. This institution
has adopted the plan of boarding out the children in selected families under
proper supervision; a plan which has many advantages and which has worked
satisfactorily under their painstaking-administration. Nor did this close the
tale of Swedish benevolence towards the orphans of the Craft in those early
days. In 1762 the Lodge Gustaf in Karlskrona founded there an orphanage with a
section for Freemasons' children.
The Brethren of Stockholm have provided a magnificent home at Cnstineberg
where they maintain an average of one hundred and forty orphans of the Craft.
"Sundry Brethren" in Dublin in
1792 formed themselves into a "Society for the schooling of the orphaned
female children of distressed Masons." This received the recognition and the
sanction of the Grand Lodge in 1795 and at the Communication of February,
1796, thanks were voted to the "worthy Brethren with whom the idea
The Royal Masonic Institution
for Boys was in 1798 projected by some English Brethren, members of the Grand
Lodge of the Ancient who planned a scheme "for clothing and educating the sons
of indigent Freemasons." The above information by Brother W. J. Chetwode
Crawley is in the Christmas number of the Freemason, 1897, and is also in the
Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge (pages 167 to 186, volume xxviii, 1910;
see also Charity and Benevolence).
There are no less than four
persons to whom the ancients gave the name of Orpheus, but of these only one
is worthy of notice as the inventor of the Mysteries, or, at least, as the
introducer of them into Greece. The genuine Orpheus is said to have been a
Thracian, and a disciple of Linus, who flourished when the kingdom of the
Athenians was dissolved. From him the Thracian or Orphic Mysteries derived
their name, because he first introduced the sacred rites of initiation and
mystical doctrines into Greece. He was, according to fabulous tradition, torn
to pieces by Ciconian women, and after his death he was deified by the Greeks.
The story, that by the power
of his harmony he drew wild beasts and trees to him, has been symbolically
interpreted, that by his sacred doctrines he tamed men of rustic and savage
disposition. An abundance of fables has clustered around the name of Orpheus;
but it is at least generally admitted by the learned, that he was the founder
of the system of initiation into the sacred Mysteries as practiced in Greece.
The Grecian theology, says Thomas Taylor—himself the most Grecian of all
moderns—originated from Orpheus, and was promulgated by him, by Pythagoras,
and by Plato; by the first, mystically and symbolically; by the second,
enigmatically and through images; and by the last, scientifically. The
mysticism of Orpheus should certainly have given him as high a place in the
esteem of the founders of the present system of Speculative Freemasonry as has
been bestowed upon Pythagoras. But it is strange that, while they delighted to
call Pythagoras an "ancient friend and Brother," they have been utterly silent
as to Orpheus.
These rites were practiced in
Greece, and were a modification of the WIvstelies of Bacchus or Dionysus, and
they were so called because their institution was falsely attributed to
Orpheus. They were, however, established at a much later period than his era.
Indeed, M. Freret, who has investigated this subject with much learning in the
Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions (tome xxiii), regards the Orphics as a
degenerate branch of the school of Pythagoras, formed, after the destruction
of that school, by some of its disciples, who, seeking to establish a
religious association, devoted themselves to the worship of Bacchus, with
which they mingled certain Egyptian practices, and out of this mixture made up
a species of life which they called the Orphic life, and the origin of which,
to secure greater consideration, they attributed to Orpheus, publishing under
his name many apocryphal works.
The Orphic rites differed from
the other Pagau rites, in not being connected with the priesthood, but in
being practised by a fraternity which did not pos sess the sacerdotal
functions. The initiated commemorated in their ceremonies, which were
performed at night, the murder of Bacchus by the Titans and his final
restoration to the supreme government of the universe, under the name of
Phanes. Demosthenes, while reproaching Aeschines for having engaged with his
mother in these Mysteries, gives us some notion of their nature.
In the day, the initiates were
crowned with fennel and poplar, and carried serpents in their hands, or twined
them around their heads, crying with a loud voice, Enos, Sabos, and danced to
the sound of the mystic words, Hazes, Attes, Attes, Hyes. At night the mystcs
was bathed in the lustral water, and having been rubbed over with clay and
bran, he was clothed in the skin of a fawn, and having risen from the bath, he
exclaimed, "I have departed from evil and have found the good."
The Orphic poems made Bacchus
identical with Osiris, and celebrated the mutilation and palingenesis, or
second birth into a higher or better life, of that deity as a symbol teaching
the resurrection to eternal life, so that their design was similar to that of
the other Pagan Mysteries. The Orphic initiation, because it was not
sacerdotal or priestly in its character, was not so celebrated among the
ancients as the other Mysteries. Plato, even, calls its disciples charlatans.
It nevertheless existed until the first ages of the Christian religion, being
at that time adopted by the philosophers as a means of opposing the progress
of the new revelation. It fell, however, at last, with the other rites of
Paganism, a victim to the rapid and triumphant progress of the Gospel.
He was the chief god of the
old Egyptian mythology, the husband of Isis, and the father of Horus.
Jabloniski says that Osiris represented the sun only, but Plutarch, whose
opportunity of knowing was better, asserts that, while generally considered as
a symbol of the solar orb, some of the Egyptian philosophers retarded him as a
river god, and called him Nilus. But the truth is, that Osiris represented the
male, active or generative, powers of nature; while Isis represented its
female, passive or prolific, powers. Thus, when Osiris was the sun, Isis was
the earth, to be vivified by his rays; when he was the Nile, Isis was the land
of Egypt, fertilized by his overflow. Such is the mythological or mystical
sense in which Osiris was received. Historically, he is said to have been a
great and powerful king, who, leaving Egypt, traversed the world, leading a
host of fauns or satyrs, and other fabulous beings in his train, actually an
army of followers. He civilized the whole earth, and taught mankind to
fertilize the soil and to perform the works of agriculture. We see here the
idea which was subsequently expressed by the Greeks in their travels of
Dionysus, and the wanderings of Ceres; and it is not improbable that the old
Freemasons had some dim perception of this story, which they have
incorporated, under the figure of Euclid, in their Legend of the Craft.
OSIRIS. MYSTERIES OF
The Osirian Mysteries
consisted in a scenic representation of the murder of Osiris by Typhon, the
subsequent recovery of his mutilated body by Isis, and his deification, or
restoration to immortal life. Julius Firmicus, in his treatise on the Falsity
of the Pagan Religions, thus describes the object of the Osirian Mysteries:
"But in those funerals and lamentations which are annually celebrated in honor
of Osiris, the defenders of the Pagan rites pretend a physical reason. They
call the seeds of fruit, Osiris; the earth, Isis; the natural heat, Typhon;
and because the fruits are ripened bv the natural heat and collected for the
life of man, and are separated from their natural tie to the earth, and are
sown again when winter approaches, this they consider is the death of Osiris;
but when the fruits, by the genial fostering of the earth, begin again to be
generated by a new procreation, this is the finding of Osiris." This
explanation does not essentially differ from that already given in the article
on Egyptian Mysteries. The symbolism is indeed preeisely the same—that of a
restoration or resurrection from death to life (see Egyptian Mysteries).
The name of the assassin at
the west gate in the legend of the Third Degree, according to some of the
advanced Degrees. Doctor Mackey said he had vainly sought the true meaning or
derivation of this word, which is most probably an anagram of a name. It was,
in his opinion, invented by the Stuart Freemasons, and refers to some person
who was inimical to that party. Brother Mackenzie (Royal Masonic Cyclopedia)
spells the word Oterpet but affords no further light upon its meaning. Another
suggestion would be the Hebrew words Aw-tare, meaning maimed, and peh, -thah,
American statesman, born
February 5, 1725; graduate of Harvard, 1743; inaugurated patriotic movement by
famous trade relations speech in 1760; died May 23, 1783. Made a Freemason in
Saint John's Lodge, March 11, 1752; Raised January 4, 1754, at Boston (see New
Age, March, 1925; Beginnings of Freemuson7~y in America, Melvin M. Johnson,
page 329; Builder, volume xi, page 51).
The pseudonym of the
celebrated Rosicrucian Michael Maier, under which he wrote his book on Death
and the Resurrection (see Maier).
OUT OF THE LODGE
The Charges of a Freemason,
compiled by Anderson from the Ancient Records, contain the regulations for the
behavior of Freemasons out of the Lodge under several heads; as, behavior
after the Lodge is over, when Brethren meet without strangers, in the presence
of strangers, at home, and toward a strange Brother. Gädicke gives the same
directions in the following words:
A Brother Freemason shall not only conduct himself in the Lodge, but also out
of the Lodge, as a brother towards his brethren; and happy are they who are
convinced that they have in this respect ever obeyed the laws of the Order.
The temple in the Druidical
Mysteries was often of an oval form. As the oblong temple was a representation
of the inhabited world, whence is derived the form of the Lodge, so the oval
temple was a representation of the mundane egg, which was also a symbol of the
world. The symbolic idea in both was the same.
The title of three officers in
a Mark Lodge, who are distinguished as the Master, Senior, and Junior
Overseer. The jewel of their office is a square. In Mark Lodges attached to
Chapters, the duties of these officers are performed by the three Grand
Masters of the Veils.
The 0x was the device on the
banner of the Tribe of Ephraim. The ox on a scarlet field is one of the Royal
Arch banners, and is borne by the Grand Master of the Third Veil.
A prominent Freemason,
Provincial Grand Master for North America, March 6, 1744 to June 25, 1754.
Born 1703 in the Bishopric of Durham, England, and died in Boston, June 25,
1754. Brother Oxnard became a member of the First Lodge, Boston, on January
21, 1736, of which Lodge he was elected Master in 1736. He was one of the
foremost founders of the Masters Lodge which came into existence January 2,
1739. Brother Oxnard was appointed Deputy Grand Master in 1739, succeeding
Tomlinson as Grand Master. His Commission, dated September 23, 1743, was
received in Boston March 6, 1744. His original Warrant specifically appoints
Thomas Oxnard as Provincial Grand Master of North America and gives him full
power to constitute Lodges in North America. Brother Oxnard was a most
enthusiastic and energetic member of the Fraternity and constituted numerous
Masonic Lodges in and around Boston Newfoundland, Rhode Island, Maryland,
Connecticut, and elsewhere.
OYRES DE ORNELLAS, PRACAO
A Portuguese gentleman, who
was arrested as a Freemason, at Lisbon, in 1776, was thrown into a dungeon,
where he remained fourteen months (see Alincourt).
Sometimes Osee. The
acclamation of the Scottish Rite is so spelled in many French Cahiers.
Properly Hoschea, which Delaunay (T'huileur, page 141) derives from the Hebrew
word yfln, hossheah, deliverance, safety, or, as he says, a savior (but see
Hoschea, where another derivation is suggested).
The Hebrew word any; Latin,
Fortitudo doming courage from above. A Prince of Judah, and the name of the
Senior Warden in the Fifth Degree of the French Rite of Adoption.