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 Hebrew letter is 7,
pronounced Resh. The eighteenth letter in the English and other Western
alphabets- The word Resh signifies forehead and in the Phenician and
hieroglyphic character is presented as in the illustration. Compare this with
the Hebrew letter. Its numerical value is 900, and the equivalent as a name of
God is Rahum, signifying clemency.
The word off, is Rabbinical
Hebrew, and signifies the Chief of the Architects. A significant word in the
The system of philosophy
taught by the Jewish Rabbis subsequent to the dispersion, which is engaged in
mystical explanations of the oral law. With the reveries of the Jewish
teachers was mingled the Egyptian, the Arabic, and the Grecian doctrines. From
the Egyptians, especially, Rabbinism derived its allegorical and symbolic mode
of instruction. Out of it sprang the Therapeutists and the Essenian9; and it
gave rise to the composition of the Talmud, many of whose legends have been
incorporated into the mythical philosophy of Speculative Freemasonry. This it
is that makes Rabbinism an interesting subject of research to the Masonic
Literally, My Master,
equivalent to the pure Hebrew, Adoni. As a significant word in the advanced
Degrees, it has been translated a most Excellent Master, and its usage by the
later Jews will justify that interpretation. Buxtorf (Talt mudic Lexicon)
tells us that about the time of Christ this title arose in the School of
Hillel, and was given to only seven of their wise men who were preeminent for
Jahn (Biblical Archeology,
page 106) says that Gamaliel, the preceptor of Saint Paul, was one of these.
They styled themselves the children of wisdom, which is an expression very
nearly corresponding to the Greek. The word occurs once, as applied to Christ,
in the New Testament (John xx, 16), "Jesus said unto her, Mary. She turned
herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master." The Masonie
myth in the Most Excellent Master's Degree, that it was the title addressed by
the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon on beholding the magnificence and splendor
of the Temple, lacks the element of plausibility, inasmuch as the word was not
in use in the time of Solomon.
RAGON, J. M.
One of the most distinguished
Masonic writers of France. His contemporaries did not hesitate to call him
"the most learned Freemason of the nineteenth century." He was born in the
last quarter of the eighteenth century, most probably at Bruges, in Belgium,
where in 1803 he was initiated in the Lodge Réunion des Amis du Nord, and
subsequently assisted in the foundation of the Lodge and Chapter of Vrais Amis
in the same city. On his removal to Paris he continued his devotion to
Freemasonry and was the founder in 1805 of the celebrated Lodge of Les
Trinosophes. In that Lodge he delivered, in 1818, a course of lectures on
ancient and modern initiations, which twenty years afterward were repeated at
the request of the Lodge, and published in 1841, under the title of Cours
Philosophique et Interpratif ales Initiations Anciennes et Moderns.
This work was printed with the
express permission of the Grand Orient of France, but three years after that
body denounced its second edition for containing some additional matter Rebold
charges this act to the petty passions of the day, and twenty-five years after
the Grand Orient made ample reparation in the honor that it paid to the memory
of Ragon. In 1818 and 1819, he was editor-in-chief of the periodical published
during those years under the title of Hermes, on Archives Maçonniques. In
1853, he published Orthodoxie Maçonnique, a work abounding in historical
information, although some of his statements are inaccurate. In 1861, he
published the Tuileur Général de la Franc-Maçonnerie, ou Manuel de l'Initié: a
book not merely confined to the details of Degrees, but which is enriched with
many valuable and interesting notes. Ragon died at Paris about the year 1866.
In the preface to his
Orthodoxie, he had announced his intention to crown his Masonic labors by
writing a work to be entitled Les Fastes Initiatiques, in which he proposed to
give an exhaustive view of the Ancient Mysteries, of the Roman Colleges of
Architects and their successors, the building corporations of the Middle Ages,
and of the institution of Modern or Philosophic Freemasonry at the beginning
of the eighteenth century. This was to constitute the first volume.
The three following volumes
were to embrace a history of the Order and of all its Rites in every country.
The fifth Volume was to be appropriated to the investigation of other secret
associations, more or less connected with Freemasonry; and the sixth and last
volume was to contain 3 General Tiler or Manual of all the known rites and
Degrees. Such a work would have been an inestimable boon to the Masonic
student, but Ragon unfortunately began it too late in life. He did not live to
complete it, and in 1868 the unfinished manuscript was purchased, by the Grand
Orient of Franee, from his heirs for a thousand francs.
It was destined to be quietly
deposited in the archives of that Body, because, as it was confessed, no
Freemason could be found in France who had ability enough to supply its
lacunae or missing material and prepare it for the press. Ragon's theory of
the origin of Freemasonry was that its primitive idea is to be found in the
initiations of the Ancient Mysteries, but that for its present form it is
indebted to Elias Ashrnole, who fabricated it in the seventeenth century.
RAGOTZKY, CARL AUGUST
A German who was distinguished
for his labors in Freemasonry, and for the production of several works of high
character, the principal of which were Der Freidenker in der Maurerei oder
Freimüthige Briefe über wichtige Gegenstände in der Frei-Maurerei, that is,
The Free-thinker in Freemasonry, or Candid Letters on important subjects in
Freemasonry, published at Berlin, in 1793, in an octavo volume of three
hundred and eleven pages, of which a second edition appeared in 1811; and a
smaller work entitled Ueber Maurerische Fresher fur eingeweihte und
uneingeweihte, that is, An Essay on Masonic Liberty, for Initiated and
Uninitiated Readers, published in 1792. He died on January, 1823.
RAINBOW FOR GIRLS, ORDER OF
A organization planned to sow
the seeds of love, law, religion, patriotism, and service in the hearts of the
girlhood of America for harvest in the coming years. These sentiments prompted
a Brother, the Rev. William Mark Sexson, McAlester, Oklahoma, then the Grand
Chaplain of his State, to write the ritual and lay the foundations of the
Order of the Rainbow for Girls.
The first exemplification of the ritual wee on April 6, 1922, when a class of
more than seventy-five girls was initiated. In the four following years the
Order was extended to thirty-one States of the Union and grew to a membership
of forty thousand The Order of the Rainbow is not Freemasonry nor is it
Eastern Star, but it is very dear to each one off these fraternities.
Local Lodges or Bodies are called Assemblies, and before an Assembly can be
instituted it must be sponsored by a Masonic or an Eastern Star organization
that will promise to look after its welfare. Its members, girls from 13 to 18,
must be children of Masonic or Eastern Star families, or the friends and chums
of such children. This is the only relationship it has to Freemasonry though
it has no secrets from Freemasons or Stars and they are free to attend the
meetings of any Assembly.
RAINBOW, THE MOST ANCIENT
ORDER OF THE
A secret association existing in Moorfields in 1760
It was a custom among the
English Freemasons of the middle of the eighteenth century, when conversing
together on Freemasonry, to announce the appearance of a profane by the
warning expression It rains. The custom was adopted by the German and French
Freemasons, with the equivalent expression, Es regnet and II pluie. Baron
Tschoudy, who condemns the usage, says that the latter refined upon it by
designating the approach of a female by II neige, the French for It snows.
Doctor Oliver says (Revelations of a Square, page 142) that the phrase It
rains, to indicate that a Cowan is present and the proceedings must be
suspended, is derived from the ancient punishment of an eavesdropper, which
was to place him under the eaves of a house in rainy weather, and to retain
him there till the droppings of water ran in at the collar of his coat and out
at his shoes.
When a candidate has received
the Third Degree, he is said to have been raised to the sublime Degree of a
Master Mason. The expression refers, materially, to a portion of the ceremony
of initiation, but symbolically, to the resurrection, which it is the object
of the Degree to exemplify.
A curious sidelight upon the
use of the expression is that obtained by considering the word as also meaning
the acceptance or adoption of the candidate officially by the Fraternity.
There is an ancient and striking parallel for this understanding. Among the
Roman customs connected with the birth of children that was the most
remarkable which left it to the arbitrary will of the father whether his
new-born child should be preserved or left to perish. The midwife always
placed the child on the ground. If the father wished to preserve its life he
raised it from the ground and this was said to be tollere infantem, the
raising of the child. This was an intimation of his purpose to acknowledge and
educate it as his own If the father did not choose to do this, he left the
child on the ground, and thus expressed his wish to expose or abandon it,
exponere. This exposing of a newborn child was an unnatural custom borrowed
from the Greeks by which children were left in the streets and abandoned to
their fate (see Fiske's Classical Antiquities, page 287).
Some highly significant
pictorial instances of resurrection are found in old churches. The altar
picture from Holyrood at Edinburgh, Scotland (see illustration), is a good
example. Here the First Person of the Trinity supports or raises the Son.
Usually the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost, is also represented
symbolically in such cases, the dove being as a rule selected to indicate the
complete threefold unity of the Godhead. The altar symbolism from Holyrood is
therefore a typical specimen of the Trinity portrayal and of the resurrection
Brother J. E. Barton discusses
the symbolism of the other illustration, the Trinity Boss in the West Porch of
Peterborough Cathedral in England. This porch is from architectural details
dated about 1375. Old writers would call the porch a "Galilee," a ritualistic
provision for such occasions as Palm Sunday, and for processions generally on
the Sabbath. The promise to the disciples, that the risen Christ should go
before them into Galilee, is no doubt the origin of the name; for the chief
ecclesiastical dignitary, who brought up the rear of the procession, here went
first, and entered the porch through the ranks of his subordinates, as a
Master in taking his seat in the Lodge.
Three probabilities are to be
taken into account in considering this boss. It is the central ornament of a
porch having special reference to the feast of the Resurrection. It was
designed by a Gild—itself probably dedicated to the Holy Trinity, as at the
Newark Parish Church, which would naturally wish the porch dedicated to the
Holy Trinity. Its designers were inspired by a desire to connect, in a manner
not unnatural to Freemasons with their own grades and ritual, the two ideas of
the Holy Trinity and of the Resurrection.
Presumably the Masonic Gild,
perhaps the chief Gild in Peterborough, was about to vault the porch it had
given, and looked about for a suitable composition for its main boss. The
first and inevitable suggestion was a Trinity subject, so common in sculptures
stained glass, and on monumental brasses The usual Trinity is a design of God
the Father sups porting the Son upon the Cross, with the Holy Spirit added in
the form of a Dove. Next it was suggested that the Trinity should here be
modified in form, so as to deplete a Risen, not a Crucified Lord, as being
suitable to a Galilee Porch.
Last came the unifying
suggestion that by the use Of a Masonic symbol the Resurrection of Christ, in
the Trinity subject, should be marked at the point where Our Lord is about to
be raised to Heaven by the hands of the Father; one hand gripping, and the
other blessing. Hence the Second Person in the Trinity, who has already passed
from the earthly Incarnation, is here at a singular position. His pierced
hands show Him already crucified and rising from the grave, with the attitude
common to medieval paintings of the Resurrection and the loin cloths still
about Him. He is about to be raised to the sublime Degree, and God the Father,
in order more expressly to note the Masonic idea, is figured like the Sun at
What more appropriate than two
figures typical of the Elect, redeemed by Christ, and raised and crowned with
Him? Hence the two crowned figures, one apparently an ecclesiastic with an
amice, whose diadems have the Trinity symbol of the trefoil, like the Father's
crown in the Chester boss. In this Peterborough boss, indeed, each foil of the
trefoil is itself trefoiled, as if to insist on the threefold notion.
First president of the
Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Born
1721; died October 2, 1775. He received a Warrant from Lord Petrie, Grand
Master of England, on November 6, 1773, constituting him Master of
Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, Williamsburg Virginia. Provincial Grand Master of
Virginia in 1774 and until his death (see Washington zhe Man and the Mason,
Charles H. Callahan, page o54, etc.; New Age, November, 1924; Masonry in the
Formation of our Government—1761-1,99, Philip A. Roth, page 31).
The Hebrew interpretation is
the Sealing of God. The title of an officer in a Rose Croix Chapter- The name
of the angel, under the Cabalistieal system, that governed the Planet Mercury.
A city of Bavaria, in which
two Masonic Congresses have been held. The first was convoked in 1459, by Jost
Dotzinger, the Master of the Works of the Strasburg cathedral. It established
some new laws for the government of the Fraternity in Germany. The second was
ealled in 1464, by the Grand Lodge of Strasburg, principally to define the
relative rights of, and to settle existing difficulties between, the Grand
Lodges of Strasburg, Cologne, Vienna, and Bera (see Stone Masons of the Middle
In 1855, the Rev. J. S.
Sidebotham, of New College, Oxford, published in the Freemasons Monthly
Magazine a series of interesting extracts from a manuscript volume which he
stated was in the Bodleian Library, and which he described as seeming "to be a
kind of Masonic album, or commonplace book, belonging to Brother Richard
Rawlinson, LL.D. and F.R.S., of the following Lodges: Sash and Cocoa-tree,
Moorfields, 37; Saint Paul's Head, Ludgate Street, 40; Rose Tavern, Cheapside,
and Oxford Arms, Ludgate Street, 94; in which he inserted anything that struck
him either as useful or particularly amusing. It is partly in manuscript,
partly in print, and comprises some ancient Masonic Charges, Constitutions,
forms of summons, a list of all the Lodges of his time under the Grand Lodge
of England, whether in London, the country, or abroad; together with some
extracts from the Grub street Journal, the General Evening Post, and other
journals of the day. The dates range from 1724 to 1740" (Freemasons Monthly
Magazine, 1855, page 81). A later inquiry as to his membership disclosed that
Richard Rawliason was a member of four Lodges, the one held at Sash and
Cocoa-tree, the one at Saint Paul's Head, the Barbican, and the Oxford
University Arms~ He served as Grand Steward in 1734.
Among the materials thus
collected is one which bears the following title: The Freemasons Constitution,
Copied from an Old Manuscript in the possession of Doctor Rawlinson. This copy
of the Old Constitutions does not differ materially in its contents from the
other old manuscripts, but its more modern spelling and phraseology would seem
to give it a later date, which may be from 172S50. In a note to the statement
that King Athelstan "caused a roll or book to be made, which declared how this
science was first invented, afterwards preserved and augmented, with the
utility and true intent thereof, which roll or book he commanded to be read
and plainly recited when a man was to be made a Freemason," Doctor Rawlinson
says: "One of these rolls I have seen in the possession of Mr. Baker, a
carpenter in Moorfields." The title of the manuscript in the scrap-book of
Rawlinson is The Freemasons' Constitution, Copied from an Old Manuscript in
the possession of Doctor Rawlinson. The original manuscript has not yet been
traced, but possibly if found would be of about the end of the seventeenth
Richard Rawlinson, LL.D., was
a celebrated antiquary, who was born in London about 1689, and died April 6,
1755. He was the author of a Life of Anthony Wood, published in 1711, and of
The English Topographer, published in 1720. Doctor Rawlinson was consecrated a
Bishop of the conjuring communion of the Church of England, March 25, 1728. He
was an assiduous collector of old manuscripts, invariably purchasing,
sometimes at high prices, all that were offered him for sale. In his will,
dated June 2, 1752, he bequeathed the whole collection to the University of
Oxford. The manuscripts were placed in the Bodleian Library, and still remain
there. In 1898, Dr. W. J. Chetwode Crawley published in the Transactions,
Quatuor Coronati Lodge (volume xi), a full account of the Rawlinson
manuscripts, in which he shows (page 15) that the collection was not reallv
made by Doctor Rawlinson, but by one Thomas Towl.
An English scholar, Doctor of
Civil Law and Fellow of the Royal Society, noted for his large and valuable
collections of old manuscripts anal books on Freemasonry and other subjects.
Born at London in 1689, initiated about 1726 his name appearing in rosters of
four London Lodges. Grand Steward in 1734. He was nonjuring bishop of the
Church of England, consecrated March 95, 1728. His Masonic literature is now
deposited in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, many interesting old documents
being included, one Copy of the Old Constitutions said to be as old as 1700
and the original of which has never been found. Brother Rawlinson died April
6, 1755. There is an interesting letter from Doctor Rawlinson to Mr. Thomas
Towl at AGr. Heath's near the Black Dog in Shoreditch. The letter is as
Dear Sir: As you preserve all
relating to the Subjeet of Masonry I send you this from Mr. Whitfields
Continuation of his Journal, London. 1739, October, page 6. Saavannah in
Georgia Friday 24th June, 1738
To the great surprise of
myself and people was enabled to read Prayers and preach with power before the
Free Masons, with whom I afterwards dined, and was used with the utmost
Civility. May God make therm Sertants of Christ, and then, and rzot tic then
wig thev be free indeed What notions this Gent has of the craft you may guess
by his surprise and wish. I am, sir, yours to command, 13 January, 1738/9. R.
Brother W. Wonnacott, late
Grand Librarian of United Grand Lodge of England, has called our attention to
the two dates given in this letter from Doctor Rawlinson to his Vriend. They
do not harmonize and evidently some mistake has been made in the figures.
Another error as to the actual day is commented upon by Brother Crawley:
Opportunity may here be taken to draw attention to the singular error in Dr.
Richard Rawlinson's letter to Towle. in which the Freemasons' hospitality is
quoted from George Whitfield's Dxarv; the 24th June, 1738, did not fall on a
Friday but on a Saturday. The misdating Of the entry is probably due to a
clerical exTor, for there is not wanting contemporary evidence that the
incident occurred on Saturday, June 24th, 1738. (See foot-note, Brother W. J.
Chetwode Crawley's article on Reverend John Wesley and the Lodge at
Downpatrick, in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume xv, page
RAYMOND, EDWARD ASA
Born February 6, 1791, in
Golden, Massachusetts, and died in Brookline, Massachusetts, on August 4,
1864. For more than forty years Brother Ravmond was an active member of the
Masonic Order, having become a Freemason January 15, 1816, in Amicable Lodge,
Cambridge and being admitted a member of Saint Johns Lodge, Boston, April 2,
1836. He affiliated with the Massachusetts Lodge in 1843 on November 24. In
the course of his Masonic career, Brother Raymond, who was the possessor of a
large fortune, acted as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, Grand Master
of the Grand Encampment of Massachusetts, and Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States. The period during
which he served as Grand Master of Massachusetts dated from December 27, 1848,
and ended December 30, 1851. The Memorial Volume of the 125th Anniversary of
the Massachusetts Lodge is dedicated in honor of Brother Raymond.
RECEIVED AND ACKNOWLEDGED
A term applied to the
initiation of a candidate into the Sixth or Most Excellent Master's Degree of
the American Rite (see Acknowledged).
The ceremony of initiation
into a Degree of Freemasonry is called a reception.
The French call the candidate
in any Degree the Racipiendaire, or Recipient.
RECOGNITION, MODES OF
Smith says Use and Abuse of
Masonry, page 46) that at the institution of the Order, to each of the Degrees
"a particular distinguished test was adapted, which test, together with the
explication, was accordingly settled and communicated to the Fraternity
previous to their dispersion, under a necessary and solemn injunction to
secrecy; and they have been most cautiously preserved and transmitted down to
posterity by faithful Brethren ever since their emigration." Hence, of all the
landmarks, the modes of recognition are the most legitimate and unquestioned.
They should admit of no variation, for in their universality consist their
excellence and advantage.
Yet such variations have
unfortunately been admitted, the principal of which originated about the
middle of the eighteenth century, and were intimately connected with the
division of the Fraternity in England into the t vo conflicting societies of
the Ancient and the Moderns; and although by the reconciliation in 1813
uniformity was restored in the United Grand Lodge which was then formed, that
uniformity did not extend to the subordinate Bodies in other countries which
had derived their existence and their different modes of recognition from the
two separated Grand Lodges; and this was, of course, equally applicable to the
higher degrees which sprang out of them.
Thus, while the modes of
recognition in the York and Scottish Rites are substantially the same, those
of the French or Modern Rite differ in almost everything. In this there is a
Password in the First Degree unrecognized by the two other Rites, and all
afterwards are different.
Again, there are important
differences in the York and American Rites, although there is sufficient
similarity to relieve American and English Freemasons from any embarrassment
in mutual recognition. Although nearly all the Lodges in the United States,
before the Revolution of 1776, derived their existence from the Grand Lodges
of England, the American Freemasons do not use the multitude of signs that
prevail in the English system, while they have introduced, in the opinion of
Brother Mackey, through the teachings of Webb, the Due Guard, which is totally
unknown to English Freemasonry. Looking to these differences, the Masonic
Congress of Paris, held in 1856, recommended, in the seventh proposition, that
"Masters of Lodges, in conferring the degree of Master Mason, should invest
the candidate with the words, signs, and grips of the Scottish and Modern
Rites." This proposition, if it had been adopted, would have mitigated, if it
did not abolish, the evil; but, unfortunately, it did not receive the general
concurrence of the Craft.
As to the antiquity of modes
of recognition in general, it may be said that, from the very nature of
things, there was always a necessity for the members of every secret society
to have some means for recognizing a Brother that should escape the detection
of the uninitiated. We find evidence in several of the classic writings
showing that such a custom prevailed among the initiated in the pagan
mysteries. Livy tells us (xxxi, 14) of two Acarnanian youths who accidentally
entered the temple of Ceres during the celebration of the mysteries, and, not
having been initiated, were speedily detected as intruders, and put to death
by the managers of the temple. They must, of course, have owed their detection
to the fact that they were not in possession of those modes of recognition
which were known only to the initiated.
That they existed in the
Dionysiac rites of Bacchus we learn from Plautus, who, in his Miles Gloriosus
(act iv, scene ii), makes Misphidippa say to Pyrgopolonices, Cedo signum si
harunc Baccharum es, that is, Give the sign, if you are one of these Bacchae.
Jamblichus (On the Pythagorean Life) tells the story of a disciple of
Pythagoras, who, having been taken sick, on a long journey, at an inn, and
having exhausted his funds, gave, before he died, to the landlord, who had
been very kind to him, a paper, on which he had written the account of his
distress, and signed it with a symbol of Pythagoras. This the landlord affixed
to the gate of a neighboring temple. Months afterward another Pythagorean,
passing that way, recognized the secret symbol, and, inquiring into the tale,
reimbursed the landlord for all his trouble and expense.
Apuleius, who was initiated
into the Osirian and Isiac Mysteries, says, in his Defenno, "if any one is
present who has been initiated into the same secret rites as myself, if he
will give me the sign, he shall then be at liberty to hear what it is that I
keep with such care." But in another place he is less cautious, and even gives
an inkling of what was one of the signs of the Osirian Initiation. For in his
Golden Ass (book xi) he says that in a dream he beheld one of the disciples of
Osiris, "who walked gently, with a hesitating step, the ankle of his left foot
being slightly bent, in order, no doubt, that he might afford me some sign by
which I could recognize him." The Osirian Initiates had then, it seems, like
the Freemasons, mystical steps.
That the Gnostics had modes of
recognition we learn from Saint Epiphanius, himself at one time in early life
a Gnostic, who says in his Pananum, written against the Gnostics and other
heretics, that "on the arrival of any stranger belonging to the same belief,
they have a sign given by one to another. In holding out the hand, under
pretense of saluting each other, they feel and tickle it in a peculiar manner
underneath the palm, and so discover if the newcomer belongs to the same sect.
Thereupon, however poor they may be, they serve up to him a sumptuous feast,
with abundance of meats and wine."
We do not refer to the
fanciful theories of Doctor Oliver—the first one is most probably a joke, and
therefore out of place in his Symbolical Dictionary founded on passages of
Homer and Quintus Curtius, that Achilles and Alexander of Macedon recognized
the one Priam and the other the High Priest by a sign. But there are abundant
evidences of an authentic nature that a system of recognition by signs, and
words, and grips has existed in the earliest times, and, therefore, that they
were not invented by the Freemasons, who borrowed them, as they did much more
of their mystical system, from antiquity.
The petition of a candidate
for initiation must be recommended by at least two members of the Lodge.
Preston requires the signature to be witnessed by one person; he does not say
whether the witness must be a member of the Lodge or not, and that the
candidate must be proposed in open Lodge by a member.
Webb says that "the candidate
must be proposed in form, by a member of the Lodge, and the proposition
seconded by another member." Cross says that the recommendation glib to be
signed by two members of the Lodge," and he dispenses with the formal
These gradual changes, none of
them, however, substantially affecting the principle, have at last resulted in
the present simpler usage, which is, for two members of the Lodge to affix
their names to the petition, as recommenders of the applicant.
The petition for a
Dispensation for a new Lodge, as preliminary to the application for a Warrant
of Constitution, must be recommended by the nearest Lodge. Preston says that
it must be recommended "by the Masters of three regular Lodges adjacent to the
place where the new Lodge is to be held." This is also the language of the
Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. The Grand Lodge of Scotland
requires the recommendation to be signed "by the Masters and officers of two
of the nearest Lodges." The modern Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England
requires a recommendation "by the officers of some regular Lodge," without
saying anything of its vicinity to the new Lodge. The rule now universally
adopted is, that it must be recommenced by the nearest Lodge (see Doctor
Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).
RECONCILIATION, LODGE OF
When the two contending Grand
Lodges of England, known as the Ancient and the Moderns, resolved, in 1813
under the respective Grand Mastership of the Dukes of Rent and Sussex, to put
an end to all differences and to form a United Grand Lodge, it was provided in
the fifth Article of Union, that each of the two Grand Masters should appoint
nine Master Masons to meet at some convenient place; and each party having
opened a just and perfect Lodge in a separate apartment, they should give and
receive mutually and reciprocally the obligations of both Fraternities and
being thus duly and equally enlightened in both forms, they should be
empowered and directed to hold a Lodge, under the Warrant or Dispensation to
be entrusted to them, and to be entitled the Lodge of Reconciliation.
The duty of this Lodge was to
visit the several Lodges under both Grand Lodges, and to instruct the officers
and members of the same in the forms of initiation, obligation, etc., in both,
so that uniformity of working might be established. The Lodge of
Reconciliation was constituted on the 27th of December, 1813, the day on which
the Union was perfected. This Lodge was only a temporary one, and the duties
for which it had been organized having been performed, it ceased to exist by
its own limitation in 1816. (For a full account of this Lodge and its work see
Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume xxiii, 1910.)
RECONSIDERATIONS MOTION FOR
A motion for reconsideration
can only be made in a Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, or other Grand Body, on the
same day or the day after the adoption of the motion which it is proposed to
reconsider. In a Lodge or other subordinate body, it can only be made at the
same meeting. It cannot be moved by one who has voted in the minority.
It cannot be made when the
matter to be reconsidered has passed out of the control of the body, as when
the original motion was for an appropriation which has been expended since the
motion for it was passed. A motion for reconsideration is not debatable if the
question proposed to be reconsidered is not. It cannot always be adopted by a
simple majority vote. It may be postponed or laid upon the table.
If postponed to a time
definite, and when that time arrives is not acted upon, it cannot be renewed.
If laid upon the table, it cannot be taken up out of its order and now second
motion for reconsideration can be offered while it lies upon the table, hence
to lay a motion for reconsideration on the table is considered as equivalent
to rejecting it. When a motion for reconsideration is adopted, the original
motion comes up immediately for consideration, as if it had been for the first
time brought before the body, in the form which it presented when it was
RECONSIDERATION OF THE BALLOT
When the petition of a
candidate for initiation has been rejected, it is not permissible for any
member to move for a reconsideration of the ballot. The folloWing four
principles set forth in a summary way the doctrine of Masonic parliamentary
law on this subject:
REFORMED MASONIC ORDER OF
MEMPTIIS, OR RITE OF THE GRAND LODGE OF PHILADELPHES
See Memphis, Rite of
This Rite was established in
1872, by a Congress of Freemasons assembled at Wilhelmsbad, in Germany, over
whose deliberations Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, presided as Grand Master. It
was at this Convention that the Reformed Rite was first established, its
members assuming the title of the Beneficent Knights of the Holy City because
they derived their system from the French Rite of that name. It was called the
Reformed Rite, because it professed to be a reformation of a Rite which had
been established in Germany about a quarter of a century before under the name
of the Rite of Strict Observance. This latter Rite had advanced a theory in
relation to the connection between Freemasonry and the Order of Knights
Templar, and traced the origin of our institution to those Knights at the
Crusades This hypothesis the Convention at Wilhelmsbad rejected as unfounded
in history or correct tradition. By the adoption of this Rite, the Congress
gave a death-blow to the Rite of Strict Observance.
The Reformed Rite is
exceedingly simple in its organization, consisting only of five Degrees,
1. Entered Apprentice;
2. Fellow Craft;
3. Master Mason;
4. Scottish Master;
5. Knight of the Holy City.
The last Degree is, however, divided into three sections, those of Novice,
Professed Brother, and Knight, which really gives seven Degrees to the Rite.
In Masonic language,
refreshment is opposed in a peculiar sense to labor. While a Lodge is in
activity it must be either at labor or at refreshment. If a Lodge is
permanently closed until its next eommunication, the intervening period is one
of abeyance, its activity for Masonic duty having for the time been suspended;
although its powers and privileges as a Lodge still exist, and may be at any
time resumed. But where it is only temporarily closed, with the intention of
soon again resuming labor, the intermediate period is called a time of
refreshment, and the Lodge is said not to be closed, but to be called from
labor to refreshment. The phrase is an old one, and is found in the early
rituals of the eighteenth Century. Callingfrom labor to refreshment differs
from closing in this, that the ceremony is a very brief one, and that the
Junior Warden then assumet the eo trol of the draft, in token of which he
erects his column on his stand or pedestal, while the Senior Warden lays his
down. This is reversed in caging on, in which the ceremony is equally brief.
The word refreshment no longer
bears the meaning among Freemasons that it formerly did. It signifies not
necessarily eating and drinking, but simply cessation from labor. A Lodge at
refreshment may thus be compared to any other society when in a recess During
the whole of the eighteenth century, and part of the next, a different meaning
was given to the word arising from a now obsolete usage, which Doctor Oliver
(Masonic Jurisprudence, page 210) thus describes:
The Lodges in ancient times
were not arranged according to the praetise in use amongst ourselves at the
present day. The Worshipful Master, indeed, stood in t he East, but both the
Wardens were plaeed in the West the South was occupied by the senior Entered
Apprentiee, whose business it was to obey the instructions of the Master, and
to welcome the visiting Brethren, after has ing duly ascertained that they
were Freemasons. The junior Entered Apprentice was placed in the north to
present the intrusion of cowans and eavesdroppers; and a long table, and
sometimes two, where the Lodge was numerous, were extended in paraUel lines
from the pedestal to the place where the Wardens sat, on which appeared not
only the emblems of Freemasonry, but also materials for refreshments—for in
those days every section of the lecture had its peculiar toast or sentiment
and at its conclusion the Lodge was called from labour to refreshment by
certain ceremonies, and a toast, teellnieallv called "the Charge," was drunk
in a bumper xvitll the bonours, and not unfrequently aceonlpanied ivy an
appropriate song. After which the Lodge M as caned from refreshment to labour,
and another section was delivered with the like result. At the present day,
the banquets of Lodges, When they talie place, are alxvays held after the
Lodge is closed; although they are still supposed to be under the charge of
the Junior Warden. When modern Lodges are called to refreshment, it is either
as a part of the ceremony of the Third Degree, or for a brief period;
sometimes extending to more than a day when labor, which had not been
finished, is to be resumed and concluded.
The mythical history of
Freemasonry says that high twelve or noon was the hour at Solomon's Temple
when the Craft were permitted to suspend their labor, which was resumed an
hour after. In reference to this myth, a Lodge is at all times supposed to be
called from labor to refreshment at "high twelve," and to be called on again
"one hour after high twelve."
Strictly speaking the word
regalia from the Latin, regalia, meaning royal things, signifies the ornaments
of a king or queen, and is applied to the apparatus used at a coronation, such
as the crown, scepter, cross, mound, etc. But it has in modern times been
loosely employed to signify almost any kind of ornaments. Hence the collar and
jewel, and sometimes even the apron, are called by many Freemasons the
regalia. The word has the early authority of Preston. In the second edition of
his Illustrations (1775), when on the subject of funerals, he uses the
expression, "the body, with the regalia placed thereon, and two swords
crossed." And at the end of the service he directs that "the regalia and
ornaments of the deceased, if an officer of a Lodge, are returned to the
Master in due form, and with the usual ceremonies." Regalia cannot here mean
the Bible and Book of Constitutions, for there is a place in another part of
the procession appropriated to them.
It might have been supposed
that, by regalia, Preston referred to some particular decorations of the
Lodge, had not his subsequent editors, Jones and Oliver, both interpolated the
word "other" before ornaments, so as to make the sentence read "regalia and
other ornaments," thus clearly indicating that they deemed the regalia a part
of the ornaments of the deceased. The word is thus used in one of the headings
of the modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England. But in the text the
more correct words "clothing and insignia" (Rule 282) are employed. There is,
however, so great an error in the use of the word regalia to denote Masonic
clothing, that it would be better to avoid it.
In the Ancient Mysteries the doctrine of regeneration was taught by symbols:
not the theological dogma of regeneration peculiar to the Christian church,
but the philosophical dogma, as a change from death to life—a new birth to
immortal existence. Hence the last day of the Eleusinian Mysteries, when the
initiation was completed, was called, says Court de Gebelin (Monde Primitive
analyst et compare avec be Monde Moderne, the Primitive World anslysed and
compared with the Modern World iv, page 322) the day of regeneration. This is
the doctrine in the Masonic mysteries, and more especially in the symbolism of
the Third Degree. We must not say that the Freemason is regenerated when he is
initiated, but that he has been indoctrinated into the philosophy of the
regeneration, or the new birth of all things—of light out of darkness, or life
out of deathof eternal life out of temporal death.
The Fourth Degree of the
Lesser Mys eries of the llluminati.
A learned Masonic writer, who
was born of Venetian parents on the Island of Scio, whence he was usually
styled Reghellini de Scio. the date of 1750, at which his birth has been
placed, is certainly an error. Michaud supposes that it is twenty or thirty
years too soon. The date of the publication of his earliest works would
indicate that he could not have been born much before 1780. After receiving a
good education, and becoming especially proficient in mathematics and
chemistry, he settled at Brussels, where he appears to have spent the
remaining years of his life, and wrote various works, which indicate extensive
research and a lively and, perhaps, a rather ill-directed imagination. In 1834
he published a work entitled Examen du Mosaisme et du Christianisme,
Examination of Mosaicism and of Christianity, whose bold opinions were not
considered as very orthodox. He had previously become attached to the study of
Masonic antiquities, old and in 1826 published a work in one volume, entitled
esprit du dogne de la Franc-Maçonnerie. recherches sur son origine et celle de
ses différents rites, Spirit of the Dogma of Freemasonry, Studies on its
origin and theses of its various Rites.
He subsequently still further
developed his ideas on this Subject, and published at Paris, in 1833, a much
larger work, in three volumes, entitled, La Maçonnerie, considérée comme le
résultat des Religions Egyptienne, Juive et Chrétienne, Freemasonry considered
as the result of Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian Religions. In this work he
seeks to trace both Freemasonry and the Mosaic religion to the worship that
was practised on the banks of the Nile in the time of the Pharaohs. Whatever
may be thought of his theory, it must be confessed that he has collected a
mass of learned and interesting facts that must be attractive to the Masonic
From 1822 to 1829 Reghellini
devoted his labors to editing the Annales Chronologiques, Litteraires et
Historiques de la Maçonnerie des Pays-Bas, Literary and Historical
Chronological Record of Freemasonry in the Low Countries, a work that contains
much valuable information. However, Brother Woodford was not as assured as was
Doctor Mackey that this work may as certainly be accredited to Reghellini, the
evidence as to his editorship being less positive than the other particulars
Outside of Freemasonry, the
life of Reghellini is not well known. It is said that in 1848 he became
implicated with the political troubles which broke out that year in Vienna,
and, in consequence, experienced some trouble. His great age at the time
precluded the Likelihood that the statement is true. In his later days he was
reduced to great penury, and in August,1855, was compelled to take refuge in
the House of Mendicity at BrusseLs, where he shortly afterward died.
An expression used by Doctor
Oliverin his Jurisprudence, to designate a Lodge attached to a regiment in the
British Army. The title is not recognized in the English Constitutions, where
such a Lodge is always styled a Military Lodge, which see
A list of the officers and
members of a Grand or Subordinate Lodge. The registers of Grand Lodges are
generally published in this country annually, attached to their Proceedings.
The custom of publishing annual registers of subordinate Lodges is almost
exclusively confined to the Freemasonry of the Continent of Europe. Sometimes
it is called a Registry.
The term has two meanings:
1. An officer of the Grand
Lodge of England, whose principal duty it is to take charge of the seal, and
attach it, or cause it to be attached by the Grand Secretary, to documents
issued by the Grand Lodge or Grand Master. He also superintends the records of
the Grand Lodge, and to take care that the several documents issued be in due
form (Constitutions, Rules 31-2).
2. An officer in a Grand
Consistory of the Aneient and Accepted Scottish Rite, whose duties are those
of Grand Secretary.
The modern Constitutions of
the Grand Lodge of England require that every Lodge must be particularly
careful in registering the names of the Brethren initiated therein, and also
in making the returns of its members; as no person is entitled to partake of
the general charity, unless his name be duly registered, and he shall have
been at least five years a contributing member of a Lodge, except in the
following cases, to which the limitation of five years is not meant to extend,
namely, shipwreck, or capture at sea, loss by fire, or blindness or serious
accident fully attested and proved (see Rule 234).
To prevent injury to
individuals, by their being excluded the privileges of Freemasonry through the
neglect of their Lodges in not registering their names any Brother so
circunwstanced, on producing sufficient proof that he has paid the full fees
to his Lodge, including the register fee, shall be capable of enjoying the
privileges of the Craft. But the offending Lodge shall be reported to the
Board of General Purposes, and rigorously proceeded against for withholding
moneys which are the property of the Grand Lodge (see Rule 237). An
unregistered member in England is therefore equivalent, so far as the exercise
of his rights is concerned, to an unaffiliated Freemason. In the United States
of Ameriea the same rule exists of registration in the Lodge books and an
annual return of the same to the Grand Lodge, but the penalties for neglect or
disobedience are neither so severe nor so well defined.
The Roll or list of Lodges and
their members under the obedience of a Grand Lodge. Such registries are in
some cases published annually by the Grand Lodges of the United States at the
end of their printed Proceedings.
See Halliwell Manuscript
A Lodge working under the
legal authority of a Warrant of Constitution is said to be regular. The word
was first used in 1723 in the first edition of Anderson's Constitutions. In
the eighth General Regulation published in that work it is said: "If any set
or number of Freemasons shall take Upon themselves to form a Lodge without the
Grand Master's Warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them." Ragon
says (Orthodoxie Maçonnique, page 72) that the word was first heard of in
French Freemasonry in 1773, when an Edict of the Grand Orient thus defined it:
"A regular Lodge is a Lodge attached to the Grand Orient, and a regular
Freemason is a member of a regular Lodge."
See Old Regulations.
Called by Ezra the Chancellor.
He was probably a Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Judea, who, with
Shimshai the Scribe, wrote to Artaxerxes to prevail upon him to stop the
building of the second Temple. His name is introduced into some of the
advanced Degrees that are connected in their instructions with the seemed
REINHOLD, KARL LEONHARD
A German philosopher, who was
born at Vienna in 1758, and died in 1823. He was associated with Wieland,
whose daughter he married, in the editorship of the Deutschen Merkur, German
Mercury. He afterward became a professor of philosophy at Kiel, and published
Letters on the Philosophy of Kant. He was much interested in the study of
Freemasonry, and published, under the pseudonym of Decius, at Leipsic, in
1788, two lectures entitled Die Hebräischen Mysterien oder die älteste
religiöse Freimaurerei, that is, The Hebrew Mysteries, or the Oldest Religious
Freemasonry. The fundamental idea of this work is, that Moses derived his
system from the Egyptian Priesthood. Eichhorn attacked his theory in his
Universal Repository of Biblical Literature. Reinhold delivered and published,
in 1809, An Address on the Design of Freemasonry, and another in 1820, on the
occasion of the reopening of a Lodge at Kiel. This was probably his last
Masonic labor, as he died in 1823, at the age of sixty-five years. In 1828, a
Life of him was published by his son, a Professor of Philosophy at Jena.
Under the English
Constitutions (Rule 190) three black balls must exclude a candidate; but the
by-laws of a Lodge may enact that one or two shall do so. In the United States
of America one black ball will reject a candidate for initiation. If a
candidate be rejected, he can apply in no other Lodge for admission. If
admitted at all, it must be in the Lodge where he first applied. But the time
when a new application may be made never having been determined by the general
or Common Law of Freemasonry, the rule has been left to the Special enactment
of Grand Lodges, some of which have placed it at six months, and some at from
one to two years. Where the Constitution of a Grand Lodge is silent on the
subject, it is held that a new application has never been specified, so that
it is held that a rejected candidate may apply for a reconsideration of his
ease at any time. The unfavorable report of the Committee to whom the letter
was referred, or a withdrawal of the letter by the candidate or his friends,
is considered equivalent to a rejection (see Unanimous Consent).
The initiation of the Ancient
Mysteries, like that of the Third Degree of Freemasonry, began in sorrow and
terminated in rejoicing. The sorrow was for the death of the hero-god, which
was represented in the sacred rites, and the rejoicing was for his
resuscitation to eternal life. "Thrice happy," says Sophocles, "are those who
descend to the shades below when they have beheld these rites of initiation."
"The lesson there taught was," says Pindar, 'the Divine origin of life, and
hence the rejoicing at the discovery of this eternal truth."
One of the three principal
tenets of a Freemason's profession, and thus defined in the lecture of the
To relieve the distressed is a
duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked
together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy,
to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to
restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On
this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.
Of the three tenets of a
Freemason's profession, which are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, it may be
said that Truth is the Column of Wisdom, whose rays penetrate and enlighten
the inmost recesses of our Lodge; Brotherly Love, the Column of Strength,
which binds us as one family in the indissoluble bond of fraternal affection;
and Relief, the Column of Beauty, whose ornaments, more precious than the
lilies and pomegranates that adorned the pillars of the porch, are the widow's
tear of joy and the orphan's prayer of gratitude.
RELIEF ASSOCIATION OF THE
UNITED STATES AND CANADA, MASONIC
See Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada.
RELIEF, BOARD OF
The liability to imposition on
the charity of the Order, by the application of imposters, has led to the
establishment in the larger cities of the United States of America of Boards
of Relief. These consist of representatives of all the Lodges, to whom all
applications for temporary relief are referred. The members of the Board, by
frequent consultations, are better enabled to distinguish the worthy from the
unworthy, and to detect attempts at imposition. A similar organization, but
under a different name, was long ago established by the Grand Lodge of
England, for the distribution of the Fund of Benevolence (see Fund of
Benevolence). In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Board of Relief, after twentyfive
years of successful operation, was chartered in July, 1854, by the Grand Lodge
as Relief Lodge, No. 1, to be composed of the Masters and Wardens of all the
Lodges who were united in the objects of the Board (see Masonic Relief
Association of the United States and Canada).
RELIGION OF FREEMASONRY
There has been a needless
expenditure of ingenuity and talent, by a large number of Masonic orators and
essayists, in the endeavor to prove that Freemasonry is not a religion. This
has usually arisen from a well-intended but erroneous view that has been
assumed of the connection between religion and Freemasonry, and from a fear
that if the complete disseverance of the two was not made manifest, the
opponents of Freemasonry would be enabled successfully to establish a theory
which they have been fond of advancing, that the Freemasons were disposed to
substitute the teachings of their Order for the truths of Christianity.
Now we have never for a moment
believed that any such unwarrantable assumption, as that Freemasonry is
intended to be a substitute for Christianity, could ever obtain admission into
any well-regulated mind, and, therefore, us are not disposed to yield on the
subject of the religious character of FreemasonrY, quite so much as has been
yielded by more timid Brethren. On the contrary, we contend, without any sort
of hesitation, that Freemasonry is, in every sense of the word, except one,
and that its least philosophical, an eminently religious institution—that it
is indebted solely to the religious element it contains for its origin as well
as its continued existence, and that without this religious element it would
scarcely be worthy of cultivate on by the wise and good. But, that we may be
truly understood, it will be well first to agree upon the true definition of
religion. There is nothing more illogical than to reason upon undefined terms.
Webster has given four distinct definitions of religion:
1. Religion, in a
comprehensive sense, includes, he says a belief in the being and perfections
of God—in the revelation of His will to man—in man's obligation to obey His
commands—in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to
God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practise of all moral
2. His second definition is,
that religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in
practise, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our
fellow-men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to food and His law.
3. Again, he says that religion, as distinct from virtue or morality, consists
in the performance of the duties we owe directly to God, from a principle of
obedience to His will.
4. Lastly, he defines religion
to be any system of faith or worship and in this sense, he says, religion
comprehends the belief and worship of Pagans and Mohammedans as well as of
Christians—any religion consisting in the belief of a superior power, or
powers, governing the world, and in the worship of such power or powers. It is
in this sense that we speak of the Turkish religion, or the Jewish religion,
as well as of the Christian.
Now, it is plain that, in
either of the first three senses in which we may take the word religion, and
they do not very materially differ from each other, Freemasonry may rightfully
claim to be called a religious institution. Closely and accurately examined,
it will be found to answer to any one of the requirements of either of these
three definitions. So much does it "include a belief in the being and
perfections of God," that the public profession of such a faith is essentially
necessary to gain admission into the Order. No disbeliever in the existence of
a God can be made a Freemason. The "revelation of his call to man" is
technically called the "spiritual, moral, and Masonic Trestle-Board" of every
Freemason, according to the rules and designs of which he is to erect the
spiritual edifice of his eternal life.
A "state of reward and
punishment" is necessarily included in the very idea of an obligation, which,
without the belief in such a state, could be of no binding force or efficacy.
And "true godliness or piety of life" is inculcated as the invariable duty of
every Freemason, from the inception of the first to the end of the very last
Degree that he takes. So, again, in reference to the second and third
definitions, all this practical piety and performance of the duties we owe to
God and to our fellow men arise from and are founded on a principle of
obedience to the divine will. Else whence, or from what other will, could they
It is the voice of the G. A.
O. T. U. symbolized to us in every ceremony of our ritual and from every
portion of the furniture of our Lodge, that speaks to the true Freemason,
commanding him to fear God and to love the Brethren. It is idle to say that
the Freemason does good simply in obedience to the Statutes of the Order.
These very Statutes owe their Sanction to the Masonic idea of the nature and
perfections of God, a belief that has come down to us from the earliest
history of the Institution, and the promulgation of which idea was the very
object and design of its origin.
But it must be confessed that
the fourth definition does not appear to be strictly applicable to
Freemasonry. It has no pretension to assume a place among the religions of the
world as a sectarian "system of faith and worship," in the sense in which we
distinguish Christianity from Judaism, or Judaism from Mohammedanism. In this
meaning of the word we do not and can not speak of the Masonic religion, nor
say of a man that he is not a Christian, but a Freemason. Here it is that the
opponents of Freemasonry have assumed mistaken ground in confounding the idea
of a religious Institution with that of the Christian religion as a peculiar
form of worship, and in supposing, because Freemasonry teaches religious
truth, that it is offered as a substitute for Christian truth and Christian
obligation. Its warmest and most enlightened friends have never advanced nor
supported such a claim. Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for
it. It is not intended to supersede it nor any other form of worship or system
of faith. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches
fundamental religious truth— not enough to do away with the necessity of the
Christian scheme of salvation, but more than enough to show, to demonstrate,
that it is, in every philosophical sense of the word, a religious Institution,
and one, too, in which the true Christian Freemason will find if he earnestly
seeks for them, abundant types and shadows of his own exalted and divinely
The tendency of all true
Freemasonry is toward religion. If it make any progress, its progress is to
that holy end. Look at its ancient landmarks, its sublime ceremonies, its
profound symbols and alle gories—all inculcating religious doctrine,
commanding religious observance, and teaching religious truth, and who can
deny that it is eminently a religious Institution? But, besides, Freemasonry
is, in all its forms, thoroughly tinctured with a true devotional spirit. We
open and close our Lodges with prayer; we invoke the blessing of the Most High
upon all our labors; we demand of our neophytes a profession of trusting
belief in the existence and the superintending eare of God; and we teach them
to bow with humility and reverence at His awful name, while His Holy Law is
widely opened upon our altars. Freemasonry is thus identified with religion;
and although a man may be eminently religious without being a Freemason, it is
impossible that a Freemason can be "true and trusty" to his Order unless he is
a respecter of religion and an observer of religious principle.
But the religion of
Freemasonry is not sectarian It admits men of every creed within its
hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It
is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend a Jew; it is not
Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a
Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive
revelation—handed down to us from some ancient and Patriarchal Priesthood—in
which all men may agree and in which no men can differ. It inculcates the
practise of virtue, but it supplies no scheme of redemption for sin. It points
its disciples to the path of righteousness, but it does not claim to be "the
way, the truth, and the life." In so far, therefore, it cannot become a
substitute for Christianity, but its tendency is thitherward; and, as the
handmaid of religion, it may, and often does, act as the porch that introduces
its votaries into the temple of divine truth. Freemasonry, then, is indeed a
religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the
religious Freemason defend it.
To the above observations by
Doctor Mackey we may add that the religion of Freemasonry was examined at.
some length in a book bearing that title by Brother Josiah Whymper, Past
Deputy District Grand Master, Punjab, India. Brother Whymper's purpose was to
draw the attention of Freemasons to the circumstance that the original
religious principles of Freemasonry were based on Christian Catholicity. He
believed that in a well-meant but, in his judgment, mistaken effort to let
Freemasonry be all things to all men this principle had been forgotten. In
fact, he had found that some Freemasons denied it altogether, asserting that
all distinct profession of Christianity was abandoned in 1717 when the Grand
Lodge was founded. Colonel J. J. Boswell raised a question in the Masonic
Record of India, 1878, under what authority the Koran was used in Lodges
working under the English Constitution. Soon thereafter Brother J. J. Davies,
the Worshipful Master of Lodge Ravee at Lahore, in the Punjab, addressed the
following letter (see Religion of Freemasonry, page 1) to the Grand Secretary
of that District: Allow me to invite your attention to a correspondence which
very lately appeared in a Masonic Journal, the Record of Western India,
regarding the alleged practice in some Lodges of obligating persons on other
than the Sacred Seriptures of the Christian Dispensation. From the
correspondence you may observe that opinion on the subject is divided: one
Brother who signs himself "P. M. 1215" alleging that the practise is in
accordance with the spirit of Masonic law, whilst another Brother, a "W. M."
on the contrary, considers that it is in direct violation of Masonic law: in
letter, in spirit, and the practice of antiquity.
As it has hitherto been the
practise of Lodge Ravee 1215, English Constitution, to obligate Mohammedan and
Hindu candidates respectively on the " Koran" and " Shastrass," and Christians
on the " Bible," I beg to refer the question and should feel greatly obliged
if you would kindly obtain the opinion of the Right Worshipful the District
Grand Master, whether, or not, in this respect the conduct of Lodge Ravee is
consistent with Masonic principles and Masonic law. In intuiting your
attention to the subject, I would respectfully mention that in my opinion the
meaning of the words, "Volume of the Saered Law," is not confined to the
Saered Law of the Christian Dispensation; but have a bearing fuller and
deeper: a meaning as broad as Masonry itself.
As Masonry is universal, and
combines persons of every clime and creed, the "Volume of the Sacred Law"
should be adapted to the different nations, and be the law held sacred by
them, subject to the ancient landmarks of the Order: a belief in the G. A. O.
T. U.— otherwise the binding influence of the oath would appear to be nil. I
beg the favour of an early reply, as at our next meeting on the 21st current,
it is intended to raise a Mohammedan Brother to the High and Sublime Degree of
Master Maçon, and it is very desirable that the obligation be administered in
proper order, on the volume sanctioned by Masonic law. I may add, that in the
1st and 2nd degrees, this Mohammedan Brother was obligated on the Koran: the
Sacred Scriptures of the Christain Dispensation lying open the whole time on
District Grand Secretary,
George Davies, in answer to the above inquiry sent the following decision:
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 7th instant, requesting
a ruling from the Right Worship ful District Grand Master on the following
1. Whether it is correct for a Worshipful Master to obligate a Mohammedan
candidate on the Christian Bible or on the "Volume of the Saered Law" as
accepted by him, namely, the Koran.
2. In the case of a Hindu or other Theïst, what should be considered the
Sacred Law in their respective cases?
Your queries have been duly
laid before the Right Worshipful District Grand Master, and I am directed to
reply as follows:
1. Masonry being universal, men of every creed are eligible for membership, so
long as they accept the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
2. As all candidates for Masonry are obligated, to render that engagement a
solemn and binding one, the candidate should be obligated on the "Volume of
the Sacred Law" which he accepts as such, in the case of a Mohammedan
gentleman, the Koran, in the case of a Hindu the Shastras, a Parsee the
Zoroastrian code; in other words, it is the duty of the Worshipful Master to
ascertain before obligating the candidate which Revels tion from God to Man he
accepts as that most binding upon his eonscienee, and the obligation should be
In the case of lodges working
under the English Constitution, and of which Europeans are members, the
English Bible must remain open, and be used in the Lodge; the other books
being used for the obligations of the candidates only.
To summarize the matter:—In the case of your Lodge, a Mohammedan gentleman
being a candidate, your procedure should be as follows: The English Bible will
remain open, being removed for convenience sake to the Eastern part of the
Lodge the Koran will then be placed on the Altar and the candidate obligated,
after which it will be removed and the Bible replaced.
As however the matter is of great importance, a reference on the subject will
be made to England. Pending a reply the above must be accepted as the law on
District Grand Master, Major
M. Ramsay in December of that year obtained the following comment from Grand
Secretary John Hervey at the headquarters in London: I am in receipt of your
favor of the 9th Oetober, with copies of correspondence with the Worshipful
Master of the Lodge Ravee, No. 1215, on the subject of obligating candidates
not professing the Christian faith, and beg to say that I fully coincide in
your answers, which I do not think could have been better expressed.
Lodges in India working under
the Grand Lodge of Scotland have recognized the Zendavesta, the Koran, and the
Shastras by appointing official bearers of these volumes. brother George W.
Speth, who edited the book by Brother Whymper, received a letter from D.
Murray Lyon, dated at Freemasons Hall, Edinburgh, December 21, 1887, in which
he says: The statement to which you refer is correct. I cannot say when the
arrangement was originally authorized, but the By-laws of the District Grand
Lodge of India, in which the duties of Bible Bearer, Zend Avesta Bearers and
Koran Bearer are given, were sanctioned and confirmed by Grand Committee in
August, 1885, as per Certificate of Grand Secretary of date.
Brother Whymper favored
separate Jewish, Parsee, Hindu, and Mohammedan Lodges. He says, "It is
impossible for any man, no matter what his former religion may have been, to
become a Fellow Craft Mason in English Masonry and refuse to accept both the
Old and New Testaments."
But in Brother William James
Hughan's Introduction to the Religion of Freemasonry (pages v to vii) he
How then would these
distinctive combinations provide of such a contingency? If we cannot do with
these religionists in our Lodges, I do not see how we can do without them—that
is, in separate Lodges. We meet on the Level or not at all, and therefore, if
we cannot as votaries of various Faiths become members together in Lodge, and
thus illustrate the "Brotherhood of Man," better far to refrain from all
attempts at Universality, and revert to an exclusively Christian Constitution,
as in the olden time.
I am anxious to look at the
question ill all its aspects, and do not mention difficulties because of any
fondness of them, but simply to suggest that if a return to the old system is
to be recommended, and primarily because it prevailed prior to the
inauguration of Grand Lodges, it is well we should understand what is involved
in such a course. At all events, it seems to me that we are at the present
time observing the old rule of 1723, in promoting the " Relwfon in which all
men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves," as well as
respecting some of the usages and customs of our Grand Lodge. Besides which,
by thus extending the scope of our Ancient and Honorable Society, we are
adding immensely to its beneficial influence and practical usefulness,
Holding this view, and bearing
in mind the esteemed brethren who hold and advocate otherwise, I am prepared
to accept the opinion and advice of the revered brother, the Reverend A. F. A.
Woodford, M. A., Past Grand Chaplain, who maintained that " the Christian
School and the Universal School can co-exist in Freemasonry. Though their
views are necessarily antagonistic, yet they need not be made the subject of
contention they can be held in peace and consideration, and all fraternal
Indeed, we think, upon the
whole, that Freemasonry has, curiously enough, a twofold teaching in this
respect." According to Brother Whymper's convictions, the spread of the Craft
in India amongst Parsees, Hindoos, and Mohammedans calls for serious
consideration, and increasingly so when Brethren of each of those Faiths
become sufficiently numerous to support Lodges composed mainly of members of
their own persuasion. Should difficulties arise in consequence, we may yet
have to try the ingenious suggestion of chartering Lodges for each particular
Faith, subject to the rights of mutual visitation, but I confess to the
feeling that, should ever such be deemed requisite, an element religious
distinction and classification will be of necessity introduced, which will
considerably modify or Weaken the unsectarian character of the Institute.
The subject is also discussed
by Brother Roscoe Pound, Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 916 (pages
821-3) and his Masonic Jurisprudence, 920 (page 35), and in Doctor Mackey's
revised jurisprudence of Freemasonry, 1927.
REMOVAL OF LODGES
On January 25, 1738, the Grand
Lodge of England adopted a regulation providing that no Lodge should be
removed without the Master's knowledge; that no motion for removing it should
be made in his absence; and that if he was opposed to the removal, it should
not be removed unless two-thirds of the members present voted in the
affirmative (Constitutions, 1738, page 157). But as this rule was adopted
subsequent to the General regulations of 1722, it is not obligatory as a law
of freemasonry at present. The Grand Lodges of England and of New York have
substantially the same rule.
But unless there be a local
regulation in the Constitution of any particular Grand Lodge to that effect,
there would seem to be no principle of Masonic law set forth in the Ancient
Landmarks or Regulations which forbids a Lodge, upon the mere vote of the
majority, from removing from one house to another in the same town or city;
and unless the Grand Lodge of any particular Jurisdiction has adopted a
regulation forbidding the removal of a Lodge from one house to another without
its consent, there is no law in Freemasonry of universal force which would
prohibit such a removal at the mere option of the Lodge. This refers, of
course, only to the removal from one house to another; but as the town or
village in which the Lodge is situated is designated in its Warrant of
Constitution, no such removal can be made except with the consent of the Grand
Lodge, or, during the recess of that Body, by the Dispensation of the Grand
Master, to be subsequently confirmed by the Grand Lodge.
During the anti-Masonic
excitement in the United States, which began in 1828, and lasted for a few
years, many Freemason left the Order, actuated by various motives, seldom good
ones, and attached themselves to the Anti-Masonic Party. It is not singular
that these deserters, who called themselves Renouncing Freemasons, were the
bitterest in their hatred and the loudest in their vituperations of the Order.
But, as may be seen in the article Indelibility, a renunciation of the name
cannot absolve anyone from the obligations of a Freemason.
As a Lodge cannot enact a new
by-law without the consent of the Grand Lodge, neither can it repeal an old
one without the same consent; nor can anything done at a stated meeting be
repealed at a subsequent extra or emergent one.
REPORT OF A COMMITTEE
When a Committee, to which a
subject had been referred, has completed its investigation and come to an
opinion, it directs its Chairman, or some other member, to prepare an
expression of its views, to be submitted to the Lodge. The paper containing
this expression of views is called its Report, which may be framed in three
different forms: It may contain only an expression of opinion on the subject
which had been referred; or it may contain, in addition to this, an express
resolution or series of resolutions, the adoption of which by the assembly is
recommended; or, lastly, it may contain one or more resolutions, Without any
preliminary expression of opinion. The Report, when prepared, is read to the
members of the Committee, and, if it meets with their final Sanction, the
Chairman, or one of the members, is directed to present it to the Lodge. The
reading of the Report is its reception, and the next question will be on its
adoption. If it contains a recommendation of resolutions, the adoption of the
Report will be equivalent to an adoption of the resolutions, but the Report
may, on the question of adoption, be otherwise disposed of by being laid on
the table, postponed, or recommitted.
A name recently given in the
United States to that useful and intelligent body of Freemasons who write, in
their respective Grand Lodges, the reports on Foreign Correspondence. Through
the exertions of Doctor Corson, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign
Correspondence of New Jersey, a convention of this Body was held at Baltimore
in 1871, during the session of the General Grand Chapter, and measures were
then taken to establish a Triennial Convention. Such a Convention would assume
no legislative powers, but would simply meet for the intercommunication of
ideas and the interchange of fraternal greetings.
REPRESENTATIVE OF A GRAND
A Brother appointed by one
Grand Lodge to represent its interest in another. The Representative is
generally, although not necessarily, a member of the Grand Lodge to whom he is
accredited, and receives his appointment on its nomination, but he is
permitted to wear the clothing of the Grand Lodge which he represents. He is
required to attend the meetings of the Grand Lodge to which he is accredited,
and to communicate to his constituents an abstract of the proceedings, and
other matters of Masonic interest. But it is doubtful whether these duties are
generally performed. The office of Representative appears to be rather one of
honor than of service. In the French system, a Representative is called a gage
d'amitié, a pledge of friendship.
REPRESENTATIVES OF LODGES
In the General Regulations of
1721 it was enacted that "The Grand Lodge consists of and is formed by the
Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon record"; and
also that "The majority of every particular Lodge, when congregated, shall
have the privilege of giving instructions to their Master and Wardens before
the assembling of the Grand Chapter or Lodge, at the three quarterly
communications hereafter mentioned and of the Annual Grand Lodge too; because
their Master and Wardens are their Representatives and are supposed to speak
their mind" (Constitutions, 1723, page 61). A few modern Grand Lodges have
disfranchised the Wardens also, and confined the representation to the Masters
only. But Brother Hawkins asserts further that this is evidently an
innovation, having no color of authority in the Old Regulations.
The system of appointing
Representatives of Grand Lodges originated years ago with the Grand Lodge of
New York. It at first met with much opposition, but has gradually gained
favor. Although the original plan intended by the founders of the system does
not appear to have been effectually carried out in all its details, it has at
least been successful as a means of more closely cementing the bonds of union
between the Bodies mutually represented.
A reproof formally
communicated to the offender for some fault committed, and the lowest grade,
above censure, of Masonic punishment. It can be inflicted only on charges
made, and by a majority vote of the Lodge. It may be private or public.
Private reprimand is generally communicated to the offender by a letter from
the Master. Public reprimand is given orally in the Lodge and in the presence
of the Brethren. A reprimand does not sheet the Masonic standing of the person
In the technical language of
Freemasonry, a man of good reputation is said to be one who is "under the
tongue of good report"; and this constitutes one of the indispensable
qualifications of a candidate for initiation.
It is the general usage in the
United States of America, and may be considered as the Masonic law of custom,
that the application of a candidate for initiation must be made to the Lodge
nearest his place of residence. There is, however, no express law upon this
subject either in the ancient landmarks or the Old Constitutions, and its
positive sanction as a law in any Jurisdiction must be found in the local
enactments of the Grand Lodge of that Jurisdiction. Still there can be no
doubt that expediency and justice to the Order make such a regulation
necessary, and accordingly many Grand Lodges have incorporated such a
regulation in their Constitutions; and of course, whenever this has been done,
it becomes a positive law in that Jurisdiction.
It has also been contended by
some American Masonic jurists that a nonresident of a State is not entitled,
on a temporary visit to that State, to apply for initiation. There is,
however, no landmark nor written law in the ancient Constitutions which
forbids the initiation of nonresidents. Still, as there can be no question
that the conferring of the Degrees of Freemasonry on a stranger is always
inexpedient, and frequently productive of injury and injustice, by foisting on
the Lodges near the candidate's residence unworthy and unacceptable persons,
there has been a very general disposition among the Grand Lodges of the United
States to discountenance the initiation of nonresidents. Many of them have
adopted a specific regulation to this effect, and in all Jurisdictions where
this has been done, the law becomes imperative; for, as the landmarks are
entirely silent on the subject, the local regulation is left to the discretion
of each Jurisdiction. But no such rule has ever existed among European Lodges.
RESIGNATION OF MEMBERSHIP
The spirit of the law of
Freemasonry doers not recognize the right of any member of a Lodge to resign
his membership, unless it be for the purpose of uniting with another Lodge.
This mode of resignation is called a dimission (see Dimit).
RESIGNATION OF OFFICE
Every officer of a Lodge, or
rather Masonic organization, being required at the time of his installation
into office to enter into an obligation that he will perform the duties of
that office for a specified time and until his successor is installed, it has
been repeatedly held by the Masonic jurists of this country that an officer
once elected and installed cannot resign his office; and this may be
considered as a well-established law of American Freemasonry.
In parliamentary law, a
proposition, when first presented, is called a motion; if adopted, it becomes
a resolution. Many Grand Lodges adopt, from time to time, in addition to the
provisions of their Constitution, certain resolutions on important subjects,
which, giving them an apparently greater weight of authority than ordinary
enactments, are frequently appended to their Constitution, or their
transaction, under the imposing title of Standing Regulations. But this weight
of authority is only apparent. These standing resolutions having been adopted,
like all other resolutions, by a mere majority vote, are subject, like them,
to be repealed or rescinded by the same vote.
Even a steadfast resolution,
expressive as the term may sound, may not mean exactly the same thing to
everybody. .A quaint example is recorded in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati
Lodge (volume xi, page 85). A Lodge at Dublin, Ireland, had passed a
resolution that only one jug of punch should be placed on the table after
supper as some of the brothers had not observed due moderation. Brother
Richard Bayly, the Worshipful Master, did not approve of this proceeding and
yet he wished to observe the law as strictly as he could and still not show it
to interfere with his desires. He had a gigantic pitcher made, a Masonic jug
holding eighteen quarts, and presented this to the Lodge in his term of office
A title given by the French,
as worshipful is by the English, to a Lodge or Brother. Thus, La Respectable
Loge de la Candeur is equivalent to The Worshipful Lodge of Candor. It is
generally abbreviated as R.-. L.-. or R.-.(square)
In the liturgical services of
the Church an answer made by the people speaking alternately with the
clergyman. In the ceremonial observances of Freemasonry there are many
responses, the Master and the Brethren taking alternate parts, especially in
the funeral service as laid down first by Preston, and now very generally
adopted. In all Masonic prayers the proper response, never to be omitted, is,
"So mote it be."
The restoration, or, as it is
also called, the reinstatement of a Freemason who lad been excluded,
suspended, or expelled, may be the voluntary act of the Lodge, or that of the
Grand Lodge on appeal, when the sentence of the Lodge has been reversed on
account of illegality in the trial, or injustice, or undue severity in the
sentence. It may also, as in the instance of definite suspension, be the
result of the termination of the period of suspension, when the suspended
member is, ipso facto, by the fact itself, restored without any further action
of the Lodge.
The restoration from
indefinite suspension must be equivalent to a reinstatement in membership,
because the suspension being removed, the offender is at once invested with
the rights and privileges of which he had never been divested, but only
temporarily deprived. But restoration from expulsion may be either to
membership in the Lodge or simply to the privileges of the Order.
It may also be ex gratia, or an act of mercy, the past offense being condoned;
or ex debit justitia, through faulty justice, by a reversal of the sentence
for illegality of trial or injustice in the verdict.
The restoration ex gratia, or
mercifully, may be either by the Lodge or the Grand Lodge on appeal. If by the
Lodge, it may be to membership, or only to good standing in the Order. But if
by the Grand lodge, the restoration can only be to the rights and privileges
of the Order. The Freemason having been justly and legally expelled from the
Lodge, the Grand lodge possesses no prerogative by which it could enforce a
Lodge to admit one legally expelled any more than it could a profane who had
never been initiated.
But if the restoration be ex
debit justitia, as an act of justice, because the trial or verdict had been
illegal, then the Brother, never having been lawfully expelled from the Lodge
or the Order, but being at the very time of his appeal a member of the Lodge,
unjustly or illegally deprived of his rights, the restoration in this case by
the Grand Lodge must be to membership in the Lodge. Any other course, such as
to restore him to the Order but not to membership, would be manifestly unjust.
The Grand Lodge having reversed the trial and sentence of the subordinate
Lodge, that trial and sentence become null and void, and the Freemason who had
been unjustly expelled is at once restored to his original status (see this
subject fully discussed in Doctor Maekey's revised Jurisprudence of
The doctrine of a resurrection
to a future and eternal life constitutes an indispensable portion of the
religious faith of Freemasonry. It is not authoritatively inculcated as a
point of dogmatic creed, but is impressively taught by the symbolism of the
Third Degree. This dogma has existed among almost all nations from a very
early period. The Egyptians, in their mysteries, taught a final resurrection
of the soul. Although the Jews, in escaping from their Egyptian thraldom, did
not carry this doctrine with them into the desert—for it formed no part of the
Mosaic theology—yet they subsequently, after the captivity, borrowed it from
The Brahmans and Buddhists of
the East, the Etruseans of the South, and the Druids and the Scandinavian
Skalds of the West, nursed the faith of a resurrection to future life. The
Greeks and the Romans subscribed to it; and it was one of the great objects of
their mysteries to teach it. It is, as we all know, an essential part of the
Christian faith, and was exemplified, in His own resurrection, by Christ to
His followers. In Freemasonry, a particular Degree, the Master's, has been
appropriated to teach it by an impressive symbolism. "Thus, " says Hutchinson
(Spirit of Masonry, page 164), "our Order is a positive contradiction to
Judaic blindness and infidelity, and testifies our faith concerning the
resurrection of the body."
We may deny that there has
been a regular descent of Freemasonry, as a secret organization, from the
mystical association of the Eleusinians, the Samothracians, or the Dionysians.
No one, however, who carefully examines the mode in which the resurrection or
restoration to life was taught by a symbol and a ceremony in the Ancient
Mysteries, and how the same dogma is now taught in the Masonic initiation,
can, without absolutely rejecting the evident concatenation of circumstances
which lies patent before him, refuse his assent to the proposition that the
latter was derived from the former.
The resemblance between the
Dionysiac Legend, for instance, and the Hiramic cannot have been purely
accidental. The chain that connects them is easily found in the fact that the
Pagan Mysteries lasted until the fourth century of the Christian era, and, as
the Fathers of the Church lamented, exercised an influence over the secret
societies of the Middle Ages.
RETURNS OF LODGES
Every subordinate Lodge is
required to malice annually to the Grand Lodge a statement of the names of its
members, and the number of admissions, demissions, and expulsions or
rejections that have taken place within the year. This statement is called a
return. A neglect to make the annual return causes a forfeiture of the right
of representation in the Grand Lodge. The sum due by the Lodge is based on the
return, as a tax is levied for each member and each initiation. The Grand
Lodge is also, by this means, made acquainted with the state of its
subordinates and the condition of the Order in its Jurisdiction.
The eldest son of Jacob. Among
the Royal Arch banners, that of Reuben is purple, and bears a man as the
device. It is appropriated to the Grand Master of the Second Veil.
Formerly Ile de Bourbon, or
Bourbon's Island, and is in the Indian Ocean, east of the Island of
Madagascar. There is one Lodge here under the Grand Orient of France. It was
established at St. Denis, the capital.
The following is an extract
from Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia upon this subject: With infinite
learning and patience the author of The Book of God, who preserves strict
anonymity, has endeavored to show that the work, Apocalypse, was originally
revealed to a primaeval John, otherwise Cannes and identical with the first
messenger of God to man;. This theory is sufficiently remarkable to be
mentioned here. The messengers, twelve in number, are supposed by the author
to appear at intervals of years. Thus:
1, Adam, 3000 A. M.
2, Enoch, 3600 A.M.
3, Fohi, 4200 A. M.
4, Brigoo, 4800 A. M.5, Zaratusht 5400 A. M.
6, Thoth, 6000 is A. M.
7, Amosis or Moses 6600 A. M.
8, Laotseu, 7200 A. M.
9, Jesus, 7800 A..M.
10, Mohammed, 8400 A. M.
l l, Chengiz-Khan A.9000 A. M., and
12, the twelfth messenger yet to be revealed, 9600 A. M.
With the aid of this theory,
the whole history of the world, down to our own days, is shown to be foretold
in the Apocalypse, and although it is difficult to agree with the accomplished
writer's conclusions, supported by him with an array of learning and a sincere
belief in what is stated, no one with any taste for these studies should be
without this wonderful series of books. The same author has published, in two
volumes, a revised edition of the Book of Enoch, with a commentary, and he
promises to continue, and, if possible, complete his design.
REVELATIONS OF FREEMASONRY
REVELS, MASTER OF THE
An officer attached to the
royal or other eminent household, whose function it was to preside when the
members and guests were at refreshment, physical and intellectual, to have
charge of the amusement of the court or of the nobleman to whose house he was
attached during the twelve Christmas holidays. In Masonic language, the Junior
A title sometimes given to the
Chaplain of a Masonic Body.
The second sign in the English
Royal Arch system, and thus explained: We are taught by the Reverential Sign
to bend with submission and resignation beneath the chasting hand of the
Almighty, and at the same time to engraft His law in our hearts. This
expressive form, in which the Father of the human race first presented himself
before the face of the Most High, to receive the denunciation and terrible
judgment, was adopted by our Grand Master Moses, who, when the Lord appeared
to him in the burning bush on Mount Horeb, covered his face from the
brightness of the divine presence.
American patriot, noted for
several daring exploits during the Revolutionary War, an engraver, and Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, from December 12, 1794, to
December 27, 1797. Revere, or Rivoire, as his ancestors wrote the name, born
in Boston, January 1, 1735, became a goldsmith and silversmith in his father's
shop and here developed his natural talents by designing and executing all
sorts of engraving. In 1756 he took part in the expedition against Crown
Point, his rank being Second Lieutenant of Artillery. Initiated in Saint
Andrews Lodge, September 4, 1760. He was Raised January 27, 1761; elected
Senior Warden in November, 1764, and Master, November 30, 1770.
During this time he conducted
a copper-plate engraving shop, and, while a member of a club of young men
formed to watch the movements of the British troops in Boston, engraved
several anti-British caricatures. He was one of the grand jurors who refused
to serve in Boston in 1774 because the justices had been made independent of
the people by Parliament- He was a leader of the Boston Tea Partly and in 1774
went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to urge that military stores there be
seized by the Colonists, whom he encouraged in their attack and capture of
Fort William and Mary, one of the first military acts of the Revolutionary
War. Paul Revere, as the man whose midnight ride from Charlestown to
Lexington, April 18-9, 1775, gave warning to the Colonists of the approach of
the Writ troops from Boston, was immortalized by Longfellow's poem, the
Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.
He set up a powder mill at
Canton which he operated successfully for the Colonists, although the only
previous knowledge was when he was sent in 1775 by the Massachusetts
Provincial Congress to Philadelphia to study the one powder mill in the
Colonies and through it he was permitted to pass but once, but the information
thus snatched proved invaluable. He was commissioned a Major of Infantry,
April, 1776; and in November, same year, promoted as Lieutenant Colonel of
Artillery, stationed at Castle William to defend Boston Harbor and finally
given command there. Served the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as Junior Grand
Warden from 1777 until 1779; from 1780 to 1783 as Senior Grand Warden; from
1784 to 1791 as Deputy Grand Master.
After the war he engaged in
the manufacture of gold and silver ware; successfully erected and operated an
air-furnace in which he cast bells and brass cannon; was a pioneer in America
in making copper plate and did much to promote this industry. He was the first
President of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association, founded in
1795. In this year he, as Grand Master, laid the cornerstone of the State
House at Boston.
He was a Royal Arch Mason.
Paul Revere's name appears on the records of Saint Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter
at Boston, Massachusetts, on January 9, 1770. There is no doubt he was a
member at this early period, for he was Junior Warden of the "Royal Arch
Lodge" in the year 1770. He was Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts in 1782, and Grand Master in 1795, 1796 and 1797 (see Bylaws of
Saint Andrews Royal Arch Chapter, Boston, 1866, page 82). Proceedings, Grand
Lodge, Massachusetts, 1916, page 216, has sketch of career, and page 218
contains references; first volume, Proceedings, has many references. Brother
Paul Revere died at Boston, May 10, 1818.
Grand Master Paul Revere
inspected a Lodge in his time with a care well worthy of our admiration. His
record here given is taken from the rough notes lade by Brother Paul Revere
and an effort has been made to reproduce with precision the verbal
peculiarities of the original handwriting preserved by the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts. The reader will please not overlook the probabilities that this
document was never intended for print. Copies of addresses made by Paul Revere
to his Brethren show that while, as has often been said, "New occasions teach
new duties," the problems confronting the draftsmen of the past were like unto
those of the present day. This address was made at a formal visit by Grand
Master Paul Revere to Washington Lodge. The inspection was in the fall of 1797
or in 1797. The Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, brother Frederick W.
Hamilton, kindly verified the sates for us. Washington Lodge was chartered on
March 17, 1796, and Brother Paul Revere went out of office at the end of 1797.
The formal salutation at the
commencement of the address deserves critical attention. The famous Diary of
Samuel Pepys furnishes a similar instance under date of August 4, 1661. A
clergyman in Pepys presence addressed his congregation as "Right Worshipful
and dearly beloved." This was in the Parish of "My cousin Roger," Member of
Parliament for The town of Cambridge. The presence ' these persons of
distinction doubtless led to the adoption of the peculiar form of salutation.
Notice rill be taken of the method of addressing the Wardens. But the whole
address is well worth careful Leading.
Right Worshipful Master,
Worshipful Wardens, & Respected Brethren. The Grand Lodge ever Anxious for the
prosperity of all the Lodges under the Jurisdiction, have set apart this
Evening to Visit Washington Lodge.—You will permit us the favor of perusing
your Bye Laws & Records, after which we will thank the Right Worshipful
Masters or some Brethren by his appointment, to go through the usual lectures.
Respected Brethren I am happy
to find your Bye Laws so well digested. Your Records so well preserved the
Order & decorum of Your Lodge so well directed.
You will permit me Brethren to
impress on your minds the necessity of a strict and careful examination of the
Characters, of every person who offer themselves Candidates to be initiated
into our Society; You ought carefully to examine whether they have ever been
rejected in other Lodges; and if they have, what were the cause: For nothing
is more discouraging to our laudable motives nor is any thing more destructive
of Harmony and brotherly Love than our being imposed upon by wicked and
The Worshipful Master will
permit me to remind him that this Lodge is placed under his immediate Care and
under the direction of Him, & his Officers, where we have every reason to
expect, that the true principles of Free Masonry, will be cultivated, &
cherished; and that in due time we shall gather Laurels of Virtue, &
Benevolence. The wardens, & Brethren, will be careful to remember that the
Honor, & reputation of the Craft, in a great measure depends on a Strict
conformity to the Bye Laws and regulations, and that it is highly necessary
that an early and punctual attendance is paid to the duties, & business of the
Lodge, that the Master may be enabled to Call the Laborers from their work to
refreshment in due time,—that He may direct the paying them their wages, and
Closing the Lodge at an early Hour.
The Master & wardens will
permit me to remind them that a Constant, & punctual attendance. on the
quarterly Communications is absolutely necessary, they being the only legal
representatives their absence cannot be dispensed with.
The Secretary will be careful
to remember that it is his duty, to transmit to the Grand Lodge annually, a
list of the officers; and quarterly, a list of the new initiated Brothers,
that their names may be recorded in the Grand Lodge Books.
The following excellent
Installation Charge was also the work of Most Worshipful Paul Revere, 1795,
when Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts:
Worshipful Lodge having chosen you for their Master and Representative, it is
now incumbent upon you, diligently and upon every proper occasion, to inquire
into the knowledge of your fellows, and find them daily employment, that the
Art which they profess may not be forgotten or neglected. You must avoid
partiality, giving praise where it is due and employing those in the most
honorable part of the work who have made the greatest advancement of the Art.
You must preserve union, and judge in all cases amenably and mildly,
That the Society may prosper,
you must preserve the dignity of your office, requiring submission from the
perverse and refractory—always acting and being guided by the principles on
which your authority is folded. You must, to the extent of your power, pay a
constant attendance on your Lodge, that you may see how your work flourishes
and your instructions are obeyed. You must take care that neither your words
nor actions shall render your authority to be less regarded, but that your
prudent and careful behavior may set an example and give a sanction to your
power. And as Brotherly Love is the cement of cur Society, so cherish and
encourage it that the Brethren may be more willing to obey the dictates of
Masons than you have occasion to command.
And you, the officers of this Worshipful Lodge, must carefully assist the
Master in the discharge and execution of his office—diffusing light and
imparting knowledge to all the fellows under your care, keeping the Brethren
in just order and decorum, that nothing may disturb the peaceable serenity, or
obstruct the glorious effects of harmony and concord. And that this may be the
better preserved, you must carefully inquire into the character of all
candidates to this Honorable Society, and recommend none to the Master who, in
your opinion, are unworthy of the privileges and advantages of Masonry
—keeping the CYNlC far from the Ancient Fraternity where harmony is obstructed
by the superstitious and morose. You must discharge the Lodge quietly,
encouraging the Brethren assembled to work cheerfully that none, when
dismissed, may go away dissatisfied.
And you, Brethren of this Worshipful Lodge, learn to follow the advice and
instructions of your officers, submitting cheerfully to their amicable
decisions, throwing by all resentments and prejudices toward each other. Let
your chief care be to the advancement of the Society you have the honor to be
members of. Let there be a modest and friendly emulation among you in doing
good to each other. Let complacency and benevolence flourish among you. Let
your actions be squared by the rules of Masonry. Let friendship be cherished,
and all advantages of that title by which we distinguish each other, that we
may be Brothers not only in name, but in the full import, extent, and latitude
of so glorious an appellation.
Finally, my Brethren, as this
association has been carried on with so much unanimity and concord (in which
we greatly rejoice), so may it entitle to the latest ages. May your love be
reciprocal and harmonious. While these principles are uniformly supported,
this Lodge will be an honor to Masonry, an example to the world, and,
therefore, a blessing to mankind. From this happy prospect I rest assured of
your steady perseverance, and conclude with wishing you all, my Brethren, joy
of your Master, Wardens, and other officers, and of your Constitutional union
REGIUS MS. ON GOOD MANNERS
Since it is the oldest of
known manuscript versions of the Old Charges (or Old MSS., or Old
Constitutions), written about 1390 A.D., or possibly 1400 A.D., the Regius MS.
would be everywhere known among Freemasons were it not written in an English
so nearly obsolete that it may almost as well be a foreign tongue. Bro.
Roderiek H. Baxter, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, has put Masons in
his debt, and American Masons especially so—for they are farther from the
Middle Ages than are their Brethren in England—by making a careful
transliteration of it into modern English, beautifully done, and as close to
the original as any transliteration can be. It is in a brochure entitled The
Masonic Poem of l.q90, Circa (a poem because the original is in rhymed verse;
Wallasey; Wallasey Printers Ltd.; 1927.)
But to American Masons a
further difficulty in understanding the Regius MS. is the last section of it,
because the contents of that section, or any mention of it, are never heard in
a Masonic Lodge, and appear to have only a remote connection with Speculative
Freemasonry. It is a disquisition on the theme, "Good manners make the man."
In Bro. Baxter's transliteration it begins with line 694: "When thou comest
before a lord," etc. This section was lifted bodily from an anonymous poem
written about 1460 which usually is entitled Urbanitatis, but which Professor
F. J. Furnivall edited for the Early English Text Society as Reprint: The
Babees Book. The whole section is a set of instructions issued to a young man
on how to behave with manners and grace when at table, when in a fine house,
when meeting persons of quality, etc.
According to tables and
statistics included here and there in a number of works on Medieval
population, on population in country, villages, towns, etc., and as applied to
the Mason Craft, the supposition is that some ninety per cent of the boys of
twelve to fourteen who came as Masonic apprentices were from the country, many
of them from peasants' homes.
Such boys had never been in
fine houses, had never associated with persons of quality, possessed no
etiquette or table manners, had handled no silver, or ever sat in hall or
bower. But the Freemasons who worked for years on cathedrals, abbeys,
priories, etc. were associated with persons of the highest rank, with barons
and prelates and clerics, and at the same time had to work in a brotherhood
with other workmen of education, often of eminence, and perhaps famous, and
who would not tolerate uncouthness, vulgarity, gaucheries, and profanity from
those about them. Therefore along with being taught his art the boy had to be
taught and polished in speech, clothing, manners, and etiquette. In effect,
the last section of the Regius was a stern injunction to such apprentices and
a warning to them that the severe rules of the Craft which governed the
etiquette of Masons would be enforced upon them.
NOTE. As bearing on a question
concerning Degrees and ceremonies in Operative Lodges the inclusion of these
admonitions would suggest that the Old Charges in part were read, or at least
addressed to the apprentices. On the other hand, other Rules, Regulations,
Points are evidently addressed to Master Masons. If the oath or pledge was
taken "on" the Old Charges perhaps the Lodge's copy was used twice over, once
for Apprenticed once at the end of apprenticeship, seven, or so, years
The Remus .MS. and the Cooke M
S. are printed together, compared, and annotated in The Two Earliest Masonic
MSS., by Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones, and Douglas Hamer, Manchester University
Press; 1938; cloth; index; glossary; 216 pages.
The Old Charges contain a set
of regulations by which Freemasons were governed when at work, and when
outside the Lodge. Although the oldest existing copy was written about 1390
A.D. to 1400 A.D. it is certain that the regulations had been in force long
before; at least regulations of a similar kind. It is also certain that though
these regulations belonged to the Craft, they were accepted by non-Masonic,
civil authorities as having a legal status.
Thus, in a Fabric Roll of St.
Peter's at York, dated 1355, a written contract between the Freemasons and the
building administration agrees that the latter shall respect "the ancient
customs [regulations] which the Masons use," etc.; a similar entry is found in
a Roll dated in 1370. The regulations as now in use by the Speculative
Fraternity are altered out of recognition, many of them, in form and language;
but in substance and principle are the same as those in use according to the
ancient "customs." (On York regulations see: History of the Metropolitan
Church of St. Peter, Yor.tc, by John Browne; Longuans & Co.; London; 1847.)
RELIGION AND FREEMASONRY
During its earliest period Christianity devoted itself to establishing its
centers in southern Europe. There it found itself among a large number of
religions, some of which had spread northward from Egypt, or had worked down
out of Mesopotamia countries through Greece into Italy, or were powerful
nature cults which had infiltrated from the mountain and forest lands of the
north—there was nowhere a single organized religion called paganism. One of
these religions, Mithraism, w as especially powerful because it u as the cult
of the Imperial army, and for generations m-as virtually the state religion.
The religions which came out
of Greece were even more difficult to oppose because like everything else of
Greek origin they were highly intelligent, were saturated with the Greek
feeling for culture, especially of the plastic arts, and were supported by the
philosophers and scientists who for centuries were the acknowledged teachers
of the Romans. Beyond the frontier, in Russia and the far north and among
powerful Teutonic tribes, were other religions which would be encountered
afterwards. Throughout the period as a u hole, the religion of Judaism also
was in southern Europe, and like Christianity possessed within itself a
powerful missionary enthusiasm.
For a period, each small
Christian settlement had a leader. This leader came in due course to give his
full time to his office, and was called a pastor (he was not transformed into
a priest for centuries afterwards).
To give the movement unity,
the pastors of a region were brought under the leadership of an over-pastor,
or, as later called, bishop (episcopos). Just as the religion grew more
rapidly in some areas than in others, so did a few bishops come to be more
powerful than others; the paramount bishoprics were at Alexandria, Jerusalem,
Antioch, Corinth, Athens and Rome.
After the Christian religion had become the official state religion it
reorganized itself on the pattern of the Roman political government (into
parishes, etc.); and because Rome was the Capital of the Empire, the Bishop of
Rome grew to be the most influential bishop; but he did not become a Pope, or
bishop of bishops, until about the time of Charlemagne, did not become the
chief authority in all matters until after the Tenth Century, and was not
declared infallible until 1870. It had always been held that a General Council
had in matters of doctrine and discipline authority superior to a Pope; in
1870 this was reversed, and the Pope usurped the final authority which for
centuries had belonged to the Councils.
By the beginning of the Fourth
Century the Roman Empire developed two great lines of expansion; one eastward
through Greece, up through the Balkans, and into Russia; one westward, toward
Paris, and northward toward Germany, which was then a generic name for the
northern half of Europe. Under this centrifugal pressure the Empire divided
into two empires, the Western with its capital at Rome (though often the real
capital was Paris, for Rome at one time was but a small village); the Eastern
with its capital at Constantinople. The word "catholic" meant nothing more
than the general religion; it was a synonym for Christianity, and "Roman
Catholicism was Christianity in the Western Empire. Greek (or Eastern, or
Orthodox) Catholicism, headed by the Patriarch (or chief bishop, or pope) of
Constantinople, w as the Christianity of the Eastern Empire.
If the division of the one Empire into two Empires broke Christianity's
territorial jurisdiction into two jurisdictions, the Barbarian invasions from
the north and from the east, cut its history in two. The religion which
emerged from the Dark Ages was scarcely recognizable as the religion it had
been before. Early Christianity had been spiritual, full of moral passion,
humane, apostolic, a New Testament faith; the religion which took its place
after the Dark Ages was a system of sacerdotalism, with a liturgy in place of
a pulpit, and professionalized, celibate priests in place of pastors; saint
worshiping, relic worshiping, full of superstitions, an advocate of poverty
and illiteracy, and openly in league with political powers. But though this
new sacerdotal Roman Catholicism was one side of the shield of the
Carlovingian political system, and therefore had a formal, external unity
protected by law, inwardly, in men's genuine religious faith or lack of it, it
was divided into as many denominations and sects as it is now. There never was
"an age of faith" or an era of unity.
Any religion, even a religion
as monopolistic, unchallenged, absolutistic, possessive as Thibetan Lamaism,
can control the world up to a certain point only. No religion can control the
weather, the seasons, the 80il, the ocean or the streams, rock or sand,
animals, or plants; nor can it alter the skilled crafts and trades, or the
Arts and Sciences. Under a Medici Pope in the Vatican these were the same as
when Aristotle had taught zoology more than 2000 years before. Black smithing,
pottery, carpentry, stone-masonry, war, the art of medicine, navigation,
astronomy, mathematics, agriculture, engineering, painting, sculpture,
physics, chemistry, these are the same in Boston as in Peking, and are not
subject to theological jurisdictions. So it was under the Roman Catholic
Church from Charlemagne to the Reformation. Its General Councils could not
alter the theorems of Euclid; they could destroy a geometrician, they could
not destroy geometry. They had no authority over the Arts and Sciences.
Architecture, out of the midst
of which Freemasonry arose, mas one of these non-theological arts which
everlastingly lie beyond religious control. It had nothing to say about
theology, for it, or against it; nor did theology have anything to say to it,
because the principles and skills of building are non-responsible to theology,
and theology is irrelevant to them—as well talk about a Roman Catholic or a
Protestant mathematics ! Freemasons themselves could believe personally in
what religion they chose, Orthodox Catholicism in Athens, Mohammedanism in
Belgrade; could be Waldensians, or Huguenots, or Anabaptists, or Gallicans, or
Anglicans, or Copts; but the Craft's art, its customs and leans of
organization, its skills and sciences, its formulas and principles, its
standards and Landmarks and purposes, were neither for nor against, nor in nor
out, of any one of these creeds, because it stood apart from them, and has
done so ever since.
The Medieval Freemasons in
England from whom modern Freemasonry descended were, as men, in the English
Catholic Church, but as Masons it mattered nothing to them whether they were
building a cathedral or a castle, a monastery or a fortress, a chapel or a
wall, or a bridge. After England severed itself from the Papacy under Henry
VIII, Masons, as men, became English Catholics; after the denominations began
to multiply in the Eighteenth Century they might be Methodists, Presbyterians,
Puritans, Quakers, or Anglicans. Today Masons carry on the work of their
Lodges with men belonging to almost every religion or denomination in the
world—taking it that atheism is not a religion. Belief in God, the future
life, the brotherhood of man, and morality belong to no one religion; but to
man at large. The historical changes never involved a break of continuity in
Freemasonry, no 'change of faith" and no compromise; the Fraternity has never
been a religion or an arm of a church, but like medicine, engineering, and
mathematics has always been an art; and like them, and like the soil, seasons,
plants, animals, and the oceans, has been universal, and for the same reasons.
NOTE. See page 846 ff. The
ancient Landmarks and the Ritual are on this subject both the first authority
and the final court of appeal. See also the section under "- Old Charges " in
the 1723 Book of Constitutions. The Obligations which are the sanction for
private discipline and law in Masonry, contain no theological commitments or
RENAUD, THE TALE OF
In his Inaugural Address as
Worshipful Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, on November 8, 1941,
W.. Bro. Lewis Edwards led Masonic research a step forward by incorporating in
an illuminating account of early Operative Freemasonry in France 3 summary of
two of the old Masonic romances which in that period (Thirteenth and
Fourteenth Centuries) were circulated orally among Craftsmen everywhere. Those
romances, of which there may have been a hundred, have never been searched out
and collected; they ought to be, because the first form of the story of HA. .
is more likely to have been among them than elsewhere.
The materials are present, and
to a large extent are indexed, in the Iowa and other large Masonic Libraries;
it only requires that some student shall collect them into a book, along with
their settings in the history and customs of the Fraternity—who does so (as
who can tell!) may win for himself that chiefest crown of research which still
awaits the clearing up of the origin of the central rite in the Third Degree.
(Bro. Dudley Wright collected some of these old romances, but only a few. The
story of the 'Prentice Column and of Solomon and the Blacksmith are two of
One of the old tales to which
Bro. Edwards adverts is the romance of Renaud, one of the Four Sons of Aymon.
(Was Aymon the same as Aynon? possibly; see page 113. Or the word may
originally have meant "a man"; or the tale may be a remote form, or echo, of
the legend of the Four Crowned Martyrs.) Renaud went to the church building of
St. Peter at Colognes and found work. Because he was holy, and therefore
possessed miraculous powers, he did the work of ten men; and at the end of the
day after the Master had given each Craftsman five pence, he offered to pay
Renaud any sum he asked, but that hero refused to accept more than a penny.
His fellow laborers were so
filled with envy of this workman's great power and honors that (in
characteristically Medieval fashion) they conspired against him, and while
Renaud lay asleep in a crypt, they took "a great Mason's hammer," or maul, and
drove it "deep into his brain." They put his body in a sack and threw it into
the Rhine, but by another miracle of the fishes, the carp and the trout bore
up his body until it was found, and placed in a cart, whereupon the cart moved
of itself out to the tomb the archbishop had prepared for the body.
RESEARCH, SOURCES FOR MASONIC
Masonic Research on an adequate and permanent basis has not thus far been
undertaken by American Grand Lodges, individually or collectively. Out of
professional research Grand Lodges can find clear directives for their future
policies, solid grounds for their Jurisprudence which at some points is now in
confusion, and a means to protect the Craft against the pressure of
Anti-Masonic activity, covert or overt, which pressure is sure to be increased
during the latter half of the century; and Masons can obtain a reliable,
unambiguous knowledge of Freemasonry and an understanding of the Craft's
activities and purposes. Grand Lodges thus far have kept their attentions
focused within and upon themselves, neglecting the Ancient Landmark whereby
they are the Stewards of the whole Fraternity and propagators and guardians of
it throughout the world; in consequence of World War II a new, and
farther-seeing statesmanship is likely to be developed, not looking toward
international Masonic organizations, which are never desirable, but rather
looking toward the planting and care of Lodges over the earth, for the doing
of which it is as much their duty and function as is the administration of a
English-speaking Masons, with
many thousands of American Masons among them, will live permanently in scores
of remote outposts; they will ask for Charters, as they have an inherent right
to do, and from their Lodges will come local Provincial or District Bodies,
out of which may in turn develop, in some countries (as in great China), a
vigorous native Freemasonry. To carry on that far flung statesmanship Grand
Lodges will require far more data, knowledge, information, and literature than
a few amateur students, each one at his own time and expense, can ever give
them, and it needs to be of a professional reliability and completeness.
Any Grand Lodge can establish
such a foundation for itself for less money than it costs to build one new
temple. The means to do so already are in use abroad, and are therefore not
visionary or experimental. For funds, a Grand Lodge itself may set up an
endowment, or a foundation may be financed by wealthy Brethren so many of whom
would respond if Grand Lodges led the way, or endowments may be established
jointly by both Grand Lodges and private Brothers—after the manner by which
the Washington Memorial was financed.
A separate, endowed Foundation
may be set up, expressly for their purpose; or a Grand Lodge may endow a
full-time Lodge of Research, with a salaried staff; or a Grand Lodge
Department within itself. Universities are graduating hundreds of men
specially trained in historical, legal, and literary research: from the many
Masons among these posts graduate scholars it would not be difficult to draw a
salaried staff of two or three professional specialists. Such a Foundation
could publish its own findings; or could print them in Grand Lodge
publications; and it could work according to directives laid down by the Grand
Lodge or by the governing Board of the Foundation. Such specialists, with
their professional standards, would not fritter away their time loafing in the
by-ways of Masonic curios, as so many amateurs do, but would serve the Grand
Lodge in a capacity similar to that of the Civil Service in a government.
All Masonic research must be
grounded in the history of the Craft or it ends in guesswork. Even now, the
sources of knowledge of American Masonic history have not been tapped, even
those which lie closest at hand. In general these sources are in America, to a
lesser extent in Canada, to a large extent, in England, Scotland, and Ireland,
and for the High Grades are in France. Professional men in research would do
In America are many such
sources: Genealogical Societies, with their archives. Special libraries of
genealogy. Genealogical departments of the large Public Libraries (enough data
on early New York Masonry lies buried in the New York Public Library to fill a
large volume). Transactions and archives of the oldest Patriotic societies
such as G. A. R. and D. A. R. Libraries of Universities specializing in early
Americana. Files of the earliest newspapers. Historical Societies, State by
State, such as the Massachusetts Historical Society, founded in 1781; and the
New York Historical Society which began publications of its collections in
1811. Many State Societies are financed from general taxes. The Literary and
Historical Society of Quebec has been publishing its Transactions since 1829.
Many military Lodges came into America and Canada in the French-Indian War;
with genealogical clues to guide him a researcher could uncover many Masonic
facts in the Jesuit Relations.
More valuable still are the
archives of civil documents kept by each of the States, and the
extraordinarily huge (five and one-half million cubic feet) Federal Archives
building at Washington—Bro. MacGregor made his Coxe discoveries among civil
archives in New Jersey. The Congressional Library, destined to rival Moscow
and Paris in size, is in part an inexhaustible collection of archives. In
England are unrivaled Imperial Archives, the British Museum, scores of very
old private Societies, and special archives in the Universities in which lie
unstudied no man can guess how many documents about Colonial America. If a
genealogist working there, and assisted by a skilled archivist, were to track
down only a few of the old Masonic families, the Oglethorpes, Wesleys, etc.,
he would find their trails leading to America.
It is known that private
collectors here in America have rare Masonic material (oftentimes without
their recognizing it) which thus far remains unexamined, as in the Huntington
Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Morgan Library in New York City. Even the
Masonic Libraries in America, the larger of them, have never been run through
the researchers' sieve; it is safe to estimate that in the Iowa Grand Lodge
Library alone lie a hundred or more "discoveries (For a survey, guide, and
hand-book on historical research see (with its bibliographies) The Gateway to
History, by Allan Nevins; D. Appleton; New York 1938; Chapter 3 in especial.)
Nothing in this disparages
amateur research, or is to discourage amateur researchers, they w ho "for the
love a Mason have to ye Craft" spend themselves and their money at Masonic
study, for the place reserved for them in the Grand Lodge Above is inalienable
and will ever shine with a more than professional brightness.
If by chance such an amateur
is looking for a specialty ideally suited for amateur erudition one not
already threshed to death, sufficiently remote to possess the necessary lure,
and yet loaded with enough of the authentic ore, he is recommended to spend
his next ten years of avocation on one of these books: Polychronycon (eight
books), by Ranulf Higden (See under HIGDEN elsewhere in this Supplement
Anacalypsis (that extraordinary book!), by Godfrey Higgins (a member of Prince
of Wales Lodge). Gierke's History of Mediaeval Law, translated and edited by
Maitland. Better still: the canon of writings written and published in
Alexandria, Egypt, published as a book entitled Hertnes Trtsmegistus (on which
see Literary Remains of Emanuel Deutsch). To architects are recommended the
writings of Palladio, Inigo Jones and Bro. Christopher Wren.
Contributors to Ars Qustuor
Coronotarum have for more than half a century specialized in minute
examinations of old texts, manuscripts, documents, records, archives,
belonging in one way or another to architecture, of which there are so many in
England and so few in America. In their Harulbook of Masonic Documents,
Brothers Knoop & Jones (56 pages) give a descriptive list of such sources:
1. Masons' Contracts.
2. Orders and Commissions to Impress Masons.
3. Fabric Rolls and Building Accounts.
4. State Regulations of Labor.
5. Masonic Regulations Imposed by the Craft.
6. Masons' Companies Records.
8. Lodge Records.
9. The MS. Constitutions.
10. The MS. Catechisms.
13. Lists of Lodges.
RESEARCH LODGES AND
Among Lodges and Associations
for Masonic re search are:
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076, London, England.
Dorset Masters Lodge, No. 3366, Poole, England
Manchester Association for Masonic Research, Bury England
Merseyside Association for Masonic Research, Birkenhead, England.
The Lodge of Reaearch, Leiceater, North Leiceater, England.
Somerset Masters Lodge, No. 3746, Shenstone, England
Installed Masters' Association, Leeds, England.
Lodge of Research, No. 200, Dublin, Ireland.
Norfolk Installed Mastery Lodge, No. 3905, Norwich England.
Installed Masters Lodge, No. 2494 Hull England
Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, London Engiand. (Confined to members of Authors'
The North Carolina Lodge of Research, No. 666, Monroe N. Carolina. Constituted
in February. 1931.
American Lodge of Researeh, Masonie Hall, New York N. Y. Constituted May 7,
Oregon I,odge of Researeh, Portland, Oregon. Constituted in 1931.
Toronto Society for Masonic Study and Research, Toronto, Canada.Missouri Lodge
of Research, Masonic Temple, St. Louis,
Mo. It received its Dispensation on May 1, 1941 from Harry S. Truman, Grand
Master, Grand Lodge of Missouri.
Research Lodge, No. 281, F.& A. M. of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
(Corrigenda—In Masonic Papers,
published by Research Lodge, No. 281, the late Bro. Jacob Hugo Tatsch writes
on page 69 of Vol. I that this Encyclopedia "is sadly in need of augmentation,
revision, and corrections in places."
It is, it ever has been, it
ever will be. Before the first book of the first edition of 1844 was off the
presses, Dr. Albert G. Mackey began augmenting and correcting and revising it,
and continued to do so until his death, after which Robert Macon, William
James Hughan, Edward L. Eawkins, and Robert I. Clegg continued to augment and
revise it; it is here and now being augmented and revised, and in another
twenty-five years another encyclopedist will be augmenting and revising it
again. On page 70 the same writer says that The Builder in its years of
existence from 1915 to 1930+ "aided in promoting educational work in the
Masonic Service Association of the United States"; there was no connection
"between the M.S.A. and the National Masonic Research Society, publisher of
The Builder, at any time; the M.S.A. published for a few years a magazine of
its own called The Master Mason, edited by Joseph Fort Newton.
(The geography of the State of
Washington being what it is, the facilities for state-wide Grand Lodge work,
including educational work, have never been easy. In one of his Foreign
Correspondence Reports of about 1927 or 1928 Bro. J. Edward Allen, of North
Carolina, reviewing Washington, made a disparaging statement about the
Educational Committee of that Grand Lodge, which was in error; in the same
paragraph he stated that the editor of this Supplement had been employed by
that Committee, which was not true. Complete credit for the pioneering of the
Masonic educational work in Washington early in the 1920's, of which one of
the fruits or end-results is the Research Lodge, goes to Bro. Colonel Howard
A. Hanson,.M.-.W.-.Walter F. Meier, andt heir colleagues.)
The wardrobe, or the place for
keeping sacred vestments. Distinctive costumes in public worship formed a part
not only of the Jewish, but of almost all the ancient religions. The
revestiary was common to them all. The Master of the Wardrobe became a
The occurrences which took
place in the City of London, in the year 1717, when that important Body, which
has since been known as the Grand Lodge of England, was organized, have been
always known in Masonuc history as the Revival of Freeenasonroy. AndersoD, in
the first edition of the Constitutions, published in 1723 (page 47), speaks of
the freeborn Blitish nations having revived the drooping Lodges of London; but
he makes no other reference to the transaction. In his second edition,
published in 1738, he is more diffuse, and the account there given is the only
authority we possess of the organuzation made in 1717: Preston and all
subsequent writers have of course derived their authority from Anderson. The
transactions are thus detailed by Preston (Illustrations, 1792, page 246),
whose amount is preferred, as contain ng in a more sueeinet form all that
Anderson has more profusely detailed.
On the accession of George I,
the Masons in London and its environs, finding themselves deprived of Sir
Christopher Wren and their annual meetings discontinued, resolved to cement
themselves under a new Grand Master, and to revive the eommunications and
annual festivals of the Society.
With this view, the Lodges at
the Goose and Gridiron, in Saint Paul's Church-Yard; the Crown, in Parker's
Lane, near Drury Lane; the Apple-Tree Tavern, in Charles Street, Covent
Garden; and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern, in Channel Row, Westminster, the
only four Lodges in being in the South of England at that time, with some
other old brethren met at the AppleTree Tavern, above mentioned, in Februar"
1717; and, having voted the oldest Master Mason then present into the chair,
constituted themselves a Grand Lodge, pro tempore, in due form. At this
meeting it was resolved to revive the Quarterly Communications of the
Fraternity, and to hold the next annual assembly and feast on the 24th of June
at the Goose and Gridiron, in Saint Paul's Chureh-Yard, in compliment to the
oldest Lodge, which then met there, for the purpose of electing a Grand Master
among themselves, till they should have the honor of a noble brother at their
Accordingly on Saint John the
Baptist's day, 1717, in the third year of the reign of King George I, the
Assembly and Feast were held at the said house- when the oldest Master Mason
and the Master of a Lodge having taken the chair, a list of proper candidates
for the office of Grand Master svas produced; and the names being separately
proposed, the Brethren, by a great majority of hands, elected Mr. Anthony
Sayer Grand Master of Masons for the ensuing year- who was forthwith invested
by the said oldest Master, installed by the Master of the oldest Lodge, and
duly congratulated by the assembly, who paid him homage. The Grand Master then
entered on the duties of his office, appointed his Wardens, and commanded the
Brethren of the four Lodges to meet him and his Wardens quarterly in
Communication; enjoining them at the sasne time to recommend to all the
Fraternity a punctual attendance on the next annual Assembly and Feact.
This claim, that P'reemasonry was not for the first time orgariized, but only
revived in 1717, has been attacked by some of those modern iconoclasts who
refuse credence to anything traditional, or even to any record which is not
supported hy other eontemporary authority. Chief among these is Brother W. P.
Buchan, of England, who, in his numerous articles in the London Freemason
(1871-2), has attacked the antiquity of Freemasonry, and refuses to give it an
existence anterior to the year 1717.
His exact theory is that "our
system of degrees, words, grips, signs, ete., was not in existence until about
1717 A.D." He admits, however, that certain of the "elements or groundwork" of
the Degrees existed before that year, but not confined to the Freemasons being
common to all the Gilds. He thinks that the present system was indebted to the
inventive genius of Anderson and Desaguliers. And he supposes that it was
simply "a reconstruction of an ancient society, namely, of some form of old
Pagan philosophy. " Henee, he contends that it was not a revival, but only a
renaissance, and he explains his meaning in the following language:
before the eighteenth century
we had a renaissance of Pagan architecture; then, to follow suit, in the
eighteenthcentury we had a renaissance in a new dress of Pagan mysticism, but
for neither are we indebted to the Operative Masons, although the Operative
Masons were made use of in both cases (London Freemason, September 23, 1871).
Buchan's theory has been
attacked by Brothers William J. Hughan and Chalmers I. Paton. That he is right
in his theory, that the three Degrees of Master, Fellow Craft, and Apprentice
were unknown to the Freemasons of the seventeenth century, and that these
classes existed only as gradations of rank, will be very generally admitted.
But there is unquestionable
evidence that the modes of recognition, the method of government, the legends,
and much of our ceremonial of initiation, were in existence among the
Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, and were transmitted to the Speculative
Freemasons of the eighteenth century. The work of Anderson, of Desaguliers,
and their contemporaries, was to improve and to enlarge, but not to invent.
The Masonic system of the present day has been the result of a slow but steady
growth. Just as the lectures of Anderson, known to us from their publication
in 172.S were probably modified and enlarged by the suecessive labors of
Clare, of Dunekerley. of Preston and of Hemming, did he and Desaguliers submit
the simple ceremonial, which they found at the reorganization of the Grand
Lodge in 1717, to a similar modifieation and enlargement.
When a Dispensation is issued
by a Grand Master for the organization of a Lodge, it is granted "to continue
of force until the Grand Lodge shall grant a Warrant, or until the
Dispensation is revoked by the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge." A
Dispensation may therefore be revoked at any time by the authority which
issued it, or by a higher authority. Charters are arrested, forfeited, or
declared null and void; Dispensations are revoked.
The art of embellishing
language with the ornaments of construction, so as to enable the speaker to
persuade or affect his hearers. It supposes and requires a proper acquaintance
with the rest of the liberal arts; for the first step toward adorning a
discourse is for the speaker to become thoroughly acquainted with its subject.
and hence the ancient rule that the orator should be acquainted with all the
arts and seiences. Its importance as a branch of liberal education is
recommended to the Free mason in the Fellow Craft's Degree. It is one of the
seven liberal arts and sciences, the second in order (see Liberal Arts and
Sciences), and is described in the ancient Constitutions as "retorieke that
teacheth a man to speake faire and in subtill terms" (see Harleian Manuscript,
Tradition states that
Freemasonry in Rhode Island began as early as the Seventeenth Century but the
first Lodge known to exist was Saint John's at Newport, warranted December 27,
1749, by Saint John's Provincial Grand Lodge of Boston, Mass. A second Warrant
was issued May 14, 1753, because for some reason Caleb Phillips, the Master,
witheld its Charter from the Lodge. Authorized only to confer the First and
Second Degrees the new Lodge took no account of the restriction and on being
questioned made out so strong a case that a Charter conferring the additional
powers was granted to it.
On June 27, 1791, the day of
the celebration of the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, representatives of
Saint John's Lodge, Newport, and King David's Lodge of the same place, met in
the State House and organized a Grand Lodge. Moses Seixas presided and
installed the officers who had been elected. A service as afterwards held at
Trinity Chureh and a collection of eleven pounds, nine shillings and four
pence was given to purchase wood for the poor in the coming winter.
Washington Chapter of New York
chartered Providence Royal Arch Chapter on September 3, 1793. this Body was
among the Chapters which on March 12, 1798, met and organized a Grand Chapter
of Rhode Island, which later helped to organize the General Grand Chapter and
continued a member of it antil the Civil War of 1861-5. After some years '
interval it again sent representatives in 1897.
Companion Jeremy L. Cross
chartered a Council in 1819 at Providence which had been established by a
meeting of Royal Masters on March 28, 1818. During the Morgan excitement
meetings were not held and the Council lay dormant until 1841. On October 30,
1860, a Grand Council was organized.
The first Knights Templar Body
in Rhode Island was Saint John's Encampment at Providence, formed on August
23, 1802, at Masons Hall in the Board of Trade Building. It was founded by Sir
Thomas Smith Webb who remained in office from 1802 until 1815. A Convention
held on May 6, 1805, opened a Grand Encampment for Massschusetts and Rhode
Island, which is claimed by the Massachusetts authorities to have been the
first Grand Encampment in the United States. Pennsylvania, however, ataches
this distinction to the Grand Encampment opened in Philadelphia in 1797, but
it is thought probable that the ritual used by that Body was different from
that in use in the Massachusetts Encampment.
The Charters of Solomon's
Lodge of Perfection and Rhode Island Consistory, both issued in 1849, were
destroyed by fire and new ones were issued on September 17, 1896, by the
Supreme Council, Northen Masonic Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite. On December 14, 1849, were established, also at Providence, Rhode Island
Council of princes of Jerusalem and Rhode Island Chapter of Rose Croix. On the
same day the Van Rensselaer lodge of Perfection was chartered at Newport.
An island in the Mediterranean
Sea, which, although nominally under the government of the Emperor of
Constantinople, was in 1308 in the possession of Saracen pirates. In that
year, Fulke de Villaret, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalers, having
landed with a large force, drove out the Saracens and took possession of the
island, which became the seat of the Order, who removed to it from Cyprus and
continued to occupy it until it was retaken by the Saracens in 1522, when the
knights were transferred to the Island of Malta. Their residence for over two
hundred years at Rhodes caused them sometimes to receive the title of the
Knights of Rhodes.
A territory in South Africa.
There have been Lodges in this State under the control of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland at the following places: Bulawayo, Gwelo, Salisbury, Sinoia, Umtali,
Umvuma, and Victoria. Several Lodges have also been constituted by England and
one by the Grand Orient of the Netherlands.
RHODES, KNIGHT OF
See Knight of Rhodes
The use of a ribbon, with the
official jewel suspended and attached to a buttonhole instead of the collar,
adapted by sorne Arnerican Lodges, is a violation of the ancient customs of
the Order. The collar cut in a triangular shape, with the jewel suspended from
the apex, dates from the earliest time of the revival, and is perhaps as old
as the apron itself (see Collar).
RICHARD, THE LION
Richard I (1157 A.D. - 1199
A.D.), King of England, known as Coeur de Lion, was the hero and model of the
Crusaders just as Sir Philip Sidney, four centuries later, was to become the
hero and model of chivalry. Two men less alike it would be difficult to
imagine, and the fact that each was a beau ideal of chivalry shows how much
knighthood was altered between the Twelfth Century and the Sixteenth Century.
Richard was more French that English, a great, powerful fellow, with red-gold
hair to his shoulders, a French beard, with arms of prodigious strength, wild,
moody, untamed, and almost completely ignorant. His mother was Eleanor of
Guinnee divorced wife of Louis who had abandoned the crusade of 1149 because
of her; her second husband was Henry of Anjou, who had been adjudged guilty of
the murder of Thomas a Becket. Richard married Berengaria of Navarre, but
neglected her as long as he lived. He went off as a crusader to the Holy Land
after he became King of England; he had no reason to do so, he had no just
right to bankrupt his country to pay the expenses for so harum scarum an
adventure, and he betrayed his complete lack of any sense of the realities by
leaving his treacherous brother John behind in England. When Richard arrived
at Acre where the Crusaders were in the midst of their long siege of the city
he was ill in bed, but he had himself carried within sight of the walls; and
as soon as he was able to stay on his feet went into the thick of the
unmerciful fighting. From then until the evening of the time for the attack on
Jerusalem he flashed everywhere like a meteor, of suicidal courage and with
miraculous skill, tore into the Moslem lines alone, fought in water to his
neck, ambushed a caravan in the night after it had traveled from Egypt and
captured the whole of it, tore Acre apart, won impossible battles, and became
a hero even to his enemies, including Saladin, who named him Malik Ric.
Historians can never agree on Richard because he was a bundle of
contradictions—even to himself. He was the world's best warrior yet
self-admittedly was a failure as a general. He could face twenty-five Saracens
single-handed yet trembled if he lost a goodluck charm. No punctilio of
chivalry was too small for him to observe, yet he slaughtered hundreds of
civilians peaceably leading their caravan in the dark. On one day he
cold-bloodedly massacred hundreds of unarmed prisoners for whose safety he had
pledged his word; the next he sent to ask of Saladin a personal favor. He
risked his life a hundred times to rescue the Holy Sepulcher, yet proposed to
marry off his sister Joanna to a Saracen general. After leading his army to
the walls of Jerusalem he abruptly stopped and went back home. On his return
voyage he suddenly, and out of whim, decided to go back overland through
Hungary; it is believed that he was captured there and was for long held a
prisoner, but the facts of the matter have never been discovered, and probably
never will be. Not long after his return to England he was killed in a castle
brawl. Was he by nature and at bottom a brawler? Did he owe his fame to his
large and handsome physique? Scott's picture of the jousting Richard in
Ivanhoe is wholly fiction; but a historian cannot help but fear that sny other
pieture of this Christianized barbarian may be equally a fiction. He is the
complete enigma. (King Richard was called Richard the Lion. In later
generations, and possibly by the Freneh in their old tales of chivalry, he
nvas given the nickname of Richard the Lion-Hearted, or Coeur de Lion.)
RICHARDSON, JAMES DANIEL
Born, March 10, 1843,
Rutherford County, Tennessee, making his home at Murfreesboro though in
Washington, District of Columbia, a large part of a busy career. An enlisted
soldier at eighteen, after a year's service he became Adjutant, May 20, 1862,
and served throughout the Civil War. Speaker of the Tennessee Legislature,
1871, at twenty-eight years of age; State Senator, 1873; nominated for
Congress, August 14, 1884, and served continuously for twenty years, declining
further political offiee to give from 1905 his entire energies to the Scottish
Rite. Elected Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction four years
previously he concluded to make a choice between the two occupations. Raised,
October 12, 1867, in Moriah Lodge No. 18, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; served as
Master, then Grand Master, 1873-4; exalted, June 23, 1868, Pythagoros Chapter;
a mernber of Murfreesboro Council; and knighted in Baldwin Commandery No. 7,
Lebanon, Tennessee, June 7, 1869, and was Eminent Commander, Murfreesboro
Commandery No. 10. Received the Ineffable Seottish Rite Degrees from General
Albert Pike and Deputy Pitkin C. Wright, October 9, 1881; the Rosc Croix on
October 11, at Nashville; the Kadosh from Brother Wright at Murfreesboro,
October 24, 1881, and from this Brother the Thirty-first and Thirtysecond
Degrees were at the same place also communicated on October 27. Elected Knight
Commander, Court of Honor, October 23, 1884; coroneted Honorary, December 29,
1884; an Active Member of the Supreme Council, October 23, 1885. Sueeeeded
Brother O. S. Long, of West Virginia, as Lieutenant Grand Commander, and in
October 1901, elected Grand Commander, following Judge Thomas H. Caswell who
died November 13, 1900. He presided at the International Conference of Supreme
Councils at Washington, October, 1911; gave liberally of time and energy to
the planning and construction of the magnificent House of the Temple, and was
also an author of several scholarly historical books. His prompt and continued
encouragement of the writer of these lines is a treasured memory and a gladly
acknowledged fraternal service. Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Royal Order of
Scotland, 1901, he became Provincial Grand Master, 1903. His death occurred on
July 24, 1914.
A medal awarded annually by
the Grand Lodge of Missouri to the Freemason of that Masonic Jurisdiction who
during the preceding twelve months has rendered the most conspicuous
constructive service to his Country, State or Community. The award is named in
honor of Past Grand Master Thomas Fiveash Riddick who was elected to preside
over the Grand Lodge at its organization in 1821, and who contributed notable
service to the public school system of Missouri. The reason for so naming the
award is because of the service rendered by Brother Riddick who rode overland
to Washington, District of Columbia, and returned without fee or reward with
the sole idea of securing for the State title to all unclaimed land within the
State, which land was turned over to the school fund.
RIDEL, CORNELIUS JOHANN
Born at Hamburg, May 25, 1759,
and died at Weimar, January 16, 1821. He was an active and learned Freemason,
and for many years the Master of the Lodge Amalia at Weimar. In 1817, he
published in four volumes an elaborate and valuable work entitled Versuch
eines Alphabetischen Verzeichnisses, u. s. w., that is, An essay toward an
Alphabetical Catalogue of important nts, for the knowledge and history of
Freemasonry and especially for a critical ezamination of the origin and growth
of the varwus rituals and systems from 1717-1817.
A right angle is the meeting
of two lines in an angle of ninety degrees, or the fourth part of a eirele.
Each of its tines is perpendicular to the other; and as the perpendicular line
is a symbol of uprightness of conduct, the right angle has been adopted by
Freemasons as an emblem of virtue Such was also its signification among the
Pythagoreans. The right angle is represented in the Lodges by the square, as
the horizontal is by the level, and the perpendicular by the plumb.
An epithet prefixed to the
title of the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Template
of the United States, and to that of the Grand Commander of a State.
The epithet prefixed to the
title of all superior officers of a Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry below
the dignity of a Grand High Priest.
The right hand has in all ages
been deemed an important symbol to represent the virtue of fidelity. Among the
ancients, the right hand and fidelity to an obligation were almost deemed
synonymous terms. Thus, among the Romans, the expression faZlere deItram, that
is to betray the right hand, also signified to violate faith; and jungere
deztras, meaning to join right hands, and thereby to give a mutual pledge.
Among the Hebrews, tar, iamin, the right hand, was derived from aman, to be
faithful. The practise of the ancients was conformable to these peculiarities
of idiom. Among the Jews, to give the right hand was considered as a mark of
friendship and fidelity. Thus Saint Paul says (Galatians ii, 9), "when James,
Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given
unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hunds of fellowship, that we
should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." The same
expression, also, occurs in Maccabees. We meet, indeed, continually in the
Scriptures with allusions to the right hand as an emblem of truth and
fidelity. Thus in Psalm cxliv, it is said, "their right hand is a right hand
of falsehood," that is to say, they lift up their right hand to swear to what
is not true. This lifting up of the right hand was in fact, the universal mode
adopted among both Jews and Pagans in taking an oath. The custom is certainly
as old as the days of Abraham, who said to the King of Salem,"I have lifted up
my hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
that I will not take anything that is thine." Sometimes among the Gentile
nations, the right hand, in taking an oath, was laid upon the horns of the
altar, and sometimes upon the hand of the person administering the oblization.
But in all cases it was deemed necessary, to the validity and solemnity of the
attestation, that the right hand should be employed. Since the introduction of
Christianity, the use of the right hand in contracting an oath has been
continued, but instead of extending it to heaven, or seizing with it a horn of
the altar, it is now directed to be placed upon the Holy Scriptures, which is
the universal mode at this day in all Christian countries. The antiquity of
this usage may be learned from the fact, that in the code of the Emperor
Theodosius, adopted about the year 438, the placing of the right hand on the
Gospels is alluded to; and in the Code of Justinian (book ii, title 53, law i),
whose date is the year 529, the ceremony is distinctly laid down as a
necessary part of the formality of the oath, in the words tactis sacrosanctis
Evangeliis, meaning the Holy Gospels being touched. This constant use of the
right hand in the most sacred attestations and solemn compacts, was either the
cause or the consequence of its being deemed an emblem of fidelity. Doctor
Potter (Greek Archeology, page 229) thinks it was the cause, and he supposes
that the right hand was naturally used instead of the left, because it was
more honorable, as being the instrument by which superiors give commands to
those below them. Be this as it may, it is well known that the custom existed
universally, and that there are abundant allusions in the most ancient writers
to the junction of right hands in making compacts. The Romans had a goddess
whose name was Fides, or Fidelity, whose temple was first consecrated by Numa.
Her symbol was two right hands joined, or sometimes two human figures holding
each other by the right hands, whence, in all agreements among the Greeks and
Romans, it was usual for the parties to take each other by the right hand, in
token of their intention to adhere to the compact. By a strange error for so
learned a man, Doctor Oliver mistakes the name of this goddess, and calls her
Faith. "The spurious Freemasonry," he remarks, "had a goddess called Faith."
No such thing. Fides, or as Horace calls her, incorrupta Fides, or
incorruptible Fidelity, is very different from the theological virtue of
Faith. The joining of the right hands was esteemed among the Persians and
Parthians as conveying a most inviolable obligation of fidelity. Hence, when
King Artabanus desired to hold a conference with his revolted subject, Asineus,
who was in arms against him, he despatehed a messenger to him with the
request, who said to Asineus, "the king hath sent me to give you his right
hand and security," that is, a promise of safety in going and coming. And when
Asineus sent his brother Asileus to the proposed conference, the king met him
and gave him his right hand, upon which Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews,
book xviii, chapter ix) remarks: "This is of the greatest force there with all
these barbarians, and affords a firm security to those who hold intercourse
with them; for none of them will deceive, when once they have given you their
right hands, nor will any one doubt of their fidelity, when that is once
given, when though they were before suspected of injustice." Stephens (Travels
in Yucatan, volume ii, page 474) gives the following account of the use of the
right hand as a symbol among the Indian tribes: In the course of many spears'
residence on the frontiers including various journeyings among the tribes, I
have had frequent occasion to remark the use of the right hand as a symbol,
and it is frequently applied to the naked body after its preparation and
decoration for sacred or festive dances. And the fact deserves further
consideration from these preparations being generally made in the arcanum of
the secret Lodge, or some other Private place, and with all the skill of the
adept's art. The mode of applying it in these cases is by smearing the hand of
the operator with white or colored clay, and impressing it on the breast, the
shoulder, or other part of the body. The idea is thus conveyed that a secret
influence, a charm, a mystical power is given, arising from his sanctity, or
his proficiency in the occult arts. The use of the hand is not confined to a
single tribe or people. I have noticed it alike among the Dacotahs, the
Winnebagoes, and other Western tribes, as among the numerous branches of the
red race still located east of the Mississippi River, above the latitude of 42
degrees, who speak dialects of the Algorlquin language. It is thus apparent
that the use of the right hand a token of sincerity and a pledge of fidelity,
is as ancient as it is universal; a fact which will account for the important
station which it occupies among the symbols of Freemasonry (see North, Hand,
and Oath, Corporal, also Obligation).
In addition to the facts drawn
from the history of religion which are given in the article beginning at page
856, it is interesting to note that general philology, and etymology in
particular, have been contributing new data to a subject which has become as
engrossing to psychologists, physiologists, and specialists in education as it
always has been to symbologists. The etymology of the oldest words in our
language is a tricky and uncertain branch of scholarship, and long has been
one in which it is fatal to dogmatize, but the origins of 'right' and 'left'
have been worked out with what may be accepted as reliability. To the
Latin-speaking Romans the name for 'right' in 'right hand' was dezzer, whence
we have 'dexterity'; it in turn was probably derived from the Sanskrit daksh
which meant 'to the strong, skilled, able', so that the right hand was
believed to be the more skilled of the two. The word 'ambidextrous' therefore
means literally 'two right hands' in the sense that one is as skilled as the
other. The Latin name for the left hand as sinister. The English word 'left'
is derived from a group of Teutonic words with the general meaning of 'weak'.
In the French the word describing the left hand was gauche, from which comes
our 'gawky,' meaning awkward, and our 'gaucherie' meaning 'awkward and clumsy
in manners.' Because Latin-speaking peoples looked upon the left hand as the
lower or more awkward, 'sinister' came to denote anything questionable,
back-handed, threatening, treacherous; something of that old meaning is
preserved in such phrases as 'left-handed compliment,' 'left-handed marriage'
(morganatic), etc.; and the opposite is preserved in 'right-hand man,' 'good
right arm,' etc. In the Sanskrit rju mas 'straight'; from it came the Latin
rectus, as in 'direct,' 'correct,' 'rectitude,' ete., and the German recht,
from which last was derived our 'right.' The French droit came from the Latin
directus, went back through diestre to deltera, or 'right'; thus in modern
French Droit becomes 'the law,' and is so named because law (or government)
compels men to do that which is 'right.' In Greek the nord for 'right' was
orthos, and is preserved in 'orthodoxy' ('right teaching') and a constellation
of words with a similar prefix. In the beginnings of parliamentary government
a chief or ruler sat before his council. Those who were favored by him, or u
ho supported him against critics, he placed on his right; those who criticized
him, or were in opposition, he placed on his left. This old political use of
'right' and 'left' came back into popularity between World Wars I and II
during which time socialist, communistic, and radical politicians were 'of the
left,' conservatives, defenders of the status quo, and reactionaries, were 'of
the right.' In the emblems of the Third Degree clasped hands are the sign of
fidelity, but it is nowhere apparent that the ancient ideas associated with
the right hand are embodied in it. The symbolism of the 'right' or dexter side
is found elsewhere in the Degree, w here the Worshipful Master extends his
right hand to the Candidate, and in doing so calls the latter's attention to
the fact that it is his right hand; but the symbolism in it does not refer
back to the leing and his council, rather, as the language makes plain, it is
a sign of fellowship, and there is no suggestion there (or elsewhere) that the
membership in a Lodge ever is, or can be, divided into 'right' and 'left'; for
where the lying extended his right hand only to his own friends and favorites,
the Master extends his to each and every Candidate without exception. Man is
by virtue of his anatomy right-handed. Statistics compiled by psychologists
appear to prove that about ten percent of children are left-handed 'from
birth' but anatomy makes this impossible to believe; it is almost certain that
what occurs is that babies begin more to less accidentally to 'favor' the left
hand over the right, and continue with the habit in later life. It is not only
in his lands that he is righthanded; a man's whole body is so constituted as
to make it the normal thing for him to use his right side, right arm and
shoulder, and right leg and foot to do that which calls for more skill,
although it does not follow that the left is unskilled—it is skilled in a
different way, and its function is to support the right side.
Among the Hebrews, as well as
e Greeks and Romans, the right side was considered perior to the left; and as
the right was the side of ad, so was the left of bad omen. Dexter, or right,
signified also propitious, and sinister or left, unlucky. In the Scriptures we
find frequent allusions to this supriority of the right. Jacob, for instance,
called his youngest and favorite child, Ben-jamin, the son of his right hand,
and Bathsheba, as the king's mother, was placed at the right hand of Solomon
(see Left Side).
An epithet frequently applied
in many Jurisdictions of the United States to all Grand Officers below the
dignity of a Grand Master. Pennsylvania is an exception to the general male in
this respect. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is addressed as Right Worshipf
ul and this is also applied to the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Senior
Grand Warden, Junior Grand Warden, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, Past
Grand Masters and Past Deputy Grand Masters. The Ahiman Rezon, or Book of
Constitutions, gives the official title of the Grand Lodge as The Right
Worshipful Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free
and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, and Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto
See academy of Sublime Masters
of the Luminous Ring.
The ring, as a symbol of the
Covenant entered into with the Order, as the wedding ring is the symbol of the
Covenant of Marriage, is worn in some of the higher Degrees of Freemasonry. It
is not used in Ancient Craft Masonry. In the Order of the Temple the Ring of
Profession, as it is called, is of gold, having on it the cross of the Order
and the letters P. D. E. P., being the initials of Pro Deo et Patria, For God
and Country. It is worn on the index finger of the right hand. The Inspectors
General of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
wear a ring. Inside is the motto of the Order, Deus meumque jus, God and my
right. In the Fourteenth Degree of the same Rite a ring is worn, which is
described as "a plain gold ring," having inside the motto, Virtus junxit, mors
non separabit, What virtue joins, death cannot separate. The use of the ring
as a symbol of a covenant may be traced very far back into antiquity. In this
connection (note, Genesis xli, 42). The Romans had a marriage ring, but
according to Swinburne, the great canonist, it was of iron, with a jewel of
adamant "to signify the durance and perpetuity of the contract. " In reference
to rings worn in the higher Degrees of Freemasonry, it may be said that they
partake of the double symbolism of power and affection.. The ring, as a symbol
of power and dignity, was worn in ancient times by kings and men of elevated
rank and office.. Thus Pharaoh bestowed a ring upon Joseph as a mark or token
of the power he had conferred upon him, for which reason the people bowed the
knee to him. It is in this light that the ring is worn by the Inspectors of
the Ancient and Aeeepted Scottish Freemasonry as representing the Sovereigns
of the Rite. But those who receive only the Fourteenth Degree, in the same
Rite, wear the ring as a symbol of the Covenant of Affection and Fidelity into
which they have entered. Up until and including the 1921 Statutes, the rings
in the Southern Masonie Jurisdietion, of both the Fourteenth Degree and the
Thirty-third Degree, were worn on the right hand. This was the usage in the
Southern Jurisdiction always from early lays. At the 1923 Session of the
Supreme Council, a new set of Statutes was adopted, which provided among other
things that the Fourteenth Degree ring should be worn on the third finger of
the left hand and a Thirty-third degree ring on the little finger of the left
hand. In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, a Fourteenth Degree ring is
similarly worn, but the Thirty-third Degree ring is also placed on the third
finger of the left hand. While on the subject of the ring as a symbol of
Masonic meaning, it will not be irrelevant to refer to the magic ring of King
Solomon, of xvhieh both the Jews and the Mohammedans have abundant traditions.
The latter, indeed, have a book on magic rings, entitled Scalcuthal, in which
they trace the ring of Solomon from Jared, the father of Enoch. It was by
means of this ring, as a talisman of wisdom and power, that Solomon was, they
say, enabled to perform those wonderful acts anal accomplish those vast
enterprises that have made his name so celebrated as the wisest monarch of the
George Frederick Samuel Robin
son was born in 1827, son of the first Earl of Ripon He was elected to the
House of Commons in 1852 became Secretary of War, Secretary of State for
India, Lord President of the Council, Viceroy of India, Lord Privy Seal in
Asquith'6 Cabinet. He died in 1908. He was made a Mason in 1853, and from the
first became so absorbed in the Craft that he went through the chairs of his
Lodge; after working in his Provineial Grand Lodge he was elected Deputy Grand
Master Grand Lodge of England, in 1861; and in 1870 mas elected Grand Master.
The following year he vas sent by his government to Washington, D. C., to
negotiate the American Government's claims against the British Government for
damage done by The Alabama, a raider built, fitted, and munitioned bv the
British for use by the Confederate States in violation of both treaty and
international law. While here, Lord Ripon, the first Grand Master to visit
America while in office, u as guest of honor at what until that date was the
most brilliant function in American hIa sonry, a reception tendered him by the
Grand Lodge, District of Columbia, attented by delegates from every other
Grand Lodge, including Southern Grand Lodges. When the Grand Lodge of England
met on September 2, 187A, an unusually large throng awaited the Grand Master's
appearance; instead of his coming he sent a letter, Mhich left the assembly
stunned: "I am sorry to inform you that I find myself unable any longer to
discharge the duties of Grand Master... etc." The people of England were as
greatly stunned as the Masons when it transpired that Lord Ripon had become a
convert to Roman Catholicism, and had retired from the Fraternity upon orders
from his priestly adviser. The London Times n as always cautious about
mentioning the Craft but in this instance it could not remain quiet; after
suggesting some hitherto hidden weakness of character it went on to discuss
how un-English Roman Catholicism was. Provincial Grand Master Tew expressed
surprise that a Grand Master should leave the Craft "because of a change in
his religions opinions." Although Lord Ripon confided in nobody his private
reasons for his defections, a guess can be hazarded: after Cardinal John Henry
l! Tewman had been guilty of a similar defection from the Church of England,
he became a Romanist missionary to the educated and cultured upper classes,
and with his famous book Apologia Pro l ita Sua had insinuated the Romanist
notions into a number of English aristocrats in pages of one of the most
beautiful styles of English prose ever written; the course followed by Lord
Ripon in his conversion was typically a "Newman conversion." He was followed
in the office of Grand Master by the Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward
VII. Two of England's previous Grand Masters had been Roman Catholics, Lords
Petre and Montague, but in the Eighteenth Century and before the Roman Church
had dared to enforce her rules of excommunication. Lord Ripon's Brethren
forgave him, indulged in no recriminations, but they felt that he should have
taken them into his confidence beforehand instead of sending a brusque bolt
out of the blue. The Roman Church based its condemnation of the Craft on the
ground that Freemasonry is morally corrupt, atheistic, and is conspiring to
destroy government; with a convert of stainless moral character on their hands
who for four years had been Grand Master and with their own prospective King
installed as his successor, the English priests could not help but know how
false their own charges were, and yet were helpless to undo in London the
folly of excommunication committed by an Italian Pope in Rome; they were in a
curious moral dilemma. (See English-Speaking Freemasonry, by Sir Alfred
Robbins; consult index. Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism, by H. L. Haywood;
Masonic History Co.; Chicago; 1944.) NOTE. Freemasonry had yet another reason
to remember the famous ease of the Alabama claims. In 1848 Michael Flanagan
was initiated in Phoenix Lodge No. 94, at Sunderland. He was a sea captain,
ran a hardware store and was a very popular gentleman." About every three
months he made "a little sail" out into the Atlantic; why nobody could guess,
after the Civil War it came out that his "little sail" was into mid-ocean to
carry instructions to the Alabama! He had kept them hidden in his hardware
store. The Alabama had carried on so devastating a series of raids that the
British Government had to settle damages for no less than three million
pounds. Lord Ripon was the first English Grand Master to visit America while
in office; others had been here before or after their Grand Mastership, the
Earl of London among them.
The rising Sun is represented
by the Master, because as the sun by his rising opens and governs the day, so
the Master is taught to open and govern his Lodge with equal regularity and
The Latin word ritus, Whence
we get the English Rite, signifies an approved usage or custom, or an external
observance. Vossius derives it by metathesis, a transposition of letters or
sounds, from the Greek whence literally it signifies a trodden path, and,
metaphorically, a long-followed custom As a Masonic term its application is
therefore apparent. It signifies a method of conferring Masonic light by a
collection and distribution of Degrees. It is, in other words, the method and
order observed in the government of a Masonic system. The original system of
Speculative Freemasonry consisted of only the three Symbolic Degrees, called,
therefore, Ancient Craft Masonry. Such was the condition of Freemasonry at the
time of what is called the Revival in 1717. Hence, this was the original Rite
or approved usage, and so it continued in England until the year 1813, when at
the union of the two Grand Lodges the Holy Royal Arch was declared to be a
part of the system; and thus the English Rite was made legitimately to consist
of four Degrees.
But on the Continent of
Europe, the organization of near systems began at a much earlier period, and
by the invention of what are known as the advanced degrees a multitude of
Rites was established. All of these agreed in one important essential. They
were built upon the three Symbolic Degrees, which, in every instance,
constituted the fundamental basis upon which they were erected. They were
intended as an expansion and development of the Masonic ideas contained in
these Degrees. The Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master's Degree were the
porch through which every initiate was required to pass before he could gain
entrance into the inner temple which had been erected by the founders of the
Rite. They were the tent and the advanced degrees the commentary.
Hence arises the law, that
whatever may be the constitution and teachings of any Rite as to the advanced
Degrees peculiar to it, the three Symbolic Degrees being common to all the
Rites, a Master Mason, in any one of the Rites, may visit and labor in a
Master's Lodge of every other Rite. It is only after that Degree is passed
that the exclusiveness of each Rite begins to operate.
There has been a multitude of these Rites. Some of them have lived only with
their authors, and died when their parental energy in fostering them ceased to
exert itself. Others have had a more permanent existence, and still continue
to divide the Masonic family, furnishing, however, only diverse methods of
attaining to the same great end, the acquisition of divine Truth by Masonic
light Ragon, in his Tuilier General, Supplies us with the names of a hundred
and eight, under the different titles of Rites, Orders, and academies But many
of these are un-masonic, being merely of a political, social or literary
character. The following catalogue embraces the most important of those which
has e hitherto or still continue to arrest the attention of the Masonic
1. York Rite.
2. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
3. French or Modern Rite.
4. American Rite.
5. Philosophic Scottish Rite.
6. Primitive Scottish Rite.
7. Reformed Rite.
8. Reformed Helvetica Rite.
9. Fessler's Rite.
10. Schröder's Rite.
11. Rite of Grand Lodge of Three Globes.
12. Rite of the Elect of Truth.
13. Rite of the Vielle Bru.
14. Rite of the Chapter of Clermont.
15. Pernetty's Rite.
16. Rite of the blazing Star.
17. Chastanier's Rite.
18. Rite of the Philallethes
19. Primitive Rite of the Philadelphians.
20. Mite of Martinism.
21. Rite of brother Henoch.
22. Rite of Mizraim.
23. Rite of Memphis.
24. Rite of Strict Observance.
25. Rite of Lax Observance.
26. Rite of African Architects.
27. Rite of Brothers of Asia.
28. Rite of Perfection.
29. Rite of Elected Cohens.
30. Rite of Emperors of East and West.
31. Primitive Rite of Narbonne.
32. Rite of the Order of the Temple.
33. Swedish Rite.
34. Rite of Swedenborg.
35. Rite of Zinnendorf.
36. Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro.
37. Beneficent Knights of the Holy City.
These Rites are not here given
in either the order of date or of importance. The distinct history of each
will be found under its appropriate title.
RITE DES ELUS COENS, OU
The Freneh for Rite of Elect
Cohens, or Priests. A system adopted in 1750, but which did not attain its
full vigor until twenty-five years thereafter, when Lodges were opened in
Paris, Marseilles, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. The devotees of Martinez Pasqualis,
the founder, were called Martirlistes, and were partly Hermetic and partly
Swedenborgian in their teachings. Martinez was a religious man, and based his
teachings partly on the Jewish Cabala and partly on Hermetic supernaturalism.
The grades were as follows in French:
4. Grand Elu
5. Apprenti Coen
6. Compagnon Coen
7. Maitre Coen
8. Grand Architecte
9. Grand Commandeur
RITE OF THE GRAND LODGE OF
See Memphis, Rite of
German for Knight, as Der
Preußische Ritter, meaning the Prussian Knight. The word is not, however,
applied to a Knight Templar, who is more usually called Tempelherr; although,
when spoken of as a Knight of the Temple, he would be styled Ritter vom Tempel.
The mode of opening and
closing Lodge, of conferring the Degrees, of installation, and Other duties,
constitute a System of ceremonies which are called the Ritual. Much of this
Ritual is esoteric, and, not being permitted to be committed to writing, is
communicated only by oral instruction. In each Masonic Jurisdiction it is
required, by the superintending authority, that the Ritual shall be the same;
but it more or less differs in the different Rites and Jurisdictions But this
does not affect the universality of Freemasonry.
The Ritual is only the
external and extrinsic form. The doctrine of Freemasonry is everywhere the
same. It is the Body which is unchangeable—remaining always and everywhere the
same. The Ritual is but the outer garment which covers this Body, which is
Subject to continual variation It is right and desirable that the Ritual
should be made perfect, and everywhere alike. But if this be impossible, as it
is, this at least will console us, that while the ceremonies, or Ritual, have
varied at different periods, and still vary in different countries, the
science and philosophy, the symbolism and the religion, of Freemasonry
continue, and will continue to be the same wherever true Freemasonry is
Little can be added to the
above paragraph lay brother Mackey without perhaps saying too much. The reader
must fill in between the lines. But the pages of the Transactions, Quatuor
Coronati and particularly the papers by Brother E. L. Hawkins are well worth
study. The National Masonic Research Society has in every volume of the
Builder had Something of highly suggestive value on the subject, especially
the essays by Brothers Silas H. Shepherd (volume 1, page 166); Roscoe Pound
(volume 3, page 4); Louis H. Fead, R. J. Meekren, A. L. Cress, Ray V. Denslow,
H. L. Haywood, C. C. linnt, Ernest E. Thiemeyer, and others. Brother Lionel
Vibert in MiscelZanea Latow Zoruwn, Bath, l gland, has had many noteworthy
comments; also brother C. C. Hunt, Iowa Masonic Bulletin (No. 4, 1922, and No.
1, 1923). Brother Melvin M. Johnson, New England Craftsman (April, 1923) has a
most cresting commentary on Masonic Ritual in America before l750.
An able address by Brother
Roscoe Pound on The Causes of Divergence in Ritual was delivered before the
Harvard Chapter of the Acacia fraternity during the school year, 1911-2, and
was also submitted to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (see Proceedings, 1915,
page 143; also Builder, November, 1917, page 74). This valuable lecture was
based on a critical study of various rituals and of the proceedings of Grand
Lodges from the beginning. brother Shepherd, Notes on the Ritual, March 1914,
published by the Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research, deals
with the tradition, the simple ceremonies, the introduction of the work into
the United States, Webb's participation, and the development of standards—a
study of great importance and merit. Among Causes of divergence, a topic
frequently arousing inquiry, Brother Pound mentions these:
Masonry was transplanted to
this country (United States) while the ritual was still formative in many
respects in England.
There were several foci, and,
as it were, several subloci of Masonry in the United States, from each of
which was transmitted its own version of what it received.
The schism of ancients and
moderns which obtained in England in the last half of the eighteenth century,
led to two rituals in this country during the formative period of America
Masonry, and later these were fused in varying degrees in different
It was not until the end of
the eighteenth century in England, and not until the first quarter of the
nineteenth century in this country, that literal knowledge of the work was
regarded as of paramount importance. Moreover, complete uniformity of work
does not obtain in England, where two distinct schools perpetuate the work as
taught by ancient Masonic teachers of the first part of the Last century.
New Grand Lodges were formed
in this country by the union of lodges chartered from different States, and
these unions gave rise to all sorts of combinations. Each Jurisdiction, when
it established a Grand Lodge, became independent and preserved its ritual as
it had received it or made it over by way of compromise, or worked it out, as
a possession of its own.
As to the origin of the
Ritual, there are many allusions elsewhere in this work to the Mysteries. The
reader will also note various other sources of consequence and upon which he
may further pursue research, as in the curious resemblance of certain
ceremonies still found in religious observances of such bodies as the
Benedictines (see account of ceremonial forms in English Black Monks of Saint
Benedict, E. L. Taunton, 1898, Appendix). Also note Brother W. Simpson
(Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge. 1889, volume 22, page 17) says:
On the first of January, 1870,
I saw in the great basilica of Saint Paul's without the walls at Rome, the
ceremony known as the Profession of a Benedictine, that is the phrase meaning
the reception of a monk into the Benedictine Order. At one point of the
ceremony a black cloth was laid on the floor in front of the altar; on this
the noviciate lay down and was covered with a black pall with silver lace on
A large candle stood at his
head and another at his feet. There the man lay in semblance of death. The
Abbot of the Order celebrated Mass, which occupied about half an hour. At the
end of this the Deacon of the Mass came near to the prostrate figure, and
reading from a book in his hand in Latin some words which were to this effect,
" oh, thou that steepest arise to everlasting life." The man rose up and, if I
remember right, received the sacrament. He then took his place amongst the
Brethren of the Order, kissing each of them as he passed along. The proof that
he is supposed to leave one state of existence and become a new individual is
supplied by the fact that when I asked his name it was refused to me. I was
told that henceforth he would be known as Jacobus—his old name went with the
former existence. It is the same with nuns.
They all receive a new name
and they also go through the semblance of death as a final ceremony of the
Order. I have an amount of a ceremony that took place in the Monastery Church
of Llanthony Abbey in Wales, of which Father Ignatius is the Superior and in
which he took a leading part. A Sister was to receive the Blacks Veil. She
entered the church dressed in white, as a bride, to be married to Christ. This
Rite was celebrated by cutting off her hair, putting on the robes of a
Benedictine Nun, including the Black Veil, and the marriage ring was put on
her finger. The newly wedded bride was then led to a bier, covered with a pall
and carried out of the church, while the burial service, "I am the
resurrection and life," and "earth to earth, ashes to ashes," was uttered and
the great bell of the Abbey tolled, while the chant for the dead was solemnly
sung. This was in 1882 and on the Octave (Latin, applied to the eighth day of
a festival) of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
There is at the Island of
Caldey, off the Welsh coast, less than three miles from Tenby, a household of
Benedictine Monks, who on every Friday during Lent give a Passion Play,
lasting about two hours for its rendition, and similar in purpose, though
original in arrangement and musical accessories, to the famous one exhibited
at Oberammergau in Germany, while markedly unlike all others, and difficult to
explain its appeal and power, let it be said that among the special features
described for us are these:
Each character is represented
by a monk—at other Passion Plays there are male and female actors. The monks
are dressed in their habits, voluminous and of milk-white wool, all alike
except the young Religious who represents the Christus, who is clad in a
girded alb of white linen, reaching to the ground, and long stole, the emblem
of priesthood. No character speaks. Thero is no scenery.
The action is not represented
on a stage. On the contrary, the stage of the hall, in which the Passion Play
is given, is occupied by the audience, who look down into what would (at any
other representation) be the auditorium, in which the fourteen actions of the
play take place. In place of dialogue there is this— behind curtains a group
of chanters. To one falls throughout the function of recitative. He sings, to
a plain, quick, even monotonous chant each scripture as it is called for
describing the passage in the Redemption Tragedy which is at the moment being
enacted. One chanter gives only the words of Peter, another those of Judas, or
Pilate, or Caiaphas, the whole group sing when the multitude speak, and the
chant is then harmonized. So of the words used by Christ; they are sung by an
unseen singer. The lighting of the fourteen scenes is amazingly skillful and
is also another instance of that amazingly perfect restraint.
There is light just enough,
barely enough. and yet quite enough. Whence or how it comes does not appear.
It is there, with no betrayal of mechanical throwing of it there. In the
supreme scene of all it fades, absolutely imperceptibly, to complete darkness,
till only the Crucified Himself is visible through the gloom, soundless,
motionless, utterly alone. The words chanted are those of the Gospels only,
without addition or paraphrase, and they are given in English, except that in
certain scenes (as in that of the Entombment), where the characters are, by
force of the narrative itself, silent, a few verses of the Stabat Slater
(Latin hymn on the seven loves of Mary, so-called from opening words) are
chanted to the solemn tones. At certain places, too, the audience, between the
risings of the curtain, almost whisper one or other of the sorrowful mysteries
of the rosary.
Let the student in seeking
ritualistic light read also particularly the Gospels, beginning at Matthew 28,
Mark 16, Luke 23, and John 20, and continuing to the ascension. He will
understand according to his ability to receive and little or nothing more need
be said by way of instruction here. Ceremonially, textually and permanently
the Bible has so large a place in our ritualism that we cannot mine too deeply
its contents in our search. Operative, we have advanced to speculative and
there is much of the former in our Masonic system. Of this and its
possibilities the pamphlet on Ancient Trade Guilds and Companies; Free Masons
Guilds, Clement E. Stretton, and the Guild Charges, John Yarker, both of 1909,
published by William Tait, Belfast, Ireland, are suggestive and have evoked
much controversy over old operative customs still favored by Lodges of the
kind working in Great Britain and the United States.
There is also a curious
comparison of Masonic forms and customs with those of the Jesuits in Les
Jesuits Chassés de la MaMonnerie et leur Poignard brisé par les Masons, 1788,
and in this connection one notes with attention the reference in Loyola ard
the Educational System of the Jesuits, Rev. Thomas Hughes, S. J. (chapter iv,
page 232), the repeated reference to the Lion's Paw, "The paw shows the lion,"
"You can tell a lion by his paw," "Ex ungue leonem," etc., in a discourse are
somewhat suggestive, but the other work is much more elaborate and detailed.
Here we may also in considering any lesson upon immortality mention the search
for the body of the slain Osiris which was placed in a coffin and thrown into
the sea. Thence it was east up later upon the shores of the Phenicia at the
foot of a tamarack tree Here it was discovered through the search by Isis and
brought back to Egypt for ceremonious burial. Of the same sort is the allusion
in the third book of the Aeneid by Vergil. Here the hero, Aeneas, by means of
a message given to him by the uprooting of a plant on the hillside, discovers
the grave of a lost prince. A free translation is given as follows of this
interesting story by the ancient Roman poet:
Near at hand there chanced to
be sloping ground crested by trees and with a myrtle rough with spear like
branches. Unto it I came. There I strove to tear from the earth its forest
growth of foliage that the altars I might cover with the leafy boughs. But at
that I saw a dreadful wonder, marvelous to tell. That tree first torn from the
soil as its rooted fibers were wrenched asunder, black blood distilled in
drops and gore stained the ground. My limbs shook with cold terror and the
chill veins froze with fear.
Again I essayed to tear off
one slender branch from another and thus thoroughly search for the hidden
cause. From the bark of that one there descended purpled blood. Awaking in my
mind many an anxious thought, I reverently beseeched the rural divinities and
father Mars who presides over these Thracian territories, to kindly bless the
vision and divert the evil of the omen. So a third time I grasped the boughs
with greater vigor and on my knees struggled again with the opposing ground.
Then I heard a piteous groan from the depths of the hill and unto mine ears
there issued forth a voice. "Aeneas, why dost thou strive with an unhappy
wretch? Now that I am in my grave spare me. Forbear with guilt to pollute thy
pious hands To you Troy brought me forth no stranger. Oh, flee this barbarous
land, flee the greedy shore. Polydore am I. Here an iron crop of darts hath me
overwhelmed, transfixed, and over me shoots up pointed javelins."
Then indeed, depressed with
perplexing fear at heart, was I stunned. On end stood my hair, to my jaws
clung my tongue. This Polydore unhappy Priam formerly had sent in secrecy with
a great weight of gold to be stored safely with the king of Thrace when Priam
began to distrust the arms of Troy and saw the city blocked up by close siege.
The King of Thrace as soon as
the power of the Trojans was crushed and gone their fortune, he broke every
sacred bond, killed Polydore and by violence took his gold. Cursed greed of
gold, to what dost thou not urge the hearts of men! When fear left my bones I
reported the warnings of the gods to our chosen leaders and especially to my
father, and their opinion asked. All agreed to quit that accursed country,
abandon the corrupt associations, and spread our sails to the winds. Thereupon
we renewed funeral rites to Polydore. A large hill of earth was heaped for the
tomb. A memorial altar was reared to his soul and mournfully bedecked with
grey wreaths and gloomy express. Around it the Trojan Patrons stood with hair
disheveled according to the custom. We offered the sacrifices to the dead,
bowls foaming with warm milk, and goblets of the sacred blood. We gave the
soul repose in the grave, and with loud voice addressed to him the last
There is still another
direction of inquiry. This relates to the possible influence of that buoyancy
of spirit or exuberance of play that evolves rituals that are usually thought
of as Side Degrees. Of these there are many, not a few old of evolution and
even associated with the crafts. One of these is the old morality play, the
Deposisio Cornuti Typographi, of which there are before us the particulars of
the 1621 edition reprinted by William Blades, London, 1885, version credited
to a German, John Rist, born 607, died 1667, and is an initiatory ceremony in
which such instruments as the compasses had a part. Blades gives several
comparisons with other trade and colleges and church customs. Of the latter
there are still a number of old Churches well equipped for dramatically
presenting the lessons of immortality ad these sepulchers have been employed
for the deceit of the Cross about Easter and on that day to e lifted out in
memory of the Lord and with rejoicing over the successful climax of the seared
RITUAL, OPERATIVE MASONS AND
From the beginning of Medieval
(or Operative) Freemasonry and almost to the Renaissance, the Roman church
enforced a rigid censorship over, and control of, the use of ceremonies,
rituals, symbols, emblems, sculptures, images, and pictures, even, in most
instances, when not used in the Church or for religious purposes. It was not
only matters of theological doctrines and ecclesiastical rules that the
General Councils decided or the Popes enforced; the Councils also decided
those other things as well, and including the authoring, illustrating, and
copying of manuscripts; and a man could be declared a heretic for using an
un-permitted ceremony as easily as for believing an unorthodox doctrine.
Thus, to give one example, for
centuries the orthodox Crucifix was carved or modeled or painted with the two
feet of the figure held apart; this required four nails; some unknown artist,
with a sense for form, made a crucifix with the feet crossed, and therefore
used only three nails. For years a controversy raged between the three nails
school and the four nails school. A German bishop, finding that one of his
churches had received a costly three-nail crucifix, was so indignant that he
formed a procession and carried the unorthodox image out into the country,
dumped It into a hole, and forbade any man ever to look at it. Painters were
instructed by written rules what costumes a saint should wear, its color, what
other figures could be included in the picture, etc.
Each Masonic student who is
piecing together the external and internal evidence in an endeavor to discover
what the ceremony or ritual of the early Operative Freemasons must have been,
finds it necessary to keep the above facts in mind, just as he must keep in
mind the fact that the General Council at Avignon forbade secret societies.
Either the ceremonies and symbols were orthodox, in which case it becomes
difficult to know why they were kept in such secrecy; or they were not
orthodox, which explains the secrecy. And yet an Apprentice, as we know from
the Old Charges, swore to be obedient and loyal to Holy Church! If so, how
could such a pledge be asked in the midst of a ceremony which had to be walled
in by secrecy, the door protected by a guard with a sword? The facts appear to
complicate the question with one paradox on top of another; we can be certain
that the builders of the cathedrals were not heretical we can also be certain
that they held their assemblies behind closed doors!
The most likely answer is that
their ceremonies, symbols, and truths (and no Mason should ever hesitate to
call them truths) were neither heretical nor orthodox, but of a character so
unlike any other ceremonies and symbols that the words "heretical" and
"orthodox" were irrelevant; and that the Freemasons, than whom there were in
the Middle Ages no men more intelligent, sincere, or better educated, knew
them to be irrelevant and therefore had no scruples about them, one way or
They had constantly before
them in their work and in their minds a set of arts and sciences which also
were irrelevant to theology; for geometry, engineering, chemistry, and the
physics of a building are self-same the world over, and cannot be made to
conform to any one theological system. They called their own art by the name
of "geometry" oftener than by any other name; since so it is reasonable to
believe that they included their Freemasonry in the same species as geometry,
something outside the spheres of the Church; and that they kept it secret for
many sound and righteous reasons, among them being the danger that an art so
mysterious to outsiders might be misunderstood and thereby occasion trouble.
RITUALS USED BY ANCIENT GREEKS
The Ancient Mysteries of
Greece, the Greater and the Lesser Mysteries of the Eleusinia in particular,
have received attention from Masonic historians, because rituals of initiation
were employed in them, and many symbols and emblems. But the Greek use of
ritual w as not confined to the Mysteries; on the contrary the Mysteries
employed but a fraction of the rituals, for the Greek people were fond of
them, employed them for a hundred purposes, and as was their way, made of them
a work of art; nothing in any of their classics, not even in Homer, is more
beautiful than, to give but one instance, the lovely and haunting ritual of
the Garden of Adonis. From them a modern Freemason can learn more than facts
about the backgrounds of the Masonic Ritual, the masterpiece of existing
rituals; he can learn that ritualism is an art; is, in its own right,
comparable with music and the drama.
(The literature is of
overflowing abundance. See Ancient Art and Ritual, Primitive Athens, Religion
of Ancient Greece, and Prole S Jomena to the Study of Greek Religion, each by
Jane Ellen Harrison. Six Stages of Greek Religion, a great and brilliant book,
by Gilbert Murray, famous for his translation of Euripides. The Golden Bough
[the complete editions by J. G. Frazer.)
Formerly an advocate of the parliament of Dijon, a distinguished French
Freemason, and the author of several Masonic discourses, especially of one
delivered before the Mother Lodge of the philosophic Scottish Rite, of which
he was Grand orator, December 8, 1808, at the reception of Askari Khan, the
Persian Ambassador, as a Master Mason. this address gave so much satisfaction
to the Lodge, hat it decreed a medal to M. Robelot, on one side of which was a
bust of the Grand Master, and on the other an inscription which recounted the
valuable services rendered to the Society by M. Robelot as its Orator, and as
a Masonic author. Robelot held the theory that Freemasonry owed its origin to
the East, and was the invention of Zoroaster.
Commonly called Robert Bruce.
He was crowned King of Scotland in 1306, and died in 1329. After the
turbulence of the early years of his reign had ceased, and peace had been
restored, he devoted himself to the encouragement of architecture in his
His connection with
Freemasonry, and especially with the advanced Degrees, is thus given by Doctor
Oliver (Landmarks ii, page 12): "The only high degree to which an early date
can be safely assigned is the Royal Order of H. R. D. WI., founded by Robert
Bruce in 1314. Its history in brief refers to the dissolution of the Order of
the Temple. Some of those persecuted individuals took refuge in Scotland, and
placed themselves under the protection of Robert Bruce, and assisted him at
the battle of Bannoekburn, which was fought on Saint John's day, 1314. After
this battle the Royal Order was founded; and from the fact of the Templars
having contributed to the victory, and the subsequent grants to their Order by
King Robert, for which they were formally excommunicated by the Church, it
has, by some persons, been identified with that ancient military Order. But
there are sound reasons for believing that the two systems were unconnected
with each other."
Thory (Acta Latomorum I, 6),
quoting from a manuscript ritual in the library of the Mother Lodge of the
Philosophic Rite, gives the following statement: "Robert Bruce, King of
Scotland, under the name of Robert I, created on the 24th of June, after the
battle of Bannockburn, the Order of Saint Andrew of the Thistle, to which he
afterwards united that of H. R. D., for the sake of the Scottish Freemasons
who made a part of the thirty thousand men with whom he had fought an army of
one hundred thousand English. He reserved forever to himself and his
successors the title of Grand Master. He founded the Grand Lodge of the Royal
Order of H. R. D. at Kilwinning, and died, covered with glory and honor, on
the 9th July, 1329." Both of these statements or legends require for all their
details authentication (see Royal Order of Scotland).
This is the first of those
manuscripts the originals of which have not yet been recovered, and which are
known to us only in a printed copy. The Roberts Manuscript, so called from the
name of the printer, J. Roberts, was published by him at London, in 1722,
under the title of The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and
Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons. Taken from a Manuscript wrote
above fife hundred years since. Of this work, which had passed out of the
notice and knowledge of the Masonic world, Richard Spencer, of London, being
in possession of a copy, published a second edition in 1870. On a collation of
this work with the Harleian Manuscript, it is evident that either both were
derived from one and the same older manuscript, or that one of them has been
copied from the other; although, if this be the ease, there has been much
carelessness on the part of the transcriber.
If the one was transcribed
from the other, there is internal evidence that the Harleian is the older
exemplar. The statement on the title-page of Roberts' book, that it was "taken
from a manuscript wrote over five hundred years since," is contradicted by the
simple fact that, like the Harleian Manuscript, it contains the regulations
adopted at the General Assembly held in 1663. There is a reprint of the work
in the Constitutions of the Freemasons, 1871, a compilation by the Rev. J. E.
Cox, also published by Brother Richard Spencer. The Spencer sale in 1875
resulted in the Grand Lodge of Iowa acquiring the printed version of which
there was then known to be but the one specimen.
Since then another copy has
appeared which, passing through the hands of Messrs. Fletcher of Bayswater,
England, is now privately owned. An excellent reprint was published by
courtesy of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, in 1917, at Anamosa, Iowa, then the
headquarters of the National Masonic Research Society, and having a foreword
by Brother J. F. Newton. Discussions of this version of the old Constitutions
have appeared in Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry (page iii),
Gould's History of Freemasonry (I, page 75); W. J. Hughan's Old Charges (page
121); Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (1909, page 185) .
ROBERTSON, JOHN ROSS
Born December 28, 1841,
Toronto, Canada. Educated at Upper Canada College, giving much of his time,
however, to the study of the printing trade and editing a small college paper
from his father's home during three years, from 1857 to 1860.
Every stage in the development
of this paper was handled by John Robertson personally—literary, mechanical
and clerical. Thus he naturally cultivated journalism, editing in turn Young
Canada, the Grumbler, Sporting Life, and Canadian Railway Guide. By 1863 he
was city editor of the Toronto Globe and founder, 1866, of the Daily
Telegraph. March 14, 1867, made a Freemason in King Solomon's Lodge No. 22,
Toronto. Brother Robertson spent several years in England for the Toronto
Globe. Returning to Canada, he managed the Nation in 1875 and in April, 1876,
founded the Evening Telegram. He found time to devote his talents to
Freemasonry. In 1879 he was elected Junior Warden; in 1880, Worshipful Master.
He had served as Worshipful Master of Mimico Lodge No. 369, 1879; Grand
Steward, Grand Lodge of Canada, 1880, and two years later was Senior Grand
Warden. In 1886 Brother Robertson was Deputy Grand Master of the Toronto
In 1888 the Grand Lodge of
Canada unanimously elected him Deputy Grand Master and he was re-elected In
1890 he was elected Grand Master and was re-elected the following year.
Elected a full member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, May 6, 1904. Brother
Robertson's Masonic writings included Talk's with Craftsmen, 1893; History of
the Cryptic Rite, 1888 and 1890; History of the Knights Templar of Canada ,
1890, and History of Freemasonry in Canada, 1899. Brother Robertson was
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children and for
thirty-five years furthered this worthy cause and is said to have visited the
hospital every day. He personally equipped and presented to the Charity the
Hospital buildings in College Street and Elizabeth Street, built and founded
the Lakeside Home for Little Children, Toronto Island, built a Nurses' Hostel,
a Pavilion for tubercular treatment and established the pasteurizing of milk
in the Hospital grounds at Toronto.
Many civic and public benefits
in Toronto are due to him, improvements in the ambulance service, health
department, and supplying free medical inspection and aid in schools. He made
many public gifts in the way of books, pictures, and so forth. He three times
declined to he candidate for Mayor of Toronto. In 1902 he also gratefully
declined a Knighthood and a Senatorship. For many years Brother Robertson was
President of the Canadian Copyright Association; he served as Vice-President
and President of the Canadian Associated Press, and was Honorary President of
the Toronto Press Club at his death. His own statement as an editor was: "I am
not a party politician; my aim is to keep both parties right." Brother
Robertson died May 31, 1918, a last act of benevolence being to donate
$111,000 on May 20 to the Children's Hospital (see Transactions, Quatuor
Coronati Lodge, volume iii, page 137, and volume xxxi, page 178).
A proposition was made in the
Grand Lodge of England, on April 8, 1778, that the Grand Master and his
officers should be distinguished in future at all public meetings by robes.
This measure, Preston says in his Illustrations, 1792 edition (page 332), was
at first favorably received; but it was. on investigation, found to be so
diametrically opposed to the original plan of the Institution, that it was
very properly laid aside. In no Jurisdiction are robes commonly used in
Symbolic Freemasonry. In many of the advanced Degrees, however, they are
employed. In the United States and in England they constitute an important
part of the paraphernalia of a Royal Arch Chapter (see Royal Arch Rolves).
ROBIN, ABBE CLAUDE
A French litterateur, and
Curate of Saint Pierre d'Angers. In 1776 he advanced his views on the origin
of Freemasonry in a lecture before the Lodge of Nine Sisters at Paris. This he
subsequently enlarged, and his interesting work was published at Paris and
Amsterdam, in 1779, under the title of Recherches sur les Initiatiolls
Anciennes et Modernes. Studies on Ancient and Modern Initiations. A German
translation of it appeared in 1782, and an exhaustive review, or, rather, an
extensive synopsis of it, was made by Chemin des Pontes in the first volume of
his Encyclopedia Maçonnique. In this work the Abbe deduces from the ancient
initiations in the Pagan Mysteries the Orders of Chivalry, whose branches, he
says, produced the initiation of Freemasonry.
ROBINSON, SIMON WIGGIN
Grand Master of Massachusetts,
December 27, 1845, to December 27, 1848, a Thirty-third Degree Freemason, was
born at New Hampton, New Hampshire, February 19, 1792. At twenty was Adjutant,
stationed at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, during the War of 1812.
For a year he served as a
member of the Legislature of Massachusetts. Initiated November 29, 1819, in
Mount Lebanon Lodge, Boston. Received Fellow-Craft Degree the same day and on
January 20, 1820, his Master's Degree. For several years served as Worshipful
Master and from 1828 to 1843 as Treasurer. Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal
Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in 1834 and 1835; Grand King in 1836; and in
1837, 1838 and 1839 acted as Grand High Priest. Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts in 1840. Presided over the Grand Encampment of
Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Supreme Council awarded Brother Robinson
the Thirty-third Degree at Boston in 1851; Grand Treasurer in 1859, and
Lieutenant Grand Commander from 1861 to 1865; Sovereign Grand Commander, 1865.
Died October 16, 1868.
See Golden Fleece
See Stukely, Doctor
In the Hiramic Legend of some
of the advanced Degrees, this is the name given to one of the assassins of the
Third Degree. This seems to be an instance of the working of Stuart
Freemasonry, in giving names of infamy in the legends of the Order to the
enemies of the House of Stuart. For we cannot doubt the correctness of Brother
Albert Pike's suggestion, that this is a manifest corruption of Cromwell. If
with them Hiram was but a symbol of Charles I, then the assassin of Hiram was
properly symbolized by Cromwell.
The system of Freemasonry
taught by Rosa in the Lodges which he established in Germany and Holland, and
which were hence sometimes called Rosaic Lodges. Although he professed that it
really was the system of the Clerrnont Chapter, for the propagation of which
he had been appointed by Baron von Printzen, he had mixed with that system
many alchemical and theosophic notions of his own. The system was at first
popular, but it finally succumbed to the greater attractions of the Rite of
Strict Observance, which had been introduced into Germany by the Baron von
ROSA, PHILIPP SAMUEL
Born at Ysenberg; at one time
a Lutheran clergyman, and in 1757 rector of the Cathedral of Saint James at
Berlin. He was initiated into Freemasonry in the Lodge of the Three Globes,
and Von Printzen having established a Chapter of higher Degrees at Berlin on
the system of the French Chapter of Clermont, Rosa was appointed his Deputy,
and sent by him to propagate the system.
He visited various places in
Germany, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. In Denmark and Sweden, although well
received personally on account of his pleasing manners, he made no progress in
the establishment of the Rite; but his success was far better in Germany and
Holland, where he organized many Lodges of the advanced Degress, engrafting
them on the English system,which alone had been theretofore known in those
countries. Rosa was a mystic and a pretended alchemist, and as a Masonic
charlatan accumulated large sums of money by the sale of Degrees and
decorations. Lenning does not speak well of his moral conduct, but some
contemporary writers describe him as a man of veryattractivemanners, to which
indeed may be ascribed his popularity as a Masonic leader. While residing at
Halle, he, in 1765, issued a protestation against the proceedings of the
Congress of Jena, which had been convoked in that year by the impostor
Johnson. But it met with no success, and thenceforth Rosa faded away from the
knowledge of the Masonic world. We can learn nothing of his subsequent life,
nor of the time or place of his death.
The symbolism of the rose
among the ancients was twofold. First, as it was dedicated to Venus as the
goddess of love, it became the symbol of secrecy, and hence came the
expression "under the rose," to indicate that which was spoken in confidence.
Again, as it was dedicated to Venus as the personification of the generative
energy of nature, it became the symbol of immortality. In this latter and more
recondite sense it was, in Christian symbology, transferred to Christ, through
whom "life and immortality were brought to light." The "Rose of Sharon" of the
Book of Canticles is always applied to Christ, and hence Fuller, Pisgah Sight
of Palestine, calls IIim "that prime rose and lily." Thus we see the
significance of the rose on the cross as a part of the jewel of the Rose Croix
Reghellini (volume i, page
358), after showing that anciently the rose was the symbol of secrecy, and the
cross of immortality, says that the two united symbols of a rose resting on a
cross always indicate the secret of immortality. Ragon agrees with him in this
opinion, and says that it is the simplest mode of writing that dogma. But he
subsequently gives a different explanation, namely, that as the rose was the
emblem of the female principle, and the cross or triple phallus of the male,
the two together, like the Indian lingam, symbolized universal generation. But
Ragon, who has adopted the theory of the astronomical origin of Freemasonry,
like all theorists, often carries his speculations on this subject to an
A simpler allusion will better
suit the character and teachings of the Degree in its modern organization. The
rose is the symbol of Christ, and the cross, the symbol of His death—the two
united, the rose suspended on the cross—signify Allis death on the cross,
whereby the secret of immortality was taught to the world. In a word, the rose
on the cross is Christ crucified. W. B. Yeats says beautifully in his poem,
The Secret Rose,
Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
Enfold me in my hour of hours, where those
Who sought Thee in the Holy Sepulchre
Or in tho wine vat, dwell beyond the stir
And tumult of defeated dreams.
ROSE AND TRIPLE CROSS
A Degree contained in the
Archives of the Lodge of Saint Louis des Amis Réunis at Calais.
A French term, meaning, literally, Rose Cross and applied to a series of
1. The Seventh Degree of the French Rite
2. The Seventh Degree of the Philalethes.
3. The Eighth Degree of the Mother Lodge of the Philosophie Scottish Rite.
4. The Twelfth Degree of the Elect of Truth.
5. The Eighteenth Degree of the Mother Scottish Lodge of Marseilles.
6. The Eighteenth Degree of the Rite of Heredom, or of Perfection.
ROSE CROIX, BRETHREN OF THE
Thory says in his Foundation
of the Grand Orient (page 163), that the Archives of the Mother Lodge of the
Philosophic Scottish Rite at Paris contain the manuscripts and books of a
secret society which existed at The Hague in 1622, where it was known under
the title of the Freres de la Rose Croix, Brothers of the Rose Crox, which
pretended to have emanated from the original Rosicrucian organization of
Christian Rosenkreuz. Hence Thory thinks that the Philosophic Rite was only a
continuation of this society of the Brethren of the Rose Croix.
ROSE CROIX, JACOBITE
The original Rose Croix
conferred in the Chapter of Arras, whose Charter was said to have been granted
by the Pretender, was so called with a political allusion to King James III,
whose adherents were known as Jacobites.
ROSE CROIX, JEWEL OF THE
Although there are six
well-known Rose Croix Degrees, belonging to as many systems, the jewel has
invariably remained the same, while the interpretation has somewhat differed.
The usual jewel of a Rose Croix Knight and also that of the Most Wise
Sovereign of an English Chapter are illustrated.
ROSE CROIX, KNIGHT
The French title is Chevalier
Rose Croix. The Eighteenth Degree of the Rite of Perfection. It is the same as
the Prince of Rose Croix of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
ROSE CROIX, MAGNETIC
The Thirty-cighth Degree of
the Rite of Mizraim.
ROSE CROIX OF GERMANY
A Hermetic Degree, which Ragon
says belongs rather to the class of Elus than to that of Rose Croix.
ROSE CROIX OF GOLD, BRETHREN
In French the title is Freres
de la rose Croiz d'Or. An Alchemical and Hermetic Society, which was founded
in Germany in 1777. It promised to its disciples the secret of the
transmutation of metals, and the panacea or art of prolonging life. The Baron
Gleichen, who was Secretary for the German language of the Philalethan
Congress at Paris in 1785, gives the following history of the organization of
The members of the Rose Croix
affirm that they are the legitimate authors and superiors of Freemasonry, to
all of whose symbols they give a hermetical interpretation. The Masons, they
say, came into England under King Arthur. Raymond Lully initiated Henry IV.
The Grand Masters were formerly designated, as now, by the titles of John I,
II III, IV, etc.
Their jewel is the goiden
compasses attached to a blue ribbon, the symbol of purity and wisdom. The
principal emblems on the ancient Tracing-Board were the sun, the moon, and the
double triangle having in its centre the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
The Brethren wore a silver ring on which were the letters I. A. A. T., the
initials of Ignis, Aer, Aqua, Terra, or Fire, Air, Waler, Earth.
The Ancient Rose Croux
recognized only three Degrees; the Third Degree, as we now know it, has been
substituted for another more significant one.
The Baron de Westerode, in a
letter dated 1784, and quoted by Thory (Acta Latomorum i, page 336) gives
another mythical account. He says:
The disciples of the Rose
Croux came, in 1188, from the East into Europe, for the propagation of
Christianity after the troubles in Palestine. Three of them founded in
Scotland the Order of the Masons of the East— Knights of the East, to serve as
a seminary for instruetion in the most sublime sciences. This Order wan in
existence in 1196. Edsvard, the son of Henry III, was received into the
Society of the Rose Croix by Raymond Lully. At that time only learned men and
persons of high rank there admitted.
Their founder was a seraphic
priest of Alexandria, a Magus of Egypt named Ormesius, or Ormus, who with six
of his companions was converted in the year 96 by Saint Mark. He purified the
doctrine of the Egyptians according to the precepts of Christianity and
founded the Society of Ormus, that is to say, tile Sages of Light, to the
members of which he gave a red cross as a decoration. About the same time the
Essenes and other Jews founded a school of Solomonic wisdom to which the
disciples of Ormus united themselves. Then the society was divided into
various Orders known as the Conservators of Mosaic Secrets, of Hermetic
Secrets, etc. Several members of the association haling yielded to the
temptations of pride, seven Masters united, effected a reform, adopted a
modern Constitution and collected together on their Tracing-Board all the
allegories of the Hermetic Work.
In this almost altogether
fabulous narrative we find an inextricable confusion of the Rose Croix
Freemasons and the Rosicrucian philosophers. Dr. Bernhardt Meyer, Librarian of
the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne at Beyreuth, Germany, has collected most
industriously much information in his book Das Lehrsystem des Ordens der
Gold—und Rosenkreuzer (Pansophic-Verlag, Leipzig-Berlin, 1925) with curious
details of the several grades, the private alphabets and ciphers, etc. (see
ROSE CROIX OF HEREDOM
The First Degree of the Royal
Order of Scotland, the Eighteenth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
the Eighteenth of the Rite of Perfection, the Ninetieth of the Rite of Mizraim,
and some others affix to the title of Rose Croiz that of Heredom, for the
signification of which see the word.
ROSE CROIX OF THE DAMES
In French, Rose Croiz des
Dames. This Degree, called also the Ladies of Beneficence, or in French the
Chevalieres de la Bienfaisance, is the Sixth Capitular or Ninth Degree of the
French Rite of Adoption. It is not only Christian, but Roman Catholic in its
character, and is derived from the ancient Jesuitical system as was perhaps,
as Doetor Mackey believed, first promulgated in the Rose Croix Chapter of
ROSE CROIX OF THE GRAND ROSARY
In French, Rose Croiz du Grand
Rosaire. The Fourth and highest Rose Croix Chapter of the Prirnitive Rite.
ROSE CROIX, PHILOSOPHIC
A German Hermetic Degree found
in the collection of M. Pyron. and in the Archives of the Philosophic Scottish
Rite. It is probably the same as the Brethren of the Rose Croix, of whom Thory
thinks that Rite is only a continuation.
ROSE CROIX, PRINCE OF
This in French, Souverain
Prince Rose Croiz, and in German, Prinz vom Rosenkruz. This important degree
is, of all the advanced grades, the most widely diffused, being found in
numerous Rites. It is the Eighteenth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite, the Seventh of the French or Modern, the Eighteenth of the Council of
Emperors of the East and West, the Third of the Royal Order of Scotland, the
Twelfth of the Elect of Truth, and the Seventh of the Philalethes. It was also
given, formerly, in some Encampments of Knights Templar, and was the Sixth of
the Degrees conferred by the Encampment of Baldwyn at Bristol, in England. It
must not, however, be confounded with the Rosicrucians, who, however, similar
in name, were only a Hermetie and mystical Order.
The degree is known by various
names: sometimes its possessors are called Sovereign Princes of Rose Croix,
sometimes Princes of Rose Croix de Heroden, and sometimes Knights of the Eagle
and Pelican. In relation to its origin, Masonic writers have made many
conflicting statements, some giving it a much higher antiquity than others;
but all agreeing in supposing it to be one of the earliest of the advances
The name has, undoubtedly,
been the cause of much of this confusion in relation to its history; and the
blasonic Degree of Rose Croix has, perhaps, often been confounded with the
Cabalistical and alchemical sect of Rosierueians, or Brothers of the Rosy
Cross, among whose adepts the names of such men as Roger Bacon, Paracelsus,
and Elias Ashmole, the celebrated antiquary, are to be found. Notwithstanding
the invidious attempts of Barruel and other foes of Freemasonry to confound
the two Orders, there is a great distinction between them. Even their names,
although somewhat similar in sound, are totally different in signification..
The Rosicrucians, who were alchemists, did not derive their name, like the
Rose Croix Freemasons, from the emblems of the rose and cross—for they had
nothing to do with the rose—but from the Latin ros, Signifying dew, which was
supposed to be of all natural bodies the most powerful solvent of gold, and
crux, the cross, a chemical hieroglyphic of light.
Baron de Westerode, who wrote
in 1784, in the Acta Latomorum (i, page 336), gives the earliest origin of any
Masonic writer to the Degree of Rose Croix. He supposes that it was instituted
among the Knights Templar in Palestine, in the year 1188, and he adds that
Prince Edward, the son of Henry III of England, was admitted into the Order by
Raymond Lully in 1296. De Westerode names Ormesius, an Egyptian priest, who
had been converted to Christianity, as its founder.
Some have sought to find its origin in the labors of Valentine Andrea the
reputed founder of the Rosicrucian fraternity But the Rose Croix of
Freemasonry and the Hermetic Rosicrucianism of Andreä were two entirely
different things; and it would be difficult to trace any connection between
them, at least any such connection as would make one the legitimate successor
of the other. J. G. Buhle, in a work published in Göttingen in 1804, under the
title of Ueber den Ursprung und die vornehmsten Schicksale per Orden der
Rosenkreutzer und Freimaurer, on the Origin and Principal Purpose of the Order
of Rosicrucians and the Freemason, reverses this theory, and supposes the
Rosicrucians to be a branch of the Freemasons.
Godfrey Higgins, in his
Anacalypsis (ii, page 388), thinks that the "modern Templars, the Rosicrucians,
and the Freemasons are little more than different dodges of one Order," all of
which is only a confusion of history in consequence of a confounding of names.
It is thus that Inge has written an elaborate essay on the Origine de la Rose
Croix (Globe, volume iii); but as he has, with true Gallic insouciance
(indifference) of names, spoken indiscriminately of Rose Croix Freemasons and
the Rosicrucian Adepts, his statements supply no facts available for history.
The Baron de Gleichen, who was, in 1785, the German Secretary of the
Philalethan Congress at Paris, says that the Rose Croix and the Freemasons
here united in England under King Arthur (Acta Latomorum i, page 336).
But he has, undoubtedly, mixed
up Rosicrucianism, with the Masonic legends of the Knights of the Round Table,
and his assertions must go for nothing. Others, again, have looked for the
origin of the Rose Croix Degree, or, at least, of its emblems, in the ,Symbola
divina et humana pontifical, imperatorum, regum of James Typot, or Typotius,
the Historiographer of the emperor Rudolph II, a work which was published in
1601; and it is particularly in that part of it which is devoted to the Symbol
of the Holy Cross that the allusions are supposed to be found which would seem
to indicate the author's knowledge of this Degree. But Ragon refutes the idea
of any connection between the symbols of Typotius and those of the Rose Croix.
Rohison (Proofs of a Conspiracy, page 72) also charges Von Hund with borrowing
his symbols from the same work, in which, however, he declares "there is not
the least trace of Masonry or Templars."
Clavel, with his usual
boldness of assertion, which is too often independent of facts, declares that
the Degree was invented by the Jesuits for the purpose of eountermining the
insidious attacks of the freethinkers upon the Roman Catholic religion, but
that the philosophers parried the attempt by seizing upon the Degree and
giving to all its symbols an astronomical signification.. Clavel's opinion is
probably derived from one of those sweeping charges of Professor Robison, in
which that systematic enemy of our Institution declares that, about the
beginning of the eighteenth century, the Jesults interfered considerably with
Freemasonry, "insinuating themselves into the Lodges, and contributing to
increase that religious mysticism that is to be observed in all the ceremonies
of the Order."
But there is no better
evidence than these mere vague assertions of the connection of the Jesuits
with the Rose Croix Degree. Brother Oliver (Landmarks ii, page 81) says that
the earliest notice that he finds of this Degree is in a publication of 1613,
entitled La Réforzeation universelle do monde entier at~ec la fama
fraSerrtilatis de l'Qrdre respectable de la Rose Croix, Universal Reformation
of the Whole World with the famous Fraternity of the Respectable Order of the
Rose Croix. But he adds, that "it was known much sooner, although not probably
as a Degree in Masonry; for it existed as a cabalistic science from the
earliest times in Egypt, Grecee, and Rome, as well as amongst the Jews and
Moors in times more recent." Doctor Oliver, however, undoubtedly, is the
latter part of this paragraph, confounds the Masonic Rose Croix with the
alchemical Rosicrucians; and the former is singularly inconsistent with the
details that he gives in reference to the Rosy Cross of the Royal Order of
There is a tradition, into
whose authenticity we shall not stop to inquire, that after the dls.solution
of the Order, many of the Knights repaired to Seotland and placed themselves
under the protection of Robert Bruce; and that after the hat.tle of
Bannoskburn, which took place on Saint John the Baptist's Day, in the year
1314, this monarch instituted the Royal Order of Heredom and Knight of the
Rosy Cross, and established the chief seat of the Order at Kilwinning. From
that Order, it seems to us by no means improbable that the present Degree of
Rose Croix de Heroden may have taken its origin.
In two respects, at least,
there seems to be a very elose connection between the two systems: they both
claim the kingdom of Scotland and the Abbey of Kilwinning as having been at
one time their chief seat of government, and they both seem to have been
instituted to give a Christian explanation to Ancient Craft Masonry. There is,
besides, a similarity in the names of the Degrees of Rose Croiz de Heroden,
and Heredom and Rosy Cross, amounting almost to an identity, which appears to
indicate a very intimate relation of one to the other.
The subject, however, is in a
state of inextricable confusion, and Doctor Mackey confessed that, after all
his researches, he was still unable distinetly to point to the period when,
and to the place where, the present Degree of Rose Croix received its
organization as a Masonic grade. We have this much of history to guide us. In
the year, 1747, the Pretender, Prince Charles Edward, is said to have
established a Chapter in the town of Arras, in France, with the title of the
Chapitre Primordial de Rose Croix. The Charter of this Body is now extant in
an authenticated copy deposited in the departmental archives of Arras. In it
the Pretender styles himself "King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland,
and, by virtue of this, Sovereign Grand Master of the Chapter of H. known
under the title of the Eagle and Pelican, and, since our sorrows and
misfortunes, under that of Rose Croix."
From this we may infer that
the title of Rose Croiz was first known in 1747; and that the Degree had been
formerly known as Knight of the Eagle and Pelican, a title which it still
retains. Hence it is probable that the Rose Croix Degree has been borrowed
from the Rosy Cross of the Scottish Royal Order of Heredom, but in passing
from Scotland to France it greatly changed its form and organization, as it
resembles in no respect its archetype, except that both are eminently
Christian in their design. But in its adoption by the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, its organization has been so changed that, by a more liberal
interpretation of its symbolism, it has been rendered less sectarian and more
tolerant in its design. For while the Christian reference is preserved, no
peculiar theological dogma is retained, and the Degree is made cosmopolite in
It was, indeed, on its first
inception an attempt to Christianize Freemasonry, to apply the rites, and
symbols, and traditions of Ancient Craft Masonry to the last and greatest
Dispensation; to add to the first Temple of Solomon and the second of
Zerubbabel a third, that to which Christ alluded when He said, "Destroy this
temple, and in three days will I raise it up."
The great discovery which was
made in the Royal Arch ceases to be of value in this Degree; for it another is
substituted of more Christian application; the Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty
which supported the ancient Temple are replaced by the Christian pillars of
Faith, Hope and Charity; the Great Lights, of course, remain, because they are
of the very essenee of Freemasonry; but the three lesser give way to the
thirty-three, which allude to the years of the Messiah's sojourning on earth.
Everything, in short, about the Degree, is Christian; but, as we have already
said, the Christian teachings of the Degree have been applied to the sublime
principles of a universal system, and an interpretation and illustration of
the doctrines of the Master of Nazareth, so adapted to the Masonic dogma of
tolerance, that men of every faith may embrace and respect them. It thus
performs a noble mission. It obliterates, alike, the intolerance of those
Christians who sought to erect an impassable barrier around the sheepfold, and
the equal intolerance of those of other religions who would be ready to
exclaim, "Can any good thing come out of -Nazareth?"
In the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, whence the Rose Croix Freemasons of the United States have
received the Degree, it is placed as the eighteenth on the list. It is
conferred in a Body called a Chapter, which derives its authority immediately
from the Suprelne Couneil of the Thirty-third, and w hieht confers with it
only one other and inferior Degree, that of Knights of the East and West. Its
principal officers are a Most Wise Master and two Wardens. Maundy Thursday and
Easter Sunday are two obligatory days of meeting. The aspirant for the Degree
makes the usual application duly recommended; and if accepted, is required,
before initiation, to make certain declarations which shall show his
competency for the honor which he seeks, and at the same time prove the high
estimation entertained of the Degree by those who already possess it.
The jewel of the Rose Croix is
the golden compasses, extended to an arc to the sixteenth part of a circle, or
twenty-two and a half Degrees. The head of the compasses is surmounted by a
triple crown, having three series of points arranged by three, five and seven.
Between the legs of the
compasses there is a cross resting on the arc; its center is occupied by a
full-blown rose whose stem twines around the lower limb of the cross; at the
foot of the cross, on the same side on which the rose is exhibited, is the
figure of a pelican wounding its breast to feed its young which are in a nest
surrounding it, while on the other side of the jewel is the figure of an eagle
with wings displayed. On the arc of the circle, the P .·. W .·. of the Degree
is engraved in the cipher of the Order. In this jewel are included the most
important symbols of the Degree. The Cross, the Rose, the Pelican, and the
Eagle are all important symbols, the explanations of which will go far to a
comprehension of what is the true design of the Rose Croix Order. They may be
seen in this work under their respective titles.
ROSE CROIX, RECTIFIED
The name given by F. J. W.
Schröder to his Rite of Seven magical, theosophical, and alchemical Degrees
(see Schroeder, Friederich Joseph Wilhelm).
ROSE CROIX, SOVEREIGN PRINCE
Because of its great
importance in the Masonic system, and of the many privileges possessed by its
possessors, the epithet of Sovereign has been almost universally bestowed upon
the Degree of Prince of Rose Croix. However, the Mother Council of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite at Charleston has discarded this title, and
directed that the word Sovereign shall only be applied to the Thirty-third
Degree of the Rite; and this is now the usage in the Southern Jurisdiction of
the United States.
ROSE, KNIGHTS AND LADIES OF
See Knight of the Rose
ROSE, KNIGHTS AND NYMPHS OF
See Knights and Nymphs of the Rose
Doctor Mackey believed this to
be an assumed name, invented, it is supposed, by John Valentine Andrea, by
which he designated a fictitious person, to whom he has attributed the
invention of Rosicrucianism, which see.
ROSE, ORDER OF THE
A Masonic adventurer, Franz
Rudolph Van Grossing, but whose proper name, Wadzeck says, was Franz Matthaus
Grossinger, established, as a financial speculation at Berlin, in 1778, an
androgynous, both sexes, society, which he called Rosen Order, or the Order of
the Rose. It consisted of two Degrees: 1. Female Friends, and 2. Confidants;
and the meetings of the society were designated as Holding the Rose. The
society had but a brief duration, and the life and adventures of the founder
and the secrets of the Order were published in 1789, by Friederich Wadzeck, in
a work entitled Leben und Schicksale des berüchtigten F. R. Van Grossing, Life
and Lot of the Notorious Or. R. Van Grossina.
ROSICRUCIANA IN ANGLIA,
A society whose objects are of
a purely literary character, and connected with the sect of the Rosicrucians
of the Middle Ages. It is secret, but not Masonic, in its organization;
although many of the most distinguished Freemasons of England take great
interest in it, and are active members of the society (see Rosicructanism) .
ROSICRUCIANA IN SCOTIA,
Many writers have sought to
discover a close connection between the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons, and
some, indeed, have advanced the theory that the latter are only the successors
of the former. Whether this opinion be correct or not, there are sufficient
coincidences of character between the two to render the history of
Rosicrucianism highly interesting to the Masonic student.
There appeared at Cassel, in
the year 1614, a work bearing the title of Allgemeine und General-Reformation
der Hansen beiten Welt. Benebst der Fama Fraternitatis des Löblichen Ordens
des Rosencreuzes an alle Gelehrte und Häupter Europa geschrieben, Universal
and General Reformation of the Whole Wide World, together with the Noted
Fraternity of the Praiseworthy Order of the Rosy Cross, inscribed to all the
Learned and Rulers of Europe.
A second edition appeared in
1615, and several subsequent ones; and in 1652 it was introduced to the
English public in a translation by the celebrated adept, Thomas Vaughan, under
the title of Fame and Confession of Rosie-Cross. This work has been
attributed, although not without question, to the philosopher and theologian,
John Valentine Andrea, who is reported, on the authority of the preacher, M.
C. Hirschen, to have confessed that he, with thirty others in Wurtemberg, had
sent forth the Famn Fraternitatis; that under this veil they might discover
who were the true lovers of wisdom, and induce them to come forward.
In this work Andrea gives an
account of the life and adventures of Christian Rosenkreuz, whom he makes the
founder of the pretended Society of Rosicrucians.
According to Andrea's tale,
Rosenkreuz was of good birth, but, being poor, was compelled to enter a
monastery at a very early period of his life. At the age of one hundred years,
he started with one of the monks on a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher.
On their arrival at the island
of Cyprus, the monk was taken sick and died, but Rosenkreuz proceeded on his
journey. At Damaseus he remained for three years, devoting himself to the
study of the occult sciences, taught by the sages of that eity. He then sailed
for Egypt, where he continued his studies; and, having traversed the
Mediterranean, he at length arrived at Fez, in Morocco, as he had been
directed by his masters of Damaseus. He passed two years in acquiring further
information from the philosophers of Africa, and then crossed over into Spain.
There, however, he met with an unfavorable reception, and then determined to
return to Germany, and give to his own countrymen the benefit of his studies
and researches, and to establish there a society for the cultivation of the
sciences which he had acquired during his travels.
Accordingly, he selected three
of the monks of the old convent in which he was educated. To them he imparted
his knowledge, under a solemn vow of secrecy. He imposed on them the duty of
committing his instructions to writing, and forming a magic vocabulary for the
benefit of future students. They were also taught the science of medicine, and
prescribed gratuitously for all the sick who applied to them. But the number
of their patients soon materially interfering with their other labors, and the
new edifice, the House of the Holy Spirit, being now finished, Father
Christian, as he was called, resolved to enlarge his society by the initiation
of four new members. The eight Brethren being now thoroughly instructed in the
mysteries, they agreed to separate -- two to remain with Father Christian, and
the others to travel, but to return at the end of each year, and mutually to
communicate the results of their experience.
The two who had remained at
home were then relieved by two of the others, and they again separated for
The Society thus formed was
governed by a code of laws, by which they agreed that they would devote
themselves to no occupation except that of physic, which they must practise
without pecuniary reward; that they would not distinguish themselves from the
rest of the world by any peculiar style of costume; that each one should
annually present himself at the House of the Holy Spirit, or send an excuse
for his absence; that each one should, during his life, appoint somebody to
succeed him at his death; that the letters R. C. were to be their title and
watchword; and that the Brotherhood should be kept a secret for one hundred
At the age of one hundred and
six years Father Christian Rosenkreuz died, and was buried by the two Brethren
who had remained with him; but the place of his burial remained a seeret to
all of the rest—the two carrying the mystery with them to the grave.
The Society, however,
continued, notwithstanding the death of the founder, to exist, but unknown to
the world, always consisting of eight members. There was a tradition among
them, that at the end of one hundred and twenty years the grave of Father
Rosenkreuz was to be discovered, and the Brotherhood no longer remain a
About that time the Brethren
began to make some alterations in their building, and attempted to remove to a
more fitting situation the memorial table on which was inscribed the names of
those who had been members of the Fraternity.
The plate was of brass, and
was affixed to the wall by a nail driven through its center; but so firmly was
it attached, that in tearing it away, a portion of the plaster came off and
exposed a secret door. Upon removing the incrustation on the door, there
appeared written in large letters the Latin words Post cxx Annos Patebo--
after one hundred and twenty years I will open.
Returning the next morning to
renew their researches, they opened the door and discovered a heptagonal
vault, each of its seven sides being five feet wide, and in height eight feet.
The light was received from an artificial sun in the roof, and in the middle
of the floor there stood, instead of a tomb, a circular altar, on which was an
inscription, importing that this apartment, as a compendium of the univcrse,
had been erected by Christian Rosenkreuz. Other Latin inscriptions about the
apartment—such as Jesus mihi omnta; Legis jugum; Libertas Evangelii: meaning
Jesuz is my all; the yoke of the law; the liberty of the Gospel—indicated the
Christian character of the builder. In each of the sides was a door opening
into a closet, and in these closets they found many rare and valuable
articles, such as the life of the founder, the vocabularly of Paracelsus, and
the secrets of the Order, together with bells, mirrors, burning lamps, and
other curious articles. On removing the altar and a brass plate beneath it,
they came upon the body of Rosenkreuz in a perfect state of preservation.
Such is the sketch of the
history of the Rosierucians given by Andrea in his Fama Fraternitatis. Doctor
Mackey says it is evidently a romance, and scholars generally assent to the
theory advanced by Nicolai, that Andrea, who, at the time of the appearance of
his book, was a young man full of excitement, seeing the defects of the
sciences, the theology, and the manners of his time, sought to purify them;
and, to accomplish this design, imagined the union into one Body of all those
who, like himself, were the admirers of true virtues. In other words, that
Andrea wrote this account of the rise and progress of Rosicrucianism for the
purpose of advancing, by a poetical fiction, his peculiar views of morals and
But the fiction was readily
accepted as a truth by most people, and the invisible Society of Rosenkreuz
was sought for with avidity by many who wished to unite with it. The sensation
produced in Germany by the appearance of Andrea's book was great; letters
poured in on all sides from those who desired to become members of the Order,
and who, as proofs of their qualifications, presented their claims to skill in
Alchemy and Cabalism. No answers, of course, having been received to these
petitions for initiation, most of the applicants were discouraged and retired;
but some were bold, became impostors, and proclaimed that they had been
admitted into the society, and exercised their fraud upon those who were
credulous enough to believe them. There are records that some of these
charlatans, who extorted money from their dupes, were punished for their
offense by the magistrates of Nuremberg, Augsburg, and some other German
There was, too, in Holland, in
the year 1722, a Society of Alchemists, who called themselves Rosicrucians,
and who claimed that Christian Rosenkreuz was their founder, and that they had
affiliated societies in many of the German cities But Doctor Mackey holds that
it is not to be doubted that this was a selfcreated society, and that it had
nothing in common, except the name, with the imaginary brotherhood invented by
Andrea. Des Cartes, indeed, says that he sought in vain for a Rosicrucian
Lodge in Germany.
But although the Brotherhood
of Rosenkreuz, as described by Andrea in his Fama Fraternitatis, his Chemical
Nuptials, and other works, may never have had a real tangible existence as an
organized society, the opinions advanced by Andrea, took root, and gave rise
to the philosophic sect of the Rosierueians, many of whom were to be found,
during the seventeenth century, in Germany, in France, and in England. Among
these were such men as Michael Maier, Richard Fludd, and Elias Ashmole.
Nicolai even thinks that he has found some evidence that the Fama
Fraternitatis suggested to Lord Bacon the notion of his Instauratio Magna.
But, as Vaughan says (Hours unity the Mystics ii, page 104), the name
Rosicrucian became by degrees a generic term, em. bracing every species of
doubt, pretension, areana elixirs, the philosophers' stone, theurgie ritual,
symbols, or initiations.
Higgins, Sloane, Vaughan, as
well as several other writers have asserted that Freemasonry sprang out of
Rosierueianism. But this is a great error. Between the two there is no
similarity of origin, of design, or of organization. The symbolism of
Rosicrucianism is derived from a Hermetic Philosophy; that of Freemasonry from
an Operative Art. The latter had its cradle in the Stone-Masons of Strasburg
and the Masters of Como long before the former had its birth in the inventive
brain of John Valentine Andrea.
It is true, that about the
middle of the eighteenth century, a period fertile in the invention of
advanced Degrees, a Masonic Rite was established which assumed the name of
Rose Croix Freemasonry, and adopted the symbol of the Rose and Cross. But this
was a coincidence, and not a consequence. There was nothing in common between
them and the Rosierucians, except the name, the symbol, and the Christian
character. Doubtless the symbol was suggested to the Masonic Order from the
use of it by the philosophic sect; but the Freemasons modified the
interpretation, and the symbol, of course, gave rise to the name. But here the
connection ends. A Rose Croix Freemason and a Rosicrucian are two entirely
The Rosicrucians had a large
number of symbols, some of which were in common with those of the Freemasons,
and some were peculiar to themselves. The principal of these were the globe,
the circle, the compasses, the square—both the working-tool and the
geometrical figure, the triangle, the level, and the plummet. These are, ho
vever, interpreted, not like the Masonie, as symbols of the moral virtues, but
of the properties of the philosopher's stone. Thus, the twenty-first emblem of
Michael Maier's Atlanta Fugiens gives the following collection of the most
important symbols: A Philosopher is measuring with a pair of compasses a
circle which surmounts a triangle. The triangle encloses a square, within
which is another circle, and inside of the circle a nude man and woman,
representing, it may be supposed, the first step of the experiment. Over all
is this epigraph: Fac en mare et femina circulum, inde quadrangulum, hinc
triangulum, Sac circulum et habebis lapidem Philosophorum. That is, Make of
man and woman a circle; thence a square; thence a triangle; form a circle, and
you will hatse the Philosopher's Stone.
But it must be remembered that
Hitchcock, and some other recent writers, have very satisfactorily proved that
the labors of the real Hermetic philosophers outside of the charlatans, were
rather of a spiritual than a material character; and that their "great work"
symbolized not the acquisition of inexhaustible wealth and the infinite
prolongation of life, but the regeneration of man and the immortality of the
As to the etymology of the
word Rosicrucian, several derivations have been given. Peter Gassendi
(Examination of Philosophy of Fludd, section 15), first, and then Mosheim
(Ecclesiastical History iv, i), deduce it from the two words ros, deto, and
crux, a cross, and thus define it: Dew, according to the Alchemists, was the
most powerful of all substances to dissolve gold; and the cross, in the
language of the same philosophers, was identical with light, or LVX, because
the figure of a cross exhibits the three letters of that word.
But the word lux was referred
to the seed or menstruum of the Red Dragon, which was that crude and material
light which, being properly concocted and digested, produces gold. Hence, says
Mosheim, a Rosicrucian is a philosopher, who by means of dew seeks for light,
that is, for the substance of the philosopher's stone. But notwithstanding the
high authority for this etymology, Doctor Mackey held it to be untenable, and
altogether at variance with the history of the origin of the Order, as will be
Another and more reasonable
derivation is from rose and cross. This was undoubtedly in accordance with the
notions of Andrea, who was the founder of the Order, and gave it its name, for
in his writings he constantly calls it the Fraternitas Roseae Crucis, or the
fraternity of the Rosy Cross. If the idea of dew had been in the mind of
Andrea in giving a name to the society, he would have called it the Fraternity
of the Dewy Cross, not that of the Rosy Cross. Fraternitas Roscidae Crucis,
not Roseae Crucis. This ought to settle the question.
The man who invents a thing
has the best right to give it a name. The origin and interpretation of the
symbol have been variously given. Some have supposed that it was derived from
the Christian symbolism of the rose and the cross. This is the interpretation
that has been assumed by the Rose Croix Order of the Masonic system; but it
does not thence follow that the same interpretation was adopted by the
Rosicrucians. Others say that the rose meant the generative principle of
nature, a symbolism borrowed from the Pagan mythologers, and not likely to
have been appropriated by Andrea. Others, again, contend that he derived the
symbol from his own arms, which were a Saint Andrew's cross between four
roses, and that he alluded to Luther's well-known lines:
Des Christen Herz auf Rosen
geht Whenn's mitten untertn Kreutze steht.
The heart of the Christian
goes upon roses when it stands close beneath the cross.
But whatever may have been the
effect of Luther's lines in begetting an idea, the suggestion of Andrea's arms
must be rejected. The symbol of the Rosicrucians was a single rose upon a
passion cross, very different from four roses surrounding a Saint Andrew's
Another derivation may be
suggested, namely: That, the rose being a symbol of secrecy, and the cross of
light, the rose and cross were intended to symbolize the secret of the true
light, or the true knowledge, which the Rosicrucian Brotherhood were to give
to the world at the end of the hundred years of their silence, and for which
purpose of moral and religious reform Andrea wrote his books and sought to
establish his sect. But the whole subject of Rosicrucian etymology is involved
in confusion. The Rosicrucian Society, instituted in the fourteenth century,
was an extraordinary Brotherhood, exciting curiosity and commanding attention
and scrutiny. The members delved in abstruse studies; many became Anchorites,
and were engrossed in mystic philosophy and theosophy. This strange
Fraternity, asserted by some authorities to have been instituted by Roger
Bacon near the close of the thirteenth century, filled the world with renown
as to their incomprehensible doctrines and presumed abilities. They claimed to
be the exponents of the true Cabala, as embracing theosophy as well as the
science of numbers. They were said to delve in strange things and deep
mysteries; to be enwrapped in the occult sciences, sometimes vulgarly termed
the Black Art; and in the secrets of magic and sorcery, which arc looked upon
by the critical eyes of the world as tending to the supernatural, and a class
of studies to be avoided.
These mystics, for whom great
philanthropy is claimed, and not without reason, are heard of as early as the
commencement of the fourteenth century, in the person of Raymond Lully, the
renowned scholars and metaphysical chemist, who proved to be an adept in the
doctrines taught at the German seat of Hermetic learning in 1302, and who died
in 1315 Fidelity and secrecy were the first care of the Brotherhood. They
claimed a kinship to the ancient philosophies of Egypt, the Chaldeans, the
Magi of Persia, and even the Gymnosophist of India.
They were unobtrusive and
retiring in the extreme. They were learned in the principles and sciences of
chemistry, hermeticism, magnetism, astrology, astronomy, and theosophy, by
which they obtained great powers through their discoveries, and aimed at the
universal solvent—the Philosopher's Stone—thereby striving to acquire the
power of transmuting baser metals into silver and gold, and of indefinitely
prolonging human life. As a Fraternity they were distinct from the Cabalists,
Illuminati, and Carbonari, and in this relation they have been largely and
unpleasantly misrepresented. Ignorance and prejudice on the part of the
learned as to the real purposes of the Rosicrucians, and as to the beneficence
of that Fraternity, has wrought them great injustice.
Science is infinitely indebted
to this Order. The renowned reviver of Oriental literature, John Reuchlin, who
died in 1522; the famous philosopher and classic Scholar, John Pieus di
Mirandola, who died in 1494; the celebrated divine and distinguished
philosopher, Cornelius Henry Agrippa, who died in 1535; the remarkable chemist
and physician, John Baptist Von Helmont, who died in lfi44; and the famous
physician and philosopher, Robert Fludd, who died in 1637, all attest the
power and unquestioned prominence of the famous Brotherhood. It is not the
part of wisdom to disdain the Astrological and Hermetic Association of Elias
Ashmole, author of the Way to Bliss.
All Europe was permeated by
this secret organization, and the renown of the Brotherhood was pre-eminent
about the year 1615 pressers Fama Fraternitatis, the curious work Secretioris
Philosophiae Consideratis, and Cum Confessione Fraternitatis, by P. A. Gabella,
with Fludd's Apologia, the Chemische Hochzeit of Christian Rosenkreuz, by
Valentine Andrea; and the endless number of volumes, such as the Fama Ramissa,
establish the high rank in which the Brotherhood was held. Its curious,
unique, and attractive Rosaic Doctrines interested the masses of scholars of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With the Rosicrucians worldly
grandeur faded before intellectual elevation. They were simple in their
attire, and passed individually through the world unnoticed and unremarked,
save by deeds of benevolence and humanity.
The Modern Society of
Rosicrucians was given its present definite form by Robert Wentworth Little of
England, in 1866; it is founded upon the remains or the embers of an old
German association which had come under his observation during some of his
researches. Brother Little Anglicized it, giving it more perfect system.
The purpose of Robert
Wentworth Little was to create a literary organization, having in view a base
for the collection and deposit of archeological and historical subjects
pertaining to Freemasonry, secret societies in general, and interesting
provincial matter; to inspire a greater disposition to obtain historical truth
and to displace error; to bring to light much in relation to a certain class
of scientists and scholars, and the results of their life-labors, that were
gradually dying away in the memories of men.
To accomplish this end he
called about him some of his most prominent English and Scottish Masonic
friends inclined to literary pursuits, and they awarded their approval and
hearty co-operation. The aims, as officially declared, of the Rosicrucian
Society of England and America are to afford mutual aid and encouragement in
working out the great problems of life, and in searching out the secrets of
nature; to facilitate the study of the system of philosophy founded upon the
Cabalah, and the doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus, which was inculcated by the
original Fratres Rosae-Crucis of Germany; and to investigate the meaning of
symbolism of all that now remains of the wisdom, art, and literature of the
The Societas Rosicruciana in
Anglia was founded in England in 1865 by Frater Robert Wentworth Little, who
was Secretary of the Province of Middlesex, and Secretary of the Royal Masonic
Institution for Girls, an eminent Freemason with much literary talent, and
Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, who had received Rosicrucian initiation in Austria
and had also secured authority there to form an English Rosicrucian Society.
Frater Little had rescued some Rituals and other manuscripts from the
storerooms of Freemasons Hall and, with these as a basis, he called together
some of his most prominent English and Scottish Masonic friends who were
inclined to literary pursuit.
The Metropolitan College was
established by these Brethren in 1866. R. W. Little was chosen Supreme Magus,
William James Hughan the Masonic Historian, and W. H. Hubbard as Substitute
Magi.16 Herald The Right Honorable Lord Kenlis became Honor able President in
England and Dr. William Robert Woodman the Secretary-General. At about the
same time the Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia was founded though a previous
organization was in existence before 1867.
The College of Manchester,
Liverpool, and the Northern Counties was formed in 1871, and in 1877 the Order
was planted in the Dominion of Canada. Dominican College, No. 1, was
instituted on March 16, 1878. In 1877 the Yorkshire College was formed but was
re-formed as the Yorlc College in 1879 under Thomas Bowman Whytehead as Chief
Adept. Frater R. W. Little died in 1878 and Dr. William Robert Woodman became
Supreme Magus. During his rule the Province of Northumbria and College of
Neweastle were consecrated with Frater Charles Fendelow as Chief Adept,. At
this time also the Demiurgus College at Wielbourne R Australia, was formed.
The Continental Rosicrucian Lodges were reformed under a revised Constitution
in 1890; the Woodman College, Bradford, consecrated in 1908; Robert Fludd
College, Bath, 1909; Hallamshire College, Sheffield, 1910; Laneashire College,
1910; Birmingham College, 19l5, and others in South America, India, and other
A group of American Brethren
in July, 1878, received admission to the York College in England, and later
obtained a Warrant from the Society in Scotland. An organization was effected
in the United States and was officially recognized by the Supreme Magus in
Anglia, June 1880. Four Colleges were consecrated, Philadelphia, under the
then Supreme Magus, Charles E. Meyer; New York, under Albert G. Goodall;
Massachusetts, under Alfred F. Chapman, and Baltimore, under Thomas J. Shryoek.
In 1887 Charles E. Meyer was Supreme Magus; Charles Roome and A. F. Chapman,
Substitute Magi, and Charles T. McClenaehan, Secretary General. The Colleges,
in 1912, for example, were six, each one dominating a State and located at
Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Burlington in Vermont, and Duluth,
Minnesota. Among pioneer officers in the United States were Thomas J. Shryoek,
Baltimore, Supreme Magus; Eugene A. Holton, Boston, Senior Substitute Magus;
Trevanion W. Hugo, Duluth, Junior Substitute Magus; Joseph W. Work, Boston,
Treasurer General, and Benjamin W. Rowell, Boston, Secretary General. Frater
Holton later became the Supreme Magus.
The governing Body is the High
Couneil comprising the following officers, the Supreme Magus being elected for
1. Supreme Magus, Master
2. Senior Substitute Magus
3. Junior Substitute Magus
4. Treasurer General
5. Secretary General
6. Primus Ancient
7. Secondus Ancient
8. Tertius Ancient
9. Quartus Ancient
10. Quintus Ancient
11. Sextus Ancient
12. Septus Ancient
14. Conductor of Novices
15. Torch Bearer
17. Guardian of Caverns
The officers of a College are
in title, and take rank as follows:
1. Chief Adept
6. Primus Ancient
7. Secondus Ancient
8. Tertius Ancient
9. Quartus Ancient
10. Conductor of Novices
12. First Herald
13. Second Herald
14. Torch Bearer
15. Guardian of Caverns
16. Medallist.17. Acolyte
The several grades are
arranged in three sets, the First Order being:
Third Grade ..........................Practicus
Fourth Grade ........................Philosophus
The Second Order of the grades
is as follows:
Fifth Grade.............................Adeptus Junior
Sixth Grade ...........................Adeptus Senior
Seventh Grade.......................Adeptus Exemptus
The Third Order comprises two
grades which are conferred only in a High Council and are of an official
character, the Chief Adept, for instance, by virtue of an appointment being a
Eighth Grade ..........................Magister Templi
Ninth Grade ............................Chief Adept
These particulars as to
offices and grades are taken from the Constitution adopted in the United
States of America on September 18, 1882; October 7, 1908, and June 14, 1912.
"The name Rosicrucian" says
Frater William Wynn Westcott, whose historical notes are freely used in the
compiling of these paragraphs, "has suffered greatly from the pretensions of
men, who falsely claiming membership, have made exaggerated, false and
unreasonable statements recording the powers and possessions of the Fratres of
the Rosy Cross." No true Rosicrucian has asserted his power to make Gold at
will, or to possess such an Elixir of life as could enable men to avoid death
altogether, or indefinitely, as charlatans have asserted. Poets and writers of
romance have also shed a halo of unreality about the Rosicrucians, as we find
in the volume called the Count de Gabalis, in the Urldine of La Motte Fouqué,
and Pope's Rape of the lock.
One of the Degrees conferred
in the Royal Order of Scotland, which see.
In 1859 the Grand Orient of France opened a Lodge at Bucharest. A National
Grand Lodge of Roumania was established on September 8, l 880, and four years
later it controlled some 23 Lodges, but little is known of its subsequent
history. A Grand Lodge and a Supreme Council were established in 1921.
ROUND TABLE, KING ARTHUR'S
The old English legends,
derived from the celebrated chronicle of the twelfth century known as the Brut
of England, say that the mythical King Arthur, who died in 542, of a wound
received in battle, instituted a company of twenty-four, or, according to
some, twelve, of his principal knights, bound to appear at his court on
certain solemn days, and meet around a circular table, whence they were called
Knights of the Round Table. Arthur is said to have been the institutor of
those military and religious orders of chivalry which afterward became so
common in the Middle Ages. Into the Order which he established none were
admitted but those who had given proofs of their valor; and the knights were
bound to defend widows, maidens, and children; to relieve the distressed,
maintain the Christian religion, contribute to the support of the church,
protect pilgrims, advance honor, and suppress vice.
They were to administer to the
care of soldiers wounded in the service of their country, and bury those who
died, to ransom captives, deliver prisoners, and record all noble enterprises
for the honor and renown of the noble Order. King Arthur and his knights have
been very generally considered by scholars as mythical; notwithstanding that,
many years ago Whittaker, in his History of Manchester, attempted to establish
the fact of his existence, and to separate the true from the fabulous in his
history. The legend has been used by some of the fabricators of irregular
Degrees in Freemasonry.
ROUND TOWERS OF IRELAND
Edifices, sixty-two in number,
varying in height from eighty to one hundred and twenty feet, which are found
in various parts of Ireland. They are cylindrical in shape, with a single door
eight or ten feet from the ground, and a small aperture near the top. The
question of their origin and design has been a source of much perplexity to
antiquaries. They have been supposed by Montmorency to have been intended as
beacons; by Vallanecy, as receptacles of the sacred fire; by O'Brien, as
temples for the worship of the sun and moon; and more recently, by Petrie,
simply as bell-towers, and of very modern date.
This last theory has been
adopted by many; while the more probable supposition is still maintained by
others, that, whatever was their later appropriation, they were, in their
origin, of a phallic character, in common with the towers of similar
construction in the East. O'Brien's work on the Round Towers of Ireland, which
was somewhat extravagant in its arguments and hypotheses, led some Freemasons
to adopt, many years ago, the opinion that they were originally the places of
a primitive Masonic initiation. But this theory is no longer maintained as
See Knight Rower
ROYAL AND SELECT MASTERS
See Council of Royal and Select Masters
ROYAL ARCH, ANCIENT
See Knight of the Ninth Arch
ROYAL ARCH APRON
At the triennial meeting of
the General Grand Chapter of the United States at Chicago, in 1859, a Royal
Arch apron was prescribed, consisting of a lambskin, silk or satin being
strictly prohibited, to be lined and bound with scarlet, on the flap of which
should be placed a triple tau cross within a triangle, and all within a
ROYAL ARCH BADGE
The triple tau, consisting of
three tau crosses conjoined at their feet, constitutes the Royal Arch badge.
The English Freemasons call it the Emblem of all Emblems, and the Grand
Emblems of Royal Arch Masonry. The English Royal Arch lecture thus defines it:
"The triple tau forms two right angles on each of the exterior lines, and
another at the center, by their union; for the three angles of each triangle
are equal to two right angles. This, being typified, illustrates the jewel
worn by the Companions of the Royal Arch, which, by its interceptor forms a
given number of angles that may be taken in five several combinations." It is
used in the Royal Arch Masonry of Scotland, and has, for years, been adopted
officially in the United States.
ROYAL ARCH BANNERS
See Banners Royal Arch
ROYAL ARCH CAPTAIN
The sixth officer in a Royal
Arch Chapter according to the American system. He represents the Sar Hatabahim,
or Captain of the King's Guards. He sits in front of the Council and at the
entrance to the fourth veil, to guard the approaches as is his duty. He wears
a white robe and cap, is armed with a sword, and bears a white banner on which
is inscribed a lion, the emblem of the tribe of Judah. His jewel is a
triangular plate of gold inscribed with a sword. In the preliminary Lodges of
the Chapter he acts as Junior Deacon.
ROYAL ARCH CLOTHING
The clothing or regalia of a
Royal Arch Mason in the American system consists of an apron, already
described, a scarf of scarlet velvet or silk, on which is embroidered or
painted, on a blue ground, the words, Holiness to the Lord, and if all
officer, a scarlet collar, to which is attached the jewel of his office.. The
scarf, once universally used, has been very much abandoned Every Royal Arch
Mason should also wear at his buttonhole, attached by a scarlet ribbon, the
jewel of the Order.
ROYAL ARCH COLORS
The peculiar color of the
Royal Arch Degree is red or Scarlet, which is symbolic of fervency and zeal,
the characteristics of the Degree. The colors also used symbolically in the
decorations of a Chapter are blue, purple, scarlet, and white, each of which
has a Symbolic meaning (see Vezls, Symbolism of the).
ROYAL ARCH DEGREE
The early history of this
Degree is involved in obscurity, but in the opinion of the late Brother W. J.
Hughan, its origin may be ascribed to the fourth decade of the eighteenth
The earliest known mention of
it comes in a contemporary amount of the meeting of a Lodge, No. 21, at
Youghal, in Ireland, in 1743, when the members walked in procession and the
Master was preceded by "the Royal Arch carried by two Excellent Masons' (see
Excellent Master). Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley published in his Caementaria
Hibernica (Fasciculus 1, 1895) the following reference: "The earliest known
occurrence of the words Royal Arch is met with in the report of the procession
of the Youghal Lodge on Saint Johns Day, December 27, 1743."
The next mention of it is in
Doctor Dassigny's A Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the cause of the
present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, published in 1744, in
which the writer says that he is informed that in York "is held an Assembly of
Master Masons under the title of Royal Arch Masons, who, as their
qualifications and excellencies are superior to others, receive a larger pay
than working Masons."
He also speaks of: A certain
propagator of a false system some few years ago, in this city (Dublin), who
imposed upon several very worthy men, under a pretense of being Master of the
Royal Arch, which he asserted he hail brought with him from the city of York,
and that the beauties of the Craft did principally consist in the knowledge of
this valuable piece of Masonry.
However, he carried on his scheme for several months, and many of the learned
and wise were his followers, till, at length, his fallacious art was
discovered by a Brother of probity and wisdom, who had some small space before
attained that excellent part of Masonry in London, and plainly proved that his
doctrine was false: whereupon the Brethren justly despised him, and ordered
him to be excluded from all benefits of the Craft, and although some of the
Fraternity have expressed an uneasiness at this matter being kept a secret
from them, since they had already passed through the usual Degrees of
probation, I cannot help being of opinion that they have no right to any such
benefit until they m eke a proper application, and are received with due
formality, and as it is an organized body of men who have passed the chair,
and given undeniable proofs of their skill in architecture, it cannot be
treated with too much reverence, and more especially since the character of
the present members of that particular Lodge are untainted, and their behavior
judicious and unexceptionable, so that there cannot be the least hinge to hang
a doubt on, but that they are most excellent Masons.
This passage makes it plain
that the Royal Arch Degree ovals conferred in London before 1744, say about
1740, and would suggest that York was considered to be its place of origin.
Also as Laurence Dermott became a Royal Arch Mason in 174X it is clear that he
could not have been, as is sometimes asserted, the inventor of the Rite.
Our old friend, Brother
William Tait of Belfast, Ireland, promptly advised us when he made the happy
discovery of what to this time is the earliest reference to the Royal Arch in
a Lodge Minute Book, but the earliest Minute Book of the Degree actually being
conferred is that of the Fredericksburg Lodge in Virginia on December 22,
1753. Vernon Lodge No. 123, Coleraine, County Derry, was warranted by the
Grand dodge of Ireland May 8, 1741. Two of the old Minute Books of this Lodge,
running from 1749-83, have been preserved. In the first of these under date of
April 16, 1752, we find: "At this Lodge room.
Thos. Blair proposed Samson
Moore a Master & Royal Arch Mason to be admitted a member of our Lodge."
Hitherto the earliest reference to the Decree in a Minute Book was the Grand
Committee of the Ancient, September 2, 1752; while the earliest Minute of the
Degree actually being conferred is still that of the Fredericksburg Lodge,
December 22, 1753. The second book of Vernon Lodge contains a record dating
the Degree to an even earlier period than 1752. This occurs in a list of the
members of a Lodge drawn up in 1767, where after each name is put the date at
which he was made Royal Arch. The earliest date given of a Royal Arch
reception is March 11, 1745, and the latest June 25, 1765.
Brother John Heron Lepper,
contributing this information to Miscellanea Latomorum (1925, volume ix, pages
138-9) says: "A glance at the map will show how far Coleraine lies from
Dublin, and to find the Royal Arch degree known in the former place within a
year of Dassigny's famous reference in 1744, makes one wonder whether it could
have been such a recent introduction into Ireland as his text claims."
(See also pages 99-100, volume
1, History, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, by Brothers J.
H. Lepper and Philip Crossle, and Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1923,
volume xxxvi, pages 1934, where Brother Tait, among other items of interest
relating to these records, points out with good reason that "even at this
early date the Royal Arch must have been widely spread when we find it
practiced in places so far apart as York and Virginia—Lonclon and Stirling—Youghall
in the South and Coleraine in the North of Ireland.")
A mention of the Degree occurs
in the Minutes of the Ancient Grand Lodge for March 4, 1752, when A formal
complaint was made by several Brethren against Thos. Phealon and John Macky,
better known as " leg of mutton Masons " for clandestinely making Masons for
the mean consideration of a leg of mutton for dinner or supper. Upon examining
some Brothers whom they pretended to have made Royal Arch men the parties had
not the least idea of that secret. The Grand Secretary had examined Macky, and
stated that he had not the least idea or knowledge of Royal Arch Masonry but
instead thereof he had told the people he had deceived a long story about
twelve white marble stones, &c., &e., and that the rainbow was the Royal arch,
with many other absurdities equally foreign and ridiculous.
The earliest known record of
the Degree being actually conferred is a Minute of the Fredericksburg Lodge,
Virginia, United States of America, stating that on December 22, 1753, three
Brethren were raised to the Degree of Royal Arch Mason (a facsimile of this
entry is in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume iv, page 222,
also in Brother Hughan's Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry), while the
earliest records traced in England are of the year 1758, during which year
several Brethren were "raised to the degree of Royal Arch" in a Lodge meeting
at the Crown at Bristol
This Lodge was a Modern one
and its records therefore make it abundantly clear that the Royal Arch Degree
was not by any means confined to the .Ancient, though it was not officially
recognized by the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, whose Secretary wrote in 1759,
"Our Society is neither Arch, Royal Arch or Ancient." However, at the Union of
Ancient and Moderns, in 1813, it was declared that "pure Ancient Masonry
consists of three degrees, and no more, namely, those of the Entered
Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme
Order of the Holy Royal Arch."
This lends color to the idea
that at some time or other the Royal Arch had formed part of the Master
Mason's Degree, though when and by whom it was separated from it no one has
yet discovered, for we may dismiss as utterly uncorroborated by any proof the
assertion that Ramsay was the fabricator of the Royal Arch Degree, and equally
unsupported is the often made assertion that Dunckerley invented it, though he
undoubtedly played a very active part in extending it.
The late Brother W. J. Hughan,
in his Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry (1909, page 90), favors "the
theory that a word was placed in the Royal Arch prominently which was
previously given in the sections of the Third Degree and known 'as the ancient
word of a Master Mason," and considers that "according to this idea, that
which was once lost, and then found, in the Third Degree, in one of the
sections, was subsequently under the new regime discovered in the 'Royal
Arch,' only much extended, and under most exalted and dignified surroundings."
In England, Scotland, and the
United States, the legend of the Degree is the same, though varying in some of
the details, but the ceremony in Ireland differs much, for it has nothing to
do with the rebuilding of the Temple as narrated by Ezra, but with the
repairing of the Temple by Josiah, the three chief Officers, or Principals,
being the King, Josiah, the Priest, Hilkiah, and the Scribe, Shaphan, not as
in England, Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Jeshua, or as in America, High Priest,
King, and Scribe.
At one time in England only
Past, Masters were eligible for the degree, and this led to a system called
Passing the Chair, by which a sort of Degree of Past Master was conferred upon
Brethren who had never really served in the chair of a Lodge; now a Master
Mason who has been so for four weeks is eligible for Exaltation.
In Scotland, Royal Arch
Masonry is not officially recognized by the Grand Lodge, though the Grand
Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for Scotland was formed in 1817.
Dr. W. J. Chetwode Crawley, in
his Caementaria Hibernica, Fasciculus I, says of the Royal Arch Degree, "It is
not is. separate entity, but the completing part of a Masonic legend, a
constituent ever present in the compound body, even before it developed into a
Degree . . . if the Royal Arch fell into desuetude, the cope-stone would be
removed, and the building left obviously incomplete."
ROYAL ARCH, GRAND
The Thirty-first Degree of the
Rite of Mizraim. It is nearly the same as the Thirteenth Degree of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite.
ROYAL ARCH GRAND BODIES IN
The first meeting of delegates
out of which arose the General Grand Chapter was at Boston, October 24, 1797.
The Convention adjourned to assemble at Hartford, in January, 1798, and it was
there the Grand Chapter of the Northern States of America was organized.
Again, on the 9th of January, 1799, an adjourned meeting was held, whereat it
was resolved to change its name to that of General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of
the Northern States of America. On January 9, 1806, the present designation
was adopted, to wit: "The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry for the
United States of America." New York was determined upon as the place for the
first Convocation, September, 1812, and the sessions to be made sentential,
every seventh year. It failed to meet at the appointed time, but an important
Convocation was held in New York City, on June 6, 1816.
Joseph K. Wheeler, Grand
Secretary, in his introduction to the Records of Capitular Masonry in the
State of Connecticut, says, after mentioning the names of the Chapters
represented at the organization of the Grand Chapter in 1798: "In tracing
their history it will be observed that all of these Chapters obtained their
authority from a Washington Chapter in the city of New York, with the
exception of Vanderbroeck, No. 5," chartered at an early date, by the Grand
Chapter of New York, after which no more Chapters were established by any
authority outside the Jurisdiction of Connecticut except Lynch Chapter, No. 8,
located at Reading and Weston, which was chartered by the Grand Chapter of New
York, August 23, 1801, which charter was signed by Francis Lynch, High Priest,
Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; James Woods, King; and Samuel Clark,
Scribe; which was admitted to membership in Grand Chapter of Connecticut, May
It is of interest here to note
that the oldest Chapter in New York State is Ancient, No. 1, whose date of
origin is lost, its records up to 1804 having been destroyed by fire, but
tradition fixes the year 1763. For years it wielded the powers of a Grand
Chapter, and until 1799 was known as the Old Grand Chapter. It granted
Charters for Chapters in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In this last
named State it issued a Charter to Lynch Chapter See above) which was received
into full fellowship by the Grand Chapter of Connecticut although the Grand
Chapter of New York had been in existence some time before the Charter was
On the formation of the Grand
Chapter of the State of New York, the numbers 1 and 2 were left vacant for the
acceptance of Old and Washington Chapters, which latter was an offspring of
the former, who at that time refused to place themselves under its
Jurisdiction. In 1808, Old Chapter enrolled itself as Ancient under the State
Grand Body, accepted the number one, and was further honored by having its
High Priest, tames Woods, elected Deputy Grand High Priest. The organization
of the General Grand Chapter is explained at length in Doctor Mackey's revised
History of Freemasonry.
ROYAL ARCH JEWEL
The jewel which every Royal
Arch Mason is permitted to wear as a token of his connection with the Order.
In America it is usually suspended by a scarlet ribbon to the button. In
England it is to be worn pendant from a narrow ribbon on the left breast, the
color of the ribbon varying with the rank of the wearer. It is of gold, and
consists of a triple tau cross within a triangle, the whole circumscribed by a
This jewel is eminently
symbolic, the tau being the mark mentioned by Ezekiel (ix, 4), by which those
were distinguished who were to be saved from the wicked who were to be slain;
the triple tan is symbolic of the peculiar and more eminent separation of
Royal Arch Masons from the profane; the triangle, or delta, is a symbol of the
sacred name of God, known only to those who are thus separated; and the circle
is a symbol of the eternal life, which is the great dogma taught by Royal Arch
Masonry. Hence, by this jewel, the Royal Arch Mason makes the profession of
his separation from the unholy and profane, his reverence for God, and his
belief in the future and eternal life. In the United States of America, the
emblem worn by Royal Arch Masons without the Chapter is a Keystone, on which
are the letters H. T. W. S. S. T. K. S. arranged in a circle and within the
circle may or should be his mark.
ROYAL ARCH MASONRY
That division of Speculative
Freemasonry which is engaged in the investigation of the mysteries connected
with the Royal Arch, no matter under what name or in what Rite. Thus the
mysteries of the Knight of the Ninth Arch constitute the Royal Arch Masonry of
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite just as much as those of the Royal Arch
of Zerubbabel do the Royal Arch of the American Rite.
ROYAL ARCH MASONRY,
A statement of the origin and
record of Saint Andrew's Chapter in Boston is to trace early Royal Arch
Masonry in Massachusetts. The following is extracted from Companion Thomas
Waterman's admirable history of Saint Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, the result
of much earnest research: "The first meeting recorded of this Chapter was held
on the 28th of August, 1769, and was then styled the Royal Arch Lodge, of
which R. W. James Brown was Master." Presumably this Lodge derived its
authority from the Grand Lodge, Ancient of England, as did that of the same
name in Philadelphia, whereby it was authorized to confer the Holy Royal Arch
Degree, as also did Independent Royal Arch, No. 2, of New York, but
surrendered the right to confer the Royal Arch Degree when it joined the Grand
Lodge of New York. Companion Waterman adds: "It appears by the record that the
Degrees of 'Excellent, Super-Excellent, and Royal Arch' were conferred in the
Royal Arch Lodge." Winthrop Gray, on April 17, 1770, was elected Master.
On the succeeding May 14th,
"Most Worshipful Joseph Warren, Esq.," was made a Royal Arch Mason. No record
appears between March 26, 1773, and March 20, 1789. In an old register-book,
dated April 1, 1789, is found "Original members, April 1, 1789, M. E. William
McKeen, H. P." The next recorded election, October 21, 1790, gives William
McKeen, R. A. Master. "On November 28, 1793, the Degree of Mark Master was
connected with the other Degrees conferred in the Chapter."
"January 30, 1794, the words
'Royal Arch Chapter' are used for the first time in recording the proceedings
of tile Chapter." "The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts was organized
by delegates from Saint Andrew's Chapter, Boston, and King Cyrus' Chapter,
Newburyport, who assembled at Masons Hall, in the Green Dragon Tavern, Boston,
on Tuesday, the 13th of March, 1798 A.D.22.
ROYAL ARCH OF ENOCH
The Royal Arch system which is
founded upon the legend of Enoch (see Enoch).
ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON
One of the names of the Degree
of Knight of the Ninth Arch, or Thirteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted
ROYAL ARCH OF ZERUBBABEL.
The Royal Arch Degree of the
American Rite is so called to distinguish it from the Royal Arch of Solomon in
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
ROYAL ARCH ROBES
In the working of a Royal Arch
Chapter in the United States, great attention is paid to the robes of the
several officers.. The High Priest wears, in imitation of the High Priest of
the Jews, a robe of blue, purple, scarlet, and white linen, and is decorated
with the breastplate and miter. The King wears a scarlet robe, and has a crown
and scepter. The Scribe wears a purple robe and turban. The Captain of the
Host wears a white robe and cap, and is armed with a sword. The Principal
Sojourner wears a dark robe, with tessellated border, a sleuthed hat, and
pilgrim's staff. The Royal Arch Captain wears a white robe and cap, and is
armed with a sword. The three Grand Masters of the Veils wear, respectively,
the Grand Master of the third veil a scarlet robe and cap, of the second veil
a purple robe and cap, of the first veil a blue robe and cap. Each is armed
with a sword. The Treasurer, Secretary, and Sentinel wear no robes nor
peculiar dress. All of these robes have either a historical or symbolical
ROYAL ARCH TRACING-BOARD
The oldest Royal Arch
Tracing-Board extant is one which was formerly the property of a Chapter in
the City of Chester, and which Doctor Oliver thinks was "used only a very few
years after the degree was admitted into the system of constitutional Masonry.
" He has given a copy of it in his work on the Origin of the English Royal
Arch. The symbols which it displays are, in the center of the top an arch
scroll, with the words in Greek, EN APXH HN O AOrO2, that is, In the beginning
was the Fork; beneath, the word Jehovah written in Cabalistic letters; on the
right side an Arch and keystone, a rope falling in it, and a sun darting its
rays obliquely; on the left a pot of incense beneath a rainbow; in the center
of the tracing-board, two interlaced triangles and a sun in the center, all
surrounded by a circle; on the right and left of this the seven-branched
candlestick and the table of shewbread. Beneath all, on three scrolls, are the
words, Solomon, Ring of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyre; Hiram, the Widow's Son,
in Hebrew and Latin. Doctor Oliver finds in these emblems a proof that the
Royal Arch was originally taken from the Master's Degree, because they
properly belong to that Degree, according to the English lecture, and here
afterward restored to it. But the American Freemason will find in this board
how little his system has varied from the primitive one practiced at Chester,
since all the emblems, with the exception of the last three, are still
recognized as Royal Arch symbols according to the American system.
ROYAL ARCH WORD
ROYAL ARCH WORKING-TOOLS
ROYAL ARK MARINERS
A Degree in England conferred
on Mark Master Masons, and worked under the authority of the Grand Master of
Mark Masons, assisted by a Royal Ark Council. The language of the Order is
peculiar. The Supreme Body is called a Grand Ark; subordinate Lodges are
vessels; organizing a Lodge is launching a vessel; to open a Lodge is to f oat
an ark; to close the Lodge is to moor. All its references are nautical, and
allude to the Deluge and the Ark of Noah. The Degree seems to have been
invented in England about the end of the eighteenth century. A correspondent
of the London Monthly Magazine for December, 1798 (volume vi, page 424), calls
it "one of the new degrees in Freemasonry," and thus describes the
They profess to be followers
of Noah, and therefore call themselves Noachidae, or Sons of Noah. Hence their
President, who at present is Thomas Boothby Parking Lord Rancliffe, is
dignified with the venerable title of Grand Noah, and the Lodge where they
assemble is called the Royal Ark Vessel.
These Brother mariners wear in
Lodge time a broad sash ribbon, representing a rainbow, with an apron
fancifully embellished with an ark, dove, etc. Among other rules of this
society is one that no Brother shall be permitted to enter as a mariner on
board a Royal Ark vessel for any less sum than ten shillings and sixpence, of
which sum sixpence shall be paid to the Grand and Royal Ark vessel for his
registry, and the residue be disposed of at the discretion of the officers of
Their principal place of meeting in London was at the Surry Tavern, Surry
Street, in the Strand. The writer gives the following verse from one of their
songs written by Dr. Ebenezer Sibley.
They entered safe—and lo! the
And none were protected but Masons and wives;
The crafty and knavish came floating along,
The rich and the beggar of profligate lives:
It was now in woe
For mercy they call
To old Father Noah
And loudly did bawl
But Heaven shut the door and the ark was afloat
To perish they must, for they were found out.
Now the Degree is in England
conferred under the Grand Mark Lodge and also has considerable popularity
under the control of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland. In the
United States the Decree has not prospered in numbers. The College of Rites in
its series of ceremonies included the Royal Ark Mariners and a few Bodies were
set at work but the only one that seems to have continued activities was the
Lodge at Masonic Hall, New York City. The Degree is, as has been intimated,
based on the Bible account of the Ark of Noah, the Deluge, and the Dove, and
has much interest and significance for thoughtful Brethren.
The Fifth Degree of the
Initiated Brothers of Asia, also called the True Rose Croix.
ROYAL SECRET, SUBLIME PRINCE
See Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret
ROYAL SOMERSET HOUSE AND
One of the four old Lodges
establishing the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Doctor Anderson states that
this Lodge met at the "Rummer and Grapes Tavern, in Channel Row, Westminster."
The date of its origin is unknown but in 1723 a List of Lodges appeared which
gave the name of this Lodge as "Horn Tavern," Westminster. At that time,
according to the Grand Lodge records, it was probably the largest and most
aristocratic of all English Masonic Lodges. It became designated as No. 3 in
1729 and in 1740 it was known as No. 2. It was erased from the Grand Lodge
List on April 3, 1747, the reason being given as "not attending according to
the order of the last Quarterly communication.
It was restored, however, in
1751 and in 1767 it officially took the name of "Old Horn Lodge." It united
with and took the name of the Somerset House Lodge" in 1774 which was then
known as No. 279, becoming then No. 4. This Lodge had been established in 1762
by Dunckerley on board the English ship P7once, being removed from there to
the ship known as Guadeloupe and from there to Somerset House. The new
combination known as the Somerset House Lodge absorbed the Royal Inverness
Lodge November 25, 1828, which had been known as No. 648 and which had been
the first Lodge warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England and named after
the then Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex, who had officiated at the
consecration February 2, 1815, when the Lodge was first instituted at the
Freemasons Tavern. After November 25, 1828, the united Lodges were styled the
"Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. 4, of Time Immemorial
This Lodge is the holder of
the Freemasons Hall Medal as well as a special Medal granted in 1858 bearing
the arms of Scotland with a reference to the King's son. This is surmounted by
the Coronet of a Prince of the Blood Royal borne by the Duke of Sussex. On the
reverse side the inscription appears, "Immemorial Constitution. United with
the Old Horn Lodge, No. 2, January 10, 1774." On the rim the following is
engraved: "Royal Inverness Lodge, No. 648. The First Lodge consecrated under
the United Grand Lodge by Right Worshipful His Royal Highness the Duke of
Sussex, 1814" (see also An Introduction to the History of the Royal Somerset
House and Inverness Lodge; Rev. Arnold Whitaker Oxford, published at London in
ROBBINS, JOSEPH, ORATION BY
American Masons behind the
tiled doors of their Lodges and Grand Lodges during the past one and one-half
centuries have listened to orations which would be everywhere famous had they
been delivered in public, for there has ever been an unbroken succession in
the Craft of orators, of great tribunes, of great speech makers—John Marshall,
Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, down to Thomas Riley Marshall,
William J. Bryan, and Dr. Parkes Cadman. Among these have been a number of
orations which have helped to make Masonic history: Clare's Oration before
Grand Lodge; Preston's Oration before Grand Lodge; Ramsay's Oration in Paris;
Drake's Oration before the York Grand Lodge; Paul Revere's Orations; Joseph
Tew's famous Provincial Grand Lodge speeches (published in two volumes); etc.
It is unfortunate that most of them have not been preserved, and that such of
them as lie in old Grand Lodge Proceedings are not collected and published.
In the opinion of literary
critics, and applying the canons of eloquence rather than the criteria of
Masonic scholarship, the most perfect eloquence of American Masonry is found
in Dr. Joseph Robbins' oration, delivered by him to the Grand Lodge of
Illinois, a Grand Lodge which was to number among its future Grand Orators
Governor Frank Lowden. Dr. Robbins was born in Leominster, Mass., September
12, 1834; was made a Mason in Wyoming Lodge, Mass., Dec. 28, 1856. He
transferred his membership to Quincy Lodge, No. 296, Quincy, Ill., where he
removed in 1858, and where he lived until he died July 19, 1909. He was
elected T. . M.-., and re-elected twelve successive times. He was Grand Master
for two terms, in 1876 and 1877; and had been Grand Orator in 1868. His
Oration remained famous and familiar for half a century; the complete text was
published in The Builder.
ROME, A LODGE AT
The Jacobite Lodge at Rome
came without announcement, worked a few years, vanished and left scarcely a
trace, and was always small enough to meet in a private room; yet, like the
Rosetta Stone, it has a significance out of proportion to its age or its size
because of a number of unique features in its organization and its work; so
much so, that William James Hughan, and at the request of the Grand Master of
Masons in Scotland, wrote a book about it: The Jacobite Lodge at Rome: 1736-7;
Torquay; printed for Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester, England; 1910.
The Lodge met at the Three
Kings, Strada Paolina, Rome. Its by-laws were written in Latin, and consisted
of twelve rules, each of one sentence. The earliest date in the still-existing
Minutes is August 16, 1735; the last is August 20, 1737; including first and
last there are Minutes of twelve meetings. John Cotton was Master to and
including March 19, 1736; from then on the Right Honorable the Earl of Winton
(also spelled Wintown) was Master. The title of the Master is variously given
as Master, Maitre, Great Master, Grand Master. In a list of founding members
written by hand in the Minute Book William Howard is named as Master; his name
is followed by two Wardens, and thirteen members; this means that the Lodge
had held at least one meeting before Aug. 16, 1735.
Andrew Lumisden made a gift of
the Minute Book to the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1799. In a memorandum which
he wrote to accompany the gift he said, among other things: "Pope Clement XII,
having published a most severe edict la Bull] against Masonry, the last Lodge
held at Rome was on the 20th August, 1737, when the Earl of Wintown was
Master. [The Bull was dated in 1738.] The Officer of the Lodge [sometimes used
as title for the Tiler], who was a servant of Dr. James Irvin, u as sent, as a
terror to others prisoner to the Inquisition, but was soon released (This
exemplary, or token, punishment was doubtless visited on the servant, instead
of on the responsible head of the Lodge, because he was a servant, which is an
interesting commentary on the morals of the Vatican.)
Bro. Hughan proves that Prince
Charles Stuart the Roman Catholic pretender to the English throne, w as not in
this Lodge, and that there is no trace of any connection with him. After
having studied the biography of each member Bro. Hughan BTote: "Evidently the
membership of the Lodge was mainly, if not exclusively, composed of Jacobites...."
He believes that the founders were members of Scottish Lodges. Bro. Wintown
was Master before he had taken the Third Degree, but it is very significant
that he became a Master Mason in 1736; it may indicate that the Lodge at Rome
had three Degrees at that period.
ROYAL ARCH WORLD DISTRIBUTION
In 1942 the Grand Chapter,
Royal Arch Masons of Missouri, published a Baedeker for Royal Arch Masons in
the armed forces which showed the number and distribution of regular Chapters
and Grand Chapters as of that date. The data are such as to deserve permanent
record. Unless otherwise specified numbers refer to Chapters. Capital letters
following numbers denote jurisdiction according to the following key: GGC=
General Grand Chapter of United States; S = Scottish, I = Irish, E = English.
Alaska- 4(GGC). Arabia: 1(S). Argentine: 8(E). Australia: there are Six Grand
Chapters. Barbados: 2(S). Bermuda: 3(E)- 3(S). Brazil: 2(E). British Guiana:
2(E); 2(S). Canada: has nine Grand Chapters and 311 Chapters. Canal Zone:
2(GGC). Cape of Good Hope: 28(E); 1(I)- 15(S). Chile: 3(S), 1(GGC). China: 10
(EGC); 3(Sj; 1(GGC). Cuba: 1(GGC). Egypt: 6(E); 1 (S) . In England are 1644
Chapters, 438 in London alone. Fiji Islands: 2(S). Gibraltar: 3(E)- 1(S),
1(I). Gold Coast: 7(E); 1(S). Hawaii: 1(GGC). India: 29(E); 1(I); 3(S).
Bombay: 24(E); 19(S). Burma: 7(E); 1(S). Ceylon: 6(E); 1(S). Madras:
16(E),3(S). Northwestern: 1(E); 1(S). Punjab: 20(E); 4(S). Rajputana; 1(S);
1(E). Iraq: 2 (E) . Ireland: 342 Chapters. Antigua: 1 (E) . Malta: 3(E)- 1(S).
St. Helena: 1(E). Cyprus: 1(E). Isle of Man: 5(E). Isle of Mauritius: 1(S).
Isle of Pines: 1(S). Isle of Wight: 6(E). Jamaica: 4(E); 1(S). Japan (Whites)
4(E). Jersey: 3(E). Kenya: 1(E)- 3(S). Malay States : 11 (E); 3(S) .
Mesopotamia : 1 (E) . Mexico : 3(GGC). Military Chapters: 2(S). Monte Carlo:
1(E). Morocco: 1(S). Natal: 10(E); 1(I) • 6(S). New South Wales: Gr. Ch. of N.
S. W. has 74; Ireland 1; Scotland 144. New Zealand: G. C. of N. Z. has
68,2(I)10(Ep 13(S). Nigeria: 6(E)- 1(I)- 2(S). Northern Rhodesia: 1(E).
Nyasaland: 1(S). Orange Free State: 4(E)- 5(S). Palestine: 1(E). Peru 2(S).
Philippine Islands: 1(GGC)- 1(S). Porto Rico: 1(GGC). Quebec: 23 under G. C.
of I.; 1 (E) . Queensland: G. C. of I. has 95; 1(E)- 4(S). Scotland: 541 and
G. C. of S. Siam: 1(S). Sierra Leone: 1(E); 1(S). South Australia: G. S. of S.
A. has Chapters in majority of cities and tows. South Rhodesia: 3(E); 2(I);
2(S); Sudan: 1(E). Syria: 1(S). Tanganyika: 4(E). Tasmania: 6(S). Transvaal:
18(S); 16(E); 4(I). Trinidad: 4(S). Turkey: 1(E) at Constantinople.
Uganda:1(AS) Uruguay:1(E). Victoria, Australia G. C. of V. has 65. Virgin
Islands: 1 (E) . Western Australia: Chapters in most towns under G. C. of
VENT. ant-; 7(S).
ROYALTY AND ENGLISH MASONRY
Queen Anne's children had died
before her; and when she passed, two descendants of the original Stuart family
had an almost equal genealogical claim to the throne: George, the Elector of
Hanover; and James Stuart, Son of the exiled James II. The latter was a Roman
Catholic; the former was a Protestant. The Tories were divided between the
two, but the Whigs were determined that once and for all England should become
officially a Protestant country, and therefore culled George to the throne. He
was a middle-aged Germans coarse and arrogant, and personally never Texas
popular; even so, James Stuart, and contrary to a romantic tradition in
novels, was equally coarse and arrogantly so that his adherents in England and
Scotland, the Jacobites, gained no strength for their cause from his
The new king was crowned
George I in 1714, and was to reign for thirteen years. The New Grand Lodge of
Speculative Masonry was erected in London three years after his coronation,
but when the Duke of Wharton undertook to swing it over to the Jacobite side
it threw him out and wrote into its Book of Constitutions a law to forbid any
political activity by Lodges or Masons. Masons were to be peaceable citizens,
loyal to the government. At the time, this meant in effect loyalty to the
Hanoverian Dynasty, which is still the Royal House of Britain.
Almost from the first, members
of the new Royal Family came into Freemasonry, and with them members of the
old nobility and of the high aristocracy in England, Ireland, and Scotland;
and not as members in name only but as active workers in Grand Lodge,
Provincial Grand Lodges, and Lodges. A non-Masonic British nobleman was an
exception. Their relatives by blood and marriage on the Continent were brought
in by them; and the fact partly explains the extraordinary spread of the
Fraternity over Europe and as far east as Moscow during the first twenty-five
years after the erection of the Mother Grand Lodge.
American Masons have never
realized how completely the Grand and the Provincial Grand Lodges of Britain
have been officered by members of the Royal Family and the nobility, and even
now, and in spite of the great amount of inter-visitation which went on during
the Second World War, it continues to be difficult of full realization.
The City of Derby was far from
London, the Court, and from its social circles; the home city of scientists,
inventors (Watt and Arkwright among them), and capitalists, it became the
cradle of the Industrial Revolution; these facts make it the more striking
that the records of one of its Lodges, Tyrian No. 953, in its minutes from
1766 to 1885, are studded with titled names: the Duke of Cumberland, Brother
of George III, granted its Warrant, which also was signed by the Earl of
E5ingham. In 1798 the Lodge contributed A:42 toward a jewel which was
presented to the Earl of Aloira, Grand Master of the Ancient when he became
Governor General of India. Daniel Coke, a member of Parliament, was twice W.-.
M.-.. The Sixth Duke of Devonshire was W. . M.-. in 1813 and in 1814, and was
Provincial Grand Master from 1814 to 1858, when he was succeeded by the
Marquis of Hartington, Secretary for War. Viscount Tamworth was made a Mason
in Tyrian in 1810; and the second Lord Scarsdale in the same year. Both
Augustus and Edvard Curzon mere initiated in 1815; Francis Curzon was NV. . M.
. in 1826. Earl Howe, Augustus Stanhope, and Earl Ferrers were entered between
1815 and 1848.
Among its visitors were scores
of men of the nobility who carried titles among the oldest in Britain. Two
Hundred Years of Freemasonry; A History of the Britannic Lodge, No. 55 (Kening
& Son; London; 1930), one of the most brilliant of the smaller Lodge
histories, home Lodge of the famous John Coustos, had so many members of
British and other royal families between 1773 and 1817 that it is called "the
Royal period." On the membership list at the same time were two foreign kings,
three Hanoverian kings and five royal Dukes. The Earl of Moira was "perpetual
But the most remarkable
instance of Royalty in Lodges was No. 259, of which Prance of Wales Lodge, by
Thomas Fenn, privately printed in 1890, is the history. It was instituted in
1787 by his Royal Highness, George, Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV.
"The Lodge was originally intended to consist only of those who were honored
with appointments under H. R. H. or men firmly attached to his person and
interest.... Amongst the earliest initiated in this Lodge, were twenty of H.
R. H.'s footmen and household servants. They were not admitted as members, but
were initiated by order of H. R. H. as serving Brethren without payment of
Among its long list of Royal
and otherwise most eminent persons (come in by Royal invitation) were: Duke of
York, Duke of Clarence, Lord Lake, Thomas Dunckerley, Major St. Leger (cousin
of Elizabeth St. Leger, the Irish "lady Freemason"), General Bowles
(afterwards appointed to be "Provincial Grand Master" to the Creek Indians in
America!), General Paoli, the Corsican patriot, Earl of Zetland, Duke of
Roxburgh, Prince of Moliterno, Prime Minister George Canning, Sir David
Pollock, Godfrey Higgins (author of the stupendous monument of erudition, The
Anacolypsz a second Earl of Zetland, Lord Monson, Earl of Yarborough, Duke of
Beaufort, Lord Rendlesham, Lord Catthorpe, the Maharajah Duleep Singh of
India, Viscount Lake, Youssuff Aziz Effendi, Earl of Wigtown, Duke of Sussex
(Grand Master from 1813 to 1843), Lord Churchill, Lord Monson, Baron Ferdinand
de Rothschild, Prince of Wales (Edward VII), W. . M.-. from 1874, Grand
Masterfrom 1875, etc., etc.
In the list of Worshipful
Masters five are preceded by The Modern Grand Lodge of England from 1717 to
1813 was with the exception of the lowest bracket of officers, staffed by men
of the nobility and of the aristocracy, as were also, to a scarcely lesser
degree, the Provincial Grand Lodges. The second part of Bro. Albert F.
Calvert's The Grand dodge of England (Herbert Jenkins Ltd.; London; 1917)
consists of 3 gallery of portraits in which appear, among others, the
following: John, Duke of Montague Earl of Chesterfield, Duke of Wharton, Duke
of Richmond, Duke of Lorraine, Duke of Newcastle, Earl of Crawford, Sir Cecil
Wray, Sir Thomas De Veil (one of the personages in Hogarth's "Night"),
Viscount Harcourt, William, Duke of Cumberland, Frederick Lewis, Prince of
Wales (this eldest son of King George II was first King's son to be made a
Mason; Nov. 5, 1737; the ceremony was performed by Dr. Desaguliers.
Grand Lodge was exactly 20
years old), Lord Raymond, Sir James Thornhill, Marshal James Keith, Frederick
III, King of Prussia, Sir Richard Glynn (Lord Mayor), Lord Blayney, Duke of
Beaufort, Edward, Duke of York, Frederick, Duke of York, Thomas Harley (Lord
Mayor. Sat for his portrait with his hands in a large fur muff), Admiral Sir
Peter Parker, Robert Edward, Lord Petre (like one or two others, Lord Petre
was a Roman Catholic. While the Marquis of Ripon was Grand Master he became a
convert of Roman Catholicism, resigned his Masonic offices, and his
membership), Duke of Manchester, Sir Watkin Lewes (Lord Mayor of London), Col.
John St. Leger, Duke of Cumberland, G. M. in 1782-1790, Charles Howard, Duke
of Norfolk, Duke of York, William Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury, Earl of
Moira (this G. M. was in 1806 also G. M. of Scotland), Francis, Earl of Moira,
Prime Minister George Canning, C. T. Hunter (Lord Mayor), Duke of Sussex (once
lived in Canada where he was a Prov. G. M.; was G. M. of England 181S1843),
Prince of Wales (King George IV), Duke of Kent (also lived in Canada for
years; G. M. of Ancient; father of Queen Victoria, who, after her coronation,
and as an honor to him, announced herself Patroness of Freemasonry), Prince
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Clarence (King William IV), Earl of Zetland, Fifth
Duke of Richmond, Earl of Carnarvon, Earl of Lathom, Duke of Connaught, Duke
of Clarence, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, (Edward VII), Lord Ampthill,
John, Earl of Atholl, etc.
With only a few exceptions
these men of title, who usually were also men of large affairs and of great
responsibilities in the State, were good and true Masons in every sense, as
members and Brothers, and as officers; but their titles were born with them,
their authorities went with them, their privileges were continuous, so that a
Prince or a Duke continued to be a Prince or a Duke while sitting in the Grand
East (called "throne"), which is in contrast to the American practice, where
if a President, Governor, or Senator (the importance of whose of lice is as
"high" and even more responsible than that of King, Prince, or Duke) sits in
the East or Grand East it is in his capacity only as a Mason—his "titles are
left outside the tiled door."
The Modern Grand Lodge between
1721 and 1751 became top-heavy with aristocracy, and many Lodges, especially
in London, became exclusive and snobbish; this was in violation of the
Landmark of "meeting upon the level" which in Freemasonry was centuries older
than the House of Hanover or the House of Stuart; and it was this violation,
far more than the violation of two or three customs of ceremony, which in
Grand Master Byron's time ("the wicked Lord Byron," who once murdered a man in
a drunken brawl) was the reason for so many Lodges going over to the Ancient
Grand Lodge. The Ancient Grand Lodge had been erected in 1751 by Irish Masons
living in London who could neither visit nor affiliate with London Lodges
because they were "mechanics," that is, like the fathers and founders of the
Craft, were "workers," or were men in small business. The majority of English
writers on Masonic history aide Gould, Calvert, etc.) never fail to quote
anything "coarse" that Laurence Dermott ever said about the Moderns; but they
never quote the stinging and snobbish things said by the Moderns about
Dermott; and never permit a reader to forget that Dermott (God help him!) was
a house painter!
And yet, so strange are the
ways of men, so Upside down their hearts, the Masons who "made" the Grand
Lodges of England and, after 1813, the United Grand Lodge—the ritualists, the
hard-working lower officers, and the writers—were commoners: Desaguliers was a
doctor; Anderson a dissenting minister; Preston a printer; Dermott a painter
(though an extraordinarily well-educated man of genius); Gilkes a grocer; Pine
an engraver; and so on; and regardless of how aristocratic the Modern Grand
Lodge itself may ever have been its members gave great honor to these men.
The manly, upright, brainy men
of the Lodge at Aberdeen, Scotland, who with such great care wrote out the
Work Book in 1670, appended it to a solemn address to Masons who might come
after them in their ancient Lodge, which for weight and a sincere eloquence
can scarcely be rivaled by any utterance that ever came out of Freemasonry:
"So ends the names of us all who are authors of this Book and the Mason's box
[charity] in order, according to our ages as we were made fellow craft, from
which we reckon our age; so we entreat all our good successors in the Mason
Craft to follow our rule as your patterns, and not to strive for place, for
here ye may see above written and amongst the rest of our names persons of a
mean degree insert before great persons of quality.
The history of the Tyrian
Lodge, No. 253, of Derby, referred to in an earlier paragraph, is set forth
with great compactness in The Centenary Celebration of the Tynan Lodge, No.
253; printed by W. Bacon; Derby; Second Edition; 1885. (The name is from the
Latin tyriorum, or trireme.) It is one of the most significant of the early
Lodge histories because Derby was in the center of so much of national
importance at the time of the French Revolution. Beginning on page 14 the
undesignated author gives a number of pages about men of title, fame, eminence
who were in the Lodge, connected with it, or then in the Craft. On page 14 he
writes: "Francis, Duke of Lorraine, afterwards Emperor of Germany, husband of
Maria Theresa, and father of Marie Antoinette, whose beauty and whose cruel
fate inspired the glowing eloquence of Burke, was initiated at The Hague as
early as 1731." This one small Lodge history alone, in its 74 pages, gives
documentary proof of the falseness of those books which set out to show that
Freemasonry was a conspiracy which plotted the French Revolution, such as were
written by Prof. Robinson, Abbe Barruel, Nesta Webster, Bernard Fay, etc.,
because it shows that there was as large a number of Masons among the kings,
princes, dukes, etc., on the side against the Revolution, as among the leaders
on the side in favor of the Revolution—it was there as it was in our own
American Revolution; the Fraternity was on both sides and therefore on
Burke, the great antagonist of
the Revolution, would certainly not have been a Freemason himself had
Freemasonry plotted Louis XVI's overthrow; and he would have known it had such
been the fact because the British Government at the time had day-by-day,
detailed knowledge of events in Paris from 1787 to 1791.
RUFFIANS, NAMES OF THE
Theosophical and occultist
writers have argued that the combined endings of the three names of the
Ruffians form together the mystical, Brahmin AUM, as noted on pace 111; and
from this they argue that Freemasonry conceals mysteries from the Far East,
etc. Historians have found that Speculative Freemasonry arose in England and
developed out of Operative Freemasonry which was for some four or five
centuries spread over Britain and Europe; an argument composed of speculations
about so slight a fact as the endings of three names is not sufficient to
overthrow the massive accumulation of data collected by those historians.
Equally disastrous to the
theory is the fact that at one time or another the Ruffians have had other
names, and have differed in number; also, the a, u, m endings became
crystallized in the Ritual after the founding of Speculative Freemasonry. In
the old catechism called The Whole Institutions of Freemasons Opened, a short
document published in Dublin in 1725, occur these curious sentences: "Your
first word is Jachin and Boaz is the answer to it, and Grip at the forefinger
joint.—Your 2nd word is Magboe and Boe is the answer to it, and Grip at the
Wrist. Your 3rd word is Gibboram, Esimbrel is the answer."
The origin of the Ruffians
themselves is undiscovered; perhaps when the Ritual came to be enacted,
instead of being largely composed of a set of drawn symbols with verbal
explanations, they were introduced and given their names; if so, the endings
may be nothing more than a form of verbal symmetry. (The subject of the many
instances of verbal symmetry in the Work, along with other forms of symmetry
such as 3, 5, 7, etc., awaits research; if the research were conducted
according to the canons of literary analysis, in addition to historical
analysis, it might yield light on the origin of the form of the Work now in
use. Symmetry cannot be either coincidental or accidental, but must imply
redaction, or editorship, or authorship. Bro. and Prof. David Eugene Smith has
suggested that the three names are suspiciously like certain old variations on
the Hebrew word for "jubilee.")
R. S. Y. C. S.
An abbreviation of Rosy Cross
in the Royal Order of Scotland.
In the old Jewish Angelology,
the name of the angel who ruled the air and the winds. The angel in charge of
one of the four tests in Philosophic Freemasonry.
The traitors of the Third
Degree are called Assassins in Continental Freemasonry and in the advanced
Degrees. The English and American Freemasons have adopted in their
instructions the more homely appellation of Ruffians. The fabricators of the
high Degrees adopted a variety of names for these Assassins (see Assassins of
the Third Degree), but the original names are preserved in the instruetions of
the York and American Rites. There is no question that has so much perplexed
Masonic antiquaries as the true derivation and meaning of these three names.
In their present form, they are confessedly uncouth and without apparent
signification.. Yet it is certain that we can trace them in that form to the
earliest appearance of the legend of the Third Degree, and it is equally
certain that at the time of their adoption some meaning must have been
attached to them. Brother Maekey was convinced that this must have been a very
simple one, and one that would have been easily comprehended by the whole of
the Craft, who were in the constant use of them.
Attempts, it is true, have
been made to find the root of these three names in some recondite reference to
the Hebrew names of God. But there is in Doctor Mackey's opinion, no valid
authority for any such derivation. In the first place, the character and
conduct of the supposed possessors of these names preclude the idea of any
congruity and appropriateness between them and any of the divine names. And
again, the literary condition of the Craft at the time of the invention of the
names equally precludes the probability that any names would have been
fabricated of a recondite signification, and which could not have been readily
understood and appreciated by the ordinary class of Freemasons who were to use
them. The names must naturally have been of a construction that would convey a
familiar idea would be suitable to the incidents in which they were to be
employed, and would be congruous with the character of the individuals upon
whom they were to be bestowed.
Now all these requisites meet
in a word which was entirely familiar to the Craft at the time when these
names were probably invented. The Ghiblim are spoken of by Anderson, meaning
Ghiblim, as stonecutters or Masons; and the early amounts show us very clearly
that the Fraternity in that day considered Giblim as the name of a Mason; not
only of a Mason generally, but especially of that class of Masons who, as
Drummond says, "put the finishing hand to King Solomon's Temple"—that is to
say the Fellow Crafts. Anderson also places the Ghiblim among the Fellow
Crafts; and so, very naturally, the early Freemasons, not imbued with any
amount of Hebrew learning, and not making a distinction between the singular
and ph1ral forms of that language, soon got to calling a Fellow Craft a Giblim.
The steps of corruption
between Giblim arid Jilbelum were not very gradual; nor can anyone doubt that
such corruptions of spelling and pronunciation were common among these
illiterate Freemasons, when he reads the Old Manuscripts, and finds such
verbal distortions as Nembroch for Nimrod, Eaglet for Euclid, and Aymon for
Hiram. Thus, the first corruption was from Giblim to Gibalim, which brought
the word to three syllables, making it thus nearer to its eventual change.
Then we find in the early works another transformation into Chibbelum. The
French Freemasons also took the work of corruption in hand, and from Giblim
they manufactured Jiblime and Jibulum and Habmlum. Some of these Freneh
corruptions eame back to English Freemasonry about the time of the fabrication
of the advanced l)egrees, and even the French words were distorted. Thus in
the Iceland Manuscript, the English Freemasons made out of Pytagore, the
French for Pythagoras, the unknown name Peter Gower, which is said so much to
have puzzled John Locke.
So we may through these
mingled English and French corruptions trace the genealogy of the word Jubelum;
thus, Ghiblim, Giblim, Gibalim, Chibbelum, Jiblime, Jibelum, Jabelum, rind,
finally, Jubelum. It meant simply a Fellow Craft, and was appropriately given
as a common name to a particular Fellow Graft who vas distinguished for his
treachery. In other words, he was designated, not by a special and distinctive
name, but by the title of his condition and rank at the Temple.
He was the Fellow Craft, who
was at the head of a eonspiraey. As for the names of the other two Ruffians,
they were readily constructed out of that of the greatest one by a simple
change of the termination of the word from am to a in one, and from uoz to o
in the other, thus preserving, by a similarity of names, the idea of their
relationship, for the old works said that they were Brothers who had come
together out of Tyre. This derivation to Doctor Mackey seems to be easy,
natural, and comprehensible. The change from Giblim, or rather from Gibalim to
Jubelum, is one that is far less extraordinary than that which one half of the
Masonic words have undergone in their transformation from their original to
their present form (see Ritual).
An instrument with which
straight lines are drawn, and therefore used in the Past Master's Degree as an
emblem admonishing the Master punctually to observe his duty, to press forward
in the path of virtue, and, neither inclining to the right nor the left, in
all his actions to have eternity in view. The twenty-four-inch gaffe is often
used in giving the instruction as a substitute for this working-tool. But they
are entirely different; the twenty-four-ineh gaffe is one of the working-tooLs
of an Entered Apprentice, and requires to have the twenty-four inches marked
upon its surface; the rule is one of the working-tools of a Past Master, and
is without the twenty-four divisions. The rule is appropriated to the Past or
Present Master, because, by its assistance, he is enabled to lay down on the
Trestle-Board the designs for the Craft to use.
RULE OF THE TEMPLARS
The code of regulations for
the government of the Knights Templar, called their Rule, was drawn up by
Saint Bernard, and by him submitted to Pope Honorius II and the Council of
Troyes, by both of whom it was approved. It is still in existence, and
consists of seventy-two articles, partly monastic and partly military in
eharaeter, the former being formed upon the Rule of the Benedietines. The
first articles of the Rule are ecelesiastical in design, and require from the
Knights a strict adherence to their religious duties. Article twenty defines
the costume to be worn by the Brotherhood. The professed soldiers were to wear
a white costume, and the serving Brethren were prohibited from wearing
anything but a black or brown cassock. The Rule is very particular in
reference to the fit and shape of the dress of the Knights, so as to seevre
The Brethren are forbidden to
receive and open letters from their friends without first submitting the-n to
the inspection of their superiors. The pastime of hawking is prohibited, but
the nobler Sport of lion-hunting is permitted, because the lion, like the
devil, goes about continually roaring, seeking whom he may devour. Article
fifty-five relates to the reception of married members, who are required to
bequeath the greater portion of their property to the Order.
The fifty-eighth article
regulates the reception of aspirants, or secular persons, who are not to be
received immediately on their application into the society, but are required
first to submit to an examination as to sincerity and fitness. The
seventy-second and concluding article refers to the intercourse of the Knights
with females. No brother was allowed to kiss a woman, though she were his
mother or sister. "Let the soldier of the cross," says Saint Bernard, "shun
all ladies' lips." At first this rule was rigidly enforced, but in time it was
greatly relaxed, and the picture of the interior of a house of the Temple, as
portrayed by the Abbot of Clairvaux, would scarcely have been appropriate a
century or two later.
Obedience to constituted
authority has always been inculcated by the laws of Freemasonrys Thus, in the
installation charges as prefixed to the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of
England, the incoming Master is required to promise "to hold in veneration the
original rulers and patrons of the Order of Freernasonry, and their regular
successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations. "
Captain John Phillips was
appointed in 1731 Provincial Grand Master of Russia by Lord Lovel, Grand
Master of England (Constitutions, 1738, page 194) but it does not follow that
there were any Lodges in Russia at that time. General Lord James I(eith
arrived in Russia in 1728 and he probably founded the Lodge there of which he
beeame Worshipful Master, and in 1740 he was appointed Provincial Granal
Master. However, the first notiee that we have of Lodges meeting openly is
that of Silence, established at St. Petersburg, and the North Star at Riga,
both in 1750. Thory says that Freemasonry made little progress in Russia until
1763 when the Empress Catherine II deelared herself Proteetress of the Order.
The Rite of Melesino was
introduced by a Greek of that name in 1765, and there were also the York,
Swedish and Strict Observance Rites practised by Lodges. Twelve of these
Lodges united and formed the National Grand Lodge on September 3, 1776. There
was also a Swedish Provincial Grand Lodge in 1779.
For a time Freemasonry
flourished but about the year 1794 the Empress alarmed at the political
eondition of France, persuaded that members of some Lodges were opposed to the
Government, withdrew her protection from the Order. She did not direct the
Lodges to close but most of them ceased to meet. The few that continued to
work were under police supervision and languished, holding their
eommunications only at long intervals. Paul I, 1797, instigated by the Jesuits
whom he had recalled, forbade the meetings of secret societies and especially
in Masonic Lodges.
Johann V. Boeber, Counselor of
State and Director of the School of Cadets at St. Petersburg, obtained an
audience of the Emperor in 1803 and sueeeeded in removing his prejudices
against Freemasonry. The edict was revoked, the Emperor himself was initiated
in one of the revived Lodges, and the Grand Orient of all the Russias was
established, of which Brother Boeber was deservedly elected Grand Master (Acta
Latomomm i, page 218). Pelican Lodge was revived in 1804 as Alexander of the
Crowned Pelican and divided into three parts and elected a Grand Master.
Internal dissensions, however, were the cause of its downfall.
Another Grand Lodge, Astrea,
controlled the first three Decrees and by 1815 claimed jurisdiction over 24
Lodges. A Grand Chapter was set up to control the remaining degrees in 1818,
and there was also a Provincial Grand Body working under the Swedish System. A
curious incident brought to an end Freemasonry in Russia.
The Emperor Alexander,
instigated in part it is said by the political condition of Poland, received
at this time two communications, one from Egor Andrevich Kushelev of the Grand
Lodge Astrea, and the other from a Prussian Freemason, Count Gaugwitz, the
latter heartily in favor of elosing all the Lodges, both agreeing that the
spirit of the times would not permit of secret organizations, sand therefore
on August 1, 1822, an Imperial Edic decreed the Closing of all secret
societies (Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Loclge, volume xxxviii, pages
35-50). The order was quietly obeyed by the Freemasons of Russia (see Doctor
Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry, also Freemasonry in Russia, Dr.
Ernest Friedrichs, Berlin, 1904, and Berne, 1903).
A prominent member of the
group of Russian Masonic Bodies on the Continent, exiles from Russia, has
prepared for us some particulars of the development of Russian Freemasonry
from which we make the following extract:
There is a well-established
tradition that the first Russian Freemason was Peter the Great and that he was
initiated by Sir Christopher Wren in an English Lodge at Amsterdam. There are,
however no documents to prove this. The history of Russian Freemasonry may be
divided into three periods. First, 1731-71. Membership confined to foreigners
residing in Russia; a few officers, the guard, and a few statesmen. The
tendency is mystical and the influence negligible . Second, 1772-94. There are
three Masonie Bodies at work.
1. Yelaguine's group at St.
Petersburg. Work; self preservation, moral uplift, struggle against the ideas
of Voltaire. This organization disappears about 1780.
2. Swedish Rite at St.
Petersburg headed by Prince Gagarine as Grand Master. This Body Unites with
the preceding one and shares its fate.
3. The National Grand Lodge at
Moseow, lead by Novickoff and Schwarz working under a strong influence of the
Moscow Rosy Cross Fraternity and of the Order of the Martinists. This group
exercised a powerful influence during this period and for the future in
Russian Freemasonry, and was a potent and intellectual factor in contemporary
society. This group chiefly engaged in educational and charitable work and
carried these on freely until it fell under the general ban on Freemasonry
imposed by Catherine II in 1794.
Third, 1801-22. An irregular
Russian Grand Lodge named Vladimir to Order which in 1810 became subject to
Swedish Jurisdiction. This Grand Lodge had little influence but counted many
prominent persons amongst its members.
As a reaction against the
influence of higher Degrees there was founded in 1814 at Paris, under the
auspices of the Grand Orient of France and out of the federation of five
military Lodges, a New Grand Lodge Astrea. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars
and with the return of the army to Russia this Masonic Body grew to the extent
of having forty Lodges under their jurisdiction. These Lodges under French
influence turned their attention to polities, and ended their career in the
turmoil of the attempted Revolution in December, 1825.
During the whole of the
nineteenth century, Russian Freemasonry if not dormant was at least hidden and
entirely negligible. The revival of interest in spiritual matters which
coincided with the beginning of the twentieth century brought about a revival
of interest in Freenlasonry. A few prominent Russian intellectuals joined
French Lodges. Professor Bajenoff joined at Paris the Scottish Rite Lodge Les
Amis Reunis. Paul Jablochkov, world-famous electricians founded the Lodge
Cosmos under the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite at Paris where in 1906 about
fifteen Russian publicists joined French Lodges. These Brethren on their
return to Russia organized two Lodges. one in St Petersburg, the Polar Star,
and a Lodge at Moscow These Lodges were instituted with great ceremony in May,
1908, by two representatives of the Grand Orient of France and up to 1909 six
Lodges were organized There was an interval in their activity over poliee
restrictions and then these Lodges were reopened in 1911, working under the
Grand Orient of France, with practically no ritual and having an avowedly
political aim in view, namely, that of the overthrow of autoeraey There was
what was known as a Supreme Couneil, an exclusively administrative Body whose
members were elected for three years. This organization had no regularity and
enjoyed no recognition abroad. In 1913 and 1914 the organization nevertheless
had about fortytwo Lodges chiefly composed of members of the cadet party. The
first Revolution in March 1917 is said to have been inspired and operated from
these Lodges and all the members of Kerensky's Government belonged to them.
After the Bolshevik Revolution most members of these Lodges emigrated, and
after a long inactivity they were successful in forming under the auspices of
the Grand Orient of France a new Polar Star Lodge at Paris. Four other Lodges
working in Russia have been organized under the Grand Lodge of France, and
there is also a Lodge of Perfection and a Rose Croix (chapter working in
Russian at Paris the rituals of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite finder
the Supreme Council.
The volume of the Sacred Law
is always on the altar at the meetings of these four Lodges and the work is
said to be usually a study of the deeper meanings of Freemasonry. The four
Craft Lodges work with a committee which in fact represents what the Brethren
believe to be the future Grand Lodge of Russia The Supreme Council has
sanctioned a temporary committee in the higher Degrees which represents the
nucleus of the future Supreme Couneil for Russia of the Aneient and Aeeepted
Scottish Rite. On February 10, 1927, a Russian Consistory, caned Rossia, wan
Russian Brethren have freely
written upon Freemasonry. Brother Boris Telepneff has published pamphlets on
Freemasonry in Russia, Rosicrucians in Russia, Some Aspects of Russian
Freemasonry during the Reign of Emperor Alexander I (Transaclions, Quatuor
Coronati Lodge, volume xxxvui, page 6) and essays as in the Masonic Record,
RUSSIA, SECRET SOCIETIES OF
First, the .Skopzis, founded
about 1740, by Seliwanoff, on the ruins of an anterior sect, the Chlysty,
which was originated by a peasant named Philippoff, in the seventeenth
century. The Skopzis practised selfmutilation and other horrors. They were
rich, and abound throughout Russia and in Bulgaria. Second, the Montainists,
who declared that they have a "living Christ," a "living Mother of God," a
"living Holy Spirit," and twelve "living Apostles." Their ceremonies were
peculiar and but little resembling those of Freemasonry. A society of
Martinists has had some vogue and other imported Rites have been instituted.