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 vau. The
twenty-second letter in the English alphabet, of the Hebrew, numerical value
of six . Its definition, a nail, which in form it represents, and as a Divine
name connected with it is Vezio, cum splendore or with brilliancy, the V and O
in Hebrew being equal. As a Roman numeral its value is five
VACANCIES IN OFFICE
Every Masonic officer is
elected and installed to hold his office for the time for which he has been
elected, and until his successor shall be installed This is in the nature of a
contract between the officer and the Lodge, Chapter, or other Body which has
elected him, and to its terms he signifies his assent in the most Solemn
manner at the time of his installation. It follows from this that to resign
the office would be on his part to violate his contract Vacancies in office,
there fore, can only occur by death . Even a removal from the Jurisdiction,
with the intention of permanent absence, will not vacate a Masonic office,
because the person removing might change his intention, and return For the
reasons why neither resignation nor removal can vacate an office (see
Succession to the Chair).
Found in the Fourth Degree of
the French Rite of Adoption
The vale or valle or vally was
introduced at an early period into the symbolism of Freemasonry. A catechism
of the beginning of the eighteenth century says that "the Lodge stands upon
holy ground, or the highest hill or lowest vale, or in the vale of Jehoshaphat,
or any other secret place." And Browne, who in the beginning of the nineteenth
century gave a correct version of the Prestonian lectures, says that "our
ancient Brethren met on the highest hills, the lowest dales, even in the
valley of Jehoshaphat, or some such secret place."
Hutchinson (see Spirit of
Masonry, page 94) has dilated on this Subject, but with a mistaken view of the
true import of the symbol. He says: " We place the spiritual Lodge in the vale
of Jehoshaphat, implying thereby that the principles of Masonry are derived
from the knowledge of God, and are established in the judgment of the Lord."
And he adds: "The highest hills and lowest valleys were from the earliest
times esteemed sacred, and it was supposed the spirit of God was peculiarly
diffusive in those places . " It is true that worship in high places was an
ancient idolatrous usage.
But there is no evidence that
the superstition extended to valleys. Hutchinson's subsequent reference to the
Druidical and Oriental worship in groves has no bearing on the subject, for
groves are not necessarily valleys. The particular reference to the valley of
Jehoshaphat would seem in that case to carry an allusion to the peculiar
sanctity of that, spot, as meaning, in the original, the valley of the
judgment of God. But the fact is that the old Freemasons did not derive their
idea that the Lodge was situated in a valley from any idolatrous practice of
Valleys in our Freemasonry, is
a symbol of secrecy. And although we are not disposed to believe that the use
of the word in this sense was borrowed from any meaning which it had in
Hebrew, yet it is a singular coincidence that the Hebrew word for valley,
gnemeth, Signifies also deep, or, as Bate (Critica Hebraea) defines it,
"whatever lies remote from sight, as counsels and designs which are deep or
close." This very word is used in Job (xii, 22) where it is said that God "discovereth
deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death."
The Lodge, therefore, is said
to he placed in a valley because, the valley being the symbol of secrecy, it
is intended to indicate the secrecy in which the acts of the Lodge should be
concealed. And this interpretation agrees precisely with what is said in the
passages already cited, where the Lodge is said to stand in the lowest vale
"or any secret place." It is Supported also by the present instructions in the
United States. the ideas of which at least Webb derived from Preston. It is
there taught that our ancient brethren met on the highest hills and lowest
vales, the better to observe the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers, and to
guard against surprise (see Valley).
The worth German or
Scandinavian hall of the gods.
In the Capitular Degrees of the
French Rite, this word is used instead of Orient, to designate the seat of the
Chapter. Thus on such a Body a document would be dated from the Valley of
Paris, instead of the Orient of Paris. The word, says the Dictionaire
Masonnique, is often incorrectly employed to designate the South and North
sides or the Lodge, where the expression should be "the column of the South"
and "the column of the North." Thus, a Warden will address the Brethren of his
valley, instead of the Brethren of his column The valley includes the whole
Lodge or Chapter; the columns are its divisions (see Vale ).
VAN RENSSELAER, KILLIAN HENRY
Born 1799, died Jamlary 28,
1881. A native of Albany, New York State, and descendant of the well-known old
Knickerbocker family, whose name he bore. He had held various positions ire
Craft Massonry, but in 1824 he became prominent in the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, to which he devoted himself for the remainder of his life,
becoming an Inspector General on June 17, 1845. Brother Van Rensselaer
commanded the Supreme Council that rebelled against the ruling of Edward A.
Raymond, and thus was formed another Supreme Body in the Northern States,
whose difficulties were finally overcome as were all schisms of every nature
of the Ancient and Accepted ,Scottish Rite, on May 17, 1867. Brother Van, as
he was familiarly termed, resided during the last thirty y ears of his life in
the West, and died in California, an outlying suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. One
more Sincerely devoted to the cause of Freemasons, and without a day of
relenting earnestness, will not in time be found (see Red Cross of Rome and
VASSAL, PIERRE GERARD
A French physician and Masonic
writer, who was born at Manosques, in France, October 24, 1769. He was
intended by his parents for the Church, and entered the Seminary of Marseilles
for the purpose of pursuing his ecclesiastical studies. At the commencement of
the revolution he left the School and joined the army, where, however, he
remained only eighteen months.
He then applied himself to the
study of medicine, and pursued the practice of the profession during the rest
of his life, acquiring an extensive reputation as a physician.
He was elected a member of
several medical societies, to whose transactions he contributed several
valuable essays. He is said to have introduced to the profession the use of
the Digitalis purpurea (dried leaves of the foxglove plant) as à remedial
agent, especially in diseases of the heart.
He was initiated into
Freemasonry about the year 1811, and thenceforth took an active part in the
He presided in the Lodge,
Chapter, and Areopagus of the Sept Ecossais Réunis, meaning in French the
Seven Reunited Scottish, with great zeal and devotion; was in 1819 elected
,Secretary-General of the Grand Orient, and in 1827 President of the College
of Rites He attained the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, and was a warm advocate of Scottish Freemasonry. But his zeal
was tempered by his judgment, and he did not hesitate to denounce the errors
that had crept into the system, an impartiality of criticism which greatly
His principal Masonic worlds
are Essai historique sur l'institution du RitEcossais, or HistoricalEssay on
the Institution of the Scottish Rite, Paris, 1827, and a valuable historical
contribution to Freemasonry entitled Cours complet de la Maçonnerie, ou
Histoire générale de Initiation depuis son Origine jusque'à son institution en
France, or Complete Course of Masonry, or General History of Initiation since
its Origin up to its Institution in France, Paris, 1832. In private life,
Vassal was distinguished for his kind heart and benevolent disposition. The
Lodge of Sept Ecossais Reunis presented him a medal in 1830 as a recognition
of his active labors in Freemasonry. He died May 4, 1840, at Paris.
Wrote Famine and Confession of
the Fraternity of R. C., and other similar books. Pen name was Eugenius
VAULT OF STEEL
The French title is Voute
d'ancier. The French Freemasons so call the Arch of Steel, which see.
As a symbol, the Secret Vault
does not present itself in the first Degrees of Freemasonry. It is found only
in the advanced Degrees, Such as the Royal Arch of all the Rites, where it
plays an important part. Doctor Oliver, in his Historical Landmarks (volume
ii, page 434), gives, while referring to the building of the second Temple,
the following general detail of the Masonic legend of this vault:
The foundations of the Temple
were opened, and cleared from the accumulation of rubbish, that a level might
be procured for the commencement of the building. While engaged in excavations
for this purpose, three fortunate Sojourners are said to have discovered our
ancient Stone of Foundation, which had been deposited in the secret crypt by
Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, to prevent the communication of ineffable
secrets to profane or unworthy persons.
The discovery having been
communicated to the Prince, Prophet, and Priest of the Jews, the stone was
adopted as the chief corner-stone of the re-edified building, and thus became
in a new and more expressive sense, the type of a more excellent Dispensation.
An avenue was also accidentally discovered, supported by seven pairs of
pillars, perfect and entire, which, from their situation, had escaped the fury
of the flames that had consumed the Temple, and the desolation of war that had
destroyed the city.
The Secret Vault, which had
been built by Solomon as a secure depository for certain secrets that would
inevitably have been lost without some such expedient for their preservation,
communicated by a subterranean avenue with the king's palace; but at the
destruction of Jerusalem the entrance having been closed by the rubbish of
falling buildings, it had been discovered by the appearance of a keystone
amongst the foundations of the Sanctum Sanctorum. A careful inspection was
then made, and the invaluable secrets were placed in safe custody.
To support this legend, there
is no historical evidence and no authority except that of the Talmudic
writers. It is clearly a mythical symbol, and as such we must accept it. We
cannot altogether reject it, because it is so ultimately and so extensively
connected with the symbolism of the Lost and the Recovered Word, that if we
reject the theory of the Secret Vault, we must abandon all of that Symbolism
and with it the whole of the science of Masonic symbolism. Fortunately, there
is ample evidence in the present appearance of Jerusalem and its subterranean
topography, to remove from any tacit and, as it were, conventional assent to
the theory, features of absurdity or impossibility.
Considered simply an historical
question, there can be no doubt of the existence of immense vaults beneath the
superstructure of the original Temple of Solomon. Prime, Robinson, and other
writers who in recent times have described the topography of Jerusalem, speak
of the existence of these structures, which they visited and, in some
instances, carefully examined. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus,
the Roman Emperor Hadrian erected on the site of the House of the Lord a
Temple of Venus, which in its turn was destroyed, and the place subsequently
became a depository of all manner of filth. But the Calif Omar, after his
conquest of Jerusalem, sought out the ancient site, and, having caused it to
be cleansed of its impurities, he directed a Mosque to be erected on the rock
which rises in the center of the mountain.
Fifty years afterward the
Sultan Abd-el-Meluk displaced the edifice of Omar, and erected that splendid
building which remains to this day, and is still incorrectly called by
Christians the Mosque of Omar, but known to Mussulmans as Elkubbet-es-Sukrah,
or the Dome of the Rock. This is supposed to occupy the exact site of the
original Solomonic Temple, and is viewed with equal reverence by Jews and
Mohammedans, the former of whom, says Prime, (Tent Life in the holy Land, page
183), "have a faith that the ark is within its bosom now."
Bartlett (Walks about
Jerusalem, page 170), in describing a vault beneath this Mosque of Omar, says:
"Beneath the dome, at the southeast angle of the Temple wall, conspicuous from
all points a small subterraneous place of prayer, forming the entrance to the
extensive vaults which support the level platform of the mosque above."
Doctor Barclay (City of the
Great Ring) describes in many places of his interesting topography of
Jerusalem, the vaults and subterranean chambers which are to be found beneath
the site of the old Temple.
Conformable with this
historical amount is the Talmudical legend, in which the Jewish Rabbis state
that, in preparing the foundations of the Temple, the workmen discovered a
subterranean vault sustained by seven arches, rising from as many pairs of
pillars. This vault escaped notice at the destruction of Jerusalem, in
consequence of its being filled with rubbish. The legend adds that Josiah,
foreseeing the destruction of the Temple, commanded the Levites to deposit the
Ark of the Covenant in this vault, where it was found by some of the workmen
of Zerubbabel at the building of the second Temple. In the earliest ages, the
cave or vault was deemed sacred. The first worship was in cave temples, which
were either natural or formed by art to resemble the excavations of nature.
Of such great extent was this
practice of subterranean worship by the nations of antiquity, that many of the
forms of heathen temples, as well as the naves, aisles, and chancels of
churches subsequently built for Christian worship, are said to owe their
origin to the religious use of caves.
From this, too, arose the fact,
that the initiation into the ancient mysteries was almost always performed in
subterranean edifices; and when the place of initiation, as in some of the
Egyptian temples, was really above ground, it was so constructed as to give to
the neophyte the appearance, in its approaches and its internal structure, of
a vault. As the great doctrine taught in the mysteries was the resurrection
from the dead—as to die and to be initiated were synonymous terms—it was
deemed proper that there should be some formal resemblance between a descent
into the grave and a descent into the place of initiation.
Happy is the man," says the
Greek poet Pindar, "who descends beneath the hollow earth having beheld these
Mysteries for he knows the end as well as the divine origin of life"; and in a
like spirit Sophocles exclaims, "Thrice happy are they who descend to the
shades below after having beheld the sacred Rites for they alone have life in
Hades, while all others suffer there every kind of evil."
The vault was, therefore, in
the ancient Mysteries, symbolic of the grave; for initiation was Symbolic of
death, where alone Divine Truth is to be found. The Freemasons have adopted
the same idea. They teach that death is but the beginning of life; that if the
first or evanescent Temple of our transitory life be on the surface, we must
descend into the secret vault of death before we can find that sacred deposit
of truth which is to adorn our Second Temple of eternal life. It is in this
sense of an entrance through the grave into eternal life that we are to view
the symbolism of the secret vault. Like every other myth and allegory of
Freemasonry, the historical relation may be true or it may be false; it may be
founded on fact or be the invention of imagination; the lesson is still there,
and the symbolism teaches it exclusive of the history.
V. D. S. A.
Initials of a phrase in French,
Zeus Dieu Saint Amour, Which may be understood as God wills holy love. Four
words supposed to be repeated by the Fratres of the Temple during certain
pauses in the ceremonies. P. D. E. P. refers to the Latin motto Pro Deo et
Patria, meaning For God and Country.
The Hebrew word. That is, the
second Adar. A month intercalated by the Jews every few years between Adar and
Nisan, so as to reconcile the computation by solar and lunar time. It
commences sometimes in February and sometimes in March.
A Sanskrit word meaning Limb of
the Veda. A collection of Sanskrit works on the grammar, lexicography,
chronology, and ritual of the Vedic text. They are older than the Upanishads,
and are placed among the Great Shasters, though not among the Sruti.
The most ancient of the
religious writings of the Indian Aryans, and now constituting the sacred canon
of the Hindus, being to them what the Bible is to the Christians, or the Koran
to the Mohammedans. The word Veda denotes in Sanskrit, the language in which
these books are written, wisdom or knowledge and comes from the verb Veda,
which, like the Greek signifies "I know". The German Weiss and the English wit
came from the same root. There are four collections of these writings, each of
which is called a Veda, namely, the Rig-Veda, the Yazur-Veda, the Sama-Veda,
and the Atharva-Veda; but the first only is the real Veda, the others being
but commentaries on it, as the Talmud is upon the Old Testament.
The Rig-Veda is divided into
two parts: the Mantras or hymns, which are all matrical, and the Brahmanes.
which are in prose, and consist of ritualistic directions concerning the
employment of the hymns, find the method of sacrifice. The other Vedas consist
also of hymns and prayers; but they are borrowed, for the most part, from the
Rig-Veda. The Vedas, then, are the Hindu canon of Scripture—his Book of the
Law; and to the Hindu Freemason they are his Trestle-Board, just as the Bible
is to the Christian Freemason.
The religion of the Vedas is
apparently an adoration of the visible powers of nature, such as the sun, the
sky, the dawn, and the fire, and, in general, the eternal powers of light. The
supreme divinity was the sky, called Varuna, whence the Greeks got their
Ouranas; and next was the sun, Called sometimes Savitar, the progenitor, and
sometimes Mitra, the loving one, Whence the Persian Mithras. Side by side with
these was Agni, meaning fire, whence the Latin ignis, who was the divinity
coming most directly in approximation with man on earth, and soaring upward as
the flame to the heavenly goals.
But in this nature-worship the
Vedas frequently betray an inward spirit groping after the infinite and the
eternal, and an anxious search for the Divine Name, which was to be reverenced
just as the Hebrew aspired after the unutterable Tetragrammaton. Bunsen (God
in History, book iii, chapter 7) calls this "the desire—the yearning after the
nameless Deity, who nowhere manifests himself in the Indian pantheon of the
Vedas—the voice of humanity groping after God." One of the most sublime of the
Veda hymns (Rig-Veda, book x, hymn 121) ends each strophe with the solemn
question: "Who is the god to whom we shall offer our sacrifice?" This is the
question which every religion asks; the Search after the All-Father is the
labor of all men who are seeking Divine Truth and Light.
The Semitic, like the Aryan
poet in the same longing spirit for the knowledge of God, exclaims, "Oh that I
knew where I might find him, that I might come even to His seat." It is the
great object of all Masonic labor, which thus shows its true religious
character and design.
The Vedas have not exercised
any direct influence on the Symbolism of Freemasonry. But, as the oldest Aryan
faith, they became infused into the subsequent religious systems of the race,
and through the Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrians, the Mysteries of Mithras, the
doctrines of the Neo-platonists, and the school of Pythagoras, mixed with the
Semitic doctrines of the Bible and the Talmud, they have cropped out in the
mysticisrn of the Gnostics and the Secret Societies of the Middle Ages, and
have shown some of their spirit in the religious philosophy and the symbolism
of Speculative Freemasonry. To the Masonic scholar, the study of the Vedic
hymns is therefore interesting, and not altogether fruitless in its results.
The writings of Bunsen, of Muir, of Cox, and especially of Max Müller, will
furnish ample materials for the study.
See Westphalia, Secret 'I'ribunals of
VEILED PROPHETS OF THE
ENCHANTED REALM, MYSTIC ORDER
VEILS, GRAND MASTERS OF THE
Three officers in a Royal Arch
Chapter of the American Rite, Whose duty it is to protect and defend the Veils
off the Tabernacle, for which purpose they are presented with a sword. The
jewel of their office is a sword within a triangle, and they bear each a
banner, which is respectively blue, purple, and scarlet. The title of Grand
Master appears to be a misnomer. It would have been better to have styled them
Masters or (guardians. In the English system, the three Sojourners act in this
capacity, which is a violation of all the facts of history, and completely
changes the symbolism.
VEILS, PASSING THE
A rite performed as part of the
Ritual of the Royal Arch Degree. In England this particular portion of the
ceremony has generally been discontinued although it is still used in other
VEILS, SYMBOLISM OF THE
Neither the construction nor
the symbolism of the veils in the Royal Arch Tabernacle is derived from that
of the Sinaitic. In the Sinaitic Tabernacle there were no veils of separation
between the different parts, except the one white one that hung before the
most holy place. The decorations of the Tabernacle were curtains, like modern
tapestry, interwoven with many colors; no curtain being wholly of one color,
and not running across the apartment, but covering its sides and roof. The
exterior form of the Royal Areh Tabernacle was taken from that of Moses, but
the interior decoration from a passage of Josephus not properly understood.
Josephus has been greatly used
by the fabricators of advanced Degrees of Freemasonry not only for their ideas
of symbolism, but for the suggestion of their legends. In the Second Book of
Chronicles (in, 14) it is said that Solomon "made the veil of blue, and
purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubim thereon." This
description evidently alludes to the single veil, which, like that of the
Sinaitic Tabernacle, was placed before the entrance of the Holy of Holies. It
by no means resembles the four separate and equidistant veils of the Masonic
But Josephus had said
(Antiquities, book viii chapter iii, 3) that the King "also had veils of blue,
and purple, and scarlet, and the brightest and softest linen, with the most
curious flowers svrougllt upon them, which were to be drawn before these
doors." To this description—which is a very inaccurate Qne, which refers, too,
to the interior of the first Temple, and not to the supposed Tabernacle
subsequently erected near its ruins, and which, besides, has no Biblical
authority for its support—we must trace the ideas, even as to the order of the
veils, which the inventors of the Masonic Tabernacle adopted in their
construction of it. That Tabernacle cannot be recognized as historically
correct, but must be considered, like the three doors of the Temple in the
Symbolic Degrees, simply as a symbol. But this does not at all diminish its
The symbolism of the veils must
be considered in two aspects: first, in reference to the symbolism of the
veils as a whole, and next, as to the symbolism of each veil separately.
As a whole, the four veils,
constituting four divisions of the Tabernacle, present obstacles to the
neophyte in his advance to the most holy place where the Grand Council sits.
Now he is seeking to advance to that sacred spot that he may there receive his
spiritual illumination, and be invested with a knowledge of the true Divine
Name. But Masonically, this Divine Name is itself but a symbol of Truth, iche
object, as has been often said, of all a Freemason's search and labor. The
passage through the veils is, therefore, a symbo],of the trials and
difficulties that are eneountered and must be overcome in the search for and
the acquisition of Truth.
This is the general symbolism; but we lose sight of it, in a great degree,
when we come to the interpretation of the symbolism of each veil independently
of the others, for this principally symbolizes the various virtues and
affections that should characterize the Freemason. Yet the two symbolisms are
really eonnected, for the virtues symbolized are those which should
distinguish everyone engaged in the Divine Search.
The symbolism, according to the
system adopted in the American Rite, refers to the colors of the veils and to
the miraculous signs of Moses, which are described in Exodus as having been
shown by him to prove his mission as the messenger of Jehovah.
Blue is a symbol of universal
friendship and benevolence. It is the appropriate color of the Symbolic
Degrees, the possession of which is the first step in the progress of the
search for truth to be now instituted. The Mosaic sign of the serpent was the
symbol among the ancients of resurrection to life, because the serpent by
casting his skin, is supposed continually to renew his youth. It is the symbol
here of the loss and the recovery of the Word.
Purple is a symbol here of
union, and refers to the intimate connection of Ancient Craft and Royal Arch
Masonry. Hence it is the appropriate color of the intermediate Degrees, which
must be passed through in the prosecution of the search. The Mosaic sign
refers to the restoration of the leprous hand to health. Here again, in this
representation of a diseased limb restored to health, we have a repetition of
the allusion to the loos and the recovery of the Word; the Word itself being
but a symbol of Divine Truth, the search for which constitutes the whole
Science of Freemasonry, and the symbolism of which pervades the whole system
of initiation from the first to the last Degree.
Scarlet is a symbol of fervency
and zeal, and is appropriated to the Royal Arch Degree because it is by these
qualities that the neophyte, now so far advanced in his progress, must expect
to be successful in his search. The Mosaic sign of changing water into blood
bears the same symbolic reference to a change for the better—from a lower to a
higher state—from the elemental water in which there is no life to the blood
which is the life itself—from darkness to light. The progress is still onward
to the recovery of that which had been lost, but which is yet to be found.
White is a symbol of purity,
and is peculiarly appropriate to remind the neophyte, who is now almost at the
close of his search, that it is only by purity of life that he can expect to
be found worthy of the reception of Divine Truth. "Blessed," says the Great
Teacher, "are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." The Mosaic signs now
cease, for they have taught their lesson; and the aspirant is invested with
the Signet of Truth, to assure him that, having endured all trials and
overcome all obstacles, he is at length entitled to receive the reward for
which he has been seeking; for the Signet of Zerubbabel is a royal signet,
which confers power and authority on him who possesses it.
And so we now see that the
Symbolism of the Veils however viewed, whether collectively or separately
represents the laborious, but at last successful, search for Divine Truth.
The title of the Worshipful
Master in a French Lodge
VENERABLE GRAND MASTER OF ALL
The Twentieth Degree of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (see Graced Master of all Symbolic Lodges).
The Dictionnaire Masonnique says that this Degree was formerly conferred on
those Brethren in France who, in receiving it, obtained the right to organize
Lodges, and to act as Masters or Venerables for life, an abuse that was
subsequently abolished by the Grand Orient. Ragon and Vassal both make the
same statement. It may be true, but they furnish no documentary
evidence of the fact.
The French title is Venerable
Parfait. A Degree in the collection of Viany
A republic of South America.
Lodges are reported to have been instituted in Venezuela by the Grand Orient
of Spain during the years prior to 1824. At that time, however, a Lodge, Logia
de la Concordia Venezolana, No. 792, was opened at Angostura but was taken off
the register on June 4, 1862. In 1824 also the formation of a Provincial Grand
Lodge was authorized by Scotland. At Caracas Joseph Cerneau opened a Grand
Lodge and a Supreme Council. In 1827 an edict against secret societies caused
all the Lodges, save one, to stop work.
In 1838 the Craft revived. The
National Grand Lodge of Venezuela and a Grand Orient were organized. They
joined forces on January 12, 1865, as the National Grand Orient of Venezuela
comprising four Bodies, Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, Grand Consistory and
Supreme Council. This Grand Orient continued work until August 18, 1916, when
it dissolved voluntarily. A Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite was then
formed and a Grand Lodge of the United States of Venezuela founded at Caracas.
Each stated that it was entirely separate from the other, but by many this was
not altogether credited and the doubt was the cause of the formation of
several other Grand Bodies.
According to Brother Oliver Day
Street, in 1918 seven Lodges seceded and formed the Sovereign Grand Lodge of
Free and Accepted Masons for the Craft working north of the Orinoco. In
November, 1919, three Lodges, namely, Asila de la Paz, Home of Peace, No. 13;
Virtud y Order, No. 22, and Union No. 49, established the Grand Lodge of the
East. This was installed February 9, 1920, and reorganized m January 9, 1921,
and controls the Lodges south of the Orinoco and the Federal States east of
A word used in the advanced
Degrees. Barruel, Robison, and the other detractors of Freemasonry, have
sought to find in this word a proof of the vindictive character of the
Institution. "In the degree of Kadosh," says Barruel (Memoires ii, page 310),
"the asssassin of Adoniram becomes the King, who must be slain to avenge the
Grand Master Molay and the Order of Masons, who are the succesors of the
Templars." No calumny was ever fabricated with so little pretension to truth
for its foundation. The reference is altogether historical; it is the record
of the punishment which followed a crime, not an incentive to revenge.
The word Nekam is used in
Freemasonry in precisely the same sense in which it is employed by the Prophet
Jeremiah (1, 15) when he speaks of nikemvat Jehovah, the vengeance of the
Lord—the punishment which God will infliet on evil-doers. The word is used
symbolically to express the universally recognized doctrine that crime will
inevitably be followed by its penal consequences. It is the dogma of all true
religions; for if virtue and vice entailed the same result, there would be no
incentive to the one and no restraint from the other.
VEREIN DEUTSCHER FREIMAURER
Established at Potsdam,
Germany, on May 19, 1861, this Association of German Freemasons was organized
to labor for the development and promotion of Masonic ideals, to further the
demands of Masonic Knowledge, encourage the activity of Lodges, and exercise
benevolence and charity. Any member of a recognized Masonic Lodge could become
a member on application and by payment of the yearly subscription he receives
the journal, Zwanglosen Mitteilungen, every second month. This progressive
Body has been a popular enterprise whose interests were judiciously fostered
for many years by the President, Dr. Diedrich Bischoff, and the Secretary in
Charge, Dr. J. C. Schwabe, both of Leipzig, Germany (see Union of German
An officer ill a Council of
Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, whose duties are similar to those of a Senior
Deacon in a Symbolic Lodge.
The Latin for Truth, a
significant word in Templar Freemasonry (see Truth).
A Charter was issued November
10, 1781, for a Lodge to be instituted at Springfield, Vermont, but as
meetings were held instead at Charlestown, New Hampshire, a plan was evolved
to divide into two Lodges. A second Charter was applied for and granted
February 2, 1788, to Faithful Lodge at Charlestown. The first Lodge then moved
to Springfield and on May 14, 1795, it received permission to hold its
meetings for the future at Windsor. September 19, 1831, work ceased owing to
the Anti Masonic excitement until January 10, 1850, when the Lodge was revived
and its present Charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Vermont.
On January 30, 1799, a Warrant
was issued for a Mark Master Masons Lodge at Bennington. March 25, 1805, a
Dispensation was granted to Jerusalem Chapter at Vergennes and a Charter on
February 5, 1806. The General Grand Chapter on January 9,1806, recognized the
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Vermont as a constituent Body. The last
communication of this Grand Lodge was held in 1832 and, owing to the Morgan
trouble, there was too much opposition to the Craft for it to be reorganized
until 1847. The first Council in Vermont was established by Companion Cross at
Windsor, July 5, 1817. The Charter dated August 13, l817, still exists and is
claimed by Companion Drummond to be that of the first permanent Body of Select
Masters. A reorganization of this and the other Councils in Vermont took place
in 1849 after the cessation of the Anti Masonic movement, and four of them
organized a Grand Council, August 10, 1854, which in 1877 united with the
General Grand Council.
Vermont Encampment at Windsor
was chartered February23, 1821. On June 1, 1824, Sir Henry Fowle, Deputy
General Grand Master, issued a Warrant for the formation of the Grand Encamps
ment of Vermont which was constituted on June 17. On Oetober 12, 1831, the
last session was held. At the time there were four constituent Commanderies,
namely, Vermont; Green Mountain, No. 2; Mount Calvary, No. 3, and La Fayette.
In December, 1850, authority for a Grand Commandery of Vermont was given to
three Commanderies: Mount Calvary, LaFayette, and Burlington, and it was
revived January 14, 1852.
The Haswell Lodge of
Perfection, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction,
was chartered at Burlington on June 17, 1870. The Joseph W. Roby Council of
Princes of Jerusalem and the Delta Chapter of Rose Croix were granted Charters
on November 13, 1873, and the Vermont Consistory on August 19, 1874.
VERNHES, J. F.
A French litterateur and Masonic writer, who was in 1821 the Venerable of the
Lodge la Parfaite Humanité, or Perfect Humanity, at Montpellier. He wrote an
Essai sur l'Histoire de la Franche-Maçonnerie, depais son étublissement
jusqu.'à nos jours, or Essay on the History of Freemasonry since its
Establishment up to our days, Paris, 1813; and Le Parfait Maçon ou Répertoire
complet de la Maçonnerie Symbolique, or The Perfect Mason or Complete
Repository of Symbolic Masonry. This work was published at Montpellier, in
1820, in six numbers, of which the sixth was republished the next year, with
the title of Apologie des Maçons. It contained a calm and rational refutation
of several works which had been written against Freemasonry. Vernhes became an
active disciple of the Rite of Mizraim, and published in 1822, at Paris, a
defense of it and an examination of the various Rites then practised in
VERTOT D'AUBOEUF, RENE-AUBERT
The Abbé Vertot was born at the
Chateau de Bennelot, in Normandy, in 1665. In 1715 the Grand Master of the
Knights of Malta appointed him the Historiographer of that Order, and provided
him with the Commandery of Santenay. Vertot discharged the duties of his
office by Meriting his well-known work entitled History of the Knights
Hospitaler of Saint John of Jerusalem, afterwards Knights of Rhodes, and now
Knights of Malta, which was published at Paris, in 1726, in four volumes. It
has since passed through a great number of editions, and been translated into
many languages. Of this work, to which the Abbé principally owes his fame,
although he was also the author of many other histories, French critics
complain that the style is languishing, and less pure and natural than that of
his other writings.
Notwithstanding that it has
been the basis of almost all subsequent histories of the Order, the judgment
of the literary world is, that it needs exactitude in many of its details, and
is too much influences by the personal prejudices of the author. The Abbé
Vertot died in 1735.
The fish rvas among primitive
Christians a symbol of Jesus (see Fish). the Vesica Piscis, signifying
literally the airbladder of a fish, but, as some suppose being the rough
outline of a fish, was adopted as an abbreviated form of that symbol. In some
old manuscripts it is used as a representation of the lateral wound of our
Lord. As a symbol, it was frequently employed as a church decoration by the
Freemasons of the Middle Ages. The seals of all colleges, abbeys, and other
religious communities, as well as of ecclesiastical persons, were invariably
made of this shape. Hence, in reference to the religious character of the
Institution, it has been suggested that the seals of Masonic Lodges should
also have that form, instead of the circular one now used.
VESSELS OF GOLD AND SILVER
These utensils for the service
of the First Temple, were almost numberless, according to Josephus. He gives
the accompanying list of them:
Gold................................... Silver Vessels
4,000...................................... 8,000 Wine cups
10,000.................................... 20,000 Measures
20,000.................................... 40,000 Dishes
Vestments for the priests
Stoles of silver for the Levites
VESSELS OF GOLD AND SILVER FOR
THE FIRST TEMPLE
The vessels and vestments were
always protected by a Hierophylax or Guardian.
Associations of Freemasons
"who, as such, have borne the burden and heat of the day" for at least
twenty-one years' active service—in the State of Conneetieut, thirty years. A
number of these Societies exist in the United States, their objects being
largely of a social nature, to set an example to the younger Freemasons, and
to keep a watchful eye on the comfort of those whose years are becoming
numbered. The assemblies are stated or casual, but in all cases annual for a
Table Lodge. These Associations perpetuate friendship, cultivate the social
virtues, and collate and preserve the histories and biographies of their
A war-flag. In classical Latin,
Vezillum meant a Rag consisting of a piece of cloth fixed on a frame or
cross-tree, as contradistinguished from a signum, or standard, which was
simply a pole with the image of an eagle, horse, or some other device on the
top. Among the pretended relies of the Order of the Temple is one called Me
drapeau de guerre, en laine blanche, à quatre raies noires; that is, the
standard of war, of white linen, unth four black rays; and in the Statutes of
the Order, the Vexillum Belli is described as being albo nigroque palatum, or
pales of petite anti black, which is the same thing couched in the technical
language of heraldry.
This is incorrect. The only
war-flag of the ancient Knights Templar was the Beauseant. Addison, on the
title-page of his Temple Church, gives what he says is "the war-banner of the
Order of the Temple," and which is, as in the illustration, the Beauseant
bearing in the center the blood-red Ternplar Cross Some of the Masonic
Templars, those of Scotland for example, have both a Beaucenifer or Beauseant
Bearer, and a Bearer of the Vexillum Belli. The difference in that instance
would appear to be that the Beauseant is the plain white and black flag, and
the Vexillum Belli is the same flag charged with the red cross.
VIANY, AUGUSTE DE
A Masonic writer of Tuscany,
and one of the founders there of the Philosphic Scottish Rite. He was the
author of many discourses, dissertations, and didactic essays on Masonic
subjects. He is, however, best known as the collector of a large number of
manuscript Degrees and cahiers or rituals, several of which have been referred
to in this work.
The name of the second officer
in a Conclave of the Red Cross of Rome anal Constantine.
A state of the Commonwealth of
Australia. The Grand Lodge of England established Australia Felix Lodge (helix
being the Latin for fruitful and lucky) at Melbourne by Warrant dated April 2,
1841. The Lodge was constituted, however, in March 1840. The Craft at once
took a firm hold and the Lodge is now No. 1 on the register of the Grand Lodge
of Victoria. Scotch and Irish Lodges were planted in 1843 and 1847. Numerous
others began work during the next three decades and a Provincial Grand Master,
the Hon. J. E. Murray, was appointed.
In 1886 the Scotch, Irish, and
English Jurisdictions controlled about 120 Lodges, all united under one
Provincial Grand Master. A proposal in 1864 that Victoria should have a Grand
Lodge of its own was strongly opposed by the Grand Lodge of England. The
suggestion was dropped until 1876 and again until 1883 when a few of the
Lodgeg combined to carry it to a successful issue. A Convention of delegates
was held and the Masonic Union of Victoria was formed on April 27. In the
following June more Lodges approved the scheme and the Grand Lodge of Victoria
was founded July 2, 1883. Brother Coppin was elected Grand Master and before
the end of his first year of offiee it had been recognized by 17 other Grand
Lodges Those Lodges which remained faithful to the authorities in England,
Scotland and Ireland united under one Provincial Grand Master, Sir. W. J.
Clarke On March 21, 1889, the regular Grand Lodge of Victoria was constituted
and suceeecled in uniting all the conflicting elements in the Colony.
For over sixty years reigned as
Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India.
Born 1819; the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent, who was Past Grand Master
of Freemasons in England. before twenty years of age Victoria was crowned
Queen and during her long and glorious reign she gave unstintingly of her
time, interest and personal funds to the various benevolent activities of
English Freemasonry. Her death occurred in 1901, when she was succeeded by her
son, Edward VII, born 1841, and who became Grand Master of the United Grand
Lodge of England, in 1874. During Victoria's reign she seas named the
Patroness or Protectress of the Masonic Order.
VIELLE-BRU, RITE OF
In 1748, the year after the
alleged creation of the Chapter of Arras by the Young Pretender, Charles
Edward, a new Rite, in favor of the cause of the Stuarts, was established at
Toulouse by, as it is said, Sir Samuel Lockhart, one of the Aides-de-Camp of
the Prince. It was called the Raite of Vielle-Bru, or Faithful Scottish
Masons. It Consisted of nine Degrees, divided into three chapters as follows:
1, 2, 3. The Symbolic Degrees;
4. Secret Master.
5, 6, 7, 8. Four Elu Degrees, based on the Templar System.
9. Scientific Freemasonry.
The head of the Rite was a Council of Menatzchim.
In 1804 the Rite was refused a recognition by the Grand Orient of France,
because it presented no moral or scientific object, and because the Charter
which it claimed to have from Prince Charles Edward was not proved to be
authentic It continued to exist in the South of France until the year 1812,
when, being again rejected by the Grand Orient, it fell into decay.
VIENNA, GRAND LODGE OF
See Austria Hungary and Czecho-Slovakia
VILLARS, ABBE MONTFAUCON DE
He was born in Languedoc in
1653, and was shot by one of his relatives, on the high road between Lyons and
Paris, in l675. The Abbé Villars is celebrated as the author of She Count de
Gabalis, or Conversations on the Secret Sciences, published in two volumes, at
Paris, in 1670.
In this work the author's
design was, under the form of a romance, to unveil some of the Cabalistie
mysteries of Rosicrucianism. It has passed through many editions, and has been
translated into English as well as into other languages.
VINCERE AUT MORI
A Latin term that is in French,
Vaincre ou Mourir, meaning Conquer or die. The motto of the Degree of Perfect
Elect Freemason, the first of the Elus according to the Clermond or Templar
system of Freemasonry.
VINDICATIONS OF MASONRY
Book by Brother Neil, 1810
A distinguished lecturer on
Freemasonry, and teacher of the ritual in the first quarter of the nineteenth
century. His field of labors was principally confined to the Southern States,
and he taught his system for some time with great success in North and South
Carolina. There were, however, stains upon his eharaeter, and he was
eventually expelled by the Grand Lodge of the former State. He died at
Shakertown, Kentucky, in July, 1833. Vinton published at Dedham,
Massachusetts, in 1816, a volumes containing Selections of Masonic,
Sentimental and Humorous songs, under the title of The Masonic Minstrel. Of
this rather trifling work no less than twelve thousand copies were sold by
To Vinton's poetic genius we
are indebted for that beautiful dirge commencing, Solemn strikes the funeral
chime which became in almost all the Lodges of the United States a part of the
ritualistic ceremonies of the Sublime Degree, and has been sung over the
graves of thousands of departed Brethren. This contribution should preserve
the memory of Vinton among the Craft, and in some measure atone for his
faults, whatever they may have been. The words of this poem are appended as
Solemn strikes the funeral
Notes of our departing time
As we journey here belowThrough a pilgrimage of woe.
Mortals, now indulge a tear
For mortality is here!
See how wide her trophics wave
O'er the slumbers of the grave!
Here another guest we bring!
Seraphs of celestial wing,
To our fun'ral altar come,
Waft our friend and brother home.
Thee, enlarged, thy souI shall
What was veiled in mystery;
Heavenly glories of the place
Show his Maker face to face.
Lord of all! below—above—
Fill our hearts with truth and love
When dissolves our earthly tie
Take us to Thy Lodge on high.
This is not a Masonic color,
except in some of the advanced Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite, where it is a symbol of mourning, and thus becomes one of the
decorations of a Sorrow Lodge. Portal (Couleurs Symboliques, page 236) says
that this color was adopted for mourning by persons of high rank. And Gampini
(Vetera Monumenta) states that violet was the mark of grief, especially among
Kings and Cardinals. In Christian art, the Savior is clothed in a purple robe
during His passion; and it is the color appropriated, says Court de Gebelin
(Monde primetif viii, page 201), to martyrs, because, like their Divine
Master, they undergo the punishment of the Passion. Prevost (Histoire des
Voltages vi, page 152) says that in China violet is the color of mourning.
Among that people blue is
appropriated to the dead and red to the living, because with them red
represents the vital heat, and blue, immortality; and hence, says Portal,
violet, which is made by an equal admixture of blue and red, is a symbol of
the resurrection to eternal life. Such an idea is peculiarly appropriate to
the use of violet in the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry as a symbol of
mourning. It would be equally appropriate in the first Degrees, for everywhere
in Freemasonry we are taught to mourn not as those who have no hope. Our grief
for the dead is that of those who believe in the immortal life. The red symbol
of life is tinged with the blue of immortality, and thus we would wear the
violet as our mourning to declare our trust in the resurrection.
A group of some hundred islands
belonging to the Leewat Islands in the West Indies. In 1760 the "Ancient"
Grand Lodge of England authorized a Lodge on Virgin Gorda Island known as
Virgin Gorda Lodge, No. 82. Another was granted authority in l763 at Tortola
and it third was chartered by the "Moderns'' in 1765 At the Union of 1813
however, not one of the three was placed on the Register.
Brother John Ryan was appointed
Provincial Grand Master in 1777. Lodges were also chartered in these Islands
by the Grand Lodges of Scotland, Pennsylvania, Denmark, France and Colon.
Mention of Freemasonry in
Virginia occurs in the Freemason's Pocket Companion by Auld and Smellie,
published in 1765. Two Lodges are mentioned therein; Royal Exchange, No. 172,
at Norfolk, and No. 204, in Yorktown, and they are said to have met "1st
Thursday, Dec. 1733" and "lst and 3d Wednesday; (from Aug. 1, 1755"
respectively. It has been said that the cartier date is a mistake for 1753,
hut probably 1733 is correct. Records also show that Norfolk Lodge was
chartered on June l, 1741, for the same place and to hold its meetings at the
same times as Royal Exchange Lodge. It is therefore probable that Norfolk
Lodge was instituted in place of Royal Exchange Lodge. At the instigation of
Williamshurg Lodge, No. 6, a Convention was held on May 6, 1777, to arrange
the formation of 3 Grand Lodge of Virginia. On October 13, 1778, the Grand
Lodge of Ancient York Masons was Constituted and John Blair was elected Grand
The meetings were held in
Williamsburg until 1784, when the Grand Lodge removed to Richmond. That same
year, General LaFayette visited Washington at Mount Vernon and took with him
as a present an apron worked by Madame LaFayette herself. This apron is now in
the possession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Royal Arch Degrees were
probably worked first in Virginia under the Lodge Charters. Some think that
Brother Joseph Myers introduced the system when he settled in Richmond and
began the Holy Royal Arch of the .Ancient and Accepted Rite which was taught
in the State until 1820, when the English Degree was adopted. Brother John
Dove said that substitutes had been in constant use since 1792 without evil
results. It is therefore certain that Royal Arch Masonry was practiced in
Virginia at that date. From 1820 until 1841 the Council Degrees were under the
control of a Grand Council. December 17, 1841, by general agreement, they came
under the Grand Chapter.
The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch
Masons of Virginia was established May 1, 1808, following a suggestion from a
Convention of the "Grand United Chapter of Excellent and Super Excellent
Masons of Norfolk."
The new Chapter had no
connection with the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States. At
the annual Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1827 Grand High
Priest J. K. Stapleton introduced the subject of the granting of the Select
Degree independent of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter. Circulars were sent out to
the Grand Chapters and South Carolina in her reply mentioned a Grand Council
of Princes of Jerusalem, established February 20, 1788, by Brothers Joseph
Myers, Barend M. Spitzes, and A. Forst, and that the first named before his
return to Europe had handed on his knowledge of the Degrees in the Cities of
Virgillia and Maryland. In 1817 Companion Jeremy L. Cross established a
Council of Select Masters in Richmond in December. The Grand Council of
Virginia, formed in December, 1820, failed to flourish during the decade
1829-39, the time of the Morgan excitements In I841 it was dissolved and the
degrees were once again under the control of the Chapters.
The first Ecampment to be
constituted in Virginia was Richmond, chattered May 5, 1823. No Dispensation
had been issued. On September 17, 1847, this Charter and those of two other
Encampments were annulled. This left Wheeling, No. 1, chartered ,September 16,
1841, the first existing Encampment of Virginia. There was, however, according
to a memorial from Virginia to the 18th Triennial Convocation in 1871, an
Encampment at Winchester as early as 1812 which worked under the protection of
the Lodge there.
The Richmond Encampment was
also established at an early date and continued its work without a Charter
until 1823. Sir J. G. Hankins, Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery of
Virginia states that either Jeremy L. Cross or Jarnes Cushman proclaimed the
Winchester body as the Grand Encampment of Virginia in 1823. It did not last
very long and probably when it ceased to exist authority over the Encampments
in the State reverted to the General Grand Encampment. In 1845 it was resolved
to form a new one but the consent of the General Grand Encampment was not
obtained, which was somewhat irregular. In 1871, however, application to
withdraw from the General Grand Encampment was refused.
On December 18, 1874, the
McDaniel Lodge of Perfection, No. 3, was granted a Charter at Norfolk. At
Richmond three other bellies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
Southern .Jurisdiction, were chartered: Pelican Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 9,
April 10, 1884; Saint Omar Council of Kadosh No. 1, May 22, 1889, and Dalcho
Consistory, No. 1, at Richmond, September 6, 1889.
See Weeping Virgin
VIRTUTE ET SILENTIO
This Latin motto By Virtue and Silelwee, and Gloria in E:rcelsis Deo, meaning
Glory to God in the Highest, are of the Royal Order of Scotland.
In a Circular published March
18, 1775, by the Grand Orient of France, reference is made to two divisions of
the Order, namely, Visible and Invisible Masonry. Did we not know something of
the Masonic contentions then existing in France between the Lodges and the
supreme authority, we should hardly comprehend the meaning intended to be
conveyed by these words. By Invisible Masonry they denoted that Body of
intelligent and virtuous Freemasons who, irrespective of any connection with
dogmatic authorities, constituted "a Mysterious and Invisible, Society of the
True Sons of Lights who, Scattered over the two hemispheres, were engaged,
with one heart and soul, in doing everything for the glory of the Grand
Architect and the good of their fellow-men. By Visible Masonry they meant the
congregation of Freemasons into Lodges, which were often affected by the
contagious vices of the age in which they lived.
The former is perfect; the
latter continually needs purification. The words were originally
invented to effect a particular purpose, and bring the recusant or
nonconforming Lodges of France into their Obedience. But they might be
advantageously preserved, in the technical language of Freemasonry, for a more
general and permanent object. Invisible Freemasonry would then indicate the
abstract spirit of Freemasonry as it has always existed, while Visible
Freemasonry would refer to the concrete form which it assumes in Lodge and
Chapter organizations, and in different Rites and systems.
The latter would be like the
Material Church, or Church Militant; the former like the Spiritual Church, or
Church Triumphant. Such terms might be found convenient to Masonic scholars
The visit of a Grand Master,
accompanied by his Grand Officers, to a subordinate Lodge, to inspect its
condition, is called a Grand Visitation. There is no allusion to anything of
the kind in the Old Constitutions, because there was no organization of the
Order before the eighteenth century that made such an inspection necessary.
But immediately after the Revival in 1717, it was found expedient, in
consequence of the growth of Lodges in London, to provide for some form of
visitation and inspection. So, in the very first of the Thirty-nine General
Regulations, adopted in 1721, it is declared that "the Grand Master or his
Deputy hath authority and right not only to be present in any true Lodge, but
also to preside wherever he is, with the Master of the Lodge on his left hand,
and to order his Grand Wardens to attend him, who are not to act in any
particular Lodges as Wardens, but in his presence and at his command; because
there the Grand Master may command the Wardens of that Lodge, or any other
Brethren he pleaseth, to attend and act as his Wardens pro tempore"
(Constitutions, 1723, page 58).
In compliance with this old
regulation, whenever the Grand Master, accompanied by his Wardens and other
officers, visits a Lodge in his Jurisdiction, for the purpose of inspecting
its condition, the Master and officers of the Lodge thus visited surrender
their seats to the Grand Master and the Grand Officers.
Grand Visitations are among the
oldest usages of Freemasonry since the revival period. In the United States of
America they are not now so frequently practiced, in consequence of the
extensive territory in which the Lodges are scattered, and the difficulty of
collecting at one point all the Grand Officers, many of whom generally reside
at great distances apart. Still, where it can be done, the practice of Grand
Visitations should never be neglected. The power of visitation for inspection
is confined to the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master and those holding
official proxies for the purpose.
The Grand Wardens possess no
such prerogative. The Master must always tender the Gavel and the Chair to the
Grand or Deputy Grand Master when either of them informally visits a Lodge;
for the Grand Master and, in his absence, the Deputy have the right to preside
in all Lodges where they may be present. But this privilege does not extend to
the Grand Wardens.
Every Brother from abroad, or
from any other Lodge, when he visits a Lodge, must be received with welcome
and treated witch hospitality. He must be clothed, that is to say, Furnished
with an Apron, and, if the Lodge uses them as every Lodge should, with Gloves,
and, if a Past Master, with the jewel of his rank. He must be directed to a
seat, and the utmost courtesy extended to him. If of distinguished rank in the
Order, the honors due to that rank must be paid to him.
This hospitable and courteous
spirit is derived from the ancient customs of the Craft, and is inculcated in
all the Old Constitutions. Thus, in the Lansdowne Manuscript, it is directed
"that every Mason receive or cherish strange Fellows when they come over the
Country, and sett them on work, if they will work, as the manner is; that is
to say, if the Mason have any mold stone in his place on work; and if he have
none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge." A similar
regulation is found in all the other manuscripts of the Operative Masons; and
from them the usage has descended to their speculative successors. At all
Lodge banquets it is of obligation that a toast or sentiment shall be
emphasized "to the Visiting Brethren." To neglect this would be a great breach
The English Constitutions (Rule
149) state that "the Master and Wardens of a Lodge are enjoined to visit other
Lodges as often as they conveniently can, in order that the same usages and
customs may be observed throughout the Craft, and a good understanding
cultivated amongst Freemasons."
VISIT, RIGHT OF
Every affiliated Freemason in
good standing has a right to visit any other Lodge, wherever it may be, as
often as it may suit his pleasure or convenience; and this is called, in
Masonic law, the Right of Visit. It is one of the most important of all
Masonic privileges, because it is based on the principle of the identity of
the Masonic Institution as one universal family, and is the exponent of that
well-known maxim that "in every clime a Freemason may find a home, and in
every land a Brother." It has been so long and so universally admitted, that
we have not hesitated to rank it among the landmarks of the Order.
The admitted doctrine on this
subject is, that the right of visit is one of the positive rights of every
Freemason, because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for
convenience of the universal Masonic family. The right may, of course, be
lost, or forfeited on special occasions, by various circumstances; but any
Master who shall refuse admission to a Freemason in good standing, who knocks
at the door of his Lodge, is expected to furnish some good and satisfactory
reason for thus violating a Masonic right. If the admission of the applicant,
whether a member or visitor, would, in his opinion, be attended with injurious
consequences, such, for instance, as impairing the harmony of the Lodge, a
Master would then, we presume, be justified in refusing admission.
Out without the existence of
some such good reason, Masonic jurists have always decided that the right of
visitation is absolute and positive, and inures to every Freemason in his
travels throughout the world (see this subject discussed in its fullest extent
in Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).
The representative deity of
darkness in Vedie mythology, and the antagonist of Indra, as the personified
light. Vitra also represents ignorance, superstition, fanaticism, and
intolerance, the opponents of Freemasonry.
"Vivat! vivat! vivat!" is the
acclamation which accompanies the honors in the French Rite. Bazot (Manuel,
page 165) says it is "the Cry of joy of Freemasons of the French Rite." Vivat"
is a Latin word, and signifies, literally, "May he live"; but it has been
domiciliated in French, and Boiste (Dictionnaire Universel) defines it as "a
Cry of applause which expresses the wish for the preservation of anyone " The
French Freemasons say, "he was received with the triple vivat," to denote that
"He was received with the highest honors of the lodge."
VOGEL, PAUL JOACHINI SIGISMUND
A distinguished Masonic writer
of Germany, who was born in 1753. He was at one time co-rector of the
Sebastian School at Altdorf, and afterward First Professor of Theology and
Ecclesiastical Counselor at Erlangen. In 1785 he published at Nuremberg, in
three volumes, his Briefe die Freimaurerei betreffende or, Letters concerning
Freemasonry. The first volume treats of the Knights Templar; the second, of
the Ancient Mysteries; and the third, of Freemasonry. This was, says Gloss,
the first earnest attempt made in Germany to trace Freemasonry to a true,
historical origin. Vogel's theory was this, that the Speculative Freemasons
descended from the Operatives or Stone Masons of the Middle Ages. The abundant
evidence that more recent documentary researches have produced was then
wanting, and the views or Vogel did not make that impression to which they
were entitled. He has, however, the credit of having opened the way, after the
Abbé Grandidier, for those who have followed him in the same field. He also
delivered before the Lodges of Nuremberg, several Discourses on the Design,
Character, and Origin of Freemasonry which were published in one volume, at
Berlin, in 1791.
A Doctor of Medicine, and
Professor and Senator at Dresden. He was a member of the advanced Degrees of
the Rite of Strict Observance, where his Order name was Eques à Falcone or
Knight of the Falcon. In 1788 he attacked Starck's Rite of the Clerks of
Strict Observance, and published an essay on the subject, in the year 1788, in
the Acta Historico-Ecclesiastica of Weimar. Voigt exposed the Roman Catholic
tendencies of the new system, and averred that its object was "to cite and
command spirits, to find the philosopher's stone, and to establish the reign
of the millennium." His development of the Cabalistic character of the Rite
made a deep impression on the Masonic world, and was one of the most effective
attacks upon it made by its antagonists of the old Strict Observance.
Those who worship Vishnu, in
white garments, and abstain from animal food. Believers in the third member of
the Trimurti according to Hindu mythology, in him who was believed to be the
preserver of the world, and who had undergone ten Avatars or incarnations, to
wit, a bird, tortoise, wild boar, andro-lion, etc., of which the deity Krishna
was the eighth incarnation in this line of Vishnu, and in which form he was
supposed to be the son of Devanaguy and reared by the shepherd Nanda.
His full name was Jean Frangois
Marie A rouet de Voltaire. This French philosopher, historian, dramatist, and
man of letters adopted the name of François Marie Arouet de Voltaire though
only the first words were his by baptism, the father, a notary, being François
Arouet. Whence the name of Voltaire was derived has been the cause of many
perplexing speculations. One of the most famous of French writers, he was born
at Châtenay, near Sceaux, November 21, 1694. His early life was loose and
In 1728 he became infatuated
with a Madame du Chatelet his literary works cover some ninety volumes. In
1743, the French government despatched him on a mission to Frederick the
Great, by whom he was held in high favor, and in 1750, at the request of the
King, he made his residence in Berlin, but five years later they quarreled,
and Voltaire moved to Ferney, Switzerland. His literary talent was most
varied, and in invective he had no equal. During his exile in England he
imbibed deistical theories, which marked his life. He was charged with
atheism. Voltaire was easily misunderstood. While he attacked the fashionable
atheism of his time, as well as Christianity, his real fight, broadly slashing
as it was, and never any too courteously outlined or defined, was probably
against all persecution and oppression by any and all pampered orthodoxy. He
was initiated in the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, at Paris, April 7, 1778.
Benjamin Franklin and others
distinguished in Freemasonry were members of this famous Lodge. Franklin at
the time of Voltaire's initiation was a visitor only but subsequently became
Worshipful master of the Lodge (see Nine Sisters, Lodge of the). Voltaire's
death, on May 30, 1778, gave rise to a memorable Lodge of Sorrow, which was
held on the succeeding November 28.
VON STEUBEN, BARON FREDERICK
Born November 15, l730; died
November 28, 1794. Famous General, who came to America from Prussia through
the influence of Benjamin Franklin in 1777 to train and organize troops of the
American Revolution. He brought with him his Masonic affiliation credentials
with the rank of Past Master, to Holland Lodge, and also became a member of
Trinity Lodge No. 10, both of New York City (see New Age, November, 1924;
History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang, pages 75, 81;
Masonry in the Formation of our Government—1761-1799, Philip A. Roth, page 81;
Builder, volume ii, page 21).
Voting in Lodges viva voce, or
by "aye" and "nay," is a modern innovation in America. During the Grand
Mastership of the Earl of Loudoun, on April 6, 1736, the Grand Lodge of
England, on the motion of Deputy Grand Master Ward, adopted "a new Regulation
of ten rules for explaining what concerned the decency of Assemblies and
Communications." The tenth of these rules is in the following words: "The
opinions or votes of the members are always to be signified by each holding up
one of his hands; which uplifted hands the Grand Wardens are to count, unless
the number of hands be so unequal as to render the counting useless. Nor
should any other kind of division be ever admitted among Masons"
(Constitutions, 1738, page 178). The usual mode of putting the question is for
the presiding officer to say: "So many as are in favor avid signify the same
by the usual sign of the Order," and then, when those votes have been counted
to say: "So many as are of a contrary opinion will signify the same by the
same sign." The votes are now counted by the Senior Deacon in a subordinate
Lodge, and by the Senior Grand Deacon in a Grand Lodge, it having been found
inconvenient for the Grand Wardens to perform that duty. The number of votes
on each side is communicated by the Deacon to the presiding officer, who
announces the result. The same method of voting should be observed in all
VOTING, RIGHT OF
Formerly, all members of the
Craft, even Entered Apprentices, were permitted to vote. This was distinctly
prescribed in the last of the Thirty-nine General Regulations adopted in 1721
(Constitutions, 1723, page 70). But the numerical strength of the Order, which
was then in the First Degree, having now passed over to the Third, the modern
rule in the United States of America, but not in England, is that the right of
voting shall be restricted to Master Masons. A Master Mason may, therefore,
speak and vote on all questions, except in trials where he is himself
concerned as accuser or defendant.
Yet by special regulation of
his Lodge he may be prevented from voting on ordinary questions where his dues
for a certain period—generally twelve months— have not been paid; and such a
regulation exists in almost every Lodge. But no local by-law can deprive a
member, who has not been suspended, from voting on the ballot for the
admission of Candidates, because the sixth regulation of 1721 distinctly
requires that each member present on such occasion shall give his consent
before the candidate can be admitted (see the above edition of the
Constitutions, page 59).
And if a member were deprived
by any by-law of the Lodge in consequence of non-payment of his dues, of the
right of expressing his Consent or dissent, the ancient regulation would be
violated, and a candidate might be admitted without the unanimous Consent of
all the members present. And this rule is so rigidly enforced, that on a
ballot for initiation no member Can he excused from voting. He must assume the
responsibility of casting his vote, lest it should afterward be said that the
candidate was not admitted by unanimous consent.
It is a rule in Freemasonry,
that a Lodge may dispense with the examination of a visitor, if any Brother
present will vouch that he possesses the necessary qualifications.. This is an
important prerogative that every Freemason is entitled to exercise; and yet it
is one which may so materially affect the well-being of the whole Fraternity,
since, by its injudicious use, impostors might be introduced among the
faithful, that it should be controlled by the most stringent regulations.
To vouch for one is to bear witness for him, and in witnessing to truth, every
Caution should be observed, lest falsehood may Cunningly assume its garb. The
brother who vouches should know to a Certainty that the one for whom he
vouches is really what he Claims to be. He should know this, not from a casual
conversation, nor a loose and careless inquiry, but from Strict Trial, due
examination, or lawful information. These are the three requisites which the
instructions have laid down as essentially necessary to authorize the act of
vouching. Let us inquire into the import of each.
1. Strait Trial. By this is
meant that every question is to be asked, and every answer demanded, which is
necessary to convince the examiner that the party examined is acquainted with
what he ought to know, to entitle him to the appellation of a brother. Nothing
is to be taken for granted— categorical answers must be returned to all that
it is deemed important to be asked; no forgetfulness is to be excused; nor is
the want of memory to be considered as a valid reason for the want of
knowledge. The Freemason who is so unmindful of his obligations as to have
forgotten the instructions he has received, must pay the penalty of his
Carelessness, and be deprived of his contemplated visit to that Society whose
secret modes of recognition he has so little valued as not to have treasured
them in his memory. The strict trial refers to the matter which is sought to
be obtained by inquiry. While there are some things which may safely be passed
over in the investigation of one who confesses himself to be "rusty," because
they are details which require much study to acquire and constant practice to
retain, there are still other things of great importance which must be rigidly
2. Due Examination. If strict
trial refers to the matter, due examination alludes to the mode of
investigation. This must be conducted with all the necessary forms and
antecedent Cautions. Inquiries should be made as to the time and place of
initiation as a preliminary step, the Tiler's oath of Course never being
admitted. Then the good old rule of "commencing at the beginning" should be
pursued. Let everything go on in regular course; not is it to be supposed that
the information sought was originally received Whatever be the suspicions of
imposture, let no expression of those suspicions be made until the final
degree for rejection is uttered. And let that decree be uttered in general
terms, such as, "I am not satisfied," or "I do not recognize you," and not in
more specific language, such as, "You did not answer this inquire ," or "You
are ignorant on that point." The candidate for examination is only entitled to
know that he has not Complied generally with the requisitions of his examiner.
To descend to particulars is always improper, and often dangerous. Above all,
never ask what the lawyers Call "leading questions," which include in
themselves the answer, nor in any way aid the memory, or prompt the
forgetfulness of the party examined, by the slightest hints.
3. Lawful Information. This
authority for vouching is dependent on what has been already described. For no
Freemason Can lawfully give information of another's qualifications unless he
has himself actually tested him But it is not every Freemason who is competent
to give lawful information. Ignorant or unskillful brethren cannot do so,
because they are incapable of discovering truth or of detecting error.
A "rusty Freemason" should
never attempt to examine a stranger, and Certainly, lf he does, his opinion as
to the result is worth nothing. If the information given is on the ground that
the party who is vouched for has been seen sitting in a Lodge, Care must be
taken to inquire if it was a "just and legally Constituted Lodge of Master
Masons." A person may forget from the lapse of time, and vouch for a stranger
as a Master Mason, whets the Lodge in which he saw him was only opened in the
first or Second degree Information given by letter, or through a third party,
is irregular. The person giving information, the one receiving it, and the one
of whom it is given, should all be present at the time, for otherwise there
would be no certainty of identity.
The information must be
positive, not founded on belief or opinion, but derived from a legitimate
source . And, furthermore, it must not have been received casually, but for
the very purpose of being used for Masonic purposes. For one to say to
another, in the course of a desultory conversation, "A. B. is a Freemason," is
not sufficient.. He may not be speaking with due caution, under the
expectation that his words will be considered of weight. He must say something
to this effect, "I know this man to be a Master Mason, for such or such
reasons, and you may safely recognize him as such.'' This alone will insure
the necessary care and proper observance of prudence.
Lastly, never should an
unjustifiable delicacy weaken the rigor of these rules. For the wisest and
most evident reasons, that merciful maxim of the law, which says that it is
better that ninety-nine guilty men should escape than that one innocent man
should be punished, is with us reversed; so that in Freemasonry it is better
that ninety anal nine true men Should be turned away from the door of a Lodge,
than that one Cowan should be admitted.
The French Freemasons thus call
some of the proofs and trials to which a candidate is subjected in the course
of initiation into any of the degrees. In the French Rite, the voyages in the
Symbolic Degrees are three in the first, five in the second and seven in the
third. Their Symbolic designs are briefly explained by Ragon (Cours des
Initiations; pages 90, 132) and Renoir (La Franche-Maçonnerie, page 263): The
voyages of the Entered Apprentice are now, as they were in the Ancient
Mysteries, the symbol of the life of man. Those of the Fellow-Craft are
emblematic of labor in the search of knowledge Those of the Master Mason are
Symbolic of the pursuit of crime, the wandering life of the criminal, and his
vain attempts to escape remorse and punishment. It will be evident that the
ceremonies in all the Rites of Freemasonry, although under a different name,
lead to the same Symbolic results.