Enciclopédia Mackey – A ~ ADONAI



In the Accadian, Greek, Etruscan, Pelasgian, Gallic, Samaritan, and Egyptian or Coptic, of nearly the same formation as the English letter. It originally meant with or together, but at present signifies one. In most languages it is the initial letter of the alphabet not so, however, in the Ethiopian, where it is the thirteenth. This familiar first letter of the alphabet comes down to our own modern times from the most remote period recorded of the world’s history. The common form of the letter corresponds closely to that in use by the Phoenicians at least ten centuries before the Christian Era, as in fact it does to almost all its descendants. Men of Tyre were Phoenicians, and we may trace the sound of the name they gave this letter by noting the pronunciation of the first letters in the alphabets of the Hebrews and the Grieks who took them from the same source. We derive the word alphabet from the first two Greek letters, and these are akin in their names to the Hebrew Aleph, or Awlef, and Bayth. Sounds of these letters, as in English words, must not be confused with the pronunciation of the names for them. The name of the Hebrew Aleph, signifies ox from the resemblance of the letter to the head and horns of that animal.

The sacred Aleph has the numerical value of one and is made up of two Yodes, one on each side of an inclined bar or Vawv. This combination of characters is said to typify the Trinity in Unity. The Divine name in Hebrew connected with this letter is, A H I H.

A. A. O. N. M. S.

These letters are the initials of the words Ancient Arabic Order Noblea Mystia Shrine (see shrine).. They may be rearranged to spell out the words A Mason. The claim has been made in all sincerity that this peculiarity was prearranged and is not at all accidental. Such a probability is not as rare as in type as may at first be imagined.

For instance the York Roll No. 1, about 1600 A.D., starts out quaintly with such an endeavor in the form of an anagram, the letters of words or phrases transposed to make different words or phrases, thus:

An Anagraimee upon the name of Masonrie
William Kay to his friend Robert Preston
upon his Art of Masonrie as Followeth :
Much might be said of the O noble Artt
A Craft that’a worth estieming in each part
Sundry Nations Noobles & their Kings also
Oh how they fought its worth to know
Nimrod & Solomon the wisest of all men
Reason saw to love this Science then
Ile say noe more lest by my shallow verses I
Endeavoring to praise should blemish Masonrie.


Hebrew, A-har-ohne, a word of doubtful etymology, but generally supposed to signify a mountaineer. Mackenzie says the name means the illuminated. He was the brother of Moses, and the first High Priest under the Mosaic dispensation, whence the priesthood established by that lawgiver is known as the Masonic. He is mentioned in the English lectures of the Second Degree, in reference to a certain sign which is said to have taken its origin from the fact that Aaron and Hur were present on the hill from which Moses surveyed the battle which Joshua was waging with the Amalekites, when these two supported the weary arms of Moses in an upright posture, because upon his uplifted hands the fate of the battle depended (see Exodus xvii, 10-12). Aaron is also referred to in the latter section of the Royal Arch Degree in connection with the memorials that were deposited in the Ark of the Covenant. In the Degree or Grade of Chief of the Tabernacle, which is the Twenty-third of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the presiding officer represents Aaron, and is styled Most Excellent High Priest. In the Twenty-fourth Degree of the same Rite, or Prince of the Tabernacle, the second officer or Senior Warden also personates Aaron.


A Degree instituted in 1824, in New York City, mainly for social purposes, and conferred in an independent body. Its ceremonies were similar to those of the Order of High Priesthood, which caused the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State to take offence, and the small gathering dispersed in 1825.


The method by which Moses caused a miraculous judgment as to which tribe should be invested with the priesthood, is detailed in the Book of Numbers (chapter xvii). He directed that twelve rods should be laid up in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle, one for each tribe; that of Aaron, of course, represented the tribe of Levi. On the next day these rods were brought out and exhibited to the people, and while all the rest remained dry and withered, that of Aaron alone budded and blossomed and yielded fruit. There is no mention in the Pentateuch of this rod having been placed in the ark, but only that it was put before it. But as Saint Paul, or the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews ix, 4), asserts that the rod and the pot of manna were both within the ark, Royal Arch Masons have followed this later authority. Hence the rod of Aaron is found in the ark; but its import is only historical, as if to identify the substitute ark as a true copy of the original, which had been lost. No symbolical instruction accompanies its discovery.


  1. The 11th month of the Hebrew civil year and corresponding to the months July and Augustus, beginning with the new moon of the former.
  2. It is also a Hebrew word, signifying father, and will be readily recognized by every Freemason as a component part of the name Hiram Abif, which literally means Hiram his father (see Abif).


The diminutive of Abacus- and, in architecture, refers to the squares of the tessellated pavement or checkered surface of the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple.


A term which has been erroneously used to designate the official staff of the Grand Master of the Templars. The word has no such meaning ; for an abacus is either a table used for facilitating arithmetical calculations, or is in architecture the crowning plate of a column and its capital. The Grand Master’s staff was a baculus, which see.


A Hebrew word ab-ad-done, signifying destruction. By the Rabbis it is interpreted as the place of destruction, and is the second of the seven names given by them to the region of the dead.
In the Apocalypse (Revelation ix, 11) it is rendered by the Greek word Apollyon, and means the destroyer. In this sense it is used as a significant word in the high degrees.


Probably from the Hebrew word ab-ee-ay-zer, meaning helpful. The title given to the Master of Ceremonies in the Sixth Degree of the Modern French Rite.


Abbreviations of technical terms or of official titles are of very extensive use in Freemasonry. They were, however, but rarely employed in the earlier Masonic publications. For instance, not one is to be found in the first edition of Anderson’s Constitutions. Within a comparatively recent period they have greatly increased, especially among French writers, and a familiarity with them is therefore essentially necessary to the Masonic student.

Frequently, among English and always among French authors, a Masonic abbreviation is distinguished by three points,.:, in a triangular form following the letter, which peculiar mark was first used, according to Ragon, on the 12th of August, 1774, by the Grand Orient of France, in an address to its subordinates. No authoritative explanation of the meaning of these points has been given, but they may be supposed to refer to the three lights around the altar, or perhaps more generally to the number three, and to the triangle, both important symbols in the Masonic system.

A representative list of abbreviations is given, and these will serve as a guide to the common practice, but the tendency to use such conveniences is limited only by personal taste governed by the familiarity of the Brethren using them with one another. This acquaintance may permit the mutual use of abbreviations little known elsewhere. All that can be done is to offer such examples as will be helpful in explaining the usual custom and to suggest the manner in which the abbreviations are employed. With this knowledge a Freemason can ascertain the meaning of other abbreviations he may find in his Masonic reading.

Before proceeding to give a list of the principal abbreviations, it may be observed that the doubling of a letter is intended to express the plural of that word of which the single letter is the abbreviation.

Thus, in French, F.:, signifies Frére, or Brother, and FF :. Fréres, or Brothers. And in English, L :. is sometimes used to denote Lodge, and LL :, to denote Lodges. This remark is made once for all, because we have not deemed it necessary to augment the size of the list of abbreviations by inserting these plurals. If the reader finds S:.G:.I:. to signify Sovereign Grand Inspector, he will be at no loss to know that SS:.GG:.II:. must denote Sovereign Grand Inspectors. A:.&A:. Ancient and Accepted.

  • A:.&A:. R :. Ancient and Accepted Rite as used in England.
  • A:.&A:. S :. R :. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
  • A:.&P:. R :. Ancient and Primitive Rite.
  • A:.C:. Anno Coadio. Latin, meaning the Year of Destruction; referring to the year 1314 in Knights Templar history.
  • A:.D:. Anno Domini. Latin, meaning Year of Our Lord.
  • A:.Dep:. Anno Depositionis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the Deposit. The date is used by Royal and Select Masters.
  • A:.F:.M:. Ancient Freemasons.
  • A:.F:.&A:.M :. Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
  • A:.H:. Anno Hebraico. Latin, meaning Hebrew Year.
  • A:.Inv:. Anno Inventionis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the Discovery. The date used by Royal Arch Masons.
  • A:.L:. Anno Lucis. Latin, meaning In the Year of Light. The date used by Ancient Craft Freemasons.
  • A.:L:.G:.D:.G:.A:.D:.L:.U:. A la Gloire du Grand Architecte de l’Universe. French, meaning To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe. The usual caption of French Masonic documents.
  • A:.L:. O:. A L Orient. French, meaning At the East. The Location or seat of the Lodge.A.:M:. Anno Mundi. Latin, meaning In the Year of the World. The date used in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
  • A.:O:. Anno Ordinis. Latin, meaning In the Year of the 0rder. The date used by Knights Templar.
  • A.:Q.:C:. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the Latin name for the printed reports of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London.
  • A.:V.:L:. An du Vraie Lumiére. French, meaning Year of the True Light.
  • A.:V:.T:.O:.S.:A.:G:. Ad Universi Terrarum Orbis Summi Architecti Gloriam. Latin, meaning To the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe.
  • A.:Y.:M:. Ancient York Masons or Ancient York Masonry.
  • B.: Bruder. German, meaning Brother.
  • B.:A.: Buisson Ardent. French, meaning Burning Bush.
  • B:.B:. Burning Bush.
  • Bn:. Brudern. German, meaning Brethren.
  • Comp.: Companion. Used by Brethren of the Royal Arch.
  • C:.C:. Celestial Canopy.
  • C:.H:. Captain of the Host.
  • D:. Deputy.
  • D:.A:.F:. Due and Ancient Form.
  • D:.D:.G:.M:. Sometimes abbreviated Dis :.
  • D:.G:.M:. District Deputy Grand Master.
  • D:.G:.B:.A:.W:. Der Grosse Baumeister aller Welten. German, meaning The Grand Architect of all Worlds.
  • D:.G:.G:.H:.P:. Deputy General Grand High Priest.
  • D:.G:.H:.P:. Deputy Grand High Priest.
  • D:.G:.M:. Deputy Grand Master.
  • D:.M:.J:. Deus Meumque Jus. Latin, meaning God and my right.
  • D:.Prov:.G:.M:. Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
  • Deg:. Degree or Degrees. Another way is as in 33 ,meaning Thirty-Third Degree.
  • Dis:. District.
  • E:.Eminent; Excellent; also East.
  • E:.A:. Entered Apprentice. Sometimes abbreviated E:.A:.P:.
  • E:.C:. Excellent Companion.
  • Ec:. Ecossaise. French, meaning Scottish; belonging to the Scottish Rite.
  • E:.G:.C:. Eminent Grand Commander.
  • E:.G:.M:. Early Grand Master. A central Authority had been made to control the Knights Templar of Ireland independently of the Grand Lodge and at the very first meeting of the Lodge “at High Noon of St. John.” 1779, the Worshipful Master appended to his name the letters E. G. M.,that is, Early Grand Master. There was then no governing body in Freemasonry except the Grand Lodge (see “Templar Legends,” by Brother W. J.Chetwode Crawley, Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1913, volume xxvi).
  • E:.O:.L:. Ex Oriente Lux. Latin, meaning Out of the East comes Light. E:.V:. Era Vulgus. Latin, meaning Common Era, also stands for Ere Vulgaire, French, meaning Vulgar Era; Year of the Lord.
  • F:. Frére. French, meaning Brother.
  • F:.A:.M:. Free and Accepted Masons.
  • F:.E:.R:.T:. According to the statutes of the United Orders of the Temple &nd Saint John of Jerusalem, etc., the standard of Saint John is described as gules, on a Cross Argent, the Agnus Dei-meaning Red on a Silver Cross with a representation of the Lamb of God-with the letters F.E.R.T. These letters are the initials of the words of the motto Fortitudine Ejus Rhodum tenuit, meaning By his courage he held Rhodes. Brother Gordon P. G. Hills, Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1914, volume xxvii page 233, says, “I suppose it refers to the gallant defense by the Grand Master in 1522, when however, the Island was surrendered, although the garrison were permitted to depart with the honors of war.” A writer in the Pall Mall Gazette, June 4, 1901, states that the legend appears on the coinage of Louis of Savoy in 1301 and on that of Thomas in 1233.
  • F:.C:. Fellow Craft.
  • F:.M:. Freemason.
  • G:.Grand- Sometimes read as Great; Geometry. Also has another meaning well known to the Craft.
  • G:.A:.O.:T:.U:. Grand Architect of the Universe.
  • G:.A:.S:. Grand Annual Sojourn.
  • G.:C:. Grand Chapter; Grand Council; Grand Cross; Grand Commander; Grand Chaplain; Grand Conclave; Grand Conductor; Grand Chancellor.
  • G:.C:.G:. Grand Captain General; Grand Captain of the Guard.
  • G :.C:.H.: Grand Captain of the Host; Grand Chapter of Herodom.
  • G:.Com:. Grand Commandery; Grand Commander.
  • G:.D:. Grand Deacon.
  • G:.D:.C:. Grand Director of Ceremonies.
  • G:.E:. Grand Encampment; Grand Bast; Grand Ezra.
  • G:.J:.W:. Grand Junior Warden.
  • G:.G:.C:. General Grand Chapter
  • G:.G:.H:.P:. General Grand High Priest.
  • G:.G:.K:. General Grand King.
  • G:.G:.M:.F:.V:. General Grand Master of the First Veil.
  • G:.G.:S:. General Grand Scribe.
  • G:.G.:T:. General Grand Treasurer.
  • G:.H:.P:. Grand High Priest.
  • G:.K:. Grand King.
  • G:.L:. Grand Lodge. Grande Loge, in French. Grosse Loge, in German.
  • G:.M:. Grand Master; Grand Marshal; Grand Monarch.
  • G:.N:. Grand Nehemiah.
  • G:.O:. Grand Orient; Grand Organist.
  • G:.P. Grand Pursuivant; Grand Prior; Grand Prelate; Grand Preceptor; Grand Preceptory; Grand Patron; Grand Priory; Grand Patriarch; Grand Principal.
  • G:.P:.S:. Grand Principal Sojourner
  • G:.R:. Grand Registrar; Grand Recorder.
  • G:.R:.A:.C:. Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
  • G:.S:. Grand Scribe; Grand Secretory; Grand Steward.
  • G:.S:.B:. Grand Sword Bearer; Grand Sword Bearer.
  • G:.S:.E.: Grand Scribe Ezra.
  • G:.S:.N:. Grand Scribe Nehemiah.
  • G:.S:.W:. Grand Senior Warden.
  • G:.T:. Grand Treasurer; Grand Tyler.H:.A:.B:. Hiram Abif.
  • H:.E:. Holy Empire.
  • H:.J:. Heilige Johannes. German, meaning Holy Saint John.
  • H:.K:.T:. Hiram, King of Tyre.
  • H:.R:.D:.M:. Heredom.
  • Ill:. Illustrious.
  • I:.N:.R:.I:. Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudoeorum. Latin, meaning Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The Letters are also the initials of a significant sentence in Latin, namely, Igne Natura Renovatur Integra, meaning by fire nature is perfectly renewed.
  • I:.P:.M:. Immediate Past Master. English title of an official last promoted from the chair.
  • I:.T:.N:.O:.T:.G:.A:.O:.T:.U:. In the Name of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Often forming the caption of Masonic documents.
  • J:.W:. Junior Warden.
  • K:.King.
  • K:.E:.P:. Knight of the Eagle and Pelican
  • K:.H:. Kadash, Knight of Kadosh.
  • K:.H:.S:. Knight of the Holy Sepulcher
  • K:.M:. Knight of Malta
  • K:.S:. King Salomon (Suleiman)
  • K:.T:. Knights Templar; Knight Templar.
  • L:. Lodge. Lehrling, the German for Apprentice.
  • L:.R:. Lonon Rank. A distinction introduced in England in 1908.
  • L:.V:.X:. Lux Latin, meaning Light.
  • M:. Mason; Masonry; Marshal; Mark; Minister; Master. Meister, in German. Maitre, in French.
  • M:.C:. Middle Chamber.
  • M:.E:. Most Eminent; Most Excellent.
  • M:.E:.G:.H:.P:. Most Excellent Grand High Priest.
  • M:.E:.G:.M:. Most Eminent Grand Master (of Knights Templar).
  • M:.E:.M:. Most Excellent Master.
  • M:.E:.Z:. Most Excellent Zerubbabel.
  • M:.K:.G:. Maurer Kunst Geselle. German, meaning Fellow Craft.
  • M:.L:. Maurer Lehrling. German, meaning Entered Apprentice.
  • M:.L:. Mére Loge. French, meaning Mother Lodge.
  • M:.M:. Master Mason. Mois Maçonnique. French, meaning Masonic Month. March 18 the first Masonic month among French Freemasons.
  • Meister Maurer. German, meaning Master Mason.
  • M:.P:.S:. Most Puissant Sovereign.
  • M:.W:.Most Worshipful.
  • M:.W:.G:.M:. Most Worshipful Grand Master; Most Worthy Grand Matron.
  • M:.W:.G:.P:. Most Worthy Grand Patron.
  • M:.W:.M:. Most Wise Master
  • M:.W:.S:. Most Wise Sovereign
  • N:. Novice.
  • N:.E:.C:. North-east Corner.
  • N’o:.P:.V:.D:.M:. N’oubiez pas vos décorations Maçonniques French, meaning Do not forget your Masonic regalia, a phrase used in France on the corner of a summons.
  • O:. Orient.
  • O:.A:.C:. Ordo ab Chao. Latin, meaning Order out of Chaos.
  • OB:. Obligation.
  • P:. Past; Prelate; Prefect; Prior.
  • P:.C:.W:. Principal Conductor of the Work.
  • P:.G:.M:. Past Grand Master; Past Grand Matron.
  • P:.J:. Prince of Jerusalem.
  • P:.K:. Past King.
  • P:.M:. Past Master.
  • P:.S:. Principal Sojourner.
  • Pro:.G:.M:. Pro-Grand Master.
  • Prov:. Provincial.
  • Prov:.G:.M:. Provincial Grand Master.
  • R:.A:. Royal Arch; Royal Art.
  • R:.A:.C:. Royal Arch Captain; Royal Arch Chapter.
  • R:.A:.M:. Royal Arch Mason; Royal Arch Masonry; Royal Ark Mariner. R:.C:. or R:.t:. Rose Croiz. Appended to the signature of one having that degree
  • R:.E:. Right Eminent.
  • R:.E:.A:.et A:.Rite Ecossaise Ancien et Accepte. French, meaning Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
  • R:.F:. Respectable Free. French, meaning Worshipful Brother.
  • R:.L:. or R:.[]:. Respectable Loge. French, meaning Worshipful Lodge.
  • R:.S:.Y:.C:.S:. Rosy Cross (in the Royal order of Scotland).
  • R:.W:. Right Worshipful.
  • R:.W:.M:. Right Worshipful Master.
  • S:.Scribe,Sentinel, Seneschal, Sponsor.
  • S:.C:. Supreme Council.
  • S:.G:.D:. Senior Grand Deacon.
  • S:.G:.I:.G:. Sovereign Grand Inspector General
  • S:.G:.W:. Senior Grand Warden.
  • S:.M:. Secret Master; Substitute Master; Select Master; Secret Monitor; Sovereign Master; Supreme Master; Supreme Magus.
  • S:.O:. Senior Overseer.
  • S:.P:.R:.S:. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
  • S:.S:. Sanctum Sanctorum. Latin, meaning Holy of Holies. Formerly also used for Soverein of Sovereigns
  • S:.S:.M:. Senior Substitute Magus.
  • S:.S:.S:. The initials of the Latin word Salutem, meaning Greeting, repeated thrice and also found similarly in the French, Trois Fois Salut, meaning Thrice Greeting. A common caption to French Masonic circulars or letters
  • S:.W:. Senior Warden.
  • Sec:. Secretary.
  • Soc:.Ros:. Societas Rosicruciana
  • Sum:. Surveillant. French, meaning Warden.
  • T:.C:.F:. Tres Cher Frére. French, meaning Very Dear Brother.T:.G:.A:.O:.T:.U:. The Grand Architect of the Universe. T:.S:. Tres Sage. Meaning Very Wise, addressed to the presiding officer of French Rite.
  • U:.D:. Under Dispensation.
  • V:.or Ven:. Venerable. French, meaning Worshipful.
  • V:.D:.B:. Very Dear Brother.
  • V:.D:.S:.A:. Veut Dieu Saint Amour, or Vult Dei Sanctus Animus. A formula used by Knights Templar. The expression Veut Dieu Saint Amour means literally, Wishes God Holy Love, which in correct English might be expressed by Thus wishes God (who is)holy love. Vult Dei Sanctus Animus is the Latin Version of the same phrase. Only in this case God is in the genitive case and therefore the exact translation would be The holy spirit of God wishes or Thus wishes God’s holy spirit.
  • V:.E:. Viceroy Eusebius; Very Eminent.
  • V:.F:. Venerable Frére. French, meaning Worshipful Brother.
  • V:.L:. Vraie Lumiere. French, meaning True Light
  • V:.S:.L:. Volume of the sacred Law.
  • V:.W:. Very Worshipful
  • W:. Worshipful
  • W:.M:. Worshipful Master. Wurdiger Meister, in German, meaning Worshipful Master.


A word used in some of the high degrees. He was the father of Adoniram (see First Kings iv, 6). Lenning in the Encyclopedie der Freimaurerei is wrong in saying that he is represented by one of the officers in the degree of Master in Israel. He has confounded Abda with his son.


The name of the Orator in the Fourteenth Degree of the Rite of Perfection, or the Sacred Vault of James VI. The word means a servant, from abed, to serve, although somewhat corrupted in its transmission into the rituals. Lenning says it is the Hebrew Habdamon, meaning a servant; but there is no such word in Hebrew.


A Hebrew word meaning servant of God. The name of an angel mentioned by the Jewish Cabalists. He is represented in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Book V, lines 894-7, as one of the seraphbn, who, when Satan tried to stir up a revolt among the angels subordinate to his authority, alone and boldly withstood his traitorous designs :

Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
unshaken un-seduced, un-terrified,
His loyalty be kept, his love, his zeal.

The name Abdiel became the synonym of honor and faithfulness.


A secret place for the deposit of records


A secret Order which existed about the middle of the eighteenth century in Germany, called also the Order of Abel The organization was in possession of peculiar signs, words, and ceremonies of initiation, but, according to Gadicke, Freimaurer Lexicon, it had no connection with Freemasonry. According to Clavel the order was founded at Griefswald in 1745.


Grand Master of Ireland 1874 to 1885.


James Hamilton, Lord Paisley, was named Grand Master of England by the retiring Grand Master, the Duke of Richmond, in 1725. He was at that time the Master of a Lodge, and had served on the Committee of Charity during that year. He succeeded his father as Earl of Abercorn in 1734.


Grand Master of Scotland, 1755 to 1756. Also of England 1757 to 1761.


The original name of the Hebrew month Nisan, nearly corresponding to the month of March, the first of the ecclesiastical year. Abib is frequently mentioned in the sacred scriptures, and signifies green ears of com or fresh fruits.


The name of the first Assassin in the Elu of the Modem French Rite. The word is derived most probably from the Hebrew abi and balah, which mean father of destruction, though it is said to mean le Meurtrier du Pere, this phrase meaning in French the Murder of the Father.


See stand to and abide by.


(or ABIFF, or perhaps more correctly ABIV).
A name appeared in scripture to that celebrated builder who was sent to Jerusalem by King Hiram, of Tyre, to superintend the construction of the Temple. The word, which in the original Hebrew is …and which may be pronounced Abiv or Abif, is compounded of the noun in the construct-state ….Abi, meaning father, and the pronominal suffix i, which, with. the preceding vowel sound, is to be sounded as iv or if, and which means his; so that the word thus compounded Abif literally and grammatically signifies his father. The word is found in second Chronicles iv, 16, in the following sentence:

“The pots also, and the shovels, and the flesh hooks, and all their instruments, did Hiram his father make to King Solomon.” The latter part of this verse is in the original as follows: shelomoh lamelech Abif Huram gnasah

Luther has been more literal in his version of this passage than the English translators, and appearing to suppose that the word Abif is to be considered simply as an appellative or surname, he preserves the Hebrew form, his translation being as follows: “Machte Hiram Abif dem Konige Salomo.” The Swedish version is equally exact, and, instead of “Hiram his father,” gives us Hiram Abiv. In the Latin Vulgate, as in the English version, the words are rendered Hiram pater ejus. We have little doubt that Luther and the Swedish translator were correct in treating the word Abif as a surname.

In Hebrew, the word ab, or father, is often used as a title of respect, and may then signify friend, counselor. wise man, or something else of equivalent character.

Thus, Doctor Clarke, commenting on the word abrech, in Genesis XLI, 43, says: “Father seems to have been a name of office, and probably father of the king or father of Pharaoh might signify the same as the king’s minister among us.” And on the very passage in which this word Abif is used, he says: ” father, is often used in Hebrew to signify master, inventor, chief operator.”

Gesenius, the distinguished Hebrew lexicographer, gives to this word similar significations, such as benefactor, master, teacher, and says that in the Arabic and the Ethiopia it is spoken of one who excels in anything.

This idiomatic custom was pursued by the later Hebrews, for Buxtor tells us, in his Talmudic Lexicon, that “among the Talmudists abba, father, was always a title of honor, ” and he quotes the following remarks from a treatise of the celebrated Maimonides, who, when speaking of the grades or ranks into which the Rabbinical doctors were divided, says: “The first class consists of those each of whom bears his own name, without any title of honor; the second, of those who are called Rabbanim; and the third, of those who are called Rabbi, and the men of this class also receive the cognomen of Abba, Father.”

Again, in Second Chronicles11, 13, Hiram, the King of Tyre, referring to the same Hiram, the widow’s son, who is spoken of subsequently in reference to King Solomon as his father, or Abif in the passage already cited, writes to Solomon: “And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father’s.” The only difficulty in this sentence is to be found in the prefixing of the letter lamed, before Huram, which has caused our translators, by a strange blunder, to render the words Huram abi, as meaning of Huram my father’s, instead of Huram my father. Brother Mackey remarked that Huram my father’s could not be the true meaning, for the father of King Hiram was not another Hiram, but Abibal.

Luther has again taken the correct view of this subject, and translates the word as a surname: “So sende ich nun einen weisen Mann, der Berstand hat, Huram Abif”; that is, “So now I send you a wise man who has understanding, Huram Abif.” The truth, we suspect, is, although it has escaped all the commentators, that the lamed in this passage is a Chaldaism which is sometimes used by the later Hebrew writers, who incorrectly employ, the sign of the dative for the accusative after transitive verbs.

Thus, in Jeremiah XL 2, we have such a construction, vayikach rab tabachim l Yremyahu; that is, literally, “and the captain of the guards took for Jeremiah,”

Where the l, or for, is a Chaldaism and redundant, the true rendering being, “and the captain of the guards took Jeremiah.” Other similar passages are to be found in Lamentations IV, 5; Job V, 2, etc.

In like manner we suppose the .. before Huram which the English translators have rendered by the preposition of, to be redundant and a Chaldaic form.

The sentence should be read thus : ”I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, Huram my father;” Or, if considered as a surname, as it should be, Huram Abi.

From all this we conclude that the word Ab, with its different suffixes is always used in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in reference to Hiram the Builder, as a title of respect. When King Hiram speaks of him he calls him ”my father Hiram,” Hiram Abi and when the writer of the Book of Chronicles is speaking of him and King Solomon in the same passage, he calls him “Solomon’s father, his father,” Hiram Abif. The only distinction is made by the different appellation of the pronouns my and his in Hebrew. To both the kings of Tyre and of Judah he bore the honorable relation of Ab, or father, equivalent to friend, counselor, or minister. He was Father Hiram.

The Freemasons are therefore perfectly correct in refusing to adopt the translation of the English version, and in preserving, after the example of Luther, the word Abif as an appellative, surname, or title of honor and distinction bestowed upon the relief builder of the Temple, as Dr. James Anderson suggests in his note on the subject in the first edition (1723) of the Constitutions of the Freemasons.


One of the traitorous craftsmen, whose act of perfidy forms so important a part of the Third Degree, receives in some of the high degrees the name of Abiram Akirop. These words certainly have a Hebrew look; but the significant words of Freemasonry have, in the lapse of time and in their transmission through ignorant teachers, become so corrupted in form that it is almost impossible to trace them to any intelligible root. They may be Hebrew or they may be anagrammatized (see Anagram) ; but it is only chance that can give us the true meaning which the two words in combination undoubtedly possess. The word Abiram means father of loftiness, and may have been chosen as the name of the traitorous craftsman with allusion to the Biblical story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram who conspired against Moses and Aaron. Numbers xvi. In the French ritual of the Second Elu it is said to mean murderer or assassin, but this would not seem to be correct etymologically. Brother Mackenzie suggests that Akirop may be from, Karab, the Hebrew meaning to join battle. He also offers Abi-ramah, to mean in Hebrew destroyer of the father.


There is an old use of the word able to signify suitable. Thus, Chaucer says of a monk that “he was able to ben an abbot,” that is, suitable to be an abbot. In this sense the old manuscript Constitutions constantly employ the word, as when they say, in the Lansdowne Manuscript, that the apprentice should be “able of Birth that is free borne,” the ff then meaning F.


A ceremonial purification by washing, much used in the Ancient Mysteries and under the Mosaic Dispensation. It is also employed in some of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry. The better technical term for this ceremony is lustration, which see.


The band or apron,. made of fine linen, variously wrought, and worn by the Jewish priesthood. It seems to have been borrowed directly from the Egyptians, upon the representations of all of whose gods is to be found a similar girdle. Like the zennaar, or sacred cord of the Brahmans, and the white shield of the Scandinavians, it is the analogue of tho Masonic apron.


Terms of contempt used in some of the foreign rites, referring more particularly to Philippe le Bel and Bertrand de Got, persecutors of the Knights Templar.


A secret society which existed in England about the year 1783, and of whose ceremony of initiation the following account is contained in the British Magazine of that date. The presiding officer, who was styled the Original, thus addressed the candidate:

  • Original. Have you faith enough to be made an Original?
  • Candidate. I have.
  • Original. Will you be conformable to all honest rules which may support steadily the honor, reputation, welfare, and dignity of our ancient undertaking?
  • Candidate. I will.
  • Original. Then, friend, promise me that you will never stray from the paths of Honor, Freedom, Honesty, Sincerity, Prudence, Modesty, Reputation, Sobriety, and ‘True Friendship.
  • Candidate. I do.

Which done, the Crier of the Court commanded silence, and the new member, being uncovered, and dropping on his right knee, had the following oath administered to him by the Servant, the new member laying his right hand on the Cap of Honor, and Nimrod holding a staff over his head: “You swear by the Cap of Honor, by the Collar of Freedom, by the Coat of Honesty, by the Jacket of Sincerity, by the Shirt of Prudence, by the Breeches of Modesty, by the Garters of Reputation, by the Stockings of Sobriety, and by the Steps of True Friendship, never to depart from these laws.”

Then rising, with the staff resting on his head he received a copy of the laws from the hands of the Grand Original, with these words, “Enjoy the benefits hereof.”

He then delivered the copy of the laws to the care of the servant, after which the word was given by the secretary to the new member, namely: Eden, signifying the garden where ADAM, the great aboriginal, was formed.

Then the secretary invested him with the sign, namely: resting his right hand on his left side, signifying the first conjunction of harmony.

This organization had no connection with Freemasonry, but was simply one of those numerous imitative societies to which that Institution has given rise.


From 1802 to 1803 Grand Master of Scotland.


In the Leland Manuscript it is said that the Masons conceal “the wey of wynninge the facultye of Abrac.” John Locke (though it is doubtful if it was he who wrote a commentary on the manuscript) is quoted as saying: ”Here I am utterly in the dark.” However, it means simply the way of acquiring the science of Abrac. The science of Abrac is the knowledge of the power and use of the mystical abraxas, which see ; or very likely Abrac is merely an abbreviation of Abracadabra


The second quarter of the Twentieth century in the ‘Literature of Freemasonry was characterized above everything else by the publication (in some twenty languages) of Lodge histories. Taken collectively, and in their impact as a single body of writings, these histories have worked some two, or possibly three, fundamental changes in the older conception of the history of the Fraternity, and their data have caused the revisions of many details-this last applying particularly to the work of the pioneers of modern historical scholarship, Gould, Hughan, Crawley, Lane, Sadler, etc., and Gould especially. Of the Lodge histories some five or six are indubitable masterpieces, both in their literary form and in their scholarship.

Among the more slender books of the last named class is Notes on the Early History and Records of The Lodge, Aberdeen, No. Alter, by A. L. Miller, a Past Master of it; Aberdeen;
University Press; 1919. It is written modestly, with a fine spirit, and with a just sense of proportion ; it is a model for Lodge historians everywhere to pattern on; moreover it contains the clearest of pictures of a Lodge of the Transition Period, as it was and as it worked, a century before the first Grand Lodge of 1717.

Only three Lodges take precedence of it on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Mother Kilwinning, Mary’s Chapel, and Melrose St. John.

There is a written record of a Mason in Aberdeen in 1264, a Provost. In 1357 Andrew Scott came with other Masons from Melrose to rebuild the Cathedral. The records of the Burgh of Aberdeen, unbroken since 1398, contain many references to Masons. Masons came from everywhere to build King’s College, In those same records is a reference to the Mason “Lodge” (a building) in 1483. In the Burgh minutes of 1483 is the wording of an oath taken by the masonry of the luge; offenders were to be “excluded” (expelled). In 1486 the Burgh adopted rules governing Masons. In 1493 three Masons were permanently employed by the Burgh (now called “town”). A record of 1544 refers to the Lodge building, which was a permanent Masonic headquarters.

In 1527 the Masons were incorporated (by a Seal of Cause) and given disciplinary powers over their own members.

A Warden over the Masons was appointed in 1590. Masons, unlike most workers, could work inside or away from the town; they were “free.” An early Masons’ Lodge “supposed to have been situated on the southern slope near the top of st Katharine’s Hill, was built of Wood and was burned by enemies of the Craft, who were said to have been numerous, and to have in cludet the clergy “(From Wycliff down “the clergy”have been the hardest workers in it. The Roman Church has been officially against it ever since the General Council of Afignon, when all secret societies”were condemned) Another Lodge was afterwards built near where Aberdeen’s St. Paul’s now stands, but was burned down, and many old records with it, probably by the Marquis of Huntly when be ravaged Aberdeen with 2000 soldiers.

In 1700 the members built yet another Lodge, out upon the links, well apart ; the father of the famous architect James Gibbs lived in part of it.

Thus the written records prove a continuing existence of Masonry in Aberdeen from 1264, and doubtless Aberdeen iter is in a direct and unbroken line of descent from the Thirteenth Century. It is probable that the Masons have had a separate and organized society, self-governing, since at least as early as 1541, which was in the earliest period of Protestantism.

The Work Book written in 1670 contains pictures of Working Tools. Of the members at that date ten of the forty-nine were Operative Masons; among the non-operatives were four noblemen. The oldest known written record of a non-Operative in Scotland is 1600.

In Aberdeen records mention is made of “the Mason Word” : of “the oaths we received.” The Officers in 1670 were a Master, Warden, Boxmaster, Clerk and Officer (Tiler). Masons’ sons (the “Lewis”) received special privileges. Until 1754 “intrants” (apprentices) made presents of aprons and gloves; they were trained by “Intenders.” A permanent Charity Fund (in the “Box”) was set up in 1670.

The most interesting among the records are these two: “No Lodge be holden within a dwelling house where there is people living in but in the open fields, except it be ill weather, and then let there be a house chosen that no person shall hear nor see us.” And : “We ordain likewise that all entering Prentices be entered in our ancient outfield Lodge in the Mearns in the parish of Nigg at the sources [piers or bulwarks] at the point of the Ness.” the principal point made by the members when they wrote the Work Book of 1670 was that they were making sure that old customs were to be continued.

The first Freemason to come to America was John Skene, in 1684, of which the record was discovered by Bro. David McGregor. John Skene was a member of the Aberdeen Lodge. the first name in the list of members in the Work Book of 1670 was Harrie Elphingston, the Master; be was the booking agent who arranged passage on the vessel Henry and Francis on which a number of Aberdeenians emigrated to New Jersey, in America. The arrangement was made under the patronage of the Earl of Perth, one of the chief proprietors of New Jersey, also a Freemason, Robert Gordon, George Alexander, John Forles, also on the same list of members, purchased an interest in New Jersey. John Forbes came to East Jersey in 1684, then returned to Scotland. John Skene settled at Burlington, capital of East Jersey, and was Deputy Governor from 1685 until his death in 1690.


In the Anglo-Saxon period of English history the majority of gilds (“frith gilds,” “crich ten gilds”) were religious, military, or social fraternities. In the Twelfth Century a number of “secular gilds” began to arise, and it was these which later came to be called City Companies or (because certain of their members wore a prescribed costume) Livery Companies. The Exchequer Rolls of London show that by 1180 a number of these were legally organized; and because they could enforce laws, enact rules, levy fines and other penalties, etc., they had to have legal sanction for these governmental functions. This sanction was obtained in two ways : first, by having their rules and records approved at certain times by the Court of Aldermen, which was called Prescription ; or, second, by receiving a Charter of Incorporation from the King.

If a company, society, fraternity, or gild undertook to perform gild functions without the required legal authorization it was called an Adulterine (illegal) Gild; and after being tried and found guilty was heavily fined or otherwise punished, or was destroyed.

In l181 no fewer than 18 such gilds were found in London, and each was heavily fined. The fact is important in Masonic history because it shows why Masons attached so much importance to their Charters, Old Charges, etc. To act in association or hold assemblies or enforce rules and regulations without legal authorization would have made of them an adulterine Gild. The Masons Company of London became a recognized body not later than 1220, and by prescription. In 1481 it received its “Enfranchisement,” or permission to wear Livery. In 1677 it received a Charter (a very expensive luxury) from Charles II. What Prescription, Enfranchisement, and Charter were to a City Company, the Old Charges must have been to Lodges; once such a Lodge set itself up as a permanent society its first thought would be to have a written sanction lest it be condemned as adulterine. By the same token the new Grand Lodge of 1717 began as soon as possible to have a written legal instrument of its own, which took the form of the Book of Constitutions in 1723, and it compelled each new Lodge to have written warrant from it, and later, it began to issue Charters of its own to new Lodges.

A clandestine Lodge of the present time, which is a body without a regular Charter, is nothing other than the modern form of the ancient ”adulterine gild.”


The historic mission of Freemasonry in Africa has been for its Lodges and other Bodies to serve as a center of union and unity in communities of which the majority of citizens belong to a conglomerate of nationalities, languages, and races. The first Lodge in South Africa was Goede Hoop, of Holland origins, constituted in the Transvaal in 1772. (See article in this Supplement under Slavery, etc. ) The English founded British Lodge, No. 334, at Cape Town, in 1811. In 1860 a Lodge under Scotland was constituted as Southern Cross, No. 398. The earliest Lodge under an Irish warrant was Abercom No. 159, in 1895. Haille Selassie, the Emperor, was preparing to establish Lodges in Abyssinia shortly before the Italian conquest.

By 1936 there were on the Continent 389 Lodges recognized by Grand Lodges in the United States, and an undiscoverable number not recognized, many of the latter being of French, Spanish, and Italian origin. There were 254 Lodges under English Constitutions 103 under Scotland, 31 under Ireland. Since very little of Africa is under any Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction the way is open for Lodges for America. nationals, of which there are many in port cities businessmen, sailors, men of the Navy, airmen etc. In size African Lodges range from 25 to 301 members.

Egypt at the Sudan had in 1936, 25 Lodges; Province of Natal, 46; Union of South Africa and the Transvaal, 228; Johannesburg, 31; Cape Town, 12 Nigeria, 21; Rhodesia, 24; West Africa, 17; East Africa, 11; Tanganyika Territory, 6; Cape Colony, 9 Orange Free State, 2; etc. The English Lodges have five District Grand Lodges, Ireland has a Provincial Grand Lodge of South Africa, Southern. The Scottish Rite has two Grand Inspectors General among Lodges under English Constitutions. The Knights Templar and the Royal Arch are vigorous. The Transvaal Bodies have a Masonic Home. the majority of Bodies have a Benevolence Fund. A possible United Grand Lodge for South Africa is discussed, but appears unlikely.


This is the title of a book by Thomas Norton, of Bristol, England, which was reproduced in facsimile by Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 1929, taken from Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum with annotations by Elias Ashmole (made a Freemason at Warrington Lodge, in 1646). It contains an introduction, tantalizingly brief, by E. J. Holmyard. the study of chemistry, then called alchemy, is said to have been introduced into Europe in l144 when Robert of Chester translated Book of the Composition of Alchemy. (See Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, by Haskins.)

Thomas Norton’s father was Mayor of Bristol in 1413, and was a member of Parliament. Thomas himself was a man of much education and wealth. He learned his art (mystery it was then called, meaning craft or trade) from a study of the works of George Ripley, born fifteen years after the death of Chaucer. The Ordinal is one of three books on alchemy written by Thomas Norton. It is somewhat cryptic ; presupposes a certain amount of erudition; is written in a loose imitation of Chaucer’s verse; is not a great work of literature but is easy to read, and surpasses on most counts books written in the first half of the Fifteenth Century.

In addition to Ashmole’s interest in it, the original has two particular points of interest for Masonic students. First, in describing the contemporary craze for chemistry, Norton declares that common workmen are as curious about it “as well as Lords,” and among them, along with weavers, goldsmiths, tailors, etc., he names “Free Masons” and it is interesting that be used that form of the word.

Second, on page 33, be tells how the “Master” from whom he learned alchemy refused to instruct him in writing, therefore Norton had “to ride to my Master an hundred miles and more” for oral, and secret, instruction (chemistry was an unlawful science) ; and on the same page, addressing prospective pupils he writes:

“Wherefore it is need that within short space,
We speak together, and face to face;
If I should write, I should my fealty [oath] break,
Therefore mouth to mouth I must needs speak.”

This passage caught Ashmole’s eye. In a long annotation he gives a paragraph about famous instances of secret, mouth to-ear instructors and instructions, including Aristotle, and hints that because of dangers from the vulgar and prohibitions from princes and prelates “divers” arts and sciences have been thus propagated.

In a page contributed by him to Ars Quatuor coronatorum, 1894, entitled “The Medical Profession and Freemasonry” Robert Freke Gould devotes a paragraph to each of a number of famous physicians (Michael Scott, Lully, Paracelsus, Jerome Cardan, etc.) who had been alchemists, kabbalists, or had engaged in other forms of Hermetism. After quoting Dr. Stukeley as baving averred that Freemasonry may be suspected to be “remains of the Mysteries of the Ancient,” Gould continues: “With very little latitude of interpretation, the conclusion he arrived at, may be safely accepted as a correct one. the mysteries of Freemasonry are evidently the fragments of some ancient and nearly forgotten learning.” Gould then admits it as possible that “the Cabbalists, the Hermetical [or Occult] Philosophers, and the Rosicrucians, are the intermediaries” by whom those “fragments” have come down to us.

These remarks, coming as they do from one whom Hughan described as the premier Masonic historian, are interesting in themselves, and also may serve as the point of departure for a set of comments which it is now (a half century later) possible to make:

1. The remarks show that the veteran historian, with both his History and his Concise History behind him, and after eight years of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, was not yet sure in his own mind about the origin of Freemasonry ; for if Freemasonry came from Medieval chemists, mathematicians, astronomers, etc., it did not come from the cathedral building and other Freemasons.

2. Hermetism was not a vague, floating or “occult” tradition ; but derived from a book full of Greek materials on the sciences and entitled Hermes Trismegistus, copies and fragments of which came into Europe via Constantinople, Sicily, and Spain.

3. The physicians named by Gould had not been “occultists,” they had been physicians and chemists; the ‘alchemy” they studied was chemistry, and they studied it for medical uses. The fact that they studied chemistry (along with botany, etc.) affords no ground for believing that they had any reason to be “the channel” for transmitting fragments of the Ancient Mysteries-in their day they had heard fragmentary reports of ancient mythologies, of old forms of secret knowledge and of mysteries in the sense of skilled or professional trades, but they had never heard of the Ancient Mystery Cults properly so called; even Mithraism which had been the createst of the Mystery cults, had been wholly forgotten in the Middle Ages, and continued to be so until the Renaissance, and was not fully recovered until modern archeology unearthed the data.

4. Rosicrueianism was not ” Medieval ” It was a fantasy of the seventeenth Century. Freemasonry was full blown long before it was invented.

5. Documentary evidence, external evidence internal evidence Craft traditions, The Old Charges and the kind of reasoning which historians use, combine into one body of evidence to show that Freemasonry had its origin among the Medieval Freemasons, who were builders or architects scarcely a one of which, as far as any records show (and the names of hundreds are known, and as far back as the Twelfth Century) was ever an occultist or a mystic except in some such pedestrian, commonplace sense as could be applied to the Church in the Middle Ages.

Hermetism, properly so called, connected with a book, a collection of writings, composed in Alexandria in Ptolemaic times, and containing many portions on Greek and Alexandrian science. (Almost everything Medieval men, even scholars, knew about Egypt came to them via Alexandria. The Crusaders, contrary to assumptions of some Masonic writers, were little in Egypt but were established in Palestine, Syria, Armenia, etc.) Kabbalism was a form of religious mysticism concocted by Jews in Spain; and Graetz, whose knowledge of Jewish history was encyclopedic, believes it was a reaction to the science and rationalism of Maimonides (a modern man astray in the Middle Ages.) Medieval astrology was a vague version, or half memory, as if written on a palimpsest, of Ptolemy’s astronomy; and that, as present-day astronomers now admit, if his “cycles theory” were deleted out of it, was very sound astronomy. It is admitted that the texts and nomenclature of Medieval materials on those subjects (Cornelius Agrippina wrote the most dreadful nonsense) were cryptic and queer; but for that there are several explanations the need for secrecy, the mixture of languages owing to the many living and dead languages of the sources used, the need to keep laymen from endangering themselves with drugs they could not understand (Norton’s Ordinall mentions this), a general use of symbols in an illiterate age, etc. To throw Hermetism, alchemy, astrology, Kabbalism, and Rosicrucianism into one pot, to stir them up into an olla podrida, and then to call the mixture by the one misleading name of “hermetism” is not history but is obscurantism.

It certainly has nothing to do with Masonic history, because no Freemason ever built a cathedral, abbey, or priory from a recipe found in the Kabbala, nor was he in the practice of medicine.


On page 52 Dr. Mackey interpreted the All-Seeing Eye as a symbol of God’s omniscience, and in doing so had at the time (about 1870) the support of the Masonic students of his generation. The soundness of that interpretation need not be questioned in the sense that it represents the logical goal toward which any other possible interpretation may be aimed; but it is doubtful if it can be supported by Masonic history. Almost less is known about the symbol (and it is a symbol!) than any other; it did not once come into the purview of the studies on which this Supplement is based, and if any researcher has found anywhere solid data on the origin of the symbol it must be hidden in a book of more than average obscurity. There are a number of considerations based on other known data which throw some sidelights on the question :

1. During the long formative period of the Ritual from about 1717 to about 1770 Lodges were small, convivial, worked while seated about their dining table; they were serious, reverent, and the great majority of Masons were members of a church, but they were neither theological nor mystical, and they instinctively shrank from anything which bordered too closely upon the province of the Church. It is a sound rule in the interpretation of the symbols on the Tracing Boards used by those Lodges not to begin by assuming a theological meaning, because as a rule they shrank from theology. In Freemasonry before 1717 they shrank from it even more. They were a Brotherhood, a Fraternity, carrying on the traditions of the building craft, and they never had any consciousness of standing in the tradition of religion. Solemnity, seriousness, symbolism, ritualism, these do not betoken theology because they belong to man by nature and are found everywhere. Though the All-Seeing Eye is one of the religious symbols, it does not follow that the early Speculative Masons used it as a religious symbol.
2. The All-Seeing Eye may have denoted the Divine omniscience. Also, it may have symbolized any one or more of some five or six other truths or ideas. It may have denoted the sun originally, as it came up at dawn – it had been thus used by Shakespeare and many other writers. It may have meant the Grand Master or the worshipful Master, and been a reminder of the fact that wherever a man is and in whatever he may be doing he continues to be a Mason, and the eye of the Craft is on him. It may have stood for enlightenment, wisdom, intelligence ; and it may have been the Tracing Board representation of the Blazing Star in the Tessellated Pavement, in which case it was again the sun, or day-star, which shines on through day and night. (Note: Until modern astronomy made a number of its difficult facts familiar to everybody the majority of men did not see any necessary connection between daylight and the sun, because the day begins before the sun appears, and remains after it has sunk.) There are many omnisciences in addition to those known to theology and metaphysics-the omniscience of the law, the omniscience of the Government which keeps its eye on every citizen, etc.; if the first Freemasons had a symbol for omniscience it does not follow that it was therefore the Divine Omniscience that was meant.

3. If their symbol signified the Divine Omniscience it does not follow that it would have had for them a depressing meaning, as if that Omniscience were for no other purpose than a final Judgment Day. Omniscience needs not search a man out in order to condemn him for sins he has tried to hide ; it may search him out to honor him for virtues he has tried to hide. The Sword Pointing at the Naked Heart is another emblem which need not have a depressing meaning; it should have, rather, a cheerful meaning, because when justice searches out every heart it means that men have security, live in civil order, and therefore can be happy. We could use the All-Seeing Eye as a symbol of the Divine Omniscience we could use it at the same time as a symbol for what ought to be the Fraternity’s own omniscience (the word need not be defined so absolutely as many think it should) in the sense that it never loses sight of a man once that man has become a member, not even if he does not attend Lodge, or is confined at home by illness or accident, or has moved away.


The founder of the Hebrew nation. The patriarch Abraham is personated in the Degree or Order of High Priesthood, which refers in some of its ceremonies to an interesting incident in his life, After the friendly separation of Lot and Abraham, when the former was dwelling in the plain in which Sodom and its neighboring towns were situated, and the latter in the valley of Mamre near Hebron, a king from beyond the Euphrates, whose name was Chedorlaomer, invaded lower Palestine. and brought several of the smaller states into a tributary condition.

Among these were the five cities of the plain, to which Lot had retired. As the yoke was borne with impatience by these cities Chedorlaomer, accompanied by four other kings, who were probably his tributaries, attacked and defeated the kings of the plain, plundered their towns, and carried their people away as slaves.

Among those who suffered on this occasion was Lot. As soon as Abraham heard of these events, he armed three hundred and eighteen of his slaves, and, with the assistance of Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, three Amoritish chiefs, he pursued the retiring invaders, and having attacked them near the Jordan, put them to flight, and then returned with all the men and goods that had been recovered from the enemy. On his way back he was met by the King of Sodom, and also by Melchizedek, King of Salem, who was, like Abraham, a worshiper of the true God. Melchizedek refreshed Abraham and his people with bread and wine, and blessed him. The King of Sodom wished Abraham to give up the persons, but retain the goods that he had recovered; however, Abraham positively refused to retain any of the spoils, although, by the customs of the age, he was entitled to them, and declared that he had sworn that he would not take “from a thread even to a shoelatchet” (Genesis XIV). Although the conduct of Abraham in this whole transaction was of the most honorable and conscientious character, the incidents do not appear to have been introduced into the ritual of the High Priesthood for any other reason except that of their connection with Melchizedek, who was the founder of an Order of Priesthood.


A Freemason who made himself notorious at Paris, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, by the manufacture and sale of false Masonic diplomas and by trading in the higher degrees, from which traffic he reaped for some time a plentiful harvest. The Supreme Council of France declared, in 1811, all his diplomas and charters void and deceptive. He is the author of L’Art du Tuileur, dédié à tous les Maçons des deux hémisphéres, French for The Art of the Tiler, dedicated to all the Freemason of the two hemispheres, a small volume of 20 pages, octavo, printed at Paris in 1804, and he published from 1800 to 1808 a periodical entitled Le Miroir de la vérité, dédié à tous les Maçons, French for The Mirror of Truth, dedicated to all the Freemasom, 3 volumes, octavo. This contains many interesting details concerning the history of Freemasonry in France. In 1811 there was published at Paris a Circulaire du Conseil Supréme du 33e degré, etc., relative à la vente, par le Sieur Abraham de grades et cahiers Maçonniques; French, meaning. A Circular from the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, etc., relative te the sale by the Mr. Abraham of Masonic information in books and grades. This announcement, in octavo, sixteen pages, shows that Abraham was nothing else but a Masonic fraud.


Basilides, the head of the Egyptian sect of Gnosties, taught that there were seven outflowings, emanations, or aeons, from the Supreme God ; that these emanations engendered the angels of the highest order; that these angels formed a heaven for their habitation, and brought forth other angels of a nature inferior to their own ; that in time other heavens were formed and other angels created, until the whole number of angels and their respective heavens amounted to 365, which were thus equal to the number of days in a year; and, finally, that over all these an omnipotent Lord-inferior, however, to the Supreme God – presidented, whose name was Abraxas. Now this word Abraxas, in the numerical force of its letters when written in Greek, ABPAZAE, amounts to 365 the number of worlds in the Basilidean system, as well as the number of days in the year thus A,1…,B,2..,P,100…,A,1…,Z,60…,A,1…,E 200 = 365. The god Abraxas was therefore a type or symbol of the year, or of the revolution of the earth around the sun. This mystical reference of the name of a god to the annual period was familiar to the ancients, and is to be found in at least two other instances. Thus, among the Persians the letters of the name of the god Mithras, and of Belenus along the Gauls, amounted each to 365.

M = 40
E = 5
I = 10
O = 9
P =100
A = 1
Z = 200
= 365

B = 2
H= 8
A = 30
E = 5
N = 50
O = 70
Z = 200
= 365

The word Abrazas, therefore, from this mystical value of the letters of which it was composed, became talismanic or magical. This was frequently inscribed, sometimes with and sometimes without other superstitious inseriptions, on stones or gems as amulets. Many of these have been preserved or are continually being discovered, and are to be found in the cabinets of the curious.
There have been many guesses and beliefs among the learned as to the source of the word Abrazas.

Beausobre, in his History of Manicheism, volume 2, derives it from the Greek, A., signifying the magnificent Savior, He who heals and preserves.

Bellermann, Essay on the Gems of the Ancients, supposed it to be compounded of three Coptic words signifying the holy word of bliss. Pignorius and Vandelin think it is composed of four Hebrew and three Greek letters, whose numerical value is 365, and which are the initials of the sentence: saving man by wood, that is, the Cross.


Stones on which the word Abrazas and other devices are engraved, and which were used by the Egyptian Gnosties as amulets.


Attendance on the communications of his Lodge, on al convenient occasions, is considered as one of the duties of every Freemason, and hence the Old Charges of 1722 say that ”in ancient Times no Master or Fellow could be absent from it [the Lodge] especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure, until it appeared to the Master and Wardens that pure Necessity hindered him.”

At one time it was usual to enforce attendance by fines, and the By-Laws of the early Lodges contain lists of fines to be imposed for absence, swearing and drunkenness, but that usage is now discontinued, so that attendance on ordinary communications is no longer enforced by any sanction of law.

Attendance is a duty the discharge of which must be left to the conscientious convictions of every Freemason. In the ease, however, of a positive summons for any express purpose, such as to stand trial, to show cause, etc., the neglect or refusal to attend might be construed into a contempt, to be dealt with according to its magnitude or character in each particular case.

The absence of an officer is a far more important matter and it is now generally held in the case of the absence of the Worshipful Master or Wardens the inferior officer assumes the duties of the office that is vacant The Wardens, as well as the Master, are entrusted with the government of the Lodge and in the case of the absence of the Master at the time of opening, the Senior Warden, if present and, if not, then the Junior Warden may open the Lodge and the business transacted will be, regular and legal.

While this is the practice in the United States of America, the same rule is not followed under the Grand Lodge of England, where it is provided in Rule 141 of the Book of Constitutions that in the absence of the Worshipful Master the Immediate Past Master shall take the chair. In the event that the Immediate Past Master is not present, then the Senior Past Master of the Lodge or, if no Past Masters of the Lodge are in attendance, the Senior Past Master who is a subscribing member of the Lodge shall officiate. But failing all of these, then we have the Senior Warden or, in his absence, the Junior Warden shall rule and govern the Lodge, but shall not occupy the Master’s chair and no degree can be conferred unless a Master or Past Master in the Craft presides at the ceremony.

Thus it will be seen that the general rule does not apply to both countries in the same way.


Rule 141 of the English Book of Constitutions states that the Immediate Past Master or in his absence the Senior Past Master of the Lodge, or, if no Past Master of the Lodge be present, the Senior Past Master who is a subscribing member of the Lodge shall take the chair. Failing all of these the Senior Warden, or, if he is absent, the Junior Warden, is to rule the Lodge, but without occupying the Master’s chair. No initiation is to take place or Degree be conferred unless a Master or Past Master in the Craft occupies the chair. In the United States, however, especially where many Candidates await their Degrees, the custom has developed for the Worshipful Master at his pleasure to place in the chair temporarily any Brother in his judgment competent to properly give the ritualistic work.


A Lodge at Adis-Ababa was constituted by the ‘Grand Orient of France on October 20, 1909.


An interesting and important symbol in Freemasonry. Botanically, it is the acacia vera of Tournefort, and the mimosa nilotica of Linnaeus, called babul tree in India. The acacia arabica grew abundantly in the vicinity of Jerusalem, where it is still to be found, and is familiar in its modern use at the tree from which the gum arabic of commerce is derived.

Oliver, it is true,’says that “there is not the smallest trace of any tree of the kind growing so far north as Jerusalem” (Landmarks, volume 2, page 1490). But this statement is refuted by the authority of Lieutenant Lynch, who saw it growing in great abundance in Jericho, and still farther north (Expedition to the Dead Sea, page 262).

The Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, who is excellent authority, says: “The Acacia (Shittim) tree, Al Sunt, is found in Palestine of different varieties, it looks like the Mulberry tree, attains a great height, and has a hard wood. The gum which is obtained from it is the gum arabic” (Descriptive Geography and Historical Sketch of Palestine, page 308, Leeser’s translation, Philadelphia, 1850). Schwarz was for sixteen years a resident of Palestine, and wrote from personal observation. The testimony of Lynch and Schwarz should, therefore, forever settle the question of the existence of the acacia in Palestine.

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, page s51, states that the acacia seyal and the acacia tortilis are plentiful around the Dead Sea.

The acacia is called in the Bible Shittim, which is really the plural of Shittah, which last form occurs once only, in Isaiah XLI, 19. It was esteemed a sacred wood among the Hebrews, and of it Moses was ordered to make the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the table for the shewbread, and the rest of the sacred furniture (Exodus xxv-xxvii).

Isaiah (XLI, 19), in recounting the promises of God’s mercy to the Israelites on their return from the captivity, tells them that, among other things, he will plant in the wilderness, for their relief and refreshment, the cedar, the acacia, (or, as it is rendered in our common version, the shittah), the fir, and other trees.

The first thing, then, that we notice in this symbol of the acacia, is that it had been always consecrated from among the other trees of the forest by the sacred purposes to which it was devoted. By the Jew, the tree from whose wood the sanctuary of the tabernacle and the holy ark had been constructed would ever be viewed as more sacred than ordinary trees. The early Freemasons, therefore, very naturally appropriated this hallowed plant to the equally sacred purpose of a symbol, which was to teach an important divine truth in all ages to come.

Having thus briefly disposed of the natural history of this plant, we may now proceed to examine it in its symbolic relations.

First. The acacia, in the mythic system of Freemasonry, is pre-eminently the symbol of the IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL–that important doctrine which it is the great design of the Institution to teach. As the evanescent nature of the flower, which “cometh forth and is cut down,” reminds us of the transitory nature of human life, so the perpetual renewal of the evergreen plant, which uninterruptedly presents the appearance of youth and vigor, is aptly compared to that spiritual life in which the soul, freed from the corruptible companionship of the body, shall enjoy an eternal spring and an immortal youth. Hence, in the impressive funeral service of our Order, it is said that “this evergreen is an emblem of our faith in the immortality of the soul. By this we are reminded that we have an immortal part within us, which shall survive the grave, and which shall never, never, never die.” And again, in the closing sentences of the monitorial lecture of the Third Degree, the same sentiment is repeated, and we are told that by “the evergreen and ever-living emblem of immortality, the acacia” the Freemason is strengthened “with confidence and composure to look forward to a blessed immortality.” Such an interpretation of the symbol is an easy and a natural one ; it suggests itself at once to the least reflective mind; and consequently, in some one form or another, is to be found existing in all ages and nations.

There was an ancient custom-which is not, even now, altogether disused-for mourners to carry in their hands at funerals a sprig of some evergreen, generally the cedar or box, or the cypress, and to deposit it in the grave of the deceased.

According to Dalcho, the Hebrews always planted a sprig of the acacia at the head of the grave of a departed friend.

Dalcho says, in his Second Oration (page 23), “This custom among the Hebrews arose from this circumstance. Agreeably to their laws, no dead bodies were allowed to be interred within the walls of the City; and as the Cohens, or Priests, were prohibited from crossing a grave, it was necessary to place marks thereon, that they might avoid them. For this purpose the Acacia was used.” Brother Mackey could not agree to the reason assigned by Dalcho, but of the existence of the custom there can be no question, notwithstanding the denial or doubt of Doctor Oliver. Blount, Travels in the Levant (page 197), says, speaking of the Jewish burial customs, “those who bestow a marble stone over any [grave) have a hole a yard long and a foot broad, in which they plant an evergreen, which seems to grow from the body and is carefully watched.” Hasselquist, Travels (page 28), confirms his testimony. We borrow the citations from Brown, Antiquities of the Jews (volume 2, page 356), but have verified the reference to Hasselquist. Potter, Antiquities of Greece (page 569), tells us that the ancient Greeks “had a custom of bedecking tombs with herbs and flowers.” All sorts of purple and white flowers were acceptable to the dead, but principally the amaranth and the myrtle.

The very name of the former of these plants, which signifies never fading, would seem to indicate the true symbolic meaning of the usage, although archeologists have general supposed it to be simply an exhibition of love on the part of the survivors. Ragon says that the ancients substituted the acacia for all other plants because they believed it to be incorruptible, and not liable to injury from the attacks of any kind of insect or other animal thus symbolizing the incorruptible nature of the soul.

Hence we see the propriety of placing the sprig of acacia, as an emblem of immortality, among the symbols of that degree, all of whose ceremonies are Intended to teach us the great truth that “the life of man, regulated by morality, faith, and justice, will be rewarded at its closing hour by the prospect of Eternal Bliss” as in the manuscript of Doctor Crucefix quoted by Brother Oliver in his Landmarks (11, 20). So, therefore, says Doctor Oliver, when the Master Mason exclaims, “My name is Acacia,” it is equivalent to saying, “I have been in the grave, I have triumphed over it by rising from the dead, and being regenerated in the process, I have a claim to life everlasting” (see Landmarks 11, 151, note 27).

The sprig of acacia, then, in its most ordinary signification, presents itself to the Master Mason as a symbol of the immortality of the soul, being intended to remind him, by its ever-green and unchanging nature, of that better and spiritual part within us, which, as an emanation from the Great Architect of the Universe, can never die. And as this is the most ordinary, the most generally accepted signification, so also is it the most important; for thus, as the peculiar symbol of immortality, it becomes the most appropriate to an Order all of whose teachings are intended to inculcate the great lesson that “life rises out of the grave.” But incidental to this the acacia has two other interpretations which are well worthy of investigation.

Secondly, then, the acacia is a symbol of INNOCENCE.

The symbolism here is of a peculiar and unusual character, depending not on any real analogy in the form or use of the symbol to the idea symbolized, but simply on a double or compound meaning of the word.

For ….., in the Greek language, signifies both the plant in question and the moral quality of innocence or purity of life. In this sense the symbol refers, primarily, to him over whose solitary grave the acacia was planted, and whose virtuous conduct, whose integrity of life and fidelity to his trusts have ever been presented as patterns to the craft, and consequently to all Master Masons, who, by this interpretation of the symbol, are invited to emulate his example.

Hutchinson, indulging in his favorite theory of Christianizing Freemasonry, when he comes to this signification of the symbol, thus enlarges on the interpretation. We Masons, describing the deplorable estate of religion under the Jewish law, speak in figures.

Her tomb was in the rubbish and filth east forth of the temple, and ACACIA wove its branches over her monument, acacia being the Greek word for innocence, or being free from sin, implying that the sins and corruptions of the old law, and devotees of the Jewish altar, had hid religion from those who sought her, and she was only to be found where INNOCENCE survived, and under the banner of the divine Lamb ; and as to ourselves professing that we were to be distinguished by our ACACY, or as true ACACIANS in our religious faith and tenets” (see Hutehinson’s Spirit of Masonry, Lecture IX, page 160, edition of 1775). ‘

But, lastly, the acacia is to be considered as the symbol of INITIATION. This is by far the most interesting of its interpretations, and was, we have every reason to believe, the primary and original ; the others being but incidental. It leads us at once to the investigation of the significant fact that in all the ancient initiations and religious mysteries there was some plant peculiar to each, which was consecrated by its own esoteric meaning, and which occupied an important position in the celebration of the rites. Thus it was that the plant, whatever it might be, from its constant and prominent use in the ceremonies of initiation, came at length to be adopted as the symbol of that initiation.

Thus, the lettuce was the sacred plant which assumed the place of the acacia the mysteries of Adonis (see Lettuce). The lotus was that of the Brahmanical rites of India, and from them adopted by the Egyptians (see Lotus). The Egyptians also revered the erica or heath; and the mistletoe was a mystical plant among the Druids (see Erica and Mistletoe). And, lastly, the myrtle performed the same office of symbolism in the mysteries of Greece that the lotus did in Egypt or the mistletoe among the Druids (see Myrtle).

In all of these ancient mysteries, while the sacred plant was a symbol of initiation, the initiation itself was symbolic of the resurrection to a future life, and of the immortality of the soul. In this view, Freemasonry is to us now in the place of the ancient initiations, and the acacia is substituted for the lotus, the erica, the ivy, the mistletoe, and the myrtle. The lesson of wisdom is the same-the medium of imparting it is all that has been changed.

Returning, then, to the acacia, we find that it is capable of three explanations. It is a symbol of immortality, of innocence, and of initiation. But these three significations are closely connected, and that connection must be observed, if we desire to obtain a just interpretation of the symbol. Thus, in this one symbol, we are taught that in the initiation of life, of which the initiation in the Third Degree is simply emblematic, innocence must for a time lie in the grave, at length, however, to be called, by the word of the Great Master of the Universe, to a blissful immortality.

Combine with this instruction the recollection of the place where the sprig of acacia was planted-Mount Calvary-the place of sepulture of Him who “brought life and immortality to light,” and Who, in Christian Freemasonry, is designated, as He is in Scripture, as the lion of the tribe of Judah; and remember, too, that in the mystery of His death, the wood of the cross takes the place of the acacia.

Therefore, in this little and apparently insignificant symbol, but which is really and truly the most important and significant one in Masonic science, we have a beautiful suggestion of all the mysteries of life and death, of time and eternity, of the present and of the future.


A word introduced by Hutchinson, in his book, The Spirit of Masonry, to designate a Freemason in reference te the akakia, or innocence with which he was to be distinguished, from the Greek word axaxia (see the preceding article on the Acacia). The Acacians constituted a heretical seat in the primitive Christian Church, who derived their name from Acacius, Bishop of Caesarea from 340 to 365. The doctrine of these Acacians was that Christ is not of the same substance as God, but merely resembles Him. There was subsequently another sect of the same name under Acacius, who was Patriarch of Constantinople from 471. He died in the year 489. But it is needless to say that the Hutchinsonian application of the word Acacian to signify a Freemason has nothing to do with the theological reference of the term.


meaning, literally, the School of the Enlightened Ones at Avignon. The words Illumines and Illuminati have been used by various religious sects and secret societies in their names. A Hermetic system of philosophy created in 1785, and making some use of the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg.


The Fourth Degree of the Rectified Rose Croix of Schroeder who founded a Rite by this name.


The French name is Académie des Secrets. A society instituted at Warsaw, in 1767, by M. Thoim de Salverte, and founded on the principles of another which bore the same name, and which is said to have been established at Rome, about the end of the sixteenth century, by John Baptiste Porta. The object of the institution was the advancement of the natural sciences and their application to the occult philosophy.


An order which existed in Sweden in 1770, deriving its origin from one credited with being founded in London by Elias Ashmole, on the doctrines of the New Atlantis of Bacon. A few similar societies were subsequently founded in Russia and France, one especially noted by Thory in his book, Acta Latomorum, as having been established in 1776 by the Mother Lodge of Avignon.


See Academy of Ancients


The French name of this society is Académie des Sublimes Maîtres de l’Anneau Lumineux. Founded in France, in 1780, by Baron Blaerfindy, one of the Grand Officers of the Philosophy Scotch Rite. The Academy of the Luminous Ring was dedicated to the philosophy of Pythagoras, and was divided into three Degrees.

The first and second were principally occupied with the history of Freemasonry, and the last with the dogmas of the Pythagorean school, and their application to the highest grades of science. The historical hypothesis which was sought to be developed in this Academy was that Pythagoras was the founder of Freemasonry.


The French name of the society is Académie des Vraies Maçons. Founded at Montpelier, in France, by Dom Pernetty in 1778, and occupied with instructions in Hermetic Science, which were developed in six Degrees, namely :

  1. The True Mason ;
  2. The True Mason in the Right Way;
  3. Knight of the Golden Key;
  4. Knight of Iris;
  5. Knight of the Argonauts;
  6. Knight of the Golden Fleece.

The Degrees thus conferred constituted the Philosophic Scotch Rite, which was the system adopted by the Academy. It afterward changed its name to that of Russo-Swedish Academy, which circumstance leads Thory to believe that it was connected with the Alchemical Chapters which at that time existed in Russia and Sweden. The entirely Hermetic character of the Academy of True Masons may readily be perceived in a few paragraphs cited by Clavel (page 172, third edition, 1s44), from a discourse by Goyer de Jumilly at the; installation of an Academy in Martinique. “To seize,” says the orator, “the graver of Hermes to engrave the doctrines of natural philosophy on your columns; to call Flamel the Philalete, the Cosmopolite, and our other masters to my aid for the purpose of unveiling the mysterious principles of the occult sciences,-these, Illustrious Knights, appear to be the duties imposed on me by the ceremony of your installation. The fountain of count Trevisan, the pontifical water, the peacock’s tail, are phenomena with which you are familiar.”


Founded in 1480 by Marsilius Ficinus, at Florence, under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medicis. This organization is said by the Freemasons of Tuscany to have been a secret society, and is supposed to have had a Masonic character, because in the hall where its members held their meetings, and which Doctor Mackey reported was remaining in his time, many Masonic symbols are to be found. Clavel (page 65, third edition, 1844) supposes it to have been a society founded by some of the honorary members and patrons of the Fraternity of Freemasons who existed in the Middle Ages, and who, having abandoned the material design of the Institution, confined themselves to its mystic character. If his suggestion be correct, this is one of the earliest instances of the separation of Speculative from Operative Masonry.


A plant, described by Dioseorides, a Greek physician and botanist of the first century,. with broad, flexible, prickly leaves, which perish in the winter and sprout again at the return of spring. Found in the Grecian islands on the borders of cultivated fields or gardens, it is common in moist, rocky situations. It is memorable for the tradition which assigns to it the origin of the foliage carved on the capitals or upper parts of Corinthian and Composite columns. Hence, in architecture, that part of the Corinthian capital is called the Acanthus which is situated below the abacus or slab at the top, and which, having the form of a vase or bell, is surrounded by two rows of leaves of the acanthus plant.

Callimachus, who invented this ornament, is said to have had the idea suggested to him by the following incident: A Corinthian maiden who was betrothed, fell ill, and died just before the appointed time of her marriage. Her faithful and grieving nurse placed on her tomb a basket containing many of her toys and jewels, and covered it with a flat tile. It so happened that the basket was placed immediately over an acanthus root, which afterward grew up around the basket and curled under the weighty resistance of the tile, thus exhibiting a form of foliage which was, on its being seen by the architect, adopted as a model for the capital of a new order; so that the story of affection was perpetuated in marble.

Dudley ( Naology, page 164) thinks the tale puerile, and supposes that the acanthus is really the lotus of the Indians and Egyptians, and is symbolic of laborious but effectual effort applied to the support of the world.

With him, the symbolism of the acanthus and the lotus are identical (see Lotus).


The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London-a flourishing Gild at the Present day-possesses as its earliest document now existing an account book headed:1620.

The Account of James Gilder Mr William Warde & John Abraham wardens of the Company of freemasons within the City of London beginning the first day of Julie 1619 And ending the day of Julie 1620 of all receipts & payments for & to the use the same company as followeth, viz. From the entries in this book it appears that besides the ordinary Freemen and Liverymen of this Company there were other members who are termed in the books the Accepted Masons and that they belonged to a Body known as the Accepcon or Acception, which was an Inner Fraternity of Speculative Freemasons.

Thus in the year 1620 the following entry is found:

“They charge themselves also with Money Received of the Persons hereafter named for they’re gratuities at they’re acceptance into the Lyvery viz” (here follow six names). Among the accounts for the next year (1621) there is an entry showing sums received from several persons, of whom two are mentioned in the entry of 1620, “Att the making masons,” and as all these mentioned were already members of the Company something further must be meant by this.

In 1631 the following entry of the Clerk’s expenses occurs, ” Pel in going abroad at a meeting at the hall about the Masons that were to be accepted vi- vid,” that is, Paid in going about and at a meeting at the hall about the Masons that were to be accepted. vi, -vi-.

Now the Company never accepted its members; they were always admitted to the freedom either by apprenticeship, patrimony, or redemption. Thus the above entries suggest that persons who were neither connected with the trade nor otherwise qualified were required, before being eligible for election on the livery of the Company, to become Accepted Masons, that is, to join the Lodge of Speculative Masonry that was held for that purpose in the Company’s Hall. Thus in the accounts for 1650, payments are entered as made by several persons ”for coming on the Liuerie & admission upon Acceptance of Masonry,” and it is entered that Mr. Andrew Marvin, the present Warden, and another paid 20 shillings each “for coming on the Accepcon,” while two others are entered as paying 40 shillings each “for the like,” and as the names of the last two cannot be found among the members of the Masons Company it would seem as if it was possible for strangers to join “the Accepcon” on paying double fees.

Unfortunately no books connected with this Acception, or Lodge, as it may be called, have been preserved. But there are references to it in several places in the account books which show that the payments made by newly accepted Freemasons were paid into the funds of the Company, that some or all of this amount was spent on a banquet and the attendant expenses. Any further sum required was paid out of the ordinary funds of the Company, proving that the Company had entire control of the Lodge and its funds.

Further evidence of the existence of this Symbolical Lodge within the Masons Company is given by the following entry in an inventory of the Company’s property made in 1665.

“Item. The names of the Accepted Masons in a faire inclosed frame with lock and key.”‘ In an inventory of the Company’s property for 1676 is found:

  • “Item. One book of the Constitutions of the Accepted Masons.” No doubt this was a copy of one of the Old Charges.
  • “A faire large table of the Accepted Masons.”

Proof positive of its existence is derived from an entry in the diary of Elias Ashmole-the famous antiquary-who writes:

  • “March 10th. 1682. About 5 p.m. I received a summons to appear at a Lodge to be held next day at Masons Hall London.
  • “March 1lth. Accordingly I went and about noon were admitted into the. Fellowship of Free Masons:
    • Sir William Wilson Knight, Capt. Rich Borthwick, Mr Will Woodman, Mr Wm Grey, Mr Samuell Taylor, and Mr William Wise.”

In the edition of Ashmole’s diary published in 1774 the above paragraph was changed into “I went, and about noon was admitted, by Sir William Wilson &c.,” an error which has misled many Masonic historians (see Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, volume xi, page 6).

  • “I was the Senior Fellow among them (it being 35 years since I was admitted).”

Ashmole then mentions the names of nine others who were present and concludes: “We all dinned at the half Moone Taverne in Cheapeside, at a noble dinner prepared at the charge of the New-Accepted Masons.”

All present were members of the Masons Company except Ashmole himself, Sir W. Wilson and Capt. Borthwick, and this entry proves conclusively that side by side with the Masons Company there existed another organization to which non-members of the Company were admitted and the members of which were known as Accepted Masons.

It may here be mentioned that Ashmole has recorded in his diary that he was made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire on October 16, 1646. In that entry the word Accepted does not occur.
No mention is made of the Accepted Masons in the accounts of the Masons Company after 1677, when £6, the balance remaining of the last Accepted Masons’ money-was ordered to be laid out for a new banner. It would seem that from that time onward the Lodge kept separate accounts, for from the evidence of Ashmole’s diary we know it was at work in 1682, but when and why it finally ceased no evidence is forthcoming to show.

However, it may fairly be assumed that this Masons Hall Lodge had ceased to exist before the Revival of Freemasonry in 1717, or else Anderson would not have said in the Constitutions of 1723 (page 82), “It is generally believed that the said Company, that is the London Company of Freemen Masons, is descended of the ancient Fraternity; and that in former Times no Man was made Free of that Company until he was installed in some Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, as a necessary Qualification. But that laudable Practice seems to have been long in Desuetude.” This passage would indicate that he was aware of some tradition of such a Lodge as has been described attached to the Masons Company admitting persons in no way operatively connected with the Craft, who were called Accepted Masons to distinguish them from the Operative or Free Masons (see Conder’s Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, volume ix).

Anderson in the 1738 Constitutions quotes from a copy of the old Constitutions some regulations which he says were made in 1663, and in which the phrases accepted a Free Mason and Acceptation occur several times. These regulations are found in what is known as the Grand Lodge Manuscript No. 2, which is supposed to have been written about the middle of the 17th century, so that Anderson’s date in which he follows the Roberts Old Constitution printed in 1722 as to the year, though he changes the day from December 8th to December 27th, may quite possibly be correct. Brother Conder (Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry, page 11), calls special attention to these regulations on account of the singular resemblance that one of them bears to the rules that govern the Masons Company.

The extracts given above from the books of the Masons Company, the Ancient Regulations, if that date be accepted, and the quotation from Ashmole’s diary, are the earliest known instances of the term Accepted Masons. Although the Inigo Jones Manuscript is headed “The Ancient Constitutions of the Free and Accepted Masons 1607,” yet there is a consensus of opinion among experts that. such date is impossible and that the document is really to be referred to the end of the seventeenth century or even the beginning of the eighteenth.

The next instance of the use of the term is in 1686 when Doctor Plot in The Natural History of Staffordshire wrote with reference to the secret signs used by the Freemasons of his time “if any man appear, though altogether unknown, that can shew any of these signs to a Fellow of the Society, whom they otherwise call an Accepted Mason, he is obliged presently to come to him from what company or place soever he be in, nay, though from the top of steeple.”

Further, in 1691, John Aubrey, author of The Natural History of Wiltshire, made a note in his manuscript: “This day (May 18, 1691) is a great convention at St. Paul’s Church of the fraternity of the free Masons,” in which he has erased the word free aud substituted accepted, which, however, he changed into adopted in his fair copy.

In the ”Orders to be observed by the Company and Fellowship of Freemasons att a Lodge held at Alnwick, Sept. 29, 1701, being the Gen Head Meeting Day,” we find: “There shall not be apprentice after he have served seven years be admitted or accepted but upon the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.”

From that time onward the term Accepted Masons becomes common, usually in connection with Free.
The term Free and Accepted Masons thus signifying both the Operative members who were free of their Gild and the Speculative members who had been accepted as outsiders. Thus the Roberts Print of 1722 is headed, “The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons.” In the Constitutions of 1723 Anderson speaks (on page 48) of wearing “the Badges of a Free and Accepted Mason” and uses the phrase in Rule 27, though he does not use the phrase so frequently as in the 1738 edition in which “the Charges of a Free-Mason” become “the old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons,” the “General Regulations” become “The General Regulations of the Free and Accepted Mason,” and Regulation No. 5: “No man can be made or admitted a Member” becomes “No man can be accepted a Member, ” while the title of the book is The new book of Constitutions of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons instead of The Constitution of the Free-Masons as in the earlier edition.


This term occurs in the records of the Company of Masons of London in the years 1620 and 1621 aud Brother Hawkins thought it to be the name of the non-operative or speculative body attached to that Company, this being the Lodge that Ashmole visited in 1682. Brother Edward Couder, Jr., says (in his work, The Hole craft and Fellowship of Masons, page 155), “It is evident that these Accepted Masons were on a different footing to those who were admitted to the freedom of the Company by servitude or patrimony. The word Accepted only occurs a few times in the whole of the accounts, and from the inventories of the Company’s goods and the other entries concerning these members, proof is obtained that the Accepted Masons who joined this London Masons’ Gild, did so not necessarily for the benefit of the freedom of the Company but rather for the privilege of attending the Masons’ Hall Lodge at which Ashmole was present.” Brother Conder points out that the item of 1631, referring to the Masons that were to be Accepted, together with the entries in the Minute Book of 1620, are the earliest post-reformation notices of speculative Freemasonry yet discovered in England (see Accepted).


The Masons Company of London show this phrase in one of their records, 1620-1, in connection seemingly with a non-operative or speculative body which was associated with them.
In 1682 Elias Ashmole visited this Lodge.


A certain form of words used in connection with the battery. In the Scottish Rite it is hoshea; in the French vivat; in Adoptive Masonry it was Eva; and in the Rite of Misraim, hallelujàh (see Battery).


From the Latin ad and collum, meaning around the neck. Generally but incorrectly it is supposed that the accolade means the blow given on the neck of a newly created knight with the flat of the sword. The best authorities define it to be the embrace, or a slight blow on the cheek or shoulder, accompanied with the kiss of peace, by which the new knight was at his creation welcomed into the Order of Knighthood by the sovereign or lord who created him (see Knighthood).


We get this word from the two Latin ones ad cor, meaning to the heart, and hence it means hearty consent. Thus in Wiclif’s translation we find the phrase in Philippians, which in the Authorized Version is “with one accord,” rendered “with one will, With one heart.” Such is its signification in the Masonic formula, “free will and accord,” that is, “free will and hearty consent.” The blow given among the Romans to a slave was a necessary part of the manumission ceremony in bestowing freedom upon him, the very word manumit in Latin being derived from manus, hand; and mitto, send (see Free Will and Accord).


In every trial in a Lodge for an offense against the laws and regulations or the principles of Freemasonry any Master Mason may be the accuser of another, but a profane cannot be permitted to Prefer charges against a Freemason. Yet, if circumstances are known to a profane upon which charges ought to be predicated, a Master Mason may avail himself of that information, and out of it frame an accusation to be presented to the Lodge. Such accusation will be received and investigated although remotely derived from one who is not a member of the Order.

It is not necessary that the accuser should be a member of the same Lodge. It is sufficient if he is an affiliated Freemason; but it is generally held that an unaffiliated Freemason is no more competent to prefer charges than a profane.

In consequence of the Junior Warden being placed over the Craft during the hours of refreshment, and of his being charged at the time of his installation to see “that none of the Craft be suffered to convert the purposes of refreshment into those of intemperance and excess,” it has been very generally supposed that it is his duty, as the prosecuting officer of the Lodge, to prefer charges against any member who, by his conduct, has made himself amenable to the penal jurisdiction of the Lodge. We know of no ancient regulation which imposes this unpleasant duty upon the Junior Warden; but it does seem to be a very natural deduction, from his peculiar prerogative as the custosmorum or guardian of the conduct of the Craft, that in all cases of violation of the law he should, after due efforts toward producing a reform, be the proper officer to bring the conduct of the offending Brother to the notice of the Lodge.


From the Syro-Chaldaic, meaning field of blood, so called because it was purchased with the blood-money which was paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying his Lord (see Matthew xxvii, 7-10; also Acts 1, 19 ). The reader will note that the second letter of the word is sounded like k. It is situated on the slope of the hi1ls beyond the valley of Hinnom and to the south of Mount Zion. The earth there was believed, by early writers, to have possessed a corrosive quality, by means of which bodies deposited in it were quickly consumed; and hence it was used by the Crusaders, then by the Knights Hospitaler, and afterward by the Armenians, as a place of sepulture, and the Empress Helena is said to have built a charnel-house in its midst. Doctor Robinson (Biblical Researches, volume 1, page 524) says that the field is not now marked by any boundary to distinguish it from the rest of the field, and the former charnel-house is now a ruin. The field of Aceldama is referred to in the ritual of the Knights Templar.


A nom de plume or pen name assumed by Carl Rössler, a German Masonic writer (see Rossler).


One of the names of God. The word Achad, in Hebrew signifies one or unity. It has been adopted by Freemasons as one of the appellations of the Deity from the passage in Deuteronomy (vi, 4): “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is (Achad) one Lord” which the Jews wear on their phylacteries, and pronounce with great fervor as a confession of their faith in the unity of God. Speaking of God as Achad, the Rabbis say, “God is one (Achad) and man is one (Achad). Man, however, is not purely one, because he is made up of elements and has another like himself; but the oneness of God is a oneness that has no boundary.


In Hebrew signifying the new kingdom Significant words in some of the advanced degrees. The Latin term is given in the Manuel Maçonnique (1830, page 74) as Novissimus lmperium.


A corruption of the Hebrew Achijah the brother of Jah; a significant word in some of the advanced degrees.


Mentioned in first Kings iv, 6, under the name of Ahishar, and there described as being “over the household” of King Solomon. This was a situation of great importance in the East, and equivalent to the modern office of Chamberlain. The Steward in a Council of Select Masters is said to represent Achishar. In Hebrew the word is pronounced ak-ee-shawr.


See Echatana


A Cabalistic name of God belonging to the Crown or first of the ten sephiroth ; and hence signifying the Crown or God. The sephiroth refer in the Cabalistic system to the ten persons, intelligence or attributes of God.


When one is initiated into the degree of Most Excellent Master, he is technically said to be received and acknowledged as a Most Excellent Master. This expression refers to the tradition of the degree which states that when the Temple had been completed and dedicated, King Solomon received and acknowledged the most expert of the Craftsmen as Most Excellent Masters. That is, he received them into the exalted rank of perfect and acknowledged workmen, and acknowledged their right to that title. The verb to acknowledge here means to own or admit, to belong to, as, to acknowledge a son.


The primary class of the disciples of Pythagoras, who served a five years’ probation of silence, and were hence called acousmatici or hearers. According to Porphyry or Porphyrius, a Greek philosopher who lived about 233-306 A.D., they received only the elements of intellectual and moral instruction, and, after the expiration of their term of probation, they were advanced to the rank of Mathematici (see Pythagoras).


Under this head it may be proper to discuss two questions of Masonic law.

  1. Can a Freemason, having been acquitted by the courts of the country of an offense with which he has been charged, be tried by his Lodge for the same offense?
  2. Can a Freemason, having been acquitted by his Lodge on insufficient evidence, be subjected, on the discovery and production of new and more complete evidence, to a second trial for the same offense?

To both of these questions the correct answer would seem to be in the affirmative.

  1. An acquittal of a crime by a temporal court does not relieve a Freemason from an inquisition into the same offense by his Lodge. Acquittals may be the result of some technicality of law, or other cause, where, although the party is relieved from legal punishment, his guilt is still manifest in the eyes of the community. If the Order were to be controlled by the action of the courts, the character of the Institution might be injuriously affected by its permitting a man, who had escaped without honor from the punishment of the law, to remain a member of the Fraternity. In the language of the Grand Lodge of Texas, “an acquittal by a jury, while it may, and should, in some circumstances, have its influence in deciding on the course to be pursued, yet has no binding force in Masonry. We decide on our own rules, and our own view of the facts” (Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Texas, volume ii page 273). The Code Governing Procedure and Practice in Masonic Trials, in the Book of Constitutions edited by Brother Henry Pirtle for the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, says, on page 195, fifth edition, “Conviction or acquittal by a civil or military court for the same offense can not be pleaded in bar of trial by a Masonic Lodge.
  2. “To come to a correct apprehension of the second question, we must remember that it is a long-settled principle of Masonic law, that every offense which a Freemason commits is an injury to the whole Fraternity, inasmuch as the bad conduct of a single member reflects discredit on the whole Institution. This is a very old and well-established principle of the Institution. Hence we find the Old Constitutions declaring that Freemasons ”should never be thieves nor thieves’ mountaineers”(Cooke Manuscript line 916 ).

The safety of the Institution requires that no evil-disposed member should be tolerated with impunity in bringing disgrace on the Craft. Therefore, although it is a well-known maxim of the common law – Nemo debet bis puniri pro uno delicto – that is, No one should be twice placed in peril of punishment for the same crime, yet we must also remember that other and fundamental maxim – Salus populi suprema lex-which may, in its application to Freemasonry, be well translated. The well-being of the Order is the first great law. To this everything else must yield. Therefore, if a member, having been accused of a heinous offense and tried, shall, on his trial, for want of sufficient evidence, be acquitted, or, being convicted, shall, for the same reason, be punished by an inadequate penalty, and if he shall thus be permitted to remain in the Institution with the stigma of the crime upon him, ”whereby the Craft comes to shame, ” then, if new and more sufficient evidence shall be subsequently discovered, it is just and right that a new trial shall be had, so that he may, on this newer evidence, receive that punishment which will vindicate the reputation of the Order. No technicalities of law, no plea of autrefois acquit, already acquitted, nor mere verbal exception, should be allowed for the escape of a guilty member, for so long as he lives in the Order, every man is subject to its discipline. A hundred wrongful acquittals of a bad member, who still bears with him the reproach of his evil life, can never discharge the Order from its paramount duty of protecting its own good fame and removing the delinquent member from its fold. To this great duty all private and individual rights and privileges must succumb, for the well-being of the Order is the first great law in Freemasonry.


ou Chronologie de l’Histoire de la Franche-Maçonnerie française et étrangére, etc. That is: The Acts of the Freemasons, or a Chronological History of French and Foreign Freemasonry, etc. This work, written or complied by Claude Antoine Thory, was published at Paris, in two volumes, octavo, in 1815. It contains the most remarkable facts in the history of the Institution from obscure times to the year1814; the succession of Grand Masters; a nomenclature of rites, degrees, and secret associations in all the countries of the world ; a bibliography of the principal works on Freemasonry published since 1723; and a supplement in which the author has collected a variety of rare and important Masonic documents. Of this work, which has never been translated into English, Lenning says in his Encyclopädie der Freimaurerei that it is, without dispute, the most scientific work on Freemasonry that French literature has ever produced. It must, however, be confessed that in the historical portion Thory has committed many errors in respect to English and American Freemasonry, and therefore, if ever translated, the work wi1l require much emendation (see Thory)


The Duke of Cumberland, grandson of George II, brother of George III, having, in April, 1782, been elected Grand Master of England, it was resolved by the Grand Lodge “that whenever a prince of the blood did the Society the honor to accept the office of Grand Master, he should be at liberty to nominate any peer of the realm to be the Acting Grand Master” (Constitutions of Grand Lodge of England, edition 1784, page 341). The officer thus provided to be appointed was subsequently called in the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England (edition 1841), and is now called the Pro Grand Master.

In the American system, the officer who performs the duties of Grand Master in case of the removal, death, or inability of that officer, is known as the Acting Grand Master. For the regulations which prescribe the proper person to perform these duties, see Grand Master.


A Lodge is said to be active when it is neither dormant nor suspended, but regularly meets and is occupied in the labors of Freemasonry.


An active member of a lodge is one who, in contradistinction to an honorary member, assumes all the burdens of membership, such as contributions, arrears, and participation in its labors, and is invested with all the rights of membership, such as speaking, voting, and holding office.


This term is sometimes applied to those who have actually served as Master of a Craft Lodge in order to distinguish them from those who have been made Virtual Past Masters, in Chapters of the United States, or Past Masters of Arts and Sciences, in English Chapters, as a preliminary to receiving the Royal Arch degree (see Past Master).


The name of the principal god among the Syrians, and who, as representing the sun, had, according to Macrobius, a Roman author of about the early part of the fifth century, in the Satualiorum (I, 23), an image surrounded by rays.

Macrobius, however, is wrong, as Selden has shown, De Diis Syris, volume I, page 6, in confounding Adad with the Hebrew Achad, or one-a name, from its signification of unity, applied to the Great Architect of the Universe.

The error of Macrobius, however, has been perpetuated by the inventors of the high degrees of Freemasonry, who have incorporated Adad, as a name of God, among their significant words.


The name of the first man. The Hebrew word, Adam, signifies man in a generic sense, the human species collectively, and is said to be derived from , Adamah, the ground, because the first man was made out of the dust of the earth, or from Adam, to be red, in reference to his ruddy complexion. Most probably in this collective cense. as the representative of the whole human race, and, therefore, the type of humanity, that the presiding officer in a Council of Knights of the Sun, the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is called Father Adam, and is occupied in the investigation of the great truths which so much concern the interests of the race. Adam, in that degree, is man seeking after divine truth. The Cabalist and Talmudists have invented many things concerning the first Adam, none of which are, however, worthy of preservation (see Knight of the Sun). Brother McClenachan believed the entered Apprentice Degree symbolizes the creation of man and his first perception of light. The argument in support of that belief continues: In the Elohist form of the Creation we read, Elohim said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, over the fowls of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every Reptilia that creeps upon the earth. And Elohim created man in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him, male and female He created them. And Yahveh Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed in his nostrils the breath of life, and man was made a living being.”

Without giving more than a passing reference to the speculative origin and production of man and to his spontaneous generation, Principe Générateur, as set forth by the Egyptians, when we are told that “the fertilizing mud left by the Nile, and exposed to the vivifying action of heat induced by the sun’s rays, brought forth germs which spring up as the bodies of men,” accepted cosmogonies only will be hereinafter mentioned ; thus in that of Peru, the first man, created by the Divine Omnipotence, is called Alpa Camasca, Animated Earth. The Mandans, one of the North American tribes, relate that the Great Spirit molded two figures of clay, which he dried and animated with the breath of his mouth, one receiving the name of First Man, and the other that of Companion. Taeroa, the god of Tahiti, formed man of the red earth, say the inhabitants; aud so we might continue.

But as François Lenormant remarks in the Beginnings of History, let us confine ourselves to the cosmogony offered by the sacred traditions of the great civilized nations of antiquity. “The Chaideans call Adam the man whom the earth produced. And he lay without movement, without life, and without breath, just like an image of the heavenly Adam, until his soul had been given him by the latter,” The cosmogonic account peculiar to Babylon, as given by Berossus, says: “Belos, seeing that the earth was uninhabited, though fertile, cut off his own head, and the other gods, after kneading with earth the blood that flowed from it, formed men, who therefore are endowed with intelligence, and share in the divine thought,” etc. The term employed to designate man, in his connection with his Creator, is admu, the Assyrian counterpart of the Hebrew Adam (G. Smith, Chaldean Account of Genesis). Lenormant further says that. the fragments of Berossus give Adoros as the name of the first patriarch, and Adiuru has been discovered on the cuneiform inscriptions.

Zoroaster makes the creation of man the voluntary act of a personal god, distinct from primordial matter, and his theory stands alone among the learned religions of the ancient world.

According to Jewish tradition in the Targumim and the Talmud, as also to Moses Maimonides, Adam was created man and woman at the same time, having two faces, turned in two opposite directions, and that during a stupor the Creator separated Hawah, his feminine half, from him, in order to make of her a distinct person. Thus were separated the primordial androgen or first man-woman.

With Shemites and Mohammedans Adam was symbolized in the Lingam, whilst with the Jews Seth was their Adam or Lingam, the masculine symbol, and successively Noah took the place of Seth, and so followed Abraham and Moses. The worship of Adam as the God-like, idea, succeeded by Seth, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, through the symbolism of pillars, monoliths, obelisks, or Matsebas (images), gave rise to other symbolic images, as where Noah was adored under the emblems of a man, ark, and serpent, signifying heat, fire, or passion.

Upon the death of Adam, says traditional history, the pious Gregory. declared that the “dead body should be kept above ground, till a fulness of time should come to commit it to the middle of the earth by a priest of the most high God.” This traditional prophecy was fulfilled, it is said, by the body of Adam having been preserved in a chest until about 1800 B.C., when “Melchizedek buried the body in Salem (formerly the name of Jerusalem), which might very well be the middle of the habitable world.”

The Sethites used to say their prayers daily in the Ark before the body of Adam. J. G. R. Foriong, in his Rivers of Life, tells us that ”It appears from both the Sabid Aben Batric and the Arabic Catena, that there existed the following ‘short litany, said to have been conceived by Noah.’ Then follows the prayer of Noah, which was used for so long a period by the Jewish Freemasons at the opening of the Lodge.

” O Lord, excellent art thou in thy truth, and there is nothing great in comparison of thee. Look upon us with the eye of mercy and compassion. Deliver us from this deluge of waters, and set our feet in a large room. By the sorrows of Adam, the first made man ; by the blood of Abel, Thy holy one ; by the righteousness of Seth, in whom Thou art well pleased ; number us not amongst those who have transgressed Thy statutes, but take us into Thy merciful care, for Thou art our Deliverer, and Thine is the praise for all the works of Thy hand for evermore. And the sons of Noah said, Amen, Lord.”

The Master of the Lodge would omit the reference to the deluge and add the following to the prayer:

“But grant, we beseech Thee, that the ruler of this Lodge may be endued with knowledge and wisdom to instruct us and explain his secret masteries, as our holy brother Moses did (in His Lodge) to Aaron, to Eleazar, and to Ithamar (the sons of Aaron), and the several elders of Israel.”


In the Cabalistic doctrine, the name given to the first emanation or outflowing from the Eternal Fountain. It signifies the first man, or the first production of divine energy, or the son of God, and to it the other emanations are subordinate.


Sixth President of the United States, who served from 1825 to 1829. Adams, who has been very properly described as “a man of strong points and weak ones, of vast reading and wonderful memory, of great credulity and strong prejudices,” became notorious in the latter years of his life for his virulent opposition to Freemasonry. The writer already quoted, who had an excellent opportunity of seeing intimately the workings of the spirit of Anti-Masonry, says of him: “He hated Freemasonry, as he did many other things, not from any harm that he had received from it or personally knew respecting it, but because his credulity had been wrought upon and his prejudices excited against it by dishonest and selfish politicians, who were anxious, at any sacrifice to him, to avail themselves of the influence of his commanding talents and position in public life to sustain them in the disreputable work in which they were enlisted. In his weakness, he lent himself to them. He united his energies to theirs in an impracticable and unworthy cause” (IV. Moore, Freemasons magazine, volume vii, page 314).

The result was a series of letters abusive of Freemasonry, directed to leading politicians, and published in the public journals from 1831 to 1833. A year before his death they were collected and published under the title of Letters on the Masonic Institution, by John Quincy Adams (published at Boston, 1847, 284 pages).

Some explanation of the cause of the virulence with which Adams attacked the Masonic Institution in these letters may be found in the following paragraph contained in an Anti-Masonic work written by one Henry Gassett, and affixed to his Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution (published at Boston, 1852). “It had been asserted in a newspaper in Boston, edited by a Masonic dignitary, that John 11. Adams was a Freemason. In answer to an inquiry from a person in New York State, whether he was so, Mr. Adams replied that ‘he was not, and never should be.’

These few words, undoubtedly, prevented his election a second time as President of the United States. His competitor, Andrew Jackson, a Freemason, was elected.”

Whether the statement contained in the italicized words be true or not, is not the question. It is sufficient that Adams was led to believe it, and hence his ill-will to an association which had, as he supposed, inflicted this political evil on him, and baffled his ambitious views.

Above reference to Adams being a member of the Craft is due to a confusion of the President’s name with that of a Boston printer, John Quincy Adams, who was proposed for membership in St. Johns Lodge of that city on October 11, 1826. He was admitted on December 5.

But on the latter date the President was busily engaged at Washington as may be seen by reference to his Memoirs. This diary’ also shows (on page 345, volume vii, Lippincott edition), a statement by Adams himself which settles the question. He says “I told Wilkins he might answer Tracy, that I am not and never was a Freemason.”


Hebrew, pronounced ad-awr; the sixth month of the civil and the twelfth of the ecclesiastical year of the Jews. It corresponds to a part of February and of March. The word has also a private significance known to advanced Brethren.


Angel of Fire. Referred to in the Hermetic Degree of Knight of the Sun. Probably from … pronounced eh-der, meaning splendor, and .., El, God’ that is, the splendor of God or Divine splendor.


Doctor Oliver, speaking oi the Masonic discourses which began to be published soon after the reorganization of Freemasonry, in the commencement of the eighteenth century, and which he thinks were instigated by the attacks made on the Order, to which they were intended to be replies, says : “Charges and addresses were therefore delivered by Brethren in authority on the fundamental principles of the Order, and they were printed to show that its morality was sound, and not in the slightest degree repugnant to the precepts of our most holy religion. These were of sufficient merit to insure a wide circulation among the Fraternity, from whence they spread into the world at large, and proved decisive in fixing the credit of the Institution for solemnities of character and a taste for serious and profitable investigations.”

There can be no doubt that these addresses, periodically delivered and widely published, have continued to exert an excellent effect in behalf of the Institution, by explaining and defending the principles on which it is founded.

Not at all unusual is it now as formerly for Grand Lodges to promote the presentation of such addresses in the Lodges. For example, the Grand Lodge of Ohio (in the Masonic Code of that State, 1914, page 197, section 82), says of the several Subordinate Lodges: “It is enjoined upon them, as often as it is feasible, to introduce into their meetings Lectures and Essays upon Masonic Polity, and the various arts and sciences connected therewith.”

The first Masonic address of which we have any notice was delivered on the 24th of June, 1721, before the Grand Lodge of England, by the celebrated John Theophilus Desagullers, LL.D, and F.R.S. The Book of Constitutions (edition 1738, page l13), under that date, says “Brother Desaguliers made an eloquent oration about Masons and Masonry.” Doctor Oliver, in his Revelations of a Square (page 22), states that this address was issued in a printed form, but no copy of it now remains—at least it has escaped the researches of the most diligent Masonic bibliographers.

On the 20th of May, 1725, Martin Folkes, then Deputy Grand Master, delivered an address before the Grand Lodge of England, which is cited in the Freemason’s Pocket Companion for 1759, but no entire copy of the address is now extant.

The third Masonic address of which we have any knowledge is one entitled “A Speech delivered to the Worshipful and Ancient Society of Free and Accepted Masons, at a Grand Lodge held at Merchants’ Hall, in the City of York, on Saint John’s Day, December 27, 1726, the Right Worshipful Charles Bathurst, Esq., Grand Master. By the Junior Grand Warden. Olim meminisse juvabit. York: Printed by Thomas Gent, for the benefit of the Lodge.”

The Latin words Olim meminisse juvabit, as given on the above copy of the title page of this printed address, are taken from the works of the Roman epic poet Vergil, Who writes thus: Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit meaning Perchance even these things it will be hereafter delightful to remember.

The author of the above address was Francis Drake, M.D., F.R.S., who was appointed Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of All England at York on December 27, 1725 (see Drake, Francis). The first edition of the speech bears no date, but was probably issued in 1727, and it was again published at London in 1729, and a second London edition was published in 1734, which has been reprinted in Hughan’s Masonic Sketches and Reprints (American edition, page 106). This is, therefore, the earliest Masonic address to which we have access. It contains a brief sketch of the history of Freemasonry, written as Masonic history was then written. The address is, however, remarkable for advancing the claim of the Grand Lodge of York to a superiority over that of London, and for containing a very early reference to the three degrees of Craft Masonry. The fourth Masonic address of whose existence we have any knowledge is “a Speech Delivered to the Worshipful Society of Free and Accepted Masons, at a Lodge, held at the Carpenters Arms in Silver-Street, Golden Square, the 31st of December, 1728. By the Right Worshipful Edw. Oakley, Architect, M.M., late Provincial Senior Grand Warden in Carmarthen, South Wales.” This speech was reprinted by Cole in his Ancient Constitutions at London in 1731.

America has the honor of presenting the next attempt at Masonic oratory. The fifth address, and the first American, which is extant, is one delivered in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 24, 1734. It is entitled “A Dissertation upon Masonry, delivered to a Lodge in America, June 24th, 1734. Christ’s Regm.”

This last word is doubtless an abbreviation of the Latin word for kingdom. Discovered by Brother C. W. Moore in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, it was published by him in his magazine in 1849. This address is well written, and of a symbolic character, as the author represents the Lodge as a type of heaven.

Sixthly, we have “An Address made to the body of Free and Accepted Masons assembled at a Quarterly communication, held near Temple Bar, December 11, 1735, by Martin Clare, Junior Grand Warden.”

Martin Clare was distinguished in his times as a Freemason, and his address, which Doctor Oliver has inserted in his Golden Remains, has been considered of value enough to be translated into the French and German languages.

Next, on March 21, 1737, the Chevalier Ramsay delivered an oration before the Grand Lodge of France, in which he discussed the Freemasonry and the Crusaders and traced an imaginary history of its course through Scotland and England into France, which was to become the center of the reformed Order.

Ramsay and his address are discussed at length in Doctor. Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry. A report of this speech is to be found in the Histoire &c. de la tre ven. Confratenité des F. M. &c. Traduit par 1e Fr. de la Tierce. Francfort, 1742. This French title means History of the very Worshipful Fraternity of Freemasons, etc. Translated by the Brother of the Third Degree. Frankfort, 1742. An English version of this much discussed address by the Chevaller Ramsey is given in Robert F. Gould’s History of Freemasonry, vo1unle 3, pages 84-9 (see Ramsay).
After this period, Masonic addresses rapidly multiplied, w that it would be impossible to record their titles or even the names of their authors.

What Martial (1, 17), in the first century, said of his own epigrams, that some were good, some bad, and a great many middling, may, with equal propriety and justice, be said of Masonic addresses. Of the thousands that have been delivered, many have been worth neither printing nor preservation.

One thing, however, is to be remarked : that within a few years the literary character of these productions has greatly improved. Formerly, a Masonic address on some festal occasion of the Order was little mor than a homily on brotherly love or some other Masonic virtue. Often the orator was a clergyman, selected by the Lodge on account of his moral character or his professional ability. These clergymen were frequently among the youngest members of the Lodge, and men who had no opportunity to study the esoteric construction of Freemasonry. In such cases we will find that the addresses were generally neither more nor less than sermons under another name.

They contain excellent general axioms of conduct, and sometimes encomiums or formal praises on the laudable design of our Institution.

But we look in vain in them for any ideas which refer to the history or to the occult philosophy of Freemasonry. Only in part do they accept the definition that Freemasonry is a science of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. They dwell on the science of morality, but they say nothing of the symbols or the allegories. But, as has been already said, there has been an evident improvement. Many of the addresses now delivered are of a higher order of Masonic literature. The subjects of Masonic history, of the origin of the Institution, of its gradual development from an operative art to a speculative science, of its symbols, and of its peculiar features which distinguish it from all other associations, have been ably discussed in many recent Masonic addresses. Thus have the efforts to entertain an audience for an hour become not only the means of interesting instruction to the hearers, but also valuable contributions to the literature of Freemasonry.

Masonic addresses should be written in this way.

All platitudes and old truisms should be avoided.

Sermonizing, which is good in its place, is out of place there. No one should undertake to deliver a Masonic address unless he knows something of the subject on which he is about to speak, and unless he is capable of saying what will make every Freemason who hears him a wiser as well as a better man, or at least what will afford him the opportunity of becoming so.


From the Greek, meaning a brother. The first degree of the Order of the Palladium. Reghellini says that there exists in the archives of Douai the ritual of a Masonic Society, called Adelphs, which has been communicated to the Grand Orient, but which he thinks is the same as the Primitive Rite of Narbonne.


One fully skilled or well versed in any art; from the Latin word Adeptus, meaning having obtained, because the Adept claimed to be in the possession of all the secrets of his peculiar mystery.

The Alchemists or Hermetic philosophers assumed the title of Adepts (see Alchemy). Of the Hermetic Adepts, who were also sometimes called Rosicruzians, Spence thus writes, in 1740, to his Mother: “Have you ever heard of the people called Adepts? They are a set of philosophers superior to whatever appeared among the Greeks and Romans. The three great points they drive at, are, to be free from poverty, distempers, and death; and, if you believe them, they have found out one secret that is capable of freeing them from all three. There are never more than twelve of these men in the whole world at a time ; and we have the happiness of having one of the twelve at this time in Turin.

I am very well acquainted with him, and have often talked with him of their secrets, as far as he is allowed to talk to a common mortal of them” (Spence’s Letter to his Mother, in Singer’s Anecdotes, page 403).

In a similar allusion to the possession of abstruse knowledge, the word is applied to some of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry.


One of the names of the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (see Knight of the Sun). It was the Twenty-third Degree of the System of the Chapter of Emperors of the East and West of Clermont.


A Hermetic Degree of the collection of A. Viany. It is also the Fourth Degree of the Rite of Relaxed Observance, and first of the advanced degrees of the Rite of Elects of Truth. “It has much analogy, ” says Thory, “with the degree of Knight of the Sun.” It is also called Chaos Dismantled.


The Seventh Degree of the Rite of Zinnendorf, consisting of a kind of chemical and pharmaceutical instruction.


Called a1so Templar Master of the Key. The Seventh Degree of the Swedish Rite.


The Seventh Degree of the system adopted by those German Rosicrucians who were known as the Gold und Rosenkreutzer, or the Gold and Rosy Cross, and whom Lenning supposes to have been the first who engrafted Rosicrucianism on Freemasonry.


Those Freemasons who, during the anti-Masonic excitement in America, on account of the supposed abduction of Morgan, refused to leave their Lodges and renounce Freemasonry, were so called. They embraced among their number some of the wisest, best, and most influential men of the country.


Latin phrase meaning It yet stands or She yet stands and frequently found on Masonic medals (see Mossdorf’s Denkmûnzen). Probably originally used by the Strict Observance and then refers to the preservation of Templary.


C. W. Moore (Freemasons Magazine xii, page 290) says: “We suppose it to be generally conceded that Lodges cannot properly, be adjourned. It has been so decided by, a large proportion of the Grand Lodges in America, and tacitly, at least, concurred in by all. We are not aware that there is a dissenting voice among them. It is, therefore, safe to assume that the settled policy is against adjournment.”

The reason which he assigns for this rule, is that adjournment is a method used only in deliberative bodies, such as legislatures and courts, aud as Lodges do not partake of the character of either of these, adjournments are not applicable to them. The rule which Brother Moore lays down is undoubtedly correct, but the reason which he assigns for it is not sufficient. If a Lodge were permitted to adjourn by the vote of a majority of its members, the control of the labor would be placed in their hands. But according to the whole spirit of the Masonic system, the Master alone controls and directs the hours of labor.

In the fifth of the Old Charges, approved in 1722, it is declared that “All Masons shall meekly receive their Wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Lord’s work is finished.” Now as the Master alone can know when “the work is finished,” the selection of the time of closing must be vested in him. He is the sole judge of the proper period at which the labors of the Lodge should be terminated, and he may suspend business even in the middle of a debate, if he supposes that it is expedient to close the Lodge. Hence no motion for adjournment can ever be admitted in a Masonic Lodge. Such a motion would be an interference with the prerogative of the Master, and could not therefore be entertained.

The Earl of Zetland, when Grand Master of England, ruled on November 19, 1856, that a Lodge has no power to adjourn except to the next regular day of meeting. He said: “I may, say that Private Lodges are governed by much the same laws as Grand Lodges, and that no meeting of a Private Lodge can be adjourned; but the Master of a Private Lodge may, and does, convene Lodges of Emergency. ”

This is in the Freemasons Magazine (1856, page 848).

This prerogative of opening and closing his Lodge is necessarily vested in the Master, because, by the nature of our Institution, he is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the good conduct of the body over which he presides. He is charged, in those questions to which he is required to give his assent at his installation, to hold the Landmarks in veneration, and to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, and for any violation of the one or disobedience of the other by the Lodge, in his presence, he would be answerable to the supreme Masonic authority. Hence the necessity that an arbitrary power should be conferred upon him, by the exercise of which he may at any time be enabled to prevent the adoption of resolutions, or the commission of any act which would be subversive of, or contrary to, those ancient laws and usages which he has sworn to maintain and preserve.


A mode of recognition alluded to in the Most Excellent Master’s Degree, or the Sixth of the American Rite. Its introduction in that place is referred to a Masonic legend in connection with the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Kings Solomon, which states that, moved by the widespread reputation of the Israelitish monarch, she had repaired to Jerusalem to inspect the magnificent works of which she had heard so many encomiums.

Upon arriving there, and beholding for the first time the Temple, which glittered with gold, and which was so accurate1y adjusted in all its parts as to seem to be composed of but a single piece of marble, she raised her hands and eyes to heaven in an attitude of admiration, and at the same time exclaimed, Rabboni! equivalent to saying A most excellent master hath done this! This actions has since been perpetuated in the ceremonies of the Degree of Most Excellent Master. The legend is, however, of doubtful authority, and is really to be considered only as allegorical, like so many other of the legends of Freemasonry (see Sheba, Queen of).


Although the Old Charges, approved in 1722, use the word admitted as applicable to those who are initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry, yet the General Regulations of 1721 employ the term admission in a sense different from that of initiation. By the word making they imply the reception of a profane into the Order, but by admission they designate the election of a Freemason into a Lodge. Thus we find such expressions as these clearly indicating a difference in the meaning of the two words. In Regulation v-“No man can be made or admitted a member of a particular Lodge.” In Regulation vi-“But no man can be entered a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof.” And more distinctly in Regulation viii-“No set or number of Brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the Lodge in which they were made Brethren or were afterwards admitted members.” This distinction has not always been rigidly preserved by recent writers; but it is evident that, correctly speaking, we should always say of a profane who has been initiated that he has been made a Freemason, and of a Freemason who has been affiliated with a Lodge, that he has been admitted a member. The true definition of admission is, then, the reception of an unaffiliated Brother into membership (see Affiliated Freemason).


According to the ethics of Freemasonry, it is made a duty obligatory upon every member of the Order to conceal the faults of a Brother; that is, not to blazon forth his errors and infirmities, to let them be learned by the world from some other tongue than his, and to admonish him of them in private. So there is another but a like duty or obligation, which instincts him to whisper good counsel in his Brother’s ear and to warn him of approaching danger. This refers not more to the danger that is without and around him than to that which is within him ; not more to the peril that springs from the concealed foe who would waylay him and covertly injure him, than to that deeper peril of those faults and infirmities which lie within his own heart, and which, if not timely crushed by good and earnest resolution of amendment, will, like the ungrateful serpent in the fable, become warm with life only to sting the bosom that has nourished them.

Admonition of a Brother’s fault is, then, the duty of every Freemason, and no true one will, for either fear or favor, neglect its performance. But as the duty is Masonic, so is there a Masonic way in which that duty should be discharged. We must admonish not with self-sufficient pride in our own reputed goodness-not in imperious tones, as though we looked down in scorn upon the degree offender—not in language that, by its hardness, will wound rather than win, wil1 irritate more than it will reform; but with that persuasive gentleness that gains the heart- with the all-subduing influences of “mercy unrestrained”-with the magic’ might of love—with the language and the accents of affection, which mingle grave displeasure for the offense with grief and pity for the offender.

This, and this alone is Masonic admonition. I am not to rebuke my Brother in anger, for I, too, have my faults, and I dare not draw around me the folds of my garment lest they should be polluted by my neighbor’s touch; but I am to admonish in private, not before the world, for that would degrade him; and I am to warn him, perhaps from my own example, how vice ever should be followed by sorrow, for that goodly sorrow leads to repentance, and repentance to amendment, and amendment to joy.


In Hebrew, pronounced ad-o-noy, being the plural of excellence for Aden, meaning to rule, and signifying the Lord. The Jews, who reverently avoided the pronunciation of the sacred name JEHOVAH, were accustomed, whenever that name occurred, to substitute for it the word Adonai in reading. As to the use of the plural form instead of the singular, the Rabbis say, “Every word indicative of dominion, though singular in meaning, is made plural in form.” This is called the pluralis excellentiae. The Talmudists also say, as in Joannes Buxtorfius, Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbinicum, that the Tetragrammaton is called Shem hamphorash, the name that is separated or explained, because it is explained, uttered, and set forth by the word Adonai (see Jehovah and Shem Hamphorasch).

Adonai is used as a significant word in several of the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, and may almost always be considered as allusive to or symbolic of the True Word.


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