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The third letter of the English alphabet, which was not known in the Hebrew, Phoenician, or early Aryan languages.


Arabic word Ka’abah for cubic building. The square building or temple in Mecca. More especially the small cubical oratory. within, held in adoration by the Mohammedans, as containing the black stone said to have been given by an angel to Abraham. The inner as well as the outer structure receives its name from Ka’ab, meaning cube (see Allah).


This word is frequently written Kabbala, which see. CABALA. The mystical philosophy or theosophy of the Jews is called the Cabala. The word is derived from the Hebrew Kabal, signifying to receive, because it is the doctrine received from the elders. It has sometimes been used in an enlarged sense, as comprehending all the explanations, maxims, and ceremonies which have been traditionally handed down to the Jews; but in that more limited acceptation, in which it is intimately connected with the symbolic science of Freemasonry, the Cabala may be defined to be a system of philosophy which embraces certain mystical interpretations of Scripture, and metaphysical and spiritual beings. In these interpretations and speculations, according to the Jewish doctors, were enveloped the most profound truths of religion, which, to be comprehended by finite beings, are obliged to be revealed through the medium of symbols and allegories.

Buxtorf (Lexicon of the Talmud) defines the Cabala to be a secret science, which treats in a mystical and enigmatical manner of things divine, angelical, theological, celestial, and metaphysical; the subjects being enveloped in striking symbols and secret modes of teaching. Much use is made of it in the advanced degrees, and entire Rites have been constructed on its principles. Hence it demands a place in any general work on Freemasonry.

In what estimation the Cabala is held by Jewish scholars, we may learn from the traditions which they teach, and which Doctor Ginsburg has given in his exhaustive work ( Kabbalah, page 84) in the following words:

The Cabalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall, the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts With the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems.

Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into it in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science, the lawgiver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and the frequent miseries oi the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy.

This constitutes the former the man, and the latter the woman. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were first initiated into the Cabalah. No one, however, dared to write it down till Simon ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second Temple. Having been condemned to death by Titus, Rabbi Simon managed to escape with his son, and concealed himself in a cavern, where he remained for twelve years. Here in this subterranean abode, he occupied himself entirely with the contemplation of the sublime Cabalah, and was constantly visited by the prophet Elias, who disclosed to him some of its secrets, which were still concealed from the theosophical Rabbi. Here, too, his disciples resorted to be indicated by their master into these divine mysteries, and here Simon ben Jochai expired with this heavenly doctrine in his mouth, whilst discoursing on it to his disciples. Scarcely had his spirit departed, when a dazzling light filled the cavern, so that no one could look at. the Rabbi; whilst a burning fire appeared outside, forming as it were a sentinel at the entrance of the cave, and denying admittance to the neighbors. It was not till the light inside, and the fire outside, had disappeared, that the disciples perceived that the lamp of Israel was extinguished.

As they were preparing for his obsequies, a voice was heard from heaven, saying, ” Come ye to the marriage of Simon ben Jochai; he is entering into peace, and shall rest in his chamber!” A flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by and burning like fire. And when the remains were deposited in the tomb, another voice was heard from heaven, saying, “This is he who caused the earth to quake and the kingdoms to shake! ” His son, Rabbi Eliezer, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, then collated Rabbi Simon ben Jochai’s treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work called Sohar, that is, Splendor, which is the grand storehouse of Cabalism.

The Cabala is divided into two kinds, the Practical and the Theoretieal. The Practical Cabala is occupied in instructions for the construction of talismans and amulets, and has no connection with Masonic science.

The Theoretical Cabala is again divided into the Dogmatic and the Literal. The Dogmatic Cabala is the summary of the rabbinical theosophy and philosophy.

The Literal Cabala is the science which teaches a mystical mode of explaining sacred things by a peculiar use of the letters of words, and a reference to their value. Each of these divisions demands a separate attention.


The origin of the Cabala has been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day. It has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of Zoroaster, but whether its inventors were the contemporaries or the successors of that philosopher and reformer it is impossible to say. The doctrine of emanation is, says King (Gnostics, page10), “the soul, the essential element of the Cabala; it is likewise the essential element of Zoroastrism. ” But as we advance in the study of each we will find important differences, showing that, while the idea of the Cabalistic theosophy was borrowed from the Zendavesta, the sacred book of the Persian sage, it was not a copy, but a development of it.

The Cabalistic teaching of emanation is best understood by an examination of the doctrine of the Sephiroth. The Supreme Being, say the Cabalists, is an absolute and inscrutable unity, having nothing without him and everything within him. He is called, En Soph, meaning the Infinite one. In this infinitude he cannot be comprehended by the intellect, nor described in words intelligible by human minds, so as to make his existence perceptible. It was necessary, therefore, that, to render himself comprehensible, the En Soph should make himself active and creative. But he could not become the direct creator ; because, being infinite, he is without will, intention, thought, desire, or action, all of which are qualities of a finite being only. The En Soph, therefore, was compelled to create the world in an indirect manner, by ten emanations from the infinite light which he was and in which he dwelt.

These ten emanations are the ten Sephiroth, or Splendors of the Infinite One, and the way in which they were produced was thus: – At first the En Soph sent forth into space one spiritual emanation. This first Sephirah is called Kether, meaning the Crown, because it occupies the highest position. This first Sephirah contained within it the other nine, which sprang forth in the following order: At first a male, or active potency, proceeded from it, and this, the second Sephirah, is called Chocmah or Wisdom. This sent forth an opposite, female or passive potency, named Binah or Intelligence. These three Sephiroth constitute the first triad, and out of them proceeded the other seven.

From the junction of Wisdom and Intelligence came the fourth Sephirah, called Chesed or Mercy. This was a male potency, and from it emanated the fifth Sephirah, named Giburah or Justice.

The union of Mercy and Justice produced the sixth Sephirah, Tiphereth or Beauty; and these three constitute the second triad. From the sixth Sephirah came forth the seventh Sephirah, Nitzach or Firmness. This was a male potency, and produced the female potency named Hod or Splendor. From these two proceeded Isod or Foundation; and these three constituted the third triad of the Sephiroth. Lastly, from the Foundation came the tenth Sephirah, called Malcuth or Kingdom, which was at the foot of all, as the Crown was at the top.

This division of the ten Sephiroth into three triads was arranged into a form called by the Cabalists the Cabalistic Tree or the Tree of Life, as shown in the diagram.

In this diagram the vertical arrangement of the Sephiroth is called Pillars. Thus the four Sephiroth in the center are called the Middle Pillar; the three on the right, the Pillar of Mercy; and the three on the left, the Pillar of Justice.

They allude to these two qualities of God, of which the benignity of the one modifies the rigor of the other, so that the Divine Justice is always tempered by the Divine Mercy. C. W. King, in his Gnosties (page 12), refers the right-hand pillar to the pillar Jachin, and the left-hand pillar to the Pillar Boaz, which stood at the porch of the Temple; and “these two pillars”, he says, “figure largely amongst all the secret societies of modem times, and naturally so for these Illuminati have borrowed, without understanding it, the phraseology of the Cabalists and the Valentinians.” But an inspection of the arrangement of the Sephiroth will show, if he is correct in his general reference, that he has transposed the pillars. Firmness would more naturally symbolize Boaz or strength, as Splendor would Jachin or Establishment.

These ten Sephiroth are collectively denominated the archetypal man, the Microcosm, as the Greek philosophers called it, and each of them refers to a particular part of the body.

Thus the Crown is the head; Wisdom, the brain; and Intelligence, the heart, which was deemed the seat of understanding. These three represent the intellectual; and the first triad is therefore called the Intellectual World. Mercy is the right arm, and Justice the left arm, and Beauty is the chest. These three represent moral qualities; and hence the second triad is called the Moral World. Firmness is the right leg, Splendor the left leg, and Foundation the privates. These three represent power and stability; and hence the third triad is called the Material World. Lastly, Kingdom is the feet, the basis on which all stand, and represents the harmony of the whole archetypal man. Again, each of these Sephiroth was represented by a Divine name and by an Angelic name, which may be thus tabulated:

Sephiroth …….. Divine Names …….. Angelic Names
Crown …………. Eheyeh ……………… Chajoth
Wisdom ………. Jah …………………… Ophanim
Intelligence ….. Jehova ……………… Arelin
Mercy …………. El …………………….. Cashmalim
Justice ………… Eloha ……………….. Seraphim
Beauty ………… Elohim ……………… Shinanim
Firmness ……… Jehovah Sabaoth … Tarshishim
Splendor ……… Elohim Sabaoth …. Beni Elohim
Foundation ….. El Chai …………….. Ishim
Kingdom ……… Adonai ……………. Cherubim

These ten Sephiroth constitute in their totality the Atzilatic World or the World of Emanations, and from it proceeded three other worlds, each having also its ten Sephiroth, namely, the Briatic World or the World of Creation; the Jetziratic World or the World of Formation ; and the Ashiatic World or the World of Action: each inhabited by a different order of beings.

But to enter fully upon the nature of these various worlds would carry us too far into the obscure mysticism of the Cabala. The ten Sephiroth, represented in their order of ascent from the lowest to the highest, from the Foundation to the Crown, forcibly remind us of the system of Mystical Ladders which pervaded all the ancient as well as the modern initiations; the Brahmanical Ladder of the Indian mysteries; the Ladder of Mithras, used in the Persian mysteries; the Scandinavian Ladder of the Gothic mysteries, and in the Masonic mysteries the Ladder of Kadosh; and lastly, the Theological Ladder of the Symbolical Degrees


This division of the Cabala, being, as has already been said, occupied in the explanation of sacred words by the value of the letters of which they are composed, has been extensively used by the inventors of the advanced degrees in the symbolism of their significant words. It is divided into three species : Gematria, Notaricon, and Temura.

1. Gematria. The word, which is evidently a rabbinical corruption of the Greek geometric, is defined by Buxtorf to be “a species of the Cabala which collects the same sense of different words from their equal numerical value.” The Hebrews, like other ancient nations, having no figures in their language, made use of the letters of their alphabet instead of numbers, each having a numerical value. Gematria, is therefore, a mode of contemplating words according to the numerical value of their letters.

Any two words, the letters of which have the same numerical value, are mutually convertible, and each is supposed to contain the latent signification of the other.

Thus the words in Genesis xlix, 10, “Shiloh shall come,” are supposed to contain a prophecy of the Messiah, because the letters of ”Shiloh shall come, ” and of “Messiah,” both have the numerical value of 358, according to the above table.

By Gematria, applied to the Greek language, we find the identity of Abraxas and Mithras, the letters of each word having in the Greek alphabet the equal value of 365. This is by far the most common mode of applying the literal Cabala.

2. Notaricon is derived from the Latin notarius a shorthand writer or writer in cipher. The Roman Notarii were accustomed to use single letters, to signify whole words with other methods of abbreviation, by marks called notae. Hence, among the Cabalists, notaricon is a mode constructing one word out of the initials or finals of many, or a sentence out of the letters of a word, each letter being used as the initial of another word. Thus of the sentence in Deuteronomy xxx, 12, “Who shall go up for us to heaven?” in Hebrew, the initial letters of each word are taken to form the word circumcision, and the finals to form Jehovah; hence it is concluded that Jehovah hath shown circumcision to be the way to heaven. Again : the six letters of the first word in Genesis, ”in the beginning, ” are made use of to form the initials of six words which constitute a sentence signifying that “In the beginning God saw that Israel would accept the law,”

3. Temura is a rabbinical word which signifies permutation. Hence temura is a Caballstic result produced by a change or permutation of the letters of a word.

Sometimes the letters are transposed to form another word, as in the modern anagram ; and sometimes the letters are changed for others, according to certain fixed rules of alphabetical permutation, the first letter being placed for the twenty-second the second for the twenty-first, the third for the twentieth, and so on. It is in this way that Babel, is made out of Sheshach, and hence the Cabalists say that when Jeremiah used the word Sheshach, xxv, 26, he referred to Babel.


A degree found in the archives of the Mother Lodge of the Philosophical Rite of France.


or CABEIRI. A group of minor Greek, deities (the name signifying great Gods) having the protection of sailors and vessels at sea. Worshipped at Lemnos, Samothrace, Thessalia, Bocotia, etc., as early as the fifth century. Initiation into their mysteries portrayed passage through death to a higher live. Many of the ancient deities believed to have been members of the Cabiri such as Pluto, proserpine, Mercury, the sons of Vulcan, the sons of Jupiter, etc. (see An Encyclopedia of occultism, Lewis Spence, New York, 1920, page 83).


The Cabiri were gods who’ worship was first established in the island of Samothrace, where the Cabiric Mysteries were practiced. The gods called the Cabiri were originally two, and afterward four, in number, and are supposed by Bryant (Analysis of Ancient Mythology, iii, 342) to have referred to Noah and his three sons, the Cabiric Mysteries being a modification of the arkite worship.

In these mysteries there was a ceremony called the “Cabiric Death,” in which was represented amid the groans and tears and subsequent rejoicing of the initiates, the death and restoration to life of Cadmillus, the youngest of the Cabiri. The legend recorded that he was slain by his three Brethren, who afterward fled with his virile parts in a mystic basket. His body was crowned with flowers, and was buried at the foot of Mount Olympus. Clement of Alexandria speaks of the legend as the sacred mystery of a brother slain by his brethren, or in the original as frater trucidatus à fratribus.

There is much perplexity connected with the subject of these mysteries, but it is generally supposed that they were instituted in honor of Atys, the son of Cybele or Demeter, of whom Cadmillus was but another name. According to Macrobius, Atys was one of the appellations of the sun, and we know that the mysteries were celebrated at the vernal equinox. They lasted three days, during which they represented in the person of Atys, or Cadmillus, the enigmatical death of the sun in winter, and his regeneration in the spring. In all probability, in the initiation, the candidate passed through a drama, the subject of which , was the violent death of Atys. The Cabiric Death was, in fact, a type of the Hiramic, and the legend, so far as it can be understood from the faint allusions of ancient authors, was very analogous in spirit and design to that of the Third Degree of Freemasonry.

Many persons annually resorted to Samothrace to be initiated into the celebrated mysteries, among whom are mentioned Cadmus, Orpheus, Hercules, and Ulysses. Jamblichus says, in his Life of Pythagoras, that from those of Lemnos that sage derived much of his wisdom. The mysteries of the Cabiri were much respected among the common people, and great care was taken in their concealment. The priests made use of a language peculiar to the Rites. The mysteries were in existence at Samothrace as late as the eighteenth year of the Christian era, at which time the Emperor Germanicus embarked for that island, to be initiated, but was prevented from accomplishing his purpose by adverse winds.


The word tow signifies, properly, a line wherewith to draw. Richardson (Dictionary) defines it as ” The word is purely Masonic, and in some writings of the early part of the eighteenth century we find the expression cable rope. Prichard so uses it in 1730. The German word for a cable or rope is kabeltauw, and thence our cable tow is probably derived.

In its first inception, the cable tow seems to have been used only as a physical means of controlling the canidate, and such an interpretation is still given in the Entered Apprentice’s Degree. But in the Second and Third Degrees a more modern symbolism has been introduced, and the cable tow is in these grades supposed to symbolize the covenant by which all Freemasons are tied, thus reminding us of the passage in Hosea (xi, 4), “1 drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.”


Gädieke says that, “according to the ancient laws of Freemasonry, every brother must attend his Lodge if he is within the length of his cable tow.” The old writers define the length of a cable tow, which they sometimes called a cable’s length, to be three miles for an Entered Apprentice. But the expression is really symbolic, and as it was defined by the Baltimore Convention in 1842, means the scope of a man’s reasonable ability.


A district containing twenty cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, for his assistance in the construction of the Temple. Clark (Commentary and Critical Notes) thinks it likely that they were not given to Hiram so that they should be annexed to his Tyrian dominions, but rather to be held as security for the money which he had advanced.

This, however, is merely conjectural. The district containing them is placed by Josephus in the northwest part of Galilee, adjacent to Tyre. Hiram does not appear to have been satisfied with the gift ; why, is uncertain. Kitto thinks because they were not situated on the coast. A Masonic legend says because they were ruined and dilapidated villages, and in token of his dissatisfaction, Hiram called the district Cabul. The meaning of this word is not known. Josephus, probably by conjecture from the context, says it means unpleasing. Hiller and, after him, Bates (Dictionary) suppose that the name is derived from a combination of letters meaning as and nothing. The Talmudic derivation from “tied with fetters”, is described by Brother Mackey as Talmudically childish. The dissatisfaction of Hiram and its results constitute the subject of the legend of the Degree of Intimate Secretary in the Scottish Rite.


Beginning on page 170 is down in more than needed volume the wretched story of Cagliostro, and now that this glossy charlatan, the gold frogs on his clothes and the self-invented title on his visiting card , has become a ghost in which no living interest remains there would be no warrant to add further facts to a surfeit of facts were it not that the article on page 170 does not contain one fact which was not available before Bros. Rylands and Firebrace published their great two-volume history of the Lodge of Antiquity.

This fact is important, and is here emphasized as such, because it sets the records straight as regards what regular Freemasonry felt about Cagliostro When Cagliastro was bodily present.

Because he had been made a Mason in a French speaking Lodge in London (see page170) Cagliostro felt he had the right to visit Antiquity, and did so on the night of Nov. 1, 1786. This year fell in that (for Antiquity ) unhappy period when there were two Antiquity Lodges; one under the leadership of William Preston and comprising the larger and most solid portion of the membership and which was acting as head of the Grand Lodge of all England South of the River Trent; the other “the Northouck Lodge,” so-called from the leader who had occasioned the division. Cagliostro was accompanied by a train of his friends, some of them, had only the Brethren known it at the time, not regular Masons but members of Cagliostro’s Clandestine Egyptian Rite, which he had invented as a scheme for exploiting Masons, and made, up, as were his other claims and titles, out of his own head. A newspaper reported the meeting, in substance, thus: A few at least among “Northouck’s members” resented the charlatan’s presence, and one of them, Bro. Marsh, found ingenious means of saving his Lodge from a compromising and embarrassing contretemps.

Bro. Marsh, called upon for a song, with a devilishly witty ingenuity substituted an act, which portrayed a “traveling physician” (a quack) and played it out at Cagliostro’s elbow. The effect was devastating; the audience (except for the visitors) was in an uproar of laughter. Cagliostro withdrew.

This was a cartoon in prose, and the Lodge passed a formal Resolution to condemn it as a misrepresentation. What actually occurred in the Meeting the Minums do not tell, but whatever it was the “Count’s” prestige, gold frogs and all, was ruined Masonically.

(The Trowbridge book referred to on page171 continues to be among the best-read, but to it may be added other titles: Romantic Rascals, by Charles J. Finger; MacBride; New York. Count Cagliostro, by Constantin Photiades; Rider & Co. ; 1932. Le Matre Inconnu Cagliostro, by Dr. Marc Haven; Dorbon-Aire; Paris; a very elaborate bibliography. See Vol. II, by Firebrace, in Reccrds of the Lodge of Anliquily.)

Aside from manufacturing his spurious Egyplian Rite, Cagliostro had no part in regular Freemasonry except to join a French-speaking London Lodge. What the Inquisition found out about him nobody knows, but the trial itself shocked France by exposing the sinister methods still in use by the Roman hierarchy, and in its total effects, and as precipitating a nation-wide social crisis, ranks with the Dreyfus, Rasputin (Russian), and Taxil cases. Dumas wrote a novel about Cagliostro in The Diamond Necklace; and Frank King collects a number of illuminating facts in The Last of the Sorcerers. To a Masonic community as far from Paris as is American Masonry there is not much of either profit or comfort in the case, unless it be that at this distance it lays a red underline beneath the danger confronting any Masonic Jurisdictions which permit degree making and degree mongering, disguised as Masonry, to go unchecked or unchallenged. Bro. Marsh’s performance was a commentary not altogether malapropos.


The calendars given on page 172 ff. are in use by modern bodies of Speculative Freemasonry, and the datings are self-confessedly of modern origin. They are based on the date of the Creation as 4004 B.C. as written into the margin of the Authorized Version of the Bible by Archbishop Usher in 1611. This date had been nowhere in general use prior to that time, and afterwards was never accepted by many chronologists. A work of encyclopedic informativeness on the calendars in use during the whole of the Operative and the Transition Periods of Freemasonry is Mediaeval Kalendarium, by R. F. Hampton, two volumes; London; 1841. It covers the Tenth to Fifteenth Centuries. In a period before calendars and almanacs came into general use it was widely employed as a handbook on matters of many kinds which have to do with the calendar. It contains much folklore; many pages on the Sts. John, lists of Saints’ Days; and, as illustrative of what was said above, gives in one chapter a long list of the estimates of the date of Creation as computed by authorities at different times, among them being: Scaliger, 3950 B.C.; Petavius, 3984 B.C.; Ricciola, 4063 B.C.; Eusebius, 5200 B.C.; Alphonsine Tables, 6934 B.C.

There is no evidence to show that Operative Masons ever adopted a given date, or ever found use for one; moreover they had scarcely any conception of such a thing as a calendar, but fixed dates by reference to Saints’ Days, Church festivals, the reign of Kings, and memorable local events-a flood, a fire, a battle, etc.


This most Widely-read of Masonic novels was written by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr. He was born at Waterville, Maine (the native State of a score of eminent Masons), June 5, 1823, the first of nine children. He moved to Malden, Mass., where his father was Universalist pastor, and a friend of Bro. Hosea Ballou, and lived there ten years ; in 1838 he moved to Waltham, Mass., from which, in 1841, he joined the Navy. Returned, he took up journalism, and for forty years was on the staff of the New York Ledger, an old-fashioned newspaper which published stories and essays. He was made a Mason in Oxford Lodge, Norway, Me., in 1854, and was its Worshipful Master five times. He was exalted in 1859; Knighted in Boston in 1872, and in 1874 was made 32 in the same city. He published three Masonic stories in the New York Ledger in 1858-1874. Sea stories, Oriental stories, Masonic stories, and religious stories were his forte. A new edition of the Caliph of Bagdad was published by Geo. H. Doran; New York.


Wellins Calcott (see page 172) saw in Freemasonry something more than a museum of Medieval relics, and more than a set of convivial clubs, and undertook to write a rational, or philosophy, on the Craft, becoming thereby the first of a line of greatly distinguished Craftsmen, in which were to stand Hutchinson, Preston, Oliver, Mackey. He was born at a date not discoverable in available books; in the Minutes of one Lodge he is described as “a native of Shrewsbury, county of Salop,” in another as from “Salop in Cheshire.” At some date in probably the late 1750’s he published A Collection of Thoughts, a volume half of quotations and half of his own meditations, a type of book dear to readers in that period. He had 1600 subscriptions for it before printing; and it went through five editions. In 1769 (and with 1200 subscribers) he published A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Honorable society of Free and Accepted Masons, etc. Oliver described this book, so simple, so gentle in spirit, and with few obvious displays of the classical learning behind it, “the gem of the period.” Kenning describes Calcott: “Indeed he may fully be called the father of the Masonic philosophical and didactic school.” Hughan characteristically valued it because it contained a list of Boston Lodges, as follows : under the Provincial Grand Lodge headed by John Rowe: Master’s, First, Second, Rising Sun; and under the Scottish Provincial Grand Lodge under Joseph Warren: St. Andrew’s, Lodge No. 2: and under an Ancient Grand Lodge Warrant: Ancient York, No. 169. Calcott was twice in America, both times in the Carolinas, possibly in New York or Boston. He must have been a wandering man, perhaps one of those impracticable, learned men ungifted with the sense of trade or of money, for we can track him in Scotland and England from Lodge to Lodge, going about like a colporteur to distribute his Candid Disquisitions. He was three times in St. David Lodge, No. 30, and became member by affiliation, during 1761 and 1762. Was Worshipful Master of Holywell Lodge, in England. He visited Lodge St. John Kilwinning, Haddington, No. 57, in 1761. He was in Phoenix Lodge, No. 94, in Sunderland, in 1779, when the Minutes describe him as “from Carolina,” and gave a Third Degree Lecture. In his Preston Lecture for 1928, John Stokes says: “Many of the words and phrases used in his lectures were adopted by Hemming and made part of the Ritual which we use today.” It is a romantic fact (and Freemasonry is fuII of them) that words written down in 1750 or 1760 by this only half-known, gentle, much wandering man, two or three times described in Lodge Minutes as “in unfortunate circumstances,” should afterwards be on the tongues of millions of men who have never so much as heard his name !


During the period of five years from1923 to1928 inclusive the Fraternity in the United States was called upon to raise funds for relief no fewer than five times: the Japanese earthquake of 1923; the Florida hurricane of 1926; the Mississippi flood of 1927; the Porto Rico hurricane of 1928; the Florida hurricane of 1928. on each of these occasions the Masonic Service Association acted as a unit for the Grand Lodges holding membership in it; other non-member Grand Lodges used it as an agency through which to distribute their funds; the remaining Grand Lodges sent their funds directly to Masonic bodies or other agencies at the scene of the disaster. The total amount of monies raised by Masonic Bodies of each and every Rite has never been computed; the amounts reported as passing through the hands of the Masonic Service Association, or passing through other hands but reported by it were as follows : for the Japanese earthquake, $15,777 the Florida hurricane of 1926, $111,652; the Mississippi flood in 1927, $605,603; the Porto Rico hurricane of 1928, $81,774; the Florida hurricane of 1828 $107,622.


The Early Masonic Calechismus by Douglas Knoop, G. P. Jones, and Douglas Harner (Manchester University Press; 1043) is the first book-length (200 pages) analysis of those unfamiliar but important documents which are called the Old Catechisms. The authors describe them as having been originally “mainly conceded with the form of giving the Mason Word, and the quostion and answers used to test persons claiming to have the Mason Word.” There are Masons still living in America who can recall a wide-spread use of “test questions,” some of which were of archaic form, and which on the surface had no apparent connection with the Ritual. Something of the same sort was in use in the Eighteenth Century (and perhaps a half century or so earlier); a few of them, and possibly the elaborate ones, were written or printed. They are useful for the data they contain, or imply, about the Esoteric Work. The authors of Early Masonic Catechismus have collected everything thus far discovered about nine written catechisms and seven printed ones. Of the former: Edinburgh Register House MS., 1696. Chetwode Crawley MS., circa 1700. Sloane MS. 3529, Circa. 1700. Dumfries No. 4 MS., circa 1700 Trinity College Dublin MS., 1711. Institution of Free Masons circa 1725. Graham MS., 1726. Chesham MS., circa 1740. Essex MS., circa 1750. Of the printed ones: A Mason’s Examination, 1723. The grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discovered , 1725. The Whole Institutions of Free-Masons Opened 1725. The Grand Mustery Laid Open, 1726. A Masons Confession, 1725. The Mystery of Freemasonry, 1730 Prichards Masonry Dissected, 1730.


The Cathedral of St. John The Devine In New York City was built according to the designs and methods used by Operative Freemasons of the Middle Ages as nearly as modern knowledge, skill and circumstances made it possible. Except that its founder, Bishop Henry C Potter, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was an active Freemason, this first American cathedral, properly and strictly so called (architecturally), has received little attention from the American Fraternity, though each year an increasing number of Masons visit it to see with their own eyes what kind of work had been done by the founders of their own Craft. The second genuinely Gothic cathedral to be erected on the Continent, the National Cathedral at Washington, has been in a different case, for so many Grand Bodies have taken a share in building it that they must in the future ever feel a small sense of proprietorship in it.

A charter to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation was granted by Congress in 1893. A cathedral close of 65 acres was purchased on Mount Saint Alban, 400 feet above the general level of Washington, D.C. Its central tower will stand higher in the sky than the Washington Monument ; it and the Washington Masonic Memorial (Freemasonry’s own national cathedral) will be in full view of each other. Washington had expressed a hope for “a church for national purposes,” I’Enfant had embodied it in his city plan; the National Cathedral is a realization of their dreams.

The bodies of Admiral Dewey, President Wilson, and Bishop Satterlee already are entombed in it; in the course of time it may become another Westminster Abbey. There will be in it a Masonic Section, as planned for by Bro. and Bishop James E. Freeman; hundreds of Masons or Masonic Bodies have paid for stones to be used in it. A Masonic Committee of the National Cathedral Association was formed, led by Bro. John H. Cowles, head of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction; the Rt. Rev. James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, Honorary Chairman.


The Roman Popes set up systems of censorship long before the invention of printing, and when even hand-written manuscripts were very scarce and were too expensive for general use ; it censored also symbols, statues, pictures, music, speeches, ceremonies and pageants-it even tried to censor games and dances, and more than once went so far as to undertake the censorship of women’s dress!-one of the favorite subjects of many of the bachelor Popes, and a principal theme of the sermons of the great preacher, Chrysostom. From the early days of the Christian religion down to the present moment the system of censorship of the Roman Church has rested on a single principle : it claims for itself the exclusive right to decide what is true and what is not true. Kings, princes, barons, Lords, the heads of great commercial companies, and the heads of colleges and universities, these also have employed censorship as a means of control and of preventing unorthodox words or practices. The American Revolution and the French Revolution between them were the first to overthrow this system which is as pernicious and inhuman in its own way as slavery was in another way. Today the bureau of the Roman Censorship publishes thick volumes of its Index, which are little more than titles of condemned books; many Masonic titles are among them, as also are titles by Luther, Melanchthon, Erasmus, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, and a long list of names equally celebrated of men who have believed that facts and realities decide what is true and is not true (the many Papal condemnations of the doctrine of the sphericity of the earth had no effect on the shape of the planet)!

When the Mother Grand Lodge of England (1717) set up a censorship of Masonic books, that is, books about Masonry written by Masons, it was acting according to received custom. That censorship continued until late in the century, when it went by default, and is not likely ever to be revised, because a censored Mason and a Freemason are a contradiction in terms; for if a Mason can be trusted to be loyal to the Craft in his behavior, so can he be trusted not to betray or to misrepresent it in what he says and writes. (On Church censorship the standard work is Censorship of the Church of Rome, by George Haven Putnam; S. P. Putnam’s Sons; New York; 1906.)


The paragraph about Charlemagne on page 195 makes note of the tradition that he had a school for Masons in his castle at Aix-la-ChapeIle (Aachen). To this may be added two other points at which he enters the circle of Masonic studies:
1. Beginning at line 576 the Cooke MS. refers to a Carolus Secundus, that is, Charles the Second; and in 590 ff. goes on to say that he was a King who loved Masons and cherished them and gave them charges and manners of which some are still in use in France, and ordained for them an annual assembly “and for to be ruled by matters & fellows of alle thyngs a-mysse.” It is likely that Charles the Bold (840-77 A.D.) is here referred to ; but some commentators believe rather that it refers to Charlemagne, and if so it explains the origin of the tradition referred to in the above paragraph.

2. In Medieval wall paintings and stained glass windows the conventionalized picture of Charlemagne represents him as a large, bearded, Moses-like figure, carrying the model of a cathedral in the crook of his arm. In a few French Medieval manuscripts this cathedral at Aix is described as “our Solomon’s Temple,” Charlemagne is “our Solomon,” and the knowledge and skill showed in building it is described “as Solomon’s art.”


For some centuries the Kings of England had a general overseer to manage and to supervise their own many and often very large building operations, and to act in the King’s name when Royal supervision of any other building enterprise might be called for, such officials being called at times Commissioner, Supervisor, Chief Clerk, etc. Elias de Dereham and William of Wykeham were two of the more famous ”surveyors”; as also were, at a later time, Inigo Jones, who introduced the Palladian style from Italy into England, and Christopher Wren.

Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet, held the office late in the Fourteenth Century. On page 67, of the Transactions of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, Vol. 19-21 (for 1928-31) was quoted a document which Chaucer issued and signed:

(3) Bill of Geodffrey Chaucer, Clerk of the King’s Works, to be Chancellor, for the issue of a commission under the Great Seal to Hugh Swayn to purvey stone, timber, tiles, shingles, &c. and to take masons, carpenters, and others for the works at Westminster, Sheen, Kennington, Charing Mews, Byfleet, Coldkennington, Clarendon and Hathebergh Lodge; and of similar commissions to three others for the works of the Tower of London, Berkhampstead, Childeme Langley, and Eltham. (A.D.1389. French. Probably holograph.) Signed :- Par GeoEray Chaucer, clerc des cevereines du roy nostre seignur.

Traces of signet. (Chancery Warrants 1. 1660 a No. 26)

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales also establish a link, though a less obvious one, between the poet and the Craft of Masons. The Masons’ Company in London, with which Chaucer had official connections, sustained the St. Thomas Hospital there, left it many bequests, and often visited it in livery. Masons’ Companies in two, and possibly three, other cities also helped to support local hospitals of their own named for St. Thomas and it is possible that they looked on St. Thomas as their Patron Saint. This Saint Thomas was the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Becket, who was murdered in his own cathedral in 1170. The fact that three knights, described at the time as “the three ruffians,” murdered the fifty-three year old prelate by beating him over the head after demanding that he “give them his word,” threatened to bury him in the rubbish, and that his body was buried in a spot between a memorial to John the Baptist on one side and John the Evangelist on the other, the two forming parallel lines, must have held a peculiar interest to men in the Masons’ Companies, and may account for their support of St. Thomas Hospitals; and it is possible that Chauser, connected with the Mason Company in London as he was, may from that association have had his interest in Canterbury first aroused, and as a result of which he wrote in rhyme the Canterbury (St. Thomas’ church) Tales.

It belongs to the in curable romanticism of Medieval England ‘that this St. Thomas, England’s “favorite saint,” her most “glorious martyr,” “the most English of the Saints,” was by blood only half English, and half Christian. Gilbert Becket was a member of the Mercers Company, or gild, but as a young man went off on one of the Crusades to war on the infidel Saracens, was captured, was released by “a fair Saracen,” a Mohammedan lady ; they fell in love, she followed him to London, professed conversion, and Thomas was their son.

Thomas learned reading and writing, went to work in the Sheriff’s office, and then was employed by the King, upon whose wish, and against Thomas’ own desires, he took Holy Orders expressly in order to be named Archbishop of Canterbury, where the King purposed to have a friend and supporter in that highest of ecclesiastica1offices, but discovered to his chagrin, and too late, that “he had a Tartar there.”

The Mercers Company afterwards was given the land which had belonged to the senior Becket; and in the Charter given it by Henry IV in 1406 its members were named “Brothers of St. Thomas à Becket.” St. Thomas was for centuries a favorite Patron Saint among the gilds and companies.


The author of the celebrated work entitled Le Tombeau de Jacques de Molay, which was published at Paris, in 1796, and in which he attempted, like Barmel and Robison, to show that Freemasonry was the source and instigator of all the political revolutions which at that time were convulsing Europe. Cadet-Gassicourt was himself the victim of political persecution, and, erroneously attributing his sufferings to the influences of the Masonic Lodges in France, became incensed against the Order, and this gave birth to his libelous book. But subsequent reflection led him to change his views, and he became an ardent admirer of the Institution which he had formerly maligned. He sought initiation into Freemasonry, and in 1805 was elected as Master of the Lodge l’Abeille in Paris. He was born at Paris. January 23, 1769, and died in the same city November 21, 1821.


The youngest of the Cabiri, and as he is slain in the Cabiric Mysteries, he becomes the analogue or representative of the Builder in the legend of Freemasonry. ‘


The Caduceus was the magic wand of the god Hermes. It was an olive staff twined with fillets, which were gradually converted to wings and serpents. Hermes, or Mercury, was the messenger of Jove. Among his numerous attributes, one of the most important was that of conducting disembodied spirits to the other world, and, on necessary occasions, of bringing them back. He was the guide of souls, and the restorer of the dead to life.

Thus, Horace, in addressing him, says:

Unspotted spirits you consign
To blissful seats and joys divine,
And powerful with your golden wand
The light unburied crowd command.

Vergil also alludes to this attribute of the magic wand
when he is describing the flight of
Mercury on his way to bear Jove’s warning message to Aeneas:
His wand he takes ; with this pale ghost he calls
From Pluto’s realms, or sends to Tartarus’ shore.

And Statius, imitating this passage, makes the same allusion in his Thebaid (1, 314), thus translated by Lewis:
He grasps the wand which draws from hollow graves,
Or drives the trembling shades to Stygian waves ;
With magic power seals the watchful eye
In slumbers soft or causes sleep to fly.

The history of this Caduceus, or magic wand, will lead us to its symbolism. Mercury, who had invented the lyre, making it out of the shell of the tortoise, exchanged it with Apollo for the latter’s magical wand. This wand was simply an olive branch around which were placed two fillets of ribbon. Afterward, when Mercury was in Arcadia, he encountered two serpents engaged in deadly combat. These he separated with his wand; hence the olive wand became the symbol of peace, and the two fillets were replaced by the two serpents, thus giving to the Caduceus its well-known form of a staff, around which two serpents are entwined.

Such is the legend; but we may readily see that in the olive, as the symbol of immortality, borne as the attribute of Mercury, the giver of life to the dead, we have a more ancient and profounder symbolism. The serpents, symbols also of immortality, are appropriately united with the olive wand. The legend also accounts for a later and secondary symbolism-that of peace.

The Caduceus then-the original meaning of which word is a herald’s staff-as the attribute of a life-restoring God, is in its primary. meaning the symbol of immortality; so in Freemasonry the rod of the Senior Deacon, or the Master of Ceremonies, is but an analogue or representation of the Hermean Caduceus. This officer, as leading the aspirant through the forms of initiation into his new birth or Masonic regeneration, and teaching him in the solemn ceremonies of the Third Degree the lesson of eternal life, may well use the magic wand as a representation of it, which was the attribute of that ancient deity who brought the dead into life.


Latin. A builder of walls, a mason, from caemantum, a rough, unhewn stone as it comes from the quarry. In medieval Latin, the word is used to designate an Operative Mason.

Du Cange cites Magister Caementariorum as used to designate him who presided over the building of edifices, that is, the Master of the works. It has been adopted by some modern writers as a translation of the word Freemason. Its employment for that purpose is perhaps more correct than that of the more usual word latomus, which owes its use to the authority of Thory.


Of all the Masonic persons of romantic celebrity who flourished in the eighteenth century the Count Cagliostro was most prominent, whether we consider the ingenuity of his schemes, the extensive field of his operations through almost every country of Europe, or the distinguished character and station of many of those whose credulity made them his enthusiastic supporters.
The history of Freemasonry in that century would not be complete without a reference to this personage. To write the history of Freemasonry in the eighteenth century and to leave out Cagliostro, would be like enacting the play of Hamlet and leaving out the part of the Prince of Denmark. And yet Carlyle has had occasion to complain of the paucity of materials for such a work.

Indeed, of one so well known as Cagliostro comparatively little is to be found in print. Doctor Mackey held that there was sufficient published to prove him to be a “charlatan” and a “prince of Masonic imposters.”

The authorities on which Brother Mackey rested his belief are mentioned in his following sentence. The only works upon which he who would write his life must depend are a Life of him published in London, 1787; Memoirs, in Paris, 1786 ; and Memoirs Authentiques, Strasbourg, 1786; a Life, in Germany, published at Berlin, 1787; another in Italian, published at Rome in 1791; and a few fugitive pieces, consisting chiefly of manifestoes of himself and his disciples.The widest differences exist among writers as to Cagliostro’s true standing, the majority following the lead of Doctor Mackey, whose account is appended.

Joseph Balsamo, subsequently known as Count Cagliostro, was the son of Peter Balsamo and Felicia Braconieri, both of mean extraction, and was born on the 8th of June, 1743, in the city of Palermo. Upon the death of his father, he was taken under the protection of his maternal uncles, who caused him to be instructed in the elements of religion and learning, by both of which he profited so little that he eloped several times from the Seminary of St. Roch, near Palermo, where he had been placed for his instruction.

At the age of thirteen he was carried to the Convent of the Good Brotherhood at Castiglione. There, having assumed the habit of a novice, he was placed under the tuition of the apothecary, from whom he learned the principles of chemistry and medicine. His brief residence at the convent was marked by violations of many of its rules; and finally, abandoning it altogether, he returned to Palermo. There he continued his vicious courses, and was frequently seized and imprisoned for infractions of the law. At length, having cheated a goldsmith, named Marano, of a large amount of gold, he was compelled to flee from his native country.

He then repaired to Messina, where he became acquainted with one Altotas, who pretended to be a great chemist. Together they proceeded to Alexandria in Egypt, where, by means of certain chemical, or perhaps rather by financial, operations, they succeeded in collecting a considerable amount of money.

In 1776 Cagliostro appeared in London. During this visit, Cagliostro become connected with the Order of Freemasonry. In the month of April he received the degrees in Esperance Lodge, No. 289, which then met at the King’s Head Tavern. Cagliostro did not join the Order with disinterested motives, or at least he determined in a very short period after his initiation to use the Institution as an instrument for the advancement of his personal interests. Here he is said to have invented, in 1777, that grand scheme of imposture under the name of Egyptian Freemasonry, by the propagation of which he subsequently became so famous as the great Masonic charlatan of his age.

London did not fail to furnish him with a fertile field for his impositions, and the English Freemasons seemed no way reluctant to become his dupes; but, being ambitious for the extension of his Rite, and anxious for the greater income which it promised, he again passed over to the Continent, where he justly anticipated abundant success in its propagation. This Egypt Freemasonry constituted the great pursuit of the rest of his life, and was the instrument which he used for many years to make dupes of thousands of credulous persons.

During Cagliostro’s residenee in England, on his last visit, he was attacked by the editor Morand, in the Courier de l’Europe, in a series of abusive articles, to which Cagliostro replied in a letter to the English people. But, although he had a few Egyptian Lodges in London under his government, he appears, perhaps from Morand’s revelations of his character and life, to have lost his popularity, and he left England permanently in May, 1787. He went to Savoy, Sardinia, and other places in the south of Europe, and at last, in May, 1789, by an act of rash temerity, proceeded to Rome, where he organized an Egyptian Lodge under the very shadow of , the Vatican. But this was more than the Church, which had been excommunicating Freemasons for fifty years, was willing to endure. On the 27th of December of that year, on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, to whom he had dedicated his Lodges, the Holy Inquisition arrested him, and locked him up in the castle of San Angelo.

There, after such a trial as the Inquisition is wont to give to the accused-in which his wife is said to have been the principal witness against him-he was convicted of having formed” societies and conventicles of Freemasonry.” His manuscript entitled Maçonnerie Egyptienne was ordered to be burned by the public executioner, and he himself was condemned to death; a sentence which the Pope subsequently commuted for that of perpetual imprisonment. Cagliostro appealed to the French Constituent Assembly, but of course in vain.

Thenceforth no more is seen of him. For four years this adventurer, who had filled during his life so large a space in the world’s history-the associate of princes, prelates, and philosophers; the inventor of a spurious Rite, which had, however, its thousands of disciples-languished within the gloomy walls of the prison of St. Leo, in the Duchy of Urbino, and at length, in the year 1795, in a fit of apoplexy, bade the world adieu. But there is another side to the foregoing account by Doctor Mackey. Some more recent writers have seriously questioned the identity of Cagliostro and Balsamo.

Both Trowbridge and Spence deem the later evidence to have proven that Cagliostro was not Balsamo. Lewis Spenee sums up the situation thus in his Encyclopedia of Occultism after a lengthy review of the various assertions of the authorities and the test of them by the ascertained facts:
“It is distinctly no easy matter to get at the bedrock truth regarding Cagliostro or to form any just estimate of his true character. That he was vain, naturally pompous, fond of theatrical mystery, and of the popular side of occultism, is most probable.

Another circumstance which stands out in relation to his personality is that he was vastly desirous of gaining cheap popularity. He was probably a little mad. On the other hand he was beneficent, and felt it his mission in the then king-ridden state of Europe to found Egyptian Masonry for the protection of society in general, and the middle and lower classes in particular. A born adventurer, he was by no means a rogue, as his lack of shrewdness has been proved on many occasions. There is small question either that the various Masonic lodges which he founded and which were patronized by persons of ample means, provided him with extensive funds and it is a known fact that he was subsidized by several extremely wealthy men, who, themselves dissatisfied by the state of affairs in Europe, did not hesitate to place their riches at his disposal for the purpose of undermining the tyrannic powers which then wielded sway.

There is reason to believe that he had in some way and at some period of his life acquired a certain working knowledge of practical occultism, and that he possessed certain elementary psychic powers of hypnotism and telepathy. His absurd account of his childhood is almost undoubtedly a plagiarism of that stated in the first manifesto to the public of the mysterious Rosicrucian Brotherhood, as containing an account of the childhood of their Chief. But on the whole he is a mystery, and in all likelihood the clouds which surround his origin and earlier years will never be dispersed. It is probably better that this should be so, as although Cagliostro was by no means an exalted character, he was yet one of the most picturesque figures in the later history of Europe; and assuredly not the least aid to his picturesqueness is the obscurity in which his origin is involved.”

For further reading on the career of Cagliostro, a showing to the effect that if he was not of unalloyed honor, he was not altogether an impostor and scoundrel, consult Cagliostro: The Splendor and Mystery of a Master of Magic by W. R H, Trowbridge, and An Encyclopedia of Occukism by Lewis Spence.

Other books of reference are Cagliostro and Company, by Franz Funck-Brentano, and the Life of Joseph Balsamo, published at Dublin in 1792, the latter being translated from the original proceedings published at Rome by order of the Apostolic Chamber and therefore of especial interest as the Roman Catholic argument against one condemned by the Inquisition for being a Freemason. This report (page 239), asserts that the judgment entirely accords with justice, equity, prudence, religion, and public tranquillity.

It then runs thus: “Joseph Balsamo, attainted and convected of many crimes, and having incurred the censures and penalties pronounced against formal heretics, dogmatists, heresiarchs, and propagators of magic and superstition, has been found guilty, and condemned to the censures and penalties denounced as well by the apostolic laws of Clement XII and of Benedict XIV against those who in any manner whatever favor or form societies and conventicles of Free Masons, as by the edict of the Council of State against those who are guilty of this crime at Rome, or any other place under the dominion of the Pope.

Notwithstanding this, by way of special grace and favor, this crime, the expiation of which demands the delivery of the culprit over to the secular arm, to be by it punished with death, is hereby changed and commuted into perpetual imprisonment, in a fortress where the culprit is to be strictly guarded, without any hope of pardon whatever.”

This order was carried into effect as was also the burning by “the hand of the hangman” of Cagliostro’s manuscript on Egyptian Freemasonry as were all his other books, instruments, symbols, etc., relating thereto. The order also confirmed and renewed the laws of the Roman Catholic Church prohibiting societies and conventicles of Freemasons, and winds up by declaring “We shall enact the most grievous corporal punishments, and principally those provided for heresies, against whosoever shall associate, hold communication with, or protect, these societies.”


French. A number of sheets of parchment or paper fastened together at one end. The word is used by French Freemasons to designate a small book printed, or in manuscript, containing the ritual of a Degree. The word has been borrowed from French history, where it denotes the reports and proceedings of certain assemblies, such as the clergy, the States-General, etc.


Derived from the Gaelic can, meaning a mound, and applied thus to heaps of stones of a conical form erected by the Druids. Some suppose them to have been sepulchral monuments, others altars. They were undoubtedly of a religious character, since sacrificial fires were lighted upon them, and processions were made around them.

These processions were analogous to the circumambulations in Freemasonry, and were conducted, like them, with reference to the apparent course of the sun. Thus, Toland, in his Letters on the Celtic Religion, II, xvii, says of these mystical processions, that the people of the Scottish islands “never come to the ancient sacrificing and fire-hallowing Cams but they walk three times round them from east to west, according to the course of the sun. This sanctified tour, or round by the south, is called Deaseal, as the unhallowed contrary one by the north, Tuapholl”; and he says that Deaseal is derived from “Deas, the right (understanding hand), and soil, one of the ancient names of the sun, the right hand in this round being ever next the heap.” In all this the Freemason will be reminded of the Masonic ceremony of circumambulation around the altar and the rules which govern it.


Instituted l158, during the reign of Sancho III, King of Castile, who conquered and gave the Castle of Calatrava, an important fortress of the Moors of Andalusia, to the Knights Templar, who subsequently relinquished their possession of it to the king.

The king, being disappointed in the ability of the Templars to retain it, then offered the defense of the place to Don Raymond of Navarre, Abbot of St. Mary of Hitero, a Cistercian convent, who accepted it. Don Raymond being successful, the king gave the place to him and his companions, and instituted the 0rder of Calatrava. A Grand Master was appointed and approved of by the Pope, Alexander III, 1164, which was confirmed by Innocent III in 1198.

The knights had been granted the power of electing their own Grand Master; but on the death of Don Gareias Lopez de Pardella, 1489, Ferdinand and Isabella annexed the Grand Mastership to the Crown of Castile, which was sanctioned by Pope Innocent VIII.


A distinguished Masonic writer of the eighteenth century, and the author of a work published in 1769, under the title of A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons; together with some Strictures on the 0rigin, Nature, and Design of that Institution, in which he has traced Freemasonry from its origin, explained its symbols and hieroglyphics, its social virtues and advantages, suggested the propriety of building halls for the peculiar and exclusive practice of Freemasonry and reprehended its slanderers with great but judicious severity.

This was the first extended effort to illustrate philosophically the science of Freemasonry, and was followed, a few years after, by Hutchinson’s admirable work ; so that Oliver justly says that ”Calcott opened the mine of Freemasonry, and Hutchinson worked it.”


See Oceania


Freemasons, in affixing dates to their official documents, never make use of the Common Epoch or Vulgar Era, but have one peculiar to themselves, which, however, varies in the different rites. Era and epoch are, in this sense, synonymous.

Strictly, the epoch is an important point in history beginning a period termed an era, as the epoch of the Crucifixion followed by the Christian Era.

Freemasons of the York, American, and French Rites, that is to say, the Freemasons of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, and America, date from the creation of the world, calling it Anno Lucis, which they abbreviate A. . L. ., signifying in the Year of Light. Thus with them the year 1872 is A.’. L.’. 5872. This they do, not because they believe Freemasonry to be coeval with the Creation, but with a symbolic reference to the light of Freemasonry.

In the Scottish Rite, the epoch also begins from the date of the creation, but Freemasons of that Rite, using the Jewish chronology, would call the year 1872 A.’. M.’. or Anno Mundi meaning in the Year of the World, 5632. They sometimes use the initials A.’. H. ‘., signifying Anno Hebraico, or, in the Hebrew year.

They have also adopted the Hebrew months, and the year, therefore, begins with them in the middle of September (see Months, Hebrew).

Freemasons of the York and American Rites begin the year on the lst of January, but in the French Rite it commences on the lst of March, and instead of the months receiving their usual names, they are designated numerically, as first, second, third, etc. Thus, the lst of January, 1872, would be styled, in a French Masonic document, the lst day of the 11th Masonic month, Anno Lucis, 5872. The French sometimes, instead of the initials A.’. L.’., use L’an de la V.’. L. ‘., or Vraie Lumiére, that is, Year of True Light.

Royal Arch Masons commence their epoch with the year in which Zerubbabel began to build the second Temple, which was 530 years before Christ.

Their style for the year 1872 is, therefore, A.’. Inv.’., that is, Anno Inventionis, or, in the Year of the Discovery, 2402.

Royal and Select Masters very often make use of the common Masonic date, Anno Lucis, but properly they should date from the year in which Solomon’s Temple was completed; and their style would then be, Anna Depositionis, or, in the Year of the Deposit, and they would date the year 1872 as 2872.

Knights Templar use the epoch of the organization of their Order in 1118. Their style for the year 1872 is A.’. O.’., Anno 0rdinis, or, in the Year of the 0rder, 754.

We subjoin, for the convenience of reference, the rules for discovering these different dates.

  1. To find the Ancient Craft date. Add 4000 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 1872 and 4000 are 5872.
  2. To find the date of the Scottish Rite. Add 3760 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 1872 and 3760 are 5632. After September add one year more.
  3. To find the date of Royal Arch Masonry. Add 530 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 530 and 1872 are 2402.
  4. To find the Royal and Select Masters’ date. Add 1000 to the Vulgar Era. Thus 1000 and 1872 are 2872.
  5. To find the Knights Templar’s. Subtract 1118 from the Vulgar Era. Thus 1118 from 1872 is 754. The following will show, in one view, the date of the year 1872 in all the branches of the Order:
    1. Year of the Lord, 1872 A.D.-Vulgar Era.
    2. Year of Light, A.’. L.’. 5872-Ancient Craft Masonry.
    3. Year of the World, A.’. M.’. 5632-Scottish Rite.
    4. Year of the Discovery, A.’. L.’. 2402-Royal Arch Masonry.
    5. Year of the Deposit, A.’. Dep.’. 2872-Royal and Select Masters.
    6. Year of the Order, A.’. O.’. 754-Knights Templar.


When King Henry III was in want of money to carry on his war against the Barons he announced to the Prior of the Templars that he intended to commandeer some portions of the riches with which their vaults were crowded (The Templars, the Knights of St. John, and the Church among them owned one-third of England) and in spite of the Charters he had given them, the Prior of the Templars replied: “What sayest thou, O King? Far be it that thy mouth should utter so disagreeable and silly a word. . . Thou wilt cease to be king.”

The Prior took his defiant stand on his Charter, the solidest thing in the Middle Ages. Even the Tudor Kings, unafraid of man or devil, were smitten with fear at the mere thought of Charter breaking. There are in modern use contracts, deeds, charters, warrants, and similar instruments through which authority acts, and in which sovereignty resides; but no one of those documents is what a Medieval Charter was. For in the Middle Ages, a Charter was a document which possessed sovereignty, power, authority in itself, not as delegated, but as original. If a town received a Charter (a town might pay the king a large sum for one) it was thereby made a free, independent, sovereign, self-governing incorporation which could levy taxes, conscript soldiers, hold courts, execute criminals, buy, sell, or construct property; subject only to the national sovereignty it was almost a small nation.

The town of Cambridge was such a chartered incorporation; the University of Cambridge, though a school and not a city, and only a short distance from the town, also had a Charter, and therefore had its own courts and peace officers; and in the Town and Gown battles the two were more than once virtually at war with each other. If a gild of craftsmen or churchmen or merchants received a Charter, they became a self-governing unit even though they had no territory or property. Chartered Colonies, chartered trading companies like the East India, West India African Companies, were English governments in pello in foreign places. Medieval England was almost a government by Charters. Magna Carta was epoch making because it was a charter granted to the people of London; it was therefore the guarantee of the liberties named in it, and as against any King or Parliament, because it was a Charter.

It is evident from the Old MSS., the Craft’s oldest existing written records, that the Freemasons, a fraternity spread over England, claimed to possess a Charter as a fraternity, and that it had been granted to them by Prince Edwin in the Tenth Century; from this “Great Charter” they claimed authority to constitute themselves as Lodges, to hold assemblies (so often forbidden by the Kings), to hold their own courts, to have their own laws, to make contracts (as often they did), to hold property, to regulate their own hours and wages, to take apprentices under bond, and to regulate their own affairs wherever one Freemason or a Lodge of them might be.

When any city, university, or society petitioned for a Charter it usually gave the grounds upon which it felt a right to ask it, and among the more common grounds were a great antiquity, a record of peaceableness, the prestige of names among its members, etc. ; the writer of the original book of the Old Charges (old MSS.), of which nearly two hundred copies have been found, sets out in the first half of his document, though with great brevity, and discontentedly, the grounds upon which the Fraternity of Freemasons had obtained a Charter from Prince Edwin. Freemasonry was ancient, because building went back to Adam; among its earliest founders (men who made the art possible) were such famous and learned men as Pythagoras and Euclid; such great kings as Charlemagne and Athelstan had been among its patrons; Freemasons had always been educated men, not lewd fellows (“lewd” meant illiterate) or churls, but lovers of the Liberal Arts and Sciences (curriculum of the schools and universities);

they had never held unlawful assemblies to conspire against lawful rulers, and it was while holding one of their lawful and peaceable assemblies that Edwin had given them their Great charter. Copies of such a charter, duly authenticated, were sufficient authority for regular Freemasons anywhere to hold local assemblies and constitute themselves into Lodges, nor could local prelates or lords forbid them.

Having thus shown the ground of authority the document then goes on to set down the set of rules and charges which, on Charter authority, the Masonic Fraternity imposed upon its membership.

Boys come to be made apprentices, though of gentle birth, need not expect that they would be in a loose and carefree circle, to act as they wished; they would be governed under strict laws. This grounding of the authority of the Craft on an original Charter is repeated in the records of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the formation of which was not attempted until after the ancient family holding the rights of Masonic Charter had made over those rights to the governing body to be.

It has been assumed by some Masonic writers that the Old charges were a mere “tradition” of legendary Graft ,,history,” to be piously believed, and to be read to Apprentices to give them an impression of the Craft’s antiquity; and they took the charges and the rules and regulations, to be mere by-laws of a voluntary social Fraternity, or sodality. It is submitted on the basis of facts given above that this is an error. A copy of the old Charges was a Lodge’s Charter, its legal right to exist. From its Minute Book it is evident that Antiquity Lodge insisted that it never had surrendered its own Charter to the new Grand Lodge in 1717; when later it believed that the Grand Master had violated Antiquity’s Charter, Antiquity withdrew and continued to work in independence for more than ten years. The new Grand Lodge was not to replace the authority inherent in each Lodge but was to supervise only such matters as lay among the Lodges. And it is certain that most of the old Lodges looked upon the Book of Constitutions as a Grand Lodge Charter, and that the old Masons (represented by fourteen members) had insisted on incorporating in it the old grounds on which the original Charter (as they believed) had been given by Prince Edwin ; so that the first half of the Book was not, as Gould and Hughan erroneously believed, a fabulous and pleasing tale or legend but a claim to original Charter authority one thousand years old.

The “new men,” the “gentlemen” or “accepted” Masons who followed the Duke of Montague into the Craft in a stream, and who came into control of the Fraternity had only a sketchy knowledge of Masonry and little understanding of its ancient customs and landmarks.

They committed one fateful blunder after another One of the cardinal discoveries, as even the young and green Grand Lodge found out in thirty years was that a Grand Master, privately and personally , and at his own pleasure, could not “make” a Lodge though until 1757 he undertook to do so; for if he could make a Lodge at his own pleasure he could break a Lodge at his pleasure (and often did), could control the making of Masons and decide whom to admit etc., would leave a Lodge no authority or sovereignly of its own, and would reduce it to a number of members meeting under club rules. When the Grand Lodge ordained that Master Masons could “be made only at Grand Lodge, Masons everywhere rebelled Lodges withdrew by the score, and the erection of the Ancient Grand Lodge, no such innovator was one of the consequences.

Come to its senses the Grand Lodge( of 1757, ) began in 1757 following Ireland by two years, to issue no more Grand Master’s written consents, for that is what the Deputations or Warrants had been, but Charters, documents possessing original authority in themselfs.

These charters did not create the right of Freemasons to form a Lodge, they recognized it, they were an official evidence that a given Lodge received one was deemed regular by other Lodges and entitled to be represented at Craft Assemblies in the Grand Lodge.

This means that a regular Lodge possesses inherent authority, by time immemorial rights, and not a merely provisional and delegated authority; and it is one that cannot be usurped by any faction among its own members, or by other Lodges, or by the Grand Master or by the Grand Lodge. It was this which he had in mind when Albert G. Mackey stated that Masons right to form and to assemble in Lodges is an Ancient Landmark, as indubitably it is; and it is for the same reason that Lodges are not “subordinate” to Grand Lodge, mere local branches of it, but are constituents of it, and hence are properly called Constituent Bodies.

Thus it turns out at the end of some eight or so centuries of Masonic history that modern Speculative Freemasonry discovered what the original authors of the Old Charges knew and affirmed, that a Lodge, or assembly of Masons, without a Charter will find in experience that their Lodge and assembly is an empty vanity; and that each Lodge has inherent and alienable Charter rights.

American Masons are separated by the Atlantic Ocean and centuries of time from the Middle Ages : in the nature of things they cannot be expected to have a clear and adequate knowledge of Medieval history. The fact explains the acceptance by many American Masons of the theory, often set out in Masonic periodicals and in Grand Masters’ Addresses, that the original and sovereign Masonic authority was the Holy Bible. l. During almost one-half of the total history of the Craft, Masons had no copies of the Bible. In the earliest centuries they did not, excepting only a few, even know of the existence of such a Book. They had from it only a few stories, such as Adam’s fall, Noah’s Ark, etc., and some portions of the New Testament, and those they had not from any text directly, but only as they were used by the Church, which had modified them out of recognition by accretions of stories and legends.

2. If there had been a Bible available, the Masons could not have been persuaded to use it by any cajolery or the direst threats, because to do so would have meant a march to the stake, or the dreaded excommunication. Holy Church forbade laymen to own or use copies of any Holy Scriptures, and often forbade laymen to read the Scriptures under any circumstances. In the eyes of the Masons It would have been an unspeakable heresy for them to employ the Scriptures in their own Lodges. They left the Church to itself; never intruded upon it or interfered with it, nor permitted it to interfere with Lodges ; they taught no religious doctrines, nor made any theological pronouncements. Masons like other men of the time were men of religion but they incorporated nothing of theology in their own Fraternity, and never have; they did not see that Church and Theology had anything more to do with the Chartered Craft of builders than with a Chartered Company of Hierohants.

3. The “book” on which Apprentices made their oath was in the beginning not the Bible but the Old Charges. In the first years of the new Grand Lodge officers of Antiquity Lodge held a copy of the Old Charges aloft on a cushion and carried it around the Grand Lodge Room, thus exhibiting the authority on which the Grand Lodge was being assembled. In the minutes of the oldest Lodges and in the engravings they printed it is seen that a copy of the Old Charges (not the Bible) is placed on a pedestal directly in front of the Master. The Bible is used in the Lodge not as an original warrant of authority and constitution, but symbolically, like the Square and Compasses, and is one of the Great Lights. Its power and authority in its own place and for its own proper use is none the less for that, but the authority on which every Lodge works is not, and never was, a religious or theological authority, but is in the written, signed, and sealed Charter which hangs on the Lodge Room walls, and which is in essence and meaning as ancient as Freemasonry itself. Whether such a Charter goes back in unbroken succession to a particular sealed document issued by Prince Edwin at York does not matter; it goes back to some written Charter, or Charters, issued to the Freemasons in the beginnings of their Fraternity.


The absence of Lord Chesterfield and Beau Nash from the Masonic histories thus far published is yet another of the proofs that no really complete Masonic history has been written. They were eminent men and Masons but so were thousands of others; their distinction is that they were leaders and spokesmen for one of the most drastic reforms by which England has ever been purged, the reform of manners. Chesterfield was asked to take the Grand East of the Ancient Grand Lodge; it is unfortunate that a journey he was about to take made it impossible because his name in the list would have been both a reminder and a monument to one of the largest services the British and American Lodges rendered their countries in the Eighteenth and the first quarter of the Nineteenth Centuries. Chesterfield’s letters to his son (the family name was Dormer) circulated privately for years before they were published and became one of the classics of English literature.

In one of his histories of England, Trevelyan, summarizing hundreds of reports and findings about the manners of the Eighteenth Century, notes that between 1700 and 1725 (the first Grand Lodge was erected in 1717), somebody found a way to manufacture cheap gin ; this hard liquor replaced beer and ale, children as well as women joined the men at the pubs, and thousands increasingly began to die in delirium tremens; this’ national orgy of drunkenness was at home among the other fatal vices which accompanied it: lust, uncounted prostitution, universal profanity, gambling, filth, slums, vomitarian feasts, rowdyism, mobs.

The fight against this lunatic determination of the masses to commit suicide was a grim business. To Chesterfield it was a question of life or death. Beau Nash managed to make his resort at Bath popular with the aristocracy; but he compelled the young bloods from the city and the young squires from the country to bathe every day, excluded them if drunk, stopped their profanity, and pounded into them the rudiments of manners.

The Masonic Lodges set themselves against vulgarity with thin-lipped determination. At the Lodge in Highen, wealthy and aristocratic, meeting in a dining room that one of the kings had himself designed, a member rode his horse upstairs and jumped it over the banquet table. Tilers here and there had fist fights with young bloods determined to wear their swords in Lodge. When almost every Lodge was a small circle of close friends who sat around the table while conducting the Order of Business or initiating candidates, vulgarity, quarreling, profanity were fatal to it. Minute books are filled with cases where members were fined for swearing, refused admittance for arriving “disguised with liquor,” rebuked, or reprimanded or excluded for quarreling, expelled for insolence or bad manners.

The Lodges were determined to wipe out this new species of barbarism or perish in the attempt; hundreds perished, but more hundreds succeeded. For decades on both sides of the Atlantic, Lodges were schools of good manners, and the fact is more important for any history of them than whole chapters about the election of officers or the names of committees.

Washington was to American Lodges what Chesterfield had been to the English, at once the ideal and the embodiment of the gentleman Mason; if biographers and historians complain that he was too stiff, too formal, too correct it is because they do not realize the dreadful dangers both to the American Fraternity and American society there was in lust, drunkenness, and vulgarity, or how much continuing power of the will was required, as it was required of Washington himself, to stand out against it.

(The literary references for this subject, and authority for the statements made above, have never been collected into one chapter or volume; they lie in thousands of entries in the Minute Books and histories of some 200 of the oldest British and American Lodges.)

Chesterfield was very early made a Mason, probably in the Lodge which met at the Horn Tavern and had been No. 4 among the “four old Lodges” which had formed the first Grand Lodge in 1717. while on a tour in Italy he met Montesquieu and the two become fast friends. When Montesquieu was on a visit to London in the early 1720’s he was made a Mason, and the indications are that since he was visiting Chesterfield he was introduced and made a Mason in Chesterfield’s own Lodge. When Montesquieu helped to Set up the first Lodge in Paris in 1725 it also is probable that Chesterfield and his English friends living in Paris had a hand in it. A number of famous men in that period were initiated but took no active Part in Lodge work afterwards; not so Chesterfield and Montesquieu, both of whom were Masonic leaders for many years. (See article on MONTESQUIEU).

After the murrain of bad manners with its profanity, vulgarity, lust, gambling, and drunkenness had raged Unchecked for decades the English discovered (what every other people in a like case have discovered) that the collapse of manners leads to a plague of crime; for the end of vulgarity is not, as often thought, the decay of religion (though there is much of that) because vulgarians cling to a superstitious form of religion, but to murder, thievery, rape, robbery, mobbing, arson, piracy, etc. The English at home suddenly lost interest in their great war in France where the Duke of Marlborough was winning his famous victory of Malplaquet and began assiduously to read Addison, and Steele, and Chesterfield’s Letters. This has been a mystery to many historians. The explanation is that the English at home had suddenly discovered themselves in greater danger from the flood of vulgarity in which they were engulfed than from their foreign foe, and were moving heaven and earth to stem that flood. They had to stop it or perish.


The History of Freemasonry in Northern China: 1913-1937 Shanghai; privately printed in 1938; cloth; 435 pages. This invaluable work is bacdeker as well as history. As of 1937 there were 11 Lodges in China under Charters from the United Grand Lodge of England; five Lodges of Instruction; a District Grand Lodge of Northern China; two Mark Lodges, and one Knight Templar Body.

There was one Lodge under Irish Constitution (Shanghai). Under Scottish Charters were seven Lodges, including one Lodge of Instruction, one District Grand Lodge, two Royal Arch Chapters and one Council, one Body of Royal Order of Scotland. Under Charters from the United States there were eight Lodges; one Lodge of Instruction; one District Deputy Grand Lodge (sic); two Royal Arch Chapters; one K. T. Commandery; eight Scottish Rite Bodies, four in Shanghai and four in Peking. Under the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands were six Lodges, including one U. D., and one District Grand Lodge.

The eight Lodges under American charters were constituted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which long has led other Grand Jurisdictions in work for foreign countries, followed by New York. The Mother Lodge of America in China was Ancient Landmark Lodge, Shanghai, Chartered Dec. 14, 1864.

(The History referred to at the beginning of the paragraph above is the second of two; it was preceded by an earlier volume of the same name, and included a history of Ancient Landmarks Lodge.) In 1937 it had 95 members. Shanghai Lodge was Chartered September 14, 1904; Sinim Lodge in 1904, at Shanghai; International Lodge at Peking (Peiping) was Chartered in June, 1916; Hykes Memorial Lodge, Tientsin, was Chartered in September, 1922; Pagoda Lodge, Mukden, in March, 1926; Sungari Lodge, Harbin, in March 1929. From 1864 until 1915 the Massachusetts Lodges in China (and Manchuria) were supervised by a District Deputy Grand Master, of which there were five during the period. In 1915 the District Grand Lodge of China was formed.


The true and authentic sources of information about this Society over which there has been so much debate ever since 1783 are in transactions, proceedings, and other papers published by the Society itself. Chief among these is Proceedings of the General Society of the Cincinnati with the Original Institution of the Order (Sherman, printer; Philadelphia; 1847). This perpetuates in a better form a copy of the Institution that had been published in Philadelphia by John Steele, in 1785, except that it omits a number of letters included in the latter.

A sufficient amount of original sources is accumulated if to the above two brochures is added A Journal of the General Meeting of The Cincinnati in 1784, by Major Winthrop Sargent; Philadelphia; 1859. Of the storms of printed objections to the Society the most famous was Consideration of the Order of Cincinnati, by The Count De Mirabeau; London ; 1785. The plan as stated in the General Institution was to enable the officers of the Revolutionary Army to have a national society of their own with a branch in each state; that its first purpose was to perpetuate the fellowship of the army in the field, and its second purpose to give relief to the needy in its circles; it was assumed that to be a member would in itself be a military honor; and-it was this which aroused the storm of objections-“as a testimony of election to the memory and the offspring of such officers as have died in the service, their eldest male branches shall have the same right of becoming members as the children of the actual members of the society.”

This constitution was adopted and the Society was formed on it at the Verplanck House, Steuben’s Headquarters, near Fishkill, shortly before demobilization.

Washington was the first President-General, elected in 1787, two years before his inauguration as first President; he was succeeded by Alexander Hamilton; C. C. Pinckney; Thomas Pinckney; Aaron Ogden ; Morgan Lewis; William Popham, H. A. S. Dearborn; Hamilton Fish ; William Wayne; Winslow Warren. The last original member died in 1854. The Society is still in existence.
In the accumulated literature belonging to the Society the most valuable is a series of sermons and orations delivered before the General Societies or the State Branches between 1784 and about 1825 ; almost without exception they are discussions by able spokesmen of the nation (President Timothy Dwight of Yale was one of them), of its problems, anxieties, and of the conceptions of the American republican system and of its National Government. They are a better portrait of what was going on in the minds of responsible and representative Americans in the critical period between 1787 and 1825 than many volumes of general history.

(The documents referred to above, along with a number of others, are preserved in the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.)


When gold was discovered in California many Masonic Brethren were among the crowds that poured into the district and several Lodges began work in the early part of the year 1848. Soon the question of establishing a Grand Lodge arose. A Convention met on April 18, 1850, of which Brother Charles Gilman of San Francisco was the Chairman and Brother Benjamin D. Hyam of Benicia was Secretary. The Lodges represented were California Lodge, No. 13, of San Francisco; Connecticut Lodge, No. 75, of Sacramento City ; Western Star Lodge, No. 98, of Benton City, Upper California, and New Jersey Lodge of Sacramento City. Brother Benjamin D. Hyam presented credentials from Benicia Lodge, at Benicia, but, as no Masonic information of the existence of such a Lodge could be discovered, it was not recognized. On April 19, a Constitution was adopted and Grand Officers duly elected and installed.

The first Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, namely, San Francisco, No. l, was organized by Dispensation dated May 9, 1850, and a Charter was granted to it, September 13, in the same year. Three Chapters, San Francisco, No. l, Sonora, No. 2, and Sacramento, No. 3, sent delegates to a Convention held on May 6, 1854, at Sacramento for the purpose of organizing a Grand Chapter. The meeting was adjourned, after three days’ session, and met again at San Francisco, July 18, 1854. A Constitution was adopted and the Grand Lodge opened. Companion Charles M. Radeliff, of Sonora Chapter, No. 2, was the first Grand High Priest; Companion John D. Creigh, of San Francisco, No. l, Deputy Grand High Priest, and Companion Townsend A. Thomas, of Sacramento Chapter, No. 3, Grand Secretary.

Charters were granted by the Grand Council of Alabama to two Councils in California. One was chartered by the Grand Council of Tennessee and one by the Grand Council of Texas. By representatives of these four Councils the Grand Council of California was organized on June 26, 1860.

A Commandery of Knights Templar, San Francisco, No. l, was formed on November 10, 1852, and was chartered on November 1, 1853. Under the Warrant of Sir William Hubbard, who was then Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States, the Grand Commandery of California was established, August 10 and 11, 1858, in the Asylum of San Francisco Commandery, No. 1.

A Lodge of Perfection, King Solomon, No. 3, was established by a Charter dated January 3, 1866; Robert Bruce, No. 3, a Chapter of Rose Croix, January 13, 1886; Hugues de Payens, Council of Kadosh, No. 3, January 7, 1886, and Los Angeles Consistory, No. 3, October 22, 1888. These four Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite labored in South California. In North California a Chapter of Rose Croix and a Lodge of Perfection, both by name San Francisco, No. l, were chartered in 1868, the first on June 15, the second on July 13. A Council of Kadosh and a Consistory, also of the same name, were granted Charters on September 17, 1868, and June 30, 1897, respectively.


A technical term in Freemasonry which signifies the temporary suspension of labor in a Lodge without passing through the formal ceremony of closing. The full form of the expression is to call from labor to refreshment, and it took its rise from the former custom of dividing the time spent in the Lodge between the work of Freemasonry and the moderate enjoyment of the banquet. The banquet formed in the eighteenth century an indispensable part of the arrangements of a Lodge Communication. “At a certain hour of the evening,” says Brother Oliver, “with certain ceremonies, the Lodge was called from labor to refreshment, when the Brethren enjoyed themselves with decent merriment.” That custom no longer exists; and although in England almost always, and in the United States occasionally, the labors of the Lodge are concluded with a banquet; yet the Lodge is formally closed before the Brethren proceed to the table of refreshment.

Calling off in American Lodges is now only used, in a certain ceremony of the Third Degree, when it is desired to have another meeting at a short interval, and the Master desires to avoid the tediousness of dosing and opening the Lodge.

Thus, if the business of the Lodge at its regular meeting has so accumulated that it cannot be transacted in one evening, it has become the custom to call off until a subsequent evening, when the Lodge, instead of being opened with the usual ceremony, is simply “called on,” and the latter meeting is considered as only a continuation of the former.

This custom is very generally adopted in Grand Lodges at their Annual Communications, which are opened at the beginning of the session, called off from day to day, and finally closed at its end. We do not know that any objection has ever been advanced against this usage in Grand Lodges, because it seems necessary as a substitute for the adjournment, which is resorted to in other legislative bodies, but which is not admitted in Freemasonry. But much discussion has taken place in reference to the practice of calling off in Lodges, some authorities sustaining and others condemning it. Thus, many years ago, the Committee of Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi proposed this question : ”In case of excess of business, cannot the unfinished be laid over until the next or another day, and must the Lodge be closed in form, and opened the next, or the day designated for the transaction of that business?” To this question some authorities, and among others Brother C. W. Moore (Freemasons Monthly Magazine, volume xii, No,10), reply in the negative, while other equally good jurists differ from them in opinion.

The difficulty seems to be in this, that if the regular meeting of the Lodge is closed in form, the subsequent meeting becomes a special one, and many things which could be done at a regular communication cease to be admissible. The recommendation, therefore, of Brother Moore, that the Lodge should be closed, and, if the business be unfinished, that the Master shall call a special meeting to complete it, does not meet the difficulty, because it is a well settled principle of Masonic law that a special meeting cannot interfere with the business of a preceding regular one. As, then, the mode of briefly closing by adjournment is contrary to Masonic law and usage, and cannot, therefore, be resorted to, as there is no other way except by calling off to continue the character of a regular meeting, and as, during the period that the Lodge is called off, it is under the government of the Junior Warden, and Masonic discipline is thus continued, Doctor Mackey, for the reasons cited by him in regard to Brother Moore, was clearly of opinion that calling off from day to day for the purpose of continuing work or business is, as a matter of convenience, admissible.

The practice may indeed be abused. But there is a well-known legal maxim which says, Ez abusu non arguitur in usum. “No argument can be drawn from the abuse of a thing against its use. ” Thus, a Lodge cannot be called off except for continuance of work and business, nor to an indefinite day, for there must be a good reason for the exercise of the practice, and the Brethren present must be notified before dispersing of the time of reassembling; nor can a Lodge at one regular meeting be called off until the next, for no regular meeting of a Lodge is permitted to run into another, but each must be closed before its successor can be opened.


When a Lodge that is called off at a subsequent time resumes work or business, it is said to be called on. The full expression is called on from refreshment to labor.


See Back


Mount Calvary is a small hill or eminence, situated due west from Mount Moriah, on which the Temple of Solomon was built. It was originally a hillock of notable size, but has, in more modern times, been greatly reduced by the excavations made in it for the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

There are several coincidences which identify Mount Calvary with the small hill where the “newly made grave,” referred to in the Third Degree, was discovered by the weary Brother. Thus, Mount Calvary was a small hill ; it was situated in a westward direction from the Temple, and near Mount Moriah; and it was on the direct road from Jerusalem to Joppa, and is the very spot where a weary brother, traveling on that road, would find it convenient to sit down to rest and refresh himself; it was outside the gate of the Temple; it has at least one cleft in the rock, or cave, which was the place which subsequently became the sepulcher of our Lord. Hence Mount Calvary has always retained an important place in the legendary history of Freemasonry, and there are many traditions connected with it that are highly interesting in their import.

One of the traditions is, that it was the burial place of Adam, in order, says the old legend, that where he lay, who effected the ruin of mankind, there also might the Savior of the world suffer, die, and be buried. Sir R. Torkington, who published a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1517, says that ”under the Mount of Calvary is another chapel of our Blessed Lady and St. John the Evangelist, that was called Golgatha; and there, right under the mortise of the cross, was found the head of our forefather, Adam.” Golgotha, it will be remembered, means, in Hebrew, the place of a skull ; and there may be some connection between this tradition and the name of Golgotha, by which, the Evangelists inform us, in the time of Christ, Mount Calvary was known. Calvary, or Calvaria, has the same signification in Latin.

Another tradition states that it was in the bowels of Mount Calvary that Enoch erected his nine-arched vault, and deposited on the foundation-stone of Freemasonry that Ineffable Name, whose investigation, as a symbol of Divine truth, is the great object of Speculative Freemasonry. A third tradition details the subsequent discovery of Enoch’s deposit, by King Solomon, whilst making excavations in Mount Calvary during the building of the Temple.

On this hallowed spot was Christ the Redeemer slain and buried. It was there that, rising on the third day from his sepulcher, He gave, by that act the demonstrative evidence of the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul.

And it is this spot that has been selected, in the legendary history of Freemasonry, to teach the same sublime truth, the development of which by a symbol evidently forms the design of the Third or Master’s Degree.


A secret society of gangsters organized about 1820 at Naples. The name is a Spanish word meaning quarrel and similar societies are reported as active in Spain before they were heard of in Italy. From local organized criminals the society grew to revolutionary power in elections and from 1848 exercised a control only broken by the government in 1877. Still powerful in defeat, the municipality of Naples as recently as 1900 was set aside by a Royal Commission.

A double murder in 1911 resulted in the arrest and trial of forty conspirators, several condemned to long imprisonment. The initiation is said to have required the candidate to pick up a coin while the others present struck at it with daggers.

Later there was a fight or duel instead of this. Training of new members lasted three years and at reception the initiate was pledged to loyalty by an oath repeated while his uplifted hand was wet with his own blood. Today the Camorra is curbed, but mysterious crimes in other lands and at home are sometimes credited to its venom (see Carbonari, Mafia, and Secret Societies).


A portion of the paraphernalia decorated with tents, flags, and pennons of a Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, or Thirty-second Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

It constitutes the Tracing Board and is worn on the apron of the degree. It is highly symbolic, and represents an imaginary Masonic camp. Its symbolism is altogether esoteric.


A Doctor of Theology, and Director of Schools in Dessau and Hamburg, who was born in 1746 and died October 22, 1818. He was the author of many works on philosophy and education, and was a learned and zealous Freemason, as is shown in his correspondence with Lessing.


Upon the advent of Confederation, July 1, 1867, local control in each Province for the government of the Masonic Fraternity of the Dominion took a strong hold as a predominant idea, and prevailed. Each Province has now a Grand Lodge, and in order of their organization are as follows:

Canada, having jurisdiction only in Ontario, 1855; Nova Scotia, 1866; New Brunswick, 1867; Quebec, 1869; British Columbia, 1871; Manitoba, 1875; Prince Edward Island, 1875; Alberta, 1905; Saskatchewan, 1906. Brother Will H. Whyte, P. G. M., says the first marks of the ancient craftsmen have been found in Nova Scotia A mineralogical survey in 1827 found on the shore of Goat Island in the Annapolis Basin, partly covered with sand, a slab of rock 2,5 by 2 feet, bearing on it those well-known Masonic emblems, the Square and Compasses, and the date 1606. Brother Whyte concluded that who were the craftsmen and how the stone came there, must be left to conjecture.


Sojourners Lodge was originally constituted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in the Republic of Panama. When the Canal Zone was acquired by the Government of the United States of America this Lodge, in I912, came under the control of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1912. In 1915 the Canal Zone Lodges were erected into a District Grand Lodge. A treaty was concluded in 1917 between the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and Panama whereby the former had sole jurisdiction over the Canal Zone. In 1921, the Canal Zone District Grand Lodge comprised six Lodges: Sojourners at Cristobal, Canal Zone at Ancon, Army at Corozal, Isthmian at Paraiso, Darien at Balboa and Sibert at Gatun.

On February 9, 1911, a Dispensation was issued by the General Grand Council to a Council in the Canal Zone at Ancon. This was chartered as Canal Zone Council, No. l, on September 12, 1912. The Grand Encampment of the United States authorized the Canal Zone Commandery, No. l, at Ancon, Panama, on August 14, 1913.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was first established here when Panama, No. l, at Cristoal, was constituted a Consistory, a Council of Kadosh, a Chapter of Rose Croix, and a Lodge of Perfection by Charters from the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, dated October 22, 1915.


An office of high rank and responsibility among the Knights Templar of the Middle Ages, performing the duties of, or similar to, the Chancellor.


An applicant for admission into Masonry is called a candidate. The Latin candidatus means one who is clothed in white, candidis vestibus indutus. In ancient Rome, he who sought office from the people wore a white shining robe of a peculiar construction, flowing open in front, so as to exhibit the wounds he had received in his breast. From the color of his robe or toga candida, he was called candidatus, whence the word candidate. The derivation will serve to remind the Freemason of the purity of conduct and character which should distinguish all those who are candidates for admission into the Order.

The qualifications of a candidate in Freemasonry are somewhat peculiar. He must be free-born-under the English Constitution it is enough that he is a Freeman, under no bondage, of at least twenty-one years of age, in the possession of sound senses, free from any physical defect or dismemberment, and of irreproachable manners, or, as it is technically termed, under the tongue of good report. No atheist, eunuch, or Woman can be admitted. The requisites as to age, sex, and soundness of body have reference to the operative character of the Institution. We can only expect able workmen in able-bodied men.

The mental and religious qualifications refer to the duties and obligations which a Freemason contracts. An idiot could not understand them, and an atheist would not respect them. Even those who possess all these necessary qualifications can be admitted only under certain regulations which differ under the several Masonic Constitutions.


See Advancement, Hurried


The golden candlestick of seven branches, which is a part of the furniture of a Royal Arch Chapter, is derived from the holy candlestick which Moses was instructed to construct of beaten gold for the use of the tabernacle.

Smith (Dictionary of the Bible) thus abbreviates Lightfoot’s explanation of the description given in Exodus:

“The foot of it was gold, from which went up a shaft straight, which was the middle light. Near the foot was a golden dish wrought almondwise; and a little above that a golden knop, and above that a golden flower. Then two branches one on each side bowed,- and coming up as high as the middle shaft. On each of them were three golden cups placed almondwise, in sharp, scallop-shell fashion; above which was a golden knop, a golden flower, and the socket. Above the branches on the middle shaft was a golden boss, above which rose two shafts more, above the coming out of these was another boss and two more shafts, and then on the shaft upwards were three golden scallop-cups, a knop, and a flower, so that the heads of the branches stood an equal height.”

In the tabernacle, the candlestick was placed opposite the table of shewbread, which it was intended to illumine, in an oblique position, so that the lamps looked to the east and south. What became of the candlestick between the time of Moses and that of Solomon is unknown. The first Temple was lighted by ten golden candlesticks similarly embossed, which were connected by golden chains and formed a sort of railing before the veil.

These ten candlesticks became the spoil of the Chaldean conqueror at the time of the destruction of the Temple, and could not have been among the articles afterward restored by Cyrus; for in the second Temple, built by Zerubbabel, we find only a single candlestick of seven branches, like that of the tabernacle. Its form has been perpetuated on the Arch of Titus, on which it was sculptured with other articles taken by that monarch, and carried to Rome as special plunder, spolia opima, after he had destroyed the Herodian Temple. This is the candlestick which is represented as a decoration in a Royal Arch Chapter.

In Jewish symbolism, the seven branches were supposed by some to refer to the seven planets, and by others to the seventh day or Sabbath. The primitive Christians made it allusive to Christ as the Light of the World, and in this sense it is a favorite symbol in early Christian art.

Brother C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary of Iowa, instructively discussed this subject in the Quarterly Bulletin, January, 1924, and says, in part: “The use of the seven-branched candlestick in the Most Excellent Degree is correct according to the General Grand Chapter ritual, and has, I believe, an important symbolical reference in the work of that degree.

There is no reason why the seven-branched candlestick should not be used in the Most Excellent Degree as well as in the Royal Arch. It is not necessary to duplicate the elaborate furniture of the Temple in our Most Excellent Degree. The single table and candlestick of the Tabernacle and the second Temple has the same symbolism as the ten of the first Temple. It is true that no symbolic meaning is attached to the candlestick in the ritual, but the very fact that it is used as part of the furniture of the degree indicates that it has the same symbolism there that it had in its place in the Temple, which is, that the seven lights represent the seven planets, which, regarded as the eyes of God, behold everything.

The light in the center signifies the sun, the chief of the planets. The other six planets represented by the three lamps on each side of the central light are Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Uranus was first recognized as a planet by Sir William Herschel in 1781 A.D. and the earth was looked upon as receiving light from the planets instead of being considered a planet itself. The seven-branched candlestick was especially holy, and it was forbidden to make copies of it for general purposes.

The fourth chapter of Zechariah gives a symbolical meaning to the seven branched candlestick which is very appropriate to our Chapter work. In fact, part of this very Chapter is quoted in the work of the Degrees. How fitting it is that this candlestick, the symbol of the spirit of the Lord and the light of his countenance shining upon us through his eyes beholding and encouraging us in the noble and glorious work of fitting ourselves as living stones for the spiritual building which is to be our eternal dwelling place, should have a place in the ceremonies of the Most Excellent Master’s Degree, the degree which symbolizes the completion of that work and the dedication of the Temple to the service of the only true and living God.”


English statesman and orator, born April 4, 1770; died August 8, 1827; member of Parliament, 1793 ; Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1807; Prime Minister of England, 1827. Brother Canning was made a Freemason in Prince of Wales Lodge, London, in 1810 (see New Age, August, 1924).


Oliver says that in the Masonic processions of the Continent the Grand Master walks under a gorgeous canopy of blue, purple, and crimson silk, with gold fringes and tassels, borne upon staves, painted purple and ornamented with gold, by eight of the oldest Master Masons present ; and the Masters of private Lodges walk under canopies of light blue silk with silver tassels and fringes, borne by four members of their own respective companies.

The canopies are in the form of an oblong square, and are in length six feet, in breadth and height three feet, having a semicircular covering. The framework should be of cedar, and the silken covering ought to hang down two feet on each side. This is, properly speaking, a Baldachin (see Baldachin).


Ritualists seem divided in the use of the terms Clouded Canopy and Celestial Canopy in the Entered Apprentice Degree (for the former, see Canopy, Clouded, and Covering of the Lodge). It would seem that the unclouded grandeur of the heavens should not be without advocates. Sir John Lubbock gives the following description of the heavens filled with stars in connection with the latest discoveries: “Like the sand of the sea, the stars of heaven are used as a symbol of numbers. We now know that our earth is but a fraction of one part of, at least 75,000,000 worlds. But this is not all.

In addition to the luminous heavenly bodies, we cannot doubt there are countless others invisible to us from their great distance, smaller size, or feebler light; indeed, we know that there are many dark bodies which now emit no light, or comparatively tittle.. Thus the floor of heaven is not only ‘thick , inlaid with patinas of bright gold,’ but studded also with extinct stars, once probably as brilliant as our own sun.”


The clouded canopy, or starry-decked heaven, is a symbol of the Entered Apprentice Degree, and is of such important significance that Lenning calls it a “fundamental symbol of Freemasonry.” In the lectures of the York Rite, the clouded canopy is described as the covering of the Lodge, teaching us, as Krause says, “that the primitive Lodge is confined within no shut up building, but that it is universal, and reaches to heaven, and especially teaching that in every clime under heaven Freemasonry has its seat.” Gädieke says, “Every Freemason knows that by the clouded canopy we mean the heavens, and that it teaches how widely extended is our sphere of usefulness. There is no portion of the inhabited world in which our labor cannot be carried forward, as there is no portion of the globe without its clouded canopy.”

Hence, then, the German interpretation of the symbol is that it denotes the universality of Freemasonry, an interpretation that does not precisely accord with the English and American systems, in which the doctrine of universality is symbolized by the form and extent of the Lodge. The clouded canopy as the covering of the Lodge seems rather to teach the doctrine of aspiration for a higher sphere; it is thus defined in this work under the head of Covering of the Lodge, which see.


A librarian of Dresden, born September 30, 1733, died October 16, 1786. He was an earnest, learned Freemason, who published in a literary journal, conducted by himself and A. G. Meissner at Leipsic, in 1783-5, under the title of Für ältere Litteratur und neuere Lectüre, many interesting articles on the subject of Freemasonry.


In the days when this district belonged to the Dutch two Lodges were established by them, both of which have had successful careers.

The first of these, Lodge of Good Hope, dates from ,1772. The Grand Lodge of England established British Lodge in 1811 and the Athol Grand Lodge followed suit iu 1812 with a Lodge attached to the Tenth Battalion of the Royal Artillery.

The first Lodge erected in 1821 after the arrival of the English colonists was Hope, No. 727. South Africa is divided into Provinces, the Eastern, Western and Central Divisions, Natal and the Transvaal, by the first two of which Freemasonry in Cape Colony is controlled. There are also Provincial Grand Lodges under the Scotch, Irish and Dutch Jurisdictions. Throughout the history of the Colony there has been no antagonism between the Dutch and English Freemasons and many Brethren attend Lodges under both systems. The first Provincial Grand Master under the English Constitution was the Deputy Grand Master of the Netherlands who continued to hold both offices until he died.


Praia and St. Vincent each has possessed a Lodge, chartered by the Grand Orient of Portugal.


The degrees conferred under the charter of an American Royal Arch Chapter, which are Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason. The Capitular Degrees are almost altogether founded on and composed of a series of events in Masonic history. Each of them has attached to it some tradition or legend which it is the design of the degree to illustrate, and the memory of which is preserved in its ceremonies and instructions. Most of these legends are of symbolic signification. But this is their interior sense. In their outward and ostensible meaning, they appear before us simply as legends.

To retain these legends in the memory of Freemasons appears to have been the primary design in the establishment of the advanced Degrees; and as the information intended to be communicated in these Degrees is of a historical character, there can of course be but little room for symbols or for symbolic instruction; the profuse use of which would rather tend to an injury than to a benefit, by complicating the purposes of the ritual and confusing the mind of the aspirant. These remarks refer exclusively to the Mark and Most Excellent Master’s Degree of the American Rite, but are not so applicable to the Royal Arch, which is eminently symbolic. The legends of the second Temple, and the lost word, the peculiar legends of that degree, are among the most prominent symbols of the Masonic system.


The Freemasonry conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter of the York and American Rites. There are Chapters in the Ancient and Accepted, Scottish, and in the French and other Rites ; but the Freemasonry therein conferred is not called capitular.


A burlesque dining degree, mentioned in the collection of Fustier. The title is a significant allusion to the goat-footed horned satyrs, minor deities of the Roman mythology, companions of Bacchus, living in the depths of the forest, shunning the light (see Thory, Acta Latomorum,1, 298).


or, as it might be called, the cope-stone, the topmost brick or stone in building (but the former word has been consecrated to us by universal Masonic usage), is the topmost stone of a building. To bring it forth, therefore, and to place it in its destined position, is significative that the building is completed, which event is celebrated, even by the Operative Freemasons of the present day, with great signs of rejoicing.

Flags are hoisted on the top of every edifice by the builders engaged in its construction, as soon as they have reached the topmost post, and thus finished their labors. This is the celebration of the capstone—the celebration of the completion of the building—-when tools are laid aside, and rest and refreshment succeed, for a time, labor. This is the event in the history of the Temple which is commemorated in the Degree of Most Excellent Master, the sixth in the American Rite. The day set apart for the celebration of the capstone of the Temple is the day devoted to rejoicing and thanksgiving for the completion of that glorious structure.

Hence there seems to be an impropriety in the ordinary use of the Mark Master’s keystone in the ceremonies of the Most Excellent Master. That keystone was deposited in silence and secrecy; while the capstone, as the legend and ceremonies tell us, was placed in its position in the presence of all the Craft.


The third officer in a Commandery of Knights, Templar. He presides over the Commandery in the absence of his superiors, and is one of its representatives in the Grand Commandery. His duties are to see that the Council Chamber and Asylum are duly prepared for the business of the meetings, and to communicate all orders issued by the Grand Council. His station is on the left of the Grand Commander, and his jewel is a level surmounted by a cock or rooster (see Cock).


The sixth officer in a Council of Royal and Select Masters. In the latter degree he is said to represent Azariah, the son of Nathan, who had command of the officers of the king’s household (First Kings iv, 5). His duties correspond in some measure with those of a Senior Deacon in the primary. degrees. His post is, therefore, on the right of the throne, and his jewel is a trowel and battle-ax within a triangle.


The fourth officer in a Royal Arch Chapter. He represents the general or leader of the Jewish troops who returned from Babylon, and who was called Sar el hatzba, and was equivalent to a modern general. The word Host in the title means army. He sits on the right of the Council in front, and wears a white robe and cap or helmet, with a red sash, and is armed with a sword. His jewel is a triangular plate, on which an armed soldier is engraved.


The Jews reckoned their national captivities as four: the Babylonian, Medean, Greeian, and Roman.

The present article will refer only to the first, when there was a forcible deportation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem by Nebuzaradan, the general of King Nebuchadnezzar, and their detention at Babylon until the reign of Cyrus, which alone is connected with the history of Freemasonry, and is commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree.

Between that portion of the ritual of the Royal Arch which refers to the destruction of the first Temple, and that subsequent part which symbolizes the building of the second, there is an interregnum or halt, if we may be allowed the term, in the ceremonial of the degree, which must be considered as a long interval in history, the filling up of which, like the interval between the acts of a play, must be left to the imagination of the spectator. This interval represents the time passed in the captivity of the Jews at Babylon. That captivity lasted for seventy years-from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar until that of Cyrus-although but fifty-two of these years are commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree. This event took place in the year 585 B.C. It was not, however, the beginning of the ‘”seventy years’ captivity,” which had been foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, which commenced eighteen years before.

The captives were conducted to Babylon. What was the exact number removed we have no means of ascertaining.

‘We are led to believe, from certain passages of scripture, that the deportation was not complete. Calmet says that Nebuchadnezzar carried away only the principal inhabitants, the warriors and artisians of every kind, and that he left the husbandmen, the laborers, and in general, the poorer classes, that constituted the great body of the people. Among the prisoners of distinction, Josephus mentions the high priest, Seraiah, and Zephaniah, the priest that was next to him, with the three rulers that guarded the Temple, the eunuch who was over the armed men, seven friends of Zedekiah, his scribe, and sixty other rulers. Zedekiah, the king, had attempted to escape previous to the termination of the siege, but being pursued, was captured and carried to Riblah, the headquarters of Nebuchadnezzar, where, having first been compelled to behold the slaughter of his children, his eyes were then put out, and he was conducted in chains to Babylon. A Masonic tradition informs us that the captive Jews were bound by their conquerors with triangular chains, and that this was done by the Chaldeans as an additional insult, because the Jewish Freemasons were known to esteem the triangle as an emblem of the sacred name of God, and must have considered its appropriation to the form of their fetters as a desecration of the Tetragammaton.

Notwithstanding the ignominious mode of their conveyance from Jerusalem and the vindictiveness displayed by their conqueror in the destruction of their city and Temple, they do not appear, on their arrival at Babylon, to have been subjected to any of the extreme rigors of slavery. They were distributed into various parts of the empire, some remaining in the city, while others were sent into the provinces.

The latter probably devoted themselves to agricultural pursuits, while the former were engaged in commerce or in the labors of architecture. Smith says that the captives were treated not as slaves but as colonists. They were permitted to retain their personal property, and even to purchase lands and erect houses. Their civil and religious government was not utterly destroyed, for they kept up a regular succession of kings and high priests, one of each of whom returned with them, as will be seen hereafter, on their restoration. Some of the principal captives were advanced to offices of dignity and power in the royal palace, and were permitted to share in the councils of state.

Their prophets, Daniel and Ezekiel, with their associates, preserved among their countrymen the pure doctrines of their religion. Although they had neither place nor time of national gathering, nor temple, and therefore offered no sacrifice, yet they observed the Mosaic laws with respect to the rite of circumcision. They preserved their tables of genealogy and the true succession to the throne of David.

The rightful heir was called the Head of the Captivity. So says the Talmud, but Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, affirms that the assertion is unsupported by proof. The Masonic legends conform to the Talmudic statement. However that may be, Jehoiachin, who was the first king of Judea carried captive to Babylon, was succeeded by his son Shealtiel, and he by his son Zerubbabel, who was the Head of the Captivity, or nominal prince of Judea at the close of the captivity, The due succession of the highpriesthood was also preserved, for Jehosadek, who was the high priest carried by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, where he died during the captivity, was succeeded by his eldest son, Joshua.

The Jewish captivity terminated in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, 536 B.c. Cyrus, from his conversations with Daniel and the other Jewish captives of learning and piety, as well as from his perusal of their sacred books, more especially the prophecies of Isaiah, had become imbued with a knowledge of true religion, and hence had even publicly announced to his subjects his belief in the God “which the nation of the Israelites worshipped.” He was consequently impressed with an earnest desire to fulfil the prophetic declarations of which he was the subject, and to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. Cyrus therefore issued a decree by which the Jews were permitted to return to their country. According to Milman, 42,360, besides servants, availed themselves of this permission, and returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel, their prince, and Joshua, their high priest, and thus ended the first or Babylonian captivity, the only one which has any connection with the legends of Freemasonry as commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree.


one of the monks of the order of ST Frances. They went barefoot, were longbearded, and wore a gown or cloak of dark color made like a woman’s garment with a hood.

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