Enciclopédia Mackey – CERIDWEN ~ CHARCOAL

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The Isis of the Druids


A jeweler, born at Villeblevin, in Yonne, a department of central France. A register of the Lodge Reunion des Coeurs at Port Republican (Port-au-Prince) in Santo Domingo, West Indies, was in the possession of General Albert Pike ,and in 1886 he quotes from it in publishing the report to him of the Supreme Council of France in regard to Joseph Cerneau (see page 29): “Joseph Cerneau appears on the same (the register for 1801) as Keeper of the Seals and Archives, the entry as to him, signed manu propria (by his own hand) being ‘Garde de Sceaux et Archives: Joseph Cerneau, Marchand Orfevre, ne a Villeblerin, age de 37 ans R. .A. .R. . (i. e. Royal Arch (of Heredom) and Rose Croix)'” the other words not commented upon specifically by Brother Pike meaning Joseph Cerneau, merchant goldsmith, born at Villeblerin (the v in this word being copied as r), aged 87 years, etc. Cerneau was active in Cuba later on and we find that on December 17, 1804, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania received a petition from several Brethren for a Warrant to hold a Lodge at Havana and that Brother Joseph Cerneau might be named Master, a request which was granted on that date, the “Petition being duly recommended according to the Regulations of this Grand Lodge.”

Antonie-Mathieu Dupotet was Master of Lodge No. .47, Reunion des Coeurs, and in the register of that Lodge his name is followed by the same initials of Degrees or titles as in the case of Cerneau, but with this important addition “et P. . du R. . S. .,” meaning and Prince af the Royal Secret.

Brother Pike in his Memoir, af Cerneauism (page 6, Supplement, 1885) says. ”

In July, 1806, he (Dupotet) gave Cerneau, at Baracoa, in Cuba, the Degrees of the Rite of Heredom à Perfection, from 19 to 25.”

The Appendix to this Memoir, contains a copy of the Patent of the Twenty-fifth Degree to Joseph Cerneau, 16 July, 1806, signed by Dupotet, giving him power for the Northern part of the Island of Cuba to initiate and promote Brother Masons from the fourth to the twenty-fourth, and on one only a year the remaining Degree was perrnitted.

The Patent was said by General Pike in this Memoir to be ” from papers belonging to Bro. . Charles Laflon de Ladebat, who was, prior to 1857, a member of the Supreme Council for the State of Louisiana, at New Orleans (claiming to be the Hicks-Laurent United Sup. Council continued), of which Jacques Foulhouze had been Grand Commander.”

The Patent not only specifically restricted the conferring of Degrees by Joseph Cerneau as Deputy Grand Inspector to the northern part of the Island of Cuba and only to such in the series as are enumerated, namely from the fourth to the twenty-fourth and once a year not more than one in the twenty-fifth, but provides further that these candidates ” shall have been officers of a Lodge regularly constituted and recognized, and in places only where there may not be found Sacred and Sublime and regularly constituted Asyla.”

Dr. Robert B. Folger, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 1881 (page 337) says “Joseph Cerneau established his Sovereign Grand Consistory, in New York City in 1807.

He pretended to no more than the Rite of Perfection in Twenty-five degrees.”

There is another allusion by the author (page 157), “It will be found that the name of The Most Potent Sovereign Grand Consistory of Supreme Chiefs of Exalted Masonry, according to the Ancient Constitutional Scottish Rite of Heredom was continued up to the end of the time—viz., 1827.

Doctor Folger mentions the activity of Cerneau in promoting various branches of the Masonic Institution and says in his history, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (second edition, 1881, page 128), ” Mr. Cerneau also established a Degree called Aaron’s Band which continued to be worked as a detached Degree for many years, in a separate Body; but eventually about the year 1825, was stopped by the interference of the Grand Chapter, which Body stated that it was an infringement upon the Degree of High Priesthood.”

We may fix the time when Cerneau came to New York from Cuba by a report made by Brother Duplessis, the proxy of Lodge No. 103 at Havana, to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on January 5, 1807. In this statement (see page 244, Reprint of the Minutes, volume 11, 1801-10), “It appears from said papers that difficulties of the highest importance had happened in that Lodge.

That unworthy Brethren had denounced the Lodge to the Governor of Havana and that Bro. Cerneau had been Ordered to quit the Island and was arrived at New York in the beginning of November last with his Family. That the worthy Brethren of the said Lodge No. 103, had proceeded to the choice of New Officers agreeably to the Communications and Returns aforesaid, and were Obliged to use the greatest caution in their work, &c.; that the Lodge had lost above Three Thousand Dollars by the unfortunate circumstance aforesaid, and our worthy Brother Cerneau had also met with a heavy loss by his being obliged to remove with his Family, though he had received from the Governor every mark of regard that could be expected by the most respectable Character, &c., and that the said Bro. Cerneau had previous to his departure given to the Brethren the most wholesome advice and Assisted them in reorganizing the said Lodge, which now consists of the most respectable Characters of the Island.”

We find later on, April 6, 1807, the Grand Lodge authorizing a letter of sympathy to the ” late and present Worshipful Masters and Worthy Brethren of Lodge No. 103.” Brothers Emanuel De La Motta, M. J. Maduro Peixotto, J. J. J. Gourgas and Sampson Simson, the first being Treasurer-General of the Supreme Council having its Grand East at Charleston, South Carolina, visited Joseph Cerneau in New York on September 14, 1813, and as a result of that investigation he was denounced and he and his associates declared expelled from every lawful Degree or Masonic Society in which they may have been received or admitted (see page 25, Documents, Joseph M’cosh).

Joseph M’cosh states in Documents upon sublime Freemasonry in the United States of America (page vii), ” Of J. C.’s Masonic conduct in Havana de Cuba, we have many facts before us which would blacken any thing we have before communicated.

His labors were conduced by his being expelled from the island by the governor, at the request of the fraternity who resided there.”

There is in the report of the Supreme Council for France, published in 1886, a reference that would indicate action against Joseph Cerneau had been taken by the Masonic authorities in Cuba as well as in the United States.

The item mentioning the decree issued at Charleston in 1813, says (page 31).

It declares him unworthy to be a Mason, annuls as irregular his Masonic operations, and demolishes the Consistories and Councils which he may have established. It thus approves the Masonic decisions made in 1805, by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of Havana, Island of Cuba, against this Ver I1l:. Brother.”

In the business recorded of the Adjourned Grand Quarterly Communication at Philadelphia on January 16, 1809 (page 381, Reprint) the Grand Secretary “Brother Baker stated that he had been informed that Bro. Joseph Cerneau, formerly J. G. W. of the Provincial Lodge of St. Domingo and afterwards Master of Lodge No. 103, held at Havannah, and now residing in the City of New York, had been Guilty of Un-masonic Conduct.

Whereupon, On Motion made and Seconded, Resolved, that Brothers Duplessis, Chaudron and Baker be a Committee to Examine respecting the premisses and make Report thereon. ”

But the details of this affair must be left to conjecture as we do not discover the Committee to have brought in any report.

In a footnote by General Pike to the report of the Supreme Council for France, July 7, 1886, published at Washington by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States (page 29), we read of Cerneau’s claims.

” He did not style himself to be an Inspector-General ‘of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.’ The Body that he established did not pretend to be a body, and he did not pretend to be an Inspector; of that Rite; but of ‘the Ancient Constitutional Rite of Heredom.

He went back to France in December, 1827, and was no more heard of: and no Body claiming to be a Supreme Council of the 33d Degree, with any powers, was established by him until November 28, 1827.

Before then the 32ds of his Grand Consistory elected 33ds from among themselves, the title being merely honorary, and with no powers attached.” As to the date when Joseph Cerneau left New York for France there is some uncertain, Doctor Folger intimating a later time than General Pike. Doctor Folger alludes in his History, 1881, to his personal acquaintance with Joseph Cerneau and in regard to his circumstances and movements in later years has this to say (page 117), ” For, in the latter part of the time – from 1832 onward – he was in poor circumstances, and made application to the Supreme Council for assistance.

That body made some considerable purchases of him, which relieved his necessities. He returned to his native land in comparative poverty, and died there, between the years 1840 and 1845, while filling a small public office, under wretched pay.”


A Diploma issued by a Grand Lodge or by a subordinate Lodge under its authority, testifying that the holder thereof is a true and trusty Brother, and recommending him to the hospitality of the Fraternity abroad. The character of this instrument has sometimes been much misunderstood. It is by no means intended to act as a voucher for the bearer, nor can it be allowed to supersede the necessity of a strict examination. A stranger, however, having been tried and proved by a more unerring standard, his Certificate then properly comes in as an auxiliary testimonial, and will be permitted to afford good evidence of his correct standing in his lodge at home; for no Body of Freemasons, true to the principles of their Order, would grant such an instrument to an unworthy Brother, or to one who, they feared, might make an improper use of it.

But though the presence of a Grand Lodge Certificate be in general required as collateral evidence of worthiness to visit, or receive aid, its accidental absence, which may arise in various ways, as from fire, captivity, or shipwreck, should not debar a strange Brother from the rights guaranteed to him by our Institution, provided he can offer other evidence of his good character.
The Grand Lodge of New York has, upon this subject, taken the proper stand in the following regulation: ”

That no Freemason be admitted to any subordinate Lodge under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, or receive the charities of any Lodge, unless he shall, on such application, exhibit a Grand Lodge certificate, duly attested by the proper authorities, except he is known to the Lodge to be a worthy brother.”

The Certificate system has been warmly discussed by the Grand Lodges of the United States, and considerable opposition to it has been made by some of them on the ground that, it is an innovation.

If it is an innovation, it certainly is not one of the present day, as we may learn from the Regulations made in General Assembly of the Masons of England, on Saint John the Evangelist’s day, 1663, during the Grand Mastership of the Earl of St. Albans, one of which reads as follows: “That no person hereafter who shall be accepted a Freemason shall be admitted into any Lodge or Assembly, until he has brought a certificate of the time and place of his acceptation from the Lodge that accepted him, unto the Master of that limit or division where such Lodge is kept” (see Constitution, 1738, page 101).

Among the General Regulations ” made at a Grand Lodge held in Corke, on Saint John ye Evangelist’s Day, 1728,” is the following:

That no person pretending to be a Mason shall be considered as such within ye precincts of our Grand Lodge or deemed duly matriculated into ye Society of Freemasons, until he hath subscribed in some Lodge to these regulations and obliged himself to sign ye before mentioned Duplicate (a copy of the General Regulations possessed by all Lodges), at which time he shall be furnished with proper means to convince the authentic Brethren the hath duly complied.

Brother WT. J. Chetwode Crawley (Caementaria Hibernica, Fasciculus1, pages 11 and 12), says further that “In this clause we descry the germ of the Certificate now issued to every Master Mason. The proper means to convince the authentic Brethren’ supplies the earliest intimation in the history of the Craft of a practice which, originating with the Grand Lodge of Munster, has been adopted by every Grand Lodge in the World.

The first Grand Lodge Certificate ever heard of in England seems to have been that brought with him to England by Lawrence Dermott, and proudly exhibited by hirn to his Grand Lodge (see the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient for March 2, 1757, as given in Brother Sadler’s Masonic Facts and Fictions).

The Premier Grand Lodge (Moderns) borrowed the practice from Lawrence Dermott and began to make use of Certificates in the year 1755.”


An island in the Indian Ocean. In 1771 Freemasonry was introduced to Ceylon with the establishment by the Grand Lodge of Holland of Fidelity Lodge at Colombo, the capital of the island, in 1771. Sir Alexander Johnston was appointed Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of England in 1810. Oliver Day Street says of Ceylon in his Report on Correspondence to the Grand Lodge of Alabama in 1922 :

“On this island are nine Lodges subject to the Grand Lodge of England and three subject to that of Ireland.

Four of these are at Colombo and one each at Badulla, Galle, Halton, Kandy, Kurunegala, Nuwara Ebya, and Tolowakello.”


He played an important part in the Freemasonry of France about the middle of the eighteenth century, especially in the schisms which at that time existed in the Grand Lodge. In 1761, he was an active member of the Council of Emperors of the East and West, or Rite of Perfection, which had been established in 1758.

Under the title of Substitute General of the Order, Venerable Master of the First Lodge in France, called Saint Anthony’s, Chief of the Eminent Degrees, Cammander, and Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, etc.,etc., etc., he signed the Patent of Stephen Morin, authorizing him to extend the Royal Order in America, which was the first step that subsequently led to the establishment of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in the United States.

In 1762, the Prince of Clermont, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, removed the dancing-master Lacorne, whom he had previously appointed his Substitute General and who had become distasteful to the respectable members of the Grand Lodge, and put Chaillau de Jainville in his place.

This action created a schism in the Grand Lodge, during which De Jainville appears to have acted with considerable energy, but eventually he became almost as notorious as his predecessor, by issuing irregular charters and deputations.

On the death of the Prince of Clermont, in 1771, the Lacornists regained much of their influence, and De Jainville appears quietly to have passed away from the field of French Freemasonry and Masonic intrigues.


To form the Mystic Chain is for the Brethren to make a circle, holding each other by the hands, as in surrounding a grave, etc.

Each Brother crosses his arms in front of his body, so as to give his right hand to his left-hand neighbor, and his left hand to his right-hand neighbor.

The French call it Chaine d’Union. It is a symbol of the close connection of all Freemasons in one common brotherhood.


In French Freemasonry, when a Lodge celebrates the day of its foundation, or the semicentennial membership of one of the Brethren, or at the initiation of a louveteau (which see) the room is decorated with wreaths oi flowers called chaine de fleurs.


See Chain, Mystic


In German, Gessellschaft der Kette.

Also known as Order of the Chain of the Pilgrims. A German society of both sexes, founded, 1758, in Hamburg.

Comprised persons of high social position and among its benevolent work was an Institute for the Blind.

The letters W, . B and S were used by the members as signs of recognition, signifying the German equivalents for the words Camplaisance, Constancy and Silence.

The jewel was a chain of three links with the three letters W, B and S, and the members were called Knights of the Chain; their meetings were called Unions and the assembled members were known as Favorites.

There was a similar society founded in Denmark in 1777.


These Charges or Regulations, published in1723, have been adopted by various Grand Lodges and made a part of their Constitutions:


Extracted from The Ancient Records of Lodges beyond Sea, and of those in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the use of the Lodges in London :


The General Heads, Viz.:

  1. In the Lodge while Constituted.
  2. Behavior after the Lodge is over
  3. Behavior when Brethren meet without Strangers,
  4. Behavior in presence of Strangers not Masons.
  5. Behavior at Home, and in your Neighborhood.
  6. Behavior towards a strange Brother.

A Mason is obliged by his Tenure, to obey the moral law ; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid ATHEIST, nor an irreligious LIBERTINE.

But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ‘t is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be .good Men and true, or Men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished ; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remained at a perpetual Distance.


A Mason is a Peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and Conspiracies against the Peace and welfare of the Nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates ; for as Masonry hath been always injured by War, Bloodshed and Confusion, so ancient Kings and Princes have been much disposed to encourage the Craftsmen, because of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically, answered the Cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the Honor of the Fraternity, who ever flourished in Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanced in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy Man ; and if Convected of no other Crime, though the Royal Brotherhood must and ought to disown his Rebellion, and give no Umbrage or Ground of Political Jealousy to the Government for the time being, they can not expel him from the Lodge, and his relation to it remains indefeasible.

  • iii. OF LODGES

A Lodge is a Place where members assemble and work ; Hence that Assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, is called a Lodge and every Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the General Regulations.

It is either particular or general, and will be best understood by attending it, and by the Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge hereunto annexed.

In ancient Times, no Master or Fellow could be absent from it, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe Censure, until it appeared to the Master and Wardens, that pure Necessity hindered him.

The Persons admitted Members of a Lodge must be good and true Men, free-born and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report.


All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real Worth and Personal Merit only; that to the Lords may be well served, the Brethren not put to Shame, nor the Royal Craft despised : Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by Seniority, but for his Merit. It is impossible to describe these things in writing, and every Brother must attend in his Place, and learn them in a way peculiar to the Fraternity : Only Candidates may know, that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Employment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his body, that may render him incapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master’s Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow-Craft in due time, even after he has served such a Term of Years, as the Custom of the Country directs; and that he should be descended of honest Parents; that so, when otherwise qualified, he may arrive to the Honor of being the Warden, and then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden, and at length the Grand-Master of all the Lodges, according to his Merit.

No Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the part of a Fellow-Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has been Master of a Lodge, nor Grand Master unless he has been a Fellow-Craft before his election, who is also to be nobly-born, or a Gentleman of the best Fashion, or some eminent Scholar, or some curious Architect, or other Artist, descended of honest Parents, and who is of singular great Merit in the Opinion of the Lodges.

And for the better, and easier, and more honorable discharge of his Office, the Grand-Master has a Power to cause his Deputy Grand-Master, who must be then, or must have been formerly, the Master of a particular Lodge, and has the Privilege of acting whatever the Grand Master, his Principal, should act, unless the said Principal be present, or interpose his Authority by a Letter.
These Rulers and Governors, Supreme and Subordinate, of the ancient Lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective Stations by all the Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all Humility, Reverence, Love and Alacrity.


All Masons shall work honestly on working Days, that they may live creditably on Holy Days; and the time appointed by the Law of the Land, or confirmed by Custom, shall be observed.
The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master or Overseer of the Lord’s Work; who is to be called Master by those that work under him. The Craftsmen are to avoid all ill Language, and to call each other by no disobliging Name, but Brother or Fellow; and to behave themselves courteously within and without the Lodge.

The Master, knowing himself to be able of Cunning, shall undertake the Lord’s Work as reasonable as possible, and truly dispense his Goods as if they were his own ; nor to give more Wages to any Brother or Apprentice than he really may deserve.

Both the Master and Masons receiving their Wages justly, shall be faithful to the Lord, and honestly finish their Work, whether Task or Journey ; nor put the Work to Task that hath been accustomed to Journey.

None shall discover Envy at the Prosperity of a Brother, nor supplant him, or put him out of his Work, if he be capable to finish the same ; for no Man can finish another’s Work so much to the Lord’s Profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the Designs and Droughts of him that began it.

When a Fellow-Craftsman is chosen Warden of the Work under the Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fellows, shall carefully oversee the Work in the Master’s Absence to the Lord’s Profit; and his Brethren shall obey him.

All Masons employed shall meekly receive their Wages without murmuring or Mutiny, and not desert the Master till the work is finished.

A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the Materials for want of Judgment, and for increasing and continuing of Brotherly Love.

All the Tools used in working shall be approved by the Grand Lodge.

No Laborer shall be employed in the proper work of Masonry; nor shall Free Masons work with those that are not free, without an urgent Necessity; nor shall they teach Laborers and unaccepted Masons, as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.

    • In the Lodge while Constituted.
    • BEHAVIOR after the Lodge is over
    • BEHAVIOR when Brethren meet without Strangers,
    • BEHAVIOR in presence of Strangers not Masons.
    • BEHAVIOR at Home, and in your Neighborhood.
    • BEHAVIOR towards a strange Brother.
  • 1. In the Lodge while constituted.

You are not to hold private Committees, or separate Conversation, without Leave from the Master, nor to talk of any thing impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Master; nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the Lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn ; nor use any unbecoming Language upon any Pratense whatsoever; but to pay due Reverence to your Master, Wardens, and Fellows, and put them to worship.

If any Complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall stand to the Award and Determination of the Lodge, who are the proper and competent Judges of all such Controversies, (unless you carry it by Appeal to the Grand Lodge,) and to whom they ought to be referred unless a Lord’s Work be hindered the mean while, in which case a particular Reference may be made; but you must never go to Law about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute Necessity apparent to the Lodge.

  • 2. BEHAVIOR after the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone.

You may enjoy yourselves with innocent Mirth, treating one another according to Ability, but avoiding all Excess, or forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his Inclination, or hindering him from going when his Occasions call him, or doing or saying anything offensive, or that may forbid an easy and free Conversation; for that would blast our Harmony, and defeat our Laudable Purposes.

Therefore no private Piques or Quarrels must be brought within the Door of the Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion, or Nations, or State Policy, we being only, as Masons of the Catholic Religion above-mentioned ; we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages, and are resolved against all Politicks, as what never yet conduced to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.

This charge has been always strictly enjoined and observed, but especially ever since the Reformation in Britain, or the Dissent and Secession of these Nations from the Communion of Rome.

  • 3. BEHAVIOR when Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge formed.

You are to salute one another in a courteous manner. as you will be instructed, calling each other Brother.

freely giving mutual Instruction as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard, and without encroaching upon each other or derogating from that Respect which is due to any Brother, were he not a Mason : For though all Masons are an Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry takes no Honor from a Man that he had before; nay rather it adds to his Honor, especially if he has deserved well of the Brotherhood, who must give Honor to whom it is due, and avoid ill manners.

  • 4. BEHAVIOR in presence of Strangers not Masons.

You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most penetrating Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated ; and sometimes you shall divert a discourse, and manage it prudently for the Honor of the worshipful Fraternity.

  • 5. BEHAVIOR at Home, and in your Neighborhood.

You are to act as becomes a moral and wise Man ; particularly, not to let your Family, Friends, and Neighbors know the Concerns of the Lodge, &c., but wisely to consult your own Honor, and that of the ancient Brotherhood, for Reasons not to be mentioned here.

You must also consult your health, by not continuing together too late, or too long from home, after Lodge Hours are past; and by avoiding of Gluttony or Drunkenness, that your Families be not neglected or injured, nor you disabled from working.

  • 6. BEHAVIOR towards a strange Brother.

You are cautiously to examine him, in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant false Pretender, whom you are to reject with Contempt and Derision, and beware of giving him any Hints of Knowledge.

But if you discover him to be a true and Genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. You must employ him some Days, or else recommend him to be employed.

But you are not charged to do beyond your Ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good Man and true, before any other poor People in the same Circumstances.

Finally, all these Charges you are to observe, and also those that shall be communicated to you in another way ; cultivating Brotherly-Love, the foundation and Capstone, the Cement and Glory of this ancient Fraternity, avoiding all Wrangling and Quarreling, all Slander and Backbiting, nor permitting others to slander any honest Brother, but defending his Character, and doing him all good offices, as far as is consistent with your Honor and Safety, and no farther.

And if any of them do you Injury, you must apply to your own or his Lodge, and from thence you may appeal to the Grand Lodge at the Quarterly Communication, and from thence to the annual Grand Lodge ; as has been the ancient laudable Conduct of our Forefathers in every Nation; never taking a legal Course but when the Case cannot be otherwise decided, and patiently listing to the honest and friendly Advice of Master and Fellows, when they would prevent you going to Law with Strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy Period to all Law Suits, that so you may mind the Affair of Masonry with the more Alacrity and Success ; but with respect to Brothers or Fellows at Law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their Mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren, and if that submission is impracticable, they must however carry on their Process, or Law-suit, without Wrath and Rancor (not in the common way), saying or doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love, and good Offices to be renewed and conducted; that all may see the benign Influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from the Beginning of the World, and Will do to the End of Time.

Amen so mote it be.


The Fraternity had long been in possession of many records, containing the ancient regulations of the Order; when, in 1722, the Duke of Montague being Grand Master of England, the Grand Lodge finding fault with their antiquated arrangement, it was directed that they should be collected, and after being properly digested, be annexed to the Book of Constitutions, then in course of publication under the superintendence of Dr. James Anderson.

This was accordingly done, and the document now well known under the title of The Old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons, constitutes, by universal consent, a part of the fundamental law of our Order.

The charges are divided into six general heads of duty, as follows:

  1. Concerning God and religion.
  2. Of the civil magistrate, supreme and subordinate.
  3. Of Lodges.
  4. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices.
  5. Of the management of the Craft in working.
  6. Of behavior under different circumstances and in various conditions.

These charges contain succinct directions for the proper discharge of a Freemason’s duties, in whatever position he may be placed, and are as modern researches have shown, a collation of the charges contained in the Old Records and from them have been abridged, or by them suggested, all those well-known directions found in our monitors, which, Masters are accustomed to read to candidates on their reception (see Records, Old).


The Freemasons’ Constitutions are old records, containing a history, very often some-what apocryphal, that is of doubtful authority, of the origin and progress of Freemasonry, and regulations for the government of the Craft. These regulations are called Charges, and are generally the same in substance, although the differ in number, in the different documents.

These charges are divided into Articles and Points; although it would be difficult to say in what the one section differs in character from the other, as each details the rules which should govern a Freemason in his conduct toward his Lord, or employer, and to his Brother workmen.

The oldest of these charges is to be found in the York Constitutions, if they are authentic, and consists of Fifteen Articles and Fifteen Points.

It was required by the Constitutions of the time of Edward III, ”that, for the future, at the making or admission of a brother, the constitutions and charges should be read.”

This regulation is still preserved in form, in modern Lodges, by the reading of the charge by the Master to a candidate at the close of the ceremony of his reception into a degree (for a list of the Old Charges, see Manuscripts, Old).


“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (First Corinthians xiii,1-2).

Such was the language of an eminent apostle of the Christian church, and such is the sentiment that constitutes the cementing bond of Freemasonry. The apostle, in comparing it with faith and hope, calls it the greatest of the three, and hence in Freemasonry it is made the topmost round of its mystic ladder.

We must not fall into the too common error that charity is only that sentiment of commiseration which leads us to assist the poor with pecuniary donations.

Its Masonic, as well as its Christian application, is more noble and more extensive.

The word used by the apostle is, in the original, love, a word denoting that kindly state of mind which renders a person full of good-will and affectionate regard toward others.

John Wesley expressed his regret that the Greek had not been correctly translated as love instead of charity, so that the apostolic triad of virtues would have been, not “faith, hope, and charity,” but “faith, hope, and love.”

Then would we have understood the comparison made by Saint Paul, when he said, “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.”

Guided by this sentiment, the true Freemason will “suffer long and be kind.”

He will be slow to anger and easy to forgive.

He will stay his falling Brother by gentle admonition, and warn him with kindness of approaching danger, He will not open his ear to the slanderers, and will lose his lips against all reproach.

His faults and his follies will be locked in his breast, and the prayer for mercy will ascend to Jehovah for his Brother’s sins.

Nor will these sentiments of benevolence be confined to those who are bound to him by ties of kindred or worldly friendship alone; but, extending them throughout. the globe, he will love and cherish all who sit beneath the broad canopy of our universal Lodge.

For it is the boast of our Institution, that a Freemason, destitute and worthy, may. find in every clime a Brother, and in every land a home.
Colonel Edward M L. Ehlers, a soldier of the Civil War in which he was severely wounded, was subsequently and at his death the Grand Secretary of New York.

To his courtesy and promptness the Revisor of this work is much indebted for many favors and there is a distinct satisfaction in submitting here one of the eloquent addresses to initiates that so often heartened his hearers (see Definitions of Freemasonry).

My Brother: With this right hand I welcome you to the fellowship of our Lodge and to the ranks of our ancient and honorable Fraternity whose cornerstone is Charity.

Charity is the brightest jewel in the Masonic crown.

Charity is the Corinthian pillar whose entablature adds strength, beauty and grace to the Masonic fabric.

Charity is the radiant spark emanating from God, the inexhaustible source of love.

If we attempt to eulogize its charms, the cooler powers of the mind melt into ecstasy, the heart is at empire, and every discordant passion bows before its lenient sovereignty.

Not the Charity circumscribed by the narrow limits of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, binding up the wounds of the afflicted, but that broader nobler Charity that regards all men as Brothers.

The Charity that is swift of foot, ready of hand, in the cause of a common humanity.

The Charity that writes a Brother’s vices in water and his virtues in enduring brass.

The Charity of which He who spake as never man spake was the illustrious exemplar.

Let this, the Mason’s Charity, burn upon the altar of your heart a living fire.

This Charity whose superstructure is friendship, morality, brotherly love; whose capstone is holiness to the Lord. Liturgies and creeds, articles of faith and rules of discipline, stain the rubric pages of history, and speculative points of doctrine have occasioned more misery in the world than all the crimes for which nations have been punished and recalled to their duty.

We arraign no man’s political opinions, nor do we interfere with his religious creed.

To himself and his country we leave the one, and to his conscience and his God we commit the other. To the altar of Masonry, all men bring their votive offerings. Around it all men, whether they have received their teachings from Confucius, Moses, Zoroaster, Mahomet, or the Founder of the Christian religion; if they believe in the universality of the Fatherhood of God and of the universality of the brotherhood of man, here meet on a common level.

The rich man, the poor man, the sovereign, the subject, are lost in the common Brother. The Christian returns to his Temple, the Jew to his Synagogue, the Mohammedan to his Mosque, each better prepared to perform the duties of life by the association of this universal brotherhood. It is to this Institution, born of heaven in the gray of the world’s morning, before poets sang or historians wrote, that I am privileged to accord you a Craftsman’s greeting.

And I charge you, by the noblest instincts of your manhood, by all that you are and revere, by the ties that bind you to earth, by your hope of heaven, so to live and so to act that your Masonic life may be an open book known and read of all men.

Finally, my Brother, I do assure you that whatever good you do is but duty done.

If a sorrow you have lightened or a tear wipe‚ away, if of poverty’s load you have taken a share from some weary burdened soul, if you have lifted a cup of cold water to the lips of a famishing mortal, then to far have you illustrated the divine teachings of Masonry, then in so far have you done as the Master commanded.

May He, without whose knowledge not even a sparrow falls, bless your fellowship in our Lodge, and to His great name shall be all the praise.


One of the legends of Freemasonry tells us that when the Jewish Freemasons were carried as captives from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar they were bound by triangular chains, which was intended as an additional insult, because to them the triangle, or delta, was a symbol of the Deity, to be used only on sacred occasions. The legend is of course apocryphal, and is worth nothing except as a legendary symbol.


A technical term signifying the office of Master of a Lodge. Thus he is eligible to the chair is equivalent to he is eligible to the office of Master. The word is applied in the same sense to the presiding officer in other Masonic Bodies.


The presiding officer of a meeting or committee. In all committees of a Lodge, the Worshipful Master, if he chooses to attend, is ex-offcio or by reason of that fact the chairman; as is the Grand Master of any meeting of the Craft when he is present.


The German Freemasons call the Worshipful Master der Meister im Stuhl, or the Master in the Chair.


The seat or office of the Master of a Lodge is thus called—sometimes, more fully, the Oriental Chair of King Salomon.


The ceremony of inducting the Master-elect of a Lodge into his office is called passing the chair. He who has once presided over a Lodge as its Master is said to have passed the chair, hence the title Past Master.


A large tract of country, lying in a nearly northwest and southeast direction for a distance of four hundred miles along the course of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, with an average width of one hundred miles. The kingdom of Chaldea, of which Babylon was the chief city, is celebrated in Masonic history as the place where the Jewish captives were conducted after the destruction of Jerufalem. At that time Nebuchadnezzar was the king. His successor during the captivity, were Evilmerodach, Neriglissar, Labosordacus, and Belshazzar. In the seventeenth year of his reign, the City of Babylon was taken and the Chaldean kingdom subverted by Cyrus, King of Persia, who terminated the captivity of the Jews, and restored them to their native country.


The cylinder discovered by Rassam in the course of his excavations in Babylonia, which greatly attracted the attention of the London Society of Biblical Archeclogy, is one of the most remarkable yet made known, by reawn of the light it throws upon the ancient chronology of the Chaldean Empire. It dates from the time of Nabonides, and records, among various things, that this sovereign, when digging under the foundations of the Temple of the Sun-god at Sippara, forty-five years after the death of King Nebuchadnezzar, came upon a cylinder of Naramsin, the son of Nargon, which no one had seen for “3200 years. ” This gives as the date of the ancient sovereign named 3750 B.C. This, and the fact pointed out by Professor Oppert, that there was in those early days already “lively intercourse between Chaldea and Egypt,” will have to be taken into account by future Bible critics. This destroys the conception of Abraham, the founder of the Jews, as a wanderer or nomad, and establishes the existence of two highly civilized, as well as cultured, empires in Egypt and Chaldea more than 5,500 years ago ; that the highroad between them lay direct through Southern Palestine, and that Abraham was a native of the one great empire and an honored visitor in the other. Thus has been opened up a new field for investigation in the matter of Akkad and Akkadian civilization.


The ancient Diodorus Siculus says the “most ancient”-inhabitants of Babylonia. There was among them, as among the Egiptians, a true priestly caste, which was both exclusive and hereditary; for although not every Chaldean was a priest, yet no man could be a priest among them unless he were a Chaldean. “At Babylon,” says Doctor Smith (Ancient History of the East, page 398), “they were in all respects the ruling order in the body politic, uniting in themselves the characters of the English sacerdotal and military classes. They filled all the highest offices of state under the king, who himself belonged to the order.”

The Chaldean priests were famous for their astronomical science, the study of which was particularly favored by the clear atmosphere and the cloudless skies of their country, and to which they were probably urged by their national worship of the sun and the heavenly hosts. Diodorus Siculus says that they passed their whole lives in meditating questions of philosophy, and acquired a great reputation for their astrology. They were addicted especially to the art of divination, and framed predictions of the future.

They sought to avert evil and to insure good by purifications, sacrifices, and enchantments. They were versed in the arts of prophesying and explaining dreams and prodigies. All this learning among the Chaldeans was a family tradition; the son inheriting the profession and the knowledge of the priesthood from his father, and transmitting it to his descendants. The Chaldeans were settled throughout the whole country, but there were some special cities, such as Borsippa, Ur, Sippera, and Babylon, where they had regular colleges. The reputation of the Chaldeans for prophetic and magical knowledge was so great, that astrologers, and conjurers in general, were styled Babylonians and Chaldeans, just as the wandering fortune-tellers of modern times are called Egyptians or gipsies, and Ars Chaldoearum was the name given to all occult sciences.


A cup used in religious rites. It forms a part of the furniture of a Commandery of Knights Templar, and of some of the higher Degrees of the French and Scottish Rites. It should be made either of silver or of gilt metal. The stem of the chalice should be about four inches high and the diameter from three to six.


By these three substances are beautifully symbolized the three qualifications for the servitude of an Entered Apprentice—freedom, fervency, and zeal. Chalk is the freest of all substances, because the slightest touch leaves a trace behind. Charcaal, the most fervent, because to it, when ignited, the most obdurate metals yield; and Clay, the most zealous, because it is constantly employed in man’s service, and is as constantly reminding us that from it we all came, and to it we must all return. In the earlier lectures of the eighteenth century, the symbols, with the same interpretation, were given as Chalk, Charcaal, and Earthen Pan.


See Middle Chamber


In the French and Scottish Rites, a small room adjoining the Lodge, in which, preparatory to initiation, the candidate is enclosed for the purpose of indulging in those serious meditations which its somber appearance and the gloomy emblems with which it is furnished are calculated to produce. It is also used in some of the advanced degrees for a similar purpose. Its employment is very appropriate, for, as Gädicke well observes, “It is only in solitude that we can deeply reflect upon our present or future undertakings, and blackness, darkness, or solitarine, is ever a symbol of death. A man who has undertaken a thing after mature reflection seldom turns back.”


An officer in a Council of Companions of the Red Cross, corresponding in some respects to the Senior Warden of a Symbolic Lodge.


An officer in the Supreme Councils and Grand Consistories of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, whose duties are somewhat similar to those of a Corresponding Secretary.


A confused and shapeless mass, such as is supposed to have existed before God reduced creation into order. It is a Masonic symbol of the ignorance and intellectual darkness from which man is rescued by the light and truth of Freemasonry. Hence, Ordo ab chao, or, Order out af chaos, is one of the mottoes of the Institution.


One of the names formerly given to the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or Knight of the Sun. It is likewise found in the collection of M. Pyron. Discreet and Wise Chaos are the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Degrees of the Rite of Mizraim.


The cocked hat worn in the United states bodies by Knights Templar. The regulations of the Grand Encampment of the United States, in 1862, prescribe that it shall be “the military chapeau, trimmed with black binding, one white and two black plumes, and appropriate cross on the left side. ”


The closets and anterooms so necessary and convenient to a Lodge for various purposes are dignified by German Masons with the title of Capellen, or chapels.


Known also as the Lodge of Edinburgh. The oldest Lodge in Edinburgh, Scotland, whose Minutes extend as far back as the year 1599. This long stood as the oldest Minute, but in 1912 one was found of Aitchison’s-Haven Lodge dated 1598 (see Aitchison’s- Haven). They show that John Boswell, Esq., of Auchinleck was present in the Lodge in the year 1600, and that the Hon. Robert Moray, Quartermaster-General of the Army of Scotland, was created a Master Mason in 1641 at Newcastle by some members of the Lodge of Edinburgh who were present there with the Scotch Army. These facts show that at that early period persons who were not Operative Freemasons by profession were admitted into the Order. The Lodge of Edinburgh, Mary’s Chapel, 18 No. 1 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland; the date of its formation is unknown, and at one time it stood first on the roll, but in 1807 the Mother Kilwinning Lodge was placed before it as No. 0. It met at one time in a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary; hence comes the second part of its name. Its history was published in 1873 by D. M. Lyon.


The uppermost part of a column, pillar, or pilaster, serving as the head or crowning, and placed immediately over the shaft and under the entablature. The pillars which stood in front of the porch of King Solomon’s Temple were adorned with chapiters of a peculiar construction, which are largely referred to, and their symbolism explained, in the Fellow Craft’s Degree (see Pillars af the Porch).


The office of Chaplain of a Lodge is one which is not recognized in the ritual of the United States of America, although often conferred by courtesy. The Master of a Lodge in general performs the ,duties of a Chaplain.


An office of very modern date in a Grand Lodge. It was first instituted on the 1st of May, 1775, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation of the Freemasons’ Hall in London. It is stated in the English Constitutions of 1784 (page 314) that the office “which had been discontinued for several years, was this day revived,” but there is no record of any appointment to it before the date given. This office is now universally recognized by the Grand Lodges of America. His duties are confined to offering up prayer at the communications of the Grand Lodge, and conducting its devotional exercises on public occasions.


In early times the meetings of Freemasons were called not only Lodges, but Chapters and Congregations. Thus, the statute enacted in the third year of the reign of Henry VI of England, 1425 A. D., declares that “Masons shall not confederate in Chapiters and Congregations.” The word is now exclusively appropriated to designate the bodies in which degrees more advanced than the symbolic are conferred. Thus there are Chapters of Royal Arch Masons in the York and American Rites and Chapters of Rose Croix Masons in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.


See General Grand Chapter


See Grand Chapter


A colloquialism denoting a Royal Arch Mason


A colloquia1ism intended to denote the Degrees conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter.


There is in Boston, Massachusetts, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons which was holden in Saint Andrew’s Lodge and formed about the year 1769 (see Royal Arch Masons, Massachusetts; also, Pennsylvania).


See Rase Croix, Prince of


A Convocation of Royal Arch Masons is called a Chapter. In Great Britain, Royal Arch Masonry is connected with and practically under the same government as the Grand Lodge ; but in America the Jurisdictions are separate.

In America a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is empowered to give the preparatory Degrees of Mark, Past, and Most Excellent Master ; although, of course, the Chapter, when meeting in any one of the’ Degrees, is called a Lodge.

In some Chapters the Degrees of Royal and Select Master have also been given as preparatory Degrees ; but in most of the States, the control of these is conferred upon separate bodies, called Councils af Royal and Select Masters.

The presiding officers of a Chapter are the High Priest, King, and Scribe, who are, respectively, representatives of Joshua, Zerubbabel, Haggai, and son of Josedech. In the English Chapters, these officers are generally styled either by the founders’ names, as above, or as First, Second, and Third Principals. In the Chapters of Ireland the order of the officers is King, High Priest, and Chief Scribe. Chapters of Royal Arch Masons in America are primarily under the jurisdiction of State Grand Chapters, as Lodges are under Grand Lodges ; and secondly, under the General Grand Chapter of the United States, whose meetings are held triennially, and which exercisers a general supervisor over this branch of the Order throughout the Union (see Royal Arch Degree).


See Irish Chapters


See Ordoe Name


The prefix to signatures of Brethren of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is as follows: To that of the Sovereign Grand Commander, the triple cross crosslet, as in the illustration and Figure 1 in red ink. To that of an Inspector General other than a Commander, Figure 2, in red ink. To that of a Brother of the Royal Secret, Thirty-second Degree, Figure 3, in red ink. In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, a Ros Croix Knight will suffix a triangle surmounted by a cross in red ink, as in Figure 4. In all eases it is usual to place the Degree rank in a triangle after the name (see Abbreviations).


See Chalk, Charcoal, and Clay

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