Enciclopédia Mackey – ADONHIRAM ~ AHISAR

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES
by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D.

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ADONHIRAM

This has been adopted by the disciples of Adonhiramite Freemasonry as the spelling of the name of the person known in Scripture and in other Masonic systems as Adoniram (which see). They correctly derive the word from the Hebrew Adon and hiram, signifying the master who is exalted, which is the true meaning of Adoniram, the ..or h being omitted in the Hebrew by the union of the two words. Hiram Abif has also sometimes been called Adonhiram, the Adon having been bestowed on him by Solomon, it is said, as a title of honor.

ADONIS, MYSTERIES OF

An investigation of the Mysteries of Adonis peculiarly claims the attention of the Masonic student. First, because, in their symbolism and in their esoteric doctrine, the religious object for which they were instituted, and the mode in which that object is attained, they bear a nearer analogical resemblance to the Institution of Freemasonry than do any of the other mysteries or systems of initiation of the ancient world. Secondly, because their chief locality brings them into a very close connection with the early history and reputed origin of Freemasonry. These ceremonies were principally celebrated at Byblos, a city of Phoenicia, whose Scriptural name was Gebal, and whose inhabitants were the Giblites or Gebalites, who are referred to in the First Book of Kings (v; 18), as being the stone-squarers employed by King Solomon in building the Temple (see Gebal and Giblim). Hence there must have evidently been a very intimate connection, or at least certainly a very frequent intercommunication, between the workmen of the first Temple and the inhabitants of Byblos, the seat of the Adonisian Mysteries, and the place whence the worshipers of that Rite were spread over other regions of country.

These historical circumstances invite us to an examination of the system of initiation which was practiced at Byblos, because we may find in it something that was probably suggestive of the symbolic system of instruction which was subsequently so prominent a feature in the system of Freemasonry.

Let us first examine the myth on which the Adonisiac initiation was founded. The mythological legend of Adonis is that he was the son of Myrrha and Cinyras, King of Cyprus. Adonis was possessed of such surpassing beauty, that Venus became enamored of him, and adopted him as her favorite. Subsequently Adonis, who was a great hunter, died from a wound inflicted by a wild boar on Mount Lebanon. Venus flew to the succor of her favorite, but she came too late. Adonis was dead. On his descent to the infernal regions, Proserpine became, like Venus, so attracted by his beauty, that, notwithstanding the entreaties of the goddess of love she refused to restore him to earth At length the prayers of the desponding Venus were listened to with favor by Jupiter, who reconciled the dispute between the two goddesses, and by whose decree Proserpine was compelled to consent that Adonis should spend six months of each year alternately with herself and Venus.

This is the story on which the Greek poet Bion founded his exquisite idyll entitled the Epilaph of Adonis, the beginning of which has been thus rather inefficiently “done into English” :

I and the Loves Adonis dead deplore:
The beautiful Adonis is indeed
Departed, parted from us. Sleep no more
In purple, Cyprisi but in watchet weed,
All wretched! beat thy breast and all aread
” Adonis is no more.” The Loves and I
Lament him. ” Oh her grief to see him bleed,
Smitten by white tooth on whiter thigh,
Out-breathing life’s faint sigh upon the mountain high.”

It is evident that Bion referred the contest of Venus and Proserpine for Adonis to a period subsequent to his death, from the concluding lines, in which he says:

“The Muses, too, lament the son of Cinyras, and invoke him in their song; but he does not heed them, not because he does not wish, but because Proserpine will not release him.” This was, indeed, the favorite form of the myth, and on it was framed the symbolism of the ancient mystery. But there are other Grecian mythologies that relate the tale of Adonis differently. According to these, he was the product of the incestuous connection of Cinyras and his daughter Myrrha.

Cinyras subsequently, on discovering the crime of his daughter, pursued her with a drawn sword, intending to kill her.

Myrrha entreated the gods to make her invisible, and they changed her into a myrrh tree. Ten months after the myrrh tree opened, and the young Adonis was born. This is the form of the myth that has been adopted by the poet Ovid, who gives it with all its moral horrors in the Tenth Book (lines 29s-559) of his Melamrphoses.

Venus, who was delighted with the extraordinary beauty of the boy, put him in a coffer or chest, unknown to all the gods, and gave him to Proserpine to keep and to nurture in the under world. But Proserpine had no sooner beheld him than she became enamored of him and refused, when Venus applied for him, to surrender him to her rival. The subject was then referred to Jupiter, who decreed that Adonis should have one-third of the year to himself, should be another third with Venus, and the remainder of the time with Proserpine. Adonis gave his own portion to Venus, and lived happily with her till, having offended Diana, he was killed by a wild boar. The mythographer Pharnutus gives a still different story, and says that Adonis was the grandson of Cinyras, aud fled with his father, Ammon, into Egypt, whose people he civilized, taught them agriculture, and enacted many wise laws for their government. He subsequently passed over into Syria, and was wounded in the thigh by a wild boar while hunting on Mount Lebanon. His wife, Isis, or Astarte, and the people of Phoenicia and Egypt, supposing that the wound was mortal, profoundly deplored his death. But he afterward recovered, and their grief was replaced by transports of joy.

All the myths, it will be seen, agree in his actual or supposed death by violence, in the grief for his loss in his recovery or restoration to life, and in the consequent joy thereon. On these facts are founded the Adonisian mysteries which were established in his honor.

While, therefore, we may grant the possibility that there was originally some connection between the Sabean worship of the sun and the celebration of the Adonisian festival, we cannot forget that these mysteries, in common with all the other sacred initiations of the ancient world, had been originally established to promulgate among the initiates the once hidden doctrine of a future life.

The myth of Adonis in Syria, like that of Osiris in Egypt, of Atys in Samothrace, or of Dionysus in Greece, presented, symbolically, the two great ideas of decay and restoration. This doctrine sometimes figured as darkness and light, sometimes as winter and summer, sometimes as death and life, but always maintaining, no matter what was the framework of the allegory, the inseparable ideas of something that was lost and afterward recovered, as its interpretation, and so teaching, as does Freemasonry at this day, by a similar system of allegorizing, that after the death of the body comes the eternal life of the soul. The inquiring Freemason will thus readily see the analogy in the symbolism that exists between Adonis in the Mysteries of the Gebalites at Byblos and Hiram the Builder in his own Institution.

ADONHIRAMITE FREEMASONRY

Of the numerous controversies which arose from the middle to near the end of the eighteenth century on the Continent of Europe, and especially in France, among the students of Masonic philosophy, and which so frequently resulted in the invention of new Degrees and the establishment of new Rites, not the least prominent was that which related to the person and character of the Temple Builder. The question, Who was the architect of King Solomon’s Temple? was answered differently by the various theorists, and each answer gave rise to a new system, a fact by no means surprising in those times, so fertile in the production of new Masonic systems. The general theory was then, as it is now, that this architect was Hiram Abif, the widow’s son, who had been sent to King Solomon by Hiram, King of Tyre, as a precious gift, and as a curious and cunning workman.

This theory was sustained by the statements of the Jewish Scriptures, so far as they threw any light on the Masonic legend. It was the theory of the English Freemasons from the earliest times; was enunciated as historically correct in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions (published in 1723, page 11) ; has continued ever since to be the opinion of all English and American Freemasons; and is, at this day, the only theory entertained by any Freemason in the two countries who has a theory at all on the subject. This, therefore, is the orthodox faith of Freemasonry.

But such was not the case in the last century on the Continent of Europe. At first the controversy arose not as to the man himself, but as to his proper appellation.

All parties agreed that the architect of the Temple was that Hiram, the widow’s son, who is described in the First Book of Kings (chapter vii, verses 13 and14), and in the Second ‘Book of Chronicles (chapter ii, verses 13 and 14), as having come out of Tyre with the other workmen of the Temple who had been sent by King Hiram to Solomon. But one party called him Hiram Abif, and the other, admitting that his original name was Hiram, supposed that, in consequence of the skill he had displayed in the construction of the Temple, he had received the honorable affix of Adon, signifying, Lord or Master, whence his name became Adonhiram.

There was, however, at the Temple another Adoniram, of whom it will be necessary in passing to say a few words, for the better understanding of the present subject.

The first notice that we have of this Adoniram in Scripture is in the Second Book of Samuel (chapter xx, verse 24), where, in the abbreviated form of his name, Adoram, he is said to have been over the tribute in the house of David ; or, as Gesenius, a great authority on Hebrew, translates it, prefect over the tribute service, or, as we might say in modem phrase, principal collector of the taxes.

Seven years afterward, we find him exercising the same office in the household of Solomon; for it is said in First Kings (iv, 6) that Adoniram, “the son of Abda, was over the tribute.” Lastly, we hear of him still occupying the same station in the household of King Rehoboam, the successor of Solomon. Forty-seven years after he is first mentioned in the Book of Samuel, he is stated under the name of Adoram, First Kings (xii, 1s), or Hadoram, Second Chronicles (x, 18), to have been stoned to death, while in the discharge of his duty, by the people, who were justly indignant at the oppressions of his master.

The legends and traditions of Freemasonry which connect this Adoniram with the Temple at Jerusalem derive their support from a single passage in the First Book of Kings (v, 14), where it is said that Solomon made a levy of thirty thousand workmen from among the Israelites; that he sent these in courses of ten thousand a month to labor on Mount Lebanon, and that he placed Adoniram over these as their superintendent.

The ritual-makers of France, who were not all Hebrew scholars, nor well versed in Biblical history, seem at times to have confounded two important personages, and to have lost all distinction between Hiram the Builder, who had been sent from the court of the King of Tyre, and Adoniram, who had always been an officer in the court of King Solomon. This error was extended and facilitated when they had prefixed the title Aden, that is to say, lord or master, to the name of the former, making him Aden Hiram, or the Lord Hiram.

Thus, about the year 1744, one Louis Travenol published at Paris, under the name of Leonard Gabanon, a work entitled Catéchisme des Francs Maçons, ou Le Secret des Maçons, in which he says:

“Besides the cedars of Lebanon, Hiram made a much more valuable gift to Solomon, in the person of Adonhiram, of his own race, the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali. His father, who was named Hur, was an excellent architect and worker in metals. Solomon, knowing his virtues, his merit, and his talents, distinguished him by the most eminent position, intrusting to him the construction of the Temple and the superintendence of all the workmen” (see Louis Guillemain de Saint Victor’s Recueil Précieuz, French for Choice Collection, page 76).

From the language of this extract, and from the reference in the title of the book to Adoram, which we know was one of the names of Solomon’s tax collector, it is evident that the author of the catechism has confounded Hiram Abif, who came out of Tyre, with Adoniram, the son of Abda, who had always lived at Jerusalem ; that is to say, with unpardonable ignorance of Scriptural history and Masonic tradition, he has supposed the two to be one and the same person.

Notwithstanding this literary blunder, the catechism became popular with many Freemasons of that day, and thus arose the first schism or error in relation to the Legend of the Third Degree. In Solomon in all His Glory, an English exposure published in 1766, Adoniram takes the place of Hiram, but this work is a translation from a similar French one, and so it must not be argued that English Freemasons ever held this view.

At length, other ritualists, seeing the inconsistency of referring the character of Hiram, the widow’s son, to Adoniram, the receiver of taxes, and the impossibility of reconciling the discordant facts in the life of both, resolved to cut the Gordian knot by refusing any Masonic position to the former, and making the latter, alone, the architect of the Temple. It cannot be denied that Josephus (viii, 2) states that Adoniram, or, as he calls him, Adoram, was, at the very beginning of the labor, placed over the workmen who prepared the materials on Mount Lebanon, and that he speaks of Hiram, the widow’s son, simply as a skillful artisan, especia1ly in metals, who had only made all the mechanical works about the Temple according to the will of Solomon (see Josephus, viii, 3). This apparent color of authority for their opinions was readily claimed by the Adoniramites, and hence one of their most prominent ritualists, Guillemain de Saint Victor (in his Recueil Précieux de la Maçonnerie Adonhiramite, Pages 77-s), propounds their theory thus: “we a11 agree that the Master’s Degree is founded on the architect of the Temple. Now, Scripture says very positively, in the 14th verse of the 5th chapter of the Third Book of Kings, that the person was Adonhiram. In the Septuagint, the oldest translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the two books of Samuel are called the First and Second of Kings. Josephus and all the secrete writers say the same thing, and undoubtedly distinguish him from Hiram the Tyrian, the worker in metals. So that it is Adonhiram then whom we are bound to honor.

There were therefore, in the eighteenth century, from about the middle to near the end of it, three schools of Masonic ritualists who were divided in opinion identity of this Temple Builder:

  1. Those who supposed him to be Hiram the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, whom the King of Tyre had sent to King Solomon, and whom they designated as Hiram Abif. This was the original and most popular school, and which we now suppose to have been the orthodox one.
  2. Those who believed this Hiram that came out of Tyre to have been the architect, but who supposed that, in consequence of his excellence of character, Solomon had bestowed upon him the appellation of Adon, Lord or Master, calling him Adonhiram. As this theory was wholly unsustained by Scripture history or previous Masonic tradition, the school which supported it never became prominent or popular, and soon ceased to exist, although the error on which it is based is repeated at intervals in the blunder of some modern French ritualists.
  3. Those who, treating this Hiram, the widow’s son, as a subordinate and unimportant character, entirely ignored him in their ritual, and asserted that Adoram, or Adoniram, or Adonhiram, as the name was spelled by these ritualists, the son of Abda, the collector of tribute and the superintendent of the levy on Mount Lebanon, was the true architect of the Temple, and the one to whom all the legendary incidents of the Third Degree of Freemasonry were to be referred.

This school, in consequence of the boldness with which, unlike the second school, it refused all compromise with the orthodox party and assumed a wholly independent theory, became, for a time, a prominent schism in Freemasonry. Its disciples bestowed upon the believers in Hiram Abif the name of Hiramite Masons, adopted as their own distinctive appellation that of Adonhiramites, and having developed the system which they practiced into a peculiar rite, called it Adonhiramite Freemasonry.

Who was the original founder of the rite of Adonhiramite Freemasonry, and at what precise time it was first established, are questions that cannot now be answered with any certainty. Thory does not attempt to reply to either in his Nomenclature of Rites, where, if anything was known on the subject, we would be most likely to find it. Ragon, it is true, in his Orthodoxie Maçonnique, attributes the Rite to the Baron de Tschoudy. But as he also assigns the authorship of the Recueil Précieux (a work of which we shall directly speak more fully) to the same person, in which statement he is known to be mistaken, there can be but little doubt that he is wrong in the former as well as in the latter opinion. The Chevalier de Lussy, better known as the Baron de Tschoudy, was, it is true, a distinguished ritualist. He founded the Order of the Blazing Star, and took an active part in the operations of the Council of Emperors of the East and West; but we have met with no evidence, outside of Ragon’s assertion, that he established or had anything to do with the Adonhiramite Rite.

We are disposed to attribute the development into a settled system, if not the actual creation, of the Rite of Adonhiramite Freemasonry to Louis Guillemain de Saint Victor, who published at Paris, in the year 1781, a work entitled Recueil Precieux de la Maçonnerie Adonhiramite, etc.
As this volume contained only the ritual of the first four degrees, it was followed, in 1785, by another, which embraced the higher degrees of the Rite. No one who peruses these volumes can fail to perceive that the author writes like one who has invented, or, at least, materially modified the Rite which is the subject of his labors. At a1l events, this work furnishes the only authentic account that we possess of the organization of the Adonhiramite system of Freemasonry.

The Rite of Adonhiramite Freemasonry consisted of twelve degrees, which were as follows, the names being given in French as well as in English:

  1. Apprentice-Apprenti.
  2. Fellow-Craft-Compagnon.
  3. Master Mason-Maître.
  4. Perfect Master-Maitre parfait.
  5. Elect of Nine—Premier Elu, qu L’Elu des Neuf.
  6. Elect of Perignan-Second Elu nommé Elu de Pérignan.
  7. Elect of Fifteen-Troisiéme Elu nommé Elu des Quinze.
  8. Minor Architect-Petit Architecte.
  9. Grand Architect, or Scottish Fellow Craft-Grand Archirecte, ou Compagnon Ecossais.
  10. Scottish Master-Maître Ecossais.
  11. Knight of the Sword, Knight of the East, or of the Eagle-Chevalier de l’Épée surnommé Chefalier de l’Orient ou de l’Aigle.
  12. Knight of Rose Croix-Chevalier de la Rose Croiz.

This is the entire list of Adonhiramite Degrees.

Thory and Ragon have both erred in giving a Thirteenth Degree, namely, the Noachite, or Prussian Knight. They have fallen into this mistake because Guillemain has inserted this degree at the end of his second volume, but simply as a Masonic curiosity, having been translated, as he says, from the German by M. de Bérage. It has no connection with the preceding series of degrees, and Guillemain positively declares in the second part (2nd Ptie, page l18) that the Rose Croix is the ne plus ultra, the Latin for nothing further, the summit and termination, of his Rite.

Of these twelve degrees, the first ten are occupied with the transactions of the first Temple; the eleventh with matters relating to the construction of the second Temple; and the twelfth with that Christian symbolism of Freemasonry which is peculiar to the Rose Croix of every Rite. All of the degrees have been borrowed from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, with slight modifications, which have seldom improved their character. On the whole, the extinction of the Adonhiramite Rite can scarcely be considered as a loss to Freemasonry.

Before concluding, a few words may be said on the orthography of the title. As the Rite derives its peculiar characteristic from the fact that it founds the Third Degree on the assumed legend that Adoniram, the son of Abda and the receiver of tribute, was the true architect of the Temple, and not Hiram, the widow’s son, it should properly have been styled the Adoniramite Rite, and not the Adonhiramite. So it would probably have been called if Guillemain, who gave it form, had been acquainted with the Hebrew language, for he would then have known that the name of his hero was Adoniram and not Adonhiram.

The term Adonhiramite Freemasons should really have been applied to the second school described in this article, whose disciples admitted that Hiram Abif was the architect of the Temple, but who supposed that Solomon had bestowed the prefix Adon upon him as a mark of honor, calling him Adonhiram. But Gui1lemain having committed the blunder in the name of his Rite, it continued to be repeated by his successors, and it would perhaps now be inconvenient to correct the error.

Ragon, however, and a few other recent writers, have ventured to take this step, and in their works the system is called Adoniramite Freemasonry.

ADONIRAM

The first notice that we have of Adoniram in Scripture is in the Second Book of Samuel (xx, 24), where, in the abbreviated form of his name Adoram, he is said to have been over the tribute in the house of David, or, as Gesenius translates it prefect over the tribute service, tribute master, that is to say, in modern phrase, he was the chief receiver of the taxes.

Clarke calls him Chancellor of the Exchequer. Seven years afterward we find him exercising the same office in the household of Solomon, for it is said, First Kings (iv, 6), that “Adoniram the son of Abda was over the tribute.”

Lastly, we hear of him still occupying the same station in the household of King Rehoboam, the successor of Solomon. Forty-seven years after he is first mentioned in the Book of Samuel, he is stated under the name of Adoram, First Kings (xii, 18), or Hadoram, Second Chronides (X,18), to have been stoned to death, while in the discharge of his duty, by the people, who were justly indignant at the oppressions of his master.

Although commentators have been at a loss to determine whether the tax-receiver under David, under Solomon, and under Rehoboam was the same person, there seems to be no reason to doubt it; for, as Kitto says, ”It appears very unlikely that even two persons of the same name should successively bear the same office, in an age when no example occurs of the father’s name being given to his son. We find, a1so, that not more than forty-seven years elapse between the first and last mention of the Adoniram who was ‘over the tribute and as this, although a long term of service, is not too long for one life and as the person who held the office in the beginning of Rehoboam’s reign had served in it long enough to make himself odious to the people, it appears, on the whole, most probable that one and the same person is intended throughout” (John Eitto in his Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature).

Adoniram plays an important part in the Masonic system, especially in advanced degrees, but the time of action in which he appears is confined to the period occupied in the construction of the Temple. The legends and traditions which connect him with that edifice derive their support from a single passage in the First Book of Kings (V, 14),where it is said that Solomon made a levy of thirty thousand workmen from among the Israelites ; that he sent these in courses of ten thousand a month to labor on Mount Lebanon, and that he placed Adoniram over these as their superintendent. From this brief statement the Adoniramite Freemasons have deduced the theory, as may be seen in the preceding article, that Adoniram was the architect of the Temple; while the Hiramites, assigning this important office to Hiram Abif, still believe that Adoniram occupied an important part in the construction of that edifice. He has been called “the first of the Fellow Crafts” is mid in one tradition to have been the brother-in-law of Hiram Abif, the latter having demanded of Solomon the hand of Adoniram’s sister in marriage; and that the nuptials were honored by the kings of Israel and Tyre with a public celebration. Another tradition, preserved in the Royal Master’s Degree of the Cryptic Rite, informs us that he was the one to whom the three Grand Masters had intended first to communicate that knowledge which they had reserved as a fitting reward to be bestowed upon all meritorious craftsmen at the completion of the Temple. It is scarcely necessary to say that these and many other Adoniramic legends, often fanciful, and without any historical authority, are but the outward clothing of abstruse symbols, some of which have been preserved, and others lost in the lapse of time and the ignorance and corruptions of sundry ritualists.

Adoniram, in Hebrew …. compounded of .. Adon, Lord, and … Hiram, altitude, signifies the Lord of altitude. It is a word of great importance, and frequently used among the sacred words of the advanced degrees in all the Rites.

ADONIRAMITE FREEMASONRY

See Adonhiramite Freemasonry
An organization which bears a very imperfect resemblance to Freemasonry in its forms and ceremonies, and which was established in France for the initiation of females, has been called by the French Maçonnerie d’Adoption, or Adoptive Freemasonry, and the societies in which the initiations take place have received the name of Loges d’Adeption, or Adoptive Lodges. This appellation is derived from the fact that every Female or Adoptive Lodge is obliged, by the regulations of the association, to be, as it were, adopted by, and thus placed under the guardianship of, some regular Lodge of Freemasons.

As to the exact date which we are to assign for the first introduction of this system of Female Freemasonry, there have been several theories, some of which, undoubtedly, are wholly untenable, since they have been founded, as Masonic historical theories too often are, on an unwarrantable mixture of facts and fictions—of positive statements and problematic conjectures. M. J. S. Boubee, a distinguished French Freemason, in his Études Maçonniques (Masonicstudies), places the origin of Adoptive Freemasonry in the seventeenth century, and ascribes its authorship to Queen Henrietta Maria, the widow of Charles I of England. He states that on her return to France, after the execution of her husband, she took pleasure in recounting the secret efforts made by the Freemasons of England to restore her family to their position and to establish her son on the throne of his ancestors. This, it will be recollected, was once a prevalent theory, now exploded, of the origin of Freemasonry-that it was established by the Cavaliers, as a secret political organization, in the times of the English civil war between the king and the Parliament, and as an engine for the support of the former.

M. Boubee adds that the queen made known to the ladies of her court, in her exile, the words and signs employed by her Masonic friends in England as their modes of recognition, and by this means instructed them in some of the mysteries of the Institution, of which, he says, she had been made the protectress after the death of the king. This theory is so full of absurdity, and its statements so flatly contradicted by well-known historical facts, that we may at once reject it as wholly without authority.

Others have claimed Russia as the birthplace of Adoptive Freemasonry; but in assigning that country and the year 1712 as the place and time of its origin, they have undoubtedly confounded it with the chivalric Order of Saint Catharine, which was instituted by the Czar, Peter the Great, in honor of the Czarina Catharine, and which, although at first it consisted of persons of both sexes, was subsequently confined exclusively to females. But the Order of Saint Catharine was in no manner connected with that of Freemasonry. It was simply s Russian order of female knighthood.

The truth seems to be that the regular Lodges of adoption owed their existence to those secret associations of men and woman which sprang up in France before the middle of the eighteenth century, and which attempted in all of their organization, except the admission of female members, to imitate the Institution of Freemasonry. Clavel, who, in his Histoire Pitoresque de la Franc-Maçonnery, an interesting but not always a trustworthy work, adopts this theory, says (on page iii, third edition) that female Masonry was instituted about the year 1730, that it made its first appearance in France, and that it was evidently a product of the French mind. No one will be disposed to doubt the truth of this last sentiment. The proverbial gallantry of the French Freemasons was most ready and willing to extend to women some of the blessings of that Institution, from which the churlishness, as they would call it, of their Anglo-Saxon Brethren had excluded them.

But the Freemasonry of Adoption did not at once and in its very beginning assume that peculiarly imitative form of the Craft which it subsequently presented, nor was it recognized as having any connection with our own Order until more than thirty years after its first establishment. Its progress was slow and gradual. In the course of this progress it affected various names and rituals, many of which have not been handed down to us. Evidently it was convivial and gallant in its nature, and at first seems to have been only an imitation of Freemasonry, inasmuch as that it was a secret society, having a form of initiation and modes of recognition. A specimen of one or two of these associations of women may be interesting.

One of the earliest of these societies was that which was established in the year 1743, at Paris, under the name of the Ordre des Félicitaires, which we might very appropriately translate as the Order of Happy Folks.

The vocabulary and all the emblems of the order were nautical. The sisters made symbolically a voyage from the island of Felicity, in ships navigated by the brethren. There were four degrees, namely, those of Cabin-boy, Captain, Commodore, and Vice-Admiral, and the Grand Master, or presiding officer, was called the Admiral. Out of this society there sprang, in 1745, another, which was called the Knights and Ladies of the Anchor, which is said to have been somewhat more refined in its character, although for the most part it preserved the same formulary of reception.

Two years afterward, in 1747, the Chevalier Beauchaine, a very zealous Masonic adventurer, and the Master for life of a Parisian Lodge, instituted an androgynous society, or system of men and women, under the name of the Ordre des Fendeurs, or the Order of Wood-Cutters, whose ceremonies were borrowed from those of the well-known political society of the Carbonari. All parts of the ritual had a reference to the sylvan vocation of wood-cutting, just as that of the Carbonari referred to coal-burning. The place of meeting was called a wood-yard, and was supposed to be situated in a forest; the presiding officer was styled Pére Maître, which might be idiomatically interpreted as Goodman Maser; and the members were designated as cousins, a practice evidently borrowed from the Carbonari.

The reunions of the Wood-Cutters enjoyed the prestige of the highest fashion in Paris; and the society became so popular that ladies and gentlemen of the highest distinction in France united with it, and membership was considered an honor which no rank, however exalted, need disdain. It was consequently succeeded by the institution of many other and similar androgynous societies, the very names of which it would be tedious to enumerate (see Clavel’s History, pages lll-2).

Out of al1 these societies-which resembled Freemasonry only in their secrecy, their benevolence, and a sort of rude imitation of a symbolic ceremonial –at last arose the true Lodges of Adoption, which did far claimed a connection with and a dependence on Freemasonry as that Freemasons alone were admitted among their male members-a regulation which did not prevail in the earlier organizations.

It was about the middle of the eighteenth century that the Lodges of Adoption began to attract attention in France, whence they speedily spread into other countries of Europo-into Germany, Poland, and even Russia; England alone, always conservative to a faut, steadily refusing to take any cognizance of them.

The Freemasons, says Clavel in his History (page 112), embraced them with enthusiasm as a practicable means of giving to their wives and daughters some share of the pleasures which they themselves enjoyed in their mystical assemblies. This, at least, may be said of them, that they practiced with commendable fidelity and diligence the greatest of the Masonic virtues, and that the banquets and balls which always formed an important part of their ceremonial were distinguished by numerous acts of charity.

The first of these Lodges of which we have any notice was that established in Paris, in the year 1760, by the Count de Bemouville. Another was instituted at Nijmegen, in Holland, in 1774, over which the Prince of Waldeck and the Princess of Orange presided. In 1775 the Lodge of Saint Antoine, at Paris, organized a dependent Lodge of Adoption, of which the Duchess of Bourbon was installed as Grand Mistress and the Duke of Chartres, then Grand Master of French Freemasonry, conducted the business.

In 1777 there was an Adoptive Lodge of La Candeur, or Frankness, over which the Duchess of Bourbon presided, assisted by such noble ladies as the Duchess of Chartres, the Princess Lamballe, and the Marchioness de Genlis; and we hear of another governed by Madame Helvetius, the wife of the il1ustrious philosopher; so that it will be perceived that fashion, wealth, and literature combined to give splendor and influence to this new order of Female Freemasonry.

At first the Grand Orient of France appears to have been unfavorably disposed to these imitation pseudo Masonic and androgynous associations, but at length they became so numerous and so popular that a persistence in opposition would have evidently been impolitic, if it did not actually threaten to be fatal to the interests and permanence of the Masonic Institution. The Grand Orient, therefore, yielded its objections, and resolved to avail itself of that which it could not suppress. Accordingly, on the 10th of June, 1774, it issued an Edict by which it assumed the protection and control of the Lodges of Adoption. Rules and regulations were provided for their government, among which were two: first, that no males except regular Freemasons should be permitted to attend them; and, secondly, that each Lodge should be placed under the charge and held under the sanction of some regularly constituted Lodge of Freemasons, whose Master, or in his absence, his deputy, should be the presiding officer, assisted by a female President or Mistress; and such has since been the organization of al1 Lodges of Adoption.

A Lodge of Adoption, under the regulations established in 1774, consists of the following officers: Grand Master, a Grand Mistress, an Orator, dressed as a Capuchin or Franciscan monk, an Inspector, an Inspectress, a Male and Female Guardian, a Mistress of Ceremonies. All of these officers wear a blue watered ribbon over the shoulder, to which is suspended a golden trowel, and all the brothers and sisters have aprons and white gloves.

The Rite of Adoption consists of four Degrees, whose names in French and English are as follows :

  1. Apprentice, or Female Apprentice.
  2. Compagnonne, or Craftswoman.
  3. Maîtresse, or Mistress.
  4. Parfaite Maçonne, or Perfect Masoness.

It will be seen that the Degrees of Adoption, in their names and their apparent reference to the gradations of employment in an operative art, are assimilated to those of legitimate Freemasonry; but it is in those respects only that the resemblance holds good. In the details of the ritual there is a vast difference between the two Institutions.

There was a Fifth Degree added in1817-by some modern writers called Female elect-Sublime Dame Ecossaise, or Sovereign I1ustrious Scottish Dame, but it seems to be a recent and not generally adopted innovation. At all events, it constituted no part of the original Rite of Adoption. The First, or Female Apprentice’s Degree, is simply preliminary in its character, and is intended to prepare the Candidate for the more important lessons which she is to receive in the succeeding Degrees. She is presented with an apron and a pair of white kid gloves. The apron is given with the following charge, in which, as in all the other ceremonies of the Order, the Masonic system of teaching by symbolism is followed:

“Permit me to decorate you with this apron, kings, princes, and the most illustrious princesses have esteemed, and will ever esteem it an honor to wear it, as being the symbol of virtue.”

On receiving the gloves, the candidate is thus addressed:

“The color of these gloves will admonish you that candor and truth are virtues inseparable from the character of a true Freemason. Take your place among us, and be pleased to listen to the instructions which we are about to communicate to you.”

The following Charge is then addressed to the members by the Orator.

”MY DEAR SISTERS Nothing is better calculated to assure you of the high esteem our society entertains for you, than your admission as a member. The common herd, always unmannerly, full of the most ridiculous prejudices, has dared to sprinkle on us the black poison of calumny; but what judgment could it form when deprived of the light of truth, and unable to feel all the blessings which result from its perfect knowledge? You alone, my dear sisters, having been repulsed from our meetings, would have the right to think us unjust; but with what satisfaction do you learn to-day that Freemasonry is the school of propriety and of virtue, and that by its laws we restrain the weaknesses that degrade an honorable man, in order to return to your side more worthy of your confidence and of your sincerity. However, whatever pleasure these sentiments have enabled us to taste, we have not been able to fill the void that your absence left in our midst ; and I confess, to your glory, that it was time to invite into our societies some sisters who, while rendering them more respectable will ever make of them pleasures and delights. We call our Lodges Temples of Virtue, because we endeavor to practice it. The mysteries which we celebrate therein are the grand art of conquering the passions and the oath that we take to reveal nothing is to prevent self-love and pride from entering at all into the good which we ought to do. The beloved name of Adoption tells you sufficiently that we choose you to share the happiness that we enjoy, in cultivating honor and charity. It is only after a careful examination that we have wished to share it with you. Now that you know it we are convinced that the light of wisdom will illumine all the actions of your life, and that you will never forget that the more valuable things are the greater is the need to preserve them. It is the principle of silence that we observe, it should be inviolable.

May the God of the Universe who hears us vouchsafe to give us strength to render it so.” Throughout this Charge it will be seen that there runs a vein of gallantry, which gives the true secret of the motives which led to the organization of the society, and which, however appropriate to a Lodge of Adoption, would scarcely be in place in a Lodge of the legitimate Order.
In the Second Degree, or that of Compagnonne, or Craftswoman, corresponding to our Fellow Craft, the Lodge is made the symbol of the Garden of Eden, and the candidate passes through a mimic representation of the temptation of Eve, the fatal effects of which, culminating in the deluge and the destruction of the human race, are impressed upon her in the lecture or catechism.

Here we have a scenic representation of the circumstances connected with that event, as recorded in Genesis. The candidate plays the part of our common mother. In the center of the Lodge, which represents the garden, is placed the tree of life, from which ruddy apples are suspended. The serpent, made with theatrical skill to represent a living reptile, embraces in its coils the trunk. An apple plucked from the tree is presented to the recipient, who is persuaded to eat it by the promise that thus alone can she prepare herself for receiving a knowledge of the sublime mysteries of Freemasonry. She receives the fruit from the tempter, but no sooner has she attempted to bite it, than she is startled by the sound of thunder; a curtain which has separated her from the members of the Lodge is suddenly withdrawn, and she is detected in the commission of the act of disobedience. She is sharply reprimanded by the Orator, who conducts her before the Grand Master.

This dignitary reproaches her with her fault, but finally, With the consent of the Brethren and sisters Present, he pardons her in the merciful spirit of the Institution, on the condition that she will take a vow to extend hereafter the same clemency to others.

All of this is allegorical and very pretty, and it cannot be denied that on the sensitive imaginations of females such ceremonies must produce a manifest impression. But it is needless to say that it is nothing like Freemasonry.

There is less ceremony, but more symbolism, in the Third Degree, or that of Mistress. Here are introduced, as parts of the ceremony, the tower of Babel and the theological ladder of Jacob. Its rounds, however, differ from those peculiar to true Freemasonry, and are said to equal the virtues in number. The lecture or catechism is very long, and contains some very good points in its explanations of the symbols of the degree. Thus, the tower of Babel is said. to signify the pride of man-its base, his folly-the stones of which it was composed, his passions—the cement which united them, the poison of discord-and its spiral form, the devious and crooked ways of the human heart. In this manner there is an imitation, not of the letter and substance of legitimate Freemasonry, for nothing can in these respects be more dissimilar, but of that mode of teaching by symbols and allegories which is its peculiar characteristic.

The Fourth Degree, or that of Perfect Masoness, corresponds to no Degree in legitimate Freemasonry.

It is simply the summit of the Bite of Adoption, and hence is also called the Degree of Perfection. Although the Lodge, in this , is supposed to represent the Mosaic tabernacle in the wilderness, yet the ceremonies do not have the same reference. In one of them, however, the liberation, by the candidate, of a bird from the vase in which it had been confined is said to symbolize the liberation of man from the dominion of his passions; and thus a far-fetched reference is made to the liberation of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. On the whole, the ceremonies are unrelated, they are disconnected, but the lecture or catechism contains some excellent lessons. Especially does it furnish us with the official definition of Adoptive Freemasonry, which is in these words.

It is a virtuous amusement by which we recall a part of the mysteries of our religion; and the better to reconcile humanity with the knowledge of its Creator, after we have inculcated the duties of virtue, we deliver ourselves up to the sentiments of a pure and delightful friendship by enjoying in our Lodges the pleasures of society-pleasures which among us are always founded on reason, honor, and innocence.

Apt and appropriate description is this of an association, secret or otherwise, of agreeable and virtuous well-bred men and women, but having not the slightest application to the design or form of true Freemasonry.

Guillemain de Saint Victor, the author of Manuel des Franches-Maçonnes, on La Vraie Maçonnerie d’Adoption, meaning Handbook of the Women Freemasons or the True Freemasonry of Adoption, which forms the third part of the Recueil Précieux, or Choice Collection, who has given the best ritual of the Rite and from whom the preceding account has been taken, thus briefly sums up the objects of the Institution :

“The First Degree contains only, as it ought, moral ideas of Freemasonry ; the Second Degree is the initiation into the first mysteries, commencing with the sin of Adam, and concluding with the Ark of Noah as the first favor which God granted to men ; the Third and Fourth Degrees are merely a series of types and figures drawn from the Holy Scriptures, by which we explain to the candidate the virtues which she ought to practice” (see page 13, edition 1785).

The Fourth Degree, being the summit of the Rite of Adoption, is furnished with a Table Lodge, or the ceremony of a banquet, which immediately succeeds the dosing of the Lodge, and which, of course, adds much to the social pleasure and nothing to the instructive character of the Rite.

Here, also, there is a continued imitation of the ceremonies of the Masonic Institution as they are practiced in France, where the ceremoniously conducted banquet, at which Freemasons only are present, is always an accompaniment of the Master’s Lodge. Thus, as in the banquets of the regular Lodges of the French Rite, the members always use a symbolical language by which they designate the various implements of the table and the different articles of food and drink, calling, for instance, the knives swords, the forks pickaxes, the dishes materials, and bread a rough ashlar (see Clavel’s History, page 30).

In imitation of this custom, the Rite of Adoption has established in its banquets a technical vocabulary, to be used only at the table. Thus the Lodge room is called Eden, the doors barriers, the minutes a ladder, a wineglass is styled a lamp, and its contents oil-water being white oil and wine red oil. To fill your glass is te trim your lamp, to drink is to extinguish your lamp, with many other eccentric expressions (Clavel’s History, page 34).

Much taste, and in some instances, magnificence, are displayed in the decorations of the Lodge rooms of the Adoptive Rite. The apartment is separated by curtains into different divisions, and contains ornaments and decorations which of course vary in the different degrees.

The orthodox: Masonic idea that the Lodge is a symbol of the world is here retained, and the four sides of the hall are said to represent the four continents-the entrance being called Europe, the right side Africa, the left America, and the extremity, in which the Grand Master and Grand Mistress are seated, Asia. There are statues representing Wisdom, Prudence, Strength, Temperance, Honor, Charity, Justice, and Truth. The members are seated along the sides in two rows, the ladies occupying the front one, and the whole is rendered as beautiful and attractive as the taste can make it (Recueil Précieuz, page 24).

The Lodges of Adoption flourished greatly in France after their recognition by the Grand Orient. The Duchess of Bourbon, who was the first that received the title of Grand Mistress, was installed with great pomp and splendor, in May, 1775, in the Lodge of Saint Antoine, in Paris. She presided over the Adoptive Lodge La Candeur until 1780, when it was dissolved. Attached to the celebrated Lodge of the Nine Sisters, which had so many distinguished men of letters among its members, was a Lodge of Adoption bearing the same name, which in 1778 held a meeting at the residence of Madame Helvetius in honor of Benjamin Franklin then American ambassador at the French court.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, Lodges of Adoption, like everything that was gentle or humane, almost entirely disappeared. But with the accession of a regular government they were resuscitated, and the Empress Josephine presided at the meeting of one at Strasburg in the year 1805. They continued to flourish under the imperial dynasty, and although less popular, or less fashionable, under the Restoration, they, subsequently recovered their popularity, and are still in existence in France .

As interesting additions to this article, it may not be improper to insert two accounts, one, of the installation of Madame Cesar Moreau, as Grand Mistress of Adoptive Masonry, in the Lodge connected with the regular Lodge La Jarusalem des Vallées Egyptiennes, on the 8th of July, 1854, and the other, of the reception of the celebrated Lady Morgan, in 1819, in the Lodge La Belle et Bonne, meaning-the Beautiful and Good, as described in her Diary.

The account of the Installation of Madame Moreau, which is abridged from the Franc-Maçon, a Parisian periodical, is as follows :

The fête was most interesting and admirably arranged. After the introduction in due form of a number of brethren and sisters, the Grand Mistress elect was announced, and she entered, preceded by the Five Lights of the Lodge and escorted by the Inspectress, Depositress, Oratrix, and Mistress of Ceremonies. M. J. S. Boubee, the Master of the Lodge La Jerusalem des Vallées Egyptiennes, conducted her to the altar, where, having installed her into office and handed her a mallet as the symbol of authority, he addressed her in a copy of verses, whose merit will hardly claim for them a repetition. To this she made a suitable reply, and the Lodge then proceeded to the reception of a young lady, a part of the ceremony of which is thus described:

Of the various trials of Virtue and fortitude to which she was subjected, there was one which made a deep impression, not only on the fair recipient, but on the whole assembled company. Four boxes were placed, one before each of the male officers.

The candidate was told to open them, which she did, and from the first and second drew faded flowers, and soiled ribbons and laces, which being placed in an open vessel were instantly consumed by fire, as an emblem of the brief duration of such objects.

From the third she drew an apron, a blue silk scarf, and a pair of gloves, and from the fourth a basket containing the working tools in silver gilt. She was then conducted to the altar, where, on opening a fifth box, several birds which had been confined in it escaped, which was intended to teach her that liberty is a condition to which all men are entitled, and of which no one can be deprived without injustice. After having taken the vow, she was instructed in the modes of recognition, and having been clothed with the apron, scarf, and gloves, and presented with the implements of the Order, she received from the Grand Mistress an esoteric explanation of all these emblems and ceremonies. Addresses were subsequently delivered by the Orator and Oratrix, an ode was sung, the poor or alms box was handed round, and the labors of the Lodge were then closed.

Madame Moreau lived only six months to enjoy the honors of presiding officer of the Adoptive Rite, for she died of a pulmonary affection at an early age, on the eleventh of the succeeding January.

The Lodge of Adoption in which Lady Morgan received the degrees at Paris, in the year 1819, was called La Belle et Bonne or the Beautiful and Good. This was the pet name which long before had been bestowed by Voltaire on his favorite, the Marchioness de Villette, under whose presidency and at whose residence in the Faubourg St. Germain the Lodge was held. Hence the name with which all France, or at least all Paris, was familiarly acquainted as the popular designation of Madame de Villette (see Clavel’s History, page 114).

Lady Morgan, in her description of the Masonic fête, says that when she arrived at the Hotel la Villette, where the Lodge was held, she found a large concourse of distinguished persons ready to take part in the ceremonies. Among these were Prince Paul of Wurtemberg, the Count de Cazes, elsewhere distinguished in Freemasonry, the celebrated Denon, the Bishop of Jerusalem, and the illustrious actor Talma.

The business of the evening commenced with an installation of the officers of a sister Lodge, after which the candidates were admitted.

Lady Morgan describes the arrangements as presenting, when the doors were opened, a spectacle of great magnificence.

A profusion of crimson and gold, marble busts, a decorated throne and altar, an abundance of flowers, and incense of the finest odor which filled the air, gave to the whole a most dramatic and scenic effect. Music of the grandest character mingled its harmony with the mysteries of initiation, which lasted for two hours, and when the Lodge was closed there was an adjournment to the hall of refreshment, where the ball was opened by the Grand Mistress with Prince Paul of Wurtemberg.

Lady Morgan, upon whose mind the ceremony appears to have made an impression, makes one remark worthy of consideration: “That so many women,” she says, “young and beautiful and worldly, should never have revealed the secret, is among the miracles which the much distrusted sex are capable of working.” In fidelity to the Vow of Secrecy, the Female Freemasons of the Adoptive Rite have proved themselves fully equal to their brethren of the legitimate Order.

Notwithstanding that Adoptive Freemasonry has found an advocate in no less distinguished a writer than Chemin Dupontés, who, in the Encyclopédie Maçonnique, calls it “a luxury in Freemasonry, and a pleasant relaxation which cannot do any harm to the true mysteries which are practiced by men alone,” it has been very generally condemned by the most celebrated of French, German, English, and American Freemasons. Chemin Dupontés, by the way, published in 1819-25 his Encyclopédie Maçonnique or Masonic Encyclopedia at Paris in four volumes. Gaedicke, in the Freimaurer Lezicon, or Dictionary for the Freemason, speaks lightly of it as established on insufficient grounds, and expresses his gratification that the system no longer exists in Germany.

Thory, in his History of the Foundation of the Grand Orient (page 361), says that the introduction of Adoptive Lodges was a consequence of the relaxation of Masonic discipline; and he asserts that the permitting of women to share in mysteries which should exclusively belong to men. is not in accordance with the essential principles of the Masonic Order. The Abbé Robin, the author of an able work entitled Recherches sur les initiations, Anciennes et Modernes, or Inquiries upon Ancient and Modern initiations, maintains on Page 15 that the custom of admitting women into Masonic assemblies will perhaps be, at some future period, the cause of the decline of Freemasonry in France. The prediction is not, however, likely to come to pass; for while legitimate Freemasonry has never been more popular or prosperous in France than it is at this day, it is the Lodges of Adoption that appear to have declined.

Other writers in various countries have spoken in similar terms, so that it is beyond a doubt that the general sentiment of the Fraternity is against this system of Female Freemasonry.
Lenning is however, more qualified in his condemnation, and says, in his Encycloadie der Freimaurerei, or Freemason’s Encyclopedia, that while leaving it undecided whether it is prudent to hold assemblies of women with ceremonies which are called Masonic, yet it is not to be denied that in these Lodges of women a large amount of charity has been done.

Adoptive Freemasonry has its literature, although neither extensive nor important, as it comprises only books of songs, addresses, and rituals. Of the latter the most valuable are:

  1. La Maçonnerie des Femmes, or Feminine Freemasonry, published in 1775, and containing only the first three degrees, for such was the system when recognized by the Grand Orient of France in that year.
  2. La Vraie Maçonnerie d’Adoption, or The True Freemasonry of Adoption, printed in 1787. This work, which is by Guillemain de Saint Victor, is perhaps the best that has been published on the subject of the Adoptive Rite, and is the first that introduces the Fourth Degree, of which Guillemain is supposed to have been the inventor, since all previous rituals include only the three degrees.
  3. Maçonnerie d’Adoption pour les Femmes, or The Freemasonry of Adoption for Women, contained in the second part of E. J. Chappron’s Necessaire Maçonnique, or Essential Freemasonry, and printed at Paris in 1817. This is valuable because it is the first ritual that contains the Fifth Degree.
  4. La Franc-Maçonnerie des Femmes, or The Freemasonry of Women. This work, which is by Charles Monselet, is of no value as a ritual, being simply a tale founded on circumstances connected with Adoptive Freemasonry.

In Italy, the Carbonari, or Wood Burners, a secret political society, imitated the Freemasons of France in instituting an Adoptive Rite, attached to their own association. Hence, an Adoptive Lodge was founded at Naples in the beginning of the nineteenth century, over which presided that friend of Freemasonry, Queen Caroline, the wife of Ferdinand II. The members were styled Giardiniere, or Female Gardeners ; and they called each other Cugine, or Female Cousins, in imitation of the Carbonari, who were recognized as Buoni Cugini, or Good Cousins. The Lodges of Giardiniere flourished as long as the Grand Lodge of Carbonari existed at Naples (see also Eastern Star, and Adoptive Freemasonry, American).

ADONIS, MYSTERIES OF

An investigation of the Mysteries of Adonis peculiarity claims the attention of the Masonic student. First, because, in their symbolism and in their esoteric doctrine, the religious object for which they were instituted, and the mode in which that object is attained they bear a nearer analogical resemblance to the Institution of Freemasonry than do any of the other mysteries or systems of initiation of the ancient world. Secondly, because their chief locality brings them into a very close connection with the early history and reputed origin of Freemasonry. These ceremonies were principally celebrated at Byblos, a city of Phoenicia, whose Scriptural name was Gebal, and whose inhabitants were the Giblites or Gebalites, who are referred to in the First Book of Kings (v; 18), as being the stone-squares employed by King Solomon in building the Temple (see Gebal and Giblin). Henee there must have evidently been a very intimate connection, or at least certainly a very frequent intercommunication, between the workmen of the first Temple and the inhabitants of Byblos, the seat of the Adonisian Mysteries, and the place whence the worshipers of that Rite were spread over other regions of country.

These historical circumstances invite us to an examination of the system of initiation which was practiced at Byblos, because we may find in it something that was probably suggestive of the symbolic system of instruction which was subsequently so prominent a feature in the system of Freemasonry.

Let us first examine the myth on which the Adonisiac initiation was founded. The mythological legend of Adonis is that he was the son of Myrrha and Cinyras, King of Cyprus. Adonis was possessed of such surpassing beauty, that Venus became enamored of him, and adopted him as her favorite. Subsequently Adonis, who was a great hunter, died from a wound inflicted by a wild boar on Mount Lebanon. Venus flew to the succor of her favorite, but she came too late Adonis was dead. On his descent to the infernal regions, Proserpine became, like Venus, so attracted by his beauty, that, notwithstanding the entreaties of the goddess of love, she refused to restore him to earth. At length the prayers of the desponding Venus were listened to with favor by Jupiter, who reconciled the dispute between the two goddesses, and by whose decree Proserpine was compelled to consent that Adonis should spend six months of each year alternately with herself and Venus.

This is the story on which the Greek poet Bion founded his exquisite idyll entitled the Epitaph of Adonis, the beginning of which has been thus rather inefficiently “done into English”:
I and the Loves Adonis dead deplore:

The beautiful Adonia is indeed
Departed, parted from us. Sleep no more
In purple, Cypris! but in watchet weed,
All’wretched! beat thy breast and all aread-
” Adonis is no more.” The Loves and I
Lament him. ” Oh! her grief to see him bleed,
Smitten by white tooth on whiter thigh,
Out-breathing life’s faint sigh upon the mountain high.”

It is evident that Bion referred the contest of Venus and Proserpine for Adonis to a period subsequent to his death, from the concluding lines, in which he says:

“The Muses, too, lament the son of Cinyras, and invoke him in their song; but he does not heed them, not because he does not wish, but because Proserpine will not release him.” This was, indeed, the favorite form of the myth, and on it was framed the symbolism of the ancient mystery. But there are other Grecian mythologies that relate the tale of Adonis differently. According to these, he was the product of the incestuous connection of Cinyras and his daughter Myrrha. Cinyras subsequently, on discovering the crime of his daughter, pursued her with a drawn sword, intending to kill her.

Myrrha entreated the gods to make her invisible, and they changed her into a myrrh tree. Ten months after the myrrh tree opened, and the young Adonis was born. This is the form of the myth that has been adopted by the poet Ovid, who gives it with all its moral horrors in the Tenth Book (lines 298-559) of his Metamorphoses.

Venus, who was delighted with the extraordinary beauty of the boy, put him in a coffer or chest, unknown to all the gods, and gave him to Proserpine to keep and to nurture in the under world. But Proserpine had no sooner beheld him than she became enamored of him and refused, when Venus applied for him, to surrender him to her rival. The subject was then referred to Jupiter, who decreed that Adonis should have one-third of the year to himself, should be another third with Venus, and the remainder of the time with Proserpine. Adonis gave his own portion to Venus, and lived happily with her till, having offended Diana, he was killed by a wild boar.

The mythographer Pharnutus gives a still different story, and says that Adonis was the grandson of Cinyras, and fled with his father, Ammon, into Egypt, whose people he civilized, taught them agriculture, and enacted many wise laws for their government. He subsequently passed over into Syria, and was wounded in the thigh by a wild boar while hunting on Mount Lebanon.

His wife, Isis, or Astarte, and the people of Phoenicia and Egypt, supposing that the wound was mortal, profoundly deplored his death. But he afterward recovered, and their grief was replaced by transports of joy.

All the myths, it wi1l be seen, agree in his actual or supposed death by violence, in the grief for his loss, in his recovery or restoration to life, and in the consequent joy thereon. On these facts are founded the Adonisian mysteries which were established in his honor.

While, therefore, we may grant the possibility that there was originally some connection between the Sabean worship of the sun and the celebration of the Adonisian festival, we cannot forget that these mysteries, in common with all the other sacred initiations of the ancient world, had been originally established to promulgate among the initiates the once hidden doctrine of a future life.

The myth of Adonis in Syria, like that of Osiris in Egypt, of Atys in Samothrace, or of Dionysus in Greece, presented, symbolically, the two great ideas of decay and restoration. This doctrine sometimes figured as darkness and light, sometimes as winter and summer, sometimes as death and life, but always maintaining, no matter what was the framework of the allegory, the inseparable ideas of something that was lost and afterward recovered, as its interpretation, and so teaching, as does Freemasonry at this day, by a similar system of allegorizing, that after the death of the body comes the eternal life of the soul. The inquiring Freemason will thus readily see the analogy in the symbolism that exists between Adonis in the Mysteries of the Gebalites at Byblos and Hiram the Builder in his own Institution.

ADOPTION MASONIC

The adoption by the Lodge of the child of a Freemason is practiced with peculiar ceremonies in some of the French and German Lodges, and has been introduced, but not with the general approval of the Craft, into one or two Lodges of this country.

Clavel, in his Histoire Pittoresque de la Franc-Maçonnerie, meaning in French The Picturesque History of Freemasonry (page 40, third edition), gives the following account of the ceremonies of Adoption :

“It is a custom, in many Lodges, when the wife of a Freemason is near the period of her confinement, for the Hospitaller, if he is a physician, and if not, for some other Brother who is, to visit her, inquire after her health, in the name of the Lodge, and to offer her his professional services, and even pecuniary aid if he thinks she needs it.

Nine days after the birth of her child, the Master and Wardens call upon her to congratulate her on the happy event. If the infant is a boy, a special communication of the Lodge is convened for the purpose of proceeding to its adoption.

The hall is decorated with flowers and foliage, and censers are prepared for burning incense. Before the commencement of labor, the child and its nurse are introduced into an anteroom. The Lodge is then opened, and the Wardens, who are to act as godfathers, repair to the infant at the head of a deputation of five Brethren. The chief of the deputation, then addressing the nurse, exhorts her not only to watch over the health of the child that has been intrusted to her care, but also to cultivate his youthful intellect, and to instruct him with truthful and sensible conversation. The child is then taken from the nurse, placed by its father upon a cushion, and carried by the deputation into the Lodge room. The procession advances beneath an arch of foliage to the pedestal of the east, where it halts while the Master and Senior Warden rehearse this dialogue: “‘Whom bring you here, my Brethren? says the Master to the godfathers.

“‘The son of one of our Brethren whom the Lodge is desirous of adopting, is the reply of the Senior Warden.

“‘What are his names, and what Masonic name will you give him?’

“The Warden replies, adding to the baptismal and surname of the child a characteristic name, such as Truth, Devotion, Benevolence, or some other of a similar nature.

“The Master then descends from his seat, approaches the Louveteau or Lewis, for such is the appellation given to the son of a Freemason, and extending his hands over its head, offers up a prayer that the child may render itself worthy of the love and care which the Lodge intends to bestow upon it.

He then casts incense into the censers, and pronounces the Apprentice’s obligation, which the godfathers repeat after him in the name of the Louveteau.

Afterwards he puts a white apron on the infant, proclaiming it to be the adopted child of the Lodge, and causes this proclamation to be received with honors.

“As soon as this ceremony has been performed, the Master returns to his seat, and having caused the Wardens with the child to be placed in front of the north column, he recounts to the former the duties which they have assumed as godfathers. After the Wardens have made a suitable response, the deputation which had brought the child into the Lodge room is again formed, carries it out, and restores it to its nurse in the anteroom.

“The adoption of a Louveteau binds all the members of the Lodge to watch over his education, and subsequently to aid him, if it be necessary, in establishing himself in life. A circumstantial account of the ceremony is drawn up, which having been signed by all the members is delivered to the father of the child.

This document serves as a Dispensation, which relieves him from the necessity of passing through the ordinary preliminary examinations when, at the proper age, he is desirous of participating in the labors of Freemasonry. He is then only required to renew his obligations.” Louveteau in French with Lewis in English, mean the same. Two meanings may be applied to each of the words in both countries. Among members of the trade as distinct from Brethren of the Craft, a Louveteau or Lewis means a wedge of iron or steel to support a stone when raising it, a chain or rope being attached to the wedge which grips a place cut for it in the stone.

The words Louveteau and Lewis are thus applied to sons of Freemasons as supports of their fathers.
In the United States, the ceremony has been practiced by a few Lodges, the earliest instance being that of Foyer Maçonnique Lodge of New Orleans, in 1859.

The Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, has published the ritual of Masonic Adoption for the use of the members of that Rite. This ritual under the title of offices of Masonic Baptism, Reception of a Louveleau and Adoption, is a very beautiful one, and is the composition of Brother Albert Pike. It is scarcely necessary to say that the word Baptism there used has not the slightest reference to the Christian sacrament of the same name (see Lewis).

ADOPTIVE FREEMASONRY, AMERICAN

The Rite of Adoption as practiced on the continent of Europe, and especially in France, has never been introduced into America. The system does not accord, with the manners or habits of the people, and undoubtedly never would become popular. But Rob Morris attempted, in 1855, to introduce an imitation of it, which he had invented under the name of the American Adoptive Rite. This consisted of a ceremony of initiation, which was intended as a preliminary trial of the candidate, and of five degrees, named as follows:

  1. Jephthah`s Daughter, or the Daughter’s Degree.
  2. Ruth, or the Widow’s Degree.
  3. Esther, or the Wife’s Degree.
  4. Martha or the Sister’s Degree.
  5. Electa, or the Christian Martyr’s Degree.

The whole assemblage of the five degrees was called the Eastern Star.

The objects of this Rite, as expressed by the framer, were “to associate in one common bond the worthy wives, widows, daughters, and sisters of Freemasons, so as to make their adoptive privileges available for all the purposes contemplated in Freemasonry; to secure to them the advantages of their claim in a moral, social, and charitable point of view, and from them the performance of corresponding duties.” Hence, no females but those holding the above recited relations to Freemasons were eligible for admission.

The male members were called Protectors; the female, Stellae; the reunions of these members were styled Constellations; and the Rite was presided over and governed by a Supreme Constellation. There is some ingenuity and even beauty in many of the ceremonies, although it is by no means equal in this respect to the French Adoptive system.

Much dissatisfaction was, however, expressed by the leading Freemasons of the country at the time of its attempted organization; and therefore, notwithstanding very strenuous efforts were made by its founder and his friends to establish it in some of the Western States, it was slow in winning popularity.

It has, however, gained much growth under the name of The Eastern Star. Brother Albert Pike has also printed, for the use of Scottish Rite Freemasons, The Masonry of Adoption.

It is in seven degrees, and is a translation from the French system, but greatly enlarged, and is far superior to the original.

The last phrase of this Female Freemasonry to which our attention is directed is the system of androgynous degrees which are practiced to some extent in the United States.

This term androgynous is derived from two Greek words, a man, and a woman, and it is equivalent to the English compound, masculo-feminine. It is applied to those side degrees which are conferred on both males and females.

The essential regulation prevailing in these degrees, is that they can be conferred only on Master Masons, and in some instances only on Royal Arch Masons, and on their female relatives, the peculiar relationship differing in the various degrees.

Thus there is a degree generally called the Mason’s Wife, which can be conferred only on Master Masons, their wives, unmarried daughters and sisters, and their widowed mothers. Another degree, called the Heroine of Jericho, is conferred only on the wives and daughters of Royal Arch Masons; and the third, the only one that has much pretension of ceremony or ritual, is the Good Samaritan, whose privileges are confined to Royal Arch Masons and their wives.

In some parts of the United States these degrees are very popular, while in other places they are never practiced, and are strongly condemned as modern innovations.

The fact is, that by their friends as well as their enemies these so-called degrees have been greatly misrepresented. When females are told that in receiving these degrees they are admitted into the Masonic Order, and are obtaining Masonic information, under the name of Ladies’ Freemasonry, they are simply deceived. When a woman is informed that, by passing through the brief and unimpressive ceremony of any one of these degrees, she has become a Freemason, the deception is still more gross and inexcusable. But it is true that every woman who is related by ties of consanguinity to a Master Mason is at all times and under all circumstances peculiarly entitled to Masonic protection and assistance.

Now, if the recipient of an androgynous degree is candidly instructed that, by the use of these degrees, the female relatives of Freemasons are put in possession of the means of making their claims known by what may be called a sort of oral testimony, which, unlike a written certificate, can be neither lost nor destroyed; but that, by her initiation as a Mason’s Wife or as a Heroine of Jericho, she is brought no nearer to the inner portal of Freemasonry than she was before—if she is honestly told all this, then there can hardly be any harm, and there may be some good in these forms if prudently bestowed. But all attempts to make Freemasonry of them, and especially that anomalous thing called Female Freemasonry, are reprehensible, and are well calculated to produce opposition among the well-informed and cautious members of the Fraternity.

ADOPTIVE FREEMASONRY, EGYPTIAN

A system invented by Cagliostro (see Cagliostro).

ADORATION

The act of paying divine worship. The Latin word adorare is derived from ad, to, and os, oris, the mouth, and we thus etymologically learn that the primitive and most general method of adoration was by the application of the fingers to the mouth.

Hence we read in Job (xxxi, 26). “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand, this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judges; for I should have denied the God that is above.” Here the mouth kissing the hand is equal in meaning and force to adoration, as if he had said, If I have adored the sun or the moon.

This mode of adoration is said to have originated among the Persians, who, as worshipers of the sun, always turned their faces to the east and kissed their hands to that luminary. The gesture was first used as a token of respect to their monarchs, and was easily transferred to objects of worship. Other additional forms of adoration were used in various countries, but in almost all of them this reference to kissing was in some degree preserved.

It is yet a practice of quite common usage for Orientals to kiss what they deem sacred or that which they wish to adore—as, for example, Wailing Place of the Jews at Jerusalem, the nearest wall to the Temple where they were permitted by the Mahommedans to approach and on which their tears and kisses were affectionately bestowed before the British General Allenby, took possession of the city in the World War and equalized the rights of the inhabitants.

The marble toes of the statue of Saint Peter in the Cathedral of Saint Peter’s at Rome have been worn away by the kissings of Roman Catholics and have been replaced by bronze.

Among the ancient Romans the act of adoration was thus performed: The worshiper, having his head covered, applied his right hand to his lips, thumb erect, and the forefinger resting on it, and then, bowing his head, he turned round from right to left. Hence, Lucius Apuleius, a Roman author, born in the first century, in his Apologia sive oratio de magia, a defense against the charge of witchcraft, uses the expression to apply the hand to the lips, manum labris admovere, to express the act of adoration.

The Grecian mode of adoration differed from the Roman in having the head uncovered, which practice was adopted by the Christians. The Oriental nations cover the head, but uncover the feet.

They also express the act of adoration by prostrating themselves on their faces and applying their foreheads to the ground.

The ancient Jews adored by kneeling, sometimes by prostration of the whole body, and by kissing the hand. This act, therefore, of kissing the hand was an early and a very general symbol of adoration.

But we must not be led into the error of supposing that a somewhat similar gesture used in some of the high degrees of Freemasonry has any allusion to an act of worship. It refers to that symbol of silence and secrecy which is figured in the statues of Harpocrates, the god of silence.

The Masonic idea of adoration has been well depicted by the medieval Christian painters, who represented the act by angels prostrated before a luminous triangle.

ADVANCED

This word has two technical meanings in Freemasonry.

  1. We speak of a candidate as being advanced when he has passed from a lower to a higher degree; as we say that a candidate is qualified for advancement from the Entered Apprentice Degree to that of a Fellow Craft when he has made that “suitable proficiency in the former which, by the regulations of the Order, entitle him to receive the initiation into and the instructions of the latter.” When the Apprentice has thus been promoted to the Second Degree he is said to have advanced in Freemasonry.
  2. However, this use of the term is by no means universal, and the word is peculiarly applied to the initiation of a candidate into the Mark Degree, which is the fourth in the modification of the American Rite.

The Master Mason is thus said to be “advanced to the honorary degree of a Mark Master,” to indicate either that he has now been promoted one step beyond the degrees of Ancient Craft Freemasonry on his way to the Royal Arch, or to express the fact that he has been elevated from the common class of Fellow Crafts to that higher and more select one which, according to the traditions of Freemasonry, constituted, at the first Temple, the class of Mark Masters (see Mark Master).

ADVANCEMENT HURRIED

Nothing can be more certain than that the proper qualifications of a Candidate for admission into the mysteries of Freemasonry, and the necessary proficiency of a Freemason who seeks advancement to a higher degree, are the two great bulwarks which are to protect the purity and integrity of our Institution. Indeed, we know not which is the more hurtful-to admit an applicant who is Unworthy, or to promote a candidate who is ignorant of his first lessons. The one affects the externa1, the other the internal character of the Institution. The one brings discredit upon the Order among the profane, who already regard us, too often, with suspicion and dislike; the other introduces ignorance and incapacity into our ranks, and dishonors the science of freemasonry in our own eyes. The one covers our walls with imperfect and worthless stones, which mar the outward beauty and impair the strength of our temple the other fills our interior apartments with confusion and disorder, and leaves the edifice, though externally strong, both inefficient and inappropriate for its destined uses.

But, to the candidate himself, a too hurried advancement is often attended with the most disastrous effects. As in geometry, so in Freemasonry, there is no royal road to perfection. A knowledge of its principles and its science, and consequently an acquaintance with its beauties, can only be acquired by long and diligent study. To the careless observer it seldom offers, at a hasty glance, much to attract his attention or secure his interest. The gold must be deprived, by careful manipulation, of the dark and worthless ore which surrounds and envelops it, before its metallic luster and value can be seen and appreciated.

Hence, the candidate who hurriedly passes through his degrees without a due examination of the moral and intellectual purposes of each, arrives at the summit of our edifice without a due and necessary appreciation of the general symmetry and connection that pervade the whole system. The candidate, thus hurried through the elements of our science, and unprepared, by a knowledge of its fundamental principles, for the reception and comprehension of the corollaries which are to be deduced from them, is apt to view the whole system as a rude and undigested mass of frivolous ceremonies and puerile conceits, whose intrinsic value will not adequately pay him for the time, the trouble, and expense that he has incurred in his forced initiation. To him, Freemasonry is as incomprehensible as was the veiled statue of Isis to its blind worshipers, and he becomes, in consequence, either a useless drone in our hive, or speedily retire in disgust from all participation in our labors.

But the candidate who by slow and painful steps has proceeded through each apartment of our mystic Temple, from its porch to its sanctuary, pausing in his progress to admire the beauties and to study the uses of each, learning, as he advances, line upon line, and precept upon precept, is gradually and almost imperceptibly imbued with so much admiration of the Institution, so much love for its principles, so much just appreciation of its design as a conservator of divine truth, and an agent of human civilization, that he is inclined, on beholding, at last, the whole beauty of the finished building, to exclaim, as did the wondering Queen of Sheba: ”A Most Excellent Master must have done all this!”

The usage in many jurisdictions of the United States, when the question is asked in the ritual whether the candidate has made suitable proficiency in his preceding degree, is to reply, ”Such as time and circumstances would permit.” We have no doubt that this was an innovation originally invented to evade the law, which has always required a due proficiency. To such a question no other answer ought to be given than the positive and unequivocal one that “He has.” Neither lime nor circumstances of candidate should be permitted to interfere with his attainment of the necessary knowledge, nor excuse its absence. This, with the wholesome rule, very generally existing, which requires an interval between the conferring of the degrees, would go far to remedy the evil of too hurried and unqualified advancement of which all intelligent Freemasons are now complaining.

After these views of the necessity of a careful examination of the claims of a candidate for advancement in Freemasonry, and the necessity, for his own good as well as that of the Order, that each one should fully prepare himself for this promotion, it is proper that we should next inquire into the laws of Freemasonry, by which the wisdom and experience of our predecessors have thought proper to guard as well the rights of those who claim advancement as the interests of the Lodge which is called upon to grant it. This subject has been so fully treated in Mackey’s Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence that we shall not hesitate to incorporate the views in that work into the present article.

The subject of the petition of a candidate for advancement involves three questions of great importance: First, how soon, after receiving the First Degree, can he apply for the Second? Second, what number of black balls is necessary to constitute a rejection? Third, what time must elapse, after a first rejection, before the Apprentice can renew his application for advancement?

  1. How soon, after receiving a former degree, can a candidate apply for advancement to the next? The necessity of a full comprehension of the mysteries of one degree, before any attempt is made to acquire those of a second, seems to have been thoroughly appreciated from the earliest times; thus the Thirteenth Article in the Regius Manuscript, which is the oldest Masonic document now extant, provides that “if the master a prentice have, he shall teach him thoroughly and tell him measurable points, that he may know the Craft ably, wherever he goes under the sun. ” Similar direction is found in most all the Manuscripts. But if there be an obligation on the part of the Master to instruct his Apprentice, there must be, of course, a correlative obligation on the part of the latter to receive and profit by those instructions. Accordingly, unless this obligation is discharged, and the Apprentice makes himself acquainted with the mysteries of the degree that he has already received, it is, by general consent, admitted that he has no right to be entrusted with further and more important information. The modern ritual sustains this doctrine, by requiring that the candidate, as a qualification in passing onward, shall have made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree. This is all that the general law prescribes. Suitable proficiency must have been attained, and the period in which that condition will be acquired must necessarily depend on the mental capacity of the candidate. Some men will become proficient in a shorter time than others, and of this fact the Master and the Lodge are to be the judges.An examination should therefore take place in open Lodge, and a ballot immediately following will express the opinion of the Lodge on the result of that examination, and the qualification of the candidate. Such ballot, however, is not usual in Lodges under the English Constitution.Several modern Grand Lodges, looking with disapprobation on the rapidity with which the degrees are sometimes conferred upon candidates wholly incompetent, have adopted special regulations, prescribing a determinate period of probation for each degree. Thus the Grand Lodge of England requires an interval of not less than four weeks before a higher degree can be conferred. This, however, is a local law, to be obeyed only in those jurisdictions in which it is in force. The general law of Freemasonry makes no such determinate provision of time, and demands only that the candidate shall give evidence of suitable proficiency.
  2. What number of black balls is necessary to constitute a rejection ? Here we are entirely without the guidance of any express law, as all the Ancient Constitutions are completely silent upon the subject. It would seem, however, that in the advancement of an Apprentice or Fellow Craft, as well as in the election of a profane, the ballot should be unanimous. This is strictly in accordance with the principles of Freemasonry, which require unanimity in admission, lest improper persons be intruded, and harmony impaired. Greater qualifications are certainly not required of a profane applying for initiation than of an initiate seeking advancement; nor can there be any reason why the test of those qualifications should not be as rigid in the one case as in the other. It may be laid down as a rule, therefore, that in all cases of balloting for advancement in any of the degrees of Freemasonry, a single black ball will reject.
  3. What time must elapse, after a first rejection, before the Apprentice or Fellow Craft can renew his application for advancement to a higher degree ? Here, too, the Ancient Constitutions are silent, and we are left to deduce our opinions from the general principles and analogies of Masonic law. As the application for advancement to a higher degree is founded on a right enuring to the Apprentice or Fellow Craft by virtue of his reception into the previous degree—that is to say, as the Apprentice, so soon as he has been initiated, becomes invested with the right of applying for advancement to the Second Degree—it seems evident that, as long as he remains an Apprentice in good standing, he continues to be invested with that right.

Now, the rejection of his petition for advancement by the Lodge does not impair his right to apply again, because it does not affect his rights and standing as an Apprentice; it is simply the expression of the opinion that the Lodge does not at present deem him qualified for further progress in Freemasonry.

We must never forget the difference between the right of applying for advancement and the right of advancement. Every Apprentice possesses the former, but no one can claim the latter until it is given to him by the unanimous vote of the Lodge. As, therefore, this right of application or petition is not impaired by its rejection at a particular time, and as the Apprentice remains precisely in the same position in his own degree, after the rejection, as he did before, it seems to follow, as an irresistible deduction, that he may again apply at the next regular communication, and, if a second time rejected, repeat his applications at all future meetings. The Entered Apprentices of a Lodge are competent, at all regular communications of their Lodge, to petition for advancement. Whether that petition shall be granted or rejected is quite another thing, and depends altogether on the favor of the Lodge. What is here said of an Apprentice, in relation tn advancement to the Second Degree, may be equally said of a Fellow Craft in reference to advancement to the Third Degree.

This opinion has not, it is true, been universally adopted, though no force of authority, short of an opposing landmark, could make one doubt its correctness. For instance, the Grand Lodge of California decided, in 1857, that “the application of Apprentices or Fellow Crafts for advancement should, after they have been once rejected by ballot, be governed by the same principles which regulate the ballot on petitions for initiation, and which require a probation of one year.” Brother Mackey commented on this action as follows:

“This appears to be a singular decision of Masonic law. If the reasons which prevent the advancement of an Apprentice or Fellow Craft to a higher degree are of such a nature as to warrant the delay of one year, it is far better to prefer charges against the petitioner, and to give him the opportunity of a fair and impartial trial. In many cases a candidate for advancement is retarded in his progress from an opinion, on the part of the Lodge, that he is not yet sufficiently prepared for promotion by a knowledge of the preceding degree —an objection which may sometimes be removed before the recurrence of the next monthly meeting.

In such a case, a decision like that of the Grand Lodge of California would be productive of manifest injustice. It is, therefore, a more consistent rule, that the candidate for advancement has a right to apply at every regular meeting, and that whenever any moral objections exist to his taking a higher degree, these objections should be made in the form of charges, and their truth tested by an impartia1 trial. To this, too, the candidate is undoubtedly entitled, on all the principles of justice and equity.”

ADYTUM

The most retired and secret part of the ancient temples, into which the people were not permitted to enter, but which was accessible to the priests only, was called the adytum. Hence the derivation of the word from the Greek privative prefix a, and, to enter = that which is not to be entered. In the adytum was generally to be found a or tomb, or some relics or sacred images of the god to whom the temple was consecrated. It being supposed that temples owed their origin to the superstitious reverence paid by the ancients to their deceased friends, and as most of the gods were men who had been deified on account of their virtues, temples were, Perhaps, at first only stately monuments erected in honor of the dead. Thus the interior of the temple was originally nothing more than a cavity regarded as a Place for the reception of a person interred, and in it was to be found the ‚or coffin, the T…os, or tomb, or, among the Scandinavians, the barrow or mound grave. In time, the statue or image of a god took the place of the coffin; but the reverence for the spot as one of peculiar sanctity remained, and this interior part of the temple became, among the Greeks, the ….or Chapel, among the Romans the adytum, or forbidden place, and among the Jews the kodesh hakodashim, the Holy of Holies (see Holy of Holies). “The sanctity thus acquired, ” says Dudley ( Naology, page 393 ), “by the Cell of interment might readily and with propriety be assigned to any fabric capable of containing the body of the departed friend, or the relic, or even the symbol, of the presence or existence of a divine personage.” Thus it has happened that there was in every ancient temple an adytum or most holy place.

The adytum of the small temple of Pompeii is still in excellent preservation. It is carried some steps above the level of the main building, and, like the Jewish sanctuary, is without light.

AENEID

Bishop Warburton (Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated) has contended, and his opinion has been sustained by the great majority of subsequent commentators, that Vergil, in the Sixth Book of his immortal epic, has, under the figure of the descent of Aeneas into the infernal regions, described the ceremony of initiation into the Ancient Mysteries.

An equally noteworthy allusion is to be found in the Third Book of the Aeneid by Vergil. Here the hero, Aeneas, by means of a message given to him by the uprooting of a plant on the hillside, discovers the grave of a lost prince. A free translation is given as follows of this interesting story by the ancient Roman poet:

“Near at hand there chanced to be sloping ground crested by trees and with a myrtle rough with spear like branches. Unto it I came. There I strove to tear from the earth its forest growth of foliage that the altars I might cover with the leafy boughs. But at that I saw a dreadful wonder, marvelous to tell.

That tree when torn from the soil, as its rooted fibers were wrenched asunder, distilled black blood in drops and gore smeared the ground. My limbs shook with cold terror and the chill veins froze with fear.

“Again I essayed to tear off one slender branch from another and thus thoroughly search for the hidden cause. From the bark of that bough there descended purpled blood. Awaking in my mind many an anxious thought, I reverently beseeched the rural divinities and father Mars, who presides over these Thracian territories, to kindly bless the vision and divert the evil of the omen. So a third time I grasped the boughs with greater vigor and on my knees struggled again with the opposing ground. Then I heard a piteous groan from the depths of the hill and unto mine ears there issued forth a voice :

“‘Aeneas, why dost thou strive with an unhappy wretch? Now that I am in my grave spare me. Forbear with guilt to pollute thy pious hands. To you Troy brought me forth no stranger. Oh, flee this barbarous land, flee the greedy shore. Polydore am I. Here an iron crop of darts hath me overwhelmed, transfixed, and over me shoots up pointed javelins.’

“Then indeed, depressed with perplexing fear at heart, was I stunned. On end stood my hair, to my jaws clung my tongue. This Polydore unhappy Priam formerly had sent in secrecy with a great weight of gold to be stored safely with the King of Thrace when Priam began to distrust the arms of Troy and saw the city blocked up by close siege.

The King of Thrace, as soon as the power of the Trojans was crushed and gone their fortune, broke every sacred bond, killed Polydore and by violence took his gold. Cursed greed of gold, to what don’t thou not urge the hearts of men! When fear left my bones I reported the warnings of the gods to our chosen leaders and especially to my father, and their opinion asked. All agreed to quit that accursed country, abandon the corrupt associations, and spread our sails to the winds. Thereupon we renewed funeral rites to Polydore. A large hill of earth was heaped for the tomb. A memorial altar was reared to his soul and mournfully bedecked with grey wreaths and gloomy cypress. Around it the Trojan matrons stood with hair disheveled according to the custom. We offered the sacrifices to the dead, bowls foaming with warm milk, and goblets of the sacred blood. We gave the soul repose in the grave, and with loud voice addressed to him the last farewell.”

Egyptian mythology also supplies us with a similar legend to the above in the story of the search for the body of slain Osiris. This was placed in a coffin and thrown into the sea, being cast upon the shores of Phoenicia at the base of a tamarisk tree. Here it was found by Isis and brought back to Egypt for ceremonious burial (see Mysteries).

AEON

This word, in its original Greek, …., signifies the age or duration of anything. The Gnostics, however, used it in a peculiar mode to designate the intelligent, intellectual, and material powers or natures which flowed as emanations from the B…. or Infinite Abyss of Deity, and which were connected with their divine fountain as rays of light are with the sun (see Gnostics).

AERA ARCHITECTONICA

This is used in some modern Masonic lapidary or monument inscriptions to designate the date more commonly known as anno lucis, the year of light.

AFFILIATE, FREE

The French gave the name of Free Affiliates to those members of a Lodge who are exempted from the payment of dues, and neither hold office nor vote. These Brethren are known among English-speaking Freemasons as honorary members. There is a quite common use of Affiliate in Lodges of the United States to designate one who has joined a Lodge by demit.

AFFILIATED FREEMASON

A Freemason who holds membership in some Lodge. The word affiliation in Freemasonry is akin to the French affilier, which Richelet, Dictionnaire de la langue Française, Dictionary of the French Language, defines, “to communicate to any one a participation in the spiritual benefits of a religious order,” and he says that such a communication is called an affiliation. The word, as a technical term, is not found in any of the old Masonic writers, who always use admission instead of affiliation.

There is no precept more explicitly expressed in the Ancient Constitutions than that every Freemason should belong to a Lodge. The foundation of the law which imposes this duty is to be traced as far back as the Regius Manuscript, which is the oldest Masonic document now extant, and of which the “Secunde poynt” requires that the Freemason work upon the workday as truly as he can in order to deserve his hire for the holiday, and that he shall “truly labor on his deed that he may well deserve to have his meed” (see lines 269-74). The obligation that every Freemason should thus labor is implied in all the subsequent Constitutions, which always speak of Freemasons as working members of the Fraternity, until we come to the Charges approved in 1722, which explicitly state that “every Brother ought to belong to a Lodge, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the General Regulations.” Opportunity to resign one’s membership should therefore involve a duty to affiliate.

AFFIRMATION

The question has been mooted whether a Quaker, or other person having peculiar religious scruples in reference to taking oaths, can receive the degrees of Freemasonry by taking an affirmation. Now, as the obligations of Freemasonry are symbolic in their character, and the forms in which they are administered constitute the essence of the symbolism, there cannot be a doubt that the prescribed mode is the only one that ought to be used, and that affirmations are entirely inadmissible.

The London Freemason’s Quarterly (1828, page 28G) says that “a Quaker’s affirmation is binding.” This is not denied. The only question is whether it is admissible. Can the obligations be assumed in any but one way, unless the ritual be entirely changed?

Can any “man or body of men” at this time make such a change without affecting the universality of Freemasonry? Brother Chase (Masonic Digest, page 448) says that “Conferring the degrees on affirmation is no violation of the spirit of Freemasonry, and neither overthrows nor affects a landmark.” In this he is sustained by the Grand Lodge of Maine (1823).

On the report of a Committee, concurred in by the Grand Lodge of Washington in 1883 and duly incorporated in the Masonic Code of that State (see the 1913 edition, page130), the following was adopted: “The solemn obligation required from all persons receiving the degrees may be made equally binding by either an oath or an affirmation without any change in the time-honored Landmarks. ” A decision of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island on November 13, 1867 (see also the1918 edition of the Constitution, General Regulations, etc., of that State, page 34) was to the effect that “An affirmation can be administered instead of an oath to any person who refuses, on conscientious grounds, to take the latter.” But the other Grand Lodges which expressed an opinion on this subject-namely, those of Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania made an opposite decision.

During the latest revision of this work the Masonic authorities in each of these States were invited to give the latest practice in their respective Jurisdictions. Their replies are given substantially as below, and in the main the early custom has been continued.

Missouri has not recognized the word affirmation in the work, and unless the candidate is willing to conform to the wording of the obligation the instructions have been to not accept him and this has been the rule of successive Grand Masters in that State.

Tennessee has not made any change in the law, and in 1919 the Grand Lodge held that the Grand Master had no right to allow the Ritual to be changed in order to suit the religious views of a profane.

There has been no change in the attitude of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in the matter of affirmation. That State has required the candidate to take the obligation in the usual manner. Delaware reported that there had been no change in the approved decision adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1890 which is as follows: “An applicant who desires to affirm instead of swear to the obligation cannot be received.” The Grand Lodge of Virginia allows the use of an affirmation, not by the written law, but by the decision of a Grand Master of that State.

In Pennsylvania a petitioner becomes a member of the Lodge by initiation and dues begin from that time. He may, if he desires, remain an Entered Apprentice Freemason, a member of the Lodge, or he may resign as such. There is only one way of making an Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master Freemason, in this Jurisdiction, which is by use of the greater lights, without any equivocation, deviation, or substitution.

One decision of Grand Master Africa of Pennsylvania, on October 24, 1892, does not state precisely at what point the candidate for initiation refused to obey, and even the original letter written by Grand Master Africa does not show it.

Presumably the reference was in regard to the candidate’s belief in a supreme Being, yet it covers other points as follows:

“After having been duly prepared to receive the First Degree in Freemasonry, a candidate refused to conform with and obey certain landmarks of the craft. This refusal disqualifies him from initiation in any Lodge in this jurisdiction, and you will direct your Secretary to make proper record thereof, and , to make report to the Grand Secretary accordingly.

Freemasonry does not proselyte. Those who desire its privileges must seek them of their own free will, and must accept and obey, without condition or reservation, all of its ancient usages, customs, and landmarks.”

The general practice of Lodges in America is also against the use of an affirmation. But in England Quakers have been initiated after affirmation, the principle being that a form of obligation which the candidate accepts as binding will suffice.

AFRICA

Anderson (Constitutions, 1738, page 195) has recorded that in 1735 Richard Hull, Esq., was appointed “Provincia1Grand Master at Gambay in West Africa,” that in 1736 David Creighton, M.D., was appointed “Provincial Grand Master at Cape Coast, Castle in Africa,” and that in 1737 Capt. William Douglas was appointed “Provincial Grand Master on the Coast of Africa and in the Islands of America, excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already deputed.” . However, in spite of these appointments having been made by the Grand Lodge of England, there is no trace of the establishment of any Lodges in West Africa until 1792, in which year a Lodge numbered 586 was constituted at Bulam, followed in 1810 by the Torridzonian Lodge at Cape Coast Castle. There have been, on the West Coast of Africa, Lodges Warranted by the Grand Lodge of England, or holding an Irish Warrant, as Lodge 197 at Calabar, founded in 1896, or under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, or by authority from Grand Bodies in Germany. In the Negro Republic of Liberia a Grand Lodge was constituted in 1867, with nine daughter Lodges subordinate to it, and with headquarters at Monrovia.

In the north of Africa there was founded the Grand Lodge of Egypt with headquarters at Cairo. Both Eng1and and Scotland have established District Grand Lodges in Egypt by consent of the former, While Italy, France, and Germany have organized Lodges at Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said and Suez.

In Algeria and Morocco French influence has been predominant, but in Tunis an independent Grand Lodge was established in 1881.

Freemasonry was introduced into South Africa by the erection of a Dutch Lodge, De Goede Hoop, at Cape Town in 1772, followed by another under the same Jurisdiction in 1802. Not until nine years later was it that the first English Lodge was established there, which was gradually followed by others. The Dutch and English Freemasons worked side by side with such harmony that the English Provincial Grand Master for the District who was appointed in 1829 was also Deputy Grand Master for the Netherlands. In 1860 a Scotch Lodge was set up at Cape Town. Thirty-five years later a Lodge was erected at Johannesburg, under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, so that there have been four independent Masonic Bodies exercising jurisdiction and working amicably together in South Africa, namely, the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the Grand Orient of the Netherlands.

Under the Grand Lodge of England the subordinate Lodges were arranged in five Districts, namely, Central, Eastern and Western South Africa, Natal, and the Transvaal. At the same time there were Lodges owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, as well as those under the Scotch Constitution, divided among the Districts of Cape Colony, Cape Colony Western Province, Natal, Orange River Colony, Rhodesia, and the Transvaal, and those under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, in addition to the German Lodges at Johannesburg.

Under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands there was appointed a Deputy Grand Master and two Districts, one being the Provincial Grand Lodge of South Africa and the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Transvaal. The first of these had its headquarters at Cape Town, the other at Johannesburg.

The Grand Orient of Belgium chartered a Lodge in 1912 at Elizabethville, in Northern Rhodesia. On the East Coast of the Dark Continent there were erected two Lodges at Nairobi, one of them being English and the other Scotch, and there was also established in 1903 an English Lodge at Zanzibar.

(See also the following references to other geographical divisions of Africa: Abyssinia, Algeria, Belgian Congo, British East Africa, Cape Colony, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Eritrea, French Guinea, German Southwest Africa, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritius, Nigeria, Nyasaland, Portuguese East Africa, Portuguese West Africa, Reunion Island, Rhodesia, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Somaliland, Tripoli, Tunis and Uganda.)

AFRICA

In the French Rite of Adoption, the South of the Lodge is called Africa.

AFRICA, GERMAN SOUTHWEST

See German Southwest Africa.

AFRICAN ARCHITECTS, ORDER OF

Sometimes called African Builders; or in French, Architectes de l’Afrique; and in German, Afrikanische Bauherren.

Of all the new sects and modern Degrees of Freemasonry which sprang up on the continent of Europe during the eighteenth century, there was none which, for the time, maintained so high an intellectual position as the Order of African Architects, called by the French Architectes de l’Afrique, and by the Germans Afrikanische Bauherren. A Masonic sect of this name had originally been established in Germany in the year 1756, but it does not appear to have attracted much attention, or indeed to have deserved it; and hence, amid the multitude of Masonic innovations to which almost every day was giving birth and ephemeral existence it soon disappeared.

But the Society which is the subject of the present article, although it assumed the name of the original African Architects, was of a very different character.

It may, however, be considered, as it was established only eleven years afterward, as a remodification of it.

The Society admitted to membership those possessing high intellectual attainments rather than those possessing wealth or preferment.

There was probably no real connection between this Order and the Freemasonry of Germany, even if the members of the latter organization did profess kindly feelings for it. Brethren of the former based their Order on the degrees of Freemasonry, as the fist of degrees shows, but their work began in the Second Temple. while they had a quasi-connection with Freemasonry, we cannot call them a Masonic body according to the present day standards.

The degrees of the Order of African Architects were named and classified as follows:

  1. First Temple
    1. Apprentice.
    2. Fellow Craft.
    3. Master Mason.
  2. Second Temple
    1. Architect, or Apprentice of Egyptian Secrets. Thory (Acta Latomorum I, page 297) gives the …title as Bosonien.
    2. Initiate into Egyptian Secrets. Acta Latomorum (1, page 292) gives the title as Alethophile.
    3. Cosmopolitan Brother.
    4. Christian Philosopher. Thory calls this the Fourth Degree in his Acta Latomorum (1, page ….632).
    5. Master of Egyptian Secrets.
    6. Esquire of the Order.
    7. Soldier of the Order.
    8. Knight of the Order.

The last three were called superior Degrees, and were conferred only, as a second or higher class, with great discrimination, upon those who had proved their worthiness to receive promotion.

The assemblies of the Brethren were called Chapters.

The central or superintending power was styled a Grand Chapter, and it was governed by the following twelve officers:

  1. Grand Master.
  2. Deputy Grand Master.
  3. Senior Grand Warden.
  4. Junior Grand Warden.
  5. Drapier.
  6. Almoner.
  7. Tricoplerius, or Treasurer.
  8. Graphiarius, or Secretary.
  9. Seneschal.
  10. Standard Bearer.
  11. Marshal.
  12. Conductor.

Mackenzie says the Order was instituted between 1756 and 1767, under the patronage of Frederick II of Prussia, by Baucheren, and that the objects were chiefly historical but the ritual was a compound of Freemasonry, Christianity, Alchemy, and Chivalry. He quotes from its claims thus: “When the Architects were by wars reduced to a very small number, they determined to travel together into Europe, and there to form together new establishments. Many of them came to England with Prince Edward, son of Henry III, and were shortly afterward called into Scotland by Lord Stewart. They received the protection of King Ing of Sweden in l125; of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, King of England in l190; and of Alexander III of Scotland in 1284. ” He further states that the Order came to an end in 1786, that the three last degrees conferred offices for life, that the Order possessed a large building for the Meetings of the Grand Chapter, containing a library, a museum, a chemical laboratory’, and that for many, years they gave annually a gold medal of the value of fifty ducats for the best essay on the history of Freemasonry, Lenning does not mention any connection of Frederick the Great with the Order and Woodford is inclined to limit its activity to ten years, presumably from 1767, though he points out that it has been said to have had an existence into the year 1806. A claim has been made that it was but an enlargement of a Lodge in action at Hamburg in 1747, and the further assertion has been offered of the French origin of the Order. The names of the degrees have also been named as:

  1. Knight or Apprentice.
  2. Brother or Companion.
  3. Soldier or Master.
  4. Horseman or Knight.
  5. Novice.
  6. Aedile, or Builder.
  7. Tribunus, or Knight of the Eternal Silence.

The members are said by Woodford to have all been Freemasons and men of learning, the proceedings being, it is claimed, conducted in the Latin language, a circumstance that has a parallel in the Roman Eagle Lodge, No. 160, Edinburgh, Scotland, founded in 1785. This Lodge had its By-Laws and Minutes written in Latin, the object being “to erect and maintain a Lodge whose working and records should be in the classical Latin tongue” (see Historical Notes, Alfred A. A. Murray, Edinburgh, 1908, also The Jacobite Lodge at Romne, William J. Hughan, 1910, page 14).

For a helpful guide to the conditions under Frederick the Great’s control favoring the existence of such organizations as the African Architects. the student may refer to volume ii, pages 60–73, The Beautiful Miss Craven, by Broadley and Melville, 1914.

The African Architects was not the only. society which in the eighteenth century sought to rescue Freemasonry from the impure hands of the charlatans into which it had well-nigh fallen.

AFRICAN BROTHER

One of the degrees of the Rite of the Clerks of Strict Observance, according to Thory (Acta Latorum 1, page 291), but it is not mentioned in other lists of the degrees of that Rite.

AFRICAN BROTHERS

One of the titles given to the African Architects, which see.

AFRICAN BUILDERS

See African Architects

AFRICAN LODGE

See Negro Lodges

AGAPAE

The Agapae, or love feasts, were banquets held during the first three centuries in the Christian Church. They were called love feasts, because, including the partaking of the Sacrament, the Brethren met, both rich and poor, at a common feast-the former furnishing the provisions, and the latter, who had nothing, being relieved and refreshed by their more opulent Brethren. Tertullian (Apologia, chapter xxxix) thus describes these banquets: “We do not sit down before we have first offered up prayers to God; we eat and drink only to satisfy hunger and thirst, remembering still that we are to worship God by night: we discourse as in the presence of God, knowing that He hears us: then, after water to wash our hands, and lights brought in, every one is moved to sing some hymn to God, either out of the Scripture, or, as he is able, of his own composing.

Prayer again concludes our feast, and we depart, not to fight and quarrel, or to abuse those we meet, but to pursue the same care of modesty and chastity, as men that have fed at a supper of philosophy and discipline, rather than a corporeal feast.”

The agapae united the group meal and the Lord’s Supper because that Sacrament was first observed at a feast (see Matthew xxvi, 26-9). This custom was readily adopted among Gentile converts as such meals were usual practices by both the Greeks and Romans. Even in Bible times the observance was not always free of fault as is shown by Paul’s rebuke at Corinth (see First Corinthians xi, 17-34; also in this connection note Second Peter11, 13; and Jude12).

These disorders marred the religious value of the function and led to its suppression in churches. The merit of the purpose, when properly carried out. gives substantial service to right living and has therefore much ceremonial and social importance.

Dr. August Kestner, Professor of Theology, published in Jena, in 1819, a work in which he maintains that the agapae, established at Rome by Clemens, in the reign of Domitian, were mysteries which partook of a Masonic, symbolic, and religious character.
In the Rosicurcian Degrees of Freemasonry we find an imitation of these love feasts of the primitive Christians; and the ceremonies of the banquet in the Degree of Rose Croix of the Ancient and accepted Rite, especially as practiced by French Chapters, are arranged with reference to the ancient agapae.

Reghellini, indeed, finds an analogy between the Table Lodges of modern Freemasonry and these love feasts of the primitive Christians.

AGATE

A stone varying in color, but of great hardness, being a variety of the flint. The agate, in Hebrew …, SheBO, was the center stone of the third row in the breastplate of the High Priest.

Agates often contain representations of leaves, mosses, etc., depicted by the hand of nature. Some of the representations on these are exceedingly singular. Thus, on one side of one in the possession of Velschius was a half moon, and on the other a star.

Kircher mentions one which had a representation of an armed heroine ; another, in the church of Saint Mark in Venice, which had a representation of a king’s head, adorned with a diadem; and a third which contained the letters I. N. R. I. (see Oliver’s Historical Landmarks ii, page 522). In the collections of antiquaries are also to be found many gems of agate on which mystical inscriptions have been engraved, the significations of which are for the most part no longer understood.

AGATE, STONE OF

Among the Masonic traditions is one which asserts that the Stone of Foundation was formed of agate. This, like everything connected with the legend of the stone, is to be mystically interpreted. In this view, agate is a symbol of strength and beauty, a symbolism derived from the peculiar character of the agate, which is distinguished for its compact formation and the ornamental character of its surface (see Stone of Foundation).

AGATHOPADES

A liberal ecclesiastical order founded in Brussels in the sixteenth century. Revived and revised by Schayes in 1846. It had for its sacred sign the pentastigma, a term meaning the stamp of the five points.

AGBATANA

See Echatana

AGE, LAWFUL

One of the qualifications for candidates is that they shall be of lawful age. What that age must be is not settled by any universal law or landmark of the Order. The Ancient Regulations do not express any determinate number of years at the expiration of which a candidate becomes legally entitled to apply for admission.

The language used is, that he must be of “mature and discreet age.”

But the usage of the Craft has differed in various countries as to the construction of the time when this period of maturity and discretion is supposed to have arrived. The sixth of the Regulations, which are said to have been made in 1663, prescribes that “no person shall be accepted a Freemason unless he be one and twenty years old or more”; but the subsequent Regulations are less explicit. At Frankfort-on-the-Main, the age required is twenty; in the Lodges of Switzerland, it has been fixed at twenty-one. The Grand Lodge of Hanover prescribes the age of twenty-five, but permits the son of a Freemason to be admitted at eighteen see Lewis).

The Grand Lodge of Hamburg decrees that the lawful age for initiation shall be that which in any country has been determined by the laws of the land to be the age of majority. The Grand Orient of France requires the candidate. to be twenty-one, unless he be the son of a Freemason who has performed some important service to the Order, or unless he be a young man who has served six months in the army, when the initiation may take place at the age of eighteen.

In Prussia the required age is twenty-five. Under the Grand Lodge of England the Constitutions of 1723 provided that no man should be made a Freemason under the age of twenty-five unless by Dispensation from the Grand Master. This remained the necessary age until it was lowered in the Constitutions of 1784 to twenty-one years, as at present, though the Ancient Freemasons still retained the requirement of twenty-five until the Union of 1813. Under the Scotch Constitution the age was eighteen until 1891, when it was raised to twenty-one. Under the Irish Constitution the age was twenty-one until 1741, when it was raised to twenty-five and so remained until 1817, when it was lowered again to twenty-one. In the United States, the usage is general that the candidate shall not be less than twenty-one years of age at the time of his initiation, and no Dispensation can issue for conferring the degrees at an earlier period.

AGE, MASONIC

In some Masonic Rites a mystical age is appropriated to each degree, and the initiate who has received the degree is said to be of such an age. Thus, the age of an Entered Apprentice is said to be three years ; that of a Fellow Craft, five; and that of a Master Mason, seven. These ages are not arbitrarily selected, but have a reference to the mystical value of numbers and their relation to the different degrees.

Thus, three is the symbol of peace and concord, and has been called in the Pythagorean system the number of perfect harmony, and is appropriated to that degree, which is the initiation into an Order whose fundamental principles are harmony and brotherly love. Five is the symbol of active life, the union of the female principle two and the male principle three, and refers in this way to the active duties of man as a denizen of the world, which constitutes the symbolism of the Fellow Craft’s Degree ; and seven, as a venerable and perfect number, is symbolic of that perfection which is supposed to be attained in the Master’s Degree. In a way similar to this, all the ages of the other degrees are symbolically and mystically explained.

The Masonic ages are—and it will thus be seen that they are all mystic numbers-3, 5, 7, 9, 15, 27, 63, 81.

AGENDA

A Latin word meaning things to be done. Thus an “Agenda Paper” is a list of the matters to be brought before a meeting.

AGLA

One of the Cabalistic names of God, which is composed of the initials of the words of the following sentence: ……….., Atah Gibor Lo1am Adonai, meaning “Thou art mighty forever, O Lord.” This name the Cabalists arranged seven times in the center and at the intersecting points of two interlacing triangles, which figure they called the Shield of David, and used as a talisman, believing that it would cure wounds, extinguish fires, and perform other wonders (see Shield of David). The four Hebrew letters forming the initials of the above words were used on the floor cloths of Lodges in the eighteenth century.

AGNOSTUS, IRENAEUS

This is supposed by Kloss (Bibliographie der Friemaurerei, Nos. 2442, 2497, etc. ) to have been a nom-de-plume or pen name of Gotthardus Arthusius, a co-rector in the Gymnasium of Frankfort-on-the-Main, and a writer of some local celebrity in the beginning of the seventeenth century (see Arthusius).

Under this assumed name of Irenaeus Agnostus, he published, between the years 1617 and 1620, many works on the subject of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, which John Valentine Andrea had about that time established in Germany, Among those works were the Fortaliciuni Scientiae, 1617; Clypeum Veritatis, 1618 ; Speculum Constantiae, 1618; Fons Gratiae, 1619; Frater non Frater, 1619; Thesaurus Fidei, 1619; Portus Tranquillitatis, 1620, and several others of a similar character and equally quaint title.

AGNUS DEI

The Agnus Dei, meaning the Lamb of God, also called the Paschal Lamb, or the Lamb offered in the Pascal Sacrifice, is one of the jewels of a Commandery of Knights Templar in America, and is worn by the Generalissimo.

The lamb is one of the earliest symbols of Christ in the iconography of the Church, and as such was a representation of the Savior, derived from that expression of Saint John the Baptist (John1, 29), who, on beholding Christ, exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God.”

“Christ,” says Didron (Christian Iconography 1, page 318), “shedding his blood for our redemption, is the Lamb slain by the children of Israel, and with the blood of which the houses to be preserved from the wrath of God were marked with the celestial tau.

The Paschal Lamb eaten by the Israelites on the night preceding their departure from Egypt is the type of that other divine Lamb of whom Christians are to partake at Easter, in order thereby to free themselves from the bondage in which they are held by vice.”

The earliest representation that is found in Didron of the Agnus Dei is of the sixth century, and consists of a lamb supporting in his right foot a cross. In the eleventh century we find a banneret attached to this cross, and the lamb is then said to support “the banner of the resurrection.” This is the modern form in which the Agnus Dei is represented.

AGRIPPA, HENRY CORNELIUS

Born in 1486 at Cologne, Germany, his real name being Von Nettesheim. Died in 1535 at Grenoble, France. Author of On the Vanity of the Sciences, published in 1527 at Cologne, and Libri Tres de Occulta Philosophia, published in 1533 at the same place. A scholarly and learned man whose writings led him into many controversies. Lenning and Gädicke say that Agrippa founded a secret literary and mystical society at Paris and during his life was reputed to have been a magician (see Henry Morley’s Life of Cornelius Agrippa).

Agrippa was, as well as being a writer, a soldier, a physician and a well-known alchemist.A writer in the Quarterly Review of 1798 states that Cornelius Agrippa came to London in 1510 and founded there a secret alchemical society and was practically the founder of Freemasonry.

There does not seem to be any foundation for such a statement. Many of his writings dealt with Rosicrucianism.

AHABATH OLAM

Two Hebrew words signifying eternal love. The name of a prayer which was used by the Jews dispersed over the whole Roman Empire during the times of Christ. It was inserted by Dermott in his Ahiman Rezon (page 45, edition 1764), and copied into several others, with the title of A Prayer repeated in the Royal Arch Lodge at Jerusalem. The prayer was most probably adopted by Dermott and attributed to a Royal Arch Lodge in consequence of the allusion in it to the “holy, great, mighty, and terrible name of God.”

AHIAH

So spelled in the common version of the Bible (First Kings iv, 3 ), but according to the Hebrew orthography the word should be spelled and pronounced Achiah, or akh-ee-yaw according to Strong.
He and Elihoreph or Elichoreph were the Sopherim, the Scribes or Secretaries of King Solomon. In the ritual of the Seventh Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, according to the modern American system, these personages are represented by the two Wardens.

AHIMAN REZON

The title given by Dermott to the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons in England, which was established about the middle of the eighteenth century in opposition to the legitimate Grand Lodge and its adherents who were called the Moderns, and whose code of laws was contained in Anderson’s work known as the Book of Constitutions. Many attempts have been made to explain the significance of this title ; thus according to Doctor Mackey, it is derived from three Hebrew words, zhiln, meaning brothers; ..manah, to appoint, or to select in the sense of being placed in a peculiar class (see Isaiah liii, 12), and ..ratzon, the will, pleasure, or meaning; and hence the combination of the three words in the title, Ahiman Rezon, signifies the will of selected Brethren- the law of a class or society of men who are chosen or selected from the rest of the world as Brethren.

Doctor Dalcho (Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina, page 159, second edition) derives it from ahi, a brother, manah, to prepare, and rezon, secret, so that, as he says, ” Abiman Rezon literally means the secrets of a prepared brother.” But the best meaning of manah is that which conveys the idea of being placed in or appointed to a certain, exclusive class, as we find in Isaiah liii, 12 “he was numbered (nimenah) with the transgressors,” placed in that class, being taken out of every other order of men. Although rezon may come from ratzon, a will or law, it can hardly be elected by any rules of etymology out of the Chaldee word raz, meaning a secret, the termination in on being wanting; and furthermore the book called the Ahiman Rezon does not contain the secrets, but only the public laws of Freemasonry. The derivation of Dalcho seems therefore inadmissible.

Not less so is that of Brother W. S. Rockwell, who as recorded in the Ahiman Rezon of Georgia (1859, page 3) thinks the derivation may be found in the Hebrew, … amun, meaning a builder or architect and .., rezon, as a noun, prince, and as an adjective, royal, and hence, Ahiman Rezon, according to this etymology, wifl signify the royal builder, or, symbolically, the Freemason. But to derive ahiman from amun, or rather amon, which is the masoretic pronunciation, is to place all known laws of etymology at defiance. Rockwell himself, however, furnishes the best argument against his strained derivation, when he admits that its correctness will depend on the antiquity of the phrase, which he acknowledges that he doubts. In this, he is right. The phrase is altogether a modern one, and has Dermott, the author of the first work bearing the title, for its inventor.

Rockwell’s conjectural derivation is, therefor, for this reason still more inadmissible than Dalcho’s.

But the most satisfactory explanation is as follows: In his prefatory address to the reader, Dermott narrates a dream of his in which the four men appointed by Salomon to be porters at theTempel (First Cronicles ix, 17 ) appear to him sojourners from Jerusalem, and he tells them that he is writing a history of Freemasonry; upon which, one of the four, named Ahiman, says that no such history has ever yet been composed and suggests that it never can be.

It is clear, therefore, that the first word of the title is the name of this personage. What then does Rezon signify? Now the Geneva or Breeches Bible, publishes in 1560 contains a table giving the meanings of the Bible names and explains Ahiman as a prepared brother or brother of the right hand and Rezon as a secretary, so that the title of the book would mean Brother Secretary. That Dermott used the Geneva Bible is plain from the fact that he quotes from it in his address to the reader, and therefore it may fairly be assumed that he selected these names to suit his purpose from the list given in it, especially as he styles himself on his title-page merely Secretary.

The first Book of Masonic Law published by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was entitled: Ahiman Rezon abridged and digested: as a Help to atilt are or would be Free and Accepted Masons. It was prepared by the Grand Secretary, the Rev. Brother William Smith, D.D., Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and was almost entirely a reprint of Dermott’s work; it was approved by the Grand Lodge November 22, 1781, published in, 1783, and dedicated to Brother George Washington. It is reprinted in the introduction to the first or edited reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1730-l808. On April 18, 1825, a revision of the Ahinwn Rezon was adopted, being taken largely from Anderson’s Constitutions.

In the 1919 edition (page 210) are these comments: “The revision of 1825 contains the following as the definition of the words Ahiman Rezon: The Book of Constitutions is usually denominated Ahiman Rezon. The literal translation of Ahiman is A prepared Brother, from manah, to prepare, and Rezon, secret; so that Ahiman Rezon literally means, the secrets of a prepared Brother. It is likewise supposed to be a corruption of Achi Man Ratzon, the thoughts or opinions of a true and faithful Brother. As the Ahiman Rezon is not a secret, but a published book, and the above definition has been omitted from subsequent revisions of the book, the words were submitted to Hebrew scholars for translation upon the assumption that they are of Hebrew origin. The words however are not Hebrew.

“Subsequent inquiry leads to the belief that they come from the Spanish, and are thus interpreted: Ahi, which is pronounced Ah-ee, is demonstrative and means there, as if pointing to a thing or place; man may be considered a form of monta, which means the account, amount, sum total, or fullness; while razon or rezon means reason, principle, or justice, the word justice being used in the sense of law. If, therefore, we ascribe the words himan Rezon to Spanish origin, their meaning is-There is the full account of the law.”

But the history of the origin of the book is more important and more interesting than the history of the derivation of its title.

The premier Grand Lodge of England was established in 1717 and ruled the Freemasons of London and the South of England without opposition until in 1751 when some Irish Freemasons established another body in London. This organization professed to work “according to the old institutions,” and the Brethren called themselves Ancient Freemasons and the members of the older Grand Lodge .

Moderns, maintaining that they alone preserved the ancient usage of Freemasonry.
The former of these contending bodies, the Grand Lodge of England, had, In the year 1722, caused Dr. James Anderson to collect and compile all the Statutes and Regulations by which the Fraternity had in former times been governed. These, after having been submitted to due revision, were published in 1723, by Anderson, with the title of The Constitutions of the Freemasons. This work, of which several other edit out subsequently appeared, has always been called the Book of Constitutions, and contains the foundations of the written law by which the Grand Lodge if England and the Lodges deriving from it, both in that country and in America, are governed.

But when the Irish Freemasons established their rival Grand Lodge, they found it necessary, also, to have a Book of Constitutions. Accordingly, Laurence Dermott, who was at one time their Grand Secretary, and afterward their Deputy Grand Master, compiled such a work, the first edition of which was published by James Bedford, at London, in 1756, with the following title: Ahiman Rezon: or a Help to a Brother; showing the Excellency of Secrecy, and the first cause or motive of the Institution of Masonry; the Principles of the Craft; and the Benefits from a strict Observance thereof, etc., etc. ; also the Old and New Regulations, etc. To which is added the greatest collection of Masons’ Songs, etc. By Bro. Laurence Dermott, Secretary.

A second edition was published in 1764 with this title : Ahiman Rezon: or a help to all that are or would be Free and Accepted Masons; containing the Quintessence of all that has been published on the subject of Freemasonry, with many Additions, which renders this Work more useful than any other Book of Constitution now extant. By Lau. Dermott, Secretary. London, 1764. A third edition was published in 1778, with the following title: Ahiman Rezon: or a Help to all that are or would be Free and Accepted Masons (with many Additions). By Lau. Dermott, D.G.M. Printed for James Jones, Grand Secretary; and sold by Peter Shatwell, in the Strand. London, 1778.

Five other edit out were published: the fourth, in 1778 ; the fifth in 1787 ; the sixth in 1800 ; the seventh in 1801; the eighth in 1807, and the ninth in 1813.

In this year, the Ancient Grand Lodge was dissolved by the union of the two Grand Lodges of England, and a new Book of Constitutions having been adopted for the united body, the Ahiman Rezon became useless, and no subsequent edition was ever published.

The earlier edit out oi this work are among the rarest of Masonic publications, and are highly prized by collectors.

In the year 1855, Leon Hyneman, of Philadelphia, who was engaged in a reprint of old standard Masonic works, an enterprise which should have received better patronage than it did, republished the second edition, with a few explanatory notes.

As this book contains those principles of Masonic law by which, over three-fourths of a century, a large and intelligent portion of the Craft was governed; and as it is now becoming rare and, to the generality of readers, inaccessible, some brief review of its contents may not be uninteresting. In the preface or address to the reader, Dermott pokes fun at the history of Freemasonry as written by Doctor Anderson and others, and wittily explains the reason why he has not published a history of Freemasonry.

There is next a Philacteri for such Gentlemen as may be inclined to become Freemasons. This article, which was not in the first edition, but appeared for the first time in the second, consists of directions as to the method to be pursued by one who desires to be made a Freemason. This is followed by an account of what Dermott calls Modern Masonry, that is, the system pursued by the original Grand Lodge of England, and of the differences existing between it and Ancient Masonry, or the system of his own Grand Lodge. He contends that there are material differences between the two systems; that of the Ancient being universal, and that of the Moderns not; a Modern being able with safety to communicate all his secrets to an Ancient, while an Ancient cannot communicate his to a Modern; a Modem having no right to be called free and accepted; all of which, in his opinion, show that the Ancient have secrets which are not in the possession of the Moderns. This, he considers, a convincing proof that the Modern Freemasons were innovators upon the established system, and had instituted their Lodges and framed their ritual without a sufficient knowledge of the arcana of the Craft. But the Modern Freemasons with more semblance of truth, thought that the additional secrets oi the Ancient were only innovations that they had made upon the true body of Freemasonry; and hence, they considered their ignorance of these newly invented secrets was the best evidence of their own superior antiquity. In the later editions Dermott has published the famous Leland Manuscript, together with the commentaries of Locke; also the resolutions adopted in 1772, by which the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland agreed to maintain a “Brotherly Connexion and correspondence” with the Grand Lodge of England (Ancient).

The Ahiman Rezon proper, then, begins with twenty-three pages of an encomium on Freemasonry, and an explanation of its principles. Many a modem Masonic address is better written, and contains more important and instructive matter than this prefatory discourse.

Then follow The Old Charges of the Free and Accepted Masons, taken from the 1738 edition of Anderson’s Constitutions. Next come A short charge to a new admitted Mason, The Ancient manner of constituting a Lodge, a few prayers, and then the General Regulations of the Free and Accepted Masons. These are borrowed mainly from the second edition of Anderson with a few alterations and additions. After a comparison of the Dublin and London Regulations for charity, the rest of the book, comprising more than a hundred pages, consists of A collection of Masons Songs, of the poetical merits of which the less said the better for the literary reputation of the writers.

Imperfect, however, as was this work, it for a long time constituted the statute book of the Ancient Masons. Hence those Lodges in America which derived their authority from the Dermott or Ancient Grand Lodge of England, accepted its contents as a true exposition of Masonic law. Several of their Grand Lodges caused similar works to be compiled for their own government, adopting the title of Ahiman Rezon, which thus became the peculiar designation of the volume which contained the fundamental law of the Ancient, while the original title of Book of Constitutions continued to be retained by the Moderns, to designate the volume used by them for the same purpose .

Of the Ahiman Rezons compiled and published in America, the following are the principal:

  1. Ahiman Rezon abridged and digested; as a help to all that are or would be Free and Accepted Masons, etc. Published by order of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; by William Smith, D.D. Philadelphia, 1783. A new Ahiman Rezon was published by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1825.
  2. Charges and Regulation8 of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, extracted from the Ahiman Rezon, etc. Published by the consent and direction of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. Halivax, 1786.
  3. The New Ahiman Rezon, containing the Laws and Constitution of Virginia, etc. By John K. Reade, present Deputy Grand Master of Virginia, etc. Richmond, 1791. Another edition was published in 1818, by James Henderson.
  4. The Maryland Ahiman Rezon of Free and Accepted Masons, containing the History of Masonry from the establishment of the Grand Lodge to the present time; with their Ancient Charges, Addresses, Prayers, Lectures, Prologues, Epilogues, Songs, etc., collected from the Old Records, Faithful Traditions and Lodge Books; by G. Keating. Compiled by order of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. Baltimore, 1797.
  5. The Ahiman Rezon and Masonic Ritual, published by the order of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee. Newbern, North Carolina, 1805.
  6. An Ahiman Rezon, for the use of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, Ancient York Masons, and the Lodges under the Register and Masonic Jurisdiction thereof. Compiled and arranged with considerable additions, at the request of ‘the Grand Lodge, and published by their authority. By Brother Frederick Dalcho, M.D., etc. Charleston, South Carolina, 1807. A second edition was published by the same author, in 1822, and a third, in 1852, by Dr. Gilbert G. Mackey. In this third edition, the title was changed to that of The Ahiman Rezon, or Book of Constitutions, etc. Furthermore, the Work was in a great measure purged of the peculiarities of Dermott, and made to conform more closely to the Andersonian Constitutions. A fourth edition. Was published by the same editor, in 1871, from which everything antagonistic to the original Book of Constitutions has been omitted.
  7. The Freemason’s Library and General Ahiman Rezon ; containing a delineation of the true principles of Freemasonry, etc.; by Samuel Cole. Baltimore, 1817. 8vo, 332 + 92 pages. There was a second edition in 1826.
  8. Ahiman Rezon; prepared under the direction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia; by Wm. S. Rockwell, Grand Master of Masons of Georgia. Savannah, 1859. 4to and 8vo, 404 pages. But neither this work nor the third and fourth edition of the Ahiman Rezon of South Carolina had any connection in principle or theory with the Ahiman Rezon of Dermott. They have borrowed the name from the Ancient Freemasons. but they derive all their law aud their authorities from the Moderns, or, as Doctor Mackey preferred to Call them, the legal Freemasons of the last century.
  9. The General Ahiman Rezon and Freemason’s Guild, by Daniel Sickles. New York, 1866. 8vo, 408 . Pages. This book, like Rockwell’s, has no other connection with the work of Dermott but the name.

Many of the Grand Lodges of the United States having derived their existence and authority from the Dermott Grand Lodge, the influence of his Ahiman Rezon was for a long time exercised over the Lodges of this country. Indeed, it is only within a comparatively recent period that the true principles of Masonic law, as expounded in the first editions of Anderson’s Constitutions, have been universally adopted among American Freemasons.

However, it must be observed, in justice to Dermott, who has been rather too grossly abused by Mitchell and a few other writers, that the innovations upon the old laws of Freemasonry, which are to be found in the Ahiman Rezon, are for the most part not to be charged upon him, but upon Doctor Anderson himself, who, for the first time, introduced them into the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1738. It is surprising, and accountable only on the ground of sheer carelessness on the part of the supervising committee, that the Grand Lodge should, in 1738, have approved of these alterations made by Anderson, and still more surprising that it was not until 1756 that a new or third edition of the Constitutions should have been published, in which these alterations of 1738 were expunged, and the old regulations and the old language restored. But whatever may have been the causes of this oversight, it is not to be doubted that, at the time of the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient, the edition of the Book of Constitutions of 1738 was considered as the authorized exponent of Masonic law by the earlier, or, as Doctor Mackey would say, the original or regular Grand Lodge of England, and was adopted, with but little change, by Dermott as the basis of his Ahiman Rezon. How much this edition of 1738 differed from that of 1723, which is now considered the only true authority for ancient law, and how much it agreed with Dermott’s Ahiman Rezon, will he evident from the following specimens of the first of the Old Charges, correctly taken from each of the three works:

First of the Old Charges in the Book of Constitutions, edition of 1723:

“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 it 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 aud 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.”

First of the Old Charges in the Book of Constitutions, edition of 1738:

  • “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law, as a true Noach.ida; and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious libertine, nor act against conscience.
  • “In Ancient times, the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian usages of each country where they traveled or worked. But Masonry being found in all nations, even of divers religions, they are now only charged to adhere to that religion in which all men agree (leaving each Brother to his own particular opinions; that is, to be good men and true, men of honor and honesty, by whatever names, religions, or persuasions they may be distinguished; for they all agree in the three great articles of Noah enough to preserve the cement of the Lodge. Thus, Masonry is the center of their union, and the happy means of conciliating persons that otherwise must have remained at a perpetual distance.”

First of the Old Charges in Dermott’s Ahiman Rezon:

  • “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law, as a true Noachido ; and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious libertine, nor act against conscience.
  • “In Ancient times, the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian usages of each country where they traveled or worked; being found in all nations, even of divers religions.
    “They are generally charged to adhere to that religion in which all men agree (leaving each brother to his own particular opinions) ; that is, to be good men and true, men of honor and honesty, by whatever names religions, or persuasions they may be distinguished; for they all agree in the three great article of Noah enough to preserve the cement of the Lodge.
  • “Thus, Masonry is the center of their union, and the happy means of conciliating persons that otherwise must have remained at a perpetual distance. “

The italics in the second and third extracts will show what innovations Anderson made in 1738 on the Charges as originally published in 1723, and how closely Dermott followed him in adopting these changes. There is, in fact, much less difference between the Ahiman Rezon of Dermott and Anderson’s edition of the Book of Constitutions, printed in 1738, than there is between the latter and the first edition of the Constitutions, printed in 1723. But the great points of difference between the “Ancient” and the “Moderns,” points which kept them apart for so many years, are to be found in their work and ritual, for an account of which the reader is referred to the article Ancient Freemasons.

AHISAR

See Achishar

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