ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES
by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D.
An androgynous, both sexes, system, found in Fustier’s collection, and governed by the statutes of Saint Bernard.
FEUILLANTS, or DAMES PHLEIADES
An organization established about the middle of the eighteenth century in Brittany, France. The grip was given by shaking hands with the fingers interlaced three times reciprocally. The sign was made by the hands being raised to a level with the eyes, the palms turned upwards with the fingers interlaced.
The pass-words were
Have you gathered the roses?
The correct response was
Also the grapes.
FIAT LUX ET LUX FIT
A Latin motto frequently written Sit Lux et Lux Fuit, referring to Genesis(I, 3), “Let there be light, and there was light” (see True Light).
FIDELITY OF BADEN DURLACH, ORDER OF
Instituted in 1716 by Charles Margrave of Baden Durlach. The members of the Order were knighted, selections being made only from the nobles of ancient family. The reigning princes were hereditary Grand Masters.
In the instruction of the First Degree, it is said that “our ancient Brethren worshiped deity under the name of Fides or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by two right hands joined, and some times by two human figures holding each other by the right hands.” The deity here referred to was the goddess Fides, to whom Numa first erected temples, and whose priests were covered by a white veil as a symbol of the purity which should characterize Fidelity. No victims were slain on her altars, and no offerings made to her except flowers, wine, and incense. Her statues were represented clothed in a white mantle, with a key in her hand and a dog at her feet. The virtue of Fidelity is, however, frequently symbolized in ancient medals by a heart in the open hand, but more usually by two right hands clasped.
Horace calls her Incorrupta Fides, and makes her the sister of Justice; while Cicero says that which is religion toward God and piety toward our parents is fidelity toward our fellow-men. There was among the Romans another deity called Fidius, who presided over oaths and contracts, a very usual form of imprecation or oath being Me dius fidius adjured that is, so help me the God Fidius. Noel (Dictionary of Fables) says that there was an ancient marble at Rome consecrated to the god Fidius, on which was depicted two figures clasping each other’s hands as the representatives of Honor and Truth, without which there can be no fidelity nor truth among men. Freemasonry, borrowing its ideals from the ancient poets, also makes the right hand the symbol of Fidelity.
That is, the sign of confiding trust, called also the sign of Truth and Hope. One of the signs of the English Royal Arch system, which is thus explained by Doctor Oliver (Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry). The fiducial sign shows us if we prostrate ourselves with our face to the earth, we thus throw ourselves on the mercy of our Creator and Judge, looking forward with humble confidence to his holy promises, by which alone we hope to pass through the Ark of our redemption into the mansion of eternal bliss and glory to the presence of Him who is the great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the lending, the First and the Last.
FIELD LODGE, or ARMY LODGE
A Lodge duly instituted under proper authority from a Grand Body of competent jurisdiction, and authorized to exercise during its peripatetic existence all the powers and privileges that it might possess if permanently located. 6 Charters of this nature, as the name implies, are intended for the tented field, and have been of the no greatest service to humanity in its trying hours, when the worst of passions are appealed.
A sacred number symbolic of the name of God, because the letters of the holy name xs, Jah, are equal, in the Hebrew mode of numeration by the letters of the alphabet, to fifteen; for is equal to ten, and n is equal to five. Hence, from veneration for this sacred name, the Hebrews do not, in ordinary computations, when they wish to express the number fifteen, make use of these two letters, but of two others, which are equivalent to nine and six (see also Fourteen).
According to universal usage on Freemasonry, the Treasurer of the Lodge or other Body is the banker or depositary of the finances of the Lodge. They are first received by the Secretary, who receipts for them, and immediately pays them over to the Treasurer. The Treasurer distributes them under the orders of the Master and the consent of the Lodge. This consent can only be known officially to him by the statement of the Secretary, and hence all orders drawn on the Treasurer for the disbursement of money should be countersigned by the Secretary.
A Masonic charlatan, or fraud, who flourished at the end of the preceding and the beginning of the nineteenth century. Finch was a tailor in Canterbury, who, having been expelled for some misconduct by the Grand Lodge, commenced a system of practical Freemasonry on his own account, and opened a Lodge in his house, where he undertook to initiate candidates and to give instructions in Freemasonry. He published a great number of pamphlets, many of them in a cipher of his own, which he pretended were for the instruction of the Fraternity. Among the books published by him are: A Masonic Treatise, with an Elucidation on the Religious and Moral Beauties of Freemasonry, etc.; printed at Canterbury in 1802. The Lectures, Laws, and Ceremonies of the Holy Arch Degree of Freemasonry, etc., Lambeth, 181. The Origin of Freemasons, etc.; London, 1816.
Finch found many dupes, and made a great deal of money. But having on one occasion been sued bar an engraver named Smith, for money due for printing his plates, Finch pleaded an offset of money due by Smith for initiation and instruction in Freemasonry. Smith brought the brand Secretary and other distinguished Freemasons into court, who testified that Finch was an impostor. In consequence of this exposure, Finch lost credit with the community, and, sinking into obscurity, died sometime after, in abject poverty.
As it is impossible to read Finch’s Treatises without a knowledge of the cipher employed by him, the following key will be found useful. We owe it to the researches of Brother H. C. Levander (Freemasons Magazine and Review, 1859, page 490). In the first part of the book the cipher used is formed by reversing the alphabet, writing z for a, by for b, etc. The cipher used the title-page differs somewhat from this, as will be seen from the following:
FOR THE TITLE-PAGE
Key. b, d, f, h, j. l, n, p, r, t, v, x, z, y, w, u, s, q, o, m, k, i, g, e, c, a.
FOR THE FIRST PART
Cipher. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.
Key. z, y, x, v., v, u, t, s, r, q, p, o, n, m, l, k, j, i, h f, e, d, c, b, a.
In the second part of the work, a totally different svstem is employed. The words may be deciphered by taking the last letter, then the first, then the last but one, then the second, and so on. Two or three words are also often run into one; for example erectemhdrdoh, is he ordered them. The nine digits, the Arabic numerals, 1 to 9, represent certain words of frequent recurrence, a repetition of the same digit denoting the plural; thus stands for Lodge; 11, for Lodges; 3, Fellow Craft; 33, Fellow Crafts, etc.
FINDEL. J. G
A Masonic writer of more than ordinary note, who was admitted in the Lodge Eleusis zur Verschwiegenheit (relating to the secrecy discretely followed at Eleusis, the place in Grecee of the famous Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone), at Baireuth in 1856. He was editor of the Bauhütte, or Craft Lodged an interesting journal, at Leipsic, in 1858, and added materially to Masonic literature in founding the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer, Union of German Freemasons about 1860, and publishing, in 1874, Geist unit Form der Freimaurerei, Genius and Form of Freemasonry.
His best known and most important work is his Geschichte der Freimaurerei or General History of Freemasonry, published in 1861, which has been translated into English, Freneh, and other languages, and was the first attempt at a critical history of the Craft. He died in 1905.
Fines for nonattendance or neglect of duty are not now usually imposed in Masonie Bodies, because each member is bound to the discharge of these duties by a motive more powerful than any that could be furnished by a pecuniary penalty. The imposition of such a penalty would be a tacit acknowledgment of the inadequacy of that motive, and would hence detract from its solemnity and its binding nature. It cannot, however, be denied that the records of old Lodges show that it was formerly a common custom to impose fines for a violation of the rules.
The French, in their Table Lodges, called the drinking of 3 toast, fee or fire. The word is also applied to the action immediately following the drinking of a toast in British Lodges when a quaint little ceremonial is observed by all the Brethren.
FIRE, PILLAR OF
See Pillars of Cloud arms Fire
FIRE, PURIFICATION BY
Of all the ancient religions, fire-worship was one of the earliest next to Sabaism; the worship of the heavenly bodies, and even of this it seems only have been a development, as with the Sabaists the sun was deemed the Universal Fire. “Darius,” says Quintus Curtius, “invoked the sun as Mithras, the sacred and eternal fire.” It was the faith of the ancient Magi and the old Persians, still retained by their modern descendants the Parsees. But with them it was not an idolatry. The fire was venerated only as a visible symbol of the Supreme Deity, of the Creative Energy, from Whom all things come, and to Whom all things ascend. The flame darting upward to meet its divine original, the mundane fire seeking an ascension to and an absorption into the celestial fire, or God Himself, constituted what has been called the lame-secret of the fire-worshipers. This religion was not only ancient, but also universal. From India it passed over into Egypt, and thence extended to the Hebrews and to the Greeks, and has shown its power and prevalence even in modern thought. On the banks of the Nile, the people did not, indeed, fall down like the old Persians and worship fire, but they venerated the fire-secret and its symbolic teaching. Hence the Pyramids, pyr is Greek for fire, the representation of ascending flame; and Hargrave Jennings shrewdly says that what has been supposed to be a tomb, in the center of the Great Pyramid, was in reality a depository of the sacred, ever-burning fire. Monoliths were everywhere in antiquity erected to fire or to the sun, as the type of fire. Among the Hebrews. the sacred idea of fire, as something connected with the Divine Being, was very prominent. God appeared to Moses in a flame of fire; he descended on Mount Sinai in the midst of flames; at the Temple the fire ascended from heaven to consume the burnt offering. Everywhere in Scripture, fire is a symbol of the holiness of God. The lights on the altar are the symbols of the Christian God. The purifying power of fire is naturally deduced from this symbol of the holiness of the element. And in the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry, as in the ancient institutions, there is a purification by fire, coming down to us insensibly and unconsciously from the old Magian cultus. In the Medieval ages there was a sect of fire-philosophers hilosophi per ignem who were a branch of offshoot of Rosicrucianism, with which Freemasonry has so much in common. These fire-philosophers kept up the veneration for fire, and cultivated the fire-secret, not as an idolatrous belief, but modified by their hermetic notions. They were also called theosophists, and through them, or in reference to them, we find the theosophic Degrees of Freemasonry, which sprang up in the eighteenth century. As fire and light are identical, so the fire, which was to the Zoroastrians the symbol of the Divine Being, is to the Freemason, under the equivalent idea of light, the symbol of Divine Truth, or of the Grand Architect.
A cardinal priest who, in 1738, published the edict of Pope Clement XII against Freemasonry.
FIRST MASONIC OPERA
See Generous Freemason
The Greek word for fish is IZ0T2. Now these five letters are the initials of the five words X ous Xp~vros Leon TLos Zxrr/p, that is, Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Savior. Hence the early Christians adopted the fish as a Christian symbol; and it is to be found on many of their tombs, and was often worn as an ornament. Clement of Alexandria, in writing of the ornaments that a Christian may constantly wear, mentions the fish as a proper device for a ring, as serving to remind the Christian of the origin of his spiritual life, the fish referring to the waters of baptism. The Vesica Piscis, which is an oval figure, pointed at both ends, and representing the air bladder of a fish, was adopted, and is still often used as the form of the seal of religious houses and con-fraternities, Margoliouth (Vestiges of General Freemasonry, 45) says: “In former days, the Grand Master of our Order used to wear a silver fish on his person; but it is to be regretted that, amongst the many innovations which have been of late introduced into the Society to conciliate the prejudices of some who cannot consistently be members of it, this beautiful emblem has disappeared ”
FITS; PETER, GEOFFREY
Anderson, 1738, shows this English Chief Justice as Deputy Grand Master, or Chief Surveyor, under Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Dorchester, Grand Master, in the reign of King John of England, until the death of Geoffrey, 1213.
Among the Pythagoreans five was a mystical number, because it was formed by the union of the first even number and the first odd, rejecting unity; and hence it symbolized the mixed conditions of order and disorder, happiness and misfortune, life and death. The same union of the odd and even, or male and female, numbers made it the symbol of marriage. Among the Greeks it was a symbol of the world, because, says Diodorus, it represented ether and the four elements. It was a sacred round number among the Hebrews.
In Egypt, India. and other Oriental nations says Gesenius, the five minor planets and the five elementary powers were accounted sacred. It was the pentas of the Gnosties and the Hermetic Philosophers; it was the symbol of their quintessence, the fifth or highest essence of power in a natural body. In Freemasonry, five is a sacred number, inferior only in importance to three and seven. It is especially significant in the Fellow Craft’s Degree, where five are required to hold a Lodge, and where, in the winding stairs, the five steps are referred to the orders of architecture and the human senses. In the Third Degree we find the reference to the five points of fellowship and their Symbol, the five-pointed star. Geometry, too, which is deemed synonymous with Freemasonry, is called the fifth science; and, in fact, throughout nearly all the Degrees of Freemasonry, we find abundant allusions to five as a sacred and mystical number.
The five-pointed star, which is not to be confounded with the blazing star, is not found among the old symbols of Freemasonry; indeed, some writers have denied that it is a Masonic emblem at all. It is undoubtedly of recent origin, and was probably introduced by Jeremy Cross, who placed it among the plates in the emblems of the Third Degree prefixed to his Hieroglyphic Chart. It is not mentioned in the ritual or the lecture of the Third Degree, but the Freemasons of the United States have, by tacit consent, referred to it as a symbol of the Five Points of Fellowship. The outlines of the five-pointed star are the same as those of the pentalpha of Pythagoras, which was the symbol of health. M. Jomard, in his Description de L’Egypte (tome viii, page 423) says that the star engraved on the Egyptian monuments, where it is a very common hieroglyphic, has constantly five points. never more nor less.
See Chromatic Calendar
FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP
See Points of Fellowship, Five
The five senses of Hearing, Seeing, Feeling, Tasting, and Smelling are introduced into the lecture of the Fellow Craft as a part of the instructions of that Degree (see each word in its appropriate place). In the earlier lectures of the eighteenth century, the five senses were explained in the First Degree as referring to the five who make a Lodge. Their subsequent reference to the winding stairs, and their introduction into the Second Degree, were modern improvements. As these senses are the avenues by which the mind receives its perceptions of things exterior to it, and thus becomes the storehouse of ideas, they are most appropriately referred to that Degree of Freemasonry whose professed object is the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge.
In the old lectures of the eighteenth century, the fired lights were the three windows always supposed to exist in the East, South, and West. Their uses were, according to the old instructions “to light the men to, at, and from their work.” In the modern lectures they have been omitted, and their place as symbols supplied by the lesser lights.
A formal reception of the National Flag was especially frequent in all fraternal Bodies during the World War and ceremonies of most impressive character were noted in leading Masonic organizations as in the Grand Lodges of Iowa, Indiana, and elsewhere.
The making of the first “Stars and Stripes” is credited to Mrs. Elizabeth Ross of Philadelphia. We have seen on the door posts of the old ancestral home of the Washington’s at Sulgrave Manor, England, two shields each bearing three stars surmounting a horizontal bar or stripe. Doubtless this had a suggestive force in designing the new flag.
When the National Flag is hung either horizontally or vertically across a wall, the union (the stars on the blue field or background) should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is to the observer’s left. When displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from a window sill or the front of a building, the same rule should be followed. The union should go down to the truck (as the peak or point of the staff is called) unless the flag is at half-mast position. A Service Flag was designed by Brother Robert L. Queisser, Captain, Fifth Ohio Machine Gun Company, in honor of those in the military or naval service. This flag was much used in the United States during the World War. The flag had a center field of white with a red border. On the white field blue stars were placed for those in service, gold stars for the dead.
At the fifty-fourth annual session held at Miami, Florida, May 1-3, 1928, of the Imperial Council, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Committee on Revision of Ritual reported that some Temples were using elaborate and beautiful flag ceremonies. In a great many cases bugle calls were used in connection with the activities of the Color Guard and bands rendered patriotic airs in keeping with the spirit of the occasion. Usually the National Anthems were sung by the entire membership present. The Committee submitted a minimum requirement to be made applicable to all the Temples of the Order with the understanding that the following simple ceremony might be developed and elaborated:
When the Color Guard, or Marshal, with his assistants presents the Colors at the altar after the Temple has been duly opened. the Potentate win cause the Nobility to come to attention and salute. After the salute is rendered, the following pledge will be recited in concert: “I pledge allegiance to my flag, to the principles for which it stands. one Brotherhood indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The Color Guard will then escort the Colors to their proper position while the Nobility continue at attention. The Color Guard will then return to the altar and the Potentate will seat the Temple. The suggestion of the Committee was recommended to the Subordinate Temples.
A sword whose blade is of a spiral or twisted form is called by the heralds a flaming swords from its resemblance to the ascending curvature of a flame of fire. Until very recently, this was the form of the Tiler’s sword. Carelessness or ignorance has now in many Lodges substituted for it a common sword of any form. The flaming sword of the Tiler refers to the flaming sword which guarded the entrance to Paradise, as described in Genesis (iii, 4): “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim’s and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life;” or, as Raphall has translated it, “the flaming sword which revolveth, to guard the way to the tree of life.” In former times, when symbols and ceremonies were more respected than they are now; when collars were worn, and not ribbons in the buttonhole; and when the standing column of the Senior Warden, and the recumbent one of the Junior during labor, to be reversed during refreshment, were deemed necessary for the complete furniture of the Lodge, the cavalry sword was unknown as a Masonic implement, and the Tiler always bore a flaming sword. It were better if we could get back to the old customs.
FLEMING. DR. WALTER MILLARD
Established the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the United States. In 1867 Brother William J. Florence made a trip to the Old World and is reported to have secured there useful information for the introduction and establishment of the Shrine.
When he returned to the United States with all the data obtainable he communicated the particulars to Doctor Fleming, and thereby after further consultation with Brother Charles T. McClenachan and other able Masonic ritualists, they prepared the way to establish the Shrine in the United States. On June 16, 1871, Doctor Fleming, assisted by Brother Florence, conferred the Degrees upon four Knights Templar and seven members of Aurora Grata Consistory, Thirty-second Degree, and September 96, 1872, the organization was effected and officers elected.
Doctor Fleming was born on June 13, 1838, in Portland, Maine, and died at Mount Vernon, New York, September 9, 1913, being buried in Kensico Cemetery. He was a prominent medical man; joined the Masonic Fraternity February 13, 1869; was raised in Rochester Lodge No. 660 of Rochester, New York. He removed his office and residence to New York City and associated himself with Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection in 1870; received the Degrees of the Consistory up to and including the Thirty-second Degree on May 31, 1871, and was given, on September 19, 1872, his Thirty-third Degree. December 3, 1872, he affiliated with New York Lodge, No. 330, of New York City, he having demitted from his Rochester Lodge. He was exalted in Lafayette Chapter, No. 207, Royal Arch Masons; became a member of Adelphic Council, No. 7, Royal and Select Masters; was knighted in Columbia Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar of New York City, March 19, 1872, and was unanimously elected Eminent Commander at the succeeding Conclave, April 15, 1872, which office he retained four successive years. He founded and served as Illustrious Potentate the Mecca Temple, originally named Gotham, which was the first Temple established by the Shrine.
Mecca Temple received its Charter on September 26, 1872, and Brother Fleming held his original office from the time of its inception until December, 1887. Re was elected Grand Imperial Potentate at the first Session of the Imperial Grand Council of the Order, June 6, 1876, and retained this office until June 14, 1886. The name Grand was after a time dropped from the titles (see Doctor Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry, pages 1973-83, for a detailed account of the Order of the Mystic Shrine. See also Florence, William Jermyn, and Shrine).
Pieces of timber, made fast together with rafters, for conveying burdens down a river with the stream. The use of these floats in the building of the Temple is thus described in the letter of King Hiram to Solomon: “And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in flotes by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem” (Second Chronicles ii, 16).
French Freemason and musician; composer of the Te Deum (a term based on the opening words in Latin of an early hymn, Te Deum Laudamus, we Praise Thee, O God, and often applied to any thanksgiving song or service), which; the Mother Lodge of the Scottish Philosophic Rite sang in 1781 at the Church of Notre Dame, Paris, in honor of the birth of the Dauphin, the first-born son of the King of France.
The flour of a properly constructed Lodge-room should be covered with alternate squares of black and white, to represent the Mosaic pavement which was the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple.
A framework of board or canvas, on which the emblems of any particular Degree are inscribed, for the assistance of the Master in giving a lecture. It is so called because formerly it was the custom to inscribe these designs on the floor of the Lodge-room in chalk, which were wiped out when the Lodge was closed. It is the same as the Carpet, Or Tracing-Board.
The washing out of the designs chalked upon the floor is seen in the early caricatures of the Craft where a mop and pail are illustrated. These would soon be put aside when Lodges met in carpeted rooms. Then the symbols were shown by marking out the Lodge with tape and nails or shaping the symbols in wood or metal to be laid upon the floor or table or pedestal as the case might be in the Lodge. Such use of separate symbols we have seen in English Lodges, as at Bristol, where the ancient ceremonies are jealously and successfully preserved.
An easy development would be to picture the designs on a cloth to be spread out on floor when in use or folded up for storage. Then there would be the further movement to the stereopticon slides of a similar character, and which find frequent use in the United States. Brother John Harris in 1820 designed and made a set of Tracing Boards for the three Degrees. These designs were never authorized by the Grand Lodge of England, the individual Lodges employed their own artists and the results varied accordingly, though the influence of Brother Harris tended to the uniformity that practically now prevails among Tracing-Board makers. Articles of much interest and value on the subject are “Evolution and Development of the Tracing or Lodge Board,” by Brother E. H. Dring (Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1916, volume xxix, pages 243 and 275), and “Some Notes on the Tracing Board of the Lodge of Union, No. 3S,” bar Brother O. N. Wvatt (Transactions Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1910, volume xxiii, page 191). The latter article refers particularly to the work of Brother Josiah Bowring, a portrait painter of London, also painted the Boards for the Chichester Lodge in 1811, himself being initiated in 1795.
The same as Floor-cloth, which see
FLORENCE, WILLIAM J.
William J., or Billy, Florence was the professional name used by William Jermyn Conlin, a popular actor, and a Freemason whose name is romantically as well as practically associated with the founding of the Ancient and Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. This organization was doubtless erected upon a ritual and ceremonies established and brought into being by Brother Florence and his coworker, Dr. Walter M. Fleming, with their immediate Masonic friends. Little of the actual detail of the work at headquarters w as done by Florence himself, that being left to Doctor Fleming, due to Brother Florence’s enforced long absences awhile touring the United States or foreign lands in following his profession. He, however, lent his popular name to the cause and enthusiastically contributed what assistance he could to the propagation of the Order.
Brother Florence was born July 26, 1831, at Albany, New Work. Adopted the stage as a profession and met with immediate success and continuous popularity until the time of his death, which occurred at the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, November l9, 1891. His body was interred in Greenwood Cemetery ,Protestant, in Brooklyn, in a plot which Florence had purchased years before and which was the burial place of his mother, although his wife was a Roman Catholic who had the last rites performed over him by the priesthood of her choice in Saint Agnes Church. Brother Charles Thomas McClenachan, Thirty-third Degree, and closely associated with Brothers Florence and Fleming in the founding of the Mystic Shrine, conferred the Scottish Rite up to and including the Thirty-second Degree upon Brother Florence at the Metropolitan Hotel, New York Cites April 21, 1867. This was just prior to Florence s departure for Europe, on which trip he is said to haste been received into several organizations similar to the Shrine both in France and Algiers. These visits of his M ere highly colored by the imaginative Doctor Flemin, and used in the ritual which was finally perfected, replete with oriental atmosphere and “regal splendor,” as he termed it. Frequent assertions! even by Masonic authorities, have been made that Brother Florence was not a Freemason. The facts are that he was initiated into the Masonic Order in Philadelphia (see also One Hundred } ears of Aurora Grata, 18081908, page 47). Brethar Charles A. Brockaway writes that he was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 155, Philadelphia; Initiated, Crafted, and Raised October 12, 1853. Zerubbabel Chapter, No. 162, 1854. Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1, 1854. Brother Brockaway copies the following from the Minutes of Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection, Brooklyn, New York, of which he was Thrice Potent Master:
At a special communication of Aurora Grata Lodge of Perfection held at their rooms, Halsey’s building, on Tuesday evening, April 16, 67, Illustrious Brother C. T. McClenachan, Thirty-third Degree, proposed Brother lV. J. Florence, Age 40, Occupation Actor, Residence Metropolitan Hotel. Refers to Illustrious Brother McClenachan and Illustrious Charles brown M.D., which was on motion received and referred to lliustriols Brothers Willets, Smith and McClennchan for investigation, who immediately reported favorably and recommended his election. The T.P.G . M . then ordered a ballot and Brother Florence was declared duly elected. Brother Florence being about to depart for Europe and wishing to receive the Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, permission was given Illustrious Brother McClenachan to confer the Degrees upon him as soon as convenient and wherever his judgment might dictate.
Noble Florence conferred the Degrees of the Shrine upon Sam Briggs, who was Potentate of Al Ivoran Temple from 1876 to 1901, and Imperial Potentate from 1886 to 1899, as well as on Brenton D. Babcock and three other Clevelanders at the Opera House and at the Rennard Hotel on October 91 and 00, ]876. When the Al Koran Temple of Cleveland was instituted, Florence was an honored visitor, he having suggested its name.
William Winter’s Wallat of Time, a history of the American stage, contains a beautiful eulogy upon Florence, stating that he was “in art admirable; in life gentle; he was widely known, and he was known only to be loved.
By Virtue cherished, by Affeetion mourned
By Honor hallowed and by Fame adorned
Here Florenee sleeps, and o’er his sacred rest
Each word is tender and each thought is blest.
Long, for his loss, shall pensive Memorv show,
Through Humor’s mask, the visage of her woe
Dale breathe a darkness that no sun dispels,
And Night be full of whispers and farewells;
While patient Kindness shadow-like and dim
Droops in its loneliness, bereft of him
Feels its sad doom and sure decadence high
For how should Sindness live, when he could die!
The eager heart, that felt for every grief;
The bounteous hand, that loved to give relief
The honest smile, that blest where’er it lit
The dew of pathos and the sheen of wit:
The sweet, blue eyes, the voice of melting tone
That made all hearts as gentle as his own;
The aetor’s charm, supreme in royal thrall
That ranged through every field and shone in all-
For these must Sorrow make perpetual moan
Bereaved, benighted, hopeless and alone9
Ah, no! for Nature does not aet amiss
And Heaven were lonely but for souls like this.
Doctor Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry contains further details of this Brother and of the Shrine (see chapter 107).
FLORIAN, SQUIN DE
The first accuser of Grand Master Jacques deMolay and the Knights Templar. He was subsequently assassinated.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland was petitioned in March, 176S, for a Charter for Grants East Florida Lodge. When this was issued Governor James Grant was appointed Provincial Grand Master over the Lodges in the Southern District of North America. This Grand Lodge, however, became extinct with the Spanish succession at St. Augustine in 1786. Saint Andrew’s Lodge, No. 1 then applied for authority to the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia to continue the work;. In 1783 this Lodge came under the jurisdiction of South Carolina, but in 1790 it became dormant and dropped from the roll. On July 5, 1830, Jackson, Washington and Harmony Lodges sent representatives to a Convention for forming a Grand Lodge of Florida. .A Constitution was framed and adopted on the following day and the Grand Cheers elected and installed. Two Chapters, Magnolias No. 16, and Florida, No. 32, were chartered in Florida by the Grand Chapter of Virginia. and one at St. Augustine by the Grand Chapter of South Carolina. Delegates from these three Chapters met on January 11, 1847, and resolved to form a Grand Chapter for Florida. On the 2lst of the month they elected officers and organized the Grand Chapter. After some delay, due to their not having furnished particulars of the Chapters who took part in the Convention, the General Grand High Priest was authorized in 1856 to recognize the Grand Chapter of Florida.
For some years the Council Degrees were conferred in the Chapters. Companion Albert G. Mackey then organized a Council of Royal and Select Masters, Columbia Council at Lake City. The records of this and of the establishment of two other Councils were lost, but Companion Mackey, to whom an appeal for dates was made, said that the probable date of Columbia Council was 1852. At a meeting held at Tallahassee on January 12, 1868, Columbia, Mackey and Douglas Councils opened a Grand Council and appointed a Committee to draft a Constitution and By-Laws. These were adopted the following day and Brother Thomas Hayward, then Grand High Priest, was elected Grand Master.
A Dispensation was granted on March 17, 1851, to DeMolay Commandery, No. 1, at Quincy. When the hall of this Commandery was destroyed by fire permission was given to hold several meetings at Tallahassee. Representatives of five Commanderies, namely, Coeur de Lion, No. 1; Damascus, No. 2; Olivet, So. 4; Palatka, under Dispensation, and Plant City, under Dispensation, took part in the organization of a Grand Commandery on August 15, 1895. The first introduction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to Florida was the establishment on October 19, 1892, of the Ponce de Leon Lodge of Perfection, No. 3, at Ocala. On October 20, 1899, the McLean Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1, was opened, and on October 24, 1901, the Bruce Council of Kadosh, No. 1, and the Tampa Consistory, No. 1, began work.
Robert Fludd, or, as he called himself in his Latin writings, Robertus de Fluctibus, was in the seventeenth century a prominent member of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. He was born in England in 1574, and having taken the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Arts at Saint John’s College, Oxford, he commenced the study of physic, and in due time took the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He died in 1637. In 1616, he commenced the publication of his works and became a voluminous writer, whose subject and style were equally dark and mysterious.
The most important of his publications are: Apologia Compendaria, Fraternitatem de Rosea Cruce. suspicionis et infamioe maculis aspersum abluerus, published at Leyden, 1616. The Latin title means:
A Brief apology, clearing the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross from tile stigma of suspicion and infamy with which they have been aspersed, and Tractatus Apoloqeticus integritatem Societatis de Rosea Cruce defendens contra Libanium et alios, Leyden, l617,and meaning in English An Apologetic Tract defending the purity of the Society of the Rosy Cross from the attacks of Libanius and others. And last. and wildest of all was his extravagant work on magic, the cabala, alchemy, and Rosicrucianism, entitled Summum bonum, quod est verum magioe, cabaoel, alchymioe, fratrum Rosoe Crucis verorum veroe subjectum.
Rosicrucianism was perhaps indebted more to Fludd than to any other person for its introduction from Germany into England, and it may have had its influence in molding the form of Speculative Freemasonry; but we are not prepared to go as far as a distinguished writer in the London Freemasons Magazine (April, 1858, page 677), who says that “Fludd must be considered as the immediate father of Freemasonry as Andrea was its remote father.” Nicolai more rationally remarks that Fludd, like Andrea, exerted a considerable and beneficial influence on the manners of his age. His explanation of the Rose Croix is worth quoting. He says that it symbolically signifies the cross dyed with the blood of the Savior; a Christian idea which was in advance of the original Rosicrucians.
FOLGER, ROBERT B
author of a history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, New York, 1862, a second edition in l881. In 1852 he delivered an address to the memory of George Washington for the members of Benevolent Lodge. Said to have been initiated in the Fireman’s Lodge, New York, in 1825, but in the introduction to his book (page 12) mentions “the Latomia Society of Atlantic Lodge, of which he (the author) is a member.” The dedication of the work is “To the Latomia Society of Atlantic Lodge No. 178, Free and Accepted Masons, New York.” Brother Folger was a member of the medical profession.
From his acquaintance with Sir Christopher Wren, and his intimacy with Doctor Desaguliers, Martin Folkes was induced to take an active part in the reorganization of Freemasonry in the beginning of the last century, and his literary attainments and prominent position in the scientific world enabled him to exercise a favorable influence on the character of the Institution. He was descended from a good family, being the eldest son of Martin Folkes, Counselor at Law, and Dorothy, the daughter of Sir William Howell, of the County of Norfolk. He was born in Queen Street, Leicester Inn Fields, Westminster, October 29, 1690. In 1707 he was entered at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and in 1713 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, of which, in 1723, he was appointed vice-president. In 1727, on the death of Sir Isaac Newton, he became a candidate for the Presidency, in which he was defeated by Sir Hans Sloane, who, however, renewed his appointment as Vice-president, and in 1741, on the resignation of Sloane as President, he was elected his successor. In 1742 he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris, and in 1746 received the degree of Doctor of Laws from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
In 1750, he was elected President of the Society of Antiquaries. To this and to the Royal Society he contributed many essays, and published a work entitled, A Table of English Silver Coins, which is still much esteemed as a numismatic authority. On September 26, 1751, he was struck with paralysis, from which he never completely recovered. On November 30, 1753, he resigned the presidency of the Royal Society, but retained that of the Society of Antiquaries until his death. In 1733, he visited Italy, and remained there until 1735, during which time he appears to have ingratiated himself with the Freemasons of that country, for in 1742 they struck a medal in his honor, a copy of which is to be found in Thory’s History of the Foundation of the Grand Orient of France. On one side is a pyramid, a sphinx, some Masonic ciphers, and the two pillars, and on the obverse a likeness of Folkes.
Of the Masonic life of Folkes we have but few records. In 1725, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, and is recorded as having paid great attention to the duties of his office. Anderson says that he presided over the Grand Lodge in May of that year, and “prompted a most agreeable Communication” (see Constitutions, 1738, page 119). But he held no office afterward; yet he is spoken of as having taken great interest in the Institution. Of his literary contributions to Freemasonry nothing remains.
The Pocket Companion cites an address by him, in 1725, before the Grand Lodge, probably at that very Communication to which Anderson has alluded, but it is unfortunately no longer extant. He died June 28, 1754, and was buried in the Chancel of Hillington Church near Lynn, Norfolk. He left a wife and two daughters, an only son having died before him.
Nichols, who knew him personally, says in his Literary Anecdotes (ii, 591) of him: “His knowledge was very extensive, his judgment exact and accurate, and the precision of his ideas appeared from the perspicuity and conciseness of his expression in his discourses and writings on abstruse and difficult topics…. He had turned his thoughts to the study of antiquity and the polite arts with a philosophical spirit, which he had contracted by the cultivation of the mathematical sciences from his earliest youth.” His valuable library of more than five thousand volumes was sold for £3090 at auction after his decease.
FONTANES, MARQUIS LOUIS DE
Born at Niort, France, March 6, 1757; he died at Paris, March 17, 1821. Poet and statesman; President of the Corps Legislatif, head of the Imperial University and Senator under Napoleon I; a member of the famous Lodge of Sine Sisters, his name appears on the lists of members for 1783, 1784, and 1806 (see Une Loge Maçonnique, Louis Amiable, 1897, page 308). Created a marquis and a peer by Louis XVIII.
A fool, as one not in possession of sound reason, a natural or idiot, is intellectually unfit for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry, because he is incapable of comprehending the principles of the Institution, and is without any moral responsibility for a violation or neglect of its duties.
The Corner-stone. To level the Footstone means to lay the Corner-stone. Thus, Dr. George Oliver says “Solomon was enabled to level the footstone of the Temple in the fourth year of his reign.”
FOOT TO FOOT
The old lectures of the eighteenth century descanted on the symbolism of foot to foot as teaching us “that indolence should not permit the foot to halt or wrath to turn our steps out of the way; but forgetting injuries and selfish feelings, and remembering that man was born for the aid of his fellow-creatures, not for his own enjoyments only, but to do that which is good, we should be swift to extend our mercy and benevolence to all, but more particularly to a Brother Mason.” The later lecture on the same subject gives the same lesson more briefly and more emphatically, when it says, owe should never halt nor grow weary in the service of a Brother Mason. ”
FORDS OF THE JORDAN
The slaughter of the Ephraimites at the passages or fords of the River Jordan, which is described in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Judges, is referred to in the Fellow Craft’s Degree. Brother Rob Morris, in his Freemasonry in the Holy Land (page 316) says:
The exact locality of these fords or “passages ” as the Bible terms them, cannot now be designated, but most likely they were those nearly due east of Seikoot and opposite Mizpah. At these fords, in summer time, the water is not more than three or four feet deep. the bottom being composed of a hard limestone rock. If, as some think the fords, thirty miles higher up, are those referred to the same description will apply. At either place, the Jordan is about eighty feet wide, its banks encumbered by a dense growth of tamarisks, cane, willows thorn-bushes, and other low vegetation of the shrubby and thorny sorts, which make it difficult even to approach the margin of the stream. The Arabs cross the river at the present day, at stages of low water, at a number of fords, from the one near the point where the Jordan leaves the Sea of Galilee down to the Pilgrims’ Ford, six miles above the Dead Sea.
A certain Degree lecture begins by declaring that the recipient was induced to seek that sublime Degree “that he might perfect himself in Masonry, so as to travel into foreign countries, and work and receive wages as a Master Mason.”
Thousands have often heard this expression in connection with a Master’s Lodge, without dreaming for a moment of its hidden and spiritual meaning, or, if they think of any meaning at all, they content themselves by interpreting it as referring to the actual travels of the Freemasons, after the completion of the Temple, into the surrounding countries in search of employment, whose wages were to be the gold and silver which they could earn by the exercise of their skill in the operative art.
But the true symbolic meaning of the foreign country into which the Master Mason travels in search of wages is far different. The symbolism of this life terminates with the Master’s Degree. The completion of that degree is the lesson of death and the resurrection to a future life, where the True Word, or Divine Truth, not given in this, is to be received as the reward of a life worthily spent in its search Heaven, the future life, the higher state of existence b after death, is the foreign country in which the Master Mason i8 to enter, and there he is to receive his wages in the reception of that Truth which can be imparted only in that better land.
This title has been given to certain secret associations which derive their symbols and ceremonies from trades practiced in forests, such as the Carbonari, or Charcoal-burners; the Fendeurs. or Woodcutters; the Sawyers, etc. They are all imitative of Freemasonry.
See Fendeurs, Order of
FOREST OF LEBANON
FORFEITURE OF CHARTER
A Lodge may forfeit its Charter for misconduct, and when forfeited, the Warrant or Charter is revoked by the Grand Lodge.
In Freemasonry, an official act is said to be done, according to the rank of the person who does it, either in ample form, in due form, or simply in form. Thus, when the Grand Lodge is opened by the Grand Master in person, it is said to be opened in ample form; when by the Deputy Grand Master, it is said to be in due form; when by any other qualified officer, it is said to be in form. The legality of the act is the same whether it be done in form or in ample form; and the expression refers only to the dignity of the officer by whom the act is performed The terms Ample and Due Form appear to have been introduced by Anderson in the 1738 edition of the Constitutions (page 110).
FORM OF THE LODGE
The form of a Freemason’s Lodge is said to be an oblong square, having its greatest length from east to west, and its greatest breadth from north to south. This oblong form of the Lodge, has, as Brother Mackey thought, a symbolic illusion that has not been adverted to by any other writer.If, on a map of the world, we draw lines which shall circumscribe just that portion which was known and inhabited at the time of the building of Solomon’s Temple, these lines, running a short distance north and south of the Mediterranean Sea, and extending from Spain to Asia Minor, will form an oblong square, whose greatest length will be from east to west, and whose greatest breadth will be from north to south, as is shown in the annexed diagram.
There is a peculiar fitness in this theory, which is really only making the Masonic Lodge a symbol of the world. It must be remembered that, at the era of the Temple, the earth was supposed to have the form of a parallelogram, or oblong square. Such a figure inscribed upon a map of the world, and including only that part of it which was known in the days of Solomon, would present just such a square, embracing the Mediterranean Sea and the countries lying immediately on its northern, southern, and eastern borders. Beyond, far in the north, would be Cimmerian deserts as a place of darkness, while the pillars of Hercules in the west, on each side of the Straits of Gades now Gibraltar might appropriately be referred to the two pillars that stood at the porch of the Temple. Thus the world itself would be the true Freemason’s Lodge, in which he was to live and labor. Again: the solid contents of the earth below, “from the surface to the centre,” and the profound expanse above, “from the earth to the highest heavens,” would give to this parallelogram definition which says that “the form of the Lodge ought to be a double cube, as an expressive emblem of the powers of light and darkness in the creation.”
A prescribed mode or form of doing or saving anything. The word is derived from the technical language of the Roman law, where, after the old legal actions had been abolished, suits were practiced according to certain prescribed forms called formulae. Formulas in Freemasonry are very frequent. They are either oral or monitorial. Oral formulas are those that are employed in various parts of the ritual, such as the opening and closing of a Lodge, the investiture of a candidate, etc. From the fact of their oral transmission they are frequently corrupted or altered, which is one of the most prolific sources of nonconformity so often complained of by Masonic teachers. Monitorial formulas are those that are committed to writing, and are to be found in the various Monitors and Manuals. They are such as relate to public installations, to laying foundation stones, to dedications of halls, to funerals! etc. Their monitorial character ought to preserve them from change; but uniformity is not even here always attained, owing to the whims of the compilers of manuals or of monitors, who have often unnecessarily changed the form of words from the original standard.