Enciclopédia Mackey – INQUISITION ~ IRAM




Speculative Freemasonry appeared in Madrid in 1726, at Gibraltar in 1727, and at about the same time in Paris. The first Italian Lodges were constituted in Tuscany about 1735, and a Lodge was working in Rome at about the same time. These dates are mere indicia, and in themselves mean little, because almost every page of written records was lost, and it is probable that there were many more Lodges, and Masons not in Lodges, than the few surviving records would indicate. On April 28, 1738, Pope Clement XII issued a Bull of Excommunication; it was a feeble, ill-drawn document, in a Medieval Latin which only experts could read, but it consigned a Mason to hell in the future and ostracized him from the church, his family, and his property here and now; also it was drawn in such a way as to be most useful to the Inquisition, which assisted the Pope to draft it. The modus operandz of arrests, tortures, penalties, etc., was left to local tribunals; but the Cardinal Secretary of State gave assistance by publishing on Jan. 14, 1739, a model for these tribunals to use; it pronounced “irresistible pain of death, not only on all members but on all who should tempt others to join the Order, or should rent a house to it or favor it in any other way.” But while local tribunals were adjured to be as harsh as possible, the crusade as a whole was turned over to the Holy Inquisition. It is difficult for modern men, and especially in England, America, and Canada, to understand the organization of the Inquisition because they have never had it in their midst. For centuries each country had two governments side by side; the state, or civil, or “temporal” government headed by a King, Prince, or Parliament; and an ecclesiastical government headed by the Pope, and under him by Cardinals, Bishops, and special offices appointed for the purpose. Present day churches have their own rules and regulations governing their internal affairs, but these do not at any point encroach upon civil government, nor can they apply civil penalties. The Roman Church government was of a different kind, before the Reformation, and rested on a different principle; it was not a church government, but a general government, of an authority and a jurisdiction equal to that of the civil government; it differed from the latter in that only such categories of laws and cases belonged to it as had to do with religion, and with the properties belonging to the church; there were, therefore, two complete governments standing side by side, of equal sovereignty, and duplicating offices and penalties. The church enacted laws (canonical law); it had courts, lawyers, judicial processes, hearings, verdicts, and penitentiaries and execution yards or chambers. l.t arrested men, tried them, sentenced them, and punished them. Among its punishments were the disfrocking of priests, removal from office, excommunications, interdicts, alienation of property, torture, selling into slavery, hanging, burning at the stake, beheading, sentence to galleys, banishment, fines, etc. If a crime, or an alleged crime, was a mixture of both civil and ecclesiastical offenses, the accused would be tried and sentenced in the civil courts and then tried and sentenced a second time in the church courts. He was in “double jeopardy” each day of his life. (It was one of the first concerns of the framers of our Constitution to make double jeopardy impossible.) The so-called Holy Inquisition was set up as a special arm of this ecclesiastical government, and yet while only an arm was itself empowered to act as a separate government, and could impose and execute sentence in its own name; it differed from ecclesiastical government in general only in that it was designed to stamp out heresy, and by heresy usually was meant any form of Protestantism. It is this fact which in the long run filled men of normal, sane minds with horror and led to uprisings and to driving the Holy Inquisition out of the country, as happened even in Spain which once was its home and center, as it also was the home and center of the Jesuits; and where an auto dafé, or the public and ceremonious burning of “here tics,” was a holiday, and celebrated like a Fourth of July. The secret police of the czars, and the gestapos of the Fascists, Phalangists, and Nazis were patterned on it. Heinrich Himmler and his staff made a detailed study over a period of years of the methods used by the Inquisition. The Inquisition was not directed against criminals but against men accused of heresy—an exceptionally flexible term, because the Inquisition could decide for itself, and on the spot, what it meant by heresy; thousands of the men and women destroyed by it were of irreproachable reputation and character, many of a saintly life, and whom not even the Inquisition could accuse of crime. The theory on which the Inquisition worked was that it should act as a detective to search out the heretic, the heretic should confess, and the penalty would then be sanctioned by his confession; but where a marked-down man refused to confess or had nothing to confess, torture was used to reduce him to a state where out of agony or when out of his mind he became willing to confess anything— again, precisely according to the methods used by the Gestapo. Such an engine could be employed for many purposes: to terrorize a community, to browbeat a civil ruler, to defy civil laws, to destroy churches and associations, to seize wealth and property, to commit plain murder, etc. The Inquisition was not given exclusive jurisdiction over men accused of Masonry, for the regular church and civil courts continued to have jurisdiction also, but the Inquisition was especially held responsible for what in later years Adolf Hitler, a spiritual descendant of the Inquisition, was to describe as “the liquidation of Freemasons. ” There were never many Masons in countries where the Inquisition was free to act in the Eighteenth Century, and only a few records escaped being destroyed, but in proportion to their numbers the Masons probably suffered more excommunications, tortures, and martyrdoms than any other one group. Books were written about the cases of Coustos and Da Costa. Cagliostro was a charlatan and a thief, and was repudiated by Lodges when his character was exposed, but the wide publicity given to his imprisonment brought the methods of the Inquisition into the light, and in the long run helped to drive it back into the un-advertised offices in the Vatican where it continues to carry on such work as it is able. In Spain alone, and as late as 1816, twenty five Masons suffered under the Inquisition; in 1819 there were seven cases; if it were free to act again, without a civil government to check it, it would resume its old practices, because neither it itself nor the Vatican has ever admitted the Inquisition to have been a crime against Christianity and civilization, nor altered its principles. Americans are far from Europe and farther still from the period when the Church was the second government in a land; because of this lack of information and first-hand knowledge they often confuse the Inquisition with the Jesuits. The two are and ever have been independent of each other. The Society of Jesuits is in theory an army, a church “militant,” its members are enlisted; they receive a training,” each is under an oath of allegiance to a general”; they go as troops, singly or in companies, wherever they may be sent, to carry out whatever orders are given to them. In some times and places they have been ordered to make war on Freemasonry; in others they have been ordered to join in with it, to weaken or divide it from within by ” infiltration, ” etc.; the whole story of Jesuit dealings with Freemasonry reads like a page out of a detective novel of a rather trashy sort, and causes adult men still unbereft of their senses to wonder how other grown-up men can have indulged in practices so childish. The Jesuit author of the article on Freemasonry in the Catholic Encyclopedia even charged Masons with “phallic worship” and Pope Leo XIII solemnly assured the whole of France that Masons worship the devil! The records of the Holy Inquisition are voluminous, in a dozen languages, full of ecclesiastical terminology, tortuous and tortured to the extreme; it is doubtful if any American scholar except Henry Charles Lea has ever examined them detail by detail; but the general organization and purpose of it is public, plain, easily intelligible. When in 1738 the Roman Church decided to abolish Freemasonry the Inquisition was used as one of the engines for that purpose. See Clement XII’s Bull. History of Inquisition in Spain, by Henry Charles Lea. Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism, by H. L. Haywood. Sufferings of John Coustos, by Coustos. Censorship of the Church of Rome, by George Haven Putnam. Article on Freemasonry in Catholic Encyclopedia by Abbe Gruber. Memoirs of the History of Jacobznism and Freemasonry, by Barruel. See also in Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. II, p. 127; Vol. III, p. 330; Vol. XIV, p. 347; Vol. IV, p. 748; Vol. XIII, p. 9; a sort. on “Illuminati”; Vol. VII; Vol. XIV, p. 265; Vol. XV, p. 309; Vol. XIV, p. 72; Vol. X, p. 266; Vol. XII, p. 138; Vol. XII, p. 190; Vol. XIII, p. 193; Vol. XIV, pp. 67, 624. Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry, by Dudley Wright. Severe condemnations of the Inquisition have been written by Roman Catholics themselves. Lord Acton, a Roman Catholic, was a scholar of learning, intelligence, and character far above the type of such propagandists as the Abbe Gruber, and still more the unhappy Abbe Barruel; he declared the Inquisition to have been organized on the principle of crime, and that its executions were murders and nothing more. Men rebelled against the Inquisition because it was criminal, sadistic, unjust, and in violent contradiction of Christianity; American Roman Catholic apologists, of whom the number is now rapidly increasing, seek to becloud that known fact and at the same time to win Protestants over to their side by reiteration of the sophistry that men were killed by the Inquisition “because they were the foes of the Christian religion. ”


If the Minute Books of fifty of the oldest American Lodges as of the period between 1800 and 1825 are compared with the Minute Books of the same Lodges as of the period 1900 to 1925 it will be discovered that the subject of the Lodge inventory was somewhere lost, abandoned, forgotten in the years between. Ever so often in the early days a Secretary with loving care, and often with an openly expressed pride, wrote out his inventory; and such inventories are for us now one of the best sources for a knowledge of what Lodge life was a century and a half ago, and coincidentally make vivid and clear one thing wrong with Lodge life now— something lost out of Masonry, like the Lost Word, an old Landmark unintentionally violated; a thing lost though not necessarily beyond recall. The inventory was not of the carpets, walls, windows, or other structural equipment, nor was it for real estate or taxation or fire insurance purposes; it was an inventory of the treasures of the Lodge. In almost every instance each item was described as a gift from some Brother, or as a memento of some occasion long remembered; there were oil portraits, framed prints, photographs; jewels kept in cases, of silver, and engraved, once the property of officers who later had presented them to the Lodge; aprons, collars, ballot boxes, gavels, Bibles and books, music books, an organ, sets of plate, glass and dishes, altar coverings, certificates, cherished letters in frames, punch bowls, and there were gifts which the Lodge had made to itself, such as hand-made and carved chairs for the officer, a visitors’ book bound in morocco, etc. The Lodge Room had a feeling of being richly furnished; it was filled with the emblems and symbols of Freemasonry, of the Lodge’s own past, of the community’s esteem for it, and the members who had gone were not completely gone. Men loved their Lodge, and because they did there was no need to devise schemes for persuading them to attend. In every Lodge, even the crassest, there are these untapped feelings of affection. Each one should have an inventory. When a Lodge room is empty, its walls bare, it has no atmosphere of its own, does not feel like home; the Ritual loses its soul because it has not the environment it requires; the worst effect of the bare Lodge room is that its Masonry becomes barren because the Lodge has only the sense of being in a room and does not have a sense of being in the midst of a living and moving Fraternity; nor can it have a sense of its own past, or the Fraternity’s past, but sinks into a feeling of isolation and flatness—it cannot even have a banquet because it has nothing to have it with. The inventory was one of riches; the riches came not out of the members’ dues but out of their affection.


Shortly after Theodore Sutton Parvin became Iowa’s Grand Secretary in 1844 he began the building of a collection of Masonic books which became the first American Masonic library, in the true sense of having a librarian, a catalog, and a building; and though Bro. Parvin gave the required time and attention to his duties as Grand Secretary, it was into his office as Grand Lodge Librarian that he put his heart. Decades before 1901, the year of his decease, his Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids had become not an Iowa center of Masonic learning only, nor even an American center, but a world-wide center. Its part in the development of Freemasonry from 1865 until now is un-honored because it is unsung; but if any Mason will go behind the published Proceedings of Grand Bodies and the published books and will search through the private correspondence which came to Parvin’s desk he will discover that not only was this Library commandeered by leaders and scholars in every land but also that it made possible certain of the most important achievements of Masonic Bodies and of Masonic scholars and leaders. Thus, Gould, Hughan, Crawley (a part of Crawley’s correspondence is at hand while this is being written), Lane, and the group in general which collaborated on the work published as Gould’s History of Freemasonry, made continual use of it from England and Ireland. Mackey could not have prepared this Encyclopedia nor have written either his HisCory or his Jurisprudence without it. Albert Pike was always drawing upon it. and especially so in his war on Cerneauism, herein some of his most devastating arrows had been barbed by Parvin, etc. Moreover it was a visible proof to otherwise skeptical American Masons that Masonic books, and in large number, do in actuality exist; and it became an inspiration to other Grand Jurisdictions to set up Libraries of their own. From 1901 to 1925 Bro. Newton R. Parvin, the son of T. S. Parvin, was Grand Librarian as well as Grand Secretary; and if he was not a scholar he was at least a great book-man, and under him the collection grew. It occupies the largest part of one very extensive three-story building and the whole of another. The Grand Jurisdiction continued in its good fortune when in 1925 R.-. W. . Bro. Charles Clyde Hunt succeeded to both the Grand Secretaryship and the Grand Librarianship. Born in Cleveland, O., in 1866, Bro. Hunt went west to Iowa, worked his w ay through the famous Grinnell College, taught school for a time, became a county treasurer, and in 1917 became Deputy Grand Secretary, giving his full time to the position, and from the first devoting a major part of his time to the Library. He has for many years edited the Grand Lodge Bulletin. In 1930 he published Some Thoughts on Masonic Symbolism (later revised and enlarged); and collaborated with Eugene Hinman and Ray . Denslow (General Grand High Priest) to write in two volumes The History of the Cryptic Rite. Bro. Hunt was made a Mason in Lafayette Lodge, No. 52, Montezuma, Iowa in 1900. He joined each of the Rites one after another and has held a long list of offices.


Christian Schussele was born in Alsace, in 1824, studied painting in Paris where he specialized in the historical subjects then in vogue, moved to the United States in 1847, was for eleven years director of the Pennsylvania Art Schools, and died in Merchantville, N. Y., August 21, 1879. Four of his canvasses became famous. One of them has been among the most gazed-at pictures ever painted in America, because prints of it hang in half the Lodge quarters in the United States, and it has been reproduced in Masonic books and periodicals without number under the title of “King Solomon and the Blacksmith. ” It is a conservative estimate that since it was painted (about 1860) at least twenty-five million men and women either have their own copies or have looked at it. In 1868 Mr. Joseph Harrison, Jr. wrote and printed a brochure (J. B. Lippincott; Philadelphia) entitled— Tale Iron Worker and King Solomon. In it he says he had Schussele paint the picture for him (he was writing in 1867) “four or five years ago.” In the brochure he gives in his own words a version of the legend which is the subject-matter of the picture. Mr. Harrison, Jr. was one of the first American engineers of his day, who had built railways in Russia and iron construction in Britain, where he was held in high honor. In a speech delivered in 1859 he relates how from a folk-lore expert and friend of his, Charles G. Cleland (author of Hans Breitmann’s Ballads of 1868), he heard a version of what he took to be an old Rabbinical Legend, and was so inspired by it that he engaged Schussele to reproduce it on canvas. The picture was engraved by Sartain (a member of the Thirty-third Degree), and was published by the Macoy Company of New York about 1890, accompanied by a pamphlet entitled Tubal Cain. (The pamphlet, and Harrison’s brochure, are collectors’ items.) This title, and the conspicuous figure of Solomon in the picture, led Masons everywhere to take it for a Masonic picture, and has occasioned the immense popularity referred to above. For many centuries the blacksmiths in England, a branch of the ironmongers, were a fraternity, and celebrated the Day of St. Clement their Patron, November 23, and in Britain continue to do so in centers where old ways are kept alive. (In ancient Ireland “smith” meant a builder.) As time passed Tubal Cain, Vulcan, and their St. Clement, whom they know as “Clem,” became fused into a single character. They carried an image of him in their processions. This fraternity of blacksmiths has many old legends about “Clem,” one of them built around King Arthur, and sing jolly songs about his adventures. Another and more popular version uses King Solomon in place of King Arthur; and a written legend (like and yet unlike our “Legend of the Craft”) is still, or was until some years ago, read at gatherings of the Sons of Clem in English towns. It is this legend which Mr. Harrison Jr. heard from his friend Cleland, and not “an old Rabbinical legend.” In the Talmudic and Rabbinical literature available at this writing no such legend is found, though there are any number of old stories and fables about Tubal Cain. It is the character of Tubal Cain, even if transmogrified into a blacksmith, whose description reminds one of the legend of HA.-. Freemasons have lost nothing by mistaking the Solomon and Blacksmith legend for one of their own, because in its modern written form it could be incorporated into the Ritual without dislocation, and the idea at the center of the story is as Masonic as the Square and Compasses. Notes. References to the Solomon and Blacksmith legend itself, to legends about Tubal Cain, and to the history and customs of the old fraternity of smiths are very numerous. Many titles in that bibliography, as well as the text of the legend itself, will be found in “Some Usages and Legends of Crafts Kindred to Masonry,” by Gordon P. G. Hills; Are Quatuor Coronatorum; Vol. XXVIII; page 115.


On July 3, 1838, Congress passed a bill for the organization of the Territory of Iowa, and two years later the brethren in the new State decided to tour a Lodge. On November 19, 1840, a meeting was held at which were present Col. Hiram C. Bennett, Evan Evans William Fove, David Hammer, Robert Martins J. L. Lockwood, William Thompson, W. D. NIcCord, Thomas H. Curts, Chauncey Swan, Theodore S. Parvin and Robert Lucas, Governor of the Territory. The petition for the new Lodge was drawn up and a Dispensation dated November 20, 1840, was received from the Deputy Grand Master of Missouri. Brothers Bennett, Thompson and Evans svere named as Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens. The Dispensation was granted to Burlington Lodge but after the Charter was issued the name was changed to Des Moines Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Iowa was formed by Des Moines Lodge, No. 1; Iowa Lodge, No. 2; Dubuque Lodge, No. 3, and Iowa City Lodge, No. 4, formerly Nos. 41, 42, 85, and 63 of Missouri. Brother Ansel Humphreys presided over the Convention held on January 2, 1844, and Brother John H. McKinney was Secretary. Brothers Oliver Cock and T. S. Parvin were elected Most Worshipful Grand Master and Grand Secretary.

The Deputy General Grand High Priest authorized by proxy the formation of Iowa Chapter at Burlington, by Dispensation dated August 4, 1843. A Charter was granted on September 11, 1844. A Convention of four Chapters, namely, Iowa Chapter, No. 1; Iowa City Chapter, No. 2; Dubuque Chapter, No. 3, and Washington Chapter, No. 4, met at Mount Pleasant on June 8, 1854, and established the Grand Chapter of Iowa. Some time later the Grand Chapter of Iowa opposed the authority of the General Grand Chapter by claiming the privilege of issuing Dispensations for the organization of Chapters wherever no other Grand Chapter was at work. On October 26, 1869, however, it annulled its act of secession passed nine years previously, and since 1871 has been represented in the General Grand Chapter.

When the General Grand Chapter gave up control over Council Degrees in 1855, Companion Theodore S. Parvin journeyed to Alton where, on February 9~ 1855, he was empowered by Dispensation to organize Webb Council which was chartered by the Grand Council of Illinois, September 26, 1855. Webb Council, Excelsior Council and Dubuque Council held a Convention at Dubuque on January 2, 1857, and a Grand Council was organized. On October 15, 1878, the Grand Council adopted a plan of consolidation whereby the Degrees were to be conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter. On March 1, 1899, the Grand Chapter gave up this control of the Cryptic Degrees and therefore representatives from ten chartered Councils met at Des Moines, October 15, 1900, on the invitation of General Grand Master William H. Mayo, and organized a Grand Council.

The DeMolay Commandery, No. 1, at Muscatine, was organized by Dispensation March 14, 1855, and chartered, September 10, 1856. Four Commanderies: De Molay, No. 1; Palestine, No. 2; Siloam, No. 3, and Des Moines. No. 4, took part in the organization of the Grand Commandery of Iowa on October 97, 1863, acting upon 3 Warrant issued by Sir B. B. French, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment.

The ancient and accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, was first established in Iowa at Clinton. On May 12, 1869, a Lodge of Perfection, Iowa, No. 1, was opened; 3 Council of Ivadosh, Hugh de Payens, No. 1, and 3 Chapter of Rose Croix, Delphic, No. 1, on July 21, 1870, and the De Molay Consistory, No. 1, on March 6, 1877.


The Hebrew word spelled copy, and in Latin Aureum Excelsus, or of Golden Eminence. The former ruling Prince of Idumea (see Genesis xxxvi 43; First Chronicles i, 54).

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