Enciclopédia Mackey – SPECULATIVE ~ SYNOD

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by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D. lodge



The Masonic Fraternity writes its own history as it goes along in the form of Minutes and Proceedings. Unfortunately, it is not an easy history to read, nor convenient, nor is it furnished with an index, but it is a better and more reliable chronicle of the Craft than any work written by the historians. Below is a summary drawn from some 200 Minute Books and Lodge Histories of the oldest Lodges in Britain, Canada, and the United States; of these, about 60 are of the very earliest Speculative Lodges, of which one-half or so are long since defunct, or else have been merged with other Lodges.

The items are chosen to illustrate some point important to the history of the Fraternity; and to save space, names, numbers, and dates are omitted; also, the data are representative, not exhaustive; scarcely any two of the earliest Lodges were alike in the details of Lodge practice, and the same Lodge made changes in itself from time to time. The summary is not so much a portrait of early Speculative Freemasonry as a photo montage:

The majority of Lodges were very small; one of Sixty members was excessively large, almost too large to be managed; the majority had some fifteen or twenty members. Meetings with only six or seven members present were common.

During the Eighteenth Century and well into the Nineteenth they met in taverns inns hotels. Since the room was in use for other purposes, Lodge furniture was either the property of the landlord, or else had to be packed up and stored away between meetings. The arrangement was almost never satisfactory, and Lodges moved much about—one of them made twelve removals in ten years. It did the Fraternity no good to hold its meetings at the centers of hard drinking. Sometimes a ” wine drawer ” or waiter, or even the landlord, were ‘made” expressly to enable him to enter and leave the Lodge Room while the Lodge was in session.

Lodges went by the name of the tavern in which they met—thus ” the Lodge at the Goose and Gridiron, ” the Lodge at ” the Goat’s Head, ” etc. They were thus entered on the Grand Lodge’s engraved lists of Lodges. They were not numbered until Dr. Thomas Dunckerley made the suggestion (he ranked with Desaguliers, Preston and Dermott as an architect of the Fraternity).

In the center of the Lodge Room was placed a table, usually of the board and trestle type. The Lodge was opened with the members at table; Lodge business was conducted there; initiations were “made”; the Brethren ate and drank together for hours on end, the feasting being not an adjunct to Lodge business but as an integral part of it.

A Lodge “feast” was therefore a Lodge meeting, and when the old Lodges insisted that Grand Lodge “Quarterly Feasts ” be restored, it was in reality a demand that full Grand Lodge meetings be held, “as according to the old customs. ” The meals in the richer Lodges sometimes were elaborate and costly, with a dozen liquors, and a long list of ” healths. ” In one instance the Secretary of a rich Lodge set down one “feast,” for 51 members, at a sum now worth about 8500. Many Lodges owned their own punch bowls, plate, glasses, pitchers; a few of them had their own wine cellars.

Dues were caned “subscriptions”; most of the money went to pay for the dinners. The charity fund usually was voluntary, a Charity Box being kept at hand. Fines were imposed right and left, for non-attendance, for “being disguised in liquor, ” for quarreling, for “profane swearing, ” etc. Visitors were ” fined ” a dollar or two as their share of the costs of the food and drink. The title of the Master was ” Right Worshipful. ” He was elected for six months, and in some instances appointed his own Wardens.

Only a few Secretaries received stipends, and almost none of them had any regular system of books, so that there was frequent trouble over Lodge accounts (The Grand Lodge of Scotland expelled a Grand Secretary for that reason.) The Tiler wore a sword or a ” poignard, ” and received pay- he was a “servant” and seldom belonged to the same “class” as the members. He had many duties: to stand guard, to examine visitors, to deliver summons, to care for the furniture, etc.; the office was sometimes held in succession from father to son in the same family. (Montgomery, a famous Grand Tiler, became a personage almost as well known as the Grand Masters.) In at least one ease a Brother made a profession of being Lodge Secretary to a group of Lodges; Tilers often did.

Minutes were bare, brief, and never of large importance in the early years. For decades they were not countersigned by the Master. The Secretary kept his records ” in ye bag,” and either took the bag home with him, or stowed it in the bottom of a pedestal. Spelling went by ear, and a Secretary spelled words as they chanced to sound to him at the moment; in more than one Minutes the Master’s name was spelled three ways in one entry.

Thus, one encounters apprentice as prentice, interprentice, prentiss, prentayee, etc. (The language was not pronounced then as now; thus, tea was pronounced to rhyme with ” tay, ” as one recalls from a couplet by Bro. Alexander Pope.) Minutes were meager because Secretaries did as little work as possible; or were afraid of violating secrecy; or as a protection from prying eyes when they kept the bag at home.

Candidates, it appears, wore robes, for there is often mention of the purchase of them in Lodge inventories or minuses; sometimes “trousies,” or “drawers” are mentioned. (Present day British Masons have weird notions about American customs. Even a learned Lodge of research was recently told that ” in the States Candidates go naked!”)

The average early British Lodge was as local as it was small. and knew little about the Fraternity at large, still less about foreign countries To many of them “America” meant the West Indies. This lack of knowledge made them an easy prey to ” foreigner ” impostors. A number of Minute Books record relief being given to “Turks” who turned out to be frauds, to French counts, ditto, and to men coming over as ” rich Americans “—the “rich American” myth is even now still alive in some British centers; a “Turk” was almost any dark-skinned foreigner.

The great majority of members were Fellowcrafts only. In one ease a Worshipful Master was an Apprentice. The two grades often were conferred at one time, in “emergency meetings.” The Master Mason grade was at first given in Masters’ Lodges, and was confined, it appears, to Masters or Past Masters only (actual or virtual.)

The oldest Lodges, such as constituted the first Grand Lodge in 1717, were familiar with the rites and customs; but after Lodges of ‘new men” had multiplied by the hundreds, the Masons themselves had only a rudimentary understanding of Freemasonry, and made many experiments, changes, etc., trying out first one thing and then another. (One Lodge might use a Bible on the altar, another would use the Old Charges on a pedestal.)

The Lodges of Speculatives under the Grand Lodge with their two Degrees (and later, their Third) were only one of many developments which came out of the old Operative Masonry; there was a Right Worshipful Society of Operative Masons; Masons’ Companies in the cities; there were many self-constituted (St. Johns’) Lodges which were regular but did not belong to a Grand Lodge; in North Ireland there were many individual Masons who sometimes called themselves ” clandestines ” and who had no Lodges or only loose and temporary ones; there were many ” high grades, ” or ” side orders ” (sued as the “Seoteh Masons” who appear then disappear in English Lodge Minutes), etc.; that this was confusing to Chartered Lodges is exhibited by almost every Minute Book, and it took nearly a century to clear up and crystallize and unify a single system of Regular Masonry.

If Masons quarreled outside the Lodge, if one of them accused another of some dishonest practices they often brought the quarrel into the Lodge for adjudication. (This occurrence of private non-Lodge affairs is another reason for the brevity of the Minutes.)

Lodges (except in and about London) had little consciousness of Grand Lodge. or interest in it, and the Grand Lodge itself appears to have had even less interest in the Lodges because it was almost impossible oftentimes for a Lodge to secure a reply from the Grand Secretary. After a Provincial Grand Lodge was established, a Lodge was given to thinking of it, rather than “the London Grand Lodge,” as “Grand Lodge.”

Also, Lodges were not encouraged to submit their grievances to Grand Lodge; still less were they encouraged ever to question any act of Grand Lodge—one Lodge was rebuked for doing so by the Grand Secretary who told them they had ” insulted H. R. H. the Grand Master.” The Wigan secessionist Grand Lodge was formed partly in consequence of the almost complete inactivity of both Grand Lodge and a Provincial Grand Lodge for nearly four years.

An American Mason is always very conscious of “the Fraternity”; even when he has his own Lodge in mind he refers to it as “the Fraternity”; Masons 501) years ago had only a thin awareness of “the Fraternity” and their interest was almost solely concentrated in the local Lodge. But as against the present day Mason, with his dim consciousness of his own Lodge, a Mason 200 years ago loved his Lodge next only after his home. He filled it up with gifts—silverware, glassware, pictures, furniture, paraphernalia, books, etc., until many old Lodges had scarcely a square yard of bare wall, and a very rich atmosphere of family feeling, of an intimate friendliness, and of Brethren gone but who had left many mementos in the Lodge Room.

Piecing together scattered hints it appears that a “Degree” followed in the main the same pattern as now, but with less of it enacted (wherein American Masonry still differs most from British). The Candidate was prepared; he took an OB–; a Tracing Board (or floor Cloth, or the “Lodge”) contained the symbols of the Degree and these were explained.

It was only gradually that Degrees became in a strict sense “degrees,” or separate ceremonies, each one complete in itself, and with its own members and officers, with the Lodge not permitted to alter the ceremonies, and with Lodges everywhere using the same ceremonies.

The earliest Speculatives spoke not of the “Degree” of Apprentice (etc.) but of the Lodge of Apprentices. To become a full-fledged member of the circle, was the principal aim of initiation; the ceremonies were a means to that end. A new movement began, and was destined to become triumphant, especially in America, when Preston and Hutchinson and a few others began to study the Ritual for its own sake.

Any Mason could belong to more than one Lodge— in one Lodge record a member is listed as belonging to thirteen. The smallness of Lodges was partly responsible. As “class Lodges” became a rule, each with a specialized membership and interests, a new incentive to plural membership came into play. But the greatest incentive was the simple one, that many Masons enjoyed Lodge life for its own sake.

The Minute Books and Lodge Histories leave the history of the Master Mason Degree as unsettled as ever, not because these contradict each other but because for nearly a century there was no uniform rule. Some of the oldest (Time Immemorial) Lodges appear to have kept firm hold on the whole of ceremony. Some had the Master’s Degree separate from the other two (a Candidate was “made” a Fellowcraft) but kept it under Lodge control.

There were Masters’ Lodges, with their own rooms, officers, and meeting times; to them would go members from a number of surrounding Lodges. In some Lodges it looks as if any member could become a Master Mason; in others, only Masters or Past Masters; and in the latter, some had to be actual Past Masters, some could be “virtual” Past Masters by “passing the chair.” The general tendency seems to have been to look upon the Grand Master as sovereign over the Craft, with Grand Lodge in a secondary role; which was in contrast to the present American tendency (in reality the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge have equal sovereignty but in different fields).

Since a Grand Master was a Prince of the Blood, a Duke, an Earl, etc., the prerogatives which belonged to his person remained with him in the Grand East; in consequence a deal of snobbishness and exclusiveness developed among the Lodges, titles and ranks were over-valued, and this exclusiveness was (the writer so takes it) the principal reason for the division of England between two Grand Lodges; such a Mason as Peter Gilkes refused to accept Grand Honors or to attend Grand Lodge because the gentlemen there were “above his station.” This was not true of the Ancient Grand Lodge, or of Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the American Colonies.

The oldest American Minute Books could almost be interchanged with the oldest British, so alike were the customs of the two until the end of the Revolution.

There were, however, two fundamental differences in the Craft in general; first, Lodges of English, Scottish, Irish, and French origin worked here side by side, and this made more puzzling the questions the earliest American Masons were called upon to decide; second, the American Provincial Grand Lodges were left hanging in the air, because they could not obtain continuous cooperation or supervision from Britain, and at the same time did not possess complete sovereignty; expediency became the general rule. Also, the American Lodges could not obtain light on Masonry itself, because it had no teaching from Grand Lodge and no literature of its own.

(Note. One instance is that of Thomas Smith Webb, who had to move in the dark, and who adopted Preston with no clear knowledge of Preston’s status in the Grand Lodge in England. Another is the odd fact that two of the first American Books of Constitutions begin with a paragraph explaining that the Book is designed for Operative ( ! !) Masons; further on in the Book it transpires that the authors had taken Operative” to mean the book-keeping of the Secretary, the care of Lodge rooms funds, etc.; by “Speculative” they meant the Ritual.)

The Eighteenth Century Lodges had no Order of the Eastern Star; yet the women had some connections with the Craft. In Ireland there were called “Masonic Dames.” In England one Lodge purchased “gloves for the ladies.” The history of Lodge symbolism is obscure; in old Tracing Boards are pictures of symbols no longer used, absence of symbols none in use, and symbols would be dropped and then resumed, etc.

The broached thurnel (a stone axe plus a certain type of stone); Common Gudge (or judge; a template); perpend ashlar; these are a few of the symbols or terms not familiar to us also on Tracing Boards were arches, the Star of David, a chisel, sometimes a pencil, etc.; the trowel v, as once widely used then widely discontinued. The Pps. of the OB. . was used at least as early as 1700, but not in its present elaborate form. The Ob.-. appears to have been shorter. The Box, for relief, was a fixture in a Lodge; but such monies were expended from it represent but a fraction of the relief given; for where Lodges were small, and relations were close, much help was given Masonically to widows and orphans which was not done by Lodge action.

Early American Lodges were those which worked between 1730 and 1780-5; and while, as stated above, they were in essential Lodges of the same sort as worked in Britain during the same period, there was as between the former and the latter one difference which though small at the time was to lead to an ever widening divergence: the British Lodge was small, its members were recruited (generally) from its immediate neighborhood, and their social evening around the table was their Lodge’s greatest appeal to them;

an American Lodge was larger, had fewer sister Lodges near it, drew its members from a larger radius, its membership represented every type, and the Lodge’s greatest appeal to them was as a meeting place, an opportunity to become acquainted, a social center, a place to see friends which a man could not see otherwise; there was far less emphasis on the “feast” (which usually was a lunch) and much more on the Work.

(At the present time, and not to make comparisons, the American Craft Ritual is larger, more complete, more interesting, and more artistically and self-consistently developed than its English counterpart in any one of the English Workings.) In their first impact on a Masonic student’s mind the 200 or so Minute Books and Lodge Histories of which the above random notes are only slight indicia, alive him a sense of confusion, as if Speculative Masonry began with no clear understanding of itself; in the end he learns that the opposite was true.

There never has been deviation or uncertainty in the things that count. Before even the Mother Grand Lodge waw dreamed of, Freemasonry was a fraternity of workmen, was a philosophy of work (the first ever given to the world). raised work to the level of an attribute of God whose name was appropriately Sovereign Grand Architect (or Workman), envisaged mankind as a Lodge, or body of workmen, taught that work was not a curse but belongs to what a man is and therefore it cannot be despised without abasing him.

It was these discoveries truths, and principles which brought Freemasonry into being; they drove it forward, they persisted unaltered among many changes, and in the long run, by the tests they imposed, determined what belonged to Freemasonry and what did not, what rites, ceremonies, symbols, lectures, rules. regulations, and customs; whatever has opposed them has died, or hangs withering on the branch; and it is they, working through the Lodges, which have made Masonry a power among men. Deviations, details, experiments, localisms, these have been unimportant in the long run. It is Freemasonry that has created the Lodges; not the Lodges that have created it. This stands clear and evident in the Histories and Minute Books themselves.


The word Speculative is used by Freemasons in its primary sense as symbolic, or theoretical, when opposed to Operative. The Matthew Cooke Manuscript transcribed about 1400 A. D. from an earlier original, makes use of the word in this technical connection, and its adoption by Anderson in his version of the Old Charges, 1723 A.D., is one of the proofs that this Manuscript was under his hand when compiling the Book of Constitutions Otherwise he would have substituted for Speculative and Operative the Scottish terms Geomatic and Domatic, just as he used Fellow Craft and Cowan.

Dogmatic is derived from the Latin word Domus, which signifies a house. It therefore means of or belonging to a house. Its Masonic meaning is transparent from its usage in former times. When a body of Freemasons who were also Operative Masons, applied for a Charter to found a Lodge, as was the case with the petitioners for Ayr Kilwinning in 1765, they designated themselves Dogmatic Masons.

On the other hand, members of Lodges who were not Operative Masons—Nobles, Lairds, etc.—were styled Geomatic Masons, a term derived from the Greek word afa, the land or soil, and therefore intended to show that they were landed proprietors or men in some way or another connected with agriculture. This was evidently the idea the word was meant to express at first but it was by and by applied to all Freemasons who were not Operative Masons, and who were in those days styled “Gentlemen Masons.”

So says Brother D. Murray Lyon, of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, in his History of Mother Kilwinning. But this will hardly hold water; it may pass with the bastard Latin Domaticus, but no one sufficiently acquainted with Greek to know that meant the Earth, could tolerate the meaningless termination. Judging by linguistic analogues, Geomatic should be a corruption of Geometic, due to the sharp sound of the short e in Lowland Scottish aided by the jingling assonance of Domatic (see Domatic).

Similarly, the word Cowan is first met with amongst Scottish Operative Masons applied with contempt to a Dry-Diker, that is, a spurious Freemason who builds walls without cement. Its etymology is uncertain and the far-fetched derivations from a dog, or from listening, a listening person, that is, an eavesdropper, must be dismissed as inconsistent with philological principles. In the present writer’s opinion the most likely derivation is that which connects it with the French Cofon or Coyon, a man of no account, a wretch. If so, it adds another to the list of low French words embedded in Lowland Scottish, during the medieval intercourse of the two countries, for the curious derivation of the French word and its Romance cognates from Latin Coleus, Greek (see Cowan).

The above notes are by Brother W. J. Chetwode Craxvley (Caementaria Hibernica, Faseieulus 1, page 6).


The lectures of the Symbolic Degrees instruct the neophyte in the difference between the Operative and the Speculative divisions of Freemasonry. They tell him that “we work in Speculative Masonry, but our ancient Brethren wrought in both Operative and Speculative.” The distinction between an Operative Art and a Speculative Science is, therefore, familiar to all Freemasons from their early instructions.

To the Freemason, this Operative Art has been symbolized in that intellectual deduction from it which has been correctly called Speculative Freemasonry. At one time each was an integral part of one undivided system. Not that the period ever existed when every Operative Mason was acquainted with, or initiated into, the Speculative Science. Even now, there are thousands of skillful artisans who know as little of that as they do of the Hebrew language which was spoken by its founder. But Operative Masonry was, in the inception of our history, and is, in some measure, even now, the skeleton upon which was strung the living muscles and tendons and nerves of the Speculative system. It was the block of marble, rude and unpolished it may have been, from which was sculptured the life-breathing statue.

Speculative Masonry, which is but another name for Freemasonry in its modern acceptation, may be briefly defined as the Scientific application and the religious consecration of the rules and principles, the language, the implements, and materials of Operative Masonry to the veneration of God, the purification of the heart, and the inculcation of the dogmas of a religious philosophy.

Speculative Masonry, or Freemasonry, is then a system of ethics, and must therefore, lice all other ethical systems, have its distractive doctrines. These may be divided into three classes, namely, the Moral, the Religious, and the Philosophical.

1. The Moral Doctrines.

These are dependent on, and spring out of, its character as a social institution. Hence among its numerous definitions is one that declares it to be “a science of morality,” and morality is said to be, symbolically, one of the precious jewels of a Master Mason.

Freemasonry is, in its most patent and prominent sense, that which most readily and forcibly attracts the attention of the uninitiated; a fraternity, an association of men bound together by a peculiar tie; and therefore it is essential, to its successful existence, that it should, as it does, inculcate, at the very threshold of its teachings, obligation of kindness, man’s duty to his neighbor.

“There are three great duties,” says the Charge given to an Entered Apprentice, “which, as a Mason, you are charged to inculcate—to God, your neighbor, and yourself.” And the duty to our neighbor is said to be that we should act upon the square, and do unto him as we wish that he should do unto ourselves.

The object, then, of Freemasonry, in this moral point of view, is to carry out to their fullest practical extent those lessons of mutual love and mutual aid that are essential to the very idea of a brotherhood. There i8 a socialism in Freemasonry from which spring all Masonic virtues—not that modern project exhibited in a community of goods, which, although it may have been practiced by the primitive Christians, is found to be uncongenial with the independent spirit of the present age but a community of sentiment, of principle, of design, which gives to Freemasonry all its social, and hence its moral, character. As the old song tells us:

That virtue had not left mankind

lier social maxims prove

For stamp’d upon the Mason’s mind

Are unity and love.

Thus the moral design of Freemasonry, based upon its social character, is to make men better to each other; to cultivate brotherly love, and to inculcate the practice of all those virtues which are essential to the perpetuation of a brotherhood. A Freemason is bound, say the Old Charges, to obey the moral law, and of this law the very keystone is the divine precept—the Golden Rule of our Lord—to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us. ‘I`o relieve the distressed, to give good counsel to the erring, to speak well of the absent, to observe temperance in the indulgence of appetite, to bear evil with fortitude, to be prudent in life and conversation, and to dispense justice to all men, are duties that are inculcated on every Freemason by the moral doctrines of his Order.

These doctrines of morality are not of recent origin. They are taught in all the Ok. Constitutions of the Craft, as the parchment records of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries show, even when the Institution was Operative in its organization, and long before the speculative element was made its predominating characteristic. Thus these Old Charges tell us, almost all of them in the same words, that Freemasons “shall be true, each one to other, that is to say, to every Mason of the science of Masonry that are Masons allowed, ye shall doe to them as ye would that they should doe unto youth

2. The Religious Doctrines

of Freemasonry are very simple and self-evident. They are darkened by no perplexities of sectarian theology, but stand out in the broad light, intelligible and acceptable by all minds, for they ask only for a belief in God and in the immortality of the soul. He who denies these tenets can be no Freemason, for the religious doctrines of the Institution significantly impress them in every part of its instructions. The neophyte no sooner crosses the threshold of the Lodge, but he is called upon to recognize, as his first duty, an entire trust in the superintending care and love of the Supreme Being, and the series of initiations into Symbolic Freemasonry terminate by revealing the awful symbol of a life after death and an entrance upon immortality.

Now this and the former class of doctrines are intimately connected and mutually dependent. For we must first know and feel the universal fatherhood of God before we can rightly appreciate the universal brotherhood of man. Hence the Old Records already alluded to, which show us what was the condition of the Craft in the Middle Ages, exhibit an eminently religious spirit. These ancient Constitutions always begin with a pious invocation to the trinity, and sometimes to the saints, and they tell us that “the first Charge is that a Mason shall be true to God and holy Church, and use no error nor heresy.” And the Charges published in 1723, which professes to be a compilation made from those older records, prescribe that a Freemason, while left to his particular opinions, must be of that “religion in which all men agree,” that is to say, the religion which teaches the existence of God and an eternal life.

3. The Philosophical Doctrines of Freemasonry are scarcely less important, although they arc less generally understood than either of the preceding classes. The object of these philosophical doctrines is very different from that of either the moral or the religious. For the moral and religious doctrines of the Order are intended to make men virtuous, while its philosophical doctrines are designed to make them zealous Freemasons. He who knows nothing of the philosophy of Freemasonry will be apt to become in time lukewarm and indifferent but he who devotes himself to its contemplation will feel an ever-increasing ardor in the study.

Now these philosophical doctrines are developed in that symbolism which is the especial characteristic of Masonic teaching, and relate altogether to the lost and recovered word, the search after divine truth, the manner and time of its discovery, and the reward that awaits the faithful and successful searcher. Such a philosophy far surpasses the abstract quiddities of metaphysicians. It brings us into close relation to the profound thought of the ancient world, and makes us familiar with every subject of mental science that lies within the grasp of the human intellect. So that, in conclusion, we find that the moral, religious, and philosophical doctrines of Freemasonry respectively relate to the social, the eternal, and the intellectual progress of man.

Finally, it must be observed that while the old Operative Institution, which was the cradle and forerunner of the Speculative, as we now have it, taught abundantly in its Constitutions the moral and religious doctrines of which we have been treating, it makes no reference to the philosophical doctrines. That our Operative predecessors were well acquainted with the science of symbolism is evident from the architectural ornaments of the buildings which they erected; but they do not seem to have applied its principles to any great extent to the elucidation of their moral and religious teachings; at least, we final nothing said of this symbolic philosophy in the Old Records that are extant.

And whether the Operative Masons were reticent on this Subject from choice or from ignorance, we may lay it down as an axiom, not easily to be controverted, that the philosophic doctrines of the Order are altogether a development of the system for which we are indebted solely to Speculative Freemasonry.


This title has two references. 1. The presiding officer in a Council of Companions of the Red Cross. He represents Darius, King of Persia. 2. The Sixtieth Degree of the Rite of Mizraim.


See Sovereign


See Sovereign


A title first conferred on its members by the Council of Emperors of the East and West.


See Rose Croix


Anderson says (see Constitutions, second edition, page 194) that a Deputation was granted by Lord Coleraine, Grand Master, in 1728, for constituting a Lodge at Madrid; another in 1731, by Lord Lovell, to Capt. James Cummerford, to be Provincial Grand Master of Andalusia; and a third in 1732, by Lord Montagu, for establishing a Lodge at Valenciennes. George Smith, writing in 1783, says (Use and Abuse of Freemasonry, page 203): “The first, and, I believe, the only Lodge established in Spain was by a Deputation sent to Madrid to constitute a Lodge in that city, under the auspices of Lord Coleraine, 1727; which continued under English jurisdiction till the year 1776, when it refused that subordination, but still continues to meet under its own authority.” From these two differing authorities we derive only this fact, in which they concur: that Freemasonry was introduced into Spain in 1727, more probably 1728, by the Grand Lodge of England. Smith’s statement that there never was a second Lodge at Madrid is opposed by that of Gadieke, who says that in 1751 there were two Lodges in Madrid.

What was probably the first active Masonic Lodge in Spain was held at a French Hotel in Madrid on February 15, 1728, and was summoned by Philip, Duke of Wharton. This was also the first Lodge to be warranted abroad by the Grand Lodge of England. Saint John of Jerusalem Lodge, Number 51, was chartered at Gibraltar on March 9, 1729, and two years later Capt. James Cummerford was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Andalusia.

Llorente says ( History of the Inquisition, page 525) that in 1741 Philip V issued a Royal Ordinance against the Freemasons, and, in consequence, many were arrested and sent to the galleys. The members of the Lodge at Madrid were especially treated by the Inquisition with great severity. All the members were arrested, and eight of them sent to the galleys. In 1751, Ferdinand VI, instigated by the Inquisitor Joseph Torrubia, published a Decree forbidding the assemblies of Freemasons, and declaring that all violators of it should be treated as persons guilty of high treason. In that year, Pope Benedict XIV had renewed the Bull of Clement XII. In 1793, the Cardinal Vicar caused a Decree of death to be promulgated against all Freemasons. Notwithstanding these persecutions of the Church and the State, Freemasonry continued to be cultivated in Spain; but the meetings of the Lodges were held with great caution and secrecy.

From 1728 onwards although Freemasonry suffered much persecution it grew strong amid dangers and in 1809 a Grand Orient of Spain was actually founded at Madrid in the dungeons of the Inquisition. Not until the Revolution of 1868 could Freemasonry be practiced openly in the country.

But the York Rite, which had been formerly practiced, appears now to have been abandoned, and the National Grand Lodge just alluded to was constituted by three Lodges of the Scottish Rite which, during that year, had been established at Madrid. From that time the Freemasonry of Spain has been that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Clavel says (Picturesque History, page 252) that

In 1810, the Marquis de Clermont-Tonnere, member of the Supreme Council of France, created” near the National Grand Lodge, of the Scottish Rite m Spain, a Grand Consistory of the Thirty-second Degree; and, in 181l, the Count de Grasse added to this a Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, which immediately organized the National Grand Lodge under the title of Grand Orient of Spain and the Indies. The overthrow of French domination dispersed, in 1813, most of the Spanish Freemasons, and caused the suspension of Masonic work in that country

Ferdinand VII having succeeded to the throne, 1814, restored the Inquisition with all its oppressive prerogatives, proscribed Freemasonry, and forbade the meetings of the Lodges. It was not until 1820 that the Grand Orient of Spain recovered its activity, and in 1821 we find a Supreme Council in actual existence, the history of whose organization was thus given, in 1870, to Brother A. G. Goodall, the Representative of the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States:

The parties now claiming to be a Supreme Council assert that the Count de Tilly, by authority from his cousin, De Grasse Tilly, constituted a Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Rite, at Seville, in 1807; but in consequence of a revolution, in which Tilly was a prominent actor, the Grand Body was removed to Aranjuez where on the 21st of September, 1808, the officers were duly installed; Saavedra as Sovereign Grand Commander, Ad Vitam, or for life; Count de Tilly, Lieutenant Grand Commander, Carlos de Rosas, Grand Treasurer, Jovellanos. Grand Chanchellor; Quintana, Grand Secretary Pelajos, Captain of Guard. On the death of civilly anti Saavedra, Badilla became Sovereign Grand Commander and under his administration the Supreme Council was united with the Grand Orient of Spain at Granada in 1817, under the title of Supreme Council, National Grand Orient of Spain.

On the death of Ferdinand VII in 1853, the persecutions against the Freemasons ceased, because, in the civil war that ensued, the priests lost much of their power. between 1845 and 1849, according to Findel ( History, page 584), several Lodges were founded and a Grand Orient established, which appears to have exercised powers up to at least 1848. But subsequently, during the reign of Queen Isabella Freemasonry again fell into decadence. It has however, revived, and many Lodges continued in existence who formerly were under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Portugal.

Nowadays there are several independent Masonic Bodies in Spain and it is almost impossible to trace their history and their present status.

However, the Annuaire reports the Grand Lodge of Spain, formerly Catalonia-Baleares, to have been founded in 1885, and that the Grand Orient of Spain at Madrid had decided at an Assembly held on October 21-4, 1922, to dissolve and form the following Bodies: Grand Lodge of Northeastern Spain (comprising Catalonia, Navarre, Baleares, and Aragon), Grand Lodge of the Levant (Valenee, Mureia, Cuenea, and Ferrol), Grand Lodge of North western Spain (Galieia, Asturias, Leon), Grand Lodge of Middle Spain (Andalusia, Canaries, Northern Africa), Grand Lodge of Central Spain (Castille, Estremadure, Vaseongadas), Grand Lodge of Porto Rico, and the Grand Lodge of the Philippines.

The last two projects must not be confused with the properly authorized Bodies already at work in these islands. But the Grand Orient of Spain has not respected jurisdictional boundaries and even before the above ambitious undertaking, had attempted a Regional Grand Lodge of North America, which was promptly denounced and vigorously condemned by the regular Grand Lodges of the United States.


The characteristic name assumed by Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Order of the Illuminati.


The Educational Committees of American Grand Lodges which maintain Speakers Bureaus for convenience of their Lodges employ such methods as their needs require or their circumstances allow, methods thereby differing from one Grand Jurisdiction to another. The most comprehensive system, and the one in which almost every possible method has a place at one point or another, is the one employed by the Board of General Activities, an educational department of the Grand Lodge of New York, which occupies a floor of Masonic Hall in New York City, and is administered by a salaried staff. In 1920 the then Grand Lodge Committee on Educational Service, R.-. W.. Sidney Morse being Executive Secretary, established the first Speakers Bureau.

When this and four other Committees were consolidated in 1926 to become the Board of General Activities (not to be confused in its functions with the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England) the Speakers Bureau was enlarged and placed in care of a full-time, salaried member of the Department. Volunteer speakers were called for from each of the fifty-nine Districts. They furnished data about themselves.

These reports were in each District reviewed by the District Deputy Grand Master and the Masters. The Board made a final selection, averaging three per District. The name, address, occupation, Lodge, and favorite speech subjects., etc., were entered in a file. When a Lodge asked for a speaker the Board sent it data on three speakers at convenient distances from it. The Lodge made its choice, and itself made the arrangements with the chosen speaker in person. Afterwards the Lodge made a report to the Board of General Activities; and if from these reports it was learned that some given speaker was a failure, or personally unsuitable, etc., his name was removed from the list.


A manuscript copy of the Old Charges of the date of 1726, which belonged to the late Brother Richard Spencer and was sold in 1875 to Enoch T. Carson, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and with his library, after Brother Carson’s death, became the property of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts through the generosity of General Lawrence. It was reproduced in Spencer’s Old Constitutions in 1871.


A Latin motto meaning: My hope is in God. The motto of the Thirty-second Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


English Freemason, a founder of Quatuor Coronati Lodge and the first Secretary. He originated the Correspondence Circle of that Lodge. This eminent Brother was born in 1847, was initiated in the Lodge of Unity No. 183 of London in 1872, becoming Worshipful Master in 1876. He wrote several papers and works on the Fraternity, History of his Mother Lodge appearing in 1881 and a work on Royal Freemasons being published in 1885. He was also the author of many articles appearing in Masonic journals such as Ars Quatuor Coronatoram. For sixteen years he held the office of Secretary to the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, his service only terminating with his death on April 19, 1901.


Spire is a city in Bavaria, on the banks of the Rhine, and the seat of a Cathedral which was erected in the eleventh century A Masonic Congress was convoked there in 1469 by the Grand Lodge of Strasburg, principally to take into consideration the condition of the Fraternity and of the edifices in the course of construction by them, as well as to discuss the rights of the Craft.


In the early lectures of the eighteenth century, this word was used to express the method of Symbolic instruction applied to the impalements of Operative Masonry. In a ritual of 1725, it is said: “As we are not all working Masons, we apply he working-tools to our morals, which we call spiritualizing .” Thus, too, about the same time, Bunyan wrote his symbolic book which he called Solomon’s Temple Spiritualized. Phillips, in his New World of Words, 1706, thus defines to spiritualize: “to explain a passage of an author in a spiritual manner, to give it a godly or mystical sense.”


Hutchinson (Spirit of Masonry page 94) says: “We place the spiritual Lodge ,in the vale of Jehosophat, implying thereby, that le principles of Masonry are derived from the knowledge of God, and are established in the Judgment of the Lord; the literal translation of the word Jehosophat, from the Hebrew tongue, being no other than those express words.” This refers to the Lodge, which is thus described in the old lectures at the beginning of the eighteenth century, which were in vogue at the time of Hutchinson.

Where does the Lodge stand?

Upon the Holy Ground, on the highest hill or lowest vale. or in the vale of Jehoshaphat, or any other sacred place.

The Spiritual Lodge is the imaginary or Symbolic Lodge, whose form, magnitude, covering, supports, and other attributes are described in the lectures.


The French Freemasons say: “We erect temples for virtue and dungeons for vice”; thus referring to the great Masonic doctrine of a spiritual temple. There is no symbolism of the Order more sublime than that in which the Speculative Freemason is supposed to be engaged in the construction of a spiritual temple, in allusion to that material one which was erected by his operative predecessors at Jerusalem. Indeed, the difference, in this point of view, between Operative and Speculative Freemasonry is simply this: that while the former was engaged in the construction, on Mount Moriah, of a material temple of stones and cedar, and gold and precious stones, the latter is occupied, from his first to his last initiation, in the construction, the I adornment, and the completion of the spiritual temple of his body.

The idea of making the temple a symbol of the body is not, it is true, exclusively Masonic. It had occurred to the first teachers of Christianity. Christ himself alluded to it when he said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”; and Saint Paul extends the idea, in the first of his Epistles to the Corinthians (iii, 16), in the following language: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?” And again, in a subsequent passage of the same Epistle (vi, 19) he reiterates the idea in a more positive form: “What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

But the mode of treating this symbolism by a reference to the particular Temple of Solomon, and to the operative art engaged in its construetion, is an application of the idea peculiar to Freemasonry. Hitchcock, in his Essay on Swedenborg, thinks that the same Idea was also shared by the Hermetic Philosophers He says: “With perhaps the majority of readers, the temple of Solomon, and also the tabernacle, were mere buildings—very magnificent, indeed, but still mere buildings—for the worship of God.

But some are struck with many portions of the account of their erection admitting a moral interpretation; and while the buildings are allowed to stand, or to have stood, once, visible objects, these interpreters are delighted to meet with indications that Moses and Solomon, in building the Temples, were wise in the knowledge of God and of man; from which point it is not difficult to pass on to the moral meaning altogether, and affirm that the building, which was erected without the noise of a ‘hammer, nor ax, nor any tool of iron’ (First Kings vi, 7), was altogether a moral building—a building of God, not made with hands. In short, many see in the story of Solomon’s Temple, a symbolical representation of Man as the temple of God, with its Holy of Holies deep seated in the center of the human heart.”


He is claimed to have presided over the Freemasons of England in 1350, in the reign of Edward III. Doctor Anderson says he was called Master of the Ghiblim (see Constitutions, 1738, page 70).


Editor of an Irish edition of Anderson’s Constitutions of 1738, published at Dublin, 1751. He was Grand Secretary to the Grand Lodge of Ireland.


Taking the vote on the application of a candidate for initiation or admission. It is an Americanism, principally developed in the Western States. Thus: “The ballot may be spread a second time in almost any case if the harmony of the Lodge seems to require it.”—Grand Master Swigert of Kentucky. “It is legal to spread the ballot the third time, if for the correction of mistakes, not otherwise.” —Rob Morris. It is a technicality.


An ardent adherent of Von Hund and admirer of his Templar system, in defense of which, and against the Spiritual Templarism of Starck, he wrote, in 1786, the book, now very rare, entitled Anti Saint Nicaise, and other works. He was born at Saalsfield, in 1731, and died January 11, 1809 (see Saint Nicaise).


See Acacia


For this term, and for the theory connected with it, we are indebted to Doctor Oliver, whose speculations led him to the conclusion that in the earliest ages of the world there were two systems of Freemasonry, the one of which, preserved by the patriarchs and their descendants, he called Primitive or Pure freemasonry (see Primitive Freemasonry).

The other, which was a schism from this system, he designated as the Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity. To comprehend this system of Oliver, and to understand his doctrine of the declension of the Spurious from the Primitive Freemasonry, we must remember that there were two races of men descended from the loins of Adam, whose history is as different as their characters were dissimilar. There was the virtuous race of Seth and his descendants, and the wicked one of Cain. Seth and his children, down to Noah, preserved the dogmas and instructions, the legends and symbols, which had been received from their common progenitor, Adam; but Cain and his descendants whose vices at length brought on the destruction of the earth, either totally forgot or greatly corrupted them.

Their Freemasonry was not the same as that of the Sethites. They distorted the truth, and varied the landmarks to suit their own profane purposes. At length the two races became blended together. The descendants of Seth, becoming corrupted by their frequent communications with those of Cain, adopted their manners, and soon lost the principles of the Primitive Freemasonry, which at length were confined to Noah and his three sons, who alone, in the destruction of a wicked world, were thought worthy of receiving mercy.

Noah consequently preserved this system, and was the medium of communicating it to the post-diluvian world. Hence, immediately after the Deluge, Primitive Freemasonry was the only system extant. But this happy state of affairs was not to last. Ham, the son of Noah, who had been accursed by his father for his wickedness, had been long familiar with the corruptions of the system of Cain, and with the gradual deviations from truth which, through the influence or evil example, had crept into the system of Seth. After the Deluge, he propagated the worst features of both systems among his immediate descendants.

Two sets or parties, so to Speak, now arose in the world— one which preserved the great truths of religion, and consequently of Freemasonry, which had been handed down from Adam, Enoch, and Noah—and another which deviated more and more from this pure, original Source. On the dispersion at the Tower of Babel, the schism became still wider and more irreconcilable. The legends of Primitive Freemasonry were altered, and its symbols perverted to a false worship; the mysteries were dedicated to the worship of false gods arid the practice of idolatrous rites, and in the place of the Pure or Primitive Freemasonry which continued to be cultivated among the patriarchal descendants of Noah, was established those Mysteries of Paganism to which Doctor Oliver has given the name of the Spurious Freemasonry.

It is not to Doctor Oliver, nor to any very modern writer, that we are indebted for the idea of a Masonic schism in this early age of the world. The doctrine that Freemasonry was lost, that is to say, lost in its purity, to the larger portion of mankind, at the Tower of Babel, is still preserved in the ritual of Ancient Craft Masonry.

And in the Degree of Noachites, a Degree which is attached to the Scottish Rite, the fact is plainly adverted to as, indeed, the very foundation of the Degree. Two races of Freemasons are there distinctly named, the Noachites and the Hiramites; the former were the Conservators of the Primitive Freemasonry as the descendants of Noah; the latter were the descendants of Hiram, who was himself of the race which had fallen into Spurious Freemasonry, but had reunited himself to the true sect at t he building of King Solomon’s Temple, as we shall hereafter see. But the inventors of the Degree do not seem to have had any very precise notions in relation to this latter part of the history. The Mysteries, which constituted what has been thus called Spurious Freemasonry, were all more or less identical in character.

Varying in a few unimportant particulars, attributable to the influence of local causes, their great similarity in all important points showed their derivation from a common origin. In the first place, they were communicated through a system of initiation, by which the aspirant was gradually prepared for the reception of their final doctrines; the rites were performed at night, and in the most retired situations, in caverns or amid the deep recesses of groves and forests; and the secrets were only communicated to the initiated after the administration of an obligation.

Thus, Firmicus, a Latin author in the reign of Constantine who about the year 346 A.D. wrote of false objects of worship in De erroributs profanarum religionum (book vii), tells us that “when Orpheus explained the ceremonies of his mysteries to candidates, he demanded of them, at the very entrance, an oath, under the solemn sanction of religion, that they would not betray the rites to profane ears.” Hence, as Warburton says from Horus Apollo, the Egyptian hieroglyphic for the mysteries was a grasshopper, because that insect was supposed to have no mouth.

The ceremonies were all of a funereal characters Commencing in representations of a lugubrious description, they celebrated the legend of the death and burial of some mythical being who was the especial object of their love and adoration. But these rites thus beginning in lamentation, and typical of death, always ended in joy. The object of their sorrow was restored to life and immortality, and the latter part of the ceremonial was descriptive of his resurrection. Hence, the great doctrines of the mysteries were the immortality of the soul and the existence of a God.

Such, then, is the theory on the subject of what is called Spurious Freemasonry, as taught by Doctor Oliver and the disciples of his school. Primitive Freemasonry consisted of that traditional knowledge and symbolic instruction which had been handed down from Adam, through Enoch, Noah, and the rest of the patriarchs, to the time of Solomon. Spurious Freemasonry consisted of the doctrines and initiations practiced at first by the antediluvian descendants of Cain, and, after the dispersion at Babel, by the Pagan priests and philosophers in their Mysteries (see Clandestine) .


In the Orders of Chivalry, the slurs had a Symbolic meaning as important as their practical use was necessary. “To win one’s spurs” was a phrase which meant “to win one’s right to the dignity of knighthood.” Hence, in the investiture of a knight, he was told that the spurs were a symbol of promptitucle in military Service; and in the degradation of an unfaithful knight, his spurs were hacked off by the book, to show his utter unworthiness to wear them. Stowe says (Annals, 902), in describing the ceremony of investing knights: “Evening prayer being ended, there stood at the chapel-door the king’s master-cook, with his white apron and sleeves, and chopping-knife in his hand, gilded about the edge, and challenged their spurs. which they redeemed with a noble a piece, and he said to every knight, as they pressed by him: fair Knight, look that you be true and loyal to the King, my master, or else I must hew these spurs from your heels.’ ” In the Masonic Orders of Chivalry, the symbolism of the spurs has unfortunately been omitted.


This is one of the most important and significant Symbols in Freemasonry. As such, it is proper that its true form should be preserved. French Freemasons have almost universally given it with one leg longer than the other, thus making it a carpenter’s square American Freemasons, following the incorrect delineations of Brother Jeremy L. Cross, have, while generally preserving the equality of length in the legs, unnecessarily marked its surface with inches; thus making it an instrument for measuring length and breadth which it is not. It is simply the trying square of a stone-mason, and has a plain surface; the sides or legs embracing an angle of ninety degrees, and is intended only to test the accuracy of the sides of a stone, and to see that its edges subtend the same angle.

In Freemasonry, the square is a symbol of morality. This is its general signification, and is applied in various ways:

1. It presents itself to the neophyte as one of the Three Great Lights.

2. To the Fellow Craft as one of his Working-tools.

3. To the Master Mason as the official emblem of the Master of the Lodge.

Everywhere, however, it inculcates the same lesson of morality, of truthfulness, of honesty. So universally accepted is this symbolism, that it has gone outside of the Order, and has been found in colloquial language communicating the same idea. Square, says Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, means honest, equitable, as in “square dealing.” To play upon the square is proverbial for to play honestly. In this sense the word is found in the old writers.

As a Masonic symbol, it is of very ancient date, and was familiar to the Operative Masons. In the year 1830, the architect, in rebuilding a very ancient bridge called Baal Bridge, near Limerick, in Ireland, found under the foundation-stone an old brass square, much eaten away, containing on its two surfaces the following inscription, the U being read as V: I. WILL. STRIUE. TO. LIUE.—WITH. LOUE. & CARE.— UPON. THE. LEUL.—BY. THE. SQUARE., and the date 1517. The modern Speculative Freemason will recognize the idea of living on the level fled by the square This discovery proves, if proof were necessary, that the familiar idea was borrowed from our Operative Brethren of former days.

The square, as a symbol in Speculative Freemasonry, has therefore presented itself from the very beginning of the revival period. In the very earliest catechism of the eighteenth century, of the date of 1725, we find the answer to the question, “How many make a Lodge?” is “God and the Square, with five or seven right or perfect Masons.” God and the Square, religion and morality, must be present in every Lodge as governing principles.

Signs at that early period were to be made by squares and the Furniture of the Lodge was declared to be the Bible, Compasses, and Square.

In the public lecture of Brother Herbert A. Giles, Worshipful Master of Ionic Lodge, No. 1781 at Amoy, delivered in 1880 and entitled Freemasonry in China, says:

From time immemorial we find the Square and Compasses used by Chinese Writers to symbolize precisely the same phases of moral conduct as in our system of Freemasonry. The earliest passage known to one which bears upon the subject is to be found in the Book of history embracing the period reaching from the twenty-fourth to the seventh century before Christ. There in an account of a military expedition we read:

“Ye officers of government, apply the Colllpasses!”

In another part of the same venerable record a Magistrate is spoken of as:

” A man of the level, or the level man”

The public discourses of Confucius provide us with several Masonic allusions of a more or less definite character. For instance. when recounting his own degrees of moral progress in life, the Master tells us that only at seventy-five spears of age could he venture to follow the inclinations of his heart without fear of ” transgressing the limits of the Square.” this would be 481 B.C. belt it is in the works of his great follower, Mencius, who flourished nearly two hundred years later, that we meet with a fuller and more impressive Masonic phraseology. In one chapter we are taught that just as the most skilled artificers are unable, without the aid of the Square and Compasses to produce perfect rectangles or perfect circles, so must all men apply these tools figuratively to their lives, and the level and the marking-line besides, if they would walk in the straight and even paths of wisdom and keep themselves within the bonds of honor and virtue. In Book iv we read:

“The Compasses and Square are the embodiment of the rectangular and the round, just as the prophets of old were the embodiment of the due relationship between man and man” In Book vi we find these words:

The Master Mason, in teaching his apprentices makes use of the Compasses and the Square Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the Compasses and the Square. In the Great Learning, admitted on all sides to date from between 300 to 400 years before Christ, in Chapter 10, we read that a man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do unto him, ‘ this,” adds the writer, is called the principle of acting on the Square. ” In all rites and in all languages where Freemasonry has penetrated, the square has preserved its primitive Signification as a symbol of morality.


The article on page 963 shows that in Freemasonry (and Masons can have only a secondary interest in the symbol as used outside the Craft) the Square has more than one use or exposition: it can even be said that instead of taking it as one symbol with many meanings it is more correct to take it that m Ancient Craft Masonry there are a number of Squares, each (relatively) independent of the other. The following can be added to the article given on that page:

1. The Oblong Square. This is an old and not very fortunate name for a rectangle, one never properly belonging to the nomenclature of mathematics.

2. Circumambulation. In almost every known instance outside of Freemasonry the rite of circumambulation has meant a movement, or procession, or walking in a circle. or circuit; in Freemasonry it is movement along a line that is part circle and part square—a circuit around corners. The Lodge room itself is an Oblong Square in which the members comprise a Circle, Circumambulation is, among other things, a visible representation of that combination of square and circle.

3. ” Part upon the square. ” This is a verbal symbol but it is an independent one, and not merely a commentary on the Square in general. Masons meet upon the level, no member being excluded from other members by any taboo of rank, class, title, or caste and it is expected that they thou thus meet not in theory, nor in some remote and abstract sense, but actually and regularly; but while they are thus meeting they will do and say only what upright men do and say, so that when they part (leave the Lodge) they will not carry away any feeling of hypocrisy or resentment. In this instance the symbolic try-square does not lie in a horizontal plane but in a vertical plane, and one leg is on the level, the Lodge room floor; the other leg is upright.

4. The Forty seventh Proposition, or Pythagorean Theorem. This theorem concerns a right-angled triangle, but a good half of it is composed of the properties of the Square. The Square itself is probably the oldest, or at least one of the oldest, of any Masonic tool, instrument, or action used as a symbol, for in the ” Mason window ” of some of the oldest cathedrals it is used to symbolize the Mason Craft; but it is probable that the Pythagorean triangle is as old, or almost as old, because the data indicate that it was used as the method for teaching geometry, since so much of Euelid can be deduced from it. Euclid himself worked out a proof for this theorem, one of the very few known to have been his. though it has never been wholly satisfactory to geometricians- our Brother Mason James A. Garfield, discovered a new proof for it as late as the Nineteenth Century.

The Minute Books of the oldest Lodges prove that for a number of years after 1717 Speculative Masons were in confusion about Masonic symbols; differed among themselves as to what symbols to include, differed as to their correct form, and differed as to their symbolic meaning. It is to that period of confusion that we owe the phrase “Working Tool” as applied to the Square (also the Level, Plumb, and Gage); manifestly it is not a tool but an instrument, and it had far more use by the mind (consider today the carpenter’s square and the slide rule) than by the hand; in colas sense there was always much Speculative Masonry in the Fraternity even when the great majority of members were working masons.


These two symbols have been so long and so universally combined— to teach us, as says an early instruction, “to square our actions and to keep them within due bounds,” they are so seldom seen apart, but are so kept together, either as two Great Lights, or as a jewel worn once by the Master of the Lodge, now by the Past Master—that they have come at last to be recognized as the proper badge of a Master Mason, just as the Triple Tau is of a Royal Arch Mason or the Passion Cross of a Knight Templar.

So universally has this symbol been recognized, even by the profane world, as the peculiar characteristic of Freemasonry, that it has recently been made in the United States the subject of a legal decision. A manufacturer of flour having made, in 1873, an application to the Patent Office for permission to adopt the Square and Compasses as a trade-mark, the Commissioner of Patents, .J. M. Thatcher, refused the permission as the mark was a Masonic symbol.

If this emblem were something other than precisely what it is—either less known”, less significant, or fully and universally understood—all this might readily be admitted. But, Considering its peculiar character and relation to the public, an anomalous question is presented. There can be no doubt that this device, so commonly worn and employed by Masons, has an established mystic significance, universally recognized as existing; whether comprehended by all or not, is not material to this issue. In view of the magnitude and extent of the Masonic organization, it is impossible to divest its symbols, or at least this particular symbol—perhaps the best known of all—of its ordinary signification, wherever displaced, either as an arbitrary character or otherwise.

It will be universally understood, or misunderstood, as having a Masonic significance; and, therefore, as a trade-mark, must constantly work deception. Nothing could be more mischievous than to create as a monopoly, and uphold by the poser of lacy anything so calculated. as applied to purposes of trade. to be misinterpreted, to mislead all classes, and to constantly foster suggestions of mystery in affairs of business (see Infringing upon Freemasonry, also Imitative Societies, and Clandestine).

In a religious work by John Davies, entitled Summa Totalis, or All in All and the Same Forever, printed in 1607, we find an allusion to the Square and Compasses by a profane in a really Masonic sense. The author, who proposes to describe mystically the form of the Deity, says in his dedication:

Yet I this forme of formelesse Deity,

Drewe by the Squire and Compasse of our Creed.

In Masonic symbolism the Square and Compasses refer to the Freemason’s duty to the Craft and to himself; hence it is properly a symbol of brotherhood, and there significantly adopted as the badge or token of the Fraternity.

Berage, in his work on the higher Degrees, Les plus secrets Mystéres des Hauts Grades, or The Most Secret Mysteries of the High Grades, gives a new interpretation to the symbol. He says: “The Square and the Compasses represent the union of the Old and New Testaments. None of the high Degrees recognize this interpretation, although their symbolism of the two implements differs somewhat from that of Symbolic Freemasonry.

The Square is with them peculiarly appropriated to the lower Degrees, as founded on the Operative Art; while the Compasses, as an implement of higher character and uses, is attributed to the Decrees, which claim to have a more elevated and philosophical foundation. Thus they speak of the initiate, when he passes from the Blue Lodge to the Lodge of Perfection, as ‘passing from the Square to the Compasses,’ to indicate a progressive elevation in his studies. Yet even in the high Degrees, the square and compasses combined retain their primitive signification as a symbol of brotherhood and as a badge of the Order.”


A college fraternity of Masons with less rigid requirements than its sister fraternity, The Acacia, the Square and Compass began as a college club in Washington and Lee University; after its transformation into a fraternity it received a Charter from the State on May 12, 1917. The nationwide organization is similar to the Grand Lodge system; it has one Square to a State, and these are in a loose federation. The federation has a full-time Secretary; publishes a magazine. Any Master Mason in good standing in a regular Lodge is qualified for membership. (See UNIVERSITY LODGES in this supplement.) A number of Grand Masters along with many Masons among college and university presidents have expressed the hope that the two Masonic college fraternities might lead ultimately to the formation of a large number of campus Lodges, thereby opening a way for American Freemasonry into the circles of learning and scholarship—a thing done long ago in Britain and Europe. The name of the Square and Compass fraternity perpetuates a mistake made by early American Masons about the Working Tool. A compass is an instrument for finding directions; and has never been used as a Masonic symbol. The instrument for drawing a circle has always been called compasses.


Visitors to English Chapters of the Royal Arch will recall that there is a peculiar use of these geometrical figures in “firing,” the ceremonious unity of all present in recognizing a toast and honoring it by the Brethren.

There are also to be found in literature various allusions to geometrical figures. Of these there are so many that no complete compilation may here be attempted. One or two are of sufficient interest to warrant mention. For further information refer to an article by R. I. Clegg in the American Freemason (volume iiu, pages 265-72, April, 1912).

That beloved Brother Robert Burns, born 1759 died 1796 , refers to the rectangle-triangle in his poem “Caledonia.” His allusion is usually understood as being more particularly to the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid, and is as follows:

Thus hold, independent, unconquered and free

Her bright course of glory for ever shall run

For brave Caledonia immortal must be;

I’ll prove it from Euclid as Lear as the sun:—

Rectangle-triangle the figure we’ll choose;

The upright is Chance, and old Time is the base

But brave Caledonia’s the hypotenuse

Then ergo, she’ll match them, and match them always.

William Shakespeare, born 1564, died 1616, refers to many matters of interest to us. He says, King Lear, first scene, Regan speaking of her love for the king,

I profess

Myself an enemy to all other toys

Which the most perfect square of sense possesses

And find I am alone felicitate

In your dear highnesses love.

Various explanations have been offered for “the next perfect square of sense.” Grant Allen interprets it “as the entire domain of sense,” Wright by the “most delicately sensitive part of my nature’; Moberly by the “choicest estimate of sense”; while Capell explains it by “the entire domain of sensation.” John Foster, Shakespeare Word-Book, prefers an explanation given by Professor Dowden, Atlantic Monthly, September, 1907, where the puzzling lines are compared with others by Edmund Spenser (Faerie Queene, Book II, canto ix, stanza 22). These are as follows:

The frame thereof seemed partly circulare

And part triangulare; O worke divine!

These two the first and last proportions are The one imperfect, mortal feminine

Th’ other immortal perfect, masculine;

And ‘twixt them both a quadrate was the base

Proportions equally by seven and nine;

Nine was the circle sett in heaven’s place

All which compacted made a goodly diapase.

The last word here, diapase, means a harmonious combination. Professor Dowden discussing “Elizabethan Psychology” of body, soul and spirit, the forms of life or energy, says “The vegetable soul is found apart from the other two in plants, they live and increase in size, and multiply themselves by virtue of this soul. The vegetable and sensible souls are found co-operating in animals; they need only live and grow and multiply, they also feel. In man alone are three souls—vegetable, sensible and rational— found working together.” Spenser by this reasoning is considering Alma as the indwelling soul, and the House is the containing body, the architecture of the latter being as in the poetry. Quoting Bartholomew Anglieus we are told that “The vegetable soul, with its three virtues of self-sustaining, growth, and reproduction, is ‘like unto a triangle in Geometry.’

The sensible soul is ‘like unto a quadrangle, square and four cornered. For in a quadrangle is a line drawn from one corner to another corner, afore it maketh two triangles, and the soul sensible maketh two triangles of virtues. For wherever the soul sensible is, there is also the soul vegetablis. Finally the rational soul is likened to a circle, because the circle is the most perfect of figures, having the greater power of containing than any other. The triangle of Castle Alma is a vegetable soul; a quadrate—identical with Shakespeare’s ‘square of sense’—is a sensible soul, the circle is the rational soul.” Spenser was born in London about 1553, and died in January, 1599. For other references to quaint literary allusions of Masonic interest, see “Was William Shakespear a Freemason?” (Builder, 1919, volume v, page 32) .


The Companies of Wrights, Slaters, etc, in Scotland, in the seventeenth century, were called squaremen They had ceremonies of initiation and a word, sign, and grip, like the Freemasons. Brother Lyon (history of the Lodge at Edinburgh, page 23) says: “The ‘Squaremen Word’ was given in conclaves of journeymen and apprentices, wrights, slaters, etc., in a ceremony in which the aspirant was blindfolded and otherwise ‘prepared’; he was sworn to secrecy, had word, grip, and sign communicated to him, and was afterward invested with a leather apron. The entrance to the apartment, usually a public house, in which the ‘brethren’ was performed, was guarded, and all who passed had to give the grip. The fees were spent in the entertainment of the Brethren present. Like the Masons, the Squaremen admitted non-operatives.”

In the Saint Clair charter of 1628, among the representatives of the Masonic Lodges, we find the signature of “George Liddell, deakin of squarmen and nov quartermaistir” (see History of the Lodge at Edinburgh, page 62). This would show that there must have been an intimate connection between the two Societies or Crafts (see Squaremen, Corporation of).


The Corporation of Squaremen was originally an Operative Lodge held in Ayr and formed one of the number which constituted the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Minutes were kept but the Minute-Book was lost when lent to Murray Lyon. The Banner used by the Corporation is still preserved by an Ayrshire Freemason and there are other relies in existence.

The organization does not admit any but Mark Masons who hold or have held office in a Craft Lodge or who are Royal Arch Companions. Candidates must have been Master Masons for at least five years and must be thirty years of age or over.

Meetings are held on the first day of each of the five winter months November to April and at the January meeting office bearers are elected. The joining fee is 60 Scottish Merks (£3/5/0 or about $15.75) which includes the Diploma and Apron. There is an obligation, assays (test) piece, signs and secrets, working tools, tracing board and lectures, all different from those of the usual Craft Masonry. All, however, tend to throw light upon the ancient procedure for admission to an operative or working shed.

At present the Order is in a flourishing condition but for some years it was dormant. It was revived by brothers Philip and William Murray who communicated the working and secrets to Brother Alfred A Murray. Not one of the Murrays is related to cither of the others. The above particulars are in letters to us from Brother David Lowe Turnbull Portobello, Scotland, and from the Scottish Masonic historical Directory, 1924 (see Squaremen).


A recreant Templar, to whom with Noffodei and, as some say, another unknown person, is attributed the invention of the false accusations upon which were based the persecutions and the downfall of the Order of Knights Templar.

He seas a native of the city of Beziers, in the south of France, and having been received as a Knight Templar, had made so much proficiency in the order as to have been appointed to the head of the Priory of Montfaucon. Reghellini states that both Squin de Flexian and Noffodei were Templars, and held the rank of Comrnanders; but Dupuy (Condemnation des Templiers) denies that the latter was a Templar. He says: all historians agree that the origin of the ruin of the Templars was the work of the Prior of Montfaucon and of Noffodei, a Florentine, banished from his country and whom nobody believes to have been a Templar. This Prior, by the sentence of the Grand Master, had been condemned, for heresy and for having led an infamous life, to pass the remainder of his days in a prison. The other is reported to have been condemned to rigorous penalties by the Provost of Paris.”

Reghellini’s account (La Maçonnerie considérée, etc., i, page 451) is more circumstantial. He says: In 1506, two Knights Templar, Noffodei and Florian were punished for crimes, and lost their Commanderies; that of the latter being Montfaucon. They petitioned the Provincial Grand Master of Mount Carmel for a restoration to their offices, but met with a refusal. They then obtained an entrance into the Provincial Grand Master’s country-house, near Milan, and having assassinated him, concealed the body in the woods under some thick shrubbery, after With they fled to Paris. there they obtained access to the King, and thus furnished Philip with an occasion for executing his projects, by denouncing the Order and exposing to him the immense Wealth which it possessed. They proposed the abolition of the Order, and promised the King. for a reward, to be its denouncers. The King accepted their proposition, and, assuring them of his protection, pointed out to them the course which they were to pursue.

They associated with themselves a third individual called by historians the Unknown, in French, l’Inconnu, and Noffodei and Florian sent a memorial to Enguerand de Marigni, Superintendent of the Finances, in Which they proposed, if he would guarantee them against the attacks of the Order of Templars, and grant them civil existence and rights, to discover to the King secrets which they deemed of more value than the conquest of an empire. As a sequel to this first declaration they addressed to the King an accusation, which was the same as he had himself dictated to them for the purpose of the turn which he desired to the affair. This accusation contained the following charges:

1. That the Order of Templars was the foe of all kings and all sovereign authority, that it communicated secrets to its initiates under horrible oaths, witch the criminal condition of the penalty of death if they divulged them and that the secret practices of their initiations were the consequences of irreligion, atheism, and rebellion.

2. That the Order had betrayed the religion of Christ by communicating to the Sultan of Babylon all the plans and operations of the Emperor Frederick the Second whereby the designs of the Crusaders for the recovery of the Holy Land were frustrated.

3 That the Order prostituted the mysteries most venerated by Christians. by making a Knight, when he has received, trample upon the Cross. the sign of redemption; and abjured the Christian religion by making the neophyte declare that the true God had never died, and never could die, that they carried about them and worshiped a little idol called Bafomet; and that after his initiation the neophyte was compelled to undergo certain obscene practices.

4. That when a Knight was received, the Order bound him by an oath to a complete and blind obedience to the Grand Master which was a proof of rebellion against the legitimate authority,

5. What Good Friday was the day selected for the grand orgies of the Order.

6. That they were guilty of unnatural crimes.

7. That they burned the children of their concubines so as to destroy all traces of their debauchery.

These calumnies formed the basis of the longer catalogue of accusations, afterward presented by the Pope, upon which the Templars were finally tried and condemned.

In the preliminary examinations of the accused, Squin de Flexian took an active part as one of the Commissioners. In the pleadings for their defense presented by the Knights, they declare that “Knights were tortured by Flexian de Beziers, Prior of Montfaucon, and by the monk, William Robert, and that already thirty-six had died of the tortures indicted at Paris, and several others in other places.”

Of the ultimate fate of these traitors nothing is really known. When the infamous work which they had inaugurated had been consummated by the king and the Pope, as their services were no longer needed, they sank into merited oblivion. The author of the Secret Societies of the Middle Ages (page 268) says;

“Squin was afterwards hanged, and Noffodei beheaded, as was said, with little probability, by the Templars.”

Hardly had the Templars, in their prostrate condition, the power, even if they had the will, to inflict such punishment. It was not Squin, but Marigni, his abettor, who was hanged at Montfaucon, by order of Louis X, the successor of Philip, two years after his persecution of the Templars. The revenge they took was of a Symbolic character. In the change of the legend of the Third Degree into that of the Templar system, when the martyred James de Molay was substituted for Hiram Abif, the three assassins were represented by Squin de Flexian, .Noffodei, and the Unknown. As there is really no reference in the historical records of the persecution to this third accuser, it is most probable that he is altogether a mythical personage, invented merely to complete the triad of assassins, and to preserve the congruity of the Templar with the Masonic legend. The name of Squin de Flexian, as well as that of Noffodei, have been differently spelled by various writers, to say nothing of the incomprehensible error found in some of the oldest French Cahiers of the Kadosh, such as that of De la Hogue, where the two traitors are named Gerard Tabé and Benoit Mehui. The Processus contra Templarios, or Proceedings against Templars, calls him Esquitts de flexian de Biteriis; and Raynouard always names him Squin de florian, in which he is blindly followed by Reghellini, Ragon, and Thory. But the weight of authority is in favor of Squin de flexian, which appears to be the true name of this Judas of the Templars.


A Hindu word meaning Revelation. A collective name of those Sanskrit writings supposed by the Hindus to have been revealed by a deity, and applied at first only to the Vedic Mantras and Brahmanas, but afterward extended to the older Upanishads.


A white staff is the proper insignia of a Treasurer. In the order of Profession for laying a foundation-stone as given by brother Preston (Illustrations, 1792 editions page lll), we find “Grand treasurer with his staff.” In the United States of America the use of the staff by the Treasurer of a Lodge has been discontinued. It was derived frown the old custom for the Treasurer of the King’s Household to carry a staff as the ensign of authority. In the old Customary Books we are told that the Steward or Treasurer of the Household—for the offices were formerly identical—received the office from the King himself by the presentation of a staff in these words: Tennez le baston de nostre rnaison, these words in Old French meaning Receive the stag of our house.” Hence the Grand Lodge of England decreed, June 24, 1741 that “in the procession in the hall” the Grand Treasurer should appear “with the staff” (see Constitutions, 1756, page 236).


See Winding Stairs


In the early days of governmental and other mail delivery systems postmasters (note the master in that word !) used whatever cancellation device they might personally devise, one of the commonest being a cork with a design carved on an end, inked on a pad; this continued until near the end of the Nineteenth Century.

Among the cancellations which are collectors’ items are a number with Masonic emblems, square & compasses, triangle, coffin, trowel, G. etc. The richest Masonic period lies between 1851 and 1880. The number of Masonic cancellations in Canada are more numerous proportionately than in the United States; in its issue of May, 1933, page 347, The Masonic Sun of Toronto published a page of 17 reproductions, accredited by it to a book by Mr. Fred Jarratt, a Toronto dealer. The New York Masonic Outlook, Masonic Hall, N.Y.C., published two articles on Masonic cancellations: October, 1927, page 44; April, 1931, page 233; with 31 cuts. It quotes prices as S10.00 up. From 1847 to 1927 there had been among men whose portraits had been used on stamps the following Masons: Washington, Franklin, Jackson, Clay, Hamilton, Perry, Gaffield, Farragut, John Marshall, Roosevelt, McKinley Monroe, Harding, Nathan Hale, Taft and Sullivan


An ensign in war, being that under which the soldiers stand or to which they rally it’s the fight. It is sometimes used in the higher Degrees, in connection with the word Bearer, to denote a particular officer. But the term mostly Unseal to indicate any one of the ensigns of the various Degrees of Freemasonry is Banner. The Grand Standard of the Order of Knights Templar in the United States is described in the Regulations as being “of white woollen or silk stuff, six feet in height and five feet in widths made tripartite at the bottom, fastened at the top to the cross-bar by nine rings; in the center of the field a blood-red passion cross, over which the motto, in hoc signo vinces (By this Sign, Conquer), and under, Non Nobis, Domine non Nobis sed Nomini tuo da Gloriam! (Not unto us, O Lord; not unto us, but to Thy Name be the Glory!). The cross to be four feet high, and the upright and bar to be seven inches wide. On the top of the staff a gilded globe or ball four inches in diameter, surmounted by the patriarchal cross, twelve inches in height. The cross to be crimson, edged with gold.”

The Standard of the Order in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is thus described in the fundamental Statutes. It is white with a gold fringe, bearing in the center a black double-headed eagle with wings displayed; the beaks and thighs are of gold; it holds in one talon the golden hilt and in the other the silver blade of an antique sword, placed horizontally from right to left; to the sword is suspended the Latin device, in letters of gold, Deus meumque Jus. The eagle is crowned with a triangle of gold, and holds a purple band fringed with gold and strewn with golden stars.

There is really no Standard of the Order properly belonging to Symbolic or Royal Arch Masonry. Many Grand Chapters, however, and some Grand Lodges in this country, have adopted for a Standard the blazonment of the Arms of Freemasonry first made by Lawrence Dermott for the Atholl Grand Lodge of Freemasons. In the present condition of the ritual, with the disseverance of the Royal Arch Degree from the Master’s, and its organization as a distinct system, this Standard, if adopted at all, would be most appropriate to the Grand Chapters, since its charges consist of symbols no longer referred to in the instructions of Symbolic freemasonry.


An Cheer in a Commandery of Knights Templar, whose duty it is to carry and protect the Standard of the Order. A similar officer exists in Several of the higher Degrees.


Tile Covenant of Freemasonry requires every Freemason “to stand to and abide by” the Laws and Regulations of the Order, whether expressed in the Edicts of the Grand Lodge, the By-laws of his Lodge, or the Landmarks of the Institution The terms are not precisely synonymous, although generally considered to be so. To stand to has a somewhat active meaning, and signifies to maintain and defend the laws; while to abide by is more passive in meaning, and signifies to submit to the award made by such laws.


In the French and Scottish Rites lighted candles or torches are called stars when used in some of the ceremonies, especially in the reception of distinguished visitors, where the number of lights or stars with which the visitor is received is proportioned to his rank; but the number is always odd, being 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11.


The reference in the Ritual to “golden fleece” and to “the Roman eagle” continues to be a puzzle in the archeology of words.

Lionel Vibert, with whom most will agree, wrote that “fleece” refers not to Jason’s Golden Fleece but to the Flemish Order of the Golden Fleece—the woolsak in Parliament is another memorial to the days when wool was the great source of national wealth in both England and the Lowlands. The Roman Eagle was the Badge of the Hanse, or Hanseatic League, which once vitas to Northern Europe, and to the wool trade in particular, what the East India Company later was to India. Charles added a star to the insignia of the Order of the Garter. An Order of the Star as founded by John of France in 1352 but was replaced in the Fifteenth Century by the Order of Michael. In 1429 Philip, Duke of Bergundy, formed the Order of the Golden Fleece in Bruges—it w as popularly called “the Golden Fleece.” (Selfridge has some interesting pages on the Mercers Company [ an old London Livery Company] and the Golden Fleece in his Rownance of Commerce.)

In the Fifteenth Century the French Kings had even less “government” around them than did the English kings. A French king “farmed out,” or “let by contract” the raising and quarter mastering and even the command of armies, the levying of taxes, the building and command of navies, etc.; even the coining of money was let out to private contractors who grew rich on their “seigniorage,” or milling fees, and divided their profits with the King.

Thus Charles VII, of whom Joan of Arc was a personal friend and under whom she ranked as an army commander (and not depending on miracles !), signed contracts with Ravant Ladenois for minting coins in Orleans, Portiers, St. Pourcain, Chinon, and in the King’s home city of Bourges (the home also of a powerful gild of Freemasons). So also was it with commerce, manufacturing (especially of armor and weapons), etc. The members of the trades, crafts, and gilds with which the Kings thus had to deal, and upon whom they depended for so many purposes, were not members of the hereditary classes of the aristocracy or the nobility and therefore could inherit no titles. One of the original purposes in setting up the honorary Orders was to enable a king to confer a title on some faithful friend or citizen who otherwise could never have received one.

King Charles created the Order of the Golden Fleece as a royal honor to the wool trade, to indicate that he was its especial patron, and to encourage the younger sons of noble families to enter it, and it was for such reasons that this Order won renown in the Low Countries and England, the European center of the “fleece,” or “staple,” or wool industry. The Order must have proved popular from the start, and spread rapidly, because in 1432, only three years after Charles had constituted it, Sir Andre Toulongeon is found in Palestine wearing its insignia. Randle Holme and Elias Ashmole who were among the first of the famous “Accepted Freemasons” were enthusiasts about armory and heraldry; but they were only the first of a long line, and the earliest Speculative Lodges lived in an atmosphere where heraldry, coats of arms, honorary Orders, etc., mere staples of daily conversation.

(On King Charles see Jacques Coeur, by Albert Boardman Kerr; Charles Scribner’s Sons; :New York; 1927. It is not about Freemasonry, but few books give so vivid a picture of the cities and the times in which Fifteenth Century Freemasons worked; it also gives a broad picture of the almost national wide extent of military architecture, a branch of Medieval Freemasonry of capital importance, and yet one that none of the historians of the Craft has ever examined or described. The history of Medieval Masonry must ever be incomplete until that great lack is supplied One of the first large books published in Europe was a detailed account of military architecture, and of the geometry and engineering involved in it. Castles, forts, redoubts, moats, and fortifications were designed and erected and monopolized by the gilds of Masons.) See also Golden Fleece.


See Blazing Star


See Eastern Star, Order of the


See Five- Pointed Star


The Blazing Star is thus called by those who entertain the theory that there is “an intimate and necessary connection between Masonry and Christianity.” This doctrine, which Doctor Oliver thinks is “the fairest gem that Masonry can boast,” is defended by him in his early work entitled The Star in the East. The whole subject is discussed in the article Blazing Star, which see.

STAR OF JERUSALEMA Degree cited in the nomenclature of Fustier


In French, Etoile des Chevaliers Syriens. The Order of Syrian Knights of the Star is contained in the collection of Pyron. It is divided into three Degrees—Novice, Professed, and Grand Patriarch.


J. A. von Starck, whose life is closely connected with the history of German Freemasonry, and especially with that of the Rite of Strict Observance, was born at Schwerin, October 29, 1741. He studied at the University of Göttingen, and was made in 1751 a Freemason in a French Military Lodge. In 1763 he went to St. Petersburg, where he received the appointment of teacher in one of the public schools. There, too, it is supposed that he was adopted into the Rite of Melesino, then flourishing in the Russian capital, and became first acquainted with the Rite of Strict Observance, in which he afterward played so important a part.

After two years’ residence at St. Petersburg, Brother von Starck went for a short time to England, and was in August, 1766, in Paris. In 1767 he was Director of the schools at Wismar, where he was Junior Warden of the Lodge of the Three Lions. In 1770 he was called to Königsberg, to occupy the chair of theology, and to fill the post of Court Chaplain. The following year he resigned both offices, and retired to Mettau, to devote himself to literary and philosophical pursuits. But in 1781 the Court at Darmstadt conferred upon him the posts of Chief Preacher and the first place in the Consistory, and there he remained until his death which occurred Mach 3, 1816.

The knowledge that Starck acquired of the Rite of Strict Observance convinced him of its innate weakness, and of the necessity of some reformation. He therefore was led to the idea of reviving the spiritual branch of the Order, a project which he sought to carry into effect, at first quietly and secretly, by gaining over influential Freemasons to his views. In this he so far succeeded as to be enabled to establish, in 1767, the new system of clerical Knights Templar, as a schism from the Strict Observance, and to which he gave the name of Clerks of Relaxed Observance. It consisted of seven Degrees, as follows:

1. Apprentice

2. Fellow;

3. Master;

4. Young Scottish Master;

5. Old Scottish Master, or Knight of Saint Andrew;

6. Provincial Chapter of the Red Cross;

7. Magus, or Knight of Brightness and Light; which last Degree was divided into five classes, of Novice, Levite, and Priest—the summit of the Order being Knight Priest.

Thus he embodied the idea that Templarism was a hierarchy, and that not only was every Freemason a Templar, but every true Templar was both a Knight and a Priest. Starck, who was originally a Protestant, had been secretly connected with Romanism while in Paris; and he attempted surreptitiously to introduce Roman Catholicism into his new system. He professed that the Rite which he was propagating was in possession of secrets not known to the chivalric branch of the Order; and he demanded, as a prerequisite to admission, that the candidate should be a Roman Catholic, and have previously received the Degrees of Strict Observance.

Starck entered into a correspondence with Von Hund, the head of the Rite of Strict Observance, for the purpose of effecting a fusion of the two branches— the Chivalric and the Spiritual. But, notwithstanding the willingness of Von Hund to accept any league which promised to give renewed strength to his own decaying system, the fusion was never effected. It is true that in 1768 there was a formal union of the two branches at Wismar, but it was neither sincere nor permanent.

At the Congress of Brunswick, in 1775, the clerical branch seceded and formed an independent Order; and after the death of Von Hund the Lodges of the Strict Observance abandoned their name, and called themselves the United German Lodges. The spiritual branch, too, soon began to lose favor with the German Freemasons, partly because the Swedish system was getting to be popular in Germany, and partly because Starck was suspected of being in league with the Catholics, for whose sake he had invented his system. Documentary evidence has since proved that this suspicion was well founded. Ragon says that the Order continued in successful existence until the vear 1800; but Doctor Mackey doubted if it lasted so long.

The German writers have not hesitated to accuse Starck of having been an emissary of the Jesuits, and of having instituted his Rite in the interests of Jesuitism. This, of course, rendered both him and the Rite unpopular, and gave an impetus to its decay and fall. Starck himself, even before his appointment as Court Chaplain at Darmstadt, in 1781, had, by his own confession, not only abandoned the Rite, but all interest in Freemasonry. In 1785 he wrote his Saint Nicaise, which was really anti-Masonic in principle, and in 1787 he published his work Ueber Kripto Catholicesmus, etc., or A Treatise on Secret Catholicism, on Proselyte Making, on Jesuitism, and on Secret Societies, which was a controversial work directed against Nicolai, Gädicke, and Biester. In this book he says:

“It is true that in my youthful days I was a Freemason. It is also true that when the so-called Strict Observance was introduced into Masonry I belonged to it, and was, like others, an Eques, Socius, Armiger, Commendator, Prefect, and Sub-Prior; and having taken some formal cloister-like profession, I have been a Clericus. But I have withdrawn from all that, and all that is called Freemasonry, for more than nine years.”

While an active member of the Masonic Order, whatever may have been his secret motives, he wrote many valuable Masonic works, which produced at the time of their appearance a great sensation in Germany. Such were his Apology for the Order of Freemasonry, Berlin, 1778, which went through many editions; on the Design of the Order of Freemasonry, Berlin, 1781; and on the Ancient and Modern Mysteries, 1782. He was distinguished as a man of letters and as a learned theologian, and has left numerous work on general literature and on religion, the latter class showing an evident leaning toward the Roman Catholic faith, of which he was evidently a partisan.

“There is,” says Feller ( Universal Biography) “in the life of Starck something singular, that has never been made public.” Doctor Mackey deemed the verdict well established, that in his labors for the apparent reformation of Freemasonry there was a deplorable want of honesty and sincerity, and that he abandoned the Order finally because his schemes of ambition failed, and the Jesuitical designs with which he entered it svere frustrated.


Latin expression, meaning To stand on the ancient paths. An adage, appropriately applied as a Masonic motto to inculcate the duty of adhering to the ancient landmarks.


The political divisions of the United States have been called States and Territories. In every State and in every populous Territory there was established a Grand Lodge and a Grand Chapter, each of which exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all the Lodges and Chapters within its political boundaries; nor does it permit the introduction of any other Grand Lodge or Grand Chapter within its limits; so that there is, and can be, but one Grand Lodge and one Grand Chapter in each State. In most of the States there has also been erected a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters, and a Grand Comnuandery of Knights Templar, which claim the same right of exclusive jurisdiction (see Jurisdictior of a Grand Lodge).


The positions occupied by the subordinate officers of a Lodge are called Places, as “the Junior Deacon’s place in the Lodge.” But the positions occupied by the Master and Wardens are called Stations, as “the Senior Warden’s station in the Lodge.” This is because these three officers, representing the sun in his three prominent points of rising, culminating, and setting, are supposed to be stationary, and therefore remain in the spot appropriated to them by the instructions, while the Deacons and other officers are required to move about from place to place in the Lodge.

A representative explanation of the location of the Stations to be occupied by Grand Lodge Officers of Massachusetts is given (see page 100, in the 1918 book of Constitutions and Regulations of that State)

The M. W. Grand Master, in the East, at the Head of the Grand Lodge.

The R. W. Deputy Grand Master, in the East, next to and left of the Grand Master.The R. W. Senior Grand Warden, in the West.

The R. W. Junior Grand Warden, in the South.

The M. W. Past Grand Masters, in the East at the right of the Grand Master, and the Junior Past Grand Master, next to the Grand Master.

The R. W. Past Deputy Grand Masters, in the East at the right of the Past Grand Masters.

The R. W. Past Grand Wardens, in the East, at the right of the Past Deputy Grand Masters.

The R. W. Grand Treasurer, on the right in front of the Grand Master.

The R. W. Grand Secretary, on the left, in front of the Grand Master.

The R. W. District Deputy Grand Masters, in the East on the left of the Deputy Grand Master.

The R. W. Grand Marshal, Upon the left of the Grand Master, in front of the Grand Secretary.

The W. and Rev. Grand Chaplains, in front of and on the right and left of the M. W. Grand Master, near the altar.

The W. Grand Lecturers, on the right of the Senior Grand Deacon.

The W. Senior Grand Deacon, upon the right of the Grand Master, in front of the Grand Treasurer.

The W. Junior Grand Deacon, in the West at the right of the Senior Grand Warden.

The W. Grand Stewards, in the South, two upon the right and two upon the left of the Junior Grand Warden, upon each side, one Steward in front of the other.

The W. Grand Sword-Bearer, at the left of the Grand Marshal.

The W. Grand Standard-Bearer, at the left of the Grand Sword-Bearer.

The W. Grand Pursuivants, near the door of entrance to the Grand Lodge.

The Wor. Grand Organist, at the Organ.

The Wor. Grand Tyler, outside of the entrance to the Grand Lodge.


See Laborers, Statutes of and Statutes Relating to Freemasons.


The permanent rules by which a subordinate Lodge is governed are called its By-Laws; the regulations of a Grand Lodge are called its Constitution: but the laws enacted for the government of a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite are denominated Statutes.


The laws of England have never contained more than a few references to the Masonic Order. It has been assumed that a Statute of 1425 (3 Henry VI, chapter i) referred to Freemasons. This Statute forbids the holding of “Chapiters and Congregations” by Masons but this did not refer to the General Assemblies of the Craft but was one of a group of regulations known as the Statutes of Laborers enacted from time to time from Edward III to the reign of Elizabeth. This referred only to laborers. An Act passed in 1799 (39 George III, chapter 79, Sedition Act) states specifically that Freemasons are exempted from the ruling, as does also the Act of 1817 (57 George III, chapter 19).

Certain groups or congregations were named Unlawful combinations” and to avoid this appellation the only thing necessary for the Masonic Order to do was to have the Lodge register annually with the Clerk of the Peace the names of members of a Lodge. The Irish Constabulary Act of 1836 (6 and 7 William IV, chapter 13), permitted persons appointed under it to belong to the “Society of Freemasons,” but to no other secret society. Brother Dudley Wright quotes an instance where the Craft narrowly escaped being included in a bill presented into the House of Commons in 1799 for the suppression of seditious and secret meetings. Rowland Burdon, who was Master of the Palatine Lodge from 1793 to 1796. was at that time the member for Durham County and when the bill was first read he became alarmed at the possibility of it prohibiting the meeting of Masonic Lodges. He immediately sent a message to William White, Grand Secretary, suggesting the convening of the Grand Officers with the result that the bill was amended and two words “Freemasons excepted” introduced, which averted the danger.

Brother Hawkins (Concise Cyclopedia) says, “The laws of England are almost entirely silent with regard to Freemasons, and they only allude to the Society in order to grant it exemption from the Acts passed in 1799 (39 George III, chapter 79, Sedition Act) and in 1817 (57 George III, chapter 19) with the object of suppressing seditious societies. In order to claim this exemption and thus avoid being deemed an ‘unlawful combination,’ the names of members of a Lodge must be registered annually with the Clerk of the Peace. Similarly on the passing of the Irish Constabulary Act of 1836 (6 and 7 William IV, chapter 13) persons appointed under it were permitted to belong to ‘the Society of Freemasons,’ but to no other secret society” (see Laborers, Statutes of).


See Erwin son Steinbach


German, meaning a stone-mason. For an account of the German Fraternity of Steinmetzen (see Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages).


Latin, meaning He sits on his starry throne. A symbolic expression in the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


The Step can hardly be called a mode of recognition, although Apuleius informs us that there was a peculiar step in the Osiriac initiation which was deemed a sign (see Sign). It is in Freemasonry rather an esoteric usage of the ritual. The steps can be traced back as far as to at least the middle of the eighteenth century, in the rituals of which they are described The custom of advancing in a peculiar manner and form, to some sacred place or elevated personage, has been preserved in the customs of all countries, especially among the Orientalists, who resort even to prostrations of the body when approaching the throne of the sovereign or the holy part of a religious edified.

The steps of Freemasonry are symbolic of respect and veneration for the altar, whence Masonic light is to emanate. In former times, and ho some of the advanced and other Degrees in various parts of the world, a bier or coffin was placed in front of the altar, as a well-known symbol, and in passing over this to reach the altar, those various positions of the feet were necessarily taken which constitute the proper mode of advancing. Respect was thus necessarily paid to the memory of a worthy artist as well as to the holy altar.

Brother Lenning says of the steps—which the German Masons call die Schritte der Aufzunehmenden meaning the steps of the recipients, and the French, les pas Mysterieux, the mysterious steps—that “every degree has a different number, which are made in a different way, and have an allegorical meaning.” Of the “allegorical meaning” of those in the Third Degree, we have spoken above as explicitly as would be proper. Gädicke says: “The three grand steps symbolically lead from this life to the source of all knowledge.” It must be evident to every Master Mason, without further explanation, that the three steps are taken from the place of darkness to the place of light, either figuratively or really over a eosins the symbol of death, to teach symbolically that the passage from the darkness and ignorance of this life is through death to the light and knowledge of the eternal life. And this, from the earliest times, was the true symbolism of the step.


The three steps delineated on the Master’s Carpet, as one of the symbols of the Third Degree, refer to the three steps or stages of human life—youth, manhood, and old age. This symbol is one of the simplest forms or modifications of the mystical ladder, which pervades all the systems of initiation ancient and modern (see Carpet).


One of the three Assassins, according to the Hiramic legend of some of the advanced Degrees. Lenning says the word means vengeance, but does not state his authority. Str are the letters of the Chaldaic verb to strike a blowup, and it may be that the root of the name will be found there; but the Masonic corruptions of Hebrew words often defy the rules of etymology. Perhaps this and some kindred words are mere anagrams, or corruptions introduced into the advanced Degrees by the adherents of the Pretender, who sought in this way to do honor to the friends of the House of Stuart, or to east infamy on its enemies (see Romvel).


The officers in a Symbolic Lodge, whose duties are, to assist in the collection of dues and subscriptions; to provide the necessary refreshments, and make a regular report to the Treasurer; and generally to aid the Deacons and other officers in the performance of their duties. They usually carry white rods, and the jewel of their office is a cornucopia, which is a symbol of plenty.


See Grand Stewards


The Maryland Constitution of 1794 provided for a committee of five Brethren, one the Grand Master, to be Stewards of the Grand Charity Fund. Regulations adopted in 1799 gave this committee, or Stewards’ Lodge, “authority to hear and determine all matters concerning Freemasonry that shall be laid before them, except making new regulations.” During the recess of Grand Lodge this body granted Charters, ordered programed and processions of the Craft, heard trials and appeals, and supervised Masonic finances. A new Constitution in 1872 ended the existence of this Lodge then comprising the Masters and one Past Master of each of the Baltimore Lodges with the Deputy Grand Master presiding. Other Grand Lodges, as Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, have had in their early history Grand Stewards but nowhere except in New York, perhaps, and until 1844 or 1845, did they possess power similar to the Grand Stewards Lodge of Maryland (see Freemasonry in Maryland, Brother E. T. Schultz, volume iv, pages 8 and 9). In England there is a Lodge of the Grand Stewards (see Grand Stewards’ Lodge) .


A city in Scotland which was the seat of a Lodge called the Stirling Ancient Lodge, which the author of the introduction to the General Regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland says conferred the degrees of Royal Arch, Red Cross or Ark, the Sepulcher, Knight of Malta, and Knights Templar until about the beginning of the eighteenth century, when two Lodges were formed—one Lodge for the cultivation of Saint John’s Masonry, which was the old one, and a new Body called the Royal Arch, for advanced Degrees; although it, too, soon began to confer the first three Degrees. The Ancient Lodge joined the Grand Lodge of Scotland at its formation in 1736, but the new Lodge remained independent until 1759.

The same authority tells us that “in the Stirling Ancient Lodge are still preserved two old, rudely engraved brass plates: one of these relates to the first two degrees of Masonry; the other contains on the one side certain emblems belonging to a Master’s Lodge, and on the reverse five figures, the one at the top is called the Redd Cross or Ark. At the bottom is a series of concentric arches, which might be mistaken for a rainbow, were there not a keystone on the summit, indicative of an arch. The three other figures are enclosed within a border; the upper is called the Sepulcher; the second, Knight of Malta; and the third, Knights Templar. The age of these plates is unknown, but they can scarcely be more modern than the beginning or middle of the seventeenth century.”

So circumstantial a description, inserted, too, in a book of official authority, would naturally lead to the conclusion that these plates must have been in existence in 1845, when the description was written. If they ever existed, their have now disappeared, nor have any traces of them been discovered. Brother W. James Hughan, whose indefatigable labors have been rewarded with so many valuable discoveries, has failed, in this search, to find success. He says in the Freemason, “I spent some weeks, in odd hours, looking up the question a few years ago, and wrote officials in Edinburgh and at Stirling, and also made special inquiries at Stirling by kind co-operation of Masonic students who also investigated the matter; but all our many attempts only resulted in confirming what I was told at the outset, namely, that ‘No one knows aught about them, either in Stirling or elsewhere. The friends at Stirling say the plates were sent to Edinburgh, and never returned, and the Fraternity at Edinburgh declared they were returned and have since been lost.”


In the eighteenth century, when krlee-breeches constituted a portion of the eostulne of gentlemen, Freemasons were required, by a ritualistic regulation, to wear white Stockings. The fashion having expired, the regulation is no longer in force.


In the Elu Degrees (elu, the French word meaning elected or chosen has an especial and familiar connection with certain of the first grades of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite) this is the name of one of those appointed to search for the criminals commemorated in the legend of the Third Degree. It is impossible to trace its derivation to any Hebrew root. It may be an anagram of a name perhaps that of one of the friends of the house of Stuart .


The stone, on account of its hardness has been from the most ancient times a symbol of strength, fortitude, and a firm foundation. The Hebrew word Eben, which signifies a stone, is derived, by Gesenius, from an obsolete root, Ab(ln, to build, whence aban, an architect; and he refers it to A manah, which means a column, a covenant, and truth. The stone, therefore, says Portal (Egyptian Symbols), may be considered as the symbol of faith and truth: hence Christ taught the very principle of symbology, when he called Peter, who represented faith, the rock or stone on which he would build his Church.

But in Hebrew as well as in Egyptian symbology the stone was also sometimes the symbol of falsehood. Thus the name of Typhon, the principle of evil in the Egyptian theogony, was always written in the hieroglyphic characters with the determinative sign for a stone. But the stone of Typhon was a hewn stone, which had the same evil Signification in Hebrew. Henec Jehovah says in Exodus, ‘ Thou shalt not build me an altar of hewn stone”, and Joshua built, in Mount Ebal, “an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron.”

The hewn stone was therefore a symbol of evil and falsehood; the unhewn stone of good and truth. This must satisfy us that the Masonic symbolism of the stone, which is the converse of this, has not been derived from either the Hebrew or the Egyptian symbology, but sprang from the architectural ideas of the Operative Masons; for in Freemasonry the rough ashlar, or unhewn stone, is the symbol of man’s evil and corrupt condition; while the perfect ashlar, or the hewn stone, is the symbol of his improved and perfected nature.


Dr. Charles T. Jackson, Boston, a geologist, discovered this stone in 182T, on the Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia. It was a slab of trap-rock, and was inscribed with the Square and Compasses and the date 1606. Dr. Jackson gave the stone to Justice T. C. Haliburton (author of Sam Slich), who in turn left it to his son. His son gave it to the Canadian Institute, Toronto, in order to have it inserted in the walls of the Institute’s new Building. The stone-masons blunderingly plastered it over, and ever since it has been impossible to discover where it lies in the walls. Its discovery, inscriptions and date have never been open to question. There were Lodges in England and Scotland at the time, predominantly Operative; it is possible that a sufficient number were brought to Nova Scotia to erect buildings to have a Lodge of their own; or it may be that an individual Mason carved the rock for some private purpose; in either event a Mason, or Masons, were here on the Continent one year before the settlement at Jamestown, Va., and fourteen years before the landing at Plymouth.


See Corner-Stone


See Cubical Stone


The history of the origin and progress of the Brotherhood of Stone Masons in Europe, during the Middle Ages, is of great importance, as a study, to the Masonic scholar, because of the intimate connection that existed between that brotherhood and the Fraternity of freemasons. Indeed, the history of the one is but the introduction to the history of the other. In an historical excursus, we are compelled to take up the speculative science where we find it left by the operative art. Hence, whoever shall undertake to write a history of Freemasonry, must give, for the completion of his labors a very full consideration to the brotherhood of Stone-Masons.

In the year 1820, there issued from the press of Leipsic, in Germany, a work, by Doctor Christian Ludwig Steiglitz, under the title of Von Altdeutscher Baukunst that is, An Essay on the Old German Architcture, published in 1820. In this work the author traces, with great exactness, the rise and the progress of the fraternities of Stone-Masons from the earliest times, through the Middle Ages, until their final absorbtion into the associations of Freemasons. From the labors of Doctor Steiglitz, collated with some other authorities in respect to matters upon which is either silent or erroneous, Doctor Mackey compiled the following sketch:

It is universally admitted that, in the early ages of Christianity, the clergy were the most important patrons of the arts and sciences. This was because all learning was then almost exclusively confined to ecclesiastics. Very few of the laity could read or writes and even kings affixed the sign of the cross, in the place of their signatures, to the Charters and other documents which they issued, because, as they frankly confessed, of their inability to write their flames; and hence comes the modern expression of signing a paper, as equivalent so subscribing the name.

From the time of Charlemagne, in the eighth century, to the middle of the twelfth, all knowledge and practice of architecture, painting, and sculpture were exclusively confined to the monks; and bishops personally superintended the erection of the churches and cathedrals in their dioceses, because not only the principles, but the practice of the art of building were secrets scrupulously maintained within the walls of cloisters, and utterly unknown to laymen. brother Cawthorne dissents at this point and says this view was long held, but is by no means correct, for we now know that there were many scholarly architects during this period of supposed darkness.

Many of the founders of the Monastic Orders, continues Doctor Mackey, and especially among these Saint Benedict, made it a peculiar duty for the Brethren to devote themselves to architecture and church building. The English monk Winfrid, better known in ecclesiastical history as Saint Boniface, and who, for his labors in Christianizing that country, has been styled the Apostle of Germany, followed the example of his predecessors in the erection of German monasteries. In the eighth century he organized an especial class of monks for the practice of building, under the name of Operarii, or Craftsmen, and Magistri operum, or Masters of the Works.

The labors and duties of these monks were divided. Some of them designed the plan of the building; others were painters and sculptors; others were occupied in working in gold and silver and embroider; and others again, who were called Caementarii , or Stone-Masons, undertook the practical labors of construction. Sometimes, especially in extensive buildings, where many workmen were required, laymen were also employed, under the direction of the rnonks. So extensive did these labors become, that bishops and abbots often derived a large portion of their revenues from the earnings of the workmen in the monasteries.

Among the laymen who were employed in the monasteries as assistants and laborers, many were, of course, possessed of superior intelligence. The constant and intimate association of these with the monks in the prosecution of the same design led to this result, that in process of time, gradually and almost unconsciously, the monks imparted to them their art secrets and the esoteric principles of architecture. Then, by degrees, the knowledge of the arts and sciences went from these monkish builders out into the world, and the laymen architects, withdrawing from the ecclesiastical fraternities, organized brotherhoods of their own.

Such was the beginning of the Stone-Masons in Germany, and the same thing occurred in other countries. These Brotherhoods of Masons now began to be called upon, as the monks formerly had been, when an important building, and especially a church or a cathedral, was to be erected. Eventually they entirely superseded their rnonkish teachers in the prosecution of the art of building about the beginning of the twelfth century.

To their knowledge of architecture they added that of the other sciences, which they had learned from the monks. Like these, too, they devoted themselves to the higher principles of the art, and employed other laymen to assist their labors as stone-masons. And thus the union of these architects and stone-masons presented, in the midst of an uneducated people, a more elevated and intelligent class, engaged as an exclusive association in building important and especially religious edifices.

But now a new classification took place. As formerly, the monks, who well the sole depositories of the secrets of high art, separated themselves from the laymen, who were entrusted with only the manual labor of building; so now the more intelligent of the laymen, who had received these secrets from monks, were in turn distinguished as architects from the ordinary laborers, or common masons. The latter knew only the use of the trowel and mortar, while the former were occupied in devising plans for building and the construction of ornaments by sculpture and skillful stone-cutting.

|The Reviser of this work may perhaps to advantage inject a few lines here upon an assumption made by Doctor Makey and many other writers. This belief is well illustrated by the above paragraph. While the conclusion is a debatable one yet there are those who hesitate in crediting to the religion of the Middle Ages all that is valuable in medieval art. Beautiful penmanship is exhibited by manuscripts of that time written and illuminated by skilled monks. But that they ” were the sole depositories of the secrets of high art” is quite another and a large conviction questioned by some such critical scholars as Dr. G. G. Coulton in the Lowell Lectures at Boston, Massachusetts in the spring of 1923 (see Art and the Reformation, 1928, published by Basil Blackwell, Oxford, England).

Every student reads the preceding and the following paragraphs with the reservation in his mind that the laymen then were likely enough expert Craftsmen hired by the monks because they and not their religious superiors had the technical knowledge and the artistic wisdom to contrive and supervise as well as to do manual labor upon the finest of architectural structures. These laymen were themselves fully competent artists according to the latest records and any assertion suggesting the contrary conviction based upon any lingering and quite common conclusion that they lacked these artistic qualifications and that the monks exclusively possessed them, should be carefully checked with all the ascertained facts which to say the least do not conclusively establish claims of that sort.

Doctor Mackey alludes rightly to the superior intelligence of the laymen builders, but this complimentary reference can truthfully be much enlarged; they were the cathedral architects of their times. As Doctor Coulton said (page 69) of a great era of church-building, ” Even at this time of exceptional fervor and prosperity, there is no real evidence that any but a very small minority of the monks worked themselves, either as designers or as Craftsmen.”]

These brotherhoods of high artists soon won great esteem, and many privileges and franchises were conceded to them by the municipal authorities among whom they practiced their profession. Their places of assembly wele called Hütten, Logen, or Lodges, and the members took the name of Steinmetzen. Their patron saint was Saint John the Baptist, who was honored by them as the mediator between the Old and the New Covenants, and the first martyr of the Christian religion. To what condition of art these Freemasons of the Middle Ages had attained, we may judge from what Henry Hallam says of the edifices they erected—that they “united sublimity in general composition with the beauties of variety and form, skillful or at least fortunate effects of shadow and light, and in some instances extraordinary mechanical science'” (Europe in the Middle Ages iv, page 280).

And he subsequently adds (page 284), as an involuntary confirmation of the truth of the sketch of their origin just given, that the mechanical execution of the buildings was “so far beyond the apparent intellectual powers of those times, that some have ascribed the principal ecclesiastical structures to the Fraternity of Freemasons, depositories of a concealed and traditionary science. There is probably some ground for this opinion, and the earlier archives of that mysterious association, if they existed, might illustrate the progress of Gothic architecture, and perhaps reveal its origin.” These archives do exist, or many of them; and although unknown to Hallam because they were out of the course of his usual reading, they have been thoroughly sifted by recent Masonic scholars, especially by our German and English Brethren; and that which the historian of the Middle Ages had only assumed as a plausible conjecture has, by their researches, been proved to be a fact.

The prevalence of Gnostic symbols—such as lions, serpents, and the like—in the decorations of churches of the Middle Ages, have led some writers to conclude that the Knights Templar exercised an influence over the architects, and that by them the Gnostic and Ophite symbols were introduced into Europe. But Doctor Steiglitz denies the correctness of this conclusion. He ascribes the existence of Gnostic symbols in the church architecture to the fact that, at an early period in ecclesiastical history, many of the Gnostic dogmas passed over into Christendom with the Oriental and Platonic philosophy and he attributes their adoption in architecture to the natural compliance of the Architects or Masons with the predominant taste in the earlier periods of the Middle Ages for mysticism, and the favor given to grotesque decorations, which were admired without any knowledge of their actual import. Steiglitz also denies any deduction of the Builders’ Fraternities, or Masonic Lodges, of the Middle Ages from the Mysteries of the old Indians, Egyptians, and Greeks; although he acknowledges that there is a resemblance between the organizations.

This, however, he attributes to the fact that the Indians and Egyptians preserved all the sciences, as well as the principles of architecture, among their secrets, and because, among the Greeks, the artists were initiated into their Mysteries, so that, in the old as well as in the new brotherhoods, there was a purer knowledge of religious truth, which elevated them as distinct associations above the people. In like manner, he denies the descent of the Masonic Fraternities from the sect of Pythagoreans, which they resembled only in this: that the Samian sage established schools which were secret, and were based upon the principles of geometry.

But Steiglitz thinks that those are not mistaken who trace the Associations of Masons of the Middle Ages to the Roman Colleges, the Collegia Caementariorum, because these colleges appear in every country that was conquered and established as a province or a colony by the Romans, where they erected temples and other public buildings, and promoted the civilization of the inhabitants. They continued until a late period. But when Rome began to be convulsed by the wars of its decline, and by the incursions of hordes of barbarians, they found a welcome reception at Byzantium, or Constantinople, whence they subsequently spread into the west of Europe, and were everywhere held in great estimation for their skill in the construction of buildings.

In Italy the Associations of Architects never entirely ceased, as we may conclude from the many buildings erected there during the domination of the Ostrogoths and the Longobards. Subsequently when civil order was restored, the Masons of Italy were encouraged and supported by popes, princes, and nobles. And Muratori tells us, in his Historia d’Italia, that under the Lombard Kings the inhabitants of Como were so superior as masons and bricklayers, that the appellation of Magistri Comacini, or Masters from Como, became generic to all those of the profession (see Comacine Masters).

In England, When the Romans took possession of it, the Corporations, or Colleges of Builders, also appeared who were subsequently continued in the Fraternity of Freemasons, probably established, as Steiglitz thinks, about the middle of the fifth century, after the Romans had left the island. The English Masons were Subjected to many adverse difficulties, from the repeated incursions of Scots, Picts, Danes, and Saxons, which impeded their active labors; yet mere they enabled to maintain their existence, until, in the year 926, they held that General Assembly at the City of York which framed the Constitutions that governed the English Craft for eight hundred years, and which is claimed to he the oldest Masonic record now extant. It is but fair to say that the recent researches of Brother Hughan and other English writers have thrown a doubt upon the authenticity of these Constitutions, and that the very existence of this work Assembly has been denied and practically disproved.

In France, as in Germany, the Fraternities of Architects originally sprang out of the connection of las builders with the monks in the era of Charlemagne. The French Masons continued their Fraternities throughout the Middle Ages, and erected many cathedrals and public buildings. We have now arrived at the middle of the eleventh century, tracing the progress of the Fraternities of Stone-Masons from the time of Charlemagne to that period. At that time all the architecture of Europe was in their hands. Under the distinctive name of traveling freemasons they passed from nation to nation, constructing churches and cathedrals wherever they were needed. Of their organization and customs, Sir Christopher Wren, in his Parentalia, gives the following account: “Their government was regular, and where they fixed near the building in hand, they made a camp of huts. A surveyor governed in chief; every tenth man was called a Warden, and overlooked each nine.”

Thomas Hope, who, from his peculiar course of studies, was better acquainted than Henry Hallam with the history of these Traveling Freemasons, thus speaks, in his Essay on Architecture, of their organization at this time, by which they effected an identity of architectural science throughout all Europe: “The architects of all the sacred edifices of the Latin Church, wherever such arose—North, South, East, or West—thus derived their science from the same central school; obeyed in their designs the dictates of the same hierarchy; were directed in their constructions by the same principles of propriety and taste; kept up with each other, in the most distant parts to which they might be sent, the most constant correspondence; and rendered every minute improvement the property of the whole body, and a new conquest of the art.”

Working in this way, the Stone-Masons as corporations of builders, daily increased in numbers and in power. In the thirteenth century they assumed a new organization, which allied them more closely than ever with that brotherhood of Speculative Freemasons into which they were finally merged in the eighteenth century, in England, but not in Germany, France, or Italy. These Fraternities or Associations became at once very popular. Many of the potentates of Europe, and among them the Emperor Rudolph I, conceded to them considerable powers of jurisdiction, such as would enable them to preserve the most rigid system in matters pertaining to building, and would facilitate them in bringing master builders and stone-masons together at any required point.

Pope Nicholas III granted the Brotherhood, in 1278, Letters of Indulgence, which were renewed by his successors, and finally, in the next century, by Pope Benedict XII. The Steinmetzen, as a Fraternity of Operative Masons, distinguished from the ordinary masons and laborers of the craft, acquired at this time great prominence, and were firmly established as an association. In 1452 a General Assembly was convened at Strasburg, and a new Constitution framed, which embraced many improvements and modifications of the former one. But seven years afterward, in 1459, Jost Dotzinger, then holding the position of architect of the Cathedral of Strasburg, and, by virtue of his office, presiding over the Craft of Germany, convened a General Assembly of the Masters of all the Lodges at the City of Ratisbon.

There the code of laws which had been adopted at Strasburg in 1452, under the title of Statutes and Regulations of the Fraternity of Stone-Masons of Strasburg was fully discussed and sanctioned. It was then also resolved that there should be established four Grand Lodges—at Strasburg, at Vienna, at Cologne, and at Zurich; and they also determined that the Master Workman, for the time being, of the Cathedral of Strasburg should be the Grand Master of the Masons of Germany. These Constitutions of Statutes are still extant, and are older than any other existing Masonic record of undoubted authenticity, except Halliwell & Cooke Manuscripts. They were “kindly and affably agreed upon,” according to their preamble, “for the benefit and requirements of the Masters and Fellows of the whole Craft of Masonry and Masons in Clermany,”

Besides the Strasburg Constitution of 1459 there are two other very important documents of the Steinmetzen of Germany: The Torgau Ordinances of 1462 and the Brothers’ Book of 1563. General Assemblies, at which important business was transacted, were held in 1464 at Ratisbon, and in 1469 at Spire, while provincial assemblies in each of the Grand Lodge Jurisdictions were annually convened.

In consequence of a deficiency of employment, from political disturbances and other causes, the Fraternity now for a brief period declined in its activity. But it was speedily revived when, in October, 1498, the Emperor Maximilian I confirmed its Statutes, as they had been adopted at Strasburg, and recognized its former rights and privileges. This Act of Confirmation was renewed by the succeeding Emperors, Charles V and Ferdinand I. In 1563 a General Assembly of the Masons of Germany and Switzerland was convened at the City of Basle by the Grand Lodge of Strasburg. The Strasburg Constitutions were again renewed with amendments, and what was called the Stone-Masons’ Law, das Steinwerkrecht, was established.

The Grand Lodge of Strasburg continued to be recognized as possessing supreme appellate jurisdiction in all matters relating to the Craft. Even the Senate of that city had acknowledged its prerogatives, and had conceded to it the privilege of settling all controversies in relation to matters connected with building; a concession which was, however, revoked in 1620, on the charge that the privilege had been misused.

Thus the operative Freemasons of Germany continued to work and to cultivate the high principles of a religious architectural art. But on March 16, 1707, up to which time the Fraternity had uninterruptedly existed, a Degree of the Imperial Diet at Ratisbon dissolved the connection of the Lodges of Germany with the Grand Lodge of Strasburg, because that city had passed into the power of the French. The head being now lost, the subordinate Bodies began rapidly to decline. In several of the German cities the Lodges undertook to assume the name and exercise the functions of Grand Lodges; but these were all abolished by an Imperial Edict in 1731, which at the same time forbade the administration of any oath of secrecy, and transferred to the government alone the adjudication of all disputes among the Craft.

From this time we lose sight of any national organization of the Freemasons in Germany until the restoration of the Order, in the eighteenth century, through the English Fraternity. Thus we see, as Brother Cawthorne here observes, that the great Order of the Steinmetzen of Germany took no part in the formation of the Speculative Freemasons.

But in many cities—as in Basle, Zurich, Hamburg, Dantzic, and Strasburg—they preserved an inde pendent existence under the Statutes of 1559, although they lost much of the profound symbolical knowledge of architecture which had been possessed by their predecessors. Before leaving these German Stone-Masons, it is worth while to say something of the symbolism which they preserved in their secret teachings. They made much use, in their architectural plans, of mystical numbers, and among these five, seven, and nine were especially prominent. Among colors, gold and blue and white possessed symbolic meanings. The foot rule, the compasses, the square, and the gavel, with some other implements of their art, were consecrated with a spiritual signification.

The East was considered as a sacred point; and many allusions were made to Solomon’s Temple, especially to the pillars of the porch, representations of which are to be found in several of the cathedrals.

In France the history of the Free Stone-Masons was similar to that of their German Brethren. Originating, like them, from the cloisters, and from the employment of laymen by the monkish architects, they associated themselves together as a Brotherhood superior to the ordinary stone-masons. The connection between the Masons of France and the Roman Colleges of Builders was more intimate and direct than that of the Germans, because of the early and very general occupation of Gaul by the Roman legions: but the French organization did not materially differ from the German. Protected by popes and princes, the Masons were engaged, under ecclesiastical patronage, in the construction of religious edifices.

In France there was also a peculiar association, the Pontifices, or Bridge Builders, closely connected in design and character with the Masonic Fraternity, and the memory of which is still preserved in the name of one of the Degrees of the Scottish Rite, that of Grand Pontiff.. The principal seat of the French Stone-Masonry was in Lombardy, whence the Lodges were disseminated over the kingdom, a fact which is thus accounted for by Thomas Hope: “Among the arts exercised and improved in Lombardy,” he says, “that of building held a pre-eminent rank, and was the more important because the want of those ancient edifices to which they might recur for materials already wrought, and which Rome afforded in such abundance, made the architects of these more remote regions dependent on their own skill and free to follow their own conceptions.”

But in the beginning of the sixteenth century, the necessity for their employment in the further construction of religious edifices having ceased, the Fraternity began to decline, and the Masonic Corporations were all finally dissolved, with those of other workmen, by Francis I, in 1539. Then originated that system which the French call Compagnorlaye, a system of independent Gilds or brotherhoods, retaining a principle of community as to the art which they practiced, and with, to some extent, a secret bond, but without elevated notions or general systematic organizations. The societies of Compagnons were, indeed, but the debris of the Building Masons. Masonry ceased to exist in France as a recognized system until its revival in the eighteenth century.

We see, then, in conclusion, that the Stone-Masons —coming partly from the Roman Colleges of Architects, as in England, in Italy, and in France, but principally, as in Germany, from the cloistered brotherhoods of monks—devoted themselves to the construction of religious edifices.. They consisted mainly of architects and skillful operatives; but—as they were controlled by the highest principles of their art, were in possession of important professional secrets, were actuated by deep sentiments of religious devotion, and had united with themselves in their labors, men of learning, wealth, and influence—to serve as a proud distinction between themselves and the ordinary laborers and uneducated workmen, many of whom were of servile condition.

Subsequently, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, they threw off the operative element of their institution, and adopting an entirely speculative character, they became the Freemasons of the present day, and established on an imperishable foundation that sublime Institution which presents over all the habitable earth the most wonderful system of religious ane moral symbolism that the world ever saw.


The Stone of foundation constitutes one of the most important and abstruse of all the symbols of Freemasonry. It is referred to in numerous legends and traditions not only of the Freemasons, but also of the Jewish Rabbis, the Talmudic writers, and even the Mussulman doctors. Many of these, it must be confessed, are apparently puerile and absurd; but most of them, and especially the Masonic ones, are deeply interesting in their allegorical signification.. The Stone of Foundation is, properly speaking, a symbol of the higher Degrees.

It makes its first appearance in the Royal Arch, and forms indeed the most important symbol of that Degree. But it is so intimately connected, in its legendary history, with the construction of the Solomonic Temple, that it must be considered as a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, although he who confines the range of his investigations to the first three Degrees will have no means, within that narrow limit, of properly appreciating the symbolism of the Stone of Foundation. As preliminary to the inquiry, it is necessary to distinguish the Stone of Foundation, both in its symbolism and its legendary history, from other stones which play an important part in the Masonic Ritual, but which are entirely distinct from it.

Such is the corner-stone, which was always placed in the northeast corner of the building about to be erected, and to which such a beautiful reference is made in the ceremonies of the First Degree; or the Keystone, which constitutes an interesting part of the Mark Master s Degree; or, lastly, the capstone, upon which all the ritual of the Most Excellent Master’s Degree is founded. They are all, in their proper places, highly interesting and instructive Symbols, but have no conneetion whatever with the Stone of Foundation, whose symbolism it is our present object to discuss. Nor, although the Stone of Foundation is said, for peculiar reasons, to have been of a cubical form, must it be confounded with that stone called by the Continental Freemasons the cubical stone—the pierre critique of the French and the cubik stein of the German Freemasons but which in the English system is known as the perfect ashlar.

The Stone of Foundation has a legendary history and a symbolic signification which are peculiar to itself, and which differ from the history and meaning which belong to these other stones. We propose first to define this Masonic Stone of Foundation, then to collate the legends which refer to it, and afterward to investigate its significance as a symbol. To the Freemason who takes a pleasure in the study of the mysteries of his Institution, the investigation cannot fail to be interesting, if it is conducted with and ability.

But in the very beginning, as a necessary preliminary to any investigation of this kind, it must be distinctly understood that all that is said of this Stone of Foundation in Freemasonry is to be strictly taken in a mythical or allegorical sense. Doctor Oliver, while undoubtedly himself knowing that it was simply a symbol, has written loosely of it as though it were a substantial reality; and hence, if the passages in his Historical Landmarks, and in his other works which refer to this celebrated stone, are accepted by his readers in a literal sense, they will present absurdities and puerilities which would not occur if the Stone of Foundation was received, as it really is, as a myth conveying a most profound and beautiful symbolism.

It is such that it is to be treated here; and, therefore, if a legend is recited or a tradition related, the reader is requested on every occasion to suppose that such legend or tradition is not intended as the recital or relation of what is deemed a fact in Masonic history, but to wait with patience for the development of the symbolism which it conveys. Read in this spirit, as all the legends of Freemasonry should be read, the legend of the Stone of Foundation becomes one of the most important and interesting of all the Masonic symbols.

The Stone of Foundation is supposed, by the theory which establishes it, to have been a stone placed at one time within the foundations of the Temple of Solomon, and afterward, during the building of the second Temple, transported to the Holy of Holies. It was in form a perfect cube, and had inscribed upon its upper face, within a delta or triangle, the sacred Tetragrammaton, or Ineffable Name of God. Doctor Oliver, speaking with the solemnity of a historian, says that Solomon thought that he had rendered the house of God worthy, so far as human adornment could effect, for the dwelling of God, “when he had placed the celebrated Stone of Foundation, on which the sacred name was mystically engraven, with solemn ceremonies, in that sacred depository on Mount Moriah, along with the foundations of Dan and Asher, the center of the Most Holy Place, where the Ark was overshadowed by the Shekinah of God.”

The Hebrew Talmudists, who thought as much of this stone, and had as many legends concerning it, as the Masonic Talmudists, called it eben shatijah, or Stone of Foundation, because as they said, it had been laid by Jehovah as the foundation of the world, and hence the apocryphal Book of Enoch speaks of the “stone which supports the corners of the earth.”

This idea of a foundation-stone of the world was most probably derived from that magnificent passage of the Book of Job (xxxviii, F7) in which the Almighty demands of Job,

Where wast thou, when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Declare, since thou hast such knowledge!

Who fixed its dimensions, since thou knowest!

Or who stretched out the line upon it?

Upon what were its foundations fixed?

And who laid its corner-stone,

When the morning stars sang together.

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Noyes, whose translation we have adopted as not materially differing from the common version, but more poetical and more in the strain of the original, thus explains the allusions to the foundation-stone: “It was the custom to celebrate the laying of the corner-stone of an important building With music, songs, shouting, etc. Hence the morning stars are represented as celebrating the laying of the cornerstone of the earth.”

Upon this meager statement has been accumulated more traditions than appertain to any other Masonic symbol. The Rabbis, as has already been intimated, divide the glory of these apocryphal histories with the Freemasons; indeed, there is good reason for a suspicion that nearly all the Masonic legends owe their first existence to the imaginative genius of the writers of the Jewish Talmud. But there is this difference between the Hebrew and the Masonic traditions: that the Talmudic scholar recited them as truthful histories, and swallowed, in one gulp of faith, all their impossibilities and anachronisms; while the Masonic scholar has received them as allegories, whose value is not in the facts, but in the sentiments which they convey.

With this understanding of their meaning, let us proceed to a collation of these legends. In that blasphemous work, the Toldoth Jessie, or Life of Jesus, written, it has been supposed, in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, we find the following account of this wonderful stone: “At that time (the time of Jesus) there was in the House of the Sanctuary (that is, the Temple) a stone of foundation, which is the very stone that our father Jacob anointed with oil, as it is described in the twenty-eighth chapter of the Book of Genesis. On that stone the letters of the Tetragrammaton were inscribed, and whosoever of the Israelites should learn that name would be able to master the world.

To prevent, therefore, any one from learning these letters, two iron dogs were placed upon two columns in front of the Sanctuary. If any person, having acquired the knowledge of these letters, desired to depart from the Sanctuary, the barking of the dogs, by magical power, inspired so much fear that he suddenly forgot what he had acquired.” This passage is cited by the learned Buxtorf in his Lexicon Talmudicum; but in his copy of the Toldoth Jeshu, Doctor Mackey found another passage, which gives some additional particulars, in the following words: “At that time there was in the Temple the ineffable name of God, inscribed upon the Stone of Foundation. For when King David was digging the foundation for the Temple, he found in the depths of the excavation a certain stone on which the name of God was inscribed. This stone he removed and deposited it in the Holy of Holies.”

The same puerile story of the barking dogs is repeated still more at length. It is not pertinent to the present inquiry, but it may be stated, as a mere matter of curious information, that this scandalous book, which is throughout a blasphemous defamation of our Savior, proceeds to say, that he cunningly obtained a knowledge of the Tetragrammaton from the Stone of Foundation, and by its mystical influence was enabled to perform his miracles.

The Masonic legends of the Stone of Foundation, based on these and other rabbinical reveries, are of the most extraordinary character, if they are to be viewed as histories, but readily reconcilable with sound sense, if looked at only in the light of allegories.

They present an uninterrupted succession of events, in which the Stone of Foundation talcs a prominent part, from Adam to Solomon, and from Solomon to Zerubbabel. Thus, the first of these legends, in order of time, relates that the Stone of Foundation was possessed by Adam while in the Garden of Eden; that he used it as an altar, and so reverenced it that, on his expulsion from Paradise, he carried it with him into the world in which he and his descendants were afterward to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow.

Another legend informs us that from Adam the Stone of Foundation descended to Seth. From Seth it passed by regular succession to Noah, who took it with him into the Ark, and after the subsidence of the Deluge made on it his first thank-offering. Noal left it on Mount Ararat, where it was subsequently, found by Abraham, who removed it, and constantly used it as an altar of sacrifice. His grandson Jacob took it with him when he fled to his uncle Laban in Mesopotamia, and used it as a pillow when, in the vicinity of Luz, he had his celebrated vision.

Here there is a sudden interruption in the legendary history of the stone, and we have no means of conjecturing how it passed from the possession of Jacob into that of Solomon. Moses, it is true, is said to have taken it with him out of Egypt at the time of of the exodus, and thus it may have finally reached Jerusalem. Dr. Adam Clarke repeats, what he very properly calls a foolish tradition, that the stone on which Jacob rested his head was afterward brought to Jerusalem, thence carried after a long lapse of time to Spain, from Spain to Ireland, and from Ireland to Scotland, where it was used as a seat on which the kings of Scotland sat to be crowned. Edward I, we know, brought a stone to which this legend is attached from Scotland to Westminster Abbey where under the name of Jacob’s Pillow, it still remains, and is always placed under the chair upon which the British Sovereign sits to be crowned; because there is an old distich which declares that wherever this stone is found the Scottish Kings shall reign. But this Scottish tradition would take the Stone of Foundation away from all its Masonic connections, and therefore it is rejected as a Masonic legend.

The legends just related are in many respects contradictory and unsatisfactory, and another series, equally as old, is now very generally adopted by Masonic scholars as much better suited to the symbolism by which all these legends are explained. This series of legends commences with the patriarch Enoch, who is supposed to have been the first consecrator of the Stone of Foundation. The legend of Enoch is so interesting and important in this connection as to excuse its repetition in the present work.

The legend in full is as follows: Enoch, under the inspiration of the Most High, and in obedience to the instructions which he had received in a vision, built a Temple underground on Mount Moriah, and dedicated it to God. His son, Methuselah, constructed the building, although he was not acquainted with his father’s motives for the erection. This temple Consisted of nine vaults, situated perpendicularly beneath each other, and communicating by apertures left in each vault.

Enoch then caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side of which was a cubit long; he enriched it with the most precious stones, and encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form. On the plate he engraved the true name of God, or the Tetragrammaton, and placing it en a cubical stone, known thereafter as the Stone of Foundation, he deposited the whole within the lowest arch.

When this subterranean building was completed, he made a door of stone, and attaching to it a ring of iron, by which it might be occasionally raised, he placed it over the opening of the uppermost arch, and so covered it that the aperture Could not be discovered Enoch, himself, was permitted to enter it but once a year, and on the deaths of Enoch, Methusalem, and Lamedh, and the destruction of the word by the Deluge, all knowledge of the vault or subterranean temple and of the Stone of Foundation, with the Sacred and Ineffable Name inscribed upon it, was lost for ages to the world.

At the building of the first Temple of Jerusalem, the Stone of Foundation again makes its appearance. Reference has already been made to the Jewish tradition that David, when digging the foundations of the Temple, formal in the excavation which he was making a certain stone, on which the Ineffable Name of God was inscribed, and which stone he is said to have removed and deposited in the holy of Holies. That King David laid the foundations of the Temple upon which the superstructure was subsequently erected by Solomon, is a favorite theory of the legend mongers of the Talmud.

The Masonic tradition is substantially the same as the Jewish, but it substitutes Solomon for David, thereby giving a greater air of probability to the narrative, and it supposes that the stone thus discovered by Solomon was the identical one that had been deposited in his secret vault by Enoch. This Stone of Foundation, the tradition states, was subsequently removed by King Solomon and, for wise purposes, deposited in a secret and safer place.

In this the Masonic tradition again agrees with the Jewish, for we find in the third chapter of the Treatise on the Temple, the following narrative: “There was a stone in the Holy of Holies, on its west side, on which was placed the Ark of the Covenant, and before the Pot of Manna and Aaron’s rod. But when Solomon had built the Temple, and foresaw that it was at some future time to be destroyed, he constructed a deep and Winding vault underground, for the purpose of concealing the ark, wherein Josiah afterwards, as we learn in the Second Book of Chronicles (xxiv, 3) deposited it with the Pot of Manna, the Rod of Aaron, and the Oil of Anointing.”

The Talmudical book Yoma gives the same tradition, and says that “the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the center of the Holy of Holies, upon a stone rising three fingers’ breadth above the floor, to be as it were a pedestal for it.” This stone, says Prideaux, in his Old and New Testament Connected (volume I, page 148), “the Rabbins call the Stone of Foundation, and give us a great deal of trash about it.”

There is much controversy as to the question of the existence of any Ark in the second Temple. Some of the Jewish writers assert that a new one was made; others that the old one was found where it had been concealed by Solomon; and others again contend that there was no Ark at all in the temple of Zerubbabel, but that its place was supplied by the Stone of Foundation on which it had originally rested.

Royal Arch Masons well know how all these traditions are sought to be reconciled by the Masonic legend, in which the Substitute Ark and the Stone of Foundation play so important a part.

In the Thirteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, the Stone of Foundation is conspicuous as the resting-place of the Sacred Delta.

In the Royal Arch and Select Master’s Degrees of the American Rite, the Stone of Foundation constitutes the most important part of the ritual. In both of these it is the receptacle of the Ark, on which the ineffable Name is inscribed.

Lee, in his Temple of Solomon, has devoted a chapter to this Stone of Foundation, and thus recapitulates the Talmudic and Rabbinical traditions on the subject: “Vain and furious are the feverish dreams of the ancient Rabbins concerning the Foundation Stone of the Temple. Some assert that God placed this stone in the center of the world, for a future basis and Settled consistency for the earth to rest upon.

Others held this stone to be the first matter out of which all the beautiful visible beings of the world have been hewn forth and produced to light. Others relate that this was the very same stone laid by Jacob for a pillow under his head, in that night when he dreamed of an angelic vision at Bethel, and he afterwards anointed and consecrated it to God. Which when Solomon had found, no doubt by forged revelation or some tedious Search like another Rabbi ,Selemoh, he durst not but lay it sure, as the principal Foundation-Stone of the Temple. Nay, they do say further, he caused to be engraved upon it the Tetragrammaton, or the Ineffable Name of Jehovah.”

It will be seen that the Masonic traditions on the Subject of the Stone of Foundation do not differ very materially from these Rabbinical ones, although they add a few additional circumstances. In the Masonic legend, the Foundation-Stone first makes its appearance, as we have already said, in the days of Enoch, who placed it in the bowels of Mount Moriah. There it was subsequently discovered by King Solomon, who deposited it in a crypt of the first Temple, where it remained concealed until the foundations of the second Temple were laid, when it was discovered and removed to the Holy of Holies.

But the most important point of the legend of the Stone of foundation is its intimate and constant connection with the Tetragrammaton or Ineffable Name. It is this name, inscribed upon it within the Sacred and Symbolic Delta, that gives to the stone all its Masonic value and significance. It is upon this fact, that it was so inscribed, that its whole symbolism depends.

Looking at these traditions in anything like the light of historical narratives, we are compelled to consider them, to use the plain language of Lee, “but as so many idle and absurd conceits.” We must go behind the legend, which we acknowledge at once to be only an allegory, and study its symbolism. The following facts can, we think, be readily established from history. First, that there was a very general prevalence among the earliest nations of antiquity of the worship of stones as the representatives of Deity; secondly, that in almost every ancient temple there was a legend of a sacred or mystical stone; thirdly, that this legend is found in the Masonic system; and lastly, that the mystical stone there has received the none of the Stone there has received the name of the Stone of Foundation.

Now, as in all the other systems the stone is admitted to be symbolic, and the traditions connected with it mystical, we are compelled to assume the same predicates of the Masonic stone. It, too, is Symbolic, and its legend a myth or an allegory. Of the fable, myth, or allegory, Bailly has said that, “subordinate to history and philosophy, it only deceives that it may the better instruct us. Faithful in preserving the realities which are confided to it, it covers with its seductive envelop the lessons of tile one and the truths of the other.” It is from this standpoint that we are to view the allegory of the Stone of Foundation, as developed in one of the most interesting and important symbols of Freemasonry.

The fact that the mystical stone in all the ancient religions was a symbol of the Deity, leads us necessarily to the conclusion that the Stone of Foundation was also a symbol of Deity. And this symbolic idea is strengthened by the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of God, that was inscribed upon it. This Ineffable Name sanctifies the stone upon which it is engraved as the symbol of the Grand Architect. It takes from it its heathen Signification as an idol, and consecrates it to the worship of the true God. The predominant idea of the Deity, in the Masonic system, connects him with his creative and formative power. God is to the Freemason Al Gabil, as the Arabians called him, that is, The Builder; or, as expressed in his Masonic title, the Grand Architect of the Universe, by common consent abbreviated in the formula G. A. O. T. U.

Now, it is evident that no Symbol could so appropriately suit him in this character as the Stone of Foundation, upon which he is allegorically supposed to have erected his world. Such a symbol closely connects the creative work of God, as a pattern and exemplar, with the workman’s erection of his temporal building on a similar foundation stone.

But this Masonic idea is still further to be extended. The great object of all Masonic labor is Divine Truth. The search for the Lost Word is the search for truth. But Divine Truth is a term Synonymous with God. The Ineffable Name is a symbol of truth, because God, and God alone, is truth. It is properly a Scriptural idea. The Book of Psalms abounds with this sentiment. Thus it is said that the truth of the Lord “reacheth unto the clouds,” and that “his truth endureth unto all generations.”

If, then, God is Truth, and the Stone of Foundation is the Masonic symbol of God, it follows that it must also be the symbol of Divine Truth. When we have arrived at this point in our speculations, we are ready to show how all the myths and legends of the Stone of Foundation may be rationally explained as parts of that beautiful “science of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols,” which is the acknowledged definition of Freemasonry. In the Masonic system there are two Temples: the First Temple, in which the Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry are concerned, and the Second Temple, with which the higher Degrees, and especially the Royal Arch, are related. The first Temple is symbolic of the present life; the Second Temple is symbolic of the life to come. The First Temple, the present life, must he destroyed; on its foundations the Second Temple, the life eternal, must be built.

But the mystical stone was placed by King Solomon in the foundations of the first Temple. That is to say, the First Temple of our present life must be built on the sure foundation of Divine Truth, “for other foundation can no man lay.” But although the present life is necessarily built upon the foundation of truth, yet we never thoroughly attain it in this sublunary sphere. The Foundation Stone is concealed in the First Temple, and the Master Mason knows it not. He has not the true word. He receives only a substitute.

In the Second Temple of the future life, we have passed from the grave which had been the end of our labors in the First. We have removed the rubbish and have found that Stone of Foundation which had been hitherto concealed from our eyes. We now throw aside the substitute for truth which had contented us in the former Temple, and the brilliant effulgence of the Tetragrammaton and the Stone of Foundation are discovered, and thenceforth we are the possessors of the true word—of Divine Truth. And in this way, the Stone of Foundation, or Divine Truth, concealed in the First Temple, but discovered and brought to light in the Second, will explain that passage of the Apostle: “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know face to face.”

And so the result of this inquiry is, that the Masonic Stone of Foundation is a symbol of Divine Truth, upon which all Speculative Freemasonry is built, and the legends and traditions which refer to it are intended to describe, in an allegorical way, the progress of truth in the soul, the search for which is a Freemason’s labor, and the discovery of which is his reward.


This manuscript is no longer in existence, having been one of those which was destroyed, in 1720, by some too scrupulous Brethren. Brother Preston (1792 edition, page 167), described it as “an old manuscript, which was destroyed with many others in 1720, said to have been in the possession of Nicholas Stone, a curious sculptor under Inigo Jones.” Preston gives, however, an extract from it, which details the affection borne by Saint Alban for the Freemasons, the wages he gave them, and the Chalter which he obtained from the King to hold a General Assembly (see Saint Alban). Anderson (Constitutions, 1738, page .99), who calls Stone the Warden of Inigo Jones, intimates that he wrote the manuscript, and gives it as authority for a statement that in 1607 Jones held the Quarterly Communications. The extract made by Preston, and the brief reference by Anderson, are all that is left of the Stone Manuscript.


See Stone Manuscript


Doctor Oliver says that, in the English system, “the stone pavement is a figurative appendage to a Master Masons’ Lodge, and, like that of the Most Holy Place in the Temple, is for the High Priest to walk on.” This is not recognized in the American system, where the stone or mosaic pavement is appropriated to the Entered Apprentice’s Degree.


Saint Matthew records (xxi, 42) that our Lord said to the Chief Priests and Elders, “Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner’?” Commenting on this, Dr. Adam Clarke says: “It is an expression borrowed from masons, who, finding a stone which, being tried in a particular place, and appearing improper for it, is thrown aside and another taken; however, at last, it may happen that the very stone which had been before rejected may be found the most suitable as the head stone of the corner.” This is precisely the symbolism of the Mark Master or Fourth Degree of the American Rite, where the rejected stone is suggested to the neophyte “as a consolation under all the frowns of fortune, and as an encouragement to hope for better prospects.” Brother G. F. Yates says that the Symbolism of the rejected stone in the present Mark Degree is not in the original Master Mark Mason’s Degree, out of which Webb manufactured his ritual, but was introduced by him from some other unknown source.


See Giblim


Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, sentence was given in courts of judicature by white and black stones or pebbles. Those who were in favor of acquittal cast a white stone, and those who were for condemning, a black one. So, too, in popular elections a white stone was deposited by those who were favorable to the candidate, and a black one by those who wished to reject him. In this ancient practice we find the origin of white and black balls in the Masonic ballot. The white stone is also a symbol of victory.

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white Stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation iii, 17). Here is a recognition of the conquerors the stone as in the Roman tessera gladiatoria being the reward of the victorious in the arena, a mark of distinction. There was also the tessera hospital is, a token or pledge of hospitality, a stone broken in halves, each half retained by both of two friends, and they or any of their families could at a future time assemble and unite the parts of the stone to prompt and renew the fellowship as of old. Hence, too, the white stone has become the symbol of absolution in judgment, and of the conferring of honors and rewards. The white stone with the new name, mentioned in the Mark Master’s Degree, refers to the keystone.


An American journalist and writer, who was born in the State of New York in 1792, and died in 1844. He was the author of several literary works, generally of a biographical character. But his largest work was Letters on Masonry and anti-Masonry addressed to the Hon. John Quincy Adams, New York, 1832. This was one of the productions which were indebted for their appearance to the anti-Masonic excitement that prevailed at that time in this country. Although free from the bitterness of tone and abusive language which characterized most of the contemporaneous writings of the anti-Masons, it is, as an argumentative work, discreditable to the critical acumen of the author. It abounds in statements made without authority and unsustained by proofs, while its premises being in most instances false, its deductions are necessarily illogical.


This was, perhaps, the earliest form of fetishism. Before the discovery of metals, men were accustomed to worship unhewn stones. From China, whom Sanchoniathan calls the first Phenician, the Canaanites learned the practice, the influence of which we may trace in the stone pillar erected and consecrated by Jacob. The account in Genesis (xxviii, 18, 22) is that “Jacob took the stone that he had put for his pillows and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it; and he called the name of that place Bethel, saving, This stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God’s house.” The Israelites were repeatedly commanded to destroy the stone idols of the Canaanites, and Moses corrects his own people when falling into this species of idolatry.

Various theories have been suggested as to the origin of stone-worship. Lord Kames’ theory was that stones erected as monuments of the dead became the place where posterity paid their veneration to the memory of the deceased, and that the monumental stones at length became objects of worship, the people having lost sight of the emblematical signification, which was not readily understood.

Others have sought to find the origin of stone-worship in the stone that was set up and anointed by Jacob at Bethel, and the tradition of which had extended into the heathen nations and become corrupted. It is certain that the Phoenicians worshiped sacred stones united the name of Boetylia, which word is evidently derived from the Hebrew Bethel, and this undoubtedly gives some appearance of probability to the theory.

Out a third theory supposes that the worship of stones was derived from the unskilfulness of the primitive sculptors, wily unable to frame, by their meager principles of plastic art, a true image of the God whom they adored, were content to substitute in its place a rude or scarcely polished stone. Hence the Greeks, according to Pausanias, originally used unhewn stones to represent their deities, thirty of which, that historian says, he saw in the City of Pharoe. These stones were of a cubical form, and, as the greater number of them were dedicated to the god Hermes, or Mercury, they received the generic name of Hermac. Subsequently, with the improvement of the plastic art, the head was added.

So difficult, indeed, was it, in even the most refined era of Grecian civilization, for the people to divest themselves of the influences of this superstition, that Theophrastus characterizes the superstitious man as one who could not resist the impulse to bow to those mysterious stones which served to mark the confluence of the highways.

One of these consecrated stones was placed before the door of almost every house in Athens. They were also placed in front of the temples, in the gymnasia or schools, in libraries, and at the corners of streets, and in the roads. When dedicated to the god Terminus, whose Special province, was held to be boundaries, they were used as landmarks, and placed as such upon the concurrent lines of neighboring possessions.

The Thebans worshiped Bacchus under the form of a rude, square stone.

Arnobius says that Cybele was represented by a small stone of a black color. Eusebius cites Porphyry as saying that the ancients represented the Deity by a black stone, because His nature is obscure and inserutable. The reader will here be reminded of the black stone, Hadsjar el Aswad, placed in the southwest corner of the Kaaba at Mecca, which was worshiped by the ancient Arabians, and is still treated with religious veneration by the modern Mohammedans. The Mussulman priests, however, say that it was at first white, of such surprising splendor to be seen at the distance of four days journey, but that it has been blackened by the tears of pilgrims. The Druids, it is well known, had no other images of their gods but cubical or Sometimes columnar stones, of which Toland gives several instances.

The Chaldeans had a sacred stone, which they held in great veneration, under the name of Mnizuris, and to which they sacrificed for the purpose of evoking the Good Demon. Stone-worship existed among the early American races. Squire quotes Skinner as asserting that the Peruvians used to set up rough stones in their fields and plantations, which were worshiped as protectors of their crops. And Gama says that in Mexico the presiding god of the spring was often represented without a human body, and in place thereof a pilaster or square column, whose pedestal was covered with various sculptures Indeed, so universal was this stone-worship, that Godfrey Higgins, in his Celtic Druids, says that “throughout the world the first object of idolatry seems to have been a plain, unwrought stone, placed in the grounds as an emblem of the generative or procreative powers of nature.” And Bryant, in his Anallysts of Ancient Mythology, asserts that “there is in every oracular temple some legend about a stone. ”

Without further citations of examples from the religious usages of antiquity, it will, we think, be conceded that the cubical stone formed an important part of the religious worship of primitive nations. But Cudworth, Bryant, Faber, and all other distinguished writers who have treated the Subject, have long since established the theory that the Pagan religions were eminently symbolic. Thus, to use the language of Dudley, the pillar or stone was “adopted as a symbol of strength and firmness—a symbol, also, of the Divine Power, and, by a ready inference, a symbol or idol of the Deity Himself.” And this symbolism is confirmed by Phurnutus, whom Toland quotes as saying that the god Hermes was represented without hands or feet, being a cubical stone, because the cubical figure betokened his solidity and stability.

The influence of this old stone-worship, but of course divested of its idolatrous spirit, and developed into the system of Symbolic instruction, is to be found in Freemasonry, where the reference to sacred stones is made in the Foundation-Stone, the Cubical Stone, the Corner-Stone, and some other symbols of a similar character. Indeed, the stone supplies Masonic science with a very important and diversified symbolism.

As stone-worship was one of the oldest of the deflections from the pure religion, so it was one of the last to be abandoned. A Decree of the Council of Aries, which was held in the year 452, declares that “if, in any diocese, any infidel either lighted torches or worshiped trees, fountains, or stones, or neglected to destroy them, he should be found guilty of sacrilege.” A similar decree was subsequently issued by the Council of Tours in 507, that of Nantes in 658, and that of Toledo in 681. Charlemagne, of France, in the eighth century, and Canute, of England, in the eleventh, found it necessary to execrate and forbid the worship of stones.

Even in the present day, the worship has not been altogether abandoned, but still exists in some remote districts of Christendom. Scheffer, in his Description of Lapland, cited by Tennent, in Notes and Queries (first series, v, 122) says that in 1673 the Laplanders worshiped an unhewn stone found upon the banks of lakes and rivers, and which they called kied kie jubmal, that is, the stone god. Martin, in his Description of the Western Islands (page 88) says: “There is a stone set up near a mile to the south of Saint Columbus’s church, about eight feet high and two broad. It is called by the natives the bounng stone; for when the inhabitants had the first sight of the church, they set up this, and then bowed, and said the Lord’s Prayer.” He also describes several other stones in different parts of the islands which were objects of veneration. Finally, in a work published years ago by the Earl of Roden, entitled Progress of the Reformation in Ireland, he says (page 51), that at Inniskea, an island off the coast of Mayo, “a stone carefully wrapped up in flannels is brought out at certain periods to be adored; and when a storm arises, this god is supplicated to send a greek on their coasts.”

Tennent, to whom we are indebted for these citations, adds another from Borlase, who, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, says (book iii, chapter ii, page 162), that “after Christianity took place, many (in Cornwall) continued to worship these stones; coming thither with lighted torches, and praying for safety and success.” It is more than probable that in many remote regions of Europe, where the sun of Christianity has only darted its dimmest rays, this old worship of sacred stones still remains.


A crown colony of Great Britain, situated in the East Indies, on anel off the Malay Peninsula, comprising Singapore, Labuan, Penang, the Dindings, Province Wellesley, Malacea, and a number of small islands. Neptune Lodge, No. 344, was established by the Duke of Athol on September 6, 1809, but the Lodge only existed for ten years. It was revived again by the Duke of Sussex but its name was once more dropped from the register m 1862. Lodges Zetland in the East, No. 748, warranted 1845, No. 1555, warranted 1875, and Saint George, No. 1152, warranted 1867, comprise the Province of the Eastern Archipelago which was established with Brother W. H. Read as Provincial Grand Master in 1858. Provinces abroad from the year 1866 have been styled Districts to distinguish them from Provinces in England.


This has always been considered as one of the finest Gothic buildings in Europe. The original cathedral was founded in 504, but in 1007 it was almost completely destroyed by lightning. The present edifice was begun in 1015 and completed in 1439. The Cathedral of Strasburg is very closely connected with the history of Freemasonry. The most important Association of Master Builders, says Stieglitz (vow Altdeutscher Baukunst, or An Essay on the Old German Architecture) for the culture and extension of German art, was that which took place at Strasburg under Erwin von Steinbach.

As soon as this architecture had undertaken the direction of the works at the Strasburg Cathedral, he summoned Freemasons out of Germany and Italy, and formed with them a Brotherhood. Thence hütten, or Lodges, were scattered over Europe. In 1459, on April 25, says the Abbé Grandidier, the Masters of many of these Lodges assembled at Ratisbon and drew up an Act of Fraternity, which made the Master of the Works at Strasburg, and his successors, the Perpetual Grand Masters of the Fraternity of German Freemasons.

This was confirmed by the Emperor Maximilian in 1498. By the Statutes of this Association, the Haupt-Hütte. Grand or Mother Lodge of Strasburg, was invested with a judicature, without appeal, over all the Lodges of Germany. Strasburg thus takes in German Freemasonry a position equivalent to that of legendary Lodge York in the Freemasonry of England, or Kilwinning in that of Scotland. And although the Haupt-Hütte of Strasburg with all other Haupt-Hütten were abolished by an Imperial Edict on August 16, 1731, the Mother Lodge never lost its prestige. “This,” says Findel (History of Freemasonry, page 72), “is the case even now in many places in Germany; the Saxon Stone-Masons still regarding the Strasburg Lodge as their chief Lodge” (see stone-Masons of the Middle Ages).


Two important Masonic Congresses have been held at Strasburg. First Congress of Strasburg. This was convoked in 1275 by Erwin von Steinbach. The object was the establishment of a Brotherhood for the continuation of the labors on the Cathedral. It was attended by a large concourse of Freemasons from Germany and Italy. It was at this Congress that the German builders and architects, in imitation of their English Brethren assumed the name of Freemasons, and established a system of regulations for the government of the Craft (see Combinations of Freemasons).

Second Congress of Strasburg. This was convoked by the Grand Lodge, or Haupte-Hütte of Strasburg, in 1564, as a continuation of one which had been held in the same year at Basle. Here several statutes were adopted, by which the Steinwerksrecht, or Stone Masons’ Law, was brought into a better condition.


On April 25, 1459, nineteen Bauhütten, or Lodges, in Southern and Central Germany met at Ratisbon, and adopted regulations for the government of the German Stone-Masons. Another meeting was held shortly afterward at Strasburg, where these Statutes were definitively adopted and promulgated, under the title of Ordenunge der Steinmetzen Strasburg, or Constitutions of the Stone-Masons of Strasburg.

They from time to time underwent many alterations, and were confirmed by Maximilian I in 1498, and subsequently by many succeeding Emperors. This old document has several times been printed; in 1810, by Krause, in his drei altesten Kunsterkunden der Freimaurerbruderschaft; in 1819, by Heldmann, in die drei ältested geschichtlichen Denkmale der deutschen Friemaurerbrüderschaft, in 1844, by Heideloff, in his Bauhütte des Mittelalters in ihrer wahren Bedeutung; Findel also, in 1866, inserted portions of it in his Geschichte der Freimaurerei. Findel says the Strasburg Constitution was first printed, from a well-authenticated Manuscript, by Heldmann.

The invocation with which these Constitutions commence is different from that of the English Constitutions The latter begin thus: “The might of the Father of Heaven, with the wisdom of the blessed Son, through the grace of God and goodness of the Holy Ghost, that be three persons in one Godhead, be with us,” etc. The Strasburg Constitutions begin: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of our gracious Mother Mary, and also her blessed servants, the holy four crowned martyrs of everlasting memory”; etc. The reference to the Virgin Mary and to the four crowned martyrs is found in none of the English Constitutions except the oldest of them, the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript (line 498). But Kloss has compared the Strasburg and the English statutes, and shown the great similarity in many of the regulations of both.


This is said to be one of the three principal supports of a Lodge, as the representative of the whole Institution, because it is necessary that where should be Strength to support and maintain every great and important undertaking, not less than there should be Wisdom to contrive it, and Beauty to adorn it. Hence, Strength is symbolized in Freemasonry by the Doric Column, because, of all the orders of architecture, it is the most massive; by the Senior Warden, because it is his duty to strengthen and support the authority of the Master; and by Hiram of Tyre, because of the material assistance that he gave in men and materials for the construction of the Temple.


The Rite of Strict Observance was a modification of Freemasonry based on the Order of Knights Templar, and introduced into Germany in 1754 by its founder, the Baron von Hund. It was divided into the following seven Degrees:

1. Apprentice

2. Fellow Craft

3. Master

4. Scottish Master

5. Novice

6. Templar

7. Professed Knight

According to the system of the founder of this Rite, upon the death of Jaeques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars, Pierre d’Aumont, the Provincial Grand Master of Auvergne, with two Commanders and five Knights, retired for purposes of safety into Scotland, which place they reached disguised as Operative Masons, and there finding the Grand Commander, George Harris, and several Knights, they determined to continue the Order. Aumont was nominated Grand Master, at a Chapter held on St. John’s Day, 1313. To avoid persecution, the Knights became Freemasons. In 1361, the Grand Master of the Temple removed his seat to Old Aberdeen, and from that time the Order united the veil of Freemasonry, spread rapidly through France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere. These events constituted the principal subject of many of the Degrees of the Rite of Strict Observance. The others were connected with alchemy, magic, and other superstitious practices. The great doctrine contended for by the followers of the Rite was, “that every true Freemason is a Knight Templar.” For an account of the rise, the progress, the decay, and the final extinction of this once important Rite (see Hund, Baron son).


See Vouching


Striking off a Lodge from the Registry of the Grand Lodge is a phrase of English Freemasonry, equivalent to what in the United States of America is called a Forfeiture of Charter. It is now more commonly called Erasing from the List of Lodges.


This title is given by Masonic historians to that system of Freemasonry Which is supposed to have been invented by the adherents of the exiled House of Stuart for the purpose of being used as a political means of restoring, first, James II, and afterward his son and grandson, James and Charles Edward, respectively known in history as the Chevalier Saint George and the Young Pretender. Most of the conclusions to which Masonic writers have arrived on the subject of this connection of the Stuarts with the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry are based on conjecture; but in the opinion of Doctor Mackey there is sufficient internal evidence in the character of some of these Degrees, as well as in the known history of their organization, to establish the fact that such a connection did actually exist.

The first efforts to create a Masonic influence in behalf of his family is attributed to James II, who had abdicated the throne of England in 1688. Of him, Noorthouck says (Constitutions, 1784, page 192), that he was not “a Brother Mason,” and sneeringly adds, in his index, that “he might have been a better King had he been a Mason.” But Lenning says that after his flight to France, and during his residence at the Jesuit College of Clermont, where he remained for some time, his adherents, among whom were the Jesuits, fabricated certain Degrees with the ulterior design of carrying out their political views. At a later period these Degrees were, he says, incorporated into French Freemasonry under the name of the Clermont System, in reference to their original construction at that place. Gädicke had also said that many Scotchmen followed him, and thus introduced Freemasonry into France. But this opinion is only worthy of citation because it proves that such an opinion was current among the German scholars of the eighteenth century.

On his death, which took place at the Palace of St. Germain en Laye in 1701, he was succeeded in his claims to the British throne by his son, who was recognized by Louis XIV, of France, under the title of James III, but who is better known as the Chevalier Saint George, or the Old Preteruler. The word Pretender here should be given the understanding of claimant. He also sought, says Lenning, to find in the high Degrees of Freemasonry a support for his political views, but, as he remarks, with no better results than those which had attended the attempts of his father.

His son, Prince Charles Edward, who was commonly called by the English the Young Pretender, took a more active part than either his father or grandfather in the pursuits of Freemasonry; and there is abundant historical evidence that he was not only a Freemason, but that he held high office in the Order, and was for a time zealously engaged in its propagation; always, however, it is supposed, with political views.

In 1745 he invaded Scotland, with a view to regain the lost throne of his ancestors, and met for some time with more than partial success. On September 24, 1745, he was admitted into the Order of Knights’ Templar, and was elected Grand Master, an office which it is said that he held until his death. On his return to France after his ill-fated expedition, the Prince is said to have established at the City of Arras, on April 151 1747, a Rose Croix Chapter under the title of Scottish Jacobite Chapter. In the Patent for this Chapter he styles himself “King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, and, as such, Substitute Grand Master of the Chapter of Herodem, known under the title of Knight of the Eagle and Peliean, and since our misfortunes and disasters under that of Rose Croix.”

In 1748, the Rite of the Veille-Bru, or Faithful Scottish Masons, was created at Toulouse in grateful remembrance of the reception given by the Freemasons of that Orient to Sir Samuel Lockhart, the Aide-de-camp of the Pretender. Ragan says (Orthodoxie Maçonnique, page 122), in a note to this statement, the “favorites who accompanied this prince into France were in the habit of selling to speculators Charters for Mother Lodges, Patents for Chapters, etc. These titles were their property, and they did not fail to make use of them as a means of livelihood.” Ragon says (Thuileur General, page 367), that the degrees of Irish Master, Perfect Irish Master, and Puissant Irish Master were invented in France, in 1747, by the favorites of Charles Edward Stuart and sold to the partisans of that Prince. One Degree was openly called the Scottish Master of the Sacree Vault of James VI, as if to indicate its Stuart character. The Degree still exists as the Thirteenth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, but it has been shorn of its political pretensions and its title changed.

Findell has given in his History of Freemasonry (English translation, page 209), a very calm and impartial account of the rise of this Stuart Freemasonry. He says: “Ever since the banishment of the Stuarts from England in 1688, secret alliances had been kept up between Rome and Scotland; for to the former place the Pretender James Stuart had retired in l719, and his son Charles Edward was born there in 1720; and these communications became the more intimate, the higher the hopes of the Pretender rose. The Jesuits played a very important part in these conferences. Regarding the reinstatement of the Stuarts and the extension of the power of the Roman church as identical, they sought, at that time, to make the society of Freemasons subservient to their ends. But to make use of the Fraternity to restore the exiled family to the throne could not possibly have been contemplated, as Freemasonry could hardly be said to exist in Scotland then.

Perhaps in 1724, when Ramsay was a year in Rome, or in 1728, when the Pretender in Parma kept up an intercourse with the restless Duke of Wharton, a Past Grand Master, this idea was first entertained; and then, when it was apparent how difficult it would be to corrupt the loyalty and fealty of Freemasonry in the Grand Lodge of Scotland, founded in 1736, this Scheme was set on foot, of assembling the faithful adherents of the banished royal family in the high Degrees! The soil which was best adapted for this innovation was France, where the low ebb to which Freemasonry had sunk had paved the way for all kinds of newfangled notions, and where the Lodges were composed of Scotch conspirators and accomplices of the Jesuits. When the path had thus been smoothed by the agency of these secret propagandists, Ramsay, at that time Grand Orator, an office unknown in England, by his speech completed the preliminaries necessary for the introduction of the high Degrees; their further development was left to the instrumentality of others, whose influence produced a result somewhat different from that originally intended. Their course we can now pursue, assisted by authentic historical information.

In 1752, Scottish Masonry, as it was denominated, penetrated into Germany, Berlin, prepared from a ritual very similar to one used in Lille in 1749 and 1750. In 1743, Thory tells us, the Masons in Lyons, under the name of the Petit Elu, or the Lesser Elect, invented the Degree of Kadosh, which represents the revenge of the Templars. The Order of Knights Templar had been abolished in 1311, and to that epoch they were obliged to have recourse when, after the banishment of several Knights from Malta in 1720 because they were Freemasons, it was not longer possible to keep up a connection with the Order of Saint John or Knights of Malta. then in the plenitude of their power under the sovereignty of the Pope. A pamphlet entitled Freemasonry Divested of all its Secrets published in Strasburg in 1745, contains the first glimpse of the Strict Observance, and demonstrates how much they expected the Brotherhood to contribute towards the expedition in favor of the Pretender. ”

From what has been said, it is evident there was a strong belief that the exiled House of Stuart exercised an important part in the invention and extension of what has been called the High Masonry. The traces of the political system are seen at the present day in the internal organization of some of the advanced Degrees especially in the derivation and meaning of certain significant words. There is, indeed, abundant reason for believing that the substitute word of the Third Degree was changed by Ramsay, or some other fabricator of Degrees, to give it a reference to James II as “the son of the widow,” Queen Henrietta Maria. Further researches are needed to enable any author to Satisfactorily write all the details of this interesting episode in the history of Continental freemasonry . Documents are still wanting to elucidate certain intricate and, at present, apparently contradictory points.

In the Jacobite Lodge at Rome, by Brother William James Hughan, the author states (page 25): “Many statements have appeared from time to time respecting Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s connection with Freemasonry, documents being submitted to prove that he even held the highest possible rank in the craft; but so far as I have been able to discover, all such claims are of an apocryphal character. Some are most absurd, while others are directly opposed to the actual facts of the case.”

This may be supplemented by what Brother George W. Speth states on page 27 of the same work where he advises students, “to put no trust whatever in amounts connecting the Stuarts with Freemasonry. We have, too, in the Young Pretender’s own written and verbal statements that they are absolutely baseless, pure inventions.” However, as Brother Robert Freke Gould tells us, some “have affirmed, and with perhaps the greater share of reason, that the Prince was compelled by altered circumstances of his cause to repudiate any relations with Freemasonry,” and, of course, that gives another view of the matter, though it is curious that all through these years the tradition should have held its own with such remarkable tenacity.


In accordance with the Doctor’s diary, he “was made a Mason, January 6, 1721, at the Salutation Tavern, Tavistock street, London, with Mr. Collins and Captain Rowe, who made the famous diving engine.” The Doctor adds: “I was the first person in London made a free mason in that city for many years. We had great difficulty to find members enough to perform the ceremony. Immediately upon that it took a run, and ran itself out of breath through the folly of its members.”

The Stukely papers containing the Doctor’s diary are of continuous interest; and according to Rev. W. C. Lukis, P.M., F.lS.A., “Pain (or Payne) had been reelected Grand Master in 1720, and Doctor Desaguliers was the Immediate Past Grand Master.” The last mentioned Brother pronouncing the Oration on June 24, 1721, at Stationers’ Hall; on the following Saint John’s Day (Evangelist), December 27, 1721, “We met at the Fountain Tavern, Strand, and by consent of the Grand Mr. present, Doctor Beal constituted a new Lodge, where I was chosen Mr.”

A trite remark of Doctor Stukely as to symbolism, was: “The first learning of the world consisted chiefly of symbols, the wisdom of the Chaldeans, Phenicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanchoniathon, Pherecydes, Syrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, of all the ancients that have come to our hand, is symbolic”

Doctor Stukely has a curious reference in his diary, noted by Dudley Wright in England’s Masonic Pioneers, page 114, to the Order of the Book. Whatever this Order may have been was not made clear but mentioned along with the Masonic activities of Doctor Stukely there is some interest for us in the items:

3rd Nov. 1722. The Duke of Wharton & Td. Dalkeith visited our Lodge at the Fountain.

7th Nov. 1722. Order of the book Instituted.

28th Dec. 1722. I dined with Ld. Hertford introduced by Ld. Winchelsea. I made them both members of the Order of the Book or Roman Knighthood.


The word is from the Latin Sublimis, meaning lofty, an allusion properly expressive of the teaching in the final symbolic ceremony of our ancient Craft. The Third Degree is called the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, in reference to the exalted lessons that it teaches of God and of a future life. The epithet is, however, comparatively modern. It is not to be found in any of the rituals of the eighteenth century. Neither Hutchinson, nor Smith, nor Preston use it; and it was not, probably, in the original Prestonian lecture. Hutchinson speaks of “the most sacred and solemn Order” and of “the Exalted,” but not of “the Sublime” Degree. Webb, who leased his lectures on the Prestonian system, applies no epithet to the Master’s Degree. In an edition of the Constitutions, published at Dublin in 1769, the Master’s Degree is spoken of as “the most respectable” and forty years ago the epithet “high and honorable” was used in some of the instructions of the United States.

The first book in which we meet with the adjective sublime applied to the Third Degree, is the Masonic Discourses of Dr. T. M. Harris, published at Boston in 1801. Cole also used it in 1817, in his Freemasons’ Library; and about the same time Jeremy Cross, the well-known lecturer, introduced it into his teachings, and used it in his hieroglyphic Chart, which was, for many years, the text-book of American Lodges. The word is now, however, to be found in the modern English lectures, and is of universal use in the rituals of the United States, where the Third Degree is always called the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason.

The word sublime was the password of the Master’s Degree in the Adonhiramite Rite, because it was said to have been the surname of Hiram, or Adonhiram. On this subject, Guillemain, in his Recueil Précieux, or Choice Collection (i, page 91), makes the following singular remarks: “For a long time a great number of Masons were unacquainted with this worth and they erroneously made use of another in its stead which they did not understand, and to which they gave a meaning that was doubtful and improbable. This is proved by the fact that the first knights adopted for the Master’s Password the Latin word Sublimis, which the French, as soon as they received Masonry, pronounced Sublime, which was so far very well. But some profanes, who were desirous of divulging our secrets, but who did not perfectly understand this word, wrote it sublime, which they said signified excellence. Others, who followed, surpassed the error of the first by printing it Giblos, and were bold enough to say that it was the name of the place where the body of Adonhiram was found. As in those days the number of uneducated was considerable, these ridiculous assertions were readily received, and the truth was generally forgotten.”

The whole of this narrative is a mere visionary invention of the founder of the Adonhiramite system; but it is barely possible that there is some remote connection between the use of the word sublime in that Rite, as a Significant word of the Third Degree, and its modern employment as an epithet of the same Degree. However, the ordinary signification of the word, as referring to things of an exalted character, would alone sufficiently account for the use of the expression.


The Grand Lodge Commission in Edueation, Grand Lodge of Michigan, M.-. W.. Frank Lodge, P. G. M., Chairman, held a discussion conference at Detroit, Mich., of Masonic students, authors, and Librarians, May 19-20, 1927, which was attended from Canada as well as from the United States. Bro. Douglas D. Martin, Editor of the Masonic News of Detroit, was in charge of the arrangement. Owing to its success this first conference was followed by others: 1928, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 1929, Milwaukee, Wisc.; 1930, Philadelphia, Penn.; 1931, New York, N. Y.; 1932, Alexandria, Va.; 1933 Columbus, Ohio.


Subject-matter is itself a subject, profound and profoundly interesting, and it is hard to guess why philosophers, literary critics, art critics, and historians have so seldom analyzed and examined it. Just as any given building has its own particular material—brick, or stone, or lumber, or adobe, or concrete—so is each one of the arts and sciences composed of a “material” peculiarly its own. It is always a given sort or kind of subject-matter which calls an art or science into existence; conversely, each art or science is capable of dealing with its own subject matter and none other; and just as working in wood calls for tools designed for it—hammer, saw, axe, plane, etc.—so are the techniques of each art or science designed for dealing with its own special material. A landscape-painter may go about for weeks looking for a picture; he may see countless trees, hills, streams, mountains, waters, etc., but until he comes upon those natural objects in a very rare and a very special form (or composition) he has found no picture, and it is Pictures which are the subject-matter of his art.

A mathematician can tell what belongs and what does not belong to his own subject-matter—he sees at a glance, for example, the difference between the literary use of numbers (“Twelve guests came to dinner”), and the Mathematical use of numbers (“12 X 1 = 12”). so with the historian, who does not have the whole of the past for his subject-matter, as is popularly believed but only certain subjects in the past; and by a sweep of the eye, if he is trained for his profession, can separate historical themes out from the general matrix of past events, and sees what belongs to himself, and vs hat belongs to the chronicler, and to the biographer, and to the serologist, etc., and what is mere debris (or ana) which has no use, and is nothing but a mass of things in the past. What is the subject-matter of Masonic history? Even if an historian were omniscient, if he knew in detail each and every event or occurrence of the u hole past of the Whole world, but knew not the subject matter belonging to Freemasonry, he could not write a history of Freemasonry because Masonic history is nothing more than an account of the Masonic subject-matter, insofar as what it now contains is from the past.

He observes Freemasonry as it now is; he notes what “material” it is composed of, which means what its subject-matter is; and he tracks each component of that subject-matter back to its origin, and then gives an account of its progress from that tine to this; if he cannot discover what is Freemasonry’s subject-matter, if he confuses it with the subject-matter belonging to other subjects, if he writes a history of a subject-matter which does not belong to Freemasonry, he is incompetent as a Masonic historian. It is as important for a Masonic historian to see what Freemasonry is not, as to see what it is, because between that is and that is not lies the boundary-line within which the subject-matter of Freemasonry is contained. Hundreds of Panasonic historical writings are worthless because their authors could not find, or else they ignored, that boundary line.

This absolute and inviolable principle of the subject matter in Freemasonry explains why no sufficiently competent Masonic historian can possible espouse the theory that freemasonry originated in one of the Ancient Mysteries, or in one of those forms of Medieval occultism which are represented by astrology, alchemy, mysticism, Rosierucianism, Kabbalism, magic, etc. If he has the learning he needs for his own purpose, he knows what subject-matter belonged to any one of those occultist circles; if he does, he knows that its subject-matter is world’s apart from Freemasonry’s subject-matter; to confuse the two is as deadly a solecism as to confuse the subject-matter of mathematics with the subject-matter of landscape painting. To prove that Freemasonry is not a disguised occultism it is not necessary to accumulate whole volumes of data or detail belonging to either; it is only necessary to contrast the subject-matter of any Medieval circle of occultism (alchemy would serve) with the subject-matter of the existing Fraternity. The differences are abysmic, and therefore cannot be bridged; the few points of similarity are superficial and are not even points of similarity, if that term be rigorously construed, but rather are points of analogy.

Any given subject-matter exists independently of a man. It is outside of him. It is one of the components of the world, and lies alongside the other components of it. No artist ever created the landscape which lies “out there” for him to paint.

No mathematician ever made mathematics. Chemicals were in the world long before any chemist was. History exists before the historian is born. Yet these subject matters are necessary to man, else he cannot have knowledge, arts, sciences, or things needed by him to remain in being, therefore one set of men must separate themselves out from among men in order to make one of those subject-matters his specialty. For this reason it may be said that the subject-matter calls the art or science into existence. Also, the subject-matter dictates to the artist, scientist, or other worker what tools he will employ, what means, what devices, what techniques. The arts, sciences, disciplines, systems of observations, subjects, and systems of thought which comprise culture were not invented by men, but are a slay man has of dealing with the world; the world itself is such as to make them necessary.

The subject-matter of Freemasonry consists of Ancient Craft Lodges and Grand Lodges, their ceremonies, rituals, officers, purposes, history, landmarks, customs, usages, and traditions, and of the High Grades which have their basis in it, and expand or elaborate it. A student, historian, interpreter, or analyst of Freemasonry is confined to this subject matter, and can employ only such techniques as the material in it caps for. He may be either a Mason, who knows his subject-matter at firsthand; or a non-Mason, who must take the word of Masons for what Masonry is. where a non-Mason refuses to accept that word he is ruled out of court by non-Masonic scholars and thinkers as well as by Masonic, because it is the first law of scholarship that a scholar must be true to his subject-matter. Many books which call themselves Masonic are not Masonic because they are a violation of that law; if non-Masonic books have much in them which is true about the subject-matter of Masonry, it is only because Masons themselves adjudge them to have it. A scholar in Masonry is one who knows and understands the whole of its subject-matter.

A number of the worthless books about Freemasonry would not have missed fire if only their authors had noted how many different themes are not in the subject-matter of Freemasonry. Certain of these omitted themes are what on a superficial view would be among the first to be expected in a ritual; their absence is therefore a fact of first importance; the theme omitted is as significant—and because it is omitted—as any of the themes included. It is striking that in Freemasonry, and more especially in the Ritual, such as the following are omitted:

1. There is next to nothing about women, or about children, or about the home. This theme is silently presupposed, but nowhere emerges into view.

2. Nature. The Ancient Mysteries originally were nature cults; some of them were fertility cults, and now and then one of them was a cult of death; but nature worship, or any nature cult, is almost completely absent from the Ritual.

3. Such occult things as smell or smack of magic charms, spells, horoscopes, zodiacs, witchcraft, demonology, satanism, exorcisms, ete., are as a theme conspicuous by its absence. At a few points there are faint references to them, or far-off echoes of them, but as a theme they are passed over.

4. Systematized and organized and established theologies and philosophies are absent. Pythagoras is alluded to, but as a geometrician, not as a philosopher (he is said to have coined that word).

5. The great theme of political government is missing. Such subjects as monarchy, republicanism, oligarchy, aristocracy, democracy, capitalism communism etc., are as old as the world, and as wide, but they do not emerge anywhere in the Ritual.

(A number of learned Masonic writers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century would, if they were here to do it, question No. 2 above; they believed, or over and over again were tempted to believe, that Freemasonry was one of the Ancient Mysteries which had somehow, and by a miracle, survived out of the Ancient World. It would now be necessary to ask them, Which Ancient Mystery? It is no longer possible to lump them together, as if they had somehow been versions of one thing, because archeology has proved beyond question that Ancient Mysteries differed radically among themselves, and as much as Christianity differs from Judaism, and as either differs from Mohammedanism; moreover, a given Mystery Cult was antithetic to any other; they were foes of each other; and it would have been impossible for Freemasonry to descend from all of them; if not, from which one did it descend? If it descended from any one, why has that Mystery Cult disappeared out of the Ritual? Why do we nowhere encounter it in either fact or name? Why is not it in the subject matter of Masonry?)



The eleven Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, from the Fourth to the Fourteenth inclusive, are so called. Thus Dalcho (Report of Committee, 1802) says: “Although many of the Sublime Degrees are in fact a continuation of the Blue Degrees, yet there is no interference between the two bodies.”


A title formerly given in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to what is now simply called a Lodge of Perfection. Thus, in 1801, Doctor Dalcho delivered in Charleston, South Carolina, an address which bears the title of An Oration delivered in the Sublime Grand Lodge.


The French expression is Sublime Chevalier élu. Called also Sublime Knight Elected of the twelve. The Eleventh Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Its legend is that it was instituted by King Solomon after punishment had been inflicted on certain traitors at the Temple, both as a recompense for the zeal and constancy of the Illustrious Elect of Fifteen, who had discovered them, and also to enable him to elevate other deserving Brethren from the lower Degrees to that which had been vacated by their promotion. Twelve of these fifteen he elected Sublime Knights, and made the selection by ballot, that he might give none offense, putting the names of the whole in an urn. The first twelve that were drawn he formed into a Chapter, and gave them command over the Twelve Tribes, bestowing on them a name which in Hebrew signifies a true man.

The meeting of a Body of Sublime Knights is called a Chapter.

The room is hung with black strewed with tears.

The presiding officer represents King Solomon, and in the old instructions is styled Most Puissant, but in recent ones Thrice Illustrious.

The apron is white, lined and bordered with black, with black strings; on the flap a flaming heart.

The sash is blael;, with a flaming heart on the breast, suspended from the right shoulder to the left hip.

The jewel is a sword of justice.

This is the last of the three Flus which are found in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In the French Rite they have been condensed into one, and make the Fourth Degree of that ritual, but not, as Ragon admits, with the happiest effect.

All the names of the Twelve Illustrious Knights selected to preside over the Twelve Tribes, as they have been transmitted to us in the ritual of this Degree, have undoubtedly assumed a very corrupted form. The restoration of their correct orthography and with it their true signification, is worthy the attention of the Masonic student.


The initiates into the Fourteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite are so called. Thus Dalcho in his Oration (page 27) says: “The Sublime Masons view the symbolic system with reverence, as forming a test of the character and capacity of the initiated ” This abbreviated form is now seldom used, the fuller one of Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Masons being more generally employed.


This is the Thirty-second Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. There is abundant internal evidence, derived from the ritual and from some historical facts, that the Degree of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret was instituted by the founders of the Council of Emperors of the East and West, which Body was established in the year 1758. It is certain that before that period we hear nothing of such a Degree in any of the Rites. The Rite of Heredom or of Perfection, which was that instituted by the Council of Emperors, consisted of twenty-five Degrees. Of these the Twenty-fifth, and highest, was the Prince of the Royal Secret. It was brought to America by Morin, as the summit of the High Masonry which he introduced, and for the propagation of which he had received his Patent. In the subsequent extension of the Scottish Rite about the beginning of the nineteenth century, by the addition of eight new Degrees to the original twenty-five, the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret became the Thirty-second. Bodies of the Thirty-second Degree are called Consistories, and where there is a superintending Body erected by the Supreme Council for the government of the inferior Degrees in a State or Provence, it is called a Grand Consistory.

The clothing of a Sublime Prince consists of a collar, jewel, and apron. The collar is black edged with white.

The jewel is a Teutonic cross of gold.

The apron is white edged with black. On the flap are embroidered six flags, three on each side the staffs in saltier, and the flags blue, red, and yellow. On the center of the flap, over these, is a Teutonic cross surmounted by an All-seeing Eye, and on the cross a double-headed eagle not crowned. On the body of the apron is the tracing-board of the Decree..

The most important part of the symbolism of the Degree is the tracing-board, which is technically called the Camp. This is a symbol of deep import, and in its true interpretation is found that “Royal Secret” from which the Degree derives its name. This Camp constitutes an essential part of the furniture of a Consistory during an initiation, but its explanations are altogether esoteric It is a singular fact, that notwithstanding the changes which the Degree must have undergone in being transferred from the Twenty-fifth of one Rite to the Thirty-second of another, no alteration was ever made in the Camp, which retains at the present day the same form and Signification that were originally given to it.

The motto of the Degree is Spes mea in Deo est. that is, My hope is in God.


The French name is Salomon Sublime. A Degree in the manuscript collection of Peuvret.


The French name is Les Sublimes One of the Degrees of the Ancient Chapter of Clermont.


Submission to the mediatorial offices of his Brethren in the ease of a dispute is a virtue recommended to the Freemason, but not necessarily to be enforced. In the Charges of a Freemason (Constitutions, 1723, page 56, vi, 6) it is said: “‘With respect to Brothers or Fellows at law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their mediation; which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on their process or lawsuit without wrath or rancor.”


So called to indicate its subordination to the Grand Lodge as a supreme, superintending power (see Lodge) .


In a Grand Lodge, all the officers below the Grand Master, and in a Lodge, all those below the Worshipful Master, are styled Subordinate Officers. So, too, in all the other branches of the Order, the presiding officer is supreme, the rest subordinate.


Although it is the theory of Freemasonry that all the Brethren are on a level of equality, yet in the practical working of the Institution a subordination of rank has been always rigorously observed. So the Charges approved in 1722, which had been collected by Anderson from the Old Constitutions, say: “These rulers and governors, supreme and subordinate, of the ancient Lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective stations by all the Brethren, according to the Old Charges and Regulations, with all humility, reverence, love, and alacrity” (Constitutions, 1723, page 52).



See Ark, Substitute.


An arrangement resorted to in the Royal Arch Degree of the American system, so as to comply preform, as a matter of form, with the requisitions of the ritual. In the English, Scotch, and Irish systems, there is no regulation requiring the presence of three candidates, and, therefore, the practice of employing substitutes is unknown in those countries. In the United States the usage has prevailed from a very early period, although opposed at various times by conscientious Companions, who thought that it was an improper evasion of the law. Finally, the question as to the employment of substitutes came before the General Grand Chapter in September, 1872, when it was decided, by a vote of ninety-one to thirty, that the use of substitutes is not in violation of the ritual of Royal Arch Masonry or the installation charges delivered to a High Priest.

The use of them was therefore authorized, but the Chapters were exhorted not to have recourse to them except in cases of emergency; an unnecessary exhortation, it would seem, since it was only in such eases that they had been employed.


The third officer in the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He presides over the Craft in the absence of the Grand and Deputy Grand Masters. The office was created in the year 1738, He is appointed by the Grand Master annually.


This is an expression of very significant suggestion to the thoughtful Master Mason. If the Word is, in Freemasonry, a symbol of Divine Truth; if the search for the Word is a symbol of the search for that Truth; if the Lost Word symbolizes the idea that Divine Truth has not been found, then the Substitute Word is a symbol of the unsuccessful search after Divine Truth and the attainment in this life, of which the first Temple is a type, of what is only an approximation to it. The idea of a substitute word and its history is to be found in the oldest rituals of the eighteenth century; but the phrase itself is of more recent date, being the result of the fuller development of Masonic science and philosophy.

The history of the Substitute Word has been an unfortunate one. Subjected from a very early period to a mutilation of form, it underwent an entire change in some Rites, after the introduction of the high Degrees; most probably through the influence of the Stuart Masons, who sought by an entirely new word to give a reference to the unfortunate representative of that house as the similitude of the stricken builder (see Macbenac). And so it has come to pass that there are now two substitutes in use, of entirely different form and meaning; one used on the Continent of Europe, and one in England and the United States.

It is difficult in this case, where almost all the knowledge that we can have of the subject is so scanty, to determine the exact time when or the way in which the new word was introduced But there is, as Doctor Mackey believed, abundant internal evidence in the words themselves as to their appropriateness and the languages whence they came the one being pure Hebrew, and the other, in Brother Mackey’s opinion, Gaelic, as well as from the testimony of old rituals, to show that the word in use in the United States is the true word, and was the one in use before the Revival. Both of these words have, however, unfortunately been translated by persons ignorant of the languages whence they are derived, so that the most incorrect and even absurd interpretations of their significations have been given. The word in universal use in the United States has been translated as rottenness in the bone, or the builder is dead, or by several other phrases equally as far from the true meaning.

The correct word has been mutilated Properly, it consists of four syllables, for the last syllable, as it is now pronounced, should be divided into two. These four syllables compose three Hebrew words, which constitute a perfect and grammatical phrase, appropriate to the occasion of their utterance. But to understand them, the scholar must seek the meaning in each syllable, and combine the whole. In the language of Apuleius, we must forbear to enlarge upon these holy mysteries


The regulations adopted in 1721 by the Grand Lodge of England have been generally esteemed as setting forth the ancient landmarks of the Order But certain regulations, which were adopted on the 25th of November, 1723, as amendments to or explanatory of these, being enacted under the same authority, and almost by the same persons, can scarcely be less binding upon the Order than the original regulations. Both these compilations of Masonic law refer expressly to the subject of the succession to the chair on the death or removal of the Master.

The old regulation of 1721, in the second of the thirty-nine articles adopted in that year, is in the following words (Constitutions, 1738, page I53): “In ease of death or sickness, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no Brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before. For the absent Master’s authority reverts to the last Master present, though he cannot act till the Senior Warden has congregated the Lodge.” The words in italics indicate that even at that time the power of calling the Brethren together and setting them to work, which is technically called congregating the Lodge, was supposed to be vested in the Senior Warden alone during the absence of the Master; although, perhaps, from a supposition that he had greater experience, the difficult duty of presiding over the Communication was entrusted to a Past Master. The regulation is, however, contradictory in its provisions. For if the last Master present could not act, that is, could not exercise the authority of the Master until the Senior Warden had congregated the Lodge, then it is evident that the authority of the Master did not revert to him in an unqualified sense, for that officer required no such concert nor consent on the part of the Warden, but could congregate the Lodge himself.

This evident contradiction in the language of the regulation probably caused, in a brief period, a further examination of the ancient usage, and accordingly on the 25th of November,1723, a very little more than two years after, the following regulation (see above Constitutions) was adopted: “If a Master of a particular Lodge is deposed or dimits, the Senior Warden shall forthwith fill the Master’s chair till the next time of choosing; and ever Since, in the Master’s absence, he fills the chair, even though a former Master be present.”

The present Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England appears, however, to have been formed rather in reference to the regulation of 1721 than to that of 1723. It prescribes (Rule 141) that on the death, removal, or incapacity of the Master, the Senior Warden, or in his absence, the Junior Warden, or in his absence, the immediate Past Master, or in his absence, the Senior Past Master, “shall act as Master in summoning the Lodge, until the next installation of Master.”

But the English Constitution goes on to direct that, “in the Master’s absence, the immediate Past Master, or if he be absent, the Senior Past Master of the Lodge present shall talce the chair. And if no Past Master of the Lodge be present, then the Senior Warden, or in his absence the Junior Warden, shall rule the Lodge.”

Here again we find ourselves involved in the intricacies of a divided sovereignty. The Senior Warden congregates the Lodge, but a Past Master rules it. And ii the Warden refuses to perform his part of the duty, then the Past Master will have no Lodge to rule. So that, after all, it appears that of the two the authority of the Senior Warden is the greater.

But in the United States the usage has always conformed to the regulation of 1723, as is apparent from a glance at the rituals and monitorial works. Webb, in his Freemasons Monitor (edition of 1808), lays down the rule, that “in the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden is to govern the Lodge” and that officer receives annually, in every Lodge in the United States, on the night of his installation, a Charge to that effect. It must be remembered, too, that we are not indebted to Webb himself for this charge, but that he burrowed it, word for word, from Preston, who wrote long before, and who, in his turn, extracted it from the rituals which were in force at the time of his writing.

In the United States, accordingly, it has been held, that on the death or removal of the Master, his authority descends to the Senior Warden, who may, however, by courtesy, offer the chair to a Past Master present, after the Lodge has been congregated.

There is some confusion in relation to the question of who is to be the successor of the Master, which arises partly from the contradiction between the regulations of 1791 and 1723, and partly from the contradiction in different clauses of the regulation of 1723 itself. But whether the Senior Warden or a Past Master is to succeed, the regulation of 1721 makes no provision for an election, but implies that the vacancy shall be temporarily supplied during the official term, while that of 1723 expressly states that such temporary succession shall continue “till the next time of choosing,” or, in the words of the present English Constitution, “until the next installation of Master.”

But, in addition to the authority of the ancient regulation and general and uniform usage, reason and justice seem to require that the vacancy shall not be supplied permanently until the regular time of election. By holding the election at an earlier period, the Senior Warden is deprived of his right as a member to become a candidate for the vacant office. For the Senior Warden having been regularly installed, has of course been duly obligated to serve in the office to which he had been elected during the full term. If the an election takes place before the expiration of that term, he must be excluded from the list of candidates, because, if elected, he could not vacate his present office without a violation of his Obligation.

The same disability would affect the Junior Warden, who by a similar obligation is bound to the faithful discharge of his duties in the South. So that by anticipating the election in the Lodge, the two most prominent officers and the two most likely to succeed the Master in due course of rotation, would be excluded from the Chance of promotion. A grievous wrong would thus be done to these officers, which no Dispensation of a Grand Master should be permitted to inflict.

But even if the Wardens were not ambitious of office, or users not likely, under any circumstances, to be elected to the vacant office, another objection arises to the anticipation of an election for Master which is worthy of consideration.

The Wardens, having been installed under the solemnity of an obligation to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability, and the Senior Warden having been expressly Charged that ‘; the absence of the Master he is to rule the Lodge, ” a conscientious Senior Warden might very naturally feel that he was neglecting these duties and violating this obligation, by permitting the office which he has sworn to temporarily occupy in the absence of his Master to be permanently filled by any other person.

On the whole, then, the old regulations, as well as ancient. uninterrupted, and uniform usage and the principles of reason and justice, seem imperatively to requite that, on the death or removal of the Master, the chair shalt be occupied temporarily until the regular time of election. Although the law is not actually explicit in relation to the person who shall fill that temporary position, the weight of law and precedent seems to incline toward the principle that the authority of the absent Master shall be placed in the hands of the Senior warden.


An ancient city of Palestine, about forty-five miles northeast of Jerusalem, and the site of which is now occupied by the village of Seikoot. lt is the place near which Hiram Abif cast the sacred vessels for the temple (see Clay Ground).


In French, Souffrant. The Second Degree of the Order of Initiated Knights and Brothers of Asia.


Though he held the title of Abbot, Suger was scarcely to be called a monk but like so many prelates in his period, and because almost the only means for an education were controlled by the church, was a statesman and public leader. He was Abbot at St. Denis, Paris, from 1122 to 1151. He was acting king while Louis VII was away in the East on one of the Crusades. He was one of the few Medieval men to write an autobiography, and if only others had done as he did, and as John of Salisbury did, Medieval history would be less “medieval” than it is. Suger’s great fame, however, rests on his epoch-making achievement as a builder, for it was he who raised the funds, created the administration, and superintended the design and construction of the Abbey Church of St. Denis, at about 1140.

In his great Medieval Architecture (2 Vol.) Arthur Kingsley Porter, and after a life-time of studying buildings and records on the spot, declares this Abbey Church to have been the first Gothic building, properly so called.

Porter argues, with an overwhelming weight of sound evidence and reasoning to support him, that the Gothic Style was in essence or principle not a mere bringing into one structure of a number of separate elements which had been discovered here and there, first one and then another, but was a single formula; a coherent, integrated system of principles, each implying the other, understandable only to an architect who grasped the formula as a unit, not understandable piecemeal. In that, it was comparable to the aero-dynamic principle which, once Wilbur Fright had discovered it, enables engineers to design airplanes of any desired type or size. (See works by Lethaby. See also pages 254 ff. in The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, by Haskins; Art and the Reformation, by Coulton; Gothic Architecture in England, by Francis Bond; works of Rivoira.)

It is accepted as proved that Speculative Freemasonry originated in Medieval Operative Masonry, but that broad fact does not answer the specific question as to how or where or when the peculiar and particular Fraternity of Speculative Freemasons originated.

Architecture did not turn itself into Speculative Freemasonry, for it continues everywhere now as it did in the Middle Ages. Nor was Speculative Freemasonry the only special society or fraternity to originate in Medieval architecture; the present Society of Operative Masons did, so did the German Steinmetzen, so did a branch of the French Compagnonnage, so did the City Companies of Masons, etc. Freemasonry, with its unique philosophy which belongs to itself alone, must have had a special origin all its own at some particular time and place in Medieval architecture—not from architecture in general, but from some special development within architecture. The most reasonable answer to the question is that the Freemasonry which was to continue into our modern Lodges, originated among the Gothic cathedral-building Freemasons. If that be so, there is history as well as poetry in looking back to the Abbot Suger and his Church at St. Denis as a principal source of origin. In any event, the year 1140 is a landmark in the chronicles of Freemasonry.

This church or abbey, was in reality more than church or abbey because it was so much more than any abbey could be, since within its walls regiments of cavalry could camp, and in its rooms and adjacent buildings the King Louis Le Gros was so often present with his court that the abbey was in reality capital of France. Nothing could be wider of the facts than the tediously and tirelessly repeated notion that the Gothic, and with it Freemasonry, was “very simple” and “very crude” in its beginnings; for Gothic began in its very first building full-formed and marvelous at the center of Europe, within the walls around which Paris was to grow, and with a structure that struck as much awe in Europe as if it had been a great miracle.

The man who supervised it was the King of France’s first minister; its builders were his colleagues; its designers were the elite of Europe. (Fortunately, more is known about Suger than about any other of the great Masters of Masons down to Inigo Jones and Wren: see The Middle Ages, by Fr. Funck-Brentano; Wm. Heinemann, Ltd.; London; 1922; ch. VI. T’ie de Louis we Gros, by Suger. Louis VI le Gros, by A. Luchaire. The Developxnent of the French Monarchy, by Thompson. Abt. Suger son Saint-Denis, by Cartellieri.)


General under Washington in the Revolutionary War. Born February 18, 1740, died January 23, 1795. Lawyer by profession, delegate to Continental Congress, 1774, also in 1780; attorney general of New Hampshire, 1782; state president. 1786; United States District Judge, 1789 received thanks of Congress for military service’, 1779. He was Raised in 1767, in Saint John’s Lodge, Bortsmouth, New Hampshire; was Master of this Lodge subsequently and elected Grand Master of Freemasons of New Hampshire in 1789, and reelected in l790 (see New age, February, 1924; Doctor Mackey’s History of Freemasonry, 1921, page 1587) .


An English composer and Freemason. Born May 13 1842, in Condone and died November 22, 1900, in the same city. brother Sullivan studied in the London Royal Academy of Music and the Leipsig Conservatory; was Professor of Composition at the Academy in 1861; and Director of the National Training School for Music in London in 1876. His operas and songs brought him great and enduring fame. In 1887 Sir Artur Sullivan served the Masonic Fraternity as Grand Organist of- the Grand Lodge of England (see Freemasons Calendar and Pocket Companion, 1888, pages 97 and l00).


A warning to appear at the meeting of a Lodge or other Masonic body. The custom of summoning the members of a Lodge to every Communication, although now often neglected, is of very ancient Aaron and was generally observed up to a very recent period. In the Anderson Charges of 1722 (Constitutions 1723, page 51) it is said: “In ancient times, no Master or Fellows could be absent from the Lodge, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure.” In the Constitutions of the Cooke Manuscript (line 902) about l450), we are told that the Masters and Fellows were to be forewarned to come to the congregations.

All the old records, and the testimony of writers since the revival, show that it was always the usage to summon the members to attend the meetings of the General Assignably or the particular Lodges. A summons of a dodge is often improperly or illegally worded and care should be taken when issued.


Hardly any of the symbols of Freemasonry are more important in their signification or more extensive in their application than the sun. As the source of material light, it reminds the Freemason of that intellectual light of which he is in constant search. But it is especially as the ruler of the day, giving to it a beginning and end, and a regular course of hours, that the Sun is presented as a Masonic Symbol. Hence, of the three lesser lights, we are told that one represents or symbolizes the sun, one the moon, and one the Master of the Lodge, because, as the sun rules the day and the moon governs the night, so should the Worshipful Master rule and govern his Lodge with equal regularity and precision.

And this is in strict analogy with other Masonic symbolisms. For if the Lodge is a symbol of the world, which is thus governed in its changes of times and seasons by the sun, it is evident that the Master who governs the Lodge, controlling its time of opening and closing, and the work which it should do, must be symbolized by the sun. The heraldic definition of the sun as a bearing fits most appositely to the symbolism of the sovereignty of the Master. Thus Gwillim Says: “The sun is the symbol of sovereignty, the hieroglyphic of royalty; it doth signify absolute authority!’

This representation of the sun as a symbol of authority while it explains the reference to the Master, enables us to amplify its meaning, and apply it to the three Sources of authority in the Lodge, and accounts for the respective positions of the officers wielding this authority. the Master, therefore, in the East is a symbol of the rising sun; the Junior Warden in the South, of the Meridian Sun; and the Senior Warden in the West, of the Setting Sun. So in the Mysteries of India, the chief officers were placed in the East, the West, and the South, respectively, and thus represent Brahma, or the rising; Vishnu, or the setting; and Siva, or the meridian sun. And in the Druidical Rites, the Archdruid, seated in the East, was assisted by two other officers—the one in the West representing the moon, and the other in the South representing the meridian sun.

This triple division of the government of a Lodge by three officers, representatives of the sun in his three manifestations in the East, South and West, will remind us of similar ideas in the symbolism of antiquity. In the Orphic Mysteries, it was taught that the sun generated from an egg, burst forth with power to triplicate himself by his own unassisted energy. Supreme power seems always to have been associated in the ancient mind with a three-fold division. Thus the sign of authority was indicated by the three-forked lightning of Jove, the trident of Neptune, and the three-headed Cerherus of Pluto. The government of the Universe was divided between these three sons of Saturn. The chaste goddess ruled the earth as Diana, the heavens as Luna, and the infernal regions as Hecate, whence her rites were only performed in a place where three roads met. The sun is then presented to us in Freemasonry first as a symbol of light, but then more emphatically as a symbol of sovereign authority.

But, says Wemyss (Symbolic Language), speaking of Seriptural symbolism, “the sun may be considered to be an emblem of Divine Truth,” because the sun or light, of which it is the source, “is not only manifest in itself, but makes other things; so one truth detects, reveals, and manifests another, as all truths are dependent on, and connected with, each other more or less.” And this again is applicable to the Masonic doctrine which makes the Master the symbol of the sun; for as the sun discloses and makes manifest, by the opening of day, what had been hidden in the darkness of night, so the Master of the Lodge, as analogue of the ancient hierophant or explainer of the mysteries, makes Divine Truth manifest to the neophyte, who had been hitherto in intellectual darkness, and reveals the hidden or esoteric lessons of initiation.

SUN, KNIGHT OF THESee Knight of the Sun


The plates prefixed to the Hieroglyphic Chart of Brother Jeremy Cross contain a page on which are delineated a sun, moon, seven stars, and a comet, which has been copied into the later illustrated editions of Webb’s Monitor, and is now to be found in all the modern Masters’ Carpets. In the connection in which they are there placed they have no symbolic meaning, although many have erroneously considered that they have.

The sun and moon are not symbols in the Third, but only in the First Degree; the stars are a Symbol in the advanced Degrees, and the comet is no symbol at all. They are simply mnemonic, helps to the memory, in character, and intended to impress on the mind, by a pictured representation of the object, a passage in the Webb lectures taken from the Prestonian, which is in these words: “The All-seeing Eye, whom the sun, moon, and stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart and will reward us according to our merits ” Doctor Mackey held that it would have been more creditable to the Symbolic learning of Cross, if he had omitted these plates from his collection of Masonic symbols. At least the too common error of mistaking them for Symbols in the Third Degree would have been avoided.


Of this Society little is known, but Antoine Joseph Pernetty, the presumed author of the Twenty-eighth Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, became a devotee to it, and induced Swedenborg to become a member. Its central point appears to have been Avignon and Montpellier; and its nature Hermetic.


That the Masonic Fraternity was active in the introduction and support of Sunday Schools for the instruction of those unable to read the Bible is shown by the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1815. At the adjourned Quarterly Communication on March 20 of that year, the Minutes tell us:

The R. W. Grand Master having made an Address on the Importance of the establishment of a School for Teaching unlearned Adults to read the Holy Scriptures, It was On Motion made and Seconded. Resolved, That the Grand Officers and Four other Members of this Grand Lodge, to be appointed by the Grand Master, be a Committee, to establish in any Apartment or Apartments of the Building, Excepting the Grand Lodge room, a Sunday School for teaching unlearned Adults to read the Holy Scripture without Note or commentary, the Funds, if any should be found necessary, to be raised by Voluntary subscriptions among the Fraternity or other Benevolently disposed persons and that said Committee immediately take the necessary steps to carry this resolution into effect.

The R. W. Grand Master was pleased to appoint the following Brethren to compose, in conjunction with the Grand Officers, the above mentioned Committee, to wit: Andrew M. Prevost, Peter A. Browne, Samuel Lippineott, T. and Thomas Entrikin.

Further action upon the Sunday School was taken at the Quarterly Communication of June 5, 1815, as follows:

On Motion made and Seconded Resolved, That the W. Master and the Wardens of the Lodges held in the City be a Committee to search for and Introduce Scholars into the Adult School.

The importance of the undertaking to the Brethren is seen in the resolution, providing for a numerous Committee to handle the affairs of the School for Adults, adopted at the Grand General Communication held on December 27, 1815:

Resolved, That the Grand Officers and 17 Members of the Grand Lodge, (to be appointed by the R. W. Grand Master in the recess of the Grand Lodge,) be a Committee to Conduct the Adult School.

At the Adjourned Grand Extra Communication of January 30, 1816, we find that: Sundry Resolutions respecting the Adult Seheol were offered and read, and Ordered to lay on the Table till the next night of meeting.

Accordingly, at the Communication held on February 5, 1816, we learn that: The Resolutions Offered at the last Meeting respecting he Adult School were taken into (consideration, Amended and Adopted as follows, to wit:

Resolved, the Masonic Adult School established by the Grand Lodge is a beneficial Institution and merits the Encouragement of the Grand Lodge.

Resolved, that the School may be allowed the Use of the different Apartments of the Masonic Hall under the Authority of the Grand Lodge on the Sabbath Day, so soon as Insurance can be effected against the Fisk incurred thereby, the Grand Lodge and Arch Rooms excepted Provided that the same is maintained without any Expense or responsibility whatever, mediate or immediate to the Grand Lodge.

Resoled that it be recommended to the Brethren in the Order of Masonry, friendly to the Adult School, to Associate themselves for the maintenance of the same by voluntary Contribution. Resolved, that a Committee of Three be appointed to carry the last Resolution into effect.. The R. W. Grand Master was pleased to Appoint Brothers Samuel F. Bradford, Josiah Randall and John W. Peter, the Committee for the above purpose.

Brother F. C. Turner (Builder, November, 1922, page 355) quotes a letter written in 1815 by Miss S. Witehead, Philadelphia, to Davie Bethune, New York, saying that the Grand Lodge would conduct schools on Chestnut Street, that the Fraternity would extend the work over the entire Union, as she had been informed by one of the officers..


Sir William Jones has remarked that two of the principal sources of mythology were a wild admiration of the heavenly bodies, particularly the sun, and an inordinate respect paid to the memory of powerful, wise, and virtuous ancestors, especially the founders of kingdoms, legislators, and warriors. To the latter cause we may attribute the euhemerism of the Greeks and the Shintoism of the Chinese. But in the former we shall find the origin of sun-worship the oldest and by far the most prevalent of all the ancient religions.

Eusebius says that the Phoenicians and Egyptians were the first who ascribed divinity to the sun. But long—very long—before these ancient peoples the primeval race of Aryans worshiped the solar orb in his various manifestations as the producer of light. “In the Veda,” says a native commentator, “there are only three deities: Surya in heaven, Indra in the sky, and Agni on the earth.” But Surya, Indra, Agni are but manifestations of God in the sun, the bright sky, and the fire derived from the solar light. In the profoundly poetic ideas of the Vedic hymns we find perpetual allusion to the sun with his life bestowing rays. Everywhere in the East, amidst its brilliant skies, the sun claimed, as the glorious manifestation of Deity, the adoration of those primitive peoples. The Persians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans —all worshiped the sun. The Greeks, a more intellectual people, gave a poetic form to the grosser idea, and adored Apollo or Dionysus as the sun-god.

Sun-worship was introduced into the mysteries not as a material idolatry, but as the means of expressing an idea of restoration to life from death, drawn from the daily reappearance in the east of the solar orb after its nightly disappearance in the west. To the sun, too, as the regenerator or revivifier of all things, is the Phallic Worship, which made a prominent part of the Mysteries, to be attributed. From the Mithraic initiations in which sun-worship played so important a part, the Gnosties derived many of their symbols. These, again, exercised their influence upon the Medieval Freemasons. Thus it is that the sun has become so prominent in the Masonic system; not, of course, as an object of worship, but purely as a symbol, the interpretation of which presents itself in many different ways (see Sun).


Doctor Oliver devotes the fifteenth lecture of his Historical Landmarks (volume I, pages 401 to 438) to an essay “On the number and classification of the Workmen at the building of King Solomon’s Temple.” His statement, based entirely on old lectures and legends, is that there were nine Freemasons of supereminent ability who were called Super-excellent Masons, and who presided over as many Lodges of Excellent Masons, while the nine Super-Excellent Masons formed also a Lodge over which Tito Zadok, Prince of Harodim, presided. In a note on page 423, Brother Oliver refers to these Super-Excellent Masons as being the same as the Most Excellent Masters who constitute the Sixth Degree of the American Rite. The theory advanced by Doctor Oliver is not only entire unauthenticated by historical evidence of any kind, but also inconsistent with the ritual of that Degree. It is, in fact, merely a myth, and not a well-constructed one.


A Degree which was originally an honorary or side Degree conferred by the Inspectors-General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Charleston. It has since been introduced into some of the Royal and Select Councils of the United States, and there conferred as an additional Degree. This innovation on the regular series of Cryptic Degrees, with which it actually has no historical connection, met with great opposition; so that the Convention of Royal and Select Masters which met at New York in June, 1873, resolved to place it in the category of an honorary Degree, which might or might not be conferred at the option of a Council, but not as an integral part of the Rite. Although this Body had no dogmatic authority, its decision has doubtless had some influence in settling the question. The Degree is simply an enlargement of that part of the ceremonies of the Royal Arch which refer to the Temple destruction. To that place it belongs, if it belongs anywhere, but has no more to do with the ideas inculcated in Cryptic Masonry, than have any of the Degrees lately invented for modern Secret Societies.

Whence the Degree originally sprang, it is impossible to tell. It could hardly have had its birth on the Continent of Europe; at least, it does not appear to have been known to European writers. Neither Gadicke nor Lenning mention it in their Encyclopedias, nor is it found in the catalogue of more than seven hundred Degrees given by Thory in his Acta Latomorum; nor does Ragon allude to it in his Tuileur Général, although he has there given a list of one hundred and fifty-three Degrees or modifications of the Master. Doctor Oliver, it is true, speaks of it, but he evidently derived his knowledge from an American source. It may have been manufactured in America, and possibly by some of those engaged in founding the Scottish Rite. The only Cahier that Doctor Mackey ever saw of the original ritual, which remained in his possession, is in the handwriting of Alexander McDonald, a very intelligent and enthusiastic Freemason, who was at one time the Grand Commander of the supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction.

The Masonic legend of the degree of ,super Excellent Master refers to circumstances which occurred on the last day of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuzaradan, the Captain of the Chaldean Army, who had been sent by Nebuchadnezar to destroy the city and Temple, as a just punishment for the Jewish King Zedekiah for his perfidy and rebellion.

It occupies, therefore, precisely that point of time which is embraced in that part of the Royal Arch Degree which represents the destruction of the Temple, and the Carrying of the Jews in captivity to Babylon. It is, in fact, an exemplification and extension of that part of the Royal Arch Degree. As to the symbolic design of the Degree, it is very evident that its legend and ceremonies are intended to inculcate that important Masonic virtue—fidelity to vows. Zedekiah, the wicked King of Judah, is, by the modern ritualists who have symbolized the degree, adopted very appropriately as the symbol of perfidy. The severe but well-deserved punishment which was inflicted on him by the King of Bahylon is set forth in the lecture as a great moral lesson, whose object is to warn the recipient of the fatal effects that will ensue from a violation of his sacred obligations.


An officer of the Grand Lodge of England, who is appointed annually by the grants Master. He should be well skilled in geometry and architecture His duty is to advise with the Board of General Purposes on all plans of building or edifices undertaken by the Grand Lodge, and furnish plans and estimates for the same; to superintend their construction, and see that they are conformable to the plans approved by the Grand Master, the Grand Lodge, and the Board of General Purposes; to suggest improvements, and make an annual report on the condition of all Grand Lodge edifices. The office is not known in the Grand Lodges of the United States, but where there is a temple or hall belonging to a Grand Lodge, the duty of attending to it is referred to a hall committee, which, when necessary, engages the services of a professional architects


See General Grand Lodge


The Sixth and last Degree of the German Union of the Twenty-two


See Unknown Superiors


Ragon (Ortodoxie Maçonique, page 73) calls the advanced Degrees, as being beyond Ancient Craft Masonry, Grades Super Maçonniques


All the Old Constitutions, without exception, contain a charge against one Fellow supplanting another in his work. Thus, for instance, the third Charge in the Harleian Manuscript, number 1054, says: “Also that no master nor fellow shall supplant others of their work, that is to say, if they have taken a world or stand master of a Lord’s work, you shall not put him out of it if he be able of cunning to end the work.” From this we derive the modern doctrine that one Lodge cannot interfere with the work of another and that a candidate beginning his initiation in a Lodge must finish it, in the same Lodge.


The symbolism connected with the Supports of the lodge is one of the earliest and most extensively prevalent in the Order One of the Catechisms of the eighteenth century gives it in these words:

What supports your Lodge?

Three great Pillars.

What are their names?

Wisdom, Strength. and Beauty

Who doth the Pillar of wisdom represent?

The Senior Master in the East.

Who doth the Pillar of Strength represent?

The Senior Warden in the West

Who doth the Pillar of Beauty represent?

The Junior Warden in the South.

Why should the Master represent the Pillar of Wisdom?

Because he gives instructions to the Crafts to carry on their work in a proper manner, with good harmony.

Why should the Senior Warden represent the Pillar of Strength?

As the Sun sets to finish the day, so the Senior Warden stands in the West to pay the hirelings their wages which is the Strength and support of all business.

Why should the Junior Warden represent the Pillar of Beauty?

Because he stands in the South at high twelve at noon, which is the beauty of the day, to call the men from work to refreshments and to see that they come on again in due time, that the master may have pleasure and profit therein .

Why is it said that your Lodge is supported by these three great Pillars—Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty?Because Wisdom Strength and Beauty is the finisher of all works, and nothing can be carried on without them.

Why so, brother?

Because there is Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and beauty to adorn.

Preston, repeats substantially, but, of course, with an improvement of the language, this lecture; and he adds to it the symbolism of the three orders of architecture of which these pillars are said to be composed. These, he says, are the Tuscan, Doric and Corinthian. The mistake of enumerating the Tuscan among the ancient orders was corrected by subsequent ritualists. Preston also referred the supports symbolically to the three Ancient Grand Masters. This Symbolism was afterward transferred by Webb from the First to the Third Degree.

Webb, in modifying the lecture of Preston, attributed the supports not to the Lodge, but to the Institution: an unnecessary alteration, since the Lodge is but the type of the Institution. His language is: “Our Institution is said to be supported by Wisdom, Strengths and beauty because it is necessary that there should be Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings He follows the ancient reference of the pillars to the three officers, and adopts Preston’s symbolism of the three Orders of Architecture, but he very wisely substitutes the Ionic for the Tuscan.

Hemming, in his lectures adopted by the Grand Lodge of England in 1813, retained the symbolism of the pillars, but gave a change in the language. He said: “A Mason’s Lodge is supported by three grand pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and beauty to adorn. Wisdom to direct us in all our undertakings, strength to support us in all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man .”

The French Freemasons reserve the same symbolism. Bazot (Manuel , page 225) says: “‘three great pillars sustain the Lodge. The first, the emblem of Wisdom is represented by the Master who sits in the East, whence light and his commands emanate. The second, the emblem of Strength, is represented by the Senior Warden, who sits in the West, where the workmen are paid, whose strength and existence are preserved by the wages which they receive. The third and last pillar is the emblem of Beauty; it is represented by the Junior Warden, who sits in the South, because that position typifies the middle of the day, whose beauty is perfect at this time the workmen repose from work; and it is thence that the Junior Warden sees them return to the Lodge and resume their labors.”

German Freemasons also use them in lectures. Schröder, the author of the most philosophical ritual, says: “The universal Lodge, as well as every particular one, is supported by three great invisible columns— Wisdom, Strengths and beauty; for as every building is planned and fashioned by Wisdom, owes its durability and solidity to Strength, and is made symmetrical and harmonious by Beauty, so ought our spiritual building to be designed by Wisdom, which gives it the firm foundation of Truth, on which the Strength of conviction may build, and self-knowledge complete the Structure, and give it permanence and continuance by means of right, justice, and resolute perseverance; and Beauty will finally adorn the edifice with all the social virtues, with brotherly love and union, with benevolence, kindness, and a comprehensive philanthropy.”

Stieglitz, in his work on the Old German Architecture (I, page 239), after complaining that the building principles of the old German artists were lost to us, because, considering them as secrets of the Brotherhood, they deemed it unlawful to commit them to writing, yet thinks that enough may be found in the old documents of the Fraternity to sustain the conjecture that these three supports were familiar to the Operative Masons. He says: “Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty were honored by them as supporting pillars for the perfect accomplishment of the works; and thence they considered them symbolically as essential pillars for the support of the Lodge. Wisdom, which, established on science, gives invention to the artist, and the right arrangement and appropriate disposition of the whole and of all its parts; Strength, which, proceeding from the harmonious balance of all the forces, promotes the secure erection of the building; and Beauty, which, manifested in God’s creation of the world, adorns the work and makes it perfect.”

We can hardly doubt, from the early appearances of this symbol of the three supports, and from its unchanged form in all countries, that it dates its origin from a period earlier than the Revival in 1717, and that it may be traced to the Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, where Stieglitz says it existed. One thing is clear, that the symbol is not found among those of the Gnostics, and was not familiar to the Rosicrucians; and, therefore, out of the three sources of our symbolism-—Gnosticism, Rosicrucianism, and Operative Masonry it if most probable that it has been derived from the last.

When the advanced Degrees were fabricated, and Christianity began to furnish its symbols and doctrine to the new Freemasonry, the old Temple of Solomon was by some of them abandoned, and that other Temple adopted to which Christ had referred when he said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

The old supports of Wisdom, ,Strength, and Beauty, which had sufficed for the Gothic builders, and which they, borrowing them from the results of their labors on the Cathedrals, had applied Symbolically to their Lodges, were discarded, and more spiritual supports for a more spiritual temple were to be selected. There had been a new Dispensation, and there was to be a new Temple. The great doctrine of that new Dispensation was to furnish the supporting pillars for the new Temple. In these high Christianized Degrees we therefore no longer find the columns of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, but the spiritual ones of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

But the form of the symbolism is unchanged. The East, the West, and the South are still the spots where we find the new, as we did the old, pillars. Thus the triangle is preserved; for the triangle is the Masonic symbol of God, who is, after all, the true support of the Lodge.


The supreme authority in Freemasonry is that dogmatic power from whose decisions there is no appeal. At the head of every Rite there is a supreme authority which controls and directs the acts of all subordinate bodies of the Rite. In the United States, and in the American Rite which is there practiced, it would, at the first glance, appear that the supreme authority is divided. That of Symbolic Lodges is vested in Grand Lodges, of Royal Arch Chapters in Grand Chapters, of Royal and Select Councils in Grand Councils, and of Commanderies of Knights Templar in the Grand Encampment. And so far as ritualistic questions and matters of internal arrangement are concerned, the supreme authority is so divided. But the supreme authority of Freemasonry in each State is actually vested in the Grand Lodge of that State.

It is universally recognized as Masonic Law that a Freemason expelled or suspended by the Grand Lodge, or by a Subordinate Lodge with the approval and confirmation of the Grand Lodge, thereby stands expelled or suspended from Royal Arch, from Cryptic, and from Templar Masonry. The same rules apply to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Nor can he be permitted to visit any of the Bodies in either of these divisions of the Rite so long as he remains under the ban of expulsion of the Grand Lodge. So the status or condition of every Freemason in the jurisdiction is controlled by the Grand Lodge, from whose action on that subject there is no appeal. The Masonic life and death of every member of the Craft, in every class of the Order, is in its hands, and thus the Grand Lodge becomes the real supreme authority of the jurisdiction.


The title in French is Supreme Commardeur des Astres. A Degree said to have been invented at Geneva in 1779, and found in the collection of M. A. Viany.


In French, the title is Supreme Cosisistore. The title of some of the highest Bodies in the Rite of Mizraim. In the original construction of the Rite at Naples the meanders of the Ninetieth Degree met in a Suprême Consistory. When the Bederides took charge of the Rite they changed the title of the governing Body to Supreme Council.


The Supreme Masonic authority of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is called a Supreme Council. A Supreme Council claims to derive the authority for its existence from the Constitutions of 1786. We have no intention here of entering into the question of the authenticity of that document. The question is open to the historian, and has been amply discussed, with the natural result of contradictory conclusions But he who accepts the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite as genuine Freemasonry, and owes his obedience as a Freemason to its constituted authorities, is compelled to recognize those Constitutions wherever or whenever they may have been enacted as the fundamental law—the constitutional rule of his Rite. To their authority all the Supreme Councils owe their legitimate existence.

Dr. Frederiek Dalcho, who, in the opinion of Doctor Mackey, may very properly be considered as the founder in the United States, and therefore in the world, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in its latest form as the legitimate successor of the Rite of Perfection or of Herodem, has given in the Circular written by him, and published December 4, 1802, by the Supreme Council at Charleston, the following account of the establishment of Supreme Councils: “On the 1st of May, 1786, the Grand Constitution of the Thirty-third Degree, called the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, was finally ratified by his Majesty the King of Prussia, who, as Grand Commander of the Order of Prince of the Royal Secret, possessed the Sovereign Masonic power over all the Graft. In the new Constitution, this high power was conferred on a Supreme Council of nine Brethren in each nation, who possess all the Masonic prerogatives, in their own district, that his Majesty individually possessed, and are Sovereigns of Masonry.”

The basic law for the establishment of a Supreme Council is found in these words in the Latin Constitutions of 1786: “The First Degree will be subordinated to the Second, that to the Third, and so in order to the Sublime, Thirty-third, and last, which will watch over all the others, will correct their errors and will govern them, and whose Congregation or Convention will be a dogmatic Supreme Grand Council, the Defender and Conservator of the Order, which it will govern and administer according to the present Constitutions and those which may hereafter he enacted.”

But the Supreme Council at Charleston derived its authority and its information from what are called the French Constitutions; and it is in them that we find the statement that Frederick invested the Supreme Council with the same prerogatives that he himself possessed, a provision not contained in the Latin Constitutions. The twelfth article says: “The Supreme Council will exereise all the Masonic sovereign powers of which his Majesty Frederick II, King of Prussia, was possessed.”

These Constitutions further declare (Article 5) that “every Supreme Council is composed of nine Inspectors-General, five of whom should profess the Christian religion.” In the same article it is provided that “there shall be only one Council of this degree in each nation or kingdom in Europe, two in the United States of America as far removed as possible the one from the other, one in the English islands of America, and one likewise in the French islands ” It was in compliance with these Constitutions that the Supreme Council at Charleston, South Carolina, was instituted. In the Circular, already cited, Dalcho gives this account of its establishment: “On the 31st of May, 1801, the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree for the United States of America was opened, with the high honors of Masonry, by Brothers John Mitchell and Frederick Dalcho, Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General; and in the course of the present year (1802) the whole number of Grand Inspectors-General was completed, agreeably to the Grand Constitutions.” This was the first Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite ever formed. From it has emanated either directly or indirectly all the other Councils which have been since established in America or Europe.

Although it now exercises jurisdiction only over a part of the United States under the title of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, it claims to be and is recognized as “the Mother Council of the World.” Under its authority a Supreme Council, the second in date, was established by Count de Grasse in the French West Indies, in 1802; a third in France, by the same authority, in 1804; and a fourth in Italy in 1805. In 1813 the Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States was divided; the Mother Council establishing at the City of New York a Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction, and over the States north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, reserving to itself all the remainder of the territory of the United States. The seat of the Northern Council is now at Boston, Massachusetts; and although the offices of the Grand Commander and SecretaryGeneral of the Southern Council have been in the City of Washington, whence its documents emanate, its seat has continued constructively at Charleston, South Carolina.

On their first organization, the Supreme Councils were limited to nine members in each. That rule continued to be enforced in the Mother Council until the year 1859, when the number was increased to thirty-three. Similar enlargements have been made in all the other Supreme Councils except that of Scotland, which still retains the original number. The several officers of the original Supreme Council at Charleston were designated: a Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander, Most Illustrious Lieutenant Grand Commander, Illustrious Treasurer-General of the Holy Empire, Illustrious Secretary-General of the Holy Empire, Illustrious Grand Master of Ceremonies, and Illustrious Captain of the Guards.

In 1859, with the change of numbers in the membership, there was also made a change in the number and titles of the officers. These now in the Mother Council, according to its present Constitution, are:

1. Sovereign Grand Commander

2. Lieutenant Grand Commander

3. Secretary-General of the Holy Empire

4. Grand Prior

5. Grand Chancellor

6. Grand Minister of State

7. Treasurer-General of the Holy Empire

8. Grand Auditor

9. Grand Almoner

10. Grand Constable

11 Grand Chamberlain

12. First Grand Equerry

13. Second Grand Equerry

14. Grand Standard-Bearer

15. Grand Sword-Bearer

16. Grand Herald

The Secretary-General is properly the seventh officer, but by a decree of the Supreme Council he was made the third officer in rank “while the office continues to be filled by Brother Albert G. Mackey, the present incumbent, who is the Dean of the Supreme Council.” Doctor Mackey held this position until his death. The officers somewhat vary in other Supreme Councils, but the presiding and recording officers are everywhere a Sovereign Grand Commander and a Secretary-General of the Holy Empire.


These Councils are organized in almost every country of the world, a number being under royal patronage, and in some nations are the governing power over all existing Freemasonry. A synoptical history of all the Supreme Councils that have ever existed, with the manner of their formation in chronological order, is published in the Proceedings, Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, 1908.

A genealogical tree of these Councils appears in the New Age, January, 1907. A list of the Supreme Councils of the world with complete account of the whole organization is given in Doctor Mackey’s revised History of Freemasonry. On September 22, 1875, a Congress of the various Supreme Councils was convened at Lausanne, Switzerland, to consider such matters as might then and there be submitted for consideration and united action, and be deemed for the general benefit of the Rite. Much speculation and lack of confidence was the result among many of the invited participants lest they might be committed by uniting in the Conference. The Congress, however, was held, and a Declaration of Principles set forth. There was also stipulated and agreed upon a Treaty, involving highly important measures, embraced within twenty-three articles, which was concluded September 22, 1875. “The intimate alliance and confederation of the contracting Masonic powers extended and extends under their auspices to all the subordinates and to all true and faithful Freemasons of their respective jurisdictions.

“Whoever may have illegitimately and irregularly received any Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite can nowhere enjoy the prerogatives of a Freemason until he has been lawfully healed by the regular Supreme Council of his own country.”

The Confederated Powers again recognized and proclaimed as Grand Constitutions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Constitutions and Statutes adopted May 1,1876, with the modifications and Tiler adopted by the Congress of Lausanne, the 22d of September, 1875.

The Declaration and articles were signed by representatives of eighteen Supreme Councils, who recognized the territorial Jurisdictions of the following Supreme Councils: Northern, United States, Southern United States,Central America, England,

Belgium,Canada, Chile, Colon, Scotland, Colombia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Argentine Republic, Switzerland, Uruguay,Venezuela.

The same delegates, by virtue of the plenary powers they held, and by which they were justified, promised, for their principals, to maintain and defend with all their power, to preserve, and cause to he observed and respected, not only the territorial Jurisdiction of the Confederated Supreme Councils represented in the said Congress at Lausanne, and the parties therein contracting, but also the territorial Jurisdiction of the other Supreme Councils named. It is not possible to give statistics as to the number of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masons in the world, but calculating those, of whatever Degree, who are governed by Supreme Councils in the different nations, it is but reasonable to presume one-half of the entire Fraternity is of that Rite, and as a matter of extensiveness, it is par excellence the Universal Rite. In many nations there is no other Rite known, and therein it confers all the Degrees of its system, including the first three. Among the English-speaking Freemasons, it builds its structure upon the York or the American system of three Degrees.

In the United States its organizations are to be found in every prominent city and many towns, and in numerous instances possessing and occupying temples built specially to accommodate its own peculiar forms, elegant of structure and in appointments, and of great financial value. The progress of this Rite in the nineteenth century has been most remarkable, and its future appears without a cloud.

The Supreme Councils organized since 1801 have not all continued to exist. At an International Congress at Washington, October 7, 1912, of the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,! twenty-nine Councils were recognized in the proceedings as regular and twenty-six of them were represented. The Councils then listed as regular were as follows:

Argentine Republic, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central America , Chile, Colon (for Cuba),Colombia, United States of Dominican Republic Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Northern United States, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Scotland ,Serbia, Southern United States, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela.

In that year, 1912, two Supreme Councils were organized, the Netherlands and Servia, and from that time to 1928 these Supreme Councils: Austria, Szecho-Slovakia, Denmark, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, and Roumania.

A complete list of all those organized up to 1880 is as follows:

Southern United States 1801




Naples ………….1809

Spain ……………1811

Northern United States 1813


Belgium……… 1817



Peru …………..1830

New Grenada (U. S. Colombia)1833


Portugal ……..1842

England and Wales 1845




Argentine 1858




Turkey ………..1861

Domican Republic 1861

Turin ……………1862

Florence ……….1814

Venezuela …….1865


Paraguay ……..1870

Hungary ………1871

Central America l871


Switzerland …..1873

Canada ………..1874





See General Grand Lodge


A country in South America. In 1767 or 1769 there was a Lodge La Vertueuse at Batavia where also was instituted La Fidele Sincérité in 1771. La Vertueuse flourished long as No. 8, De Ster in het Oosten, in the records of the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands, which also has at Paramaribo, Concordia Lodge, dating from 1773.


This is a Masonic punishment, which consists of a temporary deprivation of all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry. There are two kinds, delfrlite and indefinite; but the effect of the penalty, for the time that it lasts, is the same in both kinds. The mode in which restoration is effected differs in each.

1. Definite Suspension.—By definite suspension is meant a deprivation of the rights and privileges of Freemasonry for a fixed period of time, which period is always named in the sentence. By the operation of this penalty, a Freemason is for the time prohibited from the exercise of all his Masonie privileges. His rights are placed in abeyance, and he can neither visit Lodges, hold Masonie communication, nor receive Masonic relief, during the period for which he has been suspended. Yet his Masonic citizenship is not lost. In this respect suspension may be compared to the Roman punishment of relegatio, or banishment, which Ovid, who had endured it, de scribes in Tristia (v, 11) with technical correctness, a a penalty which “takes axvay neither life nol property nor rights of citizens, but only drives away from the country.”

So by suspension the rights and duties of the Freemason are not obliterated, but their exercise only interdicted for the period limited by the sentence, and as soon as this has terminated he at once resumes his former position in the Order, and is reinvested with all his Masonic rights, whether those rights be of a private or of an official nature. Thtls, if an officer of a Lodge has been Suspended for three months from all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry, a suspension of his official functions also takes place. But a suspension from the discharge of the functions of an office is not a deprivation of the office; and therefore, as soon as the three months to which tile suspension had been limited have expiled, the brother resumes all his rights in the Order and the Lodge and with them, of course, the office which he had held at the time that the sentence of suspension had been inflicted.

2. Indefinite Suspension.—This is a suspension for a period not determined and fixed by the Sentence, but to continue during the pleasure of the Lodge. In this respect only does it differ from the preceding punishment. The position of a Freemason, under definite or indefinite suspension, is precisely the same as to the exercise of all his rights and privileges which in both cases remain in abeyance. Restoration in each brings with it a resumption of all the rights and functions, the exercise of which had been interrupted by the sentence of suspension. Neither definite nor indefinite suspension can be inflicted except after due notification and trial, and then only by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.

Restoration to Masonic rights differs, as we have said, in these two kinds. Restoration from definite suspension may take place either by a vote of the Lodge abridging the time, when two-thirds of all the members must concur, or it will terminate by natural expiration of the period fixed by the sentence, and that without any vote of the Lodge. Thus, if a member is suspended for three months, at the end of the third month his suspension terminates, and he is ipso facto (by that fact) restored to all his rights and privileges.

In the case of indefinite suspension, the only method of restoration is by a vote of the Lodge at a regular meeting, two-thirds of those present concurring.

Lastly, it may be observed that, as the suspension of a member suspends his prerogatives, it should also suspend his dues. He cannot he expected, in justice, to pay for that which he does not receive, and Lodge dues are simply a compensation made by a member for the enjoyment of the privileges of membership.

Of course the number concurring may vary from that mentioned above, as in this and other similar instances such rules are subject to alteration by the governing Cody (see Doctor Mackey’s revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).


The Duke of Sussex is entitled to a place in Masonic biography, not only because, of all the Grand Masters on record, he held the office the longest—the Duke of Leinster, of Ireland, alone excepted—but also because of his devotion to the Institution, and the zeal With which he cultivated and protected its interests. Augustus Frederick, ninth child and sixth son of George III, King of England, was born January 27, 1773.

He was initiated in.1798 at a Lodge in Berlin. In 1805, the honorary rank of a Past Grand Master was conferred on him by the Grand Lodge of England. May 13, 1812, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master; and April 13, 1813, the Prince Regent, afterward George IV, having declined a re-election as Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex Was unanimously elected; and in the same year the two rival Grand Lodges of England were united. The Duke was Most Excellent Zerubbabel of the Grand Chapter, and Grand Superintendent of the Grand Conclave of Knights Templar. He never, however, took any interest in the Orders of Knighthood, to which, indeed, he appears to have had some antipathy. During his long career the Grand Conclave met but once. By annual elections, he retained the office of Grand Master until his death, Which took place April 21, 1843, in the seventyfirst year of his age, having completed a Masonic administration as head of the English Craft of upward of thirty years.

During that long period, it was impossible that some errors should not have been committed. The Grand Master’s conduct in reference to two distinguished Freemasons, Doctors Crucefix and Oliver, was as by no means creditable to his reputation for justice or forbearance. But the general tenor of his life as an upright man and Freemason, and his great attachment to the Order, tended to compensate for the few mistakes of his administration. One who had been most bitterly opposed to his course in reference to Brothers Crucefix and Oliver, and had not been sparing of his condemnation, paid, after his death, this tribute to his Masonic virtues and abilites: “As a Freemason,” said the Freemasons Quarterly Review (1843, page 120), “the Duke of Sussex was the most accomplished Craftsman of his day. His knowledge of the mysteries was, as it were, intuitive; his reading on the subject was extensive; his correspondence equally so; and his desire to be introduced to any Brother from whose experience he could derive any information had in it a craving that marked his great devotion to the Order.”

On the occasion of the presentation of an offering by the Fraternity in 1838, the Duke gave the following account of his Masonic life, which embodies sentiments that are highly honorable to him:

My duty as your grand Master is to take care that no political or religious question intrudes itself, and had I thought that, in presenting this tribute, any political feeling had influenced the brethren, I can only say that then the Grand Master would not have been gratified. Our object is unanimity, and we can find a centre of unanimity unknown elsewhere. I recollect twenty-five years ago, at a meeting in many respects similar to the present, a magnificent jewel, by voluntary vote, was presented to the Earl Moira previous to his journey to India. I had the honor to preside, and I remember the powerful and beautiful appeal which that excellent brother made on the occasion.

I am now sixty-six years of age—I say this without regret—the true Mason ought to think that the first day of his birth is but a step on his way to the final close of life. When I tell you that I have completed forty years of a Masonic life—there may be older Masons—but that s a pretty good Specimen of my attachment to the Order. In 1798, I entered Masonry in a Lodge at Berlin, and there I served several offices, and as Warden was a representative of the Lodge in the Grand Lodge of England. I afterwards was acknowledged and received with the usual compliment paid to a mender of the Royal Family, by being appointed a Past Grand Warden. I again went abroad for three years, and on my return joined various Lodges, and upon the retirement of the Prince Regent who became Patron of the Order, I was elected Grand Master.

An epoch of considerable interest intervened, and I became charged, in 1813-4, with a most important mission—the union of the two London societies My most excellent Brother the Duke of Kent accepted the title of Grand Master of the Atholl Masons, as they were denominated; I was the Grand Master of those called the Prince of Wales’s. In three months we carried the union of the two societies, and I had the happiness of presiding over the united fraternity . This I consider to have been the happiest event of my life. It brought all Masons upon the Level and the Square, and showed the world at large that the differences of common life did not exist in Masonry, and it showed to Masons that by a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together, what great good might be effected.


The swastika easily is the most universal and also the most ancient of symbolic devices. In form it has been of so many types that no line can be drawn between the swastika properly so called and what has a mere similarity to it; of names, such as swastika, suastica, fylfot, there is a long eatalog. It is impossible to say that it means anything in particular because it has in places and times been used to stand for so many hundreds of things! For almost the first time in history it was in Europe, Britain, and America being discarded and forgotten (except for trade-marks) until the Nazis, for some obscure reason of their own, adopted one of its thousand forms for their emblem. At bottom the device is nothing but two lines crossed, like the + sign; the Lines may be broken or not, the broken ends may be turned right or left, or they may be curved, or be ovoids, or ares of a circle, ete.; in one instance, the device consisted of four legs, bent at the knee; again, four arms, bent at the elbow.

Of those who have studied it Bro. and Count Goblet d’Alviela probably devoted more years and more learning to it than any other scholar. He could discover no beginning of it, but believed that in prehistorie times it was a sign used to denote either the cardinal points of the compass, or the North Star, once the cynosure and concern of every man on the seas, the arms of the swastika suggesting the swing of the Great dipper about the star, as on a pivot. It has never had a place in Freemasonry, except in the Scottish Prince of Mercy Degree, and then in a scarcely recognizable form, and with a special meaning defined by the Degree.

Among expert symbologists (a profession, not a science) it is classified as a “dead symbol.” It has no meaning, force, substance, or suggestion of its own, no more than a diagram on a sheet of paper. The square, by contrast, is a symbol “alive” because it has ever been in use, and ever will be, and its use charges it with a Living meaning. A man gains something from the symbolism of the square; he can gain nothing from any form of the swastika because it is never used. It is doubtful if Medieval Masons ever could have been persuaded to employ it, except as a geometric ornament; because, first, it was forbidden by the church; and, second, it would have looked to them too much like a caricature of the Cross. They adopted no idle or dead symbols; each of their own had for them a use either for their working or for their thinking.

(The Migration of Symbols, by Count Goblet d’ Alviela [Belgian Senator; eminent in Belgian Freemasonry]; Archibald Constable; Westminster; 1894. Symbolism of the East and TZesC, by Mrs. MurrayAynsley; George Redway; London; 1900. Chapter IV contains a long catalog of forms and of their distribution. Report of the U. S. National Museum, by Thomas Wilson; 1894; pp. 757-1011.)


Freemasonry was first introduced to Sweden in the year 1735, when Count Axel Eric Wrede Sparre, who had been initiated in Paris, established a Lodge at Stockholm. Of this Lodge scarcely anything is known and it probably soon fell into decay.

Wing Frederick I promulgated a Decree in 1738 which interdicted all Masonic meetings under the penalty of death. At the end of seven years the Edict was removed, and Freemasonry became popular. Saint John Auxiliary Lodge, however, was working when the Decree was wit withdrawn. Lodges were again publicly recognized and in 1746 the Freemasons of Stockholm struck a medal on the occasion of the birth of the Prince Royal, afterward Gustavus III. In 1753, the Swedish Freemasons laid the foundation of an orphan asylum at Stockholm which was built by the voluntary contributions of the Fraternity, without any assistance from the State.

In 1762, King Adolphus Frederick, in a letter to the Grand Master, declared himself the Protector of the Swedish Lodges, and expressed his readiness to become tile Chief of Freemasonry in his dominions, and to assist in defraying the expenses of the Order. On April 10, 1765, Lord Blayney, Grand Master of England, granted a Deputation to Charles Fullmann, Secretary of the British Embassy at Stockholm, as Provincial Grand Master, With the authority under the “Moderns” Grand Lodge of England to constitute Lodges in Sweden. At the same time, Schubarb, a member of the Rite of Strict Observance, appeared at Stockholm, and endeavored to establish that Rite. He had but little success, as the advanced Degrees had been previously introduced from France.

But this admixture of English, French, and German freemasonry occasioned great dissatisfaction, and gave rise, about this time, to the establisment of an independent system known as the Swedish Rite. In 1770, the Illuminated Grand Chapter was established, and the Duke of Sudermania appointed the Vicarius Salornonis. In 1780, the Grand Lodge of Sweden which for some years had been in abeyance, was revived, and the same Prince elected Grand Master.

This act gave an independent and responsible position to Swedish Freemasonry, and the progress of the Institution in that kingdom has been ever since regular and uninterrupted. On March 22, 1793, Gustavus IV, the King of Sweden, was initiated into Freemasonry in a Lodge at Stockholm, the Duke of Sudermania, then acting as Regent of the Kingdom, presiding as the Grand Master of the Order. In 1796 a Royal Decree enacted that in future all Swedish Princes were by right of birth Freemasons and a Decree against secret societies in 1803 made a Special exception of the Craft. The whole Swedish system has, indeed, been to a large extent under the control of the Royal Family. On the application of the Duke of Sudermania, in 1788, a fraternal alliance was consummated between the Grand Lodges of England and Sweden, and mutual representatives appointed.

The Duke of Sudermania ascended the throne in 1809 under the title of Charles XIII. He Continued his attachment to the Order, and retained the Grand Mastership. As a singular mark of his esteem for Freemasonry, the King instituted, May 27, 1811, a new Order of Knighthood, known as the Order of Charles XIII, the members of which were to be selected from Freemasons only. In the Patent of Institution the Wing declared that, in founding the Order, his intention “was not only to excite his subjects to the practice of charity, and to perpetuate the memory of the devotion of the Masonic Order to his person while it was under his protection, but also to give further proofs of his royal benevolence to those whom he had so long embraced and cherished under the name of Freemasons.” The Order, besides the Princes of the Royal Family, was to consist of twenty-seven lay, and three ecclesiastical knights, all of whom were to hold equal rank. The Strand Lodge of Sweden practises the Swedish Rite, and exercises its jurisdiction under the title of the National Grand Lodge of Sweden (see Swedish Rite).


The so-called Rite of Swedenborg, the history of whose foundation has been given in the preceding article, consists of six Degrees:

1. Apprentice.

2. Fellow Craft.

3. Master Neophyte.

4. Illuminated Theosophite.

5. Blue Brother.

6. Red Brother.

It is said to be still practised by some of the Swedish Lodges, but is elsewhere extinct.

Reghellini, in his Esprit do Dosme, gives it as consisting of eight Degrees; but he has evidently confounded it with the Rite of Martinism, also a theosophic Rite, and the ritualism of which also partakes of a Swedenborgian character.


The Swedish Rite was established about the year 1777, and is indebted for its existence to the exertions and influence of King Gustavus III. It is a mixture of the pure Rite of York, the high Degrees of the French, the Templarism of the former Strict Observance, and the system of Rosicrucianism. Zinnendorf also had something to do with the formation of the Rite, although his authority was subsequently repudiated by the Swedish Freemasons. It is a Rite that was really established as a reform or compromise to reconcile the conflicting elements of English, German, and French Freemasonry that about the middle of the eighteenth century convulsed the Masonic atmosphere of Sweden. It consists of twelve Degrees, as follows: 1, 2, 3. Three Symbolic Degrees, constituting the Saint John’s Lodge.

4, 5. Scottish Fellow Craft and the Scottish Master of s dint Andrew. These constitute the Scottish Lodge. The Fifth Degree entitles its members to civil rank in the kingdom

6. Knight of the East. In this Degree which is apocalyptic the New Jerusalem and its twelve gates are represented

7. Knight of the West, or True Templar, Master of the Key. The jewel of this Degree, which is a triangle with five red rosettes refers to the five wounds of the Savior.

8. Knight of the South, or Favorite brother of Saint John. This is a Rosicrucian Degree, the ceremony of initiation being derived from that of the Medieval Alchemists.

9. Favorite Brother of Saint Andrew. This Degree is evidently derived from the Freemasonry of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

10. Member of the Chapter.

11. Dignitary of the Chapter.

12. Vicar of Solomon.

The first nine Degrees are under the obedience of the National Grand Lodge of Sweden and Norway, and essentially compose the Rite. The members of the last three are called Brethren of the Red Cross, and constitute another Masonic authority, styled the Illuminated Chapter. The Twelfth Degree is simply one of office, and is only held by the King, who is perpetual Grand Master of the Order. No one is admitted to the Eleventh Degree unless he ean show four quarterings of nobility.

The Swedish Rite was introduced among Lodges in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Russia, and is deseribed by Brother Oliver Day Street, Past Grand Master of Alabama, in the words, “Its teachings are said to be a mixture of the Freemasonry of England, of the ‘Scots’ degrees, of Templarism, Rosicrucianism and the mystic doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg ”


Emanuel Swedenborg, a distinguished theologian of his age, and the founder of a sect which still exists, has been always mythically connected with Freemasonry. The eagerness is indeed extraordinary with which all Masonic writers, German, French, English, and American, have sought to connect the name and labors of the Swedish sage with the Masonic institution, and that, too, without the slightest foundation for such a theory either in his writings, or in any Credible memorials of his life.

Findel (History of Freemmasonry, page 329), speaking of the reforms in Swedish Freemasonry, says: “Most likely Swedenborg, the mystic and visionary, used his influence in bringing about the new system; at all events, he smoothed the way for it.” Lenning speaks of the influence of his teachings upon the Swedish system of Freemasonry, although he does not absolutely claim him as a Freemason.

Reghellini, in his Esprit du Dogme de la FrancheMaçonnerie, or Genius of the Tenets of Freemasonry, writes thus: “Swedenborg made manly very learned researches on the subject of the Masonic mysteries. He thought that their doctrines were of the highest antiquity, having emanated from the Egyptians, the Persians, the Magi, the Jews, and the Greeks.

He also became the head of a new religion in his effort to reform that of Rome. For this purpose he wrote his Celestial Jerusalem, or his Spiritual World: he mingled with his reform, ideas which were purely Masonic. In this celestial Jerusalem the Word formerly communicated by God to Moses is found; this word is Jehovah, lost on earth, but which he invites us to find in Great Tartary, a Country still governed, even in our days, by the patriarchs, by which he means allegorically to say that this people most nearly approach to the primitive condition of the perfection of innocence.” But there is no work written by Swedenborg which bears either of those titles, Celestial Jerusalem or Spiritual World. It is possible that Reghellini alludes either to the Arcana Celestia, published in 1749-53, or to the De Nova Hierosolyma, published in 1758. The same writer, in his Maçonnerie considéree comme le résultat d es religions Egyptienne, Juive et Chrétienne, or Masonry considered as the result of Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian Religions (ii, page 454), repeatedly speaks of Swedenborg as a Masonic reformer, and sometimes as a Masonic impostor Ragon also cites Reghellini in his Orthodoxe Maçonnique (page 255), and recognizes Swedenborg as the founder of a Masonic system.

Thory, in his Acta Latornorum, cites “the system of Swedenborg”; and in fact all the French writers on Masonic ritualism appear to have borrowed their idea of the Swedish theosophist from the statement of Reghellini, and have not hesitated to rank him among the principal Masonic teachers of his time. Doctor Oliver is the earliest of the English Masonic writers of eminence who has referred to Swedenborg. He, too often careless of the weight of his expressions and facile in the acceptance of authority speaks of the Degrees, the system, as well as the Freemasonry of Swedenborg just in the same tone as he would of those of Cagliostro, of Hund, or of Tschoudy. Lastly, and in the United States of America, we had a more recent writer, Brother Samuel Beswick, who was evidently a man of ability and of considerable research.

He has culminated to the zenith in his Claims of the Masonic character of Swedenborg. He published at New York, in 1870, a volume entitled, The Swedenborg Rite and the Great Masonic Leaders of the Eighteenth Century. In this work, which, outside of its Swedenborgian fancies, contains much interesting matter; he traces the Masonic life of Swedenborg from his initiation, the time and place of which he makes in 1706, in a Scottish Lodge in the town of Lund, in Sweden, which is a fair specimen of the value of his historical statements. But after treating the great Swede as a Masonic reformer, as the founder of a Rite, and as evincing during his whole life a deep interest in Freemasonry, he appears to us to surrender the whole question in the following closing words of his work:

From the very moment of his initiation, Swedenborg appears to have resolved never to allude to his membership or to his knowledge of Freemasonry, either publicly or privately. He appears to have made up his mind to keep it a profound secret, and to regard it as something which had no relation to his publie life. We have searched his Itinerary, which contains brief references to everything, he saw, heard, and read during his travels, for something having relation to his Masonic knowledge, intercourse, correspondence, visits to Lodges, places, or persons; but there is a studied silence a systematic avoidance of all allusion to it. In his theological works, his Memorable Relations speak of almost every sect in Christendom, and of all sorts of organizations, or of individuals belonging thereto. But Freemasonry is an exception: there is a systematic silence in relation to it.

It is true that he finds in this reticence of Swedenborg the evidence that he was a Freemason and interested in Freemasonry, but others will most probably form a different conclusion. The fact is that Swedenborg never was a Freemason. The reputation of being one, that has been so continuously attributed to him by Masonic writers, is based first upon the assumptions of Reghellini, whose statements in his Esprit du Dogme were never questioned nor their truth investigated, as they should have been, but were blindly followed by succeeding writers. Neither Wilkinson, nor Burk, nor White, who wrote his biography—the last the most exhaustively—nor anything in his own voluminous writings, lead aq to anx such conclusion. But the second and more important basis on which the theory of a Swedenborgian Freemasonry has been built is the conduct of some of his own disciples, who, imbued with his religious views, being Freemasons, carried the spirit of the New Jerusalem doctrines into their Masonic speculations. There was, it is true, a Masonic Rite or System of Swedenborg, but its true history is this:

About that period we find Pernetty working out his schemes of Masonic reform. Pernetty was a theosophist, a Hermetic philosopher, a disciple, to some extent, of Jacob Böhme, that prince of mystics. To such a man, the reveries, the visions, and the spiritual speculations of Swedenborg were peculiarly attractive. He accepted them as an addition to the theosophic views which he already had received.

About the year 1760 he established at Avignon his Rite of the Illuminati, in which the reveries of both theme and Swedenborg were introduced. In 1783 this system was reformed by the Marquis de Thomé, another Swedenborgian, and out of that reform arose what was called the Rite of Swedenborg, not because Swedenborg had established it, or had any-thing directly to do with its establishment, but because it n as based on his peculiar theological views, and because its symbolism was borrowed from the ideas he had advanced in the highly symbolical works that he had written. A portion of these Degrees, or other Degrees much like them, have been called apocalyptic; not bemuse Saint John had, any more than Swedenborg, a connection with them, but because their system of initiation is based on the mystical teaehings of the Apocalypse; a work which, not less than the theories of the Swede, furnishes abundant food for a system of Masonico-religious symbolisrn.

Benedict Chastanier, was also another disciple of Swedenborg, and who was one of the founders of the Avignon Society, carried these views into England, and founded at London a similar Rite, which afterward was changed into a purely religious association.

“The Theosophical Society, instituted for the purpose of promoting the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem.” In one of his visions, Swedenborg thus describes a palace in the spiritual world which he had visited. From passages such as these which abound in his various treatises, the theosophic Freemasons concocted those Degrees which have been called the freemasonry of Swedenborg. To no reader of the passage annexed can its appropriateness as the basis of a system of symbolism fail to be apparent.

I accordingly entered the temple, which was magnificent, and in the midst of which a woman was represented clothed in purple, holding in her right hand a golden crown piece, and in her left a chain of pearls. The statue and the representation were only fantastic representations for these infernal spirits, by closing the interior Degree and opening the exterior only, are able at the pleasure of their imagination to represent magnificent Objects.

Perceiving that they were illusions, I prayed to the Lord. Immediately the interior of my spirit was opened and I saw, instead of the superb temple, a Tottering house, open to the weather from the top to the bottom. In the place of the woman-state an image was suspended, having the head of a dragon, the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion: in short, it was the beast rising out of the sea, as described in the Apocalypse (xiii, 2). In the place of a park, there gas a marsh full of frogs and I was informed that under this marsh there was a great hewn stone, beneath which the Word was entirely hidden. afterwards I said to the Prelate, who was the fabricator of these illusions,”Is that your temple? “Yes,” replied he, it is.” Immediately his interior sight was opened like mine, and he saw what I did.

” How now, what do I see?” cried he. I told him that it was the effect of the celestial light, wish discovers the interior quality of everything, anal which taught him at that very moment what faith separated front good works was. While I was speaking, a wind blowing from the east destroyed the Temple and the image, dried up the marsh, and discovered the stone under which the Sacred Word was Concealed. A genial warmth, like that of the spring, descended from heaven; and in the place of that Temple we saw a tent, the exterior of which was very plain. I looked into the interior of it, and there I saw the foundation-stone beneath which the Sacred Word was concealed ornamented with precious stones, the splendor of which. diffusing itself over the walls of the Temple, diversified the colors of the paintings, which represented cherubims.

The angels, perceiving me to be filled with admiration; told me that I should see still greater wonders than these. They were then permitted to open the third heaven, inhabited by the celestial angels, who dwelt inlove. All of a sudden the splendor of a light of fire caused the Temple to disappear, and left nothing to be seen but the Lord himself, standing upon the foundation-stone—the Lord who was the Word, such as he showed Himself (Apocalypse i, 13 to 16). Holiness immediately filled all the interior of the spirit of the angels, upon Which they made an effort to prostrate themsell es, hut the Lord shut the passage to the light from the third heavers openiny the passage to the light of the second, which caused the Temple to reappear, with the tent in the midst.

Such passages as these might lead one to suppose that Swedenborg was familiar with the system ofMasonic ritualism His complete reticence upon the subject, however, and the whole tenor of his life, his studies, and his habits, assure us that such was not the case; and that if there was really a borrowing of one from the other, and not an accidental coincidence, it was the Freemasons of the advanced Degrees who borrowed from Swedenborg, and not Swedenborg from them. If so, we cannot deny that he has unwillingly exercised a powerful influence on Freemasonry.


In 1737 Lord Darnley, Grand Master of England, granted a Deputation for Geneva, in Switzerland, to George Hamilton, who, in the same year, established a Provincial Grand Lodge at Geneva. Warrants were granted by this Body to several Lodges in and around the City of Geneva.

Two years afterward, a Lodge, composed principally of Englishmen, was established at Lausanne, under the name of L’ Union Parfaite des Etrangers. Findel, on the authority of Mossdorf’s edition of Lenning, says that the Warrant for this Lodge was granted by the Duke of Montagu; a statement also made by Thory. This is an error. The Duke of Montagu was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England in 1721, and could not, therefore, have granted a Warrant in 1739. The Warrant must have been issued by the Marquis of Carnarvon, who was Grand Master from April, 1738 to May, 1739.

In an old list of the Regular Lodges on the Registry of England, this Lodge is thus described: “Private Room, Lausanne, in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, February 2, 1739.” Soon after, this Lodge assumed a superintending authority with the title of Helvetic Roman Directory, and instituted many other Lodges in the Pays de Vaud.

But in Switzerland, as elsewhere, Freemasonry was at an early period exposed to persecution. In 1738, almost immediately after their institution, the Lodges at Geneva were suppressed by the magistrates. In 1740, so many calumnies had been circulated in the Swiss Cantons against the Order, that the Freemasons published an Apology for the Order in Der Brachmann, a Zurich journal. It had, however, but little effect, for in 1743 the magistrates of Bern ordered the closing of all the Lodges. This Edict was not obeyed; and therefore, on March 3, 1745, another, still more severe, was issued, by which a penalty of one hundred thalers, and forfeiture of his situation was to be inflicted on every officer of the government who should continue his connection with the Freemasons.

To this the Freemasons replied in a pamphlet entitled Le Franc-Maçon dans la République, published simultaneously, in 1746, at Frankfort and Leipsic. In this work they ably defended themselves from all the unjust charges that had been made against them. Notwithstanding that the result of this defense was that the magistrates pushed their opposition no farther, the Lodges in the Pays de Vaud remained suspended for nineteen years. But in 1764 the primitive Lodge at Lausanne was revived, and the revival was gradually followed by the other Lodges. This resumption of labor was, however, but of brief duration. In 1770 the magistrates again interdicted the meetings. During all this period the Freemasons of Geneva, under a more liberal government, were uninterrupted in their labors, and extended their operations into German Switzerland.

June 1, 1769, nine Lodges assembled and formed on June 24 the Independent Grand Lodge of Geneva. Soon afterwards, however, the Craft came into disfavor in the country. In 1771 Lodges had been erected in Vevay and Zurich, which, working at first according to the French system, soon afterward adopted the German ritual. In 1775 the Lodges of the Pays de Vaud were permitted to resume their labors. Formerly, they had worked according to the system of the Grand Lodge of England, whence they had originally derived their Freemasonry; but this they now abandoned, and adopted the Rite of Strict Observance. In the same year the advanced Degrees of France were introduced into the Lodge at Basle. Both it and the Lodge at Lausanne now assumed higher rank, and took the title of Scottish Directories.

A Congress was held at Basle in 1777, in which there were representatives from the Strict Observance Lodges of the Pays de Vaud and the English Lodge of Zurich. It was then determined that the Freemasonry of Switzerland should be divided under two distinct authorities: the one to be called the German Helvetic Directory, with its seat at Zurich; and the other to be called the Scottish Helvetic Roman Directory, whose seat was at Lausanne.

This word Roman, or more properly Romunsh, is the name of one of the four languages spoken in Switzerland. It is a corruption of the Latin, and supposed to have been the colloquial dialect of a large part of the Grisons. Still there were great dissensions in the Freemasonry of Switzerland. A clandestine Lodge had been established in 1777, at Lausanne, by one Sidrae, whose influence it was found difficult to cheek. The Helvetic Roman Directory found it necessaryw for this purpose, to enter, in 1779, into a Treaty of Alliance with the Grand Lodge at Geneva, and the Lodge of Sidrae was then at length dissolved and its members dispersed.

The Helvetic Roman Directory published its Constitutions in 1778. The Rite it practised was purely philosophical every Hermetic element having been eliminated The appointment of the Masters of Lodges, who held office for three years, was vested in the Directory, and, in consequences men of ability and learning were chosen, and the Craft were skilfully governed. November, 1782, the Council of Bern interdicted the meetings of the Lodges and the exercise of Freemasonry.

The Helvetic Roman Directorys to give an example of obedience to law, however unjust and oppressive, dissolved its Lodges and discontinued its own meetings. But it provided far a maintenance of its foreign relations, by the appointment of a committee invested with the power of conducting its correspondence and of controlling the foreign Lodges under its obedience.

There was a conference of the Swiss Lodges at Zurich in 1785 to take into consideration certain propositions which had been made by the Congress of Paris, held by the Philalethes; but the desire that a similar Congress should be convened at Lausanne met with no favor from the Directorial Committee. The Grand Orient of France began to exert an influence, and many Lodges of Switzerland, among others ten in Geneva, gave their adhesion to that Body. The seven other Genevan Lodges which were faithful to the English system organized a Grand Orient of Geneva, and in l789 formed an alliance with the Grand Lodge of England. About the same time, the Lodges of the Pays de Vaud, which had been suppressed in 1782 by the government of Bern, resumed their vitality.

But the political disturbances consequent on the French Revolution began to exercise their influences in the Cantons. In 1792, the Helvetic Roman Directory suspended work; and its example was followed in 1793 by the Scottish Directory. From 1793 to 1803, Freemasonry was almost dead in Switzerland, although a few Lodges in Geneva and a German one in Nuremberg continued a sickly existence.

The Grand Orient of France chartered on September 14, 1802, Hope, or L’Espérance, Lodge at Bern, which, in 1818, became an English Provincial Grand Lodge and on June 24, 1822, formed with several others the National Grand Lodge of Switzerland. In 1813 Hope Lodge had initiated Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg Gotha, afterwards the first King of the Belgians. With the cession of the Republic of Geneva to Franee, the Grand Lodge ceased to exist, and all the Lodges were united with the Grand Orient of France. Several Lodges, however, in the Pays de Vaud, whose Constitution had been irregular, united together to form an independent Body under the title of the Grand National Helvetic Orient. Peter Maurice Glaire introduced his modified Scottish Rite of seven Degrees and was at the age of eighty-seven elected its Grand Master for life.

Glaire was possessed of great abilities, and had been the friend of Stanislaus, King of Poland, in whose interests he had performed several important missions to Russia, Prussia, Austria, and France. He was much attached to Freemasonry, and while in Poland had elaborated on the Scottish system the Rite which he subsequently bestowed Upon the Helvetic Orient. In 1820 there were nineteen Lodges, which worked under four different Obediences, the Scottish Directory, the Grand Helvetic Roman Orient, the English Provincial Grand Lodge, and the Grand Orient of France. besides, there were two Lodges of the Rite of Mizraim, which had been introduced by the Brothers Bedarride.

The Freemasons of Switzerland, weary of these divisions, had been long anxious to build a firm foundation of Masonic unity, and to obliterate forever this state of isolation, where Lodges were proximate in locality but widely asunder in their Masonic relations.

Many attempts were made, but the rivalries of petty authorities and the intolerance of opinion caused them always to be failures. At length a movement, which was finally crowned with success, was inaugurated by the Lodge Modestia sum Libertate, Moderation with Freedom, of Zurich. Being about to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of its existence in 1836, it invited the Swiss dodges of all Rites to be present at the festival.

There a proposition for a National Masonic Union was made, which met with a favorable response from all who were present. The reunion at this festival had given so much satisfaction that similar meetings were held in 1835 at Bern, in 1840 at Basle, and in 1842 at Locle. The preliminary means for establishing a Confederacy were discussed at these various biennial conventions, and progress slowly but steadily was made toward the accomplishment of that object. In 1842 the task of preparing a draft of a Constitution for a United Grand Lodge was entrusted to Brother Gysi-Schinz, of Zurich, who so successfully completed it that it gave almost universal satisfaction.

The Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland was created in July, 1844, from a fusion of the National Grand Lodge with the Grand Directory of Lodges working the Scottish Rectified Rite, the latter following a Templar Ritual, and dating its activities from 1779. This as a Grand Priory became later in aetive friendly association with the Supreme Council. Brother J. J. Hottinger was the first Grand Master.

Here we may observe that in some countries there has been a tendency to a greater freedom with these time-honored words indicating the Deity, even to substitute something else not so rigid in its definite meaning. As for example, at the seventy-fifth Assembly of the Grand Lodge Alpina, held at Zurich, Switzerland, on Saturday, May 21, 1927, under the presidency of the Grand Master, Dr. Fritz Brandenberg, a motion was made to substitute the word “Divinity” for “God” in the first article of the Constitution, which reads: “The Freemason reveres God under the name of T. G. A. D. T. U.” ‘the motion was lost by a majority of 69 votes, 23 voting in favour and 92 against (see Freemason, London, June 11, 1927).


The sword is in chivalry the ensign or symbol of knighthood. Thus Monstrelet says: “The sons of the Kings of France are knights at the font of baptism, being regarded as the chiefs of Knighthood and they receive, from the cradle the sword which is the Sign thereof.” Saint Palaye calls the sword “the most honorable badge of chivalry, and a symbol of the labor the knight was to encounter.”

No man was considered a knight until the ceremony of presenting him the sword had been performed; and when this weapon was presented, it was accompanied with the declaration that the person receiving it was thereby made a knight. “The lord or knight,” says Saint Palaye, “on the girding on of the sword, pronounced these or similar words: In the name of God, Saint Michael, and Saint George, I make thee a knight.”

So important an ensign of knighthood as the sword must have been accompanied with some symbolic meaning, for in the Middle Ages symbolism was referred to on all occasions. Francisco Redi, an Italian poet of the Seventeenth century, gives, in his Bacco in Toscano, an account, from a Latin manuscript, of an investiture with knighthood in the year 1260, which deseribes the Symbolic meaning of all the insignia used on that occasion. or the sword it says:

“Let him be girded with the sword as a sign of severity against the devil; and the two edges of the blade signify right and law, that the poor are to be defended from the rich and the weali from the strong.” But there is a still better definition of the symbolism of the sword of knighthood in an old manuscript in the library of the London College of Arms to the following effect: “Unto a knight, which is the most honorable office above all other, is given a sword, which is made like unto a crosse for the redemption of mankynde in signifying that like as our Lord God died uppon the crosse for the redemption of mankynde, even so a knight ought to defend the crosse and to overcome and destroie the enemies of the same; and it hath two edges in tokening that with the sword he ought to mayntayne knighthood and justice.” Hence in Masonic Templarism we find that this Symbolism has been preserved, and that the sword With which the modern knight is created is said to be endowed with the qualities of justice, fortitude, and merey.

The charge to a Knights Templar, that he should never draw his sword unless convinced of the justice of the cause in w hich he is engaged, nor to sheathe it until his enemies were subdued, finds also its origin in the custom of the Middle Ages. Swords were generally manufactured with a legend on the blade. Among the most common of these legends was that used on swords made in Spain, many examples of which are still to be found in modern collections.

That legend is: No me sages sin rason. No me embaines sin honor; that-is, Do not draw me without justice. Do not sheathe me unthout honor. So highly was the sword esteemed in the Middle Ages as a part of a knight’s equipment that Special names were given to those of the most celebrated heroes, which have been transmitted to us in the ballads and romances of that period. Thus we have among the warriors of Scandinavia, the following swords and their owners: Foot-breaath, of Thoralf Skolinson; Quern-biter, of King Hako; Balmung, of Siegfried, and Angurvardal, of Frithiof.

To the first two, Longfellow alludes in the following lines:

Quern-biter of Hakom the Good

Wherewith at a stroke he hewed

The millstone through and through

And Foot-breaath of Thoralf the Strong

Were neither so broad nor so long

Nor so true.

And among the Knights of Chivalry we have also known the following swords by their names and their owners: Durandal, of Orlando; Balisardo, of Ruggiero; Colado, of the Cid; Aroun-dight, of Lancelot du Sac; Joyeuse, of Charlemagne, and Excalibur, of King Arthur.

Of the last of these, the well-known legend is, that it was found embedded in a stone as its sheath, on which was an inscription that it could be drawn only by him who was the rightful heir to the throne of Britain After two hundred and one of the strongest knights had essayed in vain, it was at once drawn forth by Arthur, who was then proclaimed King by acelamation. On his deathbed, he ordered it to be thrown into a neighboring lake; but as it fell, an arm issued from the waters, and, seizing it by the hilt, waved it thrice, and then it sank never again to appear. Thare are many other famous swords in these old romances for the knight invariably gave to his sword, as he did to his horse, a name expressive of its qualities or of the deeds which he expected to accomplish with it.

In Freemasonry, the use of the sword as a part of the Masonic clothing is confined to the advanced Degrees and the Degrees of chivalry, when, of course, it is worn as a part of the insignia of knighthood. In the symbolic Degrees its appearance in the Lodge, except as a symbol, is strictly prohibited. The Masonic prints engraved in the eighteenth century, when the sword, at least as late as 1780, constituted a part of the dress of every gentleman, show that it was discarded by the members w hen they entered the Lodge. The official swords of the Tiler and the Pursuivant or Sword-Bearer are the only exceptions. This rule is carried so far, that military men, when visiting a dodges are required to divest themselves of their swords, which are to be left in the Tiler’s room.


See Trowel and Sword


An officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar. His station is in the West, on the right of the Standard-Bearer, and when the knights are in line, on the right of the second division. His duty is to receive all orders and signals from the Eminent Commander, and see them promptly obeyed. He is, also, to assist in the protection of the banners of the order. His jewel is a triangle and cross swords.


Subordinate officer, who is found in many Grand Lodges. Doctor Anderson says, in the second edition of the Constitutions (page 127), that in 1731 the Duke of Norfolk, being then Grand Master, presented to the Grand Lodge of England “the old trusty sword of Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, that was wore next by his successor in war the brave Bernard, Duke of Sax-Weimar, with both their names on the blade; which the Grand Master had ordered Brother George Moody, the King’s Sword Cutler, to adorn richly with the arms of Norfolk in silver on the scabbard, in order to he the Grand Master’s Sword of State in future.”

At the following Feast, Brother Moody was appointed Sword-Bearer; and the office has ever since existed, and is to be found in almost all the Grand Lodges of this country. Anderson further says that, previous to this donation, the Grand Lodge had no Sword of State, but used one belonging to a private Lodge. It was borne before the Grand Master by the Master of the Lodge to which it belonged, as appears from the account of the procession in 1730.

The Grand Sword-Bearer should be appointed by the Grand Masters and it is his duty to carry the Sword of State immediately in front of that oflicer in all processions of the Grand Lodge. In Grand Lodges which have not provided for a Grand Sword-Bearer, the duties of the office are usually performed by the Grand Pursuivant.


Among the ancient Romans, on all public occasions, a Lictor, one of the guards or officers attending the chief Roman Magistrates, carried a bundle of rods, sometimes with an ax inserted among them, before the Consul or other magistrate as a token of his authority and his power to punish Criminals. Hence, most probably, arose the custom in the Middle Ages of carrying a naked sword before flings or Chief Magistrates. Thus at the election of the Emperor of Germany, the Elector of Saxony, as Arch-Marshal of the Empire, carried a naked sword before the newly elected Emperor. We find the same practise prevailing in England as early certainly as the reign of Henry III, at whose coronation, in 1236, a sword was carried by the Earl of Chester. It was named Curtane, and, being without a point, was said to be emblematic of the spirit of mercy that should actuate a sovereign.

This sword is known as the Sword of State, and the practise prevailing to the present day, it has always been borne in England in public processions before all Chief Magistrates, from the Monarch of the Realm to the Mayor of the city. The custom was adopted by the Freemasons; and we learn from Dr. James Anderson that, from the time of the Revival, a Sword of State, the property of a private Lodge, was borne by the Master of that Lodge before the Grand Master, until the Grand Lodge acquired one by the liberality of the Duke of Norfolk, which has ever since been borne by the Grand Sword-Bearer.


Thomas Smith Webb says that “the sword pointing to the naked heart demonstrates that justice will, sooner or later, overtake US.” The symbol is a modern one; but its adoption was probably suggested by the old ceremony, both in English and in Continental Lodges, and which is still preserved in some places, in which the candidate found himself surrounded by swords pointing at his heart, to indicate that punishment would duly follow his violation of his obligations.


With the Cherubim, Yahveh stationed at the gale of Eden, “to keep the way of the tree of Life,” the lahat ha’hereb hammithhappeteth, meaning the revolving phenomenon of the curved sword, or the flaming blade of the sword which tarns There were two Cherubim, one at each side of the gate. These angels, or winged bulls, did not hold the weapon in their hands, but it was apart, separate from them.

The lahat ha’hereb was endowed with preper motion, or turned upon itself. There was but ones and presumably it was between the Cherubim suspended at a certain height in the air. Professor Lenormant, in speaking of this terrible weapon, states, that “the circumferenec, which was turned fully upon the Spectators could have been full of eyes all around and that when the prophet says ‘that they had a circumference and a height that were dreadful,’ the second dimension refers to the breadth of their rims,” and when advancing with the Cherubim against the irreverent intruder at the forbidden gate, it would strike and cut him in pieces as soon as it should graze him.

The symbolism of this instrument has been fixed by Obly as the Tchakra of India, which is a disk with sharp edges, hollow at the center, which is flungg horizontally, after having been whirled around the fingers. “A weapon for slinging, shaped like a disk, moving horizontally with a gyratory motion, like that of a waterspout, having a hollow centre, that the tips of the fingers can pass through, whence seven divergent rays issue toward a circumference, about which are studded fifty sharp points” (see Cherubim).


According to the regulations of the Grand Encampment of the United States the sword to be worn by the Knight Templar must have a helmet head or pommel a cross handle, and a metall scabbart. The length from the top of the hilt to the end of the seabbard must be from thirty-four to forty ‘inches.


In modern times the implement used by the Tiler is a sword of the ordinary form. This is incorrect. Formerly, and indeed up to a comparatively recent period, the Tiler’s sword was wavy in shape, and so made in allusion to the “flaming sword which was placed at the east of the garden of Eden, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” It was, of course, without a scabbard, because the Tiler’s sword should ever be drawn and ready for the defense of his post.

The Taunton Lodge in 1850 buried Brother Davey, their Tiler, and at the conclusion of the Church burial Service, the Provincial Grand Secrctary broke his wand and the Worshipful Master broke the sword of the deceased Tiler, casting the same into the grave with the customary exclamation on such occasions, “Alas, our Brother.” This is the editorial answer to a question in the Freemasons Magazine and Masonic Mirror (August 2(), 1863, page 1).


In Latin, Fratres jurati. It was the custom in the Middelle Ages for Soldiers, and especially knights, when going into battle, to engage each other by reciprocal oaths to share the rewards of victory and to defend each other in the fight. Thus Kennet tells us (parochial Antiquities) that in the commencement of the expedition of William of Normandy into England, Robert de Oiley and Roger de Iverio, Fratres jurati, et per Stem et sacramentum confederati, venerunt ad conquestum Anqliae, that is, they came to the conquest of England, as sworn brothers, bound by their faith and an oath. Consequently, When William allotted them an estate as the reward of their military service, they divided it into equal portions, each taking one.


To pronounce the syllables, or only one of the syllables, of a Sacred Word, such as a name of God, was among the Orientalists considered far more reverent than to give to it in all its Syllables a full and continuous utterance. Thus the Hehrews reduced the holy name Jehovah to the syllable Jah; and the Brahmans, taking the initial letters of the three words which expressed the three attributes of the ,Supreme Brahma, as Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, made of it the syllable Aum, which, on account of its awful and sacred meaning, they hesitated to pronounce aloud. To divide a word into syllables, and thus to interrupt the sound, either by pausing or by the alternate pronunciation by two persons, was deemed a mark of reverence.


A symbol is defined to be a visible sign with which a spiritual feeling, emotion, or idea is connected. It was in this sense that the early Christians gave the name of symbols to all rites, ceremonies, and outward forms which bore a religious meaning; such, for instance, as the cross, and other pictures and images, and even the sacraments and the sacramental elements. At a still earlier period, the Egyptians communicated the knowledge of their esoteric philosophy in mvstic symbols. In fact, man’s earliest instruction was by means of symbols. “The first learning of the world,” says Doctor Stukely, “consisted chiefly of Symbols. The wisdom of the Chaldeans, Phenicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanchoniathon, Pherecydes, Syrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, of all the ancients that is come to our hand, is symbolic.” And the learned Faber remarks that “allegory and personification were peculiarly agreeable to the genius of antiquity, and the simplicity of truth was continually sacrificed at the shrine of poetical decoration.”

The word symbol is derived from a Greek verb which signifies to compare one thing with another; and hence a symbol or emblem, for the two words are often used synonymously in Freemasonry, is the expression of an idea derived from the comparison or contrast of some visible object with a moral conception or attribute. Thus the Plumb is a symbol of rectitude; the Level, of equality; the Beehive, of industry. The physical qualities of the Plumb are compared or contrasted with the moral conception of virtue or rectitude of conduct. The Plumb becomes to the Freemason, after he has once been taught its symbolic meaning, forever afterward the visible expression of the idea of rectitude, or uprightness of conduct. To study and compare these visible objects —to elicit from them the moral ideas which they are intended to express—is to make one’s self acquainted with the symbolism of Freemasonry

The objective character of a Symbols which presents something material to the sight and touch, as explanatory of an internal idea, is best calculated to be grasped by the infant missal, whether the infancy of that mind be considered nationally or individually.

Hence, in the first ages of the world, in its infamy, all propositions, theological, political, or Scientific were expressed in the form of symbols. Thus the first religions were eminently symbolical, because, as that great philosophical historians Grote, has remarked, At a time when language was yet in its infancy visible symbols were the most vivid means of acting upon the minds of ignorant hearers.”

To the man of mature intellect, each letter of the alphabet is the symbol of a certain sound. When we instruct the child in the form and value of these letters, we make the picture of some familiar object the representation of the letter which aids the infantile memory. Thus, when the teacher says, “.A was an Archer,” the Archer becomes a symbol of the letter A, just as in after-life the letter becomes the symbol of a sound.

Doctor Barlow (Essays on symbolism i, page 1) says:Symbolical representations of things sacred, were coeval with religion itself as a system of doctrine appealing to sense, and have accompanied its transmission to ourselves from the earliest known period of monumental history. Egyptian tombs and stiles exhibit religious symbols still in use among Christians. Similar forms, with corresponding meanings, though under diffent names, are found among the Indians, and are seen on the monuments of the Assyrians, the Etruscans, and the Creeeks. The Hebrews borrowed much of their early religious symbolism from the Egyptians, their latter from the Babylonians, and through them this symbolical imagery, both verbal and objective, has descended to ourselves. The Egyptian Priests were great proficients in symbolism and so were the Chaldeans, and so were Moses and the Prophets, and the Jewish doctors generally—and so were many of the early fathers of the Church, especially the Greek fathers. Philo of Alexandria was very learned in symbolism and the Evangelist Saint John has made much use of it. The early Christian architects, sculptors, and painters drank deep of Symbolical lore, and reproduced it in their works.

,Squier gives in his Serpent Symbolism in America (page 19) a similar view of the antiquity and the subsequent growth of the use of symbols:

In the absence of a written language or forms of expression capable of conveying abstract ideas, we can readily comprehend the necessity, among a primitiv people, of a symbolic system. That symbolism in a great degree resulted from this necessity is very obvious; and that, associated with man’s primitive religious systems it was afterwards continued, when in the advanced stage of the human mind the previous necessity no longer existed, is equally undoubted. It thus came to constitute a kind of sacred language, and became invested with an esoteric significance understood only by the few.

In Freemasonry, all the instructions in its mysteries are commullicated in the form of symbols. Founded as a Speculative science, on an operative art, it has taken the working-tools of the professions which it spiritualizes, the terms of architecture, the Temple of Solomon, and everything that is connected with its traditional history and adopting them as Symbols, it teaches its great moral and philosophical lessons by this system of symbolism. But its symbols are not confined to material objects as were the hieroglyphics of the Egyptians. Its myths and legends are also, for the most part, symbolic.

Often a legend, unauthenticated by history, distorted by anachronisms, and possibly absurd in its pretensions if viewed historically or as a narrative of actual occurrences, when interpreted as a symbol, is found to impress the mind with some great spiritual and philosophical truth. The legends of Freemasonry are parables, and a parable is only a Spoken symbol. By its utterance, says Adam Clarke, “spiritual things are better understood, and make a deeper impression on the attentive mind ” (For a thorough discussion of the subjeet in connection with the Craft, see Doctor Mackey’s Symbolism of Freemasonry, revised edition.)


A symbol is some object, design, device, etc., which signifies or suggests some truth, idea, cause, ideal, etc.; what it is in itself is unimportant, because it is not used to call attention to itself but to call attention to that for which it stands; its sole function is thus to call the attention of a man to its meaning because it itself has nothing to say or to teach; and it is used where it is needed or desired that men shall keep certain truths, doctrines, etc., before them at a certain time. Although the two belong to the same general category “of things that point, or signify, or denote,” a symbol differs in essence from an emblem.

The latter is itself the thing it stands for, but is only one form or instance of it. A sword is war, because it is a weapon; as an emblem it stands for each and every other weapon, and hence denotes war; a bee-hive is an emblem because it is itself an instance of the power of industriousness. An allegory is a truth, doctrine, idea, ideal, ete., which is told in the form of a story; the story may be oral or may be written down, or it may be enacted like a play the allegories of the Building of the Temple and of the Search for That Which Was Lost are enacted. A rite is an end in itself, does not point to something outside itself, but is enacted for its own sake, and delivers its meaning in the process of enactment. Symbols, emblems, allegories, and rites are as universal as language —no people or period of history has yet been discovered without them; Freemasonry is not peculiar because it uses them, but it is one of the few societies in the modern world which has a teaching for its members and which delivers that teaching solely in the symbolic form.

Without any exception each symbol, emblem, allegory, and rite employed in the Degrees (of each of the Five Rites) is in use, or has been in use, outside of Freemasonry; a few of them (the Square, Cirele, Pillars, etc.) have been in use almost without exception by every people in the world, and in every known century. It is meaningless to argue that if some Masonic symbol or rite now employed by Freemasonry is found to have been employed by some people or society elsewhere therefore Freemasonry originated in it; if carried to its logical conclusion this argument results in saying that Freemasonry was originated by everybody, everywhere. Freemasonry did not invent its own symbols; they were here beforehand; it adopted such of them as it required, and employed them for its own purposes, just as it has taken from the English language the words it has needed for its own nomenclature. The only admissible canon or principle of interpretation of symbols is therefore plain: a symbol is a Masonic symbol in the sense that Freemasonry makes use of it; the meaning of the symbol is a Masonic meaning, and it is to be interpreted in the terms of its purpose for Freemasonry. What the same symbol means, or may have meant elsewhere, is irrelevant. The Rite of Circumambulation was practiced by the Brahmins in India 1600 B.C.; it is not used in each of the Three Degrees to teach Brahminism. The religion of Mithraism had a ceremony which was strikingly like the rite of Raising in the Master Mason Degree; that Degree does not teach Mithraism. Freemasonry itself is the interpretation of its own symbols.

(For general worlds on symbolism see The Migration of Symbols, by Count Goblet D’alviela; Arehibald Constable & Co.; Westminster; 1894. [He was a Belgian savant; member of the Senate. This is one of the masterpieces on the subject; has chapters on Swastika, Tree of Life, Winged Globes, Caduceus, etc.] Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments, by William Durandus; [A classic; deals with ecclesiastical symbolism of Romanesque churches. ] The Romance of Symbolism, by Sidney Heath; F. GiEths; London; 1909. Symbols and Emblems of Early and Medieval Christian Art, by Louisa Twining; John Murray; 1885. Symbolism of the East and West, by Mrs. Murray-Aynsley; George Redway; London; 1900. [Chapters on Sun and Moon; Tau Cross; Sacred Stones; Saered Trees; Swastika, and Arehiteetural Customs; etc.] The Gnostics and Their Remains, by C. W. King; G. P. Putnam’s Sons; New York; 1887. Symbolism in Christian Art, by Edward F. Hulme; Swan Sonneschein & Co.; London; and Maemillan; biew York; 1909 [5th ed]. [The author is a leading authority on Medieval subjects.] The Migration of Symbols, by Donald MacKenzie; Alfred A. Knopf; 1926. [Reviewed in The Builder. Not a Masonic book, but written with Masonry in mind.] Anczent Art and Ritual, by Jane Ellen Harrison; Home University Library, published by Henry Holt & Co.; New York. Animal Symbolism in Ecclesiacfical Architecture, by E. P. Evans; Henry Holt & Co.; IN’evw York; 1906. [Extraordinarily interesting; should be read by Masonic students. Contains much on the Physiologus, an old book, widely read in the Middle Ages, on animals; see artiele on “Bestiaries” in the Encyclopedia Britannica.] Symbolism qf Animals and Birds, by Arthur H. Collins; MeBride Sast & Co.; New York; 1913. Studies in Biblical and Semitic Symbolism, by Maruice H. Farbridge; Kegan Paula French, Trubner & Co.; London; 1925. [In Trubner Oriental Series. Chapters on Acacia; the lion; the eagle; symbolism of numbers; discalceation and desti tution; colors; gematria; etc.] Medieval Italy, by H B. Cotterill; George C. Harrap; London; 1915 [In Great Nation Series; an excellent chapter on mosaiesw two chapters on architecture.] Masonic books on Craft symbolism are numbered by the hundreds; of them the following are representative; Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Symbolism of Freemasonry, by Albert G. Mackey. Symbolism of the Three Degrees, by Oliver Day Street. Symbolical Masonry, by H. L. Haywood Thoughts Otl Masonic Symbolism, by C. C. Hunt.)


In Doctor Mackey’s work on the symbolism of Freemasonry, he has given this name to a species of symbol that is not unusual in Freemasonry, where the symbol is to be taken in a double sense, meaning in its general application one thing, and then in a special application another. An example of this is seen in the symbolism of Solomon’s Temple, where, in a general sense, the Temple is viexed as a symbol of that spiritual temple formed by the aggregation of the whole Order, and in which each Freemason is considered as a stone; and, in an individual or special sense, the same Temple is considered as a type of that spiritual temple which each Freemason is directed to erect in his heart.


In the old lectures of the eighteenth century, the Blazing Star was called “the glory in the center” because it was placed in the centre of the Floor-Cloth or Tracing-Board, and represented hieroglyphically the glorious name of God. Hence Doctor Oliver has given to one of his most interesting works, which treats of the symbolism of the Blazing Star, the title of the symbol of Glory.


The first three Degrees of Freemasonry, namely, those of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, are known, by way of distinction, as the Symbolic Degrees. This term is never applied to the Degrees of Mark, Past, and Most Excellent Master, and the Royal Arch, which, as being conferred in a Body called a Chapter, are generally designated as Capitular Degrees; nor to those of Royal and Select Master, which, conferred in a Council, are, by an excellent modern usage, styled Cryptic Degrees, from the crypt or vault which plays so important a part in their ritual. But the term symbolic is exclusively confined to the Degrees conferred in a Lodge of the three primitive Degrees, which Lodge, therefore, whether opened on the First, the Second or the Third Degree, is always referred to as a symbolic Lodge. As this distinctive term is of constant and universal use, it may be not altogether profitless to inquire into its origin and signification..

The germ and nucleus of all Freemasonry is to be found in the three primitive Degrees—The Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason. They were at one time, under a modification, however, which included the Royal Arch, the only Degrees known to or practised by the Craft, and hence they are often called Ancient Craft Masonry, to distinguish them from those comparatively modern additions which constitute what are designated as the high degrees, or, by the French, les hautes grades.

The striking peculiarity of these primitive Degrees is that their prominent mode of instruction is by symbols. Not that they are without legends. On the contrary, they have each an abundance of legends; such, for instance, as the details of the building of the Temple; of the payment of wages in the Middle Chamber, or of the construction of the pillars of the Porch. But these legends do not perform any very important part in the constitution of the Degree.

The lessons which are communicated to the candidate in these primitive Degrees are conveved, principally, through the medium of symbols, while there is, at least in the working of the Degrees, but little tradition or legendary teaching, with the exception of the great legend of Freemasonry, the Golden Legend of the Order, to be found in the Master’s Degree, and which is, itself, a symbol of the most abstruse and solemn signification. But even in this instance, interesting as are the details of the legend, they are only subordinate to the symbol. Hiram the Builder is the profound symbol of manhood laboring for immortality, and all the different points of the legend are simply clustered around it, only to throw out the symbol in bolder relief. The legend is of itself inert—it is the symbol of the Master Workrnan that gives it life and true meaning.

Symbolism is, therefore, the prevailing characteristic of these primitive Degrees; and it is because all the science and philosophy and religion of Ancient Craft Masonry is thus concealed from the profane but unfolded to the initiates in symbols, that the first three Degrees which comprise it are said to be symbolic. Now, nothing of this kind is to be found in the Degrees above and beyond the third, if we except the Royal Arch, which, however, as we have already intimated, was, quite likely, originally a part of Ancient Craft Masonry, and was unnaturally torn from the Master’s Degree, of which it, as every Masonic student knows, constituted the complement and consummation. Take, for example, the intermediate Degrees of the American Chapter, Such, for instance, as the Mark and Most Excellent Master. Here we find the symbolic feature ceasing to predominate, and the traditional or legendary taking its place. It is true that in these capitular Degrees the use of symbols is not altogether abandoned. This could not well be, for the symbol constitutes the very essence of Freemasonry. The symbolic element is still to be discovered in these Degrees, but only in a position subordinate to legendary instruction.

As an illustration, let us consider the Keystone in the Mark Master’s Degree. Now, no one will deny that this is, strictly speaking, a symbol, and a very important and beautiful one, too. It is a symbol of a fraternal covenant between those who are engaged in the common search after Divine Truth. But, in the role or part which it plays in the ritual of this Degree, the symbol, however beautiful and appropriate it may be, is in a manner lost sight of, and the keystone derives almost all its importance and interest from the traditional history of its construction, its architectural design, and its fate. It is as the subject of a legend, and not as a symbol, that it attracts attention.

Now, in the Third or Master’s Degree we find the Trowel, which is a symbol of almost precisely the same import as the Keystone. They both refer to a Masonic Covenant. But no legend, no tradition, no history, is connected with the Trowel. It presents itself simply and exclusively as a symbol.

Hence we learn that symbols do not in the capitular, as in the primitive, Degrees of Freemasonry strike the eye, and inform the mind, and teach the heart, in every part of the Lodge, and in every part of the ceremonial initiation. On the contrary, the capitular Degrees are almost altogether founded on and composed of a series of events in Masonic history. Each of them has attached to it some tradition or legend which it is the design of the Degree to illustrate, and the memory of which is preserved in its ceremonies and instructions.

That most of these legends are themselves of symbolic signification is not denied. But this is their interior sense. In their outward and ostensible meaning, they appear before us simply as legends. To retain these legends in the memory of Freemasons appears to have been the primary design of the establishment of the higher Degrees, and as the information intended to be communicated in these Degrees is of a historical character, there can of course be but little room for symbols or for symbolic instruction, the profuse use of which would rather tend to an injury than to a benefit, by complicating the purposes of the ritual and confusing the mind of the aspirant. The celebrated French writer Ragon, objects to this exclusive application of the term symbolic to the first three Degrees as a sort of unfavorable criticism on the higher Degrees, and as if implying that the latter are entirely devoid of the element of symbolism.

But he has mistaken the true import and meaning of the application. It is not because the higher or capitular and cryptic Degrees are altogether without symbols—for such is not the ease—that the term symbolic is withheld from them, but because symbolic instruction does not constitute their predominating characteristic, as it does of the first three Degrees. Hence the Freemasonry taught in these three primitive Degrees is very properly called Symbolic Freemasonry, and the Lodge in which this Freemasonry is taught is known as a Symbolic Lodge.


The Freemasonry that is concerned with the first three Degrees in all the Rites. This is the technical meaning. But in a more general sense, Symbolic Freemasonry is that Masonry, wherever it may be found, whether in the primary or in the high Degrees, in which the lessons are communicated by symbols (see Symbolic Degrees).


The lectures appropriated to the First, Second, and Third Degrees are sometimes called Symbolic Lectures; but the term is more properly applied to any lecture which treats of the meaning of Masonic symbols, in contradistinction to one which discusses only the history of the Order, and which would, therefore, be called a Historical Lecture. But the English Freemasons have a lecture called the Symbolical Lecture, in which is explained the forms, symbols, and ornaments of Royal Arch Masonry, as well as its rites and ceremonies.


A Lodge of Master Masons, with the Fellow Craft and Apprentice Lodge worked under its Constitution, is called a Symbolic Lodge, because in it the Symbolie Degrees are conferred (see Symbolic Degrees).


Machinery is a term employed in epic and dramatic poetry to denote some agency introduced by the poet to serve some purpose or accomplish some event. Faber, in treating of the Apocalypse, speaks of “a patriarchal scheme of symbolical machinery derived most plainly from the events of the Dehlge, and borrowed, with the usual perverse misapplication, by the contrivers of paganism, but which has since been reclaimed by Christianity to its proper use.” Doctor Oliver thinks that this “scheme of symbolical machinery” was “the primitive Freemasonry, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” But, without adopting this questionable hypothesis, it must be admitted that Freemasonry, in seenue representations sometimes used in its initiations, has, like the epic poets, and drama tints, and the old hierophants, availed itself of the use of symbolic machinery.


The science which is engaged in the investigation of the meaning of symbols, and the application of their interpretation to moral, religious, and philosophical instruction. In this sense, Freemasonry is essentially a Science of Symbolism. The English lectures define Freemasonry to be “a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” The definition would be more correct were it in these words: Freemasonry is a system of morality developed and inculcated by the science of symbolism. It is this peculiar character as a symbolic institution, this entire adoption of the method of instruction by symbolism, which gives its whole identity to Freemasonry and has caused it to differ from every other association that the ingenuity of man has devised. It is this that has bestowed upon it that attractive form which has always secured the attachment of its disciples and its own perpetuity.

The Roman Catholic Church is, perhaps, the only contemporaneous institution which continues to cultivate, in any degree, the beautiful system of symbolism. But that which, in the Roman Catholic Church, is, in a great measure, incidental, and the fruit of development, is, in Freemasonry, the very life-blood and soul of the Institution, born with it at its birth, or, rather, the germ from which the tree has sprung, and still giving it support, nourishment, and even existence. Withdraw from Freemasonry its symbolism, and you take from the body its soul, leaving behind nothing but a lifeless mass of effete matter, fitted only for a rapid decay. Since, then, the science of symbolism forms so important a part of the system of Freemasonry, it will be well to commence any discussion of that subject by an investigation of the nature of symbols in general.

There is no science so ancient as that of symbolism, and no mode of instruction has ever been so general as was the symbolic in former ages. “The first learning in the world,” says the great antiquary, Doctor Stukely, “consisted chiefly of symbols. The wisdom of the Chaldeans, Phenicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanchoniathon, Pherecydes, Syrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, of all the ancients that is come to our hand, is symbolic.” The learned Faber remarks, that “allegory and personification were peculiarly agreeable to the genius of antiquity, and the simplicity of truth was continually sacrificed at the shrine of poetical decoration.” In fact, man’s earliest instruction was by symbols. The objective character of a symbol is best calculated to be grasped by the infant mind, whether the infancy of that mind be considered nationally or individually Hence, in the first ages of the world in its infancy, all propositions, theological, political, or scientific were expressed in the form of symbols. Thus the first religions were eminently symbolical, because, as that great philosophical historian, Grote, has remarked, “At a time when language was yet in its infaney, visible symbols were the most vivid means of acting upon the minds of ignorant hearers.”

Even in the very formation of language, the medium of communication between man and man, and which must hence have been an elementary step in the progress of human improvement, it was found necessary to have recourse to symbols, for words are only and truly certain arbitrary symbols by which and through which we give an utterance to our ideas. The construction of language was, therefore, one of the first products of the science of symbolism. We must constantly bear in mind this fact of the primary existence and predominance of symbolism in the earliest times, when we are investigating the nature of the ancient religions, with which the history of Freemasonry is so intimately connected. The older the religion, the more the symbolism abounds. Modern religions may convey their dogmas in abstract propositions; ancient religions always conveyed them in symbols.

Thus there is more symbolism in the Egyptian religion than in the Jewish, more in the Jewish than in the Christian, more in the Christian than in the Mohammedan, and, lastly, more in the Roman than in the Protestant.

But symbolism is not only the most ancient and general, but it is also the most practically useful, of sciences. We have already seen how actively it operates in the early stages of life and of society.

We have seen how the first ideas of men and of nations are impressed upon their minds by means of symbols. It was thus that the ancient peoples were almost wholly educated. “In the simpler stages of society,” says one writer on this subject, “mankind can be instructed in the abstract knowledge of truths only by symbols and parables. Hence we find most heathen religions becoming mythic or explaining their mysteries by allegories, or instructive incidents. Nay, God Himself, knowing the nature of the creatures formed by him, has condescended, in the earlier revelations that He made of Himself, to teach by symbols; and the greatest of all Teaehers instructed the multitudes by parables. The great exemplar of the ancient philosophy and the grand archetype of modern philosophy were alike distinguished by their possessing this faculty in a high degree, and have told us that man was best instructed by similitudes.”

Such is the system adopted in Freemasonry for the development and inculcation of the great religious and philosophical truths, of which it was, for so many years, the sole conservator. And it is for this reason that we have already remarked, that any inquiry into the symbolic character of Freemasonry, must be preceded by an investigation of the nature of symbolism in general, if we would properly appreciate its particular use in the organization of the Masonic Institution.


A term used in France, in 1773, by the Schismatic Grand Orient during its contests with the Grand Lodge, to denote the fusion of several Lodges into one. The word was never introduced into English Freemasonry, and has become obsolete in France.


In 1757, the Associate Synod of Seceders of Scotland adopted an Act, concerning what they called the Mason Oath, in which it is declared, that all persons

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