En: MACKEY - Masonry Defined

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MACKEY - Masonry Defined

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Source / Credit: Scanned at Phoenixmasonry by Ralph W. Omholt, PM in May 2007.

MASONRY DEFINED, A Liberal Masonic Education


Compiled from the Writings of, DR. Albert G. Mackey 33° and Many Other Eminent Authorities

Questions Every Mason Should Be Able to Answer


  • ABIF

1. Why was Hiram, our ancient Grand Master, called "ABIF?"


2. How is moral purification symbolized?


3. What is the ancient rule regarding attendance at Lodge?


4. What is the symbolism of the sprig of Acacia?


5. Why are Masons said to be "Free and Accepted?"


6. What is the meaning of "Free Will and Accord?"


7. What is the preliminary step in every Masonic trial?


8. Who is the prosecuting officer of a Lodge?


9. Does acquittal of a Mason by a jury prevent his being tried again by a Lodge on the same charge?


10. What action should a Lodge take on receipt of a favorable report on a petition?


11. When is a Lodge or Brother said to be "active?"

  • ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP, Prerogative of

12. What are the prerogatives of the active members of a Lodge?

  • ADAMS, John Quincy,

13. What President of the United States was a bitter opponent of Freemasonry?


14. What are the qualifications of Lodge officers?


15. What rules govern a Brother while speaking in a Lodge?


16. To whom does the term "adhering Mason" apply?


17. How many candidates can be made Masons on the same day?


18. Has the Master the right to deny a member admission to his own Lodge?


19. What right has a new Lodge with respect to the admission of members?


20. Has the Master of a Lodge the right to decline to admit, as a visitor, a Master Mason in good standing?


21. What is the duty of the Tiler with reference to the admission of persons to a Lodge room?


22. How should a Brother be admonished?


23. Who was Adoniram?


24. What is the relation of women to Masonry in France and in America?


25. How is the word "advanced" technically used in Masonry?

  • ADVANCEMENT, denial of

26. What is the status of an Entered Apprentice if the Lodge denies him advancement?

  • ADVANCEMENT, right of

27. Does an Entered Apprentice have the right of advancement?


28. What are the supports of the Adytum or Lodge?


29. Of what were the ancient Lodges schools?


30. What is the distinction between an affiliated and a non affiliated Mason?


31. What is the Masonic meaning of the term "affiliation?"


32. Are there any geographical restrictions on the right of affiliation?

  • AFFILIATION, petition for

33. To what Lodge or Lodges may a Mason apply for affiliation?

  • AGAPE, Love Feast

34. What is the relation of the ancient Love Feast to Masonry?


35. Of what was the stone of foundation formed?


36. Is the age of twenty one the lawful age of admission in all Masonic jurisdictions?


37. Certain numbers are assigned as the symbolic ages of Masons of various degrees. What are they, and why?


38. How is the word "agenda" used in Masonry?


39. What was the book of the Constitutions of the Ancient Masons called?


40. To what extent should a Mason extend aid to a worthy distressed brother?


41. By what three elements is a Mason proved?


42. In what sense is the word "alarm" used in Masonry?


43. What is the sacred book of the Mohammedans called?

  • ALDWORTH, the Hon. Mrs.

44. Has a woman ever been made a Mason?


45. What is the name of God in the Mohammedan religion?


46. What effect does non affiliation have upon the allegiance of a Mason to the fraternity?


47. What is the symbolism of the All Seeing Eye?


48. What allurements does Masonry hold out?


49. What is the symbolism of the Almond tree?


50. What is the symbolism of the Masonic altar?


51. What is the Steward's Jewel, and why?

  • AMEN

52. Why do Masons say "amen" at the close of prayer?


53. What is an Amulet?


54. What is the symbolism of the Anchor?


55. Of what are the Anchor and Ark the emblems?


56. What is included in Ancient Craft Masonry?


57. How many degrees were there in Ancient Craft Masonry?


58. Who and what were the Ancient Masons?


59. Who was the author of the "Constitutions of the Freemasons?"


60. Who is the patron saint of Scottish Masons?


61. What are the two principal anniversaries of symbolic Masonry?


62. What is the precedent for annual meetings of Grand Lodges?


63. Why is Masonry mysterious?


64. What is the most useful form of Masonic charity?


65. Did the anti Masonic party ever nominate a candidate for President?


66. Who was alleged to have been murdered by Masons?


67. In what year did Masonry become entirely speculative?


68. What is permitted to be printed about Masonry and what is not?


69. Has a Grand Lodge the right to entertain an appeal to reverse a ballot?


70. Does an appeal lie from a decision of the Grand Master to the Grand Lodge?


71. Does an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft enjoy the right of Masonic relief?

  • APPEAL, right of

72. What rights does a Mason have to appeal from a decision against him?


73. How should an appeal to Grand Lodge be made?

  • APPELLANT, status of

74. What is the Masonic status of an Appellant during the pendency of an appeal?

  • APPOINTMENTS, Grand Master's prerogative of

75. What is the Grand Master's prerogative with respect to appointments?


76. Who has the prerogative of appointing the junior officers of a Lodge?


77. Who has the right to appoint substitute officers in the absence of appointive officers of a Lodge?


78. What is the symbolism of the Masonic Apron?


79. What is the relation of Architecture to Masonry?


80. For what were the pillars "B" and "J" used?


81. What was the Ark of the Covenant and for what was it used?


82. What armorial bearings have been borne by Freemasons?


83. How were the 18th Century Lodges arranged?


84. What is the status of a Lodge whose warrant has been arrested?

  • ARTS, liberal

85. In what degree are the seven liberal arts and sciences explained?


86. How does a Fellowcraft ascend to receive his wages?


87. Of what is the Ashlar emblematic?


88. What name is applied to a seeker of Masonic light?

  • ASS

89. Of what is the Ass an emblem?


90. Why cannot an atheist become a Freemason?


91. What is the duty of a Mason in respect to attendance at his Lodge?


92. Under what circumstances is it necessary for a Lodge to submit an attested copy of charges against a member?


93. In what city are some of the best examples of Operative Masonry to be found?


94. What regulations govern Masonic avouchments?

  • AVOUCHMENT AT second Hand

95. May a Master Mason lawfully vouch for a visitor on the authority of another?

  • AXE

96. Why was King Solomon's temple built without the use of iron tools?


97. What is the color appropriate to symbolic Masonry?



98. What punishment was meted out to the Jews who failed to keep the ordinances of Jehovah?

  • BACH

99. What is the symbolism of the fourth point of fellowship?


100. What is the badge of a Master Mason and Why?


101. What is the symbolism of the canopy over the Master's chair?

  • BALLOT, method of

102. What is the proper method of conducting the ballot?

  • BALLOT, reconsideration of

103. Has a Grand Master power to order reconsideration of a ballot?

  • BALLOT, secrecy of the

104. Has a Mason the right to announce how he has cast his ballot for a candidate?


105. Do the members of a Lodge under dispensation have the right of ballot on candidates?

  • BAND

106. How should lodge officers wear their jewels?


107. Should the Worshipful Master be present at Masonic banquets?


108. What is the symbolism of pulling off the shoes?


109. What is a Basilica?


110. What is the badge of the Marshal of a Lodge?


111. Why do Masons cultivate order, harmony and beauty?


112. Of what is the beehive emblematic?


113. What is the ethical code of Freemasonry?


114. Upon what scriptural basis are the lectures of Freemasonry largely founded?


115. How were the Fellowcrafts employed in the building of King Solomon's temple?


116. Of what do the charities of the Masonic order (in part) consist?


117. Do we betray Masonic secrets?


118. What is the relation of the Bible to Freemasonry?

  • BIBLE, requirement of

119. Is a candidate for Masonry required to believe in the divine authenticity of the Scriptures?


120. What do the colors, black and white, symbolize?


121. Is the rule that one black ball rejects of universal application?


122. What is the symbolism of the blazing star?


123. What is the symbolism of the color blue?

  • BOAZ

124. What was the name of the left hand pillar on the porch of King Solomon's temple?


125. What is the Book of Constitutions?


126. What is the symbolism of the Book of the Law?


127. What are the ornaments of a Lodge?


128. What do the two pillars on the tracing board represent?


129. What is the duty of a Mason with respect to a Brother's secrets?


130. What is a Mason called who has mastered the ritual?


131. What was the Broached Thurnal?


132. Of what is the broken column emblematic?


133. In what sense is Freemasonry called a brotherhood?


134. How does the Master of a European Lodge greet a newly made Mason?


135. What Masonic duties are implied by the tenets of brotherly love?


136. What were the bulls issued by the Popes against the Masonic order?


137. What right of burial has a Master Mason?

  • BURIAL, Masonic

138. May an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft take part in a Masonic funeral procession?


139. Does an Entered Apprentice have the right of Masonic Burial?


140. Where is the burial place of a Master Mason?


141. Where were treasures commonly concealed in ancient times?


142. On what degree should the business of a Lodge be transacted, and why?


143. What are the rules called that govern a Lodge?

  • BY LAWS, powers of Grand Lodge over

144. What are the powers of a Grand Lodge with respect to the by laws of a subordinate Lodge?

  • BY LAWS, right of making

145. Has a Lodge the right to prescribe its own by laws?

  • BY LAWS, uniform code of

146. Has a Grand Lodge the right to prescribe the by laws of constituent Lodges?



147. What is the length of a Mason's cable tow?


148. What country did King Solomon cede to Hiram, King of Tyre?


149. What calendars have been adopted by the various branches of Freemasonry?


150. What term is applied to the temporary postponement of the labors of a Lodge?


151. What are the qualifications for admission to Freemasonry?


152. What is the Masonic significance of the cardinal points?


153. What are the four cardinal virtues?


154. What is the Masonic carpet?


155. What part of the Masonic ritual is in the form of a catechism?


156. What great woman ruler prohibited Masonry in her country, and afterwards fostered, encouraged and protected it?


157. What new name is given to the Entered Apprentice, and why?


158. Why was secrecy observed by our ancient operative brethren?

  • CAVE

159. Where did King Solomon have a cave dug and for what purpose?


160. What are the characteristics of the cedars of Lebanon?


161. What is the cement of the Lodge?

  • CENSURE, nature and effect of

162. What is the nature and effect of Masonic censure?


163. What is the Masonic center of unity?

  • CENTER, opening on

164. What symbolic degree is said to be opened on the center?


165. How far must the labors of a Freemason penetrate?


166. What should be the mental attitude of one taking the degrees of Masonry?


167. What is the force and value of a Masonic certificate?


168. What do all Masons upon earth form?


169. Of what are charcoal and clay emblematic?


170. What was the effect of the change from operative to speculative Freemasonry on the status of an Entered Apprentice?


171. What is the status of the Chaplain in ancient craft Masonry?

  • CHAPLAIN, Grand

172. What are the duties of a Grand Chaplain of a Grand Lodge?


173. Has a virtual or chapter Past Master the status of a Past Master of a Lodge?


174. What moral qualifications are demanded of an applicant for the degrees of Masonry?


175. What solemn admonitions are given at the close of each degree of Masonry?


176. What is the proper form and effect of Masonic charges?

  • CHARGES, Ancient

177. What are the so called Ancient charges?

  • CHARGES OF 1722

178. What charges were adopted in 1722, and by whom were they presented?


179. What is the brightest ornament of our Masonic profession?


180. What document is required to make the meetings of a Lodge regular?


181. What is the ancient admonition of the craft with respect to chastity?


182. What is the chief point in Masonry?


183. As true Masons, from what do we stand redeemed?


184. What qualifications should be required of officers of a Lodge?


185. Of what is the circle emblematic?


186. Of what is the point within a circle emblematic?


187. What is a Mason's duty as to his words and carriage?


188. How did King Solomon classify the workmen on the temple?


189. Where were the pillars of the Temple cast?


190. What is the symbolism of clean hands?


191. Who was the Pope who issued a bull against Freemasonry?


192. Can a Masonic Lodge be adjourned?


193. When is a Mason properly clothed?

  • CLOTHING, partial

194. Of what, in Masonry, is partial clothing a symbol?


195. Should anyone be urged to become a Mason against his will?


196. Of what is the Coffin emblematic?


197. What are the duties of the Secretary with reference to the collection of Lodge dues?


198. What are the Masonic colors and what do they represent?


199. What is the prerogative of the Master with reference to lodge committees?


200. Is it lawful for a Masonic Lodge to sit as a committee of the whole?

  • COMMITTEES, regulations governing

201. What are the regulations which govern committees of the Lodge?


202. What term signifies a regular meeting of a Lodge?


203. How may charges of un-masonic conduct be communicated to a non resident brother?

  • COMO

204. What city was headquarters of the operative Masons during the dark ages?


205. Of what is a line drawn by the compasses emblematic?


206. How should complaints against a brother be handled?


207. What is the definition of a Grand Lodge and of whom is it composed?


208. Upon what should the Master of a Lodge found his government?


209. Who performs the duty of conducting a candidate during Masonic work?


210. Has the Grand Lodge the power to confer the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry?


211. What is the real meaning of the so called "Oath"?


212. What efforts have been made to establish a General Grand Lodge for the United States?

  • CONSECRATION, elements of

213. What materials are used by Masons for consecration purposes?


214. What custom should be observed on the day of consecration?

  • CONSENT, unanimous

215. What is the origin of the rule requiring unanimous consent to the admission of a candidate?

  • CONSTITUTE, legally

216. When is a Lodge legally constituted?

  • CONSTITUTION, just and legal

217. When is a Lodge said to be justly and legally constituted?


218. What is the effect of the ceremony of constitution?


219. What subjects of discussion are barred from the Lodge room?


220. Can a Lodge be congregated without the consent of the Master?


221. What was the origin of the Corinthian columns?

  • CORN

222. What is the symbolism of Corn?

  • CORNER STONE, symbolism of the

223. What is the symbolism of the Corner stone?

  • CORNUCOPIA, or the horn of plenty

224. Of what is the Cornucopia emblematic?


225. What is the duty of the Secretary with reference to the correspondence of the Lodge?


226. Has a Master Mason on trial the right to employ counsel?


227. What are the obligations of the Masonic covenant?


228. Why are Cowans excluded from a Lodge?


229. Define the word "Craft."


230. As a Craftsman, what are you to encourage?

  • CREED, a Mason's

231. What is the creed of a Freemason?

  • CRIMES, Masonic

232. What constitutes a crime in Freemasonry?

  • CRIMES, Masonic punishment of

233. What is the definition of a Masonic crime?


234. Who were called "cross legged" Masons?


235. Of what was the "crown of thorns" on the Savior's brow composed?


236. What is the legend of the cubical stone?


237. What is the length of a cubit?


238. What is one of the prevailing passions of the human heart?


239. To whom is entrusted the custody of the ballot box?


240. Who has the custody of the warrant of constitution?



241. Of what is darkness a symbol?


242. What are the privileges of a Mason's daughter?


243. Why is the Senior Warden's station in the west?


244. What part have the Deacons in the work of the Craft?


245. What is the symbolic meaning of Death?


246. What are the Masonic rules of debate?

  • DEBATES, prohibited

247. What subjects of debate are prohibited in a Lodge?


248. Has a Master of a Lodge the right to permit an appeal by courtesy from a decision?

  • DECISIONS OF THE MASTER, appeals from

249. What rules govern appeals from a decision of a master of a Lodge?


250. What declaration is required from candidates for initiation into Masonry?


251. What is meant by "declaring off?"


252. To whom were Lodges formerly dedicated?

  • DEDICATION, ceremony of

253. What is the origin of the ceremony of dedication?


254. What is a Mason's duty as to the good name of his brethren?


255. What is the meaning and effect of the Masonic penalty of definite suspension?


256. What is the definition of Freemasonry?


257. What does the word "degree" signify?


258. Why are there degrees in Masonry?

  • DEGREES, ancient

259. What was the custom of ancient craft Masonry in conferring the three degrees?


260. Under what circumstances can a Mason exercise the right of demission?


261. What is a Masonic demit, and how does it affect his standing in the Craft?


262. Can a Mason be lawfully deprived of the right of participation in a ballot?


263. What are the office and function of a Deputy Grand Master?

  • DEPUTY GRAND MASTER, prerogatives of

264. Has the Deputy Grand Master the prerogative of establishing Lodges and granting dispensations?


265. Who is called the father of modern speculative Freemasonry?


266. What is the design of Freemasonry?


267. What Masonic degree is based on the destruction of the Temple?


268. How may a brother make progress in Masonry?


269. What is the fourth section of the first lecture called?


270. How did King Solomon diffuse Masonry throughout the world?


271. Why should a Mason carry a traveling certificate or diploma?


272. What system of discipline should be enforced in Masonic Lodges?


273. What discovery was made at the building of the second Temple?


274. Has a Mason the right to declare how he voted on a ballot?


275. What is a dispensation and by whom can it be granted?

  • DISPENSATION, by laws of Lodges under

276. Has a Lodge under dispensation power to enact its own by laws?

  • DISPENSATION, candidates of a Lodge under

277. By what procedure are candidates of a Lodge under dispensation elected?

  • DISPENSATION, length of

278. How long does a Lodge usually run under dispensation?

  • DISPENSATION, Lodge under

279. What is the status of a Mason made in a Lodge under dispensation?


280. Has a Grand Lodge the right to issue a dispensation to admit a Mason without unanimous consent?


281. Has the Grand Master the right to grant a dispensation for the election of a Master in the event of the Master's death or disability?


282. What is the status of a Lodge under dispensation?


283. How should disputes between Masons be disposed of?


284. On what grounds may a Masonic Lodge be lawfully dissolved?


285. Is Freemasonry a charitable institution?


286. What official in British Freemasonry corresponds to the District Deputy Grand Master?


287. Into what three classes are Masonic offenses divided?


288. What do the three degrees blend?


289. What is the second order of architecture?


290. What is the meaning of the word "dotage" as used in Free masonry?


291. May charges be lawfully brought by a Masonic Lodge for an offense for which the brother has already been punished by the civil authorities?


292. What is a good rule in all doubtful matters?

  • DOVE

293. Of what is the dove emblematic?


294. What distinguishes "due form" from "ample form"?


295. What does the due guard teach?

  • DUE GUARD, meaning of

296. What is the due guard?

  • DUES

297. What are the rights of a Lodge with respect to establishing dues and assessments?

  • DUES, payment of

298. What is the origin of the custom requiring the payment of dues?


299. Ts a Mason required to pay dues while under suspension?


300. Can a dumb person become a Mason?


301. What are the duties of a Lodge with reference to the reputation of ancient craft Masonry?


302. What duties do Masons owe to God, their neighbors and them selves?

  • DUTY

303. What are the duties of a Mason?


  • EAST

304. Why does the Worshipful Master sit in the east?


305. What was the Masonic punishment for eavesdropping?


306. Can Masonic charges be based upon ecclesiastical or political offenses?


307. What degrees of Masonry are based on the rebuilding of the Temple?


308. What were the Egyptian mysteries?


309. What qualifications should be sought in the choice of the officers of a Lodge?


310. What was formerly the custom of the Craft with regard to the choice of Grand Wardens?


311. How often and at what time should the officers of a Lodge be elected?


312. Has a Lodge under dispensation the right to elect its own officers?

  • ELECTIONS, regulations governing

313. What rules govern the election of a Masonic official?


314. What steps must be taken to fill a vacancy in an office in a Masonic Lodge?


315. What is required for eligibility to the office of Grand Warden?


316. What other office must a Master Mason have held to become eligible to be Master of a Lodge?


317. Who are eligible for election as Tiler in a Masonic Lodge?


318. What are the prerogatives of a Past Master with respect to office in the Grand Lodge?


319. What prerogatives do Wardens enjoy with reference to eligibility for election to office?


320. What regulations govern eligibility to office in a Lodge?


321. What is the difference between an Emblem and a Symbol?


322. What constitutes a case of emergency in Masonry and who is the Judge?


323. As an Entered Apprentice, what was the Mason taught?


324. Are Entered Apprentices entitled to Masonic relief?

  • ENTERED APPRENTICE, right of visitation

325. Does an Entered Apprentice have the right of visitation?


326. What rights does a candidate obtain after receiving the Entered Apprentice degree?


327. What was the original status of the Entered Apprentice degree?


328. What penitential hymn of King Solomon is read on the entrance of the candidate in the third degree?

  • ENVY

329. What should be the attitude of a Mason toward a brother?


330. What is a Masonic equality?


331. Why must the Masonic oath be taken without equivocation?


332. What is the status of a Mason whose name has been stricken from the roll for non payment of dues?


333. What distinguishes exoteric from esoteric Freemasonry?


334. What are the essential secrets of Masonry?


335. What should be the attitude of Masons toward the Church?


336. Why cannot a Eunuch become a Mason?

  • EUNUCHS, status of

337. Were Eunuchs ever eligible for initiation into Masonry?


338. Why do Masons wear evergreens at funerals?


339. Is it lawful to admit on appeal new evidence not presented at the original trial?


340. How should we treat a stranger who claims to be a Mason?


341. By whom should the officers of a newly organized Lodge be examined?


342. Under what circumstances may a visitor be admitted to a Lodge without examination?


343. Has a Lodge a right to exclude a member on cause shown temporarily or permanently, from a Lodge?

  • EXCLUSION, meaning of

344. What is the Masonic definition of the word "exclusion"?


345. How are the executive powers of a Grand Lodge exercised?


346. What privileges were given the Masons selected to build the Temple?


347. Has a Masonic Lodge the right to try its Master on charges?


348. Has the Grand Lodge the right to pass Ex Post Facto laws?


349. What is the effect of the expulsion of a Mason from his Lodge?


350. Is it lawful for a Grand Lodge to expel a member of a subordinate Lodge?

  • EXPULSION, prerogative of

351. In what body is the prerogative of expulsion from Freemasonry vested?


352. What is the extent of a Masonic Lodge?


353. Where does the external preparation of a candidate take place?

  • EYE

354. Of what is the Eye of God symbolic?


355. Why does the candidate wear a hoodwink?

  • Eyesight. He who has been temporarily deprived of his sight is reduced to the condition of a new born babe, or of one of those unfortunate individuals whose natural infirmity renders the presence of a conductor indispensably necessary; but when there are no outward objects to distract his attention, it is then that with the eye of reflection he probes into the deepest and darkest recesses of his own heart, and discovers his natural imperfections and impurities much more readily than he could possibly have done had he not been deprived of his sight. This short deprivation of sight has kindled in his heart a spark of the brightest and the purest flame. "The people which sat in darkness saw a great light." (Mat. iv. 16). We must further admit that those who have been deprived of their sight, and who have hopes of being restored to it, strive most industriously and diligently to obtain it; that they have no greater desire, and that they will most readily pledge themselves to do all that can be required of them, in order to obtain that inestimable blessing.


356 - Upon what is the Masonic system founded?

  • Fabric. The Masonic system exhibits a stupendous and beautiful fabric founded on universal piety. To rule and direct our passions, to have faith and hope in God, and charity towards man, I consider as the objects of what is termed speculative Masonry.

357 - Why should Masons avoid fanaticism?

  • Fanaticism. Fanaticism, or a fanatic, dare not be permitted among Freemasons. We should unanimously strive to obtain that object for which the rules of the Order so powerfully work, and thus there can be no disputes or persecutions among us for diversity of opinion. Every Freemason prays to God in the way his religion teaches him, and he is encouraged so to do in the lodge. If we did not allow the wild dreams of imagination, or the still wilder ones of superstition, to have any effect upon our ideas of God and of godly things, all persecution for difference of religious opinions would fall of themselves. Of fanaticism of whole lodges against each other for a difference in their rituals and systems, there were formerly too many traces; but they have happily for many years entirely ceased. Religious fanaticism cannot have any place in a Freemason's lodge, for the members of every sect of the Christian Church have an equal right in the Order. If a Roman Catholic is at the head of the lodge today, and a Lutheran or a member of the Reformed Church tomorrow, it is scarcely remarked by the brethren.

158 - By which of the five senses does a Mason distinguish a friendly or brotherly grip?

  • Feeling. Feeling is that sense by which we are enabled to distinguish the different qualities of bodies, such as hardness and softness, heat and cold, roughness and smoothness, figure, solidity, motion, and extension, all of which, by means of corresponding sensations of touch, are presented to the mind as real external qualities, and the conception or belief of them invariably connected with these corresponding sensations by an original principle of nature, which far transcends our inquiry.

359 - What are the present rights of Fellowcrafts?

  • Fellowcraft, Right of. At the present day, Fellowcrafts possess no more rights and prerogatives than do Entered Apprentices. Preston, indeed, in his charge to a candidate who has been passed to that degree, says that he is entitled in the meetings to express his "sentiments and opinions on such subjects as are regularly introduced in the lecture, under the superintendence of an experienced Master, who will guard the landmark against encroachment." If this only means that in the course of instruction he may respectfully make suggestions for the purpose of eliciting further information, no one will, I presume, be willing to deny such a privilege. But the traditional theory that Apprentices were not permitted to speak or vote, but that Fellowcrafts might exercise the former right, but not the latter, has no foundation in any positive law that I have been enabled to discover. I have never seen this prerogative of speaking assumed by a Fellowcraft in this country, and doubt whether it would be permitted in any well regulated Lodge.

It was certainly the usage to permit both Apprentices and Fellow crafts to vote, as well as to speak, but there never was such a distinction as that alluded to in the text. The Old Regulations of the Grand Lodge of England provided that "the Grand Master shall allow any Brother, a Fellowcraft, or Entered Prentice, to speak, directing his discourse to his worship in the chair; or to make any motion for the good of the fraternity, which shall be either immediately considered, or else referred to the consideration of the Grand Lodge, at their next communication, stated or occasional." But this regulation has long since been abrogated.

Fellowcrafts formerly possessed the right of being elected Wardens of their Lodge, and even of being promoted to the elevated post of Grand Master, although, of course - and the language of the Regulation implies the fact - a Fellowcraft who had been elected Grand Master, must, after his election, be invested with the Master's degree.

At the present day, Fellowcrafts possess no other rights than those of sitting in a Lodge of their degree, of applying for advancement, and of being tried by their peers for Masonic offences, with the necessary privilege of an appeal to the Grand Lodge.

360 - Why cannot a woman be present in an open Lodge of Freemasons?

  • Females. The only reason why women cannot be present in an open lodge of Freemasons is that their mysteries, being symbolical of labor as performed by man, could not be shared by women; no honest hearted man could for a moment believe that in mind woman is inferior; if a man existed who thought so, let him ask from whom he first imbibed lessons of piety, virtue and honor. But if women cannot share our labor of work, there is no reason why they should not enjoy our labor of love.

361 - Under what name did our ancient brethren worship Deity?

  • Fides. In the lecture of the first degree, it is said that "our ancient brethren worshipped deity under the names of Fides or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by two right hands joined, and some times by two human figures holding each other by the right hands." The deity here referred to was the goddess Fides, to whom Numa first erected temples, and whose priests were covered by a white veil as a symbol of the purity which should characterize Fidelity. No victims were slain on her altars, and no offerings made to her except flowers, wine, and incense. Her statues were represented clothed in a white mantle, with a key in her hand and a dog at her feet. The virtue of Fidelity is, however, frequently symbolized in ancient medals by a heart in the open hand, but more usually by two right hands clasped. Ilorace calls her "incorrupta fides," and makes her the sister of Justice; while Cicero says that that which is religion towards God and Piety towards our parents is fidelity towards our fellow men. There was among the Romans another deity called Fidius, who presided over oaths and contracts, a very usual form of imprecation being "Me Dills Fidius adjuvet," that is, so help me the god Fidius. Noel says that there was an ancient marble at Rome consecrated to the god Fidius, on which was depicted two figures clasping each other's hands as the representatives of Honor and Truth, without which there can be no fidelity nor truth among men. Masonry, borrowing its ideas from the ancient poets, also makes the right hand the symbol of Fidelity.

362 - Who is responsible for the finances of a Masonic Lodge?

  • Finance. The funds of a Lodge are deposited with the Treasurer, who pays them out on the order of the Master, and with the consent of the brethren. According to an ancient practice the funds are first received by the Secretary, who transfers them to the Treasurer, taking his receipt for the same. His yearly accounts are examined by an auditing committee.

363 - What are the moral teachings of the first degree?

  • First Degree. In this lecture virtue is painted in the most beautiful colors, and the beauties of morality are strictly enforced. Here we are taught such wise and useful lessons as prepare the mind for a regular advancement in the principles of knowledge and philosophy; and these are imprinted on the memory by lively and sensible images, well calculated to influence our conduct in the proper discharge of the duties of life. The whole is a regular system of morality, conceived in a strain of interesting allegory, which readily unfolds its beauties to the candid and industrious inquirer.

364 - What are the teachings of the five points of fellowship?

  • Five Points of Fellowship. The five points of fellowship were thus illustrated in the lectures used by the Athol Masons of the last century:
1. "When the necessities of a brother call for my support, I will be ever ready to lend him a helping hand to save him from sinking if I find him worthy thereof.
2. Indolence shall not cause my footsteps to halt, nor wrath to turn them aside, but forgetting every selfish consideration, I will be ever swift of foot to save, help, and execute benevolence to a fellow creature in distress, but more particularly to a brother Mason.
3. When I offer up my ejaculations to Almighty God, I will remember my brother's welfare, even as my own; for as the voice of babes and sucklings ascend to the throne of grace, so most assuredly will the breathings of a fervent heart ascend to the mansions of bliss.
4. A brother's secret, delivered to me as such, I will keep as I would my own, because, if I betray the trust which has been reposed in me, I might do him an irreparable injury; it would be like the villainy of an assassin, who lurks in the darkness to stab his adversary when unarmed and least prepared to meet an enemy.
5. A brother's character I will support in his absence, as I would in his presence. I will not revile him myself, nor suffer it to be done by others, if it is in my power to prevent it. Thus by the five points of fellowship, we are linked together in one indivisible chain of sincere affection, brotherly love, relief, and truth."

365 - In what degree are the lessons of the five senses explained?

  • Five Senses. The brain is wonderfully adapted by its perfect system of nervous sympathy to give the intellectual powers their force, and enable the mind to receive perceptions of every object in the wide creation, that comes within the sphere of hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, and seeing; these being the five human senses explained in the lecture of the Fellow Craft's degree.

366 - What are the fixed lights of a Lodge?

  • Fixed Lights. The fixed lights of a lodge were formerly represented by "three windows, supposed to be in every room where a lodge is held; referring to the cardinal points of the compass, according to the antique rules of Masonry." There was one in the east, another in the west, and another in the south, to light the men to, at, and from labor; but there was none in the north, because the sun darts no rays from thence. These constitute the symbolical situations of the three chief' officers.

367 - Of what is the Mosaic pavement emblematic?

  • Floor. In a symbolical lodge, the first object which deserves attention is the mosaic floor on which we tread; it is intended to convey to our minds the vicissitudes of human affairs, chequered with a strange contrariety of events. Today elated with the smiles of prosperity, tomorrow depressed by the frowns of misfortune. The precariousness of our situation in this world should teach us punctuality, to walk uprightly and firmly upon the broad basis of virtue and religion, and to give assistance to our unfortunate fellow creatures who are in distress; let, on some capricious turn of fortune's wheel, we may become dependent on those who before looked up to us as their benefactors.

368 - What is the symbolism of the foot in Masonry?

  • Foot to Foot. The old lectures of the last century descanted on the symbolism of foot to foot as teaching us "that indolence should not permit the foot to halt or wrath to turn our steps out of the way; but forgetting injuries and selfish feelings, and remembering that man was born for the aid of his fellow creatures, not for his own enjoyments only, but to do that which is good, we should be swift to extend our mercy and benevolence to all, but more particularly to a brother Mason." The present lecture on the same subject gives the same lesson, more briefly and more emphatically, when it says, "we should never halt nor grow weary in the service of a brother Mason."

369 - What is the function of the Grand Lodge Committee on Foreign Correspondence?

  • Foreign Correspondence. Committees of Foreign Correspondence are bodies known only to American Masonry; and until within a few years, as far as the efficient discharge of any duty was concerned, they appear to have been of but little value. But at the present time they occupy an important position in the working of every Grand Lodge.

The Committees on Correspondence are the links which bind the Grand Lodges into one united whole in the pursuit of knowledge; they are the guardians appointed by their respective bodies to inform their constituents what has been the progress of the institution for the past year - to warn them of the errors in discipline or in Masonic science which they may suppose to have been committed - and to suggest the best method by which these errors may be avoided or amended.

370 - What do Masons mean by traveling in a foreign country?

  • Foreign Country. The lecture of the third degree begins by declaring that the recipient was induced to seek that sublime degree "that he might perfect himself in Masonry, so as to travel into foreign countries, and work and receive wages as a Master Mason." Thousands have often heard this ritualistic expression at the opening and closing of a Master's Lodge, without dreaming for a moment of its hidden and spiritual meaning, or, if they think of any meaning at all, they content themselves by interpreting it as referring to the actual travels of the Masons, after the completion of the Temple, into the surrounding countries in search of employment, whose wages were to be the gold and silver which they could earn by the exercise of their skill in the operative art.

But the true symbolic meaning of the foreign country into which the Master Mason travels in search of wages is far different.

The symbolism of this life terminates with the Master's degree. The completion of that degree is the lesson of death and the resurrection to a future life, where the true word, or Divine Truth, not given in this, is to be received as the reward of a life worthily spent in its search. Heaven, the future life, the higher state of existence after death, is the foreign country in which the Master Mason is to enter, and there he is to receive his wages in the reception of that truth which can be imparted only in that better land.

371 - What is the form of a Masonic Lodge?

  • Form of the Lodge. The form of a Masonic lodge is said to be a parallelogram or oblong square - its greatest length being from East to West - its breadth from North to South. A square, a circle, a triangle, or any other form but that of an oblong square would be eminently incorrect and unmasonic, because such a figure would not be an expression of the symbolic idea which is intended to be conveyed. At the Solomonic era - the era of the building of the Temple at Jerusalem - the world, it must be remembered, was supposed to have that very oblong form, which has been here symbolized. If, for instance, on a map of the world, we should inscribe an oblong figure whose boundary lines would circumscribe and include just that portion which was known and inhabited in the days of Solomon, these lines running a short distance North and South of the Mediterranean sea, and ex tending from Spain in the West to Asia Minor in the East, would form an oblong square, including the southern shore of Europe, the northern shore of Africa, and the western district of Asia, the length of the parallelogram being about sixty degrees from East to West, and its breadth being about twenty degrees from North to South. This oblong square, thus inclosing the whole of what was then supposed to be the habitable globe, would precisely represent what is symbolically said to be the form of the lodge, while the Pillars of Hercules in the West, on each side of the straits of Gades or Gibraltar, might appropriately be referred to the two pillars that stood at the porch of the Temple.

A Masonic Lodge is, therefore, a symbol of the world. This symbol is sometimes, by a very usual figure of speech, extended, in its application, and the world and the universe are made synonymous, when the lodge becomes, of course, a symbol of the universe. But in this case the definition of the symbol is extended, and to the ideas of length and breadth are added those of height and depth, and the lodge is said to assume the form of a double cube. The solid contents of the earth below and the expanse of the heavens above will then give the outlines of the cube, and the whole created universe be included within the symbolic limits of a Mason's Lodge.

The form of a Lodge should always be an oblong square, in length, between the East and West; in breadth, between the North and the South; in height, from earth to heaven; and in depth, from the surface to the center. This disposition serves to indicate the prevalence of Freemasonry over the whole face of the globe, guarded by its laws, and ornamented by its beautiful tenets. Every civilized region is illuminated by its presence. Its charity relieves the wretched; its brotherly love unites the Fraternity in a chain of indissoluble affection, and extends its example beyond the limits of the Lodge room, to embrace, in its ample scope, the whole human race, infolding them in its arms of universal love. The square form was esteemed by our ancient operative brethren as one of the Greater Lights, and a component part of the furniture of the Lodge. The double cube is an expressive emblem of the united powers of darkness and light in the creation.

372 - What is the Masonic virtue of fortitude?

  • Fortitude. By fortitude we are taught to resist temptation, and encounter danger with spirit and resolution. This virtue is equally distant from rashness and cowardice; and he who possesses it is seldom shaken, and never overthrown, by the storms that surround him.

373 - When is the ballot box said to be foul?

  • Foul. The ballot box is said to be "foul" when, in the ballot for initiation or advancement of a candidate, one or more black balls are found.

374 - On what days should corner stones be laid?

  • Foundation. The Masonic days proper for laying the foundation stone of a Masons' lodge are from the 15th of April to the 15th of May; and the 18th of April has been pronounced peculiarly auspicious, because nothing can be more consonant with reason and propriety, than to commence a building in the early spring, that the workmen may have the whole summer before them to complete the undertaking advantageously, in order that they may celebrate the cap stone with confidence and joy.

375 - How many degrees had Ancient Freemasonry?

  • Four Degrees. Ancient Masonry consists of four degrees; the first of which are the Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and the sublime degree of Master; and the fourth, the Holy Royal Arch.

376 - In what sense is the word "free" applied to Masons?

  • Free. The word "free," in connection with "Mason," originally signified that the persons so called were free of the company of gild or incorporated Masons. For those operative Masons who were not thus made free of the gild, were not permitted to work with those who were. A similar regulation still exists in many parts of Europe al though it is not known to this country.

In reference to the other sense of free as meaning not bound, not in captivity, it is a rule of Masonry that no one can be initiated who is at the time restrained of his liberty.

The old lectures formerly used in England give the following ac count of the origin of the term: "The Masons who were selected to build the Temple of Solomon were declared Free, and were exempted, together with their descend, ants, from imposts, duties and taxes. They had also the privilege to bear arms. At the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, the posterity of these Masons were carried into captivity with the ancient Jews. But the good will of Cyrus gave them permission to erect a second Temple, having set them at liberty for that purpose. It is from this epoch that we bear the name of Free and Accepted Masons."

377 - How did the title, "Free and Accepted Masons," originate?

  • Free and Accepted. The title of "Free and Accepted Masons" was first used by Dr. Anderson in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in 1738, the title of which is "The History and Constitutions of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons." In the first edition of 1723, the title was "The Constitutions of the Freemasons." The newer title continued to be used by the Grand Lodge of England, in which it was followed by those of Scotland and Ireland; and a majority of the Grand Lodges in this country have adopted the same style, and call themselves Grand Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons.

378 - What must be the status of a candidate for Masonry?

  • Freeborn. No candidate can be admitted into Freemasonry, or share in its occult mysteries, unless he be a free man, of mature age, sound judgment, and strict morality. Nor can any one, although he have been initiated, continue to act as a Mason, or practise the rites of the Order, if he be temporarily deprived of his liberty, or freedom of will, so essential is it to Freemasonry, that its members should be perfectly free in all their actions, thoughts and designs.

379 - What is the distinction between Masonry and Freemasonry?

  • Freemasonry. Masonry, according to the general acceptation of the term, is an art founded on the principles of geometry, and directed to the service and convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry, embracing a wider range and having a nobler object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement of the human mind, may with propriety be called a science, inasmuch as availing itself of the terms of the former, it inculcates the principles of the purest morality, though its lessons are for the most part veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.

380 - What are the best known definitions of Freemasonry?

  • Freemasonry, Definitions of. The definitions of Freemasonry have been numerous, and they all unite in declaring it to be a system of morality, by the practice of which its members may advance their spiritual interest, and mount by the theological ladder, from the lodge on earth to the Lodge in heaven. Subjoined are a few of the most important definitions:
"Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. " - Hemming.
"The grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race. " - Washington.
"Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of pre eminence on its genuine professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune can bestow." - Preston.
"Freemasonry is an establishment founded on the benevolent intention of extending and conferring mutual happiness upon the best and truest principles of moral life and social virtue. " - Calcott.
"Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind." - Andrew Jackson.
"Freemasonry is a moral order, instituted by virtuous men, with the praiseworthy design of recalling to our remembrance the most sublime truths, in the midst of the most innocent and social pleasures, founded on liberality, brotherly love and charity." - Arnold.
"I have ever felt it my duty to support and encourage the principles of Freemasonry, because it powerfully develops all social and benevolent affections. " - Lord Durham.
"From its origin to the present hour, in all its vicissitudes, Masonry has been the steady, unvarying friend of man." - Rev. Erastus Burr.
"Masonry is one of the most sublime and perfect institutions that ever was formed for the advancement of happiness, and the general good of mankind, creating, in all its varieties, universal benevolence and brotherly love." - Duke of Sussex.
"For centuries had Freemasonry existed ere modern political controversies were ever heard of, and when the topics which now agitate society were not known, but all were united in brotherhood and affection. I know the institution to be founded on the great principles of charity, philanthropy, and brotherly love. " - Bulwer.
"Everything which tends to combine men by stronger ties is useful to humanity; in this point of view, Masonry is entitled to respect" - La Lande.
"I think we are warranted in contending that a society thus constituted, and which may be rendered so admirable an engine of improvement, far from meriting reproach, deserves highly of the community. " - Rev. Dr. Milne.
"Charity, or brotherly kindness, is as much a Masonic as it is a Christian virtue." - Rev. Dr. Slade.
"A Mason's Lodge is a school of piety. The principal emblems are the teachers." - Rev. Dr. Norval.
"The aims of Freemasonry are not limited to one form of operation, or one mode of benevolence. Its object is at once moral and social. It proposes both to cultivate the mind and enlarge and purify the heart." - Rev. J. O. Skinner.
"The Masonic system exhibits a stupendous and beautiful fabric founded on universal piety: To rule and direct our passions; to have faith and love in God, and charity toward man." - Stephen Jones.
"There are Great Truths at the foundation of Freemasonry - truths which it is its mission to teach, and which constitute the very essence of that sublime system which gives to the venerable institution its peculiar identity as a science of morality, and it behooves every disciple diligently to ponder and inwardly digest." - Albert Pike.
"Its laws are reason and equity, its principles benevolence and love; and its religion purity and truth; its intention is peace on earth; and its disposition good will toward man." - Rev. T. M. Harris.

381 - Why are Masons forbidden to solicit members?

  • Free Will and Accord. There is one peculiar feature in the Masonic Institution that must command it to the respect of every generous mind. In other associations it is considered meritorious in a member to exert his influence in obtaining applications for admission; but it is wholly uncongenial with the spirit of our Order to persuade any one to become a Mason. Whosoever seeks a knowledge of our mystic rites must first be prepared for the ordeal in his heart; he must not only be endowed with the necessary moral qualifications which would fit him for admission into our ranks, but he must come, too, uninfluenced by friends and unbiased by unworthy motives. This is a settled landmark of the Order; and, therefore, nothing can be more painful to a true Mason than to see this landmark violated by young and heedless brethren.

382 - On what is the universality of Masonry based?

  • Friendship. Friendship is traced through the circle of private connections to the grand system of universal benevolence, which no limits can circumscribe, as its influence extends to every branch of the human race. On this general plan the universality of the system of Masonry is established. Were friendship confined to the spot of our nativity, its operation would be partial, and imply a kind of enmity to other nations. Where the interests of one country interfere with those of another, nature dictates an adherence to the welfare of our own immediate connections; but such interference apart, the true Mason is a citizen of the world, and his philanthropy extends to all the human race. Uninfluenced by local prejudices, he knows no preference in virtue but according to its degree, from whatever country or clime it may spring.

383 - Has the Lodge the right to conduct a funeral procession without a dispensation from the Grand Lodge?

  • Funeral Processions. As to the dispensation spoken of in the Regulations of

1754, as being required from the Grand Master or his Deputy, for a funeral procession, as that regulation was adopted at so late a period, it cannot be considered as universal Masonic law. To make it obligatory in any jurisdiction, it is necessary that it should be adopted as a local law by specific enactment of the Grand Lodge of that jurisdiction. And although it may be admitted that, for large cities especially, it is a very wholesome regulation, many Grand Lodges have neglected or declined to adopt it. In the United States, dispensations for this purpose have very seldom, if at all, been required. In deed, Preston, in explaining the object of the regulation, says: "It was planned to put a stop to mixed and irregular conventions of Masons, and to prevent them from exposing to derision the insignia of the Order, by parading through the streets on unimportant occasions; it was not, however, intended to restrict the privileges of any regular Lodge, or to encroach on the legal prerogative of any installed Master." Accordingly, in America, Masons have generally been permitted to bury their dead without the necessity of a dispensation, and the Master of the Lodge engaged in this melancholy task, while supposed to be possessed of competent discretion to regulate the ceremony, is of course held amenable to the Grand Lodge for any impropriety that may occur.

384 - Under what conditions can Masonic burial be granted?

  • Funeral Services. No Mason can be interred with the ceremonies of the Order, unless it be by his own request, made while living, to the Master of the Lodge of which he died a member; nor unless he has been raised to the third degree of Masonry; sojourners and officers high in the Order excepted. A dispensation has first to be obtained from the Grand Master before any public procession can be allowed to

385 - What is the furniture of the Lodge?

  • Furniture of the Lodge. Every well regulated Lodge is furnished with the Holy Bible, the Square, and the Compasses. These constitute the furniture of the Lodge, being the three Great Lights of Masonry. The first is designed to be the guide of our faith; the second to regulate our actions; and the third to keep us within proper bounds with all mankind.


386 - What is the symbolism of the letter "G"?

  • G. This letter is deservedly regarded as one of the most sacred of the Masonic emblems. Where it is used, however, as a symbol of Deity, it must be remembered that it is the Saxon representative of the Hebrew Yod and the Greek Tau - the initial letters of the name of the Eternal in those languages. This symbol proves that Freemasonry always prosecuted its labors with reference to the grand ideas of Infinity and Eternity. By the letter G - which conveyed to the minds of the brethren, at the same time, the idea of God and that of Geometry - it bound heaven to earth, the divine to the human, and the infinite to the finite. Masons are taught to regard the Universe as the grandest of all symbols, revealing to men, in all ages, the ideas which are eternally revolving in the mind of the Deity, and which it is their duty to reproduce in their own lives and in the world of art and industry. Thus God and Geometry, the material worlds and the spiritual spheres, were constantly united in the speculations of the ancient Masons. They, consequently, labored earnestly and unweariedly, not only to construct cities, and embellish them with magnificent edifices, but also to build up a temple of great and divine thoughts and of ever growing virtues for the soul to dwell in. The symbolical letter G * * * "That hieroglyphic bright, Which none but craftsmen ever saw," and before which every true Mason reverently uncovers, and bows his head - is a perpetual condemnation of profanity, impiety and vice. No brother who has bowed before that emblem can be profane. He will never speak the name of the Grand Master of the Universe but with reverence, respect and love. He will learn, by studying the mystic meaning of the letter G, to model his life after the divine plan; and, thus instructed, he will strive to be like God in the activity and earnestness of his benevolence, and the broadness and efficiency of his charity. "The letter G occupies a prominent position in several of the degrees in the American system; is found in many of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite; in Adonhiramite Masonry; and, in fact, in every one of the many systems in which the people of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were so prolific in manufacturing. Wherever we find this recondite symbol in any of the Masonic rites, it has the same significance - a substitute for the Hebraic jod, the initial letter of the Divine name, and a monogram that ex pressed the Unereated Being, principle of all things; and, inclosed in a triangle, the unity of God. We recognize the same letter G in the Syriac Gad, the Swedish Gud, the German Gott, and the English God - all names of the Deity and all derived from the Persian Goda, itself derived from the absolute pronoun signifying himself. The young Fellowcraft is the representative of a student of the sciences, and to him the letter G represents the science of Geometry."

387 - Is the Temple merely a symbol in Masonry, or an historical building?

  • Gates of the Temple. In the system of Freemasonry, the Temple of Solomon is represented as having a gate on the east, west, and south sides but none on the north. In reference to the historical Temple of Jerusalem, such a representation is wholly incorrect. In the walls of the building itself there were no places of entrance except the door of the porch, which gave admission to the house. But in the surrounding courts there were gates at every point of the compass. The Masonic idea of the Temple is, however, entirely symbolic. The Temple is to the Speculative Mason only a symbol, not an historical building, and the gates are imaginary and symbolic also. They are, in the first place, symbols of the progress of the sun in his daily course, rising in the east, culminating to the meridian in the south, and setting in the west. They are also, in the allegory of life, which it is the object of the third degree to illustrate, symbols of the three stages of youth, manhood, and old age, or, more properly of birth, life, and death.

388 - What is the symbolism of the gavel?

  • Gavel. An emblem in the degree of Entered Apprentice. It is a hammer with an edge such as is used by stone masons to break off the corners of stones, in preparing them for the builder's use. In the Masonic system it is employed as a symbol by which the Mason is constantly admonished to divest his mind and conscience of all the vices and errors of life, thereby fitting his body as a living stone for that building "that house not made with hands - eternal in the heavens." It is also an emblem of authority, and is used by the Master in governing the Lodge. It is sometimes erroneously confounded with the setting maul, which is quite a different instrument. It borrows its name from its shape, being that of the gable or gavel end of a house; and this word again comes from the German gip f el, a summit, top or peak - the idea of a pointed extremity being common to all. The form of the gavel used by the presiding officer of a Masonic Lodge varies in different sections of the country. Among our French and Spanish brethren, it is familiarly known as the president's hammer. The stone mason's hammer is the appropriate emblem of authority in the hand of the Master of the Lodge. The gavel is also called a Hiram.

389 - What is the origin of the General Regulations of Ancient Craft Masonry?

  • General Regulations. The General Regulations are those that have been enacted by such bodies as had at the time universal jurisdiction over the craft. By the concurring consent of all Masonic jurists, it is agreed that the regulations adopted previous to the year 1721 shall be considered as general in their nature; because all the Masonic authorities established since that period have derived their existence, either directly or indirectly, from the Grand Lodge of England, which was organized in 1717, and hence the regulations adopted by that body, at the period of its organization, and immediately afterwards, or by its predecessors, the annual General Assemblies of the craft, were of universal authority at the time of their adoption. But soon after 1721, other Grand Lodges were established with equal powers to make regulations for their own jurisdictions, and hence the subsequent enactments of the Grand Lodge of England ceased to be of force in those new and independent jurisdictions, and they therefore lost their character of universality.

390 - How was the term "Gentleman Mason" employed?

  • Gentleman Mason. In some of the old lectures of the last century this title is used as equivalent to Speculative Freemason. Thus they had the following catechism:
Q. What do you learn by being a Gentleman Mason?
A. Secrecy, Morality, and Good Fellowship.
Q. What do you learn by being an Operative Mason?
A. Hew, Square, Mould stone, lay a Level, and raise a Perpendicular."

Hence we see that Gentleman Mason was in contrast with Operative Mason.

391 - Of what is the act of kneeling a token?

  • Genuflexion. A bending of the knee, or kneeling. The act of kneeling has, among all people, and in all ages, been a token of reverence, a sign of dependence, supplication, and humility.

392 - What is the geographical jurisdiction of a Lodge?

  • Geographical Jurisdiction. The geographical jurisdiction of a Lodge is that penal jurisdiction which it exercises over the territory within which it is situated, and extends to all the Masons, affiliated and unaffiliated, who live within that territory.

As to the local extent of this jurisdiction, it is universally supposed to extend to a point equally distant from the adjacent Lodge. Thus, if two Lodges are situated within twenty miles of each other, the geographical jurisdiction of each will extend ten miles from its seat in the direction of the other Lodge. But in this case both Lodges must be situated in the same State, and hold their warrants from the same Grand Lodge; for it is a settled point of Masonic law that no Lodge can extend its geographical jurisdiction beyond the territorial limits of its own Grand Lodge.

Thus, if of two Lodges, twenty miles distant from each other, one is situated in Georgia, five miles from the boundary line between that State and Alabama, and the other in Alabama, fifteen miles from the line, then the jurisdiction of the Georgia Lodge will not cross over the boundary, but will be restricted to the five miles which are between it and the line, while the fifteen miles which are between that line and the Alabama Lodge will be within the penal jurisdiction of the latter body.

393 - What is the relation of Geometry to Freemasonry?

  • Geometry. Among the mathematical sciences, geometry is the one which has the most especial reference to architecture, and we can, there fore, under the name of geometry, understand the whole art of Free masonry. In Anderson's Book of Constitutions, Freemasonry is frequently called geometry, and of the latter he said that the whole being of the Order is comprehended in it. Freemasons therefore ought to make themselves intimately acquainted with . geometry. It is not absolutely necessary to be able to delineate geometrical figures, but it is necessary to be able to deduce all our actions, works, or resolutions from geometrical principles.

394 - Who were the Ghiblimites?

  • Ghiblim. The Ghiblimites were expert operative Masons, who understood the science of geometrical proportion in its practical applications and were cemented in their lodges by the morality of its detached and component parts.

395 - How did the expression "riding the goat" originate?

  • Goat, Riding the. The vulgar idea that "riding the goat" constitutes a part of the ceremonies of initiation in a Masonic lodge has its real origin in the superstition of antiquity. The old Greeks and Romans portrayed their mystical god Pan in horns and hoofs and shaggy hide, and called him "goat footed." When the demonology of the classics was adopted and modified by the early Christians, Pan gave way to Satan, who naturally inherited his attributes; so that to the common mind the Devil was represented by a he goat and his best known marks were the horns, the beard, and the cloven hoofs. Then came the witch stories of the Middle Ages, and the belief in the witch orgies, where, it was said, the Devil appeared riding on a goat. These orgies of the witches, where amid fearfully blasphemous ceremonies, they practiced initiation into their Satanic rites, became, to the vulgar and illiterate, the type of the Masonic mysteries: for, as Dr. Oliver says, it was in England a common belief that the Freemasons were accustomed in their lodges "to raise the Devil." So the "riding of the Goat" which was believed to be practiced by the witches, was transferred to the Free masons; and the saying remains to this day, although the belief hap very long since died out.

396 - Why cannot an atheist become a Mason?

  • God. A belief in the existence of God is an essential point of Speculative Masonry - so essential, indeed, that it is a landmark of the. Order that no Atheist can be made a Mason. Nor is this left to an inference; for a specific declaration to that effect is demanded as an indispensable preparation for initiation. And hence Hutchinson says that the worship of God "was the first and corner stone on which our originals thought it expedient to place the foundation of Masonry." The religion of Masonry is cosmopolitan, universal; but the required belief in God is not incompatible with this universality; for it is the belief of all peoples. "Be assured," says Godfrey Higgins, "that God is equally present with the pious Hindoo in the temple, the Jew in the synagogue, the Mohammedan in the mosque, and the Christian in the church." There never has been a time since the revival of Freemasonry, when this belief in God as superintending power did not form a part of the system. The very earliest rituals that are extant, going back almost to the beginning of the eighteenth century, contain precisely the same question as to the trust in God which is found in those of the present day; and the oldest manuscript, Constitutions, dating as far back as the fifteenth century at least, all commence with, or contain, an invocation to the "Mighty Father of Heaven." There never was a time when the dogma did not form an essential part of the Masonic system.

God is the highest and most perfect intelligence: in Him all things exist, and from Him all things depend. The belief in God is not the result of teaching, not the result of the exercise of reason, not a deduction from the order and regularity of the universe; for faith in a Supreme Being was universal among men in the infancy of the race, and before the human mind was capable of that power of analysis, or had attained to that degree of science which this study of the universe and of the laws of nature supposes. As the notion of an Infinite Being transcends the circle of sensible and material objects, and is clearly beyond the power of a finite being to create, therefore that notion must have been communicated directly to man by God himself. Man believes in a God, therefore God exists; because, were there no God the notion of such a being could not exist. The crowning attribute of man, and what distinguishes him from the brute, is not the faculty of reason; for that, the brute has in common with man; but the power of seeing and aspiring to the ideal. Thus man had no sooner looked upon the grandeur, and glory, and beauty of the world, than he saw enthroned far above the world that which was vaster, more beautiful, more glorious than the world, the Ideal, that is to say, God. Therefore, Freemasonry accepts the idea of God, as a supreme fact, and bars its gates with inflexible sternness against those who deny his existence. No atheist can become a Mason.

397 - What is the member who introduces a candidate in France called?

  • Godfather. In French Lodges the member who introduces a candidate for initiation is called his "parrain," or "godfather."

398 - What three pillars of Masonry are named by the letters "G. O. D.?"

  • G. O. D. The initials of Gomer, Oz, Dabar. It is a singular coincidence, and worthy of thought, that the letters composing the English name of Deity should be the initials of the Hebrew words wisdom, strength, and beauty; the three great pillars, or metaphorical supports, of Masonry. They seem to present almost the only reason that can reconcile a Mason to the use of the initial "G" in its conspicuous suspension in the East of the Lodge in place of the Delta. The incident seems to be more than an accident.
Dabar, Wisdom, D.
Oz, Strength, O.
Gomer, Beauty, G.

399 - Why is the Masonic apron compared with the Golden Fleece?

  • Golden Fleece. In the lecture of the first degree, it is said of the Mason's apron, that it is "more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter." The reference is here evidently not to the Argonautic expedition in search of the golden fleece, nor to the deluge, of which that event is supposed to have been a figure, as Dr. Oliver incorrectly supposes, but to certain decorations of honor with which the apron is compared. The eagle was to the Romans the ensign of imperial power; the Order of the Golden Fleece was of high repute as an Order of Knighthood. It was established in Flanders, in 129, by the Duke of Burgundy, who selected the fleece for its badge because wool was the staple production of the country. It has ever been considered, says Clark, one of the most illustrious Orders in Europe. The Order of the Garter was, and is still, considered the highest decoration that can be bestowed upon a subject by a sovereign of Great Britain. Thus, the apron is proudly compared with the noblest decorations of ancient Rome and of modern Europe. But the Masons may have been also influenced in their selection, of a reference to the Golden Fleece, by the fact that in the Middle Ages it was one of the most important symbols of the Hermetic philosophers.

400 - Why do Masons observe the Golden Rule?

  • Golden Rule. Freemasonry recommends the practice of the Golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do to you, not so much to preserve the peace and order of civil society (which notwithstanding it cannot fail to do) as to inspire in our own bosoms, a love of virtue and good will to man.

401 - Who was called the Good Shepherd?

  • Good Shepherd. Our Saviour called himself the Good Shepherd. Thus, in St. John's Gospel (x. 14, 15, 16), he says: "I am the Good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd." Hence, in Masonic as well as in Christian symbolism, Christ is naturally called the Good Shepherd.

402 - Where did the Grand Lodge of England hold its first meeting?

  • Goose and Gridiron. An alehouse with this sign, in London House Yard at the north end of St. Paul's. In 1717 the Lodge of Antiquity met at the Goose and Gridiron, and it was there that the first quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge of England, after the revival of 1717, was held on the 24th of June, 1717.

403 - How are the grades of Masonic rank defined?

  • Grades of Rank. Many persons have endeavored to substantiate their objections to the institution of Freemasonry from the admitted dogma that its members meet on a level; whence they conclude that the system abolishes all human distinctions and promises to disorganize society, and reduce it to its primitive elements. But it does no such thing. There is, in fact, no other institution where the grades of rank are better defined and preserved. The Worshipful Master sits in the east. For what purpose is he placed there? Why, to rule and govern his lodge. And he is invested with power even to despotism, should he consider it safe to use it, and the Wardens are his assistants, not his equals. Each has a particular duty assigned to him, and beyond that, he has no right to interfere. The next grade are the Deacons. And what is their duty? Not, surely, to rank in equality with the Master and Wardens, but to perform the part of inferiors in office, to carry messages and commands. It is their province to attend on the Master, and to assist the Wardens in the active duties of the lodge, such as the reception of candidates into the different degrees of Masonry, and the immediate practice of our rites. This is the business of the Deacons; and by its punctual discharge, the office becomes a stepping stone to further preferment, for as it is incumbent on a brother to serve the office of a Warden, before he is eligible for the chair of a lodge, so it would be well if the office of a Deacon were preparatory to that of a Warden. The Treasurer, the Secretary, the Stewards, and the Tiler all have their respective duties to perform, and rank to support; while the brethren are bound to obey the will and pleasure of the Master.

404 - What is the usual Masonic name for the Deity?

  • Grand Architect. This Most High Being ought to be duly revered by every brother as the Great Architect of heaven and earth, and his name ought never to be spoken but with the greatest humility and reverence. It is not improper, when we are always speaking of Masonry, to call God the Great Architect of heaven and earth, as we also call him the Lord of lords and King of kings. Every one, even those who are not Freemasons, call him the Creator of heaven and of earth. He has created everything that we can see; and it is certain that he has created many things which we have not power to see; and when the brethren strive to adorn his greatest work - when they assist in carrying on the spiritual temple in the manner he has ordained - they most assuredly fulfill his holy law.

405 - What is the office and function of Grand Chaplain?

  • Grand Chaplain. This is an office of very modern date. No allusion to such an officer is to be found in any of the old Constitutions, and Preston informs us that it was instituted on the 1st of May, 1775, on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the Freemasons' Hall in London. A sense of propriety has, however, notwithstanding its want of antiquity, since caused this office to be universally recognized by the Grand Lodges of this country, some of whom have in creased the number of Grand Chaplains from one to several.

The duties of the Grand Chaplain are confined to offering up prayer at the communications of the Grand Lodge, and conducting its devotional exercises on public occasions.

He is, by virtue of his office, a member of the Grand Lodge, and entitled to a seat and a vote. The only qualifications generally required appear to be that he should be a Master Mason, in good standing in his Lodge, and a recognized clergyman of some religious denomination.

406 - What is the history and function of the office of Grand Deacon?

  • Grand Deacon. The office of Grand Deacon is of more modern origin than that of any other officer in the Grand Lodge. I can find no reference to it in any of the old Regulations, in Anderson, or any subsequent edition of the Book of Constitutions, in Preston's Illustrations, or in Lawrie's History. By the Regulations of 1721, the duties of the Grand Deacons seem to have been divided between the Grand Wardens and the Stewards; nor is a place appropriated in any of the processions described in the various works already cited. They are first found in a procession which took place in 1831, recorded by Oliver, in his Continuation of Preston's History. But they have since been placed among the officers of the Grand Lodge in the Constitutions of England, Scotland and Ireland.

In America, the office has an older date; for Grand Deacons are recorded as being present in a procession of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, in 1783, the account of which is to be found in Smith's "Ahiman Rezon." They are also mentioned among the officers of the Grand Lodge in the Constitution adopted in 1797 by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina. I know not whence the anomaly arose of these officers existing in Grand Lodges of America in the eighteenth century, while they are not to be found in those of Great Britain until late in the nineteenth. They could scarcely have been derived from the Athol Grand Lodge, since the York Masons of South Carolina had no such officers in 1807, when Dalcho published the first edition of his "Ahiman Rezon." Be this as it may, the office is now recognized in all the Grand Lodges of this country. The Grand Deacons are generally two in number, a Senior, who is usually appointed by the Grand Master, and a Junior, who receives his appointment from the Senior Grand Warden. It is their province to attend upon the Grand Master and Wardens, and to act as their proxies in the active duties of the Grand Lodge. Their duties differ but little from those of the corresponding officers in a subordinate Lodge.

407 - Why is the seat of a Grand Lodge known as the Grand East?

  • Grand East. The city in which the Grand Lodge, or other governing Masonic body is situated, and whence its official documents emanate, is called the Grand East. Thus a document issued by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts would be dated from the "Grand East of Boston," or if from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, it would be the "Grand East of New Orleans." The place where a Grand Lodge meets is therefore called a Grand East. The word is in constant use on the continent of Europe and in America, but seldom employed in England, Scotland, or Ireland.

The East with Masons has a peculiar meaning. It is well known that the sciences first rose in the East, and that the resplendent orb of light from that quarter proclaims the glory of the day. "And behold the Glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the East, and his voice was like the noise of many waters; the earth shined with his glory. The East Gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened; and no,man shall enter by it, because the Glory of the God of Israel hath entered by it. It is for the Prince."

408 - What is the office and function of Grand Lecturer?

  • Grand Lecturer. The office of Grand Lecturer is one of great importance; perhaps there is none so important in the whole series of offices which constitute the controlling element of a Grand Lodge. He is the recognized teacher of the Masonic system, and it is by his faithful instructions alone that unity can be maintained in the methods of communicating our ritual.

"This unity," says a distinguished Mason, Bro. Sandford, of Iowa, "makes the world a Mason's home, and raising him high above geographical divisions and the obstacles of language and religion, secures him protection and repose wherever fate or fortune may direct his steps. Without it, our grand fabric of universal benevolence, which has withstood the storms of numerous centuries, would be shattered to atoms in a single age." I presume that it will be admitted by every intelligent Mason, that Bro. Sandford has not placed too high an estimate on the importance of a uniformity of work. If Masonry contain within itself anything worthy of the study of intellectual men - if our theories of its antiquity be not fallacious - if our legends and ceremonies and symbols are not, as one class of our opponents have declared them to be, the puerile amusements of a past age of dreamers - then surely it is the bounden duty of the supreme head of the Order, in every jurisdiction, to preserve those legends and ceremonies and symbols as pure and unsullied by error and innovation as they were when received. It is a part of the covenant into which we have all entered, and to which we are all bound by the most solemn obligations, to preserve the ancient Landmarks which have been intrusted to our care, and never to suffer them to be infringed, or to countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the fraternity.

This, it appears to me, is the most prominent and especial duty of a Grand Lodge. It is the conservator of the Order in its own jurisdiction, and is expected by all the sanctions of justice and reason to hand down to its successors the rites and ceremonies of the institution, as it received them from its predecessors. Unless it does this, it is recreant to its trust. It may dispense charity - it may endow colleges - it may decide disputes - it may invent financial systems, or legislate for general purposes - but unless it shall take constant and careful precautions for preserving the ancient Landmarks, and disseminating among the craft a uniformity of work and lectures, according to the true system, it will be neglecting the principal design of its organization, and will become a "cruel" instead of a "gentle mother" to its children. Under an administration which shall totally abandon all supervision of the ritual, and devise no means of teaching it, the very identity of Masonry would soon altogether be extinguished, and Lodges would speedily de generate into social clubs.

409 - What qualifications are necessary for a candidate for the office of Grand Lecturer?

  • Grand Lecturer, Qualifications of. Not only should the authority of the Grand Lecturer as a Masonic teacher be sovereign and undivided in his jurisdiction, and the tenure of his office permanent, so that the craft may not be annually subjected to changes in the form and sub stance of the instruction that they receive, but, above all, he should be fully competent, by previous study, to discharge the duties of his high calling.

No man can be qualified as a Grand Lecturer unless he has devoted his time, his talent, and his labor to the arduous, though pleasant, task of Masonic study. The old Romans had a proverb that a Mercury could not be made out of any kind of wood, and neither can a Grand Lecturer be manufactured out of any kind of Mason. A Masonic teacher requires qualifications of the highest character. A profound knowledge of the ritual is, of course, essential; and this alone is to be acquired only after the most laborious study, aided by the adventitious assistance of an excellent and retentive memory. But to this must be added, if we would give dignity to the office, or confer a benefit on the pupils whom he is to teach, an education above the common standard, a cultivated intellect, an acquaintance with that ancient language from whose records our system is derived, a familiarity with history and antiquities, and an extent of reading and power of mind which will enable him to trace the symbolism of our Order through all its progress, from the ancient priesthood of Egypt, the mysteries of Greece and Asia and the kabbala of Palestine.

It may be said that the standard is here placed too high, and that few will be found to reach it. Better, then, would it be to do without a Lecturer than to have an incompetent one; and I know of no less amount of learning that would make a Masonic teacher, such as a Masonic teacher should be. But moreover, by placing the standard of qualifications high, intellectual men would be found to work up to it; while, by placing it lower, ignorant men would readily avail themselves of the privileges that so low a standard would present. The "consummation devoutly to be wished" in Masonry is, that none but learned men should become Masonic teachers.

The old Constitutions do not recognize the office of Grand Lecturer òunder that name; but it has always existed, and its duties were per formed in the eighteenth century by some of the most learned men of the order. Anderson, Desaguliers, Martin Clare, Hutchinson and Preston were all, in the strict sense of the word, Grand Lecturers, and discharged the duties of the office with great benefit to the craft.

410 - What are the powers of a Grand Lodge?

  • Grand Lodge. This governing body consists of a Grand Master with a full staff of officers, and the Masters and Wardens, of every warranted lodge. In the Grand Lodge, besides the power of enacting laws and regulations for the government of the Craft, and of altering, repealing, and abrogating them (provided that they continue to pre serve the ancient landmarks of the Order) the Grand Lodge has also the inherent power of investigating, regulating, and deciding all matters relative to the Craft or to particular lodges, or to individual brothers, which it may exercise either by itself or by such delegated authority as, in its wisdom and discretion, it may appoint; but in the Grand Lodge alone resides the power of erasing lodges, and passing upon appeals from decisions of Masters and constituent lodges.

411 - May an Entered Apprentice attend Grand Lodge?

  • Grand Lodge Attendance. Entered Apprentices formerly had the right of being present at the communications of the Grand Lodge, or General Assembly, and taking part in its deliberations. In fact, it is expressly prescribed, in the last of the Regulations of 1721, that none of these important laws can be altered, or any new General Regulations made, until the alteration or the new regulation is submitted to all the Brethren, "even the youngest Entered Apprentice." But this rule is now obsolete, because, being founded on the fact that Apprentices were then the body of the craft, and they being no longer so, the reason of the law having ceased, the law also ceases.

412 - Is the possession of a Grand Lodge Certificate conclusive evidence of the good standing of its possessor?

  • Grand Lodge Certificates. Intimately connected with the subject of the right of visit is that of Grand Lodge certificates. The propriety of any Regulation requiring such a document as a necessary preliminary to a visit, has, within the last few years, been warmly agitated by several of the Grand Lodges of this country; and some of them, denying its antiquity, have abolished the Regulation in their own jurisdictions. It is, however, surprising that any writer professing to be acquainted with the history of the institution, should for a moment deny the great antiquity and universality of the law which has required every strange Brother to furnish the Lodge which he intends to visit with a certificate of his good standing in the Lodge and the jurisdiction from which he hails.

The Regulation was certainly in force two centuries ago; for we have he evidence of that fact in the Regulation adopted in the General Assembly in 1663, under the Grand Mastership of the Earl of St. Albans, in the following explicit language: "No person hereafter, who shall be accepted a Freemason, shall be admitted into any Lodge or assembly, until he has brought a certificate of the time and place of his acceptation from the Lodge that accepted him, unto the Master of that limit or division where such a Lodge is kept."

From that time, at least, the Regulation has been strictly observed in the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and many of the older Grand Lodges of this country. Several other Grand Lodges, however, whose Constitutions are of a later date, have, as I have al ready observed, abolished it, and decline to furnish their members with such certificates. There may be a doubt whether a Masonic certificate, not renewable, but given to its possessor for his life, is of any real value in establishing his Masonic standing, except at the time that he received it; but there can be no doubt that the Regulation requiring one to be given is one of the most ancient written laws of the Order. Under any circumstances, it must, however, be recollected that a Grand Lodge certificate is to be considered only as a collateral evidence of the good standing of its possessor, preparatory to an examination in the legal way; and hence the Regulation adopted by the Grand Lodge of South Carolina in 1848 seems to be a reasonable one, namely, that where the visitor, being without a certificate, can furnish other sufficient evidence of his Masonic standing, and assign a satisfactory reason for his being without a certificate, the Lodge which he proposes to visit may proceed to his examination.

413 - What is the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge?

  • Grand Lodges, Jurisdiction of. At first there were no clear nor well defined notions in regard to the territorial jurisdiction of Grand Lodges. Until within a few years each Grand Lodge claimed the right to constitute lodges in any part of the world. At the time of the breaking out of our Revolutionary War the Grand Lodges of England, Ire land, and Scotland had lodges in Massachusetts and other colonies. The principle, however, is now well settled that the Grand Lodge of a Province or State has exclusive jurisdiction within such territory, and that no other Grand Lodge can legally charter lodges therein. A Grand Lodge is supreme over its own affairs. There is no Masonic authority or power above it: it is subject only to the unchangeable laws of the Order, the acknowledged constitutions, and the Ancient Landmarks.

414 - How is a Grand Lodge organized?

  • Grand Lodges, Organization of. A Grand Lodge consists of the Master and Wardens of all the lodges under its jurisdiction and such Past Masters as may be elected members. The officers are a Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden, Junior Grand Warden, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, Grand Chaplain, Senior Grand Deacon, Junior Grand Deacon, Grand Stewards, Grand Marshal, Grand Standard Bearer, Grand Pursuivant, Grand Sword Bearer and Grand Tiler. In a country or state where there is no Grand Lodge three or more legal lodges may meet in convention and organize a Grand Lodge. Then these lodges surrender their charters to the Grand Lodges from which they received them, and take others from the new Grand Lodge.

415 - What is the usual procedure of a Grand Lodge in conducting a Masonic trial?

  • Grand Lodge Trials. Trials in a Grand Lodge are to be con ducted on the same general principles as in private Lodges; but here, in consequence of the largeness of the body, and the inconvenience which would result from holding the examinations in open Lodge, and in the presence of all the members, it is more usual to appoint a committee, be fore whom the case is tried, and upon whose full report of the testimony the Grand Lodge bases its action. And the forms of trial in such committees must conform, in all respects, to the general usage already de tailed.

416 - What is the office and function of Grand Marshal?

  • Grand Marshal. The first allusion that I find to this office is in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, where, under the date of 1730, a procession is described, which was closed by "Marshal Pyne, with his truncheon blew, tipt with gold." But as throughout the remainder of the book, and all the subsequent editions, the allusion is not repeated, I am led to suppose that this was simply a temporary appointment of an officer to keep order, without any reference to Masonic rank. There is no such officer in the present Grand Lodge of England, and the office is unknown in several of the American jurisdictions.

The duty of the Grand Marshal in those Grand Lodges which recognize the office is simply to arrange the processions of the Grand Lodge, and to preserve order, according to the forms prescribed.

417 - What are the powers and privileges of a Grand Master?

  • Grand Master. The presiding officer of the symbolic degrees in a jurisdiction. He presides, of course, over the Grand Lodge, and has the right not only to be present, but also to preside in every Lodge, with the Master of the Lodge on his left hand, and to order his Grand War dens to attend him, and act as Wardens in that particular Lodge. He has the right of visiting the lodges and inspecting their books and mode of work as often as he pleases, or, if unable to do so, he may depute his Grand officers to act for him. He has the power of granting dispensation for the formation of new lodges; which dispensations are of force until revoked by himself or the Grand Lodge. He may also grant dispensations for several other purposes. Formerly, the Grand Master appointed his Grand officers, but this regulation has been repealed, and the Grand officers are now all elected by the Grand Lodges.

When the Grand Master visits a lodge, he must be received with the greatest respect, and the Master of the Lodge should always offer him the chair, which the Grand Master may or may not accept at his pleasure.

Should the Grand Master die, or be absent from the jurisdiction during his term of office, the Deputy Grand Master assumes his powers, or, if there be no Deputy, then the Grand Wardens according to seniority.

418 - What is the origin and history of the office of Grand Master?

  • Grand Master, Office of. The office of Grand Master is one of such antiquity as to be coeval with the very origin of the institution, whether we look at that origin in a traditional or in an historical point of view. There never has been a time in which the Order has not been governed by a chief presiding officer under this name.

From this fact we derive the important principle that the office of Grand Master is independent of the Grand Lodge, and that all his prerogatives and duties, so far as they are connected generally with the craft, are inherent in the office, and not derived from, nor amenable to, any modern Constitutions. The whole records of our written and traditional history show that Grand Masters have repeatedly existed without a Grand Lodge, but never a Grand Lodge without a Grand Master. And this is because the connection of the Grand Master is essentially with the craft at large, and only incidentally with the Grand Lodge. He is neither elected, in stalled, nor saluted as the "Grand Master of the Grand Lodge," but as the "Grand Master of Masons"; and if the institution, so far as relates to its present organization, was again to be resolved into the condition which it occupied previous to the year 1717, and the Grand Lodge were to be abolished, in consequence of the resumption by the subordinate Lodges of their original prerogatives, the office of Grand Master would be unaffected by such revolution, and that officer would still remain in possession of all his powers, because his office is inseparable from the existence of the fraternity, and he would be annually elected as formerly, by the craft in their "General Assembly." In accordance with these views, we find Anderson recording that in the year 926, at the city of York, Prince Edwin, as Grand Master, summoned the craft, who then "composed a Grand Lodge, of which he was the Grand Master." The Grand Lodge did not constitute him as their Grand Master, for the appointment of Grand Master, according to the record, preceded the organization of the Grand Lodge.

Again: both Anderson and Preston show us a long list of Grand Masters who were not even elected by the Grand Lodge, but held their appointment from the King. In 1663, a Regulation was adopted, declaring "that, for the future, the fraternity of Freemasons shall be regulated and governed by one Grand Master, and as many Wardens as the said society shall think fit to appoint at every annual General Assembly," which Assembly, it must be recollected, was not, as now, a Grand Lodge, consisting of the representatives of Lodges, but a mass meeting of all the members of the craft. Again: an attentive perusal of the history of the present organization of Grand Lodges on St. John the Baptist's day, 1717, will show that the craft first, in General Assembly, elected their Grand Master, who then appointed his Wardens, and established a Grand Lodge, by summoning the Masters and Wardens of the Lodges to meet him in quarterly communication. In short, everything of an authentic nature in the history of Masonry shows that the Grand Master is the officer and the organ of the craft in general, and not of the Grand Lodge, and that although for purposes of convenience, the fraternity have, for the last one hundred and thirty five years, conceded to their Masters and Wardens in Grand Lodge convened the privilege of electing him for them, such concession does not impair his, rights, nor destroy the intimate and immediate connection which exists between him and the craft at large, to whom alone he can be said to have any rightful responsibility.

419 - What is the prerogative of the Grand Master with respect to assem bling Masons into Lodges?

  • Grand Master's Power of Congregating Masons. Analogous to the dispensing power is the prerogative which the Grand Master possesses of authorizing Masons to congregate together and form a Lodge. According to the Regulations of 1721, and the modern Constitutions of England, the Grand Master has the power to grant warrants for the permanent establishment of Lodges, by warrant of constitution. But in this country this prerogative has not, for many years, been exercised by Grand Masters, who only grant their authority for the holding of Lodges temporarily, until the next communication of the Grand Lodge. Hence, as no Lodge can be legally held, except under a warrant of constitution, granted by a Grand Lodge, when the Grand Master permits such an assemblage, he suspends for a time the operation of the law; and for this reason the document issued by him for this purpose is very appropriately called a dispensation, for it is simply a permission or license granted to certain brethren to dispense with the law requiring a warrant, and to meet and work masonically without such an instrument.

420 - What is the prerogative of the Grand Master with respect to his power of convening Grand Lodge?

  • Grand Master's Power of Convening Grand Lodge. The Grand Master has the right to convene the Grand Lodge on any special occasion, at such time and place as he may deem expedient. The Constitution of the Grand Lodge necessarily must designate a time and place for the annual communication, which it is not in the power of the Grand Master to change. But on the occurrence of any emergency, which may, in his opinion, render a special communication necessary, the Grand Master possesses the prerogative of convoking Grand Lodge, and may select such time and place for the convocation as he deems most convenient or appropriate. This prerogative has been so repeatedly exercised by Grand Masters, from the earliest times to the present day, that it seems to be unnecessary to furnish any specific precedents out of the multitude that the most cursory reading of the old records would supply.

421 - What is the Grand Master's prerogative with regards to the arrest of the charter of a Lodge?

  • Grand Master's Prerogative of Arrest of Charter. An important prerogative of the Grand Master is that of arresting the charter of a subordinate Lodge. To arrest the charter, is a technical phrase, by which is meant to suspend the work of a Lodge - to prevent it from holding its usual communications, and to forbid it to transact any business, of to do any work. A Grand Master cannot revoke the warrant of a Lodge; for this, as I have already shown, is the peculiar prerogative of the Grand Lodge. But if, in his opinion the good of Masonry, or any other sufficient cause requires it, he may suspend the operation of the warrant until the next communication of the Grand Lodge, which body is alone competent to revise or approve of his action. But this prerogative of the Grand Master, as it deprives a Lodge of its activity and usefulness for a period of some duration, and inflicts some portion of disgrace upon the body which has subjected itself to such discipline, should be exercised with the utmost caution and reluctance.

422 - What is the prerogative of the Grand Master with respect to dispensations?

  • Grand Master's Prerogative of Dispensation. One of the most important prerogatives of a Grand Master is that of granting dispensations. A dispensation may be defined to be "the granting of a license, or the license itself, to do what is forbidden by laws or regulation, or to omit something which is commanded; that is, the dispensing with a law or regulation, or the exemption of a particular person from the obligation to comply with its injunctions." This power to dispense with the provisions of law in particular cases appears to be inherent in the Grand Master, because, although frequently referred to in the Old Regulations, it always is as if it were a power already in existence, and never by way of a new grant. There is no record of any Masonic statute or constitutional provision conferring this prerogative in distinct words. The instances, however, in which this prerogative may be exercised are clearly enumerated in various places of the Old Constitutions, so that there can be no difficulty in understanding to what extent the prerogative extends.

Thus, one of the Regulations of 1721 prescribes that "no Lodge shall make more than five new brethren at one time"; but the Grand Master may grant his dispensation to authorize any Lodge on a particular occasion to go beyond this number.

Again, in another Regulation it is enacted that "no man can be made or admitted a member of a particular Lodge without previous notice one month before"; but here the Grand Master may interfere with his dispensing power, and permit a candidate to be made without such previous notice.

Another Regulation prescribes that "no set or number of brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the Lodge in which they were made brethren, or were afterwards admitted members, unless the Lodge becomes too numerous, nor even then, without a dispensation." But this Regulation has long since become obsolete, and Masons now demit from their Lodges without the necessity of asking a dispensation. In fact, as the law is no longer in force, no authority is needed to dispense with its injunctions.

The Twelfth Regulation of 1721 prescribes that none but members of the Grand Lodge shall be permitted to be present at its quarterly communications, except by dispensation. The Grand Master is thus authorized to set aside the provisions of the law for the benefit of a particular individual, and this right of the Grand Master to admit strangers as visitors in the Grand Lodge is still recognized as one of his prerogatives.

Besides these particular instances of the exercise of the dispensing power which are referred to in the Old Regulations, there are many others which arise from the nature of the prerogative, and which have been sanctioned by immemorial usage.

Thus, when a Lodge has neglected to elect its officers at the constitutional time of election, or having elected them, has failed to proceed to installation, the Grand Master may, on application, issue his dispensation, authorizing the election or installation to take place at some time subsequent to the constitutional period. And without such dispensation, no election or installation could take place; but the old officers would have to continue in office until the next regular time of election, for no Lodge can perform any act at any other time, or in any other mode, except that which is provided by its by laws, or the Regulations of the Grand Lodge, unless in a particular case a dispensation is granted to set aside for the time the provisions of the law. Again: although no one can serve as Master of a Lodge, unless he has previously acted as a Warden, yet in particular cases, as in the organization of a new Lodge, or when, in an old Lodge, no one who has been a Warden is willing to serve as Master, the Grand Master may grant his dispensation, empowering the members to elect a Master from the floor.

But as it is a principle of the law that the benignity of the Grand Master must not affect the rights of third parties, no dispensation can issue for the election from the floor, if there be a Warden or Past War den who is willing to serve; for eligibility to the chair is one of the prerogatives which arises from having served in the office of Warden, and a dispensation cannot set aside a prerogative.

By the operation of the same equitable principle, the Grand Master is prohibited from issuing a dispensation to authorize the initiation of a person who has been rejected by a Lodge; for it is the inherent right of a Lodge to judge of the fitness of its own members, and the Grand Master cannot, by the exercise of his dispensing power, interfere with this inherent right.

423 - What is the prerogative of the Grand Master with respect to presiding over the Craft?

  • Grand Master's Prerogative of Presiding. The Grand Master has the right to preside over every assembly of the craft, wheresoever and whensoever held. This is a Landmark of the Order, and consequently the right of the Grand Master to preside at all meetings of the Grand Lodge, which is derived from it, is an inherent right, of which no constitutional provision can deprive him. From this prerogative is also derived the principle that the Grand Master may assume the chair of any private Lodge in which he may be present, and govern the Lodge as its Master. He is also, by virtue of the same prerogative, the chair man of every committee of the Grand Lodge which he may choose to attend. He is, in brief, the head of the craft in his own jurisdiction, and cannot, at any meeting of the fraternity for Masonic purposes, be placed, without his consent, in a subordinate position.

424 - What is the Grand Master's prerogative with respect to voting in Grand Lodge?

  • Grand Master's Prerogative of Voting. The Twelfth Regulation of 1721 gave the Grand Master the prerogative of casting two votes in all questions before the Grand Lodge. The words of the Regulation are, it is true, very explicit, and would seem to leave no doubt upon its face; and yet I am scarcely inclined to believe that under all circumstances that officer was permitted to vote twice, while every other member voted but once. Contemporaneous exposition, however, supplies no aid in the interpretation of the law; for I have looked in vain through the earlier editions of the Book of Constitutions for any further reference to the subject. The modern Grand Lodge of England retains the very words of the Old Regulations; but in this country, where it has principally been preserved by usage, it is so interpreted as that the Grand Master gives his second vote only in the case of a tie, and this, I suspect, was the object of the original law.

425 - What three important events in Scripture are designated as the three grand offerings of Masonry?

  • Grand Offerings. According to the English system of lectures, three important events recorded in Scripture are designated as the three grand offerings of Masonry, because they are said to have occurred on Mount Moriah, which symbolically represents the ground floor of the Lodge. These three grand offerings are as follows: The first grand offering was when Abraham prepared to offer up his son Isaac; the second was when David built an altar to stay the pestilence with which his people were afflicted; and the third was when Solomon dedicated to Jehovah the Temple which he had completed.

426 - How may Grand Officers be removed from office?

  • Grand Officers. None of the grand officers can be removed, unless for reasons which appear sufficient to the Grand Lodge; but, should the Grand Master be dissatisfied with the conduct of any of his grand officers he may submit the case to the Grand Lodge; and should it appear to the majority of the brethren present that the complaint be well founded, he may displace such grand officer, and nominate another.

427 - What are the office and function of Grand Pursuivant?

  • Grand Pursuivant. In the science of heraldry, a Pursuivant is the lowest order of officers at arms, and is, as the title implies, an attendant on the heralds. The office is unknown to the English Constitutions of Masonry, either ancient or modern, and appears to be peculiar to this country, where it is to be found in a large number of Grand Lodges, whose Regulations are, however, generally silent as to the nature of the functions to be discharged.

The "Ahiman Rezon" of South Carolina says that his station is near the door, whence he receives all reports from the Grand Tiler, and announces the name and Masonic rank of all who desire admission, seeing that none enter without their appropriate decorations. He combines therefcre, in part, the duties of the Junior Deacon with those of a gentleman usher. I have already said that the office is modern, as no allusion to it is to be found in any of the old Regulations. The appointment is generally vested in the Grand Master.

428 - What is the nature and function of the office of Grand Secretary?

  • Grand Secretary. The Regulations of 1721 had described the duties to be performed by the Grand Secretary; but from the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1717, to the year 1723, no such officer had been appointed. In the last mentioned year, however, Bro. William Cowper was chosen by the Grand Lodge. The office was therefore first an elective one, but Anderson, in his edition of 1738, says that "ever since, the new Grand Master, upon his commencement, appoints the Secretary, or continues him by returning him the books." This usage is still pursued by the modern Grand Lodge of England, but in every jurisdiction of this country, the office of Grand Secretary is an elective one.

The functions, the discharge of which is intrusted to the Grand Secretary, are of the most important nature, and require no ordinary amount of talent. It is his duty to record all the proceedings of the Grand Lodge with the utmost fidelity and exactness. He is also the official organ of the Grand Lodge, and in that capacity conducts its correspondence. He is, besides, the recipient of the returns and dues of Lodges, which amounts he pays over to the Grand Treasurer, so that each of these officers acts as a check upon the other. The Grand Secretary is also in this country the keeper of the seal of the Grand Lodge, which he affixes to all documents that require it. His signature is considered as essential to the validity of any document which emanates from the Grand Lodge.

Like the Grand Treasurer, he was permitted by the old Regulations to appoint an assistant, who did not, however, by such appointment, be come a member of the Grand Lodge. The Regulation is still in force in several of the American jurisdictions.

429 - What are the history and functions of the office of Grand Steward?

  • Grand Stewards. The duty of the Grand Stewards is to attend upon the tables during the hours of refreshment, and to assist the Junior Grand Warden in managing the Grand Feast, in jurisdictions where this ancient usage is observed.

430 - What is the history and function of the office of Grand Sword Bearer?

  • Grand Sword Bearer. 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 worn next by his successor in war, the brave Bernard, Duke of Saxe 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 be the Grand Master's sword of state in future." At the following feast, Bro. 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.

The Grand Sword Bearer should be appointed by the Grand Master, and it is his duty to carry the sword of state immediately in front of that officer in all processions of the Grand Lodge.

431 - What are the office and functions of the Grand Tiler?

  • Grand Tiler. This is an office which derives its existence from the Landmarks of the Order, and must therefore have existed from the earliest times, as it is impossible that any Grand Lodge or Assembly of Masons could ever have met for purposes of Masonic business unless the room in which they were assembled had been duly tiled.

The duties of the office are so evident to every Mason as to need no explanation.

The Grand Tiler cannot, during his term of office be a member of the Grand Lodge, for his official position places it out of his power to assist in its deliberations.

He is generally appointed by the Grand Master and no other qualification is required for the office than that of being a worthy Master Mason.

432 - What are the functions of a Grand Treasurer?

  • Grand Treasurer. The functions of the Grand Treasurer do not differ from those of the corresponding officer in a subordinate Lodge. It is his duty to act as the depositary of all the funds and property of the Grand Lodge, to keep a fair account of the same, and render a statement of the condition of all the property in his possession, when ever called upon by either the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. He also pays all bills and orders which have been approved by the Grand Lodge. He is, in one word, under such regulations as that body shall prescribe, the banker of that body.

The old Regulations permitted him to appoint an assistant, whose only qualification was, that he must be a Master Mason. But such assistant did not, by his appointment, become a member of the Grand Lodge, although permitted to be present at its communications. The usage has been continued in many of the Grand Lodges of this country.

433 - What are the office and functions of Grand Wardens?

  • Grand Wardens. Next in dignity to the Deputy Grand Master come the Senior and Junior Grand Wardens. These two officers are, however, although subordinate in rank, of much more importance than the Deputy, in the working of the Order, and are possessed of some prerogatives which do not belong to him. Their duties do not very materially differ from those of the corresponding officers in a subordinate Lodge, although, of course, from their more exalted position, their powers are more extensive.

In this country, by universal consent, the Wardens succeed to the government of the craft in order of rank, upon the death or absence from the jurisdicton of the Grand and Deputy Grand Masters.

434 - Of what is the grave emblematic?

  • Grave. The grave is, in the Master's degree, the analogue of the pastos, couch or coffin, in the Ancient Mysteries, and is intended scenically to serve the same purpose. The grave is, therefore, in that degree, intended, in connection with the sprig of acacia, to teach symbolically the great Masonic doctrine of a future life.

435 - Should members be permitted to leave the Lodge during initiation ceremonies?

  • Gravity. In a good lodge silence and gravity are recommendations during the hours appropriated to labor. The ordinary business is of too serious a nature to admit of any disturbances; and hence the ancient charges direct that no brother shall behave himself ludicrously or jestingly while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn; nor use any unbecoming language upon any pretence whatever; but pay due reverence to the Masters, Wardens, and Fellows, and put them to worship. Even the noise of moving the seats or the feet is to be avoided as much as possible; nor are the brethren permitted to leave the lodge during the solemn ceremonies, lest the noise thus made should disturb the proceedings. The effect of an initiation would be entirely destroyed by any interruption of this kind, and it is easy to understand that the same kind of disturbance would be calculated to distract the attention of the brethren during the delivery of lectures.

436 - What is the symbolism of the Great Lights?

  • Great Lights. The Freemasons are enlightened by great and small lights. The Bible, the square, and the compasses, belong to the first; and the sun, the moon, and the Master to the second. The great lights are immortal, and neither limited by time nor space; the small ones are limited by both. The Bible rules and governs our faith; the square our actions; and the compasses keep us in a bond of union with all man kind, especially with a brother Mason. Or with other words, the Bible directs us to elevate our spirits to a reasonable and rational faith; the square teaches so to discipline our minds as to make them correspond with a pure and prompt obedience to the laws of our native land; and the compasses teach us so to cultivate our understandings as to enable us to live in the bonds of social and fraternal union with all man kind, whatever may be their peculiar views on religious or political subjects.

437 - Why were grips and signs used by operative Masons?

  • Grip and Sign. In rude times, when men, ignorant of chirography, impressed a seal on parchment in lieu of a signature, it was usual for Master Masons to give their apprentice a grip or sign, by which to make himself known; another when he had completed his apprenticeship, and passed on to the rank of a journeyman, or Fellow craft; and a third when,, by assiduity and skill, he had become himself a master of the work, took buildings to rear, hired Fellowcrafts or journeymen, and received apprentices. The word, the sign, and the grip, in those days, were the certificate of the Craft to its regularly taught members.

438 - Why is the ground floor of a Lodge known as Mount Moriah?

  • Ground Floor of the Lodge. Mount Moriah, on which the Temple of Solomon was built, is symbolically called the ground floor of the lodge, and hence it is said that "the lodge rests on holy ground." This ground floor of the lodge is remarkable for three great events recorded in Scripture, and which are called "the three grand offerings of Masonry." It was here that Abraham prepared, as a token of his faith, to offer up his beloved son Isaac - this was the first grand offering; it was held that David, when his people were afflicted with a pestilence, built an altar, and offered thereon peace offerings and burnt offerings to appease the wrath of God - this was the second grand offering; and lastly, it was here, that when the Temple was completed, King Solomon dedicated that magnificent structure to the service of Jehovah, with the offering of pious prayers and many costly presents - and this was the third grand offering.

This sacred spot was once the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, and from him David purchased it for fifty shekels of silver. The Kabbalists delight to invest it with still more solemn associations, and declare that it was the spot on which Adam was born and Abel slain.

439 - On what grounds may a Mason lawfully avouch for a visitor?

  • Grounds for Avouchment. Under ordinary circumstances, it would undoubtedly be the safest plan to require that avouchment should be founded on the fact of the voucher's having sat in a Lodge with the visitor. But it cannot be denied that there are occasions in which an intelligent and experienced Mason will be as competent, from his own private examination, to decide the Masonic qualifications of a candidate for admission, as if he had sat with him in the communication of a Lodge. This subject of vouching does not, indeed, appear to have been always understood. Many Masons suppose that the prerogative of vouching is inherent in every Brother, and that if A shall say that he vouches for B, and that he has sat in a Lodge with him, the assertion should be received with all respect, and B admitted. But in how many cases may not A, from ignorance or inexperience, be liable to be deceived? How are we to know that A himself was not in a clandestine Lodge, which had been imposed upon his ignorance, when he sat with B? How are we to be sure that his memory has not been treacherous, and that the Lodge in which he saw B was not a Fellowcrafts' or Entered Apprentices', instead of being a Masters' l Why, only by knowing that the Masonic skill and experience, and the general good sense and judgment of A are such as not render him liable to the commission of such errors. And if we are confident of his Masonic knowledge and honesty, we are ready, or ought to be, to take his vouching, without further inquiry as to its foundation; but if we are not, then it is safer to depend on an examination by a committee than on the avouchment of one in whose ability we have no confidence. A Masonic avouchment is, in fact, in the nature of a mercantile or legal security. Its whole value depends on the character and attainments of the one who offers it; and it would be better, I imagine, if a positive rule is to be laid down, to say that no visitor shall be admitted into a Lodge except with the avouchment of a well known and skillful Mason, or upon examination by a committee.

Still, it must be confessed, however humiliating the confession may be, that a very large number of Masons are too little skilled in the mysteries which have been communicated to them, to be enabled to pass a stranger through that ordeal of strict examination, which alone can prove a friend, or detect a foe, and an ingenious imposter would often find it a task of but little difficulty to deceive such an unskillful examiner. Thus imposed upon himself, the deceived brother unwittingly might extend his error, by vouching for one who has no claims upon the fraternity. The vouching of such brethren, derived from their private examination, should, of course, be considered as of no value. But, on the other hand, there are many Masons so well skilled in the principles of the craft, that no danger of imposition need be feared when we depend on the information which they have derived from an examination, conducted as they would of course do it, with all the necessary forms, and guarded by all the usual precautions. The avouchments of such brethren should be considered as perfectly satisfactory.

I am inclined, therefore, to believe that the spirit of the law simply requires that a Master shall permit no visitor to be admitted without previous examination, unless he can be vouched for by a Brother who has sat with him in open Lodge, or, if the avouchment be made in con sequence of a private examination, unless the Brother so vouching be known to the presiding officer as a skillful and experienced Mason.

But, if we admit this to be the true interpretation of the law of avouchment, then it becomes necessary that we should inquire more closely into what are to be the governing principles of that private examination from which the authority of the avouchment is to be de rived, and into the nature of the competency of the Brother who ventures to give it.

In the first place, the avouchment thus given is, it is understood, to be founded on some previous private examination. Therefore it follows, that the Brother who undertakes to vouch for a visitor on these grounds, must have been thoroughly competent to conduct such an examination. There must be no danger of his having been imposed upon by an ignorant pretender. And consequently the Master of a Lodge would be culpable in receiving the avouchment of a young and inexperienced, or of an old and ignorant Mason.

440 - What are regarded as sufficient grounds for expulsion of a Mason?

  • Grounds for Expulsion. As this penalty is of so severe a nature. rupturing all the ties which bind a Mason to the fraternity, it is evident that it should only be inflicted for the most heinous offences - offences which, in their nature, affect the character, the well being and the safety of the whole society, and hence the Grand Lodge of New York has very wisely ordered that it shall only follow "a gross violation of the moral law, or the fundamental principles of Masonry, or attempts against any part of the frame work of its government." The penalty is not inflicted so much as a punishment of the guilty person, as it is as a safe guard or security of the Order. The object is not to reform an evil, but to prevent its influence on the fraternity. A Mason who habitually transgresses the moral code, or lives in constant violation of the fundamental teachings of the Order, is to the society, what a gangrenous limb is to the body. The incurable wound, says the Roman poet, must be cut off with the knife, lest the healthy part of the body be involved in the disease. And so the unworthy Mason is to be expelled from the Order, lest his example spread, and disease be propagated through the whole constitution of Masonry. But, in accordance with this principle, expulsion should be inflicted only for offences which affect the security and honor of the whole Order. The remedy should never be applied to transgressions of a subordinate nature which neither deserve nor require its application.

441 - Under what promise do we begin our Masonic career?

  • Guide. At our introduction into Masonry, we seek for an able guide to conduct us from this dark state of human life into light, and when arrived at that desired point, we are struck with the symbolic representations before us; and under promise of fidelity we begin our career in this secret society of Free and Accepted Masons. We emerge gradually from the lowest vale, and by study arrive at the highest degree of the occult science, or to the greatest mental perfection.


442 - What is the symbol of the powers of the Master?

  • Hammer. With this small working tool the Master of a lodge governs the most numerous meetings. The blow of the Master's hammer commands industry, silence, or the close of labor, and every brother respects and honors its sound. Insofar the hammer is a symbol of the power of the Master. The hammer must never be lost sight of at the meeting of the lodge; and should the Master be unavoidably compelled to leave the lodge room, he must deliver it to a Past Master, or some other skillful brother. The Wardens do not govern the lodge with their hammers, they only direct attention by them to the commands of the Worshipful Master.

443 - What is the symbolism of the hand in Masonry?

  • Hand. In Freemasonry, the hand as a symbol holds a high place, because it is the principal seat of the sense of feeling so necessary to and so highly revered by Masons. The same symbol is found in the most ancient religions, and some of their analogies to Masonic symbolism are peculiar. Thus, Horapollo says that among the Egyptians the hand was the symbol of a builder, or one fond of building, because all labor proceeds from the hand. In many of the Ancient Mysteries the hand, especially the left, was deemed the symbol of equity. In Christian art a hand is the indication of a holy person or thing. In early Medieval art, the Supreme Being was always represented by a hand extended from a cloud, and generally in the act of benediction. The form of this act of benediction, as adopted by the Roman Church, which seems to have been borrowed from the symbols of Phrygian and Eleusinian priests or hierophants, who used it in their mystical processions, presents a singular analogy, which will be interesting to Mark Master Masons, who will recognize in it a symbol of their own ritual. In the benediction referred to, as given in the Latin church, the thumb, index, and middle fingers are extended, and the two others bent against the palm. The church explains this position of the extended thumb and two fingers as representing the Trinity; but the older symbol of the Pagan priests, which was precisely of the same form, must have had a different meaning. A writer in the British Magazine thinks that the hand, which was used in the Mithraic mysteries in this position, was symbolic of the Light emanating not from the sun, but from the Creator, directly as a special manifestation; and he remarks that chiromancy, or the divination by the hand, is an art founded upon the notion that the human hand has some reference to the decrees of the supreme power peculiar to it above all other parts of the microcosmus - man. Certainly, to the Mason, the hand is most important as the symbol of that mystical intelligence by which one Mason knows another "in the dark as well as in the light."

444 - Why is a candidate required to make out his petition in his own handwriting?

  • Handwriting. The petition must be signed in the handwriting of the petitioner. This appears to be the general usage, and has the sanction of all ritual writers. The Grand Lodge of England expressly requires it to be done, and assigns, in its Constitutions, as a necessary deduction from the requisition, that those who cannot write are ineligible for initiation. Much carelessness, however, exists in relation to this usage, and it is by no means an uncommon practice for a member to sign a petition on behalf and at the request of the petitioner. This practice is, nevertheless, to be condemned. The signature should always be made by the applicant himself. In this way, if there were no other good reason, we should at least avoid the intrusion of wholly uneducated persons into the fraternity.

445 - At the building of King Solomon's Temple what were the overseers called?

  • Harodim. In 2d Chronicles, ii. 18, it is recorded that Solomon "set three score and ten thousand people to be bearers of burdens, and four score thousand to be hewers in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people at work." The overseers were called Harodim, or Princes.

446 - Why does the presiding officer of a Lodge wear a hat?

  • Hat. To uncover the head in the presence of superiors has been, among all Christian nations, held as a mark of respect and reverence. The Eastern nations uncover the feet when they enter a place of worship; the Western uncover the head. The converse of this is also true; and to keep the head covered while all around are uncovered is a token of superiority of rank or office. The king remains covered, the courtiers standing around him take off their hats.

Among the Romans the hat was a sign of freedom. Formerly all Masons wore hats in the Lodge, as a symbol of freedom and brotherly equality. But in English and American Lodges this custom is now exclusively confined to the Master.

447 - How can a clandestine Mason be made a lawful Mason?

  • Heal. An act of a legally constituted body of Masons by which a person who has been irregularly admitted to the mysteries of Free masonry is made a lawful Mason. When the person to be "healed" has been initiated into a self constituted or false lodge he can be healed only by reinitiation. Members, however, of schismatic Lodges may be recognized as legitimate by the action of a Grand Lodge. There is a difference between a clandestine (or sham) Lodge and one that is simply schismatic. The founders and members of the first are imposters; the latter are regular Lodges, which from some cause or other, are not recognized by legitimate Masonic authorities.

448 - Why cannot a deaf mute be made a Mason?

  • Hearing. Hearing is that sense by which we are enabled to distinguish sounds, and are made capable of all the perceptions of harmony and melody, with all the agreeable charms of music; by it we are enabled to enjoy the pleasures of society; and reciprocally to communicate to each other our thoughts and intentions, our purposes and desires, and by means of this sense our reason is capable of exerting its utmost power and energy.

449 - By which of the five senses do we receive the Master's word?

  • Hearing. One of the five senses, and an important symbol in Masonry, because it is through it that we receive instruction when ignorant, admonition when in danger, reproof when in error, and the claim of a brother who is in distress. Without this sense, the Mason would be crippled in the performance of all his duties; and hence deafness is deemed a disqualification for initiation.

450 - Why must an applicant for Masonry be first prepared in his heart?

  • Heart. The heart is the seat of the affections, passions and de sires; and by the precept given by Solomon, to keep our hearts, is meant, that we should diligently preserve our good dispositions, and correct our bad ones. All the actions of a man's life issue and proceed from the heart; which is the fountain not only of our natural life, but of our mortal too; so that as a man's heart is, so will his life be; if his heart be kept clean and pure, his life cannot be wicked and vicious; but if his heart be wicked and vicious, his life cannot be kept clean and pure.

451 - What is a hecatomb?

  • Hecatomb. Hecatomb means literally a hundred oxen. Strictly the offering of a hundred bullocks in sacrifice to the Gods. Sometimes the whole hecatomb, but more often the thighs, legs and hides were burned as a part of the ceremony, the flesh of the beasts being eaten by the worshipers.

452 - What does the candidate's condition when first admitted signify?

  • Helplessness. As a Mason, your first admission in a state of helplessness was an emblematic representation of the entrance of all men into this their state of mortal existence; it inculcated the cherishing lessons of natural equality, of mutual dependence. It instructed you in the active principles of universal benevolence and charity, to make them the solace of your own distresses, and to extend relief and consolation to your fellow creatures in the hour of their affliction. It required you to free the soul from the dominion of pride and prejudice, to look beyond the limits of particular institutions, and to view in every son of Adam a brother of the dust. Above all it taught you to bend with reverence and resignation to the will of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and to dedicate your heart thus purified from every malignant passion, and prepared for the reception of truth and justice.

453 - What ancient Spanish society was based on Masonic principles?

  • Hermandad Brotherhood. This Spanish society was founded A.D. 1295, in the cities of Castile and Leon. It was based on the Masonic principle of secrecy, having ceremonies of admission, secret signs of recognition, and secret places of meeting, where causes were tried and offenders against justice were judged and punished. It invested itself in a garment of mystery, and the blow of justice fell from its hand surely and swiftly, like the bolt of lightning. It sought not only to punish crime, but to prevent it. It warned every nobleman who showed a disposition to wrong a citizen of the certain destruction that awaited him if he persisted. Should he rob or injure a member of the Order, or a citizen, and refuse to make restitution, or give security for better conduct in future, his cattle, his vineyards and gardens were destroyed. The mysterious power of this terrible but righteous brother hood penetrated every place - through barred and bolted gates and armed sentinels - and often dealt its retributions in the royal presence itself. Of the utility of this Spanish Fraternity there cannot be a doubt, and its beneficial effects in those stormy times were immeasurable. Its ideas were justice, absolute justice, in the administration of the laws and equality in society and before God.

454 - Why did the ancient Lodges meet on high hills and in low valleys?

  • Highest of Hills. In the Old York Lectures was the following passage:
"Before we had the convenience of such well formed Lodges, the Brethren used to meet on the highest of hills and in the lowest of valleys. And if they were asked why they met so high, so low, and so very secret, they replied - the better to see and observe all that might ascend or descend; and in case a cowan should appear, the Tiler might give timely notice to the Worshipful Master, by which means the Lodge might be closed, the jewels put by, thereby preventing any unlawful intrusion."

Commenting on this, Dr. Oliver says: "Among other observances we find the practice of performing commemorative rites on the highest of hills and in the lowest of valleys. This practice was in high esteem amongst all the inhabitants of the ancient world, from a fixed persuasion that the summit of mountains made a nearer approach to the celestial deities, and the valleys or holy caverns to the infernal and submarine gods than the level country; and that, therefore, the prayers of mortals were more likely to be heard in such situations." Hutchinson also says: "The highest hills and the lowest valleys were from the earliest times esteemed sacred, and it was supposed that the Spirit of God was peculiarly diffusive in those places." The sentiment was expressed in the language of the earliest lectures of the eighteenth century, and is still retained, without change of words, in the lectures of the present day. But introduced, at first, undoubtedly with special reference to the ancient worship on "high places," and the celebration of the mysteries in the caverns of initiation, it is now retained for the purpose of giving warning and instruction as to the necessity of security and secrecy in the performance of our mystical rites, and this is the reason assigned in the modern lectures. And, indeed, the notion of thus expressing the necessity of secrecy seems to have been early adopted, while that of the sacredness of these places was beginning to be lost sight of; for in a lecture of the middle of the last century, or perhaps earlier, it was said that "the lodge stands upon holy ground, or the highest hill or lowest vale, or in the Vale of Jehosophat, or any other secret place." The sacredness of the spot is, it is true, here adverted to, but there is an emphasis given to its secrecy.

455 - What is the hour of noon called among Masons?

  • High Twelve. The hour of noon or twelve o'clock in the day, when the sun is high in the heavens, in contradistinction to low twelve, or midnight, when the sun is low down beneath the earth. The expression is always used, in Masonic language, to indicate the hour of noon, at which time, as the tradition tells us, the Craft in the Temple were called from labor to refreshment. The phrase was used in the earliest rituals of the last century. The answer in the old catechisms to the question, "What's a clock?" was always "High Twelve."

456 - In English Lodges what is the gavel called?

  • Hiram. The gavel of the Worshipful Master is so called in England, and on the continent of Europe, in allusion to the perfect order observed by the craftsmen at the building of Solomon's Temple, through the admirable skill and supervision of the operative Grand Master Hiram Abif.

457 - What is known of the life of our Ancient Operative Grand Master?

  • Hiram Abif. There is no character in the annals of Freemasonry whose life is so dependent on tradition as the celebrated architect of King Solomon's Temple. Profane history is entirely silent in respect to his career, and the sacred records supply us with only very unimportant items. To fill up the space between his life and his death, we are necessarily compelled to resort to those oral legends which have been handed down from the ancient Masons to their successors. Yet, looking to their character, I should be unwilling to vouch for the authenticity of all; most of them were probably at first symbolical in their character; the symbol in the lapse of time having been converted into a myth, and the myth, by constant repetition, having assumed the formal appearance of a truthful narrative. Such has been the case in the history of all nations. But whatever may have been their true character, to the Masons, at least, they are interesting, and cannot be altogether void of instruction.

When King Solomon was about to build a temple of Jehovah, the difficulty of obtaining skilful workmen to superintend and to execute the architectural part of the undertaking was such, that he found it necessary to request of his friend and ally, Hiram, King of Tyre, the use of some of his most able builders; for the Tyrians and Sidonians were celebrated artists, and at that time were admitted to be the best mechanics in the world. Hiram willingly complied with his request, and despatched to his assistance an abundance of men and materials, to be employed in the construction of the Temple, and among the former, a distinguished artist, to whom was given the superintendence of all the workmen, both Jews and Tyrians, and who was in possession of all the skill and learning that were required to carry out, in the most efficient manner, all the plans of the king of Israel.

Of this artist, whom Freemasons recognize sometimes as Hiram the Builder, sometimes as the Widow's Son, but more commonly as Hiram Abif, the earliest account is found in the first Book of Kings (vii. 13, 14), where the passage reads as follows: "And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass, and he was filled with wisdom and under standing, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon and wrought all his work." He is next mentioned in the second Book of Chronicles, (ch. ii. 13, 14), in the following letter from Hiram of Tyre to King Solomon: "And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's. The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone and in timber, in purple, in blue and in fine linen and crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David, thy father." In reading these two descriptions, everyone will be at once struck with an apparent contradiction in them in relation to the parentage of their subject. There is no doubt - for in this both passages agree - that his father was a man of Tyre; but the discrepancy is in reference to the birthplace of his mother, who in one passage is said to have been "of the tribe of Naphtali," and in the other, "of the daughters of Dan." Commentators have, however, met with no difficulty in reconciling the contradiction, and the suggestion of Bishop Patrick is now generally adopted on this subject. He supposes that she herself was of the tribe of Dan, but that her first husband was of the tribe of Naphtali, by whom she had his son; and that when she was a widow, she married a man of Tyre, who is called Hiram's father because he bred him up and was the husband of his mother.

Hiram Abif undoubtedly derived much of his knowledge in mechanical arts from that man of Tyre who had married his mother, and we may justly conclude that he increased that knowledge by assiduous study and constant intercourse with the artisans of Tyre, who were greatly distinguished for their attainments in architecture. Tyre was one of the principal seats of the Dionysiac fraternity of artificers, a society engaged exclusively in the construction of edifices, and living under a secret organization. Of this association it is not unreasonable to suppose that Hiram Abif was a member, and that on arriving at Jerusalem he introduced among the Jewish workmen the same exact system of discipline which he had found of so much advantage in the Dionysiac associations at home, and thus gave, under the sanction of King Solomon, a peculiar organization to the Masons who were engaged in building the Temple. Upon the arrival of this celebrated artist at Jerusalem, which was in the year B.C. 1012, he was at once received into the intimate confidence of Solomon, and intrusted with the superintendence of all the workmen, both Tyrians and Jews, who were engaged in the construction of the building. IIe received the title of "Principal Conductor of the Works," an office which, previous to his arrival, had been filled by Adoniram, and, according to Masonic tradition, formed with Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre, his ancient patron, the Supreme Council of Grand Masters, in which every thing was determined in relation to the construction of the edifice and the government of the workmen. The Book of Constitutions, as it was edited by Entick, speaks of him in the following language: "This inspired master was, without question, the most cunning, skilful, and curious workman that ever lived; whose abilities were not confined to building only, but extended to all kinds of work, whether in gold, silver, brass or iron; whether in linen, tapestry or embroidery; whether considered as architect, statuary, founder or designer, separately or together, he equally ex celled. From his designs and under his direction, all the rich and splendid furniture of the Temple and its several appendages were begun, carried on, and finished. Solomon appointed him, in his absence, to fill the Chair as Deputy Grand Master, and in his presence, Senior Grand Warden, Master of Work, and general overseer of all artists, as well those whom David had formerly procured from Tyre and Sidon, as those Hiram should now send." This statement requires some correction. According to the most consistent systems and the general course of the traditions, there were three Grand Masters at the building of the Temple, of whom Hiram Abif was one, and hence in our Lodges he always receives the title of a Grand Master. We may, however, reconcile the assertion of Anderson, that he was sometimes a Deputy Grand Master, and some times a Senior Grand Warden, by supposing that the three Grand Masters were among the Craft, possessed of equal authority, and held in equal reverence, while among themselves there was an acknowledged subordination of station and power. But in no way can the assertion be explained that he was at any time a Senior Grand Warden, which would be wholly irreconcilable with the symbolism of the Temple. In the mythical Master's lodge, supposed to have been held in the Temple, and the only one ever held before its completion, at which the three Grand Masters alone were present, the office of Junior Warden is assigned to Hiram Abif.

According to Masonic tradition, which is in part supported by scriptural authority, Hiram was charged with all the architectural decorations and interior embellishments of the building. He cast the various vessels and implements that were to be used in the religious service of the Temple, as well as the pillars that adorned the porch, selecting as the most convenient and appropriate place for the scene of his operations, the clay grounds which extend between Succoth and Zaredatha; and the old lectures state that the whole interior of the house, its posts and doors, its very floors and ceilings, which were made of the most expensive timber, and overlaid with plates of burnished gold, were, by his exquisite taste, enchased with magnificent designs and adorned with the most precious gems. Even the abundance of these precious jewels, in the decorations of the Temple, is attributed to the foresight and prudence of Hiram Abif; since a Masonic tradition, quoted by Dr. Oliver, informs us, that about four years before the Temple was begun he, as the agent of the Tyrian king, purchased some curious stones from an Arabian merchant, who told him, upon inquiry, that they had been found by accident on an island in the Red Sea. By the permission of King Hiram, he investigated the truth of this report, and had the good fortune to discover many precious gems, and among the rest an abundance of the topaz. They were subsequently imported by the ships of Tyre for the service of King Solomon.

In allusion to these labors of taste and skill displayed by the widow's son, our lectures say, that while the wisdom of Solomon contrived the fabric, and the strength of King Hiram's wealth and power supported the undertaking, it was adorned by the beauty of Hiram Abif's curious and cunning workmanship. In the character of the chief architect of the Temple, one of the peculiarities which most strongly attract attention, was the systematic manner in which he conducted all the extensive operations which were placed under his charge. In the classification of the workmen, such arrangements were made, by his advice, as to avoid any discord or confusion; and although about two hundred thousand craftsmen and laborers were employed, so complete were his arrangements, that the general harmony was never once disturbed. In the payment of wages, such means were, at his suggestion, adopted, that every one's labor was readily distinguished, and his defects ascertained, every attempt at imposition detected, and the particular amount of money due to each workman accurately determined and easily paid, so that, as Webb remarks, "the disorder and confusion that might otherwise have at tended so immense an undertaking was completely prevented." It was his custom never to put off until tomorrow the work that might have been accomplished to day, for he was as remarkable for his punctuality in the discharge of the most trifling duties, as he was for his skill in performing the most important. It was his constant habit to furnish the craftsmen every morning with a copy of the plans which he had, on the previous afternoon, designed for their labor in the course of the ensuing day. As new designs were thus furnished by him from day to day, any neglect to provide the workmen with them on each successive morning would necessarily have stopped the labors of the whole body of the workmen for that day; a circumstance that in so large a number must have produced the greatest disorder and confusion. Hence the practice of punctuality was in him a duty of the highest obligation, and one which could never for a moment have been neglected without leading to immediate observation. Such is the character of this distinguished personage, whether mythical or not, that has been transmitted by the uninterrupted stream of Masonic tradition.

The trestle board used by him in drawing his designs is said to have been made, as the ancient tablets were, of wood, and covered with a coating of wax. On this coating he inscribed his plans with a pen or stylus of steel, which an old tradition, preserved by Oliver, says was found upon him when he was raised, and ordered by King Solomon to be deposited in the centre of his monument. The same tradition informs us that the first time he used this stylus for any of the purposes of the Temple was on the morning that the foundation stone of the building was laid, when he drew the celebrated diagram known as the forty seventh problem of Euclid, and which gained a prize that Solomon had offered on that occasion. But this is so evidently a mere myth, in vented by some myth maker of the last century, without even the excuse of a symbolic meaning, that it has been rejected, or at least, forgotten by the Craft.

Another and more interesting legend has been preserved by Oliver, which may be received as a mythical symbol of the faithful performance of duty. It runs thus: "It was the duty of Hiram Abif to superintend the workmen, and the reports of his officers were always examined with the most scrupulous exactness. At the opening of the day, when the sun was rising in the east, it was his constant custom, before the commencement of labor, to go into the Temple, and offer up his prayers to Jehovah for a blessing on the work; and in like manner when the sun was setting in the west, and after the labors of the day were closed, and the workmen had left the Temple, he returned his thanks to the Great Architect of the Universe for the harmonious protection of the day. Not content with this devout expression of his feelings, he always went into the Temple at the hour of high twelve, when the men were called off from labor to refreshment, to inspect the work, to draw fresh designs upon the trestle board, if such were necessary, and to perform other scientific labors - never forgetting to consecrate the duties by solemn prayer. These religious customs were faithfully performed for the first six years in the secret recesses of his lodge, and for the last year in the precincts of the most holy place." While assiduously engaged in the discharge of these arduous duties, seven years passed rapidly away, and the magnificent Temple at Jerusalem was nearly completed. The Fraternity were about to celebrate the copestone with the greatest demonstrations of joy; but, in the language of the venerable Book of Constitutions, "their joy was soon interrupted by the sudden death of their dear and worthy master, Hiram Abif." On the very day appointed for celebrating the copestone of the building, says one tradition, he repaired to his usual place of retirement at the meridian hour, and did not return alive. On this subject we can say no more. This is neither the time nor the place to detail the particulars of his death. It is enough to say that the circumstance filled the Craft with the most profound grief, which was deeply shared by his friend and patron, King Solomon, who, according to the Book of Constitutions, "after some time allowed to the craft to vent their sorrow, ordered his obsequies to be performed with great solemnity and decency, and buried him in the lodge near the Temple - according to the ancient usages among Masons - and long mourned his loss."

458 - What co operation did Hiram, King of Tyre, give King Solomon?

  • Hiram, King of Tyre. When Solomon had determined to build a temple at Jerusalem, he sent an embassy to Tyre, requesting Hiram, the king of the Tyrians, would furnish him with workmen to cut down timber at Lebanon; and quarry stone in the quarries of Tyre, for the construction of that holy edifice. He returned an answer to Solomon's communication, which contained the language of amity and esteem. He agreed to furnish cedars and other timber from the forest of Lebanon for the erection of a temple to the living God, and to provide the most expert architects in his dominions for its construction, on the simple condition of receiving certain supplies of provisions in exchange; and he performed his contract with princely munificence and candor. But even this would have been insufficient without the presence of a master mind to animate and direct the proceedings; and the king of Tyre furnished this Master in the person of his chief architect, Hiram Abif, by whom the re union of speculative and operative masons was to be consummated.

459 - How was the first Lodge consecrated?

  • Holy Ground. The lodge is situated on holy ground. The first lodge was consecrated on account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met divine approbation. First, the ready compliance of Abraham to the will of God, in not refusing to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute another victim, in his stead; second, the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King its David, which appeased the wrath of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among the people, owing to his having had them numbered; and thirdly, the many thanksgivings, oblations, burnt sacrifices and costly offerings which Solomon, King of Israel, made at the completion, dedication, and consecration of the Temple of Jerusalem, to God's service. These three did then, have since, and I trust ever will, render the ground work of a Masons' lodge holy.

460 - What was the most sacred part of the Temple?

  • Holy of Holies. The innermost and most sacred part of the temple was called the Holy of Holies, and sometimes the Most Holy Place, and was ordained and made on purpose for the reception of the Ark of the Covenant. The whole end and reason of that most sacred place was to be a receptacle for it. This place or room was of an exact cubic form, as being thirty feet square and thirty feet high. In the centre the ark was placed, upon a stone rising there three fingers breadth above the floor, as a pedestal for it. On the two sides of it stood two cherubims fifteen feet high, at equal distances from the centre of the ark and each side wall; where, having their wings expanded, with two of them they touched the side walls, and with the other two they did meet, and touch each other exactly over the middle of the ark; so that the ark stood exactly in the middle between these two cherubims.

461 - Why do Masons revere the Holy Name?

  • Holy Name. Freemasonry teaches, in all its symbols and rituals, a reverence for the name of God, which is emphatically called the "Holy Name." In the prayer "Ahabath Olam," first introduced by Dermott, it is said, "because we trusted in thy holy, great, mighty, and terrible Name;" and in the introductory prayer of the Royal Arch, according to the American system, similar phraseology is employed: "Teach us, we pray thee, the true reverence of thy great, mighty, and terrible Name." The expression, if not the sentiment, borrowed from the Hebrew mysteries.

462 - To whom should a Masonic Lodge be dedicated?

  • Holy Saints John. Tradition informs us that Masonic Lodges were originally dedicated to King Solomon, because he was our first Most Excellent Grand Master. In the sixteenth century, if we may judge from expressions used in the celebrated Charter of Cologne, St. John the Baptist seems to have been considered as the peculiar patron of Freemasonry; but subsequently this honor was divided between the two Saints John, the Baptist and the Evangelist, and modern Lodges, in this country at least, are universally erected or consecrated to God, and dedicated to the Holy Saints John. I am therefore surprised to find the formula in Webb, which dedicates the Lodge "to the memory of the Holy Saint John." I cannot but deem it an inadvertence on the part of this Masonic lecturer, since in all his oral teachings he adhered to the more general system, and described a Masonic Lodge in his esoteric work as being "dedicated to the Holy Saints John." This, at all events, is now the universal practice, and the language used by Webb becomes contradictory and absurd when compared with the fact that the festivals of both saints are equally celebrated by the Order, and that the 27th of December is not less a day of observance in the Order than the 24th of June.

The ceremony of dedication is merely the enunciation of a form of words, and this having been done, the Lodge is thus, by the consecration and dedication, set apart as something sacred to the cultivation of the principles of Masonry, under that peculiar system which acknowledges the two Saints John as its patrons.

463 - What are the regulations governing honorary membership in a Lodge?

  • Honorary Membership. Honorary membership is quite a recent invention, and is now conferred only as a mark of distinction on Brethren of great talents or merits, who have been of service, by their labors or their writings, to the fraternity. It confers no powers on the recipient like those which are the results of active or full membership, and amounts to no more than a testimonial of the esteem and respect entertained by the Lodge which confers it for the individual upon whom it is conferred.

464 - What are Grand Honors? Why and how are they given?

  • Honors, Grand. A peculiar ceremony among Masons by which they applaud, or express their agreement, satisfaction or sorrow. They are divided into private and public. The first can only be given in a Master's Lodge, and cannot be described here. The public grand honors, as their name imports, do not partake of this secret character. They consist of clapping the hands three times three in rapid succession, and are given on all public occasions in which the ministrations of the Fraternity are required, in the presence of the profane as well as the initiated. The funeral grand honors are given in the following manner: Both arms are crossed on the breast, the left uppermost, and the open palms of the hands touching the shoulders; the hands are then raised above the head, the palms striking each other, and then made to fall sharply on the thighs, with the head bowed. This is repeated three times. While the honors are being given the third time, the brethren audibly pronounce the following words - when the arms are crossed on the breast: - "We cherish his memory here;" when the hands are ex tended above the head - "We commend his spirit to God who gave it;" and when the hands are extended toward the ground - "And consign his body to the earth."

465 - Of what is the hoodwink a symbol?

  • Hoodwink. A symbol of the secrecy, silence and darkness in which the mysteries of our art should be preserved from the unhallowed gaze of the profane. It has been supposed to have a symbolic reference to the passage in St. John's Gospel, "and the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." But it is more certain that there is in the hoodwink a representation of the mystical darkness which always preceded the rights of the ancient initiations.

466 - Of what is hope emblematic?

  • Hope. The second round in the theological and Masonic ladder, and symbolic of a hope in immortality. It is appropriately placed there, for, having attained the first, or faith in God, we are led by a belief in his wisdom and goodness to the hope of immortality. This is but a reason able expectation; without it, virtue would lose its necessary stimulus and vice its salutary fear; life would be devoid of joy, and the grave but a scene of desolation. The ancients represented Hope by a nymph holding in her hand a bouquet of opening flowers, indicative of the coming fruit, but in modern and Masonic iconology it is represented by a virgin leaning on an anchor, the anchor itself being a symbol of hope.

Hope is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast: then let a firm reliance of the Almighty's goodness animate our endeavours, and enable us to fix our hope within the limits of his most gracious promises, so shall success attend us; if we believe a thing impossible our despondency may render it so, but if we persevere to the end, we shall finally overcome all difficulties.

467 - Of what is the hour glass emblematic?

  • Hour Glass. An emblem used in the third degree, according to the Webb lectures, to remind us by the quick passage of its sands of the transitory nature of human life. As a Masonic symbol it is of comparatively modern date, but the use of the hour glass as an emblem of the passage of time is older than our oldest rituals. Thus, in a speed before Parliament, in 1627, it is said: "We may handle and play with the hour glass: that is in our power, but the hour will not stay for us; and an opportunity once lost cannot be regained." We are told that in the early part of the last century it was a custom to inter an hour glass with the dead, as an emblem of the sand of life being run out.

468 - What were the hours of labor of our operative brethren?

  • Hours, Masonic. The language of Masonry, in reference to the hours of labor and refreshment, is altogether symbolical. The old lectures contained a tradition that our ancient brethren wrought six days in the week and twelve hours in the day, being called off regularly at the hour of high twelve from labor to refreshment. In the French and German systems, the Craft were said to be called from labor at low twelve, or midnight, which is therefore the supposed or fictitious time at which a French or German Lodge is closed. But in the English and American systems the Craft are supposed to be called off at high twelve, and when called on again the time for recommencing labor is said to be "one hour past high twelve;" all this refers to Ancient Craft Masonry. In some of the high degrees the hours designated for labor or rest are different. So, too, in the different Rites; thus, in the system of Zinnendorf, it is said that there are in a Mason's Lodge five hours, namely, twelve struck, noon, high noon, midnight, and high midnight; which are thus explained. Twelve struck, is before the Lodge is opened and after it is closed; noon is when the Master is about to open the Lodge; high noon, when it is duly open; midnight, when the Master is about to close it; and high midnight, when it is closed and the uninitiated are permitted to draw near.

469 - Why should officers of Lodges be punctual in their attendance?

  • Hours of Work. The masters and officers should always be punctual in their attendance, and observe the hour of meeting with scrupulous exactness; for correct conduct in officers will invariably produce a corresponding accuracy in the brethren. I know nothing which tends more to disgust and sour the mind than the unprofitable employment of waiting impatiently for the attendance of the superior officers, with a probable expectation of being disappointed at last.


470 - What do the initials I. A. M. signify?

  • I. A. M. According to the cabalistical theologians, Moses, asking the Lord if he would tell him the name of his Divine Essence, received for answer, "say I AM THAT I AM, sent me to you," (the children of Israel), equivalent to saying: What use is it to ask what is inexplicable? "I AM THAT I AM," as the ancient sages say, meant, that as He was with them in that captivity, so would he be in others; and there fore He then revealed to Moses the Tetragrammaton; and this He repeated, as He would manifest Himself by its representation of the ten sovereign lights: and by that means would become known, although veiled in them; because His existence will be ever hidden from all, and cannot be explained by any character.

471 - What method of teaching morality was in vogue in the early period of the World?

  • Ideas. The Jewish system was made up chiefly of ceremonies, types, and figures, denoting intellectual things and moral duties. This mode of teaching morality was at that early period of the world necessary. And why? Because then not one person in ten thousand beside the priesthood could read. The people were not then able to exhibit thoughts to the eye by means of writing, hence the necessity arose of teaching by signs and symbols, that when these struck the eye they should raise corresponding ideas in the mind, and thus convey moral truths and duties by the sight and by the operation of tools and mechanical instruments. This is the fulcrum on which rests and turns the first and most fascinating part of Masonic instruction.

It may be said in reply, that in the early days of Freemasonry, the arts of reading and writing were not generally disseminated among the masses of the people, and that in all probability the great majority of the Craft were not in possession of those literary qualifications. But this latter statement is a gratuitous assumption, of the correctness of which we have no proof. On the contrary, we find throughout all our ancient Regulations, that a distinction was made by our rulers between Freemasons and those who were not free, indicating that the former were of a superior class; and may we not suppose that a rudimentary education formed a part at least of that claim to superiority? Thus, in the conclusion of the fifth chapter of the Charges, approved in 1722, it is said: "No laborer shall be employed in the common work of Masonry, nor shall Freemasons work with those who are not free, without urgent necessity." But, exclusive of the written law upon the subject, which perhaps was silent, because it deemed so evident and uniformly observed a regulation unnecessary to be written, we are abundantly taught by the nature of the institution, as exemplified in its ritual, that persons who cannot read and write are ineligible for initiation. In the first degree, a test is administered, the offering of which would be manifestly absurd, if the person to whom it was offered could neither read nor write; and in the presentation of the letter G, and all the instructions on that important symbol, it must be taken for granted that the candidate who is invested with them must be acquainted with the nature and power of letters.

472 - In what sense is the word "idiot" used among Masons?

  • Idiot. This word did not always have the meaning which is now attached to it. It is derived from the Greek, idiotes, which signified a private citizen. In Sparta it denoted one who felt no interest, and took no part, in public affairs, and hence came to mean an ignorant person. It was used in this sense in the middle ages, and this is its Masonic meaning. The modern meaning - fool - would be out of place; for it would be as absurd to establish a rule that no fool should be made a Mason as it would be to enact a law that no horse, or infant, or dead man, should be admitted to the mysteries of Freemasonry. The word means, masonically, not a fool, but a listless, indifferent, ignorant fellow, who could only be a disgrace to the Craft.

473 - What is the fate of the ignorant Mason?

  • Ignorance. The ignorant Freemason is a drone and an ineumbrance in the Order. He who does not study the nature, the design, the history, and character of the Institution, but from the hour of his initiation neither gives nor receives any ideas that could not be shared by a profane, is of no more advantage to Masonry than Masonry is to him. The true Mason seeks light that darkness may be dispelled, and knowledge that ignorance may be removed. The ignorant aspirant, no matter how loudly he may have asked for light, is still a blind groper in the dark.

474 - How can a suspended Mason or Lodge be reinstated?

  • Illegal Suspensions. If the Grand Master should be satisfied that any brother has been illegally or without sufficient cause, suspended, removed, or excluded from any of his masonic functions or privileges, by any private lodge or any subordinate authority, he may order him to be reinstated or restored, and may also suspend, until the next ensuing quarterly communication, any lodge or brother who shall refuse to comply with such order.

475 - Are illiterate persons eligible for Masonry?

  • Illiteracy. Any individual who cannot write, is ineligible to be admitted into the Order. This rule is observed, yet I have known a few instances in which men incapable of writing have been initiated. And it was in reference to a fact of this kind that the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, in 1848, declared that though "there is no injunction in the ancient Constitutions prohibiting the initiation of persons who are unable to read or write; yet, as speculative Masonry is a scientific institution, the Grand Lodge would discourage the initiation of such candidates as highly inexpedient."

476 - What is the teaching of the sublime degree?

  • Immortality of the Soul. The third or Master's degree leads to that great truth which the sublimest part of the heathen mysteries was intended to teach; and the faithful believer was assured of a future life and immortality beyond the grave.

477 - What are the immovable jewels?

  • Immovable. The immovable jewels are the tracing board, for the Worshipful Master to draw his designs on; the rough ashlar, for the Entered Apprentice to mark and indent on; and the perfect ashlar, for the experienced Fellowcraft to try and adjust his jewels on. They are termed immovable, because they are distributed in places assigned them in the lodge, for the brethren to moralize upon. They were formerly called the trasel board, the rough ashlar, and the broached thurnel.

478 - Can a Lodge remove its Master?

  • Impeachment. In 1842 a singular case occurred at New York, in which the rights and privileges of a Master of a lodge were placed in jeopardy, by the action of his lodge. After the lodge was opened, the Master had occasion to be absent for a short time, leaving the Senior Warden in the chair. On his return, he found that charges had been preferred against him, and a committee appointed to try him; and the Senior Warden refused to return into his hands the warrant and mallet of the lodge. Complaint being made to the Grand Master by the Master, he directed the Grand Secretary to inform the Senior Warden that it was his direction that he should forthwith return the warrant to the hands of the Master, and that the action of the lodge on that case must be suspended, and the members hold themselves in readiness to maintain their charges before the Grand Lodge, which was all promptly complied with by the parties. The ground of his decision was, that the Master of a lodge is only subject to impeachment and trial before his peers, who are acquainted with his duties, which the members of a lodge cannot know until they are themselves seated in the oriental chair.

479 - Are there any imperfections in the Masonic System?

  • Imperfections. The system as taught in the regular lodges, may have some redundancies or imperfections, occasioned by the indolence or ignorance of the old members. And, indeed, considering through what obscurity and darkness the mystery has been delivered down; the many centuries, and languages, and sects, and parties, it has run through, we are rather to wonder it ever arrived to the present age without more imperfections.

480 - What are the symbolic teachings of the implements of Craft Masonry?

  • Implements. A general collection of masonic implements may remind the Master of his power and jurisdiction, while they warn him to avoid the abuse of that power, limiting his jurisdiction and prescribing his conduct. They likewise afford him copious topics of advice to such as assist him in the government of the Fraternity, as well as to all the brethren over whom he is called to preside. He may descant on the excellence of the holy writings as a rule of life; for those writings teach us that, being born upon a level we should act upon the square, circumscribing our desires within the compass of Nature's gifts, poured from the horn of plenty. Here, also, he may exhort them to walk uprightly, suffering neither the pressure of poverty, nor the avarice of riches to tempt the heart for a moment to swerve from the line of rectitude which is suspended before them from the centre of heaven. The division of time into equal and regular portions, he may also urge as the surest method of securing the greatest good from the opportunities that are afforded us. The subjection of our passions and desires is here likewise taught by the gavel, which is used by the operative builder to re move the excrescences and to smooth the surfaces of the rough materials for a building, while the by laws of the lodge regulate the deportment of the craftsmen, while assembled for the purposes of social improvement and mental recreation, and while separated from the rest of mankind, and placed among none but brethren.

481 - How may a Lodge guard itself against impostors?

  • Impostors. Impostors in Masonry may be either profanes who, never having been initiated, yet endeavor to pass themselves for regular Freemasons, or Masons who, having been expelled or suspended from the Order, seek to conceal the fact and still claim the privileges of members in good standing. The false pretensions of the former class are easily detected, because their real ignorance must after a proper trial become apparent. The latter class, having once been invested with the proper instructions, can stand the test of an examination; and their true position must be discovered only by information derived from the Lodges which have suspended or expelled them. The Tiler's oath is intended to meet each of these cases, because it requires every strange visitor to declare that he has been lawfully initiated, and that he is in good standing. But perjury added to imposture will gasily escape this test. Hence the necessity for the utmost caution, and therefore the Charges of 1722 say, "You are cautiously to examine a strange brother in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed on by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and derision, and beware of giving him any hints of knowledge." The Masonic rule is, that it is better that ninety and nine true brethren be rejected than that one impostor be admitted.

482 - What race performed the more humble labors in the erection of the Temple?

  • Imposts. According to Masonic tradition the members of the secret society of Tyrian artists, who were hired by King Solomon to erect that sacred structure, in order to distinguish them from the Jews, who performed the more humble labors, were honored with the epithet of Free annexed to the name of builder or mason; and being talented foreigners, were freed from the usual imposts paid to the state by the subjects of Solomon.

483 - Can Masonry be held accountable for the conduct of all its members?

  • Imputations. Individual errors or crimes ought only to reflect discredit on the offending parties, for a gigantic society like ours, whose members are spread over the face of the earth, and are found in every civilized country on the globe, cannot be responsible for the mis conduct of every single member of its body. It is very common to hear those who are not Masons urge this argument with all the force and confidence of conviction. A Mason has misconducted himself most grossly, they will say, and therefore Masonry must be a bad institution. But this way of reasoning is absurd. Take the argument in another point of view, and what does it end in? Why, a general condemnation of all institutions, human and divine. How would it shock our ears were it applied to Christianity. A Christian has been guilty of acts of violence; he has robbed one neighbor, slandered another, and murdered a third; and therefore - mark the consequence - Christianity must be a bad institution. Is not this preposterous? Does it follow because a wicked Christian commits murder, that the Christian religion must necessarily recommend the commission of murder? So Masonry. If some brethren so far forget their solemn obligations as to overstep the boundaries of decency; if they set the censure of the world at defiance, and disgrace themselves in the eyes of God and man, it cannot be urged that the institution recommends this conduct.

484 - What steps must a Lodge take after it has received its warrant, to become lawfully constituted?

  • Inchoate Lodge. The Lodge to which a warrant has been granted is still, however, only an inchoate Lodge. To perfect its character and to entitle it to all the prerogatives of a warranted Lodge, certain forms and ceremonies have to be observed. These ceremonies are, acò cording to the ritual, as follows, and in the following order:
1. Consecration.
2. Dedication.
3. Constitution.
4. Installation.

They should all be performed by the Grand Master in person, or, if he is unable to attend, by some Past Master, who acts for him by a special warrant of proxy.

485 - Under what circumstances is membership in the Masonic Fraternity said to be inchoate?

  • Inchoate Membership. Membership in the Masonic Fraternity is inchoate until perfected by the initiate by affixing his signature to the by laws. He does not by his mere reception into the third degree, become a member of the Lodge. He may not choose to perfect that inchoation; he may desire to affiliate with some other Lodge; and in such a case, by declining to affix his signature to the by laws, he remains in the. condition of unaffiliation. By having been raised to the third degree, he acquires a claim to membership, but no actual membership. It is left to his own option whether he will assert or forfeit that claim. If he declines to sign the by laws, he forfeits his claim; if he signs them, he asserts it, and becomes ipso facto a member.

486 - Can Masonic Lodges be incorporated?

  • Incorporation. By an act of incorporation, the supreme legislature of a country creates a corporation or body politic, which is defined by Mr. Kyd to be "a collection of many individuals united in one body, under a special denomination, having perpetual succession under an artificial form, and vested by the policy of the law with a capacity of acting in several respects as an individual, particularly of taking and granting property, connecting obligations, and of suing and being sued; of enjoying privileges and immunities in common, and of exercising a variety of political rights." Some Grand Lodges in this country are incorporated by act of the General Assembly of their respective States; others are not, and these generally hold their property through Trustees. In 1768, an effort was made in the Grand Lodge of England to petition Parliament for incorporation, and after many discussions the question was submitted to the lodges; a large majority of whom having agreed to the measure, a bill was introduced in Parliament by the Deputy Grand Master, but, after having been approved on its second reading, at the request of several of the Fraternity, who had petitioned the House against it, it was withdrawn by the mover, and thus the design of an incorporation, fell to the ground. Perhaps the best system of Masonic incorporation in existence is that of the Grand Lodge of Scuth Carolina. There the act by which the Grand Lodge was incorporated, in 1817, delegates to that body the power of incorporating its subordinates; so that a lodge, whenever it receives from the Grand Lodge a Warrant of constitution, acquires thereby at once all the rights of a corporate body, which it ceases to exercise whenever the said Warrant is revoked by the Grand Lodge.

Objections have been made to the incorporation of lodges in consequence of some of the legal results which would follow. An incorporated lodge becomes subject to the surveillance of the courts of law, from which an unincorporated lodge is exempt. Thus, a Mason expelled by an unincorporated lodge must look for his redress to the Grand Lodge alone. But if the lodge be incorporated, he may apply to the courts for a restoration of his franchise as a member. Masonic discipline would thus be seriously affected. The objection to incorporation is, I think, founded on good reasons.

487 - What is the Masonic definition of the phrase "indefinite suspension"?

  • Indefinite Suspension. Indefinite suspension, as the qualifying word imports, 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 definite suspension. The position of a Mason, under definite or indefinite suspension, is precisely the same as to exercise of all his rights and privileges, which in both cases remain in abeyance, and 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.

There is, however, a shade of difference between the two punishments - indefinite suspension being inflicted for offences of a more aggravated nature than those for which the penalty of definite suspension is prescribed. It must, of course, be the result of conviction, after due charges and trial, and can only be inflicted by a vote of two thirds of the members present. 488 - To whom is a Mason answerable for his motives when casting a ballot?

  • Independence in Balloting. Independence of all responsibility is an essential ingredient in the exercise of the ballot. A Mason is responsible to no human power for the vote that he casts on the petition of a candidate. To his own conscience alone is he to answer for the motives that have led to the act, and for the act itself. It is, of course, wrong, in the exercise of this invaluable right, to be influenced by pique or prejudice, or by an adverse vote, to indulge an ungenerous feeling. But whether a member is or is not influenced by such motives, or is indulging such feelings, no one has a right to inquire. No Mason can be called to an account for the vote that he has deposited. A Lodge is not entitled indeed to know how any one of its members has voted. No inquiry on this subject can be entertained; no information can be received.

489 - What does the rite of induction signify?

  • Induction, Rite of. Those acts and ceremonies by which the novice is first introduced into the Lodge are called by this name. They are highly instructive when properly explained, and have an important symbolical meaning.

The Rite of Induction signifies the end of a profane and vicious life - the palingenesia (new birth) of corrupted human nature - the death of vice and all bad passions, and the introduction to a new life of purity and virtue. It also prepares the candidate, by prayer and meditation, for that mystic pilgrimage, where he must wander through night and darkness, before he can behold the golden splendors of the Orient, and stand in unfettered freedom among the Sons of Light. The rite further represents man in his primitive condition of helplessness, ignorance, and moral blindness, seeking after that mental and moral enlightenment which alone can deliver his mind from all thralldoms, and make him master of the material world. The Neophyte, in darkness and with tremblings, knocks at the portals of the Lodge, and demands admission, instruction, and light. So man, born ignorant, and helpless, and blind, yet feeling stirring within him unappeasable longings for knowledge, knocks at the doors of the temple of science. He interrogates Nature, demands her secrets, and at length becomes the proud possessor of her mysteries.

490 - Of what is the beehive emblematic?

  • Industry. A virtue inculcated amongst Masons, because by it they are enabled not only to support themselves and families, but to contribute to the relief of all worthy distressed brethren. "All Masons," say the Charges of 1722, "shall work honestly on working days that they may lived creditably on holy days." The Masonic symbol of industry is the beehive, which is used in the third degree.

Masonry is a progressive science, and not to be attained in any degree of perfection but by time, patience, and a considerable degree of application and industry; for no one is admitted to the profoundest secrets, or the highest honours of this Fraternity, till by time we are assured he has learned secrecy and morality.

491 - How can the influence of Masonry be supported?

  • Influence. The influence of Freemasonry can only be supported by an unanimous determination amongst the brethren to preserve in their private lodges the utmost regularity and decorum, a uniformity of rites and ceremonies, and, above all, a resolution to practice, in their several stations, those moral duties which are so strongly recommended, and so beautifully displayed in the private lectures of the lodge.

492 - Under what circumstances can one Mason vouch for another?

  • Information, Lawful. One of the modes of recognizing a stranger as a true brother, is by the "lawful information" of a third party. No Mason can lawfully give information of another's qualifications unless he has actually tested him by the strictest trial and examination, or knows that it has been done by another. But it is not every Mason who is competent to give "lawful information." Ignorant and unskillful brethren cannot do so, because they are incapable of discovering truth or of detecting error. A "rusty Mason" should never attempt to examine a stranger and certainly, if he does, his opinion as to the result is worth nothing. If the information given is on the ground that the party who is vouched for has been seen sitting in a Lodge, care must be taken to inquire if it was a "just and legally constituted Lodge of Master Masons." A person may forget from the lapse of time, and vouch for a stranger as a Master Mason, when the Lodge in which he saw him was only opened in the first or second degree. Information given by letter, or through a third party, is irregular. The person giving the information, the one receiving it, and the one of whom it is given, should all be present at the same time, for otherwise there would be no certainty of identity. The information must be positive, not founded on belief or opinion, but derived from a legitimate source. And lastly, it must not have been received casually, but for the very purpose of being used for Masonic purposes. For one to say to another in the course of a desultory conversation, "A. B. is a Mason," is not sufficient. He may not be speaking with due caution, under the expectation that his words will be considered of weight. He must say some thing to this effect: "I know this man to be a Master Mason, for such or such reasons, and you may safely recognize him as such." This alone will ensure the necessary care and proper observance of prudence.

493 - Are the Masonic ceremonies the true secrets of the order?

  • Initiated. The initiated, while in the lodge, labor to perfect their own mental faculties, as well as those of the whole human race. Here let us seek the secrets of Masonry, in themselves unpronounceable, neither are they to be communicated by the laying on of hands, in a few fleeting hours. Thoughts, the indulgence in which a few short years ago would have been punished by the sword, the stake, or banishment, are, in our days, loved as philanthropic; and princes now do things for which but a few years back misunderstood philosophers were condemned as mad impostors. But there are thoughts, even in the present day, which the great mass of mankind may mock or curse, but which will in some future period be usefully and beneficially introduced into private life. This has been nearly all, and yet continues to be the chief employment of a genuine Freemason; although in the lodge those subjects are very seldom openly introduced; it is for this reason that the great mass consider the ceremonies to be the true secret, whereas they are in. reality but the shell in which they are enclosed.

494 - Is the Masonic system subject to change?

  • Innovations. These can never be permitted in Freemasonry. As it was in the beginning, so it is now, and so it must forever remain. This is particularly true of symbolic Masonry. It has resisted all attempts of reformers, as these innovators style themselves, to add to, or take from, or introduce changes. The high degrees are developments of the first three, and complete the fabric in all its beauty. Among the innovators who, in the last age, attempted to change the character of the Masonic rites, Cagliostro and the Chevalier Ramsay were the chief. But their efforts were unavailing, and their inventions soon forgotten.

495 - Is a person formerly insane, but restored to health, admissible as a candidate?

  • Insanity. Idiots and madmen, although again the written law is silent upon the subject, are excluded by the ritual law from initiation, and this from the evident reason that the powers of understanding are in 'the one instance absent, and in the other perverted, so that they are both incapable of comprehending the principles of the institution, and are without any moral responsibility for a violation or neglect of its duties.

It has sometimes been mooted as a question, whether a person, having once been insane, and then restored to health, is admissible as. a candidate. The reply to the question depends on the fact whether the patient has been fully restored or not. If he has, he is no longer insane, and does not come within the provisions of the law, which looks only to the present condition, mental, physical or moral, of the candidate. If he has not, and if his apparent recovery is only what medical men call a lucid interval, then the disease of insanity, although not actually evident, is still there, but dormant, and the individual cannot be initiated. This is a matter the determination of which is so simple, that I should not have even alluded to it, were it not that it was once proposed to me as a question of Masonic law, which the Lodge proposing it had not been able satisfactorily to solve.

496 - Of what are the Masonic insignias emblematic?

  • Insignia. The presiding officers of a lodge are distinguished by certain geometrical figures, being combinations of those which are called perfect, viz., the square, the equilateral triangle, and the circle; the latter being a general characteristic of grand officers. The compasses are parts of the triangle; the square, either triangle or square; the level and the plumb are both parts of a square. Now the square, level and plumb have their separate and specific uses, and are assigned to the three chief officers, as emblems of their respective duties. But the Past Master having already executed them all, and being no longer an operative, is relieved from the burden of bearing a working tool, and invested with a problem of the greatest utility in geometrical demonstrations, he having attained the rank of a ruler in Israel; and therefore the Master's square is relieved by a square silver plate, on which is delineated the forty seventh problem of Euclid. The compasses are instruments of design, and are thus appointed to the Grand Master. He designs; the Past Master demonstrates; the Worshipful Master governs his particular lodge; the Senior Warden preserves equality and harmony amongst the brethren; and the Junior Warden takes care that the proper hours of labor are maintained. Thus a system of arrangement is preserved, which produces order and regularity, and constitutes the Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty of Freemasonry.

497 - Has a visitor a right to inspect the warrant of a Lodge?

  • Inspection of Warrant. As the warrant is the evidence of the legality of a Lodge, every Mason who desires to visit a Lodge for the first time is entitled to an inspection of this instrument, nor should any Mason ever consent to visit a strange Lodge until he has had an opportunity of examining it. The refusal to submit it to his inspection is in itself a suspicious circumstance, which should place him on his guard, and render him at once averse to holding communion of a Masonic nature with persons who are thus unwilling, and, it may be, unable to produce the evidence of their legal standing.

498 - What is the origin of the ceremony of installation?

  • Installation. A Lodge having been consecrated to the uses of Masonry, and dedicated to the patrons of the Order, and its members constituted into a legal Masonic organization, it becomes necessary that the officers chosen should be duly invested with the power to exercise the functions which have been confided to them. The ceremony by which this investiture is made is called the installation.

The custom of inducting an officer into the station to which he has been elected by some ceremony, however simple, has been observed in every association. The introduction of the presiding officer of a profane society into the chair which he is to occupy, by one or more of the members, is, in every essential point, an installation. In the church, the ceremony (differing, as it must, in every denomination), by which a clergyman is inducted into his pastoral office, or a bishop placed in his see, is in like manner a species of installation, all of which forms find their type in the inauguration of the Augurs in ancient Rome into their sacred office. A similar usage prevails in Masonry, where it has always been held that an officer cannot legally perform the duties of his office until he has been installed into office. As in the Roman inauguration the rite could only be performed by an Augur, (whence the derivation of the word), so in Masonry the ceremony of installation can only be performed by a Past Master, and in the installation of the officers of a new Lodge, by the Grand Master or some Past Master, who has been especially deputed by him for that purpose.

Preston says that the Deputy Grand Master usually invests the Master, the Grand Wardens invest the Wardens, the Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary the Treasurer and Secretary, and the Grand Stewards the Stewards. But this usage is not observed in America, where all the officers are installed and invested by the same installing officer, whether he be the Grand Master or a Past Master.

499 - What were the ancient installation charges?

  • Installation, Ancient Charges. These Charges appear from their style to be very old, although their date is uncertain. They were contained in a MS. written in the reign of James II., which extended from 1685 to 1688, which MS., according to Preston, was in possession of the Lodge of Antiquity in London. They are said to have been used at the installation of the Master of a Lodge. Probably they are older than the year 1686; but that date is often used as a means of reference, The Charges are as follows:
1. That ye shall be true men to God and the holy church, and to use no error or heresy by your understanding, and by wise men's teaching.
2. That we shall be true liegemen to the King of England, without treason or any falsehood, and that ye know no treason but ye shall give knowledge thereof to the king, or to his counsel; also, ye shall be true one to another, that is to say, every Mason of the craft that is Mason allowed, ye shall do to him as ye would be done unto yourself.
3. And ye shall keep truly all the counsel that ought to be kept in the way of Masonhood, and all the counsel of the Lodge or of the chamber. Also, that ye shall be no thief nor thieves to your knowledge free; that ye shall be true to the king, lord or master that ye serve, and truly to see and work for his advantage.
4. Ye shall call all Masons your Fellows, or your brethren, and no other names.
5. Ye shall not take your Fellow's wife in villainy, nor deflower his daughter or servant, nor put him to disworship.
6. Ye shall truly pay for your meat or drink, wheresoever ye go to table or board. Also, ye shall do no villainy there, whereby the craft or science may be slandered.

500 - Is it lawful to install the officers of a Lodge by proxy?

  • Installation by Proxy. It is usual in the case of the absence of any one of the officers who is to be installed, for some other brother to assume his place, and, acting as his proxy, to make the usual promises for him, and in his behalf to receive the charge and investiture. Long and uninterrupted usage would seem alone sufficient to sanction this practice, (however objectionable it may, in some respects, be deemed), but it has also the authority of ancient law; for the thirty sixth of the Regulations of 1721 prescribes that when the Grand Master elect is absent from the grand feast, that is to say, on the day of installation, the old Grand Master may act as his proxy, perform his duties, and in his name receive the usual homage.

501 - Has a Lodge under dispensation the right to install its officers?

  • Installation in Lodge Under Dispensation. It follows, from the nature of the organization of a Lodge under dispensation, that it cannot install its officers. This is indeed a ritualistic law, for the installation of officers is an inherent and indivisible part of the ceremony of constitution, and it is self evident that a Lodge under dispensation cannot, while in this inchoate condition, be constituted; for a constituted Lodge under dispensation would be a contradiction in terms; besides, no officer can be installed unless he has been elected or appointed for a definite period. But the Master and Wardens of a Lodge under dispensation are appointed for an indefinite period, that is, during the pleasure of the Grand Master, and are not, therefore, qualified for installation.

502 - What regulations govern the installation of officers of a Lodge?

  • Installation of Officers. A Lodge has the right to install its officers after being elected. This is a right incidental to the grant of perpetual succession, which is contained in the warrant; for, as by ancient Masonic law and universal usage, no officer can legally discharge the functions of the office to which he has been elected, until he has been regularly inducted into it by the ceremony of installation, it follows that when a grant of perpetual succession of officers is made, the grant carries with it the power of investing all succeeding officers with the powers and functions of their predecessors, which investiture is accomplished in Masonry by the ceremony of installation. But this power of installation, like all the other powers of subordinate Lodges, is controlled and directed by certain Grand Lodge regulations, which it is not in the power of the Lodge to set aside.

The installation, for instance, must take place at the communication, immediately before or on the festival of St. John the Evangelist. This is considered as the commencement of the Masonic year, and on that day the old officers vacate their seats, which are assumed by the new ones. But if by any circumstance the installation has been omitted until after this festival, the law having been violated, and there being no other law which provides for an installation after that day, the installation can then only take place by the authority and under the dispensation of the Grand Master.

In a new Lodge installation can only be conducted by the Grand Master, or some Past Master, acting for and representing him. This is because on that occasion the installation makes a part of the ceremony of constitution, which, by the Old Regulations, can only be per formed by the Grand Master. But all subsequent installations may be conducted by any Past Master of the Lodge, or other Past Master representing him; because the warrant grants the Master of the Lodge and his successors the perpetual power of installing their successors. It is only when the exercise of this right has been temporarily forfeited by an omission to install at the regular time, that it becomes necessary to go outside of the warrant, and apply to the Grand Master for his dispensing power to legalize the installation at an irregular period.

503 - Who is eligible to install the officers of a warranted Lodge?

  • Installation of Officers of a Warranted Lodge. A Lodge when consecrated, dedicated and constituted, with its officers installed, assumes at once the rank and prerogatives of a warranted Lodge. The consecration, dedication and constitution are never repeated, but at every, subsequent annual election, the installation of officers is renewed. But on these occasions it is no longer necessary that the Grand Master or his proxy should act as the installing officer. This duty is to be per formed by the last Master, or by any other Past Master acting in his behalf; for, by the warrant of constitution, the power of installing their successors is given to the officers therein named, and to their successors, so that the prerogative of installation is perpetually vested in the last officers.

504 - Who is responsible for the proper instruction of candidates?

  • Instructed. The candidate is instructed by the Worshipful Master in his duties as a Mason; the first and most impressive part of which, is to study the Holy Bible, and to practice the three great moral duties to God, your neighbour, and yourself. To God, by holding his name in awe and veneration; viewing him as the chief good, imploring his aid in laudable pursuits, and supplicating his protection on well meant endeavors. To your neighbor, by always acting upon the square, and considering him equally entitled with yourself to share the blessings of providence, rendering unto him those favors and friendly offices, which, in a similar situation, you would expect from him. And to yourself, by not abusing the bounties of providence, impairing your faculties by irregularity, or debasing your profession by intemperance.

505 - What is instrumental Masonry?

  • Instrumental Masonry. The instrumental consists in the use and application of various tools and implements, such as the common gauge, the square, the plumb line, the level, and others that may be called mathematical, invented to find the size or magnitude of the several parts or materials whereof our buildings are composed, to prove when they are wrought into due form and proportion, and when so wrought, to fix them in their proper places and positions, and likewise to take the dimensions of all bodies, whether plain or solid, and to adjust and settle the proportions of space and extent. To this part also belongs the use of various other instruments or machines, such as the lever, the wheel and axle, the wedge, the screw, the pulley, etc., which may be called mechanic, being used to forward and expedite our business, to alleviate our toils, and enable us to perform with a single hand what could not be done without many, and in some cases not at all; and those more properly belonging to our brethren of the second degree, styled Fellowcrafts.

506 - What affirmation of intention accompanies the Mason's oath?

  • Intention. The obligations of Masonry are required to be taken with an honest determination to observe them; and hence the Mason solemnly affirms that in assuming those responsibilities he does so with out equivocation, secret evasion, or mental reservation.

507 - How is the internal preparation of a candidate made known?

  • Internal Qualifications. Those qualifications of a candidate which refer to a condition known only to himself, and which are not patent to the world, are called internal qualifications. They are:
1st. That he comes forward of his own free will and accord, and unbiased by the solicitations of others.
2nd. That he is not influenced by mercenary motives; and,
3rd. That he has a disposition to conform to the usages of the Order. The knowledge of these can only be obtained from his own statements, and hence they are included in the preliminary questions which are proposed before initiation.

The internal preparation of a candidate for Masonry is exemplified by the declaration he is called on to make with respect to the motives which have induced him to seek its privileges.

508 - Why should Masons take care not to interrupt a brother who is speak ing in a Lodge?

  • Interruption. There cannot be a greater rudeness than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse; for if it be not impertinence and folly to answer a man before we know what he has to say, yet it is a plain declaration that we are weary of his discourse, that we disregard what he says as unfit to entertain the society with, and is, in fact, little less than a downright desiring that ourselves may have audience, who have something to produce better worth the attention of the company. As this is no ordinary degree of disrespect, it cannot but always give a very great offense.

509 - What is the arch enemy of Freemasonry?

  • Intolerance. The arch enemy of Freemasonry. Toleration is one of the chief foundation stones of the Fraternity, and Universality and Brotherly Love are ever taught. Notwithstanding, intolerance has, and ever has had, its grip upon the brotherhood, and insidiously does its silent and undermining work. Human powers are limited or circumscribed. Man by nature is weak, and is largely the creature of early education; yet no institution has such resisting power and is of such avail as Freemasonry against that great enemy of man, which has destroyed more of the human race than any other evil power.

510 - To whom should the investigation of a petition for Masonry be entrusted?

  • Investigation. A petition must be referred to a committee, for an investigation into the character and the qualifications of the candidate. The law, derived from the ancient Regulations of 1721, is explicit, that there shall be an inquiry into the character of the candidate; but it is silent as to the mode in which that inquiry shall be made. It might, it is true, be made by the whole Lodge, every member considering him self as a member of the committee of investigation; but as this would be a. cumbersome method, and one which would hardly be successful, from the very number of the inquisitors, and the probability that each member would depend upon his associates for the performance of an unpleasant duty, it has been invariably the custom to refer the subject to a special committee, consisting generally of three, who are always chosen by a skillful Master from among those members who, from peculiar circumstances, are most likely to make the inquiry with promptness, certainty and impartiality.

511 - What form of invocation is customary in American Lodges?

  • Invocation. An invocation sometimes used in the United States at the dedication of Masonic lodges, is as follows: "Supreme Architect of all worlds ! vouchsafe to accept the solemn dedication of this hall to the glory of thy holy name ! Make its walls salvation, and its arch praise. May the brethren who shall here assemble, meet in unity, work in love, and part in harmony. May Fidelity keep the door, Faith prompt the duties, Hope animate the labors, and Charity diffuse the blessings of the lodge ! May wisdom and virtue distinguish the fraternity, and Masonry become glorious in all the earth ! So mote it be! Amen."

512 - What does the absence of iron tools at the building of King Solomon's Temple symbolize?

  • Iron Tools. The lectures teach us that at the building of King Solomon's Temple there was not heard the sound of axe, hammer, or other metallic tool. But all the stones were hewn, squared, and numbered in the quarries; and the timbers felled and prepared in the forest of Lebanon, whence they were brought on floats by sea to Joppa, and thence carried by land to Jerusalem, where, on being put up, each part was found to fit with such exact nicety that the whole, when completed, seemed rather the handiwork of the Grand Architect of the Universe than of mere human hands. This can hardly be called a legend, because the same facts are substantiated in the first Book of Kings; but the circumstance has been appropriated in Masonry to symbolize the entire peace and harmony which should prevail among Masons when laboring on that spiritual temple of which the Solomonic Temple was the archetype.


513 - What is the name of the right hand pillar facing east on the porch of King Solomon's Temple?

  • Jachin. Hence called by Dudley and some other writers, who reject the points, ichin. It is the name of the right hand pillar that stood at the porch of King Solomon's Temple. It is derived from two Hebrew words, jah, "God," and iachin, "will establish." It signifies "he that strengthens," or "will establish." The other pillar was called Boaz, "in strength" - the two words signifying "in strength shall this my house be established."

514 - What is the Masonic symbolism of Jacob's Ladder?

  • Jacob's Ladder. The introduction of Jacob's ladder into the symbolism of Speculative Masonry is to be traced to the vision of Jacob, which is thus substantially recorded in the twenty eighth chapter of the Book of Genesis: When Jacob, by the command of his father Isaac, was journeying toward Padan aram, while sleeping one night with bare earth for his couch and a stone for his pillow, he beheld the vision of a ladder, whose foot rested on the earth and whose top reached to heaven.

Angels were continually ascending and descending upon it, and promised him the blessing of a numerous and happy posterity. When Jacob awoke, he was filled with pious gratitude, and consecrated the spot as the house of God. This ladder, so remarkable in the history of the Jewish people, finds its analogue in all the ancient initiations. Whether this is to be attributed simply to a coincidence - a theory which but few scholars would be willing to accept - or to the fact that these analogues were all derived from a common fountain of symbolism, or whether, as suggested by Oliver, the origin of the symbol was lost among the practices of the Pagan rites, while the symbol itself was retained, it is, perhaps, impossible authoritatively to determine. It is, however, certain that the ladder as a symbol of moral and intellectual progress existed almost universally in antiquity, presenting itself either as a succession of steps, of gates, of degrees, or in some modified form. The number of steps varied; al though the favorite one appears to have been seven, in reference, apparently, to the mystical character almost everywhere given to that number.

Thus, in the Persian mysteries of Mithras, there was a ladder of seven rounds, the passage through them being symbolical of the soul's approach to perfection. These rounds were called gates, and, in allusion to them, the candidate was made to pass through seven dark and winding caverns, which process was called the ascent of the ladder of perfection. Each of these caverns was the representative of a world, or state of existence through which the soul was supposed to pass in its progress from the first world to the last, or the world of truth. Each round of the ladder was said to be of metal of increasing purity, and was dignified also with the name of its protecting planet. Some idea of the construction of this symbolic ladder may be obtained from the following table:

7 - Gold - Sun - Truth.
6 - Silver - Moon - Mansion of the Blessed.
5 - Iron - Mars - World of Births.
4 - Tin – Jupiter - Middle World.
3 - Copper - Venus - Heaven.
2 - Quicksilver – Mercury - World of Pre existence.
1 - Lead - Saturn - First World.

In the mysteries of Brahma we find the same reference to the ladder of seven steps. The names of these were not different, and there was the same allusion to the symbol of the universe. The seven steps were emblematical of the seven worlds which constituted the Indian universe. The lowest was the Earth; the second, the World of Pre existence; the third, Heaven; the fourth, the middle World, or intermediate region between the lower and upper worlds; the fifth, the World of Births, in which souls are again born; the sixth, the Mansion of the Blessed; and the seventh, or topmost round, the Sphere of Truth, and the abode of Brahma. Dr. Oliver thinks that in the Scandinavian mysteries the tree Yggdrasil was the representative of the mystical ladder. But although the ascent of the tree, like the ascent of the ladder was a change from a lower to a higher sphere - from time to eternity, and from death to life - yet the unimaginative genius of the North seems to have shorn the symbolism of many of its more salient features.

Among the Kabbalists, the ladder was represented by the ten Sephiroths, which, commencing from the bottom, were the Kingdom, Foundation, Splendor, Firmness, Beauty, Justice, Mercy, Intelligence, Wisdom, and the Crown, by which we arrive at the En Soph, or the Infinite.

In the higher Masonry we find the ladder of Kadosh, which consists of seven steps, thus commencing from the bottom: Justice, Equity, Kindness, Good Faith, Labor, Patience, and Intelligence. The arrangements of these steps, for which we are indebted to modern ritualism, does not seem to be perfect; but yet the idea of intellectual progress to perfection is carried out by making the topmost round represent Wisdom or Understanding.

The Masonic ladder which is presented in the symbolism of the first degree ought really to consist of seven steps, which thus ascend: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, Justice, Faith, Hope, and Charity; but the earliest examples of it present it only with three, referring to the three theological virtues, whence it is called the theological ladder. It seems, therefore, to have been settled by general usage that the Masonic ladder has but three steps. As a symbol of progress, Jacob's ladder was early recognized. Picus of Mirandola, who wrote in the sixteenth century, in his oration, "De Hominis Dignitate," says that Jacob's ladder is a symbol of the progressive scale of intellectual communication betwixt earth and heaven; and upon the ladder, as it were, step by step, man is permitted with the angels to ascend and descend until the mind finds blissful and complete repose in the bosom of divinity. The highest step he defines to be theology, or the study and contemplation of the Deity in his own abstract and exalted nature.

In the Ancient Craft degrees of the York Rite, Jacob's ladder was not an original symbol. It is said to have been introduced by Dunckerley when he reformed the lectures. This is confirmed by the fact that it is not mentioned in any of the early rituals of the last century, nor even by Hutchinson, who had an excellent opportunity of doing so in his lecture on the Nature of the Lodge, where he speaks of the covering of the lodge, but says nothing of the means of reaching it, which he would have done, had he been acquainted with the ladder as a symbol. Its first appearance is in a Tracing Board on which the date of 1776 is inscribed, which very well agrees with the date of Dunckerley's improvements. In this Tracing Board, the ladder has but three rounds; a change from the old seven stepped ladder of the mysteries; which, however, Preston corrected when he described it as having many rounds, but three principal ones. Dunekerley, I think, was indebted for this symbol to Ramsay, from whom he liberally borrowed on several other occasions, taking from him his Royal Arch, and learning from him to eliminate the Master's Word from the third degree, where it had been placed by his predecessors.

As to the modern Masonic symbolism of the ladder, it is, as I have already said, a symbol of progress, such as it is in all the old initiations. Its three principal rounds, representing Faith, Hope, and Charity, present us with the means of advancing from earth to heaven, from death to life - from the mortal to immortality. Hence its foot is placed on the ground floor of the Lodge, which is typical of the world, and its top rests on the covering of the Lodge, which is symbolic of heaven.

In the Prestonian lecture, which was elaborated out of Dunckerley's system, the ladder is said to rest on the Holy Bible, and to reach to the heavens. This symbolism is thus explained.

"By the doctrines contained in the Holy Bible we are taught to believe in the divine dispensation of Providence, which belief strength ens our Faith, and enables us to ascend the first step.

"That Faith naturally creates in us a Hope of becoming partakers of some of the blessed promises therein recorded, which Hope enables us to ascend the second step.

"But the third and last being Charity comprehends the whole, and he who is possessed of this virtue in its ample sense, is said to have arrived to the summit of his profession, or more metaphorically, into an ethereal mansion veiled from the mortal eye by the starry firmament." In the modern lectures, the language is materially changed, but the idea and the symbolism are retained unaltered.

The delineation of the ladder with three steps only on the Tracing Board of 1776, which is a small one, may be attributed to notions of convenience. But the fact that Dunckerley derived his symbol from Ramsay; that Ramsay's ladder had seven steps, being the same as the Kadosh symbol; that in all the old initiations the number seven was preserved; and lastly, that Preston describes it as having "many rounds or staves, which .point out as many moral virtues, but three principal ones, namely, Faith, Hope, and Charity," irresistibly lead us to the conclusion that the Masonic ladder should properly have seven steps which represent the four cardinal and the three theological virtues. 515 - In the earliest lectures where was the Lodge supposed to stand?

  • Jehoshaphat. Our ancient brethren who reduced the scattered elements of Freemasonry into order at the beginning of the last century, considered the lodge to be situated in the valley of Jehoshaphat; and that in whatever part of the world it might be opened, it was still esteemed, in a figure, to occupy that celebrated locality. Thus it was pronounced, in the earliest known lectures, that the lodge stands upon holy ground, or the highest hill or lowest dale, or in the Vale of Jehoshaphat. This celebrated valley derives its name from Jehovah and Shaphat, which means Christ, and to judge; and as the prophet Joel had predicted that the Lord would gather together all nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, it was believed by the Jews, (and the Christians subsequently adopted the same opinion), that in this place the transactions of the great day of judgment would be enacted.

516 - Why is Jehovah said to be the ineffable name in Masonry?

  • Jehovah. JEHOVAH is of all the significant words of Masonry, by far the most important. Regellini very properly calls it "the basis of our dogma and of our mysteries." In Hebrew it consists of four letters, and hence is called the Tetragrammaton, or four lettered name; and because it was forbidden to a Jew, as it is to a Mason, to pronounce it, it is also called the Ineffable or Unpronounceable name. For its history we must refer to the sixth chapter of Exodus, (verses 2, 3). When Moses returned discouraged from his first visit to Pharaoh, and complained to the Lord that the only result of his mission had been to incense the Egyptian king, and to excite him to the exaction of greater burdens from the oppressed Israelites, God encourages the Patriarch by the promise of the great wonders which he would perform in behalf of his people, and confirmed the promise by imparting to him that sublime name by which he had not hitherto been known: "And God," says the sacred writer, "spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Jehovah: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob as El Shad dal, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them." This Ineffable name is derived from the substantive verb, hayah, to be; and combining, as it does, in its formation the present, past, and future siagnifications of the verb, it is considered as designating God in his immutable and external existence. This idea is carried by the Rab, bins to such an extent, that Menasseh Ben Israel says that its four letters may be so arranged by permutations as to form twelve words, every one of which is a modification of the verb to be, and hence it is called the nomen substantioe vel essentioe, the name of his substance or existence.

The first thing that attracts our attention in the investigation of this name is the ancient regulation, still existing, by which it was made unlawful to pronounce it. This, perhaps, originally arose from a wish to conceal it from the surrounding heathen nations, so that they might not desecrate it by applying it to their idols. Whatever may have been the reason, the rule was imperative among the Jews. The Talmud in one of its treatises, the "Sanhedrin," which treats of the question, Who of the Israelites shall have future life and who shall not ? says: "Even he who thinks the name of God with its true letters forfeits his future life." Abraham Ben David Halevi, when discussing the names of God, says: "But the name we are not allowed to pronounce. In its original meaning it is conferred upon no other being, therefore we abstain from giving any explanation of it." We learn from Jerome, Origen, and Eusebius that in their time the Jews wrote the name in their copies of the Bible in Samaritan instead of Hebrew letters, in order to veil it from the inspection of the profane. Capellus says that the rule that the holy name was not to be pronounced was derived from a tradition, based on a passage in Leviticus, (xxiv. 16), which says that he who blasphemeth the name of Jehovah shall be put to death; and he translates this pas sage, "whosoever shall pronounce the name Jehovah shall suffer death," because the word nokeb, here translated "to blaspheme," means also "to pronounce distinctly, to call by name." Maimonides tells us that the knowledge of this word was confined to the hachamin or wise men, who communicated its true pronunciation and the mysteries connected with it only on the Sabbath day, to such of their disciples as were found worthy; but how it was to be sounded, or with what vocal sounds its four letters were to be uttered, was utterly unknown to the people. Once a year, namely, on the day of atonement, the holy name was pronounced with the sound of its letters and with the utmost veneration by the high priest in the Sanctuary. The last priest who pronounced it, says Rabbi Bechai, was Simeon the Just, and his successors used in blessing only the twelve lettered name. After the destruction of the city and Temple by Vespasian, the pronunciation of it ceased, for it was not lawful to pronounce it anywhere except in the Temple at Jerusalem, and thus the true and genuine pronunciation of the name was entirely lost to the Jewish people. Nor is it now known how it was originally pronounced. The Greeks called it JAO; the Romans, JovA; the Samaritans always pronounced it JAMIE.

The Jews believed that this holy name, which they held in the highest veneration, was possessed of unbounded powers. "He who pronounces it," said they, "shakes heaven and earth, and inspires the very angels with astonishment and terror. There is a sovereign authority in this name: it governs the world by its power. The other names and surnames of the Deity are ranged about it like officers and soldiers about their sovereigns and generals: from this king name they receive their orders, and obey." It was called the Shemhamphorash, the explanatory or declaratory name, because it alone, of all the divine names, distinctly explains or declares what is the true essence of the Deity. Among the Essenes, this sacred name, which was never uttered aloud, but always in a whisper, was one of the mysteries of their initiation, which candidates were bound by a solemn oath never to divulge.

It is reported to have been, under a modified form, a password in the Egyptian mysteries, and none, says Schiller, dare enter the temple of Serapis who did not bear on his breast or forehead the name of Jao or Je ha ho; a name almost equivalent in sound to that of Jehovah, and probably of identical import; and no name was uttered in Egypt with more reverence.

The Rabbins asserted that it was engraved on the rod of Moses, and enabled him to perform all his miracles. Indeed, the Talmud says that it was by the utterance of this awful name, and not by a club, that he slew the Egyptian; although it fails to tell us how he got at that time his knowledge of it. That scurrilous book of the Jews of the Middle Ages, called the Toldoth Jeshu, attributes all the wonderful works of Jesus Christ to the potency of this incommunicable name, which he is said to have abstracted from the Temple, and worn about him. But it would be tedious and unprofitable to relate all the superstitious myths that have been invented about this name. In Freemasonry, the equilateral triangle, called the delta, with or without a Yod in the center, the Yod alone, and the letter G, are recognized as symbols of the sacred and Ineffable name.

The history of the introduction of this word into the ritualism of Freemasonry would be highly interesting, were it not so obscure. Being in almost all respects an esoteric symbol, nearly all that we know of its Masonic relations is derived from tradition; and as to written records on the subject, we are compelled, in general, to depend on mere intimations or allusions, which are not always distinct in their meaning. In Masonry, as in the Hebrew mysteries, it was under the different appellations of the Word, the True Word, or the Lost Word, the symbol of the knowledge of Divine Truth, or the true nature of God. That this name, in its mystical use, was not unknown to the Medieval Freemasons there can be no doubt. Many of their architectural emblems show that they possessed this knowledge. Nor can there be any more doubt that through them it came to their successors, the Free masons of the beginning of the eighteenth century. No one can read Dr. Anderson's Defense of Masonry, written in 1730, without being convinced that this prominent actor in the revival was well acquainted with this name; although he is, of course, careful to make no very distinct reference to it, except in one instance. "The occasion," he says, "of the brethren searching so diligently for their Master was, it seems, to receive from him the secret Word of Masonry, which should be delivered down to their posterity in after ages." It is now conceded, from indisputable evidence, that the holy name was, in the earlier years, and, indeed, up to the middle of the last century, attached to the third degree, and then called the Master's Word. I have now lying before me two tracing boards of that degree, one an Irish one of the date of 1769, the other a continental one of 1778; but both, apparently, copies of some earlier one. Among the emblems displayed is a coffin, on which is inscribed, in capital letters, the word JEHOVAH. Hutchinson, who wrote in 1774, makes no reference what ever to the Royal Arch, although that system had, by that time, been partially established in England; but in his lectures to Master Masons and on the third degree refers to "the mystic word, the Tetragrammaton." Oliver tells us distinctly that it was the Master's Word until Dunckerley took it out of the degree and transferred it to the Royal Arch. That it was so on the Continent, we have the unmistakable testimony of Guillemain de St. Victor, who says, in his Adonhiramite Masonry, that Solomon placed a medal on the tomb of Hiram, "on which was engraved Jehova, the old Master's Word, and which signifies the Supreme Being." So far, then, these facts appear to be established: that this Ineffable name was known to the Operative Freemasons of the Middle Ages; that it was derived from them by the Speculative Masons, who, in 1717, revived the Order in England; that they knew it as Master Masons; and that it continued to be the Master's Word until late in that century, when it was removed by Dunckerley into the Royal Arch.

Although there is, perhaps, no point in the esoteric system of Masonry more clearly established than that the Tetragrammaton is the true omnific word, yet innovations have been admitted, by which, in some jurisdictions in this country, that word has been changed into three others, which simply signify Divine names in other languages, but have none of the sublime symbolism that belongs to the true name of God. It is true that the General Grand Chapter of the United States adopted a regulation disapproving of the innovation of these explanatory words, and restoring the Tetragrammaton; but this declaration of what might almost be considered a truism in Masonry has been met with open opposition or reluctant obedience in some places.

The Grand Chapter of England has fallen into the same error, and abandoned the teachings of Dunckerley, the founder of the Royal Arch in that country, as some of the Grand Chapters in America did those of Webb, who was the founder of the system here. It is well, therefore, to inquire what was the omnific word when the Royal Arch system was first invented.

We have the authority of Oliver, who had the best opportunity of any man in England of knowing the facts, for saying that Dunckerley established the Royal Arch for the modern Grand Lodge; that he wisely borrowed many things from Ramsay and Dermott; and that he boldly transplanted the word Jehovah from the Master's degree and placed it in his new system.

Now, what was "THE WORD" of the Royal Arch, as understood by Dunckerley? We have no difficulty here, for he himself answers the question. To the first edition of the Laws and Regulations of the Royal Arch, published in 1782, there is prefixed an essay on Freemasonry, which is attributed to Dunckerley. In this he makes the following remarks: "It must be observed that the expression THE WORD is not to be understood as a watchword only, after the manner of those annexed to the several degrees of the Craft; but also theologically, as a term, thereby to convey to the mind some idea of that Grand Being who is the sole author of our existence; and to carry along with it the most solemn veneration for his sacred Name and Word, as well as the most clear and perfect elucidation of his power and attributes that the human mind is capable of receiving. And this is the light in which the Name and Word hath always been considered, from the remotest ages, amongst us Christians and the Jews." And then, after giving the well known history from Josephus of the word, which, to remove all doubt of what it is, he says is the "Shem Ilamphorash, or the Unutterable Name," he adds: "Philo, the learned Jew, tells us not only that the word was lost, but also the time when, and the reason why. But, to make an end of these unprofitable disputes among the learned, be it remembered that they all concur with the Royal Arch Masons in others much more essential: first, that the Name or Word is expressive of SELF EXISTENCE and ETERNITY, and secondly, that it can be applicable only to that GREAT BEING who was and is and will be." Notwithstanding this explicit and unmistakable declaration of the founder of the English Royal Arch, that the Tetragrammaton is the omnific word, the present system in England has rejected it, and substituted in its place three other words, the second of which is wholly unmeaning.

In the American system, as revised by Thomas Smith Webb, there can be no doubt that the Tetragammaton was recognized as the omnific word. In the Freemason's Monitor, prepared by him for monitorial instruction, he has inserted, among the passages of Scripture to be read during an exaltation, the following from Exodus, which is the last in order, and which any one at all acquainted with the ritual will at once see is appropriated to the time of the euresis or discovery of the Word.

"And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord, and I appeared unto Abraham, and unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." From this it will be evident that Webb recognized the word Jehovah, and not the three other words that have since been substituted for them by some Grand Chapters in this country, and which it is probable were originally used by Webb as merely explanatory or declaratory of the Divine nature of the other and principal word. And this is in accordance with one of the traditions of the degree, that they were placed on the substitute ark around the real word, as a key to explain its signification. To call anything else but this four lettered name an omnific word - an all creating and all performing word - either in Masonry or in Hebrew symbolism, whence Masonry derived it, is to oppose all the doctrines of the Talmudists, the Kabbalists, and the Gnostics, and to repudiate the teachings of every Hebrew scholar from Buxtorf to Gesenius. To fight the battle against such odds is to secure defeat. It shows more of boldness than of discretion. And hence the General Grand Chapter of the United States has very wisely restored the word Jehovah to its proper place. It is only in the York and in the American rites that this error has ever existed. In every other Rite the Tetragrammaton is recognized as the true word.

517 - What is the Masonic tradition with respect to Jeptha?

  • Jeptha. There is an old Masonic tradition respecting Jeptha to the following effect. When the Ephraimites had assembled together to molest Jeptha, their leader encamped round a certain pillar, which being placed in an elevated situation, commanded a view of the ancient country, where Jeptha was prepared to receive him. After the battle, when the Ephraimites were retreating, Jeptha called a council of war to decide upon the necessary means of intercepting them, where it was agreed that they should be made to pronounce a password on the shores of Gilgal, by which they might be distinguished in the dark as in the light. And as they were unable to pronounce this word, they were immediately slain, this test word having been used to distinguish friend from foe.

518 - Why was Jerusalem chosen as the site of King Solomon's Temple?

  • Jerusalem. The most famous and important city of Palestine. The old traditions and natural prepossessions both of Jews and Christians connect it with that Salem of which Melchizedek was king. It is situated on elevated ground south of the center of the country, about 37 miles from the Mediterranean, and about 24 from the Jordan. About a century after its foundation, it was captured by the Jebusites, who extended the walls, and constructed a castle, or citadel, on Mount Zion. By them it was called Jebus. In the conquest of Canaan, Joshua put to death its king, Adonizedek, and obtained possession of the town, which was jointly inhabited by Jews and Jebusites until the reign of David, who expelled the latter, and made it the capital of his kingdom, under the name of Jebus Salem, or Jerusalem. Its highest historical importance dates from the time of David, who transported to it the ark of the covenant, and built in it an altar to the Lord. The building of the temple by King Solomon was the consummation of the dignity and holiness of Jerusalem, which was further enlarged, strengthened and beautified by this king and by his successors. After the death of Solomon (B.C. 975), it suffered a diminution of political importance through the revolt and secession of the ten tribes. It was pillaged (B.C. 972), by Shishak, king of Egypt, and by Athaliah (B.C. 884), and finally (B.C. 588), it was taken, after a siege of three years, by Nebuchadnezzar, who razed its walls, and destroyed the temple and palaces, and carried all the holy vessels of the temple, together with thousands of captives, to Babylon. Having been rebuilt after the Captivity (B.C. 536), it was again taken and pillaged under Ptolemy Lagos (B.C. 320), and under Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 161), Pompey took the city (B.C. 63), put 12,000 of the inhabitants to the sword, and razed the walls to the ground, sparing, at the same time, the treasures of the sanctuary. A few years later (B.C. 51) it was pillaged by Crassus; and from these beginnings date the continued series of Roman aggressions, which terminated in the complete destruction of the city and dispersion of the Jewish race, under Vespasian and Titus, A.D. 70.

519 - What is the place of the Heavenly Jerusalem in Masonry?

  • Jerusalem, Heavenly. The City of God. In several of the higher degrees the Heavenly Jerusalem is frequently alluded to, and occupies a prominent place. In the fifth section of the 2d degree of the Rite of Herodim the Thersata says: "Brothers may we all, whether present or absent, so labor that we shall come at last to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God; the Heavenly Jerusalem * * * *, where the sun shall set no more, nor the moon deprive us of her light, and where the days of our affliction, and the fatigues of our pilgrimage shall find an end."

520 - What branch of the Roman Catholic Church has sought to pervert Masonry to political intrigue and religious bigotry?

  • Jesuits. In the last century the Jesuits were charged with having an intimate connection with Freemasonry, and the invention of the degree of Kadosh was even attributed to those members of the Society who constituted the College of Clermont. This theory of a Jesuitical Masonry seems to have originated with the Illuminati who were probably governed in its promulgation by a desire to depreciate the character of all other Masonic systems in comparison with their own, where no such priestly interference was permitted. Barrel scoffs at the idea of such a connection, and calls it "lo fable de la Franc Maconneries Jesuiteque." For once he is right. Like oil and water, the tolerance of Freemasonry and the intolerance of the "Society of Jesus" cannot commingle.

Yet it cannot be denied that while the Jesuits have had no part in the construction of pure Freemasonry, there are reasons for believing that they took an interest in the invention of some degrees and systems which were intended to advance their own interests. But wherever they touched the Institution they left the trail of the serpent. They sought to convert its pure philanthropy and toleration into political intrigue and religious bigotry. Hence it is believed that they had something to do with the invention of those degrees, which were intended to aid the exiled house of Stuart in its efforts to regain the English throne, because they believed that would secure the restoration in England of the Roman Catholic religion. Almost a library of books has been written on both sides of this subject in Germany and France.

521 - What are the ornaments of a Freemason?

  • Jewels. The Freemasons' ornaments are three jewels, the square, the level, and the plumb rule. Those who are intrusted with them must possess great talents, and whether they can be cautious and worthy guardians of them must be ascertained from their previous conduct.

522 - Did the Jewish law prohibit the use of symbols?

  • Jewish Symbols. The Jews had many symbols represented on the Tabernacle and the Temple. Moses placed in the former two cherubims, or sphinxes, as well as ornaments and decorations of flower work; and figures of cherubims were embroidered on the veil of the Holy of Holies, on the hangings of the sanctuary, and probably on the curtain also. It is evident, therefore, that Moses never intended to prohibit the use of symbols; nor was such a thing understood by the Jews in any age. Solomon did not so understand him, for in his temple the cherubims were represented in the Sanctum Sanctorum, and he decorated the walls with palm trees, cherubims, flowers, and other figures. The brazen sea rested upon twelve oxen. In Ezekiel's description of the temple are many figures, which, like the Egyptian deities, had heads of animals. The pillars, Jachin and Boaz, were decorated with lily work, net work, and pomegranates, as symbols of the peace, unity, and plenty which distinguished the building. Even after the Babylonish captivity the same symbolical system was used. The golLlen lamp in the second temple, of which a representation is still extant on the triumphal arch of Vespasian at Rome, was placed on sphinxes. In the roof, and at the gate of Zerubabbel's temple, there were golden vines, thickly charged with rich clusters of grapes.

523 - To whom were Lodges formerly dedicated?

  • Johannite Masonry. The lodges of symbolical Masonry which were formerly dedicated to King Solomon are now dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Hence the first three degrees are called Johannite Masonry.

524 - By what name was the Masonic society formerly known?

  • John's Brothers. Before the year 1440 the Masonic society was known by the name of John Brothers, but they then began to be called Free and Accepted Masons.

525 - Is a member excluded from one Lodge eligible to join another?

  • Joining. If any member shall be excluded from his lodge, or shall withdraw himself from it, without having complied with its by laws, or with the general regulations of the Craft, he shall not be eligible to any other lodge, until that lodge has been made acquainted with his former neglect, so that the brethren may be enabled to exercise their discretion as to his admission. Whenever a member of any lodge shall resign, or shall be excluded, or whenever at a future time he may require it, he shall be furnished with a certificate stating the circumstances under which he left the lodge; and such certificate is to be produced to any other lodge of which he is proposed to be admitted a member, previous to the ballot being taken.

526 - Why was the timber for the Temple delivered at the Port of Joppa?

  • Joppa. One of the most ancient seaports in the world, on the Mediterranean Sea, about 35 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Here the materials for building the first and second temples, sent from Lebanon, Tyre and other places, were landed, and conveyed to Jerusalem. Its harbor is shoal and unprotected from the winds; but on account of its convenience to Jerusalem, it became the principal port of Judea, and is still the great landing place of pilgrims and travelers to the Holy Land. The place is now called Jaffa. The peculiarly hilly and even precipitous character of Joppa is preserved in the traditions of the degree of Mark Master and a benevolent moral deduced, in accordance with the entire instructions of the grade.

527 - What aid does a Mason receive on the journey of life?

  • Journey. Every Freemason, when he is initiated into the Craft, is taught to consider human life as a journey. Ile would faint with fatigue, lose himself in unknown roads, or fall over high precipices if he was not supported, faithfully conducted, and fraternally warned. By these means he arrives in safety at the end of his journey, and is permitted to receive light himself, that he may be able to support, lead, and warn others when traveling the same road.

528 - What is the difference between a journeyman and a Fellowcraft?

  • Journeyman. When the Lodges were altogether operative in their character, a Mason, having served his apprenticeship, began to work for himself, and he was then called a journeyman; but he was required, within a reasonable period (in Scotland it was two years), to obtain admission into a Lodge, when he was said to have passed a Fellow Craft. Hence the distinction between Fellow Crafts and jour, neymen was that the former were and the latter were not members of Lodges. Thus, in the minutes of St. Mary's Chapel Lodge of Edinburgh, on the 27th of December, 1689, it was declared that "No Master shall employ a person who has not been passed a Fellow Craft in two years after the expiring of his apprenticeship;" and the names of several journeymen are given who had not complied with the law. A similar regulation was repeated by the same Lodge in 1705, complaint having been made "that there are several Masteris of this house that tolerate jurnimen to work up and down this citie contrary to their oath of admission;" and such journeymen were forbidden to seek employment. The patronage of the Craft of Freemasons was bestowed only on those who had become "free of the gild."

529 - What Masonic symbol is derived from the banner of the tribe of Judah?

  • Judah. The fourth son of the patriarch Jacob, whose descendants became the most distinguished of the twelve tribes. On account of this the whole of Palestine is sometimes called Judea, or the land of Judah. The device on the banner of this tribe was a lion. It appears in the symbolism of Freemasonry.

530 - By what process does a Grand Lodge exercise its judicial functions?

  • Judicial Powers of Grand Lodge. In the exercise of its judicial functions, a Grand Lodge becomes the interpretor and administrator of the laws which it had enacted in its legislative capacity. The judicial powers of a Grand Lodge, according to the Old Constitutions, are both original and appellate, although it more frequently exercises the prerogative and duties of an appellate than of an original jurisdiction.

In the exercise of its judicial functions, a Grand Lodge may proceed either in its General Assembly or by committee, whose report will be acted on by the Grand Lodge.

The Grand Lodge may, in the case of an appeal, amend the sentence of its subordinate, by either a diminution or increase of the punishment, or it may wholly reverse it, or it may send the case back for trial. And in any one of these events, its decision is final; for there is no higher body in Masonry who can entertain an appeal from the decision of a Grand Lodge.

531 - What are the duties of the Junior Deacon?

  • Junior Deacon. This officer is the especial attendant of the Senior Warden; and being seated at his right hand, is prepared to carry mes sages from him to the Junior Warden, and elsewhere about the Lodge.

He takes very little part in the ceremonies of conferring the de grees, but as he is placed near the outer door, he attends to all alarms of the Tiler, reports them to the Master, and at his command, inquires into the cause. The outer door being thus under his charge, he should never permit it to be opened by the Tiler, except in the usual form, and when preceded by the usual notice. He should allow no one to enter or depart without having first obtained the consent of the presiding officer.

An important duty of the Junior Deacon is to see that the Lodge is duly tiled. Upon this security and secrecy of the institution depends; and therefore the Junior Deacon has been delegated as an especial officer to place the Tiler at his post, and to give him the necessary instructions.

In the inspection of the brethren, which takes place at the opening of the Lodge, the south side of the room is entrusted to the care of the Junior Deacon. In the absence of the Senior Deacon, the Junior does not succeed to his place; but a temporary appointment of a Senior Deacon is made by the Master. If the Junior Deacon is absent, it is the usage for the Master, and not the Senior Warden, to make a temporary appointment. The right of nominating the Junior Deacon is vested in the Senior Warden only on the night of his installation. After that, on the occurrence of a temporary vacancy, this right is lost, and the Master makes the appointment by the constitutional right of appointment which vests in him.

532 - What is the duty of a Junior Warden in the absence of the Master and Senior Warden?

  • Junior Warden, Duties of. All the duties that devolve upon the Senior Warden, in the absence of the Master, devolve in like manner, and precisely to the same extent, upon the Junior Warden, in the absence of both the Master and the Senior.

But if the Master be present, and the Senior Warden absent, the Junior Warden does not assume the functions of the latter officer, but retains his own station, and a Senior Warden pro tempore must be appointed by the Master. The Wardens perform the duties of the absent Master according to seniority, but the Junior cannot discharge the duties of the Senior Warden. It must be remembered that a Warden acting as Master is still a Warden, and is so acting simply in the discharge of one of the duties of his office. The Senior Warden is bound to the performance of his duties, which are, in the presence of the Master, to superintend the west, and in his absence to preside. The Junior Warden, in like manner, is bound to the performance of his duties, which are, in the presence of the Master, to superintend the south, and in the absence of both Master and Senior Warden, to pre side. The absence of the Senior Warden has, therefore, no effect upon the duties of the Junior Warden, unless the Master is also absent, when he takes the east. He is to supply the place, not of the absent Senior Warden, but of the absent Master.

533 - What is the jurisdiction of a Masonic Lodge?

  • Jurisdiction of a Lodge. The jurisdiction of a Lodge is geographical or personal. The geographical jurisdiction of a Lodge is that which it exercises over the territory within which it is situated, and extends to all the Masons, affiliated and unaffiliated, who live within that territory. This jurisdiction extends to a point equally distant from the adjacent Lodge. Thus, if two Lodges are situated within twenty miles of each other, the geographical jurisdiction of each will extend ten miles from its seat in the direction of the other Lodge. But in this case both Lodges must be situated in the same State, and hold their Warrants from the same Grand Lodge; for it is a settled point of Masonic law that no Lodge can extend its geographical jurisdiction beyond the territorial limits of its own Grand Lodge.

The personal jurisdiction of a Lodge is that penal jurisdiction which it exercises over its own members wherever they may be situated. No matter how far a Mason may remove from the Lodge of which he is a member, his allegiance to that Lodge is indefeasible so long as he continues a member, and it may exercise penal jurisdiction over him.

534 - What is the extent of the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge?

  • Jurisdiction of Grand Lodge. A Grand Lodge when formed, by the union of not less than three Lodges in convention, at once assumes all the prerogatives of a Grand Lodge, and acquires exclusive Masonic jurisdiction over the territory within whose geographical limits it has been constituted. No Lodge can continue to exist, or be subsequently established in the territory, except under its authority; and all other Grand Lodges are precluded from exercising any Masonic authority within the said territory.

These principles of Masonic law seem to be admitted by universal consent, and sanctioned by constant usage in such organizations.

535 - What is required to make a Lodge just and perfect?

  • Just and Perfect. This appellation, which is given to St. John's lodges in general, is of a more important nature than is generally under stood by it, for it is not sufficient for a lodge only to be so far just and perfect as to belong to a certain Grand Lodge, to work according to an acknowledged ritual, and to have all its officers and members in their proper places, but it must be just unto all the brethren, and perfect in the exercise of every Masonic duty. It is not just when the brethren are deprived of their rights, even of superintending the economy of the lodge, for such a lodge has no independence, and he who is not independent cannot exercise his Masonic duties as a perfect Master.

536 - Why should justice be the study of every Mason?

  • Justice. Justice, the boundary of right, constitutes the cement of civil society. This virtue in a great measure constitutes real goodness, and is therefore represented as the perpetual study of the accomplished Mason. Without the exercise of justice, universal confusion would ensue, lawless force might overcome the principles of equity, and social intercourse no longer exist.

537 - On what grounds do Masons justify their moral system?

  • Justification. We do not hesitate to appeal to the world in justification of the purity of our moral system. Our Constitutions are all well known; we have submitted them freely to general investigation. We solemnly avouch them as the principles by which we are governed, the foundation on which we build, and the rules by which we work. We challenge the most severe critic, the most practised moralist, the most perfect Christian, to point out anything in them inconsistent with good manners, fair morals, or pure religion.


538 - Of what is the key emblematic?

  • Key. This symbol may be improved to impress upon the mind of every brother the importance of those secrets which have been transmitted through thirty centuries, amidst bitter persecutions, for the benefit of the sons of light. As we have thus received them, untarnished by the touch of profane curiosity, and unimpaired by the revolution of time and empires, let us deliver them, in all their purity and perfection, to succeeding brethren, confident that they will never be divulged to such as are unworthy.

539 - What two distinct kinds of Lodges are recognized in Freemasonry?

  • Kinds of Lodges. There are in the Masonic system two kinds of Lodges, each organized in a different way, and each possessing different rights and prerogatives, namely, the Lodge working under a dispensation, and the Lodge working under a warrant of constitution.

540 - What is the symbolism of bending the knee?

  • Knee to Knee. When, in his devotions to the G. A. O. T. IL, he seeks forgiveness for the past and strength for the future, the Mason is taught that he should, in these offices of devotion, join his brother's name with his own. The prerogative that Job, in his blindness, thought was denied to him, when he exclaimed, "Oh that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!" is here not only taught as a right, but inculcated as a duty; and the knee is directed to be bent in intercession, not for ourselves alone, but for the whole household of our brethren.

541 - What posture do Masons assume in many of the degrees?

  • Kneeling. Bending the knees has, in all ages of the world, been considered as an act of reverence and humility, and hence Pliny, the Roman naturalist, observes, that "a certain degree of religious reverence is attributed to the knees of man." Solomon placed himself in this position when he prayed at the consecration of the Temple; and Masons use the same posture in some portions of their ceremonies, as a token of solemn reverence. In the act of prayer, Masons in the lower degrees adopt the standing posture, which was the usage of the primitive Church, where it was symbolic of the resurrection; but Masons in the higher degrees generally kneel on one knee.

542 - What is the symbolism of the alarm at the inner door?

  • Knock. A candidate for Masonry is said to have complied with the terms of a certain text of Scripture, by having first sought in his mind whether he were really desirous of investigating the mysteries of Masonry; then asked counsel of his friend, and lastly having knocked, the door of Masonry became open to him; and it will be remembered that the door of a Freemasons' lodge does not stand open for every one to enter, neither do we call laborers to the work, but those who wish to work with us must voluntarily offer their services. If he desires to be admitted, he must knock earnestly and manfully. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." He who cannot knock in the full confidence of an honorable feeling, and is not convinced in his own mind that he deserves to be admitted, ought not to have the door of the lodge opened to him.


543 - What is regarded as the most important word in Freemasonry?

  • Labor. An important word in Freemasonry - we may say the most important. It is for this sole reason alone, that a person must be made a Freemason; all other reasons are incidental and unimportant, or unconnected with it. Labor is commonly the reason why meetings of the lodge are held, but do we every time receive a proof of activity and industry? The work of an operative mason is visible, if even it be very often badly executed; and he receives his reward if his building is thrown down by a storm in the next moment. He is convinced that he has been active; so must also the brother Freemason labor. His labor must be visible to himself and unto his brethren, or, at the very least, it must be conducive to his own inward satisfaction.

544 - What does the lamb symbolize?

  • Lamb. In ancient Craft Masonry the lamb is the symbol of innocence; thus in the ritual of the first degree: "In all ages the lamb has been deemed an emblem of innocence." Hence it is required that a Mason's apron should be made of lambskin. In the high degrees, and in the degrees of chivalry, as in Christian iconography, the lamb it is a symbol of Jesus Christ. The introduction of this Christian symbol ism of the lamb comes from the expression of St. John the Baptist, who exclaimed, on seeing Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God;" which was undoubtedly derived from the prophetic writers, who compare the Messiah suffering on the cross to a lamb under the knife of a butcher. In the vision of St. John, in the Apocalypse, Christ is seen, under the form of a lamb wounded in the throat, and opening the book with the seven seals. Hence, in one of the degrees of the Scottish Rite, the seventeenth, or Knight of the East and West, the lamb lying on the book with the seven seals is a part of the jewel.

545 - What are the ancient landmarks of Masonry?

  • Landmarks. In ancient times, it was the custom to mark the boundaries of lands by means of stone pillars, the removal of which, by malicious persons, would be the occasion of much confusion, men having no other guide than these pillars by which to distinguish the limits of their property. To remove them, therefore, was considered a heinous crime. "Thou shalt not," says the Jewish law, "remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance." Hence those peculiar marks of distinction by which we are separated from the profane world, and by which we are enabled to designate our inheritance as the "sons of light," are called the land marks of the Order. The universal language and the universal laws of Masonry are landmarks, but not so are the local ceremonies, laws, and usages, which vary in different countries. To attempt to alter or remove these sacred landmarks, by which we examine and prove a brother's claims to share in our privileges, is one of the most heinous offenses that a Mason can commit.

In the decision of the question what are and what are not the land marks of Masonry, there has been much diversity of opinion among writers. Dr. Oliver says that "some restrict them to the 0. B. signs, tokens and words. Others include the ceremonies of initiation, passing, and raising; and the form, dimensions and support; the ground, situation, and covering; the ornaments, furniture and jewels of a Lodge, or their characteristic symbols. Some think that the Order has no landmarks beyond its peculiar secrets." But all of these are loose and unsatisfactory definitions, excluding things that are essential, and admitting others that are unessential.

Perhaps the safest method is to restrict them to those ancient, and therefore universal, customs of the Order, which either gradually grew into operation as rules of action, or, if once enacted by any competent authority, were enacted at a period so remote, that no account of their origin is to be found in the records of history. Both the enactors and the time of the enactment have passed away from the record, and the landmarks are therefore, "of higher antiquity than memory or history can reach." The first requisite, therefore, of a custom or rule of action to constitute it a landmark is, that it must have existed from "time, whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." Its antiquity is its essential element. Were it possible for all the Masonic authorities at the present day to unite in a universal congress, and with the most perfect unanimity to adopt any new regulation, although such regulation would, so long as it remained unrepealed, be obligatory on the whole Craft, yet it would not be a landmark. It would have the character of universality, it is true, but it would be wanting in that of antiquity.

Another peculiarity of these landmarks of Masonry is, that they are unrepealable. As the congress to which I have just alluded would not have the power to enact a landmark, so neither would it have the prerogative of abolishing one. The landmarks of the Order, like the laws of the Medes and the Persians, can suffer no change. What they were centuries ago, they still remain, and must so continue in force until Masonry itself shall cease to exist. Until the year 1858, no attempt had been made by any Masonic writer to distinctly enumerate the landmarks of Freemasonry, and to give to them a comprehensible form. In October of that year, the author of this work published in the American Quarterly Review of Free masonry, an article on The Foundations of Masonic Laws, which contained a distinct enumeration of the landmarks, which was the first time that such a list had been presented to the Fraternity. It has since been very generally adopted by the Fraternity, and republished by many writers on Masonic law, sometimes without any acknowledgment of the source whence they derived their information. According to this recapitulation, the result of much labor and research, the land marks are twenty five in number, and are as follows:

1. The modes of recognition are, of all the landmarks, the most legitimate and unquestioned. They admit of no variation; and if ever they have suffered alteration or addition, the evil of such a violation of the ancient law has always made itself subsequently manifest.
2. The division of symbolic Masonry into three degrees is a land mark that has been better preserved .than almost any other; although even here the mischievous spirit of innovation has left its traces, and, by the disruption of its concluding portion from the third degree, a want of uniformity has been created in respect to the final teaching of the Master's Order; and the Royal Arch of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, and the "high degrees" of France and Germany, are all made to differ in the mode in which they lead the neophyte to the great consummation of all symbolic Masonry. In 1813, the Grand Lodge of England vindicated the ancient landmark, by solemnly enacting that ancient Craft Masonry consisted of the three degrees of Entered

Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, including the Holy Royal Arch. But the disruption has never been healed, and the landmark, although acknowledged in its integrity by all, still continues to be violated.

3. The legend of the third degree is an important landmark, the integrity of which has been well preserved. There is no rite of Masonry, practiced in any country or language, in which the essential elements of this legend are not taught. The lectures may vary, and indeed are constantly changing, but the legend has ever remained substantially the same. And it is necessary that it should be so, for the legend of the Temple Builder constitutes the very essence and identity of Masonry. Any rite which should exclude it, or materially alter it, would at once, by that exclusion or alteration, cease to be a Masonic rite.
4. The government of the Fraternity by a presiding officer called a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the Craft, is a fourth landmark of the Order. Many persons suppose that the election of the Grand Master is held in consequence of a law or regulation of the Grand Lodge. Such, however, is not the case. The office is indebted for its existence to a landmark of the Order. Grand Masters, or persons performing the functions under a different but equivalent title, are to be found in the records of the Institution long before Grand Lodges were established; and if the present system of legislative government by Grand Lodges were to be abolished, a Grand Master would still be necessary.
5. The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly of the Craft, wheresoever and whensoever held, is a fifth land mark. It is in consequence of this law, derived from ancient usage, and not from any special enactment, that the Grand Master assumes the chair, or as it is called in England, "the throne," at every communication of the Grand Lodge; and that he is also entitled to preside at the communication of every subordinate Lodge, where he may hap pen to be present.
6. The prerogative of the Grand Master to give dispensation for conferring degrees at irregular times, is another and a very important landmark. The statutory law of Masonry requires a month, or other determinate period, to elapse between the presentation of a petition and the election of a candidate. But the Grand Master has the power to set aside or dispense with this probation, and to allow a candidate to be initiated at once. This prerogative he possessed before the enactment of the law requiring a probation, and as no statute can impair his prerogative, he still retains the power.
7. The prerogative of the Grand Master to give dispensation for the opening and holding of Lodges is another landmark. He may grant, in virtue of this, to a sufficient number of Masons, the privilege of meeting together and conferring degrees. The lodges thus established are called "lodges under dispensation."
8. The prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight is a landmark which is closely connected with the preceding one. There has been much misapprehension in relation to this landmark, which misapprehension has sometimes led to a denial of its existence in jurisdictions where the Grand Master was, perhaps, at the very time substantially exercising the prerogative without the slightest remark or opposition.
9. The necessity for Masons to congregate in lodges is another land mark. It is not to be understood by this that any ancient landmark has directed that permanent organization of subordinate lodges which constitutes one of the features of the Masonic system as it now prevails. But the landmarks of the Order always prescribed that Masons should, from time to time, congregate together for the purpose of either Operative or Speculative labor, and that these congregations should be called lodges. Formerly, these were extemporary meetings called together for special purposes, and then dissolved, the brethren departing to meet again at other times and other places, according to the necessity of circumstances. But Warrants of constitution, by laws, permanent officers, and annual arrears are modern innovations wholly outside the landmarks, and dependent entirely on the special enactments of a comparatively recent period.
10. The government of the Craft, when so congregated in a lodge, by a Master and two Wardens, is also a landmark. A congregation of Masons meeting together under any other government as that, for in stance, of a president and vice president, or a chairman. and sub chairman, would not be recognized as a lodge. The presence of a Master and two Wardens is an essential to the valid organization of a lodge as a Warrant of constitution is at the present day. The names, of course, vary in different languages; but the officers, their number, prerogatives, and duties are everywhere identical.
11. The necessity that every lodge, when congregated, should be duly tiled, is an important landmark of the Institution which is never neglected. The necessity of this law arises from the esoteric character of Masonry. The duty of guarding the door and keeping off cowans and eavesdroppers, is an ancient one, which therefore constitutes a landmark.
12. The right of every Mason to be represented in all general meetings of the Craft, and to instruct his representatives, is a twelfth land mark. Formerly, these general meetings, which were usually held once a year, were called "General Assemblies," and all the Fraternity, even to the youngest Entered Apprentice, were permitted to be present. Now they are called "Grand Lodges," and only the Master and Wardens of the subordinate lodges are summoned. But this is simply as the representatives of their members. Originally, each Mason represented himself; now he is represented by his officers.
13. The right of every Mason to appeal from the decision of his brethren, in lodge convened, to the Grand Lodge or General Assembly of Masons, is a landmark highly essential to the preservation of justice, and the prevention of oppression. A few modern Grand Lodges, in adopting a regulation that the decision of subordinate lodges, in cases of expulsion, cannot be wholly set aside upon an appeal, have violated this unquestioned landmark, as well as the principles of just government.
14. The right of every Mason to visit and sit in every regular lodge is an unquestionable landmark of the Order. This is called "the right of visitation." This right of visitation has always been recognized as an inherent right which inures to every Mason as he travels through the world. And this is because lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. This right may, of course, be impaired or forfeited on special occasions by various circumstances; but when admission is refused to a Mason in good standing, who knocks at the door of a lodge as a visitor, it is to be expected that some good and sufficient reason shall be furnished for this violation of what is, in general Masonic right, founded on the landmarks of the Order.
15. It is a landmark of the Order, that no visitor unknown to the brethren present, or to some one of them as a Mason, can enter a Lodge without first passing an examination according to ancient usage. Of course, if the visitor is known to any brother present to be a Mason in good standing, and if that brother will vouch for his qualifications, the examination may be dispensed with, as the landmark refers only to the cases of strangers, who are not to be recognized unless after strict trial, due examination, or lawful information.
16. No lodge can interfere in the business of another lodge, nor give degrees to brethren who are members of other lodges. This is undoubtedly an ancient landmark, founded on the great principles of courtesy and fraternal kindness, which are at the very foundation of our Institution. It has been repeatedly recognized by subsequent statutory enactments of all Grand Lodges.
17. It is a landmark that every Freemason is amenable to the laws and regulations of the Masonic jurisdiction in which he resides, and this although he may not be a member of any lodge. Non affiliation, which is, in fact, in itself a Masonic offense, does not exempt a Mason from Masonic jurisdiction.
18. Certain qualifications of candidates for initiation are derived from a landmark of the Order. These qualifications are that he shall be a man - unmutilated, free born, and of mature age. That is to say, a woman, a cripple, or a slave, or one born in slavery, is disqualified for initiation into the rites of Masonry. Statutes, it is true, have time to time been enacted, enforcing or explaining these principles; but the qualifications really arise from the very nature of the Masonic institution, and from its symbolic teachings, and have always existed as landmarks.
19. A belief in the existence of God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, is one of the most important landmarks of the Order. It has been always admitted that denial of the existence of a Supreme and Superintending Power is an absolute disqualification for initiation. The annals of the Order never yet have furnished or could furnish an in stance in which an avowed Atheist was ever made a Mason. The very initiatory ceremonies of the first degree forbid and prevent the possibility of such an occurrence.
20. Subsidiary to this belief in God, as a landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. This landmark is not so positively impressed on the candidate by exact words as the preceding; but the doctrine is taught by very plain implication, and runs through the whole symbolism of the Order. To believe in Masonry, and not to believe in resurrection, would be an absurd anomaly, which could only be excused by the reflection, that he who thus confounded his belief and his skepticism was so ignorant of the meaning of both theories as to have no rational foundation for his knowledge of either.
21. It is a landmark that a "Book of the Law" shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every lodge. I say, advisedly, Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments shall be used. The "Book of Law" is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all lodges in Christian countries, the "Book of Law" is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament would be sufficient; and in Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted. Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the peculiar religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The "Book of Law" is to the Speculative Mason his spiritual trestle board; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him his spiritual trestle board, and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The landmark, therefore, requires that a "Book of the Law," a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form an essential part of the furniture of every lodge.
22. The equality of all Masons is another landmark of the Order. This equality has no reference to any subversion of those gradations of rank which have been instituted by the usages of society. The monarch, the nobleman, or the gentleman is entitled to all the influence and receives all the respect, which rightly belong to his position. But the doctrine of Masonic equality implies that, as children of one great Father, we meet in the lodge upon the level - that on that level we are all traveling to one predestined goal - that in the lodge genuine merit shall receive more respect than boundless wealth, and that virtue and knowledge alone should be the basis of all Masonic honors, and be rewarded with preferment. When the labors of the lodge are over, and the brethren have retired from their peaceful retreat, to mingle once more with the world, each will then again resume that social position, and exercise the privilege of that rank, to which the customs of society entitle him.
23. The secrecy of the Institution is another and most important landmark. The form of secrecy is a form inherent in it, existing with it from its very foundation, and secured to it by its ancient landmarks. If divested of its secret character, it would lose its identity, and would cease to be Freemasonry. Whatever objections may, therefore, be made to the Institution on account of its secrecy, and however much some unskillful brethren have been unwilling in times of trial, for the sake of expediency, to divest it of its secret character, it will be ever impossible to do so, even were the landmark not standing before us as an insurmountable obstacle; because such change of its character would be social suicide, and the death of the Order would follow its legalized exposure. Freemasonry, as a secret association, has lived unchanged for centuries; as an open society, it would not last for as many years.
24. The foundation of a speculative science upon an operative art, and the symbolic use and explanation of the terms of that art, for the purpose of religious or moral teaching, constitute another landmark of the Order. The Temple of Solomon was the symbolic cradle of the Institution, and therefore, the reference to the Operative Masonry which constructed that magnificent edifice, to the materials and implements which were employed in its construction, and to the artists who were engaged in the building, are all competent and essential parts of the body of Freemasonry, which could not be subtracted from it without an entire destruction of the whole identity of the Order. Hence, all the comparatively modern rites of Masonry, however they may differ in other respects, religiously preserve this Temple history and these operative elements, as the substratum of all their modifications of the Masonic system.
25. The last and crowning landmark of all is, that these landmarks can never be changed. Nothing can be subtracted from them - nothing can be added to them - not the slightest modification can be made in them. As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors.

546 - Why should a Masonic Lodge be closed at a reasonable hour?

  • Late Hours. It is a fact, confirmed by experience, that an indulgence in late hours cannot fail to injure the credit and respectability of a lodge, because it introduces other habits which are not consistent with the gravity and decorum which ought always to characterize the proceedings of Masonry. And hence it is an important part of the Worshipful Master's duty, to discountenance such baleful practice. If the brethren meet for the purpose of business, or to cultivate a knowledge of the science by joining in the lectures, let them pursue their labors with assiduity and zeal during the period prescribed in the by laws; and should it be necessary for the Junior Warden to perform his office, let the brethren enjoy themselves with decent moderation; but by all means let the Senior Warden discharge his duty honestly and conscientiously, and let the lodge be closed and the brethren depart to their own homes at such an hour as shall excite no unpleasant feelings, nor call forth reproachful observations from the females of their families, whom it is their duty and interest, as well in the character of husbands and fathers, as of Masons, to love, to cherish, and to oblige.

547 - Of what is the brazen laver emblematic?

  • Laver, Brazen. Moses was directed to make, among other articles of furniture for the services of the tabernacle, a laver of brass. It was held as a vessel of great sacredness, in which water was kept for the ablutions of the priests before entering upon the actual discharge of their sacred duties of offering sacrifices before the Lord. In the ancient mysteries the laver with its pure water was used to cleanse the neophyte of the impurities of the outer world, and to free him from the imperfections of his past or sinful life. It is a necessary article in many of the higher degrees, for the ablution of the candidate in his progress to a higher and purer system of knowledge.

548 - Why should a Mason respect the law?

  • Laws of the Land. The Freemason has the greatest respect for the laws of the land in which he lives, and he obeys them with the zeal of a faithful subject. If he is intrusted with the putting of those laws in force, his Masonic duties remind him to be faithful and diligent in applying them. Should the state command the lodge to be closed of which he is a member, he immediately obeys, and visits no assembly which is not allowed, or at least tolerated by the state. In the event of a brother wilfully violating the laws of his country, the Order itself directs the attention of the magistrates unto him, and he who is punished as a criminal by the laws, is excluded from the Order without exception.

549 - Why should Masons avoid law suits with one another?

  • Law Suits. If any brother do you an injury, you must apply to your own or his lodge, and from thence you may appeal to the Grand Lodge at the quarterly communication, as has been the ancient laudable conduct of our forefathers in every nation; never take a legal course but when the case cannot be otherwise decided, and patiently listen to the honest and friendly advice of Master and fellows, when they would prevent your going to law with strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy period to all law suits, that so you may find the affair of Masonry with the more alacrity and success. With respect to brothers or fellows at law, the Master and brethren should kindly offer their mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must however carry on their process or law suit without wrath or rancor, (not in the common way) saying or doing nothing which may hinder brotherly love and good offices to be renewed and continued, that all may see the benign influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from the beginning of the world, and will do to the end of time.

550 - What is the unwritten law of Freemasonry?

  • Law, Unwritten. The Constitutions, Charges and Regulations which were adopted at various periods, from 926 to 1722, constitute the Written Law of Masonry, and they were at one time co extensive in authority with the Landmarks of the Order. From these, however, they differ in this respect, that the Landmarks being unrepealable, must aver continue in force; but the Written Law, having been adopted by the supreme legislative authority of the Order at the time, may be altered, amended, or altogether repealed by the same supreme authority - a doctrine which is explicitly set forth in the Thirty ninth General Regulation. Accordingly, portions of this Written Law have, from time to time, been materially modified by different Grand Lodges, as will be evident upon inspection of these laws with the modern Constitutions of any jurisdiction.

It may, however, be considered as an axiom of Masonic law, that in every Masonic jurisdiction, where any one of these Regulations has not been formally or implicitly repealed by a subsequent enactment of a new law, the old Regulation will continue in force, and the Craft must be governed by its provisions.

So in all doubtful questions of Masonic law, recourse must be had, in forming an opinion, first to the Landmarks, and then to this code of Written Laws; and out of these two authorities, the legal dictum is to be established, because all the principles of law are embraced in these two authorities, the Ancient Landmarks and the Ancient Written Law; and hence they have been necessarily incorporated into this volume, as a fitting introduction, under the appropriate title of the Foundations of Masonic Law.

551 - Why did King Solomon seek the aid of Hiram, King of Tyre?

  • Lebanon. The forests of the Lebanon mountains only could supply the timber for the Temple. Such of these forests as lay nearest the sea were in the possession of the Phoenicians, among whom timber was in such constant demand, that they had acquired great and acknowledged skill in the felling and transportation thereof. Hence it was that Hiram consented to employ large bodies of men in Lebanon to hew timber, as well as others to perform the service of bringing it down to the sea side, whence it was to be taken along the coasts in floats to the port of Joppa, from which place it could be easily taken across the country to Jerusalem.

552 - What is a Masonic lecture?

  • Lecture. Literally, a formal or methodical discourse intended for instruction. Lectures have been adopted from the earliest ages as a convenient mode of teaching the elements of every branch of human knowledge. The course of instruction in Freemasonry is divided in parts or sections, which are called lectures. Each degree is so arranged that the candidate will enjoy the advantage of the theory, the practice and then the explanation or lecture. Those who are desirous of learn, ing the lectures, with the greatest advantage, must regularly attend the lodges, and be diligently attentive to the instruction they receive there.

553 - What are the duties of a Masonic lecturer?

  • Lecturer. In the symbolical lodges of the Continent and else, where, a lecturer is annually appointed and after the Worshipful Master and Past Master, the lecturer has the most important office in the lodge. He, as well as the two first officers, must be perfectly acquainted with Freemasonry, and not only a man who has received a liberal education, but who also possesses the true spirit of oratory. His orations or lectures must produce an impression on the minds of his hearers. At the election of a lecturer the electors should bear this in mind, and reflect that he has something more to do than merely read the ritual. If the lecturer has sufficient knowledge to be enabled to teach the brethren Freemasonry, or the bearing of moral truths upon the science in an agreeable and instructive manner, and not in mere mystical forms, he will be willingly listened to by the brethren. Some discourses are appropriated to certain seasons, but even these the lecturer must be able to make interesting, in order that they may not appear as mere repetitions. He who confines himself to these discourses, and the mere reading of the ritual, does not fulfill the duties of his office as he ought.

554 - Of what is the left hand a symbol?

  • Left Hand. Among the ancients the left hand was a symbol of equity and justice. Thus, Apuleius, when describing the procession in honor of Isis, says one of the ministers of the sacred rites "bore the symbol of equity in a left hand, fashioned with the palm extended;" which seems to be more adapted to administering equity than the right from its natural inertness, and its being endowed with no craft and no subtlety.

555 - What is the symbolism of the left side?

  • Left Side. In the symbolism of Masonry, the first degree is represented by the left side, which is to indicate that as the left is the weaker part of the body, so is the Entered Apprentice's degree the weakest part of Masonry. This doctrine, that the left is the weaker side of the body, is very ancient.

556 - What part do legends play in the Masonic system?

  • Legend. Strictly speaking, a legend, from the Latin, legendus, "to be read," should be restricted to a story that has been committed to writing; but by good usage the word has been applied more extensively, and now properly means a narrative, whether true or false, that has been traditionally preserved from the time of its first oral communication. Such is the definition of a Masonic legend.

557 - What do the lesser lights symbolize?

  • Lesser Lights. In the lecture of the first degree we are told that a lodge has three symbolic lesser lights; one of these is in the East, one in the West, and one in the South. There is no light in the North, because King Solomon's Temple, of which every lodge is a representation, was placed so far north of the ecliptic that the sun and moon, at their meridian height, could dart no rays into the northern part thereof. The north we therefore Masonically call a place of darkness.

This symbolic use of the three lesser lights is very old, being found in the earliest lectures of the last century.

The three lights, like the three principal officers and the three principal supports, refer, undoubtedly, to the three stations of the sun - its rising in the east, its meridian in the south, and its setting in the west; and thus the symbolism of the lodge, as typical of the world, continues to be preserved. The use of lights in all religious ceremonies is an ancient custom. There was a seven branched candle stick in the tabernacle, and in the Temple "were the golden candle sticks, five on the right hand and five on the left." They were always typical of moral, spiritual, or intellectual light.

558 - What is the symbolism of the Level?

  • Level. In Freemasonry, the level is a symbol of equality; not of that social equality which would destroy all distinctions of ranks and position, and beget confusion, insubordination, and anarchy; but of that fraternal equality which, recognizing the fatherhood of God, admits as a necessary corollary the brotherhood of man. It, therefore, teaches us that, in the sight of the Grand Architect of the Universe, his creatures, who are at an immeasurable distance from him, move upon the same plane; as the far moving stars, which though millions of miles apart, yet seem to shine upon the same canopy of the sky. In this view, the level teaches us that all men are equal, subject to the same infirmities, hastening to the same goal, and preparing to be judged by the same immutable law.

The level is deemed, like the square and the plumb, of so much importance as a symbol, that it is repeated in many different relations. First, it is one of the jewels of the lodge; in the English system a movable, in the American an immovable one. This leads to its being adopted as the proper official ensign of the Senior Warden, because the Craft when at labor, at which time he presides over them, are on a common level of subordination. And then it is one of the working tools of a Felloweraft, still retaining its symbolism of equality.

559 - What are the privileges of a lewis or louveteau?

  • Lewis, or Louveteau. The words lewis and louveteau, which, in their original meanings, import two very different things, have in Masonry an equivalent signification - the former being used in English, and the latter in French, to designate the son of a Mason. The English word lewis is a term belonging to operative Masonry, and signifies an iron cramp, which is inserted in a cavity prepared for the purpose in any large stone, so as to give attachment to a pulley and hook, whereby the stone may be conveniently raised to any height, and deposited in its proper position. In this country the lewis has not been adopted as a symbol of Freemasonry, but in the English ritual it is found among the emblems placed upon the tracing board of the Entered Apprentice, and is used in that degree as a symbol of strength, because by its assistance the operative Mason is enabled to lift the heaviest stones with a comparatively trifling exertion of physical power. Extending the symbolic allusion still further, the son of a Mason is in England called a lewis, because it is his duty to support the sinking powers and aid the failing strength of his father, or, as Oliver has expressed it, "to bear the burden and heat of the day, that his parents may rest in their old age, thus rendering the evening of their lives peaceful and happy." By the constitutions of England, a lewis may be initiated at the age of eighteen, while it is required of all other candidates that they shall have arrived at the maturer age of twenty one. The Book of Constitutions had prescribed that no lodge make "any man under the age of twenty one years, unless by a dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy." The Grand Lodge of England, in its modern regulations, has availed itself of the license allowed by this dispensing power, to confer the right of an earlier initiation on the sons of Masons. The word louveteau signifies in French a young wolf. The application of the term to the son of a Mason is derived from a peculiarity in some of the initiations into the ancient mysteries. In the mysteries of Isis, which were practiced in Egypt, the candidate was made to wear the mask of a wolf's head. Hence, a wolf and a candidate in these mysteries were often used as synonymous terms. Macrobius, in his Saturnalia, says, in reference to this custom, that the ancients perceived a relationship between the sun, the great symbol in these mysteries, and a wolf, which the candidate represented at his initiation. For, he remarks, as the flocks of sheep and cattle fly and disperse at the sight of the wolf, so the flocks of stars disappear at the approach of the sun's light. The learned reader will also recollect that in the Greek language lukos signifies both the sun and a wolf. Hence, as the candidate in the Isiac mysteries was called a wolf, the son of a Free mason in the French lodges is called a young wolf or a louveteau. The louveteau in France, like the lewis in England, is invested with peculiar privileges. He also is permitted to unite himself with the order at the early age of eighteen years. The baptism of a louveteau is sometimes performed with impressive ceremonies by the lodge of which his father is a member. The infant, soon after birth, is taken to the lodge room, where he receives a Masonic name, differing from that which he bears in the world; he is formally adopted by the lodge as one of its children, and should he become an orphan, requiring assistance, he is supported and educated by the Fraternity, and finally established in life. In this country, these rights of a lewis or a louveteau are not recognized, and the very names were, until lately, scarcely known, except to a few Masonic scholars.

560 - What does the word "libertine" signify in Masonry?

  • Libertine. The Charges of 1722 commence by saying that "a Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious libertine." The word "libertine" there used conveyed a meaning different from that which it now bears. In the present usage of language it signifies a profligate and licentious person, but originally it meant a freethinker, or Deist. Derived from the Latin "libertinus," a man that was once a bondsman but who has been made free, it was metaphorically used to designate one who had been released, or who had released himself from the bonds of religious belief, and become in matters of faith, a doubter or denier. Hence "a stupid Atheist" denoted, to use the language of the Psalmist, "the fool who has said in his heart there is no God," while an "irreligious libertine" designated the man who, with a degree less of unbelief, denies the distinctive doctrines of revealed religion. And this meaning of the expression connects itself very appropriately with the succeeding paragraph of the Charge. "But though in ancient times, Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves." The expression "irreligious libertine," alluding, as it does, to a scoffer at religious truths, is eminently suggestive of the religious character of our Institution, which, founded as it is on the great doctrines of religion, cannot be properly appreciated by any one who doubts or denies their truth.

561 - Why cannot a libertine become a Mason?

  • Libertinism. The word "libertine," which is used in the old Charges, conveyed, at the time when those Charges were composed, a meaning somewhat different from that which is now given to it. Bailey defines libertinism to be "a false liberty of belief and manners, which will have no other dependence but on particular fancy and passion; a living at large, or according to a person's inclination, without regard to the divine laws." A "religious libertine" is, therefore, a rejector of all moral responsibility to a superior power, and may be well supposed to be a denier of the existence of a Supreme Being and of a future life. Such a skeptic is, therefore, by the innate constitution of speculative Masonry, unfit for initiation, because the object of all Masonic initiation is to teach these two great truths.

562 - What is the symbolism of light?

  • Light. Light is a symbol of knowledge. May every Mason strive incessantly for light, and especially for the light eternal ! When a society is assembled anywhere to do good, they require an influential person to communicate the light of experience, instruct them, and point out the way they should go, or bring light to them. This may be done symbolically, by suddenly lighting up a dark room with torches. He who thus introduces the light into the lodge, must be a worthy man, and experienced in the Craft.

563 - Of what is the lily emblematic?

  • Lily. The plant so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament under the name of lily, as an emblem of purity and peace, was the lotus lily of Egypt and India. It occupied a conspicuous place among the ornaments of the Temple furniture. The brim of the molten sea was wrought with flowers of the lotus; the chapiters on the tops of the pillars at the porch, and the tops of the pillars themselves, were adorned with the same plant. Sir Robert Ker Porter, describing a piece of sculpture which he found at Persepolis, says, "Almost every one in this pro cession holds in his hand a figure like the lotus. This flower was full of meaning among the ancients, and occurs all over the East. Egypt. Persia, Palestine, and India present it everywhere over their architecture, in the hands and on the heads of their sculptured figures, whether in statue or in bas relief. We also find it in the sacred vestments and architecture of the tabernacle and Temple of the Israelites.

564 - What limit is placed upon the obligation of a Mason to extend relief to a distressed worthy brother?

  • Limitation of Masonic Relief. The giver is not expected to exceed his ability in the amount of relief that he grants - that is to say, a Brother is expected to grant only such relief as will not materially injure himself or family. This is the unwritten law, and conformable to it is the written one, which says, "You are not charged to do beyond your ability." This provision is not inconsistent with the true principles of charity, which do not require that we should sacrifice our own welfare, or that of our family to the support of the poor; but that with prudent liberality, and a due regard to the comforts of those who are more nearly dependent on us, we should make some sacrifice of luxury out of our abundance, if we have been blessed with it, for the relief of our distressed brethren.

565 - What is the definition of a Lodge?

  • Lodge. As men call the house of God a church, and when religious services are performed in it, say it is church hours, so also we call the locality in which a lodge assembles, a lodge, and when the brethren are assembled in it, it is lodge hours. The form of a lodge is an oblong square. Three well informed brethren form a legal lodge, five improve it, and seven make it perfect. We may also call a room in which a lodge is held, a hall.

The earliest description of a lodge that I have met with, explains it as being "just and perfect by the numbers three, five and seven." This was subsequently exemplified in the following prescribed form: "A lodge of Masons is an assemblage of brothers and fellows met together for the purpose of expatiating on the mysteries of the Craft, with the Bible, square and compasses, the Book of Constitutions, and the warrant empowering them to act." In the formula used at the present day, a further amplification has been adopted. It is here de nominated an assembly of Masons, just, perfect, and regular, who are met together to expatiate on the mysteries of the Order; just, because it contains the volume of the Sacred Law unfolded; perfect, from its numbers, every order of Masonry being virtually present by its representatives, to ratify and confirm its proceedings; and regular, from its warrant of constitution, which implies the sanction of the Grand Master, for the country where the lodge is held. 566 - Why are Masons said to come from the Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem?

  • Lodge of St. John. The Masonic tradition is that the primitive or mother lodge was held at Jerusalem, and dedicated to St. John, first the Baptist, then the Evangelist, and finally to both. Hence this lodge was called "The Lodge of the Holy St. John of Jerusalem." From this lodge all other lodges are supposed figuratively to descend, and they therefore receive the same general name, accompanied by another local and distinctive one. In all Masonic documents the words ran formerly as follows: "From the lodge of the holy St. John of Jerusalem, under the distinctive appellation of Solomon's Lodge, No. 1," or what ever might be the local name. In this style foreign documents still run; and it is but a few years since it has been at all disused in this country. Hence we say that every Mason hails from such a lodge, that is to say, from a just and legally constituted lodge. In the earliest catechisms of the eighteenth century we find this formula. "Q. What lodge are you of ? A. The Lodge of St. John." And another question is, "How many angles in St. John's Lodge?" In one of the high degrees it is stated that lodges receive this title "because, in the time of the Crusades, the Perfect Masons communicated a knowledge of their Mysteries to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem," and as both were thus under the same law, the lodges were called St. John's lodges. But this was only one of the attempts to connect Freemasonry with the Templar system.

567 - How many Lodges were in the quarries of Tyre?

  • Lodges of Tyre. In the quarries of Tyre, according to Masonic tradition, were two lodges of Super excellent Masters, as supervisors of the work, over which Tito Zadok, the high priest, presided: these were the Harodim. There were also six lodges of Excellent Masters, eight Grand Architects, and sixteen Architects - men of superior talent, who had been selected for their proficiency in the sciences, and placed as superintendents over the workmen. This was a necessary provision; for thus they were enabled to regulate the proceedings of, and to pre serve order and arrangement in the several departments which were assigned to them. There were three classes of Masters in thirty six lodges, called Menatzchim, and seven hundred lodges of Ghiblim, or operative Fellowcrafts, under Hiram Abif, their Grand Master.

568 - What is the symbolism of the lost word?

  • Lost Word. The mythical history of Freemasonry informs us that there once existed a WORD of surpassing value, and claiming a pro found veneration; that this Word was known to but few; that it was at length lost; and that a temporary substitute for it was adopted. But as the very philosophy of Masonry teaches us that there can be no death without a resurrection - no decay without a subsequent restoration - on the same principle it follows that the loss of the Word must suppose its eventual recovery.

Now, this it is, precisely, that constitutes the myth of the Lost Word and the search for it. No matter what was the word, no matter how it was lost, nor why a substitute was provided, nor when nor where it was recovered - these are all points of subsidiary importance, necessary, it is true, for knowing the legendary history, but not necessary for understanding the symbolism. The only term of the myth that is to be regarded in the study of its interpretation is the abstract idea of a word lost and afterwards recovered. The WORD, therefore, I conceive to be the symbol of Divine Truth; and all its modifications - the loss, the substitution, and the recovery - are but component parts of the mythical symbol which represents a search after truth. In a general sense, the Word itself being then the symbol of Divine Truth, the narrative of its loss and the search for its recovery becomes a mythical symbol of the decay and loss of the true religion among the ancient nations, at and after the dispersion on the plains of Shinar, and of the attempts of the wise men, the philosophers, and the priests, to find and retain it in their secret mysteries and initiations, which have hence been designated as the Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity. But there is a special or individual, as well as a general interpretation, and in this special or individual interpretation the Word, with its accompanying myth of a loss, a substitute, and a recovery, becomes a symbol of the personal progress of a candidate from his first initiation to the completion of his course, when he receives a full development of the mysteries. 569 - What is the measure of Masonic charity?

  • Love. The universal charity of a Mason is like the charity of the Mason's God, and his God is the God of love. Consider the extent of the love of God, and that only, according to his degree, is the extent of Masonic charity. In the broad circle of his affections, he encloses all mankind; he, like the God of love, looks through station, clime, and color, and with one wish of universal good will, he wishes well to all mankind. With the compass of his mind, he measures and draws the square of his conduct, and within that square, having honestly provided for his own household, he forms his little angles of benevolence and charity, to the distressed of all communities.

570 - What is midnight called among Masons?

  • Low Twelve. In Masonic language midnight is so called. The reference is to the sun, which is then below the earth. Low twelve in Masonic symbolism is an unpropitious hour.

571 - What must the attitude of a Mason be toward his country?

  • Loyalty. Notwithstanding the calumnies of Barruel, Robison, and a host of other anti Masonic writers who assert that Masonry is ever engaged in efforts to uproot the governments within which it may exist, there is nothing more evident than that Freemasonry is a loyal institution, and that it inculcates, in all its public instructions, obedience to government. Thus, in the Prestonian charge given in the last century to the Entered Apprentice, and continued to this day in the same words in English Lodges, we find the following words: "In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceable subject, true to your sovereign, and just to your country; you are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government under which you live, yielding obedience to the laws which afford you protection, but never forgetting the attachment you owe to the place of your nativity or the allegiance due to the sovereign or protectors of that spot." The charge given in American Lodges is of the same import, and varies but slightly in its language.

"In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government, and just to your country; you are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live." The charge given in French Lodges, though somewhat differing in form from both of these, is couched in the same spirit and teaches the same lesson. It is to this effect: "Obedience to the laws and submission to the authorities are among the most imperious duties of the Mason, and he is forbidden at all times from engaging in plots and conspiracies." Hence it is evident that the true Mason must be a true patriot.


572 - What famous document is the basis of English liberty?

  • Magna Charta. The great charter, so called, obtained by the English barons from King John, June 5, 1215, and confirmed by his successor, Henry III. It has been viewed by after ages as the basis of English liberties. Its most important articles are those which provide that no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or proceeded against, "except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land," and that no scutage or aid should be imposed in the kingdom (except certain feudal dues from tenants of the crown), unless by the authority of the common council of the kingdom. The remaining and greater part of it is directed against abuses of the king's power as feudal superior.

573 - What term used by Masons is equivalent to initiated?

  • Make. When a candidate is initiated into the mysteries of the Order, he is said to be made a Mason, an expression in use among the operative Masons in the ancient times. It is a term synonymous with the word "initiate."

574 - What does it mean to be "made a Mason?"

  • Making. The solemn ceremony should never in any lodge be considered as the most important part of a Freemason's work (although it is always a thing of importance to initiate a new member into the Order). Instruction and charity are the chief works of a Freemason. Initiations are only secondary to these. The day of his initiation must ever be an important epoch to a Freemason, and lead to a serious self examination. The reflection that in one evening he has become closely united with many thousands of unknown men, is of itself important, even if the initiated should not be able to appreciate the real spirit of the Order. On his initiation the candidate must place himself unreservedly in the hands of the proper officer appointed to conduct him and submit himself to every proof that is demanded from him, and make no objection to any of the ceremonies he has to go through, but answer every question truly and manfully. When he arrives in the assembly of the brethren he is asked again, and for the last time, if it is his wish to be initiated. In the moment when he is about to receive the first degree, every freedom is permitted to him either to go forward in the ceremony, or return from whence he came; for we must admit that to enter upon an unknown undertaking is a dangerous thing. ,He who is in earnest will here prove that he holds it to be unworthy of a man not to complete any undertaking which he has commenced after mature deliberation. If he does so, the assembled brethren cheerfully and unanimously pronounce him "worthy," and he is made a partaker of the LIGHT. The solemn obligation taken by the candidate, and the sacred and mysterious manner in which the sacred numbers are communicated, have always been respected by every faithful brother.

575 - What were the ancient charges at the making of a Freemason?

  • Making, Ancient Charges at. The MS. in the archives of the Lodge of Antiquity from which I have quoted the preceding charges, adds to them fifteen more, which are said to be "Charges single for Masons allowed or accepted," that is to say, as is added at the end, "Charges and covenants to be read at the making of a Freemason or Freemasons." They are as follows:
1. That no Mason take on him no lord's work, nor any other man's unless he know himself well able to perform the work, so that the craft have no slander.
2. Also, that no Master take work but that he take reasonable pay for it; so that the lord may be truly served, and the Master to live honestly, and to pay his Fellows truly. And that no Master or Fellow supplant others of their work; that is to say, that if he hath taken a work, or else stand Master of any work, that he shall not put him out, unless he be unable of cunning to make an end of his work. And no Master nor Fellow shall take on Apprentice for less than seven years. And that the Apprentice be free born, and of limbs whole as a man ought to be, and no bastard. And that no Master nor Fellow take no allowance to be made Mason without the assent of his Fellows, at the least six or seven.
3. That he that be made be able in all degrees; that is, free born, of a good kindred, true, and no bondsman, and that he have his right limbs as a man ought to have.
4. That a Master take no Apprentice without he have occupation to occupy two or three Fellows at the least.
5. That no Master or Fellow put away any lord's work to task that ought to be journeywork.
6. That every Master give pay to his Fellows and servants as they may deserve, so that he be not defamed with false working. And that none slander another behind his back to make him lose his good name.
7. That no Fellow in the house or abroad answer another ungodly or reproveably without a cause.
8. That every Master Mason do reverence to his elder; and that a Mason be no common player at the cards, dice or hazard; or at any other unlawful plays, through the which the science and craft may be dishonored and slandered.
9. That no Fellow go into the town by night, except he have a Fellow with him, who may bear him record that he was in an honest place.
10. That every Master and Fellow shall come to the assembly, if it be within fifty miles of him, if he have any warning. And if he have trespassed against the craft, to abide the reward of Masters and Fellows.
11. That every Master Mason and Fellow that hath trespassed against the craft shall stand to the correction of other Masters and Fellows to make him accord; and if they cannot accord, to go to the common law.
12. That a Master or Fellow make not a mould stone, square nor rule, to no lowen, nor let no lowen work within their Lodge nor without, to mould stone.
13. That every Mason receive and cherish strange Fellows when they come over the country, and set them on work, if they will work, as the manner is; that is to say, if the Mason have any mould stone in his place, he shall give him a mould stone, and set him on work; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge.
14. That every Mason shall truly serve his Master for his pay.
15. That every Master shall truly make an end of his work, task or journey, whitherso it be.

576 - What is the significance of the expression "making Masons at sight?"

  • Making Masons at Sight. Consequent upon and intimately con nected with the dispensing power is that much contested prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight. I know of no principle of Masonic law which has given rise to a greater diversity of opinions, or more elaborate argument on both sides, than this. While the Grand Lodges or the Committees of Foreign Correspondence of Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York and South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin clearly admit the prerogative, those of California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Tennessee as positively deny it, while Florida and Texas recognize its existence only under limited modifications. The weight of authority is certainly on the side of the prerogative. I think that it can readily be proved that ancient usage, as well as the natural deductions from the law, equally support it.

It has always appeared to me that much of the controversy was, after all, rather a dispute about words than about things. The words "making Masons at sight" are not to be found in any of the Constitutions or records of the legitimate Grand Lodge of England. They were first used by the body known in history as the Athol Grand Lodge, and are to be found in its authorized Book of Constitutions, the "Ahiman Ream" of Laurence Dermott. The "moderns," as they were called, or the regular body, always spoke of "making Masons in an occasional Lodge," and these words continually occur in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, published by Dr. Anderson, and in all the subsequent editions compiled by other editors. Thus we find that in 1731, "Grand Master Lovel formed an occasional Lodge at Sir Robert Walpole's house of Houghton Hall, in Norfolk, and made Brother Lorrain and Brother Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, Master Masons." Again, "on the 16th day of February, 1766, an occasional Lodge was held at the Horn Tavern in New Palace Yard, by the Right Hon. Lord Blaney, Grand Master. His Royal Highness William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was in the usual manner introduced and made an Entered Apprentice, passed a Fellow Craft, and raised to the degree of a Master Mason." And again, "on February 9, 1767, an occasional Lodge was held at the Thatched House Tavern, in St. James Street, by Col. John Salter, Deputy Grand Master, and his Royal Highness Henry Frederick, Duke of Cumberland, was, in the usual manner, introduced and made an Entered Apprentice, passed a Fellow Craft, and raised to the degree of a Master Mason." Now, in all of these cases, the candidates were made by the Grand Master, without previous notice, and not in a regular Lodge; and this is what I suppose to be really meant by making Masons at sight. Dermott adopted this phraseology, but Anderson and his successors called it "making Masons in an occasional Lodge." The two expressions mean exactly the same thing Now, by way of illustrating this theory, let it be supposed that the Grand Master of a certain jurisdiction is desirous of making a Mason at sight, or in an occasional Lodge. How is he to exercise this prerogative l Why, he summons not less than six Master Masons to his assistance, himself making the seventh, which number is necessary to form a perfect Lodge. They meet together, and he grants his dispensation (which is virtually done by his presence), permitting a Lodge to be opened and held. The candidate upon whom the Grand Master intend~' to exercise his prerogative, applies for initiation, and the Grand Master having dispensed with the Regulation which requires the petition to lie over for one month, the Lodge proceeds to confer the first and second degrees, the Grand Master being in the chair. On the following evening, the same brethren again meet, and the candidate receives the third degree, the Grand Master occupying the chair as before. The Lodge having accomplished all that was required of it, the Grand Master ceases to exercise his dispensing power - which he is of course at liberty to do, for his dispensation, like the king's writ, is granted durance bene placito, during his good pleasure - and the Lodge is dissolved. But the making of the candidate is good; nor do I see how it can be denied, for certainly if the Grand Master can authorize A, B and C to make Masons by dispensation - and this no one doubts then surely he can exercise the same functions which he has the power of delegating to others. And this I suppose to be all that is meant by the prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight. It is the necessary result of, and indeed is the same thing in a modified form, as his prerogative to open Lodges by dispensations granted to others. But in exercising this important prerogative, the Grand Master must be governed by all those principles which would apply to the initiation of candidates in an ordinary Lodge under dispensation, for although he may dispense with the provisions of a Regulation, he can not dispense with the Landmarks. The candidate must be possessed of all the requisite qualifications, nor can the Grand Master interfere with any Lodge by making a candidate who has been rejected; for he cannot exercise any of his prerogatives to the injury of other parties. 577 - Of what is the mallet emblematic?

  • Mallet. This is an important instrument of labor, and no work of manual skill can be completed without it. From it we learn that labor is the lot of man, and that skill without exertion is of no avail; for the heart may conceive, and the head devise in vain, if the hand be not prompt to execute the design.

578 - Who are said to be manual Masons?

  • Manual Masons. The manual consists of such parts of business as are performed by hand labor alone, or by the help of some simple instruments, the uses whereof are not to be learnt by any problems or rules of art, but by labor and practice only; and this is more peculiarly applicable to our brethren of the first degree, called Entered Apprentices.

579 - Is a manumitted slave admissable as a candidate in Freemasonry?

  • Manumission. A few years ago, the Grand Lodge of England undertook to change the language of the old Charges, and to interpolate the word "free" for "free born," by which means manumitted slaves, the children of bondwomen, were rendered eligible for initiation. This unwarranted innovation, which was undoubtedly a sacrifice to expediency, has met with the general condemnation of the Grand Lodges of this country.

580 - Under what circumstances were certain old Masonic manuscripts burned by some scrupulous brothers?

  • Manuscripts. At the revival in 1717, Grand Master Payne had de sired that all old Masonic record might be brought into the Grand Lodge in order to discover the usages of ancient times; and in the year 1721, Dr. Anderson was employed to prepare a Book of Constitutions. Between these two periods, several very valuable manuscripts concerning the fraternity, their lodges, regulations, charges, secrets, and usages, which had been deposited in private lodges, particularly one written by Nicholas Stone, the Warden under Inigo Jones, were hastily burnt by some scrupulous brothers, under a jealous supposition that committing to print anything relating to Masonry, would be injurious to the interests of the Craft; but surely such an act of felo de se could not proceed from zeal according to knowledge.

581 - What are Masonic marks and why are they employed?

  • Marks of the Craft. According to the traditions of the Mark Master's degree, each Mason employed in building the Temple of Solomon was required to place a peculiar mark upon his work, to distinguish it from that of others. It is probable that this has always been the practice with the various corporations of builders from the earliest periods down to quite modern times. Most of the edifices constructed in the middle ages, particularly those of Strasburg, Worms, Rheims, bear these marks, which appear to have been of two classes, viz: monograms, which belonged to overseers; and emblems, as the trowel, mallet, square, etc., that belonged to the workmen. A writer, describing the walls of the fortress of Allahabad, in the East Indies, erected A. D. 1542, says: "The walls are composed of large oblong blocks of red granite, and are almost everywhere covered with Masonic emblems, which evince some thing more than mere ornament. They are not confined to any particular spot, but are scattered over the walls of the fortress in many places as high as thirty or forty feet from the ground. It is quite certain that thousands of stones on the walls, bearing these Masonic symbole, were carved, marked, and numbered in the quarry before the erection of the building." Those brethren who have been initiated into the degrees of Mark Man and Mark Master perfectly well understand that the mark which was conferred upon the ancient craftsman was not arbitrary, but selected from a defined and well understood series - that the craftsman was not entitled to use any mark until his fitness had been tried, and he had proved himself well skilled in the use of the plumb, the level, and the square; that the distinction of the mark was conferred with peculiar solemnities; and that the subsequent obligation to use the particular mark so conferred, and to affix it to every "perfect ashlar," was not discretionary, but imperative. A knowledge of these facts, combined with a careful examination of the ancient marks, will no doubt, throw much additional light upon the history of ecclesiastical architecture, as well as prove the firmer connection, and show the union existing in past ages, between practical architecture and symbolical or spiritual Masonry.

582 - What are the characteristics of a true Mason?

  • Mason. A Mason is a man whose conduct should be squared by strict rectitude and justice towards his fellow creatures; his demeanor should be marked by the level of courtesy and kindness; while uprightness of heart and integrity of action, symbolized by the plumb, should be his distinguishing characteristic; and thus guided by the movable jewels of Masonry, he may descend the vale of life and joy, in the hope of being accepted by the Most High, as a successful candidate for ad mission into the Grand Lodge above.

583 - What is the derivation of the word Mason?

  • Mason, Derivation of the Word. The search for the etymology of the word Mason has given rise to numerous theories, some of them ingenious, but many of them very absurd. Thus, a writer in the European Magazine, for February, 1792, who signs his name as "George Drake," lieutenant of marines, attempts to trace the Masons to the Druids, and derives Mason from May's on, May's being in reference to May day, the great festival of the Druids, and on meaning men, as in the French on dit, for homme dit. According to this, May's on therefore means the Men of May. But this idea is not original with Drake, since the same derivation was urged in 1766 by Cleland, in his essays on The Way to Things in Words, and on The Real Secret of Freemasons.

Hutchison, in his search for a derivation, seems to have been perplexed with the variety of roots that presented themselves, and being inclined to believe that the name of Mason "has its derivation from a language in which it implies some strong indication or distinction of the nature of the society, and that it has no relation to architects," looks for the root in the Greek tongue. Thus he thinks that Mason may come from Mao Soon, "I seek salvation," or from Mystes, "an initiate"; and that Masonry is only a corruption of Mesouraneo, "I am in the midst of heaven"; or from Mazourouth, a constellation mentioned by Job, or from Mysterion, "a mystery." Lessing says, in his Ernst and Falk, that Masa in the Anglo Saxon signifies a table, and that Masonry, consequently, is a society of the table.

Nicolai thinks he finds the root in the Low Latin word of the Middle Ages Masonya, or Masonia, which signifies an exclusive society or club, such as that of the round table.

Coming down to later times, we find Bro. C. W. Moore, in his Boston Magazine, of May, 1844, deriving Mason from Lithotomos, a "Stone Cutter." But although fully aware of the elasticity of etymological rules, it surpasses our ingenuity to get Mason etymologically out of Lithotomos.

Bro. Giles F. Yates sought for the derivation of Mason in the Greek word Mazones, a festival of Dionysus, and he thought that this was an other proof of the lineal descent of the Masonic order from the Dionysiac Artificers. The late William S. Rockwell, who was accustomed to find all his Masonry in the Egyptian mysteries, and who was a thorough, student of the Egyptian hieroglyphic system, derives the word Mason from a combination of two phonetic signs, the one being MAI, and signifying "to love," and the other being SON, which means "a brother." Hence, he says, "this combination, Maison, expresses exactly in sound our word MASON, and signifies literally loving brother, that is philadelphus, brother of an association, and thus corresponds also in sense." But all of these fanciful etymologies, which would have terrified Bopp, Grimm or Muller, or any other student of linguistic relations, forcibly remind us' of the French epigrammatist, who admitted that alphina came from equus, but that, in so coming, it had very consider ably changed its route.

What, then, is the true derivation of the word Mason? Let us see what the orthoepists, who had no Masonic theories, have said upon the subject. Webster, seeing that in Spanish masa means mortar, is inclined to derive Mason, as denoting one that works in mortar, from the root of mass, which of course gave birth to the Spanish word.

In Low or Mediaeval Latin, Mason was machio or macia, and this Du Cange derives from the Latin maceria, "a long wall." Others find a derivation in machinoe, because the builders stood upon machines to raise their walls. But Richardson takes a common sense view of the subject. He says, "It appears to be obviously the same word as maison, a house or mansion, applied to the person who builds, instead of the thing built. The French Maissoner is to build houses; Masonner, to build of stone. The ward Mason is applied by usage to a builder of stone, and Masonry to work in stone." Carpenter gives Massom, used in 1225, for a building stone, and Massonus, used 1304, for a Mason; and the Benedictine editors of Du Cange define Massonerai "a building, the French Maconnerie, and Massonerius," as Latomus or a Mason, both words in manuscripts of 1385. As a practical question, we are compelled to reject all those fanciful derivations which connect the Masons etymologically and historically with the Greeks, the Egyptians, or the Druids, and to take the word Mason in its ordinary signification of a worker in stone, and thus indicate the origin of the Order from a society or association of practical and operative builders. We need no better root than the Mediaeval Latin Maconner, to build, Maconetus, a builder.

584 - What are the Masonic colors and what do they symbolize?

  • Masonic Colors. Every grade of Masonry is furnished with its peculiar and emblematic color. An important and mystic meaning has always been applied to colors, and they are used as the distinguishing mark of different nations. The colors best known, and almost universally adapted to Masonry, are seven, viz:
1. BLUE. This is the great color of Masonry. It is the appropriate tincture of the Ancient Craft degrees. It is to the Mason an emblem of universal friendship and benevolence, teaching us that in the mind of a brother those virtues should be as extensive as the blue arch of heaven itself. It is, therefore, the only color, except white, which should be used in a Master Mason's lodge. Besides the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, this color is also to be found in several other degrees, especially of the Ancient and Accepted rite, where it bears various symbolic significations; all, however, more or less related to its original character, as an emblem of universal friendship and benevolence. This tincture was held in high veneration among all the nations of antiquity. It symbolically expressed heaven, the firmament, truth, constancy, and fidelity.
2. PURPLE, being formed by a due admixture of blue and scarlet, is intended to remind us of the intimate connection and harmony that exists between symbolic Masonry and the Royal Arch degree. In the religious services of the Jews purple is employed on several occasions. It is one of the colors of the curtains of the tabernacle, and is symbolical of the element of water. It is also used in the construction of the ephod and girdle of the High Priest, and the cloths for divine service. Among the Gentile nations of antiquity purple was considered rather as a color of dignity than of veneration, and was deemed an emblem of exalted office. Pliny says it was the color of the vestments worn by the early kings of Rome, and it has ever since, even to the present time, been considered as the becoming insignia of regal or supreme authority.
3. SCARLET, RED or CRIMSON, for it is indifferently called by each of these names, is the appropriate color of the Royal Arch degree, and symbolically represents the ardor and zeal which should actuate all who are in possession of that sublime portion of Masonry. Scarlet was used as one of the veils of the tabernacle, and was an emblem of the elements of fire. Scarlet was, among the Jews, a color of dignity, appropriated to the most opulent or honorable. In the middle ages, those Knights who engaged in the wars of the crusades, and especially the Templars, wore a red cross as a symbol of their willingness to undergo martyrdom for the sake of religion. Scarlet is in the higher degrees of Masonry as predominating a color as blue is in the lower. These three colors - BLUE, PURPLE and SCARLET - were called, in the early English lectures, the "old colors of Masonry," and were said to have been selected "because they are royal, and such as the ancient kings and princes use to wear; and sacred history informs us that the veil of the temple was composed of these colors."
4. WHITE is one of the most ancient as well as most extensively diffused of the symbolic colors. It is to be found in all the ancient mysteries, where it constituted, as it does in Masonry, the investure of the candidate. It always, however, and everywhere has borne the same significance, as the symbol of purity and innocence. White was the color of one of the curtains of the tabernacle, where it was a symbol of the element of earth. Among the ancients the highest reverence was paid to this color. It was, in general, the garment of the Gentile as well as of the Hebrew priests in the performance of their sacred rites. It is regarded as the emblem of light, religious purity, innocence, virginity, faith, joy, and life. In the judge, it indicates integrity; in the sick man, humility; in the woman, chastity. We see, therefore, the propriety of adopting this color in the Masonic system, as a symbol of purity. This symbolism commences in the York rite, where the lambskin or white apron is presented to the Entered Apprentice as an emblem of purity of life and rectitude of conduct, and terminates in the Ancient and Accepted rite, where the Sovereign Inspectors of the thirty third degree are invested with a white scarf as an emblem of that virtuous deportment, above the tongue of all reproach, which should distinguish the possessors of that exalted grade.
5. BLACK. As white is universally the emblem of purity, so black, in the Masonic ritual, is constantly the symbol of grief. This is perfectly consistent with its use in the world, where black has, from remote antiquity, been adopted as a garment of mourning. In Masonry this color is confined to but a few degrees, but everywhere has the same single meaning of sorrow. Black is in the world the symbol of the earth, darkness, mourning, wickedness, negation, death, and was appropriate to the Prince of Darkness. White and black together signify purity of life, and mourning or humiliation.
6. GREEN, as a Masonic color, is confined to a few of the degrees. It is employed as a symbol of the immutable nature of truth and victory. In the evergreen the Master Mason finds the emblem of hope and immortality. In all the ancient mysteries, this idea was carried out, and green symbolized the birth of the world, and the moral creation of resurrection of the initiate.
7. YELLOW. Of all the Masonic colors, yellow appears to be the least important, and the least used. It is a predominating color in a few of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted rite. It was a significant symbol of the sun, of the goodness of God, of initiation or marriage, faith, or faithfulness. In an improper sense, yellow signifies inconstancy, jealousy, and deceit.

585 - How should a Masonic Hall be built and located?

  • Masonic Hall. A Masonic hall should be so isolated, and, if possible, surrounded with lofty walls, so as to be included in a court, and apart from any other buildings, as to preclude the possibility of being overlooked by cowans or eavesdroppers; for Freemasonry being a secret society, the curiosity of mankind is ever on the alert to pry into its mysteries, and to obtain by illicit means, that knowledge which is freely communicated to all worthy applicants. As, however, such a situation in large towns, where Masonry is usually practiced, can seldom be obtained with convenience to the brethren, the lodge should be formed in an upper story; and if there be any contiguous buildings, the windows should be either in the roof, or very high from the floor.

586 - Under what circumstances do the orphans of a Mason forfeit their claim to Masonic relief?

  • Masonic Relief for Orphans. The orphans of a brother Mason are of course entitled to the protection of the Order, so long as their unprotected situation needs that protection. Boys, on arriving at adult age, and girls when they marry, place themselves, I think, in that situation which exonerates the Order from their further protection. A hale and hearty man of twenty five could scarcely venture to claim relief from the Order, on the ground that he was the son of a Mason; nor could the wife of a man, in a similar worldly condition, make the same request, from the fact that she was a Mason's daughter. The widows and orphans of Masons are, I suppose, entitled to the charities of the institution only while they remain widows and orphans. A second marriage necessarily dissolves widowhood, and by the custom of language, the idea of orphanage is connected with that of childhood and youth. The condition is lost on arrival at adult age.

587 - On what date does the Masonic year begin?

  • Masonic Year. Freemasons date their year according to Mosaic chronology, or from the creation of the world, thus four thousand years more than the common calendar shows. The Masonic year does not commence on the first of January, but on the twenty fourth of June. But this way of reckoning is only usual in the writings of the Order.

588 - When is it useless to profess a knowledge of Freemasonry?

  • Masonry. It is useless to profess a knowledge of Freemasonry, if we do not frame our lives according to it. It is not enough to be acquainted with its doctrines and precepts, if we fail to reduce them to practice. In such a case, our knowledge will rather tend to our dishonor in this world, and will certainly be an additional article of accusation against us in the next. It would be very unreasonable to doubt the beneficial effects of our Masonic precepts; but to admit them to be true, and yet act as if they were false, would be unwise in the highest degree. I will not, however, do my brethren the injustice to believe that many of them are capable cf such a perversion of reason. And it is my firm persuasion that they who practice the duties which Freemasonry teaches, in conjunction with the faith propounded in their religion, will inherit that eternal city of God, where they will be associated with a holy and happy fraternity of brotherly love for ever and ever.

589 - What is the degree of a Mason's daughter?

  • Mason's Daughter. This degree, conferred on Master Masons, their wives, sisters, and daughters, in some things resembles the degree of Martha of the American Adoptive rite. The Scripture lesson of the degree is selected from the eleventh and twelfth chapters of the Gospel of St. John.

590 - In what direction does a "Mason's Wind" blow?

  • Mason's Wind. At the building of King Solomon's Temple, a Mason's wind was said to blow favorably when it was due east and west, because it was calculated to cool and refresh the men at labor.

591 - What should be the intellectual qualifications of the Master of a Lodge?

  • Master, Intellectual Qualifications of. Intellectually, he must be "of great skill." Much stress is thus laid upon the mental qualifications. Ile who desires to be the Master of a Masonic Lodge must not be satisfied with a moderate share of skill. His knowledge and attainments must be great. If he proposes to be a teacher, he must thoroughly comprehend the subject which he intends to teach, and by the fluency and readiness which education gives, be capable of communicating his instructions in a pleasing and impressive manner. "A man of education and talents," says Dalcho, "will eludicate with admirable beauty, perspicuity and interest, the origin and progress of the arts in different ages, the development of genius in the organization of our Order, and the adaptation of the system to the wants and happiness of man.

He will, in short, speak upon literary and scientific subjects as a Master; he will understand what he professes to teach, and consequently he will make himself understood by others. All will listen to him with delight, and all will be benefited by his instructions." This passage was written nearly half a century ago, and since then the developments of the Ma sonic system in this country have required a still greater amount of intellectual qualification than has been described by Dalcho. An educated man, however well skilled in general literature and science, will make an incompetent Master of a Lodge, if he does not devote his attention to the peculiar science of our Order. If Masonry be as it is defined, "a science of morality, clothed in allegory and illustrated by symbols," it is evident that a successful teacher (and the Master is, in an emphatic sense, a teacher) must qualify himself by a diligent investigation of these symbols and allegories - the myths and legends of Masonry - their mystical application, and the whole design of the institution in this, its most important feature, must constitute his study.

592 - What does the Master Mason represent?

  • Master Mason. The Master Mason represents man, when youth, manhood, old age, and life itself, have passed away as fleeting shadows, yet raised from the grave of iniquity, and quickened into another and a better existence. By its legend and all its ritual, it is implied that we have been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulchre of pollution. "The ceremonies and the lecture," says Dr. Crucefix, "beautifully illustrates this all engrossing subject; and the conclusion we arrive at is, that youth, properly directed, leads us to honorable and virtuous maturity, and that the life of man, regulated by morality, faith, and justice, will be rewarded at its closing hour, by the prospect of eternal bliss."

593 - Why is the choice of Master so important to a Lodge?

  • Master of a Lodge. The presiding officer of a Lodge of Free masons, whose style is "Worshipful." In the whole series of offices recognized by the Masonic institution, there is not one more important than that of the Master. Upon the skill, integrity and prudence of the presiding officer, depend the usefulness and welfare of the lodge. To be come the Master of a Lodge, with the title "worthy and well qualified," is a legitimate object of ambition for every young brother who takes an interest in the prosperity of the society. The powers of the Master are very great; far more varied and positive than those of any organization now in existence. From his decisions there can be no appeal to the Lodge; he is amenable for his conduct to the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. Equally important with the proper qualifications for the discharge of the duties of the Master, are experience, a thorough knowledge of the ritual and the parliamentary rules of the Craft, the service of a full term as Warden, except in the case of a newly constituted lodge, when there is no Warden or Past Master to serve; a legal election; a compliance with the covenants of the installation service and induction into the oriental chair. The prerogatives of the Master of a lodge are:
1. To congregate or assemble his lodge;
2. To preside therein;
3. To fill temporary vacancies in office;
4. To regulate the admission of visitors;
5. To control and terminate discussions;
6. To determine all questions of order and the order of business, without appeal, except to the Grand Lodge or Grand Master;
7. To appoint all committees;
8. To open and close the Lodge;
9. To be the custodian of the warrant;
10. To order the issuing of summonses, and compel the attendance of members;
11. To give the casting vote in case of a tie, in addition to his own vote;
12. To sign all drafts upon the Treasurer for the payment of Lodge expenses, with the consent of the lodge;
13. To refuse to initiate a candidate, if, in his judgment, such initiation would be improper;
14. In company with the Senior and Junior Wardens to represent the lodge at all communications of the Grand Lodge;
15. To appoint the Senior Deacon, and such other officers as may be prescribed in the by laws of the lodge;
16. To install his successor and assist in conferring the official Past Master's degree.

His duties are - to attend all communications of the lodge; to open the lodge at the time designated in the by laws, and close it at a reason able hour; to preserve order in the lodge; to obey, enforce and defend the landmarks, the laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge, the orders of the Grand Master, and the by laws of the lodge; to preserve the charter of the lodge, and transmit it to his successor; to perform the ritualistic work of Masonry, and instruct the brethren; to cause an investigation into all Masonic offienses committed by the initiated candidates, by members of the lodge, or by Masons residing within the jurisdiction of the lodge; to visit the sick, and perform the Masonic burial service over the remains of a deceased member of the lodge; to perfect himself in the ritual, laws and usages of the order; to use his best endeavors to preserve and promote peace and harmony in the lodge, and, by his Masonic deportment in and out of the lodge, be a good example to the brethren. He is exempt from discipline for his official acts, except to the Grand Lodge. He cannot dimit or resign during his term of office, for if a vacancy should occur in the office of Master, by death or removal from the jurisdiction, the Senior Warden assumes, by virtue of immemorial practice, all the prerogatives and responsibilities of that officer. His jewel is the square, because, as that instrument is dedicated to the Master, and is the proper Masonic emblem of office, it symbolically teaches him official and individual responsibilities, to regulate his actions by rule and line, and to harmonize his conduct by the principles of morality and virtue, so that no ill feeling or angry discussions may arise to impair the harmony and good fellowship that should ever distinguish a Masonic Lodge, for he "Who wears the Square upon his breast, Does in the sight of God attest, And in the face of man, That all his actions will compare With the Divine, th' unerring square, That squares great virtue's plan." - Morris.

The jewels, furniture and other property of the lodge are in his charge and he has a general control over all its affairs.

594 - What are the duties of a Master of Ceremonies?

  • Master of Ceremonies. An officer first instituted at the court of England, in 1603, for the more honorable reception of Ambassadors and persons of distinction. This officer is found in most of the lodges in England and on the continent, and has lately found a place in the lodges of the United States. He precedes the Senior Deacon when con ducting the candidate.

595 - What are the qualifications of a Master?

  • Master, Qualifications of. Invested with such important prerogatives, it is to be expected that the qualifications required of such an officer must be in a corresponding degree. The Master of a Lodge is, in fact, he who, as his Latin name Magister imports, should have, more than others, magis quam coeteris, the care and control of those over whom he has been placed, and who, with more of power, should also be distinguished by more of virtue and more of wisdom than his brethren. "Those," says Festus, "are called Masters upon whom the chief care of things devolves, and who, more than the others, should exercise diligence and solicitude in the matters over which they preside." The proper qualifications of the Master of a Lodge are laid down in the installation service as follows: He is required to be "of good morals, of great skill, true and trusty, and a lover of the whole fraternity." There is much significance in this language: it portrays the qualifications of a Master under the three fold heads of moral, intellectual, and social.

596 - At what age can one become a Mason?

  • Mature Age. The Order of Free and Accepted Masons should consist solely of men of mature age, and it is in accordance with this rule that young men and boys are denied admittance. In the ancient charges of the English Constitution Book, under date 29th December, 1729, it is laid down as a rule that no person shall be initiated under twenty five years of age. At present most lodges initiate at an earlier period, usually twenty one. The son of a Freemason, called Lewis, is allowed to be initiated sometimes even earlier.

597 - What is a mausoleum?

  • Mausoleum. A general designation of any superb and stately sepulchral monument. The name is derived from the tomb erected at Halicarnassus by Artemisia, to the memory of her husband Mausolus, king of Caria, B. C. 353. It was one of the most magnificent monuments of the kind, and was esteemec one of the seven wonders of the world. When the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, in 1404, took possession of the site of Halicarnassus, then occupied by a small village, called Clessy, they discovered while excavating among the ruins for building materials, a large chamber with marble pilasters, and with richly inlaid panes. The sarcophagus of the founder was also discovered; fragments of lions, dogs, etc., and a beautiful sculpture of a horse, were also found. Mausoleums of rare beauty and strength, bearing Masonic symbols and sentiments of fraternal affection, have been erected in several parts of Europe and America.

598 - Of what importance are Masonic medals?

  • Medals, Masonic. This term is applied to pieces of metal, of various forms, but generally similar to coins, not intended for circulation as money, or means of exchange, struck and distributed in commemoration of some important event. The study and a thorough knowledge of medals recognized by the Craft, especially those bearing emblems and perpetuating valuable Masonic historical eras or events, are indispensable to prevent our ancient legends, traditions and history from falling into decay or passing into oblivion. So far as our investigations have extended in Masonic medals or numismatics, there is nothing extant in this department earlier than the eighteenth century. This may be explained from the fact that before that period the ancient or operative form of the institution existed; then Masons made their medals of mighty blocks of stone; their symbols were wrought in the ground plans of extensive and beautiful edifices; their marks were deeply cut upon the living rocks "with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever." The first Masonic medal of which we have any account was struck about A. D. 1733. Its history is substantially as follows: In 1733 a Lodge was established at Florence, by Lord Charles Sackville, son of Lionel Granville Sackville, great grandson of Thomas Sackville, who, in 1561, was Grand Master of the Masons acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge at York. This Lodge was not founded by regular authority; certainly there was no order for it by the Grand Lodge of England, then governed by James Lyon, Earl of Strathmore. The formation of the Lodge, however, was the origin of this medal, a copy of which exists in the valuable collection of Masonic medals in possession of the Lodge Minerva of the Three Palms, at Leipsic. The obverse has a bust of Lord Sackville, with the inscription, "Carolvs Sackville, Magister. FL" The reverse exhibits Harpocrates, the god of science, who as the son of Isis and Osiris, stood at the entrance of most Egyptian and Roman temples, in his well known attitude, leaning upon a broken column, with the fore finger of his right hand, the emblem of silence, upon his lips, and holding in his left arm the cornucopia, filled with the rich fruits of the earth. A cubic block, around which are grouped the stone hammer, the compasses, the square, the level, the chisel, the plumb and mallet, is at his feet. The thyrsus, staff and the serpent rest behind him. The motto is Ab Orgine, "from the beginning." An immensely large number of Masonic medals have been struck for as many memorable occasions during the past century; even a brief notice of which would be very far beyond our limits to give. Medals are frequently given to brothers as a reward for efficient official services and distinguished Masonic virtues.

599 - What is the symbolism of meeting of the level?

  • Meet on the Level. In the Prestonian lectures as practiced in the beginning of this century, it was said that Masons met on the square and hoped to part on the level. In the American system of Webb a change was made, and we were instructed that they meet on the level and part on the square. And in 1842 the Baltimore Convention made a still further change, by adding that they act by the plumb; and this formula, although quite modern, is now generally adopted by the lodges in this country.

The level is an emblem of equality, because with God there is no respect of persons, and in his sight all men are equal, liable to the same infirmities, redeemed by the same Savior, subject to the same death and judgment. This is the sense in which Masons understand the quality of members in tiled lodges. The level distinguishes the Senior Warden to remind him that while he presides over the labors of the lodge by command of the Worshipful Master, as the Junior Warden does over its refreshments, it is his duty to see that every brother meets upon the level, and that the principle of equality is preserved during the work, without which harmony, the chief support of our institution, could not be maintained in its purity and usefulness.

600 - By what attitude should Masonic meetings be characterized?

  • Meetings. Our meetings, when conducted according to the true spirit of the Order, are characterized by an emulation to excel in wisdom and the knowledge of practical virtue. The instruction incessantly If, poured from the Master's chair should be derived from an ample and exhaustless mine, stored with the richest gems of morality and religion, to reform the manners, and cultivate genial propensities in the mind.

601 - How may an unworthy brother of a foreign jurisdiction be dealt with?

  • Member of Foreign Jurisdiction. How is the evil to be remedied when an unworthy person, temporarily removing from his own home for that very purpose, shall have applied to a distant Lodge in another jurisdiction, and which, in ignorance of his true character, shall have admitted him? The answer is plain. On his return to his usual residence, as a Mason, he comes at once under the jurisdiction of the nearest Lodge; and if his unworthiness and immorality continues, he may be tried and expelled. The remedy, it is true, entails the additional trouble of a trial on the Lodge, but this is a better course than by declaring his making illegal, to violate the principles of Masonic jurisprudence, and to act discourteously to a neighboring jurisdiction.

602 - What is the status of a Mason who has withdrawn from his Lodge?

  • Membership. A Mason may withdraw from his lodge, but the membership remains inviolable. The true Mason considers, as one of his most sacred duties, the exact fulfilment of the engagements which bind him to his rite, the lodge from whence he first received the light and the Masonic body from which he received his powers. He cannot be relieved from his obligations, except by the Masonic power with which he made his engagements and according to the Masonic laws which he has sworn to observe and respect. Every attempt which may have for its object to compel a Mason, either by persecution or violence, to quit a rite to which he belongs, is contrary to the spirit and laws of Masonry.

603 - How long may an elected Master Mason postpone signing the by laws?

  • Membership, Postponement of. How long after his election does the right of signing the by laws inure to the candidate; in other words, how long is it after his reception that the recipient may still come for ward, and by affixing his signature to the by laws, avail himself of his right of membership, and without further application or ballot, be constituted a member of the Lodge in which he has been initiated?

Although the landmarks and ancient Constitutions leave us without any specific reply to this question, analogy and the just conclusions to be derived from the reason of the law are amply sufficient to supply us with an answer.

The newly made candidate, it has already been intimated, possesses the right to claim his membership without further ballot, on the reason able ground that, as he was deemed worthy of reception into the third degree, it would be idle to suppose that he was not equally worthy of admission into full membership; and we have seen that this was reason assigned by the Grand Lodge of England for the incorporation of this provision into its constitution.

Now, this is undoubtedly an excellent and unanswerable reason for his admission to membership, immediately upon his reception. But the reason loses its force if any time is permitted to elapse between the reception of the degree and the admission to membership. No man knows what a day may bring forth. IIe that was worthy on Monday, may on Tuesday have committed some act by which his worthiness will be forfeited. It may be true, as the Roman satirist expresses it, that no man becomes suddenly wicked; and it may be reasonable to suppose that, for some time after his initiation, the habits and character of the initiate will remain unchanged, and therefore that for a certain period the members of the Lodge will be justified in believing the candidate whom they have received to continue in possession of the same qualifications of character and conduct which had recommended and obtained his reception. But how are we to determine the extent of that period, and the time when it will be unsafe to predicate of the recipient a continuance of good character? It is admitted that after three months, it would be wrong to draw any conclusions as to the candidate's qualifications, from what was known of him on the day of his reception; and accordingly many Lodges have prescribed as a regulation, that if he does not within that period claim his right of membership, and sign the by laws, that right shall be forfeited, and he can then only be admitted upon application, and after ballot. But why specify three months, and not two, or four, or six? Upon what principle of ethics is the number three to be especially selected? The fact is, that the moment that we permit the initiate to extend the privilege of exercising his right beyond the time which is concurrent with his reception, the reason of the law is lost. The candidate having been deemed worthy of receiving the third degree, must, at the time of his reception of that degree, also be presumed to be worthy of membership. This is in the reason of things. But if a month, a week, or a single day is allowed to elapse, there is no longer a certainty of the continuance of that worthiness; the known mutability and infirmity of human character are against the presumption, and the question of its existence should then be tested by a ballot.

Again, one of the reasons why a unanimous ballot is required is, that a "fractious member" shall not be imposed on the Lodge, or one who would "spoil its harmony." Now, if A is admitted to receive the third degree on a certain evening, with the unanimous consent of all the Lodge, which must, of necessity, include the affirmative vote of B, then on the same evening he must be qualified for admission to membership, because it is not to be presumed that B would be willing that A should receive the third degree, and yet be unwilling to sit with him in the Lodge as a fellow member; and therefore A may be admitted at once to membership, without a needless repetition of the ballot, which, of course, had been taken on his application for the degree. But if any length of time is permitted to elapse, and if after a month, for instance, A comes forward to avail himself of his right of admission, then he shall not be admitted without a ballot; because, between the time of his reception at the preceding meeting, and the time of his application at the subsequent one, something may have occurred between himself and B, a member of the Lodge, which would render him objectionable to the latter, and his admission would then "spoil the harmony" of the Lodge, and "hinder its freedom." The Regulation, therefore, adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, which prescribes that the candidate, to avoid a ballot, must express his wish to be received a member on the day of his initiation, that is, of his reception into the third degree, seems to be the only proper one. Any Regulation that extends the period, and permits the candidate to sign the by laws and become a member without a ballot, provided he does so within two or three months, or any other determined period extending beyond the day of his reception, is contrary to the spirit and tenor of the law, and is calculated to be sometimes of a mischievous tendency. If the candidate does not assert his right on the day of his reception into the third degree, he loses it altogether; and must, to acquire member ship, submit to a petition and ballot, as in the case of any other affiliation.

604 - Is a candidate for Masonry required to possess a liberal education?

  • Mental Qualifications of Candidates. The ancient Constitutions are silent, except perhaps by implication, on the subject of the mental qualifications of candidates; and we are led to our conclusions simply by a consideration of the character of the institution and by the dictates of common sense, as to who are capable of appreciating the nature of our system, for they alone, it is to be suppose, are competent to become its disciples. The question which is first to be answered is what amount of talent and of mental cultivation are necessary to qualify a person for initiation l Dr. Oliver tells us that Masonry is an order "in which the pleasing pursuits of science are blended with morality and virtue on the one hand, and benevolence and charity on the other." And Lawrie declares that its object is "to inform the minds of its members by instructing them in the sciences and useful arts." Smith, Hutchinson, Preston, and other more recent writers, all concur in giving a scientific and literary character to the institution.

It does not, however, follow from this that none but scientific and literary men are qualified to be made Masons. To become a master of Masonic science - to acquire the station of a "teacher in Israel" - it is certainly necessary that there should be first laid a foundation of profane learning, on which the superstructure of Masonic wisdom is to be erected. But all Masons cannot expect to reach this elevated point; very few aspire to it; and there must still remain a great mass of the Fraternity who will be content with the mere rudiments of our science. But even to these, some preparatory education appears to be necessary. A totally ignorant man cannot be even a "bearer of burdens" in the temple of Masonry.

The modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England are explicit on this subject; for, in describing the qualifications of a candidate, they say that "he should be a lover of the liberal arts and sciences, and must have made some progress in one or other of them." This rule, however, it is well known, is constantly disregarded; and men without any pretensions to liberal education are constantly initiated in England.

605 - What motives in appealing for membership do Masons regard as mercenary?

  • Mercenary Motives. A candidate, in making his application, must be uninfluenced by mercenary motives. If the introduction of candidates under the influence of undue solicitation is attended with an injurious effect upon the institution, how much more fatal must be the results when the influence exerted is of a mean and ignoble kind, and when the applicant is urged onwards only by the degrading hopes of pecuniary interest or personal aggrandizement. The whole spirit of the Order revolts at the very idea of such a prostitution of its noble purposes, and turns with loathing from the aspirant who seeks its mysteries, impelled, not by the love of truth and the desire of knowledge, but by the paltry inducements of sordid gain.

"There was a time," says an eloquent and discerning Brother, "when few except the good and true either sought for or gained ad mission into Masonic Lodges, for it was thought that such alone could find their affinities there. Masons were then comparatively few, and were generally known and distinguished for those qualifications which the teachings of the Order require on the part of all who apply for ad mission. They were not of those who would make merchandise of its benefits, by prostituting them to the purposes of individual emolument. They were not of those who would seek through Masonic appliances to re invigorate a decaying reputation, and gain a prominency within the Lodge that was unattainable without it; or worse still, to use its influences to gain prominency elsewhere." But that which was unknown in the times when Masonry was struggling for its existence, and when prejudice and bigotry barely tolerated its presence, has now become a "crying evil" - when Masonry, having outlived its slanderers, and wrought out its own reputation, is to be classed among the most popular institutions of the day. And hence it becomes incumbent on every Mason closely to inquire whether any applicant for initiation is invited to his pursuit by a love of truth, a favor able opinion which he has conceived of the institution, and a desire through its instrumentality, of benefiting his fellow creatures, or whether he comes to our doors under the degrading influences of mercenary motives.

606 - Why is the junior Warden's station in the south?

  • Meridian Sun. The sun in the south is represented in Masonry by the Junior Warden, for this reason: when the sun has arrived at the zenith, at which time he is in the south, the splendor of his beams entitle him to the appellation which he receives in the ritual as "the beauty and glory of the day." Hence, as the Pillar of Beauty which supports the Lodge is referred to the Junior Warden, that officer is said to represent "the sun in the south at High Twelve," at which hour the Craft are called by him to refreshment, and therefore is he also placed in the south that he may the better observe the time and mark the progress of the shadow over the dial plate as it crosses the meridian line.

607 - What alone entitled one to preferment at the building of King Solomon's Temple?

  • Merit. At the building of King Solomon's temple, merit alone en titled to preferment; an indisputable instance of which we have in the Deputy Grand Master of that great undertaking, who, without either wealth or power - without any other distinction than that of being the widow's son - was appointed by the Grand Master, and approved by the people, for this single reason, because he was a skillful artificer.

608 - Why does a candidate find himself divested of all metals?

  • Metal. Many men dote on the metals silver and gold with their whole souls, and know no other standard whereby to estimate their own worth, or the worth of their fellow beings, but by the quantity of these metals they possess, thereby debasing and degrading those qualities of the mind or spirit by which alone mankind ought to be estimated. He who wishes to be initiated into Freemasonry must be willing to relinquish all descriptions of metal, and all the adventitious circumstances of rank and fortune, for it is the man that is received into Freemasonry, not his rank or riches.

609 - What part have military Lodges had in Freemasonry?

  • Military Lodges. Lodges established in an army. They are of an early date, having long existed in the British army. In America, the first lodge of this kind of which we have any record was one the War rant for which was granted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in 1738, to Abraham Savage, to be used in the expedition against Canada. A similar one was granted by the same authority in 1756, to Richard Gridley, for the expedition against Crown Point. In both of these in stances the Warrants were of a general character, and might rather be considered as deputations, as they authorized Savage and Gridley to congregate Masons into one or more lodges. In 1779, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted a Warrant to Col. Proctor, of the artillery, to open a Military lodge, which in the Warrant is called a "Movable Lodge." In the Civil War in the United States between 1861 and 1865, many military lodges were established on both sides; but it is question able whether they had a good effect. They met, certainly, with much opposition in many jurisdictions. In England, the system of military lodges is regulated by special provisions of the Grand Lodge Constitution. They are strictly limited to the purposes, for which the War rants were granted, and no new lodge can be established in a regiment without the concurrence of the commanding officer. They cannot make Masons of any but military men who have attained some rank in the army above that of a private soldier, although the latter may by dispensation be admitted as Serving Brethren; and they are strictly enjoined not to interfere with the Masonic jurisdiction of any country in which they may be stationed. Military lodges also exist on the continent of Europe. We find one at Berlin, in Prussia, as far back as 1775, under the name of the "Military Lodge of the Blazing Star," of which Wadzek, the Masonic writer, was the orator.

610 - How is wisdom commonly personified?

  • Minerva. Freemasons use the statue of Minerva, or open temples with her statue therein, as symbols of wisdom. Mythology teaches us that Jupiter opened his skull to bear Minerva, for this reason - she is the symbol of all thoughts that are formed in the head, and the protectress of the arts and sciences. She is generally represented as a young female in Grecian costume, and has an owl by her side, as a symbol of useful study and watchfulness.

611 - What records must be kept by a Masonic Lodge?

  • Minute Book. Every lodge shall have its by laws fairly written, and shall also keep a book or books in which the Master, or some brother appointed by him as secretary, shall enter the names of its members, and of all persons initiated or admitted therein, with the dates of their proposal, admission, or initiation, passing, and raising; and also their ages, as nearly as possible, at that time, and their titles, professions or trades, together with such transactions of the lodge as are proper to be written.

612 - What is the penalty for misconduct in a Lodge?

  • Misconduct. If any brother behave in such a way as to disturb the harmony of the lodge, he shall be thrice formally admonished by the Master, and if he persist in his irregular conduct, he shall be punished according to the by laws of that particular lodge, or the case may be reported to higher Masonic authority.

613 - How may an Entered Apprentice forfeit his rights?

  • Misconduct of Entered Apprentices. Whatever may be the rights of an Entered Apprentice, they are liable to forfeiture for misconduct, and he may be suspended, expelled, or otherwise Masonically punished, upon adequate cause and sufficient proof. An Apprentice may there fore be tried, but the trial must be conducted in the first degree; for every man is entitled to a trial by his peers. But as none but Master Masons can inflict punishment, since they alone now constitute the body of the craft, the final decision must be made in the third degree. He is also entitled to an appeal to the Grand Lodge, from the sentence of his Lodge, because the benign spirit of our institution will allow no man to be unjustly condemned; and it is made the duty of the Grand Lodge to see that the rights of even the humblest member of the Order shall not be unjustly invaded, but that impartial justice is administered to all.

614 - Why should moderation prevail in the government of a Lodge?

  • Moderation. Towards the well governing of a lodge of Masons, I would recommend moderation in the superior officers and subordination in the brethren; for without mutual good will, equanimity of temper, and reciprocal forbearance, the superstructure will crumble to decay, and the lodge, sooner or later, be inevitably dissolved.

615 - What is contained in a Masonic Monitor?

  • Monitor. A name given to books which contain the charges, regulations, emblems, and exoteric ceremonies of Freemasonry. Numerous works of this character have been published, some of them very valuable; works arranged on the principle that "the initiated know what is meant," which, by ingenious methods of suggestion, place before the mind of the intelligent Mason the whole ritual of the order, with its profound and varied meanings, while they reveal nothing to the profane.

616 - As moral architects, what are Masons taught?

  • Moral Architects. As moral architects we build temples for every virtue; prisons and dungeons for vice, indecency, and immorality. We are disposed to every humane and friendly office; ever ready to pour oil and wine into the wounds of our distressed brethren, and gently bind them up (it is one of the principal ends of our institution), so that when those who speak evil or lightly of us shall behold our conduct, and see by our means the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick sustained and cherished - shall see our light so usefully shine - their evil speaking may be silenced, their foolish prejudices removed, and they may be convinced that Masonry is an useful and a venerable structure, supported by the great and everlasting pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.

617 - What are the moral duties of a Mason?

  • Moral Duties. The science of Freemasonry embraces every branch of moral duty, whether it be applied to God, our neighbor, or ourselves. This peculiarity in the system is expressly inculcated on every member of the Order at his first admission into a lodge, so anxiously has Free masonry provided against any mistake as to its peculiar tenets. No brother can be ignorant of the great points of Masonic duty, although he may be unacquainted with the minuter details. The traditions and peculiar doctrines which are included in the more abstruse portions of the lectures may have remained unexplored; but of its moral and religious tendency he cannot be uninformed.

618 - What are the moral privileges of Masonry?

  • Morality. The morality of Masonry requires us to deal justly with others; not to defraud, cheat, or wrong them of their just dues or rights. But it goes farther; regarding all as the children of one great Father, it considers man as bound by piety, Masonic morality, and fraternal bonds, to minister to the wants of the destitute and afflicted; and that we may be enabled to fulfill this behest of humanity, it strictly enjoins industry and frugality, that so our hands may ever be filled with the means of exercising that charity to which our hearts should ever dispose us.

619 - What are the characteristics of the moral law?

  • Moral Law. Writers on this subject have given to the moral law of nature three characters, which make it still more appropriate as a system for the government of a universal, ancient and unchangeable institution; for it is said in the first place to be eternal, having always existed - an "aeternum quiddam," as Cicero calls it - an eternal some thing, coeval with God. Next, it is universal; all mankind, of every country and religion, being subject to it, whence the Roman historian appropriately calls it "jus hominum," or the law of men. And lastly, it is immutable, which immutability necessarily arises from the immutability of God, the author of the law.

This moral law of nature being the code adopted for the government of the` Masonic fraternity, it is proper that some inquiry should be made into the nature of the duties which it enjoins, and the acts which it prohibits. And, in the first place, the very existence of the law implies the existence of a Supreme Power, who must have enacted it, and of a responsibility to him for obedience to it. And hence the same charge which commences by declaring that a Mason is bound to obey the moral law, continues the precept by asserting, that if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine. Atheism, therefore, which is a rejection of a Supreme, superintending Creator, and irreligious libertinism, which, in the language of that day, signified a denial of all moral responsibility, are offences against the moral law, because they deny its validity and contemn its sanctions; and hence they are to be classed as Masonic crimes. This is the only point of speculative theology with which Masonry interferes. But here it is stern and uncompromising. A man must believe in God, and recognize a moral responsibility to him, or he cannot be made a Mason; or if being made, he subsequently adopts these views, he cannot remain in the Order.

The first class of crimes which are laid down in the Constitutions, as rendering their perpetrators liable to Masonic jurisdiction, are offences against the moral law. "Every Mason," say the old Charges of 1722, "is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law." Now, this moral law is not to be considered as confined to the decalogue of Moses, within which narrow limits the ecclesiastical writers technically restrain it, but rather as alluding to what is called the lex naturae, or the law of nature. This law of nature has been defined by an able, but not recent writer on this subject, to be "the will of God, relating to human actions, grounded on the moral differences of things; and because discoverable by natural light, obligatory upon all mankind." This is the "moral law," to which the old Charge already cited refers, and which it declares to'be the law of Masonry. And this was wisely done, for it is evident that no law less universal could have been appropriately selected for the government of an institution whose prominent characteristic is its universality. The precepts of Jesus could not have been made obligatory on a Jew; a Christian would have denied the sanctions of the Koran; a Mohammedan must have rejected the law of Moses; and a disciple of Zoroaster would have turned from all to the teachings of his Zend Avesta. The universal law of nature, which the authors of the old Charges have properly called the moral law, because it is, as Conybeare remarks, "a perfect collection of all those moral doctrines and precepts which have a foundation in the nature and reason of things," is therefore the only law suited, in every respect to be adopted as the Masonic code.

620 - What is the moral philosophy of Masonry?

  • Moral Philosophy. The moral philosophy of the Order refers to Ilim whose injunctions to his creatures are peculiarly applicable to the performance of Christian duty. It teaches that we owe a duty to God, which includes reverence for his name and attributes, veneration for his sacred character, and obedience to his just commands. It speaks of a duty to our neighbor; with whom we are directed to act on the square in all the transactions of life. It inculcates a duty to ourselves. We are expected to cultivate self knowledge and self respect. For this purpose, an attention to the four cardinal virtues is recommended, as well as the practice of every moral and social duty. Prudence should direct us; Temperance should chasten us; Fortitude support us, and Justice be the guide of all our actions. And in the course prescribed for the regulation of our conduct, we are directed to maintain in their fullest splendor those truly Masonic ornaments - Benevolence and Charity; and to imprint indelibly on our minds the sacred dictates of Truth, Honor, and Virtue.

621 - What moral qualifications are required in a candidate for membership in Freemasonry?

  • Moral Qualifications. All the old Constitutions, from those of York in 926, to the Charges approved in 1722, refer, in pointed terms, to the moral qualifications which should distinguish a Mason, and, of consequence, a candidate who desires to be admitted into the Fraternity. The Charges of 1722 commence with the emphatic declaration that "a Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine." Obedience, therefore, to a particular practical law of morality and belief in certain religious dogmas, seem to constitute the moral qualifications of every candidate for admission into the Fraternity. The proper inquiry will then be into the nature of this law of conduct and these dogmas of belief.

The term "moral law," in a strictly theological sense, signifies the Ten Commandments which were given to the Jewish nation; but al though it is admitted that an habitual violator of the spirit of these laws would disqualify a man from being made a Mason, I am disposed to give a wider latitude to the definition, and to suppose that the moral law "denotes the rule of good and evil, or of right and wrong, revealed by the Creator and inscribed on man's conscience even at his creation, and consequently binding upon him by divine authority." Dr. Anderson, the compiler of the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, seems, in the latter part of his life, to have inclined to this opinion; for, in the second edition of the same work, published in 1738, he modified the language of the Charge above cited, in these words: "A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachida," thus extending the limits of the law to those Precepts of Noah which are sup posed to be of universal obligation among all nations. It is true that on the publication of the third edition of the Constitution, in 1755, the Grand Lodge of England restored the original reading of the Charge; but the fact that the alteration had once been made by Anderson is strong presumptive evidence that he was unwilling to restrict the moral code of Masonry to the commandments set forth by the Jewish lawgiver. Apart from the fact that many learned and pious Christian divines have doubted how far the Jewish law is to be considered binding, except as it is confirmed by the express sanctions of the New Testament, the consideration that Masonry, being a cosmopolitan institution, cannot be prescribed within the limits of any particular religion, must lead us to give more extended application to the words "moral law," contained in the old Charge. Hence, then, we may say, that he who desires to be come a Mason, must first be qualified for initiation by a faithful observance of all those principles of morality and virtue which practically exhibit themselves in doing unto others as he would that they, in like circumstances, should do unto him. This constitutes the golden rule - the true basis of all moral law. The man who thus conducts himself will necessarily receive not only the reward of his own conscience, but the approbation and respect of the world; to which latter consequence, as an evidence of a well spent life, the ritual refers when it requires, as one of the qualifications of a candidate, that he should be "under the tongue of good report." The man who submits to this rule will of necessity observe the decalogue; not always because it is the decalogue, but because its dictates are the dictates of right and justice; and he will thus come strictly within the provisions of the old Charge, even in its most limited acceptation, and will of course "obey the moral law."

622 - What should be the moral qualifications of the Master of a Lodge?

  • Moral Qualifications of a Master. He is required, in the first place, to be "of good morals." The teacher of the principles of virtue and morality, which it is the design of Freemasonry to inculcate, should himself be, if not an admirable pattern, at least not a notorious transgressor of those principles; for, as a distinguished member of the craft (Dr. Townsend, the Deputy Grand Master of Ireland) has remarked: "The most elegant homily against those vices for which the preacher is distinguished, falls dead upon the ear; the most graceful eulogy of virtue is but disgusting in the lips of a man whose conduct gives the lie direct to his words; but he who teaches good example, will ever be listened to with respect." But the Master is not only a teacher of his brethren, but he is their representative to the world, and it becomes peculiarly his duty, by his own exemplary conduct, to impress the world at large with a favorable opinion of the institution in which he holds so high a position, and of which his own exemplary or unworthy conduct will be considered by the uninitiated as a fair exponent. Mankind will very naturally presume that the members of a moral institution would hardly confer so important a trust upon an immoral or licentious brother, and they will judge of the nature and character of the Lodge by the behavior of its presiding officer.

623 - Why was the Temple built on Mount Moriah?

  • Moriah. The name of the whole mountain, on the several hills and hollows of which the city of Jerusalem stood, was called Moriah, or Vision; because it was high land, and could be seen afar off, especially from the south, but afterwards that name was appropriated to the most elevated part of which the Temple was erected, and where Jehovah appeared to David. This mountain is a rocky limestone hill, steep of ascent on every side, except the north, and is surrounded on the other sides by a group of hills, in the form of an amphitheatre, which situation rendered it secure from the earthquakes that appear to have been frequent in the Holy Land, and have furnished the prophets with many elegant allusions.

624 - Of what is the mosaic pavement emblematic?

  • Mosaic Pavement. The Mosaic pavement, so frequently alluded to in the rituals of the order as the ornaments of a Lodge, are the productions of artistic designs, by setting small and variously shaped stones, glass or wood of different colors, so as to give the effect of painting. The floor of the tabernacle and the pavement of Solomon's temple were thus ornamented. Mosaic or tesselated pavements were common among the ancients; the Egyptians, the Greeks and especially the Romans most ingeniously decorated the floors and walls of their temples in this manner. In commemoration of the flooring of the temple and tabernacle, the Mosaic pavement is always preserved as an ornament of the Masonic lodge, with the blazing star in the center, and the beautiful tesselated border surrounding the whole, as a symbol of the manifold blessings and comforts which constantly surround us. The Mosaic pavement of a Lodge is placed there as an emblem of the vicissitudes of human life; that however prosperity may favor us with smiles to day, it is uncertain how long it will continue to bless us. Adversity may come when we least expect it, and penury and distress may follow joy and pleasure. The latter period of life may be subjected to want and misery, when we are most unfit to encounter it; and instead of resting in peace after a long and troublesome journey, we may be compelled again to encounter the burden and heat of the day.

625 - Whence did Moses derive his wisdom?

  • Moses. Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; he was initiated in all the knowledge of the wise men of that nation by whom learning of antiquity had been retained and held sacred; wrapped up from the eye of the wicked and vulgar in symbols and hieroglyphics, and communicated to men of their own order only, with care, secrecy, and circumspection. This secrecy is not in any wise to be wondered at, when we consider the persecution which would have followed a faith unacceptable to the ignorance of the nations who were enveloped in superstition and bigotry. Moses purged divine worship of its mysteries and images, and taught the Jews the knowledge of the God of the Universe, unpolluted with the errors of the nations of the earth, and uncorrupted with the devices and ludicrous ceremonies instituted by the people of the east, from whom he derived his first knowledge of the Divinity.

626 - What building now occupies the site of King Solomon's Temple?

  • Mosque of Omar, or the Noble Sanctuary. This splendid edifice on Mount Moriah covers a portion of the space once occupied by the more brilliant Temple of Solomon. It is believed to have been commenced by the Caliph Omar the first of that name, and father in law of Mohammed, between the years 638 and 644, and very much enlarged, beautified and enriched, in fact, quite rebuilt by the Caliph Abd el Melek, in 686. It was seven years in building: the Moslems believe it to stand over the rock on which Jacob was sleeping when he saw the vision of the heavenly ladder, but it is still more sacred to them, as to us, from having been the sacred rock beneath the altar of Solomon's Temple, whereon the daily sacrifice was offered. During the time of the Latin kingdom in Jerusalem this mosque became a Christian cathedral, where the service was daily sung and an altar erected on the summit of the rock. The building was called by the Crusaders the "Temple of the Lord." The fanciful and intricate patterns of the porcelain walls of the mosque, the graceful letters of the inscription round it, and the tracery of the windows are still more beautiful on a closer inspection - nothing can be more perfect of their kind, or more peculiarly charming than the harmony of the colors; the windows are filled with stained glass of the very richest and most brilliant colors, that even the palmiest days of the medieval ages could produce in Europe. Two rows of columns encircle the center, forming a double corridor, and support the clerestory and the dome: these colums have evidently belonged to some other building - their capitals are mostly of acanthus leaves. The rock itself is enclosed in a metal screen of lattice work about six feet high, and to it, we are told by the Bordeaux Pilgrim, in 333, the Jews came every year, anointing the stone with oil, wailing and rending their garments, thus proving its authenticity in their minds; it had been for many years polluted by an equestrian statue of the Emperor Adrian elevated on the very rock itself. The Bordeaux Pilgrim specially mentions that this rock adored by the Jews was pierced: below it is the "noble cave" spoken of in the Mishna, into which the blood, etc., from the altar drained, and descended thence by a conduit into the valley of Siloam, the gardens of which were enriched by this drainage.

627 - What is the proper title of a Grand Master of a Grand Lodge?

  • Most Worshipful. The title of the presiding officer of a Grand Lodge, and sometimes applied to the body.

628 - What is the effect of frequent divisions in a Lodge?

  • Motions. Let the Master of a lodge discourage, on all occasions, that itching propensity which incites a brother to make motions on indifferent or trifling subjects. Any motion, on which the lodge is divided, must be to a certain extent injurious, amongst so many various habits, views, and propensities, as usually constitute a lodge of Masons.

629 - What should be one's motive for seeking admission to a Lodge?

  • Motives of Applicant. He who wishes to enter into the Order of Freemasonry should first be able to render unto himself a good and satisfactory account why he wishes to take that step. This is not easy. A man who is not a Freemason can only know the Order by hearsay, or by reading Masonic books, and it is rather a dangerous undertaking to join a society, with which a person is totally unacquainted. It is quite different to joining any other select society, who publish their rules and regulations, and the names of all their members, and by those means invite others to join their society. Freemasons, on the contrary, try to persuade no one to join their society, do not publish their rules or regulations, and the names of the members are very rarely known, and what is more, the candidate must submit himself to rules and regulations, the purport of which are entirely unknown unto him; it is true, that there is nothing in those rules contrary to the laws of God, or his duty to his king and country, as a good citizen of the state; but he who is not a Freemason cannot have any clear idea of what those duties are. What then are the motives sufficiently strong for admission into a comparatively unknown society? Those parties act the most prudently, who admit that they wish to join the Order, because as a useful and innocent society, it has enjoyed the protection of the state for such a number of years, because so many prudent men are members of the Order, and because, in general, the members distinguish themselves by the propriety of their manners, the uprightness of their business transactions, and the correctness of their moral conduct.

The presence of the internal qualifications of an applicant is to be discovered from the statements of the candidate himself; and hence by an ancient usage of the Order, which should never be omitted, a declaration to the necessary effect is required to be made by the candidate in the presence of the Stewards of the Lodge, or a committee appointed for that purpose, in an adjoining apartment, previous to his initiation. The oldest form of this declaration used in this country is that contained in Webb's Monitor, and is in these words: "Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentle men, that, unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?

"Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?

"Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the Fraternity?" Some Grand Lodges have slightly added to the number of these questions, but the three above cited appear to be all that ancient usage warrants or the necessities of the case require.

630 - What is the symbolism of mouth to ear?

  • Mouth to Ear. The Mason is taught by an expressive symbol to whisper good counsel in his brother's ear, and to warn him of approaching danger. "It is a rare thing," says Bacon, "except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given that is not bowed and crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth it." And hence it is an admirable lesson, which Masonry here teaches us, to use the lips and the tongue only in the service of a brother.

631 - What are the movable jewels of a Lodge?

  • Movable Jewels. The compasses, square, level and plumb are called the movable jewels, because they distinguish the officers of a lodge, and are transferable to their successors.

632 - Is there any secret religion in Freemasonry?

  • Mysteries. The usages and customs of the ancients in their secret societies are called mysteries. If by mysteries we merely understand a secret religion, then, in the civilized part of the globe, there can be no mysteries, for God may be openly worshiped everywhere; but if by mysteries we understand secret ceremonies and doctrines, then we may say that there are still mysteries among Freemasons. But we do not call our secrets mysteries, and we thereby prove that with us there can be no secret religion. No one among us is a mystagogue, and our outward appearance has nothing mysterious about it.

The word mystery has given occasion to many improper impressions against our Masonic societies. Treason, infidelity, a charge of taking rash and unnecessary obligations have been laid to their responsibility, yet none of these charges have ever been substantiated by their persecutors. The word mystery has brought down anathemas from over zealous divines upon the heads of Masons, and has induced merciless governors to use their weapons against the Craft, when, upon a slight inquiry, the church as well as the state might be informed, that devotion to God, obedience to the state and to all superiors, brotherly love and universal charity are the principles which separate our Fraternity from all other secret societies which have of late years risen, to the degradation of religion, and to the danger of good order in society and the state.

633 - What is the mystic tie?

  • Mystic Tie. That sacred and inviolable bond which unites men of the most discordant opinions into one band of brothers, which gives but one language to men of all nations and one altar to men of all religions, is properly, from the mysterious influence it exerts, denominated the mystic tie; and Freemasons, because they alone are under its influence, or enjoy its benefits, are called "Brethren of the mystic tie."


634 - What right has a Masonic Lodge with respect to its official title?

  • Name for a Lodge. A Lodge has the right to select a name for itself. This is apparently a very unimportant prerogative; still, as it exists, it is necessary that it should be mentioned. The Grand Lodge selects the number, because it is by this that the Lodge is to be recognized in the registry of the jurisdiction. But the choice of a name is left to the members. This right is, however, subject to one restriction, that it shall be approved by the Grand Lodge, that the credit of the fraternity in every jurisdiction may be guarded from the assumption of absurd or inappropriate designations by ignorant brethren. Unless, however, there is something very palpably objectionable in the name, the Grand Lodge will hardly ever interfere with its selection. For the same reason no name can be changed after having been once adopted, unless with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge.

635 - What is the nature of a Grand Lodge?

  • Nature of Grand Lodge. Lenning defines a Grand Lodge to be "the dogmatic and administrative authority of several particular Lodges of a country or province, which is usually composed of these particular Lodges, or of their deputies, and which deliberates for their general good." The Old Charges of 1722 gave a more precise definition, and say that "the Grand Lodge consists of, and is formed by, the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon record, with the Grand Master at their head, and his Deputy on his left hand, and the Grand Wardens in their proper place." Both these definitions refer to an organization which is comparatively modern, and which dates its existence at a period not anterior to the beginning of the last century. Perfectly to understand the nature of a Grand Lodge, and to comprehend the process by which such a body has changed its character, from an aggregation of all the Masons living in a particular jurisdiction, to a representative body, in which all, except a select few, have been excluded from its deliberations, we must go back to the earlier published records that we possess of the history of the institution.

The duty, as well as the right of the craft, to hold an Annual Meeting, in which they might deliberate on the state of the Order, and make necessary general laws for its government, may be considered, in con sequence of its antiquity and its universality, to possess all the requisites of a Landmark.

636 - What penalties safeguard the secrecy of the ballot?

  • Negative. When any one is proposed to become a member, or any person to be made a Mason, if it appear upon casting up the ballot that he is rejected, no member or visiting brother shall discover, by any means whatsoever, who those members were that opposed his election, under the penalty of such brother being forever expelled from the lodge (if a member), and, if a visiting brother, of his being never more admitted as a visitor, or becoming a member; and immediately after a negative passes on any person being proposed, the Master shall cause the law to be read, that no brother present may plead ignorance.

637 - Where did the negroes get their work?

  • Negro Lodges. The subject of lodges of colored persons, commonly called "Negro Lodges," was for many years a source of agitation in the United States, not on account, generally, of the color of the members of these lodges, but on account of the supposed illegality of their charters. The history of their organization was thoroughly investigated, many years ago, by Bros. Philip S. Tucker, of Vermont, and Charles W. Moore, of Massachusetts, and the result is here given, with the addition of certain facts derived from a statement made by the officers of the Lodge in 1827.

On the 20th of Sept., 1784, a Charter for a Master's Lodge was granted, although not received until 1787, to Prince Hall and others, all colored men, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England. The lodge bore the name of "African Lodge, No. 429," and was situated in the city of Boston. This Lodge ceased its connection with the Grand Lodge of England for many years, and about the beginning of the present century its registration was stricken from the rolls of that Grand Lodge, its legal existence, in the meantime, never having been recognized by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, to which body it had always refused to acknowledge allegiance.

After the death of Hall and his colleagues, to whom the Charter had been granted, the lodge, for want of some one to conduct its affairs, fell into abeyance, or, to use the technical phrase, became dormant. After some years it was revived, but by whom, or under what process of Masonic law, is not stated, and information of the revival given to the Grand Lodge of England, but no reply or recognition was received from that body. After some hesitation as to what would be a proper course to pursue, they came to the conclusion, as they have themselves stated, "that, with what knowledge they possessed of Masonry, and as people of color by themselves, they were, and ought by rights to be, free and independent of other lodges." Accordingly, on the 18th of June, 1827, they issued a protocol, in which they said: "We publicly declare ourselves free and independent of any lodge from this day, and we will not be tributary or governed by any lodge but that of our own."

They soon after assumed the name of the "Prince Hall Grand Lodge," and issued charters for the constitution of subordinates, and from it have proceeded all the lodges of colored persons now existing in the United States.

Admitting even the legality of the English charter of 1784, - which, however, is questionable, as there was already a Masonic authority in Massachusetts upon whose prerogative of jurisdiction such charter was an invasion it cannot be denied that the unrecognized self revival of 1827, and the subsequent assumption of Grand Lodge powers, were illegal, and rendered both the Prince Hall Grand Lodge and all the lodges emanated from it clandestine. And this has been the unanimous opinion of all Masonic jurists in this country.

638 - What is the Mason's duty toward his neighbor?

  • Neighbor. Freemasonry instructs us in our duty to our neighbor, teaches us to injure him in none of his connections and in all our dealings with him, to act with justice and impartiality. It discourages defamation, it bids us not to circulate any whisper of infamy, improve any hint of suspicion, or publish any failure of conduct. It orders us to be faithful to our trusts, to deceive not him who relieth upon us, to be above the meanness of dissimulation, to let the words of our mouths be the thoughts of our hearts, and whatsoever we promise, religiously to perform.

639 - Are all Lodge members true Masons?

  • Neutral. As all were not of Christ who called themselves Christians in the time of the apostles, so all are not Masons who have been initiated into the Order. A knowledge of signs, words and tokens, without an ability to apply them according to their proper design, can no more constitute a Mason, than the possession of working tools can make a man a carpenter, unless he knows how to use them. There are many erroneous opinions abroad on this point. A person procures initiation, and fancies that is all he wants. There never was a more fatal mistake. Initiation is but the hornbook of Masonry, and is only of the same use towards a knowledge of its principles, as the alpha bet is to those who desire to excel in literary attainments. If this consideration were duly enforced upon every candidate for Masonry, the Order would assume a different aspect, and its genuine lustre would be more universally displayed.

640 - Why are Masons required to affix their signatures to traveling certificates?

  • Ne Varietur. That it may not be changed. When a brother receives a certificate from his Lodge he is required to write his name on the margin, so as to guard against imposture. Should a person claim to be a Mason, and present a certificate to a lodge he desired to visit, he would be asked to write his name in a book kept for the purpose. If the writing corresponded with the name - that is, was a fac simile of it - it would be a proof of the brother's identity; but if the hand writing were different it would be a proof that the person was an impostor, and had either stolen or found the certificate. These words, "ne varietur," refer to this practice.

641 - What limitations are fixed upon new Masonic legislation?

  • New Law. No motion for a new law or regulation or for the alteration or repeal of an old one shall be made until it shall have been proposed in, or communicated to the appropriate Grand Lodge committee, nor until it shall have been handed up in writing to the Grand Master. After having been perused and found by him not to contain anything contrary to the ancient landmarks of the Order, the motion may be publicly proposed. If seconded, the question shall be put thereon for the opinion of the Grand Lodge. If approved and con firmed, at the next ensuing meeting of the Grand Lodge, it becomes a law of the society.

642 - Why do Lodges commonly meet at night?

  • Night. Lodges, all over the world, meet, except on special occasions, at night. In this selection of the hours of night and darkness for initiation, the usual coincidence will be found between the ceremonies of Freemasonry and those of the Ancient Mysteries, showing their evident derivation from a common origin. Justin says that at Eleusis, Triptolemus invented the art of sowing corn, and that, in honor of this invention, the nights were consecrated to initiation. The application is, however, rather abstruse.

In the Bacchoe of Euripides, that author introduces the god Bacchus, the supposed inventor of the Dionysian mysteries, as replying to the question of King Pentheus in the following words: "Pentheus. - By night or day, these sacred rites perform'st thou? "Bacchus. - Mostly by night, for venerable is darkness"; and in all other mysteries the same reason was assigned for nocturnal celebrations, since night and darkness have something solemn and august in there which is disposed to fill the mind with sacred awe. And hence black, as an emblem of darkness and night, was considered as the color appropriate to the mysteries.

In the mysteries of Ilindustan, the candidate for initiation, having been duly prepared by previous purifications, was led at the dead of night to the gloomy cavern, in which the mystic rites were performed.

The same period of darkness was adopted for the celebration of the mysteries of Mithras, in Persia. Among the Druids of Britain and Gaul, the principal annual initiation commenced at "low twelve," or mid night of the eve of May day. In short, it is indisputable that the initiations in all the Ancient Mysteries were nocturnal in their character.

The reason given by the ancients for this selection of night as the time for initiation is equally applicable to the system of Freemasonry. "Darkness," says Oliver, "was an emblem of death, and death was a prelude to resurrection. It will be at once seen, therefore, in what manner the doctrine of the resurrection was inculcated and exemplified in the remarkable institutions." Death and the resurrection were the doctrines taught in the Ancient Mysteries; and night and darkness were necessary to add to the sacred awe and reverence which these doctrines ought always to inspire in the rational and contemplative mind. The same doctrines form the very groundwork of Freemasonry; and as the Master Mason, to use the language of Hutchinson, "represents a man saved from the grave in iniquity and raised to the faith of salvation," darkness and night are appropriate accompaniments to the solemn ceremonies which demonstrate this profession.

643 - Are nominations of Masonic officers lawful?

  • Nomination. Literally the act of designating a person as a candidate for any particular office. Nominations for office are, by the usages of Masonry, unlawful, and should be so declared by the presiding officer whenever attempted. The election of officers in a Lodge to be strictly within the rules of Masonic consistency must be conducted upon the principles of secrecy. Fitness for a proper discharge of the duties of the office should be the only qualification to entitle the candidate, for Masonic preferment, to the suffrages of his brethren; and the brother so elected will be more honored in the silent yet appreciative action of his brethren than by an open showy acclamation.

644 - What is the effect of non affiliation upon the status of a Mason?

  • Non Affiliation. The relation of a Mason to the Order is like that of a child to its parent - a relation which, having once been established, never can be obliterated. As no change of time, place, or circumstance can authorize the child to divest himself of that tie which exists between himself and the author of his existence - a tie which only death can sever - so nothing can cancel the relationship between every Mason and his Order, except expulsion, which is recognized as equivalent to Masonic death. Hence results the well known maxim of, "Once a Mason always a Mason." It follows, therefore, that an unaffiliated Mason is not divested, and cannot divest himself, of all his Masonic responsibilities to the fraternity in general, nor does he forfeit by such non affiliation the correlative duties of the craft to him which arise out of his general relation to the order. He is still bound by certain oblintions. which cannot be cancelled by any human authority; and by similar obligations every Mason is bound to him. These obligations refer to the duties of secrecy and of aid in the hour of imminent peril. No one denies the perpetual existence of the first; and the very language - giving no room for any exceptions in its phraseology - in which the latter is couched leaves no opportunity for reservations as to affiliated Masons only.

Bro. Albert Pike, in his report to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, while discussing this subject, says: "If a person appeals to us as a Mason in imminent peril, or such pressing need that we have not time to inquire into his worthiness, then, lest we might refuse to relieve and aid a worthy Brother, we must not stop to inquire as to anything." But I confess that I am not satisfied with this argument, which does not take the highest view of the principle. We are to give aid in imminent peril when Masonically called upon, not lest injustice may be done if we pause to inquire into the question of affiliation, but because the obligation to give this aid, which is reciprocal among all Masons, never has been, and never can be, cancelled.

It may be said that in this way an expelled Mason may also receive aid. I reply, that if I do not know his position, of course I am not to stop and inquire. Here the reasoning of Bro. Pike holds good. In imminent peril we have no time to inquire into the question of worthiness. But if I know him to be an expelled Mason, I am not bound to heed his call, for an expelled Mason is legally a dead Mason, or no Mason at all. But an unaffiliated Mason is not in that position, and this makes all the difference. The only way to cut the Gordian knot of these difficulties is for Grand Lodges to expel all unaffiliated Masons who can give no sufficient excuse for their non affiliation. There is no legal objection to this course, provided a due course of trial, in each case, is pursued. Then, and then only, will unaffiliated Masons become in the legal sense unworthy; and then, and then only, will they lose all the Masonic rights which they had originally possessed by their relations to the Order.

645 - What is the effect of non affiliation on the relation of a Mason to his Lodge?

  • Non affiliation in Relation to Lodge. There is a wide difference in the result of non affiliation, on the relations which exist between a Mason and the Order generally, and those which exist between him and the Lodges of the Order. With the latter all connection is severed, but nothing can cancel his relations with the former except Masonic death,; that is to say, expulsion. When the question between two Masons is in reference to any mutual duties which result from membership in a Lodge - as, for instance, when it is a question of the right of visit - then it is proper to inquire into the matter of affiliation, because that affects these duties; but when it is in reference to any duties or obligations which might be claimed even if Lodge organization did not exist - such, for instance, as assistance in imminent peril - then there can be no inquiry made into the subject of affiliation; for affiliation or non affiliation has no relation to these duties.

But it has been said that non affiliation is a Masonic offence, and that he who is guilty of it is an unworthy Mason, and as such divested of all his rights. It is admitted, most freely, that non affiliation is a violation of positive Masonic law; but it does not follow that, in the technical sense in which alone the word has any Masonic legal meaning, an unaffiliated Mason is an unworthy Mason. He can only be made so by the declaration, in his particular case, of a legally constituted Lodge, after due trial and conviction. But this question is so well argued by the Committee on Jurisprudence of the Grand Lodge of Virginia that I do not hesitate to cite their language.

"All who have spoken or written upon the subject, proclaim him (the unaffiliated Mason) an unworthy Mason; but they, and ten times their number, do not make him so, in their individual relation, for the obvious reason that he cannot, individually, absolve himself from such duties as he owes to the institution; so the fraternity, acting in their individual capacity, cannot absolve themselves from their duties to him; and as it is only by a just and legal Lodge, acting in its chartered capacity, and under the injunctions of the Constitutions of Masonry and By Laws of Grand Lodges, that he can be invested with the rights and benefits of Masonry, and pronounced worthy; so it is only by the same power, acting in the same character, and under the same restrictions, that he can be disfranchised of these rights and benefits, and pronounced unworthy."

646 - Does a Lodge have power to make Masons of residents of other jurisdictions?

  • Non residents. A few Grand Lodges have extended their regulations on this subject to what I cannot but conceive to be an indefensible limit, and declared that residents of their own jurisdiction, who have thus been initiated in foreign states, shall be deemed to be illegally or clandestinely made, and shall not, on their return home, be admitted to the rights of Masonry, or be recognized as Masons.

This regulation, I have said, is indefensible, because it is exercising jurisdiction, not simply over Lodges and Masons, but also over the profane, for which exercise of jurisdiction there is and can be no authority. The Grand Lodge of Missouri, for instance, may declare whom its Lodges may, and whom they may not initiate, because every Grand Lodge has supreme jurisdiction over its subordinates; but it cannot prescribe to a profane that he shall not be initiated in the State of New York, if the Grand Lodge of that state permits one of its sub ordinates to receive him, because this would be exercising jurisdiction, not only over a Lodge in another state, but over persons who are not members of the Craft. If the Grand Lodge of New York should permit the initiation of non residents, there is no authority to be found in the Landmarks or Constitutions of the Order under which the Grand Lodge of Missouri could claim to interfere with that regulation, or forbid an uninitiated citizen of St. Louis from repairing to New York and applying for initiation. Missouri may declare that it will not initiate the residents of New York, but it cannot compel New York to adopt a similar rule.

Well, then, if New York has the power of enacting a law permitting the initiation of non residents, or if, which is the same thing, she has enacted no law forbidding it, then clearly such initiation is legal and regular, and the non residents so made must everywhere be considered as regular Masons, entitled to all the rights and privileges of the fraternity. The Grand Lodge of Missouri, then (to follow up the special reference with which this argument was commenced), cannot, under any color of law or reason, deny the validity of such making, or refuse the rights of Masonry to a candidate so made.

647 - Why are candidates placed in the northeast corner?

  • Northeast Corner. In the "Institutes of Menu," the sacred book of the Brahmans, it is said: "If any one has an incurable disease, let him advance in a straight path towards the invincible northeast point, feeding on water and air till his mortal frame totally decays, and his soul becomes united with the supreme." It is at the same northeast point that those first instructions begin in Masonry which enable the true Mason to commence the erection of that spiritual temple in which, after the decay of his mortal frame, "his soul becomes united with the supreme." In the important ceremony which refers to the northeast corner of the Lodge, the candidate becomes as one who is, to all outward appearance, a perfect and upright man and Mason, the representative of a spiritual cornerstone, on which he is to erect his future moral and Masonic edifice.

This symbolic reference of the cornerstone of a material edifice to a Mason when, at his first initiation, he commences the moral and intellectual task of erecting a spiritual temple in his heart, is beautifully sustained when we look at all the qualities that are required to constitute a "well tried, true and trusty" cornerstone. The squareness of its surfaces, emblematic of morality, cubical form, emblematic of firmness and stability of character, and the peculiar finish and fineness of the material, emblematic of virtue and holiness - show that the ceremony of the northeast corner of the Lodge was undoubtedly intended to portray, in the consecrated language of symbolism, the necessity of integrity and stability of conduct, of truthfulness and uprightness of character, and of purity and holiness of life, which, just at that time and in that place, the candidate is most impressively charged to maintain.

648 - How much time must elapse between the return of a petition and final action thereon?

  • Notice. A petition, after being submitted to a committee, cannot be acted on until the next regular meeting, at which time the committee make their report. I say "at the next regular meeting," meaning thereby that one month must elapse between the reception of the petition and the final action of the Lodge. Some Lodges meet semi monthly. In this case the petition cannot be read and referred at one regular meeting, and final action taken at the next. The Regulation of 1721 is explicit on this subject, that previous notice must be given "one month before." The object of this probationary period is, as it is ex pressed in the Regulation, that there may be "due inquiry into the reputation and capacity of the candidate."


649 - What is the Masonic duty of obedience and how is it safeguarded?

  • Obedience. The doctrine of obedience to constituted authority is strongly inculcated in all the Old Constitutions as necessary to the preservation of the association. In them it is directed that "every Mason shall prefer his elder and put him to worship." Thus the Mason obeys the order of his lodge, the lodge obeys the mandates of the Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge submits to the landmarks and old regulations. The doctrine of passive obedience and non resistance in politics, however much it may be supposed to be inimical to the progress of free institutions, constitutes undoubtedly the great principle of Masonic government. Such a principle would undoubtedly lead to an unbearable despotism were it not admirably modified and controlled by the compensating principle of appeal. The first duty of every Mason is to obey the mandate of the Master. But if that mandate should have been unlawful or oppressive, he will find his redress in the Grand Lodge, which will review the case and render justice. This spirit of instant obedience and submission to authority constitutes the great safeguard of the institution. Freemasonry more resembles a military than a political organization. The order must at once be obeyed; its character and its consequences may be matter of subsequent inquiry. The Masonic rule of obedience is like the nautical, imperative: "Obey orders, even if you break owners."

650 - What is an obelisk?

  • Obelisk. A high, square sided and sharp pointed pillar, which is commonly erected in commemoration of some celebrated person or remarkable event. They are to be found among the Masonic emblems.

651 - Has a member of a Lodge the right to object to the admission of a visitor?

  • Objection to the Admission of a Visitor. The great object in all Masonry being the preservation of harmony among the Brethren, which our ritual properly declares to be "the support of all well regulated institutions," it has been deemed, by many excellent Masonic authorities, to be the prerogative of any member of a Lodge to object to the admission of a visitor when his relations to that visitor are of such a nature as to render it unpleasant for the member to sit in Lodge with the visitor. It is certainly much to be regretted that any such unkind feelings should exist among Masons. But human nature is infirm, and Masonry does not always accomplish its mission of creating and perpetuating brotherly love. Hence, when two Masons are in such an unmasonic condition of antagonism, the only question to be solved is - the one being a contributing member and the other a visitor - whether shall the former or latter retire? Justice seems to require that the visitor shall yield his claims to those of the member. If the presence of both would disturb the harmony of the Lodge - and I know not how that harmony can be more effectually disturbed than by the presence of two Masons who are inimical to each other - then I cannot deny not only the right, but the duty of the Master, to forbid the entrance of one who, as a stranger and a visitor, has the slightest claims to admission, and whose rights will be the least affected by the refusal. If a visitor is refused admission, it is only his right of visit that is affected; but if a member be compelled to withdraw, in consequence of the admission of a visitor, whose presence is unpleasant to him, then all his rights of membership are involved, which of course include his right of voting at that communication on any petitions for initiation or membership, and on motions before the Lodge, as well as his right of advocating or op posing any particular measures which may become the subject of de liberation during the meeting. Hence, under the ordinary legal maxim, argumentum ab inconvenienci plurimum valet in lege, that is, "an argument drawn from inconvenience is of great force in law," it seems clear that the earnest protest of a member is sufficient to exclude a visitor. And to this we may add, that if by the old Regulation of 1721, every member present was to be allowed the expression of his opinion in reference to the admittance of a permanent member, because if one be admitted without unanimous consent, "it might spoil the harmony" of the Lodge, then by analogy we are to infer that, for a similar reason, the same unanimity is expected in the admission of a visitor.

652 - What are some of the principal objects of Freemasonry?

  • Objects. To communicate the blessings of which we are partakers; to contribute to the successful propagation of knowledge, virtue and peace, of the sciences and arts, and of whatever adorns social life; and to assert the advancement of human happiness, have ever been the great objects of Freemasonry.

653 - What objections have been made to Masonry?

  • Objections. Objections have been urged against Freemasonry in all ages of its existence by those who were jealous of its secret influence, or envied the privileges of the favored individuals who had been initiated into its mysteries. But although refuted over and over again, the same objections recur at stated periods; being reproduced, as it should appear, for the purpose of fanning our zeal and keeping alive our interest in the institution. It is amusing, in studying the history of the Craft, to find the hackneyed arguments which were refuted by Hutchison, Calcott and others, in the last century, brought forward again and again by new candidates for the honor of an anonymous blow at the immortal giantess. Scarcely any novelty in the form of an objection is to be found. The censures have been chiefly confined to its secrecy, the exclusion of females and the obligations.

654 - What oblations were made toward the building of the Tabernacle?

  • Oblations. The oblations which were made by the people towards the erection of the Tabernacle were so many types of the several graces of Christianity; the gold of Faith, the silver of Hope, the precious stones of Charity; the blue color of the hangings, denoting the lifting up our hearts to heaven, a privilege conveyed to mankind by the meritorious atonement of Jesus Christ; the purple, our warfare and tribulation for the sake of religion; and the crimson, or as the original words (tolag hath shani) signify, the double scarlet, the joint love of God and man.

655 - Can a Masonic obligation be enforced by the courts of law?

  • Obligation. The solemn promise made by a Mason of his admission into any degree is technically called his obligation. In a legal sense, obligation is synonymous with duty. Its derivation shows its true meaning, for the Latin word obligato literally signifies a tying or binding. The obligation is that which binds a man to do some act, the doing of which thus becomes his duty. By his obligation, a Mason is bound or tied to his Order. Hence the Romans called the military oath which was taken by the soldier his obligation, and hence, too, it is said that it is the obligation that makes the Mason. Before that ceremony, there is no tie that binds the candidate to the Order so as to make him a part of it; after the ceremony, the tie has been completed, and the candidate becomes at once a Mason, entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the duties and responsibilities that enure in that character. The jurists have divided obligations into imperfect and perfect, or natural and civil. In Masonry there is no such distinction. The Masonic obligation is that moral one which, although it cannot be enforced by the courts of law, is binding on the party who makes it, in conscience and according to moral justice. It varies in each degree, but in each is perfect. Its different clauses, in which different duties are prescribed, are called its points, which are either affirmative or negative, a division like that of the precepts of the Jewish law. The affirmative points are those which require certain acts to be performed; the negative points are those which forbid certain other acts to be done. The whole of them is preceded by a general point of secrecy, common to all the degrees, and this point is called the tie.

656 - Of what was the tabernacle a type?

  • Oblong. The Tabernacle, with its holy emblems, was a type of a Mason's lodge. It was an oblong square, and, with its courts and appendages, it represented the whole habitable globe. Such is also the extent of our lodges. The former was supported by pillars, and the latter is also sustained by those of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. They were equally situated due east and west. The sacred roll of God's revealed will and law was deposited in the Ark of the Covenant; the Name holy record is placed in a conspicuous part of our lodges. The altar of incense was a double cube; and so is our pedestal and stone of foundation. The covering of the Tabernacle was composed of three colors, as a representation of the celestial hemisphere; such also is the covering of a Masons' lodge. The floor of the Tabernacle was so holy that the priests were forbidden to tread upon it without taking off their shoes; the floor of the lodge is holy ground.

657 - Where were the three Grand Offerings of Masonry offered up?

  • Offerings, The Three Grand. Offerings are gifts which man brings to the Deity, thus symbolically giving himself up to him. This was the first mode of openly recognizing the divinity, and a principal part of the service of God in all the religions of antiquity; and even to this day the inhabitants make offerings to the Supreme Being, as they make presents to their temporal lords. The idea that God has physical wants, and finds pleasure in food, drink, and perfumes, was the origin of such offerings, which took their character from the mode of life of those who presented them. The three grand offerings referred to in Masonry were those of Abraham, David and Solomon, which were presented on Mount Moriah. There Abraham offered up his son Isaac; there David built an altar, and offered thereon peace and burnt offerings to regain the favor of the Almighty, and move him to stay the plague which was destroying the people; and there Solomon, at the consecration of the temple, presented costly offerings to the Lord. These are the three grand offerings of Freemasonry.

658 - Why should the officers of a Lodge be chosen for merit?

  • Office. If the superior officers of a lodge be unacquainted with the principles of the institution, it can scarcely be expected to prosper.

Should the Master be ignorant of his work, the brethren will soon learn to despise his authority. To speak in the technical language of Masonry, if he be unpossessed of the art of drawing designs, how are the Fellow crafts to execute or the Apprentices to be instructed?

659 - What is the origin of the office of Deacon?

  • Office of Deacon. In every Masonic Lodge there are two officers who are called Deacons; the one who sits in the east, on the right of the Master, is called the Senior Deacon, and the other, who sits in the west, on the right of the Senior Warden, is called the Junior Deacon. They are not elected to their respective offices, but are appointed - the Senior by the Master, and the Junior by the Senior Warden.

The title is one of great antiquity, and is derived from the Greek language, where it signifies an attendant or servant, and was used in this sense in the primitive church, where the Deacons waited upon the men, and stood at the men's door, and the Deaconesses at the women's door, to see that none came in or went out during the time of the oblation.

In the Lodges of France and Germany, except in those which work in the Scotch and York Rites, the office of the Deacons is not known; but their functions are discharged by other officers. In France they have an "expert" and a "Master of Ceremonies," and in Germany a "Master of Ceremonies" and a "preparer." While the two Deacons have one duty in common, that, namely, of waiting upon the Master and Wardens, and serving as their proxies in the active duties of the Lodge, the Senior Deacon being the especial minister of the Master, and the Junior of the Senior Warden, they have peculiar and separate duties distinctly appropriated to each.

660 - Can the office of Grand Master of Masons be abolished by a Grand Lodge?

  • Office of Grand Master. In the first place, a Grand Lodge can make no regulation which is in violation of or contradictory to any one of the well settled Landmarks of the Order. Thus, were a Grand Lodge, by a new regulation, to abolish the office of Grand Master, such legislation would be null and void, and no Mason would be bound to obey it; for nothing in the whole Masonic system is more undoubted than the Landmark which requires the institution to be presided over by such an officer. And hence this doctrine of the supremacy of the Land marks has been clearly admitted in the very article which asserts far Grand Lodges the power of making new regulations.

661 - What are the powers of a Lodge with reference to the election of its officers?

  • Officers. A Lodge has the right to elect its officers. It is a Land mark of the Order that every Lodge should be governed by a Master and two Wardens, and that the secrecy of its labors should be secured by a tiler. These officers it is the inherent right of every Lodge to select for itself, and that right has never been surrendered to the Grand Lodge, and therefore is still vested in the Lodges, under such regulations as may from time to time be adopted. The other officers have been the creation of Grand Lodge regulations, and they vary in name and functions in different countries. But whatever may be the nature of the offices, the power of selecting the office bearers is always vested in the Lodges. There is no law in existence, nor ever was, which gives the Grand Lodge the power of selecting the officers of one of its subordinates.

But the mode and time, and many other circumstances incidental to the election, are regulated by the Grand Lodge; and this apparent interference with the rights of the Lodges has been wisely conceded, that strict uniformity in Lodge organization may exist in each jurisdiction, so far as its own limits extend.

662 - What are the usual officials of a Grand Lodge?

  • Officers of a Grand Lodge. The officers of a Grand Lodge, if we look to their ritual importance, are either Essential or Accidental. The Essential Officers are the Grand Masters, the Grand Wardens, the Grand Treasurer, the Grand Secretary, and the Grand Tiler. All other officers are accidental, and most of them the result of comparatively recent Regulations.

But they are more usually divided into Grand and Subordinate Officers. The Grand Officers are the Grand and Deputy Grand Masters, the Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary and Grand Chap lain. To these, in many jurisdictions, has been added the office of Grand Lecturer.

The Subordinate Officers are the Grand Deacons, Grand Marshal, Grand Pursuivant, Grand Sword Bearer, Grand Stewards and Grand Tiler. Committees of Foreign Correspondence, from their importance, seem also to be entitled to a place in the consideration of the officers of a Grand Lodge.

663 - What are the usual officials of a Lodge?

  • Officers of a Lodge. Hutchinson very properly says that, in our institution, some must of necessity rule and teach, and others learn to submit and obey. Indeed, in all well regulated associations, there exists this necessity of a government, which must consist of authority on the one part, and obedience on the other. Hence it is not to be supposed that a Lodge of Masons, which its disciples claim to be one of the most perfect of human institutions, would present an organization less calculated than that of any other society to insure the peace and harmony on which its welfare and perpetuity must depend. Accordingly a Masonic Lodge, which consists of a certain number of members, sufficient to carry out the design of the institution, and yet not so many as to create confusion, is governed by officers, to each of whom a particular duty is assigned.

The number and the names of the officers differ, not only in the different rites, but also in different jurisdictions of the same rite. Thus the Grand Lodge of England requires, in addition to the officers usually recognized in this country, another, who is called the "Inner Guard," and permits the appointment of a Chaplain and Master of Ceremonies, officers who are known in only some of the jurisdictions of America. The Grand Lodge of Scotland recognizes, among other officers, a "Depute Master" and a "Substitute Master," and there are a variety of titles to be found in the French and German Lodges which are not used in the York rite.

The officers most usually to be found in an American Lodge are as Follows:

1. Worshipful Master.
2. Senior Warden.
3. Junior Warden.
4. Treasurer.
5. Secretary.
6. Senior Deacon.
7. Junior Deacon.
8. Two Stewards.
9. Tiler.

Of these officers, the Worshipful Master, the two Wardens and the Tiler are essential to any Lodge organization, and are consequently provided for by the Landmarks. The other officers are of more recent invention; but we have no knowledge of any period at which Lodges were not governed by a Master and two Wardens, and their portals se cured from intrusion by the vigilance of a Tiler. Accordingly, however, much the various rites and jurisdictions may differ in respect to the names and number of the subordinate officers, they all agree in requiring the four just named.

664 - Of what is oil emblematic?

  • Oil. One of the elements of consecration. Oil was anciently considered the symbol of prosperity and happiness. The oil of gladness mentioned in the Jewish writings was a perfumed oil with which people anointed themselves on days of public rejoicing and festivity. Every thing that was appropriated to the purposes of religion in the Tabernacle and Temple was consecrated with oil. Kings and priests were anointed in the same manner. And our Lodges, as temples consecrated to morality and virtue, are also hallowed by the application of corn, wine, and oil.

665 - Who has the prerogative of opening and closing a Masonic Lodge?

  • Opening and Closing the Lodge. The prerogative of opening and closing his Lodge is necessarily vested in the Master, because, by the nature of our institution, he is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the good conduct of the body over which he presides. He is charged, in those questions to which he is required to give his assent at his installation, to hold the Landmarks in veneration, and to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge; and for any violation of the one or disobedience of the other by the Lodge in his presence, he would be answerable to the supreme Masonic authority. Hence the necessity that an arbitrary power should be conferred upon him, by the exercise of which he may at any time be enabled to prevent the adoption of resolutions, or the commission of any act which would be subversive of, or contrary to, those ancient laws and usages which he has sworn to maintain and preserve.

666 - Why should a Lodge always be opened in due form?

  • Opening of the Lodge. All rites and ceremonies should have for their aim the instruction and improvement of those concerned. They should be simple in character, adapted to the purposes designed, and easy of performance; they should be performed with earnestness, precision, correctness, and in proper time. The ceremony of opening a lodge is important, instructive and impressive. To conduct this ceremony with propriety ought to be the peculiar study of all Masons, especially of those who have the honor to preside in our assemblies. To those who are thus dignified, every eye is directed for regularity of conduct and behavior; and from them other brethren, less informed, may naturally expect to derive instruction. From a share in this ceremony no Mason is exempted; it is a general concern, in which all must assist. This is the first request of the Master, and the prelude to business. Precisely at the appointed time, the presiding officer should take the chair, and give the proper signal, then every officer should repair to his proper station, and the brethren appropriately clothe themselves and take their seats. Punctuality in this matter is of the highest importance.

Our first care is directed to the external avenues of the lodge; and the officers, whose province it is to discharge that duty, are required to execute the trust with fidelity. "In the ancient mysteries (those sacred rites which have furnished so many models for Masonic symbolism), the opening ceremonies were of the most solemn and impressive character. The sacred herald commenced the initiatory ceremonies by the solemn formula: `Depart hence, ye profane!' to which was added a proclamation which forbade the use of any language that might be deemed of an unfavorable character to the approaching rites." At the opening of the lodge two purposes are effected; the Master is reminded of the dignity of his character and position, and the brethren of the respect and veneration due to him in their sundry stations. These are not, however, the only advantages resulting from a due observance of the ceremony; a reverential awe for the Deity is inculcated, and the eye is fixed on that object from whose radiant beam alone light can be derived. Hence, in this ceremony, we are taught to adore the Great Architect of the universe, and to supplicate that the labors then begun may be continued in peace and closed in harmony.

A lodge must always be opened on the third degree, and in due form, for the transaction of any business, except for initiating and passing a candidate into the mysteries of the first and second degrees. The first business after opening, if it be a regular communication', is the reading the minutes of the previous communication, for the information of the brethren. The transactions of the evening should always be read before the lodge is closed, that the brethren may know that they have been properly recorded, and then duly approved. 667 - What is the difference between operative and speculative Masonry?

  • Operative Masonry. Freemasonry, in its character as an operative art, is familiar to everyone. As such, it is engaged in the application of the rules and principles of architecture to the construction of edifices for private and public use, houses for the dwelling place of man, and temples for the worship of the Deity. It abounds, like every other art, in the use of technical terms, and employs, in practice an abundance of implements and materials which are peculiar to itself.

This operative art has been the foundation on which has been built the speculative science of Freemasonry. Speculative Masonry, now known as Freemasonry, is, therefore, the scientific application and the religious consecration of the rules and principles, the technical language and the implements and materials, of operative Masonry to the worship of God as the Grand Architect of the universe, and to the purification of the heart and the inculcation of the dogmas of a religious philosophy.

668 - Are opinions adverse to Masonry justifiable?

  • Opinions. Individuals have passed various opinions respecting the purity and usefulness of Freemasonry. One says it is a modern institution, and therefore of little value; another terms it frivolous, and consequently contemptible. A third calls it anti christian, and warns the public to avoid it as a snare. Others affirm that it is behind the advancing spirit of the times, and therefore obsolete; but let anyone candidly judge it by its fruits, which is the great Christian criterion by which all things ought to be tried, according to the divine fiat of its founder (Luke vi. 44). We feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, relieve the distressed, and provide for the fatherless and the widow. Is anyone hungry - we give him meat. Is anyone thirsty - we give him drink; naked - we clothe him; sick - we visit him; in prison - we come unto him with the messenger of mercy. Whatever may be the opinions of our opponents of such deeds as these, we have the satisfaction of knowing that an approving sentence will be pronounced upon them at the last day.

669 - What are the duties of a Masonic orator?

  • Orator, An officer in most of the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted and French rites. His duties are to explain the history and lectures of the degrees to the candidate during the ceremony of initiation.

670 - In what sense is Freemasonry called an Order?

  • Order. In every order the spirit of regularity should reign, and more especially in the Order of Freemasonry. The Master's call to order reminds the brethren of this in every lodge, and each one acknowledges by the sign, that he is mindful of his duty. Originally the society of Freemasons was not an Order, but a fraternity, and the name Order has been introduced into England in modern times.

671 - What is the customary order of business in the Lodge?

  • Order of Business. After a Lodge has been opened according to the formalities of the Order, the first thing to be done is the reading of the minutes of the preceding communication. These are then to be corrected and confirmed by a vote of the Lodge.

But to this rule there is this qualification, that the minutes of a regular or stated communication cannot be altered or amended at a special one. The Lodge being opened and the minutes read, it may then proceed to business, which will generally commence with the consideration of the unfinished business left over from the last meeting. But the order of business is strictly under the direction of the Master, who may exercise his own discretion in the selection of the matters which are to come before the Lodge, subject, of course, for an arbitrary or oppressive control of the business to an appeal to the Grand Lodge.

No alarms should be attended to at the door, nor members or visitors admitted during the time of opening or closing the Lodge, or reading the minutes, or conferring a degree.

All votes, except in the election of candidates, members or officers, must be taken by a show of hands, and the Senior Deacon will count and report to the Master, who declares the result.

No Lodge can be resolved into a "committee of the whole," which is a. parliamentary proceeding, utterly unknown to Masonry. The minutes of a meeting should be read at its close, that errors may at once be corrected and omissions supplied by the suggestion of those who were present during the transactions; but these minutes are not to be finally confirmed until the next regular communication.

Masonic decorum requires that during the transaction of business, the brethren shall not entertain any private discourse, nor in any other way disturb the harmony of the Lodge.

672 - How many Lodges are required to organize a new Grand Lodge?

  • Organization of Grand Lodge. In the first place, it is essential that not less than three Lodges shall unite in forming a Grand Lodge. Dermott, without any other authority that I can discover than his own ipse dixit, says that not less than five Lodges must concur in the formation of a Grand Lodge, and Dr. Dalcho, who was originally an "ancient York Mason," repeats the doctrine, but if this be the true state of the law, then the Grand Lodge of England, which was organized in 1717, with the concurrence of only four Lodges, must have been irregular. The fact is that there is no ancient regulation on the subject; but the necessity of three Lodges concurring is derived from the well known principle of the civil law that a college or corporate body must consist of three persons at least. Two Lodges could not unite in a Masonic college or convention, nor form that corporate body known as a Grand Lodge. But not more than three are necessary, and accordingly the Grand Lodge of Texas, which was established in 1837, by three Lodges, was at once recognized as regular and legal by all the Grand Lodges of the United States and other countries.

673 - What Latin word is sometimes used in place of the word "East?"

  • Orient. From the Latin principle "Oriens," rising, i. e., the rising of the sun - the East. The Lodge, being a source of light, is called the Orient or East. A Grand body is called the Grand East; thus the Grand Lodge of France is called "Grand Orient." This title is applied to most of the Grand bodies in Europe.

674 - What is the Oriental Chair?

Oriental Chair of Solomon. In the East, the seat of the Master in a symbolical lodge. When the Master of the lodge is installed he is said to be inducted into the oriental chair of King Solomon.

675 - In what classes of cases does a Grand Lodge exercise original jurisdiction?

  • Original Jurisdiction. In matters of dispute between two Lodges, and in the case of charges against the Master of aLodge, the Grand Lodge is obliged to exercise original jurisdiction; for there is no other tribunal which is competent to try such cases.

676 - What are the original points of Masonry?

  • Original Points. Ancient Masonry admitted twelve original points, which constitute the basis of the entire system, and without which no person ever did or can be legally received into the Order. Every candidate is obliged to pass through all these essential forms and ceremonies, otherwise his initiation would not be legal. They are - opening, preparing, reporting, entering, prayer, circumambulation, advancing obligated, entrusted, invested, placed, closing.

677 - What are the Ornaments of a Lodge?

  • Ornaments of a Lodge. The Mosaic pavement, the indented tessel, and the blazing star are called the ornaments of a lodge.

678 - From whom did King David purchase the site of the Temple?

  • Ornan. A Jebusite, from whom David purchased the threshing floor on Mount Moriah, on which to erect an altar to God - 2d Chron. xxi. 18 25. The site of the threshing floor afterward became the location of the temple.

679 - How should a Mason distinguish himself when out of the Lodge?

  • Out of the Lodge. A Freemason ought to distinguish himself from other men out of the lodge, as well as in it, by uprightness. and friend ship to the brethren, by a free and unconstrained manner of thinking, and by unimpeachable purity of living. A brother Freemason shall not only conduct himself in the lodge, but also out of the lodge, as a brother towards his brethren; and happy are they who are convinced that they have in this respect ever obeyed the laws of the Order. A free and unconstrained manner of thinking distinguishes not only an enlightened man, but a man who nobly protects that which is just.


680 - What relation has Masonry to Palestine?

  • Palestine. 1. The Land of Canaan - Judea. There are two periods in the history of the country which are peculiarly interesting to Free masons, viz: that which included the reign of Solomon, during which the temple was built, and the one when that country was the theater of the exploits of the crusades, from which time many knightly orders date their existence. The Christian kingdom of Jerusalem was founded in 1099, by the Crusaders. Its constitution was European: a patriarchate, four archbishoprics, several earldoms and baronies, and three orders of knighthood, were instituted; an army of from 12,000 to 20,000 men was kept on foot; and the mosque built by the caliph Omar, in 638 upon the site of Solomon's Temple, was changed into a magnificent cathedral. During this period the order of Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem arose, and also that of the Knights Templar. 2. Palestine has been styled the Father land of the Masonic orders; and a large number of degrees derive their names from its cities and other noted localities, and events that have transpired in its history.

681 - Who are called "parrot Masons?"

  • Parrot Masons. One who commits to memory the questions and answers of the catechetical lectures, and the formulas of the ritual, but pays no attention to the history and philosophy of the Institution, is commonly called a Parrot Mason, because he is supposed to repeat what he has learned without any conception of its true meaning. In former times, such superficial Masons were held by many in high repute, be cause of the facility with which they passed through the ceremonies of a reception, and they were generally designated as "Bright Masons."

682 - What was the old name for degrees?

  • Parts. An old word for degrees or lectures. In this sense, Free masonry is said to be consistent in all its parts, which point to one and the same object, prominently kept in view throughout all the consecutive degrees; and that every ceremony, every landmark, and every symbolical reference, constitutes a plain type of some great event, which appears to be connected with our best and dearest interests.

683 - What word is applied to the advancement of an Entered Apprentice to the Fellowcraft degree?

  • Passed. A word used to describe the advancement of an Entered Apprentice to the degree of Fellowcraft. It alludes to his passage between the symbolical columns and through the porch to the middle chamber of the temple.

684 - In what language are the passwords of Masonry?

  • Passwords. Much irregularity has unfortunately crept into the blue degrees, in consequence of the want of Masonic knowledge in many of those who preside over their meetings; and it is particularly so with those who are unacquainted with the Hebrew language, in which all the words and passwords are given. So essentially necessary is it for a man of science to preside over a lodge, that much injury may arise from the smallest deviation in the ceremony of initiation, or in the lectures of instruction. We read in the Book of Judges, that the transposition of a single point over the Schin, in consequence of a national defect among the Ephraimites, designated the cowans, led to the slaughter of 42,00b men.

685 - What is the status of a Past Master?

  • Past Master. The name of a degree conferred on Masters of Lodges before they can assume the duties of the chair. The same degree is also the second of the series known as the Royal Arch degrees. This some what anomalous arrangement has led to a confusion of ideas, and considerable controversy in regard to the rights of these two classes of Past Masters. Is a brother who has received the degree of Past Master in a Royal Arch Chapter, but who has never been elected to nor installed into the office of Master of the blue lodge, eligible to the elective offices in the Grand Lodge? The constitutions of most Grand Lodges confine the honors of official station to Past Masters. The point to be determined is what construction must be put on this term Past Master, as used in the constitutions. Does it refer solely to those who have actually passed the oriental chair, or does it include others who are not actual Past Masters, but who are entitled to the name, from the fact that they have received the degree in the Royal Arch Chapter? It would seem to be a plain conclusion that, as neither the Grand Lodges nor their subordinates know anything of such a body as the Chapter, the authors of those constitutions could have had no reference to the Chapter whatever, nor to any of its degrees. When designating those who should be eligible to office in the Grand Lodge, they must have had in their minds those, and only those, who had actually served a term as Master of a blue lodge. In point of fact, the degree of Past Master is out of place in the Chapter, and has no right there. It belongs to the blue lodge, and should be conferred only upon actual Masters of lodges when installed into office. As a degree of the lodge, used as above, it is fit and proper. In the Chapter it has no significance nor pertinence whatever - it is simply an act without meaning, and mars greatly the beauty of Royal Arch Masonry. The degree, itself, furnishes strong internal evidence that it never was intended for any persons but Masters of lodges. It deals solely with the duties of Masters and with Masonic labors which belong exclusively to blue lodges, and is nothing more nor less than the beginning of the installation service.

686 - What is the distinction between an actual and a virtual Past Master?

  • Past Masters, Actual and Virtual. The rights of Past Masters belong exclusively to actual Past Masters only; that is to say, to Past Masters who have been regularly installed to preside over a Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons, under the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge. Virtual Past Masters, or those who have received the degree in a Chapter, as preparatory to exaltation to the Royal Arch, possess none of these rights.

A few years ago, this distinction of actual and virtual Past Masters gave rise to much discussion in the Order; and although the question of their respective rights is now very generally settled, it is proper that a few words should be devoted to its consideration.

The question to be investigated is, whether a virtual or Chapter Past Master can install the Master elect of a symbolic Lodge, or be present when he receives the Past Master's degree during the ceremony of installation. The Committee of Foreign Correspondence of New York held, in 185L that a Chapter Past Master cannot legally install the Master of ALBERT PIKE Born at Boston, Mass., December 29th, 1809, passed on at Washington, D.C., April 2nd, 1591, at the age of 82 years. He attended Harvard University hut did not graduate there. After a sojourn in early life in Mexico, he returned to the United States and settled in Little Rock, Arkansas, as an editor and lawyer. He served the Confederacy as a General in the Civil \Var. Ile later settled in Washington, D.C., where he practiced law, making his home in Alexandria, Virginia. His library, in extent and selections, was a marvel, especially in all that pertains to the wonders in ancient literature. He was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He was also an honorary member of almost every Supreme Council in the world. His standing as a Masonic author and historian, and withal as a poet, was most distinguished, and his untiring zeal was without a parallel. Ile rewrote and rearranged several of the Scottish Rite degrees. One of his most notable literary efforts iii the cause of Freemasonry was his "Morals and Dogma" a most profound work on the philosophy of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. a symbolic Lodge, but that there is no rule forbidding his being present at the ceremony.

In South Carolina, virtual Past Masters are not permitted to install, or be present when the degree is conferred at the installation of a Master of a Lodge. They are not recognized by the Grand Lodge.

Bro. Gedge, of Louisiana, asserted, in 1852, that "it is the bounden duty of all Grand Lodges to prevent the possessors of the Chapter degree from the exercise of any function appertaining to the Office and attributes of an installed Master of a Lodge of symbolic Masonry, and refuse to recognize them as belonging to the Order of Past Masters." Bro. Albert Pike, one of the most distinguished Masonic jurists of the present day, says that he does not consider "that the Past Master's degree, conferred in a Chapter, invests the recipient with any rank or authority, except within the Chapter itself; that it in no way qualifies or authorizes him to preside in the chair of a Lodge; that a Lodge has no legal means of knowing that he has received the degree in a Chap ter; for it is not to know anything that takes place there any more than it knows what takes place in a Lodge of Perfection, or a Chapter of Rose Croix," whence it follows, that if the actual Past Masters of a lodge have no legal means of recognition of the virtual Past Masters of a Chapter, the former cannot permit the latter to install or be present at an installation. 687 - What investure is necessary to the installation of a Master of a Lodge?

  • Past Master's Degree. The ceremony of installing the subordinate officers consists simply in the administration of an obligation for the faithful discharge of the duties of the office, with the investment of the appropriate jewel, and the delivery of a short charge. But in the installation of the Master, other ceremonies are added. He is required to signify his assent to certain propositions which contain, as it were, the Masonic confession of faith; and he is also invested with the Past Master's degree. All the writers on the subject of installation concur in the theory that the conferring of the Past Master's degree constitutes an integral part of the installation ceremony. The language of the oldest ritual that has been preserved, that of the Duke of Wharton, hints at the fact that there was some secret ceremony attached to his exoteric formula of installation, and the hint thus given has been fully developed by Preston, who expressly states that the new Master is "conducted to an adjacent room, where he is regularly installed and bound to his trust in ancient form, in the presence of at least three installed Masters." I cannot, therefore, hesitate to believe, from the uniform concurrence of all authorities, that the investiture with the Past Master's degree constitutes an essential part of the ceremony of installation, and is actually necessary to its legality as a completed act.

688 - Has a Warden the right to receive the secrets of the chair?

  • Past Master's Degree Not Essential to Wardens. Within a few years, the very singular objection has been urged by some Masons that a Warden cannot preside and confer degrees unless he has received the Past Master's degree. Now, I know of no modern theory on Masonic law which has so little foundation in fact as this. The degree of Past Master is a necessary qualification of the Master of a Lodge, and with out it, it is admitted that he cannot legally preside, not, however, because of any peculiar virtue or superior knowledge that the possession of the Past Master's degree confers, but because by the Landmarks, or certainly by very ancient regulations, the conferring of that degree constitutes an essential part of the ceremony of installing the Master of a Lodge. He is not legally installed until he has received the degree; and not being installed, he cannot exercise the functions of his office. But there is no regulation making the reception of the Past Master's degree a necessary part of the installation of a Warden, and when, therefore, a Warden has been duly installed, he is entitled to preside and confer degrees in the absence of the Master.

689 - Under what circumstances does a Past Master have the right of presiding over a Lodge?

  • Past Master's Right of Presiding. A right possessed by Past Masters is that of presiding over their Lodges, in the absence of the Master, and with the consent of the Senior Warden, or of the Junior, if the Senior is not present. The authority of the absent Master descends to the Wardens in succession, and one of the Wardens must, in such case, congregate the Lodge. After this he may, by courtesy, invite a Past Master of the Lodge to preside. But as this congregation of the Lodge by a Warden is essential to the legality of the communication, it follows that, in the absence of the Master and both Wardens, the Lodge cannot be opened; and consequently, under such circumstances, a Past Master cannot preside. But no member, unless he be a Warden or a Past Master, with the consent of the Warden, can preside over a Lodge; and, therefore, the eligibility of a Past Master to be so selected by the Warden, and, after the congregation of the Lodge by the latter officer, to preside over its deliberations and conduct its work, may be considered as one of the rights of Past Masters.

690 - What are the privileges and prerogatives of a Past Master?

  • Past Masters, Rights of. Past Masters possess but very few positive rights, distinct from those which accrue to all Master Masons.

The first and most important of these is eligibility to membership in the Grand Lodge. A few years ago, in consequence of a schism which took place in the jurisdiction of New York, an attempt was made to assert for Past Masters an inherent right to this membership; but the long and able discussions which were conducted in almost all of the Grand Lodges of the Union have apparently settled the question forever, and irresistibly led to the conclusion that Past Masters possess no such inherent right, and that membership in a Grand Lodge can only be secured to them as an act of courtesy by a special enactment of the body.

In the earlier history of Masonry, when the General Assembly, which met annually, was composed of the whole body of the craft, Past Masters, of course, were admitted to membership in that assemblage. And so also were all Master Masons and Fellowcrafts. But at the organization of the Grand Lodge on a representative basis, in 1717, Past Masters were not originally admitted as members. The old Constitutions do not anywhere recognize them. There is no mention made of them in any of the editions of Anderson or his editors, Entick and Northouck. Even the schismatic body of "Ancients," in England, in the last century, did not at first recognize them as a distinct class, entitled to any peculiar privileges. Dermott, in the edition of his "Ahiman Rezon," published in 1778, prefixed a note to his copy of the Old and New Regulation, taken from Anderson's edition of 1738, in which note he says, "Past Masters of warranted Lodges on record are allowed this privilege (membership in the Grand Lodge), whilst they continue to be members of any regular Lodge." But in the previous edition of the same work, published in 1764, this note is not to be found, nor is there the slightest reference to Past Masters, as members of the Grand Lodge. Preston states that, at the laying of the foundation stone of Covent Garden Theatre in 1808, by the Prince of Wales, as Grand Master, "the Grand Lodge was opened by Charles March, Esq., attended by the Masters and Wardens of all the regular Lodges;" and in no part of the description which he gives of the ceremonies is any notice taken of Past Masters as constituting a part of the Grand Lodge.

The first notice which we obtain of Past Masters as a component part of the Grand Lodge of England is in the "Articles of Union between the two Grand Lodges of England," which were adopted in 1813, and in which it is declared that the Grand Lodge shall consist of the Grand and Past Grand Officers, of the actual Masters and Wardens of all the warranted Lodges, and of the "Past Masters of Lodges who have regularly served and passed the chair before the day of union, and who continued, without secession, regular contributing members of a warranted Lodge." But it is also provided, that, after the decease of all these ancient Past Masters the representation of every Lodge shall consist of its Master and Wardens, and one Past Master only. This was, however, evidently, a compromise made for the sake of the Athol Past Masters, who from 1778, and perhaps a little earlier, had enjoyed the privileges of membership, just as in 1858, a similar compromise was made by the Grand Lodge of New York, at its union with the schismatic body, when all Past Masters, who were members of the Grand Lodge in 1849, were permitted to continue their membership. But the regular Grand Lodge of England never recognized the inherent right of Past Masters to membership in the Grand Lodge, as will appear from the following language used in a report adopted by that body in 1851: "We think it clear that the right of Past Masters to vote in Grand Lodge, wherever and so long as that right subsists, is due to, and depends entirely upon, the Constitutions which grant such a privilege, and therefore is not inherent." It seems, therefore, now to be admitted by very general consent of all authorities, that Past Masters possess no inherent right to membership in a Grand Lodge; but as every Grand Lodge is invested with the prerogative of making regulations for its own government, provided the landmarks are preserved, it may or may not admit Past Masters to membership and the right of voting, according to its own notions of expediency. This will, however, of course, be, in each jurisdiction, simply a local law which the Grand Lodge may, at any time, amend or abrogate. Still, the fact that Past Masters, by virtue of their rank, are capable of receiving such a courtesy when the Master Masons are not, in itself constitutes a prerogative, and the eligibility to election as members of the Grand Lodge, with the consent of that body, may be considered as one of the rights of Past Masters.

691 - What will enable us to accomplish all things?

Patience. In the ritual of the third degree, according to the American Rite, it is said that "time, patience, and perseverance will enable us to accomplish all things, and perhaps at last to find the true Master's Word." The idea is similar to one expressed by the Hermetic philosophers. Thus Pernetty tells us that the alchemists said: "the work of the philosopher's stone is a work of patience, on account of the length of time and of labor that is required to conduct it to perfection; and Geber says that many adepts have abandoned it in weariness, and others, wishing to precipitate it, have never succeeded." With the alchemists, in their esoteric teaching, the philosopher's stone had the same symbolism as the Word has in Freemasonry.

692 - Of what is the Mosaic pavement emblematic?

Pavement. The voluptuous Egyptians, who exhausted their ingenuity in the invention of new luxuries, used in common with painted walls and ceilings, the mosaic pavement, richly tesselated. In the palace of Cleopatra, these pavements were inlaid with precious stones; and in India, the floors of the most sacred temples, or at least of the adyta, were enriched with polished stones disposed in small squares or tessera, which reflected the beams of the sun in a variety of splendid colors.

On a similar principle, the floor of a Mason's lodge has been constructed, which is thus in proper keeping with the rest of the decorations; for the design would be imperfect, if a strict regard to uniformity and propriety had not been observed throughout the whole arrangement. This is a striking evidence of the unity of design with which the great plan of Freemasonry was originally constructed. How minutely soever the parts or elements may appear to be disposed they each and all con duce to the same end, the glory of God, and the welfare of man.

693 - Why are the Freemasons devoted to the cause of peace?

  • Peace. A Masons' lodge is the temple of peace, harmony, and brotherly love. Nothing is allowed to enter which has the remotest tendency to disturb the quietude of its pursuits. A calm inquiry into the beauty of wisdom and virtue, and the study of moral geometry may be prosecuted without excitement; and they constitute the chief employment in the tiled recesses of the lodge. The lessons of virtue which proceed from the East, like rays of brilliant light streaming from the rising sun, illuminate the West and South; and as the work proceeds, are carefully imbibed by the workmen. Thus while Wisdom contrives the plan and instructs the workmen, Strength lends its able support to the moral fabric, and Beauty adorns it with curious and cunning workmanship. All this is accomplished without the use of either axe, hammer, or any other tool of brass or iron, within the precinct of the temple, to disturb the peaceful sanctity of that holy place.

The spirit of Freemasonry is antagonistic to war. Its tendency is to unite all men in one brotherhood, whose ties must necessarily be weakened by all dissension. Hence, as Brother Albert Pike says, "Masonry is the great peace society of the world. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes, and to bind republics, kingdoms and empires together in one great band of peace and amity."

694 - What is the form of the Altar?

  • Pedestal. The altar of the lodge is a pedestal in the form of a double cube, on which is displayed the Holy Bible, to confer upon it the attribute of justice. And why is the open Bible said to be the emblem of justice? I answer in the expressive words of an eloquent writer: Because there is no other virtue of such absolute importance and essential necessity to the welfare of society. Let all the debts of justice be universally discharged; let every man be just to himself, and to all others; let him endeavor, by the exercise of industry and economy, to provide for his own wants, and prevent himself from becoming a burden upon society, and abstain, in the pursuit of his own subsistence, from everything injurious to the interests of others; let every one render unto all their due - that property which is obliged by the laws of the land, or by those of honorable equity, to pay them; that candor and open dealing to which they have a right, in all his commercial dealings with them; that portion of good report to which their merit entitles them, with that decent respect and quiet submission which their rightful civil authority demands. If justice were thus universally done, there would be little left for mercy to do.

695 - What does the penal sign symbolize?

  • Penal. The penal sign marks our obligation, and reminds us also of the fall of Adam and the dreadful penalty entailed thereby on his sinful posterity, being no less than death. It intimates that the stiff neck of the disobedient shall be cut off from the land of the living by the judgment of God, even as the head is severed from the body by the sword of human justice.

696 - What is the penal jurisdiction of a symbolic Lodge over its members?

  • Penal Jurisdiction of a Lodge. A Lodge exercises penal jurisdiction over all its members. The old Charges require every Mason to "stand to the award and determination of the Lodge;" that is to say, the Lodge of which he is a member, and the rights and privileges, as well as the Masonic protection secured by such membership, carry with them a corresponding duty of allegiance and obedience. This doctrine is not left to mere deduction, but is supported by the ritual law, which imposes on every Mason, in the most solemn manner, an obligation to abide by and obey the by laws, rules and regulations of the Lodge, of which he is a member. Membership in a Lodge can only be voided by death, demission, or expulsion, and hence neither it nor the jurisdiction which it communicates is lost by a change of residence.

The Master of a Lodge is the only one of its members who is not amenable to the jurisdiction of the Lodge. There is no principle of Masonic law more completely settled by the almost universal consent of the fraternity, than that which declares that a Master cannot be tried by his Lodge. It may become his accuser, but to the Grand Lodge alone is he amenable for any offence that he may commit while in office.

In like manner, the Grand Master, while holding that office, is not within the penal jurisdiction of the Lodge, of which he is a member.

697 - What Lodge has penal jurisdiction over affiliated Masons?

  • Penal Jurisdiction Over Affiliated Masons. A Lodge exercises penal jurisdiction over all affiliated Masons, although not its members, who live within its territorial limits. A, for instance, being a member of a Lodge in New York, but living in the vicinity of a Lodge in Florida., is amenable to the jurisdiction of both bodies; to the former by personal jurisdiction, to the latter by geographical. And this is a wise provision of the law; for A, living at a great distance from his Lodge, might conduct himself in so disorderly a manner, violating the proprieties of life, and transgressing habitually the moral law, as to bring great reproach upon the institution of which he is a member. Now, his distance from his own Lodge, would, in all probability, pre vent that body from acquiring any knowledge of the evil course he is pursuing, or if cognizant of it by report, it might find great difficulty in proving any charge based upon such report.

The Order, therefore, under the great laws of self-preservation, commits to the Lodge in Florida, in whose vicinity he is living, and whose good fame is most affected by his conduct, the prerogative of trying and punishing him; so that the world shall not say that a bad Mason can lead a disorderly life, and violate the law, under the very eyes of his congregated brethren, and yet receive no reproof for his criminality. And if expulsion is the result of such trial, that expulsion, by the Lodge in Florida, carries with it expulsion from his own Lodge in New York; for, if the premises are not denied that the Lodge in Florida can rightfully exercise penal jurisdiction, then the conclusion follows, that that expulsion must be legal. But expulsion annuls all Masonic status and obliterates Masonic existence, and the Mason, who ever he may be, that has been legally expelled by one Lodge, can never receive admission into another.

The appeal in such a case will be, not to the Grand Lodge of New York, but to that of Florida, for that body alone can investigate matters or redress grievances arising within its own territory, and in one of its own subordinates.

698 - What Lodge may lawfully exercise penal jurisdiction over an unaffiliated Mason?

  • Penal Jurisdiction Over Unaffiliated Masons. A Lodge may exercise' penal jurisdiction over all unaffiliated Masons living within its territorial limits. This provision of Masonic law is founded on the principle of self preservation. An unaffiliated Mason must not be permitted, for want of jurisdiction over him, to claim his connection with the Order, and yet, by an irregular course of life, to bring discredit on it. The jurisdiction must exist somewhere, which will remove such an evil, and vindicate the institution; and nowhere can it be more safely or appropriately deposited than in the Lodge which is nearest to his residence, and which must consequently have the best opportunity of observing and judging of his conduct.

699 - How does suspension or expulsion from a Royal Arch Chapter or other so called higher body affect the status of a Master Mason in a symbolic Lodge?

  • Penalties of Higher Bodies. Does suspension or expulsion from a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, or an Encampment of Knights Templar, carry with it, as a necessary consequence, suspension or expulsion from symbolic Masonry? To this question, reason and the general usages of the Order lead me, unhesitatingly to reply, that it does not. The converse of the proposition is, however, true, and suspension or expulsion from a symbolic Lodge is necessarily suspension or expulsion from all the higher bodies.

The principle upon which this doctrine is based is a very plain one. If the axe be applied to the trunk of the tree, the branches which spring out of it, and derive their subsistence through it, must die. If the foundation be removed, the edifice must fall. But a branch may be lopped off and the trunk will still live; the cope stone may be taken away, but the foundation will remain intact. So Symbolic Masonry - the Masonry of the Lodge - is the trunk of the tree - the foundation of the whole Masonic edifice. The Masonry of the Chapter or the Council is but the branch which springs forth from the tree, and receives all its nourishment from it. It is the cope stone which finishes and ornaments the building that rests upon Symbolic Masonry. Hence there is an evident dependence of the higher on the lower degrees, while the latter are wholly independent of, and may exist without the former.

Again, from the very organization of the two institutions, ,a Chapter is not recognizable as a Masonic body, by a symbolic Lodge. A Master Mason knows, technically, nothing of a Royal Arch Mason. In the language of the Order, "he may hear him so to be, but he does not know him so to be," by any of the modes of recognition used in Masonry. "We cannot conceive," say the Committee of Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Texas, "by what sort of legerdemain a Lodge can take cognizance of the transactions of a Chapter, an entirely independent body." But Chapters, on the other hand, are necessarily cognizant of the existence and the proceedings of Lodges, for it is out of the Lodges that the Chapters are constructed. And, if a Master Mason were expelled from the rights and privileges of Masonry, and if this expulsion were not to be followed by a similar expulsion from the Chapter, then all Master Masons who should meet the expelled Mason in the latter body, would be violating the law by holding Masonic communication with him.

Lastly, under the present organization of Masonry, Grand Lodges are the supreme Masonic tribunals over all Master Masons, but exercise no jurisdiction over Chapters, Councils or Encampments. If, there fore, expulsion from either of these bodies involved expulsion from the Lodge, then the right of the Grand Lodge to hear and determine causes, and to regulate the internal concerns of the institution would be interfered with, by an authority outside of its organization, and beyond its control.

The law may, therefore, be explicitly stated in these terms: suspension or expulsion from a Chapter, Council, or Encampment, does not involve a similar sentence from a symbolic Lodge. But suspension or expulsion from a Lodge, carries with it, ex necessitate, suspension or expulsion from every higher degree.

700 - How can the penalties of the Masonic obligation be justified?

  • Penalty. The adversaries of Freemasonry have found, or rather invented, abundant reasons for denouncing the Institution; but on nothing have 'they more strenuously and fondly lingered than on the accusation that it makes, by horrid and impious ceremonies, all its members the willing or unwilling executioners of those who prove recreant to their vows and violate the laws which they are stringently bound to observe. Even a few timid and uninstructed Masons have been found who were disposed to believe that there was some weight in this objection. The fate of Morgan, apocryphal as it undoubtedly was, has been quoted as an instance of Masonic punishment inflicted by the regulations of the Order; and, notwithstanding the solemn asservations of the most intelligent Masons to the contrary, men have been found, and still are to be found, who seriously entertain the opinion that every member of the Fraternity becomes, by the ceremonies of his initiation, and by the nature of the vows which he has taken, an active Nemesis of the Order, bound by some unholy promise to avenge the Institution upon any treacherous or unfaithful brother. All of this arises from a total misapprehension, in the minds of those who are thus led astray, of the true character and design of vows or oaths which are accompanied by an imprecation. It is well, therefore, for the in formation both of our adversaries - who may thus be deprived of any further excuse for slander - and of our friends - who will be relieved of any continued burden on their consciences - that we should show that, however solemn may be the promises of secrecy, of obedience and of charity which are required from our initiates, and however they may be guarded by the sanctions of punishment upon their offenders, they never were intended to impose upon any brother the painful and - so far as the laws of the country are concerned - the illegal task of vindicating the outrage committed by the violator. The only Masonic penalty inflicted by the Order upon a traitor, is the scorn and detestation of the Craft whom he has sought to betray.

In modern times, perjury is made a penal offense against human laws, and its punishment is inflicted by human tribunals. But here the punishment of the crime is entirely different from that inferred by the obsecration which terminates the oath. The words "So help me God," refer exclusively to the withdrawal of divine aid and assistance from the jurator in the case of his proving false, and not to the human punishment which society would inflict. In like manner, we may say of what are called Masonic penalties, that they refer in no case to any kind of human punishment; that is to say, to any kind of punishment which is to be inflicted by human hand or instrumentality. The true punishments of Masonry affect neither life nor limb. They are expulsion and suspension only. But those persons are wrong, be they mistaken friends or malignant enemies, who suppose or assert that there is any other sort of penalty which a Mason recreant to his vows is subjected to by the laws of the Order, or that it is either the right or duty of any Mason to inflict such penalty on an offending brother. The obsecration of a Mason simply means that if he violates his vows or betrays his trust he is worthy of such penalty, and that if such penalty were inflicted on him it would be but just and proper. "May I die," said the ancient, "if this be not true, or if I keep not this vow." Not may any man put me to death, nor is any man required to put me to death, but only, if I so act, then would I be worthy of death. The ritual penalties of Masonry, supposing such to be, are in the hands not of man, but of God, and are to be inflicted by God, and not by man.

701 - What is the penitential sign?

  • Penitential. The reverential sign may be considered as the parent of the penitential or supplicating sign, since it justly denotes that frame of heart and mind without which our prayers and oblation of praises will not obtain acceptance at the throne of grace, before which how should a frail and erring creature of the dust present himself unless with bended knees and uplifted hands, betokening at once his humility and dependence? In this posture did Adam first kneel before God and bless the author of his being; and there too did he bend with contrite awe before the face of his offended Judge, to avert his wrath, and implore his mercy; and transmitted this sacred form to his posterity forever.

702 - What was the value of the penny in former times?

  • Penny. The Greek drachma, or Roman denarius, was the name of the coin mentioned in the parable of the "vineyard," with which the laborers were paid for their day's work. "Every man received a penny." The value of this coin was twelve to fourteen cents United States currency.

An erroneous impression prevails respecting the real value of money in olden times, on account of our associations with its present value. A penny, equivalent to twelve or fourteen cents, seems to us to be a mean compensation for ten or twelve hours toil in the vineyard, and the two pence (Luke x. 35) affords a very equivocal evidence to our minds of generosity in the good Samaritan; but when it is considered how much of the comforts and necessaries of life these apparently trifling sums could obtain, the case appears differently. As lately as the year 1351 the price of labor was regulated in England by act of Parliament, and "haymakers, corn weeders, without meat, drink, or other courtesy" (in modern phrase, finding themselves), were to have a penny a day. In many places these were the highest wages paid for any kind of agricultural labor, some kinds being still less. The pay of a chaplain in England, in 1314, was three half pence, or about three cents a day. At the same time wheat was sixteen cents a bushel, and a fat sheep only twelve cents. A penny a day under such circumstances would not be inconsiderable wages. In the time of Christ a penny or Roman denarius would have bought, it is estimated, at least ten times more than it would have done in England in the year 1780 - and prices then were very much lower than at the present day.

703 - Of what is the perfect ashlar emblematic?

  • Perfect Ashlar. The perfect ashlar is a stone of a true square, which can only be tried by the square and compasses. This represents the mind of a man at the close of life, after a well regulated career of piety and virtue, which can only be tried by the square of God's Word, and the compasses of an approving conscience.

704 - What is the nature and effect of permanent exclusion from a Lodge?

  • Permanent Exclusion. This penalty is, in this country, only inflicted for non payment of arrears, and is more usually known as the act of striking from the roll. There are a few Grand Lodges which still permit the punishment of suspension to be inflicted for non payment of arrears; but the good sense of the fraternity is rapidly leading to the conclusion, that the infliction of such a penalty in these cases - a penalty severing the connection of the delinquent with the whole Order, for an offence committed against a particular Lodge - an offence, too, involving no violation of the moral law, and which is, in many in stances, the result rather of misfortune than of a criminal disposition - is oppressive, and altogether opposed to the equitable and benign principles of the Masonic institution. Hence erasure from the roll, or, in other words, permanent exclusion, is now beginning to be considered as the only adequate punishment for an omission to pay the annual tax imposed by every Lodge on its members.

I say that suspension is an oppressive and inadequate penalty for the offence of non payment of dues, and it is perhaps proper that this position, as it is contrary to the practical views of a few Grand Lodges, should be maturely examined.

This striking of names from a Lodge roll is altogether a modern practice, taking its rise since the modern organization of permanent Lodges. In ancient times, Lodges were temporary associations of Masons for special and limited purposes. Originally, as Preston in forms us, "a sufficient number of Masons, met together, within a certain district, with the consent of the sheriff or chief magistrate of the place, were empowered to make Masons, and practice the rights of Masonry without warrant of constitution." Then, of course, there being no permanency of organization, there were no permanent members, and consequently no payment of arrears, and no striking from the roll. It was only after 1717, that all these things were introduced; and as Lodges pay some contribution to the Grand Lodge for each of their members, it is evident, as well as from other palpable reasons, that a member who refuses or neglects to support the general Lodge fund, will become pecuniarily onerous to the Lodge. Still, the non payment of arrears is only a violation of a special voluntary obligation to a particular Lodge, and not of any general duty to the fraternity at large. The punishment therefore inflicted (if it is to be considered at all as a punishment), should be exclusion or erasure from the roll, which only affects the relations of the offender with his own Lodge, and not suspension, which would affect his relations with the whole Order, whose moral code he has not violated.

Does striking from the roll, then, impair the general rights of a Mason? Are its effects, even in a modified form, similar to those of suspension or expulsion, and is his standing in the Order affected by the erasure of his name? Bro. W. M. Perkins, the late able Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, writing on this subject in his annual address in 1858, said, that "striking his name from the roll of the members of the Lodge, under a by law, does not affect a brother's standing in the fraternity, nor debar him from any of the privileges of Masonry, except that of membership in the particular Lodge." I cordially concur with Bro. Perkins in this view. I cannot for a moment suppose that a transgression of the by laws of a particular Lodge, involving no moral turpitude, and violating no general law of the Order, can have any effect on the relations of the transgressor with the Order. He who is excluded from membership in his Lodge, for not complying with the rule which levies a tax upon him, loses, of course, his membership in that Lodge; but his membership in the great body of the craft, against whom he has committed no offence, still re mains unimpaired.

But he loses something. He is, to a certain extent, shorn of his Masonic privileges; for he forfeits the right of membership in his own Lodge, and with it all the other rights which are consequent on such membership. And hence the question naturally arises, can he be deprived of this right of membership - can his name be stricken from the roll - by the mere operation of a by law, without any form of trial, and without any opportunity for defence or explanation? Now, to say nothing of the injustice which is in many instances perpetrated when a Mason is stricken from the roll of his Lodge for non payment of dues - since the omission to pay may often arise from poverty, misfortune, excusable neglect, or other causes beyond the control of the delinquent - to say nothing of all this - because the question here is not as to the nature of the offence, but as to the mode in which punishment is to be inflicted - it follows, from all the recognized principles of justice, law and common sense, that the crime should be first proved, and the accused be heard in his defence, before judgment be pronounced against him.

The erasure of a member's name, by the mere operation of a by law of his Lodge, without any opportunity being given to him to explain or defend his conduct - to offer reasons why the law should not be en forced in his case, or to prove that he has not violated its provisions, would, under any other circumstances, and in relation to any other offence, be at once admitted everywhere to be a most manifest violation of all Masonic law and equity. If the by laws of a Lodge, for instance prescribed erasure for habitual intemperance, and required the Secretary to keep a record of the number of times that each member exceeded the strict limits of sobriety, who will dare to say that at any time, on the mere report of the Secretary that a member had violated this by law, and was habitually intemperate, he should at once, without further action, and by the mere operation of the by law in question, be stricken from the roll of his Lodge? There is no one who does not see the obvious necessity, in such a case, of a charge, a summons, and a trial. To exclude the worst member of a Lodge under such a by law, without these preliminary measures, would be so fatal a violation of the principles of Masonry, as justly to subject the Lodge to the severest reprehension of the Grand Lodge.

And yet the fact that the offence is not intemperance, but non payment of arrears, does not in the slightest degree involve a difference of principle. Admit, for the sake of argument, that the failure to pay Lodge dues is in itself a Masonic offence, and that a Lodge is right' to declare exclusion an appropriate punishment for its commission, still there exists here, as in the more undoubted crime of habitual drunkenness, as necessary elements to the justice of the punishment, that there should be a charge, a summons and a trial - that the de faulting brother should have an opportunity to defend himself, and that the Secretary who accuses him should be made to prove the truth of his charge, by the correctness of his accounts. It is the Magna Charta of Masonic liberty "that no Mason can be punished or deprived of any of the privileges of Masonry, except upon conviction after trial;" and to this, in every other case, except non payment of arrears, there will not, I suppose, be a single dissenting voice in the whole body of the craft. It is time that, guided by the dictates of sound justice and good common sense, this execution should no longer be permitted to say, as a reproach to the consistency of our legal code, "I may lie, I may steal, nay, I may commit murder, and my Lodge will not and dare not deprive me of my Masonic privileges, except after a conviction derived from an impartial trial; but if I omit to pay the Secretary a few dollars, then, upon his mere report, without any opportunity given me to show that the omission was the result of ignorance, of poverty, of sickness, or of misfortune, I may, without trial and with no chance of defence, be visited with the severe penalty of Masonic exclusion." If, then, it be admitted, as I presume it will, that expulsion or suspension cannot be inflicted without trial, and that, simply because it is a punishment, and because punishment should always follow, and not precede conviction, then to strike the name of a member from the roll of his Lodge, would be equally as illegal, unless he were called upon to show cause why it should not be done. The one principle is strictly analogous with the other. If you cannot suspend without trial, neither can you strike from the roll without trial. It is unnecessary, therefore, to extend the argument; but I suppose that the postulate will be granted under the general axiom, that no punishment whatsoever can be inflicted without preliminary trial and opportunity for defence.

And therefore it may be laid down as Masonic law, that no member should be stricken from the roll of his Lodge, except after due notice given to him, and opportunity afforded for defence; after which it is generally held, that a vote of the majority will be sufficient to put the by law in force, and declare the penalty of exclusion.

705 - How should a Mason carry himself before the world?

  • Perpendicular. Geometrically, that which is perfectly upright and erect, inclining neither one way or the other. Symbolically, inclining neither to avarice nor injustice, to malice nor revenge, to envy nor con tempt, in our intercourse with mankind; but as the builder raises his column by the plane or perpendicular, so should the Mason carry himself toward the world; thus will he stand approved before heaven and be fore men, purchasing honor and felicity to himself as a professor of Masonry.

706 - What accusations have been made against Masons?

  • Persecution. No society or order of men has been the object of greater abuse or more malicious misrepresentation and unreasonable persecution than that of Freemasonry. Even among the Jews, not many years after the building of the temple, Freemasons were accused of idolatry, the temples where they practiced their mysteries were destroyed, and many of them were put to death. This arose in a great degree from the ignorance of the Jews of that age. They misapprehended the lofty ideas of their greatest king and wisest sage, Solomon, and were made to believe, after his death, that the symbolical decorations of the temple were of a profane and idolatrous character. They were also taught to distrust the liberal views entertained in regard to other nations, and saw in his friendly and fraternal intercourse with Hiram of Tyre, and other distinguished Gentiles, a departure from the strictness of the Hebrew faith. During the life of Solomon the company of Hiram continued to practice their rites unmolested; but after his death a strong and bitter opposition sprang up against them. Their mysteries, not being understood, were called "abominations," and a general movement for the extermination of the Sidonian architects was organized.

This ancient persecution of the Sidonian Masons finds its parallel in the persecutions of modern Masons by the Roman Church and other religious bodies.

707 - What great religious body has persecuted Freemasonry?

  • Persecution. In 1738, Pope Clement XII. fulminated his celebrated bull against the Order, in which he shows himself as fanatical and ill informed in regard to the nature of Freemasonry as those who headed the persecutions of the Sidonians among the ancient Jews. He says: "We have learned that a society has been formed under the name of Freemasons, into which persons of all religions and all sects are indiscriminately admitted, and whose members have established certain laws which bind themselves to each other, and which, in particular, compel their members, under the severest penalties, by virtue of an oath taken on the Holy Scriptures, to preserve an inviolable secrecy in relation to everything that transpires in their meetings." The bull concludes with a command to all bishops to inflict on Masons "the penalties which they deserve, as people greatly suspected of heresy, having recourse, if necessary, to the secular power." The "penalty" here alluded to is plainly enough explained by the following transcript from an edict published in the following year: "No person shall dare to assemble at any lodge of the said society, nor be present at any of their meetings, under pain of death and confiscation of goods, the said penalty to be without pardon." This bull, however, failed to stay the progress of the institution, and when Benedict XIV., 1751, renewed it, and ordered its enforcement, his proclamation was treated with derision and contempt. In Germany, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, France and Switzerland the order has, at times, been persecuted, but it has outlived all opposition, and is now master of those who once trampled it under foot.

The anti Masonic movement in the United States is familiar to all. It was a real benefit to Masonry, and has overwhelmed its authors with infamy and scorn. But the last (and we hope it will be the last) and probably the most ridiculous attempt at persecuting the Masonic institution emanated from the Secret Consistory of the Vatican, by Pope Pius IX., September 25, 1865, in the form of a Papal Allocution to his "Venerable Brethren." This dreadful anathema pronounces, ex cathedra, that Freemasonry is "monstrous, impious and criminal, full of snares and frauds - a dark society; the enemy of the Church and of God, and dangerous to the security of kingdoms; inflamed with a burning hatred against religious and legitimate authority; desirous of overthrowing all rights human and divine," etc. It may not be necessary to waste much time or space to the refutation of the charges displayed in this silly and odious papal address. Such accusations against a public body of men spread over the whole surface of the civilized world and in all classes of society, among whom may be numbered monarchs, princes, senators, prelates, and the great and good of all countries, accompanied by the awful sentence of eternal perdition, are detestable, and not worthy of any serious notice. The Pope and his venerable brethren do not like Freemasonry. Very well; nobody blames them for that; and least of all, the members of the Masonic Order; for it is not a proselytizing institution. He objects to it because it is a secret society. Very well ! Has Romanism no secrets? Then it has no confessional, and it never had an inquisition. Why this Allocution, in which secret societies are subjected to such severe invective, was actually delivered in his own Secret Consistory. But as the Roman Church is hostile to freedom of conscience, its doctrines are therefore incompatible with the tolerant and liberal principles of Freemasonry. We shall patiently await another (although another may never occur) "Thunder from the Vatican," but in the meantime the Order of Freemasonry must move on. 708 - What is the Masonic meaning of the phrase "personal jurisdiction"?

  • Personal Jurisdiction of a Lodge. The personal jurisdiction of a Lodge is that penal jurisdiction which it exercises over its own members, wherever they may be situated. No matter how far a Mason may remove from the Lodge of which he is a member, his allegiance to that Lodge is indefeasible, so long as he continues a member, and it may exercise penal jurisdiction over him.

709 - On what grounds should Masters and Wardens be chosen?

  • Personal Merit. All preferment amongst Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only, so that the lords may be well served, the brethren not put to shame, nor the Royal Craft despised. Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but for his merit. It is impossible to describe these things in writing, and therefore every brother must attend in his place, and learn them in a way peculiar to this Fraternity.

710 - In what form must a petition be presented?

  • Petition. Application for membership in the Masonic Fraternity must be by written petition. No verbal nomination of a candidate will be sufficient. The petition must be written, because it is to be preserved by the Secretary in the archives of the Lodge, as an evidence of the fact of application, which, in the event of a rejection of the applicant, or, as he is more usually called, the petitioner, may become of some importance. The form of the petition is also to be attended to. I am not of the opinion that a petition, drawn up in a form different from that usually adopted, would be liable to rejection for a want of formality; and yet, as experience has caused a particular form to be adopted, it is better and more convenient that that form should be adhered to. The important and essential points of the petition are, that it shall declare the place of residence, the age, and the occupation of the petitioner. These declarations are made that the committee to whom the petition is to be referred for inquiry, may be materially assisted in their investigations by this identification of the petitioner.

711 - To what Lodges may a Master Mason present a petition for affiliation?

  • Petition for Affiliation. It is sometimes held, that a petition for affiliation should be recommended by one or more members of the Lodge. Such is a very general usage, but not a universal one; and I can find no authority for it in any of the ancient Constitutions, nor is anything said upon the subject by Preston, or any other written authorities that I have consulted. On the contrary, it appears to me that such a recommendation is not essentially necessary. The demit from the Lodge of which the candidate was last a member, is itself in the nature of a recommendation; and if this accompanies the petition for admission, no other avouchment should be required. The information in respect to present character and other qualifications is to be obtained by the committee of investigation, who of course are expected to communicate the result of what they have learned on the subject to the Lodge.

Some of our modern Grand Lodges, however, governed perhaps by the general analogy of applications for initiation, have required, by a specific Regulation, that a petition for membership must be recommended by one or more members of the Lodge; and such a Regulation would of course be Masonic Law for the jurisdiction in which it was in force; but I confess that I prefer the ancient usage, which seems to have made the presentation of a demit from some other Lodge the only necessary recommendation of a Master Mason applying for affiliation. 712 - What seven steps must be taken to form a lawful petition for a dispensation for a new Lodge?

  • Petition for a New Lodge. When seven Master Masons, at least, are desirous of organizing a Lodge, they apply by petition to the Grand Master of the jurisdiction for the necessary authority. This petition must set forth that they now are, or have been, members of a legally constituted Lodge, and must assign a satisfactory reason for their application. It must also be recommended by the nearest Lodge, and must designate the place where the Lodge is intended to be held, and the names of the persons whom the petitioners desire to be appointed as Master and Wardens.

Seven things must therefore concur to give regularity to the form of a petition for a Dispensation.

1. There must be seven signers at least.
2. They must all be Master Masons.
3. They must be in good standing.
4. There must be a good reason for the organization of a Lodge at that time and place.
5. The place of meeting must be designated.
6. The names of the three officers must be stated.
7. It must be recommended by the nearest Lodge.

Dalcho, contrary to all the other authorities except the Grand Lodge of Ireland, says that not less than three Master Masons should sign the petition. The rule, however, requiring seven signers, which, with these exceptions, is, I think, universal, seems to be founded in reason; for, as not less than seven Masons can, by the ritualistic Landmark, open and hold a Lodge of Entered Apprentices, the preliminary degree in which all Lodges have to work, it would necessarily be absurd to authorize a smaller number to organize a Lodge, which, after its organization, could not hold meetings nor initiate candidates in that degree. The Old Constitutions are necessarily silent upon this subject, since, at the time of their adoption, permanent Lodge organizations were unknown. But it is singular that no rule should have been incorporated into the Regulations of 1721, which were of course adopted after the establishment of permanent Lodges. It is therefore to Preston that we are indebted for the explicit announcement of the law, that the petition must be signed by not less than seven Masons. Preston says that the petition must be recommended "by the Masters of three regular Lodges adjacent to the place where the new Lodge is to be held." This is also the precise language of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. The Grand Lodge of Scotland requires the recommendation to be signed "by the Masters and Officers of two of the nearest Lodges." The modern Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England requires a recommendation "by the officers of some regular Lodge," without saying anything of its vicinity to the new Lodge. The rule now universally adopted is, that it must be recommended by the nearest Lodge; and it is an excellent one, too, for it certifies to the superior authority, on the very best evidence that can be obtained - that, namely, of a constituted Masonic body, which has the opportunity of knowing the fact that the new Lodge will be productive, neither in its officers nor its locality, of an injury to the Order. 713 - What does the philosophy of Masonry involve?

  • Philosophy of Masonry. This expression opens an immense field for the intelligent Mason to explore, and one so rich in materials that it can never be exhausted. The Philosophy of Freemasonry involves the history of its origin, an inquiry into the ideas that lie at its base, an investigation of its peculiar form, an analytical study of its several degrees, and a development of the ideas which are illustrated by its ritualistic emblems, myths and allegories, and which speak through its sublime system of symbols.

Freemasonry has now arrived at a period in its history when the prosperity of the Order imperatively demands a deeper insight into its character and teachings. In this country, for nearly half a century, Masons have occupied themselves merely with the outward and material forms of the institution. Not knowing in what ideas the system had its birth, what truths were symbolized by the rites, what notions were intended to be illustrated by its symbols, they have not been able to rise to a true appreciation of its sublime spirit and profound significance. The superior intelligence and culture of the present age require more than this. The questioning spirit of the times demands a reason for this and for that; it cannot rest in a dead form, an outward sign. Masons should acquaint themselves with the philosophy of Masonry, seek and find the sense of its rites, study its symbols until they see them all aglow with infinite and eternal truths. "Symbols are the speech of God," and through them Eternity looks into Time, and the Infinite holds communion with the finite, the divine with the human - through them the mysterious currents of life from the over world stream into our human world of prosaic reality, and light it up with a living glory. There is that latent in Freemasonry which makes it exactly the institution most needed in this age. But to be an effective agent in elevating and advancing man to a more perfect condition, the sense of its mysteries must be better understood by Masons, its philosophy must be studied, and its grand and ancient emblems and symbols must be made to speak their immortal meanings as of old. In other words, Free masonry must be idealized. 714 - What are the several phrases of admission into Masonic degrees?

  • Phrases of Admission. When a candidate receives the first degree, he is said to be initiated, at the second step he is passed, at the third raised; when he takes the mark degree, he is congratulated; having passed the chair, he is said to have presided; when he becomes a Most Excellent Master, he is acknowledged and received; and when a Royal Arch Mason, he is exalted.

715 - What are the physical qualifications of a candidate for Masonry?

  • Physical. The physical qualifications of a candidate are, that he shall be a free man, born of a free woman, of mature age, and able bodied.

716 - What do the pillars, Boaz and Jachin, represent?

  • Pillars of the Porch. It is generally thought that these pillars were made and erected only for ornament, because they supported no building. But Abarbinel's conjecture is not improbable, that Solomon had respect to the pillar of the cloud, and the pillar of fire, that went before them and conducted them in the wilderness, and was a token of the divine Providence over them. These he set at the porch, or entrance of the Temple (Jachin representing the pillar of the cloud, and Boaz the pillar of fire), praying and hoping that the Divine Light, and the cloud of His glory would vouchsafe to enter in there; and by them God and His providence would dwell among them in this house.

717 - What authority has a Lodge with respect to its place of meeting?

  • Place of Meeting. A Lodge has the right to designate its place of meeting, which, being confirmed by the Grand Lodge, is inserted in the warrant, and cannot again be changed, except with the consent of the Grand Lodge. This refers, of course, to the town or village in which the Lodge is situated. But unless there be a local regulation in the constitution of any particular Grand Lodge to that effect, I know of no principle of Masonic law, set forth in the Ancient Landmarks or Regulations, which forbids a Lodge, upon the mere vote of the majority, from removing from one house to another in the same town or city. A regulation was adopted in 1724 by the Grand Lodge of England, which required notice of such removal to be given to the Grand Secretary, and the antiquity of this law, bordering, as it does, on the date of the Regulations of 1721, which are considered to be of general authority, as well as the ordinary principles of courtesy, would make it obligatory on any Lodge to observe it. But the Regulations adopted in 1738, on the subject of removal, which particularly define the mode in which such removal is to be affected, are of no authority at present; and unless the Grand Lodge of any particular jurisdiction has adopted a regulation forbidding the removal of a Lodge from one house to another, without its consent, I know of no law in, Masonry of universal force which would prohibit such a removal, at the mere option of the Lodge.

718 - Of what is the tracing board emblematic?

  • Plans. The tracing board is for the Master to draw his plans and designs on that the building may be carried on with order and regularity. It refers to the Sacred Volume which is denominated the Tracing Board of the Grand Architect of the Universe, because in that holy book he had laid down suen grand plans and holy designs, that were we conversant therein, and adherent thereto, it would bring us to a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

719 - What are the Masonic emblems of plenty?

  • Plenty. Literally denoting a full or adequate supply; an abundance. As an emblem of Masonry it is symbolized by a sheaf of wheat (commonly called corn), suspended near a waterfall. The Hebrew word Shibboleth, which occupies an important part in the ceremonies of the Fellowcraft’s degree, signifies an ear of corn, also a rapid stream or flow of water. In the Eleusinian Mysteries the goddess Ceres was represented with a flaming torch in her right hand and an ear of corn in her left hand, and a wreath about her head, as emblems of peace and plenty. This goddess is nearly always represented thus; several gems and medals are now extant, where the ears of corn appear with her image.

720 - What should be a Masons attitude toward the state?

  • Plots. A Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior magistrates. He is cheerfully to conform to every lawful authority; to uphold, on every occasion, the interests of the community, and zealously to promote the interests of his own country.

721 - Of what is the plumb rule emblematic?

  • Plumb Rule. Without this instrument the operative mason cannot prove that his work is perfectly upright; and the overseer or superintendent of any building must have this tool ever in his hands, that he may prove that his men are working correctly. To proceed straight forward in the paths of virtue and honor, and faithfully to perform those duties the Craft requires of us, demands constant attention on the part of every Free and Accepted Mason.

722 - May a Mason lawfully belong to more than one Lodge at the same time?

  • Plural Membership. The Ancient Constitutions make no allusions to plural membership, either by way of commendation or prohibition; but it must be admitted that in all those old documents the phraseology is such as to imply that no Mason belonged to more than one Lodge at a time. On the other hand, however, a Regulation was adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, in February, 1724, prescribing that "no Brother shall belong to more than one Lodge within the bills of mortality," that is, in the city of London. Now, two deductions are to be made from the adoption of such a Regulation at so early a period as only two years after the approval of the "Old Charges," which are considered by many as almost equivalent to Landmarks. These deductions are, first, that at that time Masons were in the habit of joining more than one Lodge at a time, and secondly, that although the Grand Lodge forbade this custom in the Lodges of the city, it had no objection to its being continued in the country. But the Regulation does not seem ever to have been enforced; for, in 1738, Dr. Anderson found occasion to write, "But this Regulation is neglected, for several reasons, and is now obsolete " - a remark that is repeated in 1756, in the third edition of the Book of Constitutions.

I doubt the expediency of any Mason being an active member of more than one Lodge, and I am sure of its inconveniency to himself. Yet, if anyone is disposed to submit to this inconvenience, I know of no Landmark or ancient Regulation that forbids him. The Old Charge, which says that every Mason should belong to a Lodge, does not imply that he may not belong to two; but in that case, suspension or expulsion by one Lodge would act as suspension or expulsion by both. As, however, this matter constitutes no part of Ancient Masonic Law, it is competent for any Grand Lodge to make a local Regulation on the subject, which will of course be of force in its own jurisdiction. Where there is no such local Regulation, a Mason may be' a member of as many Lodges as he pleases, and which will admit him. 723 - Why is a candidate for Masonry required to be freeborn?

  • Political Qualifications. The political qualifications of candidates are those which refer to their position in society. To only one of these do any of the ancient Constitutions allude. We learn from them that the candidate for the mysteries of Masonry must be "free born." As far back as the year 926, this Regulation was in force; for the Old York or Gothic Constitutions, which were adopted in that year, contain the following as the fourth article: "The son of a bondman shall not be admitted as an Apprentice, lest, when he is introduced into the Lodge, any of the brethren should be offended." Subsequently, in the Charges approved in 1722, it is declared that "the persons admitted members of a Lodge must be free born." And there never has been any doubt that this was the ancient law and usage of the Order.

In the ancient Mysteries, which are generally supposed to be the prototype of the Masonic institution, a similar law prevailed; and no slave, or man born in slavery, although afterwards manumitted, could be initiated. The reason assigned in the old York Constitution for this Regulation, does not appear to be the correct one. Slaves and persons born in servitude are not initiated, because, in the first place, as respects the former class, their servile condition renders them legally incapable of making a contract; in the second place, because the admission of slaves among freemen would be a violation of that social equality in the Lodge which constitutes one of the Landmarks of Masonry; and in the third place, as respects both classes - the present slave and the freedman who was born in slavery - because the servile condition is believed to be necessarily accompanied by a degradation of mind and an abasement of spirit which unfit them to be recipients of the sublime doctrines of Freemasonry. It is in view of this theory that Dr. Oliver has remarked, that "children cannot inherit a free and noble spirit except they be born of a free woman." And the ancient Greeks, who had much experience with this class of beings, were of the same opinion; for they coined a word, or slave manners, to designate any great impropriety of manners, because such conduct was supposed to characterize the helots, or slaves. But Masonic writers have also given a less practical reason, derived from the symbolism of the Order, for the restriction of the right of initiation to the free born. It is in this way supposed that the Regulation alludes to the two sons of Abraham - Isaac, by his wife Sarah, and Ishmael, by his bondwoman, Hagar. This is the explanation that was given in the old Prestonian Lectures; but I am inclined to believe that the practical reason is the best one. The explanation in the Lectures was derived from the usage, for the latter certainly long preceded the former. 724 - Why is political discussion prohibited in a Masonic Lodge?

  • Politics. Politics are entirely prohibited from a Freemasons' lodge, and no brother dare attempt to propagate his views upon politics by means of the Order, this being in direct opposition to the ancient statutes. The political opinions of mankind never agree, and they are thus directly opposed to brotherly union. If a peculiar set of political opinions gain the upper hand in a state, or if a revolution take place, or if a country be invaded by a foreign army, the lodges close them selves. Charity to a suffering warrior, let him be a friend or a foe, must not he considered as a political act, for it is the general duty of mankind, and more especially it is a Masonic duty.

725 - Of what is the pomegranate emblematic?

  • Pomegranate. Grained Apple. The fruit is about the size of an orange, of a tawny brown, containing an abundance of seeds. When ripe it opens lengthwise, and is full of juice like wine, which is, when cultivated, sweet and highly agreeable. As an emblem for ornamentation it was highly esteemed by most of the nations of antiquity. Moses was directed to put embroidered pomegranates, with golden bells between them, at the bottom of the high priest's robe. The two pillars set up at the porch of the temple were ornamented with rows of artificial pomegranates. This fruit, because of the exuberance of its seed, has been selected by Masons as an emblem of plenty.

726 - If installation of officers is postponed, what steps must be taken, and who presides in the interval?

  • Postponement of Installation. The installation of officers should follow as soon as possible after the election. The installation is the commission under which the officer elected is entitled to assume his office; and by ancient usage it is held that the old officer retains the office until his successor is installed. Hence, as the term of office begins on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, it is evident that the installation, which always follows the election, should take place on the same day, or immediately before it. If it has been unavoidably postponed until after that day, a dispensation must be obtained from the Grand Officer for performing it at any subsequent period.

727 - Of what is the pot of incense emblematic?

  • Pot of Incense. The pot of incense presents itself to our notice as an emblem of a pure heart, which is always an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity; and as this glows with fervent heat, so should our hearts continually glow with gratitude to the great and beneficent author of our existence, for the manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.

728 - What are the powers and prerogatives of a Masonic Lodge and whence are they derived?

  • Powers of a Lodge. The ritual defines a Lodge to be "an assemblage of Masons, duly congregated, having the Holy Bible, square and compasses, and a charter or warrant of constitution authorizing them to work." Now, the latter part of this definition is a modern addition, for anciently no such instrument as a warrant of constitution was required; and hence the Old Charges describe a Lodge simply as "a duly organized society of Masons." Anciently, therefore, Masons met and performed the work of Masonry, organizing temporary Lodges, which were dissolved as soon as the work for which they had been congregated was completed, without the necessity of a warrant to legalize their proceedings. But in 1717, an organization of the Grand Lodge of England took place, at which time there were four Lodges existing in London, who thus met by inherent right as Masons. As soon as the organization of the Grand Lodge had been satisfactorily completed, the four Lodges adopted a code of thirty nine Regulations, which, like the Magna Charta of the English barons, was intended, in all times thereafter, to secure the rights and privileges of the fraternity from any undue assumptions of power on the part of the Grand Lodge. Having accomplished this preliminary measure, they then, as the legal representatives of the craft, surrendered, for themselves and their successors, this inherent right of meeting into the hands of the Grand Lodge; and the eighth Regulation then went into operation, which requires any number of Masons who wish to form a Lodge, to obtain, as a preparatory step, the Grand Master's warrant or authority. At the same time other prerogatives, which had always vested in the craft, were, by the same regulations, surrendered to the Grand Lodge, so that the relative position of the Grand Lodge to its subordinates, and of the subordinate Lodges to the Grand Lodge, has, ever since the year 1717, been very different from that which was previously held by the General Assembly or Annual Grand Lodge to the craft.

The first and the most important deduction that we make from this statement is, that whatever powers and prerogatives a Lodge may now possess, are those which have always been inherent in it by the Ancient Landmarks of the Order. No new powers have been created in it by the Grand Lodge. The Regulations of 1721 were a concession as well as a reservation on the part of the subordinate Lodges. The Grand Lodge was established by the fraternity for purposes of convenience in government. Whatever powers it possesses were yielded to it freely and by way of concession by the fraternity, not as the representatives of the Lodges, but as the Lodges themselves, in general assembly convened. The rights, therefore, which were conceded by the Lodges they have not, but whatever they did not concede, they have reserved to themselves, and they claim and exercise such rights, not by grant from the Grand Lodge, but as derived from the ancient Landmarks and the old Constitutions of the Order. This axiom must be constantly borne in mind, as it is for the elucidation of many points of Masonic law, concerning the rights and powers of subordinate Lodges. 729 - Into what three categories may the powers of a Grand Lodge be divided?

  • Powers of Grand Lodge. A Grand Lodge is the supreme Masonic authority of the jurisdiction in which it is situated, and faithful allegiance and implicit obedience is due to it from all the Lodges and Masons residing therein. Its functions and prerogatives are therefore of the most extensive and important nature, and should be carefully investigated by every Mason who desires to become acquainted, not only with his duties to the Order, but with his own rights and privileges in it. The functions of a Grand Lodge are usually divided into three classes. They are
1. Legislative;
2. Judicial;
3. Executive.

In its legislative capacity, a Grand Lodge makes the laws; in its judicial, it explains and applies them; and in its executive, it enforces them. 730 - Who has the power to open the Lodge in the absence of the Master?

  • Power to Open the Lodge. If the Master and both Wardens be absent, the Lodge cannot be opened, because the warrant of constitution is granted to the Master and Wardens, and their successors, and to none else. In 1857, during the absence of the Master and Wardens of a Lodge in Kentucky, a Past Master of the Lodge assumed the chair, appointed proxies for the Wardens, and proceeded to transact business. Upon an appeal from the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Master declared the acts of the Lodge to be illegal and of no effect. There can be no doubt that this decision was correct, according to the Regulations of 1721; for, although a Past Master may preside, by the courtesy of a Warden, he holds his authority, according to these Regulations, under the Warden, and cannot act until that officer has congregated the Lodge. At the opening of the Lodge at least, therefore, the Master or a Warden must be present, and if Master and Wardens are all absent, the Lodge cannot be opened.

If, however, the Lodge is congregated by the Warden, and he places a Past Master in the chair, and then retires, I am inclined to think that the labors or business of the Lodge may be legally continued, notwithstanding the absence of the Warden, for he has complied with the requisitions of the law, and congregated the Lodge. It is a right belonging to the Warden to invite a Past Master to preside for him, and if, after exercising that right, he then retires, the Past Master will continue to act as his representative. But the Warden will be responsible for the acts of the Past Master; for, if anything is done irregularly, it may be well said that the Warden should have been there to correct the irregularity when it occurred. I confess, however, that this is a res non judicatac - a question that has not been even discussed, so far as I am aware, by any Masonic authority. 731 - As Masons, what is the first lesson we are taught?

  • Prayer. As Masons we are taught never to commence any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of Deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution, and we thereby show our dependence on and our trust in God. The legitimate prayers of Freemasonry are short addresses to the Great Architect of the Universe for a blessing on our labors.

732 - From what do most of the objections to Masonry arise?

  • Prejudice. From prejudice, as well as from ignorance, arise most of the objections against Freemasonry, and all the misrepresentations of its principles and practices. As the origin of such dislike to our institution is so well known, it might be deemed paying too great respect to its evils, to take any notice of them all. In general, it is best to despise the invectives of calumny, and smile at the impotence of malice; to disdain taking any notice of groundless surmises, and not to give ourselves the trouble of listening to the queries of the ignorant, or of confuting the opinions of the prejudiced and captious.

733 - Why is a candidate specially prepared for admission to the Lodge Room?

  • Preparation of the Candidate. Great care was taken of the personal condition of every Israelite who entered the Temple for divine worship. The Talmudic treatise entitled Baracoth, which contains instructions as to the ritual worship among the Jews, lays down the following rules for the preparation of all who visit the Temple: "No man shall go into the Temple with his staff, nor with shoes on his feet, nor with his outer garment, nor with money tied up in his purse." There are certain ceremonial usages in Freemasonry which furnish what may be called at least very remarkable coincidences with this old Jewish custom.

The preparation of the candidate for initiation in Masonry, is entirely symbolic. It varies in the different degrees, and therefore the symbolism varies with it. Not being arbitrary and unmeaning, but on the contrary, conventional and full of signification, it cannot be altered, abridged, or added to in any of its details, without affecting its esoteric design. To it, in its fullest extent, every candidate must, without exception, submit. 734 - Upon whom devolves the duty of questioning the candidate as to his motives in petitioning for membership?

  • Preparing Brother. It is the duty of the preparing brother, shortly before the candidate for initiation is introduced into the lodge, to prove if he still continues earnest in his desire to be initiated, what are the reasons which induce him to do so, and if he is willing to submit himself unconditionally to the rules of an unknown society. From this we may perceive that the preparing brother must possess a fine knowledge of mankind. The situation in which he is placed with regard to the candidate, gives him an opportunity of putting a number of questions which could not be put in any other place, or which the candidate could not answer so fully and so unhesitatingly as in the preparing room. The preparing brother must not terrify the candidate from seeking admission; his duty is merely to remove any erroneous ideas the candidate may have formed of the Craft, as far as may be found necessary.

735 - From what source does a Grand Master derive his prerogatives?

  • Prerogatives of Grand Master. With the exception of a few unimportant powers, conferred for local purposes, by various Grand Lodges, and which necessarily differ in different jurisdictions, every prerogative exercised by a Grand Master is an inherent one - that is to say, not created by any special statute of the Grand Lodge, but the result and the concomitant of his high office, whose duties and prerogatives existed long before the organization of Grand Lodges.

736 - What are the powers of the presiding officers of a Lodge?

  • Presiding Officers. The first and most important prerogative of the Master is to preside over his Lodge. With this prerogative are connected many correlative duties.

As a presiding officer, the Master is possessed of extraordinary powers, which belong to the presiding officer of no other association. He presides over the business, as well as the work or Masonic labors of the Lodge; and in all cases his decisions on points of order are final, for it is a settled principle of Masonic law that no appeal can be taken to the Lodge from the decision of the Master. The Grand Lodge alone can overrule his declared opinion on any point of order. 737 - Who are the principal officers of a Lodge?

  • Principal Officers. A term applied to the Worshipful Master and the Senior and Junior Wardens. They are called the three principal officers of the lodge.

738 - Is it forbidden to publish books about Masonry?

  • Printed Works on Freemasonry. The Mason promises at his initiation, that he will not betray the secrets of the Order by writing, and notwithstanding the great number of the so called printed works upon Freemasonry which we have, there is not an author of one of those works who has been a traitor to the real secrets of the Craft. When it is maintained by the world that books which are said to have been written by oppressed Freemasons, contain the secrets of Freemasonry, it is a very great error. To publish an account of the ceremonies of the lodge, however wrong that may be, does not communicate the secrets of Freemasonry. The printed rituals are not correct, as they are printed from memory, and not from a lodge copy. Inquiries into the history of the Order, and the true meaning of its hieroglyphics and ceremonies by learned brethren cannot be considered treason, for the Order itself recommends the study of its history, and that every brother should instruct his fellows as much as possible. It is the same with the printed explanation of the moral principles and the symbols of the Order; we are recommended to study them incessantly, until we have made ourselves masters of the valuable information they contain; and when our learned and cautious brethren publish the result of their inquiries, they ought to be most welcome to the Craft.

739 - Is it permissable to conduct a Masonic Lodge within precincts of a prison?

  • Prisons. The regulations of the Grand Lodge of England carry the idea of freedom of action of a Lodge to its fullest extent, and declare that "it is inconsistent with the principles of Masonry for any Freemason's Lodge to be held for the purposes of making, passing, or raising Masons in any prison or place of confinement." This resolution was adopted in consequence of a Lodge having been held in 1782, in the King's Bench prison. No such Regulation has ever been adopted in this country, perhaps because there has been no occasion for it. The ancient Constitutions are also silent upon the subject; but there seems little reason for doubting the correctness of the sentiment that Lodges should only be held in places where the utmost freedom of ingress and egress prevails.

740 - What private duties should Masons practice?

  • Private Duties. Whoever would be a Mason should know how to practice all the private virtues. He should avoid all manner of intemperance or excess, which might prevent his performance of the laudable duties of his Craft, or lead him into enormities, which would reflect dishonor upon the ancient fraternity. He is to be industrious in his profession, and true to the Lord and Master he serves. He is to labor justly, and not to eat any man's bread for nought; but to pay truly for his meat and drink. What leisure his labor allows, he is to employ in studying the arts and sciences with a diligent mind, that he may the better perform all his duties to his Creator, his country, his neighbor and himself.

741 - What are the privileges of a Masonic Lodge?

  • Privileges. The majority of every particular lodge, when duly congregated, have the privilege of instructing their Master and War dens for their conduct in the Grand Lodge and Quarterly Communications; and all particular lodges in the same Communications, shall as much as possible observe the same rules and usages and appoint some of their members to visit each other in the different lodges, as often as it may be convenient.

742 - What is the probationary period for a candidate?

  • Probation. The interval between the reception of one degree and the succeeding one is called the probation of the candidate, because it is during this period that he is to prove his qualification for advancement. In England and in this country the time of probation between the reception of degrees is four weeks, to which is generally added the further safeguard of an open examination in the preceeding degree. In France and Germany the probation is extended to one year. The time is greatly extended in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

An extraordinary rule prevailed in the Constitutions of 1762, by which the Rite of Perfection was governed. According to this rule, a candidate was required to pass a probation, from the time of his application as an Entered Apprentice until his reception of the twenty fifth or ultimate degree of the Rite, of no less than six years and nine months. But as all the separate times of probation depended on symbolic numbers, it is not to be presumed that this regulation was ever practically enforced. 743 - What proceedings are taken by Grand Lodges on Masonic appeals?

  • Procedure of Grand Lodge on Appeals. There is no specific rule to govern the Grand Lodge in the forms which it may adopt for con ducting the review of the case. But the most usual method is to refer the appeal, with the testimony and other papers, to a committee, upon whose report, after a full investigation, the Grand Lodge will act, and either confirm or reverse the decision of the Lodge.

If the Grand Lodge confirms the verdict of the subordinate, the appeal is dismissed, and the sentence of the Lodge goes into operation, without further action on the part of the Lodge. If, on the contrary, the Grand Lodge reverses the decision of its subordinate, the appellant is placed thereby in the same position that he occupied before the trial. But the Grand Lodge, instead of a complete confirmation or reversal, may find it necessary only to modify the decision of the Lodge. It may, for instance, approve the finding of the verdict, but disapprove of the sentence, as being too severe; in which case a milder one may be substituted. As, for instance, expulsion may be reduced to suspension. On the other hand, the Grand Lodge may consider the punishment inflicted not commensurate with the magnitude of the offence, and may substitute a higher grade, as expulsion instead of suspension. It must be understood that, although in these cases the Grand Lodge is acting in some respects as an appellate court, it is not to be controlled by all the rules that govern such bodies in the municipal law. It cannot divest itself of its high position as the supreme Masonic authority of the State, and may at any time, or at any part of the proceedings, abandon the appellate character and assume an original jurisdiction. Lastly, the Grand Lodge, being dissatisfied either with the sufficiency of the testimony, the formality and legality of the proceedings, or the adequacy of the punishment, may simply refer the case back to its subordinate for a new trial. If the reference back has been made on the ground that the testimony was not sufficient, or the proceedings irregular, then the trial in the Lodge must be commenced de n,ovo, and if the Brother is again convicted, he may again appeal; for no number of convictions can abrogate the right of appeal, which is inalienably invested in every Mason. But if the case is referred back on account of the inadequacy of the punishment, as being too severe or too lenient, it will not be necessary to institute a new trial, but simply to review that part of the proceedings which relate to the sentence. 744 - How do Masons employ the word profane?

  • Profane. The word signifies uninitiated. All those who do not belong to the Order are frequently so called. Before a lodge is held, care must be taken that none but the initiated are present, and that the lodge is carefully tiled. In the lodge lists, which are frequently open to the public, there are given the addresses to which all letters for the lodge must be sent, and these are sometimes called profane ad dresses. It would be much more proper to call them "town addresses," for many of the uninitiated translate the word profane as unmannerly or impious.

745 - Has a non Mason the right of preferring charges against a Mason?

  • Profane, Charges Preferred by. Any Master Mason may be the accuser of another, but a profane cannot be permitted to prefer charges against a Mason. Yet, if circumstances are known to a profane upon which charges ought to be predicated, a Master Mason may avail him self of that information, and out of it frame an accusation, to be presented to the Lodge. And such accusation will be received and investigated, although remotely derived from one who is not a member of the Order.

It is not necessary that the accuser should be a member of the same Lodge. It is sufficient if he is an affiliated Mason. I say an affiliated Mason; for it is generally held, and I believe correctly, that an unaffiliated Mason is no more competent to prefer charges than a profane. 746 - How soon after receiving the first degree can an Entered Apprentice apply for advancement to the second?

  • Proficiency of Entered Apprentices. How soon, after receiving the first degree, can an Apprentice apply for advancement to the second? The necessity of a full comprehension of the mysteries of one degree, before any attempt is made to acquire those of a second, seems to have been thoroughly appreciated from the earliest times; and hence the Old York Constitutions of 926 prescribe that "the Master shall instruct his Apprentice faithfully, and make him a perfect workman." But if there be an obligation on the part of the Master to instruct his Apprentice, there must be, of course, a correlative obligation on the part of the latter to receive and profit by those instructions. Accordingly, unless this obligation is discharged, and the Apprentice makes himself acquainted with the mysteries of the degree that he has already received, it is, by general consent, admitted that he has no right to be entrusted with further and more important information. The modern ritual sustains this doctrine, by requiring that the candidate, as a qualification in passing onward, shall have made "suitable proficiency in the pre ceding degree." This is all that the general law prescribes. Suitable proficiency must have been attained, and the period in which that condition will be acquired, must necessarily depend on the mental capacity of the candidate. Some men will become proficient in a shorter time than others, and of this fact the Master and the Lodge are to be the judges. An examination should therefore take place in open Lodge, and a ballot immediately following will express the opinion of the Lodge on the result of that examination, and the qualification of the candidates.

From the difficulty with which the second and third degrees were formerly obtained - a difficulty dependent on the fact that they were only conferred in the Grand Lodge - it is evident that Apprentices must have undergone a long probation before they had an opportunity of advancement, though the precise term of the probation was decided by no legal enactment. Several modern Grand Lodges, however, looking with disapprobation on the rapidity with which the degrees are sometimes conferred upon candidates wholly incompetent, have adopted special regulations, prescribing a determinate period of probation for each degree. This, however, is a local law, to be obeyed only in those jurisdictions in which it is of force. The general law of Masonry makes no such determinate provision of time, and demands only that the candidate shall give evidence of "suitable proficiency." 747 - Of what force and validity is the Masonic covenant?

  • Promise. In entering into the covenant of Masonry, the candidate makes a promise to the Order; for this covenant is simply a promise where he voluntarily places himself under a moral obligation to act within certain conditions in a particular way. The law of promise is, therefore, strictly applicable to this covenant, and by that law the validity and obligation of the promises of every candidate must be deter mined. In every promise there are two things to be considered: the intention and the obligation. As to the intention: of all casuists, the Jesuits alone have contended that the intention may be concealed within the bosom of the promiser. Every Christian and Pagan writer agree on the principle that words expressed must convey their ordinary meaning to the promise. If I promise to do a certain thing tomorrow, I cannot, when the morrow comes, refuse to do it on the ground that I only promised to do it if it suited me when the time of performance had arrived. The obligation of every promiser is, then, to fulfil the promise that he has made, not in any way that he may have secretly intended, but in the way in which he supposes that the one to whom he made it under stood it at the time that it was made. Hence all Masonic promises are accompanied by the declaration that they are given without equivocation or mental reservation of any kind whatsoever.

All voluntary promises are binding, unless there be some paramount consideration which will release the obligation of performance. It is worthwhile, then, to inquire if there be any such considerations which can impair the validity of Masonic promises. Dr. Wayland lays down five conditions in which promises are not binding.

1. Where the performance is impossible;
2. Where the promise is unlawful;
3. Where no expectation is voluntarily excited by the promiser;
4. Where they proceed upon a condition which the promiser subsequently finds does not exist; and,
5. Where either of the parties is not a moral agent.

It is evident that no one of these conditions will apply to Masonic promises, for,

1. Every promise made at the altar of Masonry is possible to be performed;
2. No promise is exacted that is unlawful in its nature; for the candidate is expressly told that no promise exacted from him will interfere with the duty which he owes to God and to his country;
3. An expectation is voluntarily excited by the promiser, and that expectation is that he will faithfully fulfil his part of the covenant;
4. No false condition of things is placed before the candidate, either as to the character of the Institution or the nature of the duties which would be required him;
5. Both parties to the promise, the candidate who makes it and the Craft to whom it is made, are moral agents, fully capable of entering into a contract or covenant.

This, then, is the proper answer to those adversaries of Freemasonry who contend for the invalidity of Masonic promises on the very grounds of Wayland and other moralists. Their conclusions would be correct, were it not that every one of their premises is false. 748 - What precaution should be taken before proposing a candidate?

  • Proposing. Proposing a candidate is a thing which requires the greatest care and attention. Through an improper subject, a whole lodge - nay, even the whole Society - may receive a deep wound. No one dare propose a person with whom lie is not intimately acquainted, and whose conduct he has not had an opportunity of observing under different circumstances. The person who is about to make a proposition, must have carefully inquired whether the candidate is influenced by the desire of gain or self interest; for he must not look to the Order as a means of making money, but rather as a means of expending it in charitable objects.

749 - Why were emblems and symbols originally employed?

  • Protection. The true believers, according to Masonic tradition, in order to withdraw and distinguish themselves from the rest of mankind, especially the idolaters by whom they were surrounded, adopted emblems, and mystic devices, together with certain distinguishing principles, whereby they should be known to each other; and also certify that they were servants of that God, in whose hands all creation existed.

By these means they also protected themselves from persecution, and their faith from the ridicule of the incredulous vulgar. 750 - What are the office and function of a Provincial Grand Master?

  • Provincial Grand Master. The Provincial Grand Master is an officer known only to the English Constitutions. The first appointment of one recorded in the Book of Constitutions is that of Bro. Winter, as Provincial Grand Master of East India, which was made in 1730, by the Duke of Norfolk. The modern Constitutions of England invest him with powers in his own province very similar to those of the Grand Master, to whom, however, or to the Grand Lodge, an appeal always lies from his decisions.

751 - What rules should govern the choice of Masonic proxies?

  • Proxy (contracted from Procuracy). The agency of one person who acts as a substitute for another, or as his principal; authority to act for another, or for a body, especially in a legislative body. Every lodge is entitled to be represented in the Grand Lodge, by its Master and Wardens. Should these, or either of them, be unable to attend the Grand Lodge at any communication, a brother or brothers may be appointed. Such substituted representatives, in the absence of their principal, succeed to all his powers and privileges, but in his presence they cannot act. Persons appointed proxies must be Master Masons, and members of some subordinate lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, and must be furnished with a written certificate of their appointment, under the seal of the lodge or party appointing them. A proxy cannot appoint a proxy. An officer of the Grand Lodge cannot, as such officer, appoint a proxy, unless the constitution specifically give him such power. The Grand Master is the only officer who has the power or right of appointing his proxy, for any purpose, unless such power be granted by the particular constitution. In the selection of an agent for the proper discharge of a Masonic duty, preference should always be given to able and experienced Masons; it is, therefore, suggested that as a general rule a Master or Past Master should have the preference.

752 - Why should a Mason cultivate prudence?

  • Prudence. The emblem of prudence is the first and most exalted object that demands our attention in the lodge. It is placed in the center, ever to be present to the eye of the Mason, that his heart may be attentive to her dictates, and steadfast in her laws; for prudence is the rule of all virtues; prudence is the path which leads to every degree of propriety; prudence is the channel whence self approbation flows for ever. She leads us forth to worthy actions, and, as a blazing star, en lightens us throughout the dreary and darksome paths of life.

753 - Is there anything in Masonry contrary to public policy?

  • Publicity. What is there in Freemasonry, except the Landmarks and peculiar secrets, that we ought to be anxious to conceal? Are our doctrines unfavorable to the interests of morality, that we are desirous of hiding them from public observation? Are our ceremonies repulsive to virtue, or our practices subversive to the rules and decencies of society? Nothing like it. We boast of our benevolent institutions; we extol our brotherly love; we celebrate our regard for the four cardinal, and the three theological virtues. Why place our light under a bushel? Why refuse to let it shine before men, that they may see that our good works have a tendency to the glory of our Father which is in heaven?

754 - What is the nature and theory of Masonic punishment?

  • Punishment. The object of all punishment, according to the jurists, is twofold: to vindicate the offended majesty of the law, and to prevent its future violation by others, through the impressive force of example. In reference to this latter view, it is reported of Lord Mansfield that on a certain occasion he said, "A man is not hung because he has committed a larceny, but he is hung that larcenies may not be committed." This is perhaps the most humane and philosophical principle on which the system of punishments can be founded. To punish merely as a satisfaction to the law, partakes too much of the nature of private retaliation or revenge, to be worthy of statesmanlike policy.

But in the theory of Masonic punishments, another element is to be added. Punishment in Masonry is inflicted that the character of the institution may remain unsullied, and that the unpunished crimes of its members may not injuriously reflect upon the reputation of the whole society. The right, on the part of the Masonic Order, to inflict punishment on its members, is derived from the very nature of all societies. "Inasmuch," says President Wayland, "as the formation of a society involves the idea of a moral obligation, each party is under moral obligation to fulfil its part of the contract. The society is bound to do what it has promised to every individual, and every individual is bound to do what he has promised to the society." It is this mutual obligation which makes a violation of a purely Masonic law a penal offence, and which gives to the Lodge the right of imposing the penalty. Protection of the good and punishment of the bad, are a part of the contract entered into by the Order, and each of its members. But the nature of the punishment to be inflicted is restricted within certain limits by the peculiar character of the institution, which is averse to some forms of penalty, and by the laws of the land which do not give to private corporations the right to impose certain species of punishment. The infliction of fines or pecuniary penalties has, in modern times ,it least, been considered as contrary to the genius of Masonry, because the sanctions of Masonic law are of a higher nature than any that could be furnished by a pecuniary penalty. The imposition of a fine for transgression of duty, would be a tacit acknowledgment of the inadequacy of those sanctions, and would hence detract from their solemnity and binding nature. Imprisonment and corporal punishment are equally adverse to the spirit of the institution, and are also prohibited by the laws of the land, which reserve the infliction of such penalties for their own tribunals. Masonic punishments are therefore restricted to the expression of disapprobation, or the deprivation of Masonic rights, and may be considered under the following heads:

1. Censure;
2. Reprimand;
3. Exclusion;
4. Suspension, Definite or Indefinite;
5. Expulsion.

755 - What color has always been considered an emblem of purity?

  • Purity. White was always considered an emblem of purity. Porphyry says, "They esteem him not fit to offer sacrifice worthily, whose body is not clothed in a white and clean garment; but they do not think it any great matter, if some go to sacrifice, having their bodies clean, and also their garments, though their minds be not void of evil, as if God were not the most delighted with internal purity, which bears the nearest resemblance to him. It was even written in the temple of Epidauras - let all who come to offer at this shrine be pure. But true purity consists in holy thoughts."

756 - What color do Grand Lodge officers wear?

  • Purple. The color by which the grand officers are distinguished. It is an emblem of union, being produced by the combination of blue and scarlet, and reminds the wearer to cultivate amongst the brethren over whom he is placed, such a spirit of union as may cement them into one complete and harmonious society.

757 - What has Freemasonry derived from the teachings of Pythagoras?

  • Pythagoras, the celebrated philosopher, was born at Samos, about 540 B. C. His father, Mnesarchus, was a person of distinction, and therefore the son received that education which was best calculated to enlighten his mind and invigorate his body. Like his contemporaries, he was made acquainted with poetry and music; eloquence and astronomy became his private studies, and in gymnastic exercises he often bore the palm for strength and dexterity. At an early age he left his native country and began his travels in pursuit of knowledge; he visited Egypt, Chalde a and India, where he gained the confidence of the priests, and availed himself of an understanding of the mysteries and symbolic writings by which they governed the princes as well as the people of those countries; and after he had spent many years in gathering all the in formation which could be collected from antique traditions concerning the nature of the religious and the immortality of the soul, he revisited his native island. The tyranny of Polycrates, at Samos, disgusted the philosopher, who was a great advocate of national independence; and, though he was a great favorite of the tyrant, he retired from the island and settled in the town of Crotona, in Southern Italy, where he founded a sect which received the name of The Italian, or Pythagorean Fraternity; and he soon saw himself surrounded by a great number of pupils, which the recommendations of his mental, as well as his personal accomplishments, had procured. Pythagoras was, perhaps, the most virtuous, and taught the purest doctrines of all the heathen philosophers. He distinguished himself particularly by his discoveries in geometry, astronomy and mathematics; and it is to him that the world is indebted for the demonstrations of the 47th proposition of the first book of Euclid's elements, about the square of the hypothenuse. The time and the place of the death of this great philosopher are unknown; yet many suppose that he died at Metapontum, about 487 B. C.; and so great was the veneration of the people of Magna Grmcia for him that he received the same honors as were paid to the immortal gods, and his house became a sacred temple.

758 - What symbols has Masonry borrowed from Pythagoras?

  • Pythagoras, Symbols of. The esoteric or secret instructions of Pythagoras were explained with the aid of symbols, as the readiest and most efficient method of impressing upon the mind of the candidate for the mysteries the sublime truths and moral lessons for which the school of that justly celebrated philosopher was distinguished. A few of the most important symbols are here explained.

The Equilateral Triangle, a perfect figure, was adopted among the ancient nations as a symbol of Deity, the principle and author of all sublunary things; the essence of Light and Truth, who was, and is, and shall be. The Square comprehends the union of the celestial and terrestrial elements of power; and was the emblem of Morality and Justice. The Tetractys was a sacred emblem, which was expressed by ten jods disposed in the form of a triangle, each side containing four. This was the most expressive symbol of Pythagoras. On it the obligation to the aspirant was propounded; and it was the conservator of many awful and important truths, which are explained as follows: The one point represented the Monad, or active principle; the two points the Duad, or passive principle; the three points the Triad, or the world proceeding from their union; the four, the Quarternary, or the liberal sciences. The Cube was the symbol of the mind of man, after a well spent life in acts of piety and devotion, and thus prepared by virtue for translation into the society of the celestial gods. The Point within a Circle was the symbol of the universe. The use of this emblem is coeval with the first created man - the creation was the circle and himself the center. The Dodecahedron, or figure of twelve sides, was also a symbol of the universe. The Triple Triangle - a unity of perfectness - was a symbol of health, and was called Hygeia. The Forty seventh proposition of Euclid was invented and explained by Pythagoras, and is so extensively useful that it has been adopted in all lodges as a significant symbol of Freemasonry. The letter Y was a symbolical representation of the course of human life. Youth, arriving at manhood, sees two roads before him, and deliberates which he shall pursue. If he meet with a guide that directs him to pursue philosophy, and he procures initiation, his life shall be honor able and his death happy. But if he omits to do this, and takes the left hand path, which appears broader and better, it will lead to sloth and luxury; will waste his estate, impair his health, and bring on an old age of infamy and misery.


759 - What are the qualifications of a candidate for Masonry?

  • Qualifications of Candidates. The Masonic institution, like other societies, is composed of individual members, which, in the aggregate, make up a body or Lodge. As the source of power is, primarily, vested in the members, it is important to consider who should compose the body or be admitted into the Order. The qualifications which are indispensable in a candidate for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry are four fold in their character - Moral, Physical, Intellectual and Political.

The Moral character is intended to secure the respectability of the Order, because, by the worthiness of its candidates, their virtuous deportment and good reputation, will the character of the institution be judged, while the admission of irreligious libertines and contemners of the moral law would necessarily impair its dignity and honor. The Physical qualifications contribute to the utility of the Fraternity, because he who is deficient in any of his limbs or members, and who is not in the possession of all his natural senses and endowments, is liable to perform, with pleasure to himself or credit to the Fraternity, those peculiar labors in which all should take an equal part. He thus becomes a drone in the hive, and so far impairs the usefulness of the lodge, as "a place where Freemasons assemble to work, and to instruct and improve themselves in the mysteries of their ancient science." The Intellectual qualifications refer to the security of the Fraternity; because they require that its mysteries shall be confided only to those whose mental developments are such as to enable them properly to appreciate, and faithfully to preserve from imposition, the secrets thus en trusted to them. It is evident, for instance, that an idiot could neither understand the hidden doctrines that might be communicated to him, nor could he so secure such portions as he might remember, in the "depository of his heart," as to prevent the designing knave from worming them out of him; for, as the wise Solomon has said, "a fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." The Political qualifications are intended to maintain the independence of the Fraternity; because its obligations and privileges are thus confided only to those who, from their position in society, are capable of obeying the one, and of exercising the other without the danger of let or hindrance from superior authority. Of the Moral, Physical and Political qualifications of a candidate there can be no doubt, as they are distinctly laid down in the Ancient Charges and Constitutions. The Intellectual are not so readily decided. These essential qualifications may be briefly summed up in the following axioms: Morally, the candidate must be a man of irreproachable conduct, a believer in the existence of God, and living "under the tongue of good report." Physically, he must be a man of at least twenty one years of age, upright in body, with the senses of a man, not deformed or dismembered, but with hale and entire limbs as a man ought to be. Intellectually, he must be a man in the full possession of his intellects, not so young that his mind shall not have been formed, nor so old that it shall have fallen into dotage; neither a fool, an idiot, nor a mad man; and with so much education as to enable him to avail himself of the teachings of Masonry, and to cultivate at his leisure a knowledge of the principles and doctrines of our royal art. Politically, he must be in the unrestrained enjoyment of his civil and personal liberty, and this, too, by the birthright of inheritance, and not by its subsequent acquisition, in consequence of his release from hereditary bondage. The lodge which strictly demands these qualifications of its candidates may have fewer members than one less strict, but it will undoubtedly have better ones. But the importance of the subject demands for each class of the qualifications a separate section, and a more extended consideration. Dr. Oliver, in his "Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence," enumerates the following as the qualifications of candidates, according to the English Book of Constitutions, and we here show how easily our transatlantic brethren can change a provision which has, from time immemorial, been regarded as an unchangeable landmark: "1. Every candidate for the honors of Masonry ought to lead an uncorrupt life, and do the thing which is right, always speaking the truth from his heart; to use no deceit in his tongue, nor to do evil, or slander his neighbor. He must be lowly in his own eyes, and give due honors to good and pious men. If he swears unto his neighbor he must not disappoint him, even though it should subject himself to temporary inconvenience, neither must he lend money to his brother on exorbitant usury, or take reward against the innocent. In conformity with this primitive recommendation, our constitutions pronounce that `every candidate must be a free man, and his own master, and at the time of his initiation, be known to be in reputable circumstances. He should be a lover of the liberal arts and sciences, and have made some progress in one or other of them.' "In 1763, the worthy candidate was described to be one `who to a well informed and accomplished mind added elegance of manners and a conduct guided by principle; one who would not have injured the rights of the meanest individual; who contracted no debts that he could not pay, and thought every breach of morality unbecoming the character of a gentleman, and who studied to be useful to others so far as his opportunity or abilities enabled him.' This standard of qualification may be considered rather high, and, indeed, it is, and ought to be, so in an institution which plumes itself on its moral tendencies and maintains a leading position amongst the existing societies which are professedly de voted to works of benevolence and charity. It would be well if the Masters of lodges were to give themselves the trouble of examining, more particularly than they generally do, whether their candidates are able to substantiate a valid claim to these preliminary qualifications. 2. According to the customs and regulations of our ancient brethren, every candidate was formerly required to be `a free man, born of a free woman.' This formula was originally considered to be an unchangeable landmark; but on the extinction of negro slavery by the British parliament, the following arguments were used at a Grand Lodge, holden Sept. 1, 1847, in favor of its alteration. The Grand Master (Earl of Zetland) requested the brethren to consider the propriety of remodeling the form by which a candidate for initiation declares him self to be free born. `There are,' he said, `at the present moment, many men in Jamaica and other places who are free by the law of emancipation, and yet, their mothers having been slaves, they cannot conscientiously sign such a declaration, knowing it to be untrue; and in the absence of that preliminary act, we cannot initiate them. I should be glad to see it altered, and, therefore, move that in future we substitute the words free agent for free born, and that the declaration be thus revised.' The amendment was unanimously adopted. 760 - What are the physical qualifications of a candidate for Masonry?

  • Qualifications of Candidates, Bodily. There is no part of Masonic jurisprudence which has given greater occasion to discussion in recent years than that which refers to the bodily conformation which is required of the candidate. While some give a strict interpretation to the Ianguage of the ancient Constitutions, rigorously demand the utmost perfection of limbs and members, there are others, more lax in their construction, who reject only such as are from natural deformity or subsequent injury, unable to perform the work of speculative Masonry. In a controversy of this kind, the only way to settle the question is, to make a careful and impartial examination of the authorities on which the law which relates to physical conformation is founded.

The first written law that we find on this subject is contained in the fifth article of the Gothic Constitutions, adopted at York, in the year 926, and is in these words: "A candidate must be without blemish, and have the full and proper use of his limbs; for a maimed man can do the Craft no good." The next enactment is to be found in the Regulations of 1663 under the Grand Mastership of the Earl of St. Albans, and is in these words: "No person hereafter shall be accepted a Freemason but such as are of able body." The next Regulation, in order of time, is that contained in "The Ancient Charges at Makings," adopted about the year 1686, the manuscript of which was in the possession of the Lodge of Antiquity at London. It is still more explicit than those which preceded it, and is in the following language: "That he that be made be able in all degrees; that is, free born, of a good kindred, true, and no bondsman; and that he have his right limbs as a man ought to have." And lastly, similar declarations, with respect to physical ability are made in the Charges approved in 1722, which are as follows: "No Master should take an Apprentice unless he has sufficient employment for him, and unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him uncapable of learning the art of serving his Master's lord, and of being made a Brother," etc. So far, then, the ancient Written Law of Masonry seems undoubtedly to have contemplated the necessity of perfection in the physical con formation of candidates, and the inadmissibility of all who had any defect of limb or member. In the early part of the last century, this opinion must have generally prevailed among the Craft; for, in the ,second edition of the Book of Constitutions, which was edited by Dr. Anderson, and, after perusal, approved officially by such Masons as Desaguliers, Cowper and Payne, the language of the first edition was so altered as to leave no doubt of the construction that the brethren at that time put upon the clause relating to physical qualifications. The Charge in this second edition is in the following unmistakable words: "The men made Masons must be free born, (or no bondmen), of mature age and of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered at the time of their making." When the schism took place in the Grand Lodge of England, in 1739, the Athol, or Ancient Masons, as they called themselves, adopted this construction of the law, as is evident from the fact that, in their Book of Constitutions, which they published under the title of the "Ahiman Rezon," they incorporated this Charge, word for word, from Anderson's edition of 1738. With this thorough view of the historical and symbolic reasons upon which the ancient usage is founded, it is astonishing that any Grand Lodge should have declared that when the maim or defect is not such as to prevent the candidate from complying with the ritual ceremonies of Masonry, he may be initiated. No such qualifying clause is to be found in any of the old Constitutions. Such a liberal interpretation would give entrance in many Lodges to candidates who, though perhaps in possession of their legs and arms, would still be marked with some other of those blemishes and deformities which are expressly enumerated by Moses as causes of exclusion from the priesthood, and would thus utterly subvert the whole symbolism of the law. It cannot be obeyed in a half way manner. If observed at all, (and the ommission to observe it would be an innovation), it must be complied with to the letter. In the language of Dr. Clarke, a portion of whose remarks have been quoted by Bro. Rockwell, the law excluding a man having any blemishes or deformities, is "founded on reason, propriety, common sense, and absolute necessity." Moreover, in Masonry, it is founded on the Landmarks, and is illustrative of the symbolism of the Order, and will, therefore, admit of no qualifications. The candidate for initiation "must," to use the language of the Gothic Constitutions of 926, "be without blemish, and have the full and proper use of his limbs." 761 - Why should Masons avoid quarreling?

  • Quarreling. As a Mason you are to cultivate brotherly love, the foundation and copestone, the cement and glory of this ancient fraternity, avoiding all wrangling and quarreling, all slander and back biting, nor permitting others to slander any honest brother, but defending his character and doing him all good offices, as far as is consistent with your honor and safety, and no farther.

762 - What action did Queen Elizabeth take with regard to Masonry?

  • Queen Elizabeth. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the government of the country attempted to interfere with Freemasonry, but without success. The queen was jealous of all secrets in which she was unable to participate, and she deputed an armed force, on St. John's day, in December, 1561, to break up the annual Grand Lodge. The Grand Master, Sir Thomas Sackville, received the queen's officers with great civility, telling them nothing could give him greater pleasure than to admit them into the Grand Lodge, and communicate to them the secrets of the Order. He persuaded them to be initiated, and this convinced them that the system was founded on the sublime ordinances of morality and religion. On their return, they assured the queen that the business of Freemasonry was the cultivation of morality and science, harmony and peace; and that politics and religion were alike forbidden to be discussed in their assemblies. The queen was perfectly satisfied, and never attempted to disturb the lodges again.

763 - What is the duty of the Secretary in the preparation room?

  • Questioning Candidates. The Secretary is the proper officer to propose to every candidate, in an adjoining apartment, and in the presence of the Stewards, those questions which are to elicit his declaration of the purity of the motives which have induced him to apply for initiation. For this purpose he leaves the Lodge room, previous to the preparation of the candidate, and having proposed the questions and received the appropriate replies, he returns and reports the fact to the Master.

764 - In the event of a verdict of guilty on charges, how are the nature and extent of punishment determined?

  • Question of Punishment. If the verdict of a Lodge upon a Masonic trial is guilty, the Master must then put the question as to the nature and extent of the punishment to be inflicted, beginning with expulsion and proceeding, if necessary, to indefinite suspension and public and private reprimand. To inflict expulsion or suspension, a vote of two thirds of those present is required, but for a mere reprimand, a majority will be sufficient. The votes on the nature of the punishment should be viva voce, or rather, according to Masonic usage, by a show of hands.


765 - What does the Masonic term "raised" signify?

  • Raised. The expressive term used to designate the reception of the candidate into the third or sublime degree of Master Mason, and alludes both to a part of the ceremony and to our faith in the glorious morn of the resurrection, when our bodies will rise, and become as incorruptible as our souls.

766 - Is it lawful to read charges against a member at a special communication of Lodge?

  • Reading Charges. Charges against a member must be read at a regular communication, because it is to be presumed that at such communications all the members, and among them the accused, will be present, whereas the Lodge might be taken by surprise if a charge were preferred at a special communication, which is often thinly attended, and at which no new business of importance is expected to be transacted.

767 - May a petition for membership be read at a special communication?

  • Reading Petition. A petition must be read on a regular night of meeting. This is done that no member may be taken by surprise, and an unworthy or unacceptable candidate be thus admitted without his knowledge or consent. The rule is derived by implication from the fifth of the Regulations of

1721, which prescribes that the petition shall lie over for one month. Now, as it is admitted that a ballot cannot take place, except at a regular communication of the Lodge, this will carry back the time of presentation to the previous regular meeting. 768 - How may Masons recognize each other?

  • Recognition, Sign or Signs, Word, and Grip. Wherever brethren meet, in whatever part of the world it may be, whether they can under stand each other's language or not, if it be by day or by night, if one be deaf and the other dumb, they can nevertheless recognize each other as brethren. In this respect the recognition signs are a universal language, and they are communicated to every Mason at his initiation. Signs and grips can be given so cautiously that it is not possible to perceive them, if they are surrounded by thousands who have not been initiated. To give the word is somewhat more difficult. By the grip we make ourselves known to the blind, by the sign unto the deaf, and by the word and grip by day or by night.

769 - How many Master Masons are required to sign a petition for membership?

  • Recommendation. A petition must be recommended by at least two members of the Lodge. Preston requires the signature to be witnessed by one person (he does not say whether he must be a member of the Lodge or not), and that the candidate must be proposed in open Lodge by a member. Webb says that "the candidate must be proposed in form, by a member of the Lodge, and the proposition seconded by another member." Cross, whose "Masonic Chart" gradually superseded that of Webb in this country, (principally on account of its numerous illustrations, for otherwise it is an inferior work), says that a recommendation, the form of which he gives, "is to be signed by two members of the Lodge," and he dispenses with the formal proposition. These gradual changes, none of them, however, substantially affecting the principle, have at last resulted in the present simpler usage, which is, for two members of the Lodge to affix their names to the petition, as recommenders of the applicant.

770 - Who may order a re consideration of ballot?

  • Re Consideration of Ballot. It almost always happens, when a ballot is unfavorable, that the friends of the applicant are not satisfied, and desire a re consideration, and it sometimes occurs that a motion for that re consideration is made.

A motion to re consider an unfavorable ballot is entirely out of order. In the first place, the elements necessary to bring such a motion within the provisions of Parliamentary rules of order are wanting. A motion for re consideration must always be made by one who has voted in the majority. This is a wise provision, to prevent time being wasted in repeated agitations of the same questions, so that it shall never be known when a question is done with. But the vote on the petition of a candidate being by secret ballot, in which no member is permitted to make his vote known, it is, of course, impossible to know, when the motion for re consideration is made, whether the mover was one of the majority or the minority, and whether therefore he is or is not entitled, under the Parliamentary rule, to make such a motion. The motion would have to be ruled out for want of certainty. But in the particular case of a re consideration of the ballot, there is another and more strictly Masonic rule, which would make such a motion out of order. To understand the operation of this second rule, it is necessary to make a preliminary explanation. The proceedings of a Lodge are of two kinds - that relating to business, and that relating to Masonic labor. Now, in all matters purely of a business character, in which the Lodge assumes the nature of a mere voluntary association of men, such, for instance, as the appropriation of the funds, every member is entitled to a voice in the deliberations, and may make any motion relative to the business in hand, which would not be a violation of the Parliamentary rules of order which prevail in all deliberative societies, and of those few other rules of order which particularly distinguish the Masonic from any other association or society. But all matters relating to Masonic labor are under the exclusive control of the Master. He alone is responsible to the Grand Lodge for the justice and excellence of his work, and he alone should therefore be permitted to direct it. If the time when and the manner how labor is to be con ducted, be left to the decision of a majority of the Lodge, then the Master can no longer be held responsible for results, in producing which he had, in common with the other members, only one voice. It is wisely therefore provided that the labor of the Lodge shall be wholly and solely controlled and directed by the Master. Now, the ballot is, on a petition for initiation, a part of the labor of a Lodge. The candidate may be said symbolically to be the material brought up for the building of the temple. The laws and usages of Masonry have declared that the whole Lodge shall unanimously decide whether this material is "good and true," and fit for the tools of the workmen. But as soon as the Lodge has begun to exercise its judgment on the material thus brought before it - that is, as soon as it has proceeded to a ballot on the petition - it has gone into Masonic labor, and the authority of the Master as the Chief Builder becomes paramount. He may stay the election - he may refuse to sanction it - he may set it aside - and against his decision there can be no appeal, except to the Grand Lodge, to which body, of course, he is responsible and before which he must show good reasons for the act that he has done. From all this, then, it follows that the Master of the Lodge alone has the power to order a re consideration of the ballot. If, on the annunciation of the result, he is satisfied that an error of inadvertence has occurred, by which, for instance, a black ball has been deposited, where the depositor intended a white one, or if he supposes it probable or possible that such an error may have been committed, or if he has any other equally good reason, he may order a re consideration of the ballot. But even this must be done under restriction, that the re consideration is to be ordered at once. If any member has left the room after the first ballot has been taken, it would be clearly wrong in the Master to order a re consideration, because it might be that the party so leaving had been the very one who had voted for a rejection. Of course, it follows, on the same principle, that the Master would not be justified in ordering a re consideration on any subsequent meeting. The Lodge having been closed, there is no power in Masonry which can order a re consideration. The result cannot be affected except by a new petition. 771 - What is the duty of the Secretary with reference to the Lodge records?

  • Records of the Lodge. As the recording agent of the Lodge, it is the Secretary's duty to keep a minute of all the proceedings, except such as are of an esoteric character, and which the peculiar constitution of our society forbids him to commit to paper. After these minutes have been approved and confirmed, it is his duty to transfer them to a permanent record book. It is also his duty, whenever called upon, to furnish the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge with a fair transcript of any portion of his records that may be required. As the recording agent, he is also expected to furnish, at every communication of the Lodge, a statement of the unfinished business which is to be called up for action.

772 - Is a Past Master eligible for re election as Master of the Lodge?

  • Re Election of Master. A Past Master is eligible to election to the chair, without again passing through the office of Warden. The Old Charges prescribe that no one can be a Master until he has served as a Warden. Past Masters having once served in the office of War den, always afterwards retain this prerogative conferred by such service.

The Master is eligible to re election as often as the Lodge may choose to confer that honor on him. This is the invariable usage of this country, and I refer to it only because in England a different rule prevails. There the Master, after having served for two years, is ineligible to office until after the expiration of a year, except by dispensation; but no such regulation has ever existed, at least within my recollection, in America. 773 - What is the Masonic meaning of "refreshments?"

  • Refreshment. In Masonic languages, refreshment is opposed in a peculiar sense of labor. While a Lodge is in activity it must be either at labor or at refreshment. If a Lodge is permanently closed until its next communication, the intervening period is one of abeyance, its activity for Masonic duty having for the time been suspended; although its powers and privileges as a Lodge still exist, and may be at any time resumed. But where it is only temporarily closed, with the intention of soon again resuming labor, the intermediate period is called a time of refreshment, and the Lodge is said not to be closed, but to be called from labor to refreshment. The phrase is an old one, and is found in the earliest rituals of the last century. Calling from labor to refreshment differs from closing in this, that the ceremony is a very brief one, and that the Junior Warden then assumes the control of the Craft, in token of which he erects his column on his stand or pedestal, while the Senior Warden lays his down. This is reversed in calling on, in which the ceremony is equally brief.

The word refreshment no longer bears the meaning among Masons that it formerly did. It signifies not necessarily eating and drinking, but simply cessation from labor. A Lodge at refreshment may thus be compared to any other society when in a recess. During the whole of the last century, and a part of the present, a different meaning was given to the word, arising from a now obsolete usage. 774 - Who is in charge of the Lodge during the period of refreshment?

  • Refreshment, Charge of. It is one of the Landmarks that the Junior Warden presides over the craft during the hours of refreshment; and in reference to this fact, it is the usage for the column of the Senior Warden to be standing, and that of the Junior to be lying down, while the Lodge is at work, and these positions to be reversed when the Lodge is called off.

In consequence of the Junior Warden being placed over the craft during the hours of refreshment, and of his being charged at the time of his installation to see "that none of the craft be suffered to convert the purposes of refreshment into those of intemperance and excess," it has been very generally supposed that it is his duty, as the prosecuting officer of the Lodge, to prefer charges against any member who, by his conduct, has made himself amenable to the penal jurisdiction of the Lodge. I know of no ancient regulation which imposes this unpleasant duty upon the Junior Warden; but it does seem to be a very natural deduction from his peculiar prerogative as the custos morum or guardian of the conduct of the craft, that in all cases of violation of the law he should, after due efforts towards producing a reform, be the proper officer to bring the conduct of the offending brother to the notice of the Lodge. 775 - Has the Master the right to refuse an affiliated Mason admission to his Lodge?

  • Refusal of Admission. A visiting Brother, although an affiliated Mason, may, by bad conduct, forfeit his right of visit. The power to reject the application of a visitor for admission, is not a discretionary, but a constitutional one, vested in the Master of the Lodge, and for the wholesome exercise of which he is responsible to the Grand Lodge. If, in his opinion, the applicant for admission as a visitor, is not in a condition, or of fitting moral character, to entitle him to the hospitalities of the Lodge, he may refuse him admission; but the visitor so rejected will have his right of appeal to the Grand Lodge, in whose jurisdiction he has been refused, and the onus then lies on the Master of proving that such refusal was founded on and supported by sufficient reasons.

776 - Can a member duly elected to an office in a Lodge lawfully refuse to serve?

  • Refusal to Serve. It has been supposed by some that when a member has been elected to occupy an office, he cannot refuse to obey the call of his brethren; and Dr. Dalcho expressly lays down the rule that "no Freemason, chosen into any office, can refuse to serve, (unless he has before filled the same office,) without incurring the penalties established by the by laws." There is a great deal of looseness in this enunciation of an important regulation; for we are of course unable to say to what particular by laws he refers. No such regulation is to be found in any of the Ancient Constitutions, and if contained in the by laws of a particular Lodge, it is certainly contrary to the voluntary spirit of the institution. Indeed, the whole tenor of the lessons we are taught in Masonry is, that no one should accept an office unless he feels that he is fully competent to discharge its duties; and hence, if an ignorant and unskillful brother were chosen to fill the office of a Warden, it should rather be the duty of the Lodge, in furtherance of the principles of the institution, to discourage his acceptance of the trust, than to compel him, by the threatened infliction of a penalty, to assume a position whose duties he was convinced that he could not discharge.

777 - How can a Mason prove his regularity?

  • Regularity. He only is acknowledged as a Free and Accepted Mason who has been initiated into our mysteries in a certain manner, with the assistance of, and under the superintendence of at least seven brethren, and who is able to prove that he has been regularly initiated, by the ready use of those signs and words which are used by the other brethren.

778 - Should a Master who succeeds himself be reinstalled?

  • Re Installation. It has been supposed by many that when an officer who has once been installed, is re elected to the same office, a re petition of the installation is not necessary; but this neglect of forms, in an institution which depends so much on them, is, I think, of dangerous tendency, and it is therefore better that the installation should al ways be repeated. In fact the omission of it changes, if not practically, at least theoretically, the tenure by which the re elected officer holds his office for the second year. At his first election he was, of course, installed; now by the law of Masonry, an old officer holds on until his successor is installed. But in this case he is his own suscessor, and if, on his second election, he does again pass through the ceremony of installation, it is evident that he holds the office to which he has been elected, not by the tenure of that election, but by the tenure by which an old officer retains his office until his successor is installed. He is not, therefore, the regularly installed officer for the year, but the former one, retaining the office in trust for his successor. The theory of his official position is entirely changed; and as the obligation for the faithful discharge of the duties of the office for the year on which he has entered has never been administered to him, it is a question how far a man, not strictly conscientious, might feel himself controlled by the promises he had made for the preceding year, and which he might, with sophistry, I admit, suppose to have been fulfilled at the close of his term of office. And although this practical result might never occur, still, as I have already said, it is dangerous, in a ceremonial institution like ours to neglect the observance of any prescribed form.

779 - How can an expelled Mason be reinstated?

  • Reinstated. This term is applied to a Mason who has been expelled or suspended from the lodge of which he was a member. On his restoration he is restored to all the rights and privileges of the Fraternity. No other lodge than the one which inflicted the punishment has the power to restore to membership in a lodge. The Grand Lodge, which is the supreme authority within the territorial jurisdiction, has the power to restore an expelled Mason to the privileges of the order, on proper application being made to that body.

780 - Has a rejected candidate the right to repeat his application? If so, after what length of time?

  • Rejected Candidate. A candidate who has been rejected may, however, again apply to the Lodge which has rejected him. The ancient laws of the Order are entirely silent as to the time when this new application is to be made. Some of the Grand Lodges of this country have enacted local Regulations on this subject, and decreed that such new application shall not be made until after the expiration of a definite period. The Grand Lodge of New York requires a probation of six months, and some other states have extended it to a year. In all such cases, the local Regulation will be of force in the jurisdiction for which it was enacted. But where there is no such Regulation, it is competent for the candidate to reapply at any subsequent regular communication. In such a case, however, he must apply by an entirely new petition, which must again be vouched for and recommended as in the original application, by the same or other brethren, must be again referred to a committee of inquiry on character, must lie over for one month, and then be balloted for precisely as it was before. The treatment of this new petition must be, in all respects, as if no former petition existed. The necessary notice will in this way be given to all the brethren, and if there are the same objections to receiving the candidate as existed in the former trial, there will be ample opportunity for expressing them in the usual way by the black ball. It may be objected that in this way a Lodge may be harassed by the repeated petitions of an importunate candidate. This, it is true, may sometimes be the case; but this "argumentum ab inconvenienti" can be of no weight, since it may be met by another of equal or greater force, that if it were not for this provision of a second petition, many good men who had perhaps been unjustly refused admission, and for which act the Lodge might naturally feel regret, would be without redress. Circumstances may occur in which a rejected candidate may, on a renewal of his petition, be found worthy of admission. He may have since reformed and abandoned the vices which had originally caused his rejection, or it may be that the Lodge has since found that it was in error, and in his rejection had committed an act of injustice. It is wisely provided, therefore, that to meet such, not infrequent cases, the candidate is permitted to present a renewed petition, and to pass through a second or even a third and fourth or deal. If it prove favorable in its results, the injustice to him is compensated for; but if it again prove unfavorable, no evil has been done to the Lodge, and the candidate is just where he was, before his renewed application.

781 - Can a rejected candidate renew his petition?

  • Rejection. In the United States an applicant for initiation can be received only by unanimous vote. One black ball insures rejection, and the rejected candidate can apply to no other lodge for admission, with out the consent of the one which first received his proposition. In the absence of any local regulations to the contrary a candidate who has been rejected may renew his application at any time when he may have reason to expect a more favorable consideration of his petition.

782 - What is the effect of the rejection of a petition for affiliation on the Masonic status of the applicant?

  • Rejection of a Petition for Affiliation. The effect of the rejection of the application of a Master Mason for affiliation is different from that of a profane for initiation. When a profane petitions for initiation and his petition is rejected, he can renew his petition only in the same Lodge. The door of every Lodge is closed against him. But it is not so with the Master Mason, the rejection of whose application for affiliation or membership by one Lodge does not deprive him of the right to apply to another. The reason of this rule will be evident upon a little reflection. A Master Mason is in what is technically called "good standing;" that is to say, he is a Mason in possession of all Masonic rights and privileges, so long as he is not deprived of that character by the legal action of some regularly constituted Masonic tribunal. Now, that action must be either by suspension or expulsion, after trial and conviction. A Mason who is neither suspended nor expelled is a Mason in "good standing." Rejection, therefore, is not one of the methods by which the good standing of a Mason is affected, because rejection is neither preceded by charges nor accompanied by trial; and consequently a Mason whose application for affiliation has been rejected by a Lodge, remains in precisely the same position, so far as his Masonic standing is affected, as he was before his rejection. He possesses all the rights and privileges that he did previously, unimpaired and undiminished. But one of these rights is the right of applying for membership to any Lodge that he may desire to be affiliated with; and therefore, as this right remains intact, notwithstanding his rejection, he may at any time renew his petition to the Lodge that rejected him, or make a new one to some other Lodge, and that petition may be repeated as often as he deems it proper to do so.

783 - What Mason's profession is the most important tenet?

  • Relief. One of the three principal tenets of a Mason's profession, and .thus defined in the lecture of the first degree.

To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections. Of the three tenets of a Mason's profession, which are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, it may be said that Truth is the column of wisdom, whose rays penetrate and enlighten the inmost recesses of our Lodge; Brotherly Love, the column of strength, which binds us as one family in the indissoluble bond of fraternal affection; and Relief, the column of beauty, whose ornaments, more precious than the lilies and pomegranates that adorned the pillars of the porch, are the widow's tear of joy and the orphan's prayer of gratitude. 784 - What limitations are placed on Masonic relief?

  • Relief, Limitations of. A Mason is to be preferred to any other applicant in the same circumstances. The duty of relieving a distressed Brother, in preference to any other persons under similar circumstances, although one of the objections which has often been urged against the Masonic institution by its opponents, as a mark of its exclusiveness, is nevertheless the identical principle which was inculcated eighteen centuries ago by the great Apostle of the Gentiles: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." The principle thus taught by the Apostle seems to have been, by the very necessities of our nature, the principle which has governed the charities and kindnesses of every religious community, of every benevolent association, and every political society that has existed before or since his day. Its foundations are laid in the human heart, and the sentiment to which this doctrine gives birth is well expressed by Charles Lamb, when he says: "I can feel for all indifferently, but not for all alike. . . . I can be a friend to a worthy man, who, upon another ac count, cannot be my mate or fellow. I cannot like all people alike." The practice, then, of Freemasonry, to borrow language which I have already used on a former occasion, is precisely in accordance with the doctrine of the apostle already quoted. It strives to do good to all; to relieve the necessitous and the deserving, whether they be of Jerusalem or Samaria; to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, and to comfort the distressed, always, however, giving a preference to those of its own household - those who, in the day of their prosperity, supported and upheld that institution on which, in the time of their distress, they have called for aid - those who have contributed out of their abundance to its funds, that those funds might be prepared to relieve them in their hour of want - those who have borne their share of the burden in the heat of the day, that when their sun is setting, they may be entitled to their reward. And in so acting, Freemasonry has the warrant of universal custom, of the law of nature, and of the teachings of Scripture.

785 - Are Entered Apprentices entitled to Masonic relief?

  • Relief of Apprentices. The right of claiming relief is confined to Master Masons. Undoubtedly, in the very early periods of the institution, Fellow Crafts were permitted to make this claim; and the older Constitutions refer to them as being entitled to relief. Subsequently, Apprentices were invested with the right; but in each of these cases the right was conferred on these respective classes, because, at the time, they constituted the main body of the craft. When in 1717, Apprentices were permitted to vote, to visit, and to enjoy all the rights of membership in Masonic Lodges - when they were in fact the chief constituents of the fraternity - they, of course. were entitled to claim relief. But the privileges then extended to Apprentices have now been transferred to Master Masons. Apprentices no longer compose the principal part of the fraternity. They in fact constitute but a very small part of the craft. To remain an Apprentice now, for any time beyond the constitutional period permitted for advancement, is considered as something derogatory to the Masonic character of the individual who thus remains in an imperfect condition. It denotes, on his part, either a want of Masonic zeal, or of Masonic ability. Apprentices no longer vote - they no longer visit - they are but inchoate Masons - Masons incomplete, unfinished - and as such are not entitled to Masonic relief.

The same remarks are equally applicable to Fellowcrafts. 786 - Upon what ground is based the Masonic right of relief?

  • Relief, Right of. The ritual of the first degree informs us that the three principal tenets of a Mason's profession are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Relief, the second of these tenets, seems necessary to flow from the first, or brotherly love; for the love of our brother will naturally lead us to the sentiment of wishing "to alleviate his misfortunes, to compassionate his misery, and to restore peace to his troubled mind." As the duty of assisting indigent and distressed brethren is one of the most important duties inculcated by the landmarks and laws of the institution, so the privilege of claiming this assistance is one of the most important rights of a Master Mason. It is what we technically call, in Masonic law, the Right of Relief, and will constitute the subject matter of the present section.

The right to claim relief is distinctly recognized in the Old Charges which were approved in 1722, which, under the head of "Behavior to a Strange Brother," contain the following language: "But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. You must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed. But you are not charged to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, who is a good man and true, before any other people in the same circumstances." The law thus explicitly laid down, has always been the one on which Masonic relief is claimed and granted; and, on inspection, it will be found that it includes the following four principles:

1. The applicant must be in distress.
2. He must be worthy.
3. The giver is not expected to exceed his ability in the amount of relief that he grants.
4. A Mason is to be preferred to any other applicant in the same circumstances.

787 - In what sense, if any, is Masonry a religion?

  • Religion of Masonry. There has been a needless expenditure of ingenuity and talent, by a large number of Masonic orators and essayists, in the endeavor to prove that Masonry is not a religion. This has undoubtedly arisen from a well intended but erroneous view that has been taken of the connection between religion and Masonry, and from a fear that if the complete disseverance of the two was not made manifest, the opponents of Masonry would be enabled successfully to establish a theory which they have been fond of advancing, that the Masons were disposed to substitute the teachings of their Order for the truths of Christianity. Now I have never for a moment believed that any such unwarrantable assumption as that Masonry is intended to be a substitute for Christianity, could ever obtain admission into any well regulated mind, and, therefore, I am not disposed to yield, on the subject of the religious character of Masonry, quite so much as has been yielded by more timid brethren. On the contrary, I contend, without any sort of hesitation, that Masonry is, in every sense of the word, except one, and that its least philosophical, an eminently religious institution - that it is indebted solely to the religious element which it contains for its origin and for its continued existence, and that without this religious element it would scarcely be worthy of cultivation by the wise and good. But, that I may be truly understood, it will be well first to agree upon the true definition of religion. There is nothing more illogical than to reason upon undefined terms. Webster has given four distinct definitions of religion:
1. Religion, in a comprehensive sense, includes, he says, a belief in the being and perfections of God - in the revelation of his will to man - in man's obligation to obey his commands - in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties.
2. His second definition is, that religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellowmen, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law.
3. Again, he says that religion, as distinct from virtue or morality, consists in the performance of the duties we owe directly to God, from a principle of obedience to his will.
4. And lastly, he defines religion to be any system of faith or worship; and in this sense, he says, religion comprehends the belief and worship of Pagans and Mohammedans as well as of Christians - any religion consisting in the belief of a superior power, or powers, governing the world, and in the worship of such power or powers. And it is in this sense that we speak of the Turkish religion, or the Jewish religion, as well as of the Christian.

Now, it is plain that, in either of the first three senses in which we may take the word religion (and they do not very materially differ from each other) Masonry may rightfully claim to be called a religious institution. Closely and accurately examined, it will be found to answer to any one of the requirements of either of these three definitions. So much does it "include a belief in the being and perfections of God," that the public profession of such a faith is essentially necessary to gain admission into the Order. No disbeliever in the existence of a God can be made a Mason. The "revelation of his will to man" is technically called the "spiritual, moral, and Masonic trestle board" of every Mason, according to the rules and designs of which he is to erect the spiritual edifice of his eternal life. A "state of reward and punishment" is necessarily included in the very idea of an obligation, which, without the belief in such a state, could be of no binding force or efficacy. And "true godliness or piety of life" is inculcated as the invariable duty of every Mason, from the inception of the first to the end of the very' last degree that he takes. So, again, in reference to the second and third definitions, all this practical piety and performance of the duties we owe to God and to our fellow men arise from and are founded on a principle of obedience to the divine will. Whence else, or from what other will, could they have arisen? It is the voice of the G. A. O. T. U. symbolized to us in every ceremony of our ritual and from every portion of the furniture of our lodge, that speaks to the true Mason, commanding him to fear God and to love the brethren. It is idle to say that the Mason does good simply in obedience to the statutes of the Order. These very statutes owe their sanction to the Masonic idea of the nature and perfections of God, which idea has come down to us from the earliest history of the Institution, and the promulgation of which idea was the very object and design of its origin. But it must be confessed that the fourth definition does not appear to be strictly applicable to Masonry. It has no pretension to assume a place among the religions of the world as a sectarian "system of faith and worship," in the sense in which we distinguish Christianity from Judaism, or Judaism from Mohammedanism. In this meaning of the word we do not and cannot speak of the Masonic religion, nor say of a man that he is not a Christian, but a Mason. Here it is that the opponents of Freemasonry have assumed mistaken ground, in confounding the idea of a religious institution with that of the Christian religion as a peculiar form of worship, and in supposing, because Masonry teaches religious truth, that it is offered as a substitute for Christian truth and Christian obligation. Its warmest and most enlightened friends have never advanced nor supported such a claim. Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for it. It is not intended to supersede it nor any other form of worship or system of faith. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental religious truth - not enough to do away with the necessity of a Christian scheme of salvation, but more than enough to show, to demonstrate, that it is, in every philosophical sense of the word, a religious institution, and one, too, in which the true Christian Mason will find, if he earnestly seeks for them, abundant types and shadows of his own exalted and divinely inspired faith. The tendency of all true Masonry is towards religion. If it makes any progress, its progress is to that holy end. Look at its ancient land marks, its sublime ceremonies, its profound symbols and allegories, - all inculcating religious doctrine, commanding religious observance and teaching religious truth, and who can deny that it is eminently a religious institution? But, besides, Masonry is, in all its forms, thoroughly tinctured with a true devotional spirit. We open and close our lodges with prayer; we invoke the blessings of the Most High upon all our labors; we demand of our neophytes a profession of trusting belief in the existence and the superintending care of God; and we teach them to bow with humility and reverence at his awful name, while his holy law is widely opened upon our altars. Freemasonry is thus identified with religion; and although a man may be eminently religious without being a Mason, it is impossible that a Mason can be "true and trusty" to his Order unless he is a respecter of religion and an observer of religious principle. But the religion of Masonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend a Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation - handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchal priesthood - in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ. It inculcates the practice of virtue, but it supplies no scheme of redemption for sin. It points its disciples to the path of righteousness, but it does not claim to be "the way, the truth, and the life." In so far, therefore, it cannot become a substitute for Christianity, but its tendency is thitherward; and, as the handmaid of religion, it may, and often does, act as the porch that introduces its votaries into the temple of divine truth. Masonry, then, is, indeed, a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it. 788 - Has the Master the right to remove a Deacon from his office?

  • Removal of Deacons. It has been supposed by some writers that, as the Deacons are not elected, but appointed by the Master and Senior Warden, they are removable at the pleasure of these officers. This, however, is not in accordance with the principles which govern the tenure of all Masonic offices. Although they are indebted for their positions to a preliminary appointment, they are subsequently installed like the other officers, take a similar obligation, and are bound to the performance of their duties for a similar period. Neither Preston nor Webb say any thing, in the installation charge, of a power of removal by those who appointed them. In fact it is the installation, and not the appointment, that makes them Deacons; and deriving, therefore, their right to office from this ceremony, they are to be governed by the same rules which affect other installed officers. In England, the Wardens are appointed by the Master, but he cannot remove them from office, the power of doing which is vested solely in the Lodge. In this country, the only mode known to the law of removing an officer is by his expulsion, and this can only be done by the Lodge, as in England, after trial. I hold, then, that the analogy of the English law is to be extended to the appointed, as well as to the elected officers - to the Deacons who are appointed there; and that therefore a Deacon, having been once installed, derives his tenure of office from that installation, and cannot be removed by the Master or Senior Warden. The office can only be vacated by death or expulsion.

789 - Has a rejected candidate the right to petition another Lodge for membership?

  • Renewal of Application. A rejected applicant can apply to no other Lodge for initiation. Having been once rejected by a certain Lodge, he is forever debarred the privilege of applying to any other for admission. This law is implicitly derived from the Regulations which forbid Lodges to interfere with each other's work. The candidate, as I have already observed, is to be viewed in our speculative system as "material brought up for the building of the temple." The act of investigating the fitness or unfitness of that material, constitutes a part of Masonic labor, and when a Lodge has commenced that labor, it is considered discourteous for any other to interfere with it. This sentiment of courtesy, which is in the true spirit of Masonry, is frequently inculcated in the ancient Masonic codes. Thus, in the Gothic Constitutions, it is laid down that "a Brother shall not supplant his Fellow in the work;" the "ancient Charges at makings," adopted in the time of James II., also direct that "no Master or Fellow supplant others of their work," and the Charges approved in 1722 are still more explicit in directing that none shall attempt to finish the work begun by his Brother.

There is another and more practical reason why petitions shall not, after rejection, be transferred to another Lodge. If such a course were admissible, it is evident that nothing would be easier than for a candidate to apply from Lodge to Lodge, until at last he might find one, less careful than others of the purity of the household, through whose too willing doors he could find admission into that Order, from which the justly scrupulous care of more stringent Lodges had previously rejected him. It is unnecessary to advert more elaborately to the manifold evils which would arise from this rivalry among Lodges, nor to do more than suggest that it would be a fertile source of admitting unworthy material into the temple. The laws of Masonry have therefore wisely declared that a candidate, having been once rejected, can apply to no other Lodge for admission, except the one which had rejected him. 790 - Under what conditions may an applicant for advancement renew his petition?

  • Renewal of Application for Advancement. The Ancient Constitutions are silent on this point and we are left to deduce our opinions from the general principles and analogies of Masonic law. As the application for advancement to a higher degree is founded on a right inuring to the Apprentice, by virtue of his reception into the first degree - that is to say, as the Apprentice, so soon as he has been initiated, becomes invested with the right of applying for advancement to the second - it seems evident that, as long as he remains an Apprentice "in good standing," he continues to be invested with that right. Now, the rejection of his petition for advancement by the Lodge does not impair his right to apply again, because it does not, as I have already shown, affect his rights and standing as an Apprentice; it is simply the expression of the opinion that the Lodge does not at present deem him qualified for further progress in Masonry. We must never forget the difference between the right of applying for advancement and the right of advancement. Every Apprentice possesses the former, but no one can claim the latter until it is given to him by the unanimous vote of the Lodge. And as, therefore, this right of application or petition is not impaired by its rejection at a particular time, and as the Apprentice remains precisely in the same position in his own degree, after the rejection, as he did before, it seems to follow as an irresistible deduction, that he may again apply at the next regular communication; and if a second time rejected, repeat his applications at all future meetings. I hold that the Entered Apprentices of a Lodge are competent, at all regular communications of their Lodge, to petition for advancement. Whether that petition shall be granted or rejected is quite another thing, and depends altogether on the favor of the Lodge.

This opinion has not, it is true, been universally adopted, though no force of authority, short of an opposing landmark, could make one doubt its correctness. For instance, the Grand Lodge of California decided that "the application of Apprentices or Fellow Crafts for advancement, should, after they have been once rejected by ballot, be governed by the same principles which regulate the ballot on petitions for initiation, and which require a probation of one year." This appears to be a singular decision of Masonic law. If the reasons which prevent the advancement of an Apprentice or Fellow Craft to a higher degree, are of such a nature as to warrant the delay of one year, it is far better to prefer charges against the petitioner, and to give him the opportunity of a fair and impartial trial. In many cases, a candidate for advancement is retarded in his progress from an opinion on the part of the Lodge that he is not yet sufficiently prepared for pro motion by a knowledge of the preceding degree - an objection which may sometimes be removed before the recurrence of the next monthly meeting. In such a case, a decision like that of the Grand Lodge of California would be productive of manifest injustice. I hold it, therefore, to be a more consistent rule, that the candidate for advancement has a right to apply at every regular meeting, and that whenever any moral objections exist to his taking a higher degree, these objections should be made in the form of charges, and their truth tested by an impartial trial. To this, too, the candidate is undoubtedly entitled, on all the principles of justice and equity. 791 - To whom was the term "renouncing Masons" applied?

  • Renouncing Masons. During the anti Masonic excitement in the United States, which began in 1828, and lasted for a few years, many Masons left the Order, actuated by various motives (seldom good ones), and attached themselves to the anti Masonic party. It is not singular that these deserters, who called themselves "Renouncing Masons," were the bitterest in their hatred and loudest in their vituperations of the Order. But a renunciation of the name cannot absolve any one from the obligations of a Mason.

792 - What ceremony did the Jews observe when renouncing a bargain?

  • Renunciation. Amongst the Jews, when a person renounced any bargain or contract, he took off his shoe and gave it to his fellow; which was considered a sufficient evidence that he transferred all his right unto that person to whom he delivered his shoe. It is not easy to give an account of the origin of this custom; but the reason is plain enough, it being a natural signification that he resigned his interest in the land by giving him his shoe, wherewith he used to walk in it, to the end that he might enter into it, and take possession of it himself. The Targum, instead of a shoe, hath the right hand glove; it being the custom in his time, perhaps, to give that instead of the shoe. For it is less troublesome to pull off a glove than a shoe, and deliver it to another, though it hath the same signification; as now the Jews deliver a handkerchief to the same purpose. So R. Solomon Jarchi affirms - " We acquire, or buy, now by a handkerchief, or veil, instead of a shoe."

793 - Can a resolution adopted by a Lodge be repealed?

  • Repeal. A resolution adopted at a regular meeting of a lodge, cannot be repealed or reconsidered at any special or extra session.

794 - In what manner may the by laws of a Grand Lodge be repealed or suspended?

  • Repeal or Suspension of Grand Lodge By Laws. A Grand Lodge cannot permanently alter or repeal any one of its by laws or regulations, except in the mode which it has itself provided; for it is a maxim of the law that "the same means are necessary to dissolve as to create an obligation." Thus, if it is a part of the by laws of a Grand Lodge that no amendment to them can be adopted unless it be read on two separate days, and then passed by a vote of two thirds, it is not competent for such a Grand Lodge to make an amendment to its by laws at one reading, and by merely a majority of votes.

But it has been held that a Grand Lodge may temporarily suspend the action of any one of its by laws by an unanimous vote, without being compelled to pass it through a second reading. Thus, if the by laws of a Grand Lodge require that a certain officer shall be elected by ballot, it may, by unanimous consent, resolve to elect, in a particular instance, by a show of hands. But after such election, the original by law will be restored, and the next election must be gone through by ballot, unless by unanimous consent it is again suspended. 795 - What is the effect of an unfavorable report by a Committee on a petition for membership?

  • Report of Committee on Petitions. If the report of the committee is unfavorable, the candidate is at once rejected without ballot. This usage is founded on the principles of common sense, for, as by the Ancient Constitutions, one black ball is sufficient to reject an application the unfavorable report of a committee must necessarily and by consequence include two unfavorable votes at least. It is therefore unnecessary to go into a ballot after such a report, as it is to be taken for granted that the brethren who reported unfavorably would, on a resort to the ballot, cast their negative votes. Their report is indeed virtually considered as the casting of such votes, and the applicant is therefore at once rejected without a further and unnecessary ballot.

But if the report of the committee be favorable, the next step in the process is to proceed to a ballot. 796 - What right has a Lodge with reference to representation at a Grand Lodge?

  • Representation at Grand Lodge. A Lodge has the right to be represented at all communications of the Grand Lodge. It is a Land mark of the Order that every Mason has a right to be represented in all general meetings of the craft. The origin of this right is very intimately connected with an interesting portion of the history of the institution. In former times, every Mason, even "the youngest Entered Apprentice," had a right to be present at the General Assembly of the craft, which was annually held. And even as late as

1717, on the reorganization of the Grand Lodge of England, we are informed by Preston that the Grand plaster summoned all the brethren to meet him and his Wardens in the quarterly communications. But soon after, it being found, I presume, that a continuance of such attendance would render the Grand Lodge an unwieldly body; and the rights of the fraternity having been securely guarded by the adoption of the thirty nine Regulations, it was determined to limit the appearance of the brethren of each Lodge, at the quarterly communications, to its Master and Wardens, so that the Grand Lodge became thenceforth a strictly representative body, composed of the first three officers of the subordinate Lodges. The inherent right and the positive duty of every Mason to be present at the General Assembly or Grand Lodge, was relinquished, and a representation by Masters and Wardens was substituted in its place. A few modern Grand Lodges have disfranchised the Wardens also, and confined the representation to the Masters only. But this is evidently an innovation, having no color of authority in the Old Regulations. The right of instruction follows, as a legitimate corollary, from that of representation, for it is evident that a Lodge whose instructions to its officers for their conduct in the Grand Lodge should not be obeyed, would not, in fact, be represented in that body. Accordingly the right of instruction is, for that reason, explicitly recognized in the General Regulations of 1721. 797 - May a Lodge under dispensation be represented in Grand Lodge?

  • Representation at Grand Lodge by Lodge Under Dispensation. A lodge under dispensation cannot be represented in the Grand Lodge. The twelfth of the Regulations of

1721 defines the Grand Lodge as consisting of the "Masters and Wardens of all the particular Lodges upon record," and the seventh of the same Regulations intimates that no Lodge was to be registered or recorded until a warrant for it had been issued by the Grand Master. But it has already been shown that the old power of granting warrants by the Grand Master is now vested solely in the Grand Lodge; and hence all that is said in these or any other ancient Regulations, concerning Lodges under warrant by the Grand Master, must now be applied to Lodges warranted by the Grand Lodge, and therefore the twelfth Regulation is to be interpreted, under our modern law, as defining the Grand Lodge to consist only of the Masters and Wardens of Lodges which have received warrants from the Grand Lodge. Lodges working under the dispensation of the Grand Master constitute, therefore, no part of the Grand Lodge, and are consequently not entitled to a representation in it. 798 - Does the Master possess the exclusive right to represent his Lodge at the Grand Lodge?

  • Representation of Master at Grand Lodge. It is the prerogative of the Master, with his Wardens, to represent his Lodge in the communications of the Grand Lodge. Originally the whole craft were not only permitted but required to be present at the General Assembly, which was annually held; and every member of a Lodge was in this way a member of that body, and was able, by his personal presence, to protect his rights and those of his brethren. But soon after the beginning of the last century, it being found inconvenient to continue such large assemblages of the fraternity, the Lodges placed their rights in the protecting care of their Masters and Wardens, and the Grand Lodge has ever since been a strictly representative body, consisting of the Masters and Wardens of the several Lodges in the jurisdiction.

As the Grand Lodge is the supreme tribunal of the jurisdiction - as all its decisions on points of Masonic law are final - and as there can be no appeal from its judgments - it is evident that it is highly important that every Lodge should be represented in its deliberations. The Master and Wardens become, like the old Roman Consuls, invested with the care of seeing that their constituents receive no detriment. It is essential, therefore, that one of them at least, and the Master more particularly, should be present at every communication of the Grand Lodge; and accordingly the observance of this duty is explicitly inculcated upon the Master at his installation into office. 799 - Are the Wardens members of the Grand Lodge?

  • Representation of Wardens at Grand Lodge. One of the most important prerogatives of the Wardens is that of representing the Lodge with the Master at all communications of the Grand Lodge. This is a prerogative the exercise of which they should never omit, except under urgent circumstances. A few Grand Lodges in the United States have disfranchised the Wardens of this right, and confined the representation to the Master, but I cannot hesitate to say that this is not only a violation of ancient regulations, but an infraction of the inherent rights of the Wardens and the Lodges. After the comparatively modern organization of Grand Lodges, in 1717, the craft as a body surrendered the prerogatives which belonged to every Mason of being present at the General Assembly, in the assurance that their rights and privileges would be sufficiently secured by the presence of their Masters and Wardens. Hence, in the Regulations of 1721, which must be considered, according to the history given of them by Preston, in the light of a bill of rights, or fundamental constitution, the Grand Lodge is expressly defined as consisting of "the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon record." The disfranchisement of the Wardens is, in fact, a disfranchisement of the Lodges and the establishment of a new form of Grand Lodge, unknown to the Ancient Constitutions.

800 - What is the system of representation of Grand Lodges?

  • Representatives, Grand Lodge. The system of Representatives in Grand Lodges originated in the United States, with the Grand Lodge of New York. The system has now become almost universal throughout the world, and much good is being accomplished from its influence, as producing a closer union between the various Masonic bodies thus represented. The Masonic costume is that of the Grand Lodge they represent, and they are also entitled to bear a banner with the name and colors peculiar to the body represented.

801 - What is the nature and effect of Masonic reprimand?

  • Reprimand. Reprimand is the next grade of Masonic punishment, and may be defined as a severe reproof for some fault formally communicated to the offender.

It differs from censure in this, that censure is simply the expression of an opinion in relation to certain conduct, while reprimand is an actual punishment inflicted on the offender by some officer appointed for that purpose. Censure may be expressed on a mere motion, and does not demand the forms of trial, although the party against whom it is proposed tc direct the censure should always have an opportunity of defending his conduct, and of opposing the motion for censure. But reprimand cannot be predicated on a mere motion. It must be preceded by charges and a trial. I suppose, however, that a mere majority will be competent to adopt a sentence of reprimand. Reprimand is of two kinds, private and public - the latter of which is a higher grade of punishment than the former. Private reprimand is generally communicated to the offender in the form of a letter. Public reprimand is given orally in the Lodge, and in the presence of all the brethren. The mode and terms in which the reprimand is to be communicated are of course left to the discretion of the executive officer; but it may be remarked that no additional ignominy should be found in the language in which the sentence of the Lodge is communicated. The punishment consists in the fact that a reprimand has been ordered, and not in the uncourteous terms with which the language of that reprimand may be clothed. But under particular circumstances the Master may find it expedient to dilate upon the nature of the offence which has incurred the reprimand. The Master of the Lodge is the proper person to whom the execution of the reprimand should be intrusted. Lastly, a reprimand does not affect the Masonic standing of the person reprimanded. 802 - To what particular Lodge is a candidate required to present his petition?

  • Residence. A petition must be made to the Lodge nearest the candidate's place of residence. This is now the general usage in this country, and may be considered as Masonic custom by almost universal consent. It must, however, be acknowledged, that no express law upon this subject is to be found either in the Ancient Landmarks or the Old Constitutions, and its positive sanction as a law in any jurisdiction, must be found in the local enactments of the Grand Lodge of that jurisdiction. Still there can be no doubt that expediency and justice to the Order make such a regulation necessary, because it is only in the neighborhood of his own residence that the character of a candidate can be thoroughly investigated; and hence, if permitted to apply for initiation in remote places, there is danger that unworthy persons might sometimes be introduced into the Lodges. Accordingly, many of the Grand Lodges of America have incorporated such a regulation into their Constitutions, and of course, wherever this has been done, it becomes a positive law in that jurisdiction.

803 - May a candidate residing temporarily in another than his home state appeal to a local Lodge for membership?

  • Residence, Temporary. A non resident of a state is not entitled, on a temporary visit to that state, to apply for initiation. But on this point I speak with much hesitation, for I candidly confess that I find no Landmark nor written law in the Ancient Constitutions which for bids the initiation of non residents. Still, as there can be no question that the conferring of the degrees of Masonry on a stranger is always inexpedient, and frequently productive of injury and injustice, by foisting on the Lodges near the candidate's residence an unworthy and unacceptable person, whose only opportunity of securing admission into the Order was by offering himself in a place where the unworthiness of his character was unknown, there has consequently been, within the last few years, a very general disposition among the Grand Lodges of this country to discountenance the initiation of non residents. Many of them have adopted a specific regulation to this effect, and in all jurisdictions where this has been done, the law becomes imperative; for, as the Land marks are entirely silent on the subject, the local regulation is left to the discretion of each jurisdiction.

804 - Why should Masons take care to observe the dictates of respectability?

  • Respectability. In referring to the prosperous condition of the Craft, and the accession which is daily being made to its numbers, I would observe that the character of a lodge does not depend upon the number but the respectability of its members. It is too often the case that a lodge manifests too great anxiety to swell its numbers, under the erroneous idea that number constitutes might. It should, however, be remembered, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. So it is in Masonry; a lodge of a dozen men, of respectable standing in society, will exert more influence upon the community than five times the number of doubtful reputation. The latter will be greater in numerical strength, but the former in actual power.

805 - What is the proper response to all Masonic prayers?

  • Response. In the liturgical services of the church an answer made by the people speaking alternately with the clergyman. In the ceremonial observances of Freemasonry there are many responses, the Master and the brethren taking alternate parts, especially in the funeral service as laid down first by Preston, and now very generally adopted. In all Masonic prayers the proper response, never to be omitted, is, "So mote it be."

806 - To whom is the Grand Master responsible?

  • Responsibility of Grand Master. The responsibility of the Grand Master is a most important question. Invested with high and inalienable functions, to whom is he responsible for their faithful discharge, and by whom and how is he to be punished for his official misdemeanors? These are important and difficult questions, which have occupied the attention and divided the opinions of the most eminent Masonic jurists.

It is not to be doubted that the Grand Master is not an irresponsible officer. To deny this broad principle would be to destroy the very foundations on which the whole system of Masonic legislation is built. Democratic as it is in its tendencies, and giving to every member a voice in the government of the institution, it has always sustained the great doctrine of responsibility as the conservative element in its system of polity. The individual Mason is governed by his Lodge; the Master is controlled by the Grand Lodge; the Grand Lodge is restrained by the ancient Landmarks; and if the Grand Master were not also responsible to some superior power, he alone would be the exception to that perfect adjustment of balances which pervades and directs the whole machinery of Masonic government. The theory on this subject appears to me to be that the Grand Master is responsible to the craft for the faithful performance of the duties of his office. I can entertain no doubt that originally it was competent for any General Assembly to entertain jurisdiction over the Grand Master, because, until the year 1717, the General Assembly was the whole body of the craft, and as such, was the only body possessing general judicial powers in the Order; and if he was not responsible to it, then he, must of necessity have been altogether without responsibility; and this would have made the government of the institution despotic, which is directly contrary to the true features of its policy. How this jurisdiction of the craft in their General Assembly was to be exercised over the Grand Master, we have no means of determining, since the records of the Order furnish us with no precedent. But we may suppose that in the beginning, when Grand Masters were appointed by the reigning monarch, that jurisdiction, if necessary, would have been exercised by way of petition or remonstrance to the King, and this view is supported by the phraseology of the Constitutions of 926 which say, that "in all ages to come, the existing General Assembly shall petition the king to confer his sanction on their proceedings." As the power of deposition or other punishment was vested, in those early days, in the reigning monarch, because he was the appointer of the Grand Master, it follows, by a parity of reasoning, that when the appointment was bestowed upon the General Assembly, the power of punishment was vested in that body also. But in the course of time, the General Assembly of the craft gave way to the Grand Lodge, which is not a congregation of the craft in their primary capacity, but a congregation of certain officers in their representative capacity. And we find that in the year 1717, the Masons delegated the powers which they originally possessed to the Grand Lodge, to be exercised by their Masters and Wardens, in trust for themselves. Among these powers which were thus delegated, was that of exercising penal jurisdiction over the Grand Master. The fact that this power was delegated, is not left to conjecture; for, among the Regulations adopted in 1721, we find one which recognizes the prerogative in these emphatic words: "If the Grand Master should abuse his power, and render himself unworthy of the obedience and subjection of the Lodges, he shall be treated in a way and manner to be agreed upon in a new Regulation, because hitherto the ancient fraternity have had no occasion for it - their former Grand Masters having all behaved themselves worthy of that honorable office." This article comprises three distinct statements: first, that the Grand Master is responsible for any abuse of his power; secondly, that a Regulation may at any time be made to provide the mode of exercising jurisdiction over him; and lastly, that such Regulation never has been made, simply because there was no necessity for it, and not because there was no power to enact it. Now, the method of making new Regulations is laid down in precise terms in the last of these very Regulations of 1721. The provisions are, that the Landmarks shall be preserved and agreed to at the third quarterly communication preceding the annual Grand Feast, and that it be also offered to the perusal of all the brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest Apprentice - the approbation and consent of the majority of all the brethren being absolutely necessary to make it binding and obligatory. It is evident that a literal compliance with all the requisitions of this Regulation has now become altogether impracticable. Entered Apprentices have no longer, by general consent, any voice in the government of the Order, and quarterly communications, as well as the annual Grand Feast, almost everywhere have been discontinued. Hence we must apply to the interpretation of this statute the benign principles of a liberal construction. We can only endeavor substantially, and as much as possible in the spirit of the law, to carry out the intentions of those who framed the Regulation. It seems to me, then, that these intentions will be obeyed for all necessary purposes, if a new Regulation be adopted at an annual meeting of the Grand Lodge, and by the same majority which is required to amend or alter any clause of the Constitution. The power to make new Regulations, which was claimed by the Grand Lodge of England in 1721, and afterwards reasserted in 1723, in still more explicit terms, is equally vested in every other regularly organized Grand Lodge which has been since established, and which is, by virtue of its organization, the representative, in the limits of its own jurisdiction, of the original Grand Lodge which met at the Apple tree tavern in 1717. 807 - What is the Masonic definition of the term "restoration?"

  • Restoration. As the reinstatement of an excluded, suspended or expelled Mason to his rank in the Order, is technically called, may be the result of either one of two entirely different processes. It may be by an act of clemency on the part of the Lodge, or the Grand Lodge, consequent upon, and induced by the repentance and reformation of the guilty individual. Or it may be by reversal of the sentence of the Lodge, by the Grand Lodge, on account of illegality in the trial or injustice in the verdict.

Restoration by the first method, which is ex gratia, or, as a favor, is to be granted on petition, while restoration by the second method, which is e debito justiae, or as a debt of justice, is to be granted on appeal. The two methods may, therefore, be briefly distinguished as restoration on petition and restoration on appeal. 808 - How may a brother, indefinitely suspended, be restored to member ship in his Lodge?

  • Restoration After Indefinite Suspension. Restoration of an indefinitely suspended member is always by a resolution of the Lodge, and by a vote of two thirds. This seems to be an unquestionable principle of law; for when a member has been indefinitely suspended, the very word "indefinitely" implies that he may, at any time thereafter whether it be one month or one year, be restored. No time for his restoration is spegified in the terms of the sentence. He is indefinitely suspended - suspended for an uncertain period - that is, during the pleasure of the Lodge. And therefore I hold, that at any regular communication, it is competent for a member to move for a restoration, which motion may be adopted by a concurring vote of two thirds of the members present.

In this case no previous notice of the intention to move for a restoration is necessary, because no member has a right to plead, that by such motion he is taken by surprise. The very terms of the sentence of in definite suspension include the fact that the sentence may, at any time, be terminated by the action of the Lodge. Due notice of a regular communication is supposed to be given to every member; and the fact that it is a regular communication is in itself a notice by the by laws. The restoration of a Mason, suspended for a definite period, before the expiration of his term of sentence, is something that no member has a right to expect; and therefore, as I have already said, a motion for such restoration might act as a surprise. But a member indefinitely suspended is suspended during the pleasure of the Lodge, and it is competent for the Lodge, at any time, to declare that such suspension shall terminate. While, however, such is the legal principle, it is not to be denied that Masonic comity should induce any member about to propose a motion for restoration, to give timely notice of his intention to his brethren, and the restoration itself will be of a much more honorable character when thus made, after due notice, mature consideration, and in a full Lodge, than when suddenly granted, upon a moment's notice, and perhaps at a thinly attended meeting. 809 - Does the restoration of a brother by a Grand Lodge on appeal restore him to membership in his Lodge?

  • Restoration by Appeal. In the case of a restoration by appeal, there is no petition for pardon of an offense committed - no admission of the legality of trial - no acknowledgment of the justice of the sentence inflicted. But, on the contrary, all of these are in the very terms of the appeal denied. The claim is not for clemency, but for justice - not for a remission of deserved punishment, but for a reversal of an iniquitous sentence and the demand is, that this reversal shall not be decreed ex gratia, as a favor, but debito justice, by virtue of a claim justly established. Now, in this case it is evident that the rules governing the restoration must entirely differ from those which controlled the former class of cases.

The principle which I lay down on this subject is, that when a Lodge has wrongfully deprived a Mason of his membership, by expulsion from the Order, the Grand Lodge, on his appeal, if it shall find that the party is innocent, that wrong has been inflicted, that by the sentence the laws of the institution, as well as the rights of the individual, have been violated, may, on his appeal, interpose and redress the wrong, not only by restoring him to his rights and privileges as a Mason, but also to membership in the Lodge. This, it seems to me, is the true principle, not only of Masonic law, but also of equity. If a brother be innocent, he must be restored to everything of which an unjust sentence had deprived him - to membership in his Lodge, as well as to the general rights of Masonry. I think that I was the first to contend for this principle as a doctrine of Masonic law, although it had always been recognized by the Grand Lodge of England, and in this country by that of South Carolina. At first there was a very general opposition to the doctrine, and the grounds of objection were singularly based on a total misapprehension of that article in the Regulations of 1721, which declares that "no one can be admitted a member of any particular Lodge without the unanimous consent of all the members of that Lodge then present" - a provision which the same article asserts to be "an inherent privilege, not subject to dispensation." I have said that the application of this regulation to the doctrine of restoration from expulsion, by appeal, is a total misapprehension of its meaning, because the question is not, in these cases, as to the admission of a new member, with which it is not denied that the Grand Lodge cannot interfere, but whether one who is already a member shall be divested of his franchised rights of membership without cause. It is admitted on all sides that where the restoration is made on petition, simply as an act of clemency, in which case the forfeiture of membership is acknowledged to have been justly and legally incurred, the Grand Lodge cannot restore to membership, because by its act of clemency it admits that the brother is not a member of the Lodge, and it cannot intrude him on the Lodge without its consent. I say that it admits this by its act of clemency, because if he were not justly deprived of his membership, there would have been no room for clemency. Pardon is for the guilty, not for the innocent. But when it is proved that the trial was illegally conducted - that the testimony was insufficient - that the offence was not proved - that the brother was innocent, and therefore unjustly condemned - who will dare to say that a Lodge may thus, by an arbitrary exercise of power, inflict this grievous wrong on a brother, and that the Grand Lodge has not the prerogative, as the supreme protector of the rights of the whole fraternity, to interpose its superior power, and give back to injured innocence all that iniquity or injustice would have deprived it of ? Who will dare to say, in the face of the great principles of justice and equity, that though innocent, a Mason shall receive but a portion of the redress to which he is entitled ? - and that he shall be sent from the interposing shield of the supreme authority and highest court of justice of the Order, not protected by his innocence and restored to his rights, but as an innocent man, sharing in the punishment which should only be awarded to the guilty? I, for one, never have subscribed, and never will subscribe, to a doctrine so full of arbitrary oppression and injustice, and which, if it constituted Masonic law, would be to every honest man the crying reproach of the institution. I have said that when I first advanced this doctrine of the competency of the Grand Lodge to grant an unconditional restoration to membership, it met with very general condemnation. Here and there a solitary voice was heard in its defence, but officially it was almost universally condemned as an infringement on the rights of the Lodges. The rights of members do not seem, on those occasions, to have been at all considered. But the doctrine is now gaining ground. In 1857, the Grand Lodge of Missouri carried it into practical operation, and ordered that one of its Lodges should restore an expelled brother to membership, under penalty of arrest of charter. In the same year, the doctrine was virtually indorsed by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, in its approbation of the course of its Grand Master, in deciding that a brother who appealed from expulsion, and after a new trial, had been acquitted, should be restored to membership, not withstanding the opposition of the Lodge to his re admission. And lastly, in 1858, the Grand Lodge of Mississippi has entered into the earnest consideration of the question; and an able report has been made to that body by Bro. G. M. Hillyer, one of the most enlightened Masons in America, who has eloquently and manfully supported the hitherto unpopular doctrine for which I have been so long contending. From this eloquent, as well as logical report, I shall cite a single paragraph, with which to conclude the subject. Speaking of the appeal made by a brother expelled from the rights and privileges of Masonry, and concomitantly from membership in his Lodge, Bro. Hillyer says: "The Grand Lodge perhaps acquits him, and then it is, under the present system, that his punishment commences. Whatever the final verdict and decision, the accused 'brother has to undergo a penalty. If innocent, the smiting is not to be with as many stripes, it is true; but why with any? What punishment has an innocent man deserved? If he is in the right, and his accusers have been in the wrong, what justice is there in saying that he shall only be deprived of half of his privileges? Why deprive him of any in that case? Why punish the innocent? Why above all, have a law that makes the very tribunal that vindicates the innocence of the accused, accompany that vindication with punishment? There is no justice, there can be no expediency in such a course." The time will yet come, I am sure, and the expectation is made more certain by such aid, when the universal suffrage of the fraternity will confess the law to be as I have announced it, that in case of unjust expulsion, the Grand Lodge may restore an innocent brother, not only to the rights and privileges of Masonry, but also to membership in his Lodge. 810 - When does restoration from a definite suspension take place?

  • Restoration from Definite Suspension. Restoration from definite suspension results from the natural expiration of the period fixed in the sentence. Thus, if on the first day of January, a member be suspended for three months, that is to say, until the

1st day of April, then on the 1st day of April, he at once, and by the mere operation of the law, becomes a restored Mason. No vote of the Lodge is necessary; for its previous action, which had declared him to be suspended until the 1st of April, included the fact that he was not to be suspended any longer; and therefore, on the 2nd of April, he is, by the expiration of his sentence, in good standing. No vote of the Lodge is therefore necessary to restore one who has been definitely suspended, at the expiration of his sentence; but he at once, by the very terms of that sentence, takes his place as a Mason restored to all his rights. 811 - How is restoration of a brother from definite suspension brought about?

  • Restoration from Definite Suspension, Vote on. Restoration from definite suspension may take place in two ways. First, by a vote of the Lodge, abridging the period of suspension and restoring the party be fore the term of suspension has expired. This may be considered in the light of a pardon; and this clemency it is the prerogative of the Lodge to exercise, under the necessary restrictions that the restoration is made at a regular communication of the Lodge, and by a vote of two thirds of those present; for, as it required that number to impose the sentence, it will not be competent for a less number to reverse it. But due notice, at least one month previously, should be given of the intention to move for a restoration, because the reversal of a sentence is an unusual action, and the members will, by such notice, be enabled to be present and to express their views, while a sudden motion, without due notice, would take the Lodge by surprise, and surprises are as contrary to the spirit of Masonic as they are of Municipal law.

812 - Does the restoration by Grand Lodge of an expelled Mason reinstate him as a member of his former Lodge?

  • Restoration from Expulsion. Restoration from expulsion differs from restoration in the other cases, in several important particulars, which, as the subject is now exciting much discussion among the Grand Lodges of this country, require a careful consideration.

In the first place it must be borne in mind, that expulsion completely severs the connection of the expelled individual with the fraternity. In the language of Dr. Oliver, "his Masonic status vanishes, and he disappears from the scene of Masonry, as completely as the ripple of the sea subsides after the stately ship has passed over it." This condition must be constantly remembered, because it has an important influence on the effects of restoration. On an application for restoration by petition, as a favor, on the showing that the party has repented and reformed, that he has abandoned the criminal course of conduct for which he was expelled, and is now leading an irreproachable life, the Grand Lodge may ex gratia, in the exercise of its clemency, extend a pardon and remit the penalty, so far as it refers to expulsion from the Order. But in this case, as there is no question of the original justice of the sentence nor of the legality of the trial, the pardon of the Grand Lodge will not and cannot restore the brother to membership in the Lodge. And the reason of this is plain. The act of the Lodge is admitted to have been legal. Now, while this act dissevered his connection with the Order, it also cancelled his membership in the Lodge. He is no longer a member either of the Order or of the Lodge. The Grand Lodge may restore him to the former, it may restore him to his rights as a Mason, but it must be as an unaffiliated one, because, having by this very act of clemency, admitted that he legally and constitutionally lost his membership, it cannot compel the Lodge to admit him again, contrary to its wishes, into membership, for no man can be admitted a member of a Lodge, without the unanimous consent of all present. Nor can the Grand Lodge interfere with this inherent right of every Lodge to select its own members. Let it be thoroughly understood that the incompetence of the Grand Lodge, in this case, to restore to membership, is founded on the admission that the original sentence was a just one, the trial legally conducted, the testimony sufficient and the punishment not oppressive. The Grand Lodge says, in an instance like this, to the petitioner, "We are induced by your present reform to pardon your past conduct and to restore you once more to the Order; but, as you were justly expelled from your Lodge, and are no longer a member, we have no power to force you upon it. We give you, however, by a restoration to your Masonic status, the privilege that all other unaffiliated Masons possess, of applying to it by petition for admission, with the understanding that you must, as in all such cases, submit to the ordeal of a ballot, but with the result of that ballot we cannot interfere." 813 - What procedure should be observed in seeking restoration from definite or indefinite suspension by appeal?

  • Restoration on Appeal. Restoration, from definite suspension, may be made by the Grand Lodge, on appeal, where the act of the subordinate Lodge is reversed on account of illegality, or wrongful judgment; and such restoration, of course, annuls the suspension, and restores the party to his former position in the Lodge.

Restoration, from indefinite suspension, may also take place in the same way, either on petition or appeal. But, in this case, due notice is not absolutely required of an intention to move for a restoration, al though courtesy should induce the mover to give notice. Of course, no restoration, either from definite or indefinite suspension, upon petition or appeal, can take place, except at a regular meeting; for, as the sentence must have been decreed at such meeting, the Masonic rule for bids a special meeting to reverse the proceedings of a regular one. 814 - Of what is the tracing board emblematic?

  • Resurrection. A belief in God and a belief in a resurrection to a future life are requested of every Master Mason. This doctrine of a resurrection is one of the great Landmarks of the Order, and its importance and necessity may be estimated from the fact, that almost the whole design of speculative Masonry, from its earliest origin, seems to have been to teach this great doctrine of the resurrection.

As to any other religious doctrines, Masonry leaves its candidates to the enjoyment of their own opinions, whatever they may be. 815 - How often must a Lodge make returns to the Grand Lodge?

  • Returns. Every lodge shall, at least once in the year, transmit, by direct communication, to the Grand Secretary a regular list of its members, and of the brethren initiated or admitted therein since their last return, with the dates of initiating, passing, and raising every brother; also their ages as nearly as possible at that time, and their titles, professions, additions, or trades; together with all monies due or payable to the Grand Lodge; which list is to be signed by the Master and Secretary.

816 - What is the character of Masonic communications?

  • Revels. No dark revels or midnight orgies are practiced in a lodge. No words of wrath or condemnation are heard, and no inquisitorial questions are asked. The candidate hears of peace, brotherly love, relief, and truth. He is taught to reverence God's holy name, and never to mention it but with that reverential awe which is due from the creature to the Creator; to implore His aid in all laudable undertakings, and esteem Him as the chief good.

817 - Why should a Mason be reverent?

  • Reverential. We are taught by the reverential sign to bend with submission and resignation beneath the chastening hand of the Almighty, and at the same time to engraft his law in our hearts. This expressive form, in which the Father of the human race first presented himself before the face of the Most High, to receive the denunciation and terrible judgment, was adopted by our Grand Master Moses, who, when the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush on Mount Horeb, covered his face from the brightness of the divine presence.

818 - In whom is the power of revoking warrants of constitution vested?

  • Revocation of Warrant. Among the important prerogatives exercised by a Grand Lodge in its judicial capacity, is that of revoking warrants of constitution. Although there is a discrepancy between the present American practice, which vests the granting of warrants in Grand Lodges, and the old Constitutions, which gave the power to Grand Masters, there is no doubt that the Grand Lodge has constantly exercised the prerogative of revoking warrants from the year 1742, when the first mention is made of such action, until the present day. But all the precedents go to show that no such revocation has ever been made except upon cause shown, and after due summons and inquiry. The arbitrary revocation of a warrant would be an act of oppression and in justice, contrary to the whole spirit of the Masonic institution.

819 - Of what is the right angle emblematic?

  • Right Angle. A right angle is the meeting of two lines in an angle of ninety degrees, or the fourth part of a circle. Each of its lines is perpendicular to the other; and as the perpendicular line is a symbol of uprightness of conduct, the right angle has been adopted by Masons as an emblem of virtue. Such was also its signification among the Pythagoreans. The right angle is represented in the lodges by the square, as the horizontal is by the level, and the perpendicular by the plumb.

820 - What is the symbolism of the right hand?

  • Right Hand. The right hand has in all ages been deemed an important symbol to represent the virtue of fidelity. Among the ancients, the right hand and fidelity to an obligation were almost deemed synonymous terms. Thus, among the Romans, the expression, "fallere dextram," to betray the right hand, also signified to violate faith; and "jungere dextras," to join right hands, meant to give a mutual pledge. Among the Hebrews, the right hand was derived from aman, to be faithful.

The practice of the ancients was conformable to these peculiarities of idiom. Among the Jews, to give the right hand was considered as a mark of friendship and fidelity. Thus St. Paul says, "When James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellow ship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." (Gal. ii. 6.) The same expression, also, occurs in Maccabees. We meet, indeed, continually in the Scriptures with allusions to the right hand as an emblem of truth and fidelity. Thus in Psalm exliv. it is said, "their right hand is a right hand of falsehood," that is to say, they lift up their right hand to swear to what is not true. This lifting up of the right hand was, in fact, the universal mode adopted among both Jews and Pagans in taking an oath. The custom is certainly as old as the days of Abraham, who said to the King of Salem, "I have lifted up my hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take anything that is thine." Some times among the Gentile nations, the right hand, in taking an oath, was laid upon the horns of the altar, and sometimes upon the hand of the person administering the obligation. But in all cases it was deemed necessary, to the validity and solemnity of the attestation, that the right hand should be employed. Since the introduction of Christianity, the use of the right hand in contracting an oath has been continued, but instead of extending it to heaven, or seizing with it a horn of the altar, it is now directed to be placed upon the Holy Scriptures, which is the universal mode at this day in all Christian countries. The antiquity of this usage may be learned from the fact, that in the code of the Emperor Theodosius, adopted about the year 438, the placing of the right hand on the Gospels is alluded to; and in the code of Justinian whose date is the year 529, the ceremony is distinctly laid down as a necessary part of the formality of the oath, in the words "tactis sacrosanctis Evangeliis" - the Holy Gospel being touched. This constant use of the right hand in the most sacred attestations and solemn compacts, was either the cause or the consequence of its being deemed an emblem of fidelity. Dr. Potter thinks it was the cause, and he supposes that the right hand was naturally used instead of the left, because it was more honorable, as being the instrument by which superiors give commands to those below them. Be this as it may, it is well known that the custom existed universally, and that there are abundant allusions in the most ancient writers to the junction of right hands in making compacts. It is thus apparent that the use of the right hand as a token of sincerity and a pledge of fidelity, is as ancient as it is universal; a fact which will account for the important station which it occupies among the symbols of Freemasonry. 821 - What is the basis of the right of appeal?

  • Right of Appeal. The Right of appeal is an inherent right be longing to every Mason, and the Grand Lodge is the appellate body, to whom appeal is to be made. The principles of equality and justice, upon which the institution is founded, render it necessary that there should be a remedy for every injury done to or injustice inflicted upon the humblest of its members; for, in Masonry as in the municipal law, it is held as a maxim that there is no wrong without a remedy - ubi jus ibi remedium.

The doctrine of appeals is founded on this principle. It furnishes the remedy for any invasion of Masonic rights, and hence it may be considered as one of the most important prerogatives that the Mason possesses. 822 - To whom is the right of Masonic burial confined?

  • Right of Burial. The right to be conducted to his last home by his brethren, and to be committed to his mother earth with the ceremonies of the Order, is one that, under certain restrictions, belongs to every Master Mason.

I have sought, in vain, in all the ancient Constitutions, to find any law upon this subject; nor can the exact time be now determined when funeral processions and a burial service were first admitted as Regulations of the Order. The celebrated caricature of a mock procession of the "Scald Misò erable Masons," as it was called, was published in 1741, and represented u funeral procession. This would seem to imply that Masonic funeral processions must have been familiar at that time to the people; for a caricature, however distorted, must have an original for its foundation. The first official notice, however, that we have of funeral processions is in November of the year 1754, when we learn that "several new regulations concerning the removal of Lodges, funeral processions, and Tilers, which had been recommended by the last Committee of Charity for Laws of the Grand Lodge, were taken into consideration and unanimously agreed to." The regulation then adopted prohibited any Mason, under the severest penalties, from attending a funeral or other procession, clothed in any of the jewels or badges of the craft, except by dispensation of the Grand Master or his Deputy. I can find no further regulations on this subject, either in the previous or subsequent editions of the Book of Constitutions, until we arrive at the modern code which is now in force in the Grand Lodge of England. Preston, however, to whom we are indebted for the funeral service, which has been the basis of all modern improvements or attempts at improvement, has supplied us with the rules on this subject, which have now been adopted, by general consent, as the law of the order. The regulations as to funerals are laid down by Preston in the following words: "No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless it be at his own special request, communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which he died a member - foreigners and sojourners excepted; nor unless he has been advanced to the third degree of Masonry, from which restriction there can be no exception. Fellow Crafts or Apprentices are not entitled to the funeral obsequies." The only restrictions prescribed by Preston are, it will be perceived, that the deceased must have been a Master Mason, and that he had himself made the request. But the great increase of unaffiliated Masons, a class that did not exist in such numbers in former times, has led many Grand Lodges to introduce as a new restriction the regulation that unaffiliated Masons shall not be entitled to Masonic burial. I have called this a new restriction; but although not made in as many words in the rule of Preston, it seems to be evidently implied in the fact that the Mason was expected, previous to his death, to make the request for funeral obsequies of the Master of the Lodge of which he died a 'member. As unaffiliated Masons could not comply with this provision, it follows that they could not receive Masonic burial. At all events, it has now become an almost universal regulation. 823 - What regulations govern the right of visitation in a Masonic Lodge?

  • Right of Visitation. The Right of Visit, may be defined to be that prerogative which every affiliated Master Mason in good standing possesses of visiting any Lodge into which he may desire to enter. It is one of the most important of all Masonic privileges, because it is based on the principle of the identity of the Masonic institution as one universal family, and is the exponent of that well known maxim that "in every clime a Mason may find a home, and in every land a Brother." Fortunately for its importance, this right is not left to be deduced from analogy, or to be supported only by questionable usage, but is proclaimed in distinct terms in some of the earliest Constitutions. The Ancient Charges at Makings, that were in force in

1688, but whose real date is supposed to be much anterior to that time, instruct us that it is the duty of every Mason to receive strange Brethren "when they come over the country," which Regulation, however the latter part of it may have referred, in an operative sense, to the encouragement of traveling workmen in want and search of employment, must now, in the speculative character which our institution has assumed, be interpreted as signifying that it is the duty of every Lodge to receive strange Brethren as visitors, and permit them to participate in the labors and instructions in which the Lodge may, at the time of the visit, be engaged. The true doctrine is, that the right of visit is one of the positive rights of every Mason; because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. The right may, of course, be lost or forfeited on special occasions, by various circumstances; but any Master who shall refuse admission to a Mason, in good standing, who knocks at the door of his Lodge, is expected to furnish some good and satisfactory reason for his thus violating a Ma sonic right. If the admission of the applicant, whether a member or visitor, would in his opinion, be attended with injurious consequences, such, for instance, as impairing the harmony of the Lodge, a Master would then, I presume, be justified in refusing admission. But without the existence of some such good reason, Masonic jurists have always decided that the right of visitation is absolute and positive, and inures to every Mason in his travels throughout the world. Wherever he may be, however distant from his residence and in the land of the stranger, every Lodge is, to a Mason in good standing, his home, where he should be ever sure of the warmest and truest welcome. In concluding this section, it may be remarked, by way of recapitulation, that the right of visit is a positive right, which inures to every unaffiliated Master Mason once, and to every affiliated Master Mason always; but that it is a right which can never be exercised without a previous examination or legal avouchment, and may be forfeited for good and sufficient cause; while for the Master of any Lodge to deny it, without such cause, is to do a Masonic wrong to the Brother claiming it, for which he will have his redress upon complaint to the Grand Lodge, within whose jurisdiction the injury is inflicted. This, it appears to me, is now the settled law upon this subject of the Masonic right of visit. 824 - What are the rights and powers of a Masonic Lodge?

  • Rights and Powers of a Masonic Lodge. In an inquiry into the rights and powers of a Lodge, it will be found that they may be succinctly considered under fourteen different heads. A lodge has a right
1. To retain possession of its warrant of constitution.
2. To do all the work of ancient craft Masonry.
3. To transact all business that can be legally transacted by regularly congregated Masons.
4. To be represented at all communications of the Grand Lodge.
5. To increase its numbers by the admission of new members.
6. To elect its officers.
7. To install its officers after being elected.
8. To exclude a member, on cause shown temporarily or permanently, from the Lodge.
9. To make by laws for its local government.
10. To levy a tax upon its members.
11. To appeal to the Grand Lodge from the decision of its Master.
12. To exercise penal jurisdiction over its own members, and on unaffiliated Masons living within the limits of its jurisdiction.
13. To select a name for itself.
14. To designate and change its time and place of meeting. Each of these prerogatives is connected with correlative duties, and is restricted, modified and controlled by certain specific obligations, each of which requires a distinct and careful consideration.

825 - What is the symbolism of the right and left sides?

  • Right Side and Left Side. The ancients held that the right side possessed some peculiar excellence above the left, and hence the Latin words "dexter," right, and "sinister," left, also convey the sense of lucky, or good; and unlucky, or evil. The right side has always been considered the place of honor, and the Scriptures abound in passages illustrative of this idea - as in Matt. xxv. 33 4: "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father," etc.

826 - What are the principal rights of a Master Mason in good standing in a Masonic Lodge?

  • Rights of Master Masons. When an initiate has been raised to "the sublime degree of a Master Mason," he becomes, strictly speaking, under the present regulations of our institution, an active member of the fraternity, invested with certain rights, and obligated to the performance of certain duties, which are of so extensive and complicated a nature as to demand a special consideration for each.

Of the rights of Master Masons, the most important are the following:

1. The Right of Membership;
2. The Right of Affiliation;
3. The Right of Visit;
4. The Right of Avouchment;
5. The Right of Relief;
6. The Right of Demission;
7. The Right of Appeal;
8. The Right of Burial;
9. The Right of Trial.

827 - What does the Worshipful Master represent?

  • Rising Sun. The rising sun is represented by the Master, because the sun by his rising opens and governs the day, so the Master is taught to open and govern his Lodge with equal regularity and precision.

828 - Whence do we derive our ritual?

  • Ritual. This word imports how a lodge ought to be opened and closed, and how an initiation, passing, or raising ought to be conducted; this may also be called the liturgy of the lodge. The ritual is not the same in all lodges, nay, there are nearly as many different rituals as there are Grand Lodges. Many of those rituals are of quite modern origin, especially that of the Grand Lodge Royal York, Berlin, and that of the Grand Lodge of Hamburgh. The English ritual is the most ancient, and extended itself into every part of the earth, but was afterwards superseded in many places by the French, Swedish, and others. These outward forms and ceremonies, although they differ, yet they do not divide the brethren amongst themselves, but each lodge and its members is tolerant with the members of other lodges; and all lodges are allowed to endeavor and strive to obtain their object by what way they think best. Neither is there any real difference whether some ceremonies are to be performed in this manner, or in that, according to the different rituals, or whether the officers are called this or that. Time and various circumstances have made those alterations in the rituals principally to produce a more lasting impression upon the mind of the candidate at his initiation, and to advance with the improved spirit of the times. Fragments from some of the rituals have been published, especially from the old ones; but there must be more than a dozen rituals published before an uninitiated person could learn how an initiation was conducted, or how a lodge was held. The end to which the ritual leads us is the principal object, or the real secret of Free masonry, and it would require an adept to discover this from any ritual.

829 - What is the final degree of Ancient Craft Masonry?

  • Royal Arch. This degree is more august, sublime, and important than those which precede it, and is the summit of ancient Masonry. It impresses on our minds a more firm belief of the existence of a Supreme Deity without beginning of days or end of years, and justly reminds us of the respect and veneration due to that holy name. Until within these few years, this degree was not conferred on any but those who had been enrolled a considerable time in the fraternity, and could besides give the most unequivocal proofs of their skill and proficiency in the Craft.

830 - What is the function of the Past Master's degree of the Royal Arch?

  • Royal Arch Past Master. The degree of Past Master, which was exceedingly simple in its primitive construction, was originally conferred by symbolic Lodges, as an honorarium or reward upon those brethren who had been called to preside in the Oriental chair. Thus it was simply an official degree, and could only be obtained in the Lodge which had conferred the office. But as it always has been a regulation of the Royal Arch degree that it can be conferred only on one who has "passed the chair," or received the Past Master's degree, which originally meant that none but the Masters of Lodges could be exalted to the Royal Arch, as the degree was considered too important to be be stowed on all Master Masons indiscriminately, it was found necessary when Chapters were organized independently of symbolic Lodges to introduce the degree, as a preparatory step to the exaltation of their candidates to the Royal Arch.

831 - Why is Masonry called the Royal Art?

  • Royal Art. It is a royal art to be able to preserve a secret and we are, therefore, accustomed to call Freemasonry a royal art. To be able to plan large buildings, especially palaces, is also certainly a great and royal art, but it is still a more royal art to induce men to do that which is good, and to abstain from evil, without having recourse to the power of the law. Others derive the appellation, royal art, from that part of the members of the English Builders' Huts, who, after the beheading of Charles I., 30th January, 1649, joined the persecuted Stuart, inasmuch as that they labored to restore the royal throne, which had been destroyed by Cromwell. Anderson, on the contrary, in his English Constitution Book, affirms that the appellation royal art is derived from the fact, that royal persons have stood, and still stand, at the head of the Craft.

832 - Whence were the names of the three ruffians derived?

  • Ruffians. The traitors of the third degree are called Assassins in continental Masonry and in the high degrees. The English and American Masons have adopted in their ritual the more homely appellation of Ruffians. The fabricators of the high degrees adopted a variety of names for these Assassins, but the original names are preserved in the rituals of the York and American Rites. There is no question that has so much perplexed Masonic antiquaries as the true derivation and meaning of these three names. In their present form, they are confessedly uncouth and without signification. Yet it is certain that we can trace them in that form to the earliest appearance of the legend of the third degree, and it is equally certain that at the time of their adoption some meaning must have been attached to them. I am convinced that this must have been a very simple one, and one that would have been easily comprehended by the whole Craft, who were in the constant use of them. Attempts, it is true, have been made to find the root of these three names in some recondite reference to the Hebrew names of God. But there is, I think, no valid authority for any such derivation. In the first place, the character and conduct of the supposed possessors of these names preclude the idea of any congruity and appropriateness between them and any of the divine names. And again, the literary condition of the Craft at the time of the invention of the names equally preclude the probability that any name would have been fabricated of a recondite signification, and which could not have been readily understood and appreciated by the ordinary class of Masons who were to use them. The names must naturally have been of a construction that would convey a familiar idea, would be suitable to the incidents in which they were to be employed, and would be congruous with the character of the individuals upon whom they were to be bestowed. Now all these requisites meet in a word which was entirely familiar to the Craft at the time when these names were probably invented. The Ghiblim are spoken of by Anderson, meaning, Giblim, as stone cutters or Masons; and the early rituals show us very clearly that the Fraternity in that day considered Giblim as the name of a Mason; not only a Mason generally, but especially of that class of Masons who, as Drummond says, "put the finishing hand to King Solomon's Temple" - that is to say, the Fellowcrafts. Anderson also places the Ghiblim among the Fellowcrafts; and so, very naturally the early Freemasons, not imbued with any amount of Hebrew learning, and not making a distinction between the singular and plural forms of that language, soon got to calling a Fellowcraft a Giblim. The steps of corruption between Giblim and Jubelum were not very gradual; nor can any one doubt that such corruptions of spelling and pronunciation were common among these illiterate Masons, when he reads the Old Manuscripts, and finds such verbal distortions as Nembroch for Nimrod, Euglet for Euclid, and Aymon for Hiram. Thus, the first corruption was from Giblim to Gibalim, which brought the word to three syllables, making it thus nearer to its eventual change. Then we find in the early rituals another trans formation into Chibbelum. The French Masons also took the work of corruption in hand, and from Giblim they manufactured Jib lime and Jibulum and Jabulum. Some of these French corruptions came back to English Masonry about the time of the fabrication of the high degrees. and even the French words were distorted. Thus in the Leland Manuscript, the English Masons made out of Pytagore the French for Pythagoras, the unknown name, Peter Gower, which is said so much to have puzzled Mr. Locke. And so we may through these mingled English and French corruptions trace the genealogy of the word Jubelum; thus, Ghiblim, Giblim, Gibalim, Chibbelum, Jiblime, Jibrelum, Jabelum, and, finally, Jubelum. It meant simply a Fellowcraft, and was appropriately given as a common name to a particular Fellowcraft who was distinguished for his treachery. In other words, he was designated, not by a special and distinctive name, but by the title of his condition and rank at the Temple. He was the Fellowcraft, who was at the head of a conspiracy. As for the names of the other two Ruffians, they were readily constructed out of that of the greatest one by a simple change of the termination of the word from um to a in one, and from um to o in the other, thus preserving by a similarity of names, the idea of their relationship, for the old rituals said that they were brothers who had come together out of Tyre. This derivation seems to me to be easy, natural, and comprehensible. The change from Giblim, or rather from Gibalim to Jubelum, is one that is far less extraordinary than that which one half of the Masonic words have undergone in their transformation from their original to their present form.

833 - Of what is the rule emblematic?

  • Rule. A well known instrument by which measurements are made or straight lines are drawn. It is employed as an important emblem in the degree of Past Master, admonishing the newly elected Master punctually to observe his duty, press forward in the path of virtue, and, neither inclining to the right or to the left, in all his actions to have eternity in view.

834 - What is the status of parliamentary law in Masonic Lodges?

  • Rules of Order. In all well regulated societies, it is absolutely necessary that there should be certain rules, not only for the government of the presiding officer, but for that of the members over whom he presides. It is not so. material what these rules are, as that they should be well known and strictly observed. The Parliamentary law, or that system of regulations which have been adopted for the government of legislative bodies in England and America, and which constitutes the basis of the rules for conducting business in all organized societies, whether public or private, in these countries, is, in many of its details, inapplicable to a Masonic Lodge, whose Rules of Order are of a nature peculiar to itself. Still the Masonic rule is, as it has been judiciously expressed by Bro. French, "that where well settled Parliamentary principles can be properly applied to the action of Masonic bodies, they should always govern; but they should never be introduced where they in any way interfere with the established customs or Land marks of Masonry, or with the high prerogatives of the Master."


835 - How does the word sacred apply to Masonry?

  • Sacred. We call that sacred which is separated from common things, and dedicated either entirely or partially to the Most High. The ideas of truth and virtue, the feeling of a pure love and friend ship are sacred for they elevate us above common things and lead to God. The tenor of sacred thought and feelings is towards religion, and therefore all things are sacred which are peculiarly dedicated to religious services, and carefully guarded from being applied to profane uses, or which, by means of their religious importance and value, are especially honored and considered indispensable to our spiritual and moral welfare. According to these ideas of what is sacred, the Free mason can call his work sacred, and every brother must acknowledge it to be so. Our labors being separated from the outward world, and founded upon truth and virtue, require brotherly love and philanthropy, and always elevate the spirit to the Great Architect of the Universe. But true inward sanctity every brother must have in his own breast, and not have it to seek in the degrees of the Order.

836 - What is the legendary Sacred Lodge?

  • Sacred Lodge. Over the sacred lodge presided Solomon, the greatest of kings, and the wisest of men: Hiram, the great and learned king of Tyre; and Hiram Abif, the widow's son, of the tribe of Nap thali. It was held in the bowels of the sacred Mount Moriah, under the part whereon was erected the sanctum sanctorum or Holy of Holies. On this mount it was where Abraham confirmed his faith by his readiness to offer up his only son Isaac. Here it was where David offered that acceptable sacrifice on the threshing floor of Aman, by which the anger of the Lord was appeased. Here it was where the Lord delivered to David in a dream, the plan of the glorious temple, afterwards erected by our noble Grand Master, King Solomon. And lastly, here it was where he declared he would establish his sacred name and word, which should never pass away; and for these reasons, this was justly styled the Sacred Lodge.

837 - When did the first three degrees receive the name of St. John's Masonry?

  • St. John's Masonry. Originally there was only one kind of Free masonry. But when the. Scottish and other higher degrees were introduced, the three first degrees received the name of the St. John's Masonry.

838 - Who was St. John the Baptist?

  • St. John the Baptist. He was the forerunner of Jesus, a son of the Jewish priest Zacharias and of Elizabeth, who, as a zealous judge of morality and undaunted preacher of repentance, obtained great celebrity, first in his native country, then in the mountains of Judea and afterwards among the whole nation. His simple and abstemious manner of living contributed much to his fame, and especially the peculiar purification or consecration by baptism in a river bath, which he introduced as a symbol of that moral purity which he so zealously inculcated. Jesus allowed himself to be baptized by him, and from that time forward John said unto his disciples, that he was certainly the Messiah. The frank earnestness and the great fame with which he preached even in Galilee, soon brought upon him the suspicion and hatred of the court of Tetrarch Antipas, or King Herod, who imprisoned him, and on the 29th August, in the thirty second or thirty third year of his life, caused him to be beheaded. The 24th June, his birthday, is dedicated to his memory through all Christendom. The patron saint of the Freemasons' brotherhood was formerly not St. John the Baptist, but St. John the Evangelist, whose festival they celebrated the 27th December, upon which day they hold their general assembly, probably induced thereto because at this season of the year the members could be better spared from their business or profession. For this reason also they chose for their quarterly festivals, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, Michaelmas, and the festival of St. John the Baptist, which last festival, on account of the better weather and other circumstances having been found to be more convenient for the yearly assembly, was often appointed for the time on which it should be held, so that it has now become nearly general. Many British lodges still celebrate the 27th December, and call it the minor St. John's day.

839 - Who was St. John the Evangelist?

  • St. John the Evangelist. St. John the Evangelist and Apostle of Jesus, was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee, a son of Zebedee, and a disciple of Jesus, who loved him because he distinguished himself by his gentleness and humility. After the ascension of Jesus, he preached the gospel principally in Asia Minor and at Ephesus, where it is probable that he died in a good old age. He was a man of great energy and poetic fire and life; in his early years somewhat haughty and intolerant, but afterwards an example of love. We have a gospel or biography of Jesus by him, and three of the epistles also bear his name. The Gospel of St. John is especially important to the Freemason, for he preached love, and his book certainly contains all the fundamental doctrines of Freemasonry. As a Freemason ought never to forget that he has laid his hand upon the gospel of St. John, so should he never cease to love his brethren according to the doctrine of love contained in that sacred book. Many lodges celebrate his anniversary, the 27th December.

840 - On what days occur the feasts of the two Saints John?

  • Saints John, Festivals of. The 24th of June is consecrated to Saint John the Baptist, and the 27th of December to Saint John the Evangelist. It is the duty of Masons to assemble on these days, and by a solemn invocation of the past, renew the ties and strengthen the fraternal bonds that bind the present to the brotherhood of the olden time.

841 - What was the Lodge of Saints John?

  • Saints John Lodges. Masonic tradition has it that the primitive or Mother Lodge was held at Jerusalem, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and then to St. John the Evangelist, and finally to both. This Lodge therefore was called the "Lodge of the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem." From this Lodge all other Lodges are figuratively sup posed to descend.

842 - Of what is salt the emblem?

  • Salt. In the Helvetian ceremonies of Masonry, salt is added to the corn, wine and oil, because it was a symbol of the wisdom and learning which characterize Masons' lodges. Pierius makes it an emblem of hospitality and friendship, and also of fidelity. In the Scriptures, salt is considered as a symbol of perpetuity and incorruption, and used as a covenant. The formula used by our ancient brethren, when salt was sprinkled on the foundation stone of a new lodge was, "May this under taking, contrived by wisdom, be executed in strength and adorned with beauty, so that it may be a house where peace, harmony, and brotherly love shall perpetually reign."

843 - What part of the Temple was called the Sanctuary?

  • Sanctuary. That part of the Temple at Jerusalem which was the most secret and most retired; in which was the ark of the covenant, and wherein none but the High Priest might enter, and he only once a year, on the day of holy expiation. The same name was also given to the most sacred part of the Tabernacle, set up in the Wilderness, which remained until some time after the building of the Temple.

844 - Of what is the color scarlet emblematic?

  • Scarlet. This rich and beautiful color is emblematical of fervency and zeal. It is the appropriate color of the Royal Arch degree; and admonishes us, that we should be fervent in the exercise of our devotions to God, and zealous in our endeavors to promote the happiness of man.

845 - As a science what does Freemasonry embrace?

  • Science. Freemasonry is a science not to be confined to a few Israelitic traditions learned by heart, as a school boy learns his lessons; it is a science which embraces everything useful to man; it corrects the heart and prepares it to receive the mild impressions of the divine code; its moral injunctions, if duly weighed and properly applied, never fail to form its disciples into good members of society. It opens a progressive field for inquiry, and ought never to be driven into narrow bounds by the enactment of a law, saying, thus far will we allow you to go, and no farther, under the penalty of exclusion from its universality.

846 - What passages of scripture are most appropriate for reading in Lodge?

  • Scriptures, Reading of the. By an ancient usage of the Craft, the Book of the Law is always spread open in the lodges. There is in this, as in everything else that is Masonic, an appropriate symbolism. The Book of the Law is the Great Light of Masonry. To close it would be to intercept the rays of divine light which emanate from it, and hence it is spread open, to indicate that the lodge is not in darkness, but under the influence of its illuminating power. Masons in this respect obey the suggestion of the Divine Founder of the Christian religion, "Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are of the house." A closed book, a sealed book, indicates that its contents are secret; and a book or roll folded up was the symbol, says Wemyss, of a law abrogated, or of a thing of no further use. Hence, as the reverse of all this, the Book of Law is opened in our lodges, to teach us that its contents are to be studied, that the law which it inculcates is still in force, and is to be "the rule and guide of our conduct." But the Book of the Law is not opened at random. . In each degree there are appropriate passages, whose allusion to the design of the degree, or to some part of its ritual, makes it expedient that the book should be opened upon those passages.

Masonic usage has not always been constant, nor is it now universal in relation to what particular passage shall be unfolded in each degree. The custom in this country, at least since the publication of Webb's Monitor, has been very uniform, and is as follows: In the first degree, the Bible is opened at Psalm cxxxiii., an eloquent description of the beauty of brotherly love, and hence most appropriate as the illustration of a society whose existence is dependent on that noble principle. In the second degree the passage adopted is Amos vii. 7, 8, in which the allusion is evidently to the plumb line, an important emblem of that degree. In the third degree the Bible is opened at Ecclesiastes xii. 1 7, in which the description of old age and death is appropriately applied to the sacred object of this degree.

But, as has been said, the choice of these passages has not always been the same. At different periods various passages have been selected, but always with great appropriateness, as may be seen from the following sketch. Formerly, the Book of the Law was opened in the first degree at the 22nd chapter of Genesis, which gives an account of Abraham's in tended sacrifice of Isaac. As this event constituted the first grand offering, commemorated by our ancient brethren, by which the ground floor of the Apprentice's Lodge was consecrated, it seems to have been very appropriately selected as the passage for this degree. That part of the 28th chapter of Genesis which records the visions of Jacob's ladder was also, with equal appositeness, selected as the passage for the first degree.

The following passage from 1 Kings vi. 8, was, during one part of the last century, used in the second degree: "The door of the middle chamber was in the right side of the house, and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third." The appositeness of this passage to the Fellowcraft's degree will hardly be disputed.

At another time the following passage from 2 Chronicles iii. 17, was selected for the second degree; its appropriateness will be equally evident: "And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and he called the name of that on the right Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz." The words of Amos v. 25, 26, were sometimes adopted as the passage for the third degree: "Have ye offered unto me sacrifice and offerings in the wilderness forty years, 0 house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves." The allusions in this paragraph are not so evident as the others. They refer to historical matters, which were once embodied in the ancient lectures of Freemasonry. In them the sacrifices of the Israelites to Moloch were fully described, and a tradition, belonging to the third degree, informs us that Hiram Abif did much to extirpate this idolatrous worship from the religious system of Tyre.

The 6th chapter of 2 Chronicles, which oontains the prayer of King Solomon at the dedication of the Temple, was also used at one time for the third degree. Perhaps, however, this was with less fitness than any other of the passages quoted, since the events commemorated in the third degree took place at a somewhat earlier period than the dedication. Such a passage might more appropriately be annexed to the ceremonies of the Most Excellent Master as practiced in this country.

At present the usage in England differs in respect to the choice of passages from that adopted in this country.

There the Bible is opened, in the first degree, at Ruth iv. 7: "Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel." In the second degree the passage is opened at Judges xii. 6: "Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth; for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of the Jordan. And there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand." In the third degree the passage is opened at 1 Kings vii. 13, 14: "And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow's son of the tribe of Napthali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and under standing, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work." While from the force of habit, as well as from the extrinsic excellence of the passages themselves, the American Mason will, perhaps, prefer the selections made in our own Lodges, especially for the first and third degrees, he at the same time will not fail to admire the taste and ingenuity of our English brethren in the selections that they have made. In the second degree the passage from Judges is undoubtedly preferable to our own.

In conclusion it may be observed, that to give these passages their due Masonic importance it is essential that they should be covered by the square and compasses. The Bible, square and compasses are significant symbols of Freemasonry. They are said to allude to the peculiar characteristics of our ancient Grand Masters. The Bible is emblematic of the wisdom of King Solomon; the square of the power of Hiram; and the compasses, of the skill of the Chief Builder. Some Masonic writers have still further spiritualized these symbols by sup posing them to symbolize the wisdom, truth, and justice of the Grand Architect of the Universe. In any view they become instructive and inseparably connected portions of the true Masonic ritual, which, to be understood, must be studied together.

847 - Of what is the scythe emblematic?

  • Scythe. The scythe is an emblem of time, which cuts the brittle thread of life, and launches us into eternity. What havoc does the scythe of time make among the human race ! If by chance we escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and arrive in perfect health and strength at the years of vigorous manhood; yet decrepit old age will soon follow, and we must be cut down by the all devouring scythe of time and be gathered into the land where our fathers have gone before us.

848 - What was the legendary virtue of the seal of Solomon?

  • Seal of Solomon. The double or endless triangle, in one or other of its different forms, constituted the famous seal of Solomon, our ancient Grand Master, which was said to bind the evil genii so fast, that they were unable to release themselves. By virtue of this seal, as the Moslems believed, Solomon compelled the genii to assist him in building the Temple of Jerusalem, and many other magnificent works.

849 - To what seat of honor is a Past Master entitled?

  • Seat in East. Past Masters are entitled to a seat in the East, on the right and left of the Worshipful Master, that he may, on all necessary occasions, avail himself of their counsel and experience in the government of the Lodge; but this is a matter left entirely to his own discretion, for in the deliberations of the Lodge the Master is supreme, and Past Masters possess no other privileges of speaking and voting than belong to all other Master Masons. As a mark of respect, and as a distinction of rank, Past Masters are to be invested with a jewel peculiar to their dignity.

850 - What are the teachings of the second degree?

  • Second Degree. As the darkness of heathenism, or natural religion, preceded the divine revelation vouchsafed to the people of God, so by our initiation into the second degree, we advance still farther into the dawn figured out by the Mosaic dispensation, which preceded the more perfect Christian day. Here the novice is brought to light, to behold and handle tools of a more artificial and ingenious construction, and emblematic of sublimer moral truths. By these he learns to reduce rude matter into due form, and rude manners into the more polished shape of moral and religious rectitude; becoming thereby a more harmonious cornerstone of symmetry in the structure of human society, until he is made a glorious cornerstone in the temple of God.

851 - Why do Freemasons enjoin and practice secrecy?

  • Secrecy. Secrecy is one of the first duties of a Freemason, but those Masons err much who think they do their duty by only exercising it in things concerning the Order of the lodge. It is not for this reason only that secrecy is so often inculcated in the lodge as a Masonic duty, it is that he ought to use secrecy and caution in all his transactions out of the lodge, and especially where his talkativeness might be the means of causing injury or damage to his fellow men.

Freemasonry, in laying its foundations in secrecy, follows the Divine order of Nature, where all that is grand and beautiful and useful is born of night ,and mystery. The mighty labors which clothe the earth with fruits and foliage and flowers are "wrought in darkness." The bosom of Nature is a vast laboratory, where the mysterious work of transmutation of substances is perpetually going forward. There is not a point in the universe, the edges of which do not touch the realms of night and silence. God himself is environed with shadows, and "clouds and darkness are around about his throne;" yet his beneficence is felt, and his loving Spirit makes itself visible through all worlds. So Free masonry works in secrecy, but its benignant fruits are visible in all lands. Besides, this principle of secrecy furnishes a mysterious bond of unity and strength, which can be found nowhere else. The objection often urged against the Order on account of this peculiar feature is too puerile to be considered. 852 - What did the ancients teach regarding secrecy and silence?

  • Secrecy and Silence. These virtues constitute the very essence of all Masonic character; they are the safeguard of the Institution, giving admonitions in all degrees, from the lowest to the highest. The Entered Apprentice begins his Masonic career by learning the duty of secrecy and silence. Hence it is appropriate that in that degree which is the consummation of initiation, in which the whole cycle of Masonic science is completed, the abstruse machinery of symbolism should be employed to impress the same important virtues on the mind of the neophyte.

The same principles of secrecy and silence existed in all the ancient mysteries and systems of worship. When Aristotle was asked what thing appeared to him to be most difficult of performance, he replied, "To be secret and silent." "If we turn our eyes back to antiquity," says Calcott, "we shall find that the old Egyptians had so great a regard for silence and secrecy in the mysteries of their religion, that they set up the god Harpocrates, to whom they paid peculiar honor and veneration, who was represented with the right hand placed near the heart, and the left down by his side, covered with a skin before, full of eyes." Apuleius, who was an initiate in the mysteries of Isis, says: "By no peril will I ever be compelled to disclose to the uninitiated the things that I have had intrusted to me on condition of silence." Lobeck, in his Alaophamus, has collected several examples of the reluctance with which the ancients approached a mystical subject, and the manner in which they shrank from divulging any explanation or fable which had been related to them at the mysteries, under the seal of secrecy and silence.

And, lastly, in the school of Pythagoras, these lessons were taught by the sage to his disciples. A novitiate of five years was imposed upon each pupil, which period was to be passed in total silence, and in religious and philosophical contemplation. And at length, when he was admitted to full fellowship in the society, an oath of secrecy was administered to him on the sacred tetractys, which was equivalent to the Jewish Tetragrammaton.

Silence and secrecy are called "the cardinal virtues of a Select Master," in the ninth or Select Master's degree of the American Rite.

Among the Egyptians the sign of silence was made by pressing the index finger of the right hand on the lips. It was thus that they rep resented Harpocrates, the god of silence, whose statue was placed at the entrance of all temples of Isis and Serapis, to indicate that silence and secrecy were to be preserved as to all that occurred within.

853 - Why are candidates for Masonry not elected VIVA VOCE?

  • Secrecy of Ballot. The secrecy of the ballot is as essential to its perfection as its unanimity or its independence. If the vote were to be given viva voce, it is impossible that the improper influences of fear or interest should not sometimes be exerted, and timid members be thus induced to vote contrary to the dictates of their reason and conscience. Hence, to secure this secrecy and protect the purity of choice, it has been wisely established as a usage, that the vote shall in these cases be taken by a ballot.

854 - What are the qualifications of a Secretary of a Lodge?

  • Secretary. An important office in a lodge, for it is necessary that it should be filled by a man who can not only make out the common transactions of the lodge, but who is also capable of comprehending the spirit of a lecture, and introducing it into the transactions, briefly and at the same time correctly. To write a protocol correctly, so that in the event of any dispute it may serve as written evidence, is, as is well known, a most difficult task, and requires great experience. The Secretary must be a Master Mason, and, when necessary, the brethren must assist him as copyists.

855 - Is it lawful to reimburse the Secretary for the performance of his duties?

  • Secretary, Compensation of. It is customary in many Lodges, on account of the numerous and often severe duties of the Secretary, to exempt him from the payment of annual dues, and sometimes even to give him a stated salary. I see no objection to this, for he does not thereby cease to be a contributor to the support of the institution. His contribution, though not in the form of money, is in that of valuable services.

856 - What are the duties of a Secretary?

  • Secretary, Duties of. The Secretary, like the Treasurer, is only a business officer of the Lodge, having nothing to do in the ritualistic labors. The charge which he receives at his installation into office, as it is given by Preston, Webb, and Cross, notwithstanding they all differ, does not contain a full summary of his duties, which are very extensive. I am inclined to think that the usage of the craft is at fault in making the Treasurer the senior officer, for I think it will be found that the duties and labors of the Secretary are not only more onerous, but far more important to the interests of the institution: The Secretary acts, in his relation to the Lodge, in a threefold capacity. He is its recording, corresponding, and collecting agent.

857 - Can a Master lawfully preside over a Lodge without having received the secrets of the chair?

  • Secrets of the Chair. It is the prerogative of the Master of a Lodge to receive from his predecessor the Past Master's degree at the time of his installation. It is a very important question whether it is essential that the Master elect should be invested with the degree of Past Master before he can exercise the functions of his office.

In the discussion of this question, it must be borne in mind that the degree of Past Master constitutes a specified part of the ceremony of installation of the elected Master of a Lodge. No Master is deemed to be regularly installed until he has received the degree. This is the ceremony which in England, and sometimes in this country, is called "passing the chair." The earliest written authorities always refer to it. Anderson alludes to it, in all probability, in his description of the Duke of Wharton's method of constituting a Lodge; Preston says distinctly that the new Master is "to be conducted into an adjacent room, here he is regularly installed;" and Oliver, commenting on this passage, adds, that "this part of the ceremony can only be orally communicated, nor can any but installed Masters be present." This portion of the installing ceremony constitutes the conferring of the Past Master's degree. It is, in fact, the most important and essential part of the installation service; but the law of Masonry prescribes that no one shall exercise the prerogatives of the office to which he has been elected, until he has been regularly installed. Now, if the conferring of the Past Master's degree composes a necessary part of the ceremony of installation - and of this it seems to me that there can be no doubt - then it follows, as a natural deduction, that until the Master elect has received that degree, he has no right to preside over his Lodge. This decision, however, of course does not apply to the Master of a Lodge under dispensation, who, as the special proxy of the Grand Master, and deriving all his powers immediately from that high officer, as well as exercising them only for a specific purpose, is exonerated from the operation of the rule. Nor is it requisite that the degree should be a second time conferred on a Master who has been re elected, and who at his previous installation had received it, although a number of years may have elapsed. When once conferred, its effects are for life.

Now, as it is the duty of every Mason to oppose the exercise by any person of the functions and prerogatives of an office until he has been legally installed, the question here suggests itself, how shall a Master Mason, not being himself in possession of the degree, know when it has not been conferred upon a Master elect? To this the reply is, that if the elected Master attempts to assume the chair, without having under gone any semblance of an installation, the greater part of which, it will be recollected, is performed before the members of the Lodge, it must follow, that he cannot have received the Past Master's degree, which constitutes a part of the ceremony of installation. But if he has been installed, no matter how carelessly or incorrectly, it is to be presumed that the degree has been conferred and the installation completed, un less positive evidence be furnished that it has not, because in Masonry as in law, the maxim holds good that "all things shall be presumed to, have been done legally and according to form until the contrary be proved."

858 - Is Masonry a secret society?

  • Secret Societies. Secret societies may be divided into two classes: First, those whose secrecy consists in nothing more than methods by which the members are enabled to recognize each other; and in certain doctrines, symbols, or instructions which can be obtained only after a process of initiation, and under the promise that they shall be made known to none who have not submitted to the same initiation; ò but which, with the exception of these particulars, have no reservations from the public. And secondly, of those societies which, in addition to their secret modes of recognition and secret doctrine, add an entire secrecy as to the object of their association, the time and places of their meeting, and even the very names of their members. To the first of these classes belong all those moral or religious secret associations which have existed from the earliest times. Such were the Ancient Mysteries, whose object was, by their initiations, to cultivate a purer worship than the popular one; such, too, the schools of the old philosophers, like Pythagoras and Plato, who in their esoteric instructions taught a higher doctrine than that which they communicated to their exoteric scholars. Such, too, are the modern secret societies which have adopted an exclusive form only that they may restrict the social enjoyment which it is their object to cultivate, or the system of benevolence for which they are organized, to the persons who are united with them by the tie of a common covenant, and the possession of a common knowledge. Such, lastly, is Freemasonry, which is a secret society only as respects its signs, a few of its legends and traditions, and its method of inculcating its mystical philosophy, but which, a's to everything else - its design, its object, its moral and religious tenets, and the great doctrine which it teaches - is as open a society as if it met on the highways beneath the sun of day, and not within the well guarded portals of a lodge. To the second class of secret societies belong those which sprang up first in the Middle Ages, like the Vehm Gericht of Westphalia, formed for the secret but certain punishment of criminals; and in the eighteenth century those political societies like the Carbonari, which have been organized at revolutionary periods to resist oppression or overthrow the despotism of tyrannical governments. It is evident that these two classes of secret societies are entirely different in character; but it has been the great error of writers like Barruel and Robison, who have attacked Free masonry on the ground of its being a secret association, that they utterly confounded the two classes.

859 - Why should a Mason seek religion?

  • Seek. He who is desirous of finding wisdom, must diligently seek for it; and if he would know the real design of Masonry, he must study, and observe, and meditate, on what he hears in the lodge, otherwise the bondage of ignorance will never be removed.

860 - Why should a Mason practice brotherly love?

  • Self Interest. Let me travel from east to west, or between north and south, when I meet a true brother, I shall find a friend, who will do all in his power to serve me, without having the least view of self interest; and if I am poor and in distress, he will relieve me, to the utmost of his power, interest or capacity. This is the second grand principle; for relief will follow when there is brotherly love.

861 - Why should a Mason strive for self knowledge?

  • Self Knowledge. Every Freemason is earnestly exhorted to study himself. He who does not know himself, his moral weaknesses, his de sires, his powers of toleration, and his real, not his imaginary, spiritual strength, cannot live as the Order requires that he ought to live, in the bonds of the closest fraternal love with the whole brotherhood; and if an office is intrusted to him in the lodge, he cannot know whether he is capable of filling it with credit to himself and profit to the Craft. It is quite as necessary that a Freemason should be as well acquainted with his moral strength as he is with his moral weakness; for many Masons are inactive in the lodge and in the Craft, merely because they do not know the power which is within themselves. He who has thoroughly studied himself, and is susceptible of all good impressions, will be subject to much less evil than others.

862 - Whose duty is it to carry messages and orders for the Master of a Lodge?

  • Senior Deacon. The Senior Deacon, as I have already remarked, is the especial attendant of the Master. Seated at his right hand, he is ready at all times to carry messages to and convey orders from him to the Senior Warden, and elsewhere about the lodge.

863 - What are the duties of the Senior Warden?

  • Senior Warden. The duties of the Senior Warden are very briefly described in the Installation service. They are, in the absence of the Master, to preside, and govern the Lodge; in his presence, to assist him in the government of it.

In assisting the Master in the government of the Lodge, it is the duty of both officers to see that due silence is observed around their respective stations, and that the orders issued from the east are strictly obeyed. But most of their duties in their peculiar positions are of a ritualistic nature, and are either unnecessary or improper to be discussed in the present work.

In the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden governs the Lodge. This is his inherent right, and has already been fully considered in the preceding section. He may, and often does, as a matter of courtesy, resign the chair to some Past Master present, but such Past Master al ways acts under the authority of the Warden, who has first to congregate the Lodge, that is, to call the brethren to labor, before he resigns the gavel of his authority into the hands of the Past Master.

864 - In what degree are the five senses explained?

  • Senses. Man is brought into communication with the external world by means of five senses, or organs of perception. Seeing, Hearing and Feeling are often referred to in Masonic instructions. They are explained in the degree of Fellowcraft.

865 - What was the usual period of apprenticeship among operative Masons?

  • Servitude. The stipulated period of an apprentice's servitude in former times was seven years, but less time will suffice, if found worthy of promotion by possessing the qualities of freedom, fervency, and zeal.

866 - Of what is the setting maul an emblem?

  • Setting Maul. A wooden hammer used by Operative Masons to "set" the stones in their proper positions. It is in Speculative Masonry a symbol, in the Third Degree, reminding us of the death of the builder of the Temple, which is said to have been effected by this instrument. In some lodges it is very improperly used by the Master as his gavel from which it totally differs in form and in symbolic signification. The gavel is a symbol of order and decorum; the setting maul, of death by violence.

867 - What was the duty of the Senior Warden at the close of day?

  • Setting Sun. It was the duty of the Senior Warden to pay and dismiss the Craft at the close of day, when the sun sinks in the west; so now the Senior Warden is said in the Lodge to represent the setting sun.

868 - Why does Masonry deny admission to women?

  • Sex. It is an unquestionable Landmark of the Order, and the very first prerequisite to initiation, that the candidate shall be "a man." This of course prohibits the initiation of a woman. This Land mark arises from the peculiar nature of our speculative science as connected with an operative art. Speculative Masonry is but the application of operative Masonry to moral and intellectual purposes. Our predecessors wrought, according to the traditions of the Order, at the construction of a material temple, while we are engaged in the erection of a spiritual edifice - the temple of the mind. They employed their implements for merely mechanical purposes; we use them symbolically, with a more exalted design. Thus it is that in all our emblems, our language, and our rites, there is a beautiful exemplification and application of the rules of operative Masonry to a spiritual purpose. And as it is evident that King Solomon employed in the construction of his temple only hale and hearty men and cunning workmen, so our Lodges, in imitation of that great exemplar, demand as an indispensable requisite to initiation into our mysteries, that the candidate shall be a man, capable of performing such work as the Master shall assign him. This is, there fore, the origin of the Landmark which prohibits the initiation of females.

869 - How did our ancient brethren make use of the sword?

  • Sharp Instrument. The emblematic use of a "sharp instrument," as indicated in the ritual of the first degree, is intended to be represented by a warlike weapon (the old rituals call it " a warlike instrument") such as a dagger or sword. The use of the point of a pair of compasses, as is sometimes improperly done, is an erroneous application of the symbol, which should not be tolerated in a properly con ducted lodge. The compasses are, besides, a symbol peculiar to the third degree.

870 - Of what are sheep emblematic?

  • Sheep. The people of God are often typified in the Scriptures under the name of sheep, because of their mild, patient, and inoffensive nature. The lambskin, then, is an appropriate emblem of the innocence. The lamb, too, is of a social nature, and is emblematical of brotherly love. It is easily led.

871 - What does the word "Shibboleth" signify?

  • Shibboleth. The word signifies an ear of corn and a stream or flood of water. The name given to a test or criterion by which the ancient Jews sought to distinguish true persons or things from false. The term originated thus: After the battle gained by Jephthah over the Ephraimites (Judges xii.), the Gileadites, commanded by the former, secured all the passes of the river; and, on an Ephraimite attempting to cross, they asked him if he was of Ephraim. If he said no, they bade him pronounce the word Shibboleth, which Ephraimites, from in ability to give the aspirate, gave Sibboleth. By this means he was detected as an enemy, and immediately slain. In modern times this word has been adopted into political and other organizations as a pass or watchword.

872 - What is the symbolism of the shoe in Masonry?

  • Shoe. Among the ancient Israelites, the shoe was made use of in several significant ways. To put off the shoes imported reverence, and was done in the presence of God, or on entering the dwelling of a superior. To unloose one's shoe and give it to another was the way of confirming a contract. Thus we read in the book of Ruth, that Boaz having proposed to the nearest kinsman of Ruth to exercise his legal right by redeeming the land of Naomi, which was offered for sale, and marrying her daughter in law, the kinsman, being unable to do so, resigned his right of purchase to Boaz; and the narrative goes on to say (Ruth iv.7, 8), "Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things, a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe." The reference to the shoe in the first degree is therefore really as a symbol of a covenant to be entered into. In the third degree the symbolism is altogether different.

873 - Of what is the shovel an emblem?

  • Shovel. The use of the shovel is to clear away rubbish and loose earth; and it morally depicts the mortal state in which the body is laid in the grave; that when the remains of this body shall have been properly disposed of, we, with humble but holy confidence, hope that the spirit may arise to everlasting life.

874 - Is the Grand Hailing Sign the same in all jurisdictions?

  • Sign of Distress. This is probably one of the original modes of recognition adopted at the revival period, if not before. It is to be found in the earliest rituals extant of the last century, and its connection with the legend of the third degree makes it evident that it probably belongs to that degree. The Craft in the last century called it some times "the Master's Clap," and sometimes "the Grand Sign," which latter name has been adopted by the Masons of the present century, who call it the "Grand Hailing Sign," to indicate its use in hailing or calling a brother whose assistance may be needed. The true form of the sign has unfortunately been changed by carelessness or ignorance from the ancient one, which is still preserved in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe. It is impossible to be explicit; but it may be remarked, that looking to its traditional origin, the sign is a defensive one, first made in an hour of attack, to give protection to the person. This is perfectly represented by the European and English form, but utterly misrepresented by the American. The German Rite of Schroeder attempted some years ago to induce the Craft to transfer this sign from the third to the first degree. As this would have been an evident innovation, and would have contradicted the ritual history of its origin and meaning, the attempt was not successful.

875 - Why should a Mason cultivate silence?

  • Silence. The first thing that Pythagoras taught his scholars was to be silent; for a certain time he kept them without speaking, to the end they might the better learn to preserve the valuable secrets he had to communicate, and never to speak but when required, expressing thereby that secrecy was the rarest virtue. Aristotle was asked what thing appeared to him most difficult; he answered to be secret and silent. To this purpose St. Ambrose, in his offices, placed among the principal foundations of virtue the patient gift silence.

876 - Of what is the silver cord an emblem?

  • Silver Cord. In the beautiful and affecting description of the body of man suffering under the infirmities of old age given in the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, we find the expression "or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern: then shall the dust return to earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it." Dr. Clarke thus explains these beautiful metaphors. The silver cord is the spinal marrow; its loosening is the cessation of all nervous sensibility; the golden bowl is the brain, which is rendered unfit to perform its functions by the approach of death; the pitcher means the great vein which carries the blood to the right ventricle of the heart, here called the fountain; by the wheel is meant the great artery which receives the blood from the left ventricle of the heart, here designated as the cistern. This collection of metaphors is a part of the Scripture reading in the third degree, and forms an appropriate introduction to those sublime ceremonies whose object is to teach symbolically the resurrection and life eternal.

877 - Why should Masons be sincere?

  • Sincerity. A search after truth is the peculiar employment of Masons at their periodical meetings, and therefore they describe it as a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be good men and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct; influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown in the lodge; sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us; while the heart and tongue join in promoting the general welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.

878 - How is the Masonic Lodge situated?

  • Situation. The lodge is situated due east and west, for various reasons; but the principal inducement of our ancient brethren to adopt this disposition was that it might serve to commemorate the great deliverance of the Israelites from bondage, by imitating the arrangement of the Tabernacle which was erected by Moses in the wilderness, as a place of public worship until the Lord should reveal the situation which he had chosen for his Holy Name amongst the tribes in the promised land.

879 - What is the Masonic definition of slander?

  • Slander. Inwood, in his sermon on "Union Amongst Masons," says: "To defame our brother, or suffer him to be defamed, without interesting ourselves for the preservation of his name and character, there is scarcely the shadow of an excuse to be formed. Defamation is always wicked. Slander and evil speaking are the pests of civil society, are the disgrace of every degree of religious profession, the poisonous bane of all brotherly love."

880 - How can a Lodge protect itself against impostors?

  • Slinking. It is not only possible, but it has often happened, that men have stole into the lodge who were never worthy of being admitted members of the Order, but who have managed to get initiated by hypocrisy, and because the members have not had sufficient opportunities to prove them, and to watch their previous conduct. But it is quite impossible for any one who has not been initiated to find his way into a lodge to indulge his curiosity. Every cultivated and moral man knows that initiation will not be denied him if he applies in a proper manner for it, and we are assured that they will never attempt, either by force or fraud, to gain admittance into a society where they have no right to be. Should any one, destitute of moral feeling, attempt to do so thinking that from printed works he has made himself acquainted with our customs, and can pass himself off for a Mason, he never can get beyond the ante chamber for he has no certificate, or if he has, it is not his, and this is soon proved; his name is not upon any list, nor does he know anything of how he should answer the questions which will be put to him. An uneducated man has still less chance of stealing into a lodge, for his answer to the first question put to him would discover him at once. If we were as well secured from the first manner of improperly gaining admittance into a lodge as we are from the last, the Order would be in a more flourishing condition than it now is.

881 - What are the social duties of a Master of a Lodge?

  • Social Duties of a Master. Socially, that is, as a member and officer of.a peculiar society, exclusive in its character, he must be "true and trusty, and a lover of the whole fraternity." Each of these indicates a particular quality; his truth and fidelity will secure his obedience to all the regulations of the Order - his observance of its Land marks and ancient usages - his opposition to all unwarrantable innovations. They will not only induce him to declare at his installation, but to support his declaration during his whole term of office, that "it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make innovations in the body of Masonry." They are his guarantee that he will not violate the promises he has made of fidelity and obedience to the constituted authorities of the Order.

His love of the fraternity will be an evidence of his zeal and fervency in the cause - of his disposition to cultivate all the benign principles of the institution, and to extend its blessings in every unobjectionable way. Where there is love, there must be reasonable service, and affection for the brethren will show its results in devotion to the association of which these brethren form a component part.

882 - What are the advantages of being a Mason?

  • Society. Freemasonry forms a happy center of reunion for worthy men, who are desirous of a select society of friends and brothers, who have bound themselves in a voluntary obligation to love each other; to afford aid and assistance in time of need; to animate one another to acts of virtue and benevolence; and to keep inviolably the secrets which form the great characteristic of the Order.

883 - What is a Lodge of Sorrow?

  • Sorrow Lodge. It is the custom among Masons on the continent of Europe to hold special lodges at stated periods, for the purpose of commemorating the virtues and deploring the loss of their departed members, and other distinguished worthies of the Fraternity who have died. These are called Funeral or Sorrow Lodges. In Germany they are held annually; in France at longer intervals. In this country the custom has been introduced by the Ancient and Accepted Rite, whose Sorrow Lodge ritual is peculiarly beautiful and impressive, and the usage has been adopted by many lodges of the American Rite. On these occasions the lodge is clothed in the habiliments of mourning, and decorated with the emblems of death, solemn music is played, funeral dirges are chanted, eulogies on the life, character and Masonic virtues of the dead are delivered.

884 - Why is the Junior Warden stationed in the South?

  • South. The due course of the sun is from east to south and west; and after the Master are placed the Wardens, to extend his commands and instructions to the west and the north. From the east the sun's rays cannot penetrate into the north and the west at the same time.

885 - On what is the Masonic system founded?

  • Speculative. The Masonic system exhibits a stupendous and beautiful fabric, founded on universal piety. To rule and direct our passions, to have faith and hope in God, and charity towards man, I consider as the objects of what is termed Speculative Masonry.

886 - What is the symbolism of the square and compass?

  • Square and Compasses. These two symbols have been so long and so universally combined - to teach us, as says an early ritual, "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 a flour having made, in 1873, an application to the Patent Office for permission to adopt the square and compasses as a trademark, the Commissioner of Patents refused permission on the ground that the mark was a Masonic symbol. "If this emblem," said Mr. J. M. Thacher, the Commissioner, "were something other than precisely what is 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 displayed, either as an arbitrary character or otherwise. It will be universally understood, or misunderstood, as having a Masonic significance; and, therefore, as a trademark, must constantly work deception. Nothing could be more mischievous than to create as a monopoly, and uphold by the power of law, 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."

887 - What is the duty of a Mason with respect to the laws of Masonry?

  • Stand to and Abide by. The covenant of Masonry requires every Mason "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.

888 - What should the By Laws of a Lodge contain?

  • Statutes or Duties. Every Lodge has its statutes, with which every brother should be well acquainted, and which ought, frequently to be read in open Lodge. They treat upon the duties of a Freemason both in and out of the Lodge, upon the duties of the officers, on the management of the Lodge, the duties and privileges of the brethren towards each other, and of the locality in which the Lodge is placed.

889 - In each step in Masonry with what is the candidate presented?

  • Step. In the system of Masonry, the candidate is presented at each step with three precious jewels. As an Entered Apprentice, he receives "a listening ear, a silent tongue, and a faithful heart." As a Fellow Craft, it is "faith, hope, and charity." And as a Master Mason, he receives "humanity, friendship, and brotherly love."

890 - What are the duties of the Stewards?

  • Stewards, Duties of. The Stewards are two in number, and are appointed by the Junior Warden. They sit on the right and left of that officer, each one having a white rod, as the insignia of his office, and wearing the cornucopia as a jewel.

Preston says that their duties are "to introduce visitors, and see that they are properly accommodated; to collect subscriptions and other fees, and to keep an exact account of the Lodge expenses." Webb adds to these the further duties of seeing "that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that every brother is suitably provided for," and he makes them the assistants generally of the Deacons and other officers in performing their respective duties.

There can be no doubt, from the nature of the office in other institutions, that the duty of the Stewards was originally to arrange and direct the refreshments of the Lodge, and to provide accommodations for the brethren on such occasions. When the office was first established, refreshments constituted an important and necessary part of the proceedings of every Lodge. Although not yet abolished, the Lodge banquets are now fewer, and occur at greater intervals, and the services of the Stewards are therefore now less necessary, so far as respects their original duties as servitors at the table. Hence new duties are beginning to be imposed upon them, and they are, in many jurisdictions, considered as the proper officers to examine visitors and to prepare candidates.

The examination of visitors, and the preparation of candidates for reception into the different degrees, requires an amount of skill and experience which can be obtained only by careful study. It seems, there fore, highly expedient that instead of entrusting these services to committees appointed as occasion may require, they should be made the especial duty of officers designated at their installation for that purpose, and who will therefore, it is to be supposed, diligently prepare them selves for the correct discharge of the functions of their office.

Preston says that at their installation the Master and Wardens are the representatives of the Master Masons who are absent, the Deacons of the Fellow Crafts, and the Stewards of the Entered Apprentices. The Stewards, like the Deacons, although not elected, but appointed, cannot, after installation, be removed by the officer who appointed them. I may remark, in conclusion, that the office is one of great antiquity. since we find it alluded to and the duties enumerated in the Old York Constitutions of 926, where the Steward is directed "to provide good cheer against the hour of refreshment," and to render a true and correct account of the expenses.

891 - Who were the Masters and Wardens of the lodges of Masons during the building of King Solomon's temple?

  • Stone Squarers. These were the Dionysiacs, a society of architects who built the Temple of Hercules at Tyre, and many magnificent edifices in Asia Minor, before the Temple of Solomon was projected. They were the Masters and Wardens of the lodges of Mason during the erection of this famous edifice.

892 - What is one of the three principal supports of a Lodge?

  • Strength. 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 there 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 Masonry 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.

893 - What is the Masonic meaning of the expression "strict trial?"

  • Strict Trial. The ritualistic Landmark requires that these forms must be conducted in such a manner as to constitute what is technically called a "strict trial." No question must be omitted that should have been asked, and no answer received unless strictly and categorically correct. The rigor and severity of the rules and forms of a Masonic examination must never be weakened by undue partiality or unjustifiable delicacy. The honor and safety of the institution are to be paramount to every other consideration; and the Masonic maxim is never to be forgotten, that "it is better that ninety and nine true men should, by over 'strictness, be turned away from the door of a Lodge, than that one cowan should, through the carelessness of an examining committee, be admitted."

894 - Why is the third called the sublime degree of Masonry?

  • Sublime. 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 last century. Neither Hutchinson, nor Smith, nor Preston use it; and it was not, therefore, I presume, in the original Prestonian lecture. Hutchinson speaks of "the most sacred and solemn Order of the most exalted," but not of the "sublime" degree. Webb, who based his lectures on the Prestonian system, applies no epithet to the Master's degree. In an addition 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 rituals of this country. 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, a 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."

895 - What are the tests of Masonic obedience?

  • Submission. Your obedience must be proved by a close conformity to our laws and regulations; by prompt attention to all signs and summonses; by modest and correct demeanor whilst in the lodge; by abstaining from every topic of religious or political discussion; by a ready acquiescence in all votes and resolutions duly passed by the brethren; and by perfect submission to the Master and his Wardens, whilst acting in the discharge of their respective offices.

896 - Of what is the substitute word a symbol?

  • Substitute Word. This is an expression of very significant suggestion to the thoughtful Master Mason. If the Word, is, in Masonry, 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 last 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 under went 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. 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 this country.

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, I think 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, I think, 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 this country 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 properly 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, I must forbear to enlarge upon these holy mysteries.

897 - What is the order of succession in event of the death or disability of the Grand Master?

  • Succession in Office of Grand Master. There never has been any doubt that in case of the death or absence from the jurisdiction of the Grand Master, the Deputy succeeds to the office, for this seems to have 'been the only object of his appointment. The only mooted point is as to the successor, in the absence of both.

The Fourteenth Regulation of 1721 had prescribed, that if the Grand Master and his Deputy should both be absent from the Grand Lodge, the functions of Grand Master shall be vested in "the present Master of a Lodge that has been the longest a Freemason," unless there be a Past Grand Master or Past Deputy present. But this was found to be an infringement on the prerogatives of the Grand Wardens, and accordingly a new Regulation appeared in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, which prescribed that the order of succession should be as follows: the Deputy, a Past Grand Master, a Past Deputy Grand Master, the Senior, and then the Junior Grand Warden, the oldest former Grand Warden present, and lastly, the oldest Freemason who is the Master of a Lodge. But this order of succession does not appear to be strictly in accordance with the representative character of the Grand Lodge, since Past Grand officers, who are not by inherent right members of the Grand Lodge, should not be permitted to take precedence of the actual members and representatives. Accordingly, in this country, the Regulation has in general been modified, and here the Deputy succeeds the Grand Master, and after him the Wardens, in order of their rank, and then the Master of the oldest Lodge present, Grand officers being entirely excluded.

898 - Who takes the place of the Grand Master or Grand Warden in the event of his absence from a session of the Grand Lodge?

  • Succession of Grand Lodge Officers. As in a subordinate Lodge, so in the Grand Lodge, the Junior Grand Warden does not occupy the west in the absence of the Senior Grand Warden. The two offices are entirely distinct; and the Junior Grand Warden having been elected and installed to preside in the south, can leave that station only for the east, in the absence of all his superiors. A vacancy in the west must be supplied by temporary appointment.

On the same principle, the Senior Grand Warden cannot supply the place of the absent Deputy Grand Master. In fact, in the absence from the Grand Lodge of the Deputy, it is scarcely necessary that his office should be filled by the temporary appointment of any person; for, in the presence of the Grand Master, the Deputy has no duties to perform.

899 - Who succeeds to the chair in the absence or disability of the Master?

  • Succession to the Chair. Two principles seem now to be very generally admitted by the authorities on Masonic law, in connection with this subject.
1. That in the temporary or permanent absence of the Master, the Senior Warden, or, in his absence, the Junior, succeeds to the chair.
2. That on the permanent removal of the Master by death or expulsion, there can be no election for a successor until the constitutional night of election.

Let us inquire into the foundation of each of these principles.

1. The second of the Regulations of 1721 is in these words: "In case of death or sickness, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tern pore, 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 lines which I have placed 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 sup posed 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 three years after, the following regulation was adopted: "If a Master of a particular Lodge is deposed or demits, 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 to have been formed rather in reference to the Regulation of 1721 than to that of 1723. It prescribes that on the death, removal, or in capacity 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 election of officers." 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 take 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 authority. The Senior Warden congregates the Lodge, but a Past Master rules it; and if 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 this country the usage has always conformed to the Regulation of 1723, as is apparent from a glance at our rituals and monitorial works. Webb, in his "Freemason's 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 borrowed 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 some Past Master who is present, after the Lodge has been congregated.

900 - What is the prerogative of a Past Master with reference to his successor?

  • Successor, Installation of. Past Masters are invested with the right of installing their successors. There is, it is true, no Ancient Regulation which expressly confers upon them this prerogative, but it seems always to have been the usage of the fraternity to restrict the installing power to one who had himself been installed, so that there might be an uninterrupted succession in the chair. Thus, in the "Ancient Installation Charges," which date at least as far back as the seventeenth century, in describing the way in which the charges at an installation were given, it is said, "then one of the elders holds the book (of the law), and they place their hand upon it;" where senioribus may be very well interpreted as meaning the elder Master, those who have presided over a Lodge: seniores being originally a term descriptive of age which was applied to those in authority.

In 1717, the first Grand Master, under the new organization, was installed, as we learn from the book of Constitutions, by the oldest Master of a Lodge. Preston also informs us, in his ritual of installation, that when the Grand Master does not act, any Master of a Lodge may perform the ceremony. Accordingly, Past Masters have been universally considered as alone possessing the right of installation. In this and all similar expressions, it must be understood that Past Masters and installed Masters, although not having been twelve months in the chair, are in Masonic law identical. A Master of a Lodge becomes a Past Master, for all legal purposes, as soon as he is installed.

901 - What are the prerogatives of a Deputy Grand Master or a Grand Warden when acting pro tempore as Grand Master?

  • Successor to Grand Master. The duties and prerogatives to which a Deputy Grand Master or Grand Warden succeeds, in case of the absence of the Grand Master from any communication, are simply those of a presiding officer, although of course they are for the time invested with all the rights which are exercised by the Grand Master in that capacity. But if the Grand Master be within the limits of the jurisdiction, although absent from the Grand Lodge, all their temporary functions cease as soon as the Grand Lodge is closed.

If, however, the Grand Master is absent from the jurisdiction, or has demised, then these officers, in the order already stated, succeed to the Grand Mastership, and exercise all the prerogatives of the office until his return, or, in the case of his death, until the next communication of the Grand Lodge.

902 - What should a summons contain?

  • Summons. The brethren must be invited by summons from the Secretary on every lodge night; which summons must contain the place where, and the time when, the lodge is to be held, as well as what degrees will be wrought.

903 - Why does the Worshipful Master sit in the East?

  • Sun. The sun rises in the east, and in the east is the place for the Worshipful Master. As the sun is the source of all life and warmth, so should the Worshipful Master enliven and warm the brethren to their work. Among the ancient Egyptians, the sun was the symbol of divine providence. Schiller says, "the sun darts his beams equally into every part of infinity."

904 - Has the Lodge power to surrender its warrant without the consent of the Master?

  • Surrender of Warrant. A Lodge may be dissolved by a voluntary surrender of its warrant. This must be by the act of a majority of the members, and at a communication especially called for that purpose. But it has been held that the Master must concur in this surrender; for, if he does not, being the custodian of the instrument, it cannot be taken from him, except upon trial and conviction of a competent offence before the Grand Lodge.

As the warrant of constitution is so important an instrument, being the evidence of the legality of the Lodge, it is essentially necessary that it should be present and open to the inspection of all the members and visitors at each communication of the Lodge. The ritual requires that the three great lights of Masonry should always be present in the Lodge, as necessary to its organization as a just Lodge. Equally necessary is the warrant of constitution to its organization as a legal Lodge; and therefore if the warrant is mislaid or out of the room at the time of opening, it is held by Masonic jurists that the Lodge cannot be opened until that instrument is brought in and deposited in a conspicuous place, the most usual; and perhaps the most proper, being the pedestal of the Master.

905 - By what process does a newly organized Grand Lodge issue authority over its constituent Lodges?

  • Surrender of Warrant. As soon as a new Grand Lodge is organized, it will grant warrants to the Lodges which formed it, to take effect upon their surrendering the warrants under which they originally acted to the Grand Lodges, from which they had derived them. There is no regulation prescribing the precise time at which these warrants are to be surrendered; but it seems reasonable to suppose that they could not surrender them before the new Grand Lodge is organized, because the surrender of a warrant is the extinction of a Lodge, and the Lodges must preserve their vitality to give them power to organize the new authority.

906 - What is the Masonic meaning of the word "suspension?"

  • Suspension. Suspension may be defined to be a temporary privation of the rights and privileges of Masonry. This privation may be for a fixed or indeterminate period, whence results the division of this class of punishments into two kinds - definite and indefinite. The effect of the penalty is, for the time that it lasts, the same in both kinds, but there are some differences in the mode in which restoration to rights is to be effected in each.

907 - May a Lodge lawfully suspend its by laws?

  • Suspension of By Laws. From the fact that the by laws of a Lodge must be submitted to the Grand Lodge for its approval and confirmation arises the doctrine that a subordinate Lodge cannot, even by unanimous consent, suspend a by law. As there is no error more commonly committed than this by unthinking Masons, who suppose that in a Lodge, as in any other society, a by law may be suspended by unanimous consent, it will not be amiss to consider the question with some degree of care and attention.

An ordinary society makes its own rules and regulations, independent of any other body, subject to no revision, and requiring no approbation outside of itself. Its own members are the sole and supreme judges of what it may or may not enact for its own government. Consequently, as the members themselves have enacted the rule, the members them selves may unanimously agree to suspend, to amend, or to abolish it.

But a Masonic Lodge presents a different organization. It is not self created or independent. It derives its power, and indeed its very existence, from a higher body, called a Grand Lodge which constitutes the supreme tribunal to adjudicate for it. A Masonic Lodge has no power to make by laws without the consent of the Grand Lodge, in whose jurisdiction it is situated. The by laws of a subordinate Lodge may be said only to be proposed by the Lodge, as they are not operative until they have been submitted to the Grand Lodge, and approved by that body. Nor can any subsequent alteration of any of them take place unless it passes through the same ordeal of revision and approbation by the Grand Lodge.

Hence it is evident that the control of the by laws, rules and regulations of the Lodge is taken entirely out of its hands. A certain law has been agreed on, we will say, by the members. It is submitted to the Grand Lodge and approved. From that moment it becomes a law for the government of that Lodge, and cannot be repealed without the consent of the Grand Lodge. So far, these statements will be admitted to be correct. But if a Lodge cannot alter, annul or repeal such law, without the consent of the Grand Lodge, it must necessarily follow that it cannot suspend it, which is, for all practical purposes, a repeal for a temporary period.

I will suppose, by way of example, that it is proposed to suspend the by law which requires that at the annual election all the officers shall be elected by ballot, so as to enable the Lodge, on a particular occasion, to vote viva voce. Now, this law must, of course, have been originally submitted to the Grand Lodge, and approved by that body. Such approbation made it the enactment of the Grand Lodge. It had thus declared that in that particular Lodge all elections for officers should be determined by ballot. The regulation became imperative on the Lodge. If it determined, even by unanimous consent, to suspend the rule, and on a certain occasion to proceed to the election of a particular officer by acclamation or viva voce, then the Lodge was abrogating for the time a law that the Grand Lodge had declared was binding on it, and establishing in its place a new one, which had not received the approbation of the supreme tribunal. Such a rule would therefore, for want of this confirmation, be inoperative. It would, in fact, be no rule at all, or worse, it would be a rule enacted in opposition to the will of the Grand Lodge. This principle applies, of course, to every other by law, whether trivial or important, local or general in its character. The Lodge can touch no regulation after the decree of the Grand Lodge for its confirmation has been passed. The regulation has gone out of the control of the Lodge, and its only duty then is implicit obedience. Hence it follows that it is not competent for a subordinate Lodge, even by unanimous consent, to suspend any of its by laws.

908 - In whom does the power of suspending a Master of a Lodge reside?

  • Suspension of Master. It will sometimes happen that the offences of the Master are of such a nature as to require immediate action, to protect the character of the institution and to preserve the harmony of the Lodge. The Grand Lodge may not be in session, and will not be for some months, and in the meantime the Order is to be protected from the evil effects that would arise from the continuance of a bad Master in office. The remedy provided by the usages of the institution for such an 'evil are of a summary nature. The Grand Master is, in an extraordinary case like this, invested with extraordinary powers, and may suspend the blaster from office until the next communication of the Grand Lodge, when he will be subjected to a trial. In the mean time the Senior Warden will assume the office and discharge the functions of the Master. In New York, the Grand Master immediately appoints in such a case a commission of seven, who must be not lower in rank than Wardens, and who try the question and make up their decision, which is final, unless an appeal is taken from it, within six months, to the Grand Lodge. This, however, is a local regulation, and where it, or some other satisfactory mode of action is not prescribed by the Constitution of a Grand Lodge, the Grand Master may exert his prerogative of suspension under the general usage or common law of Masonry.

909 - Who was Emanuel Swedenborg? What was the rite of Swedenborg?

  • Swedenborg, Rite of. This rite was established by Emanuel Swedenborg, the eminent philosopher, who was born at Stockholm, January 29, 1688, died at London, March 29, 1772. His rite was composed of eight degrees, divided into two Temples. The first Temple contained the degrees of Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master and Elect. The doctrines of these degrees related to the creation of man, his obedience and punishment, and the penalties inflicted on the body and soul; all of which is represented in the initiation. The second Temple comprises the degrees of Companion Cohen, Master Cohen, Grand Architect and Knight Commander, and Kadosh. The enlightened Mason will find much of the elements of Freemasonry in the writings of Swedenborg, who, for forty eight years of his life, devoted himself to the cultivation of science, and produced a great number of works, in which he broached many novel and ingenious theories in theology, which obtained for him a remarkable celebrity in several parts of the world. ò The Marquis de Thome, in 1783, taking up the system that had been adopted in the Lodge of Avignon, in 1760, modified it to suit his own views, and instituted what afterward became known as the Rite of Swedenborg.

Swedenborg was well versed in the ancient languages; philosophy, metaphysics, mineralogy and astronomy were equally familiar to him. He devoted himself to profound researches in regard to the mysteries of Freemasonry, wherein he had been initiated; and in what he wrote respecting it, he established that the doctrines of the institution came from those of the Egyptians, Persians, Jews and Greeks. He endeavored to reform the Roman Catholic religion, and his doctrines were adopted by a great number of persons in Sweden, England, Holland, Russia, Germany, and lastly, in the United States. His religious system is expounded in the book entitled The Celestial Jerusalem, or the Spiritual World. If we are to believe him, he wrote it from the dictation of angels, who, for that purpose, appeared to him at fixed periods. Swedenborg divided the Spiritual World, or the Heavenly Jerusalem, into three Heavens; the upper, or third Heaven; the Spiritual, or second, which is in the middle, and the lower or first, relatively to our world. The dwellers in the third Heaven are the most perfect among the angels; they receive the chief portion of the divine influences immediately from God, whom they see face to face. God is the sun of the invisible world. From him flow Love and Truth, of which heat and light are but emblems. The angels of the second Heaven enjoy, through the upper Heaven, the divine influence. They see God distinctly, but not in all his splendor; he is to them a star without rays, such as the moon appears to us, which gives more light than heat. The dwellers in the lower Heaven receive the divine influence mediately through the other two Heavens. The attributes of the two latter classes are Love and Intelligence. Each of these celestial kingdoms is inhabited by innumerable societies; the angels which compose them are male and female. They contract marriages that are eternal, because it is similarity of inclinations and sympathy that attract them to each other. Each pair dwell in a splendid palace, surrounded by delicious gardens. Below the celestial regions is the realm of spirits. Thither all man kind go immediately upon their death. The divine influence, which their material envelope had prevented them from feeling, is revealed to them by degrees, and effects their transformation into angels, if they are predestined to that. The remembrance of the world which they have left is insensibly effaced from their memory; their proper instincts are unrestrainedly developed, and prepare them for heaven or hell. So full as heaven is of splendor, love and delight, so full is hell of darkness and misery, despair and hate. Such were the reveries on which Pernetti and Gabrianca founded their Illuminism.

910 - Of what are the sword and naked heart emblematic?

  • Sword Pointing to the Naked Heart. Webb says that "the sword pointing to the naked heart demonstrates that justice will, sooner or later, overtake us." The symbol is I think, 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.

911 - Of what is the sword emblematic?

Swords. In ancient times, every brother was obliged to be armed in the lodge to protect himself, in case the lodge was assaulted, and as a symbol of manly strength. At present, swords are not necessary in many lodges, and in others, they are only used as symbols of obedience, in case that one should be necessary, and to be regarded as the sword of justice. For the protection of his fatherland, every faithful brother ought to draw the sword of defence cheerfully, but he ought never to stain it with a brothel's blood, even though that brother is a foe.

912 - What should be the shape of the Tiler's sword?

  • Sword, Tiler's. 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.

913 - What is the nature of symbolism?

  • Symbol. Latin, Symbolum. A word derived from the Greek sumbolon from sumballein, to suspect, divine, compare; a word of various meaning, even with the ancients, who used it to denote a sign, a mark, watchword, signal, token, sealring, etc. Its meaning is still more various in modern times.

Symbol is generally used as synonymous with emblem. It is not confined, however, to visible figures, but embraces every representation of an idea by an image, whether the latter is presented immediately to the senses, or merely brought before the mind by words. Men, in the infancy of society, were incapable of abstract thought, and could convey truths only by means of sensible images. In fact, man, at all times, has a strong propensity to clothe thoughts and feelings in images, to make them more striking and living; and in the early periods of our race, when man lived in intimate communion with nature, he readily found, in natural objects, forms and images for the expression of moral truths; and even his conceptions of the Deity were derived directly from natural objects.

Freemasonry is a complete system of symbolic teaching, and can be known, understood or appreciated only by those who study its symbolism, and make themselves thoroughly acquainted with its occult meaning. To such, Freemasonry has a grand and sublime significance. Its symbols are moral, philosophical and religious, and all these are pregnant with great thoughts, and reveal to the intelligent Mason the awful mystery of life, and the still more awful mystery of death.


914 - What is the symbolism of the Jewish tabernacle?

  • Tabernacle. The Hebrew word properly signifies handsome tent. There were three public tabernacles among the Jews previous to the building of Solomon's Temple. The first, which Moses erected, was called "the Tabernacle of the Congregation." In this he gave audience, heard causes, and inquired of God. The second was that which Moses built for God, by his express command. The third public tabernacle was that which David erected in Jerusalem for the reception of the ark when he received it from the house of Obed edom.

It is the second of these, called the Tabernacle, by way of distinction, that we have more particularly to notice. This tabernacle was of an oblong, rectangular form, 30 cubits long, 10 broad, and 16 in height, which is equivalent to 55 feet long, 18 broad, and 18 high. The two sides and the western end were formed of boards of shittim wood, overlaid with thin plates of gold, and fixed in solid sockets or vases of silver. It was so contrived as to be taken to pieces and put together again at pleasure.

The Tabernacle was covered with four different kinds of curtains. The first and inner curtain was composed of fine linen, magnificently embroidered with figures of cherubim, in shades of blue, purple and scarlet; this formed the beautiful ceiling. The next covering was made of goat's hair; the third of rams' skins dyed red; and the fourth, and outward covering, was made of other animals' skins, colored red.

The east end of the Tabernacle was ornamented with five pillars, from which richly embroidered curtains were suspended. The inside was divided, by a richly embroidered veil of linen, into two parts, the holy place and the holy of holies; in the first of which were placed the altar of incense, the table with the shew bread, and the seven branched candlestick; in the latter place were the ark, the mercy seat, and the cherubim. Besides this veil of fine linen which separated the most holy place, the tabernacle was furnished with other veils of divers colors, viz: of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen (white), from which are derived the emblematic colors of the several degrees of Masonry. Within the chamber of a Royal Arch chapter, a temporary structure, after the plan of the one built by Moses, may be erected, as a representation of the tabernacle constructed by Zerubbabel, near the ruins of the first temple, after the return of the captives from Babylon, while the people were building the second temple.

915 - Why should Masons set a guard upon their lips?

  • Taciturnity. Taciturnity is a proof of wisdom, and an art of in estimable value, which is proved to be an attribute of the Deity, by the glorious example which he gives in concealing from mankind the secret mysteries of his providence. The wisest of men cannot penetrate into the arcana of heaven, nor can they divine to day what to morrow may bring forth.

916 - What is the Talmud and what is its relation to Freemasonry?

  • Talmud. A word derived from the Hebrew verb lamad, he has learned. It means doctrine. Among the modern Jews, it signifies an immense collection of traditions, illustrative of their laws and usages, forming twelve folio volumes. It consists of two parts - the Mishua and the Gemara. The Mishua is a collection of Rabbinical rules and precepts, made in the second century of the Christian era.

917 - Of what do the four tassels pendant to the corners of the Lodge remind us?

  • Tassels. Pendant to the corners of the lodge are four tassels, meant to remind us of the four cardinal virtues; namely, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice; the whole of which, tradition informs us, were constantly practised by a great majority of our ancient brethren. The distinguishing characters of a good Freemason are virtue, honor, and mercy; and should those be banished from all other societies, may they ever be found in a Mason's breast.

918 - Is an unaffiliated Mason liable to Masonic taxation?

  • Taxation of Unaffiliated Masons. The levying of a tax upon unaffiliated Masons is contrary to the spirit of the institution, the principles of justice, and the dictates of expediency. It is contrary to the spirit of our institution: Masonry is a voluntary association, and no man should be compelled to remain in it a moment longer than he feels the wish to do so. It is contrary to the principles of Justice, for taxation should always be contingent upon representation; but an unaffiliated is not represented in the body which imposes the tax. And lastly, it is contrary to the dictates of expediency, for a tax upon such Masons would be a tacit permission and almost an encouragement of the practice of non affiliation. It may be said that it is a penalty inflicted for an offence; but in reality it would be considered, like the taxes of the Roman chancery, simply as the cost of a license for the perpetration of a crime. If a Mason refuses, by affiliation and the payment of dues to a Lodge, to support the institution; let him, after due trial, be punished, by deprivation of all his Masonic privileges, by suspension or expulsion; but no Grand Lodge should, by the imposition of a tax, remove from non affiliation its character of a Masonic offence. The notion would not for a moment be entertained of imposing a tax on all Masons who lived in violation of their obligations; and I can see no difference between the collection of a tax for non affiliation and that for habitual intemperance, except in the difference of grade between the two offences. The principle is precisely the same.

919 - What is the prerogative of the Grand Lodge with respect to levying taxes upon the Fraternity?

  • Taxing Power of Grand Lodge. The taxing power is a prerogative of a Grand Lodge. Every Grand Lodge has the right to impose a tax on its subordinate Lodges, or on all the affiliated Masons living within its jurisdiction. The tax upon individual Masons is, however, generally indirect. Thus, the Grand Lodge requires a certain contribution or subsidy from each of its subordinates, the amount of which is always in proportion to the number of its members and the extent of its work, and the Lodges make up this contribution by imposing a tax upon their members. It is very rarely that a Grand Lodge resorts to a direct tax upon the Masons of its jurisdiction. At present I recollect but two instances in which such a right has been exercised, namely, by the Grand Lodges of Louisiana and Arkansas. In the former instance, as there appeared to be some opposition to the doctrine, the Grand Lodge in 1855 adopted a resolution, in which it declared that it did not "assert its power to tax unconditionally, or for extraordinary purposes, the constituent Lodges." I am at some loss to understand the distinct meaning of this proposition; but if it is intended to deny the prerogative of the Grand Lodge to levy any kind or amount of tax that it deems expedient on either the subordinate Lodges or their individual members, I am compelled to refuse my assent to such a proposition. That the power to impose taxes is a prerogative of every sovereignty is a doctrine which it would be an act of supererogation to defend, for no political economist has ever doubted it. The only qualification which it admits is, that the persons taxed should be entitled to a voice, directly or indirectly, in the imposition; for taxation without representation is universally admitted to be one of the most odious forms of tyranny. But as a Grand Lodge, as the supreme Masonic authority in every jurisdiction, is in vested with all the attributes of sovereignty, and is besides a representative body, it follows that the unconditional power of taxation must reside in it as one of the prerogatives of its sovereignty. And if the particular species or amount of taxation is deemed oppressive or even inexpedient, it is easy for the subordinate Lodges, by the exercise of the power of instruction which they possess, to amend or altogether to remove the objectionable imposition.

920 - What are the symbolic teachings of Freemasonry?

  • Teachings, Symbolic, of the Degrees. Freemasonry teaches by symbols and symbolical ceremonies, and hence each degree, through these agencies, illustrates and inculcates some particular virtue, or commemorates some important event. The following is an analytical summary of the ideas, which the several degrees of the Order seek to enforce; thus in Ancient Craft Masonry:
1. Dependence; the weak and helpless condition of the human. family on their entrance into the world; the ignorance and darkness that surround man until the moral and intellectual light of reason and revelation breaks in upon his mind; obedience, secrecy and humility, and the practice of charity.
2. The struggle for knowledge after the release of the mind from the bondage of darkness and ignorance; its attainment, and the reward due to industry and perseverance.
3. Progress in the great duties of aiding humanity from the thraldom of vice and error; man's regeneration; higher sphere of happiness; integrity; morality of the body, and the immortality of the soul.
4. Order, regularity, and a proper system of discrimination between the worthy and the unworthy; the just reward to the industrious and faithful.
5. Virtue and talent the only proper distinctions of position. All associations of men must, for the sake of harmony and order, be governed by well regulated laws.
6. The completion and dedication of the temple; the spiritual edifice which man must erect in his soul - that "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens;" and acknowledgment that the labors of man's earthly toil are over, and he is received into the abode of the just and perfect.
7. The revelation of the divine law; an exhibition of the toils and vicissitudes of man's pilgrimage through life; a realization of the sublime truths promised, when the veils which obscure the mental vision are drawn aside, and man, raised and regenerated, shall enjoy the blessings of peace and joy in the heavenly temple.
8. The mysteries revealed; man rewarded according to his work; the Alpha and Omega - the first and the last.
9. Skill and ingenuity appreciated; justice and mercy accorded to the faithful and worthy.

921 - Why should Masons be temperate?

Temperance. By temperance, we are instructed to govern the passions, and check unruly desires. The health of the body and the dignity of the species are equally concerned in a' faithful observance of it.

922 - What is the origin and history of the custom of building Temples?

  • Temple. An edifice erected for religious purposes. As the grand symbols of Freemasonry are a temple and its ornaments, and to construct temples was the business of the original Masons, some remarks upon these structures cannot but be instructive. The word temple is derived from the Latin Templum, and this word templum seems to have been derived from the old Latin verb, Templari, to contemplate. The ancient augurs undoubtedly applied the name templa to those parts of the heavens which were marked out for observance of the flight of birds. Temples, originally, were all open; and hence most likely came their name. These structures are among the most ancient monuments. They were the first built, and the most noticeable of public edifices. As soon as a nation had acquired any degree of civilization the people consecrated particular spots to the worship of their deities. In the earliest instances they contented themselves with erecting altars of earth or ashes in the open air, and sometimes resorted, for the purposes of worship, to the depths of solitary woods. At length they acquired the practice of building cells or chapels within the enclosure of which they placed the image of their divinities, and assembled to offer up their supplications, thanksgiving, and sacrifices. These were chiefly formed like their own dwellings. The Troglodytes adorned their gods in grottoes; the people who lived in cabins erected temples like cabins in shape. Clemens, Alexandrinus, and Eusebius refer the origin of temples to sepulchers; and this notion has been illustrated and con firmed from a variety of testimonies. At the time when the Greeks surpassed all other people in the arts introduced among them from Phoenicia, Syria, and Egypt, they devoted much time, care and expense to the building of temples. No country has surpassed, or perhaps equaled, them in this respect; the Romans alone successfully rivaled them, and they took the Greek structures for models. According to Vitruvius, the situations of the temples were regulated chiefly by the nature and characteristics of the various divinities. Thus the temples of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, who were considered by the inhabitants of many cities as their protecting deities, were erected on spots sufficiently elevated to enable them to overlook the whole town, or, at least the principal part of it. Minerva, the tutelary deity of Athens, had her seat on the Acropolis. In like manner the temple of Solomon was built on Mount Moriah.

923 - What relation had the Temple of Herod to Freemasonry?

  • Temple of Herod the Great. This temple far exceeded both of its predecessors in magnificence and perfection. It was surrounded with four courts, rising above each other like terraces. The lower court was 500 cubits square, on three sides surrounded by a double, and on the fourth by a triple row of columns, and was called the "Court of the Gentiles," because individuals of all nations were admitted into it indiscriminately. A high wall separated the court of the women, 135 cubits square, in which the Jewish females assembled to perform their devotions, from the court of the Gentiles. From the court of the women fifteen steps led to the court of the temple, which was enclosed by a colonnade, and divided by trellis work, into the court of Jewish men and the court of the priests. In the middle of this enclosure stood the temple, of white marble, richly gilt, 100 cubits long and wide, and 60 cubits high, with a porch 100 cubits wide, and three galleries, like the first temple, which it resembled in the interior, except that the most holy place was empty, and the height of Herod's Temple was double the height of Solomon's. The fame of this magnificent temple, which was destroyed by the Romans, and its religious significance with Jews and Christians, render it more interesting to us than any other building of antiquity. Each of these temples holds an important place in the symbolism and instructions of Freemasonry, and furnishes the traditions for a large number of degrees.

924 - What was the design of Solomon's Temple?

  • Temple of Solomon. When Solomon had matured his design of a. temple to be consecrated to the Most High, he found it impossible to carry that design into execution without foreign assistance. The Hebrew nation, constantly struggling for its material existence, and just rising to the condition of a civilized people, had made little proficiency in science and architecture, and especially the ornamental arts. There were few artificers and no architects in Judea. Solomon, consequently, applied to Hiram, King of Tyre, for assistance, and that monarch sent him a company of Tyrian architects, under the superintendence of Hiram Abif, by whom the temple was erected. It was an oblong stone building, 150 feet in length, and 105 in width. On three sides were corridors, rising above each other to the height of three stories, and containing rooms, in which were preserved the holy utensils and treasures. The fourth, or front side was open, and was ornamented with a portico ten cubits in width, supported by two brazen pillars - Jachin and Boaz.

The interior was divided into the most holy place, or oracle, 20 cubits long, which contained the ark of the covenant, and was separated by a curtain, or veil, from the sanctuary or holy place, in which were the golden candlestick, the table of the shew bread, and the altar of incense. The walls of both apartments, and the roof and ceiling of the most holy place, were overlaid with woodwork, skillfully carved. None but the High Priest was permitted to enter the latter, and only the priests, devoted to the temple service, the former. The temple was surrounded by an inner court, which contained the altar of burnt offering, the brazen sea and lavers, and such instruments and utensils as were used in the sacrifices which, as well as the prayers, were offered here. Colonnades, with brazen gates, separated this court of the priests from the outer court, which was likewise surrounded by a wall.

This celebrated temple certainly reflected honor on the builders of that age. It was begun on the 2d day of the month Zif, corresponding with the 21st of April, in the year of the world 2992, or 1012 years before the Christian era, and was completed in little more than seven years, on the 8th day of the month Sul, or the 23rd of October, in the year 2999, during which period no sound of axe, hammer or other metallic tool was heard, everything having been cut and prepared in the quarries or on Mount Lebanon, and brought, properly carved, marked and numbered, to Jerusalem, where they were fitted in by means of wooden mauls. So of Freemasonry, it has always been the boast that its members perfect the work of edification by quiet and orderly methods, "without the hammer of contention, the axe of division, or any tool of mischief." The excellency of the Craft in the days of our Grand Master Solomon was so great, that, although the materials were prepared so far off, when they were put together at Jerusalem, each piece fitted with such exactness that it appeared more like the work of the Great Architect of the Universe than of human hands. The temple retained its pristine splendor but thirty three years, when it was plundered by Shishak, King of Egypt. After this period it underwent sundry profanations and pillages, and was at length utterly destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, A. M. 3416, B. C. 588, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem carried as captives to Babylon.

925 - To the Master Mason of what is King Solomon's Temple a symbol?

  • Temple, Symbolism of the. To the Master Mason, the Temple of Solomon is truly the symbol of human life; for, like life, it was to have its end. For four centuries it glittered on the hills of Jerusalem in all its gorgeous magnificence; now, under some pious descendant of the wise king of Israel, a spot from whose altars arose the burnt offerings to a living God, and now polluted by some recreant monarch of Judah to the service of Baal; until at length it received the divine punishment through the mighty king of Babylon, and, having been despoiled of all its treasures, was burnt to the ground, so that nothing was left of all its splendor but a smouldering heap of ashes. Variable in its purposes, evanescent in its existence, now a gorgeous pile of architectural beauty, and anon a ruin over which the resistless power of fire has passed, it becomes a fit symbol of human life occupied in the search after divine truth, which is nowhere to be found; now sinning and now repentant; now vigorous with health and strength, and anon a senseless and decaying corpse.

Such is the symbolism of the first Temple, that of Solomon, as familiar to the class of Master Masons. But there is a second and higher class of the Fraternity, the Masons of the Royal Arch, by whom this temple symbolism is still further developed.

The second class, leaving their early symbolism and looking beyond this Temple of Solomon, find in scriptural history another Temple, which, years after the destruction of the first one, was erected upon its ruins; and they have selected the second Temple, the Temple of Zerubbabel, as their prominent symbol. And as the first class of Masons find in their Temple the symbol of mortal life, limited and perishable, they, on the contrary, see in this second Temple, built upon the foundations of the first, a symbol of life eternal, where the lost truth shall be found, where new incense shall arise from a new altar, and whose perpetuity their great Master had promised when, in the very spirit of symbolism, he exclaimed, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

926 - What is the Masonic meaning of temporary exclusion from a Lodge?

  • Temporary Exclusion. A violation of the rules of order and decorum, either in a member or visitor, subjects such offender to the penalty of exclusion for that communication from the Lodge. It may be inflicted either by a vote of a majority of the Lodge, or, as is more usually done, by the exercise, on the part of the Master, of his prerogative; for the Master of every Lodge has the inherent privilege to exclude any person from visiting the Lodge, or remaining during the communication, if his presence would be productive of injury to the Order, by impairing its harmony or affecting its peaceful pursuit of Masonic labor. If a Mason, whether he be a member or a visitor, apply for admission, the Master, if he knows or believes that the admission of the applicant would result in the production of discord, may exclude him from entrance; and this prerogative he exercises in virtue of being the superintendent of the work.

If a member or visitor shall behave in an unbecoming and disorderly manner, he may be excluded for that communication, either by the Master or the Lodge. The Master possesses the power of exclusion on such an occasion, under the prerogative to which reference has just been made; and the Lodge possesses the same right, by the especial sanction of the ritual, which, at the very opening of the Lodge, forbids all "immoral or unmasonic conduct whereby the peace and harmony of the Lodge may be impaired, under no less a penalty than the by laws may impose, or a majority of the brethren present see fit to inflict." The command of the Master, therefore, or the vote of a majority of the Lodge, is sufficient to inflict the penalty of temporary exclusion. The forms of trial are unnecessary, because the infliction of the penalty does not affect the Masonic standing of the person upon whom it is inflicted. An appeal, however, always lies in such cases to the Grand Lodge, which will, after due investigation, either approve or disapprove of the action of the Lodge or the Master, and the vote of censure or disapprobation will be, of course, from the temporary nature of the penalty, the only redress which a Mason, injured by its wrongful infliction, can obtain.

927 - What should be the tenure of office of a Grand Lecturer?

  • Tenure of Grand Lecturer. The only method by which the ritual can be efficiently supervised and taught, so that a uniformity of work may be preserved, and every Mason in the jurisdiction be made acquainted with the true nature of the science of Masonry, is by the appointment of a competent and permanent Grand Lecturer.

The appointment of this officer should be a permanent one. In this advanced age of Masonic improvement, any attempt to appoint a Grand Lecturer by the year, as we hire domestics or employ laborers, is an insult to the intelligence of the Order. When an able teacher is found, he should hold his office, not for a year, or during the pleasure of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, but like the judicial tenure of our Supreme Court, or the English Judges - dum se bene gesserit - during good behavior. Let him continue for life, if he is "worthy and well qualified"; for, the longer a good teacher labors in his vocation, the better will he discharge its duties. But any attempt to entrust the duty of instructing Lodges to a temporary Lecturer, changed, like the War dens or the Deacons, every year, must inevitably result in the utter destruction of all that remains to us of the ancient symmetry of our beautiful temple.

928 - Of what is the tesselated pavement emblematic?

  • Tesselated Pavement. The word tesselated is derived from the word tessela, diminutive of tessera. The pavement which is thus designated is of rich Mosaic work, made of curious square marbles, bricks or tiles, in shape and disposition resembling dice. Various ancient specimens of these have been, from time to time, exhumed in Italy, and other countries of Europe. The tesselated pavement, in the symbolism of Freemasonry, is significant of the varied experiences and vicissitudes of human life.

929 - Is it lawful for a profane to testify in a Masonic trial?

  • Testimony. The testimony of Master Masons is usually taken on their honor, as such. That of others should be by affidavit, or in such other manner as both the accuser and accused may agree upon.

The testimony of profanes, or of those who are of a lower degree than the accused, is to be taken by a committee and reported to the Lodge, or, if convenient, by the whole Lodge, when closed and sitting as a committee. But both the accused and the accuser have a right to be present on such occasions. There can be no doubt that profanes are competent witnesses in Masonic trials. If their testimony was rejected, the ends of justice would, in many instances, be defeated; for it frequently happens that the most important evidence of a fact is only to be obtained from such persons. The great object of the trial is to investigate the truth and to administer justice, and no method should be rejected by which those objects can be obtained. Again: there may be cases in which the accused is able to prove his innocence only by the testimony of profanes; and surely no one would be willing to deprive him of that means of defence. But if the evidence of profanes for the accused is to be admitted, on account, of its importance and necessity, by a parity of reasoning, it should be admitted when and in behalf of the accuser. The testimony which is good in one case must be good in the other.

930 - What powers do the Jews attribute to the lost word?

  • Tetragrammaton. The Jews are quite aware that the true pronunciation of the Word is lost, and regard it as one of the mysteries to be revealed in the days of the Messiah. They hold, however, that the knowledge of the Name of God does exist on earth, and that he by whom the secret is acquired, has, by virtue of it, the powers of the world at his command. Hence they account for the miracles of Jesus by telling us that he had got possession of the Ineffable Name. Rightly under stood, they seem to mean that he who calls upon God rightly, by this His true name, cannot fail to be heard by him. In short, this word forms the famous tetragrammaton or quadrilateral name, of which everyone has heard.

931 - Why should Masons practice the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity?

  • Theological Virtues. Faith, Hope and Charity are thus named, and are said to constitute the chief rounds of the Masonic ladder, by the aid of which the good Mason expects at last to ascend to the perfect Lodge above. These virtues are enforced in various parts of the rituals, and enlarged upon in the first lecture of Craft Masonry. The great duties of man to God, his neighbor and himself, are the precepts most strongly enforced; hence the points to direct the steps of the aspirant to higher honors are Faith, Hope and Charity.

932 - What does the theory and practice of Masonry include?

  • Theory. The theory of Masonry contains something of the whole of science; the operative part of Masonry is the practice of all the virtues, of all the sciences. Therefore, to be initiated only into the theory of Masonry, is at least to be in the way of learning well and if we follow on to exercise the practice of Masonry it will as assuredly lead us into the way of doing well, and both to learn and to do well is the whole of our religion, whether as men, as Christians, or as Masons.

933 - Who are called Theosophists?

  • Theosophists. Those who inquire into the science of divine things. Many eminent Freemasons belonged to this class during the last century. The speculations of the Theosophists, however, were generally of a mystical character. Several Masonic systems were theosophical, as, for example, the rites of Swedenborg, St. Martin, Zinnendorff, etc.

934 - What are the teachings of the third degree of Masonry?

  • Third Degree. In the ceremonial of the Third Degree, the last grand mystery is attempted to be illustrated in a forcible and peculiar manner, showing by striking analogy, that the Master Mason cannot be deemed perfect in the glorious science, till by the cultivation of his intellectual powers, he has gained such moral government of his passions, such serenity of mind, that in synonymous apposition with Mastership in operative art, his thoughts, like his actions, have become as useful as human intelligence will permit; and that having passed through the trials of life with fortitude and faith, he is fitted for that grand, solemn, and mysterious consummation, by which alone he can become acquainted with the great secret of eternity.

935 - What rights does a Master Mason acquire on the reception of the third degree?

  • Third Degree, Rights Conferred by. The first right which a Mason acquires, after the reception of the third degree, is that of claiming membership in the Lodge in which he has been initiated. The very fact of his having received that degree makes him at once an inchoate member of the Lodge - that is to say, no further application is necessary, and no new ballot is required; but the candidate, having now become a Master Mason, upon signifying his submission to the regulations of the Society, by affixing his signature to the book of by laws, is constituted, by virtue of that act, a full member of the Lodge, and entitled to all the rights and prerogatives accruing to that position.

The ancient Constitutions do not, it is true, express this doctrine in so many words; but it is distinctly implied by their whole tenor and spirit, as well as sustained by the uniform usage of the craft, in all countries. There is one passage in the Regulations of 1721 which clearly seems to intimate that there were two methods of obtaining membership in a Lodge, either by initiation, when the candidate is said to be "entered a Brother," or by what is now called "affiliation," when the applicant is said to be "admitted to be a member." But the whole phraseology of the Regulation shows that the rights acquired by each method were the same, and that membership by initiation and membership by affiliation effected the same results. The modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England are explicit on the subject, and declare that "every Lodge must receive as a member, without further proposition or ballot, any Brother initiated therein, provided such Brother express his wish to that effect on the day of his initiation." The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York announces a similar, doctrine; and, in fact, I have not met with the by laws of any particular Lodge in which it is not laid down as a principle, that every initiate is entitled, by his reception in the third degree, to claim the privilege of membership in the Lodge in which he has been initiated.

The reason of this universal Regulation (so universal that were it not for that fact that membership itself, as a permanent characteristic, is of modern origin, it might almost claim to be a Landmark) is at once evident. He who has been deemed worthy, after three ordeals, to receive all the mysteries that it is in the power of a Lodge to communicate, cannot, with any show of reason or consistency, be withheld from admission into that household, whose most important privileges he has just been permitted to share. If properly qualified for the reception of the third degree, he must be equally qualified for the rights of membership, which, in fact, it is the object of the third degree to bestow; and it would be needless to subject that candidate to a fourth ballot, whom the Lodge has already, by the most solemn ceremonies, three times declared worthy "to be taken by the hand as a Brother." And hence the Grand Lodge of England has wisely assigned this as a reason for the law already quoted, namely, that "no Lodge should introduce into Masonry a person whom the Brethren might consider unfit to be a member of their own Lodge."

936 - Why is the figure 3 considered a sacred number in Freemasonry?

  • Three. A sacred number in Freemasonry, with which all labor is commenced and finished. This number reminds us of the three great lights, the three kingdoms of nature, the Holy Trinity, or of the words of Christ: "Where two or three are assembled in my name, there will I be in the midst of you." We may also consider ourselves as the third party in unity and love, whose duty it is to exercise those two cardinal virtues. The Christian can also take the number three as the grand distinguishing doctrine of his faith. There are three principal parts in a man: body, soul, and spirit. Faith, love, and hope support and adorn life.

937 - What were the three grand offerings of Masonry?

  • Three Grand Offerings. These were all performed on the sacred mountain of Moriah. First, the offering of Isaac, when it pleased the Lord to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead. The second consisted of the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King David, which appeased the wrath of God, and put a stop to the pestilence which raged among his people, owing to his inadvertently having had them numbered. And the third, of the many thanksgivings, oblations, burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings, which King Solomon made at the dedication and consecration of the Temple.

938 - What three senses are essential to becoming a Mason?

  • Three Senses. The three senses, hearing, seeing and feeling, are deemed peculiarly essential amongst Masons, and held in great estimation. Their nature and uses form a part of the instruction in the Fellowcraft's degree.

939 - Of what are the three steps emblematic?

  • Three Steps. The three steps delineated upon a Master's carpet are emblematical of the three principal stages of human life, youth, manhood, and old age.

940 - What is the symbolism of the threshing floor?

Threshing Floor. Among the Hebrews, circular spots of hard ground were used, as now, for the purpose of threshing corn. After they were properly prepared for the purpose, they became permanent possessions. One of these, the property of Ornan the Jebusite, was on Mount Moriah. It was purchased by David, for a place of sacrifice, for six hundred shekels of gold, and on it the Temple was afterwards built. Hence it is sometimes used as a symbolic name for the Temple of Solomon or for a Master's Lodge. Thus it is said in the ritual that the Mason comes "from the lofty tower of Babel, where language was confounded and Masonry lost," and that he is traveling "to the threshing floor of Orman the Jebusite, where language was restored and Masonry found." The interpretation of this rather abstruse symbolic expression is that on his initiation the Mason comes out of the profane world, where there is ignorance and darkness and con fusion as there was at Babel, and that he is approaching the Masonic world, where, as at the Temple built on Oman's threshing floor, there is knowledge and light and order.

941 - What is the meaning of the word "tile?"

  • Tile. A lodge is said to be tiled when the necessary precautions have been taken to prevent the approach of unauthorized persons; and it is said to be the first duty of every Mason to see that this is done before the Lodge is opened. The word to tile is sometimes used in the same sense as to examine, as when it is said that a visitor has been tiled, that is, has been examined. But the expression is not in general use, nor do I think it is a correct employment of the term.

´ 942 - What are the qualifications of the Tiler?

  • Tiler. An officer of a symbolic lodge, whose duty is to guard the door of the lodge, and to permit no one to pass in who is not duly qualified, and who has not the permission of the Master.

A necessary qualification of a Tiler is, therefore, that he should be a Master Mason. Although the lodge may be opened in an inferior degree, no one who has not advanced to the third degree can legally discharge the functions of Tiler. The Tiler need not be a member of the lodge which he tiles; and in fact, in large cities, one brother very often performs the duties of Tiler of several lodges.

This is a very important office, and, like that of the Master and Wardens, owes its existence, not to any conventional regulations, but to the very landmarks of the Order; for, from the peculiar nature of our Institution, it is evident that there never could have been a meeting of Masons for Masonic purposes, unless a Tiler had been present to guard the lodge from intrusion. The title is derived from the operative art; for as in Operative Masonry the Tiler, when the edifice is erected, finishes and covers it with the roof (of tiles), so in Speculative Masonry, when the lodge is duly organized, the Tiler closes the door, and covers the sacred precincts from all intrusion.

943 - What are the duties of a Tiler?

  • Tiler, Duties of. As the Tiler is always compensated for his services, he is considered, in some sense, as the servant of the Lodge. It is therefore his duty to prepare the Lodge for its meetings, to arrange the furniture in its proper place, and during the communication to keep a supply of aprons, so as to furnish each brother with one preparatory to his entrance. He is also the messenger of the Lodge, and it is his duty to deliver to the members the summonses which have been written by the Secretary.

944 - What rights of membership may a Tiler exercise?

  • Tiler, Privileges of. The office of Tiler, in a subordinate Lodge, does not, like that of Grand Tiler, disqualify him for membership; and if the Tiler is a member, he is entitled to all the rights of membership, except that of sitting in the communications, which right he has voluntarily relinquished by his acceptance of office.

It is usual, in balloting for candidates, to call the Tiler (if he be a member) in, and request him to vote. On such occasions the Junior Deacon takes his place on the outside, while he is depositing his ballot.

945 - What is the Tiler's oath or obligation?

  • Tiler's Oath. The examination of visitors is accompanied by several forms, which, as they are used in the presence of a person not known to be a Mason, and who, after having participated in them, is often rejected, because he cannot give sufficient proof of his Masonic character, necessarily form no part of the secret portions of our ritual, and can therefore be as safely committed to paper and openly published, as any of the other ordinary business of a Lodge. To assert to the contrary - to say, for instance, that the "Tiler's obligation," so called because it is administered to the visitor in the Tiler's room, and usually in the presence of that officer, is a Masonic secret - is to assert, that that which is secret, and a portion of our mysteries, may be openly presented to a person whom we do not know to be a Mason, and who therefore receives this instruction before he has proved his right to it by "strict trial and due examination." The very fact that the "Tiler's obligation" is to be administered to such an unknown person, is the very best argument that can be adduced that it no more constitutes a part of our secret instructions than do the public ceremonies of laying corner stones, or burying our dead. I do not consequently hesitate to present it to the reader in the form which I have seen usually adopted.

The visitor, therefore, who desires admission into a Lodge, and who presents himself for preparatory examination, is required to take the following oath in the presence of the examining committee, each of whom he may likewise require to take the same oath with him: "I, A. B., do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely swear, that I have been regularly initiated, passed and raised, to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, in a just and legally constituted Lodge of such; that I do not now stand suspended or expelled; and know of no reason why I should not hold Masonic communication with my brethren." This declaration having been confirmed in the most solemn manner, the examination is then commenced with the necessary forms.

946 - What power has a Lodge with respect to fixing and changing its time of meeting?

  • Time of Meeting. A Lodge has the right to designate and change its time and place of meeting. As the regulation designating the time of meeting is always inserted in the by laws, it is evident that no change can be made with respect to it, except with the approbation of the Grand Lodge. But there is also another restriction on this subject which is derived from the constant usage of the Order, that a Lodge shall statedly meet once a month at least. There is no specific regulation on this subject; but the general custom of the fraternity, from the beginning of the last century, has made it obligatory on the Lodges not to extend the interval of their regular communications beyond that period. Besides, the regulations in respect to the applications of candidates for initiation or membership, which require "a previous notice of one month," seem to infer that that was the length of time which intervened between two stated meetings of the Lodge. In some jurisdictions it is frequently the case that some of the Lodges meet semi monthly; and indeed instances are on record where Lodges meet weekly. This is permissible, but in such cases the regulation in relation to the petitions of candidates must be strictly interpreted as meaning that they are required to lie over for one month, and not from one regular meeting to the other, which in such Lodges would only amount to one or two weeks.

947 - Who has the prerogative of determining the time of opening and closing a communication of a Lodge?

  • Time of Opening and Closing the Lodge. Even at the regular communications of the Lodge if the Master be present, the time of opening is left to his discretion, for no one can take from the Master his prerogative of opening the Lodge. But if he be absent when the hour of opening which is specified in the by laws has arrived, the Senior Warden, if present, and if not, then the Junior may open the Lodge, and the business transacted will be regular and legal, even without the Master's sanction; for it was his duty to be present, and he cannot take advantage of his own remissness of duty to interfere with the business of the Lodge.

The selection of the time of closing is also vested in the Master. He is the sole judge of the proper period at which the labors of the Lodge should be terminated, and may suspend business, even in the middle of a debate, if he supposes that it is expedient to close the Lodge. Hence, no motion for adjournment, or to close, or to call off from labor to refreshment, can ever be admitted in a Masonic Lodge. Such a motion would be an interference with the prerogative of the Master, and could not therefore be entertained.

948 - What part do words, signs and tokens play in Masonry?

  • Tokens. Signs, tokens, and words do not constitute Freemasonry, but are local marks whereby Masons know each other, and may be altered, or entirely done away, without the least injury to scientific Freemasonry. It is with many Freemasons too absurd a belief, and a still more absurd practice, to build our science upon so shallow a foundation as signs, tokens, and words, which I fear constitute with some the only attainment they look for in Freemasonry. That certain signals may be necessary, I do readily allow; but deny that such a mechanism shall constitute a principal part of our institution.

949 - What does it mean to be "under the tongue of good report?"

  • Tongue of Good Report. Being "under the tongue of good report" is equivalent, in Masonic technical language, to being of, good character or reputation. It is required that the candidate for initiation should be one out of whom no tongue speaks evil. The phrase is an old one, and is found in the earliest rituals of the last century.

950 - Can a word or grip betray the secrets of Freemasonry?

  • Traitor. Ancient Freemasonry inflicted very severe punishment for the least treason to the order; nevertheless, we have accounts of men who have proved traitors, even as we find accounts of such traitors to the mysteries of the ancients. With the increase of enlightenment and rational reflection, it is admitted that a brother may both speak and write much upon the Order without becoming a traitor to its secrets. How an initiation is conducted, how a word or grip is given, gives no key to the true secret of the Order; but we nevertheless disapprove of such disclosures, for this reason, that the uninitiated could only form a useless chimera from them.

951 - Who are called tramping Masons?

  • Tramping Masons. Unworthy members of the Order, who, using their privileges for interested purposes, traveling from city to city, and from lodge to lodge, that they may seek relief by tales of fictitious distress, have been called "tramping Masons." The true brother should ever obtain assistance; the tramper should be driven from the door of every lodge or the house of every Mason where he seeks to intrude his imposture.

952 - If a Lodge be dissolved what becomes of its charter?

  • Transferring. If a lodge be dissolved, the constitution shall be delivered up to the Grand Master, and shall not, on any account, be transferred without his consent.

953 - Who are called transient brethren?

  • Transient Brethren. Masons who do not reside in a particular place, but only temporarily visit it, are called "transient brethren" or sojourners. They are, if worthy, to be cordially welcomed, but are never to be admitted into a Lodge until, after the proper pre cautions, they have been proved to be "true and trusty." This usage of hospitality has the authority of all the Old Constitutions, which are careful to inculcate it. Thus the Lansdowne MS. charges, "that every Mason receive or cherish Strange Fellows when they come over the country, and set them on worke if they will worke, as the manner is (that is to say), if the Mason have any moulde stone in his place, on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge." Although Speculative Masons no longer visit lodges for the sake of work or wages, the usage of our Operative predecessors has been spiritualized in our symbolic system. Hence visitors are often invited to take part in the labors of the lodge and receive their portion of the light and truth which constitute the symbolic pay of a Speculative Mason.

No stranger should be admitted to the Lodge until he has proved himself a Freemason. When he has done this he should be received with cordiality and fraternal courtesy. A traveling brother, away from his home and friends, naturally longs for companionship, and expects to find it around the altars of Freemasonry. Hospitality to strangers is, always and everywhere, a sacred duty, but it is doubly so to Freemasons. The brother from abroad should be greeted with such warmth and brotherly kindness and interest as will make him feel at home, and that he is surrounded with friends, upon whose sympathy he can rely. Lodges are sometimes too remiss in regard to this duty, and many a warm hearted brother, when visiting a strange lodge, has been chilled and grieved by the iciness of his reception.

954 - In what sense is the word "travel" used in the symbolical language of Masonry?

  • Travel. In the symbolic language of Masonry, a Mason always travels from west to east in search of light - he travels from the lofty tower of Babel, where language was confounded and Masonry lost, to the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, where language was restored and Masonry found. The Master Mason also travels into foreign countries in search of wages. All this is pure symbolism, unintelligible in any other sense.

Our ancient brethren are masonically said to have traveled from west to east, in search of instruction; and it is an undeniable fact that all knowledge, all religion, all arts and sciences, have traveled, according to the course of the sun, from east to west. From that quarter the Divine glory first came, and thence the rays of divine light continue to diffuse themselves over the face of the earth. From thence came the Bible, and through that the new covenant. From thence came the prophets, the apostles, and the first missionaries that brought the knowledge of God to Europe, to the isles of the sea, and to the west.

955 - Who were the traveling Freemasons of the Middle Ages?

  • Traveling Freemasons. There is no portion of the history of the Order so interesting to the Masonic scholar as that which is embraced by the Middle Ages of Christendom, beginning with about the tenth century, when the whole of civilized Europe was perambulated by those associations of workmen, who passed from country to country and from city to city under the name of "Traveling Freemasons," for the purpose of erecting religious edifices. There is not a country of Europe which does not at this day contain honorable evidences of the skill and industry of our Masonic ancestors. I therefore pro pose, in the present article, to give a brief sketch of the origin, the progress and the character of these traveling architects.

Mr. George Godwin, in a lecture published in the Builder, says: "There are few points in the Middle Ages more pleasing to look back upon than the existence of the Associated Masons; they are the bright spot in the general darkness of that period, the patch of verdure when all around is barren." Clavel, in his Histoire Pittoresque de la Franc Maconnerie, has traced the organization of these associations to the "collegia artificum," or colleges of artisans, which were instituted at Rome, by Numa, in the year B. C. 714, and whose members were originally Greeks, imported by this lawgiver for the purpose of embellishing the city over which he reigned. They continued to exist as well established corporations throughout all the succeeding years of the kingdom, the republic and the empire.

These "sodalities," or fraternities, began, upon the invasion of the barbarians, to decline in numbers, in respectability, and in power. But on the conversion of the whole empire, they, or others of a similar character, began again to flourish. The priests of the Christian church became their patrons, and under their guidance they devoted them selves to the building of churches and monasteries. In the tenth century, they were established as a free gild or corporation in Lombardy. For when, after the decline and fall of the empire, the city of Rome was abandoned by its sovereigns for other secondary cities of Italy, such as Milan and Ravenna, and new courts and new capitals were formed, the kingdom of Lombardy sprang into existence as the great centre of all energy in trade and industry, and of refinement in art and literature. It was there, and as a consequence of the great centre of life from Rome, and the development not only of commercial business, but of all sorts of trades and handicrafts, that the corporations known as gilds were first organized.

Among the arts practiced by the Lombards, that of building held a pre eminent rank. And Muratori tells us that the inhabitants of Como, a principal city of Lombardy, Italy, had become so superior as masons, that the appellation of Magistri Comacini, or Masters from Como, had become generic to all of the profession.

Mr. Hope, in his Historical Essay on Architecture, has treated this subject almost exhaustively. He says: "We cannot then wonder that, at a period when artificers and artists of every class, from those of the most mechanical, to those of the most intellectual nature, formed themselves into exclusive corporations, architects - whose art may be said to offer the most exact medium between those of the most urgent necessity, and those of mere ornament, or indeed, in its wide span to embrace both - should above all others, have associated themselves into similar bodies, which, in conformity to the general style of such corporations, assumed that of Free and Accepted Masons, and was composed of those members who, after a regular passage through the different fixed stages of apprenticeship, were received as masters, and entitled to exercise the profession on their own account.

"In an age, however, in which lay individuals, from the lowest subject to the sovereign himself, seldom built except for mere shelter and safety - seldom sought, nay, rather avoided, in their dwellings an elegance which might lessen their security; in which even the community collectively, in its public and general capacity, divided into component parts less numerous and less varied, required not those numerous public edifices which we possess either for business or pleasure; thus, when neither domestic nor civic architecture of any sort demanded great ability or afforded great employment, churches and monasteries were the only buildings required to combine extent and elegance, and sacred architecture alone could furnish an extensive field for the exercise of great skill, Lombardy itself, opulent and thriving as it was, compared to other countries, soon became nearly saturated with the requisite edifices, and unable to give these companies of Free and Accepted Masons a longer continuance of sufficient custom, or to render the further maintenance of their exclusive privileges of great benefit to them at home. But if, to the south of the Alps, an earlier civilization had at last caused the number of architects to exceed that of new buildings wanted, it fared otherwise in the north of Europe, where a gradually spreading Christianity began on every side to produce a want of sacred edifices, of church and monasteries, to design which architects existed not on the spot.

"Those Italian corporations of builders, therefore, whose services ceased to be necessary in the countries where they had arisen, now began to look abroad towards those northern climes for that employment which they no longer found at home; and a certain number united and formed themselves into a single greater association, or fraternity, which proposed to seek for occupation beyond its native land; and in any ruder foreign region, however remote, where new religious edifices and skillful artists to erect them were wanted to offer their services, and bend their steps to undertake the work." From Lombardy they passed beyond the Alps into all the countries where Christianity, but recently established, required the erection of churches. The popes encouraged their designs, and more than one bull was dispatched, conferring on them privileges of the most extensive character. A monopoly was granted to them for the erection of all religious edifices; they were declared independent of the sovereigns in whose dominions they might be temporarily residing, and subject only to their own private laws; they were permitted to regulate the amount of their wages; were exempted from all kinds of taxation; and no Mason, not belonging to their association, was permitted to compete with or oppose them in the pursuit of employment. And in one of the papal decrees on the subject of these artisans, the supreme pontiff declares that these regulations have been made "after the example of Hiram, king of Tyre, when he sent artisans to King Solomon, for the purpose of building the Temple of Jerusalem." After filling the continent with cathedrals, parochial churches, and monasteries, and increasing their own numbers by accessions of new members from all the countries in which they had been laboring, they passed over into England, and there introduced their peculiar style of building. Then they traveled to Scotland, and there have rendered their existence ever memorable by establishing, in the parish of Kilwinning, where they were erecting an abbey, the germ of Scottish Freemasonry, which has regularly descended through the Grand Lodge of Scotland to the present day.

Mr. Hope accounts for the introduction of non working or unprofessional members into these associations by a theory which is con firmed by contemporary history. He says: "Often obliged, from religions the most distant, singly to seek the common place of rendezvous and departure of the troop, or singly to follow its earlier detachments to places of employment equally distant; and that, at an era when travelers met on the road every obstruction, and no convenience, when no inns existed at which to purchase hospitality, but lords dwelt everywhere, who only prohibited their tenants from waylaying the traveler because they considered this, like killing game, one of their own exclusive privileges; the members of these communities contrived to render their journeys more easy and safe, by engaging with each other, and perhaps even, in many places, with individuals not directly participating in their profession, in compacts of mutual assistance, hospitality and good services, most valuable to men so circumstanced. They endeavored to compensate for the perils which attended their expeditions, by institutions for their needy or disabled brothers; but lest such as belonged not to their communities should benefit surreptitiously by these arrangements for its advantage, they framed signs of mutual recognition, as carefully concealed from the knowledge of the uninitiated, as the mysteries of their art themselves. Thus supplied with whatever could facilitate such distant journeys and labors as they contemplated, the members of these corporations were ready to obey any summons with the utmost alacrity, and they soon received the encouragement they anticipated. The militia of the church of Rome, which diffused itself all over Europe in the shape of missionaries, to instruct nations, and to establish their allegiance to the Pope, took care not only to make them feel the want of churches and monasteries, but likewise to learn the manner in which the want might be sup plied. Indeed, they themselves generally undertook the supply; and it may be asserted, that a new apostle of the Gospel no sooner arrived in the remotest corner of Europe, either to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, or to introduce among them a new religious order, than speedily followed a tribe of itinerant Freemasons to back him, and to provide the inhabitants with the necessary places of worship or reception.

"Thus ushered in, by their interior arrangements assured of assistance and of safety on the road, and, by the bulls of the Pope and the support of his ministers abroad, of every species of immunity and preference at the place of their destination, bodies of Freemasons dispersed themselves in every direction, every day began to advance further, and to proceed from country to country, to the utmost verge of the faithful, in order to answer the increasing demand for them, or to seek more distant custom." The government of these fraternities, wherever they might be for the time located, was very regular and uniform. When about to commence the erection of a religious edifice, they first built huts, or, as they were termed, lodges, in the vicinity, in which they resided for the sake of economy as well as convenience. It is from these that the present name of our places of meeting is derived. Over every ten men was placed a warden, who paid them wages, and took care that there should be no needless expenditure of materials and no careless loss of implements. Over the whole, a surveyor or master, called in their old documents "magister," presided and directed the general labor.

The Abbie Grandidier, in a letter at the end of the Marquis Luchet's Essai sur les Illumines, has quoted from the ancient register of the Masons at Strasburg the regulations of the association which built the splendid cathedral of that city. Its great rarity renders it difficult to obtain a sight of the original work, but the Histoiree Pittoresque of Clavel supplies the most prominent details of all that Grandidier has preserved. The cathedral of Strasburg was commenced in the year 1277, under the direction of Erwin of Steinbach. The Masons who, under his directions, were engaged in the construction of this noblest specimen of the Gothic style of architecture, were divided into the separate ranks of Masters, Craftsmen and Apprentices. The place where they assembled was called a "hutte," a German word equivalent to our English term lodge. They employed the implements of masonry as emblems, and received their new members with peculiar and secret ceremonies, admitting, as has already been said, many eminent persons, and especially ecclesiastics, who were not Operative Masons, but who gave to them their patronage and protection. The fraternity of Strasburg became celebrated throughout Germany, their superiority was acknowledged by the kindred associations, and they in time received the appellation of the "haupt hutte," or Grand Lodge, and exercised supremacy over the hutten of Suabia, Hesse, Bavaria, Franconia, Saxony, Thuringia, and the countries bordering on the river Moselle. The Masters of these several lodges assembled at Ratisbon in 1459, and on the 25th of April contracted an act of union, declaring the chief of the Strasburg Cathedral the only and perpetual Grand Master of the General Fraternity of Freemasons of Germany. This act of union was definitely adopted and promulgated at a meeting held soon afterwards at Strasburg.

Similar institutions existed in France and in Switzerland, for wherever Christianity had penetrated, there churches and cathedrals were to be built, and the Traveling Freemasons hastened to undertake the labor.

They entered England and Scotland at an early period. Whatever may be thought of the authenticity of the York and Kilwinning legends, there is ample evidence of the existence of organized associations, gilds, or corporations of Operative Masons at an epoch not long after their departure from Lombardy. From that period, the fraternity, with various intermissions, continued to pursue their labors, and constructed many edifices which still remain as monuments of their skill as workmen and their taste as architects. Kings, in many instances, became their patrons, and their labors were superintended by powerful noblemen and eminent prelates, who, for this purpose, were admitted as members of the fraternity. Many of the old Charges for the better government of their Lodges have been preserved, and are still to be found in our Books of Constitutions, every line of which indicates that there were originally drawn up for associations strictly and exclusively operative in their character. In glancing over the history of this singular body of architects, we are struck with several important peculiarities.

In the first place, they were strictly ecclesiastical in their constitution. The Pope, the supreme pontiff of the church, was their patron and protector. They were supported and encouraged by bishops and abbots, and hence their chief employment appears to have been in the construction of religious edifices. Like their ancestors, who were engaged in the erection of the magnificent Temple of Jerusalem, they devoted themselves to labor for the "House of the Lord." Masonry was then, as it had been before, and has ever been since, intimately connected with religion.

They were originally all operatives. But the artisans of that period were not educated men, and they were compelled to seek among the clergy, the only men of learning, for those whose wisdom might contrive, and whose cultivated taste might adorn, the plans which they, by their practical skill, were to carry into effect. Hence the germ of that Speculative Masonry which, once dividing the character of the fraternity with the Operative, now completely occupies it to the entire exclusion of the latter.

But lastly, from the circumstances of their union and concert arose a uniformity of design in all the public buildings of that period - a uniformity so remarkable as to find its explanation only in the fact that their construction was committed throughout the whole of Europe, if not always to the same individuals, at least to members of the same association; The remarks of Mr. Hope on this subject are well worthy of perusal. "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 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. The result of this unanimity Was, that at each successive period of the monastic dynasty, on whatever point a new church or new monastery might be erected, it resembled all those raised at the same period in every other place, however distant from it, as if both had been built in the same place by the same artist. For instance, we find, at particular epochs, churches as far distant from each other as the north of Scotland and the south of Italy, to be minutely similar in all the essential characteristics."

In conclusion, we may remark, that the world is indebted to this association for the introduction of Gothic, or, as it has lately been denominated, the pointed style of architecture. This style - so different from the Greek or Roman orders - whose pointed arches and minute tracery distinguishes the solemn temples of the olden time, and whose ruins arrest the attention and claim the admiration of the spectator, has been universally acknowledged to be the invention of the Traveling Freemasons of the Middle Ages.

And it is to this association of Operative artists that, by gradual changes into a speculative system, we are to trace the Freemasons of the present day. 956 - Can Masonic charges be founded on acts of treason and rebellion?

  • Treason and Rebellion. Treason and rebellion also, because they are altogether political offences, cannot be inquired into by a Lodge; and although a Mason may be convicted of either of these acts in the courts of his country he cannot be masonically punished; and not withstanding his treason or rebellion, his relation to the Lodge, to use the language of the old Charges, remains indefeasible.

957 - What are the duties of the Treasurer?

  • Treasurer, Duties of. Although this officer takes no part in the ritual or ceremonial labors of the Lodge, yet the due administration of his duties is closely connected with its welfare. He is the financial officer or banker of the Lodge; and to prevent the possibility of any collusion between himself and the presiding officer, the Constitutions of England, while they give the appointment of all the other officers to the Master, have prudently provided that the Treasurer shall be elected by the Lodge.

The duties of the Treasurer, as detailed in the Installation service, and sanctioned by universal usage, are threefold:

1. He is to receive all moneys due the Lodge from the Secretary.
2. He is to make due entries of the same.
3. He is to pay them out at the order of the Master, and with the consent of the Lodge.

As the banker simply of the Lodge, he has nothing to do with the collections which should be made by the Secretary, and handed over to him. These funds he retains in his hands, and disburses them by the order of the Lodge, which must be certified to him by the Master. Ilis accounts, so far as the receipts of money are concerned, are only with the Secretary. Of his disbursements, of course, he keeps a special account. His accounts should be neatly and accurately kept, and be always ready for the inspection of the Lodge or of the Master.

As his office, as custodian of the funds of the Lodge, is a responsible one, it has been usual to require of him a bond for the faithful discharge of his duties; so that, in case of failure or defalcation, the Lodge may not become the loser of its property.

For all the funds he receives from the Secretary he should give a receipt to that officer, and should take receipts from all persons to whom he pays money. These last receipts become his vouchers, and his books should be examined, and the entries compared with the vouchers, at least once a year, by a committee of the Lodge.

The Treasurer, like every other officer in a Masonic Lodge, cannot resign, nor can his office be vacated by a removal, or any other cause, except death or expulsion. But whenever either of these events occurs, and the office becomes vacant, it is competent for the Lodge, of course, under the authority of a dispensation from the Grand Master, to hold a new election. The objections to such a course, in the case of the Master or Wardens, do not apply to the Treasurer.

958 - What is the Masonic trestle board?

  • Trestle Board. The trestle board is defined to be the board upon which the Master inscribes the designs by which the Craft are to be directed in their labors. The French and German Masons have con founded the trestle board with the tracing board; and Dr. Oliver has not avoided the error. The two things are entirely different. The trestle is a framework for a stable - in Scotch, trest; the trestle board is the board placed for convenience of drawing on that frame. It contains nothing but a few diagrams, usually geometrical figures. The tracing board is a picture formerly drawn on the floor of the Lodge, whence it was called a floor cloth or carpet. It contains a delineation of the symbols of the degree to which it belongs. The trestle board is to be found only in the Entered Apprentice's degree. There is a tracing board in every degree, from the first to the highest. And, lastly, the trestle board is a symbol; the tracing board is a piece of furniture or picture containing the representation of many symbols.

It is probable that the trestle board, from its necessary use in Operative Masonry, was one of the earliest symbols introduced into the Speculative system. It is not, however, mentioned in the Grand Mystery, published in 1724. But Pritchard, who wrote only six years afterwards, describes it, under the corrupted name of trasel board, as one of the immovable jewels of an Apprentice's Lodge. Browne, in 1800, following Preston, fell into the error of calling it a tracing board, and gives from the Prestonian lecture what he terms "a beautiful degree of comparison," in which the Bible is compared to a tracing board. But the Bible is not a collection of symbols, which a tracing board is, but a trestle board that contains the plan for the construction of a spiritual temple. Webb, however, when he arranged his system of lectures, took the proper view, and restored the true word, trestle board.

Notwithstanding these changes in the name, trestle board, traselboard, tracing board, and trestle board again, the definition has continued from the earliest part of the last century to the present day the same. It has always been enumerated among the jewels of the Lodge, although the English system says that it is immovable and the American movable; and it has always been defined as "a board for the master workman to draw his designs upon." In Operative Masonry, the trestle board is of vast importance. It was on such an implement that the genius of the ancient masters worked out those problems of architecture that have reflected an unfading lustre on their skill. The trestle board was the cradle that nursed the infancy of such mighty monuments as the cathedrals of Strasbourg and Cologne; and as they advanced in stature, the trestle board became the guardian spirit that directed their growth. Often have those old builders pondered by the midnight lamp upon their trestle board, working out its designs with consummate taste and knowledge - here springing an arch, and turning an angle there, until the embryo edifice stood forth in all the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the Master's art.

What, then, is its true symbolism in Speculative Masonry?

To construct his earthly temple, the Operative Mason followed the architectural designs laid down on the trestle board, or book. of plans of the architect. By these he hewed and squared his materials; by these he raised his walls; by these he constructed his arches; and by these strength and durability, combined with grace and beauty, were bestowed upon the edifice which he was constructing. In the Masonic ritual, the Speculative Mason is reminded that, as the Operative artist erects his temporal building in accordance with the rules and designs laid down on the trestle board of the master workman, so should he erect that spiritual building, of which the material is a type, in obedience to the rules and desires, the precepts and commands, laid down by the Grand Architect of the Universe in those great books of nature and revelation which constitute the spiritual trestle board of every Freemason.

The trestle board is then the symbol of the natural and moral law. Like every other symbol of the Order, it is universal and tolerant in its application; and while, as Christian Masons, we cling with unfaltering integrity to the explanation which makes the Scriptures of both dispensations our trestle board, we permit our Jewish and Mohammedan brethren to content themselves with the books of the Old Testament or Koran. Masonry does not interfere with the peculiar form or development of any one's religious faith. All that it asks is that the interpretation of the symbol shall be according to what each one supposes to be the revealed will of his Creator. But so rigidly exacting is it that the symbol shall be preserved and, in some rational way, interpreted, that it peremptorily excludes the atheist from its communion, because, believing in no Supreme Being - no Divine Architects - he must necessarily be without a spiritual trestle board on which the designs of that Being may be inscribed for his direction.

959 - Of what is the triad emblematic?

  • Triad. Three in one. An important symbol in Freemasonry. The number three was thought holy in the earliest antiquity. Numbers, xix. 12, furnishes an instance. This must have its reason in the nature of the number. It represents to us unity and opposition, the principle and its development or opposition, and the connecting unity - synthesis. It is the first uneven number in which the first even one is found: herein lie its peculiar signification and perfection. Even in antiquity it could not escape attention, that this number is to be found wherever variety is developed. Hence we have beginning, middle, end, represented in the heavenly rise, point of culmination and setting; morning, noon, evening, and evening, midnight, morning; and in general, in the great divisions of time, the past, the present, and the future. In space, also, this number three occurs, as in above, midst and below; right midst, and left; and in general, in the dimensions of space, as length, breadth, and thickness, or depth. To the eye, the number is represented in the regular figure of the triangle, which has been applied to numberless symbolical representations; the ear perceives it most perfectly in the harmonic triad. As the triple is also the basis of symmetry, that three figured form is "found in architecture, and in simple utensils, without any particular reference to symbolical or other significations. Of this kind are the triglyphs in architecture, the tripod, trident, the three thunderbolts of Jupiter, the ancient three stringed lyre, though the number has in these objects, as well as in the three headed Cerberus, other more symbolical relations. The Triad, represented by the delta, is a significant emblem in a large number of Masonic degrees.

960 - How are Masonic trials conducted?

  • Trials, Masonic. As the only object of a trial should be to seek the truth and fairly to administer justice, in a Masonic trial, especially, no recourse should ever be had to legal technicalities, whose use in ordinary courts appears simply to be to afford a means of escape for the guilty.

Masonic trials are, therefore, to be conducted in the simplest and least technical method, that will preserve at once the rights of the Order and of the accused, and which will enable the lodge to obtain a thorough knowledge of all the facts in the case. The rules to be observed in con ducting such trials have been already laid down and I shall refer to them in the present article. They are as follows:

1. The preliminary step in every trial is the accusation or charge. The charge should always be made in writing, signed by the accuser, delivered to the Secretary, and read by that officer at the next regular communication of the Lodge. The accused should then be furnished with an attested copy of the charge, and be at the same time informed of the time and place appointed by the lodge for the trial.

Any Master Mason may be the accuser of another, but a profane cannot be permitted to prefer charges against a Mason. Yet, if circumstances are known to a profane upon which charges ought to be predicated, a Master Mason may avail himself of that information, and out of it frame an accusation, to be presented to the lodge. And such accusation will be received and investigated, although remotely derived from one who is not a member of the Order.

It is not necessary that the accuser should be a member of the same lodge. It is sufficient if he is an affiliated Mason. I say an affiliated Mason; for it is generally held, and I believe correctly, that an unaffiliated Mason is no more competent to prefer charges than a profane.

2. If the accused is living beyond the geographical jurisdiction of the lodge, the charges should be communicated to him by means of a letter through the post office, and a reasonable time should be allowed for his answer, before the lodge proceeds to trial. But if his residence be unknown, or if it be impossible to hold communication with him, the lodge may then proceed to trial - care being had that no undue advantage be taken of his absence, and that the investigation be as full and impartial as the nature of the circumstances will permit.
3. The trial must commence at a regular communication, for reasons which have already been stated; but having commenced, it may be continued at special communications, called for that purpose; for, if it was allowed only to be continued at regular meetings, which take place but once a month, the long duration of time occupied would materially tend to defeat the ends of justice.
4. The lodge must be opened in the highest degree to which the accuser has attained, and the examinations of all witnesses must take place in the presence of the accused and the accuser, if they desire it. It is competent for the accused to employ counsel for the better protection of his interests, provided such counsel is a Master Mason. But if the counsel be a member of the lodge, he forfeits, by his professional advocacy of the accused, the right to vote at the final decision of the question.

The final decision of the charge, and the rendering of the verdict, whatever be the rank of the accused, must always be made in a lodge opened on the third degree; and at the time of such decision, both the accuser and the accused, as well as his counsel, if he have any, should withdraw from the lodge.

6. It is a general and an excellent rule, that no visitors shall be permitted to be present during a trial.
7. The testimony of Master Masons is usually taken on their honor, as such. That of others should be by affidavit, or in such other manner as both the accuser and accused may agree upon.
8. The testimony of profanes, or of those who are of a lower degree than the accused, is to be taken by a committee and reported to the lodge, or, if convenient, by the whole lodge, when closed and sitting as a committee. But both the accused and the accuser have a right to be present on such occasions.
9. When the trial is concluded, the accuser and the accused must retire, and the Master will then put the question of guilty, or not guilty, to the lodge.

Not less than two thirds of the votes should be required to declare the accused guilty. A bare majority is hardly sufficient to divest a brother of his good character, and render him subject to what may perhaps be an ignominious punishment. But on this subject the authorities differ.

10. If the verdict is guilty, the Master must then put the question as to the nature and extent of the punishment to be inflicted, beginning with expulsion and proceeding, if necessary, to indefinite suspension and public and private reprimand. To inflict expulsion or suspension, a vote of two thirds of those present is required, but for a mere reprimand, a majority will be sufficient. The votes on the nature of the punishment should be viva voce, or, rather, according to Masonic usage, by a show of hands.

Trials in a Grand Lodge are to be conducted on the same general principles; but here, in consequence of the largeness of the body, and the inconvenience which would result from holding the examinations in open lodge, and in the presence of all the members, it is more usual to appoint a committee, before whom the case is tried, and upon whose full report of the testimony the Grand Lodge bases its action. And the forms of trial in such committees must conform, in all respects, to the general usage already detailed.

961 - What is the symbolism of the Lion of Judah?

  • Tribe of Judah, Lion of the. The connection of Solomon, as the chief of the tribe of Judah, with the lion, which was the achievement of the tribe, has caused this expression to be referred, in the third degree, to him who brought light and immortality to light. The old Christian interpretation of the Masonic symbols here prevails; and in Ancient Craft Masonry all allusions to the lion, as the lion's paw, the lion's grip, etc., refer to the doctrine of the resurrection taught by him who is known as "the lion of the tribe of Judah." The expression is borrowed from the Apocalypse, "Behold, the lion which is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." The lion was also a mediaeval symbol of the resurrection, the idea being founded on a .legend. The poets of that age were fond of referring to this legendary symbol in connection with scriptural idea of the "tribe of Judah." Thus Adam de St. Victor says: Thus the strong lion of Judah, The gates of cruel death being broken, Arose on the third day At the loud sounding voice of the Father.

The lion was the symbol of strength and sovereignty, in the human headed figures of the Nimrod gateway, and in other Babylonish remains. In Egypt, it was worshiped at the city of Leontoplis as typical of Dom, the Egyptian Hercules. Plutarch says that the Egyptians ornamented their temples with gaping lions' mouths, because the Nile began to rise when the sun was in the constellation Leo. Among the Talmudists there was a tradition of the lion, which has been introduced into the higher degrees of Masonry.

But in the symbolism of Ancient Craft Masonry, where the lion is introduced, as in the third degree, in connection with the "lion of the tribe of Judah," he becomes simply a symbol of the resurrection; thus restoring the symbology of the mediaeval ages, which was founded on a legend that the lion's whelp was born dead, and only brought to life by the roaring of its sire. Philip de Thaun, in his Bestiary, written in the twelfth century, gives the legend, which has thus been translated by Mr. Wright from the original old Norman French: "Know that the lioness, if she bring forth a dead cub, she holds her cub and the lion arrives; he goes about and cries, till it revives on the third day. . . . Know that the lioness signifies St. Mary, and the lion Christ, who gave himself to death for the people; three days he lay in the earth to gain our souls. . . . By the cry of the lion they understand the power of God, by which Christ was restored to life and robbed hell" The phrase, "Lion of the tribe of Judah," therefore, when used in the Masonic ritual, referred in its original interpretation to Christ, him who "brought life and immortality to light."

962 - Of what is the trowel emblematic?

  • Trowel. The trowel is appropriated to the Master's degree, be cause, as the lectures say, it is as Master Masons only we are recognized as members of the Masonic family. Again this implement is considered as the appropriate working tool of the Master Mason, because, in operative Masonry, while the Entered Apprentice prepares the materials, and the Fellowcraft places them in their proper situation, the Master Mason spreads the cement with a trowel, which binds them together. In speculative Masonry the Master of the lodge is the cement which unites the brethren, and binds them together in peace, harmony, and brotherly love.

963 - What is the symbolism of the trowel and sword?

  • Trowel and Sword. Emblems in the degree of Knights of the East. They are borrowed evidently from a religious and mechanical society, called the Brethren of the Bridge, which was founded at an early period in France, when a state of anarchy existed, and there was little security for travelers, particularly in passing rivers, on which they were subject to the rapacity of banditti. The object of this society was to put a stop to these outrages by forming fraternities for the purpose of building bridges and establishing ferries and caravansaries on their banks. Always prepared for an attack from the marauders, they carried a sword in one hand and a trowel or hammer in the other. Ramsay says that they adopted this custom in imitation of the Jews at the building of the second temple; and he endeavors to establish some connection between them and the Knights of the Temple, and of St. John of Jerusalem.

964 - Why should a Mason be truthful?

  • True. The Mason should not only be true to the brotherhood and the Order, but to all mankind. Every Mason ought to act in such a manner as to render it unnecessary to doubt his truth. Flattering words, which are only calculated to entrap the weak and the unwary, do not strengthen that truth which is expected amongst brethren. We must be able to depend with as much confidence upon the word of a Mason as if he had given us a written undertaking.

965 - In whom do Masons put their trust?

  • Trust in God. Every candidate on his initiation is required to declare that his trust is in God. And so he who denies the existence of a Supreme Being is debarred the privilege of initiation, for atheism is a disqualification for Masonry. This pious principle has distinguished the Fraternity from the earliest period; and it is a happy coincidence that the company of Operative Freemasons instituted in 1477 should have adopted as their motto, the truly Masonic sentiment, "The Lord is all our Trust."

966 - What is the real end and aim of all Masonic labors and ceremonies?

  • Truth. The real object of Freemasonry, in a philosophical and religious sense, is the search for truth. This truth is, therefore, symbolized by the Word. From the first entrance of the Apprentice into the lodge, until his reception of the highest degree, this search is continued.

It is not always found, and a substitute must sometimes be provided. Yet whatever be the labors he may perform, whatever the ceremonies through which he may pass, whatever the symbols in which he may be instructed, whatever the reward he may obtain, the true end of all is the attainment of truth. This idea of truth is not the same as that expressed in the lecture of the first degree, where Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth are there said to be the "three great tenets of a Mason's profession." In that connection, truth, which is called a "divine attribute, the foundation of every virtue," is synonymous with sincerity, honesty of expression, and plain dealing. The higher idea of truth which pervades the whole Masonic system, and which is symbolized by the Word, is that which is properly expressed as a knowledge of God.

Truth is one of the great tenets of a Freemason's profession. It is the foundation of all Masonic virtues; it is one of our grand principles; for to be good men and true is a part of the first lesson we are taught; and at the commencement of our freedom we are exhorted to be fervent and zealous in the pursuit of truth and goodness. It is not sufficient that we walk in the light, unless we do so in the truth also. All hypocrisy and deceit must be banished from among us. Sincerity and plain dealing complete the harmony of a lodge, and render us acceptable in the sight of him unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid. There is a charm in truth, which draws and attracts the mind continually toward it. The more we discover, the more we desire; and the great reward is wisdom, virtue, and happiness. This is an edifice founded on a rock, which malice cannot shake or time destroy. In the ancient mythology of Rome, Truth was called the mother of Virtue, and was depicted with white and flowing garments. Her looks were cheerful and pleasant, though modest and serene. She was the protectress of honor and honesty, and the light and joy of human society.

967 - What four children founded the beginning of all the sciences in the world?

  • Tubal Cain. Of Tubal Cain, the sacred writings, as well as the Masonic legends, give us but scanty information. All that we hear of him in the book of Genesis is that he was the son of Lamech and Zillah, and was an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron. The Hebrew original does not justify the common version, for lotesh does not mean "an instructor," but "a sharpener," - one who whets or sharpens instruments. Hence Dr. Raphall translates the passage as one "who sharpened various tools in copper and iron." The authorized version has, however, almost indelibly impressed the character of Tubal Cain as the father of artificers; and it is in this sense that he has been introduced from a very early period into the legendary history of Masonry.

The first Masonic reference to Tubal Cain is found in the "Legend of the Craft," where he is called "the founder of smitheraft." I cite this part of the legend from the Dowland MS. simply because of its more modern orthography; but the story is substantially the same in all the old manuscript Constitutions. In that Manuscript we find the following account of Tubal Cain: "Before Noah's flood, there was a man called Lamech, as it is written in the Bible, in the fourth chapter of Genesis; and this Lamech had two wives, the one named Ada and the other named Zillah; by his first wife, Ada, he got two sons, the one Jabel, and the other Jubal; and by the other wife he got a son and a daughter. And these four children founded the beginning of all the sciences in the world. The elder son, Jabel, founded the science of geometry, and he carried flocks of sheep and lambs into the fields, and first built houses of stone and wood, as it is noted in the chapter above named. And his brother Jubal founded the science of music and songs of the tongue, the harp and organ. And the third brother, Tubal Cain, founded smithcraft, of gold, silver, cop per, iron, and steel, and the daughter founded the art of weaving. And these children knew well that God would take vengeance for sin, either by fire or water, wherefore they wrote the sciences that they had found, on two pillars that they might be found after Noah's flood. The one pillar was marble, for that would not burn with fire; and the other was of brass, for that would not drown in water." Similar to this is an old Rabbinical tradition, which asserts that Jubal, who was the inventor of writing as well as of music, having heard Adam say that the universe would be twice destroyed, once by fire and once by water, inquired which catastrophe would first occur; but Adam refusing to inform him, he inscribed the system of music which he had invented upon two pillars of stone and brick. A more modern Masonic tradition ascribes the construction of these pillars to Enoch.

To this account of Tubal Cain must be added the additional particulars, recorded by Josephus, that he exceeded all men in strength, and was renowned for his warlike achievements.

The only other account of the protometallurgist that we meet with in any ancient author is that which is contained in the celebrated fragment of Sanconiatho, who refers to him under the name Chrysor, which is evidently, as Bochart affirms, a corruption of the Hebrew chores ur, a worker in fire, that is, a smith. Sanconiatho was a Phoenician author, who is supposed to have flourished before the Trojan war, probably, as Sir William Drummond suggests, about the time when Gideon was Judge of Israel, and who collected the different accounts and traditions of the origin of the world which were extant at the period in which he lived. A fragment only of this work has been preserved, which, translated into Greek by Philo Byblius, was inserted by Eusebius in his Proeparatio Evangelica, and has thus been handed down to the present day. That portion of the history by Sanconiatho, which refers to Tubal Cain, is contained in the following words: "A long time after the generation of Hypsoaranois, the inventors of hunting and fishing, Agreas and Alieas, were born; after whom the people were called hunters and fishers, and from whom sprang two brothers, who discovered iron, and the manner of working it. One of these two, called Chrysor, was skilled in eloquence, and composed verses and prophecies. Ile was the same with Hephaistos, and invented fishing hooks, bait for taking fish, cordage and rafts, and was the first of all mankind who had navigated. He was therefore worshipped as a god after his death, and was called Diamichios. It is said that these brothers were the first who contrived partition walls of brick." Hephaistos, it will be observed, is the Greek of the god who was called by the Romans Vulcan. Hence the remark of Sanconiatho, and the apparent similarity of names as well as occupations, have led some writers of the last, and even of the present century, to derive Vulcan from Tubal Cain by a process not very devious, and therefore familiar to etymologists. By the omission in Tubal Cain of the initial T, which is the Phoenician article, and its valueless vowel, we get Balcan, which, by the interchangeable nature of B and V, is easily transformed to Vulcan.

"That Tubal Cain," says Bishop Stilling fleet, "gave first occasion to the name and worship of Vulcan, hath been very probably conceived, both from the very great affinity of the names, and that Tubal Cain is expressly mentioned to be an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron, and as near relation as Apollo had to Vulcan, Jubal had to Tubal Cain, who was the inventor of music, or the father of all such as handle the harp and organ, which the Greeks attribute to Apollo." Vossius, in his treatise de Idolatria, makes this derivation of Vulcan from Tubal Cain. But Bryant, in his Analysis of Ancient Mythology, denies the etymology, and says that among the Egyptians and Babylonians, Vulcan was equivalent to Arus or Osiris, symbols of the sun. He traces the name to the words Ball Cahen, Holy Bel, or sacred Lord. Bryant's etymology may be adopted, however, without any interference with the identity of Vulcan and Tubal Cain. He who discovered the uses of fire may well, in the corruptions of idolatry, have typified the solar orb, the source of all heat. It might seem that Tubal is an at tribute compounded of the definite particle T and the word Baal, signifying Lord. Tubal Cain would then signify "the Lord Cain." Again, dhu or du, in Arabic, signifies Lord; and we trace the same signification of this affix, in its various interchangeable forms of Du, Tu, and Di, in many Semitic words. But the question of the identical origin of Tubal Cain and Vulcan has at length been settled by the researches of comparative philologists. Tubal Cain is Semitic in origin and Vulcan is Aryan. The latter may be traced to the Sanscrit ullca, a firebrand, from which we get also the Latin fulgur and fulmen, names of the lightning.

From the mention made of Tubal Cain in the "Legend of the Craft," the word was long ago adopted as significant in the primary degrees, and various attempts have been made to give it an interpretation.

Hutchinson, in an article in his Spirit of Masonry devoted to the consideration of the third degree, has the following reference to the word: "The Mason advancing to this state of Masonry, pronounces his own sentence, as confessional of the imperfection of the second stage of his profession, and as probationary of the exalted degree to which he aspires, in the Greek distich, Struo tumulum: `I prepare my sepulchre; I make my grave in the pollutions of the earth; I am under the shadow of death.' This distich has been vulgarly corrupted among us, and an expression takes place scarcely similar in sound, and entirely inconsistent with Masonry, and unmeaning in itself." But however ingenious this interpretation of Hutchinson may be, it is generally admitted that it is incorrect.

The modern English Masons, and through them the French, have de rived Tubal Cain from the Hebrew tebel, earth, and hanah, to acquire possession, and, with little respect for the grammatical rules of the Hebrew language, interpret it as meaning worldly possessions.

In the Hemming lectures, now the authorized English system, we find the answer to the question, "What does Tubal Cain denote?" is "Worldly possessions." And Delaunay, in his Thuilleur, denies the reference to the proto smith, and says: "If we reflect on the meaning of the two Hebrew words we will easily recognize in their connection the secret wish of the hierophant of the Templar, of the Freemason, and of every mystical sect to govern the world in accordance with its own principles and its own laws." It is fortunate I think, that the true meaning of the words will authorize no such interpretation. The fact is that even if Tubal Cain were derived from tebel and kanah, the precise. rules of Hebrew construction would forbid affixing to their union any such meaning as "worldly possessions." Such an interpretation of it in the French and English system, is therefore, a very forced and inaccurate one. The use of Tubal Cain as a significant word in the Masonic ritual is derived from the "Legend of the Craft," by which the name was made familiar to the Operative and then to the Speculative Masons; and it refers not symbolically, but historically to his scriptural and traditional reputation as an artificer. If he symbolized anything, it would be labor; and a Mason's labor is to acquire truth, and not worldly possessions. The English and French interpretations have fortunately never been introduced into this country.

968 - What is the first and simplest form of architecture?

  • Tuscan. The Tuscan, being the first, is the most simple and solid of the five orders. It was invented in Tuscany, whence it derives its name. The simplicity of the construction of this column renders it eligible where solidity is the chief object, and where ornament would be superfluous.

969 - Of what is the twenty four inch rule emblematic?

  • Twenty Four Inch Rule. An instrument made use of by operative Masons to measure and lay out their work; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. It being divided into twenty four equal parts, is emblematical of the twenty four hours of the day, which we are taught to divide into three parts, whereby we find a portion for the service of God, and the relief of a worthy distressed brother; a portion for our usual avocations; and a portion for refreshment and sleep.


970 - What are the status and rights of unaffiliated Masons?

  • Unaffiliated Masons. To entitle him to the right of visit, a Master Mason must be affiliated with some Lodge. Of this doctrine there is no question. All Masonic authorities concur in confirming it. But as a Mason may take his demit from a particular Lodge, with the design of uniting again with some other, it is proper that he should be allowed the opportunity of visiting various Lodges, for the purpose where there are more than one in the same place - of making his selection. But that no encouragement may be given to him to protract the period of his withdrawal of Lodge membership, this privilege of visiting must be restricted within the narrowest limits. Accordingly, the Grand Lodge of England has laid down the doctrine in its Constitutions in the following words: "A Brother, who is not a subscribing member to some Lodge, shall not be permitted to visit any one Lodge in the town or place in which he resides, more than once during his secession from the craft." A similar usage appears very generally, indeed universally, to prevail; so that it may be laid down as a law, fixed by custom and con firmed in most jurisdictions by statutory enactment, that an unaffiliated Mason cannot visit any Lodge more than once. By ceasing to be affiliated, he loses his general right of visit.

971 - What, in brief, is the status of an unaffiliated Mason?

  • Unaffiliated Masons, Status of. The following principles are sup ported by the law on the subject of unaffiliated Masons:
1. An unaffiliated Mason is still bound by all those Masonic duties and obligations which refer to the Order in general, but not by those which relate to Lodge organization.
2. He possesses, reciprocally, all those rights which are derived from membership in the Order, but none of those which result from member ship in a Lodge.
3. He has a right to assistance when in imminent peril, if he asks for that assistance in the conventional way.
4. He has no right to pecuniary aid from a Lodge.
5. He has no right to visit Lodges, or to walk in Masonic processions.
6. He has no right to Masonic burial.
7. He still remains subject to the government of the Order, and may be tried and punished for any offence, by the Lodge within whose geographical jurisdiction he resides.
8. And, lastly, as non affiliation is a violation of Masonic law, he may, if he refuses to abandon that condition, be tried and punished for it, even by expulsion if deemed necessary or expedient, by any Grand Lodge within whose jurisdiction he lives.

972 - Does an unaffiliated Mason enjoy the privilege of Masonic visitation?

  • Unafliliates. There is no precept more explicitly expressed in the ancient Constitutions than that every Mason should belong to a Lodge. The foundation of the law which imposes this duty is to be traced as far back as the Gothic Constitutions of 926, which tell us that "the workman shall labor diligently on work days, that he may deserve his holidays." The obligation that every Mason should thus labor is implied in all the subsequent Constitutions, which always speak of Ma sons as working members of the fraternity, until we come to the Charges approved in 1722, which explicitly state that "every Brother ought to belong to a Lodge, and to be subject to its By Laws and the General Regulations." Explicitly, however, as the law has been announced, it has not, in modern times, been observed with that fidelity which should have been expected, perhaps, because no precise penalty was annexed to its violation. The word "ought" has given to the regulation a simply declaratory form; and although we are still compelled to conclude that its violation is a neglect of Masonic duty, and therefore punishable by a Masonic tribunal, Masonic jurists have been at a loss to agree upon the nature and extent of the punishment that should be inflicted.

In short, while the penalty inflicted for non affiliation has varied in different jurisdictions, I know of no Grand Lodge that has not concurred in the view that it is a Masonic offence, to be visited by some penalty, or the deprivation of some rights.

And certainly, as it is an undoubted precept of our Order, that every Mason should belong to a Lodge, and contribute, as far as his means will allow, to the support of the institution; and as, by his continuance in a state of non affiliation, he violates this precept, and disobeys the law which he had promised to support, it necessarily follows that an unaffiliated Mason is placed in a very different position, morally and legally, from that occupied by an affiliated one.

973 - Why is the ballot required to be unanimous?

  • Unanimity of Ballot. Unanimity in the ballot is necessary to secure the harmony of the Lodge, which may be as seriously impaired by the admission of a candidate contrary to the wishes of one member as of three or more; for every man has his friends and his influence. Besides, it is unjust to any member, however humble he may be, to introduce among his associates one whose presence might be unpleasant to him, and whose admission would probably compel him to withdraw from the meetings, or even altogether from the Lodge. Neither would any advantage really accrue to a Lodge by such a forced admission; for while receiving a new and untried member into its fold, it would be losing an old one. For these reasons, in this country, except in a few jurisdictions, the unanimity of the ballot has always been insisted on; and it is evident, from what has been here said, that any less stringent Regulation is a violation of the ancient law and usage.

974 - Why must a ballot be unanimous?

  • Unanimous. A ballot is unanimous when there are no black balls. This unanimity must be founded upon the proper exercise of the rules and regulations laid down for our guidance in this important part of our duty, and a perfect unanimity in the opinions of the brethren on the moral character of the candidate.

In order to secure and perpetuate the peace and harmony of the Craft, it has long been the settled policy of the Masonic Fraternity to receive no person to membership, only by the consent of all the brethren who may be present at the time the ballot is taken. Among the regulations of the Grand Lodge of England we find the following in regard to this subject: "No man can be entered a brother in any particular lodge, or admitted a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of the lodge then present, when the candidate is proposed, and when their consent is formally asked by the Master. They are to give their consent in their own prudent way, either virtually or in form, but with unanimity. Nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; because the members of a particular lodge are the best judges of it; and because, if a turbulent member should be imposed upon them, it might spoil their harmony, or hinder the freedom of their communications, or even break up and disperse the lodges, which ought to be avoided by all true and faithful brothers."

975 - What is called the bulwark of Masonry?

  • Unanimous Consent. In the beginning of the last century, when Masonry was reviving from the condition of decay into which it had fallen, and when the experiment was tried of transforming it from a partly operative to a purely speculative system, the great object was to maintain a membership which, by the virtuous character of those who composed it, should secure the harmony and prosperity of the infant Institution. A safeguard was therefore to be sought in the care with which Masons should be selected from those who were likely to apply for admission. It was the quality, and not the quantity, that was de sired. This safeguard could only be found in the unanimity of the ballot. Hence, in the sixth of the General Regulations, adopted in 1721, it is declared that "no man can be entered a Brother in any particular Lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the members of that Lodge then present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is formally asked by the Master." And to prevent the exercise of any undue influence of a higher power in forcing an unworthy person upon the Order, it is further said in the same article: "Nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation; be cause the members of a particular Lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious member should be imposed on them, it might spoil their harmony, or hinder their freedom; or even break and disperse the Lodge." But a few years after, the Order being now on a firm footing, this prudent fear of "spoiling harmony," or "dispersing the Lodge," seems to have been lost sight of, and the brethren began in many Lodges to desire a release from the restrictions laid upon them by the necessity for unanimous consent. Hence Anderson says in his second edition: "But it was found inconvenient to insist upon unanimity in several cases. And, therefore, the Grand Masters have allowed the Lodges to admit a member if not above three ballots are against him; though some Lodges desire no such allowance." This rule still prevails in England; and its modern Constitution still permits the admission of a Mason where there are not more than three ballots against him, though many of the Lodges still demand unanimity.

In the United States, where Masonry is more popular than in any other cquntry, it was soon seen that the danger of the Institution lay not in the paucity, but in the multitude of its members, and that the only provision for guarding its portals was the most stringent regulation of the ballot. Hence, in every jurisdiction of the United States, I think, without an exception, unanimous consent is required. And this rule has been found to work with such advantage to the Order, that the phrase, "the black ball is the bulwark of Masonry," has become a proverb.

976 - Should a ballot be taken on an unfavorable report?

  • Unfavorable Report. Should the committee of investigation on the character of a petitioner for initiation make an unfavorable report, the general usage is (although some Grand Lodges have decided other wise) to consider the candidate rejected by such report, without proceeding to the formality of a ballot, which is therefore dispensed with. This usage is founded on the principles of common. sense; for, as by the ancient Constitutions one black ball is sufficient to reject an application, the unfavorable report of a committee must necessarily, and by con sequence, include two unfavorable votes at least. It is therefore unnecessary to go into a ballot after such a report, as it is to be taken for granted that the brethren who reported unfavorably would, on a resort to the ballot, cast their negative votes. Their report is indeed virtually considered as the casting of such votes, and the applicant is therefore at once rejected without a further and unnecessary ballot.

977 - Why should Masons observe the same usages and customs?

  • Uniformity. All lodges are particularly bound to observe the same usages and customs; every deviation, therefore, from the established mode of working is highly improper, and cannot be justified or countenanced. In order to preserve this uniformity, and to cultivate a good understanding among Freemasons, some members of every lodge should be deputed to visit other lodges as often as may be convenient. If any lodge shall give its sanction for a lodge of instruction being held under its warrant, such lodge shall be responsible that the proceedings in the lodge of instruction are correct and regular, and that the mode of working there adopted has received the sanction of the Grand Lodge.

978 - How may the Masonic system be extended to unoccupied territory?

  • Unoccupied Territory. It only remains to consider the proper mode of organizing a Grand Lodge in a territory where no such body has previously existed. Perfectly to understand this subject, it will be necessary to commence with the first development of Masonry in any country.

Let us suppose, then, that there is a territory of country within whose political bounds Freemasonry has never yet been introduced in an organized form. There may be, and indeed for the execution of the law which is about to be explained, there must be an adequate number of Master Masons, but there is no Lodge. Now, the first principle of Masonic law to which attention is to be directed, in this condition of things, is, that any territory into which Masonry has not been introduced in the organized form of Lodges, is ground common to all the Masonic authorities of the world; and therefore that it is competent for any Grand Lodge to grant a warrant of constitution, and establish a Lodge in such unoccupied territory, on the petition, of course, of a requisite number of Masons. And this right of granting warrants insures to every Grand Lodge in the world, and may be exercised by as many as choose to do so, as long as no Grand Lodge is organized in the territory. So that there may be ten or a dozen Lodges working at the same time in the same territory, and each one of them deriving its legal existence from a different Grand Lodge. In such a case, neither of the Grand Lodges who have granted war rants acquires, by any such act, exclusive jurisdiction over the territory, which is still open for the admission of any other Grand Lodge, with a similar power of granting warrants. The jurisdiction exercised in this condition of Masonry by the different Grand Lodges is not over the territory, but over the Lodge or Lodges which each of them has established. But afterwards these subordinate Lodges may desire to organize a Grand Lodge, and they are competent to do so, under certain restrictions.

979 - What should be the attitude of the Craft toward unworthy brethren?

  • Unworthy Members. That there are men in our Order whose lives and characters reflect no credit on the Institution, whose ears turn coldly from its beautiful lessons of morality, whose hearts are untouched by its soothing influences of brotherly kindness, whose hands are not opened to aid in its deeds of charity, is a fact which we cannot deny, although we may be permitted to express our grief while we acknowledge its truth. But these men, though in the Temple, are not of the Temple; they are among us, but are not with us; they belong to our household, but they are not of our faith; they are of Israel, but they are not Israel. We have sought to teach them, but they would not be instructed; seeing, they have not perceived; and hearing, they have not understood the symbolic language in which our lessons of wisdom are communicated. The fault is not with us, that we have not given, but with them that they have not received. And, indeed, hard and unjust would it be to censure the Masonic institution, because, partaking of the infirmity and weakness of human wisdom and human means it has been unable to give strength and perfection to all who come within its pale. The denial of a Peter, the doubtings of a Thomas, or even the betrayal of a Judas, could cast no reproach on that holy band of Apostles of which each formed a constituent part.

"Is Freemasonry answerable," says Dr. Oliver, "for the misdeeds of an individual Brother l By no means. He has had the advantage of Masonic instruction, and has failed to profit by it. He has enjoyed Masonic privileges, but has not possessed Masonic virtue." Such a man it is our duty to reform, or to dismiss; but the world should not condemn us, if we fail in our attempt at reformation. God alone can change the heart. Masonry furnishes precepts and obligations of duty which, if obeyed, must make its members wiser, better, happier men; but it claims no power of regeneration. Condemn when our instruction is evil, but not when our pupils are dull, and deaf to our lessons; for, in so doing, you condemn the holy religion which you profess. Masonry pre scribes no principles that are opposed to the sacred teachings of the Divine Lawgiver, and sanctions no acts that are not consistent with the sternest morality and the most faithful obedience, to government and the laws; and while this continues to be its character, it cannot, without the most atrocious injustice, be made responsible for the acts of its unworthy members. Of all human societies, Freemasonry is undoubtedly, under all circumstances, the fittest to form the truly good man. But however well conceived may be its laws, they cannot completely change the natural disposition of those who ought to observe them. In truth, they serve as lights and guides; but as they can only direct men by restraining the impetuosity of their passions, these last too often become dominant, and the Institution is forgotten.

980 - Why are Lodges held in upper chambers?

  • Upper Chamber. Our lodges are formed in upper chambers, and carefully guarded by tiled doors and drawn swords. The highest of hills and the lowest of valleys are situations least exposed to unauthorized intrusion. Thus Masons are said to meet in these situations, to commemorate a remarkable custom of the ancient Jews in the building of their temples, schools, and synagogues; and as by the Jewish law, whenever ten of them assembled together for that purpose, they proceeded to work, so it was with our ancient brethren, who formed themselves into a lodge, whenever ten operative Masons were assembled, consisting of the Master, two Wardens, and seven Fellowcrafts.

981 - What is the symbolism of the upright posture?

  • Upright Posture. The upright posture of the Apprentice in the northeast corner, as a symbol of upright conduct, was introduced into the ritual by Preston, who taught in his lectures that the candidate then represented "a just and upright man and Mason." The same symbolism is referred to by Hutchinson, who says that "as the builder raises his column by the plane and perpendicular, so should the Mason carry himself towards the world." Indeed, the application of the cornerstone, or the square stone, as a symbol of uprightness of conduct, which is precisely the Masonic symbolism of the candidate in the northeast, was familiar to the ancients; for Plato says that he who valiantly sustains the shocks of adverse fortune, demeaning himself uprightly, is truly good and of a square posture.

Every Freemason remembers the instructions given him in the lodge at the time of his reception, in regard to the "upright posture." "God created man to be upright," i. e., to stand erect. This is the peculiar prerogative of man. All the outward forms and features of the sentient world, whether human or brutal, are created by the nature, disposition or spirit of each race and each individual. The nature of beasts and reptiles is earthly. Prone to the earth, they move horizontally, with downward gaze, or crawl in the dust. To them the ideal world is closed. The glory of the heavens, the grandeur of nature, the beauty of flowers, the wonderful harmonies of sight and sound, which so inspire and elevate man, are unknown to them. Their gaze is downward, and their life is extinguished in the dust. Man, on the contrary, stands erect, and his eyes sweep through the immense regions of space which stretch above his head. His mind, endowed with a divine energy, reaches to the most distant star, and measures it, in weight and size, as accurately as one measures the apple that is held in the palm of the hand. The "upright posture" also has an important moral significance for the intelligent Mason. As it reminds him of his relationship to the celestial powers, and that he is endowed with some of the attributes of the Divinity, and with a life which will endure forever, he is admonished thereby that he should live in a manner worthy of so illustrious an origin, and so glorious a destiny.

982 - To what do the usages and customs of Masons correspond?

  • Usages. The usages and customs of Masons have ever corresponded with those of the ancient Egyptians, to which they bear a near affinity. Their philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, concealed their particular tenets, and principles of polity and philosophy, under hieroglyphical figures, and expressed their notions of government by signs and symbols, which they communicated to their priests alone, who were bound by oath not to reveal them.


983 - Can the office of Master be filled by an election in the event of his death or disability?

  • Vacancy in the Office of Master. Whether the Senior Warden or a Past Master is to succeed, the Regulations of 1721 makes no provision for an election, but implies that the vacancy shall be temporarily sup plied 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 election of officers." 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, then, 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, the two most prominent officers of the Lodge, 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 it could never have been the intention of the law to inflict.

But even if the Wardens were not ambitious of office, or were not likely, under any circumstances, to be elected to the vacant office, an other 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 "in 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 require that on the death or removal of the Master, there shall be no election to supply the vacancy; but that the authority of the absent Master shall be vested in the Senior Warden, and in his absence, in the Junior.

984 - May an officer of a Lodge, duly elected and installed, lawfully resign his office?

  • Vacation of Lodge Officers. An office terminates in Masonry only in three ways - by the expiration of the term, by death, or by expulsion. Suspension does not vacate an office, but simply suspends the office bearer from the privilege of discharging the duties of the office, and restoration immediately restores him to the enjoyment of all the prerogatives of his office.

It is now held by a large majority of authorities that an officer, after having once accepted of installation, cannot resign the office to which he has been elected. And this seems to be in accordance with reason; for, by the installation, the officer promises to discharge the functions of the office for the constitutional period, and a resignation would be a violation of his oath of office, which no Lodge should be willing to sanction. So, too, when an officer has removed from the jurisdiction, al though it may be at the time with an intention never to return, it is impossible, in the uncertainty of human events, to say how far that intention will be fulfilled, and the office must remain vacant until the next regular period of election. In the meantime the duties are to be discharged by the temporary appointment, by the Master, of a substitute; for, should the regularly elected and installed officer change his intention and return, it would at once become not only his privilege but his duty to resume the discharge of the functions of his office.

985 - How may a Tiler be removed from office?

  • Vacation of Office of Tiler. The Tiler is sometimes appointed by the Master, but is more usually elected by the Lodge. After installation, he holds his office, by the same tenure as the other officers, and can only be removed by death or expulsion. Of course the Tiler, like every other officer, may, on charges preferred and trial had, be suspended from discharging the functions of his office, during which suspension a temporary Tiler shall be appointed by the Master. But as I have al ready said, such suspension does not vacate the office, nor authorize a new election.

986 - When and where must the verdict in a Lodge trial be rendered?

  • Verdict, Announcement of. The final decision upon charges, and the rendering of the verdict, whatever be the rank of the accused, must always be made in a Lodge opened on the third degree; and at the time of such decision, both the accuser and the accused, as well as his counsel, if he have any, should withdraw from the Lodge.

987 - How is the verdict at a Masonic trial arrived at?

  • Verdict, How Arrived at. When the trial is concluded, the accuser and the accused must retire, and the Master will then put the question of guilty, or not guilty, to the Lodge. Masonic authorities differ as to the mode in which the vote is taken. In England, it is done by a show of hands. The Grand Lodges of Ohio and South Carolina require it to be by ballot, and that of California by each brother, as his name is called, rising and giving his answer "in a distinct and audible manner." I confess, that in this diversity of authorities, I am inclined to be in favor of the vote by ballot, as the independence of opinion is thus better secured; for many a man who conscientiously believed in the guilt of the accused, might be too timid to express that opinion openly. Not less, I think, than two thirds of the votes should be required to declare the accused guilty. A bare majority is hardly sufficient to divest a brother of his good character, and render him subject to what may perhaps be an ignominous punishment. But on this subject the authorities differ.

988 - What forms may the verdict of a Grand Lodge on appeal take in the settlement of an appeal?

  • Verdict of a Grand Lodge on Appeal. A Grand Lodge may restore in part, and not in whole. It may mitigate the amount of punishment, as being too severe or disproportioned to the offence. It may reduce expulsion to suspension, and indefinite to definite suspension, or it may abridge the period of the last. But all these are matters of justice and expediency, to be judged of by the Grand Lodge, according to the particular circumstances of each case.

989 - What violation of Masonic Landmarks and Regulations may subject a Mason to Masonic discipline?

  • Violations of Masonic Landmarks and Regulations. A class of crimes which are cognizable by a Masonic tribunal are violations of the Landmarks and Regulations of the Order. These are so numerous that space cannot be afforded for even a bare catalogue. Reference must be made only to a few of the most important character.

A disclosure of any of the secrets which a Mason "has promised to conceal and never reveal" is a heinous crime, and one which the monitorial lecture of the first degree expressly says, "would subject him to the contempt and detestation of all good Masons." Disobedience and want of respect to Masonic superiors is an offence for which the transgressor subjects himself to punishment. The bringing of "private piques or quarrels" into the Lodge is strictly forbidden by the old Charges, and the violation of this precept is justly considered as a Masonic offence.

A want of courtesy and kindness to the brethren, speaking calumniously of one behind his back, or in any other way attempting to injure him, is each a violation of the precepts of Masonry, and should be made the subject of investigation.

Striking a Mason, except in self defence, is a heinous transgression of the law of brotherly love, which is the foundation of Masonry. It is not, therefore, surprising that the more serious offence of duelling among Masons has been specifically condemned, under the severest penalties, by several Grand Lodges. The ancient Installation Charges in the time of James II. expressly prohibit a Mason from doing any dishonor to the wife or daughter of his brother; but it is scarcely necessary to remark that still higher authority for this prohibition may be found in the ritualistic Landmarks of the Order.

Gambling is also declared to be a Masonic offence in the old Charges. As I have already said, it would be possible, but hardly necessary, to extend this list of Masonic offences against the Constitutions and Regulations of the Order. They must be learned from a diligent perusal of these documents, and the study of the Landmarks and ritualistic ob servances. It is sufficient to say that whatever is a violation of fidelity to solemn engagements, a neglect of prescribed duties, or a transgression of the cardinal principles of friendship, morality and brotherly love, is a Masonic crime, and renders the offender liable to Masonic punishment.

990 - What virtues does Masonry inculcate?

  • Virtues. In all ages it has been the object of Freemasonry, not only to inform the minds of its members, by instructing them in the sciences and useful arts, but to better their hearts, by enforcing the precepts of religion and morality. In the course of the ceremonies of initiation, brotherly love, loyalty, and other virtues are inculcated in hieroglyphic symbols, and the candidate is often reminded that there is an eye above, which observeth the workings of his heart, and is ever fixed upon the thoughts and actions of men.

991 - What rights has a Grand Master or his representative in a subordinate Lodge?

  • Visitation. Masonic usage requires that the Grand Master and other officers of the Grand Lodge should periodically visit the sub ordinate lodges, to examine their books and work, and make a general inspection of their affairs. This formal visit is called a visitation. When such an event occurs, the Grand Officers, after being received with the usual honors, take charge of the lodge. According to the English Constitutions, "the Grand Master has full authority to preside in any lodge, and to order his Grand Officers to attend him; his Deputy is to be placed on his right hand, and the Master of the lodge on his left hand. His Wardens are also to act as Wardens of that particular lodge during his presence. The Deputy Grand Master has full authority, unless the Grand Master or Pro Grand Master be present, to preside, with the Master of the lodge on his right hand. The Grand Wardens, if present, are to act as Wardens."

992 - What is the prerogative of a Grand Master with respect to a Masonic visitation?

  • Visitation, Grand Master's Prerogative of. Concomitant with the Grand Master's prerogative of presiding in any Lodge, is that of visitation. This is not simply the right of visit, which every Master Mason in good standing possesses, but it is a prerogative of a more important nature, and which has received the distinctive appellation of the right of visitation. It is the right to enter any Lodge, to inspect its proceedings, to take a part in its business transactions, and to correct its errors. The right is specifically recognized in the Regulations of 1721, but it is also an inherent prerogative; for the Grand Master is, virtute officii, the head of the whole fraternity, and is not only entitled, but bound, in the faithful discharge of his duty, to superintend the transactions of the craft, and to interfere in all congregations of Masons to prevent the commission of wrong, and to see that the Landmarks and usages of antiquity, and the Constitutions and laws of the Grand Lodge, and of every Lodge in the jurisdiction, are preserved and obeyed. The Regulations of 1721 prescribe that when the Grand Master makes such a visitation, the Grand Wardens are to attend him, and act as Wardens of the Lodge while he presides. This Regulation, however, rather refers to the rights of the Grand Wardens than to the prerogative of the Grand Master, whose right to make an official visitation to any Lodge is an inherent one, not to be limited or directed by any comparatively modern Regulation.

993 - Has a Mason the right to visit any Lodge where he may happen to be?

  • Visit, Right of. While the right of a Mason to visit any lodge, where he may happen to be, is generally conceded, various regulations, limiting this right, have been made at different times, and in divers jurisdictions, concerning the propriety and necessity of which intelligent Masons entertain quite different opinions. By the most ancient charges it is ordered, "That every Mason receive and cherish strange fellowes when they come over the countrie, and sett them on worke if they will worke, as the manner is; that is to say, if the Mason have any mould stone in his place, he shall give him a mould stone, and sett him on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next lodge." This regulation recognizes the right of a traveling brother as absolute. But, as early as 1663, it was ordered by a General Assembly held on the 27th of December of that year, " That no person hereafter, who shall be accepted a Freemason, shall be admitted into any lodge or assembly, until he has brought a certificate of the time and place of his acceptation, from the lodge that accepted him, unto the Master of that limit or division where such a lodge is kept." In 1772, the Grand Lodge of England renewed this statute, and some Grand Lodges in this country have adopted it. Of course, no stranger can be admitted to a lodge without "due trial and examination," or. unless he is vouched for by a known brother present. The Grand Lodge of England also has the following regulation, which has been adopted in many other jurisdictions: "A brother who is not a subscribing member to some lodge shall not be permitted to visit any one lodge in the town or place where he resides, more than once during his secession from the Craft." The object of the above rule is to exclude all drones from the hive of Masonry. Whoever partakes of the advantages of Free masonry should contribute something to its support.

994 - Does the Master of a Lodge have the right to cast more than one vote?

  • Vote of Master. The Master has one vote in all questions, as every other member, and, in addition, a casting vote, if there be a tie. This usage, which is very general, owes its existence, in all probability, to the fact that a similar privilege is, by the Regulations of 1721, enjoyed by the Grand Master in the Grand Lodge. I cannot, however, find a written sanction for the usage in any of the Ancient Constitutions, and am not prepared to say that the Master possesses it by inherent right. The local regulations of some jurisdictions explicitly recognize the prerogative, while others are silent on the subject. I know of none that denies it in express words. I am disposed to believe that it has the authority of ancient usage, and confess that I am partial to it, on mere grounds of expediency, while the analogy of the Grand Master's similar prerogative gives it a show of authority.

995 - Why is every member present required to vote when the ballot is taken?

  • Voting on a Ballot. From the fact that the vote which is given on the ballot for a candidate must be one in which the unanimous con sent of all present is to be given, it follows that all the members then present are under an obligation to vote. From the discharge of this duty no one can be permitted to shrink. And, therefore, in balloting on a petition, every member, as his name is called, is bound to come forward and deposit either a white or a black ball. No one can be exempted from the performance of this responsible act, except by the unanimous consent of the Lodge; for, if a single member were allowed to decline voting, it is evident that the candidate, being then admitted by the affirmative votes of the others, such admission would, nevertheless, not be in compliance with the words and spirit of the law. The "unanimous consent of all the members of the Lodge then present" would not have been given - one, at least, having withheld that consent by the non user of his prerogative.

996 - Under what circumstances is a voucher demanded?

  • Vouch. The term vouch means to bear witness, or give testimony, and a voucher accordingly is a witness. When a person applies for ad mission to the Masonic society, his application should bear the signatures of two brethren, one of whom is called the voucher, because he thus testifies that the petitioner possesses the required qualifications. So a stranger can visit a lodge without trial or examination, if a brother present knows him to be a Mason and vouches for him.

997 - Has an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft the right of vouching for a visitor?

  • Vouching for Strangers. An examination may sometimes be dispensed with, when a Brother who is present, and acquainted with the visitor, is able and willing to vouch for him as a Master Mason in good standing. This prerogative, of vouching for a stranger, is strictly one of the rights of a Master Mason, because neither Entered Apprentices nor Fellowcrafts are permitted to exercise it, in reference to those who have attained to their respective degrees. But the right is one of so important a nature - its imprudent exercise would be attended with such evil consequences to the institution - that Grand Lodges have found it necessary to restrict it by the most rigid rules. The Grand Lodges of Iowa and Mississippi, for instance, have declared that no visitor can be permitted to take his seat in a Lodge, on the strength of being vouched for by a Brother, unless that Brother has sat in a Lodge with him.


998 - What are the wages of a Mason?

  • Wages of a Mason. The operative Mason, in ancient times, received, as compensation for his labor, corn, wine and oil - the products of the earth - or whatever would contribute to his physical comfort and support. His labor being material, his wages were outward and material. The Free and Accepted Mason, on the other hand, performs a moral work, and hence his reward is interior and spiritual. The en lightened brother finds his reward in the grand and gratifying results of his studies, and in the joyful fruits of his Masonic deeds. He sees the glory of the Divinity permeating all worlds, and all parts of the universe reveal to his soul celestial meanings. All nature overflows with beauty, love, melody and song, and unspeakably rich are the delights he derives from communion with her spirit. If he be a child of fortune, and raised above the necessity of labor, he finds the purest pleasure in practice of charity and the exercise of benevolence; for charity, like mercy, brings its own recompense.

"It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven, Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes." If, like our ancient brethren, he is a laborer, his wages are still ample and enduring. Thus, while the ignorant man toils on, drearily cheered by no bright and living thoughts, his mind destitute of all ideas, and his heart moved by no glad inspiration, the Masonic laborer welcomes his toil with joy, because Freemasonry has taught him that labor is a divine vocation, "Labourare est orare." He goes forth in the morning, and the world on which he looks, swimming in sunbeams, and glittering with dewy diamonds, is less bright and fair than the world that lays in his heart, and which science has illuminated with her everlasting light. The mountains, barren, rocky and storm blackened, or crowned with sylvan splendors; the valleys, flower robed and ribboned with meandering streams; the rivers, hastening to the sea, and making music as they go; the trees, and rocks, and flowers; all the activities of nature, and the great enterprises of man, speak with eloquence to his soul, and reveal to his enlightened spirit the glad secrets of Nature and of Nature's God. These noble, ample and enduring enjoyments are the wages of the true Mason.

999 - What is the origin of the office of Wardens?

  • Wardens. Every Lodge has two officers, who are distinguished as the Senior and Junior Wardens. The word is derived from the Saxon weardian, "to guard or watch," and signifies therefore a guardian or watchman. The French and German titles for the same officers, which are surveillant in the former language, and aufseher in the latter, are equally significant, as they denote an overseer. The title is derived from the fact that in the old rituals these officers were supposed to sit at the two columns of the porch, and oversee or watch the Fellow Crafts and Apprentices - the Senior Warden overlooking the former, and the Junior Warden the latter. This ritual is still observed in the Lodges of the French rite, where the two Wardens sit in the west, at what is supposed to be the pedestals of the two columns of the porch of the temple; and in the York rite, although the allusion is somewhat impaired by the removal of the Junior Warden to the south, they still retain on their pedestals miniature columns, the representatives of the temple pillars, and which in all processions they carry as the insignia of their office.

1000 - What was the origin of Masonic warrants?

  • Warrant. In former times a lodge formed itself without any ceremony, wherever a sufficient number of brethren dwelt to form a lodge, or one of the neighboring lodges formed it for them. But in 1722 the Grand Lodge in London determined that every new lodge in England should have a patent, and since that time all those brethren who wish to form a new lodge, strive to obtain a warrant from the Grand Lodge. The new lodge then joins the Grand Lodge as a daughter lodge, binds itself to work according to its system, and to keep within the ancient landmarks. Then is such a lodge called just, perfect, and regular.

1001 - What is the distinction between a dispensation and a warrant?

  • Warrant of Constitution, Granting of. The most important prerogative that a Grand Lodge can exercise in its legislative capacity is that .of granting warrants of constitution for the establishment of sub ordinate Lodges. Important, however, as is this prerogative, it is not an inherent one, possessed by the Grand Lodge from time immemorial, but is the result of a concession granted by the Lodges in the year 1717; for formerly, as I have already shown, all Masons enjoyed the right of meeting in Lodges without the necessity of a warrant, and it was not until the re organization of the Grand Lodge, in the beginning of the last century, that this right was surrendered. Preston gives the important Regulations which was adopted in 1717, in which it is declared that warrants must be granted by the Grand Master, "with the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication." Anderson does not give this Regulation, nor will anything be found in the Regulations which were approved in 1721, respecting the necessity of the con sent and approbation of the Grand Lodge. On the contrary, the whole tenor of those Regulations appears to vest the right of granting war rants in the Grand Lodge exclusively, and the modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England are to the same effect. But in this country it has been the universal usage to restrict the power of the Grand Master to the granting of temporary dispensations, while the prerogative of granting permanent warrants is exclusively vested in the Grand Lodge.

1002 - What rights has a Lodge with respect to its warrant of constitution?

  • Warrant of Constitution, Nature of. A Lodge under dispensation can be cancelled by the revocation of the dispensation by either the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, in which event the Lodge would cease to exist; but a Lodge under dispensation may terminate its existence in a more favorable way, by being changed into a Lodge working under a warrant of constitution.

At the communication of the Grand Lodge, which takes place next after the granting of the dispensation by the Grand Master, that officer states the fact to the Grand Lodge, of his having granted such an authority, when a vote being taken on the question whether the dispensation shall or shall not be confirmed, if a majority are in favor of the confirmation, the Grand Secretary is directed to issue a warrant of constitution.

This instrument differs from a dispensation in many important particulars. A dispensation emanates from a Grand Master; a warrant from a Grand Lodge. The one is temporary and definite in its duration; the other permanent and indefinite. The one is revocable at pleasure by the Grand Master; the other, only upon cause shown by the Grand Lodge. The one confers only a name; the other, a number upon the Lodge. The one restricts the authority it bestows to the making of Masons; the other extends that authority to the installation of officers and the succession in office. The one contains within itself no power of self perpetuation; the other does. From these differences in the two documents arise important peculiarities in the prerogatives of the two bodies which are respectively organized under their authority.

1003 - What is the prerogative of Grand Lodges with respect to issuing warrants of constitution?

  • Warrant of Constitution, Right to. A Lodge has the right to retain possession of its warrant of constitution. In this respect we see at once a manifest difference between a warranted Lodge and one working under dispensation. The latter derives its authority from the Grand Master, and the dispensation, which is the instrument by which that authority is delegated, may at any time be revoked by the officer from whom it emanated. In such an event there is no mode of redress provided by law. The dispensation is the voluntary act of the Grand Master, is granted ex gratin, and may be withdrawn by the same act of will which first prompted the grant. There can be no appeal from such an act of revocation, nor can any Masonic tribunal require that the Grand Master should show cause for this exertion of his prerogative.

But the warrant having been granted by the Grand Lodge, the body of Masons thus constituted form at once a constituent part of the Grand Lodge. They acquire permanent rights which cannot be violated by any assumption of authority, nor abrogated except in due course of Masonic law. The Grand Master may, in the conscientious discharge of his duty, suspend the work of a chartered Lodge, when he believes that that suspension is necessary for the good of the Order; but he cannot recall or revoke the warrant. From that suspension of work there is of course an appeal to the Grand Lodge, and that body alone can, on cause shown, and after due and legal investigation, withdraw or revoke the warrant.

1004 - Of what is the weeping virgin emblematic?

Weeping Virgin. The weeping virgin with dishevelled hair, in the monument of the third degree, used in the American Rite, is interpreted as a symbol of grief for the unfinished state of the Temple. Jeremy Cross, who is said to have fabricated the monumental symbol, was not, we are satisfied, acquainted with hermetic science. Yet a woman thus portrayed, standing near a tomb, was a very appropriate symbol for the third degree, whose dogma is the resurrection. In hermetic science, according to Nicholas Flammel, a woman having her hair dishevelled and standing near a tomb is a symbol of the soul.

1005 - What formula is used by the Grand Master at the laying of a corner stone?

Well Formed, True and Trusty. A formula used by the Grand Master at the laying of a cornerstone. Having applied the square, level and plumb to its different surfaces and angles, he declares it to be "well formed, true and trusty." Borrowing from the technical language of Operative Masonry, it is symbolically applied in reference to the character which the Entered Apprentice should sustain when, in the course of his initiation, he assumes the place of a typical cornerstone in the Lodge.

1006 - What is the symbolism of the West?

West. Where the sun closes its daily race, there the thanks of the inhabitants of the world follow it, and with the ensuing morning it again commences its benevolent course. Every brother draws near to the evening of his days; and well will it be with him if at the close of his labors he can look forward with hope for a good reward for his work.

1007 - Of what is the color white emblematic?

  • White. This color has even been regarded as emblematic of purity and innocence. In the York rite the apron is always of this color, though the trimming varies in the symbolic and chapitral degrees. "Let thy garments be always WHITE," etc.

1008 - What rules apply to the relief of Masonic widows and orphans?

  • Widows and Orphans. The wives and children of Masons, while claiming relief through the right of their husbands and fathers, are subject to the same principles and restrictions as those which govern the application of Masons themselves. The destitute widow or orphans of a deceased Mason have a claim for relief upon the whole fraternity, which is to be measured by the same standard that would be applied if the Brother himself were alive, and asking for assistance.

1009 - Under what circumstances does the widow of a Mason forfeit her claim to Masonic relief?

  • Widows of Masons. The Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of New York, in 1851, announced the doctrine that the widow of a Mason does not forfeit her right to claim relief, although she may have married a second time. I regret that I cannot concur in this too liberal view. It appears to me that the widow of a Mason de rives her claim to Masonic relief from the fact of her widowhood only, and therefore, that when she abandons that widowhood, she forfeits her claim. On her second marriage, her relations to the Order are obliterated as completely as are her relations to him whose name she has abandoned for that of another. If her new husband is not a Mason, I cannot see upon what ground she could rest her claim to Masonic protection; not as the wife of her second husband, for that would give no foundation for such a claim - not certainly as the widow of the first, for she is no longer a widow.

1010 - Who was called the widow's son, and why?

  • Widow's Son. Hiram, the architect, is described in two places of Scripture; in the first he is called a widow's son, of the tribe of Naphtali, and in the other is called the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; but in both that his father was a man of Tyre; that is, she was of the daughters of the city of Dan, in the tribe of Naphtali, and is called a widow of Naphtali, as her husband was a Naphtalite; for he is not called a Tyrian by descent, but a man of Tyre by habitation.

1011 - Of what is the winding staircase emblematic?

  • Winding Staircase. When the Fellowcrafts went to receive their wages, they ascended a winding staircase, the steps of which, like all the Masonic symbols, are illustrative of discipline and doctrine, as well as of natural, mathematical, and metaphysical science, and open to us an extensive range of moral and speculative inquiry. In their delineation, the steps, which count odd numbers, should be more particularly marked as one, three, five, seven, eleven; and in ascending them the Fellowcraft should pause on each alternate step, and consider the several stages of his progress, as well as the important lessons which are there inculcated.

1012 - What is the legend of the winding stairs?

  • Winding Stairs, Legend of the. In an investigation of the symbolism of the winding stairs, we shall be directed to the true explanation by a reference to their origin, their number, the objects which they re call, and their termination, but above all by a consideration of the great design which an ascent upon them was intended to accomplish.

The steps of this winding staircase commenced, we are informed, at the porch of the Temple; that is to say, at its very entrance. But nothing is more undoubted in the science of Masonic symbolism than that the Temple was the representative of the world purified by the Shekinah, or Divine Presence. The world of the profane is without the Temple, the world of the initiated is within its sacred walls. Hence to enter the Temple, to pass within the porch, to be made a Mason, and to be born into the world of Masonic light, are all synonymous and convertible terms. Here, then, the symbolism of the winding stairs, begins. The Apprentice, having entered within the porch of the Temple, has begun his Masonic life. But the first degree in Masonry, like the lesser mysteries of the ancient systems of initiation, is only a preparation and purification for something higher. The Entered Apprentice is the child in Masonry. The lessons which he receives are simply intended to cleanse the heart and prepare the recipient for that mental illumination which is to be given in the succeeding degrees.

As a Fellowcraft, he has advanced another step, and as the degree is emblematic of youth, so it is here that the intellectual education of the candidate begins. And therefore, here, at the very spot which separates the porch from the sanctuary, where childhood ends and manhood be gins, he finds stretching out before him a winding stair which invites him as it were, to ascend, and which, as the symbol of discipline and instruction, teaches him that here must commence his Masonic labor - here he must enter upon those glorious though difficult researches the end of which is to be the possession of divine truth. The winding stairs begin after the candidate has passed within the porch and between the pillars of strength and establishment, as a significant symbol to teach him that as soon as he has passed beyond the years of irrational child hood, and commenced his entrance upon manly life, the laborious task Df self improvement is the first duty that is placed before him. He cannot stand still, if he would be worthy of his vocation; his destiny as an immortal being requires him to ascend, step by step, until he has reached the summit, where the treasures of knowledge await him.

The number of these steps in all the systems has been odd. Vitruvious remarks - and the coincidence is at least curious - that the ancient temples were always ascended by an odd number of steps; and he as signs as the reason, that, commencing with the right foot at the bottom, the worshipper would find the same foot foremost when he entered the temple, which was considered as a fortunate omen. But the fact is, that the symbolism of numbers was borrowed by the Masons from Pythagoras, in whose system of philosophy it plays an important part, and in which odd numbers were considered as more perfect than even ones. Hence, throughout the Masonic system we find a predominance of odd numbers; and while three, five, seven, nine, fifteen, and twenty seven are all important symbols, we seldom find a reference to two, four, six, eight or ten. The odd number of the stairs was therefore intended to symbolize the idea of perfection, to which it was the object of the aspirant to attain.

As to the particular number of the stairs, this has varied at different periods. Tracing boards of the last century have been found, in which only five steps are delineated, and others in which they amount to seven. The Prestonian lectures, used in England in the beginning of this century, gave the whole number as thirty eight, dividing them into series of one, three, five, seven, nine and eleven. The error of making an even number, which was a violation of the Pythagorean principle of odd numbers as the symbol of perfection, was corrected in the Hemming lectures, adopted at the union of the two Grand Lodges of England, by striking out the eleven, which was also objectionable as receiving a sectarian explanation. In this country the number was still further reduced to fifteen, divided into three series of three, five, and seven. I shall adopt this American division in explaining the symbolism; al though, after all, the particular number of the steps, of the peculiar method of their division into series, will not in any way affect the general symbolism of the whole legend.

The candidate, then, in the second degree of Masonry, represents a man starting forth on the journey of life, with the great task before him of self improvement. For the faithful performance of this task, a reward is promised, which reward consists in the development of all his intellectual faculties, the moral and spiritual elevation of his character, and the acquisition of truth and knowledge. Now, the attainment of this moral and intellectual condition supposes an elevation of character, an ascent from a lower to a higher life, and a passage of toil and difficulty, through rudimentary instruction, to the full fruition of wisdom. This is therefore beautifully symbolized by the winding stairs, at whose foot the aspirant stands ready to climb the toilsome steep, while at its top is placed "that hieroglyphic bright which none but Craftsmen ever saw," as the emblem of divine truth. And hence a distinguished writer has said that "these steps, like all the Masonic symbols, are illustrative of discipline and doctrine, as well as of natural, mathematical and meta physical science, and open to us an extensive range of moral and speculative inquiry." The candidate, incited by the love of virtue and the desire of knowledge, and withal eager for the reward of truth which is set before him, begins at once the toilsome ascent. At each division he pauses to gather instruction from the symbolism which these divisions present to his attention.

At the first pause which he makes he is instructed in the peculiar organization of the order of which he has become a disciple. But the information here given, if taken in its naked, literal sense, is barren, and unworthy of his labor. The rank of the officers who govern, and the names of the degrees which constitute the Institution, can give him no knowledge which he has not before possessed. We must look therefore to the symbolic meaning of these allusions for any value which may be attached to this part of the ceremony.

The reference to the organization of the Masonic institution is in tended to remind the aspirant of the union of men in society, and the development of the social state out of the state of nature. He is thus reminded, in the very outset of his journey, of the blessings which arise from civilization and of the fruits of virtue and knowledge which are derived from that condition. Masonry itself is the result of civilization; while, in grateful return, it has been one of the most important means of extending that condition of mankind. All the monuments of antiquity that the ravages of time have left combine to prove that man had no sooner emerged from the savage into the social state, than he commenced the organization of religious mysteries, and the separation, by a sort of divine instinct, of the sacred from the profane. Then came the invention of architecture as a means of providing convenient dwellings and necessary shelter from the in clemencies and vicissitudes of the seasons, with all the mechanical arts connected with it; and lastly, geometry, as a necessary science to enable the cultivators of land to measure and designate the limits of their' possessions. All these are claimed as peculiar characteristics of Speculative Masonry, which may be considered as the type of civilization, the former bearing the same relation to the profane world as the latter does to the savage state. Hence we at once see the fitness of the symbolism which commences the aspirant's upward progress in the cultivation of knowledge and the search after truth, by recalling to his mind the condition of civilization and the social union of mankind as necessary preparations for the attainment of these objects.. In the allusions to the officers of a lodge, and the degrees of Masonry as explanatory of the organization of our own society, we clothe in our symbolic language the history of the organization of society.

Advancing in his progress, the candidate is invited to contemplate another series of instructions. The human senses, as the appropriate channels through which we receive all our ideas of perception, and which, therefore, constitute the most important sources of our knowledge, are here referred to as a symbol of intellectual cultivation. Architecture, as the most important of the arts which conduce to the comfort of mankind, is also alluded to here, not simply because it is so closely connected with the operative institution of Masonry, but also as the type of all the other useful arts. In his second pause, in the ascent of the winding stairs, the aspirant is therefore reminded of the necessity of cultivating practical knowledge.

So far, then, the instructions he has received relate to his own condition in society as a member of the great social compact, and to his means of becoming, by a knowledge of the arts of practical life, a necessary and useful member of that society.

But his motto will be, "Excelsior." Still must he go onward and forward. The stair is still before him; its summit is not yet reached, and still further treasures of wisdom are to be sought for, or the reward will not be gained, nor the middle chamber, the abiding place of truth, be reached. In his third pause, he therefore arrives at that point in which the whole circle of human science is to be explained. Symbols, we know, are in themselves arbitrary and of conventional signification, and the complete circle of human science might have been as well symbolized by any other sign or series of doctrines as by the seven liberal arts and sciences. But Masonry is an institution of the olden time; and this selection of the liberal arts and sciences as a symbol of the completion of human learning is one of the most pregnant evidences that we have of its antiquity.

In the seventh century, and for a long time afterwards, the circle of instruction to which all the learning of the most eminent schools and most distinguished philosophers was confined, was limited to what were then called the liberal arts and sciences, and consisted of two branches, the trivium and the quadrivium. The trivium included grammar, rhetoric and logic; the quadrivium comprehended arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. "These seven heads," says Enfield, "were supposed to include universal knowledge. He who was master of these was thought to have no need of a preceptor to explain any books or to solve any questions which lay within the compass of human reason, the knowledge of trivium having furnished him with the key to all language, and that of the quadrivium having opened to him the secret laws of nature." At a period, says the same writer, when few were instructed in the trivium, and very few studied the quadrivium, to be master of both was sufficient to complete the character of a philosopher. The propriety, therefore, of adopting the seven liberal arts and sciences as a symbol of the completion of human learning is apparent. The candidate, having reached this point, is now supposed to have accomplished the task upon which he had entered - he has reached the last step, and is now ready to receive the full fruition of human learning.

So far, then, we are able to comprehend the true symbolism of the winding stairs. They represent the progress of an inquiring mind, with the toils and labors, of intellectual cultivation and study, and the preparatory acquisition of all human science, as a preliminary step to the attainment of divine truth, which, it must be remembered, is always symbolized in Masonry by the WORD. Here let me again allude to the symbolism of numbers, which is for the first time presented to the consideration of the Masonic student in the legend of the winding stairs. The theory of numbers as the symbols of certain qualities was originally borrowed by the Masons from the school of Pythagoras. It will be impossible, however, to develop this doctrine, in its entire extent, in the present article, for the numeral symbolism of Masonry would itself constitute materials for an ample essay. It will be sufficient to advert to the fact that the total number of the steps, amounting in all to fifteen in the American system, is a significant symbol. For fifteen was a sacred number among the Orientals, because the letters of the holy name JAII, were, in their numerical value, equivalent to fifteen; and hence a figure in which the nine digits were so disposed as to make fifteen either way when added together perpendicularly, horizontally, or diagonally, constituted one of their most sacred talismans. The fifteen steps in the winding stairs are therefore symbolic of the name of God.

But we are not yet done. It will be remembered that a reward was promised for all this toilsome ascent of the winding stairs. Now, what are the wages of a Speculative Mason? Not money, nor corn, nor wine, nor oil. All these are but symbols. His wages are Truth, or that approximation to it which will be most appropriate to the degree into which he has been initiated. It is one of the most beautiful, but at the same time abstruse, doctrines of the science of Masonic symbolism that the Mason is ever to be in search of truth, but is never to find it. This divine truth, the object of all his labors, is symbolized by the Word, for which we all know he can only obtain a substitute; and this is intended to teach the humiliating but necessary lesson that the knowledge of the nature of God and of man's relation to him, which knowledge constitutes divine truth, can never be acquired in this life. It is only when the portals of the grave open to us, and give us an entrance into a more perfect life, that this knowledge is to be attained. "Happy is the man," says the father of lyric poetry, "who descends beneath the hollow earth, having beheld these mysteries; he knows the end, he knows the origin of life." The middle chamber is therefore symbolic of this life, where the symbol only of the Word can be given, where the truth is to be reached by approximation only, and yet where we are to learn that that truth will consist in a perfect knowledge of the G. A. O. T. U. This is the reward of the inquiring Mason; in this consist the wages of a Felloweraft; he is directed to the truth, but must travel farther and ascend still higher to attain it.

It is, then, as a symbol, and a symbol only, that we must study this beautiful legend of the winding stairs. If we attempt to adopt it as a historical fact, the absurdity of its details stares us in the face, and wise men wonder at our credulity. Its inventors had no desire thus to impose upon our folly; but offering it to us as a great philosophical myth, they did not for a moment suppose that we would pass over its sublime moral teachings to accept the allegory as a historical narrative without meaning, and wholly irreconciliable with the records of Scripture, and opposed by all the principles of probability. To suppose that eighty thousand craftsmen were weekly paid in the narrow precincts of the Temple chambers, is simply to suppose an absurdity. But to believe that all this pictorial representation of an ascent by a winding staircase to the place where the wages of labor were to be received was an alle, gory to teach us the ascent of the mind from ignorance, through all the toils of study and the difficulties of obtaining knowledge, receiving here a little and there a little, adding something to the stock of our ideas at each step, until in the middle chamber of life - in the full fruition of manhood - the reward is attained, and the purified and elevated intellect is invested with the reward in the direction how to seek God and God's truth; to believe this, is to believe and to know the true design of Speculative Masonry, the only design which makes it worthy of a good or a wise man's study. Its historical details are barren, but its symbols and allegories are fertile with instruction.

1013 - How can a Mason acquire wisdom?

  • Wisdom. Those alone are wise who exercise the powers of the mind in secrecy, and who, without any selfish object, endeavor to pro mote the universal happiness of mankind, neither fortune nor misfortune are able to drive from a calm and steady progress through life. To possess Masonic wisdom it is not necessary to be very learned, or to have a most penetrating genius; the man of good plain common sense may be more Masonically wise than the most learned man in existence. It is not the act of a wise man to make a great profession of wisdom; and the secrets of our lodges ought to teach us how to exercise our Ma sonic wisdom.

1014 - Is it lawful for a member to demit without making application for membership in another Lodge?

  • Withdrawal from Membership. The only question of Masonic jurisprudence on this subject which has given rise to any discussion is, whether a member can demit from a Lodge for the distinct purpose of severing all active connection with the Order, and becoming an unaffiliated Mason. And it may be observed, that it is only within a few years that the right to do even this has been denied.

The Grand Lodge of Connecticut, in 1853, decided "that no Lodge should grant a demit to any of its members, except for the purpose of joining some other Lodge; and that no member shall be considered as having withdrawn from one Lodge until he has actually become a member of another." The Grand Lodge of Texas, governed by a similar view of the subject, has declared that it does not recognize the right of a Mason to demit or separate himself from the Lodge in which he was made or may after wards be admitted, except for the purpose of joining another Lodge, or when he may be about to remove without the jurisdiction of the Lodge of which he is a member.

I regret that I cannot concur in the correctness, in point of law, of these decisions and others of a similar import that have been made by some other Grand Lodges. Of course it is admitted that there is no Ma sonic duty more explicitly taught in the ancient Constitutions than that which requires every Mason to be a member of some Lodge. But I can not deny to any man the right of withdrawing, whenever he pleases, from a voluntary association. The laws of the land would not sustain the Masonic authorities in the enforcement of such a regulation, and our own self respect, if there were no other motive, should prevent us from attempting it.

Freemasonry is, in all respects, a voluntary association, and as no one is expected or permitted to enter within its folds unless it be of his "own free will and accord," so should his continuance in it be through an exercise of the same voluntary disposition. These are the views which were entertained by a committee whose report was adopted in 1854 by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and which they have expressed in the following language: "We recognize fully the doctrine laid down in the ancient Constitutions, `that it is the duty of every Mason to belong to some regular Lodge.' But as his entrance into the fraternity is of his own free will and accord, so should be the performance of this and every other Masonic duty. When, from whatever cause, he desires to withdraw his membership from the Lodge, it is his undoubted right to ask, and the duty of the Lodge, if there be no objection to his moral standing, to grant him an honorable discharge." This, then, appears to me to be the state of the law on this subject; a Mason, being in good standing, has a right to claim a demit from his Lodge, and the Lodge cannot withhold it. But a demit from a Lodge, as it severs the relation of the demitting member to his Lodge, and re leases him. from the obligation to pay dues, deprives him also of certain privileges with which his membership had invested him. These, how ever, will become the subject of consideration when we treat of unaffiliated Masons, in which class a demit necessarily places the individual who receives it.

Although, as I have already said, there is no law in any of the ancient Constitutions which fortids the granting of demits to individual Masons, yet the whole spirit of the institution is opposed to such a system. To ask for a demit, without the intention to unite with another Lodge, is an act which no Mason can commit without violating the obligations which he owes to the Order. It is an abandonment of his colors, and although we have no power to prevent his desertion, yet we can visit his unfaithfulness with moral condemnation.

1015 - Under what circumstances is it lawful for a number of members to withdraw at the same time from a Lodge?

  • Withdrawal of Members to Form a New Lodge. When several brethren at one time apply for demits, the regulation prescribes that these demits shall be granted only where the Lodge is already too mimerous, and the intention of the demitting brethren is to form a new Lodge, they have a dispensation for that purpose from the Grand Master, or at once to unite themselves with another Lodge. The withdrawal of many members at one time from a small Lodge would manifestly tend to its injury, and perhaps cause its dissolution; and when this is done without the intention of those who have withdrawn to unite with any other Lodge, it is to be presumed that the act has been the result of pique or anger, and should not, therefore, be encouraged by the law.

Still, however, we are again met with the difficulty which opposes us in the consideration of an application for a single demit. How is the law to be enforced? The Regulation of 1721 simply declares that "no set or number of brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the Lodge," but it affixes no penalty for the violation of the regulation, and if a number of brethren should desire to withdraw I know of no power in the Masonic institution which can prevent them from exercising that right. It is true, that if an unmasonic feeling of anger or pique is plainly exhibited, so that a charge can be predicated on it, the demits may be withheld until the charge is disproved. But unless such charge is made, the demits must be granted.

1016 - Is it permissable to withdraw a petition after it has been read?

  • Withdrawal of Petition. A petition having been once read cannot be withdrawn. It must go through the ordeal of investigation and ballot. This, too, is a regulation derived from constant and universal usage, rather than from an expressed statutory provision. The Ancient Constitutions say nothing on the subject; but so general has been the custom that it may now be considered as having the force of an unwritten law. Many Grand Lodges have, in fact, adopted it as a specific regulation, and in others, the practice is pursued, as it were, by tacit consent. Besides, the analogy of our speculative institution to an operative art gives sanction to the usage. The candidate for Masonry has al ways been considered, symbolically, as material brought up for the building of the temple. This material must be rejected or accepted. It cannot be carried elsewhere for further inspection. The Lodge to which it is first brought must decide upon its fitness. To withdraw the petition would be to prevent the Lodge from making that decision, and therefore no petition for initiation, having been once read, can be with drawn; it must go through the necessary forms.

1017 - What regulations govern the right of a Lodge to do the work of Ancient Craft Masonry?

  • Work of Ancient Craft Masonry. A Lodge has the right to do all the work of ancient craft Masonry. This is the principal object for which the Lodge was constituted. Formerly, Lodges were empowered to exalt their candidates to the Royal Arch degree, but since the beginning of this century this power has been transferred in this country to Chapters, and a Lodge is now only authorized to confer the three degrees of symbolic Masonry, and also, at the time of installation, to invest its Master with the degree or order of Past Master. But this power to do the work of Masonry is restricted and controlled by certain very important regulations.

The candidate upon whom the Lodge is about to confer any of the degrees of ancient craft Masonry must apply by petition, duly recommended; for no Lodge has the right to intrude the secrets of the institution upon any person who has expressed no anxiety to receive them.

The candidate must be possessed of the proper qualifications.

His application must undergo a ballot, and he must be unanimously elected. The Regulations of 1721 prescribe that a Lodge cannot confer the degrees on more than five candidates at one time, which last words have been interpreted to mean at the same communication. In the second and all subsequent editions of the Constitution, this law was modified by the qualification "without an urgent necessity;" and this seems to be the view now taken of it by the authorities of the Order, for it is held that it may be set aside by the dispensation of the Grand Master.

It seems also to be a very general regulation that no Lodge shall confer more than one degree on the same candidate at one communication, unless it be on urgent necessity, by the dispensation of the Grand Master. We find no such rule in the General Regulations of 1721, be cause there was no necessity at that time for it, as subordinate Lodges conferred only one degree, that of Entered Apprentice. But subsequently, when the usage was adopted of conferring all the degrees in the subordinate Lodges, it was found necessary, in this way, to restrain the too rapid advancement of candidates; and accordingly, in 1753, it was ordered that no Lodge shall "be permitted to make and raise the same brother at one and the same meeting, without a dispensation from the Grand Master." But as no such regulation is to be found in any of the written or unwritten laws previous to 1717, it can only have such authority as is derived from the local enactment of a Grand Lodge, or the usage in a particular jurisdiction. But the usage in this country always has been opposed to conferring more than one degree at the same communication, without a dispensation.

1018 - Who may knock at the doors of Masonry?

  • Worldly Wealth. Masonry regards no man on account of his worldly wealth and honor. The poor as well as the rich may knock at the door of our temple, and gain admission. All are welcome if found worthy to receive light. This is strictly spiritual: "Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you."

1019 - What is the supreme duty of a Mason?

  • Worship of God. The highest duty of a Freemason is expressed by these words. The expression of veneration for the Supreme Being, of submission to his will, and of thankfulness for his goodness, though it may be offered in the secret stillness of the heart, will often be conveyed by external visible signs, through which the feelings of awe and love endeavor to manifest themselves in the most favorable and lively manner. These acts of homage to a superior power will be characterized by more or less of rudeness or elevation, as the conceptions of the object of worship are more or less gross or spiritual. Prayer or sacrifice, accompanied with various ceremonies, are the most general external acts by which the feelings of religious veneration are expressed; and while some nations and sects are eager to surround these acts with all the splendor of earthly pomp, others think to render them more worthy of the Being to whom they are addressed by reducing them to the simplest form. Freemasonry, through all its degrees, and in every part of its ritual, earnestly inculcates this duty of worship.

1020 - What is the proper title of a Master of a Lodge, and why?

  • Worshipful Master. He who has attained the third degree in Free masonry is a Master; and where they do not work in the so called high degrees, has attained the summit of his profession. None but Fellow crafts who have been found worthy can obtain this degree. As a Master Mason he has a voice in all the consultations of the officers of the lodge, and he may, if possessed of sufficient Masonic skill, be appointed to any office in the lodge, even that of Worshipful Master. This is the highest preferment a Mason can obtain in St. John's Masonry, through the three degrees of which every candidate for the Past Master's degree must have passed. If there are members in the lodge who have the higher degrees, they are generally elected Worshipful Master, but al though it is by no means necessary to possess those degrees to enable a brother to be elected to the chair, it is absolutely necessary that he should be a man of good moral character, and extensive Masonic information; he is then elected by his brother Master Masons for one year. The greatest care and caution ought to be used by the brethren at this election to prevent the lodge being injured by the election of an improper person. He must also be well acquainted with the Order, its doctrines, its secrets, its history, and constitution, and must possess the power of communicating his own reflection upon all these subjects, in a clear, comprehensive form, to the brethren.

1021 - What is the Masonic meaning of the word "worthy?"

  • Worthy. The applicant must be worthy. In the language of the Charge already quoted, he must be "a true and genuine Brother." The word true is here significant. It is the pure old Saxon treawe, which means faithful, and implies that he must be one who have been faithful to his duties, faithful to his trusts, faithful to his obligations. The bad man, and especially the bad Mason, is unfaithful to all these, and is not true. There is no obligation either in the written law, or the ritualistic observances of the Order, that requires a Mason to relieve such an unworthy applicant. By his infidelity to his promises, he brings discredit on the institution, and forfeits all his rights to relief. A suspended or expelled Mason, or one who, though neither, is yet of bad character and immoral conduct, cannot rightfully claim the assistance of a Mason, or a Lodge of Masons.

1022 - Is it lawful to accept a letter of introduction as an avouchment?

Written Avouchment. No written avouchment, however distinguished may be the Mason who sends it, or however apparently respect able may be the person who brings it, is of any value in Masonry. Letters of introduction, in which light only such an avouchment can be considered, are liable to be forged or stolen; and it is not permitted to trust the valuable secrets of Masonry to contingencies of so probable a nature. Hence, whatever confidence we may be disposed to place in the statements of an epistle from a friend, so far as they respect the social position of the bearer, we are never to go further; but any declarations of Masonic character or standing are to be considered as valueless, unless confirmed by an examination.


No entry.


1023 - What is the basis of Masonic chronology?

  • Year of Masonry. The birth of Christ is commonly given to the autumn of the year 5 before Christ, which is an apparent anomaly, which may require a few words of explanation. The era of the birth of Christ was not in use until about 532 A.D., in the time of Justinian, when it was introduced by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian by birth, and a Roman abbot; and it only began to prevail in the West about the time of Charles Martel and Pope Gregory II., A.D. 730. It has long been agreed by all chronologers that Dionysius made a mistake in placing the birth of Christ some years too late; but the amount of the difference has been variously estimated at two, three, four, five, and even eight years. The general conclusion is that which is adopted in our Bibles, and which places the birth of Christ four years before the common era, or more probably a few months more. In Masonry we add 4000 up to the birth of Christ, and that sum constitutes the reputed year of Masonry.

1024 - Upon what legend is based the old York Constitution of 926?

  • York Constitution of 926. The "Old York Constitutions" were so called from the city of York, where they were enacted, and sometimes the "Gothic Constitutions," from the fact that they were written in the old Gothic character. Of these constitutions, which are the oldest now extant, the history is given in a record written in the reign of Edward IV., the substance of which is copied by Anderson. According to this record, we learn that Prince Edwin, having been taught Masonry, obtained from his brother, King Athelstan, a free charter, "for the Masons having a correction among themselves (as it was anciently expressed), or a freedom and power to regulate themselves, to amend what might happen amiss, and to hold a yearly communication and general assembly.

"Accordingly, Prince Edwin summoned all the Masons in the realm to meet him in a congregation at York, who came and composed a General Lodge, of which he was Grand Master; and having brought with them all the writings and records extant, some in Greek, some in Latin, some in French and other languages, from the contents thereof that assembly did frame the Constitution and Charges of an English Lodge, made a law to preserve and observe the same in all time coming, and ordained good pay for the working Masons," etc. The Constitutions thus framed at the city of York, in the year 926, were seen, approved and confirmed, as we are informed by Anderson, in the reign of Henry I., and were then recognized as the fundamental law of Masonry. The document containing them was lost for a long time, although, according to Oliver, copies are known to have been taken during the reign of Richard II.; at the revival of Masonry, however, in 1717, not a transcript was to be found. A copy was, however, discovered in 1838, by Mr. James Orchard Halliwell, in the British Museum, and published.


1025 - Who was the builder of the second Temple?

  • Zerubbabel. The son of Salathiel, of the royal race of David. Cyrus committed to his care the sacred vessels of the temple, with which he returned to Jerusalem. He is always named first, as being the chief of the Jews that returned to their own country, where he laid the foundations of the second temple. When the Samaritans offered to assist in rebuilding the temple, Zerubbabel and the principal men of Judah refused them this honor, since Cyrus had granted his commission to the Jews only.

See also