AND ITS KINDRED SCIENCES
by ALBERT C. MACKEY M. D.
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In Hebrew, Beth. A labial or
lip-made consonant standing second in most alphabets, and in the Hebrew or
Phoenician signifies house, probably from its form of a tent or shelter, as in
the illustration, and finally the Hebrew z, having the numerical value two.
When united with the leading letter of the alphabet, it signifies Ab, meaning
Father, Master, or the one in authority, as applied to Hiram the Architect.
This is the word root of Baal. The Hebrew name of the Deity connected with
this letter is ..., Bakhur.
Hebrew, He was the chief
divinity among the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, and the Babylonians. The word
signifies in Hebrew Lord or Master. It was among the Orientalists a
comprehensive term, denoting divinity of any kind without reference to class
or to sex. The Sabaists understood Baal as the sun, and Baalim, in the plural,
were the sun, moon, and stars, "the host of heaven.'' Whenever the Israelites
made one of their almost. periodical deflections to idolatry, Baal seems to
have been the favorite idol to whose worship they addicted themselves. Hence
he became the especial object of denunciation with the prophets.
Thus, in First Kings (xviii),
we see Elijah showing, by practical demonstration, the difference between Baal
and Jehovah. The idolaters, at his initiation, called on Baal, as their
sun-god, to light the sacrificial fire, from morning until noon, because at
noon he had acquired his greatest intensity. After noon, no fire having been
kindled on the altar, they began to cry aloud, and to cut themselves in token
of mortification, because as the sun descended there was no hope of his help.
But Elijah, depending on Jehovah, made his sacrifice toward sunset, to show
the greatest contrast between Baal and the true God. When the people saw the
fire come down and consume the offering, they acknowledged the weakness of
their idol, and falling on their faces cried out, Jehovah hu hahelohim,
meaning Jehovah, He is the God. And Hosea afterward promises the people that
they shall abandon their idolatry, and that he would take away from them the
Shemoth hahbaalim, the names of the Baalim, so that they should be no more
remembered by their names, and the people should in that day "know Jehovah."
Hence we see that there was an
evident antagonism in the orthodox Hebrew mind between Jehmah and Baal. The
latter was, however, worshiped by the Jews, whenever they became heterodox,
and by all the Oriental or Shemitic nations as a supreme divinity,
representing the sun in some of his modifications as the ruler of the day. In
Tyre, Baal was the sun, and Ashtaroth, the moon. Baal-peor, the lord of
priapism, was the sun represented as the generative principle of nature, and
identical with the phallus of other religions. Baal-gad was the lord of the
multitude (of stars) that is, the sun as the chief of the heavenly host. In
brief, Baal seems to have been wherever his cultus was active, a development
of the old sun worship.
In Hebrew, which the writer of
Genesis connects with, balal, meaning to confound, in reference to the
confusion of tongues; but the true derivation is probably from Bab-El, meaning
the gate of Et or the gate of God, because perhaps a Temple was the first
building raised by the primitive nomads. It is the name of that celebrated
tower attempted to be built on the plains of Shimar, 1775 A.M., about one
hundred and forty years after the Deluge, which tower, Scripture informs us,
was destroyed by a special interposition of the Almighty.
The Noachite Freemasons date
the commencement of their Order from this destruction, and much traditionary
information on this subject is preserved in the degree of Patriarch Noachite.
At Babel, Oliver says that what has been called Spurious Freemasonry took its
origin. That is to say, the people there abandoned the worship of the true
God, and by their dispersion lost all knowledge of His existence, and of the
principles of truth upon which Freemasonry is founded. Hence it is that the
old instructions speak of the lofty tower of Babel as the, place where
language was confounded and Freemasonry lost.
This is the theory first
advanced by Anderson in his Constitution, and subsequently developed more
extensively by Doctor Oliver in all his works, but especially in his
Landmarks. As history, the doctrine is of no value, for it wants the element
But in a symbolic point of
view it is highly suggestive.
If the tower of Babel
represents the profane world of ignorance and darkness, and the
threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite is the symbol of Freemasonry, because the
Solomonic Temple, of which it was the site, is the prototype of the spiritual
temple which Freemasons are erecting, then we can readily understand how
Freemasonry and the true use of language is lost in one and recovered in the
other, and how the progress of the candidate in his initiation may properly be
compared to the progress of truth from the confusion and ignorance of the
Babel builders to the perfection and illumination of the temple builders,
which Temple builders all Freemasons are. So, when, the neophyte, being asked
"whence he comes and whither is he traveling," replies, "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
Freemasonry found," the questions and answers become intelligible from this
symbolic point of view (see Ornan).
The ancient capital of Chaldea,
situated of both sides of the Euphrates, and once the most magnificent city of
the ancient world. It was here that upon the destruction of Solomon's Temple
by Nebuchadnezzar in the year of the world 3394 the Jews of the tribes of
Judah and Benjamin who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, were conveyed and
detained in captivity for seventy-two years, until Cyrus, King of Persia
issued a decree for restoring them, and permitting them to rebuild their
temple, under the superintendence of Zerubbabel, the Prince of the Captivity,
and with the assistance of Joshua the High Priest and Haggai the Seribe.
Babylon the Great, as the
Prophet Daniel calls it was situated four hundred and seventy-five miles in a
nearly due east direction from Jerusalem. It stood in the midst of a large and
fertile plain on each side of the river Euphrates, which ran through it from
north to south. It was surrounded with walls which were eighty-seven feet
thick, three hundred and fifty in height, and sixty miles in compass. These
were all built of large bricks cemented together with bitumen. Exterior to the
walls was a wide and deep trench lined with the same material. Twenty-five
gates on each side, made of solid brass, gave admission to the city. From each
of these gates proceeded a wide street fifteen miles in length, and the whole
was separated by means of other smaller divisions, and contained six hundred
and seventy-six squares, each of which was two miles and a quarter in
circumference. Two hundred and fifty towers placed upon the walls afforded the
means of additional strength and protection. Within this immense circuit were
to be found palaces and temples and other edifices of the utmost magnificence,
which have caused the wealth, the luxury, and splendor of Babylon to become
the favorite theme of the historians of antiquity, and which compelled the
prophet Isaiah, even while denouncing its downfall, to speak of it as "the
glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency."
Babylon, which, at the time of
the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, constituted a part of the Chaldean
empire, was subsequently taken, 538 B.C., after a siege of two years, by
Cyrus, King of Persia
BABYLON, RED CROSS OF
Another name for the degree of
Babylonish Pass, which see.
BABYLONIAN RITE OF INITIATION
See Initiation, Babylonian
A degree given in Scotland by
the authority of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter. It is also called the
Red Cross of Babylon, and is almost identical with the Knight of the Red Cross
conferred in Commanderies of Knights Templar in America as a preparatory
Freemasonry, borrowing its
symbols from every source, has not neglected to make a selection of certain
parts of the human body. From the back an important lesson is derived, which
is fittingly developed in the Third Degree. Hence, in reference to this
symbolism, 01iver says: "It is a duty incumbent on every Mason to support a
brother's character in his absence equally as though he were present; not to
revile him behind his back, nor suffer it to be done by others, without using
every necessary attempt to prevent it."
Hutchinson, Spirit of Masonry
(page 205), referring to the same symbolic ceremony, says: "The most material
part of that brotherly love which should subsist among us Masons is that of
speaking well of each other to the world; more especially it is expected of
every member of this Fraternity that he should not traduce his brother.
Calumny and slander are detestable crimes against society. Nothing can be
viler than to traduce a man behind his back; it is like the villainy of an
assassin who has not virtue enough to give his adversary the means of
self-defense, but, lurking in darkness, stabs him whilst he is unarmed and
unsuspicious of an enemy'' (see also Points of Fellowship).
Kenning's Cyclopaedia states
that Backhouse reported to be an alchemist and astrologer and that Ashmole
called him father. He published a Rosicrucian work, The Wise Man's Croton, or
Rosicrucian Physic, by Eugenius Theodidactus, in 1651at London. John Heydon
published a book entitled William Backhouse's Way to Bliss, but Ashmole claims
it in his diary to be his own.
Francis Bacon and the Society
of the Rose Baron of Verulam, commonly called Lord Bacon. Nicolai thinks that
a great impulse was exercised upon the early history of Freemasonry by the New
Atlantis of Lord Bacon. In this learned romance Bacon supposes that a vessel
lands on an unknown island, called Bensalem, over which a certain King Solomon
reigned in days of yore.
This king had a large
establishment, which was called the House of Solomon, or the college of the
workmen of six days, namely, the days of the creation. He afterward describes
the immense apparatus which was there employed in physical researches. There
were, says he, deep grottoes and towers for the successful observation of
certain phenomena of nature; artificial mineral waters; large buildings, in
which meteors, the wind, thunder, and rain were imitated; extensive botanic
gardens; entire fields, in which all kinds of animals were collected, for the
study of their instincts and habits; houses filled with all the wonders of
nature and art; a great number of learned men, each of whom, in his own
country, had the direction of these things; they made journeys and
observations; they wrote, they collected, they determined results and
deliberated together as to what was proper to be published and what concealed.
This romance became at once
very popular, and everybody's attention was attracted by the allegory of the
House of Solomon. But it also contributed to spread Bacon's views on
experimental knowledge, and led afterward to the institution of the Royal
Society, to which Nicolai attributes a common object with that of the Society
of Freemasons, established, he says, about the same time, the difference being
only that one was esoteric and the other exoteric in its instructions.
But the more immediate effect
of the romance of Bacon was the institution of the Society of Astrologers, of
which Elias Ashmole was a leading member.
Of this society Nicolai, in
his work on the Origin and History of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, says :
"Its object was to build the
House of Solomon, of the New Atlantis, in the literal sense, but the
establishment was to remain as secret as the island of Bensalem-that is to
say, they were to be engaged in the study of nature---but the instruction of
its principles was to remain in the society in an esoteric form. These
philosophers presented their idea in a strictly allegorical method. First,
there were the ancient columns of Hermes, by which Iamblichus pretended that
he had enlightened all the doubts of Porphyry. You then mounted, by several
steps, to a checkered floor, divided into four regions, to denote the four
superior sciences; after which came the types of the six days' work, which
expressed the object of the society, and which were the same as those found on
an engraved stone in my possession. The sense of all which was this: God
created the world, and preserves it by fixed principles, full of wisdom; he
who seeks to know these principles---that is to say, the interior of
nature---approximates to God, and he who thus approximates to God obtains from
his grace the power of commanding nature." This society, he adds, met at
Masons Hall in Basinghall Street, because many of its members were also
members of the Masons Company, into which they all afterward entered and
assumed the name of Free and Accepted Masons, and thus he traces the origin of
the Order to the New Atlantis and the House of Solomon of Lord Bacon. That is
only a theory, but it seems to throw some light on that long process of
incubation which terminated at last, in 1717, in the production of the Grand
Lodge of England. The connection of Ashmole with the Freemasons is a singular
one, and has led to some controversy.
The views of Nicolai, if not
altogether correct, may suggest the possibility of an explanation. Certain it
is that the eminent astrologers of England, as we learn from Ashmole's Diary,
were on terms of intimacy with the Freemasons in the seventeenth century, and
that many Fellows of the Royal Society were also prominent members of the
early Grand Lodge of England which was established in 1717.
An English monk who made
wonderful discoveries in many sciences. He was born in Ilchester in 1214,
educated at Oxford and Paris, and entered the Franciscan Order in his
twenty-fifth year. He explored the secrets of nature, and made many
discoveries, the application of which was looked upon as magic. He denounced
the ignorance and immorality of the clergy, resulting in accusations through
revenge, and finally in his imprisonment. He was noted as a Rosicrucian. Died
The staff of office borne by
the Grand Master of the Templars. In ecclesiology, baculus is the name given
to the pastoral staff carried by a bishop or an abbot as the ensign of his
dignity and authority. In pure Latinity, baculus means a long stick or staff,
which was commonly carried by travelers, by shepherds, or by infirm and aged
persons, and afterward, from affectation, by the Greek philosophers. In early
times, this staff, made a little longer, was carried by kings and persons in
authority, as a mark of distinction, and was thus the origin of the royal
The Christian church,
borrowing many of its usages from antiquity, and alluding also, it is said, to
the sacerdotal power which Christ conferred when he sent the apostles to
preach, commanding them to take with them staves, adopted the pastoral staff,
to be borne by a bishop, as symbolical of his power to inflict pastoral
correction; and Durandus says, "By the pastoral staff is likewise understood
the authority of doctrine. For by it the infirm are supported, the wavering
are confirmed, those going astray are drawn to repentance." Catalin also says
that "the baculus, or episcopal staff, is an ensign not only of honor, but
also of dignity, power, and pastoral jurisdiction."
Honorius, a writer of the
twelfth century, in his treatise De Gemma Animoe, gives to this pastoral staff
the names both of bacutus and virga. Thus he says, ''Bishops bear the staff (baculum),
that by their teaching they may strengthen the weak in their faith ; and they
carry the rod (virgam), that by their power they may correct the unruly.'' And
this is strikingly similar to the language used by St. Bernard in the Rule
which he drew up for the government of the Templars.
In Artiele I xviii, he says,
"The Master ought to hold the staff and the rod (bacutum et cirgam) in his
hand, that is to say, the staff (baculum), that he may support the infirmities
of the weak, and the rod (cirgam), that he may with the zeal of rectitude
strike down the vices of delinquents."
The transmission of episcopal
ensigns from bishops to the heads of ecclesiastical associations was not
difficult in the Middle Ages; and hence it afterwards became one of the
insignia of abbots, and the heads of confraternities connected with the
Church, as a token of the possession of powers of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Now, as the Papal bull, Omne
datum Optimum, so named from its first three words, invested the Grand Master
of the Templars with almost episcopal jurisdiction over the priests of his
Order, he bore the baculus, or pastoral staff, as a mark of that jurisdiction,
and thus it became a part of the Grand Master's insignia of office.
The baculus of the bishop, the
abbot, and the confraternities was not precisely the same in form. The
earliest episcopal staff terminated in a globular knob, or a tau cross, a
cross of T shape. This was, however, soon replaced by the simple-curved
termination, which resembles and is called a crook, in allusion to that used
by shepherds to draw back and recall the sheep of their flock which have gone
astray, thus symbolizing the expression of Christ, "I am the good Shepherd,
and know my sheep, and am known of mine."
The baculus of the abbot does
not differ in form from that of a bishop, but as the bishop carries the curved
part of his staff pointing forward, to show the extent of his episcopal
jurisdiction, so the abbot carries his pointing backward, to signify that his
authority is limited to his monastery. The baculi, or staves of the
confraternities, were surmounted by small tabernacles, with images or emblems,
on a sort of carved cap, having reference to the particular gild or
confraternity by which they were borne.
The baculus of the Knights
Templar, which was borne by the Grand Master as the ensign of his office, in
allusion to his quasi-episcopal jurisdiction, is described and delineated in
Munter, Burnes, Addison, and all the other authorities, as a staff, on the top
of which is an octagonal figure, surmounted with a cross patee, this French
word being applied to the arms having enlarged ends. The cross, of course,
refers to the Christian character of the Order, and the octagon alludes, it is
said, to the eight beatitudes of our Savior in His Sermon on the Mount. The
pastoral staff is variously designated, by ecclesiastical writers, as virga,
ferula, cambutta, crocia, and pedum.
From crocia, whose root is the
Latin crux, and the Italian croce, meaning a cross, we get the English word
crozier. Pedum, another name of the baculus, signifies, in pure Latinity, a
shepherd's crook, and thus strictly carries out the symbolic idea of a
Hence, looking to the pastoral
jurisdiction of the Grand Master of the Templars, his staff of office is
described under the title of pedum magistrate seu patriarchale, that is, a
magisterial or patriarchal staff, in the Statuta Commilitonum Ordinis Tempti,
or the Statutes of the Fellow-soldiers of the Order of the Temple, as a part
of the investiture of the Grand Master, in the following words:
Pedum magistrale seu
patriarchale, aureum, in cacumine cujus crux Ordinis super orbem exaltur; that
is, A Magisterial or patriarchal staffl of gold, on the top of which is a
cross of the Order, surmounting an orb or globe. This is from Statute xxviii,
article 358. But of all these names, baculus is the one more commonly used by
writers to designate the Templar pastoral staff.
In the year 1859 this staff of
office was first adopted at Chicago by the Templars of the United States,
during the Grand Mastership of Sir William B. Hubbard. But, unfortunately, at
that time it received the name of abacus, a misnomer which was continued on
the authority of a literary blunder of Sir Walter Scott, so that it has fallen
to the lot of American Freemasons to perpetuate, in the use of this word, an
error of the great novelist, resulting from his too careless writing, at which
he would himself have been the first to smile, had his attention been called
to it. Abacus, in mathematics, denotes an instrument or table used for
calculation, and in architecture an ornamental part of a column; but it
nowhere, in English or Latin, or any known language, signifies any kind of a
Sir Walter Scott, who
undoubtedly was thinking of baculus, in the hurry of the moment and a not
improbable confusion of words and thoughts, wrote abacus, when, in his novel
of Ivanhoe, he describes the Grand Master, Lucas Beaumanoir, as bearing in his
hand "that singular abacus, or staff of office," committed a gross, but not
uncommon, literary blunder, of a kind that is quite familiar to those who are
conversant with the results of rapid composition, where the writer often
thinks of one word and writes another.
In 1778 the Lodge Karl of
Unity was established in Mannheim, which at that time belonged to Bavaria. In
1785 an electoral decree was issued prohibiting all secret meetings in the
Bavarian Palatinate and the Lodge was closed. In 1803 Mannheim was transferred
to the Grand Duchy of Baden, and in 1805 the Lodge was reopened, and in the
following year accepted a warrant from the Grand Orient of France and took the
name of Karl of Concord. Then it converted itself into the Grand Orient of
Baden and was acknowledged as such by the Grand Orient of France in 1807.
Lodges were established at Bruchsal, Heidelberg, and Mannheim, and the Grand
Orient of Baden ruled over them until 1813, when all secret societies were
again prohibited, and it was not until 1846 that Masonic activity recommenced
in Baden, when the Lodge Karl of Concord was awakened.
The Grand Orient of Baden went
out of existence, but the Lodges in the Duchy, of which several have been
established, came under the Grand National Mother-Lodge Zu den drei Weldkugeln,
meaning Of the three Globes, in Berlin.
A mark, sign, token, or thing,
says Webster, by which a person is distinguished in a particular place or
employment, and designating his relation to a person or to a particular
occupation. It is in heraldry the same thing as a cognizance, a distinctive
mark or badge. Thus, the followers and retainers of the house of Percy wore a
silver crescent as a badge of their connection with that family; a
representation of the white lion borne on the left arm was the badge of the
house of Howard, Earl of Surrey ; the red rose that of the House of Lancaster,
and the white rose, of York.
So the apron, formed of white
lambskin, is worn by the Freemason as a badge of his profession and a token of
his connection with the Fraternity (see A pron).
BADGE OF A FREEMASON
The lambskin apron is so
called (see Apron)
BADGE, ROYAL ARCH
The Royal Arch badge is the
triple tau, which see.
In the early days of the Grand
Lodge of England the secretary used to carry a bag in processions, thus in the
procession round the tables at the Grand Feast of 1724 we find "Secretary
Cowper with the Bag" (see the Constitutions, edition of 1738, page 117).
In 1729 Lord Kingston, the
Grand Master, provided at his own cost "a fine Velvet Bag for the Secretary,,"
besides his badge of "Two golden Pens a-cross on his Breast" (see the above
Constitutions, page 124). In the Procession of March from St. James' Square to
Merchant Taylor's Hall on January 29, 1730, there came "The Secretary alone
with his Badge and Bag, clothed, in a Chariot" (see the above Constitutions,
This practice continued
throughout the Eighteenth century, for at the dedication of Freemasons' Hall
in London in 1776 we find in the procession "Grand Secretary with the bag"
(see the Constitutions of 1784, page 318). But at the union of the two rival
Grand Lodges in 1813 the custom was changed, for in the order of procession at
public ceremonies laid down in the Constitutions of 1815, we find "Grand
Secretary with Book of Constitutions on a cushion" and "Grand Registrar with
his bag," and the Grand Registrar of England still carries on ceremonial
occasions a bag with the arms of the Grand Lodge embroidered on it.
American Union Lodge,
operating during the War of the American Revolution in Massachusetts, New
York, and New Jersey, and first erected at Roxbury, has in its records the
accounts of processions of the Brethren. One of these is typical of the others
and refers to the Festival of St. John the Baptist held on June 24, 1779, at
Nelson's Point, New York.
Here they met at eight in the
morning and elected their officers for the half year ensuing. Then they
proceeded to West Point and, being joined by other Brethren, a procession was
formed in the following order: "Brother Whitney' to clear the way; the band of
music with drums and fifes; the Wardens; the youngest brother with the bag ;
brethren by juniority ; the Reverend Doctors Smith, Avery, and Hitchcock ; the
Master of the Lodge, with the Treasurer on his right supporting the sword of
justice, and the Secretary on his left, supporting the Bible, square and
compasses ; Brother Binns to close, with Brothers Lorrain and Disborough on
the flanks opposite the center."
From this description we note
the care with which the old customs were preserved in all their details.
A significant word in the high
degrees. Lenning says it is a corruption of the Hebrew Begoa1-kol, meaning all
is revealed, to which Mackenzie demurs. Pike says, Bagulkol, with a similar
reference to a revelation. Rockwell gives in his manuscript, Bekalkel, without
any meaning. The old rituals interpret it as signifying the faithful guardian
of the sacred ark, a derivation clearly fanciful.
A group of islands forming a
division of the British West Indies. Governor John Tinkler was appointed
Provincial Grand Master in 1752 and Brother James Bradford in 1759. Brother
Tinkler had been made a Freemason in 1730. These few facts are all that can be
found with reference to the introduction by the ''Moderns'' of Freemasonry to
the Bahamas. Possibly uo further steps were taken.
A warrant was granted by the
Ancient in 1785 for Lodge No. 228 but it was found to have ceased work when
the registers were revised at the Union of 1814.
Another Lodge, No. 242,
chartered at Nasau, New Providence existed longer but had disappeared when the
lists were again revised in 1832.
The Masonic Province of the
Bahamas originally comprised three Lodges chartered by the United Grand Lodge
of England, Royal Victoria No. 649, Forth No. 930, and Britannia No. 1277.
Brother J. F. Cooke was appointed the first Provincial Grand Master on
November 7,1842, Of the Provincial Grand Lodge then formed.
BAHRDT, KARL FRIEDERICH
A German Doctor of Theology,
who was born, in 1741, at Bischofswerda, and died in 1792. He is described by
one of his biographers as being "notorious alike for his bold infidelity and
for his evil life." We know no¨ why Thory and Lenning have given his name a
place in their vocabularies, as his literary labors bore no relation to
Freemasonry, except inasmuch as that he was a Freemason, and that in 1787,
with several other Freemasons, he founded at Halle a secret society called the
German Union, or the Two and Twenty, in reference to the original number of
The object of this society was
mid to be the enlightenment of mankind. It was dissolved in 1790, by the
imprisonment of its founder for having written a libel against the Prussian
It is incorrect to call this system of degrees a Masonic Rite (see German
Baird of Newbyth, the
Substitute Grand Master of Scotland in 1841.
Deputy' Grand Master of
England in 1744 under Lord Cranstoun and also under Lord Byron until 1752.
See Seales, Pair of
In architecture, a canopy supported by pillars over an insulated altar. In
Freemasonry, it has been applied by Some writers to the canopy over the
Master's chair. The German Freemasons give this name to the covering of the
Lodge, and reckon it therefore among the symbols.
BALDER or BALDUR
The ancient Scandinavian or
older German divinity. The hero of one of the most beautiful aud interesting
of the myths of the Edda; the second son of Odin and Frigga, and the husband
of the maiden Nanna. In brief, the myth recites that Balder dreamed that his
life was threatened, which being told to the gods, a council was held by them
to secure his safety.
The mother proceeded to demand
and receive assurances from everything, iron and all metals, fire and water,
stones, earth, plants, beasts, birds, reptiles, poisons, and diseases, that
they would not injure Balder. Balder then became the subject of sport with the
gods, who wrestled, cast darts, and in innumerable ways playfully tested his
invulnerability. This finally displeased the mischievous, cunning Loki, the
Spirit of Evil, who, in the form of an old woman, sought out the mother,
Frigga, and ascertained from her that there had been excepted or omitted from
the oath the little shrub Mistletoe. in haste Loki carried some of this shrub
to the assembly of the gods, and gave to the blind Hoder, the god of war,
selected slips, and directing his aim, Balder fell pierced to the heart.
Sorrow among the gods was unutterable, and Frigga inquired who, to win her
favor, would journey to Hades and obtain from the goddess Hel the release of
Balder. The heroic Helmod or Hermoder, son of Odin, offered to undertake the
journey. Hel consented to permit the return if all things animate and
inanimate should weep for Balder.
All living beings and all
things wept, save the witch or giantess Thock, the stepdaughter of Loki, who
refused to sympathize in the general mourning.
Balder was therefore obliged
to linger in the kingdom of Hel until the end of the world.
A portion of military dress,
being a scarf passing from the shoulder over the breast to the hip. In the
dress regulations of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United
States, adopted in 1862, it is called a scarf, and is thus described: "Five
inches wide in the whole, of white bordered with black, one inch on either
side, a strip of navy lace one-fourth of an inch wide at the inner edge of the
black. On the front center of the scarf, a metal star of nine points, in
allusion to the nine founders of the Temple Order, inclosing the Passion
Cross, surrounded by the Latin motto, In hoc signo vinces; the star to be
three and three-quarter inches in diameter. The scarf to be worn from the
right shoulder to the left hip, with the ends extending six inches below the
point of intersection."
The successor of Godfrey of
Bouillon as King of Jerusalem. In his reign the Order of Knights Templar was
instituted, to whom he granted a place of habitation within the sacred
enclosure of the Temple on Mount Moriah. He bestowed on the Order other marks
of favor, and, as its patron, his name has been retained in grateful
remembrance, and often adopted as a name of Commanderies of Masonic Templars.
There is at Bristol in England
a famous Preceptory of Knights Templar, called the Baldwyn, which claims to
have existed from time immemorial. This, together with the Chapter of Knights
Rosae Crucis, is the continuation of the old Baldwyn Encampment, the name
being derived from the Crusader, King of Jerusalem.
The earliest record preserved
by this Preceptory is an authentic and important document dated December 20,
1780, and reads as follows:
"In the name of the Grand
Architect of the Universe.
"The Supreme Grand and Royal
Encampment of the Order of Knights Templars of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights
Hospitallers and Knights of Malta, etc, etc.
"Whereas by Charter of Compact
our Encampment is constituted the Supreme Grand and Royal Encampment of this
Noble Order with full Power when Assembled to issue, publish and make known to
all our loving Knights Companions whatever may contribute to their knowledge
not inconsistent with its general Laws. Also to constitute and appoint any
Officer. or Officers to make and ordain such laws as from time to time may
appear necessary to promote the Honor of our Noble 0rder in general and the
more perfect government of our Supreme degree in particular.
We therefore the M0ST EMINENT
GRAND MASTER The Grand Master of the 0rder, the Grand Master Assistant
General, and two Grand Standard Bearers and Knights Companions for that
purpose in full Encampment Assembled do make known."
Then follow twenty Statutes or
Regulations for the government of the Order, and the document ends with "Done
at our Castle in Bristol 20th day of December 1780."
It is not clear who were the
parties to this "Compact," but it is thought probable that it was the result
of an agreement between the Bristol Encampment and another ancient body at
Bath, the Camp of Antiquity, to establish a supreme direction of the Order.
However that may be, it is clear that the Bristol Encampment was erected into
a Supreme Grand Encampment in 1780, An early reference to the Knights Templar
occurs in a Bristol newspaper of January 25, 1772, so it may fairly be assumed
that the Baldwyn Preceptory had been in existence before the date of the
Charter of Compact.
In 1791 the well-known Brother
Thomas Dunckerley, who was Provincial Grand Master and Grand Superintendent of
the Royal Arch Masons at Bristol, was requested by the Knights Templar of that
city to be their Grand Master. He at once introduced great activity into the
Order throughout England, and established the Grand Conclave in London-the
forerunner of the Great Priory.
The seven Degrees of the Camp
of Baldwyn at that time probably consisted of the three of the Craft and that
of the Royal Arch, which were necessary qualifications of all candidates as
set forth in the Charter of Compact, then that of the Knights Templar of St.
John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, that of the Knights Rose Croix
of Heredom, the seventh being the Grand Elected Knights Kadosh.
About the year 1813 the three
Degrees of Nine Elect, Kilwinning, and East, Sword and Eagle were adopted by
the Encampment. The Kadosh having afterward discontinued, the five Royal
Orders of Masonic Knighthood, of which the Encampment consisted, were: Nine
Elect; Kilwinning; East, Sword and Eagle, Knight Templar, and the Rose Croix.
For many years the Grand
Conclave in London was in abeyance, but when H.R.H, the Duke of Sussex, who
had been Grand Master since 1813, died in 1843, it was revived, and attempts
were made to induce the Camp of Baldwyn to submit to its authority. These
efforts were without avail, and in 1857 Baldwyn reasserted its position as a
Supreme Grand and Royal Encampment, and shortly afterward issued Charters to
six subordinate Encampments. The chief cause of difference with the London
Grand Conclave was the question of giving up the old custom of working the
Rose Croix Degree within the Camp.
At last, in 1862, the Baldwyn
was enrolled by virtue of a Charter of Compact "under the Banner of the Grand
Conclave of Masonic Knights Templar of England and Wales." lt was arranged
that the Baldwyn Preceptory, as it was then called, should take precedence,
with five others "of time immemorial," of the other Preceptories; that it
should be constituted a Provincial Grand Commandery or Priory of itself; and
should be entitled to confer the degree of Knights of Malta.
In 1881 a Treaty of Union was
made with the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, whereby the Baldwyn
Rose Croix Chapter retained its time immemorial position and was placed at the
head of the list of Chapters. It also became a District under the Supreme
Council of the Thirty-third Degree and is therefore placed under an Inspector
General of its own.
The name given by the
Orientalists to the Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon, and of whom they
relate a number of fables (see Sheba, Queen of).
In the election of candidates,
Lodges have recourse to a ballot of white and black balls. Some Grand Lodges
permit the use of white balls with black cubes. However, the Proceedings of
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for 1890 (page 144) show that body decided for
itself that "Black balls and not black cubes must be used in balloting in a
Lodge," a decision emphasizing the old practice.
Unanimity of choice, in this
case, was originally required; one black ball only being enough to reject a
candidate, because as the Old Regulations say:
"The members of a particular
Lodge are the best judges of it; and because, if a turbulent member should be
imposed on them, it might spoil their harmony or hinder the, freedom of their
communication, or even break up and disperse the Lodge, which ought to be
avoided by all true and faithful" (see the Constitutions, 1738 edition, page
"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" (see above
Constitutions). This is still the rule under the English Constitution (see
In balloting for a candidate
for initiation, every member is expected to vote. No one can be excused from
sharing the responsibility of admission or rejection, except by the unanimous
consent of the Lodge.
Where a member has himself no
personal or acquired knowledge of the qualifications of the candidate, he is
bound to give faith to the recommendation of his Brethren of the investigating
committee, who, he is to presume, would not make a favorable report on the
petition of an unworthy applicant.
Brother Mackey was of opinion
that the most correct method in balloting for candidates is as follows :
The committee of investigation
having reported, the Master of the Lodge directs the Senior Deacon to prepare
the ballot-box. The mode in which this is accomplished is as follows: The
Senior Deacon takes the ballot-box, and, opening it, places all the white and
black balls indiscriminately in one compartment, leaving the other entirely
empty. He then proceeds with the box to the Junior and Senior Wardens, who
satisfy themselves by an inspection that no ball has been left in the
compartment in which the votes are to be deposited.
The box in this and in the
other instance to be referred to hereafter, is presented to the inferior
officer first, and then to his superior, that the examination and decision of
the former may be substantiated and confirmed by the higher authority of the
latter. Let it, indeed, be remembered, that in all such cases the usage of
Masonic circumambulation is to be observed, and that, therefore, we must first
pass the Junior's station before we can get to that of the Senior Warden.
These officers having thus satisfied themselves that the box is in a proper
condition for the reception of the ballots, it is then placed upon the altar
by the Senior Deacon, who retires to his seat. The Master then directs the
Secretary to call the roll, which is done by commencing with the Worshipful
Master, and proceeding through all the officers down to the youngest member.
As a matter of convenience,
the Secretary generally votes the last of those in the room, and then, if the
Tiler is a member of the Lodge, he is called in, while the Junior Deacon tiles
for him, and the name of the applicant having been told him, he is directed to
deposit his ballot, which he does and then retires.
As the name of each officer
and member is called, that brother approaches the altar, and having made the
proper Masonic salutation to the Chair, he deposits his ballot and retires to
his seat. The roll should be called slowly, so that at no time should there be
more than one person present at the box, for the great object of the ballot
being secrecy, no brother should be permitted so near the member voting as to
distinguish the color of the ball he deposits.
The box is placed on the
altar, and the ballot is deposited with the solemnity of a Masonic salutation
that the voters may be duly impressed with the sacred and responsible nature
of the duty they are called on to discharge.
The system of voting thus
described is advocated by Brother Mackey as far better on this account than
that sometimes adopted in Lodges, of handing round the box for the members to
deposit their ballots from their seats.
There is also the practice of
omitting the reading of the names of the officers and members, the Brethren in
such cases forming a line and the one at the head advancing separately from
the rest to deposit his ballot when the preceding brother leaves the box.
The Master having inquired of
the Wardens if all have voted, then orders the Senior Deacon to "take charge
of the ballot-box." That officer accordingly repairs to the altar, and takes
possession of the box Should the Senior Deacon be already in possession of the
box, as in other methods of balloting we have mentioned, then the announcement
by the Master may be "I therefore declare the ballot closed." In either case
the Senior Deacon carries it, as before, to the Junior Warden, who examines
the ballot, and reports, if all the balls are white, that "the box is clear in
the South," or, if there is one or more black balls, that "the box is foul in
the South." The Deacon then carries it to the Senior Warden, and afterwards to
the Master, who, of course, make the same report, according to the
circumstance, with the necessary verbal variations of ''West'' and ''East.''
If the box is clear, that is, if all the ballots are white, the Master then
announces that the applicant has been duly elected, and the secretary makes a
record of the fact. But if the box is font, the Master inspects the number of
black balls; if he finds only one, he so states the fact to the Lodge, and
orders the Senior Deacon again to prepare the ballot-box. Here the same
ceremonies are passed through that have already been described. The balls are
removed into one compartment, the box is submitted to the inspection of the
Wardens, it is placed upon the altar, the roll is called, the members advance
and deposit their votes, the box is scrutinized, and the result declared by
the Wardens and Master. If again one black ball be found, or if two or more
appeared on the first ballot, the Master announces that the petition of the
applicant has been rejected, and directs the usual record to be made by the
Secretary and the notification to be given to the Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, 1877 (see also the Constitution of 1918, page 88), provides
that the "Master may allow three ballotings, at his discretion, but when the
balloting has been commenced it must be concluded, and the candidate declared
accepted or rejected, without the intervention of any business whatever."
Balloting for membership or
affiliation is subject to the same rules. in both cases ''previous notice, one
month before," must be given to the Lodge, "due inquiry into the reputation
and capacity of the candidate" must be made, and "the unanimous consent of all
the members then present" must be obtained.
Nor can this unanimity be
dispensed with in one case any more than it can in the other. It is the
inherent privilege of every Lodge to judge of the qualifications of its own
members, "nor is this inherent privilege subject to a dispensation."
The box in which the ballots
or little balls or cubes used in voting for a candidate are deposited. It
should be divided into two compartments, one of which is to contain both black
and white balls, from which each member selects one, and the other, which is
shielded by a partition provided with an aperture, to receive the ball that is
to be deposited.
Various methods have been
devised by which secrecy may be secured, so that a voter may select and
deposit the ball he desires without the possibility of its being seen whether
it is black or white. That which has been most in use in the United States is
to have the aperture so covered by a part of the box as to prevent the hand
from being seen when the ball is deposited.
BALLOT, RECONSIDERATION OF THE
See Reconsideration of the
BALLOT, SECRECY OF THE
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, or by word of mouth, 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,
not only that the vote shall in these eases be taken by a ballot, but that
there shall be no subsequent discussion of the subject. Not only has no member
a right to inquire how his fellows have voted, but it is wholly out of order
for him to explain his own vote.
The reason of this is evident.
If one member has a right to rise in his place and announce that he deposited
a white ball, then every other member has the same right in a Lodge of, say,
twenty members, where an application has been rejected by one black ball, if
nineteen members state that they did not deposit it, the inference is clear
that the twentieth Brother has done so, and thus the secrecy of the ballot is
at once destroyed.
The rejection having been
announced from the Chair, the Lodge should at once proceed to other business,
and it is the sacred duty of the presiding officer peremptorily and at once to
check any rising discussion of the subject. Nothing must be done to impair the
inviolable secrecy of the ballot.
BALLOT, UNANIMITY OF THE
Unanimity in the choice of
candidates is considered so essential to the welfare of the Fraternity, that
the Old Regulations have expressly provided for its preservation in the
following words: "But 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 they are to signify their consent
or dissent 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 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, which ought to be
avoided by all good and true brethren" (see the Constitutions, 1723 edition,
However, the rule of unanimity
here referred to is applicable only to the United States of America, in all of
whose Grand Lodges it has been strictly enforced.
Anderson tells us, in the
second edition of the Constitutions, under the head of New Regulations (page
155), that." 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."
Accordingly, the Constitution (Rule 190) of the Grand Lodge of England, says:
"No person can be made a Mason
in or admitted a member of a Lodge, if, on the ballot, three black balls
appear against him ; but the by-laws of a Lodge may enact that one or two
black balls shall exclude a candidate; and by-laws may also enact that a
prescribed period shall elapse before any rejected candidate can be again
proposed in that Lodge."
The Grand Lodge of Ireland
(By-law 127) prescribes unanimity, unless there is a by-law of the subordinate
Lodge to the contrary.
The Constitution of Scotland
provides (by Rule 181) that "Three black balls shall exclude a candidate.
Lodges in the Colonies and in
foreign parts may enact that two black balls shall exclude." In the
continental Lodges, the modern English regulation prevails. It is only in the
Lodges of the United States that the ancient rule of unanimity is strictly
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 the United States, in every one of its jurisdictions, the
unanimity of the ballot is expressly 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.
A Masonic Congress which met
in Baltimore, Maryland, on the 8th of May, 1843, in consequence of a
recommendation made by a preceding convention which had met in Washington,
District of Columbia, in March, 1842.
The Convention consisted of
delegates from the States of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland,
District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama,
Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, and Louisiana.
Its professed objects were to
produce uniformity of Masonic work and to recommend such measures as should
tend to the elevation of the Order.
The Congress continued in
session for nine days, during which time it was principally occupied in an
attempt to perfect the ritual, and in drawing up articles for the permanent
organization of a Triennial Masonic Convention of the United States, to
consist of delegates from all the Grand Lodges. In both of these efforts it
failed, although several distinguished Freemasons took part in its
The body was too small,
consisting, as it did, of only twenty-three members, to exercise any decided
popular influence on the Fraternity. Its plan of a Triennial Convention met
with very general opposition, and its proposed ritual, familiarly known as the
Baltimore work, has almost become a myth. Its only practical result was the
preparation and publication of Moore's Trestle Board, a Monitor which has,
however, been adopted only by a limited number of American Lodges. The
Baltimore work did not materially differ from that originally established by
Webb. Moore's Trestle Board professes to be an exposition of its monitorial
part; a statement which, however, was denied by Doctor Dove, who was the
President of the Convention, and the controversy on this point at the time
between these two eminent Freemasons was conducted with too much bitterness.
The above Convention adopted a
report endorsing "the establishment of a Grand National Convention possessing
limited powers, to meet triennially to decide upon discrepancies in the work,
provide for uniform Certificates or Diplomas, and to act as referee between
Grand Lodges at variance. Whenever thirteen or more Grand Lodges should agree
to the proposition, the Convention should be permanently formed. "
Following the recommendation
of the Convention, representatives from the Grand Lodges of North Carolina,
Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, District of Columbia and Missouri met at Winchester,
Virginia, on May 11, 1846. Only eight delegates appearing, the Convention
adjourned without doing any business.
Another Masonic Convention was
held at Baltimore on September 23, 1847, to consider the propriety of forming
a General Grand Lodge. The following Grand Lodges had accredited delegates :
North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Maryland and the
District of Columbia. Brother William P. Mellen, of Mississippi, presided, and
Brother Joseph Robinson, of Maryland, was the Secretary. A Constitution was
adopted and this was forwarded to the several Grand Lodges with the
understanding that if sixteen of them approved the measure before January 1,
1849, it would go into effect and the first meeting thereunder would be held
at Baltimore on the second Tuesday in July, 1849. But the Constitution failed
to receive the approval of the required number of Grand Lodges and the project
for a Supreme Grand Lodge came to a halt.
A small column or pilaster,
corruptly called a banister; in French, balustre. Borrowing the architectural
idea, the Freemasons of the Scottish Rite apply the word baluster to any
official circular or other document issuing from a Supreme Council.
BALZAC, LOUIS CHARLES
A French architect of some
celebrity, and member of the Institute of Egypt. He founded the Lodge of the
Great Sphinx at Paris. He was also a poet of no inconsiderable merit, and was
the author of many Masonic canticles in the French language, among them the
well-known hymn entitled Taisons nous, plus de bruit, the music of which was
composed by M. Riguel. He died March 31, 1820, at which time he was inspector
of the public works in the prefecture of the Seine.
The neck ribbon bearing the
jewel of the office Lodge, Chapter, or Grand Lodge of various countries, and
of the symbolic color pertaining to the body in which it is worn.
The name of an officer known
in the higher Degrees of the French Rite. One who has in trust the. banner;
similar in station to the Standard-Bearer of a Grand Lodge, or of a Supreme
Body of the Scottish Rite.
A small banner or pennant. An
officer known in the Order of the Knights Templar, who, with the Marshal, had
charge of warlike under takings. A title of an order known as Knight Banneret,
instituted by Edward I. The banneret of the most ancient order of knighthood
called Knight Bachelor was shaped like Figure 1. The Knights Banneret, next in
age, had a pennant like Figure 2. That of the Barons was similar to the one
shown in Figure 3.
The pennon or pointed or
forked flag was easily shorn off at the ends to make the other style of
banneret and thus it came about that to show due appreciation of service the
pointed end could be clipped on the field of battle when the owner was
promoted in rank.
BANNERS, ROYAL ARCH
Much difficulty has been
experienced by ritualists in reference to the true colors and proper
arrangements of the banners used in an American Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
It is admitted that. they are
four in number, and that their colors are blue, purple, scarlet, and white;
and it is known, too, that the devices on these banners are a lion, an oz, a
man, and an eagle. But the doubt is constantly arising as to the relation
between these devices and these colors, and as to which of the former is to be
appropriated to each of the latter.
The question, it is true, is
one of mere ritualism, but it is important that the ritual should be always
uniform, and hence the object of the present article is to attempt the
solution of this question. The banners used in a Royal Arch Chapter are
derived from those which are supposed to have been borne by the twelve Tribes
of Israel during their encampment in the wilderness, to which reference is
made in the second chapter of the Book of Numbers, and the second verse:
"Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard." But as
to what were the devices on the banners, or what were their respective colors,
the Bible is absolutely silent.
To the inventive genius of the
Talmudists are we indebted for all that we know or profess to know on this
subject. These mystical philosophers have given to us with wonderful precision
the various devices which they have borrowed from the death-bed prophecy of
Jacob, and have sought, probably in their own fertile imaginations, for the
The English Royal Arch Masons,
whose system differs very much from that of their American Companions, display
in their Chapters the twelve banners of the tribes in accordance with the
Talmudic devices and colors. These have been very elaborately described by
Doctor Oliver in his Historical Landmarks (11,583-97), and beautifully
exemplified by Companion Harris in his Royal Arch Tracing Boards.
But our American Royal Arch
Masons, as we have seen, use only four banners, being those attributed by the
Talmudists to the four principal Tribes Judah, Ephraim, Reubenu, and Dan. The
devices on these banners are respectively a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle.
As to this there is no question, all authorities, such as they are, agreeing
on this point.
But, as has been before said
there is some diversity of opinion as to the colors of each, and necessarily
as to the officers by whom they should be borne.
Some of the Targumists, or
Jewish biblical commentators, say that the color of the banner of each Tribe
was analogous to that of the stone which represented that Tribe in the
breastplate of the High Priest. If this were correct, then the colors of the
banners of the four leading Tribes would be red and green, namely, red for
Judah, Ephraim, and Reuben, and green for Dan; these being the colors of the
precious stones sardonyx, figure, carbuncle, and chrysolite, by which these
Tribes were represented in the High Priest's Breastplate. Such an arrangement
would not, of course, at all suit the symbolism of the American Royal Arch
Equally unsatisfactory is the
disposition of the colors derived from the arms of Speculative Freemasonry, as
first displayed by Dermott in his Ahiman Rezon, which is familiar to all
American Freemasons from the copy published by Cross in his Hieroglyphic
Chart. In this piece of blazonry, the two fields occupied by Judah and Dan are
azure, or blue, and those of Ephraim and Reuben are or, or golden yellow; an
appropriation of colors altogether uncongenial with Royal Arch symbolism.
We must, then, depend on the
Talmudic writers solely for the disposition and arrangement of the colors and
devices of these banners. From their works we learn that the color of the
banner of Judah was white; that of Ephraim, scarlet; that of Reuben, purple;
and that of Dan, blue; and that the devices of the same Tribes were
respectively the lion, the ox, the man, and the eagle. Hence, under this
arrangement---and it is the only one upon which we can depend-the four banners
in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, working in the American Rite, should be
distributed as follows among the banner-bearing officers:
1. An eagle, on a blue banner.
This represents the Tribe of Dan, and is borne by the Grand Master of the
2. A man, on a purple banner. This represents the Tribe of Reuben, and is
borne by the Grand Master of the Second Veil.
3. An ox, on a scarlet banner. This represents the Tribe of Ephraim, and is
borne by the Grand Master of the Third Veil.
4. A lion, on a white banner. This represents the Tribe of Judah, and is borne
by the Royal Arch Captain.
The imaginary idol, or rather
the symbol, which the Knights Templar under Grand Master DeMolay were accused
of employing in their mystic rites. The forty-second of the charges preferred
against them by Pope Clement is in the' words:
Item quod ipsi per singulas
provincias habeant idola: videlicet capita qourum aliqua habebant tres facies,
et alia unum: et aliqua cranium humanum habebant; meaning, also, that in all
of the provinces they have idols, namely, heads, of which some had three
faces, some me, and some had a human skull.
Von Hammer-Purgstall, a bitter
enemy of the Templars, in his book entitled The Mystery of Baphomet Revealed
this old accusation, and attached to the Baphomet an impious signification. He
derived the name from the Greek words, baptim, and supreme wisdom, the baptism
of Metis, and thence supposed that it represented the admission of the
initiated into the secret mysteries of the Order.
From this gratuitous
assumption he deduces his theory, set forth even in the very title of his
work, that the Templars were convicted, by their own monuments, of being
guilty as Gnostics and Ophites, of apostasy, idolatry, and impurity. Of this
statement he offers no other historical testimony than the Articles of
Accusation, themselves devoid of proof, but through which the Templars were
made the victims of the jealousy of the Pope and the avarice of the King of
Others again have thought that they could find in Baphomet a corruption of
Mahomet, and hence they have asserted that the Templars had been perverted
from their religious faith by the Saracens, with whom they had so much
intercourse, sometimes as foes and sometimes as friends. Baphomet was indeed a
common medieval form of the word Mahomet and that not only meant a false
prophet but a demon. Hence any unholy or fantastic ceremonies were termed
baffumerie, mahomerie, or mummery.
Nicolai, who wrote an Essay on
the Accusations brought against the Templars, published at Berlin, in 1782,
supposes, but doubtingly, that the figure of the Baphomet, figura Baffometi,
which was depicted on a bust representing the Creator, was nothing else but
the Pythagorean pentagon, the symbol of health and prosperity, borrowed by the
Templars from the Gnostics, who in turn had obtained it from the School of
King, in his learned work on
the Gnostics, thinks that the Baphomet. may have been a symbol of the
Manicheans, with whose wide spreading heresy in the Middle Ages he does not
doubt that a large portion of the inquiring spirits of the Temple had been
Another suggestion is by
Brother Frank C. Higgins, Ancient Freemasonry ( page 108), that Baphomet is
but the secret name of the Order of the Temple in an abbreviated form thus:
Tem. Ohp. Ab. from the Latin Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas, intended to
mean The Temple of the Father of Peace among Men.
Amid these conflicting views,
all merely speculative, it will not be uncharitable or unreasonable to suggest
that the Baphomet, or skull of the ancient Templars, was, like the relic of
their modern Masonic representatives, simply an impressive symbol teaching the
lesson of mortality, and that the latter has really been derived from the
Hosea Ballou was the founder of the Universalist Denomination which with the
Unitarian Denomination introduced religious liberalism into New England.
He was born in Richmond, New
Hampshire, April 30, 1771, then in the wilderness. Until sixteen he could
barely read or write, and had no schooling until twenty, when he entered a
Quaker private school, after which he attended an academy. Before he died he
had preached some 10,000 sermons and written enough to fill one hundred books.
He was made a Mason (the particulars not known), and when he moved to Barnard
in New Hampshire he joined the Woodstock Lodge, no 31. He was Worshipful
Master in 1808. He delivered Masonic orations before a large number of Lodges.
The minutes of Woodstock Lodge and of its predecessor, Warren, No. 23, should
be published in facsimile because they are one of the few detailed records of
a back country, New England Masonic community in the Revolutionary Period. The
drinking of hard liquor, so prevalent in Colonial times even among churchmen,
appears to have lingered longest in Lodges, and evidently was one of the small
factors which led to the Anti-Masonic Crusade; it was one of the " Lodge
problems" to which Bro. Ballou often addressed himself.
BARBARY PIRATES, WARS ON
The regiments which fought
across North Africa in World War II were not the first Americans to fight in
Tunis, Algeria, Morocco, for in 1801 we sent our then infant navy there to
make war on the pirates of the Barbary Coast who had been destroying shipping
for many years, American included, and France and Britain together had not
been able to stop them. If we succeeded where the latter had failed it was
largely owing to the ingenuity of one man, William Eaton, Consul at Tunis, who
from out of Egypt and with a small group of natives infiltrated from behind
the coast. It was Eaton who sent home the famous message, "Send some cash and
a few marines." The Marine Corps was born in that war.
The majority of heroes and
leaders in the war, which was neither short nor easy, were Masons, Stephen
Decatur, William Bainbridge (probably), Commodore Edward Preble, Commodore
Isaac Chauncey, Commodore Thomas MacDonough, etc. Decatur's utterance, quoted
countless times, did not say that his country was never wrong or that he would
support it in wrongdoing ; he said, ''My country-may it ever be right, but,
right or wrong, my country ," the utterance plainly saying that his country
might be in the wrong. Like his father before him, who had belonged to Veritas
Lodge No. 16, Maryland, Decatur became a Mason early, in St. John's Lodge,
Newport, R. I., in 1799. William Eaton was raised in North Star Lodge,
Manchester, Vermont, in 1792.
BASKETT BIBLE, THE
What Bible did the Masons use
before 1717? Prior to 1611 it is almost certain that the majority of them used
the famous Geneva Bible, published in 1560. It was the first issue of the Book
to cut the text into chapters and numbered verses ; its cost was low ; it was
the Bible of the Reformation. Because in the Book of Genesis it printed the
line "made themselves breeches" instead of "made themselves aprons" it was
everywhere popularly called The Breeches Bible. The Authorized, or King James,
Version was first printed in 1611, in Black Letter, large folio, with 1400
pages. Because of a typographical error Ruth, III, verse 15, was printed with
a "he " instead of a "she," and for that reason it was everywhere called The
''He'' Bible. The title page was a copper plate, sumptuously designed,
semi-architectural in conception, with a symbolic scene representing the
Scheme of Redemption across the top; Moses and the High Priest in panels at
either side of the mid-page ; and in the lower corner two figures representing
the writers of the Old and the New Testament, with a symbolic picture of the
phoenix between them. At the extreme top were the Hebrew Letters JHWH;
immediately beneath it a dove.
Copies of the now very rare
first edition, if in good condition, sell for 53,000 to 55,000. In the Second
Issue this Version contained another famous misprint, Matthew XXVI, 36, where
"Jesus'' is printed aa "Judas."
(Printers sometimes made these
typographical errors out of malice. The "Wicked Bible" is the most notorious
example ; in it the "not" was purposely omitted from certain of the Ten
Commandments, for which Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the King's Printers,
were haled into Star Chamber, were fined L300 by Archbishop Laud, and the
edition of 1000 copies confiscated.) For a century the Authorized Bible was no
doubt used by Masons as it was by everybody else, almost to the exclusion of
any other version.
In 1717, the year in which the
first Grand Lodge was constituted, John Baskett, an Oxford printer, published
an edition of his own, which came to be named after him, although it was
dubbed The Vinegar Bible because in Luke XX the word "vineyard" was misprinted
"vinegar." The title page, and for the first time in any Bible, consisted of a
prospect of buildings. For this reason, and also perhaps because it had been
published in 1717, or for both, it became popular among Masons, in America and
Australia as well aa in England; more often than any other it is mentioned in
the Inventories which were incorporated in old Lodge Minutes.
NOTE. The Baskett should not
be confused with the Baskerville Bible. In 1750 John Baskerville became a
designer of type, a rival to the famous Caslon whose type faces are standard
today. In 1758 Baskerville was elected printer to Cambridge University. In
1763 he produced his edition of the Bible, called after his name, and at a
cost of some 510,000. It was not appreciated at the time, and did not sell
well, but has since become one of the classics of type design. Baskerville
died in 1775. Any Lodge possessing a copy of his Edition of 1763 may treasure
it as highly as a Baskett first edition even though the latter is older by 46
American Masons have a
fondness for Harold Bayley's two books which English Masons might find it
difficult to explain; at least so it would be guessed from comparing the
circulation of them here with their circulation there. Perhaps it is because
he has let a fresh, new light into Masonic symbols, and done so with no
pseudo-occultistic obscurantism (a thing for which American Masons have no
stomach, even if it is published in A. Q. C.) perhaps it is because with
short, bold brush strokes he makes intelligible to us Americans what doubtless
already is familiar to Europeans.
He writes about the
Albigensians and the Huguenots, who carried on a sort of Protestant
underground movement for many years, in regions where any deviation from
strict Roman Catholic orthodoxy was examined by the Inquisition and punishable
by burning. These men were, many of them, makers of paper, which they produced
in little water-driven mills, in far-off places among the hills. They had
modes of recognition, passwords, tokens, secret words, etc., by which they
sent messages here and there. After they discovered how to lay in watermarks
in the sheets of paper they sent out to the cities they turned the marks into
symbols, which would "be understanded" by their friends and sympathizers and
would thus help to keep certain ideas alive. I t is about these fraternities,
or half-fraternities, their secrets and their symbols, that Mr. Bayley writes
in A New Light on the Renaissance; J. M. Dent & Co., London; and The Lost
Language of symbolism; J. B. Lippincott; New York; 1913. The latter has many
references to Freemasonry in chapters on Searching for the Lost, Theological
Ladder, King Solomon and Pillars, All-Seeing Eye, Tree of Life, Clasped Hands,
etc. (It can be remembered in connection with these books that Dr. J. T.
Desaguliers, architect of the first Grand Lodge, was a Huguenot refugee. )
Brother Frederick Foster's essay on "The Due Guard" which he contributed to
The Treasury of Masonic Thought (compiled by George M. Martin and John W.
Callaghan; David Winter & Son; Dundee; 1924), was based on Bayley's works.
In our Twentieth Century
America, the word "industry" denotes manufacturing and factories, classified
as heavy industry and light industry ; and connotes machines and factory
workers. When the Beehive is said to be an emblem of industry the word is not
used in that sense, indeed, is used with an almost opposite meaning-for it is
used in the sense of centuries ago, which was the true sense.
Industry was the employment of
a very large number of men, tens of thousands in many instances, on one
undertaking at one place and at the same time, and they might or might not use
machinery. It was the method by which in the ages before heavy machinery vast
building enterprises were accomplished, some of which have so long mystified
modern men, the building of the pyramids, of the ancient Egyptian canals, of
the hanging gardens of Babylon, of the Ziggurats, of vast Hindu temples, of
the Chinese Great Wall and Grand canal of the Mayas' City of Chichen-Itza,
etc. the same method by which in World War II the Burma and Ledo roads were
constructed as well as great airfields in the remote hills of China; and the
method by which from Caesar's time until modern times the Dutch have built
their hundreds of miles of dykes. The Beehive is the perfect emblem, or
typical instance of the power of industry, because what no one bee'or
succession of separate bees could accomplish is easy where hundreds of them
work together at one task at one time.
The Medieval Freemasons did
not study and think about ¨he same subjects that architects and builders now
except in fundamentals, did not secure the elements of a building ready-made
from factories, had no steam or electric or magnetic tools to use; chemistry
and physics were forbidden sciences, and could be studied by the initiate only
in secret or under a heavy camouflage of symbolism. They had two great
subjects: materials and men. A modern architect knows far more about materials
than the Medieval builder because he has universities, literature,
laboratories, and factories to draw on ; but he knows far less about men,
indeed, he knows almost nothing about men.
Where a modern builder looks
to machines as the means to accomplish his results, the Medieval builder who
had no power-driven machines had to look to men. For this reason the Medieval
builder knew far more about work than his modern counterpart because work is
nothing other than a man making use of himself as a means to get something
made or produced or accomplished. Where a modern foreman thinks of himself as
a supervisor of a building full of machines the Medieval foreman thought of
himself as a Master of workmen. By the same token a workman had to know
himself, instead of a machine, because he was his own machine. Skill is the
expert use of one's self.
It was for such reasons that
Medieval Freemasons thought much about and had a wide knowledge of the forms
of work. There are some fifty-two of these.
Industry itself is one of
them, the most massive and most dramatic, but not the most important. Where a
man makes everything by himself from the raw materials to the finished
product, is another. Where a number of men work in a line at the same bench
and where the first does one thing to the "job, " the second does another, and
so on until the "job" is completed by the last man, so that it is the job and
not the men who move, is another form of work. Where one man completes one
thing, another, perhaps in another place, completes another, and so on, and
where finally a man combines a number of completed things to make one thing,
is another form of work; etc., etc.
The general organization of a
Lodge is based on the principle of forms of work; so are the stations and
places of officers. Though as an emblem of the form of work called industry
the Beehive symbolizes only one in Particular it at the same time represents
the system of forms of work, is, as it were, an ensemble of them; and from it
a sufficiently well-informed thinker could think out the system of Masonic
Philosophy. In our Craft the whole of fraternalism is nothing other than the
fellowship required by the forms of work, because the majority of them require
men to work together in association, in stations and places, and therefore in
It is strange that in its
present-day stage of development the so-called science of economics should
concern itself solely with such subjects as wages, machines, money,
transportation because these are but incidentals and accidentals. Work is the
topic proper to economics ; and the forms of work are its proper
subject-matter. Any scholar or thinker who chances to be a Mason could find in
his own Fraternity a starting point for a new economics, as fresh and
revolutionary and revealing as was the work of Copernieus in astronomy, of
Newton in physics, of Darwin in biology. A beehive itself is a trifle, and
scarcely worth ten minutes of thought; what it stands for is one of the
largest and most important subjects in the world, and up until now one of the
BEGEMANN, GEORG E. W.
Georg Emil Wilhelm Begemann
was born in 1843; died in 1914 in Berlin, where he had lived since 1895. After
having been made a Mason in Rostock, Mecklenburg, he was instantly attracted
to the study of the Old Charges.
From 1888 until his removal to
Berlin he was Provincial Grand Master, the Grand National Lodge of Berlin.
From 1887 until his death he was a member of the Correspondence Circle of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, No. 2076, contributed much to Ars Quatuor
Coroiatoruni, and was among the most learned of specialists in Masonic
archeology and the study of the text of the Old Charges.
He published Vorgeschichte und
Aufänge der Freimaurerei in Ireland, in 1911; a book of similar title on
Scotland, in 1914; his principal work was Aufänge der Freimaurerei in England;
Vol. I, in 1909 ; Vol. II, in 1910. This latter work was to have been
translated and published by Quatuor Coronati Lodge, with Bro. Lionel Vibert,
Secretary, as translator-in-chief, but was stopped by the latter's death; it
is on the market in the United States in German.
German Freemasonry was begun
under the patronage of the nobility and members of the upper brackets of the
aristocracy, and had its source in French Masonry ; and therefore departed in
the main from many Ancient Landmarks, so that oftentimes the Craft Degrees
were under jurisdiction of High Grades; High Grades and Rites proliferated;
Rites not Masonic in any sense were suffered to attach themselves to
Freemasonry; and racial and religious discriminations were allowed. Begemann
was one of the greatest in a line of German Masonic scholars whose work was
aimed at restoring the German Craft to the original design. (See articles by
and about Begemann in A,Q,C., especially the paper by Douglas Knoop and G. P.
Jones in 1941.)
BENT, GOVERNOR CHARLES
Charles Bent was born at
Charlestown, Va., in 1797, studied medicine, graduated from West Point. After
resigning from the army he entered business in St. Louis. In 1828 he and his
brother William went west, erected a fort (or stockaded headquarters) near
what is now Las Animas which in time was to become famous from one end of the
Santa Fe trail to the other as Bent's Fort. After he had formed a partnership
with Col. Ceran St. Vrain (also a Mason) the firm of Bent & St. Vrain became
nationally known as second in size and influence only to Bro. John Jacob Astor
and the American Fur Co. at a time when beaver skins were used as money in the
whole of the West. He married Maria of the famous Spanish family of Jaramillo,
whose sister Josefa afterwards married General Kit Carson.
After New Mexico was formed
into a Territory of the United States, Bent was appointed the first Governor,
but in 1847 was assassinated in his home at Taos by a mob of Indians and
Mexicans. This was part of a plot to drive Americans out of the Territory
which had been schemed in Mexico City and was locally instigated by a corrupt
and criminal priest at Taos named Fra Martinez. Bent was (along with the
famous Senator Benton) a founding member of Missouri Lodge, No. 1, St. Louis,
in 1821. A Lodge formed at Taos by the Grand Lodge of Missouri in 1860 and
named Bent Lodge, No. 204, is now No. 42 on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of
New Mexico. (See House Executive Document, No. 60, Thirtieth Congress,
entitled "Occupation of Mexican Territory," and article by Bro. F. T. Cheetham
in The Builder; 1923, p. 358. Gould's History of Freemasonry; VI; Seribner's;
New York; page 36.)
BLACK MONKS AND BUILDERS
In the center of the little
Italian mountainous country where Virgil once lived and Horace had his farm,
and near where in other times Aquino was built, home of Juvenile and of Thomas
(St. Thomas Aquinas), there stood in early Roman times a temple of Apollo and
Venus. St. Benedict (480 - 543) founded on the site of it the first monastery
in Europe, a small house which he called San Germano, and later Mt. Cassino,
which, after having been more than once rebuilt, was in World War II bombed
into rubble by Allied planes after the Germans had turned it into a fortress.
This early monastery, which Benedict, a man of hard sense, founded in 529, he
turned into a Monastic Order, called the Benedictines or Black Monks (from
color of their habit), the first Monastic Order founded on the Continent;
other Orders, some of them its daughters, were to follow it, the Carthusians,
the Clusiacs, the Franciscans (half monastic), but none was ever to rival it
in strength and stability.
After they had become
established in centers as far away as England, and had become possessed of
property, the Benedictines had many Abbeys built, and other Monastic
structures. A number of these are famous buildings; a few were masterpieces of
A legend grew up long
afterwards that the Benedictines had themselves been Europe's first
architects, and a few Masons even began to believe that it was they who had
fathered Medieval Masonry, among the latter being Bro. Ossian Lang, who gave
the theory as much support as he could find (in his treatises on Eleventh
Century School for Builders, and his Black Monks).
Benedict's rule was founded on
work. Each member was assigned a form of work, and was expected to give his
daily time to itm, and each one was required to read at least one book a year.
But there is no evidence anywhere to prove that they were ever architects or
even plain builders; even the work rule fell in abeyance after the early
honeymoon period. In his massive Art and. the Reformation, G. G. Coulton
sweeps together every scrap of written records into a chapter, and shows that
the monks were not architects, and that they hired laymen to come in from the
outside to cultivate their fields and gardens, and even to work in the
kitchens ; and not many of them ever managed to read his one book a year, or
learned to read. If they ever had any connection with Freemasonry it has
escaped detection; one set of Fabric Rolls, probably belonging to York, shows
that the Freemasons there expressly stipulated that no monks from the nearby
Benedictine houses were to work with them. (There are abundant bibliographics
in the Cambridge Medieval History. See also Medieval Italy, by H. B. Cotterill,
London, George C. Harrap, 1915, and Renaissance of the Twelfth. Century, by F.
BLAVATSKY, H. P.
Subsequently to the
publication of the brief article on page 138 Bro. Joseph H. Fussell, secretary
of the Theosophieal Society at Point Loma, Calif., contributed to The New Age
of January, 1915, page 29, an article which clears up once and for all any
questions as to claims made for the founder of the Theosophical Society of
having been a Mason. She received from John Yarker, unsolicited, a certificate
making her a member of the so-called Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry
(not connected with Free and Accepted Masonry) but, as she clearly stated,
made no claim to any membership in any regular Lodge. The "Masonry of the
Orient," to which she referred in a published letter, and which appears to
refer to some form of self-styled Freemasonry indigenous to India, is one of
many questions for Craft historians to clear up. The wide-ranging and
indefatigable Yarker is another subject in the same category ; for while he
was a regular and loyal Mason, a contributor to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, and
guilty of no clandestinism, his writings have left a trail of confusion behind
them because of his penchant for identifying Freemasonry with any form of
occultism, symbolism, or esotericism which resembled it. The Theosophical
movement has never in any of its sects or branches been recognized by or
identified with any regular Masonic Body.
Chaplain Couden of the House
of Representatives of the United States for a long period of years was blind,
and yet was a Mason.
W. W. Drake, Kileen, Texas,
became blind during his Mastership; he was reelected for a seeond term.
Charles F. Forshaw, Doncaster,
England, who died in 1800, was for a number of years widely known as a Masonic
musician. In his Notes on the Ceremony of Installation, page 52, Henry Sadler
gives a sketch of the most famous of blind Masons, George Aarons, Master of
Joppa Lodge, No. 1827, and of Lodge of Israel. He was a ritualist taught by
Peter Gilkes, and for nearly twenty years was Lecture Master in the leading
Lodges of Instruction. More remarkable still is Lux in Tenebris Lodge, on
Shaftsbury Avenue, London, which is a Lodge for blind Masons. The Craft in
England has always acted on the principle that when the Craft was transformed
from Operative to Speculative the Physical Qualifications were transformed
The term Masonic Baptism has
been applied in the United States by some authorities to that ceremony which
is used in certain of the advanced Degrees, and which, more properly, should
be called Lustration. It has been objected that the use of the term is
calculated to give needless offence to scrupulous persons who might suppose it
to be an imitation of a Christian sacrament. But, in fact, the Masonic baptism
has no allusion whatsoever, either in form or design, to the sacrament of the
Church. It is simply a lustration or purification by water, a ceremony which
was common to all the ancient initiations (see Lustration).
Bearded Brothers---at an
earlier date known as the Conversi---craftsmen known among the Conventual
Builders, admitted to the Abbey Corbey in the year 851, whose social grade was
more elevated than the ordinary workmen, and were freeborn. The Conversi were
Filicales or associates in the Abbeys, used a monastic kind of dress, could
leave their profession whenever they chose and could return to civil life.
Converts who abstained from secular pursuits as sinful and professed
conversion to the higher life of the Abbeys, could stay without becoming
monks. Scholae or gilds of such Operatives lodged within the convents.
We are told by Brother George
F. Fort in his Criticat Inquiry Concerning the Mediaeval Conventual Builders,
1884, that the scholae of dextrous Barbati Fratres incurred the anger of their
coreligionists, by their haughty deportment, sumptuous garb, liberty of
movement, and refusal to have their long, flowing beards shaven-hence their
name---thus tending to the more fascinating attractions of civil life as time
carried them forward through the centuries to the middle of the thirteenth,
when William Abbott, of Premontré, attempted to enforce the rule of shaving
the beard. "These worthy ancestors of our modern Craft deliberately refused,''
and they said, "if the execution of this order were pressed against them,
'they would fire every cloister and cathedral in the country." The decretal or
edict was withdrawn.
A title of great dignity and
importance among the ancient Britons, which was conferred only upon men of
distinguished rank in society, and who filled a sacred office. It was the
third or lowest of the three Degrees into which Druidism was divided (see
Druidical Mysteries). There is an officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland
called the Grand Bard.
BARNEY, COMMODORE JOSHUA
Distinguished American naval
officer. Prominent for services rendered his country in the Wars of 1776 and
1812; wounded in land attack at Bladensberg.
Said to have attended, about
1779, the Lodge of Nine Sisters at Paris, but his name does not appear in
records of that Lodge published by Louis Amiable.
His name appears on the roster
of Lodge No. 3, Philadelphia, May 1, 1777 (see New Age, May, 1925). Born 1759,
at Baltimore, Maryland, Brother Barney died 1818, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Masonic ritualist, born at
Canaan, Connecticut, October, 1780. Made a Freemason in Friendship Lodge No.
20, at Charlotte, Vermont, in 1810. He was deeply interested in all that
pertained to the work and purposes of the Institution, and in August, 1817, he
went to Boston for the express purpose of receiving instruction directly from
Thomas Smith Webb, which he succeeded in doing, with the assistance of
Benjamin Gleason, then Grand Lecturer of Massachusetts.
He attended the Grand Lodge of
Vermont on October 6, 1817, and was registered as a visiting Brother. At this
meeting a request was presented on behalf of Brother Barney for the
approbation of this Grand Lodge, as a Lecturing Master. A committee was
appointed to investigate the certificates and documents respecting Barney's
qualifications and the report was as follows:
That they had examined Brother Barney on the first Degrees of Masonry, and
find him to be well acquainted with the Lectures, according to the most
approved method of work in the United States, and believe that he may be
advantageously employed by the Lodges and Brethren who may wish for his
services; but as many of the Lodges in this State are already well acquainted
with the several Masonic Lectures, we do not believe it would be consistent to
appoint a Grand Lecturer to go through the State, as the several Lodges have
to pay the District Deputy Grand Masters for their attendance. We therefore
propose to the Grand Lodge that they give Brother Barney letters of
recommendation to all Lodges and Brethren wherever he may wish to travel, as
an unfortunate brother deprived of his health, and unable to procure a living
by the common avocations of life, but who is well qualified to give useful
Masonic information to any who wish for his services.
A. Robbins, For committee.
His first work after being
authorized by his Grand Lodge was in Dorchester Lodge, at Vergennes, Vermont.
He was employed by twelve members to , instruct them in the work and lectures.
He continued lecturing in that State for several years. Brother Barney moved
West in 1826, settling at Harpersfield, Ashtabula County, Ohio. In 1832 he
assisted in establishing a Royal Arch Chapter in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to
Worthington, Ohio, in 1834, and became a member of New England Lodge No. 4 in
Elected Grand Lecturer of the
Grand Lodge of Ohio in January, 1836, Which office he held until 1843. In 1841
the Grand Master said of him: "The duties of Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge
of Ohio, for the last two years especially, have been laborious and almost
incessant. It were unnecessary for me to state to you a fact, which you are
all so well apprised of, that his untiring and able exertions have essentially
conduced to the prosperity which is now so apparent among our Lodges.
The labors of that officer
are, however, now becoming burdensome, and the calls for his services will be
more frequent as the wants of the fraternity increase." Brother Barney was a
delegate to the Baltimore Convention in 1843. At the meeting of his Grand
Lodge in that year the question of recognition of the Grand Lodge of Michigan
was considered and he was appointed one of the committee to whom the matter
was referred, but at his request was excused from such service, and this is
the last record we have of him in connection with the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
About this time he settled in Chicago, Illinois, becoming a member of Apollo
Lodge No. 32 in that city.
He was appointed Grand
Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in October, 1845, holding the office
for one year. Part of the years 1844 and 1845 were spent lecturing in
Michigan, and his labors during these two years gave to that State the system
which has been the authorized work for many years. Undoubtedly several states
owe much to this worthy Brother for their close connection with the ceremonial
work of Thomas Smith Webb. Brother Barney died on June 22, 1847, at Peoria,
Illinois (see Freemasonry in Michigan, J. S. Conover, 1896, page 249; the
Barney work is discussed in American Tyler, volume iii, No. 6, page 5, and No.
17, page 2, and vo1ume v, No 18, page 4, and No. 28, page10)
Augustin Barruel, generally
known as the Abbé Barruel, who was born, October 2, 1741, at Villeneuve de
Berg in France, and who died October 5, 1820, was an implacable enemy of
Freemasonry. He was a prolific writer, but owes his reputation principally to
the work entitled Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire du Jacobinisme, or
Recollections to serve for a History of Jacobinism, in four volumes, octavo,
published in London in 1797. In this work he charges the Freemasons with
revolutionary principles in politics and with infidelity in religion. He seeks
to trace the origin of the Institution first to those ancient heretics, the
Manicheans, and through them to the Templars, against whom he revives the old
accusations of Philip the Fair and Clement V. His theory of the Templar origin
of Freemasonry is thus expressed (11, 382):
"Your whole school and all
your Lodges are derived from the Templars. After the extinction of their
Order, a certain number of guilty knights, having escaped the prosecution,
united for the preservation of their horrid mysteries. To their impious code
they added the vow of vengeance against the kings and priests who destroyed
their Order, and against all religion which anathematized their dogmas.
They made adepts, who should
transmit from generation to generation the same mysteries of iniquity, the
same oaths, and the same hatred of the God of the Christians, and of kings,
and of priests. These mysteries have descended to you, and you continue to
perpetuate their impiety, their vows, and their oaths. Such is your origin.
The lapse of time and the change of manners have varied a part of your symbols
and your frightful systems; but the essence of them remains, the vows, the
oaths, the hatred, and the conspiracies are the same.''
It is not astonishing that
Lawrie (History of Freemasonry, page 50) should have said of the writer of
such statements, that:
"That charity and forbearance
which distinguish the Christian character are never exemplified in the work of
Barruel, and the hypocrisy of his pretensions is often betrayed by the fury of
his zeal. The tattered veil behind which he attempts to cloak his inclinations
often discloses to the reader the motives of the man and the wishes of his
Although the attractions of
his style and the boldness of his declamation gave Barruel at one time a
prominent place among anti-masonic writers, his work is now seldom read and
never cited in Masonic controversies, for the progress of truth has assigned
their just value to its extravagant assertions.
A famous engraver who lived
for some time in London and engraved the frontispiece of the 1784 edition of
the Book of Constitutions. He was initiated in the Lodge of the Nine Muses in
London on February 13, 1777.
Born at Florence in Italy, he
studied in Venice, and then at Rome and Mi1an, practiced his art most
successfully, settling at London in 1764.After forty years in Eng1and he went
to Portugal and died in Lisbon. Brother Hawkins gives the year of his birth as
1728, and that of his death as 1813. Others give the dates as from 1725 to
1830, and 1813 to 1815.
But all authorities agree in
their high estimate of his ability.
American philanthropist. Born
at Oxford, Massachusetts, December 25, 1821; died at Glen Echo, Maryland,
April 12, 1912. During Civil War distributed large quantities of supplies for
the relief of wounded soldiers and later organized at Washington a Bureau of
Records to aid in the search of missing men. She identified and marked the
graves of more than twelve thousand soldiers at Andersonville, Georgia. She
took part in the International Committee of the Red Cross in Franco-Prussian
War, and was first president of the American Red Cross until 1904. She was the
author of the American Amendment providing that the Red Cross shall distribute
relief not only in war but in times of other calamities.
She later incorporated and
became president of the National First Aid of America for rendering first aid
to the injured. There is a reference to her in Masonic Tidings, Milwaukee,
December 1927, page 19, entitled Son of founder of Eastern Star tells of
beginnings of Order, in the course of which he says: "Yes, it is true that my
father gave the beloved Clara Barton the degree.
He was making a tour of Massachusetts, lecturing. When he reached Oxford he
found a message from Clara Barton, expressing a desire to receive the degree.
In the parlor of her home, father communicated to her the Order of the Eastern
Star. From this Clara Barton created the great American Red Cross, and
cheerfully gave her services to the heroes of the Civil War."
There is also another
reference in the New Age (March, 1924, page 178), where Clara Barton is said
to have observed when becoming a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, "My
father was a Mason; to him it was a religion, and for the love and honor I
bear him, I am glad to be connected with anything like this," However, Mrs.
Minnie E. Keyes, Grand secretary, Order of the Eastern Star, letter of May 2g,
1928, informs us that "The Chapter in Oxford, Massachusetts, was named for her
and With her permission in 1898, but she herself did not join until June,
The Secretary tells me the
Minutes of the meeting of June 29, 1906, show. After a short intermission this
Chapter received the great honor of being allowed to confer the degrees of
this Order upon our illustrious namesake, Miss Clara Barton. It was an
occasion long to be remembered as with feelings of pride and pleasure we
witnessed the work so impressively and gracefully rendered and received.
It was with quite reverential
feeling that at its close we were privileged to take her by the hand as our
Literally and originally a
royal palace. A Roman pagan basilica was a rectangular hall whose length was
two or three times its breadth, divided by two or more lines of columns,
bearing entablatures, into a broad central nave and side aisles.
It was generally roofed with
wood, sometimes vaulted. At one end was the entrance. From the center of the
opposite end opened a semicircular recess as broad as the nave, called in
Latin the Tribuna and in Greek the Apsis. The uses of the basilica were
variotts and of a public character, courts of justice being held in them. Only
a few ruins remain.
The significance of the
basilica to Freemasons is that it was the form adopted for early Christian
churches, and for its influence on the building gilds.
For the beginning of Christian
architecture, which is practically the beginning of Operative Freemasonry, we
must seek very near the beginning of the Christian religion. For three
centuries the only places in pagan Rome where Christians could meet with
safety were in the catacombs, long underground galleries. When Constantine
adopted Christianity in 324, the Christians were no longer forced to worship
in the catacombs. They were permitted to worship in the basilica and chose
days for special worship of the Saints on or near days of pagan celebrations
or feast days, so as not to attract the attention or draw the contempt of the
Romans not Christians.
Examples of this have come
down to us, as, Christmas, St. John the Baptist's Day, St. John the
Evangelist's Day, etc.
The Christian basilicas spread
over the Roman Empire, but in Rome applied specially to the seven principal
churches founded' by Constantine, and it was their plan that gave Christian
churches this name. The first builders were the Roman Artificers, and after
the fall of the Western Empire, we find a decadent branch at Como that
developed into the Comacine Masters, who evolved, aided by Byzantine workmen
and influence Lombardian architecture (see Como).
The basket or fan was among
the Egyptians a symbol of the purification of souls. The idea seems to have
been adopted by other nations, and hence, "initiations in the Ancient
Mysteries," says Rolle (Culte de Bacchus,1, 30), "being the commencement of a
better life and the perfection of it, could not take place till the soul was
The fan had been accepted as
the symbol of that purification because the mysteries purged the soul of sin,
as the fan cleanses the grain." John the Baptist conveys the same idea of
purification when he says of the Messiah, "His fan is in his hand, and he will
thoroughly purge his floor" (Matthew iii, 12; Luke iii, 17).
The sacred basket in the
Ancient Mysteries was called the xikvov, and the one who carried it was termed
the xwv or basket-bearer. Indeed, the sacred basket, containing the first
fruits and offerings, was as essential in all solemn processions of the
mysteries of Bacchus and other divinities as the Bible is in the Masonic
procession. As lustration was the symbol of purification by water, so the
mystical fan or winnowing-basket was, according to Sainte Croix (Mystéres du
Paganisme, tome ii, page 81), the symbol in the Bacchic rites of a
purification by air.
BASLE, CONGRESS OF
A Masonic Congress was held
September 24, 1848, at Basle, in Switzerland, consisting of one hundred and
six members, representing eleven Lodges under the patronage of the Swiss Grand
Lodge Alpina. The Congress was principally engaged upon the discussion of the
"What can and what ought Freemasonry to contribute towards the welfare of
mankind locally, nationally, and internationally?" The conclusion to which the
Congress appeared to arrive upon this question was briefly this:
"Locally, Freemasonry ought to
strive to make every Brother a good citizen, a good father, and a good
neighbor; whilst it ought to teach him to perform every duty of life
faithfully. Nationally, a Freemason ought to strive to promote and to maintain
the welfare and the honor of his native land, to love and to honor it himself,
and, if necessary, to place his life and fortune at its disposal;
Internationally, a Freemason is bound to go still further:
he must consider himself as a
member of that one great family,-the whole human race,-who are all children of
one and the same Father, and that it is in this sense, and with this spirit,
that the Freemason ought to work if he would appear worthily before the throne
of Eternal Truth and Justice."
The Congress of Basle appears
to have accomplished no practical result.
The question of the
ineligibility of bastards to be made Freemasons was first brought to the
attention of the Craft by Brother Chalmers I.
Paton, who, in several
articles in The London Freemason, in 1869, contended that they were excluded
from initiation by the Ancient Regulations.
Subsequently, in his
compilation entitled Freemasonry and its Jurisprudence, published in 1872, he
cites several of the 0ld Constitutions as explicitly declaring that the men
made Freemasons shall be "no bastards." This is a most unwarrantable
interpolation not to be justified in any writer on jurisprudence; for on a
careful examination of all the old manuscript copies which have been
published, no such words are to be found in any one of them.
As an instance of this
literary disingenuousness, to use no harsher term, we quote the following from
his work (page 60). 'The charge in this second edition [of Anderson's
Constitutions is in the following unmistakable words: 'The men made Masons
must be freeborn, no bastard (or no bondmen), of mature age and of good
report, hale and wund, not deformed or dismembered at the time of their
Now, with a copy of this
second edition lying open before him, Brother Mackey found the passage thus
printed: "The men made Masons must be freeborn (or no bondmen), of mature age
and of good report, hale and sound, not deformed or dismembered at the time of
their making." The words "no bastard" are Patos's interpolation.
Again, Patos quotes from
Preston the Ancient . Charges at makings, in these words: "That he that be
made be able in all degrees; that is, freeborn, of a good kindred, true, and
no bondsman or bastard, and that he have his right limbs as a man ought to
But on referring to Preston
(edition of 1775, and all subsequent editions) we find the passage to be
correctly thus: "That he that be made be able in all degrees; that is,
freeborn, of a good kindred, true, and no bondsman, and that he have his limbs
as a man ought to have." Positive law authorities should not be thus cited,
not merely carelessly, but with designed inaccuracy to support a theory.
But although there is no
regulation in the Old Constitutions which explicitly prohibits the initiation
of bastards, it may be implied from their language that such prohibition did
exist. Thus, in all the old manuscripts, we find such expressions as these :
he that shall be made a Freemason "must be freeborn and of good kindred"
Sloane Manuscript (No. 3323), or ''come of good kindred'' Edinburgh Kilwinning
Manuscript, or, as the Roberts Print more definitely has it"of honest
It is not, we therefore think,
to be doubted that formerly bastards were considered as ineligible for
initiation, on the same principle that they were, as a degraded class,
excluded from the priesthood in the Jewish and the primitive Christian church.
But the more liberal spirit of modem times has long since made the law
obsolete, because it is contrary to the principles of justice to punish a
misfortune as if it was a crime.
The reader should note in
addition to what Brother Mackey has said in the above article that the
Illustrations of freemasonry, by William Preston, edition of 1812 (page 82),
reprints a series of charges said to be contained in a manuscript in the
possession of the Lodge of Antiquity at London, and to have been written in
the reign of James the Second- The third charge says in part:
"And no master nor fellow
shall take no 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."
The fourth charge now goes on
"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." These charges may
well be studied in connection with what Brothers Paton and Mackey have
discussed in the foregoing.
BATCHELOR, JAMES CUNNINGHAM
Born of English parents in
Quebec, Canada, July 10, 1818. His parents removed during his infancy to New
York. Then he received a high school education in Saint Louis, studied
medicine in New Orleans, and especially distinguished himself during the
yellow fever epidemic there. He received his First Degree in Freemasonry at
Montgomery, Alabama, on April 11, 1846, the Honorary Thirty-third in 1857,
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and became an Active in 1859. For
twenty-four years he was Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. He
succeeded General AIbert Pike, who died April 2, 1891, as Grand Commander, the
Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Brother Batchelor
died on July 28, 1893.
The truncheon or staff of a
Grand Marshal, and always carried by him in processions as the ensign of his
office. It is a wooden rod about eighteen inches long. In the military usage
of England, the baton of the Earl Marshal was originally of wood, but in the
reign of Richard II it was made of gold, and delivered to him at his creation,
a custom which has been continued. In the patent or commission granted by that
monarch to the Duke of Surrey the baton is minutely described as baculum
aureum circa utramque finem de nigro annulatum, meaning a golden wand, having
black rings around each end- a description that wil1 very well serve for a
BATS, PARLIAMENT OF
The Parliament which assembled
in England in the year 1426, during the minority of Henry VI, to settle the
disputes between the Duke of Gloucester, the Regent, and the Bishop of
Winchester, tbe guardian of the young king's person, and which was so called
because the members, being forbidden by the Duke of Gloucester to wear swords,
armed themselves with clubs or bats.
It has been stated by Preston
(Illustrations of Masonry, edition of 1812, page 165), that it was in this
Parliament that the Act forbidding Freemasons to meet in Chapters or
Congregations was passed; but this is erroneous, for that act was passed in
1425 by the Parliament at Westminster, while the Parliament of Bats met at
Leicester in 1426 (see Laborers, Statutes of).
A given number of blows by the
gavels of the officers, or by the hands of the Brethren, as a mark of
approbation, admiration, or reverence, and at times accompanied by the
Freemasonry was introduced
into Bavaria, from France, in 1737. However, the Handbuch of Schletter and
Zille declares that 1777 was the beginning of Freemasonry in Bavaria proper.
The meetings of the Lodges were suspended in 1784 by the reigning duke Charles
Theodore, and the act of suspension was renewed in 1799 and 1804 by Maximilian
Joseph, the King of Bavaria.
The Order was subsequently
revived in 1812 and in 1817. The Grand Lodge of Bayreuth was constituted in
1811 under the appellation of the Grossloge zur Sonne. In 1868 a Masonic
conference took place of the Lodges under its jurisdiction, and a constitution
was adopted, which guarantees to every confederated Lodge perfect freedom of
ritual and government, provided the Grand Lodge finds these to be Masonic.
An evergreen plant, and a
symbol in Freemasonry of the immortal nature of Truth. By the bay-tree thus
referred to in the old instructions of the Knight of the Red Cross, is meant
the laurel, which, as an evergreen, was among the ancients a symbol of
immortality. It is, therefore, properly compared with Truth, which Josephus
makes Zerubbabel say is "immortal and eternal. "
BAZOT, ETIENNE FRANÇOIS
A French Masonic writer, born
at Nievre, March 31, 1782. He published at Paris a Vocabulaire des Francs-Maçons
in 1810. This Freemasons' Dictionary was translated into Italian. In 1811 he
published a Manuel du Franc-maçon, or Freemason's Manual, one of the most
judicious works of the kind published in France.
He was also the author of
Morale de la Franc-maçonnerie, or Masonic Ethics, and the Tuileur Expert des
33 degrés, or Tiling for Thirty-three Degrees, which is a complement to his
Manuel. Bazot was distinguished for other literary writings on subjects of
general literature, such as two volumes of Tales and Poems, A Eulogy on the
Abbé de l'Epée, and as the editor of the Biographic Nouvelle des
Contemporaries, in twenty volumes.
B. D. S. P. H. G. F.
In the French instructions of
the Knights of the East and West, these letters are the initials of Beauté,
Divinité, Sagesse, Puissance, Honneur, Gloire, Force, which correspond to the
letters of the English monitors B. D. W.P.H.G.S., which are the initials of
equivalent words, Beauty, Divinity, Wisdom, Power, Honor, Glory, Strength.
An officer in a Council of
Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, corresponding to the Junior Deacon of a
Symbolic Lodge. The Beadle is one, say‚ Junius, who proclaims and executes the
will of superior powers. The word is similar to the old French bedel, the
Latin bedellus, and is perhaps a corrupted form of the Anglo-Saxon bydel, all
of which have the meaning of messenger.
One of those fortunate female‚
who are said to have obtained possession of the Freemasons' secrets. The
following account of her is given in A General History of the County of
Norfolk, published in 1829 (see volume ii, page 1304):
"Died in St. John's,
Maddermarket, Norwich, July, 1802, aged 85, Mrs. Beaton, a native of Wales.
She was commonly called the Freemason, from the circumstance of her having
contrived to conceal herself one evening, in the wainscoting of a Lodge-room
where she learned the secret-at the knowledge of which thousands of her sex
have in vain attempted to arrive. She was, in many respects, a very singular
character, of which one proof adduced is that the secret of the Freemasons
died with her."
There is no official
confirmation of this story.
From Beauseant, and fero
meaning to carry. The officer among the old Knight Templar whose duty it was
to carry the Beausean in battle. The office is still retained in some of the
high Degrees which are founded on Templarism.
The Chevalier Beauchaine was
one of the most fanatical of the irremovable Masters of the Ancient Grand
Lodge of France. He has established his Lodge at the Golden Sun, an inn in the
Rue St. Victor, Paris, where he slept, and for six francs conferred all the
Degrees of Freemasonry. On August 17, 1747, he organized the Order of Fendeurs
or Woodcutters, at Paris.
The vexillum belli, or
war-banner of the ancient Templars, which is also used by the modem Masonic
Order. The upper half of the banner was black, and the lower half white:
black, to typify terror to foes, and white, fairness to friends. It bore the
pious inscription, Non nobis, Domine, non nobis sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
This is the beginning of the first verse of Psalm cxv, "Not unto us, O Lord,
not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory."
The Beauseant is frequently,
says Barrington in his Introduction to Heraldry (page 121), introduced among
the decorations in the Temple Church, and on one of the paintings on the wall,
Henry I is represented with this banner in his hand.
As to the derivation of the
word, there is some doubt among writers. Bauseant or bausant was, in old
French, a piebald or party-colored horse; and the word bawseant is used in the
Scottish dialect with similar reference to two colors. Thus, Burns says:
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt
where Doctor Currie, in his
Glossary of Burns, explans bawsent as meaning "having a white stripe down the
face." It is also supposed by some that the word bauseant may be only a form,
in the older language, of the modern French word bienséant, which signifies
something decorous or becoming; but the former derivation is preferable, in
which bealmeant would signify simply a party-colored banner.
With regard to the double
signification of the white and black banner, the Orientalists have a legend of
Alexander the Great, which may be appropriately quoted on the present
occasion, as given by Weil in his Biblical Legends ( page 70).
"Alexander was the lord of
light and darkness, when he went out with his army the light was before him,
and behind him was the darkness, so that he was secure against all ambuscades;
and by means of a miraculous white and black standard he had also the power to
transform the clearest day into midnight and darkness, or black night into
noonday, just as he unfurled the one or the other. Thus he was unconquerable,
since he rendered his troops invisible at his pleasure, and came down suddenly
upon his foes. Might there not have been some connection between the mythical
white and black standard of Alexander and the Beauseant of the Templars? We
know that the latter were familiar with Oriental symbolism.''
Beauseant was also the war-cry
of the ancient Templars and is pronounced bo-say-ong.
Said to be symbolically one of
the three supports of a Lodge. It is represented by the Corinthian column,
because the Corinthian is the most beautiful of the ancient orders of
architecture; and by the Junior Warden, because he symbolizes the meridian
sun-the most beautiful object in the heavens. Hiram Abif is also said to be
represented by the Column of Beauty, because the Temple was indebted to his
skill for its splendid decorations. The idea of Beauty as one of the supports
of the Lodge is found in the earliest rituals of the eighteenth century, as
well as the symbolism which refers it to the Corinthian column and the Junior
Warden. Preston first introduced the reference to the Corinthian column and to
Beauty, in the Hebrew, n~x~n,
pronounced tif-eh-reth, was the sixth of the Cabalistic Sephiroth, and, with
Justice and Mercy, formed the second Sephirotic triad; and from the Cabalists
the Freemasons most probably derived the symbol (see Supports of the Lodge).
BEAUTY AND BANDS
The names of the two rods
spoken of by the prophet Zechariah ( xi, 7, 10, 14), as symbolic of his
pastoral office. This expression was in use in portions of the old Masonic
ritual in England; but in the system of Doctor Hemming, which was adopted at
the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1813, this symbol, with all reference to
it, was ex-punged. As Doctor Oliver says in his Dictionary of symbolic
Masonry, "it is nearly forgotten, except by a few old Masons, who may perhaps
recollect the illustration as an incidental subject of remark among the
Fraternity of that period."
BECKER, RUDOLPH ZACHARIAS
A very zealous Freemason of
Gotha, who published, in 1786, a historical essay on the Bavarian Illuminati,
under the title of Grundsatze Verfassung und Schicksale in Illulninatens Order
in Baiern. He was a very popular writer on educational subjects; his
Instructive Tales of Joy and Sorrow was so highly esteemed, that a half
million copies were printed in German and other languages. He died in 1802.
BEDARRIDE, THE BROTHERS
Mackey was convinced that the
Brothers Marc, Michel, and Joseph Bédarride were Masonic charlatans, notorious
for their propagation of the Rite of Mizraim, having established in 1813, at
Paris, under the partly real and partly pretended authority of Lechangeur, the
inventor of the Rite, a Supreme Puissance for France, and organized a large
number of Lodges.
In this opinion Brother Mackey
is supported by Clavel who says the founders, including Marc Bédarride, were
not of high character. This is repeated by Brother Woodford in the Cyclopedia
of Freemasonry. But Brother Mackenzie, Royal Masonic Cyclopedia, says the
evidence is insufficient to prove them charlatans. He further asserts:
"There is nothing to
distinguish in point of verity between the founder or introducer of one rite
above another. It must depend upon the coherence and intellectual value of the
rite, which becomes quite superfluous where there is no substantial advantage
gained for the true archeological and scientific value of Freemasonry, under
whatever name the rite may be formulated. It is in this sense that the
authorities of the Grand Lodge of England--ever the honorable custodians of
Freemasonry-have most properly resisted innovations. But there are several
quasi-Masonic bodies in this country, England, let in as it were by a side
door. Hence the brethren Bédarride had as much right to carry their false ware
to market as these."
Of these three brothers,
Bédarride, who were Jews, Michel, who assailed the most prominent position in
the numerous controversies which arose in French Freemasonry on account of
their Rite, died February 16, 1856. Marc died ten years before, in April,
Of Joseph, who was never very
prominent, we have no record as to the time of his death (see Mizraim Rite
The bee was among the
Egyptians the symbol of an obedient people, because, says Horapollo, "of all
insects, the bee alone had a king. " Hence looking at the regulated labor of
these insects when congregated in their hive, it is not surprising that a
beehive should have been deemed an appropriate emblem of systematized
industry. Freemasonry has therefore adopted the beehive as a symbol of
industry, a virtue taught in the instructions, which says that a Master Mason
"works that he may receive wages, the better to support himself and family,
and contribute to the relief of a worthy, distressed brother, his widow and
orphans" ; and in the Old Charges, which tell us that "all Masons shall work
honestly on working days, that they may live creditably on holidays."
There seems, however, to be a
more recondite meaning connected with this symbol. The ark has already been
shown to have been an emblem common to Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries,
as a symbol of regeneration--of the second birth from death to life. Now, in
the Mysteries, a hive was the type of the ark. "Hence," says Faber (Origin of
Pagan Idolatry, volume ii, page 133), "both the diluvian priestesses and the
regenerated souls were called bees; hence, bees were feigned to be produced
from the carcass of a cow, which also symbolized the ark; and hence, as the
great father was esteemed an infernal god, honey was much used both in funeral
rites and in the Mysteries." This extract is from the article on the bee in
Evans' Animl Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture.
The' subject of a Freemason's
behavior is one that occupies much attention in both the ritualistic and the
monitorial instructions of the Order. In the Charges of a Freemason, extracted
from the ancient records, and first published in the Constitutions of 1723,
the sixth article is exclusively appropriated to the subject of Behavior. It
is divided into six sections, as follows:
Behavior in the Lodge while
Behavior after the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone.
Behavior when Brethren meet without strangers, but not in a Lodge formed.
Behavior in presence of strangers not Freemasons.
Behavior at home and in your neighborhood.
Behavior toward a strange brother.
The whole article constitutes
a code of moral ethics remarkable for the purity of the principles it
inculcates, and is well worthy of the close attention of every Freemason.
It is a complete refutation of
the slanders of anti-Masonic revilers. As these charges are to be found in all
the editions of the Book of Constitutions, and in many Masonic works, they are
readily accessible to everyone who desires to read them.
BEHOLD YOUR MASTER
When, in the instal1ation
services, the formula is used, "Brethren, behold your Master," the expression
is not simply exclamatory, but is intends as the original use of the word
behold implies, to invite the members of the Lodge to fix their attention upon
the new relations which have sprung up between them and him who has just been
elevated to the Oriental Chair, and to impress upon their minds the duties
which they owe to him and which he owes to them. In like manner, when the
formula is continued, "Master, behold your brethren, " the Master's attention
is impressively directed to the same change of re1ations and duties.
These are not mere idle words,
but convey an important lesson, and should never be omitted in the ceremony of
spelled Bel, is usually
pronounced bell but both Strong in his Hebrew Dictionary, and Feyerabend in
his, prefer to say bale. The word is probably the contracted form of v,
commonly pronounced bay-ahl and spelled Baal, and he was worshiped by the
Babylonians as their chief deity. The Greeks and Romans so considered the
meaning and translated the word by Zeus and Jupiter.
Bel was one of the chief gods
of the Babylonians perhaps their supreme deity, and the word has been deemed a
Chaldaic form of Baal. Note Isaiah, xlvi, 1, "Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth,
their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle. " Baal signifies Lord
or Master and occurs several times in the Bible as a part of the names of
various gods. Alone, the word applies to the sun-god, the supreme male deity
of the Syro-Phoenician nations.
For an account of his worship
read First Kings xviii.
With Jah and On, it has been
introduced into the Royal Arch system as a representative of the
Tetragrammaton, which it and the accompanying words have sometimes ignorantly
been made to displace. At the session of the General Grand Chapter of the
United States, in 1871, this error was corrected; and while the Tetragrammaton
was declared to be the true omnific word, the other three were permitted to be
retained as merely explanatory.
American Colonist, born
January 8, 1681; graduated from Harvard University, 1699; died August 31,
1757. He was made a Freemason at London in 1704, according to a letter he
wrote to the First Lodge in Boston on September 25, 1741, and therefore
Brother M. M. Johnson names him the Senior Freemason of America.
Brother Belcher served as
Colonial Governor of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey (see New Age,
August,1925; Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Melvin M. Johnson, 1924,
page 49 ; History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang, page 6
; Builder, volume x, page 312).
Belenus, the Baal of the
Scripture, was identified with Mithras and with Apollo, the god of the sun. A
forest in the neighborhood of Lausanne is still known as Sauvebelin, or the
retreat or abiding place of Belenus, and traces of this name are to be found
in many parts of England. The custom of kindling fires about midnight on the
eve of the festival of St. John the Baptist, at the moment of the summer
solstice, which was considered by the ancients a season of rejoicing and of
divination, is a vestige of Druidism in honor of this deity.
It is a curious coincidence
that the numerical value of the letters of the word Belenus, like those of
Abrazas and Mithras, all representatives of the sun, amounts to 365, the exact
number of the days in a solar year. But before ascribing great importance to
this coincidence, it may be well to read what the mathematician Augustus De
Morgan has said upon the subject of such comparisons in his Budget of
Paraclozes (see Abrazas).
The Grand Orient of Belgium
has constituted three Lodges in this Colony-Ere Nouvelle, Daennen and Labor et
Libertas, the first two at Stanleyville and the third at Elizabethville.
L'Aurore de Congo Lodge at Brazzaville is controlled by the Grand Lodge of
Tradition states that the
Craft flourished in Belgium at Mons as early as 1721 but the first authentic
Lodge, Unity, existed at Brussels in 1757 and continued work until 1794. A
Provincial Grand Master Francis B.J. Dumont, the Marquis de Sages, was
appointed by the Moderns Grand Lodge in 1769. For some years, however,
opposition from the Emperor hiudered the expansion of the Craft.
0n January 1, 1814, there were
only 27 Lodges in existence in the country.
A Grand Lodge was established
by Dutch and Belgian Brethren on June 24, 1817, but it was not successful.
Belgium became independent in 1830 and a Grand Orient was formed on May 23,
1833, out of the old Grand Lodge. In 1914 it controlled 24 Lodges in Belgium
and one in the Belgian Congo.
King Leopold was himself
initiated in 1813 and, although he never took a very active part in the work
he always maintained a friendly attitude towards the Craft.
On March 1, 1817, a Supreme
Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was established.
The fundamental law of
Freemasonry contained in the first of the Old Charges collected in 1723, and
inserted in the Book of Constitutions published in that year, sets forth the
true doctrine as to what the Institution demands of a Freemason in reference
to his religious belief:
"A Mason is obliged, by his
tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will
never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine.
But though in ancient times
Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or
nation, whatever it was, yet it is now thought more expedient only to oblige
them to that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular
opinions to themselves."
Anderson, in his second
edition, altered this article, calling a Freemason a true Noachida, and saying
that Freemasons "all agree in the three great articles of Noah," which is
incorrect, since the Precepts of Noah were seven (see Religion of
See British Honduras
The use of a bell in the
ceremonies of the Third Degree, to denote the hour, is, manifestly, an
anachronism, an error in date, for bells were not invented until the fifth
century. But Freemasons are not the only people who have imagined the
existence of bells at the building of the Temple. Henry Stephen tells us in
the Apologie pour Herodote ( chapter 39 ), of a monk who boasted that when he
was at Jerusalem he obtained a vial which contained some of the sounds of King
Solomon's bells. The blunders of a ritualist and the pious fraud of a
relic-monger have equal claims to authenticity.
The Masonic anachronism,
however, is not worth consideration, because it is simply intended for a
notation of time--a method of expressing intelligibly the hour at which a
supposed event occurred.
Brother Mackey, in writing the
foregoing paragraph, had no doubt in mind the kind of bells used in churches
of which an early, if indeed not the earliest, application is usually credited
to Bishop Paulinus about 400 A.D.
However, in the Quarterly
Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1904, there is a report of the
discovery at Gezer of a number of small bronze bells, both of the ordinary
shape with clapper and also of the ball-and-slit form. If these bells are of
the same date as the city on whose site they were found, then they may have
like antiquity of say up to 3000 B.C. Bells are mentioned in the Bible (as in
Exodus xxviii 34, and xxxix, 26, and in Zechariah xiv, 20), but the
presumption is that these were mainly symbolical or decorative in purpose.
A significant word in Symbolic
Freemasonry, obsolete in many of the modem systems, whose derivation is
uncertain (see Macbenac).
The name of a cavern to which
certain assassins fled for concealment. The expression may be fanciful but in
wund has a curious resemblance to a couple of Hebrew words meaning builder and
A significant word in the
advanced degrees. One of the Princes or Intendants of Solomon, in whose quarry
some of the traitors spoken of in the Third Degree were found. He is mentioned
in the catalogue of Solomon's princes, given in First Kings (iv, 9). The
Hebrew word is, pronounced ben-day-ker, the son of him who divides or pierces.
In some old instructions we find a corrupt form, Bendaa.
A Roman pontiff whose family
name was Prosper Lambertini. He was born at Bologna in 1675, succeeded Clement
XII as Pope in 1740, and died in 1758. He was distinguished for his learning
and was a great encourager of the arts and sciences.
He was, however, an implacable
enemy of secret societies, and issued, on the 18th of May, 1751, his
celebrated Bull, renewing and perpetuating that of his predecessor which
excommunicated the Freemasons (see Bull).
The solemn invocation of a
blessing in the ceremony of closing a Lodge is called the benediction. The
usual formula is as follows:
"May the blessing of Heaven
rest upon us, and all regular Masons ; may brotherly love prevail, and every
moral and social virtue cement us. "
The response is, "So mote it
be. Amen," which should always be audibly pronounced by all the Brethren.
One who receives the support
or charitable donations of a Lodge. Those who are entitled to these benefits
are affiliated Freemasons, their wives or widows, their widowed mothers, and
their minor sons and unmarried daughters. Unaffiliated Freemasons cannot
become the beneficiaries of a Lodge, but affiliated Freemasons cannot be
deprived of its benefits on account of non-payment of dues.
Indeed, as this non-payment
often arises from poverty, it thus furnes a stronger claim for fraternal
BENEFIT SOCIETY, MASONIC
In 1798, a society was
established in London, under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, the Earl of
Moira, and all the other acting officers of the Grand Lodge, whose object was
"the relief of sick, aged, and imprisoned Brethren, and for the protection of
their widows, children, and orphans."
The payment of one guinea per
annula entitled every member, when sick or destitute, or his widow and orphans
in case of his death, to a fixed contribution- After a few years, however, the
Society came to an end as it was considered improper to turn Freemasonry into
a Benefit Club. Benefit funds of this kind have been generally unknown to the
Freemasons of America, although some Lodges have established a fund for the
The Lodge of Strict Observance
in the City of New York, and others in Troy, Ballston, Schenectady, etc.,
years ago, adopted a system of benefit funds.
In 1844, several members of
the Lodges in Louisville, Kentucky, organized a society under the title of the
Friendly Sons of St. John. It was constructed after the model of the English
society already mentioned. No member was received after forty-five years of
age, or who was not a contributing member of a Lodge ; the per diem allowance
to sick members was seventy-five cents; fifty dollars were appropriated to pay
the funeral expenses of a deceased member, and twenty-five for those of a
member's wife ; on the death of a member a gratuity was given to his family ;
ten per cent of all fees and dues was appropriated to an orphan fund; and it
was contemplated, if the funds would justify, to pension the widows of
deceased members, if their circumstances required it.
Similar organizations are Low
Twelve Clubs which have been formed in Lodges and other Masonic bodies and
these are usually voluntary, a group of the brethren paying a stipulated sum
into a common fund by regular subscriptions or by assessment whenever a member
dies; a contribution from this fund being paid to the surviving relatives on
the death of any brother affiliated in the undertaking.
But the establishment in
Lodges of such benefit funds is by some Brethren held to be in opposition to
the pure system of Masonic charity, and they have, therefore, been discouraged
by several Grand Lodges, though several have existed in Scotland and
Cogan, in his work On the
Passions, thus defines Benevolence : ''When our love or desire of good goes
forth to others, it is termed goodwill or benevolence.
Benevolence embraces all
beings capable of enjoying any portion of good; and thus it becomes universal
benevolence, which manifests itself by being pleased with the share of good
every creature enjoys in a disposition to increase it, in feeling an
uneasiness at their sufferings, and in the abhorrence of cruelty under every
disguise or pretext."
This spirit should pervade the
hearts of all Freemasons, who are taught to look upon mankind as formed by the
Great Architect of the Universe for the mutual assistance, instruction, and
support of each other.
BENEVOLENCE, FUND OF
This Fund was established in
1727 by the Grand Lodge of England under the management of a Committee of
seven members, to whom twelve more were added in 1730.
It was originally supported by
voluntary contributions from the various Lodges, and intended for the relief
of distressed Brethren recommended by the contributing Lodges. The Committee
was called the Committee of Charity.
The Fund is now derived partly
from the fees of honor payable by Grand Officers, and the fees for
dispensations, and partly from an annual payment of four shillings from each
London Freemason and of two shillings from each country Freemason; it is
administered by the Board of Benevolence, which consists of all the present
and past Grand Officers, all actual Masters of Lodges and twelve Past Masters.
The Fund is solely devoted to
charity,, and large sums of money are every year voted and paid to
petitioners. In the United States of America there are several similar
organizations known as Boards of Relief (see Relief, Board of).
There have been several
institutions in the United States of an educational and benevolent character,
deriving their existence in whole or in part from Masonic beneficence, and
among these may be mentioned the following:
Girard College, Philadelphia,
Masonic Widows and Orphans Home, Louisville, Kentucky.
Oxford Orphan Asylum, Oxford, North Carolina.
Saint John's Masonic College, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Masonic Female College, Covington, Georgia.
Besides the Stephen Girard
Charity Fund, founded in Philadelphia, the capital investment of which is
562,000, the annual interest being devoted "to relieve all Master Masons in
good standing,'' there is a Charity Fund for the relief of the widows and
orphans of deceased Master Masons, and an incorporated Masonic Home. The
District of Columbia has an organized Masonic charity, entitled Saint John's
Mite Association. Idaho has an Orphan Fund, to which every Master Mason pays
annually one dollar.
Indiana has organized the
Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home Society. Maine has done likewise; and
Nebraska has an Orphans' School Fund (see Charity).
Found in some old rituals of the high degrees for Bendekar, as the name of an
Intendant of Solomon. It is Bengeber in the catalogue of Solomon's officers
(First Kings iv, 13), meaning the son of Geber, or the son of the strong man.
In 1728 a Deputation was
granted by Lord Kingston, Grand Master of England, to Brother George Pomfret
to constitute a Lodge at Bengal in East India, that had been requested by some
Brethren residing there ; and in the following year a Deputation was granted
to Captain Ralph Far Winter, to be Provincial Grand Master of East India at
Bengal (see Constitutions, 1738, page 194) ; and in 1730 a Lodge was
established at the "East India Arms, Fort William, Calcutta, Bengal,'' and
numbered 72. There is a District Grand Lodge of Bengal with 74 subordinate
Lodges, and also a District Grand Chapter with 21 subordinate Chapters.
The Bible is properly called a
greater light of Freemasonry, for from the center of the Lodge it pours forth
upon the East, the West, and the South its refulgent rays of Divine truth. The
Bible is used among Freemasons as a symbol of the will of God, however it may
Therefore, whatever to any
people expresses that will may be used as a substitute for the Bible in a
Masonic Lodge. Thus, in a Lodge consisting entirely of Jews, the Old Testament
alone may be placed upon the altar, and Turkish Freemasons make use of the
Koran. Whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the
Israelite, the Koran to the Mussulman, or the Vedas to the Brahman, it
everywhere Masonically conveys the same idea-that of the symbolism of the
Divine Will revealed to man.
The history of the Masonic
symbolism of the Bible is interesting. It is referred to in the manuscripts
before the revival as the book upon which the covenant was taken, but it was
never referred to as a great light. In the old ritual, of which a copy from
the Royal Library of Berlin is given by Krause (Die drei ältersten
Kunsturkunden der Freimaurerbrüderschaft, or The Three Oldest Art Documents of
the Masonic Fraternity, 1, 32), there is no mention of the Bible as one of the
lights. Preston made it a part of the furniture of the Lodge; but in monitors
of about 1760 it is described as one of the three great lights. In the
American system, the Bible is both a piece of furniture and a great light.
The above paragraphs by Doctor
Mackey may well be extended on account of the peculiar position occupied by
the Bible in our Fraternity. No one goes through the ceremonies and
participates in Masonic activities uninfluenced by the Bible.
Studies of the Ritual
necessarily rest upon the Scriptures and of those inspired by Bible teachings
and language. One good Brother earnestly and faithfully labored to have
certain ceremonies freely edited but when he, devout Churchman as he was,
understood that sundry peculiarities of language followed the example of the
Bible, he gladly gave up his purpose to alter that which abides equally
typical of age as the Scriptures.
What had seemed to him mere
repetition was meant for weighty emphasis, as in James (x, 27) "Pure religion
and undefiled;" Hebrews (xii, 28) "with reverence and godly fear;" Colossians
(iv, 12) "stand perfect and complete," and also in the Book of Common Prayer,
the word-pairs "dissemble nor cloak," "perils and dangers," "acknowledge and
confess," and so on.
These may well be mentioned here as the tendency to change ceremonies is
seldom curbed by any consideration of the peculiar merit, other than their
quaintness, of the old expressions.
The Scriptures, the Holy
Writings, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Old and New Testaments, the Holy
Bible, this word Bible from the Greek, the (sacred) books; the two parts, Old
and New Testaments, the former recording the Covenants, attested by the
prophets, between the God of Israel and His people, Christ the central figure
of the latter work speaks of the new Dispensation, a new Covenant, and the
word Covenant in the Latin became Testamentum from which we obtain the word
commonly used for the two divisions of the Bible, the Old and New Testaments.
These divisions are further separated into the books of the Bible, sixty-six
in all, thirty-nine in the Old Testament, twenty-seven in the New.
We must remember that Old and
New refer to Covenants, not to age of manuscripts.
Earliest Hebrew writings of,
the Old Testament only date back to the ninth century after Christ, several
centuries later than the earliest New Testament Scriptures.
There is also another method
of division in which the books of the Old Testament are counted but as
twenty-four, First and Second Kings, First and Second Samuel, First and Second
Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and then the minor prophets, as they are called,
being grouped as one for several hundred years by the Jews and then divided
into two in the sixteenth century. Roughly we may divide the books into the
law according to Moses; the historical books of Joshua, Samuel, and the
anonymous historians; the poetry and philosophy; and the prophecies, of the
These standards the books
contain are known as the canon, originally a measuring rod or rule. The canon
to some authorities admits none of the books of the Apocrypha, which are of
value for the insight they afford of Jewish religious life. There are the
Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, and the Latin Old Testament, the Vulgate
(Septuagint, a translation traditionally made by seventy persons, from the
Latin septuaginta; and the Vulgate, another Latin expression, applied to the
Saint Jerome version and meaning what is common) which in these works include
the Apocrypha, usually held uncanonical by Protestants, and then there are
certain other books that both Roman Catholics and Protestants consider as
having even less authority. Apocrypha comes from two Greek works krypton, to
hide, and apo, meaning away. There is also an Apocrypha of the New Testament.
Many Christian writings are of this class. Some add much light upon the early
The New Testament was written
at various times, Saint Matthew being followed about 64-70 A.D, by the work of
Saint Mark at Rome. Saint Luke treats the subject historically, and claim is
made that this writer was also responsible for recording the Acts of the
Apostles. Saint John probably wrote his gospel near the close of the first
century. His style is distinctive, and his material favored in formulating the
The early Hebrew text of the
Bible was wholly of consonants. Not until the sixth or eighth centuries did
the pointed and accented lettering, a vowel system, appear, but before the
tenth century much devoted labor was applied upon critical commentaries by
Jewish writers to preserve the text from corruption. The Targum is practically
a purely Jewish version of the Old Testament dating from soon before the
Christian Era. The Septuagint is a Greek version used by the Jews of
Alexandria and a Latin translation of the sixth century by' Jerome is the
Vulgate. These three are leading versions.
The history of the several
translations is most interesting but deserves more detail than is possible in
our limited space. A few comments on various noteworthy editions, arranged
alphabetically, are as follows:
Coverdale's Version. Known as
the "Great Bible," translated by Miles Coverdale, 1488-1568, a York- shireman,
educated with the Augustine friars at Cambridge, ordained at Norwich, 1514,
becoming a monk.
By 1526 his opinions changed,
he left his monastery, preached against confession, and against images in
churches as idolatry. He was on the Continent in 1532 and probably assisted
Tyndale in his task. His own work, the first complete Bible in English,
appeared in 1535, the Psalms are those still used in the Book of Common
Prayer. He was at Paris in 1538 printing an edition, when many copies were
seized by the Inquisition, but a few got to England where the Great Bible was
published in 1539.
Coverdale was Bishop of Exeter
in 1551. An exile later, he had part in the Geneva edition, 1557-60.
Douai Version. Sometimes it is
spelled Douay. A town in northern France, formerly an important center for
exiled Roman Catholics from England.
Here the Douai Bible in
English was published anonymously, translated from the Vulgate and doubtless
by refugees at the Seminary at Douai and the English College at Rheims, the
New Testament first appearing in 1582, the Old Testament in 1609--10.
Sanctioned by the Roman
Catholic Church the text has undergone several revisions, notably in 1749--50.
Genevan Bible. Called also the
Breeches Bible from its translation of Genesis iii, 7 "They sewed fig leaves
together and made themselves breeches."
Printed in a plainly readable
type, this 1560 edition improved the former black-letter printing and was a
complete revision of Coverdale's "Great Bible" in a bandy form.
Following the plan of a New
Testament issued at Geneva in 1557, a Greek-Latin one in 1551, and the Hebrew
Old Testament, this Bible had the text separated into verses and there were
also marginal notes that proved popular.
King James Version. Known also
as the Authorized Version, a task begun in 1604, the work was published in
1611, the actual revision requiring two years and nine months with another
nine months preparing for the printing. Doctor Miles Smith, Bishop of
Gloucester, 1612, tells in the old preface of the style and spirit of his
They went to originals rather
than commentaries, they were diligent but not hasty, they labored to improve
and (modernizing the good Bishop's spelling) "lid not disdain to revise that
which we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that which we had hammered,
but having and using as great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach
for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we have at the length,
through the good hand of the Lord upon us, brought the work to that pass that
Mazarin Bible. Notable as the
first book printed from movable metal types, about 1450, probably by Gutenberg
in Germany, but this is also credited to other printers, as Peter Schoffer.
The name of this Latin reprint of the Vulgate is from that of Cardinal Mazarin,
1602-61, a Frenchman in whose library the first described copy was discovered.
Printers Bible. An early
edition having a curious misprint (Psalm cxix, 161), the "Princes have
persecuted me without a cause," reading the word Printers for Princes.
Revised Version. A committee
appointed in February, 1870, presented a report to the Convocation of
Canterbury, England, in May of that year, that it "should nominate a body of
its own members to undertake the work of revision, who shall be at liberty to
invite the co-operation of any eminent for scholarship, to whatever nation or
religious body they may belong."
Groups of scholars were formed
shortly afterwards and similar co-operating companies organized in the United
States, the Roman Catholic Church declining to take part. Ten years were spent
revising the New Testament, submitted to the Convocation in 1881, the Old
Testament revision in 1884, the revised Apocrypha in 1895. After this
conscientious labor had calm, not to say cool, reception, changes were made in
favorite texts, alterations upset theories, for some, the revision was too
radical and for others too timid, even the familiar swing and sound of the old
substantial sentences had less strength in their appeal to the ear and to many
the whole effect was weakened. Yet this would naturally be the result of any
painstaking revision, especially so with a work of such intimacy and
Later revisions have appeared.
One from the University of Chicago is a skillful edition of the New Testament
by Professor E. J. Goodspeed, whose attempt to reproduce the spirit today of
the conversational style of the old originals is praiseworthy as a purpose,
though we shall probably all continue to prefer that best known.
Tyndale's Version.. William
Tyndale, 1490-1536, was born in Gloucestershire, England, on the Welsh border,
went to the Continent, first to Hamburg, then to Cologne, to translate and
print the Bible. This publication forbidden, he and his secretary escaped to
Worms where an edition of the New Testament was completed in 1526. His
pamphlets indicting the Roman Church and the divorce of the English king,
Henry VIII, were attacks without gloves and powerful influence was exerted in
return. His surrender was demanded.
But not until 535 was he
seized, imprisoned near Brussels, tried for heresy and on October 6, 1536,
strangled to death and his body burnt. His translations are powerful and
scholarly, his literary touch certain and apt, experts crediting him with
laying the sure foundation of the King James Version of the Bible.
Vinegar Bible. A slip of some
one in an edition of 1717 gave the heading to the Gospel of Saint Luke xx, as
the "Parable of the Vinegar," instead of Vineyard.
Wicked Bible. An old
edition,1632, which omits by some accident the word not from the seventh
commandment (Exodus 14).
Wyclifle's Version. Spelled in
many ways, John of that name, 1320--84, an English reformer, condemned to
imprisonment through the Bulls of Pope Gregory XI, the death of the king and
other interferences gave him some relief, but his attacks did not cease and
his career was stormy. Dying in church from a paralytic stroke, his remains,
thirty years later were, by a Decree of the Council of Constance and at the
order of Pope Martin V, dug from the grave and destroyed by fire. Wycliffe's
personal work on the translation of the. Bible is in doubt, be it much or
little, though there is no question that his main contribution was his earnest
claims for its supreme spiritual authority and his success in making it
popular, his devotion and ability paving the way and setting the pace for the
pioneer English editions known by his name, the earliest finished about 1382,
a revision of it appearing some six years later.
The reader desirous of
studying the Bible will get great help in locating passages by any
Concordance, listing the words with their text references, Cruden's of 1737
being the basis of English editions. A Bible Dictionary and the Encyclopedias
assist in unearthing many details of consequence. Several special treatises on
various important persons and places are available, the scientific
publications of the Palestine Exploration Fund, established in 1865, very
useful. The study of the life of Christ is readily pursued through the New
Testament with what is called a Harmony of the Gospels, an arrangement to
bring corresponding passages together from the several documents, a convenient
exhibition in unity of the isolated but closely related facts. Books on the
Book of all Books are many.
Reason and Belief, a work by a
well known scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge, is not only itself worthy but it lists
others of importance for study. Appeal of the Bible Today, Thistleton Mark,
shows how the Bible interprets itself and how it bears interpretation, a book
listing freely many other authorities and itself also of great individual
These are typical of many
Of the literary values, two
books in particular show clearly the influence of the Scriptures upon
pre-eminent writers, George Allen's Bible References of John Ruskin, and The
Bible in Shakespeare by William Burgess, the latter treating a field which
many authors, Eaton, Walter, Ellis, Moulton, and others, have tilled. Listen
to John Ruskin (Our Fathers have told us, chapter iii, section 37) on the
Bible. It contains plain teaching for men of every rank of soul and state in
life, which so far as they honestly and implicitly obey, they Will be happy
and innocent to the utmost powers of their nature, and capable of victory over
all adversities, whether of temptation or pain.
Indeed, the Psalter alone,
which practically was the service book of the Church for many ages, contains
merely in the first half of it the sum of personal and social Wisdom.
The 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th,
19th, 23rd, and 24th psalms, well learned and believed, are enough for all
personal guidance; the 48th, 72nd, and 75th, have in them the law and the
prophecy of all righteous government ; and every real triumph of natural
science is anticipated in the 104th.
For the contents of the entire
volume, consider what other group of history and didactic literature has a
range comparable with it. There are:
I. The stories of the Fall and
of the Flood, the grandest human traditions founded on a true horror of sin.
II. The story of the Patriarchs, of which the effective truth is visible to
this day in the polity of the Jewish and Arab races.
III. The story of Moses, with the results of that tradition in the moral law
of all the civilized world.
IV. The story of the Kings-virtually that of all Kinghood, in David, and of
all Philosophy, in Solomon: culminating in the Psalms and Proverbs, with the
still more close and practical Wisdom of Ecclesiastics and the Son of Sirach.
V. The story of the Prophets-virtually that of the deepest mystery, tragedy,
and permanent fate, of national existence.
VI. The story of Christ.
VII. The moral law of Saint John, and his closing Apocalypse of its fulfilment.
Think, if you can match that
table of contents in any other-I do not say 'book' but 'literature.'
Think, no far as it is
possible for any of us---either adversary or defender of the faith-to
extricate his intelligence from the habit and the association of moral
sentiment based upon the Bible, what literature could have taken its place, or
fulfilled its function, though every library in the world had remained,
unravaged, and every teacher's truest words had been written down.
As to Shakespeare we are
reminded by the mention of his name of the monitorial item on the wasting of
man (from Henry viii, iii, 2), "Today he puts forth the tender leaves,
tomorrow blossoms, and bears his blushing honors thick upon him," and so on, a
selection seldom adhering closely to the original words.
This is the Shakespeare in
whose works we have so much biblical connection that Sprague, in his Notes on
the Merchant of Venice, says "Shakespeare is so familiar with the Bible that
we who know less of the Sacred Book are sometimes slow. to catch his
allusions." Green's History of the English People tells graphically and
convincingly of the power of the Bible at the Reformation when the translation
and reading of it in the common tongue was no longer heresy and a crime
punishable by fire, no more forbidden but almost the only, book in common
Had Shakespeare any' book at
all, that book was the Bible.
Brother Robert Burns ( The
Cotter's Saturday Night) poetically describes the evening worship, and the
reading of the Bible,
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or, Moses bade autumnal warfare wage
With Malek's ungracious progeny ;
Or, how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire ;
Or Jacob's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Or other sacred seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume
is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He, who bore in Heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head:
How His first followers and servants sped ;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land :
How he, who lone in Pathos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, ,
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced by
The Standard Masonic Monitor
of Brother George E. Simons, New York (page 21), offers an admirable address
upon the Bible that for many years has been used by Brethren in various parts
of the United States and elsewhere.
The Standard Monitor prepared
by Brother Henry Pirtle, Louisville, Kentucky, 1921 (page 15), submits another
address equally, to be used with pleasure and profit. The growing custom of
presenting a suitably inscribed Bible from the Lodge to the initiate offers
further opportunity to the Brethren to enlarge upon this important theme.
A brief address is here given
upon the Bible as a Book peculiarly the cherished chart of the Freemason in
struggling through the storms of life to the harbor of peace:
The Rule and Guide of Masonic
Faith is the Holy Bible. From cradle unto grave we cling to books, the
permanent of friends, the sources of knowledge and inspiration.
Books are the lasting memories
of mankind. Youth relief upon the printed page for records of science, reports
of philosophy, foundations of history, words of inspiring wisdom. Knowledge of
the best books and a wise use of them is superior scholarship, highest
education. in age as in youth we turn the leaves of literature for renewed
acquaintance with the gracious pact and better hold upon the living present.
Of all the books is the one of leadership, the Book Supreme blazing the way
with Light of noblest excellence to man, the Bible.
Within these covers are laid
down the moral principles for the up building of a righteous life. Freemasonry
lays upon the Altar of Faith this Book. Around that Altar we stand a united
Brotherhood. There we neither indulge sectarian discussion nor the choice of
any Church. We say the Freemason shall have Faith but our God is everywhere
and we teach that it is the prayer that counts, not the place of praying. For
centuries the Bible has shone the beacon light of promised immortality, the
hope serene of union eternal with the beloved who go before.
Here is the message for Masonic comfort when all else fails, the rays of truth
glorifying God, enlightening Man.
Dr. George W. Gilmore, Editor
of the Homiletic Review, and Chaplain of Anglo-Saxon Lodge, No. 137, New York
City, prepared for us the following address for use in presenting a Bible to
the newly raised Freemason: My Brother: Already this evening your earnest
attention has been called to the three Great Lights in Masonry, especially to
the Holy Bible. its importance to the whole Masonic structure has been
emphasized. As you observe it now on the sacred Altar of the Brotherhood, its
position is emblematic of the significance already taught you. Just as it is
the basis on which the other two Great Lights rest, so its highest teachings
are the foundation on which Freemasonry is erected, and they have been
commended to you as the basis of your own faith and practice.
There is, however, a condition
in this recommendation implicit, in part, in the circumstances under which you
entered this lodge. Among the qualifications claimed for you as warranting
your admission to this place one was that you are " of lawful age."
This was not insignificant. it
meant that the Lodge was receiving you as one possessing mature judgment and
the ability of a man to follow his judgment with the appropriate will to
action. Freemasonry, my Brother, looks for no blind obedience to its commands.
lt expects that its adherents will focus upon its mandates their God-given
powers of intellect, and is confident that its precepts and its works will be
justified by a mature and considered estimate of their worth. Hence, in so
important a matter as that which concerns your own "faith and practice," you
are commanded to study this sacred book and "learn the way to everlasting
life," to read it intelligently and with as full appreciation of its origin
and growth as you may command.
You should realize, first, that this Book is not, speaking humanly, the
product of a single mind, the reflection of one generation. It is a double
collection of many tracts or treatises.
How many hands contributed to
the composition we do not now know and probably never shall.
Some of its parts are highly
complex, the product of whole schools of thought, ritual, and learning.
Its outstanding unity,
however, rests upon the sublime fact that the mind of the Great Architect of
the Universe has, in all ages and places, been in contact with the mind of His
sons, imparting to them as their capacities permitted, inspiring their
sublimest thoughts and guiding to their noblest action, and was in contact
with those who penned these books.
Second, this sacred volume
covers in the period when it was actually written possibly nearly or quite
thirteen hundred years-at least from the time of Moses to ths day, when 2
Peter was written.
And much earlier traditions, handed down by word of mouth (just as the
teachings of Freemasonry are transmitted), are embodied within its pages.
The Old Testament records the
history of a people from that people's unification out of clans and tribes to
its formation as a monarchy, its division, its subsequent decline and fall as
a kingdom, and its rebirth as a church state or theocracy. External history,
not recorded within the Bible, tells of the extinction of this church-state by
The history recorded in the
Old Testament relates not only to external events, but to the more important
matters of religion and ethics. It embraces not only the perfected thought of
1000 years of development, but also the crude morality of nomad tribes when
"an eye tor an eye" registered the current conception of justice.
It is a far cry from that
crude and cruel morality to the teaching of Micah: ''What doth Jehovah require
of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
And the advance proceeds as we reach the New Testament. There we find such a
consummate climax of religion and morality as is reached in the summary of the
commandments:" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God With all thy heart and With
all thy soul and With all thy mind and With all thy strength; and thy neighbor
as thyself," conjoined with such peaks of self-control as in the command: "
Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you,
pray for them that despitefully use you."
The Bible is not, then, one
dead level of ethics, religion, or culture. It is the register of a progress
from a primitive stage of morals to the highest yet known. Not the inferior
starting points of this morality are commended to you, but that level of
action which best befits a man who would act on the square in this age of
If, therefore, you find in the
record the sharp-practice of a Jacob or the polygamy of a Jacob or a Solomon,
it is not there as a pattern. for your own life and practice. It is, just a
record, faithful to fact and the witness to fidelity in recording.
You are not to reproduce in
this age the life and morals of 1200 B. C., or of an earlier age. You are to
exercise the judgment of one living in the light of the prophets, of Jesus
Christ, and of the great teachers and moralists who have followed them.
The highest pattern is yours
to follow, that, as the Supreme Teacher expressed it, "Ye may be sons of your
Father in heaven.'' This is the spirit and this the method in and by which you
are encouraged to approach this masterpiece of literature, ethics, and
religion, to draw from it the principles of the conduct you as a Macon shall
exhibit in the lodge and in the world.
My brother, it is the
beautiful practice of this lodge to present to each of the initiates a copy of
the Great Light. It is my present pleasing duty to make this presentation in
the name of the Worshipful Master and in behalf of the Lodge.
Receive, it, read it with
painstaking care, study it sympathetically, appropriate its most exalted
teachings, exemplify them in your life.
Therein is found " the way to
In Masonic processions the
oldest Master Mason present is generally selected to carry the open Bible,
Square, and Compasses on a cushion before the Chaplain.
This brother is called the
Bible-Bearer. The Grand Bible-Bearer is an officer of the Grand Lodge of
The Blazing Star, which is
not, however, to be confounded with the Five-Pointed Star, is one of the most
important symbols of Freemasonry, and makes its appearance in several of the
Degrees. Hutchinson says "It is the first and most exalted object that demands
our attention in the Lodge." It undoubtedly derives this importance, first,
from the repeated use that is made of it as a Masonic emblem; and secondly,
from its great antiquity as a symbol derived from older systems.
Extensive as has been the
application of this symbol in the Masonic ceremonies, it is not surprising
that there has been a great difference of opinion in relation to its true
But this difference of opinion
has been almost entirely confined to its use in the First Degree. In the
higher Degrees, where there has been less opportunity of innovation, the
uniformity of meaning attached to the Star has been carefully preserved.
In the Twenty-eighth Degree of
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the explanation given of the Blazing
Star, is, that it is symbolic of a the Freemason, who, by perfecting himself
in the way of truth, that is to say, by advancing in knowledge, becomes like a
blazing star, shining with brilliancy in the midst of darkness. The star is,
therefore, in this degree, a symbol of truth.
In the Fourth Degree of the
same Rite, the star is again said to be a symbol of the light of Divine
Providence pointing out the way of truth.
In the Ninth Degree this
symbol is called the star of direction; and while it primitively alludes to an
especia1 guidance given for a particular purpose expressed in the degree, it
still retains, in a remoter sense, its usual signification as an emblem of
Divine Providence guiding and directing the pilgrim in his journey through
When, however, we refer to
Ancient Craft Freemasonry, we shall find a considerable diversity in the
application of this symbol.
In the earliest monitors,
immediately after the revival of 1717, the Blazing Star is not mentioned, but
it was not long before it was introduced. In the instructions of 1735 it is
detailed as a part of the furniture of a Lodge, with the explanation that the
"Mosaic Pavement is the Ground Floor of the Lodge, the Blazing Star, the
Center, and the Indented Tarsal, the Border round about it!''
In a primitive Tracing Board
of the Entered Apprentice, copied by Oliver, in his Historical Landmark (I,
133), without other date than that it was published early in the last
century," the Blazing Star occupies a prominent position in the center of the
Tracing Board. Oliver says that it represented BEAUTY, and was called the
glory in the center.
In the lectures credited to
Dunckerley, and adopted by the Grand Lodge, the Blazing Star was mid to
represent "the star which led the wise men to Bethlehem, proclaiming to
mankind the nativity of the Son of God, and here conducting our spiritua1
progress to the Author of our redemption. "
In the Prestonian lecture, the
Blazing Star, with the Mosaic Pavement and the Tesselated Border, are called
the Ornaments of the Lodge, and the Blazing Star is thus explained:
"The Blazing Star, or glory in
the center, reminds us of that awful period when the Almighty delivered the
two tables of stone, containing the ten commandments, to His faithful servant
Moses on Mount Sinai, when the rays of His divine glory shone so bright that
none could behold it without fear and trembling. It also reminds us of the
omnipresence of the Almighty, overshadowing us with His divine love, and
dispensing His blessings amongst us; and by its being placed in the center, it
further reminds us, that wherever we may be assembled together, God is in the
midst of us, seeing our actions, and observing the secret intents and
movements of our hearts."
In the lectures taught by
Webb, and very generally adopted in the United States, the Blazing Star is
said to be "commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of
the East to the place of our Savior's nativity," and it is subsequently
explained as hieroglyphically representing Divine Providence.
But the commemorative allusion
to the Star of Bethlehem seeming to some to be objectionable, from its
peculiar application to the Christian religion, at the revision of the
lectures made in 1843 by the Baltimore Convention, this explanation was
omitted, and the allusion to Divine Providence alone retained.
In Hutchinson's system, the
Blazing Star is considered a symbol of Prudence. "It is placed," says he, "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 where self-approbation flows for ever; she leads us
forth to worthy actions, and, as a Blazing Star, enlighteneth us through the
dreary and darksome paths of this life'' (Spirit of Masonry, edition of 1775,
Lecture v, page 111).
Hutchinson also adopted
Dunckerley's allusion to the Star of Bethlehem, but only as a secondary
In another series of lectures
formerly in use in America, but which we believe is now abandoned, the Blazing
Star is said to be "emblematical of that Prudence which ought to appear
conspicuous in the conduct of every Mason; and is more especially
commemorative of the star which appeared in the east to guide the wise men to
Bethlehem, and proclaim the birth and the presence of the Son of God. "
The Freemasons on the
Continent of Europe, speaking of the symbol, say: "It is no matter whether the
figure of which the Blazing Star forms the center be a square, triangle, or
circle, it still represents the sacred name of God, as an universal spirit who
enlivens our hearts, who purifies our reason, who increases our knowledge, and
who makes us wiser and better men. "
And lastly, in the lectures
revised by Doctor Hemming and adopted by the Grand Lodge of England at the
Union in 1813, and now constituting the approved lectures of that
jurisdiction, we find the following definition:
"The Blazing Star, or glory in
the center, refers us to the sun, which enlightens the earth with its
refulgent rays, dispensing its blessings to mankind at large, and giving light
and life to all things here below."
Hence we find that at various
times the Blazing Star has been declared to be a symbol of Divine Providence,
of the Star of Bethlehem, of Prudence, of Beauty, and of the Sun.
Before we can attempt to
decide upon these various opinions, and adopt the true signification, it is
necessary to extend our investigations into the antiquity of the emblem, and
inquire what was the meaning given to it by the nations who first made it a
Sabaism, or the worship of the
stars, was one of the earliest deviations from the true system of religion.
One of its causes was the
universally established doctrine among the idolatrous nations of antiquity,
that each star Was animated- by the soul of a hero god, who had once dwelt
incarnate upon earth. Hence, in the hieroglyphical system, the star denoted a
To this signification,
allusion is made by the prophet Amos (v, 26), when he says to the Israelites,
while reproaching them for their idolatrous habits: "But ye have borne the
tabernacle of your Moloch and Chian your images, the star of your god, which
ye made to yourselves.''
This idolatry was early
learned by the Israelites from their Egyptian taskmasters; and so unwilling
were they to abandon it, that Moses found it necessary strictly to forbid the
worship of anything "that is in heaven above," notwithstanding which we find
the Jews repeatedly committing the sin which had been so expressly forbidden.
Saturn was the star to whose worship they were more particularly addicted
under the names of Moloch and Chian, already mentioned in the passage quoted
The planet Saturn was
worshiped under the names of Moloch, Malcolm or Milcom by the Ammonites, the
Canaanites, the Phoenicians, and the Carthaginians, and under that of Chian by
the Israelites in the desert.
Saturn was worshiped among the
Egyptians under the name of Raiphan, or, as it is called in the Septuagint,
Remphan. St. Stephen, quoting the passage of Amos, says, "ye took up the
tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god Remphan'' (see Acts vii, 43).
Hale, in his analysis of
Chronology, says in alluding to this passage : "There is no direct evidence
that the Israelites worshiped the dog-star in the wilderness, except this
passage; but the indirect is very strong, drawn from the general prohibition
of the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, to which they must have been
And this was peculiarly an
Egyptian idolatry, where the dog-star was worshiped, as notifying by his
heliacal rising, or emersion from the sun's rays, the regular commencement of
the periodical inundation of the Nile. And the Israelite sculptures at the
cemetery of Kibroth-Hattaavah, or graves of lust, in the neighborhood of
Sinai, remarkably abound in hieroglyphics of the dog-star, represented as a
human figure with a dog's head.
That they afterwards
sacrificed to the dog-star, there is express evidence in Josiah's description
of idolatry, where the Syriac Mazaloth (improperly, termed planets) denotes
the dog-star; in Arabic, Mazaroth."
Fellows (in his Exposition of
the Mysteries, page 7) says that this dog-star, the Anubis of the Egyptians,
is the Blazing Star of Freemasonry, and supposing that the 1atter is a symbol
of Prudence, which indeed it was in some of the ancient lectures, he goes on
to remark ; ''What connection can possibly exist between a star and prudence,
except allegorically in reference to the caution that was indicated to the
Egyptians by the first appearance of this star, which warned them of
But it will hereafter be seen
that he has totally misapprehended the true signification of the Masonic
symbol. The work of Fellows, it may be remarked, is an unsystematic
compilation of undigested learning; but the student who is searching for truth
must carefully eschew all his deductions as to the genius and spirit of
Notwithstanding a few
discrepancies that may have occurred in the Masonic lectures, as arranged at
various periods and by different authorities, the concurrent testimony of the
ancient religions, and the hieroglyphic 1anguage, prove that the star was a
symbol of God. It was so used by the prophets of old in their metaphorica1
style, and it has so been generally adopted by Masonic instructors.
The application of the Blazing
Star as an emblem of the Savior has been made by those writers who give a
Christian explanation of our emblems, and to the Christian Freemason such an
application will not be objectionable.
But those who desire to
refrain from anything that may tend to impair the tolerance of our system,
will be disposed to embrace a more universal explanation, which may be
received alike by all the disciples of the Order, whatever may be their
peculiar religious views. Such persons will rather accept the expression of
Doctor Oliver, who, though much disposed to give a Christian character to our
Institution, says in his Symbol of Glory (page 292), "The Great Architect of
the Universe is therefore symbolized in Freemasonry by the Blazing Star, as
the Herald of our salvation." Before concluding, a few words may be said as to
the form of the Masonic symbol. It is not a heraldic star or estella, for that
always consists of six points, while the Masonic star is made with five
This, perhaps, was with some
involuntary allusion to the five Points of Fellowship. But the error has been
committed in all our modern Tracing Boards of making the star with straight
points, which form, of course, does not represent a blazing star. John Guillim,
the editor in 1610 of the book A Display of Heraldirie, says:
"All stars should be made with
waved points, because our eyes tremble at beholding them.'' In the early
Tracing Board already referred to, the star with five straight points is
superimposed upon another of five waving points. But the latter are now
abandoned, and we have in the representations of the present day the
incongruous symbol of a blazing star with five straight points. In the center
of the star there was always placed the letter G, which like the Hebrew yod,
was a recognized symbol of God, and thus the symbolic reference of the Blazing
Star to Divine Providence is greatly strengthened.
BLAZING STAR, ORDER OF THE
The Baron Tschoudy was the
author of a work entitled The Blazing Star (see Tschoudy). On the principles
inculcated in this work, he established, says Thory Acta Latomorum I, 94), at
Paris, in 1766, an Order called "The Order of the Blazing Star," which
consisted of Degrees of chivalry ascending to the Crusades, after the Templar
system usually credited to Ramsay. It never, however, assumed the prominent
position of an active rite.
This is emphatically the color
of Freemasonry. It is the appropriate tincture of the Ancient Craft Degrees.
It is to the Freemason a symbol of universal friendship and benevolence,
because, as it is the color of the vault of heaven, which embraces and covers
the whole globe, we are thus reminded that in the breast of every brother
these virtues should be equally as extensive. It is therefore the only color,
except white, which should be used in a Master's Lodge for decorations. Among
the religious institutions of the Jews, blue was an important color. The robe
of the high priest's ephod, the ribbon for his breastplate, and for the plate
of the miter, were to be blue. The people were directed to wear a ribbon of
this color above the fringe of their garments; and it was the color of one of
the veils of the tabernacle, where, Josephus says, it represented the element
of air. The Hebrew word used on these occasions to designate the color blue or
rather purple blue, is tekelet; and this word seems to have a singular
reference to the symbolic character of the color, for it is derived from a
root signifying perfection; now it is well known that, among the ancients,
initiation into the mysteries and perfection were synonymous terms; and hence
the appropriate color of the greatest of all the systems of initiation may
well be designated by a word which also signifies perfection.
This color also held a
prominent position in the symbolism of the Gentile nations of antiquity. Among
the Druids, blue was the symbol of truth, and the candidate, in the initiation
into the sacred rites of Druidism, was invested with a robe composed of the
three colors, white, blue, and green.
The Egyptians esteemed blue as
a sacred color, and the body of Amun, the principal god of their theogony, was
painted light blue, to imitate, as Wilkinson remarks, "his peculiarly exalted
and heavenly nature."
The ancient Babylonians
clothed their idols in blue, as we learn from the prophet Jeremiah (x, 9). The
Chinese, in their mystical philosophy, represented blue as the symbol of the
Deity, because, being, as they say, compounded of black and red, this color is
a fit representation of the obscure and brilliant, the male and female, or
active and passive principles.
The Hindus assert that their
god, Vishnu, was represented of a celestial or sky blue, thus indicating that
wisdom emanating from God was m be symbolized by this color. Among the
medieval Christians, blue was sometimes considered as an emblem of
immortality, as red was of the Divine love. Portal says that blue was the
symbol of perfection, hope, and constancy. "The color of the celebrated dome,
azure," says Weale, in his treatise on Symbolic Colors, "was in divine
language the symbol of eternal truth; in consecrated language, of immortality,
and in profane language, of fidelity."
Besides the three degrees of
Ancient Craft Freemasonry, of which blue is the appropriate color, this
tincture is also to be found in several other degrees, especially of the
Scottish Rite, where it bears various symbolic significations; all, however,
more or less related to its original character as representing universal
friendship and benevolence.
In the Degree of Grand
Pontiff, the Nineteenth of the Scottish Rite, it is the predominating color,
and is there said to be symbolic of the mildness, fidelity, and gentleness
which ought to be the characteristics of every true and faithful brother.
In the Degree of Grand Master
of all Symbolic Lodges, the blue and yellow, which are its appropriate colors,
are said to refer to the appearance of Jehovah to Moses on Mount Sinai in
clouds of azure and gold, and hence in this degree the color is rather a
historical than a moral symbol.
The blue color of the tunic
and apron, which constitutes a part of the investiture of a Prince of the
Tabernacle, or Twenty-fourth Degree in the Scottish Rite, alludes to the whole
symbolic character of the degree, whose teachings refer to our removal from
this tabernacle of clay to "that house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens." The blue in this degree is, therefore, a symbol of heaven, the seat
of our celestial tabernacle.
Brothers John Heron Lepper and
Philip Crossle contributed to Ars Quatuor Coronalorum (volume xxxvi, part 3,
page 284), a discussion of Masonic Blue from which the following abstract has
been made. Reference being first directed to other contributions to the
subject in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (xxii, 3; xxiii); and to the Transactions,
Lodge of Research (1909-In, page 109), the authors state their belief that the
Gold and Blue worn by the officers of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the
members of the Grand Master's Lodge, Dublin, are symbolical of the Compasses
from the very inception of a Grand Lodge in Ireland, the symbolism being
introduced there from England in or before 1725. After the first dozen years
some variations were made in the established forms and the opinion is hazarded
that one of these changes was from sky-blue to the dark Garter Blue for the
ribbons and lining of the aprons then worn by the officers of the Grand Lodge
of England, afterwards the Moderns.
On Saint John's Day in June,
1725, when the Earl of Rosse was installed Grand Master of Ireland, he was
escorted to the King's Inns by "Six Lodges of Gentlemen Freemasons," the
members of one "wore fine Badges full of Crosses and Squares, with this Motto,
Spes mea in Deo est (My hope is in God), which was no doubt very significant,
for the Master of it wore a Yellow Jacket, and Blue Britches." Brethren of the
Grand Lodge still wear working aprons with yellow braid and yellow fringe with
sky blue border on a plain white ground with no other ornament. These are
probably syrnbolical of the compasses as in the following quotation from a
spurious ritual published in the Dublin Intelligence, August 29, 1730:
After which I was clothed.
N.B. The clothing is putting
on the Apron and Gloves.
Q. How was the Master clothed?
A. in a Yellow Jacket and Blue
Pair of Breeches.
N B The Master is not
otherwise Clothed than common. the Question and Answer are only emblematical,
the, Yellow Jacket, the Compass, and the Blue Breeches, the Steel Points.
At a Masonic Fête in the
Theater Royal, Dublin, December 6, 1731, we find "The Ladies all wore yellow
and Blue Ribbons on their Breasts, being the proper Colors of that Ancient and
Right Worshipful Society."
From the first the Grand Lodge
of Ireland issued Lodge Warrants bearing Yellow and Blue ribbons supporting
the seal showing a hand and trowel, a custom continued until about 1775.
The Grand Lode of Ireland
preserves a cancelled Warrant issued June 6, 1750, to erect a Lodge No. 209 in
Dublin. On the margin is a colored drawing of the Master on his throne and he
wears a yellow jacket and blue breeches-with a red cloak and cocked hat-all of
the Georgian period. An old picture-said to be after Hogarth-in the Library of
Grand Lodge of England shows a Freemason with a yellow waistcoat. Our late
Brother W, Wonnacott, the Librarian, thought the color of this garment was no
accident and is symbolical of the brass body of the Compasses.
Up to recent years the members
of Nelson Lodge, No, 18, Newry, County Down, Ireland, wore blue coats and
yellow waistcoats, both having brass buttons with the Lodge number thereon.
The color of the breeches has not been preserved but no doubt it was intended
to be the same as the coat.
Union Lodge, No. 23, in the
same town, must have worn the same uniform, for there is still preserved a
complete set of brass buttons for such a costume.
These two Lodges, 18 and 23,
were formed in 1809 from an older Lodge, No. 933, Newry, warranted in 1803.
But from the fact that in Newry there still works the oldest Masonic Lodge in
Ulster, warranted in 1737 and also from the fact that. Warrant No. 16,
originally, granted in l732 or 1733, was moved to and revived at Newry in
1766, there can be no question but that Masonic customs had a very strong
foothold in that town.
That this custom was an old
custom in Newry is also shown by the coat and vest which the late Brother Dr,
F, C. Crossle had made for himself, he being intensely interested in Masonic
lore, and having learned from the lips of many veteran Freemasons in Newry.
that. this was the old and correct Masonic dress for festival occasions. It is
true we cannot assume a general practice from a particular custom, as in the
case of the Newry usage, nevertheless the latter is another link in the chain.
A significant word in several
of the degrees which refer to the second Temple, because it was only the
tribes of Judah and Benjamin that returned from the captivity to rebuild it.
Hence, in the Freemasonry of the second Temple, Judah and Benjamin have
superseded the columns of Jachin and Boaz ; a change the more easily made
because of the identity of the initials.
Corruptly spelled benchorim in
some old monitors. This is a significant word in the high degrees, probably
signifying one that is freeborn, from son of the freeborn. The word has also a
close resemblance in sound to the Hebrew for son of Hiram.
or Beniah. Lenning gives this
form, Benayah. The son of Jah, a significant word in the advanced degrees. The
Hebrew is n-iz.
The Hebrew Word meaning a
covenant. A significant word in several of the advanced degrees.
Capital of the old kingdom of
Prussia, and the seat of three Grand Lodges, namely: the Grand National Mother
Lodge, founded in 1744; the Grand Lodge of Germany, founded in 1770, and the
Grand Lodge of Royal York of Friendship, founded in 1798 (see German y).
A small group of islands in
the West Atlantic Ocean. The first Provincial Grand Master of the Bermudas was
Brother Alured Popple, appointed by Lord Strathmore in 1744. A Lodge was
chartered in 1761 by the Grand Lodge, "Moderns," of England as Union Lodge,
No. 266. The first to be warranted by the Athol Grand Lodge was Saint George,
The English Provincial Grand
Lodge did not long survive but in 1803 a Province under the Grand Lodge of
Scotland was established in the Bermudas. Two Lodges, Saint George's and Civil
and Military, are still active under the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
It was discovered in 1813 that
the Lodges instituted by the "Ancient" were still working but those chartered
by the ''Moderns'' had ceased all activity. There is a Lodge, Atlantic
Phoenix, at Hamilton, at work , since 1797.
An expelled member under whose
name was published, in the year 1829, a pretended exposition entitled Light on
Masonry. The book was one of the fruits of the anti-Masonic excitement of the
day. It is a worthless production, intended as a libel on the Institution.
A famous preacher and
Theologian, born in France in 1090, was the founder of the Order of Cistercian
Monks. He took great interest in the success of the Knights Templar, whose
Order he cherished throughout his whole life. His works contain numerous
letters recommending them to the favor and protection of the great. In 1128,
he himself is said to have drawn up the Rule of the Order, and among his
writings is to be found a Sermo exhortatorius ad Milites Templi, or an
Exhortation to the Soldiers of the Temple, a production full of sound advice.
To the influence of Bemard and his untiring offices of kindness, the Templars
were greatly indebted for their rapid increase in wealth and consequence. He
died in the year 1153.
The Hebrew name is pronounced
tar-sheesh. A precious stone, the first in the fourth row of the high priest's
breastplate. Color, bluish-green. It has been ascribed to the tribe of
BEYERLE, FRANÇOIS LOUIS DE
A French Masonic writer of
some prominence toward the close of the eighteenth century. He was a leading
member of the Rite of Strict Observance, in which his adopted name was Eques à
Flore. He wrote a criticism on the Masonic Congress of Wilhelmsbad, which was
published under the title of Oratio de Conventu generali Latomorum apud aquas
Wilhelminas, prope Hanauviam. He also wrote an Essai sur la Franc-Maçonnerie,
ou du but essential et fondamenal de la Franc-Maçonnerie, Essay on
Freemasonry, or the essential and fundamental purpose of Freemasonry;
translated the second volume of Frederic Nicolai's essay on the crimes imputed
to the Templars, and was the author of several other Masonic works of less
importance. He was a member of the French Constitutional Convention of 1792.
He wrote also some political essays on finances, and was a contributor on the
same subject to the Encyclopédie Méthodique.
One of the builders of the Ark
of the Covenant (see Aholiab).
In French, we have a
Bibliographie des Ouvrages, Opuscules, Encycliques ou écrits les p1us
remarquables, publiés sur l'histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie depuis 1723
jusqu'en 1814, Bibliography of the Works, Booklets, Circulars, or more
remarkable writings, published on the History of Freemasonry since 1725, as
far as 1814. It is by Thory, and is contained in the first volume of his Acta
Latotnorum. Though not full, it is useful, especially in respect to French
works, and it is to be regretted that it stops at a period anterior to the
Augustan age of Masonic literature. In German we have the work of Dr. Georg B.
F. Kloss, entitled Bibliographie der Freimaurerei, published at Frankfort in
1844. At the time of its publication it was an almost exhaustive work, and
contains the titles of about 5,400 items classified according to the subject
matter of the works listed. Reinhold Taute published his Maurerische
Buecherkunde at Leipzig in 1886. In 1911 begun the publication of the three
volumes of August Wolfstieg's Bibliographie der Freimauerischen Literatur
listing 43,347 titles of works treating of Freemasonry. The three volumes of
Wolfstieg's elaborate compilation, appearing respectively in 1911, 1912, and
1914, listing and briefly describing over forty-three thousand items, was
continued by Brother Bernhard Beyer of the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne in Beyreuth,
Germany, whose 1926 volume adds over eleven thousand references.
Brother Silas H. Shepherd,
Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research, has prepared a list of
Masonic Bibliographies and Catalogues in the English Language, 1920, and the
Committee has also published a selected List of Masonic Literature, 1923, and
these have been made all the more useful by An Essay on Masonic History and
Reference Works by Brother Shepherd. Brother William L. Boyden, Librarian,
Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
has described the method used in the great Library under his charge at
Washington, District of Columbia, in a pamphlet, Classification of the
Literature of Freemasonry, 1915, a plan peculiarly applicable to Masonic
libraries. In this connection we are reminded of the late Brother Frank J.
Thompson, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of North Dakota, and a greatly esteemed
correspondent of ours. He published about 1903 a System of Card Membership
Record for Masonic Bodies and a Scheme of Classification for Masonic Books,
the latter being an extension of the Dewey decima1 system.
BIELFELD, JACOB FREDERICK
Baron Bielfeld was born March
31, 1717, and died April 5, 1770. He was envoy from the court of Prussia to
The Hague, and a familiar associate of Frederick the Great in the youthful
days of that Prince before he ascended the throne. He was one of the founders
of the Lodge of the Three Globes in Berlin, which afterward became a Grand
Lodge. Through his influence Frederick was induced to become a Freemason. In
Bielfeld's Freundschaftlicher Briefe, or Familiar Letters, are to be found an
account of the initiation of the Prince, and other curious details concerning
Deputy Grand Master, Scotland,
A Freemason who owes his
reputation to the fact that he was the author of the universally known Entered
Apprentice's song, beginning:
Come let us prepare
We Brothers that are.
Met together on merry Occasion;
Let's drink, laugh, and sing;
Our wine has a spring.
'Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.
This song first appeared in
Read's Weekly Journal for December 1, 1722, and then was published in the Book
of Constitutions in 1723, after the death of its author, which occurred on
December 30, 1722.
Birkhead was a singer and
actor at Drury Lane Theater in London, and was Master of Lodge V when Doctor
Anderson was preparing his Constitutions, His funeral is thus described in
Read's Weekly Journal for .January 12, 1723. "Mr. Birkhead was last Saturday
night carried from his Lodgings in Which-street to be interred at St Clements
Danes; the Pall was supported by six Free-Masons belonging to Drury-Lane
Play-house; the other Members of that particular Lodge of which he was a
Warden, with a vast number of other Accepted-Masons, followed two and two;
both the Pall-bearers and others were in their white-aprons"
(see also Entered
Apprentices's Song and Tune, Freemasons').
Black, in the Masonic ritua1,
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 the
garment of mourning.
In Freemasonry this color is
confined to but a few degrees, but everywhere has the single meaning of
sorrow. Thus in the French Rite, during the ceremony of raising a candidate to
the Master's Degree, the Lodge is clothed in black strewed with the
representations of tears, as a token of grief for the loss of a distinguished
member of the fraternity, whose tragic history is commemorated in that degree.
This usage is not, however,
observed in the York Rite. The black of the Elected Knights of Nine, the
Illustrious Elect of Fifteen, and the Sublime Knights Elected, in the Scottish
Rite, has a similar import.
Black appears to have been
adopted in the degree of Noachite, as a symbol of grief, tempered with
humility, which is the virtue principally dilated on in the ceremony.
The garments of the Knights
Templar were originally white, but after the death of their martyred Grand
Master, James DeMolay, the modern Knights assumed a black dress as a token of
grief for his loss.
The same reason led to the
adoption of black as the appropriate color in the Scottish Rite of the Knights
of Kadosh and the Sublime Princes of the Roya1 Secret.
The modern American
modification of the Templar costume abandons all reference to this historical
One exception to this
symbolism of black is to be found in the degree of Select Master, where the
vestments are of black bordered with red, the combination of the two colors
showing that the degree is properly placed between the Royal Arch and Templar
degrees, while the black is a symbol of silence and secrecy, the
distinguishing virtues of a Select Master.
The ball used in a Masonic
ballot by those who do not wish the candidate to be admitted. Hence, when an
applicant is rejected, he is said to be "blackballed."
The use of black balls may be
traced as far back as the ancient Romans. Thus, Ovid says in the Metamorphoses
(xv, 41), that in trials it was the custom of the ancients to condemn the
prisoner by black pebbles or to acquit him by white ones: Mos erat antiquus,
niveis atrisque lapillis, His dammare reos, illis absolvere culpae.
In German Lodges the Schwarze
Tafel, or Blackboard, is that on which the names of applicants for admission
are inscribed, so that every visitor may make the necessary inquiries whether
they are or are not worthy of acceptance.
BLACK BROTHERS, ORDER OF THE
Lenning says that the Schwarze
Brüder was one of the College Societies of the German Universities. The
members of the Order, however, denied this, and claimed an origin as early as
1675. Thory, in the Acta Latomorum (1, 313), says that it was largely spread
through Germany, having its seat for a long time at Giessen and at Marburg,
and in 1783 being removed to Frankfort on the Oder.
The same writer asserts that
at first the members observed the dogmas and ritual of the Kadosh, but that
afterward the Order, becoming a political society, gave rise to the Black
Legion, which in 1813 was commanded by M. Lutzow.
BLAÉRFINDY, BARON GRANT DE
Scottish officer in French
army; prominent in the French high grades and Scottish Philosophic Rite and
credited by some (see Histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie Française, Albert
Lantoine, 1925, Paris, page 221) as the founder of the grades of the Sublime
Master of the Luminous Ring (Académie des Sublimes Maitres de l'Anneau
Lumineux), a system in which Pythagoras is deemed the creator of Freemasonry.
BLAVATSKY, HELENA PETROVNA
Russian theosophist, born July
31, 1831; died May 8, 1891, established at New York in 1875 the Theosophica1
Society. A sketch of the history of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry,
published by- John Hogg at London, 1880, says on page 58 that "The 24th of
November, 1877, the Order conferred upon Madam H. P. Blavatsky the Degrees of
the Rite of Adoption. "
Grand Master of the English
Grand Lodge of the Moderns, 1764-6.
BLESINTON, EARL OF
Grand Master of Ire1and,
1738-9; also of the English Grand Lodge of the Ancient, 1756-9. The name
Blesinton has been variously spelled by members of the family but the spelling
here given is taken from the signature of the Brother in the records of his
A blind man cannot be
initiated into Freemasonry under the operation of the old regulation, which
requires physical perfection in a candidate. This rule has nevertheless been
considerably modified in some Jurisdictions.
Physical blindness in
Freemasonry, as in the language of the Scriptures, is symbolic of the
deprivation of moral and intellectual light. It is equivalent to the darkness
of the Ancient Mysteries in which the neophytes were enshrouded for periods
varying from a few hours to many days. The Masonic candidate, therefore,
represents one immersed in intellectual darkness, groping in the search for
that Divine light and truth which are the objects of a Freemason's1abor (see
The three blows given to the
Builder, according to the legend of the Third Degree, have been differently
interpreted as symbols in the different systems of Freemasonry, but always
with some reference to adverse or malignant influences exercised on humanity,
of whom Hiram is considered as the type. Thus, in the symbolic Degrees of
Ancient Craft Freemasonry, the three blows are said to be typical of the
trials and temptations to which man is subjected in youth and manhood, and to
death, whose victim he becomes in old age. Hence the three Assassins are the
three stages of human life. In the advanced Degrees, such as the Kadoshes,
which are founded on the Templar system commonly credited to Ramsay, the
reference is naturally made to the destruction of the Order, which was
effected by the combined influences of Tyranny, Superstition, and Ignorance,
which are therefore symbolized by the three blows; while the three Assassins
are also said sometimes to be represented by Squin de Florean, Naffodei, and
the Prior of Montfaucon, the three perjurers who swore away the lives of
DeMolay and his Knights. In the astronomical theory of Freemasonry, which
makes it a modern modification of the ancient sun-worship, a theory advanced
by Ragon, the three blows are symbolic of the destructive influences of the
three winter months, by which Hiram, or the Sun, is shorn of his vivifying
power. Des Etangs has generalized the Templar theory, and, supposing Hiram to
be the symbol of eternal reason, interprets the blows as the attacks of those
vices which deprave and finally destroy humanity. However interpreted for a
special theory, Hiram the Builder always represents, in the science of Masonic
symbolism, the principle of good; and then the three blows are the contending
principles of evil.
"BLUE BANNER, THE" LODGE
Gould, Hughan, Lane, and
others who in the 1875-1890 period began the writing of Masonic history
according to the canons of scholarly work which elsewhere governed
professional historians, always hoped to find evidence of a great antiquity
for pre-1717 Lodges but insisted on documentary proof, and refused to accept
traditions, as they were right in doing, though it is now believed that they
were somewhat more skeptical than they needed to have been. Also, present-day
scholars know , they sometimes overlooked data which belonged neither to the
class of traditions nor to the class of documents ; these data are present
Lodge facts, customs, or possessions which in themselves, and necessarily,
imply a long period of time.
A datum of this kind, an
exceptionally interesting one, is the Blue Banner which was possessed by an
Edinburgh Lodge, the history of which is given in Annals of Journeyman Masons,
No. 8, by Seggie and Tumbull; Thomas Allan and Sons; Edinburg; l930. This
Lodge began as a sort of offshoot, or Side Order, of an old Operative Lodge,
and is therefore reminiscent of the "Acception" in the Mason Company of
London. The history of the Blue Banner goes back for about eight centuries ;
it was given to the Scottish Trade Gilds when they joined the Crusade under
Pope Urban A, and for centuries entitled its possessors not only to special
honors but to special privileges, and is more than once mentioned in the early
records of the burgh.
This history contains one
entry of a special interest to American Masons. In September, 1918, the Lodge
was visited by Bro. Sam Gompers, President of the American Federation of
Labor; he received the distinction for that Lodge a rare one, of being elected
an Honorary Member. His home Lodge was Dawson's No 16 Washington D. C.
See also An Historical Account
of the Blue Blanket; or Crafts-Men's Banner. Containing the Fundamental
Principles of the Good-Town, u¤th the Powers and Prerogatives of the Crafts of
Edinburgh, Etc., by Alexander Pennecuik; Edinburgh; 1722. There were 14
incorporated Crafts in Edinburgh in 1722.
BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS
In England of the Eighteenth
Century a permanent association or society was required to have a sponsor, the
more exalted in the rank the better, who was named as its Patron - as the King
himself was Patron of the Royal (scientific) Society; it was also expected to
have authorization in the form of a charter, or deputation, or some similar
instrument ; and the older one of these written instruments might be, other
things being equal , the more weight it possessed. The old Masonic Lodges in
London at the beginning of the Century had Sir Christopher Wren as their
patron (so tradition affirms) and for written charter each one had a copy of
the Old Charges ; these documents attested that their original authority had
been a Royal Charter granted by a Prince Edwin seven centuries before ; and
though historians , for sound reasons, question this particular claim, it is
important to remember that neither the Lodges nor the public between 1700 and
1725 ever questioned it.
In 1716 representatives of
some four or five old Lodges, and Probably after discussions with other Lodges
not represented, decided to set up a Body in which each Lodge could be a
member, and which would be a central meeting place and at the same time could
bring the Lodges into a unity of work and practice. This they called a Grand (
or chief) Lodge; and in 1717 they erected it by official action, and put
Anthony Sayer in the Chair as Grand Master.
This new Grand Lodge was
itself a Lodge and therefore needed both a Patron and a Charter, or Old
Charges, of its own, and suitable for needs not identical with those of a
member Lodge. It found a Patron in the person of the Duke of Montague, elected
Grand Master in 1721, after a time, and especially after the sons of George A
had become Masons, it was under the patronage of the Royal Family and has been
so ever since (Queen Victoria officially declared herself its Patroness).
To prepare a Grand Lodge
equivalent of the Old Charges was a more difficult matter. Veteran Masons were
consulted ; old manuscripts were borrowed from Lodges (and sometimes not
returned, as when Desaguliers forgot to return documents to the Lodge of
Antiquity). Some of the Lodges which were opposed to the whole Grand Lodge
plan destroyed their documents. An unknown group of Masons forestalled the
Grand Lodge by having J. Roberts print a version, now called the Roberts
Constitutions, dated 1722 (of the two existing copies one is in the Iowa
Masonic Library). From the Lodges in favor of the Grand Lodge plan fourteen
veteran Masons acted as an advisory committee. By 1722 George Payne, a Grand
Master, had prepared an acceptable version of that part of the Old Charges,
the important half, which was called the Old Regulations. By the following
year, Grand Lodge, reporting through a Committee headed by James Anderson,
adopted a completed manuscript, entitled it The Constitution of Freemasons,
and had James Anderson print it. Why this book has been accredited to the
authorship of James Anderson is a mystery; he is called "author" at one or two
places but as then used the word could mean "editor" or "scribe"; and his name
does not appear on the title page. Payne wrote about one-half of it. J. T.
Desaguliers wrote the dedication; the rest of it was the joint work of many
hands and at least two Committees. The so-called historical part was
collected-the record says "collated''-from Lodge copies of the Old Charges
which differed much among themselves in detail. The title is a complete
description of the book :
"The Constitution, History,
Laws, Charges, Orders, Regulations, and Usages of the Right Worshipful
FRATERNITY of Accepted Free MASONS; collected From their general RECORDS and
their faithful TRADITIONS of many Ages.
To be Read At the Admission of
a NEW BROTHER, when the Master or Warden shall begin, or order some other
Brother to read as follows."
then follows the text, in the
first sentence of which reference is made to ''God, the great Architect of the
Universe,'' and Geometry is named as the Masonic art par excellence, because
it was the art used in architecture.
The publisher's signature on
the title page :
"London, Printed by William
Hunter, for John Senex at the Globe, and John Hooke at the Flower-de-luce over
against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-Street. In the Year of Masonry 5723.
Anno Domini 1723."
This dating is a fact of prime
importance, for it proves that the Freemasons identified their Fraternity with
architecture which they rightly assumed to be as old as man. Theorists who
have argued for another origin' of Freemasonry, among the Ancient Mysteries,
or in occult circles, or in political circles, etc., will first have to
explain why the founders of the Speculative Craft had not even heard of such
origins ; and one may safely assume that they knew more about the founding of
Speculative Masonry than theorism two hundred years afterwards. As time
passed, and Lodges increased, amendments and revisions were called for; this
was satisfied by the issuance of new editions.
NOTE. The Fifth, or 1784,
Edition is there accredited to John Northouck, in reality it should have been
named after William Preston because he did the work on it. As each new Grand
Lodge was erected in one Country after another, and in America in one State
after another, it wrote or adopted a Book of its own. Such a Book dated as of
today bears on the face of it little resemblance to the Edition of 1723 ; but
the change from decade to decade has been a gradual one, always made in
response to new needs, and in their principles and every other fundamental any
regular Constitution of today is a direct descendant of the Constitution of
1723. The Ancient Grand Lodge, erected in London in 1751, which was to become
a rival of the 1717 Grand Body until 1813, published in 1756 a Book of its
own, which it called Ahiman Rezon ; this also was in substance a repetition of
the Book of 1723. Considered as a work of literature the most masterly version
is the original Constitution of Ireland, a re-writing of the 1723 Edition by
John Pennell, published in 1730.
A half century ago a number of
writers proposed the theory that "Operative" Masonry had become defunct; that
Desaguliers, Anderson, Payne, Montague, and a number of other ''gentlemen,''
"captured" the machinery of organization, and turned it into a Speculative
Fraternity. This theory went to pieces against such facts as:
first, that the Grand Lodge
began in 1716-not 1717- and that those gentlemen were not Masons for some time
afterwards, at least not London Masons, and were not among the founding
fathers, second, the old Lodges were not "Operative'' but only partly so, and
one of them was wholly composed of Speculatives. Desaguliers and his
colleagues were architects of the Grand Lodge system; they did not create
anything new, they only found a new way for carrying on what was already very
old. This is made clear by the Book of 1723 itself, and by the circumstances
under which it was prepared.
Masonic Bookplates, by J. Hugo
Tatsch and Winwood Prescott (The Masonic Bibliophiles; Cedar Rapids, Ia. ;
1928), lays down the accepted rules for a correct and (by connoisseurs)
acceptable Masonic Ex Libris, or bookplate. Taking it for granted that a
skilled artist will draw or paint it, and that it will be well engraved, the
two authors advise: first, that the Mason who is to use it shall include in it
only such emblems and symbols as represent the Rite (or Rites) to which he
belongs ; second, that it be "personalized" by including in the design
something to represent his own vocation, avocation, hobby, special interest,
Shute, who wrote and published
the first book on architecture ever to be printed in England, is said to have
been also the first engraver in England. After the Grand Lodge was formed in
1717 a long line of famous engravers were active members of the Craft; John
Pine, William Hogarth, Francesco Bartolozzi, John Baptist Cipriani, Benjamin
and John Cole, and our American Grand Master, inventor of a new process of
engraving, Paul Revere. Their work, and especially their Masonic designs,
should be studied by Masonic bookplate engravers. A Grand Lodge usually
employs its own coat-of-arms in its bookplate. Pine was the first to make an
engraved list of Lodges. (See also Book Plates and Their Value, J. H. Slater,
Henry Grant; 1898. In addition to collectors' prices it contains a history of
the development of Ex Libris art. Some publishers spell ''bookplate'' as one
word, others as two. The Tatsch and Prescott volume contains a full
bibliography. Ex Libris Lodge, No. 3765, was founded . in London, 1915, by
Ray V. Denslow, specialist in
early Middle Western Masonry, reported to The Builder, January, 1925, that "in
his opinion" Boone had not been a Mason. He added however that "a very good
friend" had in earlier days heard Boone spoken of as a Mason. Both the Grand
Lodges of Kentucky and of Tennessee have searched the old membership rolls but
have not found his name. When appropriating a sum toward the Boone monument at
Frankfort the resolution passed by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky made no mention
of Boone's possible membership. At least one pall-bearer at Boone's funeral
wore a Masonic collar. (It is interesting to note that "Boone" is a corruption
of "Bohun," a family name of King Henry VAI.)
BOYDEN LIBRARY CLASSIFICATION
Brother William L. Boyden,
librarian for the Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R.,S.J., at Washington, D.C., after
years of experience and experiment, perfected a library classification system
for Masonic books. He divided titles under ten general heads, in 400 classes
and subclasses. He made the system available to Masonic librarians in a
brochure of twenty-two pages, a working manual: Classification of the
Literature of Freemasonry and Related Societies, by W. L. Boyden; Washington,
D.C., 1915; e/o The Supreme Council A.&.A.S.R.,S.J.
BOYDEN MS., THE
A manuscript of the Old
Charges, nine feet long and about eight and one-half inches wide, belonging to
the Supreme Council, A.& A.S.R.,S.J., and in the vaults of the House of the
Temple, Washington, D.C.; it was discovered (presumably in 1925) by the late
W. L. Boyden, Librarian of the Supreme Council Library at the time, in North
Riding of Yorkshire near Yorkshire, Eng. Boyden published the text in The New
Age, February, 1926; page 77. The text accompanied by critical notes is given
in The Old 'Yorkshire' Old Charges of Masons, by H. Poole and F. R. Worts;
published by Installed Masters' Association, Leeds, England ; 1935 ; page 171.
Some English Brothers have
expressed regret (and not always un-spiced with resentment) that a Yorkshire
MS. should "have been sold off to America."
American Masons can understand
that feeling, and the more so in the case of Yorkshire which was the favorite
field of Hughan and of Thorp, who are both as well remembered and as much
revered by Masons on this side of the Atlantic as on that ; but at the same
time they feel that the strictures often expressed, and especially the
harshness in some instances, by Whymper, Gould, and Lane, are based on a
misunderstanding of facts. The strictures have arisen from the assumption that
a sizable number of precious, old, and oftentimes unique Masonic books and
MSS. have been drained off out of England into America; but there has never
been such a drain. The Boyden is the only MS. of which there is not at least
one copy left in England. The printed Roberts MS. owned by the Grand Lodge of
Iowa is one of two copies. The Carmick MS. owned by the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania was written in Pennsylvania. The American craft, and considering
that save for a very few years it is as old as the English Craft, and is in
the same Masonic family, is peculiarly poverty-stricken in MSS. and rare
books. Nor have the great and wealthy American collectors Huntington, Morgan,
etc., collected Freemasoniana; Rosenbach, famous for so many years as their
agent, told the writer that he had never included Masonic items in his search
lists. If harsh complaints were in order American Masons themselves have a
large ground for them ; during the French and Indian wars, the Revolutionary
War, and the War of 1812 America was "drained" of the larger part of its early
Masonic records, a fact which helps to account for the emptiness of the
history of pre-Revolutionary Masonry in America.
The same holds for the old
charge of "piracy." A small number of Eighteenth Century books (Oliver,
presston, etc.) were published here without permission and without payment to
their British authors ; to do so was both piratical and inexcusable. But there
was as quite as much piracy from the British end. Books by Harris Town,
Mackey, Morris, etc., were extensively pirated in England right down to the
middle of the Nineteenth Century : this Encyclopedia was pirated a in half
In the article which begins on
page 151 it is stated that the Gild of Bridge Builders was a religious
fraternity. Since that article written (it was based on the then most reliable
authorities) what may be called the archeology of bridge building has put that
ancient craft in a new light. Just as some bishop or abbot was given credit
for almost every cathedral, large church, or abbey, and even though the
prelate might not have been born when the construction was begun, so did the
same chroniclers make out that almost every other concerted public activity,
association, etc., had been either an action by the Church or else one
directed by it.
Even a local gild of six or
seven blacksmiths in a French town of the year1200 A.D. may appear in the
monkish chronicles as having been a Holy Brotherhood of the Church of St. Paul
Dedicated to St. Dominic, etc., the whole of it sounding as if black smithing
had been a holy rite. Everything in the Twelfth Thirteenth, and Fourteenth
Centuries was, as it were, asserted with the appearance of religion-it was
then as it is now with the Mexican language in which "good-bye" becomes "God
go with you," and a man asks for a match "in the name of God," and a mother
names a son Jesus and a Daughter Holy Annunciation.
There were fraternities of Bridge Builders in the Middle Ages ; they had their
Patron Saints; they went by religious names; but bridge building per se was no
more religious than it is now. A bridge was build at need, and often at the
expense of the taxpayers in a town; its construction might be entrusted to a
special gild formed for the purpose; it might be paid for by gifts or by
tolls; but the Masons who built it usually were ordinary Masons. Its was only
when great bridges were built, like London Bridge (which was a row of
buildings erected across the Thames) or when one was ornamented with carving
or with Sculpture, or involved difficult problems of engineering, that
Freemasons were called in; but it is doubtful if in many instances they formed
fraternities qua bridge builders, after the fashion of the separate
associations of castle builders, military architects, tilers, etc.
It is of interest that the
first great Modern bridge (at least it is so claimed by historians of it) was
to a peculiar extent almost an event in the history of Speculative
Freemasonry. The engineer and constructor of the famous Wearmouth Bridge in
England (pages are given to it in a number of histories of engineering) was
Bro. Rowland Burdon. He was made a Mason in Phoenix Lodge, no. 94, Sunderland
; he joined Palatine Lodge in 1791; in 1793 was elected Master, and served
several years. The foundation of the Bridge was laid with Masonic ceremonies
by the Provincial Grand Lodge, September 24, 1793; its completion was also
celebrated by ceremonies by the Provincial Grand Lodge on August 9, 1796
(during Washington's second term, it may be said to help Americans to place
(It happens that the builders
of the Brooklyn Bridge were Masons, as may be found in an article in the New
York Masonic Outlook. See History of Phoenix Lodge; see also other bridge
items in History of Britannia Lodge, page 104.)
NOTE. Apropos of the typical
Medieval custom of clothing everything with a religious guise it is
interesting to observe that ordinary business documents such as deeds, bills
of sales, contracts, or legal documents, or a physician's prescription, or a
parchment roll of kitchen recipes might be decorated with religious emblems
and begin-like the Old Charges-with a religious invocation.
Bishops often were educated
and trained in cathedral schools at a prince's or king's expense expressly to
hold positions in what is now the civil service. Even the since-canonized
Thomas à Beeket served for years in that capacity, and was made a bishop for
political reasons! Thousands of tonsured clerics were trained to work in
offices, government bureaus, etc., as clerks, bookkeepers, etc., and never
performed religious services in their lives. It is not out of any desire to
disparage religion, or to discredit the church, but solely in obedience to the
facts as found, that historians are agreed that the Ages of Faith were not
more faithful than other ages, and that the men were in their spirit, thought,
and conduct no more religious, or pious, in the Thirteenth Century than they
are now. The fact is important for Masonic history, because a reader of it may
gain the impression that because so many Medieval Freemasons worked on
churches, cathedrals, abbeys, priories, monasteries, chapels, etc., they were
in some peculiar sense a religious fraternity. They were men in religion, but
no more so than other men; ran their own affairs ; excluded priests from
control over their Lodges ; and had no religious rites, practices, or
doctrines peculiar to themselves.
The Lodge of Journeymen, in
the city of Edinburgh, is in possession of a blue blanket which is used as a
banner in Masonic processions. The history of it is thus given in the London
Magazine: "A number of Scotch mechanics followed Allan, Lord Steward of
Scotland, to the holy wars in Palestine, and took with them a banner, on which
were inscribed the following words from the 5lst Psalm, the eighteenth vers,
'In bona voluntate tua edificentur muri Hierosolymae,' meaning'ln Thy good
pleasure build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.' Fighting under the banner, these
valiant Scotchman were present at the capture of Jerusalem, and other towns in
the Holy Land; and, on their return to their own country, they deposited the
banner, which they styled The Banner of the Holy Ghost, at the altar of St.
Eloi, the patron saint of the Edinburgh Tradesmen, in the church of Saint
Giles. It was occasionally unfurled, or worn as a mantle by the
representatives of the trades in the courtly and religious pageants that in
former times were of frequent occurrence in the Scottish capital. "In 1482,
James III, in consequence of the assistance which he had received from the
Craftsmen of Edinburgh, in delivering him from the castle in which he was kept
a prisoner, and paying a debt of 6,000 Marks which he had contracted in making
preparations for the marriage of his son, the Duke of Rothsay, to Cecil,
daughter of Edward IV, of England, conferred on the good town several valuable
privileges, and renewed to the Craftsmen their favorite banner of The Blue
Blanket. ''James's queen, Margaret of Denmark, to show her gratitude and
respect to the Crafts, painted on the banner, with her own hands, a Saint
Andrew's cross, a crown, a thistle, and a hammer, with the following
inscription : 'Fear God and honor the king ; grant him a long life and a
prosperous reign, and we shall ever pray to be faithful for the defense of his
sacred majesty's royal person till death.' The king decreed that in all time
coming, this flag should be the standard of the Crafts within burgh, and that
it should be unfurled in defense of their own rights, and in protection of
their sovereign. The privilege of displaying it at the Masonic procession was
granted to the journeymen, in consequence of their original connection with
the Freemasons of Mary's Chapel, one of the four men incorporated trades of
the city. "The Blue Blanket was long in a very tattered condition ; but some
years ago it was repaired by lining it with blue silk, so that it can be
exposed without subjecting it to much injury. " An interesting little book was
written by Alexander pennecuik, Burgess and Guild-Brother of Edinburgh, and
published with this title in 1722 and in later editions describing the
Operative Companies of Edinburgh. The above particulars in the London Magazine
are found in Pennecuik's work with other details.
The first three degrees of
Freemasonry are so called from the blue color which is peculiar to them.
A Symbolic Lodge, in which the
first three degrees of Freemasonry are conferred, is so called from the color
of its decorations.
The degrees of Entered
Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason an sometimes called Blue Masonry.
In some of the advanced
degrees, these words are used to designate a Master Mason.
BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
An organization attached to
the Grand Lodge of England, consisting of the Grand Master, Pro Grand Master,
Deputy Grand Master, the Grand Wardens of the year, the Grand Treasurer, the
Grand Registrar, the Deputy Grand Registrar, a President, Past Presidents, the
President of the Board of Benevolence, the Grand Director of Ceremonies, and
twenty-four other members. The President and six of the twenty-four members
are annually nominated by the Grand Master, and the remaining eighteen are
elected by the Grand Lodge from the Masters and Past Masters of the Lodges.
This board has authority to hear and determine all subjects of Masonic
complaints, or irregularity respecting Lodges or individual Freemasons, when
regularly brought before it, and generally to take cognizance of all matters
relating to the Craft.
BOARD OF RELIEF
See Relief, Board of
The name of the left hand (or
north) pillar that stood at the porch of King Solomon's Temple. It is derived
from the Hebrew pronounced bo'-az, and signifies in strength. Though Strong in
his Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary says the root is unused and of uncertain
meaning (see Pillars of the Porch).
a Hebrew word pronounced
bokeem and meaning the weepers. A password in the Order of Ishmael. An angel
spoke to Hagar as she wept at the well when in the wilderness with her son
The angel is looked upon as a
spiritual being, possibly the Great Angel of the Covenant, the Michael who
appeared to Moses in the burning bush, or the Joshua, the captain of the hosts
BODE, JOHANN JOACHIM CHRISTOPH
Born in Brunswick, 16th of
January, 1730. One of the most distinguished Freemasons of his time. In his
youth he was a professional musician, but in 1757 he established himself at
Hamburg as a bookseller, and was initiated into the Masonic Order. He obtained
much reputation by the translation of Sterne's Sentimental Journey and
Tristram Shandy, of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield; Smollett's Humphrey
Clinker; and of Fielding's Tom Jones, from the English; and of Montaigne's
works from the French. To Masonic literature he made many valuable
contributions; among others, he translated from the French Bonneville's
celebrated work entitled Les Jésuites chassés de la Maçonnerie et leur
poignard bris par les Maçons, meaning The Jesuits driven from Freemasonry and
their weapon broken by the Freemasons, which contains a comparison of Scottish
Freemasonry with the Templarism of the fourteenth century, and with sundry
peculiar practices of the Jesuits themselves.
Bode was at one time a zealous
promoter of the Rite of Strict Observance, but afterward became one of its
most active opponents. In 1790 he joined the Order of the Illuminati,
obtaining the highest Degree in its second class, and at the Congress of
Wilhelmsbad he advocated the opinions of Weishaupt,. No man of his day was
better versed than he in the history of Freemasonry, or possessed a more
valuable and extensive library; no one was more diligent in increasing his
stock of Masonic knowledge, or more anxious to avail himself of the rarest
sources of learning. Hence, he has always held an exalted position among the
Masonic scholars of Germany. The theory which he had conceived on the origin
of Freemasonry--a theory, however, which the investigations of subsequent
historians have proved to be untenable--was, that the Order was invented by
the Jesuits, in the seventeenth century, as an instrument for the
re-establishment of the Roman Church in England, covering it for their own
purposes under the mantle of Templarism. Bode died at Weimar on the 13th of
A Royal Councilor of State and
Director of the School of Cadets at St. Petersburg, during the reign of
Alexander I. In 1805 he induced the emperor to revoke the edicts made by Paul
I and himself against the Freemasons. His representations of the true
character of the Institution induced the emperor to seek and obtain
Boeber may be considered as
the reviver of Freemasonry in the Russian dominions, and was Grand Master of
the Grand Lodge from 1811 to 1814.
The most celebrated of the
Mystics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, born near Gorlitz, in
1575, and died in 1624. His system attracted, and continued to attract long
after his death, many disciples in Germany. Among these, in time, were several
Freemasons, who sought to incorporate the mystical dogmas of their founder
with the teachings of Freemasonry, so as to make the Lodges merely schools of
theosophy. Indeed, the Theosophic Rites of Freemasonry, which prevailed to a
great extent about the middle of the last century in Germany and France, were
indebted for most of their ideas to the mysticism of Jacob Boehmen.
BOHEMANN, KARL ADOLF ANDERSON
Born in 1770, at Jönköping in
the south of Sweden. He was a very zealous member of the Order of Asiatic
Brethren, and was an active promulgator of the advanced Degrees. Invited to
Sweden, in 1802, by the Duke of Sudermania, who was an ardent inquirer into
Masonic science, he was appointed Court Secretary.
He attempted to introduce his
system of advanced Degrees into the kingdom, but having been detected in the
effort to intermingle revolutionary schemes with his high Degrees, he was
first imprisoned and then banished from the country, his society being
interdicted. He returned to Germany, but is not heard of after 1815, when he
published at Plymouth a justification of himself. Findel in his History of
Freemasonry (page 560), calls him an impostor, but he seems rather to have
been a Masonic fanatic, who was ignorant of or had forgotten the wide
difference between Freemasonry and political intrigue.
A Lodge named The Three Stars
is said to have been established at Prague in 1726, and other Lodges were
subsequently constituted in Bohemia, but in consequence of the French
Revolution they were closed in 1793 by the Austrian Government.
BOHMANN, F. OTTO
A merchant in Stockholrn,
1695-1767, who left a legacy of 100,000 thalers to the Asylum for the Orphans
of Freemasons that was founded in Stockholm in 1753. A medal was struck in his
honor in 1768 (see Marvin's Masonic Medals, page 172).
The third largest political
division of the continent of South America. A Lodge was chartered in Bolivia
in 1875. Three others have since been established and all four pay allegiance
to the Grand Lodge of Peru.
Brother Oliver Day Street says
in his 1922 Report on Correspondence to the Grand Lodge of Alabama: "So far as
we have been able to ascertain this State has never been able to boast a Grand
Lodge, Grand Orient or Supreme Council of its own. Its only Masonic
organizations have been Lodges chartered by some of the Grand Lodges of the
neighboring states. Indeed, Peru and Chile are the only ones we can ascertain
which have even done this. Bolivia can scarcely be said to have a Masonic
A seaport on the west coast of
India. The first Lodge to be established in Bombay was opened in 1758 but it
disappeared from the register in 1813. In 1763 James Todd was appointed
Provincial Grand Master.
A Provincial Grand Master of
Western India and its Dependencies, Brother James Burnes was appointed in 1836
by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. None had been appointed by England since the
time of Brother Todd. Brother Burnes was a very active Freemason and it is a
curious fact that Brethren even left the English Lodges to support the new
English Freemasonry became
less and less popular and finally ceased to be practiced until 1848 when Saint
George Lodge No. 807, was revived.
In 1886 Scotland had issued
nineteen Charters to Lodges in Bombay and twelve years previously Captain
Morland, successor to Brother Burnes, was raised to the position of Grand
Master of all Scottish Freemasonry in India.
The Craft took no firm hold on
the natives of India.
Several of the princes were
initiated but the Parsees made the first real advance in the Order when
Brother Cama, one of their number, was elected Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of
England. The first Hindu to hold important office was Brother Dutt who became
head of a Lodge in 1874 (see India and Madras).
Brother Hawkins was of the
opinion that the word is really an incorrect transliteration of the Hebrew
word for builders, which should be Bonim; the construct form of which Bonai is
used in 1 Kings (v, 18), to designate a portion of the workmen on the Temple:
"And Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders did hew them." Brother Hawkins
continues to the effect that Oliver, in his Dictionary and in his Landmarks
(1, 402), gives a mythical account of them as Fellow Crafts, divided into
Lodges by King Solomon, but, by a slip in his grammar he calls them Benai,
substituting the Hebrew construct for the absolute case, and changing the
participial o into e. The Bonaim seem to be distinguished, by the author of
the Book of Kings, from the Gibalim, and the translators of the authorized
version have called the former builders and the latter stone-squarers. It is
probable that the Bonaim were an order of workmen inferior to the Gibalim.
Anderson, in both of his editions of the Book of Constitutions, errs like
Oliver, and calls them Bonai, saying that they were "setters, layers, or
.builders, or light Fellow Crafts, in number 80,000.''
This idea seems to have been
perpetuated in the modern rituals. From this construct plural form Bonai some
one has formed the slightly incorrect form Bonaim.
Brother of Napoleon I. Born
November 15, 1784, and died June 24, 1860. King of Westphalia from 1807 to
1813 and afterwards known as the Duc de Montfort. Grand Master of the Grand
Orient of Westphalia. After 1847 he became successively Governor of the
Invalides, Marshal of France and President of the Senate (see also Histoire de
la Franc-Maçonnerie, Albert Lantoine, 1925, Paris). Jerome, son of the above,
also given as a Freemason.
Elder brother of Napoleon I.
Born January 7, 1768. Sent to Naples as King in 1806 and made King of Spain in
1808. After 1815 known as Comte de Survilliers. He was a Freemason. Appointed
by Napoleon I to the office of Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France in
1804. He died July 28, 1844.
Born September 2, 1778; died
July 25, 1846. Brother of Napoleon I. King of Holland in 1806. Grand Master
Adjoined of the Grand Orient of France in 1804. In 1805 became Governor of
Brother of Napoleon I. Born
May 21, 1775, and died at Rome, June 29, 1840. November 10, 1799, when
Napoleon I overthrew the National Councils of France at the Palace of Saint
Cloud, Lucien was President of the Council of Five Hundred and able to turn
the scale in favor of his brother. In 1800 was Ambassador at Madrid, Spain. A
member of the Grand Orient of France,
In the fourth article of the
Halliwell or Regius Manuscript, which is the earliest Masonic document known,
it is said that the Master shall take good care that he make no bondman an
apprentice, or, as it is in the original language :
The fourth artycul thys moste
That the Mayster hymn wel be-se,
That he no bondemon prentys make.
The regulation is repeated in
all the subsequent regulations, and is still in force (see Freebom).
This word, which is now
pronounced in one syllable, is the Hebrew word bo-neh, , builder, from the
verb banah, to build. It was peculiarly applied, as an epithet, to Hiram Abif,
who superintended the construction of the Temple as its chief builder. Master
Masons will recognize it as part of a significant word. Its true pronunciation
would be, in English letters, bo-nay; but the corruption into one syllable as
bone has become too universal ever to be corrected.
In the early lectures of the
eighteenth century, now obsolete, we find the following catechism:
Q. Have you any key to the
secrets of a Mason?
Q. Where do you keep it?
A. In a bone box, that neither opens nor shuts but with ivory keys.
The bone box is the mouth, the
ivory keys the teeth.
And the key to the secrets is afterward said to be the tongue.
These questions were simply used as tests, and were subsequently varied. In a
later lecture it is called the Bone-bone Box.
BONNEVILLE, CHEVALIER DE
BONNEVILLE, NICOLAS DE
On the 24th of November, 1754,
he founded the Chapter of the Advanced Degrees known as the Chapter of
A1l the authorities assert
this except Rebold, Histoire des Trois Grandes Loges, meaning the History of
the Three Grand Lodges, page 46, who says that he was not its founder but only
the propagator of its Degrees.
BONNEVILLE, NICOLAS DE
A bookseller and man of
letters, born at Evreux, in France, March 13, 1760. He was the author of a
work, published in 1788, entitled Les Jésuites chassés de la Maçonnerie et
leur poignard brisé par les Maçons, meaning The Jesuits driven from
Freemasonry and their weapon broken by the Freemasons, a book divided into two
parts, of the first of which the subtitle was La Maçonnerie écossaise comparée
avec les trois professions et le Secret des Templiers du 14e Siécle, meaning
Scottish Freemasonry compared with the three professions and the Secret of the
Templars of the Fourteenth Century, and of the second, Mémeté des quatre voeux
de la Compagnie de S. Ignace, et des quatre grades de la Maçonnerie de S.
Jean, meaning the Identity of the four pledges of the Society of Saint Ignace,
and of the four steps of the Freemasonry of Saint John. He also translated
into French, Thomas Paine's Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry; a work, by the
way, which was hardly worth the trouble of translation.
De Bonneville had an exalted
idea of the difficulties attendant upon writing a history of Freemasonry, for
he says that, to compose such a work, supported by dates and authentic facts,
it would require a period equal to ten times the age of man; a statement
which, although exaggerated, undoubtedly contains an element of truth.
His Masonic theory was that
the Jesuits had introduced into the symbolic Degrees the history of the life
and death of the Templars, and the doctrine of vengeance for the political and
religious crime of their destruction; and that they had imposed upon four of
the higher Degrees the four vows of their congregation. De Bonneville was
imprisoned as a Girondist in 1793. The Girondists or Girondins were members of
a political party during the French Revolution of 1791 to 1793, getting their
name from twelve Deputies from the Gironde, a Department of Southwestern
France. He was the author of a History of Modern Europe, in three volumes,
published in 1792. He died in 1828.
BOOK OF CHARGES
There seems, if we may judge
from the references in the old records of Freemasonry, to have formerly
existed a book under this title, containing the Charges of the Craft;
equivalent, probably, to the Book of Constitutions. Thus, the Matthew Cooke
Manuscript of the first half of the fifteenth century (line 534) speaks of "othere
chargys mo that ben wryten in the Boke of Chargys.''
BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS
The Book of Constitutions is
that work in which is contained the rules and regulations adopted for the
government of the Fraternity of Freemasons. Undoubtedly, a society so orderly
and systematic must always have been governed by a prescribed code of laws;
but, in the lapse of ages, the precise regulations which were adopted for the
direction of the Craft in ancient times have been lost. The earliest record
that we have of any such Constitutions is in a manuscript, first quoted, in
1723, by Anderson( Constitutions, 1723, pages 32-3), which he said was written
in the reign of Edward IV.
Preston (page 182, edition
of1788) quotes the same record, and adds, that "it is said to have been in the
possession of the famous Elias Ashmole, and unfortunately destroyed,'' a
statement which had not been previously made by Anderson. To Anderson,
therefore, we must look in our estimation of the authenticity of this document
; and that we cannot too much rely upon his accuracy as a transcriber is
apparent, not only from the internal evidence of style, but also from the fact
that he made important alterations in his copy of it in his edition of 1738.
Such as it is, however, it contains the following particulars: "Though the
ancient records of the Brotherhood in England were many of them destroyed or
lost in the wars of the Saxons and Danes, yet King Athelstan (the grandson of
King Alfrede the Great, a mighty Architect), the first anointed king of
England, and who translated the Holy Bible into the Saxon tongue, 930 A. D.,
when he had brought the land into Rest and Peace, built many great works, and
encouraged many Masons from France, who were appointed Overseers thereof, and
brought with them the Charges and Regulations of the Lodges preserved since
the Roman times, who also prevailed with the King to improve the Constitution
of the English Lodges according to the foreign Model, and to increase the
Wages of Working Masons.
"The said king's youngest son,
Prince Edwin, being taught Masonry, and taking upon him the Charges of a
Master Mason, for the love he had to the said Craft and the honorable
Principles whereon it is grounded, purchased a free charter of King Athelatan
his Father, 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
"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, and
made a law to preserve and observe the same in all time coming, and ordained
good Pay for Working Masons, ac."
Other records have from time
to time been discovered, most of them recently, which prove beyond a1l doubt
that the Fraternity of Freemasons was, at least in the fourteenth, fifteenth,
sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, in possession of manuscript
Constitutions containing the rules and regulations of the Craft.
In the year 1717, Freemasonry,
which had somewhat fallen into decay in the south of England, was revived by
the organization of the Grand Lodge at London; and, in the next year, the
Grand Master having desired, says Anderson, "any brethren to bring to the
Grand Lodge any old writings and records concerning Freemasons and
Freemasonry, in order to show the usages of ancient times, several old copies
of the Gothic Constitutions were produced and collated" (see Constitutions,
1738, page l10).
But these Constitutions having
been found to be very erroneous and defective, probably from carelessness or
ignorance in their frequent transcription, in September, 1721, the Duke of
Montagu, who was then Grand Master, ordered Brother James Anderson to digest
them "in a new and better method" (see Constitutions, 1738, page 113).
Anderson having accordingly
accomplished the important task that had been assigned him, in December of the
same year a committee, consisting of fourteen learned Brethren, was appointed
to examine the book ; and, in the March Communication of the subsequent year,
having reported their approbation of it, it was, after some amendments,
adopted by the Grand Lodge, and published, in 1723, under the title of The
Constitutions of the Freemasons, containing the History, Charges, Regulations,
etc., of that Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. For the use of the
Lodges. A second edition was published in 1738, under the superintendence of'
a committee of Grand Officers (see the Constitutions of that year, page 133).
But this edition contained so many alterations, interpolations, and omissions
of the Charges and Regulations as they appeared in the first, as to show the
most reprehensible inaccuracy in its composition, and to render it utterly
worthless except as a literary curiosity. It does not seem to have been very
popular, for the printers, to complete their sales, were compelled to commit a
fraud, and to present what they pretended to be a new edition in 1746, but
which was really only the edition of 1738, with a new title page neatly pasted
in, the old one being canceled.
In 1754, Brother Jonathan
Scott presented a memorial to the Grand Lodge, ''showing the necessity of a
new edition of the Book of Constitutions.'' It was then ordered that the book
"should be revised, and necessary alterations and additions made consistent
with the laws and rules of Masonry" ; all of which would seem to show the
dissatisfaction of the Fraternity with the errors of the second edition.
Accordingly, a third edition was published in 1756, under the editorship of
the Rev. John Entick. The fourth edition, prepared by a Committee, was
published in 1767.
In 1769, G. Kearsly, of
London, published an unauthorized edition of the 1767 issue, with an appendix
to 1769 ; this was also published by Thomas Wilkinson in Dublin in the same
year, with several curious plates ; both issues are now very scarce. And an
authorized supplement appeared in 1776.
John Noorthouck published by
authority the fifth edition in 1784. This was well printed in quarto, with
numerous notes, and is considered the most valuable edition ; it is the last
to contain the historical introduction.
After the Union of the two
rival Grand Lodges of England (see Ancient Masons) in 1813, the sixth edition
was issued in 1815, edited by Brother William Williams, Provincial Grand
Master for Dorsetshire; the seventh appeared in 1819, being the last in quarto
; and the eighth in 1827; these were called the Second Part, and contained
only the Ancient Charges and the General Regulations. The ninth edition of
1841 contained no reference to the First or Historical Part, and may be
regarded as the first of the present issue in octavo with the plates of jewels
at the end.
Numerous editions have since
been issued. In the early days of the Grand Lodge of England in all
processions the Book of Constitution was carried on a cushion by the Master of
the Senior Lodge (Constitution, 1738, pages 117-26), but this was altered at
the time of the union and it is provided in the Constitutions of 1815 and in
the subsequent issues that the Book of Constitutions on a cushion shall be
carried by the Grand Secretary.
BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS GUARDED
BY THE TILER'S SWORD
An emblem painted on the
Master's carpet, and intended to admonish the Freemason that he should be
guarded in all his words and actions, preserving unsullied the Masonic virtues
of silence and circumspection. Such is Webb's definition of the emblem in the
Freemasons monitor (edition of 1818, page 69), which is a very modern one, and
Brother Mackey was inclined to think it was introduced by that lecturer. The
interpretation of Webb is a very unsatisfactory one in the opinion of Brother
Mackey. He held that the Book of Constitutions is rather the symbol of
constituted law than of silence and circumspection, and when guarded by the
Tiler's sword it would seem properly to symbolize regard for and obedience to
law, a prominent Masonic duty.
BOOK OF GOLD
In the Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, the volume in which the transactions, statutes, decrees,
balusters, and protocols of the Supreme Council or a Grand Consistory are
contained is called the Book of Gold.
BOOK OF MORMON
This sacred book of the
Mormons was first published in 1830 by Joseph Smith, who claimed to have
translated it from gold plates which he had found under Divine guidance
secreted in a stone box. The seat of their organization is at Salt Lake City,
Utah. In this connection, Mormonism and Masonry, by Brother S. H. Goodwin,
Grand Secretary of Utah, is a detailed and excellent work of reference.
BOOK OF THE DEAD
By some translated the Book of
the Master, containing the ancient Egyptian philosophy as to death and the
resurrection. A portion of these sacred writings was invariably buried with
the dead. The book in facsimile has been published by Doctor Lepsius, and
translated by Doctor Birch. The story of the judgment of Amenti forms a part
of the Book of the Dead, and shadows forth the verities and judgments of the
The Amenti was the Place of
Judgment of the Dead, situated in the West, where Osiris was presumed to be
buried. There were forty-two assessors of the amount of sin committed, who sat
in judgment, and before whom the adjudged passed in succession.
There seems to be a tie which
binds Freemasonry to the noblest of the cults and mysteries of antiquity.
The most striking exponent of
the doctrines and language of the Egyptian Mysteries of Osiris is this Book of
the Dead, or Ritual of the Underworld, or Egyptian Bible of 165 chapters, the
Egyptian title of which was The Manifestation to Light, or the Book Revealing
Light to the Soul. Great dependence was had, as to the immediate attainment of
celestial happiness, upon the human knowledge of this wonderful Book,
especially of the principal chapters.
On a sarcophagus or tomb of
the eleventh dynasty, according to the chronology of Professor Lepsius, say
2420 B.C., is this inscription: "He who knows this book is one who, in the day
of the resurrection of the underworld, arises and enters in; but he does not
know this chapter, he does not enter in so soon as he arises. " The conclusion
of the first chapter says: "If a man knows this book thoroughly, and has it
inscribed upon his sarcophagus, he will be manifested in the day in all the
forms that he may desire, and entering into his abode will not be turned back"
(see Tiele's History of Religions, page 25).
The Egyptian belief was that
portions of the Book of the Dead were written by the finger of Thoth, that
being the name of the Egyptian god of letters, invention and wisdom, the
mouthpiece and recorder of the gods, and umpire of their disputes, back in the
mist of time, 3000 B.C. The one hundred and twenty-fifth chapter describes the
last judgment. The oldest preserved papyrus is of the eighteenth dynasty.
Professor Lepsius fixes the date at 1591 BC.
The most perfect copy of this
Book of the Dead is in the Turin Museum, where it covers one side of the
walls, in four pieces, 300 feet in length.
The following extract is from
the first chapter: "Says That to Osiris, King of Eternity, I am the great God
in the divine boat; I fight for thee; I am one of the divine chiefs who are
the TRUE LIVING WORD of Osiris. I am That, who makes to be real the word of
Horus against his enemies. The word of Osiris against his enemies made truth
in That, and the order is executed by That. I am with Horus on the day of
celebrating the festival of Osiris, the good Being, whose Word is truth; I
make offerings to Ra (the Sun) ; I am a simple priest in the underworld,
anointing in Abydos, elevating to higher degrees of initiation; I am prophet
in Abydos on the day of opening or up heaving the earth. I behold the
mysteries of the door of the underworld; I direct the ceremonies of Mendes; I
am the assistant in the exercise of their functions; I AM GRAND MASTER OF THE
CRAFTSMEN WHO SET UP THE SACRED ARCH FOR A SUPPORT" (see Truth).
BOOK OF THE FRATERNITY OF
Years ago, a manuscript was
discovered in the archives of the City of Cologne bearing the title of
Brüderschaftsbuch der Steinmetzen, meaning the Brotherhood Book of the
Stonecutters, with records going back to the year 1396. Steinbrenner (Origin
and Early History of Masonry, page104), says: "It fully confirms the
conclusions to be derived from the German Constitutions, and those of the
English and Scotch Masons, and conclusively proves the in authenticity of the
celebrated Charter of Cologne."
BOOK OF THE LAW
The Holy Bible, which is
always open in a Lodge as a symbol that its fight should be discussed among
the Brethren. The passages at which it is opened differ in the various Degrees
(see Scriptures, Reading of the).
Masonically, the Book of the
Law is that sacred book which is believed by the Freemason of any particular
religion to contain the revealed will of God; although, technically, among the
Jews, the Torah, or Book of the Law, means only the Pentateuch or five books
of Moses. Thus, to the Christian Freemason the Book of the Law is the Old and
New Testaments; to the Jew, the Old Testament; to the Mussulman, the Koran ;
to the Brahman, the Vedas ; and to the Parsee, the Zendavesta.
The Book of the Law is an
important symbol in the Royal Arch Degree, concerning which there was a
tradition among the Jews that the Book of the Law was lost during the
captivity, and that it was among the treasures discovered during the building
of the second Temple. The same opinion was entertained by the early Christian
fathers, such, for instance, as Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clemens Alexandrinus;
"for," says Prideaux, "they (the Christian fathers) hold that all the
Scriptures were lost and destroyed in the Babylonish captivity, and that Ezra
restored them all again by Divine revelation." The truth of the tradition is
very generally denied by Biblical scholars, who attribute its origin to the
fact that Ezra collected together the copies of the law, expurgated them of
the errors which had crept into them during the captivity, and arranged a new
and correct edition. But the truth or falsity of the legend does not affect
the Masonic symbolism. The Book of the Law is the will of God, which, lost to
us in our darkness, must be recovered as precedent to our learning what is
Truth. As captives to error, truth is lost to us ; when freedom is restored,
the first reward will be its discovery.
BOOK, ORDER OF THE
See Stukely, Doctor
See Anti-Masonic Books
See Tesselated Border
An island in the Malay
Archipelago, a great group of islands southeast of Asia. On August 13, 1885,
Elopura Lodge, No. 2106, was chartered by the Grand Lodge of England in North
Borneo at Elopura. It was, however, never constituted as the petitioners had
left before the Lodge could be opened, and it was erased from the register on
January 2, 1888.
Borneo Lodge of Harmony was
chartered on May 6, 1891, and constituted at Sandakan on June 7, the same
The name is sometimes given as
Bossonius. The Fourth Degree of the African Architects, also called the
Christian Philosopher. The latter reference is by Thory (Acta Latomorum, 1,
BOSTON TEA PARTY
England in 1773 passed a law
levying a tax on all tea shipped into the American Colonies by the East India
Three cargoes of tea were in
Boston harbor when from a meeting of citizens, December 16, 1773, held at the
Old South Church, forty or fifty men disguised as Indians emerged and in two
or three hours three hundred and forty-two chests of tea valued at about
eighteen hundred pounds sterling were emptied into the sea (see Brother Elroy
McKendree Avery's History of the United States and Its People, volume v, page
166). The secrecy and dispatch of the whole affair definitely indicates
previous rehearsals under competent leadership. On that very night the records
written by the Secretary state that Lodge of Saint Andrew closed until the
next night "On account of the few members in attendance" and then the entire
page is filled up with the letters T made large (see Centennial Memorial of
Saint Andrew's Lodge, page 347, also Green Dragon Tavern).
A Scottish Laird, of
Auchinleck, and of the family of the biographer of Doctor Johnson. Laird means
the proprietor of a landed estate; occasionally, merely a landlord. His
appearance in the Lodge of Edinburgh at a meeting held at Holyrood in June,
1600, affords a very early authentic instance of a person being a member of
the Masonic Fraternity who was not an architect or builder by profession.
Brother Boswell signed his name and made his mark-as did the Operatives.
Called in Hebrew kho'shen, or
kho-shen mish-pow, the breastplate of judgment, because through it the High
Priest received divine responses, and uttered his decisions on all matters
relating to the good of the commonwealth. It was a piece of embroidered cloth
of gold, purple, scarlet, and fine white, twined linen. It was a span, or
about nine inches square, when doubled, and made thus strong to hold the
precious stones that were set in it. It had a gold ring at each corner, to the
uppermost of which were attached golden chains, by which it was fastened to
the shoulder pieces of the ephod-the vestment worn by the High Priest over his
tunic; while from the two lowermost went two ribbons of blue, by which it was
attached to the girdle of the ephod, and thus held secure in its place.
In the breastplate were set
twelve precious jewels, on each of which was engraved the name of one of the
twelve tribes. The stones were arranged in four rows, three stones in each
row. As to the order of arrangement and the names of the stones, there has
been some difference among the authorities. The authorized version of the
Bible gives them in this order:
Sardius, topaz, carbuncle,
emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, jasper.
This is the pattern generally
followed in the construction of Masonic breastplates, but modem researches
into the true meaning of the Hebrew names of the stones have shown its
Especially must the diamond be
rejected, as no engraver could have cut a name on this impenetrable gem, to
say nothing of the pecuniary value of a diamond of a size to match the rest of
EMERALD, TOPAZ, SARDIUS,
JASPER, SAPPHIRE, CARBUNCLE,
AMETHYST AGATE, LIGURE,
BERYL ONYX, CHRYSOLITE,
FIG. 1 VULGATE VERSION OF
Josephus, Antiquities of the
Jews (III, vii), gives the stones in the following order: Sardonyx, topaz,
emerald; carbuncle, jasper, sapphire ; ligure, amethyst, agate; chrysolite,
onyx, beryl. Kalisch, in his Colmmentary on Exodus, gives a still different
order: Cornelian (or sardius), topaz, smaragdus; carbuncle, sapphire, emerald;
ligure, agate, amethyst; chrysolite, onyx, jasper. But perhaps the Vulgate
translation is to be preferred as an authority, because it was made in the
fifth century, at a time when the old Hebrew names of the precious stones were
better understood than now. The order given in that version is shown in the
diagram Fig. I. A description of each of these stones, with its symbolic
signification, with be found under the appropriate head.
On the stones were engraved the names of the twelve tribes, one on each stone.
The order in which they were placed, according to the Jewish Targums--various
ancient forms of the Hebrew Scriptures in Aramaic or Chaldee language, was as
Fig. 2, having a reference to the respective ages of the twelve sons of Jacob.
LEVI ............. SIMEON
ZEBULUN ..... ISSACHAR ........ JUDAH
GAD ............. NAPHTALI ......... DAN
BENJAMIN .. JOSEPH .............. ASHER
FIG. 2. TWELVE TRIBES
ACCORDING TO TARGUMS
The differences made by
various writers in the order of the names of the stones arise only from their
respective translations of the Hebrew words. These original names are detailed
in Exodus (xxviii), and admit of no doubt, whatever uncertainty there may be
as to the gems which they were intended to represent. Fig. 3 illustrates the
Hebrew names of the stones.
A description of the
breastplate is given in chapters xxviii and xxxix of Exodus. From the former,
authorized version of the Bible, we take the following four verses (17-21) :
"And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones ; the
first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle : this shall be the
first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
And the fourth row a beryl,
and an onyx, and a jasper : they shall be set in gold in their enclosings. And
the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve according
to their names, like the engravings of a signet ; every one with his name
shall they be according to the twelve tribes." In the margin the word ruby is
given instead of sardius in the first row of stones. The revised version
suggests that ruby be substituted for sardius, emerald for carbuncle,
carbuncle for emerald, sardonyx for diamond, amber for ligure or jacinth,
chalcedony for beryl, and beryl for onyx, in the list found in Exodus xxviii.
Students of the Scriptures
conclude that from the dimensions of the breastplate, given in Exodus (chapter
xxviii ), a span which would be equivalent to eight or nine inches, the twelve
stones even after allowing some reasonable space for their setting must have
been of considerable size and therefore of only moderate rarity. Furthermore,
as they were engraved with the names of the twelve tribes they could have been
of only moderate hardness; and finally, preference may well be given to stones
which research has shown to have been actually used for ornamental purposes in
early bible times. In regard to this matter the article by Professor Flinders
Petrie is of especial importance (see Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, iv,
The breastplate which was used
in the first Temple does not appear to have been returned after the Captivity,
for it is not mentioned in the list of articles sent back by Cyrus. The
stones, on account of their great beauty and value, were most probably removed
from their original arrangement and reset in various ornaments by their
captors. A new one was made for the services of the second Temple, which,
according to Josephus, when worn by the High Priest, shot forth brilliant rays
of fire that manifested the immediate presence of Jehovah. But Josephus adds
that two hundred years before his time this miraculous power had become
extinct in consequence of the impiety of the nation. It was subsequently
Baw-rek-ath' ...... Pit-daw'
Yah-hal-ome' ..... Sap-peer' .... No,-pek
Akh-law'-maw ... Sheb-oo' ..... Leh'-shem
Yaw-shef-ay' ...... Sho'-ham ... Tar-sheesh
FIG. 3. HEBREW NAMES OF THE
STONES IN BREASTPLATE WITH THEIR PRONUNCIATION
carried to Rome together with
the other spoils of the Temple.
Of the subsequent fate of
these treasures, and among them the breastplate, there are two accounts: one,
that they were convoyed to Carthage by Genseric after his sack of Rome, and
that the ship containing them was lost on the voyage; the other, and, as King
thinks, in Antique Gems (page137), the more probable one, that they had been
transferred long before that time to Byzantium, and deposited by Justinian in
the treasury of Saint Sophia.
The breastplate is worn in
American Chapters of the Royal Arch by the High Priest as an essential Part of
his official vestments. The symbolic reference of it, as given by Webb, is
that it is to teach him always to bear in mind his responsibility to the laws
and ordinances of the Institution, and that the honor and interests of his
Chapter should be always near his heart.
This does not materially
differ from the ancient symbolism, for one of the names given to the Jewish
breastplate was the memorial, because it was designed to remind the High
Priest how dear the tribes whose names it bore should be to his heart.
The breastplate does not
appear to have been original with or peculiar to the Jewish ritual. The idea
was, most probably, derived from the Egyptians.
Diodorus Siculus says (in his
book 1, chapter 75), that among them the chief judge bore about his neck a
chain of gold, from which hung a figure or image , composed of precious
stones, which was called Truth, and the legal proceedings only commenced when
the chief judge had assumed this image.
Aelian (book xxxiv), confirms
this account by saying that the image was engraved on sapphire, and hung about
the neck of the chief judge with a golden chain.
Peter du Val says that he saw
a mummy at Cairo, round the neck of which was a chain, to which a golden plate
was suspended, on which the image of a bird was engraved (see Urim and Thummim).
BREAST, THE FAITHFUL
One of the three precious
jewels of a Fellow Craft. It symbolically teaches the initiate that the
lessons which he has received from the instructive tongue of the Master are
not to be listened to and lost, but carefully treasured in his heart, and that
the precepts of the Order constitute a covenant which he is faithfully to
BREAST TO BREAST
See Points of Fellowship
This word, being the plural of
Brother in the solemn style, is more generally used in Masonic language,
instead of the common plural, Brothers. Thus Freemasons always speak of The
Brethren of the Lodge, and not of The Brothers of the Lodge.
BRETHREN OF HARMONY
Identical with the Fréres
Noirs, or Black Brethren.
BRETHREN OF THE BRIDGE
See Bridge Builders of the
BRETHREN OF THE MYSTIC TIE
The term by which Freemasons
distinguish themselves as the members of a confraternity or brotherhood united
by a mystical bond (see Mystic Tie).
BRETHREN ROSE CROIX OF THE
See Marconis, also Memphis,
BREWSTER, SIR DAVID
See Lawrie, Alexander
A most significant symbol in
the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Degrees of the Scottish Rite, at which an
important event transpires. The characteristic letters which appear on the
Bridge, L. O. P., refer to that liberty of thought which is ever thereafter to
be the inheritance of those who have been symbolically captive for seven weeks
It is the new era of the
freedom of expression, the liberation of the former captive thought. Liberty,
but not License. It is also a symbol in the Royal Order (see Lakak Deror
Pessah; also Liber; also Liberty of Passage).
BRIDGE BUILDERS OF THE MIDDLE
Before speaking of the
Pontifices, or the Fraternity of Bridge Builders, whose history is closely
connected with that of the Freemasons of the Middle Ages, it will be as well
to say something of the word which they assumed as the title of their
The Latin word pontifex, with
its equivalent English pontiff, literally signifies the builder of a bridge,
from pons, meaning a bridge, and facere, to make. But this sense, which it
must have originally possessed, it seems very speedily to have lost, and we,
as well as the Romans, only recognize pontifex or pontiff as significant of a
sacerdotal priestly character.
Of all the Colleges of Priests
in ancient Rome, the most illustrious was that of the Pontiffs. The College of
Pontiffs was established by Numa, and originally consisted of five, but was
afterward increased to sixteen. The whole religious system of the Romans, the
management of all the sacred rites, and the government of the priesthood, was
under the control and direction of the College of Pontiffs, of which the
Pontifex Maximus, or High Priest, was the presiding officer and the organ
through which its decrees were communicated to the people. Hence, when the
Papal Church established its seat at the City of Rome, its Bishop assumed the
designation of Pontifex Maximus as one of his titles, and Pontiff and Pope are
now considered equivalent terms.
The question naturally arises
as to what connection there was between religious rites and the building of
bridges, and why a Roman priest bore the name which literally denoted a bridge
builder. Etymologists have in vain sought to solve the problem, and, after all
their speculation, fail to satisfy us.
One of the most tenable
theories is that of Schmitz, who thinks the Pontifices were so called because
they superintended the sacrifices on a bridge, alluding to the Argean
sacrifices on the Sublician Bridge.
But Varro gives a more
probable explanation when he tells us that the Sublician Bridge was built by
the pontifices; and that it was deemed, from its historic association, of so
sacred a character, that no repairs could be made on it without a previous
sacrifice, which was to be conducted by the Chief Pontiff in person.
The true etymology is,
however, undoubtedly lost; yet it may be interesting, as well as suggestive,
to know that in old Rome there was, even in a mere title, supposing that it
was nothing more, some sort of connection between the art or practice of
bridge building and the mysterious sacerdotal rites established by Numa, a
connection which was subsequently again developed in the Masonic association
which is the subject of the present article.
Whatever may have been this
connection in Pagan Rome, we find, after the establishment of Christianity and
in the Middle Ages, a secret Fraternity organized, as a branch of the
Traveling Freemasons of that period, whose members were exclusively devoted to
the building of bridges, and who were known as Pontifices, or Bridge Builders,
and styled by the French les Fréres Pontifes, or Pontifical Brethren, and by
the Germans Brückenbrüder, or Brethren of the Bridge. It is of this Fraternity
that, because of their association in history with the early corporations of
Freemasons, it is proposed to give a brief sketch.
In the eleventh and twelfth
centuries, the methods of intercommunication between different countries were
neither safe nor convenient. Travelers could not avail themselves of the
comforts of either macadamized roads or railways. Stage-coaches were unknown.
He who was compelled by the calls of business to leave his home, trudged as a
pedestrian wearily on foot, or on horseback, if his means permitted that mode
of journeying; made his solitary ride through badly constructed roads, where
he frequently became the victim of robbers, who took his life as well as his
purse, or submitted to the scarcely less heavy exactions of some lawless
Baron, who claimed it as his high prerogative to levy a tax on every wayfarer
who passed through his domains. Inns were infrequent, incommodious, and
expensive, and the weary traveler could hardly have appreciated Shenstone's
Whoever has traveled life's
Wherever his stages may have been,May sigh to think he still has found
His warmest welcome at an inn.
But one of the greatest
embarrassments to which the traveler in this olden time was exposed occurred
when there was a necessity to cross a stream of water.
The noble bridges of the
ancient Greeks and Romans had been destroyed by time or war, and the
intellectual debasement of the dark ages had prevented their renewal. Hence,
when refinement and learning began to awaken from that long sleep which
followed the invasion of the Goths and Vandals and the decline and fall of the
Roman Empire, the bridge less rivers could only be crossed by swimming through
the rapid current, or by fording the shallow places.
The earliest improvement
toward a removal of these difficulties consisted in the adoption of rafts or
boats, and gilds or corporations of raftsmen and boatmen, under the names of
Linuncularii, Lintrarii, and Utricularii, were formed to transport travelers
and merchandise across rivers. But the times were lawless, and these watermen
oftener plundered than assisted their patrons. Benevolent persons, therefore,
saw the necessity of erecting hostelries on the banks of the rivers at
frequented places, and of constructing bridges for the transportation of
travelers and their goods.
All the architectural labors
of the period were, as is well known, entrusted to the gilds or corporations
of builders who, under the designation of Traveling Freemasons, passed from
country to country, and, patronized by the Church, erected those magnificent
cathedrals, monasteries, and other public edifices, many of which have long
since crumbled to dust, but a few of which still remain to attest the wondrous
ability of these Operative Brethren. Alone skilled in the science of
architecture, from them only could be derived workmen capable of constructing
safe and enduring bridges.
Accordingly, a portion of
these Freemasons, withdrawing from the general body, united, under the
patronage of the Church, into a distinct corporation of Fréres Pontifes, or
Bridge Builders. The name which they received in Germany was that of
Brückenbrüder, or Brethren of the Bridge. A legend of the Church attributes
their foundation to Saint Benezet, who accordingly became the patron of the
Order, as Saint John was of the Freemasons proper. Saint Benezet was a
shepherd of Avilar, in France, who was born in the year 1165.
"He kept his mother's sheep in
the country," says Butler, the historian of the saints, "being devoted to the
practices of piety beyond his age; when moved by charity to save the lives of
many poor persons, who were frequently drowned in crossing the Rhone, and,
being inspired by God, he undertook to build a bridge over that rapid river at
Avignon. He obtained the approbation of the Bishop, proved his mission by'
miracles, and began the work in 1177, which he directed during seven years. He
died when the difficulty of the undertaking was over, in 1184.
His body was buried upon the
bridge itself, which was not completely finished till four years after his
decease, the structure whereof was attended with miracles from the first
laying of the foundations till it was completed, in 1188.''
Divesting this account, which
Butler has drawn from the Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists, of the
miraculous, the improbable, and the legendary, the naked fact remains that
Benezet was engaged, as the principa1 conductor of the work, in the
construction of the magnificent bridge at Avignon, with its eighteen arches.
As this is the most ancient of the bridges of Europe built after the
commencement of the restoration of learning, it is most probable that he was,
as he claimed to have been, the founder of that Masonic corporation of
builders who, under the name of Brethren of the Bridge, assisted him in the
undertaking, and who, on the completion of their task, were engaged in other
parts of France, of Italy, and of Germany, in similar labors.
After the death of Saint
Benezet, he was succeeded by Johannes Benedictus, to whom, as Prior of the
Bridge, and to his Brethren, a charter was granted in 1187, by which they
obtained a chapel and cemetery, with a chaplain.
In 1185, one year after the
death of Saint Benezet, the Brethren of the Bridge commenced the construction
of the Bridge of Saint Esprit, over the Rhone at Lyons. The completion of this
work greatly extended the reputation of the Bridge Builders, and in l189 they
received a charter from Pope Clement III. The City of Avignon continued to be
their headquarters, but they gradually entered into Italy, Spain, Germany,
Sweden, and Denmark.
The Swedish chronicles mention
one Benedict, between the years l178 and l191, who was a bishop and bridge
builder at Skara, in that kingdom. Could he have been the successor, already
mentioned, of Benezet, who had removed from Avignon to Sweden?
As late as 1590 we find the
Order existing at Lucca, in Italy, where, in 1562, John de Medicis exercised
the functions of its chief under the title of Magister, or Master. How the
Order became finally extinct is not known; but after its dissolution much of
the property which it had accumulated passed into the hands of the Knights
Hospitalers or Knights of Maita.
The gild or corporation of
Bridge Builders, like the corporation of Traveling Freemasons, from which it
was an offshoot, was a religious institution, but admitted 1aymen into the
society. In other words, the workmen, or the great body of the gild, were of
course secular, but the patrons were dignitaries of the Church.
When by the multiplication of
bridges the necessity of their employment became less urgent, and when the
numbers of the workmen were greatly increased, the patronage of the Church was
withdrawn, and the association was dissolved, or soon after fell into decay;
its members, probably, for the most part, reuniting with the corporations of
Freemasons from whom they had originally been derived.
Nothing has remained in modern
Freemasonry to preserve the memory of the former connection of the Order with
the bridge builders of the Middle Ages, except the ceremony of opening a
bridge, which is to be found in the rituals of the last century; but even this
has now become almost obsolete. Lenning, who has appropriated a brief article
in his Encydopädie der Freimaurerei to the Brückenbrüder, or Brethren of the
Bridge, incorrectly calls them an Order of Knights. They took, he says, vows
of celibacy and poverty, and also to protect travelers, to attend upon the
sick, and to build bridges, roads, and hospitals.
Several of the inventors of
advanced degrees have, he thinks, sought to revive the Order in some of the
degrees which they have established, and especially in the Knights of the
Sword, which appears in the Ancient and Accepted Rite as the Fifteenth Degree,
or Knights of the East; but Brother Mackey could find no resemblance except
that in the Knights of the Sword there is in the ritual a reference to a river
and a bridge.
He was more inclined to
believe that the Nineteenth Degree of the same Rite, or Grand Pontiff, was
once connected with the Order we have been considering; and that, while the
primitive ritual has been lost or changed so as to leave no vestige of a
relationship between the two, the name which is still retained may have been
derived from the Fréres Pontifes of the twelfth century. This, however, is
mere conjecture, without any means of proof. Accordingly Brother Mackey was of
the opinion that all that we do positively know is, that the bridge builders
of the Middle Ages were a Masonic association, and as such are entitled to a
place in all Masonic histories.
BOURBON, PRINCE LOUIS DE,
COMTE DE CLERMONT
Said to have been elected
December 2, 1743, the fourth Grand Master in France. At first he was energetic
and in 1756 the name of the Grand Lodge was changed from that of the English
Grand Lodge of France to the Grand Lodge of France.
He died in 1771, leaving
Freemasonry in a much less flourishing condition as he neglected it during the
latter part of his life, delegating his work to others (see Histoire de la
Franc-Maçonnerie Française, Albert Lantoine, 1925, Paris, pages 64-9, etc.).
A limit or boundary; a word
familiar to the Freemason in the Monitorial Instructions of the Fellow Craft's
Degree, where he is directed to remember that we are traveling upon the level
of time to that undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns; and
to the reader of Shakespeare, from whom the expression is borrowed, in the
beautiful soliloquy of Hamlet:
Who would fardels bear;
To grunt and sweat under a wearly life ;
But that the dread of something after death
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns-puzzles the will.Act III, Scene 1. Fardels here means
Sometimes in the Lodges of
Scotland the Treasurer was formerly so called. Thus, in the Minutes of the
Lodge of Journeymen Freemasons of Edinburgh, it was resolved, on December, 27,
1726, that the Warden be instructed "to uplift and receive for the use of the
society a1l such sum or sums of money which are due and indebted to them or
their former Box-masters or his predecessors in office."
BOX OF FRATERNAL ASSISTANCE
A box of convenient shape and
size under the charge of the Hospitaler or Almoner, in the Modern French and
Scottish Rites, wherein is collected the obligatory contributions of the duly
assembled Brethren at every convocation, which collections can only be used
for secret charitable purposes, first among the members, but if not there
required, among worthy profane; the Master and the Hospitaler being the only
ones cognizant of the name of the beneficiary, together with the Brother who
suggests an individual in need of the assistance.
Grand Chaplain of Scotland.
May 8, 1843, delivered the oration on the death of the Duke of Sussex.
The Royal Masonic Institution
for Boys is a charity of the Freemasons of England.
It was founded in the year
1798 by a number of Brethren belonging to the Ancient Constitution who were
members of the Lodge of United Mariners, No. 23, now No. 30. This benevolence
was for clothing and educating the sons of indigent and deceased Brethren,
according to the situation in life they are most probably destined to occupy,
and inculcating such religious instruction as may be conformable to the tenets
of their parents, and ultimately apprenticing them to suitable trades.
Brother Francis Columbine
Daniel, of the Royal Naval Lodge of the Moderns, started a somewhat similar
Institution, but the two were happily united in 1817 to the lasting benefit of
the Craft at large.
Similar schools have been
established by the Freemasons of France, Germany, and other countries.
Ossian Lang's History of
Freemasonry in the State of New York says: "It will be of interest to many to
learn that the common school system of New York is directly indebted to the
Masonic Fraternity of that state for its founding. In 1810 the Grand Lodge
determined to provide for the free education of children of Freemasons in
non-sectarian schools, facilities which had theretofore been lacking. Free
schools financed by the Lodges were established, which rapidly grew in
popularity, and these attracted so much attention that in 1817 the legislature
enacted laws providing for the assumption by the State Government for the
growing system, and its extension to meet the requirements of the entire
The religious system practiced by the Hindus. It presents a profound and
spiritual philosophy, strangely blended with the basest superstitions. The
Veda is the Brahmanical Book of the Law, although the older hymns springing
out of the primitive Aryan religion have a date far anterior to that of
comparatively modern Brahmanism. The Laws of Menu is really the text-book of
Brahmanism; yet in the Vedic hymns we find the expression of that religious
thought that has been adopted by the Brahmans and the rest of the modern
The learned Brahmans have a
bidden or esoteric faith, in which they recognize and adore one God, without
form or quality, eternal, unchangeable, and occupying all space; but confining
this concealed doctrine to their interior schools, they teach, for the
multitude, an open or exoteric worship, in which the incomprehensible
attributes of the supreme and purely spiritual God are invested with sensible
and even human forms. In the Vedic hymns all the powers of nature are
personified, and become the objects of worship, thus leading to an apparent
But, as J. F. Clarke in his
Ten Great Religions (page 90) remarks, "behind this incipient polytheism lurks
the original monotheism ; for each of these gods, in turn, becomes the Supreme
Being." And Max Müller says (Chips, 1, 2) that "it would be easy to find in
the numerous hymns of the Veda passages in which almost every important deity
is represented as supreme and absolute."
This most ancient
religion-believed in by one seventh of the world's population, that fountain
from which has flowed so much of the stream of modem religious thought,
abounding in mystical ceremonies and ritual prescriptions, worshiping, as the
Lord of all, "the source of golden fight," having its ineffable name, its
solemn methods of initiation, and its symbolic rites-is well worth the serious
study of the Masonic scholar, because in it he will find much that will be
suggestive to him in the investigations of the dogmas of his Order.
In speaking of the Brahmins,
or Brahmans (Kenning's Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry), Brother A. F. A. Woodford
tells us, " It has been said, and apparently on good authority, that they have
a form of Masonic initiation and recognition amongst them"
A Mohawk Indian Chief, made a
Freemason "and admitted to the Third Degree" at London, England, on April 26,
1776. This was in a Lodge of the Moderns, the Falcon, in Princess Street,
Brother Hawkins records that
during the War of American Independence Brant was in command of some Indian
troops on the British side, by whom Captain McKinsty, of the United States
Army, had been captured. The Indians had tied their prisoner to a tree and
were preparing to torture him, when he made the mystic appeal of a Freemason
in the hour of danger. Brant interposed and rescued his American brother from
his impending fate, took him to Quebec, and placed him in the hands of some
English Freemasons, who returned him, uninjured, to the American outposts.
Clavel has illustrated the occurrence on page 283 of his Histoire Pittoresque
de la Franc-Maçonnerie. Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea, to use his native
name, was bom on the banks of the Ohio River in 1742 and was educated at
He was a member of Lodge No.
11 at the Mohawk village, about a mile and a half from Brantford, and was also
affiliated with Barton Lodge No. 10 at Hamilton, Canada. Brother Robertson,
History of Freemasonry in Canada, records (on page 687) that Brother Brant
translated the Gospel of St. Mark into the Mohawk language and this was
published in 1787.
Brother A. F. A. Woodford,
Kenning's Cyclopoedia, says that he has been reported as Grand Master in
England in 1502 and was probably connected with the Operative Lodges.
See Pillars of the Porch
See Serpent and Cross
BRAZEN SERPENT, KNIGHT OF THE
See Knight of the Brazen
The largest state and republic
in South America. The first Lodge in Brazil is said to have been established
by French authority as early as 1815. At any rate it was at work in 1820 and
was divided into three parts which in 1821 met and formed the Grand Orient of
Brazil according to the French Rite. In October, however, it was closed by
order of the Emperor of Brazil, then Grand Master, and lay dormant for ten
Eight years later a Grand
Orient of Brazil was formed with José Bonefacio de Andrada e Silva as Grand
Master. In November, 1832, the Supreme Council of Belgium instituted a Supreme
Council, Thirty-third Degree, which in1832 was divided into three parts, each
of which deemed to be a Supreme Grand Council. In 1835 there existed two Grand
Orients and four Supreme Councils.
Out of these several Bodies
there finally emerged the original Grand Orient which in 1863 divided into
two, the Grand Orient of Lavrado Valley and the Grand Orient of Benedictino
Valley, the former inclined to Roman Catholicism, the latter opposed to it.
In 1872 the two parties united
; the following year they divided again. An attack by the Bishop of Pemambuco
was the indirect cause of a movement towards Masonic union in 1877, and on
January 18, 1883, the union was achieved in a Body which recognized the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Modem French Rite and the Adonhiramite
In 1914 the Grand Orient
exercised authority over 390 constituent Lodges, while England, Germany, and
Italy were also represented in this territory. A further 50 Lodges paid
allegiance to the Grand Orients of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul, the former of
which has since united with the Grand Orient at Rio de Janeiro.
There are two German Lodges at
Porto Alegre, and one each at Sertas S. Anna, Sapyranga, Santa Cruz,
Candelaria, and Joinville. The Grand Orient of Italy has a Lodge at Botucatu,
and one at San Paolo.
Eugene Seeger, formerly
Consul-General of the United States at Rio de Janeiro, in an article on Brazil
(see Current History, July, 1923), referred to the popularity of Freemasonry
there and asserted that it was largely due to the great number of free public
schools established and supported by the Freemasons for educating future
citizens of that republic.
Consecrated bread and wine,
that is to say, bread and wine used not simply for food, but made sacred by
the purpose of symbolizing a bond of brotherhood, and the eating and drinking
of which are sometimes called the Communion of the Brethren, is found in some
of the advanced Degrees, such as the Order of High Priesthood in the American
Rite, and the Rose Croix of the French and Scottish Rites.
It was in ancient times a
custom religiously observed, that those who sacrificed to the gods should
unite in partaking of a part of the food that had been offered. And in the
Jewish Church it was strictly commanded that the sacrificers should ''eat
before the Lord," and unite in a feast of joy on the occasion of their
offerings. By this common partaking of that which had been consecrated to a
sacred purpose, those who partook of the feast seemed to give an evidence and
attestation of the sincerity with which they made the offering ; while the
feast itself was, as it were, the renewal of the covenant of friendship
between the parties.
BREADTH OF THE LODGE
See Form of the Lodge
In one of the Old Lectures,
quoted by Doctor Oliver, it is said : ''A Mason's breast should be a safe and
sacred repository for all your just and lawful secrets. A brother's secrets,
delivered to me as such, I would keep as my own; as to betray that trust might
be doing him the greatest injury he could sustain in this mortal life; nay, it
would be like the villainy of an assassin who lurks in darkness to stab his
adversary when unarmed and least prepared to meet an enemy."
It is true, that the secrets
of a Freemason, confided as such, should be as inviolate in the breast of him
who has received them as they were in his own before they were confided. But
it would be wrong to conclude that in this a Freemason is placed in a position
different from that which is occupied by every honorable man. No man of honor
is permitted to reveal a secret which he has received under the pledge of
Nevertheless, it is as false
as it is absurd, to assert that either the man of honor or the Freemason is
bound by any such obligation to protect the criminal from the vindication of
the law. It must be left to every man to determine by his own conscience
whether he is at liberty to betray a knowledge of facts with which he could
not have become acquainted except under some such pledge. No court of law
would attempt to extort a communication of facts made known by a penitent to
his confessor or a client to his lawyer for such a communication would make
the person communicating it infamous. In this case, Freemasonry supplies no
other rule than that which is found in the acknowledged codes of Moral Ethics.
The dipioma or certificate in
some of the advanced degrees is so called.
A Freemason is said to be
bright who is well acquainted with the ceremonies, the forms of opening and
closing, and the ceremonies of initiation. This expression does not, however,
in its technical sense, appear to include the superior knowledge of the
history and science of the Institution, and many bright Freemasons are,
therefore, not necessarily learned; and, on the contrary, some learned
Freemasons are not well versed in the exact phraseology of the ceremonies. The
one knowledge depends on a retentive memory, the other is derived from deep
research. It is scarcely necessary to say which of the two kinds of knowledge
is the more valuable. The Freemason whose acquaintance with the Institution is
confined to what he learns from its esoteric ceremonies will have but a
limited idea of its science and philosophy. And yet a knowledge of the
ceremonies as the foundation of higher knowledge is essential.
The Scotch term for Masonic
A province in the western Dominion of Canada. The first Lodge established in
this province was Victoria, No. 783, by the Grand Lodge of England, March 19,
1859. In 1871 the Grand Lodge of England had four Lodges and the Grand Lodge
of Scotland five Lodges. A Convention was held on October 21, 1871; eight out
of the nine Lodges were represented, and the Grand Lodge of British Columbia
was duly organized. Brother Israel Wood Powell, M. D., Provincial Grand Master
of Scotland, was elected the first Grand Master.
BRITISH EAST AFRICA
or KENYA COLONY. The Grand
Lodges of England and Scotland have each chartered a Lodge in this district at
A country in South America.
The Grand Lodge of Holland warranted Lodge Saint Juan de la Ré-Union in 1771
at Georgetown. It did not however survive very long. Lodges were also
chartered by the Grand Lodges of New York, England, Scotland, etc. The Grand
Lodge of Scotland has two Lodges at Georgetown.
Known also as Belize, a
British colony in Central America. Amity Lodge, No. 309, was chartered at St.
George's Quay by the Grand Lodge of England, but as it did not succeed it was
dropped from the Register in 1813. In 1820 British Constitution Lodge was
warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England at Honduras Bay but, with that
of another Lodge chartered in 1831, its name was omitted from the Register on
June 4, 1862.
English Red Apron Lodge, now
No. 8, founded 1722, having Centenary Warrant but no special jewel. Officers
permitted golden or gilt jewels, same as Lodge of Antiquity. This honor
conferred when Lord Cranstoun became Grand Master, 1745. He was a member of
the British Lodge and the jewels used by its Master and Wardens were those
worn by the Grand Master and the Grand Wardens and these jewels were gilded
before they were returned to the owners, who were permitted to continue their
use of them in gold or gilded metal.
In the lectures of the early
part of the eighteenth century the Immovable Jewels of the Lodge are said to
be "the Tarsel Board, Rough Asmar, and Broached Thurnel"; and in describing
their uses it is taught that "the Rough Ashlar is for the Fellow Crafts to try
their jewels on, and the Broached Thurnel for the Entered Apprentices to learn
to work upon."
Much difficulty has been met
with in discovering what the Broached Thurnel really was. Doctor Oliver, most
probably deceived by the use to which it was assigned, says in his Dictionary
of Symbolic Masonry that it was subsequently called the ' Rough Asmar. This is
evidently incorrect, because a distinction is made in the original lecture
between it and the Rough Asmar, the former being for the Apprentices and the
latter for the Fellow Crafts. Krause (Kunsturkenden,1, 73), has translated it
by Drehbank, which means a turning-lathe, an implement not used by Operative
Freemasons. Now what is the real meaning of the word? If we inspect an old
tracing board of the Apprentice's Degree of the date when the Broached Thurnel
was in use, we shall find depicted on it three symbols, two of which will at
once be recognized as the Tarsel, or Trestle Board, and the Rough Ashlar, just
as we have them at the present day; while the third symbol will be that
depicted in the margin, namely, a cubical stone with a pyramidal apex.
This is the Broached Thurnel.
It is the symbol which is still to be found, with precisely the same form, in
all French tracing boards, under the name of the pierre cubique, or cubical
stone, and which has been replaced in English and American tracing boards and
rituals by the Perfect Ashlar.
For the derivation of the
words, we must go to old and now almost obsolete terms of architecture. On
inspection, it will at once be seen that the Broached Thurnel has the form of
a little square turret with a spire springing from it. Now, broach, or broche,
says Parker in the Glossary of Terms in Architecture (page 97), is "an old
English term for a spire, still in use in some parts of the country, as in
Leicestershire, where it is said to denote a spire springing from the tower
without any intervening parapet. Thurnel is from the old French tournelle, a
turret or little tower.
The Broached Thurnel, then,
was the Spired Turret. lt was a model on which apprentices might learn the
principles of their art, because it presented to them, in its various
outlines, the forms of the square and the triangle, the cube and the pyramid."
Brother Hawkins had somewhat
different conclusions about the matter and added the following comments:
In Ars Quatuor Coronatorum
(xii, 205), Brother G. W. Speth quotes from the Imperial Dictionary: "Broach,
in Scotland, a term among masons, signifying to rough hew. Broached Work, in
Scotland, a term among masons, signifying work or stones that are rough-hewn,
and thus distinguished from Ashlar or polished work. Broaching-Thurmal,
Thurmer, Turner, names given to the chisels by which broached work is
And therefore Brother Speth
suggests that the Broached Thurnel was really a chisel for the Entered
Apprentices to learn to work with. We find that the new English Dictionary
explains Broached as a term used "of stone; chiselled with a broach," or
narrow-pointed chisel used by Freemasons; but Brother Hawkins points out that
this still leaves it uncertain what a "Thurnel" is.
Brother Clegg has had the
advantage of actually working with broaching tools and therefore ought to know
something about broached work. The word broach in the industries is usually
applied to the operation of shaping or forming some part by special tools made
to produce some particular shape or design. A triangular hole in a piece of
metal or any other material can for example be furnished to a considerable
degree of accuracy by simply forcing the cutting tool through it as a final
operation. This is called broaching and the tools for the purpose are known as
broaches. A tool that is used to smooth out, a small opening by being rotated
within it is often called a broach and, as will be seen, the idea is that the
broach is used to form a special shape. These special shapes therefore are
known as work which is broached and this agrees very closely with the
understanding that underlies each of the comments made above.
The exact meaning of Thurnel
or Thurmal is not any too clear but has evidently been applied to the
instrument as well as the product of its work. Brother Charles E. Funk of the
Editorial Department of the Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the
English Language has very kindly read the above article and favors us with the
I have gone through fifteen or
more dictionaries from 1643 up to Murray's New English Dictionary, including
several dialectical dictionaries and one on archaisms. None of them record any
such spelling as thurnel, thurmal, nor thurmer.
Broach or broche, broch,
broache, broych, brooch, brotch - are not so obscure. Five centuries and more
of usage still find the early senses preserved. But even so, ambiguity is not
avoided in attempting to determine the expression broached thurnel, for broach
may refer either (1) to the mason's tool, a narrow pointed chisel by which he
furrowed the surface of stone, as in the quotation of 1703, "to broych or
broach, as Masons an Atchler or ashlar when with the small point of their ax
(?) they make it full of little pits or small holes;" also that of 1544, " In
hewinge, brochinge, and scaplyn of stone for the chapell ;'' or
(2) to the name of the spire
itself, a current form in England today which dates from 1501, " For trassying
& makyn moldes to the brooch."
With this second and still
current usage of broach, then, and assuming that thumel is a variant spelling
of tournelle, as it might well have been, we can derive a thoroughly
satisfactory explanation of the expression and one which also agrees with the
old illustrations, a spired turret. This view may be further supported while
we recall the old German form Thurm or tower.
Murray lends further support
to this view in his record of the variants of tournelle, which appeared
variously from 1400 to the middle of the seventeenth century as tornel,
turnelle, tornelle, toumel, tornil, and tournell.
A1l of this may lend weight to
the theory as given by Mackey. But if this theory is accepted, the mystery is
still unsolved, for by which logic would the symbol of Fellow Craft be the
Rough Ashlar and that of the Apprentice be such a highly finished work as the
Spired Turrett One would expect a reversal of such symbolism at the least.
It seems, therefore, that the
explanation as a spired turret is inappropriate---one would not expect an
apprentice " to learn to work upon" such a structure. We are forced, then, to
consider the first definition of broach and to do some more or less
etymological guesswork with thurnel, which I am offering as a possible clue-I
can not locate the missing link to make it conclusive, for we have no
reference books covering the subject of stone-dressing tools on our shelves.
Dialectically th was occasionally substituted for f.
We have such instances as
thane for fane, thetch for fetch, and thurrow for furraw, and others. I would
expect, therefore, to find some dressing tool, no longer employed, perhaps, or
now under another name, which was called a furnel, fournel, fornel, or even
firnel, perhaps with an m in place of the n. It may be that the firming-chisel
is the present type. This tool would be a tapered handtool, set in a flat head
to receive blows from a hammer, and would be used for rough dressing. Possibly
it might be the former which was thus described in 1688:
" The second is termed a
Former, it is a Chissel used before the Paring Chissel in all works. The
Clenser, or Former, is a broad ended Iron Plate, or Old-Cold? Chessel with a
broad bottom, set in an Handle; with which Tool they smooth and make even the
Stone after it is cut into that form and Order, as the Work-man will have it."
Again it may have been a
development from the formal referred to by Bossewell in 1572:
" A Sledge or a Hammer, of some called a formal,'' ( fore-mall, later called a
forehammer). A broached formal would then have been a tool, perhaps a hammer
head, shaped something like the blacksmith's set hammer, with one broad flat
face, the other tapering to a point. The pointed end would be used for
broaching, and the flat end for hammer finishing. Note that both these
descriptions might well refer to the ax in the quotation of 1703.
And further, although the
members of the family give Fourneaux or Fournivalle as the original form of
the name. I offer the conjecture that the name Furnald, Fernald may have had
its original from the occupational term furnel (thurnel).
In the latter part of Brother
Funk's consideration of this matter he had in mind the name of James C.Femald,
who was editorially connected with his company and a distinguished author.
Among the Hebrews, columns, or pillars, were used metaphorically to signify
princes or nobles, as if they were the pillars of a state. Thus (in Psalm xi,
3), the passage, reading in our translation, "If the foundations be destroyed
what can the righteous do?" is, in the original, "when the columns are
overthrown," that is, when the firm supporters of what is right and good have
So the passage in Isaiah (xix, 10), should read: "her (Egypt's) columns are
broken down," that is, the nobles of her state.
In Freemasonry, the broken
column is, as Master Freemasons well know, the emblem of the fall of one of
the chief supporters of the Craft. The use of the column or pillars as a
monument erected over a tomb was a very ancient custom, and was a very
significant symbol of the character and spirit of the person interred. It is
accredited to Jeremy L. Cross that he first introduced the Broken Column into
the ceremonies, but this may not be true (see Monument).
BROMWELL, HENRY P. H.
Born at Baltimore, Maryland,
August, 1823, died at Denver, Colorado, January 9, 1903. Admitted to the bar
in Vandalia, Illinois, 1853. Representative to Congress from 1865 to 1869 from
that State-went to Colorado in 1870 and in 1879 elected a member of the
Legislature and in 1881 appointed Commissioner to revise the 1aws of the
Made a Freemason at Vandalia
in 1854 and chosen Grand Master in 1864. Served as Grand Orator of the Grand
Lodge of Colorado in 1874, and was elected Honorary Grand Master of that Body
in 1889 in consideration of his distinguished services to the Craft. He was
the originator of what has been styled a new branch of Freemasonry, known as
the Free and Accepted Architects, the object of which was to restore and
preserve the lost work of the ancient Craft. At one time there were five
Lodges of Architects in the United States, and also a Grand Lodge.
The instruction embodied in
the Degrees was in no sense an innovation, but designed to impart to students
of the Craft a knowledge of Masonic symbolism not otherwise obtainable. His
famous book entitled Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbol, being a
dissertation on the lost knowledge of the Lodge, was begun in 1884 and on it
he worked for sixteen hours a day for six years and two months.
One Chapter, devoted to the
floors of the three Lodges, occupied two years and two months in its
preparation, while the book was read and re-read fourteen times for correction
The term which Freemasons
apply to each other. Freemasons are Brethren, not only by common participation
of the human nature, but as professing the same faith; as being jointly
engaged in the same labors, and as being united by a mutual covenant or tie,
whence they are also emphatically called Brethren of the Mystic Tie (see
Companion and Mystic Tie).
When our Savior designated his
disciples as his Brethren, he implied that there was a close bond of union
existing between them, which idea was subsequently carried out by Saint Peter
in his direction to "Love the Brotherhood."
Hence the early Christians
designated themselves as a brotherhood, a relationship unknown to the Gentile
religions; and the ecclesiastica1 and other confraternities of the Middle Ages
assumed the same title to designate any association of men engaged in the same
common object, governed by the same rules, and united by an identical
interest. The association or Fraternity of Freemasons is in this sense called
Admission to the Craft.
Cunningham's Diary, the diary and general expenditure book of William
Cunningham of Craigends, edited by the Reverend James Dodd, D.D., 1887, and
published by the Scottish Historical Society., has the following entries:
June 17, 1676.
To my mai1 to pay his trave1ing. . . . . . . . . 01 2 0
June 26, 1677.
To Andrew Greg his servant in part of
his fee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . 02 0 0
To him to pay his Brothering with. . . . . . . . 01 4 0
Glossary at end of book
explains that Brothering means admission to the Craft Fellowship.
See Kiss, Fraternal
At a very early period in the
course of his initiation, a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry is
informed that the great principles of the Order are Brotherly Love, Relief,
and Truth. These virtues are illustrated, and their practice recommended to
the aspirant, at every step of his progress; and the instruction, though
continually varied in its mode, is so constantly repeated, as infallibly to
impress upon his mind their absolute necessity in the constitution of a good
Freemason. Brotherly Love might very well be supposed to be an ingredient in
the organization of a society so peculiarly constituted as that of
Freemasonry. But the Brotherly Love which we inculcate is not a mere
abstraction, nor is its character left to any general and careless
understanding of the candidate, who might be disposed to give much or little
of it to his Brethren, according to the peculiar constitution of his own mind,
or the extent of his own generous or selfish feelings. It is, on the contrary,
closely defined; its object plainly denoted; and the very mode and manner of
its practice detailed in words, and illustrated by symbols, so as to give
neither cause for error nor apology for indifference.
Every Freemason is acquainted
with the Five Points of Fellowship-he knows their symbolic meaning-he can
never forget the interesting incidents that accompanied their explanation; and
while he has this knowledge, and retains this remembrance, he can be at no
loss to understand what are his duties, and what must be his conduct, in
relation to the principle of Brotherly Love (see Points of Fellowship).
BROTHERS OF THE BRIDGE
See Bridge Builders of the
BROTHERS OF THE ROSY CROSS
BROWN, DR. JOHN
See Latin Lodge
In 1798, John Browne
published, in London, a work entitled The Master Key through all the Degrees
of a Freemason's Lodge, to which is added, Eullogiums and Illustrations upon
Freemasonry. In 1802, he published a second edition under the title of
Browne's Masonic Master Key through the three degrees, by way of polyglot.
Under the sanction of the Craft in general, containing the exact mode of
working, initiation, passing and raising to the sublime Degree of a Master.
Also, the several duties of the Master, officers, and Brethren while in the
Lodge, with every requisite to render the accomplished Mason an explanation of
all the hieroglyphics.
The whole interspersed with
illustrations on Theology, Astronomy, Architecture, Arts, Sciences, many of
which are by the editor. Browne had been, he says, the Past Master of six
Lodges, and wrote his work not as an offensive exposition, but as a means of
giving Freemasons a knowledge of the ritual. It is considered to be a very
complete representation of the monitorial Prestonian lectures, and as such was
incorporated by Krause in his Drei altesten Kunsturkuenden.
The work by Browne is printed
in a very complicated cipher, the key to which, and without which the book is
wholly unintelligible, was, by way of caution, delivered only personally and
to none but those who had reached the Third Degree. The explanation of this
"mystical key," as Browne calls it, is as follows:
The word Browne supplies the
br o w n e.
a e i o u y
These six vowels in turn
represent six letters, thus:
a e i o u y.
k c o l n u
Initial capitals are of no
value, and supernumerary letters are often inserted. The words are kept
separate, but the letters of one word are often divided between two or three.
Much therefore is left to the shrewdness of the decipherer. The initial
sentence of the work may be adduced as a specimen: Ubs Rplrbsrt wbss ostm
ronwprn Pongth Mrlwdgr, which is thus deciphered: Please to assist me in
opening the Lodge. The work is now exceedingly rare.
See Vielle Bru, Rite of
See Robert I, also Royal Order
The introduction of
Freemasonry into Scotland has been attributed by some writers to Robert, King
of Scotland, commonly called Robert Bruce, who is said to have established in
1314 the Order of Herodom, for the reception of those Knights Templar who had
taken refuge in his dominions from the persecutions of the Pope and the King
of France. Thory (Acta Latomorum,1, 6), copies the following from a manuscript
in the library of the Mother Lodge of the Philosophical Rite:
"Robert Bruce, King of
Scotland, under the name of Robert the First, created, on the 24th June, 1314,
after the battle of Bannockburn, the Order of Saint Andrew of the Thistle, to
which has been since united that of Herodom (H-D-M) for the sake of the Scotch
Masons, who composed a part of the thirty thousand men with whom he had
conquered an army of a hundred thousand Englishmen. He reserved, in
perpetuity, to himself and his successors, the title of Grand Master. He
founded the Royal Grand Lodge of the Order of H-D-M at Kilwinning, and died,
full of glory and honors, the 9th of July, 1329."
Doctor Oliver (Landmarks,11,
13), referring to the abolition of the Templar Order in England, when the
Knights were compelled to enter the Preceptories of the Knights of Saint John,
as dependents, says:
"In Scotland, Edward, who had
overrun the country at the time, endeavored to pursue the same course; but, on
summoning the Knights to appear, only two, Wa1ter de Clifton, the Grand
Preceptor, and another, came forward. On their examination, they confessed
that all the rest had fled; and as Bruce was advancing with his army to meet
Edward, nothing further was done.
The Templars, being debarred
from taking refuge either in England or Ireland, had no alterative but to join
Bruce, and give their active support to his cause. Thus, after the battle of
Bannockburn, in 1314, Bruce granted a charter of lands to Walter de Clifton,
as Grand Master of the Templars, for the assistance which they rendered on
that occasion. Hence the Royal Order of H-R-D-M was frequently practiced under
the name of Templary."
Lawrie, or the author of
Lawrie's History of Freemasonry, who is excellent authority for Scottish
Freemasonry, does not appear, however, to give any credit to the narrative.
Whatever Bruce may have done for the advanced Degrees, there is no doubt that
Ancient Craft Freemasonry was introduced into Scotland at an earlier period.
But it cannot be denied that Bruce was one of the patrons and encouragers of
BUILDERS' RITES AND CEREMONIES
These have been summarized in
two lectures published at Margate, England, 1894, by Brother George IV. Speth
on October 30, and November 13, 1893, in discussing the Folklore of
Freemasonry. Brother Speth says that for those of his Brethren who would take
the trouble to read between the lines, a matter by no means difficult, he
ventures to hope that the facts may not prove dumb guides, but direct their
thoughts to the true significance of our ceremonial customs, and confirm in
their minds the certainty of the marvelous antiquity, in its essence, although
perhaps not in its exact outward form, of the solemn climax of our beloved
ritual. Many of us have seen a foundation-stone laid, and more have read of
the proceedings. When conducted by Freemasons the ceremony includes much
beautiful symbolism, such as trying and pronouncing the stone well laid,
pouring wine and on and corn over it, and other similar rites: but in almost
all cases, whether the ancient Craft be concerned in the operation or not,
there are placed in a cavity beneath the stone several objects, such as a list
of contributors to the funds, a copy of the newspaper of the day, and above
all, one or more coins of the realm. Should you ask the reason for this
deposit, you will probably hear that these objects were placed there for a
future witness and reference.
Although this alleged motive
is apparently reasonable, yet it is obviously absurd for surely the hope of
all concerned is that the foundation-stone never would be removed and that the
witness would for ever remain dumb.
Grimm puts it in this way. "
It was often though necessary to immure live animals and even men in the
foundation on which the structure was to be raised, as if they were a
sacrifice offered to the earth, who had to bear the load upon her: by this
inhuman rite they hoped to secure immovable stability or other advantages."
(See Teutonic Mythology, 1884, translated, Stalleybrass, 1883 page l141.)
Baring-Gould says, "When the primeval savage began to build he considered
himself engaged on a serious undertaking. He was disturbing the face of Mother
Earth, he was securing to himself in permanency of portion of that surface
which had been given by her to all her children in common. Partly with the
notion of offering a propitiatory sacrifice to the Earth, and partly also with
the idea of securing to himself for ever a portion of son by some sacramental
act, the old pagan laid the foundation of his house and fortress in blood."
(See On Foundations, Murray's Magazine, l887)
In Bomeo, among the Mnanau
Dyaks, at the erection of a house, a deep hole was dug to receive the first
post, which was then suspended over it ; a slave girl was placed in the
excavation; at a signal the lashings were cut, and the enormous timber
descended, crushing the girl to death (see E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture,
1871, page 96).
The following accounts would
show how widespread was this sacrificial rite. It was, in fact, universal: a
rite practiced apparently by all men at all times in all places. King Dako
bunt his palace on the body of Danh. The name of his chief town, Dahomey,
means on the body of Danh (see F. Liebrecht, Zur Folkskunde, 1879, page 287).
In Polynesia, the central
pillar of one of the temples at Maeva was planted on the body of a human
victim (see G. L. Gomme, Folklore Relics of Early Vnlage Life, 1883, page 27).
A seventeenth century account
of Japan mentions the belief there that a wall laid upon the body of a willing
human victim would be secure from accident: accordingly when a great wall was
to be bunt, some wretched slave would offer himself as a foundation, lying
down in the trench to be crushed by the heavy stones lowered upon him (see
Tyler, Primitive Culture, 1871, page 87).
Formerly in Siam, when a new
city gate was being erected, it was customary for a number of officers to lie
in wait and seize the first four or eight persons who happened to pass by, and
who were then buried alive under the gate posts to serve as guardian angels
(see Folk-lore Relics, page 28).
In the year 1876, the old
church at Brownsover, about two miles from Rugby, England, was restored: The
earlier parts of the building were of Norman, the later of early 13th century
architecture. It was found necessary to lower the foundations of the north and
south walls of the church, and in doing so, two skeletons were discovered, one
under each wall, about one foot below the original foundations, exactly
opposite each other and about six feet from the chancel wall which crosses the
north and south walls at right angles. Each skeleton was covered with an oak
slab about six feet in length by ten inches wide and two inches thick of the
color of bog-oak. These pieces of plank had evidently been used as carpenters'
benches, from the fact that each of them had four mortice holes cut in such a
form as to throw the legs outwards, and from the cuts made in them by edged
tools. The skeletons were found in a space cut out of the solid clay which had
not been moved on either side, just large enough to take the bodies placed in
them. The skeletons were seen in situ: they could not have been placed there
after the original walls were bunt (see Antiquary iii, page 93).
Some substitutions are
curious. Animals are to be met with of many kinds. In Denmark a lamb used to
be bunt in under the altar, that the church might stand.
Even under other houses swine
and fowls are buried alive. (See Grimm page 1142.) The lamb was of course very
appropriate in a Christian Church, as an allusion to " the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world."
In the Book of Revelation this
epithet is only a metaphor, yet Brother Speth says it would scarcely have been
understood unless the rite we are treating of had been known to the Jews. That
it was known, the curse pronounced by Joshua upon the man who should adventure
to rebuild Jericho, proves to demonstration. "And Joshua adjured them at that
time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth
this city of Jericho ; he shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born,
and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates thereof,'' (See Joshua vi,
26, also First Kings xvi, 34.)
The population of India
believe at the present day that to give stability to new construction, a human
being should be sacrificed and buried in the foundations (see Folk-lore
Journal, 1, page 23). All the great engineering works are believed by the
common people to be protected against the angry gods of winds and rivers by
animal and human sacrifices being performed under the direction of English
officers at the beginning or conclusion of the undertaking (see Folk-lore
Journal 1, page 92). A correspondent of the Times, dating from Calcutta,
August 1, 1880, writes: "A murmur has got abroad and is firmly believed by the
lower classes of the natives, that the government is about to sacrifice a
number of human beings in order to ensure the safety of the new harbor works,
and has ordered the police to seize victims in the streets. So thoroughly is
the idea implanted, that people are afraid to venture out after nightfall.
There was a similar scare in
Calcutta some seven or eight years ago, when the Hooghly bridge was being
constructed. The natives then got hold of the idea that Mother Ganges,
indignant at being bridged, had at last consented to submit to the insult on
the condition that each pier of the structure was founded on a layer of
(see Folk-lore Record iii, page 283).
But we need not go to India
for such accusations. In Nature, under date June 15, 1871, we find: " It is
not many years since the present Lord Leigh was accused of having built an
obnoxious person-one account, if we remember right, said eight obnoxious
persons-into the foundation of a bridge at Stoneleigh."
In Scotland there is a current
belief that the Picts, to whom local legend attributes building of prehistoric
antiquity, bathed their foundation stones with blood (see Folk-lore Relics,
page 29). Brother Speth heard people in Kent, of certainly not the least
educated classes, assert that both the strength and the peculiar pink tinge
which may sometimes be detected in Roman cement, is owing to the alleged
practice of the Romans mixing their cement with blood. Did Shakespeare speak
only metaphorically, or was he aware of the custom when he makes Clarence say,
I will not ruinate my father's house,
Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
And set up Lancaster.
Henry vi, part iii, act v, scene 1.
Note the words of King John as
given by Shakespeare,
There is no sure foundation set in blood,
No certain life achieved by others' death.
King John iv, 2.
Brother Speth gives an
experience of the Rev. Baring-Gould. " It is said in Yorkshire," he writes, "
that the first child baptized in a new font is sure to die---a reminiscence of
the sacrifice which was used at the consecration of every dwelling and temple
in heathen times, and of the pig or sheep killed and laid at the foundation of
churches. When I was incumbent at Dalton a new church was built. A blacksmith
in the village had seven daughters, after which a son was born, and he came to
me a few days before the consecration of the new church to ask me to baptize
his boy in the old temporary church and font. 'Why, Joseph,' said I, 'if you
will only wait till Thursday the boy can be baptized in the new font on the
opening of the new church.' 'Thank you, Sir,' said the blacksmith, with a
wriggle,'but you see it's a lad, and we should be sorry if he were to deem, if
he'd been a lass instead, why then you were welcome, for 'twouldn't ha'
mattered a ha'penny. Lasses are ower mony and lads ower few wi' us'."
Now, it is surely unnecessary,
continues Brother Speth, to explain why we bury coins of the real under orum
foundation stones. ''Our forefathers, ages ago, buried a living human
sacrifice in the same place to ensure the stability of the structure: their
sons substituted an animal: their sons again a mere effigy or other symbol:
and we, their children, still immure a substitute, coins bearing the effigy,
impressed upon the noblest of metals, the pure red gold, of the one person to
whom we all are most loyal, and whom we all most love, our gracious Queen. I
do not assert that one in a hundred is conscious of what he is doing: if you
ask him, he will give some different reason: but the fact remains that
unconsciously, we are following the customs of our fathers, and symbolically
providing a soul for the structure. 'Men continue to do what their fathers did
before them, though the reasons on which their fathers acted have been long
A ship could not be launched
in the olden times without .a human sacrifice: the neck of the victim was
broken across the prow, and his blood besprinkled the sides, while his soul
entered the new home provided for it to ensure its safety amid storm and
tempest: to-day we symbolize unconsciously the same ceremony, but we content
ourselves with a bottle of the good red wine, slung from the dainty fingers of
Brother Speth gives numerous
facts from various parts of the world and of widely separated times.
Perhaps as significant as any
and certainly as interesting are the particulars brought to his attention by
Brother William Simpson and dealing with Old Testament days. Referring to
Assyrian foundation stones in the reign of Sennacherib who was on the throne
705-681 B.C., we have the roya1 message from Records of the Past (new series,
volume vi, page 101), the words "my inscription" relating in Brother Simpson's
note to the foundation stone, the 1atter probably being a brick or clay
I bunt that palace from
foundation to roof
and finished it. My inscription
I brought into it. For future days,
whoever-among the kings, my successors, whom
. ASSUR and ISTAR
Shall call to the rule over the land and the people--
the prince may he, if this palace
becomes old and mined, who builds it anew
May he preserve my inscription,
anoint it with oil, offer sacrifices, return it to its place ;
then will Assur and Istar hear his prayer.
The same work (Records of the
Past, new series, volume v, page 171) contains an inscription of Cyrus the
Persian King mentioning his discovery of the foundation stone of the Assyrian
Assurbanipal, 668-626 B.C., usually identified with the Asnapper of Ezra iv,
10. Here we find a foundation stone instead of the "inscription" and a
significant ceremony is described that agrees with that of Sennacherib's and
is truly very like the modern Masonic Rite when dedicating hall or temple or
laying a corner-stone:
. . . . the foundation-stone
of Assur-bani-pal King of Assyria,
who had discovered the foundation stone of Shalmaneser son of Assur-natsir-pal,
I laid its foundation and made firm its bricks. With beer, wine, on (and)
A simnar announcement by Cyrus
is also given on page 173 of the above work :
. . . . the inscription containing the name of Assan-bani-pal I discovered
anddid not change ; with oil I annointed (it) ; sheep I sacrificed ;
with my own inscription I placed (it) and restored (it) to its place.
Foundation sacrifices and the
substitution of various kinds used for them are considered freely by several
authorities and there is a bibliography. of them to be found in Burdick's
Foundation Rites, 1901. We may note that in folklore customs persist and
explanations change or as Sir J. G. Frazer (Golden Bough, 1890, ii, page 62)
says "Myth changes while custom remains constant; men continue to do what
their fathers did before them, though the reasons on which their fathers acted
have long been forgotten." That so many legends contain allusions to
foundation sacrifices is ample proof that such existed. Brother Speth says
further "Had we never found one single instance of the rite actually in
practice, we might still have inferred it with absolute certainty from the
legends, although these do not always give us the true motive."
When it may have become
unlawful or otherwise impracticable to bury a body, then an image, a symbol of
the living or the dead, was laid in the walls or under them. The figure of
Christ crucified has been found built into an old church wall. Representations
of children, candles-the flame being a symbol of life even as a reversed torch
is a type of death, empty coffins, bones of men and animals, and so on, have
been discovered in or under the masonry when taking down important structures.
Freemasons will understand the significance of these old customs. Every laying
of a corner-stone with Masonic ceremonies is a reminder of them, and every
completed initiation a confirmation.
The subject may be studied
further in Jew and Human Sacrifice, Herman L. Strack, English translation of
eighth edition, page 138, with bibliographical notes on page 31; Blood
Covenant, H. Clay Trumbull, and particularly pages 45-57 of his other book the
Threshold Covenant, the first of these works discussing the origin of
sacrifice and the significance of transferred or proffered blood or life, and
the second treating of the beginning of religious rites and their gradual
development ; Foundation Rites, Louis Dayton Burdick ; Bible Sidelights, Dr.
R. A. Stewart Macalister, Director of Excavations for the Palestine
Exploration Fund; James Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, page 368, and in
Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry, page 1072.
The primitive designation of
the month Marchesvan (see Zif). Doctor Oliver says in his Landmarks (11, 551),
that this is one of the names of God among the ancients. It is also said to be
an Assyrian word signifying Lord or Powerful.
BULL, OLE BORNEMANN
Famous Norwegian violinist.
Born at Bergen, February 5, 1810, and died near there on August 17, 1880.
After brilliant concert tours in Europe, was in the United States, 1843-5, and
again, 1852-7. James Herring, formerly Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of
New York, gave an address at the celebration of the centennial anniversary of
Saint John's Lodge No. 1, New York, December 7, 1857, showing that Ole Bull
was a Freemason. He gave his farewell concert in New York, October 30, 1845,
for Masonic charitable purposes, the Grand Lodge Widows' and Orphans' Fund,
which netted the Craft $1,427.55.
An edict or proclamation
issued from the Apostolic Chancery, with the seal and signature of the Pope,
written in Gothic letters and upon coarse parchment. This derives its name
from the leaden seal which is attached to it by a cord of hemp or silk, and
which in medieval Latin is called bulla. Several of these Bu1ls have from time
to time been aimed against Freemasonry and other secret societies, subjecting
them to the heaviest ecclesiastical punishments, even to the greater
excommunication. According to these Bulls, a Freemason is by reason of that
fact excommunicated by continuing his membership in the Society, and is thus
deprived of all spiritual privileges while living, and the rites of burial
The several important Bulls
which have been issued by the Popes of Rome intended to affect the Fraternity
of Freemasons are as follows: the Bull In Eminenti of Clement XII, dated 24th
of April, 1738. This Bull was confirmed and renewed by that beginning Providas,
of Benedict XIV, 18th of May, 1751; then followed the edict of Pius VII, 13th
of September, 1821; the apostolic edict Quo Graviora of Leo XII, 13th of
March, 1825 ; that of Pius VIII, 21st of May, 1829 ; that of Gregory XVI, 15th
of August, 1832; Pius IX in 1846 and 1865; and finally that of Leo XIII, who
ascended to the papacy in 1878, and issued his Bull, or encyclical letter,
Humanum Genus, on April 20, 1884. Whatever may have been the severity of the
Bulls issued by the predecessors of Leo XIII, he with great clearness ratifies
and confirms them all in the following language: "Therefore, whatsoever the
popes our predecessors have decreed to hinder the designs and attempts of the
sect of Freemasons ; whatsoever they have ordained to deter or recall persons
from societies of this kind, each and all do we ratify and conform by our
Apostolic authority," at the same time acknowledging that this "society of men
are most widely spread and firmly established."
This letter of the Romlan
hierarchy thus commences : "The human race, after its most miserable
defection, through the wiles of the devil, from its Creator, God, the giver of
celestial gifts, has divided into two different and opposite factions, of
which one fights ever for truth and virtue, the other for their opposites.
One is the kingdom of God on
earth . . , the other is the kingdom of Satan."
That, "by accepting any that
present themselves, no matter of what religion, they (the Freemasons) gain
their purpose of urging that great error of the present day, viz., that
questions of religion ought to be left undetermined, and that there should be
no distinction made between varieties. And this policy aims at the destruction
of all religions, especially at that of the Catholic religion, which, since it
is the only true one, cannot be reduced to equality with the rest without the
"But, in truth, the sect
grants great license to its initiates, allowing them to defend either
position, that there is a God, or that there is no God."
Thus might we quote continuous
passages, which need only to be stated to proclaim their falsity, and yet
there are those who hold to the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope.
BRÜN, ABRAHAM VAN
A wealthy Freemason of
Hamburg, who died at an advanced age in 1748. For many years he had been the
soul of the Société des ancients Rose-Croix in Germany, which soon after his
death was dissolved. This is on the authority of Thory (Ada Latomorum ii,
BRUNSWICK, CONGRESS OF
Convoked in 1775, by
Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. Its object was to effect a fusion of the various
Rites; but it terminated its labors, after a session of six weeks, without
BRUNSWICK, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS,
Born 1740, second son of Duke
Charles I. In 1769 he affiliated with a Chapter of the Strict Observance;
declared National Grand Master of Prussia, 1772, serving until 1799. Rendered
distinguished service in the Seven Years' War, and said to have written much
on Rosicrucianism, alchemy and magic.
BRUNSWICK, FERDINAND, DUKE OF
Born 1721 and died July 3,
1792. Served in several wars with Frederick the Great, resigning his military
command in 1766 and devoting himself to Freemasonry.
Initiated in 1740 in the Lodge
Three Globes at Berlin ; in 1743 received his Master's Degree at Breslau;
became Protector of the Lodge Saint Charles, Brunswick, in 1764; and English
Past Grand Master of Brunswick in 1770; Protector of Von Hund's Strict
Observance in 177; declared Grand Master of the Scottish Lodges in 1772. In
1782 the Duke of Brunswick was present at the Convent at Wnhelmsbad when the
Templar system is supposed to have been given up and when there he was
declared General Grand Master of the assembled Lodges. Patronized the
Nluminati and said to have been General Obermeister (Overseer) of the Asiatic
Brethren. An eminent German Craftsman, presiding at the Saint John's Festival
at Brunswick in 1792, when he declared that he had been a Freemason fifty
BRUNSWICK, MAXIMNIAN J. L.,
Admitted in the Saint Charles
Lodge, Brunswick, Germany, in 1770, becoming its Protector. Youngest son of
Duke Charles I, educated at the Collegium Carolinum and went to Italy, 1775,
with the German literary Freemason, Lessing. Served Frederick the Great with
military honors and lost his life trying to save a drowning man in the River
BRUNSWICK, WNLIAM A, PRINCE OF
Third son of Duke Charles I of
Brunswick, Germany, known to have joined the Lodge Saint Charles in 1769. Died
BRYAN, WILLIAM JENNINGS
American statesman and orator,
born March 19, 1860; died July 26, 1925. Three times nominated for presidency
of the United States, 1896, 1900, and 1908, and twice defeated by Brother
McKinley, and lastly by Brother Taft. In Spanish-American War, 1898, he became
Colonel of the Third Regiment, Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. Secretary of
State, 1913. He was a member of Lincoln Lodge No. 19, Lincoln, Nebraska (see
New Age, March, 1925).
This parchment roll---one of
the "Old Charges"-is so named because it was presented to the Grand Lodge of
England in 1880 by Mr. George Buchanan, of Whitby, by whom it was found
amongst the papers of a partner of his father's. It is considered to be of the
latter part of the seventeenth century-say from 1660 to 1680. This manuscript
was first published at length in Gould's History of Freemasonry (volume 1,
page 93), being adopted as an example of the ordinary class of text, and since
then has been reproduced in facsimne by the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London
in volume iv of the Masonic reprints published by this scholarly body.
BUCKINGHAM, GEORGE VALIERS,
Poet, playwright, statesman,
described by Dryden as the "epitome of mankind," but really a spendthrift of
time. Doctor Anderson says he was Grand Master of England in 1674. Born
January 30, 1628, and died April16, 1687.
The religion of the disciples of Buddha. It prevails over a great extent of
Asia, and is estimated to be equally popular with any other form of faith
among mankind. Its founder, Buddha-a word which seems to be an appellative, as
it signifies the enlightened-lived about five hundred years before the
Christian era, and established his religion as a reformation of Brahmanism.
The moral code of Buddhism is
excellent, surpassing that of any other heathen religion. But its theology is
not so free from objection. Max Müller admits that there is not a. single
passage in the Buddhiat canon of scripture which presupposes the belief in a
personal God or a Creator, and hence he concludes that the teaching of Buddha
was pure atheism.
Yet Upham (Histom and Doctrine
of Buddhimn, page 2 ), thinks that, even if this be capable of proof, it also
recognizes ''the operation of Faith called Damam, whereby much of the
necessary process of conservation or government is infussed into the system."
The doctrine of Nirvana,
according to Burnouf, taught that absolute nothing or annihilation was the
highest aim of virtue, and hence the belief in immortality was repudiated.
Such, too, has been the general opinion of Oriental scholars; but Müller
(science of Religion, page 141), adduces evidence, from the teachings of
Buddha, to show that Nirvana may mean the extinction of many things---of
selfishness, desire, and sin-without going so far as the extinction of
The sacred scripture of
Buddhisin is the Tripitaka, literally, the Three Baskets. The first, or the
Vinaya, comprises all that relates to moralityy ; the second, or the Sitras,
contains the discourses of Buddha; and the third, or Abhidharma, includes all
works on metaphysics and dogmatic phnosophy. The first and second Baskets also
receive the general name of Dharma, or the Law. The principal seat of Buddhism
is the island of Ceylon, but it has extended into China, Japan, and many:
other countries of Asia (see Aranyaka, Aryan, Atthakatha, Mahabharata,
Mahadeva, Mahak asyapa, Pitaka, Puranas, Ramayana, Sakti, Sastra, Sat B'hai,
Shaster, Shesha, Sruti, Upanishad, Upadevas, Vedas, Vedanga, Zenana and
A Lodge was chartered in this city, and named the Southern Star, by the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1825. Others followed, but in 1846 in consequence of
the unsettled state of affairs their labors were suspended. A revival occurred
in 1852, when a Lodge named L'Ami des Naufragés was established in Buenos
Ayres by the Grand Orient of France; and in 1853 the Grand Lodge of England
erected a Lodge named Excelsior (followed in 1859 by the Teutonia, which
worked in German and was erased in 1872), and in 1864 by the Star of the
South. In 1856 there was an irregular Body working in the Ancient and the
Accepted Scottish Rite, which claimed the prerogatives of a Grand Lodge, but
it was never recognized, and soon ceased to exist. On September 13, 1858, a
Supreme Council and Grand Orient was established by the Supreme Council of
In 1861 a treaty was concluded
between the Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Orient of the Argentine
Republic, which empowered the former to establish Lodges in La Plata and to
constitute a District Grand Lodge therein, which had some Lodges under its
rule, when many more acknowledged the authority of the "Supreme Council and
Grand Orient of the Argentine Republic in Buenos Ayres," which was formed in
1895 by combination of the Grand Orient and Supreme Council.
See Cody, Colonel William
A corruption, in the American
Royal Arch, of the word Bel. Up to a comparatively recent period says Doctor
Mackey, it was combined with another corruption, Lun, in the mutated form of
Buh-Lun, under which disguise the words Bel and On were presented to the
BUHLE, JOHANN GOTTLIEB
Professor of Phnosophy in the
University, of Güttingen, who, not being himself a Freemason, published, in
1804, a work entitled Ueber den Ursprung und die vornehmsten Schieksale des
Ordens der Rosenkreuzer und Freimaurer, that is, On the Origin and the
Principal Events of the Orders of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. This work,
logical in its arguments, false in many of its statements, and confused in its
arrangement, was attacked by Frederick Nicolai in a critical review of it in
1806, and is spoken of very slightingly even by De Quincey, himself no very
warm admirer of the Masonic Institution, who published, in 1824, in the London
Magazine (volume ix), a loose translation of it, "abstracted, re-arrenged, and
improved," under the title of Historicocritical Inquiry into the Origin of the
Rosicrucians and the Freemasons. Buhle's theory was that Freemasonry was
invented in the year 1629, by John Valentine Andreä. Buhlu was born at
Brunswick in 1753, became Professor of Phnosophy at Güttingen in 1787, and,
having afterward taught in his native city, died there in 1821.
The chief architect of the
Temple of Solomon is often called the Builder. But the word is also applied
generallyy to the Craft; for every speculative Freemason is as much a builder
as was his operative predecessor. An American writer, F. S. Wood, thus alludes
to this symbolic idea: "Freemasons are called moral builders.
In their rituals, they declare
that a more noble and glorious purpose than squaring stones and hewing timbers
is theirs,- fitting immortal nature for that spiritual building not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens." And he adds, "The builder builds for a
century; Freemasons for eternity.'' In this sense, the Builder is the noblest
title that can be bestowed upon a Freemason.
See Smitten Builder
BUILDERS, CORPORATIONS OF
See Stone Masons o f the
The name given by the Grand
Orient of France to the monthly publication which contains the official record
of its proceedings. A similar work has been issued by the Supreme Council of
the Ancient and Accepted Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United
States of America, and by several other Supreme Councils and Grand Orients.
The well-known author of the
Pilgrim's Progress. He lived in the seventeenth century, and was the most
celebrated allegorical writer of England. His work entitled Solomon's Temple
Spiritualized will supply the student of Masonic symbolism with many valuable
Famous horticulturist, born
March 7, 1849; died April 11, 1926. Became a Freemason in Santa Rosa Lodge No.
57, in California, on August 13, 1921. His successful experiments with fruits
and flowers gave him an international reputation (see New Age, March, 1925).
BURDENS, BEARERS OF
A class of workmen at the
Temple mentioned in Second Chronicles (11. 18), and referred to by Doctor
Anderson (Constitutions 1738, page i i), as the Ish Sabbal, which see.
BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DE
See International Bureau for
BURI or BURE
The first god of Norse
mythology. In accordance with the quaint cosmogony of the ancient religion of
Germany or that of Scandinavia, it was believed that before the world came
into existence there was a great void, on the north side of which was a cold
and dark region, and on the south side one warm and luminous. In Niflheim was
a well, or the "seething caldron," out of which flowed twelve streams into the
great void and formed a huge giant.
In Iceland the first great
giant was called Ymir, by the Germans Tuisto (Tacitus, Germania, chapter 2),
whose three grandchildren were regarded as the founders of three of the German
races. Contemporary with Ymir, and from the great frost blocks of primeval
chaos, was produced a man called Buri, who was wise, strong, and beautiful.
His son married the daughter of another giant, and their issue were the three
sons Odin, Wili, and We, who ruled as gods in heaven and earth. By some it has
been earnestly believed that upon these myths and legends many symbols of
Freemasonry were founded.
The right to be buried with
the set ceremonies of the Order is one that, under certain restrictions,
belongs to every Master Mason.
None of the ancient
Constitutions contain 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 first official notice,
however, that we have of funeral processions is in November, 1754. A
regu1ation was then adopted which prohibited any Freemason from attending a
funeral or other procession clothed in any of the jewels or clothing of the
Craft, except by dispensation of the Grand Master or his Deputy (see
Constitutions, 1756, page 303).
There are no further
regulations on this subject in any of the editions of the Book of
Constitutions previous to the modern code which is now in force in the Grand
Lodge of England. But Preston gives us the rules on this subject, which have
now been adopted by general consent as the law of the Order, in the following
"No Mason can be interred with
the formalities of the Order unless it be by his own special request
communicated by 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'' (see Illustrations, 1792, page
The only restrictions
prescribed by Preston are, it will be perceived, that the deceased must have
been a Master Mason, that he had himself made the request and that he was
affiliated, which is implied by the expression that he must have made the
request for burial to the Master of the Lodge of which he was a member.
The regulation of 1754, which
requires a Dispensation from the Grand Master for a funeral procession, is not
considered of force in the United States of America, where, accordingly,
Freemasons have generally been permitted to bury their dead without the
necessity of such Dispensation.
Born January 12, 1729, new
style, at Dublin, Ireland, and died July 8, 1797, in England. Famous
statesman, writer and orator who championed the cause of the American
Colonists on the floor of the English Parliament, April 19, 1774.
His father, a Protestant
attorney, his mother a Roman Catholic Published in 1756 the satire A
Vindication of Natural Society, then his Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin
of our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful, translated into German and
annotated by another Freemason, Lessing; a series of Hints on the Drama and an
Abridgment of the History of England; and became interested in America and
wrote an Account of the European Settlements. Brother George W. Baird
(Builder, October, 1923) says that Burke was a member of Jerusalem Lodge No.
44, Clerkenwell, London. In Builder (July, 1923), Brother Arthur Heiron
mentions Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Sir William Forbes, Richard Savage,
Alexander Pope, Richard Garriek, Jonathan Swift, close friends or
contemporaries of Burke, as active and proven Freemasons. There is an
impressive statue of Edmund Burke at Washington, District of Columbia (see
also New Age, January, 1924).
BURNES, SIR JAMES
A distinguished Freemason, and
formerly Provincial Grand Master of Western India under the Grand Lodge of
Scotland from 1836 to 1846. In 1846 he was appointed Grand Master of Scottish
Freemasons in India. He returned home in 1849, and died in 1862, after serving
for thirty years in the Indian Medical Service. He was the author of an
interesting work entitled a Sketch of the History of the Knights Templars. By
James Burnes, LLD., F.R.S., Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order;
published at London, in 1840, in 74 + 60 pages in small quarto.
In the third chapter of Exodus
it is recorded that, when Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro on Mount Horeb,
"the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst
of a bush," and there communicated to him for the first time his ineffable
Name. This occurrence is commemorated in the Burning Bush of the Royal Arch
Degree. In all the systems of antiquity, fire is adopted as a symbol of Deity
; and the Burning Bush, or the bush filled with fire which did not consume,
whence came forth the Tetragrammaton, the symbol of Divine Light and Truth, is
considered in the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, like the Orient in the
lower, as the great source of true Masonic light ; wherefore Supreme Councils
of the Thirty-Third Degree date their balustres, or official documents, "near
the B.'. B.'.," or Buming Bush, to intimate that they are, in their own rite,
the exclusive source of all Masonic instruction.
BUILDER GILDS, ANCIENT
Some thirty miles southwest of
Cairo, west of the Nile, and on the Libyan desert, is an oasis in a sunken
depression of many hundreds of square miles, in which from 300 B.C. to 300
A.D. circa existed a number of cities and a rich civilization.
This region was sustained by an irrigation system comparable in size and as an
engineering achievement with our TVA; when that irrigation system was
destroyed the Fayum, as its name was, reverted to desert, and its towns were
covered by sand. In 1888 Dr. W. M. Flinders Petrie exeavated a tomb at Hawara
and made the astounding discovery that mummy cases there were built up of and
stuffed with written papyri. Later on he had among his assistants B. P.
Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt. These two young men began in 1896 to excavate the
whole Fayum, and with such success that in 1897 in the ruins of the town of
Oxyrhynchus they came upon the greatest find of written manuscripts ever made
in the whole history of archeology, and sent back to England tons of
These had been written, most
of them, in the Koine, a form of Greek in use throughout the Eastern
Mediterranean during the general period of the first three centuries of our
These documents were not of
scholarly writings but were such as could be recovered from the wastebaskets
of any modern city: letters, business ledgers, wills, recipes, poems, and
songs, daily papers, sermons, pamphlets, financial reports, tax receipts,
For the first time they gave
historians a detailed, day by-day picture of men and their affairs in Egypt,
Palestine, Greece, and Rome as things were in the first centuries of the
Christian era. The students and historians of Freemasonry will henceforth have
to examine the Fayum papyri in their studies of ancient builder gilds and of
that once favorite subject of Masonic writers, the Ancient Mysteries, because
among these tens of thousands of documents are many which for the first time
furnish written records of gilds of that period and of the Ancient Mystery
cults. In the volumes of the papyri published in 1907 and in 1910 by the
British Museum are a number of documents relating to the mason crafts. Legal
forms used by the ironworkers, the carpenters, and the gild of masons show
that such gilds (or collegia) of the years 100 A.D. to 200 A.D. were very like
the gilds of masons in the Middle Ages.
It is only now beginning to be
realized that the Mason gilds of the Middle Ages from which our Fraternity is
descended were of dual nature, a fact made especially evident in the body of
Medieval law ; on the one side a Mason gild was a trade association for the
purpose of controlling hours, wages, the rules of daily work, etc. ; on the
other side it was a fraternity, with a Patron Saint, a chapel to attend, with
feasts at set times, with relief for widows, orphans, etc., and for Masons in
distress. The Oxyrynchus manuscripts make it clear that the builder gilds of
2000 years ago also were dual organizations of the same kind ; they met in
their own rooms, had the equivalent of masters and wardens, gave relief, had
feasts, also acted as burial clubs, and also were trade, or craft,
The Egypt Exploration Fund (Graeeo-Roman
Branch) published Part I of the documents found by Hunt and Grenfell as The
Oxyrhynchus Papyri,' by Grenfell and Hunt; London; 1898; 37 Great Russell St.,
W.C., and 59 Temple Street, Boston, Mass. The latest volume at hand is Greek
Shorthand Manuals, edited by H. J. M. Milne (from a family famous in
Freemasonry for three centuries) ; London ; 1934. For non-archeologists one of
the best introductions is the fascinatingly-written The New Archaeological
Discoveries, and Their Bearing Upon the New Testalnent, etc., by Camden M.
Cobem; Fttnk & Wagnalls Co. ; New York; 1917. The Twentieth Century New
Testament was based on the Fayum discoveries ; some authorities believe that
the books of the New Testament were written in the Koine, others that it was
written first in Aramaic and then translated into the Koine,' in either event
New Testarnent Greek was the Koine instead of the Greek of Plato and
(The shiploads of documents
unearthed since 1885 in Egypt, Palestine, and Greece have swept away once and
forever mountains of nonsense about the pyramid builders and the Egyptian
Mysteries. Scores of Masonic writers, exercising their rights to guess, wrote
pseudo-learned volumes to prove that Freemasonry began with the pyramids [a
very common type of structure] or the Book of the Dead, etc. ; their theories
are now rendered forever impossible. It is not an exaggeration to say that
when the last of the tons of mss. are translated, edited, and published
scholars can write a day-by-day history of the eastern Mediterranean countries
from 300 B.C. to 300 A.D. It is an astonishing fact that less is known about
the Twelfth Century in England and Europe than about that much more ancient
During the first two or three
decades after the forming of the first Grand Lodge of Speculative Masons in
London, in 1717, the daily papers of London, and to a lesser extent in
Edinburgh, Dublin, and other cities, published news about Freemasonry on the
same footing as other news . In its earliest years the new Grand Lodge
published no Proceedings, and did not even keep Minutes; after the Lodges had
multiplied not only in London, but elsewhere they began to demand reports from
the Quarterly Grand Communications. The earliest Grand Lodge Minutes
(reproduced in facsimile in Quatuor Coronati Antigrapha) were in reality not
Minutes but reports, and in them the list of Lodges were deemed the most
important portion. It was to save the Grand Secretary the drudgery of making
many copies by hand that the "Minutes" were for some years engraved by Pine
with his successors hence the origin of the famous "Engraved Lists"upon which
Bro. John Lane was the first and most eminent authority. (See Lane's Lists of
The earliest Lodges demanded
that their members should attend, and in many instances fined them for
non-attendance; to make this rule "all-square" the Lodge in turn had its Tiler
(who was paid) go in person to notify each member of the next Lodge meeting.
This method gradually gave way
to the issuing of printed summons, for which an engraved plate was made,
leaving a blank for the date ; a number of these plates were masterpieces of
the engraver's art---an art which had a large vogue in the Eighteenth Century.
The same methods were used in
general by American Lodges until after the Revolution, when for about a
quarter of a century they made a large use of newspapers. With the sudden
explosion of the Anti-Masonic Crusade after the so-called "Morgan Affair"this
publicity was stopped, and for many years was not encouraged even after the
crusade had died away because it had been abused.
From the Civil War to the
first decade of the Twentieth Century a Lodge either sent out no notices, or
spread them by word of mouth, or published very brief and formal notices in
In the beginning of this
Century Lodges began the issuing of Bulletins, a method being used, or being
adopted, by an ever-increasing number. In majority of instances a Bulletin is
printed by the Lodge and prepared and mailed by the Secretary; in a minority
of instances, especially in cities, either Bulletins or small periodicals are
privately prepared and published by local printers who cover their costs and a
very small margin of profits with an income from local advertising.
The typical Lodge Bulletin is
a printed two or four pages leaflet, of envelope size; in it are names,
addressed, and telephone numbers of Lodge officers, and oftentimes of
Committee chairmen, or Committee members; notices of regular or special
Communications, and of special occasions; and in some instances a small number
of news items.
Lodge Bulletins have been
discussed in Masonic jurisprudence; and both Grand Lodges and Grand Masters
have made rules or decisions to regulate them.
It is generally accepted and
established that a Lodge, or the Worshipful Master, or both, have the
authority to exercise complete control of any information or news which
emanates from or about a Lodge, whether published by the Lodge itself or by a
private printer or publishing company.
BURNS AS MASONIC LAUREATE
On page 164 of this
Encyclopedia Bro. Dudley Wright is quoted in a passage which tries to show
that the long tradition that Robert Burns had been named Poet-Laureate of
Canongate Kilwinning Lodge was "a happy delusion" ; and Bro. Robert I. Clegg,
when quoting him, makes use of a pamphlet which that Lodge had published in
1925. It is possible that both of these cautious editors overlooked the
detailed and exhaustive History of the Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No. 2, by
Allan MacKenzie; Edinburgh; 1888 Bro. MacKenzie devotes the whole of one
chapter to the Laureateship. Out of Lodge records, personal correspondence,
the recollections of old members, newspapers, reports, and by use of internal
evidence he constructs an argument solid enough and cogent enough to convince
a Supreme Court.
Bro. Wright uses as an
argument the fact that no record was made in the Lodge Minutes. It was never
suggested that the naming of Burns as Poet Laureate had ever been made by the
Lodge in an official action, and hence it naturally would not go into the
Minutes ; it is more likely that it was made at a banquet, informally, by the
body of the members acting spontaneously. Even so, Burns accepted it in all
seriousness; as did also the Lodge, which went to great expense to have the
painting made which is reproduced on the sheet following page 156.
As will be seen in the key on
the sheet opposite that reproduction one of the notables whose portrait stands
out conspicuously from a circle of notables is James Boswell, biographer of
Dr. Samuel Johnson. Boswell was made a Mason in the Lodge in 1759 ; was Junior
Warden in 1761; was Depute Master in 1767-l768 ; and Right Worshipful Master
from 1773 to 1775.
Bro. MacKenzie's book is a
wonderfully moving picture of Lodge life in Eighteenth Century Scotland.
Through it move James Hogg,
the ''Atrox Shepherd, " successor to Bums as Scotland's poet, celebrated in a
stanza by Wordsworth, who when asked to be Masonic Poet Laureate first
refused, then relented and wrote a Masonic "shepherd's song" for his Lodge;
Sir Wm. Forbes; the tremendous Lord Mondobbo; Henry Erskine ; some princes
from Russia, etc. ; the Lockharts, father and son, the latter Sir Walter
Scott's son-in-law and biographer ; and Professor Wilson, better known as
Christopher North, author of the Noctes A Ambrosianae, which American
booklovers still read ; and in the background, Sir Walter Scott and his
father, both enthusiastic Craftsmen in their own Lodge.
One of the most celebrated and
best loved of Scottish poets. William Pitt has said of his poetry, "that he
could think of none since Shakespeare's that had so much the appearance of
sweetly coming from nature." Robert Burns, or Robert Burness, as the name was
originally spelled, was born at Kirk Alloway, near the town of Ayr, January
25, 1759. His father was a religious peasant-farmer living in a humble cottage
on the banks of the Doon, the river destined to be eulogized so touchingly in
many of Burns' verses in after life. Burns died in the thirty-seventh year of
his life on July 21, 1796, broken in health. For years he had been feted,
lionized and honored by the entire Scottish nation.
At the age of twenty-three he
became closely associated with the local Freemasonry, being initiated July 4,
1781, in Saint David's Lodge, Tarbolton, shortly after the two Lodges of Saint
David, No. 174, and Saint James, No. 178, in the town were united.
He took his Second and Third
Degrees in the month of October following his initiation. In December Saint
David's Lodge was divided and the old Lodge of Saint James was reconstituted,
Burns becoming a member. Saint James' Lodge has still in its keeping, and we
have personally inspected the Minute Books containing items written in Burns'
own handwriting, which Lodge he served as Depute Master in 1784.
From this time on Freemasonry
became to the poet a great and propelling power. At the time of his initiation
into Saint David's Lodge Burns was unnoticed and unknown and, it must be
admitted, somewhat unpolished in manner, although he had managed to secure
before his sixteenth year what was then considered to be an "elegant"
With almost no exceptions his
boon companions were all Freemasons and this close association with Brethren,
many of whom were high in the social scale, but who recognized his talents and
ability, did much to refine and stimulate him intellectually, influence his
thought, inspire his muse, and develop that keen love of independence and
brotherhood which later became the predominant factors of his life. The poet
held the position of Depute Master of Saint James' Lodge until about 1788, at
which time he read his famous Farewell to the Brethren of Saint James' Lodge,
Tarbolton, given below:
Adieu! a heart-warm, fond
Dear Brothers of the Mystic tie!
Ye favoured, ye enlighten'd few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho' I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, tho' far awa'.
Oft have I met your social
And spent the cheerful, festive night ;
Oft honoured with supreme command,
Presided o'er the Sons of Light;
And by that Hierog1yphic Bright,
Which none but craftsmen ever saw!
Strong Mem'ry on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes, when far awa'!
May Freedom, Harmony, and
Unite you in the Grand Design,
Beneath th' Omniscient Eye above--
The glorious Architect Divine--
That you may keep th' Unerring Line,
Still rising by the Plummet's Law,
Till ORDER bright completely shine,
Shall be my pray'r when far awa'.
And you, FAREWELL! whose
Juatly the Highest Badge to wear !
Heav'n bless your honour'd, noble NAME,
To Masonry and Scotia dear.
A last request permit me here,
When yeany ye assemble a',
One round, I ask it with a tear,
To him, the Bard that's far awa'.
About this same time the poet
presided as Master over a Lodge at Mauchline, which practice was, as a matter
of fact, irregular, as the Charter of the Lodge covered only meetings held in
Tarbolton, but, it is stated, Burns' zeal in the furthering of Freemasonry was
so great that he even held Lodges in his own house for the purpose of
admitting new members.
Mention is also made, however,
that Lodes' were not then tied to a single meeting place as now. Regarding
this, Professor Dugald Stewart, the eminent philosophic writer and thinker,
and himself an Honorary Member of the Saint James Lodge, says, "In the course
of the same season I was led by curiosity to attend for an hour or two a
Masonic Lodge in Mauchline, where Bums presided.
He had occasion to make some
short, unpremeditated compliments to different individuals from whom he had no
reason to expect a visit, and everything he said was happily conceived and
forcibly as well as fluently expressed."
Burns found himself in need of
funds about this time and it was due to the suggestions and assistance of
Gavin Hamilton, a prominent member of the Order and a keen admirer of Bums,
that the poet collected his first edition of poems and was able to have them
published through the able assistance of such eminent Fellow Craftsmen as
Aiken, Goudie, John Ballantine, and Gavin Hamilton. A Burns Monument has since
been erected, in August, 1879, in Kay Park, which overlooks the little
printing office where the first Kilmarnoek edition of his poems was published.
Dr. John Mackenzie, a man of
fine literary taste and of good social position, whom Bums mentions in several
of his Masonic poems, lid much at this period by. way of kindly and discerning
appreciation to develop the poet's genius and make it known to the world. It
was due to a generous loan made by. John Ballantine, before mentioned, that
Burns was able to make the trip to Edinburgh and have a second edition of his
poems published. At Edinburgh, due to the good offices of the Masonic Brethren
there, Burns was made acquainted with and was joyously accepted by the
literary leaders of the Scottish capital. Reverend Thomas Blacklock, a member
of the Lodge of Saint David, Edinburgh, No. 36, and afterwards Worshipful
Master of Ayr Kilwinning Lodge, received Burns on his arrival, lavished upon
him all the kindness of a generous heart, introduced him into a circle of
friends worthy and admiring, and did all possible to further the interest of
the young poet. Brother Sir Walter Scott, the novelist, addressed a letter to
this Lodge of Saint David, Edinburgh, which is now in their possession in
which he pays rare tribute to Robert Burns.
On October 26, 1786, Burns was
made an Honorary Member of the Saint John Lodge, No. 22, Kilmarnock, the first
of the Masonic Orders to designate him as their Poet and honor him with
honorary membership. Just previous to this he joined the Saint Jolln's
Knwinning Lodge, Kilmarnock, warranted in 1747 but not coming under Grand
Lodge until 1808, on which occasion in the Lodge was presided over by his
friend, Gavin Hamilton. On February 1, 1787, Burns became a member of the
Lodge of Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, Edinburgh, which possesses the most
ancient Lodge-room in the world, and this Lodge is said to have invested Burns
with the title of the Poet-Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning on March 1,
1787, from which time on Burns affixed the word Bard to his signature. This
Lodge issued a booklet on Saint John's Day 1925, from which we quote the
The fact of the inauguration
of Burns as Poet.-Laureate was, some time ago, finally and judicially
established after an elaborate and exhaustive inquiry by the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, which possesses the well-known historic Painting representing the
scene, painted by Brother Stewart Watson, and presented to Grand Lodge by Dr.
James Burness, the distinguished Indian traveler and administrator, and a
distant relative of Burns through his ancestry in Kincardineshire, from which
Burns' father migrated to Ayrshire.
On the other hand, Brother
Dudley Wright, in the Freemason, London, February 7, 1925, says:
The principal fallacy, which
has lately found frequent repetition even in some Scottish Lodges, is the
statement that Robert Burns was on a certain night installed or invested as
the Poet Laureale of canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2.
Bums became a member of this
Lodge on February 1, 17S7, as testified by the following Minute: " The Right
Worshipful Master, having observed that Brother Burns was present in the
Lodge, who is well known as a great poetic writer and for a late publication
of his works which have been universally commended, Submitted that he should
be assumed a member of this Lodge, which was unanimously agreed to and he was
The story runs that exactly a
month afterwards, on March 1, 1787, Burns paid a second visit to Lodge
canongate Kilwinning, when he was invested as Poet Laureate of this famous
Lodge, and there is in existence a well-known painting of the supposed scene,
which has been many times reproduced. The picture, however, is only an
imaginary one, for one of the characters depicted as being present-Grose, the
Antiquarian-did not become a Freemason until 1791. James Marshall, a member of
the craft, published, in 1846, a small volume entitled A Winter with Robert
Burns, in which he gave a full account of the supposed investiture, with
biographical data of the Brethren stated to have been present on that
Robert Wylie, also, in his
History of Mother Lodge Kilwinning, of which he was Secretary, published in
1878, has repeated the story, and added that " Burns was very proud of the
honor''; while Dr. Rogers, in The Book of Robert Burns, volume I, page 180 has
also repeated the story, giving the date of the event as June 25, 1787, and
adding the information that Lord Torpichen was then Depute Master, and that in
compliment to the occasion, and as a token of personal regard, on the
following day he despatched to the poet at his lodgings in the Lawnmarket a
handsome edition of Spenser's works, which the poet acknowledged in a letter.
There was a meeting of Lodge
Canongate Kilwinning on March 1, 1787, the Minute of which is in existence,
but it contains no reference to the investiture of Burns as Poet Laureate of
the Lodge. It reads as follows: " St. Johns chapel, March 1, 1787. The Lodge
being duly constituted it was reported that since last meeting R. Dalrymple
Esq., F. T. Hammond Esq., R. A. Maitland Esq., were entered apprentices; and
the following brethren passed and raised : R. Sinclair Esq., Z. M'Donald Esq.,
C. B. Cleve Esq., captain Dalrymple, R. A. Maitland Esq., F. T. Hammond Esq.,
Mr. Clavering, Mr. M'Donald, Mr. Millar, Mr. Hine, and Mr. Gray, who all paid
their fees to the Treasurer. No other business being before the meeting, the
It is not a pleasing task to
dispel such a happy delusion, but it must be admitted that the investiture
certainly did not take place on that occasion, when there is no record that
Burns was even present. Had the investiture taken place, it would certainly
have been recorded on the Minutes, especially when regard is had to the fact
that his very admission to the Lodge a month previously was made the subject
of so special a note. There were only three meetings of the Lodge held in
1786-7 session, and at one of these only,-that of the night of his admission
as a Joining Member -is there any record of the presence of Robert Burns. But
did not Burns call himself Laureated, somebody may ask. Certainly he did,
particularly in the following stanza:
To please you and praise you,
Ye ken your Laureate scorns ;
The prayer still you share still
Of grateful Robert Burns.
But those words were written
on May 3, 1786, before the date of his admission into Lodge, Canongate
Kilwinning. While Brother Burns may not have actually been appointed Poet
Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, and the account of the meeting of
February 1 does not indicate anything more than that he was "assumed" a
member, yet later mention of Brother Burns in the Minutes does suggest that
the Brethren in some degrees considered our Brother as Poet Laureate.
For instance, on February 9,
1815, the Lodge resolved to open a subscription among its members to aid in
the erection of a "Mausoleum to the memory of Robert Burns who was a member
and Poet Laureate of this Lodge. " There is the further allusion on January
16, 1835, in connection with the appointment of Brother James Hogg, the
''Ettrick Shepherd" to the "honorary office of Poet Laureate of the Lodge,
which had been in abeyance since the death of the immortal Brother Robert
Burns" (see also Lodge).
Shortly after the publication
of the second edition of his verse at Edinburgh, Burns set out on a tour with
his friend, Brother Robert Ainslie, an Edinburgh lawyer. Brother A. M. Mackay
tells us in a pamphlet issued by Lodge Saint David, Edinburgh, No. 36, on the
Festival of Saint John, December 19, 1923, that "Burns visited the old fishing
town during the course of a tour through the Border Counties in the early
summer of 1787." The records of the Lodge contain no reference to the Poet, or
to the Royal Arch Degree of which Burns and his friend became members, but
several prominent Brethren in Saint Ebbe were Royal Arch Masons and, although
working under no governing authority, appear to have occasionally admitted
candidates into that Order. Brothers Burns and Ainslie arrived at Eyemouth on
Friday, May 18, and took up their abode in the house of Brother William
Grieve, who was, the Poet informs us, "a joyous, warm hearted, jolly, clever
fellow." It was, no doubt, at the instigation of their host that the meeting
of Royal Arch Masons, held on the following day, was arranged:
Eyemouth 19th May 1787. At a
general encampment held this day, the following Brethren were made Royal Arch
Robert Burns, from Lodge Saint
James, Tarbolton, Ayrshire; and Robert Ainslie from the Lodge of Saint Luke,
Edinburgh, by James Carmichael, William Grieve, Donald Dow, John Clay, Robert
Grieve, etc., etc.
Robert Ainslie paid one guinea
admission dues, but, on account of Brother Bum's remarkable poetical genius,
the encampment unanimously agreed to admit him gratis and considered
themselves honored by having a man of such shining annuities for one of their
It is suggested by Brother A.
Arbuthnot Murray, formerly Grand Scribe E. of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch
Chapter of Scotland, who is an authority on the old working of the Scottish
Royal Arch Chapters, that Burns was probably made a Knight Templar as well, as
under the old regime the two ceremonies were always given together (see also
Dudley Wright in Robert Burns
and Freemasonry says, "On December 27, 1788, Burns was unanimously assumed,
being a Master Masson' a member of the Saint Andrews Lodge, No. 179, Dumiries.
The Secretary wrongly described him as of 'Saint David Strabolton Lodge, No.
178.'" The poet's last attendance at this Lodge was in 1796, a few months
after which he contracted the fatal fever which led to his death.
A word should be said here in
refutation of the slanderous charge that Burns acquired the habits of
dissipation, to which he was unfortunately addicted, at the festive meetings
of the Masonic Lodges (see Freemasons Magazine, London, volume v, page 291),
and his brother, Gilbert's, testimony is given below, "Towards the end of the
period under review, in his, twenty-fourth year, and soon after his father's
death, he was furnished with the subject of his epistle to John Rankin. During
this period, also, he became a Freemason, which was his first introduction to
the life of a boon companion. Yet, notwithstanding these circumstances, and
the praise he has bestowed on Scotch drink, which seems to have misled his
historians, I do not recollect during these seven years, nor till towards the
end of his commencing author, when his growing celebrity occasioned his often
being in company, to have ever seen him intoxicated ; nor was he at all given
Notwithstanding this, however,
the poet undoubtedly enjoyed convivial gatherings and he wrote to a friend,
James Smith, "I have yet fixed on nothing with respect to the serious business
of life. I am, as usual, a rhyming, Mason-making, rattling, aimless, idle
fellow." In spite of this "idleness," Burns was very prolific in verse and
especially did he give of his genius liberally in service to the Masonic
Order, an example of one of these verses being given below:
A' ye whom social pleasure
Whose heart the tide of kindness warms,
Wha hold your being on the terms,
Each aid the others,
come to my bowl, come to my arms,My friends, my Brothers.
Among the various poetic
Masonic effusions of this "heaven-taught plowman" is the following, which was
written in memory of his beloved friend, a fellow-poet and Brother, Robert
Curse on ungrateful man that
can be pleased,
And yet can starve the author of his pleasure .
Oh, thou, my Elder Brother in misfortune,
By far my elder Brother in the Muses,
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate !
Why is the bard unfitted for the wond,
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?
Part of the proceeds of the
Edinburgh edition of Burns' poems was used in the erection of a tombstone over
the remains of this same Scottish poet, Robert Ferguson, on which he inscribed
No sculptured marble here, nor
No storied um, nor animated bust,
This simple stone directs pale Scotis's way,
To pour her sorrows o'er her poet's dust.
A monument was erected for
Robert Burns, himself, by public subscription, at his birthplace, January 25,
1820. The corner-stone was laid with appropriate Masonic honors by the Deputy
Grand Master of the Ancient Mother Lodge at Kilwinning, assisted by all 'the
Masonic Lodges in Ayrshire.
At a meeting in 1924 of the
Scots Lodge of London in honor of Robert Burns, Sir John A. Cockbum, M.D., in
the address of the evening explained to us that the poet when young had
suffered from a rheumatic fever that frequently resulted in a condition
peculiarly liable at any time later to sudden fatal consequences. Sir John
also urged that due consideration should be given to the tendency and practice
of the era when Burns flourished, when a free use of intoxicants was common.
Everything that is done in a
Masonic Lodge, relating to the initiation of candidates into the several
degrees, is called its work or labor; all transactions such as are common',to
other associations and societies come under the head of business, and they are
governed with some peculiar differences by rules of order, as in other
societies (see 0rder, Rules of).
An ancient city of Phenicia,
celebrated for the mystical worship of Adonis, who was slain by a wild boar.
It was situated on a river of the same name, whose waters, becoming red at a
certain season of the year by the admixture of the clay which is at its
source, were said by the celebrants of the mysteries of Adonis to be tinged
with the blood of that god.
This Phoenician city, so
distinguished for the celebration of these mysteries, was the Gebal of the
Hebrews, the birthplace of the Giblemites, or stone-squarers, who wrought at
the building of King Solomon's Temple; and thus those who have advanced the
theory that Freemasonry is the successor of the Ancient Mysteries, think that
they find in this identity of Byblos and Gebal another point of connection
between these Institutions.
Every subordinate Lodge is
permitted to make its own by-laws, provided they do not conflict with the
regulations of the Grand Lodge, nor with the ancient usages of the Fraternity.
But of this, the Grand Lodge is the only judge, and therefore the original
by-laws of every Lodge, as well as all subsequent alterations of them, must be
submitted to the Grand Lodge for approval and confirmation before they can
become valid, having under the English Constitution previously been approved
by the Provincial or District Grand Master.