Volume 14 Issue 1 No. 107 January 2018
M Moonntthhllyy M Maaggaazziinnee
Cover Story, Burns and Freemasonry in Ayrshire Did You Know? Three Grand Columns Lodge St.John Kilwinning No.22. Famous Freemasons – Deacon Brodie The Senior Warden Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks The Marks that Distinguish us Clothing and the Craft Did You Know? Pillars and Globes, Columns and Candlesticks The Emblems of Freemasonry
Main Website – Robert Burns and Freemasonry in Ayrshire
In this issue: Cover Story ‘Burns and Freemasonry in Ayrshire’ The author of this 1929 ‘Burns Chronicle’ article describes Burns time as a Freemason whilst living in Ayrshire. Including a comment from the Editor regarding the author.
Page 7, ‘Did You Know?’ 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes Page 8, ‘Three Grand Columns.’ Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Page 12, ‘Lodge St.John Kilwinning No. 22. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Deacon Brodie’ Famous Freemasons. Page 21, ‘The Senior Warden’ A Poem Page 21, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The Purpose” Page 22, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Subscriptions”, sixty-fourth in the series. Page 23, ‘The Marks that Distinguish us.’ Page 25, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 27, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 28, ‘Pillars and Globes, Columns and Candlesticks – Part 2’ Page 31, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’ Page 33, ‘A Correction!’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Robert Burns as a Freemason.’ [link] 1
Front cover – Marble Bust of Robert Burns by David Cornell
Burns and Freemasonry in Ayrshire. Robert Burns has frequently been called the “Poet Laureate of Freemasonry.” This distinction has been accorded by a consensus of opinion – so many of his works breathe the true spirit of the Fraternity; but he never occupied the official position of Grand Bard of the Order, although a lesser and purely apocryphal Masonic laureateship was posthumously foisted upon him in Edinburgh.¹ Yet it may safely be asserted that all the Grand Bards combined have not given us anything to compare with the Masonic odes and songs and prayers left to us by Brother Robert Burns. “Time but th’ impression stronger makes. As streams their channels deeper wear.” So many erroneous statements have obtained currency regarding the Masonic life of the poet that a brief authentic narrative based on available documentary evidence may fitly form part of the Burns Chronicle. We are informed by one writer that after his initiation Burns “quickly rose to a prominent position in the lodge [i.e., St. David], for within three years he appears as Deputy Master”; we learn from another equally veracious scribe that “at St. James Lodge he was a frequent visitor”; and in a volume entitled Robert Burns and Freemasonry, which professes to record his Masonic career, there is printed a wholly fictitious minute of his passing and raising,
while the actual minute is still in existence to refute the print. Meantime, this narrative may be restricted to the Masonic record of Burns in his native shire of Ayr, leaving other controversial topics for discussion on a future occasion. For a full understanding of the peculiar situation in which Burns found himself involved we shall explain the foundation of the two Tarbolton lodges concerned. When the Grand Lodge of Scotland was established for the supreme government of the Craft in 1736, following an example set by England in 1717 and by Ireland in 1725, there were scattered throughout the country numerous lodges which took no part in the establishment, but for many years retained their independence. The premier lodge in Ayrshire, that of Kilwinning, which had itself founded and warranted a multitude of Lodges, took part in the institution of the new central organisation, but through subsequent dissatisfaction, which does not concern us here, resumed its independence in 1743 and continued to warrant other daughter lodges. The first Tarbolton Kilwinning Lodge was warranted by the Kilwinning Lodge in 1771, for the sum of one merk Scots; but the differences of opinion then agitating the Craft soon manifested themselves acutely at Tarbolton, and in 1773 a secession took place. Twenty brethren, headed by Sir Thomas Wallace, Bart., petitioned Grand Lodge of Scotland for a charter, and this was granted to them on 26th February, 1773, as Lodge St. David, No. 174, on 26th February, 1773, as Lodge St. David, No. 174, on the Grand Lodge roll. It was signed by, among others, the Earl of Dumfries, then Grand Master Mason. The remaining members of the original lodge soon realised the growing importance of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and in 1774 they likewise made application 2
for a charter, which was granted on 27th May of that year to St. James, Tarbolton Kilwinning, No. 178. The Grand Master for that year was John, third Duke of Atholl, but his signature does not appear on the charter, although it was granted under his authority. The proceeding of those days were not so elaborately recorded as they are now, but a carefully preserved minute of 15th March 1774, concludes; “As nothing pertickler passed from March 15, 1774, to March 1, 1775, the sederants are left in the old book.” Despite diligent search this old book has never been discovered. Assuredly, something “pertickler” did happen. In 1781 there was a union of the two Tarbolton lodges. No mention of this fact is made in the minutes of the original lodge; but Lodge St. David recorded the proposal for union in a minute of 6th December, 1780, while in the following June we find: “and having considered on our offers to St. James Lodge respecting a junchen, also their answer, finds by a majority of votes that both lodges may unite on terms offered and exchanged this day.” This “junchen” on 25th June, 1781, resulted in the combination being known as Lodge St. David, “being the oldest charter.” This obviously refers to the Grand Lodge charters for Mos. 174 and 178, and takes no cognisance of the original charter from Lodge Kilwinning. Whatever feeling was aroused on this score can only be read now between the lines and by the subsequent proceedings. Nine days after the union thus consummated Robert Burns was entered as a member of the combined Lodge St. David, through the good office – it is said – of Brother Alex. Wood, a tailor in Tarbolton. At this time Burns, aged twenty-two, was labouring for his father at Lochlea Farm, and the minute book of Lodge St. David, still extant but 3
now in non-Masonic keeping, has the record, “Sederant for July 4th. Robt. Burns in Lochly was entered as Apprentice. Joph. Norman, M.” His entry fee of 12s 6d was paid on that date. The mother lodge of Robert Burns was therefore St. David, during its brief period of union with Lodge St. James. There has been much controversy regarding the meeting-place of the lodge at the time. It has been claimed that the poet was initiated in Mason’s Inn, which is intimately associated with his Masonic work at Tarbolton. But Manson’s Inn does not figure in the records of St. David, which had a lodge-room of its own, and which was more closely associated with another publichouse carries on by another prominent member, John Richard, some time Steward of the lodge. The first official mention of Manson’s is in the minute book of Lodge St. James in 1784 as we shall presently note. Manson was Treasurer of St. James Lodge from its foundation till the union. The probability is that Burns was initiated in the Bachelors’’ Club room, which was connected with Richard’s public-house. Burns was a leading member of that Club. Shortly after his initiation Burns left Tarbolton for his unfortunate flax-dressing adventure in Irvine, and while resident there he travelled to Tarbolton on 1st October, 1781, for his next step in the Craft. The minutes reads; “Robert Burns in Lochly was passed and raised, Henry Cowan being Master, James Humphrey Senr. Warden and Jas. Manson Treasurer, and John Tannock Taylor and others of the Brethren being present.” (Taylor here is meant for Tyler) Humphrey was the “noisy polemic” on whom Burns wrote the epitaph beginning “Below thir stanes lie Jamie’s banes.” Wodrow became notorious shortly
afterwards in the secession proceedings which now fall to be recorded, but in which the name of Burns does not appear. From his associations we can therefore only deduce his attitude, each for himself. It is highly improbable that he was a disinterested spectator, as an interesting document in his handwriting – an appeal for a meeting, penned probably in 1782 – states inter alia: “We who subscribe this are both members of St. James Lodge, Tarbolton, and one of us in the office of Warden. . . . We are sorry to observe that our lodge’s affairs with respect to its finances have for a good while been in a wretched situation. We have considerable sums in bills which lye by without being paid or put in execution; and many of our members never mind their yearly dues or anything else belonging to the lodge. And since the separation from St. David we are not sure even of our existence as a lodge. There has been a dispute before the Grand Lodge, but how decided, or if decided at all, we know not,” . . . . But this is anticipating. Manson and Wodrow, as members of the original lodge, had never been agreeable to the suppression of its name and its supersession by St. David. Along with Captain James Montgomerie, Secretary Wodrow called one evening upon John Richard, who kept the charter chest of the lodge containing the archives and other belongings. After ordering “two gills of punch,” they sent Richard to Manson’s Inn on a trumped-up message and, abstracting the effects of Lodge St. James from the charter chest during his temporary absence, carried them off. Proceedings in the Sheriff Court at Ayr followed, and eventually the matter was carried to Grand Lodge. Gran Committee ordered restitution, but the Secretary was made of sterner stuff and refused to submit. A decision by the Sheriff
recorded that as the union had been a voluntary one, there was nothing to prevent a voluntary separation. We find this minute in the St. James Lodge book : Tarbolton, June 17, 1782. St. James Lodge met upon the same footing as it was before the junction. James Montgomerie, Gr. Mr. for the night.” This was the union dissolved, and we next find Burns among the seceders. His name does not appear again in the minute book of either lodge until 27th July, 1784, when he was elected Depute Master of St. James Lodge at Manson’s Inn. The lodge had moved its quarters to Manson’s a month previously, and there its meetings were held during Burns’s regime. Burns, it may be noted, never was Master of the lodge; but the Master-ship being usually an honorary and sinecure post, the Depute took the chair at the meetings and signed the minutes. The minute book which is a highly prized relic of the early days of the lodge contains three minutes entirely in the handwriting of the poet, and 29 more signed by him as Depute Master. It is still preserved by the lodge and is shown to visitors, though under more careful supervision than in former days. The first minute, holograph but unsigned, is dated 1st September 1784, and reads thus; “This night the lodge met and ordered four pounds of candles and one quire of eightpence paper for the use of the lodge, which money was laid out by the treasurer and the candles and paper laid in accordingly.” The first minute signed by Burns as D.D. is that of 29th June, 1785, and the last that of 23rd May, 1788. Up till 1st March, 1786, they are signed “Robt. Burness.” On that date his brother Gilbert got his second and third degree in the lodge, and both he and the Depute Master spelled the name “Burns.” During Burn’s tenure of office Professor Dugald Stewart became an 4
honorary member of the lodge, as also did Claude Alexander of Ballochmyle, brother of the lady immortalised as “The bonny lass o’ Ballochmyle.” Despite the assertion made by Robert Chambers in his Land of Burns, the last date of the poet’s signature was not that of his last appearance in St. James Lodge, for on 21st October and again on 11th November, 1788, the minutes record his presence in the chair. On St. John the Baptist’s Day 24th June, 1786, St. James Lodge held an annual gathering. This was the occasion which drew from Burns the well-known lines to Dr. John McKenzie: Friday first's the day appointed By the Right Worshipful Anointed, To hold our grand Procession, To get a blade o' Johnie's Morals, And taste a swatch o' Manson's barrels, I' the way of our Profession: Our Master and the Brotherhood Wad a' be glad to see you; For me I would be mair than proud To share the mercies wi' you. If Death then wi' skaith then Some mortal heart is hechtin, Inform him, and storm him, That Saturday ye'll fecht him. When misfortune overtook him and arrangements had been completed for his emigration to Jamaica, Burns penned his “Farewell” to St. James Lodge, beginning Adieu! a heart-warm, fond adieu! Dear brothers of the mystic tye! Ye favour'd, ye enlighten'd Few, Companions of my social joy! Tho' I to foreign lands must hie, Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba', 5
With melting heart, and brimful eye, I'll mind you still, tho' far awa'. The reference in the concluding verse of the piece is to Major-General James Montgomerie, Master of the Lodge, whose Depute he was, and who as Capt. Montgomerie was one of the conspirators at the severance of the “junchen.” Burns connected with two other Ayrshire lodges. On 27th March, 1786, he was admitted a member of Loudoun Kilwinning, at Newmilns. He was introduced by the Master, who at that time was his friend Gavin Hamilton. The minute adds, “John Morton, merchant in Newmilns, is answerable for Mr. Robert Burns’s admission money.” On 26th October 1786, the poet was admitted an honorary member of St. John Kilwinning Lodge, Kilmarnock, now No. 22, but originally No.24. The minute reads; “Robert Burns, poet from Mauchline, a member of St. James, Tarbolton, was made honorary member of this lodge. (Signed) Will. Parker.” It was on this occasion that he composed the song; Ye sons of Auld Killie, assembled by Willie, To follow the noble vocation; Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another To sit in that honoured station. I've little to say, but only to pray, As praying's the ton of your fashion; A prayer from the muse you well may excuse, `Tis seldom her favourite passion. Ye powers who preside o'er the wind and the tide, Who marked each element's border, Who formed this frame with beneficent aim Whose sovereign statute is order,
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention, Or withered Envy ne'er enter, May secrecy round be the mystical bound And brotherly love be the centre. The original has the inscription: “This song, wrote by Mr. Burns, was sung by him in the Kilmarnock Kilwinning Lodge in 1786, and given by him to Mr. Parker who was Master of the Lodge.” The concluding lost lines were used later by Burns in an apology for his absence from St. James Lodge, dated from “Edinburgh, 23rd August, 1787.” The text is as follows – Men and Brethren, I am truly sorry it is not in my power to be at your quarterly meeting - If I must be absent in body, believe me I shall be present in spirit. I suppose those who owe us monies by bill or otherwise will appear; I mean those we summoned. If you please, I wish you would delay prosecuting defaulters till I come home. The court is up and I will be home before it sits down. In the mean time, to take a note of who appear and who do not of our faulty debtors will be the right in my humble opinion; and those who confess debt and crave days, I think we should spare them. Farewell. [Then follows the stanza, but beginning “Within your dear Mansion.”] Robt. Burns.
ARTICLE by R.T. HALLIDAY This article by R.T. Halliday was published in the Burns Chronicle (Second Series Volume IV) 1929, pp 137-145
Opinion by the Editor ¹ This is the first of three articles that Halliday wrote regarding Burns time as a Freemason which were published in the Burns Chronicle. The second was entitled “Burns and Freemasonry in Edinburgh,” published in 1947 and is reproduced in full in the January 2014 issue of the SRA76 magazine. The final part of the trilogy is called, “Burns and Freemasonry in Dumfriesshire,” published in 1949, which we shall include in the Magazine at a later date. Halliday throughout all his articles concerning Burns is scathing in his remarks regarding Burns as the Port Laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, and takes the same view held by Murray-Lyon that it never happened. He is dismissal about anyone who holds this opinion as can be seen from his first two articles 20 years apart and is in fact only repeating that which was previous stated over 50 years prior. Halliday brings nothing new to the table to support this.
The so-called defaulters were brethren who had borrowed from the lodge – a common practice in earlier days.
The reader will notice that Halliday states at the beginning of this article; “posthumously foisted upon him in Edinburgh” now we know where an author 40 years later took this statement from and repeated it in his article. Halliday also slates other authors (ones who hold the view Burns did become the poet-laureate) regarding then getting some of their facts wrong, it’s just a pity that Halliday didn’t check some of his! In deed, one Burns author took Halliday to task about his inaccuracies in an article in the 1982 Grand Lodge of Scotland Year Book. (Burns the Young Freemason.) And he in turn made a monumental mistake in the very last paragraph of his dissertation! (read it)
Burns’s Masonic mark appears in minute books; it appears also twice in the Bible which he presented to “Highland Mary” when he parted from her on the banks of the River Ayr in May, 1786, prior to his intended departure for the West Indies. He fashioned it thus:
My position is clear, I am utterly convinced that Burns was the first poet-laureate of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, and if those authors like Halliday had had, to use his own words, used the “available documentary evidence” at hand, he might have changed his tune regarding his view. Especially if he had access to the MacDonald Journal at this period in time, but would he had, probably not! The Editor
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Can you explain the meaning of the allusions in the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes? Answer. Of the two favourite interpretations of Biblical commentators one makes this dramatic passage a description of old age and senile decay; the other, a reference to the seldom experienced and much feared thunderstorm in Palestine. • Verses 1, 2: The darkening of light and luminaries refers to coming blindness or extreme nearsightedness; and the clouds which return after the rain to a continuation of poor sight after much weeping. • Verse 3: The keepers of the house are the hands, which tremble with palsy in old age. The strong men are the legs, which become bowed with the years. The grinders, which cease when they are few, are the teeth, and those that look out of the windows are, poetically, the eyes. • Verse 4: The doors are the ears, which grow deaf in age and can no longer hear the sound of grinding of grain in the little stone mills, which the women use. To rise up at the voice of a bird may signify either the light sleep of age easily interrupted by any slight sound, or the nervousness, which is so extreme in some old men that they start at any little noise. The daughters of music are the vocal chords which lose their timbre in age; hence the cracked voice of senility. • Verse 5: The old man fears any height, knowing his brittle bones will stand no fall. He is timid, as he has no strength with which to defend himself. The almond tree 7
blossoms white, like an old man's hair. Any little weight, even a grasshopper, may be too much burden for extreme age to carry. The old have no desires the long home is the grave, in anticipation of which the mourners go about the streets. • Verse 6: The silver cord is the spinal cord, the golden bowl is the brain, the pitcher broken at the fountain a failing heart, and the wheel broken at the cistern the kidneys, bladder and prostate gland, all of which sometimes give trouble to old men. Whether or not the writer possessed a sufficient knowledge of anatomy to thus symbolize parts of the body as the "Silver Cord," the "golden bowl," the "pitcher," the "wheel broken at the cistern" is so problematical that much scepticism of this interpretation has been expressed. The storm interpretation is not open to this objection and certainly it is far more in keeping with the magnificent poetry of the words. Think of a windy day, the clouds and rain; towards evening it begins to clear, but the heavens turn black again as the "clouds return after the rain." This was a signal for caution, if not for terror, in Palestine. Men and women and children feared the thunderstorm, probably because it came so seldom. Doors were shut in the streets. The strong guards who stood before the houses of the wealthy were afraid, and trembled, for they might not leave their places. The little mills with which the women ground grain at eventide ceased; few would remain at their tasks in the face of the storm. Women in upper rooms drew back into the dark. Those outdoors became nervous; no one sang; the black thunderheads flourished their white tops like the almond tree; everyone feared the lightning and the
thunder on high; even a little weight which kept a man from running to shelter was a burden. Here the admonition is to remember the Creator before the terror of death, which is worse than the terror of the storm. The rich man with his golden water bowl hung from a silver chain must fear it. The poor man with his earthen pitcher who must send his women to the well for water was in terror. Even the man strong and tough as the crude wooden wheel, which drew the skin bucket to the top of, the well, shook with fear. Death is the same for all, and it is feared alike by all. Whichever interpretation of these symbols the reader may prefer, it seems clear that the main lesson to be drawn is that now is the time to remember our Creator rather than at some indefinite future time which for us may never come. Question: Why Hoodwinked?
Answer. Blindfolding a candidate is symbolical of that state in which he has "long been in darkness and now prays for light." It is not to keep him from seeing the Lodge room, or the officers, or the brethren, but to make a deep and lasting impression on his mind, that Masonicly, he has no, or but partial, light, and that only by the consummation of the ceremonies for which he has asked and which the Lodge has granted, may he receive that Masonic light which will enable him to "travel in foreign countries and receive Master's wages." That the conclusion of parts of Masonic degrees be accompanied by unexpected sight and sound is a very old and very effective way of making an event memorable. The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
Three Grand Columns. All Masons are taught of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty; the words “For there should be Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support and Beauty to adorn” are older than our Rituals. Attempting, as we do, to convey an outline of Masonic wisdom in three degrees, conferred in three evenings, our work necessarily devotes but little time to any one of our great teachings. We give the hint, refer the initiate to the Great Light, abjure to study the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, instruct him to converse with wellinformed Masons, and pass on to offer another outline of a great truth. It would take pages, where here are but paragraphs, even to list the references to Wisdom in the Great Light; the word occurs in the Bible two hundred and twenty-four times! For Masons, however, perhaps the most illuminating passage regarding wisdom is from I Kings (IV. 30-32): “Solomon’s wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all children of the east country and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman and Chalcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the nations round about.” As might be expected of the man who was wiser than “all children of the East country,” Solomon esteemed wisdom greatly. In Proverbs he says: “Incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thy heart to understanding. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is 8
better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold. For wisdom is better than rubies and all things that may be desired are not to be compared to it!” It is easy, Masonically, to confuse wisdom with knowledge as it is to do so in profane life. Pope is often misquoted: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.” What he really said was “a little ‘learning’ is a dangerous thing,” which is as different from knowledge as is wisdom. Knowledge is the cognizance of facts. Wisdom is the strength of mind to apply its knowledge. A Mason may know every word of our ritual from the beginning of the entered Apprentice Degree to the final words of the Sublime Degree of Master Mason and still have no wisdom, Masonic or otherwise. Many a great leader of the Craft has been a stumbling, halting ritualist; yet possessed in abundance a Masonic wisdom which made him a power for good among the brethren, by whom he was well beloved. Knowledge comes from study; Wisdom from experience. Knowledge may be the possession of the criminal, the wastrel, the “irreligious libertine” and the atheist. Wisdom comes only to the wise, and the wise are ever good. Surely the first of the three Grand Columns which support our Institution should be taken to heart by every Mason as a symbol of the real need of a brother to become wise with the goodness of Masonry, skilled in the arts of brotherhood, learned in the way to the hearts of his brethren. If he knew not, and asked “how may I gain Masonic 9
Wisdom,” let him find the answer not in the ritual, important though it is; not in the form and ceremony, beautiful though they are, and in themselves strong with the strength of repetition and age - let him look to the Five Points of Fellowship, for there is the key to the real wisdom of the brotherhood of man. The connection between wisdom, strength and beauty is by no means confined to Masonry. The terms have been associated in many great and good minds. Thus, Tupper sings: “Few and precious are the words which the lips of Wisdom utter To what shall their rarity be likened, what price shall count their worth? Perfect and much to be desired, and giving joy with riches, No lovely thing on earth can picture all their beauty.”
Milton wrote: “What is strength, without a double share of wisdom? Vast, unwieldy, burdensome; Proudly secure, yet liable to fall By weakest subtleties; not made to rule But to subserve, where wisdom bears command.” And the immortal Bard of Avon knew: “O, how much doth beauty beauteous seem by that sweet adornment which truth doth give!”
Strength, the second of our Grand Columns, without which nothing endures, not even when contrived by wisdom and adorned with beauty; we know in two forms in our daily lives. First, the strength which lies in action, power, might - the strength of the arm, the engine, the army. Second, that other, subtler strength which is not less strong for being passive; the strength of the column which supports, the strength of the foundation which endures; the strength of
the principles by which we live, individually, collectively, nationally Masonically. It is the second form of strength with which the Speculative Mason is concerned. Freemasons build no temporal building. True, we do lay the cornerstone of the public building in the northeast corner, but the building is symbolic, not practical. The operative Mason who sets the stone for the Grand Master would place it as strongly in the building without our ceremony as with it. Our building is with the strength which endures in hearts and minds rather than that which makes the sun-dry materials of which an edifice is composed to do man’s will. The Freemason constructs only the spiritual building; his stone is his mind; mentally, not physically, chipped by the common gavel to a perfect ashlar. The strength by which he establishes his kingdom is not a strength of iron but a strength of will; his pillars support not a wall to keep out the cowans and eavesdroppers, but a character, proof against the intrusion of the vices and superfluities of life. The lesson of the second column is made plain in the second degree. The “promise of God unto David” may be found by any who will read in II Samuel” “And when thy days shall be fulfilled and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee which shall proceed out of thy bowels and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house in my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” He who reads not merely the promise, but the reason for it, will understand that when David wished to build a house for the Lord, the Prophet Nathan brought him a message
of the Lord, that he, not David, will build a “house not made with hands” in the form of sons and their sons forever. Later, in the Great Light, we learn that the house which is “the Temple of the Holy Spirit” is man. If we follow out Masonic teachings, and believe that “the inestimable gift of God to man for the rule and guide of his faith” holds a true interpretation of the Mason’s conception of life and living, the “strength” which Masons should strive to acquire is that which will establish our sovereignty over ourselves, that our kingdom of character may endure. Beauty is represented in a Masonic lodge by the Corinthian Column, most beautiful of the ancient orders of architecture; by the Junior Warden, who observes the sun at Meridian when the day is most beautiful; by Hiram Abif, who “beautified and adorned the Temple.” We are taught that it is as necessary that beauty adorn all great and important undertakings as that wisdom contrives and strength supports them. In the story of Solomon’s Temple in the Great Light we find detailed descriptions of what was evidently, to those who went into details of its construction; the most beautiful building possible for the engineering skill, the wealth and the conception of the people of Israel of that day. Artists have disputed and philosophers have differed about what is beauty. All of us have our individual conceptions of what constitutes it. That the beauty is largely in the mind of the beholder is demonstrated vividly to every traveler! The Turk thinks Ruben’s women are beautiful; while the American admires the pulchritude of the slender woman. Doubtless the pyramids were beautiful to the Egyptians, but modern 10
architecture finds them too plain, too severe for beauty. Harmonies which the trained musical ear enjoys are but sounding brass and tinkling cymbal to the radio devotee, who finds in the spontaneity of a Negro jazz orchestra something to which his conception of musical beauty responds to. The man who finds pleasure in Edgar Guest gets none from Swinburne, or the sonnets to the Portuguese; he who finds beauty in a diatom or a bacteria under a microscope will see none in tiger or a rose. Obviously then, the beauty of which Masons are taught is that variety which, like the “natural religion” of the Old Charges, is one “in which all men agree.” As no two men are agreed as to what is beautiful in a material sense, the Masonic conception of beauty cannot be of a material beauty. Its symbol of beauty - the sun at Meridian - is actually blinding to see. If we think the sun is beautiful, it is, for what it does for us rather than for what it is. The Masonic Pillar of Beauty then, must be the symbol of an inward loveliness; a beauty of the mind, of the heart; a beauty of idea and ideal; a beauty of the spirit. Our Corinthian Column is to us not merely the support of the building, but that which upholds a character. Our Junior Warden represents not only the beauty of the sun at Meridian, but the illumination by which a life is made beautiful. Hiram Abif is to us not only an exemplary character but an ideal to follow, a tradition to be preserved, a glory for which we may strive. All about us, among our neighbors, are examples of what we term “a beautiful life.” Such beauty is almost wholly composed of unselfishness. He who walks in beauty thinks of others before himself, of stretching forth his hand, not for personal gain, but to 11
help, aid and assist the poor and the unfortunate. Such a conception of the third Grand Column is foreshadowed in our teaching that “the greatest of these is charity” - charity of thought, of action, of understanding as well as of alms and of giving. Masonic beauty was wholly an operative matters in the days when the Gothic Cathedrals first lifted their arches and spires to heaven. Today, when Masonry is purely speculative, Masonic beauty must be considered only as a beauty of the spirit. It cannot be had by wishing. It is not painted by the brush of desire. No musician may compose it upon any material piano. The poet may write about it, but he cannot phrase it. For it is of the inward essence which marks the difference between the “real good man” and he who only outwardly conforms to the laws and customs of society. A man may keep every law, go to church three times on Sunday, belong to our Order and subscribe to every charity; and still be mean of spirit, unhappy to live with, selfish, inconsiderate, and disagreeable. Such a one has not learned the inward meaning of the Pillar of Beauty. He has never stood, symbolically in the South. For him, the sun at Meridian is but the orb of the day at high noon and nothing more. But for the real Mason, the brother who takes the lessons of the three Grand Columns to heart, Beauty is as much a lamp to live by as are Wisdom and Strength. He finds beauty in his fellow-man because his inner self is beautiful. His “house not made with hands” is glorious before heaven, not because, in imitation of Solomon, he “overlaid also the house, the beams, the post
and the walls thereof and doors thereof with gold” but because it is made of those stones which endureth before the Great Architect unselfishness, and kindness, and consideration, and charity, and a giving spirit - in other words, of brotherhood genuine because it springs from the heart.
Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 22 1734-1992
For these things endure. Material things pass away. The Temple of Solomon is but a memory. Scattered are the stones, stolen is the gold and silver, destroyed are the lovely vessels cast by Hiram Abif. But the memory. like the history of the beauty and the glory which was Solomon, abide into this day. So shall it be with our “house not built with hands,” so be it if we build with the Beauty which Masons teach.
The Petition for the formation of a Lodge at Kilmarnock is dated 14th November 1734. It is signed by Lord Kilmarnock, amongst others, and shows that all subscribers were "Masons belonging to the said Worship full and most ancient Lodge of Kilwinning". The Lodge is therefore a true Daughter of Kilwinning, no members of any other Lodge having had a part in the erection. The reasons for praying that a Lodge be erected are clearly stated.
In conclusion consider an oddity of this dear old Craft of ours, a coincidence to be cherished in the heart, if only to keep constantly in memory of the real meaning of the three Grand Columns. The ancient Hebrew word for strength is “Daath.” The ancient Hebrew word for strength is “Oz.” The ancient Hebrew word for a hewn stone, our perfect Ashlar, which may well stand here as meaning beauty, is “Gazith.”
According to our ideas, Hebrew is read backwards. The initials of these three Old Testament words, read backwards, produce our name for Deity! Surely it is the Great Architect, of whom they speak to the Mason who hath ears to hear, to whom we must look for the inner and spiritual meaning of the three Grand Columns which support our Institution! Sourced from Short Talk Bulletins June 1930 Vol. 8.
"That the Brethren of Mother Kilwinning in and about the town of Kilmarnock are at a great loss, by our distance from the seat of the said Lodge, in not getting cultivate in due manner the ends and purposes of Masonrie, nor keeping useful correspondence in a regular Lodge". This request was granted and the original Charter of the Lodge issued under the ordinances of the Schaw Statutes. The origins of Freemasonry in the town of Kilmarnock are unknown, but it should be noted that early minute books are embossed 'Instituted 1700" indicating the existence of the Lodge prior to 1734. Reflecting on the beginnings of the Lodge we can be considered fortunate on the choice of the first Right Worshipful Master and his standing in Scottish history, he being William Boyd 4th Earl of Kilmarnock. He was Master of the Lodge during 1734-1741 and in 1744, Grand Master Mason 174243 and Master of 12
Mother Kilwinning in 1742 when it is recorded that "The Right Honourable William Earl of Kilmarnock was installed, proclaimed and acknowledged Right Worshipful Master for the year ensuing; and after having taken the chair and opening the Lodge, he admitted the Right Honourable Alexander, Earl of Eglintoune, an apprentice, his Lordship of Eglintoune paid into the box five guineas for the poor, besides the expenses of the day." The Earl of Eglintoune and his descendants were to feature prominently in Grand Lodge history, the 10th, 16th and 17th Earls becoming Grand Master Masons. Lord Kilmarnock did however pay the ultimate price for his support of Charles Edward Stuart and was executed at Tower Hill in 1746 following his capture at Culloden. From this somewhat eventful start the Lodge progressed towards the late 1700's in a stable manner. Lodge St John Kilwinning Kilmarnock took an early opportunity to support the newly formed Grand Lodge of Scotland. In 1738 Grand Lodge issued under its authority a Charter to the Lodge. As the Lodge reached the end of the eighteenth century it was fortunate to he involved with one of the great literary figures of Scotland, Brother Robert Burns. The Bard was to become associated with the Lodge at a difficult period in his life. He was residing at Mossgeil near Mauchline and was a frequent visitor to Kilmarnock. He was also at this time on the verge of publishing the first edition of his poems and this was to be done with the assistance of a member of the Lodge, the printer John Wilson. Brother Wilson who was to become Master of the Lodge during 1796-1797 and later to become instrumental in the production of the Ayrshire newspaper, the Ayr Advertiser. 13
Burns' social character brought him into contact with many members of the Lodge but probably the most memorable friendship was of Tam Samson, local seedsman. Brother Samson was Treasurer of the Lodge in 1779, and is celebrated in Burns' Elegy: “the Lodge has lost an unco devil, Tam Samsons Deid". John Begbie, a local vintner and friend of Burns, was initiated into the Lodge on 22nd December 1786 and featured in the poem 'The Ordination': “Then aff to begbies in a raw, An drink divine libations.” Begbies Inn was a regular meeting place of the Lodge during the late 1800's. Robert Burns was made an honorary member of the Lodge on 26th October 1786. The minute is of particular interest as it refers to Burns as a poet and not as a farmer. He would have considered this a great privilege and the Lodge has since been honoured by his Masonic Song, "Ye Sons of Old Killie", dedicated to the Lodge and his friend William Parker of Assloss Right Worshipful Master at that time. The members of the Lodge subscribed and supported his First Edition and so perhaps in some way assisted in giving to the world his immortal work. The Lodge has in its possession a gavel reputedly presented by Burns. During this period the Lodge met in what is now the Wheatsheaf Hotel and an early map of the town of 1818 shows a separate Lodge building adjacent to those premises. The Lodge proceeded into the 1800's with great enthusiasm and in 1818 supported the formation of a new Lodge in the town,
Lodge St James Nethertonholm, No.345, It appears from the minutes that this Lodge was to be short lived, and in 1821 reference suggests that its downfall was caused by some form of schismatic Freemasonry. The support that St Johns' gave to within the area continued for many years. The minutes of the 1800's make interesting reading and paint a picture of a rather elegant period in the Lodges history. During the mid 1800's the meeting places can be determined as the George Hotel then moving on to the Sun Inn. Sadly it is obvious that the Lodge fortunes were to take a turn for the worse and the Lodge was in some form of dormancy during the years 1838 to 1856. The Lodge emerged from this condition and regained its strength. In 1860 the Kilmarnock historian, poet and topographer, Archibald McKay was initiated and also in that same year installed as Poet Laureate of the Lodge. In 1863 a signet ring was presented by the Lodge to James Brown Past Master as a token of respect. It was returned to the Lodge from the Trustees of Brother Brown's estate on the condition it be worn in perpetuity by the Masters, a tradition carried on to this day. As the end of the nineteenth century approached, the four Lodges within the town were to realise the benefits of shared premises and in 1898 purchased premises at a cost of ÂŁ2,050. The Consecration took place in October 1899 with the ceremony conducted by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master. The historical background of the Lodge was researched by James Dunlop P.M. in 1903
when he complied the first known history of the Lodge. During his research he was to discover a holograph letter from Sir Walter Scott dated 14th November 1829 in which he refers to a portrait of Robert Burns although the actual reason for the letter and the portrait referred to have never been established. On 5th January 1900 a special meeting was held at 12.05 a.m. to confer the Master Mason Degree upon a Brother going abroad the same morning. Grand Lodge stated that this was the earliest time they would allow the degree to be conferred. The attendance was surprisingly good. The dark years of World War One were soon to approach and the Lodge dispatched gifts to Brethren in the Forces, and even when a Brother's diploma was lost on board the 'Chantala', torpedoed in the Mediterranean, he received a replacement from the Lodge. In 1920 the Lodge held a Memorial Service for fallen Brethren. The Lodge emerged from the war years to encounter a period of optimism. Candidates greatly increased with an E.A. Degree held on 20th September 1919 admitting 19 candidates! The year 1924 brought about the purchase of a site for the proposed new Masonic premises which to this day still accommodates the four Kilmarnock Lodges. The Consecration did not take place until three years later on 10th December 1927 and was carried out by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, the Consecration stone contained artifacts from the four Lodges. The first regular meeting held by the Lodge in the new Temple took place on 20th December 1927. The Lodge celebrated 200 years of Freemasonry with a special Bicentenary Celebration in November 1934. 14
At this special event the Right Worshipful Master, presided and Grand Lodge were well represented and headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Brother The Right Hon. The Lord Saltoun, M.C., J.P. A Divine Service was also held in the Henderson Church on the following day. The minute book from the period 19391948 was to document yet another World War. On 13th September 1939 a Brother Cumming was welcomed into the Lodge. He was a survivor from the liner 'Athenia' which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the North Atlantic the day war was declared on 3rd September 1939. Out of the gloom of the war years men could still derive pleasure from Freemasonry and the Brethren of the Lodge were to join in the celebration of the formation of a new Lodge with the name Lodge St Maurs Kilmaurs, No.1398. Lodge St John is still fortunate today in having amongst its ranks a Founder Member of No.1398, Brother Frank Knapp. During the year 1936-37 the Chair of the Lodge was occupied by Brother Daniel Cairns. Brother Cairns was to rise to great heights in the Civic affairs of the town, a member of the Town Council for 41 years; he became Provost on two occasions, a Magistrate and a Police Judge, whilst his contribution to Lodge St John was immense. He passed away in 1947 at the age of 87. Tribute as a public figure was made to his memory by the then Secretary of State for Scotland. The Lodge was certainly fortunate in having such a dedicated member. Many Brethren were to influence the direction of the Lodge following the War years, too numerous to mention in this short account of the Lodge. 15
Through the efforts and skills of the many Brethren who have laboured down the centuries the Lodge was enabled on 10th November 1982 to celebrate 250 years of existence when approximately 500 Brethren enjoyed that auspicious event. The Right Worshipful Master, Brother A. Wilson, welcomed a large deputation from Grand Lodge headed by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason Brother Marcus Humphrey of Dinnet, O.St.J., M.A., F.R.I.C.S. for the Re-dedication Ceremony followed by a Dinner held in the Grand Hall. Prior to this event Kilmarnock Town Council were to honour the Lodge and its contribution to the community with a Civic Reception. Freemasonry in Ayrshire continued to flourish and in 1985 a new Lodge was consecrated in the village of Dundonald, called Lodge Burns Dundonald 1759. Lodge St John stands today on the brink of another century and will no doubt face many challenges, as the Brethren of the past also have done. The Lodge has produced many Brethren who have left no memorial except that of a Lodge with a glorious past and a hope for Brethren of the same calibre to safeguard the future.
â€œWithin this dear mansion, may wayward contention Or withered envy ne'er enter; May secrecy round be the mystical bound, And brotherly love be the centre.â€? Robert Burns, Ye Sons of Old Killie. 1786 This History of Lodge St. John Kilwinning No.22 written by Bro. Stephen Drury was sourced from the GLOS website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 22 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Famous Freemasons Deacon Brodie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
William Brodie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1741. His father Francis Brodie was one of the most eminent wrights and cabinet-makers in Edinburgh and his work much sought after. In 1775 he was the Deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights which gave him a seat on the City Council. Francis would later become the Deacon Convener of the Incorporation of Trades for Edinburgh which gave him a high standing within the community and the highest social network, a highly respected individual and as such his work could be found in many of the finest homes in the City. The Brodie family residence and workshop was on the Royal Mile in a ‘close’ situated
in the Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile, just a short distance down from Edinburgh Castle, known today as ‘Brodie’s Close.’ When William the eldest of 11 children was old enough, he was apprenticed to learn his father’s trade. Like his father, he rose in his profession and became exceptionally good at cabinet-making until he too became a Deacon of his guild and a member of the city council. His status, profession, and family connections should have been enough to ensure a comfortable life for the rest of his days as he would retain major positions in the city almost until his death, and the contracts that gained him would have been enough for most men … except for the fact that there was one way that he didn’t take after his father: William was, at heart, a scoundrel. For Deacon Brodie as he was known from his guild title, had a double life, by day, he was a respectable craftsman, specialising in domestic furniture such as cupboards, cabinets and doors regarded by many as the best in Edinburgh, supplying the rich and famous throughout the town. And as such, his work gave him access to his customer’s homes and business premises where he would install the furniture as well as fitting locks, as he was also a talented locksmith. Deacon Brodie rapidly climbed the social ladder in Scotland’s capital and could do nothing wrong, he was respectable, charming, and articulate and knew all the ‘right’ people. In January 1763, Brodie became a member of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, one of the most prestigious Masonic Lodges in Edinburgh at this time; his father had joined the Lodge three years previous in 1760. He was also invited to join the Cape Club the most exclusive club in Edinburgh, where he rubbed shoulders 16
with many local dignitaries and the higher members of society.
a highly respected City Deacon and Town Councillor of committing these crimes.
But by night, he was a different person, for as the City of Edinburgh had a dark side, an underworld of vice and crime, and Deacon Brodie came to know it well. He would frequent drinking and gambling dens, and by 1768 had run up serious debts. His lifestyle was becoming increasingly expensive in other ways, too. By day he was a respectable family man: by night he maintained two mistresses (neither of whom knew of the other's existence) who between them had borne him five illegitimate children, and so in 1768, Brodie had to find other ways of supplementing his lifestyle, and he turned to a life of crime.
One such example involves an old woman whose house Brodie burgled;
He had become obsessed with cockfighting, “at that time a fashionable recreation among the young bloods of the capital” as one biographer put it. He lost large sums of money on these fights and then took to cards and other forms of gambling, once being accused of cheating with loaded dice. But still he continued to mount up debts, and running out of funds Brodie came up with a simple solution, he became a burglar. He began to venture out at night and steal from former clients – after all, he had the keys to the locks in their cabinets. In 1768, Brodie was able to take impressions of a set of keys to a bank in the city. He let himself in during the night and made off with £800, a large amount at the time. This would be the start of a highly successful crime wave across the city for 20 years, using the proceeds from the robberies to maintain his nefarious lifestyle and keep him in the manner he had become accustomed to, and managing to remain undetected. For who would have suspected 17
“The old lady was alone in the house— her servant having gone to church— when she was startled by the apparition of a man, with a crepe [mask] over his face, in the room where she was sitting. The stranger quietly lifted the keys which were lying on the table beside her, opened her bureau, from which he took out a large sum of money, and then, having locked it and replaced the keys upon the table, retired with a respectful bow. The old lady meanwhile, had looked on in speechless amazement, but no sooner was she left alone than she exclaimed, “Surely that was Deacon Brodie!” Although the Deacon was recognized, no action was taken.… The old lady preferred to doubt the evidence of her senses— a striking proof of the advantages conferred by a respectable reputation.” Brodie’s father died in 1782 and William inherited the family business with a considerable number of houses in the city, the family mansion in the close, and the sum of £10,000. Even with such an advantage, he lost more than ever and succeeded in gambling away his £10,000 inheritance from his father – a massive sum in those days. By 1786 Deacon Brodie had a pretty good thing going. He might have kept it going even longer than he did, were it not for one thing: he wanted to pull even bigger jobs, and for that he needed help. Since he was already a fixture at some of the seediest establishments in Edinburgh, he had no trouble finding three accomplices: George Smith, a crooked travelling salesman with
experience as a locksmith; Andrew Ainslie, a compulsive gambler; and John Brown, a convicted swindler on the run from the law. The gang pulled its first job in October 1786, when it broke into a goldsmith’s shop and made off with the gold. Burglaries of hardware stores, tobacconists, jewellery shops, grocers, silk merchants, and other businesses soon followed. At each location the gang stole money and any goods they could lay their hands on that were valuable and easy to sell on. Tea was a rare, pricey commodity in those days, and in one burglary of a grocer they made off with more than 350 pounds of the stuff. When they broke into the library at the University of Edinburgh in October 1787, they took the school’s ceremonial silver mace. By January 1788, the merchants and shopkeepers of Edinburgh had had enough of this crime spree and petitioned the Government for help in finding the people behind the crimes. Accordingly, a £150 reward was offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the miscreants, but they promised immunity to any accomplices willing to grass on their confederates. It was this “promised immunity that would prove to be Deacon Brodie’s undoing. In early 1788, Brodie planned his biggest burglary yet: robbing Scotland’s General Excise Office of its tax receipts. He’d done work there and was familiar with the layout. And like other visitors to the office, he’d noticed that even in a building supposedly as secure as this one, the key to the front door was still hung on a nail next to the door. Brodie had no trouble distracting the cashier at the front desk while George Smith took the key from its nail and made a quick impression in some putty he had in his
pocket. The robbery was planned to take place on 5th March 1788. However, the burglary didn’t go as well as Brodie thought it would. They had been expecting to find a fortune which would have set them up for life. But a tax official unexpectedly entered the building while they were burglarizing it; the thieves panicked and fled rather than pounce on any intruders as had been planned. (The official didn’t even realize there were burglars in the building; he only learned about the heist when someone told him about it later.) Had the exciseman not happened to visit the office, they would have made off with much more, but even the sum they got outraged the Government of the day and a hue and cry was raised across the country, for Brodie’s gang had struck at the very heart of the establishment. George Smith later described the raid on March 8, 1788 and Brodie’s part in it, saying that he and Brodie along with John Brown and Andrew Ainslie “between the hours of eight and ten o’clock at night, broke into the Excise Office and carried off from that about sixteen pounds, consisting of two five-pound notes, four guinea notes, one twenty-shilling note, and about seventeen shillings and sixpence in silver; that this money was divided among them, and Brodie received his share.” The morning after the robbery, and the proceeds split up, Anslie and Smith made plans to flee to England, Brodie went about his normal business, but Brown had other plans. Unhappy with the results of the robbery, he decided to cash in on the reward and free pardon offered by the government. He was already wanted on an old charge and saw this as the perfect chance to avoid 18
punishment for all his crimes, past and present. Besides, he was carrying a grudge against Brodie. Proving the old adage about there being no honour among thieves, Brown went straight to the Procurator-Fiscal (the Scottish equivalent of public prosecutor) and told all. Well, almost all. He omitted Brodie's name from his recital, probably with the intention of netting additional funds by blackmailing the Deacon. On March 8, Smith and Ainslie were arrested. When Deacon Brodie heard the news he panicked and quickly fled Edinburgh, which proved to be his last and biggest mistake. When Smith and Ainslie heard that Brodie had done a runner, they decided there was nothing for it but to confess completely, and unlike Brown, they had no hesitation in naming Deacon Brodie as their ringleader. A reward of £200 was immediately issued for Brodie's capture, along with minute-and, in their subject's eyes, immensely insulting--details of the fugitive's appearance. After seeing a copy of the "wanted" notice describing him as "about five feet four inches...a cast with his eye...a sallow complexion--a particular motion with his mouth and lips when he speaks, which he does full and slow, his mouth being commonly open at the time and his tongue doubling up as it were, shews itself towards the roof of his mouth...moves in a proud, swaggering sort of style..." Brodie put the blame on the faithless Brown. "I can see some strokes of his pencil in my portrait," he grumbled. Brodie took a stagecoach to London and from there a ship to Holland. From there, he intended to get a boat to America and start a new life. He never made it; he was tracked 19
to Amsterdam, arrested, and hauled back to Scotland for trial in chains to face charges. Brown was given his free pardon in exchange for his testimony, and to make the case stronger, Ainslie was also offered a free pardon to give King’s evidence against Brodie and Smith, which unsurprisingly, he accepted. The date of the trial was 27th August 1788, contemporary reports of the time state; “The Deacon made a dashing appearance in a new dark-blue coat, a fashionable fancy waistcoat, black satin breeches, and white silk stockings...his hair fully dressed and powdered. His companion in the dock, by contrast, was "but poorly clothed.” The evidence against the pair was overwhelming, the word of other members of the gang, and incriminating items found at Brodie’s home, including a stock of duplicate keys, a disguise, and pistols, with perhaps the most damning being three letters that Brodie had given to a fellow passenger on route to Holland to post to Edinburgh. The letters were opened by the ‘passenger’ and found that they gave the whole story of the Excise House job and his own lead role in "the dreadful subject." Brodie had in fact, signed his own death warrant. The defence was unable to offer any evidence in Smith's favour, and all they could do for Brodie was to produce his brother-in-law, who stated that he had dinner with Brodie on the evening of the Excise House robbery, while a Jean Watt claimed the Deacon had spent the night at her house. These alibis were not seen as convincing, and the next day, the jury found both the defendants guilty, and the judge placed on the black silk on his head and
pronounced the sentence of death. The hangings were set for 1st October. The judges, led by Lord Braxfield, decreed that Brodie and Smith were “to be carried from the bar back to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, therein to be detained till Wednesday, the first day of October next, and upon that day to be taken furth of the said Tolbooth to the place fixed upon by the magistrates of Edinburgh as a common place of execution, and then and there, betwixt the hours of two and four o’clock afternoon to be hanged by the necks, by the hands of the Common Executioner, upon a Gibbet, until they be dead; and ordain all their moveable goods and gear to be escheat and inbrought to His Majesty’s use: which is pronounced for doom.” On October 1, 1788, Brodie was duly hanged along with Smith. A crowd of 40,000 is said to have watched the Deacon executed. Or were they? There was little doubt that Smith met his maker, but rumours abounded that Brodie had bribed the executioner for a “short drop,” or shortened length of rope, to prevent his neck from breaking when the trapdoor on the gallows was sprung. Different versions of the story had him wearing a metal band around his neck, a harness under his clothes, or a silver tube in his throat to prevent choking. A doctor had supposedly hidden nearby to revive him as soon as his family claimed the body. “If this succeeded,” William Roughead relates in Trial of Deacon Brodie, “the Deacon was to lie quiet in his coffin, exhibiting no signs of life, till such time as it could be safely removed to his own house. Whether or not this remarkable program was ever carried out was never recorded.”
Deacon Brodie lives on in Edinburgh to this day. He is commemorated by a pub of that name on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, on the corner of the Lawnmarket and Bank Street which leads down to The Mound; and a close off the Royal Mile, which contained his family residence and workshops, still bears the name "Brodie's Close". A further two pubs carry his name; one in Dundee on Ward Street and the other in New York City on the south side of the famous west side 46th Street Restaurant Row between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue. Robert Louis Stevenson's fascination with the story of Deacon Brodie (who had supplied Stevenson's father with furniture) inspired him to write his classic novel: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. (But that’s another story) Finally, a strange coincidence or not? Deacon Brodie was represented at the trial by the Advocate, the Hon Henry Erskine, a member of Canongate Kilwinning. The main prosecutor of the trial was Mr. Ilay Campbell also a member of Canongate Kilwinning. One of the Jury members was William Creech another member of the Lodge and the publisher of Robert Burns, Edinburgh Edition of Poems. Did Robert Burns and Deacon Brodie meet? Although there is no written evidence, it is highly likely that their paths did cross in Edinburgh in early 1787. Burns stayed in the Lawnmarket just opposite from where Brodie had his house, and they probably frequented the same taverns, and both were members of the same Lodge. This article has been assembled from various sources for the famous freemasons section of the magazine. Ed.
The Senior Warden Of a' the seats within our ha' I dearly lo'e the West; For here the Brethren, great and sma', At parting ha'e been blest; And memory lends her ready aid Recalling all the past; The many times we've met, and prayed It might not be the last. Each time we're Brothers, Brothers a', And every worthy guest. For here we to the Level fa'. E'en Kings are like the rest; They may be great in Church and State, Or any other sphere; — The poor, the rich, the low, the great, Are on a level here. Assembled in our Sacred ha' We're with our Order blest, For by the great unerring law, We're lowly in the West. Before us we have Wisdom's light And Beauty shining there, Here Strength to keep the work aright By acting on the Square. This symbol tells us once and a' Who with the light are blest, How grand and mighty structures fa' And mingle in the West. When faith must be our password on To the Celestial goal, Where Kings and peasants stand as one On the Grand Master's roll. By J. Werge, of Glasgow, Scotland And sourced from ‘The Poetry of Freemasonry’1895.
Rays of Masonry “The Purpose” If men are morally qualified to become Masons, then what does Masonry offer them? The purpose of Masonry is to improve. It is a system of morality. It means nothing to those who lack the desire to grow spiritually. Goodness, Masonry point out, is not a fixed element, which one works at today, and rests from tomorrow. Masonry is the force that leads men on in the adventures of the heart, keeping man between two columnsThe Pillar of All-Creation and the Pillar of Man's Creation. There is forever the struggle between life and the things of life. The victory is not in waiting for the destruction of adverse conditions, but in making a life in the "middle of them." Men, therefore, may be morally qualified to become Masons, and yet fail utterly to improve themselves in the art of Masonry. The failures are those who believe that the ultimate attainment of some degree of spiritual improvement is not worth the steady application that is required to achieve it. It is essentially necessary that our officers make a thorough study of Masonry in order to keep before the members the real purpose of the Institution. The proper discharge of the duty of the Worshipful Master to see that the lodge is set to labor under good and wholesome instruction largely determines the success of a lodge. The success can never be computed in numbers, in degrees, or in proficiency in the ritualistic work. Masonry cannot offer that which first must be in the heart. It can begin there and take us to paths of undreamed triumphs. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
build a house, or to aid you in. Your business?'' "That's different!" "How is it different? You borrow to build a house, and the house is security for the loan. Someday you pay it back and own the house. We borrow from our members to build a temple and . . ." "But that's just the point. We don't borrow, we beg. And we don't pay back, we just grab the temple and the fellows that have paid for it have nothing to show for it."
Subscriptions I donâ€™t hold with this subscriptions idea at all," announced the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "Masonry should be a self-supporting institution and not ask for contributions." "Yes, yes, go on, you interest me. So does the braying of the jackass, the gurgling of a six months old child, the bleating of a lamb and the raucous cries of the crow." "You can call it that if you like," defended the New Brother, "but asking for contributions to build a temple is all wrong." "Just what do you mean, that Masonry should be self supporting?" asked the Old Tiler. "Why, it ought to get along on its dues and fees!" "Do you think You can get along entirely on your salary? You don't borrow money to
"Suppose we 'beg' as you put it, sufficient contributions from our membership to build the temple and own it outright," answered the Old Tiler. "The money we then spend on it is upkeep, overhead. We won't charge ourselves rent because we wonâ€™t be paying on a loan. In our present temple the lodge pays that rent. With no rent to pay we will have more in the treasury. With more than it needs in the treasury a lodge may reduce its dues or spend more in charity and entertainment. The mere reducing of the rent charge will soon equal, per capita, the entire contribution asked of any individual brother. "But apart from the dollars angle, a temple is more than a mere pile of stone in which is a room where Masons meet. The temple expresses Masonry to the world. As it is beautiful, solid, substantial, massive, permanent so does the fraternity appear. As it is paid for, free from debt, a complete asset, so does the institution seem. A poor, mean temple argues that lodge members have so little belief in their order that they are not willing to provide it with proper quarters. As a beautiful church expresses veneration for the Creator, so does a beautiful building for Masonry express 22
veneration for the order and reverence for the Great Architect in Whose shadow we labour and to Whom all temples of Masonry are erected. "Our brethren have undertaken to erect a beautiful temple. They want a meeting place which is convenient and comfortable, in which they can take pride and which will show visitors that Masonry here has love for its tenets. By a new temple they want to express the love they have for the vision of brotherhood. So they say, each to the other, Brother, how much will you give?' and brother answers brother, 'All I can afford,' and does so. "We are asking less than $2. a month, less than ten cents a day. But it is enough. Each brother will make some little sacrifice for the order he loves. When the temple is built every brother will feel that it is truly his temple, in the actual sense of personal ownership. He may look at a block of stone in the wall and say to himself, 'That is mine; I paid for it.' And what a Man buys because lie loves it, he cherishes. Nothing which we could do will more thoroughly solidify our Masonry. When finished, the building will be our temple in the truest sense; not only that we went down into our pockets and paid for it, but ours because we put our hearts into it. And what a man puts his heart in, lie defends, upholds, makes better. "If we ask $100 from each brother, we will give every brother $1,000 worth of pride of ownership. We build not only for the brethren who should shoulder the burden in the heat of the day, but for the brethren who come after. "Our ancient brethren who built the temples of the middle ages for all to see and revere, left their mark on time and history and on the generations which followed them. We will leave our mark on generations of our sons and their sons and 23
their sons' sons after them, because we are willing to make a freewill offering to that which, next to God, is the greatest leaven of our life, the fraternity which makes a man love his fellow men." "Oh, stop talking! Twice while you have been lecturing me I have mentally increased my subscription. Now I have doubled it. Hush, or I won't be able to buy shoes for the baby!" "Don't start things, then!" grumbled the Old Tiler, but he smiled as he held out a fresh subscription blank and a fountain pen. This is the sixty-fourth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
The Marks that Distinguish us The marks that distinguish a Mason from the rest of the world are not to be found in a check off list of do’s and do not’s, or in a codified law. Those distinguishing marks of Freemasonry have their bases in the moral law; written in the hearts of men, and upon which our Order has its enduring foundation.
“our chief cornerstone is placed” The moral law is more permanent then human nature itself; it is the immutable in human nature. Cicero said of the moral law “It was not only older than nations and cities, but co-existent with the Divine Being, who sees and rules both Heaven and
Earth”. It is upon that law that our chief cornerstone is placed. The teachings of Freemasonry flow out of a set of principles that have their bases in the Volume of The Sacred Law. The principles that are the building blocks of Freemasonry are part of any enduring major religion as well as enduring social philosophies and ethical systems of thought. The dialogues that flow out of the ritual and the teachings of Freemasonry are a search for truth to guide us on our journey based on the moral law.
“the Golden Rule in practice” The Masonic dialogues based on the moral law have a focus on a strong character ethic, on foundational things like integrity, humility, modesty, courage and the Golden Rule in practice. Teaching and practicing Masonry by example rather than by precept is a powerful influence for the cause of good. The character ethic of making “good men better” helps Masons to see the world and humanity, not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, interpreting and applying the principles that govern human effectiveness based on the moral law which is as changeless as eternity itself. Freemasonry is a principle centred, character based, approach to making good men better which sets them apart from the rest of the world.
“reflection and self-awareness” From the time that a candidate enters the lodge room he is taught to elicit the mysteries of Freemasonry through resolute labour and interpretive symbols. He learns by careful observation of the openings and
closings as well as the work of the three degrees, that there is in fact a serious need for reflection and self-awareness in his continuing search for light. He learns that there are sequential stages of learning, growth and development in his journey, if he is to draw any benefit from our noble art. The Mason must learn that the beginning of wisdom is listening. Careful listening identifies for the Mason the principles that Freemasonry teaches and he begins to associate them with the moral law. He understands brotherly love, relief and truth will lead him along the path to the cardinal principles of the Order; temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice. The Mason must always keep these principles in view as a guiding light for his daily life. They become for him the boundary line of his Masonic conduct.
“a binding promise to fulfill” There is within Freemasonry a discipline that distinguishes a Mason from the rest of the world that is not clearly understood and appreciated. The moment that the Mason seals his obligation with a kiss upon the V.O.S.L. his obligation becomes a binding promise to fulfil the duties and responsibilities contained therein. That solemn act necessitates the discharge of a high standard of commitment and fidelity to the teachings and the landmarks of the Order. The statements that the Mason agrees to in his obligations are not voluntary. He understands that they are not negotiable. In fulfilling those promises he sets himself apart from the rest of the world.
“a Progressive Science” It has been said by many Masonic writers that the best way to learn and understand Masonry is to teach it. One does not 24
necessarily need to be an officer of the lodge to teach Freemasonry, it is also accomplished in a quiet manner, by example, by conforming to the principles of the Order and in the practice of every virtue. We hear the words “Freemasonry is a Progressive Science”, but what does that mean? To some it may mean progression through the chairs of the lodge. To others; in addition, it also means stages of learning and development for the mind, the heart and the soul towards awareness of the universal principles contained in the teachings of Freemasonry. It is progressive because your most important work is always ahead of you. Victor Frankl points out that we detect rather than invent our mission or purpose in life. The same idea applies to the lessons that Freemasonry has to offer those who practice our ancient and noble art.
“distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world” In a sense, the community in which we live, work and participate is our campus. We have the opportunity to act according to the principles on which the Order is founded. From within the circle of our influence, the boundary line of our conduct, we as Masons have the duty, the responsibility and the power to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world. Article by R.W. Bro. Garnet E. Schenk and sourced from The Ontario Mason Fall 2014.
“Some Drink from the Fountain of Knowledge, Others just Gargle.” 25
Clothing in the Craft The financial centre of London is a mystery to me. I don’t think I have ever strolled through the district or set foot in its august institutions, but I used to see from the top of the bus the serious-looking men with their black jackets and striped trousers, and I seem to recall top hats or at least bowlers. Did it worry anyone to wear the garb in the street? Any embarrassment would have been inconceivable. There were horses for courses and clothing for the occasion. Freemasonry also has its modes of attire, though rarely paraded in public and more generally kept for lodge meetings, to such an extent that one of the lodge officers has the official duty “to see the brethren properly clothed”. Naturally, the operative mason of long ago would have needed protective clothing with pockets or other receptacles for their working tools. One only hopes they did not look as scruffy as certain artisans of a later generation and that they had a pride in their appearance as well as their work. Speculative Freemasonry has retained some of the sartorial styles of the operative period but added a dignity and style that become possible when a person merely philosophised about being a builder without getting his hands dirty. Certain levels of masonic clothing and regalia are now quite magnificent but they also tend to be so heavy that the wearer is weighed down, hopefully with the gravity of his responsibility and not just his uniform. The Craft has four main items of clothing – apron, collar, gloves and gauntlets. In earlier
days there was also the hat, but that has been discarded. Few masons would think of wearing a hat in lodge any more than members wear a hat in State or Federal Parliament. THE APRON Every mason, whatever his rank, wears an apron. It is the first gift he receives from the Craft and is the symbol and evidence of his membership. Deriving from the French “napperon”, a cloth, it would have been part of the operative mason’s work clothes, affording him protection as well as pockets for his working tools. Giving a new brother his first apron derives from the medieval custom of the badge of one’s trade being provided by the employer. The masonic apron is made of strong leather; cloth would be little protection when handling stone. These days the apron is white lambskin as a badge of innocence – honest, reliable craftsmanship. The medieval apron was full-length and not necessarily white which would soon become soiled. Today’s apron, being merely symbolic, is both white and shorter. It is said to be both “a badge of innocence and a bond of friendship”, ie. A mark of fellowship. The original apron was tied around the body by means of string and a relic of this practice is the hanging tassels. As a mason rises in the Craft, the more decorative is his apron.
“the blue vault of heaven”, a mark of constancy, scope and consistent virtue. FORMAL DRESS All Freemasons must wear smart clothes to indicate there is no distinction between the external rank of a mason or his social status. Local custom dictates how formal one’s clothing must be: in hot climates or at daytime meetings, the rules are often relaxed. When in formal wear, Freemasons frequently wear military or national medals and decorations. THE GAUNTLETS These were originally part of the gloves and were a further means of protecting oneself from injury or soiling. Separating gloves and gauntlets became an additional indication of the special dignity of masonic office. THE GLOVES The operative mason wore gloves to protect his hands. In speculative Freemasonry, the gloves stand for dignity (compare the use of gloves in chivalry) and purity (note that the good person is described in Psalm 24 as having clean hands and a pure heart.) By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE COLLAR Originally utilitarian with the purpose of suspending certain working tools, today’s collar is like a ribbon to hang “jewels”, the symbols of office and dignity identifying one’s distinctive function such as the Junior Warden (the plumb rule) or Senior Warden (the level). The blue of the collar represents 26
DID YOU KNOW? Question: In Lodges of some Constitutions, it is required that visitors to a Lodge must be vouched for by one of the Brethren present. But if the visitor is unaccompanied, or if no Brother is able to vouch for him, the rule requires that ‘he shall be well vouched for after due examination’. I cannot find a precise definition of ‘due examination’ and opinions on this point in our Lodge Committee vary considerably. Can you clarify the position for us? Answer: The phrase ‘due examination’ has not been defined by Grand Lodge, and its interpretation is left to the discretion of the Brethren who conduct the examination. In the majority of Lodges visitors are vouched for by their hosts and, for that reason more than any other, examinations are extremely rare. Rule 125 says that ‘He shall, if required, pro-duce his Grand Lodge Certificate and proof of good standing in his Lodge’. The words, ‘if required’, indicate that the request is optional, implying that production of the G.L. Certificate is not essential. This may be taken as a useful guide to procedure, but I would urge that, in every case where there is the least doubt, ‘due examination’ must be strict. Example: Bro. X, a Provincial Mason in London on business, is staying at the Right Royal Hotel where the notice board shows that a Lodge is meeting that evening. He presents himself, but without Grand Lodge Certificate or means of identification. The examining Officer would be fully entitled to refuse admission; but, assuming that he is willing to test the visitor, I would suggest the following: 1. Ask for the Signs, Tokens and Words of the three Degrees. The visitor may be hesitant, or not wholly correct in his 27
answers. He may even be a non-Mason who has obtained his information from some irregular source. The examination should be extended to include one or two procedural questions relating to specific details in the ceremonies. But there is a useful additional check. 2. Ask the name and number of the visitors Lodge with the place and dates of Meetings. (All these can be instantly checked in the Masonic Year Book.) The examination should cover adequately all the Craft degrees that the visitor claims to hold. If the result is not wholly satisfactory, admission should be refused.
Question: Hiram Abif--is the story true? When did he live? Answer: If by true is meant "factual", the answer is no. If by "true" is meant "containing a great truth" then the answer is yes; it is true as is the story of Santa Claus which tells a truth to children in words they can understand. The Legend of Hiram as told in the Master Mason degree is one of the oldest legends in the world but Freemasonry's legend is peculiarly her own. The three who encountered Hiram at the gates of the Temple are themselves symbols of error, evil, and sin; and the story as a whole is of the ultimate weakness of such forces against the power of the Great Architect. The word Abif is translated both "his father" and "my father" with "father" used in these senses as a patriarch, a teacher, a source of wisdom, and not as the actual father of a family. "Hiram, my father" is thus a title of honor and respect. (See Quest Book No. 5) [Some say that "avihu," meaning "my father is he," and rendered in Masonic usage as Abif or Abiff, was the Hebrew equivalent of "jr.," meaning that "Hiram Abif" was the son of a man also named Hiram.]
When did Santa Claus start to manufacture Christmas toys? Myth and legend are alike silent on early Masonic dates. As the Temple was begun by Solomon in the fourth year of his reign, legend, if there was such, would have to place the death later. Solomon came to his throne approximately 971 B.C., commenced the Temple 967 B.C. and finished it 960 B.C. If Hiram died during the building, the date would therefore be between 967 and 960 B.C.
Question: Why do we walk around the altar so much in the degrees? Answer: Circumambulation is walking around a central point. In Masonic initiations it is always clockwise from East to West by way of South. Like so many symbols, the ritualistic explanation does not explain, except with the most elementary reasons. During this part of a degree, members of a Lodge observe that a candidate is properly prepared, but circumambulation is far older than initiations. To early savages, the sun was God. The sun travelled from East to West by way of the South [in the northern hemisphere, of course]. Hence, early man circled his stone altar on which was his imitation of the sun--fire--from East to West by way of the South, in humble imitation of the god in the sky. Circumambulation is one of the many concealed symbols of a Great Architect. In those rituals in which in a certain part of the Master's degree the circumambulation is in the reverse direction, Freemasonry imitates the ancient ceremony signifying death. The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
PILLARS AND GLOBES, COLUMNS AND CANDLESTICKS Part 2 CHAPITERS, GLOBES AND BOWLS The biblical descriptions of Solomon’s pillars give rise to many problems, especially as regards their dimensions and ornamentation. For us, the chapiters, bowls or globes which surmounted them are of particular interest, because of ritual developments and expansions during the eighteenth century. In this particular problem a great deal depends on the interpretation of the original Hebrew text. The chapiters appear in 1 Kings, VII, 16: “…and he made two chapiters…” The word is Ko-thor-oth = chapiters, capitals or crowns. Later, in verse 41, without mention of any further works, the text speaks of “…the two pillars and the two bowls of the chapiters…” The Hebrew reads Gooloth Ha-ko-thor-oth, and the word Gooloth is a problem. Goolah (singular) means a ball or globe; also, a bowl or vessel, and various forms of the same root are used quite loosely to describe something round or spherical. Our regular contacts with modern lodge Tracing-Boards and furnishings have accustomed us to the idea that Solomon’s two pillars were surmounted by chapiters or capitals, with a globe resting on each, but that is not proven. The early translators and illustrators of the Bible were by no means unanimous on this point, and the various terms they used to describe the chapiters, etc., show that they were not at all certain as to the appearance of the pillars. To take one 28
example, the Geneva Bible, of 1560, a very handsome and popular illustrated Bible, which provided the interpretation for some of the proper names and seems to have been much used by the men who framed the Masonic ritual. At Kings, VII, v. 16, “…and he made two chapiters…”, there is a marginal note, “Or pommels”, i.e. globular features. At this stage the Geneva Bible clearly indicates that the chapiters were globes or spheres, and not the crown-shaped heads to the pillars that we would understand them to be. Among the illustrations to this chapter in the Geneva Bible there are several interesting engravings of the Temple and its equipment, including a sketch of a pillar, surmounted by a shallow capital, with an ornamental globe poised on top. A marginal note to this illustration speaks of “The height of the chapiter or round ball upon the pillar of five cubites hight…” So the chapiter was a round ball. At II Chron., IV, v. 12, the same Bible gives a new interpretation “…two pillars, and the bowies, and the chapiters on the top of the two pillars…” Here it is evident that the ‘bowies’ and the chapiters were two separate features. Whether we incline to bowls or globes, there is yet another interpretation which would exclude both. The accounts in both Kings and Chronicles refer to the pomegranate decoration which was attached to the “bowies” or bellies of the chapiters (I Kings, VII, v. 41, 42, and II Chron., IV, v. 12, 13), and from these passages it is a perfectly proper inference that the chapiters were themselves “bowl-shaped”, and that there were neither bowls nor globes above them. 29
Although the globes were finally adopted in Masonic furniture and decoration as headpieces to Solomon’s Pillars, they came in very slowly, and during a large part of the eighteenth century there was no uniformity of practice on this point. The Trahi, one of the early French exposures, contains several engravings purporting to be “Plan”’ of a Loge de Reception; in effect they are Tracing Boards for the 1st and 2nd combined, and another for the 3rd degree. The Apprentice Plan contains illustrations of the two pillars, marked J and B, both conventional Corinthian pillars, with flat tops. There is also, among a huge collection of symbols, a sketch which is described in the Index as a “sphere”, a kind of latticework globe (actually an armillary sphere) used in astronomy to demonstrate the courses of the stars and planets. The Lodge of Probity, No 61, Halifax (founded in 1738), was in serious decline in 1829, and an inventory of its possessions was taken at that time. One item reads: “Box with Globes and Stands”. The Phoenix Lodge, No 94, Sunderland (founded in 1755), has a pair of eighteenth-century globes, each mounted on three legs, standing left and right of the Master’s pedestal. All Souls’ Lodge, No 170 (founded in 1767), had until 1888 a handsome pair of globes, each mounted on a tripod base, clearly of eighteenth-century style, similarly placed left and right of the WM. The Lodge of Peace and Unity, No 314, Preston (founded in 1797), in a recent sketch of its lodge-room, shows a pair of globes on low, three-legged stands, placed on the floor of the lodge, left and right, a yard or two in front of the SW. Among the unique collection of lodge equipment known as the “Bath Furniture” is
a pair of globes, “celestial and terrestrial”, on low four-legged stands, and the minute’s show that they were presented to the Royal Cumberland Lodge in 1805. It is interesting to observe that the equipment also includes a handsome pair of brass pillars, each about 5ft 9in in height, standing as usual in the west, and each of them surmounted with a large brass bowl. These date from the late eighteenth century. In this case especially, as in all the cases cited above, there is no evidence of globes on top of the B & J pillars; the globes formed a part of the lodge equipment entirely in their own right. The frontispiece to Noorthouck’s Constitutions of 1784 is a symbolical drawing in which the architectural portion represents the interior of the then Free Mason’s Hall. At the foot of the picture, in the foreground, is a long table bearing several Masonic tools and symbols, with two globes on tripod stands, and the description of the picture refers to “…the Globes and other Masonic Furniture and Implements of the Lodge”. All this suggests that the globes were beginning to play some part in the lodge, or in the ritual, although they were not yet associated with the pillars. But even after the globes or bowls had begun to appear on the pillars, there was still considerable doubt as to what was correct. This is particularly noticeable in early Tracing Boards and decorated aprons, some showing “bowls”, and others “globes”. (See illustrations, pp 1-41 in AQC, vol lxxiv, for pillars with bowls, and ibid, p 52, where the pillars are surmounted by profuse foliage, growing presumably from bowls.)
TO SUMMARISE: (1) In the period of our earliest ritual documents, 1696 to 1730, there is no evidence that the globes formed any part of the catechism or ritual, and it is reasonably certain that they were unknown as “designs” or as furnishings in the lodges. (2) Around 1745 it is probable that the sphere or globe had been introduced as one of the symbols in the “floor drawings” or Tracing Boards. There is no evidence to show that it appeared in the catechism. There are several highly-detailed catechisms belonging to this period, 1744 and later, but globes are not mentioned in any of them. The appearance of the sphere in the 1745 exposure is the only evidence suggesting that it played some part in the more or less impromptu explanations of lodge symbolism which probably came into practice about this time, or shortly afterwards. (3) In the 1760s and 1770s, Solomon’s Pillars with globes appear frequently in illustrations of lodge equipment and on aprons, but there is no uniformity of practice. In some lodges (as we have seen and shall see below) the globes were already a recognised part of the lodge furniture; elsewhere they surmounted the pillars, and were probably being “explained” in “lectures”. In other places the globes were virtually unknown. Written By Harry Carr and sourced from the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, UGLE vol lxiv (1962), available on the internet.
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The Third Degree Having as an Entered Apprentice been instructed in the path of moral rectitude and the active principles, of universal beneficence and charity, and as a Fellow Craft been exhorted to study God in nature and to observe Wisdom, Strength and Beauty as the three main supports of the Spiritual Universe, the Freemason is led to the high and sublime Degree of a Master Mason, the main purpose of which is to teach him to look beyond the narrow limits of this world, see man raised from the grace to everlasting Life and blessedness. The Three Precious Jewels. The three Precious Jewels of a Master Mason are Friendship, Morality, and brotherly Love. It should be his aim ever to keep them untarnished so that they may become the pride of himself and the envy of others. Morality is practical virtue and the duty of life as defined by the Great Architect on high; Friendship is personal kindness which should radiate beyond the circle of private connections to universal philanthropy; Brotherly Love is best described as the purest emanation of earthly friendship. The Tools of a Master Mason. On reaching the high and sublime degree of Master Mason, the student of the Mysteries is presented with further tools, which are used by the operative brother and which in the sphere of Speculative Freemasonry are employed further to illustrate points in moral conduct. The Skirrit. The Skirrit is an instrument which acts on a centre pin whence a line is drawn, chalked, and struck, to mark out the ground for- the foundation of the intended structure. Applied in a moral sense it points out to the Freemason that straight and undeviating line of conduct laid down for his pursuit in the V... of the S... L... The Pencil. With the Pencil the skilful artist delineates the building on a draft or plan for the instruction and guidance of the workman. As an emblem it indicates to the 31
Freemason that our words and actions are observed and recorded by the Almighty Architect to Whom we must give an account of our conduct through life. The Compasses. The Compasses in a special sense belong to the Third Degree. When properly extended they embrace all the tenets of the Fraternity. In the hands of the Master Mason the Compasses may be used to trace the Circle of his conduct, and the moral lesson they teach is that the Freemason should limit his desires and keep his passions within due bounds so that he may enjoy at once a life of physical strength and moral and intellectual integrity. They remind him, too, of God’s unerring and impartial justice which, having defined the limits of good and evil will reward or punish according as man obeys or disregards the Divine commands.
This monthly feature is taken from William Harvey’s book, “The Emblems of Freemasonry” 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 32
SRA 76 A Correction The readers of SRA76 Magazine will recall that in the December 2017 Issue, I include an article called; What, No Plumbers? This piece by Bro. Martin Gandoff although previously published has been well-received, however, unfortunately the contact email addresses that were included in the article, were out-of-date. I am happy to rectify this and the emails are as follows should anyone want to make contact with â€œThe Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Pavious, Plaisterers and Bricklayersâ€? Information from; Grand Clerk of the Society; Paul Mycock. email@example.com The Clerk of Castle Acre has changed his email address to firstname.lastname@example.org The Clerk of Edmundsbury Abbey has changed and the email is email@example.com The Clerk of Friars Walk Chelmersford has changed and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org 33
Published on Dec 29, 2017