Volume 14 Issue 3 No. 109 March 2018
Cover Story, The Installed Master Royal Arch Lodges Did You Know? Behold Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No.85. Famous Freemasons – Sugar Ray Robinson The Many Meanings of the Word ‘Mystery.’ Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Sublime Frightened of Freedom Did You Know? Pillars and Globes, Columns and Candlesticks – Part 4 The Emblems of Freemasonry
Main Website – Freemasonry Making Good Men Better
In this issue: Cover Story ‘The Installed Master’ The Ceremonial of the Installed Master as practised in Scotland, and the History of how it came to be is explained in this excellent article by a former Editor of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Yearbook.
Page 5, ‘Royal Arch Lodges’ What’s In a Name? Page 8, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 9, ‘Behold.’ Psalm 133. Page 11, ‘Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Sugar Ray Robinson’ Famous Freemasons. Page 18, ‘The Many Meanings of the Word ‘Mystery.’ Calling Freemasonry a Mystery. Page 21, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Retrace Yours Steps” Page 21, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Poor Fish”, sixty-sixth in the series. Page 23, ‘Sublime.’ Page 27, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 28, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 29, ‘Pillars and Globes, Columns and Candlesticks – Part 4’ Page 33, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Freemasonry Making Good Men Better’ [link] 1
Front cover – An early Past Masters Jewel.
The Installed Master
the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a Masonic degree. There is no such thing as the Degree of Installed Master. The Grand Lodge of Scotland recognises a Ceremonial of Installed Master and Law 85 states the conditions under which it may be conferred. The Installed Master Ceremonial, as presently authorised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, is not an indigenous part of Scottish Freemasonry. This may come as a surprise to many, but the fact is that the ceremony was brought to Scotland from England in 1872 as the result of action on the part of Grand Lodge. It is for that reason that an official ritual for the proper working of the ceremony is published.
In almost every organisation the transference of authority by the presiding officer to his successor in office is accompanied by some ceremony. It may be nothing more than the President of the Golf Club removing from his own shoulders the badge of office and his placing it, with a few appropriate words, upon the shoulders of his successor. The inauguration of a Lord Provost, the enthronement of a Bishop and the induction of a Judge are naturally more elaborate. The coronation of a Sovereign is probably the epitome of Installation Ceremonial. It is but natural, therefore, that the installation of the Master of a Lodge should be accompanied by an appropriate ceremonial—and so it is. In this paper it is hoped to give some brief account of the history of the Installation Ceremony and to remind all the Brethren of the qualities to be looked for in the Master of a Lodge. It must be clearly understood that the Ceremony of Installed Master is not, under
In his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No. 1, Murray Lyon states that in the days of the operative lodges the installation into the principal office of the lodge was unmarked by any ceremonial other than the newly-elected Brother taking an oath of fealty to the lodge and his brethren. The next step, again according to Murray Lyon, was the introduction of the dogma 'that no Brother could properly preside in a lodge until his reception of the Chair Degree'. Note that Murray Lyon uses the word 'degree'. This came about, says Murray Lyon, with the spread of the socalled “High Degrees” at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. This ceremony, which was termed variously 'Past Master ', ' Master passed the Chair ' and ' Scotch Past Master ' was worked clandestinely in a number of Scottish Lodges and was an essential qualification for all who wished to become Royal Arch Masons in a Scottish Royal Arch Chapter. Indeed the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland authorised its conferring in their Chapters when the 2
candidate had not attained it in his Lodge. It was abolished by the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland in 1887. In 1858 the Grand Lodge of Scotland approved a form of Ceremonial for the 'Installation of the Chairman of a Lodge'. There is no mention in the minutes of Grand Lodge of any details of the actual ceremony employed. That some form of ritual was approved is certain, because at a conference between Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter, held on 20th April 1860, with reference to the Mark Degree, a joint recommendation was made ‘as to the Past Master's Degree— that the Chairman of a Lodge be installed according to the ceremonial approved by Grand Lodge in 1858.’ On the 30th of April 1872 the Grand Lodge of Scotland decided to import into Scottish Craft Masonry an ' Installed Ceremonial for Masters or Certified Past Masters only, similar to that practised in England and Ireland'. It was decided at the same time that a start should be made by the selection by Grand Lodge of three or more Masters or Past Masters who should procure their Installation at the hands of three or more English or Irish Installed Masters according to the customs of these countries. Thereafter they were to adjust a ritual suitable to Scotland and themselves install three or more Masters or Past Masters in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, or any large town where the Brethren might desire it. Among the Brethren who went to England was Brother William Hay of Rabbit Hall, an architect in Edinburgh and a Past Master of Lodge St Andrew, No. 48. On his return from England he transmitted his knowledge at a meeting held in Freemason's Hall on 30th August 1872. At that meeting there were present the Master of the Lodge of 3
Holyrood House (St Luke), No. 44; Past Masters from Lodge St Kentigern, No. 429; the Rifle Lodge, No. 405, Lodge Commercial, No. 360; St Clair, No. 362, and Lodge Journeyman Masons, No. 8. These Brethren were duly installed into the Chair of King Solomon in accordance with the ritual of the ceremony adopted by Grand Lodge. This ritual is still the only one officially recognised by Grand Lodge, although a number of variants have crept in over the course of years. From what has been said in the preceding paragraphs it is clear that Grand Lodge, in 1872, made an innovation in Freemasonry. What was the reason behind this very unusual step? The principal reason seems to have been the difficulties met with by Scottish Masters and Past Masters when attending Installation meetings of English and Irish Lodges. Not having passed through the Ceremony of an Installed Master, they had to retire during the actual installation and during what is known as the ' inner working'. Within the confines of the British Isles, this disadvantage was not perhaps of very great moment but it was important overseas. It is often almost impossible, in an overseas Lodge, to get three Past Masters of the Lodge at a meeting at the same time. This is due to the nature of Government and Commercial work, involving the frequent, and often sudden, transfer of a Brother from one centre to another. Past Masters of Scottish Lodges were unable to help their English or Irish Brethren for they had not been installed. It now became possible for a Scottish Past Master to assist at the installation of an English or Irish Master, if he were called upon. With the introduction of an officially approved Ceremonial for the Installation of
a Master of a Lodge, the old clandestine 'Passed Master ' fell into desuetude and was no longer worked. A very similar, but not quite identical, ceremonial ultimately became the Installed Mark Master Degree under the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England. Of the variants in current use in Scotland, the principal one is in the opening of the Board of Installed Masters. In the official ceremonial the opening is accomplished by the Installing Master calling all present to order and opening the Board 'by declaration'. As a variant the Board of Installed Masters is opened at length—with question and answer—as if it were a degree and the Master Elect is not present at the opening. It is not possible to make further detailed comments here, but this variant might well be a carry-over from the opening of the old 'Passed Master Degree'. It seems possible that Lodges which were working it continued to do so, but substituted the new inner working while retaining the old opening and closing. While the Ceremony of the Installed Master is not peculiar to the three British Grand Lodges, it must not be assumed by Masters and Past Masters that all brethren who have occupied the chair of a Lodge are, ipso facto, Installed Masters. The majority of the American Grand Lodges do not recognise any ceremony or degree of Installed Master. Visiting Masters and Past Masters from United States Grand Lodges must always be examined in detail as to their qualification to be present at a Board of Installed Masters. In the case of brethren from the Grand Lodges of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, no trouble will arise—these Grand Lodges use the same Installation Ceremony as the British Grand Lodges— and this is also true of the Grand Lodge of India. Visitors from the Grand Lodges of
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are a special case and Grand Secretary should always be consulted if they desire to attend a Board of Installed Masters. The National Grand Lodge of France, which Scotland recognises, works the same ceremony as Scotland and their brethren may be admitted on proof. To occupy the Chair of a Lodge is undoubtedly to fill the highest office to which one's brethren can elect you. But the office is one which demands and should get the highest degree of leadership from he who fills it. It is perhaps pertinent to take a long and thoughtful look at the names of the men who served our Lodges as Master a hundred, or even fifty years ago. Consider the positions of importance within the community that these men occupied, and then ask ourselves if our Masters today are of that quality. Very many are, and the Scottish Craft would be a poor thing if that were not so, but all too many Lodges elect the Master as his reward for filling the junior offices—regardless of his abilities as a leader. The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Scotland do not require that a Master shall have first served the office of Warden (as many other Grand Lodges do). The members of a Scottish Lodge are free to elect any qualified Brother as their Master and there have been many good Masters elected ' straight from the floor '. A Master is expected to be Master of his Lodge, not someone to be pushed around. Theoretically he “sets the Lodge to work and gives good and wholesome instruction”. Yet what do we require for election as Master? There are no minimum requirements as to ritualistic proficiency: nothing with regard to the history, symbolism, ethics, law, philosophy and 4
traditions of our Craft. We elect a Master and expect him somehow to be a leader. It rarely occurs to us to require some evidence—even from an outside source—of potential leadership. There is far more to being a Master of a Lodge than the mere recitation of the ritual. Some large Lodges are paying the penalty of years of 'mass production'. When Masters of Lodges are so lacking in imagination, knowledge and vision that they cannot conceive of a Masonic meeting unless a degree is to be conferred, then we need not expect to admit and retain as useful members of the Craft, the real leaders in our various communities—be they village, burgh or city. The real Master of his Lodge is he who can provide real leadership, a man who can give 'good and wholesome instruction', a man who understands what Freemasonry is all about—even if he could not confer a single degree. Suppose he cannot recite the ritual? There are always those who are willing and anxious to do this work—and who can do it superbly. Let them have the charge of the Lodge's ritualistic work—and let the Master 'rule and govern his Lodge'. Scotland, along with the Scandinavian Grand Lodges, allows the Master to remain in office as long as his Brethren care to elect him. This salutary arrangement is no longer exercised to the extent that it once was. One hundred years ago it was not uncommon for a Master to occupy the chair for seven or even ten years. The Lodges appreciated a good Master, and when they got one—they kept him. There is much to be said for this idea and much less to be said for electing a Master as a reward for winning an endurance test.
ARTICLE by BROTHER GEORGE DRAFFEN OF NEWINGTON, M.B.E.
ROYAL ARCH LODGES WHAT'S IN A NAME? The Grand Lodge of Scotland has 11 active Lodges with the words "Royal Arch" in their title, viz.: 76 114 116 122 153 195 198 314 320 321
Royal Arch, Stirling chartered 21/5/1759 Royal Arch, Cambuslang chartered 6/2/1769 Royal Arch, Rutherglen chartered 21/3/1769 Royal Arch, Perth chartered 5/2/1770 Royal Arch, Pollokshaws chartered 3/2/1783 Caledonian St John Royal Arch, chartered 2/5/1796 Royal Arch, Maybole chartered 6/2/1797 Royal Arch, West Kilbride chartered 2/5/1825 St John's Royal Arch, Ardrossan chartered 6/2/1826 Bonhill and Alexandria St Andrew's Royal Arch chartered 6/2/1826 Border Union Royal Arch, Hawick chartered 31/8/1868
This apparent inconsistency is due to events in the late eighteenth century when Freemasonry evolved into its present forms and was also influenced by the great social and political upheavals at the turn of the century. Prior to 1800, many Lodges worked Royal Arch, Knights Templar and other degrees, although to give precise numbers and other details would be impossible due to many old minutes being missing. However, there are
good examples of these mentioned in Masonic histories and other sources.
4th Degree "Past the Chair" from brethren of Perth and Scone.
One of the earliest English Masonic records, the "Sheffield Papers", "prove" that Royal Arch Freemasonry was practised in Scotland at an early date, and this may be inferred from the names given to several Lodges where it was the desire of members to practise Royal Arch Freemasonry in the Lodge in addition to Craft degrees and those papers specify:
There is much evidence that the Royal Arch degrees originated in France, as shown in the vast collection of "Morrison Papers" held at Grand Lodge, and the Auld Alliance helped its spread throughout Scotland. Many of the defunct Royal Arch Lodges had military connections with dragoons in barracks or encampments all over Scotland, and the Craft is still well established in the forces.
Maybole Royal Arch Lodge 254 (now 198) being formed in 1797 for the very purpose of practising Royal Arch and Knight Templar Masonry within the Lodge. There is, of course, one very famous example:Robert Burns became a Royal Arch Companion in Lodge St Ebbe, No. 70, in Eyemouth along with one Robert Ainslie from Duns, who was charged one guinea. Burns was not charged "On account of his remarkable poetic genius." At a later date the Royal Arch Masons there formed a separate Chapter under the English Constitution as Land of Cakes, No. 52. It is now No. 15 under the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland. Burns is much honoured in Scotland and in Lodges the world over. On 7th November 1864, Lodge Robert Burns in Baillieston, No. 440, was chartered by Grand Lodge. It originally requested the title Robert Burns Royal Arch Lodge, and a charter was drawn up in that manner before objectors had their way. The original charter was never delivered and is still kept by Grand Lodge. Lodge St Stephen's, No. 145, in Edinburgh kept its Royal Arch records separate from those of the Lodge, and as early as 3rd December 1778 its members received the
Many Lodges have changed their titles: for example, Inverary St John, No. 50, was Inverary Royal Arch Lodge in 1796, while Bonhill St Andrew's Royal Arch Lodge moved over the river and became Bonhill and Alexandria Royal Arch Lodge. Its petition to Grand Lodge (23rd January 1826) raised. problems, and the Lodge history shows that the question was whether the title Royal Arch could be authorised by Grand Lodge to a subordinate Lodge, but there was no Royal Arch Chapter and so it was agreed that "Royal Arch" could be retained as there was no indication that Royal Arch degrees were being worked. In Masonic histories little mention is made of outside influences, but from 1789 Europe was in turmoil due to the effects of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Political unrest quickly spread through Britain and the rest of Europe, and societies sprung up which corresponded with the political clubs which had formed all over France. In Ireland, 200,000 men were armed and drilled secretly for revolt, and France prepared to assist them. A small French force actually landed at Fishguard in South Wales in February 1797, but was easily dealt with. There was terrible hardship in 6
Britain and little clubs formed by workers were embryo trade unions, many of which took the style and title of Lodges. In 1799 and 1800 the "Combination Acts" forbade such groups. The French influence through Royal Arch working (probably via Ireland) must have caused much consternation, and it can be no coincidence that in 1800 Grand Lodge wished to separate Craft Masonry from Royal Arch and other degrees by prohibiting anything above the third degree. However, little attention was paid to Grand Lodge, and Lodges continued to work many degrees. In 1815, Edinburgh Royal Arch Chapter, No. 1 (constituted 1765), but actually the eighth Royal Arch Chapter in Scotland after Stirling Rock and St Enoch, Montrose, etc., is noted as working the following degrees: Excellent, Super Excellent, Arch, Royal Arch Ark, Mark Link Jordan and Babylonian Passes Royal Prussian Blue Order. The rise of Napoleon, who controlled the rest of Europe and planned to invade England (from 1803), was thwarted only by the efforts of the navy and its greatest leader â€” Horatio Nelson. His victory, and death, at the Battle of Trafalgar, is remembered every year in November at Lodge Trafalgar, No. 223, in Leith, and in Royal Navy establishments. All the financial and political problems, and worries about spies, may have had some effect on Grand Lodge and other bodies. On 20th October 1817, the Knights Templar separated from Royal Arch to set up their own governing body. In August 1817, Grand Lodge recognised only three degrees and prohibited the use of other regalia, and from then on was much more strict. 7
Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter was formed on 28th August 1817. While Royal Arch working in Lodges was banned, the use of the title by Lodges restricted to the Craft degrees, was still allowed by Grand Lodge as shown by the charters of neighbouring Lodges No. 314, Royal Arch, in West Kilbride on 2nd May 1825, No. 320, St John Royal Arch, now in Ardrossan, on 6th February 1826. That matters were much more strict is shown by the problems already mentioned of No. 321, Bonhill and Alexandria St Andrew's Royal Arch Lodge (also in 1826). The peculiar circumstances of the Hawick Border Union Royal Arch Lodge, No. 424, were sufficient to convince Grand Lodge to allow such a title. Members of the established Hawick Lodge, No. 111, had some disagreement, and some decided to form their own Lodge. The argument prevented their sponsorship by No. 111 or neighbouring Lodges, and the petition was signed by members of a Royal Arch Chapter presumably as Master Masons rather than Companions. In recent years talk of amalgamation or better use of premises has brought the brethren of both Hawick Lodges together. The aforementioned are some of the historical details surrounding the naming of "Royal Arch" Lodges. It is not intended to be a full account, and is submitted for information. Details were mainly obtained from histories of Lodges; in particular, Volume 1 of Holyrood House Lodge, No. 44, also known as St Luke's, by Robert Strathearn Lindsay in 1935, published by T. & A. Constable, which are available in Grand Lodge Library. Other sources are British History, Part III, 1688-1815 by Ramsay Muir, published by Philip, and of course many thanks are due to Lodge secretaries and all others who gave their time so freely. A. F. STEVENSON CHALMERS. PM. Lodge Trafalgar, No. 223, Leith To whom my thanks go for this great article, Editor.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why is Masonic regarded as so important?
and unreal. It is picture philosophy, truth visualized, at once expressing and confirming the faiths and visions of the mind."
Answer. Truth may be taught without ritual, but truth taught by ritual is always taught as the original teachers desired and makes a lasting impression upon the mind of the learner. Man has always devised ceremonies of initiation for his organizations; the Men's House of the Indians had them; savage tribes bring their young men officially to manhood by rites which are sometimes rather terrible; ancient religions admitted to the temple only those who could qualify by successfully completing a course of initiation; many modern churches--especially those denominated "high"--have set forms for religious worship; crafts and guilds of all kinds in all ages have had certain preparatory rites. A ritual, which becomes sacrosanct in human belief tends to stabilize truth and to keep it uncontaminated by "modern" ideas. Many a man has thought he could "improve" the ritual of Freemasonry. None has succeeded in making better that which was already "best," since its content was and is living breathing, sentient truth, conveyed in words, action and symbols which by their very antiquity prove that they are "best" for the purpose.
Question: What is "just and lawfully constituted?" Answer. A Lodge is "just"--meaning complete, properly organized, legally entitled to conduct Masonic business--when the statutory number of brethren is present, when it has the proper furniture (the Great Lights), when its Charter is present and when it has been opened by the Master, or in his absence, by the proper Warden. A Lodge is "legally constituted" when it has been "constituted, consecrated and dedicated" by a recognized and Masonicly legal Grand Lodge; also, when it has been opened after notice to the brethren, if a Special, and according to the bylaws! If a Stated, communication. Some Lodges occasionally are neither just nor legal constituted. Opening without the lawful number of brethren present, opening without a Charter in the room, or with the Great Lights absent, makes a Lodge other than "just." Clandestine Lodges are never legally constituted. That which has no real existence cannot give real existence to its offspring. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ 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.
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, a teacher of Freemasonry, said: "Ritual is the dramatization of belief, hope and spiritual dream. It assists imagination by giving form to what otherwise would remain formless, presenting vivid mental images which lend a reality--feeling to what is often abstract 8
Behold (Psalm 133) There was tension in the Lodge that night. A proposal to change the By-Laws explained the much higher than normal attendance. A Past Master of more than twenty years, who few of the current officers had ever seen, rose. He represented an unknown quantity; both factions – pro and con - were tense. With measured politeness the elderly Past Master requested the Worshipful Master’s permission to speak. What a deep, golden voice! A voice that commanded respect and full attention. Even though this was the only time I ever heard this man speak, the rich tones are still full in my memory.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” This wise Mason, after a long absence from his Lodge, had once more served the principles of Masonry well. The outcome of the vote was set into its proper perspective. Harmony, unity, brotherhood prevailed. Psalm 133 is the first of many quotations from the Holy Bible which the new Mason hears. The recitation of this scripture lesson accompanies each candidate as he begins his Masonic journey. For the vast majority of Masons, only the first words of this Psalm are memorable. There is little written to help the Mason increase his understanding of this short psalm. This psalm is identified with David, King of Israel and father of King Solomon. The opening verse brings the theme of the psalm to the front. While it is natural for us to 9
attribute “brethren” to signify the universal bond of like-thinking men, some scholars take a more limited view. This discussion is based on the psalmist’s praise of this ideal description of the family. The family is very important to the writers of the Old Testament and it provides many guidelines for the proper regulation of family affairs. It has also been suggested that the psalm was penned for the instruction of David’s “many sons by many wives.” It is common for us to consider the biblical passages on two or more levels. Writings can be viewed from the concentric circles of the individual, family, tribe (or nation) and world. While it is “good and pleasant” for biological brothers to “dwell together in unity” this does not eliminate additional meanings. After a long period of independent tribal activities, Israel was undergoing a redevelopment of its national spirit. Likewise today we recognize the satisfaction which is felt when people are bound by unity of spirit and purpose. The remainder of the psalm paints two word pictures which describe this Brotherly Love. First is the anointing oil which is poured on the head. The fragrance of the strongly perfumed oil would fill the air as the oil slowly drips down from the head to the long beard. Aaron’s beard was not to be cut (Leviticus 21:5) so that it reached the collar (skirt) of his robes. In a manner similar to the burning of incense, the fragrance of the oil spreads out and fills a room with its perfume. In just a way, the spirit of brotherhood permeates a group of people. One of the pleasures of Masonic membership is the privilege of visitation. Without regard for region, formality, size or
ritualistic proficiency, the “fragrance” of unity of the local Brethren is unmistakable. The most vivid examples of this indescribable, yet inescapable, spirit of unity are from Lodges whose acts of charity and friendship demonstrate their adherence to the highest principles of our Order. Mount Hermon is the highest mountain in Israel and was apparently famous for its heavy dew. This dew and the dew on the mountains of Zion were critical sources of water. The nightly deposits of dew were essential. In a like manner, without unity, brothers become mere acquaintances and purpose becomes a pipe dream. The analogy of the dew can be extended further. Dew, rain and rivers all are sources of water. The water of the river can be controlled by man. Armies seek control of rivers. They provide obstacles which provide strength to the defence, and their valleys are often the major areas of commerce and production. With the proper selection of a river site, fortunes have been made, battles won, and destinies altered. The river water represents wisdom. Rain is a fickle resource. The twin excesses of drought and flood have produced the greatest natural disasters in human history. Rain plays important roles in the global cycles of water and energy which are so enormous that they defy complete appreciation. Rain defines the fertile valley and the “dust bowl.” The rainfall fills the rivers, providing us with fresh water and a cooling relief from the hot summer winds. The clouds, we have discovered, play an important role in the climate of the earth. The tremendous energy of the hurricane is stored in the warmth of the water caught up in its furious clouds. The most forbidding terrain on earth, deserts are created when
rainfall is absent. The rain water represents strength. A preschooler recognizes the special nature of the morning dew. Poets’ imaginations have been captured by the wonder which the dew bestows upon the morning. Compared with the rivers and rain, the dew seems to be on more of a human scale; touchable, within reach, if not within understanding. Dew is local. The rain falls from high above and the river has its source miles upstream. The dew which greets you as you step across the front lawn is a small scale phenomenon. The dew represents beauty. The psalm closes with the blessing of God on those who live in the spirit of unity. When we read of the supreme blessing of “life forever more” which is commanded for those who dwell in Brotherly Love, we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament is a God of Love. Many writers have questioned if Freemasonry will continue to thrive. The twentieth century has brought us many changes. Inventions and innovations have quickened the pace of life and place our most honoured principles in jeopardy. Psalm 133 gives us an assurance that the bands of our fraternal Brotherhood, being second only to those of blood, are pleasing to our heavenly Father who guided His poet to write “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Article was sourced from The Philalethes – February 1990 – by Wayne Sirmon.
Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85
Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho has resided in the village of Ratho for over two hundred and fifty years during this period it has lived through some of the most momentous events in the history of our Nation. Stretching from the First Industrial Revolution; from the stage coach era to space travel; from a period when illustrious Brethren such as Robert Burns, the National Bard, and Sir Walter Scott were mere lads to the present day. The history is as comprehensive as possible and compiled from incomplete records. Of necessity it must be concise, so we must restrict our references to the events, which we hope will be of interest to the visitors to this web site. GLOS The Grand Lodge of Scotland, was formed in 1736 and although Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho received its Charter 25 years after its formation in 1761, it is reasonable to conclude that it functioned as a Lodge prior to the year the Charter was granted. In 1761, our National Bard, Robert Burns, was one year old; ten years later Sir Walter Scott was born. Both became esteemed members of the Craft. They are commemorated in the Lodge by two busts which were presented to the Lodge in 1890 by Bro. D. W. Stevenson, R.S.A. Lodge Dramatic & Arts, Edinburgh, who received Honorary Membership of the Lodge in 1889 and was a native of Ratho 11
Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No.85 lies at the heart of the Ratho village community, and has, since it was chartered on 3rd August 1761 by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The village itself the subject of a poem by Joseph Mitchell born around the year 1684, his family was of humble background, his Father was a Freemason although it cannot be established if he was a member of 85. Born in humble circumstances he died a poor man on 6 July 1738, the poem earned him the title “The Poet of Ratho” and petitioned the King to restore the village of Ratho to its splendour and dignity. The following lines descriptive of Ratho during that period: Of ancient Ratho reared with cost and pain, How few the ancient monuments remain; Sometimes the plough from fields adjacent tears The limbs of men and armour, broke with years: Sometimes a medal all effused is found, And mouldering urns are gathered from the ground, But who, ah who, can decent honours pay, Or separate the vulgar from imperial clay? Destroying time and the drowning grave Alike confound the coward and the brave; Distinctions lost, no marks of state adorn And Ratho looks like Troy, a field of corn.
His approval of the changes that took place is reflected in the last two lines of a later poem: Bridges and boats now crown the scene, and here was Ratho known so sweet and clean. The purpose of the Lodge are reflected in an early edition of the lodge bye-laws “The lodge shall be held exclusively for the purposes of Freemasonry and its practice confined to the Masonic Degrees recognised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland” Lodge
Kirknewton & Ratho today remains one of the few lodges whose premises are used solely for masonic purposes, with exception of the social occasions held by the Brethren. On the 12 November 2010, the brethren elected Brother Robert James Potter Right Worshipful Master, for 2010 to 2011. Twenty one years after his first term in 1989, to lead us in our 250th Anniversary celebrations. Brother Potter was duly installed as Master on 17th December 2010, on that occasion he was installed by Brother Robert W Scott, PM of our lodge and Brother Peter Ritchie PM of Lodge Kirkliston Maitland 482 and an Honorary Member of the lodge. The new Masters son, Brother Robert John Alexander Potter was installed as his Depute Master, which mirrored a similar occasion in 1989 when the Master installed his father, Brother Alexander B Potter as his Depute Master. Likewise a unique event in the history of the lodge was the Affiliation in 1950 of Bro Andrew Whitson from Lodge St Clair 121. On the same evening his three sons, Peter, Robert and Andrew were initiated. Brother Peter Whitson went on to serve as Master of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho in 1963 whilst his Sons held high offices in lodges in Canada and Australia respectively. In April 1967 Brother James Smith Depute Master, initiated his son Robert William Smith into the mysteries and privileges of ancient Freemasonry. Brother James Smith was subsequently installed as Right Worshipful Master on 15th December 1967. On 21st December 1979 Brother James Smith PM would install his son Robert, into
the chair of King Solomon as Master of the Lodge. The Brothers’ Smith went on to work an Entered Apprentice Degree in December 1980 when Peter Whitson PM remarked this was an historical moment in the history of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho. The family ties as well as the strong bond of brotherhood still lie at the heart of the Lodge and form part of the many traditions which exist in the Lodge today. Brother Potter’s choice of Brother Peter Ritchie as one of his Installing Masters in 2010 together with Brother Ralph Walker, Right Worshipful Master, of Lodge St Margaret’s 548 replying on behalf of the visitors at the Festival of St John brings us to another landmark in the history Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho. The Three Lodges Three lodges, in two provinces, enjoying one special bond of friendship. Which is as durable today as it was in the earliest recordable minute of 29th March 1890 when Brother Thomas Hislop RWM of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho welcomed several Deputations, amongst those from Lodge Kirkliston Maitland 482 and Lodge St Margaret 548. Indeed the bond of friendship will be further strengthened at our Re-dedication Dinner on 20th August 2011 when Brother Derek Milne PM will follow in the footsteps of his Father, Brother James Milne PM, Past Depute Provincial Grand Master in proposing the toast to Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho. It should be noted our lodge was a sponsor lodge for St Margaret South Queensferry, but actually objected to the formation of Kirkliston Maitland, the brethren were concerned that the new lodge might reduce their pool of prospective members. 12
The occasion of the 250th Anniversary and re-dedication will record the pleasure of Brother Murrie Thomson Right Worshipful Master, Lodge Kirkliston Maitland replying on behalf of the visitors, as did one of his predecessors, Brother Robert Sutherland in 1961 at our 200th Anniversary celebrations. Over the years it has been more than a bond of friendship between the brethren of 85, 482 and 548. In 1974 the brethren of 85 and 482 took to the bowling green on the field of competitive sport, competing first for the Smith Pollock Cup and latterly the Ritchie Potter Cup from 1980. The brethren of the three Lodge''s commitment to the friendship is shown by the Deputations to the respective lodges. After many years of exchanging degrees, the culmination was the working of the Rath/Kirk/Ferry Degree, first muted in 1991. Sadly this degree was not supported by all brethren and the event never actually took place in Ratho. When Brother Barry Nutley PM 482 and Worshipful Brother John Guest started a biannual visit with the brethren of Lodge Ostrea 8209 E.C over 20 year ago, our friends from Kirkliston Maitland brought the English brethren to Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho on the Friday evening. Now over 20 years later many nights of harmony have been enjoyed on either side of the Border, many friendships built and the cause of charity progressed with many generous donations given over the years. Freemasonry’s reach transcends not only Provinces but borders. The brethren of Lodge St John Crofthead Fauldhouse 374 visited Ratho on 26 March 2010 bringing with them a large Deputation of brethren from various lodges across North Wales. 13
Once again, a night of harmony and friendship was enjoyed by all. Similarly on 11 April 1997 Brother Danny McNee, Right Worshipful Master welcomed a Deputation from Lodge Sint Andries No.285, Dutch Constitution. However at a regular meeting of the Lodge on 26th February 1966 one visitor thought discretion was the better part of valor when he made his entry during the degree. As the minutes of the meeting reflect the visitor noted the silence which such work commands and that a mouse being of a timid nature would not have ventured forth into the company of one hundred men, had there not been complete silence. It’s not recorded whether the said mouse stayed to partake of the harmony. A mouse, not the most distinguished of visitor ever to have graced the brethren of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho with its presence. On 23rd March 1979, the regular meeting of the Lodge saw the arrival of a Deputation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Linlithgowshire headed by the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master, Brother Alexander Fraser. On that occasion the minutes reflect “a distinguished visitor from the Grand Lodge of Scotland in the person of Brother Sir James Mackay, Depute Grand Master Mason then entered the lodge and was introduced to Brother William Greenock RWM and given a very warm welcome”. On that occasion they were present to witness the raising to the High and Sublime Degree of a Master Mason of Brother Neil Somerville Gordon. It was undoubtedly a special occasion for both Neil and Neil’s boss (Brother Sir James Mackay). Since his appointment as Insurance Broker in October 1967 and presenting his first balance sheet
as Treasurer of the Lodge in December 1981, Neil has served not only his Mother Lodge but the Provincial Grand Lodge of Linlithgowshire in his capacity as Treasurer. In December 2007 Neil received the rank of Honorary Grand Treasurer from the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Visitors and Harmony, inextricably part of the traditions of Freemasonry in general and Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho in particular. However, harmony is an extension of the Degree work in our Lodge. We are one of the few lodges to hold an official harmony after every meeting. Many distinguished brethren have provided harmony on a Friday evening, encouraged and cajoled by many a Director of Music. The most recent being the late Brother Bill Smith and following him, by Brother Robert Scott. However, official harmony in the Lodge isn't taken for granted and the standards set and maintained today bear testimony to the traditions of the lodge and our welcome to the many brethren who have visited us in the past, those who continue to visit us today and in the future. One of the most treasured possessions of the Lodge is the Volume of the Scared Law, which has been in use since the year 1803, when it was donated by an esteemed citizen of Edinburgh, Brother Leonard Horner. The gift was in appreciation for the harmonious times he spent with the brethren of the Lodge. Brother Horner was an honorary member of the lodge. He sadly passed to the Grand Lodge above on the 5th March 1864 after a period of ill-health. Brother Horner’s gift of the volume of the sacred law is one of the many ancient landmarks that have been donated to the lodge. In an extract from an emergency
meeting of 29th March 1890 it is recorded that Brother D W Stevenson after being entertained to a cake and wine banquet presented the Lodge with a handsome bust of our national bard and deceased brother Robert Burns. The evening was enjoyed in a very happy manner in toast, song and sentiment. In a further extract from a special meeting of 22nd November 1935, Brother William C.P Brown was then called upon by the RW Master, Ian M Scott to formally present to his mother lodge his gift of Masters desk, Senior and Junior Wardens Pedestals and Alter. Brother Brown’s contribution to the lodge continued when in 1936 he lavishly decorated the interior of the lodge with new tip-up seats. He was a native of Ratho, an Edinburgh businessman, had connections with the Ingliston Showground and a former chairman of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho currently meet within the house formerly known as “Lynwood” which was previously a Baptist hall or church. The purchase of this property was formally agreed in principle at lodge committee meeting on 9th December 1968 presided over by RW Master Brother James C J Smith. Whilst the minutes of the Lodge do not reflect the final date when the purchase was completed, it is clear the brethren of the Lodge dealt with the purchase of the present Lodge and the sale of the old Lodge to Midlothian County Council with all due diligence. At a Special Meeting of 25th March 1967, a letter dated 23rd March 1967 from Fairbairn, Lightboy and Cownie was read in open lodge from the Council offering to 14
purchase the Lodge property at Sixty Two and Sixty Eight Main Street, Ratho, previously having intimated an interest in March 1962. This letter was discussed at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Lodge on 31st March 1967 when the brethren considered various options, as reflected in the minutes, including sharing a new build with our neighbours Lodge Colinton and Currie 1029, alter our existing premises to suit our purposes and that plans be drawn for the purposes of estimates or alternatively enquire if the Council are in fact building a village hall and if so rent same for our meetings. A lengthy process of negotiation where various discussions took place with the Council about the purchase of the old Lodge and where the Lodge would move to ensued. However the process reached a conclusion when at the Regular Meeting of 9th May 1969 it was formally proposed by Brother Lawrie and seconded by another Brother Lawrie, remember the family traditions, that the Lodge pay Mrs Hogan £1000 to secure the premises at 6 Dalmahoy Road, Ratho, subsequently consecrated on 19th September 1970. Going forward many alterations to the Lodge were carried out by the brethren and bears testament to their hard work in the development of the Lodge. None more than the brethren involved in moving the bar to where its currently situated. A subcommittee having been formed and the plans were presented at a meeting of general committee on 4th April 1990. The work to re-site the bar having finally been passed at the Regular Meeting of the Lodge on 28th April 1995 the work was subsequently carried out by Brothers David Watt, George Paul and Danny McNee, Past Masters, during the summer recess. 15
The progress of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho and where its meetings have been held can be traced back as far as the 17th century when Sir Alexander Lauder married Mary Maitland. The Lauderdale family had a close connection with the Lodge, of that there can be no doubt. In 1792 the Earl of Lauderdale donated the upper part of the old lodge to the Office-bearers and their successors for the payment of a small Feu Duty. In 1959, while demolition of old property behind the Lodge Room was taking place, rain water seeped through and completely destroyed a picture of James Lauderdale in Full Masonic Dress. This was one of the greatest disasters the Lodge ever suffered. Like most present day Lodges the financial pressures of the upkeep of the Lodge whilst tending to the needs of its Widows and Brethren necessitate fund raising. The brethren of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho have over the years shown their enthusiasm by organising such events as Bingo Nights, Curry Nights, Race Nights, Valentine’s Dance’s, Barge Trips and Sportsman Dinners. It would also be remiss not to mention the contribution Lodge members make to ensure the financial viability of the Lodge, as well as their donations to Grand Lodge Benevolence, the Masonic Homes fund and various local causes such as the local Gala day and The Seagulls Trust. This History of Lodge Kirknewton & Ratho No. 85 was sourced from their website which can be viewed by clicking here. (Please visit their site) Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 85 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Famous Freemasons Sugar Ray Robinson
Walker got in to boxing at 15 after dropping out of high school. He tried to enter the Amateur Athletic Union so he could box for a living. Since the minimum age for the AAU was eighteen, Walker decided to borrow the birth certificate of his older friend Ray Robinson. In one of his fights during the tournament a woman in the crowd said he was "sweet as sugar", the name stuck and he would be "Sugar" Ray Robinson the rest of his career. Robinson would finish his amateur career in 1940 after wining the Golden Gloves Featherweight Championship in 1939 and the Golden Gloves Lightweight Championship. His record was 85-0 with 69 knockouts, 40 of which came in the first round. Robinson started his professional career in 1940. In 1942 he would be named boxer of the year. Through the beginning of 1943, Robinson would have a record of 43-0. In 1943, Robinson would come up against Jake Lamotta, their previous match ended with a decision for Robinson. This time Lamotta, who had about 16lbs on Robinson knocked him out of the ring in the eighth round.
The best pound for pound boxer of all time! Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.) was an American boxer, born in 1921 Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in or around Detroit Michigan. At the age of 12, Robinson's parents separated and Robinson moved with his mother to Harlem. When he was younger Robinson aspired to be a doctor. In the 9th grade he dropped out of Dewitt Clinton High School and began pursuing a boxing career.
Just a few months later, Robinson was inducted into the Army. One of his childhood idols, Joe Louis was drafted at the same time and prior to shipping out overseas the two would fight exhibition matches for United States Servicemen. On March 29th, 1944, the day before he was supposed to ship out to Europe, Robinson disappeared from his barracks and did not reappear until April 5th when he was found in hospital. Robinson had fallen down a flight of stairs in his barracks and in a daze wondered off. On April 1st he was found by a stranger and taken to the hospital. When he awoke on April 5th, he had no memory 16
going back to the moment he fell down the stairs. Initially there was talk of charging Robinson with desertion, the doctors that treated Robinson vouched for him and he was given an honourable discharge. After returning from service, Robinson had a 70-1-1 record under his belt before challenging Tommy Bell to the Welterweight Championship. After winning in 15 rounds, Robinson would spend the next four years defending his title against names like Jimmy Doyle, Kid Gavilan and George Costner. After knocking out Costner in under three minutes, Robinson decided to make the switch to Middleweight as it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to keep his weight under the 147lb limit. In 1947, Robinson was scheduled to defend his title against Jimmy Doyle. Robinson tried to pull out of the fight after he had several dreams in which he killed Doyle in the ring. A priest and a minister convinced him to go ahead with the fight. Unfortunately Robinson's premonition was correct and in the eighth round of the fight Robinson would knock Doyle out and he would later pass away in the hospital. Talk swirled about charging Robinson with manslaughter, nothing came of the rumors. Prior to the fight Doyle had made it public that if he won the fight he was going to buy his mother a house. Robinson gave his winnings to Doyle's mother from his next 4 fights to fulfill Doyle's promise to his mother. In 1950, Robinson defended his Welterweight Title twice. The first was against Charley Fusari. After wining the fight Robinson donated all but $1 to cancer research. In the second title fight, Robinson came up against George Costner who also called himself "Sugar". Leading up to the fight, Costner repeatedly stated that he was 17
the rightful owner of the name "Sugar". When the two men met in the middle of the ring before the fight Robinson declared to Costner "We better touch gloves, because this is the only round." Robinson knocked out Costner in 2 minutes and 49 seconds. Sugar Ray would fight Jake LaMotta for the sixth time for the Middleweight Championship on February 14, 1951. The fight known as The St. Valentines Day Massacre was a technical knockout. He knocked out LaMotta in thirteen rounds and grew his record against LaMotta to 5-1. After attaining the title, Robinson toured Europe and participated in fights against Gerhard Hecht and Randolph Turpin. After returning to the states and winning several more fights, Sugar Ray retired in 1952 with a record of 131-3-1. After a few business ventures did not pan out as expected, Sugar Ray Robinson decided to get back in the ring. After winning his first comeback fight in 1955, Robinsonâ€™s age of 34 began to show as he lost multiple fights to some younger boxers. After ten more years and another middleweight title, Sugar Ray retired with a record of 173-19-6. Robinson spent his retirement performing in TV shows and movies before being diagnosed with diabetes and Alzheimerâ€™s disease. He passed away at the age of 67 in 1989. Sugar Ray joined Joppa Lodge #55 PHA during his time in New York. He is noted as being a freemason alongside fellow boxer Jack Dempsey. Sugar Ray Robinson was a Prince Hall Freemason. This article has been assembled from various sources for the famous freemasons section of the magazine. Ed.
The Many Meanings of the Word â€˜MYSTERYâ€™ Very far back in time our remote forefathers used in one form or another the short word mu. It meant "keep your lips closed," "say nothing about it"; and either in the beginning of its use, or not long afterwards, it also meant "keep your eyes closed," "don't be inquisitive about the affairs of others," etc. We ourselves in our own language continue to employ that same ancient word in our "mum," "mumble," "mutter," "mummer" (it is not the root of "mummy," which derived from a Persian word mum, meaning wax, and was applied to bodies preserved in wax and oil). From this same root the ancient Greeks formed their word- phrase ta musteria, which denoted secret rites, secret teachings, secret initiations; when confronted by such rites an outsider (a "profane") was expected to keep his eyes shut, and an insider, an initiate, was expected to keep his lips closed. From that phrase (it was plural in form) the same Greeks formed their word musterion. From that use in turn, as was true of so many other Greek terms, the word passed over into the Latin language, where it was mysterium, and it there continued to have the general meaning of something not pried into, or spied upon, or talked about. From the Latin, Old French derived its mistere, and modern French has its mystere. From such sources it passed into Middle English as mistere, or mystereye, and from that it came into modern English as "mystery." The .word's own long, unbroken history defines it: a mystery is something private, something secret kept by certain
persons for good reasons of their own which an outsider must not be inquisitive about and which insiders must not talk about they must keep the lips closed. In the meantime, and also long ago, another word began its history, starting with the ancient Latin word ministerium, formed from minister, which denoted a servant. As civilization slowly developed in both Greece and Rome the callings, or forms of work, which required skilled hands and trained minds were more and more placed in the care of organized crafts which the Greeks called hetarai, and the Romans called collegia. Later on they were called gilds. The purpose of such gilds was to serve the people by producing things necessary to everybody. The Dark Ages were so called because during a long and ghastly period of nearly four centuries barbarians invaded Rome and Greece from all directions (except from the south),and in so doing destroyed almost every vestige of the knowledge and skill which had been employed in the old organized crafts. After Charlemagne, who lived in the ninth century, Europe began very slowly to recover the old arts, and when this occurred the skilled workmen once again became organized, and their organizations had a gild-form. But these new gilds were called "mysteries," and it is easy to see why; the skilled craftsmen in them made things needed for use, and since the few literate men in Europe in the period used the Latin language in speaking and writing, these men adopted the Latin word ministerium. In Old French it became mestier, in Modern French, metier, and when introduced into English, during the period of Middle 18
English it became, first, mistere, and later, mistery.
Freemasonry was always a mystery in that sense of the word.
Since the Operative Freemasons were skilled craftsmen, organized in the form of a gild-fraternity, their craft, like every other skilled craft, was called a "mystery," and in almost all of the oldest charters, fabric rolls, and borough records that word is used of it. That usage denoted nothing secret or occult, but denoted nothing more than the fact that Freemasons were trained workmen, and it is in that sense that the word is used in the old phrase, "arts, parts, and mysteries of Freemasonry." Freemasonry is an art, and any young man with normal intelligence can learn it, if he is willing to put himself through an apprenticeship, in which case he is not called upon to become an adept in some secret science, or be made privy to some occult secret.
Among the ancient Greeks and Romans there were two kinds of religions. On the one side were those which may be called public religions, because they were maintained and directed by the state, carried on their observances as publicly as possible, and used temples which had so little secrecy in them that the buildings consisted of little more than a roof supported by columns, with no walls. On the other side were those which may be described as private, not in the sense that they were private to an individual or to an individual's family, but in the sense that they were private to their own members. These latter are called either The Ancient Mysteries, or The Mystery Cults.
Why is it that for a century or so the general public has made the word "Freemasonry'' almost synonymous with the word "mysterious"? Why have so many Masonic writers themselves argued that since Freemasonry is a mystery there must be something very mysterious within it? And why did the Anti-Masons of America, in the quarter of a century in which they endeavoured to destroy it, attack it for being the custodian of some strange, occult, and possibly dangerous secret? They all confused two words, each of which is wholly different from the other, though both are spelled and pronounced alike: they jumped to the conclusion that because in modern times a mystery is a puzzle, a thing hidden, something occult, it had always been used in that sense; they were too ignorant of history to know that through the many centuries of the Middle Ages a "mystery" was a skilled craft, and that 19
A Mystery Cult admitted members by initiation, divided its members into grades, employed ceremonies, sometimes of an astoundingly costly and elaborate kind, used emblems and symbols, and had grips, passwords, tokens, etc. The probability is that they developed, at least the larger number of them, out of those organized skilled crafts which were described above, and which always carried on within themselves a number of ceremonious and symbolic practices. Many of the earlier Masonic historians believed that Freemasonry must have originated in some one or more of The Ancient Mysteries, such historians as Hutchinson, Oliver, Greenleaf, Franklin Fort, and Albert G. Mackey among them - it is probable that Mackey, who wrote a history of the Fraternity in seven volumes, believed in that theory as long as he lived. And in so doing they furnished yet another reason for attaching the word "mystery" to
Freemasonry - their doing so was not altogether an act of good fortune, because there is no so reason for believing that our Craft ever had a connection with any one of the Mysteries. In the present day and age the word "mystery" is entering yet another chapter of its long history. There is developing in plain view that new use of it which is represented by the phrase "the mysteries of science," and the development of such recondite subjects as the quantum theory, the publicity given to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and the invention of the atomic bomb, have been among the more prominent forces and events which have crowded that new meaning into an already over-crowded word. What is a scientific mystery? It is a subject, or a set of facts, discoveries, and inventions so difficult to know and understand that to do so a man must go through a long and laborious preparation in higher mathematics and difficult technologies before he is even prepared to undertake his investigations. In a somewhat different sense, though cognate with it, a "scientific mystery" means that many of the oldest and most familiar things have turned out, under scientific analysis, to be extraordinarily complex and hard to understand; light is such a mystery, so is time, so is space, so is gravitation, and so are many other things which all men have known about from the beginning. There are scientific mysteries in Freemasonry. Architecture is one of them. If a reader believes it to be an exaggeration to describe architecture as a scientific mystery, he must ask himself why it is that among the thousands of engineers who are erecting the boxlike office buildings in American cities there are so few architects, and why it is that
there are probably less than a dozen men in the whole world who, without outside aid, could design and construct a genuinely Gothic cathedral, for architects, the garden or common variety of them, find Gothic as difficult to comprehend as the Theory of Relativity. Another scientific mystery in the Craft is mathematics, which there passes by the name of geometry. Nothing is more certain than the statement that since the discovery of the first system of NonEuclidean geometry until now mathematics has been more and more becoming a scientific mystery. There also are others in the Ritual. There are these uses of "mystery" as applied to Freemasonry. There remains yet another one, and it may ultimately prove to be the most important of any. Freemasonry is itself a mystery. Why? Because nobody has ever satisfactorily explained it. Why did it alone, out of all the mysteries of the Middle Ages, survive? Why did it, after some seven or eight centuries had passed, so suddenly wax into a world fraternity, more powerful than ever before? What is there in it which holds so many otherwise busy men to its services, and more especially when it does not pay them for those services, and oftentimes does not even reward them? What is the secret of its endless, its inexhaustible, fascination for men of many races and tongues across the earth? By H.L. Haywood. And sourced from The Masonic Trowel,
“Freemasonry is not about how good a man you are…. It’s about how good a man you want to be.” 20
Rays of Masonry â€œRetrace Your Stepsâ€? We speak of a new world. In the realm of moral philosophy we are thinking of a new people, not a different people, but of all humanity emerging from the despair of war to the bright hope of peace. We mean a people who will be new, not because they are moving at the remarkable speed of science, but new because they will be more determined to take a stronger grip on the beautiful and wholesome things of life, new because they will understand as never before that we build in vain unless we build character. Change is not always advancement, and that which we think of as new is not a future condition. The new that we seek is something that was ours, something of the past. It is a gem of thought, a treasure of philosophy, a song that mother sang, and act of a friend; it is the wonderful courage of a great religious leader who gave the world a beauty that must be rediscovered. The path to the new brave world is not a direct untrodden journey. We must retrace our steps to find that Spiritual Beauty which for the time is lost. The emotions wander aimlessly about because desire for Spiritual Enlightenment has disappeared and there are no designs upon the trestle board. Adventure into the new and unknown are not more courageous than the search for the better self over travelled paths. Thus we retrace our steps. There is little hope for reward. Weary and worn we fall. Yet even as we fall we hold within our grasp- Immortality. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Poor Fish "If I didnâ€™t love the old lodge so much I'd demit and go to a live one!" The New Brother spoke disgustedly to the Old Tiler. He laid down his sword, hitched in his chair and snorted. "S'matter with the old lodge now?" he asked belligerently. "Oh, same old thing. Same old gang. No possible chance of doing anything different than we ever did. No pep. No costumes. No new expenditure for anything. We have died on the vine and don't know it!" "Someone offered?''
"Didn't offer any. Knew better. No use asking that bunch to do anything." "Listen, brother, while I give you some advice. Look at an aquarium and consider the fishes."
"I said wealth. You are both poor fish.
"Consider the fishes â€“ the poor fishes. I asked the master of the aquarium what kept a bass in a glass pot full of water from eating up his small minnow companions. He told me he had trained the bass not to eat minnows. I asked him how he could do that. He said he put a plate glass partition in the aquarium, with the minnows on one side and the bass on the other. The bass made a nose dive after a mouthful of minnows and got a nose full of invisible plate glass. That made him pause for a moment but he soon returned. For three days that determined bass tried to dive through the glass he couldn't see. After the third day his nose was so sore he gave up. Decided, probably, that the minnows were ghost minnows and couldn't be eaten! He has lived with them a year since and never tried to eat one, even when it rubs against his nose.
"That's handing it out pretty straight," commented the New Brother. "Now tell me, Old Tiler, why you think this old lodge doesn't spend money for anything except necessities and charity? You think it is a good lodge, a flourishing lodge, an old lodge!"
"Now, brother, you consider the poor fish. He doesn't try anything because once he did and got a sore nose. You think the old lodge is dead because it wonâ€™t spend money for costumes or stage an entertainment or buy a new temple or something. You are convinced it has withered on the vine, because it hasn't done anything progressive. Every brother in it talks the same way. Everyone wants to do something, but a few years ago a crowd of stand patters put a plate glass between the membership and any minnows of progress. The plate glass is long gone and the stand patters are a ring no more. But you and all the rest are afraid to offer constructive programs because you think the plate glass is still there. Between you and the bass, there's little difference in wealth." "Wealth? I don t get you.
"Got any loose change in your pocket?" asked the Old Tiler. "Sure, a handful," said the New Brother, pulling it out. "Hold a dime in front of one eye and close the other. What do you see?" commanded the Old Tiler. "Why, I see a dime, of course!" was the surprised answer. "Exactly. You see a dime. You don't see the $1.87 on the chair. A dime is close so that you can't see $1 a foot away. That's the idea of brethren who won't spend lodge money for anything they don't have to. They see the treasury full to bursting and investments piling up, then they try to look through a dime and are so scared to spend a dollar they don't dare read the treasurer's report aloud for fear someone will steal it! "It was a fine lodge; now it is running on its reputation. It used to spend money wisely. Everything we needed we had. We had jamborees and smokers and entertainments; we had picnics and outings; we had educational lectures and a library; instructive talks were given new brethren and candidates. We spent what we took in and made better Masons by so doing. Gradually we began to look at the thin dimes so hard we couldn't see the success, progress, reputation, we had bought with dollars. So we stopped spending. Now we 22
have money and a reputation of having died on the vine. What shall it profit a lodge if it lay up large numbers of dollars in the treasury, and lose its hold on its members? Where is the profit of penuriousness and lack of progress, even if we have money? What good is money unless you spend it? A million dollars at the North Pole isn't as valuable as one fur coat. All the money in the world on a desert island wouldn't buy one newspaper. You must spend money to get the good of it. You must spend money to make money. And you must spend money to keep your lodge alive and make your members better members and your Masons happy Masons. '' ''I never thought of it that way, Brother. "I think I'll start a public aquarium," continued the Old Tiler. "What for?" the New Brother was unwise enough to ask. "For the poor fish, of course," snapped the Old Tiler. "I've got one here to start with." "Come on in that lodge room with me," commanded the New Brother firmly. ''No Old Tiler can call me a poor fish and get away with it!" "What are you going to do?" asked the Old Tiler. "Offer a resolution to spend $1,000 in the next six months in educational work among our members, and you are going to second it." ''There goes the start of a perfectly good aquarium," sighed the Old Tiler. This is the sixty-sixth article in this regular feature, â€˜The Old Tiler Talks,â€™ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
SUBLIME Learned students of art have discovered that the word Sublime as applied to the degree of Master Mason is not one of those matters which are of an antiquity of Time Immemorial. It seems to have made its appearance in print first about 1801. Today, its use is practically universal. That the degree Is sublime, in all the highest meanings of that much abused word, is not a matter for discussion or proof; it is sublime if we feel it as sublime; it is just an ordinary ceremony if that is all it is to us. Sublimity is not in the thing, but in us. The Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid in its absolute perfection is sublime to a mathematician, to a six year old child or a savage who cannot count beyond ten, it is less than nothing. The most beautiful sunset which ever thrilled the senses of colour could not be sublime to a blind man, nor can harmonies of Beethoven or Wagner be sublime to a man born deaf. If the Master Mason degree is sublime, it is because of what it is and what it does to a mans heart. The Master Masons degree is immensely different from the two preceding ones. It has the same externals as far as entry and closing are concerned; it uses also a circumambulation, a passage from Scripture, has an obligation and a bringing to more light - All The Light Which Can Be Communicated To You In A Blue Lodge. But its second section departs utterly from the architectural symbolism of the fist two degrees, and concerns itself with a living, a dying and a living again. It is at once more human and more spiritual than the preceding degrees. It strikes in upon the
heart with the force and effect of a great bell, heard in a silent place; no thoughtful man receives, or ever sees this degree, with any understanding of its symbolism, who does not feel a sense of awe and wonder that a mind of man could conceive it, put it together, place so much of wisdom in so simple a vehicle, give so much light in so few words and in so short a time. The Masters degree as whole is a symbol of old age; of wisdom and experience. It is a symbol of preparation for that other life which it so grandly promises. It brings to the initiate the symbolism of the Sprig of Acacia, and tells him in one breath that a man must stand alone, even while he must lean upon the Everlasting Arms. It lays before him the whole drama of mans longing for a Something Beyond; it tells the tale of what ignorance and brute strength may do to destroy knowledge and virtue, even while it shows that, never can darkness overcame light, never can evil win over what is good, never can error prevail over truth. There are those who find in the symbolism of the Third Degree a promise of the resurrection of the body. None can blame them; the symbolism is there. Nor can one blame the miner who digs in the earth after the outcroppings of an ore, for believing that the ore is al he can expect to find; even when a later delver in the earth goes through the ore and finds a diamond. If, to a devout and orthodox Christian the Master Mason degree is symbolic of the resurrection of the body, that doctrine of bodily resurrection is in itself a symbol of a spiritual raising. Each of us, then, may interpret this part of the degree in according to the light which is given him, and no man has either the wisdom or the right to say, That Interpretation is True, This One False.
There have been some twenty or more interpretations of the whole degree; they range all the way from the story of the Garden of Eden to a sort of cipher drama of the violent death of King Charles the First. Modern students, however, are reasonably well agreed that the Hiramic Legend is a retelling of the immortality of the soul; it belongs with the story of Isis and Orsiris, and the most beautiful of the early religious myths, the Brahmanic story of Ademi and Heva. Thus interpreted, the soul, mind or spirit; after it acquires knowledge, is subjected to temptation. It must bargain with conditions, make a pact with evil, compromise with reality, or suffer. Every life demonstrates the truth of this; we are all tempted to compromise with the best that is in us for the sake of expediency. Not infrequently, we, as did a Certain Three, think to win knowledge, power, place, and reward for themselves; not be patient effort, but by force alone. In the sublime degree there is no compromise. Those who seek unlawfully are bidden to wait until they are found worthy . . . but there is no suggestion of yielding to their importunity if they will not. Nor do they wait. For a time it appears that force is superior to righteousness, that evil can overcome good. But only for a time. And while, indeed, That Which Was Lost has never been recovered, yet the manner of its losing has been an inspiration to all men in their search for it ever since; a just retribution overtook the evil and the consequences of wrong doing are set forth unequivocally. It is difficult to write about that which is sublime, translate it into words of everyday, and at the same time comply with the statutory requirements. All Master Masons will forgive the seeming vagueness of these 24
references; indeed, they should not find them vague. But in any attempt to translate the symbolism into words, it loses in two ways; first, as any symbol must lose (can you describe a rose so that it appears beautiful or put the majesty of a mountain or the magnitude of the ocean in a phrase?); second, because the appeal of the symbol is to the heart, the soul or the spirit; when one attempts to make of it also an appeal to the mind, the spirit symbolism becomes clouded over with materiality; the bloom is gone from the petal; the butterfly is crushed. The moral lessons in the degree are many; the virtue of loyalty is most obvious and, perhaps, least important, symbolically. That truth wins in the end; that evil does not flourish; that strength of heart is greater than strength of arm; that it is by the spirit of brotherhood, not by one man alone, that which has fallen can be raised; that in his greatest extremity man has but One to Whom to turn; that beyond brotherhood the soul stands always, and must always stand, alone before God, when no prayers save its own may avail; That he who would win true brotherhood must give proof of his fitness to be a brother; these, and many more can be read from the degree by the most casual minded. But there is a deeper lesson, for him who is minded to dig far enough. There are certain matters which can be proved by logic, and by experiment. Thus, we know not only by vision, by experience and by counting on the fingers that two added to two make four, but also by demonstrating this fact by mathematics. It is entirely obvious to all scientists that the laws of nature are constant; they do not vary between here and there. But it is not demonstrable! We are confident that the 25
laws of motion and gravitation as we see them demonstrated on earth and in the solar system, are the same in some far off planet of an unknown sun, in some other solar system of the existence of which we do not even know. But we cannot prove it. In this sense we cannot prove either God or Immortality. A God who could be proved to a finite mind by a finite means would be a finite God, and The Great Architect we believe to be infinite. The crux of the whole controversy between those who profess a science and those who profess a religion, has been over this demand on the part of those scientists that religion reduce God to figures and prove Him by a Rule; while the follower of a religion founded entirely on faith demands that the scientist forego his reason and believe without proof! In other words, one all Mind demands that one all Soul work and talk wholly in terms of Mind. One all Soul insists that Mind forget its reason and its logic and deal wholly in belief and faith. But a man is not only Mind, nor is he only Immortal Soul. The ego is made up of both. When they become at war with each other we have either a religious fanatic or an atheist. Luckily for most of us, there is no conflict; we believe the things of the heart because of proofs the mind cannot understand, just as we know the demonstrable truths of science with expositions which mean nothing to a heart. The esoteric meaning the Sublime Degree of Master Mason is not at all for the mind. To the mind it is not a proof of anything. But it truly is the Forty Seventh Problem of Euclid of the heart! As that strange and wonderful mathematic wonder contains the germ of all scientific measurement, so does the symbolism of the
Third Degree contain the germ of all doctrines of immortality, all beliefs in a hereafter, all heart certainty of a beneficent Creator Who has us in His Holy Keeping. There have been those who, fearing that Freemasonry was about to set up a doctrine and a church to teach it, have frowned upon Freemasonry because of this symbolism. But note carefully, there is not in all the Master Mason Degree any suggestion of creed or dogma or even of a Way to Heaven. The Mohammedan who believes that the way to Allah is to kill a Christian or two, will find no contradiction of his queer faith in the Master Masons degree. The Christian who sincerely believes that only by Baptism can he be Saved will find nothing in the Master Mason degree to hurt that faith. The Spiritualist who feels that unseen friends are waiting to receive him and carry him forward, can be a good Master Mason. The Third Degree teaches not how to win immortality, not how to get to heaven, not any particular way to worship the Great Architect; it teaches that immortality is; that God is; and leaves to others the fitting of those ineffable truths into what frames they please. How could the degree be otherwise than sublime? It contains the greatest thought, the most intense hope, the most sincere prayer which all mankind possesses. From the dawn of humanity man has tried to see God. He has believed in God. He has struggled toward the light, often stumbling, often failing; but always stretching forth hands upward, winning his slow way to a little better spiritual comprehension of the Great Mystery. The Sublime degree of Master Mason is at once a promise and a performance; an exposition and a demonstration; a doing and
a believing of the loftiest aspirations in the heart of humanity. Of course it is sublime; and, equally of course, many who fail to see its inner meaning do not find it so. The beauty of the unseen sunset is there only for eyes which can see. The man who finds the degree otherwise than sublime must blame the man, not the degree. For it is not of the earth, earthy; there is in this ceremony and its simple but awful words, something as much beyond the minds of the generations of men who made it, as there is in its mystery. Something Beyond the comprehension of those who give it, and they, fortunate among men . . . who receive it and take it to their hearts. This article was sourced from the short talk bulletin â€“ Vo .iii August, 1925 No.8, author unknown.
A Master Masonâ€™s Wife From active Masons, resolute, Our wives and families we salute We surely know the price you pay, Who sit alone while we're away No high degrees on you conferred, In Lodge, your name is seldom heard You serve our cause though out of sight, While sitting home alone tonight Masonic papers list our names, Awards are given, fit to frame But yours is absent...you who strive, To keep our fortitude alive You're part of every helpful deed, On your encouragement we feed Without your blessings, how could we, Continue acts of charity? And so, this poem, we dedicate, To every Master Mason's mate And offer our undying love, Rewards await in Heaven above. 26
Frightened of Freedom Three “freedom” events coalesce tonight – a Freemasons’ meeting, the eve of Passover, and the approach of Anzac Day. Freedom unites all three occasions. It would be easy to turn this address into a paean of praise of freedom and its blessings, but my theme will not be the joys of freedom but the opposite – its dangers. For freedom is hard to handle. It can make us bored. Rousseau wrote of the Utopia of the picnic, of people who gained freedom but wondered what to do with themselves. Our own age offers increasing leisure, earlier retirement and a longer life span, but leaves us unable to be stimulated. It can lead to mischief. We know so much about leaders who get their people to finally throw off their restraints and then impose even worse repression. The Yiddish author Sholem Asch wrote in an essay, “Who Hasn’t Exploited Freedom?” of what we might call the unfreedom that often comes once freedom is gained. Asch sadly remarks, “It seems to me that in our own generation, before our own eyes, the beast Freedom has slain, gassed, tormented and enslaved more men, women and children than all the tyrants have. The files of the Inquisition are child’s play against the methods of torture, the disappearance of human beings without a trace left of them used by all the different liberators who came to us in the name of an ideal, to bring us freedom…” Freedom can make us lonely. Freedom is a joy but after the battle we may well feel we have been cast adrift. How do we cope? We can of course give away our freedom and 27
become cogs in a wheel. We can surrender it and accept a new dictator. We don’t always advance to full realisation of how privileged we are to be alive, how special is every other human being, and how good it is to have friends and be a friend. The rabbinic sages said, “No man is free without the Torah”: in other words, no-one is really free without values and an agenda. Sholem Asch wrote, “Moses, the great liberator, freed the Jews from Egypt, to make them servants to the Lord. Servants to His Law. For without God, and without His Law, without righteousness, there is no Freedom”. The Masonic teachers understood. They told every recruit that a Freemason must be free, but then they brought him a difficult discipline. The Australian observing Anzac Day discovers the same lesson. Like Noah in the Bible, who emerged from the Flood and immediately became drunk, he is tempted to walk away from the Anzac marches straight into the pub, but Anzac Day is not there to make better drinkers but better citizens. Freedom is wonderful, but it is a danger if, in the words of the philosopher Ahad HaAm, one is a slave (even to alcohol) in the midst of freedom. The blessing of freedom is when we invert Ahad HaAm’s words and speak of being free even in the midst of slavery. In his book, “The Will to Meaning”, Victor Frankl says: “What matters is the stand one takes towards his predicament, the attitude he chooses towards his suffering”. To decide freely even in the midst of unfreedom that one’s standards will not lapse, that is true freedom. However thick his walls are, a person can still soar free. 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.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why is the Masonry of today called "speculative?" Answer: The word is used in the sense that the Masonry of today is theoretical, not practical building; that it is a pursuit of knowledge, not of the construction of edifices. Speculative Masonry began with the practice of admitting to membership in operative Lodges men who were not practical builders, stonecutters, architects, etc., but who were interested in the moral, ethical and philosophical teachings of the Fraternity. Question: Why are the square and compass more important than other working tools? Answer: Without a compass no accurate square can be made: without a square no building can be erected. The square and compass are universally the symbol of a Master Mason and of Freemasonry. Symbolists have read many meanings into both these tools of a Mason. Both symbols are much older than Freemasonry; Chinese manuscripts give them a Masonic significance (although there was no Freemasonry in that country two thousand years ago). No symbols in Freemasonry offer so many possible interpretations. But many symbols mean different things to different men; each interprets according to his best light. In modern Masonic rituals, the compass is "dedicated to the Craft" and is emblematic of the restraint of violent passions. Here "passions" refers to any over-emotional lack of control. It is passions in the larger sense;
intemperance, temper, unjust judgment, intolerance, selfishness, that the spiritual compasses circumscribe. The positions of the square and compass in the three degrees are universally symbols of light, further light, more light Question: Why do Brethren entering and leaving a Lodge salute the Master? Answer: Masons entering or leaving a Lodge salute the Master at the altar if the Lodge is at labor--they salute the Junior Warden if the Lodge is at refreshment. This practice assures the Master that the brother knows on what degree the Lodge is open. A brother making a wrong sign can be instructed immediately. It informs the Master that the brother is a Mason of the degree on which the Lodge is open; if he makes an inferior sign, and cannot, on request, give the right one, the Master can then use other means to ascertain that no Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft is present in a Master Mason Lodge. The salute is a silent assurance to the Master and through him to the brethren: "I remember my obligations." Brethren salute on retiring to get permission to leave. No one can enter or leave a Lodge room while a Lodge is at labor without permission If the Master does not wish the brother who salutes to retire, he tells him so, instead of responding to the salute. At refreshment the Lodge is in charge of the Junior Warden and the same salutes are given him as are usually given the Master, and for the same reasons. In some Grand Jurisdictions, on busy evenings, during a visitation or other Masonic function, the Master will instruct the Tyler to ask the brethren to salute the West, instead of the East, in order to not have his own labours in the East interrupted. 28
Question: Where and how may I discover the Lost Word? Answer: Nowhere and in no way. In other rites you may receive other substitutes but the real Lost Word--never. This is the unanswerable question. The Lost Word is the most abstruse and most important symbol of the Fraternity; few if any are less understood. The Lost Word is not a syllable, or several syllables; "word" is here used as St. John used it: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Lost Word is not discovered in Freemasonry; Masons are given a substitute. Of the Lost Word, it has been written (Introduction to Freemasonry): “Never may we find it here. You shall gaze through microscope and telescope and catch no sight of its shadow. You shall travel many lands and far, and see it not. You shall listen to all the words of all the tongues, which all men have ever spoken and will speak--the Lost Word is not heard. Were it but a word, how easy to invent another! But it is not "a" word but "The" Word, the great secret, the unknowableness which the Great Architect sets before his children, a will-o'-the-wisp to follow, a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Never here is it to be found, but the search for it is the reason for life.” "The Sublime Degree teaches that in another life it may be found. That is why it is the Sublime Degree." 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 4 THREE PILLARS Extracts from the modern Lecture on the First Tracing Board: Our Lodges are supported by three great pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, but as we have no noble orders in architecture known by the names of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, we refer them to the three most celebrated, which are, the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian. The problems relating to the furnishings of the lodge do not end with Solomon’s two pillars. As early as 1710 an entirely different set of three pillars makes its appearance in the catechisms and exposures. They appear for the first time in the Dumfries No 4 MS, which is dated about 1710: How many pillars is in your lodge? Three. What are these? Ye square the compass & ye Bible. The three pillars do not appear again in the eleven versions of the catechisms between 1710 and 1730, but the question arises, with a new answer, in Prichard’s Masonry Dissected: What supports a Lodge? Three great Pillars. What are they called? Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Why so?
Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn. Almost identical questions appeared in the Wilkinson MS c1727, and in a whole series of English and European exposures throughout the eighteenth century, invariably with the same answer, “Three. Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn”. But the descriptions of actual lodge furnishings in the early 1700s do not mention any sets of three, and it seems evident that these questions belong to a period long before there was any idea of turning them into actual pieces of furniture in the lodge room. Early lodge inventories are too scarce to enable us to draw definite conclusions from the absence of references to any particular items of lodge furnishings or equipment. While it is fairly certain, therefore, that the early operative lodges were only sparsely furnished, it is evident, from surviving eighteenth-century records that in the 1750s there were already a number of lodges reasonably well equipped.
exposures began to appear, all displaying substantial expansion in the floor work of the ceremonies, and in their speculative interpretation. Three Distinct Knocks appeared in 1760, and J. & B. in 1762, claiming to expose respectively the rituals of the rival Grand Lodges, “Antients” and “Moderns”. Both of them now included several new questions and answers on the “Three great Pillars” agreeing that “they represent…The Master in the East…The Senior Warden in the West…[and] The Junior Warden in the South”, with identical full explanations of their individual duties in those positions. It seems likely that these questions were originally intended only to mark the geographical positions of the pillars, but in that period of speculative development the explanations were almost inevitable. THREE CANDLESTICKS
A set of three pillars was mentioned in the records of the Nelson Lodge in 1757, and the Lodge of Relief, Bury, purchased a set of three pillars, for WM, SW and JW, in 1761. To this day, the ancient Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary’s Chapel), No l, now nearly 400 years old, uses a set of three pillars, each about three feet tall. The Master’s pillar stands on the Altar, almost in the centre of the Lodge; the other two stand on the floor at the right of the SW and JW respectively. (The three principal officers, there, do not have pedestals.)
Apart from Prichard’s note in the 1730s on “large Candles placed on high Candlesticks”, the first evidence of a combination of these two sets of equipment (that I have been able to trace) is in the records of the Lodge of Felicity, No 58, founded in 1737, when the Lodge ordered “Three Candlesticks to be made according to the following orders Viz. 1 Dorrick, 1 Ionick, 1 Corrinthian and of Mahogany…”. In the Lodge inventory for Insurance in 1812 they had multiplied and were listed as “Six Large Candlesticks. Mahogany with brass mountings and nossils, carv’d of the three orders”. In 1739, the Old Dundee Lodge ordered a similar set, still in use today.
Masonry Dissected remained the principal stabilising influence on English ritual until 1760, when a whole new series of English
The connection is perhaps not immediately obvious, but these were the architectural styles associated with the attributes of the 30
three pillars belonging to the Master and Wardens, “Wisdom, Strength and Beauty”. The Masonic symbolism of the three pillars had been explained by Prichard in 1730, and it is almost certain that these two Lodges were putting his words into practical shape when they had their candlesticks made up in those three styles. These two early examples may serve as a pointer to what was happening, but it was not yet general practice, and early evidence of their combined use is scarce. But we can trace the sets of three pillars from their first appearance in the ritual as a purely symbolical question, in which they support the Lodge, and are called “Wisdom, Strength and Beauty”. Later, they represent the three principal Officers, in the East, South, and West. From the time when they were being explained in this fashion, c1730 to 1760, it is fairly safe to assume that they were beginning to appear in the Drawings, Floor-Cloths or Tracing Boards. We know, of course, that they appeared regularly in the later versions, but the general pattern of their evolution seems to indicate that they were almost certainly included in many of the early designs that have not survived. In the 1750s, and the 1760s, we have definite evidence (meagre indeed), that sets of three pillars were already in use as furniture in several lodges, and this adds strong support to the view that they had formerly appeared in the Tracing Boards. When, towards the end of the eighteenth century, the lodge rooms and Masonic Halls were being furnished for frequent or continuous use, the three pillars became a regular part of the furnishings, occasionally in their own right, but more often as the ornamental bases for the three “lesser lights”, thus combining the two separate features into the one so frequently seen today. 31
THE GROWTH SYMBOLISM
The growth in the number of symbols, as illustrated in the French exposures of the 1740s, and in the English versions of the 1760s, deserves some comment. In the Grand Lodge Museum there is a collection of painted metal templates, belonging apparently to several different sets. There are pillars with globes, a set of two small pillars without globes, and a separate set of three pillars. There is also a set of templates of “Chapiters and Globes”, i.e., headpieces only, clearly designed for adding the globes on to normal flat-topped pillars. All these, with many other symbols, were used in drawing the “designs” on the floor of the lodge. As early as 1737, when the “floor-drawing” showed only “steps” and two pillars, it was a part of the Master’s duty to explain the “designs” to the candidate, immediately after he had taken the obligation. There appears to have been no set ritual for this purpose, and the explanations were doubtless given impromptu. From 1742 onwards there is substantial evidence that the number of symbols had vastly increased, and this would seem to indicate a real expansion in the “explanations”, The Hernult Letter, 1737. See translation in Leics. L. of Research Reprints. No xiv. Le Carechisme des Francs-rnatons, 1742. and L’Ordre des Francs-masons Trahi, 1745, and in the Frontispiece of a whole stream of English exposures that began to make their appearance from 1762 onwards. All three texts are reproduced in English translation in The Early French Exposures, Published by the Quatuor Coronati Lodge. No 2076.
implying some sort of dissertation akin to the later “Lectures on the Tracing Boards”. Many of these old symbols, which appear frequently on the later eighteenth-century Tracing Boards and in contemporary engravings, etc, have now disappeared from our modern workings, among them the Trowel, Beehive, the Hour-glass, etc, and it is interesting to notice that in the USA, where much of our late eighteenth-century ritual has been preserved, these symbols, with many others, appear regularly on the Tracing Boards. In this brief essay, I have confined myself only to a few symbolised items’ of our present-day furnishings whose origins are liable to be clouded because of standardisation, but there is a whole world of interest to be found in the remaining symbology of the Craft. Extracts from the modern Lecture on the First Tracing Board: Our Lodges are supported by three great pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, but as we have no noble orders in architecture known by the names of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, we refer them to the three most celebrated, which are, the Ionic, Doric and Corinthian. Written By Harry Carr and sourced from the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, UGLE vol lxiv (1962), available on the internet.
WHAT IS A MASON? WHAT is a Mason? Is it he That works with steel and stone, Till cities great, in pride and state, O'er all the land have grown ; And, on each tide proud navies ride Triumphant o'er the stormy sea? Ah! no, that's part of his great Art, But that alone, we will not own To be the noblest Masonry. What is a Mason ? Was it he Who built the wondrous pile That silent stands, amid the sands, Beside the mystic Nile; Or temples grand, in Syrian land, Upreared in might and majesty? Ah I no, they're part of his great Art, But these alone, we will not own To be the noblest Masonry. What is a Mason? Was it he Who ancient Greece and Rome In grandeur rare and beauty fair Adorned with tower and dome, And cradled there, with loving care, Proud Science and Philosophy ? Ah ! no ; they're part of his great Art, But these alone, we will not own To be the noblest Masonry. What is a Mason? It is he Who builds upon the Square, Whose heart beats true to God and you And all that's good and fair, Who builds, as can, to Heaven's plan The Temple of Humanity. O ! that's the heart of his great Art, And this alone, we proudly own To be the noblest Masonry. What is a Mason was written by Bro. A.S. MacBride PM, and sourced from his book, “Speculative Masonry.”
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The Third Degree The Trowel The Trowel teaches that nothing can be united without proper cement, and that the perfection of the building depends on the suitable disposition of the cement. So Charity, the bond of perfection and social union, must unite separate minds and interests that, like the radii of a circle which extend from the centre to every part of the circumference, the principle of universal benevolence may be diffused to every member of the community. As it is used by the operative brother to spread the cement which unites a building into one common mass, so the Freemason uses it emblematically for the noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection ; that cement which unites the members of the Fraternity into one sacred band or society of Brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist. The Ark The Ark is an emblem of safety and of the trust of Freemasons in the Great Architect of the Universe — that God who guided the Ark to safety and saved the human race from utter destruction. As he did not for- sake Noah in the days of the world’s darkness, neither will he desert those who put their trust in him. The Anchor The Anchor is the emblem of a well- grounded hope in immortality, when the frail barque of man, having safely steered through the troubled waters of this life, will be moored at last to that shore where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
This monthly feature is taken from William Harvey’s book, “The Emblems of Freemasonry” 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 33
The Monthly Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.