Volume 13 Issue 4 No. 102 April 2017
Cover Story, Marshal Ney A Study of the Winding Staircase. Did You Know? The St. John’s Operative Lodge No. 347. Grand Order of Water Rats What Has Masonry Done For Me? Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Freemasonry and King Solomon’s Temple in the early 1700’s Acacia leaves and Easter lilies Shibboleth Mauls and Gavels Jewish Lodges The Emblems of Freemasonry Main Website – The Symbols of the Entered Apprentice Degree
In this issue: Cover Story ‘Marshall Ney’ A Famous Freemason, Field Marshal Michel Ney, convicted of high treason against the French state and its Bourbon king, Louis XVIII faced a firing squad in 1815 and was executed, or was he? Page 8, ‘A Study of the Winding Staircase.’ The central feature in the Second Degree. Page 10, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 12, ‘The St. John’s Operative Lodge No. 347.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 14, ‘Grand Order of Water Rats’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 15, ‘What has Masonry Done for Me?’ Page 18, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Our Strength” Page 19, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Odd”, fifty-ninth in the series. Page 21, ‘Freemasonry and King Solomon’s Temple.’ Page 22, ‘Acacia leaves and Easter lilies.’ Easter – The Festival of Memory and hope. Page 25, ‘Shibboleth.’ More than just a word! Page 26, ‘Mauls and Gavels Page 27, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 30, ‘The Kirkwall Scroll – Part 4. Page 33, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Symbols of the Entered Apprentice Degree. [link] 1
The front cover artwork is a stock portrait of Marshal Ney..
strides down a sidewalk lined with soldiers.
The command is given, “Present arms. “ The man returns the salute, walks over to the officer in charge and speaks briefly with him. Major de Saint Bias nods his head, yes. The dark suited man moves to the wall, turns, and faces the two rows of executioners. He takes three paces forward and raises his hand.
“The Bravest of the Brave” It is a cold December day and a mist hangs in the air. Soon the morning peace of the Luxembourg Palace Gardens will be broken by the guns of a military firing squad. Two columns of soldiers enter through the garden gate to take their assigned positions. Their commander, General Victor Rochechouart, looks on. His aide, Colonel Auguste La Rochejacquelein, stands by his side. They watch in silence as the soldiers march to a high wall, turn, and mark off twelve paces. The men are ordered to stand at ease, waiting to complete their assignment; to bring to a finale the illustrious - some would say, infamous career of Field Marshal Michel Ney, convicted of high treason against the French state and its Bourbon king, Louis XVIII. The light rain and an abrupt change in the location of the execution kept visitors to the garden to a minimum, although a number of soldiers watched the proceedings from the iron railing separating the garden from the street. The few civilians out at about 9:00 A.M. on this cold morning no doubt had their curiosity aroused by the soldier’s presence. The civilians cluster in small groups eager to find out what is going on. A priest is spotted kneeling by an empty stretcher. Then, a soldier with a sergeant’s voice commands silence. A man in a dark suit enters the garden from a doorway and
In a low voice Major de Saint Bias gives the orders, “Ready. Aim.” Just then the man in the dark coat commands, “Fire! “bringing his hand down sharply on his chest. Muskets crack loudly. A large cloud of smoke fills the garden. The man falls forward and lays face down, blood spilling onto the cobblestone courtyard of the garden. “They’ve killed Marshal Ney! “a spectator cries out. “Yes, that was Ney, “says another Field Marshal Ney, who once boasted he would personally deliver Napoleon in an iron cage, lay face down, the ground around him stained blood red The soldiers march off quickly without the usual coup de grace - the customary ending to all French military executions. An old soldier in the crowd watches intently. Something is wrong here, he thinks to himself. And, from such close range, why did Marshal Ney fall forward? Surely the force of twelve muskets fired from no more than thirty feet away would have propelled him backward, up against the high wall. Yes, indeed, something is very strange here. Ney’s body is placed on a stretcher and covered, then hurried to a waiting carriage nearby. By now the crowd begins to disperse. Others besides the old soldier begin to ask questions, and rumours 2
begin to circulate. Yet the official report indicates that all twelve rounds found their mark. The King accepts the official report of Ney’s execution, but a growing number of others do not. Ney’s body lay in a hospital all day until about six o’clock the next morning, when it was with much secrecy conveyed to the cemetery. Ney’s wife, thirteen years his junior, and a most beautiful and accomplished woman, loved him with a deathless affection. Yet his wife was not present when the body of her husband was taken there. The mystery which began on December 7, 1815 has puzzled and intrigued professional and amateur historians for more than a century and three quarters. Was Ney executed that morning or was his life saved as the result of Masonic and Rosicrucian brothers who staged the faked execution and helped him escape to the United States aboard the Lagonier? To understand how Ney had become such an enemy to King Louis XVII of France, we must go back two years to the 14th of April, 1814, when Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba, leaving the French Throne open. On May 3, 1814, King Louis, with considerable aid from Britain, returned to France to resume his reign, although he was not well accepted by the French citizenry. His stay was a rather brief one. Within a year, on February 26, 1815, Napoleon set sail from Elba with six ships and volunteers from the Old Guard and a squadron of Polish Lancers of the Guard. He had been allowed to keep this small army on Elba and now used this small army to invade the southeast of France. The garrison at Grenoble fell without a shot being fired as soldiers rallied to Napoleon’s side. His growing 3
strength sent fear into the royal salons of Paris, causing Louis to grow increasingly nervous. Louis had no choice but to rely on Napoleon’s former Field Marshals, inherited by the Crown after Napoleon’s abdication. He could not be certain of their loyalty; however they were the only military leaders of consequence he had available. Ney was summoned and in an audience with the King, made a personal promise to bring Napoleon back in an iron cage. A crucial moment came on March 14th when the two armies met. The two armies stood in silence for what seemed to be an eternity when Napoleon appeared in the front ranks. Upon seeing him the forces under Ney broke ranks, shouting “Vive l’Emperor!” as they rushed to embrace their comrades in the opposing line. Napoleon and Ney met and struck up a conversation in which Napoleon asked his old Field Marshal, “the bravest of the brave to join him”. Ney accepted and the entire force advanced toward Paris. The King fled to Belgium as the army advanced and remained until news of Waterloo and the retreat of the French army reached him some one hundred days later. A “traitors list “of eighty four names was made which included Napoleon’s Generals, Marshals, and others who sided with his cause. At the top of the list was Ney, who had promised to parade Napoleon through the streets of Paris in a cage. A public purge of all Napoleonic influences would be needed to keep at bay the various German Confederation states, Austria - Hungary, Britain, Spain, and the kingdoms of Italy and Naples. The Chamber of Peers found Ney guilty of treason and sentenced him to be executed
by firing squad on December 7, 1815. During his trial, Ney refused an opportunity to go free as his birthplace had come under Prussian rule, and he could have claimed the protection of international law. Instead, he rose to his feet and declared “Yes, I am French - I will die French”. Word spread quickly throughout Paris that Marshal Ney was to be shot. In a last minute effort to publicly save Ney’s life, the Duke of Wellington decided to interrupt the King’s dinner party at the palace on Saturday, December 2. The only talk that evening was about the pending execution of Marshal Ney. Ultra royalists were loud in commendation of Ney’s death sentence for treason. Amidst the revelry, a carriage carrying the Duke of Wellington pulled up to the palace. He soon entered the palace with an aide and bullied his way past several guards. The King turned his back to Wellington and began speaking to several guests. After a conversation with Comte d’Artois regarding the release of Ney, Wellington left the palace in a rage. There are those who believe that Wellington tried to intervene to prevent a riot between Ultra loyalists and Republicans as word spread of Ney’s fate. There is evidence that Madame Ney reached out to Wellington for help prior to the court-martial, trial, and execution. This comes from a report by Corlyer Farrington, dated September 1920, from a Masonic Lodge in San Francisco. Did Wellington respond to this appeal? In his book, “Marshal Ney : a Dual Life”, Legette Blythe states that Wellington had intervened, his being a Freemason, a member of a lodge in County Meath in Ireland. Dr. Edward J. Smoot, author of “Marshal Ney, before and After
Execution”, states “I believe that Wellington saved Ney’s life, and in all probability, did not wish to intervene publicly. A mock execution would serve his purposes, everything considered, and Ney at the same time, would be sufficiently punished.” King Louis decided to send the man he trusted most, Charles Talleyrand-Perigord, to Vienna for the peace conference, while at home the arrests and trials began in earnest. Talleyrand served as an ambassador and as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He helped form the provisional government but by late 1815 was forced to resign due to the hostility of the Bourbon nobility. Talleyrand was a Freemason, a member of Nine Sisters Lodge in Paris, the same lodge as many of Napoleon’s Generals, including Marshal Ney. Talleyrand and Wellington had met on many occasions and were cordial friends. Talleyrand had much to do before heading to Vienna. Growing concern for Napoleon’s officers and their families prompted a secret mission while he visited England to secure cordial relations between the two former enemies. Talleyrand did all he could to secure cooperation in the escape and subsequent safe passage for French officers to Quebec, Britain’s French - speaking province in North America. He was unsuccessful as George IV refused any official participation in such a plan. Another way would have to be found to save Marshal Ney and the others. Within a few days of returning to France from Britain, Talleyrand boarded a ship for America. While in Philadelphia he visited the grave of Benjamin Franklin to pay his respects. The time had finally come for 4
repayment of a debt involving Franklin’s fellow Masons of St. John’s Lodge in Philadelphia. During Franklin’s nine year stay in France, as the first U.S. ambassador to France, and became very popular with the French people. He was active in Nine Sisters Lodge, where arrangements had been worked out in private for military assistance during the War of Independence. The Masonic kindness experienced by Franklin many years before would now be reciprocated in Philadelphia. And so, with the assistance of St. John’s Lodge members, numerous French military officers would be helped to enter the United States at Baltimore and Philadelphia. Then they would disappear into the countryside, most likely in the French - speaking areas of South Carolina and Louisiana. In January, 1816, a man who gave his name as Peter Stuart Ney landed at Charleston, South Carolina. Some French refugees reported that they saw Peter Stuart Ney at Georgetown in 1819 and recognized him as Marshal Ney. As soon as Ney heard this he left Georgetown. He taught school in Brownsville, South Carolina in 1821. He then went to Mocksville, North Carolina and taught there and in other North Carolina towns including Hillsborough, Salisbury, and Third Creek until 1828.
would show young officers how to use a sword and would drill and run through maneuvers with them in a way far superior to their own officers. On a particular day at the green, Ney took an officer’s sword and made mention that a good sword should bend double. Upon attempting this with the sword, he broke it, which enraged the officer so, he wanted to fight. Ney picked up a large stick and declared “You find another sword and I’ll use this stick to teach you a lesson in manners.” The officer declined Ney’s invitation. There are a number of stories that can be recounted concerning Ney as he taught in the Iredell, Rowan, and Davie County areas. Some of these have spurred the legend of Peter Stuart Ney as Marshal Ney of France, and I will proceed to recount a few of them.
Peter Stuart Ney’s decision to settle in rural North Carolina suggests he may have been looking for a low profile existence in America. He eventually made his way into Virginia where he taught at Abbeyville, in Mechlenburg County.
A man named William Sidney Stevenson of Statesville, North Carolina knew Peter Stuart Ney and in 1840 attended a political meeting in Rowe’s Township, about nine miles from Statesville. Mr. Stevenson was in the company of Frederick Barr, a German who had served for years under Ney, when Peter Stuart Ney and Col. Thomas Allison walked past them on the opposite side of the road. Barr exclaimed “Why, there is Marshal Ney. They told me he was shot; but he was not. Yonder he is. I know him, for I fought for him off and on for six years in Napoleon’s wars.” A short time after the political meeting, Barr moved to Indiana.
While he was in the Third Creek area, he was a frequent visitor to the large parklike yard of the church where he would watch the local militiamen drill. On occasion, he
A fencing master came to the Third Creek area and Ney’s students asked their teacher to joust a bit with the fencing master. Though several years his senior, Ney
disarmed the master, who left telling the students they already had a master. His body was covered with scars which were said to be of such magnitude that they had a ghastly effect on those who saw them. They appeared to be old wounds from gunshots and shrapnel. Ney had a habit of drinking a bit too much from time to time, and when under the influence, he would declare that he indeed was Marshal Ney of France. He made claims that he could cut off a man’s head with a single blow of his sword and that his steed was trained to run to the cannon’s mouth. Rev. R.A. Wood of Statesville 1840: “Ney had but one vice, occasionally drinking to excess, but his general conduct was so pure, when sober or drunk, and was always absolutely consistent When Ney taught school, his habit was to arrive early at the schoolhouse so he could spend some time alone reading the newspaper. One morning in 1821, his placid existence suffered an abrupt interruption. On that morning, after noticing a shocking front page story, Ney passed out and was discovered by students arriving for school. They aroused him, and still in a state of shock, he cancelled classes for the day. John Rogers, one of Ney’s students, and a member of the family with which he was living in Florence, S.C., gave him a ride home and while riding along the country road, Ney told him the news; the Emperor Napoleon was dead. He had died on May 5, 1821 on the island of St. Helena. Ney attempted suicide that evening by slitting his own throat. He was discovered by family members of the home in which
he boarded and attended by a local physician, he recovered. After his strength returned, he spoke about the incident to John Rogers and told him he had hopes of returning to France, but those hopes were shattered now that Napoleon was gone. The St. Louis Republic of 1891 gives a bit of interesting information. It states that during the reign of King Louis Philippe, Mr. George Melody, of St. Louis, spent several weeks in Paris. Some years before this the King had been entertained by Mr. Melody in St. Louis. Melody asked the King about whether Ney had been executed. The King replied that he was among the most recognized Freemasons in Europe and that Melody was as well known in Freemasonry in America, and that Ney held a position in Masonry as high as either of them, - another man may have filled the grave intended for Ney. Rev. Basil Jones of South Carolina said that Ney told him he fell by concerted arrangement, the Ancient Fraternity aiding in his escape. A bladder of red dye was smuggled into his cell as he awaited execution and was broken against his chest as he brought down his right hand with the order “fire!” The muskets were loaded with blanks, and Ney fell forward as they fired. According to C.W. Allison, author of “Ney, The Great French Soldier”, Ney was an active Rosicrucian and during his time in France used his own funds and those of acquaintances for the building of a Rosicrucian Temple and Lodge room in Paris. Since there were a number of Rosicrucians, not only in Napoleon’s army, but on both sides, and in many parts of France, descending from the ancient order of Rosicrucians and Knights of the Temple (not the modern Knights of the Temple) we 6
may understand how it came to be that Ney perhaps was not executed on December 7, 1815, as generally recorded. According to Mr. Allison, Peter Stuart Ney made a number of visits to the Rosicrucian headquarters in Fairmont Park, Pennsylvania, and later at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, ruins of which buildings still remained in 1946 when Allison authored his book. Ney lived and taught in several communities where Masonic Lodges were located. To date, we have found no record of Peter Stuart Ney attending any of these Lodges. We know he enjoyed the company of Masons in the Statesville, Mocksville, and Salisbury areas, but as yet, we have no record of his being an active Freemason while in the United States. On his deathbed, the 77 year old Ney was asked by his doctor if he was indeed the French general whom Napoleon called “the bravest of the brave.” He raised himself on one elbow and declared: “By all that is holy, I am Marshal Ney of France!” For over a century and a half, scholars, residents, and visitors have made their way to his grave at Third Creek Presbyterian Church near Cleveland, North Carolina. The real Marshall Ney, the sceptics maintain, is buried in Paris. His tomb is in the Pere La Chaise Cemetery, as is the statue of Ney in Montparnesse that American Author Ernest Hemingway wrote about in “The Sun Also Rises.” If Ney really wanted to disappear into the countryside, why didn’t he change his last name? Perhaps he wanted to hold onto a bit of his past life, evidenced by his confessions to acquaintances that hewas indeed Marshal Ney and that he had little 7
to fear here in the United States. Raymond Horricks, author of “In Flight with the Eagle”, noted that one of Ney’s sons challenged Wellington to a duel for not assisting his Father to escape. The duel never took place. Horricks wonders why Wellington did not intervene - or did he? I don’t think we’ll ever know the truth about Peter Stuart Ney. Perhaps his story is a legend and nothing more. Nonetheless, it is a fascinating story that somehow seems all the more believable to Masons. We have all heard countless stories of selfless acts of courage and compassion that have occurred between members of our craft, particularly during times of upheaval and war. Legend or not, believers from all over the world travel to the rural graveyard off a winding country road in Rowan County, North Carolina to get a glimpse of Ney’s tomb. A small French flag flies at the head of the grave. The inscription on the tomb does nothing to diminish the legend: “In memory of Peter Stuart Ney, a native of France and soldier of the French Revolution under Napoleon Bonaparte, who departed this life November 15, 1846, aged 77 years.”
This article was written by Thomas W. Gregory. Thomas W. Gregory served as Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina in 1998. He is a member of Statesville Lodge No. 27, Grassy Knob Lodge No. 471, Traphill Lodge No. 483, Wilkerson College Lodge No. 760 and Civil War Lodge of Research No. 1865 (Grand Lodge of Virginia). Statesville Lodge No. 27, Statesville, NC Sources. Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois The article was originally called PETER STUART NEY - FREEMASON, MARSHAL OF NAPOLEON?
A STUDY OF THE WINDING STAIRCASE In the ritual of the modem day Masonic Degrees, the building of King Solomon's Temple plays an important role. It has also fascinated the Biblical scholar and the archaeologist in their attempts to prove the existence of the Temple and the Bible story of King Solomon. All through history this subject has produced an air of mystery which seems to defy a positive solution. The Masonic scholar, willing to spend the time and effort, can spend hours of research on almost any one of the many features of King Solomon's Temple and still end on a note of mystery admitting that the subject is incomplete and more research is needed. An example to illustrate this point is the reference in the Second Degree which refers to the winding staircase, which we are led to believe existed in King Solomon's Temple. Although there is but one reference to the winding staircase in Masonic ritual, it has been made the central feature of the Second Degree which every Fellowcraft Mason must symbolically ascend in order to make his advancement in the degree. As all Masons will recall, the reference is made "to advance through a porch, by a flight of winding stairs to the middle chamber, there to receive his wages." The details very clearly give a winding staircase leading from the porch way entrance up through the Temple Sanctuary to the upper floors. This reference contains a number of specific and positive statements which we are apparently asked
to accept as facts. They are (1) that there was a winding staircase in King Solomon's Temple; 2) that it was approached through an entrance from the porch way; and (3) that the workmen on the building ascended these stairs to receive their wages in the middle chamber. The serious researcher will find that writers of the Charges and ritual of the craft were apparently more interested in the dramatic effect on the candidate than they were on historical accuracy. Biblical scholars and archaeologists differ widely as to the interpretation placed both on historical and the archaeological evidence dealing with King Solomon's Temple and in particular, with the passages dealing with the staircase, but it's fairly safe to say that neither the Biblical scholar nor the archaeologists would support the specific statements made in the Masonic ritual of the Second Degree. As of today, the only historical evidence relative to the building of Solomon's Temple is found in three different books of the Old Testament and in the writings of Josephus. Of these writings, it is generally accepted that the version in the First Book of Kings is both the oldest and most reliable description we have of the Temple. Our interest here is the mention of the winding staircase. The passages relevant to the winding staircase are found in Chapter 6 of the Authorized Version, which is probably the one used by the ritualists who composed the Lecture on the Second Degree. First Kings, Chapter 6, Verse 1: "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the . children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zip, which is the second 8
month that he began to build the house of the Lord." Verse 5: "And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle; and he made chambers round about. " Verse 7: "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." but gives no supporting evidenced to the meaning. The second difficulty from the Hebrew text comes from the original word "Tichonah" translated as "middle" in our phrase from Kings, Verse 8, "the door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house." The meaning of the word "Tichonah" is uncertain, but most modern translators refer to it as the "lowest-' instead of "middle." This seems to make more sense. Dr. James Moffat in his translation of the Bible in 1924 entitled "A New Translation of the Bible" translated Verse 8 in Kings this way: "The entrance into the lower side rooms was on the south side of the Temple; you climbed to the middle row, and from the middle to the top row, through trap doors." In 1965, another translation came out in an English Edition of the "Jewish Bible" with Verse 8: "The entrance to the lower story was at the right hand corner of the Temple and access to the middle story above was by trap doors and so from the middle story to the third." There is no reference to winding stairs. If the Temple had a winding staircase, as a few scholars still think, it was probably in the side walls and served the side chambers built into the 9
thickness of the walls from the first and second levels. These side chambers were used while the Temple was being built for the purpose of paying the workmen their wages. Later, they were used as storehouses or treasury rooms of the Temple into which the treasures and gifts to the Temple were placed. As mentioned at the beginning of this paper, the other source of information about King Solomon's Temple is in the writings of Josephus, a Jewish historian. He mentions Solomon's Temple in several of his works, but the main references are in his history of the Jewish people called "The Antiquities of the Jews." One relevant passage quoted from Wriston's translation, Book VIII, Chapter 3: "The King also had a fine contrivance for an ascent to the upper room over the Temple, and that was by steps in the thickness of its wall; for it had no large door on the east end, as the lower house had, but the entrances were by the sides, through very small doors." Apart from Josephus and the Bible, we have no other literary source to turn to for information. Unfortunately, there is no evidence in Jerusalem to which we might gain a knowledge of this subject, for successive conquerors made a thorough job of the destruction of the Temple and not one part remains standing and nothing has been uncovered by archaeologists. Regardless of whether there was a winding staircase, a trap-door or just an opening to the different compartments of the Temple, the mystery still remains, and will continue to fascinate both the biblical scholar and the archaeologist and be of particular interest to the Freemason. Acknowledgment; Article by Homer L. Zumwalt. Taken from the 1989 Transactions of the Illinois Lodge of Research.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: The Lecture on the Second Tracing Board states that `... the F.C.s received their wages in the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's Temple'. Later, we are told that it contained `certain Hebrew characters', from which we may assume that the Chamber must have been completed. If the men to be paid were actually engaged on the building of the Temple, where were they paid while the room was being built, or before the work had begun on that portion of the building? Answer: I appreciate the questioner's difficulty, but it is impossible to provide a satisfactory factual answer to a question that arises from the statements made in a legend. The description of the Middle Chamber in 1 Kings VI, verse 8, is not at all clear and, wherever F.C.s were paid when that room was built, they were paid elsewhere before that time, but the Old Testament affords no information on this point. There are, however, several other interesting problems that arise out of the Lecture on the Second T.B. We all accept that Solomon built the Temple and, as already indicated, the Biblical accounts in Kings and Chronicles are so complicated that they furnish endless difficulties in themselves. To make matters worse, the compilers of the ritual overlaid and embroidered the original story with masses of invented detail. No doubt they meant well; they were simply trying to arrange various items of ritual and procedure against a Biblical background, creating a
kind of Masonic allegory: but allegory, in this case, is a very polite euphemism. To understand how much embroidery was added, one needs to compare the relevant details in the Lecture on the Second Tracing Board with the story as given in 1 Kings, chapters V to VII, and II Chronicles, chapters II to IV. In fairness to the later expounders and embellishers who were certainly responsible for some of the subsequent 'improvements', the prime culprit in this case was Samuel Prichard, Who published in his Masonry Dissected, 1730, the first exposure of a three degree system, which contained the earliest known version of the Fellow Craft's Degree in that system. (E.M.C., pp. 165-7.) The F.C. `ceremony' is presented in the course of some thirtythree Questions and Answers, which probably represent the essentials of the ritual of their day, but without any details of `floorwork' or procedure. The brief synopsis that follows will suffice to show that, despite numerous changes in the intervening years, it is the direct source of much of the Middle Chamber material in use today. In the course of his answers the Candidate (in 1730) said that he was made F.C. `For the sake of the Letter G' which means `Geometry, or the fifth Science'. He travelled `East and West' and worked `in the Building of the Temple'. There, `he received his Wages . . .' in the middle Chamber. He came there `By a winding Pair of Stairs, Seven or more'. When he `came to the Door of the middle Chamber . . . he saw a Warden' who demanded `Three Things' . . . i.e., `Sign, Token and a Word'. [Described in detail.] When he `came into the middle' [of the middle Chamber?] he saw the `Resemblance of the Letter G' which denotes `The Grand Architect and 10
Contriver of the Universe, or He that was taken up to the top of the Pinnacle of the Holy Temple' [i.e., Jesus Christ]. It is noteworthy that in this version the letter G had at least two meanings, i.e., Geometry and the Grand Architect . . . of the Universe. We cannot but wonder at the mentality of the ritual compiler who believed that the Middle Chamber in Solomon's Temple could have contained a symbolic reference to Christ, several hundred years B.C. Unfortunately there are no means of ascertaining where Prichard obtained his material, or whether he wrote some of it himself. The study of Prichard's catechism also reveals some confusion arising from a series of questions which embody two completely separate themes: (a) The making or passing of a F.C., with the symbolism of the G for Geometry, which was its earliest meaning. (b) The legendary place of the F.C. in the construction of the Temple, i.e., work, wages, and admission to the Middle Chamber. The following Q. and A. are all from Prichard's second degree, but they are tabulated to show the line of argument as to the two themes: The `PASSING' theme Q. Why was you made a Fellowcraft? A. For the sake of the Letter G. Q. What does that G denote? A. Geometry, or the fifth Science. The `WORK-WAGES' symbolical theme Q. Did you ever work? A. Yes, in the building of the Temple Q. Where did you receive your wages?
A. In the Middle Chamber Q. When you came into the middle, what did you see? A. The resemblance of the letter G. Q. Who doth that G denote? A. The Grand Architect and Contriver of the Universe, or He that was taken up to the ... Pinnacle.
The Q. and A. in the work-wages theme may be taken as the beginnings of Speculative expansion on the beauty and meaning of the Temple; here are the various `strands' of the material which ultimately became the Lecture on the Second T.B. None of our early documents made any attempt to separate the two themes. The `G' for Geometry disappeared from modern workings. Within the Middle Chamber (in English practice) it became the four letters of the Tetragrammaton, J.H.V.H., or their Hebrew equivalents and nowadays we have two Wardens on guard at the Winding Stairs, with two tests, instead of only one Warden and one test, as in Prichard's day. One further example of the zeal with which our ritual compilers embellished their materials may be taken from William Preston's `Second Lecture of Free Masonry': Where did our Brn. go to receive their wages? The E.A. in the Outer Chamber, the F.C. in the Middle Chamber, the Master in the Inner Chamber of the Temple.
The outer and inner chambers were mercifully abandoned toward the end of the 18th century; Browne, in his Master Key, 1802, retained only the middle one. So, we are able to see how the ritual grows. The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
The St. John's Operative Lodge No. 347 The first minute book of the lodge is dated on St. John’s Day, 27th December, 1755 when the lodge met as ‘Rutherglen Kilwinning Lodge’. The first Master was Patrick Fife and it was written into the minute book that the lodge “be regularly convened and opened on every St. John’s day yearly and thereafter quarterly”. The minutes of meetings were very brief in those days and records only that a meeting was held and names of those attending. It is noted that the master was titled the ‘Grand Master of the Lodge’ and not the Right Worshipful Master as is the title today. Around the time of 1781 the lodge was know as ‘The Lodge of Rutherglen Free Operatives’ and the minute of March 23rd records that the lodge ”gave out a Mark” although it doesn’t state who the Mark was given to. The Master of 1782, William Park called a meeting of the Lodge but then didn’t turn up at this meeting so the Brethren fined him “two Shillings Sterling.” which was a considerable amount of money in those days, also a brother who didn’t attend the annual St. John’s meeting was fined for “having no lawful excuse why he did not attend”, just as well that we don’t carry out this practice today on all office bearers!! The minutes start to give more information and on 5th December 1794 the minute records that a Brother Robert Rodger
having been advance in Masonry was raised to the degree of Master although the minutes still only gave 5 or 6 lines of information. The name of the Lodge appears to change on 27th December 1826 when the minutes states that ‘The Lodge of Rutherglen Free Operatives St. John’ met to celebrate the life of St. John the Evangelist but by 19th January 1827 the name has changed slightly to ‘The Rutherglen Free Operative St. John’s Lodge’ and this minute shows the title of the master to be the R.W. Master. Later that year on 30 March the lodge was honoured by a large deputation from ‘The Rutherglen Royal Arch Lodge in their clothing’ and these visits are still an annual event to this day. By the time the lodge received it’s charter on 30th November 1846 the name appears as’ The Rutherglen St. John’s Operative Lodge’ with Bother James Croft as R.W.M. and met in the Council Hall in the burgh. The first record of the lodge being known as ‘The St. John’s Operative Lodge Rutherglen’ was in the minute of 16th July 1847. On 9 April 1851 the lodge met with the brethren of The Rutherglen Royal Arch Lodge at ten o’clock in the morning and walked in procession from the town hall to the Cathedral of Glasgow where they met with other sister lodges where they heard an excellent sermon preached by the Rev. John Leckie after which His Grace the Duke of Atholl, Grand Master Mason, laid the foundation stone of the Stockwell Bridge with all Masonic Honours. The brethren travelled by train to Stirling on 24 June 1861 to assist in the laying of the foundation stone of the Wallace Monument at Abbey grange and also in July 1862 the lodge met with sister lodges to walk in 12
procession to the United Presbyterian Church in Rutherglen where the Rev. William Beckit delivered a suitable sermon before the lodges attended the laying of the foundation stone of Rutherglen Town Hall by Bro. Sir Archibald Alison, Depute Grand Master of Scotland. A ceremonial dagger was presented to the lodge by Brother George McCall in September 1868 that is still used in Entered Apprentice degrees today. In August 1874 the brethren and ladies of Lodge St. Barchan No. 156 joined with our members and ladies for refreshments then walked to Burnside for their annual outing. The first hall dedicated for the use of Freemasonry by our lodge had the Foundation stone laid in Cathcart Street on 6 March 1875 when approximately 800 members representing 28 lodges plus Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge were present. The Temple was consecrated in November 1875 by Bro. Colonel A. Campbell, Provincial Grand Master. The first lodge meetings to be advertised were in the Glasgow Evening News in 1894. The first recorded Divine Service took place in Wardlawhill Parish Church on 14 June 1903 when over two hundred brethren joined the congregation for worship and in 1912 four hundred attended a joint Divine Service.The Lodge donated £30 towards the building of the new Grand Lodge Hall in Edinburgh in 1910.During the first World War the average attendance was 110 per meeting with 30 meetings per year and 150 candidates. A number of brethren were killed during WW1 including 2 PM’s and the IPM was hospitalised in Egypt and later killed in action in France.At the outbreak of World War two the Lodge Temple was taken over by HM forces and we met in the WP 13
church hall then in the ‘Rechabite Hall’. Bro. Rev. P. Hamilton was among many brethren who were killed in action during WW2. Our contribution to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire East was started by Bro. William Brough P.M. who was our first member to reach Provincial Grand Senior Warden followed by Bro. William Scott P.M. as PGSW in 1929, Bro. G. Hollinger in 1961 and Bro. D. McLelland was the last brother to serve as PGSW. Bro. J. Ian Duncan was commissioned as Provincial Grand Secretary by Bro. Frank Johnstone PGM. In 1936 it was agreed to provide the PGL deputation with a steak pie meal, cigarettes, twenty five cigars and liquor – the bill of which not to exceed £2. Brother George Munn P.M. presented the Past Masters board to the lodge on 14 September 1945 to mark the end of WW2. A coat of Arms was designed and approved by Lord Lyon to mark our centenary in 1946. The centenary installation was held in Rutherglen town hall and a church service the following day in Stonelaw Church. Bros. J. Steel and R, Brown received Honorary rank of Grand Lodge Bible Bearer. Bro. John Morrison P.M. Honorary Grand Architect in 1965. Bro. W.A.C. McInnes received Honorary Grand Director of Ceremonies in 1990 and Bro. J. Ian Duncan received Honorary Grand Assistant Secretary in 2002. The present Temple in Melrose Avenue was opened in 1971 and Bro. John Hunter was the first master to be installed in these premises. The lodge premises have been upgraded on many occasions and is in regular use. This History of Lodge 347 was sourced from their website, which can be viewed by clicking here. Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 347 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History. © St. John's Operative Lodge No. 347
Fraternal Societies Of the World â€˜The Grand Order of Water Ratsâ€™ The Grand Order of Water Rats is an exclusive British entertainment industry Fraternity and charitable organisation, based in London. Founded in 1889 by the music hall comedians Joe Elvin and Jack Lotto, the order is known for its highprofile membership and benevolent works (primarily within the performing industries). In 1889, two British music hall performers, Joe Elvin and Jack Lotto, owned a trotting pony called the Magpie. As the pony was a regular race winner, its owners decided that they would use the profits to help performers who were less fortunate than themselves. One day, as Elvin was driving the pony back to its stables in the pouring rain, a passing bus driver called out, "Wot yer got there, mate?" "Our trotting pony!" replied Elvin. Observing the bedraggled, soaked condition of the pony, the driver shouted back, "Trotting pony? Looks more like a bleedin' water rat!" (a type of vole). As Rats spelled backwards is Star, and vole is an anagram of love, the name was deemed appropriate for the Order's agenda of Brotherly Love. (Motto: Philanthropy, conviviality and social intercourse.) The charity raises money by organising shows, lunches, dinners and other events. The objects of the charity are "to assist
members of the theatrical profession, or their dependents, who, due to illness or old age are in need." When possible additional funds raised go to a diverse range of charities and good causes including hospitals, health charities and benevolent funds. A member of the public can become a Friend of the Water Rats. The Water Rats originally held meetings in Sunbury-on-Thames in a public house now called 'The Magpie'. Their headquarters is now at the Water Rats pub in Grays Inn Road in King's Cross, London. Membership is limited to 180 long-serving male members of the entertainment industry plus 20 Companion Rats. Some Water Rats are household names but many are not, but all must be respected and trusted by their peers. Joining the Order is an exclusive and complicated process that involves finding a proposer and seconder within the Order, consideration by the Order's Grand Council and finally a vote which needs a large majority for success. The present King Rat (2013) is keyboard player and composer Rick Wakeman. Current members include Kev Orkian, Derek Martin, Con and Dec Cluskey of The Bachelors, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lionel Blair, Tom O'Connor, Frank Bruno, Frazer Hines, Barry Cryer, Billy Murray, Brian May, Nicholas Parsons, Roy Hudd, Ken Dodd, Andre Vincent, Joe Pasquale, Jimmy Perry, Andrew Van Buren, Richard Joy, Ian Lavender, Kaplan Kaye and Jess Conrad. Past members include Bob Holness, Frank Carson, Max Bygraves, Charlie Chaplin, Peter Lorre, Peter Sellers, Don Smoothey, Jon Pertwee, Danny Kaye, Davy Kaye, Laurel and Hardy, Maurice Chevalier, Bob Hope, Will Hay, Frankie Vaughan, 14
Tommy Cooper, Ted Ray, Les Dawson, George Martin, Sir John Mills, Sir Billy Butlin, David Nixon, Howard Keel, Sir Harry Secombe, Arthur English, Charlie Chester, Arthur Haynes, Derek Dene, Jimmy Wheeler, Bill Pertwee, Sir Norman Wisdom, Paul Daniels and Bert Weedon. The gold Water Rat stick pin worn by members.
What Has Masonry Done For Me? Let each brother who hears the question answer it for himself. But let him answer it carefully and with slow thought; not hastily and carelessly. Most brethren will somewhat as follows:
Members of the order wear a small gold badge shaped as a water rat on the left lapel of their jackets, and if one Water Rat meets another who is not wearing his badge he is fined, with the money going to charity. Magician David Nixon wore his badge while appearing on television, explaining that as current King Rat he could be fined by any other member who saw him on screen without it. There is also a small number of Companion Rats, distinguished men from various fields of business and influence who are not performers but who have achieved recognition for their support and friendship of the Order. These include Bob Potter OBE, Rear Admiral Sir Donald Gosling, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Prince Michael of Kent. These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World, and you can see from their setup, they were mostly all based on Freemasonry.
"Freemasonry has given me sweetness in my life; the sweetness of brotherhood, the feeling of one-ness with my fellows. In its shelter I have made many friends; friends I would not, to could not have made otherwise. I have taken from them that cheery smile, that helpful word, which has made the rough places in the path of life smooth; I have received from them the encouragement, the heartening, the courage, which have made the battle easier to win. "Freemasonry has given me the Mystic Tie; the tie which no man may put into words, yet which binds the closer that it is intangible. Bonds of silk are Freemasonry's chains; yet none of steel could hold as tightly or wear as softly. In the Mystic Tie, which I am privileged to renew about the Holy Altar of my Lodge as often as I will, I find the perfume of life, the lovely colours of the love of man for man, and the gentle touch of a friendly hand, than which there is nothing softer in all existence. "Freemasonry has given me education; it has taught me that there is a greater reward for unselfishness than for self-seeking, that there is a high wage to be earned for good work, true work, square work done for love of the labor and not love of the wage. It has given me the opportunity to know of high aim, of lofty aspiration, of patriotism, of struggle
upward through the mire of discouragement with eyes fixed always on the star; it has given me an inspiration." Many a brother can speak of what Freemasonry has done for him in terms of the practical workaday world; of the note endorsed; the fund given; the trip arranged; the sick visited; the flowers received; the loved ones comforted in grief. But for every man who has had the material help, a thousand have had the spiritual gifts of Freemasonry, and most of us, let us thank God, have not had to ask for, or receive, even the beautiful charity of brotherhood. All of this being so ... and let him who finds it untrue arise now in his place and deny if he can that Masonry has so benefited him ... it is but fair and honest that as true an answer be given to the, "What have I done for Masonry?" There will be some who reply to themselves, :I have served as an officer. I have conferred degrees. I have borne the heat and burden of the day." They are the lucky ones, for they have received the more as they have given the more. But the great majority of us cannot so answer, since there are but few officers in proportion to the number of Craftsmen. So ask again, my brother, you who have never served in an official capacity, "What have I done for the Freemasonry which has done so much for me?" Nay, my brother, you need not be ashamed if the catalogue of your services is short and small. For there must always be those who are but the background; who take without giving; who receive without effort the largess of their brethren who have learned the great lesson that to give is to receive; that to put forth is to have returned, aye, an hundredfold. Yet there will be many who hear the question and answer it to themselves, and are
ashamed; and these will want to know: "What can I do for Freemasonry? I would pay my debt; I would also be in the ranks of those who give, as well as receive." Freemasonry is not a thing; it is not an organization, a system of men and officers; of lodges and Grand Lodges. The organization, the system, the men, the officers, the Grand Lodges are but the vehicle through which Freemasonry expresses itself. A man might be the sole inhabitant of a lonely land, where there was no brother, no lodge, no Grand Lodge, no dues, no Masonic Work to do and yet carry Freemasonry in his heart. And if there were two in that lonely land, Freemasonry could find away to express itself. For Freemasonry is coin of the heart, and therefore can only be paid to the heart. What you can for Freemasonry then is largely what you can do for your own and your brother's heart. It is agreed between us that he who serves the vehicle also serves the spirit of Freemasonry; that the brother who labours on her material Temple, who serves his lodge, who acts upon committees, who provides entertainment, who tiles, sweeps, makes the fire and fills the lamps serves truly and serves well. But when all the physical labour is done there is still much to do; and, when all who may have done the toil there is still a design upon the Trestleboard. Therefore my brother, answer in terms of the heart, not of the muscles, the pocketbook, the voice or the time spent in attending lodge; "What have I done for Freemasonry?" If all of Freemasonry was in the hearts of ten brethren; and ninety- one per cent of it was in one heart, and each of the other nine had but one percent; would the ten be happy, successful and well-paid Freemasons? They would not. But as each one of the nine rose in knowledge and in the practice of Freemasonry, he would benefit not only
himself but all rest as well. And when all ten knew all and practiced all of the gentle arts of Freemasonry, surely those ten would make a happy lodge! This homely little illustration is intended to bring home to him who hears it with the ears of his mind, the fact that Freemasonry is better, as each of us who profess it, practices it. No man may make of "Himself" a better Freemason and not benefit his brethren. So to him who asks in all humility, "I have not done much, show me how I may do more," the is answer, "First, by making yourself a better Freemason." To be "a better Freemason" means, first of all, to know something about Freemasonry. There will be those who hear this message who know a great deal of Freemasonry. Let them answer for themselves, if they think they know enough! But the great majority of us are content to know that there is a wonderful story to be read "Sometime." Who would truly be able to do something for Freemasonry if they will make that time "Now." Where did Freemasonry come from? How did it come to a weary world? What has been its history? What are its accomplishments? What has it done to justify itself? What are its laws, its Old Charges, its Landmarks? What did Freemasonry do in the making of this government of ours? What had Freemasonry to do with the Stars and Stripes, and the white stars in the heaven blue? What do the symbols of Freemasonry teach? Why do we have three degrees, and how did they come to be? How was the Word Lost, and will That Which Was Lost ever be found? Answer, you who ask, "What shall I do for Freemasonry," and if you cannot, then inform yourself so that Masonry may have one more recruit who knows something of her glorious history, her purpose and her mysteries.
But it is not enough to know something of Freemasonry. Those who would really help Freemasonry must not only know it, but "Live" it. Ask yourself once more, my brother, and answer, though only you will hear it: "What do I do everyday that is Masonic; how do I use my Freemasonry in my daily life?" For there is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of Freemasonry; the most wonderful of philosophies, the most Divine of truths, the most sublime of conceptions, the most learned of teachings which are as ineffective as a summer shower to quell a raging fire, "If They Not Be Lived!" All of us are human, and all of us, therefore struggle against the same enemies. All of us have within us a Something to subdue as well as a Something which subdues. As Freemasons we are taught that we came here to subdue our passions and improve ourselves in Masonry; we accomplish the former only as we succeed in the latter. "Passions," my brother, does not mean merely anger or lust. The passion of selfishness, the passion of self interest, the passion of avarice, of deceit, of neighbourliness, of cruelty, of carelessness; these, as well as all the other enemies against which man's spirit struggles are to be subdued and conquered; the more easily as we bring the fighting ranks of Freemasonry's militant teachings to engage them. This is not intended as preaching, my brother; this is but a humble attempt to answer the question you are to ask yourself, as to how may you help Freemasonry. You may help her by helping yourself; by helping your family, by helping your neighbour and your friends; and all these you may do by making Freemasonry the rule and guide of your daily life just as you make the Book upon the Altar the Rule and Guide of your Faith and Life.
It is not enough merely to be honest. A Freemason's honesty is never questioned. Like the sunshine it is to be taken for granted. It is not enough to be just. Justice is a conception of man. Mercy is God, and Freemasonry teaches it. It is not enough to have friends. A good Freemason must be a better friend than he ever expects any man to do to him. For it is written, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." There is room for Freemasonry in every business deal, in every act of every day. There is a place for Freemasonry's smile in every greeting and in every kiss. There is a chance for Freemasonry's gentle heart in every touch of hand to a child, or word spoken to the weak and helpless. There is a blessing of Freemasonry to be given to the ill and unfortunate, and a benediction of Freemasonry to be offered the sinful and the erring. Freemasonry is the most glorious heritage; the most sublime of conceptions of the heart ... and they ask, these brethren, what they can do for her! They can take her to their souls; they can live her in their lives, they can express her in their every act, and make of her not a cry of man's voice to Deity, but a song of his heart ... to God! Sourced from the Short Talk Bulletin Vol. 3 1925.
Rays of Masonry â€œOur Strengthâ€? Duty is not confined to a display of heroism in times of abnormal circumstances. Duty is noble when discharged in the normal way of life. It is noble and Godlike when it is performed willingly and in the silence of the heart. We speak of the enemies of Masonry. Toward our enemies, and none but the foolish would deny their existence, we
have certain duties which are the highest expressions of Masonic teachings. It is the glory of Masonry, however, that whenever an enemy appears, it is in the form of greed, of tyranny, or unbridled ambition for power. The enemies of Masonry have always sought to arrogate unto themselves a power for the ultimate purpose of selfish gain. The philosophy of Masonry does not always strike a responsive note within the hearts and minds of all men, yet whenever an honest and impartial evaluation is expressed, it is never said that Masonry seeks to impose its philosophy upon others, or seeks something of material gain for the Institution. It is to the everlasting credit of our Institution that the avowed enemies of Masonry are at once the avowed enemies of Right as it is universally applied. It is possible to have enemies without being an enemy. The principles of Masonry must be interpreted to the world in the only way that principles remain unsullied- through patience and kindness. We often under-estimate the strength of morality when we view the apparent strength of evil. We often question its effectiveness because it is such a quiet force. Yet the Story of the Ages is the miracle of moral strength. One so weak in the ways of wrong, one so little versed in the art of revenge, one so free of hate, one so foolish as to love his enemies, draws some Unseen Power a force that neither he nor his enemies can understand. We must not blindfold our senses to the existence of enemies; neither must we adopt their weapons. How, then is a miracle accomplished? Every miracle is a moral victory. Be content to know that. It is Truth. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
of this lodge is a motorman on a street car, a silent job. He has been street railroading all his life, and never has had a chance to talk much. In the lodge he found his feet, and discovered that he could stand on them and use his mouth at the same time. He became a fine ritualist, and has been Master. He is now a certified instructor. Masonry provided him with an opportunity to use gifts which nature gave him, but which his job denies him.
Odd Of all the odd things in Masonry,'' began the New Brother to the Old Tiler in the anteroom, "the oddest is why some men want to be Masons. "Meaning what?" asked the Old Tiler. "Well, Masonry is serious," explained the New Mason. "Why should it appeal to men who are not serious?" "But in Masonry is good fellowship, and fun, and mutual help and a good time . . . lots of people go to church for the associations they get, rather than any desire to take part in the service. Some come to a Masonic lodge for what they get, and watch the degrees as a necessary penalty. "Some men find in the lodge the satisfaction of an instinct. A good brother 19
"Another Mason I know finds the greatest joy in his lodge as the charity committee chairman. His business in life is being a turnkey in a jail! He lives his waking hours standing guard over criminals, in the lodge he comes into contact with the softer side of life. He is an excellent man on the committee. He knows when folks are in distress and when they are shamming, He is charitably minded and Masonry gives him an opportunity to indulge that side of his nature. "One brother gets great joy in the fun he makes during business meetings. He is a wit, and his remarks usually cause a gale of laughter. He is in undertaker, and can't wear a smile from the time he gets up until he comes to lodge! "Some men find the lodge an outlet for their gregariousness, which shyness prevents them from expressing elsewhere. Meeting on the level they arc not embarrassed. No one in lodge cares if you have a lot of money or none. So the little fellow who never made much of a commercial success enjoys being just as good, in his own eyes and that of the brethren in the lodge, as anyone. It's a provider of self respect.
''But none of these are the real reason why so many men cannot get along without Masonry."
Masonry mean the same thing to him a hundred feel the religious appeal of the lodge and don't know to what they respond."
The Old Tiler paused to light a cigar. "What's that?" inquired the New Brother. "It's a compound, not a simplicity," returned the Old Tiler. "Take ten parts reverence for what is old, add twenty parts of love of one's kind and common humanity, stir into it the religious complex which is fifty percent of any man’s underlying motives, though a lot of them don't know it, and sprinkle with twenty parts of the habit of doing what the other fellow likes to do. Scientists call it the herd instinct - and you have about my conception of why the average man loves Masonry." "That's not too exalted an ideal, is it?" objected the New Brother. "Few men have exalted ideals!" countered the Old Tiler. "I didn't say that was the best reason, I said it was the reason of the average man. I know three Chaplains of lodges who say it rests them to come to a place where preachers of the Word of God can worship Him without dogma or creed. I have been a Mason for more years than you have lived. I haven't been a Tiler all that time. But I have never seen an irreverent action in a lodge, or known a man who felt irreverent about his lodge symbols and ceremonies. "It is a comfort that so many Freemasons find in lodge spiritual help, a touch of religion, a feeling of reality to their relations with Deity. Few of them say it. A large number do not consciously think it. For every man who says religion and
"I don't know that it's so odd as I thought it was," mused the New Brother. "The oddest part of it," suggested the Old Tiler, evenly, "is that you should think there was anything odd about the appeal of Freemasonry to anyone!" " You are right!" assured the New Brother. "But I'm all even now!" This is the fifty ninth article in this regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Freemasonry and King Solomon’s Temple in the early 1700’s A reoccurring question from old and new Masons alike is “why King Solomon’s Temple?” Why was King Solomon’s Temple given such prominence in Masonic ritual in the early 1700’s and why are our ceremonies loosely based around the legends of the erection of that edifice? In part some of the impetuses for the inclusion, or amplifying, of King Solomon and his Temple in the Freemasons’ ritual in the early 1700’s was the obsession in the previous decades with the search for Biblical dimensions of King Solomon’s Temple. Influential figures of the times, such as Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Isaac Newton, were fascinated with the concept 20
of the ancient cubit and the exact measurements of King Solomon’s Temple. The ancient cubit was perceived as God’s measurement and it was a measure that would unlock the mysteries of the universe, thus building on the theme of lost knowledge known to ancient societies. After the Great Fire of London of 1666, Christopher Wren rebuilt St Paul’s Cathedral as the new King Solomon’s Temple, for a New Jerusalem, built by masons who followed strict moral guidelines, for Wren enforced a moral code of behaviour for the masons working on this new King Solomon’s Temple. Isaac Newton poured an enormous amount of effort into reconstructing the dimensions of King Solomon’s Temple, viewing it as a blueprint for the future from which predictions could be deduced. Some authors have suggested that this study of King Solomon’s Temple assisted Newton in seeing the possibilities outside the accepted orthodoxies. “…Newton perceived himself as the new Solomon and believed that it was his God-given duty to unlock the secrets of nature, whether they were scientific, alchemical or theological…” (The Last Sorcerer – Michael White, P.162) After meticulous study of the Temple of Solomon, Ezekiel’s vision and the Tabernacle of Moses, Newton deducted that the sacred cubit, given to the ancients by God, was between 25⅕ and 26¼ Roman inches (Harrison, P.99). To Newton’s eyes the secrets of the universe, nature and science, could now be unlocked. The ritual focus on the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the importance of its chief architect - the secrets of God’s sacred measure were lost with the untimely 21
death of the chief artist – reflects this search for the wisdom of the ancients. Many men joined Freemasonry 300 hundred years ago because they in part believed that Freemasonry contained lost knowledge and esoteric teachings of the ancients - knowledge to assist them in their intellectual pursuits into the hidden mysteries of nature and science. The famous English antiquarian Dr William Stukeley (joined 1721) admitted he joined in the hope of discovering hidden knowledge (Stukeley pioneered the archaeological investigation of such prehistoric monuments as Stonehenge). Perhaps the Freemason’s of the early decades of the 1700’s saw themselves as descendants of the original builders of the symbolic temple and in a fashion King Solomon’s Temple was viewed as symbolical of the universe – the whole of creation. The early 1700’s belief in the search for knowledge that was lost, coupled with a belief that the study of Geometry and Alchemy was a way of obtaining a deeper understanding of the Divine, is still reflected today in our current Masonic ritual. Our knowledge of the immediate universe around us has increased immensely since the days of Wren, Newton and his acolyte Dr Jean Desaguliers, so some of the original thinking behind our ritual may appear somewhat archaic. However, TFTEM would like to suggest and although the science may have evolved, the general moral and philosophical principles contained in our ritual remain equally as valid today. [Refer: D. Harrison – The Genesis of Freemasonry & M. White – Isaac Newton – The Last Sorcerer]) Article sourced from Thoughts from the Enquiring Mason – Victorian Lodge of Research No. 218. Editor/Compiler: WBro Brendan Kyne.
ACACIA LEAVES AND EASTER LILIES
April brings us to Easter Day - the festival of Memory and Hope. That a day in spring should be set apart in praise of the victory of Life is in accord with the fitness of things, as if the seasons of the soul were akin to the season of the year. It unites faith with life; it links the fresh buds of spring with the ancient pieties of the heart. It finds in Nature, with its rhythm of winter and summer, a ritual of hope and joy. So run the records of all times. Older than our era, Easter has been a day of feast and song in all lands and among all peoples. By a certain instinct man has found in the seasons a symbol of his faith, the blossoming of his spirit attuned to the wonder of the awakening of the earth from the white death of winter. A deep chord in him answers to the ever-renewed resurrection of Nature, and that instinct is more to be trusted than all philosophy. For in Nature there is no death, but only living and living again. Something in the stir of spring, in the reviving earth, in the tide of life overflowing the world, in the rebirth of the flowers, begets an unconscious, involuntary renewal of faith in the heart of man, refreshing his hope. So he looks into the face of each new spring with a heart strangely glad, and strangely sad too, touched by tender memories of springs gone by never to return, softened by
thoughts of â€œthose who answer not, however we may call.â€? Truly, it is a day of Hope and Courage in the heart of man. Hope and Courage we have for the affairs of daily life; but here is a Hope that leaps beyond the borders of the world, and a Courage that faces eternity. For that Easter stands, in its history, its music, its returning miracle of spring - for the putting off of the tyranny of time, the terror of the grave, and the triumph of the flesh, and the putting on of immortality. Men can work with a brave heart and endure many ills if he feels that the good he strives for here, and never quite attains, will be won elsewhere. There is something heroic, something magnificent in the refusal of a man to let death have the last word. Time out of mind, as far back as we can trace human thought - in sign or symbol - man has refused to think of the grave as the coffin lid of a dull and mindless world descending upon him at last. It was so in Egypt five thousand years ago, and is so today. At the gates of the tomb he defies the Shadow he cannot escape, and asserts the worth of his soul and its high destiny. Surely this mighty faith is its own best proof and prophecy, since man is a part of Nature, and what is deepest in him is what nature has taught him to hope. For some of us Easter has other meanings than those dug up from the folklore of olden time. Think how you will of the lovely and heroic figure of Jesus, it is none the less His day, dedicated to the pathos of His Passion and the wonder of His Personality. For some of us His Life of Love is the one everlasting romance in this hard old world, and its ineffable tenderness seems to blend naturally with the thrill of 22
springtime, when the finger of God is pointing to the new birth of the earth. No Brother will deny us the joy of weaving Easter lilies with Acacia leaves, in celebration of a common hope. The legend of Hiram and the life of Jesus tell us the same truth; one in fiction and the other in fact. Both tragedies are alike profoundly simple, complete and heartbreaking - each a symbol not only of the victory of man over death, but of his triumph over the stupidity and horror of evil in himself and in the world. In all the old mythologies, the winter comes because the ruffian forces of the world strike down and slay the gentle spirit of summer; and this dark tragedy is reflected in the life of man - making a mystery no mortal can solve, save as he sees it with courage and hope. Jesus was put to death between two thieves outside the city gate. The Master Builder was stricken down in the hour of His Glory, His Prayer choked in His Own Blood. Lincoln was shot on Good Friday, just as the temple of Unity and Liberty was about to be dedicated. Each was the victim of sinister, cunning, brutal, evil force - here is the tragedy of our race, repeated in every age and land, as appalling as it is universal, and no man can fathom its mystery. Yet, strangely enough, the very shadow which seems to destroy faith, and make it seem futile and pitiful, is the fact which created the high, heroic faith of humanity, and keeps it alive. Love, crucified by Hate; high character slain by low cunning! Death victorious over life - man refuses to accept that as the final meaning of the world. He demands justice in the name of God and his own soul. The Master Builder is betrayed and slain; his enemies are put to 23
death - that satisfies the sense of justice. Jesus dies with a prayer of forgiveness on His lips; Judas makes away with himself and the hurt is partly healed. But is that all? On the mount of Crucifixion, by the outworking of events, goodness and wickedness met the same muddy fate - is that the meaning of the world? The Master Builder and his slayers are alike buried - is that the end? Are we to think that Jesus and Judas sleep in the same dust, all values erased, all issues settled in the great silence? In the name of reason it cannot be true, else chaos were the crown of cosmos, and mud more mighty than mind! When man, by his insight and affirmation of his soul, holds it true, despite all seeming contradiction, that virtue is victorious over brutal evil, and Life is Lord of Death, and that the soul is as eternal as the moral order in which it lives, the heart of the race has found the truth. Argument is unnecessary; the great soul of the world we call God is just. Here is the basis of all religion and the background of all philosophy. From the verdict of the senses and the logic of the mind, man appeals to the justice of God, and finds peace. Thou wilt not leave us in the dust; Thou maddest man, he knows not why, He thinks he was not made to die; And thou has made him; Thou art just. With what overwhelming impressiveness this faith is set forth in the greatest Degree of Freemasonry, the full meaning and depth of which we have not yet begun to fathom, much less realize. Edwin Booth was right when he said that the Third degree of Masonry is the profoundest, the simplest, the most heart-gripping tragedy
known among men. Where else are all the elements of tragedy more perfectly blended in a scene which shakes the heart and makes it stand still? It is pathetic, It is confounding. Everything seems shattered and lost. Yet, somehow, we are not dismayed by it, because we are made to feel that there is a Beyond - the victim is rather set free from life than deprived of it. Without faith in the future, where the tangled tragedies of this world are made straight, and its weary woe is healed, despair would be our fate. By this faith men live and endure in spite of ills. Its roots go deeper than argument, deeper than dogma, deeper than reason, as deep as infancy and old age, as deep as love and faith - older than history - that the power which weaves in silence, robes of white for the lilies or red for the rose, will the much more clothe our spirits with a moral beauty that shall never fade. But there is a still deeper meaning in the Third Degree of Masonry, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. It is not explained in the lectures; it is hardly hinted at in the lodge. Yet it is as clear as day, if we have insight. The Degree ends not in a memorial, but in the manifestation of the Eternal Life. Raised from the dead level to a living perpendicular by the strong grip of faith, the Master Builder lives by the power of an endless life. That is to say, Masonry symbolically initiates us into Eternal Life here and now, makes us citizens of eternity in time and bids us live and act accordingly. Here is the deepest secret Masonry has to teach - that we are immortal here and now; that death is nothing to the soul; that eternity is today. When shall we become that which we are? When shall we, who are sons of the Most
High, born of His Love and Power, made in His Image, and endowed with His Deathless Life, discover who we are, whence we came, and whither we tend, and live a free, joyous, triumphant life which belongs of right to immortal spirits! Give a man an hour to live, and you put him in a cage. Extend it to a day, and he is freer. Give him a year, and he moves in larger orbit and makes his plans. Let him know that he is a citizen of an eternal world, and he is free indeed, a master of life and time and death - a Master Mason. Thus Acacia leaves and Easter lilies unite to give us the hint, if not the key to a higher heroism and cheer, even “the glory of going on and still to be;” a glory which puts new meaning and value into these our days and years - so brief at their longest, so broken at their best, their achievements so transient, and so quickly forgotten. Sorrows come, and heartache, and loneliness unutterable, when those we love fall into the great white sleep; but the sprig of Acacia will grow in our hearts, if we cultivate it, watering it the while with our tears, and at last it will be not a symbol but a sacrament in the house of our pilgrimage.
What to you is Shadow, to Him is Day, And the end He Knoweth; Thy spirit goeth; The steps of Faith Fall on a seeming void, and find A rock beneath. Sourced from the Short Talk Bulletin, Vol VII – April 1929 – Number 4.
who Freemasons really are and what we value most.
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives from Ephraim, you Gileadites—in the heart of Ephraim and Manasseh.” Then the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. Whenever one of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. (Judges 12:4–6)
So how will people recognize us for who we really are? How will they know if we can say “shibboleth” properly? This takes more than grips, words and ritual knowledge. Think back to your obligations as Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. We solemnly promised and swore to care for the widows and orphans of worthy brother Masons. We declared we would hold ourselves to higher standards than society holds itself to. These values are the true meaning of shibboleth in our day and place.
One evening in your Masonic career you heard a Brother tell you the story of Jephthah in the Book of Judges. He explained how the men of Ephraim could not pronounce the word “shibboleth” properly because their native language did not have the “sh” sound. Anyone who could pronounce “shibboleth” properly was a friend. Shibboleth is more than`a Masonic word, though. Shibboleth entered the English` language to mean a distinguishing mark or characteristic. The lesson shibboleth teaches is important within our Fraternity. Most people recognize us by the rings we wear on our hands or the lapel pins we put on our sports jackets. The persons outside our Craft feel our Fraternity is quaint at best, and demonic at worst. They have heard about US presidents and signers of the Declaration of Independence who made their obligations at an altar of Freemasonry. They may have watched a program on television alleging secrets and power we do not have. The information flying through the air waves does not tell 25
Society has become selfcentered and greedy. We say “harmony being the support of all institutions.” Leaders in any line of work learn one of their main duties is “conflict management.” Conflict management means handling problems between people in such a way that the larger group can get its work done. Resolving the conflict, addressing hurt feelings and repairing broken relationships is not necessary if the group can get on with its work. We, as Free and Accepted Masons, pledged ourselves to live by morals that valued hard work, care for our families and treating others as they should be treated. What kind of world would this be if people recognized us as Masons by our actions instead of our rings? What kind of society would we have if we created harmony in our work as well as doing our tasks and putting food on our tables? Shibboleth — the thing that makes us distinct as a group — does not have to be a word. It is our work, our play and our attitude toward our neighbours. Allan J Ferguson. Sourced from The Alberta Freemason January 2012
Mauls and Gavels
At a recent LOI, I volunteered to do the 2° tools and how to present them showing how they were actually used by an operative mason. Knowing what would happen, I started as follows: ‘The common gavel is to knock off all superfluous ….’ ‘The chisel is to ...’ As you might expect, everyone went mad! 'This is the second degree’ they informed me! I then went on with 'Just bear with me. Is what I have said so far correct in itself?' which they OK’d grudgingly. I then said 'What is a gavel?' and they all said so that the WM/Wardens could show power and confirm decisions etc. Now we come to the crunch! I then asked (innocently) how the gavel was employed by our ancient brethren in stone masonry and no-one could say! Next, I asked where there were references in the ritual to the gavel, apart from the 1° tools and for knocks confirming whatever. There aren’t any. I believe that the gavel was adopted in Lodge probably in the mid-18th century,
when some of the more fancy French influence was being re-imported to the UK and possibly influenced by its use by judges, auctioneers and maybe within guild practice especially at high dinners. I do not think it has any proper significance as a masonic tool. I think the heavy maul is the real mason tool. It is often very roughly spherical in form and usually quite heavy. It is rounded so that the angle at which it strikes the chisel is not vital because of the curvature. It is heavy so that for control, the extra momentum means that not much force is needed when striking the stone for delicate use. I have looked at the development of the maul and my research indicates that as well as the rounded variety, there are mauls which are of the same general form as the gavel. For example, I use a splitting maul for logs, which is a hefty gavel on a long stick. The word maul may refer to any number of large hammers including the war hammer a medieval weapon used as a swinging tool to penetrate armour, a post maul like a sledge hammer, used to drive in fence posts, and a spike maul used as a railway hand tool for driving in rail rivets. One of the other names for ‘heavy mallet with a large wooden head’ is the word beetle and one anti-masonic skit (Antediluvian Masonry 1726) jokingly referred to ‘the widow’s son being killed by the blow of a beetle’. In one of the ‘traditional history’ lectures in one of the additional masonic orders, there is some wording summarised as follows: 26
Stones would be delivered from the quarries, say for the production of square, rectangular or other blocks (such as the perpend ashlar or the broached thurnel). These lumps of rock could be quite irregular (with superfluous knobs and excrescences!).
A team of 'scrabblers' would roughly bash away at these almost certainly with a tool like a gavel until they were about 2" oversize on all dimensions. They could then be passed to the EA who would turn them into respectable rough ashlars. After some work, they would then be ready for the FCs who would use their finer chisels etc, to produce perfect ashlars. The scrabblers, being very rough and unskilled workers were considered cowans ie, not masonic - which brings me back to 'the common gavel used to knock off all superfluous .......'. This probably relates to the only use of the gavel by ancient and more recent stone workers and someone (Preston or whoever) must have realised the 'non-masonic' nature of the gavel when producing the WTs wording. The 10 tools is the only place where the word is used but it stayed in the ritual as the 'tool' to produce the various knocks. In summary, if we wanted to remain within ‘Pure and Ancient Freemasonry’, as represented by the stonemasonic work of our forbears, we should not use the gavel at all. Article by WM Bro. Martin Gandoff, Montgomerie Lodge 1741 EC. Previously published in Norfolk Ashlar, The Surrey Mason and the Square. Our Thanks go to Martin for allowing us to use his article about Mauls and Gavels.
My Mother Lodge in London was the Lodge of Israel, No. 205, founded in 1793. It was or is one (another was the Lodge of Judah) of a number of so-called Jewish Lodges, so called because most of the members were Jewish and the meetings avoided the Jewish Sabbath and festivals and took place at venues that provided kosher catering. In Sydney I affiliated to Lodge Mark Owen, which, named after a leading member of the Jewish community, has a high proportion of Jewish members though a lesser degree of commitment to Jewish observance. Certain other Australian Lodges follow the same pattern, but all have a significant number of nonJews as members. In theory there should never have been “Jewish” Lodges. But apart from considerations of religious observance, some of the early Freemasons in England were still dubious about admitting Jewish members and in many cases their minutes made a point of identifying a newly initiated brother as a Jew. As early as 1732 at the Rose Tavern, Cheapside, “Mr. Edward Rose, of the said tavern was
admitted of the fraternity, by Mr. Daniel Delvalle, an eminent Jew snuff-merchant, in the presence of several brethren of distinction, both Jews and Christians.” If Daniel Delvalle (the name may possibly need to be corrected to Delvaille) admitted the new member it indicates that at least one Jew had risen high enough to be or act as the Lodge Master. A Masonic periodical in 1737 remarks, “How artfully they (the Jews) have dispersed themselves in different Lodges through all parts of the Kingdom”. This may be an exaggeration, but there was clearly a perception that Freemasonry was attractive to Jews. Probably the first English Freemasons, whose names are listed in a register from 1725, were Israel Segalas of Solomon’s Temple Lodge, Hemming’s Row, and Nicholas Abraham, of the Golden Lyon Lodge, Dean Street. Nonetheless, some Christians resented the omission of Jesus from the new Masonic structure, though New Testament passages continued to be part of the ritual of the craft degrees and in some jurisdictions still are. There was a feeling that Jews were outsiders in general society. Jewish political emancipation was delayed in Britain until 1858, though social integration by the more prosperous elements was under way long before this date, and Jews saw Freemasonry as one of the avenues of acceptance into gentile society. We know that some Continental Jews appear to have come to England to become Freemasons; Baruch Schick of Sklov (c. 1740-1812) “travelled to London to study medicine and there joined the Freemasons”. But it was not plain sailing. In 1793 the members of Lodge No. 244 (later the Lodge of Tranquillity No. 185) “agreed…
the better to avoid imaginary insult if any of them inadvertently should recommend a Jew, that he could not be admitted as a Brother on any pretence whatever in future”. Did they fear that the presence of a Jew would insult the Christian principles of other members, or did they have experience of Jews taking offence at antisemitic remarks? Mount Moriah Lodge No. 31 (apparently not a Jewish Lodge despite its name) resolved in 1796 “that no Israelite should become a Member of the Lodge”. Who were the Jews who formed the Lodge of Israel? Few if any were sophisticates or intellectuals, attracted by scientific or philosophical discussion. The older-settled section of the Jewish community, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, did have some highly educated members, and at least one of its rabbinic leaders, Rabbi David Nieto, was a scientist and philosopher who evoked controversy with an anti-deist sermon defining the relationship of nature and God. The newer section of the community, the Ashkenazim (“German and Dutch Jews”), had hardly any culturallycultivated members, though it did have its Talmudic intelligentsia. Both congregations were relatively recent – the Sephardim dating from the 1650s and the Ashkenazim a few decades later – and not all their members could yet speak passable English. Few of the Jews, from either section, showed any wish to join intellectual clubs out of fear of exclusion. They were also diffident about involvement in political or quasi-political activity because of a continued sense of insecurity. The Sephardim were even reluctant to sanction sermons in the vernacular, out of a fear that the preacher 28
might be perceived as involving his community in non-Jewish concerns. Yet some eight or ten members of the Sephardi congregation are listed in 1730-32 as members of Lodge No. 81 at Daniel’s Coffee House, Lombard Street, and two of them were Grand Stewards in 1738-39. We are not certain whether the taverns and coffee houses made any special provision for Jewish dietary sensibilities. In his history of the Lodge of Israel, John M Shaftesley lists the early members as merchants, tailors, peddlers, carpenters, glaziers, watchmakers, jewellers, shopkeepers, cigar-makers, innkeepers and even an orange merchant. There were a few doctors and lawyers and later mariners and shipbuilders. There were few Jewish clergy. Freemasonry had a growing appeal for Jews everywhere in England. Cecil Roth found Masonic records valuable in his researches into the history of Jews outside London; in at least one case a former synagogue became a Masonic meeting place. As time went on, the Lodge of Israel, together with Lodges everywhere in the British Isles, attracted a broad cross-section of a now integrated Jewish community, and Jews played a significant role in the craft and rose to eminent rank. When I was interviewed by a committee of the Lodge of Israel, I knew very little about the craft, but instinct told me – and later experience confirmed – that I would be comfortable as a Freemason. I was certainly awed by the large membership of the Lodge and the highly impressive ambience of place, people and proceedings at its meetings. By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE DORMER "The Dormer, the window that gave light to the same." Pray brethren, pause ye here awhile, during the search and quest Stay and become the square white stones, forming the pavement blest For far above, the Light shines down, piercing the dormer wide, Shines down, and warms the paving stones, laid down on every side. Here may we pause and gather, in the light from Him above, Absorbing in our very souls, the blessed Truth and Love Of Him, the World's Great Architect, the Highest Heavenly King, To Whom the myriad angels bow; and praises ever sing! Let us absorb the Light which here, offers, like Holy Graal, To show the Way our feet must tread, the Way that cannot fail To lead us, onward, upward, toward the Holy Height; Our feet are safe upon the Path, this is the Path of Light In chancels mystical as this, in temples such as these, Bound with the firm cement of Love, in great Fraternities, We will become the Living Stones, forming the walls and roof Mayhap, some stones, the Dormer frame, their wisdom giving proof. Whereer we be, in pavement wide, in wall, in step, in choir, The Light will shine upon us all, one Holy Living Fire! And we, adoring, will reflect, in countless shining rays The rainbow hues of the Great Arch, Wisdom and Beauty raise.
KIRKWALL SCROLL Part Four
When we look on the bottom part, we see a trowel and chisel, lantern, belt or rope, a crowbar, a laurel wreath, a cloth, a hammer, pair of tongs and 3 nails, three cups and what can be a cloth and a Sacred Vault. Now these symbols are used in the Order of Red Cross of Constantine. When I read the rituals of this order we find that the Candidate has to be a Royal Arch Mason, and when brought in the Tyler reports; “A worthy knight and soldier of the cross who, having worked at the second Temple and discovered the ancient word……. ”. So he used these tools. During the ritual the candidate will enter the sacred vault. When you read the lecture it goes over the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. What has me wondering is that the Masonic Order of the Red Cross of Constantine appears to have been first organised in the United Kingdom by Charles Shirreff in about the year 1780,
when this floorcloth is dated 1400 – 1500. Was there at that time a system in use with more degrees than the Blue Lodge? When we look to the middle part and on the left side, we find an incense burner a symbol of sacred fire; but in the ceremonies the vibrations emanating from the incense were of such a nature that they produced upon those in the Temple a physical, mental and finally a spiritual effect. The cock or rooster is used in the Knight Templar degree. The step ladder is symbolically used in the 30 degree Scottish Rite. The Square & compasses you will find in most rituals. A
hand showing three fingers is a reminder of the “Holy and indivisible Three in One, or trinity. The candle is used as a symbol of light and we find it always on the altar. On the right side; a hand with a dagger, is a symbol of Masonic vengeance or the punishment of crime, it is symbolically used in the Knight Templar’s and also in 30
the 30th degree of the Scottish Rite. Euclid’s 47th propositions. Two triangles in the form of an hourglass or X, the X cross is called the St Andrew’s cross and there is an Andrew’s degree in the Scottish Rite. The figures around it I have no idea what they are. It can be the three figures are the same. The bottom one on the right looks like strapping, the next one unfolded, and the third one is rising up free. Possibly symbolising on the third day Christ rose from the dead freeing us from our sin. When you look in the rituals of the Scottish Rite, their ritual covers the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and its destruction. The rebuilding of the 2nd Temple, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and the destruction of the 2nd Temple. Finding the vault by the Knights Templar and the forming of the Chivalric Orders. Therefore this picture is based from Moses time, to the Crusaders. Let us now have a look on the next step or picture on this Scroll. Andrew Sinclair in
his book “The secret Scroll” writes that symbols on this picture are from an Ancient Ark Mariners Degree. It is the biblical story of Noah and the big flood, but is this story a true story or a myth? Let us now have a look at this. The tradition of floods are common throughout the world, and are found in the earliest records of ancient times mingling with the other legends of mythologies, also with the accounts of how different nations have received their origin. These traditions have been sought out and compared with great diligence by learned authors; for they afford an important argument in favour of the unity of the human race. We find the ark depicted in the ancient monuments of Egypt; and in many other ancient sculptures, also on coins and medals of various countries. In 1923 an Anglo-American team under the leadership of Sir Leonard Woolley started to excavate a mound named Tell-al-
Muqayyar lying just south of the lower stretches of the River Euphrates. Three years later the ancient city of UR had been completely uncovered, but still the dig went on and in 1929 Woolley was working at a nearby hill known as the “Graves of the Kings” when they exposed the ancient levels below the Graves. After a period of time his workmen reached ground level. Upon a closer examination Woolley was surprised to find that this surface was pure clay, a type of silt left by water. The dig continued and after ten feet of clay had been removed there came layer upon layer of Stone Age implements and debris. ‘That evening news was flashed to England and America “We have found the Flood “. The flood covered the whole area of what we now call Mesopotamia reaching almost to the source of the Euphrates, an area estimated by Woolley to have been 4,000 square miles. Noah and his Ark – Fact or Fable From the discovery that a great flood occurred in Mesopotamia in 4000 B.C., is there any corresponding proof that the story of Noah or Utnapishtim is also historically true? The answer is NO. It is difficult, if not impossible, to accept Genesis as a true record. There are observations which suggest that the story of Noah and his Ark is a myth, for which the Flood formed an obvious inspiration. 1st. In the Babylonian account and in Genesis the instructions are given as to the construction of the Ark, from which competent surveyors have estimated that the displacement of such a vessel would have been 36,000 tons. How could Noah have obtained so great a quantity of timber or assembled a large enough corps of workmen to build so vast a ship? 2nd. how could Noah and his family (with no other
assistance) feed, water and “mucks out” that number of living creatures for the sixty-nine days duration of the Flood (the shortest estimate some told about 365 days). 3rd. Although we know how quickly vegetation re-appears after drought or flooding, the large number of animals, when released, must have been hard put to it to find enough to keep them selves alive. So this story has to be false. Mackey’s write in his encyclopaedia of Freemasonry; Noah and the flood play an important part in the legend of the Craft. Hence, as the Masonic system became developed, the Patriarch was looked upon as what was called a Patron of Freemasonry. This connection of Noah with the mythic history of the Order was rendered still closer by the influence of many symbols borrowed from the Arkite Worship, one of the most predominant of the ancient faiths. So intimately were incorporated the legends of Noah with the legends of freemasonry that Freemasonry began, at length, to be called, and are still called, Noachidae, or the descendants of Noah, a term first applied by Doctor Anderson. The Royal Ark Mariners or RAM Degree was conferred in separate Royal Ark Mariner Lodges which were “moored” to a Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees. There are still a few surviving RAM Lodges moored to Councils, but warrants are no longer issued for new RAM Lodges. Other than those remaining Lodges, the Degree, if worked today, is worked directly by the Council upon their own AMD members. In the next issue of the magazine, we will talk about the symbols on the picture. Again we are thankful to W.Bro. Fred Vandenberg of lodge Kring Niew Holland in Melbourne Australia, the Masonic Study Circle.
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The First Degree Line. The Line teaches the criterion of moral rectitude, to avoid dissimulation in action and conversation, and to direct our steps in the paths which lead to immortality. The Pedestal. The Pedestal is the base of a column on which the shaft is placed. Every Lodge is understood to have three-that of Wisdom in the E.. , Strength in the and Beauty in the S.., It is from this that we have the expression “to advance to the Pedestal” in allusion to the call of the R.W.M., which brings a member up to that part of the Lodge when so desired by the presiding officer. The Three Grand Principles. The Three Grand Principles on which Freemasonry is founded are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. They are the Symbolic Jewels of a Master Mason and are treasured very highly by him. Brotherly Love. Brotherly Love has been described as the purest emanation of earthly friendship, and to extend and inspire it throughout the Universe is one of the grand purposes of Freemasonry. It is the strongest cement of the Order and without it the Fraternity would cease to exist. By it the Freemason is taught to believe that God made of one blood all nations of men, and to regard the whole human species as one family whose aim should be to aid, support and protect each other. Relief. Relief is a duty which every man owes to his fellows in consideration of the common infirmities of human nature, but especially is it a duty imposed upon a Freemason towards his brethren who are in need of sympathy and succour. It should be his aim ever to be ready to soothe the unhappy, relieve the distressed, and restore peace to minds that are troubled. Truth. Truth is a divine principle derived from the Great Father of Light. It is the duty of every brother to make truth the object of his search and to be fervent and zealous in its pursuit. It is the foundation of every Masonic virtue, and the subject of one of the earliest lessons which the Freemason receives. This monthly feature is taken from William Harvey’s book, “The Emblems of Freemasonry” 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor
Published on Mar 30, 2017