SRA 76 Monthly Magazine
Cover Story, Brotherly Love and Tolerance Newly Made and Older Masons Did You Know? Early Masonry – Manner of Admission Lodge St. John Operative No. 92. Famous Freemasons – Benedict Arnold Does Your Apron Still Fit?’ Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Gloves What is free about the Freemasons? Did You Know? The Lodge Almoner The Emblems of Freemasonry
Main Website – The Workload of a Lodge
Volume 14 Issue 4 No. 109 April 2018
In this issue: Cover Story ‘Brotherly Love & Tolerance.’ We are all travelling a long, long road, from which there is no return, and there can be no brotherly love without tolerance. This excellent article explains how we should practice these virtues.
Page 6, ‘Newly Made and Older Masons.’ A talk given for the newly made Mason Page 8, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 9, ‘Early Masonry – Manner of Admission .’ Looks at non-operatives and their admission. Page 12, ‘Lodge St. John Operative No. 92. A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 14, ‘Benedict Arnold’ Famous Freemasons. Page 17, ‘Does Your Apron Still Fit?’ How do you fit your Apron?. Page 18, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “Self-expression” Page 19, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Outside Activities”, sixty-seventh in the series. Page 21, ‘Gloves.’ Page 22, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. What is Free about the Freemasons? Page 26, ‘Did You Know?’ Page 30, ‘The Lodge Almoner.’ Page 30, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Workload of a Lodge’ [link] 1 Front cover and page 2 Artwork – by the Editor
THE THREE GRAND PRINCIPLES
Faith Hope Charity
PRUDENCE, JUSTICE AND Patience TEMPERANCE
Peace Love & Harmony
Willingness is the key
PRACTICE UNDERSTANDING Love our Enemies
Love & Harmony
IN GOD IS ALL OUR TRUST
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
Brotherly Love and Tolerance
and temperance and advocate brotherly love and good neighbourliness in Freemasonry. But for one reason or another there is no mention of tolerance as a Masonic virtue or tenet. The closest we come is to teach “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
In 1969 there was a song released by the Hollies. “HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER”. Wikipedia gives an explanation for the title of the song as coming from a Vietnam War photo. Supposedly, the image depicts a wounded Vietnamese man being carried on the back of a GI. The photo journalist asked if he had been carrying the wounded man far, the soldier smiled at the camera and said, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother. Try and picture the scene. And read some of the words.
True Brotherly love is when a brother can show tolerance to another human in spite of the others conflicting opinions and failings, even if this means a case of applying the old maxim in practice: Hate the sin but love the sinner.
If I'm laden at all I'm laden with sadness It's a long, long road From which there is no return While we're on the way to there Why not share And the load Doesn't weigh me down at all He ain't heavy, he's my brother. The words of the song draw a picture of compassion and love amongst the mayhem of war. Picture a scene similar to what you have recently seen on your television screen. Love demonstrated by one man on a mission to kill and another from the enemy side cannot exist without a great deal of love and tolerance. One of the fundamentals of Freemasonry is tolerance. We don’t speak of it much in lodge, but it is inherent in the very way our lodges operate. We teach prudence, justice 3
Tolerance is the unwritten law of Freemasonry. There can be no Brotherly Love without it. Many a Mason will articulate Masonic tolerance firstly in terms of religious tolerance or political tolerance. That is only part of the pie. As we begin to fully appreciate the customs and traditions of Freemasonry, we realise how much deeper the meaning of tolerance goes. Taking our instruction from the VSL the Torah tells us You shall not take vengeance, nor shall you bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall be loving to your neighbour as yourself: I am Yahweh. Leviticus 19:18 And in the Bible the instruction given is to “Love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who spitefully use us” (Luke 6:27-28) We are further instructed to conduct ourselves: …with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love”, (Ephesians 4:2) The conclusion we can draw from VSL is that there is a direct link between tolerance and love.
Tolerance is defined in the dictionary as: being patient and indulgent toward those whose opinions or practices differ from one’s own. It also means being free from bigotry, or severity in judging the opinions or conduct of others. Being tolerant also means we show forbearance. John F Kennedy summed it up as “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns oppression or persecution of others” A Mason should be one who tolerates opinions or practices differing from his own. He should also be prepared to defend another’s right to have a differing opinion. Tolerance can be said to be a Mason’s recognition of the right of private judgment including his own. The story behind the song “HE AIN’T HEAVY” illustrates the soldiers tolerance without surrendering his own belief “He doesn't weigh me down at all He ain't heavy, he's my brother”. We need to be tolerant of others, but we also need to be tolerant of ourselves too. Tolerance is not about surrendering our own beliefs or compromising our own values. It is more about respecting another’s right to hold differing views. In the Thesaurus we find that Tolerance has the following synonyms Broad Mindedness, Open Mindedness, Lenience, Acceptance, Forbearance, Charity, Patience, and Easiness. The opposite of Tolerance is Intolerance, Bigotry, Prejudice, narrow mindedness, Fanaticism, Small mindedness. As masons we should ALL fall into the first category. We must ask ourselves. Is it possible in a world of free and independent
thinkers, to establish a relationship of friendliness and tolerance with another whose views are diametrically opposed to mine? The answer is YES it may be difficult at times, and it will take a determined effort. It’s easy to be positive and tolerant when everything is going your way, but not so easy when they don’t. That’s when we need become alert and try to figure out where the other party is coming from. If there is an irritation what is the source? Review the situation. Are you expecting things to go your own way? Remember, always remember to practice understanding. If you are inflexible and your values and your beliefs are neither rational nor negotiable then any confrontation involving them will only result in a heated and fruitless exchange. Understanding what is really behind the irritation will go a long way suggesting a way forward. The best way to assess a situation is to reverse it. There will be times when tolerance may seem an impossible exercise, being tolerant nonetheless remains the key to easing hostile tensions between individuals or groups. Under difficult circumstances there are some who find it almost impossible to exercise tolerance and put the blame on personality clashes. Yes each of us has our own unique belief and opinions that make up our personalities. If we clashed with everyone who differed from us, we would be constantly at loggerheads. In fact, we tolerate, accommodate, and even enjoy certain differences. Indeed, our lives are richer and more exciting when we see the world from another perspective. 4
Clashes can occur when our deeply-held values or beliefs are being are challenged, or we challenge others. This can be viewed as a threat, and could result in a hard fight to prove who is “right” and who is “wrong.” What we are really doing is seeking confirmation that we have no reason to change our own belief. In our lives we have all witnessed this in one form or another. Let us take another look - In its broadest sense tolerance can be described as …………… the appreciation of diversity and the ability to live and let others live. It is the ability to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, religion, nationality and so on differ from one's own. Tolerance is not just agreeing with one another rather it is a sense of respect for another’s values. Indifference or silence in the face of injustice cannot be deemed a tolerance. In reality, tolerance is about how best to work together in harmony. It is about accepting each other for who they are and what they are, and learning to be a better man before God and our fellow beings. To build that temple not made with hands. Silence and reluctance to confront an issue will not make the differences go away. On the contrary they will fester and destroy the peaceful harmony. We need to understand one another and work in harmony offering the hand of friendship given to each of us as an Entered Apprentice. Intolerance is the failure to appreciate and respect the practices, opinions and beliefs of another group Freemasons are men drawn from all walks of life. We possess differing characteristics and opinions. We are brought together, in an 5
unusual relationship of friendship, harmony and goodwill. It is natural that differences may occur within our own ranks, as they do within the best-regulated families. We may disagree but should not be disagreeable. To bring about a faultless world is perhaps a very tall order. As Masons we are reminded that when we were initiated as an EA we were charged to regulate our actions by the Divine precepts of the VSL, to our neighbour; by acting to him uprightly; by rendering him every kind office that justice or mercy may require and always doing to him as you would he should do to you. There is no issue (other than perhaps a physical violation against one’s self or ones family) that cannot be dealt with by a handshake and in most cases without need to alter one’s personal views. We cannot bring about peace and compassion without forgiveness and tolerance. Remember we build our temples (our character) one brick at a time. Don’t cause the wall to tumble. EXERCISE TOLERANCE in all your dealings. Masonry is not about one person winning over another; it's about everyone winning at the same time. This is what Freemasonry teaches; this is what it creates; this is what it holds fast to. If we truly love another person and if we really practice Brotherly Love with our fellow beings - we will be tolerant of them. Again I stress, tolerance does not mean endorsing the beliefs, or actions, of others. However, it does mean a tolerant person will be willing to pardon the offense of another, be willing to forgive another, and not feel resentment. No man truly obeys the Masonic law who merely tolerates those whose opinions are opposed to his own. We
must be able communicate and sit together in Brotherly Love putting aside our differences. Every man's opinions are his own private property, and it is the right of all men to maintain their own opinion. Finally, I wonder if we ever think about our level of tolerance in our everyday lives. How tolerant are we of others in the workplace, in society, at home? How tolerant are we with others when no one is looking? When no one we know is present? Is there room for improvement? I believe these questions are important and need to be answered by each one of us because what we do when nobody is looking is driven by our core beliefs and values. PEACE, LOVE and HARMONY are the foundation stones of our Order and life. We have committed ourselves to always act in such a way as to keep that foundation sound. We are all travelling a long, long road, from which there is no return, we know that we are accountable for all our actions. So while we're on the way to there. Why not share the load? Don't let it weigh you down If you have an adversary – don’t make Him heavy, he's your brother. Think before you act and always exercise tolerance. Article by Bro. Clive Herron of Marine Lodge 626 IC Durban South Africa, whom the editor of SRA76 acknowledges to be the copyright owner. I have tried to contact the author to get permission to use it, to no avail. However, I’m sure that Bro. Herron will be happy that we are spreading his Masonic philosophy.
Newly Made and Older Masons The ceremony of initiation can be somewhat overwhelming. There is much speaking, too much to take in to fully comprehend in one session. We can think back on certain aspects of the evening that particularly impressed us. Let me make a few observations and significant points for your consideration. Every man comes to Freemasonry with high expectations. We must make two basic assumptions: that every man who seeks admission hopes to fulfill a personal quest, and that he is looking for something to satisfy a personal longing, perhaps undefined, seeking something that he has not yet found elsewhere in life. At the ceremony of initiation, we were presented with the Constitution of Grand Lodge, the By-laws of ones Lodge, and was informed that we were, that evening, made a member of a Lodge. However, the process of becoming a Mason is more complex and demanding. This process of becoming a Mason may be simplified by identifying three parts. First, we were made a Mason ritualistically when we took the solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason kneeling at the Altar. Second, we were made a Mason legally when we signed the By-laws at the Secretary’s desk. Third, and the most important, we were now exhorted to become a Mason philosophically. That is an endeavour that will occupy us for the rest of our lives. To state it simply: It takes about 6
an hour to make a member; it takes a lifetime to make a Mason. There is nothing ‘magical’ about the Masonic initiation. Masons do not indulge in such “hocus-pocus.” Nothing we do in these Masonic rites and ceremonies automatically confers knowledge and wisdom. It is no coincidence that what we do in the Lodge is referred to as “The Work.” We were informed that although we inherited many traditions, signs and symbols from our ancient ‘operative’ brethren; the stonemasons of the medieval period, who built the magnificent cathedrals, abbeys, and castles that are the architectural glory of Europe. We by contrast are “speculative Masons.” We come to understand that “speculative” means we are “thinking” men. In the lodge, we enter the world of the mind. It has been suggested that Freemasonry is really a gentlemen’s philosophical society, dedicated to “the cultivation and improvement of the human mind.” As such, we are both a learned society and a learning society. In the company of like-minded men; fellow travellers, we have the opportunity to explore the world of human knowledge and the accumulated wisdom of the ages. That is the intellectual challenge that Freemasonry presents. To fully understand the profound meaning that Freemasonry conveys requires effort; concentrated and continuing effort. I remind you that “the rude material receives its fine finish from repeated efforts alone.” The lectures and charges offer hints and point us in the right direction, but we ourselves must tease out the inner meaning of the symbols and allegories presented. 7
Let us begin at the beginning. As we studied the Entered Apprentice degree under the guidance of our sponsors and mentors, we were coached in a few questions which we were to answer in open lodge before proceeding on to the next level. The first of these questions was, “Where were you first prepared to be a Mason?” The response is the essence of our entire masonic philosophy. That is the symbolism of stone. The sculptor goes inside the stone to reveal its inner beauty, shaping, polishing, refining. Freemasonry regards the inner qualities, not the external. We are concerned with discovering and exploiting one’s inner potential. Freemasonry is dedicated to the improvement of man as an individual and society as a whole. You have probably heard the old cliché about Masonry “making good men better”. Freemasonry is a vehicle for selfimprovement, but the truth of the matter? Masonry can only provide the roadmap and point the way; only we as individuals can become better men, not better than our fellows, but better than ourselves, to realize our potential, to reach for the top. By that I do not mean the ego-centred scrambling after rank and title that is sometimes evident in certain individuals in any corporate body. I mean the striving after excellence in everything we do. The words “KNOW THYSELF” were inscribed over the entrance to the chambers of initiation in ancient time. This is the challenge of initiation into the secrets and mysteries of Freemasonry that has been set before us during Initiation. We have embarked on a life-long journey of selfdiscovery. The goal of every true Mason: to be a good man and a good citizen. Ordinary men called upon to do extraordinary things. We are now sworn and obligated to play out
the game of life with different rules, timeless, yet timely old-fashioned values based upon virtue and morality. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) wrote, “We see with other eyes; we hear with other ears; we think with other thoughts, than those we formerly used. The mind, once enlightened cannot again become dark.” That is the transformation effected by Freemasonic initiation. If there is one thing we take from this oncein-a-lifetime experience of initiation, it would be this: In the final charge we are urged (exhorted, is the word the ritual uses) “to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.” Admonition is really about learning and improving yourself; as has been suggested earlier. “Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” the ideas and ideals, the core values of Freemasonry in order to share in this vast store of accumulated knowledge and wisdom. I have found the subject is inexhaustible and the resources are limitless. We must question our teachings to enable us to understand them better. That great physicist and thinker of the last century, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) articulated it thus: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” This talk was intended for the Newly Made Mason but, I believe it is a message we should all remember and moralize on. By R.W. Bro. Robert Inglis, DDGM of Nipissing Muskoka district at his Official Visit to Nipissing Lodge 420 on December 12th, 2015 – Sourced from Ontario Mason Magazine Winter 2016.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Why is acacia a Masonic symbol? Answer. In putting acacia at the Master's temporary grave, Freemasonry follows beliefs, which go back to the captivity of the Jews in Egypt. Here acacia was supposed to have grown about and protected the chest into which Osiris had been tricked by his jealous brother, Typhon. Searching for her husband, Osiris, Isis discovered the tree in the home of a Phoenician king; for service she rendered the king, he gave her the tree and thus the body of her husband. Like the evergreens of this country, acacia is hardy. Sprouts come often from beams and columns made of acacia, the shittah wood of the Old Testament. The Jews planted it on graves as a symbol of life, and to mark the resting place of the dead that footsteps profane it not. As myrtle was to the Greeks, mistletoe to the Scandinavians, and lotus to the Egyptians--symbols of immortality--so is acacia to Freemasonry Question: Did someone discover, design or invent Masonry? Answer. No one man, discovered designed or invented democracy, or philosophy, or science, or any one government. Freemasonry is the result of growth. Many masons had a part in it; it has taken to itself teachings from many religions, philosophies, systems of knowledge, symbols. The most generally accepted orthodox belief as to those who "began" Freemasonry is that the Craft is a descendant of Operative 8
masons. These Operatives inherited from unknown beginnings, of which there may have been several and were probably many, practices and some form of ritual. Speculative Masonry, reaching back through Operative Masonry, touches hands with those who followed unknown religions in which, however, many of the Speculative principles must have been taught by the use of symbols as old as mankind and therefore universal, and not the product of any one people or time. Question: What is the distinction between "due form" and "ample form?" Answer: A Lodge is opened and closed by its Master "in due form" meaning according to the ancient usages and customs, the laws and ritual, of its Grand Lodge. When the Grand Master opens and closes a Grand Lodge (or a particular Lodge) he is said to do so in "ample form." In some Jurisdictions the Grand Master will shorten the common ritual, to save time, but his power and authority are "ample" to accomplish his purpose, regardless of the manner in which he does it. In some Jurisdictions the phrase "due examination" is used in referring to one of the methods of obtaining legal or lawful Masonic information. "due examination" specifies the manner of such an examination; that it be conducted with due caution, and according to all the regulations of the Grand Lodge The Questions and answers from ‘Did you Know’ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
Early Masonry – Manner of Admission In regard to the manner of admission of non-operatives into craft Lodges, little is known. Brother Murray Lyon writes, it cannot now be ascertained in what respect the ceremonial preceding the admission of Theoretical differed from that observed in the reception of Practical Masons; but that there was some difference is certain, from the inability of non-operatives to comply with the tests to which the operative Mason was subjected before they could be passed as Fellow Crafts. The former class of intrants would in all likelihood be initiated into a knowledge of the legendary history of the Mason Craft and have the Word and such other secrets communicated to them as was necessary to their recognition as Brethren in the very limited Masonic circle in which they were ever likely to move — limited because there was nothing of a cosmopolitan character in the bond which united the members of Lodges in the times to which we refer. Brother A. C. F. Jackson (Our Predecessors, A.Q.C., Vol. 91, p. 17) states that the degree ceremonies were often worked by commission, i.e. in the presence of the Master or his proxy and some other members of the Lodge, specially appointed. Such small meetings are noted in the minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh, and the minutes of Haughfoot show that it was a settled practice by the end of the century. Further confirmation comes from the Edinburgh Register House Manuscript which refers to a "true and perfect Lodge being seven masters and five entered
apprentices, but that four or five masters and three entered apprentices no less make a true and perfect Lodge". Such ad hoc assemblies had the power to make Masons where or when they liked provided that the proper dues were paid and the proceedings reported at the annual assembly. There is no reason why these small meetings should not have been held in the open if that was the Lodge custom. But there is no evidence that this was so â€” except possibly at Aberdeen in 1660. The esoteric part of the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft or Master ceremonies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries can have been little more than the communication of the "Mason Word", the Word is the only secret that is alluded to in the minutes of Mary's Chapel, or those of Kilwinning, Aitchison's Haven or Dunblane, or any other that have been examined prior to the erection of Grand Lodge in 1736. But that this talisman consisted of more than one word is obvious from the "secrets of the Mason Word" referred to in the minute book of the Lodge of Dunblane and from further information from that of Haughfoot, i.e. "that in 1702 the word was accompanied by a grip" (A.Q.C., Vol. 91, p. 17). It is interesting to note that the esoteric side of Masonry entered into the dispute between the journeyman and the Masters. This was brought about by the seceding of the journeymen from the Lodge of Edinburgh in 1712 which, after a "Decreet Arbital" of 1715 granted to the journeymen the right of communicating the "Mason Word". In 1764 the Masonic secrets practised in the ancient Lodge of Melrose are thus referred to: "That the Mason Word be administered in a simple way and manner free of everything sinful and superstitious only word, sign and grip and some simple questions to distinguish a Mason from another man, and all under a simple promise not to reveal it,
under no less a penalty than to forfeit all right and title to every benefit belonging to the Lodge and to be held in abhorrence by every brother." In Brother J. G. Tindal's History of Freemasonry, grip, word and sign are shown to have been used as forms of recognition among German Masons in the twelfth century. Secret modes of recognition among other Craftsmen are traceable through several generations. The Squaremen Word was given in conclaves of journeymen and apprentice Wrights, Slaters, etc., in a ceremony in which the candidate was blindfolded and otherwise "prepared"; he was sworn to secrecy, had word, grip and sign communicated to him and was afterwards invested with a leather apron. The entrance to the meeting place, usually a public house in which the "brithering" was performed, was guarded and all who passed had to give the grip. The fees received were spent in the entertainment of the Brethren present. Like the Masons, the Squaremen admitted non-operatives (Murray Lyon, pp. 22-23). In Scotland there also evolved from the Shoemaker Incorporation the Royal St Crispen Grand Lodge of Scotland, which worked a ceremonial consisting of three degrees in which a sign, grip and word were imparted to the candidate. This Grand Lodge was in existence until the 1890s. Brother Murray Lyon gives his opinion, based on the Schaw Statute of 1598, anent the reception of fellows or masters, that in primitive times there were no secrets communicated by Lodges to either fellows of craft or masters that were not known to apprentices, seeing that members of the latter grade were necessary to the legal constitution of communications for the admission of masters and fellows. Confirmation of this opinion is found in the 10
fact that about the middle of the seventeenth century apprentices were not only eligible for but actually filled the offices of Deacon and Warden in the Lodge of Kilwinning; and that about the close of the same century (1693) the Lodge recognised "passing", i.e. a promotion to the fellowship simply as an "honour and dignity". If the communication by Mason Lodges of secret words or signs con- stituted a degree â€” a term of modern application to the esoteric observances of the Masonic body â€” then there was under the purely Operative regime only one known to Scottish Lodges, viz. that in which under an oath apprentices obtained a knowledge of the Mason Word and all that was implied in the expression; and that this was the germ whence has sprung Symbolical Masonry (Murray Lyon, p. 23). If Apprentices were present at the admission of Fellow Crafts as per the legal requirement of the Schaw Statute of 1598, then it is difficult to argue that the Fellow Craft or Master was being passed to a degree of superior rank to that of Entered Apprentice. Numerous suggestions have been advanced to surmount this difficulty. One being that the Apprentice at some stage in the ceremony retired, but it has been pointed out by Brother Bernard E. Jones (p. 137) that "William Schaw meant nothing at all if that interpretation could be placed upon his words." Another suggestion is that the candidate retired with his intenders and had certain secrets given to him outside the Lodge; which again, as Brother Bernard Jones states, is only another way of saying that the apprentices who were required to be present were actually absent. A third suggestion is that the secrets were of such a nature as could be communicated to the Fellow in the presence of the Apprentices by the whisper of a word or the giving of a grip. It is possible that one would have 11
expected that William Schaw would have provided for just such a contingency in his Statute. If the Apprentices were not to see and hear everything that went on, then we are left with the question as to why he should insist on the Apprentices being present at all. That Entered Apprentices filled the chair of Warden or Deacon in Scots Lodges is not easily accounted for by the theorists who maintain that in those Lodges two different esoteric ceremonies were worked. The evidence as a whole points to the Masters, the Fellow of Craft having of course the higher trade status and having trade privileges not accorded to the Entered Apprentice, but that whatever were the secrets of operative Masonry at that time, they were one and the same for every class of member (Brother Bernard E. Jones, p. 138). Under the provisions of the Schaw Statute of 1598, operatives only attained the status of Fellow after two appearances before the Lodge â€” on indenture and again at a minimum of fourteen years later for his Fellowship. It appears though that nonoperatives of Gentleman Masons attained the same status in the Lodge at one meeting. Thereafter the non-professional Mason was permitted to attend future ceremonial entries of Apprentices and also at the Passing of Fellows when, if Brother Murray Lyon is correct, there was nothing in the Lodge under Operative dominance except the practical test of the candidate and his booking. In the Lodge of Aberdeen in the seventeenth century, a non-operative who had been "entered in another Lodge" became a Master Mason upon payment of two dollars Scots and a pint or more of wine. In the same Lodge a duly qualified Apprentice was admitted to Fellowship equivalent to Mastership, on his providing a dinner and a pint of wine, and there is no
suggestion of his having to pass through any second ceremony of reception. Whether there was one degree or two degrees, and whatever it was that was conferred in one session on the gentlemen or non-operative Mason, never a doubt has been raised that Entered Apprentices were present at those admissions. EARLY MASONRY â€” MANNER OF ADMISSION by BROTHER ALFRED DONOVAN, P.M., Lodge Sir Robert Moray, No. 1641
St Johnâ€™s Lodge of Operative Masons No. 92, Banff.
St John's Lodge of Operative Masons was founded in Banff in 1764, the first R.W.M. being John Rhind as recorded in the No.1 Minute Book of the Lodge. At that time, and for a number of years to come, it remained a Lodge solely confined to Operative Masons, and besides working the three established Degrees, it worked the Degrees of Royal Arch, Knight Templar and
the Knight of Malta. In the early records all these Degrees are recorded in the one Minute Book, and there are two finely wrought brass seals of these Degrees still in existence and preserved within the Lodge, dating from that time. The records of the Lodge are virtually complete and kept within the building in a cupboard specially made and partitioned for that purpose. From 1764 until the present day there have been 75 Right Worshipful Masters and to commemorate this a beautiful carved mahogany board has been prepared with all the names painted thereon and sufficient room left to carry the Lodge into the year 2000 and beyond. A perusal of the ancient minute books (No.1 is proudly displayed in a glass case within the Lodge) yields much very interesting information and when one reads of the Brethren marching in full procession to lay the foundation stone of Banff Bridge it is not difficult to picture the scene. There are two original silk banners, beautifully painted and in very good condition, still in existence within the Lodge, and it is quite certain they would have been carried at the head of the procession. The ancient method of recording votes is used regularly in the earliest minute book; this consists of each vote being represented by a single stroke of the pen and grouped in fives; thus we see three votes are shown II while eighteen votes are shown as IIIII IIIII IIIII III with an oblique line scored through each block of five and the remaining three unscored.* The neighbouring town of Macduff is referred to by the ancient name of Doune and the town of Aberchirder (the home town 12
of our present Provincial Grand Master) by the old name of Foggieloan. It is interesting to note that this old name for Aberchirder still lives on in 1975. We read in the minutes of Brethren of Lodge St John being given Commissions to visit certain towns and to confer Degrees on Brethren over a wide area of the north of Scotland and one gathers the impression that Lodge St John's Operative, Banff, must have attained a most important status in those early days of its history. The colour of the Lodge regalia is pink and the Office-bearers' jewels are of silver, being the original jewels of the Lodge and most probably manufactured in the town of Banff where a thriving silversmiths' craft was carried on until quite recent times. Past Grand Master Mason, Brother David Liddell-Grainger, and also Grand Secretary, Brother Stuart Falconer, were very impressed with the ancient jewels and the antique Scots Pine furniture when they visited St John's in 1972. There are some valuable articles preserved within the Lodge; valuable and irreplaceable. These include an inscribed gold-mounted horn snuff mill presented by Brother The Earl of Fife in 1836 which has been regularly handed round for use by the Brethren in the Lodge during the meetings and which is today fully charged with fresh snuff ready for any Brother who wishes to partake. A silver punch ladle with a silver coin soldered inside is also treasured in the Lodge, the coin having been tossed into the punch bowl by The Earl of Fife during a Harmony within the Lodge. The building of the Lodge itself is recorded in full detail, much of which makes quaint reading today especially when one compares the rate of wages, 1/6 per day, and 13
2 pence per load for gravel to today's prices. An interesting ceremony, the making and serving of St John's Punch on Installation nights is also duly recorded with certain Brethren being specially detailed for the duty. Whether one required special qualifications to be eligible for the duty of punch maker is not stated, but the ceremony was noted each year along with such items as "The Brethren of the Lodge did form a Torchlight Procession and proceeded to their Hall to hold their Installation Harmony Celebration." Incidentally, the original copper flagons, punch ladles and hand-made glasses dating from those far-off times were once more taken into use in January 1975, when the old custom was again revived and St John's Punch served to the Brethren after the Installation. Lodge St John celebrated its Bi-Centenary in 1964. The occasion was honoured by a Deputation from Grand Lodge headed by Lord Bruce, M.W. Grand Master Mason. The R.W. Master of St John's Lodge at that time was Brother Peter Lawrence. A fairly heavy programme of re-decoration has been carried out involving quite considerable expense but this has been met largely by anonymous donations from the members. It is hoped to tackle repairs and improvements to the exterior of the Lodge as soon as funds are available after which the fabric of Lodge St John, No.92, Banff, should be good for many years to come. *It is noteworthy that this very democratic method of electing Lodge Office-bearers was in use in Masonic Lodges in Scotland a very long time before modern democratic methods were introduced into public life. This History of the St. Johnâ€™s, Banff No. 92 was sourced from GLOS website Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 92 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Famous Freemasons Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold Lies Amoulderin' in the Grave The story of Benedict Arnold is a tragic one. Arnold was a hero in the American Revolution, and his military accomplishments turned the tide of the war in favour of the colonists at least twice. He was brave, quick-witted on the battlefield, and showed great cunning as a military strategist. And in the end, he became America’s most notorious traitor. Benedict Arnold came from a wealthy family that had fallen on hard times. His father’s business failures forced Benedict to leave school at fourteen. He briefly apprenticed in his cousins’ apothecary, but at fifteen he joined the Connecticut Militia
to fight in the French and Indian War. Because of his young age, he was released before he saw action, but one event of the war angered and haunted him as an adult. The commander of French troops at the battle of Fort William Henry 1757 had promised their Indian allies guns and booty when the battle ended, but had instead offered mild surrender terms to the British, leaving the Indians with few spoils. Outraged, the Indians massacred as many as 180 British men, women and children while French officers looked on helplessly. Even though young Benedict was well on his way home at the time, he would never forgive the French for the rest of his life. As a young man he went into business as a bookseller and an apothecary in New Haven, Connecticut. His business expanded, and through several shrewd real estate deals, he made enough money to buy three ships and start a successful trade with the West Indies. He often took command of his own ship, and while on a voyage in the islands, he became a Freemason in a local lodge. He went home and affiliated with Hiram Lodge No. 1 in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1765. When the British passed the Stamp Act to enforce a protectionist trade policy, Arnold did what most American sea merchants did – he became a smuggler. But the new taxation by Britain soon drove him severely into debt. When he received news of the socalled “Boston Massacre” in 1775, he became outraged and joined the Connecticut Guards. And when the war began at Lexington and Concord, as their captain, he led a march of the militia, fresh with new recruits from Yale University, to join the Revolution in Massachusetts. He successfully convinced Massachusetts’ military officials to mount an expedition to 14
take Fort Ticonderoga, steal its many cannon and use them to break the British siege of Boston. Arnold was made a colonel in the Massachusetts militia and led his Connecticut troops in the raid, one of the early successes of the war. He had believed himself to be in command of the mission, but Colonel Ethan Allen was the local officer favored by the Massachusetts troops. Arnold and Allen jointly commanded the raid, which was accomplished with just one shot fired. Arnold went on with fifty volunteers to raid more supplies from Fort Saint Johns, farther up the river. But instead of being given command of the forts when the battle ended, Arnold was passed over. In disgust, he resigned his commission. Arnold was commissioned as a colonel in the Continental Army after he proposed a part of a plan to attack and capture Quebec City and Montreal, and he was given command of the forces headed for Quebec. Just before heading for Maine and the Quebec mission, his wife tragically died in New Haven. The Canadian campaign failed, and Arnold was wounded in the leg. But he managed to assemble 350 volunteers to continue a siege of the city until reinforcements arrived. For his bravery, he was commissioned as a Brigadier General. The next year he successfully repulsed an attempted invasion from Lake Champlain, and in 1777 he quickly assembled volunteer forces to turn away a surprise attack by the British in Danbury, Connecticut. He went on to Philadelphia, where he briefly became the ranking officer in the city. But command of the forces there was given to a newer, less experienced officer. Again, Arnold had been snubbed for promotion, and again he resigned. Washington still had faith in him and deplored Congress’ treatment of the talented general. He had Arnold reassigned 15
to Massachusetts and the area around Fort Ticonderoga. Arnold performed yet another daring manoeuvre at Saratoga when his forces successfully cut off the retreat of General Burgoyne’s British troops and forced his surrender. Arnold’s strategy was better, yet he was snubbed by his own superior, General Horatio Gates, who left him out of the battle plans and refused to acknowledge Arnold’s role in defeating Burgoyne. Arnold’s leg was shot again at Saratoga, this time rendering it useless, but while convalescing in Albany, he refused to have it amputated. When the British were finally chased from Philadelphia, Washington placed him in command of troops there. But when word came that America had sought an alliance with France, Arnold became enraged. Ironically, it was his own success at Saratoga that finally convinced King Louis XVI to openly ally with the rebels and make a large financial commitment to the American side. Arnold had hated the French for all of his adult life, and their entry into the war changed his outlook. He had believed the Revolution was merely to fight the repressive policies of the Crown, not to declare independence. But the entry of the French made it clear to him that complete separation from England was the American goal. Undoubtedly this was a naive position, or perhaps it was simply his justification for his subsequent treachery. Whatever the justification, he became a Loyalist. While in Philadelphia, Arnold began cavorting with Loyalists. The British troops had just been driven out, but there was a large Tory population in the city. Arnold began seeing Peggy Shippen, the 18 yearold daughter of a local judge whose loyalties were unclear, and they married
after just one month. But Arnold’s lavish new lifestyle drew the suspicion of Congress, who court-martialled him over financial improprieties with military money. Arnold finally had enough of enduring humiliation at the hands of both Congress and the military command. In July of 1780, he was placed in command of the fort at West Point, after campaigning for the job. He was secretly corresponding with the British general in New York City, using his new wife’s former paramour, British Major John André, as his courier. In his messages, he offered to hand the strategic fort at West Point over to the British, in return for £20,000 and a commission as a brigadier general. André was intercepted by American troops and was hanged, as regulations demanded, although he presented so sympathetic a figure that General Hamilton commented, “He died universally esteemed and universally regretted.” Meanwhile Arnold fled to the protection of the British and fled on an English ship. As is usually the case with a rat, the British never fully trusted him. They did place him in command of 1,600 troops on a mission to burn Richmond, Virginia, and in 1781 he was part of a diversionary force in Connecticut to draw the Americans' attention from Lord Cornwallis’ invasion. But after the British defeat at Yorktown, he moved to London and tried unsuccessfully to convince King George III to keep fighting. Over the years, he moved to Canada, then back to London in 1792. He died in 1801, destitute, and his wife Peggy and their four children returned to Philadelphia in disgrace. Arnold was a proud but enigmatic character. Brother Mason Dr. Joseph Warren was widowed in 1773, leaving four children.
After the death of Warren at Bunker Hill, his children were orphaned. Benedict Arnold came to their relief, true to his Masonic obligation. He had become friends with Brother Warren while in Massachusetts, and in April, 1778, Arnold contributed $500 towards their education. He also persuaded Congress to apply a pension to support them from the date of the father's death until the youngest child reached the age of consent. During the time he spent in Canada after the war, he went broke lending money to loyalists and Masons whom he knew would never repay him. Nevertheless, the bonds of Freemasonry are dissolved by the treachery of treason. His name was removed from the record books of Hiram Lodge No. 1 in New Haven where he was a member. And on May 16 , 1781 Solomon Lodge No. 1 in Poughkeepsie, New York passed a resolution that read: “Ordered that the Name of Benedict Arnold be considered as obliterated from the Minutes of this Lodge, a Traitor.” His signature had appeared in the list of visitors to the Lodge on June 12, 1771, and was crossed through. Beside the inked out signature is a small drawing of a hand, with a finger pointing to the word “Traitor.” As Arnold was on his deathbed, he asked to be buried in the uniform of the American Continental Army, and asked God for forgiveness in betraying the cause of liberty. A captured American soldier had once told Arnold that if he were caught, they would cut off his patriotic right leg, bury it with full military honours, and then hang the rest of his traitorous body on a gibbet. There is no denying his part in victories like the battle of Saratoga. On that battlefield, there stands a curious monument to his bravery. It 16
depicts a single boot, draped over an upturned cannon barrel, with the inscription,
Does your Apron still Fit? When a new Entered Apprenticed Mason is initiated, the Worshipful Master grants the Senior Warden the authority to invest the newly initiated brother with the “distinguishing badge of a Mason.” Taking pride in his duty, the Senior Warden makes sure that the new apron fits the invested Brother just right. It is snug, square and neat. The Brethren of the Lodge stand in admiration of this newly initiated Brother who is proudly adorned in his perfect fitting “Badge of Honour.” Upon his Third Degree, the newly raised Master Mason takes pride in putting away that apron as he heads home, elated and happy, if not somewhat overwhelmed by the lessons he has learned about his new apron and the Craft. Then what happens?
“In memory of the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of BORGOYNES GREAT WESTERN REDOUBT 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General." That "most brilliant soldier’s" name is not inscribed. This article was written by Christopher L. Hodapp, the author of "Freemasons For Dummies". It appeared in the ‘Freemasons for Dummies’ blogspot on August 2010. I am extremely grateful to Bro. Hodapp for allowing SRA76 permission to reproduce the article in our Famous Freemasons section of the magazine, and am happy to recognise him as the copyright holder of the work with all rights reserved and our thanks.
For some the study of Freemasonry, the practice of its rituals, and the contemplation of the lessons learned become a lifelong pursuit. The badge of honour with which they were invested is but the beginning of a long and wonderful Masonic journey for them. Some Brethren keep the same apron for the rest of their lives doing their best to make sure they always fit the apron. By helping whenever needed, being good men and upright citizens, exemplary husbands and fathers; their conduct as men and Masons ensures that they always fit the apron. Some truly dedicated craftsmen seem to fit the apron so well that other, more colourful, aprons start to seek them out. These are the Masons that other Masons revere as our leaders and who, by following their example, all Masons become better men.
This type of dedicated Mason fits every apron they will ever wear. For some however that “Badge of Honour” once so proudly worn and carefully put away after each meeting, begins to get a little loose on them. They stop attending Lodge for any number of reasons or they do not want to do the important duties they were charged to fulfil when they were first given their apron. Perhaps they only joined for the apron, or the right to say they belong to the Masonic Fraternity. This type of Brother will pay his dues to keep up his membership thinking he is doing his part, but sadly will do nothing more. It is often said, “we get more out of Masonry than we put into it,” which is obvious to those many members who get so much out of Freemasonry and yet put little or nothing back. One cannot continuously make withdrawals from the Bank of Freemasonry without being willing to make at least the occasional deposit. These members do not fit their aprons. Most of us know how well our apron fits when we put it on. Sometimes the apron belt needs to be stretched, but sometimes we need to stretch too. The question should not be how well does our apron fit us, but how well do we fit our Masonic apron. Brethren, how do you fit your apron? If your finding it days, then change that you may fit Stretch yourself a the belly.
a little too loose these what you must in order the apron once again. bit instead of stretching
Does your apron still fit? Sourced From the Pathways of the Craftsman by William Thomas
Rays of Masonry “Self-expression” Can there be thought without words? Without entering into a field of discussion that has created volumes of reading material, let us say that it is difficult for us "to think of thought without words." Our Fellowcraft degree teaches in terms of symbolism the value not only of communicating thought, but of adorning thought by means of rhetoric. But does it refer to speech alone? In every act of life, spoken or not spoken, we communicate ourselves. We are part of all about us. We create favourable or unfavourable response by our manners, or lack or manners. We reveal ourselves by a smile, or handshake, frown, or shrug of the shoulder. Our eyes tell of hate and anger, love and kindness. The glance between husband and wife is a perfect sign of secrecy which the world cannot grasp. The look of hopelessness on the face of a child, the innocent victim of war, oppression and hunger, can move us to charity as no words can do. In times of death or sickness the expression of sympathy and understanding on the part of a friend and brother is readily communicated and understood. The brother who cannot utter a profound prayer can touch the heart of another by his attitude of reverence. Speech is a form of communication. But there are many ways of communicating ourselves to others. In our acts there is the beauty of silent rhetoric. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
summer fishing! This scattering of effort is a shame. We ought to put it into the work of the lodge; don't you agree with me?" "I sure do; I think all our effort Masonic should be Masonic effort!" answered the Old Tiler. "That's the first time I ever started a discussion with you and found you were on my side!" laughed the New Brother, triumphantly. "Oh, I wouldn't go as far as to say I was on your side this time. Our efforts ought to be Masonic, but I don't see un-Masonic effort in a glee club, saxophone quartet, camping association, dramatic club, and so on. What's wrong with them as Masonic work?''
Outside Activities "We are coming to a pretty pass in our Masonry!" announced the New Brother, disgustedly. "That has a familiar ring! No times like the old times, no days like the old days, everything going to the demnition bowwows. They uncovered inscriptions like that in King Tut's tomb!" grinned the Old Tiler. "What's wrong with our Masonry now?" All these extras in the lodge. First, we have a choir; that's all right, since music adds to the solemnity and beauty of the degrees. Now we arc forming a lodge glee club. There is to be a saxophone quartet and there is talk of a lodge band. A brother in lodge long enough to know better is organizing a dramatic society. If he has any dramatic instinct he should put it into the degrees. The Master is interesting some brethren in forming a Masonic club, and a lot of brethren are talking of a camping club, for 19
"Why, Masonic work is putting, on the degrees well, and making an impression on the candidate, and charity, and . . . and . . .” "Go on, son, you are doing fine!" "Oh, you know what I mean! Masonic work isn't going camping or playing a saxophone!" "Isn't it?" asked the Old Tiler, interestedly. ''Now, that's a plain statement about which I can argue until tomorrow morning! But explain why playing a saxophone in a lodge for the pleasure of the lodge isn’t Masonic.'' "Oh, the time spent could be better spent in – in listening to the degrees." "Granted, if there were degrees to listen to. But you wouldn't put on a degree without reason? If the lodge neglects its degree work to listen to a quartet, the quartet does harm. But if the quartet brings down brethren who like music, and to whom we
can then give Masonic instruction, why isn't it good Masonic work?" "How about the dramatic club and the fishing association?" "They are the same in intent. The dramatic club will gather together brethren interested in plays. It will develop histrionic talent which now doesn't exist. It will train men for sincere and well-managed degree work. But if it never led a single man into our degree teams, it would still be a bond of union between men who would thus get better acquainted; the better members know each other the more united the lodge. "Fishing is an innocent and delightful sport. When Masons congregate to enjoy it and prefer the company of each other to others, it speaks very highly of the bonds of brotherhood. If I can afford it I will surely join. I'd much rather tell a fish that he has passed the other anglers, but me he cannot pass, in the presence of my brethren, than have to keep my thoughts to myself before strangers!" "You think these extra growths on the body of the lodge don't sap its strength?" "I don't think they are growths on the body of the lodge at all!" growled the Old Tiler. "Brethren who do these are not taking strength from the lodge! Banding together to sing, play musical instruments, fish, act in plays together, shows a real feeling of brotherhood. The more such activities, the more united we will be. "All work and no play makes a Mason a stay-at-home. Our ancient brethren specified the usages of refreshment. They understood that playing was as necessary as working. If part of us can play together for our own
pleasure, well and good. If, at the same time, we can give pleasure to others, well and better. And if we can pleasure ourselves, please others, and benefit the lodge by increasing its unity, why, well and best of all!" "You sure are a salesman!" cried the New Brother. ''I ought not to afford it, but . . ." "What have I sold you?" asked the Old Tiler, interestedly. "Memberships in the glee club, the Masonic club, and the fishing club!" grinned the New Brother. This is the sixty-seventh article in this regular feature, â€˜The Old Tiler Talks,â€™ each month we publish in the newsletter one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
FOR CLOSING OF LODGE. THE Sun proclaims within the West The hour of sweet repose, The Warden marks the level ray And bids our labours close. The day is gone, on Life's brief page It's record ne'er shall fade ; And we must build our future on The past that we have made. O gracious Master ! bless our work. Imperfect though it be ; And o'er the world speed our Craft, In peace and harmony. A.S. MacBRIDE
In Lodges in England it is the general custom for white gloves to be worn. Why, and what is the origin of this custom? This is a tradition which has its roots like so many of our customs, in operative masonry. Operative stonemasons had to wear gloves as an item of protective clothing just as they wore aprons for the same purpose. Bro. A. C. P. Jackson in his Inaugural address to the Lodge (AQC 88 1975) commented that masons must have been enjoyed special privileges in this respect when there were certain prohibitions in the Middle Ages against the wearing of gloves and when there were also strict rules of etiquette about them. In considering the use of gloves in speculative Freemasonry we need to remember the age in which the formal customs of the Craft were developing. It was an age of formality; formality in speech, dress, manners; the age of courtly elegance; the age of the beaux and fops (but beneath this veneer, lest we romanticize it too much, we must remember it was also an 21
age course, brutal and depraved). Gloves were an item of formal male attire and, indeed, they persisted as such into modern times in formal evening and court dress. So there were two influences for the adoption of gloves as part of masonic clothing; as symbolic (like the apron) of the operative tradition and as part of the formal dress of polite society. There are early references in masonic exposures and ritual documents to a newly made brother 'clothing the lodge', i.e., presenting each of the members with a pair of gloves and/or an apron. One of the earliest of these exposures which appeared as a letter in a London newspaper of 1723 under the title A Mason's Examination went even further by stating: 'When a Free Mason is enter'd, after having given to all present of the Fraternity a Pair of Men and women's Gloves and Leathern apron...' (and then going on to describe the ceremony). This tradition of a pair of gloves for the ladies also crops up in other places, especially in Masonry elsewhere in Europe, and a charming echo of this 18th century custom is still observed in Pilgrim Lodge No. 238 (EC), the London Lodge of German speaking masons founded in 1779 which still today works its own unique degree ritual in German. When a candidate is initiated, or a joining member admitted on election, the Master presents him with two pairs of white gloves, one a gentleman's the other a lady's informing him that one pair is for himself to wear in lodge and the other he is to present to 'your life's faithful consort as a token of our esteem and to renew to her your vow of inviolable fidelity. But why white gloves as an item of masonic dress today?
White is an obvious symbol of purity and white gloves express the idea of one clean of heart and hands. One is reminded of the custom of a maiden assize (i.e. one at which no one was to be brought to trial) by which the sheriff of the county would present the assize judge with a pair of white gloves symbolizing the calendar was clear. Masonry, the candidate is told, is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue and then later he is invested with a plain white apron, the 'badge of innocence', free from all blemish. He will later learn how fifteen trusty Fellowcrafts were order to attend the funeral of H.A. clothed in white aprons and gloves 'as emblems of innocence.' The very word 'candidate' in its original from the Latin expresses the idea of whiteness as a symbol of the purity and innocence of the aspirant; in ancient Rome the candidate for office wore a white toga, the toga candida. Similarly our word 'candid' from the same root carries a meaning of being clean and pure. The idea of a candidate as 'one clothed in white' is expressed in the custom observed in some lodges whereby the candidate for initiation is required to dress, as was the writer of this note, in a special loose-fitting white suit kept for the purpose. So we wear gloves as a reminder of our roots in operative masonry and echoing the formal dress of a bygone age, and those gloves are white to symbolize and remind us of the tents of our profession, 'founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue'. Sourced from the Skirrett. - This article was prepared by Wor. Brother T. O. Haunch of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, London, England and was published in the September 1990 Lodge Summons.
What is Free about the Freemasons? We all know what masons are. They are tradesmen involved in building in stone. We are not so certain, however, about Freemasons. To say they are Masons who are free is not much help. We need to ascertain what is free about them. That’s the question which this evening’s lecture will attempt to address. Our concern will not be with masonry in the sense of stonework, nor with the etymological derivation of the word mason (it is probably from a root that means to hew or cut), but with Masonry/Freemasonry as a fraternal movement. We begin by asking when the term Freemason was first used. It was certainly current in the 17th century, because an antiMasonic leaflet of 1698 mocks it. As reported in Bernard E Jones’ Freemason’s Guide and Compendium (1950), the 1698 pamphleteer called the Freemasons a “devilish sect of men” who were “antiChrist”. Pontificating about “Mischiefs and Evils practised in the sight of GOD by those Freed Masons” (note the inaccurate term), he declared, “I say take care lest their Ceremonies and secret Swearings take hold of you, and be wary that none cause you to err from Godliness”. Masons of course called themselves “free”, not “freed”, but the parody appealed to a detractor who feared that the “devilish sect” were throwing off religious restraints. We will come in due course to the religious views of the Freemasons, but note for the moment that the term Freemason was known and used at least as early as 1698. 22
But 1698 is far from being the first instance of the name. For an earlier instance we can go back a further century and a half to a publication of 1550, Werdmuller’s A Spiritual and Most Precious Perle (sic), quoted in Robert Cawdray’s Treasurie of Similies (sic), which was published in 1609. Werdmuller says, “As the Free-mason heweth the hard stones… even so God the Heavenly Free-Mason buildeth a Christian Church”. Even 1550 is by no means the beginning of the term Freemason. Two centuries earlier than this, there is a 1350 proclamation by the Council of London after the Black Death, quoted in GW Steinbrenner’s Origin and Early History of Masonry (1864), page 110. The statute fixes the wages of a master Freemason at four pence and of other masons at three pence, presumably per annum. “Here,” says Steinbrenner, “the word Freemason evidently signifies a free-stone, as distinguished from the rough mason, who mainly built walls of rough, unhewn stone.” It seems that the name Free-mason differentiated a free from a rough-mason. This is evidenced by the fact that certain English parish registers – e.g. Astbury in 1685 – recorded that such-and-such a person, “Freemason”, which is evidently an occupational category, had died. Note that the person’s occupation is not “mason” but “Freemason”. There must be a difference, and it seems to lie in their respective social status. “Freemason” was superior to “mason”. As a trained and skilled craftsman he was not tied down or obligated to any one parish but socially mobile, able and allowed to move about from site to site and take his skills wherever 23
he wished. He was an independent worker, autonomous and free. Unlike the carpenters and plasterers, he belonged to an emancipated trade – a “francmet(t)ier” in French, hence the French term francmacon, denoting a craftsman who was free from taxes and not bound to one site but free to move about. I know that some people believe in the romantic theory that quotes the AngloSaxon freo, “beloved”, and/or a similar Sanskrit word, priya, that means “dear” – both apparently linked with the word “friend”. The result is a (hopefully accurate) notion that the free mason was brotherly, friendly, generous and helpful. On this basis the movement might have been titled Friendmasonry. A lovely idea, but with little historical validity. The truth is undeniably that in Operative history the word “free” in Freemasonry has to do with the occupational status of the fully-qualified and “accepted” medieval masons. But now we have to move into the Speculative period, and that’s where the story becomes complicated. By way of preface, we need to explain how and why Operative Masonry turned into a Speculative movement. The scholars are far from unanimous on the subject, largely because of the lack of definite evidence one way or the other. According to the so-called Transition Theory, men from outside the mason’s trade moved into Operative lodges from about the middle of the 17th century and eventually took them over. The Operative trade was declining (the major Continental castles and cathedrals were mostly built by about 1540 and a new economic system was emerging) and the lodges needed new members in order to survive.
On the other hand, the new cadre of scientists and intellectuals of the Age of Enlightenment were attracted to the practical application of their scientific experimentation and mental intellectualising, and were intrigued by geometry, architecture and artisanship. For various reasons they also needed a structure into which they could integrate. It suited both the artisans and the intellectuals to link together, despite the socio-economiceducational gaps between them. How did the transition work? It’s hard to be certain, because we have hardly any written evidence to go on – probably because neither of the two groups seems to have kept detailed records, though the archives of the Royal Society might need new attention in this respect. We can understand that the Operative masons had a principle of privacy, and they did not write minutes or protocols. It’s not that they lacked men who could read and write, but they had a conscious policy of keeping their business to themselves. This policy of privacy did in fact bring opprobrium upon the movement in that the Roman Catholic Church believed that since the Freemasons were keeping things secret, they had to be up to mischief. However, there is an important clue in the fact that Elias Ashmole (1617-1692), who was not an occupational, i.e. an Operative mason, notes in his diary that on 16 October, 1646, he and Colonel Henry Mainwaring (a cousin of his first wife) were initiated into a Freemasons’ lodge at Warrington in Lancashire. There must have been other outsiders who did likewise, as Ashmole notes in 1682 that he attended a “noble dinner” in London at a tavern in
Cheapside at the expense of “the Newaccepted Masons”. Other sources claim that Robert Moray became a non-operative Mason a few years before Ashmole. Who decided that outsiders, even in small numbers, could be allowed into the companies of masons? There was no overall governing body of lodges, so no formal enrolment policy was possible. We have to conclude that there was probably a patchwork process of individual lodges deciding for themselves to accept non-Operative members, resulting in the movement going through a sort of creeping process of change and reinvention. A crucial question is why Ashmole and others were attracted to Freemasonry. We can only surmise, but the answer seems to lie in the life story and interests of this polymath. He was known at various times as an antiquary, politician, military officer, mathematician, astrologer, chemist, student of nature and a Royalist in the English Civil War – in all, as someone has described him, a “virtuoso and curioso”. His enquiring mind would have made him wonder what the Freemasons did in their lodges, but more than this, he may have thought that the movement could assist his interest in scientific truth and his work to restore the monarchy, perhaps as a cloak behind which to promote the Royalist cause. In this context it is possible that the Hiram Abiff story was developed by people with such sympathies and views as these, as an allegory of the royal personage whom they hoped to restore to the throne. All this happened in England, where institutions have an acknowledged habit of evolving over time, often in patchwork 24
fashion. It is possible that the story in Scotland was somewhat different and more decisive, and that some Scottish Operative lodges deliberately decided to change their nature and become non-Operative, whilst retaining the masons’ terminology they were used to. In both places it is may be that for some time there were parallel Operative and Speculative lodges working more or less side-by-side, with the Operatives finally dying out or merging with the Speculatives. The evidence is not yet sufficient for us to be certain about this theory. Nor are we sure how this development fitted in with the new intellectual movements in France and elsewhere on the Continent. Now comes our question as to the relevance of the term “free” in the new situation. 17th century secular thinking and science believed in the free use of reason in the search for truth. (The Fellows of the Royal Society had specifically committed themselves to “increase the powers of all mankind and to free them from the bondage of errors”). They sought an intellectual home outside the conventional Church. The masons’ lodges were already there, with their long tradition of philosophising – at first about one’s own craft, and by extension about ethical principles and the meaning of life. But the lodges – if not consciously Christian – were not non-Christian. Being officially non-Christian would have created major problems for the secularists. However, Rev. Dr James Anderson and his colleagues who formulated the 18th century Constitutions of the craft made a major concession when they removed any element of Christian denominationalism from the movement and required from Freemasons only a general belief in God and an 25
acceptance of an undefined – somewhat vague – level of religious belief, leaving detailed theological opinions to an individual’s own conscience. As a result, Freemasonry was religious but not a religion; in most respects it was not even Christian, though constantly using Old Testament imagery and idiom. Certain levels of the movement retain a specific Christian commitment, but the three craft degrees are open to Jews and other non-Christians, and the association of Jews with Freemasonry has played a significant role in the history of both. One of the major questions that has never been decisively answered is why what Ashmole calls “the New-accepted Masons” showed such an interest in stones, squares, compasses and corners. My answer is that the Speculatives who joined the craft were attracted by and accepted the allegorical use of building-trade terminology because they not only questioned conventional structures but sought to build a new society. They were free because they exemplified the latitude to let their minds roam. Like the medieval Freemasons, they were not pinned down to one place or one mindset. This is the story as I for one see it, though I admit that others may think differently. I believe that there were two stages. First applying the term “free” to their mental searching for truth, the Speculatives now moved to an ethical and philosophical emphasis on freedom in terms of human free will. I find this evinced in the First Degree ritual which – though the wording sometimes differs from one tradition to another – says, “No man can be made a Mason unless he is free”, and avers, “Masonry is free, and requires a perfect
freedom of inclination and action from every candidate for its mysteries”. Put bluntly, in the craft as we have it today, we are Freemasons because we freely choose our own goals and principles, and because we believe that the task of freely building the future is placed in our own hands. Modern-day Freemasonry does not go in for much philosophical analysis but it certainly believes in the use of one’s free will. 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.
Wisdom It is clear that “wisdom” is not a thing of itself, but rather a use of other means and materials gathered over a lifetime. Wisdom is using the resources of knowledge, of experience and of good judgement. It is, therefore, the action, the proper use of the tools of the mind, brain and soul. The desire to learn is the beginning of wisdom and so it is very significant that we speak of becoming wise, for wisdom is a creative energy, and its fruits are temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice. The human heart is like a bottomless well; it is always thirsty and searching for the quietude that comes only after the heat and turmoil of living has been overcome. In wisdom there is an intelligent, lucid and holy spirit; wisdom is knowledge, but not knowledge for its own sake, but knowledge which helps to widen the horizon and deepen the communication between man and man. Masonry may be termed a progressive science but it is also a reflective science, a place to think, to become human, to consider one’s fellow man, not as an integer, but as flesh and blood, and, above all, as a stepping stone to wisdom. Sourced from The Ontario Mason Fall 2013.
DID YOU KNOW? Question: What is the "Lodge of the holy St. John at Jerusalem?" Answer: Many a Master has been puzzled to answer this simplest and most natural of questions. As there is not now and never was such a Lodge, there is certainly some reason for confusion. Originally, Lodges were dedicated to King Solomon. Later--at least as early as 1598--Masonry connected its name with that of St. John the Evangelist. Dedications to the Sts. John were made by other organizations as early as the third century, when the Church adopted the two pagan celebrations of summer and winter solstices and made them our St John's Day in Summer and St. John's Day in Winter [often called the Feast of St. John to distinguish it from St. John's Day in summer]. It was wholly natural for operative masons, having dedicated their Craft to the Holy Sts. John, to begin to believe that both Johns were themselves Craftsmen. Craftsmen must have a Lodge where should that Lodge be, but in Jerusalem? Hence "The Lodge of the Holy Sts. John of Jerusalem" came into imaginary existence. No such Lodge ever existed in fact, and yet is not a fiction--it is an ideal, and without such ideals our life could be dim and drab The thought back of the question and answer, then, is that we come from an ideal or dream Lodge into this actual workaday world, where our idea] s are to be tested. Today, as we use the phrase as the starting point for a Masonic career, Masons mean only that their Craft is dedicated to these holy men, whose precepts and practices, 26
ideas and virtues, teachings and examples, all Freemasons should try to follow.
Question: Why is a certain square in Masonry termed an "oblong square?" Answer: An oblong square has its greatest length from east to west, its breadth from north to south. During the Solomonic era the world was supposed to have that oblong form. On a map of the world inscribe an oblong figure whose boundary lines circumscribe and include that portion known to be inhabited in the days of Solomon; these lines, running a short distance north and south of the Mediterranean Sea, and extending from Spain in the west to Asia Minor in the east, form an oblong square, including the southern shore of Europe, the northern shore of Africa, and the western district of Asia, the length of the parallelogram being about sixty degrees from east to west, and its breadth being about twenty degrees from north to south. This oblong square enclosing the whole of what was then supposed to be the habitable globe represents what is symbolically said to be the form of the Lodge. "Oblong Squareâ€? has been objected to by purists as a contradiction in terms; they insist that an oblong is a rectangle with unequal sides and perpendiculars while a square is a rectangle with equal sides and perpendiculars. The word "square" did not originally denote a figure with four equal sides, but any figure which had right angles at all four corners. Later, "square" came to mean not only "right angled" but a figure enclosed by four equal length lines any adjoining two of 27
which formed a right angle. "Oblong Squareâ€? then, meant anciently what "oblong" (noun) means today.
Question: Why do the stairs in the Second Degree wind? Answer: In I Kings VI: 8 appears "The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third." The Fellow Craft climbs the winding stairs to reach the middle chamber where are paid the wages he has earned, in corn, wine and oil. Symbolists find an especial significance in the "winding" of the stairs, denoting the necessity for a courageous ascent. Stairs which wind do not disclose what is ahead as does a straight stair. He who climbs a winding stair in confidence does so because he is a man grown, no weakling, but one able to face even an unknown future with courage. The Fellow Craft degree as a whole is a symbol of manhood, so it is appropriate to its teachings that winding stairs denote courage. The Entered Apprentice degree as a whole is a symbol of youth and the Master Mason degree as a whole a symbol of age.
Question: Why is it un-Masonic to disclose how one has balloted? Answer: In all Grand Jurisdictions the ballot on candidates is secret and inviolable. It is considered un-Masonic, and in most Grand Jurisdictions is against Masonic law, for any brother to divulge how he has balloted or will ballot on any candidate. Masters are instructed strictly to adhere to this requirement. Peace and harmony are the
foundations of all Masonic meetings. For Brother A to learn that Brother B has balloted or will ballot against his friend would disrupt that peace and harmony. The rejection of a candidate is a blow to him who has applied. If everyone knew who had cast the black cube, the rejected man might speedily learn, and cause of friction in the profane world would then have come out of a Masonic Lodge. A ballot is sometimes immediately retaken, because the appearance of a single black cube may be an error; the cube may have been cast by mistake. If the single black cube appears the second time! Presumably it was intentionally cast. Ballots differ in different Jurisdictions. In some, a "collective ballot" may he taken on several candidates at once; if a black cube appears, each name is then balloted on separately. In others, a "multiple ballot box" is used, with a compartment for each name, which is printed above it. In still others, each name is balloted on separately from the beginning. In most Grand Jurisdictions, one ballot elects to all three degrees. In some, a separate ballot is taken for each degree, and in one, at least, still another ballot on "moral qualifications." But in all Grand Jurisdictions, ballots are secret, inviolable, and regarded as a cornerstone on which the fraternity is erected. The Questions and answers from â€˜Did you Knowâ€™ were collected from various constitutions across the world, and in no way reflect the views or thoughts of the editor and or his Lodge or Mother Constitution.
The Lodge Almoner Every office-bearer who carries out his duties in an efficient manner contributes in some measure to the success of his Lodge in all its activities. However, it may justifiably be claimed that the one office-bearer who has the opportunity to contribute more than any other towards ensuring that the Lodge puts into practice "the genuine tenets and principles of the Order" is undoubtedly the Almoner. Because there is nothing glamorous or spectacular attached to his office, its importance is not always appreciated. Indeed, there is sometimes a tendency to regard it as a sort of minor award conferred on a Past Master who has given faithful service in the ordinary offices through which he has passed; to "pension him off ", as it were, by re-appointing him to this office each year for the remainder of his active Masonic life. But so important are the duties which he is called upon to perform that the greatest care and judgement should be exercised in choosing "the right man". At his investiture, it is usually impressed upon the Almoner-elect that his duties "require sympathy and understanding"; but several other excellent qualities are desirable. He should be tactful and resourceful, possess a cheerful, friendly personality, and have the ability to inspire trust and confidence. The manner in which he carries out his duties can greatly influence the opinion which the world at large forms of the value to society of our institution. He is, in effect, a "public relations officer", for he is the only officebearer who has the opportunity for official 28
contacts with the community outside the Lodge. The success of the Almoner's work depends to a great extent on the co-operation of every member of the Lodge. All should be continually reminded of the fact that benevolence and charity are "truly Masonic ornaments", which should be regarded as the concern of every Brother, and that the Almoner is their "executive officer"â€“ the Brother who is given the authority to act on their behalf in the practical application of the real purpose of Freemasonry. It is probably the experience of every Lodge that despite repeated requests to Brethren that the Almoner or the Secretary or the Master should be informed of cases of sickness or distress at the earliest possible opportunity, all too frequently the Almoner does not hear of such cases until it is almost too late. Every Brother should regard it as a duty to pass on such information immediately, and not to leave it to someone else. Otherwise sickness among members may go unnoticed, and such neglect can be damaging to the reputation of the Lodge, and indeed of the whole Craft. Another source of frustration can arise when a Master neglects one of his most important duties; that of getting to know and of keeping in touch with all his members. So many Brethren require "the human touch". If no one takes any notice of them at Lodge meetings, they feel unwanted, lose interest, and finally cease to attend. The Almoner can give invaluable assistance here. Again, elderly Brethren who find it difficult or impossible to attend regularly can often be overlooked. Although they may not suffer from illness they should not be neglected. Ideally, of course, it is the duty of 29
the Master to get in touch with them, but Masters change each year and such members are apt to be forgotten. The Almoner, who usually holds his office over a period of years, can provide continuity in this respect and he can perform a very useful function by visiting these Brethren periodically. It is only by reading carefully the report of the Grand Almoner that Brother can get some realisation of the important part which Freemasonry plays in the field of charity. The generous grants made to assist widows and children of deceased Brethren and those in distressed circumstances are something of which we can all be proud. But it is important to realise that the first link in the chain which leads to these grants is provided by the Lodge Almoners. It is almost always the Almoner who brings to the notice of his Lodge cases of Brethren or their dependants who are in need of assistance. The recommendation of the Lodge is then forwarded through "the chain of command" to Grand Almoner who after careful consideration of all the circumstances, decides on the amount of assistance necessary For this reason alone, it is evident that each Lodge Almoner plays a very impotent part indeed in helping us all in our efforts to put into practice "those truly Masonic ornaments, benevolence and charity".
Sourced from a New Zealand Masonic Magazine 1984.
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The Third Degree
The Hour Glass As an emblem the Hour-Glass warns us of the rapidity of Time, that each moment is bearing us towards Eternity, and that it is our duty so to employ our days that we may receive the Master’s “ Well done ” when our earthly course is finished. Moreover we may leave a pleasant memory among the brethren. Lives of good men all remind us We can make our lives sublime. And departing leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time. Down through the centuries the Hour-Glass has been used as a means of measuring Time, and in the age-long process has come to be regarded as a fitting symbol of human life. Redeem the hours while in thy Glass The Sands in silence run ; Too soon the day of life will pass, Too soon the sunset gun Will sound, and summon thee to rest. And all thy work be done. We cannot without astonishment behold the little particles which are contained in this machine, how they pass — almost imperceptibly — and yet, to our surprise, in the short space of an hour they are all exhausted, thus wastes man! To-day he puts forth the tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow he blossoms and bears his honours thick upon him ; the next day comes a frost which nips I the shoot, and when he thinks his greatness is still ripening he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth.
The Sycthe The Scythe is an emblem of Time and is intended to remind us of the uncertainty of human life. Artists seeking to give form and feature to the advancing years of the world have pictured Time as a man grey in service, and wise with ripe experience who, in calm serenity of mind and purpose, is for ever employed in gathering the harvest of this mortal life into the vast storehouse of Eternity. Behold what havoc the scythe of time makes among the human race ! If by chance we should escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and with health and vigour arrive at the years of manhood, yet we must soon be cut down by the all-devouring scythe of time, and be gathered into the land where our fathers have gone before us. The Spade The Spade as an emblem reminds us that all nature dies and lives again. As an implement it at once suggests the grave into which the frail and mortal part of man is laid away from sight. But it as surely suggests to us that this world is the tilling ground of heaven, and admonishes us to cultivate our morals and improve our knowledge, the better to equip us for the life that is beyond the grave. Coffin, Skull, and Crossbones. The Coffin, Skull, and Crossbones are emblems of the inevitable destiny of our mortal bodies. These grim reminders of decay and; dissolution should lead us to meditate on Death and all it portends:
This monthly feature is taken from William Harveyâ€™s book, â€œThe Emblems of Freemasonryâ€? 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor
The Monthly Magazine of Lodge Stirling Royal Arch No. 76.