SRA 76 Monthly Magazine
Cover Story, Who Was The Widow’s Son? The Ballot Did You Know? Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217. Famous Freemason – Donald Crisp The Masonic North Orientation of Lodges Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Newly Made and Older Masons Did You Know? Hebraic words in the ritual The Kirkwall Scroll – Part 6 The Emblems of Freemasonry Main Website – The Opening of a Lodge
Volume 13 Issue 6 No. 104 October 2017
In this issue: Cover Story ‘Who Was the Widow’s Son?’ This excellent article looks at who the Widow’s Son was, and from whence this title came. Tracing it from the Widow Ruth and her descendants, up to and including Hiram Abiff.
Page 5, ‘The Ballot.’ A paper for our newly made Brethren. Page 7, ‘Did You Know?’ What is the significance of the Beehive? Page 9, ‘Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217.’ A History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 12, ‘Donald Crisp’ A Famous Freemason. Page 15, ‘The Masonic North’ Page 16, ‘Orientation of Lodges’ Page 18, ‘Rays of Masonry.’ “The Place to Start” Page 19, ‘The Old Tiler Talks.’ “Masonry in Business”, sixty-first in the series. Page 20, ‘Newly Made and Older Masons’ Know Thyself. Page 22, ‘Did You Know?’ Visiting. Page 24, The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 25, ‘Regeneration - Poem Page 26, ‘The Kirkwall Scroll – Part 6. Page 29, ‘The Emblems of Freemasonry.’
In the Lectures website 1
The article for this month is ‘The Opening of a Lodge’. [link]
Who Was the Widow’s Son?
Who was the “Widow’s Son”? The answer might seem easily answered, but when one reads of legends, scripture writings, the Apocrypha and other historical documents it becomes apparent that perhaps we cannot answer this question so easily. In the writings of Masonic scholars we learn of Hiram Abiff, “The Widow’s Son”. There are others referred to as “The Widow’s Son”. It seems this is a title to which more than one can be named. The use of the title is actually traced back to the Grail lore traditions which speak of a descended blood line and specifically reference Ruth. Ruth, a woman of the Moabite tribe, was married to Boaz, and she was a heroine of the Old Testament. She was also the Great Grandmother of King David. That King David, the father of King Solomon, who built the Temple. Ruth became pregnant, and married Boaz. He was quite a bit older being 80, while Ruth was 40. The book says that Boaz dies the next day. That must have been some wedding night. From this point on, all the descendants of Ruth, were known simply as “Sons of the Widow”. A genetic title if you will. A genealogy can be traced. Ruth gives birth to the first “Son of the Widow”, Obed, who grows up and bears his son Jesse, who bears his son David who bears his sons Solomon and Nathan.
Using the lineage given in the Gospels of the Christian Bible, Jesus the Nazarene is a descendant of Ruth, making him also, a “Son of the Widow” or “Widow’s Son”. There are forty-five generations from Ruth to Jesus. This leaves an interesting problem for us as Masons. Nowhere in the lineage mentioned in the Bible does it refer to Hiram Abiff. Knowing this, it seems the trail grows cold in the search for Hiram Abiff’s title of “The Widow’s Son”. The Grail legends were written in a way that lends itself to allegory and therefore, the story cannot be just assumed to mean that Hiram was literally just a son of woman who lost her husband. These legends early on establish this title and what it means, which is a descendant of Ruth or more aptly a descendant of Boaz, either the 31st or 30th generation from Adam if you rely on Luke's genealogy. Could Hiram Abiff be related somehow to the historical Jesus the Nazarene? The Gospels leave either a cold trail or a definitive “no,” since he isn't mentioned at all in the genealogy given by Luke or Mathew. Determining that the term “Widow’s Son,” a flip flop of the term “Sons of the Widow,” was not actually meant to refer to a man whose father had passed, but rather the epithet given to the offspring and lineage of Ruth, heroine of “The Book of Ruth” or “Scroll of Ruth” presented in the Old Testament. When Hiram Abiff is referenced as being a “Widow’s Son”, it is implied that he was of the line of Ruth, who was married to Boaz and from them, according to Luke, a continued line to King David, King 2
Solomon and eventually to Jesus the Nazarene. The problem here is that nowhere in the lineages mentioned in Luke or Mathew does Hiram show up. Was he a distant relative or cousin? King Solomon was also a “Widow’s Son” in the sense of being of the lineage of Ruth. Is this why King Solomon called for a Tyrian which was handpicked to be the architect of the Jewish Temple of the God of Israel? Could Solomon have hired Hiram since they were family? Doing detective work in genealogy can be taxing enough when researching ancestry just a few generations removed from the researcher, a task made much more difficult using biblical origins as references. The lineage of Jacob is vital to this story. Twelve generations prior to the time of King Solomon, and eight generations prior to the time of Boaz, the twelve sons of Jacob were the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. The fourth son of Jacob, Judah, was of the line that included the wise King, and extended through him to Jesus the Nazarene. The sixth son, Naphtali, was the founder of the line that included Hiram Abiff. It is elementary to suggest that at the time of Jacob the designation of “Widow’s Son” had not yet been used, however, in his offspring, through time until we reach the time of Ruth, and from then on, it is not so unthinkable that the lineage would have used this epithet when speaking of their heritage or when scholars were recording the history of the time or even the Gospels. What is it about this lineage which draws the title to it? What was so special? The 3
three largest monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all regard it [the lineage] with reverence. After all, this lineage contains Adam, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, David, Solomon, Nathan, Zerubbabel and Jesus the Nazarene. Perhaps the coincidence which ties this lineage together is the ability to create. According to Luke, the line starts with Elohim (The Great Architect of the Universe) and then to Adam. The Christian Bible does not specifically make any magnificent claims to what Adam had ever built, however several other men in this lineage in fact are great builders. Enoch was the builder of the mythological underground temple consisting of nine vaults with an altar where on the “Stone of Creation” and the Tetragrammaton were said to have been hidden. These legends are featured in the York and Scottish Rites namely the 7th degree in the York Rite called “The Holy Royal Arch” and the 13th degree of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, called the “Royal Arch of Solomon”. In recent years it has even been suggested that Enoch was the builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The ancient Egyptians are said to have known the Great Pyramid as “The Pillar of Enoch”. A somewhat obscure reference to that is found in the Bible, “In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt…” Isaiah 19:19. Noah of course built the mythological Ark to house all of the creations of God that were spared in the legend of the great flood.
Abraham or Abram and his son Ishmael are purported to have built the Kaaba, a cube shaped building in Arabia which is one of the holiest sites for Brothers of the Muslim faith. King David built a city and his palace and had sons, one of whom was King Solomon, who was responsible for the Temple of Solomon, which we all know is at the center of the teachings of our noble craft. These builders in the original line or “Alpha Lineage” the line that according to Luke starts with God and leads to Jesus the Nazarene go on and on with fantastic accomplishments. Let us not forget however that there is the allusion to the building of the spiritual temple, a spiritual artificer which Jesus the Nazarene seemed to personify and ages before then the character Freemasonry calls its patron, Hiram Abiff. The handpicked chief architect of the Temple of God. A man to emulate in his duty and fealty to his brothers, both Hiram of Tyre and King Solomon, this is the man we learn about in our degrees and indeed try to emulate. The “Alpha Line” is synonymous with “The Widow’s Son”. It could merely be the separation of the generational gap and a more coded obscure way of saying “of the Tribe of Judah” without being abrasive. It could be that the Tribe of Judah was the main branch of this line and that The Widow’s Sons are an offshoot of the original line but whose closeness to the original line needed to be preserved by means of a title given to these builders. In the end, we will never know if Adam, Jesus the Nazarene or Hiram were truly
related, however it is clear that The Widows Son is a title given to the offspring of Ruth and her descendants. It is also clear that Freemasonry calls its patron Saint Hiram Abiff a “Widow's Son", who was a builder and that the lessons taught philosophically within our Masonic system have much to do with building as well, the main difference is that we are building our spiritual temples. In the Masonic system we follow in the footsteps of Hiram Abiff but we not only represent him, we physically become him in the degrees and in the end we all end up a “Widow’s Son”. Becoming a Master Mason we all end up being builders of fantastic edifices of hearts, minds and souls. So brethren, I ask you, “Who is the Widow’s Son?” Look in the mirror brothers and you will surely see him. This article by Bro. Robert H. Johnson was sourced from ‘The Midnight Freemason’. The editor thanks Bro. Bob for his permission to reproduce this article here.
Freemasonry is a subject that presents more features of interest and more channels of thought for student investigation than any other topic in the world. Masonic Herald 1923. 4
would now call your attention to certain of these meanings and duties. Point 1: First, the Ballot Box gives decisive and practical expression of the principle of qualification. Freemasonry does not solicit members. Petitioners must come of their own choice and free will. Of all those who thus come only such as have certain necessary qualifications are eligible for membership.
When in time of war a company of soldiers go into camp for the night, the men can sleep with a sense of security only because along the frontiers of the camp certain of their comrades are on sentry duty. The sentinel challenges all who approach; he permits none to pass or re-pass save such as are duly qualified. The Ballot Box is freemasonry’s sentinel. It stands guard at the portals of the Craft to keep off all who are not qualified to enter; and there is peace and harmony inside those portals only so long as it remains faithful to it’s sentinel duties. When in good time you are privileged to become a full member of the Lodge you will discover that in a certain real sense it is the very Key - Stone in the arch of our organization. It is important for you, therefore, as soon as possible, to gain a clear understanding of all it means and of the duties of a Mason with regard to it. I 5
The first use of the Ballot is to decide whether in fact and truth a given petitioner possesses those qualifications. Does a petitioner have, or does he not have, the necessary qualifications? This is the question to be decided by the ballot, and it is the only question to be decided. A man may be upright and honourable, a good citizen, a patriot, a loyal friend, and yet not possess the required qualifications. A black ball is not therefore a mark of disgrace. It is not a judgment on a man’s character or on his personality, but is purely a technical method for deciding whether he is fitted for a place in the fraternity. For this same reason it is un-Masonic for any member of a Lodge to cast a black ball against a petitioner out of personal spite or private prejudice. When we cast a ballot we act in an official capacity as a spokesman, or sentinel, for the fraternity. We are, so to speak, a member of a jury, and it is therefore unjust for us to permit our exercise of that function to be warped by purely private feelings. Point 2: Never-the-less, and here we come to the second point, the Ballot should be ‘unanimous’. The petition ought to be
acceptable to every member of the Lodge. That is to say, when the question arises whether a given man should or should not be received into our fellowship, the fraternity itself receives first consideration. This is wise and just. The fraternity has not solicited him ! he is soliciting it. It is for him to prove his fitness. Consequently, if a member of a Lodge, not out of prejudice but out of positive and sure knowledge, is convinced that the petitioner would disturb the peace and harmony of the Lodge, it becomes a duty to exclude him. The good and welfare of the body of men already in membership takes precedence over the desires and ambitions of the petitioner. Point 3: The third point is that the Ballot must be secret. It is a violation of the Grand Lodge Constitution for a member to tell how he voted, or to discuss a ballot in open Lodge, or to discuss the petitioner. This law has two general purposes; for one thing it protects the peace and harmony of the Lodge; for another, it protects the petitioner. As a petitioner he stands in a confidential relationship to the Lodge; the facts he has given about himself are personal and private, and they must be kept sacred as such; the whole transaction is private between him and the Lodge, therefore nothing about it should go to the outside world. If he is rejected it is for purely Masonic reasons and these should no prejudice him in the eyes of his fellows outside the Craft. Point 4: The fourth point is that every member of the Lodge ought to vote if he is present when the Ballot is taken. This means that the Ballot Box is a duty rather than merely a privilege. Membership in the fraternity is an office that carries official duties - as
much so as the occupation of one of the chairs; and one of the chief of those official duties is to exercise a watchful care over the quality and fitness of prospective members. When a Mason became a member of the Craft he took an obligation to discharge the official duties incidental to membership, and for that reason it is as much his duty to cast an intelligent vote as it is for the Master to preside over the Lodge. Point 5: The fifth point is that the Ballot is inviolable. Once it is taken it is taken, and there is no appeal from its verdict. If a Master is convinced that some error was made while taking it he may order another Ballot to be taken at once (as when a member declares that he has made a mistake), but when he has announced it to be completed and the Ballot closed, the transaction stands finished beyond recall. Point 6: The sixth point is that the ballot is independent. This means that when in voting a member has exercised his best judgment in the performance of a duty, he is not answerable to any man, to the Lodge, or to Grand Lodge for his action, whether it was favourable to the candidate or unfavourable. This is the necessary corollary to the principle that voting is a duty; for no man can be held responsible for a duty unless he is recognized to possess the power and the authority necessary to discharge that responsibility. Officially speaking, every lodge room has two entrances, and only two; The Outer Door and the Inner Door. The Outer Door, which is, as it were, the passageway between the Lodge and the street, is kept sacred to members, who alone may pass or re-pass through it. It is guarded by the 6
Tyler, who works under the immediate supervision of the Worshipful Master. The Inner Door is sacred to candidates, its sole purpose being to serve as a passageway between the Lodge and the preparation room. What the Tyler is to the Outer Door the Ballot box is to the Inner Door - a guard, a sentinel. It, and it alone, can decide who shall, or shall not, pass through it. No obligation rests more heavily on the shoulders of every member than his duty to see that none pass that sentinel save such as are properly qualified. It would be a mistake to think of the Ballot Box only from the point of view of its power to exclude the unworthy; its positive power is far more impressive. A favourable Ballot is more than a mere grudging admission of a petitioner into membership. On the contrary, it has, at one stroke and for all time to come, decided that he is to be admitted into full and free fellowship with his brethren. When you become a full member of the Lodge you will not be in a position to raise any question as to the fitness of another member. You cannot quarrel with him because he may belong to some race against which you feel a prejudice, or because he adheres to some church or religious creed in which you do not believe, or because he may not possess the degree of social polish, you consider necessary, or because he may not be as learned as he ought to be, or is poor, or possesses traits and habits that may jar upon you. All questions as to the desirability or acceptability of such qualities were decided with complete finality by the Ballot Box at the time his petition came before the Lodge; and that decision remains in force! 7
It is Un-Masonic to consider him under perpetual probation; his period of probation ended when he was elected to membership. He has been, ever since, a Brother, and it is the duty of every other member of the Lodge to treat him as such so long as his membership shall last. From this rapid sketch of the rules governing the Ballot Box you will see that, when in the beginning of this talk I likened it to the sentinel on guard through the night I was guilty of exaggeration. As you approach membership yourself let me urge you to reflect upon these truths; that you read carefully all the regulations governing the ballot in the Book of Constitutions of Grand Lodge; and that when later you assume the responsibilities of membership you will do so with a clear conception of the duty it entails to exercise the power and prerogative of the ballot. This article was written by Brother T. G. Winning PM Hawick Lodge No. 111. and Secretary Grand Lodge of Scotland This excellent paper was written to be particularly suitable for the instruction of the new Entered Apprentice.
DID YOU KNOW?
Q. What is the significance of the beehive in Freemasonry?
A. The date of its introduction into Masonic symbolism is obscure. In a Masonic skit, `A Letter from the Grand Mistress . . .' dated 1724, and attributed erroneously to Jonathan Swift, we find: A Bee hath in all Ages and Nations been the Grand Hieroglyphick of Masonry, because it excels all other living Creatures in the Contrivance and Commodiousness of its Habitation . . . (E.M.C., p. 233). The text rambles and the remaining references to the beehive have neither literary merit nor Masonic interest. The beehive was always an emblem of industry, and it appears often in the second half of the eighteenth century on Tracing Boards, Lodge certificates, jewels, glass and pottery. The Lodge of Emulation, No. 21 (founded in 1723), has had the beehive as its emblem for nearly 200 years at least, and it is depicted on drinking vessels presented to the Lodge in 1776, and on their firing glasses of the same period. Dring, in his great study of the evolution of the Tracing Boards (AQC 29), reproduced a large number of pictures of early Lodge `Cloths' and Boards, and the beehive appears regularly in almost every set. By the time it had achieved such a degree of prominence in Lodge symbolism, there can be no doubt that it was also being featured
in the explanatory work, or Lectures, and the eighteenth century ritual of the Royal Cumberland Lodge, No. 41, Bath, contains the following in its Third Degree Lecture: The Beehive teaches us that we are born into the world rational and intelligent beings, so ought we also to be industrious ones, and not stand idly by or gaze with listless indifference on even the meanest of our fellow creatures in a state of distress if it is in our power to help them without detriment to ourselves or connections; the constant practice of this virtue is enjoined on all created beings, from the highest seraph in heaven to the meanest reptile that crawls in the dust. At the Union of the rival Grand Lodges in 1813, many of the old symbols that had formerly adorned the Tracing Boards were abandoned; among them were the Hour glass, the Scythe, the Ark and the Beehive. The explanation of these symbols disappeared from English practice. But many modern American rituals, which owe their origins to English pre-Union sources, have preserved the explanations that we discarded. To cite only one example, the Royal Cumberland quotation, above, appears almost word-for-word in the third degree Trestle-Board published by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1928. The symbols listed here, including the beehive, owe their survival in the American `monitorial' workings to Thomas Smith Webb, a prominent Masonic ritualist and lecturer (b. 1771; d. 1819), who may well be described as the William Preston of American Masonry. He was still a young man in his early twenties when he became acquainted with John Hanmer, an Englishman, well versed in English ritual and especially in Preston's system. With 8
Hanmer's help, Webb published the first edition of The Freemason's Monitor: or Illustrations of Masonry, in 1797. Its main section was a substantial reproduction of Preston's Illustrations, although Webb forgot to mention that. There were at least six further editions in Webb's lifetime, all `enlarged and improved', and the work became very popular. The edition of 1802 contained his interpretation of the symbolism of the beehive and it is probably the most widely known explanation in use today.
Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217
DID YOU KNOW? Q. How should the E.A. and F.C. Aprons be tied? A. My preference is the old traditional method of tying an operative mason's apron, i.e., with the strings knotted at the front so that the ends of the strings hang on the front of the apron. Those `ends' are the ancestors of the ornamental fringe seen on 18th century Masons' aprons, and of the `tassels' on our aprons of today. Nowadays, when nearly all aprons are fastened at the back with a snake buckle, that might be a good argument for tying the E.A. and F.C. aprons at the back; but, since most Brethren, at some time or other, want to know the `why and when' for the tassels, I suggest that we might try to preserve old custom, so that on at least two occasions in their Masonic careers they (as E.A. and F.C.) actually see the answer to that question. The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Port Glasgow was originally a small settlement called Newark on the south bank of the River Clyde, about 20 miles west of the City of Glasgow. The name Newark possibly deriving from the nearby small Castle â€“ Newark Castle, owned by the Maxwell family. Trading ships from France and the low counties (Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg) were unloading ships here and their cargo was transferred onto small boats for transporting up the River Clyde to Glasgow. In 1667, the Town Council of Glasgow purchased land at Newark for the construction of a harbour and breakwater. This became Glasgowâ€™s first deep-water port and the settlement of Newark became known as Port Glasgow. In some 18th century maps it is shown as Newport Glasgow.
After 1693, the street layout was laid, in a grid-iron style. This still forms much of the town centre today. The 1706 Treat of Union between Scotland and England (forming Great Britain) allowed the Glasgow merchants to trade with the British colonies in the Americas and India. They traded in Tobacco from the America’s and tea from India. The trade winds from America made the River Clyde and ideal location for unloading the valuable cargo and the Merchants (Tobacco Lords or Virginia Dons) became enormously wealthy. The town of Port Glasgow became a thriving town through the shipping. Lodge Mother Kilwinning, one of the original Scottish Grand Lodges, were one of the founders of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736 but in 1743, when the Lodges were being numbered, Lodge St. Marys Chapel, Edinburgh were granted the position of No.1 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This was disputed by Mother Kilwinning, who insisted that they dated back to 1140. Unfortunately, this could not be substantiated at this time and as Lodge St. Marys Chapel were able to produce the oldest recorded minutes, they retained their number. Mother Kilwinning withdrew from the Grand Lodge of Scotland and reverted to acting as an independant Grand Lodge and issuing their own lodge charters. On 17th January 1746, the Freemasons of the Port Glasgow penned a letter to Mother Kilwinning. They were represented by six brethren – Bro. John Hunter Bro. James Weir, Senior Warden
Bro. James Maine, Junior Warden Bro. John Drummond, Fellow of the Craft Bro. D Fullarton, Fellow of the Craft Bro. Alex Walker, Fellow of the Craft Their reason was “…to procure a Decreet of Constitution from the Ancient Mother Lodge of Kilwinning in order that we, your true brethren, may meet with authority” This request tends to suggest that they were already meeting without a charter. On the 4th February, 1746 at a meeting in Kilwinning, , Mother Kilwinning, under Bro. Archibald Montgomerie, 11th Earl of Eglinton, instituted the Lodge and gave it the name – Cumberland Kilwinning, upon the annual payment of One Mark Scots. In the early years, the Lodge, known locally as “The Gentlemans Lodge” , met in several places, including the Kings Arms, a coach house inn situated in Fore Street, Port Glasgow. The landlord of the inn being Bro. James Fleck, a member of the Lodge. In 1757 the brethren agreed it was time to lay down their roots and build a Masonic Temple of their own. In the same year, around the time of the building of the Lodge Temple, a number of brethren of Cumberland Kilwinning went their own way and petitioned Mother Kilwinning to form another Lodge in the Town. They were granted their charter and the Lodge was instituted at Kilwinning on 4th January 1757 . It was given the name Lodge Dorick (Port Glasgow). They are now known as Doric Kilwinning No.68. 10
Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning joined The Grand Lodge of Scotland on 2nd February 1807. Later that same year, Mother Kilwinning re-joined the Grand Lodge of Scotland and instructed her daughter Lodges to do likewise. The Kilwinning lodges were numbered chronologically on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This privilege was denied to Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning, as they had joined Grand Lodge prior to Mother Kilwinning. The Lodge was not allocated a number on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland at this time. The secretary of the Lodge, Bro. William Ogilvie, wrote to Grand Lodge 11 times over the next 4 1/2 years regarding this situation without getting any reply. A letter eventually arrived from Grand Lodge in 1811. They regretted the delay and stated this was as a due to the Grand Secretary being unwell. Bro. Ogilvie replied to the letter and asked if there was no one else at Grand Lodge who could write! The brethren of the Lodge then unanimously agreed that they would withhold the fees due to Grand Lodge until the matter was resolved. This action had a good effect and Grand Lodge allocated Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning the Number 277. In 1816 the Lodge was re-numbered 212. In 1822 it was given No. 216 and finally, in 1826 it was re-numbered 217. In comparison, Lodge Doric Kilwinning, chartered 10 years later than Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning, was re-numbered 11
67 in 1816, 63 in 1822 and finally, 68 in 1826. In 1812, Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, 5th Baronet of Ardgowan, was commissioned as the first Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Renfrewshire and Dumbarton. Other members of the House of Shaw Stewart succeeded him as Provincial Grand Master for the next 155 years. In 1967, this reign ended and the brethren of the Province, now known as Renfrewshire West, elected Bro. Sinclair Roxburgh as Provincial Grand Master. Bro. Roxburgh was a Past Master of Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No.217. He was the first Provincial Grand Master to be elected out with the House of Shaw Stewart. In 1988, Bro. William M.H. Macfarlane, a Past Master of the Lodge, was installed as the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Renfrewshire West. He served in the office until 1993. In 1996, the Lodge celebrated its 250th Anniversary. The Lodge was re-dedicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Bro. The Lord Burton, ably assisted by the Officer-bearers of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. A large token was struck to mark this occasion. There was an exact amount for the brethren present. It is now a cherished collectors item. In 2007, the Lodge celebrated the 250th Anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Temple. The Temple was rededicated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason, Bro. Sir Archibald Donald Orr Ewing, the 6th Baronet of Ballikinrain
and Lennoxbank, ably assisted by the Officer-bearers of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. As in 1996, a token was also struck to mark this occasion. It depicts the Lodge crest and a line sketch of the exterior of the temple. The brethren present all received the token. It is also now a cherished collectors item. The Lodge also struck a “similar” token, which is on general sale.
Famous Freemasons Donald Crisp
Over the centuries, the brethren of the Lodge have, in the main, been residents of Port Glasgow. The cross section of occupations range from the common labourer to ship Captain. They have always taken a keen interest in the growth of the Town and many were elected as Baillies, Provosts and Town Councillors down through the centuries to present day. There is no doubt that Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning has always strived to be at the heart of the community of Port Glasgow.
© Copyright to Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning 217 This History of Lodge Cumberland Kilwinning No. 217 was sourced from their website, which can be viewed by clicking here. Our thanks go to the Lodge No. 217 whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright owner of this History.
Donald Crisp is probably best remembered by Scottish film-goers for his role in the 1961 film “Greyfriars Bobby” in which he plays the part of Scotsman James Brown, the caretaker of Greyfriars graveyard who chases “Bobby” out of the churchyard each night, but eventually softens towards the wee dog. This was a typical character for Donald Crisp, who through his long acting career from the 1910’s to the 1960’s had made a living as an actor playing a genial and well loved Scotsman in a number of films. In 12
fact, it was said, that his Scots accent made him Hollywood’s greatest Scotsman, spanning 50 years and appearing in over 400 films. He regaled with stories of Scotland and his place of birth, the small town of Aberfeldy Perthshire in 1880, and how he managed to retain his Scottish accent throughout his life. When asked by writers and journalists about his life before Hollywood, He would tell of his father James Crisp, a country doctor to King Edward the VII, educated at Oxford and how at the age of 16 he ran away and joined the 10th Hussars to fight in the Boer War, and suffered several wounds. How he met a journalist during the war called Winston Churchill and how after being demobilised in 1902, he toured with a theatre group, which was the beginning of an acting life which would see Crisp become a legendary Hollywood star. Oscar-winning actor and director Donald Crisp, famous for his Scottish accent and said to be Hollywood’s greatest Scot, had a career that spanned 50 years and 400 films until his death in 1974. Among the films Crisp is fondly remembered for, are his starring role in Lassie Come Home as well as his part in the 1960’s Disney classic, Greyfriars Bobby, the "true" story of the dog that refused to leave his master’s final resting place in an Edinburgh graveyard. His Oscar was awarded for How Green Was My Valley. Crisp spoke with a soft Scottish burr and throughout his life spoke of his hometown of Aberfeldy. After years of residence in Hollywood, he used to visit the town in later life, when he was reported as saying "When I lived there as a boy, my family was so poor we couldn’t even afford sugar." 13
In 1996 the Scottish Film Council honoured Crisp and his Aberfeldy birthplace with a commemorative plaque as part of the Centenary Of Film celebrations, which was unveiled by Scottish entertainer and legend, Jimmy Logan in Aberfeldy’s main square. "He used to come to Aberfeldy for a quiet holiday," Logan says. "I don’t suppose anybody realised who, or what he was." This is probably just as well, as all was not what it seems with Donald Crisp, Hollywood star. For, after he died it was discovered that Donald Crisp had no Scottish ancestry, no connection with the town of Aberfeldy and had in fact been born in London! It turns out that despite his being credited with shaping Scotland’s soft-focus romanticised Hollywood image, he had almost no Scottish connections and almost certainly developed a Scottish accent to help his career. Donald Crisp was born in London, though he let it get around that he was actually from Perthshire. Scotland (Aberfeldy in particular). He also changed his name from George William Crisp. He fought in the Boer War, went to Oxford, and then hit the road (or high seas) for America. He soon ended up with D.W. Griffith's film troupe, playing a variety of roles and helping out behind the scenes as well - soon becoming a director himself. Perhaps his most famous role is at Battling Burrows in Griffith's classic film Broken Blossoms. He appeared in dozens and dozens of films as did most actors in those days - often only shot in one or two days (in his heyday Griffith as making 3 films a week virtually every week). His first known film where he played a Scotsman was The Bonnie Brier Bush, followed closely by The Black Pirate - the
Douglas Fairbanks colour epic. Crisp's costume was a sort of stereotypical pirate and Scotsman rolled into one. These were silent of course. His first sound films playing Scotsmen were The Little Minister and Mary of Scotland. His supposedly native accent leaves quite a bit to be desired. It is slight to be sure, but still sounds false. His career rocketed however and was seen in numerous films and often in important parts, though almost exclusively in character parts. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley - where his Welsh accent was a bit more successful.
Purists might argue that a plaque to George Crisp really ought not to be found there, but in some regenerating London borough. This however is not a plaque to George Crisp, but to Donald Crisp, whose screen persona was legendary and so it seems, was his lifelong performance. Jellied eels and pearly queen, he was not, enamoured of his adopted land he most certainly had to be. Hollywood is the very stuff of legend, so Donald Crisp of Aberfeldy has to be forgiven. The plaque should stay.
Crisp starred in Greyfriar's Bobby for Disney much later in his career, when they made that famous tale under its more commonly known title - and without Lassie. When the actor died in 1974, many obituaries passed on the story that he was Scottish - and it wasn't till much later (in fact, only recently) that it came out it was all a charade. Why did he do it? No one knows - not even if he actually did have some Scottish ancestors - perhaps as I have intimated above, it may have seemed a more exotic thing to profess to be, and in those heady "anything goes" days of Hollywood, it was easy to get away with. There remains the question of what should happen about the commemorative plaque in that main square in Aberfeldy. It was one of a series of commemorative castings commissioned by the Scottish Film Council, one of the predecessor bodies that amalgamated to form Scottish Screen.
Donald Crisp (1880-1974) was a Member of Lodge Harry S. Orme No.458, CA. This article was sourced from numerous sites on the internet and is easily available from them. Donald Crisp’s Masonic membership details are sourced from The Masonic Philatelist.
Freemasonry is not about how good a man you are …. It’s about how good a man you want to be. 14
The Masonic North
reads, "Out of the south cometh the whirlwind; and cold, out of the north." The mythologies of several ancient cultures evidence a dread of the north as a place of darkness and desolation. Even among the people of England there existed a desire not to be buried on the north side of a church indicating an aversion to the north. The Graham Manuscript, a Masonic catechism published in 1726, provides some additional insight. It contains the following questions and answers:
During the course of initiation, the new Mason is taught the North is Masonically a place of darkness. This is explained in the ritual by describing the orientation of King Solomon's Temple and stating the location prevented the rays of the sun at meridian height from entering a north window. This explanation is based upon natural phenomena. However, it is known that diffused light will enter a northerly oriented window. In addition, this explanation provides some difficulty for most of those living in the Southern Hemisphere where the north is subjected to the sun's rays. There are no additional references to the North as a place of darkness in the ritual leaving one to ponder this brief reference in the Entered Apprentice Lecture. The north is not something that was thought up by some deep thinker. It is a direction and is used by man to orient his understanding of the universe. The concept of north is evident in the King James translation of the Bible where Job 37: 9 15
Q. How stood your lodge at your entering A. East west and south Q. Why not north also A. In regard we dwell at the north part of the world we burie no dead at the north side of our churches so we carry a Vacancey at the north side of our Lodges This allusion to the north as a place of darkness can be found in the very early Masonic rituals. Perhaps this dread of the north was related to the natural inclemency that threatened him from the north, the winds bringing the cold from the Artic regions. There is another and perhaps more practical, reason for the north to be considered a place of darkness. Early religious buildings were built in an eastwest fashion with the east being the predominant direction. This orientation was desired as the east was considered the source of light and power, related to the sun rising in the east. In creating their work area, the medieval lodge built a lean-to type building erected along side the church under construction. This building was invariably placed on the
southern side of the construction to avoid the inclemency of the cold northern winds. As a result, the lodge acquired an east to west orientation and the openings were in the east, south, and west. This exposed the hut or lodge and the workmen to as much east, south, and west light as possible, providing the necessary light to work by for as long as possible. The light was blocked from the north by the adjacent building. As Masonry moved from the operative to the speculative, it was natural that the north would continue to symbolically represent the darkness of the working structures. As such, the north represents the profane world and symbolizes ignorance, as study and examination are not possible in darkness. So it is fitting this symbol is presented to the Entered Apprentice during his initiation. In this act, the candidate enters a new stage of his life dedicated to improving himself morally and seeking a better understanding of his relationship with the Creator. As such he seeks enlightenment, leaving behind the darkness of ignorance. As Masons we should remember our continued quest for selfdevelopment and personal growth. Sourced from The Masonic Trowel.
Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
Orientation of Lodges In some Christian buildings we have an orientation due east and west, but this is for ecclesiastical reasons, and, even so, in the older structures the door of such buildings was at the east end; but among the more ancient structures when orientation was a special feature in the design, it usually recorded a date, or the date of an astronomical event, or the event itself. Now I submit that certain reasons which are given as to why a lodge should be due east and west are no reasons at all as regards the word "due." The secret of orientation to record dates was the laying out of a building on a centre line which pointed to the rising sun when just clear of the horizon on the right day of the year. K.S.T. was designed partly to record the Passover and that is why we find the date so accurately recorded in I Kings vi, I, viz., 418 years after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt in the 4th years of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif. Now K.S.T. was east and west, perpetuating also the orientation of the Tabernacle which was east and west and bound up with this is the position of the entrances and of the two pillars of J***** and B***. There is no doubt as to their positions, because we are told what right and left mean vide I Kings vii, 21, by reference to I Kings vii, 39, in which we find that the right side of the house means eastward over against the south. But nobody ever did seem to have any doubt about the matter till this our day. 16
Even Anderson in his cons: referring to 1st Temple says: - â€œFrom the magnificent portico on the east to the glorious and revered Sanctum Sanctorum on the West." Referring to Herod's Temple or the rebuildings of Zerubabel's Temple' he says:" The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in the west and the grand portico in the east. "Josephus in Antiq. Bk. viii, ch. iii, simply says:-" Its front was to the East" and in the same chapter he says:-"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 the 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." And as regards right and left Josephus says, "He also placed these lavers upon the ten bases that were called Mechonoth, and he set five of the lavers on the left side of the Temple, which was that side towards the north wind and as many on the right side towards the south, but looking towards the east.â€? Ezekiel also had no doubt as to this matter, for in chapter xlvii, 1, we find for the forefront of the house stood towards the east and the waters came down from under the right side of the house at the south side of the altar." And in chapter xliii he says "Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east. And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east and his voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory," v. 4. "And the glory of the Lord came into the house by way of the gate whose prospect is toward the East." From all this it is quite plain that K.S.T. was east and west and that the main entrance was at the east end, that there was no entrance at the west end which was the 17
Sanctum Sanctorum, that the pillars were so placed in the porch, that J***** was on the south side of the entrance and B*** was on the north side of the entrance; so that if we suppose any one approaching the Temple from the east he would see before him the porch and J***** would have been on his left hand and B*** on his right hand. (see sketch below) Operative Freemasons do so orient their lodges and do also place these pillars figuratively in position and the I st G.M.M. says :-" This on my right hand I name J***** and this on my left I name B***," but when he says so he is looking towards the east, having just come down from the throne in the west. This article is an extract from Operative Masonry 1910. and was sent to the editor from our regular contributor, Iain Taylor in Australia.
Rays of Masonry â€œThe Place to Startâ€? A great deal is said about the necessity for really making Masons of our candidates. Perhaps such a problem will always exist, but do we approach it from the logical standpoint? When you and I became Masons, and all of us travelled the same journey, was there any special effort extended us in the direction of having us attend lodge regularly, or in making us feel more at home for a few meetings until we could really become a part of the lodge and the activities? The answer, I think, is NO. We received the degrees; we were impressed with the beauty of Masonry and the great lessons of the degrees to the extent that we wanted to become an integral part of the whole. It is not suggested that we do not owe our new Masons certain courtesies, instructions in procedures, which he does not learn when he is taking the degrees, and the proper consideration in all matters that is due the less experienced by the older Masons. But there are two points involved. Every effort should be made to confer the degrees in a manner that is dignified and serious so that the candidate will eagerly seek Further Light in Masonry. But there is also the necessity for careful selection of candidates so that the heart and mind will behold the beauty of Freemasonry. Our first obligation is to understand the serious undertaking in making a Master Mason. A candidate who is told: "Before proceeding further it becomes my duty to inform you that the ceremonies in which you are about to engage are by no means of a light or trifling character, but are of great importance and deep solemnity," and then is the victim of frivolity and humiliation, perhaps will never look further for the beauty in Masonry. Let us by all means show the proper courtesies to our candidates, but let's begin at the right place--when we confer the degrees. Dewey Wollstein 1953.
Masonry in Business How many brethren in this lodge are worth a hundred thousand dollars?" inquired the New Brother of the Old Tiler in the anteroom. "I don't know. Jones and Brown and Robinson and Hitchcock, certainly, and perhaps Wilson and Moore. You want to make a touch?" The Old Tiler looked curiously at his questioner. "A friend of mine is interested in forming a company," answered the New Brother, "and I intend to invest with him. As I want to see it succeed, I'll go to see all the wealthy men and ask for subscriptions. We are going to manufacture a patent elevator device, that. . ." ''Why confine your list to those in this lodge? There are more men with money outside the lodge than in it." 18
"But I have no right to ask them to invest money in a company just because I am interested in it!" The New Brother looked very virtuous. "Have you a right to ask brethren to spend money on your behalf because you belong to the lodge?" The Old Tiler looked shocked. "Why, of course. We are brethren, are we not? Brethren help each other, don't they?" "I see no reason why any brother should spend money exploiting an invention, just because you are interested," answered the Old Tiler. ''Masonry is not intended to influence a man's business. If these brethren think well of the invention they will invest. If they don't think well of it, they won't. But Masonry does not enter into the matter." "But it would mean much to me and to my friend, if this company should succeed and make a lot of money!" explained the New Mason. ''Suppose it doesn't succeed, and loses a lot of money?" suggested the Old Tiler. The New Brother began to write in his notebook. ''That won't happen," he answered as he scribbled. "This is bound to succeed. But any business man takes a risk in any company in which he invests." ''Now we get to the root of the matter!" exclaimed the Old Tiler. "They are to help you, because of their Masonry, which is mutual with you both; but if 19
they lose, that's because they took a business risk! ''If the company was to develop a Masonic property or build a temple, I could see that your common Masonry might make an appeal. But I see no reason for anyone to buy stock in your company except a business reason. "A mutual lodge membership may serve as an introduction between any two men to discuss anything of interest to one, in which he hopes to interest the other. Your mutual lodge membership is a guarantee that you will receive a welcome. It ought to guarantee the other man that you will not abuse his time and confidence by taking up the one to exploit the other. He has the same right to expect consideration from you that you have to expect consideration from him. But you have no right to expect him to suspend his business judgment just because you are both Masons. "If you have what you believe is a good proposition, and, therefore give your Masonic friends an opportunity to make some money, your motive in listing the wealthy members of this lodge is commendable. But you have no such idea. You hope they will win, and so, help you to win. But if they lose, that's their lookout. That is not Masonic. ''Masonry does not butt into a man's business. Only insofar as it guarantees that a brother is honest is it a help in business. As it promises mutual esteem and helpfulness it smoothes the business path. But when you use Masonry to make the other fellow do something
financial which he otherwise wouldn't do, it is not a proper use of Masonry. Ask your friends to help you-that's what friends are for. But don't ask strangers, merely because they are fellow lodge members, to risk their money unless you are willing to begin by not using Masonry as a means to private gain! Your friends will help you-brethren not close friends expect you to treat them in a brotherly way. It's not brotherly to go to wealthy strangers and say, 'I want some money from you, because we are both Masons!' “The Old Tiler stopped, short of breath. The New Brother looked up from his busy writing, "I could hardly, keep up with you!" he exclaimed. ''You talked so fast. But I'm sure I got most of it. This will make a dandy speech!" "Speech?'' "Certainly. I have no intentions of getting any subscriptions from anyone. I was after material for a talk I have been asked to give on Masonry in Business!" "Upon my word!" cried the Old Tiler. Then he chuckled. I hope you will see that I am invited inside to hear it," he said good naturedly. This is the sixty-first 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.
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 an hour to make a member; it takes a lifetime to make a Mason. 20
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 likeminded 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. Let us begin at the beginning. As we studied the Entered Apprentice degree under the guidance of our sponsors and 21
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 once-in-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.” Talk given by R.W. Bro. Robert Inglis, DDGM of Nipissing Muskoka district at his Official Visit to Nipissing Lodge 420 on December 12th, 2015. This excellent talk was inspired by a piece of writing I studied, written by M.W. Bro. Raymond Daniels, Past Grand Master, the Grand Lodge of A.F & A.M of Canada in the Province of Ontario. It was intended for the Newly Made Mason but, I believe it is a message we should all remember and moralize on. Sourced from Ontario Mason Magazine Winter 2016
DID YOU KNOW? Question: Could you give us any information on the origin of Masonic visiting? Answer: The practice of visiting is one of the oldest customs in the Craft, dating back to the earliest days of operative Masonry. Practically every version of our Old Charges, from 1583 onwards, contains a rule on the subject. The following is from the Beaumont MS., of 1690 (I quote this version because the English is easy to read, but all the texts are very much alike on this point): And also yt every Mason receive and cherish every strang[e] Mason when they come to their country and sett them to Worke as the mannor is ... if he have mould stones in ye place, he shall sett him a fortnight at least to worke & give him his pay, & if he have no stones he shall refresh him wth mony to ye next Lodg. In effect, every lodge attached to a large building job became a visiting centre for masons in search of employment, in the sure knowledge that they would find work, if available, or else get hospitality and help towards their next call. Later, when operative trade controls began to break down, the lodges gradually acquired the character of social and benevolent clubs, and now the visiting took on a more convivial aspect. It is interesting to see that the newlyerected Grand Lodge, in the first Book of Constitutions, 1723, made a regulation strongly advocating the practice of interlodge visiting: 22
[Reg.] XI. All particular Lodges are to observe the same Usages as much as possible; in order to which, and for cultivating a good Understanding among Free-Masons, some Members out of every Lodge shall be deputed to visit the other Lodges as often as shall be thought convenient.
A nice example of the manner in which this regulation was observed appears in the By-Laws of the Lodge held at the `Shakespear's head in little Marlborough Street St. James' (now the Lodge of Friendship, No. 6):
As late as 1919, the Constitutions still contained Rule 149, almost in the same terms as the above, but the modern rule `enjoined' only the Master and Wardens to visit.
To prevent at all Times ye Admission of Persons not Masons, into ye Lodge, no Visitor shall be admitted, unless some one of ye Brethren present is able to avouch yt . . . he is a worthy Brother, or unless such ample Satisfaction be by him giv'n to those Deputed to receive him, as shall put that Matter beyond all Dispute. The so recommending Bror, shall withdraw and see if he do personally know any Visitor thus offering before he can be admitted into ye Lodge. He must certifie it to the Brethren present and then, with Leave from ye Chair, he may be introduced.
In the early eighteenth century we begin to find lodge minutes and occasional by-laws and regulations governing the custom of visiting, and it is from these old records that we trace how most of our modern practices have developed. The proper precautions regarding visitors to lodges must have been rather slack in the early years of the Grand Lodge, and with the publication, in 1730, of Prichard's famous exposure, Masonry Dissected, Grand Lodge was compelled to take action. The minute of 15 December 1730 was the first official step towards a proper control of visiting, and it was also the first official regulation relating to the present-day Signature Book: â€œProposed till otherwise Ordered by the Grand Lodge, that no Person whatsoever should be admitted into Lodges unless some Member of the Lodge then present would vouch for such visiting Brothers being a regular Mason, and the Member's name to be entered against the Visitor's Name in the Lodge Book, which Proposal was unanimously agreed to.â€? 23
Ordain'd Augt. 7, 1736.. .
In the Lodge of Antiquity (now No. 2), in 1736, a minute records that there were five visitors, who paid one shilling each for their evening's entertainment. Three of them were from `named lodges', and two are recorded as `St. Johns', i.e., they were unattached Masons. At the Lodge at the Swan and Rummer, in Finch Lane, London, there was a By-Law in 1726 requiring all visitors to pay one shilling, and the names of their lodges were to be entered in the Lodge Book, `... the Better to give us an opportunity of Returning their visits'. This is probably one of the earliest records of the practice of a regular exchange of visits, a custom which became extremely popular later on. In the same code of By-Laws there is record of the W.M. having the right to
invite two guests (gratis?) on Initiation nights, and the Wardens were allowed one guest apiece. (Records of the L. of Antiquity, No. 2, vol. i, p. 41.) At the Old King's Arms Lodge, No. 28, the W.M. read a letter on 17 November 1735, announcing a general `Invitation from the Stewards Lodge', which gave the dates of their four meetings annually, `... where the Visit of the Master Masons belonging to this Society [i.e., to Lodge No. 28] would be always acceptable'. At the same Lodge, in 1743, the Dining Fee was fixed at 2s. 6d. and members were allowed to introduce any other Brother belonging to a regular Lodge on paying 2s. 6d.... Apparently, this was only the price of the dinner, because the subscription for a visitor was raised (at the same time) from 1s. to 2s., which doubtless paid for more potent refreshment. The minutes of the Lodge of Emulation, No. 21, show that the practice of `Public Visits' (i.e., exchange visiting) had developed quite strongly in the last quarter of the eighteenth century: March 9th, 1778. ... proposed that a Public Visit be return'd in form to the Tuscan Lodge, which was agreed to unanimously. The record of a return visit six weeks later shows that the visitors comprised a full team, `Masters, Wardens, and Officers of the Tuscan Lodge'. Emulation had some wealthy men amongst its members, and the visitor's fee was fixed, in 1809, at 10s. 6d., which was a lot of money in those days. A more realistic minute appears in the records of the Union Lodge, No. 52, Norwich, in May 1810, when it was resolved that . . visiting Brethren be charged the price of a Bottle of Wine'. This
was more akin to the old Scottish lodge custom of `paying the club', which involved each man present contributing a fixed amount at the beginning of the evening's entertainment or sharing the cost equally at the end. The above answers were given by W. Bro. Harry Carr, a former Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076.
Hebraic words in the ritual Freemasonry is full of claims of ancient origins. It relates stories about Biblical personages going back to Adam and Noah being founders of the craft. All very picturesque, but unfortunately the stories are full of problems. They do not hang together: we would have expected a Masonic redactor to have made the material consistent. They mispronounce the Hebrew names and words. They often embellish the Biblical text with ideas and interpretations whose sources are not easy to identify. The framers of the ritual used several Hebrew words which they often distorted. Generally we can work out which word was meant. The following are some of the words, with brief background notes. “H” and “KH” – two separate consonants in Hebrew – are both given as “CH” (as in the Scottish “loch”). The main Hebrew pronunciations are the Ashkenazi (north European) and Sephardi (Mediterranean and North African). Universities and seminaries tend to use a version of the 24
Sephardi pronunciation, believing it is more authentic. We are not sure which pronunciation James Anderson was taught, nor whether he was a Hebrew scholar. Masonic tracing boards containing Hebrew letters and/or words are often highly corrupted by copyists who knew no Hebrew. The following are the leading Hebrew words which most Masons will encounter: AHIMAN REZON – probably ACHI MERATZON, “My brother from desire”, i.e. a chosen but not necessarily a natural brother. Not Biblical. BOAZ – correctly BO’AZ; Biblical. CHERUBIM – correctly K’RUVIM. GIBLIM/N – correctly GIV’LIM, Givlites, from a Phoenician shipbuilding town; or stone-squarers (from G’VUL, a boundary). Biblical: Josh. 13:5, I Kings 5:32, Ezek. 27:9. HIRAM ABIF – correctly CHIRAM AVIV. JACHIN – correctly YACHIN; Biblical. MACHABONE – correctly MACH HABONEH, “The builder is brought low (i.e. dead)”. Not Biblical. Masons sometimes pronounced the word MATCHPIN, which makes no sense. There is no connection with the English BONE. MACHBANAI – correctly MACH BANAI, “The builder is brought low”. BANAI is Aramaic for Hebrew BONEH, a builder. Not Biblical. 25
MENATSCHIN – correctly M’NATZ’CHIM, overseers of building (Biblical: II Chron. 2:1,17; 34:12-13; cf. I Chron. 23:4) or music. Biblical: common in Psalms; cf. I Chron. 15:21, Ezra 3:8. From NETZACH, victory: hence M’NATZE’ACH = winner, commander. SHIBBOLETH – correctly SHIBBOLET (accent the BOL), ear of corn or wheat. Biblical. Used as a test to check if a person could pronounce a SH and was socially acceptable. TUBAL CAIN – KAYIN; Biblical.
URIM AND TUMMIM – “Lights and Perfections”, ie Perfect Lights. Biblical: Ex. 28:30. A form of oracle consulted in time of crisis. No Biblical reference after the time of David. 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.
REGENERATION Regenerated man is the ideal, If world affairs are ever to improve, To work together for the common weal Impels us to forsake the selfish groove. The way of rebirth leads to righteousness, And all our baser parts must forthwith die; Self must be purged of every sin's duress Before heaven's realm is realised as nigh. This lesson has been taught throughout the ages, In myth and parable of every clime, It is th'embodied wisdom of the sages And still remains appropriate to our time. What learn we from Hiram's assassination? Through figured death we gain regeneration.
KIRKWALL SCROLL Part Six When we look around, we see in the corners flags or the principal banners of the tribes: Judah – lion, Reuben – man, Ephraim – ox, and Dan – eagle. We see those banners again displayed in the Holy Royal Arch Chapter in the east, and with the banners of the other the tribes of Israel in the north and south of the tessellated pavement.
under the banner of Ephraim. The last army to break camp and guard the Tabernacle on the North side from West to East was under the banner of Dan. The Holy of Holies will be guarded by the Tribe of Levi, The priesthood Tribe of Israel.
So these explained the tented camp on the picture, but let us look to the bottom part of this picture. Here we see Jerusalem and in the middle the Temple and the Holy of Holies. On the Left side, two seven pointed stars. What are those stars? When the Tabernacle was completed Moses was instructed by God on how the external perimeter of the tabernacle’s outer court was to be guarded by the twelve tribes of Israel. The first army to break camp and guard the Tabernacle on the East side from North to South was under the banner of Judah. The second army to break camp and guard the Tabernacle on the South side from East to West was under the banner of Reuben. The third army to break camp and guard the Tabernacle on the West side from South to North was
A seven-pointed star are also known as heptagrams or septagrams and is important in Western kabbalah, where it symbolizes the sphere of Netzach, the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, and the seven days of the week. 26
The ancient world recognized only seven planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, plus the Moon and Sun. (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not visible to the naked eye and thus were unknown.) The heptagram often reflects these seven planets. Because the planets are all represented equally in the heptagram, the symbol can also be one of balance, equally representing the seven great powers of planetary magic. Furthermore, the pairing of the numbers three (spirituality, in reference to the Christian trinity) and four (physicality, in reference to the four elements and the four cardinal directions) can also represent universal balance. Now let us have a look at the sevenpointed star of the Knight Templar’s in France.
An old map of the Knight Templar’s shows the position of the seven main Commanderies which are arranged in the form of a star. Also here the rays of the star are in the same order as the planets. But there is a difference: they are arranged in a contrary order. Close to the centre of the star the name of Bourges, a town, stands out. Interestingly enough the famous 27
alchemist Fulcanelli described Bourges as the”Keystone of the Great Work of the Alchemists in Europe”, without however giving any further explanation. Only in 1998 this riddle was revealed, partly at least. Geomantist Peter Dawkins had found an extensive energy line, a socalled ley-line, that passes through France starting from Saintes Maries de-la-Mer (the most important place of pilgrimage of the Sinti and Roma), and running through Bourges and Chartres, and even through England. As many places of the legend of the Grail are located on this line, Dawkins called it the “line of the Grail”. Exactly this line of the Grail passes through the centre of the seven-pointed star of the Knight Templar’s. In the North of France it divides the ray of the Sun precisely, and in the South it runs between the rays of Saturn and Moon into the Mediterranean. Mind you this line of the Grail is not depicted in the old map of the Knights Templar. Could this coincidence be mere chance? Hardly: Sun, Moon and Saturn, the three planetary rays placed on the line of the Grail represent the trinity of body, spirit and soul. The Knights Templar associated their seven-pointed star in France very purposefully with the flow of life energy on our earth. The Knights Templar placed the main Commanderies of their sevenpointed star close to strong natural sites of power, for example the point of the Moon at Rennes-le-Chateau (a legendary place of the Cathars) and the point of the planet Mars at Verdun (actually this point of Mars, the god of war, attained sad fame during the First World War). The Knights Templar connected the flow of energy between the seven sites of power or
"chakras of the earth” in France in a particular way. The anchor, because of the great importance in navigation, was regarded in ancient times as a symbol of safety. The Christians, adopt the anchor as a symbol of hope. The anchor also serves as a symbol for seamanship. Can this be how it leads to the seamanship of St Clair and the Knights Templar? The last symbol with the triangle in it, I have no idea what this symbol is. We are moving to the next picture on the Scroll.
Here again we see symbols from different Orders. Two cherubim’s guard the Ark of the Covenant, and two pillars of the temple, Jachin & Boaz. In the top of the Arch we see the Key Stone, and working tools and symbols of officers of the Lodge.
The Breastplate of the High Priest, showing the twelve tribes of Israel with the sacred serpent. On the altar, a circle with a cross with there in the four principal banners of the tribes: Judah – lion, Reuben – man, Ephraim – ox, and Dan – eagle. A symbol of the five pointed star in clouds, and on the other side also in the clouds the all-Seeing Eye, or third eye pointing towards the Altar. So here it looks like that we are having symbols from: Chapter, Mark, and Knights Templar
Let us next month walk through them. Thanks once again to W.Bro. Fred Vandenberg of lodge Kring Niew Holland in Melbourne Australia, the Masonic Study Circle.
THE EMBLEMS OF FREEMASONRY The Second Degree Guiding his steps by the principles of moral truth which have been inculcated in the First Degree, the E... A... is led into the Second Degree there to contemplate the intellectual faculties and to trace them from their development through the paths of heavenly science, even to the throne of God. As an E... A... he learns something of many of the Masonic Emblems, but explanations of others are only gained as he makes further advance in the Craft. Each of the later Degrees has its own distinctive characteristics, all of which amplify and elaborate what has gone before. The Brazen Pillars. In all ages and by all nations Pillars have been erected, and many references to them are to be found both in sacred and profane writings. Two of the most notable of these works of art, and two in which Freemasons are specially interested, are those which’ were erected by Solomon at the entrance of the Porch of the Temple. Josephus thus describes them: “Hiram made two hollow pillars, whose outsides were of brass, and the thickness of the brass was four fingers’ breadth, and the height of the pillars was eighteen cubits, and the circumference twelve cubits, but there was cast with each of their chapiters, lily work, that stood upon the pillars, and it was elevated five cubits; round about which there was net interwoven with small palms made of brass, and covered with lily work. To this also were hung two hundred pomegranates in two rows. The one of these pillars he set at the entrance of the Porch on the right hand, and called it Jachin, and the other on the left hand, and called it Boaz.” Biblical scholars regard the description of these Pillars as contained in I Kings vii. Chapter, verses 15-22, as exceedingly confused, and are in much doubt with regard to the whole subject. It is generally accepted that, structurally, they were independent of the Temple Porch, and stood free in front of it – probably on plinths - Jachin on the south and Boaz on the north. Pillars so situated were a feature of Phoenician and other temples of Western Asia. - The names “Jachin” and “Boaz” present an enigma that still awaits solution. The meanings suggested in the margins of the English Version of the Bible - Jachin, “he shall establish,” Boaz, “in it is strength” - do not give any help, and besides are very problematical. The original significance and purpose of the pillars are almost as obscure as their names. Probably they are best explained as convennal symbols of the God for whose worship the Temple of Solomon was designed. Adopting the suggestion contained in I Kings vii. 41, to the effect that the capitals were globular or spheroidal in form, many Masonic artists have represented them as globes of the celestial and terrestrial bodies-a very obvious anachronism. But whatever perplexities there may be concerning the design and purpose of Jachin and Boaz, the meditative Mason will not err in regarding them as emblems of that strength of mind and stability of character which ought to distinguish members of the ancient Fraternity. 29
The Second Degree Tools. The Tools in the use and meaning of which the Fellow-craft is instructed by those who are skilled in the science are the Square, Level and Plumb. The Square. The Square is used by the operative mason to try and adjust all irregular corners of buildings, and to assist in bringing rude matter into due form. In the Fellow-craft degree the Freemason is admitted upon the Square in order that he may make further progress in the Art, and no longer be received as a stranger in a hostile manner, but as one entitled to the privileges of a true and lawful brother. In a moral sense the Square teaches the Freemason to regulate his actions by the Masonic rule and line, otherwise the principles of conduct to be found in Holy Scriptures. He is abjured to act upon the square with all mankind. The Level. The use of the Level in the hands of the operative mason is to lay levels and prove horizontals. As an emblem of Speculative Freemasonry it demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock, partakers of the same nature and sharers of the same hope. Although distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, and to reward merit and ability, no eminence of station should make us forget that we are all brethren, for the time will come when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue, shall cease, and Death, the grand leveller of all human greatness, will reduce us to the same state. The Plumb-rule, The Plumb-rule, which is used by the operative mason to try and adjust all uprights while fixing them on their proper bases, is to the Speculative Mason an emblem of justness and uprightness of life and actions, it admonishes him to walk uprightly in whatever station he may be placed, to hold the scales of justice with an equal poise, and to observe the just medium between avarice and profusion, and to make his passions and prejudices coincide with the exact line of duty. To steer the barque of this life over the rough seas of passion without quitting the helm of rectitude is one of the highest degrees of perfection to which human nature may attain.
This monthly feature is taken from William Harveyâ€™s book, â€œThe Emblems of Freemasonryâ€? 1918.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor 30
Published on Sep 26, 2017