Volume 10 Issue 1 No.75 January 2014
Contents Cover Story, Robert Burns and Freemasonry in Edinburgh Tam Oâ€™ Shanter and The Merry Masons Lodge Burns Dundonald No.1759 Masonic Philosophy Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks The Winding Stairs The Bavarian Illuminati The Stamps of Robert Burns The Masonic Dictionary Main Website â€“ Burns and Adam Smith
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Robert Burns and Freemasonry in Edinburgh.’ Yet another article about our Bard and Masonry. This one examines his time in Edinburgh and takes the view Burns was never the poet-laureate of Canongate Kilwinning. Page 8, ‘Tam O’ Shanter and the Merry Masons.’ A parody based on Burns’ famous poem. Page 11, ‘Lodge Burns Dundonald 1759.’ The founding and erection of one of our Scottish Lodges. Page 14, ‘Masonic Philosophy’, This essay is taken from the book, “The Builders.” Page 16, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “Freedom from Arrogance”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 16, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “A Masonic Speech”, the thirty-second in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 18, ‘The Winding Stairs’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 19, ‘The Bavarian Illuminati’ Secret Societies throughout the World. Page 22. ‘The Stamps of Robert Burns’. Postage stamps issued of Robert Burns. Page 25, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Illiteracy
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘Burns and Adam Smith’ by Koichi Terasawa [link] The front cover artwork was created by the editor using Paint shop Pro Ver. 7.
ROBERT BURNS AND FREEMASONRY IN EDINBURGH. Taking a comprehensive view, the Masonic career of Robert Burns, from his initiation at Tarbolton on 4th July 1781, till his death at Dumfries on 21st July 1796, may be divided into three stages. These are unequal in point of time and in importance; nor are they distinctive periods as they dovetail into one another. Yet they have each their own significance. In the first we have the humble ploughman in the natural rural element of his Ayrshire circle, hard pressed to maintain his own independence and that of his father's family, but surrounded by boon companions of a jovial country brotherhood. During this stage all his active Masonic work was done. In the second we find him in Edinburgh in a wholly different, and to him unnatural, atmosphere, lionised by the society of the day as the latest curiosity of that Metropolis, and flaunted for a time by Masonic associates of quite a dissimilar type. It was a brief but hectic interlude not inaptly described as "the circumstance of an opportunist", and though given a posthumous Masonic importance wholly unwarranted by facts, it involved no Masonic work of any kind. In the third stage the bard was back for a spell to the plough, tired and worried both physically and mentally, finally taking an official post which he had vainly calculated would bring him independence. Here he was again in his real Masonic element, but his day was far spent and his Masonic work practically over. The Ayrshire period I have dealt with in an earlier paper (*1) During this period Burn
published "Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect", the first or Kilmarnock edition of his works, and for this the Fraternity in Ayrshire were in large measure responsible. The second stage, the visits of the Bard to the Scottish Metropolis and his Masonic doings and interests there, was a natural though unforeseen corollary which merits some special reference. The third stage may claim a like attention at some future date. His initial venture in publication provided Burns with a sadly needed twenty pounds with which he made preparation for his intended departure to Jamaica in the autumn of 1786, and, but for a series of accidental happenings which postponed his sailing week after week, Burns might even then have been lost to Scotland. But "the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley". The delay gave time for more mature consideration and the decision to go to Edinburgh resulted. Burns had several impelling reasons for that decision. The success of his first edition imbued him with the desire for a second, and we learn from his own pen of his futile endeavour to issue this in Ayrshire. But the poems had prompted Dr Thomas Blacklock to suggest that a further edition should be issued from Edinburgh; and this encouragement from, "one of a set of critics for whose applause I had not even dared to hope", stimulated Burns to consider this proposal seriously. There was also some expectation, to which at that time he had not given much heed, that influence might be available there to secure for him a position in the Excise Service. But strongest of all was his sense of his responsibilities to Jean Armour who had borne him twins on 3rd September. He had ever a commendable feeling of moral 2
responsibility for his offspring. In a letter to Robert Aiken citing his uncertainties, disappointment, pride, remorse and general wretchedness, he wrote, "All these reasons urge me to go abroad, and to all these reasons I have only one answer, the feelings of a father. This overbalances everything that can be laid in the scale against it." He left Mossgiel on 27th November and reached Edinburgh the following day. The move to Edinburgh for a man of Burns' temperament was a dangerous and fateful hazard. The fame of his poems had preceded him and he was introduced into clubs such as the Crochallan Fencibles and social circles as the Caledonian Hunt, where in that era of hard drinking and dissipation many would have completely lost their heads. "The Edinburgh of Boswell, Burns and Scott," wrote Professor Grierson, "was a centre of dissipation drunken, immoral and pious, the different qualities blended sometimes in the most singular fashion." And Scott determined from his own close observation that his sons should never settle in Edinburgh if he could help it. Burns, however, kept steadily before him the main purport of his journey and set about the consummation of that business without delay. His Masonic associations again proved of value. James Dalrymple of Orangefield, a prominent Ayrshire Freemason, introduced him to the Earl of Glencairn and through him he met those" other luminaries in that galaxy of Scottish Craftsmen of which he for a time formed the centre of attraction" (Murray Lyon's History). By 7th December he was able to write to Gavin Hamilton, "My Lord Glencairn and the Dean of Faculty, Mr H. Erskine, have taken me under their wing. Through my Lord's influence it is inserted in the records of the Caledonian Hunt that 3
they universally, one and all, subscribe for the second edition." Mackenzie in his history of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge published in 1888, makes the assertion that "the first Lodge to which he (Burns) paid a visit was Canongate Kilwinning on 7th December, and after leaving it that night he wrote to his friend Gavin Hamilton." There is no record in the minute book of the Lodge of his presence nor does Burns mention such a meeting in his correspondence which at this time was voluminous and detailed. Where Mackenzie gleaned his information he does not state. But we know the source of this and other myths of the Bard's sojourn in Edinburgh to be Marshall's book, "A Winter with Robert Burns", probably the most unreliable concoction ever penned about him. Nor is Mackenzie trustworthy in other matters of detail. There are two inaccuracies in the opening paragraph of his chapter dealing with Burns. He notes that Burns was entered in Lodge St David's in 1781 and in 1784 was elected Depute Master. The name of the Lodge is St David and Burns never held office therein. He was one of the seceders who re-established the older Lodge St James, now No. 135, and in St James as Depute Master he "Presided o'er the Sons of Light". Here all his Ayrshire Masonic work was done. Murray Lyon states that, "an examination of the Canongate minutes shows that during Burns' residence in Edinburgh, 1786-87, the Lodge held only three meetings and at only one is Burns recorded as being present." This effectively disposes of the mendacious phrases "He was the life of the Lodge," and, "the seat he always resorted to." The first Lodge he actually visited was St Andrew. now No. 48, and in a letter to
James Ballantine, dated 14th January, he makes extended reference to this visit. "I went to a mason lodge yesternight, where Most Worshipful Grand Master Charters (*2) and all the Grand Lodge of Scotland visited. The meeting was numerous and elegant; all the different lodges about town were present in all their pomp. The Grand Master, who presided with great solemnity and honour to himself as a gentleman and a mason, among other general toasts gave 'Caledonia and Caledonia's Bard, Brother Burns,' which rung through the whole assembly with multiplied honours and repeated acclamations. As I had no idea such a thing would happen I was downright thunderstruck, and trembling in every nerve made the best return in my power. Just as I had finished some of the Grand Officers said, so loud that I could hear, 'Very well, indeed', which set me something to rights again." The argument has been advanced that this incident is not recorded in the minute of the St Andrew meeting, a statement strictly correct. But the minute records the visit of the Grand Master and the business transacted. Toasts follow at "Harmony" which it is unusual to record in minutes. An outstanding Masonic incident occurred a fortnight later when Burns paid his sole recorded visit to Canongate Kilwinning Lodge on 1st February, which was duly chronicled as business in its minute book. The minute of that meeting is very explicit and is printed in extenso in Mackenzie's History. The paragraph referring to Burns is in these terms: "The Right Worshipful Master having observed that Brother Burns was at present in the Lodge, who is well known as a great Poetic Writer, and for a late publication of his works, which have been universally commended, and submitted that he should be assumed a
member of this Lodge, which was unanimously agreed to, and he was assumed accordingly." Thus he became an Honorary member of the Lodge. The History proceeds on the following page to relate that at the last monthly meeting of the season, held on 1st March, the Master conferred upon Burns "the title of Poet Laureate of the Lodge". This statement of an obviously unconstitutional procedure has engendered perennial discussion in Masonic circles, fostered by its annual repetition in the Installation programme of the Lodge, probably in the expectation that by continued reiteration its authenticity may be eventually regarded as established. The topic has bulked so largely in Masonic annals and in books and papers on Burns, as to have become in certain quarters the preponderant feature of Burns's sojourn in Edinburgh. The cause of this notoriety was the painting of a picture by Stewart Watson in 1845 purporting to represent the scene of the Inauguration of Burns as Poet Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, prints of which have been broadcast throughout the world; and the concurrent issue of Marshall's volume already mentioned, "A Winter with Robert Burns", which gave biographical details of the personages depicted. These personages include some who were not members of the Order; one who did not set foot in Scotland until two years later; one who had left the country six years previously; and one who, never known to be a Freemason, was in his 108th year in 1787. It is noteworthy that the minute of this March meeting is not reproduced or quoted in Mackenzie's History and for a very excellent reason. This minute is also very explicit, much too explicit for satisfactory argument although argument there has 4
been in abundance. it runs thus: "St John's Chapel, 1 March 1787. The Lodge being duly constituted, it was reported that since last meeting H. Dalrymple, Esq. (then follows a list of names) who all paid their dues to the Treasurer. No other business being before the meeting the Lodge adjourned." No mention is made of any election or inauguration of Burns, who as an Honorary member was not indeed eligible for office, nor of the institution of the new office of Poet Laureate; and two such remarkable items of business could not have escaped record if they had ever happened. But there was definitely other business. There is no mention of such an important meeting in Grand Lodge records; no registration of such a distinguished office bearer, If Grand Secretary Laurie, who published his "History of Freemasonry in Scotland" in 1804, makes no reference to an incident with which he must have been acquainted personally had it occurred. No items for the increased expenditure necessarily incurred in such a gathering appear in the Lodge accounts or elsewhere. Nor is there record of annual reelection as with other office bearers of the Lodge, and the Lodge had officially no Laureate for many years after Burns' day. The first mention of Burns in that capacity or of the office of Laureate occurs in the minute of 9th February 1815, when "the R.W. Master stated that he had observed a public subscription had been commenced for the purpose of erecting a Mausoleum to the Memory of Robert Burns, who was a member and Poet Laureate of this Lodge." In another record, "The Book of Robert Burns ", by Dr Charles Rogers, the date of this presumed inauguration is given as 25th June. This is demonstrably untenable as Burns on that date was on his West Highland tour and wrote to Robert Ainslie 5
on the 28th from Arrochar after coming from Inveraray. It is inconceivable that Burns himself would be silent over such an honour. In March 1787, he wrote to his friend, Mrs Dunlop, "The appellation of a Scottish bard is by far my highest pride." With such a pride the honour of a Laureateship in Edinburgh from the leaders of society would undoubtedly have evoked some record. Yet in none of his multitude of letters, nor in his Commonplace Book or Diary which he states he made his confidant, does he ever refer to the subject or even to Canongate Kilwinning Lodge. The controversy had an important development in 1878 when Murray Lyon was about to publish his "History of Freemasonry in Scotland". Following up some information he had received, the Secretary of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, "felt it to be his duty", to request from the author an assurance that in his forthcoming work any references to Burns' connection with that Lodge would not discredit that connection. A lengthy correspondence ensued - lengthy at least on the side of the Secretary - and Mackenzie in his History devotes no less than a dozen pages to it. But we find what Murray Lyon cynically describes as that same "tendency to represent the traditions of the Craft as historical facts or so to embellish facts as to distort if not altogether to obliterate them." The arguments advanced by the Secretary are mere sophistry, the main line being that as statements which had been widely circulated had never been contradicted they must be assumed to be correct. No more absurd assumption could be imagined. The arguments adduced would never be accepted by any judicature and were amply refuted at a later
investigation. Murray Lyon's conclusions were: When Marshall first made the assertion to a committee of the Lodge its records bear that his statement created surprise. There are many other facts which all go to show that the Poet's election and inauguration as Poet Laureate of this Lodge is a myth." The matter was not allowed to end there. There was a lengthy correspondence in the Masonic press and on 29th December 1892, Murray Lyon, who bad become Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, drew the attention of Grand Committee to the inscription under the picture by Stewart Watson which was then on the wall of the Committee Room, having been presented to Grand Lodge in 1863 by the family of the late Sir James Burnes, Physician to the Army in Bombay. Grand Committee thereupon appointed a Special Committee consisting of Brothers William Officer, David Sneddon and Allan Mackenzie to, "consider and report on the whole question". There was a long and critical enquiry followed by a detailed report which discredited not only the evidence advanced and the witnesses who supplied it, but also the picture and Marshall's volume. The witness, W. N. Fraser, for example, a Past Master of the Lodge, made the statement that, "the honour was fully appreciated by the Bard. He alludes to the circumstances in the following lines: To please you, and praise you, Ye ken your Laureate scorns; The prayer still - you share still Of grateful minstrel Burns." Yet we know that these lines were sent to Gavin Hamilton on 3rd May 1786, before Burns had thought of a visit to Edinburgh. Campbell, who averred that he had spent
two happy days with Burns at Auchtertyre Castle, was born in 1776, according to the official register, and was therefore in his eleventh year when Burns was at Auchtertyre and did not join the Craft till 5th February 1801. Yet he said that he, "had had many opportunities of giving testimony in favour of the particulars referred to". The following were the conclusions of the Special Committee: "The Sub-Committee has bestowed much time and consideration on the matter remitted to it and enquired into it very fully. It regrets having to report:
1st. That in its opinion the statements made in 'A Winter with Robert Burns' as to the creation of, election to, and inauguration of the Poet as Poet Laureate of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge is fictitious. 2nd. That the office was not created during the lifetime of Burns and that consequently he was not elected to and was not inaugurated into it; 3rd. That the statement that Burns had been Poet Laureate of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge was first made by the publisher of an engraving of Burns in October 1798; and 4th. That the statement that he had been inaugurated into that office was first made in November 1845, by the author of 'A Winter with Robert Burns' and the painter of the picture representing the alleged inauguration." This report was signed by William Officer and D. Sneddon; Mackenzie dissented, giving his reasons. But the inscription remains, with the picture, today. 6
The Edinburgh edition of Burns's poems was published on 21st April 1787, by Wm. Creech, the foremost publisher of the day and a member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge. The printer was Wm. Smellie, also a member of the Craft and mainspring of the Crochallan Club. For the frontispiece Alexander Nasmyth, another member of Canongate Kilwinning and an artist of note, gratuitously painted the most reliable portrait of Burns from special sittings, and this was engraved for the volume by another member, John Beugo. These and other members of the Fraternity were the associates of Burns during this period, meeting, not in lodges, but in the popular taverns of the day such as John Dowie's in Liberton's Wynd or Dannie Douglas's Howff in Anchor Close. Hence the success of this second, as of the first, edition may be credited to Masonic influence. Delays in reaching a financial settlement with the dilatory Creech kept Burns in the city much beyond his original intention. This was unfortunate because it was disconcerting to his muse and afforded time and opportunity for other matters than the contemplation of his future vocation. These do not concern us here. That he had no misgiving as to the temporary nature of his residence in Edinburgh is evident from his letters. To Dr Moore on 23rd April, he wrote, "I leave Edinburgh in the course of ten days Or a fortnight and after a few pilgrimages over some of the classic ground of Caledonia, I shall return to my rural shades in all likelihood never more to quit them." He set out on the first of these pilgrimages on 5th May, with Robert Ainslie, a member of Lodge St Luke, now No. 44, and toured the Border country. At Eyemouth they became Royal Arch Masons, Ainslie paying a guinea while Burns, "on account of his remarkable 7
poetic genius", was admitted without fee. Th his diary of the tour, under date 19th May 1787, he notes, "Spent the day at Mr Grieve's - made a Royal Arch Mason at St Abb's Lodge (Eyemouth)." He returned to Edinburgh on 7th August, but Creech was still dawdling and Burns set about arranging for his longest tour. On 23rd August he wrote to the "Men and Brethren" of St James Lodge: "I am truly sorry it is not in my power to be at your quarterly meeting. If I must be absent in body believe me I shall be present in spirit," and he repeated a stanza of his former song: "Within your dear mansion may wayward Contention Or withered Envy ne'er enter; May Secrecy round be the mystical bound, And brotherly Love be the centre." He set off on his Highland tour two days later with Willie Nicol. They visited Linlithgow and Stirling in each of which towns Burns is said to have attended a local Lodge. But here again the reports are but legendary. They were not recorded in any minutes nor are they mentioned in letters or Diary as they would have been if true. He returned to Edinburgh on 16th September. This second winter which he was fated to spend in Edinburgh against all his inclinations had not the glamour of the first. The novelty had worn off both on the part of Burns and some of his former friends and he was worried by Creech's continued failure to settle accounts. Freemasonry never came into the picture; an accident kept him for a great part of the time indoors. He left Edinburgh in the middle of February 1788, after a temporary financial arrangement with Creech and returned home. There was a bitter taste in
his mouth, evidenced by his feelings when he wrote of "the world of wits and gens comme il faut which I lately left and with whom I never again will intimately mix." The Edinburgh periods in the career of Burns here touched upon were short but as already indicated were fateful, and beyond providing the original friendships which made them memorable, Freemasonry, as such, had no direct part. They were fateful for several reasons. They gave to the world at large the poems and in great measure the revealing letters of Burns. They afforded the opportunity for the display and the preservation for posterity of his supreme gift of song, by his association with James Johnson and the collaborating musician, Stephen Clarke, in The Scots Musical Museum. They introduced Burns to a new profession which was his stand-by in later years. And they led him into two branches of social life, the drawing room and the city tavern, which even on his own admission had fateful consequences; they "ate up slices of his constitution". Another great poet has told us that there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Burns did not reach that haven. Did he fail to take the tide at the flood or did the flood come too late, if indeed it ever came during his lifetime. Who can or dare venture to say? During the ages of this world many men have passed of whom it may with truth be said, "He being dead yet speaketh." High up on that list is Robert Burns. Footnotes :(*1) Published in "The Burns Chronicle." 1929. (*2) Francis Charteris, Lord Elcho, later 7th Earl of Wemyss. From a paper read to the Masters' and Past Masters' Association of Renfrewshire West. By DR R. T. HALLIDAY, Past Grand Warden.
TAM O’ SHANTER AND THE MERRY MASONS When merry Masons meet at nicht To crack about Masonic Licht, An’ tell their tales wi’ pawky glee, O’ what they say, an’ what they see, When, wi’ the Compassess and Square, They draw droll figures on the flure Or paint the Canopy abune Wi’ Sun an’ Stars an’ Quarter-mune; Or curl their nose, or crook their tip, Or twirl their thooms in Sign and Grip, They mak’ puir bodies blink their een, As Tam o’ Shanter did yestreen, When, sitting wi’ the Soutar haiverin’ In Willis White’s Masonic Taivern, On’ thinkin’ nocht o’ Mells and Trowens, He got an inklin’ o’ their doin’s. Now Tam, though aye a blythsome carle Weel-versed in wonders o’ the warl’, Had never brocht himsel’ to join The Brithers o’ the Rule an’ Line At last, yestreen, as I have tauld – The punch was het, the nicht was cauld – Some cronies gathered for a dram, An’ foremost o’ them a’ was Tam. As ower a story they were laughin’, Some chiels burst in upon their daffin – A core o’ Masons daft and crouse, Wha’d held a Lodge ayont the house An’ preened upon some billie’s sark, That sigh they ca’ the Mason’s Mark; What form it took no one wad tell, But aye they a’ thegither fell To laughin’ owre their mystic ploy, An’ hotched an’giggled in their ploy. “Methinks,” quo’ Tam, “your wark the nicht 8
Has been connected wi’ the licht?” “Deed that,” quo’ they, “an there he stands Fresh frae King Solomon’s ain hands, Levelled and Squared as you may see – A very Prince o’ Masonry! He has the airt o’ Fower Degrees, Kens brawly how to Plumb his P’s And Q’s, an’ be a brither fair To ilka ane that’s on the Square. A man – go search the world around – A better man will not be found As lang as he respects the Mark That we have preened upon his sark.” They joked again but Tam, somehoo – Though geyly drunk he wasna fou – Got in his pow that ‘neath their laugh Was, albins mair than idle chaff. “God, lads,” quo’ he, I’m thinkin’some I’d like to join you on the plumb, An’ learn the Secrets o’ your trade, An’ see juist how a Mason’s made; Wha’ll tak’ my hand some canty nicht An’ lead me to Masonic Licht?” “I will,” said Rab, auld Scotland’s bard, “I hold you, Tam, in high regard; Your worth, I’ll pledge it in the Lodge, An’ faith, guid Sir, if I’m a judge, The Ballot will be clear for you And in a crack we’ll hae you through.” Weel pleased to get the hand o’ Burns Douce Tam o’ Shanter stood twa turns: First whisky punch cam’ steaming hot, Syne, reamin swats gaed round the lot. In truth, inside the Masons’ Inn Was never heard sic mirth and din; Wi’ merry tale of Auld Lang Syne They cracked o’ Gavel, Plumb and Line; Tauld how King Solomon was Sire To a’ the weedow-wives in Tyre. How Boaz kissed his loof to Ruth, An’ Jachin was a wily youth; How Hiram soucht to mak’ folk dine On Corn wi’ Oil – to save the Wine; An’ how, when kneelin’ at his prayers, 9
Some Cowans took him unawares, An’ riped his pouches for the Mark, Yet missed it preened upon his sark. Bambazed wi’ a’ their Mason lore, Tam thocht it time to end the splore. “Now, Rab,” quo’ he, “I’ll hae to gang, Or Kate may think my comin’ land, And aiblins meet me wi’ a rung, For listening Ear and Silent Tongue Were never attributes o’ hers, Though, truth to tell, she micht be worse.” “Weel, Tam,” says Rab, “a man that’s marrit, Maun guide his footsteps by the skirrit – That straucht, undeviatin’ Line Which Masons count a sacred sign – An’ though I say’t, I’d never keep A husband frae his virtuous sleep; But ere you leave our Circle, Tam, Let souther friendship wi’ a dram – Ae pairtin’ gless,” Burns cried in glee; “Let’s drink it, chaps, wi’ three times three, An’ show to Tam out high regard, Count, Wardens, count!” cried Scotland’s Bard. Dumfoundered, Tam o’ Shanter stood, He thocht the chield’s had a’ gane wud, First, wi’ a maist unchancy skirl, They garred the very rafters dirl; Syne, wi’ their loofs made fearsome play, An’ roared, “Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!” Weel mounted on his faithfu’ mare, Wi thochts o’ Compasses and Square, Tam took the road wi’ easy canter Kennin’ that sune the farm o’ Shanter Wad rise before him, an’ his dame Wad smile, weel pleased to see him hame. But lang ere Tam got hame that nicht I swear he saw Masonic Licht; He fand the Point within the Centre Which unenlightened daurna enter,
An’ learned whaut Masons first are made, An’ how they follow out their trade By level steps, and Plummet actions, Avoidin’ plots, and pleys, an’ paction, Syne climb the Steps – Three, Five, an’ Seven – To reach auld Hiram’s neuk in Heaven. As canny on the mare gaed trottin’, Tam mused – a’ worldly thochts forgotten – On a’ the Mysteries divine That linger round the Rule and Line: How goats wi’ horns, an’ men wi’ ropes, An’ monsters of unearthly shapes, And officers wi’ sharpened swords, Attended on the Masons’ words. Thus musin’ at the Midnicht hour, Tam saw afore him three or fower Big, buirdly chaps – their leader, Rab – Breenge at his mare, an’ mak’ a grab At him. “Come on, strip to the sark, This nicht you’ll get the Mason’s Mark,” They cried to Tam, “Hand owre your whip, We’ll gie you now the Sign and Grip.” Tam, naething laith, threw doun his bonnet, Syne cuist his coat an’ vest upon it. “My breeks?” quo’ he, “Ay! An’ your shoon!” Nae suner said than a’ was dune. “There, now, my lads,” syas Tam, “prepare To yield the Secrets o’ the Square!” But then to Tammy’s wonderment, As devil, slippin’ up ahent, Played wallop wi’ a Tow an’ said, “Now, Tammas, lad, coup heels owre head!” Tam keekit at his naked shanks, “God, chaps,” quo’ he, “nae idle pranks! Fair hornie now! Nae silly lark! Tak’ tent! I’m only in my sark.” “Ah Tam, ah Tam!” cried Robbie Burns, “See how your ain mischief returns
Upon your head! The tither nicht, Ise wad, you saw a pleasant sicht, When Cutty Sark danced i’ the mirk Of Alloway’s ghaist-haunted kirk. Now, Tam, for auld acquaintance sake, Juist follow in fair Nannie’s wake, An’ prove you’re neither stiff nor bowdie By feenishin’ wi’ heels owre gowdie.” “Weel, lads,” quo’ Tam, “you’re naewise blate; It’s guid for me the hour is late, An’ few folk on the road to see Thir awfu’ pranks o’ Masonry; But if it’s Hiram’s wull, here gaes! Juist stand atower – aside my claes – Mak’ twa stroke on the road for swords, And I’ll win a’ your Mason’s Words.” They gied him room, an’ Tam begood; Fegs! in a crack he drew a croud. The mair he danced the mair it grew – A queer, uncanny, eldritch crew. Black witches cam’ frae every airt, Some auld and dune, some trip an’ smart, An’ foremost o’ the core, he saw The limmers o’ Kirk Allowa! Tam swat for shame – looked for his breeks As Nannie wi’ the winsome cheeks Cried, “Tam, I trow, your cutty sark Will sune receive the Mason’s Mark, An’ mak’ you fit to haud the Plumb Wi’ Jubelo an’ Jubelum.” At Nannie’s words Tam’s taes took fire, “As sure as Hiram lived in Tyre, An’ Solomon had twenty wives, An’ Masons fret awa’ their lives Because like sport they daurna hae, I’ll dance,” he cried, “till skreich o’ day.” Wi’ that he nodded to the witch, An’ syne his feet began to itch About the spot whaur strokes were crossed, A single step Tam never lost, But danced among the swords sae free 10
That even Nannie glowered in glee. Frae Keelum Callum into Reel Tam danced as though to please the deil; He “hooched!” an’ gied his thooms crack The while his sark gaed ower his back, For Tam, lost now to sense o’ shame, Cared neither for his doup nor wame, Each moment saw him fleeter whirl, Each second saw him faster birl, Each instant saw him in the wind – Berfit before an’ bare behind – Dose like a peerie on its point; Then, like a lad wi’ double joint, He lap his height, an’ wi a “Damn!” Cried, “Rab, what think you now o’ Tam?” Syne wi’ a breenge, to win the Square, Gaed heels owre gowdie ower the mare. That waukened Tam, “Guid guide as a!” He gied his tonsy head a claw, Syne picked himsel’ frae aff the stanes, An’ fand a’ owre for broken banes, Then cannily remounted Meg, An’ made for hame what she could leg. Now wha this tale o’ truth shall read, Ilk man an’ mother’s son tak’ heed: If e’er to Masonry inclined, An’ Grips an’ Signs run in your mind; If Hiram and the King o’ Tyre Begat in you a grand desire The true Masonic Licht to see Shun a’ the wiles o’ barly bree: In sober sense mak’ your advance – Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s dance. This Poem was written by Bro. William Harvey.
Lodge Burns Dundonald No. 1759 Founded and Erected 1985. The founding of a new Masonic Lodge in Dundonald, later to be named Lodge Burns Dundonald and to be granted the historic number 1759 - the date of Robert Burns' birth, came about in the following manner. On Tuesday, 11th September, 1984, on returning to Dundonald from a meeting of Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 22, Brothers F. McCafferty, T. McGuffie and A. Howie discussed the possibility of setting up a new Masonic Lodge in the village. On the following evening, at a meeting of Lodge Irvine Newtown No.1662, they sought advice on the procedure they would have to adopt. They then canvassed support from Freemasons in Dundonald. On 8th October 1984, Brothers A. Howie and F. McCafferty, attended a meeting a meeting of Lodge St. Matthew Kilwinning No. 549. After that meeting they consulted Bro. Adam Pettigrew of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire. He in turn sought the view of Bro. John Weir, Provincial Grand Master. After hearing of the work already done, the Provincial Grand Master advised the Brethren concerned to convene a meeting of interested parties, which he would attend. Brother Adam Howie approached the Rev. David Ness, the Parish Minister for the use of the Church Hall on Sunday, 18th November, 1984. Permission was granted by the Church Board, one of whose members, Bro. Archie McNicol of Lodge
Dunoon Argyll No.335, was also local correspondent for the Kilmarnock Standard. He announced the upcoming meeting in his column, with the result that there was an excellent attendance when the meeting opened at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 18th November, 1984. The meeting was chaired by P.M. Bro. Alex. Davidson, also present, the Provincial Grand Master, Bro. John Weir and Provincial Grand Secretary, Bro. John Ralston. The full list of those present, with the number of their Mother Lodge and the order in which they signed the attendance sheet were as follows :- (names of 30 Brethren appear) Bro. Weir made the following points. It is not possible to get an automatic Charter, both furnishings and jewels have to be bought. A new Lodge must be supported by at least two existing Lodges. The P.G. Master felt that a Dundonald Lodge was a viable proposition with a good catchment area to be tapped. He said the following questions have to be asked: Is there an interest in Freemasonry?, Have any present had Office-Bearer experience?, the answer being positive in both instances, the P.G. Master said that a petition should go to the Provincial Grand Committee, a recommendation would then go from that committee to Provincial Grand Lodge. In a show of hands the meeting showed itself committed to going ahead with the preliminaries. The P.G. Master then displayed a petition form and a list of notes which regulate the filling in of this petition, by-laws have to be drawn up and two copies submitted with the petition. He also made other points:Founder Members would have to seek permission from their Mother Lodges. Founder Members could become OfficeBearers as long as they were not holding
office in their Mother Lodges at the same time. The R.W.M. of a new Lodge is invariably a Past Master of another Lodge, it is best that all three Senior Officers should be Past Masters. Bro. John Ralston then read a letter he had received from Grand Secretary dated 13th November 1984, it read as follows, Dear Bro. Ralston, When I was at a meeting of Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 22, on Saturday 12th November, one of our Brethren mentioned the possibility of the establishment of a new Lodge in Dundonald, and he informed me that it was the hope of the Brethren that the Lodge would bear the number 1759 - the date of Robert Burns birth. Perhaps you would advise the Brethren concerned that we are presently at 1754 and if the present rate of Charters remains as it is as present, it will be at least a year before the number 1759 would be available. I would suggest, therefore, that the Brethren concerned proceed with the establishment of the Lodge, but leave the preparation of the application for a Charter to me, when I would place it before Grand Committee at the appropriate time, so that the lodge would receive the number 1759. Yours sincerely and fraternally, E. Stuart Falconer, Grand Secretary. The result of which was a steering committee be formed at once, this was agreed. The members were numbered 9. At the first meeting of the Committee on 27th November it was decided to ask 12
Lodge St. John Kilwinning No. 22 and Lodge Troon Navigation No. 86 to sponsor the new Lodge. It was decided that the Founder Members fee be £20, and it was decided that, owing to the existing lets of the Montgomerie Hall, the regular meeting night would have to be Tuesday. Also at this meeting it was proposed, seconded and accepted that the name of the new Lodge would be Burns Dundonald. The Committee continued to meet and at the very next meeting they drew up the Lodge by-laws At an informal meeting held in January 1985, a letter was read from Lodge St. John Kilwinning intimating their intention to sponsor Burns Dundonald, a letter was read from Lodge Troon Navigation No. 86, intimating that they would require more information before making a decision on sponsorship. At a meeting held in the Dundonald Inn on 5th February 1985, the first office-bearers were nominated, the first R.W.M. was Bro. Adam Cunningham, the others are listed in the first minute book of proceedings. At the same meeting it was agreed that the Lodge would meet every second Tuesday starting on 19th February 1985, when at this meeting the P.G. Secretary reported that he had begun the task of preparing the petition to Grand Lodge. At the next meeting on 5th March it was decided that we invite Lodge St. David (Tarbolton) Mauchline No.133 and Lodge St. James (Kilwinning) Tarbolton No.135, to join Troon Navigation No. 86 and St. John Kilwinning No. 22 as sponsoring Lodges, all four accepted the invitation. On 19th March 1985, it was agreed to use the Burns check. Our Ballot box was presented by the Preceptory and Priory of Moira Union. 13
On 2nd April 1985 a cheque for £100 was received from Lodge Thistle No. 127. On 16th April it was learned that the petition had been granted, and on 23rd April the office-bearers learned that number. 1759 was definitely being reserved for Lodge Burns Dundonald. On 30th April, R.W.M. Elect reported that the Lodge had received the stamp of approval from Provincial Grand Lodge, who had donated £25 towards the cost of the Charter. On 14th May, a letter was received from Lodge St. James (Kilwinning) Tarbolton No.135, intimating their intention to donate £500 to found 1759's benevolent fund. At a special meeting on Sunday 16th June 1985, a letter was read from Grand Lodge intimating that they required a list of our founder members (91) and their Mother Lodges, the letter also indicated that there would be only room for 44 names on the scroll. It was decided that these would be the 24 elected Office-Bearers, 2 Auditors, 2 Brethren elected to Committee, the Provincial Grand Master and the first 15 Brethren to pay the founder members fee in full. On 18th June 1985, Bro. Secretary sent to Grand Lodge the fees for the petition, founder members and the annual fees. On the same date a cheque for £25 was received from Lodge Burns St. Mary No.505. On 25th June 1985, R.W.M. Bro. Adam Cunningham announced that our application to become a Lodge under the Scottish Constitution had been approved unanimously, and that the Grand Master
himself had expressed his pleasure at the erection of a new Scottish Lodge. On 30th July, R.W.M. Bro. Adam Cunningham told the Lodge that he had booked the Tarbolton Masonic Lodge for the erection ceremony on 11th Oct. 1985. Later the Lodge was to learn with great satisfaction that the Grand Master himself would perform the ceremony. A price was sought for Mark pennies but on learning that the 'die' itself would cost ÂŁ100, four Brethren of Lodge Thistle No.127, Stewarton, said they would pay for the 'die'. In the event the price charged was ÂŁ185, but the balance was borne by a Burns Dundonald Office-bearer who wished to remain anonymous. The list of gifts to the Lodge from other Lodges and from individual Freemasons is much to long to be detailed here, but all are listed in the minutes and a list, together with the lists of Masons attending the erection meeting at Tarbolton on the 11th October 1985, is filed under that date.
It has been an honour and a privilege to compile this account of the founding of Lodge Burns Dundonald No. 1759.
A Short History , as compiled by Bro. A. McNicol (Sec.) This Excellent History of the founding and erection of a Scottish Lodge was sourced from the Website of Lodge No. 1759. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder. The editor has slightly edited the history to fit into the newsletter, but in no way detracts from its content. Click here to go to their site.
Masonic Philosophy by Joseph Fort Newton Because the human soul is akin to God, and is endowed with powers to which no one may set a limit, it is and of right ought to be free. Thus, by the logic of its philosophy, not less than the inspiration of its faith, Masonry has been impelled to make its historic demand for liberty of conscience, for the freedom of the intellect, and for the right of all men to stand erect, unfettered, and unafraid, equal before God and the law, each respecting the rights of his fellows. What we have to remember is, that before this truth was advocated by any order, or embodied in any political constitution, it was embedded in the will of God and the constitution of the human soul. Nor will Masonry ever swerve one jot or tittle from its ancient and eloquent demand till all men, every- where, are free in body, mind, and soul. Some day, when the cloud of prejudice has been dispelled by the searchlight of truth, the world will honour Masonry for its service to freedom of thought and the liberty of faith. No part of its history has been more noble, no principle of its teaching has been more precious than its age-long demand for the right and duty of every soul to seek that light by which no man was ever injured, and that truth which makes man free. Down through the centuries--often in times when the highest crime was not murder, but thinking, and the human conscience was a captive dragged at the wheel of the ecclesiastical chariot--always and every14
where Masonry has stood for the right of the soul to know the truth, and to look up unhindered from the lap of earth into the face of God. Not freedom from faith, but freedom of faith, has been its watchword, on the ground that as despotism is the mother of anarchy, so bigoted dogmatism is the prolific source of scepticism. Not only does Masonry plead for that liberty of faith which permits a man to hold what seems to him true, but also, and with equal emphasis, for the liberty which faith gives to the soul, emancipating it from the despotism of doubt and the fetters of fear. Therefore, by every art of spiritual culture, it seeks to keep alive in the hearts of men a great and simple trust in the goodness of God, in the worth of life, and the divinity of the soul--a trust so apt to be crushed by the tramp of heavy years. Help a man to a firm faith in an Infinite Pity at the heart of this dark world, and from how many fears is he free! Once a temple of terror, haunted by shadows, his heart becomes "a cathedral of serenity and gladness," and his life is enlarged and unfolded into richness of character and ser- vice. Nor is there any tyranny like the tyranny of time. Give a man a day to live, and he is like a bird in a cage beating against its bars. Give him a year in which to move to and fro with his thoughts and plans, his purposes and hopes, and you have liberated him from the despotism of a day. Enlarge the scope of his life to fifty years, and he has a moral dignity of attitude and a sweep of power impossible hitherto. But give him a sense of Eternity; let him know that he plans and works in an ageless time; that above his 15
blunders and sins there hovers and waits the infinite--then he is free! Nevertheless, if life on earth be worthless, so is immortality. The real question, after all, is not as to the quantity of life, but its quality--its depth, its purity, its fortitude, its fine- ness of spirit and gesture of soul. Hence the insistent emphasis of Masonry upon the building of character and the practice of righteousness; upon that moral culture with- out which man is rudimentary, and that spiritual vision without which intellect is the slave of greed or passion. What makes a man great and free of soul, here or any whither, is loyalty to the laws of right, of truth, of purity, of love, and the lofty will of God. How to live is the one matter; and the oldest man in his ripe age has yet to seek a wiser way than to build, year by year, upon a foundation of faith in God, using the Square of justice, the Plumb-line of rectitude, the Compass to restrain the passions, and the Rule by which to divide our time into labour, rest, and service to our fellows. Let us begin now and seek wisdom in the beauty of virtue and live in the light of it, rejoicing; so in this world shall we have a foregleam of the world to come--bringing down to the Gate in the Mist something that ought not to die, assured that, though hearts are dust, as God lives what is excellent is enduring!
This article by Joseph Fort Newton is taken from his book, â€œThe Buildersâ€? published in 1914.
Rays of Masonry â€œFreedom from Arroganceâ€? Along with the current discussions of Freedom, there is one form which, if obtained, will give more happiness than all the others which are offered in the name of Security, a word that we have come to associate with our most precious heritage, but which must never be confused with such golden words as Freedom and Liberty. This form of Freedom is "Freedom from Arrogance." No one can grant it. It must be achieved by the individual through an understanding of self, and a desire for selfimprovement. We must then see ourselves in relation to all society.
A Masonic Speech. Arrogance is a false shield. We use it foolishly to hide something of ourselves, yet it only serves as a crystal through which that very part of us becomes visible. Condescension and inferiority are no part of humility. Humility is the attribute of one who dwells neither on his perfection nor his imperfections. Humility is the art of being natural, of being kind, of being considerate of others. Humility is honesty. Humility makes brotherhood a reality through the understanding of our common faults.
"Old Tiler, I am in a jam!" The New Brother smiled, so the Old Tiler did not feel too worried. "If you don't help me out, I will be up against it." "What's the trouble now?" The Old Tiler put down his sword to take the cigar the New Brother held out. "Must be something very bad or you wouldn't start me off with so good a cigar." "I have to make a Masonic address."
Our Masonic Apron teaches us humility. Let us study that lesson of the Apron in order to become "properly clothed."
"That has been done, and the addresseryes, even the addressees- lived to tell the tale," countered the Old Tiler.
One who attains Freedom from Arrogance is in truth Free.
"I don't want just to get by. I want to make 'em remember it. I want to talk about something they haven't heard before. I've listened to many Masonic speeches, and most of them bored me to tears."
Dewey Wollstein 1953
"There are rules for making a good address," mused the Old Tiler. "The three great rules are, have something to say- say it- sit down. Sometimes they are stated 'stand up, speak up, shut up.' Terminal facilities of adequate proportions are needed by railroads and Masonic speakers." "That's just it!" cried the new Brother. "I want to know what to say and how to say it." "Meaning you want me to make your speech for you, or to you, before you make it in there?" "Well, er, no. Not exactly. But can't you, er, suggest something?" "I could, but I won't. I'll suggest a method of handling your subject, however. Most Masonic speeches suffer from lack of preparation, and of clear thinking about what the speaker wants to say. "I can't prepare you. I can't make you think clearly. But I can tell you the essence of appeal. It is drama. If you want your hearers to hang on your words, dramatize your subject. If you talk about the Rough and Perfect Ashlars, bring your workman before your hearer; let them hear the strokes of the mallet on the chisel, let them feel the chips of stone as they fall to the ground. If you talk of the plumb line, make them see the Lord on His wall, watch the Children of Israel gather around, wondering at his putting a plumb 'in the midst' of them, that He would not pass by them any more. When you tell of brotherhood, don't have it an abstraction, a theory, a hope; make it concrete. Tell some stories about it. Show one brother helping another; if you don't know any stories, 17
make them up. But bring the living thought, alive, into the lodge room; men are nothing but children grown up. We all like stories. "A most entertaining speaker made a talk on Masonic charity. One by one he brought vividly before the lodge a child in a Masonic home, an old blind Mason who was helped to be self-supporting by a lodge, an old mother of a Master Mason who kept her home, thinking it was supported by what her son had left her; he hadn't left a cent. The lodge pretended he had, and paid it during her life time. He made us see these people; we lived and grew up with the child; we shut our eyes to see how the blind man felt; from a window we saw the world go by, happy that our sons had kept us from want, as his simple words brought these things before us. "The speaker spoke quietly, restrained, calmly. He didn't make the eagle scream; there was almost no applause during his address. But he made us visualize the sweetness of Masonic charity, as distinct from the cool impersonality of mere giving. He made us proud that we belonged to an organization which worked. He dramatized charity, and made us see its living human aspects, not its economic importance, or its religious duty angle. "That's the answer of 'how shall I make any Masonic speech interesting,' my brother. Make it simple. Make it human. Make it dramatic. there is drama in all the Fraternity; any symbol, any tenet, any part of Masonry has a dramatic angle. "I do not mean melodramatic. I don't tell you to put battle, murder, sudden death, in your speech. Melodrama is action without character; drama is action with character.
A railroad accident is melodrama. The mother who saves for a vacation and gives her son the money to buy a set of golf clubs is dramatic. "Find the character behind the symbols; get the human side of the Craft into its teachings; tell them in terms of people and action, of the things they know only as theories, and your audience won't walk out on you. Talk without ideas, and you'll speak to empty benches." "I think," began the New Mason, "I think-" "That's all that's necessary," smiled the Old Tiler. "I think you'd better make this speech for me," "You think in melodrama," laughed the Old tiler. "It's you trouble, not mine." This is the thirty-second article in our regular feature, ‘The Old Tiler Talks,’ each month we publish one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
The Winding Stairs Masonry sometimes allows the impression that largely or partly legendary material is verifiable history, not a “story behind a story” written to teach a moral lesson. An example is the dramatic allegory of the Second Degree concerning the winding staircase. The ritual requires a candidate to take a series of steps “as though ascending a winding stair”, and the Second Tracing
Board informs us that the artisans employed on the building of the Temple were paid their wages in the middle chamber of the building, entering from a porch (“on the south side”?) and going up a winding staircase. An attractive story, but the Biblical texts about the Temple raise at least three questions. What evidence is there of a winding staircase? Did the workmen enter through the front porch? Was it in the “middle chamber” that they received their wages? 1. The Winding Staircase I Kings 6 states that “against the wall of the house he built chambers round about… 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”. II Chronicles 3 omits the chambers and winding staircase. Ezekiel 41 mentions chambers “winding about … the house”, apparently on three sides of the building like long galleries. He does not mention the means of access. The Hebrew translated as “winding staircase” is lullim, a plural word of uncertain meaning. The commentators think lullim are a means of ascent, possibly stairs but not necessarily winding, within a hollow space or shaft. A passage in the Mishnah (Middot 4:5) speaks of the workmen being let down (and presumably raised) “in baskets”, possibly akin to lift cages. 2. Entry from the Porch The Mishnah tells us that there was a fear that the workmen, even though they clambered all over the building, might treat the Holy of Holies with disrespect. They 18
could presumably go in and out of the main porch whilst carrying out their official tasks, but our instinct suggests that for personal purposes like receiving their wages they would enter from a side door. I Kings speaks of an entrance “in the right side of the house”. 3. A Middle Chamber pay office
Fraternal & Secret Societies of the World ‘The Bavarian Illuminati’
The Temple had store rooms and administrative offices. The “chambers round about” of I Kings 6:5 are used in I Kings 7:51 for storage. If one of these chambers was the pay office for the building works, this was no desecration of the sanctuary. Work was sacred; workmen had to be paid; and (Deut. 24:15) they had to be paid on time. But how could so many workmen utilise the same pay office and be individually tested and checked en route? Maybe the procedures were decentralised, but the ritual does not say so.
A secret society, founded on May 1, 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, who was Professor of Canon Law at the University of Ingolstadt. Its founder at first called it the Order of the Perfectibilists; but he subsequently gave it the name by which it is now universally known. Its professed object was, by the mutual assistance of its members, to attain the highest possible degree of morality and virtue, and to lay the foundation for the reformation of the world by the association of good men to oppose the progress of moral evil.
Despite some misinterpretations, the Masonic writers were more or less in accord with the Biblical account, but in order to produce an allegory they built a whole story out of verses that others might think uninteresting. The moral they sought to convey was that the more a person works, the higher he aspires and the more he exerts himself, the greater will be his reward in terms of understanding the truth.
To give to the Order a higher influence, Weishaupt connected it with the Masonic Institution, after whose system of Degrees, of esoteric instruction, and of secret modes of recognition, it was organized. It has thus become confounded by superficial writers with Freemasonry, although it never could be considered as properly a Masonic Rite. Weishaupt, though a reformer in religion and a liberal in politics, had originally been a Jesuit; and he employed, therefore, in the construction of his association, the shrewdness and subtlety which distinguished the disciples of Loyola; and having been initiated in 1777 in a Lodge at Munich, he also borrowed for its use the mystical organization which was peculiar to Freemasonry. In this latter task he was greatly assisted by the Baron Von Knigge, a zealous and well-instructed Freemason, who joined the Illuminati in 1780, and
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.
soon became a leader, dividing with Weishaupt the control and direction of the Order. In its internal organization the Order of Illuminati was divided into three great classes, namely, 1. The Nursery; 2. Symbolic Freemasonry; and 3. The Mysteries; each of which was subdivided into several Degrees, making ten in all, as in the following table: I. Nursery. After a preparation it began:
1. Novice. 2. Minerval. 3 Illuminatus Minor. II. Symbolic Freemasonry. The first three Degrees were communicated without any exact respect to the divisions. and then the candidate proceeded: 4 Illuminates Major, or Scottish Novice. 5 Illuminates Diligent, or Scottish Knight. III. The Mysteries. This class was subdivided into the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries were: 6. Presbyter, Priest, or Epops. 7. Prince, or Regent. The Greater Mysteries were: 8 Magus. 9 Rex, or King.
Anyone otherwise qualified could be received into the Degree of Novice at the age of eighteen; and after a probation of not less than a year he was admitted to the Second and Third Degrees, and so on to the advanced Degrees; though but few reached the Ninth and Tenth Degrees, in which the inmost secret designs of the Order were contained, and, in fact, it is said that these last Degrees were never thoroughly worked up. The Illuminati selected for themselves Order Names, which were always of a classical character. Thus, Weishaupt called himself Spartocus, Knigge was Philo, and Zwack, another leader, was known as Cato. They gave also fictitious names to countries. Ingolstadt, where the Order originated, was called Eleusis; Austria was Egypt, in reference to the Egyptian darkness of that kingdom, which excluded all Freemasonry from its territories; Munich was called Athens, and Vienna was Rome. The Order had also its calendar, and the months were designated by peculiar names; as, Dimeh for January, and Bemeh for February. They had also a cipher, in which the official correspondence of the members was conducted. The character now so much used by Freemasons to represent a Lodge, was invented and first used by the Illuminati. The Order was at first very popular and enrolled no less than two thousand names upon its registers, among whom were some of the most distinguished men of Germany. It extended rapidly into other countries, and its Lodges were to be found in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy. The original design of Illuminism was undoubtedly the elevation of the human race. Knigge, who was one of its most prominent working members, and the author of several of its 20
Degrees, was a religious man, and would never have united with it had its object been, as has been charged, to abolish Christianity. But it cannot be denied, that in process of time abuses had crept into the Institution and that by the influence of unworthy men the system became corrupted; yet the coarse accusations of such writers as Barruel and Robison are known to be exaggerated, and some of them altogether false. The Conversations-Lexicon, for instance, declares that the s society had no influence whatever on the French Revolution, which is charged upon it by these as well as other writers. But Illuminism came directly and professedly in conflict with the Jesuits and with the Roman Church, whose tendencies were to repress the freedom of thought. The priests became, therefore, its active enemies, and waged war so successfully against it, that on June 22, 1784, the Elector of Bavaria issued an Edict for its suppression. Many of its members were fined or imprisoned, and some, among whom was Weishaupt, were compelled to flee the country. The Edicts of the Elector of Bavaria were repeated in March and August, 1785, and the Order began to decline, so that by the end of the eighteenth century it had ceased to exist. Adopting Freemasonry only as a means for its own more successful propagation, and using it only as incidental to its own organization, it exercised while in prosperity no favourable influence on the Masonic Institution, nor any unfavourable effect on it by its dissolution. Source: Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World.
Masonic Auld Lang Syne. We do not sigh for pleasures past, Nor fondly, vainly pine; Yet let us give one memory To Auld Lang Syne. For Auld Lang Syne, my dear, For Auld Lang Syne; Ah, who like us can sing the days Of Auld Lang Syne! With Gavel, Trowel and Gauge we work, With Level, Square and Line; Come, join the chain of love and sing Of Auld Lang Syne! ' Twas sweet when evening's shadow fell, How bright our lights did shine! Down from the East to hear the words Of Auld Lang Syne. The 'Prentice knocked with trembling hand, The Craft sought Corn and Wine, The Master stood and nobly fell, In Auld Land Syne. With step so true, with form upright, We drew the Grand Design;' Twas well we knew "to square the work", In Auld Lang Syne. A tear to them, the early dead, Fond memory would consign; We dropped the green sprig o'er their head, In Auld Lang Syne. And till the Master calls us hence To join the Lodge Divine, Let's sometimes give a grateful thought To Auld Lang Syne. Author Unknown.
ROBERT BURNS IN STAMPS The first stamps to commemorate Robert Burns were issued by the Soviet Union in 1956, on the 160th anniversary of the poet's death. Soviet Issue of 1956
Soviet Issue of 1959
Three years later, the 40 kopek brown-and-blue stamp was overprinted "1759 - 1959" and issued in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Romanian Issue of 1959
Also in 1959, Romania issued the above stamp as part of a series on cultural anniversaries.
First GB Issue
It wasnâ€™t until 25th January, 1966 that the British postal authorities decided to commemorate Burns, that being the 170th anniversary of his death. The 4d stamp design is based on Skirving's chalk drawing and 1/3 on the Nasmyth portrait. Second GB Issue
In 1996, an issue commemorating the bicentenary of his death comprised four stamps, priced 19p, 25p, 41p and 60p and incorporated lines from Burns poems. 23
Third GB Issue
Then on 22 January 2009, two stamps were issued by the Royal Mail to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Burns's birth. Stamps that we would love to see!
The top row and left bottom stamps were created by the editor using an online program, the bottom right stamp and the frank mark were created by the editor using paint shop pro.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Illiteracy The word illiteracy, as signifying an ignorance of letters, an incapability to read and write, suggests the inquiry whether illiterate persons are qualified to be made Freemasons. There can be no doubt, from historic evidence, that at the period when the Institution was operative in its character, the members for the most part that is, the great mass of the Fraternity were unable to read or write. At a time when even kings made at the foot of documents the sign of the cross, pro ignorantia litterarum. because they could not write their names, it could hardly be expected that an Operative Mason should be gifted with a greater share of education than his sovereign. But the change of the Society from Operative to Speculative gave to it an intellectual elevation, and the philosophy and science of symbolism which was then introduced could hardly be understood by one who had no preliminary education. Accordingly, the provision in all Lodges, that initiation must be preceded by a written petition, would seem to indicate that no one is expected or desired to apply for initiation unless he can comply with that regulation, by writing, or at least signing, such a petition.
The Grand Lodge of England does not leave this principle to be settled by implication, but in express words requires that a candidate shall know how to write, by inserting in its Constitution the provision that a candidate, “previous to his initiation, must subscribe his name at full length to a declaration.” The official commentary on this, in an accompanying note, is, that “a Person who cannot write is consequently ineligible to be admitted into the Order,” aid this is now the very generally accepted law. The Latin words ne varies in Masonic diplomas, which follows the signature in the margin, indicates that the holder is required to know how to sign his name.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 25
Published on Dec 30, 2013