Volume 10 Issue 2 No.76 February 2014
Contents Cover Story, Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual? Famous Freemason – James Fairbairn Smith Right Angles, Horizontals and Perpendiculars Lodge Dunblane No. IX. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks The Carbonari The Parable of the Vineyard The Tyler’s Little Joke Brethren of Asia The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Fourth Part of a Circle
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual?’ A controversial theory perhaps, but thought provoking just the same! Page 5, ‘James Fairbairn Smith.’ A Famous Freemason. Page 7, ‘Right Angles, Horizontals and Perpendiculars.’ “This fine article looks at this description.” Page 10, ‘Lodge Dunblane No. IX.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 13, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “Genuine Charity”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 13, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “The Forgotten Word”, the thirty third in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 14, ‘The Carbonari’ Secret Societies throughout the World. Page 17, ‘The Parable of the Vineyard’ They received every man a penny! Page 18, ‘The Tyler’s Little Joke’ A light hearted article written in Scots. Page 20, ‘Brethren of Asia’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 25, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Jerusalem.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Fourth Part of a Circle’ a look at the number 4 and its elements. [link] The front cover artwork is a stock picture of Will Shakespeare.
Did Shakespeare Create Masonic Ritual? For more than three centuries the pros and cons of the authorship of the many plays, sonnets and other writings which most literary experts believe to be the work of William Shakespeare of Stratford-onAvon, England, has been under question. It also appears that for considerably more than two hundred years a large number of the world's leading Masonic authorities, have, with reason, maintained that Sir William also wrote the Ritual of the Craft. It must be admitted that many portions of his literary creations are more than just merely Masonically Oriented. William Shakespeare, the World's master playwright, was a genius about whom little is known in terms of his personal life and affairs, but he did spice his dialogue with many direct Masonic quotes. Scholars have combed the records and studied the manuscripts and have been able to piece together a comprehensive picture of his amazing career, the playwright who wrote forty dramas that are still among the most popular stage vehicles in the world today. This situation is the result of the fact that it was not until some two centuries after his death that the world of literature recognised this literary giant and scholars awakened to the magnificent drama of his humour and plays. ERECT NEW GLOBE THEATRE It seems most appropriate that some comment should be made at a time when the City of Detroit and Wayne State University announce a commitment to build a reconstruction of the old, famed
Globe Theatre which for many years stood on the south bank of River Thames in the City of London. Thus it was part of London Town's centre of Renaissance, just as the new structure to be built on the north bank of the Detroit River will become part of the great living symbol of the Renaissance of the world's great Motor City at Detroit, Michigan and provide another riverfront stage for a dramatist who has entertained the world for more than three centuries. Nor is this merely a Shakespearian play on words which could be "To build or not to build, etc., etc. " Great public support has already been indicated by both industry and men of letters alike. In particular the world's first Shakespearian Congress, held in Vancouver in 1971, voiced a desire for the reconstruction of the "Globe" on the bank of the Detroit River and Mayor Coleman Young and Wayne State University President Thomas N. Bonner added their backing. MANY MASONIC ALLUSIONS An invitation to participate in this exciting re-creation of the most renowned theatre in history is already in the hands of Detroit and Michigan Masons 125,000 strong and since Shakespeare did so much to enliven the Masonic Craft by words and phrases it would appear important, at this time, that a careful scrutiny be made of his works. Shakespeare lived in the century that preceded the revival of Freemasonry and the beginnings of modern Craft in England in 1717. Reading his plays and noting the Masonic allusions and passages that almost seem to stand out of the ritual and lectures, 2
one can only come to the conclusion that Shakespeare was either a Mason or that Masons drew upon him for their material. FORM STATIONER'S COMPANY There is one enlightening aspect of Shakespeare and his times that is preserved in the records. That is the organization of the twenty-two printers in London into what was known as the Stationer's Company. The Crown maintained an eagle eye on printers in those days of frequent rebellion and violent civil wars for control of the Throne. Only men of repute and established loyalty and unquestioned character were licensed by the court to be printers. It was, of course, in the days before the enactment of a copyright statute. Plays were popular and profitable. Pirating was too common to go without action. The action taken by the printers, was the formation of the Stationers' Company. PROTECTS AUTHORS This organisation of London's legitimate and lawful printers offered protection to authors through its register. An author was protected against pirating as far as the legitimate master printers were concerned. The practice served in much the same way as a copyright law does in modern times.
to outright literary robbery. The Stationers' Company was vigilant in its efforts to track down the pirating printers. The result of this vigilance was that such pirating could only take the form of sloppy and incompetent printing craftsmanship. MASTER PRESIDES Discipline was in the Masonic method. A Master presiding over the Stationers' Company, with his two Wardens an assistants that correspond to our present lineup of officers. Master of the Stationers' Company was the highest and most sought after honour a printer could achieve. The Stationers' Company deserves the thanks of all posterity for preserving the two score plays by William Shakespeare that stamp him as probably the greatest genius of expression that the English language has ever known. More Shakespearean plays performed on Broadway, in London, by theatrical groups throughout the world, by college and high school groups than those by any other playwright. MASONICALLY ORGANIZED
This made it possible for printers to pay authors substantial royalties and this financial stimulus opened the way for Britain's great parade of literary giants.
Shakespeare's genius was founded on his remarkable knowledge of people. The genius of his craftsmanship has been that his works have been cheered, patronized and honoured by the poorest as well as the plainest and wealthiest. Had it not been for the Masonic type organisation of London's printers, it is probable that these ageless masterpieces would have been lost to posterity.
Although there was some pirating; nevertheless, this was a powerful deterrent
In Shakespeare's play "Henry VIII", seldom played these days, there is a speech
every Mason knows well, the lines of which carry him bodily into the lodge room. "This is the state of man; today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope, tomorrow the blossoms that bear his blushing honours thick upon him? surely his greatness is ripening, nips his root and then falls as I do:" - (Act III, Scene II). That quotation is from the first complete edition of Shakespeare's plays published in London in 1623 some 360 years ago. Did Shakespeare borrow it from Freemasonry, or did Preston, or Oliver, or some other Mason borrow it from Shakespeare to make the lecture more poetic and impressive? I cannot tell. Worshipful Brother F. de P. Castells, in his very valuable book, English Freemasonry in its Period of Transition 1600-1700 notes that the London Mason's Company had in connection with a "secret and mysterious association a body of speculative Freemasons, which went by the name of 'the Acception'." The records of the records of the Acception date from 1620, three years before the great Shakespeare Folio from which I have just quoted, and almost a hundred years before the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. The first play in Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623 was The Tempest. It is both a magical and a mystical play Colin Sill has written a book, calling it Shakespeare's Mystery Play and frankly stating that a non-Mason can never see the real significance which lies locked in its speeches. Here is only one speech of many to indicate Mr. Sill's point. "This widechopt rascal, wouldst thou mightest lie, drowning and washing of ten tides". But there are others, like these, "Here lies your Brother"; "I'll seek him deeper that e'er plummet sounded."
And now a few from some of the other plays of Shakespeare: "I am a Brother of a Gracious Order late come from the Sea. . ." "And Lamb-skins, too, that signify that Craft." (Measure for Measure) "Your oaths are past and now subscribe your names, that his own hand may strike his honour down.... I have always sworn. If I break faith this Word shall break for me... And profound Solomon." "Lets part the Word. No! I'll be your half. "Find out thy Brother wheresoe'er he is: Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living." As You Like It. And hidden in the Prologue to the play Troylus and Cressida, you will find the following (if any Mason happens to know the Morse Code and is a printer sufficiently keen on Elizabethian fonts of type, he could work out for himself from the Aforementioned folio). In 1640, when the English edition of The Advancement of Learning was published, its frontispiece displayed two pillars surmounted with globes; one mundane, the other celestial. Have Masons anything to do with pillars? To answer that question from the records, the early English Masons seem to have, for the records of the Lodge of Warrington, meeting in 1646 - six years, let it be noticed, after this particular English edition of Francis Bacon's work - mention that pillars were discussed in detail. You have doubtless heard that there was a great Masonic activity in England in Queen Elizabeth I's day, even though records are scarce and meetings were not held so openly then as now. You may also have heard that the plays of Shakespeare and his philosophy are filled with Masonic symbolism. The great English author Past 4
Master Alfred Dodd and many others have written voluminously on the subject - texts filled with a great deal of deep and very often dry matter. Such volumes have been immensely valuable because they have uncovered much that was hidden and have thereby rounded out the data of the Craft of those days when its records were all too scanty.
Famous Freemasons James Fairbairn Smith
Other items are as follows: Act II, Scene 4, Titus Andronicus "Both are at the Lodge." Act V, Scene 1, Taming of the Shrew "What! My old Worshipful Master! Act IV, Scene 5, Merry Wives of Windsor "Now, Whence come you?" Act III, Scene I, Measure for Measure "Lambskins to signify that the Craft being richer than innocency." Now is the time for a rebirth and a revitalization in Freemasonry. So true is this that perhaps never before has the Fraternity presented such a potent mystery and challenge to the outside world. Its purpose and history have aroused the attention and awakened the interest of those outside the Order who would seek to wrest from the past the secrets of its origin and development. This article by J. Fairbairn Smith was sourced from the 1982 Philalethes magazine. Next month we will publish a response on this subject, where the author disputes Fairbairn Smith and says Shakespeare did not create the Masonic Ritual. (editor)
Now read about the author of this article. 5
James Fairbairn Smith, was born at Hawick, a woollen manufacturing town in Scotland, 50 miles south of Edinburgh, January 30, 1902. His father was Andrew Smith, whose mother was a Johnson from the famed Gretna Green, where the English elopement wedding ceremonies were conducted by a blacksmith also named Johnson. His mother was Sarah Addison McNaughton, a descendant of Clan McNaughton, keepers of the Castle of Fraoch Eilean, which is situated on the shores of Loch Awe. As a boy "Jim" Smith worked in a seed store for one dollar a week and later in a millwrighting establishment. He took special courses at the Rutherford Technical College, at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and the Royal Society of Arts, London. Then interest in music came to the fore and he entered the National College of Music,
from which he graduated December 10, 1923. Less than a month later, he set sail from Glasgow from St. Johns, N.B., Canada. His destination was Calgary, Alberta, where a job awaited him. However, he decided to "see" the United States and this led him to Detroit, where he made his home. For the next twelve years he taught music, became director of the Redford Branch, Detroit Conservatory of Music, and an associate instructor at the Detroit Foundation School. With other civic leaders he helped in the formation of the Brightmore Musical Festival and the Detroit Musicians' League. He was married August 26, 1931, and has two sons, Glen McNaughton and James Fairbairn. His earlier church affiliations were with the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. At present he is a member of the Redford Avenue Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years. Brother Smith's Masonic activities have been many and varied. He saw the light of Masonry at 18 in St. James Lodge, Border Union Royal Arch, No. 424, Hawick, Scotland, being a "Lewis Mason," receiving his Entered Apprentice Degree, October 21, 1920. He was passed to the Fellowcraft Degree January 8, 1921, and raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason February 26, 1921. On the same day he received the Mark Degree in this Symbolic Lodge. Upon his arrival at Detroit he became Plural Member of Kilwinning Lodge No. 297, F. & A.M.; affiliated with King Cyrus Chapter No. 133. R.A.M., in 1925; Monroe Council No. 1, R. & S.M., in 1926, and was knighted in Detroit Commandery No.
1, K.T., November, 1926. In 1934 he received the Scottish Rite Degrees in Detroit Consistory, A.A.S.R., Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and became a Noble of Moslem Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., in 1937. He served as the High Priest of his Royal Arch Chapter, in 1934, and was made an honorary member of the Grand Council, O.H.P., for the State of Iowa. October, 1940. In 1945 he was elected Most Wise Master of Mt. Oliver Chapter Rose Croix, and in the same year served as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, R.A.M., of Michigan. On September 24, 1946, he was nominated for the Thirty-Third Degree at Pittsburgh, and crowned at Cincinnati, September 23, 1947. In May, 1946, he was elected for a three year term as Chancellor of Detroit Consistory, which will eventually lead to the office of Commander-in-Chief. Presently he is serving as Junior Warden of Union Lodge of Strict Observance No. 3, and as second vice president of the Detroit Masonic Temple Association and during the ordinary course of events and was to become president, January, 1951. (editorâ€™s note â€“ I was in touch with the current Secretary of the Lodge to find out if Smith was ever Master, he was not, but his son was.)
Our Brother was a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, Correspondence Circle, London; the Society of Blue Friars, No. 18, and the Grand Masters' Council, No. A, of the Allied Masonic Degrees; a Fellow of the Grand Lodge of Rites of the United States, and Fellow of the Grand Council of Rites, No. 170. Was a member of St. Clements Conclave No. 39, R.C.C.; Royal Order of Scotland; Philalethes 6
Society; Moslem Shrine Temple; Royal Order of Jesters; Blue Friar; A vast majority of the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library rare book collection came as a result of his generosity. His publication, the Masonic World, came to define him as an author, speaker, and masonic scholar. It was the pre-eminant publication of its time. The Michigan Masonic Museum and Library has substantial holdings of the Masonic World and it’s pre-cursor the Masonic News. Future plans include scanning and digitizing the entire collection so it is fully searchable by patrons and researchers. During 1934, he established "The Masonic World," and as the Editor-in-Chief of that widely-read Detroit publication he is did an outstanding job in the field of Masonic journalism. A prolific writer on Masonic subjects, he is the author of "Masonic Presidents of the United States of America"; the "History of Royal Arch Masonry in Michigan," and the "History of Freemasonry in Michigan." Successful and worthy, within the Fraternity and the world at large, we are proud, indeed, to present James Fairbairn Smith, Fellow of the Philalethes Society in Michigan, to our membership at large. This bio was taken from the 1949 Philalethes magazine.
Right Angles, Horizontals and Perpendiculars It appears that there has been some confusion among Masons about the Lights in a Lodge, as relates to the Three Lesser Lights, The Three Great Lights, and The Three Lights, (of the lodge,) and also about the one light above the altar that is turned on when the Three Great Lights are displayed upon the Altar. I will attempt to shed some light on the questions about these lights as relates to a Lodge Room as well as to some of the other “Threes” we find in Freemasonry. In Freemasonry, we are encouraged to tell our Brothers what we want, and that is Knowledge, in Freemasonry Light means Knowledge. So when we talk about the three Triads of lights that are in a Lodge the symbolism behind the lights is knowledge. The Three Lesser Lights and the Three Lights have often been confused, thinking that the Third Section of the Lecture of the First Degree stating that a Lodge has Three Lights which are situated in the East West and South refer to the Three Lesser Lights, which they do not. In the Webb-Preston work, which much of the ritual of the Grand Lodges of the United States is based it says; the Lights of the Lodge are three, situated in the East, West, and South. There is none in the North because King Solomon’s Temple was situated so far north of the ecliptic that neither the Sun nor Moon at Meridian height could dart their rays into the north part of the building. The North, therefore,
among Masons has always been termed a place of Darkness. In the Ritual of the Masonic Degrees, there are many references to the sets of three: The Lights of the Lodge are Three, which are fixed in the East, West, and South. The Three Lesser Lights, which represent the Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge. The Three Great Lights, which are the Holy Bible, Square and Compass. The Immovable Jewels of the Lodge are three namely, the Square, Level, and Plumb, (or Plumb Rule.) The Orders of Architecture most revered are three, which are the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Movable Jewels are Three, the Rough Ashlar, the Perfect Ashlar, and the Trestle Board. There are also other sets of Three such as Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty in our ritual, but for now, I will not list them all, and just comment on those I have mentioned. The Lights of the Lodge refer to the Master, Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden, who are situated in the East, West, and South. In some old rituals, and in some Masonic Lodges, there were actually what were called Fixed Lights, which were windows in the East, West, and South, and were “to light the way of the workmen to and from their labours.” Since in a Masonic Lodge there is a lot of symbolism, I will suggest that the Master and Wardens of the Lodge are symbolic of the Lights of the Lodge to shed light [knowledge] on the Craft in their labours. A Masonic lodge cannot open without the Three Immovable Jewels - the Square, which is represented by the Master - the
Level, which is represented by the Senior Warden - the Plumb, which is represented by the Junior Warden. So for a Lodge to be open we need the Master, and Wardens in their Stations, and by them, we have represented the Immovable Jewels, and the Three Lights of the Lodge. In addition, the ancient and original orders of Architecture most revered by Masons are only three the Ionic in the East - signifying Wisdom, the Doric in the West - signifying Strength, and the Corinthian in the South - signifying Beauty. It is said in one of the Lectures that the Three principal Officers represent “Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty,” which as I mentioned above are represented by the Orders of Architecture most revered by Masons, the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian, they are the three symbolic supports of the Lodge, and while they are represented by the Master, and Wardens, they also represent the Master, and Wardens. So the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian, represent Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. The Master represents the pillar of wisdom, which is symbolized by the Ionic, the Senior Warden represents the pillar of Strength, which is symbolized by the Doric, and Junior Warden represents the pillar of Beauty, which is symbolized by the Corinthian. There is another allusion to Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty in out ritual, which we will notice from the Second Degree too, when it is explained that the letter G also alludes to the Sacred Name of Deity, which in English speaking societies we refer to as God. The letters G. O. D. also are symbolic of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. As it is mentioned in the book “Masonry 8
Defined”, they are the initials of Gomer, Oz, and Dabar, three Hebrew words, which mean Beauty, Strength, and Wisdom. The book goes on to say that “it is a coincidence worthy of a Masons thought to consider that the English name for Deity should be the initials of these Hebrew words Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.” D. Dabar means Wisdom, O. Oz means Strength, and G. Gomer means Beauty. The Three Lesser Lights represent only the Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge, they are placed in a triangular position in the Lodge, and their position is not further described in the work, except to say that they are the lights by which the Three Great Lights are visible, which would imply that they are near the Altar. They can be placed around the altar in whatever arrangement is convenient for the Lodge. They do not represent the Officers of the Lodge, there is some symbolism to them, which is explained in the First Degree, in that they represent the Sun, Moon, and Master, and the reason for the symbolism is then explained. Again in the Webb-Preston work, and as it is explained in Coils Masonic Encyclopaedia, it is said: “that the Three Great Lights of Masonry, which are to be seen only by the aid of the Three Lesser Lights.” So as far as lights are concerned we have three sets of triads of Lights in the Lodge, and each is distinct from the other, not having the same meaning or symbolism at all - except that light symbolized knowledge. I would just like to make an additional observation about one of the Immovable Jewels, the Jewel of the Junior Warden, which we are told is the Plumb, but as seen in the Jewel itself it is a Plumb Rule. The Plumb Rule is a board, that has a plumb line attached near 9
one end, so that when held vertically, the line will lie along the mid-line of the board or rule, thus affording a straight edge which is perpendicular or vertical, making the use of a plumb line on a building, or pole, more accurate and, permitting the drawing of a vertical line. In the First Degree in one section of the lecture a Mason is asked; “What are signs?” He answers “Right Angles, Horizontals, and Perpendiculars.” The answer alludes to the three immovable jewels. The Square, which is the Jewel of the Master, represents “Right Angles.” The Level, which is the Jewel of the Senior Warden, represents “Horizontals.” The Plumb, which is the Jewel of the junior Warden, represents “Perpendiculars.” Finally, as you may have already seen the pattern, and remember from the ritual, the Three Movable Jewels - The Rough Ashlar, the Perfect Ashlar, and the Trestle Board, are also represented by the Junior Warden for the Rough Ashlar being that he also represents Youth as Entered Apprentices, The Perfect Ashlar is represented by the Senior Warden being that he also represents Manhood as Fellow Crafts, and the Trestle Board represents the Master as he also represents Age as Master Masons, that we may enjoy the happy reflections of a well spent life and die in the hope of a glorious immortality. From Hiram's Lighthouse Newsletter
All the Past Issues of the SRA76 Newsletter can be downloaded from the lectures website!
Lodge Dunblane No.IX
There can be no doubt that the Masonic Lodge was in existence in Dunblane long before the first legible minute of 6th April 1695. A pamphlet containing statistics of The Parish of Dunblane compiled by Mr. John Monteith, Teacher, and published in 1831, states the organised Charter of this Lodge is lost, but the Institution is of considerable antiquity and is now ninth on the Roll. A new Charter was procured in 1760. The records of the Lodge extant go no further back than 1687, although mutilated and defaced scraps may be seen in the box of a date some twenty years earlier. Subsequently to 1687 the records are entire. One has only to look at the magnificent structure of Dunblane Cathedral and the Masons' Marks found on the oldest parts of the stonework to imagine that a Lodge of operative Masons, in some form, could have been in existence in the town at a very early period. The first signed minute dated 28th January 1696 is signed by William, Lord Strathallan, who was the son of the first Viscount. Among other signatories (for a
considerable time afterwards it was the custom for all present to sign the minute) were Duncan Cameron of Locheil, Warden; Allan Cameron cousin german to Locheil; Alexander Drummond of Balhaldie, Warden, a strong Royal Stuart supporter, who was descended from and became Clan Chief of the MacGregors, the family taking the name of Drummond when the name of McGregor was proscribed in Scotland, and was Cameron of Locheil's son-in-law. In 1743, Lord John Drummond, brother of the Duke of Perth, was nominated Master. He was a colonel in the French army and commanded the left wing of the Highlanders at the battle of Falkirk. After the collapse of the army at Culloden he, with his brother, fled to France where he was killed in service of the French monarch. John Stirling of Kippendavie was twenty-seven years Master of the Lodge, sixteen of which were consecutive, before his death in 1882. He was succeeded by his son, Patrick, in 1885 who served the Lodge in the capacity of Master for four years. Another Master of interest is J. Pearson of Kippenross who was born in 1667. He became Master in 1716 and married the widow of Alexander Linton of Pittendreich who was killed with his eldest brother, James, in 1685 by Cameron of Locheil during the Argyle Rebellion. He was succeeded by his second son, Hugh, who was Master 1734-3 5. His son, John, succeeded him in 1751 and served the Lodge as Master from 1765 until 1771 and died a bachelor. In 18I0 a Brother Coldstream was Master who was a schoolmaster in the town and his brother discovered the mineral wells on Cromlix Estate bringing some prosperity to Dunblane in the early half of the nineteenth century. In 1840, and again 1854-56, the Master of the Lodge was Dr. P.J. Stirling, son of the Rev. R. Stirling. He had a 10
distinguished university career at St Andrews and Edinburgh before returning to Dunblane to practice law, and was also Factor of Kippendavie and Ardoch Estates, as well as being recognised as a brilliant author and translator. On 21st August 1756 it was unanimously agreed by the Brethren to grant a Commission to several Brothers from the Thistle Lodge in Edinburgh in the name of Our Lodge of Dunblane and to enter prentices, pass Fellows of Craft and raise Masters all of whom were to be reported to the Brethren in Dunblane, so that they may be recorded in the books of the Lodge, but no names were ever forwarded from Edinburgh to be recorded in the minute book. The Lodge of Dunblane not only granted commissions to other Lodges at this time but travelled around local villages spreading Freemasonry. On 24th May 1786 a meeting was held in Doune where three applicants were admitted and paid their dues; again on 10th June of that year in Thornhill eight applicants were initiated and another two were matriculated and furthermore on 26th December when another two were admitted. On 2nd August 1787 the Lodge met in Doune in the house of David Bain where three members were passed and raised. On 28th January 1789 the Master intimated to the Lodge that he understood that an application was intended by some of the members of this Lodge, residing in Doune and the neighbourhood thereof, to be made to The Grand Lodge of Scotland that they might obtain leave from The Grand Lodge and obtain a Charter in their own favour. As some of the members had not paid their fees for admission to Dunblane No. IX it was decided by the Lodge to oppose the granting of a Charter in the meantime. On l2th March 1789 James McGill, Surgeon 11
and other members residing in Doune, applied once again to the Lodge to obtain a Charter from Grand Lodge. This was agreed to and Dunblane nominated the two Wardens, Thomas Duthie, writer in Dublane, and John Graham, and the said certificate was duly signed. Brother John Henderson, a Past Master of the Lodge, made various reports on return from his travels. One that on 1st August 1789, in consequence of the powers granted to him by the Lodge, he admitted Andrew Mitchell at Drumych as a member of this Lodge; and on 6th December 1800 admitted William Donaldson at Fort Augustus; and in 1802 one Donald McDonald on the Isle of Skye, this being ninety-six years before a Charter was granted to the present Lodge in Portree. The fees of all three initiates being paid by Brother Henderson to Dunblane, they were duly enrolled as members of the Lodge. Until 1756 the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Degrees only were worked in the Lodge, and the first Mark Degree in Dunblane was worked by Lodge Ancient Stirling No. 30 on 24th May 1886 in the Stirling Arms Hotel. It was not until 1804 that the Master first signed the minute book as Master. In 1860 Gilbert Farie, Chemist, and Peter Campbell, Surgeon, both residing in Bridge of Allan, were admitted to the Lodge and were to be the first of many members from that area. In fact, so many joined that in 1866 representation was made to Grand Lodge to hold occasional meetings in Bridge of Allan and this was granted. On 8th April 1872 a meeting of No. IX was held in the Westerton Arms Hotel, Bridge of Allan and on 3rd February 1873 Lodge Abercromby No. 531 was
founded with No. IX's Past Depute Master, Brother Gilbert Farie, as the first Master. It is curious to note that with No. IX having been instrumental in assisting to form the Lodges in Bridge of Allan and Doune, both Lodge numbers add up to nine. At a meeting of the Lodge held on 3rd September 1885, with Brother Robert Cameron in the Chair, the present unsatisfactory state of the Lodge was taken into consideration. On 19th November Brother Cameron reported that, as the Lodge was in arrears to Grand Lodge for five years, he had paid the same and obtained the Annual Certificate. The Lodge being met on 20th November 1885, petitions in due form were received from Patrick Stirling of Kippendavie and three others, all residing in Dunblane. The applications being approved, the four were made entered apprentices. It was represented that as this was a case of emergency, it was proposed and approved that the four be passed There has been a great deal of discussion with regard to the introduction in the Lodge minute books, and its use by the Brethren, of the Roman numerals IX in place of the Arabic 9. The first use of the figure IX appears in the minute of a meeting held on l3th January 1888. No mention is made in that or any subsequent minute as to why it was introduced and may only have been a whim of the Secretary at this time. Grand Lodge still uses the Arabic 9 when describing the Lodge of Dunblane in the Grand Lodge of Scotland Yearbook. by Brother David H. Cramb, Past Master. This History was sourced from the Website of Lodge No.IX. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder.
Rays of Masonry â€œGenuine Charityâ€? There is a tendency today to use charity in a way that robs it of its beauty and leaves only a cold and inanimate word. Many times an organization will be moved to perform an act of charity only to gain publicity and the material benefits which naturally follow such publicity. Many organizations "sell" something in order that they may obtain money which in turn they will distribute to various charities. These acts may be commendable but they do not carry the true spirit of charity. The lesson of charity as taught in the first degree is perhaps the most important in all Masonry. If we teach the candidate Masonic Charity we go a long way toward making a Mason. If you were to look for the secret in man's climb from the mud of ignorance to his place as a spiritual being, you would find it in the Ideal of Charity. When a man became conscious of his obligation to others and thus found joy in sharing with others- when man learned that he could impart something of value to others in time of joy and in time of sorrow- when man saw in others his own reflected hopes, ambitions and aspirations, he became One with God. When you consider the deductions from your income tax for the amounts you gave to various organized charities, there is little of self included. You gave because you were expected to share in an impersonal appeal. This, too, may be commendable. But in giving of self, you follow the lesson of Masonic Charity Dewey Wollstein 1953.
don't have it we cannot visit and work as a Master- and everything!" "So we are told," answered the old Tiler. "Yet don't you mistake the meaning? The syllables you are taught to pronounce are not important." "Why, Old Tiler! How can you say that?"
The Forgotten Word. "Never have I been so glad to get to lodge as tonight!" began the New Brother to the Old tiler in the anteroom. "Some one here owe you some money or something?" asked the Old Tiler. "No indeed! But lying awake last night, thinking about Masonry, I tried to recall the word of a Master Mason... and I couldn't! It was a lost word for me, sure enough! I couldn't sleep all night, trying to remember. I couldn't remember today and it bothered me a lot! So I was glad to come to lodge tonight and get instructed!" "I shouldn't have worried over that," answered the Old Tiler. "Our memories play strange tricks. You didn't need it, did you?" "No, but a Mason ought not to forget it. It's the most important thing in Masonry. If we 13
"Because it is true,â€? answered the Old Tiler. "Is it important what particular piece of cloth is put in an apron? Is it important what particular piece of iron is used to make a pillar, or what particular copy of a million Bibles is on the Altar, or what particular piece of wood is used in the gavel? Isn't it important that we wear an apron and know why, that we have a pillar to teach a lesson, that we revere the Great Light in Masonry, that we have a gavel for our control? Then are the syllables of the word important, or is the spirit, the meaning, the symbolism important? "Masons must know the word, the modes of recognition, the signs and tokens. But all these may slip from memory and still a brother have Freemasonry in his heart. They are audible symbols of spiritual knowledge. "We are taught that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. Do you read into that statement some particular word? Or is the Word here used in the Old Jewish sense of the truth, the light of knowledge for which man may strive? "Masonry's search for the lost word is for far more than a syllable, my brother. The substitute word is more than an exclamation. It is an inward knowledge of oneness with the Great Architect, for
which all men of all ages have searched. Not all search in vain; many find their Word. Even the substitute word could only be given under certain circumstances; doubtless those earnest seekers who found the real word could never assemble the circumstances under which it, too, might be given to humanity.
the recollection of the letters and their pronunciation."
"But we continue to search. Slowly but surely man has come up from barbarianism. The world improves with age. Except in war men are less cruel now than centuries ago; men know more than they did centuries ago. We are all brutes underneath, but to be underneath connotes something above. In our long struggle after the lost word we have put something above the brute. On that we climb, and are by so much nearer the Word we seek.
"But you can't get anywhere!" cried the New Brother.
"It is this which is important. Let not your heart be troubled if that strangest part of all God's works, the human mind, plays a prank on you. Better men than you and I have forgotten their own names. Now and then one forgets the name of Deity. But in the end we remember, in some far place where angels see that our memories work! All you needed was conversation with any brother who had sat in lodge with you. If you desire, nothing prevents you from giving and receiving it as Masons are taught to do. "Your only cause for worry is that you fail to keep always before you that Masonry in men's hearts searches for a word which no man has yet put into words. The tender lesson of the Master Mason degree has been a solace to millions. The Word, substitute though it is, has meant much more than the scholar translates. It is this which you must never forget, even when your memory temporarily takes from you
"You should be a travelling lecturer!" cried the New Brother. "You mean that as a compliment, but I'd rather sit still and tile."
"Neither can a sign post by the road," smiled the Old Tiler. "Yet it points the way." This is the thirty third 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.
Fraternal & Secret Societies of the World ‘Carbonari’ The name of a secret political society, which played an important part, chiefly in France and Italy, during the first decades of the nineteenth century. The improbable claim was made that the society originated some centuries earlier, and the French king Francis I appears in the secret documents of the Carbonari as one of their protectors. In reality the association originated as the eighteenth century passed into the nineteenth; it was one of the results of the political movement which accompanied the great French Revolution and of the political principles that were proclaimed at that time. It is not certain whether the 14
Carbonari, as a political society, had its first organization in France or Italy. At any rate the power of the association was first shown at the beginning of the nineteenth century in the Kingdom of Naples and the States of the Church. Just as the name "Carbonari" was adopted from the charcoal-burners, so also in their secret intercourse they made use of many expressions taken from the occupation of charcoal-burning. The place where the members assembled was called baracca (hut), its interior vendita (place of selling coal), and its surroundings foresta (forest). The members called one another buon cugino (good cousin); those not belonging to the society were pagani (heathens). The Carbonari were divided into two classes: apprentices and masters. No apprentice could rise to the grade of a master before the end of six months. The members made themselves known to one another by secret signs in shaking hands. These signs for masters and apprentices were unlike. One of the underlying principles of the society, it is true, was that the "good brotherhood" rested on religion and virtue; but by this was understood a purely natural conception of religion, and the mention of religion was absolutely forbidden. In reality the association was opposed to the Church. Nevertheless, it venerated St. Theobald as its patron saint. The members belonging to each separate district formed a vendita, called thus from the place of assembly. At the head was the alta vendita, to which deputies were chosen from the other vendite. A small hatchet was the distinguishing symbol of a master, the apprentices were indicated by a little fagot worn in the button-hole. Initiation into the society was accompanied by special ceremonies which, in the reception into the grade of master, imitated the 15
Passion of Christ in a manner actually blasphemous. The members were bound by a frightful oath to observe absolute silence concerning whatever occurred in the vendita. The similarity between the secret society of the Carbonari and Freemasonry is evident. Freemasons could enter the Carbonari as masters at once. The openlyavowed aim of the Carbonari was political: they sought to bring about a constitutional monarchy or a republic, and to defend the rights of the people against all forms of absolutism. They did not hesitate to compass their ends by assassination and armed revolt. As early as the first years of the nineteenth century the society was widespread in Neapolitan territory, especially in the Abruzzi and Calabria. Not only men of low birth but also government officials of high rank, officers, and even members of the clergy belonged to it. In 1814 the Carbonari resolved to obtain a constitution for the Kingdom of Naples by force. The lawful ruler, Ferdinand I, was opposed to them, but the king placed on the throne by Napoleon, Murat, connected himself with them in March, 1815, as he believed the time was come to create a united and independent Italy. However, Murat was captured and shot in October of the same year and Ferdinand once more mounted the throne. In the following years the Carbonari grew in strength and power in all the districts of the Kingdom of Naples and made preparations for a new revolutionary movement. From Naples the Carbonari spread into the neighbouring territories of the States of the Church, and here also the society sought to overthrow the absolute dominion of the papacy. The Carbonari even promulgated a forged papal Brief which contained an apparent confirmation of the association. On 15 August, 1814, Cardinals Consalvi and
Pacca issued an edict against secret societies, especially against Freemasonry and the Carbonari, in which all were forbidden under severe penalties to become members of these secret associations, to attend their meetings, or to furnish a meeting-place for such. Notwithstanding all this the propaganda of the Carbonari went on, chiefly in the district of Macerata, where an outbreak occurred, 25 June, 1817, which, however, was easily suppressed by the papal troops (cf. the important report, of Leggieri, Processo romano contro i congiurati di Macerata di 1817, ristretto presentato alla congregazione criminale, Rome, 1818). When the Spanish revolution broke out in 1820, the Neapolitan Carbonari once more took up arms, in order to wring a constitution from King Ferdinand I. They advanced against the capital from Nola under a military officer, Morelli, and the Abbot Minichini. They were joined by General Pepe and many officers and government officials, and the king on 13 July took an oath to observe the Spanish constitution in Naples (cf. Pepe's defence of himself, Relation des evenements politiques et militaires qui ont eu lieu a Naples en 1820 et 1821, Paris, 1822). The movement also spread to Piedmont, and Victor Emmanuel resigned the throne in favour of his brother Charles Felix. It was only through the intervention of Austria, which sent troops to Italy, that the movement was crushed and the Neapolitan constitution suppressed. The Carbonari, however, secretly continued their agitation against Austria and the governments in friendly connection with it. They formed, even in Rome, a vendita, published in the press the most violent accusations against the lawful rulers, and won over to their cause members of deposed sovereign
families, among whom was Prince Louis, later Napoleon III. Pope Pius VII issued a general condemnation of the secret society of the Carbonari, 13 September, 1821. The association lost its influence by degrees and was gradually absorbed into the new political organizations that sprang up in Italy; its members became affiliated especially with Mazzini's "Young Italy". From Italy the organization was carried to France where it appeared as the Charbonnerie, which, as in Italy, was divided into ventes. Members were especially numerous in Paris, where the society was formed in 1821 by three young men named Bazard, Buchez, and Flotard. The chief aim of the association in France also was political, namely, to obtain a constitution in which the conception of the sovereignty of the people could find expression. From Paris as a centre the Charbonnerie spread rapidly through the country, and by the end of the year 1821 it was the cause of several mutinies among the troops. The movement lost its importance after several conspirators had been executed, especially as quarrels broke out among the leaders. The Charbonnerie took part in the Revolution of July, 1830; after the fall of the Bourbons, however, its influence rapidly declined. After this a Charbonnerie dĂŠmocratique was formed among the French Republicans, the aim of which was to obtain a republican constitution for the country; however, after 1841, nothing more was heard of it. Carbonari were also to be found in Spain, but their numbers and importance were more limited than in the other Romance countries. These societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World.
The Parable of the Vineyard
do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. Matthew 20 1-16
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to
The beautiful parable contained in the twentieth chapter of the gospel of St. Matthew, is of coarse familiar to every Mark Master ; but few, perhaps, have deeply reflected on the profound symbolism which it presents to the mind of the reflective Mason. And yet there is no passage of Scripture, recited in any portion of our ritual, which is more appropriate to the ceremonies into which it is introduced, than this sublime parable of our Lord is to the whole intent and design of the Mark Master's degree. We learn from it that the Grand Architect of the Universe will make no distinction of persons in the distribution of His beneficence, but will give alike to each one who honestly seeks to obey the great law of his creation. Masonry regards no man on account of his worldly wealth or honours. It is, we are told, the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a man to be a Mason. No matter what may be the distinctions of place or office, the humblest shall receive as full a reward as the highest, if he has laboured faithfully and effectively. And all this arises from the very nature of the institution.
The Lodge is the Mason's vineyard; his labour is study, and his wages are truth. The youngest Mason may, therefore, labour more earnestly than the oldest, and thus receive more light in Masonry as the reward of his earnest work. The craftsman who had been idle all the week, and came in at the eleventh hour, brought with him that stone which, though at first rejected, became afterward the head of the comer,
and so did more service to the temple than all those who had begun to labour even at the rising of the sun, and yet could offer no more at the end of each day's work than the ordinary result of an ordinary man's labour. The vineyard of Masonry is open to all. But he who works most diligently, though he began the latest, shall not be below him who, commencing earlier, has not more strenuously put his heart into the task. The design of all Masonry is the search after Divine truth, and each one who seeks to attain it shall find his reward in the attainment. However long we may labour — however we may have endured the heat and burden of the day, if we have not laboured wisely— if our zeal has not been tempered with judgment, though first at the vineyard, we shall be last at the reward; for Truth is found only by him who looks for it by night as well as by day — whose search is directed by wisdom, and supported by faithful courage and indomitable zeal. The Mason who has made one discovery in Masonic science, is of more value than he who has learned nothing but his ritual, just as the keystone was worth more than many ordinary ashlars. It is not the time that we have wrought, but the result of our work that will be considered. So, then, let us all labour in the vineyard and the quarry, in the lodge and in the study, that, being called to seek Truth, we also may be chosen to find it. — The Ashlar 1860.
The Tyler’s Little Joke. Jamie Turner wha held the office o’ Tyler in’s mither Lodge “St Merry Mason” was an auld farrant chield wi a gey sharp tongue. He wasna a bad sort off chap but he couldna stand onything in the wey o’ swank, an’ was aye ready to take a young Mason doun a peg or twa. An’whyles he did the same to an auld Mason, for on the principle o’ the proverb that there’s nae fule like an auld fule, Jamie thought that there was naething mair peetiable than to see an auld Mason – what should have kent better, as Jamie said – puffin’ out his chest and hingin’ on a’ his medals and badges as though he was a commercial traveller for somebody in the cheap jewellery line. It wasna the first time that Jamie had spoken out to his silly-willy brithers when they sported the jewels o’ the one-hundred-and-thirty-first-degree. “Tak them aff, chaps, take them aff,” he would say, “Thae’s no’ Masonry. Thae’s only the baubles that decorate an empty mind. You can buy them a’ for siller. But you canna buy the medal o’ an honest heart, or the jewel o’ a charitable disposition, or the badge of a kindly nature.” An’ mony a ane that couldna stand the keen but honest crack o’ the tyler laid their jewellery past in their kist and troubled Jamie’s eyes na mair wi’ it. But, of course, there’s an exception to every rule, and there was ae man in a Lodge nearhand Jamie’s that was never happier than whan he was covered wi’ trinkets. He spent twa hunder pounds on the business, and the last five pounds was spent for nae ither purpose than to have a jewel mair than Sandy 18
Anderson wha had only spent a hunderand-ninety-five pound on the business. Now this man kept a tripe-shop in the Cowgate in the auld burgh o’ Kildornoch and was kent far and near as a keen member o’ the Craft. If ye gaed into his shop and gied him the Mason’s nod you got a bigger tripe supper than ordinar an’ if he wasna owre fou he wid invite you into his back parlour and show his eveningdress jacket wi’ a’ the jewels peened on it. It was said that he never taen them aff the jacket for fear he wad loosen the pins, and sae run the risk o’ losin’ some o’ the jewels. As it happened he did lose a jewel and he was in such a state that he closed his tripe shop for a week, and advertised in a’ the newspapers in the district. Somebody fand the jewel and in handing it back to him gied him a tip for greater security in the future. The man was a saddler, an’ was maist likely efter a job for himself. He advised Tam the Tripeman to get a leather shield made so as to fit the side o’ his evenin’ jacket and then get the jewels riveted on to it. Tam thocht it was a great idea and gied the saddler an order there and then. The saddler taen his measure an’ in about a week’s time delivered the shield. Tripey, as we ca’d him, was delighted. The thing fitted him like a straucht jacket an’ a’ the jewels were revitted on just as the saddler had said. There were forty o’ them – raw upon raw, just like what you’ve seen on a footba’ player’s waistcoat, or on a lassie that’s taen a lot o’ prizes for Highland dancin’ at a cattle show. He was a great sicht, an’ some o’ the young Masons almost fell doon and worshipped him. Now Tripey, being a practical man, thoucht there was nae use o’ haein’ jewels an hidin’ them. Besides, as he had the 19
compasses and square abune his tripe-shop door he felt that gaun about wi’ a’ his decorations on was a kind o’ advertisement o’ his business. And keen was he to turn the Craft to account in that direction. So efter he got the shield he made up his mind to visit a’ the Lodges in the province just of course to lat them see that he and his twa hunder pounds worth o’ cheap jewellery were aye in the land o’ the livin’. In the course o’ his excursions he cam’ to the Tyle-room o’ Lodge “St Merry Mason” to find honest Jamie Turner in charge.“Good evening, my good man,” he said to Jamie in his best Cowgate English. “Oh! It’s you, Tripey,” answered Jamie, “I didna ken your voice. I thocht ye were ane o’ thae English tramps that was up borrowin’ a bob last week.” “Ha! Ha! Ha!” laughed Tripey. “Good joke, James, good joke,” and as he spoke he took off his overcoat and revealed his amazin’ collection o’ nick-nacks. “In the name o’ common-sense, Tripey, whaur did ye get a’ thae gee-gaws?” asked Jamie. “Honestly come by, James, honestly come by. And they cost me two hundred pounds.” “Is that a’!” exclaimed Jamie, “they maun be cheap dirt to hae gotten sae mony for two hunder quid?” “Jamie, it isn’t quality that counts with us; it’s the quantity – having more than anybody else.” “An’ is that what you have?” “Yes!” answered Tripey, “there isn’t another Mason can show as many as I can.” “You’ll be the cock o’ the walk, then?”
“Yes; if you care to put it that way,” answered Tripey.
Brethren of Asia
“Oh aye,” said Jamie, “honour to whom honour is due – even though you did get a’ the lot for two hunder pound.”
Masonic history has become one of my passions and I have done a fair amount of writing on the subject. I cannot claim to have solved many or even any of the problems that surround the emergence of Freemasonry as we know it, though I am rather certain that the legends on which we have been brought, insisting that Scriptural ancients were all real figures in the craft, up are closer to dreams than to reality. It is more likely that speculative Freemasonry is a creation of the 18th century, probably deriving from Scotland, not England or continental Europe, and with little if any organic connection with the operative masons of the Middle Ages.
After a pause Jamie looked at Tripey. “Wull I gie the alarm.” “Tes” answered Tripey, as he adjusted ane o’ the jewels, “I’m ready to be received.” Now, Jamie had made up his mind to hae a rise out o’ Tripey come what might, so givin’ a loud dunt on the door wi’ the handle o’ his sword, he waited for an answer. By and Bye the door was opened cautiously a wee bit and the inside guard whispered, “Wha’s there?” “The Great Architect o’ the Universe,” announced Jamie, “ah’ he’s got a’ the stars in heaven spread owre his breast.” As he spoke, he shoved up the door an’ ushered Tripey into the middle o’ the floor. An’ I can tell you the brethren o’ Lodge St Merry Mason lived up to their name. They leuch, an’ better leuch till the rafters began to dirl. The merriest o’ them a’ was the Master, and Tripey was sae taen doun that he didna ken whaur to look. If he could hae disappeared alang wi’ his jewels into the earth he wad gladly hae dune it. But it did him gude. The jewels were a’ laid aside after that. He has them laid out in a glass boxie at hame. An’ he’s a better Mason without them. This great little story was extracted from, William Harvey’s book, ‘Masonic Readings and Recitations.’ And was almost certainly written by him. Our overseas readers should be able to make it out!
But Masonry does not lack its pre-history, not necessarily located within the building trade but part of the age-old human fascination with schemes and secrets, cabals and conspiracies, plots and parties, bands and brotherhoods. The primary school playground was my first introduction to communes and clubs with their pledges of secrecy and loyalty, their rudimentary rituals and modes of recognition, their grandiose objectives and swashbuckling oaths and initiations. Nobody wanted to be left out, but some were, the criterion being somewhat racist and intolerant. In later years I was solemnly told that small children have no racist bias other than what they hear at home, but I don’t believe it. At five or six we were already thorough-going bigots, excluding others from our clubs on the basis of mere facial appearance without the slightest idea that they had minds, consciences and beliefs that were at least as genuine as ours. 20
Time did not entirely cure us or our contemporaries of the prejudices of the playground, nor eradicate the feeling that it was good to have a group identity which often remained a secret that was not to be revealed to the uninitiated outsider. Back then to the pre-history of Freemasonry. Countless movements and brotherhoods, many quite impressive in their idealism and altruism, preceded the emergence of the craft. Some lasted for long periods. Some – like Jonah’s gourd in the Bible – “arose in a night and perished in a night”. Some were relatively respectable while they lasted; some were part of economic, political, social and philosophical revolutions. Many were torn asunder by dissension; countless breakaways took place, and these in turn also split apart in an atmosphere of mutual recrimination. No wonder that official Freemasonry developed a strict policy of nonrecognition of fringe movements and even declined to approve a number of groups that adamantly declared that they were Masonic. The result is that Freemasons who contemplate attending a meeting of an Order outside formal Masonry are advised to seek the advice and guidance of their Grand Lodge. There are of course academic studies of some such movements, and I dare say that I could have tried to join the ranks of the researchers and writers who have worked on this theme. But I am afraid that I have allowed personal curiosity to impel me into the subject of this present paper – personal because a movement, however short-lived, that used Biblical and rabbinic terminology, based itself on Jewish 21
mystical doctrines, had colourful Jewish figures in its leadership, and preceded the so-called Jewish Enlightenment, is bound to appeal to a Mason who is a rabbi. The Asiatic Brethren were known by several names, e.g. Knights and Brothers of Asia and “Asiatischen Brueder vom Rosenkreuz”. Asia was not meant in a strictly literal or geographical sense. This was a European order, introduced in Vienna with Berlin connections. Its members had little experience of the real Asia. It was a symbol of all that was distant and exotic. But the name Asia probably figured in the title of the order because of a New Testament passage, Revelation 1:11, which spoke of seven congregations or churches in Asia, symbolic of the spread of Christian teachings. Later, various legends developed around Asian groups cut off from the Christian mainstream after the fall of Rome and the rise of Islam. Probably an offshoot of and breakaway from the Rosicrucians (the Rose Cross or Rosenkreuz), the movement was one of many that sought the secrets of life and truth. What made them particularly interesting was the participation of both Jews and Christians with an eclectic amalgam of Jewish and Christian notions laced with colourful imagery and sexual symbolism. For the Jews it was a welcome expression of religious tolerance, however short-lived; the Christians – or at least some of them – also had proselytising thoughts of converting the Jews to Christianity and feared too much Jewish content or influence in their movement (Katz 1986:45). A word is necessary about the Rosicrucians. Said to have been founded in
medieval Germany, the movement claimed to have begun as the circle of devotees of a certain Father Christian Rosenkreuz, though whether such a person existed is problematical. Some regard the name as a pseudonym of Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the English philosopher and essayist. Esoteric doctrines concerning the natural and spiritual realm were advocated as the means of achieving a universal reformation of mankind. An attempt at linking the Rosy Cross and the early Masonic order is made by the Scottish poet/historian Henry Adamson in his “Muses’ Threnodie”, 1638, when he wrote: “We are Brethren of the Rosie Crosse: We have the Mason Word and second sight…” What is meant by the “Mason Word”? The idea may derive from John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word”. If the Christian Scriptures could speak of a Word, so could Freemasonry. The assumption was that Freemasonry also began with a Word. The idea that there was such a word is attested in Masonic literature but what the Word actually was has not been finally established. It must have signified an apprentice whose training had equipped him to work on his own, but the word is said to have been lost with the death of Hiram Abiff, the central event in the third degree ritual, so it is a substitute word which is whispered in the candidate’s ear. It complicates the story to discover that before about 1730 it was not the raising of Hiram Abiff that was enacted in the ritual but the attempt by the three sons of Noah to raise their father in order to discover his secrets. In the search for the original Mason Word it does not help us to analyse the substitute
name, which has in any case suffered so greatly from often comical mispronunciations and misinterpretations. It is likely that, as with other key words in our ritual, the original Word was from Biblical Hebrew. Henry Adamson tantalises his readers by asserting, “We have the Mason Word”. If he is right in his claim, we wish he had substantiated it or hinted at the spelling of the Word. On the basis of ideas one hears around Masonic lodges it is possible that the Word is from a Hebrew root aleph-vav-nun with the meaning of “vigour”, or perhaps a root aleph-mem-vav-nun with the meaning of “craftsman”. There were many imitators and offshoots of Rosicrucianism, of which one is the order of Asiatic Brethren. Rosicrucianism, as the word “cross”, symbolic of the passion and death of Jesus, indicates, was a problem for Jews. “Rose” too, though it appears quite harmless, had strong theological connotations from the Middle Ages onwards as a symbol of the Virgin Mary, the “thornless rose” representing purity and beauty. St. Bernard called her “the rose of charity, the lily of chastity”, utilising the words of the Song of Songs 2:1. European folklore attached great importance to the “alchemical” or “mystic” rose, the culmination of humanity’s spiritual quest (Beresniak 2003:80). For Jews, the formation of the Asiatic Brethren was a means of reaching the nonJewish world and finding a place in European society, a stepping-stone to Emancipation (Katz 1967). It is not without significance that two of the leading founders of the order were Jews and that the order included Jewish as well as Christian (and Muslim) ceremonies in its rituals. Like many such movements, it used 22
quasi-Biblical and aristocratic titles such as prince, priest and Levite, and it added nine degrees to the standard three to make a total of twelve, equivalent to the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. Much more work needs, however, to be done on the traces of the order’s rituals, and we need to know whether any Muslims were involved. Apart from negative attitudes to Islam, were there any numbers of Muslims in the Austrian and German milieux in which the order operated? The movement came into being in the 1780s and survived for about a decade, though one of its publications continued until about 1810. It was spearheaded by Hans Carl von Ecker und Eckhofen (otherwise known as Carl Ferdinand von Boscamp). Gershom Scholem has shown that a Jew, Moses Dobroschka or Dobruska, was probably a co-founder (Scholem 1974:304). They attracted support from a motley group, never very large in numbers, that included monks with theosophical tendencies; European aristocrats; Enlightenment thinkers; and a sprinkling of wealthy Jews. Strange bedfellows, and the movement could not last – not simply because of the ups and downs of the movement for toleration of the Jews, but because within Judaism the order became part of an internal tug-of-war between mystical and rationalist ideologies, between esoteric and exoteric cultural currents. The Jewish secretary of the movement was Ephraim Joseph Hirschfeld (c. 1755-1820), the son of a synagogue cantor in Karlsruhe. He had a Jewish and general education and was a supporter of the Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment movement which 23
urged Jews to involve themselves in wider cultural pursuits. Hirschfeld was the theoretician of the movement and went so far as to claim that its (i.e. his) writings were really ancient and were originally in Hebrew or Aramaic. About 1791 the movement declined, apparently because of a series of personality problems. Hirschfeld was a quarrelsome individual, sued who sued Ecker for a debt and was accused of threatening his life. Ecker in turn argued that Hirschfeld had introduced too much kabbalistic Jewish teaching into the order and expelled him. Then in mid-1791, Ecker died. Hirschfeld was released from the house arrest in which he had been placed but was not restored to his position; indeed he was accused of writing a polemic against the movement. Eventually he returned to Karlsruhe and later lived in Offenbach. Hirschfeld’s debts were paid by his coreligionist, Moses Dobroschka, who was an alchemist from a rabbinic family, a relative (cousin or nephew) of the messianic pretender Jacob Frank (17261791). Dobroschka introduced the movement to the German translations of Sabbatean writings which focussed on another messianic pretender, Sabbatai Zvi (1626-1676). When Dobroschka became (at least nominally) a Christian in 1775, he assumed the name Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld or Scheinfeld; he was also known as Junius Frey. In 1794, at the time of Robespierre’s Reign of Terror, he was executed in France as a Jacobin radical; it was also said that he had spied for Austria. The Jews in the movement thus included followers of two pseudo-messiahs. A
number of such individuals arose over the centuries, manipulating the minds of the masses when morale was low and only the yearning for redemption sustained the people’s spirits. Time after time a wave of immense enthusiasm led to bitter disillusionment. Sabbatai Zvi and Jacob Frank were both eventually seen to have feet of clay (Scholem 1974: part 2 chapters 2-3; see also Endelman 1987). Sabbatai Zvi became a Muslim and Jacob Frank a Muslim and then a Christian, though their followers continued to believe in them and argued that their “conversions” were part of a deliberate strategy aimed at securing political support. Sabbateans and Frankists who joined supposedly idealistic movements such as the Asiatic Brethren presumably expected that they would help achieve what the Biblical prophets called “the end of days”, but it was a vain hope.
much of official Freemasonry, was there any rigorous reconciliation between competing elements within Judaism or even Christianity.
A difficult problem for the Jews, as we have indicated, was the engagement of irreconcilable strands in Jewish thinking – on the one hand the esoteric, magic, sensual and often anti-intellectual mysticism of the Kabbalah (with a Christian version of which something will be said in a moment) and on the other the highly rational intellectuality of the Haskalah, which wanted no truck with irrationality or superstition and sought to introduce the norms of European secular culture into Jewish identity On the clash between the two forces see Mahler 1985 especially the Introduction).
How far could they go along, for instance, with Christian Kabbalah? Attempting to bring the system of nature and the principles of geometry and language into one system echoing the Jewish Kabbalah, Christian kabbalists believed they could prove Jesus and the Trinity in kabbalistic fashion. But what were Jews to say when the kabbalistic idea of Adam Kadmon, primeval man, was said to prefigure Jesus? (Scholem 1974:200). Information about Kabbalah had entered Christian circles through a number of Jewish converts and then by means of Latin translations of the Zohar, the handbook of the Jewish mystics. The Asiatic Brethren tried to mix and match between the two systems, but it was an exciting exercise which could not last.
The presence of both forces within the Asiatic Brethren must have produced an eclectic soup which the few theoreticians could not handle (see Jacob Katz, Tradition and Crisis: Jewish Society at the End of the Middle Ages, 1961). But neither in the Asiatic Brethren nor, it must be said, in
Why then were Jews attracted to movements such as the Asiatic Brethren? Precisely because they had hitherto been barred from much of European culture. In Spain and some other places the Jewish contribution to civilisation was widespread and influential, but this was not the general picture. On the whole the Jew was an outsider, in a country but not of it. If an opportunity arose to be accepted and treated tolerantly it was not to be spurned. If a movement endeavoured to unite Jewish and Muslim tradition with Christian teaching it was to be encouraged. But was there a point beyond which Jews could not go? (Edelstein 1982:116-8).
By Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD, Past Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory. Click the name to go to his website.
THE MASONIC DICTIONARY Jerusalem
The capital of Judea, and memorable in Masonic history as the place where was erected the Temple of Solomon. It is early mentioned in Scripture, and is supposed to be the Salem of which Melchizedek was King. At the time that the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the city was in possession of the Jebusites, from whom, after the death of Joshua, it was conquered, and afterward inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Jebusites were not, however, driven out; and we learn that David purchased Mount Moriah from Ornan or Araunah the Jebusite as a site for the Temple. It is only in reference to this Temple that Jerusalem is connected with the legends of Ancient Craft Freemasonry. In the Degrees of Chivalry it is also important, because it was the city where the holy places were situated, and for the possession of which the Crusaders so long and so bravely contested. It was there, too, that the Templars and the Hospitalers were established as Orders of religious and military knighthood. Modern Speculative Freemasonry was introduced into Jerusalem by the establishment of a Lodge in 1872, the Warrant for which, on the application of Brother Rob Morris and others, was granted by the Grand Lodge of Canada. More recently a Lodge has been warranted in England to meet at Chester, but to be in due course removed to Jerusalem, named King Solomon's Temple, No. 3464. A Lodge was consecrated by English authority in Jerusalem in 1924. The Grand Orient of France has also established a Lodge there. Source â€“ Mackays Masonic Encyclopaedia
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor.