Volume 9 Issue 8 No.74 December
Contents Cover Story, Fidelity. Masonry and Christmas – A Story. Christmas and Freemasonry. Famous Freemason – Hugh Mercer Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4. The Supreme Royal Circle of the Friends of the World Lodge Union and Crown No. 307. Rays of Masonry Old Tiler Talks Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism – Part 3 King Solomon’s Chair The Masonic Dictionary Main Website – The Making of a Mason
In this issue: Page 2, ‘Fidelity, Masonry and Christmas.’ A Story – this is a very moving tale about Christmas, designed to make all us Freemasons reflect at this time of the year. Page 4, ‘Christmas and Freemasonry’ An esoteric look at the celebration and the Holy St. John. Page 6, ‘Hugh Mercer’ Famous Freemason. Page 8, ‘Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4.’ A famous American Lodge that was once a Scottish Lodge! Page 11, ‘The Royal Circle of Friends of the World’ Fraternal Societies throughout the World. Page 14, ‘Lodge Union and Crown No. 307.’ Another History of one of our Old Scottish Lodges. Page 16, ‘Rays of Masonry’, “For the Benefit of our Younger Masons”, our Regular monthly feature. Page 16, ‘The Old Tiler Talks’. “On Knowing Names”, the thirty-first in the series from Carl Claudy. Page 18, ‘Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism – Part 3’. A three part article. Page 22, ‘King Solomon’s Chair’. The thoughts of Bro. Rabbi Raymond Apple. Page 23, ‘The Masonic Dictionary’ Holy of Holies.
In the Lectures website The article for this month is ‘The Making of a Mason’ by George Draffen. [link] The front cover artwork of a Christmas tree is a stock photo adapted and edited by the editor of the newsletter.
Fidelity, Masonry and Christmas.
“Bill, I’d love to,” replied the Senior Warden, “ but I play for the pool team tonight down at the club.” “Can’t you deliver it before you go there?”
A Story There it sat on the table wrapped in Santa Claus paper carefully tied up with a bright red ribbon. A Christmas hamper filled with various tins of food, cakes, biscuits, jars of fancy fruit, sweets and about a couple of dozen other Christmas treats, of course not forgetting the usual bottle of whisky, or in old Mrs. Wilson’s case, a rather nice sherry. The Master’s wife had even baked Christmas puddings, wrapped them up with a nice bow and popped one in each of the parcels that were to be delivered to the widows and old members of the Lodge as a special Christmas treat. The Master had been all around town dropping them off, along with a card wishing all the best for the festive season from the Brethren of the Lodge, but there it was, one package was left on the table. The Master shook his head, “At the last meeting I was inundated with volunteers to help take these to the widows, and here I am three hours later and not a soul turned up. I wonder if I could get someone to take this last one out to Mrs. Wilson’s for me.” He took out his mobile phone and pressed W.S.W. “Tom, it’s Bill,” said the Master cheerfully, “Mrs. Wilson’s Christmas hamper is here, any chance you could drop it off as she stays quite near you. I spoke to her a few days ago and told her we would deliver it tonight.”
“No can do, I’m leaving in about an 30 minutes, I could maybe do it tomorrow.” “That’ ok Tom, I’ll try the WJW.” “Stevie, remember you said you could help deliver the widows’ Christmas hampers? Mrs. Wilson’s is still sitting here, and I could do with a hand” “Sorry,” said the Junior Warden. “I know I said that, but I’m going to the wife’s mother’s. She’s expecting us.” “Could you drop this off on your way there?” “Really don’t have the time Bill, and I’m not taking the car as I expect to have a drink. See you next meeting.” The Junior Warden hung up. Desperately, the Master tried a few other members, all of whom had promised they would personally hand out gifts to the widows. One was too tired after work, another was going out and yet another said Mrs. Wilson lived too far from him. Finally, the Master tried a Past Master of the Lodge, the last person on his list of helpers. “Jim, I need your help, at the last meeting you said you would lend a hand to deliver the widows hampers, old Mrs. Wilson’s is still sitting here.” 2
“Wilson! That argumentative sod, did you know him? He gave me a hard time when I was in the chair, I don’t think so!” “Jimmy that’s got nothing to do with Mrs. Wilson, we’ve done this for years, its traditional delivering the parcels.” “While were at it” said the Past Master, “ At the last meeting, your charge was all wrong, don’t you read the ritual book?” “What’s that got to do with Mrs. Wilson?” “Wilson, who cares about her?.” And the phone went dead. The Master looked at the lonesome parcel and went to pick it up when the Lodge phone rang. “Hello, my name is Martha Lang,” an old woman’s voice said, “ I live next door to Gladys Wilson, I called to let you know that she has been taken to hospital.” “What!?” answered the surprised Master. “I asked her round for dinner, but she said she couldn’t come because she had to stay in as she was waiting for the Masons. She must have gotten a little tired and went to call someone to see if there was a problem, but she slipped and fell. I thinks she had been on the floor for a while and it looked pretty serious, so I thought I’d better call you.” “You know, my father was a Mason,” Mrs. Lang went on. “He didn’t say much about it, but I remember when I was a little girl during the hard times, the Masons helped us. One Christmas we had nothing. There was about two feet of snow, but a gang of Masons from the Lodge came over with a 3
tree and a huge cooked turkey. They put the tree up and decorated it, then we ate the turkey and they sang Christmas carols to me and my sisters and made us laugh. It was so wonderful, and I learned then that when times are tough, you can depend on the Masons.” “Thank you for calling me, Mrs. Lang,” said the Master. “It’s just too bad someone didn’t get here a little earlier because this probably wouldn’t have happened,” added the old woman. “But God bless you Masons.” “Yes, thanks again,” replied the Master, and gently hung up the phone. And as the Master put on his jacket, and picked up the little wrapped parcel to take to the hospital, he wondered if the Masons today really were as dependable as their forefathers. Or, if the admonition of not letting “public and private avocations” interfere with Masonry had turned into nothing more than a convenient excuse. Sourced from Just a Mason. Brethren, I sourced this Christmas story from the blog ‘Just A Mason.’ I adapted it and changed it just a little to use it as the cover story in the newsletter, but the tale is still the same. This very moving story hopefully will make us all think, the meaning behind it is so profound and yet so simple, we all need to do more, not just to preserve Freemasonry, but because we are Freemasons. If you know a Mrs. Wilson, pop in and say hello from the Lodge, and let her know she’s not alone. Merry Christmas from all at Lodge Stirling Royal Arch 76 newsletter to you and yours.
Christmas and Freemasonry At its surface, the Christmas holiday has no intrinsic connection to the fraternity of Freemasonry. What I mean by that is no where in the degrees does it link itself to any particular holiday in its practice, in particular the Christmas holiday season. There are, however, certain celebrations that have become a part of the fraternity which are linked to one of the interesting symbols that resides at the heart of the practice. Without any specific reference, Masons are said to come from a Lodge of the Holy Saints John, the specific why and how of this connection is lost in the sands of metaphorical time, but some connection infers a balance to the celestial equinox (from summer to winter and back again). Through this link, winter is said to be represented by the Saint John the Evangelist, whose feast day falls on December 27th. This Holy Saint John has an interesting symbolic significance, in that, as John the Baptist (who represents the other Holy Saint John) was the precursor to the coming Christ, John the Evangelist is said to be the first disciple at the Lake of Genesareth who recognized the Christ and believe that he had risen. Of the Saint it is also said that he was the only disciple of Christ to not to forsake him in the hour of His Passion at the foot of the cross. John the Evangelist is also called the Apostle of Charity, which may be in part, his connection to Freemasonry in addition to his unwavering resolve and purity of his love of the divine.
In creating the original construct of the two Johns, the conclusion that I came to was that they struck a balance between zeal and knowledge, the Baptist who was the precursor of the Christ living in his zeal for the coming son of God and the Evangelist as the representation of knowing that the Christ was the son of God. Only in piecing the component of knowing did it become clear to me that it was not about the degree of knowledge gained, but the degree to which the Evangelist trusted his intuition, to know what was before him. An interesting parallel comes in the book of Matthew where this very lesson is communicated to Peter from the Christ who says in Matthew 16:15-17 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” This is somewhat out of original context, but illustrative of revealed knowledge based on experience, on learning. John the Evangelist came to that knowledge by his experience with the Christ. Another way of looking at this experience is coming from darkness to light, an awakening, and if you take it further, the dawning of awareness. This awareness sits squarely with the idea of Sol Invictus, or the conquering sun which overcomes its captivity of night from the summer solstice and again begins to vanquish the night in its ever increasing minutes of daylight. Looking at some of the other symbolic connections, the Evangelist is said to relate to the alchemical symbol of the up pointed 4
triangle which represents fire, where again we can see a link to light and knowledge. When we combine the alchemical sign of the Baptist with that of the Evangelist, we create the star of Solomon, and the duality of fire and water, further, the duality of light and dark and summer and winter. Further work attributed to John the Evangelist are the Epistles of John, and the book of Revelation, though his connection to them in later centuries has been contentious, as much of his life from 2000 years ago is lost to time. Within the church his feast day is first mentioned in the Sacramentary of Pope Adrian I near 772 A.D. The message of the church, and something each of us can take away from John the Evangelist is to “Apply thyself, therefore, to purity of heart, and thou shalt be like Saint John, a beloved disciple of Jesus, and shalt be filled with heavenly wisdom.”
symbol itself, as in the modern ritual we are reminded that we come from the Holy Saint John’s in Jerusalem, and as such we should pause and reflect on just what that means. John the Evangelist gives us an important lesson to pursue knowledge and wake from the darkness and renew our commitment to the awakening light of the Victorious Sun. Even taken out the Christian metaphor, we can salute with Sol Invictus, as knowledge is re-awakened from its cold wintry defeat. Through the lens of symbolism, John the Evangelist gives us a means to find resonance with the holiday of giving and compassion to the fraternity of brotherly love, relief, and truth. Sourced from the pen of Greg Stewart, Masonic Traveller. http://www.freemasoninformation.com/
The feast of the Evangelist is little remembered today, except within Masonry where it is celebrated by a few lodges that still practice the Table Lodge ritual where brothers gather together to celebrate it with toasts to those brothers present and absent. in the past, it was considered a feast day of high importance for Freemasonry because of its proximity to the holidays and the presence of lodge members being close to home. Because of this, It gave those brothers a festival to meet under to punctuate the closing of the year. Meeting like this though is something less convenient in this modern day as most with families travels abroad to celebrate the holiday.
Peace on Earth, and goodwill towards all men “God Bless Us, Every One!”
Because it is celebrated less does not diminish the importance of the day, nor the
Merry Christmas from the Editor
Famous Freemasons Hugh Mercer
While many Americans are aware that the ‘father’ of the US Navy, John Paul Jones, was a Scot, America’s other ‘Scottish rebel’ during the War for Independence, General Hugh Mercer, is largely forgotten about today. Mercer was born on January 17, 1726 in the village of Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, to William Mercer a Presbyterian minister, and Ann Monro. He attended Marischal College in Aberdeen, where he studied medicine, and served as an assistant surgeon with Jacobite forces under Prince Charles Edward Stewart at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Ironically, Mercer’s grandfather, Sir Robert Munro, was an officer in the British Army. After the Jacobite defeat, Mercer sailed for America and landed in Philadelphia, just in time to serve in another conflict, The French & Indian War; In 1756, after the defeat of British General Edward
Braddock, the Pennsylvania militia was called up for service on the Western frontier. Mercer accepted a commission as a captain. During his service, Mercer and a small party were separated from their unit and attacked by Indians; Mercer, the only survivor, walked 100 miles in 10 days back to his own forces. The Pennsylvania Gazette gave this account of Mercer’s experiences: “We hear that Captain Mercer was 14 Days in getting to Fort Littleton. He had a miraculous Escape, living ten Days on two dried Clams and a Rattle Snake, with the Assistance of a few Berries. The Snake kept sweet for several Days, and, coming near Fort Shirley, he found a Piece of dry Beef, which our People had lost, and on Trial rejected it, because the Snake was better. His wounded Arm is in a good Way, tho’ it could be but badly drest, and a Bone broken.” Promoted for his actions, Mercer, now a Colonel, found himself in 1758 among a force of Pennsylvania and Virginia militia attacking the French garrison at Ft. Duquesne. During this action Mercer shared command with George Washington. The French abandoned the fort on November 25, 1758, and it was renamed ‘Fort Pitt’ in honour of the British Prime Minister William Pitt. Today it is known as Pittsburgh. After the war ended, Mercer moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, which boasted a large community of Scottish expatriates. Mercer joined Fredericksburg Masonic Lodge No. 4 and received his first two degrees on January 19, 1767, his Master Mason degree on February 14, 1767 and a few years later he sat as Master of the Lodge. He served on the vestry of St. 6
George’s Anglican Church, opened an apothecary shop and began a ‘healthy’ practice as a physician in his adopted hometown. Among his 100 patients was Mary Washington, the mother of the General and Mercer’s friend. An English visitor remarked of Mercer that he was ‘a physician of great merit and eminence, and as a man, possessed of almost every virtue and accomplishment of a just and moderate way of thinking, and a generosity of principle. While in Fredericksburg, He married Isabella Gordon and they had three children: Hugh Tennant Mercer, Ann Mercer Patton, and William Mercer. The Mercers purchased Ferry Farm from Washington in 1774. Active in revolutionary politics, Mercer soon found himself appointed as Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Virginia militia, which was later seconded to the Continental Line. Among its ranks were the future President James Monroe, and future Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall. Recognized for his intelligence and military knowledge by Washington, Mercer soon became one of his greatest subordinates, and reportedly inspired Washington’s famous ‘crossing of the Delaware’ before the Battle of Trenton in 1776. Sadly, Mercer’s service was cut short in 1777, when he was bayoneted by British soldiers at Princeton. Leading a force of 350 Americans, Mercer encountered a combined force of British Infantry and Cavalry. During the fight, Mercer’s horse was shot from under him, and was surrounded by redcoats, who called on him 7
to surrender. When Mercer drew his sword, he was bayoneted and left for dead. Not wishing to leave the field, the mortally wounded Mercer was propped up against an Oak tree (The ‘Mercer Oak’) and then later taken to a field hospital in the home of Thomas Clarke. Mercer finally succumbed to his wounds on January 12, 1777. Mercer’s funeral in Philadelphia was attended by more than 3,000 mourners. Mercer was buried in the graveyard of Philadelphia’s Christ Church until 1840, when the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia urged that he be re-interned under a new monument at Laurel Hill Cemetery, where he lies today. A bronze statue was erected in Fredericksburg, and his apothecary shop is a state historic site. Counties in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois bear his name, as well as a town in Pennsylvania, Mercersburg, where President James Buchanan, also of Scottish heritage, was born. General Mercer’s Sword is a treasured relic of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. Famous descendants of General Mercer include the songwriter Johnny Mercer, who wrote Stardust, Moon River and other popular ballads. Another descendent of the Generals also rose to military fame General George S. Patton. Statues of Mercer were erected in Fredericksburg and Philadelphia, and a 2005 article in the Aberdeen Press & Journal (reproduced on the Clan Munro Society’s web site) noted that the home of his alma mater had recognized his connection to ‘The Granite City’. His apothecary shop still stands in Fredericksburg today as a historic site. Some historians believe that had Mercer lived after Princeton, he might have
commanded American forces in the Revolution, and not Washington. While such theories cannot be proven, we do know of his devotion to the American cause; he reportedly told the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1776 that he; ‘would serve his adopted country and the cause of liberty in any rank or station’, and (to Dr. Benjamin Rush, who treated him after Princeton) he ‘would cross the mountains and live among the Indians rather than submit to the power of Great Britain.’ President Woodrow Wilson is said to have remarked that ‘every line of strength in American history is coloured by Scottish blood.’ No doubt this Virginia native and President of Princeton University had General Hugh Mercer in mind when he uttered those words Todd Wilkinson. This Bio was sourced from this site; http://www.scottishtartans.org/mercer.htm
Now read about the Lodge that Hugh Mercer was a member of.
Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4. The Masonic Lodge at Fredericksburg is one of the most historic Lodges and one of the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although its building has only been around since 1816, its members have existed as a standing organization officially since 1752 recorded. A chain of Masonic ritual and knowledge that has been passed down through its
members un-severed to this very day, from mentor to student; the same Masonic lessons that have transformed so many good men into men of historic greatness; men such as Washington, Franklin, Monroe, Churchill, Truman and so forth. Here are some historic facts about this Lodge. During the Revolution, this Lodge provided George Washington, Hugh Mercer, George Weedon, William Woodford, Fielding Lewis, Thomas Posey, Gustavus Wallace, the Marquis de Lafayette and ninety-four other of its brethren to the cause of American liberty. Fredericksburg Lodge is one of the two Lodges to be considered "Time Immemorial" or "a time before legal history, and beyond legal memory," prior to its Scottish Charter of 1758. (Mother Kilwinning Lodge in Scotland was the first and original Lodge.) In the 1760's the Lodge at Fredericksburg granted charters to six other Lodges, as authorized by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This Lodge has established America's oldest Masonic Cemetery in 1784, and maintains it to this day (with the help of the adjacent James Monroe Museum). The first recorded conferral of the Royal Arch Degree in the New World in 1753, which are the oldest extant records as well. Entrusted to us are historical artefacts of great social and Masonic value such as the Holy Bible on which Brother George Washington took his Masonic Obligations, three hand-crafted Masonic "Warden's chairs" from Colonial America, a punch 8
bowl used by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1824 when he became an honorary member, and an original Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington (the same picture you see on the dollar bill). These are just to name a few of the "National Treasures" that we strive to preserve. Pre-Records Freemasonry Fredericksburg was a logistics depot for the British Army and soldiers were quartered here, so it is believed that an Army Lodge met here starting in the 1730's under a mobile charter that is speculated to have been from the Grand Lodge of Ireland. With the growing disputes regarding territory within the rich Ohio River Valley between the French and English crowns, the British relocated their soldiers closer to the frontier in 1752, as a result of which the Brethren of Fredericksburg lost their means to meet and have fellowship. On September 1, 1752 the Lodge at Fredericksburg became a "Time Immemorial" Lodge when the brethren chose to operate without a charter, and they justified it by means of their own will to function as just and legally constituted Freemasons originating from Lodges throughout Europe. Strangely enough, the name of the first Master of the Lodge is unknown, as his name seems to have been struck from the records of the meetings. It is believed that he was deemed a traitor during the War of American Revolution and his name was blotted out as a result. The Scottish Charter of 1758 In the late 1750's, The Grand Lodge of England came out with an edict compelling Lodges throughout the colonies to seek a 9
charter from recognized Grand Lodges or risk being labelled as "clandestine." Here in Fredericksburg, there was a flourishing Scottish community serving as home for many Scottish merchants. So when Worshipful Daniel Campbell, one of our founding officers, chose to visit family in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Lodge gave him 7 pounds on April 4, 1757 along with a petition requesting to be constituted under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. On July 21, 1758, the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a formal Charter "The Lodge at Fredericksburgh," which is still in existence and in our possession to this day. Colonial Fredericksburg In 1757, the members relocated their meetings from the small tavern that eventually became Hugh Mercer's Apothecary Shop to the coffee house across the street belonging to Brother Charles Julian. While some of our brothers were still in harm's way at the frontier during the French and Indian War, many of our local brethren held civic offices and were using their offices during this time to suppress a local tyrant within government as well. Let us look at the story of the "Two Merry Masons" by the names of Dr. John Sutherland and Robert Duncanson. These two good-natured Masonic brothers came to Fredericksburg in the 1740's and were self-sufficient, but held no responsibilities. Needless to say, they were constantly itching for good-natured excitement but found themselves often before the courts. But in 1757, as they were tolerated with much amusement by most of the justices of the court, they would gain the animosity of one Judge Benjamin Grymes.
Brother Sutherland especially enraged Judge Grymes, who issued a warrant for him "as a person of infamous character." The other justices defended Sutherland, but Grymes was a man of vicious disposition and a superiority complex and as such knew many who would undermine his actions and spur his overzealous rage. One such person was Brother Charles Dick who as Sheriff would ignore these warrants, as did the other justices, which enraged Justice Grymes, even more. Brother Duncanson was not as fortunate as Sutherland and found himself removed from Judge Grymes' courtroom and thrown into prison until he could post bond for his good behavior. Despite this setback, Brother Duncanson made the most of his incarceration and turned it into a party. An enraged Grymes reported of the event to the Lord Governor witnessing that "with sundry other to carry table, chairs, and liquor into the gaol (jail), they there revel till late into the night." There is no known record of a reprisal for the "Jail-fest", but Judge Grymes was eventually removed by the governor in order to "restore peace and harmony to that county" and replaced by Brother Fielding Lewis at the request of Charles Dick and the other justices. With the end of the war, came the return of Brethren and the Lodge grew. As a result, a local track was established by the Masons for horse races, as was the newly established Market House, for which business transactions would be done during the day and a ballroom for dancing could be enjoyed during the night. This was a happy, golden period for Masonry; but was certainly the long calm before the storm.
Possibly due to its Scottish influence, Fredericksburg was from the beginning overtly in support of American Independence. Many members of the Lodge were officers and veterans of the French and Indian War and most established their ties to Brother Washington during this period. So when George Washington became Commanderin-Chief of the American Forces, his Brethren came out in full force to support him. Fredericksburg Freemasonry provided seven Revolutionary War Generals and ninety-four Brethren who were listed as soldiers of the Virginia Continental Line as well as Militia volunteers; far more than any other lodge in America. The war pulled a heavy toll upon the members, those few members that remained, kept the lodge running best they could. Brothers Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick were given the responsibility of running the local ammunition factory and these two good brothers drained both their own finances and health in ensuring that the Colonial Army was armed. Many members of Fredericksburg were part of the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line, who were honored for their acts of valor in many of the most famous battles. This Regiment felt their first agony of loss when Brother and General Hugh Mercer was killed in melee at Princeton. The 3rd Virginia Regiment was compelled to surrender in the Siege of Charleston against Cornwallis, after which General Horatio Gates, Commander of the Southern Army, fled back to Philadelphia, leaving the remnants of his army to fend 10
for themselves. As a result, many Fredericksburg soldiers were captured and died as British prisoners, including Brother and General William Woodford. Brother Gustavus Wallace was freed from his prison cell because of failing health on his promise that he would no longer fight in the war. Those that were not captured were able to see the war out such as Colonel James Monroe and General George Weedon, who were both present at Yorktown. The American Civil War During the American Civil War, history tells us that when every known organization in America was fragmenting from one another to choose a side, Freemasonry was the only institution that held together in its unity. It is during this dark period that the Light of Masonry truly shined it brightest. Tales are told of Freemasons reaching out to each other regardless of uniform and of the many acts of humanity that remain on record. During this period of chaos and destruction, we are thankful for a good brother who recovered the archives and artefacts of the Lodge before they were destroyed during the occupation of Fredericksburg when many documents and valuables were laid waste. Even during the Battle of Fredericksburg, we learn that our Northern Brethren entered into this Lodge through the rear livery and our Southern Brethren entered through the front door of that same building. It was here that they dropped off their weapons and equipment, hugged one another and attended Lodge together. After Lodge was over, these same Brethren would again hug one another, go downstairs, recover their weapons and equipment and exit, where again, they 11
would commence killing one another. It is said that the wood floors of our original Lodge room upstairs still hold the bloodstains from the time it was used as a hospital by Union forces. Fredericksburg of Today It is now the 21st century and we have entered the Age of Communication. Grand Lodges throughout the world have seen the importance of the technologies before us and have embraced them. However, despite all the changes and innovations to both our fraternity and community, Freemasonry remains the same. This is because her universal tenets are timeless beyond fad and fashion and because men of good character will continue to seek out our West Gate to obtain the rights and benefits of being a Mason so long as our altars continue to display and hold sacred the three great lights of Masonry. Here in Fredericksburg, our stewardship continues. The minutes of this Lodge have recorded many great Freemasons such as Washington, James Monroe, Lafayette, Hugh Mercer, William Woodford, George Weedon, Fielding Lewis and so many others. Despite the many honours attributed to this Lodge by these great men, the one lesson that we strive to impress upon our members is that we must never "Live on borrowed honour." That is, we should never live on the achievements of others, but instead we must find small ways to perpetuate that greatness by emulating the virtues and character of our beloved Brother George Washington to help ensure that this Lodge will continue to grow in honour and that its legacy does not solely remain in the past. http://masoniclodge4.org/index.php/history/historyof-lodge-no-4
Fraternal Societies Of the World ‘The Supreme Royal Circle of Friends of the World.’ The Supreme Royal Circle of Friends of the World, also known as the Royal Circle of Friends (RCF), was an AfricanAmerican fraternal organization founded in 1909 in Helena (Phillips County). The organization was founded to supply insurance to the African-American population but was also dedicated to the moral, physical, social, and economic welfare of its members. Men and women were equal members. From the beginning, the RCF grew rapidly across the Southern states and soon spread across the nation. In 1944, the membership was quoted by a Chicago, Illinois, newspaper as being in excess of 100,000. Dr. Richard A. Williams was the founding Supreme President and held that position until his death in 1944. Williams was born in Forrest City (St. Francis County) on September 13, 1879. He attended grade school in Forrest City, followed by further education at Danville Industrial High School in Danville, Virginia, and Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Following college graduation in 1896, he returned to Forrest City and taught in the black public school. At nineteen, he enrolled in Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and afterward practiced medicine in Knoxville,
Tennessee. In 1905, he moved his practice to Helena. The first recruitment meeting of the RCF was held in Helena September 1–3, 1909. The joining fee was $2.50, which included a physical examination. Dues were $1.00 a quarter, and $300 was paid at the death of a member. Other benefits included sick pay from one to five dollars a week. The RCF also supplied a distinctive headstone for members, featuring a lion sitting atop a triangle with the letters RCF in the points of the triangle. By the end of 1909, the RCF had 510 members. In 1910, Williams started a newspaper, the Royal Messenger, published twice a month at a cost to subscribers of one dollar a year. By 1911, there were 300 lodges, called circles, scattered throughout Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. The official emblem of the order signifies
Strength, Power, Courage, Bravery and Loyalty. In about 1915, the Helena World newspaper reported that RCF membership was 30,000. The RCF had loaned $29,500 to members; had $46,000 in mortgages, real estate, and capital; and had paid out $200,000 in benefits. By this time, circles were established in nine states and had grown beyond the South to Ohio and Illinois. The organization was located in a 12
three-story brick building at 608 Elm Street in Helena that contained a printing press and offices, parlors, a spacious auditorium, and a plant to manufacture regalia to sell to RCF circles. Supreme conferences for all circles were held annually. In 1915, the supreme conference was held in Memphis, Tennessee, and the central organization chartered a special train to take members from Helena to Memphis. Local circles were encouraged to hold social events, and the national organization, at one time, announced that if a circle did not get together for Thanksgiving, it would be fined a nickel per member. By 1918, the organization had outgrown its Helena facilities, and Williams moved operations to Chicago. In Chicago, the group built its Supreme Temple and expanded facilities. In 1921, the RCF opened two hospitals for African Americans, one in Memphis and the other in Little Rock. Members received free care at the hospitals. The Little Rock facility, Royal Circle of Friends Hospital, was a fifty-bed hospital located at 12th and Chester. By 1926, the bed capacity of the Little Rock hospital was reduced to thirtyfive beds. In 1927, the hospital took over the J. E. Bush Memorial Nursesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Training School and operated nursesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; training at the 12th and Chester location. The hospital was last listed in a Little Rock city directory in 1934. In 1928, the Royal Messenger was merged with a St. Louis, Missouri, newspaper, becoming the Standard News-Royal Messenger. Membership dues increased slightly over the years but still remained low for the benefits provided. Although the organization moved to Chicago, it kept it ties to Arkansas, and, in 1928, six of the 13
supreme officers were from Arkansas, including attorney Scipio A. Jones of Little Rock. Dr. Williams died on September 27, 1944. The Chicago Defender had reported that the RCF was doing very well with more than 100,000 members and over $500,000 in assets, but this may not have been accurate, for on October 12, 1947, the RCF was in bankruptcy. The Supreme Temple was auctioned off as part of the liquidation of assets. These fraternal societies which are featured in the newsletter do really exist; there are virtually hundreds of them throughout the World.
Where will we meet today! A group of Masons all aged under 40, discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally they all agreed they would meet in the Masonic Arms bar because the waitresses there were lovely, wore tight skirts and low tops! Ten years later at the age of 50, the masons met and discussed where they should meet for lunch. It was agreed they would meet in the Masonic Arms bar because the food was good and the wine list was excellent. Ten years on at the age of 60, the masons again met and discussed where the should meet for lunch. They all agreed the Masonic Arms bar because they could dine in peace and quiet, and the bar had a large screen TV. Ten years later at the age of 70, the masons met and discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally they all agreed on the Masonic Arms bar because it had wheelchair access. Ten years further on at the age of 80, the masons once again met and discussed where they should meet for lunch. They all agree they should meet in the Masonic Arms bar because they had never been there before!
Lodge Union and Crown No. 307. Now the oldest organisation in the town, the light of Masonry first shone in Barrhead in 1824. About this time, Barrhead was a mere collection of four different hamlets, Ralston, Dovecothall, Grahamston and West Arthurlie, names which are still known and recognised to this present day. A number of brethren in the town, recognising the need for Freemasonry, and probably judging that it would be invaluable for the moral and social advancement of the community, presented a petition to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, asking that a Charter be granted for the purpose of holding a lodge in the town. A Charter was granted on the 2nd February 1824 and Lodge Union & Crown No. 378 came into being. It is noteworthy that this original charter, signed by the Grand Master Mason, his Grace the Duke of Argyll, is still in use at all meetings of the Lodge. Recession struck the town during the 1830’s and the Lodge slipped into darkness for a number of years, only to be resuscitated in 1868 when the authority to work under the original charter was given by Grand Lodge. During the dormancy of the Lodge, all Lodges within the Scottish Craft were renumbered, with the result that Union & Crown, Barrhead was given the new and now familiar number 307. At that time the Lodge met in an upper room of the Queen’s Arms Hotel and at the first meeting in 1868, 11 Candidates were Entered, Passed & Raised on the same
evening, probably by Lodge Pollokshaws R.A., No. 153 with an initiation fee £112s-6d (£1.63). The Lodge moved to the Lesser Public hall in 1872 and continued to meet on alternate Mondays during the winter months, although for a short spell they met on a Wednesday. The Benevolent fund was established in 1877 with the sum of 2/-6d (13p) payable annually by each member. Over the next couple of decades the Lodge went from strength to strength taking part in the laying of memorial stones throughout the district, usually accompanied by the local brass band. In 1905 the regular meeting night was moved to a Tuesday and a few years later in 1910 a fine new temple was erected on the present site at a cost of £1446. The memorial stone was laid with full Masonic honours in September of that year by the Provincial Grand Master, Bro Zachariah Henry Heys. The Lodge celebrated its centenary in 1924 with a series of festivities, the highlight of which was a dinner for almost 350 people in the Higher Grade School. It has continued to prosper throughout the 20th century, with a long list of credits to its name. During the 1970’s attendances climbed steadily culminating in a series of record attendances in the mid 1980’s and whilst these have now levelled out and stabilised, we are still one of the most successful and well supported Lodges in the Scottish Craft. A handsome extension was erected in 1994, enhancing the already impressive listed building. The Lodge Celebrated its 175th anniversary with a fabulous week of celebrations in February 1999, culminating 14
in a re-dedication and consecration meeting within the temple, conducted by Provincial Grand Lodge. Thereafter a dinner attended by over 300 brethren was held within the main hall of the old Barrhead Higher Grade School in Main Street (the site of the centenary dinner in 1924). Later that year 25 brethren of the Lodge travelled to Frituna Lodge, No. 2949 in Essex to confer an exemplification of our popular Dramatised master Mason degree, a trip, which was repeated 2 years later. Early in 2001, over 30 brethren travelled across the Atlantic to Houston in Texas where we had been invited to confer an EA and Dramatised MM degree within Spring Lodge #1174 (a reciprocal visit was hosted by Union & Crown in November 2002 when a group of our Texan brethren and their wives came to Barrhead as our guests). In April 2001 the Lodge was further honoured when we were invited to confer the Dramatised Fellowcraft degree within Provincial Grand Lodge as part of their 175th anniversary celebrations, the very first occasion a Daughter Lodge has been invited to confer a degree within Provincial Grand Lodge. In addition, in 2012 Union & Crown were invited to confer their Dramatised Fellowcraft Degree within Grand Lodge, in front of an invited audience of Grand Secretaries from across the globe. A tremendous honour for 307. Over the years, there have been several famous freemasons within Lodge Union & Crown – 15
■Lord Colin Renfrew of Kaimsthorn & Hurlet, ■Bro Sir Henry Meechan, ■Bros Bob McPhail, David Provan, Gordon Durie & Bobby McKean (all of Rangers F.C.), ■Bro Malcolm McPhail (Scottish Cup Winner with Kilmarnock F.C. in 1919) and ■Bro Cameron Peddie (Author & Faith Healer). There can be no doubt that Lodge Union & Crown, No. 307 are still very much to the forefront within the town of Barrhead, and throughout Freemasonry, as we celebrate our anniversary. This History was sourced from the Website of Lodge No.307. whom the editor and the newsletter acknowledge to be the copyright holder. Click here to go to their site. Lodge Union and Crown is another Scottish Lodge that produces an excellent newsletter called the Mallet,, click the picture to take you there.
Rays of Masonry â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the Benefit of our Younger Masonsâ&#x20AC;? Often we hear criticism of a Mason, the recital of some act on the part of a brother, which reflects upon the Craft as a whole. For the most part, it seems to this writer that we are over-critical of our brothers, but perhaps in this way we have maintained a standard of moral excellence which is respected by almost the entire world, with the exception of those who bow to the dictates of tyrannical leaders, political or religious, and are not permitted to see any good in the Mason or Masonry. In these cases the critic does not own his own soul, so there is little that can be done except to offer pity.
wisdom to refrain from discussing the subject with which they are not conversant. The best suggestion we can make to the young Mason is this- look around you. Consider the character and lives of the men in your community who are Masons. Many have known you since your childhood days. Discuss Masonry with Masons. Dewey Wollstein 1953
However, many times, the young Mason will talk with a non-Mason, who is always willing to go to great effort to explain "why he will not become a Mason." His purpose is to confuse the candidate, or young Mason. But note carefully. Generally, the person who makes such an effort to discuss a subject of which he knows nothing, is one who cannot enter the portals of our Institution. Many times he is the fellow who judges according to standards which he cannot attain for himself. Let us understand well that there are men in every community who represent in their lives the ideals and principles of Masonry, but have never taken the degrees of Masonry. These men, however, have the
On Knowing Names. "I've been watching you for half an hour and you haven't missed calling a brother by name," said the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "How do you do it?" "Remembering names is my business. As Tiler I am supposed to know all the brethren of this lodge. I get paid for being a Tiler. If I didn't know my job I would be taking money under false pretenses." 16
"How did you learn names? I have been a member of this lodge for nearly a year. And I don't know more than a dozen men by name. How do you do it?" "How do you not do it?" countered the Old Tiler. "Don't you ever know anyone by name in any organization you belong to?" "Well, er- I- " "I visited in one lodge once," interrupted the Old Tiler, "where they used the scheme developed in so many luncheon clubs. The Master started an automatic roll call, in which each brother stood, gave his name, address and business and sat down. It smacked a little of the commercial to me. To hear a chap say, 'My name is Bill Jones, agent for the Speedemup car, in business at 1567 Main Street,' may be very informing to the brother who doesn't know it, but it seems like advertising. I presume the scheme worked; everyone in that lodge got to know everyone else by name in time.
them. But a name, after all, is an artificial distinction, conferred on us by our parents as a matter of convenience. A rose smells just as sweet if you call it a sunflower, and a man is the same whether you call him Jim or Jones. Not very long ago a man said to me: 'I don't know your name but you are Tiler of my lodge. My uncle in the country has just sent me a crate of strawberries. I can't see 'em all and I'd like to give you some. Will you write your name and address on a card so I can send them?' If he had known my name he could have sent them without asking for the card. But would they have tasted any better? I had a warm feeling at my heart; my brother had remembered my face and who I was, and wanted me to share his good luck. That he didn't know my name didn't seem to matter. He knew me.
"Ready-made brotherhood is the dream of the professional Mason; ready-made acquaintance is the thing he strives for with his announcements and his celluloid buttons.
"It's friendly to call a man by his name. We are all more or less egocentric. (Doc Palmer tells me that the word means that we revolve about ourselves!) When people remember our names we think we have made an impression. It tickles our vanity. Half a dozen members in this lodge come only once a year. When I call them by name they swell up like poisoned pups. But they wouldn't if they knew my system. One of them has prominent ears; so has a jackass. A jackass eats thistles. This man's name is Nettleton. Another chap has a nose that looks as if it grew on a Brobdingnagian face. His name is Beekman. It's no trick to remember them, because of the impression they make of ugliness. I remember your name as an earnest young brother trying to learn.
"I don't regard the use of a name as essential. It is pleasant to be called by name, and nice to be able to remember
I remember the Past Masters by remembering their services,. I know John and Jim and George and Elly and Harry
"In another lodge every brother wears a big, round celluloid name plate with his name printed on it in big letters. The Tiler, poor chap, has charge of a rack and is supposed to see that every brother entering the room has his button on and that none wears it home! This scheme works; you can read a brother's name and call him by it, and probably remember it next time.
and Joe and Frank and the rest because I know the men, know what they do, how they do it, what they stand for in the lodge and in Masonry; in other words, it's the brother I know first, and in my mind I tack a name to him. To remember a name and tack a face to it is the trick accomplished by the celluloid button, the automatic roll call, by all schemes to make men know each other's names with the idea that the name and not the man is important. "You have been here nearly a year and know a dozen men by name. If you know a hundred by sight to speak to, you have accomplished something more important than filling your memory with names. But if you know only your dozen by sight and name, and no others either by sight or name, then there is something the matter with your idea of fellowship. "In lodge, brothers learn to know each other; if they learn each other's names in the process, well and good. But if they learn to know each other as human beings with friendly faces, it does make little difference whether they have good or poor memories for names. "Our Master is a fine, lovable man. Every dog he meets on the street wags its tail and speaks to him, and he speaks to them all. I doubt if he knows their names. He has a poor memory for names, yet he never forgets a face. I know names and faces because it's my job, but I'd make a poor Master." "I'm not so sure about your being a poor Master!" "Well, I am! Don't confuse a good memory, a good Mason and a good Master. I try to have the first and be the second!" This is the thirty-first article in our regular feature, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Old Tiler Talks,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; each month we publish one of these interesting and informative pieces by Carl Claudy.
Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism Arthur Edward Waite PART III RECURRING to the Legend of the Third Degree, the pivot upon which it revolves is the existence of a building secret, represented as a Master-Word, which the Builder died to preserve. Owing to his untimely death, the Word was lost, and it has always been recognized in Masonry that the Temple, unfinished at the moment of the untoward event, remained with its operations suspended and was completed later on by those who obviously did not possess the Word or key. The tradition has descended to us and, as I have said, we are still on the quest. Now what does all this mean? We have no concern at the present day, except in archaeology and history, with King Solomon's Temple. What is meant by this Temple and what is the Lost Word? These things have a meaning, or our system is stultified. Well, here are burning questions, and the only direction in which we can look for an answer is that which is their source. As to this, we must remember that the Legend of the Master Degree is a Legend of Israel, under the aegis of the Old Covenant, and though it has no warrants in the Holy Writ which constitutes the Old Testament, it is not antecedently improbable that something to our purpose may be found elsewhere in the literature of Jewry. THE KABALAH I do not of course mean that we shall meet with the Legend itself; it would be 18
interesting if we did but not per se helpful, apart from explanation. I believe in my heart that I have found what is much more important, and this is the root-matter of that which is shadowed forth in the Legend, as regards the meaning of the Temple and the search for the Lost Word. There are certain great texts which are known to scholars under the generic name of Kabalah, a Hebrew word meaning reception, or doctrinal teaching passed on from one to another by verbal communication. According to its own hypothesis, it entered into written records during the Christian era, but hostile criticism has been disposed to represent it as invented at the period when it was written. The question does not signify for our purpose, as the closing of the 13th century is the latest date that the most drastic view â&#x20AC;&#x201D; now generally abandoned â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has proposed for the most important text. We find therein after what manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon's Temple was spiritualized; we find deep meanings attached to the two pillars J. and B.; we find how the word was lost and under what circumstances the chosen people were to look for its recovery. It is an expectation for Jewish theosophy, as it is for the Craft Mason. It was lost owing to an untoward event, and although the time and circumstances of its recovery have been calculated in certain texts of the Kabalah, there has been something wrong with the methods. The keepers of the tradition died with their faces toward Jerusalem, looking for that time; but for Jewry at large the question has passed from the field of view, much as the quest is continued by us in virtue of a ceremonial formula but cannot be said to mean anything for those who undertake and 19
pursue it. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and the destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters of Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the word did not come back into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired Cyrus to bring about the building of the Second Temple and the return of Israel into their own land, they went back empty of all, recollection in this respect. THE DIVINE NAME I am putting things in a summary fashion that are scattered up and down the vast text with which I am dealing â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that is to say, Sepher Ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor. The word to which reference is made is the Divine Name out of the consonants of which, He, Vau, He, Yod, we have formed Jehovah, or more accurately Yahve. When Israel fell into a state which is termed impenitence it is said in the Zoharic Symbolism that the Vau and the He final were separated. The name was dismembered, and this is the first sense of loss which is registered concerning it. The second is that it has no proper vowel points, those of the Name Elohim being substituted, or alternatively the Name Adonai. It is said, for example: "My Name is written YHVH and read Adonai." The epoch of restoration and completion is called, almost indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come, and the advent of the Messiah. In such day the present imperfect separation between the letters will be put an end to, once and forever. If it be asked: What is the connection between the loss and dismemberment which befell the Divine Name Jehovah and the Lost Word in Masonry, I cannot answer too plainly; but every Royal Arch Mason knows that which
is communicated to him in that Supreme Degree, and in the light of the present explanation he will see that the "great" and "incomprehensible" thing so imparted comes to him from the Secret Tradition of Israel. It is also to this Kabalistic source, rather than to the variant accounts in the first book of Kings and in Chronicles, that we must have recourse for the important Masonic Symbolism concerning the Pillars J. and B. There is very little in Holy Scripture which would justify a choice of these objects as particular representatives of our art of building spiritualized. But in later Kabalism, in the texts called "The Garden of Pomegranates" and in "The Gates of Light," there is a very full and complicated explanation of the strength which is attributed to B., the left-hand Pillar, and of that which is established in and by the right-hand Pillar, called J. THE TEMPLE As regards the Temple itself, I have explained at length elsewhere after what manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi-Kabalistic texts, so that it appears ever as "the proportion of the height, the proportion of the depth, and the lateral proportions" of the created universe, and again as a part of the transcendental mystery of law which is at the root of the secret tradition in Israel. This is outside our subject, not indeed by its nature but owing to limitations of opportunity. I will say only that it offers another aspect of a fatal loss in Israel and the world â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which is commented on in the tradition. That which the Temple symbolized above all things was, however, a House of Doctrine, and as on the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution were perpetuated through
centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot of Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated by the breaking of the Tables of Stone on which the Law was inscribed; so does Speculative Masonry intimate that the Holy House, which was planned and begun after one manner, was completed after another and a word of death was substituted for a word of life.
THE BUILDER I shall not need to tell you that beneath such veils of allegory and amidst such illustrations of symbolism, the MasterBuilder signifies a principle and not a person, historical or otherwise. He signifies indeed more than a single principle, for in the world of mystic intimations through which we are now moving, the question, "Who is the Master?" would be answered by many voices. But generically, he is the imputed life of the Secret-Doctrine which lay beyond the letter of the Written Law, which "the stiff-necked and disobedient" of the patriarchal, sacerdotal and prophetical dispensations contrived to destroy. According to the Secret Tradition of Israel, the whole creation was established for the manifestation of this life, which became manifested actually in its dual aspect when the spiritual Eve was drawn from the side of the spiritual Adam and placed over against him, in the condition of face to face. The intent of creation was made void in the event which is called the Fall of Man, though the particular expression is unknown in Scripture. By the hypothesis, the "fatal consequences" which followed would have reached their time on Mount Sinai, but the Israelites, when left to themselves in the wilderness, "sat down to eat and rose up to play." That which is concealed in the evasion of the last words corresponds to the state of Eve in Paradise, 20
when, she had become infected by the serpent. To sum up as regards the sources, the Lost Word in Masonry is derived from a Kabalistic thesis of imperfection in the Divine Name Jehovah, by which the true pronunciation — that is to say, the true meaning — is lost. It was the life of the House of Doctrine, represented by the Temple planned of old in Israel. The Master-Builder is the Spirit, Secret or Life of the Doctrine; and it is the quest of this that every Mason takes upon himself in the ceremony of the Third Degree, so that the House, which in the words of another Masonic Degree, is now, for want of territory, built only in the heart, "a superstructure perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder." CRAFT MASONRY But if these are the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the Sublime Degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building-Guild? The answer is that all about that period which represents what is called the transition, or during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Latin-writing Scholars were animated with zeal for the exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the result that many memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. Among those scholars were many great names, and they provided the materials ready to the hands of the symbolists. What purpose had the latter in view? The answer is that in Germany, Italy, France and England, the Zeal for Kabalistic literature among the Latin-writing scholars had not merely a scholastic basis. They believed that the texts of the Secret Tradition showed 21
plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself, that the Messiah had come. This is the first fact. The second I have mentioned already, namely, that although, the central event of the Third Degree is the Candidate's Raising, it is not said in the Legend that the Master-Builder rose, thus suggesting that something remains to come after, which might at once complete the Legend and conclude the quest. The third fact is that in a rather early and important High Degree of the philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master-Builder of the Third Degree rises as Christ, and so completes the dismembered Divine Name, by insertion of the Hebrew letter Shin, this producing Yeheshua — the restoration of the Lost Word in the Christian Degrees of Masonry. Of course, I am putting this point only as a question of fact in the development of symbolism. Meanwhile, I trust that, amidst many imperfections, I have done something to indicate a new ground for our consideration, and to show that the speaking mystery of the Opening and Closing of the Third Degree and the Legend of the Master-Builder come from what may seem to us very far away, but yet not so distant that it is impossible to trace them to their source. The Builder. Vol. II, 1916.
Best Wishes – SRA76
King Solomon’s Chair The Lodge Master is said to occupy the Chair of King Solomon. It is possible that the idea owes something to the Gospel reference to the scribes and Pharisees sitting in the Seat of Moses (Matt. 23:2), though this verse may be meant symbolically. The Bible is austere in its reference to Solomon’s throne – “Then Solomon sat upon the throne of the Lord” (I Chron. 29:23) – but what the Bible does not spell out, rabbinic fancy filled in. It is the Targum Sheni, an Aramaic paraphrase/homily on the Book of Esther, where much of this material is to be found. On the verse, “In those days, when King Ahasuerus sat upon his royal throne which was in Shushan the capital” (Esth. 1:2), Targum Sheni proceeds to laud the uniqueness of the royal throne of Solomon in Jerusalem. This throne was so magnificent that other rulers were lost in admiration and envy. Covered with fine gold, it was studded with jewels and inlaid with marble. It was reached by six steps. On each stood two golden lions and two golden eagles. The first step also had a golden ox and lion, the second a wolf and a lamb, the third a leopard and a goat, the fourth an eagle and peacock, the fifth a falcon and a cock, and the sixth a hawk and a sparrow. In each pair one beast was wild and one tame; on the top step, a dove resting upon a hawk represented the belief that peace would finally prevail over destructiveness. Suspended over the throne was a golden candelabrum with seven branches on each side. The branches to the right depicted seven patriarchs; those to the left showed seven pious men. Atop the candelabrum were a golden bowl and basin of pure olive oil. Around the throne were 70 chairs for the
Sanhedrin, with two more for the high priest and his deputy. When the king, high priest and judges sat in justice, the machinery of the throne whirred; the wheels turned, the lions roared, the leopard growled and the cock crowed, striking awe in the witnesses to ensure they would not pervert the truth. When the king ascended the throne, a golden dove handed him a scroll, to enable him to fulfil the Biblical requirement to have the Divine law with him every day of his life (Deut. 17:19). The lesson was reinforced by seven heralds. As Solomon ascended each step, a herald declaimed verses about his duties to God and the people. The king learned from these verses to avoid material and sensual excess, conduct himself with integrity and honesty, and know that he stood before God (Deut. 17:16-20). For a time Solomon fulfilled his responsibilities with wisdom and equity, and his judgments made him world famous. It was this that brought the Queen of Sheba to test him with riddles (I Kings 10:1). Then he lapsed into materialism, sensuality and selfpride, and began to think he could solve everything on his own without acknowledging God, even applying to himself the words of the Psalmist, “Let the King of Glory come in” (Psalm 24:7). Jewish interest was kindled by the throne story because a dispersed and downtrodden people needed a feeling of national pride. Criticisms of Solomon’s excesses showed the importance of what Matthew Arnold called Hebraic strictness of conscience. Sitting “in the Chair of King Solomon” reminds a Master to use his status with responsibility.
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 Holy of Holies Every student of Jewish antiquities knows and every Freemason who has taken the Third Degree ought to knows, what was the peculiar construction, character, and uses of the Sanctum Sanctorum or Holly of Holies in King Solomon's Temple. Situated in the western end of the Temple, separated from the rest of the building by a heavy curtain, and enclosed on three sides by dead walls without any aperture or window, it contained the sacred Ark of the Covenant, and was secluded and set apart from all intrusion save of the High Priest, who only entered it on certain solemn occasions. As it was the most sacred of the three parts of the Temple, so has it been made symbolic of a Master's Lodge, in which are performed the most sacred rites of initiation in Ancient Craft Freemasonry. But as modern horologists have found in all the Hebrew rites and ceremonies the traces of more ancient mysteries, from which they seem to have been derived, or on which they have been modified, whence we trace also to the same mysteries most of the Masonic forms which, of course, are more immediately founded on the Jewish Scriptures, so we shall find in the ancient Gentile temples the type of this same Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, under the name of Adyton or Adytum. And what is more singular, we shall find a greater resemblance between this Adytum of the Pagan temples and the Lodge of Master Masons, than we will discover between the latter and the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Solomonic Temple. It will be curious and interesting to trace this resemblance, and to follow up the suggestions that it offers in reference to the antiquity of Masonic rites. The Adytum was the most retired and secret part of the ancient Gentile temple, into which, as into the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the people were not permitted to enter, but which was accessible only to the priesthood. And hence the derivation of the word from the Greek Adoein, meaning not to enter, or that which it is not permitted to enter. Seclusion and mystery were always characteristic of the Adytum, and therefore, like the Holy of Holies, it never admitted of windows. In the Adytum was to be found a taphos or tomb, and some relic or image or statue of the god to whom the temple was dedicated. The tomb reminds us of the characteristic feature of the Third Degree of Freemasonry; the image or statue of the god finds its analogue or similarity in the Ark of the Covenant and the overshadowing Cherubim.
It being supposed that temples owed their first origin to the reverence paid by the ancients to their deceased friends, and as it was an accepted theory that the gods were once men who had been deified on account of their heroic virtues, temples were, perhaps, in the beginning only stately monuments erected in honor of the dead. Hence the interior of the temple was originally nothing more than a cell or cavity, that is to say, a grave regarded as a place of deposit for the reception of a person interred, and, therefore, in it was to be found the soros or coffin, and the taphos or tomb, or, among the Scandinavians, the barrow or mound grave. In time the statue or image of a god took the place of the coffin; but the reverence for the spot, as one of peculiar sanctity, remained, and this interior part of the temple became among the Greeks the sekos or chapel, among the Romans the Adyeum or forbidden place, and among the Jevvs the kodesh kodashim, or Holy of Holies. "The sanctity thus acquired," says Dudley in his Naology (page 393), "by the cell of interment might readily and with propriety be assigned to any fabric capable of containing the body of the departed friend, or relic, or even the symbol of the presence or existence, of a divine personage." Thus it happened that there was in every ancient temple an Adytum or Most Holy Place. There was in the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, it is true, no tomb nor coffin containing the relics of the dead. But there was an Ark of the Covenant which was the recipient of the Rod of Aaron, and the Pot of Manna, which might well be considered the relics of the past life of the Jewish nation in the wilderness. There was an analogy easily understood according to the principles of the science of symbolism. There was no statue or image of a god, but there were the sacred cherubim, and, above all, the Shekinah or Divine Presence, and the bathkol or Voice of God. But when Freemasonry established its system partly on the ancient rites and partly on the Jewish ceremonies, it founded its Third Degree as the Adytum or holy of holies of all its mysteries, the exclusive place into which none but the most worthy the priesthood of Freemasonry the Masters in Israel were permitted to enter; and then going back to the mortuary idea of the ancient temple, it recognized the reverend for the dead which constitutes the peculiar characteristic of that Degree. And, therefore, in every Lodge of Master Masons there should be found, either actually or allegorically, a grave, or tomb, and coffin, because the Third Degree is the inmost sanctuary, the kodesh kodashim, the Holy of Holies of the Masonic temple.
Until next month, Keep the faith! The Editor. 24