1902 Encyclopedia > Freemasonry


FREEMASONRY (Fr. Franc-maçonnerie, Ger. Frei-maurerei), is the name given to that system of ritual and rules which Freemasons observe. It may also be applied to the masonic art, or the practice of masonic ritual and rule. The institution is not older than the beginning of the 18th century, but it has been estimated to include more than 20,000 lodges and more than 2,000,000 members. Before considering, the history and actual position of the modern society itself, however, a few words are due to the really interesting and much-debated question of its origin and antecedents. It is, of course, easy to point out vague analogies between Freemasonry and the great secret organizations having social aims, which existed in antiquity. The Pythagoreans, the Eleusinians, the Essenes, and the Carmathites and Fedavi (the mystic Rationalists of Islam) have all been appealed to by uncritical masonic writers in the hope of giving to their craft the doubtful authority and prestige of ancient descent. If the resemblances were more numerous and striking than they are, they would not prove an historical connexion between organizations so widely removed from one another in time, and they would admit of explanation by the general doctrine of psychical identity one of the most important results of anthropological science. Besides this, the superficial resemblances are accompanied by radical differences. The mere conception of Freemasonry implies cosmopolitan brotherhood, and was therefore impossible in the ancient world. If indeed the genuine legends of the craft were followed, its origin would be traced to the creation, the flood, or at least the building of Solomon’s temple. Accordingly, one of the most popular and volumin ous masonic writers of the 19th century, the Rev. George Oliver, informs the world that Moses was a grand master, Joshua his deputy, and Aholiab and Bezaleel grand wardens. Again, a likeness, sometimes real and sometimes fanciful, between the sets of symbols and ceremonies used has led many writers to see an organic connexion between Freemasonry and the Assassins, the Rosicrucians, the Templars, the Illuminati, the Carbonari, and the Hetairia, and other social and political secret societies, old and young, of the most widely differing aims. It is possible that Freemasonry copied an older ritual, which was again imitated by younger societies, who also endeavouredo to utilize masonic lodges as stations for proselytizing work. But these facts themselves show discontinuity of life. The true historical precursors of the modern fraternity of Freemasons were the mediaeval building corporations. Of these the most distinctive type is to be found in the stone masons (Steinmetzen) of Germany. It is a further and more difficult question what were the relations between these mediaeval societies and the Roman collegia not struck at by the law De Collegiis Illicitis, D. 47, 22. Krause in his Diedrei ältesten Kunsturkunden der Freimaurerbrüdersrhap [Footnote 748-1] points out that these collegia had an exchequer, an archive, patrons, religions ceremonies, an oath, a benefit and burial f and, and a register. They had such officers as magistri, decuriones, tabularii, censores, and they instructed their apprentices to a certain extent in secret. No doubt such sodalitia existed for centuries in Gaul and Britain, and they may have deposited in the civilization of these countries some of their ideas and habits. Again, at a later period, there was a distinct invitation sent from the West to the building corporations of Byzantium ; the movement westward was increased by the iconoclasm of Leo. But the European building sociaties were undoubtedly distinct growths. The emmentarii or liberi muratores at first grouped themselves round the monasteries, especially of the Benedictine order. The abbots were in many cases the architects who employed the masons on ecclesiastical buildings and repairs. As architecture developed, and with increasing wealth the church gradually undertook larger and nobler works, these sonieties, of craftsmen also assumed a more definite and more durable form. The taste and science of Gothic architecture were to a large extent the possession of the Bauhütten, or wooden booths where the stone-cutters during the progress of the work kept their tools, worked, held their meetings, and probably also took their meals and slept. In the 12th century there are distinct traces of a general association of Bauhütten throughout Germany, acknowledging one set of Ordnungen or craft laws, one set of secret signs and ceremonies (Heimlichkeiten) and to a certain extent one central authority in the Haupthütte of Strasburg. [Footnote 748-2] Albertus Magnus (1205-1280) is supposed to have introduced many of the Jewish and Arabian symbols which were popular in the craft. The privileges which a Bauhütte was able to give to its masters, parlierer (speakers), and journeymen, were chiefly "a share in the administration of justice, in the election of officers, in the banquets, and in works of charity." The trade customs and symbolic forms of these associations have been described by Fallou in his Mysterien der Freimaurer (1859), Winzer in his Deutschen Brüderschaften des Mittelalters (1859), and Fort, Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry (Philadelphia, 1877). The initiation is said to be copied from a Benedictine consecration. Instruction was given to all apprentices in both architecture and its allegory. When he had served his time and finished his "Wanderjahre," every man was entitled, if of good character, to receive the Wortzeichen or der Gruss. He took the oath of secrecy on the Bible, the compass, and the square, and drank the Willkommen. The three great lights, [Footnote 748-3] the hammer or gavel, the gold, azure, and white colours, the sacred numbers 3, 5, 7, and 9, and the interlaced cords, all had their traditional meaning. The obligation to secrecy, however, probably applied to the apprentice even before initiation. See the Constitutions of Masonry (Halliwell’s edition, 1. 279-282)—

"The prevystye, of the chamber telle he no mon,
Ne yn the logge whatsever they done;
Whatsever thou heryst, or syste hem do,
Tell hyt no mon, whersever thou go."

It has been observed by Brentano, [Footnote 748-4] that the working arrangements of the building trades at this time differed when a cathedral or palace was being built, the architect being then master of the lodge with foremen under him; and when a dwelling-house was built, the owner then engaging both masters and workmen. There was thus a nearer approach to the modern factory system ; and in fact the well-known English statutes against combinations, congregations, and chapters of workmen (34 Edw. III. c. 9, and 3 Hen. VI. c. 1) were directed against the excessive wages of journeymen. The separate interests of this class found expression in the contemporary French institution of Compagnonnage. [Footnote 748-5] The atmosphere of these societies seems, even at an early date, to have been favour able to liberty of thought and religious toleration. Hence they were prohibited by the council of Avignon in 1326. The authority of the Haupthütte was recognized at the great assemblies of Ratisbon and Strasburg in 1459, the statutes of which received imperial confirmation. It was legally destroyed by an edict of 1731, long before which time its practical vitality had ceased. England imported much of her lodge organization and learning from Germany. The York charter, on which she based her claim to a native system in the time of Athelstan, is a much later document. This charter contains the famous legend of the craft which derives the seven liberal sciences (masonry beina a part of geometry) from the family of Lamech. This science, preserved on a stone pillar from the flood, was taught by Euclid to the Egyptians, and carried by Israel to the building of the temple. Maymus Graecus brought it to Charles Martel and to England. The early history of the English mason lodges has been illustrated by the works of Win. J.Hughan,—Constitutions of the Freemasons, History of Freemasonry at York, &c. [Footnote 748-6] The first instance of a gentleman or amateur being "accepted is that of the antiquary Elias Ashmole (afterwards Windsor Herald under Charles II.) who, along with Colonel Manwaring, was entered at Warrington in 1646. The causes which led to the introduction of a new class of members, and gradually converted operative into speculative masonry, are well stated by Findel, the learned editor of the German masonic journal Die Bauhütte, whose History of Freemasonry (translated into English in 1869) is by far the most scientific and complete work upon the subject. In the first place the old secrets of Gothic masonry were rendered less valuable by the spread of Augustan and Renaissance architecture, which Inigo Jones and his patron Lord Pembroke had been studying on the Continent. Jones was patron of the Freemasons from 1607 to 1618. He invited several Italian artists to join the body. Then the disorder of the civil wars pre-vented meetings and broke up the masonic connexion. Again the growing spirit of the Reformation in religion gave men a freedom of speech which superseded the marks and caricatures in which the old masons exposed the vices of the church. Toleration was soon a political fact. Science, too, took a new departure from the time of Bacon, The interrogation of nature was preferred to legend and allegory. At the same time a perfectly distinct current of ideas was originated by the Arabian mysticism of Paracelsus and Rosenkreuz, which, after being popularized on the Continent by one of its most decided opponents, Valentine Andreae, was preached to the people of England by Robert Fludd in his Tractatus Theologico-Philosophicus. Works like Bacon’s. New Atlantis and Dupuy’s "History of the Condemnation of the Templars" (in his Traitez concernant l’Histoire de France, 1651) fostered the idea of a new humanitarian society, and at the same time suggested the adoption of ancient symbols of fellowship. The same thing is seen in the Pantheisticon of Toland. It was under the impulse thus communicated that a general assembly of masons was held in 1663, at which the old catechisms were revised, and a series of new statutes passed. The reconstruction of London after the fire, the building of St Paul’s, and the patronage of Sir Christopher Wren, kept up the interest in the movement; and at last a formal resolution was passed that the masonic privileges should no longer be confined to operative masons.

England.—Modern or speculative masonry may be said to have begun in London on June 24, 1717, "the high noon of the year, the day of light and of roses," when the four London lodges, having erected themselves into a grand lodge, named their first grand master. The leading spirits in this revival were Desaguliers, the wellknown popularizer of natural science, and James Anderson, a Scotch Presbyterian minister, who compiled the Book of Constitutions, containing the ancient regulations and charges of the craft. This book is quite uncritical. It is said that the mechanical tastes and the Huguenot principles of Desaguliers are both traceable in the subsequent organization of the society. From this time new lodges could be formed only by warrant from the grand lodge, but they were empowered to create masters and fellow crafts. In 1721 the duke of Montague was elected grand master. He was the first noble who obtained that office. In the strange society of Gormogones, subject to the "sub-aecumenical volgi" at Rome, it is supposed that the Jesuits made a final effort to secure English Freemasonry as a channel for their political influence. At this time, also, the committee of charity was formed, which has since raised and expended very large sums for the relief of distressed brethren, and built the boys’ and girls’ masonic schools at Battersea Rise and Tottenham. Provincial grand masters were appointed, and charters granted to many foreign lodges. In the latter part of the 18th century the ancient York Lodge, backed by several old masons who had been indulging in irregular initiations, put forward a rival claim to be grand lodge or supreme authority. This claim was rested on the fable of an assembly at York in the year 926. The York people had also a new ritual, described in the Book of Laws or Ahiman Rezon, and also in Jachin and Boaz, The three distinct Knocks, and Hiram Adonham or the Grand Master Key [Footnote 749-1] (1762). On the orthodox or London side appeared the well-known Illustrations of Masonry, by Preston, the pupil of Ruddiman. The schismaties introduced the red colour of the royal arch degree, which they represented as something more exalted than the blue degrees of St John. It belongs to the order of Templars, the legend referring to the second building of the temple. Another branch of Templarism, the grand chapter of Harodim, was founded in London in 1787. Just at the end of the century the publication of Abbé Barruel’s Mémoires pour servir à l’'histoire du Jacobinisme, translated into English by Clifford (who applied his author’s principles to the United Irishmen and other Corresponding Societies of the time) and of Professor Robinson’s Proofs of a Conspiracy, translated into French and German, made Freemasonry the subject of considerable suspicion. [Footnote 749-2] The Act of 1799 directed against seditious societies, however, makes an exception in favour of the masonic lodges, which, according to the Act, meet chiefly for benevolent purposes. In 1813 a union was at last brought about by the dukes of Sussex, Kent, and Athole between the rival grand lodges of London and York, henceforth known as the United Grand Lodge of England. This patronaoe of aristocratic blood gave an impetus to Freemasonry, and in 1832 Mr Crucefix, the editor of the Freemason’s Quarterly Review, succeeded in founding the Freemason’s Asylum. The brotherhood showed their good sense in deciding about this time that Jews might become members of the craft. They also built a hall, established their archaeological institute and "The London Literary Union," and started the Freemason’s Magazine and the Freemason, in which periodicals a record may be found of the most recent masonic opinion and history. Besides 60 provincial grand lodges and 2000 lodges, England has a grand chapter for the royal arch degree, a grand lodge for the mark masters, a grand conclave of the knights templars, and a supreme council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of the 33 degrees.

Ireland.—The first Irish lodge of speculative masonry seems to have been opened at Dublin in 1730. The English constitutions were adopted wholesale. Nothing of interest occurs in the Irish history. A characteristic liking is shown for the most sonorous of the high degrees:—the knights of the sword, the east, and the sun, the rosicrucian or prince mason, the kadosh or philosophical mason, and the grand inspector general. Power to grant these degrees was absurdly enough obtained from "Mother Kilwinning," a Scotch lodge which has always laid claim to a fabulous antiquity. The disputes between the grand chapter and grand consistory of Dublin have been frequent and violent. Ireland has now 500 lodges. The grand lodge, which supports two orphan schools, has an income of about £4000. A statement of the Ultramontane argument in modern Ireland will be found in Gargano’s Irish and English Freemasons, Dublin, 1878, which is largely founded on Mgr. Dupanloup’s Study of Freemasonry and Secret Warfare against Church and State. Gargano strongly urges the injustice done by the secret preference given by masons to one another in the ordinary civil and commercial relations of life. His book also contains an explanation of the pass-grip and real-grip for the three ordinary degrees, and for the mark master, the royal arch, and the knight templar, and a minute description of the modern initiation, with the text of the oaths.

Scotland.—In Scotland the history of Freemasonry closely resembles what took place in England. Before the 16th century there is not much trace of special legislation about masons. [Footnote 749-3] Like the other crafts they enjoyed, under the Act of 1424, the right of nominating their own deacon or master-man. The deacon gave place to the warden, who represented rather the public than the trade interest. In 1493 the masons and wrights are denounced as oppressors of the lieges, because they had agreed that "they sall have fee alsweill for the halie day as for the wark day," and "that quair ony begiennis ane mannis warke ane uther sall not end it." A severe blow was struck against their privileges by an Act of 1540, which rendered legal the employment of unfree-men builders, but Queen Mary restored the jurisdiction from the trade visitors to the deacons, and confirmed their ancient right of self-regulation. In 1598-9 we have the celebrated statutes and ordinances to be observed "by all master masons, set down by William Shaw, master of work to his majesty, and general warden of the craft." These documents, one of which was preserved in the charter chest of the Eglinton family, are printed in Mr Murray Lyon’s learned History of Freemasonry in Scotland, Edin., 1873. They are confined to trade regulation, and do not deal with benefits. They fix the number of apprentices, the examination on entrance, the subscription to the box, the election of officers, provision for the safety of craftsmen, &c. The "Old Buik" of the Kilwinning Lodge was not really a Scotch document. It was a version of the English masonic legend and charges. The ceremony of initiation was at this time very simple; but the speaking plack, the dinner, and the pitcher of ale were exacted. The system of degrees was not developed. There was probably a password, such as the squaremen word used in the "brithering" of the wrights and slaters. The individual "marks" chosen by entrants were carefully registered, but they did not indicate status. The mark degree, revived in 1869, and made the subject of a conference in 1871, was not known before 1789. In fact, the apprentices were originally present at and concurred in most of the business of the lodge. This word "lodge" occurs for the first time in a "statute anent the government of the master mason of the College Kirk of St Giles," 1491, which is to be found in the burgh records of Edinburgh. It would appear that the deacon of the civil trade incorporation was often ex officio head of the lodge. The quartermaster and the intender or instructor were also officers in the old lodge. Cowans, i.e, strangers, were stringently provided for in Shaw’s Statutes. The traces of female membership are explained by the custom of the widows and daughters of freemen being admitted, at 1east to finish the contracts of the deceased. The Hay MSS. in the Advocates’ Library contain two charters or letters of jurisdiction, dated in 1601 and 1628, by the freemen masons and hammermen in favour of the St Clairs of Rosslyn, in virtue of which the head of that family for a long time acted as the patron, protector, and judge of the early masonic lodges. This has sometimes been inaccurately represented as a heritable conveyance of a grand mastership. As in England, there are traces of amateurs or non-operative members being gradually admitted to full privileges even in the 17th century, though such persons were charged higher entrance fees. This was called the theoric or geomatic as opposed to the domatic or operative element. Boswell of Auchinleck was a member so early as 1600. The first years of the 18th century were marked by movements of insubordination among the journeymen, who considered themselves entitled to a larger share of control over the common purse. The original theory of the lodge was that only masters, and not fellow-crafts or apprentices, were members. In 1721 the enthusiastic Desaguliers appeared in Edinburgh; and on November 30, 1736, the first general assembly of symbolical masons was held, and a grand lodge for Scotland formed. The representative of the St Clair family then resigned his hereditary office and was elected first grand master. St Andrew’s day was substituted for the day of St John the Baptist. Provincial grand masters were soon added, and there was a general adhesion of Scotch lodges to the new organization. The subsequent history of the brotherhood is not eventful. In Scotland they have been more remarkable for conviviality, or "refreshment," as it is technically called, than for comprehensive charity. Their gloves, aprons, sashes, and jewels are well known in festival or funeral processions. Their political relations have been peaceful. In 1757 the Associate Synod excommunicated all persons taking the secret oath, but this was only a part of the general defiance which Cameronianism gives to civil duty. In 1800, when intercourse with some Irish regiments had introduced the templar degrees to some of the Ayrshire lodges, an attempt wag made by the law officers of the crown to convict certain templars at Maybole of sedition and the administration of unlawful oaths. The case only resulted in the disclosure of the extremely absurd ceremonies connected with the two degrees of this royal order, viz., Heredom of Kilwinning and Rosy Cross. One of them consisted in drinking porter out of a human skull. Again, when political feeling ran high at the beginning of the present century, the authority of the grand lodge was seriously shaken by the revolt of the associated lodges headed by Canongate Kilwinning. The Court of Session, Lawson v. Gordon, July 7, 1810, F. C., refused to recognize a masonic lodge as a corporation, and in another case they rejected the argument that lodges certified by the grand lodge were alone entitled to the protection of the excepting clause in the Act of 1799. The quarrel was speedily arranged. In 1811 a supreme grand royal arch chapter of Scotland was founded at Edinburgh, but its degrees were denounced and have never been recognized by the grand lodge. Scotland has altogether 400 lodges. [Footnote 750-1]

France.—The astronomer Lalande, in his article on this subject in the Encyclopédie, says that the first masonic lodge in France was founded by Lord Derwentwater at Hurre’s Tavern, Paris, in 1725. The movement was at first largely patronized by the nobility. Louis XV. attempted to suppress it in 1737, and next year Clement XII. issued the bull In Eminenti, which denounces the liberi muratori and all secret societies, as the council of Trent had done before (xxv. c. 20). It is amusing to trace through the later bulls the inflated phrase of papal indignation,—Providas issued by Benedict XIV. in 1751, which, oblivious for the moment of the Society of Jesus, says, "honesta semper publics, gaudent;" Ecclesia a Jesu, by Pius VII. in 1814, which refers especially to the Carbonari ; Quo Graviora, by Leo XII. in 1826, which mourns over the corruption of the universities ; and Quanta Cura by Pius IX. in 1864, which says, briefly but emphatically, damnantur clandestinae societates. In France the tone of masonry was low. Admissions were sold at a fixed price without inquiry as to character. Salé invented a Freemason’s dance for six. The order of La Felicité was disorderly; and the Mopses was invented to evade the papal prohibition. The Chevalier Ramsay in his Relation Apologique introduced the nonsensical hauts grades, with novices, profès, and parfaits, which he said were derived from the knights St John of Malta, and had been preserved by "Mother Kilwinning." All this was probably a Jacobite propaganda. The nine high degrees, including Irish architect and Scotch apprentice, though discountenanced by the Grande Loge Anglaise de France in 1743, became very popular. The Parfait Maçon was published in 1744, and next year the Magonnerie Adonhiramique Devoilée disclosed the intricacies of the "strict observance." There is a tradition that Prince Charles Edward himself founded the Chapitre Primordial de Rosecroix at Arras. The Clermont ritual, which was elaborated under Jesuit influence, added three, French degrees, which were founded on the story of the templars having taken refuge from the persecution of Philip IV. in the island of Mull. One of these degrees was Chevalier de l’Aigle Élu. In 1766, under the auspices of a new Grande Loge Nationale of France, afterwards called the Grand Orient, a representative system was at last adopted in which the "Souverain Conseil" was merged, and some degree of subordination among the various lodges was obtained. The confusion at this time between Dresden and Scotch rituals, between the old and simple forms of St John and the wildest complications of Rosicrucian superstition, was increased by the appearance of Cagliostro and other systematic impostors. Cagliostro, as everyone knows from Carlyle’s famous essay, was the Grand Cophta [Footnote 751-1] of the Egyptian system, a product of his own fertile brain. With the view of weeding the brotherhood of such rascals, the Grand Orient in 1777 introduced the Mot de Semestre, or biennial password. The rivalry of such romantic Systems as Martinism [Footnote 751-2] was still, however, keenly felt, and in 1781 the Grand Orient adopted four of the higher degrees, viz., élu, chevalier d’orient, écossais, and chevalier rosecroix. All this while an active hostility was kept up between the Orient and the original Grand Lodge, each of which was supported by a separate Rosicrucian organization besides its own proper lodges. The work of both was suspended during the Revolution, but in 1799 a national union was effected by Roettiers. No sooner, however, was this done, and the statutes, originally based on the English constitutions, thoroughly revived, than French masonry again suffered from an invasion of mysticism,—first, in the form of the Scottish Philosophic Rite (including such profundities as the luminous rim, and the white and black eagle), and, secondly, in the American Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite of 33 degrees, which the charlatan De Grasse-Tilly expounded with great success, but which in 1804 was amalgamated with the Grand Orient, the great marshals Masséna and Kellermann beiny then the leading, members of the two bodies. The union did not last, as Napoleon disliked the constitution of the Suprême Conseil, which was largely influenced by the aristocracy. His brother Joseph, assisted by Murat and Cambacérès, was allowed to take office in the older organization. An order of templars appeared in 1804, and was followed by the absurd Rite Misraim, which contains 90 degrees of the most fantastic kind. The French clergy in their denunciations of Freemasonry set an example of bigotry, which the masons themselves followed in their treatment of Clavel, author of Histoire Pittoresque de la Franc-maçonnerie, one of the few rational books on the subject in the language. During the reactionary Catholic policy of the grand master Murat the younger (1852-62), the liberties of the Orient were greatly interfered with and its funds almost exhausted. Since then it has slowly recovered. It has now 292 lodges and the Suprême Conseil, which has become more democratic in constitution, has 50. The Grand Orient has lately ceased to require belief in a personal God as a test of membership.

Space does not admit of a detailed description of the advances of Freemasonry in other parts of Europe and in America. In Germany, where the chief lodge at Berlin is known as the grand royal mother lodge, Za den drei Welt-Kugeln, it was patronized by Frederick the Great, and opposed by Maria Theresa. Its relations with the Illuminati of Weishauptare of extreme historical interest; and the question of the higher degrees was discussed at the great conference of Wilhelmsbad in 1782. The cause was helped by the adhesion of such great men as Lessing in his Ernst und Falk, Gespräche für Freimaurer ; Herder in his Adrastea; Fichte in his Briefe an Constant and Eleusinians of the 19th Century; and Goethe, who wrote several masonic songs, and whose Wilhelm Meister is a favourite book among the craft. Germany has now 314 lodges, some of them, however, under the Swedish rite. The critical history of the institution and much of its general literature has been written there. The chief historians are Schröder, Krause, Fessler, and Findel. Kloss has published a bibliography which is supplemented by the American Barthelmess and by Findel. Marbach, Ritterhaus, and Löwe are the poets of the order in Germany, as Morris is in America. One of the most recent German publications is Sarsena, oder der Vollkommene Baumeister, Leipsic, 1874. As regards America it is sufficient to refer to the great anti-masonic movement of 1826, which was caused by the kidnapping and supposed murder by masons of a man called Morgan of Batavia, and which continued for some time to influence the presidential elections. Convictions for abduction were obtained. There have for more than a century been negro lodges in the United States. In Brazil in 1876 the hostility between masonry and the Catholic Church was shown in the production of the play Os Mason e os Jesuitas, in which the dishonesty of the priest is contrasted with the manly virtue of the mason.

As regards the future of Freemasonry, it is impossible, at least for outsiders, to say much. The celebration of the brotherhood of man, and the cultivation of universal goodwill in the abstract, seem rather indefinite objects for any society in this unimaginative age. There is, on the one hand, a tendency to degenerate into mere conviviality ; while, if schools, or asylums, or other charities are supported, to that extent of course the society becomes local and even exclusive in its character. In the meantime, masonry is to blame for keeping afloat in the minds of its members many of the most absolutely puerile ideas. A more accurate knowledge of its own singular and not undignified history would tend more than anything else to give worth and elevation to its aims. No one now believes the stupid slander that freemasons are engaged in any definite conspiracy against the state, religion, or social order. There is, however, something in their fundamental principles, the fraternity of men and their indifference to theological belief, and also in their recent movements, which perhaps justifies the suspicion, and even hatred, with which they are regarded by the Ultramontane party. Masonry in each country of course takes its colouring from the state of thought and feeling by which it is surrounded. But it cannot be disputed that the German, Dutch, Belgian, and French magazines of the craft occasionally exhibit a tone which is not favourable to Christianity regarded as a special revelation. The tendency of political opinion in such an association is also necessarily democratic ; and while it would be absurd to make the brotherhood answerable for the opinions of Mazzini or the outrages of the commune, and while the majority of brethren are loyal subjects, and probably also orthodox Christians (in the theological sense), the institution itself undoubtedly "makes for" liberty in matters both civil and spiritual.

The singular myth that modern freemasonry is derived through Scotland from the historical order of the Templars has been treated in great detail and finally destroyed by Wilcke in his History of the Order, 2 vols., Halle, 1860. The claim was rested on (1) the Charta transmissionis or tabula aurea Larmenii, alleged to have been written in 1324 by Larmenius, the successor of grandmaster Molay, who suffered in the persecution; (2) an old parchment copy of Templar statutes; (3) several alleged relies of the martyred Templars—all preserved in the archives of the Masonic Templars at Paris. An abstract of the controversy will be found in the appendix to Findel’s History, which also contains the form of examination of a German Steinmetz, the Constitutions of the Masons of Strasburg (1459), including the Statutes of Parlirers and Fellows, and the Regulations of Apprentices; the Examination of the English Masons; a series of the old English Charges or Exhortations ; the General Regulations of 1721; ai'id the spurious Cologne Charter. The appendix of Mr Fort’s work contains the.Réglements sur les Arts et Métiers de Paris, of the 13th century, as collected by Étiennc Boileau, provost under Louis IX. The masonic legend of Die heiligen vier Gekrönten is supposed to relate to the martyrdom, in the time of Diocletian, of four stonecutters named Claudius, Nicostratus, Sinforiamus, and Simplicius, to whose memory the small church Quattro Santi Coronati at Rome was sacred. In the second part of Mr Fort’s work will be found an accumulation of interesting facts relating to the early organization of masonic societies, their ceremonies, crypts and lodges, or places of meeting, and costumes; the payment of wages by warden, and the power of superintendence by master; the symbolic meaning of the hammer, the columns, the cord, the shoe; and the various uses of marks.

The word freemason has been derived from the Norman French Frére Maçon, brother mason, and also from the expression freestone mason. The origin of the word mason is itself uncertain. The low Latin macio may be the German Metz; but Diez regards it as a modification of marcio, from marcus, a hammer. Littré suggests that the Latin maceria, a stone wall, may contain a radical mac, from which macio has been formed. This is rendered more probable by the Italian macine or macigno, a stone lap mill, where the root idea of mace or hammer, used for pounding corn, is referred to. Tiler, the name of a masonic officer stationed at the door of the lodge, obviously comes from tailleur de pierre, the lapidicine of several mediaeval charters. (W. C. S.)


748-1 See also Rebold, Hist. Gén. de la Franc-maçonnerie, 1851, which there is an American translation by Brennan, Cincinnati, 1868.

748-2 The importance of this was first pointed out in Abbé Grandidier’s letter, which forms App. xvii. to De Luchet’s Essai sur la Secte des Illuminés, Paris, 1789.

748-3 These candles have been derived from the cabalistic triangle formed of the sephirae, splendours or attributes proceeding from the Yodh, the En-Soph, or central point of light (see Ginsburg On t1tc Cabala). The masonic MS. attributed to Henry VI. refers to the faculty of Abrac, i.e., of the adorable name worshipped by the Basilidian heretics.

748-4 History and Development of Guilds, London, 1870, p. 80.

748-5 C. G Simon, Étude historique et inorale sur le Compagnonnage, Paris, 1853.

748-6 See also Dallaway, Historical Account of Master and Freemason.

749-1The Jewish legend of the assassination of and search for Hiram which still appears in the business of a lodge, resembles the Scandinavian story of Baldur.

749-2 The earliest book of this class was Abbé Larudan’s Franc-maçon Écrasé, 1746.

749-3 As may be seen from the "marks" on Melrose Abbey, the older Scotch churches owe much to the skill of the Frenchman Jobr Moreau and other foreign masons.

750-1 An insight into the practical working of Freemasonry in Britain may be got from Oliver’s Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, London, 1859, and from the other works of that prolific author. The Free-mason’s Magazine and Masonic Mirror is published weekly.

751-1 See Goethe's comedy of this name.

751-2 Martin was connected with the Chevaliers Bienfaisants, Amis Réunis, and Philosophes Inconmis. He was a disciple of Jacob Boehme, and believed masonry to be divinely inspired. The system resembled that invented by the Philaléthes, of which Court de Gebelin, the Camisard historian, was a member.

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