The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

This word, in its original Greek, ...., signifies the age or duration of anything. The Gnostics, however, used it in a peculiar mode to designate the intelligent, intellectual, and material powers or natures which flowed as emanations from the B.... or Infinite Abyss of Deity, and which were connected with their divine fountain as rays of light are with the sun (see Gmstics).

This is used in some modern Masonic lapidary or monument inscriptions to designate the date more commonly known as anno lucis, the year of light.

The French gave the name of Free Affiliates to those members of a Lodge who are exempted from the payment of dues, and neither hold office nor vote. These Brethren are known among English-speaking Freemasons as honorary members.
There is a quite common use of Affiliate in Lodges of the United States to designate one who has joined a Lodge by demit.

A Freemason who holds membership in some Lodge. The word affiliation in Freemasonry is akin to the French affilier, which Richelet, Dictionnaire de la langue Franšaise, Dictionary of the French Language, defines, "to communicate to any one a participation in the spiritual benefits of a religious order,'' and he says that such a communication is called an affiliation. The word, as a technical term, is not found in any of the old Masonic writers, who always use admission instead of affiliation.
There is no precept more explicitly expressed in the Ancient Constitutions than that every Freemason should belong to a Lodge. The foundation of the law which imposes this duty is to be traced as far back as the Regius Manuscript, which is the oldest Masonic document now extant, and of which the "Secunde poynt" requires that the Freemason work upon the workday as truly as he can in order to deserve his hire for the holiday, and that he shall "truly labour on his deed that he may well deserve to have his meed" (see lines 269-74). The obligation that every Freemason should thus labor is implied in all the subsequent Constitutions, which always speak of Freemasons as working members of the Fraternity, until we come to the Charges approved in 1722, which explicitly state that "every Brother ought to belong to a Lodge, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the General Regulations." Opportunity to resign one's membersbip should therefore involve a duty to affiliate.

The question has been mooted whether a Quaker, or other person having peculiar religious scruples in reference to taking oaths, can receive the degrees of Freemasonry by taking an affirmation. Now, as the obligations of Freemasonry are symbolic in their character, and the forms in which they are administered constitute the essence of the symbolism, there cannot be a doubt that the prescribed mode is the only one that ought to be used, and that affirmations are entirely inadmissible.
The London Freemason's Quarterly (1828, page 28G) says that "a Quaker's affirmation is binding." This is not denied. The only question is whether it is admissible. Can the obligations be assumed in any but one way, unless the ritual be entirely changed?
Can any "man or body of men" at this time make such a change without affecting the universality of Freemasonry? Brother Chase (Masonic Digest, page 448) says that "Conferring the degrees on affirmation is no violation of the spirit of Freemasonry, and neither overthrows nor affects a landmark." In this he is sustained by the Grand Lodge of Maine (1823).
On the report of a Committee, concurred in by the Grand Lodge of Washington in 1883 and duly incorporated in the Masonic Code of that State (see the 1913 edition, page130), the following was adopted: "The solemn obligation required from all persons receiving the degrees may be made equally binding by either an oath or an affirmation without any change in the time-honored Landmarks. " A decision of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island on November 13, 1867 (see also the1918 edition of the Constitution, General Regulations, etc., of that State, page 34) was to the effect that "An affirmation can be administered instead of an oath to any person who refuses, on conscientious grounds, to take the latter." But the other Grand Lodges which expressed an opinion on this subject-namely, those of Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania made an opposite decision.
During the latest revision of this work the Masonic authorities in each of these States were invited to give the latest practise in their respective Jurisdictions.
Their replies are given substantially as below, and in the main the early custom has been continued.
Missouri has not recognized the word affirmation in the work, and unless the candidate is willing to conform to the wording of the obligation the instructions have been to not accept him and this has been the rule of successive Grand Masters in that State.
Tennessee has not made any change in the law, and in 1919 the Grand Lodge held that the Grand Master had no right to allow the Ritual to be changed in order to suit the religious views of a profane.
There has been no change in the attitude of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in the matter of affirmation. That State has required the candidate to take the obligation in the usual manner. Delaware reported that there had been no change in the approved decision adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1890 which is as follows: "An applicant who desires to affirm instead of swear to the obligation cannot be received."
The Grand Lodge of Virginia allows the use of an affirmation, not by the written law, but by the decision of a Grand Master of that State.
In Pennsylvania a petitioner becomes a member of the Lodge by initiation and dues begin from that time. He may, if he desires, remain an Entered Apprentice Freemason, a member of the Lodge, or he may resign as such. There is only one way of making an Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master Freemason, in this Jurisdiction, which is by use of the greater lights, without any equivocation, deviation, or substitution.
One decision of Grand Master Africa of Pennsylvania, on October 24, 1892, does not state precisely at what point the candidate for initiation refused to obey, and even the original letter written by Grand Master Africa does not show it.
Presumably the reference was in regard to the candidate's belief in a supreme Being, yet it covers other points as follows:
"After having been duly prepared to receive the First Degree in Freemasonry, a candidate refused to conform with and obey certain landmarks of the craft. This refusal disqualifies him from initiation in any Lodge in this jurisdiction, and you will direct your Secretary to make proper record thereof, and , to make report to the Grand Secretary accordingly.
Freemasonry does not proselyte. Those who desire its privileges must seek them of their own free will, and must accept and obey, without condition or reservation, all of its ancient usages, customs, and landmarks."
The general practise of Lodges in America is also against the use of an affirmation. But in England Quakers have been initiated after affirmation, the principle being that a form of obligation which the candidate accepts as binding will suffice.

Anderson (Constitutions, 1738, page195) has recorded that in 1735 Richard Hull, Esq., was appointed "Provincia1Grand Master at Gambay in West Africa," that in 1736 David Creighton, M.D., was appointed "Provincial Grand Master at Cape Coast, Castle in Africa," and that in 1737 Capt. William Douglas was appointed "Provincial Grand Master on the Coast of Africa and in the Islands of America, excepting such places where a Provincial Grand Master is already deputed." . However, in spite of these appointments having been made by the Grand Lodge of England, there is no trace of the establishment of any Lodges in West Africa until 1792, in which year a Lodge numbered 586 was constituted at Bulam, followed in 1810 by the Torridzonian Lodge at Cape Coast Castle. There have been, on the West Coast of Africa, Lodges Warranted by the Grand Lodge of England, or holding an Irish Warrant, as Lodge 197 at Calabar, founded in 1896, or under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, or by authority from Grand Bodies in Germany. In the Negro Republic of Liberia a Grand Lodge was constituted in 1867, with nine daughter Lodges subordinate to it, and with headquarters at Monrovia.
In the north of Africa there was founded the Grand Lodge of Egypt with headquarters at Cairo. Both Eng1and and Scotland have established District Grand Lodges in Egypt by consent of the former, While Italy, France, and Germany have organized Lodeges at Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said and Suez.
In Algeria and Morocco French influence has been predominant, but in Tunis an independent Grand Lodge was established in 1881.
Freemasonry was introduced into South Africa by the erection of a Dutch Lodge, De Goede Hoop, at Cape Town in 1772, followed by another under the same Jurisdiction in 1802. Not until nine years later was it that the first English Lodge was established there, which was gradually followed by others. The Dutch and English Freemasons worked side by side with such harmony that the English Provincial Grand Master for the District who was appointed in 1829 was also Deputy Grand Master for the Netherlands. In 1860 a Scotch Lodge was set up at Cape Town. Thirty-five years later a Lodge was erected at Johannesburg, urider the Grand Lodge of Ireland, so that there have been four independent Masonic Bodies exercising jurisdiction and working amieably together in South Africa, namely, the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the Grand Orient of the Netherlands.
Under the Grand Lodge of England the subordinate Lodges were arranged in five Districts, namely, Central, Eastern and Western South Africa, Natal, and the Transvaal. At the same time there were Lodges owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge of Ireland, as well as those under the Scotch Constitution, divided among the Districts of Cape Colony, Cape Colony Western Province, Natal, Orange River Colony, Rhodesia, and the Transvaal, and those under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, in addition to the German Lodges at Johannesburg.
Under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands there was appointed a Deputy Grand Master and two Districts, one being the Provincial Grand Lodge of South Africa and the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Transvaal.
The first of these had its headquarters at Cape Town, the other at Johannesburg.
The Grand Orient of Belgium chartered a Lodge in 1912 at Elizabethville, in Northem Rhodesia. On the East Coast of the Dark Continent there were erected two Lodges at Nairobi, one of them being English and the other Scotch, and there was also established in 1903 an English Lodge at Zanzibar.
(See also the following references to other geographical divisions of Africa: Abyssinia, Algeria, Belgian Congo, British East Africa, Cape Colony, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Eritrea, French Guinea, German Southwest Africa, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritius, Nigeria, Nyasaland, Portuguese East Africa, Portuguese West Africa, Reunion Istand, Rhodesia, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Somaliland, Tripoli, Tunis and Uganda.)

AFRICA. In the French Rite of Adoption, the South of the Lodge is called Africa.

See German Southwest Africa.

Sometimes called African Builders; or in French, Architectes de l'Afrique; and in German, Afrikanische Bauherren.
Of all the new sects and modern Degrees of Freemasonry which sprang up on the continent of Europe during the eighteenth century, there was none which, for the time, maintained so high an intellectual position as the Order of Arican Architects, called by the French Architectes de l'Afrique, and by the Germans Afrikanische Bauherren. A Masonic sect of this name had originally been established in Germany in the year 1756, but it does not appear to have attracted much attention, or indeed to have deserved it; and hence, amid the mullitude of Masonic innovations to which almost every day was giving birth and ephemeral existence it soon disappeared.
But the Society which is the subject of the present article, although it assumed the name of the original African Architects, was of a very different character.
It may, however, be considered, as it was established only eleven years afterward, as a remodification of it.
The Society admitted to membership those possessing high intellectual attainments rather than those possessing wealth or preferment.
There was probably no real connection between this Order and the Freemasonry of Germany, even if the members of the latter organization did profess kindly feelings for it. Brethren of the former based their Order on the degrees of Freemasonry, as the fist of degrees shows, but their work began in the Second Temple. while they had a quasi-connection with Freemasonry, we cannot call them a Masonic body according to the present day standards.
The degrees of the Order of African Architects were named and classified as follows:
    First Temple
    1. Apprentice.
    2. Fellow Craft.
    3. Master Mason.

    Second Temple
    4. Architect, or Apprentice of Egyptian Secrets. Thory (Acta Latomorum i, page 297) gives the ...title as Bosonien.
    5. Initiate into Egyptian Secrets. Acta Latomorum (1, page 292) gives the title as Alethophile.
    6. Cosmopolitan Brother.
    7. Christian Philosopher. Thory calis this the Fourth Degree in his Acta Latomorum (1, page ....632).
    8. Master of Egyptian Secrets.
    9. Esquire of the Order.
    10. Soldier of the Order.
    ll. Knight of the Order.
The last three were called superior Degrees, and were conferred only, as a second or higher class, with great discrimination, upon those who had proved their worthiness to receive promotion.
The assemblies of the Brethren were called Chapters.
The central or superintending power was styled a Grand Chapter, and it was governed by the following twelve oflicers :
    1. Grand Master.
    2. Deputy Grand Master.
    3. Senior Grand Warden.
    4. Junior Grand Warden.
    5. Drapier.
    6. Almoner.
    7. Tricoplerius, or Treasurer.
    8. Graphiarius, or Secretary.
    9. Seneschal.
    10. Standard Bearer.
    l1. Marshal.
    12. Conductor.
Mackenzie says the Order was instituted between 1756 and 1767, under the patronage of Frederick II of Prussia, by Baucheren, and that the objects were chiefly historical but the ritual was a compound of Freemasonry, Christianity, Alchemy, and Chivalry. He quotes from its claims thus: "When the Architects were by wars reduced to a very small number, they determined to travel together into Europe, and there to form together new establishments. Many of them came to England with Prince Edward, son of Henry III, and were shortly afterward called into Scotland by Lord Stewart. They received the protection of King Ing of Sweden in l125; of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, King of England in l190; and of Alexander III of Scotland in 1284. " He further states that the Order came to an end in 1786, that the three last degrees conferred offices for life, that the Order possessed a large building for the Meetings of the Grand Chapter, containing a library, a museum, a chemical laboratory', and that for many, years they gave annually a gold medal of the value of fifty ducats for the best essay on the history of Freemasonry,.Lenning does not mention any connection of Frederick the Great with the Order and Woodford is inclined to limit its activity to ten years, presumably from 1767, though he points out that it has been said to have had an existence into the year 1806. A claim has been made that it was but an elargement of a Lodge in action at Hamburg in 1747, and the further assertion has been offered of the French origin of the Order. The names of the degrees have also been named as:
    1. Knight or Apprentice.
    2. Brother or Companion.
    3. Soldier or Master.
    4. Horseman or Knight.
    5. Novice.
    6. Aedile, or Builder.
    7. Tribunus, or Knight of the Eternal Silence.
The members are said by Woodford to have all been Freemasons and men of learning, the proceedings being, it is claimed, conducted in the Latin language, a circumstance that has a parallel in the Roman Eagle Lodge, No. 160, Edinburgh, Scotland, founded in 1785. This Lodge had its By-Laws and Minutes written in Latin, the object being "to erect and maintain a Lodge whose working and records should be in the classical Latin tongue" (see Historical Notes, Alfred A. A. Murray, Edinburgh, 1908, also The Jacobite Lodge at Romne, William J. Hughan, 1910, page 14).
For a helpful guide to the conditions under Frederick the Great's control favoring the existence of such organizations as the African Architects. the student may refer to volume ii, pages 60--73, The Beautifut Miss Craven, by Broadley and Melville, 1914.
The African Architects was not the only. society which in the eighteenth century sought to rescue Freemasonry from the impure hands of the charlatans into which it had well-nigh fallen.

One of the degrees of the Rite of the Clerks of Strict Observance, according to Thory (Acta Latorum 1, page 291) ; but it is not mentioned in other lists of the degrees of that Rite.

One of the titles given to the African Architects, which see.

See African Architects.

See Negro Lodges.

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014