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The Agapae, or love feasts, were banquets held during the first three centuries in the Christian Church. They were called love feasts, because, including the partaking of the Sacrament, the Brethren met, both rich and poor, at a common feast-the former furnishing the provisions, and the latter, who had nothing, being relieved and refreshed by their more opulent Brethren. Tertullian (Apologia, chapter xxxix) thus describes these banquets:
"We do not sit down before we have first offered up prayers to God; we eat and drink only to satisfy hunger and thirst, remembering still that we are to worship God by night: we discourse as in the presence of God, knowing that He hears us: then, after water to wash our hands, and lights brought in, every one is moved to sing some hymn to God, either out of the Seripture, or, as he is able, of his own composing.
Prayer again concludes our feast, and we depart, not to fight and quarrel, or to abuse those we meet, but to pursue the same eare of modesty and chastity, as men that have fed at a supper of philosophy and discipline, rather than a corporeal feast."
The agapae united the group meal and the Lord's Supper because that Sacrament was first observed at a feast (see Matthew xxvi, 26-9). This custom was readily adopted among Gentile converts as such meals were usual practises by both the Greeks and Romans. Even in Bible times the observance was not always free of fault as is shown by Paul's rebuke at Corinth (see First Corinthians xi, 17-34; also in this connection note Second Peter11, 13; and Jude12).
These disorders marred the religious value of the function and led to its suppression in churches. The merit of the purpose, when properly carried out. gives substantial service to right living and has therefore much ceremonial and social importance.
Dr. August Kestner, Professor of Theology, published in Jena, in 1819, a work in which he maintains that the agapae, established at Rome by Clemens, in the reign of Domitian, ,vere mysteries which partook of a Masonic, symbolic, and religious character.
In the Rosicurcian Degrees of Freemasonry we find an imitation of these love feasts of the primitive Christians; and the ceremonies of the banquet in the Degree of Rose Croix of the Ancient and accepted Rite, especially as practised by French Chapters, are arranged with reference to the ancient agapae.
Reghellini, indeed, finds an analogy between the Table Lodges of modern Freemasonry and these love feasts of the primitive Christians.

A stone varying in color, but of great hardness, being a variety of the flint. The agate, in Hebrew ..., SHeBO,was the center stone of the third row in the breastplate of the High Priest.
Agates often contain representations of leaves, mosses, etc., depicted by the hand of nature. Some of the representations on these are exceedingly singular. Thus, on one side of one in the possession of Velschius was a half moon, and on the other a star.
Kircher mentions one which had a representation of an armed heroine ; another, in the church of Saint Mark in Venice, which had a representation of a king's head, adorned with a diadem; and a third which contained the letters I. N. R. I. (see Oliver's Historical Landmarks ii, page 522). In the collections of antiquaries are also to be found many gems of agate on which mystical inscriptions have been engraved, the significations of which are for the most part no longer understood.

Among the Masonic traditions is one which asserts that the Stone of Foundation was formed of agate. This, like everything connected with the legend of the stone, is to be mystically interpreted. In this view, agate is a symbol of strength and beauty, a symbolism derived from the peculiar character of the agate, which is distinguished for its compact formation and the ornamental character of its surface (see Stone of Foundation).

A liberal ecclesiastical order founded in Brussels in the sixteenth century. Revived and revised by Schayes in 1846. It had for its sacred sign the pentastigma, a term meaning the stamp of the five points.

See Echatana.

One of the qualifications for candidates is that they shall be of lawf.ul age. What that age must be is not settled by any universal law or landmark of the Order. The Ancient Regulations do not express any determinate number of years at the expiration of which a candidate becomes legally entitled to apply for admission.
The language used is, that he must be of "mature and discreet age."
But the usage of the Craft has differed in various countries as to the construction of the time when this period of maturity and discretion is supposed to have arrived. The sixth of the Regulations, which are said to have been made in 1663, prescribes that "no person shall be accepted a Freemason unless he be one and twenty years old or more" ; but the subsequent Regulations are less explicit. At Frankfort-on-the-Main, the age required is twenty ; in the Lodges of Switzerland, it has been fixed at twenty-one. The Grand Lodge of Hanover prescribes the age of twenty-five, but permits the son of a Freemason to be admitted at eighteen see Lewis).
The Grand Lodge of Hamburg decrees that the lawful age for initiation shall be that which in any country has been determined by the laws of the land to be the age of majority. The Grand Orient of France requires the candidate. to be twenty-one, unles he be the son of a Freemason who has performed some important service to the Order, or unles he be a young man who has served six months in the army, when the initiation may take place at the age of eighteen.
In Prussia the required age is twenty-five. Under the Grand Lodge of England the Constitutions of 1723 provided that no man should be made a Freemason under the age of twenty-five unless by Dispensation from the Grand Master. This remained the necessary age until it was lowered in the Constitutions of 1784 to twenty-one years, as at present, though the Ancient Freemasons still retained the requirement of twenty-five until the Union of 1813. Under the Scotch Constitution the age was eighteen until 1891, when it was raised to twenty-one. Under the Irish Constitution the age was twenty-one until 1741, when it was raised to twenty-five and so remained until 1817, when it was lowered again to twenty-one. In the United States, the usage is general that the candidate shall not be less than twenty-one years of age at the time of his initiation, and no Dispensation can issue for conferring the degrees at an earlier period.

In some Masonic Rites a mystical age is appropriated to each degree, and the initiate who has received the degree is said to be of such an age. Thus, the age of an Entered Apprentice is said to be three yeals ; that of a Fellow Craft, five; and that of a Master Mason, seven. These ages are not arbitrarily selected, but have a reference to the mystical value of numbers and their relation to the diferent degrees.
Thus, three is the symbol of peace and concord, and has been called in the Pythagorean system the number of perfect harmony, and is appropriated to that degree, which is the initiation into an Order whose fundamental principles are harmony and brotherly love. Five is the symbol of active life, the union of the female principle two and the male principle three, and refers in this way to the active duties of man as a denizen of the world, which constitutes the symbolism of the Fellow Craft's Degree ; and seven, as a venerable and perfect number, is symbolic of that perfection which is supposed to be attained in the Master's Degree. In a way similar to this, all the ages of the other degrees are symbolically and mystically explained.
The Masonic ages are---and it will thus be seen that they are all mystic numbers-3, 5, 7, 9, 15, 27, 63, 81.

A Latin word meaning things to be done. Thus an "Agenda Paper" is a list of the matters to be brought before a meeting.

One of the Cabalistic names of God, which is composed of the initials of the words of the following sentence: ..........., Atah Gibor Lo1am Adonai, meaning "Thou art mighty forever, O Lord." This name the Cabalists arranged seven times in the center and at the intersecting points of two interlacing triangles, which figure they called the Shield of David, and ussed as a talisman, believing that it would cure wounds, extinguish fires, and perform other wonders (see Shield of David). The four Hebrew letters forming the initials of the above words were used on the floor cloths of Lodges in the eighteenth century.

This is supposed by Kloss (Bibliographie der Friemaurerei, Nos. 2442, 2497, etc. ) to have been a nom-de-plume or pen name of Gotthardus Arthusius, a co-rector in the Gymnasium of Frankfort-on-the-Main, and a writer of some local celebrity in the beginning of the seventeenth century (see Arthusius).
Under this assumed name of Irenaeus Agnostus, he published, between the years 1617 and 1620, many works on the subject of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, which John Valentine Andrea had about that time established in Germany, Among those works were the Fortaliciuni Scientiae, 1617; Clypeum Veritatis, 1618 ; Speculum Constantiae, 1618; Fons Gratiae, 1619; Frater non Frater, 1619; Thesaurus Fidei, 1619; Portus Tranquillitatis, 1620, and several others of a similar character and equally quaint title.

The Agnus Dei, meaning the Lamb of God, also called the Paschal Lamb, or the Lamb offered in the Pascal Sacrifice, is one of the jewels of a Commandery of Knights Templar in America, and is worn by the Generalissimo.
The lamb is one of the earliest symbols of Christ in the iconography of the Church, and as such was a representation of the Savior, derived from that expression of Saint John the Baptist (John1, 29), who, on beholding Christ, exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God."
"Christ," says Didron (Christian Iconographie 1, page 318), "shedding his blood for our redemption, is the Lamb slain by the children of Israel, and with the blood of which the houses to be preserved from the wrath of God were marked with the celestial tau.
The Paschal Lamb eaten by the Israelites on the night preceding their departure from Egypt is the type of that other divine Lamb of whom Christians are to partake at Easter, in order thereby to free themselves from the bondage in which they are held by vice."
The earliest representation that is found in Didron of the Agnus Dei is of the sixth century, and consists of a lamb supporting in his right foot a cross. In the eleventh century we find a banneret attached to this cross, and the lamb is then said to support "the banner of the resurrection." This is the modern form in which the Agnus Dei is represented.

Born in 1486 at Cologne, Germany, his real name being Von Nettesheim. Died in 1535 at Grenoble, France. Author of On the Vanity of the Sciences, published in 1527 at Cologne, and Libri Tres de Occulta Philosophia, published in 1533 at the same place. A scholary and learned man whose writings led him into many controversies. Lenning and Gädicke say that Agrippa founded a secret literary and mystical society at Paris and during his life was reputed to have been a magician (see Henry Morley's Life of Cornelius Agrippa).
Agrippa was, as well as being a writer, a soldier, a physician and a well-known alchemist.
A writer in the Quarterly Review of 1798 states that Cornelius Agrippa came to London in 1510 and founded there a secret alchemical society and was practically the founder of Freemasonry.
There does not seem to be any foundation for such a statement. Many of his writings dealt with Rosicrucianism.

Two Hebrew words signifying eternal love. The name of a prayer which was used by the Jews dispersed over the whole Roman Empire during the times of Christ. It was inserted by Dermott in his Ahiman Rezon (page 45, edition 1764), and copied into several others, with the title of A Prayer repeated in the Royal Arch Lodge at Jerusalem. The prayer was most probably adopted by Dermott and attributed to a Royal Arch Lodge in consequence of the aflusion in it to the "holy, great, mighty, and terrible name of God."

So spelled in the common version of the Bible (First Kings iv, 3 ), but according to the Hebrew orthography the word should be spelled and pronounced Achiah, or akh-ee-yaw according to Strong.
He and Elihoreph or Elichoreph were the Sopherim, the Scribes or Secretaries of King Solomon. In the ritual of the Seventh Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, according to the modern American system, these personages are represented by the two Wardens.

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