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 ...

English statesman and orator, born April 4, 1770; died August 8, 1827; member of Parliament, 1793 ; Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1807; Prime Minister of England, 1827. Brother Canning was made a Freemason in Prince of Wales Lodge, London, in 1810 (see New Age, August, 1924).
Oliver says that in the Masonic processions of the Continent the Grand Master walks under a gorgeous canopy of blue, purple, and crimson silk, with gold fringes and tassels, borne upon staves, painted purple and ornamented with gold, by eight of the oldest Master Masons present ; and the Masters of private Lodges walk under canopies of light blue silk with silver tassels and fringes, borne by four members of their own respective companies.
The canopies are in the form of an oblong square, and are in length six feet, in breadth and height three feet, having a semicircular covering. The framework should be of cedar, and the silken covering ought to hang down two feet on each side. This is, properly speaking, a Baldachin (see Baldachin).
Ritualists seem divided in the use of the terms Clouded Canopy and Celestial Canopy in the Entered Apprentice Degree (for the former, see Canopy, Clouded, and Covering of the Lodge). It would seem that the unclouded grandeur of the heavens should not be without advocates. Sir John Lubbock gives the following description of the heavens filled with stars in connection with the latest discoveries: "Like the sand of the sea, the stars of heaven are used as a symbol of numbers. We now know that our earth is but a fraction of one part of, at least 75,000,000 worlds. But this is not all.
In addition to the luminous heavenly bodies, we cannot doubt there are countless others invisible to us from their great distance, smaller size, or feebler light; indeed, we know that there are many dark bodies which now emit no light, or comparatively tittle.. Thus the floor of heaven is not only 'thick , inlaid with patines of bright gold,' but studded also with extinct stars, once probably as brilliant as our own sun."
The clouded canopy, or starry-decked heaven, is a symbol of the Entered Apprentice Degree, and is of such important significance that Lenning calls it a "fundamental symbol of Freemasonry."
In the lectures of the York Rite, the clouded canopy is deseribed as the covering of the Lodge, teaching us, as Krause says, "that the primitive Lodge is confined within no shut up building, but that it is universal, and reaches to heaven, and especially teaching that in every clime under heaven Freemasonry has its seat." Gädieke says, "Every Freemason knows that by the clouded canopy we mean the heavens, and that it teaches how widely extended is our sphere of usefulness.
There is no portion of the inhabited world in which our labor cannot be carried forward, as there is no portion of the globe without its clouded canopy."
Hence, then, the German interpretation of the symbol is that it denotes the universality of Freemasonry, an interpretation that does not precisely accord with the English and American systems, in which the doctrine of universality is symbolized by the form and extent of the Lodge. The clouded canopy as the covering of the Lodge seems rather to teach the doctrine of aspiration for a higher sphere; it is thus defined in this work under the head of Covering of the Lodge, which see.
A librarian of Dresden, born September 30, 1733, died October 16, 1786. He was an earnest, learned Freemason, who published in a literary journal, conducted by himself and A. G. Meissner at Leipsic, in 1783-5, under the title of Für ältere Litteratur und neuere Lectüre, many interesting articles on the subject of Freemasonry.
In the days when this district belonged to the Dutch two Lodges were established by them, both of which have had successful careers.
The first of these, Lodge of Good Hope, dates from ,1772. The Grand Lodge of England established British Lodge in 1811 and the Athol Grand Lodge followed suit iu 1812 with a Lodge attached to the Tenth Battalion of the Royal Artillery.
The first Lodge erected in 1821 after the arrival of the English colonists was Hope, No. 727. South Afriea is divided into Provinces, the Eastern, Western and Central Divisions, Natal and the Transvaal, by the first two of wich Freemasonry in Cape Colouy is controlled. There are also Proviucial Grand Lodges under the Scotch, Irish and Dutch Jurisdictions. Throughout the history of the Colony there has been no antagonism between the Dutch and English Freemasons and many Brethren attend Lodges under both systems. The first Provincial Grand Master under the English Constitution was the Deputy Grand Master of the Netherlands who continued to hold both offices until he died.
Praia and St. Vincent each has possessed a Lodge, chartered by the Grand Orient of Portugal.
The degrees conferred under the charter of an American Royal Arch Chapter, which are Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason. The Capitular Degrees are almost altogether founded on and composed of a series of events in Masonic history. Each of them has attached to it some tradition or legend which it is the design of the degree to illustrate, and the memory of which is preserved in its ceremonies and instructions. Most of these legends are of symbolic signification. But this is their interior sense. In their outward and ostensible meaning, they appear before us simply as legends.
To retain these legends in the memory of Freemasons appears to have been the primary design in the establishment of the advanced Degrees; and as the information intended to be communicated in these Degrees is of a historical character, there can of course be but little room for symbols or for symbolic instruction; the profuse use of which would rather tend to an injury than to a benefit, by complicating the purposes of the ritual and confusing the mind of the aspirant. These remarks refer exclusiveIy to the Mark and Most Excellent Master's Degree of the American Rite, but are not so applicable to the Royal Arch, which is eminently symbolic. The legends of the second Temple, and the lost word, the peculiar legends of that degree, are among the most prominent symbols of the Masonic system.
The Freemasonry conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter of the York and American Rites. There are Chapters in the Ancient and Accepted, Scottish, and in the French and other Rites ; but the Freemasonry therein conferred is not called capitular.
A burlesque dining degree, mentioned in the collection of Fustier. The title is a significant allusioc to the goat-footed horned satyrs, minor deities of the Roman mythology, companions of Bacchus, living in the depths of the forest, shunning the Iight (see Thory, Acta Latomorum,1, 298).
or, as it might be called, the cope-stone, the topmost brick or stone in building (but the former word has been consecrated to us by universal Masonic usage), is the topmost stone of a building. To bring it forth, therefore, and to place it in its destined position, is significative that the building is completed, which event is celebrated, even by the Operative Freemasons of the present day, with great signs of rejoicing.
Flags are hoisted on the top of every edifice by the builders engaged in its construction, as soon as they have reached the topmost post, and thus finished their labors. This is the celebration of the capstone---the celebration of the completion of the building----when tools are laid aside, and rest and refreshment succeed, for a time, labor. This is the event in the history of the Temple which is commemorated in the Degree of Most Excellent Master, the sixth in the American Rite. The day set apart for the celebration of the capstone of the Temple is the day devoted to rejoicing and thanksgiving for the completion of that glorious structure.
Hence there seems to be an impropriety in the ordinary use of the Mark Master's keystone in the ceremonies of the Most Excellent Master. That keystone was deposited in silence and secrecy; while the capstone, as the legend and ceremonies tell us, was placed in its position in the presence of all the Craft.
The third officer in a Commandery of Knights,Templar. He presides over the Commandery in the absenee of his superiors, and is one of its representatives in the Grand Commandery. His duties are to see that the Council Chamber and Asylum are duly prepared for the business of the meetings, and to communicate all orders issued by the Grand Council. His station is on the left of the Grand Commander, and his jewel is a level surmounted by a cock or rooster (see Cock).
The sixth officer in a Council of Royal and Select Masters. In the latter degree he is said to represent Azariah, the son of Nathan, who had command of the officers of the king's household (First Kings iv, 5). His duties correspond in some measure with those of a Senior Deacon iu the primary. degrees. His post is, therefore, on the right of the throne, and his jewel is a trowel and battleax within a triangle.
The fourth officer in a Royal Arch Chapter. He represents the general or leader of the Jewish troops who retumed from Babylon, and who was called Sar el hatzba, and was equivalent to a modern general. The word Host in the title means army. He sits on the right of the Council in front, and wears a white robe and cap or helmet, with a red sash, and is armed with a sword. His jewel is a triangular plate, on which an armed soldier is engraved.
The Jews reckoned their national captivities as four:
-the Babylonian, Medean, Greeian, and Roman.
The present article will refer only to the first, when there was a forcible deportation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem by Nebuzaradan, the general of King Nebuchadnezzar, and their detention at Babylon until the reign of Cyrus, which alone is connected with the history of Freemasonry, and is commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree.
Between that portion of the ritual of the Royal Arch which refers to the destruction of the first Temple, and that subsequent part which symbolizes the building of the second, there is an interregnum or halt, if we may be allowed the term, in the ceremonial of the degree, which must be considered as a long interval in history, the filling up of which, like the interval between the acts of a play, must be left to the imagination of the spectator. This interval represents the time passed in the captivity of the Jews at Babylon. That captivity lasted for seventy years-from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar until that of Cyrus-although but fifty-two of these years are commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree. This event took place in the year 585 B.c. It was not, however, the beginning of the '"seventy years' captivity," which had been foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, which commenced eighteen years before.
The captives were conducted to Babylon. What was the exact number removed we have no means of ascertaining.
'We are led to believe, from certain passages of scripture, that the deportation was not complete. Calmet says that Nebuchadnezzar carried away only the principaI inhabitants, the warriors and artisians of every kind, and that he left the husbandmen, the laborers, and in general, the poorer classes, that constituted the great body of the people. Among the prisoners of distinction, Josephus mentions the high priest, Seraiah, and Zephaniah, the priest that was next to him, with the three rulers that guarded the Temple, the eunuch who was over the armed men, seven friends of Zedekiah, his scribe, and sixty other rulers. Zedekiah, the king, had attempted to eseape previous to the termination of the siege, but being pursued, was captured and carried to Riblah, the headquarters of Nebuchadnezzar, where, having first been compelled to behold the slaughter of his children, his eyes were then put out, and he was conducted in chains to Babylon. A Masonie tradition informs us that the captive Jews were bound by their conquerors with triangular chains, and that this was doue by the Chaldeans as an additional insult, because the Jewish Freemasons were known to esteem the triangle as an emblem of the sacred name of God, and must have considered its appropriation to the form of their fetters as a desecration of the Tetragammaton.
Notwithstanding the ignominious mode of their conveyance from Jerusalem and the vindictiveness displayed by their conqueror in the destruction of their city and Temple, they do not appear, on their arrival at Babylon, to have been subjected to any of the extreme rigors of slavery. They were distributed into various parts of the empire, some remaining in the city, while others were sent into the provinces.
The latter probably devoted themselves to agricultural pursuits, while the former were engaged in commerce or in the labors of architecture. Smith says that the captives were treated not as slaves but as colonists. They were permitted to retain their personal property, and even to purchase lands and erect houses. Their civil and religious government was not utterly destroyed, for they kept up a regular succession of kings and high priests, one of each of whom returned with them, as will be seen hereafter, on their restoration. Some of the principal captives were advanced to offices of dignity and power in the royal palace, and were permitted to share in the councils of state.
Their prophets, Daniel and Ezekiel, with their associates, preserved amoug their countrymen the pure doctrines of their religion. Although they had neither place nor time of national gathering, nor temple, and therefore offered no sacrifiees, yet they observed the Mosaic laws with respect to the rite of circumcision. They preserved their tables of genealogy and the true succession to the throne of David.
The rightful heir was called the Head of the Captivity. So says the Talmud, but Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, affirms that the assertion is unsupported by proof. The Masonic legends conform to the Talmudic statement. However that may be, Jehoiachin, who was the first king of Judea carried captive to Babylon, was succeeded by his son Shealtiel, and he by his son Zerubbabel, who was the Head of the Captivity, or nominal prince of Judea at the close of the captivity, The due succession of the highpriesthood was also preserved, for Jehosadek, who was the high priest carried by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, where he died during the captivity, was succeeded by his eldest son, Joshua.
The Jewish captivity terminated in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, 536 B.c. Cyrus, from his conversations with Daniel and the other Jewish captives of learning and piety, as well as from his perusal of their sacred books, more especially the prophecies of Isaiah, had become imbued with a knowledge of true religion, and hence had even publicly announced to his subjects his belief in the God "which the nation of the Israelites worshipped." He was consequentiy impressed with an earnest desire to fulfil the prophetic declarations of which he was the subject, and to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. Cyrus therefore issued a decree by which the Jews were permitted to retum to their country. According to Milman, 42,360, besides servants, availed themselves of this permission, and returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel, their prince, and Joshua, their high priest, and thus ended the first or Babylonian captivity, the only one which has any connection with the legends of Freemasonry as commemorated in the Royal Arch Degree.
one of the monks of the order of ST Frances. They went barefoot, were longbearded, and wore a gown or cloak of dark color made like a woman's garment with a hood.
A Roman emperor, who assumed the purple 287 A.D. Of him Preston gives the following account, which may or may not be deemed apocryphal, according to the taste and inclination of the reader: "By assuming the character of a Freemason, he acquired the love and esteem of the most enlightened part of his subjects.
He possessed real merit, encouraged learning and learned men, and improved the country in the civil arts. In order to establish an empire in Britain, he brought into his dominions the best workmen and artificers from all parts ; all of whom, under his auspices, enjoyed peace and tranquillity. Among the first class of his favorites he enrolled the Freemasons: for their tenets he professed the highest veneration, and appointed Albanus, his steward, the principal superintendent of their assemblies. Under his patronage, Lodges and Conventions of the Fraternity were formed, and the rites of Freemasonry regularly practised. To enable the Freemasons to hold a general eouncil, to establish their own govenment and correct errors among themselves, he granted to them a charter, and commanded Albanus to preside over them in person as Grand Master" (see Illustrations, edition of 1812, page 142).
Anderson also gives the legend of Carausius in the second edition of his Constitutions, and adds that "this is asserted by alI the old copies of the Constitutions, and the old English Masons firmly believed it" (Constitlltions, 1738, page 57). But the fact is that Anderson himself does not mention the tradition in his first edition, published in 1723 nor is any reference to Carausius to be found in any of the old manuscripts now extant. The Iegend is, it is true, inserted in Krause's Manuscript ; but this document is of Very little authority, having been, most probably, a production of the early part of the eighteenth century, and of a contemporary of Anderson, written perhaps between 1723 and 1738, which would account for the omission of it in the first edition of the BOOk of Constitutions, and its insertion in the second.
The reader may hence determine for himself what authenticity is to be given to the Carausian legend.
The name in Italian means Charcoal Bumers, applied to some revolutionary secret societies particularly active in Italy and France, having their principal inspiration during the reign of King Joachim Murat of Naples, and aiming to free themselves from foreign rule and establish democratie government. Murat, a Frenchman and a Freemason, the dashing cavalry leader of Napoleon's army, was rewarded with the throne. Luigi Villari says (Encyelopedia Britannica) : ''The Carbonari were probably an offshoot of the Freemasons, from whom they differed in important particulars," a suggestion and admission meaning little more than similarity, both being secret societies. However, the Carbonari had its signifieant words: a Lodge was baracca or a hut; an ordinary meeting was venidita, a sale; an important meeting, alta vendita; God was Grand Master of the Universe. The ritual had four grades and the ceremonies had typical allusions, as "clearing the forest of wolves" was said to be the aim, and there were references to the 1amb torn by wild animals, tyrany. Carbonarism was declared high treason by 1821. While many prominent persons were members, Lord Byron of England and Louis, afterwards Napoleon III, of France, yet the strength of the movement waned and died in France about 1830, and soon afterwards a like end came to it in Italy, the Camorristi in the former country accepting generally the government then at work, and in the latter instance associating with Mazzini and his followers (see Camorra, Mafia, and Secret Societies).
In Hebrew, baw-rek-ath, the third stone in the first row of the high priest's breastplate, according to the authorized version, but the first stone in the second row, according to the Septuagint. Braun, a writer on the sacerdotal vestments of the Hebrews, Amsterdam, 1680 supposes that the baw-rek-ath was a or emerald, which view is sustained by Kalisch, and is in accordance with the Septuagint translation. The Talmudists derive baw-rek-ath from a word signifying to shine with the brightness of flre, which would seem to indicate some stone of a coruscant or sparkling color, and would apply to the bright green of the emerald as well as to the bright red of the carbuncle. The stone, whatever it was, was referred to the tribe of Judah.
The carbuncle in Christian iconography signifies blood and suffering, and is symbolical of the Lord's passion. Five carbuncles placed on a cross symbolize the five wounds of Christ.
The North, West, East and South are so called from the Latin cardo, meaning a hinge, because they are the principal points of the compass on which all the others hinge or hang.
Each of them has a symbolic signification in Freemasonry which will be found under their respective heads. Doctor Brinton, in an interesting Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America, has a chapter on the sacred number four; the only one he says, that has any prominence in the religious of'the red race, and which he traces to the four cardinal points. The reason, he declares, is to be "found in the adoration of the cardinal points"; and he attributes to this cause the prevalence of the cross as a symbol among the aborigines of America, the existeuce of which so surprised the early missionaries that they "were in doubt whether to ascribe the fact to the pious labors of Saint Thomas or the sacrilegious subtlety of Satan."
The arms of the cross referred to the cardinal points, and represented the four winds, the bringers of rain. The theory is an interesting one, and the author supports it with many ingenious illustrations. In the symbolism of Freemasonry each of the cardinal points has a mystical meaning. The East represents Wisdom ; the west, Strength; the South, Beauty and the North, Darkness.

[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