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One of the legends of Freemasonry tells us that when the Jewish Freemasons were carried as captives from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar they were bound by triangular chains, which was intended as an additional insult, because to them the triangle, or delta, was a symbol of the Deity, to be used only on sacred occasions. The legend is of course apocryphal, and is worth nothing except as a legendary symbol.
A technical term signifying the office of Master of a Lodge. Thus he is eligible to the chair is equivalent to he is eligible to the affice of Master. The word is applied in the same sense to the presiding officer in other Masortic Bodies.
The presiding officer of a meeting or committee. In all committees of a Lodge, the Worshipful Master, if he chooses to attend, is ex-offcio or by reason of that fact the chairman; as is the Grand Master of any meeting of the Craft when he is present.
CHAIR, MASTER IN THE.
The German Freemasons call the Worshipful Master der Meister im Stuhl, or the Master in the Chair.
The seat or office of the Master of a Lodge is thus called---sometimes, more fully, the Oriental Chair af King Salomon.
CHAIR, PASSING THE.
The ceremony of inducting the Master-elect of a Lodge into his office is called passing the chair. He who has once presided over a Lodge as its Master is said to have passed the chair, hence the title Past Master.
A large tract of country, lying in a nearly northwest and southeast direction for a distance of four hundred miles along the course of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, with an average width of one hundred miles. The kingdom of Chaldea, of which Babylon was the chief city, is celebrated in Masonic history as the place where the Jewish captives were conducted after the destruction of Jerufalem. At that time Nebuchadnezzar was the king. His succesors during the captivity, were Evilmerodach, Neriglissar, Labosordacus, and Belshazzar. In the seventeenth year of his reign, the City of Babylon was taken and the Chaldean kingdom subverted by Cyrus, King of Persia, who terminated the captivity of the Jews, and restored them to their native country.
The cylinder discovered by Rassam in the course of his excavations in Babylonia, which greatly attracted the attention of the London Society of Biblical Archeclogy, is one of the most remarkable yet made known, by reawn of the light it throws upon the ancient chronology of the Chaldean Empire. It dates from the time of Nabonides, and records, among various things, that this sovereign, when digging under the foundations of the Temple of the Sun-god at Sippara, forty-five years after the death of King Nebuchadnezzar, came upon a cylinder of Naramsin, the son of Nargon, which no one had seen for "3200 years. " This gives as the date of the ancient sovereign named 3750 B.c. This, and the fact pointed out by Professor Oppert, that there was in those early days already "lively intercourse between Chaldea and Egypt," will have to be taken into account by future Bible critics. This destroys the conception of Abraham, the founder of the Jews, as a wanderer or nomad, and establishes the existence of two highly civilized, as well as cultured, empires in Egypt and Chaldea more than 5,500 years ago ; that the highroad between them lay direct through Southern Palestine, and that Abraham was a native of the one great empire and an honored visitor in the other. Thus has been opened up a new field for investigation in the matter of Akkad and Akkadian civilization.
CHALDEANS or CHALDEES.
The ancient Diodorus Siculus says the "most ancient"-inhabitants of Babylonia. There was among them, as among the Egiptians, a true priestly easte, which was both exclusive and hereditary; for although not every Chaldean was a priest, yet no man could be a priest among them unless he were a Chaldean. "At Babylon," says Doctor Smith (Ancient History af the East, page 398), "they were in all respects the ruling order in the body politic, uniting in themselves the characters of the English sacerdotal and military classes. They filled all the highest offices of state under the king, who himself belonged to the order."
The Chaldean priests were famous for their astronomical science, the study of which was particularly favored by the clear atmosphere and the cloudless skies of their country, and to which they were probably urged by their national worship of the sun and the heavenly hosts. Diodorus Siculus says that they passed their whole lives in meditating questions of philosophy, and acquired a great reputation for their astrology. They were addicted especially to the art of divination, and framed predictions of the future.
They sought to avert evil and to insure good by purifications, sacrifices, and enchantments. They were versed in the arts of prophesying and explaining dreams and prodigies. All this learning among the Chaldeans was a family tradition; the son inheriting the profession and the knowledge of the priesthood from his father, and transmitting it to his descendants. The Chaldeans were settled throughout the whole country, but there were some special cities, such as Borsippa, Ur, Sippera, and Babylon, where they had regular colleges. The reputation of the Chaldeans for prophetic and magical knowledge was so great, that astrologers, and conjurers in general, were styled Babylonians and Chaldeans, just as the wandering fortune-tellers of modern times are called Egyptians or gipsies, and Ars Chaldoearum was the name given to all occult sciences.
A cup used in religious rites. It forms a part of the furniture of a Commandery of Knights Templar, and of some of the higher Degrees of the French and Scottish Rites. It should be made either of silver or of gilt metal. The stem of the chalice should be about four inches high and the diameter from three to six.
CHALK, CHARCOAL, AND CLAY.
By these three substances are beautifully symbolized the three qualifications for the servitude of an Entered Apprentice---freedom, fervency, and zeal. Chalk is the freest of all substances, because the slightest touch leaves a trace behind. Charcaal, the most fervent, because to it, when ignited, the most obdurate metals yield; and Clay, the most zealous, because it is constantly employed in man's service, and is as constantly reminding us that from it we all came, and to it we must all return. In the earlier lectures of the eighteenth century, the symbols, with the same interpretation, were given as Chalk, Charcaal, and Earthen Pan.
See Middle Chamber.
CHAMBER OF REFLECTION.
In the French and Scottish Rites, a small room adjoining the Lodge, in which, preparatory to initiation, the candidate is enclosed for the purpose of indulging in those serious meditations which its somber appearance and the gloomy emblems with which it is furnished are calculated to produce. It is also used in some of the advanced degrees for a similar purpose. Its employment is very appropriate, for, as Gädicke well observes, "It is only in solitude that we can deeply reflect upon our present or future undertakings, and blackness, darkness, or solitarine', is ever a symbol of death. A man who has undertaken a thing after mature reflection seldom turns back."
An officer in a Council of Companions of the Red Cross, correspondidng in some respects to the Senior Warden of a Symbolic Lodge.
An officer in the Supreme Councils and Grand Consistories of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, whose duties are somewhat similar to those of a Corresponding Secretary.
A confused and shapeless mass, such as is supposed to have existed before God reduced creation into order. It is a Masonic symbol of the ignorance and intellectual darkness from which man is rescued by the light and truth of Freemasonry. Hence, Ordo ab chao, or, Order out af chaos, is one of the mottoes of the Institution.
One of the names formerly given to the Twenty-eighth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or Knight of the Sun. It is likewise found in the collection of M. Pyron. Discreet and Wise Chaos are the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Degrees of the Rite of Mizraim.
The cocked hat worn in the United states bodies by Knights Templar. The regulations of the Grand Encampment of the United States, in 1862, prescribe that it shall be "the military chapeau, trimmed with black binding, one white and two black plumes, and appropriate cross on the left side. "
The closets and anterooms so necessary and convenient to a Lodge for various purposes are dignified by German Masons with the title of Capellen, or chapels.
Known also as the Lodge of Edinburgh. The oldest Lodge in Edinburgh, Scotland, whose Minutes extend as far back as the year 1599. This long stood as the oldest Minute, but in 1912 one was found of Aitchison's-Haven Lodge dated 1598 (see Aitchison's- Haven). They show that John Boswell, Esq., of Auchinleck was present in the Lodge in the year 1600, and that the Hon. Robert Moray, Quartermaster-Geneneral of the Army of Scotland, was created a Master Mason in 1641 at Newcastle by some members of the Lodge of Edinburgh who were present there with the Scotch Army. These facts show that at that early period persons who were not Operative Freemasons by profession were admitted into the Order. The Lodge of Edinburgh, Mary's Chapel, 18 No. 1 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland; the date of its formation is unknown, and at one time it stood first on the roll, but in 1807 the Mother Kilwinning Lodge was placed before it as No. 0. It met at one time in a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary; hence comes the second part of its name. Its history was published in 1873 by D. M. Lyon.
The uppermost part of a column, pillar, or pilaster, serving as the head or crowning, and placed immediately over the shaft and under the entablature. The pillars which stood in front of the porch of King Solomon's Temple were adorned with chapiters of a peculiar construction, which are largely referred to, and their symbolism explained, in the Fellow Craft's Degree (see Pillars af the Porch).
The office of Chaplain of a Lodge is one which is not recognized in the ritual of the United States of America, although often conferred by courtesy. The Master of a Lodge in general performs the ,duties of a Chaplain.
An office of very modern date in a Grand Lodge. It was first instituted on the 1st of May, 1775, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation of the Freemasons' Hall in London. It is stated in the English Canstitutions of 1784 (page 314) that the office "which had been discontinued for several years, was this day revived," but there is no record of any appointment to it before the date given. This office is now universally recognized by the Grand Lodges of America. His duties are confined to offering up prayer at the commurtications of the Grand Lodge, and conducting its devotional exercises on public occasions.
In early times the meetings of Freemasons were called not only Lodges, but Chapters and Cangregations. Thus, the statute enacted in the third year of the reign of Henry VI of England, 1425 A. D., declares that "Masons shall not confederate in Chapiters and Congregations." The word is now exclusively appropriated to designate the bodies in which degrees more advanced than the syrnbolic are conferred. Thus there are Chapters of Royal Arch Masons in the York and American Rites and Chapters of Rose Croix Masons in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
CHAPTER, GENERAL GRAND.
See General Grand Chapter. '
See Grand Chapter.
A colloquialism denoting a Royal Arch Mason.
A colloquia1ism intended to denote the Degrees conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter.
CHAPTER OF ROYAL ARCH MASONS, AN OLD.
There is in Boston, Massachusetts, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons which was holden in Saint Andrew's Lodge and formed about the year 1769 (see Royal Arch Masons, Massachusetts; also, Pennsylvania).
CHAPTER, ROSE CROIX.
See Rase Croix, Prince of.
CHAPTER, ROYAL ARCH.
A Convocation of Royal Arch Masons is called a Chapter. In Great Britain, Royal Arch Masonry is connected with and practically under the same government as the Grand Lodge ; but in America the Jurisdictions are separate.
In America a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is empowered to give the preparatory Degrees of Mark, Past, and Most Excellent Master ; although, of course, the Chapter, when meeting in any one of the' Degrees, is called a Lodge.
In some Chapters the Degrees of Royal and Select Master have also been given as preparatory Degrees ; but in most of the States, the control of these is conferred upon separate bodies, called Councils af Royal and Select Masters.
The presiding officers of a Chapter are the High Priest, King, and Scribe, who are, respectively, representatives of Joshua, Zerubbabel, Haggai, and son of Josedech. In the English Chapters, these officers are generally styled either by the founders' names, as above, or as First, Second, and Third Principals. In the Chapters of Ireland the order of the officers is King, High Priest, and Chief Scribe. Chapters of Royal Arch Masons in America are primarily under the jurisdiction of State Grand Chapters, as Lodges are under Grand Lodges ; and secondly, under the General Grand Chapter of the United States, whose meetings are held triennially, and which excercises a general supervisior over this branch of the Order throughout the Union (see Royal Arch Degree).
See Irish Chapters.
See Ordoe Name.
Figuur: The prefix to signatures of Brethren of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is as follows: To that of the Sovereign Grand Commander, the triple cross crosslet, as in the illustration and Figure 1 in red ink. To that of an Inspector General other than a Commander, Figure 2, in red ink. To that of a Brother of the Royal Secret, Thirtysecond Degree, Figure 3, in red ink. In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, a Ros Croix Knight will suffix a triangle surmounted by a cross in red ink, as in Figure 4. In all eases it is usual to place the Degree rank in a triangle after the name (see Abbreviations).
See Chalk, Charcoal, and Clay.
So called from the Old Charges, because,like them, it contains an epitome of duty. It is the admonition which is given by the presiding officer, at the close of the ceremony of initiation, to the candidate, and which the latter receives standing, as a token of respect. There is a Charge for each Degree, which is to be found in all the monitors and manuals from Preston onward.
CHARITY, COMMITTEE ON.
See Committee of Charity.
Many Lodges and Grand Lodges have a fund especially appropriated to charitable purposes, which is not used for the disbursement of the current expenses, but which is appropriated to the relief of indigent brethren, their widows, and orphans.
A charlatan is a babbling mountebank, who imposes on the populace by large pretensions and high-sounding words. A charlatan in Freemasonry is one who seeks by a display of pompous ceremonial, and often by claims to supernatural powers, to pervert the Institution of Freemasonry to the acquisition of mere gain, or the gratification of a paltry ambition. Every man, says a distinguished writer, is a charlatan who extorts money by charging for sixpenny trash the amount that should only be paid for works of science, and that, too, under the plea of conveying knowledge that cannot otherwise be obtained (Freemasons Magazine, London, 1844, page 505). The eighteenth century presented many examples of the Masonic charlatans, of whom Brother Mackey deemed the one by far the greatest was Cagliostro; nor has the nineteenth century been entirely without them.
The great Charles, King of France, who ascended the throne in the year 768, is claimed by some Masonic writers as a patron of Freemasonry. This is perhaps because architecture flourished in France during his reign, and because he encouraged the arts by inviting the architects and traveling Freemasons, who were then principally confined to Italy, to visit France and engage in the construction of important edifices. The claim has been made that at his castle at Aix-la-Chapelle he set apart a room or rooms in which the seven liberal arts and sciences were taught. This comprised a liberal education for that period.
He was the founder of the Carlovingian dynasty, and governed France with , supreme power from 720 to 741, under the title of Duke of the Franks, the nominal kings being only his puppets. He is claimed by the authors of the Old Records as one of the patrons of Freemasonry. Thus, the Manuscript (Grand Lodge, No. l, Volume iv, Quatuor Coronati Lodge reprints) tells us: "There was one of the Royall' Line of France called Charles Marhsall, and he was a man that loved well the said Craft and took upon him the Rules and Manners, and after that BY THE GRACE OF GOD he was elect to be the King of France, and when he was in his Estate he helped to make those Masons that were now, and sett them on Work and gave them Charges and Manners and good pay as he had learned of other Mascns, and confirmed them a Charter from yeare to yeare to hold their Assembly when they would, and cherished them right well, and thus came this Noble Craft into France and England."
Rebold, in his History, has accepted this legend as authentic, and says: "In 740, Charles Martel, who reigned in France under the title of Mayor of the Palace at the request of the Anglo-Saxon kings, sent many workmen and Masters into England."
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