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When a candidate is initiated into any Degree of Freemasonry in due form, the Degree is said to have been conferred, in contradistinction to the looser mode of imparting its secrets by communication.
CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES.
This is usually understood as being to ensure the accuracy of the statements made, the reading of the Minutes enabling the Brethren to know that the proceedings have been recorded and the judgment of those present being expressed in some way as to the correctness of the statements but the proceedings may serve a further purpose and that is to express approval of what has been previously done. In fact, Rule 130 of the English Book of Constitutions provides that the Minutes regarding the election of a Worshipful Master must be confirmed before he can be installed.
In English Lodges any action regarding a money grant, alteration of by-laws or the election of a Master must be confirmed after the recording of the Minutes at the first subsequent regular meeting in order to become legally operative. All other points are merely confirmed for accuracy and are considered legal regardless.
CONFRATERNITY OF SAINT PAUL.
The Italian name is La Confraternita di San Paolo. See Paul, Confratemity of Saint Paul.
CONFUSION OF TONGUES.
The Tower of Babel is referred to in the ritual of the Third Degree as the place where language was confounded and Masonry lost. Hence, in Masonic symbolism, as Freemasonry professes to possess a universal language, the confusion of tongues at Babel is a symbol of that intellectual darkness from which the aspirant is seeking to emerge on his passage to that intellectual light which is imparted by the Order (see Threshing-Floor).
In the Old Records and Constitutions of Freemasonry the yearly meetings of the Craft are so called. Thus, in the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript it is said, "Every Master that is a Mason must be at the General Congregation" (see line 107).
What are now called Communications of a Grand Lodge were then called Congregations of the Craft (see Assembly).
At various times in the history of Freemasonry conferences have been held in which, as in the General Councils of the Church, the interests of the Institution have been made the subject of consideration. These conferences have received the name of Masonic Congresses. Whenever a respectable number of Freemasons invested with deliberative powers, assemble as the representatives of different countries and Jurisdictions to take into consideration matters relating to the Order, such a meeting will be properly called a Congress. Of these congresses some have been productive of little or no effect, while others have undoubtedly left their mark ; nor can it be doubted, that if a General or Ecumenical congress, consisting of representatives of all the Masonic powers of the world, were to meet, with an eye single to the great object of Masonic reform, and were to be guided by a liberal and conciliatory spirit of compromise, such a Congress might be of incalculable advantage.
The most important Congresses that have met since the year 926 A.D. are those of York, Strassburg, Ratisbon, Spire, Cologne, Basle, Jena, Altenberg, Brunswick, Lyons, Wolfenbuttel. Wilhelmsbad, Paris, Washington, Baltimore, Lexington, and Chicago (see them as listed under their respective titles).
CONGRESSES OF FREEMASONS.
On August 12, 1750, the Saint John's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts granted a charter to Hiram Lodge, at New Haven, and David Wooster was installed as Master. A Convention held on March 13, 1783, discussed the formation of a Grand Lodge of Connecticut. Nothing definite was completed and another Convention, held on April 29, 1783, again had no result. A third Convention, however, on May 14, 1789, composed of representatives of twelve Lodges, made some progress in the necessary arrangements but adjourned the meeting until July 8, 1789, when a Constitution was adopted and the Grand Lodge of Connecticut duly opened. The Anti-Masonic Movement had a serious effect upon the Craft in Connecticut. Up to the year 1800 Freemasonry had flourished exceedingly in the district.
During the next thirty years, however, it was calumniated to such an extent that, at the annual session of 1831, all the officers of the Grand Lodge, except the Grand Treasurer, resigned and new officers were elected in their places. At the next annual session only the Grand Master and the Grand Treasurer were present. For several years Freemasonry lay under a cloud, but at last, towards 1840, the agitation began to subside and after another five years the Craft in this State was once more possessed of its early vigor.
The first Chapter in the district seems to have comprised six members of Saint John's Lodge, No.2, of Middletown. These six Brethren opened the first regular Grand Chapter of Connecticut on September 12, 1783.
In 1818, Jeremy L. Cross, a prominent authority on Masonic Ritual in his day and author of The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor and of The Templars' Chart, formed a Council of Royal and Select Masters. On May 18, 1819, ten of the eleven Councils which had been formed in 1818 and1819 met at Hartford for the purpose of establishing a Grand Council. Two days later a Constitution was adopted, the Grand Officers elected and the Council duly constituted. The first Encampment of Knights Templar was formed at Colchester in July, 1796, and was granted a Charter from London on September 5, 1803. New Haven Encampment took the initiative in adopting a resolution to join with other Encampments in forming a Commandery in the State. Washington and Clinton sent representatives and the meeting was held at the Masonic Hall on September 13, 1827. A Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the State of Connecticut was formed and Sir John Watrous was installed Grand Master.
The year 1858 saw the establishment of four Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Connecticut. Three were chartered on June 1: namely, Lafayette Consistory, Peqounnock Chapter of Rose Croix, Washingtcn Council of Princes of Jemsalem. The fourth, the De Witt Clinton Lodge of Perfection, was granted a Charter on May 11.
The appropriating or dedicating, with certain ceremonies, anything to sacred purposes or offices by separating it from common use.
Hobbes, in his Leviatian (part1v chapter 44), gives the best definition of this ceremony. "To consecrate is, in Scripture, to offer, give, or dedicate, in pious and decent language and gesture, a man, or any other thing, to God, by 'parating it from common use."
Masonic Lodges, like ancient temples and modern churches, have always been consecrated. The rite of consecration is performed by the Grand Master, when the Lodge is said to be consecrated in ample form; by the Deputy Grand Master, when it is said to be consecrated in due form; or by the proxy of the Grand Master, when it is said to be consecrated in form. The Grand Master, accompanied by his oflicers, proceeds to the hall of the newLodge, where, after the performance of those ceremonies which are described in all manuals and monitors, he solemnly consecrates the Lodge with the elements of corn, wine, and oil, after which the Lodge is dedicated and constituted and the officers installed.
CONSECRATION, ELEMENTS OF.
Those things, the use of which in the ceremony as constituent and elementary parts of it, are necessary to the perfecting and legalizing of the act of consecration. In Freemasonry, these elements are corn, wine, and oil, which see in this work listed under their respective names.
See Grand Conserfators.
CONSERVATORS OF FREEMASONRY.
About the year 1859 Brother Rob Morris, a Freemason of some distinction in America, professed to have discovered, by his researches, what he called the true Preston Webb Work, and attempted to introduce it into various Jurisdictions, sometimes in opposition to the wishes of the Grand Lodge and leading Freemasons of the State. To aid in the propagation of this ritual he communicated it to several persons, who were bound to use all efforts-to some, indeed, of questionable propriety-to secure its adoption bj, their respective Grand Lodges. These Freemasons were called by him Conserfators, and the order or society which they constituted was called the Conserfators Association.
This association, and the efforts of its chief to extend his ritual, met with the general disapproval of the Freemasons of the United States, and in some Jurisdictions led to considerable disturbance and bad feeling.
The meetings of members of the Thirty-second Degree, or Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, are called Consistories. The elective officers are, according to the ritual of the Southem Jurisdiction of the United States, a Commander-in-Chief, Seneschal, Preceptor, Chancellor, Minister of State, Almoner, Registrar, and Treasurer. In the Northern Jurisdiction it is slightly different, the second and third officers being called Lieutenant-Commanders. A Consistory confers the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Degrees of the Rite in the Southem Jurisdiction ; in the Northern Jurisdiction the Consistory confers the Degrees from the ninteenth to the thirty-second inclusive.
See Grand Collsistory.
The fourth officer in a Grand Consistory. It is the title which was formerly given to the leader of the land forces of the Knights Templar.
See Red Cross of Rome and Constantine.
CONSTANTINOPLE, KNIGHT OF.
In the year 1864 Brother F. G. Irwin, a distinguished Freemason, lived at Devonport, England. He became a welcome visitor to, and subsequently a member of the then recently estableshed Lodge, Saint Aubyn, No. 954. Among other Masonic acquirements he had authority to establish the Order of the Knights of Constantinople. It was found that other authority to establish this Order did not exist in England, although it had been conferred on a few individualt by Brother Irwin, and according to the usages of the Fraternity, those who first established an Order becarne the ruling power. The ground being thus clear, the authority of Brother Irwin, Past Junior Warden of the Province of Andalusia, Past Grand Master Overseer of Mark Masonry in England, First Grand standard Bearer of Knights Templar in England, and past Most Wise Sovereign Rose Croix, &c., was brought into operation. He accordingly presided over a meeting of Freemasons in the Saint Aubyn Lodge, No. 954, at Morice Town, Devonport, on january 18, 1865, and after intrusting them with the secrets of the Order and elevating to the honor of Knighthood, appointed the following Brethren as Officers of the First or Saint Aubyn Council of Knights of Constantinople, namely : Samuel Chapple, Horace Byron Kent, John R. H. Spry, Vincent Bird, Philip B. Clemens.
At this meeting several prominent Freemasons were admitted, Brother Shuttleworth, Thirty.-third Degree, the Grand Vice-Chancellor of the Knights Templar of England, being among the number. At the February meeting several active Freemasons were admitted, amongst them Brother W. J. Hughan, initiated in Lodge No. 954, and who later attained world-wide Masonic fame. At the January meeting, 1866, a Warrant was granted to certain distinguished Freemasons in Cornwall to open a Council at Truro, the Fortitude, Brother W. J. Hughan to be first Illustrious Sovereign, and a number of Cornish Freemasons were enlisted. The Saint Aubyn Council of the Knights of Constantinople developed into a Grand Council of Sovereigns of the Order and exercised such functions as organizing subordinate bodies. It became affiated and a part of the organization at Mark Masons Hall, England, the Grand Council of the Allied Degrees. The Order of Knights of Constantinople is of a Christian character, associated in legend with the Emperor Constantine, and teaches the lesson of universal equality The jewel of the organization is a Cross surmounted by a Crescent.
The phrase, a legally constituted Lodge, is often used Masonically to designate any Lodge working under proper authority, which necessarily includes Lodges working under Dispensation, although, strictly, a Lodge cannot be legally constituted until it has received its warrant or Charter from the Grand Lodge. But so far as respects the regularity of their work, Lodges under Dispensation and Warranted Lodges have the same standing.
CONSTITUTION OF A LODGE.
Any number of Master Masons, not less than seven, being desirous of forming a new Lodge, having previously obtained a Dispensation from the Grand Master, must apply by petition to the Grand Lodge of the State in which they reside, praying for a Charter, or Warrant of Constitution, to enable them to assemble as a regular Lodge. Their petition being favorably received, a Warrant or Charter for the Lodge is immediately granted, and the Grand Master appoints a day for its consecration and for the instaflation of its oflicers.
The Lodge having been consecrated, the Grand Master, or perscn acting as such, declares the Brethren "to be constituted and formed into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons," after which the officers of the Lodge are installed. In this declaration of the Master, accompanied with the appropriate ceremonies, consists the constitution of the Lodge. Until a Lodge is thus legally constituted, it forms no component of the constituency of the Grand Lodge, can neither elect officers nor members, and exists only as a Lodge under dispensation at the will of the Grand Master.
See Paris Constitutions.
CONSTITUTIONS, BOOK OF.
See Book of Constitutions.
CONSTITUTIONS OF 1762.
This is the name of one of that series of Constitutions, or Regulations, which have always been deemed of importance in the history of the Ancient and accepted Scottish Rite; although the Constitutions of 1762 have really nothing to do with that Rite, having been adopted long befure its establishment. In the year 1758, there was founded at Paris a Masonic Body which assumed the title of the Chapter or Council, of Emperors of the East and West, and which organized a Rite known as the Rite of Perfection, consisting of twenty-five Degrees, and in the same year the Rite was carried to Berlin by the Marquis de Bernez.
In the following year, a Council of Princes of the Royal Secret, the highest Degree conferred in the Rite, was established at Bordeaux. On September 21, 1762, nine Commissioners met and drew up Constitutions for the government of the Rite of Perfection, which have been since known as the Constitutions of 1762. Of the place where the Commissioners met, there is some doubt. Of the two copies, hereafter to be noticed, which are in the archives of the Southern Supreme Council, that of Delahogue refers to the Orients of Paris and Berlin, while that of Aveilhé‚ says that they were made at the Grand Orient of Bordeaux.
Thory also (Acta Latomorum, 1, 79), names Bordeaux as the place of their enactment, and so does Ragon (Orthodoxie Maçonnique, 133); although he oubts their authenticity, and says that there is no trace of any such document at Bordeaux, nor any recollection there of the Consistory which is said to have drawn up the Constitutions.
To this it may be answered, that in the Archives of the Mother Supreme Council at Charleston there are two manuscript copies of these Constitutions--one written by Jean Baptiste Marie Delahogue in 1798, which is authenticated by Count de Grasse, under the seal of the Grand Council of the Princes of the Royal secret, then sitting at Charleston; and another, written by Jean Baptiste Aveilhé in 1797.
This copy is authenticated by Long, Delahogue, De Grasse, and others. Both documents are written in French, and are almost substantially the same. The translated tittle of Delahogue's copy is as follows :
Constitutions and Regulations drawn up by nine Commissioners appointed by the Grand Council of the Sovereign- Princes of the Royal Secret at the Grand Orients of Paris and Berlin, by virtue of the deliberation of the fifth day of the third week of the seventh Month of the Hebrew Era, 1662, and of the Christian Era, 1762. To be ratified and observed by the Grand Councils of the sublime Knights and Princes of Masonry as well as by the particular Councils and Grand Inspectors regularly constituted in the two Hemispheres.
The title of Aveilhé's manuscript differs in this, that it says the Constitutions were enacted "at the Grand Orient of Bordeaux, " and that they were "transmitted to our Brother Stephen Morin, Grand Inspector of all the Lodges in the New World." Probably this is a correct record, and the Constitutions were prepared at Bordeaux. ,
The Constitutions of 1762 consist of thirty-five articles, and are principally occupied in providing for the government of the Rite established by the Council of Emperors of the East and West and of the Bodies under it.
The Constitutions of 1762 were published at Paris, in 1832, in the Recueil des Actes du Conseil Suprême de France or Collected Proceedings of the Supreme Council of France. They were also published, in 1859, in America; but the best printed exemplar of them is that published in French and English in the Book of Grand Constitutions, edited by Brother Albert Pike, which is illustrated with copious and valuable annotations by the editor, who was the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council.
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