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CONSTITUTIONS OF 1786.
These have been generally regarded bj, the members of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite as the fundamental law of their Rite. They are said to have been established by Frederick II, of Prussia, in the last year of his life ; a statement, however, that has been denied by some writers (see Mackey's revised History of Freemc.wnry under Early History of the Scottish Rite; Findel's History of Freemasonry under Declaration of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin ; also Gould's History of Freemasonry under The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite). The controversies as to their authenticity have made them a subject of interest to all Masonic scholars. Brother Albert Pike, the Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, published them, in 1872, in Latin, French, and English; and his exhaustive annotations are valuable because he has devoted to the investigation of their origin and their authenticity more elaborate care than any other writer. Of these Constitutions, there are two exemplars, one in French and one in Latin, between which there are, however, some material di¤erences. For a long time the French exemplar only was known in this country. It is supposed by Brother Pike that it was brought to Charleston by Count de Grasse, and that under its provisions he organized the Supreme Council in that place. They were accepted by the Southern Supreme Council, and have been regarde… by the Northern Supreme Council as the only authentic Constitutions. But there is abundant internal evidence of the incompleteness and incorrectness of the French Constitutions, of whose authenticity there is no proof, nor is it likely that they were made at Berlin and approved by Frederick, as they profess. The Latin Constitutions were probably not known in France until after the Revolution. In 1834, they were accepted as authentic by the Supreme Council of France, and published there in the same year. A copy of this was published in America, in 1859, by Brother Pike. These Latin Constitutions of 1786 have been accepted by the Supreme Council of the Southern jurisdiction in preference to the French version. Most of the other Supreme Councils-those, namely, of England and Wales, of Italy, and of South America have adopted them as the law of the Rite, repudiating the French version as of no authority. The definite and well-authorized conclusions to which Brother Pike has arrived on the subject of these Constitutions have been expressed by that eminent Freemason in the following language : "We think we may safely say, that the charge that the Grand Constitutions were forged at Charleston is completely disproved, and that it will be contemptible hereafter to repeat it. No set of speculating Jews constituted the Supreme Council established there; and those who care for the reputations of Colonel Mitchell, and Doctors Dalcho, Auld, and Moultrie, may well afford to despise the scurrilous libels of the Ragons, Clavels, and Folgers. "And, secondly, that it is not by any means proven or certain that the Constitutions were not really made at Berlin, as they purport to have been, and approved by Frederick. We think that 'the preponderance of evidence, intemal and external, is on the side of their authenticity, apart from the positive evidence of the certificate of 1832. "And, thirdly, that the Supreme Council at Charleston had a perfect right to adopt them as the law of the new Order; no matter where, when, or by whom they were made, as Anderson's Constitutions were adopted in Symbolic Masonry; that they are and always have been the law of the Rite, because they were so adopted ; and because no man has ever lawfully received the degrees of the Rite without swearing to maintain them as its supreme law; for as to the articles themselves, there is no substantial di¤erence between the French and Latin copies. "And, fourthly, that there is not one particle of proof of any sort, circumstantial or historical, or by argument from improbability, that they are not genuine and authentic. In law, documents of great age, found in the possession of those interested under them, to whom they rightfully belong, and with whom they might naturally be expected to be found, are adrnitted in evidence without proof, to establish title or facts. They prove themselves, and to be avoided must be disproved by evidence. There is no evidence agailzst the genuineness of these Grand Constitulions.'' We have alluded to the controversies aroused by the historical concepts formed of these documents. But we must warn the readers against assuming that this was ever understood by the leading disputants as any argument against the legality of them. That was quite another thing. Both Brothers Pike and Carson, differing widely as they did upon the source of the Constitutions in 1786, were agreed upon the legal aspect. Brother Enoch Terry Carson, then Deputy of the Scottish Rite for Ohio, says, "We shall not enter into a discussion of the question as to whether these Constitutions had the origin claimed for them or not, it is sufficient to say that they were recognized, and that under and by authority of them the Southern Supreme Council, at Charleston, the first in the world, was organized and until 1813, possessed exclusive jurisdiction over the United States; and all other regular Supreme Councils from that day down to the present have, and still recognize them. If they, the Constitutions of1786, ever were irregular, they ceased to be so to any and every Supreme Council the very moment they recognized and adopted them. Without , them there can be no Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.'' Brother Albert Pike is equally direct to the point where he says very plainly, "But the validity and effect of these Contstitutionts did not depend on their emanating from Frederick. On the contrary, he had no power to make any such laws. Their force and effect as law depended on their adoption as such by the first Body of the Rite" (see Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry, pages 1836-7).
See Records, Old.
Latin, meaning It is finished. A phrase used in some of the higher degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. It is borrowed from the expression used by our Lord when He said, on the cross, "It is finished," meaning that the work which had been given him to do had been executed. It is, therefore, appropriately used in the closing ceremonies to indicate that the sublime work of the degrees is finished, so that all may retire in peace.
To contemplate is, literally, to watch and inspect the Temple. The augur, or prophet, among the Romans, having taken his stand on the Capitoline Hill, marked out with his wand the space in the heavens he intended to consult. This space he called the templum, the Latin word for a designated or marked-off area. Having divided his templum into two parts from top to bottom, he watched to see what would occur. The watching of the templum was called contemplating; and hence those who devoted themselves to meditation upon sacred subjects assumed this title. Thus, among the Jews, the Essenes and the Therapeutists, and, among the Greeks, the school of Pythagoras, were contemplative sects. Among the Freemasons, the word speculative is used as equivalent to colltemplative (see Speculative Freemasonry).
This expression is used throughout this work, as it constantly is by English writers, to designate the Lodges on the Continent of Europe which retain many usages which have either been abandoned by, or never were observed in, the Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the United States of America. The words Continental Freemasonry are employed in the same sense.
In civil law, contumacy, or stubbornness, is the refusal or neglect of a party accused to appear and answer to a charge preferred against him in a court of justice. In Masonic jurisprudence, it is disobedience of or rebellion against superior authority, as when a Freemason refuses to obey the edict of his Lodge, or a Lodge refuses to obey that of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. The punishment, in the former case, is generally suspension or expulsion ; in the latter, arrest of Charter or forfeiture of Warrant.
In a state or territory where there is no Grand Lodge, but three or more Lodges holding their Warrants of Constitution from Grand Lodges outside of the territory, these Lodges may meet together by their representatives-who should Properly be the first three officers of each Lodge-and take the necessary steps for the organization of a Lodge in that state or territory. This preparatory meeting is called a Cortvention. A President and Secretary are chosen, and a Grand Lodge is formed by the election of a Grand Master and other proper oflicers, when the old Warrants are returned to the Grand Lodges, and new ones taken out from the newly formed Grand Lodge. Not less than three Lodges are required to constitute a Convention. The first Convent1oll of this kind ever held was that of the four old Lodges of London, which met at the Apple-Tree Tavern, in 1716, and in the following year formed the Grand Lodge of England.
A title sometimes given in the Minutes of English Lodges to a Lodge of Emergency. Thus, in the minutes of Constitution Lodge, No. 390 (London), we read: "This being a Conuention Night to consider the state of the Lodge," etc. (see Sadler's Histonj and Recorlls of the Lodge of Emulation, page 64).
CONVENTIONS or CONGRESSES
of Freemasons, arranged in chronological order: 926. York, under Prince Edwin of England. 1275. Strassburg, under Edwin Von Steinbach- 1459. Ratisbon, under Jost Dolzinger. 1464. Ratisbon, under Grand Lodge of Strassburg. 1469. Spire, under Grand Lodge of Strassburg. 1535. Cologne, by Hermann, Bishop of Cologne. 1563. Basle, by Grand Lodge of Strassburg. 1717. London, by the Four Old Lodges. Organization of Grand Lodge. 1730. Dublin, by the Dublin Lodges. 1736. Edinburgh. Organization and institution of Grand Lodge. 1756. Hague, by the Royal Union Lodge. 1762. Paris and Berlin, by nine commissioners nominated by the Sovereign Grand ..........Council of Princes of Freemasonry. 1763. Jena, by the Lodge of Strict Observance. 1764. Jena, by Johnson or Beeker, denounced by Baron Hund. 1765. Altenberg, a continuation wherein Hund was elected Grand Master of the ..........Rite of Strict Observance. 1772. Kohl, by Ferdinand oi Brunswick and Baron Hund, without success. 1775. Brunswick, by Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. 1778. Lyons, by Lodge of Chevaliers Bienfaisants. 1778. Wolfenbuttel, by Duke of Brunswick. 1782. Wilhelmsbad, and impotent session for purification. 1784. Paris, a medley of Lovers of Truth and United Friends. 1786. Berlin, alleged to have been convened by Frederick II of Prussia. 1822. National Masonic Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, March 9. 1842. National Masonic Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, March 7. 1843. National Masonic Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, May 8. 1847. National Masonic Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, September 23. 1853. National Masonie Convention, Lexington, Kentucky, September 17. ' 1855. Paris, by Grand Orient of France. 1855. National Masonic Convention, Washington, District of Columbia, Jan.3-4 1859. National Masonic Convention, Chicago, Illinois, September 13. 1893. Masonic Congress, Chicago, Illinois, August 14-17. 1909. Conference of Grand Masters, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 1. ' 1909. Conference of Grand Masters, Baltimore, Maryland, November 16. 1913. Conference of Grand Masters, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 17. 1914. -Conference of Grand Aiasters, St. Louis, Missouri, May 14-16. 1918. Conference of Grand Aiasters, New York City, New York, May 9-10. 1918. Conference of Grand Aiastcrs, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 26-28. . 1919. Masonic Service Association, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 11-13. 1920. Masonic Service Association, St. Louis, Missouri, November 9-10. 1921. Masonic Service Association, Chicago, Illinois, November 9-11. 1922. Masonic Service Association, Kansas City, Missouri, November 17-19. 1923. Masonic Service Association, Washington, Distr. of Col., Oct. 29-30. 1924. Masonic Service Association, Chicago, lllinois, November 11-12. ..........Following the meeting at Cedar Rapids in 1919, Masonic Service Association has met at St. Louis, Mo., November 9-10, 1920; Chicago, Ill., November 9-11, 1921; Kansas City, Mo., November 17-19, 1922; Washington, D. C., October 29-30, 1923; Chicago, Ill., November 11-12, 1924, and so on annually, a Conference of Gmnd Aiasters usually being held at the same place conveniently about that time. 1875. Lausanne. A Convention of the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the World, which sub'quently led to an etemal bond of unity both ofiensive and defensive.
Conversation among the Brethren during Lodge hours is forbidden by the Charges of1722 in these words: "You are not to hold private committees or separate conversation without leave from the Master" (see Constimions, 1723, page 53).
The meetings of Chapters of Royal Arch Freemasons are so called from the Latin convocatio, meaning a calling together. It seems very properly to refer to the convoking of the dispersed Freemasons at Jerusalem to rebuild the second Temple, of which every Chapter is a representation.
The meeting of a Grand Chapter is so styled.
English Masonic writer; edited an early prose Masonic Constitutions known as the Additional Manuscript, 1861. Brother Cooke arranged a number of musical scores for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, United States.
The old document commonly known among Masonic scholars as Matthew Cooke's Manuscript, because it was first given to the public by that distinguished Brother, was published by him, in 1861, from the original in the British Museum, which institution purcha'd it, on the 14th of October, 1859, from Mrs. Caroline Baker. It was also published in facsimile by the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, London, in 1890. Its principal value is derived from the fact, as Brother Cooke remarks, that until its appearance ''there was no prose work of such undoubted antiquity known tc be in existence on the subject.'' Brother Cooke gives the following account of the Manuscript in his preface to its republication: By permission of the Trustees of the British Museum, the 'following little work has been allowed to be copied and published in its entire form. The original is to be found among the additional manuscripts in that national collection, and is numbered 23,198. Judging from the character uf the handwriting and the form of contractions employed by the scribe, it was most probably written in the litter portion of the fifteenth century, and may be considered a very clear specimen of the penmanship of that period. By whom or for whom it was originally penned there is no means of ascertaining; but from the style, it may be conjectured to have belonged to some Master of the Craft, aud to have been used in assemblies of Freemasons as a text-book of the traditional history and laws of the Fraternity.
A native of Udaught, Scotland. In 1590, by Royal Patent, because his ancestors had held the same office, he was made Patron for life of the Freemasons of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine.
CORD, HINDU SACRED.
See Silver Cord.
See Threefold Cord.
The Masonic decoration, which in English is called the collar, is styled by the French Freemasons the cordon.
This is the lightest and most ornamental of the pure orders, and possesses the highest degree of richness and detail that architecture attained under the Greeks. Its capital is its great distinction, and is richly adorned with leaves of acanthus, olive, etc., and other ornaments. The column of Beauty which supports the Lodge is of the Corinthian Order, and its appropriate situation and symbolic officer are in the South.
CORK, ORDER OF THE.
A side Degree found in British Masonic circles and practised with that excellent conviviality characteristic of the Brethren. The main object is to provide an opportunity for the display of high spirits on some especial occasion. Significant of the membership is a jewel, a section or slice of cork, usually enclosed in a metal band for attachment to the watch-chain as a charm or pendant, or carried as a pocket-piece. The absence of this emblem or pledge when a member is challenged by another one subjects the corkless Brother to a forfeit, which again is commonly and appropriately the cause of mutual enjoyment.
See Northeast Corner.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014