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CORNER-STONE, SYMBOLISM OF THE.
The corrler-stone is the stone which lies at the corner of two walls and forms the corner of the foundation of an edifice. In Masonic buildings it is now alway's placed in the Northeast ; but this rule was not always formerly observed. As the foundation on which the entire structure is supposed to rest, it is considered by Operative Freemasons as the most important stone in the edifice. It is laid with impressive ceremonies ; the assistance of Speculative Freemascns is often, and ought always to be, invited to give dignity to the occasion; and for this purpose Freemasonry has provided an especial ritual which is to govern the proper performance of that duty.
Among the ancients the corner-stone of important edifices was laid with impressive ceremonies. These are well described by Tacitus in the history of the rebuilding of the Capitel. After detailing the preliminary ceremonies, which consisted of a procession of vestals, who with chaplets of flowers encompassed the ground and consecrated it by libations of living water, he adds that, after solemn prayer, Helvidius Priscus, to whom the care of rebuilding the Capitol had been committed, "laid his hand upon the fillets that adorned the foundation stone, and also the cords by which it was to be drawn to its place. In that instant the magistrates, the priests, the senators, the Roman knights, and a number of citizens, all acting with one effort and general demonstrations of joy, laid hold of the ropes and dragged the ponderous load to its destined spot.
They then threw in ingots of gold and silver, and other metals which had never been melted in the furnace, but still retained, untouched by human art, their first formation in the bowels of the earth" (see Histories iv, 53).
The symbolism of the corner-stone when duly laid with Masonic rites is full of significance, which refers to its form, to its situation, to its permanence, and to its consecration.
As to its form, it must be perfectly square on its surfaces, and in its solid contents a cube. Now the square is a symbol of morality, and the cube, of truth.
In its situation it lies between the north, the place of darkness, and the east, the place of light; and hence this position symbolizes the Masonic progress from darkness to light, and from ignorance to knowledge.
The permanence and durability of the corner-stone, which lasts long after the building in whose foundation it was placed has fallen into decay, is intended to remind the Freemason that, when this earthly house of his tabernacle shall have passed away, he has within him a sure foundation of eternal life-a corner-stone of immortality-an emanation from that Divine Spirit which pervades all nature, and which, therefore, must survive the tomb, and rise, triumphant and eternal, above the decaying dust of death and the grave.
The stone, when deposited in its appropriate place, is carefully examined with the necessary implements of Operative Freemasonry-the square, the level, and the plumb, themselves all symbolic in meaning-and is then declared to be "well formed, true, and trusty.'' Thus the Freemason is taught that his virtues are to be tested by temptation and trial, by suffering and adversity, before they can be pronounced by the Master Builder of souls to be materials worthy of the spiritual building of eternal life, fitted, "as living stones, for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
And lastly, in the ceremony of depositing the cornerstone, the elements of Masonic consecration are produced, and the stcne is solemnly set apart by pouring corn, wine, and oil upon its surface, emblematic of the Nourishment, Refreshment, and Joy which are to be the rewards of a faithful performance of duty.
The comer-stone does not appear to have been adopted by any of the heathen nations, but tc have been as the eben pinah, peculiar to the Jews, from whom it descended to the Christians. In the Old Testament, it seems always to have denoted a prince or high personage, and hence the Evangelists constantly use it in reference to Christ, who is called the Chief Comer-stone. In Masonic symbolism, it signifies a true Freemason, and therefore it is the first character which the Apprentice is made to represent after his initiation has been completed.
Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church, perhaps the best known church in London, was the first in England to have its foundation stone laid with special Masonic ceremony after the coming into existence of the Grand Lodge there. This event took place in 1724, in the reign of King George I, whose direct descendant, the Duke of Connaught, was Grand Master two hundred years later (see Freemason, March 7, 1925).
The first or cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was laid by the Grand Master of Maryland with the Grand Masters of Pennsylvania and Virginia co-operating with the Brethren of Maryland.
The stone was laid on July 4, 1824, in Carroll's Field at Baltimore and the first spading of the ground where the stone was to rest was dug by the venerable Charles Carroll of Carrollton, then the only living signer of the Declaration of Independence. Brother E. T. Schultz (Freemasortry in Maryland, pages 562-79) says that the first train over this new railroad reached the banka of the Ohio River, January 11, 1853. The seveml city trades took part in the procession and presented gifts to Mr. Carroll, one from the Weavers and Tailors was "a coat made on the way."
Allusions to public ceremonies by the Craft are frequent in the old records. One of Tuesday, August 27, 1822, deserves mention, not because of the distance in elapsed time from that date to the present, but by reason of the close identity of the custom in Great Britain and in other Countries during these many years. The occasion was the laying of the Foundation-stcne of the National Monument of Scotland, at Edinburgh, and after describing the usual procession, and the placing of coins, newspapers, plans, etc., in the cavities of the stone, these were covered with inscribed plates. 'the first being headed "To the Glory of God-In honor of the King-For the Good of the People." Then Laurie's History of Free Masortry and the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1849, page 201) continues:
The Most Worshipful the Grand Master proceeded with the ceremony, and having applied the square, the plumb, and the level respectively to the stone, with the mallet he gave three knocks, saying,-"May the Almighty Architect of the Universe look dowm with benignity upton our present undertaking, and crown this splendid edifice with every success; and may it be considered, for time immemorial, a model of taste and genius and serve to transmit with honour to posterity the names of the artists engaged in it" ; followed by the Grand Honours from the Brethren, and the Band playing "On. on my dear Brethren.
" When the music ceased, the cornucopia with corn, and the cups with wine and oil were delivered by the Grand Wardens to the Substitute Grand Master, who in succession handed them to the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, when he, according to ancient custom, poured out the corn, the wine, and the oil upon the stone, saying, "Praise be to the Lord immortal and etemal, Who formed the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and extended the waters beyond it, Who supports the pillars of Nations, and maintains in order and harmony surrounding Worlds: We implore Thy aid, and may the contintled blessings of an allbounteous Providence be the lot of these our native shores.
Almighty Ruler of Events, deign to direct the hand of our gracious Sovereign, so that he may pour down blessings upon his people; and may they, living under sage laws and a free government, ever feel grateful for the blessings they enjoy'': Which was followed by the Grand Honours from the Brethren, and prolonged cheering from the Royal Commissioners and spectators.
Brother Laurie also tells on page 207 of the curious fact that on April 30, 1824, "the Foundation-stone of the new road or approach to Glasgow from London was laid, by sanction of the Grand Lodge, by the Right Honourable Lord Provost Smith of Glasgow, Depute Provincial Grand Master of the Lower Ward of Lanarkshire, in presence of a large assemblage of the Brethren and a great number of spectators."
An unusual method of laying the Foundation-stone of a Masonic Temple took place in London on July 14, 1927. The site of the Temple in Great Queen Street, Ringsway, would not accommodate a large crowd, so it was arranged that the Grand Master of English Freemasons, the Duke of Connaught, should perform the ceremony at Royal Albert Hall, nearly three miles away. A replica of the stone was laid on a specially erected platform in the great hall where some ten thousand Freemasons from al1 parts of the Empire attended in their regalia. The ceremony in Albert Hall was performed simultaneously with the laying of the actual stone in Great Queen Street by means of special electrical contrivances.
A distinction should be made between Comer-stone and Foundation Stone. Doctor Mackey was emphatic on this point and it is well to have the matter in mind. But the two are not always distinguished definitely in the records. We have placed several items together here which the reader can list as he personally may choose. The precise classification of comer-stones of railroads and foundation stones of highways, judged by any Masonic requirement, is probably best left to individual taste. The subject may be considered under the several heads, Foundatiort Stone, and Stone of Foundation.
CORN OF NOURISHMENT.
One of the three elements of Masonic consecration (see Corn, Wine, and Oil).
The horn of plenty. The old Pagan myth tells us that Zeus was nourished during his infancy in Crete by the daughters of Melissus, with the milk of the goat Amalthea. Zeus, when he came to the empire of the world, in gratitude placed Amalthea in the heavens as a constellation, and gave one of her horns to his nurses, with the assurance that it should furnish them with a never-failing
supply of whatever they might desire. Hence it is a symbol of abundance, and as such has been adopted as the jewel of the Stewards of a Lodge, to remind them that it is their duty to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and that every Brother is suitably served. Among the deities whose images are to be found in the ancient Temples at Elora, in Hindustan, is the goddess Ana Purna, whose name is compounded of Ana, signifying corn, and Puma, meaning plenty.
She holds a corn measure in her hand, and the whole therefore very clearly has the same allusion as the Masonic Horn of plenty.
CORN, WINE, AND OIL.
Corn, wine, and oil are the Masonic elements of consecration. The adoption of these symbols is supported by the highest antiquity. Corn, wine, and oil were the most important productions of Eastern countries; they constituted the wealth of the people, and were esteemed as the supports of life and the means of refreshment David enumerates them among the greatest blessings that we enjoy, and speaks of them as "wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart" (Psalm civ., 15). In devoting anything to religious purposes, the anointing with oil was considered as a necessary part of the ceremony, a rite which has descended to Christian nations. The tabemacle in the wilderness, and all its holy vessels, were, by God's express command, anointed with oil; Aaron and his two sons were set apart for the priesthood with the same ceremony ; and the prophets and kings of Israel were consecrated to their offices by the same rite.
Hence, Freemasons' Lodges, which are but temples to the Most High, are consecrated to the sacred purposes for which they were built by strewing corn , wine, and oil upon the Lodge, the emblem of the Holy Ark. Thus does this mystic ceremony instruct us to be nourished with the hidden manna of righteousness, to be refreshed with the Word of the Lord, and to rejoice with joy unspeakable in the riches of divine grace. "Wherefore, my brethren," says the venerable Harris (Discourse iv, 81), "wherefore do you carry corn, wine, and oil in your processions, but to remind you that in the pilgrimage of human life you are to impart a portion of your bread to feed the hungry, to send a cup of your wine to cheer the sorrowful, and to pour the healing oil of your consolation into the wounds which sickness hath made in the bodies, or affiction rent in the heart, of your fellow-travellers?"
In processions, the corn alone is carried in a golden pitcher, the wine and oil are placed in silver vessels, and this is to remind us that the first, as a necessity and the "staff of life," is of more importance and more worthy of honor than the others, which are but comforts.
Italian, Coronetta. An inferior crown worn by noblemen; that of a British duke is adomed with strawberry leaves; that of a marquis has leaves with pearls interposed; that of an earl has the pearls above the leaves ; that of a viscount is surrounded with pearls only; that of a baron has only four pearls. The ducal coronet is a prominent symbol in the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
CORPORATION OF SQUAREMEN.
See Squarem¸ Corporatiort of.
See Committee on Foreign Correspondence.
CORRESPONDING GRAND SECRETARY.
An officer of a Grand Lodge to whom was formerly entrusted, in some Grand Lodges, the Foreign Correspondence of the Body. The office is now disused, a temporary appointment being made when familiarity with a foreign language may require the services of an assistant to the Grand Secretary.
CORYBANTES, MYSTERIES OF.
Rites instituted in Phrygia in honor of Atys, the lover of Cybele. The goddess was supposed first to bewail the death of her lover, and afterward to rejoice for his restoration to life. The ceremonies were a scenical representation of this alternate lamentation and rejoieing, and of the sufferings of Atys, who was placed in an ark or coffin during the mournful part of the orgies. If the description of these rites, given by Sainte-Croix from various ancient authorities, be correct, they were but a modification of the Eleusinian mysteries.
A religieus faith of late recognition, having for its motto, Deeds, not Creeds, and for its principle the service of humanity is the supreme duty.
The design of Cosmism is to join all men and women into one family, in which the principle of equality, together with that of brotherly love, that is, love of the human race, is the predominant one, and the moral and material welfare of all, the sole aim and purpose.
The Cosmists are enjoined to act as follows: To give one another encouragement and aid, both material and moral ; to cultivate all their faculties ; to contemplate all mankind as Brethren; to be courteous and forbearing to each and all; to practise charity witho ut publicity or ostentation. Freemasonry is an intensely theistical institution; but its principles cou1d scarcely be better expressed than tho se above enumerated as the foundation of the Cosmistic faith; more especially in the motto, Deeds, not Creeds.
The Third Degree of the Second Temple of the Rite of African Architects, which see in this Encyclopedia.
The most southern state of CentraI America. The first Masonic Lodge in Costa Rica was instituted by the Grand Orient of New Granada at San José in 1867. On December 7, 1899, the Grand Lodge was formed at San José. Oliver Day Street, in his Report on Correspondence to the Grand Lodge of Alabama, 1922 states: "This Grand Lodge must be moribund, if not defunct, as after repeated efforts this scribe has not been able to get into communication with it. Not a word has been received from it during the seven years he has been Foreign Correspondent." The Grand Lodge is credited by the Annuaire in 1923 as having seven Lodges, with 206 members, three Lodges being at San José and one each at Port Limon and Alajuela being named. Nos. 5 and 6 not located.
In several of the advaneed Degrees of Freemasonry the meetings are styled Councils; as, a Council of Royal and Select Masters, or Princes of Jerusalem, or Companions of the Red Cross
A part of the room in which the ceremonies of the Companions of the Red Cross are performed.
See Grand Council.
COUNCIL OF ALLIED MASONIC DEGREES.
An organization formed in England in 1880 to embosom, protect, and promulgate all side Degrees of a Masonie or other secret character, and those otherwise unclaimed that may appear as waifs. The central organization is termed the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees.
The Sovereign College of the Allied Masonie Degrees of America was organized on February 1, l892, at Richmond, Virginia, and the first officers of this Body were chosen as follows:
For the Degree of Ark Mariner all Master Masons in good standing are eligible, and all Ark Mariners are eligible for the Monitor Degree. The Ark Degree ought to be possessed by every well-equipped Freemason. In England the synonymus Degree of RoyaI Ark Mariner is exceedingly popular. Though it is not necessary in America to possess the Mark Degree before receiving that of the Ark, yet it is well for all Freemasons, who are likely to travel, to take the Mark Degree in the Chapter also,-as the qualification for the English Royal Ark Mariner's Degree is that the candidate must be a Mark Mason. The Degrees of Tiler of Solomon, Saint Lawrenre the Martyr, and the Knight of Constantinople are only conferred on those who are already Ark Mariners and Secret Monitors.
The Holy Order of Wisdom is one of the finest and most impressive Degrees in Freemasonry. The qualification is that the candidate must be a Knight Templar of the American Rite, or a. Knight Rose Croix of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Knight of Patmos is conferred only once a year, and then sparingly. It is given only to Freemasons of some mark and learning.
From the Knights of Patmos the officers of the Sovereign College are elected.
The Degrees of the Order of Wisdom, and the Knight of Patmos, are essentially Christian and Trinitarian. For the latter Degree the Candidate must be a Prince of the Royal secret of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Grand Bodies with which the Sovereign College is in amity:
In the Ark Mariner Degree: In England, The Royal Ark Council of England. In Scotland, The Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.
In the other Degrees, in England, The Grand Council Of Allied Masonic Degrees for England, Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British Crown. In Scotland, The Grand Councilof Allied Masonic Degrees for Scotland.
The Festival of the Order is Saint Paul's Day. The Prayer Book Commentary (Maemillan, 1922, page 26) says, "In the ease of Saint Paul we have the festival of his conversion, January 25, commemorating an event standing on a totally different footing from every other conversion, which was divinely destined to alter the whole tone of Christianity,. Our earliest notices of this festival carry it, we believe, to about the middle of the ninth century."
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