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The deposite of the Substitute Ark is celebrated in the Degree of Select Master, and is supposed to have taken place in the last year of the building of Solomon's Temple, or 1000 B.C. This is therefore adopted as the date in Cryptic Freemasonry. In the legendary history of Freemasonry as preserved in the Cryptic Degrees, two deposites are spoken of; the deposit of the Substitute Ark, and the deposits of the Word, both being referred to the same year and being different parts of one transaction. They have, therefore, sometimes been confounded. The deposit of the Ark was made by the three Grand Masters; that of the Word by Hiram Abif alone.
DEPOSITE, YEAR OF.
See Anno Depositionu.
DEPTH OF THE LODGE.
This is said to be from the surface to the center, and is the expression of an idea connected with the symbolism of the form of the Lodge as indicating the universality of Freemasonry. The oldest definition was that the depth extended to the centre of the earth, which, says Dr. Oliver, is the greatest extent that can be imagined (see Form of the Lodge).
The authority granted by the Grand Master to a Brother to act as Provincial Grand Master was formerly called a deputation. Thus, in Anderson's Constitutions (second edition, 1738, page 191) it is said, "Lovel, Grand Master, granted a Deputation to Sir Edward Matthews to be Provincial Grand Master of Shropshire." It was also used in the sense in which Dispensation is now employed to denote the Grand Master's authority for opening a Lodge. In German Freemasonry, a deputation is a committee of one Lodge appointed to visit and confer with some other Lodge.
DEPUTE GRAND MASTER.
Depute is a Scotticism used in the Laws and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Scotland to designate the officer known in England and America as Deputy Grand Master. The word comes from the Latin deputo, meaning to cut off or select.
In French Freemasonry, the officers who represent a Lodge in the Grand Orient are called its deputies. The word is also wed in another sense. When two Lodges are affiliated, that is, have adopted a compact of union, each appoints a deputy to represent it at the meetings of the other. He is also called garant d'amitie, meaning in French the plege of friendship, and is entitled to a seat in the East.
DEPUTY GRAND CHAPTER.
In the Constitution adopted in January, 1798, by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the Northern States of Americans which afterward became the General Grand Chapter, it was provided that Grand Bodies of the system should be established in the several States, which should be known as Deputy Grand Royal Arch Chapters. But in the succeeding year, on the adoption of a new Constitution, the title was changed to State Grand Chapters.
DEPUTY GRAND MASTER.
The assistant and, in his absence, the representative of the Grand Master. The office originated in the year 1720, when it was agreed that the Grand Master might appoint both his Grand Wardens and a Deputy Grand Master (see Constitutions, 1738, page 111).
The object evidently was to relieve a nobleman, who was Grand Master, from troublesome details of office. The Constitutions give a Deputy Grand Master no other prerogatives than those which he claims in the Grand Master's right. He presides over the Craft in the absence of the Grand Master, and, on the death of that officer, succeeds to his position until a new election. In England, and the custom has been followed in a few States of America, he is appointed by the Grand Master; but the general usage in the United States of America is to elect him.
In Germany, a Deputations-Loge, or Deputy Lodge, was formed by certain members of a Lodge who lived at a remote distance from it, and who met under the name and by the authority of the mother Lodge, through whom alone it was known to the Grand Lodge, or the other Lodges. Such Bodies are not known in England or America, and have not been so common in Germany as formerly.
In England, when a Prince of the Blood Royal is Master of a Private Lodge, his functions are performed by an officer appointed by him, and called a Deputy Master, who exercises all the prerogatives and enjoys all the privileges of a regular Master. In Germany, the Master of every Lodge is assisted by a Deputy Master, who is either appointed by the Master, or elected by the members, and who exercises the powers of the Master in the absence of that officer.
He was at first the Grand Secretary, and afterward the Deputy Grand Master, of that body of Freemasons who in 1751 formed the Grand Lodge of the Antients, which see, stigmatizing the regular Freemasons as Moderns. In 1756, Dermott published the Book of Constitutions of his Grand Lodge, under the title of Ahiman Rezon; or a help to ad that are or would be Free and Accepted Masons, containing the quintessence of ad that has been published on the subject of Freemasonry. This work passed through several editions, the last of which was edited, in 1813, by Thomas Harper, the Deputy Grand Master of the Antient Masons, under the title of The Constitutions of Freemasonry or Ahiman Rezon.
Dermott was undoubtedly the moving and sustaining spirit of the great conflict which, from the middle of the eighteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century, divided the Freemasons of England; and his reputation has not been spared by the adherents of the constitutional Grand Lodge. Lawrie (History of Freemasonry, page 117) says of him: "The unfairness with which he has stated the proceedings of the moderns, the bitterness with which he treats them, and the quackery and vainglory with which he displays his own pretensions to superior knowledge, deserve to be reprobated by every class of Masons who are anxious for the purity of their Order and the preservation of that charity and mildness which ought to characterize all their proceedings."
There is perhaps much truth in this estimate of Dermott's character. As a polemic, he was sarcastic, bitter, uncompromising, and not altogether sincere or veracious. But in intellectual attainments he was inferior to none of his adversaries, and in a philosophical appreciation of the character of the Masonic Institution he was in advance of the spirit of his age. It has often been asserted that he invented the Royal Arch Degree by dismembering the Third Degree, but that this is entirely unfounded is proved by the fact that he was Exalted to the Royal Arch Degree in 1746, while the Degree was being conferred in London before 1744 (see Royal Arch Degree). Dermott was born in Ireland in 1720, initiated in 1740, installed Worshipful Master of Lodge No. 26 at Dublin in 1746, was Grand Secretary of the Antients from 1752 to 1771 at London, the Deputy Grand Master from that year until 1771, then once more Deputy from 1782 to 1787, dying in 1791 An excellent, if brief, biography of his Masonic career has been written by Brother W. M. Bywater and was privately printed in 1884 at London under the title of Notes on Law: Dermott G. S. and His Work. Another essay, equally delightful, on Laurence Dermott, is by Brother Richard J. Reece, Secretary of the Grand Masters Lodge, No. 1, of England.
Brother Arthur Heiron's pamphlet, the Craft in the Eighteenth Century, says that "Dermott was musically inclined, and very fond of singing at the meetings of his Grand Lodge but that he was not always popular amongst the Antients is proved by the fact that in 1752 four of their members accused him of having 'actually sung and lectured the Brethren out of their senses,' but in 1753 the W. M. in the chair at an Emergency held at the King and Queen, Cable Street, Rosemary Lane, thanked him for his last new song and 'hoped that the applause of his Brethren would induce Brother Dermott, G. S., to compose another against the next St. John's Day."'
Charles Radcliffe, titular Earl of Derwentwater, which title he assumed on the death of the unmarried son of his brother, James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater, who was executed for rebellion in 1716, in London, was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, to which office he was elected on the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1725. Charles Radcliffe was arrested with his brother, Lord Derwentwater, in 1715, for having taken part in the rebellion of that year to restore the house of Stuart to the throne. Both were convicted of treason, and the Earl suffered death, but his brother Charles made his escape to France, and thence to Rome, where he received a trifling pension from the Pretender.
After a residence at Rome of some few years, he went to Paris, where, with the Chevalier Maskelyne, Heguetty, and some other Englishmen, he established a Lodge in the Rue des Boucheries, which was followed by the organization of several others, and Radcliffe who had taken the title of Earl of Derwentwater on the death of his youthful nephew, the son of the last Earl, was elected Grand Master. Leaving France for a time, in 1736 he was succeeded in the Grand Mastership by Lord Harnouester.
So far we follow Brother Mackey but Brother Hawkins adds the substance of this paragraph: Such is the statement usually made, but R. F. Gould, in his Concise History of Freemasonry, suggests that Harnouester is a corruption of Darwentwater and that the two persons are identical, the Earl of Derwentmater being really elected Grand Master in 1736.
Radcliffe made many visits to England after that time in unsuccessful pursuit of a pardon. Finally, on the attempt of the young Pretender to excite a rebellion in 1745, he sailed from France to join him, and the vessel in which he had embarked having been captured by an English cruiser, he was carried to London and beheaded on December 8, 1746.
DESAGULIERS, JOHN THEOPHILUS.
Of all those who were engaged in the revival of Freemasonry in the beginning of the eighteenth century, none performed a more important part than he to whom may be well applied the epithet of the Father of Modern speculative Freemasonry, and to whom, perhaps, more than any other person, is the present Grand Lodge of England indebted for its existence. A sketch of his life, drawn from the scanty materials to be found in Masonic records, and in the brief notices of a few of his contemporaries, cannot fail to be interesting to the student of Masonic history.
The Rev. John Theophilus Desaguliers, LL.D., F.R.S., was born on March 12, 1683, at Rochelle, in France. He was the son of a French Protestant clergyman; and, his father having removed to England as a refugee on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, he was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took lessons of the celebrated Keill in experimental philosophy. In 1719 he received the Degree of Master of Arts, and in the same year succeeded Doctor Keill as a lecturer on experimental philosophy at Hert Hall (now Hertford College). In the year 1713 he removed to Westminster, where he continued his course of lectures, being the first one, it is said, who ever lectured upon physical science in the metropolis. At this time he attracted the notice and secured the friendship of Sir Isaac Newton. His reputation as a philosopher obtained for him a Fellowship in the Royal Society. He was also about this time admitted to clerical orders, and appointed by the Duke of Chandos his Chaplain, who also presented him to the living of Whitchurch. In 1718 he received from the University of Oxford the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, and was presented by the Earl of Sunderland to a living in Norfolk, which he afterward exchanged for one in Essex. He maintained, however, his residence in London, where he continued to deliver his lectures until his death in 1744.
His contributions to scienec consist of a Treatise on the Construction of Chimneys translated from the French, and published in 1716; A System of Experimental Philosophy, of which a second edition was issued in 1719; .4 Course of Experimental Philosophy, in two volumes, published in 1734; and in 1735 he edited an edition of Gregory's Elements of Catoptrics and Dioptrics. He also translated from the Latin Gravesandes Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy.
In the clerical profession he seems not to have been an ardent worker, and his theological labors were confined to the publication of a single sermon onrepentance. He was in fact more distinguished as a scientist than as a clergyman, and Priestly calls him "an indefatigable experimental philosopher."
It is, however, as a Freemason that Doctor Desaguliers will most attract our attention. But nothing is known as to his connection with Freemasonry until 1719, when he was elevated to the throne of the Grand Lodge, succeeding George Payne, and being thus the third Grand Master after the revival. He paid much attention to the interests of the Fraternity, and so elevated the character of the Order, that the records of the Grand Lodge show that during his administration several of the older Brethren who had hitherto neglected the Craft resumed their visits to the Lodges, and many noblemen were initiated into the Institution.
Doctor Desaguliers was peculiarly zealous in the investigation and collection of the old records of the society, and to him we are principally indebted for the preservation of the Charges of a Freemason and the preparation of the General Regulations, which are found in the first edition of the Constitutions; which, although attributed to Doctor Anderson, were undoubtedly compiled under the supervision of Desaguliers. Anderson, we suppose, did the work, while Desaguliers furnished much of the material and the thought. One of the first controversial works in favor of Freemasonry, namely, A Detection of Dr. Plots' Account of the Freemasons, was also attributed to his pen; but he is said to have repudiated the credit of its authorship, of which indeed the paper furnishes no internal evidence.
In 1721 he delivered before the Grand Lodge what the records call "an eloquent oration about Masons and Masonry." It does not appear that it was ever published, at least no copy of it is extant, although Kloss puts the title at the head of his Catalogue of Masonic Orations. It is indeed, the first Masonic address of which we have any notice, and would be highly interesting, because it would give us, in all probability, as Kloss remarks, the views of the Freemasons of that day in reference to the design of the Institution.
After his retirement from the office of Grand Master, in 1720, Desaguliers was three times appointed Deputy Grand Master: in 1723, by the Duke of Wharton; in June of the same year, by the Earl of Dalkeith; in 1725, by Lord Paisley; and during this period of service he did many things for the benefit of the Craft; among others, initiating that scheme of charity which was subsequently developed in what is now known in the Grand Lodge of England as the Fund of Benevolence.
After this, Doctor Desaguliers passed over to the Continent, and resided for a few years in Holland. In 1731 he was at The Hague, and presided as Worshipful Master of a Lodge organized under a special Dispensation for the purpose of initiating and passing the Duke of Lorraine, who was subsequently Grand Duke of Tuscany, and then Emperor of Austria as well as of Germany. The Duke was, during the same year, made a Master Mason in England.
On his return to England, Desaguliers was considered, from his position in Freemasonry, as the most fitting person to confer the Degrees on the Prince of Wales, who was accordingly entered, passed, and raised in an Occasional Lodge, held on two occasions at Kew, over which Doctor Desaguliers presided as Master.
Doctor Desaguliers was very attentive to all his Masonic duties, and punctual in his attendance on the Communications of the Grand Lodge. His last recorded appearance by name is on the 5th of February, 1742, but a few years before his death.
Of Desaguliers' Masonic and personal character, Doctor Oliver gives, from tradition, the following description:
There were many traits in his character that redound to his immortal praise. He was a grave man in private life, almost approaching to austerity; but he could relax in the private recesses of a Tyled Lodge, and in company with brothers and fellows where the ties of social intercourse are not particularly stringent. He considered the proceedings of the Lodge as strictly confidential; and being persuaded that his brothers by initiation actually occupied the same position as brothers by blood, he was undisguisedly free and familiar in the mutual interchange of Unrestrained courtesy. In the Lodge he was jocose and free-hearted, sang his song, and had no objection to his share of the bottle, although one of the most learned and distinguished men of his day (see Revelations of a Square, page 10).
In 1713, Desaguliers had married a daughter of William Pudsey, Esq., by whom he had two sons Alexander, who was 3 clergyman, and Thomas, who went into the army, and became a colonel of artillery and an equerry to George III.
The latter days of Doctor Desaguliers are said to have been clouded with sorrow and poverty. De Feller, in the Biographie Universelle, says that he became insane, dressing sometimes as a harlequin, and sometimes as a clown, and that in one of these fits of insanity he died. Cawthorn, in a poem entitled The Vanity of Human Enjoyments, intimates, in the following lines, that Desaguliers was in very necessitous circumstances at the time of his death:
How poor, neglected Desaguliers fell!
How he who taught two gracious kings to view
All Boyle ennobled and all Bacon knew,
Died in a cell. without a friend to save
Without a guinea, and without a grave.
But the accounts of the French biographer and the English poet are most probably both apocryphal, or, at least, much exaggerated; for Nichols, who knew him personally, and has given a fine portrait of him in the ninth volume of his Literary Anecdotes, says that he died on February 29, 1744, at the Bedford Coffee House, and was buried in the Savoy.
To few Freemasons of tehe present day, except to those who have made Freemasonry a subject of especial study, is the name of Desaguliers very familiar
But it is well they should know that to him, perhaps, more than to any other man, are we indebted for the present existence of Freemasonry as a living institution, for it was his learning and social position that gave a standing to the Institution, which brought to its support noblemen and men of influence, so that the insignificant assemblage of four London Lodges at the Apple-Tree Tavern has expanded into an association which now shelters the entire civilized world. And the moving spirit of all this was John Theophilus Desaguliers.
The sounds in the French name Desaguliers as pronounced by Brother McClenachan will be found in the list of words printed at the end of the second volume of this work. A few comments may be made here upon the matter. All that can well be done is to indicate accepted custom. Doctor E. B. de Sauzé, the leading American authority on modern languages, prefers the following from a French point of view: De, as in desecrate; sa, as za, the short a as in lateral; gu, as gu, the French or German u (the sound best imitated by shaping the lips as if to whistle and then uttering the u); li, as in lid or lit, and ers, as the French é, shorter than the first e in desecrate. The reader will note that the final letters rs are not pronounced. Another and a fairly common pronunciation of the name among English-speaking Brethren is heard thus: Des, as in days or pays; ag, as in lag or tags u, as in mute or lute; li, as in lid or lit, and ers, as in pears or bears. A French naturalist of the same name is listed with the indicated pronunciation in Spiers' and Surenne's Dictionary (page 175) and as nearly as we can reproduce the sounds by English words may be illustrated thus: De, as in pay and way; sa, as 20 in zone; gu, as in gulf or gum, the French or German u sound being understood; li, as in lit or listen, and ers, as the a in cat or mat. Practically there is no tonic accent in French beyond a slight stress on the final syllable pronounced.
The outer court of a tent in the Order of Ishmael, or of Esau and Reconciliation.
DES ETANGS, NICHOLAS CHARLES.
A Masonic reformer, who was born at Allichamps, in France, on the 7th of September, 1766, and died at Paris on the 6th of May, 1847. He was initiated, in 1797, into Freemasonry in the Lodge l'Heureuse Rencontre, meaning in French of the Happy Meeting. He subsequently removed to Paris, where, in 1822, he became the Master of the Lodge of Trinosophs, which position he held for nine years. Thinking that the ceremonies of the Masonic system in France did not respond to the dignity of the Institution, but were gradually being diverted from its original design, he determined to commence a reform in the recognized dogmas, legends, and symbols, which he proposed to present in new forms more in accord with the manners of the present age.
There was, therefore, very little of conservation in the system of Des Etangs. It was, however, adopted for a time by many of the Parisian Lodges, and Des Etangs was loaded with honors. His Rite embraced five Degrees, viz., 1, 2, 3, the Symbolic Degrees; 4, the Rose Croix Rectified; 5, the Grand Elect Knight Kadosh. He gave to his system the title of Freemasonry Restored to Its True Principles, and fully developed it in his work entitled veritable Lien; des Peuples, meaning True Bond of the Peoples, which was first published in 1823. Des Etangs also published in 1825 a very able reply to the calumnies of the Abbé Barruel, under the title of La Franc-Maçonnerie justifiée de toutes les calomnies répandues contre elle, meaning Freemasonry justified against all the falsehoods spread against her. In the system of Des Etangs, the Builder of the Temple is supposed to symbolize the Good Genius of Humanity destroyed by Ignorance, Falsehood, and Ambition; and hence the Third Degree is supposed to typify the battle between Liberty and Despotism in the same spirit, the justness of destroying impious kings is considered the true dogma of the Rose Croix. In fact, the tumults of the French Revolution, in which Des Etangs took no inconsiderable share, had infected his spirit with a political temperament, which unfortunately appears too prominently in many portions of his Masonic system. Notwithstanding that he incorporated two of the high Degrees into his Rite, Des Etangs considered the three Symbolic Degrees as the only legitimate Freemasonry, and says that all other Degrees have been instituted by various associations and among different peoples on occasions when it was desired to revenge a death, to re-establish a prince, or to give success to a sect.
DESIGN OF FREEMASONRY.
The purpose of Freemasonry is neither charity nor almsgiving, nor the cultivation of the social sentiment; for both of these are merely incidental to its organization; but it is the search after truth, and that truth is the unity of God and the immortality of the soul. The various Degrees or grades of initiation represent the various stages through which the human mind passes, and the many difficulties which men, individually or collectively, must encounter in their progress from ignorance to the acquisition of this truth.
DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE.
The Temple of King Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Chaldees, during the reign of Zedekiah, 3416 A.M., 588 B.C. and just four hundred and sixteen years after its dedication. Although the city was destroyed and the Temple burnt, the Masonic legends state that the deep foundations of the latter were not affected. Nebuchadnezzar caused the city of Jerusalem to be leveled to the ground, the royal palace to be burned, the Temple to be pillaged as well as destroyed, and the inhabitants to be carried captive to Babylon. These events are symbolically detailed in the Royal Arch, and, in allusion to them, the passage of the Book of Chronicles which records them is appropriately considered during the ceremonies of this part of the Degree.
Side or honorary Degrees outside of the regular succession of Degrees of a Rite, and which, being conferred without the authority of a supreme controlling Body, are said to be to the side of or detached from the regular regime or customary work. The word detached is peculiar to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Thus, in the Circular of the Southern Supreme Council, October 10, 1802, is the following: "Besides those degrees which are in regular succession, most of the Inspectors are in possession of a number of detached degrees, given in different parts of the world, and which they generally communicate, free of expense, to those brethren who are high enough to understand them."
Warrants, some of which are still in existence in Scotland, and which are used to authorize the working of the Knights Templar Degree by certain Encampments in that country. They were designated Deuchar Charters, on account Alexander Deuchar, an engraver and heraldic writer, having been the chief promoter of the Grand Conclave and its first Grand Master. To his exertions, also, the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland may be said to have owed its origin.
He appears to have become acquainted with Knight Templarism early in the nineteenth century through Brethren who had been dubbed under a Warrant emanating from Dublin, which was held by Fratres serving in the Shropshire Militia. This corps was quartered in Edinburgh in 1798; and in all probability was through the instrumentality of its members that the first Grand Assembly of Knights Templar was first set up in Edinburgh. Subsequently, this gave place to the Grand Assembly of High Knights Templar in Edinburgh, working under a Charter, No. 31, of the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland, of which in 1807 Deuchar was Grand Master. The Deuchar Charters authorized Encampments to install "Knights Templar and Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem" one condition on which these Warrants were held being "that no communion or intercourse shall be maintained with any Chapter or Encampment, or body assuming that name, holding meetings of Knights Templar under a Master Mason's Charter." In 1837 the most of these Warrants were forfeited, and the Encampments erased from the roll of the Grand Conclave, on account of not making the quired returns.
DEUS MEUMQUE JUS.
Latin, meaning God and my right. The motto of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Acccepted Scottish Rite, and hence adopted as that also of the Supreme Council of the Rite. It is a Latin translation of the motto of the royal arms of England, which is the French expression Dieu et mon droit, and concerning which we have the following tradition: Richard Coeur de Leon, besieging Gisors, in Normandy, in 1198, gave, as a parole or watchword, Dieu et man droit, because Philip Augustus, King of France, had, without right, taken that city, which then belonged to England. Richard, having been victorious with that righteous parole, hence dopted it as his motto; and it was afterward marshaled in the arms of England.
The ancients often wrote their books on parchment, which was made up into a roll, hence called a volume, from cohere, the Latin word meaning to roll up. Thus, he who read the book commenced by unrolling it, a custom still practised by the Jews in reading their Sacred Law, and it was not until the whole volume had been unrolled and read that he became master of its contents. Now, in the Latin language, to unfold or to unroll was devolvere, whence we get our English word to develop. The figurative signification thus elicited from etymology may be well applied to the idea of the development of Freemasonry. The system of Speculative Freemasonry is a volume closely folded from unlawful eyes, and he who would understand its true intent and meaning must follow the old proverb, and "commence at the beginning." There is no royal road of arriving at this knowledge. It can be attained only by laborious research. The student must begin as an Apprentice, by studying the rudiments that are unfolded on its first page. Then as a Fellow Craft still more of the precious writing is unrolled, and he acquires new ideas. As a Master he continues the operation, and possesses himself of additional material for thought.
But it is not until the entire volume lies unrolled before him, in the highest Degree, and the whole speculative system of its philosophy is Lying outspread before him, that he can pretend to claim a thorough comprehension of its plan. It is then only that he has solved the problem, and can exclaim, "The end has crowned the work."
The superficial Freemason who looks only on the ornamental covering of the roll knows nothing of its contents. Freemasonry is a scheme of development; and he who has learned nothing of its design, and who is daily adding nothing to his stock of Masonic ideas, is simply one who is not unrolling the parchment. It is a custom of the Jews on their Sabbath, in the synagogue, that a member should pay for the privilege of unrolling the Sacred Law. So, too, the Freemason, who would uphold the law of his Institution, must pay for the privilege, not in base coin, but in labor and research, studying its principles, searching out its design, and imbibing all of its symbolism; and the payment thus made will purchase a rich jewel.
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
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[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014