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These mysteries were celebrated throughout Greece and Asia Minor, but principally at Athens, where the years were numbered by them. They were instituted in honor of Baccus, or, as the Greeks called him, Dionysus, and were introduced into Greece from Egypt. In these mysteries, the murder of Dionysus by the Titans was commemorated, in which legend he is evidently identified with the Egyptian Osiris, who was slain by his brother Typhon. The aspirant, in the ceremonies through which he passed, represented the murder of the god and his restoration to life, which, says the Baron de Sacy (Notes on Saint-Croix, ii 86), were the subject of allegorical explanations altogether analogous to those which were given to the rape of Proserpine and the murder of Osiris.
The commencement of the mysteries was signalized by the consecration of an egg, in allusion to the mundane egg from which all things were supposed to have sprung. The candidate having been first purified by water, and crowned with a myrtle branch, was introduced into the vestibule, and there clothed in the sacred habiliments. He was then delivered to the conductor, who, after the mystic warning, meaning in English, Bygone, begone, all ye profane.' exhorted the candidate to exert all his fortitude and courage in the dangers and trials through which he was about to pass. He was then led through a series of dark caverns, a part of the ceremonies which Stobaeus calls "a rude and fearful march through night and darkness. " During this passage he was terrified by the howling of wild beasts, and other fearful noises; artificial thunder reverberated through the subterranean apartments, and transient flashes of lightning revealed monstrous apparitions to his sight.
In this state of darkness and terror he was kept for three days and nights, after which he commenced the aphanism or mystical death of Bacchus. He was now placed on the pastos or couch, that is, he was confined in a solitary cell, where he could reflect seriously on the nature of the undertaking in which he was engaged. During this time, he was alarmed with the sudden flood of waters, which was intended to represent the deluge. Typhon, searching for Osiris, or Dionvsus, for they are here identical, discovered the ark where Osiris had been secreted, and, tearing it violently asunder, scattered the limbs of his victim upon the waters. The aspirant now heard the loud lamentations which were instituted for the death of the god.
Then commenced the search of Rhea for the remains of Dionysus. The apartments were filled with shrieks and groans; the initiated mingled with their howlings of despair the frantic dances of the Corybantes; everything was a scene of distraction, until, at a signal from the hierophant, the whole drama changed—the mourning was turned to joy; the mangled boded was found; and the aspirant was released from his confinement, amid the shouts of Evpr~sapeu, EU7XQLPUMel x meaning in Greek We have found it; let us rejoice together. The candidate was nova made to descend into the infernal regions, where he beheld the torments of the wieked and the rewards of the virtuous.
It was now that he received the lecture explanatory of the Rites, and was invested with the tokens which served the initiated as a means of recognition. He then underwent a lustration, after which he was introduced into the holy place, where he received the name of epopt, and was fully instructed in the doctrine of the mysteries, which consisted in a belief in the existence of one God and a future state of rewards and punishments. These doctrines were taught by a variety of significant symbols. After the performance of these ceremonies, the aspirant was dismissed, and the Rites concluded with the pronunciation of the mystic words, Konx Ompax (which see elsewhere in this work). Sainte-Croix (Mysteries of Paganism ii, 90) says that the murder of Dionysus by the Titans was only an allegory of the physical revolutions of the world; but these were in part, in the ancient initiations, significant of the changes of life and death and resurrection.
The Greek name of Bacchus (see Dionysian Mysteries).
Literally means something folded. From the Greek;7rXoz. The word is applied in Freemasonry to the Certificates granted by Lodges, Chapters, and Commanderies to their members, which should always be written on parchment. The more usual word, however, is Certificate, which see. In the Scottish Rite they are called Patents.
DIRECTOR OF CEREMONIES, GRAND.
An officer in the Grand Lodge of England, who has the arrangement and direction of all processions and ceremonies of the Grand Lodge and the care of the regalia, clothing, insignia, and jewels belonging to the Grand Lodge. His jewel is two rods in saltire, or crossed! tied by a ribbon.
In German Lodges, the Master and other officers constitute a Council of Management, under the name of Directorium or Directory.
DIRECTORY, ROMAN HELVETIC.
The name assumed in 1739 by the Supreme Masonic authority at Lausanne, in Switzerland (see Switzerland).
DISCALCEATION, RITE OF.
The ceremony of taking off the shoes, as a token of respect, whenever we are on or about to approach holy ground. It is referred to in Exodus (iii, 5), where the angel of the Lord, at the burning bush, exclaims to Moses: "Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." It is again mentioned in Joshua (v, 15), in the following words: "And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy." And lastly, it is alluded to in the injunction given in Eeclesiastes (v, 1): "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God." The Rite, in fact, always was, and still is, used among the Jews and other Oriental nations when entering their temples and other sacred edifices. It does not seem to have been derived from the command given to Moses; but rather to have existed as a religious custom from time immemorial, and to have been borrowed, as Mede supposes, by the Gentiles, through tradition, from the patriarchs. The direction of Pythagoras to his disciples was in these w ords in Greek: 'Avv7roonTos AVf KQL Tpo~KvMeL that is, in English, Offer sacrifice and worship with they shoes off. Justin Martyr says that those who came to worship in the sanctuaries and temples of the Gentiles were commanded by their priests to put off their shoes. Drusius, in his votes on the Book of Joshua, says that among most of the Eastern nations it was a pious duty to tread the pavement of the temple w ith unshod feet. Maimonides, the great expounder of the Jewish aw, asserts (in the Beth Habbechirah, chapter vii) that "it was not lawful for a man to come into the mountain of God's house with his shoes on his feet, or with his staff, or in his working garments, or with dust on his feet." Rabbi Solomon, commenting on the command in Leviticus (xix, 30), "Ye shall reverence my sanctuary," makes the same remark in relation to this custom. On this subject, Oliver ( Historical Landmarks ii, 471) observes: "Now the act of going with naked feet was always considered a token of humility and reverence, and the priests, in the temple worship, alwavs officiated with feet uncovered, although it was frequently injurious to their health." Mede quotes Zago Zaba, an Ethiopian bishop, who was ambassador from David, King of Abyssini, to John III. of Portugal, as saying: "We are not permitted to enter the church except barefooted." The Mohammedans, when about to perform their devotions, always leave their slippers at the door of the mosque. The Druids practised the same custom whenever they celebrated their sacred rites; and the ancient Peruvians are said always to have left their shoes at the porch when they entered the magnificent temple consecrated to the worship of the sun. Adam Clarke (Commentary on Elodus) thinks that the custom of worshiping the Deity barefooted, was so general among all nations of antiquity, that he assigns it as one of his thirteen proofs that the whole human race have been derived from one family. Finally, Bishop Patrick, speaking of the origin of this Rite, says, in his Commentaries: "Moses did not give the first beginning to this Rite, but it was derived from the patriarchs before him, and transmitted to future times from that ancient, general tradition; for we find no command in the law of Moses or the priests performing the service of the temple without shoes, but it is certain they did so from immemorial custom; and so do the Mohammedans and other nations at this day."
See Discipline of the Secret.
This word is used by Freemasons, in its ecclesiastical sense! to signify the execution of the laws by which a Lodge is governed and the infliction of the penalties enjoined against offenders who are its members, or, not being members, live within its jurisdiction. To discipline a Freemason is to subject him to punishment (see Jurisdiction and Punishments) .
DISCIPLINE OF THE SECRET.
There existed in the earlier ages of the Christian church a mystic and secret worship, from which a portion of the congregation was peremptorily excluded, and whose privacy was guarded, with the utmost care, from the obtrusive eyes of all who had not been duly initiated into the sacred rites that qualified them to be present. This custom of communicating only to a portion of the Christian community the more abstruse doctrines and more sacred ceremonies of the church, is known among ecclesiastical writers by the name of Disciplina Arcani, or the Discipline of the Secret.
Converts were permitted to attain a knowledge of all the doctrines, and participate in the sacraments of the church, only after a long and experimental probation. The young Christian, like the disciple of Pythagoras, was made to pass through a searching ordeal of time and patience, by which his capacity, his fidelity, and his other qualifications were strictly tested. For this purpose, different ranks were instituted in the congregation. The lowest of these were named the Catechumens, meaning in English, the beginners, those under instruction. These were occupied in a study of the elementary principles of the Christian religion. Their connection with the church was not consummated by baptism, to which rite they were not admitted, even as spectators, it being the symbol of a higher Degree; but their initiation was accompanied with solemn ceremonies, consisting of prayer, signing with the cross, and the imposition of hands by the priest. The next Degree was that of the Competentes. or seekers.
When a Catechumen had exhibited satisfactory evidences of his proficieney in religious knowledge, he petitioned the Bishop for the sacrament of baptism. His name was then registered in the books of the church. After this registration, the candidate underwent the various ceremonies appropriate to the Degree upon which he vas about to enter. He was examined by the bishop as to his attainments in Christianity, and, if approved, was exorcised for twenty days, during which time he was subjected to rigorous fasts, and, having made confession, the necessary penance was prescribed. He was then, for the first time, instructed in the words of the Apostles' Creed, a symbol of which the Catechumens were entirely ignorant.
Another ceremony peculiar to the Competentes was that of going about with their faces veiled. Saint Augustine explains the ceremony by saying that the Competentes went veiled in public as an image of the slavery of Adam after his expulsion from Paradise, and that, after baptism. the veils were taken away as an emblem of the liberty of the spiritual life which was obtained by the sacrament of regeneration. Some other significant ceremonies, but of a less important character, were used. and the Competent, having passed through them all, was at length admitted to the highest Degree.
The Fideles, or Faithful, constituted the Third Degree or Order. Baptism was the ceremony by which the Competentes, after an examination into their proficiency, were admitted into this Degree. "They were thereby," says Bingham, "made complete and perfect Christians, and were, upon that account, dignified with several titles of honor and marks of distinction above the Catechumens." They were called Illuminati, or Illuminated, because they had been enlightened as to those secrets which were concealed from the inferior orders.
They were also called Initiati, or Initiated, because they were admitted to a knowledge of the sacred mysteries; and so commonly was this name in use, that, when Chrysostom and the other ancient writers spoke of their concealed doctrines, they did so in ambiguous terms, so as not to be understood by the Catechumens, excusing themselves for their brief allusions, by saying, "the Initiated know what we mean." And so complete was the understanding of the ancient Fathers of a hidden mystery, and an initiation into them, that Saint Ambrose has written a book, the title of which is, Concerning those whe are Initiated into the Mysteries. They were also called the perfect, to intimate that they had attained to a perfect knowledge of all the doctrines and sacraments of the church.
There were certain sprayers, which none but the Faithful were permitted to hear. Among these was the Lord's prayer, which, for this reason, was commonly called Oratio Fidelium, or, the Prayer of the Faithful. They were also admitted to hear discourses upon the most profound mysteries of the church, to which the Catechumens were strictly forbidden to listen. Saint Ambrose, in the book written by him to the Initiated, says that sermons on the subject of morality were daily preached to the Catechumens; but to the Initiated they gave an explanation of the Sacraments, which, to have spoken of to the unbaptized, would have rather been like a betrayal of mysteries than instruction.
Saint Augustine, in one of his sermons to the Faithful, says: "Having now dismissed the Catechumens, you alone have we retained to hear us, because, in addition to those things which belong to all Christians in common, we are now about to speak in an especial manner of the Heavenly Mysteries, which none can hear except those who, by the gift of the Lord, are able to comprehend them."
The mysteries of the church were divided, like the Ancient Mysteries, into the lesser and the greater. The former was called Missa Catechumenorum, or the Mass of the Catechumens, and the latter, Missa Fidelium, or the Mass of the Faithfut. The public service of the church consisted of the reading of the Scripture, and the delivery of a sermon, which was entirely of a moral character. These being concluded, the lesser mysteries, or Mass of the Catechumens, commenced. The deacon proclaimed in a loud voice, " Ne quis audientium, ne quis infidelium," that is, the Latin meaning, Let none who are simply hearers, and let no infuiets be present. All then who had not acknowledged their faith in Christ by placing themselves among the Catechumens, and all Jews and Pagans, were caused to retire, that the Mass of the Catechumens might begin. For better security, a deacon was placed at the men's door and a subdeacon at the women's, for the deacons were the doorkeepers, and, in fact, received that name in the Greek church. The Mass of the Catechumens which consisted almost entirely of prayers, with the episcopal benediction was then perforrned.
This part of the service having been concluded, the Catechumens were dismissed by the deacons, with the expression, Catechumens, depart in peace. The Competentes, however, or those who had the Second or Intermediate Degree, remained until the prayers for those who were possessed of evil spirits, and the supplications for themselves, were pronouneed. After this, they too were dismissed, and none now remaining in the church but the Faithful, the Missa Fidelium, or greater mysteries, commenced.
The formula of dismission used by the deacon on this occasion was: Sancta sanctis, foras canes, the Latin for Holy things for the holy, let the dogs depart, the word doff being a term of reproach for the unworthy, the hangers-on.
The Faithful then all repeated the creed, which served as an evidence that no intruder or uninitiated person was present; because the creed was not revealed to the Catechumens, but served as a password to prove that its possessor was an initiate. After prayers had been offered up—which, however, differed from the supplications in the former part of the service, by the introduction of open allusions to the most abstruse doctrines of the church, which were never named in the presence of the Catechumens the oblations were made, and the Eucharistical Sacrifice, or Lord's Supper, was celebrated. Prayers and invocations followed, and at length the service was concluded, and the assembly was dismissed by the benediction, "Depart in peace."
Bingham records the following rites as having been concealed from the Catechumens, and entrusted, as the sacred mysteries, only to the Faithful: the manner of receiving baptism; the ceremony of confirmation; the ordination of priests; the mode of celebrating the Eucharist; the Liturgy, or Divine Service; and the doctrine of the Trinity, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer, which last, however, were begun to be explained to the Competentes.
Such was the celebrated Discipline of the Secret in the early Christian church. That its origin, so far as the outward form was concerned, is to be found in the Mysteries of Paganism, there can be no doubt, as has been thus expressed by the learned Mosheim:
Religion having thus, in both its branches the speculative as well as the practical, assumed a twofold charater - the one public or common, the other private or mysterious it was not long before a distinction of a similar kind took place also in the Christian discipline and form of divine worship; for, observing that in Egypt as well as in other countries, the heathen worshippers in addition to their public religious ceremonies to which everyone was admitted without distinction, had certain secret and most sacred rites, to which they gave the name of mysteries, and at the celebration of which none but persons of the most approved faith and discretion were permitted to be present, the Alexandrian Christians first. and after them others, were beguiled into a notion that they could not do better than make the Christian discipline accommodate itself to this model. No trace of the Disciptina Arcani is found until the end of the second century and it appears to have died rapidly near the close of the sixth century Strong traces of it are asserted by the encyclopedists to be even now in the Greek liturgy. Further details are given in the old works De Duciptini Arcani by Schelstrate, published at Rome in 1685, and that by Tentzel, published at Leipzig in 1692.
DISCOVERY OF THE BODY.
DISCOVERY, THE YEAR OF THE.
The Latin phrase Anno Inventionis, or in the Year of the Discovery, is the style assumed by the Royal Arch Masons, in commemoration of an event which took place soon after the commencement of the rebuilding of the Temple by Zerubbabel.
The German name for what English Freemasons call a Certificate of Lodge Resignation. A Dimit.
A permission to do that which, without such permission, is forbidden by the constitutions and usages of the Order.
Du Cange (in the Glossarium) defines a Dispensation to be a prudent relaxation of a general law, the Latin expression being Provida juris cmmmunis relaxatio. While showing how much the ancient eclesiastical authorities were opposed to the granting of Dispensations, since they preferred to pardon the offense after the law had been violated, rather than to give a previous license for its violation, he adds, "but, however much the Roman Pontiffs and pious Bishops felt of reverence for the ancient Regulations, they were often compelled to depart in some measure from them, for the utility of the church; and this milder measure of acting the jurists called a Dispensation."
This power to dispense with the provisions of law in particular cases appears to be inherent in the Grand Master; because, although frequently referred to in the old Regulations, it always is as if it were a power already in existence, and never by way of a new grant. There is no record of any Masonic statute or constitutional provision conferring this prerogative in distinct cords. The instances, however, in which this prerogative may be exercised are clearly enumerated in various places of the Old Constitutiens, so what there can be no difficulty in understanding to what extent the prerogative extends.
The power of granting dispensations is confided to the Grand Master, or his representative, but should not be exercised except on extraordinary occasions, or for excellent reasons. The dispensing power is conned to four circumstances:
1. A Lodge cannot be opened and held unless a Warrant of Constitution be first granted by the (Grand Lodge; but the Grand Master may issue his Dispensation, empowering a constitutional number of Brethren to open and hold a Lodge until the next Communiecation of the Grand Lodge. At this communication, the Dispensation of the Grand Master is either revoked or confirmed.. A Lodge under Dispensation is not permitted to be represented, nor to vote in the Grand Lodge.
2. Not more than five candidates can be made at the same communication of a Lodge; but the Grand Master, on showing of sufficient cause, may extend to a Lodge the privilege of making as many more as he may think proper.
3. No brother can, at the same time, belong to two Lodges within three miles of each other. But the Grand Master may dispense with this regulation also.
4. Every Lodge must elect and install its officers on the constitutional night, which, in most Masonic Jurisictions, precedes the anniversary of Saint John the Evanslist. Should it, however neglect this duty, or should any officer die, or be expelled. or removed permanently no subsequent election or installation can take place, exept under Dispensation of the Grand Master.
DISPENSATION, LODGES UNDER.
DISPENSATIONS OF RELIGION.
An attempt has been made to symbolize the Pagan, the Jewish, and the Christian Dispensations by a certain ceremony of the Master's Degree which dramatically teaches the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul. The reference made in this ceremony to portions of the First, Second, and Third Degrees is used to demonstrate the differences of the three dispensations in the reception of these two dogmas. It is said that the unsuccessful effort in the Entered Apprentice's Degree refers to the heathen dispensation, where neither the resurrection of the body nor the immortality of the soul was recognized; at the second unsuccessful effort in the Fellow Craft's Degree refers to the Jewish dispensation, where, though the resurrection of the body was unknown, the immortality of the soul was dimly hinted; and that the final and successful effort in the Master's Degree symbolizes the Christian Dispensation, in which, through the teachings of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, both the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul were clearly brought to light. This symbolism, which is said by Brother Mackey to have been the invention of a peripatetic lecturer in the South many years ago, is so forced and fanciful in its character, that it did not long survive the local and temporary teachings of its inventor, and is only preserved here as an instance of how symbols, like metaphors, may sometimes run mad.
But there is another symbolism of the three Degrees, as illustrating three dispensations, which is much older, having originated among the lecturemakers of the eighteenth century, which for a long time formed a portion of the authorized ritual, and has been repeated with approbation by some distinguished writers. In this the three Degrees are said to be symbols in the progressive knowledge which they impart of the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the Christian dispensations. The First, or Entered Apprentice's Degree, in which but little Masonic light is communicated, and which, indeed, is only preparatory and introductory to the two succeeding Degrees, is said to symbolize the first, or Patriarchal Dispensation, the earliest revelation, where the knowledge of God was necessarily imperfect, His worship only a few simple rites of devotion, and the religious dogmas merely a general system of morality.
The Second, or Fellow Craft's Degree, is symbolic of the second or Mosaic Dispensation, in which, while there were still many imperfections, there was also a great increase of religious knowledge, and a nearer approximation to Divine truth, with a promise in the future of a better theodicy. But the Third, or Master Mason's Degree, which, in its original conception, before it was dismembered by the innovations of the Royal Arch, was perfect and complete in its consummation of all Masonic light, symbolizes the last, or Christian Dispensation, where the great and consoling doctrine of the resurrection to eternal life is the crowning lesson taught by its Divine Founder. This subject is very fully treated by the Rev. James Watson, in an address delivered at Laneaster, England, in 1795, and contained in Jones's Masonic Miscellanies (page 245); better, in Brother Mackey's opinion, by him than even by Hutchinson.
Beautiful as this symbolism may be, and appropriately fitting in all its parts to the laws of symbolic science, it is evident that its origin cannot be traced farther back than to the period when Freemasonry was first divided into three distinctive Degrees; nor could it have been invented later than the time when Freemasonry was deemed, if not an exclusively Christian organization, at least to be founded on and fitly illustrated by Christian dogmas. At present, this symbolism, though preserved in the speculations of such Christian writers as Hutchinson and Oliver, and those who are attached to their peculiar school, finds no place in the modern cosmopolitan rituals. It may belong, as an explanation, to the history of Freemasonry, but can scarcely make a part of its symbolism. Here a brief note may be added to the above comments by Brother Mackey on this important subject to say that a notebook formerly in the possession of Brother John Barney, whose field of instruction in the Masonic ceremonies extended through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, has a monitorial teaching pertaining to the three Dispensations concluding with Christianity, a lecture ready for use when desired but which could easily be omitted on other occasions. Such a lecture is unknown to the practice of-the present generation.
DISPERSION OF MANKIND.
The dispersion of mankind at the tower of Babel and on the plain of Shinar, which is recorded in the Book of Genesis, has given rise to a Masonic tradition of the following purport:
The knowledge of the great truths of God and immortality were known to Noah, and by him communicated to his immediate descendants, the Noachidae or Noachites, by whom the true worship continued to be cultivated for some time after the subsidence of the deluge; but when the human race were dispersed, a portion lost sight of the Divine truths which had been communicated to them from their common ancestor, and fell into the most grievous theological errors, corrupting the purity of the worship and the orthodoxy of the religious faith which they had primarily received.
These truths were preserved in their integrity by but a very few in the patriarchal line, while still fewer were enabled to retain only dim and glimmering portions of the true light. The first class was confined to the direct descendants of Noah, and the second was to be found among the priests and philosophers, and, perhaps, still later, among the poets of the heathen nations, and among those whom they initiated into the secrets of these truths.
The system of doctrine of the former class has been called by Masonic writers the Pure or Primitive Freemasonry of antiquity, and that of the latter class the Spurious Freemasonry of the same period. These terms were first used by Doctor Oliver, and are intended to refer—the word pure to the doctrines taught by the descendants of Noah in the Jewish line, and the word spurious to those taught by his descendants in the heathen or Gentile line.
The spirit of all the Ancient Charges and Constitutions is, that disputes among Freemasons should be settled by an appeal to the Brethren, to whose award the disputants were required to submit. Thus, in an Old Record of the fifteenth century, it is provided, among other charges, that: If any discorde schall be bitwene hym and his felows, he schall abey hym mekely and be stylle at the byddyng of his Master or of the Wardeyne of his Master, in his Master's absent to the holy day following, and that he accorde then at the disposition of his felows.
A similar regulation is to be found in all the other old Charges and Constitutions, and is continued in operation at this day by the Charges approved in 1799, which express the same idea in more modern language.
A Lodge in England may be dissolved by the unanimous consent of its members and can be erased or suspended by proper vote of Grand Lodge. Should a majority of the members of any Lodge decide to retire from it the rest of the members have the power of assembling. Should, however, all the members withdraw, the Lodge becomes automatically extinct.
In the rituals, all Lodges are called Lodges of Saint Johns but every Lodge has also another name by which it is distinguished. This is called its distinctive title. This usage is preserved in the diplomas of the Continental Freemasons, especially the French, where the specific name of the Lodge is always given as well as the general title of Saint John, which it has in common with all other Lodges. Thus, a Diploma issued by a French Lodge whose name on the Register of the Grand Orient would perhaps be La Vérité, meaning The Truth, will purport to have been issued by the Lodge of Saint John, under the distinctive title of La Vérité, or to use the full expression in French, par la Lope de St. Jean sous be titre distinctif de la Varité. The term is never used in English or American Diplomas.
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