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GEMARA. See Talmud .
GEMATRIA. Means in Hebrew to reckon by letters as well as numbers, a cabalistic method of interpreting the Scriptures by interchanging words whose letters have the same numerical value when added (see Numbers).
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. See Assembly.
GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER. Until the year 1797, the Royal Arch Degree and the Degrees subsidiary to it were conferred in America, either in irresponsible Bodies calling themselves Chapters, but obedient to no superior authority, or in Lodges working under a Grand Lodge Warrant. On October 24, 1797, a Convention of Committees from three Chapters, namely, the Saint Andrew s Chapter of Boston, Temple Chapter of Albany, and Newburyport Chapter, was held at Boston, which recommended to the several Chapters within the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York to hold 8 Convention at Hartford on the fourth Wednesday of January ensuing, to form a Grand Chapter for the said States.
Accordingly, on January 24, 1798, delegates from Saint Andrew's Chapter of Boston, Massachusetts; King Cyrus Chapter of Newburyport, Massachusetts; Providence Chapter of Providence, Rhode Island; Solomon Chapter of Derby, Connecticut; Franklin Chapter of Norwich, Connecticut, and Hudson Chapter of Hudson, New York; to which were the next day added Temple Chapter of Albany, New York;, and Horeb Chapter of Whitestown, New York, assembled at Hartford in Convention and, having adopted a Constitution organized a governing Body which they styled The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the .Northern States of America. This Body assumed in its Constitution jurisdiction over only the States of New England and New York, and provided that Deputy Grand Chapters, subject to its obedience, should be organized in those States. Ephraim Kirby, of Litchfield, Connecticut, was elected Grand High Priest; and it was ordered that the first meeting of the Grand Chapter should be held at Middletown, Connecticut, on the third Wednesday of September next ensuing.
On that day the Grand Chapter met, but the Grand Secretary and Grand chaplain were the only Grand Officers present. The Grand King was represented by a proxy. The Grand Chapter, however, proceeded to an election of Grand Officers, and the old officers were elected. The Body then adjourned to meet in January, 1799, at Providence, Rhode Island.
On January 9, 1799, the Grand Chapter met at Providence, the Deputy Grand Chapters of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York being represented. At this meeting, the Constitution was very considerably modified, and the Grand Chapter assumed the title of The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for the six Northern States enumerated in the preamble. The meetings were directed to be held septennial; and the Deputy Grand Chapters were in future to be called State Grand Chapters. No attempt was, however, made in words to extend the jurisdiction of the General Grand Chapter beyond the States already named. On January 9, 1806, a meeting of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter was held at Middletown, representatives being present from the States of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York. The Constitution was again revised. The title was for the first time assumed of The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for the United States of America, and jurisdiction was extended over the whole country. This year may, therefore, be considered as the true date of the establishment of the General Grand Chapter.
In 1826 the septennial meetings were abolished, and the General Grand Chapter has ever since met triennially. The General Grand Chapter consists of the present and past Grand High Priests, Deputy Grand High Priests, Grand Kings and Scribes of the State Grand Chapters, and the Past General Grand Officers. The officers are a General Grand High Priest, Deputy General Grand High Priest, General Grand King, General Grand Scribe, General Grand Treasurer, General Grand Secretary, General Grand Chaplain, General Grand Captain of the Host, and General Grand Royal Arch Captain. It originally possessed large prerogatives, extending even to the suspension of Grand Chapters; but by its present organization it has "no power of discipline, admonition, censure, or instruction over the Grand Chapters, nor any legislative powers whatever not specially granted" by its Constitution. It may, indeed, be considered as scarcely more than a great Masonic Congress meeting every three years for consultation. But even with these restricted powers, it is capable of doing much good.
GENERAL GRAND HIGH PRIEST. The presiding officer of the General Grand Chapter of the United States of America. He is elected every third year by the General Grand Chapter. The title was first assumed in 1799, although the General Grand Chapter did not at that time extend its jurisdiction beyond six of the Northern States.
GENERALISSIMO. The second officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar, and one of its representatives in the Grand Commandery. His duty is to receive and communicate all orders, signs, and petitions; to assist the Eminent Commander, and, in his absence, to preside over the Commandery. His station is on the right of the Eminent Commander, and his jewel is a square, surmounted by a paschal lamb.
The use of the title in Templarism is of very recent origin, and peculiar to America. No such officer was known in the old Order. It is, besides, inappropriate to a subordinate officer, being derived from the French géneralissime, and that from the Italian generalissimo, both signifying a Supreme Commander. Strictly speaking, it has the same meaning in English.
GENEROUS FREEMASON. The first Masonic opera, the libretto written by Brother William Rufus Chetwood, prompter at Drury Lane Theater, London, for eighteen years, beginning 1722. Sixty-one years before Brother Mozart composed his Masonic opera known as The Manic Flude, Brother Chetwood's work was first performed in public. The following advertisement appeared in the Daily Post, August 20, 1730:
At Oates and Fielding's Great Theatrical Booth at the George Inn Yard in Smithfield, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, will be presented an entire new opera call'd The Generous Freemason, or the Constant Lady, with the comical humours of Squire Noodle and his man Doodle by Persons from both Theatres. The part of the King of Tunis by Mr. Bareoek, Mirza Mr. Paget; Sebastian, Mr. Oates; Clermont, Mr. Fielding; Sir Jasper, Mr. Burnett; Squire Noodle, Mr. Berry Doodle, Mr. Smith; Davy, Mr. Excell; Captain, Mr. Brogden; the Queen, Nirs. Kilby; Maria, Miss Oates; Celia, Mrs. Graee- Jacinta, Miss Williams- Jenny, the chambermaid, Mrs. Stevens; Lettiee, Mrs. Roberts. All characters newly dress'd. With several entertainments of dancing by Monsieur de St. Luee, Mlle. de Lorme, and others, particularly the Wooden Shoe Danee, the Pierrot and Pierrette, and the Danee of the Black Joke. Beginning every day at 2 o'clock.
The two theaters mentioned were Drury Lane and Covent Garden The opera was billed as "a tragicomi-farcical ballad opera" and published by "J. Roberts in Warwick Lane, and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster," the third page bearing the following dedication: To the Right Worshipful the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, and the rest of the Brethren of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, this opera is humbly inscribed by Your most obedient and devoted Servant, The Author, a Free-Mason. The two leading characters in the play are Maria, an English lady, and Sebastian, an English gentleman, who are secretly engaged to each other. When it is proposed that she marry someone else, Maria agrees to elope with Sebastian to Spain where he has a wealthy uncle. Sebastian expresses his regret at leaving England in these words:
v What I have done was in firm Virtue's cause, Thou art my Brother by the strictest laws; A chain unseen fast binds thee to my heart A tie that never can from Virtue part.
After this, "Neptune rises to a symphony of soft musick, attended by Tritons," and the play closes with a song from him praising Freemasonry. The opera was revived at the Haymarket Theater in 1731 and Brother Chetwood, 1733, at the theater in Goodman's Fields rearranged it and produced it in the form of a one-act operetta, entitled The Mock Mason, retaining only the comic phases of the original play. In 1741 The Generous Freemason, in original form, was again given with great popularity. The music for the opera was supplied by three composers, the musical score having been written by Henry Carey known as the author and composer of Sally in our Alley. Richard Charke, a violinist and member of the Drury Lane Theater company, and John Sheeles, a famous teacher of the harpsichord, were the other two responsible for the Iyrics in the opera. Two copies of the opera are at present in the possession of the British Museum and these give the airs of some of the songs without accompaniment, which was the usual method at that time. We are indebted to Brother Richard Northcott, Fellow of the Roval Philharmonic Society, England, for the details given here.
GENTLEMAN MASON. In some of the old lectures of the eighteenth century this title is used as equivalent to Speculative Freemason. Thus they had the following catechism
What do you learn by being a Gentleman Mason?
Secrecy, Morality, and Good-Fellowship.
What do you learn by being an Operative Mason?
Hew, Square, Mould stone, lay a Level, and raise a Perpendicular.
Hence we see that Gentleman Mason was in contrast with Operative Mason.
GENUFLECTION. Bending the knees has, in all ages of the world, been considered as an act of reverence and humility, and hence Pliny, the Roman naturalist, observes, that "a certain degree of religious reverence is attributed to the knees of a man." Solomon placed himself in this position when he prayed at the consecration of the Temple; and Freemasons use the same posture in some portions of their ceremonies. as a token of solemn reverence. In Ancient Craft Masonry, during prayer, it is the custom for the members to stand, but in the advanced Degrees, kneeling, and generally on one knee, is the more usual form.
GEOMATIC. See Domatic.
GEOMETRICAL MASTER MASON. A term in use in England during the eighteenth and early in the following century. By the primitive regulations of the Grand Chapter, an applicant for the Royal Arch Degree was required to produce a certificate that he was "a Geometrical Master Maeon," and had Paseed the Chair. The word Geometrical was, in Doctor Mackey's opinion, thus synonymous with Speculative. Later researches proved that there was actually a Degree of this name. Brother George W. Speth in 1899 (Transactions, Quatour Coronati Lodge, volume xii, page 205) mentions the ritual of the Most Excellent Order of Geometrical Master Masons as being about 1819 to 1820 but that the Degree is probably much older. He says there are nine Lectures. Much of the ritual is in very rough verse, archaic, containing allusions to matters which were in use early in the eighteenth century, such as the broached thurnell, which had disappeared from Craft Masonry long before the nineteenth century. On the other hand, much of it will be recognized by members of so-called Higher Degrees as at present in use. The Degree was given apparently after the Three Craft Degrees but is unconnected with the Royal Arch. It was conferred in a Chapter, not in a Lodge, and is Christian throughout. Both Doctor Mackey and Brother Woodford give the name Geometrical Master Masons in the Encyclopedias for which they are responsible, but neither seems to have realized that it represented an actual Degree.
GEOMETRIC POINTS. In the language of French Freemasonry, this name is given to the four cardinal points of the compass, because they must agree with the four sides of a regular Temple or Lodge. They form a symbol of regularity and perfection.
In the modern instructions, geometry is said to be the basis on which the super6trueture of Freemasonry is erected; and in the Old Constitutions of the Medieval Freemasons of England the most prominent place of all the sciences is given to geometry, which is made synonymous mith Freemasonry. Thus, in the Regius Manuscript, which dates not later than the latter part of the fourteenth century. the Constitutions of Freemasonrv are called "the Constitutions of the art of geometry according to Euclid," the words geometry and Masonry being used indifferently throughout the document; and in
In the Harlefan Manuscript, No. 2054, it is said, "thus the craft Geometry was governed there, and that worthy Master (Euclid) gave it the name of Geometry, and it is called Mosonne in this land long after." In Pnother part of the same manuscript, it is thus defined: "The fifth science is called Geometry, and it teaches a man to mete and measure of the earth and other things, which science is Masonrie."
The Egyptians were undoubtedly among the first who cultivated geometry as a science. "It was not less useful and necessary to them," as Goguet observes (Origine des Lois, Origin of theLaws, I, iv, 4), "in the affairs of life, than agreeable to their speculatively philosophical genius." From Egypt, which was the parent both of the sciences and the mysteries of the Pagan world, it passed over into other countries; and geometry and Operative Masonry have ever been found together, the latter carrying into execution those designs which were first traced according to the prineiples of the former.
Speculative Freemasonry is, in like manner, intimately connected with geometry. In deference to our operative ancestors, and, in fact, as a necessary result of our close connection with them, Speeulative Freemasonry derives its most important symbols from this paren t science. Hence it is not strange that Euclid, the most famous of geometricians, should be spoken of in all the Old Records as a founder of Freemasonry in Egypt, and that a special legend should have been invented in honor of his memory.
GEORGE IV. Born 1762; died 1830. King of Great Britain. February 6, 1787, in a Special Lodge, the Duke of Cumberland, Grand Master, made George IV, then Prince of Wales, a Freemason. The Duke of Cumberland died in 1790 and the Prince of Wales was elected Grand Master on November 24. Lord Moira became Pro Grand Master. In 1805 George was elected Grand Master of Scotland. He became King in 1811 and the Duke of Sussex was elected Grand Master of England, the King taking the title of Patron.
Major-General James Edward Oglethorp, founder of the Colonv of Georgia on February 12, 1733, also founded on February 10, 1734, the Masonic Lodge now known as Solomon's Lodge No. 1, at Savannah, the name being so attached in 1776. To Past Master William B. Clarke's Early and Histonc Freemasonry of Georgia we are indebted for definite light upon the old traditions of the Craft. The present Charter of this old Lodge, granted by the Grand Lodge of Georgia in 1786, states that Roger Lacey was granted a Warrant as the first Provincial Grand Master of Georgia in 1735 by Viscount Weymouth, Grand Master of England. Unity Lodge was constituted in 1774, and Grenadier's Lodge in 1775. During these years and up to 1786 a Provincial Grand Lodge existed and in the revolutionary period acted independently, formal reconstruction being made on December 21, 1786, when the permanent appointments under England were abolished and annual elections adopted. Major-General Samuel Elbert resigned the chair and William Stephens was elected Grand Master with other ofiieers for 1787.
Solomon's Lodge at Savannah possesses an apron worn by Worshipful Master Benjamin Sheftall in 1758. The flap bears the emblem of the Royal Arch Degree and this suggests that at that time this ceremony was conferred in the Lodge where the Master himself was initiated. Georgia Chapter of Savannah worked under a Dispensation from the General Grand Chapter, Deeember 1, 1802, and a Warrant was granted, January 9,1806. Union Chapter at Louisville received a Charter, from the General Grand Chapter, June 6, 1816; Augusta Chapter, December 6, 1818; Mechanics Chapter at Lexington, June 10, 1820; Webb Chapter at Sparta, November 16, 1921. A Grand Chapter was organized on February 4, 1822.
The first document mentioning the Degree of Select Masons in Georgia was a Diploma from Brother Cohen in possession of Brother Jacobs. In May, 1792, the latter was in Savannah and was invited to go to Augusta and confer the Degrees. The first Council, Adoniram Council, No. 1, of Augusta, was probably organized by Companion Webb or Companion Cross. On May 2, 1826, this Council took part in constituting the Grand Council of Georgia. Savannah Council, No. 2; Eureka Council, No. 3; Georgia Council, No. 4, and Hancock Council were also represented at the meeting. Soon after May 7, 1827, however, the activities of this Grand Council ceased for nearly fifteen years. On June 22, 1841, delegates from three Councils met at Augusta and again organized the Grand Council of Georgia.
Georgia Encampment, No. 1, at Augusta received a Dispensation dated 1823, and was chartered on May 5. Three other Commanderies, namely Saint Omar, No. 2, Saint Aldemar, and Coeur de Lion, were chartered before the Grand Commandery was organized on April 25, 1860. The year 1888 saw the establishment of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, at Savannah when Alpha, No. 1, a Lodge of Perfection, was granted a Charter on October 17. On the following day Temple, No. 1, a Chapter of Rose Croix, was chartered and on October 23, two years later, a Council of Kadosh, Gethsemane, No. 1, and a Consistory, Richard Joseph Nunn, No. 1, were also granted Charters.
GERBIER, DOCTOR. An energetic Freemason, and, as mentioned in the Royal Masonic Cyclopedia, one of the removable Masters of the ancient Grand Lodge of France. He is said to have fabricated the title of the Metropolitan Chapter of France, which it was pretended had emanated from Edinburgh, in 1721.
GERMAN FREEMASONS, UNION OF.
See Herein deutscher Freimaurer.
GERMAN RITUAL. The principal systems of ritual or wodüng in Germany are:
GERMAN SOUTHWEST AFRICA. Three German Lodges exist here, at Lüderitzbucht, Swakopmund and Windhuk, the Kaiser Friedrich III Lodge from 1910, Zur Hoffnung Lodge from 1908, and the Kranzchen zur Kreuz des Sudens, 1909. Following the World War this German colonial possession became subject to the British Empire as the Protectorate of Southwest Africa.
GERMAN UNION OF TWO AND TWENTY. A secret society founded in Germany, in 1786, by Doctor Bahrdt, whose only connection with Freemasonry was that Bahrdt and the twenty-one others who founded it were Freemasons, and that they invited to their co-operation the most distinguished Freemasons of Germany. The founder professed that the object of the association was to diffuse intellectual light, to annihilate superstition, and to perfect the human race. Its instruction was divided into six Degrees, as follows:
GERMANY. Of all countries Germany plays the most important part in the history of ancient Freemasonry, eince it was there that the gilds of Operative Stone-Masons first assumed that definite organization which subsequently led to the establishment of Speculative Freemasonry. But it was not until a later date that the latter institution obtained a footing on German soil. Findel in his History (page 238) says that as early as 1730 temporary Lodges, occupied only in the communication of Masonic knowledge and in the study of the ritual, were formed at different points. But the first regular Lodge was established at Hamburg, in 1733, under a Warrant of Lord Strathmore, Grand Master of England; which did not, however, come into active operation until four years later. Its progress was at first slow; and nowhere is Freemasonry now more popular or more deserving of popularity. Its scholars have brought to the study of its antiquities and its philosophy all the laborious research that distinguishes the Teutonic mind, and the most learned works on these subjects have emanated from the German press. The detailed history of its progress would involve the necessity of no ordinary volume (see Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry published by the Masonic History Company, Chicago, pages 746-94, and 2242-53, also references in this work to Masonic leaders and society of Germany).
William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry state that in 1733 the Earl of Strathmore warranted a Lodge at Hamburg. It has been said also that Doctor Jaenisch was appointed Provincial Grand Master between 1718 and 1720, but there is no record, either of his name or of the Lodge at Hamburg, in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge. In 1741 a Lodge was established at Leipzig by seven Brethren who had held informal meetings during the five previous years.
Brother H. W. Marschall had been appointed Provineial Grand Master of Upper Saxony in 1737, and thereafter many other Provincial Grand Lodges vere opened.
In August, 1738, although the King was opposed to Freemasonry, the Crown Prince Frederick was secretlyinitiated at Brunswick, August 1S5,173&, and always afterwards ardently supported the Fraternity.
A curious feature of the growth of the Craft in Germany is the number of independent Masonic Bodies which, with or without special authority, exercise control over other Lodges. There are also several independent Lodges in existence. The first of these Grand Lodges was probably the Zu den drei Weltkugeln (Three Globes) Lodge, opened at Berlin by the command of Frederick, who afterwards assumed the position of Grand Master as often as his military duties permitted.
Of these bodies there has been a marked tendency in the more modern times to confine the ritual to the exemplification of the first three Degrees. But the earlier records show that other ceremonies were praetised. A Lodge, Three Doves, instituted in 1760, by a Warrant from the "Three Globes," also of Berlin, is recorded that in 1763 other Degrees were employed, including some if not all of the following: Elect of Nine, Elect of Fifteen, Elect of Perpigan, Red Scots Degree, Saint Andrew's Scot, Knight of the East, Knight of the Eagle or Prince Sovereign Rose Croix, a Supreme Council being formed of members of this last Degree to govern the others. This use of the supplementary grades at so early a period is in marked contrast with the later conditions when they were in Germany less favorably pursued.
Students will not overlook the building of the old cathedrals in Germany, especially those of Cologne and Strasburg, and the associations of the Craftsmen that grew with these stately structures, fraternities whose exploits and government are described in Doctor Mackey's History of Freemasonry. Their rules have a peculiar resemblance to our modern regulations. Mention must also be made here of the Verein deutscher Freimaurer, Association of Gerrrzan Freest massnsS founded on May 19, 1861, at Potsdam with the object of laboring for the development of Masonic ideals and for promoting their advancement, to respond to the requirements of Masonic science, to cultivate Masonic endeavor, to encourage fraternal relief in Lodges, and the exercise of discreet charity. The Association publishes a periodical, Zwanglosen Mitteilungen, every other month, holds yearly conventions of the membership, and also prints various pamphlets and books of value to Freemasons everywhere. The headquarters are at Leipzig.
Among various interesting enterprises is that of the Grand Lodge of the Sun, Zur Sonne, for facilitating the exchange from one Masonic family to another of young people, say from eleven to twenty years of age, principally during the holiday months of the year or at other times as may be desired. These youngsters were preferably to be placed in surroundings corresponding to those of their own homes.
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