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The Blazing Star in the old lectures was called the glory in the center, because it was placed in the center or the floor-cloth, and represented the glorious name of Deity. Hence, Doctor Oliver gives to one of his most interesting works, which treats of the symbolism of the Blazing Star, the title of The Symbol of Glory.
Brother of George III of England. Initiated at an Occasional Lodge at the Horn Tavern, London, on February 16, 1766, by Lord Blayney, Grand Master, receiving the Three Degrees the same evening.
In the continental rites of Freemasonry, as practiced in France, in Germany, and in other countries of Europe, it is an invariable custom to present the newly initiated candidate not only, as we do, with a white leather apron, but also with two pair of white kid gloves one a man's pair for himself, and the other a woman's to be presented by him in turn to his wife or his betrothed, according to the custom of the German Freemasons, or, according to the French, to the female whom he most esteems, which, indeed, amounts, or should amount, to the same thing. The custom has been continued in some few America Lodges following foreign practices.
There is in this, of course, as there is in everything else which pertains to Freemasonry, a symbolism. The gloves given to the candidate for himself are intended to teach him that the acts of a Freemason should be as pure and spotless as the gloves now given to him. In the Germans Lodges, the word used for acts is, of course, handlung, or handling, "the works of his hands," which makes the symbolic idea more impressive.
Dr. Robert Plot no friend of Freemasonry, but still a historian of much research says, in his Natural History of Staffordshire, that the Freemasons in his time, and he wrote in I686, were presented by their candidates with gloves for themselves and their wives. This shows that the custom still preserved on the Continent of Europe once was practiced in England; although there, as well as in America, it is as a rule discontinued, which is perhaps to be regretted. But although the presentation of the gloves by the candidate is no longer frequently practiced as a ceremony in England or America, yet the use of them as a part of the proper professional clothing of a Freemason in the duties of the Lodge or in processions, is still retained; and in many well-regulated Lodges the members are almost as regularly clothed in their white gloves as in their white aprons.
The symbolism of the gloves, it will be admitted, is in fact but a modification of that of the apron. They both signify the same thing, both are allusive to a purification of life. "Who shall ascend," says the Psalmist, "into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." The apron may be said to refer to the "pure heart"; the gloves, to the "clean hands." Both are significant of purification of that purification which was always symbolized by the ablution which preceded the ancient initiations into the sacred mysteries. But while our American and English Freemasons have adhered to the apron, and as a rule rejected the gloves as a Masonic symbol, the latter appear to be far more important in symbolic science, because the allusions to pure or clean hands are abundant in all the ancient writers. "Hands," says Wemyss in his Clavis Symbolica, "are the symbols of human actions pure hands are pure actions; unjust hands are deeds of injustice." There are numerous references in sacred or profane writers to this symbolism. The washing of the hands has the outward sign of an internal purification. Hence the Psalmist says, "I will wash my hands in innocence, and I will encompass thine altar, Jehovah. "
In the Ancient Mysteries the washing of the hands was always an introductory ceremony to the initiation, and, of course, it was used symbolically to indicate the necessity of purity from crime as a qualification of those who sought admission into the sacred rites; and hence on a temple in the island of Crete this inscription was placed: "Cleanse your feet, wash your hands and then enter." Indeed, the washing of hands, as symbolic of purity, was among the ancients a peculiarly religious rite. No one dared to pray to the gods until he had cleansed his hands. Thus, Homer makes Hector say,
I dread with unwashed hands to bring
My incensed wine to Jove an offering.
The same practice existed among the Jews; and a striking instance of the symbolism is exhibited in that well-known action of Pilate, who, when the Jews clamored for Jesus that they might crucify him appeared before the people, and, having taker; water, washed his hands, saying at the same time, "I am innocent of the blood of this just man. see ye to it."
In the Christian Church of the Middle Ages, gloves were always worn by bishops or priests when in the performance of ecclesiastical functions. They were made of linen and were white; and Durandus, a celebrated ritualist, says that "by the white gloves were denoted chastity and purity, because the hands were thus kept clean and free from all impurity." William Durandus was born 1220, died 1296, author of Rationale Divinorum Ofhtciorum, of which the first book was published in l906 under the title of Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments. There is no necessity to extend examples any further. There is no doubt that the use of the gloves in Freemasonry is a symbolic idea, borrowed from the ancient and universal language of symbolism, and was intended, like the apron, to denote the necessity of purity of life.
The builders, who associated in companies, who traversed Europe and were engaged in the construction of palaces and cathedrals. have left to us. as their descendants, their name, their technical language, and the apron, that distinctive piece of clothing by which they protected their garments from the pollutions of their laborious employment. Did they also bequeath to us their gloves? This is a question which some modern discoveries will at last enable us to solve. M. Didron, in his Annales Archiologiques, presents us with an engraving copied from the painted glass of a window in the Cathedral of Chartres, in France.
The painting was executed in the thirteenth century, and represents a number of Operative Masons there at work. Three of them are adorned with laurel crowns. May not these be intended to represent the three officers of a Lodge? All of the Masons are wearing gloves. M. Didron remarks that in the old documents which he has examined mention is often made of gloves which are intended to be presented to Freemasons and stone-cutters. In a subsequent number of the Annales, he gives the following three examples of this fact: In the year 1381, the Chatelan of Villaines, in Duemois, bought a considerable quantity of gloves to be given to the workmen, in order, as it is said, "to shield their hands from the stone and lime."
In October, 1383, as he learns from a document of that period, three dozen pair of gloves were bought and distributed among the Masons when they commenced the buildings at the Chartreuse of Dijon. And, lastly, in 1486 or 1487, twenty-two pair of gloves were given to the Masons and stonecutters who were engaged in work at the city of Amiens.
It is thus evident that the builders the Operative Masons of the Middle Ages wore gloves to protect their hands from the effects of their work. It is equally evident that the Speculative Freemasons have received from their operative predecessors the gloves as well as the apron, both of which, being used by the latter for practical uses, have been, in the spirit of symbolism, appropriated by the former to "a more noble and glorious purpose" (see Illustrious).
The general name of Gnostics has been employed to designate several sects that sprung up in the eastern parts of the Roman Empire about the time of the advent of Christianity; although it is supposed that their principal doctrines had been taught centuries before in many of the cities of Asia Minor. The word Gnosticism is derived from the Greek Gnosis or knowledge, and was a term used in the earliest days of philosophy to signify the science of Divine things, or as Mater says, "superior or celestial knowledge." He thinks the word was first used by the Jewish philosophers of the famous school of Alexandria.
The favorite opinion of scholars is that the sect of Gnosties arose among the philosophers who were the converts of Paul and the other Apostles and who sought to mingle the notions of the Jewish Egyptian school, the speculations of the Cabalists and the Grecian and Asiatic doctrines with the simpler teachings of the new religion which they had embraced. They believed that the writings of the Apostles enunciated only the articles of the vulgar faith; but that there were esoteric traditions which had been transmitted from generation to generation in mysteries, to which they gave the name of Gnosticism or Gnosis. King says (Gnostics page 7) that they drew the materials out of which they constructed their system from two religions, namely, the Zend-Avesta and its modifications in the Cabala, and the reformed Brahmanical religion, as taught by the Buddhist missionaries. Notwithstanding the large area of country over which this system of mystical philosophy extended, and the number of different sects that adopted it, the same fundamental doctrine was everywhere held by the chiefs of Gnosticism.
This was, that the visible creation was not the work of the Supreme Deity, but of the Demiurgus. a simple emanation, and several degrees removed from the Godhead. To the latter, indeed, styled by them the unknown Father, they attributed the creation of the intellectual world, the Aeons and Angels, while they made the creation of the world of matter the work of the Demiurgus.
Gnosticism abounded in symbols and legends, in talismans and amulets, many of which were adopted into the popular superstitions of the Medieval ages. It is, too, interesting to the student of Masonic antiquities because of its remote connection with that Order, some of whose symbols have been indirectly traced to a Gnostic origin. The Druses of Mount Lebanon were supposed to be a sect of Gnostics; and the constant intercourse which was maintained during the Crusades between Europe and Syria produced an effect upon the Western nations through the influence of the pilgrims and warriors.
Toward the Manicheans, the most prominent offshoot of Gnosticism, the Templars exercised a tolerant spirit very inconsistent with the professed objects of their original foundation, which led to the charge that they were affected by the dogmas of Manicheism, a Persian religious philosophy of the third to seventh centuries teaching that light and goodness, personified as God, are represented as a conflict with confusion and darkness.
The strange ceremonies observed in the initiation into various secret societies that existed in the Lower Empire are said to have been modeled on the Gnostic Rites of the Mithraie Cave featured in that old faith of the Romans (see .Mithras, Mysteries of).
The architects and stone-masons of the Middle Ages borrowed many of the principles of ornamentation, by which they decorated the ecclesiastical edifices which they constructed, from the abstruse symbols of the Gnosties. So, too, we find Gnostic symbols in the Hermetic Philosophy and in the System of Rosicrucianism; and lastly, many of the symbols still used by Freemasonry such for instance, as the triangle within a circle, the letter G and the pentacle of Solomon have been traced to a Gnostic source.
The vulgar idea that riding the goat constitutes a part of the ceremonies of initiation in a Masonic Lodge has its real origin in the superstition of antiquity. The old Greeks and Romans portrayed their mystical god Pan in horns and hoof and shaggy hide and called him goat-f oozed . When the demonology of the classics was adopted and modified by the early Christians. Pan gave way to Satan, who naturally inherited his attributes; so that to the common mind the Devil was represented by a he-goat, and his best known marks were the horns, the beard, and the cloven hoofs. Then came the witch stories of the Middle Ages, and the belief in the witch orgies, where, it was said, the Devil appeared riding on a goat. These orgies of the witches, where, amid fearfully blasphemous ceremonies, they practiced initiation into their Satanic Rites, became, to the vulgar and the illiterate, the type of the Masonic Mysteries; for, as Doctor Oliver says, it was in England a common belief that the Freemasons were accustomed in their Lodges "to raise the Devil." So the riding of the goat, which was believed to be practiced by the witches, was transferred to the Freemasons; and the saying remains to this day, although the belief has long since died out.
G. O. D.
The initials of Comer, 0z, Dabar. It is a singular coincidence, and worthy of thought, that the letters composing the English name of Deity should be the initials of the Hebrew words Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty; the three great pillars, or metaphorical supports of Freemasonry. They seem to present almost the only reason that can reconcile a Freemason to the use of the initial G in its conspicuous suspension in the East of the Lodge in place of the Delta. The incident seems to be more than an accident.
Gomer, Beauty, G
Oz. Strength, O
Dabar, Wisdom, D
Thus the initials conceal the true meaning.
A belief in the existence of God is an essential point of Speculative Freemasonry so essential, indeed, that it is a landmark of the Order that no Atheist can be made a Freemason. Nor is this left to an inference; for a specific declaration to that effect is demanded as an indispensable preparation for initiation. Hence Hutchinson says that the worship of God "was the first and corner-stone on which our originals thought it expedient to place the foundation of Masonry." The religion of Freemasonry is cosmopolitan, universal; but the required belief in God is not incompatible with this universality; for it is the belief of all peoples.
"Be assured," says Godfrey Higgins, "that God is equally present with the pious Hindoo in the temple the Jew in the synagogue the Mohammedan in the mosque, and the Christian in the church." There never has been a time since the revival of Freemasonry, when this belief in God as a superintending power did not form a part of the system. The very earliest lectures that are extant, going back almost to the beginning of the eighteenth century, contain precisely the same question as to the trust in God which is found in those of the present day; and the oldest Manuscript Constitutions, dating as far back as the fifteenth century at least, all commence with, or contain, an invocation to the "Mighty Father in Heaven." There never was a time when the dogma did not form an essential part of the Masonic system (see Deism, also Switzerland, France, and the Independent and Regular National Grand Lodge of France and the French Colonies).
A Degree mentioned by Fustier.
In French Lodges the member mho introduces a candidate for initiation is called his parrain, or godfather.
An illustrious German poet, dramatist and philosopher, born August 28, 1749, at Frankfort-on-Maine, and died at Weimar on March 29, 1839. The first sixteen years of his life were spent in Frankfort, studying with his father and with tutors, after which he went to Leipzig and entered the university there. From there he went to Strassburg too complete legal studies to which he had given a good deal of his time although his previous schooling had included literature, art and kindred subjects. Here he wrote his first important drama, Götz son Berlichinyen, receiving his degree about 1771.
Then he moved to Weimar. These were the most productive literary years of his career, 1771-5, and it was during this time that Faust was written. At Weimar Goethe lived the balance of his life, taking up certain duties as Minister of State. Goethe was initiated into the Masonic Fraternity in the Lodge Amalia at Weimar. He petitioned the Lodge for initiation in his thirty-first year, on February 13, 1780. He was initiated on the eve of the festival of Saint John the Baptist in 1780. On the eve of the same festival, on June 23, 1830, the Freemasons of Weimar celebrated the semi-centennial anniversary of his admission into the Order, of which, in a letter to the musical composer, Zeeter, who had been, like himself, initiated on the same day fifty years before, he speaks with great gratification as his "Masonic jubilee." He says, "The gentlemen have treated this epoch with the greatest courtesy. I responded to it in the most friendly manner on the following day." Goethe's writings contain many favorable allusions to the Masonic Institution. Another celebration was held by the Craft on the one hundredth anniversary of Goethe's admittance into Freemasonry.
Thomas Carlyle translating Goethe's poem, the one best known as the Masonic Lodye, an outstretched protecting shield, Die Zukunst decked in 1843, says that he finds it devout, vet fully credible and veritable, full of piety, yet free from cant. "To me it has something of a modern psalm in it in some measure. It is deep as the foundations, deep and high, and it is true and clear. No clearer man or nobler and grander intellect has lived in the world, I believe, since Shakespeare left it This is what the poet sings—a kind of road-melody or marching-music of mankind."
  • The future hides in it
  • Gladness and sorrow
  • We press still thorow,—
  • Naught that abides in it
  • Daunting us—onward.
  • And solemn before us
  • Veiled the dark portal;
  • Goal of all mortal:—
  • Stars silent rest offer us
  • Graves under us silent!
  • While earnest thou gazest,
  • Comes body of terror
  • Comes phantasm of error;
  • Perplexes the bravest
  • With doubt and misgiving.
  • But heard are the voiees
  • Heard are the sages
  • The worlds, and the ages:
  • " Choose well, vour choice is
  • Brief, and yet endless.
  • "Here eyes do regard you
  • In eternity's stillness,
  • Here is all iulness
  • Ee brave to reward you;
  • Work, and despair not."
There is a striking reference of interest and consequence to all Freemasons in G. H. Lewes's Life and Works of Goetile where, in writing of the dying moments of the famous author, Lewes records of Goethe that "his speech was becoming less and less distinct. The last words audible were More Light! The final darkness grew apace, and he whose eternal longings had been for more light gave a parting cry for it as he was passing under the shadow of death."
A contradistinctive term to Theurgia, the first signifying black magic, the latter white magic. The demons of darkness were invoked and no crime or horror stayed the power. Alchemy and chemistry were the powerful arms relied on.
The golden candlestick which was made by Moses for the service of the tabernacle, and was afterward deposited in the holy place of the temple to throw light upon the altar of incense, and the table of shewbread, was made wholly of pure gold, and had seven branches; that is, three on each side, and one in the center. These branches were at equal distances, and each one was adorned with flowers like lilies, gold knobs after the form of an apple, and similar ones resembling an almond. Upon the extremities of the branches were seven golden lamps, which were fed with pure olive oil, and lighted every evening by the priests on duty. Its seven branches are explained in the Ineffable Degrees as symbolizing the seven planets. It is also used as a decoration in Chapters of the Royal Arch, but apparently without any positive symbolic signification (see Candlestick Golden).
In the lecture of the First Degree, it is said of the Freemason's apron, that it is "more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter." The reference is here evidently not to the Argonautic expedition in search of the Golden Fleece, alluding to the Greek myth in the ship Argo, nor to the deluge, of which that event is supposed to have been a figure as Doctor Oliver incorrectly supposes (Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry), but to certain decorations of honor with which the apron is compared. The eagle was to the Romany the ensign of imperial power; the Order of the Golden Fleece was of high repute as an Order of Knighthood. It was established in Flanders, in 1429, by the Duke of Burgundy, who selected the fleece for its badge because wool was the staple production of the country. It has ever been considered, says Clark, one of the most illustrious Orders of Europe. The Order of the Garter was, and is still considered, the highest decoration that can be bestowed upon a subject by a sovereign of Great Britain. Thus, the apron is proudly compared with the noblest decorations of ancient Rome and of modern Europe. But the Freemasons may have been also influenced in their selection of a reference to the Golden Fleece, by the fact that in the Middle Ages it was one of the most important symbols of the Hermetic philosophers.
See Knight of the Golden Key.
Instituted by Frederick II, 14th of August, 1770, under a decree of 6th July, to recompense virtue and merit. The Grand Master is the reigning sovereign of Hesse-Cassel. Motto, Virtue et Fidelitate.
The Italian expression for the Order of this name is Cavalieri delta Stola d'Oro. An ancient order of knighthood, conferred by the Republic of Venice. The number of knights was unlimited. The decoration, worn over the left shoulder, was richly embroidered with flowers of gold, and being in width a handbreadth, fell behind and before to the knee. An ambassador, for some distinctive service, was deemed worthy. The ducal robe was of red material. Originally the outer garment of a Roman matron, the stole has been loosely applied to any vestment used in the church but is more strictly said of a narrow fringed band worn by the clergy.
or Gold Gulden, we are informed in Kenning's Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry, is the Saint John's Offering, as it was called under the Strict Observance in Germany, and which amounted to one ducat, or, at the least, one and two-thirds of a thaler which was paid by every member on Saint John's Day. This practice is still kept up in many German Lodges for the benefit of the fund for the poor.
Greek. roi2«yo6^a, from the Hebrew, and , Gulgoleth, meaning a skull. The name given by the Jews to Calvary, the place of Christ's crucifixion and burial. It is a significant word in Templar Freemasonry (see Calvary).
The Hebrew is t , Latin, retribuens. Irregularly given as Gomer and Gomez. A word found in the Twenty-sixth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, signifying reward.
The Italian word is Ganfalone, Old Gertnan, Gundfano. An ecclesiastical war flag or banner, a standard; used in several of the chivalric Degrees of Freemasonry. The chief magistrates in Italian cities when bearing this ensign are known as Gonfaloniers. The banner is triune, of white silk trimmed and mounted with gold.
The reputed author of the book on Freemasonry, known as Jachin and Boaz. It is said that he was at one time Master of the West India and American Lodge, now known as the Lodge of Antiquity; but this statement has never been confirmed.
The assertion is mentioned in a book, Discrepancies of Freemasonry, published after the death of its author, Dr. George Oliver, and is found on page 43 as follows:
The reputed author was a man of the name of Goodall. He was a tallow-chandler by trade, and the Worshipful Master, as he informs his readers, of the old Lodge of Saint Paul, commonly caked the West India and American Lodge, now the Lodge of antiquity, holden at the Queen's Arms, in Saint Paul's Churchyard. Being at length unfortunate in his business, he committed an act of bankruptcy, by secreting himself from his creditors and during his seclusion, he compiled this book in the hope of improving his finances; and he succeeded to his heart's content. At its first appearance. it was circulated amongst the Fraternity only at the enormous charge of a guinea a copy, and it appears that the demand for the pamphlet, even at the above price, was so great that it cleared off his debts and left a considerable balance in his favor. But he became a marked man was expelled from the Society as a miserable charlatan and avoided by the Fraternity, who with one consent repudiated his attempted treachery, although it was powerless either for good or harm. To avoid the reproaches of his former associates, he retired to the Continent squandered his ill-gotten gains in riotous company, took to evil courses, and died poor and in misery.
An androgynous (of both sexes), honorary or side Degree conferred in the United States with rather impressive ceremonies. It is, of course, as a Degree to be conferred on females, unconnected with Masonic history or traditions, but draws its allusions from the fate of Lot's wife, and from the parable of the Good Samaritan related in the Gospels. The passages of Scripture which refer to these events are read during the ceremony of initiation. This Degree is to be conferred only on Royal Arch Masons and their wives, and in conferring it two Good Samaritans must always be present, one of whom must be a Royal Arch Mason. Much dignity and importance has been given to this Degree by its possessors; and it is usual in many places for a. certain number of Good Samaritans to organize themselves into regular, but of course independent, Bodies to hold monthly meetings under the name of Assemblies, to elect proper officers, and receive applications for initiation. In this manner the assemblies of Good Samaritans, consisting of male and female members, bear a very near resemblance to the female Lodges, which under the name of Maçonnerie d'Adoption, prevail in France.
Our Savior called Himself the Good Shepherd. Thus, in Saint John's Gospel (x, 14, 15, 16), He says: "I am the Good Shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have. which are not of this fold : them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice : and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd ." Hence , in Masonic Masonic as well as in Cristian symbolism , Christ is naturally called the Good Shepherd

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