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The following is a list, arranged as far as possible in sequence of age, of the old Masonic Manuscripts, now usually known as the Old Charges. They generally consist of three parts— first, an opening prayer or invocation; secants, the legendary history of the Craft; third, the peculiar statutes and duties, the regulations and observances, incumbent on Freemasons. There is no doubt that they were read to candidates on their initiation, and probably each Lodge had a copy which was used for this purpose. The late Brother W. J. Hughan made a special study of these old Manuscripts, and was instrumental in discovering a great many of them; and his book The Old Charges of British Freemasons published in 1895, has long been a standard work on the subject. No.......Name.................................Date............Owner.................When and Where Published.
tlefinnn. The second month of the Je vish civil year. It begins w ith the new moon in November, and corresponds, therefore, to a part of that month and of December.
MARCONIS, GABRIEL MATHIEU,
more frequently known as De Negre, from his dark complexion, was the founder and first Grand Master and Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis, brought by Sam'l Honis, a native of Cairo, from Egypt, in 1814, who with Baron Dumas and the Marquis de la Rogne, founded a Lodge of the Rite at Montauban. France, on April 30, 1815, which was closed March 7, 1816. In a work entitled The Sanctuary of Memphis, by Jacques Etienne Marconis, the author presumptively the son of G. M. Marconis who styles himself the founder of the Rite of Memphis, thus briefly gives an account of its origin: "The Rite of Memphis, or Oriental Rite, was introduced into Europe by Ormus, a seraphic priest of Alexandria and Egyptian sage, who had been converted by Saint Mark, and reformed the doctrines of the Egyptians in accordance with the principles of Christianity. The disciples of Ormus continued until 1118 to be the sole guardians of ancient Egyptian wisdom, as purified by Christianity and Solomonian science. This science they communicated to the Templars. They were then known by the title of Knights of Palestine, or Brethren Rose Croix of the East. In them the Rite of Memphis recogruzes its immediate founders."
The above, coming from the Grand Hierophant and founder, shollld satisfy the most scrupulou6 as to the conversion of Ormus by Saint Mark, and his then introducing the Memphis Rite. But Marconis continues as to the main object and the underlying intention of his Rite:
The Masonic Rite of Memphis is a combination of the ancient mysteries; it taught the first men to render homage to the Deity. Its dogmas are bared on the principles of humanity; its mission is the study of that wisdom which serves to discern truth; it is the beneficent dawn of the development of reason and intelligence; it is the worship of the qualities of the human heart and the impression of its aces: in fine, it is the echo of religious toleration. the union of all belief, the bond between all men, the symbol of sweet illusions of hope, preaching the faith in God that saves, and the charity that blesses.
We are further told by the Hierophant founder that:
The Rite of Memphis is the sole depository of High Masonry the true Primitive Rite. the Rite par excellence which has come down to us without any alteration, and ls eonsequentlY the only Rite that can justify its origin and the combined exercise of its rights by constitutions the authenticity of which cannot be questioned. The Rite of Memphis. or Oriental Rite, is the veritable Masonic tree and all systems, whatsoever they be, are but detached branches of this institution, venerable for its great antiquity, and born in Egypt. The real deposit of the principles of Freemasonrv, written in the Chaldee language. is preserved in the sacred ark of the Rite of Memphis and in part in the Grand Lodge of Scotland at Edinburgh, and in the Maronite Convent on Mount Lebanon.... Brother Marconis de Negre, the Grand Hierophant, is the sole consecrated depositary of the traditions of this Sublime Order.
The above is enough to reveal the character of the father and reputed son for truth, as also of the institution founded by them, which, like the firefly, is seen now here, now there, but with no steady beneficial light (see Memphis, Rite of ).
MARCONIS, JACQUES ETIENNE.
Born at Montauban, January 3, 1795; died at Paris, November 21, 1868 (see the preceding article, also Memphis, Rite of).
A victorious warrior-god, described on one of the Assyrian clay tablets of the British Museum, who was said to have engaged the monster Tiamat in a cosmogonic struggle. He was armed with a namzar, grappling-hook; ariktu, lance; shibbu, lasso; qashtu, bow; zizpau, club; and kabab, shield, together with a dirk in each hand.
A Norwegian secret society exclusively for women. The avowed purpose is to bind the members in a strong faithful body, to improve the consciousness of self, and to use familiar symbols for the furtherance of common ideals. The Freemasonry of Norway has had a friendly attitude toward this organization which was started officially in January, 1917, when the first Lodge was consecrated in Christiania; the second was dedicated in Bergen in April, 1922, and the third in Stavenger, in October, 1924. above translated from the Norwepan, for Palmer Templegram, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March, 1925.
Empress of Austria, who showed great hostility to Freemasonry, presumably from religious leanings and advisers. Her husband was Francis I, elected Emperor of Germany in 1745. He was a zealous Freemason, and had been initiated at The Hague in 1731, at a Special Lodge, at which Lord Chesterfield and Doctor Desaguliers were present. He was raised at Houghton Hall, the same year, while on a visit to England. He assisted to found the Lodge Drei Kanonen, at Vienna, constituted in 1742. During the forty years' reign of Maria Theresa, Freemasonry was tolerated in Vienna doubtless through the intercession of the Ernperor. It is stated in the Pocket Companion of 1754, one hundred grenadiers were sent to break up the Lodge, taking twelve prisoners, the Emperor escaping by a back staircase. He answered for and freed the twelve prisoners. His son, Emperor Joseph, inherited good-will to Freemasonrv. He was Grand Master of the Viennese Freemasons at the time of his death.
The appropriate jewel of a Mark Master. It is made of gold or silver, usually of the former metal, and must be in the form of a keystone. On the obverse or front surface, the device or Mark selected by the owner must be engraved within a cirele composed of the following letters: H. T. W. S. S. T. K. S. On the reverse or posterior surface, the name of the owner, the name of his Chapter, and the date of his advancement, may be inscribed, although this is not absolutely necessary. The Mark consists of the device and surrounding inscription on the obverse.
The Mark jewel, as prescribed by the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland, is of mother-of-pearl. The circle on one side is inscribed with the Hebrew letters fast n, and the circle on the other side with letters containing the same meaning in the vernacular tongue of the country in which the Chapter is situated, and the wearer's mark in the center. The Hebrew letters are the initials of a Hebrew sentence equivalent to the English one familiar to Mark Masons. It is but a translation into Hebrew of the English mystical sentence.
It is not requisite that the device or Mark should be of a strictly Masonic character, although Masonic emblems are frequently selected in preference to other subjects. As soon as adopted it should be drawn or described in a book kept by the Chapter for that purpose, and it is then said to be "recorded in the Mark Book or Book of Marks," after which time it can never be changed by the possessor for any other, or altered in the slightest degree, but remains as his Mark to the day of his death.
This Mark is not a mere ornamental appendage of the Degree, but is a sacred token of the rites of friendship and brotherly love, and its presentation at any time by the owner to another Mark Master, would claim, from the latter, certain acts of friendship which are of solemn obligation among the Fraternity. A Mark thus presented, for the purpose of obtaining a favor, is said to be pledged; though remaining in the possession of the owner, it ceases, for any actual purposes of advantage, to be his property; nor can it be again used by him until, either by the return of the favor, or with the consent of the benefactor, it has been redeemed; for it is a positive law of the Order, that no Mark Master shall "pledge his Mark a second time until he has redeemed it from its previous pledge. " By this wise provision, the unworthy are prevented from making an improper use of this valuable token, or from levying contributions on their hospitable Brethren.
Marks or pledges of this kind were of frequent use among the ancients, under the name of tessera hospitalis and arrhabo. The nature of the tessera hospitalis, or, as the Greeks called it, XuSoXor, cannot be better described than in the words of the Scholiast on the Medea of Euripides (v 613), where Jason promises Medea, on her parting from him, to send her the symbols of hospitality which should procure her a kind reception in foreign countries. It vas the custom, Eays the Scholiast, when a guest had been entertained, to break a die in two parts, one of which parts was retained by the guest, so that if, at any future period he required assistance, on exhibiting the hroken pieces of the die to each other, the friendship was renewed.
Plautus, about two hundred years before Christ, in one of his comedies, gives us an exemplification of themanner in which these tesseToe or pledges of friendship were used at Rome, whence it appears that the privileges of this friendship were extended to the descendants of the contracting parties. Poenulus is introduced, inquiring for Agorastocles, with whose family he had formerly exchanged the tessera.
The primitive Christians seem to have adopted a similar practise, and the tessera was carried by them in their travels, as a means of introduction to their fellow Christians. A favorite inscription with them were the letters II. T. A. II., being the initials of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The use of these tessarae, in the place of written certificates, continued, says Doctor Harris (Dissertations on the Tesserae Hospitalis), until the eleventh century, at which time they are mentioned by Burchardus, Archbishop of Worms, in a visitation charge.
The arrhabo was a similar keepsake, formed by breaking a piece of money in two. The etymology of this word shows distinctly that the Romans borrowed the custom of these pledges from the ancient Israelites,
for it is derived from the Hebrew arabon, meaning a pledge.
With this detail of the customs of the ancients before us, we can easily explain the well-known passage in Revelation ii, 17: "To him that overcometh will I give a white stone, and in it a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." That is, to borrow the interpretation of Harris, "To him that overcometh will I give a piedge of my affection, which shall constitute him my friend, and entitle him to privileges and honors of which none else can know the value or the extent." The White Storze of Revelation ii, 17, has been understood as perhaps referring to the Tessara Gladiatoria given to the victor in the arena.
Poet, born at Oregon City, Oregon, April 23, 1852, initiated, passed and raised in Acacia Lodge, No. 92, at Coloma, California, was in 1924 nominated in the Grand Lodge of Oregon for the position of Poet Laureate of the United States. Brother Markham has been farmer, sheep-herder, blacksmith, and superintendent of public schools. His splendid poem, The Man with the Hoe, made him internationally famous in 1899 though he already had written verses for years and has published books of poetry, essays, and other works.
According to Masonic tradition, the Mark Men were the Wardens, as the Mark; Masters were the Masters of the Fellow Craft Lodges, at the building of the Temple. They distributed the marks to the workmen, and made the first inspection of the work, which was afterward to be approved by the overseers. As a Degree, the Mark Man is not recognized in the United States. In England it is sometimes, but not generally, worked as preparatory to the Degree of Mark Master. In Scotland, in 1778, it was given to Fellow Crafts, while the Mark Master was restricted to Master Masons. It was not recognized in the regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland. Much of the esoteric ritual of the Mark Man has been incorporated into the Mark Master of the American System.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014