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There are in the latest of the issues of Wolfsteigs' Bibliographie some 80,000 titles of Masonic books, which statistic proves the correctness of a statement once made by a Librarian of the Library of Congress (or at least was attributed to him) that "more books have been published on Freemasonry than on any other singe subject (italics ours)." The fact is interesting but it is not Jlattering; it is the opposite of flattery, because though it is a "single subject" in Library classification, Freemasonry is so old, so large, of so much importance in the world, and has had in history a role of proportion so epic, that 80,000 is a pitiably small number of titles; 800,000 would be nearer to what the number ought to be.
Eighty thousand, nevertheless, is a respectable number. One of the puzzling facts about this literature (one among many) is that Craft writers have never developed any criticism for Masonic critics are countable on the hand. Also, it has had almost no literary critics; that is, not critics (or appraisers, or analyzers) of the contents of the books, but critics of the form, the writing, the literary styles in which the books have been written. Had there been an adequate criticism, and in particular a school of literary critics, some publisher by this time would have brought out a set of the literarymasterpieces of Masonic literature— which Masons of taste will continue to pray for, hoping for the day when Brethren of means will discover that a sufficient number of new temples have been erected and will devote their beneficence to that for which the temples were designed to be used.
If ever such a library of literary classics is published it must contain the one work by John Pennell, which was his version of the Book of Constitutions, published by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, in 1730. As literature those Constitutions easily stand far ahead of any other version of them in English or in any other language; and it is a fact in which American Masons ear take a far-off pride because that which is most distinctive of Freemasonry here had its sources not in the (Modern) Grand Lodge of 1717 but in the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and in its spiritual heir, the Antient Grand Lodge of 1751. Pennell himself wrote the Irish version; he was Grand Secretary; it is called by his name.
The so-called Anderson version of 1723 was not written by Anderson, but was compiled and copied by him; a whole circle of men, twenty at least, took a hand in the composition, nevertheless it will doubtless long continue to be called by Anderson's name. Of it Crawley wrote: '"The advice given and the maxims laid down belong to the great heritage of our Brotherhood, and are of the same weight today as when extracted from our Ancient Records by Anderson, and repeated by Pennell, or when originally built up through centuries of experience by the unremembered Masters of our Craft." That is true; it is also true that in its literary form the famous version of 1723 is uninspired, ambiguous, and with little art in the use of words.
The library form of the so-called Anderson Version of 1738 is even more inept and is at points rendered absurd by the introduction of the fable of " the True Noachidae. " If a Mason will set the 1723 version in a column on the left side of the page, the 1738 version in a column on the right side, and the Pennell version between the two, he will see at a glance that as literature Pennell is to the first as the diamond is to concrete, and to the other as diamond is to clay. Pennell is literature, pure and unalloyed; neither Swift nor Dryden could have written better, nor on the subject could either have written as well.
NOTE. The paralleling of the three versions has already been done, and by Crawley himself- see page 5 of his Reprint of 'The Old Charges and the Papal Bulls," from Ars Quatuor Coronaborum; Vol. XXIV; 1911; pp. 47+5.)
(figuur) According to an article by Benjamin Franklin published in his own newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, there were in 1730 several Tedges already established in the State. A Deputation had been issued to Daniel Coxe by the Grand Lodge of England and there may have been time for him to have established one or two Lodges, but most probably those mentioned by Franklin were working by "immemorial" right. In 1734 Franklin, Master of Saint John's Lodge, applied for and obtained a Charter for a Lodge at Philadelphia from the Grand taster of the Saint John's Grand Lodge of Massachubtts. At this time several of the Lodges worked the Royal Arch Degree under the Lodge Warrant.
In 1731 a Grand Lodge was organized by the Brethren trom the Lodges mentioned by Franklin. Records are preserved since July 29, 1779, and earlier ones were probably destroyed in the Revolutionary War. On September 25, 1786, it was decided to sever relations with English authority.
The Grand Lodge was closed and a Convention held the same day, by representatives of thirteen Lodges, who decided to open a new and independent Grand Lodge. On July 24, 1734, Franklin was elected Grand Master.
The first Chapter in Pennsylvania worked under the Warrant of Royal .Arch Lodge, .No. 3, which had been formed in 1763 by some of the members of Lodge No. '', Antient York Masons, established 1757. A Royal Areh Degree had been worked as early as 1757 or 1758. In 1763 several members of this Lodge established Royal Arch Lodge, No. 3, under whose warrant the first Chapter in Pennsylvania worked for some time. From 1758 until 1795 all Chapters in Pennsylvania worked under the authority of Lodges subordinate to the Grand Lodge. A Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter was opened on February 24, 1798, attached to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. In 1824 this was closed and a meeting was held to organize an independent Grand Chapter. May 24, officers were elected and Michael Nisbet became Grand High Priest. This Grand Chapter was not subordinate to the General Grand Chapter of the United States, and worked all the usual Degrees except that of Past Master, which is controlled by the Grand Lodge.
Washington, No. 1, was the first Council to be established in Pennsylvania. On December 6, 1847, delegates from three Councils, namely, Washington, No. 1; Mount Moriah, No. 2, and Lone Star, No. 3, met and formed a Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters. This Encampment met regularly at first, but gradually interest in it lessened and in 1854 it was proposed to put the Degrees under the control of the Council of Princes of Jerusalem. The Councils would not agree to this and on December 30, 1854, the Grand Council xvas reorganized as an independent Body which did not recognize Degrees granted in the Chapter.
The first Commandery in Pennsylvania was opened at Philadelphia in 1793. On December 27, 1812, it united with No. 2 as No. 1. On May 12, 1797, delegates from Commanderies Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 held a Convention and organized a Grand Encampment. Nos. 1 and 2, however, as So. 1, with No. 2 of Pittsburgh; Rising Sun, Aio. 1, of New Eork; Washington, No. 1, of Wilmington, and Baltimore, No. 1, of Maryland, established a second Grand Encampment on February 16, 1814. After 1824 the subordinate Encampments except Saint John's, No. 4, ceased work. May 10, 1854, representatives from Saint John's, No. 4; Philadelphia, No. 5; Union, No. 6, and De Molay, Aio. 7, established a Grand Encampment under the authoritv of the Grand Lodge. On February 16, 1857, the Grand Lodge withdrew all privileges granted to Lodges of Knights Templar. There were thus two Grand Encampments and not until June 1, 1857, was the union of the two Bodies finally accomplished.
On May 14, 1852, the Gourgas Lodge of Perfection and the Pennsylvania Council of Princes of Jerusalem were established at Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Chapter of Rose Croix was chartered at the same place on May 14, 1857, and on that day also a Charter was granted to Pennsylvania Consistory, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Juries diction.
The method of Entering, Passing, and Raising candidates in the Lodges of Pennsvlvania differs so materially from that practised in the other States of the Union, that it cannot be considered as a part of the American Rite as first taught by Webb, but rather as an independent, Pennsylvania modification of the York Rite of England. Indeed, the Pennsylvania system of work much more resembles the English than the American. Its ritual is simple and didactic, like the former, and is almost entirely without the impressive dramatization of the latter.
Brother Richard beaux, a Past Grand Master of Pennsylvania, thus speaks of the Masonic works of his State with pardonable, if not with impartial, commendations:
The Pennsvlvania work is sublime from its simplicity. That it is the ancient work is best shown conelusiveln, however, from this single fact, it is so simple, so free from those displavs of modern inventions to attract the attention, without enlightening, improving, or cultivating the mind. In this mork every word has its signifieance. Its types and symbols are but the language in which truth is conveyed. These are to be studied to be understood. In the spoken language no synonyms are permitted. In the ceremonial no innovations are tolerated. In the ritual no modern verbiage is allowed.
In the parable read in the Mark Degree a penny is the amount given to each of the laborers in the vineyard for his day's labor. Hence, in the Masonic instructions, a penny a day is said to be the if wages of a Mark Master. In several passages of the authorized version of the New Testament, penny occurs as a translation of the Greek word , op which was intended as the equivalent of the Roman denarius. This was the chief silver coin of the Romans from the beginning of the coinage of the city to the early part of the third century. Indeed, the name continued to be employed in the coinage of the Continental States, which imitated that of the Byzantine Empire, and was adopted by the Anglo Saxons.
The specific value of each of so many coins going under the same name, cannot be ascertained with any precision. In its Masonic use, the penny is simply a symbol of the reward of faithful labor. The smallness of the sum, whatever may have been its exact value, to our modern impressions is apt to give a false idea of the liberality of the owner. Doctor Light foot, in his essay on a Fresh Revision of the New Testament, remarks: "It is unnecessary to ask what impression the mention of this sum will leave on the minds of an uneducated peasant or shopkeeper of the present day. Even at the time when our version was made, and when wages were lower, it must have seemed wholly inadequate."
However improper the translation is, it can have no importance in the Masonic application of the parable, where the penny is, as has alreadv been said, only a symbol, meaning any reward or compensation (see Wayes).
The pentaculum Salomonts, or magical pentalpha, not to be confounded with Solomon's seal. The pentacle is frequently referred to in Hermetic formulae.
A geometrical figure of five sides and five angles. It is the third figure from the exterior, in the Camp of the Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, or Thirty-second Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In the Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro, he constructed, with much formality, an implement called the sacred pentagon, and which, being distributed to his disciples, gave, as he affirmed, to each one the power of holding spiritual intercourse.
See Magic Squares.
From the Greek words pente, meaning five, and gramma, a letter. In the science of magic the pentalpha is called the holy and mysterious pentagram. Eliphas Levi says (Dogma abut Ritual of High Magic ii, page 55) that the pentagram is the star of the Magians; it is the sign of the Word made flesh; and according to the direction of its rays, that is, as it points upward with one point or with two, it represents the good or the evil principle, order or disorder; the blessed lamb of Ormuzd and of Saint John, or the accursed god of Mendes; initiation or profanation; Lucifer or Vesper; the morning or the evening star; Marie or Lilith; victory or death; light or darkness (see Pentalpha).
The triple triangle, or the pentalpha of Pythagoras, is so called from the Greel; words pente, meaning five, and alpha, the letter A, because in its configuration it presents the form of that letter in five different positions. It avas a doctrine of Pythagoras, that all things proceeded from numbers, and the number five, as being formed by the union of the first odd and the first even, was deemed of peculiar value; and therefore, Cornelius Agrippa says (in his Occult Philosophy) of this figure, that, "by virtue of the number five, it has great command over evil spirits because of its five double triangles and its five acute angles within and its five obtuse angles without, so that this interior pentangle Stains in it many great mysteries."
The disciples of Pythagoras, who were indeed its real inventory placed within each of its interior angles one of the letters of the Greek word or the Latin one Salus, both of which signify health; and thus it was made the talisman of health.
They placed it at the beginning of their epistles as a greeting to invoke secure health to their correspondent. But its use was not confined to the disciples of Pythagoras. As a talisman, it was employed all over the East as a charm to resist evil spirits. Mone says that it has Deen found in Egypt on the statue of the god Anubis. Lord Brougham says, in his Italy, that it was used by natiochus Epiphanes, and a writer in Notes and queries (Third Series ix, page 511) says that he has found it on the coins of Lysimachus. On old oritish and Gaulish coins it is often seen beneath the feet of the sacred and mythical horse, which was the ensign of the ancient Saxons.
The Druids wore it on their sandals as a symbol of Deity, and hence the Germans call the figure Druttenfuss, a word originally signifying Druid's foot, but which, in the gradual corruptions of language, is now made to mean Witch's foot. Even at the present day it retains its hold upon the minds of the common people of Germany, and is drawn on or affixed to cradles, thresholds of houses, and stable-doors, to keep off witches and elves.
The early Christians referred it to the five wounds of the Savior, because, when properly inscribed upon the representation of a human body, the five points will respectively extend to and touch the side, the two hands, and the two feet. The Medieval Freemasons considered it a symbol of deep wisdom, and it is found among the architectural ornaments of most of the ecclesiastical edifices of the Middle Ages.
But as a Masonic symbol it peculiarly claims attention from the fact that it forms the outlines of the five-pointed star, which is typical of the bond of brotherly love that unites the whole Fraternity. It is in this view that the pentalpha or triple triangle is referred to in Masonic symbolism as representing the intimate union which existed between our three ancient Grand Masters, and which is commemorated by the living pentalpha at the closing of a Royal Arch Chapter.
Many writers have confounded the pentalpha with the Seal of Solomon, or Shield of David. This error is almost inexcusable in Doctor Oliver, who constantly commits it, because his Masonic and archeological researches should have taught him the difference. Solomon's Seal being a double, interlaced triangle, whose form gives the outline of a star of six points.
PERAU, GABRIEL LOUIS CALABRE.
A man of letters, an Abbé, and a member of the Society of the Sorbonne. He was born at Semur, in Auxois, in 1700, and died at Paris, March 31, 1767. De Feller (Universal Biography) speaks of his uprightness and probity, his frankness, and sweetness of disposition which endeared him to many friends. Certainly the only work which gives him a place in Masonic history indicates a gentleness and moderation of character with which we can find no fault. In general literature, he was distinguished as the continuator of d'Avrigny's Vies des Hommes illustres de la France, Lives of the Illustrious Men of France; which, however, a loss of sight prevented him from completing.
In 1742, he published at Geneva a work entitled Le Secret des Franc-Maçons. This work at its first appearance attracted much attention and went through many editions, the title being sometimes changed to a more attractive one by booksellers. The Abbe Larudan attempted to palm off his libelous and malignant work on the Abbé Perau, but without success; for while the work of Larudan is marked with the bitterest maligruty to the Order of Freemasonry, that of Perau is simply a detail of the ceremonies and instructions of Freemasonry as then practised, under the guise of friendship.
PERFECT INITIATES, RITE OF.
A name given to the Egyptian Rite when first established at Lyons by Cagliostro.
PERFECT IRISH MASTER.
The French phrase is Parfait Maître Irlandais. One of the Degrees given in the Irish Colleges as claimed to be instituted by Ramsay.
See Just Lodge.
The French name Maître Parfait. The Fifth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The ceremonies of this Degree were originally established as a grateful tribute of respect to a worthy departed Brother. The officers of the Lodge are a Master, who represents Adoniram, the Inspector of the Works at Mount Lebanon, and one Warden. The symbolic color of the Degree is green, to remind the Perfect Master that, being dead in vice, he must hope to revive in virtue. His jewel is a compass extended sixty degrees, to teach him that he should act within measure, and ever pay due regard to justice and equity. The apron is white, with a green flap; and in the middle of the apron must be embroidered or painted, within three ircles, a cubical stone, in the center of which the letter J is inscribed, according to the old rituals; but the Samaritan yod and he, according to the instructions of the Southern Jurisdiction.
Delaunay, in his Thuileur de l'Ecossztme, gives the Tetragrammaton in this Degree, and says the Degree should more properly be called Past Master or in French, Ancien Maître, because the Tetragrammaton makes it in some sort the complement of the Master's Degree. But the Tetragrammaton is not found in any of the approved rituals, and Delaunay's theory falls therefore to the ground. But besides, to complete the Master's with this Degree would be to confuse all the symbolism of the Ineffable Degrees, which really conclude with the Fourteenth.
PERFECT POINTS OF ENTRANCE.
bee Point of Entrance, Perfect.
In French Parfait Prussien. A Degree invented at Geneva, in 1770, as a second part of the Order of Noachites.
A name frequently given to the cubic stone discovered in the Thirteenth Degree of Perfeetion, the tenth of the Ineffable Aries. It denotes justice and firmness, with all the moral lessons and duties in which the mystic cube is calculated to instruct us.
PERFECT UNION, LODGE OF.
A Lodge at Rennes, in France, where the Rite of Elect of Truth was instituted (Bee Elect of Truth, Rite of).
The Ninth and Last Degree of Fessler's Rite (see Ressler, Rite of).
The name by which Weishaupt first designated the order which he founded in Bavaria, and which he subsequently changed for that of the Illuminati.
PERFECTION, LODGE OF.
The Lodge in which the Fourteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is conferred. In England and America, this Degree is called Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Mason, but the French designate it Grand Scottish Mason of the Sacred Vault of Ja?nes VI, the French title being Grand ecossais de la VoUte Sacree de Jacques Vl. This is one of the evidences—and a very pregnant one—of the influence exercised by the exiled Stuarts and their adherents on the Freemasonry of that time in making it an instrument for the restoration of James II, and then of his son, to the throne of England.
This Degree, as concluding all reference to the first Temple, has been called the Ultimate Degree of ancient Freemasonry. It is the last of what is technically styled the Ineffable Degrees, because their instructions relate to the Ineffable Word, that which is not to be outspoken. Its place of meeting is called the Sacred Vault. Its principal officers are a Thrice Puissant Grand Master, two Grand Wardens, a Grand Treasurer, and Grand Secretary. In the first organization of the Rite in this country, the Lodges of Perfection were called Sublime Grand Lodges, and hence, the word Grand is still affixed to the title of the officers.
The following mythical history is connected with and related in this Degree: When the Temple was finished, the Freemasons who had been employed in constructing it acquired immortal honor. Their Order became more uniformly established and regulated than it had been before. Their caution and reserve in admitting new members produced respect, and merit alone was required of the candidate. With these principles instilled into their minds, many of the Grand Elect left the Temple after its dedication, and dispersing themselves among the neighboring nations, instructed all who applied and were found worthy in the Sublime Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry.
The Temple was completed in the Year of the World 3000. Thus far, the wise King of Israel had behaved worthy of himself, and gained universal admiration; but in process of time, when he had advanced in years, his understanding became impaired; he grew deaf to the voice of the Lord, and was strangely irregular in his conduct. Proud of having erected an edifice to his Maker, and intoxicated with his great power, he plunged into all manner of licentiousness and debauchery, and prow faned the Temple, by offering to the idol Moloch that incense which should have been offered only to the living God.
The Grand Elect and Perfect Masons saw this, and were sorely grieved, afraid that his apostasy would end in some dreadful consequences, and bring upon them those enemies whom Solomon had vaingloriously and wantonly defied. The people, copying the vices and follies of their King, became proud and idolatrous, and neglected the worship of the true God for that of idols
As an adequate punishment for this defection, God inspired the heart of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Baby lon, to take vengeance on the Kingdom of Israel. This prince sent an army with Nebuzaradan, Captain of the Guards, who entered Judah with fire and sword, took and sacked the city of Jerusalem, razed its walls, and destroyed the Temple. The people were carried captive to Babylon, and the conquerors took with them all the vessels of silver and gold. This happened four hundred and seventy years, six months, and ten days after its dedication.
When, in after times, the princes of Christendom entered into a league to free the Holy Land from the oppression of the infidels, the good and virtuous Freemasons, anxious for the success of so pious an undertaking, voluntarily offered their services to the confederates, on condition that they should be permitted a chief of their own election, which was granted; they accordingly rallied under their standard and departed.
The valor and fortitude of these elected knights was such that they were admired by, and took the lead of, all the princes of Jerusalem, who, believing that their mysteries inspired them with courage and fidelity in the cause of virtue and religion, became desirous of being initiated. Upon being found worthy, their desires were complied with; and thus the Royal Art, meeting the approbation of great and good men, became popular and honorable, was diffused through their various dominions, and has continued to spread through a succession of ages to the present day.
The symbolic color of this Degree is red—emblematic of fervor, constancy, and assiduity. Hence, the Freemasonry of this Degree was formerly called Red Masonry on the Continent of Europe. The jewel of the Degree is a pair of compasses extended on an are of ninety degrees, surmounted by a crown, and with a sun in the center. In the Southern Jurisdiction the sun is on one side and a five-pointed star on the other. The apron is white with red flames, bordered with blue, and having the jewel painted on the center and the stone of foundation on the flap.
PERFECTION, RITE OF.
In 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established a Chapter of the advanced Degrees at Paris, in the College of Jesuits of Clermont, hence called the Chapter of Clermont. The system of Freemasonry he there practised received the name of the Rite of Perfection, or Rite of Heredom. The College of Clermont was, says Rebold ( History of Three Grand Lodges, page 46) the asylum of the adherents of the House of Stuart, and hence the Rite is to some extent tinctured with Stuart Freernasonry It consisted of twenty-five Degrees as follows
When the Elu Degrees were first invented, the legend referred to an unknown person, a tiller of the soil, to whom King Solomon was indebted for the information which led to the discovery of the craftsmen who had committed the crime recorded in the Third Degree. This mysterious person, at first designated as L'Inconnu, French, meaning The Unknown, afterwards received the name of Perignan, and a Degree between the Elu of Nine and the Elu of Fifteen was instituted, which was called the Elu of Perignan, and which became the Sixth Degree of the Adonhiramite Rite. The derivation or radical meaning of the word is unknown, but it may contain, as do many other words in the advanced Degrees, a reference to the adherents, or to the enemies, of the exiled House of Stuart, for whose sake several of these Degrees were established (see Elect of Perignan, also Perfection, and Clermont).
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