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A Degree contained in the Archives of the Mother Lodge of the Philosophic Scottish Rite.
In opening and closing the Lodge, in the admission of visitors in conversation with or in the presence of strangers, the Freemason is changed to use the necessary precaution, lest that should be communicated to the profane which should only be known to the initiated.
PRECEDENCY DF LODGES.
The precedency of Lodges is always derived from the date of their Warrants of Constitution, the oldest Lodge ranking as No. 1. As this precedency confers certain privileges, the number of the Lodge is always determined by the Grand Lodge, while the name is left to the selection of the members.
Grand Preceptor, or Grand Prior, or Preceptor, or Prior, was the title indifferently given by the Knights Templar to the officer who presided over a province or kingdom, as the Grand Prior or Grand Preeeptor of England, who was called in the East the Prior or Preceptor of England. The principal of these Grand Preceptors were those of Jerusalem, Tripolis, and Antioch.
The houses or residences of the Knights Templar were called Preceptories, and the superior of such a residence was called the Preceptor. Some of the residences were also called Comxnanderies. The latter name has been adopted by the Masonic Templars of America. An attempt was made in 1856, at the adoption of a new Constitution by the Grand Encampment of the United States, which met at Hartford, to abolish the title Comtnanderies, and adopt that of Preceptories, for the Templar organizations; a change which would undoubtedly have been more in aceordance with history, but unfortunately the effort to effect the change was not successful.
See Jewels, Precious.
In all the Old Constitutions we find a reference made to ability and skill as the only claims for preferment or promotion. Thus in one of them, the Lansdourne Manuscript, whose date is about 156O, it is said that Nimrod gave a charge to the Freemasons that "they should ordaine the most wise and cunning man to be Master of the King or Lord's worke that was amongst them, and neither for love, riches, nor favour, to sett another that had little cunninge to be Master of that worke, whereby the Lord should bee ill served, and the science ill defamed.
" And again, in another part of the same manuscript, it is ordered, "that noe Mason take on him noe Lord's worke nor other man's but if he know himselfe well able to performe the worke, so that the Craft have noe slander." Charges to the same effect, almost, indeed, in the same words, are to l)e found in all the Old Constitutions. So Anderson, when he compiled the Charyes of a Freemason, which he says were "extracted from the ancient records," and which he published in 1723, in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, lavs down the rule of preferment in the same spirit, and in these words: "All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; that so the Lords may be well served, the Brethren not put to shame, nor the royal Craft despised; therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but for his merit."
Then he goes on to show hovs the skilful and qualified Apprentice may in due time become a Fellow Craft, and, "when otherwise qualified, arrive to the Honour of being the Warden, and then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden, and at length the Grand Master of all the Lodges, according to his merit" (Constitutions, 1723, page 51). This ought to be now, as it has always been, the true law of tree masonry; and when ambitious men are seen grasping for offices, and seeking for positions whose duties they are not qualified to discharge, one is inclined to regret that the Old Charges are not more strictly obeyed
The fourth officer in a Commandery of Knights Templar and in a Council of Companions of the Red Cross. His duties are to conduct the religious ceremonies of the organization. His jewel is a triple triangle, the symbol of Deity, and within each of the triangles is suspended a cross, in allusion to the Christian character of the chivalric institution of which he is an officer. The corresponding officer in a Grand Commandery and in the Grand Encampment is called a Grand Prelate.
PRELATE OF LEBANON.
In French Prélat du Ixban. A mystical Degree in the collection of Pyron.
An archaism, or rather a vulgarism for Apprerdice, constantly found in the Old Records. It is now never used except in connection with Prentice Pillar, which see.
In the southeast part of the Chapel of Roslyn Castle, in Scotland, is the celebrated column which goes by this name, and with which a Masonic legend is connected. The pillar is a plain fluted shaft, having a floral garland twined around it, all carved out of the solid stone.
The legend is, that when the plans of the chapel were sent from Rome, the master builder did not clearly understand about this pillar, or, as another account states, had lost this particular portion of the plans, and, in consequence, had to go to Rome for further instructions or to procure a fresh copy.
During his absence, a clever apprentice, the only son of a widow, either from memory or from his own invention, carved and completed the beautiful pillar. When the master returned and found the work completed, furious with jealous rage, he killed the apprentice, by striking him a frightful blow on the forehead with a heavy settingmaul. In testimony of the truth of the legend, the visitor is shown three heads in the west part of the chapel—the master's, the apprentice's, with the gash on his forehead, and the widows There can be but little doubt that this legend referred to that of the Third Degree, which is thus shown to have existed, at least substantially, at that early period.
PREPARATION OF THE CANDIDATE.
Great care was taken of the personal condition of every Israelite who entered the Temple for Divine worship. The Talmudic treatise entitled Baracoth, which contains instructions as to the ritual worship among the Jews, lays down the following rules for the preparation of all who visit the Temple: "No man shall go into the Temple with his staff, nor with shoes on his feet, nor vith his outer garment, nor with money tied up in his purse." There are certain ceremonial usages in Freemasonry which furnish what may be called at least very remarkable coincidences with this old Jewish custom.
The preparation of the candidate for initiation iu Freemasonry is entirely svmbolic. It varies in the different Degrees, and therefore the symbolism varies with it. Not being arbitrary and unmeaning, but, on the contrary, conventional and full of signification, it cannot be altered, abridged, or added to in any of its details without affecting its esoteric design. To it, in its fullest extent every Candidate must, without exception submit. The preparation of a candidate is one of the most delicate duties we have to perform and care should be taken in appointing the officer, who should bear in mind that "that which is not permissible among gentlemen should be impossible among Freemasons "
The Brother who prepares the eandidate for initiation. In English, he has no distinctive title. In French Lodges he is called Frére terrible, and in German he is called Vorbereitender Bruder, or Fürchterlicher Bruder. His duties require him to have a competent knowledge of the ritual of reception, and therefore an experienced member of the Lodge is generally selected to discharge the functions of this office. In some Jurisdietions this is pertormed by the Master of Ceremonies
The presiding officer in a Convenon of High Priests, according to the American Rvstem, is so called. The second officer is styled Vice-President. On September 6, 1871, the Grand Orient of France, in violation of the landrnarks, abolished the office of Grand Master, and conferred his powers on a Council of the Order. The President of the Council is now the official representative of the Grand Orient and the Craft, and exercises several of the prerogatives hitherto administered by the Grand Master.
PRESIDENTS, RELIGION OF THE.
Of the first thirty-one Presidents of the United States nine have been Episcopalians: Washington, Madison, Monroe, W. H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Pierce, Arthur, F. D. Roosevelt; of the other twenty-two five have been Presbyterians, four Methodists, four Unitarians, two Reformed Dutch, and one each Baptist, Congregationalist, Quaker, Disciple of Christ; and three (Jefferson, Hayes, and Lincoln) members of no church.
Had Eighteenth Century Deists ever organized themselves as a Church Jefferson would have belonged to it (as would Benjamin Franklin). Lincoln was possibly the most genuinely religious rnan in the list; while he united with no church he described himself in private as a Universalist. Hayes probably considered himself in private to be a Unitarian. If the last three are added to the four confessed Unitarians it means that of the twenty-two one-third (minus a ' small amount of the fraction) have been of the extremely non-ecclesiastical denomination; and the fact shows better than any argument how very small has been the role of ecclesiasticism in American public life.
Whoever acts, although temporarily and pro hac vice, meaning in Latin for this occasion, as the presiding officer of a Masonic body, assumes for the time all the powers and functions of the officer whom he represents. Thus, in the absence of the Worhipful Master, the Senior Warden presides over the Lodge, and for the time is invested with all the prerogatives that pertain to the Master of a Lodge, and can, while he is in the chair, perform sny aet that it would be competent for the Master to perform were he present.
The number of the Masonic press throughout the world is small, but the literary ability commands attention. In every nation Freemasonry has its advocate and neevsbearer, in the form of a weekly or semi-monthly chronicle of events, or the more sedate magazine or periodical, sustaining the literature of the Fraternity (see Publications, .Masonic and Magazine).
Born about 1697 in London and came to New England about 1723, returning later to England. It is recorded in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England that in 1730 he was a member of Lodge No. 75, meeting at the Rainbow Coffee House in York Buildings, London. He is mentioned as being in a law-suit at Boston in 1733 and was in business there as a tailor. During 1733 Governor Jonathan w Belcher appointed him Cornet in his Troop of Guards with the rank of Major. The office was that of Standard Bearer. The executors of Price allude to him in 1792 as Major Price. He carried on business for some time at the Sign of the Brazen Head on Cornhill, near the present No. 36 Washington Street, about half way between Water Street and State Street in Boston. He adhered to the Church of England and attended Trinity Church.
He died on May 20, 1780. Brother W. S. Gardner (on page 307, Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871) points out here the necessity for bearing in mind that until January 1, 1752, the year commenced on Mareh 25. By act of Parliament of 1751, the succeeding years commenced on January 1. In these Prow seedings of 1871 (pages 284-304), there are some particulars of decided interest regarding this prominent Freemason and his pioneer work. A portrait to which allusion is made is described as follows: It represents him in the full vigor of manhood, dressed in the Id peculiar style of gentlemen of about the year 1740. w He wore a wig and queue, white neck-cloth and single breasted coat flowing away. His face betokened mildness and gentleness. The eyes are large and full, set wide apart, soft and expressive. The forehead was lighted up with animation and conveyed the idea of a gentleman.
April 30, 1733, the Right Honorable and Right Worshipful Anthony Lord Viscount Montague, Grand Master of England, issued a Deputation appointing Henry Price as Provincial Grand Master of New England. Price was authorized to appoint his Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens, and "to constitute the Brethren now Residing or who shall hereafter reside in those parts, into One or more Regular Lodge or Lodges, as he shall think fit, and as often as Occasion shall require."
On Monday of July 30, 1733, Henry Price convened at Boston the following Brethren: Andrew Belcher, Thomas Kennelly, John Quane, Henry Hope, Frederick Harnilton, John McNeall, Peter Hall, Matthew Young, John Waddell and Edward Ellis at the house of Edward Lutwyteh "at ye Sign of the Bunch of Grapes in King Street.
" This celebrated inn was situated on what is now the corner of State and Kilby streets, and on the westerly side of the last named street. Brother Price produced his Deputation appointing him Provincial Grand Master of New England. By virtue of this Deputation he formed and opened a Provincial Grand Lodge, appointed Right Worshipful Brother Andrew Belcher as Deputy Grand Master and Worshipful Brothers Thomas Kennelly and John Quane as Grand Wardens pro tempore. Several Brothers were then made Freemasons. Then, "granting the prayer thereof, he then and there in the most solemn manner according to ancient Rt. and Custom and the form prescribed in our printed Book of Constitutions, constitute" the Brethren into a regular Lodge, in manner and forrn.
Henry Hope was chosen Master and he nominated Frederick Hamilton and James Gorder as Wardens. These being presented to Grand Master Price, he "caused them to be duly examined, and being found duly qualified, approved and confirmed them in their respective stations by investing them with the implements of their office, giving each his proper charge, and admonishing the Brethren of the Lodge to do obedience and submission, according to our printed Book of Constitutions, Charges and Regulations, and so forth. Thus was Masonry founded in New England."
In 1734 Brother Price's Commission was extended over all North America. On November 28, 1734, Benjamin Franklin, who was a close friend of Price and who at that time was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, wrote Price the following letter in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, evidently with the purpose of arranging a mutually agreeable status under the new conditions:
Right Worshipful Grand Master and Most Worthy and Dear Brethren:— We acknowledge your favor of the 23rd of Oetober past, and rejoiee that the Grand Master whom God bless, hath 80 happily recovered from his late indisposition: and we now, glass in hand, drink to the establishment of his health, and the prosperity of your whole Lodge.
We have seen in the Boston prints an article of newe from London, importing that at a Grand Lodge held there in August last, Mr. Priee's deputation and power extended over all America, which advice we hope is true, and we heartily congratulate him thereupon and though this has not been as yet regularly signified to us by you, vet, giving credit thereto, we think it our duty to lay before your Lodge what we apprehend needful to be done for us, in order to promote and strengthen the interest of Masonry in this Province, which seems to want the sanction of some authority derived from home, to give the proceedings and determinations of our Lodge their due weight, to wit, a Deputation or charter granted by the Right Worshipful Mr. Price, by virtue of his Commission from Britain, confirming the Brethren of Pennsylvania in the privileges they at present enjoy of holding annually their Grand Lodge, choosing their Grand Master, Wardens and other officers, who may manage all affairs relating to the Brethren here with full Dower and authority, according to the - customs and usages of Masons, the said Grand Master of Pennsylvania only yielding his chair, when the Grand Master of all America shall be in place.
This, if it seems good and reasonable to you to grant, will not only be extremely agreeable to us, but mill also, we are confident conduce much to the welfare, establishment and reputation of Masonry in these parts. We therefore submit it for your consideration, and, as we hope our request will be eomplied with, we desire that it may be done as soon as possible and also aecompanied with a copy of the R. W. Grand Master s first Deputation, and of the instrument by which it appears to be enlarged as above-mentioned, witnessed by your it ardent and signed by the Seeretary; for which favours this Lodge doubt not of being able to behave as not to be thought ungrateful.
We are Right Worshipful Grand Master and Most Worthy Brethren, Your Affectionate Brethren and obliged humble Servts, Signed at the request of the Lodge,
B. Franklin, G. M. Philadelphia, Nov. 25, 1734.
On the same day that Franklin Sent the above letter as an official communication from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, he also wrote a personal letter to Price which is quoted below:
Dear Brother Price:—I am glad to hear of your recovery.
I hoped to have seen you here this Fall, agreeable to the expectation you were so good as to give me, but since sickness has prevented your coming while the weather was moderate, I have no room to flatter myself with a visit from you before the Spring, when a deputation of the Brethren here will have an opportunity of showing how much they esteem vou.
I beg leave to recommend their request to you, and to inform you, that some false and rebel Brethren, who are foreigners, being about to set up a distinct Lodge in opposition to the old and true Brethren here, pretending to make Masons for a bowl of punch, and the Craft is like to come into disesteem among us unless the true Brethren are countenanced and distinguished by some special authority as herein fesired. I entreat therefore , that whatever you shall think proper to do therein may be sent by the next post , if posible , or the next following.
I am, Your Affectionate Brother & humb Servt
B. Franklin, G M.,
Philadelphia, Nov. 28 1734. Pennsylvama.
P. S.—If more of the Constitutions are wanted among you, please hint it to me.
To Mr. Henrv Price,
At the Brazen Bead
The originals of the two letters quoted above were destroyed at the burnings of the Masonic Temple in Boston, April S6, 1864, prior to which time the official letter hung in a frame in the Temple.
For much information concerning Brother Price, see The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, first delivered as an address to the Grand Lodge on September 13, 1916, and published in the Proceedings of that year, afterwards reprinted in book form, by Past Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson of Massa. chusetts; also Doctor Mackey's History of Free masonry, pages 1565-6, 1604-5.
A Henry Price Medal is awarded as occasion war rants by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to Brethren who have rendered distinguished service to the Order, a practice begun by Brother Melvin M Johnson during his term of office as Grand Master; 1914 6.
"An unprincipled and needy Brother," as Doctor Oliver calls him, who published at London, in 1730, a book with the following title: Masonry Dissected; being a Universal and Genuine Description of aU its Branches, from the Original to this Present Time: as it is delivered in the constituted, regular Lodges, both in City and Country according to the several Degrees of Admission, giving an impartial account of their regular Proceedings in initiating their New Members in the whole Three Degrees of Masonry, viz., I. Entered Prentice; II. Fellow Craft; III. Master. To which is added, The Author's Vindication of Himself, by Samuel Prichard, Late Member of a constituted Lodge.
This work, which contained a great deal of plausible matter, mingled with some truth as well as falsehood, passed through a great many editions, was translated into the French, German, and Dutch languages, and became the basis or model on which all the subsequent so-called expositions, such as Tubal-Kain, Jachin and Boaz, etc., were framed. In the same year of the appearance of Prichard's book, a Defence of Masonry, as a reply to the Masonry Dissected was anonymously published, and has often been erroneously attributed to Doctor Anderson, but it has been discovered that its author was Brother Martin Clare (see Clare Martin). No copy is now known to exist of this Defence, but it will be found at the end of the 1738 edition of the Constitutions.
It is not, however, a reply to Prichard, but rather an attempt to interpret the ceremonies which are described in the Masonry Dissected in their symbolic import, and this it is that gives to the Defence a value which ought to have made it a more popular work among the Fraternity than it is. Prichard died in obscurity; but the Abbe Larudan, in his Franc-Maçons écrasés, Freemasons Crushed (page 135), has manufactured a wild tale about his death; as herein desired. I entreat, therefore, that whatever stating that he was carried by force at night into the Grand Lodge at London, put to death, his body burned to ashes, and all the Lodges in the world in formed of the execution. The Abbe is satisfied of the truth of this wondrous narrative because he had heard it told m Holland and in Germany, all of which only proves that the French calumniator of Freemasonry abounded either in an inventive faculty or in a trusting faith.
In the primitive ages of the world every father was the Priest of his family, and offered prayer and sacrifice for his household. So, too, the Patriarchs exercised the same function.
Melchizedek is called the Priest of the Most High God; and every where in Scripture we find the Patriarchs performing the duties of prayer and sacrifice. But when political society was organized, a necessity was found, in the religious wants of the people, for a separate class, who should become, as they have been described the mediators between men and God, and the interpreters of the will of the gods to men. Hence arose the sacerdotal classwthe cohens among the Hebrews, the Stereos among the Greeks, and the sacerdos among the Romans. Thereafter prayer and sacrifice were entrusted to these, and the people paid them reverence for the sake of the deities whom they served. EAver since, in all countries, the distinction has existed between the priest and the layman, as representatives of two distinct classes.
But Freemasonry has preserved in its religious eeremoniest as in many of its other usages, the patriarchal spirit. Hence the Master of the Lodge, like the father of a primitive family, on all occasions offers up prayer and serves at the altar. A Chaplain is sometimes through courtesy, invited to perform the former duty, but the Master is really the Priest of the Lodge.
Having then such solemn duties to discharge, and sometimes as on funereal occasions, in public, it becomes every Master so to conduct his life and conversation as not, by contrast, to make his ministration of a sacred office repulsive to those who see and hear him, and especially to profanes.
It is not absolutely required that he should be a religious man, resembling the clergyman in seriousness of deportment; but in his behavior he should be an example of respect for religion. He who at one time drinks to intoxication, or indulges in profane swearing, or obscene and vulgar language, is unfit at any other time to conduct the religious services of a society. Such a Master could inspire the members of his Lodge with no respect for the ceremonies he was conducting; and if the occasion was a public one, as at the burial of a Brother, the circumstance would subject the Order which could tolerate such an incongruous exhibition to contempt and ridicule.
PRIEST, GRAND HIGH.
See Grand High Priest.
See High Priest.
PRIESTHOOD, ORDER OF HIGH.
See High Priesthood, Order of.
A Rite which Brother John Yarker, of Manchester, says, Mysteries of Antiquity, page 126, was formerly practiced in Ireland, and formed the system of the York Grand Lodge. It consisted of seven Degrees, as follows: 1. 2. 3. Symbolic Degrees;
4. Past Master;
5. Royal Arch;
6. Knight Templar;
7. Knight Templar Priest, or Holy Wisdom.
The last Degree was conferred in a Tabernacle, and was governed by seven officers known as Pillars. Brother Hughan, History of Freernasonry in York, page 32, doubts the York origin of the Priestly Order, as well as the claim it made to have been renved in 1786. The Kent Tabernacle conferring the Degree of Knight Templar Priest at Newcastle, England, is of Time Immemorial standing in the Fraternity and has continued in the control and practice of this and many other old ceremonies.
The High Priest ministered in eight vestments, and the ordinary priest in four—the tunic, drawers, bonnet, and girdle. To these the High Priest added the breastplate, ephod, robe and golden plate, and when occaEon required the Urim and Thummim, the curious ObJeets mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus xxviii, 30) in connection with the breastplate.
The Fifth Degree of the Initiated Brothers of Asia
Thory says that it is the Sixth Degree of the Cabalistic Rite.
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