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The necessity that anyone who devotes himself to the acquisition of a science should become a proficient in its elementary instructions before he can expect to grasp and comprehend its higher branches, is so almost self-evident as to need no argument. But as Speculative Freemasonry is a science, it is equally necessary that a requisite qualification for admission to a higher Degree should be a suitable proficiency in the preceding one. It is true, that we do not find in express words in the Old Constitutions any regulations requiring proficiency as prey liminary to advancement, but their whole spirit is evidently to that effect; and hence we find it prescribed in the Old Constitutions, that no Master shall take an apprentice for less than seven years, because it was expected that he should acquire a competent knowledge of the mystery before he could be admitted as a Fellow.
The modern Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England provides that no Lodge shall confer a higher Degree on any Brother until he has passed an examination in open Lodge on the preceding Degrees (Rule 195) and many, perhaps most, of the Grand Lodges of the United States have adopted a similar regulation. The instructions of all the Symbolic Degrees, and, indeed, of the higher Degrees, and that too, in all rites, makes the imperative demand of every candidate whether he has made suitable proficiency in the preceding Degree, an affirmative answer to which is required before the rites of initiation can be continued. This answer is, according to the instructions, that "he has." But some Freemasons have sought to evade the consequence of an acknowledgment of ignorance and want of proficiency by a change of the language of the instructions into "such as time and circumstances would permit." But this is an innovation, unsanctioned by any authority, and should be repudiated. If the candidate has not made proper proficiency, the ritual, outside of all statutory regulations, refuses him advancement.
Anderson, in the second edition of his Constitutions (page 71), cites what he calls "an old record," which says that in the reign of Edward III of England it was ordained "that Master Masons, or Masters of work, shall be examined whether they be able of cunning to serve their respective Lords, as well the Highest as the Lowest, to the Honour and Worship of the aforesaid Art, and to the Profit of their Lords." Here, then, we may see the origin of that usage, w hich is still practised in every well-governed Lodge, not only of demanding a proper degree of proficiency in the candidate, but also of testing that proficiency by an examination. This cautious and honest fear of the Fraternity lest any Brother should assume the duties of a posi. tion which he could not faithfully discharge, and which is, in our time, tantamount to a eandidate~s advancing to a Degree for which he is not prepared, in again exhibited in all the Old Constitutions. Thus in the Lansdowrzc Manuscript, whose date is referred to the middle of the sixteenth century it is charged "that no Mason take on him no Lord's world nor other man's, but if he know himself well able to perform the work, so that the Craft have no slander." The same regulation, and almost in the same language, is to be found in all the subsequent manuscripts.
In the Charges of 1729, it is directed that "a younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the materials for want of judgment, and for enereasing and continuing of brotherly love" (Contstitutions, 1723, page 53).
It was, with the same view, that all of the Old Constitutions made it imperative that no Master should take an apprentice for less than seven years, beeause it was expected that he should acquire a eompetent knowledge of the mystery of the Craft before he could be admitted as a Fellow.
Notwithstanding these charges had a more particular reference to the operative part of the art, they clearly shou the great stress that was placed b) our ancient Brethren upon the necessity of skill and proficiency; and they have furnished the precedents upon which are based all similar regulations subsequently applied to Speculative Freemasonry.
PRO GRAND MASTER.
The Latin word pro to be translated for, or instep of, or on behalf of the Grand Master. An officer known only to the English system, and the title adopted for the first time in 1782, when, on the election of the Duke of Cambridge to the office of Grand Master, a regulation was adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, that whenever a Prince of the Blood accepted the office of Grand Master, he should be at liberty to nominate any peer of the realm to be the Acting Grand Master, and to this officer is now given the title of Pro Grantl Master. His collar, jewel, and authority are the same as those of a Grand Master, and in the case of a vacancy he actually assumes the office until the next annual election. The following Brethren have been Pro Grand Masters:
1782-1789 Earl of Effingham.
1790-l813 Earl of Moira
1834-1838 Lord Dundas.
l839-1840 Earl of Durham.
1841-1843 Earl of Zetlarld.
1874-1890 Earl of Carnarvon.
l891-l898 Earl of Lathom.
1898-1908 Earl Amherst.
1908 Lord Ampthill.
Our Freemasonry is undoubtedly a progressive science, and yet the fundamental principles of Freemasonry are the same now as they were at the very beginning of the Institution. Its landmarks are unchangeableIn these there can be no alteration, no diminution no addition. When, therefore, we say that Freemasonry is progressive in its character, vie of course do not mean to allude to this unalterable part of its nstitution- But there is 3 progress which every science must undergo, and which many of them have already undergone, to which the science of Freemasonry is subject.
Thus we say of chemistry that it is a progressive science.
Two hundred sears ago, all its principles, so far as they were known, were directed to such futile inquiries as the philosopher's stone and the elixir of immortality Now these principles have become more thoroughly understood, and more definitely established and the object of their application is more noble at philosophic. The writings of the chemists of the former and the present period suffieiently indicate this progress of the science. Yet the elementary principles of chemistry are unchangeable Its truths were the same then as they are now. Some of them were at that time unknown, because no mind of sufficient research had discovered them; but they existed as truths, from the verv creation of matter; and now they have only been developed, not invented.
So it is with Freemasonry. It too has had its progress. Freemasons are now expected to be more learned than formerly in all that relates to the science of the Order. Its origin, its history, its objects, are now considered worthy of the attentive consideration of its disciples. The rational explanation of its ceremonies and symbols, and their connection with ancient systems of religion and philosophy, are now considered as necessary topics of inquiry for all who desire to distinguish themselves as proficients in Masonic science.
In all these things we see a great difference between the Freemasons of the present and of former ciays. In Europe, a century ago, such inquiries were eonsidered as legitimate subjects of Masonic study. Hutchinson published in 1760, in England, his admirable worlk entitled the Spirit of freemasonry, in which the deep philosophy of the Institution was fairly developed with much learning and ingenuity. Preston's Illustrations of Masonry, printed at a not Much later period, also exhibits the system treated, c in many places, in a philosophical manner. Lawrie's History of Freemasonry, published in Scotland in 1804, is a work containing much profound historical and antiquarian research.
And in the last century, the works of Doctor Oliver alone would be sufficient to demonstrate to the most cursory observer that Freemasonrv has a claim to be ranked among the learned institutions of the day. In Germany and France, the press has been borne down with the weight of abstruse vorks on our Order, written by men of the highest literary pretensions. In the United States, notwithstanding the really excellent work of Salem Town on Speculatieve Masonry, published in 1818, and the learned Discourses of Dr. T. M. Harris, published in 1801, it is only within much more recent years that Freemasonry has begun to assume the exalted position of a literary institution.
In entering into the Covenant of Freemasonry, the candidate makes a promise to the Order; for his covenant is simply a promise where he voluntarily places himself under a moral obligation to act within certain conditions in a particular way.
The law of promise is, therefore, strictly applicabie to this covenant, and by that law the validity and obligation of the promises of every candidate must be determined. In every promise there are these two things to be considered: the intention and the obligation.
As to the intention: of all casuists, the Jesuits alone have contended that the intention may be concealed within the bosom of the promiser. All Christian and Pagan writers agree on the principle that the words expressed must convev their ordinary meaning to the promisee. If we promise to do a certain thing to-morrow, we cannot, when the morrow comes, refuse to do it on the ground that we onlv promised to do it if it suited us when the time of performance had arrived. The obligation of every promiser is, then, to fulfil the promise that he has made not in any way that he may have secretly intended, but in the way in which he supposes that the one to whom he made it, understood it at the time that it was made. Hence all Masonic promises are accompanied by the declaration that they are given without equivocation or mental reservation of any kind whatsoever.
All voluntary promises are binding, unless there be some paramount consideration which will release the obligation of perforrnance. It is worth-while, then, to inquire if there be any such considerations which can impair the validity of Masonic promises. Doctor Wayland (Elements of Moral Science, page 285) lays down five conditions in which promises are not binding:
1. Where the performance is impossible
2. Where the promise is unlawful.
3. Where no expectation is voluntarily excited by the promuser.
4. Where they proceed upon a condition which the promiser subsequently finds does not exist.
5. Where either of the parties is not a moral agent.
It is evident that no one of these conditions will apply to Masonic prornises, for,
1. Every promise made at the altar of Masonry is possible to be performed.
2. No promise is exacted that is unlawful in its nature; for the candidate is expressly told that no promise exacted from him will interfere with the duty which he owes to God and to his country.
3. An expectation is v oluntarily excited bv the promiser, and that expectation is that he will faithfully fulfil his part of the covenant.
4. No false condition of things is placed before the candidate, either as to the character of the Institution or the nature of the duties which would be required of him.
5. Both parties to the promise, the candidate who malies it and the Craft to whom it is made, are moral agents, fully capable of entering into a contract or covenant.
This, then, is the proper answer to those adversaries of Freemasonry who contend for the invalidity of Masonic promises on the very grounds of Wayland and other moralists. Their conclusions would be correct, were it not that every one of their premises is false.
PROMOTER, FATHER AND.
See Father and Promoter.
Promotion in Freemasonry should not be governed, as in other societies, by succession of office. The fact that one has filled a longer office gives him no claim to a higher, unless he is fitted, by skill and capacity, to discharge its duties faithfully. This alone should be the true basis of promotion (see Preferment).
PROMULGATION, LODGE OF.
A Lodge of instruction which paved the way for the Union of 1813 of the Antient and Modern Grand Lodges. In 1809 the Grand Lodge of the Moderns resolved, on April 12, that, "This Grand Lodge do agree in opinion with the Committee of Charity that it is not necessary any longer to continue in force those measures which were resorted to, in or about the year 1739, respecting irregular Masons, and do therefore enjoin the several Lodges to revert to the Ancient Landmarks of the Society." A Warrant was issued, October 26, 1809, permitting certain Brethren to hold a Special Lodge with the purpose of "Ascertaining and promulgating the Ancient Land-Marks of the Craft." Meetings were held weekly at Freemasons Hall, beginning November 21, 1809. When the members agreed as to the exact form and manner of every ceremony they invited the Masters of the London Lodges to attend a rehearsal. Then they went through the Three Degrees and the ceremony of Installation, specified as "One of the two Land-Marks of the Craft." This word two is probably mistaken for true. After doing much good work in the way of bringing together factions and in the teaching of the accepted forms of ritual and ceremony, the Brethren disbanded in March, 1811.
What the German Freemasons call proben und prufungen, meaning trials and proofs, and the French, dpreuves Maconniques, or Masonic proofs, are defined by Bazot (Manuel, page 141) to be "mvsterious methods of discovering the character and disposition of a recipiendary." They are, in fact, those ritualistic ceremonies of initiation which are intended to test the fortitude and fidelity of the candidate. They seem to be confined to Continental Freemasonry, for they are not known to any extent in the English or American systems, where all the ceremonies are purely symbolic. Krause ( Kunsturkunden, Book I, clii, 37) admits that no trace of them, at least in the perilous and fearful forms which they assume in the Continental Rituals, are to be found in the oldest English catechisms. He admits that, as appealing to the sentiments of fear and hope, and adopting a dramatic form, they are contrary to the spirit of Freemasonry, and greatly interfere with its symbolism and with the pure and peaceful sentiments which it is intended to impress upon the mind of the neophyte.
PROPERTY OF A LODGE.
As a Lodge owes its existence, and all the rights and prerogatives that it exercises, to the Grand Lodge from which it derives its Charter or Warrant of Constitution, it has been decided, as a principle of Masonic law, that when such Lodge ceases to exist, either by a withdrawal or a surrender of its Warrant, all the property which it possessed at the time of its dissolution reverts to the Grand Lodge. But should the Lodge be restored by a revival of its Warrant, its propertv should be restored, because the Grand Lodge held it only as the general trustee or guardian of the Craft.
Haggai, who in the American system of the Royal Arch is called the Scnbe. in the English system receives the title of Prophet, and hence in the order of precedence he is placed above the High Priest.
PROPHETS, SCHOOLS OF THE.
Bee Schools of the Prophets.
The matters contained in the Notices of Motions, which are required by the Grand Lodge of England to be submitted to the members previous to the Quarterly Communication when they are to be discussed, are sometimes called the proponenda, or subjects to be proposed.
The only method recognized in the United States of proposing candidates for initiation or membership is by the written petition of the applicant, who must at the same time be recommended by two members of the Lodge. In England, the applicant for initiation must previously sign the declaration, which in the United States is only made after his election. He is then proposed by one Brother, and, the proposition being seconded by another, he is balloted for at the next regular Lodges Applicants for membership are also proposed without petition, but the Certificate of the former Lodge must be produced, as in the United States the dimit is required. Nor can any candidate for affiliation be balloted for unless previous notice of the application be given to all the members of the Lodge.
This word is also written Propylaeon. The court or vestibule in front of an edifice. The Propylaed is the celebrated entrance to the Parthenon, the Greek Doric temple at Athens, built by Pericles in honor of Minerva or Athena.
The German Freemasons employ this word in the same sense in which we do expulsion, as the highest Masonic punishment that can be inflicted. They also use the word uerbannung, meaning banishrnent, for the same purpose.
PROSELYTE OF JERUSALEM.
In French, Prosdlyte de Jerusalem. The Sixty-eighth Degree of the Metropolitan Chapter of France.
Making converts, to win over from one faith to another by argument or other means of persuasion. Brahmanism is, perhaps, the only religion which is opposed to proselytism. The Brahman seeks no convert to his faith, but is content with that extension of his worship which is derived from the natural increase only of its members.
The Jewish Church, perhaps one of the most exclusive, and which has alwavs seemed indifferent to progress, yet provided a special form of baptism for the initiation of its proselytes into the Mosaic rites. Buddhism, the great religion of the Eastern world, which, notwithstanding the opposition of the leading Brahmans, spread with amazing rapidity over the Oriental nations, so that now it seems the most popular religion of the world, owes its extraordinary growth to the energetic propagandism of Sakya muni, its founder, and to the same proselyting spirit which he inculcated upon his disciples. The Christian church, mindful of the precept of its Divine founder, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature," has always considered the work of missions as one of the most important duties of the Church, and owes its rapid increasers in its earlier years, to the proselyting spirit of Paula and Thomas, and the other apostles.
Mohammedanism springing up and lingering for a long time in a single family, at length acquired rapid growth among the Oriental nations, through the energetic proselytism of the Prophet and his adherents. But the proselytism of the religion of the New Testament and that of the Koran differed much in character. The Christian made his converts by persuasive accents and eloquent appeals; the Mussulman converted his penitents by the sharp power of the sword. Christianity was a religion of peace, Mohammedanism of war; yet each, though pursuing a different method, was equally energetic in securing converts.
In respect to this doctrine of proselytism, Freemasonry resembles more the exclusive faith of Brahms than the inviting one of Moses, of Buddha, of Christ, or of Mohammed. In plain words, FreemasonrY is rigorously opposed to all proselytism. While its members do not hesitate, at all proper times and on all fitting occasions, to defend the Institution from all attacks of its enemies, it never seeks, by voluntary laudation of its virtues, to make b new accessions of friends, or to add to the number of its disciples.
Nay, it boasts, as a peculiar beauty of its system, that it is a voluntary Institution. Not only does it forbid its members to use any efforts to obtain initiates, but actually requires every candidate for admission into its sacred rites to seriously declare, as a preparatory step, that in this voluntary offer of himself he has been unbiased by the improper solicitations of friends. Without this declaration, the candidate would be unsuccessful in his application. Although it is required that he should be prompted to solicit the privilege by the favorable opinion which he had conceived of the Institution, yet no provision is made by which that opinion can be inculcated in the minds of the profane; for were a Freemason, by any praises of the Order, or any exhibitions of its advantages, to induce anyone under such representations to seek admission, he would not only himself commit a grievous fault, but would subject the candidate to serious embarrassment at the very entrance of the Lodge.
This Brahmanical spirit of anti-proselytism, in which Freemasonry differs from every other association, has imprinted upon the Institution certain peculiar features. In the first place, Freemasonry thus becomes, in the most positive form, a voluntary association. Whoever comes within its mystic circle, comes there of his "own free will and accord, and unbiased by the influence of friends." These are the terms on which he is received, and to all the legitimate consequences of this voluntary connection he must submit. Hence comes the axiom, "Once a freemasons always a Freemason"; that is to say, no manse having once been initiated into its sacred rites, can, at his own pleasure or caprice, divest himself of these obligations and duties which, 19 a Freemason, be has assumed. Coming to us freely and willingly, he can urge no claim for retirement on the plea that he leas unduly persuaded, or that the character of our Institution had been falsely represented. To do so would be to convict himself of fraud and falsehood, in the declarations made by him preliminary to his admission.
If these declarations were indeed false, he at least cannot, under the legal maxim, take advantage of his own wrong. The knot which binds him to the Fraternity has been tied by himself, and is indissoluble. The renouncing Freemason may, indeed, withdraw from his connection vith a Lodge, but he cannot release himself from his obligations to the regulation, which requires every Freemason to be a member of one. He may abstain from all communication with his Brethren, and cease to take any interest in the concerns of the Fraternity; but he is not thus absolved from the performance of any of the duties imposed upon him by his original admission into the brotherhood. A proselyte, persuaded against his will might claim his right to withdraw; but the voluntary seeker must take and hold what he finds.
Another result of this anti-proselyting spirit of the Institution is, to relieve its members from all undue anxiety to increase its membership. It is not to be supposed that Freemasons have not the very natural desire to see the growth of their Order. Toward this end, they are ever ready to defend its character when attacked, to extol its virtues, and to maintain its claims to the confidence and approval of the wise and good. But the growth they wish is not that abnormal one, derived from sudden revivals or ephemeral enthusiasm, where passion too often takes the place of judgment; but that slow and steady, and therefore healthy, growth which comes from the adhesion of wise and virtuous and thoughtful men, who are willing to join the brotherhood, that they may the better labor for the good of their fellow-men.
Thus it is that we find the addresses of our Grand Masters, the reports of our Committee on Foreign Correspondence, and the speeches of our anniversary orators, annually denouncing the too rapid increase of the Order, as something calculated to affect its stability and usefulness.
Hence, too, the Black Ball, that antagonist of proselytism, has been long and familiarly called the Bulwark of Freemasonry. Its faithful use is ever being inculcated by the fathers of the Order upon its younger members; and the unanimous ballot is universally admitted to be the most effectual means of preserving the purity of the Institution. And so, this spirit of anti-proselytism, impressed upon every Freemason from his earliest initiation although not itself a landmark, has come to be invested with all the sacredness of such a law, and Freemasonry stands out alone, distinct from every other human association, and proudly proclaims, "Our portals are open to all the good and true, but we ask no man to enter."
PROTECTOR OF ENGLISH FREEMASONS.
This is a title accepted by King Edward VII of England on his accession to the throne in 1901. King Christian IX of Denmark became the Protector of the Craft in that country in 1885 when the Crown Prince Frederick Wilhelm Karl was Grand Master (see Patron).
PROTECTOR OF INNOCENCE.
The French title is ProtecSur de Z'lnnoeence. A Degree in the nomenclature of Fustier, cited by him from the collection of Viany.
A title assumed by Catherine II of Russia (see Russia).
In French, the formulae or technical words of legal instruments; in Germany, the rough draft of an instrument or transaction; in diplomacy, the original copy of a treaty. Gadicke says that, in Masonicslanguage, the protocol is the rough Minutes of a Lodge. The word is used in this sense in Germany only.
The same as Archetype, which see.
PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE.
In each of the Counties of England is a Grand Lodge composed of the various Lodges within that district, with the Provincial Grand Master at their head, and this Body is called a Protnrmal Grand Lodge. It derives its existence, not from a Warrant, but from the Patent granted to the Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Master, and at his death, resignation, or removal, it becomes extinct, unless the Provincial Grand registrar keeps up its existence by presiding over the province until the appointment of another Provincial Grand Master. Its authority is confined to the framing of by-laws, malting regulations, hearing disputes, etc., but no absolute sentence can be promulgated by its authority without a reference to the Grand Lodge. Hence Doctor Oliver (Junspruderunc, page 272) says that a Provincial Grand Lodge "has a shadow of power, but very little substance. It may tally but it cannot act." The system does not exist in the United States. In England and Ireland the Provincial Grand Master is appointed by the Grand Master, but in Scotland his Commission emanates from the Grand Lodge.
PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER.
The presiding officer of a Provincial Grand Lodge. He is appointed by the Grand Master, during whose pleasure he holds his office. An appeal lies from his decisions to the Grand Lodge.
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