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R. S. Y. C. S.
An abbreviation of Rosy Cross in the Royal Order of Scotland.
In the old Jewish Angelology, the name of the angel who ruled the air and the winds. The angel in charge of one of the four tests in Philosophic Freemasonry.
The traitors of the Third Degree are called Assassins in Continental Freemasonry and in the advanced Degrees. The English and American Freemasons have adopted in their instructions the more homely appellation of Ruffians. The fabricators of the high Degrees adopted a variety of names for these Assassins (see Assassins of the Third Degree), but the original names are preserved in the instruetions of the York and American Rites. There is no question that has so much perplexed Masonic antiquaries as the true derivation and meaning of these three names. In their present form, they are confessedly uncouth and without apparent signification.. Yet it is certain that we can trace them in that form to the earliest appearance of the legend of the Third Degree, and it is equally certain that at the time of their adoption some meaning must have been attached to them. Brother Maekey was convinced that this must have been a very simple one, and one that would have been easily comprehended by the whole of the Craft, who were in the constant use of them.
Attempts, it is true, have been made to find the root of these three names in some recondite reference to the Hebrew names of God. But there is in Doctor Mackey's opinion, no valid authority for any such derivation. In the first place, the character and conduct of the supposed possessors of these names preclude the idea of any congruity and appropriateness between them and any of the divine names. And again, the literary condition of the Craft at the time of the invention of the names equally precludes the probability that any names would have been fabricated of a recondite signification, and which could not have been readily understood and appreciated by the ordinary class of Freemasons who were to use them. The names must naturally have been of a construction that would convey a familiar idea would be suitable to the incidents in which they were to be employed, and would be congruous with the character of the individuals upon whom they were to be bestowed.
Now all these requisites meet in a word which was entirely familiar to the Craft at the time when these names were probably invented. The Ghiblim are spoken of by Anderson, meaning Ghiblim, as stonecutters or Masons; and the early amounts show us very clearly that the Fraternity in that day considered Giblim as the name of a Mason; not only of a Mason generally, but especially of that class of Masons who, as Drummond says, "put the finishing hand to King Solomon's Temple"—that is to say the Fellow Crafts. Anderson also places the Ghiblim among the Fellow Crafts; and so, very naturally, the early Freemasons, not imbued with any amount of Hebrew learning, and not making a distinction between the singular and ph1ral forms of that language, soon got to calling a Fellow Craft a Giblim.
The steps of corruption between Giblim arid Jilbelum were not very gradual; nor can anyone doubt that such corruptions of spelling and pronunciation were common among these illiterate Freemasons, when he reads the Old Manuscripts, and finds such verbal distortions as Nembroch for Nimrod, Eaglet for Euclid, and Aymon for Hiram. Thus, the first corruption was from Giblim to Gibalim, which brought the word to three syllables, making it thus nearer to its eventual change.
Then we find in the early works another transformation into Chibbelum. The French Freemasons also took the work of corruption in hand, and from Giblim they manufactured Jiblime and Jibulum and Habmlum. Some of these Freneh corruptions eame back to English Freemasonry about the time of the fabrication of the advanced l)egrees, and even the French words were distorted. Thus in the Iceland Manuscript, the English Freemasons made out of Pytagore, the French for Pythagoras, the unknown name Peter Gower, which is said so much to have puzzled John Locke.
So we may through these mingled English and French corruptions trace the genealogy of the word Jubelum; thus, Ghiblim, Giblim, Gibalim, Chibbelum, Jiblime, Jibelum, Jabelum, rind, finally, Jubelum. It meant simply a Fellow Craft, and was appropriately given as a common name to a particular Fellow Graft who vas distinguished for his treachery. In other words, he was designated, not by a special and distinctive name, but by the title of his condition and rank at the Temple.
He was the Fellow Craft, who was at the head of a eonspiraey. As for the names of the other two Ruffians, they were readily constructed out of that of the greatest one by a simple change of the termination of the word from am to a in one, and from uoz to o in the other, thus preserving, by a similarity of names, the idea of their relationship, for the old works said that they were Brothers who had come together out of Tyre. This derivation to Doctor Mackey seems to be easy, natural, and comprehensible. The change from Giblim, or rather from Gibalim to Jubelum, is one that is far less extraordinary than that which one half of the Masonic words have undergone in their transformation from their original to their present form (see Ritual).
An instrument with which straight lines are drawn, and therefore used in the Past Master's Degree as an emblem admonishing the Master punctually to observe his duty, to press forward in the path of virtue, and, neither inclining to the right nor the left, in all his actions to have eternity in view. The twenty-four-inch gaffe is often used in giving the instruction as a substitute for this working-tool. But they are entirely different; the twenty-four-ineh gaffe is one of the working-tooLs of an Entered Apprentice, and requires to have the twenty-four inches marked upon its surface; the rule is one of the working-tools of a Past Master, and is without the twenty-four divisions. The rule is appropriated to the Past or Present Master, because, by its assistance, he is enabled to lay down on the Trestle-Board the designs for the Craft to use.
RULE OF THE TEMPLARS.
The code of regulations for the government of the Knights Templar, called their Rule, was drawn up by Saint Bernard, and by him submitted to Pope Honorius II and the Council of Troyes, by both of whom it was approved. It is still in existence, and consists of seventy-two articles, partly monastic and partly military in eharaeter, the former being formed upon the Rule of the Benedietines. The first articles of the Rule are ecelesiastical in design, and require from the Knights a strict adherence to their religious duties. Article twenty defines the costume to be worn by the Brotherhood. The professed soldiers were to wear a white costume, and the serving Brethren were prohibited from wearing anything but a black or brown cassock. The Rule is very particular in reference to the fit and shape of the dress of the Knights, so as to seevre uniformity.
The Brethren are forbidden to receive and open letters from their friends without first submitting the-n to the inspection of their superiors. The pastime of hawking is prohibited, but the nobler Sport of lion-hunting is permitted, because the lion, like the devil, goes about continually roaring, seeking whom he may devour. Article fifty-five relates to the reception of married members, who are required to bequeath the greater portion of their property to the Order.
The fifty-eighth article regulates the reception of aspirants, or secular persons, who are not to be received immediately on their application into the society, but are required first to submit to an examination as to sincerity and fitness. The seventy-second and concluding article refers to the intercourse of the Knights with females. No brother was allowed to kiss a woman, though she were his mother or sister. "Let the soldier of the cross," says Saint Bernard, "shun all ladies' lips." At first this rule was rigidly enforced, but in time it was greatly relaxed, and the picture of the interior of a house of the Temple, as portrayed by the Abbot of Clairvaux, would scarcely have been appropriate a century or two later.
Obedience to constituted authority has always been inculcated by the laws of Freemasonrys Thus, in the installation charges as prefixed to the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England, the incoming Master is required to promise "to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Freernasonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations. "
Captain John Phillips was appointed in 1731 Provincial Grand Master of Russia by Lord Lovel, Grand Master of England (Constitutions, 1738, page 194) but it does not follow that there were any Lodges in Russia at that time. General Lord James I(eith arrived in Russia in 1728 and he probably founded the Lodge there of which he beeame Worshipful Master, and in 1740 he was appointed Provincial Granal Master. However, the first notiee that we have of Lodges meeting openly is that of Silence, established at St. Petersburg, and the North Star at Riga, both in 1750. Thory says that Freemasonry made little progress in Russia until 1763 when the Empress Catherine II deelared herself Proteetress of the Order.
The Rite of Melesino was introduced by a Greek of that name in 1765, and there were also the York, Swedish and Strict Observance Rites practised by Lodges. Twelve of these Lodges united and formed the National Grand Lodge on September 3, 1776. There was also a Swedish Provincial Grand Lodge in 1779.
For a time Freemasonry flourished but about the year 1794 the Empress alarmed at the political eondition of France, persuaded that members of some Lodges were opposed to the Government, withdrew her protection from the Order. She did not direct the Lodges to close but most of them ceased to meet. The few that continued to work were under police supervision and languished, holding their eommunications only at long intervals. Paul I, 1797, instigated by the Jesuits whom he had recalled, forbade the meetings of secret societies and especially in Masonic Lodges.
Johann V. Boeber, Counselor of State and Director of the School of Cadets at St. Petersburg, obtained an audience of the Emperor in 1803 and sueeeeded in removing his prejudices against Freemasonry. The edict was revoked, the Emperor himself was initiated in one of the revived Lodges, and the Grand Orient of all the Russias was established, of which Brother Boeber was deservedly elected Grand Master (Acta Latomomm i, page 218). Pelican Lodge was revived in 1804 as Alexander of the Crowned Pelican and divided into three parts and elected a Grand Master. Internal dissensions, however, were the cause of its downfall.
Another Grand Lodge, Astrea, controlled the first three Decrees and by 1815 claimed jurisdiction over 24 Lodges. A Grand Chapter was set up to control the remaining degrees in 1818, and there was also a Provincial Grand Body working under the Swedish System. A curious incident brought to an end Freemasonry in Russia.
The Emperor Alexander, instigated in part it is said by the political condition of Poland, received at this time two communications, one from Egor Andrevich Kushelev of the Grand Lodge Astrea, and the other from a Prussian Freemason, Count Gaugwitz, the latter heartily in favor of elosing all the Lodges, both agreeing that the spirit of the times would not permit of secret organizations, sand therefore on August 1, 1822, an Imperial Edic decreed the Closing of all secret societies (Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Loclge, volume xxxviii, pages 35-50). The order was quietly obeyed by the Freemasons of Russia (see Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry, also Freemasonry in Russia, Dr. Ernest Friedrichs, Berlin, 1904, and Berne, 1903).
A prominent member of the group of Russian Masonic Bodies on the Continent, exiles from Russia, has prepared for us some particulars of the development of Russian Freemasonry from which we make the following extract:
There is a well-established tradition that the first Russian Freemason was Peter the Great and that he was initiated by Sir Christopher Wren in an English Lodge at Amsterdam. There are, however no documents to prove this. The history of Russian Freemasonry may be divided into three periods.
First, 1731-71. Membership confined to foreigners residing in Russia; a few officers, the guard, and a few statesmen. The tendency is mystical and the influence negligible . Second, 1772-94. There are three Masonie Bodies at work.
1. Yelaguine's group at St. Petersburg. Work; self preservation, moral uplift, struggle against the ideas of Voltaire. This organization disappears about 1780.
2. Swedish Rite at St. Petersburg headed by Prince Gagarine as Grand Master. This Body Unites with the preceding one and shares its fate.
3. The National Grand Lodge at Moseow, lead by Novickoff and Schwarz working under a strong influence of the Moscow Rosy Cross Fraternity and of the Order of the Martinists. This group exercised a powerful influence during this period and for the future in Russian Freemasonry, and was a potent and intellectual factor in contemporary society. This group chiefly engaged in educational and charitable work and carried these on freely until it fell under the general ban on Freemasonry imposed by Catherine II in 1794.
Third, 1801-22. An irregular Russian Grand Lodge named Vladimir to Order which in 1810 became subject to Swedish Jurisdiction. This Grand Lodge had little influence but counted many prominent persons amongst its members.
As a reaction against the influence of higher Degrees there was founded in 1814 at Paris, under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France and out of the federation of five military Lodges, a New Grand Lodge Astrea. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars and with the return of the army to Russia this Masonic Body grew to the extent of having forty Lodges under their jurisdiction. These Lodges under French influence turned their attention to polities, and ended their career in the turmoil of the attempted Revolution in December, 1825.
During the whole of the nineteenth century, Russian Freemasonry if not dormant was at least hidden and entirely negligible. The revival of interest in spiritual matters which coincided with the beginning of the twentieth century brought about a revival of interest in Freenlasonry. A few prominent Russian intellectuals joined French Lodges. Professor Bajenoff joined at Paris the Scottish Rite Lodge Les Amis Reunis. Paul Jablochkov, world-famous electricians founded the Lodge Cosmos under the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite at Paris where in 1906 about fifteen Russian publicists joined French Lodges. These Brethren on their return to Russia organized two Lodges. one in St Petersburg, the Polar Star, and a Lodge at Moscow These Lodges were instituted with great ceremony in May, 1908, by two representatives of the Grand Orient of France and up to 1909 six Lodges were organized There was an interval in their activity over poliee restrictions and then these Lodges were reopened in 1911, working under the Grand Orient of France, with practically no ritual and having an avowedly political aim in view, namely, that of the overthrow of autoeraey There was what was known as a Supreme Couneil, an exclusively administrative Body whose members were elected for three years. This organization had no regularity and enjoyed no recognition abroad. In 1913 and 1914 the organization nevertheless had about fortytwo Lodges chiefly composed of members of the cadet party. The first Revolution in March 1917 is said to have been inspired and operated from these Lodges and all the members of Kerensky's Government belonged to them. After the Bolshevik Revolution most members of these Lodges emigrated, and after a long inactivity they were successful in forming under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France a new Polar Star Lodge at Paris. Four other Lodges working in Russia have been organized under the Grand Lodge of France, and there is also a Lodge of Perfection and a Rose Croix (chapter working in Russian at Paris the rituals of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite finder the Supreme Gouncil
The volume of the Sacred Law is always on the altar at the meetings of these four Lodges and the work is said to be usually a study of the deeper meanings of Freemasonry. The four Craft Lodges work with a committee which in fact represents what the Brethren believe to be the future Grand Lodge of Russia The Supreme Council has sanctioned a temporary committee in the higher Degrees which represents the nucleus of the future Supreme Couneil for Russia of the Aneient and Aeeepted Scottish Rite. On February 10, 1927, a Russian Consistory, caned Rossia, wan formed.
Russian Brethren have freely written upon Freemasonry. Brother Boris Telepneff has published pamphlets on Freemasonry in Russia, Rosicrucians in Russia, Some Aspects of Russian Freemasonry during the Reign of Emperor Alexander I (Transaclions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume xxxvui, page 6) and essays as in the Masonic Record, 1925.
RUSSIA, SECRET SOCIETIES OF.
First, the .Skopzis, founded about 1740, by Seliwanoff, on the ruins of an anterior sect, the Chlysty, which was originated by a peasant named Philippoff, in the seventeenth century. The Skopzis practised selfmutilation and other horrors. They were rich, and abound throughout Russia and in Bulgaria. Second, the Montainists, who declared that they have a "living Christ," a "living Mother of God," a "living Holy Spirit," and twelve "living Apostles." Their ceremonies were peculiar and but little resembling those of Freemasonry. A society of Martinists has had some vogue and other imported Rites have been instituted.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014