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The Ninth Degree in the American Rite, and the last of the two conferred in a Council of Royal and Select Masters. Its officers are a Thrice Illustrious Grand Master, Illustrious Hiram of Tyre, Principal Conductor of the Works, Treasurer, Recorder, Captain of the Guards, Conductor of the Council, and Steward. The first three represent the three Grand Masters at the building of Solomon's Temple. The Symbolic colors are black and red, the former significant of secrecy, silence, and darkness; The latter of fervency and zeal. A Council is supposed to consist of neither more nor less than twentyseven; but a smaller number, if not less than nine, is competent to proceed to work or business The candidate, when initiated, is said to the "chosen as a Select Master." The historical object of the Degree is to Commemorate the deposit of an important secret or treasure which, after the preliminary preparations, is said to have been made by Hiram Abif. The place of meeting represents a Secret vault beneath the Temple.
A controversy has sometimes arisen among ritualists as to whether the Degree of Select Master should precede or follow that of Royal Master in the order of conferring. But the arrangement now existing, by which the Royal Master is made the First and the Select Master the Second Degree of Cryptic Masonry, has been very generally accepted, and this for the best of reasons. It is true that the circumstances referred to in the Degree of Royal Master occurred during a period of time which lies between the death of the Chief Builder of the Temple and the completion of the edifice, while those referred to in the Degree of Select Master occurred anterior to the Builder's death. Hence, in the order of time, the events commemorated in the Select Master's Degree took place anterior to those which are related in the Degree of Royal Master; although in Masonic sequence the latter Degree is conferred before the former. This apparent anachronism is, however, reconciled by the explanation that the secrets of the Select Master's Degree were not brought to light until long after the existence of the Roval Master's Degree had been known and recognized.
In other words, to speak only from the traditional point of view, Select Masters had been designated, had performed the task for which they had been Selected, and had closed their labors, without ever being openly recognized as a class in the Temple of Solomon.
The business in which they were engaged was a secret one. Their occupation and their very existence, according to the legend, were unknown ta the great body of the Craft in the first Temple. The Royal Master's Degree, on the contrary, as there was no reason for concealment, was publicly conferred and acknowledged during the latter part of the construction of the Temple of Solomon; whereas the Degree of Select Master, and the important ineidents on which it was founded, are not supposed to have been revealed to the Craft until the building of the Temple of Zerubbabel. Hence the Royal Master's Degree should always be conferred anterior to that of the Select Master.
The proper jurisdiction under which these Degrees should be placed, whether under Chapters and to be conferred preparatory to the Royal Arch Degree or under Councils and to be conferred after it, has excited discussion The former usage has prevailed in Maryland and Virginia, but the latter in all the other States. There is no doubt that these degrees belonged originally to the Aneient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and were conferred, as honorary Degrees by the Inspectors of that Rite. This authority and jurisdiction the Supreme Gouncil for the Southern Jurisdiction of the Rite continued to elaim until the year 1870; although, through negligence, the Councils of Royal and Select Masters in some of the States had been placed under the control of independent Jurisdictions called Grand Courrils. Like all usurped authority, however, this claim of the State Grand Councils does not seem to have ever been universally admitted or to have been very firmly established.
Repeated attempts have been made to take the Degrees out of the hands of the Councils and to place them in the Chapters, there to be conferred as preparatory to the Royal Arch. The General Grand Chapter, in the Triennial Session of 1847, adopted a resolution granting this permission to all Chapters in States where no Grand Councils exist. But, seeing the manifest injustice and inexpediency of such a measure, at the following session of 1850 it refused to take any action on the subject of these Degrees. In 1853 it disclaimed all control over them, and forbade the Chapters under its jurisdiction to confer them. As far as regards the interference of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, that question was set at rest in 1870 by the Mother Council, which at its session at Baltimore, formally relinquished all further control over them.
An officer in the Sixth Degree of the Modern French Rite, known as the strand Master of Despatches.
The mot de semestre, or semi-annual word, is used only in France. Every six months a secret word is communicated by the Grand Orient to all the Lodges under its jurisdiction. This custom was introduced October 28, 1773, during the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Chartres, to enable him the better to control the Lodges, and to afford the members a means whereby they could recognize the members who were not constant in their attendance, and also those Freemasons who either belonged to an unrecognized Rite, or who were not affiliated with any Lodge. The Chapters of the advanced Degrees receive a word annually from the Grand Orient for the same purpose. This, with the password, is given to the Tiler on entering the Temple.
When the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite meets in the Thirty-third Degree, it is said to meet in its Senatorial Chamber.
An officer found in some of the higher Degrees, as in the Thirty-second of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, where his duties are similar to those of a Warden of a Lodge, he acting as the deputy of the presiding officer. The title is derived from the old German senne, meaning house, and schalk, servant. The Seneschals in the Middle Ages were the lieutenants of the Dukes and other great feudatories, and took charge of the castles of their masters during their absence.
SENIOR ENTERED APPRENTICE.
In the rite ual of the early part of the eighteenth century the Senior and Junior Entered Apprentices acted in the place of the Deacons, which offices were then unknown. The Senior Entered Apprentice was placed in the south, and his duty there was "to hear and receive instructions, and to welcome strange Brethren" (see Junior Entered Apprentice) .
The second officer in a Symbolic Lodge. He presides over the Craft during the hours of labor, as the Junior does during the hours of refreshment, and in the absence of the Master he performs the duty of that officer (see Wardens).
See Five Senses.
An officer in a Royal Arch Chapter, in a council of Knights of the Red Cross, and in a Commandery of Knights Templar, whose duties are similar to those of a Tiler in a Symbolic Lodge. In some Bodies the word Janitor has been substituted for Sentinel, but the change is hardly a good one. Janitor is usually applied to the porter of a collegiate institution, and has no old Masonic authority.
The Hebrew word is a plural noun, the singular being Sephira. Buxtorf (Talmudic Lexicon) says the word means numerations, from Saphar, to number; but the Cabalistic writers generally give it the signification of splendors, from Saphiri, splendid. The account of the creation and arrangement of the Sephiroth forms the most important portion of the secret doctrine of the Cabalists, and has been adopted and referred to in many of the high philosophic Degrees of Freemasonry. Some acquaintance with it, therefore, seems to be necessary to the Freemason who desires to penetrate into the more abstruse arcana of his Order (see Cabala).
Wife of Moses, and daughter of Raguel or Jethro, Priest of Midian. Mentioned in the Fourth Degree of the French Rite of Adoption.
The number Seven, which see.
The spirit of gratitude has frorn the earliest period led men to venerate the tombs in which have been deposited the remains of their bene. factors In all of the ancient religions there were sacred tombs to which worship was paid. The tombs of the prophets, preserved by the Israelites, gave testimony to their reverence for the memory of these holy personages. After the advent of Christianity the same sentiment of devotion led the pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, that they might kneel at what was believed to be the sepulcher of their Lord. In many of the churches of the Middle Ages there was a particular place near the altar called the Sepulcher which was used at Easter for the performance of solemn rites coromel1lorative of the Savior's resurree tion. This custom still prevails in some of the churches on the Continent. In Templar Freemasonry, which is professedly a Christian system, the Sepulcher forms a part of the arrangements of a Commandery. In England, the sepulcher is within the Asylum, and in front of the Eminent Commander. In the United States of America it is placed without; and the scenic representation observed in every well-regulated and properly arranged Commandery furnishes a most impressive and pathetic ceremony.
SEPULCHER, KNIGHT OF THE HOLY.
See Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Hebrew word is the singular form of the word is Seraph, signifying burning, fiery. Celestial beings in attendance upon Jehovah, mentioned by Isaiah (vi, 2-7). Similar to the Cherubim, having the human form, face, voice, two hands, and two feet, but six wings, with four of which they cover their faces and feet—as a sign of reverence— while with two they fly. Their specific office is to sing the praises of the Holy One, and convey messages from heaven to earth.
SERAPHIM, ORDER OF.
A Swedish Rite, instituted in 1334, revived in 1748. The number of knights, exclusive of the royal family, was twentyfour.
SERAPIS, MYSTERIES OF.
See Egyptian Mysteries.
SERPENT AND CROSS.
SERPENT, KNIGHT OF THE BRAZEN.
As a symbol, the serpent obtained a prominent place in all the ancient initiations and religions Among the Egyptians it was the symbol of Divine Wisdom when extended at length, and the serpent with his tail in his mouth was an emblem of eternity. The winged globe and serpent symbolized their triune deity. In the ritual of Zoroaster, the serpent was a symbol of the universe. In China, the ring between two serpents was the symbol of the world governed by the power and wisdom of the Creator. The same device is several times repeated on the Isiae Table. Godfrey Higgins (Anacalypsis i, pare 521) says that, from the faculty which the serpent possessed of renewing itself, without the process of generations as to outward appearance, by annually casting its skin, it became, like the Phenix, the emblem of eternity; but he denies that it ever represented, even in Genesis, the evil principle.
Faber's theory of the symbolism of the serpent, as set forth in his work on the Origin of Pagan Idolatry, is ingenious. He says that the ancients in part derived their idea of the serpent from the first tempter, and hence it was a hieroglyphic of the evil principle. But as the deluge was thought to have emanated from the evil principle, the serpent thus became a symbol of the deluge.
He also represented the good principle; an idea borrowed from the winged Seraphim which was blended with the Cherubim who guarded the tree of life—the Seraphim and Cherubim being sometimes considered as identical; and besides, in Hebrew, lot means both a seraph and a serpent. But as the good principle was always male and female, the male serpent represented the Great Father, Adam or Noah, and the female serpent represented the ark or world, the microcosm and the maeroeosm. Henee the serpent represented the perpetually renovated world, and as such was used in all the Mysteries.
Doctor Oliver brings his peculiar views to the interpretation, and says that in Christian Freemasonry the serpent is an emblem of the fall and the subsequent redemption of man. In Ancient Craft Masonry, however, the serpent does not occur as a symbol. In the Templar and in the Philosophie Degrees—such as the Knight of the Brazen Serpent, where the serpent is combined with the cross—it is evidently a symbol of Christ; and thus the symbolism of these Degrees is closely connected with that of the Rose Croix.
SERPENT AND CROSS.
A symbol used in the Degrees of Knights Templar and Knight of the Brazen Serpent. The cross is a tau cross T. and the serpent is twined around. Its origin is found in Numbers xxi, 9, where it is said, "Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole." The Hebrew word Nes, here translated a pole, literally means a standard, or something elevated on high as a signal, and may be represented by a across as well as by a pole. Indeed, Justin Martvr calls it a cross.
SERPENT, KNIGHT OF THE BRAZEN.
See Knight of the Brazen Serpent.
In ancient times, the serpent was an object of adoration in almost all nations. It was, in fact, one of the earliest deviations from the true system, and in almost all the ancient rites we find some allusion to the serpent. It was worshiped in India, Egypt, Phenicia, Babylonia, Greece, and Italy. Indeed, so widely was this worship distributed, presenting everywhere so many similar features, that it is not surprising that it has been regarded by some writers as the primitive religion of man. And so long did it continue, that in the Seet of Ophites—from the Greek word Ophis, meaning a serpent, it became one of the earliest heresies of the church. In some nations, as the Egyptians, the serpent was the representative of the good principle; but in most of them it was the emblem of the evil principle.
or SERBIA. Formerly a kingdom of the Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe, now combined with Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Slovenia, and Voyvodina to form Jugoslavia (see Austria Hungary and Czecho-Slouakia). Two Lodges warranted by the Grand Orient of Italy were working in Belgrade in 1885. A governing body for Servia was opened in 1912 at a Convention beginning on May 10 and lasting for thirteen days. In 1914 it controlled four Lodges whose membership totalled less than 100 in all.
Freemasons whose duty it is to serve the Lodge as Tilers, waiters at the Lodge table, and to perform other menial services, are called in European Lodges Serving Brethren. They are not known in the United States of America, but were long recognized as a distinct class in England and on the Continent. In 1753 the Grand Lodge of England adopted a regulation for their initiation, which, slightly modified is still in force. By it every Lodge is empowered to initiate without charge Serving Brethren, who cannot, however, become members of the Lodge, although they may join another.
In military Lodges private soldiers may be received as Serving Brethren. On the Continent, at one time, a separate and preliminary form of reception, with peculiar signs, ete., was appropriated to those who were initiated as Serving Brethren, and they were not permitted to advance beyond the first Degree; which, however, worked no ineonvenienee, as all the business and refreshment of the Lodges were done at that time in the Entered Apprentice's Degree.
The regulation for admitting Serving Brethren arose from the custom of Lodges meeting at taverns; and as at that period labor and refreshment were intermixed, the waiters for the tavern were sometimes required to enter the room while the Lodge was in session, and hence it became necessary to qualify them for such service by making them Freemasons. In France they are called Freres Servants; in Germany, Dienenden Brüder.
The Knights Templar had a class called Serving Brothers, who were not, however, introduced into the Order until it had greatly increased in wealth and numbers. The form of their reception varied very slightly from that of the Knights; but their habit was different, being hlsek They were designated for the performance of various services inside or outside of the Order. Many rich and well-born men belonged to this class. They were permitted to take part in the election of a Grand Master. The Treasurer of the Order was always a Serving Brother. Of these Serving Brothers there were two kinds: Servants at Arms and Artificers. The former were the most highly esteemed; the latter being considered a very inferior class, except the flrzllorers, who were held, on account of the importance of their occupaion, in higher estimation.
It is a theory of some Masonic writers that the principles of t he Pure or Primitive Freemasonry were preserved in the race of Seth, which had always kept separate from that of Cain, but that after the Flood they became corrupted by a secession of a portion of the Sethites, who established the Spurious Freemasonry of the Gentiles. This theory has been very extensively advanced by Doctor Oliver in all his works. The pillars erected by Seth to preserve the principles of the arts and sciences are mentioned by Josephus. But although the Old Constitiions speak of Seth, they ascribe the erection of these pillars to the children of Lamech. But in the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry the erection is attributed to Enoch (see Enoch).
In 1731, the Abbe Terrasson published at Paris a work entitled Sethos histotre ou vie tirée files monuments, anecdotes de l'ancienne Egypte. It has passed through a great many editions and has been translated into German and English. This work is a romantic histors, life taken from the monuments, anecdotes of ancient Egypt. Under the form of fiction it contains an admirable description of the initiation into the ancient Egyptian Mysteries. The labors and researches of Terrasson have been very freely used by Lenoir, Clavel, Oliver, and other writers on the ancient initiations.
A wooden hammer used by Operative Masons to set the stones in their proper positions. It is in Speculative Freemasonry a symbol, in the Third Degree, reminding us of the death of the builder of the Temple, which is said to have been effected by this instrument. In some Lodges it is improperly used by the Master as his gavel, from which it totally differs in form and in Symbolic signification.. The gavel is a symbol of order and decorum; the setting-maul, of death by violence.
The most famous of Setting Mauls is one treasured by the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, United Grand Lodge of England. It once belonged to Sir Christopher Wren, and was by him presented to the Lodge of which he was a member (as was also his son after him). In a written Lodge record called Book E, in what there is said to be a copy of an old Minute Book, an item dated March 18, 1722, refers to "the Old Mallet used at laying the foundation stone of St. Paul's Cathedral." In the Lodge Inventory of 1778 is a record: "the Mallet with which Sir Christopher Wren laid the foundation Stone of St. Paul's Cathedral." In 1827 the Duke of Sussex, Grand Master, caused an engraved silver plate to be affixed to it, reading: "that this is the same Mallet with which his Majesty King Charles the 2nd levelled the foundation Stone of St. Paul's Cathedral A. L. 1677, A. D. 1673, and vv as presented to the Old Lodge of Saint Paul now the Lodge of Antiquity acting by immemorial Constitution by Brother Sir Christopher Wren R.W.D.G.hI., W. . M.-. of this Lodge, and Architect of that Edifice." (The date should have been 1675.
A number of textual difficulties center in these and other references to Sir Christopher \5rren; they are analvzed by Bros. Rylands and Firebrace in their two-volume Pvecord of the Lodge of Antiquity, No. ma. Bro. Albert F. Calvert devotes nine pages to Wren in his Ttle Grand Lodge of England, beginning at page 45. Gould devoted some fifty pages of his History to trying to prove that Wren xvas not a Masons had never been a member of Antiquity, etc.; the amount of space is out of proportion to the subject, and was turned to waste, at least was neutralized, by Bro. Ryland's discovery of Antiquity MSS. which Gould had no knowledge of.)
It is a common fact that the Gavel is one of the Working Tools, and thereby a major symbol, whereas the Maul is but one of many emblems, though the Gavel is almost never mentioned in the older records (Operative Masons used a stone axe) and the Maul often is. The Maul was a thick-bodied mallet, sometimes spherical in shape, sometimes square, by which a finished stone was tapped into place; it came for that reason to stand for the completing of a piece of work. (It is also curious that the Plumb, Square, Level, and Gage, or ruler, were called Working Tools when they were not tools but instruments.)
It is illuminating to assemble the whole set of symbols and emblems having to do with the stone in a single system: the Ashlar. the instruments for measuring it, the tools for cutting it, the maul for putting it in place, etc., for when thus assembled one tool throws light upon the other. When that is done it becomes clear that in the Third Degree there are in reality two mauls: ones a working tool, in the form of an emblem, which explains itself; the second, a weapon. In consequence, there are two separate symbolisme.
It was the duty of the Senior Wardens to pay and dismiss the Craft at the close of day, when the sun sinks in the West; so now the Senior \Narden is said in the Lodge to represent the pettily sun.
In the Tracing-Board of the Seventeenth Degree, or Knight of the East and West, is the representation of a man clothed in a white robe, with a golden girdle round his waist, his right hand extended, and surrounded with seven stars. The Seventeenth ls an apocalyptic Degree, and this symbol is taken from the passage in Revelation (i, 16), "and he had in his right hand seven stars." It is a symbol of the seven churches of Asia.
SEVENTY YEARS OF CAPTIVITY.
This period must be computed from the defeat of the Egyptians at Carchemish, in the same year that the prophecy was given, when Nebuchadnezzar reduced the neighboring nations of Syria and Palestine, as well as Jerusalem, under his subjection At the end of seventy years, on the accession of Cyrus, an end was put to the Babylonish monarchy.
One of the names of God in Hebrew. In Exodus vi, 3, the word translated God Almighty is, in the original, Shaddai, 'me; it is there fore the name by which he was known to the Israel ites before he communicated the Tetragrammaton to Moses. The word has been credited to a root meaning to overthrow, and signifies All-powerful Omnipotent. The prefix El is usually understood as the Ruler or Mighty One, but may have mainly a poetical use when compounded as here with a word of even greater power.
SHALAL SHALOM ABI.
A Hebrew phrase, Diripuit pacem patri. A covered word in the Fifteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
A Hebrew expression, Derby tit, meaning twenty-three, and refers to a day in the month Adar, noted in the Sixteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
King Solomon is said, in a Rabbinical legend, to have used the worm Shamir as an instrument for building the Temple. The legend is that Moses engraved the names of the twelve tribes on the stones of the breastplate by means of the blood of the worm Shamir, whose solvent power was so great that it could corrode the hardest substances. When Solomon was about to build the Temple of stones without the use of any metallic implement, he was desirous of obtaining this potent blood; but the knowledge of the source whence Moses had derived it had been lost by the lapse of time.
Solomon enclosed the chick of a bird, either an ostrich or a hoopoe, in a crystal vessel, and placed a sentinel to watch it. The parent bird, finding it impossible to break the vessel with her bill so as to gain access to the young one, flew to the desert, and returned with the miraculous worm, which, by means of its blood, soon penetrated the prison of glass, and liberated the chick. By a repetition of the process, the King of Israel at length acquired a sufficiency of the dissolving blood to enable him to work upon the stones of the Temple.
It is supposed that the legend is based on a corruption of the word Smiris, the Greek for emery, which was used by the antique engravers in their works and medallions, and that the name Shamir is merely the Hebrew form of the Greek word.
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