Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!
SILVER AND GOLD.
When Saint Peter healed the lame man whom he met at the gate Beautiful of the Temple, he said to him "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee" (Acts iii, 6); and he bestonwed on him the gift of health. When the pious pilgrim begged his way, through all the perils of a distant journey, to kneel at the Holy Sepulcher, In his passage through poor and inhospitable regions, a crust of bread and a draft of water were often the only alms that he received. This has been symbolized in the ceremony of reception of a Knight Templar, and in it the words of Saint Peter have been preserved, to be applied to the allegorical pilgrimage there represented.
In the beautiful and affecting description of the body of man suffering under the infirmities of old age given in the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, we find the expression "or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern: then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it." Doctor Clarke thus explains these beautiful metaphors. The silver Cord is the spinal marrow; its loosening is the cessation of all nervous sensibilitv; the golden bowl is the brain, which is rendered unfit to perform its functions by the approach of death; the pitcher means the great vein which earries the blood to the right ventricle of the heart, here called the fountain; by the wheel is meant the great artery which receives the blood from the left ventricle of the heart, here designated as the cistern. This collection of metaphors is a part of the Scripture reading in the Third Degree, and forms an appropriate introduction to those sublime ceremonies whose object is to teach symbolically the resurrection and life eternal.
SIMONIS, JOHN W.
A tactful and native factor in the Saint Johns Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New York independently formed about 1837, and headed by Harry C. Atwood, Master of York Lodge No. 367 of STew York Citv. This was united with the old Grand Lodge of New York on December 27, 1850, by a public procession on Saint John's Day and suitable ceremonies at Tripler Hall. Brother Simons was noted for his knowledge of Masonic Jurisprudence and was also Grand Master of his State in 1861 (see History of Freemasonry in the State of New York, Ossian Lang, 1922, pages 134, 146).
A monstrous griffin, guardian of the Persian mysteries.
A mountain of Arabia between the horns of the Red Sea. It is the place where Moses received the Law from Jehovah, and where he was directed to construct the Tabernacle. Hence, says Lenning, the Scottish Freemasons make Mount Sinai a symbol of truth. Of the advanced Degrees, the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or the Chief and Prince of the Tabernacle, refer in their instructions to this mountain and the Tabernacle there constructed.
SINGAPORE, THE FOUNDER OF.
With the same suddenness in which it began, the war with Japan in 1941 filled American papers, movies, and magazines with a continuing fiood of discussions and descriptions of islands, nations, cities, and men who, before Pearl Harbor, had been scarcely better known to the American public than Marco Polo or Prester John, and in doing so made us see of what importance to us had been the City of Singapore which, though a British port, cost us Americans by its fall five billion dollars and tens of thousands of men and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Coincidentally, we American Masons discovered, to our very great surprise, that Freemasonry had been at work "out there" almost as long as it had been at work here, and that it had in quietness and by peaceable means a part in Asiatic settlement beyond anything anybody could have believed possible.
The discoverer and founder—a British writer says "almost the inventor"—of Singapore was Sir Stamford Rafiles. (The name has no connection with the verb "to raffle" but is the French form of the botanic name for the plant from which raffia comes.) He was born at sea July 5, 1781, the son of a merchant captain plying between England and the West Indies—the year in which Britain surrendered at Yorktown. After a small bit of schooling at Hammersmith he went to work for almost nothing in the offices of the East India Company—offices in which Charles Lamb and John Stuart Mill also were to work in after times. During the years of an iron apprenticeship in that ruthless corporation he worked as hard nights and Sundays on studying at home as he did in his office by day.
In 1805 he was sent out to be assistant-seeretary in the Malay city of Penang, where he learned the native speech, came to love the people, and exhibited a religious tolerance (in that Mohammedan country) which was astonishing.
"Mahomet's mission does not invalidate our Savior's"; he wrote; "one has secured happiness to the Eastern and one to the Western world, and both deserve our veneration." (While there he studied Hebrew and Greek, the Hebrew in order the better to understand Arabic.)
In 1806 Napoleon placed his Brother Louis on the throne of Holland and sent out a French Army to occupy Java, the first step of a Napoleonie scheme to conquer the whole of Asia. (The Nazis and Japanese studied Napoleon's Asiatic plans and strategy down to the last detail.) Raffles laid before the GovernorGeneral of India, Lord Minto, a military plan to crush the French in Java, prepared the way, and with Minto in 1811 drove them out. Raffles was appointed Lieutenant-Governor.
Lord Minto was an active Mason. On a coffee estate near Batavia was a small Lodge called Virtuitis et Artis Amici (Friends of Virtue and Arts), the Worshipful Master of which was Nicolas Englehardt, a former Dutch Governor of Java. With Minto present, Raffles received the first two Degrees. On July 5, 1813, he took the Third in Lodge De Vriendschap, at Sourabaya. In the years that followed, Sir Stamford went through black hours: Java went back to the Dutch; Minto died; Raffles' wife died, and after her their children. In 1816 he received the Rose Croix Degree in Batavia.
On his jot y back to Lngland he stopped off to visit Napoleon on St. Helena. In a few months (after a second marriage) he went back to be Governor of Sumatra, and on the way visited Lord Hastings in India—also an ardent Mason. It was there and then that Raffles proposed the building of a city and great naval base at Singapore. Space does not permit a description of his labor thereafter, among them being his founding of the London Zoology Society. He died in April, 1826.
If a Freemason writes about the power Freemasonry has to shape men, to inspire them toward tolerance and enlightenment, and to cultivate in them liindliness and friendliness, non-Masons may be tempted to discount it by half on the grounds of enthusiasm or a favorable prejudice; but if any non-hIason, and concerned only with unvarnished facts, will begin with Sir Stamford Raffles (or Minto, or Hastings) and search out the Mystic Tie in Asia as it stretched from one man to another, even across languages and in the midst of wars, and across the barriers of race (Hindus, Malays, Filipinos, Chinese became Brothers), and see how Masonry led to schools; hospitals, orphanages and tolerance, he will be forced in the end to admit that the part taken by the Craft in the bringing of civilization and culture into the Far East was astounding—and all the more so, in that it had behind it no armies, no powers of public office, no wealth, and never employed intrigue or force.
this is the distinctive title given to the possessors of the Degrees of Masonic Knighthood, and is borrowed from the heraldic usage. The word knight is sometimes interposed between the title and the personal name, as, for example, Sir Knight John Smith. English knights are in the habit of using the word Crater, or brother, a usage which to some extent is being adopted in the United States of America. English Knights Templar have been led to the abandonment of the title Sir because legal enactments made the use of titles not granted by the Crown unlawful. But there is no such law in America. The addition of Sir to the names of all Knights is accounted, says Ashmole, "parcel of their style." The use of it is as old, certainly, as the time of Edward I, and it is supposed to be a contraction of the old Freneh Sire, meaning Seigneur, or Lord.
SIRAT, AS or AL.
The Hebrew word n . A Significant word, formerly used in the Order of High Priesthood in the United States of America. It signifies a shoelatchet, and refers to the declaration of Abraham to Melchizedek, that of the goods which had been captured he would "not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet" (Genesis xiv, 23), that is, nothing even of the slightest value. The introduction of this word into some of the lower Capitular Degrees was an error of the ritualists.
Lodges are so called which are in the same Masonic Jurisdiction, and owe obedience to the same Grand Lodge.
SISTERS BY ADOPTION.
In the Lodges of the French Adoptive Rite this is the title by which the female members are designated. The female members of all androgynous, both sexes, Degrees are Sisters, as the male members are Brethren.
SISTERS OF THE GILD.
The attempt of some writers to maintain that women were admitted into the Medieval Confraternities of Freemasons fails to be substantiated for want of sufficient proof. The entire spirit of the Old Constitutions indicates that none but men, under the titles of Brethren and fellews, were admitted into these Masonic Gilds; and the first Code of Charges adopted at the Revival in 1717, declares that "the persons admitted members of a Lodge must be good and true men . . . no women, etc."
The opinion that women were originally admitted into the Masonic Gild, as it is asserted that they were into some of the others, is based upon the fact that, in what is called the York Manuscript, No. 4, whose date as affixed to the Roll is 1693, we find the following words: "The one of the elders takeing the Booke, and that hee or shee that is to be made mason shall lay their hands theron, and the charge shall be given. "
But in the Alnwick Manuscript, which is inserted as a Prefaee to the Reeords of the Lodge at Alnwick, beginning September 29, 1701, and which manuscript was therefore probably at least contemporary with that of York, we find the corresponding passage in the following words, "Then shall one of the most ancient of them all hold a book that he or they may lay his or their hands upon the said Book," ete.
Again in the Grand Lodge Manuscript, No. 1, whose date is 1583, we meet with the same regulation in Latin thus: Tunc unus er senioribus teneat librum et ille vet illi apposuerunt manus sub librum et tune praecepta deberent legi. This was no doubt the original form of which the writer of the York Manuscript gives a translation, and either through ignorance or clerical carelessness, the ille vet illi, instead of We or they, has been translated he or she. Besides, the whole tenor of the Charges in the York Manuscript clearly shows that they were intended for men only. A woman could scarcely have been required to swear that she "would not take her fellow's wife in villainy," nor make anyone a Free mason unless "he has his right limbs as a man ought to have."
It cannot be admitted on the authority of a mistranslation of a single letter, by which an a was taken for an e, thus changing ille into illa, or he into she, that the Masonie Gild admitted women into a Craft whose labors were to hew heavy stones and to aseend tall scaffolds.. Such never could have been the ease in Operative Masonry.
There is, however, abundant evidence that in the other Gilds, or Livery Companies of England, women or sisters were admitted to the freedom of the eompany. Herbert (History of the Livery Companies xi, page 83) thinks that the custom was borrowed, on the constitution of the Companies, by Edward III from the Ecclesiastical or Religious Gilds, which were often composed of both sexes. But there does not seem to be any evidence that the usage was extended to the Building Corporations or Freemasons Gilds. A woman might be a female grocer or haberdasher, but she could hardly perform the duties of a female builder.
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT.
A motto frequently used in Freemasonry, although sometimes written, Luz ftat et Luz flit, signifying Let there be light, and there was light (Genesis i, 3); the strict translation from the Hebrew continues, "And the Lord took care of the light, that it was useful, and He divided the light from the darkness."
SITUATION OF THE LODGES
A Lodge is, or ought to be, always situated due East and West, for reasons which are detailed in the articles on East and Orientation, which see.
The Hebrew word ll'D. The ninth month of the Hebrew civil year, corresponding with the months May and June, beginning with the new moon of the former.
The six lights of Symbolic Freemasonry are divided into the Greater and Lesser Lights, which see. In the American system of the Royal Arch there is no symbol of the kind, but in the English system there are six lights—three lesser and three greater—placed in the form of two interlaced triangles. The three lesser represent the Patriarchal, Mosaie, and Christian Dispensations; the three greater the Creative, Preservative, and Oestruetive Power of God. The four lesser triangles, formed by the intersection of the two great triangles, are emblematie of the four Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry.
The Grand Architects' Six Period's constituted a part of the old Prestonian lecture in the Fellow Craft's Degree. It referred to the six days of creation, the six periods being the six days. It no longer forms a part of the leeture as modified by Doctor Hemming in England, although Brother Oliver devotes a chapter in his Historical Landmarks to this subject. It was probably at one time taught ill the United States of America before Brother Webb modified and abridged the Prestonian lectures, for Hardie gives the Six Periods in full in his Mozlitor, which was published in 1818. The Webb lecture, praetised in the United States, comprehends the whole subject of the Six Periods, which make a closely printed page in Browne's Master Kely, in these few words: "In six days God created the heavens and the earth, and rested upon the seventh day; the seventh, therefore, our ancient Brethren eonseerated as a day of rest from their labors; thereby enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of creation, and to adore their great Creator. "
A symbol of death. The ancient Egyptians often introduced a skeleton in their feasts to remind the revelers of the transitory nature of their enjoyments, and to teach them that in the midst of life we are in death. As such an admonitorasymbol it has been used in some of the advanced Degrees (see Skull).
In the English system the Skirret is one of the working-tools of a Master Mason. It is an implement which aets on a center-pin, whence a line is drawn, ehalked, and struck to mark out the ground for the foundation of the intended Structure. Symbolically, it points to us that straight and undeviatirlg line of conduct laid down for our pursuits in the volume of the ,Sacred Law. The Skirret is not used in the American system.
The skull as a symbol is not used in Freemasonry except in Masonic Templarism, where it is a symbol of mortality. Among the Articles of Accusation sent by the Pope to the Bishops and Papal Commissaries upon Which to examine the Knights Templar, those from the forty-seeond to the fiftysevellth refer to the human skull, Cranium humanum, wliieh the Templars were accused of using in their reception, and worshiping as an idol. It is possible that the Old Templars made use of the skull in their ceremony of reception; but Modern Templars will readily acquit their predecessors of the crime of idolatrx, and find in their use of a skull a symbolic design (see Baphomet).
Of this symbol of mortality, the skull, much has been written and when found of suitable service quoted with effect at Masonie meetings. About 1860 Brother J. S. Parvin of Iowa received a copy of a poem entitled Lines to a Skeleton as printed in a newspaper published at Glasgow, Seotland. He was struelc with its beauty and used it in his Knight Templar work, he at that time being Eminent Commander of the local Commandery. A similar experience befel Brother Eugene S. Elliott of Wisconsin but brother Parvin is believed to have been first to use the poem as above described and it soon became vers popular and is still generally used. The popularit~- of the poenn has caused it to be paraphrased by several Brethren, Denman S. Wagstaff, New Age Magazine, April 1917 (page 178); Newton Newkirk, .Missouri Freetmason, October 29, 1904; and copies of others published by H. D. Loveland, California, Nortnan T. Cassette, and so on are in our possession but lack particulars of first place of publication.
However, the original also has its uncertainties. The Square and Compass, Denver, July, 1923, page 44, says "The poem was written by Robert Philip of Gormyre Cottage, Seotland. He wrote the verses u hile Watching for 'body snatchers' in the parish ehurehyard of Torphichen where during the repairing of the church the unearthing of a skeleton suggested the subject." Clothes C. GX Hunt, (grand Secretary of Iowa's) has kindly investigated the matter for us, sprites "In 1816 the manuscript of the poem waks found in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons at London near a perfect human skeleton.
The attendant who found it handed it to the curator of the museum and he in turn sent it to the London Morning Cilronicle for publication.
The first authentie record that we have of the poem is its appearance in the London Chronicle in 1816. It excited so much attention that a reward of fifty guineas was offered for information that would lead to the discovery of its author. This was without avail, however, as the author preserved his incognito and to this day no one knows who he was. Thus you will note the similarity in the faet that the author of the poem as well as the former occupant of the skeleton about whom it was written remain unknown."
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations, 1922 (page 687), credits the ode to Anna Jane Vardill (Mrs. James Niven) and it did appear in the European Magazine, November, 1816, signed with the initial "V ^2 But Brother Hunt points out that the poetess denied the authorship and the coincidence of the initial is the only thing to connect her with the poem. The Subject came up frequently in Notes and Queries, London, and usually was credited to Miss Vardill but has been claimed for J. D. Gordman and Robert Philip, the latter in 1826. The lines are listed as anonymous in Edith Granger's Index to Poetry and Recitations, Chicago, 1904, McClurg.
Behold this ruin, 'Twas a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full.
This narrow cell was Life's retreat,
This space was Thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot
What dreams of pleasure long forgot?
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear
Have left one trace on record here.
Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye:
But start not at the dismal vold—
If Social love that eye employed.
If with no lawless fire it gleamed
But through the dews of kindness beamed;
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.
Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue
If Falsehood's honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise was chained.
If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke
Yet gentle concord never broke—
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When Time unveils Eternity.
Say, did these fingers delve the mine
Or with the envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear a gem
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of truth they sought
Or comfort to the mourner brought
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on Wealth and Fame.
Avails it whether lottre or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of Ease they fled.
To seek Afflietion's humble shed.
If Grandeur's guilty bribe they spurned,
And home to Virtue's cot returned—
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky.
There is an earlier poem of 1808 by Lord Byron on the skull. He tells of it in his conversations with Medwin; "The gardener in digging discovered a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey (Newstead Abbey) about the time it was demonasteried. Observing it to be of giant size and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking eup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoise shell." Start not—nor deem my spirit fled:
In me behold the only skull
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.
I lived, I loved, I quaffed like thee:
I died: let earth my bones resign:
Fill up—thou canst not injure me
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.
Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood
And eirele in the goblet's shape
The drink of Gods, than reptile's food.
Where Once my wit, perchance hath shone,
In aid of others let me shine
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?
Quaff while thou eanst, another race
When thou and thine like me are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace
And rhyme and revel with the dead.
Why not? since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce
Redeem'd from worms and wasting elay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.
SKULL AND CROSS-BONES.
They are a symbol of mortality and death, and are so used by heralds in funeral achievements. As the means of inciting the mind to the contemplation of the most solemn subjects, the skull and cross-bones are used in the Chamber of Reflection in the French and Scottish Rites, and in all those Degrees where that Chamber constitutes a part of the preliminary ceremonies of initiation .
On the title page of a 32-page pamphlet, The Free Mason Examined, published at London, England, 1754, the author is given as "Alexander Slade, Late Master of Three Regular Constituted Lodges, In the City of Norwich." Careful search among the archives failed to find a Brother who by the year 1751 had occupied the chair of three Norwich (England) Lodges. The pamphlet was reproduced in facsimile by the Lodge of Researeh, No. 2429, Leicester, 1926-7, with comments by Brother John T. Thorp, who also read a paper "Freemasonry Parodied in 1754 by Slade's Free Mason Ezamin'd" (see Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1907, volume xx, pages 95-111).
Slade has not been identified with Norwich nor with Freemasonry and the purpose of this unknown writer is mysterious, Brother Thorp suggesting several possibilities: first, that this curious production is what it claims to be—an account of some Lodge ceremonies of that time; second, perhaps published to ridicule the claims made to a remote antiquity by the Grand Lodge of the Antients; third, a misleading parody upon certain Masonic work of that period, and fourth, an outright invention prompted by pure greed, there being a lively demand for such information, Prichard's pamphlet of 1730 having four editions in a month and nearly twenty by 1754. Six editions of Slade's work were published four in 1754, the others bear no date, and Copies of all are rare.
Inwood, in his sermon on Union Amongst Masons, says: "To defame our Brother, ol suffer him to be defamed, without interesting ourselves for the preservation of his name and character there is scarcely the shadow of an excuse to be formed. Defamation is always wicked. Slander and evil speaking are the pests of civil society, are the disgrace of every degree of religious profession, are the poisonous bane of all brotherly love."
See Free Born
[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership
Development] [Education] [Masonic
This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United
States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014