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STUDENTS AND LIBRARIANS, CONFERENCES OF.
The Grand Lodge Commission in Edueation, Grand Lodge of Michigan, M.-. W.. Frank Lodge, P. G. M., Chairman, held a discussion conference at Detroit, Mich., of Masonic students, authors, and Librarians, May 19-20, 1927, which was attended from Canada as well as from the United States. Bro. Douglas D. Martin, Editor of the Masonic News of Detroit, was in charge of the arrangement. Owing to its success this first conference was followed by others: 1928, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 1929, Milwaukee, Wisc.; 1930, Philadelphia, Penn.; 1931, New York, N. Y.; 1932, Alexandria, Va.; 1933 Columbus, Ohio.
SUBJECT-MATTER, AND MASONIC HISTORY.
Subject-matter is itself a subject, profound and profoundly interesting, and it is hard to guess why philosophers, literary critics, art critics, and historians have so seldom analyzed and examined it. Just as any given building has its own particular material—brick, or stone, or lumber, or adobe, or concrete—so is each one of the arts and sciences composed of a "material" peculiarly its own. It is always a given sort or kind of subject-matter which calls an art or science into existence; conversely, each art or science is capable of dealing with its own subjectmatter and none other; and just as working in wood calls for tools designed for it—hammer, saw, axe, plane, etc.—so are the techniques of each art or science designed for dealing with its own special material.
A landscape-painter may go about for weeks looking for a picture; he may see countless trees, hills, streams, mountains, waters, etc., but until he comes upon those natural objects in a very rare and a very special form (or composition) he has found no picture, and it is Pictures which are the subject-matter of his art.
A mathematician can tell what belongs and what does not belong to his own subject-matter—he sees at a glance, for example, the difference between the literary use of numbers ("Twelve guests came to dinner"), and the Mathematical use of numbers ("12 X 1 = 12"). so with the historian, who does not have the whole of the past for his subject-matter, as is popularly believedt but only certain subjects in the past; and by a sweep of the eye, if he is trained for his profession, can separate historical themes out from the general matrix of past events, and sees what belongs to himself, and vs hat belongs to the chronicler, and to the biographer, and to the soe;ologist, etc., and what is mere debris (or ana) which has no use, and is nothing but a mass of things in the past.
what is the subject-matter of Masonic history? Even if an historian were omniscient, if he knew in detail each and every event or occurrence of the u hole past of the Whole world, but knew not the subjectmatter belonging to Freemasonry, he could not write a history of Freemasonry because Masonic history is nothing more than an account of the Masonic subject-matter, insofar as what it now contains is from the past.
He observes Freemasonry as it now is; he notes what "material" it is composed of, which means what its subject-matter is; and he tracks each component of that subject-matter back to its origin, and then gives an account of its progress from that tine to this; if he cannot discover what is Freemasonry's subject-matter, if he confuses it with the subject-matter belonging to other subjects, if he writes a history of a subject-matter which does not belong to Freemasonry, he is incompetent as a Masonic historian. It is as important for a Masonic historian to see what Freemasonry is not, as to see what it is, because between that is and that is not lies the boundary-line within which the subject-matter of Freemasonry is contained. Hundreds of Panasonic historical writings are worthless because their authors could not find, or else they ignored, that boundaryline.
This absolute and inviolable principle of the subjectmatter in Freemasonry explains why no sufficiently competent Masonic historian ean possible espouse the theory that freemasonry originated in one of the Ancient Mysteries, or in one of those forms of Medieval occultism which are represented by astrology, alchemy, mysticism, Rosierucianism, Kabbalism, magic, etc. If he has the learning he needs for his own purpose, he knows what subject-matter belonged to any one of those occultist circles; if he does, he knows that its subject-matter is world's apart from Freemasonry's subject-matter; to confuse the two is as deadly a solecism as to confuse the subject-matter of mathematics with the subject-matter of landscapepainting. To prove that Freemasonry is not a disguised occultism it is not necessary to accumulate whole volumes of data or detail belonging to either; it is only necessary to contrast the subject-matter of any Medieval circle of occultism (alchemy would serve) with the subject-matter of the existing Fraternity. The differences are abysmic, and therefore cannot be bridged; the few points of similarity are superficial and are not even points of similarity, if that term be rigorously construed, but rather are points of analogy.
Any given subject-matter exists independently of a man. It is outside of him. It is one of the components of the world, and lies alongside the other components of it. No artist ever created the landscape which lies "out there" for him to paint.
No mathematician ever made mathematics. Chemicals were in the world long before any chemist was. History exists before the historian is born. Yet these subjectmatters are necessary to man, else he cannot have knowledge, arts, sciences, or things needed by him to remain in being, therefore one set of men must separate themselves out from among men in order to make one of those subject-matters his specialty. For this reason it may be said that the subject-matter calls the art or science into existence. Also, the subject-matter dictates to the artist, scientist, or other worker what tools he will employ, what means, what devices, what techniques. The arts, sciences, disciplines, systems of observations, subjects, and systems of thought which comprise culture were not invented by men, but are a slay man has of dealing with the world; the world itself is such as to make them necessary.
The subject-matter of Freemasonry consists of Ancient Craft Lodges and Grand Lodges, their ceremonies, rituals, officers, purposes, history, landmarks, customs, usages, and traditions, and of the High Grades which have their basis in it, and expand or elaborate it. A student, historian, interpreter, or analyst of Freemasonry is confined to this subjectmatter, and can employ only such techniques as the material in it caps for. He may be either a Mason, who knows his subject-matter at firsthand; or a non-Mason, who must take the word of Masons for what Masonry is. where a non-Mason refuses to accept that word he is ruled out of court by non-Masonic scholars and thinkers as well as by Masonic, because it is the first law of scholarship that a scholar must be true to his subject-matter. Many books which call themselves Masonic are not Masonic because they are a violation of that law; if non-Masonic books have much in them which is true about the subject-matter of Masonry, it is only because Masons themselves adjudge them to have it. A scholar in Masonry is one who knows and understands the whole of its subject-matter.
A number of the worthless books about Freemasonry would not have missed fire if only their authors had noted how many different themes are not in the subject-matter of Freemasonry. Certain of these omitted themes are what on a superficial view would be among the first to be expected in a ritual; their absence is therefore a fact of first importance; the theme omitted is as significant—and because it is omitted—as any of the themes included. It is striking that in Freemasonry, and more especially in the Ritual, such as the follovw ing are omitted:
1. There is next to nothing about women, or about children, or about the home. This theme is silently presupposed, but nowhere emerges into view.
2. Nature. The Ancient Mysteries originally were nature cults; some of them were fertility cults, and now and then one of them was a cult of death; but nature worship, or any nature cult, is almost completely absent from the Ritual.
3. Such occult things as smell or smack of magie charms, spells, horoscopes, zodiacs, witchcraft, demonology, satanism, exorcisms, ete., are as a theme conspicuous by its absence. At a few points there are faint references to them, or far-off echoes of them, but as a theme they are passed over.
4. Systematized and organized and established thee ologies and philosophies are absent. Pythagoras is alluded to, but as a geometrician, not as a philosopher (he is said to have coined that word).
5. The great theme of political government is missing. Such subjects as monarchy, republicanism, oligarchy, aristocracy, democracy, capitalism communism etc., are as old as the world, and as wide, but they do not emerge anywhere in the Ritual.
(A number of learned Masonic writers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century would, if they were here to do it, question No. 2 above; they believed, or over and over again were tempted to believe, that Freemasonry was one of the Ancient Mysteries which had somehow, and by a miracle, survived out of the Ancient World. It would now be necessary to ask them, Which Ancient Mystery? It is no longer possible to lump them together, as if they had somehow been versions of one thing, because archeology has proved beyond question that Ancient Mysteries differed radically among themselves, and as much as Christianity differs from Judaism, and as either differs from Mohammedanism; moreover, a given Mystery Cult was antithetic to any other; they were foes of each other; and it would have been impossible for Freemasonry to descend from all of them; if not, from which one did it descend? If it descended from any one, why has that Mystery Cult disappeared out of the Ritual? Why do we nowhere encounter it in either fact or name? Why is not it in the subjectmatter of Masonry?)
SUBLIME GRAND LODGE.
SUBLIME KNIGHT ELECTED.
SUBLIME PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET.
The eleven Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, from the Fourth to the Fourteenth inclusive, are so called. Thus Dalcho (Report of Committee, 1802) says: "Although many of the Sublime Degrees are in fact a continuation of the Blue Degrees, yet there is no interference between the two bodies."
SUBLIME GRAND LODGE.
A title formerly given in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to what is now simply called a Lodge of Perfection. Thus, in 1801, Doctor Dalcho delivered in Charleston, South Carolina, an address which bears the title of An Oration delivered in the Sublime Grand Lodge.
SUBLIME KNIGHT ELECTED.
The French expression is Sublime Chevalier élu. Called also Sublime Knight Elected of the twelve. The Eleventh Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Its legend is that it was instituted by King Solomon after punishment had been inflicted on certain traitors at the Temple, both as a recompense for the zeal and constancy of the Illustrious Elect of Fifteen, who had discovered them, and also to enable him to elevate other deserving Brethren from the lower Degrees to that which had been vacated by their promotion. Twelve of these fifteen he elected Sublime Knights, and made the selection by ballot, that he might give none offense, putting the names of the whole in an urn. The first twelve that were drawn he formed into a Chapter, and gave them command over the Twelve Tribes, bestowing on them a name which in Hebrew signifies a true man.
The meeting of a Body of Sublime Knights is called a Chapter.
The room is hung with black strewed with tears.
The presiding officer represents King Solomon, and in the old instructions is styled Most Puissant, but in recent ones Thrice Illustrious.
The apron is white, lined and bordered with black, with black strings; on the flap a flaming heart.
The sash is blael;, with a flaming heart on the breast, suspended from the right shoulder to the left hip.
The jewel is a sword of justice.
This is the last of the three Flus which are found in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In the French Rite they have been condensed into one, and make the Fourth Degree of that ritual, but not, as Ragon admits, with the happiest effect.
All the names of the Twelve Illustrious Knights selected to preside over the Twelve Tribes, as they have been transmitted to us in the ritual of this Degree, have undoubtedly assumed a very corrupted form. The restoration of their correct orthography and with it their true signification, is worthy the attention of the Masonic student.
The initiates into the Fourteenth Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite are so called. Thus Dalcho in his Oration (page 27) says: "The Sublime Masons view the symbolic system with reverence, as forming a test of the character and capacity of the initiated " This abbreviated form is now seldom used, the fuller one of Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Masons being more generally employed.
SUBLIME PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET.
This is the Thirty-second Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish R.ite. There is abundant internal evidence, derived from the ritual and from some historical facts, that the Degree of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret was instituted by the founders of the Council of Emperors of the East and West, which Body was established in the year 1758. It is certain that before that period we hear nothing of such a Degree in any of the Rites. The Rite of Heredom or of Perfection, which was that instituted by the Council of Emperors, consisted of twenty-five Degrees. Of these the Twenty-fifth, and highest, was the Prince of the Royal Secret. It was brought to America by Morin, as the summit of the High Masonry which he introduced, and for the propagation of which he had received his Patent. In the subsequent extension of the Scottish Rite about the beginning of the nineteenth century, by the addition of eight new Degrees to the original twenty-five, the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret became the Thirty-second.
Bodies of the Thirty-second Degree are called Consistories, and where there is a superintending Body erected by the Supreme Council for the government of the inferior Degrees in a State or Provinee, it is called a Grand Consistory
The clothing of a Sublime Prince consists of a collar, jewel, and apron. The collar is black edged with white.
The jewel is a Teutonic cross of gold.
The apron is white edged with black. On the flap are embroidered six flags, three on each side the staffs in saltier, and the flags blue, red, and yellow. On the center of the flap, over these, is a Teutonic cross surmounted by an All-seeing Eye, and on the cross a double-headed eagle not crowned. On the body of the apron is the tracing-board of the Decree..
The most important part of the symbolism of the Degree is the tracing-board, which is technically called the Camp. This is a symbol of deep import, and in its true interpretation is found that "Royal Secret" from which the Degree derives its name. This Camp constitutes an essential part of the furniture of a Consistory during an initiation, but its explanations are altogether esoteric It is a singular fact, that notwithstanding the changes which the Degree must have undergone in being transferred from the Twenty-fifth of one Rite to the Thirty-second of another, no alteration was ever made in the Camp, which retains at the present day the same form and Signification that were originally given to it.
The motto of the Degree is Spes mea in Deo est. that is, My hope is in God.
The French name is Salomon Sublime. A Degree in the manuscript collection of Peuvret.
The French name is Les Sublimes One of the Degrees of the Ancient Chapter of Clermont.
Submission to the mediatorial offices of his Brethren in the ease of a dispute is a virtue recommended to the Freemason, but not necessarily to be enforced. In the Charges of a Freemason (Constitutions, 1723, page 56, vi, 6) it is said: "'With respect to Brothers or Fellows at law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their mediation; which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on their process or lawsuit without wrath or rancor."
So called to indicate its subordination to the Grand Lodge as a supreme, superintending power (see Lodge) .
In a Grand Lodge, all the officers below the Grand Master, and in a Lodge, all those below the Worshipful Master, are styled Subordinate Officers. So, too, in all the other branches of the Order, the presiding officer is supreme, the rest subordinate.
Although it is the theory of Freemasonry that all the Brethren are on a level of equality, yet in the practical working of the Institution a subordination of rank has been always rigorously observed. So the Charges approved in 1722, vw hich had been collected by Anderson from the Old Constitutions, say: "These rulers and governors, supreme and subordinate, of the ancient Lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective stations by all the Brethren, according to the Old Charges and Regulations, with all humility, reverence, love, and alacrity" (Constitutions, 1723, page 52).
See Ark, Substitute.
An arrangement resorted to in the Royal Arch Degree of the American system, so as to comply proforma, as a matter of form, with the requisitions of the ritual. In the English, Scotch, and Irish systems, there is no regulation requiring the presence of three candidates, and, therefore, the practise of employing substitutes is unknown in those countries. In the United States the usage has prevailed from a very early period, although opposed at various times by conscientious Companions, who thought that it was an improper evasion of the law. Finally, the question as to the employment of substitutes came before the General Grand Chapter in September, 1872, when it was decided, by a vote of ninety-one to thirty, that the use of substitutes is not in violation of the ritual of Royal Arch Masonry or the installation charges delivered to a High Priest.
The use of them was therefore authorized, but the Chapters were exhorted not to have recourse to them except in cases of emergency; an unnecessary exhortation, it would seem, since it was only in such eases that they had been employed.
SUBSTITUTE GRAND MASTER.
The third officer in the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He presides over the Craft in the absence of the Grand and Deputy Grand Masters. The office was created in the year 1738, He is appointed by the Grand Master annually.
This is an expression of very significant suggestion to the thoughtful Master Mason. If the Word is, in Freemasonry, a symbol of Divine Truth; if the search for the Word is a symbol of the search for that Truth; if the Lost Word symbolizes the idea that Divine Truth has not been found, then the Substitute Word is a symbol of the unsuecessful search after Divine Truth and the attainment in this life, of which the first Temple is a type, of what is only an approximation to it. The idea of a substitute word and its history is to be found in the oldest rituals of the eighteenth century; but the phrase itself is of more recent date, being the result of the fuller development of Masonic science and philosophy.
The history of the Substitute Word has been an unfortunate one. Subjected from a very early period to a mutilation of form, it underwent an entire ehrnge in some Rites, after the introduction of the high Degrees; most probably through the influence of the Stuart Masons, who sought by an entirely new word to give a reference to the unfortunate representative of that house as the similitude of the stricken builder (see Macbenac). And so it has come to pass that there are now two substitutes in use, of entirely different form and meaning; one used on the Continent of Europe, and one in England and the United States.
It is difficult in this case, where almost all the knowledge that we can have of the subject is so scanty, to determine the exact time when or the way in which the new word was introduced But there is, as Doctor Mackey believed, abundant internal evidence in the words themselves as to their appropriateness and the languages whence they came the one being pure Hebrew, and the other, in Brother Mackey's opinion, Gaelic, as well as from the testimony of old rituals, to show that the word in use in the United States is the true word, and was the one in use before the Revival.
Both of these words have, however, unfortunately been translated by persons ignorant of the languages whence they are derived, so that the most incorrect and even absurd interpretations of their signifieations have been given. The word in universal use in the United States has been translated as rottenness in the bone, or the builder is dead, or by several other phrases equally as far from the true meaning.
The correct word has been mutilated Properly, it consists of four syllables, for the last syllable, as it is now pronounced, should be divided into two. These four syllables compose three Hebrew words, which constitute a perfect and grammatical phrase, appropriate to the occasion of their utterance. But to understand them, the scholar must seek the meaning in each syllable, and combine the whole. In the language of Apuleius, we must forbear to enlarge upon these holy mysteries
SUCCESSION TO THE CHAIR.
The regulations adopted in 1721 by the Grand Lodge of England have been generally esteemed as setting forth the ancient landmarks of the Order But certain regulations, which were adopted on the 25th of November, 1723, as amendments to or explanatory of these, being enacted under the same authority, and almost by the same persons, can scarcely be less binding upon the Order than the original regulations. Both these compilations of Masonic law refer expressly to the subject of the succession to the chair on the death or removal of the Master.
The old regulation of 1721, in the second of the thirty-nine articles adopted in that year, is in the following words (Constitutions, 1738, page I53): "In ease of death or sickness, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no Brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before. For the absent Master's authority reverts to the last Master present, though he cannot act till the Senior Warden has congregated the Lodge."
The words in italics indicate that even at that time the power of calling the Brethren together and setting them to work, which is technically called congregating the Lodge, was supposed to be vested in the Senior Warden alone during the absence of the Master; although, perhaps, from a supposition that he had greater experience, the difficult duty of presiding over the Communication was entrusted to a Past Master. The regulation is, however, contradictory in its provisions. For if the last Master present could not act, that is, could not exercise the authority of the Master until the Senior Warden had congregated the Lodge, then it is evident that the authority of the Master did not revert to him in an unqualified sense, for that officer required no such concert nor consent on the part of the Warden, but could congregate the Lodge himself.
This evident contradiction in the language of the regulation probably caused, in a brief period, a further examination of the ancient usage, and accordinly on the 25th of November,1723, a very little more than two years after, the following regulation (see above Constitutions) was adopted: "If a Master of a particular Lodge is deposed or dimits, the Senior Warden shall forthwith fill the Master's chair till the next time of choosing; and ever Since, in the Master's absence, he fills the chair, even though a former Master be present."
The present Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England appears, however, to have been formed rather in reference to the regulation of 1721 than to that of 1723. It prescribes (Rule 141) that on the death, removal, or incapacity of the Master, the Senior Warden, or in his absence, the Junior Warden, or in his absence, the immediate Past Master, or in his absence, the Senior Past Master, "shall act as Master in summoning the Lodge, until the next installation of Master."
But the English Constitution goes on to direct that, "in the Master's absence, the immediate Past Master, or if he be absent, the Senior Past Master of the Lodge present shall talce the chair. And if no Past Master of the Lodge be present, then the Senior Warden, or in his absence the Junior Warden, shall rule the Lodge."
Here again we find ourselves involved in the intricacies of a divided sovereignty. The Senior Warden congregates the Lodge, but a Past Master rules it. And ii the Warden refuses to perform his part of the duty, then the Past Master will have no Lodge to rule. So that, after all, it appears that of the two the authority of the Senior Warden is the greater.
But in the United States the usage has always conformed to the regulation of 1723, as is apparent from a glance at the rituals and monitorial works. Webb, in his Freemasons Monitor (edition of 1808), lays down the rule, that "in the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden is to govern the Lodge"; and that officer receives annually, in every Lodge in the United States, on the night of his installation, a Charge to that effect.. It must be remembered, too, that we are not indebted to Webb himself for this charge, but that he burrowed it, word for word, from Preston, who wrote long before, and who, in his turn, extracted it from the rituals which were in force at the time of his writing.
In the United States, accordingly, it has been held, that on the death or removal of the Master, his authority descends to the Senior Warden, who may, however, by courtesy, offer the chair to a Past Master present, after the Lodge has been congregated.
There is some confusion in relation to the question of who is to be the successor of the Master, which arises partly from the contradiction between the regulations of 1791 and 1723, and partly from the contradiction in different clauses of the regulation of 1723 itself. But whether the Senior Warden or a Past Master is to succeed, the regulation of 1721 makes no provision for an election, but implies that the vacancy shall be temporarily supplied during the official term, while that of 1723 expressly states that such temporary succession shall continue "till the next time of choosing," or, in the words of the present English Constitution, "until the next installation of Master."
But, in addition to the authority of the ancient regulation and general and uniform usage, reason and justice seem to require that the vacancy shall not be supplied permanently until the regular time of election. By holding the election at an earlier period, the Senior Warden is deprived of his right as a member to become a candidate for the vacant office. For the Senior Warden having been regularly installed, has of course been duly obligated to serve in the office to which he had been elected during the full term If thell an election takes place before the expiration of that term, he must be excluded from the list of candidates, because, if elected, he could not vacate his present office without a violation of his Obligation.
The same disability would affect the Junior Warden, who by a similar obligation is bound to the faithful discharge of his duties in the South. So that by anticipating the election in the Lodge, the two most prominent officers and the two most likely to succeed the Master in due course of rotation, would be excluded from the Chance of promotion. A grievous wrong would thus be done to these officers, which no Dispensation of a Grand Master should be permitted to inflict.
But even if the Wardens were not ambitious of office, or users not likely, under any circumstances, to be elected to the vacant office, another objection arises to the anticipation of an election for Master which is worthy of consideration.
The Wardens, having been installed under the solemnity of an obligation to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability, and the Senior Warden having been expressly Charged that '; the absence of the Master he is to rule the Lodge, " a conscientious Senior Warden might very naturally feel that he was neglecting these duties and violating this obligation, by permitting the office which he has sworn to temporarily occupy in the absence of his Master to be permanently filled by any other person.
On the whole, then, the old regulations, as well as ancient. uninterrupted, and uniform usage and the principles of reason and justice, seem imperatively to requite that, on the death or removal of the Master, the chair shalt be occupied temporarily until the regular time of election. Although the law is not actually explicit in relation to the person who shall fill that temporary position, the weight of law and precedent seems to incline toward the principle that the authority of the absent Master shall be placed in the hands of the Senior warden.
An ancient city of Palestine, about forty-five miles northeast of Jerusalem, and the site of which is now occupied by the village of Seikoot. lt is the place near which Hiram Abif cast the sacred vessels for the temple (see Clay Ground).
In French, Souffrant. The Second Degree of the Order of Initiated Knights and Brothers of Asia.
SUGER, THE ABBOT.
Though he held the title of Abbot, Suger was scarcely to be called a monk but like so many prelates in his period, and because almost the only means for an education were controlled by the church, was a statesman and public leader. He was Abbot at St. Denis, Paris, from 1122 to 1151. He was acting king while Louis VII was away in the East on one of the Crusades. He was one of the few Medieval men to write an autobiography, and if only others had done as he did, and as John of Salisbury did, Medieval history would be less "medieval" than it is. Suger's great fame, however, rests on his epoch-making achievement as a builder, for it was he who raised the funds, created the administration, and superintended the design and construction of the Abbey Church of St. Denis, at about 1140.
In his great Medieval Architecture (2 Vol.) Arthur Kingsley Porter, and after a life-time of studying buildings and records on the spot, declares this Abbey Church to have been the first Gothic building, properly so called.
Porter argues, with an overwhelming weight of sound evidence and reasoning to support him, that the Gothic Style was in essence or principle not a mere bringing into one structure of a number of separate elements which had been discovered here and there, first one and then another, but was a single ormula; a coherent, integrated system of principles, each implying the other, understandable only to an architect who grasped the formula as a unit, not understandable piecemeal. In that, it was comparable to the aero-dynamic principle which, once Wilbur Fright had discovered it, enables engineers to design aeroplanes of any desired type or size. (See works by Lethaby. See also pages 254 ff. in The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, by Haskins; Art and the Reformat tion, by Coulton; Gothic Architecture in England, by Francis Bond; works of Rivoira.)
It is accepted as proved that Speculative Freemasonry originated in Medieval Operative Masonry, but that broad fact does not answer the specific question as to how or where or when the peculiar and particular Fraternity of Speculative Freemasons originated.
Architecture did not turn itself into Speculative Freemasonry, for it continues everywhere now as it did in the Middle Ages. Nor was Speculative Freemasonry the only special society or fraternity to originate in Medieval architecture; the present Society of Operative Masons did, so did the German Steinmetzen, so did a branch of the French Compagnonnage, so did the City Companies of Masons, etc. Freemasonry, with its unique philosophy which belongs to itself alone, must have had a special origin all its own at some particular time and place in Medieval architecture—not from architecture in general, but from some special development within architecture. The most reasonable answer to the question is that the Freemasonry which was to continue into our modern Lodges, originated among the Gothic cathedral-building Freemasons. If that be so, there is history as well as poetry in looking back to the Abbot Suger and his Church at St. Denis as a principal source of origin. In any event, the year 1140 is a landmark in the chronicles of Freemasonry
This church or abbey, was in reality more than church or abbey because it was so much more than any abbey could be, since within its walls regiments of cavalry could camp, and in its rooms and adjacent buildings the King Louis Le Gros was so often present with his court that the abbey was in reality capital of France. Nothing could be wider of the facts than the tediously and tirelessly repeated notion that the Gothic, and with it Freemasonry, was "very simple" and "very crude" in its beginnings; for Gothic began in its very first building full-formed and marvelous at the center of Europe, within the walls around which Paris was to grow, and with a structure that struck as much awe in Europe as if it had been a great miracle.
The man who supervised it was the King of France's first minister; its builders were his colleagues; its designers were the elite of Europe. (Fortunately, more is known about Suger than about any other of the great Masters of Masons down to Inigo Jones and Wren: see The Middle Ages, by Fr. Funck-Brentano; Wm. Heinemann, Ltd.; London; 1922; ch. VI. T'ie de Louis we Gros, by Suger. Louis VI le Gros, by A. Luchaire. The Developxnent of the French Monarchy, by Thompson. Abt. Suger son Saint-Denis, by Cartellieri.)
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