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The Supreme Masonic authority of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is called a Supreme Council. A Supreme Council claims to derive the authority for its existence from the Constitutions of 1786. We have no intention here of entering into the question of the authenticity of that document. The question is open to the historian, and has been amply discussed, with the natural result of contradictory conclusions But he who accepts the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite as genuine Freemasonry, and owes his obedience as a Freemason to its constituted authorities, is compelled to recognize those Constitutions wherever or whenever they may have been enacted as the fundamental law—the constitutional rule of his Rite. To their authority all the Supreme Councils owe their legitimate existence.
Dr. Frederiek Dalcho, who, in the opinion of Doctor Mackey, may very properly be considered as the founder in the United States, and therefore in the world, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in its latest form as the legitimate successor of the Rite of Perfection or of Herodem, has given in the Circular written by him, and published December 4, 1802, by the Supreme Council at Charleston, the following account of the establishment of Supreme Councils: "On the 1st of May, 1786, the Grand Constitution of the Thirty-third Degree, called the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, was finally ratified by his Majesty the King of Prussia, who, as Grand Commander of the Order of Prince of the Royal Secret, possessed the Sovereign Masonic power over all the Graft. In the new Constitution, this high power was conferred on a Supreme Council of nine Brethren in each nation, who possess all the Masonic prerogatives, in their own district, that his Majesty individually possessed, and are Sovereigns of Masonry."
The basic law for the establishment of a Supreme Council is found in these words in the Latin Constitutions of 1786: "The First Degree will be subordinated to the Second, that to the Third, and so in order to the Sublime, Thirty-third, and last, which will watch over all the others, will correct their errors and will govern them, and whose Congregation or Convention will be a dogmatic Supreme Grand Council, the Defender and Conservator of the Order, which it will govern and administer according to the present Constitutions and those which may hereafter he enacted."
But the Supreme Council at Charleston derived its authority and its information from what are called the French Constitutions; and it is in them that we find the statement that Frederick invested the Supreme Council with the same prerogatives that he himself possessed, a provision not contained in the Latin Constitutions. The twelfth article says: "The Supreme Council will exereise all the Masonic sovereign powers of which his Majesty Frederick II, King of Prussia, was possessed."
These Constitutions further declare (Article 5) that "every Supreme Council is composed of nine Inspectors-General, five of whom should profess the Christian religion." In the same article it is provided that "there shall be only one Council of this degree in each nation or kingdom in Europe, two in the United States of America as far removed as possible the one from the other, one in the English islands of America, and one likewise in the French islands " It was in compliance with these Constitutions that the Supreme Council at Charleston, South Carolina, was instituted. In the Circular, already cited, Dalcho gives this account of its establishment: "On the 31st of May, 1801, the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree for the United States of America was opened, with the high honors of Masonry, by Brothers John Mitchell and Frederick Dalcho, Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General; and in the course of the present year (1802) the whole number of Grand Inspectors-General was completed, agreeably to the Grand Constitutions."
This was the first Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite ever formed. From it has emanated either directly or indirectly all the other Councils which have been since established in America or Europe.
Although it now exercises jurisdiction only over a part of the United States under the title of the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, it claims to be and is recognized as "the Mother Council of the World." Under its authority a Supreme Council, the second in date, was established by Count de Grasse in the French West Indies, in 1802; a third in France, by the same authority, in 1804; and a fourth in Italy in 1805. In 1813 the Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States was divided; the Mother Council establishing at the City of New York a Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction, and over the States north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, reserving to itself all the remainder of the territory of the United States. The seat of the Northern Council is now at Boston, Massachusetts; and although the offices of the Grand Commander and SecretaryGeneral of the Southern Council have been in the City of Washington, whence its documents emanate, its seat has continued constructively at Charleston, South Carolina.
On their first organization, the Supreme Councils were limited to nine members in each. That rule continued to be enforced in the Mother Council until the year 1859, when the number was increased to thirty-three. Similar enlargements have been made in all the other Supreme Councils except that of Scotland, which still retains the original number. The several officers of the original Supreme Council at Charleston were designated: a Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander, Most Illustrious Lieutenant Grand Commander, Illustrious Treasurer-General of the Holy Empire, Illustrious Secretary-General of the Holy Empire, Illustrious Grand Master of Ceremonies, and Illustrious Captain of the Guards.
In 1859, with the change of numbers in the membership, there was also made a change in the number and titles of the officers. These now in the Mother Council, according to its present Constitution, are:
SUPREME COUNCILS, ANCIENT AND AGCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE.
These Councils are organized in almost every country of the world, a number being under royal patronage, and in some nations are the governing power over all existing Freemasonry. A synoptical history of all the Supreme Councils that have ever existed, with the manner of their formation in chronological order, is published in the Proceedings, Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, 1908.
A genealogical tree of these Councils appears in the New Age, January, 1907. A list of the Supreme Councils of the world with complete account of the whole organization is given in Doctor Mackey's revised History of Freemasonry. On September 22, 1875, a Congress of the various Supreme Councils was convened at Lausanne, Switzerland, to consider such matters as might then and there be submitted for consideration and united action, and be deemed for the general benefit of the Rite. Much speculation and lack of confidence was the result among many of the invited participants lest they might be committed by uniting in the Conference. The Congress, however, was held, and a Declaration of Principles set forth. There was also stipulated and agreed upon a Treaty, involving highly important measures, embraced within twenty-three articles, which was concluded September 22, 1875.
"The intimate alliance and confederation of the contracting Masonic powers extended and extends under their auspices to all the subordinates and to all true and faithful Freemasons of their respective jurisdictions.
"Whoever may have illegitimately and irregularly received any Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite can nowhere enjoy the prerogatives of a Freemason until he has been lawfully healed by the regular Supreme Council of his own country."
The Confederated Powers again recognized and proclaimed as Grand Constitutions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Constitutions and Statutes adopted May 1,1876, with the modifications and Tiler adopted by the Congress of Lausanne, the 22d of September, 1875.
The Declaration and articles were signed by representatives of eighteen Supreme Councils, who recognized the territorial Jurisdictions of the following Supreme Councils:
Northern, United States,Southern United States,
The same delegates, by virtue of the plenary powers they held, and by which they were justified, promised, for their principals, to maintain and defend with all their power, to preserve, and cause to he observed and respected, not only the territorial Jurisdiction of the Confederated Supreme Councils represented in the said Congress at Lausanne, and the parties therein contracting, but also the territorial Jurisdiction of the other Supreme Councils named. It is not possible to give statistics as to the number of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Masons in the world, but calculating those, of whatever Degree, who are governed by Supreme Councils in the different nations, it is but reasonable to presume one-half of the entire Fraternity is of that Rite, and as a matter of extensiveness, it is par excellence the Universal Rite. In many nations there is no other Rite known, and therein it confers all the Degrees of its system, including the first three. Among the English-speaking Freemasons, it builds its structure upon the York or the American system of three Degrees.
In the United States its organizations are to be found in every prominent city and many towns, and in numerous instances possessing and occupying temples built specially to accommodate its own peculiar forms, elegant of structure and in appointments, and of great financial value. The progress of this Rite in the nineteenth century has been most remarkable, and its future appears without a cloud.
The Supreme Councils organized since 1801 have not all continued to exist. At an International Congress at Washington, October 7, 1912, of the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,! twenty-nine Councils were recognized in the proceedings as regular and twenty-six of them were represented. The Councils then listed as regular were as follows:
Argentine Republic, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Central America , Chile
Colon (for Cuba),Colombia, United States ofDominican RepublicEcuador
MexicoNorthern United StatesParaguayPeruPortugal
ScotlandSerbiaSouthern United StatesSpainSwitzerland
In that year, 1912, two Supreme Councils were organized, the Netherlands and Servia, and from that time to 1928 these Supreme Councils: Austria, Szecho-Slovakia, Denmark, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, and Roumania.
A complete list of all those organized up to 1880 is as follows:
SUPREME GRAND LODGE OF THE UNITED STATES.
See General Grand Lodge.
SURINAM OR DUTCH GUIANA.
A country in South America. In 17fi7 or 1769 there was a Lodge La Vertueuse at Batavia where also was instituted La Fidele Sincérité in 1771. La Vertueuse flourished long as No. 8, De Ster in het Oosten, in the records of the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands, which also has at Paramaribo, Concordia Lodge, dating from 1773.
This is a Masonic punishment, which consists of a temporary deprivation of all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry. There are two kinds, delfrlite and indefinite; but the effect of the penalty, for the time that it lasts, is the same in both kinds. The mode in which restoration is effected differs in each.
1. Definite Suspension.—By definite suspension is meant a deprivation of the rights and privileges of Freemasonry for a fixed period of time, which period is always named in the sentence. By the operation of this penalty, a Freemason is for the time prohibited from the exercise of all his Masonie privileges. His rights are placed in abeyance, and he can neither visit Lodges, hold Masonie communication, nor receive Masonic relief, during the period for which he has been suspended. Yet his Masonic citizenship is not lost. In this respect suspension may be compared to the Roman punishment of relegatio, or banishment, which Ovid, who had endured it, de scribes in Tristia (v, 11) with technical correctness, a a penalty which "takes axvay neither life nol property nor rights of citizens, but only drives away from the country."
So by suspension the rights and duties of the Freemason are not obliterated, but their exercise only interdicted for the period limited by the sentence, and as soon as this has terminated he at once resumes his former position in the Order, and is reinvested with all his Masonic rights, whether those rights be of a private or of an official nature. Thtls, if an officer of a Lodge has been Suspended for three months from all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry, a suspension of his official functions also takes place. But a suspension from the discharge of the functions of an office is not a deprivation of the office; and therefore, as soon as the three months to which tile suspension had been limited have expiled, the brother resumes all his rights in the Order and the Lodge and with them, of course, the office which he had held at the time that the sentence of suspension had been inflicted.
2. Indefinite Suspension.—This is a suspension for a period not determined and fixed by the Sentence, but to continue during the pleasure of the Lodge. In this respect only does it differ from the preceding punishment. The position of a Freemason, under definite or indefinite suspension, is precisely the same as to the exercise of all his rights and privileges which in both cases remain in abeyance. Restoration in each brings with it a resumption of all the rights and functions, the exercise of which had been interrupted by the sentence of suspension. Neither definite nor indefinite suspension can be inflicted except after due notification and trial, and then only by a vote of two-thirds of the members present.
Restoration to Masonic rights differs, as we have said, in these two kinds. Restoration from definite suspension may take place either by a vote of the Lodge abridging the time, when two-thirds of all the members must concur, or it will terminate by natural expiration of the period fixed by the sentence, and that without any vote of the Lodge. Thus, if a member is suspended for three months, at the end of the third month his suspension terminates, and he is ipso facto (by that fact) restored to all his rights and privileges.
In the case of indefinite suspension, the only method of restoration is by a vote of the Lodge at a regular meeting, two-thirds of those present concurring.
Lastly, it may be observed that, as the suspension of a member suspends his prerogatives, it should also suspend his dues. He cannot he expected, in justice, to pay for that which he does not receive, and Lodge dues are simply a compensation made by a member for the enjoyment of the privileges of membership.
Of course the number concurring may vary from that mentioned above, as in this and other similar instances such rules are subject to alteration by the governing Cody (see Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry).
SUSSEX, DUKE OF.
The Duke of Sussex is entitled to a place in Masonic biography, not only because, of all the Grand Masters on record, he held the office the longest—the Duke of Leinster, of Ireland, alone excepted—but also because of his devotion to the Institution, and the zeal With which he cultivated and protected its interests. Augustus Frederick, ninth child and sixth son of George III, King of England, was born January 27, 1773.
He was initiated in.1798 at a Lodge in Berlin. In 1805, the honorary rank of a Past Grand Master was conferred on him by the Grand Lodge of England. May 13, 1812, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master; and April 13, 1813, the Prince Regent, afterward George IV, having declined a re-election as Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex Was unanimously elected; and in the same year the two rival Grand Lodges of England were united. The Duke was Most Excellent Zerubbabel of the Grand Chapter, and Grand Superintendent of the Grand Conclave of Knights Templar. He never, however, took any interest in the Orders of Knighthood, to which, indeed, he appears to have had some antipathy. During his long career the Grand Conclave met but once. By annual elections, he retained the office of Grand Master until his death, Which took place April 21, 1843, in the seventyfirst year of his age, having completed a Masonic administration as head of the English Craft of upward of thirty years.
During that long period, it was impossible that some errors should not have been committed. The Grand Master's conduct in reference to two distinguished Freemasons, Doctors Crucefix and Oliver, was as by no means creditable to his reputation for justice or forbearance. But the general tenor of his life as an upright man and Freemason, and his great attachment to the Order, tended to compensate for the few mistakes of his administration. One who had been most bitterly opposed to his course in reference to Brothers Crucefix and Oliver, and had not been sparing of his condemnation, paid, after his death, this tribute to his Masonic virtues and abilites: "As a Freemason," said the Freemasons Quarterly Review (1843, page 120), "the Duke of Sussex was the most accomplished Craftsman of his day. His knowledge of the mysteries was, as it were, intuitive; his reading on the subject was extensive; his correspondence equally so; and his desire to be introduced to any Brother from whose experience he could derive any information had in it a craving that marked his great devotion to the Order."
On the occasion of the presentation of an offering by the Fraternity in 1838, the Duke gave the following account of his Masonic life, which embodies sentiments that are highly honorable to him:
My duty as your grand Master is to take care that no political or religious question intrudes itself, and had I thought that, in presenting this tribute, any political feeling had influenced the brethren, I can only say that then the Grand Master would not have been gratified. Our object is unanimity, and we can find a centre of unanimity unknown elsewhere. I recollect twenty-five years ago, at a meeting in many respects similar to the present, a magnificent jewel, by voluntary vote, was presented to the Earl Moira previous to his journey to India. I had the honor to preside, and I remember the powerful and beautiful appeal which that excellent brother made on the occasion.
I am now sixty-six years of age—I say this without regret—the true Mason ought to think that the first day of his birth is but a step on his way to the final close of life. When I tell you that I have completed forty years of a Masonic life—there may be older Masons—but that s a pretty good Specimen of my attachment to the Order. In 1798, I entered Masonry in a Lodge at Berlin, and there I served several offices, and as Warden was a representative of the Lodge in the Grand Lodge of England. I afterwards was acknowledged and received with the usual compliment paid to a mender of the Royal Family, by being appointed a Past Grand Warden. I again went abroad for three years, and on my return joined various Lodges, and upon the retirement of the Prince Regent who became Patron of the Order, I was elected Grand Master.
An epoch of considerable interest intervened, and I became charged, in 1813-4, with a most important mission—the union of the two London societies My most excellent Brother the Duke of Kent accepted the title of Grand Master of the Atholl Masons, as they were denominated; I was the Grand Master of those called the Prince of Wales's. In three months we carried the union of the two societies, and I had the happiness of presiding over the united fraternity . This I consider to have been the happiest event of my life. It brought all Masons upon the Level and the Square, and showed the world at large that the differences of common life did not exist in Masonry, and it showed to Masons that by a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together, what great good might be effected.
The swastika easily is the most universal and also the most ancient of symbolic devices. In form it has been of so many types that no line can be drawn between the swastika properly so called and what has a mere similarity to it; of names, such as swastika, suastica, fylfot, there is a long eatalog. It is impossible to say that it means anything in particular because it has in places and times been used to stand for so many hundreds of things! For almost the first time in history it was in Europe, Britain, and America being discarded and forgotten (except for trade-marks) until the Nazis, for some obscure reason of their own, adopted one of its thousand forms for their emblem. At bottom the device is nothing but two lines crossed, like the + sign; the Lines may be broken or not, the broken ends may be turned right or left, or they may be curved, or be ovoids, or ares of a circle, ete.; in one instance, the device consisted of four legs, bent at the knee; again, four arms, bent at the elbow.
Of those who have studied it Bro. and Count Goblet d'Alviela probably devoted more years and more learning to it than any other scholar. He could discover no beginning of it, but believed that in prehistorie times it was a sign used to denote either the cardinal points of the compass, or the North Star, once the cynosure and concern of every man on the seas, the arms of the swastika suggesting the swing of the Great dipper about the star, as on a pivot. It has never had a place in Freemasonry, except in the Scottish Prince of Mercy Degree, and then in a scarcely recognizable form, and with a special meaning defined by the Degree.
Among expert symbologists (a profession, not a science) it is classified as a "dead symbol." It has no meaning, force, substance, or suggestion of its own, no more than a diagram on a sheet of paper. The square, by contrast, is a symbol "alive" because it has ever been in use, and ever will be, and its use charges it with a Living meaning. A man gains something from the symbolism of the square; he can gain nothing from any form of the swastika because it is never used. It is doubtful if Medieval Masons ever could have been persuaded to employ it, except as a geometric ornament; because, first, it was forbidden by the church; and, second, it would have looked to them too much like a caricature of the Cross.
They adopted no idle or dead symbols; each of their own had for them a use either for their working or for their thinking.
(The Migration of Symbols, by Count Goblet d' Alviela [Belgian Senator; eminent in Belgian Freemasonry]; Archibald Constable; Westminster; 1894. Symbolism of the East and TZesC, by Mrs. MurrayAynsley; George Redway; London; 1900. Chapter IV contains a long catalog of forms and of their distribution. Report of the U. S. National Museum, by Thomas Wilson; 1894; pp. 757-1011.)
Freemasonry was first introduced to Sweden in the year 1735, when Count Axel Eric Wrede Sparre, who had been initiated in Paris, established a Lodge at Stockholm. Of this Lodge scarcely anything is known and it probably soon fell into decay.
Wing Frederick I promulgated a Decree in 1738 which interdicted all Masonic meetings under the penalty of death. At the end of seven years the Edict was removed, and Freemasonry became popular. Saint John Auxiliary Lodge, however, was working when the Decree was wit withdrawn. Lodges were again publicly recognized and in 1746 the Freemasons of Stockholm struck a medal on the occasion of the birth of the Prince Royal, afterward Gustavus III. In 1753, the Swedish Freemasons laid the foundation of an orphan asylum at Stockholm which was built by the voluntary contributions of the Fraternity, without any assistance from the State.
In 1762, King Adolphus Frederick, in a letter to the Grand Master, declared himself the Protector of the Swedish Lodges, and expressed his readiness to become tile Chief of Freemasonry in his dominions, and to assist in defraying the expenses of the Order. On April 10, 1765, Lord Blayney, Grand Master of England, granted a Deputation to Charles Fullmann, Secretary of the British Embassy at Stockholm, as Provincial Grand Master, With the authority under the "Moderns" Grand Lodge of England to constitute Lodges in Sweden. At the same time, Schubarb, a member of the Rite of Strict Observance, appeared at Stockholm, and endeavored to establish that Rite. He had but little success, as the advanced Degrees had been previously introduced from France.
But this admixture of English, French, and German freemasonry occasioned great dissatisfaction, and gave rise, about this time, to the establisment of an independent system known as the Swedish Rite. In 1770, the Illuminated Grand Chapter was established, and the Duke of Sudermania appointed the Vicarius Salornonis. In 1780, the Grand Lodge of Sweden which for some years had been in abeyance, was revived, and the same Prince elected Grand Master.
This act gave an independent and responsible position to Swedish Freemasonry, and the progress of the Institution in that kingdom has been ever since regular and uninterrupted. On March 22, 1793, Gustavus IV, the King of Sweden, was initiated into Freemasonry in a Lodge at Stockholm, the Duke of Sudermania, then acting as Regent of the Kingdom, presiding as the Grand Master of the Order. In 1796 a Royal Decree enacted that in future all Swedish Princes were by right of birth Freemasons and a Decree against secret societies in 1803 made a Special exception of the Craft. The whole Swedish system has, indeed, been to a large extent under the control of the Royal Family. On the application of the Duke of Sudermania, in 1788, a fraternal alliance was consummated between the Grand Lodges of England and Sweden, and mutual representatives appointed.
The Duke of Sudermania ascended the throne in 1809 under the title of Charles XIII. He Continued his attachment to the Order, and retained the Grand Mastership. As a singular mark of his esteem for Freemasonry, the King instituted, May 27, 1811, a new Order of Knighthood, known as the Order of Charles XIII, the members of which were to be selected from Freemasons only. In the Patent of Institution the Wing declared that, in founding the Order, his intention "was not only to excite his subjects to the practice of charity, and to perpetuate the memory of the devotion of the Masonic Order to his person while it was under his protection, but also to give further proofs of his royal benevolence to those whom he had so long embraced and cherished under the name of Freemasons." The Order, besides the Princes of the Royal Family, was to consist of twenty-seven lay, and three ecclesiastical knights, all of whom were to hold equal rank.
The Strand Lodge of Sweden practises the Swedish Rite, and exercises its jurisdiction under the title of the National Grand Lodge of Sweden (see Swedish Rite).
SWEDENBORG, RITE OF.
The so-called Rite of Swedenborg, the history of whose foundation has been given in the preceding article, consists of six Degrees:
2. Fellow Craft.
3. Master Neophyte.
4. Illuminated Theosophite.
5. Blue Brother.
6. Red Brother.
It is said to be still practised by some of the Swedish Lodges, but is elsewhere extinct.
Reghellini, in his Esprit do Dosme, gives it as consisting of eight Degrees; but he has evidently confounded it with the Rite of Martinism, also a theosophic Rite, and the ritualism of which also partakes of a Swedenborgian character.
The Swedish Rite was established about the year 1777, and is indebted for its existence to the exertions and influence of King Gustavus III. It is a mixture of the pure Rite of York, the high Degrees of the French, the Templarism of the former Strict Observance, and the system of Rosicrucianism. Zinnendorf also had something to do with the formation of the Rite, although his authority was subsequently repudiated by the Swedish Freemasons. It is a Rite that was really established as a reform or compromise to reconcile the conflicting elements of English, German, and French Freemasonry that about the middle of the eighteenth century convulsed the Masonic atmosphere of Sweden. It consists of twelve Degrees, as follows: 1, 2 3. Three Symbolic Degrees, constituting the Saint John's Lodge.
4, 5. Scottish Fellow Craft and the Scottish Master of s dint Andrew. These constitute the Scottish Lodge. The Fifth Degree entitles its members to civil rank in the kingdom
6. Knight of the East. In this Degree which is apocalyptic the New Jerusalem and its twelve gates are represented
7. Knight of the West, or True Templar, Master of the Key. The jewel of this Degree, which is a triangle with five red rosettes refers to the five wounds of the Savior.
8. Knight of the South, or Favorite brother of Saint John. This is a Rosicrucian Degree, the ceremony of initiation being derived from that of the Medieval Alchemists.
9. Favorite Brother of Saint Andrew. This Degree is evidently derived from the Freemasonry of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
10. Member of the Chapter.
11. Dignitary of the Chapter.
12. Vicar of Solomon.
The first nine Degrees are under the obedience of the National Grand Lodge of Sweden and Norway, and essentially compose the Rite. The members of the last three are called Brethren of the Red Cross, and constitute another Masonic authority, styled the Illuminated Chapter. The Twelfth Degree is simply one of office, and is only held by the King, who is perpetual Grand Master of the Order. No one is admitted to the Eleventh Degree unless he ean show four quarterings of nobility.
The Swedish Rite was introduced among Lodges in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Russia, and is deseribed by Brother Oliver Day Street, Past Grand Master of Alabama, in the words, "Its teachings are said to be a mixture of the Freemasonry of England, of the 'Scots' degrees, of Templarism, Rosicrucianism and the mystic doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg "
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