The Masonic Trowel

... to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band or society of brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble emulation of who can best work or best agree ...

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

 Masonic quotes by Brothers

Search Website For

Add To Favorites

Help Me Maintain OUR Website!!!!!!

List of Contributors

PDF This File

Print This Page

Email This Site To ...

Among the Masonic tests of the eighteenth century was the question, "How blows a Mason's wind?" and the answer was, "Due East and West."
Browne gives the question and answer more fully and assigns the explanation as follows:
How blows the wind in Masonry;
Favorable due east and west.
To what purpose?
To call men to, at, and from their labor.
What does it further allude to?
To those miraculous winds which proved so essential in working the happy deliverance of the children of
Israel from their Egvptian bondage, and proved the overthrow of Pharaoh and all his host when he attempted to follow them.
Krause very correctly thinks that the fundamental idea of the Masonic wind blowing from the east is to be found in the belief of the Middle Ages that all good things, such ss philosophy and religions came from the East.
In the German ritual of The Three Saints John's Degrees of the Mother Lodge of the Three Globes, the idea is expressed a little differently. The Catechism is as follows:

Whence comes the wind?
From the East towards the West, and from the South towards the North, and from the North towards the South, the East and the West.
What weather brings it?
Variable, hail and storm, and calm and pleasant weather.

The explanation given is that these changing winds symbolize the changing progress of man's life in his pursuit of knowledge—now clear and full of hope, now dark with storms. Bode's hypothesis that these variable winds of Freemasonry were intended to refer to the changes of the condition of the Roman Catholic Church under English monarchs, from Henry VIII to James II, and thus to connect the symbolism with the Stuart Freemasonry, is wholly untenable, as the symbol is not found in any of the advanced Degrees. it is not recognized in the French, and is obsolete in the York Rite.
A piece of furniture in the Mark Degree. It is a mere symbol, having no foundation in truth, as of record there was no such appendage to the Temple. Of course windows are mentioned in the Bible as in the construction details of First Kings (vi, 4) "And for the house (of the Lord) he made windows of narrow lights." Doctor Mackey has in mind a special window familiar to every Mark Master. It is simply intended to represent the place where the workman received his wages, symbolic of the reward earned by labor.
One of the elements of Masonic consecration, and, as a symbol of the inward refreshment of a good conscience is intended, under the name of the Wine of Refreshment, to remind us of the eternal refreshments which the good are to receive in the future life for the faithful performance of duty in the present.
The candidate in the Degree of Royal Master of the American Rite is said to be received "beneath the extended wings of the cherubim." The expression is derived from the passage in the First Book of Klngs (vi, 27) which deseribes the setting of "the cherubim within the inner house." Practically, there is an anachronism in the reference to the cherubim in this Degree.
In the older and purer ritual, the ceremonies are supposed to take place in the Council-Chamber or private apartment of King Solomon, where of course, there were no cherubim. And even in some more modern rituals, where a part of the ceremony referred to in the tradition is spill to hrvfe occurred in the wolv of Holies, that part of the Temple was at that time unfinished, and the cherubim had not yet been placed there.
But symbolically the reference to the cherubim in this Degree, which represents a searcher for Truth, is not objectionable. For although there is a great diversity of opinion as to their exact signification, yet there is a very general agreement that, under some one manifestation or another, they allude to and symbolize the protecting and overshadowing power of the Deity.
When therefore, the initiate is received beneath the extended wings of the cherubim, we are taught by this symbolism how appropriate it is, that he who comes to ask and to seek Truth. symbolized by the True Word should begin by placing himself under the protection of that Divine Power which alone is Truth, and from whieh alone Truth can be obtained.
From a speech made by Henry S. Baird on December 17, 1854, it is known that a meeting was held December 27, 1823, to organize a Lodge at Green Bay, then in Michigan. In response to a petition the Grand Lodge of New York granted a Dispensation and on September 2, 1824, the Lodge was instituted at Fort Howard. Robert Irwin, Sr., was installed Worshipful Master, Benjamin Watson, Senior Warden and W. V. Wheaton, Junior Warden.
On December 3, 1824, a Charter was granted by the same Grand Lodge. Mineral Point Lodge was granted a Dispensation, October 8, 1840 and Melody Lodge one on January 10, 1843, both from Missouri, and Milwaukee Lodge held its first meeting on July 5, 1843, when a Dispensation was received from Illinois. Milwaukee, No. 22; Melody, No 5, and Mineral Point Lodges after some discussion held a Convention at Madison, December 18, 1843, for the purpose of organizing a Grand Lodge.
Brothers Moses Meeker and George W. Lakin were appointed Chairman and Secretary respectively. A Constitution prepared by Brothers Lawton, Meeker, and Lakin was adopted when the Grand Lodge was opened on December 18, 1843. The following officers were installed: Benjamin T. Kavanaugh, Grand Master; Abram D. Smith, Deputy Grand Master; Moses Meeker, Senior Grand Warden; David Merrill, Junior Grand Warden; Thomas P. Burnett, Grand Treasurer; Ben C. Eastman, Grand Secretary, and Dwight F. Lawton, Grand Lecturer. January 17, 1844, a special Communication was held to give the constituent Lodges their new numbers and charters.

Milwaukee Chapter, later called Kilburn Chapter, No. 1, was granted a Dispensation by the Deputy General Grand High Priest at the triennial Convocation of the General Grand Chapter held on September 10, 1844. By the same authority a Convention was held in Madison on January 10, 1850. Representatives of Kilburn Chapter, No. 1; Washington Chapter, No. 2, and Southport Chapter, No. 3, attended the fleeting and established the Grand Chapter of Wisconsin on February 14, 1850. Argulus W. Sark was authorized by the Grand Master to install the officers of the Lodge and duly performed this ceremony on August 7, 1850.
Three Councils were chartered in Wisconsin by the Grand Council of Ohio. Deputy Grand Puissant George Keifer reported to the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Ohio that Dispensations had been granted to Beloit Council at Beloit on March 30, 1857; to Gebal Council at Janesville on July 10, 1857, and to Madison Council at Madison on August 8, 1857, the petitioners being duly recommended by Franklin Council, No. 14, of Troy, Ohio.

Charters were granted each of these Councils on October 15, 1857, and they were numbered respectively as Gebal Council, No. 27; Beloit Council, No. 28, and Madison Council, No. 29. On October 28, 1857, delegates met and instituted a Grand Council which met annually until 1878, when, on March 11, the Degrees were put under the control of the Grand Chapter. The brand Council was again organized in 1881 by representatives of forty-nine Councils and was recognized by the General Grand Council as a nonparticipating independent body.
Wisconsin Commandery, No. 1, at Milwaukee, was given a Dispensation July 12, 1849, and a Charter on September 11, 1850. Delegates from three Commanderies, namely, Wisconsin, No. 1; Janesville, No. 2; Robert Macoy, No. 3, met and organized the Grand Commandery of Wisconsin on October 20, 1859, at Madison.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, was first established in Wisconsin on Auguqt 7, 1863, when the Wisconsin Consistory, the Wisconsin Chapter of Rose Croix, the Wisconsin Council of Princes of Jerusalem and the Wisconsin Lodge of Perfection were opened at Milwaukee.
In Ancient Craft Masonry, Wisdom is symbolized by the East, the place of light, being represented by the pillar that there supports the Lodge and by the Worshipful Master. It is also referred to King Solomon, the sytnbolical founder of the Order. In Masonic architecture the Ionic column, distinguished for the skill in its construction, as it combines the beauty of the Corinthian and the strength of the Doric, is adopted as the representative of Wisdom. King Solomon has been adopted in Speculative Freemasonry as the type or representative of Wisdom, in accordance with the character which has been given to him in the First Book of Kings (iv, 30-2): "Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman and Chalcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the nations round about."
In all the Oriental philosophies a conspicuous place has been given to Wisdom. In the book balled the Wisdom of Solomon (vu, 74), but supposed to be the production of a Hellenistic Jew, it is said: "I called upon God, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I preferred her beforesceptresandthrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her." And farther on in the same book (vii, 2S7) she is deseribed as "the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence (emanation) flowing from the glory of the Almighty, .... the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror, of the power of God, and the image of His goodness."
The Cabalists made the Hebrew Chochma, nnDn, or Wisdo1n, the second of the ten Sephiroth, placing it next to the Crown. They called it a male potency, and the third of the Sephiroth, Binah, are, or Intelligente, female. These two Sephiroth, with Keter, nn:, or the Crown, formed the first triad, and their union produced the Intellectual World.

The Gnosties also had their doctrine of Wisdom, whom they called Achamoth. They said she was femenine; styled her Mother, and said that she produced all things through the Father.
The Oriental doctrine of Wisdom was, that it is a Divine Power standing between the Creator and the creation, and acting as His agent. "The Lord," says Solomon (Proverbs iii, 19) "by wisdom hath founded the earth." Hence Wisdom, in this philosophy, answers to the idea of a vivifying spirit brooding over and impregnating the elements of the chaotic world In short, the world is but the outward manifestation of the spirit of Wisdom. This idea, so universally diffused throughout the East, is said to have been adopted into the secret doctrine of the Templars, who are supposed to have borrowed much from the Basilideans, the Manicheans, and the Gnostics. From them it easily passed over to the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry, which were founded on the Templar theory.
Hence, in the great decoration of the Thirty-third Degree of the Scottish Rite, the points of the triple triangle are inscribed with the letters S.A.P.I.E.N.T.I.A., the Latin for Wisdom.
Bezaleel (Exodus xxxi, 3) was filled "with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship," and this has ever been the ideal condition of a Craftsman. From first tc last the Scripture, the Great Light, urges the dominating value of Wisdom, from the Pentateuch to Revelation, the allusions are frequent and emphatic. Especially in such pertinent and suggestive references as in Second Chronicles (i, 7-12) do we find that the desire by Solomon for Wisdom and understanding was rewarded by material possessions as well as these leading spiritual gifts.
It is not difficult now to see how this word Wisdom came to take so prominent a part in the symbolism of Ancient Freemasonry, and how it was expressly appropriated to King Solomon. As Wisdom, in the philosophy of the East, was the creative energy—the architect, so to speak, of the world, as the emanation of the Supreme Architect—so Solomon was the architect of the Temple, the symbol of the world. He was to the typical world or Temple what Wisdom was to the great world of the creation. Hence Wisdom is appropriately referred to him and to the Master of the Lodge, who is the representative of Solomon. Wisdom is always placed in the East of the Lodge, because thence emanate all light, and knowledge, and truth.
It is a law of Freemasonry in the United States of America that a petition for initiation having been once presented to a Lodge, cannot be withdrawn. It must be subjected to a ballot. It must be submitted to the action of the Lodge. The rule is founded on prudential reasons.
The candidate having submitted his character for inspection, the inspection must be made. It is not for the interests of Freemasonry (the only thing to be considered) that, on the prospect of an unfavorable judgment, he should be permitted to decline the in spection, and have the opportunity of applying to another Lodge, where carelessness or ignorance might lead to his acceptance. Initiation is not like an article of merchandise sold by-rival dealers, and to be purchased, after repeated trials, from the most accommb dating seller.
See Trials.
A distinguished Prussian statesman, and one equally distinguished as one of the leaders of the Rosicrucian Order in Gerrnany, and the Rite of Strict Observance, to whose advancement he lent all the influence of his political position. He was born at Dobritz, May 19, 1732. He studied theology in the orthodox Church, and in 1750 was appointed a preacher near Berlin, and afterward a Canon at Halberstadt.
In 1786, King William III, of Prussia, appointed him Privy Councilor of Finance, an appointment supposed to have been made as a concession to the Rite of Strict Observance, of which Woellner was a Provincial Grand Master, his Order name being Eques à cubo. In 1788 he became Minister of State, and was put at the head of ecclesiastical affairs. No Freemason in Germany labored more assiduously in the cause of the Order and in active defense of the Rite of Strict Observance, and hence he had many enemies as well as friends. On the demise of King William, he was dismissed from his political appointments, and retired to his estate at Grossriez, where he died September 11, 1800.
In the Egyptian Mysteries, the candidate represented a wolf and wore a wolf's skin, because 08iris once assumed the form of that animal in his contests with Typhon. In the Greek mythology, the wolf was consecrated to Apollo, or the sun, because of the connection between luke, meaning light, and lukos, a wolf. In French, slings and pincers as well as wolf is lowe, and hence the word louveteau, a whelp as well as a supporting wedge, signifying the son of a Freemason (see Lewis) .
A city of Lower Saxony, in the principality of Wolfenbuttel, and formerly a possession of the Duke of Brunswick. In 1778 Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, convoked a Masonic Congress there, with a view of reforming the organization of the Order. Its results, after a session of five weeks, were a union of the Swedish and German Freemasons, which lasted only for a brief period, and the preparation for a future meeting at Wilhelmsbad.
Born in 1699, died in 1748. One of the Masonic circle whom Frederick the Great favored and sought at times to meet.
See Fendeurs.
The oldest son of Field Marshal Sir Alexander Woodford, born on July 9, 1821. He became a Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards, and three years later studied for the Church at Durham University, was ordained, and became Rector of Swillington, Leeds, England, which position he occupied until 1872. He was initiated in 1842, while on a visit to his father, then Governor of Gibraltar, in the Lodge of Friendship, then No. 345, and was appointed Grand Chaplain by the Earl of Zetland in 1863, delivering the oration on April 27, 1864, at the laying of the foundation stone of the new building at Freemasons' Hall.
He was Editor of the Freemason and the Masonic Monthly, the former from 1873 to 1885, and the latter from 1873 to 1882. He prepared a Masonic Cyclopedia and was a frequent instructive writer of rare versatility. His essay on "The Connection of York with the History of Freemasonry in England," published in Brother Hughan's Unpublishent Becords of th-e Craft, was written in 1871; in 1872 he published the Sloane Manuscript No. M29 and wrote the preface to Brother Hughan's Old Charges. His Defence of Masonry appeared in 1874. At the formation of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge he was a leading figure and, after a life devoted so freely and helpfully to the service of the Craft, Brother Woodford died on December 23, 1887.
A manuscript formerly in the possession of one of England's most esteemed Freemasons, Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, editor of Kenning's Cyclopedia of Freemasonry. Brother Hughan says it is almost a verbatim copy of the Cooke Manuscript. The indorsement upon it reads, "This is a very ancient record of Masonry, which was copyed for me by Wm. Reid, Secretary to the Grand Lodge, 1728." It formerly belonged to Mr. William Cowper, Clerk to the Parliament, and is now in the library of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, at London, England.
Wrote Sketch of the Knights Templars and the Knights Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem, wilh Notes on the Masonic Templars, London, 1865, and was Provincial Senior Grand Warden of Worcestershire, England.
Born at Dresden in 1713, and died at Leipsic, April 24, 1771. Mossdorf says that he was, in 1740 a resident of London, and that there he was initiated into Ancient Craft Masonry, and also into the Scottish Degree of Knight of Saint Andrew. In 1749, he published a Latin work entitled Presbyterorum et D?aconorum Achaiae de Martyrio Sancti Andreae Apostoli, Epistola Encyclica, in which he refers to the Freemasons (page 32) in the following language: nicum adhuc addo, esse inter caementarios, seu lapicidas liberos, (qui Franeo muratoriorum Franc-MaSons nomine communiter insigniuntur quique rotunda quadratis miscere dicuntur) quosdam qui S. Andreae memoriam summa veneratione recolant.
Ad minimum, si scriptis, quae deteeta eorum mysteria et arcana recensent, fides non est deneganda, certum erit, eos quotunnis diem quoque Andreas, ut Sancti Johannis diem so lent, festum agere atque ceremoniosum celebrare, esseque intereos sectam aliquam, quse per crucem, quam in pectore gerant, in qua Sanctus Andreas funibus alligatus haereat, a re]iquis se destinguunt" that is, "I add only this, that among the Freemasons (commonly called Franc-Maçons, who are said to mingle circles with squares) there are certain ones who cherish the memory of Saint Andrew with singular veneration.
At all events, if we may credit those writings in which their mysteries and secrets are detected and exposed, it will be evident that they are accustomed to keep annually, with ceremonies, the festival of Saint Andrew as well as that of Saint John; and that there is a sect among them which distinguish themselves from the others by wearing on their breast the cross on which Saint Andrew was fastened by cords."

Woog, in a subsequent passage, defends the Freemasons from the charge made by these Expositions that they were irreligious, but declares that by him their mysteries shull remain buried in profound silence— "per me vero maneant eorum mysteria alto silentio sapulta."
lt is, apparently, from these passages that Mossdorf draws his conclusions that Woog was a Freemason, and had reeeived the Scottish Degree of Knight of Saint Andrew. They at least prove that he was an early friend of the Institution.
Born at Stratford, Connecticut, March 2, 1710. Aide to George Washington in the American Revolution and a Freemason, having joined the Fraternity in 1745. He was founder and first Master of Hiram Lodge No. 1, New Haven, Connecticut, chartered November 12, 1750, holding the offire until 1761 He was wounded at the battle of Ridgefield and died as a result on May 2, 1777 (see New Age, May, 1925; also in the history of Hiram Lodge No. 1 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 1750-1916).
When emphatically used, the expression, the Word, is in Freemasonry always referred to the Third Degree, although there must be a word in each Degree. In this latter and general sense, the Word is called by French Freemasons la parole, and by the Germans ein Wörterzeichen. The use of a Word is of great antiquity. We find it in the ancient Mysteries. In those of Egypt it is said to have been the Tetragrammaton. The German Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages had one, which, however, was probably only a password by which the traveling Companion might make himself known in his professional wanderings.
Lyon (History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, page 22) shows that it existed, in the sixteenth and subsequent centuries, in the Scotch Lodges, and he says that "the Word is the only secret that is ever alluded to in the Minutes of Mary's Chapel, or in those of Kilwinning, Aitcheson's Haven, or Dunblane, or any other that we have examined of a date prior to the erection of the Strand Lodge." Indeed, he thinks that the communication of this Word constituted the only ceremony of initiation practised in the Operative Lodges. At that time there was evidently but one Word for all the ranks of Apprentices, Craftsmen, and Masters. He thinks that this communication of the Mason Word to the Apprentices under oath constituted the germ whence has sprung the Symbolical Freemasonry.

But it must be remembered that the learned and laborious investigations of Brother Lyon refer only to the Lodges of Scotland. There is no sufficient evidence that a more extensive system of initiation did not prevail at the same time, or even earlier, in England and Germany. Indeed, Findel has shown that it did in the latter country; and it is difficult to believe that the system, which we know was in existence in 1717, was a sudden development out of a single Word, for which we are indebted to the inventive genius of those who were engaged in the revival at that period. Be this as it may, the evidence is conclusive that everywhere, and from the earliest times, there was a Word. This at least is no modern usage.

But it must be admitted that this Word, whatever it was, was at first a mere mark of recognition. Yet it probably had a mythical signification, and was not arbitrarily adopted. The word in the Sloane Manuscript No. 3329, which Brother Hughan places at a date not posterior to 1700, is undoubtedly a corrupted form of that now in use. Hence we may conclude that the legend, and its symbolism also existed at the same time, but only in an incomplete form.
The modern development of Speculative Freemasonry into a philosophy has given a perfected form to the symbolism of the Word no longer confined to use as a means of recognition, but elevated, in its connection with the legend of the Third Degree, to the rank of a symbol.
So viewed, and by the scientific Freemason it is now only so viewed, the Word becomes the symbol of Divine Truth, the loss of which and the search for it constitute the whole system of Speculative Freemasonry. So important is this Word, that it lies at the very foundation of the Masonic edifice. The Word might be changed, as might a grip or a sign, if it were possible to obtain the universal consent of the Craft, and Freemasonry would still remain unimpaired.
But were the Word abolished, or released from its intimate connection with the Hiramic legend, and with that of the Royal Arch, the whole symbolism of Speculative Freemasonry would be obliterated. The Institution might withstand such an innovation, but its history, its character, its design, would belong to a newer and a totally different society. The Word is what Dermott called the Royal Arch, "the marrow of Masonry."
See Lost Word.
In the minutes and documents of the Lodges of Scotland during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the expression Mason word is constantly used. This continuous use would indicate that but one word was then known. Nicolai, in his Essay on the Accusations against the Templars, quotes a "small dictionary published at the beginning of the eighteenth century," defining the Mason's word.
A term applied to the chief or most prominent word of a Degree, to indicate its peculiarly sacred character, in contradistinction to a password, which is simply intended as a mode of recoglution. It is sometimes ignorantly corrupted into "secret word." All significant words in Freemasonry are secret. Only certain ones are sacred.
See Significant Word.
Used as the contradistinction to Lost Word and the Substitute Word. To find it, is the object of all Masonic search and labor. For as one Lost Word is the symbol of death, the True Word is the symbol of life eternal. It indicates the change that is always occurring—Truth after error, light after darkness, life after death. Of all the symbolism of Speculative Freemasonry, that of the True Word is the most philosophic and sublime.
See Labor.
In each of the Degrees of Freemasonry, certain implements of the Operative Art are consecrated to the Speculative Science, and adopted to teach as symbols lessons of morality. With these the Speculative Freemason is taught to erect his spiritual Temple, as his Operative predecessors with the same implements so constructed their material Temples. Thus they are known as WorkingTools of the Degree. They vary but very slightly in the various Rites, but the same symbolism is preserved. The principal Working-Tools of the Operative Art that have been adopted as symbols in the Speculative Science, confined, however, to Ancient Craft Masonry, and not used in the higher Degrees, are the Twentyfour-inch Gage, Common Gavel, Square, Level, Plumb, bSkirrit, Compasses, Pencil, Trowel, Mallet, Pickax, Crow, and Shovel. See them under their respective heads in this encyclopedia.
An architect or superintendent of the building of an edifice. Du Cange Glossarium, thus defines it: "Magister operis vet operarum outgo, mattre de l'oeurre, cui operibus publicis vacare incumbit," that is, "Master of the Work or of the works, commonly, maltre de l'oeurre, one whose duty it is to attend to the public works."
The Cooke Manuscript (line 529) says: "And also he that wele most of connying (skill) schold be governour of the werke, and scholde be callyd maister."
In the old record of the date of Edward III, cited by Doctor Anderson in his second edition (page 71) it is prescribed "that Master Masons, or Masters of Work, shall be examined whether they be able of cunning to serve the irrespective lords."
The word was in common use in the Middle Ages, and applied to the Architect or Master Builder of an edifice. Thus Edwin of Steinbach, the architect of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, is called Master of the Work. The monasteries hada similar officer, who was, however, more generally called the Operaritss, but sometimes Magister operis (see Works, Grand Superintendent of).

[What is Freemasonry] [Leadership Development] [Education] [Masonic Talks] [Masonic Magazines Online]
Articles] [Masonic Books Online] [E-Books] [Library Of All Articles] [Masonic Blogs] [Links]
What is New] [Feedback]

This site is not an official site of any recognized Masonic body in the United States or elsewhere.
It is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion
of Freemasonry, nor webmaster nor those of any other regular Masonic body other than those stated.

DEAD LINKS & Reproduction | Legal Disclaimer | Regarding Copyrights

Last modified: March 22, 2014