En: MACKEY - O
MACKEY – O
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
The fifteenth letter in the English and in most of the Western alphabets The corresponding letter in the Hebrew and Phenician alphabets was called lye, that is, eye; the primitive form of the Phenieian letter being the rough picture of an eye, or a circle With a dot in the center. This dot will he observed in ancient manuscripts, but being dropped the circle forms the letter O. The numerical value is 70, and in Hebrew is formed thus, y, the hieroglyphic being a plant, as well as at times a circle or an eye.
- OAK APPLE, SOCIETY OF THE
Instituted about 1658, and lapsed under the disturbances in England during the reign of James II, but it lingered among the Stuart adherents for many years.
The earliest instructor of man in letters sciences, and arts, especially in architecture, geometry, botany. and agriculture, and in all other useful Knowledge, was the fish-god Oannes, according to ancient mythology. This universal teacher, according to Berossus, appeared in the Persian Gulf, bordering on Babylonia, and, although an animal, was endowed with reason and great knowledge.
The usual appearance of the creature was that of a fish, having a human head beneath that of a fish, and feet like unto a man. This personage conversed with men during the day, but never ate with them. At Kouyunjik there was a colossal statue of the fish-god Oannes. The following is from the Book of Enoch (volume ii, page 514): "The Masons hold their grand festival on the day of Saint John, not knowing that therein they merely signify the fish-god Oannes, the first Hermes and the first founder of the Mysteries, the first messenger to whom the Apocalypse was given, and whom they ignorantly confound with the fabulous author of the common Apocalypse. The sun is then (midsummer day) in its greatest altitude. In this the Naros is commemorated."
In the year 1738. Clement XII, at that time Pope of Rome, issued a Bull of Excommunication against the Freemasons, and assigned, as the reason of his condemnation, that the Institution confederated persons of all religions and sects in a mysterious bond of union, and compelled them to secrecy by an oath taken on the Bible, accompanied by certain ceremonies, and the imprecation of heavy punishments. This persecution of the Freemasons, on account of their having an obligatory promise of secrecy among their ceremonies, has not been confined to the Papal See. We shall find it existing in a sect which five should supposes of all others, the least likely to follow in the footsteps of a Roman Pontiff. In 1757, the Associate Synod of Seceders of Scotland adopted an Act, concerning what they called the Mason Oath, in which it is declared that all persons who shall refuse to make such revelations as the Kirk Sessions may require, and to promise to abstain from all future connection with the Order, "shall be reputed under scandal and incapable of admission to sealing ordinances," or as Pope Clement expressed it, be ipso facto (because of that fact) excommunicated.
In the Preamble to the Sect, the Synod assign the reasons for their objections to this oath, and for their ecclesiastical censure of all who contract it These reasons are:
That there were very strong presumptions that among Masons an oath of Secrecy is administered to entrants into their society, even under a capital penalty and before any of those things which they swear to; keep secret be revealed to them: find that they pretend to take some of these secrets from the Bible: besides other things which are ground of scruple in the manner of swearing the said oath.
These have, from that day to this, constituted the sum and substance of the objections to the obligation of Masonic secrecy, and. for the purpose of brief examination, they may be classed under the following heads:
- 1. It is an oath.
- 2. It is administered before the secrets are communicated.
- 3. It is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies.
- 4. It is attended by a penalty.
- 5. It is considered, by Freemasons, as paramount to the obligations of the laws of the land.
In replying to these statements, it is evident that the conscientious Freemason labors under great disadvantage. He is at every step restrained by his honor from either the denial or admission of his adversaries in relation to the mysteries of the Craft. But it may be granted, for the sake of argument, that every one of the first four charges is true, and then the inquiry will be in what respect they are offensive or immoral. Let us consider the foregoing items in the same numbered order as follows:
1. The oath or promise cannot, in itself, be sinful, unless there is something immoral in the obligation it imposes. Simply to promise secrecy, or the performance of any good action, and to strengthen this promise by the solemnity of an oath, is not, in itself, forbidden by any Divine or human law. Indeed, the infirmity of human nature demands, in many instances, the sacred sanction of such an attestation; and it is continually exacted in the transactions of man with man, without any notion of sinfulness. Where the time, and place, and circumstances are unconnected with levity, or profanity, or crime, the administration of an obligation binding to secrecy, or obedience, or veracity, or any other virtue, and the invocation of Deity to witness, and to strengthen that obligation, or to punish its violation, is incapable, by any perversion of Scripture, of being considered a criminal act.
2. The objection that the oath is administered before the secrets are made known, is sufficiently absurd to provoke a smile. The purposes of such an oath would be completely frustrated by revealing the thing to be concealed before the promise of concealment says made. In that case, it, would be optional with the candidate to give the obligation, or to withhold it, as best suited his inclinations. If it be conceded that the exaction of a solemn promise of secrecy is not, in itself, improper, then certainly the time of exacting it is before and not after the revelation.
Doctor Harris (Masonic Discourses, No. 9, page 184), has met this objection in the following language: What the ignorant call the oath, is simply an obligation, covenant, and promise exacted previously to the divulging of the specialties of the Order, and our means of recognizing each other; that they shall be kept from the knowledge of the world lest their original intent should be thwarted, and their benevolent purport prevented. Now, pray, what harm is there in this? Do you not all, when you have anything of a private nature which you are willing to confide in a particular friend before you tell him what it xs, demand a solemn promise of secrecy? And is there not the utmost propriety in knowing whether your friend is determined to conceal your secret, before you presume to reveal it? Your answer confutes your cavil.
3. The objection that the oath is accompanied by certain superstitious ceremonies does not seem to be entitled to much weight. Oaths, in all countries and at all times, have been accompanied by peculiar rites, intended to increase the solemnity and reverence of the act. The ancient Hebrews, when they tools an oath, placed the hand beneath the thigh of the person to whom they swore. Sometimes the ancients took hold of the horns of the altar, and touched the sacrificial fire, as in the league between Latinus and Aeneas where the ceremony is thus described by Virgil:
Tango was; mediosque ignes, et numina, testor.
Sometimes they extended the right hand to heaven, and swore by earth, sea, and stars. Sometimes, as among the Romans in private contracts, the person swearing laid his hand upon the hand of the party to whom he swore. In all solemn covenants the oath was accompanied by a sacrifice; and some of the hair being cut from the victim's head, a part of it was given to all present that each one might take a share in the oath, and be subject to the imputation. Other ceremonies were practiced at various times and in different countries, for the purpose of throwing around the act of attestation an increased amount of awe and respect. The oath is equally obligatory without them; but they have their significance, and there can be no reason why the Freemasons should not be allowed to adopt the mode most pleasing to themselves of exacting their promises or confirming their covenants.
4. It is objected that the oath is attended with a penalty of a serious or capital nature. If this be the case, it does not appear that the expression of a penalty of any nature whatever can affect the purport or augment the solemnity of an oath, which is, in fact, an attestation of God to the truth of a declaration, as a witness and avenger; and hence every oath includes in itself, and as its very essence, the covenant of God's wrath, the heaviest of all penalties, as the necessary consequence of its violation. A writer, in reply to the Synod of Scotland (Scot's Magazine, October, 1757), quotes the opinion of an eminent jurist to this effect:
It seems to be certain that every promissory oath, in whatever form it may be conceived, whether explicitly or implicitly, virtually contains both an attestation and an observation; for in an oath the execration supposes an attestation as a precedent and the attestation infers an execration as a necessary consequence. Hence, then to the believer in a superintending Providence, every oath is an affirmation, negation, or promise, corroborated by the attestation of the Divine Being.
This attestation includes an observation of Divine punishment in case of a violation, and it is, therefore a matter of no moment whether this observation or penalty be expressed in words or only implied; its presence or absence does not, in any degree, alter the nature of the obligation. If, in any promise or vow made by Freemasons, such a penalty is inserted, it may probably be supposed that it is used only with a metaphorical and paraphrastical significations and for the purpose of symbolic or historical allusion. Any other interpretation but this would be entirely at variance with the opinions of the most intelligent Freemasons, who, it is to be presumed, best know the intent and meaning of their own ceremonies.
5. The last, and, indeed, the most important objection urged is, that these oaths are construed by Freemasons as being of higher obligation than the law of the land. It is in vain that this charge has been repeatedly and indignantly denied; it is in vain that Freemasons point to the integrity of character of thousands of eminent men who have been members of the Fraternity; it is in vain that they recapitulate the order-loving and law-fearing regulations of the Institution; the charge is renewed with untiring pertinacity, and believed with a credulity that owes its birth to rancorous prejudice alone. To repeat the denial is but to provoke a repetition of the charge. The answer is, however, made by one who, once a Freemason, was afterward an opponent and an avowed enemy of the Institution, W. L. Stone (Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry, Letter vii, page 69), who uses the following language:
Is it, then, to be believed that men of acknowledged talents and worth in public stations, and of virtuous and, frequently, religious habits, in the walks of private life, with the Holy Bible in their hands—which they are solemnly pledged to receive as the rule and guide of their faith and practice—and under the grave and positive charge from the officer administering the obligation, that it is to be taken in strict subordination to the civil laws- can understand that obligation, whatever may be the peculiarities of its phraseology, as requiring them to countenance vice and criminality even by silence?
Can it for a moment be supposed that the hundreds of eminent men, whose patriotism is unquestioned, and the exercise of whose talents and virtues has shed a luster upon the church history of our country, and who, by their walk and conversation, have, in their own lives, illustrated the beauty of holiness? Is it to be credited that the tens of thousands of those persons, ranking among the most intelligent and virtuous citizens of the most moral and enlightened people on earth—is it, I ask, possible that any portion of this community can, on calm redirection, believe that such men have oaths upon their consciences binding them to eternal silence in regard to the guilt of any man because he happens to be a Freemason, no matter what be the grade of offense, whether it be the picking of a pocket or the shedding of blood? It does really seem to me impossible that such an opinion could, at any moment, have prevailed, to any considerable extent, amongst refitting and intelligent citizens.
Oaths of interest to the Craft are obviously of various kinds and are not limited to the peculiarly Masonic obligations assumed when receiving the Degrees. A few references may be quoted from the Bible. Numbers, 19-21, is an instance where the warning punishment is ceremonially accompanied by the blotting out of the record with other Significant and symbolic acts. adjuration, a solemnly earnest appeal, is in evidence by Deuteronomy xxvii, 15-9, where the curses that warn precede the alternative blessings thus:
- Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman and putteth it in a secret place.
- And all the people shall answer and say Amen.
- Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother.
- And all the people shall say, Amen.
- Cursed be he that removeth his neighbollrs landmark.
- And all the people shall say, Amen.
- Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way.
- And all the people shall say Amen.
- Cursed be he that perverted the judgment of the stranzer, fatherless, and widow.
- And all the people shall say, Amen
Then follows in chapter xxviii the promised reward for those who keep the faith: "And it shall come to pass if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth."
Joshua vi, 26, has a curious allusion, "And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." First Samuel xiv, 94, is a similar instance.
Attestation by an oath, to bear witness by solemn assertion of one's willingness to suffer if untrue, we have the case of Exodus xxii, 10, 11. "If a man deliver unto his neighbor an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbor's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good." another instance is that of Nehemiah x, 29, "They clave to their Brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses, the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes."
A modern continuance of the ancient ceremonial method of pledging future personal conduct is in the coronation of a king. In England the coronation oath is to be administered by one of the archbishops or bishops in the presence of all the people, who, on their parts, reciprocally take the oath of allegiance to the crown.
The archbishop or bishop shall say: "Will you solemnly promise and Swear to govern the people of this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dominions thereto belonging according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the respective laws and customs of the same?"
The king shall say: "I solemnly promise so to do."
Archbishop or bishop: "Will you to the utmost of your power cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?"
King: "I will."
Archbishop or bishop: "Will you, to the utmost of your power, maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant reformed religion established by law?
And will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England and the doctrine, worship, discipline and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of England, and to the churches therein all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain to them, or any of them?"
King: "All this I promise to do."
After this the king, laying his hand upon the holy Gospels, shall say: "The things which I have here before promised I will perform and keep; so help me God," and then shall kiss the Book;.
An unusual form of oath is that still taken by deemsters of the Isle of Man. The word deemster is a corruption of doomster, originally meaning the person who pronounces doom or Sentence in their court of justice—in other words, a judge. This has been required of all Manx deemsters for a thousand years:
By this Book, and the Holy Contents thereof, and by the Wonderful works that God hath miraculously wrought in the Heaven above and in the Earth beneath in six days and seven nights, I, the person being sworn do swear that I will without respect, favor or friendship, love or gain, consanguinity or affinity, envy or malice, execute the laws of this Isle, and betwixt party and party, as indifferently as the herring's backbone doth lie in the midst of the fish! So help me God and the Contents of this Book.
Sundry old pledges found in trade and professional associations have also an interest for us as members of a Craft. There is the one even yet administered to those following in the footsteps of the father of surgery, Hippocrates. He flourished during 460-361 B.C. and much technical data upon his surprising skill and great fame are found in the works by Adams and Mumford. So prominent an expert was Hippocrates that he was given the sacred Eleusinian rites as if possessed of royal attributes. He has left on record a solemn pledge of his profession (see Mumford's Surgical Memoirs): I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and this stipulation: To reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and to relieve his necessities if required, to look upon his offspring on the same footing as my own Brethren, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the rules of Medicine, and to no others. While I continue to keep this oath inviolate, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass and violate this oath, let the reverse be my lot!
An oath of the Masters and Wardens of the Mysteries, Mystery being then a word used for a trade organization, is found in the Liber Albus, the White Book (page 451, 1861 edition) compiled 1419 A.D. This book contains the various laws of London and in referring to the several trades mentions the following pledge, evidently taken when the officers were installed.
You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall overlook the art or mystery of (name the trade and or society here) of which you are Masters, or Wardens, for the year elected. And the good rules and ordinances of the same mystery, approved here by the Court, you shall keep and shall cause to be kept. And all the defaults that you shall find therein, done contrary thereto, you shall present unto the Chamberlain of the City, from time to time, sparing no one for favor, and aggrieving no one for hate. Extortion or wrong unto no one, by color of your office, you shall do- nor unto anything that shall be against the estate and peace of the King, or of the City, you shall consent. But for the time that you shall live in office, in all things pertaining unto the said mystery, according to the good hews and franchises of the city, well and lawfully you shall behave yourself.—So God you help, and the Saints.
The Book ok Oaths, printed in 1649 at London, aims to give "The several forms thereof, both Ancient and Modern, Faithfully Collected out of sundry Authentic Books and Records not heretofore extant, compiled in one Volume" and on page 125 has the oath of the Knights of the Round Table "in the time of King Arthur," an indefinite period usually assigned within the fifth and sixth centuries. However, the quaint pledge has afforded an example for later chivalric Bodies and thus is of importance to Knights Templar.
Not to put off your armor from your body but for requisite rest in the night. To search for marvelous adventures, whereby to win renown. To defend the poor and simple people in their right. Not to refuse aid into them that shall ask it in any just quarrel. Not to hurt, offend or plan any lewd (sinful) part, the one with the other. To fight for the protection, defense and welfare of friends. Not to purchase any goods for particular profit but Honor and the title of honesty. Not to break faith promised or sworn, for any cause or occasion whatsoever. To put forth and spend life for the honor of God and Country, and to chose rather to die honestly than to live shamefully.
All these illustrations of various oaths may well be seriously noted in the spirit of the message brought by Moses (Numbers xxx, 2), "If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth."
- OATH, CORPORAL
The modern form of taking an oath is by placing the hands on the Gospels or on the Bible. The corporate, or corporal both, is the name of the linen cloth on which, in the Roman Catholic Church, the sacred elements consecrated as "the body of our Lord" are placed. Hence the expression corporal oath originated in the ancient custom of swearing while touching the corporal cloth. Relics were sometimes made use of. The laws of the Allemanni (chapter 657), direct that he who swears shall place his hand upon the coffer containing the relics. The idea being that something sacred must be touched by the hand of the jurator to give validity to the oath, in time the custom was adopted of substituting the holy Gospels for the corporal cloth or the relics, though the same title was retained.
Haydn (Dictionary ok Dates) says that the practice of swearing on the Gospels prevailed in England as early as 528 A.D. The laws of the Lombards repeatedly mention the custom of swearing on the Gospels. The sanction of the church was given at an early period to the usage. Thus, in the history of the Council of Constantinople, 381 A.D., it is stated that "George, the well-beloved of God, a Deacon and Keeper of the Records, having touched the Holy Gospels of God, swore in this manner," etc. A similar practice was adopted at the Council of Alice, fifty-six years before. The custom of swearing on the Book, thereby meaning the Gospels, was adopted by the Medieval Gild of Freemasons, and allusions to it are found in all the Old Constitutions. Thus in the York Manuscript, No. 1, about the year 1600, it is said, "These charges . . . you shall well and truly keep to your power; so help you God and by the contents of that Book." And in the Grand Lodge Manuscript No. 1, in 1583 we find this: "These charges ye shall keep, so help you God, and your haly dome and by this book in your hand unto your power." The form of the ceremony required that the corporal oath should be taken with both hands on the book, or with one hand, and then always the right hand.
The practice of kissing the book, which became so well established in England, appears in the Middle Ages (see J. E. Tyler, Oaths, pages 119 and 151).
- OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
See Flag Ceremony
- OATH OF THE GILD
The Oath that was administered in the English Freemasons Gild of the Middle Ages is first met with in the Harleian Manuscript, No. 1945, written about the year 1670. The 31st Article prescribes: "That no person shall bee accepted a Free Mason, or know the secrets of the said Society, until hee hath first taken the oath of secrecy hereafter following:
I, A. B. Doers in the presence of Almighty God and my Fellows and Brethren here present promise and declare that I will not at any time hereafter, hsante act or circumstance whatsoever, directly or indirectly, publish, discover, reveal, or make known any of the secrets privileges or councils of the Fraternity or fellowship of Free Masonry, which at this time, or any time hereafter, shall be made known unto me, so help me God and the holy contents of this book.
In the Roberts Constitutions, published in 1722, this oath, substantially in the same words, is for the first time printed with the amendment of "privates" for "privileges. "
- OATH, TILER'S
Before any strange and unknown visitor can gain admission into a Masonic Lodge, he is required in the United States of America to take the following oath:
I, A. B., do hereby and hereon solemnly and sincerely swear that I have been regularly initiated, passed, and raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in a just and legally constituted Lodge of such; that I do not now stand suspended or expelled; and know of no reason why I should not hold Masonic communication with my Brethren.
It is called the Tiler's Oath, because it is usually taken in the Tiler's room, and was formerly administered by that officer, whose duty it is to protect the Lodge from the approach of unauthorized visitors. It is now administered by the Committee of Examination, and not only he to whom it is administered, but he who administers it, and all who are present, must take it at the same time. It is a process of purgation, and each one present, the visitor as well as the members of the Lodge, is entitled to know that all the others are legally qualified to be present at the esoteric examination which is about to take place. This custom is unknown in English Freemasonry.
A Masonic abbreviation of the word Obligation, sometimes written O. B.
The Hebrew word meaning serving One of nine favored officials, selected by Solomon after the death of Hiram Abiff.
The doctrine of obedience to constituted authority is strongly inculcated in all the Old Constitutions as necessary to the preservation of the Association. In them it is directed that every" Mason shall prefer his elder and put him to worship." Thus the Master Mason obeys the order of his Lodge, the Lodge obeys the mandates of the Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge submits to the Landmarks and the old Regulations.
The doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance in polities, however much it may be supposed to be inimical to the progress of free institutions constitutes undoubtedly the great principle of Masonic government. Such a principle would undoubtedly lead to an unbearable despotism, were it not admirably modified and controlled by the compensating principle of appeal. The first duty of every Freemason is to obey the mandate of the Master. But if that mandate should have been unlawful or Oppressive! he will find his redress in the Grand Lodge, which will review the case and render justice. This spirit of instant obedience and submission to authority constitutes the great safeguard of the institution Freemasonry more resembles a military than a political organization. The order must at once be obeyed; its character and its consequences may be matters of subsequent inquiry. The Masonic rule of obedience is like the nautical, imperative: "Obey orders, even if you break owners."
- OBEDIENCE OF A GRAND BODY
Obedience, used in the sense of being under the jurisdiction, is a technicality borrowed only recently by Masonic authorities from the French, where it has always been regularly used. Thus 'the Grand Lodge has addressed a letter to all the Lodges of its obedience" means "to all the Lodges under its jurisdiction." In French, "à toutes Les Loges de son obedience." It comes originally from the usage of the Middle Ages, in the Low Latin of which obedientia meant the homage which a vassal owed to his lord. In the ecclesiastical language of the same period, the word signified the duty or office of a monk toward his superior.
- OBEDIENCY ACTS
The Strict Observance so named the printed Constitutions.
The obelisk is a quadrangular, monolithic column, diminishing upward, with the sides gently inclined, but not so as to terminate in a pointed apex, but to form at the top a Cattish, pyramidal figure, by which the whole is finished off and brought to a point. It was the most common species of monument in ancient Egypt, where they are still to be found in great numbers, the sides being covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions Obelisks were, it is supposed, originally erected in honor of the sun god. Pliny says (in Holland's translation), "The kings of Egypt in times past made of this stone certain long beams, which they called obelisks, and consecrated them unto the sun, whom they honored as a god; and, indeed, some resemblance they carry of sunbeams." In Continental Freemasonry the monument in the Master's Degree is often made in the form of an obelisk, with the letters M. B. inscribed upon it. And this form is appropriate, because in Masonic, as in Christian iconography, the obelisk is a symbol of the resurrection.
Two Egyptian obelisks are best known as Cleopatra's needles and were formerly at Alexandria, Egypt. They are made of granite and were erected by Thothmes III before the great temple of Heliopolis, the on of the Bible, where Moses was born.
These obelisks were brought to Alexandria shortly before the Christian Era and after the death of Cleopatra. One of them is erected on the Thames Embankment in London and was placed there in 1878. The other was presented to the United States by the lihedive of Egypt and was erected in Central Park, New York City, in 1881. They are about seventy feet high and Lieutenant Commander H. II. Gorringe reported that on bringing the one to the United States, Masonic emblems mere discovered in the foundation.
- OBJECTIONS TO FREEMASONRY
The principal objections that have been urged by its opponents to the Institution of Freemasonry may be arranged under six heads:
- 1. Its secrecy;
- 2 The exclusiveness of its charity;
- 3. Its admission of unworthy members;
- 4. Its claim to be a religion;
- 5. Its administration of unlawful oaths: and,
- 6. Its puerility as a system of instruction.
Each of these objections is replied to in this work under the respective heads of the words which are italicized above.
To be obligated, in Masonic language, is to be admitted into the Covenant of Freemasonry. "is obligated Freemason" is tautological, needless repetition, because there can be no Freemason who is not an obligated one.
The solemn promise made by a Freemason on his admission into any Degree is technically called his obligation. In a legal sense, obligation is synonymous with duty. Its derivation shows its true meaning, for the Latin word obligatio literally signifies a tying or binding. The obligation is that which binds a man to do some act, the doing of which thus becomes his duty. By his obligation, a Freemason is bound or tied to his Order. Hence the Romans called the military oath which was taken by the soldier his obligation, and, too, it is said that it is the obligation that makes the Freemason.
Before that ceremony, there is no tie that binds the candidate to the Order so as to make him a part of it; after the ceremony, the tie has been completed, and the candidate becomes at once a Freemason, entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the duties and responsibilities that enure in that character. The jurists have divided obligations into imperfect and perfect, or natural and civil. In Freemasonry there is no such distinction.
The Masonic obligation is that moral one which, although it cannot be enforced by the courts of lav, is binding on the party who makes it, in conscience and according to moral justice. It varies in each Degree, but in each is perfect. Its various clauses, in which different duties are prescribed, are called its points, which are either affirmative or negative, a division like that of the precepts of the Jewish law. The affirmative points are those which require certain acts to be performed; the negative points are those which forbid certain other acts to be done. The whole of them is preceded by a general point of secrecy, common to all the Degrees, and this point is called the tie.
- OBLONG SQUARE
A parallelogram, or foursided figure, all of whose angles are equal, but two of whose sides are longer than the others. Of course the term oblong square is strictly without any meaning, but it is used to denote two.squares joined together to form a rectangle.
Brother Sir Walter Scott (in chapter vii of his novel Ivanhoe) has a description of a tournament and tells of the enclosure 'sforming a space of a quarter of a mile in length, and about half as broad. The form of the enclosure was an oblong square, save that the corners were considerably rounded off in order to afford more convenience for the spectators."
Brother C. C. Hunt (Builder, volume ii, page 128), says it is the survival of a term once common but now obsolete; that at one time the word square meant right-angled, and the term a square referred to a four sided figure, having four right angles, without regard to the proportionate length of adjacent sides. There were thus two classes of squares; those having all four sides equal, and those having two parallel sides longer than the other two. The first class were called perfect squares and the second class ob1t squares (see Orientation).
This is the symbolic form of a Masonic Lodge, and it finds its prototype in many of the structures of our ancient Brethren. The Ark of Noah, the Camp of the Israelites, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, and, lastly, the Temple of Solomon, were all oblong squares (see Ground Floor of the Lodge).
Ventriloquism. It will be found so denominated in the Septuagint version, Isaiah xxix, 3, also xix, 3.
- OBRACK, HIBERNUS
Grand Master of the Order of the Temple in 1392, according to the chronology of the Strict Observance of Germany.
- O'BRIEN, JEREMIAH
Born in 1744 at Scarborough, Maine, and died September 5, 1818, in Machias, Maine, in which town the family of O'Brien settled down and lived shortly after the birth of Jeremiah. He was a Captain in the American Navy in the War of the Revolution, capturing many prizes, and winning much renown due to his bravery and perseverance. He had five brothers, all of whom followed the sea.
Record says that Jeremiah O'Brien made the first fight and captured the first British armed vessel at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775. Later in life he became Collector of Customs at Machias. He also served in Congress, and in the War of 1812 he was made a Colonel. Captain O'Brien was a Freemason of the Lodge of Saint Andrew, in Boston, beginning December 11, 1777, and receiving his Master's Degree March 26, 1778. It is known that at least three of his brothers were active Masons, and Jeremiah, with his father, Morris, started the Warren Lodge in Machias under the Grand Lodge.
Jeremiah was its first Junior Deacon and its Senior Warden in 17824. Up to the time of his death he wore a queue, knee breeches, and low shoes with large shoe buckles, and it is said that he never used stimulants except snuff, which in his day was a common custom. Jeremiah and his father, Morris, were founders and pew holders of the Congregational Church in Machias.
He was buried as he wished in the O'Brien burying ground on the southerly side of the Machias River at Machias. The stone sacred to his memory may be said liter ally to "lie like a tombstone," as it states he was seventy-nine years old, whereas the dates stated show he was born in 1744 and died in 1818, making him seventy-four vears of age at the time of his death. In the Maine Historical Society-' publications, and in the History of Machias, are extended biographies.
Brother Charles T. Gallagher said, in Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1918 (page 49). When Revolutionars heroes were being honored I received word from Most Worshipful Brother George W Baird, of Washington, District of Columbia, that a proposition was before a Congressional Committee to appropriate money for a monument to Jeremiah O'Brien an Irish-American, ete. It had the support of the usuail politician who was looking for patronage and the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus joined in its support. Answering Brother Baird's inquiries, I told him of the O'Brien Masonic connections as above related and the Admiral appeared before the Committee with them. Some of the numerous societies thought this hero was at least entitled to be called an unhyphenated American, and the original supporters thereupon abandoned their first love to his fate.
Our own Ex-Governor Long as Secretary of the Navy, however, thought the name entitled to consideration and under his influence a destroyer of our Navy was named for him. The O'Brien was launched at 8:30 A.M. September 24, 1900, being christened by a lineal descendant of Joseph the youngest of the six O'Brien boys. And thus, with the O' Brien Rifles which formed part of Maine's quota in the Spanish American War, the name of this enterprising American family with its Masonic affiliations gives us cause to be proud of their achievements; although the official order for the naming of the torpedo boat states it is on account of "Jeremiah O'Brien," he who was our Brother in Freemasonry.
- OBSERVANCE, CLERKS OF STRICT
See Clerks of Strict Observance
- OBSERVANCE, LAX
See Lax Observance
- OBSERVANCE, RELAXED
The French expression is Observance Relachée. This is the term by which Ragon translates the lata observantia or lax observance applied by the disciples of Von Hund to the other Lodges of Germany. Ragon (Orthodoxis Maconnique, page 236) calls it incorrectly a Rite, and confounds it with the Clerks of Strict Observance (see Laz Observance).
- OBSERVANCE, STRICTSee Strict Observance, Rite of
In numismatics that side of a coin or medal which contains the principal figure, generally a face in profile or a full or half-length figure, is called the obverse.
- OCCASIONAL LODGE
A temporary Lodge con-voked by a Grand Master, as for the purpose of making Freemasons, after which the Lodge is dissolved. The phrase was first used by Anderson in the second edition of the Book of Constitutions, and is repeated by subsequent editors. To make a Freemason in an Occasional Lodge is equivalent to making him "at sight." But any Lodge, called temporarily by the Grand Master for a specific purpose and immediately afterward dissolved, is an Occasional Lodge. Its organization as to officers, and its regulations as to ritual, must be the same as in a permanent and properly warranted Lodge (see Sight, Making Freemasons at).
- OCCULT MASONRY
Ragon, in his Orthodoxie Maconnique, proposes the establishment of a Masonic system, which he calls "Occult Masonry." It consists of three Degrees, which are the same as those of Ancient Craft Freemasonry, only that all the symbols are interpreted after alchemical principles. It is, in fact, the application of Masonic symbolism to Hermetic symbolism—two things that never did, according to Hitchcock, materially differ.
This name is given to the sciences of alchemy, magic, and astrology, which existed in the Middle Ages. Many of the speculations of these so-called sciences were in the eighteenth century made use of in the construction of the higher Degrees. We have even a Hermetic Rite which is — based on the dogmas of alchemy.
- OCCUPIED TERRITORY
A state or kingdom where there is a Grand Lodge organization and subordinate Lodges working under it is said to be occupied territory, and, by the American and English law, all other Grand Lodges are precluded from entering it and exercising jurisdiction (see Jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge).
Includes all the islands of the Pacific Ocean between the southeastern shores of Asia and the western shores of America.
- Fiji Islands
On March 12, 1872, Polynesia Lodge established itself at Levuka with the full consent of the native King. Britain took possession of the Island in 1874 and a Scottish Lodge was constituted under the same name and met at the same place as the Lodge of 1872.
- Marquesas Islands
The Life of the Craft in these Islands was short- L'Amitie (Friendship) Lodge, opened at Nukihiva by the Grand Orient of France in 1850, soon passed out of existence.
- New Caledonia
In 1854 France took possession of New Caledonia to use it as a convict settlement. Fourteen years later the Grand Orient of France constituted a Lodge at Noumea. Western Polynesia Lodge, warranted by the Grand Lodge of England on June 1, 1880, and constituted October 29, was also located at Noumea. It is now number 86 on the register of the Grand Lodge of New South Wales.
- Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands
The Supreme Council of France warranted Le Progres de l'Oceanie (Progress of Oceania) here in 1850. Two other Lodges were instituted under the control of the Grand Lodge of California. The King of the Islands, Kalakaua, and his brother were both active members of the Craft, the former being elected an honorary Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt.
- Society IslandsThe Craft was made known in Tahiti in 1834 when the Grand Orient of France established L'Oceanie Francaise (French Oceania) Lodge One of the same name was opened in 1850 but neither of the two has survived. Other French a Lodges have, however, since been established.
- Timor Island
In 1910 Oceania Lodge was constituted here by the Grand Orient of Portugal.
The regular octagon is a geometrical figure of eight equal sides and angles. It is a favorite form in Christian ecclesiology, and most of the Chapter-Houses of the cathedrals in England are eight sided. It is sometimes used in the lectures of the Knights of Malta, and then, like the eight-pointed cross of the same Order, is referred symbolically to the eight beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew, volumes 1-11). Doctor Mackey in this comparison regards, as has been the case with other authorities (see Peak's Commentary on the Bible, 1919, page 704) the nine references to the beatitudes in as many verses to be counted as eight declarations of special blessedness m the Sermon on the Mount, verses 10-2 to have a single import. We may also compare the four references in Luke vi, 20-2.
- ODD NUMBERS
In the numerical philosophy Of the Pythagoreans, odd numbers were male and even numbers female. It is wrong, however, to say, as Brother Oliver and some others after him have that odd numbers were perfect, and even numbers imperfect. The combination of two odd numbers would make an even number, which was the most perfect. Hence, in the Pythagorean system, 4, made by the combination of 1 and 3; and 10, made by the addition of 3 and 7, are the most perfect of all numbers. Herein the Pythagorean differs from the Masonic system of numerals. In this latter all the sacred numbers are odd, such 3S 3, a, 7, 9, 97 and 81. Thus it is evident that the Masonic theory of sacred numbers was derived, not, as it has been supposed, from the school of Pythagoras, but from a much older system (see Numbers).
The Hebrew word are. The carnelian or agate in the High Priest's breastplate. It was of a red color, and claimed to possess medical qualities.
The chief Scandinavian deity and father of Balder, which see. The counterpart of Hermes and Mercury in the Egyptian and Roman mythologies. Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve, the sons of Boer, or the first-born, slew Ymir or Chaos, and from his body created the world. As ruler of heaven, he sends daily his two black ravens, Thought and Memory, to gather tidings of all that is being done throughout the world.
- OFFENSES, MASONIC
See Crimes, Masonic
- OFFERINGS, THREE GRAND
See Ground Floor of the Lodge
The officers of a Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, or other Supreme Body in Freemasonry, are divided into Grand and Subordinate; the former, who are the Grand and Deputy Grand Master, the Grand Wardens and Grand Treasurer, Secretary, and Chaplain, are also sometimes called the Dignitaries. The officers of a Lodge or Chapter are divided into the Elected and the Appointed, the former in the United States of America being the Master, Wardens, Treasurer, and Secretary, while in England only the Master and Treasurer are elected.
- OFFICERS' JEWELS
See Jewels, Official
- OFFICERS OF FRENCH LODGES
The office of Orator exists throughout Continental Freemasonry. He is presumed to be a Brother of some eloquence and facility of speech who is called upon to deliver an oration whenever thought advisable.
Moreover, his duty is to wind up every discussion in the Lodge, in an impartial light placing the arguments adduced by the Brethren but at the same time expressing his own opinion of their value and correctness. No Brother is allowed to speak on any subject after the Orator has had his say and the vote is then immediately taken. The office has not been usual in England but the Lodge of Antiquity No. 2 still appoints an Orator. To the above comments by Brother George W. Speth in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, we may add that Brother Oswald Wirth of Paris made a suggestive explanation in brief, regarding the offices of Orator and Secretary of a Lodge something after the following effect "The Orator voices the conscience of the Lodge—the Secretary is its memory."
Brother Speth explains the use of several Brethren as Tylers thus: In one of the letters which came under my observation which is signed by some score of officers of the Bordeaux Lodge, there were no less than six who signed themselves Tuilleur. I can only make the suggestion on this matter without certainty that I am right.
I believe that at that time and especially abroad the Tiler was not a paid servant of the Lodge. If this is the case it is evident that the Tiler's duties must have been performed by a member of the Lodge, and in order that there should be a sufficient number present, and that moreover they should be able to share the duties of the evening so as to avoid any one of those spending the whole time with the door, several Brothers would hold the office at the same time. I think the duties of Inner Guard were also performed by one of the Tilers.
The Expert is, I fancy, never met in English Masonry. According to information I gathered in Antwerp, the duty of the Expert is to be expert in the ceremonies as he is liable to be called upon by the Worshipful Master to fill any post which may happen to be vacant for the moment. He is, therefore, the understudy of the whole body of officers, a superior sort of general utility man. The Frere Terrible is still a Continental Lodge officer.
His duties are to prepare the candidate in the several stages and introduce him into the Lodge Continental preparation differs widely from ours and is taken much more seriously, not only the body but also the mind must be prepared. In the earls days the foolish and reprehensible habit of thoughtless English Brethren who directly hinted at red-hot pokers, etc., was far outdone by the ministrations of the Frere Terrible nor were there wanting features in the Lodge ceremonial abroad directly intended to startle and test the nerves of the entrant.
The name Terrible, in Germans Schreckensbruder, was therefore fit enough. I am glad to think that his functions today no longer justify his appellation. His exhortations are rather directed to the intellect than to the senses. I am by no means sure that he did not also officiate as Inner Guard. Diane of the French plates professing to show our ceremonial, place at the door a brother armed with a Word whom we should unhesitatingly call the Inner Guard if it were not for the fact that the references below call him the Terrible. But how far can we trust these plates?
Brother Thomson Foley (Transaction, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1899, volume xii, page 102), says that "Constitutional Lodge No. 294 at Beverly annually appoints an Orator. The first recorded appointment is William Acklam, the founder of the Lodge and its first Worshipful Master in 1793." Brother E. J. Barron also contributed the following comment: "In the By-Laws of Antiquity Lodge of 1820 is the following:
'The Orator shall deliver such eulogiums, congratulatory or funeral orations, and lectures as by the Master may be deemed necessary. " Lodge Le Césarée, No. 590, Jersey, of the English Constitution, works in the French language and has an Orator. The office was formerly most important as before the connection between the English Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient of France was severed, there was a frequent interchange of visits with the Lodges in Brittany. On these occasions it nas expected that the Orator should make an elaborate flowery speech and therefore it was of the greatest consequence that he should not only be eloquent but also full of tact. "We have for some time past styled our Deacons Experts particularly because their duties are more akin to those of the French Experts and practically because the ritual we at present use so names them. We use Respectable as exactly equivalent to Worshipful except in the case of the Worshipful Master, who is Venerable. All our Past Masters are termed Respectable."
Clavel (Histoire Pittoresque, pages 6 and 7, 1844), has a list of officers and their duties under the Grand Orient of France. Clavel tells us that Freemasons who are strangers to the Lodge upon presenting themselves for purposes of visitation are Tiled, that is to say, examined by the Expert. He also says that it is either the Expert or his substitute, the Frere Terrible, who prepares the candidate and conducts him during the course of the proofs to which he is submitting. Me also states that the Orator pronounces the discourses of instruction. He requires the observance of the General Laws of Freemasonry and of the particular By-Laws of the Lodge if he detects the infringement of them. In all debates he gives his logical conclusions immediately before the summing up bt the Worship ful Master.
- OFFICE, TENURE OF
In Freemasonry the tenure of every office is not only for the time for which the incumbent was elected or appointed, but extends to the day on which his successor is installed During the period which elapses from the election of that successor until his installation, the old officer is technically said to "hold-over."
The Druidical name for Hercules who is represented with numberless fine chains proceeding from the mouth to the ears of other people, hence possessing the powers of eloquence and persuasion.
- OHEB ELOAH
The Hebrew words meaning Love of God. This and Oheb Karobo, meaning Love of our Neighbor, are the names of the two supports of the Ladder of Kadosh. Collectively, they allude to that Divine passage, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew xxii, 3740)." Hence the Ladder of Kadosh is supported by these two Christian commandments.
- OHEB KAROBO
See Oheb Eloah
With the close of the War of the Revolution came the introduction of Freemasonry to Ohio. Several members, including Brother Jonathan heart the Master of American Union Lodge, moved tee Marietta. Their Charter, granted by the Saint John's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, February 15 1776, was claimed by Brother Heart to be that of a Lodge at large, owing allegiance to no Grand Lodge. A few years later the Charter was destroyed by fire. but the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania refused to issue a new one to the Lodge except as to one of its constituents. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts granted leave for work to be resumed under a copy of the original Charter until such time as a Grand Lodge should be formed. On January 4, 1808, delegates to a Convention to organize a Grand Lodge met representing five Lodges, namely, American pinion, No. 1; Cincinnati, No. 13; Seioto, No. 9; Erie, No. 47; Amit, No. 105. Rules were adopted and the first Mondan in January, 1809, was appointed for a Grand Communication at Chillicothe.
At this Communication the delegates from American Union Lodge were absent, so the Grand Lodge was established by four Lodges under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. Grand Officers were elected and installed and Brother Samuel Huntington then Governor of Ohio, was elected Grand Master General Rufus Putnam lvas the first choice but his age and infirmities compelled him to decline the office of Grand Masters his letter, characteristically Masonic, closing with the words: "May the Great Architect, under whose all-seeing eye all Masons profess to labor, have vou in His holy keeping, that when our labors here are finished, we may, through the merits of Him that was dead, but now is alive, and lives forevermore, be admitted into that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; Amen. So prays your friend and Brother."
A Chapter was opened at Marietta on June l6, 1792, under authority of the Warrant of American Union Lodge, by Robert Oliver, Rufus Putnam and Griffin Green. At a further meeting held on December , 1792, the Brethren organized and elected these three as the principal officers. R. J. Weigh was elected Secretary and Joseph Wood, Treasurer. On October 21, 1816, on the invitation of Cincinnati Chapter a meeting was held at Worthington for the purpose of forming a Grand Chapter which was duly opened on the 94th.
Three Chapters were represented, American Union, No. 1; Cincinnati, No. 2; Horeb, No. 3. Samuel Hoit was elected Grand High Priest and Benjamin Gardiner Grand Secretary of the new Body which was received into the Union of the State Grand Chapters. The earliest record of the organization of a Council of High Priests dates from 1828 and appears in the Proceedings of the Grand Council of Ohio. Companion John Snow was elected President of this Council.
A Charter for a Council at Chillieothe was sent in 1817 by Companion Jeremy L. Cross after he hael visited Ohio, but there is no record of the organization of that Council. A Charter, issued by the Grand Council of New York, this time for a Council at Cleveland, was also barren of result. Companion John Barker, however, organized several Couneils in Ohio during 1827 and 1828. Five of these Couneils met on January 6, 1830, and formed a Grand Council for the State of Ohio. The first Commandery in the State mas also the first to be established by Knights Templar west of the Allegheny Mountains. Sir Thomas Smith Webb, Deputy Grand Commander of the Grand Encampment of the United States. on March 14, 1819, granted a Dispensation to Mount Vernon Commandery, No.1, at Worthington. A Charter was issued September 16, 1819, and the Commandery was duly constituted September 20. Five Commanderies, namely, Mount Vernon, no 1; Lancaster, No. 2; Cincinnati, No. 3; Massillon, No. 4, and Clinton, No. 5, met and organized the Grand Commandery of Ohio on October 14, 1843.
On April 27, 1853, the Gibulum Lodge of Perfection and the Dalcho Council of Princes of Jerusalem at Cincinnati were chartered. The Cincinnati Chapter of Rose Croix was chartered December 27, 1853, and the Ohio Consistory on May 14, 1854. These are constituent Bodies of the Supreme Council, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Hebrews anointed their Kings, Prophets, and High Priests with oil mingled with the richest spices. They also anointed themselves with oil on all festive occasions, whence the expression in Psalm xlv, 7, "God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness (see Corn, ravine and Oil).
The history of Freemasonry in what is now the State of Oklahoma is the history of the Craft in Indian and Oklahoma Territories which were originally separate from each other. The pioneer Lodge in Indian Territory was Flint Lodge which received a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas dated November 9, 1853. On October 5, 1874, Muskogee, Doaksville and Caddo Lodges met in Convention and the following day the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory was constituted Oklahoma Lodge joined soon after, but the other two existing Lodges Flint and Alpha held back until 1878. The Lodges located in Oklahoma for a long time held Warrants from the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory, hut all August 16, 1892. three Lodges, namely Guthrie No. 35; North Canadian, No. 36, and Redmond, No. 37 signed a petition for the formation of a Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Representatives of all the Lodges ill this Territory met on November 10, 1892; the Grand Master presided, he installed the Grand Officers, and the Grand Lodge was declared open. The Grand Lodge of Indian Territory and the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Territory united in the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma, at a Convention held at Guthrie, February 10, 1909.
Indian Chapter was organized at McAlester, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, on March 15, 1878, by Dispensation issued by Most Excellent General Grand High Priest John Frizzell. A meeting was held in the same town on October 92, 1889, of Companions representing the several Chapters in Indian Territory, namely, Indian Chapter, No. 1; Oklahoma Chapter, No. if; Savanna Chapter, No. 4, and Tahlequah Chapter, U. D. .& Constitution was adopted and the Grand Chapter duly established on February 15, 1890. On April 21, 1908, it was resolved that the name should be changed to Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Oklahoma to correspond with the change from Territory to State.
By Charter dated September 29, 1886, Oklahoma Council, No. 1, was organized at Atoka on September 29, 1886. Two other Councils were chartered in 1894 and representatives of the three met on November 5, 1894, to organize a Grand Council. Companion Robert W. Hills presided, a Constitution was adopted and officers elected. The name was changed from Indian Territory to Oklahoma at the Grand Assembly held on April 22, 1908.
On October 1, 1891, Wluskogee Commandery, No. 1, was organized by Dispensation and was chartered on August 11, 1892. Sluskogee, No. 1; Chickasaw, No. 2, and McAlester, No. 3, formed the Grand Commandery of Indian Territory by authority of the Grand Encampment on December 17, 1895. The Grand Commandery of Oklahoma was constituted under the same authority on February 10, 1896, by the following subordinate Commanderies: Guthrie, No. 1; Oklahoma, No. ; Ascension, No. 3. It amalgamated with the Grand Commandery of Indian Territory on October 6, 1911. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, was first introduced on October 20, 1899, when a Lodge of Perfection and a Chapter of Rose Croix, as Guthrie, No. 1; a council of Kadosh, Desonnac, No. 1, and a Consistory, Oklahoma, No. 1, were established at Guthrie.
- OLD CHARGES
See Manuscripts, Old
- OLD MAN, AN
Old men in their dotage are by the laws of Freemasonry disqualified for initiation. For the reason of this law see Dotage.
- OLD MASONIC CEREMONIES
"We are accustomed to flatter ourselves that Freemasonry has never obtained such eminence of culture as in the present day, yet we find that even in the middle of the eighteenth century, our ancient Brethren, possessed of elegant manners and in intimate knowledge Of the liberal arts and sciences, adorned the Craft with a more elaborate ceremony than now prevails; on one occasion I have noted it took three hours to stork the first Degree, and it is common knowledge, that the Lectures and Tracing Boards now so seldom worked in our Lodges, were up to forty years ago generally included in the ritual" (W. H. Griffiths, page 142, Transactions, 1902-3, Lodge of Research No. 9429, Leicester, England).
- OLD REGULATIONS
The Regulations for the Government of the Craft, which were first compiled by Grand Master Payne in 1720, and approved by the Grand Lodge in 1721 were published by Anderson in 1723, in the first edition of the Book of Constitutions, under the name of General Regulations. In 1738 Anderson published a second edition of the Book of Constitutions, and inserted these regulations under the name of Old Regulations, placing in an opposite column the alterations which had been made in them by the Grand Lodge at various times between 1723 and 1737, and called these New Regulations. When Dermott published his Ahiman Rezon, or Book of Constitutions of the rival Grand Lodge, he adopted Anderson's plan, publishing in two columns the Old and the New Regulations. But he made some important changes in the latter to accommodate the policy of his own Grand Lodge. The Old Regulations, more properly known as the General Regulations of 1722, are recognized as the better authority in questions of Masonic law.
In a secondary sense, the olive plant is a symbol of peace and victory; but in its primary sense, like all the other sacred plants of antiquity, it was a symbol of resurrection and immortality. Hence in the Ancient Mysteries it was the analogue of the Acacia of Freemasonry.
- OLIVE BRANCH IN THE EAST, BROTHERHOOD OF THE
An Order, which was proposed at Bombay, in 1845, by Dr. James Burnes, the author of a History of the Knights Templar, who was then the Provincial Grand Master of India for Scotland. It was intended to provide a substitute for native Freemasons for the Chivalric Degrees, from which, on account of their religious faith, they were excluded. It consisted of three classes, Novice, Companion, and Officer. For the first, it was requisite that the candidate should have been initiated into Freemasonry; for the second, that he should be a Master Mason; and for the third it was recommended, but not imperatively required, that he should have attained the Royal Arch Degree. The badge of the Order was a dove descending with a green olive branch in its mouth. The new Order was received with much enthusiasm by the most distinguished Freemasons of India, but it did not secure a permanent existence.
- OLIVER, GEORGE
The Rev. George Oliver, D.D., one of the most distinguished and learned of English Freemasons, was descended from an ancient Scottish family of that name, some of whom came into England in the time of James I, and settled at Clipstone Park, Nottinghamshire.
He was the eldest son of the Rev. Samuel Oliver, rector of Lambley, Nottinghamshire, and Elizabeth, daughter of George Whitehead. He was born at Pepplewick, November 5, 1782, and received a liberal education at Nottingham. In 1803, when but twenty-one years of age, he was elected second master of the Grammar School at Caiston, Lincoln. In 1809 he was appointed to the head mastership of King Edward's Grammar School at Great Grimsby. In 1813 he entered Holy Orders in the Church of England, and was ordained a Deacon. The subsequent year he was made a Priest. In the spring of 1815, Bishop Tomline collated him to the living of Clee, his name being at the time placed on the boards of Trinity College, Cambridge, as a ten-year man by Doctor Bayley, Sub-dean of Lincoln and examining Chaplain to the Bishop. In the same year he was admitted as Surrogate and a Steward of the Clerical Fund. In 1831, Bishop Kaye gave him the living of Scopwick, which he held to the time of his death.
He graduated as Doctor of Divinity in 1836, being then Rector of Wolverhampton, and a Prebendary of the Collegiate Church at that place, both of which positions had been presented to him by Doctor Hobart, Dean of Westminster. In 1846 the Lord Chancellor conferred on him the rectory of South Hykeham, which vacated the incumbency of Wolverhampton. At the age of seventy-two Doctor Oliver's physical powers began to fail, and he was obliged to confine the charge of his parishes to the care of curates, and he passed the remaining years of his life in retirement at Lincoln. In 1805 he had married Mary Ann, the youngest daughter of Thomas Beverley, by whom he left five children. He died March 3, 1867, at Eastgate, Lincoln.
To the literary world Doctor Oliver was well known as a laborious antiquary, and his works on ecclesiastical antiquities during fifty years of his life, from twenty-five, earned for him a high reputation. Of these works the most important were, History and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Beverley, History and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton, History of the Conventual Church of Grimsby, Monumental Antiquities of Grimsby, History of the Gild of the Holy Trinity, Sleaford, Letters on the Druidical Remains near Lincoln, Guide to the Druidical Temple at Nottingham and Remains of Ancient Britons between Lincoln and Sleaford.
But it is as the most learned Freemason and the most indefatigable and copious Masonic author of his age that Doctor Oliver principally claims our attention. He had inherited a love of Freemasonry from his father, the Rev. Samuel Oliver, who was an expert Master of the work, the Chaplain of his Lodge, and who contributed during a whole year, from 1797 to 1798, an original Masonic song to be sung on every Lodge night. His son has repeatedly acknowledged his indebtedness to him for valuable information in relation to Masonic usages. Doctor Oliver was initiated by his father, in the year 1801, in Saint Peter's Lodge, in the city of Peterborough. He was at that time but nineteen years of age, and was admitted by Dispensation during his minority, according to the practice then prevailing, as a Lewis. Or the son of a Freemason. Under the tuition of his father, he made muffin progress in the rites and ceremonies then in use among the Lodges. He read with great attention every Masonic book within his reach, and began to collect that store of knowledge which he afterward used with so much advantage to the Craft.
Soon after his appointment as Head Master of King Edward's Grammar School at Grimsby, he established a Lodge in the borough, the chair of which he occupied for fourteen years. So strenuous were his exertions for the advancement of Freemasonry, that in 1812 he was enabled to lay the first stone of a Masonic hall in the town, where, three years before, there had been scarcely a Freemason residing. About this time he was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason in the Chapter attached to the Rodney Lodge at Kingston-on-Hull. In Chapters and Consistories connected with the same Lodge he also received the advanced Degrees and those of Masonic Knighthood. In 1813, he was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward; in 1816, Provincial Grand Chaplain; and in 1832, Provincial Deputy Grand Master of the Province of Lincolnshire. These are all the official honors that he received, except that of Past Deputy Grand Master, conferred, as an honorary title, by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
In the year 1840, Doctor Crucefix had undeservedly incurred the displeasure of the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex. Doctor Oliver, between whom and Doctor Crucefix there had always been a warm personal friendship, assisted in a public demonstration of the Fraternity in honor of his friend and brother.
This involved him in the odium, and caused the Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire, Brother Charles Tennyson D'Eyncourt, to request the resignation of Doctor Oliver as his Deputy. He complied with the resignation, and after that time withdrew from all active participation in the labors of the Lodge. The transaction was not considered by any means as creditable to the independence of character or sense of justice of the Provincial Grand Master, and the Craft vera generally expressed their indignation of the course which he had pursued, and their warm appreciation of the Masonic services of Doctor Oliver. In 1844, this appreciation was marked by the presentation of an offering of plate, which had been very generally subscribed for by the Craft throughout the kingdom.
Doctor Oliver's first contribution to the literature of Freemasonry, except a few Masonic sermons, was a work entitled The Antiquities of Freemasonry commonly illustrations of the fixe Grand Periods of Masonry, from the Creation of the OFF World to the Dedication of Bring Solomons Temple, which was published in 1893. His next production was a little work entitled The Star in the East, intended to show, from the testimony of Masonic writers, the connection between Freemasonry and religion.
In 1841 he published twelve lectures on the Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry, in which he went into a learned detail of the history and signification of all the recognized symbols of the Order. His next important contribution to Freemasonry was The History of Initiation in twelve lectures, comprising a detailed account of the Rites and Ceremonies, Doctrines and Discipline, of all the Secret and Mysterious Institutions of the Ancient World, published in 1840. The professed object of the author was to show the resemblances between these ancient systems of initiation and the Masonic, and to trace them to a common origin; a theory which, under some modification, has been very generally accepted by Masonic scholars.
Following this was The Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, a highly interesting work, in which he discusses the speculative character of the Institution. A History of Freemasonry from 1829 to !840 has proved a valuable appendix to the work of Preston, an edition of which he had edited in the former year. His next and most important, most interesting, and most learned production was his Historical Landmarks and other Evidences of Freemasonry Explained. No work with such an amount of facts in reference to the Masonic system had ever before been published by any author. It will forever remain as a monument of his vast research and his extensive reading.
But it would be no brief task to enumerate merely the titles of the many works which he produced for the instruction of the Craft. A few of them must suffice. These are the Revelations of a Square, a sort of Masonic romance, detailing, in a fictitious form, many of the usages of the last centuries, with anecdotes of the principal Freemasons of that period. The Golden Remains of the Early Masonic Writers, in five volumes, each of which contains an interesting introduction by the editor; The Book of the Lodge, a useful manual, intended as a guide to the ceremonies of the Order; The Symbol of Glory, intended to show the object and end of Freemasonry; A Mirror for the Johannite Masons, in which he discusses the question of the dedication of Lodges to the two Saints John; The Origin and Insignia of the Royal Arch Degree! a title which explains itself; A Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry, by no means the best of his works.
Almost his last contribution to Freemasonry was his Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, a book in which he expressed views of law that did not meet with the universal concurrence of his English readers. Besides these elaborate works, Doctor Oliver was a constant contributor to the early volumes of the London Freemasons Quarterly Review, and published a valuable article, on the Gothic Constitutions, in the American Quarterly Review of Freemasonry. The great error of Doctor Oliver, as a Masonic teacher, was a too easy credulity or a too great warmth of imagination, which led him to accept without hesitation the crude theories of previous writers, and to recognize documents and legends as unquestionably authentic whose truthfulness subsequent researches have led most Masonic scholars to doubt or to deny.
His statements, therefore, as to the origin or the history of the Order, have to be received with many grains of allowance. Yet it must be acknowledged that no writer in the English language has ever done so much to elevate the scientific character of Freemasonry. Doctor Oliver was in fact the founder of what may well be called the Literary School of Freemasonry. Bringing to the study of the Institution an amount of archeological learning but seldom surpassed, an inexhaustible fund of multifarious reading, and all the laborious researches of a genuine scholar, he gave to Freemasonry a literary and philosophic character which has induced many succeeding scholars to devote themselves to those studies which he had made so attractive.
While his erroneous theories and his fanciful speculations will be rejected, the form and direction that he has given to Masonic speculations will remain, and to him must be accredited the enviable title of the Father of Anglo-Sazon Masonic Literature. In reference to the personal character of Doctor Oliver, a contemporary journalist, Stanford Mercury has said that he was of a kind and genial dispositions charitable in the highest sense of the words courteous, affable, self-denying, and beneficent; humbles unassuming, and unaffected; ever ready to obliges easy of approach, and amiable, yet firm in the right. Doctor Oliver's theory of the system of Freemasonry may be briefly stated in these words:
He believed that the Order was to be found in the earliest periods of recorded history. It was taught by Seth to his descendants, and practiced by them under the name of Primititle or Pure Freemasonry. It passed over to Noah, and at the dispersion of mankind suffered a division into Pure and Spurious. Pure Freemasonry descended through the Patriarchs to Solomon, and thence on to the present day.
The Pagans, although they had slight glimmerings of the Masonic truths which had been taught by Noah, greatly corrupted them, and presented in their mysteries a system of initiation to which he gave the name of the Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity. These views he had developed and enlarged and adorned out of the similar hut less definitely expressed teachings of Hutchinson. Like that writer also, while freely admitting the principle of religious tolerance, he contended for the strictly Christian character of the Institution, and that, too, in the narrowest sectarian view, since he believed that the earliest symbols taught the dogma of the Trinity, and that Christ was meant by the Masonic reference to the Deity under the title of Grand Architect of the Universe.
From the Sanskrit language and of an especial importance as a sacred word in the religion of the Hindus. We are told in the Katha-Upanishad, one of the Hindu treatises on philosophy, that whoever knows this word can get all he wishes. Brahma herself is credited in the Manu Laws with inventing the word and that he took the letters of this sound one from each of the Vedas, the four holy books of Hindu knowledge, the word Veda in the Sanskrit meaning to know. Om is the first word in the Puranas, the traditional Hindu histories of the universe, and is also to be said at the start and finish of all of the Veda instructions.
From whence originally came the word is a matter of much speculation, East and West, both past and present; Lewis Spence, in his Encyclopedia of Occultism, suggests it is an old and contracted form of the Sanskrit word evan, meaning thus. Another explanation is that the syllable is the expression of consent used by the gods themselves, a creative utterance meaning Thas may it be. Somers times the word is spelled Aum, but probably all that this difference may be is a matter of pronunciation, though the three letters have been credited in their selection and use with a potent and mysterious power and sanctity Om is also given by the Hindus as a name for the spiritual Sun. or Source of Inner Light, to distinguish this from the Sooruj or material sun, a physical center of illumination and warmth (see Aum and On).
See Alpha and Omega
- OMNIFIC WORD
The Tetragrammaton is so called because of the omnific powers attributed by the Cabalists to its possession and true pronunciation (see Tetragrammaton). The term is also applied to the most significant word in the Royal Arch system.
This is a significant word in Royal Arch Masonry, and has been generally explained as being the name by which Jehovah was worshiped among t he Egyptians. As this has been denied and the word asserted to be only the name of a city in Egypt, it is proper that some inquiry should be made into the authorities on the subject. The first mention of On in the Bible is in the history of Joseph, to whom Pharoah gave "to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On." The city of On was in Lower Egypt, between the Nile and the Red Sea, and "adorned," says Philippson, "by a gorgeous temple of the sun, in which a numerous priesthood officiated." The investigations of modern Egyptologists have shown that this is an error. On was the name of a city where the sun-god was worshiped, but On was not the name of that god. Champollion, in his Dictionnaire Egyptien, gives the phonetic characters, with the figurative symbols of a serpent and disk, and a seated figure, as the name of the sun-god. Now, of these two characters, the upper one has the power of R. and the lower of A, and hence the name of the god is Ra. This is the concurrent testimony of Bunsen, Lepsius, Gliddon, and all later authorities.
But although on was really the name of a city, the founders of the Royal Arch had, with the lights then before them, assumed that it was the name of a god, and had so incorporated it with their system. With better light than theirs, we can no longer accept their definition; yet the word may still be retained as a symbol of the Egyptian god. We know not who has power to reject it; and if scholars preserve, outside of the symbolism, the true interpretation, no harm will be done. It is not the only significant word in Freemasonry whose old and received meaning has been shown to be incorrect, and sometimes even absurd. Referring to the expressions by Doctor Mackey. "This is a significant word in Royal Arch Masonry and has generally been explained, as being the name by which Jehovah was worshiped among the Egyptians." . . . "But although on was really the name of a city, the founders of the Royal Arch had, with the lights then before them, assumed that it was the name of a god and had so incorporated it with their system," Brother David E. W. Williamson writes as follows:
This, it seems to me, gives a wrong impression of the Royal Arch use of the word. "on" is certainly one of the names of the deity of Israel, and it will be found by reference to the Septuagint that, which the Authorized Version renders "I am that I am," is actually translated into Greek as "I am the Being." For several centuries in the earlier part of the Christian era, the Septuagint was Considered to be co-ordinate with, if not superior to, the Hebrew text as authority and by the vast number of worshipers under the Orthodox rite the Greek Version is and always has been regarded with the same veneration as English speaking people regard the Authorized Version. To these worshipers, therefore, ON is one of the names of the Almighty. The effect of the word; if I may make the suggestion, merely intensifies the meaning of THE Being, so that, as nearly as we can translate the sense into English, the original Biblical expression would be "I AM—there, you see, I AM." If you have Westcott and Hort handy and will refer to Revelations 14, you will see that the phrase which the Authorized Version renders " Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is and which was and which is to come" is literally "From the being and the was and the coming "From the On." And see especially verse 8 in the same chapter: etc. It seems to me that when we say Supreme Being, referring to the Almighty, we are exactly expressing the word that meant to the Yahwist redactor of the Pentateuch and On to the Septuagint translators, as well as to the Hebrew Christian who wrote the Apocalypse.
Godfrey Higgins (Celtic Druids, page 171) quotes an Irish commentator as showing that the name Ain or on was the name of a triad of gods in the Irish language. "All etymologists, " Higgins continues, "have supposed the word on to mean the sun; but how the name arose has not before been explained."
In another work (Anacalypsis, volume i, page 109), Higgins makes the following important remarks: "various definitions are given of the word on; but they are all unsatisfactory. It is written in the Old Testament in two ways, sun, and an. It is usually rendered in English by the word on. This word is supposed to mean the sun, and the Greeks translated it by the word On, or Sol. But I think it only stood for the sun, as the emblem of the procreative power of nature." Bryan says (Mythological Antiquity, volume i, page 19), when speaking of this word: "On, Eon or Aon, was another title of the sun among the Amonians. The Seventy, where the word occurs in the Scriptures, interpret it the sun, and call the City of on, Heliopolis; and the Coptic Pentateuch renders the City on by the City of the Sun."
Plato, in his Timoeus, says: "Tell me of the god ON, which is and never knew beginning." And, although Plato may have been here thinking of the Greek word QN, which means Being, it is not improbable that he may have referred to the god worshiped at on, or Heliopolis, as it was thence that the Greeks derived so much of their learning. It would be vain to attempt to make an analogy between the Hindu sacred word Aum and the Egyptian on. The fact that the m in the former word is the initial of some secret word, renders the conversion of it into n impossible, because it would thereby lose its signification.
The old Freemasons, misled by the authority of Saint Cyril, and by the translation of the name of the city into City of the Sun by the Hebrews and the Greeks, very naturally supposed that on was the Egyptian sun-god, their supreme deity, as the sun always was, wherever he was worshiped. Hence, they appropriated that name as a sacred word explanatory of the Jewish Tetragrammaton. Brother Williamson points out here that "As to the Egyptian city of that name, the Egyptian name was used by the Jews (see Brown-Driver-Briggs Lezicon). The Greeks knew it as Heliopolis and could not have mistaken the city for a god" (see also Aum and Om).
The Hebrew word play The bird Phenix, named after Enoch or Phenoch. Enoch signifies initiation. The Phenix, in Egyptian mythology; call sculptures, as a bird, is placed in the mystical palm-tree. The Phoenix is the representative of eternal and continual regeneration, and is the Holy Spirit which brooded as a dove over the face of the waters the dove of Noah and of Hasisatra or Nysuthrus (which see), which bore a sprig in its mouth.
The first Masonic meetings in Ontario were probably held by Lodge No. 156 attached to the Eighth Regiment of Foot at Fort Niagara between 1775 and 1780. On March 7, 1792, Brother William Jarvis was appointed Provincial Grand Master of Upper Canada by the "Ancient" Grand Lodge of Canada. He angered the Brethren, however, by refusing to assemble the Grand Lodge at Niagara, and they met together in 1803 and elected Brother Forsyth Provincial Grand Master. The other Lodges in Ontario attended meetings of a Grand Convention under Brother Ziba M. Phillips during the years 1817 to 1822.
Harmony seemed in sight when Brother Simon McGillivray arrived in September of 1822 with authority to reorganize the Craft in Upper Canada. A second Provincial Grand Lodge was formed and met regularly from 1822 to 1830 when it became dormant owing to the Morgan excitement which even here had a widespread influence. In 1845 a Third Provincial Grand Lodge was organized and continued work until 1858.
A Grand Lodge was formed by Irish Lodges in 1853. After all these attempts at creating a governing body, finally, on October 10, 1855, the Grand Lodge of Canada was established at Hamilton by representatives of forty-one Lodges. Brother William Mercer Wilson was elected Grand Master. The Provincial Grand Lodge of England met and became an independent Grand Lodge in 1857. Next year, however, it united with the Grand Lodge of Canada. The Quebec Lodges withdrew in 1869 to form the Grand Lodge of Quebec and in 1886 the Grand Lodge of Canada added the words "in the Province of Ontario" to its title.
The word for this in Hebrew, Oaf, is pronounced Shohem. The second stone in the fourth row of the high priest's breastplate. It is of a bluish-black color, and represented the Tribe of Joseph.
- OPENING OF THE LODGE
The necessity of some preparatory ceremonies, of a more or less formal character, before proceeding to the despatch of the ordinary business of any association, has always been recognized. Decorum and the dignity of the meeting alike suggest, even in popular assemblies called only for a temporary purpose, that a presiding officer shall, with some formality, be inducted into the chair, and he then, to use the ordinary phrase "opens" the meeting with the appointment of his necessary assistants and with the announcement, in an address to the audience, explanatory of the objects that have called them together.
If secular associations have found it expedient, by the adoption of some preparatory forms, to avoid the appearance of an unseaming abruptness in proceeding to business it may well be supposed that religious e Societies have been still more observant of the custom, and that, as their pursuits are more elevated, the ceremonies of their preparation for the object of their meeting should be still more impressive.
In the Ancient Mysteries, those sacred rites which have furnished so many models for Masonic symbolism, the opening ceremonies were of the most solemn character- The Sacred Herald commenced the ceremonies of opening the greater initiations by the solemn formula of "Depart hence, ye profane!" to which was added a proclamation which forbade the use of any language which might be deemed of un favorable augury to the approaching rites.
In like manner a Lodge of Freemasons is opened with the employment of certain ceremonies in which, that attention may be given to their symbolic as well as practical importance, every member present is expected to take a part. These ceremonies, which slightly differ in each of the Degrees but differ so slightly as not to affect their general character—may be considered, in reference to the several purposes they are to effect, to be dinged into eight successive steps or parts. 1. The Master having signified his intention to proceed to the labors of the Lodge, every Brother is expected to assume his necessary Masonic clothing and, if an officer, the insignia of his office, and silently and decorously to repair to his appropriate station.
2. The next step in the ceremony is, with the usual precautions, to ascertain the right of each one to be present. It is scarcely necessary to say that. in the performance of this duty, the officers who are charged with it should allow no one to remain who is not either well known to themselves or properly vouched for by some discreet and experienced Brother.
3. Attention is next directed to the external avenues of the Lodge, and the officers within and without who are entrusted with the performance of this important duty, are expected to execute it with care and fidelity.
4. By a wise provision, it is no sooner intimated to the Master that he may safely proceed, than he directs his attention to an inquiry into the knowledge possessed by his officers of the duties that they will be respectively called upon to perform.
5. Satisfied upon this point, the Master then Announces, by formal proclamation, his intention to proceed to business; and, mindful of the peaceful character of our Institution, he strictly forbids all immoral or un-masonic conduct whereby the harmony of the Lodge may be impeded, under no less a penalty than the by-laws may impose or a majority of the Brethren present may see fit to indict. Nor, after this, is any Brother permitted to leave the Lodge during Lodge hours, that is, from the time of opening to that of closing, without having first obtained the Worshipful Master's permission.
6. Certain mystic rites, which can here be only alluded to, are then employed, by which each Brother present signifies his concurrence in the ceremonies which have been performed, and his knowledge of the Degree in which the Lodge is about to be opened.
7. It is a lesson which every Freemason is taught, as one of the earliest points of his initiation, that he should commence no important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity. Hence the next step in the progress of the opening ceremonies is to address a prayer to the Supreme Architect of the Universe. This prayer. although offered by the Master, is to be participated in by every Brother, and, at its conclusion, the audible response of "So mote it be" should be made by all present.
8. The Lodge is then declared, in the name of God and the Holy Saints John, to be opened in due form on the First, Second, or Third Degree of Freemasonry, so the case may be.
A Lodge is said to be opened in the name of God and the Holy Saints John, as a declaration of the sacred and religious purposes of the meeting, of profound reverence for that Divine Being whose name and attributes should be the constant themes of contemplation, and of respect for those ancient patrons whom the traditions of Freemasonry 80 intimately connect with the history of the Institution.
It is said to be opened in due boron, to intimate that all that is necessary, appropriate and usual in the ceremonies, all that the law requires or ancient usage renders indispensable, have been observed. Further, it is said to be opened on, and not in, a certain Degree, which latter expression is often incorrectly used, in reference rather to the speculative than to the legal character of the meeting, to indicate, not that the members are to be circumscribed in the limits of a particular Degree, but that they are met together to unite in contemplation on the symbolic teachings and divine lessons of that Degree.
The manner of opening in each Degree slightly varies. In the English system, the Lodge is opened in the First Degree "in the name of T. G. A. O. T. U."; in the Second, "on the square, in the name of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe"; and in the Third, "on the center, in the name of the Most High." It is prescribed as a ritualistic regulation that the Master shall never open or close his Lodge without a lecture or part of a lecture. Hence, in each of the Degrees a portion of the lecture of that Degree is incorporated into the opening and closing ceremonies. There is in every Degree of Freemasonry, from the lowest to the highest, an opening ceremony peculiar to the Degree. This ceremony has always more or less reference to the symbolic lesson which it is the design of the Degree to teach, and hence the varieties of openings are as many as the Degrees themselves.
- OPERATIVE ART
Freemasonry is divided by Masonic writers into two branches, an Operative Art and a Speculative Science. The Operative Art is that which was practiced by the Stone-Masons of the Middle Ages. The Speculative Science is that which is practiced by the Freemasons of the present day. The technicalities and usages of the former have been incorporated into and modified by the latter. Hence, Freemasonry is sometimes defined as a Speculative Science founded on an Operative Art.
- OPERATIVE MASONRY
Freemasonry, in its character as an Operative Art, is familiar to everyone. As such, it is engaged in the application of the rules and principles of architecture to the construction of edifices for private and public use, houses for the dwelling-place of man, and temples for the worship of the Deity. It abounds, like every other art, in the use of technical terms, and employs, in practice, an abundance of implements and materials which are peculiar to itself. This Operative Art has been the foundation on which has been built the Speculative Science of Freemasonry (see Speculative Masonry).
- OPERATIVE MASONS
Workers in stone, who construct material edifices, in contradistinction to Speculative Masons, who build spiritual edifices.
Name applied to those, as Dr. Thomas Carr, Dr. C. M. Merz, Sir John A. Cochburn, Sir Frederick Pollock, Clement E. Stretton, active in the modern study and practice of old gild customs.
The Brotherhood of the Serpent, which flourished in the second century, and held that there were two principles of eons and the accompanying theology. This Egyptian fraternity displayed a living serpent in their ceremonies, which was reverenced as a symbol of wisdom and a type of good.
When a Masonic obligation leaves to the person who assumes it the option to perform or omit any part of it, it is not to be supposed that such option is to be only his arbitrary will or unreasonable choice. On the contrary, in exercising it, he must lee governed and restrained by the principles of right and duty, and be controlled by the circumstances which surround the case, so that this option, which at first would seem to be a favor, really involves a great and responsible duty, that of exercising a just judgment in the premises. That. which at one time would be proper to perform, at another time and in different circumstances it would be equally proper to omit.
- ORAL INSTRUCTION
Much of the instruction which is communicated in Freemasonry, and, indeed, all that is esoteric, is given orally; and there is a law of the Institution that forbids such instruction to be written. There is in this usage and regulation a striking analogy to what prevailed on the same subject in all the secret institutions of antiquity. In all the Ancient Mysteries, the same reluctance to commit the esoteric instructions of the hierophants to writing is apparent; and hence the secret knowledge taught in their initiations was preserved in symbols, the true meaning of which was closely concealed from the profane. The Druids had a similar regulation; and Caesar informs us that, although they made use of the letters of the Greek alphabet to record their ordinary or public transactions, yet it was not considered lawful to entrust their sacred verses to writing, but these were always committed to memory by their disciples.
The secret doctrine of the Cabala, or the mystical philosophy of the Hebrews, was also communicated in an oral form, and could be revealed only through the medium of allegory and similitude. The Cabalistic knowledge, traditionally received, was, says Maurice (Indian Antiquities, volume iv, page 548), "transmitted verbally down to all the great characters celebrated in Jewish antiquity, among whom both David and Solomon were deeply conversant in its most hidden mysteries. Nobody, however, had ventured to commit anything of this kind to paper."
The Christian Church also, in the age immediately succeeding the apostolic period, observed the same custom of oral instruction. The early Fathers were eminently cautious not to commit certain of the mysterious dogmas of their religion to writing, lest the surrounding Pagans should be made acquainted with what they could neither understand nor appreciate. Saint Basil (De Spiritu Sancto), treating of this subject in the fourth century, says: "We receive the dogmas transmitted to us by writing, and those which have descended to us from the apostles, beneath the mystery of oral tradition; for several things have been handed down to us without writings lest the vulgar, too familiar with our dogmas, should lose a due respect for them." And the further asks, "Hom should it ever be becoming to write and circulate among the people an account of those things which the uninitiated are not permitted to contemplated. A custom, so ancient as this, of keeping the landmarks unwritten, and one so invariably observed by the Masonic Fraternity, it may very naturally be presumed, must have been originally established with the wisest intentions; and, as the usage was adopted by many other institutions whose organization was similar to that of Freemasonry, it may also be supposed that it was connected, in some way, with the character of an esoteric instruction. Two reasons it seems to Doctor Mackey, may be assigned for the adoption of the usage among Freemasons.
In the first place, by confining our secret doctrines and landmarks to the care of traditions all danger of controversies and schisms among Freemasons and in Lodges is effectually avoided. Of these traditions, the Grand Lodge in each Jurisdiction is the interpreter and to its authoritative interpretation every Freemason and every Lodge in the Jurisdiction is bound to submit. There is no book, to which every Brother may refer, whose language each one may interpret according to his own views, and whose expressions— sometimes, perhaps, equivocal and sometimes obscure —might afford ample sources of wordy contest and verbal criticism.
The doctrines themselves, as well as their interpretation, are contained in the memories of the Craft; and the Grand Lodges, as the lawful representatives of the Fraternity, are alone competent to decide whether the tradition has been correctly preserved, and what is its true interpretation. Hence it is that there is no institution in which there have been so few and such unimportant controversies with respect to essential and fundamental doctrines.
In illustration of this argument, Doctor Oliver, while speaking of what he calls the Antediluvian System of Freemasonry—a part of which must necessarily have been traditional, and transmitted from father to son, and a part entrusted to symbols—makes the following observations:
Such of the legends as were communicated orally would be entitled to the greatest degree of credence while those that were committed to the custody of symbols, which, it is probable, many of the collateral legends would be, were in great danger of perversion because the truth could only be ascertained by those persons who were incrusted with the secret of their interpretation.
And if the symbols were of doubtful character and carried a double meaning, as many of the Egyptian Hieroglyphies of a Subsequent age actually did, the legends which then embodied might sustain very considerable alteration in sixteen or seventeen hundred years, although passing through very few hands. Maimonides (More Nevochim, chapter lXXi assigns a similar reason for the ulnas written preservation of the Oral Law. He says:
This was the perfection of wisdom in our land and by this means those evils were avoided into which it fell in succeeding times, namely the variety and perplexity of sentiments and opinions and the doubts which so commonly arise from written doctrines contained in books, besides the errors shield are easily committed by writers and copyists whence, afterwards, spring up controversies, schisms, and confusion of parties.
A second reason that may be assigned for the unwritten ritual of Freemasonry is, that by compelling the Craftsman who desires to make any progress in his profession, to commit its doctrines to memory there is a greater probability of their being thoroughly studied and understood In confirmation of this Opinion. it will, Doctor Mackey believed, be readily acknowledged by anyone whose experience is at all extensive that, as a general rule, those skillful Brethren who are technically called Bright Masons, are better acquainted with the esoteric and unwritten portion of the lectures, which they were compelled to acquire under a competent instructor, and by oral information than with that which is published in the Monitors. and, therefore, always at hand to be read.
Caesar (Belli Gallae vi, 14) thought that this was the cause of the custom among the Druids, for, after mentioning that they did not suffer their doctrines to he committed to writing, he adds: "They seem to me to have adopted this method for two reasons: that their mysteries might be hidden from the common people, and to exercise the memory of their disciples, which would be neglected if they had books on which they might rely, as, we find, is often the case."
A third reason for this unwritten doctrine of Freemasonry, and one, perhaps, most familiar to the Craft, is also alluded to by Caesar in the case of the Druids, "because they did not wish their doctrines to be divulged to the common people." Maimonides, in the conclusion of the passage which we have already quoted, makes a similar remark with respect to the oral law of the Jews. "But if," says he, "so much care was exercised that the oral law should not he written in a book and laid open to all persons, lest, peradventure, it should become corrupted and depraved, how much more caution was required that the secret interpretations of that law should not be divulged to every person, and pearls be thus thrown to swine." "Wherefore," he adds, "they were entrusted to certain private persons, and by them were transmitted to other educated men of excellent and extraordinary gifts." For this regulation he quotes the Rabbis, who say that the secrets of the law are not delivered to any person except a man of prudence and wisdom.
It is, then, for these excellent reasons—to avoid idle controversies and endless disputes; to preserve the secrets of our Order from decay; and, by increasing the difficulties by which they are to be obtained, to diminish the probability of their being forgotten; and finally, to secure them from the unhallowed gaze of the profane—that the oral instruction of Freemasonry was first instituted, and still continues to be religiously observed. Its secret doctrines are the precious jewels of the Order, and the memories of Freemasons are the well-guarded caskets in which those jewels are to be preserved with unsullied purity. Hence it is appropriately said in our instructions that "the attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the secrets of Freemasonry are safely lodged in the Depository of faithful breasts."
- ORAL LAW
The Oral Law is the name given by the Jews to the interpretation of the written code, which is said to have been delivered to Moses at the same time, accompanied by the Divine command: "Thou shalt not divulge the words which I have said to thee out of my mouth." The Oral Law was, therefore never entrusted to books; but, being preserved in the memories of the judges, prophets, priests, and other wise men, was handed down, from one to the other, through a long succession of ages. Maimonides has described, according to the Rabbinical traditions, the mode adopted by Moses to impress the principles of this Oral Law upon the people. As an example of perseverance in the acquirement of information by oral instruction, it may be worthy of the consideration and imitation of all those Freemasons who wish to perfect themselves in the esoteric lessons of their Institution.
When Moses had descended from Mount Sinai, and had spoken to the people, he retired to his tent. Here he was visited by Aaron. to whom, sitting at his feet, he recited the law and its explanation, as he had received it from God. Aaron then rose and seated himself on the right hand of Moses. Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of barons now entered the tent, and Moses repeated to them all that he had communicated to their father; after which, they seated themselves, one on the left hand of Moses and the other on the right hand of Aaron. Then went in the seventy elders, and Moses taught them, in the same manner as he had taught Aaron and his sons. Afterward, all of the congregation who desired to know the Divine Will came in; and to them, also, Moses recited the law and its interpretation, in the same manner as before.
The law, thus orally delivered by Moses, had now been heard four times by Aaron, three times by his sons, twice by the seventy elders, and once by the rest of the people. After this, Moses withdrawing, Aaron repeated all that he had heard from Moses, and retired; then Eleazar and Ithamar repeated it, and also withdrew; and, finally, the same thing was done by the seventy elders; so that each of them having heard the law repeated four times, it was thus, finally, fixed in their memories.
The written law, divided by the Jewish lawgivers into 613 precepts, is contained in the Pentateuch. But the oral law, transmitted by Moses to Joshua, by him to the elders, and from them conveyed by traditionary relation to the time of Judah the Holy, was by him, to preserve it from being forgotten and lost, committed to writing in the work known as the Mishna. And now, no longer an Oral Law, its percepts are to be found in that book, with the subsidiary aid of the Constitutions of the Prophets and Wise Alen, the Decrees of the Sanhedrim, the Decisions of the Judges, and the Expositions of the Doctors.
The stated object of this organization was to preserve the supremacy of the Crown and Protestantism. Founded in 1795 by Thomas Wilson, a Freemason; composed of one grade. John Templeton, in 1796, introduced the Purple Degree and later the Markman's Grade and the Heroine of Jericho were added. Not a Masonic Body though somewhat connected, evidently, with Freemasonry during that early period (see Orangeism in Ireland and Throughout the Empire, R. M. Sibbett, Belfast).
An officer in a Lodge whose duty it is to explain to a candidate after his initiation the mysteries of the Degree into which he has just been admitted. The office is therefore, in many respects, similar to that of a Lecturer. The office was created in the French Lodges early in the eighteenth century, soon after the introduction of Freemasonry into France. A writer in the London Freemasons Magazine for 1859 attributes its origin to the constitutional deficiency of the French in readiness of public speaking. From the French it pulsed to the other Continental Lodges, and was adopted by the Scottish Rite. The office ss not generally recognized in the English and American system, where its duties are performed by the Worshipful Master. Though a few Lodges under the English Constitution do appoint an Orator, namely, the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, the Pilgrim Lodge, No. 238, the Constitutional Lodge, No. 294, and the La Cesarce Lodge, No. 590.
Brother Oswald Wirth of Paris, in conversation with Brother Clegg, expressed a neat distinction from a French point of view between the Orator and the Secretary, the latter guarding the memory of the Lodge, the former voicing its conscience.
An Order may be defined to be a brotherhood, fellowship, or association of certain persons, united by laws and statutes peculiar to the society, engaged in a common object or design, and distinguished by particular habits, ensigns, badges or symbols.
Johnson's definition is that an Order is "a regular governmental society of dignified persons distinguished by marks of honor, and a religious fraternity." In all of these senses Freemasonry may be styled an Order. Its government is of the most regular and systematic character; men the most eminent for dignity and reputation have been its members; and if it does not constitute a religion in itself, it is at least religion's handmaid.
The ecclesiastical writers define an Order to be a congregation or society or religious persons, governed by particular rules, living under the same superior, in the same manner, and wearing the same habit; a definition equally applicable to the society of Freemasons. These ecclesiastical Orders are divided into three classes:
- l. Monastic, such as the Benedictines and the Augustinians.
- 2. The Mendicant, as the Dominicans and the Franciscans.
- 3. The Military, as the Hospitalers, the Templars, and the Teutonic Knights.
Only the first and the third have any connection with Freemasonry; the first because it was by them that architecture was fostered, and the Masonic Gilds patronized in the Middle Ages; and the third because it was in the bosom of Freemasonry that the Templars found a refuge after the dissolution of their Order.
- ORDER BOOK
The book to which all appeals were made, in the Order of Strict Observance, as to matters of history, usage, or ritual. It was invariably bound in red.
- ORDER NAME
The name or designation assumed by initiates of the Illuminati, the members of the Rite of Strict Observance, and of the Royal Order of Scotland, was called the Order Name, or the Characteristic Name (see Eques). The Illuminati selected classical names, of which the following are specimens: the real surnames at the left, the assumed ones at the right:
- Weishaupt .............. Knigge ............... Bode
- Nicolai ................... Westenreider ...... Constanza
- Zwack .................... Count Savioli ..... Busche
- Ecker ...................... Spartacus ........... Philo
- Amelius .................. Lucian ............... Pythagoras
- Diomedes ............... Cato ................... Brutus
- Bavard Saladin
The members of the Strict Observance formed their Order Names in a different way. Following the custom of the combatants in the old tournaments each called himself an Eques, or Knight of some particular object; as, Knight of the Sword, Knight of the Star, etc. Where one belonged both to this Rite and to that of Illuminism, his Order Name in each was different. Thus Bode, as an Illuminatus, was, we have seen, called Amelius, but as a Strict Observant', he was known as Eques a lilio convallium, or Knight of the Lily-of-the-Valleys. The following examples may suffice. A full list in Thory's Acta Latomorum.
- Hund, Eques ab ense = Knight of the Sword.
- Jacobi, Eques à stellâ = Knight of the Star.
- Count Bruhl, Eques ä gladio ancipiti = Knight of the Double-edged Sword.
- Bode, Eques à lilio convallium = Enight of the Lily-of-the Valleys.
- Beyerle, Edges a fasciâ = Knight of the Girdle.
- Berend, Eques â septem stellis = Knight of the Seven Stars
- Decker, Eques â plasula = Knight of the Curtain.
- Lavater, Eques ab Æculapio = Knight of Esculapius.
- Seckendorf, Eques a capricorno = Knight of Capricorn
- Prince Charles Edward, Eques d sole aureo = Knight of the Golden Sun.
- Zinnendorf, Eques a lapide nigro = Knight of the Black Stone.
- ORDER OF BUSINESS
In every Masonic Body, the By-laws should prescribe an Order of Business, and in proportion as that order is rigorously observed will be the harmony and celerity with which the business of the Lodge will be despatched. In Lodges whose By-laws have prescribed no settled order, the arrangement of business is left to the discretion of the presiding officer, who, however, must be governed, to some extent, by certain general rules founded on the principles of parliamentary law, or on the suggestions of common sense. The order of business may, for convenience of reference, be placed in the following tabular form:
- 1. Opening of the Lodge.
- 2. Reading and confirmation of the Minutes.
- 3. Reports on Petitions.
- 4. Balloting for Candidates.
- 5. Reports of Special Committees.
- 6. Reports of Standing Committees.
- 7. Consideration of Motions made at a former meeting if called up by a member.
- 8. New business.
- 9. Initiations.
- 10. Reading of the Minutes for information and correction.
- 11. Closing of the Lodge.
- ORDER OF CHRIST
See Christ, Order of
- ORDER OF JEANNE D'ARC
Organized at Berkeley, California, by Brother Henry Byron Phillips, who wrote the ritual, and after whom the first Assembly was named. Membership limited to girls between the ages of 14 and 21, sisters or daughters of Master Masons or companions of these girls Ritual has four Degrees, Myriam, Deborah, Maria, and Jeanne d'Arc, and the motto is Magni Dominic Umbra, Under the Shadow of a Great Name.
- ORDER OF LIGHT
In l90l this body of students in occult philosophy was revived at Bradford, England, by the Rosicrucian Adepts, Dr. J. B. Edwards and T. H. Pattinson.
- ORDER OF THE BOOKSee Stukely, Doctor
- ORDER OF THE TEMPLE
See Temple, Order of the
- ORDER, RULES OF
Every permanent deliberative Body adopts a code of rules of order to suit itself; but there are certain rules derived from what may be called the Common Law of Congress and Parliament, the wisdom of which having been proven by long experience, that have been deemed of force at all times and places, and are, with a few necessary exceptions, as applicable to Lodges as to other societies. The rules of order, sanctioned by uninterrupted usage and approved by all authorities, may be enumerated under the following distinct heads, as applied to a Masonic Body:
- 1. Two independent original propositions cannot be presented at the same time to the meeting.
- 2. A subsidiary motion cannot be offered out of its rank of precedence.
- 3. When a Brother intends to speak, he is required to stand up in his place, and to address himself always to the presiding officer.
- 4. When two or more Brethren rise nearly at the same time, the presiding officer will indicate, by mentioning his name, the one who, in his opinion, is entitled to the floor.
- 5. A Brother is not to be interrupted by any other member, except for the purpose of calling him to order.
- 6. No Brother can speak oftener than the rules permit but this rule may be dispensed with by the Master.
- 7. No one is to disturb the speaker by hissing unnecessary coughing, loud whispering, or other unseemly noise, nor should he pass between the speaker and the presiding officer.
- 8. No personality, abusive remarks, or other improper language should be used by any Brother in debate.
- 9. If the presiding officer rises to speak while a Brother is on the floor, that Brother should immediately sit down, that the presiding officer may be heard.
- 10. Everyone who speaks should speak to the question.
- 11. As a sequence to this, it follows that there can be no speaking unless there be a question before the Lodge. There must always be a motion of some kind to authorize a debate.
For additional information consult Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry.
- ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE
An order in architecture is a system or assemblage of parts subject to certain uniform established proportions regulated by the office which such part has to perform, so that the disposition, in a peculiar form, of the members and ornaments, and the proportion of the columns and pilasters, is called an order. There are five orders of architecture, the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite—the first three being of Greek and the last two of Italian origin (see each in this work under its respective title). Considering that the orders of architecture must have constituted one of the most important subjects of contemplation to the Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, and that they afforded a fertile source for their symbolism, it is strange that so little allusion is made to them in the primitive lectures and in the earliest catechisms of the eighteenth century. In the earliest catechism extant, they are simply enumerated, and said to answer "to the base, perpendicular, diameter, circumference, and square" but no explanation is given of this reference. Nor sire they referred to in the Legend of the Craft, or in any of the Old Constitutions. Preston however, introduced them into his system of lectures, and designated the three most ancient orders—the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian—as symbols of wisdom, strength, and beauty, and referred them to the three original Grand Masters. This symbolism has ever since been retained; and, notwithstanding the reticence of the earlier ritualists, there is abundant evidence, in the architectural remains of the Middle Ages, that it was known to the old Operative Freemasons.
- ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE, EGYPTIAN
The Egyptians had a system of architecture peculiar to themselves, which, says Barlow (Essays on Symbolistrns, page 30), "should indicate a people of grand ideas, and of confirmed religious convictions." It was massive, and without the airy proportions of the Greek Orders. It was, too, eminently symbolic and among its ornaments the lotus leaf and plant predominated as a symbol of regeneration. Among the peculiar forms of the Egyptian architecture were the fluted column, which suggested the Ionic Order to the Greeks, and the basket capital adorned with the lotus, which, afterward became the Corinthian. To the Masonic student, the Egyptian style of architecture becomes interesting, because it was undoubtedly followed by King Solomon in his construction of the Temple. The great similarity between the pillars of the porch and the columns in front of Egyptian temples is very apparent. Our translators have, however, unfortunately substituted the lily for the lotus in their version.
- ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD
An order of knighthood is a confraternity of knights bound by the same rules. Of these there are many in every kingdom of Europe, bestowed by sovereigns on their subjects as marks of honor and rewards of merit. Such, for instance, are in England the Knights of the Garter; in Scotland the Knights of Saint Andrew; and in Ireland the Knights of Saint Patrick. But the only Orders of Knighthood that have had any historical relation to Freemasonry, except the Order of Charles XII in Sweden, are the three great religious and military Orders which were established in the Middle Ages.
These are the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaler or Knights of Malta, and the Teutonic Knights, each of which may be seen in this work under its respective title. Of these three, the Freemasons can really claim a connection only with the Templars. They alone had a secret initiation, and with them there is at least traditional evidence of a fusion. The Knights of Malta and the Teutonic Knights have always held themselves aloof from the Masonic Order. They never had a secret form of initiation; their reception was open and public; and the former Order, indeed, during the latter part of the eighteenth century, became the willing instruments of the Church in the persecution of the Freemasons who were at that time in the Island of Malta. There is, indeed, a Masonic Degree called Knight of Malta, but the existing remnant of the historical order has always repudiated it. With the Teutonic Knights, the Freemasons have no other connection than this, that in some of the advanced Degrees their peculiar cross has been adopted. An attempt has been made, but without reason, to identify the Teutonic Knights with the Prussian Knights, or Noachites.
- ORDERS OF THE DAY
In parliamentary law, propositions which pre-appointed for consideration at a particular hour and day are called the orders of the day. When the day arrives for their discussion, they talk precedence of all other matters, unless passed over by mutual consent or postponed to another day. The same rules in reference to these orders prevail in Masonic as in other assemblies. The parliamentary law is here applicable without modification to Masonic Bodies.
The Old Constitutions known as the Halliwell or Regius Manuscript, fourteenth century, speak of an ordinacio in the sense of a law, "Alia ordinacio artis gemetriae (line 471). It is borrowed from the Roman law, where ordtnatio signified an Imperial Edict. In the Middle Ages, the word was used in the sense of a statute, or the decision of a judge.
At the close of the reception of a neophyte into the Order of Elect Cohens, the Master, while communicating to him the mysterious words, touched him with the thumb, index, and middle fingers, the other two being closed, on the forehead, heart, and side of the head, thus making the figure of a triangle . This ceremony was called the ordination.
- ORDNUNGEN DER STEINMETZEN
German, meaning Regulations of the Stonecutters. For an account of the German Fraternity of Steinmetzen see Stone Masons of the Middle Ages.
- ORDO AB CHAO
A Latin expression, meaning Order out of Chaos. A motto of the Thirty-third Degree, and having the same allusion as lug e tenebris, which see in this work. The invention of this motto is to be attributed to the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish petite at Charleston, and it is first met with in the Patent of Count de Grasse, dated February 1, 1802. When De Grasse afterward carried the polite over to France and established a Supreme Council there, he changed the motto, and, according to Lenning, Ordo ab hoc, Order out of This, was used by him and his Council in all their documents. If so, it was simply a blunder.
The Grand Lodge of Missouri granted authority for the organization of Multnomah Lodge at Oregon City in 1848. When two other Lodges were opened under the Grand Lodge of California the requisite number for the formation of a Grand Lodge of Oregon was complete. On August 16, 1851, a Convention was held at Oregon City, with Brother Berryman Jennings in the Chair and Brother Benjamin Stark, Secretary, which decided in favor of a Grand Lodge. An address was sent out and a further meeting called for September 13, 1851. Multnomah, Willamette and Lafayette Lodges, the three then existing in the state, sent representatives, and Brothers John Elliott and W. S. Caldwell were elected Chairman and Secretary. Two days later a Constitution was adopted and Brothers Jennings and Stark were installed Grand Master and Grand Secretary respectively.
Multnomah Chapter, No. 1, Royal Arch Masons, at Salem, was granted a Dispensation about April May, 1856, by the General Grand High Priest, Robert P. Dunlap, Brunswick, Maine, and the first meeting held under this authority occurred on June 17 of the same year. Records of this Chapter were submitted to the General Grand Chapter at the Triennial Convocation in Hartford, Connecticut, later in the above year and a Charter was issued accordingly under the date of September 11, 1856. This Charter reached Salem in due course and Past Grand High Priest William H. Howard, Grand Chapter of Louisiana, was chosen to constitute the Chapter under the Charter Companion Howard residing in San Francisco, it was not until February 14, 1857, that the Chapter was legally constituted and the officers installed.
A Dispensation for Portland Chapter, No. 3, at Portland, was dated January 1, 1859, and the first meeting took place on February 12 of that year. A Charter for this Chaps ter was issued on September 15, 1859, and the officers installed on January 12, 1860. The Grand Chapter of Oregon was organized at Salem on September 18, 1860, by representatives of Multnomah Chapter, No. 1, Salem; Clackamas Chapter, No. 2, Oregon City Portland Chapter, No. 3, Portland, and Oregon Chaps ter, No. 4, Jacksonville. Clackamas Chapter, No. 9, and Oregon Chapter, No. 4, surrendered their Charters soon after the organization of the Grand Chapter of Oregon but were later on chartered anew with the same names and numbers as Clackamas Chapter No. 2, on June 12, 1893, and Oregon Chapter No. 4, on June 9, 1877.
Companion A. H. Hodson was authorized by the General Grand Master of the General Grand Council to convene a minimum of five Royal and Select Masters and to confer the Degrees upon not more than nine Royal Arch Masons. Pioneer Council, No. l, was therefore organized at McMinnville by Dispensation dated September 1, 1881. A Charter was issued August 14, 1883. A Convention composed of representatives from the three Councils in the State, namely, Pioneer, No. 1; Oregon, No. 2, and Washington, No. 3, was held on February 3, 1885, and a Grand Council was formed by Dispensation from General Grand Master George M. Osgoodby, dated December 15, 1884.
A Special Dispensation from the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States was issued December 10, 1875, for Oregon Commandery, Noel. A Regular Dispensation followed on February 15. On October 6, 1877, the Charter was signed and the first meeting as a chartered Commandery tool place on. October 22. The Grand Commandery of Oregon was organized in Albany, on Thursday, February 10,1887,and Sir Knight James F. Robinson was elected first Grand Commander. The Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, Charles Roome, under date of March 4, 1887, gave his authority to complete the organization and to install the Grand Officers, which was done on April 13, 1887.
The history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Oregon begins with the establishment in Portland of Oregon Lodge of Perfection, No. 1; Ainsworth Chapter of Rose Croix, No. 1: Multnomah Council of Eadosh, No. 1, and Oregon Consistory, No. 1. Their Charters were dated February 5, 1870, November 14, 1871, January 11, 1872, and March 20, 1891, respectively.
- ORGANIST, GRAND
An officer in the Grand Lodge of England, Scotland, and Ireland whose duty it is to superintend the musical exercises on private and public occasions. He must be a Master Mason, and is required to attend the Quarterly and other communications of the Grand Lodge. His jewel is an antique lyre. Grand Lodges in this country do not recognize such an officer. But an organist has been recently employed since the introduction of musical services into Lodge ceremonies by some Lodges.
- ORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND LODGES
See Grand Lodge
The East. The place where a Lodge is situated is sometimes called its Orient, but more properly its East. The seat of a Gand Lodge has also sometimes been called its Grand Orient; but here Grand East would, perhaps, be better. The term Grand Orient has been used to designate certain of the Supreme Bodies on the Continent of Europe, and also in South America; as, the Grand Orient of France, the Grand Orient of Portugal, the Grand Orient of Brazil, the Grand Orient of New Grenada, etc. The title always has reference to the East as the place of honor in Freemasonry (see East, Grand ) .
- ORIENT, GRAND
See Grand Orient and East, Grand
- ORIENT, GRAND COMMANDER OF THE
The French title is Grand Commandeur d'Orient. The Forty-third Degree of the Rite of Mizraim.
- ORIENT, INTERIOR
A name sometimes used in Germany to designate a Grand Chapter or superintending body of the higher Degrees. The French title is Interieur Orient; the Gerrnan, Innere, innerster, Orient.
- ORIENT OF FRANCE, GRAND
- ORIENT, ORDER OF THE
In French, Ordre d'Orient. The Order was founded, says Thory (Acta Latomorum, volume I, page 330), at Paris, in 1806, on the system of the Templars, to whom it traced its origin.
- ORIENTAL CHAIR OF SOLOMON
The seat of the Master in a Symbolic Lodge, and so called because the Master is supposed symbolically to fill the place over the Craft once occupied by King Solomon. For the same reason, the seat of the Grand Master in the Grand Lodge receives the same appellation. In England it is called the throne.
- ORIENTAL PHILOSOPHY
A peculiar system of doctrines concerning the Divine Nature which is said to have originated in Persia, its founder being Zoroaster, whence it passed through Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and was finally introduced among the Greeks, whose philosophical systems it at times modified. Pliny calls it a magical philosophy, and says that Democritus, having traveled into the East for the purpose of learning it, and returning home, taught it in his Mysteries. It gave birth to the sect of Gnostics, and most of it being adopted by the School of Alexandria, it was taught by Philo, Jamblichus, and other disciples of that school. Its essential feature was the theory of emanations, which see. Oriental Philosophy permeates, sometimes to a very palpable extent, Ineffable, Philosophic, and Hermetic Freemasonry, being mixed up and intertwined with the Jewish and Cabalistic Philosophy.
A knowledge of the Oriental Philosophy is there fore essential to the proper understanding of these advanced Degrees.
- ORIENTAL RITE
The title first assumed by the Rite of Memphis (see Marconis, also Memphis, Rite of ).
The orientation of a Lodge is its situation due East and West. The word is derived from the technical language of architecture, where it is applied, in the expression orientation of churches to designate a similar direction in building. Although Masonic Lodges are still, when circumstances will permit, built on an east and west direction, the explanation of the usage, contained in the old lectures of the eighteenth century, that it was "because all chapels and churches are, or ought to be so," has become obsolete, and other symbolic reasons are assigned.
Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that such was really the origin of the usage. The orientation of churches was a principle of ecclesiastical architecture very generally observed by builders, in accordance with ecclesiastical law from the earliest times after the apostolic age. Thus in the Apostolic Constitutions, which, although falsely attributed to Saint Clement, are yet of great antiquity, we find the express direction, Sit aedes oblonga ad orientem versus—let the church be of an oblong boron, directed to the East—a direction which would be strictly applicable in the building of a Lodge-room.
Saint Charles Borromeo, in his Instructiones Fabricae Ecclesiasticae, is still more precise, and directs that the rear or altar part of the church shall look directly to the east, in orientem versus recta spectat, and that it shall be not ad solstitialem sed ad aequinoctialeen orientem—not to the Solstitial East, which varies by the deflection of the sun's rising, but to the Equinoctial East, where the sun rises at the equinoxes, that is to say, due East.
But we must not forget that, as Bingham (Antiquities, book viii, chapter in) admits, although the usage was very general to erect churches toward the East, yet "it admitted of exceptions, as necessity or expediency"; and the same exception prevails in the construction of Lodges, which, although always erected due East and West, where circumstances will permit, are sometimes from necessity built in a different direction. But whatever may be externally the situation of the Lodge with reference to the points of the compass, it is always considered internally that the Master's seat is in the east, and therefore that the Lodge is "situated due East and West." As to the original interpretation of the usage, there is no doubt that the Masonic was derived from the ecclesiastical, that is, that Lodges were at first built East and West because churches were; nor can we help believing that the church borrowed and Christianized its symbol from the Pagan reverence for the place of sunrising. The admitted reverence in Freemasonry for the east as the place of lithe, gives to the usage the modern Masonic interpretation of the symbol of orientation. The Fardle of Facions, printed in 1555, has a quaint description of church arrangement. This curious essay is found in the Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments 1906, John M. Neale and Benjamin Webb. Fardle, by the way, means package or bundle. The importance of the direction of the building is indicated by the positive instructions.
Oratories, temples, or places of prayer, which we call churches, might not be built without the good will of the bishop of the diocese. And when the timber was ready to be framed, and the foundation digged, it behoved them to sende for the bishoppe, to hallowe the firste corner stone of the foundation, and to make the signe of the Crosse thereupon, and to laie it, and directe it juste easte and west. And then might the masons sette upon the stone, but not afore. This churche did they use to builds after the facion of a crosse, and not unlike the shape of a manne. The channcelle, in the whiche is conteined the highe altars and the quiere, directe fulle in the easte, representeth the heade, and therefore ought to be somewhat rounde, and muche shorter than the body of the churche. And yet upon respect that the heade is the place for the eyes, it ought to be of more lighte, and to bee seperate with a partition, in the steade of a neeke, from the bodye of the churche. This particion the Latine calleth cancelli, and obt of that cometh our terme channcelle. On eche side of this channcelle peradventure, for so fitteth it beste, should stand a turret; as it were for two ears, and in these the belles to be hanged, to calle the people to service, by daie and by night. Undre one of these turretts is there commonly a vaulte, whose doore openeth into the quiere, and in this are laid up the hallowed vessels and ornamented and other utensils of the churche.
We call it a vestrie. The other part oughte to be fitted, that having as it were on eche side an arme, the reste maye resemble the bodye with the fete stretched in breadthe, and in lengthe. On eche side of the bodye the pillers to stande, upon whose coronettes or heades the vaulte or rophe of the churche maye reste. And to the foote beneth aulters to be joyned.
Those aulters to be orderly allay coffered with two aulter clothes, and garnished with the erosse of Christe, or some little cofre of reliques. At eehe ende a candelsticke, and a booke towarde the middes. The walls to be painted without and within and diversely paineted.
That they also should have in every parish a fair round stone, made hollow and fitt to hold water. in the which the water consecrate for baptism may be kept for the christening of children. Upon the right hand of the high aulter that there should be an almorie, either cut into the wall or framed upon it, in the sthich they should have the saerament of the Lorde's body, the holy oyle for the sieke, and ehrismatorie, alwaie to be locked. Furthermore they would that ther should be a pullpite in the middes of the church, wherein the prieste maye stonde upon Sondaies and holidays to teaehe the people those things that it behoveth them to knowe. The channeelle to serve onlsr for the priests and cierks; the rest of the temporalle multitude to be in the bodye of the ehurche, seperate notwithstanding, the men on the right side, and the women on the left.
Messrs. Neale and Webb show in their introduction the tendency of the earliest churches to produce an antitype to the typical Tabernacle, and also that it has been pointed out that a Christian Church built at Edessa in 202 A.D., with three parts, was expressly after the model of the Temple. Referring to the Apostolic Constitutions we are told, " 'The Church', they say must be oblong in form, and pointing to the Esqqt.
The oblong form was meant to symbolize a ship, the ark which was to save us from the stormy world.
The Church of Saints Vincenzo and Anastatio at Rome, near Saint Paolo alle Tre Fontane, built by Honorius I, 630 A.D., has its wall curbed like the ribs of a ship.
The Constitution itself refers to the resemblance of this oblong form to a ship. It would be perfectly unnecessary to support this obvious piece of symbolism by citations.
The orientation is an equally valuable example of intended symbolism. We gain an additional testimony to this from the well-known passage of Tertullian, 200 A.D., about 'The house of our dove.' Whether this corrupt extract be interpreted with Mede or Bingham, there can be no doubt that it its in lucem means that the church should face the East or dayspring.
The praying towards the East was the almost invariable custom in the early churches, and as symbolical as their standing in prayer upon the Festivals of the Resurrection. So common was orientation in the most ancient churches, that Socrates mentions particularly the church at Antioch as having its 'position reversed: for the altar does not look to the east but to the west.' This rule appears to have been more scrupulously followed in the East than in the West; though even in Europe examples to the contrary are exceptions" (see Oblongs) .
The ancient banner which originally belonged to the Abbey of Saint Denis, and was borne by the Counts of Vezin, patrons of that church but which, after the country of Vezin fell into the hands of the French crown, became the principal banner of the kingdom. In heraldic language it is described as charged with a saltire wavy or, with rays issuing from the center crossways; Seccee into points, each bearing a tassel of green silk.
The banner is also described as a red flag or gonfalon divided on the lower edge into points, as three or five, each having a tassel of green silk, the banner carried on a gilded staff or gold spear. In heraldry the term, oriflamme, has been applied to a red banner charged or decorated on the surface with fleurs-de-lys of gold, the fleurs-delys being a conventional design of some obscurity as to origin but probably meant for repetitions of sets of three leaves or lobes representing a flower, as a lily for example, such as were on the royal arms of France from the reign of Charles VII (see Gonfaloat)
- ORIGINAL POINTS
The old lectures of the eighteenth century, which are now obsolete, contained the following instruction: "There are in Freemasonry twelve original points, which form the basis of the system and comprehend the whole ceremony of initiation. Without the existence of these points, no man ever was, or can be, legally and essentially received into the Order. Every person who is made a Freemason must go through all these twelve forms and ceremonies, not only in the First Degree, but in every subsequent one."
- ORIGIN OF FREEMASONRY
The origin and source whence first sprang the institution of Freemasonry, such as we now have it, has given rise to more difference of opinion and discussion among Masonic scholars than any other topic in the literature of the Institution. Writers on the history of Freemasonry have, at different times, attributed its origin to the following sources:
- 1 The Patriarchal religion.
- 2 The Ancient Pagan Mysteries.
- 3. The Temple of King Solomon
- 4. The Crusaders.
- 5. The Knights Templar.
- 6 The Roman Colleges of Artificers
- 7 The Operative Masons of the Middle Ages.
- 8. The Rosicrucians of the sixteenth century
- 9. Oliver Cromwell, for the advancement of his political schemes.
- 10. The Pretender, for the restoration of the Eouse of Stuart to the British throne.
- 11. Sir Christopher Wren at the building of Sailt Paul's Cathedral.12. Doctor Desaguliers and his associates in the year 1717.
Each of these twelve theories has been from time to time, and the twelfth within a recent period. sustained with much zeal, if not always with much judgment, by their advocates. A few of them, hon~ever, have long since been abandoned, but the others still attract attention and find defenders. Doetor Mackey had his own views of the subject in his boots History of Freemasonry, to which the reader is referred (see Antiquity of Freemasonry Egyptians Mysteries; Roman College Artificers; Como; Comacine Masters; Traveling Masons; Stone-Masons of Middle Ages; Four Old Lodges; Revival; Speculative Freemasonry).
- ORLEANS, DUKE OF
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of Orleans, better known in history by his revolutionary name of Egalite, meaning Equality, was the fifth Grand Master of the Masonic Order in France. As Duke of Chartres, the title which he held during the life of his father, he was elected Grand Master in the year 1771, upon the death of the Count de Clermont. Having appointed the Duke of Luxemburg his Substitute, he did not attend a meeting of the Grand Lodge until 1777, but had in the meantime paid much attention to the interests of Freemasonry, visiting many of the Lodges, and laying the foundation-stone of a Masonic Hall at Bordeaux.
His abandonment of his family and his adhesion to the Jacobins during the Revolution, when he repudiated his hereditary title of Duke of Orleans and assumed the republican one of Egalite, forms a part of the history of the times. On the 22d of February, 1793, he wrote a letter to Milsent, the editor, over the signature of Citoven Egalite, which was published ain the Journal de Paris, and which contains the following passages:
"This is my Masonic history. At one time, when certainly no one could have foreseen our Revolution, I was in favor of Freemasonry, which presented to me a sort of image of equality, as I was in favor of the Parliament, which presented a sort of image of liberty.
I have since quitted the phantom for the reality. In the month of December last, the Secretary of the Grand Orient having addressed himself to the person who discharged the functions, near me, of Secretary of the Grand Master, to obtain my opinion on a question relating to the affairs of that Society, I replied to him on the 5th of January as follows: 'As I do not know how the Grand Orient is composed, and as, besides, I think that there should be no mystery nor secret assembly in a Republic, especially at the commencement of its establishment, I desire no longer to mingle in the affairs of the Grand Orient, nor in the meetings of the Freemasons."'
In consequence of the publication of this letter, the Grand Orient on May 13, 1793, declared the Grand Mastership vacant, thus virtually deposing their recreant chief. He soon reaped the reward of his treachery and political debasement. On the 6th of November in the same year he suffered death on the guillotine.
- ORMUS or ORMESIUS
See Rose Croiz of Gold, Brethren of the.
- ORMUZD AND AHRIMAN
Ormuzd was the principle of good and the symbol of light, and Ahriman the principle of evil and the symbol of darkness in the old Persian religion (see Zoroaster).
- ORNAMENTS OF A LODGE
The lectures describe the ornaments of a Lodge as consisting of the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star. They are called ornaments because they are really the decorations with which a properly furnished Lodge, is adorned (see these respective words).
- ORNAN THE JEBUSITE
He was an inhabitant of Jerusalem, at the time that city was called Jebus, from the son of Canaan, whose descendants peopled it. He was the owner of the threshing-floor situated on Mount Moriah, in the same spot on which the Temple was afterward built. This threshing floor David bought to erect on it an altar to God (First Chronicles xxi, 18 to 25). on the same spot Solomon afterward built the Temple. Hence, in Masonic language, the Temple of Solomon is sometimes spoken of as "the threshing-Soor of Ornan the Jebusite" (see Threshing-Floor).
A brief paragraph in the Book of Constitutions edited by John Entick, M. A., 1756, announces January 31, 1738-9, the rejection of "a scheme for the placing out Mason's sons apprentices." This was proposed by John Boaman. His proposal is in the Rawlinson Manuscript C. 136, in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The proposition was to raise yearly three hundred and ten pounds for the carrying on and providing for twenty children of Masons and binding four to trades every year. Brother Boaman prepared a careful statement and asserted that "security given for the performance, if the Brethren cheerfully agree to pay only one-half penny a week each." The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls was proposed in 1788 by the Chevalier Bartholomew Ruspini, initiated at Bristol, April 7, 1762, in the Bush Lodge. Formal recognition was extended to the School at the Quarterly Communication in February, 1790, by the Grand Lodge of the Moderns.
Freemasonry was introduced into Sweden from England about 1735 and seems to have taken great hold of the wealthy classes. In 1753 Swedish Lodges were anxious to commemorate the birth of a Princess of the royal house that sheltered them. They hit upon the plan of establishing an orphan asylum at Stockholm. An annual concert was organized for the benefit of this institution, and proved no less successful as a source of revenue than the great festival of the English School. In 1767 a great accession to the resources of the Swedish institution took place. In that year a wealthy merchant of Stoekholm, Johann Bohmann, a member of the Grand Lodge of Sweden, endowed it with three hundred thousand copper dollars. This sum is not quite as formidable as it seems. Thory, from whom we borrow the account, is careful to indicate that it represented only one hundred and thirty thousand francs, or about fifty-two hundred pounds sterling (over twenty-five thousand dollars). There is an odd similarity between the names of the English Brother Boaman and the Swedish Brother Bohmann or Boman. The one sounds like an attempt to reproduce the other.
In 1778 the Queen of Sweden gave the Asylum an endowment of sixty dollars a year and the Burgomaster in Stockholm a like sum. The news of this patronage incited the Brethren of Gottemburg to emulate the beneficence of their Brethren at Stockholm and they too founded in 1756 a benevolent institution for children. This institution has adopted the plan of boarding out the children in selected families under proper supervision; a plan which has many advantages and which has worked satisfactorily under their painstaking-administration. Nor did this close the tale of Swedish benevolence towards the orphans of the Craft in those early days. In 1762 the Lodge Gustaf in Karlskrona founded there an orphanage with a section for Freemasons' children.
The Brethren of Stockholm have provided a magnificent home at Cnstineberg where they maintain an average of one hundred and forty orphans of the Craft.
"Sundry Brethren" in Dublin in 1792 formed themselves into a "Society for the schooling of the orphaned female children of distressed Masons." This received the recognition and the sanction of the Grand Lodge in 1795 and at the Communication of February, 1796, thanks were voted to the "worthy Brethren with whom the idea originated."
The Royal Masonic Institution for Boys was in 1798 projected by some English Brethren, members of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient who planned a scheme "for clothing and educating the sons of indigent Freemasons." The above information by Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley is in the Christmas number of the Freemason, 1897, and is also in the Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge (pages 167 to 186, volume xxviii, 1910; see also Charity and Benevolence).
There are no less than four persons to whom the ancients gave the name of Orpheus, but of these only one is worthy of notice as the inventor of the Mysteries, or, at least, as the introducer of them into Greece. The genuine Orpheus is said to have been a Thracian, and a disciple of Linus, who flourished when the kingdom of the Athenians was dissolved. From him the Thracian or Orphic Mysteries derived their name, because he first introduced the sacred rites of initiation and mystical doctrines into Greece. He was, according to fabulous tradition, torn to pieces by Ciconian women, and after his death he was deified by the Greeks.
The story, that by the power of his harmony he drew wild beasts and trees to him, has been symbolically interpreted, that by his sacred doctrines he tamed men of rustic and savage disposition. An abundance of fables has clustered around the name of Orpheus; but it is at least generally admitted by the learned, that he was the founder of the system of initiation into the sacred Mysteries as practiced in Greece. The Grecian theology, says Thomas Taylor—himself the most Grecian of all moderns—originated from Orpheus, and was promulgated by him, by Pythagoras, and by Plato; by the first, mystically and symbolically; by the second, enigmatically and through images; and by the last, scientifically. The mysticism of Orpheus should certainly have given him as high a place in the esteem of the founders of the present system of Speculative Freemasonry as has been bestowed upon Pythagoras. But it is strange that, while they delighted to call Pythagoras an "ancient friend and Brother," they have been utterly silent as to Orpheus.
- ORPHIC MYSTERIES
These rites were practiced in Greece, and were a modification of the WIvstelies of Bacchus or Dionysus, and they were so called because their institution was falsely attributed to Orpheus. They were, however, established at a much later period than his era. Indeed, M. Freret, who has investigated this subject with much learning in the Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions (tome xxiii), regards the Orphics as a degenerate branch of the school of Pythagoras, formed, after the destruction of that school, by some of its disciples, who, seeking to establish a religious association, devoted themselves to the worship of Bacchus, with which they mingled certain Egyptian practices, and out of this mixture made up a species of life which they called the Orphic life, and the origin of which, to secure greater consideration, they attributed to Orpheus, publishing under his name many apocryphal works.
The Orphic rites differed from the other Pagau rites, in not being connected with the priesthood, but in being practised by a fraternity which did not pos sess the sacerdotal functions. The initiated commemorated in their ceremonies, which were performed at night, the murder of Bacchus by the Titans and his final restoration to the supreme government of the universe, under the name of Phanes. Demosthenes, while reproaching Aeschines for having engaged with his mother in these Mysteries, gives us some notion of their nature.
In the day, the initiates were crowned with fennel and poplar, and carried serpents in their hands, or twined them around their heads, crying with a loud voice, Enos, Sabos, and danced to the sound of the mystic words, Hazes, Attes, Attes, Hyes. At night the mystcs was bathed in the lustral water, and having been rubbed over with clay and bran, he was clothed in the skin of a fawn, and having risen from the bath, he exclaimed, "I have departed from evil and have found the good."
The Orphic poems made Bacchus identical with Osiris, and celebrated the mutilation and palingenesis, or second birth into a higher or better life, of that deity as a symbol teaching the resurrection to eternal life, so that their design was similar to that of the other Pagan Mysteries. The Orphic initiation, because it was not sacerdotal or priestly in its character, was not so celebrated among the ancients as the other Mysteries. Plato, even, calls its disciples charlatans. It nevertheless existed until the first ages of the Christian religion, being at that time adopted by the philosophers as a means of opposing the progress of the new revelation. It fell, however, at last, with the other rites of Paganism, a victim to the rapid and triumphant progress of the Gospel.
He was the chief god of the old Egyptian mythology, the husband of Isis, and the father of Horus. Jabloniski says that Osiris represented the sun only, but Plutarch, whose opportunity of knowing was better, asserts that, while generally considered as a symbol of the solar orb, some of the Egyptian philosophers retarded him as a river god, and called him Nilus. But the truth is, that Osiris represented the male, active or generative, powers of nature; while Isis represented its female, passive or prolific, powers. Thus, when Osiris was the sun, Isis was the earth, to be vivified by his rays; when he was the Nile, Isis was the land of Egypt, fertilized by his overflow. Such is the mythological or mystical sense in which Osiris was received. Historically, he is said to have been a great and powerful king, who, leaving Egypt, traversed the world, leading a host of fauns or satyrs, and other fabulous beings in his train, actually an army of followers. He civilized the whole earth, and taught mankind to fertilize the soil and to perform the works of agriculture. We see here the idea which was subsequently expressed by the Greeks in their travels of Dionysus, and the wanderings of Ceres; and it is not improbable that the old Freemasons had some dim perception of this story, which they have incorporated, under the figure of Euclid, in their Legend of the Craft.
- OSIRIS. MYSTERIES OF
The Osirian Mysteries consisted in a scenic representation of the murder of Osiris by Typhon, the subsequent recovery of his mutilated body by Isis, and his deification, or restoration to immortal life. Julius Firmicus, in his treatise on the Falsity of the Pagan Religions, thus describes the object of the Osirian Mysteries: "But in those funerals and lamentations which are annually celebrated in honor of Osiris, the defenders of the Pagan rites pretend a physical reason. They call the seeds of fruit, Osiris; the earth, Isis; the natural heat, Typhon; and because the fruits are ripened bv the natural heat and collected for the life of man, and are separated from their natural tie to the earth, and are sown again when winter approaches, this they consider is the death of Osiris; but when the fruits, by the genial fostering of the earth, begin again to be generated by a new procreation, this is the finding of Osiris." This explanation does not essentially differ from that already given in the article on Egyptian Mysteries. The symbolism is indeed preeisely the same—that of a restoration or resurrection from death to life (see Egyptian Mysteries).
The name of the assassin at the west gate in the legend of the Third Degree, according to some of the advanced Degrees. Doctor Mackey said he had vainly sought the true meaning or derivation of this word, which is most probably an anagram of a name. It was, in his opinion, invented by the Stuart Freemasons, and refers to some person who was inimical to that party. Brother Mackenzie (Royal Masonic Cyclopedia) spells the word Oterpet but affords no further light upon its meaning. Another suggestion would be the Hebrew words Aw-tare, meaning maimed, and peh, -thah, meaning instantly.
- OTIS, JAMES
American statesman, born February 5, 1725; graduate of Harvard, 1743; inaugurated patriotic movement by famous trade relations speech in 1760; died May 23, 1783. Made a Freemason in Saint John's Lodge, March 11, 1752; Raised January 4, 1754, at Boston (see New Age, March, 1925; Beginnings of Freemuson7~y in America, Melvin M. Johnson, page 329; Builder, volume xi, page 51).
The pseudonym of the celebrated Rosicrucian Michael Maier, under which he wrote his book on Death and the Resurrection (see Maier).
- OUT OF THE LODGE
The Charges of a Freemason, compiled by Anderson from the Ancient Records, contain the regulations for the behavior of Freemasons out of the Lodge under several heads; as, behavior after the Lodge is over, when Brethren meet without strangers, in the presence of strangers, at home, and toward a strange Brother. Gädicke gives the same directions in the following words:
A Brother Freemason shall not only conduct himself in the Lodge, but also out of the Lodge, as a brother towards his brethren; and happy are they who are convinced that they have in this respect ever obeyed the laws of the Order.
- OVAL TEMPLES
The temple in the Druidical Mysteries was often of an oval form. As the oblong temple was a representation of the inhabited world, whence is derived the form of the Lodge, so the oval temple was a representation of the mundane egg, which was also a symbol of the world. The symbolic idea in both was the same.
The title of three officers in a Mark Lodge, who are distinguished as the Master, Senior, and Junior Overseer. The jewel of their office is a square. In Mark Lodges attached to Chapters, the duties of these officers are performed by the three Grand Masters of the Veils.
The 0x was the device on the banner of the Tribe of Ephraim. The ox on a scarlet field is one of the Royal Arch banners, and is borne by the Grand Master of the Third Veil.
- OXNARD, THOMAS
A prominent Freemason, Provincial Grand Master for North America, March 6, 1744 to June 25, 1754. Born 1703 in the Bishopric of Durham, England, and died in Boston, June 25, 1754. Brother Oxnard became a member of the First Lodge, Boston, on January 21, 1736, of which Lodge he was elected Master in 1736. He was one of the foremost founders of the Masters Lodge which came into existence January 2, 1739. Brother Oxnard was appointed Deputy Grand Master in 1739, succeeding Tomlinson as Grand Master. His Commission, dated September 23, 1743, was received in Boston March 6, 1744. His original Warrant specifically appoints Thomas Oxnard as Provincial Grand Master of North America and gives him full power to constitute Lodges in North America. Brother Oxnard was a most enthusiastic and energetic member of the Fraternity and constituted numerous Masonic Lodges in and around Boston Newfoundland, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, and elsewhere.
- OYRES DE ORNELLAS, PRACAO
A Portuguese gentleman, who was arrested as a Freemason, at Lisbon, in 1776, was thrown into a dungeon, where he remained fourteen months (see Alincourt).
Sometimes Osee. The acclamation of the Scottish Rite is so spelled in many French Cahiers. Properly Hoschea, which Delaunay (T'huileur, page 141) derives from the Hebrew word yfln, hossheah, deliverance, safety, or, as he says, a savior (but see Hoschea, where another derivation is suggested).
The Hebrew word any; Latin, Fortitudo doming courage from above. A Prince of Judah, and the name of the Senior Warden in the Fifth Degree of the French Rite of Adoption.
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