1 Compiled by the Editorial Team of the Grand Lodge Library Volume 4 Issue 8 (45) August 2008 Our Grand Master s Motto for his term of Office: Freemasonry at the heart of life Editorial With great respect to the immediate Past Grand Master and gratitude for his achievements, the Craft is looking forward to the constructive and refreshing ideas that lie before us, in the caring hands of our newly installed Grand Master. It is now clear that the immediate future will be dedicated to emphasizing the importance of our intellectual heritage, the raising of our level of Masonic knowledge and the study of the hidden meanings of Freemasonry. It is common that many of us who by diligence and exercise have acquired the ability to present a perfect charge or ritual, never even dream that behind the mystic words lie concealed thoughts and meanings which are a treasure yet to be discovered. Such Masons are going through life, merely quoting ritualistic phrases without really understanding their meaning. It is one thing to be able to commit to memory and recite a ritual and quite another to understand that the same ritual has a meaning and know what that meaning is. Masonry has no use for a mechanical devotion by men without introspection, who do not know why they serve the Order; what Masonry does need is the intelligent loyalty of thinking men who have a reason for the faith that is in them. Masonry has clothed her lessons in mystic phrases, not for the purpose of having us learn a lot of strange sounding words that will forever remain for us empty and devoid of meaning, but for the purpose of making us think. At the dawn of a new era The Mason who takes no time for thought and study, and does not ponder or reflect, but merely memorizes without trying to dig and delve beneath the apparent meaning of a word, or to discover the real thought that lies hidden deep within the ritual remains forever a Mason in name only. There is no value whatsoever in memorizing the ritual if we stop there and go no further. The memorized word is without value until we have discovered its meaning and until the inspiration born of that meaning has stirred up higher aspirations to a nobler and better life. Our great trouble has been that while we are critically careful to learn the exact letter of the ritual, we have at the same time been careless about comprehending its spirit. And the value of Masonry is in its spirit and in the vast fields offered for study and research. You will very soon discover how much more Freemasonry has to offer and you will ask yourself how you could limit your reading only to the text of the degrees. May we all enjoy the opportunities and the discoveries offered trough the Study of Freemasonry. At the dawn of the new era, I encourage you, Brethren, to take advantage of the vast wealth available in our Library, our Hub of Knowledge. Joseph V. Haffner This Month's Special Quotation... It is only through education, that Freemasonry will build in the hearts of our members the inspiration to emulate and promote its virtues. MW Bro. Gregory H. Levenston Grand Master Published material does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the UGL of NSW and the ACT
2 Page 2 The word Landmark is referred to in our ritual as depicting the inherent, irreplaceable elements of Freemasonry. But what are these Landmarks, from whence do they derive, and what is their special significance to Masonry? An apt description appears in Dr A G Mackey s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1919) where he uses the following illustration of their origin and significance: In ancient times it was customary to mark out the boundaries of land by means of pillars the removal of which, by malicious means, would be an occasion of much confusion, men having no other guide than these pillars by which to distinguish the limits of their property. To remove them was a heinous crime. Thou shall not says the Jewish prayer, remove thy neighbours Landmarks which they of old times set for their inheritance. The American writer Pound in his essays Masonic Addresses and Writings used the following explanation. By Landmarks we are generally supposed to mean certain universal, unalterable and unrepealable fundamentals which have existed from time immemorial and are so thoroughly part of Masonry that no Masonic authority may derogate from them or ought but not to maintain them. The noted English Masonic scholar Harry Carr in The Freemason at Work (1992), after much study, concludes the Masonic Landmarks should contain two essential points: A Landmark must have existed from time when the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. A Landmark is an element in the form of an essence of society of such importance that Freemasonry would no longer be Freemasonry if it were removed. Thus Landmarks are an inalienable, indisputable and enduring element of Freemasonry. Historically, the earliest reference to Masonic Landmarks is found in the earliest written records of Masonry the Old York Constitution of AD 926. This document arose from a meeting of Operative Masons from all over England, Europe and beyond assembled by Prince Edwin, son of King Edward the Elder, at the city of York to agree on a series of Charges that would in future regulate the qualification and recognition for membership, the management and organisation of Lodges, working conditions and rewards and the quality of workmanship demanded of Masons. Some 15 Charges were agreed upon and documented. These 15 charges henceforth became known as either The Ancient Charges or The Old York Constitution. LANDMARKS - WHAT ARE THEY By R K Whiteley PM. These 15 Ancient Charges became the foundation of operative Masonic lodges over the next several centuries, eventually becoming known as The York Rite which, incidentally, is still practiced in much the original form in a number of very old lodges in Wales. During the reign of King Edward IV the oldest copies of the York Constitution were assembled from all available sources. The substance of these documents was later collated following the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and published by Dr J Anderson as the original Constitution of the Grand Lodge of England. The importance of the Ancient Charges as Landmarks to the now wider fraternity of Freemasons became a matter of considerable controversy after publication of the 1717 Constitution. However, over the next several decades, and following two revisions of the Constitution in 1723 and 1738, it became universally accepted in England and in all other parts of the world in which Freemasonry is practiced - that the 15 Ancient Charges must ever remain as the ancient precedent and foundation of Freemasonry The exact title of the Anderson s 1717 book was, The Constitutions, History, Laws, Orders, Regulations and Usages of the Right Worshipful Fraternity of Accepted Free Masons. The 1723 Constitution is the mother document of the constitutions of Masonic fraternities throughout the world. The 1717 Constitution also declared that the 15 Ancient Charges must be read to each new Candidate during his Initiation Ceremony. The 15 Ancient Charges are the original and most important Landmarks of Freemasonry. Over the past two centuries there has been much discussion in American Freemasonry as to whether they adequately define the essential historic features of Freemasonry. Dr A G Mackey, a noted Masonic scholar, believed that the number should be increased to 25 to include historic elements of the organization including the Legend of the Third Degree, and particular Authorities within individual Constitutions.. The many Grand Lodges emanating from the Constitutions of England, Scotland or Ireland all are believed to contain the original 15 Ancient Charges published by Anderson in 1717, 1723 and 1738 as their Landmarks. The original 1717 and 1723 documents also direct that the Ancient Charges must be read to every new candidate during his initiation ceremony. Continued on page 5 Brother Secretary please include our link: in the Notice Paper sent to the members of your Lodge.
3 Page 3 MUSINGS OF AN I.P.M. After forty years in Freemasonry, I recently had the pleasure and honour of installing a young Master Mason into the Chair of King Solomon for the first time. Several days later I was thinking of the challenges that lay before him as I was doing some gardening. He will, of course, receive much advice but some will be conflicting in nature and he will have to decide which course to follow. During the ceremony of installation he was told to maintain the dignity and high importance of freemasonry and further to exercise wisdom in the ruling and governing of the Lodge. Our new master would be aware of this but his work involves him in driving large distances each week and then he is expected to represent his Lodge at meetings of other Lodges and rehearsals and management meetings of his own Lodge. He has a young and loving family and that should be his first priority. At a time when the general population of Freemasons is ageing and some Lodges are experiencing difficulty in having young Masons take office, or even keeping them after a short part of their Masonic life, we need to maintain the high standard of the ritual. To maintain the interest of a candidate it has to be correct, well presented and meaningful but the pool of talent able to deliver charges is getting smaller and older. There have been calls from many directions for an increase in Masonic education and this presents challenges in itself as the pool of Accredited Masonic Speakers is small and when they do give talks they have to try and gauge their audience, and communicate their enthusiasm of Freemasonry to that audience, some of whom just want to get out to the South as early as possible. It helps a Lodge South if they have access to musicians or entertainers, but if they are like us and do not, the entertainment potential for the South is limited. Our new W.M. has invited brethren to give a short talk or demonstration of their hobbies in the South to try and instil more interest and involvement. In the meantime we have the conflicting demands to keep the toasts moving so that the formal side of the evening is over and brethren can fraternise. To keep the toasts moving means stifling conversations and then when the formal toasts are over, few brethren stay to fraternise! We will support and help our new W.M. and share our love of Freemasonry with all who come and visit us. Superimposed over all this will be the requirements of our new Grand Master as he communicates his ideas and plans for the Craft because he too wants our Craft to move forward and prosper now and in the future. Good luck and God bless you my new Worshipful Master. I feel for you and all those like you, because we want you to succeed and overcome all the trials and tribulations, whilst still enjoying your year in the chair. V.W. Bro Robert Taylor We need you!!! Do you have thoughts on Masonry to share or expand? Do you want to express your views and enlarge your knowledge? Then come and join our Study Circle. Call the Grand Librarian, (02)
4 Page 4 Enlightened Pillars Any Questions? Ask the Grand Librarian-POL edited by Rt Wor Bro J. V. Haffner Q: I have heard that some Masons belong to a Masonic order that is called the Shrine. How can I apply to become a member? What exactly are they and are we allowed to belong to the Shrine? Please explain to me what is it and what is involving to join? A: I actually expected a question about this Order, sooner or later. This organization exists and is active primarily in the U.S.A. and Canada although a few temples exist in other parts of the world but no branch of it is in existence here in Australia. Its proper name is 'The Ancient and Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine' and its members are known as 'Nobles' or more popularly as 'Shriners'. It is supposed to have been created by Caliph Ali, the cousin and son in law of the prophet Mohammed in the year of the Hegira 25 (that is 644 A.D.) at Mecca, in Arabia. The ritual that is used today was found in the archives of the Order at Aleppo in Syria in 1850 and taken to England by Hassoon Effendi, together with some research works of the Italian Orientalist Luigi Marraici. The salutation of the Order is "Es Salaam u Aleikum" (peace be with you). The Jewel of the Order is a Crescent and the motto is "Kuwat wa Ghadab" (Strength and Fury). The first Shrine or Temple was built in New York and is called the Mecca Shrine. It was instituted by 14 Masons of the highest degrees in the Scottish Rite Masonry. The prerequisite for membership is the 32 º Degree. The members wear red 'fezzes' with the name of the Temple and a crescent embroidered on them. The order is sometimes referred to as "the playground of Masonry" but it has without any doubt an important niche of activity in the care and education of crippled children, to mention only one of its activities. Ritualistically, symbolically and philosophically I do not know if the Shrine really is Freemasonry, but its benevolent and supportive work in the community is definitely based on Masonic tenets and for that they must be rightly credited. I hope the answer is satisfactory to you even if it doesn t cover the procedure of joining as the Order is not in existence in Australia. Q: In a lecture presented in our Lodge on an historical subject, mention was made of The Grand Lodge of Wigan. Where and what was it? A: After the Union of the two English Grand Lodges (the Ancients and the Moderns) in 1813, there was still some friction between individual Lodges. A Lodge in Liverpool was suspended and later erased. This Lodge together with two others set up the "Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted masons of England According to the Old Constitution". It was better known under the name of "Grand Lodge in Wigan" and at one time included some twelve Lodges. Its last Grand master was elected in It lasted until 1913 when on returning to the United Grand Lodge of England, all its members were re-obligated. Q: What is the origin of the Lodge s Pavement? A: The squared pavement is derived from a flooring type very popular in Dutch design of churches and residences of wealthy people. Today it represents another good example of the use in Freemasonry of common architectural styles and details to which a richer esoteric meaning has been attributed. Are you in love with our traditions and the richness of our heritage? Are you thirsty to delve into the Hub of Knowledge, your Library? Would you invest a few hours a week and be recognized as a valuable member of our volunteers team? All you need is a true love for the Craft, its literature and a Masonic heart that is ready to offer, and glean the satisfaction of serving the Order. Contact the Grand Librarian RW Bro. Joseph V. Haffner Ph. (02)
5 On the position of the pillars Page 5 There is constant hesitation and even some controversy about the real position of the pillars when the Tracing Board is presented or when charges are delivered in Lodge. When reference is made to the position of the two Pillars of the porch, Jachin is considered as the right hand pillar and Boaz as the left hand one. Every presenter has been asked quite often: "What do you mean by 'right hand' and 'left hand'? Is it to be considered when you look from inside or from the outside of the Temple? And as the Lodge room is considered to be a symbolical representation of Solomon's Temple, is the right hand on the south or on the north of the Lodge room? Firstly we should take into consideration that the physical relationship between the Temple and the lodge room is not perfect. The entrance to the Temple was in the East and the entrance of our Lodge rooms is generally in the West. We know that both in the Temple and in our lodge room, the East is the place of honour and in the Lodge there is the place in which our WM is seated and it is from that direction that the Sun raises and with it all our inspiration, hope and knowledge. This is the reason why we enter the lodge from the West and advance towards the East: in search of Light. I have read many opinions regarding the position of the Pillars. Some refer to the position of the observer as he enters the Temple or departs from it. In my opinion the terms 'right' and 'left' have no reference at all to the position of the observer, but to that of the Temple. Since the temple faced East, its right side was on the South and its left side on the North. The proper position for one to take when praying is to face the East to receive the rays of the rising sun. It was the position of the neophyte in search of knowledge. Many passages in the Old Testament refer to the Cardinal points as 'right' (Yemin) which means 'the right hand' or 'at the right of ' and as 'left' (Semol) being 'the left hand or 'at the left of '. In I Samuel 23:19 and in Psalm 89:12, to mention two examples, the direction 'Yemin' (right) is the South. We can deduce from these references that in setting up the pillars in the porch, the right hand pillar was Jachin (in the South) and the left hand pillar was Boaz (in the North) of the Temple. So, as we face the East, Jachin is on our right (in the South) and Boaz is on our left (in the North). This proves that the position of the pillars as referred to both in the Bible and in our Ritual relates only to the Temple and its orientation. Landmarks Manfred von Risch CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 What then are the Landmarks of the United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT? Our Constitution is prefaced: Constitutions of the Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons under The United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Containing the Articles, Charges, Objects and Regulations. Section 5, headed The Charges of a Freemason, is a complete modern translation of the original Ancient Charges. These then are our Landmarks: as with Brethren around the world. The only Ancient Charges delivered in Blue Lodge ceremonies is an abbreviated form during an Installation Ceremony when they are read to the Master Elect immediately prior to his Obligation; to which he is asked Do you submit to and promise to support these Charges and Regulations as Masters have done in all ages? It should be an obligation of each Master to repeat these Charges to the Brethren in open lodge to reinforce their appreciation of the antiquity and fundamental concepts of Freemasonry. Inspiration for this article was derived from the authors named and: Andersons Constitutions 1723 & 1738; Landmarks of Freemasonry, Bede E ; Jurisprudence of Freemasonry,A G Mackey; Landmarks of Freemasonry, Shepherd S H, Vols 1 & 2. To our many interested readers We recognize you as a rich and important source of Masonic experience, knowledge and inspiration. We would like you to share with us and our other readers, your specific examples of Masonic success stories and we will be happy to publish them. By doing so, you will help us to provide inspiration to members of our Craft! We would appreciate your assistance to improve the! Please forward your contributions to: in word format.
6 Annals of Times Past Vol. 3 No. 22 Actuality of Past Events ( supplement to the inspired by Chronicles Jerusalem ) 752 B.C.E. KING UZZIAH ILL The Palace advises that the King was stricken by leprosy during temple service It is said that it happened after the King infringed on High Priests rights. His Majesty collapsed in the temple as he was preparing to bring the incense offering of the Feast - a function reserved by law and custom to the priests. The Palace advised us about the King's illness without mentioning the obvious cause. By order of His Majesty after consultation with his council of Ministers and Scribes, the judicial duties of His Majesty will be performed by his son, Prince Jotham; commencing tomorrow. News from the border Jaffa- From sailors of a Tyrian vessel which has just entered the harbour, we learn that Jonah ben Amitay, the celebrated Samarian prophet, was thrown into the raging sea "at his own request" during a severe storm that occurred some four months ago. The sailors say that the sea calmed down as soon as Jonah had been cast overboard. Jonah had admitted having fled from "his God", who had therefore brought on this terrible storm. Most of the passengers were Phoenician traders and Greeks returning to their country. The ship is now in Jaffa to unload a consignment of timber and take on olive oil and balsam of Gilead. The sailors swear they do not remember such a violent tempest. (We will continue to report the news as it develops) Preparations begin for the Seventh Olympiad (By our correspondent on the shore of the Peloponnesus) Preparations for the Olympiad to begin on the 8 th day of the month are getting under way with the local Olympic committee tackling the task of appointing the last stewards and judges for the contests. These games which are held every four years, will last longer than ever before. This year, in addition to the pentathlon (running, jumping, discus-throwing, javelin-throwing and wrestling) there will be a contest called pancration a combination of wrestling and boxing. Other new events now under consideration are chariot races and special contests for boys. Truce protects participants Today the Sacred Truce begins; this allows contestants, officials and spectators safe conduct to and from the games. Anyone who violates this truce whether an attacking citystate, a band of marauders-terrorists, or a lone robber is subject to severe disciplinary action. The truce is strictly enforced, hence seldom violated. The spirit of Peace amongst the Nations is guiding the organizers of the Olympic Games and the truce will give the competing athletes a chance to train for the games. What is Leprosy? It is the most dreaded illness in the country. It is accompanied by distortion of the features, violent itching, spots and blotches on the skin and occasionally the falling out of hair. This disease is an especial manifestation of divine punishment. Moses sister, Myriam became leprous after having slandered her brother. She recovered normal health when Moses interceded with God in her favour. Sometimes the affliction is brought upon a person and later removed, in order to demonstrate the power of the Lord. Nevertheless, in general the disease, once it has appeared, remains with the victim until their last day. Our priests know of no cure for it.