PROVINCIAL GRAND OFFICERS.
PROVINCIAL MASTER OF THE RED CROSS.
PROVOST AND JUDGE.
PROVINCIAL GRAND OFFICERS.
The officers of a Provincial Grand Lodge correspond in title to those of the Grand Lodge. The Provincial Grand Treasurer is elected, but the other officers are nominated by the Provincial Grand Master. They are not by such appointment members of the Grand Lodge, nor do they take any rank out of their Province. They must all be residents of the Province and subscribing members to some Lodge therein. Provincial Grand Wardens must be Masters or Past Masters of a Lodge, and Provincial Grand Deacons, Wardens, or Past Wardens.
PROVINCIAL MASTER OF THE RED CROSS.
The Sixth Degree of the Rite of Clerks of Strict Observance.
PROVOST AND JUDGE.
The French title is Prevot et Juve. The Seventh Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The history of the Degree relates that it was founded by Solomon, King of Israel, for the purpose of strengthening his means of preserving order among the vast number of Crafts men engaged in the construction of the Temple. Tito, Prince Harodim, Adoniram, and Abda his father, were first created Provosts and Judges, who were afterward directed bv Solomon to initiate his favorite and intimate secretary, Joabert, and to give him the keys of all the building.
In the oid instructions, the Master of a Lodge of Provosts and Judges represents Tito, Prince Harodim, the first Grand Warden and Inspector of the three hundred architects. The number of lights is six, and the symbolic color i8 red. In the more recent instructions of the Southern Jurisdietion of the United States there has been a slight change The legend is substantially preserved, but the presiding officer represents Azarias, the son of Nathan The jewel is a golden key, having the letter A within a triangle engraved on the ward. The collar is red
The apron is white, lined with red, and is furnished with a pocket. This has been claimed as one of Ramsay's Degrees, and in French was originally called Mattre Irlandais, meaning Irish Master.
The Regulations of 1721 provide that, if the new Grand Master be absent from the Grand Feast, he may be proclaimed if proper assurance be given that he will serve, in which case the old Grand Master shall act as his proxy and receive the usual homage. This has led to a custom, once very common in the United States, but later on getting into disuse, of installing an absent officer by proxy. Such installations are called Prozy Installations. Their propriety is truly very questionable.
In the Grand Lodge of Scotland, a Lodge is permitted to elect any Master Mason who holds a Diploma of the Grand Lodge, although he may not be a member of the Lodge, as its Proxy Master. He nominates two Proxy Wardens, and the three then become members of the Grand
Lodge and representatives of the Lodge. Great opposition has recently been made to this system, because by it a Lodge is often represented by Brethren who are in no way connected with it, who never were present at any of its meetings, and who are personally unknown to any of its members. A similar system prevailed in the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, but was, after a hard struggle, abolished in 1860, at the adoption of a new Constitution.
This is one of the four cardinal virtues, the praetise of which is inculcated upon the Entered Apprentice. Preston first introduced it into the Degree as referring to what was then, and long
before had been called the Four Principal Signs, but which are now known as the Perfect Points of Entrance. Preston's eulogium on prudence differs from that used in the lectures of the United States of America, which was composed by Webb. It is in these words: "Prudence is the true guide to human understanding, and consists in judging and determining with propriety what is to be said or done upon all our occasions, what dangers we should endeavor to avoid, and how to act in all our difficulties." Webb's definition, which is much better, may be found in all the Monitors. The Masonic reference of prudence to the manual point reminds us of the classic method of representing her in statues with a rule or measure in her hand.
Frederick William I of Prussia was so great an enemy of the Masonic Institution, that until his death it was scarcely known in his de minions, and the initiation, in 1738, of his son. the
Crown Prince, was necessarily kept a secret from his father. But in 1740 Frederick II ascended the throne and Masonry soon felt the advantages of a royal patron. The Baron de Bielefeld says (Letters i, page 157) that in that year the king himself opened a Lodge at Charlottenburg, and initiated his brother, Prince William, the hIargrave of Brandenburg, and the Duke of Holstein-Beck. Bielefeld and the Counselor Jordan, in 1740, established the Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin, which soon afterward assumed the rank of a Grand Lodge. There are now in Prussia three Grand Lodges, the seats of all of them being at Berlin.
These are the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes, established in 1740, the Grand Lodge Royal York of Friendship, established in 1760, and the National Grand Lodge of Germany, established in 1}70.
There is no country in the world where Freemasonry is more profoundly studied as a science than in Prussia, and much of the abstruse learning of the Order, for which Germany has been distinguished, is to be found among the members of the Prussian Lodges. Unfortunately, they have, for a long time, been marked with an intolerant spirit toward the Jevs, whose initiation was strictly forbidden until comparatively recently, when that stain was removed, and the tolerant principles of the Order were recognized by the abrogation of the offensive laws.
A sect of Arians who maintained at the Council of Antioch, 360 A.D., that the Son was dissimilar to the Father in will; that He was made from nothing; and that in God, creation and generation were synonymous terms.
A false or fictitious name. Continental writers on Freemasonry in the eighteenth century often assumed fictitious names, sometimes from affectation, and sometimes because the subjects they treated were unpopular with the government or the church. Thus, Carl Rössler wrote under the pseudonym of Acerrellas, Arthuseus under that of Irenaeus, Agnostus, Guillemain de Saint Victor under that of De Gaminville or Querard, Louis Travenol under that of Leonard Gabanon, etc.
The Illuminati also introduced the custom of giving pseudonyms to the kingdoms and cities of Europe; thus, with them, Austria was Aehaia; Munich, Athens; Vienna, Rome; Ingolstadt. Eleusis, ete. But this practise was not confined to the Illuminati, for we find many books published at Paris, Berlin, etc., with the fictitious imprint of Jerusalem, Cosmopolis, Latomopolis, Philadelphia, Edessa, etc. This practise has long since been abandoned.
The fact that, within the past few years, Freemasonry has taken its plaevand an imposing one. too—in the literature of the times; that men of genius and learning have devoted themselves to its investigation; that its principles and its system have become matters of study and research; and that the results of this labor of inquiry have been given, and still continue to be given, to the world at large, in the form of treatises on Masonic science, have at length introduced the new question among the Fraternity, whether Masonie books are of good or of evil tendency to the Institution.
Many well-meaning but timid members of the Praternity object to the freedom with which Masonic topics are discussed in printed works. They think that the veil is too much withdrawn by modern Masonic writers, and that all doctrine and instruction should be confined to oral teaching, within the limits of the Lodge-room. Hence, to them, the art of printing becomes useless for the diffusion of Masonie knowledge; and thus, whatever may be the attainments of a Masonic scholar, the fruits of his study and experience would be confined to the narrow limits of his personal presence. Such objectors draw no distinction between the Ritual and the Philosophy of Freemasonry. Like the old priests of Egypt, they would have everything concealed under hieroglyphics, and would as soon think of opening a Lodge in public as they would of discussing, in a printed book, the principles and design of the Institution.
The Grand Lodge of England, some 5 ears ago, adopted a regulation which declared it penal to print or publish any part of the proceedings of a Lodge, or the names of the persons present at such a Lodge, without the permission of the Grand Master. The rule, however, evidently referred to local proceedings only, and had no relation whatever to the publication of Masonic authors and editors; for the English Masonic press, since the days of Hutehinson, in the middle of the eighteenth century, has been distinguished for the freedom, as well as learning, with which the most abstruse principles of our Order have been discussed.
Many years ago the Committee of Foreign Correspondence of a prominent Grand Lodge affirmed that Masonic literature was doing more "harm than good to the Institution." About the same time the Committee of another equally prominent Grand Lodge was not ashamed to express its regret that so much prominence of notice is, "in several Grand Lodge proceedings, given to Masonie publications. Masonry existed and flourished, was harmonious and happy, in their absence."
When one reads such diatribes against Masonie literature and SIasonie progress—such blind efforts to hide under the bushel the light that should be on the hill-top—he is incontinently reminded of a similar iconoclast, who, more than tour centuries ago, made a like onslaught on the pernicious effects of learning. The immortal Jack Cade, in condemning Lord Say to death as a patron of learning, gave vent to words of which the language of these enemies of Masonic literature seems to be but the echo:
Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm, in erecting 3 grammar-sehool; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally thou hast caused printing to be used and contrary to tie king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will he proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
We belong to no such school. On the contrary, we believe that too much cannot be written and printed and read about the philosophy and history, the science and symbolism of Freemasonry; prodded always the writing is confided to those who rightly understand their art. In Freemasonry, as in astronomy, in geology, or in any other of the arts and sciences, a new book by all expert must always be esteemed a valuable contribution. The production of silly and untutored minds will fall of themselves into oblivion without the aid of official persecution; but that which is really valuable—which presents new facts, or furnishes suggestive thoughts—will, in spite of the denunciations of the Jack Cades of Freemasonry, live to instruct the Brethren, and to elevate the tone and standing of the Institution.
Doctor Oliver, wHo has written more on Freemasonry than any other author, says on this subject:
I conceive it to be an error in judgment to discountenance the publication of philosophical disquisitions on the subject of Freemmonry, because such a proceeding would not only induce the world to think that our pretensions are incapable of enduring the test of inquiry, but would also have a tendency to restore the dark ages of superstition, when even the saered writings were prohibited, under an apprehension that their contents nsight be misunderstood or perverted to the propagation of unsound doctrines and pernicious praetises, and thus would ignorance be transmitted, aa a legacy, from one generation to another.
Still further pursuing this theme, and passing from the unfavorable influence which must be exerted upon the world by our silenee, to the injury that must acerue to the Craft, the same learned writer goes on to say, that "no hvpotheses can be more untenable than that which forebodes evil to the Masonie Institution from the publication of Masonie treatises illustrative of its philosophical and moral tendenev." And in view of the meager and unsatisfactory nature of the lectures, in the form in which they are delivered in the Lodges, he wisely suggests that "if strictures on the science and philosophy of the Order were placed within every Brother's reach, a system of examination and research would soon be substituted for the dull and uninteresting routine which, in so many instances, characterizes our private meetings. The Brethren would become excited by the inquiry, and a rich series of new beauties and excellences would be their reward."
Of such a result there is no doubt. In consequence of the increase of Masonic publications in this country, Freemasonry has already been elevated to a high position. If there be any who still deem it a merely social institution, without a philosophy or literature; if there be any who speak of it with less admiration than it justly deserves, we may be assured that such men have read as little as they have thought on the subject of its science and its history. A few moments of conversation with a Freemason will show whether he is one of those contracted craftsmen who suppose that Masonic brightness consists merely in a knowledge of the correct mode of working one's way into a Lodge, or whether he is one who has read and properlv appreciated the various treatises on the "Royal Art," in which men of genius and learning have developed the true spirit and design of the Order.
Such is the effect of Masonic publications upon the Fraternity; and the result of all my experience is, that enough has Clot been published. Books on all Masonie subjects, easily accessible to the masses of the Order, are necessaries essential to the elevation and extension of the Institution. Too many of them confine their acquirements to a knowledge of the signs and the ceremonies of initiation. There thev cease their researches. They- make no study of the philosophy and the antiquities of the Order. They do not seem to know that the modes of recognition are simply intended as means of security against imposition, and that the ceremonial rites are worth nothing without the symbolism of which they are only the external exponents. Freemasonry for them is nerveless—senseless—lifeless; it is an empty voice without meaning—a tree of splendid foliage, but without a single fruit.
The monitorial instructions of the Order, as they are technically called, contain many things which probably, at one time, it would have been deemed improper to print; and there are some Freemasons, even at this day, who think that Webb and Cross were too free in their publications. And yet we have never heard of any evil effects arising from the reading of our Monitors, even upon those who have not been initiated. On the contrary, meaaer as are the explanations given in those works, and unsatisfactory as they must be to one seeking for the full light of Freemasonry, they have been the means, in many instances, of inducing the profane, who have read them, to admire our Institution, and to knock at the door of Freemasonry for admission—while we regret to say that they sometimes comprise the whole instruction that a candidate gets from an ignorant Master. Without these published Monitors, even that little beam of light would be wanting to illuminate his path.
But if the publication and general diffusion of our elementary text-books have been of acknowledged advantage to the character of the Institution, and have, by the information, little as it is, which they communicate, been of essential benefit to the Fraternity, we cannot see why a more extensive system of instruction on the legends, traditions, and Symbols of the Order should not be productive of still greater good. Years ago, Doctor Mackey, as in the foregoing paragraphs, uttered on this subject sentiments which we now take occasion to repeat:
Without an adequate course of reading, no Freemason can now take a position of any distinction in the ranks of the Fraternity. Without extending his studies beyond what is taught in the brief lectures of the Lodge, he can never properly appreciate the end and nature of Freemasonry as a speculative science. The lectures constitute but the skeleton of Masonie science. The muscles and nerves and blood-vessels, which are to give vitality, and beauty, and health, and vigor to that lifeless skeleton, must be found in the commentaries on them which the learning and research of Masonic writers have given to the Masonic student.
The objections to treatises and disquisitions on Masonic subjects, that there is danger, through them, of giving too much light to the world without, has not the slightest support from experience. In England, in France, and in Germany, scarcely any restriction has been observed by Masonic writers, except as to what is emphatically esoteric; and yet we do not believe that the profane world is wiser in those countries than in our own in respect to the secrets of Freemasonry. In the face of these publications, the world without has remained as ignorant of the aporrheta or mysteries of our art, as if no work had ever been written on the subject; w hile the world within—the Craft themselves—have been enlightened and instructed, and their views of Freemasonry—not as a social or charitable society, but as a philosophY, a science, a religion—have been elevated and enlarged
The truth is, that men who are not Freemasons never read authentic Masonic works. They have no interest in the topics discussed, and could not understand them, from a want of the preparatory education which the Lodge alone can supply. Therefore, were a writer even to trench a little on what may be considered as being really the arcana or inner secrets of Freemasonry there is no danger of his thus making an improper revelation to improper persons.
Most of the ceremonies of Freemasonry are strictly private, and ean be conducted only in the presence of the initiated. But some of them, from their nature, are necessarily performed in public. Such are the burials of deceased brethren, the laying of corner-stones of public edifiees, and the dedications of Masonic halls. The installation of the officers of a Lodge, or Grand Lodge, are also sometimes conducted in public in the United States. But the ceremonies in this case differ slightly from those of a private installation in the Lodge room, portions of the ceremony having to be omitted.
The reputation of the Order requires that these ceremonies should be conducted with the utmost propriety, and the Manuals and Monitors furnish the fullest details of the order of exercises Preston, in his Illustrations, was the first writer who gave a printed account of the mode of conducting theDe public ceremonies, and to him we are most probably indebted for their ritual. Anderson, however, gave in the first edition of the Constitutions the prescribed form for constituting new Lodges, and installing their officers, which is the model upon which Preston, and other writers, have subsequently framed their more enlarged formulas.
Brother DeWitt Clinton founded the New York Free School Society, which later became the Public School Society of New York, generously heading the subscription list and promising $200 a year for the support of the organization. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees and very active until his death in 1898. In Cubberley's History of Educatien (page 661) there is a description of the Society promoted by Brother DeWitt Clinton:
This Soeiety vwas chartered by the Legislature " to provide schooling for all ehildren who are the proper objects of a gratuitous education." It organized free l)ublie education in the eity, secured funds, built sehoolhouses, provided and trained teachers, and ably supplemented the work of the private and church schools. By its energy and its persistence it secured for itself 3 large share of public confidences and aroused a constantly inereasing interest in the cause of popular education. In 1853, after it had educated over 600.000 children and trained over 1200 teachers, this Soeiety, its work done. surrendered its charter and turned over its buildings and equipment to the publie school department of the city, which had been created by the Legislature in 1842.
The New York Mercury, December 31, 1753, refers to a meeting of the Grand Lodge on the previous Thursdav, the Festival of Saint John the Evangelist. The report goes on to say that the Brethren donated fifteen pounds to be spent in clothing for the poor children belonging to the Charity School and that a contribution was also made for the relief of indigent prisoners. This interest in the schools is characteristie of Freemasons and at a quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge of New York, December 7, 1508, a Committee was appointed to "devise and report to this Grand Lodge a plan for the education of children Of poor Masong." This Committee reported in 1809. recommending that a fund be raised "sufficient to defray the expense of an establishment to consist of fifty children."
The Committee had several conferences with the Trustees of the Free School in order to ascertain the probable expense of tuition, including all books and supplies necessary for the purpose. We are told that the Trustees "agreed to educate in their seminary fifty children constantly for $300 annually, which is more than one-half less than would be required for their education in a separate school." The Grand Lodge vas accordingly asked to contribute $80 a year to make up the 3300 required to carry the plan into effect. Each of the Lodges contributing to the Fund vas given the right of "naming two children to receive the benefit of this charity." Six places were assigned to the Grand Lodge School Committee, which was also given authority to fill "all vacancies as they occur from the individual Lodge declining or neglecting to recommend as aforesaid."
In that year, 1809, the first school building was opened and Brother DeWitt Clinton delivered an address at the time. He was instrumental in establishing the educational system of the State and served the Grand Lodge from 1806 to 1820 as Grand Master and was for eight years Governor of New York State.
The Masonic School Committee on June 3, 1812, suggested for the consideration of the Grand Lodge the propriety of establishing a school to be under the entire management of the Grand Lodge, but this suggestion was not adopted. We find that the number of children that the Brethren had decided to educate amounted to fifty and that they were provided with comfortable clothing. From time to time the School Committee provided for purchases of shoes and stockings, overcoats and hats for the children.
The Free School was from the start supported by voluntary donations, but as the legislature began to recognize the value of the work that was accomplished, sums of money were granted. About the end of 1817 the Free School was formally established under the supervision of the State and further support from the Masonic Fraternity was no longer required. For an account of the relations between the Public School project and the Grand Lodge see a chapter in the History of Freemasonry in the State of New York by Brother Ossian Lang (pages 91-5) to which we are indebted for information.
Education generally, as it has been fostered by Freemasons everywhere, is not confined to the promotion of Public Schools and therefore requires no extended mention here. But note should be taken of the active interest in common-school education by the Brethren, the Freemasons in Latin lands being especially worthy of remembrance in this connection. There is also the promotion by the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction, United States of America, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which in 1920 openly declared itself in favor of the creation of a Department of Education with a Secretary in the President's Cabinet, and the passage of what was then known as the Smith-Towner Educational Bill embodying the principle of Federal Aid to the Public Schools in order to provide funds for the equalization of educational opportunities to the children of the nation.
The Brethren declared their belief in the compulsory attendance of ad children upon the Public Schools and that it was the duty of all parents to see that school facilities are both adequate and efficient, "to strengthen the Public Schools by promoting their efficiency, so that their superiority over all other schools shall be so obvious that every parent will have to send his children to them if they are to progress and keep step with the Public School students in life's race" (see Transactions, 192s5, pages 218-9, Supreme Council, Southern Junsdiction, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite).
The former Grand Secretary of Scotland, Brother William A. Laurie (bristly of Free Masonry, 1849, page 70) gives briefly several interesting instances:
In Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, charity-schools were erected by the Lodges for educating the children of Free Masons whose poverty debarred them from this advantage. In tilat which was formed at Brunswick thev were instructed in classical learning and various branehes of mathematics, and were regularly examined bs the Duke of Brunswick who rewarded the most deserving with suitable premiums. At Eisenach, several seminaries of this hind were established, the teachers were endowed with fixed salaries, and in a short time after their institution thes sent into the world 700 ehildren instructed in the principles of science and the doetrines of Christianity. In 1771 an establishment of a similar kind was formed at Cassel in which the children were maintained and educated till they could provide for themselves. In 1773 the united Lodges of Dresden, Leipsic, and Gorlitz, erected at Frederickstadt a seminars for children of everv denomination in the Electorate of Saxony, the Masonic subscriptions were so numerous that the funds of the institution were sufficient for its maintenance and in the space of five years, above 1100 children received a liberal education.
In the same vear an extensive workhouse was erected at Prague. in which the children were not onlv instructed in the rudimentary principles of education but in those branches also of the useful and fine arts which might qualify them for commercial and agricultural situations. It deserves to be remarked that the founders of these institutions, amid their anxiety for the public prosperity, never neglected the spiritual interests of the children; they saw that early piety is the foundation of all that is useful and honourable in life, and that without this, speculative knowledge and practical skil are of little avail.
Fully in line with the subject under discussion is another item also mentioned in the above work (page 193), "At the Quarterly Communication on 4th February, 1820, a letter was read from Leonard Corner, Esquire, Secretary to the Edinburgh School of Arts, thanking the Grand Lodge for the very liberal manner in which they had granted the use of the Hall for the accommodation of that Institution, thereby enabling it to extend its usefulness to a degree that would not have been practicable without this cordial co-operation." Brother Laurie sae's "This was the first School of arts instituted in Scotland, if not in Great Britain, and the parents of the numerous Mechanies' Institutes since established" (see also Sunday Schools).