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Encyclopedia > Masonic Landmarks

Masonic Landmarks are a set of principles which many Freemasons claim to be "both ancient and unchangeable precepts of Masonry". Issues of the "regularity" of a Freemasonic Lodge, Grand Lodge or Grand Orient are judged in the context of the Landmarks. Whilst each Grand Lodge is self-governing with no single body exercising authority over the whole of Freemasonry, the interpretation of these principles can and do vary, leading to controversies of recognition. The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... A Grand Lodge, or Grand Orient, is the usual governing body of Craft, or Blue Lodge, Freemasonry in a particular jurisdiction. ... Grand Orient is an alternative name given to a governing body of Craft, or Blue Lodge, Freemasonry in a particular jurisdiction other than Grand Lodge. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ...

Contents

Origins

According to Percy Jantz, the Masonic term Landmark is biblical in origin. The term can be found in the Book of Proverbs 22:28: "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set." to highlight how boundaries of land were marked by means of stone pillars. He further quotes a Jewish law: "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbours' landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance" to underline how these Landmarks designate inheritance.[1] Mark Tabbert believes that the actual rules and regulations laid down in the early masonic landmarks are derived from the charges of medieval stonemasons.[2] The Masonic Square and Compasses. ... The Book of Proverbs is one of the books of the Ketuvim of the Tanakh and of the Writings of the Old Testament. ... The art and craft of the stonemason has existed since the dawn of civilization - creating buildings, structures and sculpture using stone and other raw materials from the earth. ...


History

According to the General Regulations published by the Grand Lodge of England in 1723 "Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and Authority to make new Regulations or to alter these, for the real benefits of this Ancient Fraternity; provided always that the old Land-Marks be carefully preserved." Yet these landmarks were not defined. The first attempt at this was in Jurisprudence of Freemasonry 1856 by Dr. Albert Mackey. He laid down three requisite characteristics, namely: The United Grand Lodge of Englands Coat of Arms Headquarters of The UGLE. The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the main governing body of Freemasonry within England, and certain jurisdictions overseas (normally ex-British Empire and Commonwealth countries). ... Events February 16 - Louis XV of France attains his majority Births February 24 - John Burgoyne, British general (d. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

  1. notional immemorial antiquity
  2. universality
  3. absolute "irrevocability".

He claimed there were 25 in all, and they could not be changed. However subsequent writers have differed greatly as regards what they consider the Landmarks to be. In 1863, George Oliver published the Freemason's Treasury in which he listed 40 Landmarks! In the last century, several American Grand Lodges attempted to enumerate the Landmarks, ranging from West Virginia (7) and New Jersey (10) to Nevada (39) and Kentucky (54).[3] 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar). ... Oliver Onions (pseudonym of George Oliver) (1873 - 1961) was a significant English novelist. ...


Joseph Fort Newton, in The Builders, offers a simple definition of the Landmarks as: "The fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, the moral law, the Golden Rule, and the hope of life everlasting."


Roscoe Pound subscribed to six landmarks: Roscoe Pound (1870 - 1964) was a distinguished American legal scholar and educator. ...

  1. Belief in a Supreme Being
  2. Belief in a persistence of personality
  3. A "book of law" as an indispensable part of the "furniture" (or furnishings) of the Lodge
  4. The Hiramic legend of the Third Degree
  5. The symbolism of the operative art
  6. That a Mason be a man, freeborn, and of age.

In the 1950s the Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America upheld three "ancient Landmarks"[4]:

  1. Monotheism -- An unalterable and continuing belief in God.
  2. The Volume of The Sacred Law -- an essential part of the furniture of the Lodge.
  3. Prohibition of the discussion of Religion and Politics.

Quotations

"The first great duty, not only of every lodge, but of every Mason, is to see that the landmarks of the Order shall never be impaired.!, Albert Mackey, The Principles of Masonic Law

References

  1. ^ The Landmarks of Freemasonry
  2. ^ Mark A. Tabbert, American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities. National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA: 2005, ISBN 0-8147-8292-2, p.109.
  3. ^ Masonic Landmarks, by Bro. Michael A. Botelho. Accessed 7 February 2006.
  4. ^ Standards adopted for use by The Commission for Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America in the 1950's accessed 30th July 2006.

February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Landmarks and Old Charges

 
 

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