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The present membership consists of business leaders, professors, doctors, lawyers, clerics, and scientists across America.
We believe that Freemasonry must continue to provide the same high level of initiation that it has in times past, and that quality Masonic education should be one of the primary goals of every Lodge. In these beliefs the Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold represents a growing minority of highly conservative Freemasons across America.
Personal initiative and responsibility are encouraged at every level within the organization. Our organizational structure is very flat, every member is one step away from the Sovereign Grand Master of Light, the highest decision making authority in the Rite.
Degrees of the Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold
The degrees offered by the Rite of the Rose Cross are sometimes confused with those of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite because they are both forms of "Red" continental Masonry. While in many ways there are similarities between the two systems, they remain quite different. The RRCG rituals are of an earlier vintage than those of the A&ASR and utilize the symbolism of lodges existing from 1717 to 1735. Most other "Red" systems utilize symbolism that is post 1751 in origin. These are also much longer and more detailed than the various other "Red" systems in existence today. As an example a typical RRCG degree will take from four to five and half hours to complete.
1° Apprentice (not conferred)*
2° Companion (not conferred)*
3° Master (not conferred)*
4° Sublime Tyler
5° Architect of the Silver Circle
6° Celestial Master of the Golden Compasses
7° Knight of the Rose Croix of Gold
*(The Rite does not make Masons. You must be a Master Mason in good standing from a recognized jurisdiction to petition for membership in the Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold. The three "Red" Symbolic rituals are exemplified for educational purposes only.)
Originally posted by Masonic Light
I believe these two Brothers had their hearts in the right place, but they ruffled way too many feathers along the way. At least one Grand Lodge has already deemed the Rite irregular, and forbid regular Masons from associating with it.
The true state of the case appears to be that Anderson undertook to write the work as a private venture of his own and that this was sanctioned, since it was desirable that the Regulations at least published, without any very careful examination of his text, or of so much of it as was ready, and that when it was published it was discovered, but too late, that he had taken what were felt by many to be unwarrantable liberties not only with the traditional Charges but also with Payne's Regulations.
Of the six Charges themselves the first caused trouble immediately on its appearance. It replaced the old invocation of the Trinity and whatever else there may have been of statements of religious and Christian belief in the practice of the lodges by a vague statement that we are only to be obliged to that religion in which all men agree. Complete religious tolerance has in fact become the rule of our Craft, but the Grand Lodge of 1723 was not ready for so sudden a change and it caused much ill feeling and possibly many secessions. It was the basis of a series of attacks on the new Grand Lodge.
He was obsessed by the idea of the perfection of the Roman architecture, what he called the Augustan Style, and he took the attitude that the then recent introduction of Renaissance architecture into England as a return to a model from which Gothic had been merely a barbarous lapse. He traces the Art from Cain who built a city, and who was instructed in Geometry by Adam. Here he is no doubt merely bettering his originals which were content with the sons of Lamech. The assertion shows a total want of any sense of humour, but then so do all his contributions to history. But it is worth while pointing out that it suggests more than this; it suggests that he had an entire lack of acquaintance with the polite literature of the period. No well-read person of the day would be unacquainted with the writings of Abraham Cowley, the poet and essayist of the Restoration, and the opening sentence of his Essay of Agriculture is: "The three first men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman and a grazier; and if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would consider that as soon as he was so he quitted our profession, and turned builder." It is difficult to imagine that Anderson would have claimed Cain as the first Mason if he had been familiar with this passage.
Returning to the narrative we are told that Noah and his sons were Masons, which is a statement for which Anderson found no warrant in his originals; but he seems to have had a peculiar fondness for Noah. In 1738 he speaks of Masons as true Noachidae, alleging this to have been their first name according to some old traditions, and it is interesting to observe that the Irish Constitutions of 1858 preserve this fragment of scholarship and assert as a fact that Noachidae was the first name of Masons. Anderson also speaks of the three great articles of Noah, which are not however further elucidated, but it is probable that the reference is to the familiar triad of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. He omits Abraham and introduces Euclid in his proper chronological sequence, so that he has corrected the old histories to that extent; but after Solomon and the second Temple he goes to Greece, Sicily and Rome, where was perfected the glorious Augustan Style. He introduces Charles Martel - as King of France! - as helping England to recover the true art after the Saxon invasion, but ignores Athelstan and Edwin.
Payne's, or rather Anderson's, Regulations were the foundation on which the law of the Craft was based, it being developed by a continual process of emendation and addition, and their phraseology can still be traced in our English Constitutions today.
In America Franklin reprinted this work in 1734 apparently verbatim. In 1738 Anderson brought out a second addition which was intended to replace the earlier one altogether, but it was a slovenly performance and the Regulations were printed in so confused a manner, being all mixed up with notes and amendments (many inaccurately stated), that it was difficult to make head or tail of them and to ascertain what was the law of the Craft. He also re-wrote the history entirely and greatly expanded it, introducing so many absurdities that Gould has suggested that he was deliberately fooling the Grand Lodge, or in the alternative that he was himself in his dotage. He died very shortly after. But this same ridiculous history has done duty in all seriousness till comparatively recent years, being brought up to date by Preston and others who were apparently quite unconscious of its true value. Unfortunately that portion of the history which professed to give an account of the proceedings of Grand Lodge and for which the official minutes were at Anderson's disposal is full of what one must consider wilful inaccuracies and misstatements.
In the next edition of the Constitutions, 1754, the Regulations were rewritten by Entick, but the history was preserved. Entick also reverted to the Charges as drawn up in 1723 into which, especially the first, Anderson had introduced various modifications in 1738, and those Charges are the basis of the Ancient Charges to be found today in the Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England, the only differences, except as regards the first Charge, not amounting to more than verbal modifications.
OUR DEBT TO ANDERSON
While as students we are bound to receive any statement that Anderson makes with the utmost caution unless it can be tested from other sources, we must not be too ready to abuse the worthy Doctor on that account. Our standards of historical and literary accuracy are higher than those of 1723, and his object was to glorify Montagu and the Craft and the new style of architecture introduced by Inigo Jones and others of his school; and this he did wholeheartedly, and if in the process he twisted a text or two or supplied suitable events to fill gaps in his narrative for which mere history as such had failed to record facts, no one at the time would think any the worse of him for that. It was a far more serious matter that he was instrumental in removing from the literature of the Craft all definite religious allusions; but as we now see, the Craft in fact owes its universality today to its wide undenominationalism and in this respect he builded better than he knew. The Constitutions of 1723 remains one of our most important texts and only awaits publication in full facsimile with suitable notes and introduction at the hands of some Society with the requisite funds.
Originally posted by The Axeman
So from what I can tell, the Constitutions of 1723 were little more than a plagiarism of Payne's Regulations and the traditional Charges, but with liberal and apparrently uncool changes and additions made to them?
And also that this is where the "belief in a Supreme Being" requirement came from, as opposed to Christian faith?
There are some very interesting correlations made to biblical figures being Masons, but little seems to be provable. Is this just tradition, meant to teach a lesson?
Originally posted by Masonic Light
I would argue that Anderson's versions were revisions instead of plagiarism, and that such revisions were necessary, even if they were unpopular (or uncool) with some of the Craft's members at the time.
I would say yes, but apparently, some Masons literally believed them, and perhaps some still do. In the late 18th century, the Rev. Salem Towne, an American Royal Arch Mason and Knight Templar, wrote a book where he claimed that Moses was an early Grand Master, and that he would usher the Israelites into a regular Lodge on occasion, while in the wilderness. Other writers have bestowed Grand Masterships on Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and even Jesus. Such claims must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, keeping in mind that many people who write about Masonry, including some Masons, tend to let their imaginations get the better of them.