Volume of the Sacred Law

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, May 26, 2017.

  1. In this episode of Masonic Symbols and Symbolism, we explore the symbolism behind the Volume of Sacred Law as used in Freemasonry. Few elements are as contentious as this “indispensable book” in the lodge. Perhaps because of the diversity of faiths who claim ownership of the “one true religion…” Whatever the case, Freemasonry being the religion upon which all men agree. So which Volume of the Sacred Law is the right one?

    What holy book does your lodge place on the altar? Let us know in the comments below.


    Taken from The Builder magazine from 1920, it says “As the Trestle Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on to enable the brethren to carry on the intended structure with regularity and propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may justly be deemed the spiritual trestle board of the Great Architect of the Universe in which are laid down such divine laws and mortal precepts that were we conversant therewith and adherent thereto they would bring us to an ethereal mansion not built with hands but one eternal in the heavens.”

    The Volume of the Sacred Law is considered one of the landmarks of Freemasonry and Albert Mackey, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, defines it as “an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge.” “Advisedly,” he says, “a Book of the Law, because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and New Testaments.”

    Mackey goes on to say, “The Book of the Law is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Hence, in all Lodges in Christian countries, the Book of the Law is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient; and in Islamic countries, the Koran might be substituted.

    Masonry does not attempt to interfere with the particular religious faith of its disciples, except so far as relates to the belief in the existence of God, and what necessarily results from that belief. The Book of the Law is, to the speculative Mason, his spiritual Trestle board; without this he cannot labor; whatever he believes to be the revealed will of the Grand Architect constitutes for him this spiritual Trestleboard, and must ever be before him in his hours of speculative labor, to be the rule and guide of his conduct. The Landmark, therefore, requires that a Book of the Law, a religious code of some kind, purporting to be an exemplar of the revealed will of God, shall form in essential part of the furniture of every Lodge.”

    In its most distilled essence, one could interpret the idea of the Book of Law, as an amalgam of all sacred texts (in so far as all faiths are represented) or, as in some iterations of Freemasonry, as a blank book that is emblematic of all faiths including non-traditional acknowledgements of agnostics, hermetic, pagan or even perhaps atheism.

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    Continue reading...
     
  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    WTH?
     
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  3. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Thats actually sorta said in NM....gotta find my book and get back to ya

    Sent from my LG-H918 using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
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  4. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    The Torah. Not sure "Old Testament" would go over all that well lol. Also.. A Koran should not be touched by non Muslims. Something possibly to consider.

    Coachn... that made me laugh.
     
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  5. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I posted the same comment hours ago on the original blog.
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    It's still awaiting moderation.
     
  6. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Interesting! Awaiting the outcome here.
     
  7. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    It's a quote from somewhere.... but I can't think where.... maybe Anderson or Mackey... or the versions of the "ancient charges"....
     
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  8. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Apparently Anderson.

    "I. Concerning God and Religion
    A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ‘tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving

    their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance..."

    http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Art...ges_of_a_free_mason_anderson_constitution.htm

    Can't check a text source... currently on train station.. I thought and it seems to be a common change of the quote...
     
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  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Yes, the likely source, but a popular misquote
     
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  10. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Yes! I did recognize to what it alluded. However, it is not what Bro. Anderson wrote. What the OP says and what Bro. Anderson says are two entirely different things.

    Bro. Anderson: ...that Religion in which all Men agree, ...that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, ...

    Article: ... Freemasonry being the religion upon which all men agree. ...

    Majorly different directions!
     
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  11. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Yep. Agreed..... it annoys me when I hear it... and people get annoyed when you point it out.... the otherone which annoys is something about "the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God"..... where does freemasonry talk about "God the father" or "father" ? It's a Christian projection into the Craft.... don't get me wrong, I ain't got no problem with Christians, but I think it puts something in Freemasonry which it not there.... probably like your example about Freemasonry being a "religion" in which all men agree... discussions about play acting dressups are one thing, but trying to make all Freemasons part of some masonic religion is quite another..

    I'm pretty sure you'd agree ?
     
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  12. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    APPROVAL_01.JPG
     
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    BIG difference!
     
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  14. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Did it creep into ritual as the misquote ?
     
  15. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    "...but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can best work and best agree."
    This is a blurb from a part of MM

    Sent from my LG-H918 using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
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  16. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Mind you... there was more than one version of Anderson's Const... have you checked the others to make sure the wording didn't change ?? And do you know if it can be identified if Anderson was quoting (or misquoting) an earlier source ? I know its likely you probably know off the top of your head....
     
  17. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    As far as I know, it is NOT part of ritual. But it has crept into some member's heads, and leaked out of their mouths and into posts.
     
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  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I've not heard it in ritual, but will happily accept (accurate) correction
     
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  19. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Same
     
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  20. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Here is the author's justification:
     

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