Ambrose Ambrose, bishop of Milan, taught that all the gifts of I Corinthians 12 were part of the normal Christian experience.
The expression occurs in the Cooke Manuscript line"The forsayde Maister Euglet ordeynet thei were passing of conyng should be passing honored"; that, The aforesaid Master, Euclid, ordained that they that were surpassing in skill should be exceedingly honored.
It is a fundamental principle of Freemasonry to pay all honor to knowledge. These characters, with certain explanations, become the subject of consideration with Brethren of the Fifteenth Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The accompanying are the characters. Between a Word and a Password there seems fo be this difference: Thus, the author of the life of the celebrated Elias Ashmole says, "Freemasons are known to one another all over the world by certain passwords known to them alone; they have Lodges in different countries, where they are relieved by the brotherhood if they are in distress" see Sign.
Thus, a Past Master is one who has been elected and installed to preside for twelve months over a Lodge, and the Past High Priest one who, for the same period, has been installed to preside over a Chapter. The French use the word Passe in the same sense, but they have also the word Anaen, with a similar meaning.
Thus, while they would employ Al altre passe to designate the Degree of Past Master, they would call the official Past Master, who had retired from the chair at the expiration of his term of service, an Ancient Venerable, or Ancient Maitre note also Passed and Past Master.
In this Degree the necessary instructions are conferred respecting the various ceremonies of the Order, such as installations, processions, the laying of corner-stones, etc. When a Brother, who has never before presided, has been elected the Master of a Lodge, an emergent Lodge of Past Masters, consisting of not less than three, is convened, and all but Past Masters retiring, the Degree is conferred upon the newly elected officer.
Some form of ceremony at the installation of a new Master seems to have been adopted at an early period after the revival. In the "manner of constituting a new Lodge," as practiced by the Duke of Wharton, who was Grand Master inthe language used by the Grand Master when placing the candidate in the chair is given, and he is said to use "some other expressions that are proper and usual on that occasion, but not proper to be written" Constitutions,page Whence we conclude that there was an esoteric ceremony.
Often the rituals tell us that this ceremony consisted only in the outgoing Master communicating certain modes of recognition to his successor. The conferring of this Degree, which has no historical connection with the rest of the Degrees, in a Chapter, arises from the following circumstance: Originally, when Chapters of Royal Arch Masonry were under the government of Lodges in which the Degree was then always conferred, it was a part of the regulations that no one could receive the Royal Arch Degree unless he had previously presided in the Lodge as Master.
When the Chapters became independent, the regulation could not be abolished, for that would have been an innovation; the difficulty has, therefore been obviated, by malting ever candidate for the Degree of Royal Arch a Virtual Past Master before his exaltation.
Under the English Constitution this practice was forbidden inbut seems to have lingered on in some parts until Some extraneous ceremonies, but no means creditable to their inventor, were at an early period introduced into America.
Inthe General Grand Chapter, by a unanimous vote, ordered these ceremonies to be discontinued, and the simpler mode of investiture to be used; but the order has only been partially obeyed, and many Chapters continue what one can scarcely help calling the indecorous form of initiation into the Degree.
For several years past the question has been agitated in some of the Grand Lodges of the United States, whether this Degree is within the Jurisdiction of Symbolic or of Royal Arch Masonry. The explanation of its introduction into Chapters, just given, manifestly demonstrates that the jurisdiction over it by Chapters is altogether an assumed one.
Gould Masonic Monthly, July, says in regard to the Degrees of Past Master and the Royal Arch, "The supposition has much to recommend it, that the connection of the secrets of the Royal Arch, is the earliest form in which any esoteric teaching was specially linked with the incidents of Lodge Mastership, or in other words, that the Degree of Royal Arch was the complement of the Masters Grade.
Out of this was ultimately evolved the Degree of Installed Master, a ceremony unknown in the Modern System until the first decade of the nineteenth century, and of which I can trace no sign amongst the Ancient until the growing practice of conferring the Arch upon Brethren not legally qualified to receive it, brought about the constructive passing through the Chair, which by qualifying candidates not otherwise eligible, naturally entailed the introduction of a ceremony, additional to the simple forms known to Payne, Anderson, and Desaguliers " Past Masters are admitted to membership in many Grand Lodges, and by some the inherent right has been claimed to sit in those Bodies.
But the most eminent Masonic authorities have made a contrary decision, and the general, and, indeed, almost universal opinion now is that Past Masters obtain their seats in Grand Lodges by courtesy, and in consequence of local regulations, and not by inherent right.
The Passed Master was a Brother who had been passed through a so-called Chair Degree, and had thereby been entrusted with certain equivalent secrets. The epithet Past is an adjective, conveying the idea of time expired: Such verbal niceties did not trouble the Brethren of the eighteenth, or any other century" footnote, pagevolume xxviu,Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, by Brother W.
The usual jewel of a Past Master in the United States is a pair of compasses extended to sixty degrees on the fourth part of a circle, with a sun in the center. In England it was formerly the square on a quadrant, but is at present the square with the forty-seventh problem of Euclid engraved on a silver plate suspended within it.
This latter design is also adopted m Pennsylvania. The French have two titles to express this Degree.
They apply Maztre Passe to the Past Master of the English and American system, and they call in their own system one who has formerly presided over a Lodge an Ancien Maitre. The indiscriminate use of these titles sometimes leads to confusion in the translation of their lectures and treatises.Encyclopedia.
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