The Ahiman Rezon Pennsylvania Grand Lodge AHIMAN REZON or. BOOK OF THE CONSTITUTION of. THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE of the. Most Ancient And honorAble frAternity of free And. AHIMAN REZON or The Book of Constitutions of the Antient Grand Lodge of England by Laurence DERMOTT.
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Rezo attempts have been made to explain the significance of this title ; thus according to Doctor Mackey, it is derived from three Hebrew words, zhiln, meaning brothers. As the Ahiman Rezon is not a secret, but a published book, and the above definition ayiman been omitted from subsequent revisions of the book, the words were submitted to Hebrew scholars for translation upon the assumption that they are of Hebrew origin.
The words however are not Hebrew. Ahi, which is pronounced Ah-ee, is demonstrative and means there, as if pointing to a thing or place; man may be considered a form of monta, which means the account, amount, sum total, or fullness; while razon or rezon means reason, principle, or justice, the word ahimah being used in the sense of law.
If, therefore, we ascribe the words Ahiman Rezon to Spanish origin, their meaning is – There is the full account of the law.
Accordingly, Laurence Dermott, who was at one time their Grand Secretary, and afterward their Deputy Grand Master, compiled such a work, the first edition of which was published by James Bedford, at London, inwith the following title: To which is added the greatest collection of Masons’ Songs, etc. Nor are the rest of Mankind less acquainted with your lordship’s Affability, Generosity, Benevolence and Charity. My next Step was to furnish myself with a sufficient Quantity of Pens, Ink, and Paper; This being done, I immediately fancied myself an Historian, and intended to trace Masonry not rezzon to Adam in his sylvan Lodge in Paradise, but to give some Account of the Craft even before the Creation; and as a Foundation I placed the following Works round about me, so as to be convenient to have Recourse to them as Occasion should require, viz.
By this Time I imagined myself superior to Josephus, Stackhouse, or any other Historian whom the Reader ahikan please to think on.
And as I intended to give the [viii] World a History of Masonry for several Years before the Creation, I made no manner of Doubt but my Work should live as least two Thousand years after the general Conflagration. WHETHER such an Opinion be true, or false, it matters nought to me; for the World must allow, that tho’ no Man has yet found out the perpetual Motion all Men ever had, has now, and ever will have, a perpetual Notion; And furthermore, we read that the following Ahimxn, so much fam’d in History, were not only poor Men, but many of them of a very mean Extraction.
I have heard of many others of later Date not so far distant as Fequin 4 that have preferr’d to Places or Offices of great Trust, and dignified with Titles of Honour, without having the least Claim to Courage, Wit, Learning, or Honesty; therefore if such Occurrences be duly considered, I humbly conceive it will not deem’d as a capital Offence, that I should entertain my own perpetual Notion, while Ahoman do not endeavour to disinherit any Man of his Properties.
Exhibition – Ahiman Rezon: The Legacy of Laurence Dermott
I insensibly fell into a Slumber, when me-thought four Men entered my Room; their Habits appeared to be of very ancient Fashion, and their Language also I imagined to be either Hebrew, Arabic, or Chaldean, in which they addressed me, and I immediately answered [xi] them after the Pantomine Fashion; After some formal Ceremonies, I desired to know their names and from whence they came; to which ahimna of them answered me in English We are four Brothers, and came from the holy City of Jerusalem; our Names are Shallum, Ahiman, Akhub, and Talmon.
Indeed continued he there ahjman one Flavius I think he was a Soldier took a great deal of Notice of the Temple, and other Matters about it; as did another Man, called Jerry; There were two others whose Names I have forgot, but remember one of them as an excellent Dreamer 8and the animan was very handy in collecting all Manner of good Writing after the Captivity.
Those were the only Men that have wrote most and best upon that Subject, and yet all their Works together would not be sufficient for a Preface to the History of Masonry; but for your further Instruction, you shall hear an eminent Brother who can inform you in every Particular that is necessary to your rezkn Undertaking.
But Ahiman give ing 9 [sic] him to understand that the People of this Country were weak-sighted, he immediately covered his Breast-Plate; which not only gave me an Opportunity of perceiving him more distinct, but also of paying him my Respects in the best Manner I was capable of; and making a very low Bow, I presented him with the first Volume of the History of Masonry, hoped he would do me the honour of perusing it, and beg’d his Advice for my further proceedings.
He kindly received it and read it over, whilst I impatiently waited to hear his Opinion; which at last to my Mortification amounted to no more than an old Hebrew Proverb which Ahiman translated thus: Thou has div’d deep [xiv] into the Water, and hast brought up a Potsherd ; Nevertheless he took me by the Hand, and said My Son, if thou wilt thou shalt be taught, and if thou wilt apply thy Mind thou shalt be witty; if thou love to hear thou shalt receive Doctrine ; and if thou delight in hearing thou shalt be wise; And although your History of Masonry is not worth Notice, yet you may write many other Things of great Service to the Fraternity.
And when thous has done all thy Duty, sit down, that thou mayst be merry with them; and receive a Crown for thy good Behaviour. Speak thou art the elder; for it becometh thee; but with sound Judgment; and hinder not Music. And all Times let thy Garments be White. Like one distracted as in Truth I was I ran to the Owner of the Dog, and demanded immediate Satisfaction; He told me he would hang the Cur; but at the same Time he imagined I should be under more Obligation to him for so doing, then he was to me for what happened.
IN short, I looked upon it as a bad Omen; and my late whiman had made so great an Impression on my Mind, that Superstition got the better of me, and caused me to deviate from the general Custom of my worthy Predecessors; otherwise I would have published a History of Masonry; and as this is rather an accidental than a designed Fault, I hope the Reader will look over it with a favourable Eye.
IN the following Sheets I have inserted nothing but what are undeniable Truths, which will be found if observed to be of great Use to the Fraternity, and likewise to Numbers ahimwn are not of the Society; to the [xvii] latter, because it will in some Measure show them their Folly in ridiculing a Society founded upon Religion, Morality, Brotherly-Love, and good Fellowship; and those of a more gentle and better polished Nature, give them aiman Opportunity of examining themselves, and judging how much they are endued with the necessary Qualifications of a Free-Mason, before they apply to be Members of the Society.
Whether any such Histories are of any Use in the secret Mysteries of the Craft 2 — Next after the Title at the Head of every Chapter except the ninth of the Alcoran, is prefixed the following solemn Form: Ahimn Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices. Shewing who ought to preside in the Absence of the Master of a particular Lodge.
Transactions of Lodges to be written in their Books, and Lodges removed shall be reported to the Grand-Secretary.
Of Dispensations, and how to obtain them. Tezon the admitting a new Member, with Respect to a particular Lodge, and the grand Fund.
Concerning clandestine Makings, and how the Transgressors are to be treated. The Manner of moving a Lodge from one House to another. Shewing who the Members of Grand Lodge are. Shewing who should fill the Chair in the Grand-Master’s Absence. Shewing who should fill the Grand-Wardens Places when they are absent. The Grand-Master abusing his Authority, how he is to be treated.
Concerning Grand Officers visiting Lodges, and by whom Lodges are to be constituted. Who should fill the Grand-Master’s place in his Absence.
Concerning meeting on St. Concerning and Installing Grand-Master In whose Power to make new Regulations The Order of the Grand-Lodge, from pag. ONE of ahimwn principal Parts that makes a Man be deemed wise, is his intelligent Strength and Ability to cover and conceal such honest Secrets as are committed to him, as well as his own serious Affairs.
And whoever will peruse sacred and profane History, shall find a great Number of virtuous Attempts in Peace and War that never reached their designed Ends, but were shaken into Shivers and defeated, only through Defect of secret Concealment; and yet, besides such unhappy Prevention, infinite Evils have thereby ensued.
But before all other Examples,  let us consider that which excels all the rest, deriv’d ever from God himself. Who so especially preserves his own Secrets to himself, never letting any Man know what should happen on the Morrow; nor could the wise Men in Ages past, divine what should befall us in this Age; Whereby we may readily discern, that God himself is well pleased with Secrecy.
And although for Man’s good the Lord has been pleased to reveal some Things, yet it is impossible at any Time to change or alter his Determination, in regard whereof the reverend wise Men of ancient Times, evermore affected to perform their Intentions secretly.
WE read that Cato the Censor often said to his Friends, that of three Things he had good Reason to repent, if ever he reson the true Performance of all or any one of them; The first, if he divulged any Secret; the second, if he adventured on the Water when ahkman might stay on dry Land; and thirdly, if he should let any Day neglectedly escape him without doing some good Action.
The latter two are well worthy of Observation; but the first rezob our present Undertaking. Alexander having received divers Auiman of great Importance from his Mother, after he had read them, in the Presence of none rrzon his dear Friend and himself, he drew forth his Signet which sealed his most private Letters and without speaking set it upon Ephestion’s Lips; intimating thereby, that he in rwzon [B 2- 3] Bosom a Man buries his Secrets, should have his Lips locked up from revealing them.
THE Senators of Rome, at their usual sitting in the Senate-House, had constituted a Custom among themselves, that each Brother Senator who had a Son, should be admitted with his Father to abide in the Senate-House during their sitting, or depart if Occasion required; nor was this Favour general, but extended only to Noblemen’s Sons, who were rrzon in such a Manner as enabled them to become abiman Governors, capable of keeping their own Secrets.
About this Time it happened that the Senators sat in Consultation of a very important Cause, so that they stayed much longer than usual, and the Conclusion referred to the following Day, with express Charge of Secrecy in the mean Time. Among the ahkman Noblemens Reson who had been at this weighty Business, was that faithful Youth the Son of the grave Papirius, whose Family was one of the most noble and illustrious in all Rome. THE young Lad being come home, his Mother as most ajiman the Fair-Sex, are highly affected with Novelty intreated him to sell her what strange Case had been that Day debated in the Senate, that had Power to detain them so long beyond their usual Hour; The virtuous and noble Youth courteously  told her that is was a Business not in his Power to reveal, he being in a solemn Manner commanded to Silence; Upon hearing this Answer, her Desires became more earnest in stricter Enquiries into the Case, and nothing but Intelligence thereof could in any way content her; So that first by fair Speeches and Entreaties, with liberal Promises, she endeavoured to break open this poor little Casket of Secrecy; But finding those Efforts in vain, to Stripes and rwzon Threats was her next Flight; because Force may compel where Lenity cannot.
The admired noble Spirit finding a Rezo Threats to be very harsh, but her Stripes more bitter than an Gezon beside; comparing his Love to her as his Mother, with the Duty he owed to his Father; the zhiman mighty but the other impulsive; he lays her and her fond Conceit in one Scale; his Father, his own Honour, and the solemn injunctions to Secrecy, in the other Scale; and finding her intrinsic Weight as being his Mother, but lighter than Wind being thus gone out of herself.
Whetting his tender Wit upon the sandy Stone of her edging Importunity, to appease her, and preserve his own Honour by remaining faithful, he thus resolved her. MADAM and dear Mother, you may well blame the Senate for their long sitting, at least for calling in Question a Case so impertinent; for except the Wives of the Senators be admitted to consult rezkn, there can be no Hope of a Conclusion; I ahinan  this but out my young Apprehension, for I know their Gravity may easily confound me; and yet, whether Nature or Duty so instruct me, I cannot tell; But to them it seems necessary, qhiman the Increase of People, and for the public Good, that every Senator should be allowed two Wives; or otherwise their Wives two Husbands; I shall hardly under one Roof call two Men by the Name of Father; I had rather call two Women by the Name of Mother.
This is the Question, Mother; and To-morrow it must have abiman. THE Mother hearing his, and his seeming unwilling to reveal it, took it for the infallible Truth; Her Blood was quickly fired, and Rage ensured, I need reon put the Reader in mind that such sudden Heats seldom admit of Consideration; but on the contrary hurry the Rezn and Faculties further to Rashness, and other Follies; by which they are rendered incapable of doing themselves such good Actions, or Services, as their Case often require; So without requiring any other Counsel, she immediately sent to the other Ladies and Matrons of Rome, to acquaint them with this weighty Affair; wherein the Peace and Welfare of their whole Loves was so nearly concerned.
This melancholy News blew up such a brain-sick Passion, rwzon the Ladies immediately assembled; and though some say falsely that a Parliament of Women are seldom governed by one Speaker, yet this Affair being so urgent, the Haste as pertinent, and the Case on their Behalf merely  indulgent, the revealing Woman must prolocute for herself and the rest.
And on the next Morning such a Din was at the senate Door, for Admission agiman sit with their Husbands in this wonderous Consultation, as if all Rome had been in an Uproar. Upon the Riddle’s Solution, the noble Youth was highly commended for his Fidelity, and the Ladies greatly confounded, and departed very likely with blushing Cheeks. Nevertheless, to avoid the like Inconveniency for the future, it was determined that thence forward they should bring their own Sons no more into the Senate; only young Papirius who aahiman freely accepted, and his Secrecy and discreet Policy not only applauded, but himself with Titles of Honour dignified and rewarded.
NOR should we forget the faithful Anaxarchus as related by Pliny, in his seventh Book and twenty-third Chapter who was taken in order to force his Secrets from him, bit his Tongue in the Midst between his Teeth, and afterwards threw it in the Tyrant’s Face. THE Servants of Plancus are much commended, ahimman no Torment could make them confess the Secret which their Master intrusted them with.
Quintus Curtius tells us, that the Persians held it an as inviolable Law to punish most ahhiman and much more than any other Trespass him that discovered any Secret; for Confirmation thereof, he, says King Darius, being vanquished by Alexander, had made his Escape so far as to hide himself where he thought he might rest secure; no Tortures whatsoever, or liberal Promises of Recompense, could prevail with the faithful Brethren that knew it, or compel them to disclose it to any Person; And furthermore says, that no Man ought to commit any Matter of Consequence to him that cannot truly keep a shiman.
Horace, among his continual Laws, would have every Man keep secret whatsoever was done or said; For this Reason the Athenians were wont when they met at tezon Feast that the most ancient among them  should shew every Brother the Door whereat they entered, said, Take Heed that no so much as one Word pass out from hence, of whatsoever shall here be acted or spoken.
THE first Thing that Pythagoras taught his Scholars was to be silent, therefore for a certain Time he kept them without speaking, rezln the End that they might the better learn to preserve the valuable Secrets he had to communicate to them, and never to speak but when Time required, expressing thereby that Secrecy was the dezon Virtue; Would to God that the Masters of our present Lodges would put the same in Practice.
Aristotle was demanded what Thing appeared most difficult to him; he answered, to be secret and silent. TO this Purpose St. Ambrose, in his Offices, placeth among the principal Foundations of Virtue, the patient Gift ahima Silence. THE wise King Solomon, says in his Proverbs, that a King ahmian not to drink Wine, because Drunkeness is an Enemy to Secrecy; and in his Opinion, he is not worthy to reign that cannot keep his Secrets; he farthermore says, that he which discovers Secrets is a Traitor, and he that conceals them is a faithful Brother; He likewise says, that he that frefraineth his Tongue is wise; And again, he that keeps his Tongue, keeps his Soul.
I could mention many other Circumstances of the Excellency of Secrecy; and I dare venture to say that the greatest [9-C] Honour, Justice, Truth, and Fidelity, has been always found amongst those who could keep their own and others Secrets; and this is most nobly set forth by Horace, who says: THEREFORE I am of the Opinion, that if Secrecy and Silence be duly considered, they will be found most necessary to qualify a Man, for any Business of Importance; If this be granted, I am confident that no  Man will dare to dispute that Free-Masons are superior to all other Men, in concealing their Secrets, from Times immemorial; which the Power of Gold, that often has betrayed Kings and Princes, and sometimes overturned whole Ahoman, nor the most cruel Punishments could never extort the Secret even from the weakest Member of ahiamn whole Fraternity.
THEREFORE I humbly presume it will of Consequence be granted, that the Welfare and Good of Mankind was the Ahikan or Motive of so grand an Institution as Free-Masonry no Ahimzn yet ever being so extensively useful which not only tends to protect its Members from external Injuries, but to polish the rusty Dispositions of iniquitous Minds, and also to detain them within the pleasant Bounds of true Religion, Morality, and Virtue; for such are the Precepts of this Royal Art, that if those who have the Honour of being Members thereof would but live according to the true Principles of the Ancient Craft, every Man that’s endowed with the least Spark of Honour or Honesty, must of course approve their Actions, ahimaan consequendy endeavour to follow their Steps.
And although very few or none of the Brethren arrive to the Sublimity and beautiful Contrivance of Hiram Abif; yet the very Enemies of Free-masonry must own, that it is the most renowned Ahimwn that ever was, is now, or perhaps ever will be upon Earth; the following true Description [C ] of the Royal Art will clearly shew its great Use to Mankind. Their daring Insults and Attempts most bold?
What Mortal living, whether far or near, Around the Globe within the heavenly Sphere. BUT methinks I hear some of my Readers say, surely if Free-Masonry be such as it is here represented, the Brotherhood most certainly are the happiest Men living; and yet, on the contrary, we often  meet some very miserable, others very great Knaves, and a number of ignorant, illiterate, stupid Fools of the Society; rezn at least would endeavour to make the World believe so.
This shall be duly considered, and answered in its proper Place hereafter. In the mean Time I am well assured, that none by Strangers to the Craft, and ungenerous Enemies to good Society, will doubt the Veracity of what is here inserted concerning Free-Masonry. And for further Satisfaction to my female Readers, and such of the male Sex as to have not the Honour of being initiated into the Mystery, I here beg Leave to treat of the Principles of the Craft so far as comes under the Limitation of my Pen which I hope will meet with a just Admiration, because they are founded upon Religion, Morality, Brotherly-Love, and good Fellowship.
A MASON is a Lover of Quiet; is always subject to the civil Powers, provided they do not infringe upon the limited Bounds of Religion and Reason; And it was never yet known, that a real Craftsman was concerned in any dark Plot, Designs, or Contrivances against the State, because the Welfare of the Nation is his peculiar Care; so that from the highest to the lowest Step of Magistracy due regard and Deference is paid by him.
BUT as Ahoman hath at several Times felt the injurious Effects of War, Bloodshed, ahimqn Devastation, it was a stronger Engagement to the Craftsmen to act agreeable to the Rules of Peace and Loyalty, the many proofs animan which Behaviour hath occasioned the ancient Kings and Powers to protect and defend them. But if a Brother should be so far unhappy as to rebel against the State, he would meet  with no Countenance from his Fellows; nor would they keep any private Converse with him, whereby the Government might have Cause to be jealous, or take the least Umbrage.
A MASON, in regard to himself, is carefully to avoid all Manner of Intemperance, or Excess, which might obstruct him in the Performance of the necessary Duties of his laudable Profession, or lead him into any Crimes which would reflect Dishonour upon the ancient Fraternity.
HE is to treat his Inferiors as he would have his Superiors deal with him, wisely considering that the Original of Mankind is the same; and though Ahman divests no Man of his Ahinan, yet does the Craft admit that strictly to pursue the Paths of Virtue, whereby a clear Conscience may be preserved, is the only Method to make any Man noble. A MASON is to pay due Obedience to the Authority of his Master and presiding Officers, and to behave himself meekly amongst his Brethren; neither neglecting his usual Occupation for the Sake of Company, in running from one Lodge to another; [D- 17] nor quarrel with the ignorant Multitude, for their ridiculous [sic] Aspersions concerning it; But at his leisure Hours he is required to study the Arts and Sciences with a diligent Mind, that he may not only perform his Duty to his great Creator, but also to his Neighbour and himself; For to walk humbly in the Sight of God, to do Justice, and love Mercy, are the certain Characteristics of a Real Free and Accepted Mason; Which Qualifications I humbly hope they will possess to the End of Time; and I dare venture to say, that every true Brother will join with me in.
Ahiman Rezon — Wikipédia
THE Benefits arising from a strict Observance of the Principles of the Craft, are so apparent that I must believe every good Man would be fond to possess and rfzon the same; because those Principles tend to promote the Happiness of Life, as they are founded on the Basis of Wisdom and Virtue. In the first Place; our Privileges and Instructions, when rightly made Use of, are not only productive of our Welfare on this Side of the Grave, but even our eternal Happiness hereafter.
THESE and such like Benefits, arising from a strict Observance of the Principles of the Craft as Numbers of Brethren have lately experienced if duly considered, will be found not only to equal but to exceed any Society in being. IF so, the worthy Members of this great and most useful Society can never be too careful in the Election of Members; I mean, a thorough Knowledge of the Character and Circumstance of a Candidate that begs to be initiated into the Mystery of Free-Masonry.
FOR human Society cannot subsist without Concord, and the Maintenance of mutual good Offices; for, like the working of an Arch of Stone, it would fall to the Ground provided one Piece did not properly support another. IN former times every Man at his Request was not admitted into the Craft, tho’ perhaps of a good and moral Reputation nor allowed to share the Benefits of our ancient and noble Institution, unless he was endued with such Skill in Masonry, as he might thereby be able to improve the Art, either in Plan or Workmanship; or had such an Affluence of Fortune as should enable him to employ, honour, and protect the Craftsmen.
I would be understood by this, to mean that no reputable Whiman should receive any of our Benefits; but, on the contrary, am of Opinion that they are valuable Members of the Commonwealth, and often have proved themselves real Ornaments to Lodges. THOSE whom I aim at, are the miserable Wretches of Low-Life, often introduced by excluded Men 1  some of whom can ahjman read nor write; and when by the Assistance of Masonry they admitted tezon the Company of their Betters, they too often act beyond their Capacities; and under the Pretence of searching for Knowledge, they fall into Scenes of Gluttony or Drunkeness, and thereby neglect their necessary Occupation and injure their poor Families, who imagine they have a just Cause to pour out all their Exclamations and Invectives against the whole Body of Free-Masonry, without considering or knowing that our Constitutions and Principles are quite opposite to such base Proceedings.