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AHIMAN REZON

By Brother Laurence Dermott, Sec..
 
AHIMAN REZON

The title given by Dermott to the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons in England, which was established about the middle of the eighteenth century in opposition to the legitimate Grand Lodge and its adherents who were called the Moderns, and whose code of laws was contained in Anderson's work known as the Book of Constitutions. Many 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; ..manah, to appoint, or to select in the sense of being placed in a peculiar class (see Isaiah liii, 12), and ..ratzon, the will, pleasure, or meaning; and hence the combination of the three words in the title, Ahiman Rezon, signifies the will of selected Brethren- the law of a class or society of men who are chosen or selected from the rest of the world as Brethren.

As the Ahiman Rezon is not a secret, but a published book, and the above definition has 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.

"Subsequent inquiry leads to the belief that they come from the Spanish, and are thus interpreted: 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 justice 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."

When the Irish Freemasons established their rival Grand Lodge, they found it necessary, also, to have a Book of Constitutions. 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, in 1756, with the following title: Ahiman Rezon: or a Help to a Brother; showing the Excellency of Secrecy, and the first cause or motive of the Institution of Masonry; the Principles of the Craft; and the Benefits from a strict Observance thereof, etc., etc. ; also the Old and New Regulations, etc. To which is added the greatest collection of Masons' Songs, etc. By Bro. Laurence Dermott, Secretary.




AHIMAN REZON
OR

A Help to a Brother
Shewing the
EXCELLENCY OF SECRECY
And the first Cause or Motive of the Institution of
FREE MASONRY;
THE
PRINCIPLES of the CRAFT

And the Benefits arising from a strict Observance thereof;
What sort of MEN ought to be initiated into the MYSTERY,
And what Sort of MASONS are fit to govern LODGES,
Likewise the
Prayers used in the Jewish and Christian Lodges,
The Ancient Manner of
Constituting new Lodges, with all the Charges, &c.
Also the

OLD and NEW REGULATIONS
The Manner of Chusing and Installing Grand-Master and Officers,
And other useful Particulars too numerous here to mention
To which is added,
The greatest Collection of MASONS SONGS ever presented to
Public View, with many entertaining PROLOGUES and EPILOGUES,
Together With
SOLOMON'S TEMPLE an ORATORIO
As it Was performed for the Benefit of
FREE-MASONS

By Brother Laurence Dermott, Sec.
LONDON Printed for the EDITOR, and sold by Brother James Bedford, at the Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard
MDCCLVI


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