The Duke of Cumberland, grandson of George II, brother of George III, having, in April, 1782, been elected Grand Master of England, it was resolved by the Grand Lodge "that whenever a prince of the blood did the Society the honor to accept the office of Grand Master, he should be at liberty to nominate any peer of the realm to be the Acting Grand Master" (Constitutions of Grand Lodge of England, edition 1784, page 341). The officer thus provided to be appointed was subsequently called in the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England (edition 1841), and is now called the Pro Grand Master.
In the American system, the officer who performs the duties of Grand Master in case of the removal, death, or inability of that officer, is known as the Acting Grand Master. For the regulations which prescribe the proper person to perform these duties, see Grand Master.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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