Another matter calling for careful treatment is the organization of the Lodge. The formula we give to the F.C. is this: "3 rule a Lodge, 5 hold a Lodge, 7 or more make it perfect."
The two reasons given to a F.C. for requiring the attendance of seven Masons to make the Lodge "perfect," are mere camouflage. The first of these reasons is, "because K.S. was 7 years and upwards in b., c., and d., the T. at I. to God's service," which at the best is putting the cart before the horse. The other is, because that number has "a further allusion to the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences." The only observation we would make about it is that of the Ritual itself, that it is "likewise," similar in character to the preceding explanation.
But the principle here enunciated is an ancient landmark, that is, "seven make the Lodge perfect." Only it is not opportune to impart the real explanation to a F.C., and we deliberately put him off the scent.
Robert Plot, writing in 1688, said that in these days "five or six ancients of the Order"   were required (that is, five or six Craftsmen who had themselves been fully initiated) to constitute a Lodge with power to initiate.
This statement lacks precision, but it proves that the matter was the subject of definite regulation, and there was a minimum which was considered indispensable. Plot himself seems to be uncertain; but what could he mean by "five or six"? It might, or might not, include the W.M., but did he take into account the T., "outside the door of the Lodge"? It was not necessary that the T. should be an "ancient of the Order." And what of the Initiate? Was he included? Plot's statement comes sufficiently near to the above formula to assume that after the lapse of 250 years there has been no material change.
Our formula seems to imply that at one time five were permitted to "hold a Lodge," that is, a "F.C. Lodge," such as is mentioned in the traditional history of the Third Degree. And what is more important, the F.C. Lodge had power to initiate; but when there had been two initiations, when two E.A.'s had been added to the former five, the Lodge acquired the status of a " perfect Lodge." Nowadays, we take the safer rule of demanding that every  initiation shall take place in the body of a Lodge j . . . perfect and r . . ."
There is a third reason for requiring the presence of seven Masons; but this is only hinted at by the symbol of seven stars depicted in the First T.B. For we are informed that those seven stars "have an allusion to as many regularly made Masons, without which no Lodge is perfect, neither can any Candidate (now) be legally initiated into the Order." The true interpretation of our pictogram, then, seems to be that the Seven Masons who constitute a perfect Lodge represent a wonderful phenomenon in the sky, which our Ancient Brethren invested with some significance.
It is not difficult to identify that phenomenon; for, as a matter of fact, there is in the midnight sky a constellation consisting of seven stars (known to us as Ursa Minor), which is ever revolving around its own extremity, that is, the point marked by the Pole-star, which thereby becomes the visible centre of a circle, and, so to speak, " the Master who rules and directs his Lodge."
Here, then, in those seven stars we may
assume that we have the prototype both of our mystic fraternity
and of the seven emblematical  lights of the Lodge; these
are the three " greater " which are laid before the
Candidates, viz., the V. of the S.L., the S. and the C.'s; the
three " lesser " ones, the occupants of the pedestals
at the E., S., and W., which we associate with the burning tapers
by their side; and the Chief Light of all, the one by which the
whole place is illuminated, "the Glory in the Center."
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