The Builder Magazine
July 1915 - Volume I - Number 7
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M.,
HISTORY is often perverted in its memorials, and
memorials are the enduring evidences which impress the minds of generations
Few people take the trouble to snake careful
inquiry into even current events. Most of us read the head-lines in the daily
papers, and form hasty conclusions. Life is too short, we say, to delve into
details of much that is passing. The head-lines are often ambiguous, and
sometimes are contradicted in the text below them.
A monument or statue to memorialize a man usually
invites attention to his most important act, and this is never lost sight of
either by its projectors or by the artist.
In the Capital of the Nation there are, in the
Parks and Streets, more than 50 memorials of heroes, idols, and events besides
those under cover in the Public Buildings. Though more than half of these
memorialize men who were Masons, there is no Masonic emblem nor word to
indicate it, with one exception.
Enthusiasts are making history. It has been said
there is nothing true in history excepting the dates: but it still continues.
The first statue erected in Washington was that of
Columbus, sculpted by the great Persico, situated on the buttress on the east
side of the Capitol. It shows Columbus in the armor and the uniform he wore,
as a discoverer, and the memorial is called Discovery. The bust is a replique
of one in Madrid, modeled during the life of Columbus, and believed to be a
good por trait. But, not satisfied with this, the Knights of Columbus, Ancient
Order of Hibernians et al. secured al appropriation from Congress of $150,000
to erect an other statue of Columbus which is shown in a cloak such as is worn
by Monks, and even the portraiture is not at all like that of Persico's
statue. This is all the more remarkable since it has been pretty well prover
that Columbus was a Spanish Jew. Certainly he never wrote excepting in the
But our essay is upon the effigies in the Parks of
Washington, which memorialize Freemasons, though that quality may be
So many of these memorials are of military men
that the stranger at once gets the idea that we are a terribly war-like
people, while we claim to be peace lovers.
Some of these memorials are dual: there are two of
Washington, two of Lincoln, and two of Columbus.
The first and greatest is that of Washington. An
obelisk, square, upright and perfect, plain on the outside, white and smooth;
but on the inside there are sculptured memorial stones, presented by States,
Grand Lodges, Foreign Governments, Societies and individuals. The site was
selected by Washington himself, and is on the exact meridian of Washington
City, a mile due east of the Capitol, and is due south of the Executive
Mansion (now called White House.)
It was intended to build it by subscription, and
to make it 600 feet high; the highest structure in the world: but the
subscriptions ceased before the Civil War came on, when the obelisk was but 54
feet high, and work ceased. The corner stone was laid by the Grand Lodge of
the District of Columbia on the 4th of July, 1848, and it was dedicated by the
Grand Lodge in 1885.
In 1882 Congress made an appropriation to finish
the Monument, and it then passed into Government possession. It was
determined that the foundation was not strong enough, and Col. Thos. L. Casey,
of the U. S. Engineers, was accorded high honor for the masterly manner in
which he accomplished the difficult work of underpinning and strengthening the
foundation, which he did before adding a single course of stone. The shaft is
55 feet square at the base and 555 feet high. Its weight is estimated at
81,120 tons. The walls, at the base, are 15 feet thick. There is now an
elevator in the monument, so its ascent is not hard. There is a spiral stair
case reaching nearly to the top from which stairs the many memorial stones may
Among the first contributions were beautiful
stones from Masonic Lodges, from the States, many cities, Societies, etc.
The memorial stones, up to the present, number
151, but the Secretary of War has recently refused the Grand Lodge of
Louisiana the privilege of placing a stone, and has said he will permit none
others excepting from States.
From Individuals there are 6 memorial stones.
From Militia Companies
6 “ “
From Fire Companies
8 “ “
From States, 7 Cities
50 “ “
From Labor Unions
8 “ “
From Benevolent Societies
1 “ “
From Masonic Bodies 24
From the Red Men
2 “ “
From the Odd Fellows
10 “ “
4 “ “
America 1 “ “
S. of T.R.I.
1 “ “
Schools and Colleges
9 “ “
Party 1 “ “
Washington Light Infantry
1 “ “
Dramatists 1 “ “
Ancient Order of Hibernians
1 “ “
Inhabitants 1 “ “
Sunday Schools and Churches
3 “ “
Society 1 “ “
Indians 1 “ “
Switzerland 1 “ “
Greece 1 “ “
Siam 1 “ “
Brazil 1 “ “
Turkey 1 “ “
China 1 “ “
Japan 1 “ “
Wales 1 “ “
Egypt 1 “ “
Newspapers 2 “ “
Masonic Memorial Stones are
from the Grand Lodges of District of Columbia, Ohio, Kentucky, New York,
Maryland, Illinois, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Virginia; and from Mt. Lebanon
Lodge of Pa.; La Fayette Lodge of N. Y.; Washington Lodge of Roxbury, Mass.;
and Naval Lodge of D. C.
There were, at that time, only 30 States in the
Union, but, it will be seen, not all of the Grand Lodges in those States
Many of the stones are beautifully sculptured and
lettered and bear the names and rank of the Grand Officers. Some have
patriotic and endearing inscriptions appropriate to the subject.
What fact more conspicuous in modern history than
the creation of a gentleman? Chivalry is that, and loyalty is that. The word
gentleman must hereafter characterize the present and a few preceding
centuries, by the importance attached to it, is a homage to personal and
incommunicable qualities. An element which unites persons of every country;
makes them intelligible and agreeable to each other; and is somewhat so
precise that it is at once felt if an individual lack the Masonic sign, cannot
be any casual product. It is made of the spirit, more than of the talent of
men, and is a compound result, into which every great force enters as an
ingredient, namely, virtue, wit, beauty, nobility, power.
He who has no ambition is like an ax without edge.
When you know yourself thoroughly, you know every
The last step must be as steady as the first in
climbing a hill.
Youth jumps and slips; age picks its steps and
Be as cross to yourself as you are to others; as
sweet to others as to self.
If you insist on everyone being like you, look in
With learning, as with weeds, get at the root.
Prejudice is the thief of persuasion.
- J.S. Thomson. China
MEMORIAL TO WASHINGTON
Address Delivered Before the
George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association
BY BRO. J. CLAUDE KEIPER,
P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
I am bidden by the Worshipful Master of
Alexandria-Washington Lodge to speak of the work of the Washington Memorial
Association, whose avowed purpose it is that here in Virginia, not greatly
distant from the place of his birth, nigh to the home he loved and cherished,
the hallowed spot where his ashes repose; here in Alexandria, the community in
which his Masonic virtues were best known and best regarded, and where he
presided as Master over the labors of his brethren, here, even in the shadow
of the church in which he worshiped, there shall rise a memorial to the only
man in all our history who was at the one time Master of his Masonic Lodge and
President of the United States, a national memorial to Washington the Mason, a
Craftsman who in no respect was ever unworthy of his work.
It is not my purpose to present to you statistical
abstracts of the progress of the movement, the number of grand jurisdictions
which have approved it, nor the amount of the fund so far collected for the
purpose of the Memorial. These matters, important though they best may well be
left to the consideration of the devoted men who constitute the Association
and who are giving freely of their time and their talents in what is to them a
labor of love.
Monuments commemorative of the patriotism of
Washington, his valor and prowess as a military leader, memorials designed to
perpetuate his wisdom and virtue as a statesman have been erected throughout
all our land by a loving and grateful people, but nowhere, so far as I know,
save in the hearts of his appreciative brethren, has there been erected a
memorial of the character contemplated by this Association.
Need I say more to justify the work in which it is
engaged? It is true that Masonic memorials to individual brethren are
comparatively rare and this is not because our Fraternity has been influenced
by a desire to conceal from public knowledge who among the Nation's great have
wrought greatly for the upbuilding of the Craft. I take it that it is rather
because Masonry has recognized the truth that idealized conceptions in bronze
and marble, however beautiful in themselves, can avail little to add to the
luster of a name or embellish an achievement, and further that as an ancient
and honorable institution it would be inconsistent with its dignity to be
boastful of the connection with it of any man, however distinguished his
career or exalted his station. It is our boast that in Masonry all are on the
one plane of perfect equality, and a remarkable illustration of this is found
in the life of Washington himself, concerning whom there was published a few
weeks ago in one of the Boston papers an incident telling how he, the General
of the American Army, was one day observed seated in the tent of an Army Lodge
as a mere member while a corporal presided therein as Master, exemplifying
thereby the basic principle of our Fraternity to which I have alluded, a
principle announced with undying emphasis by that other great Virginian when
he wrote into the Declaration of Independence, the assertion that all men are
Therefore it is that the Association for which I
speak does not approach the erection of this Memorial with the primary purpose
of gratifying a vainglorious spirit. It is true that one of the results of its
work will be the proclamation to all the world of Washington's connection with
Masonry. But there are other and higher aims and there will be other and
higher results. One of them will be wholly utilitarian, for within the
memorial building will be provided a place of safe deposit for the priceless
relics that now adorn the Lodge room of the local Masonic bodies. And what a
splendidly personal interest in him do they inspire in us as we reverently
gaze upon them! More than that. How strong will be their appeal, how profound
their impression upon the brethren from the East and from the West, from the
North and from the South, as they gather in after years at what I hope and
believe will be the shrine of Freemasonry in the United States, the Mecca
toward which will be set the feet of Craftsmen in ever-increasing thousands.
To present properly another result let me go back
to that time, now more than 150 years gone, when, as a young man just
attaining his majority, Washington first learned of Masonry and its truths.
Can any one doubt that its beneficent teachings exerted a powerful influence
upon a mind and character already predisposed toward them by inherent morality
and integrity ? An influence that was strongly felt and plainly manifested in
the formation, upon allied principles, of a government in whose making there
were associated with him so many Masons. Therefore it is that this Memorial
will symbolize more than his connection with our fraternity, proud of it as we
are and may rightfully be; therefore it is that over and above all mere
personal considerations it will stand a living monument to the benign
influence of Masonic teachings in the formation of a great government, under
which millions of free people have found happiness, obtained justice and
through which, under the providence of God, they and their posterity shall
long enjoy the blessings of untrammeled liberty.
My friends, seated here tonight on the natal day
of our revered brother and gathered for its appropriate commemoration, I beg
you to indulge me a moment further as I ask you to go back with me in
imagination to a similar occasion, exactly 90 years ago, when
Alexandria-Washington Lodge, on February 21,1825, entertained one of
Washington's best loved associates in the War for Independence, General La
Fayette. You are familiar with the details. Picture for yourselves that
devoted friend of Liberty entering the Lodge room clothed in the Masonic
habiliments of Washington. Picture the subsequent assembly around the banquet
table and listen to the toasts proposed. First, as a matter of course, was one
to Washington, extolled as “First in cabinet, first in the field and first in
the principles of Masonry.” Then one to the President of the United States,
James Monroe, whose name will ever be affectionately associated with the
doctrine of preserving American soil for the propagation of the principles of
American liberty. And then one to “Our Illustrious Brother and Guest, La
Fayette. His brethren take peculiar pleasure in receiving him in that Lodge
over which their beloved Washington was pleased to preside.” And now hearken
to the response. Note that it might well have been a prophecy of our present
undertaking as he says, “The Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and the
illustrious, venerated name under which it has been consecrated.” Surely in
closing I can leave with you no higher wish than that this saying of nearly a
century ago may become the animating and inspiring watchword of our whole
Fraternity until its efforts to erect a national memorial to Washington the
Mason shall be crowned with complete success.
TRANSLATED FROM THE SPANISH
BY THE LATE BRO. EDWIN A. SHERMAN
THE mystic ladder pertains
particularly to us as Knights Kadosh, as the type of our order. It is composed
of two ascents or supports that remind us of the compact which took place
between Philip the Fair and Pope Clement the V, and the strength of that union
which was given against our predecessors. The reunion of the two ascents or
supports, and the seven steps of which it is composed, give an exact idea of
the seven conditions which Philip imposed on Beltian de Goth, when he was
Archbishop of Bordeaux, to be seated in the chair of St. Peter, when he
obligated him to participate in the destruction of the Knights Templars.
And so you likewise complete
your obligations and swear implacable hatred to the enemies of that Order
which was the pattern of all the virtues; and we now have the obligation of
employing all our forces for the total ruin of evil and priestly tyrants, upon
whose heads must fall the blood of Jacques de Molay and his martyred
After the death of Benedict
XI, which occurred on the 6th of July, 1304, the cardinals assembled to elect
a new Pope, and were divided into two bands, one French and one Italian.
Philip the Fair, King of
France, had projects which he could not carry out without the assistance of
the Pope who should be elected. His party fomented the divisions in the
conclave to favor his designs. He ordered search to be made for Beltian de
Goth, then Archbishop of Bordeaux, and in the conference which took place he
informed him of his projects and the power he had to elect him Pope, affirming
that an oath would be required of him to execute seven propositions which
would be made known to him excepting the seventh which he had guarded in
reserve until the moment of its execution. Devoured by the heat of his
ambition to be seated on the PONTIFICAL Throne, that Prelate accepted the
bribe and sold himself.
Philip made known to him the
first six conditions, which are foreign to the history of our order: and after
having exacted and received his oath for the execution of the seventh, and
holding as hostages the brothers and nephews of Beltian, the Archbishop
arrived in effect to be Pope, and took the name of Clement V. He established
his see at Avignon, in France, where he put in execution the first six
conditions which he had accepted. When the favorable moment arrived for the
execution of the seventh, Philip the Fair declared that it consisted in the
total extermination of the Knights Templars throughout all Christendom, which
was done as far as possible in his power, and that of the monarchs with whom
he was allied.
Clement adopted the following
ruse: He first caused a new crusade to be preached in Europe, and even in
Syria; he then sent the following letter to Palestine to the Grand Master of
the Templars and Hospitaliers:
"We inform you, my brethren,
that we have been urgently solicited by the Kings of Aragon and Cyprus for aid
to the Holy Land. We order you to come to France as secretly as possible, to
deliberate with us. You will also be careful to bring with you large sums to
equip a numerous army."
Jacques de Molay, Grand
Master of Templars, obeyed the injunctions of the HOLY FATHERS; but Foulques
de Villeret, the Grand Master of the Hospitalliers, occupied with the siege of
Rhodes, could not quit his army, and thus delayed the ruin of his Order. The
unfortunate De Molay sailed for France, and by a trap, fell into the hands of
his enemies. The Pope had agreed that the Knights of the Temple should be
arrested at the same time, in different Christian Kingdoms, and that they
should be handed over to the Inquisitors as suspected of heresy: that their
property should be seized in the name of the church and that they should be
put to death at the stake and upon the scaffolds, after having been put to the
torture to make them avow to imaginary crimes.
The execution of this
frightful plot was not deferred: the Pope informed the King of Aragon, Castile
and of Portugal to annihilate the Templars, and on the day appointed they were
all arrested and plunged into the dungeons of the Inquisition. The iniquity of
the Judges was such that they pardoned a murderer named Squin de Florian, who
had been confined with a Knight Templar, because he deposed that his companion
had revealed to him the crimes and impurities at the reception of Templars.
Squin de Florian, the robber and assassin was received at a public audience by
Philip the Fair and Pope Clement the V, laden with presents and glorified for
his religious zeal.
After such encouragement to
informers, thousands of them arose on all sides and the duties of the
Inquisitors became easier.
They were also sufficiently
encouraged by Philip the Fair and Clement the V who presided over an auto da
fe. In Italy, Austria, Spain, and particularly in France, a prodigious number
of scaffolds were erected, which consumed the unfortunate victims of the
cupidity of a Pope and the avarice of a King.
So perished the gallant De
Molay, the last Grand Master of the Templars, and his brave companions in
arms, betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and cruelly slaughtered by order of the
Head of the Church and the Kings of the realms.
These bloody executions
having terminated the two execrable tyrants divided between themselves the
riches of the Templars. Philip kept the land and Clement took all the
ornaments of gold and silver, and the coined money, which enabled him to
reward the infamous panderings of his nephew and the Countess de Foix.
But God had at last marked
the end of the term of this criminal existence. Whilst the Pontiff was being
transported to Bordeaux his malady increased; they were obliged to stop his
litter at Roquemare on the Rhone, in the Diocese of Nimes, where Clement died
on the 20th day of April, 1314.
As soon as Clement the V had
closed his eyes, his treasures were pillaged. The cardinals seized on enormous
sums of coined money. Bernard, Count de Lornogne, nephew and minion of the
dead Pope, carried off chalices and ornaments worth more than a hundred
thousand gold florins ($5,347,000.) The Countess de Foix stole as her share
all the jewels of the HOLY FATHER, and there were no minions nor mistresses of
the Cardinals who were not enriched by the spoils of the Sovereign Pontiff.
Jean Villani says that "in
the midst of this disorder in which every one was so desirous of pillage, they
only left an old traveling mantle to cover the dead body of Clement, and that
was in part consumed by a candle falling on the bed where it lay."
For two whole years the
Christian World was surrendered to the most deplorable anarchy. Philip the
Fair followed Clement to the grave and the summons to them by De Molay at the
stake "to meet him at the Bar of God within one year" had been fulfilled.
(Philip IV, the Fair, was born at Fontainebleu, France, in 1268. He came to
the throne in 1285. Crowned at Rheims Jan. 6th, 1286. Died Nov. 29th, 1314,
from an accident while hunting.) In 1316 James de Ossa (or "Jimmy Bones" as he
was called) was elected Pope, by himself placing the tiara on his own head,
proclaiming himself Pope, by the name of "John the twenty-second," on the 21st
of September of that year. He established the infamous "Apostolic Chancery"
with a scale of prices for indulgences for every sort of crime which by its
extortion and greed prepared the way for the light and dawn of the Great
Reformation in the 16th century, until the sun of Liberty burst forth at last
over the world, creating new Nations on the Continent of America, which free
men and Freemasonry, amidst blood and tears, have consecrated as their own and
our own beloved Scottish Rite, from the birth and organization of the American
Republic and Nation, the United States of America, which can never be
dissolved. Cato Perpatria.
BY BRO. R. I. CLEGG, OHIO
(In the Symposium on this
subject, the final installment of which was published in our last issue, the
writers dwelt, at our suggestion, particularly upon the manner in which groups
of students might enter upon the many phases of Masonic study to best
advantage. Herewith Brother Clegg brings us, out of his wealth of Masonic
experience, much that the individual student may do for himself, and by
himself. We know from our correspondence that his article answers a question
which from the beginning has been uppermost in the minds of many of our
members, and answers it in a most practical way. As to method, Brother Clegg's
presentation of the subject is simple and easily followed, whether one has
fellow-workers near at hand or not. The material for study, as outlined, is as
authentic as it is interesting, and therefore of great importance. Also, he
shows what needs to be kept in mind, that those hard-working, practical men
who do so much to strengthen and perfect the organization of Masonry, though
they may not be learned in books, are Masonic students and builders.--The
No easy task is it to give an
answer that will fit all cases. Everything depends upon the Freemason who is
to do the studying of Freemasonry and upon the particular angle of Freemasonry
that appeals to him. For that matter, how many of us would think alike as to
what was most interesting and most important? Even as to definitions of
Freemasonry itself our ideas will not uniformly run on parallel tracks.
So right here we may for
convenience sake just as well say that for the purpose of what I am about to
set down at this time I will take Freemasonry to be anything that has especial
relationship to Freemasons. He that knows himself to be a Freemason (and any
member of the Craft fully knows how to apply the needful tests) will also be
aware that when Freemasonry is mentioned here by me it relates specifically to
him and to such as he and to none other.
Having already mentioned in
these columns the very real difficulty of preparing a narrow and precise
definition of Freemasonry that will meet the attacks of the most critical, I
shall now as in the foregoing attempt make it broad enough to include all
possible points of interest to the brethren.
Just as we have seen the
awkwardness of meeting everybody's requirements as to the subject matter, so
too we find that there is variety galore in the students themselves. There are
those Freemasons whose ideas about the study of Freemasonry are singularly
restricted. They associate study with textbooks. To their view the studious
Freemason is necessarily a bookworm. The fact is that some most studious
Freemasons are not book lovers.
Many of what I may term the
executive class of Freemasons are devoted students of the Craft and of every
branch thereof. Of this office-holding class filling all sorts of ritualistic
positions and responsibilities there is included a countless array caring
little and heeding less the historical accounts of the genesis of the various
governing bodies. To them the present and the future are of paramount
importance. Engrossed as they are in their personal affairs of business and
the steady flood of labor in initiations and in allied services, they have no
time to spare for literary enjoyment or for actual bookish research even if by
any possibility they could create in themselves a taste for it.
Research to a large extent
they may pursue and yet not be aware of it as such. Circumscribed as they are
by the devotion of their energies to the consideration of the fraternity's
progress as bounded by their own career and their own affiliations, these men
oft write with no uncertain pen records of lofty worth. Look you! What a
wealth of study is woven into the construction and the financing of the
Masonic buildings myriadly dotted over this broad land of ours! What eloquent
histories are imperishably graven into these monumental memorials! Every stone
therein is an eternal tribute to the zeal of the few or many students banded
in the brotherhood of Freemasonry and whose joy it was to house their
ceremonies in a fitting home.
Furthermore, every man
holding office in our mystic circle, or expecting to at some time have an
office and meantime preparing himself to fill the place he anticipates, is to
that extent a student and very often an ardent student of Freemasonry.
It will thus be seen that
there are various grades of Masonic students. We have those whose chief
concern is with the immediate present and the near future, and then again we
have those who look further afield. How then shall we prepare a course of
instruction that meets all the requirements of the worthy brethren already
mentioned and that will also serve for those who seek to plumb other and
deeper depths ? And that is not all the difficulty. How shall we take due care
of the many who have little to spend on books and who must therefore make the
most of a very limited outlay. Neither can we overlook those of the
unselfishly ambitious whose thoughts run lavishly toward the founding of a
library to be an appropriate adjunct to some Masonic edifice of highest
quality and purpose.
Begin at the beginning. Let
us first assume you have no books.
1. Get a Bible. It is easily
first of all books in or about Freemasonry. Preferably select one that opens
out flat at any page. Very many inexpensive Bibles are freely supplied with
maps and other helps to the better understanding of the text. A good
Concordance is an excellent handbook to the convenient study of the Bible. The
Concordance is very useful in locating a text of which you may not be able to
remember more than one or two significant words. You will find Biblical
references to Solomon's Temple particularly interesting in Chronicles and
Kings, and on careful study you will probably agree with me that a second
Hiram, doubtless a relative of the first, was on account of some mishap to his
predecessor called in to finish the work.
2. Get the Masonic Codes
published by the Grand Lodge and the other Masonic bodies in which you hold
membership. Many a time there arises a knotty little question that provided
you have the information at home will enable you promptly to satisfy yourself
as to the law. Very many of the references will be found to throw a flood of
light upon the development of our jurisprudence. But whatever Codes you
collect, omit not the one of your own Grand Lodge. That is the fundamental
Masonic law next to the moral code of the Scriptures.
3. Get the Standard Monitor
of your State. Some Monitors are much more extended and elaborate than others.
Especially do I admire the one prepared by P. G. M. Wm. M. Shaver, of Topeka,
for the Grand Lodge of Kansas. On the Apron Lecture it is unusually valuable.
But be sure and possess the one approved by the Grand Lodge of your own State
if you desire the one only.
4. Get the Concise History of
Freemasonry written by Brother R. F. Gould.
5. Get the Concise Cyclopedia
of Freemasonry compiled by the late Brother Hawkins.
Both of the above books are
inexpensive and splendid possessions. Gould's larger History and Mackey's
really comprehensive Encyclopedia are highly desirable additions to the above
list but they are high in price, though fully worth all they cost. The History
of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders is delightfully written and is a
scholarly work. Mackey and Singleton's History is in the same category.
Gould's Concise History will fill all the student's wants for some time.
So far I have paid attention
to the larger class. I have weighed the possibilities open to the brother
whose desire runs easily ahead of his modest pocketbook. We have contemplated
something less than a ten-dollar expenditure. Let us now deal briefly with
those whose means are more ample.
(a) Write to the Secretary,
Brother A. G. Pitts, Equity Building, Detroit, Mich., for a copy, it costs
only ten cents, of the Masonic Curriculum reprinted by Palestine Lodge. This
is the work of the late George Speth of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, the justly
celebrated research body of Masonic students. If you can obtain all the books
cited by Brother Speth you cannot but possess a very useful working library.
(b) Write to Brother Frank
Marquis, President of the Masonic Library Association at Mansfield, Ohio, for
a list of the volumes collected by that enthusiastic body. The catalogue
contains most useful notations to many of the books and the list forms an
example and a guide.
Please note that to secure
all the foregoing works would demand much time and about two thousand dollars
(c) A subscription to the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 2076, of London, will bring a lot of information every
year. Many of the Masonic bodies on the membership list published by the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge issue publications of their own that are of decided
importance. These are such treasures as the works printed under the auspices
of the German Union of Freemasons, the Lodges of Research at Manchester and at
Leicester, England; the several Lodges of Installed Masters at Leeds and
elsewhere in England; the Masters and Wardens Lodge at Christchurch, New
Zealand; the Masonic Bureau at Neuchatel, Suisse (Switzerland); the Masonic
Library Association at Cincinnati, Ohio, and so on.
(d) President Scott Bonham of
the latter organization prepared some years ago a little handbook containing
suggestions on the buying and the reading of Masonic works, and he has also in
the same treatise a very good compilation of Masonic words that are frequently
(e) Let me not overlook a
series of three cards devised by Robert H. Corey, Registry Division, Post
Office, Cincinnati, Ohio. These cards list the topics that are of greatest
pertinence to the young Freemason and they may even be profitably handed to
him one by one as he receives the lodge degrees. These lists are admirable. As
was to be expected, they give references to such books as are easily obtained
from the local Masonic library.
A good Masonic friend of mine
once told me of having invested some twenty-five dollars in books on
Freemasonry and yet he could never get up interest enough to read them.
Evidently something else was wanted that he did not buy with the books. Books
are only a part of the thing. A taste must be cultivated for the information.
My friend, himself, had out
of his long experience a fund of Masonic data that was and is very interesting
to me. Undoubtedly there were angles of Freemasonry that would have been
entertaining and instructive to him.
What then was the fault with
the books that he bought? They did not fit. His purchase was no more
appetizing to him than you would expect any job lot of books to be to him or
anyone else. Thus it is obvious that the peculiar tendencies of the individual
brother must be taken into consideration or the road to learning will be dry
Therefore take notice that a
worker in the Royal Arch cannot but be keenly interested in the pamphlet on
the Chapter Degrees prepared by Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn of Kansas City. There is much
charm in the books by Addison and Porter for the Knight Templar. Robertson's
Cryptic Rite is exceedingly attractive to the devotee of the Council.
Brockaway's History of Aurora Grata has Scottish Rite importance far beyond
the membership of that century-old landmark among Eastern Masonic keepers of
the faith. Ravenscroft's book upon the Comacines is in all too small compass
the effort of a Freemason of standing among antiquarians to dig out of the
remote past historical truths of consequence to all of us. The many essays of
George W. Warvelle of Chicago on the Council and the Chapter and the Red Cross
of Constantine are unique and ever to be treasured by the fortunate to whom
they travel. In the same class are the productions of Librarian J. F. Sachse
of the Grand Lodge Library at Philadelphia. Of the several productions of
General Albert Pike they are all to be coveted, especially by the Scottish
Rite Mason. These are but specimens of what may profitably be added to the
possessions of the brother whose peculiar interests and connections require
And finally, my brethren, let
me not overlook in closing the "Builders," by Brother Joseph F. Newton. It is
charmingly written and enumerates many references to further sources of
Masonic light. Of general appeal to all Freemasons it may well be deemed one
the first selected for the founding of a home library.
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
BY BRO. ROBERT TIPTON, IOWA
THE day in which we live is presenting for Masonry
an unequaled opportunity for service. By reason of the many problems we are
facing, Masonry can serve the common good as never before. The riches of her
Holy of Holies she can bring as a benign gift for the uplift of man. Her
truths can be told on highway and byway and her transcendent hope for the
abolition of human strife which in this latter day is measured so much in
blood and tears is not too far away to be realized. Her task indeed is
gigantic, but are her resources not mighty? And truth and justice are
eternally on her side. The establishing of the gracious world-wide brotherhood
must no longer be conceived of as a “far off divine event.” Masonic idealism
with its triune basic principle of freedom, toleration, and justice
incorporated in the economy of states, nations and empires, alone furnishes
the foundation upon which friendship, morality and brotherly love can become
To create that human and divine enthusiasm that
will bring a mutual understanding of the rights of men and nations stands then
as the pre-eminent mission of Masonry today. We rejoice in the knowledge of
the part that Masons have played in great movements of enlightenment in
history. It is with sadness that we mark how the noblest and bravest of our
order have had to suffer for their conviction, how they were stoned, starved
and crucified. They lived when it required an unusual degree of physical as
well as moral courage to be a Mason. Let us hope that their glorious example
of heroism and their deathless passion for truth has not been in vain, and may
we, inspired by their zeal and love, be as true to our visions and ideals,
ready if needs be, to lay down our lives for them. Happily it is rare that our
modern prophets and teachers of truth are muzzled, but there stalks throughout
the land a mighty spirit that is opposed to the truth as Masons see it, and
history grimly warns us of the fanaticism of bigotry and its cruelties and
persecutions, so to awaken and teach and tell the truth that the world might
be better, because of its having lived, I conceive to be the great purpose of
the National Research Society.
We can all then expect much, and heartily welcome
the new society with its brilliant coterie of leaders. In the spirit of
scholarship, on the lofty plane of reason governed by the spirit of charity,
fairness and common sense can we alone hope to convince the world of the
rightness of Philosophy and Religion and Government as Masonry declares it. I
prophesy today that the new society will prove to be, in Masonry, the most
powerful agency of any for the realization of the universal ideal, if our
loyal and generous support is graciously and unselfishly given.
The fundamental appeal of the new society is for
the education - the higher education, if you please - of Masons in all that
pertains to Masonry. To insure an efficient understanding of the place of the
order in modern life through a studious research into the traditions and work
of the order, is its first great care. As I view its mission the task assumes
religious proportions. Can that indeed be called anything else but religion,
which enjoins us to govern our life and work by that of which the Holy Bible,
square and compasses are the symbols. The society then is assuming a most
serious and solemn engagement for the good of the order.
I presume it to be a common experience among
members of the Craft to find frequently among the brethren a regrettably
limited conception of the nature of Masonry. And no doubt there frequently is
to be found an unpardonable ignorance. Masonry. I feel, has become popular and
cheap and some of its glory has become shadowed by pins and badges. Quantity
has come to obsess quality. What if we had today to face the sore trials of
our Masonic forebears, think you that you would find among the Craft, those
whose physical and moral courage you question? It is a weighty tie that binds
us and such a one that demands the highest human excellence. Masonic culture
demands an intellectual morality, and this presumes capacity and desire for
learning on the part of the Masonic aspirant. Are we then asking the
unreasonable when we insist that our brother should know something of the
traditions, history and influences of the order. The wilful ignorance of the
mission of the order, especially when we find it among professors and
ministers and others who should manifest the scholarly instinct, is
unpardonable. I confess it often provokes me to question why they ever joined
the order. Equally sad to me is that enthusiastic Mason who sees nothing in
the order but its lip service, and who, having acquired such literal
proficiency in the lodge ritual, tries to convey the impression that the
first, midmost and last of Masonry rests in the possession of a good memory
and a fair measure of dramatic instinct.
It seems that a subtle form of Pharisaism has
crept into our midst - which makes much of pots and pans and loud exclamations
to the disparagement and neglect of the more abiding things, the fruits of the
spirit of our noble order. It becomes pathetic when we view the unstability of
our Pharisaism. Some one has said that the use of common Masonic terms - hoary
with age - frequently are void of meaning to these much lauded proficient
Masons. What, it is asked, is the meaning of Cowan and Cable tow, and before
the question those who have been solemnly instructed to inculcate the
principles of learning stand open mouthed in amazement, and it is surely
quaintly humorous if not ludicrous to often listen, as some of us patiently
do, to the sepulchral voices of many reverent Master Masons solemnly speaking
the words they have not the slightest knowledge of their meaning. It is worse
than the pious nonsensical chanting in the Latin of an ignorant priest. I for
one shall be happy to welcome the movement that will strive to banish the
antiquated terminology and render our ritual into easy unambiguous English.
This, however, is but a minor feature after all but it serves to indicate the
predominant feature of our order to so many Masons. To a multitude of
initiates I often fear the Craft is nothing but a big club, something from
which to acquire prestige, a sort of a mutual aid society without the usual
embellishments of commercialism - good enough as a religion since its
observances are on a religious plane, yet not religion. O, I tell you the
absurdities of conception born of ignorance is appalling. Let us wake up and
rudely shock the Craft into the sobriety of thought that will make every man
understand how serious and holy a thing it is to be a Mason, and how necessary
a knowledge and love of Masonry is to the need of the world.
The National Research Society is heralding a new
day and Masonry is to be congratulated on the response of her sons - her
scholar sons - whose great hope and supreme desire is to make scholars of all
Masons - for in character the New Society is a University, and it, leaders for
the most part are University bred men whose single passion is the good of the
order, and more, even convincing the world by its words and deeds that Masonry
is for the world. I have no desire to be iconoclastic and it may seem that I
have been so, in arraigning the deficiencies I see in our midst. I plead to
but one ambition, even the laying on Masonic hearts the fact that we are too
indifferent to the deeper nature of our Order, and that the work of the new
Society necessitates the loyal support of every man in our midst. In this
alone appears to me to be possible the invigorating of our organic life so
that we may vindicate before the world our claim to being the greatest
benefactor of the race.
Let us learn to be content with what we have. Let us get rid of
false estimates, set all the higher ideals - a quiet home; vines of our own
planting; a few books full of the inspiration of genius; a few friends worthy
of being loved, and able to love us in return; a hundred innocent pleasures
that bring no pain or remorse; a devotion to the right that will not swerve; a
simple religion empty of all bigotry, full of trust and hope and love - and to
such a philosophy this world will yield all the
joy it has.
- David Swing.
LESSON FROM A RAINDROP
BY CHARLES N. MIKELS, P. G.
M. OF INDIANA
The Sun was created a long
time before it was even partially understood. Those who were blind thought
that its purpose was to "dispense light." Much was said about light. Somebody
learned that Sahara was a desert and yet had an ocean of light. The desert
lacked something practical.
Then people conceived the
idea that maybe the Sun had more than one purpose; that it made heat and
power; that heat and power were necessary to make light serviceable; that heat
made raindrops and raindrops made power.
nearly spoiled the reputation of the Sun. He seemed to many, to peep over the
horizon simply to flirt with the wavelets of the sea. He stimulated them until
they were ready to fly to pieces. He called them pet names in vibrations so
rapid that human ear could not register them. The wavelets wanted something
genuinely hot. They wanted to get near something which had a burning heart.
Finally the sea submitted to a change of form and part became something
better. The sea vaporized and the vapor aspired to the Sun.
This Maker of Light caused a
never-ending modification of conventional water. The vapor climbed on steps of
air until it obscured the light of the Sun itself. Then it received "a new
name" and was called a Cloud.
Even the clouds are
misunderstood. They drift and drift until they strike against a cold and
fruitless mountain top. The immovable mountain could not understand a change.
The cloud meant to softly caress the mountain and moisten its dry brow, but
there was no welcome. The clouds were chilled. This drifting dust of the sea
shrank and crowded together in sensitiveness; centralized in sympathy; had no
real helpfulness until it did centralize. A raindrop fell as a result.
The cloud died in giving
birth to a raindrop. While it fell, a sunbeam from the heart of the Sun, shot
into the raindrop, ran around its walls, saw that it was an improvement over
the sea and came out a rainbow of Hope with a message of Change. It seems odd
that God cannot be satisfied with things as they are but must put on a policy
of change. Even a rainbow changed sunbeam.
Crazy with disappointment,
the raindrop started down the mountainside, homesick for the sea. It traveled
in foreign countries. It dodged around boulders which hindered its progress.
No immovable "forms" could stop it. It saw other homesick raindrops and
"joined" them in a common purpose. Enough of them form a tricklet, a
streamlet, a rivulet, a river, yet a river is nothing but a few million
heart-sick raindrops sprinting for their cradle in the sea.
A raindrop has a "rough and
rugged road to travel from the mountain top of yesterday to the sea of
tomorrow. It is little but it is mighty. It is slow, but is persistent.
Harness a raindrop to the horns of Gravitation and it will dig a canyon. But
what use has the world for a canyon, a big gash in the bosom of earth, which
has to be bridged or stop travel? A canyon is a purposeless, brainless,
heartless monument to waste energy until you make another change.
Fraternalize a raindrop, a
grain of sand and a changed sea shell and you can dam a canyon which is an
unused opportunity. Then you can turn the canyon's liquid energies into heat
and light and power. You have to add head and heart and hand to do it. You put
the hoe of purpose into the hands of intelligent method under the direction of
common-sense and imagination, to get a new result out of old forces in a new
Twin raindrops as alike as
two peas, did two things. One acted conventionally and caused waste. The other
sprung an innovation and warmed the world.
There is a lodge room on the
banks of the Niagara River, in which to learn many mysteries. Its covering is
a clouded canopy or starry-decked Heaven. Many have paid an initiation fee in
car fare and hotel bills to visit it. A few people "work" there. A few return.
The great majority of initiates never come back. All wear an indistinct memory
as a badge of membership.
The Falls are one of the
mysteries of God. Many have admired its age. Some have been awed with its
tireless voice of Omnipotence. Others marvelled at its unmastered might.
Generally people had no practical purpose when they went there and had none
when they left. The river was nothing but raindrops and the Falls were nothing
but a jump of raindrops which could not wait.
After the centuries had grown
weary with waiting for God to tell some man what is the great mystery of the
Falls, an innovator stood on the same spot and saw the same sights. The waste
challenged his wit and opened his heart. God whispered to him that the Falls
were meant to be used, and not looked at merely. Wonderful, age-old mystery!
Practice, and not theory!
This spectator talked about
changing the situation. Every sightseer who had no ideas, called him crazy.
This particular spectator decided that God created Niagara River and Niagara
Falls for a practical purpose; that the purpose had never been seen or had
been forgotten; that God never meant waste of time or opportunity or power.
In his sincere simplicity
this unconventional, unsophisticated soul had heard of people who said often
and far and wide, that the thing they most desired was "light," "more light,"
"further light." He thought that they meant it, but they didn't; they merely
wanted to talk about wanting it. There it was running away, enough to answer
their wildest dreams and not a soul would permit the answer to their own
wishes because it came in a new way. They did not see the end from the
beginning. They had no imagination. They did not know how. The idea was too
big for them to grasp easily and at once.
This sightseer was obsessed
by the thought that he had had a wireless message from God; that he alone
understood the situation. He suggested that some of these Niagara raindrops be
diverted to practical uses instead of stereopticon views.
What a storm of indignation
broke upon his head! Change is never practical in prospect. An established
change is a habit. The Falls were perfect as they were. Let well enough alone.
They are as they were yesterday. That is good enough for tomorrow. He was
laughed at but the laugh did not take. He fought first to get the world used
to the idea. It did get used to his thought. Nothing can head off,
permanently, the reign of a sound idea.
This fellow, who was of no
official importance, argued that a practical engineer should dream out the
details of a practical plan to cause raindrops to manufacture and deliver
light and to deliver heat and power with light. He argued for a constructive
instead of a "stand pat" policy. He argued that men with burning hearts should
replace men who sit on the brakes of progress. He argued for a central light
plant instead of the raindrop system. Everybody said that there could be none,
because there had been none. But there was.
What difference did it make
to this innovator that the President, Senators, Congressmen, Governors,
Legislatures, all the officiary of habit, were against him! What difference
did it make because those who want ideas digested and fed to them as if they
were young mental robins, insisted on sleeping in comparative darkness, on the
brink of a good thing! It was his business to wake them. He was talking about
the purposes of God. God wanted the world to actually and really have more
light, heat and power.
The world did not care what
God wanted. People wanted that to which they were accustomed. The bottomless
canyon of habit intervened. Niagara Falls had always been "an ancient
landmark" of waste, and waste is a virtue when it is old enough.
People of petrified purposes
fought him, doubted him, hindered him. The dynamic heart of this custodian of
God's purposes of helpfulness, hammered the idea into the heads of men for
their own good. He literally hammered, repeated, reiterated until he forged
the key of attention which opened the door to their brain cells so that an
idea could walk in. He aroused interest; study followed; purpose ripened;
judgment acquiesced; some assisted. Everybody knows what happened. The right
was permitted to prove that it was right. The right prevailed. The logic of
efficiency conquered. The raindrops were commanded to turn aside. They co-ordinated
for the benefit of man. These sovereign, independent raindrops were organized
and directed by a combination of masterful intelligences possessed of a
More light and heat and power
followed. Everybody is used to the idea today, hence it is safe. Men of those
days shied at this practical idea of helpfulness just as western broncos shy
at a stray page from the Bible. The bronco does not understand the Bible. He
never tried. If he knew anything he knew that the usual place for a page of
the Bible is in a property room of a Church, home or Lodge. An active page
from the Bible in a strange place has to be explained to men even.
God has plenty of time to
wait and he has plenty of patience. Man has but three score and ten years so
he has to be in a hurry to see ideas bud, blossom and bear fruit. The
persistence of this dreamer of innovations, made him a pest to all whose heads
And yet all but this dreamer
were mistaken. It did not hurt the world nor mar Niagara Falls to change its
purpose and plans. There was less light when these raindrops had no
leadership. Light is applied theory. It is intelligent practice. Heat is not
frenzied fancy. It is useful every day and not merely on Saturday night on or
before full moon. Power is not fiction. It is fact, helpful fact. It is sane
to secure more light, to secure aggressive heat, to increase power by change.
With the potential power of a
river of God's, Masonry has rambled and twisted through the bed of two
speculative centuries without the direction of organized premeditation. To
change the figure, it has plowed a great furrow in history. But it never had a
headplowman who knew anything about intensive farming.
Masonry has stood pat in the
face of God's manifest policy of evolution, and has prided herself on the
fact. It even glories in repeating words, phrases, paragraphs, degrees which
have lost their fitness like the Fellow Craft's degree.
Four or five times in these
centuries, some incarnation of Fortitude, has dared to challenge the
perfection of Masonry just as Preston did. He was an innovator. He was a
Masonic heretic demanding the light of education. He made a change, a radical
change, a helpful change. We are used to his change now, so we forgive him, we
applaud him. New styles in thoughts, ideas, practice and purposes are no more
popular than new shoes. Maybe the shoes will not fit. When soles wear out, you
have to get new ones or go to bed and sleep.
Preston jarred the brain
cells of his co-temporaries. He compelled them to think. He compelled them to
think when they did not wish to think, of things with regard to which they did
not wish to think. So did Krause, Oliver and Pike. They should have been
expelled as disturbers of the age-old peace. Why in the world, did they not
let well enough alone? Wasn't Masonry growing in numbers fast enough;
collecting initiation fees enough, wearing badges enough, building enough
Temples ? What more could you want ! Practical purposes of the heart are less
easily understood than practical purposes of dollars.
Your National Masonic
Research Society isn't an innovation. No one need to be afraid. You have
simply jumped back one hundred and fifty years to get a little of the purposes
of Preston. You have resurrected a part of a dead purpose. He talked of
education in general. You talk of Masonic education in particular. This
purpose is narrow enough to be safe. Certainly you are safe. God is probably
applauding you while we fear lest you let the logic of Truth guide you
fearlessly, no matter where it takes you. You might find out what God meant
Masonry to do and be and how.
You cannot prevent our
learning at least one thing from Preston, Krause, Oliver and Pike. They
slipped the straight jacket of habit from their minds and hearts. They proved
that there is a mental peace which is stagnation.
Masonry has an unpremeditated
and unspeakable responsibility because it has permitted nearly 2,000,000 men
in this country alone, to pass its ritualistic doors. If Masonic Truth is
being eagerly, frequently, heartily, personally incorporated in the lives of
90 per cent of these members, under the direction of Grand Masters, Past Grand
Masters and Grand Lodge Officers, Masonry is a practical, vitally effective
fraternal order and these officers should be crowned with "Well done."
If you have to drum up
quorums, apologize for lack of attendance and interest when degree work is
done, if scarcely 10 per cent of the 2,000,000 members get under the influence
of Masonry at all, there is a lack of heat and power at least.
Sovereign raindrops running
independently through a channel of habit, without real purpose, without
practical plans, without power, without head, call for another of God's
Runaway raindrops are an
emblem of waste. Waste is inefficiency. Masonry is a progressive science if
there is progress. Does it fit the modern heart or is there a lot of lost
motion? Is Masonry efficient? Could it be made better? Can you make it better?
Will you make it better? How?
The first thing to do is to
get your Masonic bearings. Understand it as it is. Is Masonry efficient?
MYSTERY OF WORDS WELL SAID.
There is a mystery of words
And many labor in that craft;
Avail to win the worship
which is due
The Master, of his work
To some the days their own
Night healeth all their
languors, and content
Sweetly attends their task's
A measured portion, and an
But these are not the
Master--not the priest
Of those high mysteries of
words well said;
But lesser workmen, toiling
in his stead:
For evermore his travail is
Until that he shall frame
that greater Word
Whereat, sublime and perfect,
walks the Man;
As once where Pison and
Eastward from Eden, garden of
--John Edmund Barss.
For the commandment is not
hidden from thee; neither is it far off. It is not in heaven that thou
shouldst say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we
may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and
in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
Charlemagne, and myself have formulated empires. But upon what did we rest the
creations of our genius? Upon Force. Jesus Christ alone founded his empire
upon Love, and at this moment millions of men will die for Him.
BY BRO. FRANK L. HAYCOCK
ANOTHER year has ended:
another year has commenced. If the old year has had its lessons for us, let us
hope the new will have even more. And though we may not hope to make Masonry
different, or more than what it is, and has been, we may still strive to come
in closer contact with its principles and precepts, and seek its secrets still
deeper, that we may have a better understanding of its hidden meaning.
For there is a hidden meaning
yet. Let no brother presume to have grasped the meaning of all of our
ceremonies: let no one think that the lectures so far as they go in our three
degrees of symbolic Masonry are even intended to convey the true meaning of
our initiatory ceremonies.
In Masonry, as in the arts
and sciences, "there is no Royal road to learning." What we learn we must seek
for: what is buried we must uncover.
But as was the case with our
traditional sprig of Acacia, the place is marked, the way is pointed out, the
line is drawn that we may or must follow. If we lose the road it is our own
fault. If the real secrets persist in remaining heled, we must dig if we would
find them. Rubbish must be cleared away. Our highest reasoning powers must be
invoked; and the best that is in our intellect be brought to bear.
As I went over in my own mind
what I might have to offer to the brethren on this occasion, I was minded to
give it the title "Foundation Stones"; and later I was reminded of a little
verse from our Great Light; and the thought struck me that any discourse
pertinent to Masonry, must of necessity, partake somewhat, if not fully, of a
moral or at least of an ethical nature; and I wondered if a text would be out
of place. If not, then the text I would take, or rather the text I would in my
humble way endeavor to enlarge upon, is in Proverbs, and reads, "In all thy
ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." And in Proverbs also by
the way, there is another verse that is applicable, which says, alluding to
wisdom and understanding:-- "Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her
paths are peace." This verse is a poetic gem by itself, but the thought in it
is far grander than all the poetry that was ever written.
To those whom I fail to
impress with what I am about to say, I would recommend a reading of that
beautiful book of Proverbs, especially the 2nd, 3rd and 4th chapters.
When we leave the Apprentice
degree behind, with its teachings of Morality and Virtue, and arrive
symbolically at the foot of the winding stairs, many things are pointed out to
us that demand our close attention if we would improve our opportunities.
Unfortunately, it seems, there is so large a scope covered within a short time
dealing with the different arts and sciences, that even with the closest
concentration, most of us are unable when we hear it, for even many times, to
retain or grasp its connection with Masonic principles.
This is confirmed in my mind
by an incident that occurred in this very Lodge many years ago, when. I heard
one of the principal officers of our Grand Lodge remark, speaking of this
degree, that, he "could write a better degree himself."
But when within the middle
chamber, the meaning of the letter "G" is explained to us, we should then
begin to conceive the true import of the meaning of various things. I shall
always contend, that while the lodge may be as its members make it, Masonry
itself is founded so firmly, and rooted so deeply in enduring verities, that
if all of one lodge, or of many lodges should depart almost wholly from
everything Masonic, but its forms and ceremonies, yet no one could justly say
that Masonry is as Masons make it. It is the fact of its "Foundation Stones"
that I seek to show - the fact that it has endured so long conclusively
proving their existence.
All through this degree the
attempt is made to link together, operative and speculative Masonry; and we
are told near the end, speaking of geometry and architecture, "Geometry, the
first and noblest of sciences is the basis upon which the superstructure of
Masonry is erected."
To my mind, that does not
mean just what it says. The superstructure of Masonry was never erected upon a
simple science; but, the application of geometry to the science of astronomy
did, by determining the fact of a regular and systematic order in the
movements of the heavenly bodies, inspire in men's minds a greater, firmer,
and a larger respect for a supreme governing power whom we sometimes term the
Grand Artificer of the Universe.
Later we are told:--"A survey
of Nature and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first, &c--
This idea of a foundation is
something that all men have inherently considered. We have always sought to
know what was at the bottom of things. It is natural for man to turn to the
acquisition of wisdom when purely animal wants and desires are satisfied. In
this one thing more than in anything else, man differs from the rest of the
animal kingdom. And, as one generation thrives upon the gathered knowledge and
accumulated wisdom of those who have been before, we pay our debt to humanity
by adding a little bit more and passing it to posterity.
The first architect, what of
him? His first structures were made with the idea of stability and security,
if we are to believe the tales told of the cave-men. Then probably came rude
huts with growing trees used as corner posts, poles from one to the other, and
other poles on them, a covering of wild grass or skins for roof, brush woven
together for walls. As architecture advanced, men were not satisfied with what
was purely for utility in dwellings and structures, and the idea of
ornamentation crept in; and this at times in the past has been carried to such
an extreme, that the cheap and gaudy embellishments of certain periods would
seem ridiculous in a building of today. Some of our plainest structures, that
follow symmetrical lines, we now consider the most pleasing to the eye.
But even in our towering
buildings with their noble spring of arch, piercing of sky-line, heavy
cornice, and symmetrical ornaments, do we, in admiring their general pleasing
effect to the eye, consider what the architect was forced to consider! namely,
the solid foundation on which it must rest, and the strength so cunningly
hidden, to form the support of its towering superstructure? A tall, beautiful
building, shorn of what goes to make up its general finished appearance, has
about as much beauty as a hay rack. The extreme height of some of the
structures of today, demand extremes in foundations, and these go deeper and
yet deeper, and the builder is but following natural laws in his plans and
And here is the lesson that
architecture teaches to Masons--that we should embellish and adorn our minds
with useful knowledge; but that our principles should conform to the laws of
God, as the architect's plans conform to the laws of nature and of physics.
The Masonic edifice is founded on firmest supports, else we could not build
thereon. We cannot build without starting squarely over and upon these
underlying truths and fundamental principles.
As it is with Masons, so with
all society and the State as a whole; for what is good for Masons is good for
all. Masonry may be big enough some day to embrace all mankind. I have no
doubt but what it will when mankind shows itself worthy. I believe that
Masonry in its inception, (that is, modern Masonry) was intended to be helpful
to society, to improve the social state, through inspiring in men's minds, the
necessity of considering the existence of a supreme Being who was all
wise--who had prescribed laws for all human acts- -who, to discourage men from
attempting to rear an artificial state, had so arranged things that men might
not with impunity ignore the least of his laws-- that any infringement, any
departure from what the "great intelligence" had said should be, would result
only in confusion and suffering.
As one writer has put it,
"the core and essence of our belief is, that there is in social relations, as
in physical relations, a law, an order, a law which everywhere coincides with
the divine law, an order which shows intelligence and beneficence."
As society grows and becomes
more complex, we, who superintend the building must, if we are true Masons and
real builders, go more and more to the bottom of things--seek further and
further for the governing laws which we are taught exist--endeavor with all
the intelligence at our command to interpret the true meaning of the search
for the "Master's word."
The higher we go in the scale
of civilization, the deeper we must delve into the question of what supports
it, just as, the higher the architect goes up with his structure, the deeper
he must go down with foundation.
I consider it a privilege and
an honor to be placed with a society whose fortune it is to make men wiser,
better, and consequently happier. It should be a noble work, and to do it and
do it well, the "foundation stones" should be sought out and securely placed.
If our acts, either as an
individual or as a Lodge, or in the State and the community as a whole, will
bear the supreme test of having "acknowledged Him" let us not think it strange
that the result is misery and suffering, and poverty with all its attendant
We are but children of one
Father, Brotherhood and interdependence are but facts in Nature. Our simplest
reasoning powers, following the lines of least resistance, are our surest
guide, and lead us into safest paths. One writer has truly said "No
consecrated absurdity could have stood its ground in this world, if the man
had not silenced the objections of child."
Vanity makes fools of us all.
Who are we anyway, that we should do aught but be guided by our Creator in all
our ways? Does any man come into this lodge, subscribing to his belief in the
existence of, and acknowledging that he puts his trust in a Supreme being,
imagine that he has any powers whatever, except those with which he is endowed
by God? All that man is existed before he ever saw the light. The very
elements that compose his physical being were tangible matter long ago; and
may have been used by other earthly inhabitants, and may be so used again and
If man has power independent
of what he draws from nature, or if his inner intellect is other than a part
of God, then indeed we all are gods. But such is not the case, "As a swallow
darting through thy hall, such, O! King is the life of man."
In this world we live in,
nothing escapes, nothing elementary is ever, or has ever been, waste or,
We do not change the form,
location, and shape of things. In this short life of ours we either do, or do
not, add to the sum of human knowledge; and what more laudable than to study
who we are, where we came from, why we are here, and what it is intended that
we should do? How may we better pay our debt to those who were before us, than
to bequeath to those to come, a larger store of understanding, something to
assist them in the problems that will constantly confront them?
If we build upon the sands,
or if we use not "foundation stones" true and tested, then our lives have been
for naught, our work of no avail. We not only have done nothing, we have made
accomplishment more difficult for those who follow us, as they must first
wreck what we have built and lay the foundations true and solid, in order that
the fabric of that temple, erected to God, and dedicated to the holy Saints
John, may rise true and plumb, and endure forever in the Kingdom of God.
(The Builder is an open forum
for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his
own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of
spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another;
but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each
to stand or fall by its own merits.)
AFTER six months service as Editor of the journal
of this Society, it may not be amiss to look back for a moment and see how far
we have come and what has been done, keeping in mind the original designs on
the Trestle Board. Detailed report of the activities of the Society has been
made by its Secretary, and what we give here are some impressions which have
come to us in the course of our labors. Editors have their troubles, so we
infer from the preface to the Masonic Calendar of the Province of
Buckinghamshire, England, in which the Editor of that volume says:
“They say a reasonable amount of fleas is good for
a dog - keeps him from brooding over being a dog, maybe. And so I suppose a
reasonable amount of worries is good for an Editor - keeps him from brooding
over being an Editor, maybe. With some Secretaries gone to the war and others
gone to the dogs, with some of the old ones that are left gone out of their
senses and some of the new ones never having had any senses to go out of, the
compilation of the Calendar for 1915 will stand out forever it my memory as
one of those rugged hilltops, like measles and matrimony and first cigars,
which one does not want to have to climb more than once during life's weary
Happily we have met no such fate, albeit our
experiences have been sufficiently varied and laborious to keep us from
brooding over being an editor, and from taking on any airs by virtue of that
fact. Of course we have had our difficulties, as we expected, but our labors
have been delightful, if somewhat exacting, and use would fain believe not
altogether in vain. Meantime, the fact that stands out like a star is the
enthusiasm and co-operation of the Craft in an enterprise which they are now
certain is one of great importance and promise, and to which they lend their
earnest support. The wonder is that the difficulties have not been greater,
for it was a new and untried undertaking, and if they have not been as trying
as anticipated it is due to the deeply felt need for such a Society, and to
the remarkable response to its appeal in behalf of the Study Side of Masonry.
Chief among our delights has been the closer
contact with Masonic students from one end of the land to another, and beyond
the seas, and their quick recogniton of the need and purpose of this Society.
When we began our labors we knew only a few of our fellow-workers in the field
of Masonic study, but they have made themselves known and have shown their
readiness to serve, offering the choice results of their researches. Besides,
they have undertaken arduous tasks at our request, the fruits of which the
Craft will harvest in due time, and not a few of them have responded to our
need, often on short notice, with articles of the first order of worth. They
have been wise in counsel, fruitful in suggestion, and in all ways possible
have made us aware of their interest and eagerness to assist in a labor which
means so much for the better understanding of Masonry and the better ordering
of its thought and endeavor.
Meanwhile we have learned many things - a fact
which some of our Brethren will be glad to know, for they have told us that we
have much to learn, including not a little which we still think is not so -
and one of them is the obvious need for real scholarship and clear thinking in
Masonry. The London Freemason notes with amazement, not unmixed with
amusement, that an American Lodge listened to an extensive paper upon “Jesus
Christ - A Mason,” and remarks that “American Masonic journals have published,
in ten years or less, more nonsensical imaginative rubbish than English Masons
would tolerate in a century.” English journals, it adds, closed their columns
against a number of incredulous fallacies some years ago. Perhaps this
criticism is justified, and if so, it does but emphasize the necessity for
this Society and its journal which seeks, with the aid of the best Masonic
students of the land, to clear the air and set authentic Masonic truth in the
Absurdities there are in plenty, as we can testify
- they have beseiged us, clamoring to be heard - and to deal with them asks
for skill and patience. Some would shut them out entirely, as the Freemason
has done; others would explode them on the spot, and thereby wound the
feelings of good but misinformed men; but some of us prefer to meet them
gently and with charity, the while we tell the truth so simply and plainly
that they can be seen for what they are and put where they belong. Admit that
every kind of fantastic nonsense is being taught in the name of Masonry, it
only shows how much work lies before Masonic students and serves as a
challenge to them to bestir themselves in behalf of sound learning and the
spread of the truth. What the late Robert Gould did for Masonic history must
now be done, especially in America, for Masonic symbolism and philosophy, and
in this difficult labor The Builder hopes to have no small part in the years
Not much can be done in six months towards working
out the program outlined in the Foreword to The Builder. Nevertheless, a
beginning has been made, and Masons everywhere are coming to realize that such
a program, if worked out - as it can be, and will be in time - will
permanently influence the future of American Masonry in ways which no man can
measure. In the presence of this possibility, we may well renew our vows to
keep inviolate the Masonic inheritance handed down to us, turning neither to
the right nor to the left from the path marked out by ages of experience, and
never for a day forget the great design drawn on the Trestle Board of The
Order. While we are writing essays, editing journals, discussing symbolism and
philosophy, let us always remember that the best thing about Masonry is that
it wins the homage of elect youth, teaches them to pray to the God in whom
their fathers trusted, and upon the open Bible which their mothers read asks
them to take oath to be good men and true, chaste of heart and charitable of
mind, to build their characters upon the homely old moralities, and to
estimate life by its sanctity and service.
Masonry is not everything; it is a thing as
distinctly featured as a statue by Phidias or a painting by Angelo.
Perpetuating the Men's House of primitive society, it is a world-wide
fraternity of God-fearing men, founded upon spiritual faith and moral truth,
using the symbols of architecture to teach the art of building character; a
historic fellowship in the search for truth and the service of man, whose
sacramental mission it is to make men friends and to train them in
righteousness, liberty, and charity. By as much as this mission is fulfilled,
by so much will humanity be healed of the wounds of war, the crime of greed,
the shame of lust, and all injustice and unkindness.
* * *
So unqualified an endorsement of the aims of this
Society and the ideals of its journal - as well as the spirit of its Secretary
and its Editor - as that given by the Grand Lodge of Indiana at its last
communication, in the special report on the Study Side of Masonry, is of
far-reaching significance. It was gracious and most encouraging, and it means
much to have two such Grand Jurisdictions as Iowa and Indiana give their
sanction to a movement for Masonic education truly national in scope, and
whose purpose it is to promote good-fellowship, free discussion, sound
learning, and practical efficiency in Masonry. No doubt other Grand Lodges
will take due notice and govern themselves accordingly, as we believe they
realize, what ought by this time to be plain, that this Society is no scheme
for the floating of a magazine, but the largest organized body of Masonic
students in the world, founded by the authority of the Grand Lodge of Iowa to
diffuse the kindly light of Masonry.
* * *
We regret that the second chapter of the “Early History of
Masonry in America,” by Grand Master Johnson of Massachusetts, has been
delayed, owing to the pressure upon our columns; but it will appear in due
course, setting forth the claims of the old Bay State in forthright manner.
Interest in the Society has grown so rapidly, and articles have come so thick
and fast, that it is not always easy to select where there is so much that is
good and timely. None the less, every article, every suggestion, every
question - of which there are a multitude - receives due consideration, and if
the Editor is not always able to reply to his correspondents
at once, he begs his Brethren to believe that it is not humanly possible to do
* * *
As this issue of The Builder will reach its
readers on or before Independence Day, we call special attention to the
address of Brother Keiper, Past Grand Master of the District of Columbia, on
the Washington Memorial to be erected at Alexandria, Va., because of the
admirable and impressive way in which it states the spirit, purpose and
symbolism of that enterprise. The speaker portrays the movement in its higher
and deeper meanings, as a proposal to build not simply a monument to a great
man and Mason, but to uplift a shrine whither pilgrim multitudes may go and
renew their homage to the Spirit of Masonry which found embodiment in the
Constitution of this Republic, and vow new allegiance to the principles of
civil and religious liberty which Washington and his Masonic compeers wrought
into the organic law of this nation.
* * *
Dear Sir and Friend: - If it had not been for poor
health and pressure of work, I would have written last month in regard to the
misstatements contained in Professor Pound's lecture about my father in the
April number of The Builder. It is incorrect to say that my father did not
enter Harvard because he was too poor: I have stated the truth briefly in the
biographical sketch of him in the introduction to the volume of his poems, but
shall amplify it somewhat in my Life. But I cannot wait for that to contradict
the assertions about his connection with the Indians in the Civil War. At
first I was very indignant that Prof. Pound should have revived that old
slander; but, on reflection, I concluded that it was well that I should have a
chance to refute it. It is absolutely untrue.
My father did not go into the Indian Territory to
raise regiments to fight in the Confederate Army against Union troops; nor did
he voluntarily take them into the battle of Elk Horn. He went to the Indian
Territory as Commissioner from the Confederate States to make treaties with
the Indians, and succeeded so well that he was made Brigadier General in
conmand of that Territory. He made a stipulation, however, which was agreed to
by the Confederate government, that the Indians were not to be called out of
the Territory to fight, but were to be organized solely for defense, in case
of invasion. The Major-General commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department
broke this agreement, and ordered my father to join him with all the forces
under his command. My father protested bitterly, stating that some of the
Indians were not civilized or disciplined, and it would not be possible to
prevent them from fighting in their old savage way. His protests were
over-ruled and his advice flouted; and the blame was left on him. It was this
and other high-handed proceedings of other Commanding Generals, that caused
him to resign from the Confederate Army.
I heard some of these facts from my father
himself, and the rest from members of his staff, especially from Major Fayette
Hewitt, who after the war was made Quartermaster General of the State of
Kentucky by Governor Stevenson. I feel sure you will give as wide publicity to
this correction as to the erroneous statement, which casts such a reflection
upon my father's memory.
Very sincerely yours
Lilian Pike Roome.
* * *
AND THE GREAT SCHOOL.
Dear Brother: - have read with much interest your review of
“The Great Work,” by TK. I, too, have read the book more than once, and have
also studied somewhat the writings of other men along somewhat the same line.
My greatest interest has centered around the problem of demonstrating the
future life - that is, the continued existent of the individual after physical
death. I note your statement, “Moreover, he (the editor) holds that this kind
of search for certainty is not only useless, but dangerous, in that it is
seeking for something which is manifestly not ordained for humanity.” Would it
be presumptuous if I asked you to further elucidate
in your review? It would be most interesting to me, and, I think to others who
have studied the problem if you give us further instruction along the line of
the following questions:
1. Why is the search for evidence of the fact of
another life (after physical death) useless and dangerous? Could you give us
any positive information along this line ? Have you proven it as positively as
you assert it?
Upon what evidence do you base your very positive statement that this
knowledge is “manifestly not ordained for humanity?” You will note that your
statement does not seem to be the assertion of a belief, but the word
“manifestly” would seem to indicate that you have demonstrated its accuracy.
My reason for making this request is this. TK
states very positively that evidence of the fact of a life after death is
obtainable, and offers to enable the student to make the demonstration of the
truthfulness of his assertions. If, therefore, you are correct, he is most
assuredly wrong. If he is right, then it must be that you are in error. While
I have not proven that he is correct, yet I firmly believe that he is.
Inasmuch, however, as I recognize that belief is of very little importance as
compared with actual knowledge, I am very anxious to gain all the information
possible on this subject.
You also state that no evidence of the existence
of the Great School is forthcoming. Before making this statement did you make
a request of any member of the Great School for any evidence along this line?
Your statement would leave one to infer that it is not possible to obtain this
evidence. Is that a fact ? I have understood from one of his friends that TK
is willing to discuss with others matters pertaining to the School, and he has
stated in his magazine that he is willing to meet men in the interests of
science. Have you tried to meet him? If there is no such School, then TK is a
liar, and I have been wasting my time in reading his books. Moreover, if he is
lying, he should be exposed. His statements, as you know, are as positive as
those which you make, and are not attributed to mere belief. Besides, from the
nature of the thing he must know whether or not this Great School is in
existence, since he claims to be a member of it.
If, on the other hand, he is correct, it would
seem that he should not refuse a reasonable request for information.
Seriously, I believe that the matter here touched upon would be of interest to
a good many Masons, for TK's books are pretty widely read among the Craft. I
know personally a good many Masons who feel that his Great Work is, indeed,
the greatest Masonic book ever written; and if this rapidly growing estimate
is incorrect, The Builder, in my opinion, could do no better work than to stop
Sincerely and fraternally,
Joe Fennell, Jr., Kentucky.
(Many thanks for this straightforward letter.
Taking first things first, let it be said that the immortality of the soul is
the polar expedition of philosophy, as it is the polar star of faith. There is
a sense in which it may be said to be scientifically demonstrated, in the same
way that all the great conceptions of science and philosophy are true -
because the integrity of the human mind, and the rationality of human
experience, make its reality a necessity. (Brother Fennell will be interested
in a chapter on this subject in a recent book, “Is Death the End?” by J. H.
Holmes.) Now as to the questions which he formulates so concisely:
(1) Never once did we intimate that all search for
evidence of the fact of another life, after physical death, is useless and
dangerous, but only that specific kind of uncanny search, and other methods of
like sort, recommended by TK - that is, inducing a state of consciousness or
unconsciousness, by means of ascetic practices, in which the mind leaves the
body and travels in the unseen world and works and receives the wages of a
Master. With all possible respect, we still hold such methods to be dangerous
to body and soul alike, if for no other reason, that they think to find the
truth by putting the mind of man to sleep, or at least by setting at naught
its greatest powers and achievements. Moreover, such methods are useless as to
results, first, because they have not yet revealed any important or
substantial fact. Second, they are not needed, for that Eternity is here, we
live in it, and the sky begins at the top of the ground. When a man lives as
becomes a citizen of Eternity, life discloses its own eternal quality, and
death is seen to be only an incident in the immortal life.
(2) Surely the age-long experience of humanity,
and of its loftiest and finest minds, is worthy of consideration. Time out of
mind, men of all ages and races have been seeking certainty as to a life
beyond death - trying to prove what they cannot help believing - but they have
not found it to their satisfaction. Is it not “manifest,” then, that it is not
ordained that man should attain to actual knowledge of what lies behind the
heavy drapery of death ? Also, is it not clear, as we have tried to point out
in our review, that such an arrangement is not only a fact, but that it is
wisest and best ? There are those who would throw the grand old Bible out the
window, but Masons are not of that ilk. It lies open on our altar, and if we
look into it as we should it will tell us the truth - that “the just shall
live by faith.”
Concerning the alleged Great School, it is beside
the mark to tell us to go and talk it over with TK in his office. Nor is it
necessary to call him a liar or any other ugly name. TK may sincerely believe
that such a Great School exists, that it has existed from time immemorial,
that it has records, as he says reaching back beyond the time of Moses, that
it has a monopoly of all high truth and has superintended the education of the
human race: he may believe all this, and more besides, but that does not make
it so. Fifty thousand men may believe it, still that does not make it true. If
such a School exists, having in its keeping such astonishing documents, it
ought to be an easy matter to convince the scholars of the world of that fact.
Nor is it a thing to be talked over in whispers behind closed doors in a dark
room, or in a back alley. When we ask for proof, ask to have the documents
Produced, it is surely “a reasonable request for information,” the more so
when it purports to possess the Lineal Key to the origin and story of Masonry.
There is a sense in which we may say that all
seekers after truth constitute a kind of secret School, a united but
unincorporated fraternity, who recognize one another without hesitation or
hindrance in every part of the world. (See the beautiful Valediction to the
Collected Poems of Edward Waite, descriptive of this sodality in quest of
attainment and light.) But that is not what TK has in mind. No; as Brother
Fennell says, his language is too specific and positive to be a mere statement
of opinion or belief; he affirms as a fact that such a Great School actually
organized, has existed in all ages, and possesses records running back into
the darkness of prehistoric time, and that Buddhism, early Christianity, and
Freemasonry are so many efforts of that Great School to instruct the race and
lead it into the light of truth. If Brother Fennell accepts all this on the
ipse dixit of TK, that is his right, and no one will say him nay; but he ought
not to be impatient with those of us who ask for some semblance of evidence.
There is much that is wise and true in “The Great Work,”
especially in the thesis which the author sets forth so logically and cogently
in the earlier chapters of the book. Albeit, his thesis is neither new nor
revolutionary, but has in one form or another been familiar enough from the
days of Aristotle down to our own. Therefore we should read the book, like all
other books, with discrimination and care, accepting what approves itself as
reasonable and is justified by the facts. But if we take the book as it is,
without criticism and without proof, we may as well burn the books of the late
Robert Gould - to name no other - and go back to the days when Masonic history
was a tissue of fables, and each writer tried to outdo the rest in reciting
the most fantastic legends.
If we have written earnestly about this matter, it
is because we are in earnest about it. For TK himself - a noble and gracious
man, we make no question - and for Brother Fennell and all those who follow
his leadership we have the utmost respect and fraternal goodwill.
Nevertheless, we believe that while the “Great Work” has done good, it has
also done great injury to the cause of authentic Masonic research - not
intentionally so, but actually so in fact - in that it has started many Masons
on the wrong track, and would, if it were accepted as a standard, expose the
Order to just ridicule. As Brother Fennell has said The Builder can do no
better work than to show that “the growing estimate of the book is incorrect”
- no better work, indeed, unless it be to bring Brethren to discuss the matter
with the same freedom and frankness as Brother Fennell has done in his good
letter, and as we have tried to do in our response. - The Editor.)
* * *
VERITAS ET PRAEVALET.”
Dear Brother. - In the May issue of The Builder,
in the article on the early History of Masonry in America, by Grand Master
Johnson, of Massachusetts, the following erroneous statement appears:
“Brother Sachse, the learned historian and
librarian of Philadelphia, has kindly informed me that confirmation of the
assertion that Masonic meetings were held in Boston in these early days is to
be found in the library of the American Philosophical Society.”
I have never met Brother Melvin M. Johnson
personally nor mentioned the year 1720 in this connection to any one. What I
did say to Brother Niskerson and Davis upon different occasions was that I had
at one time found a reference to Freemasonry in Boston, in the early thirties
of the eighteenth century; it may have been in 1730, or a couple of years
later; the date however was prior to 1733. The first I knew of this statement
about 1720, was in the September Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts. I at once wrote to Brother Johnson asking him to correct this
statement, and I have his letter to me under date of February 15th, 1915,
wherein he states:
“I have rewritten my Address on the Early History
of Masonry in America in several rather important particulars, and furnished
it to Brother Newton for publication in The Builder. I shall see to it,
however, that the statement quoting you is made accurately, as I have
requested that he send me the proofs for revision.”
I see now that this has not been done: in the
interest of truth, I will ask you to correct that misstatement. “Magna est
veritas et praevalet.”
Very fraternally yours,
Julius F. Sachse,
(Perhaps this error occurred in our office, by not
catching all the corrections indicated by Brother Johnson. If so, we are very
sorry. When Brother Johnson has finished stating the case for Massachusetts,
we hope that Brother Sachse, or some one else, will set forth the claims of
Pennsylvania with equal force of fact and logic. When that is done, we hope to
have a word in regard to this much debated matter, the more because Brother
Johnson thinks he caught us napping in the Builders.
- The Editor. )
* * *
Dear Brother: - In your
reply to a question about the influence of Masonry in Latin-America, did you
not slip a cog? Fosdick has a chapter on French Masonry in this country, but I
do not find anything touching upon Latin-America. The uninitiated
in this subject might run over much without seeing it. The key is found in the
influence of Francisso Miranda who formed La Gran Reunion Americana in London,
of which a branch was The Sociedad de Lautaro, or “Caballeros Racionales.”
Among the books touching upon it may be mentioned Pennington's “Argentine
Republic,” Hirst's “Argentina,” and Chisholm's “Independence of Chile,”
especially the last named.
The librarian of the Northwestern University has
just returned from two years not fruitless search for historical materials in
South America. The books brought are almost entirely in the Spanish and
Portuguese tongues. In the hour I spent while they were unpacking I found
three chapters dealing with the matter, in Mitre's Life of San Martin, and of
Henry B. Hemenway, Evanston
(For once we thank the good stars for having
slipped a cog, if it has induced Dr. Hemenway to break his silence, for he is
an authority on all matters pertaining to Latin-America, including its Masonic
history. Now that the ice is broken, if Brother Hemenway does not give us the
result of his researches, we are tempted to refuse ever again to play in his
backyard, or climb his apple tree. Surely such a terrible threat will induce
him to write the article we wanted him to write for The Builder which will be
most welcome he may be sure. Brother Lemert of the Masonic Lecture Bureaux has
also made some researches in this interesting field, and we shall be glad to
know his findings. - The Editor.)
(Found among his papers after
Hard ye may be in the tumult
Red to your battle hilts;
Blow give for blow in the
Cunningly ride in the tilts.
But when the roaring is ended
Tenderly, unbeguiled -
Turn to a woman a woman's
And a child's to a child.
Test of the man if his worth
In accord with the ultimate
That he be not, to his
Always and utterly man.
That he bring out of the
Fitter and undefiled,
To a woman the heart of a
To children the heart of a
Good when the bugles are
It is to be iron and fire,
Good to be oak in the foray -
Ice to a guilty desire.
But, when the battle is over
(Marvel and wonder the while)
Give to a woman a woman's
And a child's to a child.
If I, from my spyhole, looking with purblind eyes
upon the least part of a fraction of the universe, yet perceive in my one
life's destiny some broken evidences of a plan, and some signals of an
over-ruling goodness, shall I then be so mad as to complain that all cannot be
- R.L. Stevenson
God must be glad that one
loves his world so much -
I can give news of earth to
all the dead
Who ask me: - last year's
sunsets, and great stars
That had a right to come
first and see ebb
The crimson wave that drifts
the sun away -
Those crescent moons with
notched and burning rims
That strengthened into sharp
fire, and there stood,
Impatient of the azure - and
In March, a double rainbow
stopped the storm -
May's warm, slow, yellow
moonlit summer nights -
Gone they are, but I have
them in my soul !
- Robert Browning.
“A friend in need” - my
neighbor said to me -
“A friend indeed is what I
mean to be;
In time of trouble I will
come to you,
And in the hour of need
you'll find me true.”
I thought a bit and took him
by the hand:
“My friend,” said I, “you do
The inner meaning of that
A friend is what the heart
needs all the time.”
- Henry van Dyke.
Let this much be stated as to those who
deliberately and willingly sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, making
a brazen compromise with what they hold despicable, lest they should have to
win their bread honorably, men need to spend no declamatory indignation upon
them, They have a hell of their own; words cannot add to the bitterness of it.
- John Morley
“IN A NOOK
WITH A BOOK”
(In spite of the fact that many books have piled
up waiting for attention, while we have been reviewing “The Great Work” - or,
some insist, reviling it - we are glad to sit still while Brother Lobingier,
of Shanghai, China, reads a page from Zola; the more so because he comes from
afar, and also because what he reads contains within it a striking suggestion
of the necessity for Masonic Research and for the deepening and better
ordering of Masonic thought. Of course, Zola did not know Masonry from the
inside, else he would not have thought of it as a rival Church, much less a
sect competing with other sects. Nevertheless, the point he raises asks for
deep pondering, and never more so than today.)
The late Emile Zola was proposed for membership in
the French Academy but, largely thru prejudice, he failed to attain that
coveted distinction. Nevertheless, if not an “immortel” he was at least an
“intellectuel” and his novels, which were much on the “problem” order, exerted
a powerful influence not only in France but thruout the civilized world,
It is interesting as well as profitable to learn
the attitude of such a man toward our ancient craft. M. Zola evidently knew
only the continental variety and that entirely from the outside. In his
celebrated novel entitled “Rome” (part of a famous trilogy including “Lourdes”
and “Paris”) M. Zola thus describes his hero's (and probably his own)
conception of the subject:
“Freemasonry had hitherto made him smile; he had
believed in it no more than he had believed in the Jesuits. Indeed, he had
looked upon the ridiculous stories which were current - the stories of
mysterious, shadowy men who governed the world with secret incalculable power
- as mere childish legends. In particular he had been amazed by the blind
hatred which maddened certain people as soon as Freemasonry was mentioned.
However, a very distinguished and intelligent prelate had declared to him,
with an air of profound conviction, that at least on one occasion every year
each Masonic Lodge was presided over by the Devil in person, incarnate in a
visible shape! And now, by Cardinal Sarno's remarks, he understood the
rivalry, the furious struggle of the Roman Catholic Church against that other
Church, the Church over the way. Although the former counted on her own
triumph, she none the less felt that the other, the Church of Freemasonry, was
a competitor, a very ancient enemy, who indeed claimed to be more ancient than
herself, and whose victory always remained a possibility. And the friction
between them was largely due to the circumstance that they both aimed at
universal sovereignty, and had a similar international organization, a similar
net thrown over the nations, and in a like way mysteries, dogmas, and rites.
It was deity against deity, faith against faith, conquest against conquest:
and so, like competing tradesmen in the same street, they were a source of
mutual embarrassment, and one of them was bound to kill the other. But if
Roman Catholicism seemed to Pierre to be worn out and threatened with ruin, he
remained quite as sceptical with regard to the power of Freemasonry. He had
made inquiries as to the reality of that power in Rome, where both Grand
Master and Pope were enthroned, one in front of the other. He was certainly
told that the last Roman princes had thought themselves compelled to become
Freemasons in order to render their own difficult position somewhat easier and
facilitate the future of their sons. But was this true ? Had they not simply
yielded to the force of the present social evolution ? And would not
Freemasonry eventually be submerged by its own triumph - that of the ideas of
justice, reason, and truth, which it had defended through the dark and violent
ages of history? It is a thing which constantly happens; the victory of an
idea kills the sect which has propagated it, and renders the apparatus with
which the members of the sect surrounded themselves, in order to fire
imaginations, both useless and somewhat ridiculous. Carbonarism did not
survive the conquest of the political liberties which it demanded; and on the
day when the Catholic Church crumbles, having accomplished its work of
civilization, the othe: Church, the Freemasons' Church across the road, will
in a like way disappear, its task of liberation ended. Nowadays the famous
power of the Lodges, hampered by traditions, weakened by a ceremonial which
provokes laughter, and reduced to a simple bond of brotherly agreement and
mutual assistance, would be but a sorry weapon of conquest for humanity, were
it not that the vigorous breath of science impels the nations onwards and
helps to destroy the old religions.”
Masons as well as Catholics may find little to
indorse in this. But does it not contain material for serious reflection?
Particularly does it not strengthen the position of those who would lift
Masonry above the plane of mere ritualism? It is certainly true, as the famous
novelist here suggests, that the only institution with a future is one which
ministers to some real human need.
Charles Sumner Lobingier,
33rd Degree Hon.
* * *
I am eighty years of age, and
have read with much interest your address to “The Patriarchs.” Perhaps you
will be kind enough to tell me what you think is the best book on old age.
Beyond doubt the best, bravest, wisest book on old
age is “Over the Teacups,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, both because of the
sweetness of its spirit, and for the fact that Dr. Holmes was an old man when
he wrote it. We once heard a dear old lady say that she was willing to live as
long as she could keep her front teeth and her sense of humor. Well, she lost
her teeth - and got new ones - but she never lost her sense of humor. Nor did
Dr. Holmes. You will also enjoy “The Round of the Clock,” by W. R. Nicoll,
which discusses each period of life, with the names of great men and what they
did at different ages. It is a very delightful and fruitful book of essays.
* * *
I regard it as the duty of the Master of every
Lodge to urge The Builder upon the attention of his Brethren. As a method of
furthering the work and spirit of Freemasonry, may I suggest that in each
issue you publish a column of pithy, instructive, quotable paragraphs relating
to the Craft and its work, so that the Lodges which desire to do so may carry
the message in whole or in part to the Brethren by means of notices and
Thank you for so good a suggestion, which we shall
keep in mind. Perhaps some Brother will take this delightful duty as his share
of the work; he would find it congenial and inspiring. We nominate Brother
Parvin, if he is not too busy, for he has more treasures of this kind stored
away in his mind than ever any magician of the East dreamed of. Do we hear a
second? - it is carried unanimously!
* * *
What caused the break between the Catholic Church
and the Masonic fraternity? - N.R.M.
Rightly to answer your question would require a
whole article. Perhaps you cannot do better than get two pamphlets by Brother
R. J. Lemert, of the Masonic Lecture Bureau, Helena, Montana, entitled
“Catholicism and Freemasonry” and “A Sign and a Summons.” They sell for
fifteen cents each, and will furnish you with a brief and vivid historical
discussion of the question.
* * *
In the Builders (page 61) there is a note in which
you say that Schure, TK and Dr. Buck are misleading. That is rather severe, is
it not ? Please explain further what you mean. - H.H.J
How the text and the note to which it refers could
be so misunderstood is hard to know. The discussion has to do with the Secret
Doctrine and the claim of some, as in the case of Schure, that Jesus was an
initiate of some ancient School of Masters from whom he learned his Gospel.
Since this is all a conjecture, without even a hook upon which to hang an item
of evidence, we said it is misleading; and added, “though not intentionally”
so. Furthermore we pointed out that those who have led our race furthest along
the way to the Mount of Vision were initiates into eternal truth, not by grace
of some coterie of esoteric experts, but by the grace of God and the divine
right of genius.
* * *
Please tell me the origin of the feasts of the two
Saints John among Masons, and something of their meaning. - W.B.N.
Of the Masonic feasts of St. John the Baptist and
St. John the Evangelist much has been written, but to little account. In
pre-Christian times the Roman Collegia were wont to adopt pagan deities as
patrons. When Christianity came, the names of its saints - some of them
martyrs of the order of Builders - were substituted for the old pagan gods.
Why the two Saints John were chosen by Masons - instead of St. Thomas, who was
the patron saint of architecture - has never been made clear, though legend
has been busy in trying to explain it. None the less, it is in accord with the
fitness of things, since John the Baptist was a stern prophet of
righteousness, and John the Evangelist the Apostle of Love. Righteousness and
Love - righteousness of character, and love of God and man - surely those two
words do not fall short of telling the whole duty of a man and Mason. Howbeit,
these two feasts, coming at the time of the summer and winter solstices, are
in reality older than Christianity, being reminiscences of the old Light
Religion in which Masonry had its origin.
* * *
Some of us have come to depend on The Builder to
tell us what books are worth while, not only in Masonry, but in other fields
as well; and you have not failed us once. What in your judgment is the best
novel of the year?
It would be hard to find anything in recent
fiction of more real power and worth than “The Harbor,” by Ernest Poole, not
only for its fresh and vivid insight, and its skill in drawing character, but
also for its symbolism. And don't forget to read the article on “Quack Novels
and Democracy,” by Owen Wister - himself one of our master novelists - in the
June Atlantic Monthly. It is worth going miles to read.
* * *
A Poet and Freemason: John A.
Joyce. London Freemason.
Indian Art and Architecture,
by Edith K. Harper. Occult Review. June.
A Plea for Masonry, by C. H.
Merz. American Tyler-Keystone.
“Grand Lodge of all England”
at York, by J. S. Carson. Virginia Masonic Journal
“Father Taylor” Chaplain of
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, New England Craftsman.
Original History and
Symbolism of the Mark Master Degree, by John Fishel. Masonic Observer.
Last Days of John Paul Jones,
by G. P. Brown. The Trestle Board.
* * *
Spoon River Anthology, by E.
L. Masters. Macmillan Co.
The Bible and the Anglo-Saxon
People, by Wm. Canton. E. P. Dutton & Co.
Poems of Progress, by J. H.
West. Tufts College Press, Boston.
The Mysticism of Music, by R.
Heber Newton. G. P. Putnam's Sons.
The Divine Mystery, by Allen
Upward. Houghton Mifflin Co.
Religion in the Making, by
Samuel G. Smith. Macmillan Co.
* * *
CONTINUATION OF QUESTIONS ON “THE BUILDERS”
Compiled by “The Cincinnati
Masonic Study School.”
71. Which art is considered in the study as
presented in “The Builders” and what is it called ? Page 5.
72. Is the idea recent or old as regards: “Tools
and implements of architecture teach wise and beautiful truths ?” Page 27.
73. Where did all the arts have their home in
ancient times, and how were they diffused? Page 73.
74. Why is it thought that from the beginning
architects were members of secret orders? Page 73.
75. For what length of time has architecture been
related to religion ? Page 73.
76. What is said of the Colleges of Architects?
Page 82, 83.
77. What famous Collegium was uncovered in Pompeii
in 1878? Page 83.
78. How are the emblems of Roman College of
Architects now regarded by those who know their meaning ? Page 84.
79. Were all members of the College of Architects,
Christians ? Page 85.
80. What led to the persecution of Master Masons
and the breaking up of the College of Architects and their expulsion from
Rome? Page 85.
81. Who are supposed to have been the missing link
between the College of Architects of ancient Rome and the Cathedral Builders ?
Who and what were they? Page 86, 87.
82. What happened when the College of Architects
were broken up and expelled from Rome ? Page 86.
83. What is said of the designers of the great
cathedral, who were they and who executed the work? Page 89.
84. Do you regard Fergusson's hostile criticism of
Freemasonry, in his book, “History of Architecture,” as prompted by knowledge
or ignorance of the orders Page 90.
85. To whom is honor as designers of great
Edifices due and who wrongfully received the credit? Why? Page 98, 99. Why
does this statement bear weight? Page 98, 99, 114, 115.
86. What comparison is made between the Cathedral
Builders and the Guild Masons ? Page 97.
87. How did the Cathedral Builders characterize
the menace of ecclesiasticism, and the abuses current in the church? Page 99.
88. What does the English writer, Hope, say of the
Freemasons in regard to their effort to enrich architecture after Roman times?
88a. Who instructed the ecclesiastics of the
middle ages in architecture? Page 114.
89. When and how did the Gothic style of
architecture come to be introduced ? Page 120.
89a. Which of the Arts is considered the most
exalting? Page 153.
90. In what years did the Masons build the famous
London Bridge and the Westminster Abbey? Page 123.
91. What is said of how the ancient Brethren set
about to build an abbey or cathedral? Page 135, 136
92. In building a cathedral or any other building
what part of the work was done by the apprentice, the Fellow and the Master
Masons each ? Page 137.
93. What reference, to the principle of acting on
the square, have we dating back to the fifth century before Christ? Page 30.
94. How far back is the oldest classic of China
(The book of History) which has Masonic references? Page 29.
95. What proof do the early Roman and later
English style of buildings offer as to the antiquity of Freemasonry? Page 98.
96. What is said of the legend and the antiquity
of Masonry ? Page 110.
97. In what year do we find the first trace of
Masonry in America? Page 206.
97a. Was Bobby Burns a Mason? Page 226.
98. What is said of Masonry being older than any
living religion and what caused it to become the great Brotherhood that it is
? Page 233.
99. Why has Freemasonry been permitted to become
old ? Page 244.
100. What is an atheist? What is an agnostic? What
is materialism ? Page 267, 268.
101. What lies upon the altar of Masonry ? Page
265, see also 261 note.
102. What references are there in the Bible,
relative to the materials and working tools of the Mason ? Page 31, 32:
103. What large stone was the emblem of Buddha
among the Hindus ? Page 28.
104. What is said of natural and artificial
barriers in relation to the Brotherhood of Man? Page 288.
105. Was there early Masonic teaching in China in
symbolical building? Page 31.
106. What was the condition of affairs just before
the Christian Era? Page 50.
107. To whom did primitive Christianity appeal and
where was it seldom given a hearing? Page 85, 221, 221 note.
108. When and what condition made it possible for
the church to influence Masonry? Was it entirely successful? Page 101.
109. When did Freemasonry break with the Roman
Catholic Church and why? Page 101, 102.
109a. What induced the Grand Orient of France to
remove the Bible from its Altar and erase from its ritual all reference to
Deity? Page 261, Note 1.
110. What caused the church to arouse its
animosity toward the Masons? Page 122.
111. What is the meaning of Cowans and
Eavesdroppers? Page 138.
111a. Why is Masonry more than a political party,
social cult or church, and why do some men give up their church when they
enter Masonry ? Page 230, 251, 252.
112. What was the testimony of Cicero in regard to
happy hopes for the hour of death by a man's learning in the house of the
hidden Place? Page 52.
113. What did Confucius Teach? Page 29.
114. What is said of Masonic Charity in the year
1733 ? Page 188.
115. What services did the Comacines render ? How
were they organized and governed? What were their symbols, regalia, and of
what were they the keepers ? Page 88.
116. Whom and in what capacity did the Comacine
Masters serve ? What was their creed ? Page 101.
117. What is said of the records of old craft
Masonry and what period do they cover? Page 102. Did they confer more than one
118. What was the purpose of Old Charges and
Constitutions? Page 102, 103.
119. Where can detailed information, relative to
the Old Charges, be found? Page 103.
120. Why was the name of the Master-artist omitted
from the Old Charges of Masonry ? Page 109.
120a. What makes the “Old Charge” of 1723
memorable ? Page 177, 178.
121. When do the “Old Charges” begin their account
of Masonry in England and about what years? Page 116.
121a. What is the “Charge” as contained in the
Constitutions of 1723 ?
122. What is said of vanished civilizations, where
art and science and religion reached unknown heights? Page 6.
122a. When were the “Old Constitutions” revised?
123. Why does a man refuse to think of death as
the gigantic coffin-lid of a dull and mindless universe descending upon him at
last? Page 25.
123a. What is one of the hotly debated questions
in Masonic history? Page 141, 196, 197.
124. Who does Albert Pike say framed the three
degrees of Masonry and why ? To whom did they communicate these secrets? Page
124a. Was the legend of the Third Degree known
prior to 1717? Page 149.
125. In what years did friction arise among the
Masons of England, what was the reason and how does it happen that in spite of
all this Masonry goes steadily marching on? Page 214, 215.
125a. Why the “York” rite? Page 216 note.
126. What makes a man aware of that divinity
within him ? Page 270, 293.
127. What was taught by the Druids as far north as
England in regard to life after death ? Page 49.
128. Why would it be wrong or what good would it
do for one who understood the mysteries and the secrets contained to give or
try to give them to any one who was not “Duly and truly prepared” to receive
them ? Page 59.
129. What is said of the Dionysian Artificers?
130. What is said of the mysteries as practiced by
the Dionysian Artificers? Can it be verified ? Page 77, 78.
131. What is known of the Druses now inhabiting
the Lebanon district? Page 78.
132. What result flows from bigotry and dogmatism
? Page 273.
132a. Describe the transition we call Death. Page
133. What Masonic emblems are found carved on
ancient sarcophagi? Page 83.
134. What does Emerson say that God and Nature
does for us ? Page 57.
135. What are the real foundations of Masonry both
Material and Moral ? Page 15.
136. How did man think out his Faith ? Page 27.
136a. What is the sure proof and prophet of life's
own high faith? Page 270.
137. In former times what sort of freedom did
Masons enjoy in contrast to the other people ? Page 88.
138. What is the difference between the Freemason
and the Guild-mason? Page 98.
139. What was the difference between the
conformity and uniformity during the Middle Ages in regard to freedom of
thought, etc. ? Page 100.
140. When did Benjamin Franklin become a
Freemason? Page 200, 207.
141. How did Masonry help to shape the
institutions of this Continent? Page 222, 224, 225.
142. What is the most
fundamental of all truths after we examine the foundations of Masonry? Page
143. Will Freemasonry ever
swerve one jot from its ancient and eloquent demands till all men are free in
body, mind and soul ? Page 272.
144. What in times past was a
higher crime than murder ? Page 273.
145. Why does Masonry make
all mankind free with whom it comes in contact? Page 273.
146. What makes men free?
Page 271, 272, 273, 274, 275.
146a. What is the result of
Despotism ? Page 273. Of Bigoted Dogmatism? Page 273.
147. What is the faith of
humanity? Page 279.
148. State the relation of
Real Friendship to Masonry. Page 284 to 290.
149. If those who doubt and
deny are to be wooed to the faith, if the race is ever to be led and lifted
into a life of service by what art must it be done? Page 291.
BUILDING THE BRIDGE AT TWILIGHT.
An old man, going a lone
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide,
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow
“You are wasting your strength with building here:
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old
gray head -
“Old friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim -
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him !”
Ah, God, for a man with
heart, head, hand,
Like some of the simple great
Forever and ever by,
One still strong man in a
Whatever they call him - what
care I ? -
autocrat - one
Who can rule and dare not lie
Hearken the eager strife -
Hustle and hurry, morn till
Calm content, or fear and
Somewhere a frown, somewhere
Making the world glad all the
Faith in the Goodness ruling
Hope in the future's
Darkness cov'ring the face of
Clouds replacing the rosy
Here a bubble of childish
There a beggar - of Fate the
Wealth and poverty, side by
Spirit humble, and pandered
Kings and classes, the great
Years recording the rise and
Done to the lyre, the drum
This is existence, with
mystery rife -
We call it life !
- Wm. Eben Schultz, Conn.
Stern Daughter of the Voice
of God !
O Duty ! if that name thou
Who art a light to guide, a
To check the erring, and
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost
And calm'st the weary strife
of frail humanity!