The Builder Magazine
December 1916 - Volume II - Number
SUPPRESSION OF THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE
BY BRO. FREDERICK W.
DE MOLAY confessed only to
spitting on the cross, denying the other allegations. He seems to have been
led to this partial confession, which in a way was an evidence of weakness, by
several considerations. One was fear of torture. Although De Molay appears to
have been a man of personal courage in the battle field and was capable of
dying a painful death with heroic resignation, as we shall see later, he seems
to have shrunk from the threat of torture. He was also promised clemency if he
would confess and he appears to have believed that a partial confession would
open the door to freedom and enable him not only to save himself, but the
other Knights. We must remember that De Molay throughout was conscious of his
responsibility as Grand Master, and in all his actions he appears to have felt
that he must consider not only himself but the brethren of the Order who were
under his command. He also feared a definite charge of sodomy aimed against
himself. There is no reason to believe that there was a slightest proof for
such a charge but De Molay's enemies were active, ingenius, and unscrupulous.
They had manufactured a case against him and they had witnesses ready to
sustain the charge by perjured testimony. In those days escape was difficult
if the tribunal desired to convict and there is little doubt that if De Molay
had been tried upon this charge he would have been convicted. No matter how
unjust such a conviction, it would have meant death and dishonor. It is no
wonder that De Molay was not willing to face this. Under these circumstances
he made his confession, but he declared that he would offer satisfactory
explanation if only he could be allowed to submit it in person to the King or
the Pope. What this explanation probably was we shall see later. It is
needless to say, however, that De Molay was not permitted to make it, and his
confession was held by his enemies for all it was worth and more.
When Pope Clement heard of
these proceedings he was extremely angry. He immediately issued an edict
suspending the Grand Inquisitor, and sent a committee of cardinals to
investigate and report. Unfortunately, however, the case had gone too far to
be stopped, as the King perfectly well knew. Individuals might be punished,
but in some way or another proceedings would have to go on. Philip was not in
the least daunted by the Pope's anger or disturbed by his interference. He
arranged for a conference between himself and Clement which was held in June,
1308. The King, who, throughout these proceedings shows himself to have been
much the stronger personality of the two, took the aggressive by demanding of
the Pope five extremely unpalatable things.
1. Canonization of Celestine
2. Condemnation of Boniface
VIII for heresy.
3. A general Council to take
into comprehensive consideration the affairs of
4. Papal absolution for De
5. Removal of the papacy from
Rome to Avignon.
Clement yielded with regard
to the canonization of Celestine, the absolution of De Nogaret, and the
removal of the papacy. This was the beginning of the long residence of the
popes at Avignon which is known in history as the "Babylonish Captivity." The
condemnation of Boniface and the general Council were two things to which he
was entirely unwilling to consent. In return for the relinquishment of these
points he did exactly what Philip had foreseen and desired; he abandoned the
defense of the Templars.
negotiation a bargain was struck between the Pope and the King. Two sets of
terms were agreed upon, one to be made public but not to bind either the Pope
or the King, the other to be kept secret but to be regarded as binding.
According to the first, which was a tissue of treacherous falsehoods, the
Templars were to be taken from the French-authorities and placed in the hands
of the Pope as representing the Church. The property of the Order was to be
held in trust by the Church and the proceeds were to be used for carrying on
the crusade; that is to say for the purpose for which it was originally
intended. The suspension of the Grand Inquisitor and others who had been
involved with him was to be removed. The terms of the private agreement were
far different. The Church, on the plea that it had no facilities for the care
of so large a number of prisoners, was to leave the persons of the Templars in
the hands of the King. The properpty, instead of being held and administered
by the Church, in trust, was to be held by Philip on behalf of the Church and
was to be administered by a Board of Administrators, half of whom were to be
appointed by the Pope and the other half secretly appointed by King Philip. In
other words, the Templars and their goods were handed over to the tender
mercies of the King. Such was the price in humiliation and dishonor which
Clement paid for the title of Successor of St. Peter.
The next act in this tragedy
was the summoning of a Council to try the Order as a whole. Henceforth here
were two processes simultaneously going on, one against the Knights as
individuals and one against the Order as a corporation. This gave opportunity
for more treachery.
As we have seen, the King had
played the game with loaded dice from the beginning and now the dice were
loaded even more heavily than ever, if such a thing were possible. A net was
spread from which it was well nigh impossible for any one to escape, while the
proceedings were extended to other countries. It is not necessary to go into
the details of the story of the proceedings outside France. In a general way,
so far as the individual Knights were concerned, they were similar to the
French proceedings although conducted with varying degrees of severity
according to the temper of the several monarchs who were concerned in the
matter. Actions against the Order as a whole were covered by the proceedings
which we are about to trace.
Knights were summoned from
far and near to come to the defense of the Order in its hour of trial. They
were asked by the papal authorities to come and speak in its defense and they
naturally understood that this implied personal immunity. They soon found,
however, that nothing of the sort was intended. When each Knight appeared he
was asked if he desired to defend the Order. If he said that he did he was
immediately made a defendant, not only in the process against the Order but in
the personal process against the Knights. If he took alarm and said that he
did not wish to defend the Order, he was held as a witness, liable to
examination under torture.
Many Knights, trusting to
their immunity as witnesses, withdrew their former confessions which, as will
be remembered, were obtained under torture. They withdrew these confessions
because they were false and because they desired to defend the Order as a
whole against the charges to which they had personally pleaded guilty under
compulsion. Considerable numbers of those who withdrew their confessions in
this way were immediately burned as relapsed heretics. This, by the way, was
the ordinary procedure in those days in the case of dealings with heresy. As a
rule there was very little chance for the accused to escape. If he refused to
confess he was convicted and burned on the testimony of others. If he
confessed and withdrew his confession he was burned as a relapsed heretic. If
heconfessed and did not withdraw the confession, he was burned as a confessed
heretic. About the only difference was that in the last case he received
absolution, which was supposed to save his soul, and was sometimes able to
save his property for his family. Moreover, not content with the ordinary
partiality of judicial proceedings in those days, the two sets of proceedings
were made to play into each other and evidence obtained in either trial was
used indiscriminately against the defendants in both.
Interest centers largely
around the tragic figure of De Molay. As we have already seen, he had been
examined by the Grand Inquisitor in 1306 and had made a partial confession. He
was kept in close confinement although he demanded an opportunity to appear
before the Pope who, it will be remembered, was the only person in Christendom
to whom he owed allegiance, and submit to him an explanation of the acts with
which he was charged.
In 1308 he was visited by
three cardinals sent by the Pope. He was solemnly assured that he was now in
the hands of the Church, from whose clemency and aversion to cruelty and
bloodshed everything favorable could be expected. He was promised mercy by
both the Pope and the King on the strength of a full and free confession. He
renewed his confession, although he did not extend its scope, and threw
himself on the mercy of the Church. He was given absolution by the cardinals,
was restored to the communion of the Church, and was actually given the
sacrament by the cardinals. This was distinctly stated by the cardinals in a
report which they made to the Pope.
In spite of all these facts,
however, he was not set at liberty, though he vigorously demanded it and urged
the fulfillment of the promises which had been made to him.
In November, 1309, De Molay
was brought before the Council which was trying the Order. Being asked if he
would defend the Order he refused to plead. He appealed to the Pope, pleading
the rights of the Order and demanding to be heard by the Pope in person. In
response to the charge of idolatry he made solemn affirmation of orthodoxy.
Being charged by De Nogaret with having dealings with the Saracens contrary to
his vows and to the interests of Christendom, he said that the alleged
dealings consisted only of truces and treaties made with them as incidents of
warfare and for the sake of saving the Christians in the Orient from disaster.
The charge of sodomy was brought up, but was not pressed with much vigor and
the prosecution failed to establish it by even plausible testimony. De Molay
then demanded to be set at liberty, claiming the failure of the accusations
and the promises of both the Pope and the King. The request, however, was
denied and he was sent back to his dungeon.
The tedious proceedings
against the Order dragged on for three years. Every effort was made to
suppress the defense and to discourage or destroy the defendants of the Order.
Again and again the chosen representatives of groups of Knights were either
executed or silenced. Executions continually took place as the result of the
other set of proceedings and care was taken that these executions should be as
damaging as possible to the defense of the Order.
The proceedings lasted until
May 6, 1312, when the Pope, by a summary exercise of his authority, dissolved
the Order. It is important to note that the Order was never condemned. The
proceedings against the Order were never finished. While they were still going
on the Pope intervened and put a stop to the proceedings and to the Order at
the same time. Examination of the evidence shows that the charges were not
substantiated, at least in any way which would appear to satisfy modern ideas.
It is quite probable, however, that had the proceedings been allowed to come
to their natural end the Order would have been condemned. It is difficult to
see how the Pope and King could have permitted the proceedings to come to any
The intervention of the Pope
was for the particular purpose of saving the immense properties of the Order
for the Church. By the law of that day the property of a condemned heretic
passed not to the Church but to the State. If the Order of the Temple had been
condemned for heresy its immense possessions would have passed to the rulers
of the countries in which they were located and the Church would not have
touched a penny. Dissolution of the Order, however, without condemnation threw
its numerous properties, scattered over Europe and the east, into the hands of
the Church. Pope Clement was not so sincere a defender of orthodoxy that he
had the slightest intention of taking all his trouble for the purpose of
enriching Philip of France and other kings of Europe. He preferred to let the
Order go uncondemned, to leave the Knights to the tender mercies of kings and
inquisitors, and to save the money for the Church.
In this, however, he was only
partially successful. It will be remembered that in France, at least, the King
was the custodian of the property of the Templars and he succeeded in keeping
a very large part of it. The same thing happened to a greater or less extent
in the other countries. The Pope, however, succeeded in getting a portion of
the wealth into his possession and a considerable part of this finally found
its way into the hands of the Hospitalers. It is not to be understood that the
Hospitalers were participants in the proceedings against the Templars. The
Order of the Hospitalers was the greatest militant Order of Knights in
existence except the Templars and the natural administrator of property given
in trust for the crusades.
De Molay remained in prison
until December, 1313, when he was brought before three French cardinals. The
old vague promises of mercy were made and De Molay once more renewed the old
confession again without extending its scope. He was taken back to his dungeon
and told that at a certain time the cardinals would make their final decision
in the case. Trusting to the repeated promises which had been made, De Molay
came before them on March 10, 1314, expecting liberation, probably accompanied
by heavy penance and possibly other penalties. To his amazement he was
sentenced to life imprisonment. De Molay, it will be remembered, had been in
prison for seven years. Whether he had been actually tortured or not is not
quite certain, but imprisonment itself was torture in those days and De Molay
was not willing to face the prospect of a further imprisonment which could
terminate only in his death. He was shocked, angry, and broken hearted at the
treachery which he had met at the hands of both State and Church. As soon as
the sentence was announced, De Molay arose in his place and retracted his
confession, declaring that it was not true, that he had confessed only out of
willingness to please the King and the Pope and a desire to help his brethren,
and that he now wished to withdraw his confession, proclaim its untruth, and
take the consequences. The cardinals, in confusion, adjourned their court
until the next day. This was something entirely unexpected and they desired
time to think it over.
King Philip, however, had no
intention of allowing his prey to escape him or of giving the cardinals the
desired opportunity for meditation. That very night De Molay was taken from
his prison by a detachment of the King's guards and burned at the stake on a
little island in the Seine. In spite of the high-handedness of these
proceedings, involving the invasion of the rights of the Church by taking its
prisoner from its hands and putting him to death, the cardinals did not dare
to raise a word of protest, so great was the ascendancy which the King had
obtained over the Pope. It is stated by tradition that when De Molay went to
the stake, he solemnly summoned the Pope and the King to meet him before the
bar of eternal justice within one year. Whether or not this legend is true, it
is true that within the year Clement and Philip were both in their graves.
Whether for good or evil the
Order of the Temple was suppressed forever. No other body of men ever enjoyed
such wealth, such power, such privileges, and such immunities as had been
enjoyed by the Templars. Whether they had used them wisely or not, it is not
always easy to say. That they were in a very real sense injurious to both
State and Church, we shall probably all agree. That the Templars did not
deserve so cruel a fate as that which overtook them seems clearly established.
In order to make this point clear, let us make a brief examination of the
indictment drawn against the Order and the probable truth, or lack of it, in
The indictment against the
Order contained 117 articles, or counts as we should style them. This great
number of counts was partly the result of technical repetitions. In many cases
the same accusations were repeated in different forms, the first charging that
a specified offense was committed by all of the Knights, the second that it
was committed by most of them, and the third that it was committed by some of
Stripped of verbiage and
repetition the charges came down to the following:
Denial of Christ.
Defiling the Cross.
Requiring indecent kisses
from the candidates.
Denial of the sacrament of
Omission of the most
significant words from the mass.
Granting of absolution for
sins, even when not confessed, by the Grand Master.
Exacting an oath never to
leave the Order.
Holding secret conclaves.
Permission to the members to
Actual practice of sodomy.
Worship of Idols.
Adoration of a cat.
Use of cords which had been
touched to an idol.
Murder of candidates for
refusing to take the oath of secrecy
Murder of members for
revealing the secrets ofthe Order.
Confession only within the
limits of the Order and not to outside priests.
Failure to correct or reveal
the evils which the members of the Order knew to exist.
Failure to discharge the
duties of hospitality which were incumbent upon the Order.
Covetousness and rapacity in
obtaining possession of the property of others.
The indictment closed by
alleging the confessions which we have already
considered as proof of the
truth of the charges.
It would be tedious, perhaps,
to examine the charges in detail, but a few of them should have careful
We know that the conclaves of
the Order were held in secret and that no outsiders were admitted to their
ceremonies. That was not a crime, but it was a cause of suspicion.
We have no sufficient
evidence either that candidates were murdered for refusing to take the oath or
that members were murdcred for revealing the secrets. In this respect, as in
some others, the agitation reminds us of the anti-Masonic charges of a later
time and especially of those connected with the name of Morgan. Fundamentally
the same human characteristics are involved.
Charges of immorality are
certainly not substantiated by the evidence. That there were immoral
individuals in the Order could hardly be denied. It would be impossible that
so large a body of men should be free from unworthy members. It would be rash
to deny that there were individual cases of sodomy. The crime was common in
the middle ages and has always been the curse of celibate communities. That it
was particularly common among the Templars or sufficiently common to blacken
the fame of the whole Order is absolutely without proof. Indeed there is very
little evidence in the trial bearing at all upon this point.
The charge that the practice
was permitted finds absolutely its only shadow of foundation in the fact that
a section of the "rule" provides that when there were not sufficient
accommodations for each Knight to have a separate bed, two might occupy the
same bed rather than that one should lie upon the floor.
The charge of covetousness
and rapacity is natural. When a rich noble died and left all his property to
the Order his heirs, naturally enough, were not particularly pleased. They
doubtless had a good deal to say about undue influence and other things which
we hear about today. That the action of the Order was particularly
objectionable in this respect does not appear from the evidence.
The charge of parsimony and
lack of hospitality was abundantly refuted.
The charge of heresy or the
holding of forbidden beliefs was not proved and was always denied by the
The omission of significant
words from the mass or any other form of blasphemy was not only unproved but
was vigorously denied by practically all of the witnesses. The charges
relating to heresy are denied not only by the testimony of the witnesses but
by the entire history of the Order. It is extremely probable that the
cosmopolitan character of the Order and the contact of its members with men of
many nationalities and of different faiths had the inevitable result of
broadening their views and giving them a certain toleration and largeness of
personal outlook. It is very difficult for a man who comes constantly in
contact with all sorts and conditions of men and with a great number of
national and racial types to continue a fanatic. During the whole course of
their existence, however, the Knights were the foremost to shed their blood
and spend their lives for the Christian faith, that is to say for orthodox
catholicism. They were the cutting edge of the crusading armies, rivaled in
this regard only by the Hospitalers. Again and again detachments of the
Knightswere cut down to the last man fighting for the cross and refusing to
surrender to the infidel or even to flee from him. Men do not show such
determination as this for a faith in which they do not believe.
As for the matter of
confession and absolution. We know that the rule of the Order especially
provided that the members should have their own chaplains, to whom they should
make their confessions when it was possible to do so. This rule was drawn up
by St. Bernard and approved by the Pope. Obedience to it on the part of the
Knights could hardly be considered a crime. It was abundantly proved that the
Grand Master did not give ecclesiastical absolution. He did have the right to
receive disciplinary confessions, to condone offenses against the Order, or to
inflict disciplinary penance. This was a purely administrative matter and had
nothing to do with clerical absolution. No Grand Master ever presumed to give
The charge of idolatry arose
from a curious misapprehension. It was alleged that the Templars worshiped a
brazen head. This head, it was said, had a white beard and rested upon a tall
tripod. To this head the Templars were said to pray, and it was charged that
the cords which they wore as a part of their habits were consecrated to it by
being touched to it. The great church of the Templars in Paris possessed a
very sacred relic. It was said to be the head of one of the 11,000 virgins who
were martyred with St. Ursula at Cologne. It is interesting to know, by the
way, that the legend of the 11,000 virgins rests upon a misreading of an old
Roman inscription. The inscription tells of "XI M Virgines." M was read as an
abbreviation for "mille" but it was really the abbreviation for "martyres" and
instead of being read 11,000 virgins it should have been read 11 virgin
martyrs. However, the head in question was believed to be the head of one of
the virgins, whether there were eleven or eleven thousand. This head was
covered with a white linen cloth and was covered again by a gold or bronze
case in the shape of a head. When the case was slipped over the head the linen
cloth showed at the base of it. The relic was displayed on special occasions
before the high altar of the church, mounted on a tripod. This was the
bearded, brazen head which the Templars were said to worship. There were
probably reproductions of this reliquary in other Temple churches. It is
probable that the Templars were glad to consecrate their cords by touching
them to this sacred relic as was a common practice in those days.
The charge that indecent
kisses were required is probably true, though not as a universal practice.
This appears from a considerable number of depositions. This was done probably
from one or both of two reasons. It may have been required as a test of
obedience. It will be remembered that the Knight swore the three great vows of
poverty, chastity, and obedience. Obedience was held to be absolute. Once the
Knight had sworn he was under this bond and was bound to do without question
anything that he was told to do by his knightly superior. His obedience was
immediately tested by this requirement. The second reason is almost
unintelligible today but is perfectly intelligible to anyone who is familiar
with the life and habits of the middle ages. It was a rough joke, and it was
the kind of thing that the medieval mind considered funny. Wit and humor as we
know them were very rare in the middle ages. Their places were taken by
unspeakable coarseness. Anyone who is familiar with the art, literature, and
drama of the middle ages is only too familiar with this fact. The more filthy
and indecent the story or incident the more it appealed to the rough humor of
the time and the louder the laugh which it excited. Contrasts of rough
buffoonery with the most solemn incidents appealed to the minds of the people
of that age. It was only in accord with the habits of the time that after the
solemn ceremonies of the initiation the candidates should be subjected to a
bit of foolish buffoonery.
There remains the charge of
denial of Christ and defiling the cross. That there was any denial beyond the
alleged defilement of the cross does not appear. That the candidates were
sometimes, not always, commanded to spit upon the cross or otherwise defile it
was confessed by De Molay and seems to be clearly established by other
testimony. It will be remembered, however, that De Molay insisted that he
could explain the fact, and the explanation appears in the testimony of some
of the witnesses. Witnesses usually testified that they did not spit upon the
cross but upon the ground near the cross, and some of them testified that when
commanded to do so they refused. Those who refused were congratulated upon
their courage and told that they would certainly be good soldiers of the
cross. In other words the command to defile the cross was a test. The
candidate having sworn obedience and having sworn to serve as a defender of
the cross was immediately put to the most difficult and trying of all tests, a
test which involved conflict of obligations. He was called upon to choose
whether he would fulfill his vow of obedience at the expense of his vow of
loyalty to the cross, or whether he would carry his loyalty to the cross so
far as to break his oath of obedience. It must be remembered that this was an
age in which obedience was a virtue and that the efficiency of the Order, or
any similar body, depended upon the absolute obedience of its members to the
orders which they received. As has already been pointed out the loyalty of the
Order to the cross is written in blood on every page of its history, whatever
may have occurred at the initiation. Undoubtedly the explanation De Molay
would have made, if he had been given opportunity to do it, was the one just
indicated, that this ceremonial requirement was a test and entirely void of
any deeper significance.
A survey of the charges and
the evidence seems to show that the condemnation of the Templars was an act of
great injustice and that the suppression of the Order was certainly not
warranted by the charges which were brought against it. That the privileges
and immunities of the Order worked to the weakening of the state, the
impairment of the king's power and authority, the injury of the Church, and
the lessening of the authority of the bishops, must be clear to anyone. That
both Pope and King breathed easier after the Order had ceased to exist is
entirely probable, but that its crimes were such as to deserve the treatment
it received certainly does not appear from any facts in our possession or
brought out at the trial.
One question will at once
arise in the minds of every Mason, "Did the Order survive its suppression and
is there any direct connection between the ancient Templars and modern Templar
So far as we have any
evidence this question must be answered in the negative. Legend states that De
Molay appointed a successor and a line of Grand Masters is named connecting
the ancient and modern Orders. De Molay had no right to appoint a successor.
The election of Grand Master is carefully provided for in the rule of the
Order and no provision is made for any other form of procedure under any
circumstances. There is no evidence whatever for the authenticity of the list
which is sometimes given.
Some of the Templars who
survived joined other orders and some of them passed their remaining days in
obscurity or imprisonment. There is no traceable connection between the
ancient Knights of the Temple and any modern order. The most we can say is
that it is possible that the traditions and even the secrets of the Order were
cherished by its surviving members after the Order was dissolved. Men do not
easily forget things which have been very dear to them, for which they have
suffered, and for which they have seen their companions die. That there was
any esoteric rule or belief among the Templars, we have no evidence. That
there was a certain freedom of thought and breadth of view would be the
inevitable result of that cosmopolitanism and contact with the outside world
of which we have taken account. It may be that the survivors of the Order,
hoping against hope that it might some day revive, may have communicated their
hopes, their aspirations, their ritual, their views, and their secrets, if
such there were, to their chosen friends and in this way the soul of the Order
may have survived until it reappeared in other forms, and its ideas and ideals
may have been influential some centuries later in the development of those
movements which resulted in the transformation of Masonry from its old
operative into its modern speculative form. But all this lies in the field of
conjecture. As far as the sober historian can see the Order of the Temple
ceased with the edict of May 6, 1312, which absolved the Order, and the
tragedy of March 10, 1314, which ended the life of De Molay.
THE APRON SYMBOLISM
1. More ancient than the
Whose story shines in classic
Or Roman Eagle--which
Chivalric deeds in days of
2. More honored than the
Or Royal Garter, it must be;
A symbol you should fondly
From spot and stain forever
3. It may be that in coming
As time shall all your labors
That laurel leaves of Victory
Shall on your brow in honor
4. Yea, from your breast may
Fit any diadem to grace:
And sparkling gems of beauty
May on your person find a
5. Nay more, perchance with
Your feet may tread the path
Which in our Mystic order
To glory, and an honored
6. Yes, on your shoulders
there may rest
The purple which we hold so
That ensign which our
In high fraternal Circles
7. But never more can you
From mortal hand while here
An emblem which such honor
As this one--which I now
8. Until your spirit shall
Beyond the pearly gates
May this the "Badge of
Remind you of your vows of
9. 'Tis yours to wear
throughout your life,
'Till death shall call your
soul to God:
Then on your casket to be
When you shall sleep beneath
10. Its spotless surface is a
Of that which marks a noble
The rectitude of heart and
Which in its teachings you
11. And when at last your
Shall reach the goal awaiting
And from your tired nerveless
The working tools of life
12. May then the record of
Reflect the pure and spotless
Of this fair token which I
Within your keeping here
13. And as your naked soul
Before the great white throne
And judgment for the deeds of
Shall issue there--to bless
14. Then may you hear the
That tells of endless joys
As God shall own your
And greet you with the words,
--N. A. McAulay.
EVIDENCES OF SYMBOLSIM IN THE
LAND OF THE INCAS
BY BRO. HIRAM BINGHAM, YALE
(Born in Honolulu in 1875, Brother Bingham holds
the degree of B.A.from Yale and Ph.D. from Harvard. He was Preceptor in
History and Politics at Princeton in 1905. Explored Bolivar's Route across
Venezuela and Colombia in 1906-7. Professor at Yale since 1915, also Lecturer
in Diplomatic History at Johns Hopkins University. He was a Delegate to the
Panama-American Scientific Congress at Santiago de Chile in 1908. In 1909 he
explored the Spanish Trade Route, Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Lima (Peru). He
was Director of the Yale Peruvian Expedition of 1911. Discovered Vitcos, the
last Inca capital and made the first ascent of Mt. Coropuna, 21,703 feet above
sea-level. He was also Director of two other Yale Peruvian expeditions, in
1912 and 1914-15. He is the author of the following works: - "Journal of an
Exploration across Venezuela and Colombia"; "Across South America"; "In the
Wonderland of Peru"; "The Monroe Doctrine, An Obsolete Shibboleth.")
EVER since the publication of Prescott's charming
classic, "The Conquest of Peru," that land has been surrounded by more of a
romantic halo than any other in the southern continent. The marvelous
civilization which the Incas had built up in their mountain fastnesses lacked
one essential feature of great importance - the art of writing. There are no
written records to give us accounts of what happened previous to the coming of
the Spaniards, except such as were prepared by Spanish chroniclers and
obtained by them from the mouths of native witnesses. There are no
hieroglyphics carved on the stone monuments like those elaborate records that
puzzle the Central American explorer.
The civilization of the Incas reached its highest
point in architecture and works of engineering. The feats performed by the
ancient workmen were of almost incredible magnitude. Apparently they thought
nothing of moving for a distance of several miles huge blocks of stone
weighing from ten to twenty tons.
Fortunately their architecture was of such a
splendid type that extensive examples of it still remain to delight the eye
and challenge the intellect. Among these are certain carved boulders which
were places of worship, - ancient shrines that attracted pilgrims from far and
near. It is generally supposed that these carved boulders antedate the Incas
by many centuries.
Although in Inca architecture great attention was
paid to right angles, horizontals and perpendiculars, the houses being nearly
always rectangular and the more beautiful walls laid out with exquisite
artistic appreciation of such principles, there exist in the ancient carvings
on the boulders evidences that the megalithic folk - as the pre-Incas are
sometimes called - had a high appreciation of the symbolic numbers three, five
and seven, and of the significance of right angles, squares and steps.
The most interesting of all these ancient shrines
is Nusta Isppana, near Vitcos, in the heart of the Vilcabamba country at the
place where Manco, the last Inca, who was set up by Pizarro and rebelled
against him, sought refuge. In the words of Prescott, "The royal fugitive took
shelter in the remote fastnesses of the Andes."
In 1911 I had the good fortune to be able to lead
a Yale-Peruvian Expedition into this region, which is indeed one of the most
inaccessible in all the highland country of South America. While our tasks
included studies in geology, biology and anthropology, and we were prepared to
make reconnaissance maps of this virtually unexplored region, one of our chief
objects was the location of Vitcos, the capital of the last Inca.
We were able to locate it because of the
description of its principal shrine, the holiest place near Vitcos, which was
described as follows by Father Calancha in an early Spanish chronicle. I give
a free translation from the chronicle:-
"Close to Vitcos, in a village called Chuquipalpa, is a House
of the Sun, and in it a white stone over a spring of water (now called Nusta
Isppana) where the
as a visible manifestation and was worshipped by those idolaters. This was the
principal mochadero of these forested mountains. (The word ''mochadero” is the
common name which the Indians apply to their places of worship.")
Now let us look at some of the features of this ancient shrine,
the principal place of worship in this region.
The photographs give a better idea of it than I can in words, but you will
notice that on the north side of the rock its face has been cut awav. leaving
in relief certain projections. Near the top are three arranged in a triangular
position; beneath them is a row
of seven - one toward the east being set off at a little
distance from the other six, as though of more importance. Below these and
leading down to what was formerly a pool of water, are two flights of stairs,
of three and five steps. On the other side of the rock; that is, on the south
side, is a series of carvings, the most conspicuous feature of which is a
large square cut in the solid rock. It is surely highly significant that this
ancient shrine which was undoubtedly the most sacred place for a very large
extent of country, should have given such prominence to a representation of
the square and the mystic numbers three, five and seven.
An event occurred near here at the time of the
Spanish Conquest which is also very interesting. It is related in full in the
Royal Commentary, of the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega, who was Prescott's chief
authority. Manco Inca was at war with the Spaniards from the year following
their coming until 1546. Several Spanish refugees, whom one of the chroniclers
calls "Fugitive Spanish rascals," having fled from the power of the Pizarros,
were living with Manco Inca, in Vitcos.
The Inca to entertain them had prepared a
bowling-green near his palace, which was a few hundred yards from this ancient
shrine. One day when playing with some of the Spanish refugees, the Inca got
into a quarrel with them in regard to the game. One of the Spaniards, who had
often lost his temper in playing before, became so rude and insolent toward
the Inca that the latter - who was apparently fairly good-tempered - could not
stand it. The Incas were sedate an not excitable and could hardly understand
the wild fury of the Spaniard over this game. The Inca pushed the Spaniard
violently away, bidding him consider with whom he talked in such a rude
manner. The refugee, not considering in his passion either his own safety or
that of his companions, picked up one of the bowls and struck the Inca on the
head so as to kill him.
The followers of the Inca, enraged at the death of their
prince, at once attacked the Spaniards, who fled into a house and defended it
with their swords until the Incas set fire to the thatched roof and forced
to come out. They were then assaulted an killed by the soldiers of the Inca.
What followed I shall endeavor to give as nearly as possible in the words of
"When the followers of the Inca secured the dead
bodies, out of pure madness they would have eaten them raw to show the wrath
which they had against them, even though they were already dead. Nevertheless
they determined that the bodies should be burned and that their ashes should
be scattered downstream in order that there might not remain any trace nor
vestige of them. But finally it was decided to cast them out into the fields
in order that the birds of the air and beasts of the field might devour them.
They decided on this, for they were not able to think of any greater
punishment for the bodies."
The enormity of the punishment and its highly
revolting character were evidently selected by the Inca nobles as best fitting
the enormity of the crime which had been committed in murdering their
political and religious chief. To their minds the casting out of the bodies to
be devoured by the vultures of the air and beasts of the field was evidently a
more horrible penalty than that of having the bodies burned and the ashes
scattered so that no remembrance of them might be left. It is surely extremely
interesting to learn the details of the punishment which the Incas thought
most nearly fitted the most serious crime of which they could conceive.
Another ancient pre-Inca shrine is located not far
from the city of Abancay. It is called Concacha and seems to be particularly
devoted to presenting the symbolism of steps which are arranged in threes and
fives. Unfortunately all recollection of the importance of this shrine and its
significance has been lost.
Finally let me call your attention to Machu Picchu and the most
beautiful wall that exists in Peru, one of the most beautiful in the world.
The photographs do not do it justice, but it is quite evident, I think, that
here we have an ornamental wall constructed with the utmost care and art. The
general design is that of a square and part of a circle. The blocks of which
the wall was
constructed were selected from the finest and purest white granite obtainable.
Although it was made without steel or iron tools by people who understood only
working stone with stone, such was their devotion to the principles of
horizontals and right angles that we have this simple form of beauty
exemplified to a remarkable degree. There is no cement or mortar used in this
construction. The blocks were cleverly keyed together, their interior surfaces
not being flat nor square, but irregular. One block fits into another so that
the wall must stand or fall as a whole.
It seems evident to me that the ancient race, who
left such remarkable monuments in the Andes, must have appreciated some of the
essential principles of the Craft. This race still exists. And it is the
belief of those of us who have spent most time in the Andes, that the future
of the Andean Republics depends on the millions of Indians living there today
who are the descendants of the former builders. Unfortunately their present
leaders, both civil and religious, have permitted them to become steeped in
ignorance and immorality. Their tax gatherers are so interested in the revenue
from alcohol (aguardiente) and cocaine (coco) that they willingly overlook the
fearful evils which the unrestricted use of these two is working among the
majority of their countrymen. With proper laws, suitable restrictions on the
use of drugs and liquors, the blessings of education and morality, there is no
reason why the great majority of the denizens of the Central Andes should not
in time again enjoy some of the blessings of their glorious past. There is
strength in the bone and sinew of this fallen race to enable it to be raised
to that high level where it once worked.
When I was King and a Mason - a master proven and
I cleared me ground for a Palace such as a King
I decreed and cut down to my levels, presently,
under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had
There was no worth in the fashion - there was no
wit in the plan-
Hither and thither, aimless,
the ruined footings ran-
Masonry, brute, mishandled,
but carven on every stone:
"After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have
Swift to my use in my trenches, where my
well-planned groundworks grew
I tumbled his quoins and ashlars, and cut and
reset them anew.
Lime I milled of his marbles; burned it, slacked
it, and spread;
Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the
Yet I despised not nor
gloried; yet as we wrenched them apart
I read in the razed foundations the heart of that
As though he had risen and pleaded, so did I
The form of the dream he had followed in the face
of the thing he had planned.
When I was a King and a Mason - in the open noon
of my pride,
They sent me a Word from the Darkness - They
whispered and called me aside:
They said - "The end is
forbidden." They said - "Thy use is fulfilled,
"And thy Palace shall stand as that other's - the
spoil of a King who shall build."
I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my
wharves and my sheers.
All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the
Only I cut on the timber - only I carved on the
After me cometh a Builder.
Tell him, I too have known!
- Rudyard Kipling.
BY BRO F. IDLERMAN, NEW YORK
IDEAS are expressed only by
signs. When ideas he may do so only by symbols. Our a man would convey to his
brother his language is but a succession of signs. Words are symbols, signs of
an idea. But we as free and accepted Masons choose also to speak to one
another by material symbols. These stand for certain truths we hold as
necessary to Masonry and fundamental to true manhood. These rods, borne by the
stewards, are of value only as they are signs of ideas. As Masons we seek the
interpretation of these ideas and desire faithfully to inculcate them in the
minds of all who shall hereafter accept our vows.
The first idea they symbolize
is that of protection. The stewards, bearing these rods, meet the candidate at
the door. He is thus assured that all his interests are to be safe-guarded. He
may commit himself implicitly to the stewards, for the emblems of their offlce
signify security and protection. This is among the highest comforts of man, to
feel the safety vouchsafed by the confident strength of hiS brothers. It is
surpassed only by the protection man realizes as he commits himself into the
safe keeping of his Creator. David expressed the confidence in such a trust by
the symbol of a rod, "When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil for thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort
There is corresponding
obligation upon the part of the stewards. The implicit trust of a brother
calls for a faithful discharge of your stewardship. The security you afford
within the lodge must be widened by the daily conduct in society. Let it never
be said of you as Emerson said of some of his generation: "What you are speaks
so loud I cannot hear what you say."
The second symbol is
progress. You are to meet the candidate, not as stationary guards but as those
who shall mark the path of progress as you advance from knowledge to knowledge
in Masonry. The advance you assist him in making is unhasting and unresting.
You are ever urging him to further light and wisdom. The rods you bear
represent the divinely appointed state of man. Truth comes slowly but
eternally. Man can never attain to perfect knowledge here. He must always
confess "Now I know in part." To indicate by word or conduct that full
knowledge is ours, is to arrest the purpose of the Creator in us. To symbolize
in unforgettable fashion the progress of the mind toward the light is to
render a service of incalculable worth to any man.
The rods symbolize guidance.
Neatly imbedded in the head of each rod is a star. From time immemorial the
stars have been the guiding fingers for man. He has been guided by them across
the trackless desert, through the tangled wilderness and over the snowbound
waste of the long Polar nights. The deep sea has not been able to lose the
sailor, for the friendly stars have led him unerringly to his port of entry.
So the rods are set for the proper and true guidance in the truths of Masonry.
But truth cannot exist apart from incarnation. A thousand blazing symbols of
metal fashioned bring neither comfort nor light except they live in daily
conduct. You who bear the emblem of guidance must of necessity incarnate the
moral worth indicated by your high office.
The symbols can only have
meaning as they find the translation of their meaning first in the quality of
merit in the men who bear them. Your dignity, fidelity and uprightness make
meaningful and winsome all the moral virtue of protection, progress and
guidance. Other offices, within the lodge, may be invested with more honor but
your constant and necessary duties make incumbent upon you a most solemn and
serious performance of the work assigned you. As you invest your office with
this three fold significance, will you lift it out of mere perfunctory routine
into high and noble symbolism. Those who take their first steps in Masonry
under your tutelage will catch a vision of the sublimer possibilities and
conserve for succeeding generations, the value of our worthy order.
"He drew a circle that kept
Heretic, rebel, a thing to
But love and I had the wit to
We drew a circle that took
"Aye! draw ye circlet of
To encompass forever
'An heretic, rebel, a thing
Draw it 'round the wide cold
Religion, races, clans
None of earth's creatures,
leave standing without."
"Say to warrior, 'pause
Benighted soul, 'here is
To ignorance, say, stupidity,
'Come ye, from your narrow
Come and ye be made whole
Come, learn of THAT, to love
and revere.' "
"Incarcerate mind and
Come sentinels, e'en as the
breath of birth;
Seems ever, some must be
It is then, alas ! the WAY OF
--Dr. M. E. Walton.
Huron, S. D., January 19,
THE GREAT PRAYER
The original of this
composition is in the G.A.R. Hall Museum at the State House, Topeka, Kan. It
was captured during the Civil War, at Charleston, S.C., by a brother of Mrs.
S. B. Helmas of Kendallville, Ind. The poem is printed on heavy satin.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Thou to the mercy seat our
souls doth gather,
To do our duty unto thee -
To whom all praise, all honor
should be given;
For Thou art the great God,-
who art in Heaven,
Thou by Thy wisdom rul'st the
world's whole frame;
Forever, therefore, -
Hallowed be Thy name.
Let nevermore delays divide
Thy glorious grace but let -
Thy kingdom gome.
Let Thy commands opposed be
But Thy good pleasure and -
Thy will be done.
And let promptness to obey,
The very same - in earth as
'tis in Heaven;
Then for our souls, O Lord,
we also pray,
Thou wouldst be pleased to -
give us this day
The food of life, wherewith
our souls are fed,
Sufficient raiment, and - our
With every needful thing do
Thou relieve us,
And of Thy mercy pity - and
All our misdeeds, for Him
whom Thou didst please
To make an offering for - our
And forasmuch, O Lord, as we
That Thou wilt pardon us - as
Let that love teach,
wherewith Thou dost aquaint us
To pardon all - those who
trespass against us;
And though, sometimes, Thou
find'st we have forgot
This love for Thee, yet help
- and lead us not
Through soul or body's want,
Nor let earth's gain drive us
- into temptation;
Let not the soul of any true
Fall in the time of trial -
Yea, save them from the
malice of the devil,
And, in both life and death,
keep - us from evil;
This pray we, Lord, for that
of Thee, from whom
This may be had - for Thine
is the Kingdom,
This world is of Thy work,
its wondrous story,
To Thee belongs - the power
and the glory;
And all Thy wondrous work
have ended never,
But will remain forever, and
Thus we poor creatures would
And thus would say eternally
THE ETERNAL SACRIFICE
Wherever through the ages
The altars of self-sacrifice,
Where Love its arms has
And man for man has calmly
I see the same white wings
That hovered o'er the
- J.C. Wittier.
SYMBOLISM OF THE APRON
This fair and stainless thing
To be my badge for virtue's
Its ample strings that gird
My constant Cable-tow are
And as securely they are tied
So may true faith with me
And as I face the sunny south
I pledge to God my Mason's
That while on earth I do
My apron shall not have a
This fair and stainless thing
In memory of Apprentice days,
When on the checkered
With gauge and gavel well
I keep my garments free from
Though laboring in a menial
And as I face the golden
I call my Maker to attest
That while on earth I do
My apron shall not have a
This fair and stainless thing
Its 'Prentice aid I need no
For laws and principles are
The fellow-craft direct from
To help the needy, keep a
Observe the precepts of the
And as I face the darkened
I send this solemn promise
That while on earth I do
My apron shall not have a
This fair and stainless thing
A Master Mason now behold,
A welcome guest in every
With princes and with kings
Close tyled within my heart
I keep all secret arts and
And try to walk the heavenly
In daily intercourse with
As I fate the mystic east
I vow by Him I love the best,
That while on earth I do
My apron shall not have a
This fair and stainless thing
I doff: -
But though I take my apron
And lay the stainless badge
Its teachings ever shall
For God has given light
That we may walk opposed to
And sympathy and brotherly
Are emanations from above;
And life itself is only given
To square and shape our souls
The glorious temple in the
The grand celestial lodge on
- Rob Morris.
THE GREAT LANDMARK
It is an unchangeable ancient
Landmark of the Fraternity that there is but one Masonic dogma. We construct a
universal religious philosophy thereupon, as a part of which we teach belief
in immortality, and endeavor to inculcate other tenets of our profession; but
our sole dogma is the Landmark of Belief in a Supreme Being - omnipresent,
omniscient, omnipotent, the creating and superintending Power of all things.
No man may be a Freemason unless he is a believer in monotheism. No neophyte
ever has been or ever shall be permitted vision of our mysteries or reception
of our obligations until he has openly, unequivocally, and solemnly asserted
this belief. Beyond that we inquire and require nothing of sectarianism or
religious belief. - Melvin M. Johnson.
BULLETIN - No. 3
Edited by Bro. Robert I.
Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland, Ohio
OPERATIVE MASONRY - EARLY
DAYS IN THE MASONIC ERA
By R.I. Clegg
WE Masons deem Masonry
as being peculiarly religious, some Masons indeed being quoted to the effect
that in their judgment Masonry
is a religion. Who of us but at some time has heard of a brother in his
enthusiasm saying "Masonry is a good enough religion for me"? But Masonry
itself makes no such claim. At best it stands as the handmaid of religion, in
all lands and among all faiths earnestly supporting and serving those accepted
convictions of morality in which all good men agree.
As was shown in the paper prepared for the
November issue of the Bulletin of the National Masonic Research Society there
was a time when in the church and outside these sacred precincts the craftsmen
of old gave freely of their money, their numbers, and in fact of all their
opportunities to advance the cause of the prevailing religion. It is only fair
to suppose that in all other matters these workmen were equally advanced and
aggressive. Some of these angles of their organizations and of their methods
will be taken up in the present paper.
Perhaps a word or two of special explanation is
necessary at this stage. I am dealing with a period when many bodies of
workmen copied each other's practices. For one reason of this similarity there
was the common source of authority from whence they derived their characters.
The Government gave them liberty to proceed for similar objects and in the
attainment of these purposes they would no doubt find it very desirable in
meeting all the requirements of the law to follow in each other's footsteps.
Thus the associations of carpenters, of ironworkers, of goldsmiths, of
tanners, as well as of Masons and the other societies, had like officers and
laws. Such little differences as crept in were occasioned by the inevitable
problems incident to each trade and profession and the successive adjustments
of them that periodically called for attention and settlement.
The general construction of these bodies and their
operation was known as the gild system. Common to all the recognized trades
approved by the Government we can examine it as the exemplar of our own
fraternity though Masonry was but one branch of it. I am also of opinion that
Masonry has an earlier origin though at this moment I shall not venture into
this far distant field of investigation and controversy.
The various crafts were often termed "the
mysteries." Subject to the same city and national government it frequently
happened that the laws enacted for their control shed much light upon the
purposes of the societies and the manner in which they were regarded by the
citizens at large.
An old ordinance of the city of London provided
suitable punishment for those who were "rebellious, contradictory, or
fractious" against the Masters of the Mysteries "that so such persons may not
duly perform their duties." The preliminary part of the same enactment throws
light upon the purpose of these early craft organizations.
"Item, it is ordained that all the mysteries of
the city of London shall be lawfully regulated and governed, each according to
its nature in due manner, that so no knavery, false workmanship, or deceit,
shall be found in any manner in the said mysteries; for the honor of the good
folks of the said mysteries, and for the common profit of the people. And in
each mystery there shall be chosen and sworn four or six, or more or less,
according as the mystery shall need; which persons, so chosen and sworn, shall
have full power from the Mayor well and lawfully to do and to perform the
Then follow a series of fines and terms of
imprisonment for such as "shall thereof be attained" of interfering with the
carrying out of the above plan of craft administration.
Why would the city take so direct an interest in
the control of the crafts, you may ask. If so careful a supervision and
recognition of the situation is taken then is it not likely that the very same
fount of authority would have something to say as to the manner in which the
members as well as their officers may be selected?
You may also rightfully infer that the city then
held something of the same relationship to the several crafts as is now
occupied by the Grand Lodges. Such would appear to have been the case in very
large measure. Consider if you please the following ordinance which
accompanies the one just quoted in reference to the obedience and respect due
to the Masters of mysteries:
"Also, because as well in times past, out of
memory, as also in modern times, the city aforesaid is wont to be defended and
governed by the aid and counsels as well as of the reputable men of the
trades-merchant as of the other trades-handicraft; and from of old it hath
been the usage, that no strange person, native or alien, as to whose
conversation and condition there is no certain knowledge, shall be admitted to
the freedom of city, unless first, the merchants or traders of the city
following the trade which the person so to be admitted intends to adopt, shall
be lawfully convoked, that so, by such his fellow citizens, so convoked, the
Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, being certified as to the condition and
trustworthiness of the persons so to be admitted, may know whether such
persons ought to be admitted or rejected; the whole community demands, that
the form aforesaid, so far as concerns the more important trades and
handicrafts, shall in future be inviolably observed, that so no person in
future may against the provision aforesaid be admitted to the freedom of the
What Mason worth the name but will say with all
his heart that it were well for us now that in selecting material for
membership the choice should always be made in a manner to insure the
obtaining of those persons upon whom the community may well rely for counsel,
for defense, or for government.
Here and there in traversing the directions found
in these early ordinances of the gilds we find a glimmer at least by which
light has been borrowed for the thoughtful Masons of the present day in making
their explanations of various oldtime customs. Who, for instance, has not
wondered at that secret that could not be given in the absence of one of the
Years ago in a foreign land I went as a boy with my grandfather
to the meeting of a trade organization of which he was treasurer. The official
chest of the society caught my eye. It contained books and papers as well as
other valuables of which I knew little or nothing. These did not particularly
interest me. What did attract my especial attention was the fact that the box
was secured by three locks. Why three when one was ample for such security as
appeared necessary? But it was explained to me that the three keys were
possession of each of three responsible officers of the organization and that
the box could not then be opened unless these three officers with their
respective keys were present.
Such a custom is very old. In the reign of Edward
II of England, 1307-1327, there was passed an ordinance by the City Fathers of
London that "Also, it was demanded that the common seal should remain in
future in a certain chest under six locks; of which locks three Alderman
should have three keys, and certain reputable men of the Commonalty the three
That a candidate for Freemasonry shall himself be
a free agent is well known and is most desirable. We go further and require
him to be freeborn. This does not appear to be a universal demand made of the
initiate as in England, for example, the requirement is that he be a
"freeman." There is an obvious distinction between the two and our practice in
this country substantially exacts that both conditions shall exist.
Here, again, the matter is of very old usage. "For
avoiding disgrace and scandal unto the city of London" it was ordained in 1389
"that from henceforth no foreigner shall be enrolled as an apprentice, or be
received unto the freedom of the said city by way of apprenticeship, unless he
shall first make oath that he is a freeman and not a bondman. And whoever
shall hereafter be received unto the freedom of the said city, by purchase or
in any other way than by apprenticeship, shall make the same oath, and shall
also find six reputable citizens of the said city, who shall give security for
him, as such from of old hath been wont to be done.
"And if it shall so happen that any such bondman
is admitted unto the freedom of the said city upon a false suggestion, the
Chamberlain being ignorant thereof, immediately after it shall have become
notorious unto the Mayor and Alderman that such person is a bondman, he shall
lose the freedom of the city and shall pay a fine for such his deceit at the
discretion of the Mayor and Alderman, saving always such liberty as pertains
unto the soil of the said franchise.
"Also, if it shall happen in future, and may it
not so chance, that such bondman, a person, that is to say, at the time of
whose birth his father was a bondman, is elected to judicial rank in the said
city, that of Alderman, for example, Sheriff, or Mayor; unless before
receiving such promotion, he shall notify unto the Mayor and Alderman such his
servile condition, he shall pay unto the Chamberlain one hundred pounds, to
the use of the city, and nevertheless shall lose the freedom, as already
Riley in his edition of the "Liber Albus," the
"White Book" of the city of London, further points out some qualifications of
the Aldermen of the gild epoch which have an interest in our present study.
Says he, "High honor was paid to the Aldermen in ancient times. Indeed, no
person was accepted as Alderman unless he was free from deformity in body,
wise and discreet in mind, rich, honest, trustworthy, free, and on no account
of low or servile condition; lest perchance the disgrace or opprobrium that
might be reflected upon him by reason of his birth, might have the additional
effect of casting a slur upon the other Alderman and the whole city as well.
And hence it is that from of old no one was made apprentice, or at all events
admitted to the freedom of the said city, unless he was known to be of free
Contained in the Liber Albus is the oath of the
Masters and Wardens of the mysteries. This I transcribe. It will be noticed
that there is left a blank for the filling in of the name of the organization
to which the testifying officials are accredited.
"You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall
overlook the art or mystery of . . . of which you are Masters, or Wardens, for
the year elected. And the good rules and ordinances of the same mystery,
approved here by the Court, you shall keep and cause to be kept. And all the
defaults that you shall find therein, done contrary thereto, you shall present
unto the Chamberlain of the city, from time to time, sparing no one for favor,
and aggrieving no one for hate. Extortion or wrong unto no one, by color of
your office, you shall do; nor unto anything that shall be against the estate
and peace of the King, or of the city, you shall consent. But for the time
that you shall be in office, in all things pertaining unto the said mystery,
according to the good laws and franchises of the said city, well and lawfully
you shall behave yourself. So God you help, and the Saints."
These citations from the legal enactments of the
time do not convey all that could and should be said of the middle ages. That
is the era from whence we Masons have drawn so freely of inspiration, of
ceremonial, and even of phraseology. Romantic were the industrial activities.
From the candlestick upon the altar to the pinnacle of the lofty spire
reaching high toward heaven, in the buildings of that day and especially the
structures housing the worshippers of God, everything was done in the devotion
of a simple straightforward truth of workmanship, a practical genius for
constructional invention, the practice of a craft direct, faithful and
Says Batchelder: "It was once the glory of art to
be of service. It is difficult for us to fully realize the spirit of an age
when art was actually practiced by a great mass of people; when carvers in
stone and wood, workers in iron, textile weavers, potters, goldsmiths, found
daily opportunity and incentive to bring invention to bear upon their
problems, to apply creative thought to the work of their hands. It was a time
when builders were architects; when workmen were designers; when contracts
called for nothing more than sound materials and honest workmanship, - the art
was thrown in as a matter of course."
And he further gives us an illuminating insight of
the conditions by which these workmen were trained. "The training received by
the mediaeval craftsman was peculiar to the gild system of the time. Many of
the masters whose names are familiar to us now in our study of the history of
art were duly apprenticed to a craft as soon as they could read, write, and
count. Often at an age of ten years they went to the home of the master
workman, with whom their apprenticeship was to be served, where as was the
custom of the time, they lived. The years of apprenticeship were years of hard
work, often of drudgery; but in the great variety of commissions undertaken by
the shops of the time an opportunity was presented to lend a hand at many
interesting tasks. There seems to have been a spirit of cooperation among the
various shops and workmen that the keen relentless competition of modern times
does not permit.
"After serving his apprenticeship a lad became a companion or
journeyman worker, and finally tried for his degree, if it may be so termed,
by submitting to an examination for the title of master workman. In this
examination he was called upon not only to produce his masterpiece, but to
fashion such tools of his craft as were necessary for its completion. The
standards of the gilds were so high that to become a master meant the
production of a piece of work satisfactory to the judges artistically as well
technically. This completed the education of a craftsman of the time,
producing a workman who was encouraged at every step of his training to
combine beauty with utility, technical skill with honest workmanship."
Further on in speaking of the versatility of the
old craftsmen, he proceeds: "When they in turn became master workmen, we know
not whether to call them goldsmiths or bronze workers, carvers or sculptors,
painters or architects, for their training was such that they could turn their
hands to any of these with distinction. Orcagna could build a church, cut the
stone, lay the mosaics, paint the frescoes, or carve the crucifix, and we know
not where most to admire him. While Ghilerti was engaged in the production of
the bronze doors for the Florentine baptistry, his journeymen were seldom so
early at the foundry but that they found him there in his cap and apron.
Brunelleschi watched the building of the cathedral from his bench long before
he dreamed that it would be his part to crown it with its great dome; and when
he and Donatello went to Ptome to study the antique, they replenished their
empty purses by following their craft. What manner of architects were these
who went to the quarries and picked out their own stones, who superintended
the construction, directed the erection of scaffolds, who could teach others
how to lay the mosaics or carve the ornament; and during leisure intervals
wrote sonnets, built bridges, planned forts, and invented weapons of defense?
When a master received a commission to build a church, a municipal palace, a
fountain, or what not, he took with him his own journeymen and apprentices;
and when the commission was an important one, he gathered about him to
cooperate, in a spirit that knew little of rivalry or jealousy, the best
master workers of his day."
From this excellent description of the craft in
the gild days much may be conjectured of the progress by which Masonry has
become what it is today. To some of these angles of discussion I shall later
return. That in the Craft there grew up a method of perpetuating the
instruction slowly gained by the masters is only to be expected. These secrets
of the trade would only be confided to the safe depositories of faithful
Geometry and symbolism would be as they are now
employed by expert designers for practically laying out their work. To me the
mosaic pavement always suggests the cross-sectioned paper of the engineer. To
me every symbol is an aid to the memory. All there is of Masonry breathes the
craft soul of cooperative labor, the means and the machinery to impress upon
the receptive mind lessons of moral and physical importance.
We cannot in one such paper as the foregoing
connect the middle ages with the transition period marked off for us by the
Grand Lodge era ushered in by the celebrated union of 1717.
Neither can we say much if anything now of that
far earlier period of these geometrical builders of the Egyptian temples and
pyramids, or of the Roman Collegia with its trades union methods, or of the
mysteries of Greece and other lands. All have a bearing of much consequence
upon our own fraternity.
Freemasonry has inherited by a long line of
descent a philosophy and a nomenclature, a ceremonial system, the outgrowth of
innumerable heads of the wisest, and of hearts most devoted. Love and wisdom
has been showered upon it in abundance. Years of many centuries have dignified
it. A hale and useful age for it claims unbounded respect. Service is its
purpose, betterment its aim.
Even as the craftsmen of the past loved their
craft, and through its medium turned rawest materials into forms of
imperishable beauty, so were they cautious in their materials of membership,
selecting them wisely and in their choice and government practicing such
methods as were approved by civic and national authorities. Yea, so are we
compelled by our profession to be equally discreet and skilful. By the correct
selection and perfection of every element in the structure do we build aright
the edifice Masonic.
NOTES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
UPON OPERATIVE MASONRY
The "Liber Albus" is a compilation from the
archives of the city of London. Its references are of date prior to the year
1419. A translation from its original text in Latin and Anglo-Norman was made
by Henry T. Riley and published by Richard Griffin and Co. in 1861.
Occasionally found in public libraries but is now out of print and only to be
purchased through those tireless bibliophiles, the book-hunters of Masonry. My
dear friend, the late Scott Bonham, once urged his readers to buy the "Liber
Albus" but at that time he was not aware that it was out of usual trade
circles and only to be reached through old-book dealers.
My references to Batchelder are to his delightful
treatise on "Design in Theory and Practice," published by the Macmillan Co. of
New York, London, and Toronto. I quote the 1910 edition.
A most charming book on the gilds is that of the
"Gilds and Companies of London" by George Unwin, and published by Methuen and
Co., 36 Essex street, W.C., London. From this work I have not borrowed but my
essay would have been much improved if I had had occasion to freely quote from
Mr. Unwin. His work lends itself more aptly to another paper I have in mind.
At present I need only call attention to several points of importance. First
there is an excellent bibliographical list from which many references can be
drawn to what material may be obtainable in your local libraries or for
purchase from the book dealers. In the preface is an outline that may
profitably be followed in the study of the gild system not only in Great
Britain but on the continent. My Unwin has among his several chapters one
dealing with a class of gilds that were neither merchant nor handicraft. Of
such was the English Gild of Knights. There was also in France the
organization for the preservation of peace, La Commune de la Paix. In purpose
and in practice this association strongly resembled the body that provides the
legend for the grade of Patriarch Noachite.
I have not quoted from the "Hole Craft and
Fellowship of Masons." This book published in 1894 is, I understand,
practically off the market. My own copy was secured through the author, Bro.
Edward Conder, Jr. In London the book was published by Swan, Sonnenschein and
Company, and in New York by Macmillan and Co. In the introduction Bro. Conder
says: "The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London enjoys, beside
the interest attached to it on account of its antiquity and continuity, the
peculiar distinction, above all other gilds, of being one of the principal
connecting links in that chain of evidence which proves that the modern social
cult, known as the Society of Free and Accepted Masons, is lineally descended
from the old Fraternity of Masons which flourished in the early days of
monastic architecture, now known by the inappropriate title of Gothic. The
history of this Company will I think conclusively prove that the traditions
and moral teachings of the old Fellowship which undoubtedly existed in Britain
in the 12th and 13th centuries, were preserved by the Masons Company of
London, after the downfall of the Church, in 1530, until the middle of the
17th century - at which period non-operative masons and others carried on the
old Society with considerable energy, their participation culminating, in
1717, in the establishment of a Grand Lodge, and the subsequent rapid
formation of Lodges in all parts of the country." Maybe I shall later return
to an examination of the evidence by which Bro. Conder proposes to prove his
point. It was with such a thought in mind that I purposely refrained from
using on this occasion his temptingly quotable volume.
"The Cathedral Builders" by Leader Scott is also
not a readily obtainable book. For my own choice I can get along very well
with a substitute, "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors."
Written by Bro. W. Ravenscroft in most readable style - its brevity is the
only fault I can see in it. The publisher is Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row,
E.C., London. Bro. Ravenscroft shows the symbols of the Comacines have a
pertinent interest to Freemasons, as in the case of the lion, the knot of
Solomon, the cable tow, etc.
In Mackey's Encyclopedia, published by the Masonic
History Co. of New York, look up the following references: Mysteries, Ancient;
Osiris, Mysteries of; Egyptian Mysteries; Cabiric Mysteries; Orphic Mysteries;
Cavern; Essenes; Comacines; Druses; Druidical Mysteries; Culdees; Chaldeans;
Roman Colleges of Artificers; Gilds; Cologne, Charter of; Crusades; Oath of
the Gild; Stone Masons of the Middle Ages; Strict Observance; Hund, Baron von;
The Ars Coronatorum or transactions of the Quatuor
Coronati Lodge of London have scattered through their scholarly pages much of
the keenest degree of interest in this line of investigation. A complete index
is very desirable. The series of volumes is also very rare. Stray copies and
partial sets are occasionally to be obtained. My reference to the practical
use of the mosaic pavement in laying out a building is borne out by a paper in
the "Ars" by Sir Caspar Purden Clarke whose experience in the Orient enabled
him to see this method actually employed by the Eastern workmen.
My brother engineers may be also interested in the
fact that in an interview with the famous builders of bridges, Gustave
Lindenthal, he explained the probable method by which the early builders
managed to design safe constructions for their remarkably daring edifices,
aqueducts and so forth. At that time the structural analysis by mathematical
means was of course not so developed as at the present day. A method whereby
weights suspended by cords; a sort of inverted balance, probably gave the
early builders practical foothold for finding the direction and amount of the
forces to be withstood by their structures. Such methods and the general
system of proportions for buildings in common use were doubtless transmitted
secretly to pupils and sworn associates. Here would be another means for the
mutual protection and also for profitable prominence to clients of the
My few suggestions above are by no means intended
to exhaust all the sources of information on this subject. There are many
others and I do not pretend to have enumerated what some of my brethren will
consider obvious and of consequence. But as I shall come back to this topic,
and as I hope to deal then with matters mentioned in certain of the foregoing
references I take the opportunity of calling attention to them now.
SMALL LIBRARIES TRAVELING FOR
As your "Correspondence Circle Bulletin No. 1"
seems to invite suggestions as to how Research Society and others may help
along the home study, permit me to make this suggestion:
Let there be made up a goodly number of small
traveling libraries for different lodges that are willing to pay
transportation charges - possibly a small rental as well - composed of books
papers and pamphlets bearing upon subjects that individuals care to study
about. For instance: I want to study: Early History of Masonry The Unknown
Years of the Life of Christ, Masonic Order and The Bible.
Let the great Masonic Library make me up a small
traveling library containing matter pertaining to any one or all of these
subjects and I will read my fill and write papers that may be read by other
brethren, if they desire. Very truly, L.F. Knowles.
Go after the nearest Masonic library, large or
small. Put that proposition right up to them. Maybe there is no Masonic
library of considerable size in your State but I shall refuse to believe
anything of the sort until I am positively shown otherwise. The State that
includes within its borders at least one such Mason as Trevanion W. Hugo of
Duluth is not likely in any particular to lag in the procession.
But if for any reason there is difficulty in
getting the particular books you need, then appeal beyond the confines of your
State. The late Scott Bonham, president of the Masonic Library Association at
Cincinnati, Ohio, always held that his books were made for use and not to be
mere shelf warmers. He delighted to send them to knowledge-seeking Masons.
Never did he restrict them to the Masons of his own State. The Grand Lodge of
Iowa has also under the skilful guidance of Grand Secretary Parvin at Cedar
Rapids, evolved a system of library distribution active throughout the State.
While I have no authority to say what the authorities would do in the event of
an inquiry coming to them from beyond their jurisdiction I am confident that
it would get very cordial consideration and if it were at all possible with
due regard to all interests involved I am sure you would be well satisfied
with the action accorded you.
Your suggestion reminds me somewhat of the one
submitted by Bro. Keplinger of Illinois. He pointed out the desirability of an
up-to-the-present study of the Pyramids in their connection with Freemasonry.
Both he and you have already done quite a little study along lines of
unquestioned importance to your brother Masons. Can I not induce you to put
into written form the results of your researches? I do not ask you to attempt
to put on record all that you have discovered, a part of the story at a time
is all that I would venture to suggest your preparation. Then read it to your
respective lodges or to your local study clubs. Then after you have amended it
following the discussion it receives, please forward each paper to us.
STUDY CLUBS AND LODGE
Have noticed in the September issue of THE BUILDER
an open letter to the members by Brother Robert I. Clegg, which I have been
much interested in as we have a little "get-together" meeting from time to
time, and it doesn't seem that we are working on any particular lines whereby
we receive any palpable benefits.
It might be best to describe in detail what our
meetings are for. As we live several miles from any organized Lodge of
Freemasons, we find it difficult to attend Lodge with any regularity at all;
and we have been meeting and trying to get together in a way that might
develop into the organization of a Lodge at this place. But we find that it is
a hard matter to keep all the brethren interested at the same time.
Now your letter seems to me to open up a way
whereby we might develop more interest and at the same time enable us to
improve ourselves in Masonry, so if we did in time organize a Lodge, we would
be better prepared to perform our Masonic duties.
We will appreciate any suggestions that you might
make, and if you think that an organization such as suggested in Brother
Clegg's letter would be what we need, I will take steps immediately to see
that all those Masons in this vicinity who are not members of the N.M.R.S.
become members, as I am sure I would have no trouble in doing so, as they are
all as anxious for some common ground to found an organization upon as I am.
Trusting that you can help us in this matter and
with best wishes for the success of the whole movement, I am, cordially and
fraternally yours. E.F. Wade. Waune. Oreo.
At the moment I do not possess any means at hand
of determining the local population available to support a Masonic lodge in
your immediate neighborhood. Obviously the best way to keep up the Masonic
interest in your locality would be by the organization of a lodge and if this
is at all feasible I would urge that you communicate with your Grand Secretary
to that effect in order that you may start off in the right way. If, however,
for any reason you are unable to do this, then you cannot do better than to
hold the present get-together meetings until such time as the other plan may
be carried into effect.
Of course you will need to be all the more
cautious about every one of you being Master Masons of officially approved
lodges. In the absence of any lodge there is not the ready means of knowing
through membership there of the standing of all your acquaintances.
Having these preliminaries constantly in mind and
with the list of any local members of the National Masonic Research Society,
assemble your brethren. Agree upon a few necessary officers. The Secretary is
the most important. Select one having plenty of patience, unstinted charity,
enlarged energy, constant of courtesy, systematic of habits, punctual and
ardent. Granted these and you have a treasure. If you can also have a
President possessing a love for the knowledge of Masonry and an ability to
draw forth the best that is in his membership and from all other sources, and
to do these things with tact and success, you are again blessed. If moreover
you have a group of brethren capable and willing to support your officers you
have all the elements for proficiency and progress.
But the more I think of your isolation, the more I deem it best
that you should have the benefit at the earliest moment of the advice of your
Grand Lodge officers as I have already mentioned. They will very probably
offer advice whereby you can
keep in touch with the Masonic work of your jurisdiction and this is indeed
very important. This Bulletin of ours will monthly contain papers of
instructive quality that may be read at your meetings and I shall be highly
pleased to give you any additional information that may be conducive to the
improvement of your gatherings.
SYSTEMATIC STUDY OF THE
I have realized even since I have been received
into this Fraternity the necessity of some uniform plan to study the history
and symbolism of Freemasonry. I mean some plan that is not complicated and not
too deep for the ordinary Mason who has never been so fortunate as to receive
a good education. I am anxious to organize a study club in our little town. It
would be hard to get a number interested, but I believe I can do it.
I would like some plan that will start right in on
the first degree which will teach its history and the origin of the symbolic
meanings. Then advance to the second degree in the same way, and to the Master
Mason, etc. I don't mean to run through them briefly, but to go into them in
I believe we could spend all this fall and winter
on the first degree, as we would only be able to meet twice each month. I have
read the "Builders," and I think it is great, but it might be a little hard
for the man to understand who has never done much reading.
I have been much interested in the study of
Freemasonry for some time and have been an active worker, and I am willing to
join this organization which proposes some plan to educate our members more
and more in the teachings of the Order by a systematic study of its history,
its tradition, its symbolism, and its meaning.
We, who have been active workers, know the only
way to acquire knowledge is to study, and it is surprising, as well as
disappointing, the great number of members in our fraternity who have
practically no knowledge as to its history and its teaching. So I believe the
only way to make this Fraternity become stronger is to encourage more study by
the individual member. No, I don't mean it to be the only way, but I mean it
will be a great and important step to make it stronger.
So if you can give me a start to organize a study
club by giving me some textbook which will deal on the First Degree, or any
other suggestion in which you might offer something good, I will make a hard
effort to get several members of my Lodge - Novinger Lodge 583 in Missouri -
interested in this work.
Trusting I may hear favorably from you, and with
best regards, I remain, yours fraternally, C. H. Charlton, P. M., Novinger
Lodge 583, Novinger, Mo.
No letter that has so far come to me has more
clearly emphasized the necessity for the work undertaken by the National
Masonic Research Society than yours. You correctly point out that textbooks
are needed. But outside the indispensable Encyclopedia of Mackey what have we?
Certain reprints already published by our Society are excellent but they are
not exhaustive of the whole subject of Masonry and they do not pretend to be.
As we proceed in the work of the Society we shall, every one of us, contribute
from all sources information of the exact kind you desire. This task will take
time. If you will read critically the little outline I have given for a
Masonic course of study in the October Bulletin you will note the range to be
covered by a comprehensive textbook.
I have planned a series of papers on Masonry which
were announced in the last issue. These have been thought out for the very
purpose mentioned by you. They will not in all probability take the degrees in
succession because there is some difficulty for me to deal intimately with
each degree in print. One must be truly circumspect in committing to the
printed page what he knows of the degrees. Perhaps you will do me the favor of
advising with me in this regard. How far do you expect me to go? Please let me
have the benefit of your reflections on this very important angle of the
Much can be presented to the brethren in this
Bulletin. We can discuss the Monitor freely. Sundry significant facts hinging
upon the ritual may also be set forth. But the application of many of these
particulars must be remade by the brethren themselves. What they already know
will shed light upon the additional information, an illumination unknown to
the profane. Each of you readers of mine will see how limited I must be in
what is here said at any time of the details of the three degrees mentioned by
my good brother Charlton.
He is emphatically right. Masonry is the more to a
Mason the more he has of it. Masonry grows the stronger upon a Mason the
deeper it is planted within him. We are Masons, first and last, because of
what is in us. Enlightened knowledge, enlarged humanity, the soul in contact
with agencies for good, these are the common aspirations of the brotherhood.
PLANNING A PRIMER FOR MASONS
For the coming Masonic year it has been talked of
in our Blue Lodge to introduce a series of lectures, perhaps as many as a
dozen, which will be in the nature of a Masonic education. Feel that subjects
should be so chosen and arranged that in a measure one will follow another in
logical sequence, the whole being beneficial in many different ways. It is
planned to have each about ten thousand words, MSS. of which will be submitted
to a committee before delivery, and the whole twelve at the end of the year to
be made up in book form, to be presented to each Master Mason as he is raised,
thereby furnishing him with a textbook as it were for his future guidance or
at least form a primer for his Masonic education. Sincerely and fraternally
yours, L.G. Good S.W. Joppa Lodge 362, F. & A.M., Shreveport, La.
My congratulations! You have indeed undertaken a
splendid task. That you will perform it admirably and thoroughly is my hearty
desire. If there is at any time and in any way an opportunity for me to
contribute to so commendable an enterprise I and our Society will be delighted
to do anything at our command.
Just how do you propose to go about this project?
I am taking it for granted that you will divide the work. To put the burden of
this exploit upon only a few or of one or two of the brethren is not easily
thinkable, the labor involved is too great.
Maybe you will organize a number of studious
Masons who will occasionally assemble to discuss the progress they have made
in the preparation of the papers. Such a study club would indeed be a
wonderful power for Masonic research.
Some five years ago a Master of my acquaintance
decided that once a month at least he would devote an hour at a meeting where
a paper should be read. I contributed one of the early papers, the subject
being "William Morgan." Since that time the custom has prevailed. Would that
all these lectures had been preserved as is the intention of our Shreveport
brothers to collect twelve.
That the brethren will hear when they will not
read is clear. Bro. Good's plan contemplates both methods. It is an ambitious
undertaking, highly creditable and farsighted.
THE LODGE AS A STUDY CLUB
A considerable number of the Masons in Yonkers are
heartily in favor of the furthering of Masonic research and study. There is,
however, no room in Yonkers for a study club, as Jonkheer Lodge devotes a very
considerable portion of the time of its meetings to Masonic history and study.
I believe that better results might be obtained by
using the existing Lodges, rather than by starting new organizations in the
form of study clubs, and believe that by-laws such as Jonkheer has, would help
the matter along in the various lodges. The by-laws read as follows:-
Section 4 - The Master shall cause a portion of
the Landmarks, constitution, statutes, and by-laws to be read in the Lodge at
the first stated communication after his installation, and at such other times
as he shall deem proper.
Section 24 - At least one evening in each Masonic
year shall be set apart by the Master for the consideration of matters
pertaining to the history, archaeology and antiquities of Freemasonry.
Yours fraternally, D. D. Berolzheimer, 17 Battery
Place, New York, N. Y.
It is most gratifying to find lodges so
progressive as to have not only provided in their bylaws for definite times
and seasons for the study of Freemasonry, its history, its archaeology, and
its antiquities, but carry them out to an extent that members can see no
necessity for anything additional. Would that all lodges were equally well
provided with bylaws requiring the exertion of energy along educational lines.
Pressure of business in most lodges prevents any literary
leanings of the kind becoming prevalent. Primarily, the purpose of the study
club is to do what the lodge cannot find opportunity to supply. Several lodges
may furnish sufficient material in membership to keep one study club a lively
point of contact in
If a lodge is in a sparsely settled region and the
work of initiation is not weighty there may be many evenings when at the
regular sessions study club associations could be happily incorporated under
the direction of the Master. Our larger cities do not permit these variations
in the proceedings. Work is too voluminous. Some other plan is required in
A study club to make effective progress should
meet often and regularly. An entire evening is not too long for the
presentation of a paper and for its careful discussion. A lodge to devote as
much time as this to the literary side of Freemasonry must either have
considerable leisure left after the conferring of degrees or has a method of
conducting its affairs that is not generally known.
I am acquainted with one lodge in New York whose
Master had the habit of giving at the meetings a little talk of say fifteen
minutes. He was and is an exceptionally well-informed Mason and his addresses
were contributions of distinctive value. They could not have the advantage of
study club presentation, nevertheless. Time was wanting. Business exacted the
minutes. Leisurely aground discussion was precluded. Herein is the need for
the study club. Let us know all about the substitutes. We are all lodge
members. Whatever the lodge can do to advantage we all want to know the
MASONS FORGETTING ALL THEY
Your letter referring to the Correspondence Circle
received, and in reply I wish to state that the Bulletin plan is good, and I
hope that it will bring lots of brothers together. Presently I am trying to
leave the city, therefore I am not in position to take up any Masonic work you
speak about, but I hope I will be able to do so in the near future. May I ask
what is the difference between a brother Mason who does not remember a bit of
the Lodge work and a friend who is not a Mason at all? Respectfully and
fraternally, S. Simone, 420 W. 2nd St., near Hill, Los Angeles, Calif.
Not much, truly. But let us not be too critical
about the brethren whose interests have in some way become divorced from
active thought of Freemasonry. For example, I well remember one brother who
came much against his will as a visitor to my lodge. Years ago he had taken
the degrees in another State. Immediately after receiving the third degree he
went upon the road as a representative of his firm. Since then he had never
seen a degree conferred. Everywhere he was told that it was a difficult task
to pass a lodge examination. Not feeling sure of his ground he never cared to
undergo the ordeal. Many a time in his travels he wished that he was posted
properly. At times he went home but his trips there were very short of stay,
and then, too, there were other and usually more pressing matters to be
handled. In my town he had business with one of the members of my lodge who
prevailed upon him to come down and try his best. Some of his story preceded
my investigation. He knew enough Masonry for the purpose. An excellent memory
had forgotten no essentials. With patience, and he was fully entitled to that
at the very least, he convinced the committee of his worthiness. An hour was
spent by me afterwards in giving him all the light I could upon various
methods of investigation he might meet and he was most grateful. But what
shall be said of the brethren who had discouraged him theretofore? I know you
will agree with me that a responsibility rests upon us all to see that Masons
are informed. When your location permits, Brother Simone, I trust you will
take hold of the work in which you have so evident an interest.
FURTHER LIGHT FOR FREEMASONS
The open letter on the back of the September issue
of THE BUILDER appeals very much to me and as some of my Brethren have
expressed a desire to take up the study of Masonry in a systematic manner I
wish you would send me the list of members in my immediate locality and as
much information for the formation of a study club as you can.
I am not good at expressing myself, but I wish to
say that I find a fund of information and "Light" in each issue.
Thanking you for all that you may be able to do
for us and wishing you and THE BUILDER continued success, I am, fraternally
yours, A. M. Fluharty, W.M., Morning Light Lodge, No. 384, Manson, Iowa.
Since the publication of the letter in the
September issue I have prepared some additional suggestions for study club
management that have appeared in the October number of THE BUILDER, and in the
November issue of the Bulletin I have carried further the work. I trust that
paper may be found of readable character. While only intended to answer a
request for light on a hint previously given by me on that particular topic,
yet it is on a little explored region of Masonic research and therefore ought
to have no abatement of interest because of its pioneering work.
I hope to take up in some detail an orderly consideration of
Freemasonry in due season. These forthcoming papers as I have planned them
will be of a style straightforward and simple enough to tell the tale Masonic
with truth and terseness. Do
to write me whenever I can throw any further light upon the path. We are all
students. Let us each contribute of his best, however poor that best may be.
HOW ONE GROUP OF MASONS HAS
GONE TO WORKS
Congratulations on the "Bulletin." I believe its foundation is
laid Masonically. Leadership is essential and when that leadership
by those who recognize the value of cooperation and draw their designs
accordingly I feel a thrill of anticipation of Success.
A leader cannot cooperate with himself. Those who
look to him for leadership must contribute their mite.
In this spirit and with a view of letting you know
how a little group of students tried to start something, I will try to convey
an account of our meagre efforts.
Five of the brethren in our village held an informal meeting
after our last stated communication, which was over at 8:30, and decided that
we could study Masonic subjects to advantage at
The first question considered was "what particular
phase of Masonic study will be most interesting to us?"
It was decided that each brother state what he was
most interested in finding out. One brother wanted to know about the
authenticity of the legend of the third degree. In response to his query
various Masonic writers were quoted and the point brought out, that, as
writing about the esoteric work had ever been considered unlawful we really
had little that was definite to base an opinion upon. Attention was also
directed to the explanation given the candidate that "Masonry consists of a
course of ancient hieroglyphical and moral instruction, taught according to
ancient usage, by types, emblems and allegorical figures."
The paper by John A. Thorpe on "Freemasonry,
whence it came, etc." was read and discussed. I read a paper I had prepared on
"What is Freemasonry and whence came it" which I carefully explained was only
my personal opinion. Another brother wished to know where scriptural
references to things of interest to Masons were to be found. (See
Correspondence in this issue.)
His request was complied with next day and a list
of references given him. He promised to prepare a paper on the subject for
some meeting of the group.
Another brother wished to know what Masonry was
doing now. Your scribe answered that his opinion was that it was trying hard
to impress the full import of the answer to the second question of an E.A. on
every Mason and that improvement in Masonry meant improvement in physical,
mental and spiritual development.
A paper by some member or some article of value
was decided upon for future meetings and the general discussion which follows
will bring out many points of interest and send us all to our authorities and
induce us to search for more light.
I, like many another, am groping around for
something definite, but I believe our plan will eventually adjust itself to
the capacity and needs of our group.
My personal opinion is that each member of a study
group should do his full share in contributing something of educational value
in such a manner as to be of interest.
We all have a tendency to follow lines of study of
our own; consequently the study of a particular subject at any considerable
length would probably become burdensome and uncongenial to some.
At the best the study group is but an occasional
gathering to glean the harvest of rich thought derived by the individual
effort of its members.
The individuals will benefit in the forum of
fraternal discussion and the group will be cemented by additional ties of
Hoping this has not become tiresome, I am, Yours
in the spirit if not worthy in ability, Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wis
P. S. - I am only 42. I expect to know more at 52.
P. P. S. - At times when our study group have
nothing definite to work upon I have in view the reading and discussion of the
following pamphlets and essays:
Gould's "English Lodges before the Grand Lodge
Era.” (Collected Essays.)
Speth's "What is Freemasonry?"
Lemert's "Some of our Ancestors."
Extracts from "A Masonic Curriculum" by Speth.
Pound's "Causes of Divergence
in Ritual." (Mass. proceedings, 1915.)
Ossian Langis "Freemasonry
and Mediaeval Craft Gilds.' (N. Y. proceedings 1916.)
The reprinted series by the N.M.R.S.
Morcombe's lectures on Symbolism. (Iowa Q.
Bulletin, Vol. 3, Nos. 3, 4; Vol. 4, No. 1.)
Selected readings from "Anderson's Book of
Constitutions," Preston's "Illustrations," the "Old Charges" and other Masonic
classics of value.
Discussion on the articles in THE BUILDER. This
is but a
brief list of the many things of value. I hope some day to add to and
Perhaps you have a much more adequate list.
A splendid start and a most excellent report is
this. That explanation of what is comprised in the improvement of ourself in
Masonry would from my point of view be hard to beat. Nothing more terse and
true could well be framed. Your list of references for future work is good and
fairly comprehensive. In fact you have some that are as yet strangers to me.
So go ahead and please let us have further accounts of your progress. I, too,
am not yet 52 and have much to learn.
PROFITABLE POINTERS ON PLANS
I am interested in Masonic topics and would be
glad to join a club that is devoted to this field. The Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be of great value, not because I place such importance on
methods and systems, but it may be the means of inducing the proper kind of
organizers and leaders to start clubs.
I am under the impression that the organization
and administration of a club is a one man job, and that the interest shown by
the members will be due to his ability as a leader, and his anticipation of
their tastes and limitations.
The set form of study that might be the most
practical to give to city business men would very possibly not suit a lodge of
working men of less education. Inspire men that are forceful, popular and
systematic, let them organize and do 99 per cent of the planning and work and
the club may grow and prosper.
It's a great job for a "Man with a mission," as
great a field to do good in as any pulpit offers. A well meaning but poorly
talented man would make a failure, regardless of the fact that he might be
well informed on Masonic subjects, and such a failure always makes it harder
I am fortunate enough to be aware of my own
limitations but there are others in this city, as well as in almost every
locality, who could excite as much interest in Masonry as many of the
preachers do in church work.
The Builder has demonstrated its ability to find
and collect interested men and I hope the Correspondence Circle will meet with
equal success in starting the "leaders" to action.
Assuring you of such service as is within my
power, and looking forward to the progress of our desires, Fred W. Cochran 220
1/2 West Vernon, Los Angeles, Calif.
It is a task to prepare an outline of study that
will fit all needs or hopes, but we shall not despair if we continue to get
the interest of such thoughtful Masons as yourself. Please go further, won't
you, and tell me how I can best serve you. What are the topics that in your
judgment should first get attention? In your intercourse with Masons what have
you found to be most desired in the way of information ? This is a big
country, all manner of men live in it. My own experience with them must be all
too limited. Your help toward my better understanding is earnestly invited.
HOW A START IN STUDY CLUB
WORK MAY BE MADE
List of members of N.M.R.S. and copies of THE
BUILDER containing your letter received. The response to my call was not as
large as hoped for, but this did not deter the few of us that were present
from starting. We thought best to begin with the tools we had on hand. All
present were members of the N.M.R.S., and our Lodge had purchased ten or more
copies of Bro J.F. Newton's work, "The Builders," so it was decided to take up
the study of this book with the aid of the Questions compiled by the
Cincinnati Masonic Study School which are found on page 128 of No. 6, Vol. 1,
of THE BUILDER.
For our first study we took up Questions 1 to 14,
hunted up the answers before our second meeting at which time the questions
were asked, the answer given from memory if possible, if not, it was read. If
given from memory it was verified from "The Builders," then each was asked if
there was any discussion of the thought presented. The discussions brought out
many bits of information and the meeting was voted a success by those present.
For our next meeting, (we meet the 1st, 3rd and
5th Saturday nights in each month), Questions 15 to 29 will be taken up in the
same way and so on until we strike a line of thought we want to dig into a bit
We sent the following letter to those who did not
show up at our 1st or 2nd meeting:
Sample of Letter Sent to
Prospective Members of a Study Club.
Dear Sir and Brother: - Can YOU answer the
What was thought to be the shape of the world by
the Egyptians in the early ages?
What is said of the way the Temples of Egypt were
built in early times ?
What are the real foundations of Masonry?
Give an outline of the Egyptian teachings.
What was the central theme of the Egyptian faith ?
What is said of eternity as an ideal of the early
What is said of the Cube, Square and CROSS?
The answer to these can be found in THE BUILDERS
by Bro. Jos. F. Newton. Also they will be taken up and discussed along with
several others at the 3rd meeting of our Masonic Study Club, Saturday evening,
7:00 o'clock, at my office in Cottingham Bldg. We will be glad to have you
with us whether you become a member or not. Fraternally thine,
Trust that you will pardon such a lengthy letter
but I thought perhaps that our plans would be a help to others who like
ourselves were at a loss as to what and how to begin to study. Fraternally
thine, J. A. Stiles, Morganfield Lodge No. 66, F. & A. M., Morganfield, Ky.
Good enough, Bro. Stiles. Fine work, I say. You have done well.
Do you find any part of Bro.
Newton's book either difficult to understand or do you note any place on which
you or your members seek more light than is afforded by the book itself? We
all want to make the path easier to travel. In any way we can help, please do
not fail to bring the matter to our attention either by letter to Anamosa or
direct to me. Meantime, go forward even as you have already done so well.
WHAT ABOUT THE LODGE BEING A
From East, West and South I am getting letters
that convince me that in one respect at least I have failed utterly to make
myself clearly understood. It is entirely my own fault, too. Here I am
emphasizing Study Club organization as something beyond the ordinary Lodge
routine. I have put so much weight upon this plan being carried on outside a
tyled Lodge that several correspondents write to know why the scheme cannot be
handled by the regular Lodge officers and the whole matter conducted on the
Lodge-room floor. Of course it can. I'm positively ashamed of myself that I
failed so absurdly to make that possibility absolutely clear.
Some Lodges already do this successfully. Several Grand Lodges
have considered that very angle of the situation. The Grand Master of Utah
said on this point: "I believe a system of Masonic instruction and education
can be introduced into our Lodges which will make the Lodge meetings more
attractive and interesting, without interfering with the usual work. A
carefully prepared and correct exposition of a Masonic subject, or a division
or instalment thereof, approved by competent authority, read
Lodge, and consuming not more than thirty minutes time, occurring say six
times a year, would, in my opinion, be a useful and valuable addition to our
So it would, Bro. Cherry. Not the slightest doubt
about it, in my humble opinion. But is not six times a year too few? Can we
not do better?
It is right here where the difficulty comes in. My
notion of keeping up the interest is to plan for study meetings frequent
enough to maintain a grip upon the attention of the brethren. At this stage
Lodge facilities are prone to fall down hard. Take the average City Lodge. How
much time is there to devote to anything outside the "work" and the
"business?" When I was Master I found it almost impossible to handle all the
initiations, the examinations, the committees, the funerals, the excursions,
the charities, and so forth, to my liking without going into the operation of
a Study Club Annex or of supplementary lectures. Most Masters of my
acquaintance will, I am sure, agree with me.
Where it can be done I do heartily approve of the
use of the Lodge for all Masonic instruction that may possibly be given there.
There can be no better place. Granted leisure for the purpose and what could
be more seemly than the presentation of a suitable essay. An enthusiastic
friend once said that he relished and cherished the idea that the makeup of a
Masonic body should be such that it would be no rare thing for great
discoveries in science to be first announced there, that fine artists of the
Craft should there each submit their maguum opus and that every Lodge ought to
be a center radiating the best there is in the whole scope of the arts and
Well, why not?
BY THE EDITOR
WHAT a day was that on which
I went to Stratford, to visit a tiny town and a mighty grave! It was like a
dream come true, its soft bright hours like the stanzas of a poem in which
echoes of unheard music linger. All the way down from London I mused on the
mystery of genius, but found no key to the riddle of it. God breathes it;
beyond that we cannot go. Dig how you will in the lore of Stratford, no fact,
no hint turns up to account for a man whose genius is "an intellectual ocean
whose waves touch every shore." It is a mystery the secret of which no one may
My guide, philosopher and
friend took pains that I should see everything, and to best advantage.
Climbing into a cab, we turned away from the town out into the country. It was
like riding through a park. Hedgerows neatly trimmed, a quaint cottage here
and there, apricots on garden walls, birds singing, and over all the dreamy
peace of English summer! Where we were going I did not know. Nor did I much
care, wishing that the ride might be endless amid scenes so lovely - thinking
of a boy who once wandered along these ways. After a little we turned a corner
and stopped at a long, low cottage with a thatched roof and tiny windows, and
flowers in the garden.
Then I knew where we were and
why we had come. It was the home of Ann Hathaway, where the boy had gone
a-courting in the village of Shottery. Near the front door is a stone where
Dickens once sat musing of that odd romance of long ago, remembering, no
doubt, how the boy himself had afterwards said that it would be a good thing
if every boy could be put soundly to sleep at fifteen, and not be allowed to
wake up until he is twenty-three. Of a truth it would be safer, but think of
the fun he would miss! Inside the cottage they show you the old kitchen, with
its old fire-place but little changed since Will and Ann sat so close together
on the seat near by, whispering all the sweet nothings that lads and lassies
say when life is new and love is young.
Thence we drove to Borden's
Hill, a mile or more away, from which lay spread out, as in a picture, the
town of Stratford, its rows of brick houses, its winding streets, its
church-spire, half hidden by trees. It is a scene to haunt the heart forever,
and 'tis no wonder that memories of it floated into all the plays and poems of
the Bard of Avon. Nor is it strange that Shakespeare came back to this scene
towards the end, wise enough to know when to quit and wishing to leave the
earth where he had first learned to love it. Down the Hill we went, our next
stop being at the house on Henley Street, where the seer was born. Forty
thousand people visit that house every year, coming from the ends of the earth
to pay homage to a great memory.
No one knows in what room the
poet was born, but tradition has consecrated the small chamber facing the
street, on the first floor. Names have been scribbled over all the walls. Most
of them mean nothing, but one finds those of Thackeray, Keen, and Browning,
and in the room above the signatures of Walter Scott and Thomas Carlyle
scratched on the window. No new names are allowed to be added. The back room,
up stairs, contains the so-called "Stratford Portrait," now declared by Sidney
Lee to have been painted from a bust in the eighteenth century. Below is the
kitchen, one of the few rooms that has not been changed since the bard was a
boy. Two rooms to the right are fitted up as a Museum, and contain early
editions of the plays, portraits, and various relics. The Garden, at the back
of the house, is filled with the trees and flowers mentioned in the plays.
Passing along High Street we
see the house in which Judith, the daughter of the poet, lived for thirty-six
years. Further on stands the picturesque half-timbered Harvard House, once the
home of Katharine Rodgers, mother of John Harvard - founder of Harvard
University. On Chapel Street is the site of New Place, the house in which the
poet resided when he returned to Stratford, and where he died. Only the
foundation remains. Opposite New Place is the old Guild Hall, where the boy
may have seen troops of strolling players perform; in the upper story of which
was the Grammar School which he attended. At the end of Church Street we turn
into the Old Town road which brings us to the Trinity Church, almost hidden
amid trees on the bank of the Avon.
As we entered the Church, two
aeroplanes passed over the town, like huge birds. I wondered what Shakespeare
would have said. Be sure that fertile fancy, in which Ariel had his birth,
would have found a phrase to fit the fact. The Church is interesting in
itself, and in its treasures of art, but chiefly, of course, for that it is
the tomb of the greatest genius of the English race. As Washington Irving said
of it long of old, "The mind refuses to dwell on anything that is not
connected with Shakespeare. His idea pervades the place; the whole pile seems
but as his mausoleum. The feelings no longer checked by doubt, here indulge in
perfect confidence; other traces of him may be false or dubious, but here is
palpable evidence and absolute certainty."
Standing by that Grave on the
north side of the chancel, I had such a sense of the reality of Shakespeare as
I never had before. There, only a few feet below me, lay the actual dust of
the Magician himself - divine dust, because his celestial spirit lent it
Divinity, revealing all the heights and depths, the tragedy and comedy of this
our mortal life. Who can pause beside that grave and doubt the triumph of the
soul over death ? How could that creative mind, that busy heart, cease to be ?
It is unthinkable ! Only two other spots on earth have touched me with a like
sense of the reality of immortality: one is Westminster Abbey, and the other
is the grave of Emerson in Sleepy Hollow. As I read the oft-quoted epitaph
with its warning, I thought, instead, of that wonderful 146th Sonnet, in which
he conquered death before he died.
Nor must we forget the
Memorial Theatre - that treasure-house of paintings of the Dramatist and his
characters, which is also a library of Shakespearian books. From the top of
the tower, reached by flights of steps and ladders, one sees another picture
never to be forgotten. The town, the winding Avon, the summer beauty on the
hills - it is as lovely as a dream. On one side of the theatre was a park,
half full of men wearing the blue-gray uniform of wounded English soldiers -
reminding us of the vast tragedy not far away. On the other side stands the
Monument, erected in 1888 by Lord Gower - crowned with a giant image of the
Poet, surrounded by figures representing Tragedy, History, Comedy, Philosophy.
Of course, we saw the
Fountain, the gift of an American in 1887, in honor of the genius of
Shakespeare and the jubilee of Queen Victoria. On our way we met Marie Corelli
out for an airing - a fat, chubby little lady she is, quite unlike her
pictures. Reluctantly, with mingled joy and regret, we took the train for
London. Always it is back to London, as of old all roads led to Rome. Now I
know what the poet meant in his Rhymes of the Road,
"Go where you may, rest where
Eternal London haunts you
Geometry, that is to say, the
science of harmony in space, presides over everything. We find it in the
arrangement of the scales of a fir-cone, as in the arrangement of a spider's
living web; we find it in the spiral of a snail shell, in the chaplet of a
spider's thread, and in the orbit of a planet; it is everywhere, as perfect in
the world of atoms as in the world of immensities.
- Henri Fabre. The Cufic of
THE ETERNAL RELIGION
I offer this book to the
sight, not of philosophers and wise men of the world, nor of great theologians
wrapped in endless questionings; but to the simple and untaught, those who
seek to love God rather than to know many things. For not by disputing, but by
doing will He be known, and by loving. - Richard Rolle, 1316.
THE TRINITY IN COLOR
BY BRO. S.W. WILLIAMS,
IN the many-sidedness of
Masonic study we all have been taught much relative to the NUMBER THREE.
Volumes have been written in regard to its mysterious symbolism in its
connection with the Religious systems of past ages. Its potency today is shown
in the TRINITY OF DEITY - the FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST - regarded most
sacredly throughout the civilized World.
Let us look at it from a
different standpoint. The seven colors which form the Rainbow when perfect -
RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO and VIOLET - are constructively
evolved from what are known as the THREE PRIMARY COLORS - RED, YELLOW and
BLUE. From these are all the others formed, WHITE is the presence of all
color, while BLACK is the absence of all LIGHT (which makes color possible)
and hence, is the absence of all color. Each of THE SEVEN has been awarded a
symbolic meaning - but these three PRIMARY COLORS, in their symbolic
significance, embrace all that there is in life for Man, from birth to
Man begins life in the
Innocence of Childhood - symbolized by WHITE - the presence of ALL COLOR -
because he is "Made in the image of God" and to show his many-sided nature,
crowned with an Immortal Soul.
With Manhood, he enters the
domain of the first of the primary colors - the RED - which signifies all that
is strong and virile in Manhood; the flush of health and the physical force
and power to DO and ACT.
When the strength of Man
faileth, he is said to be "In the sear and yellow leaf" - hence, YELLOW is the
symbol of AGE; and, when "He falleth, like autumn leaves to enrich our
mother-Earth" - then it is that he enters the realm of the Blue color, which,
as it nears Divinity, gradually loses its strength, being affected by the
glorious whiteness of the Light of Heaven, till it becomes the Ultra-Violet -
the Honce of the Angels and of those redeemed Souls who have found favor with
WHITE denotes PURITY -
INNOCENCE - GOD. And every Child that is born into the Garden of Innocence
must pass out therefrom, into the World of work and strife, and assume the
cares, the responsibilities, and the duties of Manhood, only to fall in the
"Sear and Yellow leaf" and, as a reward of his efforts, he enters the BLUE
Zone - the Spirit-land - from which he is to pass once more into the PURE,
WHITE LIGHT which emanates from the Throne of the Father. The Circle has been
completed, - and a Circlet of White, enclosing a triangle of RED, YELLOW and
BLUE, would carry our thoughts through life - into Eternity.
BY BRO. C. M. SCHENCK.
THE perversity in attaching
through preconceived views a wrong significance to signs is illustrated by an
anecdote found in several versions and in several languages, (1) (but repeated
as a veritable Scotch legend by Duncan Anderson, esq., Principal of the
Glasgow Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, when he visited Washington in
King James I. of England,
desiring to play a trick upon the Spanish ambassador, a man of great
erudition, but who had a crotchet in his head upon sign language, informed him
that there was a distinguished professor of that science in the university at
Aberdeen. The ambassador set out for that place, preceded by a letter from the
King with instructions to make the best of him. There was in the town one
Geordy, a butcher, blind of one eye, a fellow of much wit and drollery. Geordy
is told to play the part of a professor, with the warning not to speak a word;
is gowned, wigged, and placed in a chair of state, when the ambassador is
shown in and they are left alone together. Presently the nobleman came out
greatly pleased with the experiment, claiming that his theory was
demonstrated. He said: "When I entered the room I raised one finger to signify
there is one God. He replied by raising two fingers to signify that this Being
rules over two worlds; the material and the spiritual. Then I raised three
fingers, to say there are three persons in the Godhead. He then closed his
fingers, evidently to say these three are one." After this explanation on the
part of the nobleman the professors sent for the butcher and asked him what
took place in the recitation room. He appeared very angry and said: "When the
crazy man entered the room where I was he raised one finger, as much as to say
I had but one eye, and I raised two fingers to signify that I could see out of
my one eye as well as he could out of both of his. When he raised three
fingers, as much as to say there were but three eyes between us, I doubled up
my fist, and if he had not gone out of that room in a hurry, I would have
knocked him down." (Garrick Mallery in First Annual Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology, pages 337-338.)
On record are many stories,
related by honest and intelligent men, of instances where Masonic signs have
been recognized by North American Indians, and today some well informed Masons
believe that Masonry was known to these Indians before the coming of the white
man, and that it still exists among them. Of how easy it is to mistake the
meaning of signs the Aberdeen anecdote offers a good example. It very often
happens that things are not what they seem to be.
One of the believers in
Indian Masonry was Dr. Charles E. Stone, a charter member of Yuba Lodge No.
39, of Marysville, California, with whom on the evening of February 24, 1909,
I visited his lodge. He was at that time eighty-two years of age, a Knight
Templar, and a 33 degree Hon. Scottish Rite Mason.
Among other things which he
showed me was an album containing photographs of the charter members of the
Lodge. He called attention to the picture of a man named Heath, whose life he
said had been saved through the recognition of a Masonic sign by hostile
Indians. In reply to my question, "How could the Indians have gained any
knowledge of Masonry?" he replied, "Probably from the early French."
In May, 1910, Brother Stone,
who died a few months later, (December, 1910), repeated to me in a letter the
story which he had told me in the Lodge room, from which letter I will quote:
Marysville, Cal., May
Illustrious Sir and Brother:
* * * In the year 1867 or 8,
Bro. James Heath, a member of our Lodge, came to me and expressed a desire to
join the Chapter of which I was an officer, giving as a reason that, a yeas or
two before, he, with a party of friends, went on a prospecting trip in the
State of Nevada. They had a good camping outfit, a four-horse covered wagon,
and supplies to last for several weeks Heath was the driver and was one day
left in a beautiful valley while the others went out to prospect.
About 2 o'clock in the
afternoon a band of Indians, finely mounted, appeared on a ridge above the
valley, and he saw then were in hostile array, and said he hardly knew what to
do, but thought if the G.H.S. would ever do any good, now was the time to try
it; so he gave it, and the leader of the Indians at once dismounted, stuck a
spear he carried, in the ground, and left the band, came down, took Heath by
the hand, led him behind the wagon, and, as he expressed it, gave him more
grips and signs than he knew, and wave him to understand that his party must
leave and return to Virginia City.
The Indians then remained
with them a day or two and escorted them out of the hostile country, and until
they were safely on their journey and in sight of Virginia City, when the
Chief parted with his white Brother, taking his men with him and were soon out
Bro. Crandell, who was at the
time Grand Sr. Warden of our Grand Lodge, told me that, in crossing the plains
in 1849 with a large company of emigrants, he and one other man were the only
Masons, although there were several families in the company. The Comanches had
war parties out, and were very troublesome, and had stolen stock, and killed
several people. Crandell and his friend agreed, should the Indians make their
appearance near them, to try Masonry as a means of protection. It was not long
before they had an opportunity, as a large band came swooping toward them. He
and his friend then made themselves known as Brothers, and two or three of the
Indians responded and their company was never molested during the journey, and
lost no stock; the Indians keeping faith with their white Brothers.
Many years ago I read of a
visit made in St. Louis by a delegation of Indian Chiefs, who were on their
way to Washington to visit the Great White Father, as they termed the
President of the U. S. In escorting these Indians about the city, they were
taken to a Masonic Temple which had been recently erected. On being taken to
the Lodge rooms, which had been decorated with Masonic Emblems on the walls
and ceiling, they showed by signs and other expressions, that they were
perfectly familiar with them.
After Bro. James Heath had
taken all the degrees in the Chapter, Council and Commandery, he said some
more signs were given him by the Indian Chief, and I presume the Scottish Rite
Degrees, or some of them, might have been conferred on the Red Man.
Bros. Heath and Crandell's
statements, which I had from their oven lips, I have given as nearly in their
own words as possible: they made a lasting impression on my mind regarding the
universality of our Order, and the protecting care it insures its members "wheresoever
dispersed around the globe."
All the Bros. mentioned have
passed to the Celestial Lodge above, and I, the Elder Brother, am left to tell
their experiences. All were old friends of the '49 period, and we "kept watch
and ward together many years."
Referring to my visit he
wrote: The candlesticks which you saw used as Altar lights in our Lodge Room,
(Yuba Lodge, No. 39, Marysville, California, visited Feb. 24, 1909), were
taken from a Buddhist Temples where they had probably been used for centuries,
and were used at the institution of the first Masonic Lodge in Japan, under an
English Charter, and called Nippon Lodge No. 1. Bro. Charles E. DeLong, our
Minister to Japan, was present at that Ceremony, and was by that Lodge
presented with the candlesticks, he furnishing others to replace them. Bro.
DeLong also presented us the chain armor, spear and banner of a Japanese
warrior of the older time. The American Flag, which you also saw, was the
first American Flag to be carried through that Island when Bro. DeLong was
allowed by that government to make a trip through their country. The
flag-staff is of Japanese wood.
Bro. Geo. W. Prescott, who
visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land, presented us with the beautiful
Corinthian pillar and the gavels. The base of the pillar is marble from the
foundation of King Solomon's Temple; the shaft is of the Cedar of Lebanon, and
the gavels are of olive-wood from the banks of the River Jordan.
Very truly and affectionately
(Signed) C. E. Stone, 33
That Brother Heath thought
the Indians understood his sign, and that they were Masons, there can be no
question. As to whether his conclusion was correct there is room for doubt.
In Col. Garrick Mallery's
paper on "Sign Language Among North American Indians," previously mentioned,
on page 530 (Fig. 335) is a picture of an Indian giving a sign which is at
least suggestive of the one used by Brother Heath. The accompanying text
explains that it is the sign for "Peace; Friendship," made by elevating the
hands at arms length above and on either side of the head. Observed by Dr. W.
J. Hoffman, as made in Northern Arizona in 1871 by Apaches, Mojaves, Hualpais,
This being so, is it not
perhaps probable that the sign given by Brother Heath was interpreted by the
Indians to mean "Peace; Friendship" ? If the friendly relations established
through the medium of the sign, were followed by a good feed and other
entertainment, it is easy to account for the Indians remaining with the party
for a day or two and then escorting it safely out of the hostile country. You
will remember that Brother Heath narrated that the Indian "led him behind the
wagon and gave him more grips and signs than he knew," and that in later years
the Indian Chief gave him some more signs, and he presumed that "the Scottish
Rite Degrees, or some of them, might have been conferred on the Red Man." Of
this it may be said that there are but few Masonic signs which are not found,
although with an entirely different meaning, in the sign language of the
Illustrations of several such
signs are given in Col. Mallery's paper above referred to. Note particularly
Fig. 290 on page 467; Fig. 293, page 471; Fig. 309, page 487; and Fig. 336,
In "The New Age" for
September, 1910, (pages 244 and 245) in his article on "The Legend of Masonry
Among the Osage Indians," Frederick S. Barde says:
"A Scottish Rite Mason who
has lived long in Oklahoma was asked if he believed the Osages knew anything
of Masonry. He replied instantly that he did, and told of having recognized
certain signs used by an Osage who had shown curiousity in examining a Masonic
badge. This Osage could not speak English and talked through an interpreter.
This Scottish Rite Mason had no familiar acquaintance with the Osages, and
admitted that his belief was based largely on surmise, as he did not attempt
to hold Masonic communication with the Indian. The observation and belief of
this Mason is common to many others. A Mason ignorant of Osage customs and
speech, watching attentively a conference of Osages, and departing without
inquiry, might be convinced beyond the shadow of doubt that these Indians know
something of Masonry.
"All North American Indians
have an inter-tribal means of communication, known as the sign language. It is
so graphic and comprehensive that two Indians, wholly unable to understand
each other orally, may converse easily and with certainty in this language. In
it are two signs that correspond without appreciable difference to two of the
most important signs of Masonry, both in the degree of Master Mason.
Remarkable as it may be, the meaning of these Indian signs is practically the
same as their Masonic counterparts, one being concrete and the other more or
"But unhappily for the Osage
legend, or its extension to other Indian tribes, a more inaccurate and
misleading statement could hardly be made than to say that the Osages have
even the slightest knowledge of Masonic secrets. From the Indian standpoint,
one of these signs has a clear origin in a custom peculiar to a powerful tribe
when in battle; the origin of the other, speculatively at least, may be traced
to a daily phenomenon of nature.
"The accuracy of this
conclusion is upheld by Masons of inquiring minds who have lived for more than
a quarter of a century among the Osages, speaking fluently both the sign
language and the Osage tongue, and who are acquainted with the legend of Osage
Masonry. They declare that they never found the least evidence of Masonry
among the Osages, and believe firmly that the legend has no stronger
foundation than the gestural coincidence between the two Indian and the two
What the two signs were, I
have taken some pains to find out, but am still uninformed.
In his book entitled "Indian
Masonry," Robert C. Wright addresses his Preface "To the Brethren of the
Craft," and begins it with:
"This work is fraternally
dedicated to you. In your kindly charge it is placed, hoping that when it has
been measured by the plumb, square and level, it will be found good work, true
work, square work, and just such work as you need and may pass to be used in
the building up of the real Masonic structure."
Here are a few extracts from
"Some time ago a brother said
one day that he had seen Indians give Masonic signs, and this being doubted in
spite of the brother's earnestness, an investigation was begun." (p. 1)
"I have had Masons solemnly
tell me that they had seen Masonic signs given by Indians and that they were
Masons. This can be explained in two ways: first, the Indian had actually
become a Mason or had learned the signs secretly from white men as negroes of
the south had done- second, those brethren had taken as Masonic, signs made by
the Indian for which he intended an entirely different meaning. There is great
danger that the civilized understanding is mistaken or forced, and errors are
more likely to happen from the hearsay of traders, interpreters and agents,
who have made an Indian jargon, and insist that signs of their own making,
adopted by the Indians, are universal." (p. 12)
"Signs are very liable to be
misunderstood; yet some of them have a startling likeness to ancient Masonic
symbols." (p. 16)
"There is no Indian Masonry.
There is Indian Masonry. This wide difference I make clear when I say, no
Indian Masonry as the average man understands it, but there is a deep Indian
Masonry for him who seeks to find it." (p. 108)
"There is no Indian Masonry
in that small and narrow sense which most of us think of; that is, one who
pays lodge dues, wears an apron like ours and gives signs so nearly like ours
that we find him perforce a Mason in any degree or degrees we know, and which
degrees we are too prone to watch, just as we do a procession of historical
floats, which casually interest us, and maybe a little more so if we can but
secure a place at the head of the procession, the true meaning of which we
have but a faint idea about. This makes our own Masonry as meaningless as the
interpretation of Indian signs by an ignorant trapper." (p. 109)
Dr. Walter Rough. a Mason and
an anthropologist who for twenty-seven years has been associated with the
Smithsonian Institute, is reported to have expressed himself in so far as
Masonry among the Hopi Indians is concerned, as told in the following extract
from a newspaper article:
"A Blue Lodge Mason entered
one of the Hopi lodges. He came out thunderstruck. "I don't know where he got
it," said the Blue Lodge man, "but that Indian buck in there knows as much
Masonry as I do." Which is a lovely fable which helps to make guides rich.
According to Dr. Hough, there aren't any Hebrew words or Masonic rites to be
found in Hopi Pueblos. The resemblance is undeniable, but there is no common
meaning or common origin." (Herbert Corey, in Denver Times of Oct. 1, 1913.)
Brother Newton R. Parvin of
the Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Grand Secretary of Iowa, has
kindly furnished me with a list embracing thirteen books and magazine articles
relating to Indian Masonry, which I shall be pleased to pass on to any of you
who wish to delve deeper.
In so far as a settlement of
the question whether there was, or is now, any Masonry as we know it, known to
uncivilized North American Indians, I will leave it as Stockton did in "The
Lady, or the Tiger." You will remember that at the end of the story he told
"The question of her decision
is not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself
up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it all with you: Which
came out of the open door, the lady or the tiger?"
(1) This introduction and the
version which I shall give you is taken from Col. Garrick Mallery's paper on
"Sign Language Among North American Indians," printed in the First Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (1879-80.)
LIST FURNISHED BY BROTHER
Sept. 23, 1913
Barde, F.S., Legend of
Masonry Among the Osage Indians. New Age, V. 13; pp. 242, 245.
Bromwell, H. P. H., Masonry
Among the American Indians. American Tyler, V. 5; p. 10.
Freemasonry Among the
Indians. New England Craftsman, V. 4; p. 90.
Indian Masonry. American
Tyler, V. 16; p. 160
Masonry Among the American
Indians. Evergreen, V. 3; p. 3.
New Kind of Masonry. American
Tyler, V. 15; p. 84.
Newell, C., Masonry of the
Red Man. Tyler Keystone, V. 21; pp. 113, 146, 168, 192, 194.
A Possible Relic of Indian
Masonry. American Tyler, V. 7; p. 336.
Some Unrecognized Masonry.
American Tyler, V. 18 ; p. 404.
Welles, T.F., Freemasonry
Among the Indians. Trestle Board, San Francisco, V. 9; p. 31.
Welsh, Indian Freemasonry.
Trestle Board, San Francisco, V. 2; p. 178.
Wright, Robert C., Is there
Masonry Among the Indians? Tyler Keystone, V. 20; p. 523. V. 21; pp. 8, 28.
Wright, Robert C., Indian
THE TWO ASHLARS BY BRO. F.C.
HIGGINS, NEW YORK
Our lodge is in every respect
a symbolic workshop, furnished with all the tools belonging to the different
grades of workmen, and with a trestleboard upon which are set forth the day's
designs and the material upon which the labor of the brethren is to be
This symbolic material
consists of the two ashlars, emblematic of the crude material and the finished
product, which are placed plainly enough on view in New York lodges, but
absent or almost unknown except to students in many other states. The oblong
stones and nondescript slabs sometimes seen are noteworthy evidence that the
age-old significance of the "cubical stone," which has played such a prominent
role in the mythology and mysticism of the past, has almost run to oblivion in
the modern craft. These stones should really be perfect cubes. The symbolism
of the working tools is completely lost the moment such proportions are lost
sight of or ignored. The ancient Hebrews had their own version of the great
"number philosophy," which lent sanctity and expressiveness to the number 12.
First of all, it was the number of their Twelve Tribes, who were doubtless a
symbolical enrolment of all the heads of families under the zodiacal sign of
the month in which they were born. It is certainly significant that the
patriarchal system was founded upon this number, and later on many other
dispositions were made that showed a particular reverence for the Chaldean
plan of the universe based upon 12 signs. As one cube possesses six sides each
of which is a perfect square, a number of remarkable mathematical and
geometrical symbolisms were established based upon the fact that all the
numbers, from one to 12 added together produce 78. This number is also the sum
of 3 times "26," the numerical value of the "Great and Sacred Name of Jehovah"
As each cube possesses 12
edges, the combined number require a 24-inch rule to symbolize their total
outline. The breaking into different mathematical combinations of this supreme
number, each significant of some one of the great ruling phenomena of nature,
was seen in the symbolism of the use of an operative Mason's gavel in the
dressing of building stones.
The grand old mystery name of
our Creator, called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "four-letter name") had as
its root the three letters J, H, and V, which as numbers were 10, 5, and 6, or
21, the sum of the added numbers 1 to 6 represented by a single cube.
This fact was made the basis
of a curious legend, ought by the wise old rabbis into that marvelous
compilation called the Talmud, from which more than a little of our Masonic
material has been derived.
The story is of the Patriarch
Enoch (Hanok, father Methuseleh), whose name means "the initiator," 10, all
accounts agree, lived 365 years, or a "year of years." A remarkable book
attributed to him is often alluded to by the Hebrew commentators and early
Christian "Fathers"; but no trace of it was ever found until in the last
century it turned up in Abyssinia. It has been translated out of that strange
African dialect into many tongues. The so-called Book of Enoch contains a
remarkable recital of astronomical science as known to the ancients, told
entirely in allegorical form, while the history of the Children of Israel is
prophesied ( ?) under the allegorical simile of the remarkable doings of a
singularly intelligent flock of sheep which which build a house for their
shepherd, the whole reading very much like a children's fairy tale.
The Talmudic legend of Enoch
represents him as greatly disturbed at the news of the impending world
Deluge," for fear the Name of God should be lost. He accordingly caused it to
be inscribed upon a triangular plate of gold, and affixed it to a cubical
stone, for the safe keeping of which he caused a series of nine arched vaults
to be constructed, one beneath another, at the foot of Mt. Moriah (the holy
mountain of the Jews, as Mt. Meru was of the Hindus). The rains came and the
flood descended, and so washed the mud and silt over the site that it became
Centuries later, when King
David was moved "to build an house unto the Lord," and actually set his
workmen to dig the foundations thereof, the latter discovered the vaults, and
descending therein brought to light the long-buried stone.
Tradition also has it that
the material of this stone was agate, which would at once connect it with the
Hermetic philosophy; for agate, above all, was sacred to Hermes and Thoth or
David. The latter, having been a warlike monarch, was not permitted to achieve
that which he had begun and so bequeathed the cubical stone to his son
Solomon, who made use of it as the cornerstone of the Temple.
The imagery of this is plain
enough in the fact that, not in a written or engraved inscription, but in the
mathematical proportions of the cube itself, was to be found that wonderful
Name which is, as it were, the foundation of the universe, of which man is a
fleshly epitome and the Temple on Mt. Moriah a symbolic one.
By knowing the use of the
working tools of an E. A. the initiate might begin his labor of hewing and
shaping the brute matter at his feet into stones fit for the builders' use;
but when he had accomplished his task he was apprised that the symmetry and
order it represented in its finished shape was "God": not a god whom he
created, but a God whom his patient labor had revealed.
The cube itself was an
age-old symbol of the spiritual Man, as set forth in the Mahabarata of ancient
A portion of Mine own Self,
transformed in the world of life into an immortal Spirit, draweth round itself
the senses of which the Mind, is the Sixth, veiled in Matter.
Therefore we find the cube
present in all the ancient mythologies, which were but racial cloaks for one
and the same wisdom religion, understood by the priests of all countries alike
as a symbol of the sixth sign of the zodiac, the characters portraying the
great Mother of Wisdom and her divine son Man.
It is the task of the
apprentice to break through the shell of matter and liberate the Divine Word
that dwells within by opening his own spiritual perceptions to the light of
the Logos. As the priceless statues of Phidias and Praxiteles were once
shapeless masses of unmeaning stone and the Parthenon a sea-worn crag, until
gavel and gage, mallet and chisel, in the hand of inspiration had performed
their tasks, so has always been the lesson of the cube in its unshapen and
shapen forms to the apprentice Mason.
MAUNDY THURSDAY --- A TOAST
BY Bro. M.F. Funkhouser, Nebraska
The chief claim of an
Institution to some is the evidence of its Antiquity; to such the genealogical
record of Masonry should be most gratifying. That it should antedate the
Christian Era ought certainly to satisfy the most exacting enthusiast, but
there are those who insist on even a more remote origin and who never tire of
tracing its ramifications through the labyrinths of the Ancient Mysteries of
India, Egypt and Greece, and exultingly picture it in detail, surviving,
triumphant through all the vicissitudes and mutations of human affairs,
outlasting the wreck and havoc of dynasties, the disruption of Empires, the
downfall and rise of Republics, witnessing in successive ages the atrocities
and death of tyrants and applauding the self sacrifice, devotion and triumph
How shall we gauge and
measure the merit of such an Institution, with a foundation so broad and deep
and firm that it has been thus perpetuated, though ever feared and frowned
upon by ignorance and superstition, threatened by bigotry and assailed by
intolerance. The jealous hate of despots has attacked it with fire and sword
and its followers have been proscribed, persecuted, reviled, loaded with
chains, thrown into dungeons and even burned at the stake--martyrs to
aspiritual despotism which made Reason and Free Thought crimes, worthy of
discipline and severe punishment, instead of a patient hearing and candid
A sacred trust is attached to
this rich inheritance, which we have received from our progenitors. A personal
responsibility rests upon us for the preservation of the principles of civil
and religious liberty--Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Free Speech, Free
Thought, Free Conscience, Free Press and Free schools should be as dear to us
as they were to our departed dead. We too, should be ready and willing to shed
our blood, yea even give up our lives, in order that these sacred, God given
rights and principles should continue to exist, grow, expand, and be a force
and power for good, and that the permanency of our institutions should be
established forever in this land of freedom and opportunity, where the air is
full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars. Religion, morality and
knowledge are necessary to make men happy and respectable, under any form of
government. Masonry, as has been well said, is more than an institution, more
than a tradition, more than a society. In truth, it is one of the forms of the
Divine life upon earth; of no age, it belongs to all time; of no religion, it
finds great truths in all. It has touched with grace and beauty the tender
virtues of mercy and kindness. Its blessings have been felt in every nation,
language and creed, and from its altars constantly arise the incense of a
prayerful life. It has always stood for liberty, equality and fraternity. It
has instituted no inquisitions, lighted no fires of persecution, antagonized
no religion. It stands for the purity of womanhood and the sanctity of the
home. As the citizen is the unit of the state, the fireside is the unit of
civilization and woman is its Queen. All the higher interests of the race are
in her keeping and the honor and chivalry of Masonry are thrown around her.
The essence of Masonry is
character, its goal, ideal manhood and its mission is "to teach men to know
and practice their duties to themselves and their fellows." (This is the
practical end of all philosophy and knowledge.) Its message is the
dissemination of moral, political, philosophical and religious truth, and that
honor and duty are the beacon lights to guide life's vessel over the stormy
seas of time.
It has a history, a
literature and a philosophy. It also has a creed, the Fatherhood of God, the
Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul. Born almost in the very
cradle of the race, the antique symbols of Masonry are vessels which have come
down to us full freighted with the intellectual riches of the past. In the
lading of these argosies are the best from the ports of every age and contain
much to prove its claim to be acknowledged as the benefactor of mankind.
When men begin to reflect,
they begin to differ. The great problem then is to find guides who will not
seek to become tyrants. In Masonry with its faith in man, hope for the future
of humanity and loving kindness for its fellows is found a guide who ever
endeavors to be beneficent, unambitious and disinterested.
The onward march of the human
race requires that the heights about it should blaze with noble and enduring
lessons of courage, in which the hope of success and not the expectation of
reward, should be the stimulating and sustaining power. Life's length, my
brethren, is not measured by its hours and days, but by that which has been
done therein for our Country and Mankind.
One of the most marvelous,
wonderful, significant and convincing reasons for Masonic perpetuity, is that
it is the only institution in the world around whose altars the Christian, the
Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin and the follower of every creed (excepting
only "that orphan, that waif wandering the midnight streets of time, homeless
and alone,"--the Atheist) may on terms of perfect equality, assume our sacred
obligations and as brethren unite in prayers to the One God, who is above all
others, leaving each of its initiates to look for the foundation of his faith
and hope in the written scriptures of his own religion.
The Sages of all the Ancient
Races have ever had of necessity, a secret and Holy doctrine, which was not
made known to the people at large,--when the stars were worshipped, the
Initiates adored that which manifested itself as a star. When Fire and Light
were objects of adoration by the multitude, the Adepts worshipped the
Invisible Principle from which the Light emanated.
To Masonry, as to other
Institutions, there came at intervals, crises when it was deemed expedient and
necessary to create higher degrees--a circle within a circle--to whose members
alone the chief secrets could be entrusted. At such times infinite care was
taken, while seeming to make the whole known to all, to conceal what was
necessary by symbols and even trivial explanations, which led away from the
truth, instead of toward it.
The Inner circle of the
Scottish Rite, modified to suit the modern conditions and requirements, is our
Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, the Governing Body of Our Order
to whom we all owe and willingly give loyal allegiance, and from whom we
derive our authority to assist in propagating as the highest duty of
Citizenship, an unselfish Patriotism, "that spirit of liberty which stifles
the voices of despots, turns blind submission into rational obedience,
dissipates the mists of superstition, kindles the flame of Art and pours
happiness into the laps of the people."
The Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite, as now constituted, came into being in 1786 when the Grand
Constitutions, which have governed the Rite since that date, were adopted. The
number of degrees were increased to 32, with the addition of a governing
degree, the 33rd.
This Rite was in existence in
France and other countries in Europe prior to 1762 and known as the "Rite of
Perfection or Heredom." It was then composed of three degrees of the York Rite
and twenty two others, the 18th being the Rose Croix, and the 25th the "prince
of the Royal Secret."
Scottish Masonry was
introduced into America by Stephen Morin, who held a patent from this Rite of
Perfection or Heredom, Orient of Paris, of the date of August 27th, 1761. His
title was "Grand Master Inspector." Besides the power to establish a symbolic
lodge in America, the Grand Councils authorized him to confer the higher
degrees, giving him the rank of Inspector over all the bodies of these
degrees, with power of substitution, and to create Inspectors General in all
places where the sublime degrees were not established. He confined his labors
exclusively to the Scottish Rite and successive Deputy Inspectors were created
by him, who in turn granted patents to other individuals.
In April, 1795, John Mitchell
was raised to the highest degree in Masonry and created Deputy Grand Inspector
General. On May 25th, 1801, Inspector General Mitchell granted equal honors
and a similar patent to Frederick Dalcho, a physician of Charleston, S. C.,
and also an officer in the United States Army. Six days later, on May 31st,
1801, there was organized at Charleston, South Carolina, with Col. John
Mitchell as the First Sovereign Grand Commander, and Dr. Frederick Dalcho as
Lieutenant Commander, a Supreme Council of the 33rd for the United States of
America, which on December 4th, 1802, issued a circular giving the Grand
Constitutions of 1786 as the law of its existence and source of power, stating
that the same had been ratified by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and
Grand Commander and who had delegated to this First Supreme Council, all the
Masonic prerogatives which his Majesty himself possessed.
To America alone the
privilege was given for the establishment of two Supreme Councils, while to
every other Country in Europe, but one was permissible. There are scattered
over the world, in existence and in harmony with our own, twenty-nine regular
Supreme Councils, every one of which has, mediately or immediately, flowed
from our own Mother Council of the World, the limits of whose jurisdiction
embraces thirty states and all the territories, organized and unorganized.
This includes the Phillipines, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Oriental Empire of
Japan, and only through our doors can the Army and Navy gain admission into
the ranks of Scottish Rite Masonry. A patent issued by this Body is a sure
passport to the confidence of Scottish Rite Masons and commands their respect
in all lands and among all peoples.
The Northern Supreme Council
was established in August, 1813, and their jurisdiction is limited to fifteen
states of the Union, but among these are included the most populous and
thickly settled. A thorough understanding exists between the two Supreme
Councils and they work together, without friction or jealousy. Since the
organization of our Supreme Council, nearly 115 years ago, "the record of
those who have been crowned active members is one to which we can point with
just pride, not only because of their general high character, the good
judgment and discretion displayed and good works done, but also because of the
unique fact that not one ever has brought reproach on the Order--their
Escutcheon is as bright and untarnished as when they first entered on the
scene," exemplifying again the truth of the sentiment that the "noblest
monuments that mark the progress of Mankind are not confined to those of
marble, stone, and brass, but rather deeds of men."
With such an Institution to
inspire enthusiasm and loyalty, such an Ancestry to arouse and stimulate, with
such leaders to counsel and direct, with such companions to encourage and
assist; if we but earnestly endeavor to do our part of constantly diffusing
our messages of wisdom and philanthropy, of philosophy and toleration; of
voicing ever an appreciation of the dignity and discipline of labor; of
disseminating, with discrimination, the doctrines containing profound truths
for every department of life; belief in the existence of God, the Brotherhood
of Man, the Immortality of the Soul,-- insisting on and living up to a
patriotism as loyal as i~s obedience to the law is unswerving; then we can
rest assured that our Grand and Noble Order, clothed in majesty and power,
shall continue to move down the great highways of History,--marching at the
head of the procession of the World's events, the foremost exponent, teaching
by example of civilized and Christianized freedom, its manifest destiny to
light the torch of liberty till it illumines the entire pathway of the World,
till human freedom and human rights become the common heritage of mankind. For
in the language of our late Grand Commander, "the cause of human progress is
our cause, the enfranchisement of human thought is our supreme wish; the
freedom of human conscience, our mission; and the guarantee of equal rights to
all peoples everywhere,--the end of our Contention."
THE WISDOM OF WAITE
The keynote of creation is
modesty, and its spirit is that of concealment.
There are depths of the
universe which give up strange forms, as the sea gives up monsters.
The light of the true world
is darkness unto this.
The universe exists for its
intelligences; and for man--in so far as he can use it.
Morality is not the end of
life, but rather its beginning.
Covetousness is a cardinal
virtue when it is directed to imperishable things.
The secret of eternal life is
that of love, and the secret of love is to live in the lives of others, with
and for them.
All great books are
sacraments, but all readers do not communicate worthily.
Human life is the story of a
great secret, but we are slowly unravelling the
--A. E. Waite. Steps to the
"PEACE ON EARTH"
LONG ago, over the armed camp of the hard old
Roman world, the Angels sang their prophetic hymn, proclaiming "peace on earth
among men of good will." How far off it must have seemed in that day, like a
faint echo of the bells of the City of God; how far off it seems today, when
the earth is red with war and a pall of woe hangs over the race. The world is
still in twilight; and from beyond dim horizons comes ceaselessly the thunder
of great guns. A hard frostlike surface of gaiety sparkles in our cities; and
anxiety turns to laughter or to apathy for relief. After all the ages, the
hope of peace on earth seems as vain as all the vain things proclaimed of
Nevertheless, the song of the Angels will come
true. It is not a myth. It is not a mockery. Surviving ages of slaughter, of
hating, of wild injustice, it returns to haunt us, foretelling a better
tomorrow, proving in this last defeat its immortality. Because that music is
so far off we know that it is not our own, but was sent into the soul of man
by a Power as far above all our discordant noises as the stars are above the
mist. It means much that we can hear it, despite the mad hell of the hour, and
if we cease to love it chaos worse confounded will come again, making the Dark
Ages eternal. If the time seems long delayed, we must lay it to heart that the
vision will come true as fast as the world fills up with Men of Goodwill - and
Finally, out of the welter of war, with its blood
and fire and tears, its measureless misery and woe, its hideous nightmare of
bigotry and brutality, its unspeakable cruelty, its slavery of hate, its orgy
of lust, its senseless worship of Force; slowly, surely, sadly, after ages of
tragedy are past,
"We shall come, not blindly impelled, but free
To an orbit of order at last,
And a finer peace shall be wrought out of pain
Than the stars in their
Ah, me ! but my soul is in
sorrow till then,
And the feet of the years
* * *
A NATIONAL MASONIC CONFERENCE
How can we best celebrate the founding of the
mother Grand Lodge of England, in June, 1917 ? Looking forward to that day,
which ought to give a new date to the history of Freemasonry, we venture to
suggest a National Masonic Conference; not a legislative assembly, but a Feast
of fraternal goodwill, a Festival of joy and wisdom in which to renew our
vows, to cement our fellowship, and to lay far-reaching plans for the better
use of Masonry in behalf of all that makes for private nobility and social
welfare. Such an assembly, meeting in some central city easily accessible -
Indianapolis, for example - representing every part of the country, and every
rite and rank of the Order; presided over by that noble and distinguished
Mason who for thirty years has been the Grand Master of Maryland; with a
program carefully prepared, covering the questions of universal interest, and
bringing together the best intellects of the Craft at home and abroad - such
an assembly, we say, would give an impetus to Masonry that would be felt for
years to come.
Surely, if Masonry means anything at all, American
Masons ought to be able to meet on St. John's Day without jealousy and without
suspicion, celebrating the greatest event in the story of modern Masonry, and
discussing ways and means whereby to make the spirit of Masonry more
effective. Indeed, the very suggestion of the possibility of misunderstanding
or objection shows how much such a Conference is needed, and how much it may
do, equally for a better adjustment of inter-jurisdictional differences and
for the promotion of a closer fellowship, a more concerted action, and the
mobilizating of the influence of Masonry for the common good. An unofficial,
voluntary Conference, drawn together by the spirit and need of the Fraternity,
in memory of a great event, planning for a greater Masonry, if not why not?
What valid or wise objection can be urged against it? Would not the
deliberation of such an assembly report the best thought and practical wisdom
of the Order, and mean an advance of Masonry everywhere? We shall be very glad
to hear from our Members in regard to this proposal which seems to us to be
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
Our readers will recall that we wrote last spring
regretting the action of the mother Grand Lodge in suspending from Masonic
fellowship Brethren of German birth during the period of the war. At a
distance it looked as if the Grand Lodge had permitted political issues to
invade its sanctuary in violation of its own Constitution, and we confess that
it dismayed us. However, as so often happens, when all the facts are know it
is the other way round. The fact that did not get into the record, and seemed
not to have been mentioned in the discussions, was that German Brethren
insisted upon bringing up the issues of the war in Lodge meetings. So much so
that it became difficult, in some places, to hold a Lodge meeting in peace -
for English Brethren were in no mood to debate such issues, much less in
Lodge. Things came to such a state that Grand Lodge was appealed to for
relief, and it passed the resolution referred to. No doubt there were Brethren
of German birth who had no inclination to inject such questions into their
Masonic fellowship, and who suffered hurt by the law. Perhaps another and
better way might have been devised, but our point is that the Grand Lodge was
intent on keeping all such issues out of the Lodge room, not bringing them in.
After visiting England, and learning the situation, we feel that Masons
everywhere never had more reason to be proud of the mother Grand Lodge than
during the last two dreadful years. Its dignity, its patience, its loyalty to
its own great principles were worthy of its great tradition; the more so,
remembering the fact that the Grand Lodge of Teutonic countries severed
relations with their Brethren in enemy lands at once and out right. So much in
view of the fact, and for the sake of making the fact clear.
* * *
Masonry is moral idealism, by which is meant no
vague and filmy dream, but a life-like portrait seen in advance of what men
and society should be. Ideals, so far from being mere visions, are the most
accurate results reached by means of the most painstaking calculation. It
stands much in their favor that they come not from the brains of the evil, but
from the intellects that are greatest. The greatest minds of each age have
pleaded for Liberty because only the great minds can paint in advance the
portrait of a free people. Many nations are now in the mire, lacking mind
great enough to grasp a lofty ideal. Instead of being a mere romance, an ideal
is the long mathematical calculation of a mind as logical as Euclid. Idealism
is not the musings of a visionary; it is the calm geometry of life.
* * *
A NEW YEAR PRAYER
O Thou Ancient of Days, whose years are throughout
all generations, how frail we are in a world that was before we were born; how
fleeting in a world that will last when we are gone. Nevertheless we are Thine,
thought into being by Thy loving kindness for some purpose beyond our
fathoming, and Thou dost not forsake the work of Thy hands. Therefore we who
live in the House of Time lift up our prayer for light and love and life
eternal, seeking to know Thee by what we are and what we have in us of the
true and everlasting. Waken us to hear in the depths of our own souls Thy
voice of gentle stillness telling us that our mortal life has immortal
Increase our faith as Thou dost increase our
years, that the longer we live on the earth the nobler may our service be, the
more willing our obedience, the more complete our devotion to Thy will. Grant
us to be wiser tomorrow because of the failures of today; more trustful in the
future by reason of the doubts that haunted us in the past; more forgiving
because we so much need to be forgiven. Quicken our dull hearts to a more
lively hope in Thy mercy; sanctify to us whatever may befall of trial or of
danger; and grant us to love much, to love all, and most of all to love Thee,
our Father and Redeemer.
Mercifully hast Thou brought us to the end of
another year, though many who were better than we have fallen into the great
white sleep - many of whom we knew and loved. O let us not miss what might be
done with the gift of a new year for the service and blessing of our fellows;
let us not fail of the beautiful thing that might be made of it. Stir up the
gift that is in us; make us wise with insight from on high to discern clearly,
to endeavor uprightly, to endure heroically. If we fail much, may we at least
learn humility and penitence, and so have a heart of pity and of hope for
others who have failed.
Forgive our mis-spent days, and help us to begin a
new year with a new heart, a new hope, a new courage, and, if it may be, live
more nobly, more faithfully, more kindly, more patiently, touched with a
higher and holier purpose. And when the thread of our years is broken, when
days and works are done, and the house of our dwelling is dissolved in death,
O receive us by Thy mercy into the Home of the Soul, in His name. Amen.
J. F. N.
A PRAYER IN TIME OF WAR
(The war will change many things in art and life,
and among them, it is to be hoped, many of our own ideas as to what is, and
what is not "intellectual.")
Thou, whose deep ways are in
Whose footsteps are not
To-night a world that turned
Is waiting - at Thy throne.
The towering Babels that we
Where scoffing sophists
The little antichrists we
The night is on them all.
The fool hath said - The fool
hath said -
And we who deemed him wise,
We who believed that Thou
How should we seek Thine
How should we seek to Thee
Who scorned Thee yesterday?
How should we kneel, in this
Lord, teach us how to pray!
Grant us the single heart,
That mocks no sacred thing,
The Sword of Truth our
When Thou wast Lord and King.
Let darkness unto darkness
Our deep unspoken prayer,
For, while our souls in
We know that Thou art there.
- Alfred Noyes. London Daily
THE MISSION OF MASONRY
Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her
traditions reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further
back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she invites all men of
all religions to enlist under her banner and to war against evil, ignorance
and wrong. - Albert Pike.
IT is said that no Englishman understands American
politics and that most of them are proud of their ignorance. However that may
be, Lord Charnwood is an exception, as may be seen from his new "Life of
Lincoln," which is the best biography of our prophet-President so far written
in England. Joining a fine historical insight to a singularly lucid style, he
portrays the background against which the tragedy of our Civil War must be
studied; showing how far back the roots of schism ran in our history. This
gives him opportunity to characterize the early leaders of the Republic, an
art in which he is an adept, albeit we may not always agree with his estimates
- as, for example, his too severe drawing of Jefferson. Still less can we
subscribe to his rather low, if not biased, opinion of our Declaration of
Of Hamilton, whom Talleyrand ranked with Napoleon,
he has a very high estimate; and Burr he describes as "an elegant profligate,
with many graces but no public principle," - to which all would say Amen.
Coming to the great debate that led up to the war, Lord Charnwood tells us
that Webster must have been "nearly a great man; he was always passed over for
the presidency." Calhoun he regards as the "embodied intellect of his time,"
but, alas, a man "who is undisturbed in his logical processes by good sense,
healthy sentiment or any vigorous appetite for truth," - again a too austere
verdict. He accepts the Wolseley estimate of Lee, as a man of majestic
presence, of sweet and simple nature; "one of the few men who ever impressed
me with their natural, their inherent greatness." So we might go on through a
long list, accepting or rejecting one picture after another, each one etched
with deftness and skill.
The great subject of the book is, of course,
Lincoln, and barring a few minor errors as to his early life, it is a noble
portrait, drawn with sympathy, insight, and warm appreciation, without
idealization and without eulogy. Lincoln is presented to us as a real man,
humble, modest, tender of heart, holding no bitterness, no hate, resisting the
matchless generalship of Lee on one side, and on the other dealing with the
rankest incompetency of leadership until Grant came to the rescue; struggling
against adverse and counter-currents of feeling and events, lied about,
defamed, ridiculed by men not worthy to touch his shoes - it is a great story,
by whomsoever told, and here it is recited in a manner worthy of its nobility.
If the reader will join with this biography the volume of "Personal
Recollections of Lincoln," by Rankin, which ye editor edited last year, he
will have an unforgetable picture of the man whom Lowell called "the First
So many Brethren have asked about brief
introductions to philosophy, that we venture to call attention to one entitled
"Initiation into Philosophy," by Emile Faguet, of the French Academy, as one
of the best of its kind. It is planned and written for the beginner, and is
designed to satisfy the initial curiosity of young men as to what philosophy
is, what it has to tell us about life, and what its uses are. As such, it is
written in a very lucid and happy style, giving a rapid sketch of the history
of philosophy from the time of Thales down to the last century, avoiding as
far as possible technical language; giving the keynote of each school of
thought, and the main lines followed by each great thinker. "Initiation into
Literature," by the same author, does the same service for the rich and
picturesque field of poetry, story and drama.
* * *
THE GREEN MANSIONS
One of the greatest living writers - now that
Tolstoi is gone - is W.H. Hudson, albeit he is not widely known. Poet,
naturalist, philosopher, magician, as a stylist he has few, if any, living
equals. As a prophet of the great out-of-doors there is not another like him.
Such stories as "The Green Mansions" and the "Purple Land" are books to read
more than once, if one wishes to come very close to Mother nature in whose
soft arms all must sleep at last. In proof of the spirit as well as the art of
man, read this:
"The blue sky, the brown soil beneath, the grass,
the trees, the animals, the wind, the rain, the stars are never strange to me;
for I am in and of and one with them; and my flesh and the soil are one, and
the heat in my blood and in the sunshine are one, and the winds and the
tempests and my passions are one. I feel the strangeness only with regard to
my fellow men, especially in towns, where they exist in conditions unnatural
to me, but congenial to them. In such moments we sometimes feel kinship with,
and are strangely drawn to the dead, who were not as these; the long, long
dead, the men who knew not life in towns, and felt no strangeness in sun and
wind and rain."
* * *
GRAND LODGE LIBRARY
The book to which we referred some time ago, "Treasures of the
Grand Lodge of England," by Brother Dr. Hammond, is well along its way to
completion, and will itself be a treasure, as we can testify after having
examined some of the plates that are to go into it. There will be twelve pages
of color illustrations, thirty-two pages of black and white plates, and a
hundred pages of descriptive matter by Dr. Hammond, the Librarian.
There will be two editions, one expensive and highly finished, and the other
more popular - the prices have not been announced. It will no doubt find its
way into Lodge libraries all over the land, as a kind of keepsake in
celebration of the founding of the mother Grand Lodge.
* * *
The Green Mansions, by
Hudson. Alfred A. Knopf Co., New York. $1.50.
Initiation into Philosophy,
by Faguet. G. P. Putnams Sons, New York. $1.25.
Those About Trench, by Lewis.
Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50
The New World, by Hugh Black.
Revell Co., New York. $1.00
Philosophy, What is it? by
Jovens. G. P. Putnams Sons, New York. $1.00.
Masonic Instructor, by Rabbi
Eno Ytneves. Publisher not named
Aspects of the Infinite
Mystery, by Gordon. Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston. $1.50.
"GIVE US MEN"
Give us Men!
Men from every rank,
Fresh and free and frank;
Men of thought and reading,
Men of light and leading,
Men of loyal breeding,
The nation's welfare
Men of faith and not of
Men of lofty aim in action;
Give us Men - I say again,
Give us Men!
Give us Men!
Strong and Stalwart ones;
Men whom highest hope
Men whom purest honor fires,
Men who trample self beneath
Men who make their country
As her noble sons,
Worthy of their sires!
Men who never shame their
Men who never fail their
True, however false are
Give us men - I say again,
Give us Men!
Give us Men!
Men, who when the tempest
Grasp the standard of their
In the thickest fight:
Men who strike for home and
(Let the crowd cringe and
God defend the right!
True as truth, though lorn
Tender, as the brave are
Men who tread where saints
Men for Country - Home - and
Give us Men - I say again -
Give us such Men!
By the Bishop of Exeter
A LEGEND OF JERUSALEM
There dwelt, so runs the
legend, brothers twain,
On Zion's hill long centuries
Below them Jordan's green and
Against the cloudless blue
gleamed Hermon's snow,
Westward rose Carmel's purple
ridge, and fair
The vine-clad hills, the
groves on either hand,
The emerald slopes begemmed
with blossoms rare,
The distant glistening sea,
the forests grand.
Content they toiled in mutual
love and peace,
And being righteous, God upon
And blessed their labor with
a rich increase,
But unto Ephraim had given no
Submissively he saw his hope
Sad oftentimes, yet
questioning not God's ways,
Though Reuben's dwelling held
his heart's desire,
A son, and daughters fair
made glad his days.
Thus sped the years; then
came a time of blight,
When labor of the fig and
Nor ripening clusters hung on
And husbandmen their barren
Empty the fold, no herd
within the stall,
Famine and pestilence walked
hand in hand;
Shrouded each home by
sorrow's sombre pall,
And voice of mourning sounded
through the land.
Each heart was saddened by
the other's grief
When the brief toil of
songless reapers done,
So scant the harvest,
numbering every sheaf,
The sum sufficed not for the
need of one;
And each took earnest counsel
with his heart
When dawned the feast day set
for prayer and praise,
How secretly, some cheer he
To light the gloom of
erstwhile joyous days.
Moonlight's soft splendor
silvered wave and wood,
And Ephraim, deeming that his
Arose and hastening, gained
the hill where stood
The meagre, scattered shocks
from mildew kept,
A sheaf uplifting from his
He sighed, "My brother,
greater is thy need."
Then to the farther field his
Nor dreamed that angels
marked the kindly deed.
Reuben had waited also for
And softly, silently, he took
Where gaunt and shrunken in
the yellow light,
His ripened corn upon the
"Brother beloved," he said,
"how rich am I
In ail thy lonely, loving
heart doth crave,
Half of this treasure on thy
field shall lie
Thou shalt rejoice and say
the dear Lord gave."
Thrice had they passed each
other in the night,
Intent upon their mission;
And still, O miracle, O
The sum of tented sheaves was
still the same !
The fourth time, lo! the feet
of both were set
In the same path, where
And midway, silently, the
Each understood, and weeping,
And on this hallowed spot,
fair Zion's hill,
Jerusalem was built, and to
The legend beautiful, the
To travellers passing up the
MRS. OTTO N. SCHULTE
Ward Place, South Orange, N.
MAKE THE VOYAGE ALONE
You must make the voyage with
Into the beautiful realms of
Though it lead you afar and
away from home
Into haunts that are seldom
It is nature's plan, it is
It is nature's way so true,
And you, the consciousness in
Must find what is TRUTH to
THE QUESTION BOX
STORY OF FREEMASONRY
In the September issue of The
Builder are several questions on a book called "The Story of Freemasonry."
Where can I get that book and what is the price? - H.H.H.
From Brother John H. Cowles,
16th and S Streets, N. W., Washington, D C. The price is fifty cents. You will
find it an interesting littie book.
* * *
RITUAL OF ANCIENT EGYPT
Relative to the inquiry of G.R.D. as to the Ritual
of Ancient Egypt, let me say that the "Book of the Dead" has been translated
by E. A. Wallis Budge, and is published in three volumes, containing the
Egyptian text and an English translation, with illustrations. "Egyptian Ideas
of the Future Life," by the same author, is a popular little book with
numerous extracts from the Book of the Dead. - D.H.
* * *
THE FIRST IDEALIST
For further information regarding Akhnaton, I
would refer G. D. to "Tell el Amarne," by W. M. Flinders Petrie, who
discovered the site of Akhnaton's capital which he built after he abandoned
Thebes and Amun worship. This work, containing the results of Petrie's
discoveries, illustrates and describes the short but brilliant period of
mesopotamian influence on Egyptian art and religion. - D.H.
* * *
TALMUD AND VEDAS
I would call the attention of J. A. K. to a small
volume entitled "Treasures of the Talmud," by Hershon, which consists of a
series of subjects compiled from the Babylonian Talmud. A specimen of the
Vedic Literature is to be found in "Rig-Veda," by F. Max Muller. - D.H.
* * *
WHITE AND BLACK
Will you advise me through your pages, (1) What is
the present approximate number of Freemasons in the United States? (2) What
percent of them are white and what percent are colored? - O.E.H.
(1) There are, approximately, one million and a
half Masons in the United States. (2) The latest facts at hand - 1913 -
regarding colored Masons, estimates that they number 91,668; no doubt they may
safely be reckoned at one hundred thousand by this time. From which it is easy
to figure out the percent.
* * *
What were the Masonic emblems found under Cleopatra's Needle ?
Are they illustrated anywhere? N.W.J.H.
See article in The Builder, Vol. 1, p. 18, by
Brother Baird, discussing the emblems found under the Needle when it was moved
from Egypt to New York; the article is illustrated. The emblems found were as
follows: - A polished Cube of syenite, a perfect Ashlar; a polished Square;
rough and irregular block of syenite - a rough Ashlar; axis stone with figures
- like a trestleboard; a marked stone; hard lime stone with a trowel cemented
to the surface; a lead plummet. For an elaborate account, see "Egyptian
Obelisks," by H. H. Gorringe, who had charge of the removal of the Needle, and
who includes in his volume full accounts of all obelisks brought from Egypt to
Europe, their measurements, inscriptions, and the methods of their
* * *
I understand that after the Civil War, a few of
the Grand Lodges permitted their subordinate Lodges to accept candidates for
degrees that had been maimed during the war. (1) Will you please tell me what
Grand Lodges did this, and if any of them are still allowing it. (2) Is there
any jurisdiction where a man can enter, if he has lost an arm or a leg ? -
(1) Such candidates might have been permitted to enter, though
we do not recall any legislation to that end. If done at all it was doubtless
by tacit understanding, not by formal law - that is, so far as we are aware.
Perhaps some Members can furnish further facts. There was a time, along in the
seventies, when Grand Lodges were rather lax on the subject, perhaps for the
reason our Brother gives. (2) There are jurisdictions in which a man may enter
who has lost an arm or a leg - if he has an artificial limb which permits him
formally to fulfill the requirements. We are soon to publish all the facts in
the case, covering all the jurisdictions - and it
will be an interesting revelation.
* * *
DIFFERENCES OF RITUAL
(1) Is the York Rite and the American Rite for the three
degrees one and the same ? And is it the Ancient Rite as worked now? (2) Is
the ritual of Pennsylvania the same as the
? (3) What are your views as to the correct work of the three degrees of
Masonry ? I find there is a vast difference in the work here and the work I
have been used to, and it sets a man thinking what is the correct work. -
As we are soon to publish a brilliant lecture on this subject,
it will be sufficient for the present to give very brief answers to these
large questions: - (1) There is no "ancient York Rite” now in existence, if by
that is meant the work as known in York, England, from whence the name comes.
Our American Rite is a modification of a work which has passed through many
vicissitudes. (2) There are no doubt as many differences between the
Pennsylvania and Canadian work as between the Pennsylvania ritual and that of
other jurisdictions in the United States.
Pennsylvania adheres, we believe, to the work of the "Ancients" as it was
before the union of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813. (3) The best
Masonic work is that which best
spirit and truth of Masonry; the ritual which makes the truth Masonry was
meant to teach at once most impressive and most luminous. Such differences as
exist have to do with matters of detail - everywhere the fundamental
principles are the same. So much, awaiting the lecture which will do much to
the clear and set us right.
* * *
Was Thomas Jefferson a Mason? Have just been
looling over the October Builder, and on page 295 Brother Barry says of
Washington's first cabinet, "all Masons but Jefferson." I confess that this
rather jolted me, as the impression had always lurked in in my understanding
that all but two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons
- one of these two being a Catholic, and the other a Quaker. Clearly Jefferson
was neither of these. Yet in the same issue, page 312, I am told that
Jefferson was made a Mason in Paris. What is the truth? -
There is no proof, so far as we are aware, that Jefferson was
ever made a Mason at any time or anywhere. He may have been made a Mason in
Paris, but we asked to be shown. It serves no good purpose to claim as members
of the Fraternity men of fame and historic importance - unless the facts are
plain and unmistakable. Masonry does not need the patronage of great names,
being great enough by virtue of its inherent beauty, its benignant spirit, and
its service to humanity. If it can be established that Jefferson was a Mason,
well and good - it
would show that he was a man of
discernment and good sense. It is the man, not the Order, who is
honored in such cases.
* * *
ROYAL ARCH LITERATURE
Please let me know where I can procure a little
book that would be particularly interesting to Royal Arch Masons. - J.P.K.
I am preparing an
address on the Symbolism of the Keystone,
and if you can render me any assistance I will appreciate it very much. -
Unfortunately, the literature of the Chapter
degrees, apart from history and ritual, is very meager and unsatisfactory.
Brother Waite - than whom there is no greater interpreter of symbolism now
living - has promised to contribute some articles to The Builder on this
subject, and they will be awaited with eager expectation. English and American
interpretations of the Royal Arch are quite different, as we pointed out some
time ago. (The Builder, February and April, 1916.) Of course, we have the
"Book of the Chapter," by Mackey; also "The Keystone," by Lawrence (Kenning &
Son, 16 Great Queen St., London, W. C., $1.50); and the delightful essays of
Brother G. W. Warvelle, Masonic Temple, Chicago - to name no others. What we
need very much is a book of the right kind on the symbolism of the Chapter,
after the manner of Mackey's book on the first three degrees. As for the
Keystone, its symbolism is so obvious, so eloquent, that it ought to be easy
* * *
Would you be kind enough to throw more light on the origin of
Negro Masonry; whether or not they originally worked under charter granted by
some Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; whether or not they are supposed
to have carried with them the regular work in all of the
and the connection, if any, of Prince Hall with regular Masonry. - R.H.
These questions have been the occasion of heated
debates in times past, and need not be revived for two reasons: first, because
hardly a single new fact can be added to the masterly thesis of the late W. H.
Upton on "Negro Masonry," which grew out of a report to the Grand Lodge of
Washington regarding the rights and status of Negro Masons. Second, it would
bring up once more the vexed questions of recognition, which, as the late
Theodore Parvin said, is a question of taste, not of laws. See "History of
Freemasonry Among Colored People in America," by Grimshaw, (Macoy Co., New
York), also "Prince Hall and his Followers," by G. W. Crawford, The Crisis, 70
Fifth Ave., N. Y., especially the letter by Pike quoted on pp. 84-86. Our
Brother will find his questions answered in these books, especially the first.
* * *
THE BIBLE IN MASONRY
Answering a Brother who asks for a list of
Biblical allusions in the Masonic rituals, we have found the following; it may
not be complete, but it will give him an interesting hour to look them up.
Psalm cxxxiii; Psalm cxviii:22; Ezekiel xliv:1-3-5; Matt.
xxi:42; Mark vii:10; Acts iv:11; Rev. ii:17; Matt. xx:1-16; Psalm xxiv; Psalm
cxxii; Chronicles vi, vii; Psalm xxiii; Isaiah xiii:16; Exodus iii:1-6;
Chronicles xxxvi:11-20; Ezra i:1-3; Exodus iii:13-14; Psalm cxli; Psalm cxliii;
Exodus iv:9; Haggai ii:1-9-23; Zachariah iv:6-10; Amos ix:11; Deuteronomy
xxxi:24-26; Exodus xxv:21; Exodus xvi:23-24; Numbers xvii:10; Hebrews ix:25;
Exodus vi:2-3; John i:1-5; Genesis xiv:12-24; Hebrews vii:1-6 17-20-1; 1st
Kings vii:48-50; 1st Kings vii:40; 1st Kings vi:27; Rev. xxii:12-14; Psalm xv;
Psalm lxxxvii; 1st Kings iv:1, 5, 6; 1st Kings v:17, 18;1st Kings vii:13-14-
Ezekiel xxvii:9; Deuteronomy xxxi:24-26; Exodus xvi:33, 34; Numbers xvii:10;
Numbers vii:89; Exodus xxv:40; Ezra iv; Nehemiah iv, v:1-20; Ezra v; Ezra vi,
v:1-15; James iv:9-26-27; Matt. xxviv:14-25; Matt. xxviv:36-49; Matt.
xxviiv:24-37; Acts iv:15-26; Acts xxxviiiv: 1-5; St. John xix, v:19; St. John
xxv:24-28; Ephesians viv:10-17; John xxi.25-26;
Psalms xii:1; Psalms xxxiv:17-22; Psalms xliv:6; Psalms xliv:15; Psalms
lxxxviii:10-11; Psalms xc:9, 10, 12; Psalms ciii:14-17; I Cor. xv:51, 55; I
Cor. xv:56, 57.
E.A. Degree - Amos vii:7, 8.
F.C. Degree - Ecclesiastes xii:1, 7.
M. M. Degree - Psalms civ:14; Amos vii:7, 8.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE PHILOSOPHY
If you will permit me to ask you a few questions I
will be very grateful. I would like to read Pike's "Morals and Dogma," but am
unable to comprehend the more philosophical portions of it. What would you
suggest as a preliminary course of reading - something in the way of a primer
of philosophy. I am an ardent student of the Scottish Rite, and it seems to me
that there is a message in it, but at times I wonder if there is. If you will
answer these questions for me, it will help me much:- Is there a royal secret?
What do you understand by the Holy Doctrine? Could it be supposed that there
is any Masonic significance in the opening words of the Gospel of St. John ? -
Thank you, Brother, for so frank a letter - many
thousands of Masons would write the same kind of letters, if they were honest
with themselves, or cared enough about the matter to bother to write at all.
As for "Morals and Dogma," we have been saying of late that hardly any book is
more in need of elucidation, and a more ill-arranged book we have seldom
encountered. As it stands, it is more obscure than profound - as witness the
fact that this Brother, like thousands of others, having received the degrees
and studied the book, is uncertain whether there is a Royal Secret and a Holy
Doctrine. Nor is it any lack of intelligence on his part. No; something is
wrong with our method of teaching, and it is time that we took the matter in
hand to devise a more successful - more sensible - way of setting forth the
truth which the Scottish Rite has to teach. These words are written, not in a
spirit of carping criticism, but by one who loves the Rite, believes in it
with all his heart, and would fain do something to make it more efficient in
teaching the wise and good and beautiful truth committed to its care. Just
because that truth is so important, so emancipating, we must "get it across,"
'to use the talk of the street, and make it inhabit the minds of our young
Now as to the letter: (1) We have several times
mentioned books for beginners in the study of philosophy, one of the best
being "Philosophy, What is it?" by F.B. Jovens. (Putnam's Co., New York). Read
this along with the lectures of Prof. Pound on "The Philosophy of Masonry,"
and you will see that the philosophy of Masonry is simply its nature, its
reason for being, its uses to the individual and to society. As Kant said long
ago, philosophy does not discover truth; it sets it in order, relates it to
other truth, and shows its practical value for life. When we ask, What is
Masonry? What is it for? How can we use it? we are dealing with the philosophy
of it. (2) Is there a Royal Secret? Indeed, yes; the royal secret of life
every man possesses - all that Masonry can do is to make him aware of it and
how to use it. The great secret of life, that which makes our thought valid,
our faith firm, our hope sure and steadfast, what is it? What can it be, save
the kinship of the soul with God? Let a man realize that fact - not as a vague
theory regarding mankind in general, but in regard to himself - and how
different this world is. It lights up like an aurora. (3) What do we
understand by the holy doctrine ? Why, we expounded it only an issue or so
ago, describing it as the Doctrine of the Balance - concerning which we have
received more letters of thanks than for anything we have ever written in
these pages. (4) Have the opening words of the Gospel of John a Masonic
significance? Certainly; in that they tell of one Life in which the Lost Word
was found in the only way in which it can ever be found on earth or in heaven.
"The word was made flesh," - that is the whole of it; translating the truth
into life and character! That is what Brother Waite means when he says, "From
day to day we pronounce the Lost Word with our lips, but it remains lost until
we utter it with our hearts."
* * *
Dear Sir and Brother: - Having read "The Builder" since its
first edition, and appreciating your desire to keep its editorial matter
accurate and reliable,
assured that you will welcome and accept any corrections that may be submitted
by the brethren, after due examination and corroboration by yourself.
Referring to your valuable compiled table on
standards of ritual, page 349, November, 1916, edition, I note that you list
Louisiana among the States exemplifying "Uniform Work." In this, I can
personally testify, you are in error, in that the Grand Lodge of Louisiana
recognizes and approves two separate and distinct standards of ritual and work
in its Jurisdiction; both what is known as the York Rite and the Scottish Rite
rituals are authoritatively exemplified in New Orleans, and I have personally
witnessed the conferring of the three symbolic degrees in Lodges of both Rites
in that City.
The Lodges permitted to work under the Scottish
Rite ritual are:
Union, No. 172, working in English.
Cervantes, No. 5, working in Spanish.
Perseverance, No. 4, working in French.
Dante, No. 174, working in Italian.
Polar Star, No. 1, working in French.
Germania, No. 46, working in German.
All of the above Lodges are chartered, regular
Lodges, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Other Lodges
in New Orleans work in the York Rite ritual. Both Rites are recognized by
Chapter, Council, Commandery and Consistory.
I am further informed that Scottish Rite Lodges exist in New
York, Wisconsin and California, under regular charters by the Grand Lodges,
but personally I have not visited these Lodges, although frequently in those
States when traveling. I declined invitations to visit the New Orleans foreign
ritual Lodges for several years, thinking them clandestine, until reliably
informed that these Lodges were all "regular," and satisfying myself of this
fact by legal information. I would regommend all of my brethren to witness the
Scottish Rite symbolic degrees at the first opportunity; assuring that all
properly certified Master Masons will receive a Masonic welcome, brotherly
hospitality and entertainment of unusual interest to all searchers after
Sincerely and fraternally,
Eugene T. Skinkle, 33d,
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Dear Brother Editor: - Will you be so kind as to
allow me a short space in your columns that I may defend myself from the blame
thrown upon me by a careless brother?
The revival, if I am allowed to call it so, of the Cuban
a fact; with it came out a thorough literary spurt, and, taking Iowa as a
model, a Masonic Manual is being written, inspiring our ideas in the already
famous "The Builders" of your ever practical Grand Lodge. Together with it a
valiant push was given to our Grand Lodge Library, several thousand volumes
are already collected and the existing number of foreign proceedings and
official publications carefully rearranged; on that account we came to the
discovery of several missing volumes, among them Vol. I of the History of the
Grand Lodge of Iowa.
A few lines to the most obliging Grand Secretary,
Bro. Parvin, brought the precious work and with it a surprise: the erudite
Masonic scholar Joseph E. Morcombe, author of the volume, had done Cuba the
great honor of mentioning her in it, but unhappily in doing so he was wilfully
deceived by the carelessness of a brother Mason.
In page 48 of the said volume, Bro. Morcombe
inserts a paragraph from the correspondence report of North Dakota for 1903,
which is intended to be a translation from a part of a previous Masonic Chart
published by the undersigned in the Proceedings of Cuba for the year 1900,
inserting subsequently the commentaries to it from the Brother correspondent
of South Dakota. Unhappily neither of the correspondents are Spanish scholars
and the victim of all this has been the over-confident Bro. Morcombe, who in a
moment of unmasonic wrath galled me, in the History, inaccurate and as showing
an exhibition of ignorance. If Bro. Morcombe should ever glance at these lines
I am sure that he will repent of his insinuation, thrown upon me many years
ago, but from which I could not before extricate myself, as his excellent
History only reached me a few days hence.
So runs the paragraph origin of this digression:
"We find a Masonic pedigree, taken from the annual of the Grand Lodge of Cuba,
showing the introduction of Masonry into the world. England is given as the
root, and the date of its establishment as June 24, 1717. Tracing the
paternity of our own Grand Lodge of North Dakota, we find that England
chartered Pennsylvania in 1730; Pennsylvania chartered Missouri in 1807; from
Missouri sprang Iowa, 1840, and from Iowa, Dakota, in 1862."
South Dakota intends to correct the above, as to
the English derivation of Masonry, accepting the theory of the Scotch "Grand
Mother Lodge Kilwinning" and, in what refers to the establishment of Missouri,
whether it was done by Pennsylvania or Tennessee. Brother Morcombe,
remembering the late Bro. Robbins (of Illinois) read the paragraph and
probably said: "Masonry that does not speak English is no Masonry at all," and
gave full credit to North Dakota, without ever giving a hearing to the modest
Latin Mason to whom was adscribed so tremendous misconception, or ever trying
to verify the alleged translation, since neither of the Dakota correspondents
were Spanish scholars; but in doing so he failed, carrying into partnership
the innocent Grand Lodge of Iowa that paid for the History.
I did not say any such a thing as has been
gratuitously ascribed to me, it is a question of Light not of Right or less of
Might. Had the brethren read the note, inserted in large type at the foot of
the chart, no chance for the flogging or ever for this correction were
necessary. What I mentioned and the data given is intended for, is the origin
of the pioneer or first lodge in which Masonic light shone in all countries.
As you can see, this is a very different matter and explains readily why
Pennsylvania is referred to. Is it true or not that Pennsylvania chartered
Louisiana Lodge, at St. Genevieve, Mo. ? Is it true or not that the said
Lodge, whether formed by French traders or not, or whether it had to surrender
its charter soon afterwards, was the first regular lodge in Missouri? Is it
true that Louisiana Lodge was chartered in 1807? If so, as nobody can
question, I am right, perfectly right, in my assertions, the same with
Missouri as with all the Grand Lodges mentioned.
If we remember, regarding the American doctrine,
that any Grand Lodge can gharter lodges in an unoccupied territory, having
therefore concurrent jurisdiction in it with all other regular Grand Lodges,
how can it be possible to trace a genealogical tree when many parents are to
be accorded to an offspring ? If any of the Dakota correspondents can do that
they will perform a marvel, as no human being can accomplish such a thing. It
is also true that all the persons connected with this incident in the States
did not take the trouble to verify the data appended; had they done so they
gould have arrived to the conclusion that either they were wrong or I had to
be sent to a mad house.
More yet, how can any Mason say that a Grand Lodge
can charter another Grand Lodge ? We, Cuban Masons, novel as we are, cannot
commit such a blunder; remember St. Paul and believe that Charity is the
greatest of all virtues, and that is what I claim for me in this case.
Hoping that you will consider mine a just cause,
and, though convinced, as I am, that among my people many Sancho Panzas can be
found, D. Quixote is to be met with not only among Spaniards but among other
people also; Cervantes and Shakespeare were undoubtedly very bright stars in
the XVI century, no wonder they both died together.
Thanking you for this great favor I am sincerely
and fraternally yours,
F. de P. Rodriguez, Cuba.
* * *
THE SECRET, UNIFORM BALLOT
(The following letter is so interesting, so
valuable, that we venture to give it to the Craft without permission of the
Brethren between whom it passed; trusting two noble hearts to forgive us a
seeming disregard for the emenities. If they do not grant us pardon, well, we
promise never to do so again - until another letter of equal interest and
importance comes our way. Brethren had better have a care about writing sugh
instructive letters and letting them pass through this office; for they will
most certainly be waylaid - for which we have the example of the British
Dear Brother: - You may recall that I once wrote
you that I would like to give you my real reasons for thinking that Brother
Pitt's position on "The Secret, Unanimous Ballot" was entirely wrong and
unsupported by facts - that in what I had said previously, I had not gone
below the surface. I will epitomize my views as follows:
1. The history of the Craft, during the first
century of its existence, has been incorrectly written and only in recent
times have the true conditions been brought out.
2. The Premier Grand Lodge of 1717 was
responsible, subsequently, for many alterations and variations in the work and
3. The Grand Lodge of Ireland preserved and
continued the ancient working.
4. The Ancient Grand Lodge of 1751 also practiced
the ancient work and had the hearty support and sympathy of the Grand Lodge of
5. The Ancient Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge of
Ireland, had a predominant influence in the American Colonies, and the work,
as practiced in the United States is closer to the work of 1717-23 than that
practiced in England today. From which I am convinced that instead of "The
Secret, Unanimous Ballot" being an American innovation, the shoe is on the
other foot and the Mother Grand Lodge is guilty of the innovation.
With these premises enunciated I will enlarge on
them, only remarking here that I will not burden this with references, but
every quotation that I shall make is at my hand and can be verified by volume,
number and page.
Until comparatively regent time all we knew of the
history of the Craft was gathered from the works of Anderson, Preston, Kloss,
Findel, Rebold and Oliver, who all followed, more or less closely, in the path
marked out by Anderson. Then arose a school of writers, such as Gould, Hughan,
Lane, Woodford, Speth, Sadler, Conder and some others who, with infinite
patience and a vast amount of skill, separated legends from facts and gave to
the Fraternity a knowledge of Freemasonry that proved of rare fascination and
a solid groundwork on which to base further studies.
As bearing on the subject under inquiry I would
give Brother Chetwode Crawley the first place, (with Brother Sadler as a
strong second), and, looking at the changes that were made by the Premier
Grand Lodge the best critic we have, as being free to note such changes,
without fear of consequences.
From my reading I am convinced that many changes
were made in the work by the Premier Grand Lodge; that these changes were
primarily responsible for the formation of the Ancient Grand Lodge; that the
original work and ancient usages, as practiced 1717-23, were preserved by the
Grand Lodge of Ireland and later, by the Ancient Grand Lodge who, avowedly,
practiced "Irish" Masonry.
As throwing a side light on "Irish" Masonry it is
of interest to note that during the 17th and early part of the 18th centuries,
Dublin was as much an English city as any city in England itself. The customs
and manners were essentially English and entirely distinct from the rest of
Ireland. When the Grand Lodge of Dublin was formed, it was the counterpart of
the one in London; the "Constitution" of 1723 were adopted and reprinted as
Irish Constitutions; the same Brother served as Grand Master in London and
later, in Dublin. Brother Crawley says:
"As far as our researches have conducted us, no
difference has been observed between the systems of Freemasonry practiced in
England and Ireland before the year 1730. . . after that year, the case begins
In 1730, when Prichard's "Masonry Dissected" was
published, it was adopted as the basis of the Irish ritual. As bearing on the
authenticity of Prichard's work, two points are to be noted. First, certain
words and names were (admittedly) transposed by the Premier Grand Lodge, to
detect those seeking to gain admission by posting up on Prichard's work.
Second, some few years ago, while seeking to obtain a copy of "Masonry
Dissected," and having despaired of success, I wrote a Brother in England
asking if he would send me a written copy of the one in his possession. His
reply was, "his E. A. obligation prevented him from complying with my
request." As the Brother referred to is one of the leading Masonic scholars of
the day, and had favored me greatly before and since, I drew my own
conclusions, which were verified when I was so fortunate as to secure a copy
of the book itself.
But the Irish preferred to follow the original
work and have continued to do so to the present time; it was this fact that
led me to use the words at the conclusion of my first article - to the Lodges
holding under the Irish Constitution must we go today, for the purest Ancient
During the stormy times, 1722-1723, in London, the
Premier Grand Lodge was the prey of the Stuart and Jacobite factions, each
seeking to gain control in the hope and expectation of using it in furtherance
of their own political ends, and to the storm and stress of that period may
safely be assigned the causes for that departure from Regulation VI, referring
to the rule for admission into the Society. The Irish Constitutions of 1730
reprints Regulation VI, from Anderson's Constitutions of 1723 verbatim, and
while that of 1741 is a duplicate of the "New Book of Constitutions" of 1738,
the practice, as far as "unanimous consent" is concerned, has never varied.
Another point that deserves attention is, that the
work in Ireland has never been written or printed, but is passed (literally)
from mouth to ear. Brother Crawley says he is "the accredited exponent of our
Irish Ritual; the Ritual that served the Ancients as a standard and never was
committed to writing. In the next place, that Ritual has been passed on to me
by brethren who learned their lesson from the lips of the leaders of the
Ancients of the last (18th) century."
From my reading I am thoroughly convinced that
Masonry, as practiced in Ireland today, is nearest to the Masonry as practiced
just prior and subsequent to 1717, without entering into the question of
degrees. Is it not a fair inference that where the esoteric work has been so
carefully preserved, that the customs would have been preserved in like
Just a word as to innovations. Gould says: "The
book (Constitutions of 1723) introduces three striking innovations. It
discards Christianity as the (only) religion of Masonry, forbids the working
of the Master's part in private Lodges, and arbitrarily imposes on the English
Craft the use of two compound words - Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft -
which had no previous existence in its terminology. Against these deviations
the brethren rebelled."
If Article VI of the Old Regulations, had been an
innovation, I think it would have been included in the above paragraph.
All this as leading up to one point; that during
the latter half of the 18th century, the influence of the "ancients," with its
ritual and usages, largely predominated in the American colonies; then there
was the influence of the Irish Military Lodges to be taken into consideration,
together with the intimate connection existing between the Grand Lodge of
Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, all stamping Masonry in this
country as being very distinct from that practiced in England by the Modern
Grand Lodge. Politically, the "Ancients" were more in sympathy with the
Colonies in their struggle for independence, than were the Moderns. This also
would have its effect when the Fraternity threw off its allegiance - Masonic -
to the Mother country. As stated by Brother Crawley:
"It is hardly too much to say that towards the
close of the last (18th) century the Grand Lodge of Moderns stood isolated
among English-speaking Grand Lodges. Even in the Colonies, where it had been
first to plant Lodges, the more democratic organization of the Ancients, aided
by the ubiquituous Military Lodges, in which Ireland had such a preponderance,
rapidly and surely won its way to acceptance. It has been generally found more
convenient to ignore this isolation than to accept the conclusions that must
be drawn from it."
Just a few words more and I will close. There is a
point that has great weight with me, though it may not appeal so forcibly to
others. When Anderson wrote the New Book of Constitutions, of 1738, 15 years
had elapsed since he compiled the one of 1723. Prior to that year, no minutes
had been kept of Grand Lodge Transactions, and subsequently, but the barest
Among English commentators I find the disposition to be very
chary of accepting the statements contained in the New Book.
No one knows the influences brought to bear on him in his later task, but we
do know that changes crept in and in the years, became established usages in
the Premier Grand Lodge until 1813 - the year of the Union - when they
practically surrendered everything to the Ancients - the plurality of black
balls being one of the few usages they saved. Brother Gould uses some very
strong language in referring to Anderson's work in the Constitutions of 1738,
rather evading the question of veracity by an implication of imbecility, owing
to his declining years.
* * *
THE FAME OF THE CRAFT
(The following editorial from the Kansas City
Journal, entitled "A Significant Departure," speaks for itself and also for
the good name of the Craft, giving due praise to our Brethren in Georgia for
their noble work. It is a pleasure to reproduce it, because the praise is so
richly deserved, and, further, because we agree with the wise man who said
that "no good thing can be praised enough.")
A recent issue of The Builder, a Masonic
publication, gives the details of an interesting and significant extension of
the fundamental principles of the Masonic order to include all mankind,
emphasizing the brotherhood of man, upon which all the great fraternal orders
are based. The Scottish Rite bodies of Georgia have recently located at
Atlanta the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children, which
is asserted to be the first institution of its kind established by any of the
large fraternal orders for the benefit of all who need its services,
regardless of fraternal affiliations and exclusively philanthropic in its
As its name implies, it is solely for the cure of
crippled children, but no questions of the religious convictions of their
parents, or of fraternal connection are asked. No payment is accepted for the
services rendered which are along the lines of Kansas City's Mercy hospital.
The only considerations are the curability of the little patient and the
inability of the parent to pay for surgical and hospital treatment. The best
physicians in the South are included in the faculty and The Builder gives many
touching instances of remarkable cures already effected.
The project is intensely interesting on its
merits, challenging the sympathy of all who want to see the mournful sum of
human pain reduced - and particularly those who pity the sufferings of little
children. But it is especially significant because it represents a wide
departure from the principles and policies of most of the great fraternal and
religious bodies - especially the former. Institutions of this sort are
maintained by many of the great orders and ecclesiastical denominations
throughout the country. All of these do an immense amount of good within the
special scope of their membership. There are Masonic and Odd Fellow and
Pythian and Woodcraft homes; many of the big crafts have national institutions
where aged and dependent members may spend their last days in comfort. There
are Catholic and Protestant and Jewish homes and hospitals and retreats and
though it is not to be understood that lines are too rigidly drawn, yet some
name is inscribed above the portal of most or all of these institutions. These
orders and denominations spend in the aggregate tens of millions of dollars,
primarily for the relief of members, but the doors of many of these homes and
hospitals swing wide for the sufferer or dependent who is not bound to the
order or to the church by fraternal or denominational ties. The Scottish Rite
experiment in Georgia is, for all that, a pioneer in what is may be hoped will
be a movement more generally adopted which, while taking special care for
"them of the household of religious or fraternal faith," will nevertheless
seize the opportunity to teach the great truth, broader than any order or any
denomination, that God is the father of all and that every man is not only the
brother of every other man but is his keeper as well. The Scottish Rite bodies
of Georgia have reflected immense credit upon themselves and upon the order
they represent in blazing the way in which it is hoped many other feet will
ON THE SEVERAL LIBERAL ARTS
The Grammar rules instruct
the tongue and pen;
Rhetoric teaches eloquence to
By Logic we are taught to
Music has charms beyond our
power to tell.
The use of numbers numberless
Geometry gave measure to
The Heavenly System elevates
All these, and many secrets
The MASONS taught in days of