The Builder Magazine

June 1916 - Volume II - Number 6

 

JACQUES BERNARD DE MOLAI

BY BRO. G. ALFRED LAWRENCE, NEW YORK

JACQUES Bernard de Molai (or de Molay), a native of Burgundy, was born in the year 1243, and his life and times are of deep interest to Masons, and especially to Knights Templar, owing to the fact of his being the last Grand Master of the Order of Templars, together with his heroic martyrdom for the cause to which he had devoted practically his entire life. He was the youngest brother of one of the most distinguished houses of the "Compte" of Burgundy, his elder brother having a large property and a higher position.

 

Entering the Order in 1265, at the age of 22 years, he had passed through all the degrees and became Grand Prior (or Preceptor) of England. His devotion and service resulted in his acquiring an enviable reputation throughout the Templar world of that strenuous period.

 

A man of true merit, of undaunted bravery, highly intellectual, of amiable disposition and pure morals, with a character beyond reproach, meriting and receiving the favor of his King, he was a welcome guest at the Court of France. In 1297 his treacherous sovereign selected him for the distinguished honor of holding his (the King's) fourth son, M. Robert, at the baptismal font. All this time Philip the Fair, while pretending friendship for de Molai and the Order, with avaricious eyes looked longingly at the rich possessions of the Templars, and was secretly plotting their destruction. Ignorant of the hatred of the King, the lords of his Court held de Molai in such high esteem that they aided in his election as Grand Master in 1298. In 1302 de Molai, as the Head of this powerful Order, made the last effort--a result of the seven Crusades that had swept Europe for several centuries--to recover Palestine from the Moslem hordes, but he and his faithful followers suffered defeat at the hands of the Sultan of Egypt, with a loss of 120 Knights; and this ended their endeavors to recover the Holy Land. After that the activities of this powerful Order, as a military organization, ceased.

 

By many grants from time to time the Templars had become possessed of large estates and were very rich and prosperous. The cupidity of the clergy, the need of money by their avaricious King, and the decadence of the Templars as a military organization, were the principal factors leading to their downfall.

 

The first Grand Master of this famous Order of Templars was Hugho de Payens, elected in 1118, followed by Robert de Craon, 1136; Everard des Barres, 1146; Bernard deTremelay, 1151; Bertrand de Blanquefort, 1154; Philip of Naplous, 1167; Odo de St. Amand, 1170; Arnold de Torroge, 1180; Gerard de Ridefort, 1185; Brother Walter, 1189; Robert de Sable, 1191; Gilbert Horal, 1195; Philip Duplesseis, 1201; William de Charters, (date of election unknown) who died in 1218; Peter de Montague, 1218; Herman de Perigord, 1236; William de Sonnac, 1245; Reginald de Vichier, 1152; Thomas Berard, 1256; William de Beaujeu, 1273; Theobald de Gaudini, 1291; and finally in 1297 Jacques Bernard de Molai (or Molay), Preceptor of England, was elected Grand Master by a general Chapter of the Order.

 

It is interesting to note in this connection that King John of England frequently resided at the Temple London, and it was there that he resigned England Ireland " to his lord Pope Innocent the Third," and signed that epoch-making document "Magna Charta." This historic building, which became Crown property upon the dissolution of the Order in 1313, afterwards came into possession of the Knights of St. John, who in 1346 leased it to the students of common law, and it has served continuously since then as a law school and today houses the inns of court--societies for the study of law and possessing exclusively the privilege of calling to the bar--four in number, the Inner and Middle Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn.

 

The events that led up to the tragic death of de Molai and the dissipation of Order and confiscation their estates, was the avarice of Philip IV, called Phillip the Fair, the sore financial straits in which the French monarchy found itself coupled with the cupidity of the clergy and the vacillating character of Pope Clement V. Philip pretended to be anxious for a new crusade, and at his instigation Clement V called the Grand Masters of the Templars and Knights of John to Europe. De Molai, as a true soldier of the cross, answered this summons and returned to France in the fall of 1306, accompanied by a chosen band of distinguished Knights of the Order. He repaired to Portiers in 1307 to render allegiance to the Pope, and at that time nothing was said about investigating the affairs of the Order.

 

Shortly thereafter Philip appeared before Clement and preferred charges demanding the dissolution of the Order. As this was the beginning of French or Avignon Papacy, the Pope was largely under the influence of Philip and was finally induced to order this investigation. Instead of awaiting this papal investigation, however, the King immediately procured the arrest of every Templar in France, and on October 13, 1307, de Molai was seized in the house of the Temple and taken before special commissioners of the Inquisition.

 

Although the Pope was indignant at this presumption the part of Philip, and suspended the power of the Inquisition, yet the King's influence was so great that he finally compelled the Pope to take part in the action. De Molai was thereupon examined by a Papal commission, and under torture confessed the truth of some of the charges. On March 11, 1314, he was condemned to perpetual imprisonment. He immediately retracted all he had said while under torture, and this so infuriated the King that the latter ordered him forcibly seized and burnt at the stake the same evening. This occurred in front of Notre Dame, Paris, and as the flames mounted up about his body and were fast consuming his flesh, after protesting the innocence of the Order, he called aloud to the surrounding crowd, "You who behold us perishing in the flames shall decide our innocence ! I summon Pope Clement V to appear in forty days and Philip the Fair in twelve months before the just and terrible throne of the everliving God, to render an account of the blood which they have unjustly and wickedly shed."

 

With him perished Guy, the Grand Preceptor; Hugo de Paralt (or Peraldes), the Visitor General; and Theodore Bazile de Merioncourt. Retribution followed swiftly; the King Philip IV dying four weeks later embittered by misfortune and deserted by his nobles. Pope Clement V, after a painful and lingering illness, died one year and a month after the death of these martyred Templars; and it is recorded that all those others foremost in persecuting the Templars came to an untimely and miserable death.

 

King Philip had plotted to invest one of his sons with the title of King of Hierusalem, (Jerusalem), and hoped to procure of Pope Clement V the large revenues of the Order by this dastardly act. What actually occurred was the confiscation of the possessions of the Templars which were divided among various Orders, many of the surviving Knights of the Order languished in dungeons, and the remainder were compelled to leave their homes, discard their Templar garb and go forth penniless into the world.

 

Tradition tells us that the surviving Templars became divided into four parties: (1) Templars in Portugal and Italy, known since as Knights of the "Order of Christ"; (2) those who accepted Peter d'Aumont- as the successor of de Molai; (3) those who asserted that John Marc Larmenius was his successor; and (4) those who refused to accept either d'Aumont or Larmenius. Modern Templarism is supposed to be derived from the fourth class, although there are no historically authentic documents to prove this contention.

 

Addison, on the contrary, claims that de Molai appointed as his successor John Marc Larmenius, of Jerusalem, and that from him a regular uninterrupted line of Grand Masters succeeded, and that the Charter of transmission with the signatures of the various chiefs of the Temple, together with the ancient statutes of the Order, the rituals, records, seals, standards, and the early memorials of the Templars, are preserved at Paris. As Grand Masters were elected, and not appointed, such a succession to say the least from de Molai could not be regular. This with many other points in the history of various Orders that flourished and were powerful factors for good during this troubled period, together with the early history of Knights Templarism as it exists today, are fruitful fields for Masonic research, which it is to be hoped some member of the National Masonic Research Society can take up at an early date and prosecute to a successful issue.

 

The life and tragic death of Jacques Bernard de Molai should be an inspiration to every Mason zealously to work for the advancement and uplifting of our beloved fraternity, and so usefully conduct his own life that he can in the evening of his own earthly existence lay aside his working tools and fall asleep to awaken in that "Celestial Temple," and greet this perfect Knight whose enfranchised spirit soared aloft these six centuries agone.

 

----o----

 

A CITY SHRINE

 

I saw a sparrow on the window rest,

I caught a simple rose in blossom there;

O nerveless echo from the muffled past,

How canst thou with the living voice compare!

Ye costly shrines, in stone and splendor clad,

That stir not, tho' the stately music roll,

For me, the pulsing life, the sun, the sky,

The blessed influence of soul on soul.

Must bird and rose and sunbeam be without,

While gloom and dust and marble fill the shrine ?

Let those who will all humbly bow within,

O larger, broader Father's house, be mine!

--Abram S. Isaacs, New York.

 

----o----

 

A NOBLE LIFE

 

A noble life, a simple faith,

An open heart and hand;

These are the common litanies

Which all men understand.

 

These are the ornaments of grace,

Tho' hidden to the view,

Like square and plumb and level,

To build the world anew.

--Abram S. Isaacs, New York.

 

----o----

 

A FRIEND

 

A friend is one who backs you up

When other men assail;

You'll find him near when others cheer,

And near the times you fail.

He does not ask blue skies for you

Nor leave when days are grim

Though good or bad, the luck you've had,

It's all the same to him.

 

A friend is first to cheer for you

The last one to desert;

For old time's sake your part he'll take

However much he's hurt.

He's by your side through thick and thin

He'll back you to the end;

And great is he whoe'er he be

Who's worthy of his friend !

--Edgar A. Guest.

 

----o----

 

THE LEARNER

 

Thus come I in the pride of youth to learn

My life work: through my limbs there runs a fire,

Born of my vigor, shaped by wild desire.

Reft from the quarry of the race, I turn

To shape myself more finely, to discern

Some part of nature's harmony, aspire

To excellencies great, to powers higher,

And then, perchance, my great reward to earn.

 

The Master gave me tools for work, when light

Had come by which to work; a simple rule

Whereby to labor best by day and night,

An instrument to take away excess;

And, clad as learner, entered I the school

Where strength controlled at last will bring success.

--H. W. Ticknor, Florida.

 

----o----

 

WHATEVER THE WEATHER

 

"Whatever the weather may be," says he--

"Whatever the weather may be,

It's the songs ye sing, an' the smiles ye wear,

That's a-makin' the sun shine everywhere;

An' the world of gloom is a world of glee,

Wid the bird in the bush, an' the bud in the tree,

An' the fruit on the stim o' the bough," says he,

"Whatever the weather may be," says he--

"Whatever the weather may be !"

 

"Whatever the weather may be," says he--

"Whatever the weather may be,

Ye can bring the Spring, wid its green an' gold,

An' the grass in the grove where the snow lies cold;

An' ye'll warm yer back, wid a smiling face,

As ye sit at yer heart, like an owld fireplace,

An' toast the toes o' yer sowl," says he,

"Whatever the weather may be," says he--

"Whatever the weather may be !"

--James Whitcomb Riley.

 

THE WEBB RITUAL IN THE UNITED STATES

 

BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, WISCONSIN

 

THE year 1717 will ever stand out as a prominent date in the history of Freemasonry. Since then we have voluminous written and printed records; before then we had but about a hundred old manuscript charges, a few mentions of Freemasonry in biography and laws, and a very few lodge minutes.

 

Previous to 1717, the rituals, or forms and ceremonies of reception of candidates and other work of the lodge, were most probably given in the language and manner the presiding officer chose. It may have been in a "set form of words," which form was transmitted orally from one generation to another.

 

Soon after the "revival," or the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1717, Rev. James Anderson, the author of the "Book of Constitutions" of 1723, and Dr. John T. Desaguliers, the master mind of the organization, arranged the lectures into the form of questions and answers for the first time, and this was adopted by the Grand Lodge as the authentic lectures. (1)

 

In 1732, Martin Clare revised the lectures and made a few Christian applications which were not in strict conformity to the cosmopolitan character of the fraternity. Dr. Thos. Manningham and Thos. Dunkery were the next to "improve the work" and Dr. Manningham's prayer is still used, with slight modifications in opening a lodge and at the reception of candidates. Thos. Dunkerly is said to have given the theological ladder its three principal rounds. In 1763, Wm. Hutchinson again revised and "improved" the lectures and gave more Christian applications to their rites and ceremonies. (2)

 

The greatest of all ritualists, however, was William Preston who was made a Mason in a lodge of "Antients," in 1763, and soon after induced that lodge to be reconstituted by the "Moderns." In 1767 he became master of his lodge. He believed that Freemasonry should not only be a progressive moral science, but that it should have an educational value in giving its votaries more knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences. His "Illustrations of Masonry" was the result, and no book having more influence has ever been written on Masonry. He was the father of the monitor. By 1774 he had completed his system of "work" and established a school of instruction, and from that time to the present the Preston "work" has been, and undoubtedly far into the future it will continue to be, one of the most potent influences of the ritual. Preston's "work" continued to be the standard work for the Grand Lodge of England until 1813, when the "United Grand Lodge" adopted the Hemming lectures. The Hemming lectures differ in many particulars from the Preston. The Preston lectures are still given once a year in England under the auspices of a foundation made for that purpose.

 

When Freemasonry was first established in America is an open question. We are not quite sure that the stone with the date 1606 is really a Masonic stone of that date, or that Mordecai Campanell and his companions conferred the degrees of Masonry in 1656 at Newport, R. I. (3) Neither are we certain as to where Freemasonry was first practiced in this country by authority of the Grand Lodge of England after 1717. It is, however, well known that lodges were established in the colonies and that Daniel Coxe, Henry Price and James Graeme were issued deputations as Provincial Grand Masters.

 

The ritual of the English lodges would naturally have been the one used in the English colonies, and in this connection it is well to call attention to the fact that the "Grand Lodge of England according to the old Institutions," or "Ancients," was established in 1751, and from that time until 1813 chartered lodges in all the colonies. In many of the colonies there were two conflicting Provincial Grand Lodges.

 

In the establishment of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge changes were made which were of considerable importance. (4) Uniformity was not accomplished in England until 1813, and it has not yet been attained, and probably never will be attained, in America. Pennsylvania still retains the "Ancient work."

 

After the Colonies had declared their independence of Great Britain, the Provincial Grand Lodges naturally declared their independence of the Grand Lodges to which they owed their origin. Each was then a sovereign Grand Lodge.

 

To return to the lectures; they took the form of the place whence they came, and were quite probably not transmitted with a great degree of accuracy, and were not very uniform in the United States at the close of the Eighteenth century.

 

Thos. Smith Webb was born in Boston, Mass., October 13, 1771, and became a printer or book binder. Early in life he became a Mason and a teacher of Masonry. In 1797 he published the "Freemason's Monitor." He subsequently did more for Masonry than almost any one else in his day, and was probably personally instrumental in founding the "American Rite," or system of degrees of Royal Arch, Council and Commandery. What we are particularly interested in, however, is his connection with ancient craft Masonry.

 

About the close of the eighteenth century a printer named Hanmer came to America and brought the Preston work. He communicated it to Webb. Soon afterward Webb abridged it, arranged it differently, as to sections, and taught this revision to Benjamin Gleason, Henry Fowle, Bro. Snow, and others. In 1806 a joint committee of six, of which Bros. Gleason and Fowle were members, met and agreed upon the Webb work as the standard work of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Bro. Jeremy Cross claimed to have received his work from this committee. (5) In an address before the Grand Lodge of Vermont in 1859 G. M. Philip Tucker gave much valuable information from which we excerpt the following:

 

 "About the year 1800--twelve years after the publication of Preston's Illustrations an English brother, whose name I have been unable to obtain, came to Boston and taught the English Lectures as they had been arranged by Preston. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts approved them and they were taught by Thomas S. Webb and Henry Fowle, of Boston, and Brother Snow, of Rhode Island. About the year 1801, Brother Benjamin Gleason, who was a student of Bro. Webb, received them from him, and embodied them in a private key of his own. About the year 1805, Bro. Gleason was employed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts to teach all the Subordinate Lodges of that jurisdiction, and was paid for that service, fifteen hundred dollars. To those lectures the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts still adheres, with a very slight variation in the Fellow Craft and Master's Degree. Bro. Snow afterwards changed and modified the Lectures he had received--mingling with them some changes from other sources--so that the system of lectures descending through him, is not reliable.

 

"Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1805, and that Grand Lodge appointed no other Grand Lecturer until 1842. He was a liberally educated man; graduated at Brown University in 1802, and was a public lecturer on geography and astronomy. He was a member of Mount Lebanon Lodge, in Massachusetts, in 1807, and died in Concord in that State, in 1847, at the age of 70. He visited England and exemplified the Preston Lectures as he had received them from Bro. Webb, before the Grand Lodge of England, and the Masonic authorities of that Grand Body pronounced them correct. In the year 1817, Bro. John Barney, formerly of Charlotte, Vermont, went to Boston and received the Preston Lectures there as taught by Gleason, and as they were approved by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

 

"I am unable to say whether he received them from Bro. Gleason himself, or from Bro. Henry Fowle. My impression is that he received them from Bro. Fowle. In possession of these Lectures he returned to Vermont, and at the Annual Communication of our Grand Lodge in October, 1817, visited that Grand Body and made known the fact. The subject was submitted to a committee for examination, which reported that these Lectures were according to the most approved method of Work in the United States, and proposed to give Bro. Barney letters of recommendation to all Lodges and brethren, wherever he may wish to travel, as a brother well qualified to give useful Masonic information to any one who may wish his services.

 

"The Grand Lodge accepted and adopted the report of its committee, and Bro. Barney, under the recommendation thus given, visited many of the then existing Lodges of this State, and imparted to them a knowledge of these Lectures. Among others, in the year 1818, he visited Dorchester Lodge, in Vergennes, and imparted full instructions in them to Right Worshipful Samuel Wilson, now and for several years past, Grand Lecturer of this State. Upon this occasion Bro. Barney wrote out a portion of them in private key, and Bro. Wilson wrote out the remainder. Both were written in the same book, and that part written by Bro. Wilson was examined carefully and approved by Bro. Barney. That original manuscript is still in existence, and is now in possession of my son, Bro. Philip C. Tucker, Jr., of Galveston, Texas, to whom Bro. Wilson presented it a few years ago. Bro. Wilson has a perfect copy of it, and refers to it as authority in all cases of doubt. Bro. Gallup, of Liberty Lodge, at Franklin, was one of the original Grand Lodge committee, and is still living to attest the correctness and identity of these Lectures as taught by Barney, in 1817.

 

"These are the only Lectures which have been sanctioned in this jurisdiction, from October, 1817, to the present day. The Grand Lodge has sanctioned no others. My predecessors, Grand Masters Robinson, Whitney, Whales and Haswell, sustained them against all innovations, and to the extent of my power I have done the same. I think upon these facts I am justified in saying that the Lectures we use are the true Lectures of Preston.

 

"Webb changed the arrangement of the sections as fixed by Preston. for one which he thought more simple and convenient, but, as I understand, he left the body of the Lectures themselves as Preston had established them. Subsequently to 1818, Bro. Barney went to the western and southwestern States; he was a man in feeble health at the time, and pursued Masonic lecturing as a means of subsistence. Upon his return to this State, a few years afterwards. he stated to his brethren here--as I have been credibly informed and believe-- that he found different systems of lecturing prevailing at the west and south-west, and that, upon presenting the Lectures he had been taught at Boston in 1817, to different Grand Masters, they were objected to, and that various Grand Masters would not sanction his lecturing in their jurisdictions, unless he would teach the Lectures then existing among them, that desiring to pursue his occultation, he did learn the different systems of lecturing then existing in the different States, and taught them in the different State jurisdictions, as desired by the different Grand Masters in each. This circumstance accounts for the strange disagreement between the east and west and south-west as to what are the true Barney Lectures. They meant one thing in New England and another in the west."

 

Again, in 1861, he says: "Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of Massachusetts in 1805 and no other Grand Lecturer was appointed by that Grand Lodge until 1842. During all this time Bro. Fowle was a member, sometimes a subordinate officer, and occasionally Master of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, one of the oldest and best informed Lodges in the world. For most of this time, also, Bro. Gleason was at home in Massachusetts, and holding his office of Grand Lecturer of his State. Is it not a very violent presumption to assume that he did not know what Lectures and what kind of Work were taught in one of the strongest Lodges of Boston.

 

"I knew Bro. Henry Fowle from my boyhood. My father was one of his intimate friends, and they were members and officers of the same Charter. Bro. Fowle was a man of far more mind and attainments than are usually found among men of his sphere of life. His was not a mind to forget anything, and was too tenacious a Mason to make changes without authority. But setting all inferences from such considerations aside, I remark, that I was present at St. Andrew's Lodge in 1823 or 1824. AND SAW THE WORK DONE, BRO. FOWLE TAKING PART IN IT THAT EVENING AS A SUBORDINATE OFFICER, AND THE WORK WAS IDENTICALLY THAT WHICH HAS BEEN PRACTICED IN THIS JURISDICTION FROM 1818 TO THIS DAY. AS EXEMPLIFIED IN THE LECTURES COMMUNICATED TO WILSON BY BARNEY. I add also, that I was subjected, upon another occasion, to a thorough examination, in an ante-room of the same Masonic hall, upon a visit to St. Andrew's Chapter, by a strong examining committee, which, finding that I answered readily, ran through the Lectures ENTIRE from entered apprentice to Royal Arch, and that the whole of them were IDENTICAL with those in use in the Lodges and Chapters of Vermont. There can be no doubt, then, that the Lectures communicated by Fowle to Barney were the genuine Lectures taught by Webb and Gleason, the same which Gleason received from Webb in 1801 or 1802; the same which he taught as Grand Lecturer of Massachusetts, from 1805; the same that I found among the Boston Masons, in 1823 or 1824 and the very same which are taught there now.

 

"Was there any opportunity for them to be falsified in their translation from Barney to Wilson? Barney received them in 1817 and made private notes of them; in October of that year, he submitted them to the Grand Lodge of Vermont, and got its permission to teach them in this jurisdiction: he was well known here, was a man of integrity and had every motive of interest and honor to preserve them in their purity. In 1818--and before he had gone from the State to teach elsewhere at all--he imparted them to Bro. Wilson, having his original notes before him, and aiding that Brother in making a correct copy of themand when they came into use practically, they were found to exactly agree with those used in the jurisdiction from which Bro. Barney received them. There seems no room for error or mistake here. The link in the chain of transmission is not broken at all."

 

The work of Webb was evidently well done, and in his life time there existed a fairly uniform method where he or his disciples taught. He died in 1819. Jeremy L. Cross published his "True Masonic chart" in 1819. It was the Webb monitor with the addition of a series of illustrations of the emblems. This feature has been copied in most monitors since.

 

The "Morgan excitement" in 1826 put Masonic activity to a disadvantage, and there was little done from 1826 to 1839 or thereabouts. Then there was a revival of interest and an agitation for uniform work resulting in the Baltimore Convention of 1843, at which the delegates adopted the "Webb work."

 

John Barney, of whom Philip Tucker speaks, was made a Mason in Friendship Lodge No. 20, at Charlotte, Vt., in 1811. After teaching the Webb work in Vermont he went west. He was Grand Lecturer in Ohio from 1836 to 1843, and Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1846 and 1847. He died at Peoria, Ill., June 22, 1847. He was the most influential ritualist of Vermont, Ohio and Illinois. Michigan and Wisconsin, and the states which have since become independent Masonically, derived their work from these, and follow the Barney work to the best of their knowledge.

 

John Barney was the delegate from Ohio to the Baltimore Convention of 1843. Charles W. Moore of Massachusetts, was also a delegate. In a letter written in 1863 he says:

 

"The work and lectures of the first three degrees, as adopted and authorized by the Baltimore Convention, in 1843, were, with a few unimportant verbal exceptions, literally as they were originally compiled by Bro. Thos. S. Webb, about the close of the last century, and as they were subsequently taught by him during his lifetime, and also by his early and favorite pupil, Bro. Benjamin Gleason, from the years 1801-2 until his death in 1847. In a note to me, under date of NOV. 25, 1843, Bro. Gleason says: 'It was my privilege while at Brown University, Providence, R.I., (1801-2) to acquire a complete knowledge of the lectures in the first three degrees of Masonry, directly from our late much lamented brother Thos. S. Webb.' In 1805 Bro. Gleason was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as its Grand Lecturer and empowered to visit and instruct the Lodges in the ritual, as he had received it from Bro. Webb. This duty he performed with great fidelity, and to the entire satisfaction of the Grand Lodge; and this ritual is in use in the lodges of Massachusetts at the present time. There may be some verbal departures from the original, but no material change has been made in it. In 1823-4 Bro. Gleason was my Masonic teacher. I learned the work and lectures of him. We were connected by family ties, and close Masonic relations continued to exist between us until his death in 1847. I was associated with him in all the various branches of Masonry for nearly a quarter of a century, and enjoyed all the rare advantages of his extensive and accurate knowledge of the various rituals of the different grades of the Order. In 1843 I was appointed by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts a delegate to the Baltimore Masonic Convention, called for the purpose of revising the various modes of work then in use, and agreeing upon a uniform system for the country. Before leaving home, and as a preparation for the better discharge of the duties of the appointment, I availed myself of the assistance of Bro. Gleason, in a thorough and careful revision of the lectures, which I had originally received from him and which, on frequent occasions, I had been called to deliver and work with him, both in-and out of the Lodge. I was, therefore, qualified to report them to the convention, through its committee on the work, in their purity and integrity, and, beyond all doubt, just as they originally came from the hand of the late Bro. Webb. I had the honor to be a member of the committee, and to report the amendments, and the lectures as amended, to the convention. This I did without notes, but subsequently took the precaution-to minute down the alterations from the original; and these are now in my possession. They are mostly verbal, few in number, and not material in their results. The only change of consequence was in the due guards of the second and third degrees, which were changed and made to conform to that of the first degree in position and explanation. This was analogically correct."

 

At this Baltimore Convention sixteen of the twenty-three then existing Grand Lodges of the United States were represented, and the "work" adopted was called the "National" or "Barney" work. No opposition of consequence to this work occurred until 1860, when Robert Morris tried to have a "Webb-Preston work as taught by Robert Morris" adopted through the medium of a Conservator's Association. This Conservator's Association gained much influence and many brethren lent it their support. The plan was to have a conservator in each lodge who was to use his best efforts to promulgate the "Webb-Preston work as taught by Robert Morris." Each conservator was provided with a copy of "Mnemonics," which Robert Morris claimed was the true work.

 

The Grand Lodges, however, became alarmed and promptly condemned the Conservators; in the early 60's most of them passed resolutions reaffirming the work as handed down through Gleason, Barney, Wilson, Wadsworth, Cross and others, and as approved and recommended by the Baltimore Convention. Robert Morris claimed to have received the work from Bro. Wilson of Vermont; but Bro. Wilson says:

 

"In 1857 Robert Morris visited Vermont for the purpose of ascertaining what were the true Webb lectures. P. C. Tucker introduced Morris to me for the purpose, and I loaned him a copy (not my original) of my cipher, and which unfortunately had several omissions through mistake. In copying this, Morris made several mistakes and misread many passages. In fact he could never read it at all until I met him in Chicago in 1860, and I think he cannot read it all now. This copy, with its blunders and omissions, is the text from which the book you refer to (Mnemonics) was made."

 

If we are correct in judging the condition which prevailed from 1843, when the Baltimore Convention was held, until the time of the Conservator's Association, we would conclude that there was a difference in the work in the different Jurisdictions which made a Conservator movement possible. (6)

 

Robert Morris may have been sincerely desirous of promoting a uniform work and believed he could accomplish it; He probably could if he had possessed either the Preston work or the Webb work, but he had neither. His was a Morris work, and there had been too many changes to suit the Brethren, and from then until now the work adopted and maintained in the East and Northwest (7) has been as near the Webb work as our ritualists could ascertain, with the exception of Pennsylvania which still adheres to the "Ancient" work.

 

(1) See Mackey's Enc., Article Lectures, for simple questions and answers.

 

(2) See Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry."

 

(3) History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan, page 250.

 

(4) A considerable difference of opinion exists as to what was done. See "Hughan's English Royal Arch." "Sadler's Reprints and Revelations."

 

(5) We think this a rather improbable claim, as Bro. Cross was not made a Mason until 1808.

 

(6) "Two text books, differing materially were issued, each claiming to be the work adopted. ( By the Baltimore convention). I have heard a dozen variations of the lectures, each declared to be such as were agreed upon at Baltimore." A. T. C. Pierson, G. M., Minn., 1858.

 

(7) I am uninformed as to the South and Southwest.

 

----o----

 

OUR COUNTRY

 

Our country ! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country right or wrong!

 

--Stephen Decatur.

 

----o----

 

THERE DAWNS A DAY

 

I know there shall dawn a day

--Is it here on homely earth ?

Is it yonder, worlds away,

Where the strange and new have birth,

That Power comes full in play?

 

Then life is--to wake not sleep,

Rise and not rest, but press

From earth's level where blindly creep

Things perfected, more or less,

To the heaven's height, far and steep.

 

Where, amid what strifes and storms

May wait the adventurous quest,

Power is Love--transports, transforms

Who aspired from worst to best,

Sought the soul's world, spurned the worms'.

 

I have faith such end shall be:

From the first, Power was--I knew.

Life has made clear to me

That, strive but for closer view,

Love were as plain to see.

 

When see? When there dawns a day,

If not on the homely earth,

Then yonder, worlds away,

Where the strange and new have birth,

And power comes full in play.

--Robert Browning.

 

----o----

 

VICTOR HUGO'S PROPHECY

 

(In His Presidential Address at the Peace Congress in 1849.) A day will come when you, France--you, Russia-- you, Italy--you, England--you, Germany--all of you nations of the continent--shall, without losing your distinctive qualities and your glorious individuality, blend in a higher unity and form a European fraternity, even as Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Lorraine, Alsace, all the French provinces, have become blended.

 

A day will come when war shall seem as absurd and impossible between Paris and London, between St. Petersburg and Berlin, as between Rouen and Amiens, between Boston and Philadelphia. A day will come when bullets and bombs shall be replaced by ballots by the universal suffrage of the people, by the sacred arbitrament of a great sovereign senate, which shall be to Europe what the parliament is to England, what the diet is to Germany, what the legislative assembly is to France.

 

A day will come when a cannon ball shall be exhibited in our museums as an instrument of torture is now, and men shall marvel that such things could be. A day will come when shall be seen those two immense groups, the United States of America and the United States of Europe, in face of each other, extending hand to hand over the ocean, exchanging their products, their commerce, their industry, their arts, their genius --clearing the earth, colonizing deserts, and ameliorating creation, under the eye of the Creator.

 

----o----

 

WHERE IS GOD?

 

"Oh, where is the sea?" the fishes cried

As they swam the crystal clearness through;

"We've heard from of old of the ocean's tide

And we long to look on the waters blue.

The wise ones speak of an infinite sea;

Oh, who can tell us if such there be ?"

 

The lark flew up in the morning bright

And sang and balanced on sunny wings,

And this was its song: "I see the light;

I look on a world of beautiful things;

And flying and singing everywhere

In vain have I sought to find the air."

--M. J. Savage.

 

----o----

 

WAR

 

War begets Poverty,

Poverty, Peace--

Peace begets Riches,

Fate will not cease--

Riches beget Pride,

Pride is war's ground--

War begets Poverty,

So the world goes round.

--Old Song.

 

GLIMPSES OF A PRE REVOLUTIONARY MASONIC LODGE

 

BY BRO. J. EDWARD ALLEN, NORTH CAROLINA

 

The diary of old Samuel Sewall of Massachusetts has been called "a window in old Boston," and in the same way the early Masonic records may be called "colonial views." It is from this point of view that the writer has been greatly interested in the early records of Blandford-Bute lodge of Masons, of Bute County, North Carolina. The early North Carolinians were an interesting people. That polished gentlemen, William Byrd, of Westover, Virginia, after appointing a line of division between these and his people, speaks of them, in his "History of the Dividing Line," as "mere Adamites," forgetting that a large part of the Carolinians were Virginians.

 

We are interested to know that many of these men were Masons, and in particular, a number of those who came to Bute County. Therefore we find that on the twenty-ninth of April, 1766, these Bute County Masons had already organized a Lodge, and were on that date actually initiating candidates, "at Buffaloe," and were resolving to call their lodge "Blandford-Bute," probably in honor of the old Blandford Lodge, near Petersburg, Va., chartered in 1756, and in honor of their new home-county. They came down the trail which afterward became the Petersburg-Raleigh - Charleston stage road, passing through Warrenton, and by Buffalo. Aaron Burr later took this route on one of his journeys, spending a night in Warrenton.

 

We do not know what the status of these Masons was in April, 1766. They seem not to have been completely organized, for at the next meeting resolutions were passed as follows:

 

"Resolved, that the Quarterly Meetings shall be held regularly at Bute court on the first day thereof--

 

Resolved, that every member shall duly attend the lodges in course or give a sufficient reason for his absence or pay the sum of two shillings sixpence for each nonperformance.

 

Secondly, shall prophanely Swear in the Lodge under no less penalty than two shillings and six pence for the first offense and five shillings for each after.

 

Thirdly, that there shall no member Indecently behave such as whispering or Laughing in the lodge under the above penalty.

 

Fourthly, that no member shall disclose the proceedings of the lodge to any but Masons, and not to them without they intend to become members or should give such reasons as they should think they would.

 

Fifthly, that no member shall speake in the lodge without rising and addressing himself to the Master.

 

Sixthly, that Every Member shall pay for his quarterly Payment Six Shillings and Eight Pence Proct. money to the treasurer that shall be appointed by the lodge.

 

Seventhly, that no member shall reflect, or laugh, at any Rules proposed by any member without, in the lodge, and there to make their objections in a manner becoming any Mason.

 

Resolved, that no person be initiated in this lodge except he pay the money down for his initiation, or give one of the members of the lodge for his security, to-wit 4-4sh. Virga. currency--

 

Resolved, that Jethro Sumner Treasurer of this Lodge, bring his account of the expenses of the same--

 

Resolved, that the treasurer Prepare a Striped Shirt and a Pair of Trousers for the use of the Lodge."

 

This curious commingling of trivial incidentals and important matters was evidently regarded as the fundamental law for the government of the lodge, for it is signed by the thirteen members, and is then concluded with the statement "Then the lodge adjourned till the Lodge in course."

 

Just a word personal here about these men will not be out of order. We must understand that the English language was not then nearly so firmly fixed in its forms and usages as now; and that therefore what appears to us to be bad grammar would not have then been scorned. We must remember also that these men all lived hard outdoor lives, many of them traveling long distances to find a lodge or a church, and that therefore schools were almost inaccessible to the most of these settlers and education was within reach only of a privileged few who could employ private tutors. And did not that notorious governor of the neighbor state, Sir William Berkeley, write concerning the condition of his people: "I thank God there are no free schools, nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both." But in spite of unfavorable conditions many of the members of this old lodge were men whose names appear on the pages of history as those of heroes of a great faith or magnificent champions of liberty. Jethro Sumner, an officer of the lodge, was one of the great generals of the Revolution. It is said that his name was seriously considered when a Commander-in-chief of the American armies was to be chosen. Green Hill, another of the members of the lodge at this time, was the man in whose house was held the first conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. One part of this one county furnished at one time, later, both U. S. senators, the congressman, the Governor, and a judge of the State court of appeals. Here was born and raised Nathaniel Macon, the greatest North Carolinian, long Speaker of the National House of Representatives. And, by contrast, hence came Beau Hickman, the greatest deadbeat, immortalized by G. A. Townsend as the villain in "Crutch, the Page."

 

The business of these old lodges was almost always conducted in the first degree. Hence the charge for initiation was four pounds four shillings Virginia currency, equivalent to about fourteen dollars. This is excessively high, when we think of the fact that the average fee for the three degrees in North Carolina today is less than twenty dollars. But when he was initiated, the Mason signed the by-laws and became an active member. Relatively a small part of the Masons took all the three degrees, and the Master Mason's lodge was not opened "on Buffaloe" oftener than three or four times each year. The Royal Arch work seems to have been done by the same organization, for we read about twice in each year's record that "at a lodge of Arch and Royal Arch Masons," somebody was advanced to the "exalted Arch degree," or to the "superexalted Royal Arch degree."

 

At times the lodge met when court was in session, and at night, actually in the court house. Bute court house was ten or twelve miles from the nearest town, and when it was afterward removed to Warrenton, the old records were lost. They were found more than seventy-five years later, by a non-Mason, an excellent gentleman, who is said to have sat up all night reading them, and it is charged that on the following morning his first question was, "What did those old fellows do with that pair of drawers that the Lodge bought?" No one was able to advise him.

 

Quite plainly there has been a change of sentiment toward many things somewhere in the decades. We read that often this lodge "repaired to brother So-andso's tavern, where a sumptuous repast was enjoyed." This was usually paid for by the candidate of the day, but sometimes there is an entry in the minutes of the next meeting to the effect that "the secretary read a bill for two gallons of rum, which on motion was ordered paid." It is possible that this may have been intended for use as medicine, but we may safely conjecture that such was not the case. It is a matter of common knowledge that many of the religious gatherings of the day in this and other sections were composed to a strikingly large extent of men who each and all were unwilling to leave home without their "ticklers," "demijohns," or even "runlets" of the liquor that cheers and then does some more. The truth is, the history of Masonry is the history of the morals of its devotees, and as surely as we can read the signs of the times, just so surely can we see that the morals of the country are being elevated. Lodges frown on drunkards today and deal stringently with them.

 

Do not think, however, that twentieth-century lodges have a monopoly of the duty of dealing with violators of the Masonic law. Our eighteenth-century brethren, too, had troubles in that line. At a meeting of Blandford Bute lodge held on November 20, 1767, the members seem to have been uproariously hilarious. Christmas was coming, and they may have been either glad with its spirit or spirits, or mad with its prospects of paying the bills, for at this season "everybody works father." Whatever may have been the trouble, we find that in this meeting Brother Duncan misbehaved three times and was fined two shillings sixpence each time. It was a fellowcraft's lodge, and the brother who had just been passed was next fined 2s.6d. for "a breach of behaviour." He must have had something more than nerve! Brother William Tabb next was discovered laughing and received the same dose. Tabb was next soaked 2s.6d. for going out, and lastly Arch Campbell received the uniform penalty for misbehaving. At this point it seems that the lawbreakers must have outnumbered the more sedate brethren, for we read that at the end of the meeting all the fines were remitted, as well as the fines of the members who had been absent without excuse at the last meeting. What a deal of relief there would be to the Master of many a lodge today if he could by fines force his members to attend the meetings! It was in the previous August that one brother was fined for swearing, another for getting drunk, and two for no less grave an offense against the dignity of the lodge than singing. This reminds us of the case of the lady who sang so atrociously in the Methodist church of the nearby town of Warrenton about a hundred years ago, that she was excluded from fellowship. The case was carried to the State court of appeals, which restored her to her former rights and privileges.

 

In these old records we find only one allusion to Joseph Montfort, of Halifax, "Grand Master of and for America," as he was designated in his commission from the Duke of Beaufort. On August third, 1767, Jos. Montfort is recorded as one of the visitors. There is no record of any recognition of his standing, except in the fact that at this meeting there was a larger attendance than at any other which Blandford-Bute ever held. His commission was not issued until 1771.

 

Trouble between the adherents and supporters of the mistaken policy of the reigning house in the mother country, and those who stood uncompromisingly for their liberty, early became acute in North Carolina. In several sections of the state there were many Scotch Highlanders and others who were loyal to England to the last stand. Governor Tryon defeated the ill-trained Regulators in the battle of Alamance about 1771, and only made these seekers for freedom more determined. The call of military duty suspended temporary interest in everything else, probably including Masonic lodge work. If Blandford-Bute was active from 1768 to 1782, it left no records.

 

It is probable that many of the Masonic lodges became hotbeds of Revolutionary spirit. Almost every one of the leaders of the Revolution in North Carolina was an active Mason, and there is good reason to believe that many of the Masonic lodges were closely in touch with the machinery used at this time to ascertain the spirit and temper of the various sections and communities concerning the war. This was probably the case with Blandford-Bute, for it was a household saying around here that there were "no Tories in Bute." It is probable that there was a close relation between the lodges and the Committees of Safety, or the Committees of Correspondence. If the lodges were concerned thus, they met informally and left no records. One might wonder whether such activities could have suggested the general plan of the Ku Klux Klan to the sorely troubled Southern men of Reconstruction days. Do the words which the writer has italicized in the quotations below possibly suggest some sort of unrecorded, irregular activity?

 

The secretary of post-bellum days, in transcribing the records, possibly for Grand lodge inspection when the North Carolina Charter was given, says of what he gives up to 1768:

 

"The foregoing are all the proceedings that can be had from the lodge while it was held at Buffaloe which is transcribed from part of the original by J. Macon, Secretary."

 

Fortunately, we have both the original up to 1768 and the copy. The reorganization meeting is discussed in the records as follows:

 

"AT A LODGE OF ROYAL ARCH AND MASTER MASONS Opened and held in due form the 6th of April, 5782, at High Twelve.

 

Resolved, that a due record be kept from and after the date of this lodge together with the reasons it has not been kept up according to the Constitutions and Rules of the Craft.

 

TO THIS AND ALL SUCCEEDING LODGES

 

Be it known unto you

 

That from the unavoidable necessity of entering into a Cruel and Unnatural War, with the parent State, the Numerous Calls, Tryalls, Embarrassments of our fellow Citizens and Brethren Be it not Dismay'd, therefore, that the Harmony of this as well as many other Lodges have been greatly disturbed thereby, and only to be restored but by Unanimity and an unshaken hand of Fidelity which we owe to each other. So that under these deplorable circumstances we consider it a sufficient Vindication for our neglect in meeting. Particularly when we may Justly Add the many Battles, Skirmishes, Massacres, Robberies, Murders, Conflagrations and many other Hostile and inhuman acts which this present unnatural war hath produced. Consequences so destructive to Mankind in general and Obnoxious to us, and the Harmony of Masonry in particularly. But, arriving at a period which gives some respite, distinguishing us from the rest of mankind, then who is the Mason that will not meet and wheres the hand that denies his brother?

 

RESOLVED that a summons be issued to all the late members of our lodge to repair to our room at this place the first Saturday in May next by ten o'clock.

 

And the remnant of the once flourishing lodge accordingly came, true to that Masonry which had made its place in their lives in times of peace, and which had helped make life worth living in time of war. Only six battle-scarred veterans were left. But, strange to say, we find among them a number of members whose names we have never seen before. They must have been doing some work during the war sub rosa, without keeping any records of meetings. Their sources of income, their relatives, their homes, their health, all sacrificed for freedom, once more these old men in tears rekindled the fires on the altars of their homes and placed the Rule and Guide to Faith on the altar of their Lodge. It is interesting to note that the Masonic soldier thought of Masonry as having a definite place in the protection of his home. The wife left behind was sometimes placed in possession of some kind of secret by imparting which she might, and sometimes did, invoke the aid of Masons. The writer does not know what this was, but many of us have heard stories of the preservation of a home by means of this kind. It was afterwards done again in 1861-65.

 

All the old Masons "on Buffaloe" were dead, and the remnants voted to move the lodge to Warrenton. At the first meeting there the Secretary read an address one sentence of which was as follows:

 

"Whereas our ancient lodge room has lately been brought to ruin by the soldiary, and therefore rendered unfit for our purposes in meeting, So that under these circumstances we are exposed to much difficulty in our new designs, . . I recommend that a plot of ground be purchased in Warrenton. . ."

 

The plot of ground thus purchased adjoined the lot of Emmanuel Episcopal church, within whose walls Horace Greeley was married. It is interesting to note in passing that near the scene of the lodge's early labors was kept later one of the most famous pleasure resorts in the country, Jones' or Shocco Springs, which had its thousands of guests each season, and near which, almost within calling distance of the old lodge, were laid away the remains of Anne Carter Lee, beloved daughter of the great Hero of the Lost Cause, "there to await the Resurrection Morn."

 

Peaceful and uneventful was the later history of the old lodge, for after the storm of war always peace is most beautiful. In quiet did the old fellows meet and confer the degrees or dispense sweet charity, occasionally having a little celebration all their own. In the minutes of June twelfth, 1784, we notice that the secretary presented a bill for supplies, and it was "ordered, that the treasurer pay Wm. Campbell 29s.4d (about five dollars) for a loaf of sugar." For what could this have been bought, unless because there was here and there one of their members who "took sugar in his'n" when the drinks were passed?

 

Rarely did they in this period digress from the even tenor of their way, but once or twice we find them coming in contact with affairs outside before the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was formed. Once we find that Jethro Sumner moved, "that inquiry should be made respecting the appointment of a Grand Master for the United States." Sumner and Jos. Montfort had been close friends, and by this motion we understand that Sumner acknowledged the genuineness of the old Montfort commission and was looking to having his place filled after his death. Nothing came of this, as of similar moves in present times.

 

 And this resolution, poorly written and almost unintelligible though it is, at length explains to us darkly the source from which Blandford-Bute lodge had for these many years derived its authority to work:

 

"Resolved, that if the State of Virginia has made choice of a Grand Master, that the proceedings of Blandford lodge of 23 Dec., 5766, for a copy of the Deputation given this lodge in order that a charter be had from that date."

 

It would appear from that crude and badly written resolution, that Blandford lodge, near Petersburg, Va., on December 23, 1766, gave these men some sort of dispensation under which to work. It is probable that this was asked for before April of that year.

 

Here let us leave the old lodge. Its hundred and thirty odd years of further history have not been without interest, but, the pioneer days past, by degrees it approaches our modern system.

 

The writer hopes in concluding, that he and the reader may imitate the example of these good brethren, of whom their faithful secretary records that they "PARTED LOVINGLY ON THE SQUARE."

 

 

DISCUSSING THE PREVIOUS QUESTION

 

BY BRO. R.I. CLEGG, OHIO

 

That is an oblong square? These things make me wonder." "And no wonder, for as the old farmer said when he saw a giraff for the first time, 'There ain't no such animals.' Such errors no doubt crept in by virtue of the law of exaggeration for the sake of emphasis, and may easily be corrected."

 

This is the sort of question and answer the text of ritual and monitor must withstand. These comments are typical. How far are they justified?

 

At the outset I confess to a very cordial attitude toward both the inquiry and the response. Much may be said by way of excuse for them. In fact the position of inquiry and of wonderment is an excellent foundation for research. Granted a respectful persistence in regard to the subject and starting from such a point of departure, the inquirer can unearth material of great importance.

 

But that happy outlook is not always the result. Well do I recall a very industrious effort made by an esteemed co-worker of mine to obtain the approval of one Grand Lodge Committee for certain drastic changes in our ceremonies. It took long argument before it was at all possible to make him see any reason for sundry expressions. His was essentially the modern iconoclastic view, mine that of retaining whatever could be justified by ancient or present day usage.

 

My plea was and is for the retention of everything Masonic, unless it could be shown that in the olden days it was as incongruous as it may seem to be in the light of today. Now as it is obvious that this position calls for ample and exceedingly difficult investigation, there would be few changes if the attitude were universally adopted. To say the least, it is emphatically the one prescribed by the charge to every Master Mason.

 

Let it not be understood that in all respects I am a "Standpatter." Whenever a change is universally approved is ample time for its adoption, and when conservatives like myself cannot show some excellent reason for stemming the tide of innovation, perhaps we ought not to protest overmuch at the laying of hands upon the structure of ceremonial formulas. We would nevertheless hope that even in such cases the alterations be made in none but a reverent manner, rather as a repair for some ageworn weakness than as a movement of drastic renovation. If alteration be done at all let it be done tenderly and with affection.

 

But returning to our topic, what do we find ? How far is this particular expression a mere exaggeration? To the offhand glance there is probably a contradiction in the terms. A four-sided figure having its sides equal in length and all its angles of ninety degrees is commonly called a square, and such a figure cannot be oblong. Manifestly we must seek in some other direction for an explanation of the phrase "oblong square."

 

Mathematically the word "oblong" can be applied to intersecting axes of unequal length. For the same reason it may properly be also descriptive of the working tool known as a square when the latter has arms of unequal length. Is there any other brief phrase that could so well be employed for the purpose? And to what else could the term be so pertinently applied as to the unequally armed tool familiar to every workman in all lines of industry? Mention the word to any workman and his mind at once visualizes the same thing in every case, and that not an enclosed figure.

 

While it is true that the square with us is usually with arms of equal length, and as far back as the painting of "Night" by Hogarth, Grand Steward in the early part of the eighteenth century, the Master's square was so represented, yet there are as in the familiar "gallow's" square and in the square adopted by the Continental brethren an oblong form to be found. This is very probably selected from the operative form.

 

A plain square having its arms measured off as integral quantities and in units well known to a special class of workmen would have an extraordinary significance. Some studious brethren, Lawrence for example, have attacked the custom of placing graduations of length upon the arms of the square. To my mind this suggests the foundation of the forty-seventh proposition. Given the graduations on the square blades and then with the help of another rule across the hypotenuse you have the measurements of a right-angled triangle, and on multiplying these by any one number you possess the direct dimensions of a large figure; the larger the dimensions of course the less likelihood of inaccuracy creeping into the fundamental layout of a building.

 

There are those who hold that the oblong square represents the early civilized world, when as in the case of the Roman Empire it stretched due East and West to about twice its Northern and Southern limits. This has seemed to me more fanciful than demonstrative. It might as easily be supposed to represent the famous double cube, that puzzle of the centuries. I refer of course to the ancient problem requiring the determination of the size when the cubical altar of Apollo was to be made with twice the former volume.

 

But let us not get too far from the Lodge room. Recall the occasion when the term oblong square is used. Consider the immediately preceding and following locations and positions. Do not forget the peculiar features of the ceremony of laying a cornerstone of any building when performed with Masonic auspices, and in connection therewith compare the ceremonial associated with the North-east corner. Now let us go a step further, and I use this expression advisedly.

 

Having the above in mind, think of the bonding of a wall as it would be thought of by an operative Mason. The simplest and crudest way of rough walling would be to throw the squared stones rudely together hit or miss. Probably the inexpert would lay them end to end and side by side as the obviously quickest way of getting over the ground. Does this suggest anything to the reader as being comparable with the progress made at the entrance and until the candidate has been properly taught? More I cannot say of that particular feature, but to the discerning enough has probably been submitted.

 

Let us pass on our way. The bonding of a wall calls for the placing of certain bricks or stones at an angle to the rest, preferably a right angle as a matter of efficiency and for compactness; the several parts then lending each other their maximum co-operation and being more uniformly acted upon by the mortar or cement. In this position they better resist the load that may be placed upon them. Their individual and complete strength is firmly a unit, they stand together in cohesive compactness. Thus should we Masons stand and so are we taught.

 

Stones or bricks are seldom cubes for building purposes. They are oblongs preferably, and invariably squared. The tools to test them are all the better for having their axes of different lengths, and especially is this true if the oblong square contains the ready means of setting up the forty-seventh proposition. Then the workman is not only equipped to carve the stone but to lay out the area for the completed walls.

 

The Masonic student wishing to go further into the use of the square by the old workmen may well consider the painted and sculptured representations of the tool itself. He may also examine the working methods of such as Cellini, Vasari, Vitruvious, etc., in the proportional uses of such implements as the square in highly skilled masons' work, they being architects of antiquity of whom the oblong square is a fitting symbol.

 

THE PURPOSE OF MASONRY

 

"There comes from time to time, with what would seem increasing frequency, a cry for leadership by Freemasonry and its organizations, but when these cries are analyzed they seem to suggest an abandonment of the most sacred of our principles and to call for a will-o'-the-wisp guidance into the Sorbonian bogs of politics or down the Gadarenian cliffs of religious controversy.

 

"Of all those who so insistently demand that Freemasonry shall take up all the latest fads as they catch the wind of popular favor, or that we shall zealously attempt to divide the citizens of our nation into many warring camps, that the sacred walls of our asylums may resound only with the accents of 'hatred, uncharitableness and intolerance,' we may wisely ask, 'Whither goest thou ? What is the way you ask us to travel, and where is the end of the journey upon which you would have us enter with light hearts ?'

 

"It is true that an order without a purpose would be like a body without a soul, but that purpose certainly need not be to control or dictate the daily life, the politics, or the religious affiliations of our fellow citizens.

 

"Primarily, the great purpose of Freemasonry is the teaching, by and through its organized forces and its symbolism, of the moral truths which lie at the foundation of human society. So far as it performs its great duty to humanity, Freemasonry selects those men, and those men only, whose character and intelligence fit them for its teachings; and those men, by most solemn and sacred appeals to their minds, their hearts and their emotions, it knits into its great union of friends and brothers and sustains, supports and encourages them in all that goes to make up true manliness. To those so selected and so trained we may safely leave the performance of their duties to God, their country, and humanity.

 

"It is still true that charity and toleration are cardinal principles of Freemasonry, and we may proclaim in all honesty and candor that we practice here and everywhere, to the utmost extent, the great, generous, tolerant, liberal doctrines of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite."

 

--Barton Smith 33d

 

----o----

 

THE SWEETNESS OF A FRIEND

 

Be sure there is some one to whom you can open yourself, to whom you can tell everything, and who will be willing to confide everything. Deserve such companionship, and, where it exists. do not let it die away. On such intimacy somewhere, all social life depends. --E. E. Eale.

 

SOME DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM

 

BY BRO. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND

 

PART III

 

RECURRING to the Legend of the Third Degree, the pivot upon which it revolves is the existence of a building secret, represented as a Master-Word, which the Builder died to preserve. Owing to his untimely death, the Word was lost, and it has always been recognized in Masonry that the Temple, unfinished at the moment of the untoward event, remained with its operations suspended and was completed later on by those who obviously did not possess the Word or key. The tradition has descended to us and, as I have said, we are still on the quest.

 

Now what does all this mean? We have no concern at the present day, except in archaeology and history, with King Solomon's Temple. What is meant by this Temple and what is the Lost Word ? These things have a meaning, or our system is stultified. Well, here are burning questions, and the only direction in which we can look for an answer is that which is their source. As to this, we must remember that the Legend of the Master Degree is a Legend of Israel, under the aegis of the Old Covenant, and though it has no warrants in the Holy Writ which constitutes the Old Testament, it is not antecedently improbable that something to our purpose may be found elsewhere in the literature of Jewry.

 

THE KABALAH

 

I do not of course mean that we shall meet with the Legend itself; it would be interesting if we did but not per se helpful, apart from explanation. I believe in my heart that I have found what is much more important, and this is the root-matter of that which is shadowed forth in the Legend, as regards the meaning of the Temple and the search for the Lost Word. There are certain great texts which are known to scholars under the generic name of Kabalah, a Hebrew word meaning reception, or doctrinal teaching passed on from one to another by verbal communication. According to its own hypothesis, it entered into written records during the Christian era, but hostile criticism has been disposed to represent it as invented at the period when it was written. The question does not signify for our purpose, as the closing of the 13th century is the latest date that the most drastic view-- now generally abandoned-- has proposed for the most important text.

 

We find therein after what manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon's Temple was spiritualized; we find deep meanings attached to the two pillars J. and B.; we find how the word was lost and under what circumstances the chosen people were to look for its recovery. It is an expectation for Jewish theosophy, as it is for the Craft Mason. It was lost owing to an untoward event, and although the time and circumstances of its recovery have been calculated in certain texts of the Kabalah, there has been something wrong with the methods. The keepers of the tradition died with their faces toward Jerusalem, looking for that time; but for Jewry at large the question has passed from the field of view, much as the quest is continued by us in virtue of a ceremonial formula but cannot be said to mean anything for those who undertake and pursue it. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and the destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters of Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the word did not come back into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired Cyrus to bring about the building of the Second Temple and the return of Israel into their own land, they went back empty of all recollection in this respect.

 

THE DIVINE NAME

 

I am putting things in a summary fashion that are scattered up and down the vast text with which I am dealing--that is to say, Sepher Ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor. The word to which reference is made is the Divine Name out of the consonants of which, He, Vau, He, Yod, we have formed Jehovah, or more accurately Yahve. When Israel fell into a state which is termed impenitence it is said in the Zoharic Symbolism that the Vau and the He final were separated. The name was dismembered, and this is the first sense of loss which is registered concerning it. The second is that it has no proper vowel points, those of the Name Elohim being substituted, or alternatively the Name Adonai. It is said, for example: "My Name is written YHVH and read Adonai." The epoch of restoration and completion is called, almost indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come, and the advent of the Messiah. In such day the present imperfect separation between the letters will be put an end to, once and forever. If it be asked: What is the connection between the loss and dismemberment which befell the Divine Name Jehovah and the Lost Word in Masonry, I cannot answer too plainly; but every Royal Arch Mason knows that which is communicated to him in that Supreme Degree, and in the light of the present explanation he will see that the "great" and "incomprehensible" thing so imparted comes to him from the Secret Tradition of Israel.

 

It is also to this Kabalistic source, rather than to the variant accounts in the first book of Kings and in Chronicles, that we must have recourse for the important Masonic Symbolism concerning the Pillars J. and B. There is very little in Holy Scripture which would justify a choice of these objects as particular representatives of our art of building spiritualized. But in later Kabalism, in the texts called "The Garden of Pomegranates" and in "The Gates of Light," there is a very full and complicated explanation of the strength which is attributed to B., the left-hand Pillar, and of that which is established in and by the right-hand Pillar, called J.

 

THE TEMPLE

 

As regards the Temple itself, I have explained at length elsewhere after what manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi-Kabalistic texts, so that it appears ever as "the proportion of the height, the proportion of the depth, and the lateral proportions" of the created universe, and again as a part of the transcendental mystery of law which is at the root of the secret tradition in Israel. This is outside our subject, not indeed by its nature but owing to limitations of opportunity. I will say only that it offers another aspect of a fatal loss in Israel and the world--which is commented on in the tradition. That which the Temple symbolized above all things was, however, a House of Doctrine, and as on the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution were perpetuated through centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot of Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated by the breaking of the Tables of Stone on which the Law was inscribed; so does Speculative Masonry intimate that the Holy House, which was planned and begun after one manner, was completed after another and a word of death was substituted for a word of life.

 

THE BUILDER

 

I shall not need to tell you that beneath such veils of allegory and amidst such illustrations of symbolism, the Master-Builder signifies a principle and not a person, historical or otherwise. He signifies indeed more than a single principle, for in the world of mystic intimations through which we are now moving, the question, "Who is the Master ?" would be answered by many voices. But generically, he is the imputed life of the Secret-Doctrine which lay beyond the letter of the Written Law, which "the stiff-necked and disobedient" of the patriarchal, sacerdotal and prophetical dispensations contrived to destroy. According to the Secret Tradition of Israel, the whole creation was established for the manifestation of this life, which became manifested actually in its dual aspect when the spiritual Eve was drawn from the side of the spiritual Adam and placed over against him, in the condition of face o face. The intent of creation was made void in the event which is called the Fall of Man, though the particular expression is unknown in Scripture. By the hypothesis, the "fatal consequences" which followed would have reached their time on Mount Sinai, but the Israelites, when left to themselves in the wilderness, "sat down to eat and rose up to play." That which is concealed in the evasion of the last words corresponds the state of Eve in Paradise, when she had become affected by the serpent.

 

To sum up as regards the sources, the Lost Word in Masonry is derived from a Kabalistic thesis of imperfection in the Divine Name Jehovah, by which the true pronunciation--that is to say, the true meaning-- is lost. It was the life of the House of Doctrine, represented by the Temple planned of old in Israel. The Master-Builder is the Spirit, Secret or Life of the Doctrine; and it is the quest of this that every Mason takes upon himself in the ceremony of the Third Degree, so that the House, which in the words of another Masonic Degree, is now, for want of territory, built only in the heart, "a superstructure perfect in its parts and honorable to the builder."

 

CRAFT MASONRY

 

But if these are the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the Sublime Degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building-Guild? The answer is that all about that period which represents what is called the transition, or during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Latin writing scholars were animated with zeal for the exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the result that many memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. Among those scholars were many great names, and they provided the materials ready to the hands of the symbolists. What purpose had the latter in view ? The answer is that in Germany, Italy, France and England, the Zeal for Kabalistic literature among the Latin-writing scholars had not merely a scholastic basis. They believed that the texts of the Secret Tradition showed plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself, that the Messiah had come. This is the first fact. The second I have mentioned already, namely, that although the central event of the Third Degree is the Candidate's Raising, it is not said in the Legend that the Master-Builder rose, thus suggesting that something remains to come after, which might at once complete the legend and conclude the quest. The third fact is that in a rather early and important High Degree of the philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master-Builder of the Third Degree rises as Christ, and so completes the dismembered Divine Name, by insertion of the Hebrew letter Shin, this producing Yeheshua--the restoration of the Lost Word in the Christian Degrees of Masonry.

 

Of course, I am putting this point only as a question of fact in the development of symbolism. Meanwhile, I trust that, amidst many imperfections, I have done something to indicate a new ground for our consideration, and to show that the speaking mystery of the Opening and Closing of the Third Degree and the Legend of the Master-Builder come from what may seem to us very far away, but yet not so distant that it is impossible to trace them to their source.

 

----o----

 

THE HOLY EARTH

 

There is something beyond the philosophies in the light, in the grass blades, the leaf, the sparrow on the wall. Some day the great and beautiful thought which hovers on the confines of the mind will at last alight. In that hope is consolation.

 

--Richard Jefferies.

 

 

THE ORDERLY LIFE

 

BY BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGIER, CHINA

 

It is almost commonplace to observe that one--perhaps the most important--of the secrets of success in any career is a recognition of the value of time. "Dost thou live thy life?" asks Poor Richard; "then value thy time, for time is the stuff life is made of." It is often said that "time is money." But the phrase is inaccurate for time is much more than money. It is true that time may usually be converted into money but it is by no means as easy to reverse the process. Has not the quest of the ages been for an elixir that would prolong life ? And what fabulous fortunes would a modern Croesus, like the late J. P. Morgan, have given for only one additional year!

 

The brevity of life and the elusiveness of time have afforded a favorite theme for the poets from Homer down. Chaucer sang of

 

"The lyfe so short,

The craft so long to lerne."

 

Longfellow elaborates the same thought in his lines:

 

"Art is long and time is fleeting,

And our hearts though stout and brave

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave."

And the greatest dramatist of all time said:

"We are such stuff as dreams are made of

And our little life is rounded with a sleep."

Of course, too, the hymn writers have taken up the refrain in sombre strains like these:

"Swift to its close ebbs forth life's little day."

 

* * *

 

"Time is winging us away

To our eternal home.

Life is but a winter's day

A journey to the tomb."

 

THE WASTE OF TIME

 

Notwithstanding the paucity of time and its transcendant value nothing is more common than the waste of it.

 

"Life we are told is a bubble, a shifting dream, evanescent as the morning mists, uncertain as a young maid's promise, brittle as a reed. And yet men proceed to deal with it as if it were as inexhaustible as the widow's cruise." (1)

 

To every serious individual, however, sooner or later, there comes a profound recognition of this truth and a painful consciousness of this waste.

 

"We think at the age of twenty," said one (2) who later became an octogenarian, "that life is much too long for that which we have to learn and do; and that there is an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and according as we have profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way we have come, and cast up and endeavor to balance our accounts with time and opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown away a huge portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of our years the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours each day, during which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or ruffled by a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between us and which stood irksomely the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned and done, in half a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our forty years of manhood."

 

Here is another lament:

 

"Lost! yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, three golden hours, each worth sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever. Gone forever! In those bitter words lies the sting of the moralist." (3)

 

But mere remorse and repining will do little to relieve this unpleasant situation. They are helpful only as they arouse us to action. The practical view is better expressed in such homely maxims as these:

 

"Don't cry over spilt milk."

 

"Never too late to mend."

 

And the practical question is, What can be done to stay the waste?

 

REMEDIES

 

Now the first step toward curing an evil is to ascertain its cause. And when we seek the causes of our waste of time we will find foremost among them the lack of system. We have not put our lives in-order. We spend our time in a haphazard fashion. We have no fixed method of utilizing it. Hence we undertake enterprises which we never finish because we find ere long that they should not have been begun. If we read it is for amusement and recreation rather than for inspiration or instruction. All this necessarily involves waste of time and the remedy must be sought in the adoption of the orderly life. For an essential feature of any scheme of economy is method, order, system. Well did Pope say

 

"Order is heaven's first law."--

 

And one of the first applications of method is the analysis and survey of our resources. If, as Franklin says, "time is the stuff life is made of" our days are the basic elements of the stuff.

 

"For the structure that we raise

Time is with materials filled;

Our to-days and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build." (4)

 

Our days then are the units of our lives and it is to our days that we must apply any workable scheme for improving time.

 

"Oh," said Thomas A. Kempis, "Oh that I had lived one day thoroughly well." And the psalmist prayed "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

 

"Perdidi diem" (I have lost a day) was the lament of Rome's imperial philosopher, Marcus Aurelius. Carpe diem! (seize the day) was the more practical thought of the modern-minded, Horace.

 

But the day which we must seize is not some distant day--not even to-morrow--but to-day.

 

"To-day is king" says Emerson.

 

And here we must face the truth that "procrastination is the thief of time." Too many of us have planned great deeds "when we get time" !

 

PLAN THE DAY

 

Given to-day as the unit of our life, how shall we se it and stay the waste? Well in the first place we must plan it. Just as the well ordered workshop has "a place for everything and everything in its place," so the fruitful day has "a time for everything and everything in its time."

 

"A time for everything;" ay there's the rub! It cannot be found, you say. Well it will surprise you to ind how much can be done by trying. The idler has the least time. And here we reach a second step in the process--selection. For since we have not time or all we must be content to exclude some. At least we must select the most essential things. Do not fail to allow for health, character, the moral, spiritual, and intellectual life, as well as for business and pleasure. Without these first the day is barren.

 

"We live in deeds not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings not in figures on a dial." Some one said of a certain octogenarian, that in all his four score years he had never really lived fifteen minutes !

 

ODD MOMENTS

 

It is only when we are trying to find a place in our crowded day for even the most essential things that we come to appreciate the value of its fragments. For just as the day is the unit of life, so the hour is the unit of the day and the minute of the hour.

 

Strive as we may to make our working plan complete, the most successful of us will always find moments, and even hours, which have not been provided for. Here is the chance for economy. The old adage "save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves," may be adapted to the situation. "Save the moments and the days will take care of themselves."

 

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

 

Save some less important tasks for rainy days.

 

Have a good book ready for that wait at the station.

 

Set aside the next lull for reflection on some important problem.

 

It has been said of the late Grant Allen--who died in early middle life after having written voluminously and much that will live-- "Like all men who do much in this world, he had a genius for using up remnants of time. He had, too, an almost Gladstonian power of concentration." (5)

 

MAKE THE PLAN COMPREHENSIVE

 

But while our days, hours and minutes deserve our first attention we shall fail to make the most of them unless they are considered as parts of a whole to which each is essential. Our work of to-day is most effective when it supplements that of yesterday and prepares that of to-morrow. Happy is the man who finds a life-- work--one to which he can devote his best energies throughout his active years. One of the sagest remarks of Theodore Roosevelt was, that "the best fate is to be able to work hard at something worth while:"

 

But to do this effectively we must look a long way ahead and plan for the far future. And here we encounter a paradox. Just as we begin to realize at once the brevity and the uncertainty of life, we must prepare to live long. For consider the consequences of any other course ! If every man believed that to-day was his last, the world would cease to move. Then

 

"Live as though you are to die to-morrow; work as though you are to live forever."

 

Let us try to find our vocation; let us discover a task worth while; and then let us take a lifetime to accomplish it.

 

Another source of leakage in our time is indolence and sloth. We will not force ourselves to do what is necessary to improve our time; it is so easy to drift and dawdle. And here the orderly life requires the substitution of industry and diligence for idleness. One of the most pregnant of the recorded sayings of Jesus is the injunction, "Work while the day lasts; for the night cometh when no man can work."

 

"Not many lives but only one have we;

One, only one.

How sacred should that one life ever be

Day after day filled up with blessed toil,

Hour after hour still bringing in new spoil !"

 

EXECUTE THE PLAN

 

However complete our working plan it will avail nothing unless we are prepared to carry it out. "Hell is paved with good intentions." The shores of time are strewn with the wrecks of beautiful theories whose authors had not the strength of character to venture out upon the real ocean of life.

 

The execution of a matured plan is merely the most intelligent form of what we call diligence or industry which is the handmaid of economy in enabling us to make the most of our time.

 

But these virtues require an exercise of the will-- that dynamo of the human spirit. And it has been well said that "character is perfectly educated will." Hence our quest for a means of utilizing time and stopping its waste ends in finding that it depends in the last analysis upon the education of the will--i. e., the development of character. This then is the key to the orderly life and this alone will enable us, in Charles Kingsley's inspiring words, to

 

"Do noble things

Not dream them all day long;

And so make life, death and the vast forever

One grand sweet song !"

 

 (1) Adams (W. H. Davenport), The Secret of Success.

(2) Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 115.

(3) Adams, ubi supra.

(4) Longfellow, The Builders.

(5) Le Galleinne, Attitudes and Avowals, 205.

 

 

SQUARE AND COMPASSES

 

BY BRO. WALTER RUSSELL REED, NORTH DAKOTA

 

CRAFTSMEN, it is truly a matter of rejoicing to me that my journeyings have brought me near your Lodge of Operative Cathedral Builders, so that I may again greet you, and know of your welfare. And it is a great pleasure to me, a Speculative Mason, to note the progress you have made in the construction of this noble and beautiful building. Its growth has no doubt seemed to you slow, but to me the advance you have made is most evident, and the development has been rapid toward that completed structure which our Master Architect has planned. It will be truly a poem and a prayer in stone, and each of you may well be proud to have had a part in so noble and glorious an undertaking as the erection of this cathedral which overshadows your lodge.

 

You remember, possibly, that on the occasion of my first visit to you, I held familiar discourse with you here on the likeness of such a work to the growth of human character. Again when I was with you a brief time last year, I drew from the same source some lessons on the strength of organization. Even as I walked about the building today, I noticed in the work-yard many of the stones which had been brought from the quarries, and were lying there until they should be needed. Beautifully finished some of them were, and much labor had already been expended on each one, yet as they lay here and there without order there was no beauty in the assemblage. One, which seemed to be the key for an arch, appeared at even a less advantage than its fellows, and I thought of our old legend of that "Stone which the builders rejected." Yet, united according to the wisdom of our Master Architect, these same stones will combine to form the wondrous strength and beauty which is produced only by harmony. If it has chanced that you have pondered on my words, Craftsmen, as you have day by day spread the cement which has united these stones to one purpose, so that now you are grown to a higher regard for the craft, a greater loyalty to the state, and a deeper respect for law, then my words have not been in vain. For verily I would urge upon you that by organization, and true co-operation, even the rough stones of Failure may be builded into the beautiful temple of Success.

 

And now I might tell you of my travels in foreign countries, or speak of some of the ancient legends of the craft. But rather would I talk of the familiar things around you, so that with new eyes you may look on these common objects of everyday life. Would I could leave with some of you that Philosopher's Stone of thought and observation which turns each common thing to gold, and gives to him who possesses it the true title of Master.

 

Brother Warden, I notice that you have, with a carefulness which is no doubt a habit to you, brought your working tools with you into the lodge. Lend me for a moment your square. And a right good one it seems to be, and I doubt not the angle is true and the blades straight. How then, craftsman, do you use this tool? To try your work. Ay, and how often it tells you that your work is not yet perfect, does it not? The surface of the stone may be chiselled ever so smooth, but if, when the square is applied, the angle proves to be untrue, all must be done again, or the stone will be rejected by the overseers, and it may be that he who has shaped it will be humiliated by seeing it heaved over among the rubbish. Truly, square work only is what is required of us. Some may bring up stones for inspection of a pattern we know not, and which the square will not justify. Yet be not too hasty to condemn or criticise them, my Brother. Such stones may yet be needed for the building. Genius is not always to be fettered by the common standard. But as for us, we know that we must apply the square to every angle of our work ere we pronounce it good.

 

Let us now name this working tool with a new name. Suppose we call it Duty. As we day by day shape the rough ashlar of our rude and natural selves into the perfect ashlar of virtuous character, let the Square of Duty be our unerring standard. Swerve not from those principles of honor and morality, of truth and right, which are expressed by this symbol. Stand erect, and let your feet form its angle. In your walk of life pursue no crooked and devious way, but turn only on the angle of the square. Let Duty be with you always, craftsmen. Do that thing which is right; because you would, if that be possible; but even if you would not, do it because you should. Only thus may your work be approved by the Great Overseer.

 

But the Square of Duty is an inflexible and arbitrary thing. I would fain leave with you some more inspiring thought, which may make duty easier, though not less imperative. Worthy Master, in your work at the trestle board you often make use of the Compasses. Lend me, I beg of you, those useful and valuable instruments.

 

Ah, here we find no fixed and arbitrary angle, but one which may be varied from the closest contact to the widest circle of action. Let us give to the compasses, also, a new name. We shall call them Love. And a great name it is; perhaps that Most Great Name which gives to its possessor power even over things of darkness and evil. Duty often drives unwilling feet, which with Love go gladly. Duty alone could not bring us Goodness, or Devotion, or Charity, or Heroism. Truly, we must place Love above Duty, for Duty speaks to us from the earth, but Love comes down from God. Let Love guide you in your dealings with your fellow men, and Duty will be easy.

 

See, brethren, we have by thus placing the compasses on the square formed the six pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, with which you are familiar in ecclesiastical architecture. You already know some of its meanings; possibly now you have learned another. Let us lay these tools, so placed, here upon the open Book of the Law, that like a Blazing Star the Square of Duty and the Compasses of Love may be as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

 

----o----

 

A MASON'S PRAYER

 

Oh ! Unseen Power that rules and controls the destinies of the children of earth: teach me the symphony of life so that my nature may be in tune with thine. Reveal to me the joy of being loving, self-sacrificing and charitable. Teach me to know and play life's game with courage, fortitude and confidence. Endow me with wisdom to guard my tongue and temper, and learn with patience the art of ruling my own life for its highest good, with due regard for the privacy, rights, and limitations of other lives. Help me to strive for the highest legitimate reward of merit, ambition, and opportunity in my activities, ever ready to extend a kindly helping hand to those who need encouragement and succor in the struggle. Enable me to give a smile instead of a frown, a cheerful kindly word instead of harshness and bitterness. Make me sympathetic in sorrow, realizing that there are hidden woes in every life no matter how exalted or lowly. If in life's battle I am wounded or tottering, pour into my wounds the balm of hope, and imbue me with courage undaunted to arise and continue the strife. Keep me humble in every relation of life, not unduly egotistical, nor liable to the serious sin of self-depreciation. In success keep me meek. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted by the thought that if there were no shadow, there would be no sunshine, and that everything in life must have its antithesis. Grant that I may be a true, loyal friend, a genial companion with the broad, honest charity born of an intimate knowledge of my own shortcomings. If I win, crown me with the laurels fitting to be worn by a victor, and if I fall, may it be with my face to the foe, fighting manfully, "and falling fling to the host behind,--play up, play up, and play the game." --William J. Robinson.

 

----o----

 

THE MOTIVE OF MASONRY

 

The cardinal doctrine, the underlying motive of Masonry, is service. There is not a degree in the elaboration of its teachings which lacks the inspiration of this thought--service to our fellow men, regardless of race, creed or color; service to our country; service to God. In the Nineteenth Degree of the Scottish Rite the teaching is emphasized that "Unconsciously we obey the dead; and the living, when we are dead, will obey us." Life is worth living in all its aspects if it be made worthy by doing. The waves of human influence go on and on in every widening circles until they beat upon the shores of time itself with resistless energy. The impulses of Masonry--ah, who can foresee their outcome? You, and I, my brother, have it within our power to contribute to those things which shall make others obey us long after we are dead and forgotten. Shall it be for weal or for woe? It must be for weal if we walk uprightly in the sight of God and of men, discharging our obligations with Masonic fidelity.

--J. H. Marrow, Cal.

 

----o----

 

FOUNDERS OR FINDERS ?

 

People talk sometimes of the "founders" of religion. But did ever a man in all the history of the world found a religion? Did Franklin found electricity ? Did Newton found gravitation ? Both forces existed long before these men were born. They were the finders, and not the founders. It is so with religion. Neither Moses, nor Buddha, nor Zoroaster, nor Jesus, ever founded a religion. Religion was founded in the primitive constitution of things, and these men were the finders of it instead of being its founders. They are gone and the traditions have followed them. The original order of things remains. Let us study religion at its primal sources. Let us seek as they sought, and we shall find as they found. They will help us to find. But not one of them ever claimed to be a founder of religion. They all depended on antecedents.

--E. L. Rexford.

 

----o----

 

MAN AND WOMAN

 

The man be more of woman, she of man;

He gain in sweetness and in moral height,

Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;

She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,

Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;

Till at the last she set herself to man

Like perfect music unto noble words.

--Lord Tennyson.

 

MASONRY: ITS PHILOSOPHY AND INFLUENCE IN WARTIME

 

BY BRO. JOHN LEWIN McLEISH, OHIO

 

Years ago one or our greatest Masonic writers declared: "Masonry is the great Peace Society of the World. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes, and to bind Republics, Kingdoms and Empires together in one great band of peace and amity."

 

The general laity little appreciate the boundless influence for good exerted in troublous wartimes by the Order whose keynote is silence and unostentation, whose basic foundation is cemented by the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, of liberty, fraternity and equality. The Masonic Order is a vast army of men bound together by the mystic tie of brotherhood universal.

 

In the United States it numbers over two million members, and has fifty-one sovereign Grand Lodges. Of these, the smallest jurisdiction is the District of Columbia comprising sixty square miles and embracing thirty lodges with more than ten thousand members.

 

The Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 lodges with a total membership of 234,333. Eight Grand Lodges of Canada dominate 94,359. In Germany are eight Masonic sovereign jurisdictions, in South America six, in Australia six, in India five, in the West Indies three, in Mexico, Liberia, Egypt, Central America, Hungary and Servia, one each. In France and Italy Freemasonry is exceptionally powerful, as also in Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.

 

To the lot of the Freemasons of the United States it has fallen to send first aid to their distressed brethren abroad. Right nobly they have responded to the call. Through the United States Masonic War Relief Association, with headquarters at Cincinnati, Ohio, a most substantial sum has been raised and liberal disbursements made respectively to the Grand Priory, Knights Templar of England and Wales, the Grand Lodge of Masons of Ireland, Masonic Relief Fund of Scotland, Grand Lodge of Masons in Germany, Supreme Council of Scottish Rite in Luxembourg, Grand Lodge of Masons in Switzerland, Grand Lodge and Supreme Council in Belgium, and the London Branch of the Masonic War Relief Association of the Unitcd States.

 

It is hoped and planned to expend in like manner $100,000, by the end of the current year. At this moment measures are under way to make ample provision for veteran distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans, whose need will be especially pressing in the aftermath of war.

 

At no time in the world's history has the Universal Brotherhood failed to answer the crying need of humanity; never has it shirked the call of country when the cause was just, nor failed to raise its mighty voice in protest at a time when to draw the sword against a weaker enemy, could only mean the staining of a nation's flag with lasting dishonor.

 

American Masonic History is especially interesting. How many people today know that the Boston Tea Party had its inchoation in a Masonic lodge room, that the participants in the history making raid upon British ships in Boston harbor were all Masons? Of all the minute men answering the summons of Paul Revere, many were brothers of his Masonic lodge. General Warren who fought and fell at Bunker Hill, was a Worshipful Master. Our Declaration of Independence was the handiwork of two great Masons, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine. Of the fifty six signing it, two-thirds, it is said, were Masons, among them Charles Thomson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Captain William Whipple and the entire Virginia delegation. Peyton Randolph, the President and most of the First Continental Congress, were Freemasons.

 

Every army of civilization has its Masonic lodges. Among members of the American military lodges were Washington, Light Horse Harry Lee, Gens. Warren, Israel Putnam, Mad Anthony Wayne, Baron de Kalb, Lafayette, Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, David Crockett, Worth, Quitman, McClellan, Robert Anderson, Garfield, McKinley, Albert Pike, Nelson A. Miles, and John Corson Smith.

 

Has it ever occurred to you to reflect exactly what in Masonry has attracted and sustained the unflagging, lifelong interest, devotion and enthusiasm of Americans like Washington, John Paul Jones, Franklin, Monroe, Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Thomas Marshall, Bryan, and a legion more of our most reprentative men of affairs?

 

The whole Philosophy of Masonry is uplifting and inspiring. Nowhere else can be found a more bitter arraignment of the horrors and futility of war, than in the Masonic teachings. The question has been asked frequently of late: "What is the attitude of Freemasonry towards the World Powers at present engaged in a titanic struggle to prove the right of might ?"

 

I think it may best be answered by the beautiful paragraphs scattered through that voluminous masterpiece by Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogmas of the Scottish Rite " They apply as forcibly today as when first offered to his Masonic brethren a generation ago. Read with me:

 

"Wars like thunderstorms are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of fire."

 

"When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is a baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to chasten."

 

"In the mutual appeal of Nations to God, there is the acknowledgement of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of duty, the stirring sense of honor the measureless sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of Fraternity. . . The nation that grasps at the commerce of the world, cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the noblest impulses and sympathies whlch ought to actuate States."

 

"It will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its commercial interests by war; while to subserve

 

 

 

tween brethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost daily occurance. It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first those interests it will wage unjust war on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has dared exile its kings, and elect its own ruler."   "A war for a great principle ennobles a nation."

 

"A war for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext is despicable, and more than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness, men and nations can descend."

 

"Who can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single War?"

 

"Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp, and circumstance, all its glitter and glory."

 

"War comes with its bloody hands into our very dwellings. It takes from ten thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender ties of family and kindred. It drags them away to die untended, of fever, of exposure, in infectious climes, or to be hacked, torn and mangled in the fierce fight: to fall on the glory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away in awful agony to noisome and horrid hospitals."

 

"The groans of the battlefield are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands of desolated hearths."

 

"There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table."

 

"Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, by the infection which he has caught of camp vices."

 

 "The country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down from the noble interchanange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge and base pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength in battle."

 

"Treasures are expended that would suffice to build ten thousand churches, hospitals and universities or rib and tie together a continent with rails of iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be calamity enough: but it is put to worse use, for it is expended in cutting into the veins and arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood."

 

'Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war licences outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations."

 

"There has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in murdering each other somewhere. Always the armies have llved by the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resourees, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations."

 

Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing debt mortgages all estates and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest repudiation."

 

"At times the baleful fires of war light up half a continent at once. At times, the storm revovling, howls over small areas only. At times, its lights are seen like the old beacon fires on the hills, belting the whole globe."

 

No sea but hears the roar of cannon, no river but runs red with blood: no plaln but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons: no field but is fertilized by the blood of the dead: and everyvhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier."

 

No city is not tortured by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horid blasphemy of thanking a God of love, for victories and carnage."

 

"Te Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers."

 

"Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruction, by  which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, torn and mangled."

 

"MASONRY ALONE preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by hls own faith, the right of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and subjugation."

 

In every war has been in evidence the potency of Freemasonry as an ameliorating influence in the horrors all abounding. Masonry was especially dominant during the American Civil War and self-sacrifices between bethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost daily occurance. It was a Grand Lodge in SOuth Carolina which first voiced the policy its brethren should pursue towards brother Masons of the North, as early as 1862, when the strife was young. A Grand Lodge of Maine approved the encyclical almost word for word, and the beneficent Masonic principles were put into actual practice by Grand Lodges of the North and South almost simultaneously. Among other things Masons were ordered:

 

"Be faithful towards all and singular the brethren whether these be met in lodges dedicate, or only known to you by divers means in darkness or light, in health or sickness, in wealth or want, in peril or safety, in prison, escape or freedom, in charity or evil-mindedness, armed or unarmed, friend or seeming foe and as to these, most certainly as towards brethren, when Masonically met on, by or with all due and regular intercommunication and intelligence. . . Let us not hear among us that there is war, that strife and dissension prevail, as Masons it concerns us not."

 

How different this fraternal stand of the Grand Lodge of a state at war, in 1862, and that this year manifested by the Grand Lodge of Germany which has issued an open announcement to the world from its headquarters in Berlin, suspending all fraternal relations with the Masons of France, Italy, and England during the continuance of this war.

 

Despite all this, the international Masonic press is repeatedly filled with circumstantial and convincing proof-positive that German Freemasons have not at all forgotten their Masonic obligations, and many heroic deeds are narrated as performed by soldier Masons of the several belligerents to help a worthy brother in the ranks of the enemy.

 

At no time in history has Freemasonry played a treasonable part against the country which gave it shelter. In the eighteenth century the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Wharton, a partisan of the Stuart Pretenders, endeavored to enlist the Masonic machinery of England against the established Government. In spite of his magnetic personality, and unusual popularity, the Grand Master could not prevail upon his Masonic brethren to have a hand in his nefarious plot. In disgrace, he surrendered his high office and fled to unhappy exile on the continent.

 

As a reward for their unswerving loyalty in times of cunning conspiracy, and revolution, the Freemasons of England today are the only Secret Society in Great Britain permitted by especial grant and act of Parliament.

 

It may be that the human race is not yet ready for the practical application of the Gentle Philosophy of Freemasonry.

 

One man in the present century tried to govern his administrative functions as President of a Republic on Masonic Ideals. He fell a martyr to the passions of blind bigotry and darkness. I refer to Francisco Madero, Jr., for a brief period President of Mexico. This college-bred man of fine old Mexican ancestry is an ever present obstacle to the recognition by our country of any chieftain in any way identified with the politico-religious sect responsible for his assassination. Convincing proof may be found in "An Open Letter to American Masons" in the New Age Magazine for August, 1915, by a high Mexican Masonic Brother. This same journal of the Scottish Rite, in its issue of March, 1913, had a touching tribute to Madero by Brother George Fleming Moore, 33d. In it he says:

 

"The murder of Francisco Madero, late President of the Republic of Mexico, seems to me the foulest and blackest crime of the age. Not very long ago, I received a letter from him which clearly proved his sincere desire to guide his life and actions, public and private, by those principles of equity and justice which make for the happiness and prosperity of the individual and the race.

 

"He believed in the doctrine of sacrifice: that sacrifices for the sake of the truth, or for his fellowmen would bring its reward either in this or in some other life.

 

"He was an active member of the Supreme Council A. & A. Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Mexico, and was a MASON. On one occasion while addressing his lodge, he said: 'Brethren, this ritual of ours is very beautiful, and we teach high ideals, but what are we, you and I, doing to carry out these ideals and teachings into expression in our own lives, and in the affairs of our country ?'

 

"He was called weak and inefficient because he would not shoot men merely because they crossed his pathway to power.

 

"He was laughed at as an Idealist because he hoped to lead his country to a place of honor and power without ruining it by military despotism.

 

"He has fallen a victim to his ideals of truth and justice and the evil wiles of false friends, for no man ever reproached him with vices until after he became a prisoner and in the power of the men he had trusted.

 

"If his death shall teach men that nations must not let such crimes go unrebuked, and shall render them impossible in the future, whether through intervention or by other modes, then Francisco Madero's murder will bear good fruit, and we verily believe, he would have sacrificed his life to secure that great result."

 

Can we not hope that before the present Carnival of Blood is carried to more sickening extremes, the Sovereign Masters of the World's Grand Lodges will rally the Sons of Light and Peace to making a practical protest against the insensate madmen glutted with power and relying upon the obsolete doctrine of Divine Right, to send their subservient subj ects to death ? Stranger things have happened.

 

In any event, when the last shot has been fired in the present world war, when the representatives of the exhausted powers assemble to determine the readjustment of territories, the payment of indemnities, and the signing of Treaties, . . the Power behind the Pen which drafts documents of so vital an interest to posterity, will unquestionably be that Masonry which has fought the good fight through the ages, that Masonry which will insist that War must end forever, so that there may be cemented more firmly hereafter, Republics, Kingdoms and Empires, . . if these two latter still exist, . . in one great band of Peace and Amity.

 

----o----

 

KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON

 

"If the day looks kinder gloomy

And your chances kinder slim,

If the situation's puzzlin'

And the prospect's awful grim,

And perplexities keep pressin'

Till all hope is nearly gone,

Just bristle up and grit your teeth,

And keep on keepin' on."

--Frank L. Stanton.

 

QUESTIONS ON “THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY”

 

BY THE CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL

 

43. When did the Roman Catholic Church view Freemasonry with deep suspicion? Why did it settle into deep seated hatred ? 18-1.

 

44. When, where and why did a Lodge of Freemasons defy a government edict and what was the result ? 18-1.

 

45. What was the result of the promulgation of a government edict for the abolishment of Masonry in Holland in 1735 and by whom was it instigated ? 18-1.

 

46. Why did Pope Clement XII denounce Freemasonry ? What were the penalties inflicted upon those who visited a Lodge ? 19-1.

 

47. Give an account of the life and sufferings of John Coustos, a Freemason, who suffered from the Inquisition at Lisbon, Portugal. Page 20-21-22-23.

 

48. What grounds did the Pope have when he wrote the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 condemning Masonry? Page 24.

 

49. What was the effect of the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 issued by Pope Leo XIII ? 24-1.

 

50. By what Popes of the R. C. Church were constitutions, edicts, epistles, allocutions and encyclicals issued against the Freemasons ? Page 23.

 

51. Why are the fierce denunciations of Pius IX of peculiar interest to Masons? 23-1.

 

52. Why was Pope Pius IX expelled from Masonry, and who signed the proclamation of his expulsion? 23-1.

 

53. Quote the Bishop of Malta, in relation to a Malta Lodge ? 24-1.

 

54. What does a Catholic do when he becomes a Mason and what does a Mason do when he becomes a Catholic ? Page 26.

 

55. What was the nature of the articles against Freemasonry published in 1875, 1881, 1893 in "The Catholic World ?" 25-3.

 

56. What has resulted from these bitter and sweeping attacks upon Freemasonry? 26-1. 27-1.

 

57. By whom was the Roman Catholic Church drawn into an absurd entanglement and what is said of him? 28-1, 2.

 

58, What reasons were given for the Pope's attitude toward Freemasonry, The Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Sons of Temperance ? 39-1.

 

59. What was the purpose of the Anti-Masonic Congress assembled at Trent in September, 1896, and of whom was it composed ? 34-2.

 

60. What was the nature of the decision of the Holy See in January, 1895, by whom announced in Cincinnati, and who were included in it ? 28-2.

 

61. What is the status of Freemasonry in Mexico at the present time? 110-2.

 

62. How has Masonry been affected by the tempests of war, the storms of persecution or the denunciations of fanaticism ? Page 112.

 

63. At the present time is there any constant opposition to Freemasonry in the civilized world? 48-3.

 

What unfavorable critic is worth noting? What favorable critic? 49 51.

 

64. What is said of the termination of our pilgrimage on this earth ? 92-2.

 

65. What does the author consider to be the fundamental principles of Freemasonry? 76-1.

 

66. What is said of the burial of a Freemason? 88-9

 

67. Where is Freemasonry now established? 71-3.

 

68. What has Freemasonry done for Humanity? 72.

 

69. How did Frederick the Great of Prussia help Free Masonry? Page 68.

 

70. Who nullified the temporal power of the papacy in Italy and established religious and constitutional liberty ? 23-1.

 

71. What did the Right Reverend Henry C. Potter (bishop of the Episcopal Church of New York) say of Freemasonry ? 49-2.

 

72. The most sacred of all freedoms being threatened in this land who should be its most powerful defender ? 50.

 

73. How should fellowship in the Order of Masonry be regarded ? 50-1.

 

74. As now constituted of what does Freemasonry consist ? 60-1. How conferred ? 60-1. What is their foundation ? 60-1.

 

75. What is the name of the first Lodge granted a charter and what distinguished American was a member ? 61-1.

 

76. In what year did the Masons of this country choose their first Grand Master? Page 62.

 

77. Why were Masonic Lodges unknown in Austria, Russia and Poland in 1896? 34-2.

 

78. What is said of American Templarism ? 65-1.

 

79. What is the first published written record of the investiture of Knight Templar? Page 66.

 

80. Is there a literature that will carry the individual Mason to the highest pinnacles of Masonic learning ? To whom should we go for proper direction? 113-1.

 

81. What are the real Landmarks of Masonry as specified by Dr. Mackey? 97-1. What is said of any attempt to alter or remove the Landmarks by which we prove a Brother Mason ? 96-2.

 

82. How is a lodge described ? Page 87.

 

83. Where are Lodges of Freemasons (Grand and subordinate) now established ? 109-1

 

84. What kind of Masonic Lodges are maintained in Mexico and under what opposition? 110-2.

 

EDITORIAL

 

ST JOHN’S DAY

 

AN old Latin document of our Order, said to be deposited with a Lodge at Namur, and purporting to be a proclamation of the Masons of Europe, assembled at Cologne in 1535, declares that Masons are called "Brethren dedicated to St. John," first among the martyr stars of the morning. It tells us, further, that prior to 1440, the Fraternity was called the Joannite Brethren, but that about that time it began to be known by the name of Freemasons. No doubt it is largely fiction, but it may serve as a text for an inquiry as to the relation of the two Saints John, and especially of St. John the Baptist, to our Order.

 

There is no proof that either of these holy men were ever patrons of our Fraternity, but it is a fact that Masonry has patronized them for ages. The reason for this may be obscure so far as history is concerned, but it is obvious enough if we have a care for spiritual suggestion and the fitness of things. One was a prophet bearing witness to the Light, the other an evangelist of Love; and since the object of Masonry is the attainment of Light, and its first principle is Brotherly Love, it is not to be wondered at that these two great figures became its patron Saints - one the leader of those who are seeking the Light, the other the teacher of those who have found it. For the same reason they are honored on the festal days of the old, beautiful Light-religion of humanity - St. John the Baptist amid the splendor of summer, St. John the Divine at the winter solstice when the mighty orb of Light is most remote from us.

 

St. John the Baptist was a prophet, "a son of the Voice of God," in the old Hebrew phrase; "yea, and more than a prophet," said the Teacher whose advent he foretold. "There hath not arisen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist." No man ever won higher eulogy; no one ever more richly deserved it. What is prophecy ? It is two things - forth-telling and fore-telling. The prophets have been for the most part forth-tellers, the great burden of their messages being the exposition and application of moral truths. Yet ever and again they have seen the clouds clear from the sky of the future, and have caught glimpses of a light upon the far away hills of Time. They have seen, as men see in dreams, places, cities, august figures, vast upheavals impending, and felt the incommunicable thrill of advancing destinies. It is therefore that they speak in words cryptic and vague, foreshadowing in dim and awful form the fashion of things to be.

 

Such was St. John the Baptist; a rebuker of kings, a scorner of sham, a denouncer of iniquity, whose speech was swift, startling, eruptive, turgid, tearing away every thin veil of pretense and bringing men face to face with eternal realities. Austere, aloof, uncompromising, he saw clearly, felt deeply, spoke plainly; and if he lacked those great fertilizing ideas out which new religions grow, he had a vast capacity for moral indignation. Mere formalism evoked his withering satire. Profession without performance provoked his blistering scorn. Hypocrisy he flayed with whips of fire. Terrible in speech, he was yet tender of heart, and when the storm of his eloquence has passed by the qualities that stand out in his life are his exalted purity of soul, his passion for righteousness, his courage, his sincerity, his self-effacing humility, his grand magnanimity - his rugged nobility of character and his heroism in death.

 

Truly, Masonry makes profession of high ideals when it invokes John the Baptist as its patron Saint! Were he to appear at one of our festivals on his day, what would be his message to the men of today who dedicate their Lodges in his honor? Would his old indignation flash out upon us, rebuking us for our snug contentment, our smug self-satisfaction, our worship of the past, and our ritualism without reality? Would he not say to us today, as he did to the men of old, that we must repent in our hearts and show by our deeds the sincerity of our professions and the sanctity of our vows made at the altar of righteousness? These are things to think about on St. John's Day, and if we are worthy to meet in his name they will make us pause and ponder, the while we search our hearts.

 

Has Masonry, so eager to honor a great Prophet, no prophetic element in it today? Has it no vision, no dream, no forward-looking program, no creative purpose for the times to be? Has its altar light faded into the poor flicker of a painted fire? Or will it become an inspired teacher of righteousness as the sovereign reality of the universe, the solitary hope of humanity and the secure foundation of personal and social life! Will it put a new dignity into its degrees, a new fire into its philosophy, and tell the young men who throng its temple gates that they must prove their faith by their deeds, and keep their vows in the home, in the marts of trade, in the state, and thus foretell the coming of a nobler social order, a juster state, and a more humane civilization ! Size does not signify. Numbers do not count. But righteous manhood is everything!

 

* * *

 

SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS

 

Several of our readers have asked us to solve the problem of the Shakespeare Sonnets, by which they seem to mean the question as to who the Dark Lady was with whom the poet became involved in intrigue. Was it Mary Fitton, or some other light lady of the Court of Queen Elizabeth ? Frankly, we neither know nor do we care, because that is not the real problem of the Sonnets. Whether the story of the Dark Lady be fact or fiction, after the manner of the times, does not matter; the problem of the Sonnets is far deeper - the protest of man against the transitoriness of love. Shakespeare loved a noble lad, and the more deeply he loved, as all of us know, the more he was afflicted by the frailty of life, its uncertainty, its change and decay. First he took refuge in the vague hope of racial immortality, at the same time begging his friend to marry and leave a copy of himself in the world. But, alas! the youth must die, and even if he leaves a child, the child is not he, and for love no substitute will do. Then he vows to use his art as a poet to leave an ideal image of his friend in the world, that so long as men think, and read, and love beauty they may know the youth - as we know Arthur Hallum in the Tennyson poem. This theme runs like an undertone through more than a hundred sonnets, until, at last, the poet realizes that such an image is only an idea, not the lad himself; his memory is not he. Time seems to be victor after all, leaving us to seek in old familiar places for "the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still."

 

'Tis a squalid story told us in the third section of the Sonnets, how, in an hour in temptation, the poet was caught by the wiles of a wicked woman and led astray, and hating himself for it. She was older than the poet, a musician, of dark hair and eyes, and known to be an adulteress. Yet he is fascinated by her, all the while knowing, with one side of his nature, that he was being besmirched. How could he be base enough to be enslaved by one so worthless? Yet it is just here, in the intensity of his bewilderment and defilement, that the possibility of spiritual immortality is made known. Within himself he finds an immortal nature at issue with his sin, denouncing it, refusing to consent to it. This he recognizes as his true, eternal Self, and upon that fact he builds his hope that by conquering his lower nature the great victory both of life and death will be won. Hence those forever wonderful lines in the one hundred and forty-sixth Sonnet, which is one of the greatest utterances of all time.

 

* * *

 

MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE

 

We are happy to announce a series of five lectures, beginning with our next issue, on Masonic Jurisprudence, by Brother Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard School of Law, whose studies in the Philosophy of Masonry were so much enjoyed last year. The titles of the lectures are as follows: - The Data of Masonic Jurisprudence, The Landmarks, Masonic Law - Usage, Masonic Law - Decisions, and Masonic Legislation. These lectures, first delivered to the Acacia Fraternity of the University of Nebraska, and again in the winter course under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1916, are a distinct contribution to Masonic literature. After they have appeared in The Builder they are to be gathered into a little book by Brother F. E. Chipman, of the Boston Book Company, and we are sure that many of our Members will want to own the book.

 

Following these lectures, Brother W. E. Atchison, of Colorado, whose article on "Making Masons at Sight" created no little interest, will give a digest of the various Masonic Codes of the country, arranged topically - a huge undertaking, to be sure, but a work much needed and very important. Taken together, these two series ought to clarify the field of Masonic Jurisprudence, both as to its principles and practice, and initiate our Members into the mysteries of Masonic legislation. Nor is that all. Such a course of study should have a very marked influence upon the future legislation of the Order, for that it will bring to each Jurisdiction the thought and experience of the Craft at large.

 

* * *

 

NOTES

 

Very wisely, as we think, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England has decided, at a recent meeting, not to press the resolution submitted to it demanding more drastic measures against Brethren of German birth. It is deemed best to let the matter rest as it is, inserting in the original resolution a proviso which will keep it in force after the treaty of peace has been signed until such time as the Grand Lodge shall see fit to modify its action. This is indeed good news, and we sincerely trust that Grand Lodge will concur in the decision of the Board. Heaven grant that it may be so.

 

* * *

 

If any of our Members are unfamiliar with the work of the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs, we are sure they will desire to come in touch with its work. It is conducted by Dr. Edward Quartier-LaTente, Beaux-Arts, 26, Neuchatel, Switzerland, and its publications are well worth while both for their matter and spirit. We wish also to call attention again to the Miscellanea Latomorum, a little monthly journal of Masonic Notes and Queries, intended to facilitate intercommunication between Masonic students, edited by Brother F. W. Levander, Middlesex, 30 North Villas, Camden Square, London, N.W. England - price Five Shillings. Both of these publications are worthy of encouragement by the Craft.

 

* * *

 

We are sure that Brethren will not deem it any disrespect to the dead, much less an offense to the living, if The Builder does not make room for obituary notices and appreciations sent to us. Such notices belong of right to the journals of the jurisdictions in which the Brethren of whom they tell lived and toiled. The Society thinks it wisest to confine its labors strictly to the task set before it, seeking to deepen interest in the deeper aspects of Masonry, and using all the power at its command to that one end.

 

THE LIBRARY

 

THE SPIRIT OF MAN

 

SINCE the time long gone when we first read the old Greek Anthology, we have had a fondness for such selections, and here is one so beautiful that it makes one want to go off and cry: "The Spirit of Man," selected by Robert Bridges. At any time this would be an anthology of distinction, but it is doubly so now, because it is the work of the Poet Laureate of England, and because it portrays the war of the soul of man against dust - the intrepid and unconquerable faith of humanity facing the brute forces of the world. Amid the smoke and din of world war, it is eloquent of that higher and deeper war which never ends, as it is prophetic of the greatest of all victories.

 

The purpose of the work, as well as its unique arrangement, attract attention, the intent being to show that spirituality is the basis and foundation of human life, rather than its apex or final achievement. The method is to bring forward a cloud of witnesses, chiefly poets and philosophers, beginning with the meditations of Spinoza on the futility of life and closing with a triumphant chorus of faith; in short, to show that "man is a spiritual being, and the proper work of his mind is to interpret the world according to his higher nature, and to conquer the material aspects of the world so as to bring them into subjection to the spirit," This is indeed the Great Work which each man must achieve for himself, and by as much as he wins this victory of deity over dirt, of sense over sensuality, of mind over body, by so much does he attain the only success worth attaining.

 

How real this war is, how dark the shadows that becloud us, how menacing the array of foes that come up against the soul, is shown in the First Book by the testimony of poets expressing weariness with life, dissatisfaction, defeat of faith, and the old world sadness. Over against this mood, in the Second Book, we see the spirit of youth measuring itself against the facts of life, trying its wings made in fairyland, and singing of love and beauty, of the wonder of Nature and the glory of the Ideal. It is lyrical with joy, defiant alike of life and death, confident, audacious, unafraid, for that it has not yet been subdued, if not dismayed, by the heat and peril and tragedy of the battle. Oddly enough, Shelley is quoted more often than any other writer, and as one reads his glowing lines again they seem like some remembered speech from another and higher world, as if he were a Skylark caught and caged for a brief time in this House of Mortality.

 

Turning to the Third Book we hear the voice of the Soul after its rough encounter with reality; its sense of the terror of life - the themes being mortality, melancholy, sorrow, and sin. It is the still, sad music of humanity in battle with Fate, which Sophocles heard in a time far gone, piercing, poignant, unutterably pathetic. Happily, in the latter half of the book the mind of man lays hold of great ideas of God and truth and justice, and lifts itself out of the low valley of fear toward the heights of vision and power. Frail he is and fleeting - here today and tomorrow gone - but by making a noble life man passes out of the realm of things that fade, free from the tyranny of Time and the terror of the Tomb. To unfold a beautiful soul, to build a pure character, is to become a fellow to immortal spirits, a citizen of that City where the sting of mortality cannot hurt, and where a thousand years are as a day. Hence the grand chant of victory in the Fourth Book, with its rosary of hope, its radiance of joy, its resounding shout of the Happy Warrior who, by loyalty to the highest truth, has vanquished fear and fate and the dark shadow of death.

 

Read it, Brother; it will help you to live bravely in this beautiful world, while looking beyond it to the reality of things that abide; keeping your heart responsive to the Unseen, and bringing the light of the highest truth to the service of the humblest duty. It will deepen the old divine discontent, making more vivid those ideals that torment by their loveliness; it will trouble you with hauntings of an eternal tomorrow, and make you redouble your effort for a larger, freer, richer life.

 

* * *

 

THE CATHEDRAL SINGER

 

"Slowly the Cathedral rises, in what unknown years to stand finished! Crowning a city of new people, let it be hoped, of better laws. Finished and standing on its rock for the order of the streets, for order in the land, and order throughout the world, for order in the secret places of the soul. Majestical rebuker of the waste of lives, rebuker of a country which invites all lives into it and wastes lives most ruthlessly - lives which it stands there to shelter and to foster and to save."

 

After this manner James Lane Allen meditates on the larger meaning of the cathedral of St. John the Divine, now slowly rising to crown Cathedral Heights, New York City, and about it he has woven his story, which is also a national parable, entitled, "The Cathedral Singer." It is a story of toil and trial and tragedy and tears - heart-breaking in its ending - the while it wonders whether in the rush and scramble of American life we have room for a cathedral. It is a question worth pondering, most of all by Masons, and one likely to be pondered long after we close the book and brush the tears away. Does the life of our "gay and giddypaced time" tend to make men of cathedral-like soul? Can that great pile now rising in New York be humanized and become a real part of our life? If so, such tragedies as the one here told will not happen, and the help which mother and son found in their sorrow will be more common than it is. It is a Story to break the heart - and mend it.

 

* * *

 

THE POWER OF MASONRY

 

The power of Masonry is like sunlight, quiet, unobtrusive, unhasting and unresting. It does its work without bells or blare of trumpets. Too often, in our impatience for results, we forget the silent force of a great fellowship by which men are brought together at an altar of light and friendship, and what such an altar means, in ways too many and hidden to trace, in the life of a community. From a tiny book called "Freemasonry, its History, Principles, and Obj ects," we read these words:

 

"What a power for good in the whole community a well-ordered Lodge can become. It is a body of influential and thoughtful men held together by principles appealing to the highest development of the moral sense. Most other associations have to appeal to what is novel and perhaps untried. But it is one of the signs of high genius to make the best use of old materials. Beethoven invented no new instrument, Handel added no new stop to the organ, Milton and Shakespeare added no new letter to the alphabet, nor did the great painters enrich the palette with any new color. And our principles need no bringing up to date, nor do we propound any novelty. Our application of them may change to suit the varying need, but the principles are founded on the same rocks as the throne of God himself, and they have for ages past pointed to an unvarying goal, the diffusion of light and happiness; and so long as we move toward that goal with one step, seeing with clear eye, speaking with one voice, we shall never fail to attract to our ranks the best and noblest of our fellows."

 

* * *

 

OPPORTUNITY

 

Said Mr. Dooley: - "Opporchunity knocks at every man's dure wanst. On some men's dure it hammers till it breaks the dure down, an' thin it goes in an' wakes him up if he's asleep, an' afterwards it wurrks f'r him as a night watchman. On other men's dures it knocks an' runs away; and on the dures of some men it knocks an' whin they come out it hits thim over the head with an ax. But every man has an opporchunity."

 

* * *

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

The Mason and the Child, by J. G. Gibson. London Freemason.

 

Three Times Three, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.

 

The Origin of Templary, Freemason, Toronto.

 

First Degree Lecture, by D. S. Wagstaff. Trestle Board.

 

Masonry in Greece. International Bureau for Masonic Affairs

 

York and Scottish Rite. Virginia Masonic Journal.

 

Lief Ericson, The Norseman, by C. F. Willard. The New Age.

 

* * *

 

PAMPHLETS OF VALUE

 

What is Freemasonry? by G. W. Speth.

Some Notes on The Knights Templar, by E.C.B. Merriman.

Origin and Development of Masonry, by J. M. Wise.

The Origin of Freemasonry, by W. W. Root.

Luther - His Relation of John Hus, by L. M. Kuhns.

Culture and the State, by Thomas H. MacBride.

Where Are Our Nation's Credentials, by A. E. Bear.

 

* * *

 

BOOKS RECEIVED

 

American Literature Since 1870, by F.L. Pattee. Century Co. $2.00.

 

History of the Eastern Star, by W. D. Engle, Indianapolis, Ind. $2.00.

 

The Spirit of Man, by Robert Bridges. Longman, Green Co. $1.50.

 

Lives Worth Living, by E. C. Peabody. University Chicago Press. $1.00.

 

The Books of the Apocrypha, by W. O. E. Oesterley. Revell Co. $3.00.

 

Concise Cyclopedia of Masonry, by E. L. Hawkins. A. Lewis, London. $1.25.

 

The Cathedral Singer, by J. L. Allen. Century Co. $1.00.

 

Masonic Symbolism, by A. H. Ward. Theosophical Publishing Co. $1.00.

 

----o----

 

GOD'S MARINER

 

The winds that o'er my ocean run,

Reach through all heavens beyond the sun;

Through life and death, through fate, through time,

Grand breaths of God, they sweep sublime.

 

O, thou God's mariner, heart of mine,

Spread canvas to the airs divine !

Spread sail! and let thy Fortune be

Forgotten in thy Destiny.

 

For Destiny pursues us well,

By sea, by land, through heaven or hell;

It suffers death alone to die,

Bids life all change and chance defy.

 

Life loveth life and good: then trust

What most the spirit would, it must;

Deep wishes, in the heart that be,

Are blossoms of necessity.

 

A thread of Law runs through thy prayer,

Stronger than iron cables are;

And Love and Longing toward her goal

Are pilots sweet to guide the soul.

 

So Life must live, and Soul must sail,

And Unseen over Seen prevail,

And all God's argosies come to shore,

Let ocean smile, or rage, or roar.

 

- David A. Wasson.

 

----o----

 

ABOU BEN ADHEM

 

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)

Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,

And saw within the moonlight in his room,

Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

An angel writing in a book of gold;

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the presence in his room he said,

"What writest thou?" This vision raised its head

And with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one ?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"

Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,

Write me as one who loves his fellow-men."

The angel wrote and vanished. The next night

It came again, with a great awakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blessed

And, lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

 

- Leigh Hunt.

 

THE QUESTION BOX

 

NO TRACE OF AGE

 

Brother Editor: - Tell met if you can, who wrote the following lines, and whether there are any more that go with them. I have hunted for the author in vain:

 

"Teach me your mood, O patient stars!

Who climb each night the ancient sky,

Leaving on space no shade, no scars,

No trace of age, no fear to die."

 

Those lines mean much to me, being a kind of text for my faith, and I would so much like to know who wrote them. -

 

They were written by Emerson, and may be found among the fragments of a poem begun as early as 1831, probably earlier, and which received additions from time to time tor more than twenty years, but was never completed. In its earlier form, it was entitled, "The Discontented Poet, A Masque," but appears in his works - fragments and all - as "The Poet." (Works of Emerson, Vol. IX, p. 277). They are indeed great lines, reminding one of the Matthew Arnold poem, Self-Dependence, albeit nobler as we think.

 

* * *

 

SIDELIGHTS

 

Of late you have been referring to a book called "Sidelights on Masonry," by Lawrence. Tell us more about it, and what it is worth. - J.D.S.

 

It is one of a series of little books written or edited by Brother John T. Lawrence, Past District Grand Warden, Madras, and is exceedingly interesting and worth while. Indeed, the whole series is valuable - and inexpensive - such as By-ways in Masonry, The Perfect Ashlar, The Keystone, Masonic Jurisprudence and Symbolism; and we recommend them most heartily. They are published by A. Lewis, 13 Paternoster Row, E. C. London, and sell for $1.25 each. They are particularly valuable for a Lodge library because they are accurate, and the essays and discussions are brief and can be read by busy men. The Society will be glad to secure the set, or any volume in it, for any of its members.

 

* * *

 

RIGHT AGAINST RIGHT

 

RIGHT AGAINST RIGHT 

 

A Brother asks if we believe that Jesus was sinless, and if he was how could he be tempted ? Questions of this kind have no place in The Builder, but since he asks simply for our opinion, for what it is worth, we may say, (1) that if Jesus was sinless it was not because he could not sin, but because he would not sin; that he became Master by mastering; and (2) the most trying temptations of life are not as between right and wrong, but between one form of right and another, between the good and the best. Shakespeare knew this when he said: "O virtuous fight! When right with right wars, who shall be most right!" (Troilus and Cressida). Weak men are tempted by their weakness; strong men by their strength. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was an epitome of the struggle of every great soul since time began - how to use rare power, for self or for others, for a lower good or a higher end? Surely the Father of men does not tempt us with evil, but with good, seeking to entice us to follow the truth to freedom. So much by the way.

 

* * *

 

CHURCH INITIATIONS 

 

Brother Newton: - I heard a sermon not so long ago in which the preacher - my pastor - advocated the use of initiation by the church, or at least a kind of blend of Lodge and Church polity. He referred to something of the kind in Philadelphia. Tell us what you think about it. What was it that happened in the city of Brotherly Love, anyway? - H.G.B.

 

Your pastor must have had in mind the usage of the early Christian Church, in which initiation was practiced - probably in imitation of The Mysteries - whereof you may read, if you are interested, in "Monumental Christianity," by Lundy, especially the chapter on The Discipline of the Secret. The affair in Philadelphia was interesting, and it stirred up a bad muss. One minister organized a secret society of men called the Stonemen, after the manner of Masonry, having three degrees, and many men of his own church and others joined it. It grew rapidly, but it was found, at length, that the third degree was really little other than a way of joining his church - or at least, of confessing to its peculiar tenets. Whereupon, as you can imagine, there was an explosion, and the wrath of rival churches was terrible. It was to laugh. Let us hope that your pastor will take due notice and govern himself accordingly - and not after the fashion of the minister in Philadelphia.

 

* * *

 

PRINCE OF WALES

 

The item which has been going the rounds of the Masonic press to the effect that the Prince of Wales was recently made a Mason, is an error. The mistake was due, says the Birmingham Daily Post, to a misapprehension as to what young Royal Prince it was who was admitted to the Craft. It was Prince Arthur of Connaught, the only son of the Grand Master of English Masons - not the Prince of Wales. Albeit the Post adds: "It would not be surprising if in the near future the Prince of Wales joined the Order, following the example of not only his grandfather the late King Edward VII., but George IV., when each was Heir-Apparent. The close connection between Princes of Wales and Freemasonry goes, indeed, much farther back than either, for one of the earliest official publications of the Grand Lodge of England was dedicated in 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II., 'a Master Mason and Master of a Lodge,' and a direct ancestor of the present Sovereign."

 

* * *

 

ESOTERIC HISTORY

 

There was read before our Lodge the other evening a lecture in which reference was made to the ancient land of Lemuria a submerged continent which it is claimed preceded the more or less fabled Atlantis. Also reference was made to one Rama, a descendant of that people with fair skin, blue eyes and light hair which, according to the lecture, migrated from what is now the polar zone, and who inhabited that country in large numbers previous to the ice age, and in time drifted to what is now continental Europe and western Asia; and this Rama was the one who introduced civilization into India, etc. Outside of what was contained in the lecture I have been unable to find any reference to either Lemuria or Rama. If a proper question I would be pleased to know the probable source of the statements in the lecture. - E.P.H.

 

Almost certainly from some such work as "Rama and Moses," by Edouard Schure. (Theosophical Publishing Co., New York); or "The Great Initiates," by the same author, in which his series of interesting and highly imaginative studies are gathered together. They are valuable as helping us to form some conception of the beginnings of things, of the migrations of humanity in the dawn of time; but as authentic history they are hardly to be trusted. With the utmost respect for the lecturer, we regret that he did not give his authority, and also that he did not indicate in how far his narrative could be substantiated and how far not. Esoteric history, like esoteric philosophy, is rather slippery.

 

* * *

 

MASONIC TRADITION 

 

I am doing some research work in Masonic Tradition if it is not asking too much would like to have reference material. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. - E.D.G.

 

Settle, first of all, what you mean by tradition - a word which is used in two senses in Masonry and everywhere else. (1) Reports of events either in part or in whole historically authentic, or altogether consisting of arbitrary fiction intended to convey an allegorical or symbolic meaning - as Dr. Oliver used Masonic tradition; (2) traditions which refer to customs and usages of olden time - and, in Masonry, especially in matters of law and ritual observance. Take up, second, the value of tradition in general, and the methods of testing its worth - a rich field with many difficult questions, as you must know if you are at all familiar with theological discussion, which may be found in books having to do with authority in matters of faith. The principles formulated with regard to tradition will be found to apply to Masonic traditions, whether it be traditions of the first kind or the second, "which has been handed down at all times, in all places, and by all persons," which Vincent of Lerins said must be the test of an authoritative tradition - antiquity, universality, and common support. The importance of this subject is seen from the fact that tradition has a large place in Masonry, and our Brother will need to define his principles carefully, and keep his distinctions clearly in mind, the while he sifts the mass of materials; as for example in the "Traditions of Masonry," by A. T. C. Pierson, on the one side, and traditional Masonic usage' embodied in our landmarks, laws, and ritual on the other.

 

* * *

 

TAKING MASONRY SERIOUSLY

 

Through the exemplary life led by my revered father, who was a member of our Order sixty years, I had always held Masonry in highest esteem. But those feelings were totally eclipsed when I experienced the thrill which must come to a thoughtful man when the mysteries of Masonry are unfolded to him. My feeling of solemnity, and the determination of my set purpose, reached their climax when, standing before the Master of the Lodge, I heard him pronounce me a just and upright Mason. Imagine my feelings when I heard that a Brother had stood sponsor for my reputation ! Can you wonder that my firm resolve was never to drop below that standard, if for nothing else than honor's sake, and to avoid bringing reproach upon the Brother who had vouched for my integrity? Does not that experience explain why we should take Masonry seriously? To me it does, most emphatically. Let me ask this question: Do we, in our attitude toward Masonry, blend a full percentage of esteem with efficiency? Yours most fraternally. Sidney Bartlett, Iowa.

 

* * *

 

DR. MACKEY'S WORKS

 

Could you tell me whether Albert G. Mackey's Masonic History and Encyclopedia are considered reliable? - L. E. D.

 

Reliable, but not infallible. There is no book but will provoke differences of opinion both as regards facts and the interpretation of facts - our little book, The Builders, is no exception - but the works of Dr. Mackey are not only valuable, but almost indispensible to the Masonic student. He was a tireless student, covering many fields - almost the whole field of Masonry, in fact - and he was not always accurate, perhaps; for one reason, because it is very difficult to be accurate as to many things in Masonry. But his work as a whole is noble, useful and vastly important; it cost him time and money and labor unbelievable - we hope soon to publish a sketch and appreciation of the man himself, who deserves the honor and reverence of his Brethren. Nevertheless, we have dreams of a different kind of Masonic Encyclopedia, which shall limit itself to subjects more specifically Masonic, treating each one adequately, so far as possible, giving references and authorities where needed, and a brief bibliography with each article - after the manner of Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Perhaps time will fulfill our dream; and if it does all the best Masonic students of the world will join in its making, and each article will be signed by the man who writes it. We shall see what we shall see.

 

* * *

 

THE FARLEY FAMILY

 

Can you assist me in some work I am doing in the geneology of the Farley Family? The particular information I desire is the Masonic record of John Farley in Virginia. He is a greaterandfather of mine, born about 1758 or 1768, and was a Mason, I believe, in Bedford County. I have attempted some correspondence with Lodges direct and the Grand Secretary of Virginia tells me that there is very little use trying to get information back of 1800. I would like to establish the date and place of his birth. His occupation was that of surveyor, and any information or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Fraternally yours, J. K. F.

 

Perhaps - who knows? - some member of the Society may be able to furnish exactly the information wanted by Brother Farley. Meanwhile, we suggest that he take up the matter with the Historical Society of Virginia, at Richmond, which has untold stores of genealogical treasures in its keeping. If Brother Farley has not tapped that source of information, it is worth his while to do so.

 

* * *

 

THE MASTER’s HAT

 

Can we not agree upon a head-dress for the Worshipful Master which shall be at once seemly, dignified and characteristic? The horrible incongruity of a Master in a "cady" marred my initiation, and took from the impressiveness of the ceremony not a little. The operative Mason's cap would be less out of keeping, it seems to me. Again, does not the "G" savor of provincialism instead of that universality which should be the fundamental of Masonry? Fraternally, F. H. Dewart, Vermont.

 

* * *

 

A. F. &A. M.

 

In our list of regular Lodges I notice some jurisdictions are headed F. & A. M., and others A. F. & A. M. What is the significance of the difference? Is there an association known as the American Federation of Masonic Lodges, and are there Lodges working in this country under the jurisdiction of Scotland? There are none in our list of Lodges. The other day I was informed that there are Lodges in this state - California - who make claim that they are from Scottish authority and that their work is the same as ours. - A. J. B.

 

(1) These differences are a reminiscence of the days of the rival Grand Lodges of Ancients and Moderns in England. After the union in 1813, some jurisdictions kept one form of title, some another. That is all. (2) The American Federation of Masonic Lodges is a bogus body which takes itself very seriously. (3) The Lodges claiming to work under the authority of Scotland are clearly clandestine. We are not familiar with their history, nor greatly interested in it.

 

* * *

 

INDIAN MASONRY

 

If it is not asking too much, I would like to see an article on The American Indian as a Mason, in The Builder in the near future. That is, if the Indians have any Masonry, and where they got it. - R. G.

 

See a little book entitled "Indian Masonry," by Wright. So far as the Indian had or has any Masonry as we know it, he got it from the white man, though he of course had his secret order corresponding to The Men's House of all primitive society. (See Primitive Secret Societies, by Hutton Webster). We shall be glad to publish such an article as Brother Gentry asks for.

 

* * *

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

THE OATH OF HIPPOCRATES

 

By the kindness of a Brother we have the following oath of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, taken by the ancient Greek medical student upon entrance into his chosen profession. It has been revived of late in our medical colleges, as for example, by a non-secret, fourth-year, Medical Honor Society in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago. It breathes a lofty spirit of dedication to a noble art, as follows:

 

I swear by Apollo, the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath and stipulation: to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if required; to regard his offspring as on the same footing with my own brothers, and to teach them this art if they should wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation, and that by precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons and to those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath, according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion. With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will not cut a person who is suffering with a stone, but will leave this to be done by practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into them for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and further from the seduction of females or males, bond or free. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I may see or hear in the lives of men which ought not to be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men at all times; but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.

 

* * *

 

"ROUGH SANDS OF THE SEA"

 

Dear Brother Newton: - I was much interested by the letter from Bro. Ticknor. re the "Rough Sands of the Sea," in your February issue. Unfortunately, I have forgotten my Greek pretty thoroughly, but I asked one of our best scholars here about it, Principal Hutton of University College, and I append the gist of his letters:

 

"I know of no passage which regards the foreshore as worse than either land or beater for burial: there are many allusions to foreshore burial, but all of a perfectly natural and rational kind: a body is washed up - the body of a drowned stranger - where should one bury it so naturally as on the foreshore. Horace (Odes 1.28) writes of Archytas the mathematician being so buried near Mutinum and of the spirit of another drowned person appealing to him and to any passer by for similar burial."

 

"The ancient world - like our own faded sentiment on the same subject; but much more positively and earnestly - demanded burial for the dead; it felt that only burial "laid the ghost," It regarded the burial of drowned sailors on the foreshore as a melancholy end, not because the foreshore in itself was the most dishonorable place of burial, but because it was a wild, forlorn, and weather-beaten grave, wet by the sea. though not perpetually as in the worst case of all. I find this idea expressed in the Greek anthology three or four times; in the section of epitaphs it occurs most forcibly in No. 430 (p. 199, Edwardes' Edition) where the dead man lies eight cubits from the sea, and the sea is told to rage as it pleases, but to keep off that distance. Other epitaphs bearing on drowned men are 456 (p. 211, Edwardes), 513, 524, and 549."

 

"The Greek sentiment does not appear to me to have included any idea of consecrated ground or unconsecrate, least of all any special aversion to the foreshore as worse than burial at sea, but merely the world wide idea that burial was necessary for the spirit's rest."

 

"In Shelley's case I imagine his religion, if not also medical scruples, forbade his burial in the earth proper, which was all consecrated; and suggested the foreshore as the only alternative - and a more humane one - than casting the body back into the sea."

 

So much for the Greeks, but this is hardly what we are looking for. So I suggested to Principal Hutton, that the idea of ignominy might be implied in the fact that the foreshore is a no-man's-land, owned neither by sea nor land but the scene of constant battles between Poseidon and Gaiae; thereon no altar could be raised whereon to offer a sacrifice to the departed shade, not could any memorial be built there to his memory. His body would be constantly disturbed by the strife of natural forces, and his spirit would be similarly troubled, for that its former tenement could not rest, disintegrade in peace, and set him free. If a suicide was to be buried at four corners, why not the perjurer in the constant turmoil of the foreshore.

 

To this he replied that if any sect, or church, or tribe regarded burial on the foreshore as peculiarly ignominious, because the foreshore is the battle ground of the deities of earth and sea, the idea is logical and to that extent natural, but while these two customs probably go back to a common source, it is not to a classical source, rather to the imagination of some northern tribe, more gloomy and less rationalistic than were the very light-hearted and natural Greeks.

 

Yours fraternally

 

N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.

 

* * *

 

CONSERVATISM SHOULD BE REASONABLE

 

I read in a recent issue of The Builder an article from an inquiring correspondent on the question of physical qualifications of petitioners for the degrees of Masonry which I believe to be pertinent. I believe that this is a proposition that should not be arbitrarily dismissed as being beyond the pale of serious discussion on the ground that the requirement of physical perfection in the applicant is a Masonic landmark and therefore can not be waived or ignored by the Masonry of today.

 

I may begin by stating that I am constitutionally conservative in all things: in matters of religion, of politics; of social and economic questions, and of Masonry. I believe firmly in "holding fast that which is good" in "all things" which concern the spiritual or temporal interests of mankind while the irresistible current of the law of evolution inevitably bears us gradually, and I may say largely unconsciously, toward better and higher conditions. The label "Progressive" is always a signal of caution to my intellectual eye and causes me to stop at once and carefully consider what is covered by that label. Having lived through a rather extended period of time, and for the greater part of that time having been a student of Man, psychically and physically, and of his activities and their resultants in both of these phases, I have learned that mass-advancement is not to be attained by leaps and bounds - by jumping over things - but by the slow and patient processes of removing the effete and no longer serviceable, or that which has been well proven to be bad, as the new and studiously selected is substituted for it. Many serious errors have been made in the past, and are being made in the present, by attempting to erect new and hastily or unskilfully constructed temples on foundations that do not rest upon the bed-rock of human nature or human wisdom, the grain-by-grain accumulation of the thought and experience of all-man in all-time.

 

With this understanding of my mental attitude, let me approach Masonic questions unsuspected of being of those who would recklessly advocate "innovations upon the body of Masonry," But may I ask what are we to regard as the body of Masonry in the light of what it has been for now nearly two centuries ? Are we to regard the dust of operative Masonry not even the bones of it remaining to our age, as a "body" to which we are to be hopelessly chained for all time ? Speculative Masonry has nothing in common with Operative except its name and in part its traditions, its ritualism, its legends, its degrees and ceremonies, its broader purposes, have been born or developed within the era of purely speculative Masonry.

 

As to the bodily perfections required in the apprentice of the old era, it was the worthy aim and intent of the material rather than moral builders of the time to exclude from the inner circle of skilled workers those who for natural or accidental reasons could not hope to attain to perfection, or even to competency, in the laborious and exacting service of the Craft. Defect of limb might easily be an insuperable obstacle to the mechanical success and usefulness of the man in the practical art of building; at the least it was a handicap to his participation with his fellows on equal terms.

 

But Speculative Masonry, having no connection with physical labor in any form, has declared that "it is the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a man to be made a Mason." It requires of him a prepared heart, a receptive mind, an appreciation of moral worth, a faith in an all-wise and all-ruling Supreme Power in which he lives and acts and to which he is responsible for time and eternity. He is a builder of character in the broadest sense of the term, both in his individual and in his relational life: not of monuments of stone, however grand and temporally enduring such might be.

 

In this building with "living stones," this construction of temples "not made with hands," not to be disintegrated and destroyed with the progress of the ages but to grace the unchanging landscape of the empire of God himself, what matters it that the perishable body be imperfect? If heart and mind be competent to the work the Speculative Mason is required to perform, what more in justice may we exact of him who desires to engage with us in our "great and important undertaking?"

 

I think it time that we should relax our requirements as to ability to strictly conform to purely mechanical and no longer necessary portions of our ritualistic ceremonies and accept any man internally qualified and not arbitrarily exclude him because of some perhaps slight natural or accidental deformity or deficiency of the body. If he be morally, spiritually and intellectually able and willing to conform to the only requirements now essential in a true Mason, that should be sufficient. I do not believe such relaxation could now be by any stretch of the meaning of terms construed as an innovation upon the body of Masonry or as the violation of a landmark. A landmark can only exist while the "land" exists; and the land of Ancient Craft Masonry was long since swallowed up in the changing ocean of time.

 

Fraternally

 

Frank Peffley, Washington.

 

* * *

 

THE CHURCH AND THE CRAFT

 

It has long been the claim of some of the denominations among the churches that fraternities, particularly Masonic Orders, are inimical, and even hindrances to their work - a commission which has the Divine authority and sanction.

 

The sincerity of this claim has been quite borne out by their making the matter involved a pivotal test of membership, though in the final analysis of motive in the matter involved, it has, no doubt been true that human nature in this, as in many other things centering in the success of institutions through given principles, has often played for the higher stakes through the benefit of a doubt.

 

While the "war of words," to say nothing of other means employed, has been from "time immemorial" the weapon of the warfare of its enemies, Masonry's only defense has been its absolute "silence and circumspection."

 

Right here I wish to make it clear that this little paper is in no sense whatever a defense or arraignment of either of the institutions involved, as from neither of these angles can anything be accomplished save real harm. I would merely call attention, both from the standpoint of a Churchman and a Mason, to the main question of the ages, recognized now more than ever before - human welfare and uplift.

 

No two moral institutions in the world have more distinct and clearly defined methods for given purposes than the Church and Masonry. As light and warmth, air and moisture are essentials to life, there is no conflict in the elements and no one of the essentials can be eliminated. So it is with human nature which must have its schooling and training in this world.

 

This human quantity, however, must necessarily go to its tutor, as the rough Ashlar goes into the hands of the Fellowcraft, in its crude and natural state. Herein is the practical application of Masonry to the material, the institution to the human nature of which it must its temple build. If the stone has only the right material in it to render it eligible to a place in the Temple, it may, eventually, in the symbolism, become a living stone in that House not made with hands.

 

Thus Masonry takes man into its fellowship and confidence as it finds him, only stipulating that the material must be sound. Creeds or dogmas count for nothing as regards the quality of the material. Most men are apologists for some of them, some men for most of them, while yet others stand from under them all. Even in their classifications, it would be difficult to find two who are alike. So it is the man himself, his moral fibre and habits that furnish the acid tests for the material, that Masonry applies.

 

Religion, or profession, or its opposite, like worldly wealth or honor, does not, as such, recommend a man to Masonry. It is solely a question of morality and a belief in a Supreme Being. On these two points Masonry has always been an absolutely fair proposition for HUMAN NATURE to invest in. It has been as just as it has been true, and human as it has been fair.

 

But, relatively speaking, men must leave their coverts and come either to the Church or Masonry, or, as some churches do not carry on their string of keys one that locks the fraternal door, they may come to both. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you," perhaps equally applies to both. And here the parallel ends. Masonry, fundamentally, takes the man, the material, because it is sound. The Church takes him because he has a creed. It makes this the supreme and final test. If the creed is wrong, or lacking, all is wrong. If the creed is right, all MAY be right. But what churchman would dare to say "creed right, man right." Far be it from me to criticise the Church in this matter, I am simply stating facts. I must believe, however, that it is largely the differences noted herein that to a great extent answer the questions as to why the Church in adult male membership is so fast declining.

 

Nature is the basis and background of all things. Human nature is the highest expression of nature and must be met measured and cared for in a NATURAL way. Further than that, whatever prerogative the supernaturalist may assume, human nature, relatively speaking, in the final analysis, will never go.

 

The work of the world for social, ethical and moral uplift, to achieve a maximum of success, must originate and be carried on from a practical standpoint. It must take the material, the man, as it finds him, and not on points that in themselves cannot guarantee his character and by which it would sort him out from the rest of the world for its special own.

 

While the institution may have the highest human ideals, it cannot conceive that its material for its human Temple in the quarries and forests and mines can be finished in advance of its being passed upon as GOOD material for its final place. Masonry is of worth to the world only as it builds well and it cannot build without the human material and to its glory be it said that among these necessary quantities there is found many "diamonds in the rough." So while man, to a given formality, must be "made over" to be eligible to a place in the Church, Masonry takes him, practically, as it finds him, and it is in the hearts of most men to render themselves deserving of the confidence reposed.

 

I have long believed that every man who truly desires to be good and do good should be eligible for Church membership. Why not? The Church, as such, is a man-made institution from start to finish. Christ himself never even suggested such an institution as the Church as we know it. We must conceive of Him only as the founder of the Kingdom of the Heavens among men. "According to your FAITH be it unto you," was His only test. It would seem to be beyond the imagination of a normal mind to conceive of this King of the Kingdom of the Heavens as descending from the sublime pinnacle of faith for His subjects to the wicket gate of the formalism of which the Churches have made Him their guardian.

 

But the scales are falling from men's eyes. The Kingdom, as it relates to individuals, is in the heart, and as it relates to the world, in practical, or applied Christianity. While Masonry makes no claim to being a religion, "it is so far interwoven with it as to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the Deity which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness." This sublime declaration is a "clearing house" of spiritual and Divine ethics. No single man-made sentence ever meant more. In its directness and simplicity it constitutes the very foundation of the Kingdom of the Heavens in the soul. It is a declaration as broad as the universe. It suggests no anticipated formality or creed, and alludes to no authority but duty, and duty glorified is a privilege for love is the motive, the angel who presides at the throne of the heart.

 

The man of affairs, especially, has a strong social instinct. He loves an unincumbered personality more than an opinionated individualism. Every man has, or should have, his close friends among all shades of religious belief, all political parties, all professions, in short among all men who are MEN, and he will, so long as such can meet in the bonds of Brotherhood on the Level, act by the Plumb, and part on the Square, find this powerful social instinct met and satisfied and in a dignified and uplifting way than which it may be said that the genius of man has never been able to improve upon.

 

The Church, as constituted, goes forward mainly on spiritual lines weighted down with dogmas. Masonry progresses on practical lines supported by brotherly love, relief and truth - the universal Brotherhood of man. The Church has been the architect of its own misfortunes, but this is not the place to enumerate them. Even as it is, it is a world necessity for it may mean something for good to every person from childhood to the grave.

 

Every man who is both a Churchman and a Mason should be a better Mason therefor. Every man who is a good Mason should be a better subject - of the Kingdom of the Heavens - the true Church of God. No institution, in the old orthodox sense, can save a man. He is solely the architect of his own destiny. If he is trusting to his Church or his Order for the salvation as understood by the above classification, he is building on the sand. Neither the one nor the other can obtain it for him, but they may both be the means - blessed means - to the best there is for earth and what may follow on.

 

Yours fraternally,

 

L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.

 

----o----

 

THE BIBLE

 

Out from the heart of nature rolled

The burdens of the Bible old;

The litanies of nations came,

Like the volcano's tongue of flame,

Up from the burning core below, -

The canticles of love and woe.

 

The word unto the prophet spoken

Was writ on tables yet unbroken;

The word of seers or sybils told,

In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,

Still floats upon the morning wind,

Still whispers to the willing mind.

One accent of the Holy Ghost

The heedless world hath never lost.

 

- R.W. Emerson

 

----o----

 

ONE HOLY CHURCH

 

One holy Church of God appears

Through every age and race,

Unwasted by the lapse of years,

Unchanged by changing place.

From oldest time on farthest shores,

Beneath the pine or palm,

One Unseen Presence she adores,

With silence or with psalm.

Her priests are all God's faithful sons,

To serve the world raised up;

The pure in heart her baptized ones,

Love, her communion-cup.

The Truth is her prophetic gift,

The Soul her sacred page;

And feet on mercy's errand swift

Do make her pilgrimage.

 

- Samuel Longfellow

 

 

 

 

         

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