The Builder Magazine
May 1916 - Volume II - Number 5
THE "DEW DROP LECTURE"
(Reference was made some time ago, in answer to an inquiry in the Question
Box, to the famous "Dew Drop Lecture" used years ago in the work of the Grand
Lodge of Mississippi. Just why it was called by that name is hard to know, but
it speaks for itself. There was a tradition to the effect that it was written
by Albert Pike, but that is not correct--it having been used long before his
time. We take pleasure in reproducing it here, in response to a number of
requests, from "The Blue Lodge Text Book" of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi,
adopted in 1874--by the kindness of Brother Frederick Gordon Speed, Grand
Secretary. The lecture is not now a part of the regular work of the
Mississippi Jurisdiction, but it is frequently used even today.)
GEOMETRY, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis upon which the
superstructure of Freemasonry is erected. Regarding man as a rational and
intelligent being, capable of enjoyment and pleasure to an extent limited only
by the acquisition of useful knowledge, our Order points him to the study of
the Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the possession of knowledge as the most
befitting and proper occupation for the God-like endowments with which he is
Indeed, all who frequent our Masonic Temple, are charged to labor faithfully
in the wide and unbounded field of human improvement, from which they are
assured of reaping a most glorious harvest, a harvest rich in happiness to the
whole family of man, and in manifestation of the goodness of God. Your
attention is especially directed to the science of Geometry, no royal road,
'tis true, but to one prepared with an outfit it must prove more attractive
than palace walks by regal taste adorned.
ancient philosophers placed such a high estimate upon this science that all
who frequented the groves of the Sacred Academy, were compelled to explore its
heavenly paths, and no one whose mind was unexpanded by its precepts was
intrusted with the instruction of the young. Even Plato, justly deemed the
first of the philosophers, when asked as to the probable occupation of Deity,
replied, He geometrizes continually.
consider the symmetry and order which govern all the works of creation, we
must admit that Geometry pervades the universe. If, by the aid of the
telescope, we bring the planets within the range of our observation, and by
the microscope, view particles too minute for the eye, unaided, to behold, we
find them all pursuing the several objects of their creation, in accordance
with the fixed plan of the Almighty.
Geometry we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her
most concealed recesses. By it we discover how the planets move in their
respective orbits and demonstrate their various revolutions; by it we account
for the return of the seasons and the variety of scenes which each season
displays to the discerning eye; by it we discover the power, wisdom and
goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the
proportions which connect the vast machine. Numberless worlds are around us,
all framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast expanse and
are all governed by the same unerring law of nature. Is there not more truth
than fiction in the thought of the ancient philosopher, that God geometrizes
geometry He rounds the dew drop; points the pyramidal icicle that hangs from
thatch-bound roof; bends into a graceful curve the foaming cataract; paints
His bow of beauty upon the canvas of a summer shower; assimilates the sugar to
the diamond, and in the fissures of the earth-bound rocks, forms georgeous
caverns, thick-set with starry gems. By it He taught the bee to store its
honey in prismatic cells; the wild goose to range her flight, and the noble
eagle to wheel and dart upon its prey, and the wakesome lark, God's earliest
worshipper, to hymn its matin song in spiral flight. By it He forms the tender
lens of the delicate eye, rounds the blushing cheek of beauty, curves the ruby
lips and fashions the swelling breast that throbs in unison with a gushing
heart. By it he paints the cheek of autumn's mellow fruit, forms in molds of
graceful symmetry the gentle dove, marks the myriad circles on the peacock's
gaudy train and decks the plumage of ten thousand warblers of His praise that
animate the woody shade. By it he fashions the golden carp, decks the silvery
perch, forms all fish of every fin and tribe that course the majestic ocean,
cut the placid lake or swim in gentle brook. Nay, more, even the glassy
element in which they dwell, when by gentle zephyrs stirred, sends its chasing
waves in graceful curves by God's own finger traced in parallel--above,
beneath, around us, all the works of His hands, animate and inanimate, but
prove that God geometrizes continually.
man would witness the highest evidence of geometrical perfection, let him step
out of the rude construction of his own hands and view the wide o'erspreading
canopy of the stars, whether fixed as centers of vast systems or all
noiselessly pursuing their geometrical paths in accordance with the
never-changing laws of nature. Nay, more, the vast fields of illimitable space
are all formed of an infinitude of circles traced by the compass of the
Almighty Architect, whose every work is set by the Level, adjusted by the
Plumb, and perfected by the Square. Do this, my brother, and you must admit
with Plato, that God geometrizes continually, and be assured with Job, that He
who stretcheth the earth upon emptiness and fixeth the foundation thereof upon
nothing, so it cannot be moved, can bind the sweet influence of Pleiades or
loose the bands of Orion.
survey of Nature, and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first
determined man to imitate the Divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This
gave rise to societies, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to
design, and the plans which he laid down, being improved by experience and
time, have produced works which are the admiration of every age.
lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war,
have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity on which
the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed. Even the Temple of
Solomon, so spacious and magnificent, and constructed by so many artists,
escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force. Freemasonry,
notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from
the instructive tongue, and the mysteries of Freemasonry are safely lodged in
the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and instruments of architecture, and
symbolic emblems, most expressive, are selected by the fraternity to imprint
on the mind wise and serious truths; and thus, through a succession of ages,
are transmitted, unimpaired, the most excellent tenets of our institution.
Temple of Solomon was wrought according to a Divine plan by practical workmen.
Freemasonry is not a theory, neither a mere speculative plan incapable of
practical application. It must be wrought into beauty and effectiveness by the
skilled workmen who are Freemasons in truth.
F. Kuhn. A Basket of Chips.
Wm. Philip Moss 32d Missouri)
and time, and cloudy skies, -
quiet eveing, when twilight dies;
sweet contentment of stars above;
breezes that fan our ardent love.
calm silence, not a word;
our gentle heartbeats, nothing heard;
tired souls, in abguish bound,
starting at each hush of sound.
Dropping to space - a falling tear.
shadowed lanes of great tranquility
shine with dews of silent memory -
naught but splendour strays,
beauteous light of other days;
shrubs along these desert isles -
reflection e’er sweetly smiles
bushes weep their lasting tears,
sorrows, and jots, of unforgotten years,
could I but see, -
holds our future’s destiny.
distant peak, bright Heaven seems -
faith and Hope’s Eternal dreams,
whose still, unshadowed waves,
years of sorrow, and the grave;
anguishes of fate that forever turn,
pangs of love, in our hearts do burn,
hear no answer, from on high,
whispers, sweet, are calling -
“Alas!” we hear them sigh.
to his narrow home, must go,
will of God hath made it so.”
you, and I, must take our place -
Without dishonour or disgrace;
go to Him, our God above,
dwell in sweetest peace, and love.
MASONRY IN WAR-TIME
BRO. W. C. SHELLEY, VIRGINIA
and precious document was recently brought to light by Brother W. C. Shelley,
of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and one which reads like a passage from Holy
Writ in the light of the war now raging. It is an address issued to the Masons
of South Carolina in 1862, during the Civil War, by David Ramsey, then Grand
Master of Masons in that Jurisdiction. We commend it to Masons of every Rite
everywhere, and to men of no Rite, as showing that, once at least, in the
stress and struggle of a gigantic strife our mystic tie held true and tender
when all else was broken.
Master Ramsay at the time was just 33 years old. His address was published
March 25, 1862. Masonry was strong throughout America at that time, but, Col.
Shelley says, "there was not at any time during that war any war among Masons.
All Masons performed their civil and political duties as they saw them,
whether North or South of the Ohio river, but none of them ever lost sight of
the fact that Masonry was a fraternal organization, universal in its
application, and independent of political, personal or sectional conditions."
Master Ramsay himself entered the army of the Confederacy, and in the year
following his address fell in battle in the charge for the recapture of a
bastion of Battery Wagner, on Morris Island.
Published, as it was, says Col. Shelley, during the bitterness of war, it was
immediately circulated by the Grand Master of Masons of the State of Maine,
into whose hands by some accident it came, and in printed form was ordered to
be hung on the wall of every Masonic lodge in that State, an order which was
COPY WAS OBTAINED
the Worshipful Master of Columbia Lodge at Clarendon, Virginia," says Col.
Shelley, "learning of this address and so highly appreciating its sublime
sentiments, and especially the manner in which it was accepted by the Grand
Jurisdiction of the State of Maine, which was the very antithesis of South
Carolina in that troubled period, I wrote to South Carolina for a copy in
order that my lodge might hang it upon its walls also, but none having been
retained there, was referred to Maine.
Grand Secretary of that Grand Jurisdiction referred me to the publisher, who
had printed the copies ordered by the Grand Master of Maine in 1862, and from
him, of the four copies remaining in his possession I obtained one, which has
been hung upon the walls of my lodge and is uniformly read by some one of the
brethren at each annual election immediately preceding such election. St. Paul
never expressed himself better !"
Our foreign brethren," Col. Shelley added, "could rise to the sublime
sentiments expressed by David Ramsay and the grand response made by the State
of Maine, Masonry would find an exemplification quite worthy of all it
EXTRACT FROM THE ADDRESS
address, in part, follows:
Grand Lodge, anxious for your prosperity and desirous that, as members of the
great mystic family, you should preserve in unfaded brightness the light of
Masonry which had been intrusted to your keeping, did heretofore address an
encyclical letter of advice and of admonition. In the last Grand
Communication, moved by like feeling, it made request of me to direct another
letter unto the same purpose.
republish and affirm the former letter for your guidance in all respects
therein set forth; as to other general doctrines, my brethren, the masters of
lodges will admonish you, it is your duty and should be your pleasure to
hearken diligently and observe their precepts. Special matters remain
concerning which I have to charge you.
circumspectly in the present evil time, ever mindful of solemn undertakings on
your part in the presence of Almighty God; be faithful in observance thereof
toward 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 toward brethren, when Masonically met on, by or
with all due and regular intercommunication and intelligence. You have
registered words which can not be unspoken or recalled, antedating as they
will survive all disturbances among men and turmoils in state; words which in
fullest force and meaning should be ever present unto you in thought,
utterance and deed.
ADMONISHED OF FLIGHT OF TIME
with its affairs will soon to every one be past. We are at labor for a short
while only in the work of Him who hath no respect of persons, building us, if
meet, into another and an enduring temple; if vouchsafed unto us to be so
edified, it will never be regret to remember any good deed done in the name of
a common Master and Father to whatsoever brother, even him whom the profane
would call an enemy. If we do good to those who love us and do good unto us.
what more do we than other men ? I charge every one of you, in the name of our
Supreme and Universal Master, to be mindful how you are bound in certain
duties whereunto you have called Him to witness your obligations and
performance, who will hereafter judge. I charge you, in His great name and in
view of His final day, suffer not the disputes and broils of men to impair the
harmony which has existed and will exist throughout the fraternity; for,
whether or not you put to shame the teachings of our craft, they can not be
annulled; nor, despite evil members, who may pain us, can the body of our
faithful brotherhood be annihilated or destroyed, or even so much as
us not hear among us that there is war, that strife and dissension prevails;
as Masons it concerns us not.
no ill of your brethren; if you have aught against one, suffer not your anger
to get the mastery of your troth. If any, deeming that their personal desires
of advancement or gain have been hindered by a brother, clamor unto you, heed
them not when they speak apart; consider that it is unmasonic and unmanly to
take amends by backbiting and slandering; hearken not to such, nor be covinous,
joining together and complotting, whereby brethren, unheard and undefended,
may be injured. There are such among you; of such make no further observation
than to shun their errors.
AVOIDANCE OF CRITICISM
"Except unto themselves, blame them not for speaking; nor blame those of whom
it is spoken; listen not to one nor repeat to the other; let the great
Searcher of Hearts alone decide on right or wrong. Judge not when but one
accuses and the other is absent. You do gravest wrong as men not even called
Masons should you act on partial judgments severely formed. Nevertheless,
should the wrong be done unto you, forgive even when misjudged; forgive as you
hope to be forgiven. Above all things, give no cause of offense; see that your
brother has no just complaint against you; walk erect and upright, in fact, as
well as appearance, Masons. Remember wherein to be zealous to give aid,
counsel, protection; lend attentive ear, preserve a faithful breast, having
withal a ready and true heart. If it be ill to speak evil, by how much more is
it to do evil.
were useless to write unto you save to remind you of these things, and but for
my office sake I should not warn or counsel or command; for speaking without
vain humility, I best know how much I have of error and regret, how much I
have to learn and listen; I was constrained to write, and that not as one
having authority of himself, but such as was placed in his hands to write
doctrine approved among us at all times.
TRIBUTE TO HIS BRETHREN
laud and honor you, brethren, for many things, and chiefly forasmuch as you
have been diligent in your work of faith, hope and charity. You have been and
are constant in well doing; some among us have gone astray, but even these
wandered from our fold, and erred not within its sacred bounds; their
condemnation is of themselves and not of us. You may say without boastfulness
that you have fulfilled your undertakings in your lodges unto all whencesoever
coming in our common name. So continue, and not for praise of men, but looking
forward to the time when your example will confirm future good deeds in good
or evil days, and also looking forward beyond all time to the well done of our
Master who is in heaven.
may the Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe ever have you in His holy
keeping. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement
you in the bonds of peace and fellowship."
at the things before you. He that wonders shall reign, and he that reigns
whatsoever things I discover you, in these will I also judge you.
for the great things and the small shall be added to you; ask for the heavenly
and the earthly shall be added unto you.
same day He beheld one working on the Sabbath and said unto him: O man if thou
knowest what thou art doing, blessed art thou; if thou knowest not, thou art a
transgressor of the law.
there is one alone, I am with him. Raise a stone and there they shall find me;
cleave the wood and there I am also.
world is merely a bridge; ye are to pass over it, and not to build dwellings
mystery is for Me and for the sons of My house.
--Unwritten Saying of Jesus, by David Smith.
confiding of troubles is disloyalty to one's own powers of endurance.
woman would rather be miserable with the man she loves than happy with the man
who loves her.
men who have something of the woman in them are the most lovable, and the
women who have something of the man in them are the least so.
Sulking is the mental application of vanity to our own sores.
Prig's Philosophy, by B. Belton.
my fellows, whom the Craft has set
Shoulder to shoulder with me, I pursue
daily occupation, what is due
man to man, from man to God, and yet
fear lest I my wages may not get:
firm established stand I in the true,
labor e'er that benefits accrue
whom in seeking Truth I would abet.
seek I God along a winding way
leads me, aided by the tools at hand,
Through Nature, Science, to the very stars,
add more light unto my path. The day
surely come when, passed are all the bars,
Refreshed, Before Him I shall humbly stand.
W. Ticknor, Florida.
DISCUSSING THE PREVIOUS QUESTION
BRO. R.I.CLEGG, OHIO
EBB AND FLOW TWICE IN THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS."
ran across this reference some months ago in The Builder I promptly made a
note of it for future comment. But man proposes and man procrastinates. Since
then several of the brethren have mentioned the matter, and thus there is less
than ever for me to say about it. Nevertheless, not all the interest has been
squeezed out of the original query.
of all, I beg of our Editor to be patient with me when I respectfully demur to
his use of the word "exaggeration" as applied to sundry items, "errors" in his
opinion, that have for "emphasis" crept into our practices. While I will not
deny that much of what we say and do is open to attack upon one ground or
another, yet I must confess that there are several points of primarily a
mystifying character that on extended inquiry have disclosed a very reasonable
basis. So frequently has this been the case in my own experience that I am now
the slower to assume that a puzzling expression may be but an error.
Certainly there are examples most perplexing. Take the 47th proposition. Gow,
in his "History of Greek Mathematics," points out that the Pythagoreans were
opposed to the shedding of blood. But the sacrifice of a hecatomb is commonly
understood to imply the death of oxen or even a greater offering. It may be
that the followers of Pythagoras adopted the rule as to blood spilling after
the Master of their School had shown his appreciation bloodily of his great
discovery. I will not dogmatize on the subject. In fact, I confess I wonder
why as much or more is not said by us of Euclid as is reported of Pythagoras.
too, there is the maiden weeping beside the broken column. I am not yet ready
to answer all mine own questions about that striking symbol that come to mind.
pointed out a few of the other difficulties in the way of the student, let us
return to the tides. If there be any doubt as to the sequence twice in the
day, then consult the scholarly article in the "Encyclopedia Brittanica."
Probably that authority will be sufficient to demonstrate the accuracy of the
phrase as applied to certain places.
inquiry into "imprecations" long ago led me to collect a number of significant
instances that will, I am sure, be of interest to the brethren in general.
Particularly should these be noteworthy to the correspondents who have already
considered the "tides" reference in these columns.
by slow drowning where the tide ebbed and flowed was once by legal authority
established as a proper punishment. There is even of record an instance where
to be cast into the sea after mutilation was prescribed for those who by the
imprecations of their own mouths had invited its application should they be
Consider the following: In the curious ordinances which were observed in the
reign of Henry VI for the proper conduct of the Court of Admiralty of the
Humber, are enumerated various offenses of a maritime connection and their due
punishments. To adhere closely to the character of the Court, and to be within
the proper jurisdiction of the Admiralty, the punishments were generally
inflicted at low-water mark. Be it further understood that from the year 1451
the Mayor of Hull also officiated as the Admiral of the Humber.
Andrews, in his exceedingly interesting study of "Bygone Punishments," tells
us of the ordinances that were to be enforced by the Admiralty of the Humber.
Among them were these: "You shall inquire, whether any man in port or creek,
have stolen any robes, nets, cords, etc., amounting to the value of ninepence;
if he have, he must be hanged for the said crimes, at lowwater mark."
any person has removed the anchor of any ship, without licence of the master
or mariners, or both, or if any one cuts the cable of a ship at anchor, or
removes or cuts away a buoy, for any of the said offenses he shall be hanged
at low-water mark."
Remarkable as are these references from the standpoint of our investigation,
they do not comprise the whole of the material left to us by the Admiralty of
the Humber. The Court at its regular sessions consisted of "Masters,
merchants, and mariners, with all others that do enjoy the King's stream with
hook, net, or any engine." The latter word, be it understood, had a broader
meaning than is now usually applied to it. But the Court being assembled for
obligation they were thus addressed:
Masters of the Quest, if you or any of you discover or disclose anything of
the King's secret counsel or of the counsel of your fellows (for the present
you are admitted to be the King's Counsellors) you are to be, and shall be,
had down to the low-water mark, where must be made three times, O Yes ! for
the King, and then and there this punishment, by the law prescribed, shall be
inflicted upon them; that is, their hands and feet bound, their throats cut,
their tongues pulled out, and their bodies thrown into the sea."
reader will see that there is a distinction in some way between the two sets
of criminals, those guilty of divulging the Royal secrets, and those convicted
of moving a buoy--a river or sea mark comparable with a landmark in
importance. Hanging has so usually been deemed the most ignominious of deaths
that the student may right here ask himself, why it was that the disloyal "Counsellor"
was not choked by the rope rather than killed by the knife and the wave.
However, we will not just now discuss the relative enormity of the two crimes,
save only to say that there is, I believe, a distinction made between the two
classes of persons; a difference indeed of much interest to Freemasons. Of
this I shall say a word or two later.
we now to an excellent book: "The Customs of Old England," by Snell. On page
225 is this still more pertinent paragraph:
"Suppose that a thief had been taken in the soken, stocks and a prison were in
readiness for him; and he was thence carried before the Mayor to receive his
sentence, but not until he had been conveyed to Fitzwalter's court and within
his franchise. The nature of the sentence, to which the latter's assent was
required, varied with the gravity of the offense. If the person were condemned
for simple larceny, he was conducted to the Elms near Smithfield--the usual
place of execution before Tyburn was adopted for the purpose- -and there
'suffered his judgment,' i. e., was hanged like other common thieves. If on
the other hand, the theft was associated with treason, the crime, it was
considered, called for more exemplary punishment, and the felon was bound to a
pillar in the Thames at WoodWharf, to which watermen fastened their boats or
barges, there to remain during two successive floods and ebbs of the tide."
franchise enjoyed by Fitzwalter was bitterly resented by the Freemen of
London. On the feast of St. Matthew, in 1347, it was announced to the Common
Council that these franchises "were wholly repugnant to the liberties of the
City." One thing he seemed willing to concede, and that strangely enough was
the particular point we have been considering, the slow drowning of traitors
at the double turn of the tides.
also the comment that Snell offers in another place:
punishment (by drowning), which was most likely of Scandinavian or Teutonic
origin, was not confined to the soken in which the Fitzwalters exercised
jurisdiction. In the Cinque ports it was the privilege of freemen condemned on
a capital charge to be drowned in the sea, whereas nonfreemen suffered the
usual penalty of hanging. At Hastings and Winchelsea, however, this
distinction is said not to have existed; at both places all executions took
place by drowning."
is an article by Cuming Walters on "The Stool of Repentance" which has
reference to the old idea of punishment involved in the double tides, albeit
not intended for the taking of life but of inflicting severe penance:
nuns of St. Bridgets Convent were made to undergo a particularly barbarous
penance in olden time for the most trifling of peccadilloes. A steep high rock
projects over the sea at the Howe of Douglas, and can only be climbed with
much difficulty. Half way up is a hollow, and near the top a chair-like
cavity. The offending nuns were brought to the foot of the rock when the tide
was out, and compelled to climb the rock, and sit in either the lower or
higher chair until the tide ebbed and flowed twice. It was a terrible
predicament. The climber was always in danger of falling into the sea, and the
exposure to the elements, especially when the incoming waters were roaring
through the cavities, was enough to stagger the firmest resolution."
more could be said but this is perhaps all that need be told in print. My
brethren will read between the lines. To me the quaint expressions of the
Fraternity are to be cherished. Of such is the oblong square. Hidden beneath
them are rich mines of bygone practices, of olden philosophy and early ethics.
Let us lay hands upon the ritual with reverence. What may seem a blemish may
be a relic to be revered, not ruthlessly removed for destruction.
Furthermore, as to criticism in general. Surely I am not presumptuous in
urging that the Society encourage vigorous independence of research. Let us
all avoid what may not inaptly be termed the sheepwalking school. For example,
there are those who hold that certain characteristic Christian allusions have
of recent date, comparatively, been grafted upon an unsectarian organization.
Is it impossible that the tendency has been the other way ? Perhaps the
fragments now remaining are but the remnants of a Craft ceremony peculiarly
rich with the impress of Christian Knighthood. Reflections such as these are
by no means presented with any claim that they are easily proven. At best they
are suggested as fair grounds for further inquiry. Investigation and
independence are essential to our satisfactory progress. The last word has
been said on no Masonic topic at last reports. There is much to do. Let
VISION OF THE FLAG
gazed beyond the strife of alien brothers,
vision of the glories yet to come.
a flag in the breeze unfurl--
unfurled, and unfurled, and unfurled,
gazed in rapture, in realization, and in wonder.
one star unfurl--
then another, in the blue,
blessed blue of the sky;
of a golden light;
the soul's magnitude.
star for each land and country
this flag that covered all--
then I looked again--
knew that I was gazing at the Heavens.
that we should love our country less,
that we should love our whole world more.
--Julian P. Scott.
MASONIC MYTH IN THE MAKING
BRO. R. J. LEMERT, MONTANA
the most annoying things with which the student of history is obliged to
contend is the tendency of writers, even those of high repute, to accept
without careful investigation the statements of alleged fact made by their
predecessors. Especially is this true, it is painful to admit, among writers
upon Masonic topics. A few generations ago the most weird fables were
dispensed as gospel truth, and often writers did not hesitate to blend
groundless hypothesis with unquestioned fact in such fashion as best to uphold
their own contentions, regardless of the confusion which such action on their
part must inevitably introduce among later investigators. The older Masonic
literature teems with statements which are not susceptible of proof, and yet
one is loath to disregard them utterly, because of the possibility that such
proof may have existed at some previous time, and may have been accessible to
the authors of the questionable statements.
Perhaps no single branch of Masonry presents more obstacles to the
conscientious investigator than does the early history of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite and the part played by its reputed founder, Frederick
the Great. I use the word "reputed" only in deference to those fair-minded
students who are not yet convinced that the Prussian monarch authorized the
compilation of the Grand Constitutions of 1786--not because I personally am
sceptical; for after giving most careful consideration to every scrap of
evidence available, including the latest and perhaps the most painstaking
brief for the negative, Dr. Wilhelm Begemann's pamphlet entitled "Der Alte und
Angenommenne Schottische Ritus und Friedrich der Grosse," published in 1913, I
still prefer to accept the conclusions of Brother Albert Pike, that Frederick
really was the founder of the Rite in thirty-three degrees.
cannot be denied that many of the things told of Frederick by those who have
sought to establish his lifelong connection with the Masonic institution are
questionable if not flatly untrue; and it is of one of these myths that I
desire to speak to the readers of The Builder.
number of years ago my old and valued friend, Brother Edwin A. Sherman, 33d
Hon., of Oakland, Cal., now deceased, sent me a copy of an address which he
had delivered some years before, on St. John the Baptist's Day, 1889, "Upon
the History of the Antagonism and Assaults of the Papacy Against Freemasonry
and Free Government." In the course of the address he referred to Frederick
the Great and his connection with Masonry, and to demonstrate the high
valuation set by the renowned monarch upon our institution Brother Sherman
made the following statement:
superior of the Dominican convent at Aix-la-Chapelle Father Greineman, and a
Capuchin monk, Father Schuff, were trying to excite the lower classes against
the lodge of Masons at that place, which had been reconstituted by the mother
lodge at Wetzlar. When Frederick heard of this, he wrote the following letter,
dated February 7, 1778, to the instigators: "Most Reverend Fathers: Various
reports, confirmed through the papers, have brought to my knowledge with how
much zeal you are endeavoring to sharpen the sword of fanaticism against
quiet, virtuous people called Freemasons. As a former dignitary of this
honorable body, I am compelled, as much as it is in my power, to repel this
dishonoring slander, and remove the dark veil that causes the temple we have
erected to all virtues to appear to your vision as a gathering point for all
vices. Why, my most reverend fathers, will you bring back upon us those
centuries of ignorance and barbarism, that have so long been the degradation
of human reason ? Those times of fanaticism, upon which the eye of
understanding cannot look back but with a shudder ? Those times in which
hypocrisy, seated on the throne of despotism, with superstition on one side
and humility on the other, tried to put the world in chains and commanded a
regardless burning of all those who were able to read ?
are not only applying the nickname of masters of witchcraft to the Freemasons,
but you accuse them to be thieves, profligates, forerunners of antichrist, and
admonish a whole nation to annihilate such a cursed generation.
"Thieves, my most reverend fathers, do not act as we do, and make it their
duty to assist the poor and the orphans. On the contrary, thieves are those
who rob them sometimes of their inheritance, and fatten on their prey, in the
lap of idleness and hypocrisy. Thieves cheat; Freemasons enlighten humanity.
Freemason, returning from his lodge, where he has only listened to
instructions beneficial to his fellow-beings, will be a better husband in his
home. Forerunners of antichrist would in all probability direct their efforts
towards an extinction of divine law. But it is impossible for Freemasons to
sin against it without demolishing their own structure. And those be a cursed
generation who try to find their glory in the indefatigable efforts to spread
those virtues which constitute the honest man.
letter interested me. If a genuine letter of the Prussian monarch, it clearly
indicated that at least so late as 1778 Frederick had no hesitancy in avowing
his connection with Freemasonry, and did not scruple to champion its cause
when attacked by its ancient enemy. Desirous of verifying Brother Sherman's
statement, I wrote him for his authority, but as several years had passed
since the delivery of the address, he was unable to refer me to his source of
1902 the History Publishing Company of San Francisco issued an elaborate
volume bearing the title "Masonic History of the Northwest," on page 150 of
which is to be found the letter in question, word for word as quoted by
Brother Sherman. It is preceded by the following statement:
we may understand the Masonic character of Frederick the Great we give the
following: In the year 1778, during our American revolution, Frederick the
Great * * * found trouble in his own dominions, which he promptly suppressed.
The superior of a Dominican convent at Aix-la-Chapelle (Father Greineman) and
a Capuchin monk (Father Schiff) were trying to incite the lower classes
against the lodge of Masons at that place, which had been reconstituted by the
mother lodge at Wetzlar. When Frederick the Great heard of this he wrote the
following letters to the instigators, dated February 7, 1778:
source of this I have not been able to trace. It may have been taken from
Brother Sherman's address, or both may have been copied from a common original
which I have not yet encountered. At any rate, the compilers of the history
appear to have been convinced of the authenticity of the letter, for they used
it without qualification of any sort.
found several references to the disturbances incited by the two ecclesiastics
named by Brother Sherman. In Thory's "Acta Latomorum," edition of 1815, Vol.
I, 141, under the events of the year 1779, is the following:
26--The magistrate of Aix-la-Chapelle caused the publication of an ordinance
in which he called attention to the excommunication pronounced against the
Freemasons. He interdicted their meetings, and decreed a fine of 100 florins
d'or for the first contravention, and 200 for the second; and 300 florins, in
addition to banishment, for the third, against those who permitted lodges to
be opened in their premises. As a consequence of this decree the Dominican
Louis Greineman and the Capuchin Schuff attempted to excite a popular movement
against the Freemasons at Aix-la-Chapelle. They denounced them in their
sermons as ungodly and infamous, and as conspirators against the state
religion, and imputed to them all the crimes of the Templars. Many were
attacked in the streets, and others were pursued. The Loge de la Constance and
the brethren of Aix-la-Chapelle caused an energetic reply to the calumnies of
the reverend fathers to be inserted in the Courrier du Bas-Rhin of May 5 and
appendix to Ragon's "Ritual du Grade de Compagnon," undated, page 67, under
the heading "Persecutions eprouvees par les Francmacons," is the following:
1779--The magistrates of Aix-la-Chapelle interdicted Masonic meetings. Then
Louis Grimman, a Dominican, born at Mayence, and Father Schaff, a Capuchin,
preaching in that city the first during Lent, and the other on April 11,
anathematized the Masons and exhorted in public: "Exterminate this accursed
brood!" Public assaults resulted from this. ( See the Courrier du Bas-Rhin of
May 5 and 22, 1779, and the Monde Maconnique, March, 1860, page 684.)
have not been able to consult either of the publications cited by Ragon, but
in my bound volume of L'Univers Maconnique, published by Brother Cesar Moreau
in 1837, at column 169, I encountered this further reference to the
1779 the Freemasons were persecuted publicly at Aix-la-Chapelle. In the
churches the people were sworn to hatred against them. A Dominican, Louis
Greineman, and a Capuchin, named Schuff, did not hesitate to belittle their
characters as ministers of a God of peace by uttering these abominable words:
"Exterminate this accursed brood!"
far, it will be observed, there is no word regarding the rebuke said to have
been administered by the king. But searching further, I discovered something
more satisfying in the Official Bulletin of the Supreme Council for the
Southern Jurisdiction, Vol. IX, published in 1889 under the direct supervision
of that distinguished scholar, Brother Albert Pike. On pages 249 to 251
appears the following, presumably reproduced from the London Freemason:
Freemason: Attacks on Freemasonry lack neither in antiquity nor
untruthfulness, as you may gather from the accompanying letter, a copy of
which was handed me last night. It was translated from the Berlin "Daily" by
Bro. Jos. Z. J. late of Civil Service lodge No. 148, of the city of Quebec,
and printed and presented by W. Bro. W. H. Little, W. M. of St. Andrew's lodge
No. 6, Quebec. Bro. Little, who is a good printer and a zealous Mason, appends
the following footnote:
this letter require any further comment? We think not. The letter is too
clear, and at the same time so forcible, so precious, that it would not be
considered too much if the same were made to stand forth in golden letters on
the wall of every lodge room."
recommend it to the attention of your intelligent readers.
&c., yours fraternally, --Robert Ker, Trinity Church,
Grand Chaplain of the Provincial of Quebec. Quebec City, Dec., 1885.
follows a version of the letter quoted by Brother Sherman, varying slightly in
verbiage, but no more than might be expected of two independent translations.
seemed fairly sound authority, for the London Freemason is usually accurate in
its statements, and then it was that I myself fell into the very error which I
have decried in others; for I cribbed the letter of Frederick bodily from
Brother Sherman's address and used it in one of my printed lectures--that one
entitled "Catholicism and Freemasonry," many thousands of which have found
their way into circulation. So I stand as "equally guilty with the rest," for,
as I am about to demonstrate, there is every reason to believe that the letter
am not the latest offender. There is some comfort in this knowledge. On
January 24, 1912, the German Freemasons celebrated the two hundredth
anniversary of the birth of Frederick the Great, and shortly after that event
the distinguished Brother E. Koettlitz, grand archivist and librarian of the
Supreme Council of Belgium, prepared a valuable paper entitled "Frederic II,
un Roi Franc-Macon," which contains a great amount of valuable matter touching
Frederick's Masonic connections and activities. In the course of this paper
Brother Koettlitz says:
cite, for example, the typical letter that he addressed to the Capuchins an
order of Franciscan friars belonging to the Roman Catholic church, who had
follows another version of the famous letter, varying from the translations
given by Brother Sherman and Brother Pike in minor particulars only. Brother
Koettlitz's paper was translated into English in April, 1914, by Mrs.
Katharine Pratt Horton, of Buffalo, N. Y., and embodied in the Proceedings of
the Council of Deliberation of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for New York
for 1914, the letter under discussion appearing on pages 249 and 250 of that
Brother Koettlitz's address is also published, in part, in The New Age
Magazine for May, 1915, the translation there given providing us with still a
fourth version of our letter, identical in all material regards with the other
short time ago I had occasion to look up certain matters connected with the
Adonhiramite Rite of Masonry, a system which enjoyed a considerable vogue in
France and perhaps in Germany in the latter portion of the eighteenth century,
and which is still practiced by a number of lodges in Brazil, and possibly in
other South American states. The best authority on this rite is the little
book entitled "Recueil Precieux de la Maconnerie Adonhiramite," the first
edition of which was published anonymously in 1781. The authorship has been
ascribed both to Baron de Tschoudy and Guillemain de St. Victor, but as
Tschoudy died in 1769 it is probable that the attribution to St. Victor is
copy of this little book is of the edition of 1787. To my great interest I
encountered on pages 103 to 115 a section devoted to "Violences exercees
contre les Francs-Macons," containing what purports to be, and probably is, a
correct reproduction of the two letters published in the Courrier du Bas-Rhin
on May 5 and 22, 1779, referred to by Thory and Ragon. The first of these
letters, while not lacking in interest, has no direct bearing upon the alleged
letter of Frederick. It is a communication addressed under date of April 13,
1779, by the brethren of the Loge de la Constance of Aix-la-Chapelle to their
brethren in other cities, reciting the persecutions to which they were being
subjected by reason of the fanatical preaching of the two priests, Grieneman
and Schuff, and asking that prayers be offered and representations made in
proper quarters in their behalf, to the end that protection might be accorded
them by some unnamed personage. The name is left blank, but it is not an
unfair presumption that the king of Prussia was meant.
second letter, however, seems to establish the fraudulent character of the
letter ascribed to Frederick, and I therefore append my own translation in
Extract from the Courrier du Bas-Rhin, May 21, 1779. Letter to the Reverend
Fathers Greineman, theological lecturer in the Convent of the Dominicans of
Aix-la-Chaplle, and Schuff, Capuchin, preacher at the Cathedral of said city.
Very Reverend Fathers: Various reports, confirmed by the public prints, having
informed me of the ardor with which you have exerted yourselves to unsheathe
the sword of fanaticism against certain tranquil, virtuous and respectable
persons, called Masons, I must, as a former dignitary of their venerable
order, repulse, so much as lies in my power, the calumny which outrages it,
and endeavor to free your eyes from the thick veil which leads you to see and
depict the temple which we elevate to the virtues as the receptacle of all the
very reverend fathers, do you seek to bring back upon us those centuries of
ignorance and barbarity which were for so long a time the reproach and the
shame of the human spirit ? Those times of fanaticism, toward which the eye of
reason cannot look back without horror ? Those times when hypocrisy seated
upon the throne of despotism, between superstition and folly, gave the world
to the steel, and burned indiscriminately as sorcerers all who knew how to
read ? Not only do you apostrophize the Masons by this name of sorcerers (a
senseless name, shameful evidence of the imbecility of our ancestors and which
proves nothing), but you accuse them further of being swindlers, sodomites,
ungodly persons, precursors of antichrist; and you charitably exhort an entire
people to exterminate this accursed race.
Swindlers, my reverend fathers, never charge themselves, as we do, with the
duty of assisting the poor and the orphaned swindlers rather demand of them
contributions, despoil them of their heritages, and grow fat upon their
spoils, in the bosom of sloth and hypocrisy; swindlers, in short, befool
mankind--the Masons educate them.
Assuredly, sodomites are not proper persons to fill the estate of good fathers
of families, but a Mason who returns from his lodge, where he has received
only lessons tending to the good of humanity, is in his home a better father
and a better husband. Precursors of antichrist would beyond doubt exert all
their efforts to destroy the law of the Most High; but Masons can never
attempt this without at the same time overturning their own edifice. Finally,
you denounce them as an accursed race, whom it is necessary to exterminate.
Compare this judgment with that which has been pronounced upon them by a
prince whom the wisest men of the century have with unanimous voice surnamed
the Solomon of the North:
Majesty is happy to assure you in his turn that he has always interested
himself in the happiness and prosperity of an assembly which finds its chief
glory in the indefatigable and uninterrupted propagation of all the virtues of
the honest man and the true patriot
"Potsdam, Feb. 7, 1778. --Frederic."*
style is very different from yours, my very reverend fathers, and if one of
the greatest princes has testified so preciously that Masonry is the school of
all the virtues of the honest man, in what class are to be ranked those who
persecute them, and who cry, "Become converted!"? To whom, my reverend
fathers, best applies this advice to become converted ? Is it those who,
uniting to taste the purest sweets of humanity, recommend unceasingly union,
peace and fraternal love, or those who cry "Aid us to exterminate them !" ? Is
it the love of peace, O ministers of a God of peace, that has led you to
compromise certain members of your regency in the hearing of all, by demanding
of the assembled people if justice could be properly administered by them ?
The indulgence of your magistrates on this occasion proves at least that they
are more peaceable than you. But without discussing the question whether or
not it is permissible for a minister of religion to erect himself a tribune of
the people, learn, my very reverend fathers, that Masons have always sworn to
maintain and follow the laws, to be faithful to their country, and that the
first obligation of a Mason is to perform the duties of the station in which
heaven has placed him. By this you may see that our oath is not the pact of
thieves, as you have dared advance from the seat of truth; and when you shall
have become better instructed in our statutes you will doubtless imitate the
Masons, who leave the world in peace.
reverend fathers; never have Freemasons troubled states; rather has this been
the act of the fanatics. Never have they dealt death to those who did not
think as they do. They serve faithfully their princes; they obediently allow
themselves to be governed by them; they respect them, and they have never
counted a Jacques Clement among their brethren. You should reflect upon the
fact that among these same Masons whom you treat as swindlers are to be
counted all the princes of Europe, with the most powerful and most honest
people of their states. The king of Naples, you reply to me, has allowed the
Masons to be persecuted. That is true; but he was not then their brother. He
has become so since, and he protects them. The secular rulers are not the only
ones whom Masonry has honored; and you surely are not ignorant, my very
reverend fathers, that it counts in its ranks a pope, several cardinals,
certain Dominicans even, and a number of Capuchins. I have often participated
in the work of the lodge with religious men every order. I have found there
able preachers and honest men, who, upon leaving our assemblies, went to edify
their auditors, but did not say to them, "Assist us to exterminate them!"
and I have the honor to be, with that candor inseparable from good and free
Masonry, my very reverend fathers. -S.F.B.
of a lodge situated four miles from Babylon, this 16th day of the fifth month
of the year of the Great Light, 5779.
scarcely necessary to comment upon this letter. It speaks for itself. No one
can doubt that it is the original from which was framed the apocryphal blast
of righteous wrath attributed to Frederick the Great. Down to the little
quotation from a possibly authentic letter of the famous monarch, this letter
is almost identical, word for word, allowing for differences in translation,
with the fraudulent one.
is not to be suspected that any portion of the last-quoted communication, save
only the fragment in quotation marks, is from the pen of the Prussian ruler.
He would scarcely style himself "the Solomon of the North," nor call himself
"one of the greatest princes." Clearly, it was written by the master of one of
the lodges of Aix-la-Chapelle, who chose to veil his identity under the
initials "S. F. B." The expression, "a lodge situated four miles from
Babylon," amounts to nothing. It may prevent us from identifying the lodge of
which S. F. B. was master, but further than that it need not concern us. Such
mystification was common among Continental Masons in the eighteenth century.
Many Masons thus concealed their identity from the profane, when writing books
or articles for publication, partly because of clerical persecutions, and
partly because it was not thought necessary to take the public into
confidence. Even the little book from which the foregoing extract is made, the
"Recueil Precieux," was, as has been said, published anonymously; and its
place of publication was not openly disclosed. The title page merely states
that it was published "At Philadelphia, at the house of Philarethes, street of
the Square, at the Plumb."
"typical letter" of Frederick, as Brother Koettlitz styles it, which has given
satisfaction to so many of us, cannot be regarded as other than a fraud. And
the tale of his indignation at the aggressions of the two fanatical priests of
Aix-la-Chapelle, if based on no better evidence than this, must be relegated
to the category of myths.
the bottom of page 112 of the "Becueil Precieux" is a footnote, referring to
the above letter signed by Frederick, in which it is stated that the original
of this letter, addressed to the Loge de l'Amitie at Berlin, is preserved in
its archives, and is to be found in its entirety in the Gazette Litteraire of
that city, folio 726, of Feb. 23, 1778.
WORSHIP OF MARS
base apostasy, for words too great!
Christendom the Prince of Peace has spurned;
heart despoiled of love, and filled with hate,
unto Mars, the god of war, has turned.
struggling forces charge and counter charge;
men and horses by the thousand fall;
the gruesome list of death grows large,
lords of war for other thousands call.
deadly rifle shot and cannon boom,
mortar's roar, and madly screeching shell,
stifling vapors adding to the gloom,
earth seems changed into a very hell.
deadly submarines the seas infest;
aeroplanes drop bombs from over head;
navies for supremacy contest
many hearts are filled with constant dread.
howling, savage dogs of war turned loose,
bitter curses rise above their prayers;
disregarding every call to truce,
drench with blood the world's great altar stairs.
Imposing churches, built for prayer and praise,
dedicated to the Prince of Peace,
Professing Christians madly storm and raze--
God! when will such false pretensions cease?
still the god of war is not content,
sacrifice of life," he loudly calls,
when the air with murd'rous sounds is rent,
laughs the while the flower of manhood falls.
grins as little children shriek in fright,
helpless women wring their hands and cry;
Exultantly he shouts his base delight,
men, enraged, rush on to do--or die.
mountain-like the debts, by war incurred,
people over-taxed, must help defray;
backs will ache, fond hopes be long deferred,
jaded nations monstrous war debts pay.
this, the fruit of our apostasy,
death, great debts, and gaping, ugly scars
Distressing turmoil, both on land and sea,
what, in part, we pay to worship Mars.
we look upon the ruin wrought,
the God of love most humble pray,
we, through wide and awful suffering taught,
never more the Prince of Peace betray.
A. Coil, Marietta, Ohio.
American Union Lodge, No. 1.
QUEEN, THE SOUL
may be likened in a parable to a simple citizen who married a princess of the
royal blood. Even if he made her to eat of all the delicacies of the world,
and gave her every delight, he could never fulfill all his obligations to her.
Why ? Because she is the daughter of a line of kings. Thus also, whatever a
man may do for his own soul, he can never do all that is required of him,
because the soul of man is from on high."
IN THE DESERT - THE STORY OF A POEM
C.M. SCHENCK. COLORADO
of the most pathetic of the poems of Albert Pike is entitled "Death in the
Desert," in which he imagines the last, bitter hours of a friend and Brother
Mason who was wounded and left to perish on the old Santa Fe trail in the wild
days of Indian war. It first appeared in a tiny volume of "Prose Sketches and
Poems Written in the Western Country," published by Light & Norton, Boston,
1834-- the earliest, and now the rarest, piece of his writing. What lay back
of that poem is told in the following article by a kinsman of the Brother
whose fate the poem describes so vividly.)
reading that exceedingly interesting work "Leading Facts of New Mexico
History," by Mr. R. E. Twitchell, my eye caught the foot note on page 135 of
Volume 2, relative to the various Santa Fe caravans that crossed the plains,
which quotes from "Chittenden's History of American Fur Trade," as follows:
"1832 - fall and winter of this year, attacked by Indians Canadian January and
lost all their property and one man."
Gregg in his "Commerce of the Prairies" (Vol. 11, pp. 48-53), presumably
referred to the same party. He states that three or more men lost their lives.
One of the three was a kinsman of mine, of whose life and death the following
sketch is found in "Rev. William Schenck, His Ancestry and His Descendants,"
by A. D. Schenck, (1882 pp. 80-85), which may be of Masonic interest:
"Colonel William Rogers Schenck was born at Cincinnati, then in the
Northwestern Territory, 20 Oct., 1799. In 1802 his father, Gen. William C.
Schenck, removed and settled permanently at Franklin, now in Warren County,
Ohio, where the son remained with him, receiving such education as the place
and times afforded, until he reached the age of about eighteen years, when he
was sent as a clerk to Mr. Martin Baum, a wealthy merchant of Cincinnati, and
an intimate friend of Gen. Schenck.
young man, William was noted for his wit and social qualities, a genial
companion and something of a poet; some of his effusions are to be found in a
work entitled "Gems from American Poets."
the death of his father in 1821, he returned to Franklin to take charge, as
co-executor with his mother, of the family estate. And he then and there
established himself in business upon his own account as a merchant, his store
being on Front Street, between Second and Third Streets. Not being satisfied
with this business, he removed with his family to Lebanon, in Warren County,
Ohio, and commenced the study of law with the late Thomas Corwin, and was
admitted to the bar, but never practised as a lawyer.
took a great interest in the militia, and held various commissions as an
officer therein. After having been captain of the cavalry, he was commissioned
as a lieutenant-colonel, Second Regiment, Second Brigade, the 16th of January,
1823. He was afterwards colonel of this regiment, his resignation being dated
the 15th of November, 1826, "he having been an officer of said regiment for
24th of October, 1822, he entered the Masonic fraternity, was "passed" on the
26th of the same month, and "raised" to the degree of a master Mason on the
27th of the following month. In 1826 he was the secretary of his lodge,
Eastern State, No. 55, of Franklin, Ohio. His father was the first master of
this lodge upon its organization in 1819, and his uncle, Garrett A. Schenck,
was at the same time the junior warden.
3d of February, 1831, Colonel Schenck left Cincinnati to engage in the Santa
Fe trade, a business then in its infancy. He went from St. Louis by way of
Independence to Santa Fe during that year. One of the same party was the late
well-known General Albert Pike, of Washington, D. C. This party consisted of
seventy-five men in all, and was fitted out by Carter Bent, Frederick Billen
and Mr. Holliday, the train consisting of ten wagons, all but one drawn by
oxen, and left St. Louis on the 10th of August, Independence between the 5th
and 10th of September, and got into Taos, some on one day, some on another,
between the 9th and 15th of November of that year.
General Pike writes: "In September, 1832, I left Santa Fe and Taos with a
trapping party, descended the Picos, crossed the Ellano Estacado, and
ultimately reached Arkansas. During my stay of near ten weeks I saw Mr.
Schenck very often, and we continued to be on terms as intimately friendly as
we were while crossing the plains. He told me a thousand things about himself
and his relatives, the course of his life, his success and reverses; but all
have passed out of my memory, for until now, no one has spoken to me of him in
fifty years. He was a man of cultivation and acquirements, of fine
intelligence, cordial and genial, a pleasant companion and firm friend, sadly
out of place in such a country as New Mexico was at that day, among the
citizens of the United States residing there. I left him in Santa Fe, and
after I had been for a time in Arkansas I heard of his having been wounded and
left to die on the prairie, and wrote and published some lines of verse
respecting it, which were seen by his relatives, and caused them to write to
me for such information as I could give."
fall or winter of 1832-33, a party consisting of twelve men started to return
from Santa Fe. This party met with a terrible calamity, an account of which is
given by Josiah Gregg in his "Commerce of the Prairies," (Vol. 11, pp. 48-53),
three or four days of weary travel over this level plain the picturesque
valley of the Canadian burst once more upon our view, presenting one of the
most magnificent sights I had ever beheld. It was somewhere in this vicinity
that a small party of Americans experienced a terrible calamity in the winter
of 1832-3, on their way home; and as the incident had the tendency to call
into play the most prominent features of the Indian character, I will digress
so far here as to relate the facts.
party consisted of twelve men, chiefly citizens of Missouri. Their baggage and
about ten thousand dollars in specie were packed upon mules. They took the
route of the Canadian River, fearing to venture on the northern prairies at
that season of the year. Having left Santa Fe in December, they had proceeded
without accident thus far, when a large party of Comanches and Kiowas were
seen advancing with the treacherous and pusillanimous disposition of those
races. The traders prepared at once for defense; but the savages having made a
halt at some distance, began to approach one by one, or in small parties,
making a great show of friendship all the while, until most of them had
collected on the spot. Finding themselves surrounded in every direction, the
travellers now began to move on in hopes of getting rid of the intruders; but
the latter were equally ready for the start, and mounting their horses, kept
jogging on in the same direction.
first act of hostility perpetrated by the Indians proved fatal to one of the
American traders named Pratt, who was shot dead while attempting to secure two
mules, which had become separated from the rest. Upon this the companions of
the slain man immediately dismounted and commenced a fire upon the Indians,
which was warmly returned, whereby another man by the name of Mitchell was
this time the traders had taken off their packs and piled them around for
protection, and now falling to work with their hands, they very soon scratched
out a trench deep enough to protect them from the shot of the enemy. The
latter made several desperate charges, but they seemed too careful of their
own personal safety, notwithstanding the enormous superiority of their
numbers, to venture near the rifles of the Americans. In a few hours all the
animals of the traders were either killed or wounded, but no personal damage
was done to the remaining ten men, with the exception of a wound in the thigh
received by one, which was not at the time considered dangerous.
the siege the Americans were in great danger of perishing from thirst, as the
Indians had complete command of all the water within reach. Starvation was not
so much to be dreaded, because, in case of necessity, they could live on the
flesh of their slain animals, some of which lay stretched close around them.
After being pent up for thirty-six hours in this terrible hole, during which
time they had seldom ventured to raise their heads above the surface without
being shot at, they resolved to make a bold sortie in the night, as any death
was preferable to the fate which awaited them there. As there was not an
animal left that was at all in condition to travel, the proprietors of the
money gave permission to all to take and appropriate to themselves whatever
amount each man could safely undertake to carry. In this way a few hundred
dollars were started with, of which, however, but little ever reached the
United States. The remainder was buried deep in the sand in hopes that it
might escape the cupidity of the savages; but to very little purpose, for they
were afterwards seen by some Mexican traders making a great display of specie,
which was without doubt taken from the unfortunate cache.
every prospect of being discovered, overtaken and butchered, but resolved to
sell their lives as dearly as possible, they at last emerged from their hiding
place, and moved on silently and slowly until they found themselves beyond the
perlieus of the Indian camp. Often did they look back in the direction where
from three to five hundred savages were supposed to watch their movements; but
much to their astonishment, no one appeared to be in pursuit. The Indians,
believing no doubt that the property of the traders would come into their
hands, and having no amateur predilection for taking scalps at the risk of
losing their own, appeared willing enough to let the spoliated adventurers
depart without further molestation.
destitute travelers having run themselves short of provisions, and being no
longer able to kill game for want of material to load their rifles with, they
were soon reduced to the necessity of sustaining life upon the roots and
tender barks of trees. After traveling for several days in this desperate
condition, with lacerated feet and utter prostration of mind and body, they
began to disagree among themselves about the route to be pursued and
eventually separated into two distinct parties. Five of these unhappy men
steered a westward course, and after a succession of sufferings and privations
which almost surpassed belief, they reached the settlements of the Creek
Indians, near the Arkansas River, where they were treated with great kindness
other five wandered about in a great state of distress and bewilderment, and
only two finally succeeded in getting out of the mazes of the wilderness.
Among those who were abandoned to their fate and left to perish thus miserably
was a Mr. Schenck, the same individual who had been shot in the thigh, a
gentleman of talent and excellent family connections, who was a brother, as I
am informed, of the Hon. Mr. Schenck, at present a member of Congress from
Ohio. The following is a poem mentioned by General Pike, written by him upon
hearing of the fate of his unfortunate friend:
IN THE DESERT
sun is sinking from the sky,
clouds are clustering round the moon,
misty bastions, mountain high;
night approaches, ah! too soon.
me the dark prairies spread
near me, in wide sandy beds,
water salter than the sea,
as tears of misery.
now the sharp, keen, frosty dew,
to fall upon my head,
Piercing each shattered fibre through;
torturing wound with fresh pain is fed.
me lies dead my noble horse;
watched its last convulsive breath,
saw him stiffen to a corse,
Knowing like his would be my death.
cowards left me lying here
die- and for three weary days
watched the sunlight disappear;
I shall not see his eyes;
my dead heart they soon will blaze.
God! it is a fearful thing
alone in this wide plain,
hear the hungry vultures wing,
watch the light of my existence wane.
indeed, left here to die?
! Alone ! It is no dream !
times I hope it is. Though nigh,
Already faintly sounds the stream.
die! and fierce wolves will gnaw
corse before the pulse is still,
my parting breath I draw.
doth the cup of torture fill;
this it is that sends a thrill
anguish through by inmost brain;
thought far bitterer than death;
not for the passing pain,
fain would draw in peace my last, my parting breath.
here, while left all, all alone,
die, (how strange that word will sound)
many a bitter, mocking tone,
faces of old friends come around.
tell of one untimely sent
to the dark and narrow grave
Honor's code; of old friends bent,
grief, for causes that I gave;
leaning on each misty wave,
the shapes I loved and lost
around, with deep dim eyes,
drowning men to land uptossed.
here one mocks, and my vain rage defies.
God! my children, spare the thought!
depart from me, lest I
length to madness should be wrought,
cursing Thee, insanely die!
the cold pulse is beating slow--
death's shadow close at hand;
from sunset's golden glow,
looking toward my native land,
the dark clouds, like giants, stand,
strain my eyes, and hope perchance,
see, beneath the calm cold moon,
shape of human-kind advance
give a dying man the last and saddest boon.
vain, in vain! No footstep comes!
yet lone and desolate;
and darker swell the glooms,
with them Death and eyeless Fate.
I dying. Well I know
pains that gather round the heart,
wrist's weak pulse is beating slow,
life and I begin to part;
now would be the leech's art;
death is not so terrible,
hath been. No more I see!
tongue is faltering! Now all's well!
soul, 'tis thine, oh Father, take it unto
Hereafter ! O we need not waste
smiles or tears, whate'er befall;
happiness but holds a taste
something sweeter, after all:--
depth of agony but feels
fragment of abiding trust,--
Whatever Death unlocks or seals
mute beyond is just.
--James Whitcomb Riley.
is no time for hate, O wasteful friend:
hate away until the ages end.
you an ancient wound ? Forget the wrong.
my West a forest loud with song
high and green over a field of snow,
glacier buried far below.
Shoes of Happiness."
DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
BRO. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
are two ways in which the Master Degree may be thought to lapse from
perfection in respect of its symbolism, and I have not taken out a license to
represent it as of absolute order in these or in any respects. This has been
practically intimated already. Perhaps it is by the necessity of things that
it has recourse always to the lesser meaning, for it is this which is more
readily understood. On the other hand, much must be credited to its subtlety,
here and there, in the best sense of the term. There is something to be said
for an allegory which he who runs may read, at least up to a certain point.
But those who made the legend and the ritual could not have been unaware of
that which the deeper side shows forth; they have left us also the Opening and
Closing as of the great of all greatness--so it seems to me, my Brethren --in
things of ceremony and ritual. Both are devoid of explanation, and it is for
us to understand them as we can.
myself it is obvious that something distinct from the express motives of
Masonry has come to us in this idea of Raising. The Instituted Mysteries of
all ages and countries were concerned in the figuration, by means of ritual
and symbolism, of New Birth, a new life, a mystic death and resurrection, as
so many successive experiences through which the Candidate passed on the way
of his inward progress from earthly to spiritual life, or from darkness to
light. The Ritual or Book of the Dead is a case in point. It has been for a
long period regarded by scholarship as intimating the after-death experiences
or adventures of the soul in the halls of judgment, and so forth; but there
are traces already of the genesis of a new view, chiefly in the writing of Mr.
W. Flinders Petrie, according to which some parts at least of this great text
are really a rite of initiation and advancement, through which Candidates pass
in this life.
BOOK OF THE DEAD
am putting this rather strongly as regards one important authority, it is at
least true to say that he appears to discern the mystical side of the old
Egyptian texts, while there are others, less illustrious than he, who have
gone much further in this direction. It is very difficult for one like myself,
although unversed in Egyptology, to study such a work as "Osiris and the
Egyptian Resurrection," by E. Wallis Budge, without feeling very strongly that
there is much to be said for this view, or without hoping that it will be
carried further by those who are properly warranted.
as it is possible to speak of the Kabiric Mysteries, there was in those an
episode of symbolical death, because Kasmillos, a technical name ascribed to
the Candidate, was represented as slain by the gods. Some of the rites which
prevailed within and around Greece in ancient times are concerned with the
idea of a regeneration or new birth. The Mysteries of Bacchus depicted the
death of this god and his restoration to light as Rhea. Osiris died and rose,
and so also did Adonis. He was first lamented as dead and then his
revivification was celebrated with great joy. There is no need, however, to
multiply the recurrence of these events in the old Mysteries nor to restrict
ourselves within their limits, for all religions have testified to the
necessity of regeneration and have administered its imputed processes. That
which is most important-- from my point of view--is the testimony belonging to
Christian times and the secret tradition therein.
course, to speak of this it is necessary to trend on subjects which at the
present are excluded, and very properly so, from discussion in a Craft Lodge,
when they are presented from a religious and doctrinal angle. I shall not
treat them from that standpoint, but rather as a sequence of symbolism in the
form of dramatic mystery, alluding slightly, and from a philosophical point of
view only, to the fact that in certain schools they are regarded as
delineating momentous experiences in the history and life of man's soul. That
new birth which conferred upon the Eleusinian mystae the title of Regenerated
Children of the Moon--so that each one of them was henceforth symbolically a
Son of the Queen of Heaven--born as a man originally and reborn in a divine
manner--has its correspondence on a much higher plane of symbolism with the
Divine Birth in Bethlehem, according to which a child was "born" and a son
"given," who, in hypothesis at least, was the Son of God, but Son also of
Mary--one of whose titles, according to Latin theology, is Queen of Heaven.
hidden life in Egypt and Nazareth corresponds to the life of seclusion led by
the mystae during their period of probation between the Lesser and Greater
Mysteries. The three years of ministry are in analogy with the
Temple-functions of the mystagogues. But lastly, in Egypt and elsewhere, there
was the mystic experience of the Pastos, in which the initiate died
symbolically, as Jesus died upon the Cross. The Christian "Symbolum" says:--Descendit
ad inferos: that is, "He descended into hell"; and in the entranced condition
of the Pastos, the soul of the Postulant was held or was caused to wander in
certain spiritual realms. But in fine, it is said of Christ:--Tertia die
resurrexit; "the third day he rose again from the dead." So also the Adept of
the Greater Mysteries rose from the Pastos in the imputed glory of an inward
was a period not so long ago when these analogies were recognized and applied
to place a fabulous construction upon the central doctrines of Christian
religion, just as there was a period when the solar mythology was adapted in
the same direction. We have no call to consider these aberrations of a
partially digested learning; but they had their excuses in their period. The
point on which I would insist is that in the symbolism of the old initiations,
and in the pageant of the Christian mythos, there is held to be the accurate
delineation of a mystical experience, the heads and sections of which
correspond to the notions of mystic birth, life, death and resurrection. It is
a particular formula which is illustrated frequently in the mystic literature
of the western world. Long before symbolical Masonry had emerged above the
horizon, several cryptic texts of alchemy, in my understanding, were bearing
witness to this symbolism and to something real in experience which lay behind
it. In more formal Christian mysticism, it was not until the 16th century and
later that it entered into the fullest expression.
that which is formulated as mystic birth is comparable to a dawn of spiritual
consciousness. It is the turning of the whole life-motive in the divine
direction, so that, at a given time-- which is actually the point of
turning--the personality stands symbolically between the East and the North,
between the greatest zone of darkness and that zone which is the source of
light, looking towards the light-source and realizing that the whole nature
has to be renewed therein. Mystic life is a quest of divine knowledge in a
world that is within. It is the life led in this light, progressing and
developing therein, as if a Brother should read the Mysteries of Nature and
Science with new eyes cast upon the record, which record is everywhere, but
more especially in his own mind and heart. It is the complete surrender to the
working of the divine, so that an hour comes when proprium meum et tuum dies
in the mystical sense, because it is hidden in God. In this state, by the
testimony of many literatures, there supervenes an experience which is
described in a thousand ways yet remains ineffable. It has been enshrined in
the imperishable books of Plato and Plotinus. It glimmers forth at every turn
and corner of the remote roads and pathways of Eastern philosophies. It is in
little books of unknown authorship, treasured in monasteries and most of which
have not entered into knowledge, except within recent times.
PLACE OF DARKNESS
experience is in a place of darkness, where, in other symbolism, the sun is
said to shine at midnight. There is afterwards that further state, in which
the soul of man returns into the normal physical estate, bringing the
knowledge of another world, the quest ended for the time being at least. This
is compared to resurrection, because in the aftermath of his experience the
man is, as it were, a new being. I have found in most mythological legends
that the period between divine death and resurrection was triadic and is
spoken of roughly as three days, though there is an exception is the case of
Osiris, whose dismemberment necessitated a long quest before the most
important of his organs was left finally lost. The three days are usually
foreshortened at both ends; the first is an evening, the second a complete
day, while the third ends at sunrise. It is an allusion to the temporal
brevity ascribed in all literatures to the culminating mystical experience. It
is remarkable, in this connection, that during the mystic death of the
Candidate in the Third Degree, the time of his interned condition is marked by
three episodes, which are so many attempts to raise him, the last only being
things follow unquestionably from these considerations, so far as they have
proceeded. The interest in Operative Masonry and its records, though
historically it is of course important, has proceeded from the beginning on a
misconception as to the aims and symbolism of Speculative Masonry. It was and
it remains natural, and it has not been without its results, but it is a
confusion of the chief issues. It should be recognized henceforward that the
sole connection between the two Arts and Crafts rests on the fact that the one
has undertaken to uplift the other from the material plane to that of morals
on the surface and of spirituality in the real intention. Many things led up
thereto, and a few of them were at work unconsciously within the limits of
Operative Masonry. At a period when there was a tendency to symbolize
everything roughly, so that it might receive a tincture of religion--I speak
of the Middle Ages--the duty of Apprentice to Master, and of Master to pupil,
had analogies with relations subsisting between man and God, and they were not
lost sight of in those old Operative documents. Here was a rudiment capable of
indefinite extension. The placing of the Lodges and of the Craft at large
under notable patronage, and the subsequent custom of admitting persons of
influence, offered another and quite distinct opportunity. These facts
notwithstanding, my position is that the traces of symbolism which may in a
sense be inherent in Operative Masonry did not produce, by a natural
development, the Speculative Art and Craft, though they helped undoubtedly to
make a possible and partially prepared field for the great adventure and
second point is that we must take the highest intention of symbolism in the
Third Degree to some extent apart from the setting. You will know that the
literary history of our ritual is rather non-existent than obscure, or if this
is putting the case a little too strongly, it remains that researches have so
far left the matter in a dubious position. The reason is not for our seeking,
for the kind of enquiry that is involved is one of exceeding difficulty. If I
say that it is my personal aspiration to undertake it one of these days, I
speak of what is perhaps a distant hope. That which is needed is a complete
codification of all the old copies, in what language soever, which are
scattered through the Lodges and libraries of the whole Masonic world,
together with an approximate determination of their dates by expert evidence.
In my opinion, the codices now in use have their roots in the 18th century,
out were edited and re-edited at an even later date.
now brought before you in somewhat disjointed manner--as I cannot help
feeling--several independent considerations, each of which, taken separately,
institutes certain points of correspondence between Masonry and other systems
of symbolism, but they do not at present enter into harmony. I will collect
them as follows:--
Masonry has for its object, under one aspect, the building of the Candidate as
a house or temple of life. Degrees outside the Craft aspire to this building
as a living stone in a spiritual temple, meet for God's service.
Masonry presents also a symbolical sequence, but in a somewhat crude manner,
of Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection, which other systems indicate as a
mystery of experience.
Masonry, in fine, represents the whole body of its Adepti as in search of
something that has been lost, and it tells us how and with whom that loss came
are separate and independent lines of symbolism, though, as indicated already,
they are interlinked by the fact of their incorporation in Craft Masonry,
considered as a unified system. But the truth is that between the spiritual
building of the First Degree and the Legend of Solomon's Temple there is so
little essential correspondence that the one was never intended to lead up to
the other. The symbolism of the Entered Apprentice Degree is of the simplest
and most obvious kind; it is also personal and individualistic. That of the
Master Degree is complex and remote in its significance; it is, moreover, an
universal mythos. I have met with some searchers of the mysteries who seem
prepared to call it cosmic, but I must not carry you so far as this
speculation would lead us, and I do not hold a brief for its defense. I am
satisfied in my own mind that the Third Degree has been grafted on the others
and does not belong to them. There has been no real attempt to weld them, but
they have been drawn into some kind of working sequence by the Exhortation
which the Worshipful Master recites prior to the dramatic scene in the last
Master Degree. To these must be added some remarks to the Candidate
immediately after the Raising. The Legend is reduced therein to the uttermost
extent possible in respect of its meaning, though it is possible that this has
been done of set purpose.
will be seen that the three aspects enumerated above/fall under two heads in
their final analysis, the first representing a series of practical counsels,
thinly allegorised upon in terms of symbolical architecture. The Candidate is
instructed to work towards his own perfection under the light of Masonry.
There is no mystery, no concealment whatever, and it calls for no research in
respect of its source. Its analogies and replicas are everywhere, more
especially in religious systems. It is a reflection of the Pauline doctrine
that man is or may become a temple of the Holy Spirit. But it should be
observed in this connection that there is a rather important-though confusing
mixture of images in the address of the Worshipful Master to the Candidate,
after the latter has been invested and brought to the East. It is pointed out
to him that he represents the cornerstone of a building--as it might be, the
whole Masonic edifice but he is immediately counselled to raise a
superstructure from the foundation of that corner-stone--thus reversing the
image. That of the corner-stone is like an externalization in dramatic form of
an old Rosicrucian maxim belonging to the year 1629:--"Be ye transmuted from
dead stones into living, philosophical stones."
my point of view, it is the more important side of the symbolism; it is as if
the great Masonic edifice were to be raised on each Candidate; and if every
Neophyte shaped his future course both in and out of Masonry, as though this
were the case actually, I feel that the Royal Art would be other than it now
is and that our individual lives would differ.
Desires are pulses of the soul
lead us on to acts unknown,
reason stands not at the goal,
actions make us to atone.
is thirst that's never filled;
every act it is the mother;
these cravings, be well skilled.
every one creates another.
However rich we may become,
nameless wants are always there,
it is from sun to sun,
ceaseless urge from ev'rywhere.
are no limits to desire,
endless worlds about us roll; But that to which we all aspire,
realization of the soul.
B. Rugg, Minn.
mind lets go a thousand things,
dates of wars and deaths of kings,
yet recalls the very hour--
noon by yonder village tower,
the last blue noon in May
wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
pausing here, set down its load,
pine scents and shook listlessly
petals from that wild-rose tree.
--Thomas Bailey Aldrich.
POLITICAL PSEUDOMASONRY OF SPANISH AMERICA
BRO. F. de P. RODRIGUEZ, CUBA
UNDOUBTEDLY the article of Bro. Hemenway on "The Relationship of Masonry to
the Liberation of Spanish America," published in one of the past numbers of
The Builder, is an splendid one, very ably conceived and well written.
Researches in Latin Masonry are not very often met with at present, and if
confined to the Masonry of Spanish America, they are rarer yet. It is for that
reason that Bro. Hemenway's work pleases me so much; had the Brother been one
of us, of course, his effort would have been appreciated; but as an
Anglo-Saxon he has made us to contract a debt with him which I shall try to
pay, in part, perhaps, as this field of investigation has been searched by me
since many years ago.
Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence of my own Grand Lodge of Cuba, I
have become accustomed to the stereotyped phrase used by many Knights of the
Round Table when reporting on our Proceedings: "As our education has been
sadly neglected and not possessing any knowledge of Spanish, we are unable to
say anything about Cuba, their Proceedings are a sealed book to us." That may
be plain talk, and somewhat unfraternal too, but when we find a Mason as Bro.
Hemenway who can look over our literature we become pleased; more yet, elated,
and thank the Lord to have met him in our way.
shall in this article go over the ground surveyed by Bro. Hemenway, and in a
next one shall discuss the most curious of all the societies we ever had in
Cuba, which went under the name of The Black Eagle, with which I am very
seems to me that Bro. Hemenway sympathizes with the Argentinian and Chilean
nucleus who believe General San Martin was a superior patriot to Simon
Bolivar. That matters not. Perhaps the principal source of his information was
General Bartolome Mitre's "History of San Martin," noted as supporting that
opinion, but more recent works, as, for instance, Mancini's "Life of Bolivar,"
present the matter the other way. As for me, being no South American, I am
completely neutral; both were heroes, and both deserve the blessings of their
countrymen; only I consider it a duty to express Bolivar's views regarding our
Institution, either good or bad as they were.
General Miranda, as carefully described by Bro. Hemenway, was the brain of the
South American Revolution; he was an extraordinary man, although some what
theoretical in his plans; had he been a little more practical he would have
attained success. As a fact, he ran over all Europe an exile from his country;
his sword was offered to half a dozen nations; is it true that he fought for
AmericanLiberty? Whether he did so or not, that does not detract from his
interesting career. The certain case was that he started the most famous of
Spanish American revolutionary clubs that ever existed, but it was not exactly
original, since two years before, (1795), a similar club existed in Spain, in
Madrid, the very capital of the nation. It was named Junta de Villas y
Provincias, but it was soon surpassed by Miranda's creation: the Gran Reunion
Americana, as it was named when originated at its cradle in Grafton Square,
Miranda's London home, where the parent body remained for many years. But when
introduced into Spain, the seat for it chosen at Cadiz, the chief commercial
center of Spain in those days, the name was changed, first to Caballeros
Racionales, next to Sociedad de Lautaro; and later, when transferred to South
America, adopted its final and most permanent name LOGIA DE LAUTARO. It was in
the Cadiz branch that the most eminent patriots of South America were
initiated, Bolivar and San Martin among them.
organization of the Lodge is well described by Bro. Hemenway, but as to its
connection with Freemasonry, mentioned by Garcia Calderon, it was notegally
so. Masonry was a means of obtaining the end entertained by the Society; the
members never claimed to be Masons. The Society was composed of five grades or
degrees, the first three were identical to those of Masonry, as exemplified in
the Scottish Ritual, and they were so rendered as a probation of the candidate
in order to impress on him the habit of keeping secrets and to develop
discipline and solidarity. The proper degrees were the upper two. In the
fourth degree the obligation was very plain: the member swore, by all means,
to defend the independence of the Spanish colonies; and in the fifth and last
degree a democratic credo was exposed, the member taking the oath of never
accepting as a legal government any one that was not the resultant of popular
election, and this to be de facto and de jure republican. That they were not
Masons can be proved by simply observing how they called themselves:
countrymen, never brothers. The Lodge of Lautaro was organized at Buenos Aires
on the arrival there of San Martin, in 1812, and flourished three consecutive
years, nearly disappearing in 1815, after an unsuccessful effort to snatch the
government of the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata from the Committee
of three that held it. It must be noted that Rivadavia, afterward President of
the Republic, was a most energetic opposer of the Lodge. In 1816 the Lodge of
Lautaro reappeared in Mendoza, where San Martin had retired, and soon
afterward was traced in Chile, declining there never more to be noticed.
Lodge is the most curious political society with which Masonry has tried to go
hand in hand; it may not have had a large existence, but, if nothing else
accomplished, it supported and carried all over Argentine and Chile the
patriotic spirit of Liberty and Independence. It served its purpose there
because the soil was fertile. Was it of any good at Venezuela or any of the
northern colonies of the South American continent? Surely not; there the seed
was not sown in the right soil. I shall examine now the causes.
same time that San Martin was entrusted to carry the Society to the South,
Bolivar was appointed to do the same in the North. Bolivar was a Mason,
initiated in Paris at the age of 21 years, in a lodge the name of which has
not been reported, and was induced to do so by the exertions of his teacher,
Don Simon Rodriguez. After the death of his young and beautiful wife, Dona
Teresa del Toro (his own cousin), Bolivar fell in a state of despondency very
hard to overcome; he passed a time in which his behavior was shameful, a
complete debauchery, almost licentiousness. Don Simon, under whose care he
was, after trying every means to cure him of his malady, sought to have him
enter Masonry, and in this he succeeded.
his initiation, Bolivar experienced a radical change; he was cured, but,
unhappily, he never acknowledged the benefit he had received from our order;
and many years afterward (1828) he expressed to his secretary Lacroix a very
poor opinion of us; he said: "I have also been curious to see the inside of
Masonry, causing myself to be raised a Master in Paris, that sufficing to
convince me of the ridiculous of so an ancient society. I met in the Lodge
some extraordinary men, many fanatics, many more impostors, and a great number
of deceived fools. Masons are like grown boys, playing with signs, tricks,
Hebrew words, ribbons and bands. Nevertheless, politicians and deceivers can
obtain something out of that secret society, but in the present condition of
civilization of Colombia, a state of fanaticism and prejudice, it does not
avail to use Masonry, because in exchange for a few partisans in the lodges I
should have raised against me the hate and censure of the whole nation, pushed
against me by the friars, who would accept the pretext to incite public
opinion against Freemasonry. (1)" It is painful to note how Bolivar was so
ungrateful for our Order, although it is true that his words show the key of
the nonsuccess of either Masonry or the Lodge of Lautaro in Venezuela or
Colombia; their people were not prepared for Liberty then and Masonry was
impotent to do it.
Bolivar, charged to spread the Lodge of Lautaro in his own country, did not
attain it and had to content himself with starting the Sociedad Patriotica, an
almost public Revolutionary Society; of course inefficient, living a very
short time. The Liberator himself had to fight very hard against the
fanaticism and ignorance of his own countrymen, witness Don Jose Domingo Diaz
who explains in the following way the attitude of Bolivar during the
earthquake of March 26, 1812: (2) "The priests from stands in the public
squares were reproaching the faithful in so furious and unjust a manner that
Bolivar, coming out from among the ruins of the convent of San Jacinto, could
not refrain, on hearing one of those preacher's calumnies, that, sword in
hand, pushed the clergyman down occupying his place, and with that beautiful
oratory, so common to him, addressed the citizens, calming them and asking
from them confidence in the merciful God. He ended his speech by stating that,
'If Nature opposes us and helps the tyrant we shall fight against Nature too
and make her obey us,' In 1822 he also addressed a series of letters to the
Bishop of Popayan, describing the progress of religion from colonial times to
those of the Republic."
no retrograde, by any means, but we lament that he had so poor an opinion of
us; he had no spare time to go deep into Masonry; he was too much meddled in
politics to pay us much attention; he was not sufficiently acquainted with our
practices. His passing through French Masonry was like a lightning flash,
neither there was then any show of Masonry in Colombia; she came afterward
with the Spanish army; had Bolivar had time to come close to our Fraternity he
might have changed his mind.
difference between the heroes of Mount Vernon and San Mateo! True, but never
forget that they moved in different societies, between Virginia and Colombia,
and as they were in those times, the difference was immense. Now a radical
change has beenwrought, and Freemasonry has begun to benefit that country.
much for the role that Masonry played in South America in the beginning of the
XIX century. Whatever the outcome, it deserves to be studied carefully and
with love. Now, I pray all of you to accompany me to the Pearl of the Antilles
where I shall show you something new and worthy to be recorded. Only give a
short time to sharpen my pencil and go forward, fear of submarines in these
Diario de Bucaramanga, by Lacroix.
Recuerdo sobre la Rebelion de Caracas, by Jose Domingo
only religion of Masonry is to believe in God and to obey the moral law; its
only politics to be peaceable subjects of the civil powers and obedient to the
laws of the land in which we live. The Great Light of Masonry must be her only
creed, the Constitution of our country its only political platform.
--Grand Master Fitch.
cannot hold another down in the ditch without staying in the ditch with him;
in helping the man who is down to rise, the man who is up is freeing himself
from a burden that would else drag him down. For the man who is down there is
always something to hope for, always something to be gained.
mind a change of scene--
change of thinking.
if things seem sordid, mean,
the use of blinking?
not always storm and cloud,
Somewhere stars are shining.
think your joys out loud,
Silence all repining.
degrees, by thinking light,
Thinking glad and sweetly,
escape the stress of night,
the habit looking for
Tapping gaily at your door--
cure for fretting.
Needn't fool yourself at all.
there's no denying
above a prison wall
birds are a flying.
Wherefore hearken to the song,
mind the prison,
you'll find your soul ere long
POWER OF VIRTUE
think there is some reason for questioning whether the body and mind are not
so proportioned, that the one can bear all which can be inflicted on the
other; whether virtue cannot stand its ground as long as life, and whether a
soul well principled will not sooner die than be subdued.
work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it;
if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon our
immortal minds--if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God
and love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something which will
brighten for all eternity.”
--Scottish Rite Bulletin.
be a little kinder,
be a little blinder
faults of those about me,
praise a little more;
be when I am weary
little bit more cheery--
serve a little better
that I am striving for.
be a little braver
temptation bids me waver.
strive a little harder
all that I should be;
be a little meeker,
the brother who is weaker.
think more of my neighbor
little less of me.
be a little sweeter--
my life a bit completer,
doing what I should do,
minute of the day.
toil without complaining,
humble task disdaining;
face the summons calmly
death beckons me away.
--Detroit Free Press.
BRO. J. L. CARSON. VIRGINIA
REGIMENTAL lodges were the pioneers, the missionaries of the Craft- -Asia,
Africa, Australia, America, Canada and the Continent of Europe, owe much to
this source of Masonry, particularly the Royal Arch and Knight Templar
first military lodge ever warranted was No. 11 on the roll of the Grand Lodge
of Ireland. It was issued in 1732 to the old "1st Foot" then the "1st Royal
Regiment," now the "Royal Scots Regiment," and the succession of traveling
warrants from the Grand Lodge of Ireland outnumbered those of all the other
constitutions put together.
earliest regulations dealing with these field lodges are to be found in the
Irish Code of 1768, which incidentally contain the first attempt at limiting
the jurisdiction of each Grand Lodge to its own country.
soldier brethren were allowed to work Masonry at any place where their
regiments were stationed, but they were not allowed to initiate civilians in
any district where a regular lodge was warranted nor could a civilian lodge
initiate a soldier if there was a lodge in his regiment. Indeed, since 1850,
no army lodge could initiate a civilian under any circumstance.
histories of these old travelling warrants would be most interesting reading,
but "the fortunes of war" have left few of the army lodge records available to
the student of Masonic history.
officers' mess of the Forty-sixth Regiment of Foot, in a glass case is
preserved a Bible with the following inscription:
this sacred volume Washington received a degree of Masonry. It was twice taken
by the enemy, and both times returned to the regiment with all the honours of
1788 when the Forty-sixth was engaged in the hostilities between England and
America, this Bible was taken by the regiment from the house of people called
West when in New Bedford, Mass., but how this family Bible got from
Fredericksburg, Va., where we know Washington received his first three
degrees, and fell into the hands of the Wests in New Bedford, Mass., is still
an unexplained Masonic secret.
know that the lodge chest of the Forty-sixth, covered by warrant No. 227,
granted in 1752 by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, fell into the hands of the
Americans, and General Washington returned it to the regiment in charge of a
guard of honor. In 1805 this same lodge chest fell into the hands of the
French at Dominica, and was returned the year after by the French government.
In 1822 this chest was lost in India and was rediscovered in 1829 and returned
to the regiment.
find the Forty-sixth with its lodge, No. 227, again in America in 1834. In
1855 this lodge joined the Grand Lodge of Canada and adopted the name, "Lodge
of Antiquity." In 1869 at the formation of the Grand Lodge of the Province of
Quebec, the first lodge on roll is "Antiquity," No. 1, the old No. 227, of the
Forty-sixth Foot, while Lodges No. 2, "Albion," and No. 3, "St. Johns," were
both formerly in the Royal Artillery.
time military lodges were very popular, some regiments carrying two and often
more travelling warrants. Ten lodges were at work in the Revolutionary War.
Two lodges accompanied the American army during the Mexican War, while over a
hundred dispensations for lodges are supposed to have been issued during the
Civil War. Cannot some of our grand old veterans tell us something of some of
IN STANDING ARMY
are, however, no lodges in the standing army of the United States at present,
and out of the many hundreds that were at one time active in the British army,
only about ten are now at work, many having become stationary in military
garrisons, or dropped out of their regiments to swell the ranks of the Grand
Lodges all over the world just as No. 227 did.
the military lodges working under the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and most of
those owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Ancient Grand
Lodge of England, carried what was known as "Black Charters," or "Black
Warrants," covering such degrees as "Past Master of the Chair," "Excellent"
and "Superexcellent," "Royal Arch," "Union Band," "Ark," "Mark Man," "Mark
Master," "Knight of the Sword," "Knights East and West," "Jordan Pass,"
"Prussian Blue," "Knights of Malta," "Red Cross," "Knight Templar." In fact
they had no limit, and the power to give degrees seemed to have been limited
only by their knowledge of the ritual. The most popular degrees, however, were
the "Royal Arch," "Red Cross," and "Knight Templar."
military lodges much of the information saved to us is as brief as the
following memo., written opposite Lodge No. 170, by a Grand Secretary on 6th
of January, 1809:
and furniture lost at St. Croix, members all lost or dead or disposed of, but
Brother Geo. Baxter, Quartermaster."
branch of the service had its lodges. Infantry, cavalry and artillery and many
of the lodges had numbers identical with those of the regiment, such as the
Foot Regiments, 4th, 18th, 25th, 30th, 42d, etc., and the 4th, 12th, and 7th
Dragoons had warrants with similar numbers. Again some lodges took the
territorial names of the regiments to which they were granted, such as "North
Hants," "West Norfolk," "Argyle," and "Inniskilling" Lodges.
1804 Lord Moira was colonel of the "27th Iniskilling Fusiliers" and Master of
the lodge established in the regiment by the G. L. of Ireland, No. 213.
lodges, proud of a great victory or battle in which the regiment at some time
took part, selected such names as "Waterloo," "Niagara," "Minden,"
"Gibraltar." The latter lodge, No. 39, was formed during the seige of "The
FESTIVAL OF ST. JOHN
festival of St. John, 1775, was observed by members of Lodge 156 in the 8th
Foot in their rough barrack room on the east side of Niagara River. For
gallantry in the War 1775 to 1780 this regiment was given the word "Niagara"
on its colours.
lodge in the "7th Queens Own" adopted the name "Queens," the "Fusiliers" Lodge
was with the 21st Fusiliers, and the 26th Cameronians had the "Cameronian"
Lodge. Some lodges adopted the names of their colonels, as "Whites," "Barrys,"
and "Rainsford" Lodges in the 30th, 34th, and 44th Foot.
a lodge could be established in a regiment the consent of the commanding
officer had to be obtained, and it often happened that the new colonel revoked
a former permission and closed the lodge, as happened to the lodges in the
85th Foot, the 3d Dragoon Guards, and many others.
Militia regiments had their lodges, and at one time every regiment of militia
in Ireland had its lodge or lodges.
the Irish Rebellion, 1688-1690, many of the Irish troops entered the French
service. In the regiment of Colonel Walsh was a St. John's Military Lodge,
supposed to be one of these militia warrants. The oldest lodge on the French
Grand Lodge roll today is "Lodge De Parfaite Egalite, 1688. Regt. Irlandes De
Edinburgh Defensive Band Lodge was formed in the Scotch Volunteers, and on
their disbandment became a fixed lodge under the same name, as also did "The
First Volunteer Lodge of Ireland," No. 620, established in 1783. For sixty
years the members wore the lodge uniform--"the dress be black trousers and
coat satin-faced, and velvet collar, with white vest, satin facings colour of
uniform." At the great Masonic Bazaar, held in Dublin in 1892 to assist the
Masonic Female Orphan School when over $100,000 was realized, the "First
Volunteer Lodge of Ireland" showed the old "colours," and two drums of the
regiment, and had a wax figure of one of the volunteers in full uniform.
Captives from our regiments abroad formed lodges, and in 1805 the Ninth
Regiment embarked at Cork in the transport "Ariadne," which was wrecked on the
coast of France, when the lodge lost its chest, warrant, etc., and the
officers and men saved from the wreck were made prisoners of war, and held at
Valenceinnes from 1806 to 1814, where a captive lodge was formed by our good
brethren, and Sergeant Edward Butler seems to have been the mainstay of the
lodge. It is recorded that on January 25, 1814, "the brethren were all
dispersed," and "Brother Butler brought the lodge to England."
Prisoners of war confined in Great Britain on parole, frequently met in the
civilian lodges that held warrants where they were located. In Bandon, a small
town in the south of Ireland, many French prisoners joined the "Ancient Boyne
Lodge," as they did in Selkirk (Scotland), where twenty-three were enrolled,
and at Leeds, in England, the French prisoners formed a lodge of their own in
617, in the "Thirty-second Foot," was an "officers lodge," the Thirty-second
had several other lodges besides, and with this same regiment was Lodge 73, a
"noncommissioned officers lodge." The Fiftyfirst Foot had also an "officers
lodge" attached to it. No private could be initiated in the "officers lodge."
LODGE OF ENGLAND
Grand Lodge of all England," which started in the city of York, 1725, and died
1790 (the adherents of which were the only veritable York Masons) warranted
one solitary military lodge in 1770 to the Sixth Inniskilling Dragoons. This
gallant regiment had three other warrants, one each from the Grand Lodge of
Ireland, the "Ancient" and the "Modern" Grand Lodges of England. One of these
warrants, No. 557, lost out in the Peninsular War, when the enemy observed
Masonic emblems on the chest and ordered its return under a flag of truce in
charge of a guard of honor. The band of this regiment preceded the members of
the Lodge "Appollo," York, England, to divine service on St. John's Day, 1786.
"Thirty-eight Foot" and the Fifth Dragoon Guards in 1795 were granted
duplicate warrants by the Grand Lodge of Ireland, "the original having been
taken by the French"; indeed the Dragoons claim to have lost Masonic chest,
warrant, jewels and all.
lodge in that famous Dragoon regiment, the "Scots Greys," known as "Scots
Greys Kilwinning" Lodge, lost its warrant, lodge chest and jewels in the wars
previous to 1770.
"Minden" Lodge, 63, in the "Twentieth Foot," was founded in 1748, lost in
1772, revived in 1812, lost again, 1836, again revived at Bermuda, 1844, and
finally lost its lodge chest containing warrant, records and jewels in the
LODGE OF SCOTLAND
centenary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 1836, the two lodges of that
renowned Scotch regiment, the "Forty-second Black Watch," were in attendance,
and as the reports of the ceremony quaintly recorded, "Attracted admiration
alike for their martial appearance and Masonic behavior,"
"Twenty-fifth Foot" lost its warrant, chest and ecords at Munster, in Germany,
and they were never covered, but a "new chest and contents" was conseated at
Berwick-on-the-Tweed in 1763.
a common practice for a military lodge on having a station to grant a civil
warrant (a copy of its own often carrying the same name and number) to the
brethren remaining behind, as did Lodge No. 128, when having Hindostan. "Fuzilier
Lodge," No. 33, granted civil warrant when removing from Tasmania. "Sphinx
Lodge," in the "Twentieth Foot," left the "Lodge of 'okohama" in Japan after
it, the first lodge in that country. The "Kings Own," in Fourth Regiment, left
civil lodge of nineteen members behind in Port Louis 'auritius in 1858.
AUSTRALIA AND THE PHILIPPINES
227, in the "Forty-sixth Foot, did the pioeer work in the Australian colonies
about the year 16. Lodge "128 Gibraltar" made the first Mason in India, and
founded many lodges in Hindostan. It lost , chest in the Peninsula War, but
the enemy returned to the old regiment intact. Lodge No. 69, Gallo Neuva
Malate, in Manila, is called "the Cradle of Ameran Masonry in the Philippine
Islands." It was opened y Colonel W. C. Trueman, Master of the North Dakota
military Lodge, working under dispensation in 1898 at Manila.
the "Boer War," 1899-1902, Lodge No. 516 (E. C.), was completely annihilated.
Composed of burghers, they were called out to a man on the outreak of
hostilities, and every officer of the lodge and every active member was
"First Royals" left a lodge behind them at Albany (N. Y.), in 1759, and if
time and space peritted quite a number of instances could be recorded of
Lodges and Grand Lodges in both America and Canada wing their origin to the
military lodges most of which wed allegiance in their ritual to the
"Anglo-Irish," or Ancient" Grand Lodge, establishing the "Ancient" , working,
which was the same as that of Irish and Scotch Grand Lodge.
MASSACHUSETTS AND CANADA
1768 Lodge "St. Andrews" of Boston, joined with the military lodges then on
that station in forming what was known as the "Grand Lodge of Boston," and
Brother Doctor Joseph Warren, who was afterards killed at the Battle of Bunker
Hill, was appointed by the Grand Lodge of Scotland "Grand Master of the
Continent of America."
1757 Lodge 74 on the register of the G.L. of Ireland, on leaving Albany,
granted an exact copy of its warrant to some resident Freemasons. This lodge,
Mount Vernon," now holds third place on the G. L. roll of New York.
1760 the soldier Masons in Wolfe's victorious army (for seven of the regiments
had field lodges) met in an old barrack-room, thus commencing a work in a new
soil which led to the formation of the first provincial G. L. of Quebec under
Lieutenant Guinnett, of the Forty-seventh Regiment.
Twenty-second Foot lost its Irish warrant in the Mississippi River in 1759,
got a Scotch warrant in 1759, took part in the formation of the Grand Lodge of
New York. This G.L. was formed by six military lodges, with others, and
received a warrant as a provincial Grand Lodge in 1781 or 1782. Most of the G.
L. officers being army men left with their regiments, but after the war this
body assumed the title of the Grand Lodge of New York.
"Zion, No. 1," attached to the "Sixtieth Royal American Regiment," established
in 1764, afterwards became Zion, No. 10, on the roll of the G. L. of Canada in
1806. In 1819 it became 62 in the G. L. of New York, and No. 3 in 1826. At the
formation of the Grand Lodge of Michigan it again became Zion, No. 1.
must bring this paper to a close by recommending those brethren who would like
to pursue this subject further to read Brother Gould's "History of
Freemasonry," and "Military Lodges, The Apron and the Sword or Freemasonry
the fatal hour is pealing,
Secrets dread to all concealing,
Secrets deep to thee revealing.
within the gloomy portal
thou not complete thy circle,
the mortal be immortal.
every thing that Russell did, he did his best to hasten,
one day he decided that he'd like to be a Mason.
nothing else would suit him and nothing less would please
must take and all at once the thirty-three degrees.
he rode the--oh, that is, he--really, I can't tell.
either mustn't know at all, or else know very well.
dived into--well, never mind. It only need be said
somewhere, in the last degree, poor Russell dropped down dead.
arrested all the Masons and they stayed in durance vile,
the jury found them "Guilty" when the judge said with a smile,
forced to let the prisoners go, for I can find," said he,
penalty for murder in the thirty-third degree!"
"Rimes to be Read."
(The Builder is an open
forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under
his own name and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as
such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
"Freemasonry is the
subjugation of the Human that is in Man, by the Divine; the conquest of the
Appetites and Passions by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort,
struggle and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual. That
Victory - when it has been achieved and secured, and the conqueror may rest
upon his shield and wear the well-earned laurels - is the true Holy Empire."
- Albert Pike. Morals
LOOK now at the two
figures in the frontispiece. Like Jekyll and Hyde, in the Stevenson story, we
seem to have seen them ourselves, not in a dream, but in the light of open
day. There should be no need to say that they portray the long, lonely fight
which each man has with himself, and the one victory most worth the winning.
Self-conquest, the mastery of our lower nature by loyalty to the highest laws
of life, is the first concern of every man, whoever he may be. Some few win
this victory all at once, and fewer still achieve it once for all, but win it
we must if life is to have any dignity, worth or meaning.
"Trust no future,
the dead Past bury its dead !
act in the living present!
within, and God o'erhead!"
Life is no holiday, no
clever book, no valley of tears, but always and everywhere a war of the soul
against dust, a fight hand to hand and foot to foot. Every inch of the ground
is disputed and must be conquered and held, by trench fighting if in no other
way, without parley and without compromise. While we may wonder why things are
so, none the less we must take things as they are and make the best of them,
lest they make the worst of us. It must be that He who set us here in the
midst of conflict knows that only by struggle can we become strong, else life
would have been differently arranged. At any rate this is the fact: life is
ever a war, and no man can win the fight for another, and no man can win it
Therefore, it behooves
us so to command our forces that our fight for a better life may be a victory
in the end, since it is our duty not to be better than others but to be better
than ourselves. Often we have met defeat and humiliation; again it has been a
drawn battle, with the honors even; and sometimes the joy of victory has been
ours. But, forgetting the scenes which are behind, and abjuring all ideas that
bid us bow to evil as inevitable, let us lift a clean flag to the winds and
vow to stand by it or die. It is a solitary battle. Between us and those
dearest to us there flows a "salt, unplumbed, estranging sea," as though each
soul were an island by itself. Ever the forces surge to and fro, and while
others may cheer us by influence and example, we must win the trophy
singlehanded by the help of Him whose we are.
Some men have a harder
fight than others, and some few seem to have no battle at all. Such was
Emerson, in whom one finds no sense of moral weakness, no prayer for
forgiveness, and seemingly no moral defeat. His victory was won for him before
he was born by a clean-minded, right-loving ancestry. But where there is one
Emerson there are millions of men, like Burns, to whom every day is a
desperate battle with hardly a moment of truce. If we fall, let us admit our
folly, lest we be like Tomlinson, in the Kipling poem of that name, who sinned
so unoriginally that he was not fit for the company of honest sinners. When he
knocked at the gates of hades Satan refused to admit him on that ground that,
by his own confession, some one else had been to blame for all his sins.
Instead, he sent him back to earth with a message to the sons of man:
"That the sins they do
two by two,
They must pay for one
By the same token, our
many defeats should teach us charity for those who fail and fall, remembering
that every man fights a hard fight against many odds - some a much harder
fight than others.
There is a strategy of
the moral life. By the time a man is thirty, he ought to know where he is weak
and mass his forces at that point, taking no risk through lack of vigilance or
diligence. There must be no relaxing of effort, no letting go to have a fling,
nor should we forget those deadly dull moods of depression and lethargy - such
as cost Jean Christophe the worst defeat of his life. Instead, there must be
the most austere discipline with ourselves, the better to harden what is soft
within, and to keep alive in us what James called "the faculty of effort."
Evermore the way of life is by the way of Heavenly Death - the death, that is,
of all that is unheavenly within us - that the Divine may rise and reign, and
character crown our days.
There is nothing for
it, Brother, but a fight to the finish. Yes, even though Birnam Wood come to
Dunsinane, still must we fight, like Galahad, and all the more valiantly for
that we know it is a Siege Perilous. "Courage, my comrades, the devil is
dead," said Denys of Burgundy. But there is a greater courage still: it is
fighting the devil who never dies, until the devil in us all shall die. This
is not the courage of despair, but of hope and faith that by conquest of
ourselves shall Evil be slain, though only in a fair, far time and by erores
of the deaths of us and of our kind.
is the Happy Warrior, this is He
every man in arms should wish to be."
* * *
CHARITY NEVER FAILETH
Surely, if money gifts
occur first to mind when Charity is mentioned it is a token of degradation,
much as such gifts are often needed. That was not the Charity of which St.
Paul wrote, though from the higher Charity the lower should come freely and
without stint. No, the praises of Charity have been sung most sweetly, and the
practice of it most beautifully revealed by those who had neither silver nor
gold. Dear old Thomas Browne, so quaintly wise, so archaic of phrase yet so
sweet of soul, wrote long ago:
"I hold not so narrow a
conceit of this virtue that to give alms is only to be charitable or think a
piece of liberality can comprehend the total of Charity. There are infirmities
not only of body but of soul and fortune, which do require the merciful hand
of our abilities. It is no greater Charity to clothe the Body than to clothe
the Nakedness of the Soul."
True, deeply true, and
this higher Charity we must keep always in mind and heart. There are times
when the offer of money is an insult, when a man needs a word of cheerCa word
so often on the lips of Jesus - more than he needs a bag of gold. There is an
impoverishment of soul which sorely needs the merciful ministry of sympathy,
and in the great and terrible trials of life, when the sea of death divides
and we must face the bitterness of separation, nothing but love can help us.
And those other ills, some of them worse still, when our loved ones meet moral
defeat, when slander assails, when hope is thwarted, it is love that we need.
Indeed, we need brotherly affection in the days of our happiness almost as
much as in the days of our grief.
There are those who
would do away with Charity in behalf of Justice, but that is to err. Justice
we must have, first, last and always; without it society is chaos, and the
life of man is a long-drawn tragedy. But when Justice has been attained in the
social order, when "the numberless dreams of all the dreamers of the world"
have been fully realized, there will still be need of Charity. While we are on
earth sorrow and suffering will remain, and the Good Samaritan must be about
his benign labors. The old thinkers used to discuss whether Faith and Hope
would abide forever. They concluded that Faith and Hope are tabernacles to be
taken down at last, but that Love is not a tabernacle, but a Temple which will
abide unto everlasting.
What we need now and
always we must give freely to others, judging them gently as we would wish to
be judged, offering healing sympathy to the wounded of heart; and this Divine
Charity must go with us into the next world, and be there, as it is here, the
shining path by which we come at last to the white City of God.
all His works abroad
The heart benevolent
The most resembles
* * *
MASONRY IN BUSINESS
By Masonry in business
we do not mean the use, all too frequent, of Masonic connections and
affiliation for self-advantage - a thing which deserves contempt and the
indignation of right-thinking men. Far from it. Instead, we mean the
application to life in all its relations of the spirit and principles learned
in the Lodge. If those principles, so applied, do not make a man more just,
more scrupulous, more considerate, more courteous, and therefore more
efficient in his business, they are of little worth. Slowly men are learning
that Righteousness is common-sense, that Brotherhood is good business, and it
is for Masonry to lead mankind in the conquest of industry by the spirit of
service and the practice of integrity. This is not putting a money value on
Masonry; it is putting a Masonic value on money. It means, not the desecration
of Masonry, but the consecration of business and industrial life, which is
always the last realm to yield to the impress of a moral ideal.
Masonry does its work
in the world through Masons who are loyal to its spirit and who incarnate its
ideals. Finally and at bottom every man is what his thinking is, because, by a
law of the mind, ideas find their way into acts. If sordid ideas preside over
the tragic procession of human vice, that fact should only serve to emphasize
the power over man of great and valid ideas. Since it is true that life
answers to the kind of ideas held in the mind, Masonry, by fixing great and
authentic truths in our hearts, and holding them there until they lay hold of
us and fashion us after their design, is working at the foundation of a nobler
business life, juster and more merciful laws, and a social order in which men
may live and live well, "with malice toward none" and with justice for all.
* * *
OTHERS SEE US
Ye editor must be
allowed to express his gratitude for the generosity and goodwill of Brethren
who have written articles about him and his work in recent months. The article
by Brother Waite in the Occult Review, last August, was noted in these pages,
because of its fine tribute to the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The appreciation by
Brother H. L. Haywood, published in Unity, last November, and now the gracious
estimate by Dr. Albert Dawson in the Christian Commonwealth, of London, Feb.
9th, leave us quite speechless. Frankly we must admit that we recognize the
man whom these Brethren have drawn, not as a present reality, however, but as
the man we ought to be, who has given us more trouble than all other men put
together. Some day, by the good grace of God, we may overtake that fellow and
get even with him for making us so miserable betimes - some day, if not here,
then out yonder in that City on the Hill. For the benefit of such as may be
interested it may not be amiss to state that the sermons of ye editor are now
to be published regularly in the Christian Commonwealth, London, as they have
been in this country for some six years past.
* * *
Several articles are
soon to appear in these pages dealing with the history of the Ritual, with
special reference to the Webb ritual in this country, and the changes which it
suffered or enjoyed in its adoption by various Jurisdictions. The first
article will be by Brother Shepherd, of Wisconsin, followed by another from
Brother Lemert, of Montana; and we hope the field will be thoroughly cut and
shocked before it is finished. In this connection it has been suggested that
we have a page or a department devoted to ritualistic discussion, so far as
such questions can be discussed in print - and they can be, if due caution be
taken to veil from others what is understood by Masons - and with this
suggestion we heartily agree. At any rate, we are confident that the story of
the Webb ritual and its vicissitudes will lead to some profitable discussion -
so mote it be.
MOST heartily do we
congratulate the Author's Lodge, No. 3456, London, on the Wealth and worth of
the first volume of its Transactions, now just come to hand by the kindness of
the Secretary, Brother Algernon Rose, 2 Whitehall Court, London, S. W. This
Lodge, consecrated Nov. 16,1910, is unique, we believe, in Freemasonry, in
that it is made up for the most part of men of letters who are also men of the
Craft, and its founding, largely due to the influence of Brother Max Montesole,
was regarded as a red-letter day by all Masonic students. At first it was
proposed to issue a journal, but fearing that such a venture "was doomed to
disappointment," they adopted the wiser course of publishing a series of
volumes preserving the essays read and discussed - the first of which lies
It is a delightful
volume, both in the dignity of its form and the richness of its contents,
albeit we can make only brief note of it at present, reserving more specific
and critical review for a later issue. Very appropriately the first essay is
by Brother Montesole, first Master of the Lodge, and has to do with the Third
Degree, tracing it chiefly to Hebrew esoteric sources - the Zohar, which
professed to contain the Kaballah - as is now so much the fashion. There is a
fine sketch of Anthony Sayer, first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
England, followed by a charming essay by the Secretary leading us "From Labor
to Refreshment." Class Lodges, the Guild of Help, an Explanation of the
Jewels, notes on Early French Lodges, Freemasons' Lodges Among French War
Prisoners, Masonry and Music, the Cable-Tow, Operative Masonry - by Dr. Carr -
a Speculative Philosophy, the Temple Symbolism of India - by Dr. T. M.
Stewart, of Ohio, the only American represented in the volume - the Masonic
Remains at Pompeii, Elias Ashmole, the Two Pillars: such are some of the
subjects discussed - not forgetting the ever-present, much-written theme,
"What Is Masonry ?"
Truly this is a
tempting list of themes, and the essays treating them are still more tempting,
and we are sure that many members of this Society will want to read them. The
membership of the Author's Lodge numbers over eighty, including some of the
most distinguished men of the Empire, and its meetings are looked forward to
with interest, as might be expected, as much for the spirit of comradery as
for the discussions. We can easily believe that the words of the editor are
true when he says: "To belong to such a Lodge is to find multitude in
solitude, to be unconscious of loneliness when most alone, to be able to
people the desert ways with familiar faces, and sow the waste places with
quickening fellowship." May it be so for many a day, each year adding to the
numbers of the Lodge and to its growth in influence and power for good.
* * *
We have been much
interested in a lecture on "The Landmarks of Masonry," delivered by Brother A.
J. Faulding, while Master of Unity Lodge, London, and now published in a neat
booklet by the Lodge. The lecturer selects Dr. Mackey's list of twenty-five
Landmarks, but disposes of twenty-four of them in a few sentences, giving his
whole attention to the great Landmark which calls for "Belief in the existence
of God." Seldom have we read a nobler discussion of this first truth, which is
also the last, from which we venture to quote the following sentences:
"The Freemason who
speculates on the Great Architect of the Universe cannot fail to concede that
we are compassed about and assisted by a great cloud of witnesses: the spirits
of just Masons made perfect, who, though unseen, still live for the better
helping of those who are the living stones in the true Temple of Mankind.
These, then, are some of the speculations which arise as one contemplates the
basic statement found on these great Landmarks, and we must all feel
profoundly grateful to our Order for having given us the great joy of
realizing the intimate concern of the Divine Creator with His Universe: that,
though He is outside His work, as the human architect is apart from the
building he designs yet superintends, so the great Architect is cognizant of
all the details of His creative art, and will cease not in His scrutiny until
the completion. Surely there never was so satisfying a definition as that we
decipher on our Landmark."
But it is hardly
satisfying as thus stated, for the idea that God is apart from His work as a
human builder is outside his building is a notion belonging to a time long
gone, and quite foreign to the deeper thought of our day. Transcendent He is,
immeasurably greater than our thought or dream, yet none the less does He live
in his world, and in these "strange souls that dwell in clay," revealing the
greatness of the soul, explaining its hunger for the Infinite, and lending
authenticity to its instincts and intuitions; for in Him we "live and move and
have our being." These two aspects of the Infinite Mystery must be held
together, that each may illumine the other and light our human way.
* * *
Reader, did you ever
court your best girl by the aid of a ouija board? If not, then you have missed
something, as we can surely testify. But suppose the eerie board should
suddenly begin to tap out poems, plays, stories, as well as jokes and
sparkling humor, all purporting to come from a sweet Puritan girl who died
more than a hundred years ago, what then ? Well, such is the fact as told in
the book entitled "Patience Worth," by C. S. Yost, editor of the St. Louis
GlobeDemocrat. Its subtitle calls it "A Psychic Mystery," and so it truly is,
equally for the high literary quality of the messages and for the manner of
the sending. As to the latter we do not speak - each one has a right to his
view - but we do know that the messages never once sink to the commonplace;
they are aglow with flashes of genius, revealing a distinct and lovable
personality, and a high form of art. Truly, there are more things in this
world than are dreamed of in any philosophy.
* * *
The papers say that J.
T. Trowbridge is dead. How many memories that name brings back across the
years from the lost land of boyhood, when we read his stories, none better
than "Darius Green and His Flying Machine," - which must have suggested that
other riproaring, rollicking story by Mark Twain. Later we read his
autobiography, called "My Own Story," a gracious record of friendship, and the
story of an interesting life. How little did he expect to live to see his
fantastic story of the Flying Machine come true, as he was permitted to do. It
must be more than fifty years now since Tennyson, in Locksley Hall,
the heavens filled with shouting,
there rained a ghastly dew
the nation's airy navies
Grappling in the
central blue," -
but this was only a
prelude in his vision to the coming of the "Parliament of man, the Federation
of the world." Heaven grant that the whole vision may yet
be fulfilled, and that we who have looked upon
the greatest and most terrible of wars may see the dawn of peace.
* * *
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Light in Masonry, by
Frank C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
Economics of Masonry,
by W. W. Garton. Masters and Past Master's Lodge, New Zealand.
Early History Grand
Lodge of Ohio. Bulletin Sanford Collins Lodge, Toledo.
Astronomical Side of
Masonry. Masonic Home Journal.
The Genius of Masonry,
by John Boden. American Tyler-Keystone.
Origin of Templary. The
Charles Whitlock Moore.
New England Craftsman.
The Supremacy of the
Bible, by Ye Editor. Biblical World.
Lodge, London. Kenning & Son. $2.00.
Four More Steps in
Masonry, by J. L. Travis, Savanah, Ga. 25 cents.
Ballads of Courageous
Carolinians, by M. D. Haywood, Raleigh, N. C. $1.00.
Jews in the Eastern War
Zone, American Jewish Committee, New York. 50 cents.
Three Master Masons, by
M. A. Pottenger, St. Joseph, Mo. $1.50.
Immortality, by H. R.
Mackintosk. Hodder and Stoughton, London. $1.50.
Notes on Religion, by
J. Chapman. L. J. Gomme Co., New York. 75 cents.
Wonderful, by Edwin Markham. Hearst's Internation Library Co., New York.
Patience Worth, by C.
S. Yost. Henry Holt & Co., New York. $1.40.
I NOT FOR PITY?
there are no cities, no proud halls,
storied paintings - nor the chiselled snow
statues; never have I seen the glow
sunset die upon the deathless walls
pure Parthenon; no soft light falls
in dim cathedrals, where the low,
seas of supplication ebb and flow;
dream of Rome my longing soul enthralls.
oh, to gaze in a long tranced delight
Venice rising from the purple sea!
but to feel one golden evening pale
that famed island from whose lonely height
Sappho sank in burning ecstasy !
once - but once - to hear the nightingale !
I not for pity? This blue sea
with the opal's deep and splendid fires
sunset; these tall firs are classic spires
chaste design and marvelous symmetry
lift to burnished skies. Let pity be
him who never felt the mighty lyres
Nature shake him thro' with great desires.
pearl-topped mountains shining silently -
are God's sphinxes and God's pyramids;
dim-aisled forests His cathedrals, where
pale nun Silence tiptoes, velvet-shod,
Prayer kneels with tireless, parted lids;
thro' the incense of this holy air
Trembling - I have come face to face with God.
In the March issue you
referred to Cumont's Mysteries of Mithra and his Oriental Religions. Will you
be kind enough to tell me where I can get those books ? - W. S. L.
From the Open Court
Publishing Co., 122 South Michigan Ave.,
Chicago. The price of the first is $1.50; of the second, $2.00. The smaller
book on Mithraism, Its Principles and Ritual, by W. J. P. Adams, is published
by the same company, and costs 50 cents.
* * *
Brother Editor: - Do
you believe in the Devil? For myself, I am like David Harum, "Mebbe I do,
mebbe I don't." Yet sometimes I feel the need of him to explain the way things
go in this world. - J.H.N.
Believe in the Devil?
No, we never had any confidence in him at all, leastwise not since we read his
biography as written by Brother Paul Carus, entitled "The History of the Devil
From Earliest Times to the Present Day." (Open Court Co., $6.00). As you see,
it is a very elaborate life-story of his Majesty, Satan - finely illustrated,
too. Sometimes, in this world of war, when the morning paper is a haunting
horror, each issue telling of some brutality more terrible than the rest;
sometimes we feel like the poet who said -
"The Devil's kingdom
Ill is the news we
Devil's will is done
On earth as it is in
* * *
The other day I heard
some lines quoted called "My Symphony," I believe, written by Channing. If you
recall them I should be glad to see them in The Builder. - R.E.C.
They were written by W.
H. Channing, and run as follows: - "To live content with small means; to seek
elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy,
not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes
and sages with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk
gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common - this is my symphony."
There is an exquisite exposition of this Symphony by N. D. Hillis, entitled
"Right Living as a Fine Art," published by Revell Co.
* * *
MYSTICISM AND MODERN LIFE
Brother Newton: - If
you have not seen the new Book by President Buckham, "Mysticism and Modern
Life," I am sure it would interest you very much. - G.W.S.
Many thanks. The little
book you name is one of the best brief studies of Mysticism we remember to
have seen, showing that if a man has any religious life at all, unless it be
mere tradition, he is, in so far, a mystic - mysticism being, as we have often
said, only a big word for the deep truth that the kingdom of heaven is within
us. Among other things in the little book we note the following, (p. 71):
"That which men are hungry for is a sane and heartfelt mysticism. They want
contact with spiritual realities. It cannot but be evident, even to an
outsider, that the hold, for example, of Freemasonry lies largely in the
appeal to the mystical."
* * *
I would thank you to
help me, if possible, to some information as to the biography of Bernard
Conlin, who assumed the stage name of William Jermyn Florence. He was a
prominent comedian and a close associate of Joseph Jefferson, but I fail to
find any record of his life. Was he a Mason? - I. M.
Conlin, who legally
changed his name to Florence, was born in Albany, N.Y.,
July 26th, 1831, and died in Philadelphia in 1891. He began his stage career
at Richmond, Va., in 1849, as Peter in "The Stranger." He excelled in Irish
parts, though for a brief time he was associated with Booth, playing Macduff
to his Macbeth. He returned. however to Broughton's Lyceum, and to Irish
roles. For the last three years of his life he was associated with Jefferson
in the "Rivals" and in "Heir-in-Law," taking the part of Sir Lucius in the
former and that of Homespun in the latter. ' He was not a Mason, but a Roman
Catholic. (See National Cyclopedia of Biography, Vol. 2, pp. 381-82; also the
Autobiography of Jefferson; and you might look into "Other Days" by William
Winter.) Indeed, you might drop a line to Mr. Winter, who knows everything
about everybody on the old American stave.
* * *
Some time ago I heard
part of a presentation Apron lecture and was told that it was written by Bob
Morris, and I would like to know where I could get it. You may answer through
The Builder, if you choose. - E. M.
A full and documented
account of the Preston-Webb "work" in America - including a sketch of the
Morris version of it - will soon appear in these pages, and will throw much
light on the variations of ritual in this country. We believe the Macoy
Company, New York - 45-49 John street - publishes the Morris version of the
ritual. If our Brother does not find what he is looking for in that volume, we
shall be glad to publish a copy of the Morris Apron lecture.
* * *
The beautiful Song of
Degrees - for so we entitled it - sent to us without the name of the author
and published in the last issue, was written, as we now learn, by Brother E.
P. King, of Atlanta, Georgia; a fact which many of our readers will be glad to
know. In reply to our request that, if he had any other songs of like quality
humming in his heart, The Builder pages are always open, he writes:- "I am so
occupied with my work that the humming has little or no opportunity to burst
into song, and simply croons a low note to the real me. I have no desire for
notoriety, and fully realize my limitations, but should you at any time need a
'space filler' of a few inches, I might be able to send, if not a bunch of
roses, at least a few falling leaves."
* * *
It seems to me, Brother
Editor, that you - and Brother Pound, too, for that matter - have hardly been
just to Dr. Oliver when you again and again refer to his imaginative Masonic
history. But perhaps I am wrong. - G.K.L.
Brother Pound nor ye editor intended to be unjust to so noble and useful a
Masonic scholar as Dr. Oliver, to whose services Brother Pound paid such a
fine tribute in his lecture, published now in his "Philosophy of Masonry." We
did, however, point out that Dr. Oliver belonged to the uncritical period of
Masonic Research, and, like many others, accepted as fact much that was only
legendary. Howbeit, in his "Freemason's Treasury," (pp. 220-22) Dr. Oliver
reminds us that he did not intend his statements to be taken literally, as
history, but merely as symbolical traditions, and that when he spoke of the
gray antiquity of the Order, tracing it back into Paradise, it was its truth
that he had in mind - and truth is eternal. Even so; but it is a pity, as
Brother Hughan remarked, that he did not make that statement earlier, "for no
one has done so much as he to foster the delusion he now seeks to dispel."
(The English Rite, p. 11). The late Brother Gould was wont to say that "The
Revelations of the Square," by Oliver, had done more injury to real Masonic
Research than any other book ever written. A few, however, seem to have
understood Oliver from the first, among them Brother E. T. Carson, of
Cincinnati (Freemason's Repository," 1880). His failure to make clear the
distinction between the truth of Masonry and its history as an organization,
led to the confusion.
* * *
VALUE OF LEGEND
Just here lies the
answer to the Brother who writes us to assist him in preparing a paper on the
value and meaning of Legend in general, and of Masonic legends in particular.
Legend from the Latin Legere, to read, harks back to the custom of the church
in the Middle Ages, and earlier, of reading the traditional life of a Saint on
the anniversary of his birth - hence the Golden legend of the Lives of the
Saints. So used, a legend meant an edifying tradition which had grown up
spontaneously and uncritically around some historical personage, and which,
though lacking, for the most part, in historic verity, was valuable in the
revelation it makes of the spirit and life of the people and time that
produced it. So it is with Masonic legends. They are valuable, not as history,
but as giving the spirit, the tendency, the mind of the age in which they
arose. Legend, it may be added, differs from Myth in that the latter is pure
fiction, while the former ordinarily develops about a real personage.
Indeed, dear old Sister
Legend, whose shadow has haunted History since ever time began, has not had
due credit for her services. To be sure, she has a vivid imagination, and does
not hesitate to embellish the facts to suit her fancy; but she has something
to tell us, nevertheless. At once the blessing and the bane of history, she
must be listened to with care, and we cannot believe all that she says, but
much would be lost if we mistook her for an idle old gossip. Poets and men of
letters are very fond of her recitals, and often, by her aid, they tell us
more truth than sober History can convey. Brother Gould, at the beginning of
the earlier chapters of his great History of Masonry, has some very timely and
wise remarks on this subject of legend. (See aiso Leckey's "History of
Rationalism in Europe," and "Myth, Ritual and Religion," by Andrew Lange).
Always we must seek for that in the age, and in human nature, which gave rise
to a legend, and then we are not far from the truth.
* * *
In the Miscellanea
Latamorum for Jan.,
1916, Brother O. D. Street, of Alabama, points out, what we had noticed, the
parallel passages in the History of Masonry, by Findel, and the History of
Masonry, by Steinbrenner, showing that the latter obviously "lifted" whole
passages from the former. At least it seems so, since not only paragraphs, but
entire pages, betray almost literal identity of phrase. Still, Brother Street
does not accuse Steinbrenner of plagiary. Nor do we. Nevertheless, it is
rather puzzling, and we write this note in the hope of having the matter
cleared up in behalf of Brother Steinbrenner, of whom we should like a fuller
account. Our edition of the Steinbrenner History bears date of 1863, and in
the preface we find the following:- "Claiming no merit for himself, save only
the diligence with which he has gleaned from others, he has, therefore, no
apology to make, nor motive to offer, for publishing this work, but the one
which has influenced him throughout, in the course of his labor, that of being
useful to Masonry. He hopes he has not labored in vain." The Findel history
seems to have been published in Germany in 1861, and the first English
translation in this country in 1865 - another edition in English appearing in
London in 1869 and 1871. Who translated the Findel History in this country ?
Was it Steinbrenner himself ? These are interesting questions, and we shall
appreciate any light from any source, the more so because we wish, if
possible, to relieve Brother Steinbrenner of all ground for adverse criticism.
Dear Sir and Brother: -
I observe in the letter box of The Builder for March, a question raised by a
correspondent in reference to the Masonic connection of Daniel O'Connell.
If the brother making
this enquiry will procure part 2 of the proceedings of the Quatuor Coronati
Lodge, volume 24, for the year 1911, he will find an excellent article
contained therein from the pen of the gifted brother, W. J. Chetwode Crawley,
Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
Doubtless the brother
will have access to a copy of the Q. C. proceedings, but in case he finds a
delay in obtaining a
c opy of the
part I have referred to, I will make a brief reference from the article in
"On moving to Dublin,
O'Connell was called to the Irish Bar, 19th May, 1798, and in the following
year we meet the first specific record with his connection with Freemasonry.
On 2nd April, 1799, his name along with twenty-five others, was entered on our
Grand Lodge Register as a Master Mason of Lodge 189 Dublin.
"Owing to the method of
registration in force at the time and the deplorable brevity of our Deputy
Grand Secretary, worn out with age and infirmities, the exact day of Daniel
O'Connell's initiation cannot be ascertained from the Register."
The article I refer to,
gives particulars of his activities, in the Craft, and the records referring
to his severance from the Fraternity are given in full.
proceedings of the Q. C. mentioned are in the possession of the Editor, and if
the subject warrants any copious extracts, perhaps these might be reprinted in
an early issue of "The Builder."
* * *
POWER OF THE "WORD"
"In the beginning was
the Word" - the Idea. So we will begin by quoting The Builder or quoting some
of the thoughts from The Builder: "Masonry ought to stand for something better
than a ceaseless round of ritualistic work and some spasmodic charity." Bro.
C. O. Ford, Mich. Page 63, Feb. number.
"A lack of development
of the Soul, or Spirituality, is responsible for most, if not all, of our
improper actions as living bodies." Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Wis. Page 30, Jan.
"The raising of a man
was not intended merely to inform him that Masonry cherishes a belief in
immortality. No man needs to be briefly told that by anybody; what he wants is
to learn how he may become assured that his soul is not an evanescent breath.
* * * There is the mighty grasp of faith - the profound, fixed, ineffaceable
conviction of the soul itself; the very voice of God speaking within; the
Divine Word abiding in the heart. How else has God ever revealed truth to man?
How else could he?" Editor. Page 30, Jan. number.
This last quotation is
such a close "bull's-eye" that we hope many will listen to the sound of the
gong and take note of its tone. We do not remember of any such straight talk
in the ritual or degree lectures, although Masonry is in desperate search for
this very Truth.
The first quotation
uncovers a weakness of the fraternity where naught but the material growth of
the Order is in evidence. In this daily routine we think our feet are on solid
ground, yet this "solid-ground" is up among the little stars sailing around
and around by way of the North pole; a "polar expedition" that the very
degrees we take seem to illustrate, for the earth in her orbit ever faces the
East and revolves toward the Light daily.
The second quotation
seems to point a reason for all our "improper actions," and suggests that
spiritual development is lacking. Most of us will agree.
The third quotation
gives the remedy in brief and direct language. It points out that we are not
"living bodies" but "living souls," and this distinction between the Spiritual
and Material should be clearly brought out in Masonic teaching. "The Divine
Word abiding in the heart" is the reflection of the nure Divine idea in the
consciousness of the man, and as nothing Divine could, by any possibility, be
lost, this true idea should be inculcated at every point, and a clear
understanding of the two departments of the Square and Compass be distinctly
understanding, or material gain our underlying motive? "A man cannot serve two
masters," (Luke 16, 13) but he can, and should to the best of his ability,
"render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's."
"But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto
him." (1 Cor., 2,14).
"Beloved, NOW are we
the sons of God." (1 John, 3, 2).
You see it makes a big
difference whether we are conscious of being a living body. or a living soul.
The Masonic idea of a "living stone" should be clearly defined. Stones belong
to the square, the symbol of matter, and a "Spiritual Stone" is a
contradiction of terms, unless we see the analogy between a stone and
Spiritual Truth, as typified in "The Rock of Ages." Analogy is used in
Scripture so much that Masonry naturally falls heir to it. Mental gymnastics
are splendid exercise for those who can see it so, and not so, at the same
time; but the mental summersaults in Masonry should be simplified, if the
Truth is really intended to be given. If we state that the mouth of a man is
like the mouth of a river. with no explanation, there are some that would see
no resemblance, and so when the soul is referred to as a "pure Virgin" and
mother of the Christ idea, - the true light, - everybody thinks it is profane
history, never seeing the truth that the Soul which is never born, but IS. the
pure feminine principle, - the woman and the mother, - needs no initiation,
for she it is that reflects the Divine Mind, and will ralse the man to her
consciousness when he "Espouses" Her and knows her for his better self; not
half way, no half about it she's the "whole thing," for she reflects the true
light. By the inspiration of the Soul the truth is revealed. "How else has God
ever revealed truth to man?"
These truths were given
to the world some years ago in many books. Masonry should be among the first
to foster and spread them, but she must know the truth herself, and the full
meaning of both points of the compasses bare and covering the square. The
spiritual sweep of the compass has no limits; progress does not stop because
we affirm that the real man reflects the perfect mind of God. Inspiration and
analogy are keynotes of Masonry, and we can begin with the idea, - Word, - of
a Divinely perfect consciousness, ever present and at hand, that knows no evil
or mistakes, a suffieient "guide" who has the "pass" to all knowledge, so that
we need "fear no danger." If God is, He has always been, and the first command
is "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me"; that is, - I take it, - have no
other pattern or ideal but Divine perfection, goodness and love. This is the
decorator of the temple, (the body). The story of king Solomon will help if
seen in allegory and analogy. The name is not Solomon in the original Hebrew.
But it delighted the ancients to give their heroes heavenly names with
attributes of the Sun-God.
The power of the Word
consists in the understanding of the divine principle called "Christ," but
this word is so associated with a historical personality that some other term,
like Spiritual Consciousness, or whatever, so we get the idea that we can
reflect ideas direct from God. "We forget that God, himself, starts some
things. He started 'Truth' but we play marbles with it." (Masonic Efficiency).
Bro Chas. N. Mikels, Ind. March number.
Accurately stated, God
IS Truth, but the truth of relativities we know, is only analogous to it.
Temporary facts, and Eternal Truth, are quite opposite concepts.
In the case of Solomon,
God talked to him in a dream, (it might be a good plan for Masonic students to
consider this kind of dream). But not so with Enoch, who "walked with God
three hundred years," or Elijah, who did not take the trouble to go through
the process of death; or Saul, who, like Jacob was given a new name.
There is little need,
however, of going back so far from our modern times. We have the testimony of
"Sojourner Truth," a Negro slave woman who was given her freedom in 1817. She
had no school education but used to say to others: "You read books; but God
talks to me," and "I can love even de white people." An account of the work of
this woman is given in the New England Magazine for March, 1901
Reference might also be
made to Tennyson, Walt Whitman, Emerson, Longfellow, and many others of our
own time who sing the song of Immortality. Tennyson writes:
more, my son! for more than once when I
all alone, revolving in myself
word that is the symbol of myself,
mortal limit of the self was loosed,
passed into the nameless, as a cloud
These words of
Longfellow are often quoted: "There is no death; what seems so is transition."
Walt Whitman writes:
"Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the
argument of the earth,
And I know that the
hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the
spirit of God is the brother of my own, And that all the men ever born are
also my brothers and the women my sisters and lovers."
Thus is immortality
proven to the individual, and it seems as if this was the proper work of
Masonry, for it starts the candidate with this expectation and the degrees
indicate it, but are of no effect, the spiritual understanding of the work is
"lost" and that is all there is to anything. Arguments about Lodges, and
Authorities, will only delay the great question that Masonry weakly passes on
to "future ages."
B. Rugg, Minneapolis.
* * *
SYLVANUS COBB'S MASONIC STORIES
Dear Brother Newton: -
I note in The Builder, just received, question as to a book written by
Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.,
which is supposed to have a Masonic flavor or tendency. The title of the
volume is "Alaric, or the Tyrant's Vault," being a story of ancient Syracuse.
It is true that this book is in parts almost startling to a Mason because of
phraseology, and particularly as to description of initiation into a mystic
society of artisans and builders. I have been many times tempted to write of
the same, as it seems to be generally unknown.
Readers who are now
middle-aged will remember with pleasure how as boys they followed the
hair-raising situations that Cobb put into his romances. He was the son of a
Universalist minister, born in Maine in 1823, and died in 1887. Most of his
work was done for the old New York Ledger, and I find that the book in
question was first copyrighted in 1858. It was put out in cheap form -
paper-covered - in 1889, by the G. D. Dillingham Co., of New York. No doubt
copies can be picked up in the cheaper second-hand book stores - as mine was
secured. I would say to your correspondent that the Symbolic-Degrees rather
than the Royal Arch are followed in this melodramatic story.
and fraternally yours,
E. Morcombe, Iowa.
* * *
CALIPH OF BAGDAD
Dear Brother Newton: -
In reply to note in question box about Sylvanus Cobb Jr., let me say that "The
Caliph of Bagdad," now out of print, and which was originally published in the
New York Ledger of 1868, as the "Mystic Tie of the Temple," is of interest to
Masons who have taken the cryptic degrees and to others.
I possessed a copy of
it, but it has been lost and I know the book to be exceedingly scarce. Other
of Brother Cobb's Masonic stories are "Alaric" and the "Keystone," and a few
short stories. I don't think Brother Cobb has been adequately appreciated by
I have in my meagre
library a "Memoir of Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.," by his daughter, published for the
family, 1891, which devotes a chapter to his Masonic work. He was a member of
all the bodies in both rites and served in many as presiding officer, being
Master of Norway Lodge No. 18, Maine, five years
From all I can gather
Brother Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., was a loveable man, a zealous and upright Mason
and everything included in the title of "Christian gentleman."
* * *
Dear Sir and Brother: -
Under the title "Taking Masonry Seriously" in the March issue of The Builder,
you quote a letter from some brother of the Ancient Craft who is evidently
imbued with the idea that men belonging to the Masonic Fraternity should have
no other fraternal activities, or stated conversely that active members of
other societies are not fit participants in the solemn ceremonies of the
The writer speaks for
thousands of the Craft who, like himself, are "Jiners" and who believe that in
widening the sphere of their fraternal activities they have carried out the
real underlying principle of Masonry.
Truths are worth while
wherever found and Masonry however sublime its precepts and ceremonies has not
a monopoly on Wisdom or Ritualism. As you are aware, many believe that the
atmosphere and associations of the Campus are as valuable a part of the
college course as a perusal of the curriculum, and why is not the social side
of Masonry to be taken into equal consideration ? The attempt to make of it a
Fetich, a semi-religious organization, an anti-papal political machine are all
I conceive, foreign to its real purpose, which is to draw men cioser and to
teach Liberality of ideas and to maintain ever, Free Speech and Free Thought.
To say that because a
man is elsewhere ardent in his pursuit of truth he cannot be a good Mason is
absurd. The writer has a passion for Fraternalism and for the comparative
study of ritnals and their tendencies. He is a member of all bodies of the
Masonic Fraternity, both York and Scottish, the Mvstic Shrine and the Acacia
Fraternity, the Eastern Star and White Shrine of Jerusalem. He is also an Elk,
an Eagle, an Odd Fellow, a Moose, Red Man, Owl, Modern Woodman, Yeoman and a
half dozen others, in several of which he has passed the chairs and in each of
these he has received light and a better conception of his duties to his
Is this prejudicial to
his Masonic standing? It is said of Sir Walter Scott as he lay dying,
requested his son-in-law, Lockhardt, to read to him. "From what book,"
inquired Lockhardt. "At this hour there is but one book," replied Scott.
evidently entertains a like conception of the Masonic Fraternity. To me
Masonry is one of the many the greatest, the most profound, but after all, of
value only as it brings us in contact with human hearts and helps us to know
each other better and when it assumes any other role or its adherents seek to
make of it something to be worshipped, it is no longer democratic but
aristocratic and foreign in its tendencies to the American ideal.
seriously, aye, in all conscience but with an open mind, free from hope of
gain or pride of knowledge. Neither the ritual, nor the personnel of the
membership, nor the “Big time and big eats" are Masonry. Each is only a part
and together they make a harmonious whole. But above all, let us draw our
circle not to shut out but rather to include all worthy
* * *
ETHICS OF THE BALLOT
My Dear Brother: - Here
is a record that furnishes food for thought and which needs to be "read,
marked, learned and inwardly digested" by the members of our noble fraternity.
I present it as an abstract subject for discussion in "The Builder," if you
will agree, omitting all reference as to locality, please:
An application for
initiation and membership, recommended by two Past Masters, was received by a
Masonic Lodge. A committee of three was appointed to investigate the character
and standing of the applicant, the chairman of which being a Past Master.
In due time the
committee reported favorably under the strict regulations now in force in this
State for the guidance of investigation committees. A ballot was spread and
respread and the petition declared rejected.
In the course of
several months the petitioner re-applied for admission, his petition being
signed by the Worshipful Master and a recent Past Master. A committee was
appointed and in due time reported favorably. This report was endorsed by the
employer of the applicant, who had known him for the past ten years, endorsed
by a brother in good standing who had known the petitioner for twenty-two
years, and by a brother who had known him for five years. All of whom gave the
petitioner the highest qualifications as a man. The ballot was spread and
respread and again the applicant declared rejected.
The petitioner was a
comparatively young man, married happily, socially quite popular, identified
with at least two financial institutions in the locality in which he has spent
the larger part of his life; strictly honest and temperate - clean-cut.
It may be taken for
granted, under the circumstances, that but one cube rejected this petition
upon each occasion. It is evident, also, that the ballast was not defective.
The following questions
1. "May the cause of
rejection be considered a just one?"
2. "Did the rejector do
right in keeping his reason, or supposed reason, to himself ?"
3. "Was it not his duty
to report his information to the investigating committee?"
4. "Is it just and
honorable for the Lodge and the applicant to be thus treated?"
5. "Under the
circumstances, who is apt to suffer the most harm, the Lodge or the
6. "Should Masonic
brethren stand in fear of a cube when honestly and justly presenting an
application for a friend, or should such fear ONLY act as a warning to
brethren who sign applications thoughtlessly?"
This is a delicate
subject to discuss, but does not its very delicacy demand a better
understanding among those who practice charity, maintain a tongue of good
report, etc. ?
Middleton, P. M., New Jersey.
not fear to tread the path that those I love have long since trod;
not fear to pass the gates and stand before the living God.
this world's fight I've done my part; if God be God He knows it well;
will not turn His back on me and send me down to blackest hell
Because I have not prayed.aloud and shouted in the market-place.
what we do, not what we say, that makes us worthy of His grace.
Equality we understand far differently from the French. The French thought
their nobles all too tall to mix with common mortals, so they shortened them
by a head. They levelled down, we level up.
WISDOM OF WAITE
The man who prays to be
delivered from the evil man asks to be saved from himself.
Believe in the great
things, practice mansuetude and sweetness.
It is not becoming that
those who were born in the palace should build cabins in the desert.
The consolation which
carries us along is that, seeing there is but one true road no one can err
Do not despise the
trifles, but do not let them deceive us.
Those truths which most
call for expression are those also which exceed it.
The soundings of the
deep are beyond the plummets of the senses.
There is a great past
behind us, and the future is great in front.
The life of earth is an
experience of things unfamiliar: the after life is a renewal of the old
That which is not known
is that which we have forgotten.
The greatest work in
the world is that of building bridges.
He who has found his
soul is never alone.
Beyond the symbol of
the old beliefs stretch the great fields of faith.
It does not signify
that the way is long, if it is that which leads home.
- Collected Poems.
how the spell before my sight
nature's hidden ways to light:
all things with each other blending -
to all its being lending -
each in turn depending -
Heavenly ministers descending -
again to Heaven up-tending -
Floating, mingling, interweaving -
Rising, sinking, and receiving
from each, while each is giving
each, and each relieving
the pails of gold, the living
Current through the air is heaving;
Breathing blessings, see them bending,
Balanced worlds from change defending,
everywhere diffused is harmony unending!
MAXIM OF CHARITY
Confucius was asked: "Is there any one maxin that ought to be acted upon
throughout one's whole life?" He replied: "Surely the maxim of charity is
such: - Do not unto others what you would not the should do to you."
Confucius, by Lionel Giles.