The Builder Magazine
October 1916 - Volume II - Number
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M.,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
THE most beautiful group of
bronze statuary in Washington is that of La Fayette. It shows a greater number
of figures than any other group in the city, and is highly artistic in every
way. It is situated in La Fayette Square, very properly, but unfortunately,
there are other statues in that square. It deserved a separate site.
The group contains the
figures of the French leaders who were prominent as our allies in the War of
the Revolution, namely, La Fayette, Rochambeau, D'Estaing, Duportail and De
The figures of these officers
are all of life size. La Fayette surmounts the pedestal, while the others are
at the base; La Fayette appearing in our continental uniform. The figure of
America is at the base, offering her sword to La Fayette.
This magnificent group was
modeled and cast in France, for which Congress made an appropriation of
$50,000 in 1885. It was completed and turned over to the government in 1891,
but there was no ceremony or demonstration whatever when it was unveiled.
During the time this group
was being sculptured in France, our Ambassador at Paris, Gen. Horace Porter,
was making his search for the body of Brother John Paul Jones, which search
continued for a period of six years before his efforts were crowned with
Mr. Henry Watterson, who was
present when Jones' coffin was opened, told the writer that its resemblance to
Brother Houdon's bust of Jones was so close that the entire party
involuntarily raised their hats.
The critical comparison of
measurements of the head, with the sculptured bust of Houdon, the measurements
of the body, the searching examination of the lungs, heart and kidneys, etc.,
by the savants of the French Academy, under the direct guidance of such
eminent men as Dr. Capitan and Dr. Papillaut, left no question of identity
La Fayette was made a Mason
in an Army Lodge at Valley Forge, the degree being conferred by Washington
himself. We find several records of his having visited lodges; for example,
Lodge No. 9, Williamsburg, Va., just after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis,
and in company with Thomas Nelson, John Marshall, and George Washington.
D'Estaing's name is found in
the list of members of that famous lodge Neuf Soeurs in Paris. Rochambeau's
Masonic record is lost, but (Monsieur Vadecard says) Madame Rochambeau was a
member of the Ladies Masonic Auxiliary in Paris, membership in which was
dependent on her husband's Masonic identity.
La Fayette served in the
battles of Brandywine, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He offered his services to the
Colonies in 1777, and being accepted, came at once to America.
The magnificent appearance of
the La Fayette statue, though overlooked in its inauguration, attracted
unusual attention. It is by far the most beautiful and most artistic of any of
its kind in the city, and is the first memorial of the Revolutionary services
to any foreigner.
Archbishop Ireland, an Irish
enthusiast, in passing was struck not only by the singular beauty of the
morial, but evidently felt a twinge of jealousy, for at the meeting of the
Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, in York, shortly after, he was the principal
speaker and said:
"I charge you, Sons of St.
Patrick, to see to it that in Washington City, near the monument of La Fayette
and Rochambeau there be erected a monument to some Irish Soldier to
commemorate the part Ireland took in the Revolutionary War." At the "meet" of
the Ancient Order of Hibernians at Denver in 1902, Mr. Dunleary, in his speech
of welcome, said "the roll of honor in the war of the Revolution shows such
names as General Moylan, General Sullivan, who led the retreat successfully
across Long Island and in whose honor the National Congress is contemplating a
memorial in New Hampshire."
At Denver the speech of
Archbishop Ireland was repeated (or quoted) by one of the speakers. They
probably discovered that General Sullivan (Grand Master of Masons in N. H.)
was not the kind of an Irish soldier the Bishop would endorse, and they
shifted to John Barry, a captain in the Navy (not a soldier) during the
Revolutionary War, whose record was fine.
A Bill paraphrasing Senator
Lodge's Bill for the John Paul Jones Memorial, substituting the name of Barry
for that of Jones, was introduced in Congress. The Barry Bill was lobbied by
its adherents; the Jones Bill was neglected. But the Committee evidently
thought it would not do to appropriate for the hitherto obsure Barry and
neglect the historic Jones, so the two Bills were reported the same day, and
were passed the same day.
At the obsequies of John Paul
Jones at Annapolis, April 24th, 1906, when the President, Secretary of the
Navy, Governor of Maryland, General Horace Porter, the French Ambassador and
others spoke, it was decided to place the body of John Paul Jones in the crypt
of the chapel (which was being built) in imitation of the tomb of Napoleon at
Paris, and the President also determined to ask Congress to reimburse General
Porter for the $35,000 he had spent in the recovery and identification of the
body. General Porter, however, asked that the $35,000 be added to the
architect's estimate for the changes in the crypt, to make it more beautiful,
which was agreed to.
So the memorial of the great
La Fayette and that of John Paul Jones, both Freemasons, are linked by a
The ubiquitous Hoosier, who
is more practical than aesthetic, gazed intently at the La Fayette statue,
evolving an interpretation. Finally he said: "The girl at the base is saying
'Here, Mr. Soldier, I'll swap this sword for some of the clothes on your arm.
I need the clothes and you may need the sword.' "
The words of this song were
first printed in Watt's "Musical
Miscellany, (V. III), 1730,
under the title "The Freemason's
Health." It appears to many
eighteenth century song collections,
the tune most commonly used
appearing for the first time in "Pills
to Purge Melancholy," (Vol.
2), 1719. It was popular well into the
Come, let us prepare,
We brothers that are
Met together on merry
Let us drink, laugh and sing,
Our Wine has a Spring,
'Tis a Health to an Accepted
The World is in Pain
Our Secret to gain,
But still let them wonder and
Till they're shewn the Light
They'll ne'er know the right
Word or Sign of an Accepted
'Tis This and 'tis That,
They cannot tell what,
Why so many great Men in the
Should Aprons put on,
To make themselves one
With a Free or an Accepted
Great Kings, Dukes, and
Have laid by their Swordes,
This our Myst'ry to put a
good Grace on,
And ne'er been asham'd
To hear themselves nam'd
With a Free or an Accepted
We have on our Side,
It makes a Man Just in his
There's nought but what's
To be understood
By a Free or an Accepted
Then Joyn Hand in Hand,
T'each other firm stand,
Let's be merry, and put a
bright Face on;
What Mortal can boast
So noble a Toast,
As a Free or an Accepted
THE STORY OF "OLD GLORY"--THE
OLDEST FLAG BY BRO. JNO. W. BARRY, IOWA
THE ONLY FLAG OF THE
REVOLUTION KNOWN TO EXIST
In Fig. 32 (Color Plate) is a
photograph of the only flag now in existence known to have been carried as a
regimental flag during the Revolution. If you should enter the flag room of
the State House at Annapolis, Maryland, you would see there this most
treasured flag labeled as follows:--
"NO. 1--OLD GLORY" (56)
This flag is cherished as THE
flag of the Revolution. It is the flag shown by Trumbull in his "Princeton,"
in his "Burgoyne" and in his "Cornwallis," it is the flag shown by Charles
Wilson Peale in his "Washington at Trenton." It is the flag ordered by
Washington to be made by Betsy Ross, the wife of a Master Mason, of whom a bit
of personal history is now in point.
IN IOWA--THE ORIGINAL MASONIC
CERTIFICATE OF THE FLAG MAKER'S HUSBAND
Betsy Griscom married John
Ross (57) a nephew of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
He lost his life in the service of his country, January, 1776, only a short
time before Betsy made the first flag. Betsy married Captain Ashburn in 1777.
He was soon captured and in a few years died a prisoner of war in Mill Prison,
near Portsmouth, England. John Claypoole, a lineal descendant of Oliver
Cromwell, (58) had been his friend and fellow prisoner. When released from
prison, Claypoole returned to his home in Philadelphia and delivered to Betsy
the keepsakes and last message sent by her husband. Later John Claypoole
married Betsy, a union blessed with a family of four daughters.
continued the flag making for her new husband who like those she had
heretofore taken, had devoted his life to the service of his country, had been
wounded at Germantown and long confinement in Mill Prison had broken his
health. So as the bread winner, Betsy Ross-Claypoole continued to make flags
until 1827 when she turned the business over to her daughter Mrs. Clarissa
Sidney Wilson who in turn continued it until 1857, when she moved to Fort
Madison, Iowa Here ended all known record, so I wrote Brother L R. Traverse,
P. M. of Claypoole Lodge of Fort Madison, for further information about the
descendants of Betsy Ross-Claypoole. In response I received a letter from Mary
C. Albright Robinson saying her great grandfather John Claypoole was a Mason
and that she had his Masonic certificate under seal of the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania--that it is written on vellum and in English, French and Italian.
Here was something worth while. And immediately I got secretary A. C. Rowland
on the long distance cable tow and urged him to secure the loan of that
certificate--a most rare find. Here it is in Fig. 33 (Frontispiece, August),
the actual certificate of the soldier husband of the flag maker. It is dated
March 30, 1780, and was issued on a request accompanied by the following
"Chester Town, 17th Dec.,
"I do hereby certify that Mr.
John Claypoole was regularly entered, passed and raised in Lodge No. 7, at
"Chester Town, Maryland.
"By Order of the Master.
Signed "James Claypoole,
Secy. Lodge No. 7."
Pennsylvania had previously
constituted a number of lodges in Kent County on the "eastern shore of
Maryland" of which No. 7 was one, hence the petition. Issued 136 years ago, it
is a little the worse for wear, but
"Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its
Without both feeling and
In fact there is nothing that
keeps its youth
So far as I know but our flag
Therefore, this flag shown in
Fig. 32, being of the series made by the Mason's wife, is cherished because of
that association but it is also cherished because it is an actual battle flag,
and the only one now left, carried in the war of the Revolution. It is the
flag of the Third Maryland regiment commanded by Bro. John Eager Howard (60)
at the battle of Cowpens, Jan. 17, 1791, and was carried by William Bachelor,
who, being wounded was sent to his home in Baltimore, but was allowed to take
his flag with him. His death soon followed and the flag was inherited by his
son, William Bachelor, Jr., who carried that same flag against the same old
enemy again during the War of 1812 in the battle of North Point near
Baltimore. (61) After the War of 1812, William Bachelor carried this flag on
many gala occasions as an attraction. Finally in 1907 it came into the keeping
of the state of Maryland in trust for the people of the whole United States.
All honor to Maryland-- well is she guarding her trust. Finally this flag is
cherished because it is the victory flag used in that pivotal battle of
Cowpens of which Avery said:
"In point of tactics, the
battle of Cowpens was THE most brilliant battle of the war." (62) It was the
turning point leading directly to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown nine
months later, when occurred a most rare bit of retributive justice. But a year
before, General Benjamin Lincoln had been driven to a humiliating surrender by
Cornwallis at Charleston. Now Washington directed that the sword of Cornwallis
should be delivered to Benjamin Lincoln--a brother who eight years before had
been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in St. Andrew's Lodge at
Boston, Mass. (63) Therefore this "Old GLORY No. 1" is cherished above other
flags because it commemorates the devotion of the patriotic flag maker, the
wife of a Mason, whose descendants are today honored citizens of our own Iowa;
it is cherished because it commemorates the devotion of Masons to liberty in
the defense of which they surrendered their lives rather than betray their
trust; finally it is cherished because it is the victory flag leading directly
to that final surrender of Cornwallis to Washington and his Masonic brothers
in arms at Yorktown. Therefore, as in the beginning and all through the
strife, so it was at the close, Masonry was in the saddle and the sword of the
vanquished first opposed by Masons at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill was
now directed by a Mason to be delivered into the hands of a Mason. Well, did
he receive it not only in token of the surrender of Cornwallis, but as
signalizing the final triumph of the TILER in putting out of the new nation
all cowans and eavesdroppers. May we be ever mindful that the first great care
of Masons is to see that the Lodge of The Nation is duly tiled to the end that
all cowans may be kept out.
MASONRY IN THE HOMES BEHIND
Had the Revolution been a
soldiers' war only, this story would end here, but the fact is it was a
Masons' war as well and there were Masons outside of the army working "without
any tool of iron" and what they wrought fitted with remarkable exactness into
the things wrought in "the clay grounds" by Washington and his generals. The
printed proceedings of the grand jurisdictions of the several states give many
names which when followed through into their connection with the events of
their time show what seems wonderful "team work." It suggests a wide field of
Masonic Research. Following are a few illustrative of the many -all reproduced
from Lossing's Cyclopedia of U. S. History.
Here are six governors
respectively of Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, South Carolina and
New Jersey, honors which came to these brothers as a recognition of their
efforts for liberty through the long struggle and everyone of them rich in
Masonic honors. On the bench, in Congress and in the state legislature, the
team work was consistent and persistent. Further illustrating the fact, here
in No. 47, is Grand Master Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States
Supreme Court. As a boy he followed his father in the Revolution and was fit
inspiration for the well known picture, "The Spirit of '76." While he was
Grand Master he laid corner stones with the lodge opened on the First Degree
IN CONGRESS THE PEN WROTE
WHAT THE SWORD WROUGHT
Peyton Randolph, Grand Master
of Virginia, was president of the first Congress in 1774, and from that date
to the final victory Masonry continued to be a dominating influence at each
and every session of Congress. The place of meeting was the old state house
known as Independence Hall--Philadelphia.
There are many shrines of
American liberty but perhaps none more revered. In No. 49 you see it as it
appears today, with the Statue of Bro. Washington in front.
But if you could go back to
1776--and then around to the other or Walnut Street side of it, you would see
it as shown in No. 50.
David Rittenhouse had erected
the tower to observe the transit of Venus and it was used to herald the
proclamation of Mars. Here hung the "Liberty Bell" to "proclaim liberty
throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof." The tower has been made
higher --the clock taken from the end and placed in the tower, while the bell
is carefully treasured in Independence room. Here Independence was declared.
Here Congress sat during the Revolution and here a Massachusetts Mason, Bro.
John Hancock, succeeded Peyton Randolph as president. But the crowning glory
of the old building, erected in 1736, was the formation there of the
Constitution of the United States under the guidance of Bro. Washington as
chairman and Bro. Benjamin Franklin, a Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin both at
home and abroad did more by his wisdom and diplomatic skill than any other one
Mason, Washington alone excepted, to place Old Glory high among the nations.
He helped make both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and
is a signer of both documents. In the treaty of peace in 1783, he secured such
favorable concessions as to astound the nations of Europe and they were not
slow to manifest their displeasure. It was a rare triumph of American
diplomatic skill, seldom equaled and never exceeded even in our one hundred
years of brilliant achievement. Well did he use the trowel.
THE MASTER'S CHAIR
The most historic furniture
in America now in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, consists of the two pieces
shown in No. 53. Elson says: "These two pieces of furniture were used for both
the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On the chair a half sun
is carved." (65) When the Constitution was being signed, Franklin said with a
meaning well understood, referring to the half-sun emblazoned on the center of
the back of the chair here shown, "Painters have found it difficult to paint a
sun near the horizon so as to tell whether it was a setting or rising sun,
but," said he, "after the Constitution had been passed and the members were
signing, I looked at the sun behind President Washington and I saw for the
first time it was a rising sun." (66) In very truth may we not call this the
Master's Chair? From this chair the pen wrote what the sword wrought. As the
sun rises in the east to govern the day so rose the Constitution in the east
to govern the nation with equal justice and regularity.
"SECOND TO NONE IN PRIVATE
When the war was over,
Washington returned to his farm but never for a moment did he cease to be
actively true to that vow he made to his officers on that memorable day in the
"Temple" when he faced the ruffians. From 1783 to 1789 when there was only the
semblance of a government, Washington's course endeared him more and more to
every true patriot. His character was so aptly described by Bro. Henry Lee in
a single sentence known the world over. How often you have heard the first
part of that renowned sentence --and alas, how seldom the second! Here is the
full sentence:--"First in War, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his
countrymen, HE WAS SECOND TO NONE IN THE HUMBLE AND ENDEARING SCENES OF
PRIVATE LIFE." "Second to none in private life," in itself may not have made
him president but it did give him the distinction of being the only one ever
elected president of the United States by unanimous vote. Washington was
inaugurated President at New York April 30, 1789. Grand Master Robert
Livingston administered the oath of office to him using a Bible from St.
John's Lodge. Well did he remember the vow he voluntarily made to his officers
on that memorable 15th of March, 1783. Here is his first cabinet--all Masons
but Jefferson. He appointed no one but those he considered best able to serve
the country, but among the men he knew so well in other scenes, he found the
right kind of nerve and loyalty to promote the best interest of all.
In the second office in power
was an honored Mason of Philadelphia, (68) the Hon. F. A. Muhlinberg, Speaker
of the House. Thus was "Old Glory" again sponsored by those taught to yield
their lives rather than their honor.
FIRST NATIONAL CORNER STONE
September 18, 1793, the
corner stone of the new capitol at Washington was laid by the Grand Lodge of
Maryland, Washington using the trowel, which is a treasured relic of
Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22. In the description, two odd things occur
as they appear to us now, first, the stone was laid in SOUTHEAST corner and
second, in the grand procession was a place for
"1. Masons of the first
2. Masons of the second
3. Masons of the third
The event is commemorated in
one of the panels of the Crawford Bronze Doors, which open from the Senate
Vestibule upon the portico. This is the north wing of the Capitol. The door is
double with eight panels, each of which commemorates in high relief an
important event in the life of our country. The door was designed by an
American sculptor, Thomas Crawford.
'Tis well, yea 'tis meet and
propel that our brothers of 1776 should be thus commemorated in undying bronze
in the inner chamber of the national capitol at Washington. But me thinks that
if these bronze lips could but speak to us we would hear familiar
words--thus--"Go therefore and may the blessing of God attend you. Heretofore
you have had brothers to speak and do for you. Now you must speak and do for
yourselves and for those to follow you--even as we have done. We leave you the
working tools bright from service--here is the emblem "Old Glory" with a star
for every state. Go, see ye to it that there shall ever a state FOR EVERY
So mote it ever be.
(56) Vide Battle Flags in
State House Md. Clinton L. Riggs p. 5
(57) Vide Canby's & Lloyd
Balderston Evolution of the American Flag, p. 104-5.
(58) Vide Preble p. 265.
(59) Vide Old Masonic Lodges
of Pa. Julius F. Sachse p. 210.
(60) Vide Shultz History of
Freemasonry in Maryland, Vol 1, p. 67, says that a picture of Bro. John Eager
Howard hung in a Baltimore Lodge room; that his son B.C. Howard also a general
was a Grand Master of Masons in Md. Later John Eager Howard was governor &
(61) Battle Flags in the
State House, Annapolis, Md., p. 5.
(62) Vide Avery, V. 6, p.
(63) Vide Centennial Memorial
St. Andrew's Lodge, p. 112.
(64) Vide Elson's History of
the United States, V. 2.
(65) Vide Elson's History of
the United States, V. 2.
(66) Vide Elson's History of
the United States, V. 2, p. XVI.
(67) Vide Washington Man and
(68) Member Lodge No. 3 Vide
Old Lodges of Penn. by Julius F. Sachse, p. 248.
(69) Vide Washington, Man and
(70) Hired Handy of
Washington. D. C., to make for Research Committee
THE FIVE POINTS SYMBOLISM
1. Foot to foot that we may
Where our help we can bestow;
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always
To the souls that are in
2. Knee to knee, that we may
Every brother's needs in
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of
In our thoughts from day to
For each other we should
3. Breast to breast, to there
What our lips must not
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known,
We must cherish as our own.
4. Hand to back, our love to
To the brother, bending low:
Underneath a load of care,
Which we may and ought to
That the weak may always
Let us lend a helping hand.
5. Cheek to cheek, or mouth
That our lips may whisper
To our brothel in distress:
Whom our words can aid and
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to
6. Foot to foot, and knee to
Breast to breast, as brothers
Hand to back and mouth to
Then that mystic word we
Which we otherwise conceal,
But on these five points
--N. A. McAulay.
BY BRO. C. M. SCHENCK,
UNDER the above caption in
the May number of The Builder, Bro. J. L. Carson says, "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," and
continues, "Cannot some of our grand old veterans tell us something of some of
The writer, the son of a
veteran over whose grave in Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas, stands a
stone on which is inscribed:
"Maj. W. L. Schenck Late
Surgeon 17th O. V. I. 1825-1910"
submits the following from
the October, 1862, issue of the Masonic Review, published at Cincinnati, Ohio:
An Ohio Army Lodge. Head
Quarters 17th O. V. I.
Camp Schoepf, on Elk River,
Tennessee, Aug. 15, 1862.
"Bro. Moore:--When our army
was encamped on the field of Shiloh, in this State, the 17th Ohio was there,
and by virtue of a dispensation from the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, duly granted to Bro. Bonham H. Fox, W.M.,
Jno. Stinchcomb, S.W., D.M. Rex, J. W., and several other Brethen, a
Regimental Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was duly organized and called
"Ward Lodge," in honor of our gallant Major, Durbin Ward. We organized near
the place where General Beauregard's Head Quarters were during the bloody
fight of the 6th and 7th of April last.
The officers elected were:
Bro. Durbin Ward, Treasurer, W.L. Schenck, Secretary, Robert Gates, S.D., Owen
W. Brown, J.D., ____ Sharp, Tyler.
"We keep our Lodge with us,
and when we can't get a Lodge room, we meet on the 'highest hills,' or in the
'lowest vales.' We have spent many pleasant evenings together in the Lodge,
but find many inconveniences you would little think of, unless you were with
us. Sometimes we are on the march the night of our regular meeting, and so
continue for several days, but as we are nearly all in our Regiment, we can
call a meeting with but little trouble. We have done considerable work, and
have to take advantage of our short stays at camps, to work.
"At Tuscumbia, also, we met
several times in the Masons' Hall? which brethren there kindly gave into our
charge. There is that romance and oddity about a Lodge of Masons meeting under
such circumstances, that I am sure you would enjoy it.
"Our Colonel, J. M. Connell,
was the first applicant, and has the honor of having been made a Mason on the
battle-field of Shiloh.
"Our Tyler, Bro. Sharp, died
at Corinth in hospital, a few days since, and Bro. Rex, our Junior Warden,
formerly of Rushville Lodge, when on a scout with the Regiment, injured
himself so badly as to produce rupture, and he by reason thereof has been
compelled to resign. We lose two valuable officers thereby in the Lodge, and
also in the Regiment. Bro. Sharp commenced in the ranks, but by his virtues
and conduct as a soldier merited and received promotion, and died a Captain. I
may give you an item occasionally.
"Fraternally yours, (Signed)
In his declining years my
father, at the request of his children, wrote at considerable length
"Recollections of his Life and Times" from which I copy references to this
Ohio Army Lodge, and to Captain Stinchcomb.
"My regiment slowly advanced
toward Corinth to take its place in the grand army under General Halleck that
was following the rebels who had retreated to that point from Pittsburg
Landing. One of the pleasant events in the regiment was the meetings on
convenient occasions of Ward Lodge A. F. and A. M. working under dispensation
from the state of Ohio. We were going to have such a meeting in one of my
hospital tents on the way to Corinth, and I went over to General Schoepf's
quarters to invite his medical director, Surgeon Strew, to meet with us. After
doing so, he asked, 'Why don't you invite the General?' who stood near us. I
replied, 'Because I don't know him as a Mason.' And addressing him, I asked,
'Are you a Mason, General ?' He replied, 'I am.' Then I said, 'We would be
glad to have you meet with us.'
"From this point,
(Winchester, Tenn.) the army moved eastward to the foot of the Tennessee
Mountains where I recall two or three incidents out of the common line of army
life. . . . We were encamped in the edge of a thick woods and in cleaning out
the underbrush the craftsmen of my regiment volunteered to make a lodge room
in the open field in front of us by enclosing an oblong square with proper
ante-rooms, the walls being so thickly brushed that the lights within could
not be seen from without, and here Ward Lodge U.D. held several meetings, at
some of which General George H. Thomas, General Thomas L. Crittenden, General
Alvin Schoepf, and other officers and soldiers exchanged fraternal greetings.
"A four horse ambulance,
belonging to my regiment, whose upper story had given out, had been fixed a la
omnibus, and one of the boards along its sides was supported at one end by a
box containing the 'working tools' of Ward Lodge A. F. & A. M. This being
reported by my amiable assistant, who, like the newly appointed medical
director, was an anti-mason, the latter lost no time in coming to enquire of
me what was in the boxes that held up my omnibus seat.
"I said, 'Some of them
contain air, and in one there is a square and compasses, a plumb and trowel,
and sundry other like articles.'
"He said, 'I will give you
just five minutes to take that box out of your ambulance.'
"I rode forward to Major
Ward, W.M. of Ward Lodge U.D. and together we reported the facts to General
Schoepf, who said, 'It is my order you keep that box where you got him. I
report him to General Thomas.'
"During the afternoon the
medical director came along again and asked if I had removed that box.
"I said, 'No it is still on
"'Didn't I say I would give
you five minutes in which to remove it?'
"'Yes, and I believe I said I
would take the five minutes.'
"'So you mean to disobey my
"'I'll report you to the
"It is needless to say I
never heard anything more about removing the box.
"While my regiment was made
up in a distant part of the state, Fairfield and the adjoining counties, and
the men all strangers to me excepting Major Durbin Ward, who was from Warren
County, when I went home on furlough from Somerset, Kentucky, four of my
personal friends, and members of my Masonic lodge, Eastern Star No. 55, R.F.
and George Ireland, John Gage and Stephen Corwin went back with me and were
mustered into Company B., Captain Stinchcomb, all serving until the close of
My father, from whose
writings the extracts are taken, was made a Mason in Eastern Star Lodge No.
55, F. & A. M., at Franklin, Ohio, in the year 1848, and was its Master in
1850. Of this Lodge, instituted in 1819, his uncle, William C. Schenck, was
the first Master, and his father, Garret A. Schenck, the first Junior Warden.
At the time of his death,
which occurred at Topeka, Kansas, in 1910, he was a member of Siloam Lodge No.
225, A. F. & A. M., Topeka, and Topeka Commandery No. 5, K. T. His funeral
services were conducted by this Commandery.
"THE VOICE OF THE GUNS"
Never, perhaps, was lyric
more bitterly born than Gilbert Frankau's stirring "A Song of the Guns." two
stanzas of which herewith are given. Thus its prefatory note:
The author, who is now
serving in Flanders, was present at the battle of Loos, and during a lull in
the fighting--when the gunners, who had been sleepless for five nights, were
resting like tired dogs under their guns--he jotted down the main theme of the
poem. After the battle the artillery brigade to which he was attached was
ordered to Ypres, and it was during the long trench warfare in this district,
within sight of the ruined tower of Ypres Cathedral, that the poem was finally
completed. The last three stanzas were written at midnight in brigade
headquarters, with the German shells screaming over the ruined town.
We are the guns and your
masters ! Saw ye our flashes ? Heard ye the scream of our shells in the night
and the shuddering crashes? Saw ye our work by the roadside, the gray wounded
lying, Moaning to God that He made them--the maimed and the dying? Husbands or
sons, Fathers or lovers, we break them ! We are the guns ! We are the guns
and ye serve us ! Dare ye grow weary, Steadfast at nighttime, at noontime; or
waking, when dawn winds blow dreary Over the fields and the flats and the
reeds of the barrier water, To wait on the hour of our choosing the minute
decided for slaughter? Swift the clock runs; Yes, to the ultimate second.
Stand to your guns !
THE MESSAGE OF THE BUDDHA
From an Ancient Manuscript.
"Hate is a cruel word. If men
hate you, regard it not; and you can turn the hate of men to love and mercy
and good will, and mercy is as large as all the heavens.
"And there is good enough for
all. With good destroy the bad; with generous deeds make avarice ashamed; with
truth make straight the crooked lines that error draws, for error is but truth
distorted, gone astray.
"And pain will follow him who
speaks or acts with evil thoughts, as does the wheel the foot of him who draws
"He is a greater man who
conquers self than he who kills a thousand men in war.
"He is a noble man who is
himself what he believes that other men should be.
"Return to him who does you
wrong your purest love, and he will cease from doing wrong; for love will
purify the heart of him who is beloved as truly as it purifies the heart of
him who loves."
A COURSE OF MASONIC READING
BY BRO. ROD'K H. BAXTER,
(Herewith we reproduce a list
of books suggested for a course of Masonic reading, by the secretary of the
Manchester Association for Masonic Research, to which we have ventured to add
a few American books. Most heartily we recommend this reading course, (1)
because the books named are authentic and trustworthy, giving in a popular
form the results of the best Masonic research; (2) because they are, for the
most part, inexpensive, and might easily be owned by any Lodge having an
interest in Masonic Study; and (3) because a list of this kind will answer
many inquiries which have come to ye editor. Later we propose to publish like
lists dealing with other branches and rites of Masonry not included in the
"Knowledge is the solace of
the intellect as religion is the comfort of the soul. And its acquisition is
not a toil but an indescribable delight." - G.W. Speth.
INQUIRIES from young members
of the Association have been so frequent as to what books should be read to
enable them to acquire a proper knowledge of the craft, that the Council have
decided to issue a curriculum, and have entrusted me with the preparation of
the work - a task which I undertake with much pleasure.
Bro. Speth, than whom there
could be no safer guide, published a curriculum for English readers in 1890,
in Vol. III of the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge (Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum), and in 1901 prepared an admirable and much more extensive list
of works, suitable for American brethren, with a running commentary, forming a
delightful essay, which was published at Detroit, Michigan, in 1901. It would
be presumptuous on my part to endeavor in any way to improve on this work,
were it not for the fact that so many fresh Masonic books have appeared since
that date as to render a revision necessary, but I ought to add that my
compilation is not merely a bringing up to date of Bro. Speth's list, but a
fresh plan, which I consider the circumstances of the case require.
Bro. Dr. Chetwode Crawley, in
the introduction to his Caementaria Hibernica, says that there are three
classical works which are absolutely indispensable to all Masonic students,
viz:- (1) Gould's History of Freemasonry, (2) Hughan's Origin of the English
Rite of Freemasonry, and (3) Sadler's Masonic Facts and Fictions. Whilst fully
appreciating the value of these works, I would not, however, suggest that the
student should begin by reading them in the order given. The great history of
Gould is too ponderous to be attractive, and necessary as it is to every
library, I would rather class it as a work of reference than as a book likely
to encourage a taste for Masonic literature. One serious fault the work
possesses - it has never been brought up to date - and despite the fact that
so many so-called fresh editions have appeared, the text so far as I am able
to ascertain, has never been revised.
My own suggestion is that
instead of entering on a course of advanced reading, the beginner should
procure some of the more recently published "tabloid" works at reasonable
prices, which, when properly assimilated, should create such a desire for
further knowledge, that he would not then grudge the expenditure of time and
money in acquiring it. I hope I may not be considered too egotistical in first
of all mentioning a small work of my own, "General and Historic Notes on
Freemasonry" (James Clegg, Rochdale, 1s., or, post free, 1s. 2d.), in which I
may hasten to add, I have no financial interest whatever, as being probably
the cheapest work available. Next in order I would recommend the works in the
The Master Mason's Hand Book,
by F.J.W. Crowe. (G. Kenning and Son, London. 1s. 6d.)
Things a Freemason Should
Know, by F.J.W. Crowe. (Kenning, London. 2s. 6d.)
Freemasonry before the
Existence of Grand Lodges, by Lionel Vibert. (Spencer and Co., London. 4s.
A Short Masonic History, by
Fredk. Armitage. (Weare and Co., London. 2 vols., 4s. 6d. each.)
The Comacines: Their
Predecessors and Successors, by W. Ravenscroft. (Elliot Stock, London, 3s.
The Builders, by J. F.
Newton. (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. $1.50.)
Having-carefully perused the
above primers, the student will have acquired an elementary knowledge of
Masonic history, but those desirous of more light ought certainly next to
A Concise History of
Freemasonry, by R.F. Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 10s. 6d.)
The History of Freemasonry,
by J.G. Findel. English translation. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
It is time now to provide
one's self with an encyclopedia of some kind, and following the precedent
already adopted, the following list gives the works in the order of
A Concise Cyclopedia of
Freemasonry, by E.L. Hawkins. (A. Lewis, London. 4s. 6d.)
Kenning's Cyclopedia of
Freemasonry, edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford. (Kenning, London. Originally
10s 6d., but now about 2s. 6d.)
Mackey's Lexicon of
Freemasonry. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie's
Royal Masonic Cyclopedia. (Second-hand, about 12s. 6d.)
Dr. A. G. Mackey's
Encyclopedia, edited by E. L. Hawkins and W. J. Hughan. (A. Lewis, London. 2
Under this heading, perhaps,
ought to be classed Gould's great work:-
The History of Freemasonry.
(Jack, London. 6 half vols., :1883-7. Published at 3 pounds 15s., but now
second-hand for about 15s.)
Before dipping into other
works of reference, I suggest that the following works be read:
The Origin of the English
Rite of Freemasonry, by Wm. Jas. Hughan. Second edition. (Research Lodge,
Leicester. 10s. 6d.)
Masonic Facts and Fiction, by
Hy. Sadler. (Second-hand, about 15s.)
Masonic Reprints and
Historical Revelations, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s. 6d.)
The introduction to the
last-named work, by Bro. Chetwode Crawley is one of the finest pieces of
Masonic writing that I have ever come across, and in my opinion ought to be
read by every Mason, whether a student of craft lore or not.
For special study the works
under the various headings hereafter given may be consulted.
The theory that our ancient
lodges were in some way connected with the various guilds, amounts to
something stronger than a mere possibility, so that a knowledge of these early
organizations is desirable. Many good works have been issued on the subject,
but a study of the following will suffice:-
English Gilds, by Toulmin
Smith, with a fine Introduction by Brentano.
Two Thousand Years of Gild
Life, by the Rev. J. M. Lambert.
The Cathedral Builders. The
Story of a Great Guild, by Leader Scott.
Records of the Hole Craft and
Fellowship of Masons, by Edward Condel, Jr.
Aberdeen Merchant Crafts and
Guilds, by Ebenezer Bain.
The Incorporated Trades of
Edinburgh, by James Colston.
Most of the traditions of the
craft are dealt with in general Masonic literature, but the following little
work is of special interest:-
The Symbols and Legends of
Freemasonry, by J. Finlay Finlayson. (Kenning, London. 3s. 6d.)
Speculative Masonry, by A. S.
MacBride. (D. Gilfillan, Glasgow. $1.50.)
SYMBOLISM AND ETHICS
The peculiarly difficult
subject of symbolism is equally difficult to advise about, but I suggest:-
The Perfect Ashlar, by the
Rev. J. T. Lawrence.
The Keystone. Ibid.
Sidelights on Freemasonry.
Byways of Freemasonry. Ibid.
The Etiquette of Freemasonry,
by an Old Past Master (i. e., Bro. Franklin Thomas.)
(All published by A. Lewis,
London. 4s. 6d. per vol.) Symbolism of Masonry, by Dr. Mackey. (Macoy Co., New
The Book of Constitutions
should, of course, be in the hands of every Mason, and should be carefully
studied. No really good interpretation of the book has yet appeared. Oliver
and Paton have made more a less indifferent attempts, and the most recent
Masonic Jurisprudence, by the
Rev. J. T. Lawrence Second edition. (A Lewis, London. 7s. 6d.)
But on no account should the
critique of the wor by Bro. Hextell be passed over, as some of the author's
conclusions are very seriously controverted.
No country in the world is
richer in old lodges and their records than Scotland, and fortunately skilled
craftsmen have done full justice to the subject. The following works are all
good; but Murray Lyon's work is absolutely a classic, and must be consulted.
History of the Lodge of
Edinburgh Mary's Chapel No. 1. Embracing an Account of the Rise and Progress
of Freemasonry in Scotland, by D. Murray Lyon. (Second-hand about 15s.)
History of Canongate
Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, by Allan Mackenzie. (Lodge No. 2. 7s. 6d.)
History of the Ancient
Masonic Lodge of Scoon and Perth, by D. Crawford Smith. (Cowan and Ca Perth.
History of Freemasonry in
Roxburgh, Peebles, and Selkirkshires, by W. Fred Vernon. (Kenning, London.
Ireland stood void of any
serious Masonic historical works until the advent of our distinguished Brother
W. J. Chetwode Crawley, but his brilliant talents have amply removed the
stigma. His three volumes of Irish Masonic Reprints are difficult to procure
at any price but cannot possibly be omitted from any list of books for Masonic
Caementaria Hibernica, by W.J.
Chetwode Crawley. Fasciculus I.
NUMBERS AND CHANGES OF LODGES
Bro. Jno. Lane, of Torquay,
inspired doubtless by Bro. Hughan, earned the distinction of being the
statistician of the craft par excellence, and although his works can scarcely
be styled attractive, they must certainly be regarded as monuments of
The Four Old Lodges and Their
Descendants, by R.F. Gould. (Spencer and Co., London. 5s. 6d.)
The Atholl Lodges, by R. F.
Gould. (Spence London. 3s. 6d.)
Numerical and Numismatical
Register of Lodge by W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
Handy Book to the Lists of
Lodges, by Jno. Lan (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
Masonic Records, 1717-1887,
by Jno. Lane.
Do. Do. Second edition,
1717-1894. (Grand Lodge, 1 pound. 1s.)
Leaving out of account the
eally works of Metzdorf, Zaccharias, and Marvin, which are difficult of
access, we have in the following list a series of very nice books.
Hughan's Numerical and
Numismatical Register (already cited.)
Centenary Warrants and
Jewels, by Jno. Lane. (Kenning, London. 10s. 6d.)
The Medals of British
Freemasonry, by G. L. Shackles. (Q. C. Lodge. 12s. 6d.)
To Bro. Wm. Jas. Hughan, the
craft is indebted for the most careful investigations on the ancient MS.
Constitutions, no roll having come to light during the past forty years
without his opinion having been consulted. Unfortunately his books are all out
of print and difficult to procure.
The Old Charges of the
British Freemasons, by W. J. Hughan, with an Introduction by the Rev.
A.F.A.Woodford. (Second-hand, about 1 pound 1s.) Do. Do. (Second-hand, about
Ancient York Masonic Rolls,
with an Introduction by W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, about 10s. 6d.)
The first six volumes Quatuor
Coronatorum Antigrapha contain sumptuous facsimile reproductions of the most
important of the MS. Constitutions, with transcripts and commentaries, and
Vols. IX and X are equally valuable as containing reproductions of other early
OLD BOOKS OF CONSTITUTIONS
The early editions of the
Book of Constitutions are treasures eagerly sought for by collectors, and are
only purchasable at fancy prices. Fortunately their contents are available in
reprints, and no finer description of the whole series has ever been done than
that by Bro. Hughan in Vol. II of the Archaeological Library.
Library, Vol. I., edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, containing a (pretended)
facsimile reproduction of the premier Book of Constitutions, 1723. (Kenning,
Do. Do. Vol. II. Edited by
W.J. Hughan, containing a facsimile reproduction of the Appendix, 1776, to the
1767 Constitutions. (Kenning, London. 6s.)
Antigrapha, Vol. VII, containing a facsimile reproduction of the 1738
Constitutions. (Q. C. Lodge. 10s. 6d.)
I am not aware of any
reprints of the Ahiman Rezon, the Book of Constitutions of the Ancients. Very
curious readings are to be found in the different editions of this work.
Copies of the 1778 and 1801 editions are in our own collection.
It may seem strange even to
mention bibliographies as being readable books, but the first four catalogues
in the following list have been so carefully annotated by Bro. Hughan that
they are really interesting. The great work of Wolfstieg is the most complete
of the kind ever attempted.
Catalogue of the Worcester
Masonic Exhibition, 1884. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor.
Do. Do. Shanklin, 1886.
Edited by Alfred Greenham.
Do. Do. Plymouth, 1887.
Edited by W. J. Hughan.
Catalogue of the Worcester
Masonic Library and Museum, 1891. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor. (Obtainable from
F. L. Gardner, Gunnersbury. 7s. 6d.)
Freimaurerischen Literatur, by A. Wolfstieg, 1911-13. 3 vols.
Although my list has already
reached considerable length, I cannot possibly complete it without
The Transactions of the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076. Vols. I to XXVI, which Bro. Hughan has
described as veritable mines of wealth. Other books which may with advantage
be consulted are:-
Illustrations of Masonry, by
Wm. Preston. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
The Spirit of Freemasonry, by
William Hutchinson. (Second-hand, about 7s. 6d.)
Builders' Rites and
Ceremonies, by G. W. Speth. (Second-hand, 3s.)
The Religion of Freemasonry,
by H.J. Whymper. (Second-hand, 7s. 6d.)
Masonic Sketches and
Reprints, by W.J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
History of the Apollo Lodge,
York, Ibid. (Second hand, 5s.)
The Jacobite Lodge at Rome,
1735-7, Ibid. (Research Lodge, Leicester. 7s. 6d.)
History of the Emulation
Lodge of Improvement, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
Memorials of the Globe Lodge
and Origin of the Red Apron, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 4s.)
Thomas Dunckerley: His Life,
Labours, and Letters. Ibid. (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
Military Lodges, by R. F.
Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 5s.)
French Prisoners' Lodges, by
J. T. Thorp. (Leicester. 5s.)
The Philosophy of Masonry, by
Roscoe Pound, (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. 76 cents.)
Morals and Dogma, by Albert
It is quite essential for
every Brother, desirous of keeping himself in touch with the current doings of
the craft, to subscribe to some periodical. The "Freemason" and "Freemasons'
Chronicle" appear weekly, and the "Northern Freemason" monthly. I do not for a
minute suggest that these journals are of a high order of merit, but it must
be remembered that a more generous response from the Masonic public would
enable the proprietors to provide better and cheaper fare. A very useful
little publication is "Miscellanea Latomorum, or Masonic Notes and Queries,"
edited by Bro. F. W. Levander, 30, North Villas, Camden Square, London, N. W.
(9 parts per annum for 5s.), which enables questions to be asked and generally
satisfactorily answered on altnost any branch of Freemasonry.
My strongest and last
recommendation to every intelligent Brother is to join the Correspondence
Circle of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, the foremost literary lodge of the
world, where, for a joining fee of half-aguinea and an annual subscription of
like amount, he will receive the published transactions of the lodge, and be
entitled to all other advantages of membership, except holding office and
voting on matters of business. I say advisedly that it is necessary to join
this circle, and not merely to read some other subscriber's copies of the
publications, for it must be evident that a very large influx of subscriptions
is necessary to enable the work, which is so highly appreciated by the
foremost Masonic scholars in all parts of the world, to be carried on.
SQUARE AND COMPASS
WORSHIPFUL Master and
Brethren: Let us behold the glorious beauty that lies hidden beneath the
symbolism of the Square and Compass; and first as to the Square. Geometry, the
first and noblest of the sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of
Masonry has been erected. As you know, the word "Geometry" is derived from two
Greek words which mean "to measure the earth," so that Geometry originated in
measurement; and in those early days, when land first began to be measured,
the Square, being a right angle, was the instrument used, so that in time the
Square began to symbolize the Earth. And later it began to symbolize,
Masonically, the earthly-in man, that is man's lower nature, and still later
it began to symbolize man's duty in his earthly relations, or his moral
obligations to his Fellowmen. The symbolism of the Square is as ancient as the
Pyramids. The Egyptians used it in building the Pyramids. The base of every
pyramid is a perfect square, and to the Egyptians the Square was their highest
and most sacred emblem. Even the Chinese many, many centuries ago used the
Square to represent Good, and Confucius in his writings speaks of the Square
to represent a Just man.
As Masons we have adopted the
47th Problem of Euclid as the rule by which to determine or prove a perfect
Square. Many of us remember with what interest we solved that problem in our
school days. The Square has become our most significant Emblem. It rests upon
the open Bible on this altar; it is one of the three great Lights; and it is
the chief ornament of the Worshipful Master. There is a good reason why this
distinction has been conferred upon the Square. There can be nothing truer
than a perfect Square--a right angle. Hence the Square has become an emblem of
Now a few words as to the
Compass: Astronomy was the second great science promulgated among men. In the
process of Man's evolution there came a time when he began to look up to the
stars and wonder at the vaulted Heavens above him. When he began to study the
stars, he found that the Square was not adapted to the measurement of the
Heavens. He must have circular measure; he needed to draw a circle from a
central point, and so the Compass was employed. By the use of the Compass man
began to study the starry Heavens, and as the Square primarily symbolized the
Earth, the Compass began to symbolize the Heavens, the celestial canopy, the
study of which has led men to think of God, and adore Him as the Supreme
Architect of the Universe. In later times the Compass began to symbolize the
spiritual or higher nature of man, and it is a significant fact that the
circumference of a circle, which is a line without end, has become an emblem
of Eternity and symbolizes Divinity; so the Compass, and the circle drawn by
the Compass, both point men Heavenward and Godward.
The Masonic teaching
concerning the two points of the Compass is very interesting and instructive.
The novitiate in Masonry, as he kneels at this altar, and asks for Light sees
the Square, which symbolizes his lower nature, he may well note the position
of the Compass. As he takes another step, and asks for more Light, the
position of the Compass is changed somewhat, symbolizing that his spiritual
nature can, in some measure, overcome his evil tendencies. As he takes another
step in Masonry, and asks for further Light, and hears the significant words,
"and God said let there be Light, and there was Light," he sees the Compass in
new light; and for the first time he sees the meaning, thus unmistakably
alluding to the sacred and eternal truth that as the Heavens are higher than
the Earth, so the spiritual is higher than the material, and the spiritual in
man must have its proper place, and should be above his lower nature, and
dominate all his thoughts and actions. That eminent Philosopher, Edmund Burke,
once said, "It is ordained that men of intemperate passions cannot be free.
Their passions forge the chains which bind them, and make them slaves." Burke
was right. Masonry, through the beautiful symbolism of the Compass, tells us
how we can be free men, by permitting the spiritual within us to overcome our
evil tendencies, and dominate all our thoughts and actions. Brethren,
sometimes in the silent quiet hour, as we think of this conflict between our
lower and higher natures, we sometimes say in the words of another, "Show me
the way and let me bravely climb to where all conflicts with the flesh shall
cease. Show me that way. Show me the way up to a higher plane where my body
shall be servant of my Soul. Show me that way."
Brethren, if that prayer
expresses desire of our hearts, let us take heed to the beautiful teachings of
the Compass, which silently and persistently tells each one of us,
"You should not in the valley
While the great horizons
The very cliffs that wall you
Are ladders up to higher
And Heaven draws near as you
The Breeze invites, the Stars
All things are beckoning to
Then climb toward God and
find sweet Rest."
--Bro. B. C. Ward, Iowa.
BY A SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
(Several Brethren have asked
of late about the admission of non-Christians in general, and of Buddhists in
particular, into the fellowship of Freemasonry. Pertinent to this important
question is the following report of a Committee appointed to deal with the
request for a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for
International Lodge at Pekin, China. The report is the work of a very able
Committee, of which Brother Roscoe Pound was a member, and he it was who
presented its findings to Grand Lodge. We take pleasure in reproducing the
report, as worthy of wide reading and long pondering, for that it stands so
squarely on the fundamental principle of Freemasonry, than which there is no
firmer basis for Freedom, Friendship and Fraternity among men.)
In Grand Lodge, Boston,
December 8, 1915.
The special committee
appointed to take under consideration the fourth and fifth questions discussed
in that part of the address of the M. W. Grand Master at the last Quarterly
Communication which has to do with the establishment of International Lodge at
Peking, China, begs to report as follows:
Stated briefly, the first of
those questions is with reference to the eligibility of candidates who
subscribe to prevailing Oriental religions. This question may be considered
with respect to Oriental religions in general, but should also be looked at
with respect to Buddhists and followers of Confucius, since it is probable
that the matter, so far as this Grand Lodge is concerned, will be only
academic as to other creeds. In the case of Mohammedan, Hindu, and Parsee, the
question no longer admits of discussion. The practice of the United Grand
Lodge of England and its predecessors, undoubted for almost a century and a
half, would of itself suffice. In 1776, Umdat-ul-Umara, eldest son of the
Nabob of Arcot, was initiated at Trichinopoly in a Lodge under the
jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Master for Madras. This reception of a
Mohammedan Prince was an event of such significance that it was made the
subject of congratulations by the Grand Lodge of England. The Parsees of
Western India, so Gould informs us, long ago took an active interest in
Masonry, and one of them, Brother Cama, was elected Grand Treasurer of the
Grand Lodge of England in 1886. With respect to Hindus, it seems that there
was an impression as late as 1860 that they were not eligible for Masonry, and
the initiation of a Brahman in Meridian Lodge No. 345, in that year raised a
vigorous discussion in the Masonic press. But it should be noted that the
discussion did not turn upon any supposed ineligibility of the adherents of
Oriental religions, but solely on the question whether the Brahman faith
involved belief in God, as Masons understand such belief. The arguments of the
Master of the Lodge was that "the very groundwork of the Brahman faith is the
belief in one Grand Superintending Being." (See Freemason's Magazine, April
21, September 8, October 13, 1860; May 18, 1861.) In 1861, two Sikh Princes
were initiated, and there does not appear to have been any doubt upon this
matter since that time. In 1874 a Hindu was Master of a Lodge under the
English constitutions. (See Gould, History of Freemasonry, III, 333, 336;
Mackey, History of Freemasonry, VII, 1892.)
It would belie all our
professions of universality if this were not so. We must guard jealously the
Landmark--one of the few undoubted and universally admitted Landmarks--that
calls for belief in God, the Grand Architect of the Universe. In Brother
George F. Moore's well-known paper upon the subject he justly pronounces this
the first Landmark in Freemasonry. But the idea of God here is universal. Each
of us may interpret it in terms of his own creed. The requirement is not that
Masons adhere to this or that theological system or conceive of God in terms
of this or that creed. It is a simple requirement of belief in the One God,
however manifested, upon which philosophers and prophets and saints and the
enlightened religions of all time have been able to agree. It is enough to say
that we fully concur in the eloquent and convincing presentation of this
matter in the address of the Grand Master.
Perhaps it is superfluous to
add anything to the argument from the practice of the premier Grand Lodge and
the argument from principle. But if any still harbor scruples it may be noted
that except for Hutchinson and Oliver, whose view that Masonry is a
distinctively Christian institution obviously can not be admitted, Masonic
scholars and teachers have been at one upon this point. In a passage afterward
quoted in Webb's Monitor Preston says: "The distant Chinese, the wild Arab, or
the American Savage will embrace a brother Briton [Webb adds "Frank or
German"] and he will know that beside the common ties of humanity there is
still a stronger obligation to engage him to kind or friendly offices."
(Illustrations of Masonry, Bk. 1, par. 3). Certainly we are not to suppose
that this Chinaman and this "wild" Arab are Christians. But Preston speaks
elsewhere in no uncertain tones: "The doctrine of one God, the creator and
preserver of the universe, has been their firm belief in every age; and under
the influence of that doctrine their conduct has been regulated through a long
succession of years. The progress of knowledge and philosophy, aided by divine
revelation, having abolished many of the vain superstitions of antiquity and
enlightened the minds of men with the knowledge of the true God and the sacred
tenets of the Christian faith, Masons have readily acquiesced in and zealously
pursued every measure which could promote a religion so wisely calculated to
make men happy. In those countries, however, where the gospel has not reached
and Christianity [has not] displayed her beauties, the Masons have pursued the
universal religion or the religion of nature; that is to be good men and true,
by whatever denomination or persuasion they have been distinguished; and by
this universal religion the conduct of the fraternity still continues to be
regulated." (Illustrations of Masonry, 2 ed., 154.) The Grand Master's address
has already quoted Mackey upon this subject. A score of passages from Albert
Pike might be quoted to the same effect. Let one suffice. After explaining
that "these ceremonies have one general significance to every one of every
faith who believes in God and the soul's immortality," he proceeds: "In no
other way could Masonry possess its character of universality; that character
which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enabled two
kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters while the
walls of the first temple arose." Finally, we may cite the words of Rev.
Joseph Fort Newton, which have the endorsement of the Grand Lodge of Iowa:
"While Masonry is theocratic in its faith and philosophy, it does not limit
its conception of the Divine, much less insist upon any one name for 'the
Nameless One of a hundred names.' Indeed, no feature of Masonry is more
fascinating than its age-long quest of the Lost Word, the Ineffable Name; a
quest that never tires, never tarries, knowing the while that every name is
inadequate, and all words are but symbols of a Truth too great for
words--every letter of the alphabet, in fact, having been evolved from some
primeval sign or signal of the faith and hope of humanity. Thus Masonry, so
far from limiting the thought of God, is evermore in search of a more
satisfying and revealing vision of the meaning of the universe, now luminous
and lovely, now dark and terrible; and it invites all men to unite in the
One in the freedom of the
Truth, One in the joy of paths untrod, One in the soul's perennial Youth, One
in the larger thought of God.
Truly the human consciousness
of fellowship with the Eternal, under whatever name, may well hush all words,
still more hush argument and anathema. Possession, not recognition, is the
only thing important; and if it is not recognized, the fault must surely be,
in large part, our own. Given the one great experience, and before long
kindred spirits will join in the "Universal Prayer" of Alexander Pope, himself
Father of all ! in every age,
In every clime adored, By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage, Jehovah, Jove, or
Lord !" (The Builders, 262-263.)
It remains to consider
whether Buddhists and followers of Confucius are believers in God in such
sense that they may be made Masons. As to the former, we have the weighty
opinion of Albert Pike that Buddha was a "Masonic legislator"--that is that he
gave laws in the spirit of Masonry. He says of the original followers of
Buddha: "They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose
bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed" (Morals and Dogma, 277.)
Professor Rhys Davids, the chief authority in English upon Buddhism, indicates
that this may be a matter of dispute. But the committee does not deem it
necessary to go into this question, to which it is indeed scarcely competent.
For if any Buddhists are to be initiated in International Lodge they will be
required to profess belief in God at the outset, and as they will be men in
whom our Brethren have confidence and will come well recommended, we may be
assured that their professions will be sincere. The same point may be made
with respect to the followers of Confucius. But the Rev. J. Legge, an
unquestioned authority, tells us that while the teaching of Confucius "was
hardly more than a mere secularism" his predecessors on whom he built made
abundant reference to the Supreme Being and their writings contain "an
exulting awful recognition of Him as the almighty personal ruler who orders
the course of nature and providence." It seems clear that monotheists may
follow the ethical teachings of Confucius, even if sceptics may do so
likewise, and the former only will be elected to receive the mysteries of
The second question, put
briefly, is with reference to the adaptability of our rites when applied to
adherents of Oriental religions. Here again we may appeal to the settled and
unquestioned practice of the United Grand Lodge of England. In response to a
request for information addressed to him by the R. W. Grand Secretary, Sir
Edward Letchworth, Grand Secretary of the English Grand Lodge, writes, under
date of October 25, 1915: "Adverting to your letter to me of the 11th instant,
it has always been the practice of this Grand Lodge to permit Candidates for
Freemasonry who are believers in a Supreme Being, but not in the Christian
Religion, to be obligated upon the Sacred Book of their own religion. Thus
Jews are obligated on the Old Testament, Mohammedans on the Koran, Hindus on
the Vedas, and Parsees on the Zendavesta."
On principle this must be the
sound practice. It is indeed but a corollary of the proposition involved in
the first question. Moreover the testimony of Masonic scholars is clear. The
M. W. Grand Master has already quoted from Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence. In
another work Dr. Mackey says: "Masonically the book of the law is that sacred
book which is believed by the Mason of any particular religion to contain the
revealed will of God; although technically among the Jews the Torah, or Book
of the Law, means only the Pentateuch or five books of Moses. Thus to the
Christian Mason the Book of the Law is the Old and New Testaments; to the Jew
the Old Testament; to the Mussulman the Koran; to the Brahman, the Vedas; and
to the Parsee the Zendavesta." In the Entered Apprentice Lecture, as written
by Albert Pike, he says: "The Holy Bible, Square, and (Compass, are not only
styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the
Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no
Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews
from Our Lodges, because they can not regard the New Testament as a holy book.
The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only
because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch
in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and
one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great
Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.
"The obligation of the
candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion,
that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you
were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your
religious creed." (Morals and Dogma, 11.)
Much more might be cited from
Masonic writers authority. But the practice of more than a century the Grand
Lodge of England and the principle of the thing require no other support.
The committee would report
that the conclusions of the M.W. Grand Master upon the two questions referred
are, in his opinion, beyond controversy, being sustained by-long precedent and
usage, by the clearest deduction from the fundamental tenets of the
Fraternity, and by the concurrent testimony of Masonic scholars. Fraternally
EDWIN B. HOLMES,
LEON M. ABBOTT,
FREDERIC W. HAMILTON.
R. PERRY BUSH,
Report was accepted and
I am a man, and nothing that
concerns human beings is indifferent to me. By nature we are inclined to love
mankind; take away this love and you take away all the joy of life, for men
are born that they may mutually benefit one another. When one has studied the
nature of things and has come to look upon himself as not confined within the
walls of one city, or as a member of any particular community, but as a
citizen of the Universe considered as a Commonwealth: amid such an
acquaintance with Nature and such a grand magnificence of things, to what a
Knowledge of himself will he attain ! - Pagan Scriptures.
Narrow chested and gray
blooded children living in dark rooms in congested tenement districts, eating
adulterated food and corrupted in their childhood by an environment of dives,
gambling dens and brothels, are a poor foundation for a first line of defense.
- Raymond Robins.
ADDRESS AT THE INITIATION OF
(The following address, found
on Page 147, in Part III of the 1798 edition of the Book of Constitutions,
prepared for and under authority of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts by
Brother Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, Grand Chaplain, rings true in this year
1916 as it did at that time. - Editor.)
"You, Brother, the native and
subject of another nation, by entering into our Order, have connected
yourself, by sacred and affectionate ties, with thousands of Masons in this
and other countries. Ever recollect that the Order you have entered into, bids
you always to look upon the world as ONE GREAT REPUBLIC, of which every nation
is a family, and every particular person a child. When, therefore, you return
and settle in your own country, take care that the progress of friendship be
not confined to the narrow circle of national connections, or particular
religions; but let it be universal, and extend to every branch of the human
race. At the same time, remember that, besides the common ties of humanity,
you have at this time entered into obligations, which engage you to kind and
friendly actions to your Brother Mason, of whatever station countrv or
THE HIGHER DEGREE
In the big heart of a true
Mason there is no caste, but that which is born of true manhood; no
sovereignty but that which willingly begets service; great because lowly,
strong because faithful, invincible because patient. - W. F. Kuhn
For years we had stood
And toiled at the self-same
With a hand that was worn to
And the face of an age-old
Where the narrow walls
We had dreamed, as a bondsman
Of a world made free for
And a kingdom of every man.
We had dreamed of a space
Where the eye sees far and
With never a thought for
Ours was a world frontier!
And today it was that I found
When we stormed the other
With a hell-fire hot all
And a deadlier poisoned
There he lay, like a wild
And a stain on his mouth like
And eyes that stared,
To the heaven that's his and
Perhaps, at to-morrow's
I, too, shall be lying there,
In the only peace and freedom
That he and I can share.
Elizabeth Berthon Fahnestock,
- In "The Outlook."
BULLETIN -- No. 1 Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland,
NOTE. Of the forty responses
to Brother Clegg's "Get Together" Open Letter in the September issue (inside
back cover) received up to September 12th, he has selected the following as
covering the representative problems presented. The emphasis which he places
upon the ability of ONE LIVE MEMBER of the Society to inspire a complete Study
Club in his vicinity is well deserved. But let not the individual Brother who
desires to be counted "present" in this movement be discouraged, even though
others do not join him at once. He will find much of value (and to his liking)
in this Department, as time goes on, and the recapitulation of the ways in
which problems of organization are being solved, will help him.
The CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE
BULLETIN will for the present be published and distributed with the regular
issues of The Builder. This is the most economical method: and, as we believe,
will deserve the widest publicity that we can give it. EVERY MEMBER will at
once appreciate the increased value of the Society to the Craft, and we hope
to show EVERY MEMBER that his interest in Masonry will be best served by
allying him self with other interested Brethren for the furtherance of the
THE METHODS WHEREBY STUDIOUS
MASONS MAY MINGLE FOR BETTERMENT
THAT article on the inside
back cover of the September issue of The Builder must have been timely and
truthful. It tapped a fount, yea, a flood of correspondence the end of which
is not yet. That the opportunity was ripe there is no question. That there is
great good to be accomplished is evident. That we should at once proceed to
enter the promised land is beyond dispute. That the work is of the highest
importance is unquestioned.
Urgent as is the need of
action, it is supremely important that we all be as patient as possible
remembering that the undertaking may develop difficulties unforeseen by the
wisest. These we will all do our best to iron out as we go along.
Some of the letters telling
of real difficulties are most interesting and I hope to give them space in
full for general discussion. But as it may not be practical to do this at
present I will make extracts from several of them and add such comments as
seem most helpful from my point of view. It will be easy to come back to me
for additional information if the suggestions I offer are not fully
satisfactory, and the printing of the pointers in The Builder will enable
others to profit wherever the data is seen to be of benefit, and every reader
is also invited to give me and everybody else the advantage of such criticism
as may occur to him in the study of this department.
WHEN LOCAL MEMBERS MAY BE FEW
Dear Brother: In re Masonic
studies noted on last page last Builder, please furnish me list of local
members. Providing there are not sufficient here how may I procure the
information ? C.W. Tedrowe, Elk City, Okla
Numbers will make no
difference as regards the willingness of the Society to help you. Whether
there be two or two hundred members of The National Masonic Research Society
that you can reach locally, will not make any difference in that respect. In
fact it will be an excellent plan to invite to your meetings Masons who are
not already members of the Society. If you get them interested they are very
likely to want membership, and as you are not going to invite those you would
not care to have join hands with you in this work you thereby enlarge the
influence of the Society and make useful additions to your numbers and ours.
Tell us what success you have in assembling the brethren. Let us know what
subjects seem of the greatest degree of interest to most of you, or what has
come up for consideration at your meetings and we will suggest sources of
information and lines of investigation that you may take up to profitably
employ your time and energies.
LISTS WANTED--SUBJECTS FOR
DISCUSSION, MASONIC BOOKS FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY
Dear Brother: Having just
read Brother Clegg's letter on the inside cover of the September Builder, I
hope to be among the first to respond, as his idea is certainly well worth
attention. Our lodge is becoming interested in the history side of Masonry and
is planning not only a series of lectures for the coming winter, but a study
club of members. While I would appreciate a list of members of the N.M.R.S. in
this section, yet am I more interested in a list of subjects for discussion.
If I could trouble you for a list of subjects upon which you think a
foundation might be built, or which would serve as a nucleus for later
original efforts on our part, I would be very appreciative. A list of a few
books which our local library has kindly offered to purchase would likewise be
appreciated. H. C. Wolf, 408 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill.
Let me take the last of your
requests first. Your Public Library should have the first volume of The
Builder and should subscribe to the subsequent issues. There should also be on
file the book on the Philosophy of Masonry by Dean Pound and published by The
National Masonic Research Society. The best Encyclopedia is none too good and
for this purpose get Mackey's latest edition. Mackey and Singleton's "History
of Freemasonry," and R. F. Gould's "Concise History" are also most valuable.
We will send you a pamphlet list of Masonic works and shall promptly inform
you of the relative merits of any of the items upon which you may desire
A list of subjects for
consideration by your brethren and yourself is no easy task to prepare, and
then be fully acceptable to you and to me. I am somewhat in the dark as to
topics that would appeal to you. For instance I know of a group of Masons that
found a very lively interest in digging up all the data obtainable upon such
subjects as the Essenes. To me that would have been rather dry but they found
it full of zest and charm. Lately I and a few other brothers spent an evening
discussing some points in Masonic law and the time slipped away very rapidly
but I can imagine there are brethren who would not find that topic at all
There is to my mind only one
way to cut the Gordian knot and that is to do your best to select in the first
instance subjects of the greatest general interest and then specialize later
when you have the more accurately gauged the tendencies of your own taste and
those of your associates.
Suppose we take any one or
more of the following points: What is the purpose of Masonry? What is taught
by the Entered Apprentice degree ? What is taught by the Fellowcraft degree?
What is taught by the Master Mason's degree ? How should a visiting Mason be
examined? What ought a member to know of Masonry ? What has been the history
of Masonry--tracing the progress of your local lodges, your Grand Lodge and
the bodies from whence you drew your authority?
Any one of the above will
keep you busy for some time if handled judiciously and thoroughly. Should you
like other references please do not fail to write me.
It may also be that you will
seek light on some angle of the above that is not clear, and here too every
resource we possess is at your service. But start in courageously and keep
ANYTHING OF RITUALISTIC OR
MONITORIAL MERIT VERY WELCOME
Dear Sir: I note your notices
about study clubs, and I would like to do what I can to help you form a club.
I am greatly interested in the study of Freemasonry. Could you use an article
on the Symbolism of the Third Degree ? Rasmus Bartleson, 452 Dayton Ave., St.
The Editor of The Builder is
always pleased to receive essays from the brethren. Furthermore it is just
such papers as the one you mention that will probably be found highly useful
in our study clubs. Already we have had discussions upon Symbolism circulated
among lodges when reprinted from The Builder and they were very enjoyable and
thought-provoking. Our research into Masonry need not get too far away from
what is suggested by the ritual. The "work" is known to all no matter how
rusty they may be and the topics based upon it are all the more attractive on
that account because all can take part. Right here is the very essence of the
scheme; sociable contact in study of the successful sort for classes, the same
being based upon the intimate and general appeal of the topics chosen for the
attention of the brethren.
VOICES A NEW CRUSADE
Dear Sir and Brother: I read
with great interest your very suggestive open letter to members of our Society
and am fully in accord with your idea of Masonic study. I think now is the
time for all Masons to not only study but also practice in our every day life
the duties we owe to the great Institution and to ourselves.
Would it not be a grand
uplift to Masonry if every member of every lodge belonged to the Society and
then set an evening for study and debate ? There are so many of our members
who fail to see the concealed yet revealed beauty of Masonry. C. T. Laschinger,
Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
You have indeed hit the nail
on the head. May we not also say that the responsibility is ours of increasing
the attractiveness of Masonic study? Shall we not all take hold of the
situation in our respective localities and endeavor to make others see Masonry
as you see it ? How shall we do this ?
I feel confident that we
shall later on get from you some serviceable working ideas based on your
progress with the brethren. What you say so definitely and well cannot but be
followed by action and creditable results. Go forward along the path you have
blazed so well, and then let the rest of us have the benefit of your plans and
PLANS VARY WITH PLACES
My dear Brother: In the late
issue of The Builder, on the inside back page is a message which I felt was
both proper and timely, in all respects.
I desire to be one who asks
for the list of brethren in this locality, for the express purpose as
mentioned in the article. There are four Blue Lodges in Davis county--at
Bloomfield Drakeville, Pulaski, and one which meets at call, at Stiles. The
first three are situated in corporate communities, and could well support
their individual clubs, although if it is deemed best to start with interested
brothers from these places, the best cooperation will be afforded.
If someone from here has
already applied, I will gladly cooperate with him in the effort, otherwise I
shall use my best endeavors in behalf of the movement, I assure you. John W.
Teed, Bloomfield, Iowa.
P. S.--Any suggestion,
information, or plans will be gratefully received and appreciated.
Whether you should try for
several study clubs or have one is only to be determined by careful
examination of the situation from firsthand opportunities. Large classes are
unwieldy, small ones don't give the varied points of contact in debate that
are afforded by large classes. Small classes are easily called and handled but
the absence of one or two members makes a serious hole in the attendance, a
large class is the opposite.
My plan would be to get all
you can assemble together for a preliminary meeting. Have some well-equipped
brother present some subject for consideration. Several others should have
prepared themselves to take up the same topic and maintain the interest of the
debate. Make the evening lively and useful, entertaining as well as
instructive. Let everybody go away with a heart warmed to each of his
neighbors in the class. Avoid contention and you will have no corroding
The simplest parliamentary
organization is all that is necessary. You may even change your Chairman every
meeting by election from the floor. But you require a good Secretary, some one
brother who will make a cherished hobby of the thing.
Where you have several lodges
there may be a possibility of having a meeting in each of the locations
consecutively. This will depend upon local circumstances, but ought to have a
tendency to promote study activities in each place visited. Any way, make a
start and the rest will take care of itself as you go along.
Be sure to keep us posted on
your progress. Every one of these organizations for study will have problems
that in their solution will benefit other like bodies. Therefore let all hands
make a practice of telling us of the details of their progress, what obstacles
are met and how they are overcome, what has tended to harmony and what has
not, what has been most edifying and what hasn't. Don't keep your troubles and
your triumphs to yourself. Remember the time when successful and unsuccessful
reports wound up in a triumphal procession for everybody. So tell us of all
THE FELLOWCRAFT DEGREE
Dear Sir and Brother: I have
just read your open letter to members in the last number of The Builder.
The Fifth Saturday Research
Work of City of the Straits Lodge No. 452 will take up the study of the
Fellowcraft Degree at its next meeting and I would like very much to have not
only a list of your Detroit members but the use of any articles and papers you
may have dealing particularly with that branch of Masonry.
Our Research meetings are
made compulsory by Lodge Bylaws and are meeting with much success, interest
and contributions by members being general and attendance excellent.
We are indebted to The
Builder for much advice and assistance.--F. A. Hilton, Chairman of Committee,
A copy of the "Symbolism of
the Fellowcraft Degree" has been sent to you and I daresay you found it of
much interest and usefulness. I expect you also read in this connection the
chapter on Preston in Dean Pound's "Philosophy of Masonry." The latter gives
you a key to the meaning of Fellowcraft Masonry as it looks to me. But if I
start in here to expound what in my humble judgment are the fundamentals of
Masonic teaching I fear I shall take up too much space and I may get tedious
at that !
Your report shows several
exceedingly noteworthy points. First of all your Lodge in its wisdom has set
an admirable example. Would that all Lodges were equally alert, and informed.
Please let us know the titles
of the papers read by your members. Kindly advise us of the relative interest
of the several subjects. How were the papers discussed and to what extent? As
you will see from these answering notes of mine in this department there is a
constant desire of my correspondents to know what to study. There is so much
that can be studied that I must not overtax the efforts of the brethren by any
long lists of topics. Now if I can from the experience of others add to my own
conclusions I am not only the more nearly right but I shall feel much better
satisfied that everybody w ill derive good and wholesome instruction.
ALREADY AT WORK
Dear Sir and Brother: Some of
us have been trying to conduct something of a study club in our lodge here in
the past year. Any information that will be of he]p to us as suggested by Bro.
Robert I. Clegg in his letter to members on the last page of the last issue of
The Builder will be greatly appreciated. L. F. Knowles, Mantorville, Minn.
Dear Sir: I have read with
much interest the open letter to members by Brother Robert I. Clegg and as the
suggestion is directly in line with some ideas that I have already tried to
start among the brothers, I would be pleased to receive a list of the members
of the Society in Chicago and will do whatever I can to further the work. W.
F. Reinbold, 212 W. Washington St., Chicago. P. S.--Any suggestions as to
subjects, programs, etc., will, of course, be gratefully received.
Dear Brother: Just received
the September Builder. I have for some time been dreaming of the plan
suggested for study clubs by Brother Clegg. The only reason I haven't tried it
has been the lack of time to work out programs. Your suggestions solve the
difficulty. Count me in for starting one here. If anyone else has preceded me,
let me know so I can help him out. Yours fraternally, Ralph B. Smith, Keokuk,
Each of you has already
thought over your local prospects and your problems are similar. I can
therefore group what I have to say.
It is particularly gratifying
to me that I happened to voice what has proved to be in the minds of so many
of the brethren. They have doubtless cogitated over angles of the problem that
have eluded me. As time goes on I expect to get in touch with some of this
individual research and to profit by it. Let not any of us withhold whatever
it is that will help the cause forward.
Another very pleasing aspect
of our progress so far in this work is the readiness of brethren not only to
start something but if they have happened not to be pioneers in the race they
are equally willing and ready to play second fiddle and to support their
leader heartily and vigorously. That is the feeling that wins. That is the
true spirit of Masonry.
But of you three brethren and
ail the others of your calibre wherever they may be dispersed, to use the
time-honored phrase, I beg of you to read carefully what is here said in The
Builder of this date relative to organization and of matters for study and
How far my suggestions fit
your problems it is of course impossible for me to say. If they fail to meet
your wants, (and tentative as they are it is almost certain that they will
come short and be found wanting in some respect for your purpose), I can only
welcome your confidence and pledge you my best cooperation wherever and
whenever what is known to me may serve you.
The main thing is to make a
start. Get a few brethren together. See that they are congenial. Stage a
discussion in which they can all take an active part. Make each member present
a missionary. Increase your numbers slowly. Encourage your brethren to submit
questions. A Question Box is a good thing, especially if you have some one to
follow it up. Invite questions to be presented at the meetings and also sent
to the Secretary between meetings. Assign these questions to well informed
brethren. Taboo all half-baked replies. Make the answer stand on its feet
firmly. Distinguish between speculation and knowledge. Set asunder fiction and
fact. Ask for evidence. These and similar expedients conducted courteously and
with fervor should hold combined interest and enlarge and make fruitful your
gatherings. Try them out.
OFFICIAL ACTION ON MASONIC
STUDY: WHAT SHALL BE DONE, AND HOW?
What could be done by our
Grand Lodge to promote the study side of Masonry? Your opinion and suggestions
are invited upon our making the right start. Your article on "How to Study
Masonry," in The Builder, impressed me so favorably that I venture to intrude
upon your time and patience. Anything we do will probably be on a small scale
to start, but I believe if we are able to make the start right we will
eventually accomplish results. S. H. S.
You as Chairman of your Grand
Lodge Committee honor me by what you ask. Nothing would please me more than to
say something capable of being adopted by your Grand Lodge.
My thought in what I wrote
for The Builder was to suggest some easy plan whereby a start could be made
without of necessity requiring any Grand Lodge authority or encouragement.
Your suggestion therefore carries my plan much further afield than was at the
time contemplated by me. Please have patience with me if on that account I may
offer an idea or two that seem amateurish or immature.
1. Have your Grand Lodge
appoint a Committee on Masonic Education. Have this Committee submit a
comprehensive report every year to the Grand Lodge on (a) The general progress
of Masonic Research; (b) Masonic study in your state; (c) a summary of what
has been done by individual lodges toward the Masonic improvement of their
members, and what has been done by any individual members to promote Masonic
Research. (d) submit a list of Masonic lecturers and lectures presented during
the year to your lodges, and also maintain a list of available addresses of
value that may be obtained by your lodges. You can readily extend this list of
things that such a Committee ought to do.
2. Whenever you hold a School
of Instruction let the above Committee present someone to give an able
address. Not a weak mushy frothy flow of verbiage but a paper of scholarly
brand. Don't let the speaker extemporize. Make him dig. Edit the paper
carefully in advance. You have the men who can do this and do it right. Draw
on them. Make the paper the climax of your work of instruction and do not
permit it to be shelved or curtailed when you have decided what it shall be.
3. Have your Grand Lodge join
with the Grand Lodge of Iowa in what is known as the Clipping Service. Write
to the Grand Secretary, Brother N. R. Parvin, at Cedar Rapids, for his
descriptive circular. Maybe you won't care to join with them notwithstanding
the economy. Your independence pleases me. Go it alone.
Furthermore, have your
Committee prepare two or three good addresses. Print them on plain, unglazed
paper in large type, ten point or even larger for easy reading. Advise your
Lodges of the papers you have on hand. Urge them to try these on the brethren.
Have them read at a time when they will get proper attention. Get the
Worshipful Master to inform the Committee over his signature and that of the
Secretary of the Lodge what was done in every case to insure a good
attendance, whether there was any discussion, and how long it lasted, and what
was the effect of the paper, etc.
Of course I could easily
write a lot of these things and at that I might easily miss the very things on
which you particularly require my views. The only remedy is to ask me again.
Two cents will reach me. Don't hesitate to call on me for anything I can tell
Don't forget that the
National Masonic Research Society has a store of pamphlets and circulars of
most interesting Masonic material.
But why wait for Grand Lodge
action ? Try out this scheme of The Builder in your own Lodge. Read once more
what you have already gone through on the East end of the September issue.
Find out what suits your Lodge. Ten to one that will give you a fair lead on
all the other Lodges. Then go into your Grand Lodge prayerfully. Get a
Committee appointed that has an interest in the study side of Masonry. Pick
men of influence to give your Committee weight, men of brains to make its
views respected, active men to accomplish results, men potent, apt and
tactful. But don't expect too much of anybody except yourself. May all good
luck attend you.
R. I. CLEGG.
A batch of letters had been
answered to the best of my ability. I was catching up with the aftermath of
that article of mine on the cover of the September Builder when lo there
arrived, hot from the wire, a telegram from far-off Texas asking for a course
of study to be outlined. Already the subject has been touched upon in a
discussion scheduled for appearance in the October Builder. For the present
that may serve. Meantime the matter will get careful consideration in such
time as I can divert from the prosaic but necessary labors of business. Let
not any of Our readers imagine for a moment that their inquiries and
suggestions do not in every case receive prompt attention. But many of them
are not adapted to offhand decision. Time and plenty of it is usually wanted
and employed before these matters may receive their just due.
This brings me naturally to
weighing our facilities for handling the correspondence that is coming our
way. This flood of ideas, these requests for guidance, this presentation of
cases in more or less detail for diagnosis, impress upon the mind of the
receiver a sense of keen responsibility. In some way or another we must bring
to bear upon these problems all the critical and constructive energies of
theoretical and practical Masonry, certainly a much greater resource than any
one Mason or group of Masons has at command.
Publication of letters from
our members will constitute a valuable forum for the general discussion of
aims and ends, methods and means. Already this promises to be an enlivening
and most instructive department. To this section there will be freely added
editorial comments based upon our constantly increasing sources of information
at home and abroad.
But we must get beyond the
forum stage. While it is an excellent thing in itself, and by all processes
and in every particular to be vigorously encouraged, yet the Society ought not
to halt content with that degree of progress. We need methodical plans,
unified and finished. Speaking as an engineer I may say the whole proposition
just aches for a layout and a blueprint of it prepared for every Mason.
Unfortunately a complete
design precedes the working layout and the blueprints. We shall get the design
into useful and generally acceptable shape when we have first compiled and
digested all the attendant conditions. Having determined all the angles of the
problem we can with the greater confidence seek a satisfactory solution.
Here at this point is the
keynote of our project. Much of the preliminary work with study classes must
be experimental. Let us be informed by our readers as to what is everywhere
done and how it worked. Nothing is more important. Now, in the formative
period, we need just that sort of information. We cannot have too much of it
nor in too detailed a form.
This matter of method applies
not only to the manner of conducting meetings, the assembling of members, the
generation of enthusiasm, the setting of the brethren to work individually and
collectively, but it must treat of textbooks, their respective merits and the
most efficient methods of using them. The latter is a slow task. A start has
been made but much remains to do.
To set the Craft to work and
give them wholesome instruction is the purpose of the National Masonic
Research Society. That instruction will be the more effective when based upon
the largest possible experience of the Craft. Therefore put the study plan to
the test. Report the results. From these facts may lay a foundation for the
future greatly improving our work of the past. Let us all take hold and at
least lift our share of the burden wherever we may be.
A COURSE IN THE STUDY OF
(A few emergency hints to
meet an urgent demand)
Masonry may be divided into
five departments for study-- Ritual, History, Philosophy, Symbolism, Law.
1. Ritual may be discussed in
its relations to the Old Charges, folklore, mystery plays of the middle ages,
survivals of tribal ceremonials, building customs, monitorial divergences and
2. History may be examined as
of any Lodge (where for instance all members of a study class belong to one
lodge); and Grand Lodge, and their original source of authority. Local and
State historical records are valuable sources of information with Mackey's
History, Gould's Concise History, etc.
3. Philosophy may be studied
with the aid of Dean Pound's book, an N.M.R.S. publication.
4. Symbolism. The symbols of
Masonry are all treated freely in Mackey's Encyclopedia.
5. Law. The Masonic Code of
one's own State has leading place of course. Then there is the indispensable
Encyclopedia, and Mackey also has a book on Masonic Jurisprudence.
Get your local library to
furnish a list of references to Masonic topics it possesses. Many are often
obtained in that way. Assign the several foregoing subdivisions to as many
brethren and give to each the references bearing upon his chosen alloted
Every one should have his own
library of Masonic works. Few as the books may be, they are at hand for
convenient and frequent reference. A good, compact, general textbook, limited
but of fine quality, is "The Builders" by Bro. Newton and obtainable through
the N. M. R. S. R. I. CLEGG.
THE SOCIETY'S PUBLICATIONS
(Owing to the increased cost
of printing and binding, it has become necessary for us to make a slight
advance in the price of bound volumes, as stated below. The Society some time
ago put out a catalog of various books, and the unsold copies in that catalog
remain unchanged in price.)
THE BUILDERS, A Story and
Study of Masonry
By Joseph Fort Newton.
THE BUILDER, Volume 1,
8 vo. ...3.00
THE BUILDER, Volume 1, (3/4
THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (Out
THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (3/4,
THE PHILOSOPHY OF MASONRY,
(Blue Cloth, 16mo)...1.00
By Roscoe Pound, Harvard
DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC
(Paper covers)...By A. E.
Waite, England. $ .15
THE FIRST DEGREE........ .15
By A. W. Gage, Illinois.
THE THIRD DEGREE........
By J. Otis Ball, Illinois.
QUESTIONS ON "THE BUILDERS"
(By Joseph Fort Newton) ... .25
Compiled by the Cincinnati
Masonic Study School.
THE STORY OF OLD GLORY, THE
OLDEST FLAG .. .50
(With Flag Color Plate.) By
John W. Barry, Iowa.
(All above prices include
SPECIAL PRICES ON PAMPHLETS
IN LOTS OF 100
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
ON THE SEA
Prompt to the minute, on June
17, at noon, the Philadelphia moved from her pier and slowly turned to the
open sea. The orchestra was playing, the decks were crowded, and perhaps a
thousand people were waving farewells--among them a good Brother Mason who was
kind enough to come and bid me good bye. It was a scene not soon to be
forgotten. Surely, there is something infinite in every parting, and never
more so than when the Sea is to separate us. Soon individual faces faded and
we could only see the handkerchiefs fluttering signals of
goodwill--handkerchiefs wet with tears.
New York, seen from the
harbor, is a great picture indeed, albeit made less vivid by a haze of smoke
and fog that hung over it. Suddenly the sun broke through the mist, and it
seemed like a fairy city seen in a dream --a land of fairy cliff-dwellers ! No
wonder Poole wrote his story of The Harbor and the romance of it. But the
picture does not remain long, save in memory where our pictures hang. Dimmer
and dimmer it grows, until at last it is a blur, and then a thin blue line,
and finally it fades. No one may put into words his feelings at such an hour,
when for the first time he leaves his native land and turns to the great open
And the Sea! For an inlander
like myself, it is a thing of wonder, at once a fact and a figure, a symbol
and a parable. Like sky, like sea. If the sky is gray, so is the sea. If blue,
the sea is blue--such a dark, rich blue. But it was very gray when we set
sail. Soon a fog fell over us and we could hardly see the boat that met us to
take our pilot off. And that fog-horn is terrifying ! What would life be if
all our dangers made that much noise. Perhaps they do, only we do not hear the
But the fog soon lifted, like
a curtain, and revealed the Sea ' The Sea ! the Sea ! so wide and grand,
stretching away into infinity--yea, "The Sea is His, and He made it." All day
long the great words of the Bible about the Sea kept coming to mind, with new
meanings I had never guessed before. Truly that old Book is like a harp which
says for us what our poor, dumb words cannot say. "There is sorrow upon the
sea; it cannot be still," what words they are as one looks out over those
restless, reinless waters. And there came also those other words, so freighted
with meaning just now, "and the sea gave up the dead that were in it." But
best of all the line of the Psalmist, "Thy way, O Lord, is in the sea."
Really, if I were a rich
Pagan instead of a poor Mason, I would build a temple to the Sea. It is so
strong and deep, so patient, merciful, and gracious, to ship or soul that
bravely casts loose upon its mighty promises; so variable and cruel to the
unpiloted and unseaworthy. It is a great burden-bearer. It cannot be
overloaded. It cannot be broken down. It never grows weary. It never needs
repairs. Also, it is a great physician. It rests the eye with its overpowering
vastness of outlook. It calms the heart with its greatness and its
never-ending music. It speaks to the mind of that Divine abyss over which the
mystics brood but never fathom. It responds to every mood--now sad, now glad,
now quietly meditative; it answers every call of the imagination, and can
preach more sermons than all preachers. Besides, it is a great teacher. It
lays its mighty law upon the restless spirit and tells us to stop sputtering--
be still, listen, and know. And as we listen, the sighs of human care are lost
in the murmur of its many waters. At last Restlessness, cut off from its
supplies, surrenders to Rest.
Why did St. John leave the
Sea out of his vision of heaven ? He foresaw a time when "there shall be no
more sea." Why so? No doubt the exile on the Isle of Patmos, longing for the
fair city of Ephesus, the scene of his ministry, and hungering for the sight
of familiar faces, grew weary of the imprisoning sea. Sundered by leagues of
tumbling waves from those he loved, he dreamed of a world where there would be
"no sea." But it is not so now--not so much so at least. Once the symbol of
separation, the sea has become a bond of union between lands and peoples. Once
the dread of daring sailors, who, despite their dread, braved its dangers and
discovered its paths, it has become the servant of man, yielding to the quiet
power of intelligence. The sea of which Homer and Virgil sing is the unknown,
untamed sea. We today sail a sea whose ways, waves and winds are an open book,
and whose forces have been converted into beneficent ministries.
Still, Matthew Arnold speaks
of "unplumbed, salt, estranging sea," by which he meant the awful isolation of
each soul in an unfathomable universe. More often in English poetry--and
indeed in all poetry, since Homer, that has in it the sound of the sea--the
tidal rhythms of the sea, its measured waves and its immeasurable horizons,
have been the great symbols of the Divine depth and mystery; just as the stars
round off the three divisions of the Divine Comedy of Dante. The music of this
deeper and more eternal sea rolls through all great poetry, and nowhere with
more melody than in Shakespeare, who caught the very cadence of that
unfathomable sea whose waves are years and whose depth is eternity.
How can a man be irreligious
on the Sea? Are we not, all of us, now and forever, out on the bosom of the
deep, with the infinite above, beneath, and about us? We feel secure enough
indeed, thanks largely to the cheerful company, the dear faces, the duties and
pieties of the day. Still, when at times we look over the edge of the boat, up
starts a primitive terror which only faith can allay. Religion is a thing of
the depths and for the depths. "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, my boat is so
small, and Thine ocean is so great,"--in that cry of the old Breton fisherman
we have the profound instinct which lies at the heart of faith. Reason may
serve us in shallow waters, but when life takes us beyond our depth, as it so
often does, faith saves us. There will be companies of believing souls, so
long as there are deep, unplumbed places in this life of ours.
But here I am a-preaching, as
usual--from force of habit, no doubt. Yet there are worse things one could be
guilty of. Moreover, I cannot help it. Last night I sat up on the upper deck
of the ship near the prow, at midnight, long after others had gone to bed -
except, of course, the guzzlers in the saloon. It was a clear cool night of
stars, and the great sea lay spread out beneath. It was a still and holy hour
in which the sea and the stars told me many things. Never did the great old
words, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him ?" come home with such awful
majesty of simple truth to subdue the heart and still it. And yet, never did I
have a more vivid sense of the greatness and worth of the soul as in that
solemn trysting time. Then the ship bell rang out the hour, the watchman above
cried, "All's Well," and I went to my couch knowing that if I sank it would be
not into the sea, but beyond it !
Thus and so our good ship of
Brotherly Love sails on and on, out over the blue rim of the world. Again and
again one turns away from the Human Comedy on board to the mighty Sea whose
lonely waters drift and sing! How indifferent it is to our human doings and
undoings, how deaf to our jabbering gossip, its white caps suggesting shining
teeth showing in laughter at our vanities. It knows nothing of the greatness
of Kitchener, and buries him as quickly as it does the poor stoker dropped
into a vast and wandering grave. Merciful when we obey her, merciless when we
disobey, she lulls us to sleep at night as if the ship were a cradle rocked by
an unseen hand. I have fallen in love with the Sea. As long as I live its
mighty waters will whisper to my heart of "that immortal sea which brought us
hither," and will receive us to its bosom "when that which drew from out the
boundless deep, turns again home." Whatever betide, it is enough to know that
"There is a wideness in God's
Like the wideness of the
Sea." At Sea, June 22.
THE EMPIRE OF FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. J. GEORGE GIBSON,
An Empire implies an
Imperator; and it is evident that Freemasonry cannot be imperial even with the
limitation of the widest and most free of all the Empires of the political
world at its head. There was a time when we should have thought that Older
which comprised among its membership representatives from every one of our
British colonies must be sufficiently broad to satisfy all the demands of the
imperial state. That time has long gone by. Freemasonry is no longer willing,
or able, to accept the tutelage of even the greatest profane Empire, and
cannot accept either the limitation which that tutelage implies. The Craft has
discovered that it exists not on sufferance as an adjunct of social
amelioration, but that it is as ancient as the oldest form of government, and
has at least an equal empire with that of the mightiest of worldly political
systems. The researches of the savants of Masonry, and the dreams of the more
imaginative, have done a great deal to make it impossible for us to begin our
history in the 17th or 18th centuries. We can no longer find the warrant for
our landmark in the determination of the four London Lodes, or in the older
custom and law of the older operative lodges. There may be a difference of
opinion as he antiquity of the earth, and of the Masonic cult of ancient days;
but it is evident to the most casual student that our authority is antecedent
to even the erection of the pyramids of Egypt and elsewhere, and that we must
base our imperial structure right back upon the foundations that are of most
ancient readings of the Book of the Sacred Law. But whether we accept the
theory of the experts of Masonic literature as to the Egyptian origin of human
civilization, or date our authority from the comparatively recent Grand Lodges
of Sinai and Jerusalem, in either case we find our prime authority in the
command of the Creator, which moved holy men in divers ways, and at divers
times to fix in labour the determination of the Divine. And every conception
of the Masonic Empire must assume the Authority of the G. A. O. T. U., without
which neither Masonry nor Empire can exist.
There have been of recent
years many evident signs of a desire on the part of mankind, including both
true Masons and those who are under the impression that they can be true
Masons without recognizing the Supremacy of the Creator, to come nearer
together in labour and in the manifestation of Masonic Brotherhood. With many
of these overtures we are to some extent in sympathy, though not as Masons. We
recognize and admire much that has been done, or attempted. by those even who
are not in sympathy with our aims, and our position respecting the place in
the Lodge of the symbol of the Divine throne. And nothing would please us more
than to have the power and the authority to give the grip of fellowship to
those in whose testimony against iniquity and slavery we have felt the keenest
delight. We have even been at times tempted to wonder whether we have not been
just a little too hasty in our assumption that the symbols are necessary to
the recognition of the authority they represent. We have been at times also
agreeably surprised to find the members of these quasi-masonic bodies (as some
regard them) acting very much as we would act in similar circumstances. And
yet we have always come to see that any derogation from the sole authority of
the Creator means the inevitable sequel of the setting up of a host of
denominational authorities which each claims to exercise rule upon the great
Level, and each renders anything like harmonious labour a something out of the
question. We are more and more convinced that the only possible Empire is that
which has supreme as its warrant the Imperator. We need not go abroad to see
this. We have many institutions of a beautiful and useful character, such as
the Christian orders of chivalry to which so many Masons delight to belong.
Introduce the ritual and the legend of one of these into the lodge of Craft
Masonry, and disruption is certain. And when we remember that there are so
many of the religions of the world that do not accord to that we most of us
belong to that respect that we render to it, we can see at once that the
imperial Masonry must, and can alone come, upon the basis of true Craft and
Royal Arch Masonry.
Nor can this Empire come
under the aegis of any nation, or race. Religions have shown that their
influence is greatest when they do not follow the flag. A flag not our own
excites suspicion of dynastic aims and that religion is the most successful in
establishing itself which is not identified with any nation, but only with the
Imperator in whose name the missionary goes forth. The authority must become
effective through the human and not the national instrumentality.
Mankind is more than Nations
are, And human trust than nation's power.
Cordial intents have not been
born through the skill of the diplomat; but have become effective through the
pervasive friendship of peoples, which diplomats have recognized and made use
of. And the empire of Freemasonry must come by a similar pervasion. We do not
attack the religions that recognize the authority of the LORD of the Sacred
Name; but we pervade them with the spirit which finds access to every one of
them. It is this spirit which creates the empire. There are religions which as
such have little in common and yet which in the lodge find that all are aiming
at the correct building of the temple, and all are depending upon the accuracy
of the same plans. Where we cannot meet in comfort in church, we can delight
in gathering at the Pool of Siloam. We cannot unite in the propagation of a
doctrine of religion; but we meet upon the square in all the work of education
and nation building that we
devote our common labour to
as Freemasons. The place for flag waving is not the lodge; for there we
realize as perhaps nowhere else that the Masonic Empire must be the goal of a
perfect national ideal, and that all nations, whether they know it or not are
working toward the ideal of a common brotherhood. And we feel assured that
there is no common brotherhood without its anterior Common Fatherhood. Already
Freemasonry has made war less terrible, and less in evidence as the final
arbiter of nations. Already things are of common occurrence in the campaign
which testify that the world is coming to the view that in the builder's Lodge
there are things of greater importance than the dialect of the Mason or the
garments he wears. The babel of tongues no longer shuts out from the universal
communion any of the sons of God. As we are told the first wandering of
Mankind began with Man's disobedience to the Supreme Law, so the return of Man
to his proper Oneness will come about when the obedience is restored.
Yet, while we must place the
flag in its proper relationship to Masonry, we cannot but be pleased that
there is such a tendency among those who do speak our language and are filled
with our spirit to a closer reunion within the bounds of the world Empire of
our race. The Masonic leaven must begin to work in the homes of those who were
once of our own household. And Freemasonry can only become imperial by this
leavening process. Already the old suspicions and animosities which had much
of their origin in political feuds centuries ago are dying a natural death.
There is expressed on both sides of the Atlantic a feeling that it is about
time that our common Anglo-Saxon conception of Masonry should be presented in
more similar forms. Now that there is no reason for the suspicion that
territorial considerations are at the base of the desire for unanimity some
round table conference might be sought without invidious suggestion; and this
would pave the way to many acts of community that would eventuate in a better
understanding, and a more intelligent appreciation of each other's Masonic
ideals. And a common ideal held by those who hail from the North of Europe,
would not be allowed to end there. At present there is a sharp line of
cleavage which insensibly divides the Latin from the other races of European
descent. There is no reason why this should continue to exist, and the common
understanding of the Masons, and the Masonic bodies that are represented in
our American Colonies and the great Republic beyond the Atlantic would prepare
the way to such a rapprochement as might result in a world Masonry that would
be in deed and in truth a real Empire.
Without for a moment abating
one demand of pure Masonry, and indeed with a common accentuation of that upon
which Masonry is based, it might be found possible to replace the travesty of
Masonry so much in evidence in the South with the real thing. And could this
be done then we should indeed be impregnable as an army of Peace, and of
Progress. Later the ancient, but less known systems of the yellow and red
races might have attention, with the effect that the separating suspicions
which are so hindering in their influence upon the advance of the race would
prove easier of solution. There is no field in which the beneficent influence
of Freemasonry might find itself barred. All that is disruptive in the present
social system, all that is wasteful in the present method of government, all
that is generative of suspicion or hatred in the councils of men, and all that
in any way would, or could, tend to hold back mankind from the common labour
which would build the temple of Humanity, would prove still more easy to get
rid of, and Man would be elevated to more than his pristine purity and
usefulness. The imperial ideal of Freemasonry has robbed the "wireless" of
much of its terrors; and the "airship bogie" would lose half its dangers did
we realize in the language of a common Masonic experience how much better it
is for brethren to dwell together in unity, in an Empire of Brotherhood.
THE BUILDER OCTOBER 1916
BY BRO. M.S. HUGHES,
Ye editor does not have time
to read the Proceedings of all the Grand Lodges, but he wishes to call
attention from time to time to matters in such as he does read. For example,
the report of the Committee on Masonic Education in the Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge of California--with which this Society had somewhat to do, by way
of suggestion--is worthy of study. Furthermore, we wish to express
appreciation of the brilliant address on "A Triad of Masonic Ideals," by the
Grand Orator, Brother M. S. Hughes. It is thoughtful, finely phrased, and
straight to the point, as well as rich in striking epigrams. He discusses the
ideals of Quality, of Knowledge, of Religion, and where there is so much that
is good it is not easy to select. We content ourselves, for the present at
least, with that part of the address touching upon the necessity of Masonic
education, which is not only pertinent to the purposes of this Society, but
interesting as disclosing the attitude of the leaders of the Craft in the
Grand Jurisdiction of California.)
Our second Masonic ideal is
that of knowledge. One of the ends of Masonry is light; and light is
synonymous with intelligence. The man who travels the highway from West to the
East is a seeker after light. The implication is that Masonry has an
educational function, and that every Lodge ought to be a school of instruction
with a curriculum covering the theory and practice of brotherhood. This
educational function of Masonry ought to have in view both the individual
member and the world at large.
It is a necessity if we are
to have a Masonically intelligent membership. It goes without saying that no
man ever grasped the full significance of the principles Masonry simply by
receiving the degrees. In the first place, a great deal of our ritual work has
come to us from the past. Much of it, therefore, needs translation because of
terms that are obsolete, and interpretation because of forms that are archaic.
In the next place, there is much that is symbolical; and symbols, such as
those employed by Masonry, need more than the passing explanation given in two
or three brief lectures. Again, the circumstances under which the degrees are
received are not conducive to clearness and continuity of thought. And,
finally, many Lodges are all too lax in conferring degrees without even the
superficial preparation required by Masonic usage. These are some of the
reasons why every Lodge should be a school of instruction on the subject of
Masonic spirit and methods.
The results of our failure in
this respect are manifest. The first outcome is what may be called Masonic
illiteracy. It is not too much to say that there are a great many who have
received our degrees who have no clear idea as to what a Mason actually is. If
they were held up at the point of a gun some night with the demand: "A
definition of a Mason, or your life!" they would be likely to turn up in
heaven or some other place at breakfast time. The current notions about our
Order sometimes remind one of the famous college definition of a lobster. A
freshman was asked by the professor of natural history to define a lobster. He
gravely replied that a lobster is a red fish that walks backward. The
professor said it was a most excellent definition with some trifling
exceptions. In the first place, a lobster is not a fish; in the second place,
it is not red; and, in the third place, it does not walk backward. Otherwise,
he said, the freshman had given a good definition.
Now, Masonry either stands
for something definite, or it does not. If it does mean anything definite and
distinctive, then every member of a Lodge should have clear ideas on the
subject. That desirable end can only be accomplished by making every Lodge a
school of instruction, and having intelligence, as one of our Masonic ideals,
kept constantly in view. Even our fundamental principles need interpretation.
It is a commonplace, for example, to say that Masonry means brotherhood. But
at once a score of questions are suggested to the inquisitive mind: What kind
of brotherhood? What is brotherhood? What does Masonic brotherhood imply? What
are the obligations of Masonic brotherhood under specific circumstances? What
is the relation of the brotherhood to those who do not belong? The intelligent
Mason ought, at the very least, to be able to give answers to such elementary
When we remember that the man
who comes into Masonry takes up a life work, the necessity for the educational
function of the Masonic Lodge appears even more imperative. Brotherhood is a
profession, comprising both a science and an art; but who acquires a
profession in the conferring of three degrees on three evenings, together with
the memorizing of a few paragraphs of a ritual service, and the hearing of a
few brief lectures? The man who takes up the profession of medicine these days
must have a preparatory college course; must prosecute four years of strenuous
study; must serve his time in hospital; and after all that it is considered
that he is just ready to begin practice. The same thing is true of the other
learned professions. But we expect to turn out qualified Masons after the
manner of some of our get-rich-quick advertisements. The impossibility of such
a thing is self-evident; the imperative demand for the persistent diffusion of
Masonic intelligence among the members of the craft is no less apparent.
It is also to be emphasized
that Freemasonry owes something in the way of the spreading of its principles
to the world at large. Our teachings are not to be kept in cotton-wool, only
to be brought out and exhibited within the secrecy of the lodge-room. There
are certain things for which Masonry stands and there are certain things
against which Masonry stands, and those things may well be known to mankind,
both for the sake of Masonry and for the sake of the world. My earliest
Masonic recollection goes back to the time when I was a little boy. There was
a man in the small community accused of stealing turkeys. He was brought up
for trial in a Masonic Lodge, found guilty and expelled. The action of the
Lodge became known to the public, and the community understood that, whatever
else the Order favored or opposed, it was against turkey stealing. That is the
first thing I remember about the Masonic Order; and now that I have had a
rather extensive and comprehensive acquaintance, it is my conviction that it
was a very wholesome beginning.
We believe that our
principles are of value to mankind, and that each fraternity is a prophecy of
the coming time of universal brotherhood. There ought to be some point of
influential contact between Masonry and the social order whereby the public
might profit by a knowledge of what it is trying to do in the world. This work
cannot be accomplished by one Grand Lecturer, whose hands are full by reason
of the demands of the Order. It might be feasible for each Masonic
jurisdiction to maintain a sort of university extension course-- to have a
number of really qualified lecturers, who could not only interpret the work to
Masons in the lodgeroom, but who in addition, could elucidate the broad
principles of human brotherhood to the great world outside.
This program of education is
a necessity if Freemasonry is to avoid the risk of being left behind in the
progress of the race. The meaning of such a statement may be illustrated by
reference to one of the familiar bits of our history. One of the stock stories
frequently heard at Masonic banquets, is the incident of the wounded Mason on
the battlefield giving the hailing sign of distress and being rescued and
cared for by one of the enemy who was a brother Mason. It is always recited as
a triumph of Masonic sentiment and principle. But without minifying the value
of such a manifestation of fraternity, it may be declared that the real
triumph of Masonry will not be seen in the world until its influence is so
felt and applied, that brother Masons will never be compelled, by personal
ambition and arbitrary power, to face one another in deadly combat on the
battlefield. And that end can only be attained by a persistent and prolonged
process of general education on the basis of the principle of brotherhood.
Freemasonry cannot be content simply with the rescue of an individual here and
there from the horrors of actual warfare; it must strive by every means in its
power to bring to humanity the lasting era of peace.
Our point may also be
illustrated by a reference to our familiar work of charity. Freemasonry is
philanthropic. No little time and thought are given in such gatherings as this
to the work of relief and the sustaining of charitable institutions. Our
fraternity responds to the cry of distress with open-handed generosity; but
the giving of alms is only the kindergarten course in human relief. The Good
Samaritan was faithful to his immediate duty when he took care of the
unfortunate victim of thieves on the Jericho road. It has been suggested,
however, that the modern Samaritan has been extending his work of travelers'
aid. He has been inquiring about the antecedents of the thieves and seeking to
know why the boys in Jerusalem and Jericho are growing up as criminals; he has
been wanting to know why the authorities do not give protection to those whose
business calls them to and fro between the two cities. He is no longer content
simply to exercise humane offices in behalf of the individual who has become
the victim of preying criminals and negligent authorities.
Thus, in the nature of
things, we must add to our work of relief, some inquiry into the reasons why
appeals for help are being made from time to time. And if it is discovered
that many of these burdens have been thrown upon Masonry by reason of wrong
and oppression in the social order, then Masonry must do its part in the
righting of the wrongs and in the prevention of such injustice. It is childish
to imagine that a great order will always be content to care for specific
cases of want, without inquiring as to the causes of the want it is called
upon to relieve. These things, certainly practical and pressing in character,
simply serve to show that we must give new attention to the Masonic deal of
LIGHT ON THE HILLS
Forget thy sorrow, heart of
Though shadows fall and fades
Somewhere is joy, though 'tis
The power that sent can heal
And light lies on the farther
Thou wouldst not with the
world be one
If ne'er thou knowest hurt
Take comfort, though the
Never again bring gleam or
And light lies on the farther
--Richard Watson Gilder.
MEXICAN MASONRY, ANOTHER SIDE
BY BRO. EBER COLE RYAM
I HAVE read with interest the
article on Masonry by Brother John Lewin McLeish, published in the June issue
of The Builder, and heartily agree with his abhorrence of needless bloodshed.
I have read, with him, the excerpt from the writings of Albert Pike, and again
agree with him--as I assume he agrees with Pike--that "wars, like
thunderstorms, are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere;" and again,
that "a war for a great principle ennobles a nation." But did anyone ever hear
of any people ever going to war except to assert "a great principle ?" Are not
each and every one of the powers now at war fighting for that greatest of all
principles--"national existence ?" Even the United States Government, when
persuaded to attack Vera Cruz, in order to deprive Huerta of his source of
revenue, pleaded a point of honor," and urged the flimsy pretext of demanding
"a salute to the flag," whereas, as a matter of fact, the greatest dishonor to
that flag was the abandonment to possible massacre of helpless men, women and
children. I refer to the withdrawal of the American warships from Tampico. Had
it not been for the energy and determination of the German commander in
rescuing from the infuriated mob those American citizens, who had been
abandoned by their government, a horrible massacre would have been recorded.
Bro. McLeish refers to the
article in the New Age for August, 1915, written by "a high Mexican Masonic
brother." Does Bro. McLeish vouch for this "Brother?" I think not. So far as I
am informed, the particular brand of Masonry that this "Brother" represents is
"clandestine," and, therefore, not recognized by "regular Masons," and for
very good and sufficient reasons, of which Bro. McLeish is perfectly aware.
Latin American Masonry is
atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico it has become
anarchistic and murderous. Whatever moral lessons--if any-- are inculcated in
its "lodges," they are certainly forgotten entirely when outside of them.
Bro. McLeish omits to mention
the name of the "high Mexican Masonic Brother,"--very likely because that name
means nothing to him, but it might help in the illumination of events, past,
present and to come, if ; this "brother's" name were known.
In championing the cause of
the Mexican Revolution, Bro. McLeish is actuated by the most exalted motives
of human sympathy and unquestionably is convinced that what "Bro." Jose
Castellot says is gospel truth inspired by motives as equally sincere. As for
Senior Castellot himself, I can only say to him that I have lived years in
Mexico; I speak the language; I have the honor of knowing some of those who
have served Mexico faithfully and well, and I have read a part--at least--of
its long stormy history. But about Senior Castellot and his article I would
like to remind Bro. McLeish that a close reading of it will disclose the fact
that while it has a wealth of charges it is poor indeed in citations of fact.
Unfortunately, these charges all agree with what Bro. McLeish and I were
taught to expect and to accept as true. They agree with our inherited
prejudices--prejudices that have persisted in spite the teachings of our lofty
Masonic ideals of Truth, Charity and Toleration. These inherited prejudices of
ours go back to the days of the Spanish Armada and the Reformation. We
remember only the disagreeable events of the reign of "Bloody Mary," and only
the agreeable events of that of the "Virgin Queen." The histories we studied
are conveniently apologetic and frankly laudative about "Good Queen Bess,"
while they spare no censure for Mary. They fail to make prominent the fact
that in that day, religion being a state affair, the state considered
abandonment of the state religion as treason to the state. We have taken
certain things for granted; have assumed them to be axiomatic, and in that
assumption have measured evenly statement by that rule. If the statements
agree with our preconceived opinions, well and good; if not, we give them no
We are prepared to credit any
story coming out of Mexico which charges oppression of the poor by the Church
and the well-to-do; that the lands of the poor were taken from them by the
Church which sought to keep them in ignorance that there might be no protest;
that the Church was gorged with wealth and that Mexico was "priest-ridden."
Even if all these charges
were true, would it merit the endorsement by American Masons of the horrible
outrages which Senor Castellot condemns in one breath and condones in another?
But are these charges true ? What evidence has been produced to prove them?
They have been repeated again and again by innumerable travellers and writers
who deal in generalities but avoid particulars. But where is the evidence,
where are the facts to prove them justified?
Masonry teaches us to be just
and fair. Is it fair, then, to accept heal say evidence such as this--to
accept the word of those who, obviously, are prejudiced witnesses ?
In Mexico the Spanish
conquerors found a people possessing a civilization not greatly different from
that of our Southwestern Indians. But there was this difference--they were
cannibals, and cannibals of a most horrible kind. This does not agree with
Prescott, but it agrees with the facts. The early conquerors made slaves of
some of these natives, but when they were all freed the number was found to be
151,000 men. This freedom was by older of the Pope and the Spanish Government.
Pope Paul III decreed in a Bull issued June 17th, 1537, that the natives were
by right free and with full right to own property, and that under no
circumstances were they to be deprived of their liberties or their properties,
nor in any manner to be made slaves. The Christian missionaries were active,
not only in preaching the Gospel and baptizing the natives, but were
particularly zealous in protecting them from the white immigrants. The Spanish
Government, at the earnest solicitation of the Churchmen, (Las Casas and
others), decreed a series of laws which have been declared by those who have
studied them the most enlightened laws ever enacted for the government and
protection of a primitive people. Under these laws the Indians of Mexico
really prospered until the War of Independence. They were confirmed in the
possession of their communal lands and were permitted practically to govern
themselves. They were exempt from all tithes and taxes of every kind except a
payment of $1.25 per year per man. The Attorney General was their official
protector, and in court actions they paid no attorney's fees nor court costs.
That the Church made an
honest effort to educate them is proven by the long list of educational
institutions founded for their benefit. As a matter of fact, Mexico, in
colonial days, was noted for its educational institutions. Of course, the
Church was in charge of most of these, but that should be to its credit. The
only reason there were no more was because the Church lacked the numbers and
funds for the purpose.
A careful examination of the
records will show that the Church establishment in Mexico has provided
spiritual services with a far less proportionate number of clergy, and for a
minute fraction of the sum per capita, than is done in the United States
today. The monks and nuns were mostly engaged in educational work and the
great monasteries and convents were in reality schools and colleges.
One writer, in a burst of
enthusiasm to prove the riches of the nuns, tells of the income derived from
all their properties and invested funds. This great sum divided among the 1847
nuns in Mexico gave $1.14 per day each, and this did not count the servants
and the students who were more numerous than the nuns, and had to be supported
from the same fund.
Another item overlooked is
that all the Church schools were free. Before 1857 the schools in Mexico were
mostly under the management of the Church, and the curriculum was as advanced
as in any other schools of the same period. The Laws of Reform closed all
these schools and prohibited the clergy from teaching, and ordered the monks
and nuns out of the country, and confiscated their properties. The much
exaggerated riches of the Church were in reality the endowments devoted to the
maintenance of universities, colleges, academies, schools, orphanages,
hospitals, and other benevolent purposes. The Government confiscated these
funds and let the institutions go hang. Because the Churchmen protested
against these outrages they were accused of "meddling in politics." Suppose
some political party were to attempt to confiscate all the Masonic funds and
properties,--would Masons submit without vigorous protest? Hardly! The Church
in Mexico was stripped and had the melancholy satisfaction of witnessing the
chagrin and rage of the strippers because the booty was so much below their
The Laws of Reform were not
aimed at securing freedom of worship, but at the spoilation of the Catholic
Church. Some justification was, of course, necessary even to themselves for
such an act, and so we have had repeated to us a multitude of charges which,
upon impartial investigation, are found without proof. Even under the Spanish
Crown the Church had no such freedom of action as is permitted any church in
the United States today. The records will show that the Church revenues were
the reverse of what we have been led to believe, and of this revenue
two-ninths was paid to the Spanish Crown as a tax; not to mention the
appropriation of endowment funds which were never repaid.
The Laws of Reform denied
clergymen the right to dress in any way indicative of their calling; denied
the Church the right to own or administer property; to receive bequests or
endowments for any purpose; denied it the right to operate schools and its
clergy to teach in any manner except theology. The Government took possession
of everything, including the churches with their contents, and all that was
permitted the priests was to conduct religious services in them, but they
could receive no support by trust funds nor from revenues of any property. In
other words, they were limited to the free-will offering which might be
tendered at the time of the service rendered. How would the American churches
like to be restricted in this manner ?
Of course, if Masons are
ready to admit that they are seeking to destroy the Catholic Church,--wipe it
out of existence,--then I have nothing to say; but I am persuaded that this is
farthest from their thoughts, and that they are as ready to condemn such
unjust restrictions and confiscations against the Catholic Church as they
would be to condemn any such like acts against the Methodist, or Baptist or
Presbyterian Church. I am persuaded that American Masons wish to be just and
fair to everybody--even to those who are frankly opposed to them. The Catholic
Church is frankly opposed to Masonry, and bases its opposition on the ground
that Masonry is a church, a religion, the same as the Methodist or the Baptist
Church, or any one of the other ninety odd different varieties. Some Masons
even are under this impression, which is altogether erroneous, as all
thoughtful Masons will agree. Masonry is no more a Church than the Oddfellows,
or the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. But American Masonry does teach
those virtues which the Latin branch of the craft seems pre-eminently to
lack,-- along with a proper perspective, knowledge of their own history and a
sense of humor.
American Masons had best
inquire closely into the antecedents of Mexican revolutions, and their
leaders, before extending any sympathy which later may prove embarrassing.
Since the War of Mexican
Independence, a militant minority-- composed largely of socialistic
"reformers," directing a collection of baser elements engaged in the
enterprise for purposes of pillage--has dominated the majority. This has been
made possible because of the heterogeneous elements in the Mexican population,
which is composed of some fifty different Indian tribes, speaking as many
different languages and preserving many of their pre-Columbian antagonisms.
These are uniformly ignorant, not because of any lack of opportunity but
because of a congenital conservatism which avoids everything new. Between the
educated white elements and the Indians are the mixed bloods, inheriting
sometimes good and sometimes bad. The presence of so many primitive
characteristics,--so many that are in reality of the cave men and the Stone
Age, has given Mexico a high percentage of mental defectives and criminals of
the lower order. In addition to this, the student class has furnished a number
of recruits to the socialist ranks, and the Latin socialist is a
'direct-actionist," impatient to destroy all of our present civilization in
order to remake it to his own liking. It is from such elements as these that
we have the present revolution. Even the "sainted Madero," well intentioned as
he was, recruited his forces from the jails and the cattle rustlers, such as
Villa and others like him. Madero's successors have not improved either in
motives or in material. The result is that we have today in Mexico a condition
just exactly such as might be expected from the teachings of Debs, Heywood,
Mother Jones and Emma Goldman. And Senor Castellot is another of like kidney.
Do American Masons vouch for this ? I think not.
I am not in accord with the
philosophy of the Catholic Church, neither do I subscribe to that of the
Church of England, nor the Methodist Church, nor the Baptist Church, nor to
any other church. But I do believe that each church has a right to existence,
to carry on its work amongst its followers, and to enjoy individually the same
freedom accorded to all the rest. An attack upon any one of the churches will
lead inevitably to attacks upon all the others. Whichever happens to be the
largest becomes the object of attack; he field unites against it. Nor do these
attacks stop at the churches; they inevitably spread to all other property
interests, for, fundamentally, they are inspired by envy and cupidity. Hence,
it has been in Mexico that the attacks upon the Church have been directed to
its spoilation and from that they have turned upon all owners of property with
the purpose of destroying the very foundations of society. Not content with
destroying the Church and driving the clergy from the country, they have
turned their "reforming" attentions to the land owners, the shop owners and
all employers of labor. These they have murdered or driven from the country,
and have closed or destroyed the industrial establishments. The laboring
classes for whom they were so solicitous are now without employment and are
starving. The same revolutionary elements which have destroyed all semblance
of law and government in Mexico and made of it a shambles, are actively at
work in the United States, seeking to destroy our present industrial and
social civilization. For the details of their intentions and desires I refer
those interested to the literature published by the Industrial Workers of the
World; for the Mexican Revolution is an I. W. W. Revolution.
I am confident that Masons
unreservedly and heartily will condemn this Mexican revolution when its real
inspiration, its real motives and its real results are made known to them.
MASONIC SIGNERS OF THE
Peyton Randolph, president of
the first Continental Congress, in 1774, was Provincial Grand Master of
Virginia; but he died and was succeeded by John Hancock.
John Hancock was raised in
Merchants' Lodge; Quebec, in 1760, and affiliated with St. Andrew's, Boston,
Josiah Bartlett, Grand Master
Wm. Whipple, Library Masonic
History, vol. IV.
Matthew Thornton, same.
Samuel Adams, member of St.
John's Lodge, Bos
John Adams, same. See
Proceedings of Massachusetts G. L., 1733-92.
Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge
Gerry, Roger Sherman, Oliver Wolcott, Philip Livingstone, Franz Lewis, John
Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush., Library Masonic
History, vol. IV.
Benjamin Franklin, Great
Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston.
George Ross and Richard Henry
Lee, Library Masonic History, IV.
Thomas Jefferson, on rolls of
Lodge of Nine Muses in Paris.
Thomas Nelson Jr., Benjamin
Harrison, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Wm. Hopper, Grand Lodge Proceedings of
THE HOUSE OF LIFE
Strange the world around me
Never yet familiar grown,
Still disturbs me with
Haunts me, like a face
In this house with starry
Floor'd with gemlike plains
Shall I never feel at home,
Never wholly be at ease?
On from room to room I stray,
Yet my Host can ne'er espy,
And I know not to this day
Whether guest or captive I.
MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE
MUCH was said during the early days of the
world‑war now raging as to the attitude of our Republic in the crisis; and
opinions differed regarding our debt to France as compared with that to
Germany, for aid given during our War of the Revolution. Both of those
countries sent assistance of various kinds. Whatever the degree of obligation,
it is the simple fact that of all the men who came over to aid the colonists
in their struggle, the name of Lafayette has come down to us with a peculiar
lustre. Questions have been raised as to the motives, high or low,
disinterested or selfish, which led these men into the war. Bearing upon this
question, in respect of Lafayette, it is interesting to read what is said
about him in "The Household of the Lafayettes," by Edith Sichel, as follows:
"One night, in 1776, the Marshal de Broglie was
giving a dinner party in honor of the Duke of Gloucester. This light-hearted
brother of George III regaled the company with accounts of the American
revolt, and especially of the affair of the tea in Boston Harbor. His sympathy
was with the rebels, and he dwelt on their need of recruits. The guests were
men of high rank, and gorgeous uniforms were much in evidence. Almost
unnoticed among them sat a young man of nineteen, silent, solemn, absorbed in
listening; he was thin, red‑haired, hook‑nosed, and awkward. After the dinner
was over, he strode across the hall to the Duke of Gloucester, outwardly calm,
but repressing deep emotion. "I will join those Americans," he cried. "I will
help them fight for freedom. Tell me how to set about it." He was the Marquis
de Lafayette, not long married; and it has been said of him that his whole
life was ruled by two passions - love for his wife, and love of freedom."
Ninety‑two years ago New York City witnessed the
most enthusiastic celebration of the birthday of Lafayette in the history of
our Republic. Lafayette himself was present, on his final and memorable visit
to the country whose struggle for independence he so nobly aided. Instead of
thirteen weak colonies he found twenty‑four prosperous States. His journey
through the States was an ovation of patriotic gratitude and pride, and he
returned ladened with all the honors which a nation can bestow. On May 20th,
1834, he died in Paris in his seventy‑seventh year - a gracious gentleman, a
knightly soldier, an honored and beloved member of the Masonic fraternity.
* * *
THE WORKS OF PIKE
At last we are to have, what many of our readers
have no doubt long desired, a carefully edited set of the works of Albert
Pike, one volume of which is to be a biography by his daughter, Lilian Pike
Roome. It runs to six volumes, the first two of which will be ready shortly,
and exhibits the many‑sided interest and activity of a myriad‑minded man who
was explorer, hunter, teacher, soldier, poet, scholar, jurist, orator,
philologist, philosopher, and a master genius of Masonry. Lyrics and Love
Songs fill the first volume, followed by the Hymns to the Gods and other Poems
- some of them never before published; while the third volume is the story of
his life, told with painstaking accuracy and wealth of detail; revealing a
rich and fruitful career touching all the elements of romance, adventure and
achievement, from the wild Indian tribes in the Southwest to the high altar of
the House of the Temple. A volume of Recollections will include his travel
sketches and short stories, another is made up of Letters, and Addresses on
various occasions - Masonic, academic and legal - and a final volume of
selections from his Masonic Allocutions and other writings in exposition or
defense of the Craft.
For years ye editor has had it in‑mind to write a
Life and Study of Albert Pike, but has delayed doing so at the request of his
daughter, who wished her biography of her father to be the first in the field.
So, and naturally so, there has been a revision of our plan, limiting our
study to the Masonic labors of Pike, which his daughter, with all her filial
piety and devotion, could hardly interpret. There is need for such a book,
just as is a sore need for a new edition of "Morals and Dogma," which is
little more than a compilation, and which ought to be revised, re‑edited,
re‑arranged, many parts of it recast, if not rewritten, in behalf of clarity
and simplicity - as, for example, the brief exposition of the Doctrine of the
Balance in our last issue. It is a vast mountain of ore, with many a nugget of
gem‑like truth sparkling in the sunlight, but it needs to be worked and its
treasures recast in the molds of today and interpreted to the young men
entering the Order. As it is, few Masons read Morals and Dogma through, and
fewer still understand it, when, in fact, its teaching is very simple when
clarified and made vivid.
Masons everywhere, and many who are not members of
the Order, will welcome the Works of Pike, and the story of his life will
recall to this generation the memory of a truly great American, who has not
received the honor to which he is entitled; a man imperious by nature, but
gracious withal and lovable; a stately, grave and noble genius devoted to the
highest things - a poet to whom the world was a song, a Mason to whom the
world was a temple of the Eternal Beauty, Wisdom, and Love. (1)
* * *
Most heartily and earnestly we commend the Open
Letter to Our Members, by Brother R.I. Clegg, in the September issue, inviting
a closer fellowship and cooperation in the study of Masonry. The spirit of the
letter is as admirable as its plan is practical, and we bespeak for it the
careful attention of our Members, the more so because it involves the welfare
of the Society which has no other aim but to spread light and to promote a
finer, closer fellowship among Masons. The response so far to the Open Letter
is most encouraging, and we feel that the Society is now at the beginning, in
a tangible way, of what is perhaps the most important part of the work which
it was founded to do. Its organization, its journal, its activity were all
intended with this purpose in view; and we believe that it will yet work out
as it was planned, albeit at no little cost of labor and sacrifice, and that
it will mark the opening of a new era in American Masonry. The fact that
Brother Clegg, who is one of the ablest Masonic students among us, has
undertaken to lead in the development of the Study Club program, means much,
uniting as he does sincere Masonic interest with practical acumen. No man
could be better fitted for such a labor, and we are sure that the end of
another season will find the work well along its way toward the ideal set up
to be hit. Space permits us only to add our earnest Amen to the plan, and to
promise our aid in promoting it to the utmost.
* * *
We are deeply grateful to Brother Clegg for his
labor in editing the September issue of The Builder, while we were away on the
other side of the sea. It was a gracious and brotherly service, alike in the
spirit and manner in which it was done. Our only fear is that our own work
will seem flat, tame and amateurish by contrast.
* * *
The sermons preached by ye editor in the City
Temple, London, during the month of July, are to be published in a little
volume by Revell & Co., New York - the volume taking its title from the first
sermon, "An Ambassador." Should any reader of The Builder venture to read the
book, we can only hope that the punishment will not be held to exceed that
prescribed in the by‑laws of the Society.
(1) Works of Albert Pike, edited by Lilian Pike
Roome. Published by Allsopp & Chapple, Little Rock, Ark. 12 mo., 300 pages to
Vol., Illustrated, $1.50 each; half Mor., $2.50. First two vols ready Sept.
1st, 1916; other vols. three months apart.
Blessed is he who is charitable, for he shall
inherit Eternal Life.
Blessed is he who overlooks the faults of others,
for he shall enjoy Divine Beatitude.
Blessed is he who associates with all with joy and
fragrance, for he has obeyed the commands of Baha Ullah.
Blessed is he who is kind to his enemies, for he
has walked in the footsteps of Christ.
Blessed is he who proclaims the doctrine of
Spiritual Brotherhood, for he shall be the Child of Light.
Blessed is he whose heart is tender and
compassionate, for he will throw stones at no one.
Words of Abdul Baha.
THE THINGS I MISS
An easy thing, O Power Divine,
To thank thee for these gifts of thine!
For summer's sunshine, winter's snow,
For hearts that kindle, thoughts that glow.
But when shall I attain to this -
To thank thee for the things I miss?
For all young Fancy's early gleams,
The dreamed-of joys that still are dreams,
Hopes unfulfilled, and pleasures known
Through others' fortunes, not my own,
And blessings seen that are not given,
And never will be, this side heaven.
Had I too shared the joys I see,
Would there have been a heaven for me?
Could I have felt thy presence near
Had I possessed what I held dear?
My deepest fortune, highest bliss,
Have grown perchance from things I miss.
Sometimes there comes an hour of calm;
Grief turns to blessing, pain to balm;
A power that works above my will
Still leads me onward, upward still;
And then my heart attains to this, -
To thank thee for the things I miss.
- Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below, -
The canticles of love and woe.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken;
The word by seers or sybils told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
- R. W. Emerson.
PATRIOT AND PARTISAN
A patriot is a man who regards the enemies of his
country as his personal enemies: a partisan is a man who regards his personal
enemies as the enemies of his country. - Henry Clay.
THE HIDDEN CHURCH
Beyond all wealth, honor, or even health is the
attachment we form to all noble souls, because to become one with the good,
generous and true, is to become, in a measure, good, generous and true. -
ALAS ! there is a vacant chair in the Library.
While ye Scribe was on the other side of the sea, one of his best beloved
poets passed quietly away to where, beyond these voices, there is peace. He
was a gracious, kindly, wise and brotherly man, a great uninitiated Mason,and
though the singer has vanished, his songs still sing. We venture to reproduce
a little tribute written some months ago, while he was still with us,
concerning which he wrote us a very kind note. It speaks for itself:
No man among us has ever received less of critical
estimate, as a poet, than Whitcomb Riley. People would only get mad and sit
back and call names if any one attempted to study him in that manner. They do
not care to analyze his genius, or to set him in order among other singers.
They just love him - because he is a man made to be loved. They love him as a
friend as one who knows them and the life they live, and who has “figgered
out" a simple and hopeful way of living it; and they hold that he is a man
altogether worthy of being loved.
Riley was born at Greenfield, Indiana, in 1854,
the son of Ruben Riley, a lawyer of that town - a blue-eyed, tow-haired,
happy-hearted boy who saw pictures in the pastures, and heard melodies in the
rustle of the wind in the corn. He began to study law in his father's office,
and got along very well in winter time, but reading Blackstone "knee-deep in
June" was impossible. So, when a patent-medicine man drifted into town needing
a boy to beat the drum, Riley enlisted. Autumn found him far from home,
stranded, and he had to paint signs to work his way back. This is what his
biographers mean when they speak of him as "a traveling actor in his youth."
After that, he became local editor of the Anderson
Democrat, his duty being to record the fact that John Jones had gone to
Kokomo, and that Mrs. Jeremiah Snodgrass, of Greencastle, was visiting in
town. But soon he began to mix odd prankish bits of verse with his items and
his paper was more sought after than a comic almanac. All the while he was
writing verses and sending them to the magazines, and always they were
returned, until he decided that no poem not even Paradise Lost, signed J. W.
Riley, would ever be published. Howbeit, he sent a poem called "The Old
Swimmin' Hole" to the Indianapolis Journal, and it was printed. But he signed
it "Ben F. Johnson, of Boone," and when the editor went to hunt Johnson he
Grace, charm and melody are the obvious traits of
Riley as a poet. But not one of these gifts, nor all of them together, can
account for his hold upon us. No, people love Riley because of his pictures of
our common human life, with its joys and sorrows, its blend of humor and
pathos - life seen, for the most part, as a mirage through the prism of
memory. He is the singer of the days of long ago, when life was new and
wonderful, and whence our eyes are so often turned back pensively, knowing
that those days come not back. He has, at times, the dramatic touch, as in
"Good-bye, Jim," and the quick surprise of tears, as in "Nothin' to Say,"
mingled with the homely, wholesome philosophy of his dialect pieces.
Riley is as truly American as Mark Twain. Poe
might just as well have done his work in Bagdad, for all the influence that
his native land had upon his poetry. Our Yankee singers seemed to have been
derived from England. Whitman, to be sure, sought to interpret the vague,
vast, abundant spirit of America, but he did not often attain to poetic form.
But in mental habit, in gesture of soul, in temper, spirit and feeling Riley
is always American. He sings of simple things, of human life, of joys and
sorrows and beauties that remain whatever kings and empires may be doing or
undoing. God Be thanked for a poet of common sense and every-day life, for a
singer in whom "thought grew tired of wandering over the world and home-bound
fancy ran her bark ashore."
Riley has never married, but he has made his peace
with the women through the children. Such poems as "The Bear story," and "Who
Santa Claus Wuz," and "Out at Old Aunt Mary's" - not to name "The Little White
Hearse" - show that he is a citizen of Never, Never Land. Yet he is a poet who
writes about children, not a children's poet - like Eugene Field.
His song is of childhood as we who are older
remember it, not as the child knows and sees it. That is why we who have not
let the boy and girl die in us love him, for that he reminds us of those fair,
lost days which we never wholly forget, and never wholly remember, when life
was stainless and free from cares that fret and sins that defile.
That is Riley, God bless him! He knows that the
Goddess of Beauty still holds her court in the dell where the fire-flies
bestar her leafy firmament. Still for him the dew is on the clover and the
drone of busy bees makes melody among the flowers. Now as of yore, for him,
good fairies, crowned with silveriest moonlight, perch upon the window-sill
and sing chuckling songs to good children, and fire-eyed, gratchy-fingered
goblins will get the bad ones "ef you don't watch out." The rose has still her
hinted secret for the curious breeze, and down by the old swimming hole of
"The dragon-fly in light
Gauzy armor, burnished bright,
Comes a-tilting down the water
In a wild bewildered flight."
And in the autumn-time, "when the frost is on the
pumpkin and the fodder's in the shock" the cobwebs carpet the November
lowlands with a glittering weft of beauty, finer by far than ever a Fairy wove
on her airy loom. Blessed is the man who can see these things, and who by his
art can make us look, listen, and remember.
And now that he belongs to a time that is gone and
to the people who are no longer with us here - gone to join the Great White
Lodge - there come to mind those lines in which he was wont to say good-bye
when death robbed him of his friends; the familiar and simple lines beginning,
"I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. - He is just away."
* * *
THE EASTERN STAR
Baring-Gould wrote learnedly of the myths of the
Middle Ages, but the myths of Masonry still await the touch of a master hand.
They are many and various, one of them being that Adoptive Masonry was
introduced into this country in 1780, Washington and Lafayette constituting
the first chapter. Adoptive Masonry - or more accurately Androgynous Masonry,
from two Greek words signifying Man and Woman, was established in France as
early as 1730; and an edition of the French ritual was printed in Philadelphia
in 1768. Albert Pike made an English translation of it about 1874, revised and
amplified, but efforts to establish lodges proved futile. Faint traces of
something like the Eastern Star are reported in Boston in 1798, if we may
judge from a poem published in the Columbian Centinel of that date; and even
earlier in a pamphlet entitled "The Thesauros of the Ancient and Honorable
Order of the Eastern Star," 1793 - this, however, is of doubtful authenticity,
too uncertain to be trusted.
Robert Morris, of Kentucky, claimed to have
originated the Order of the Eastern Star, and affirmed that "no one can show
any proofs of its existence prior to 1849." Whereas the fact seems to have
been that he received the degree of the Eastern Star at that time at the hands
of Giles M. Hillyer, of Vicksburg, Miss. Nor is there apparently any record of
where Hillyer got the rite. Morris took the rite in a crude form, elaborated
and embellished it - much as Pike did the Scottish Rite - and started it
toward organization; whereof we may read in his "Lights and Shadows of
Masonry." Certainly, as it now exists, he builded better than he knew, and the
Order is his monument. All of which is duly set forth in authentic form in
"The History of the Order of the Eastern Star," by W. D. Engle, an able and
admirable book, tracing the growth of the Order, its Grand bodies, its
rituals, its objects and landmarks, its various Grand Chapters, and its home
and charity work. This volume may be had by addressing the author, Masonic
Temple, Indianapolis, Ind., $2.50.
* * *
The second volume of the Transactions of the
Author's Lodge, of London, is expected to appear this month, and is a book to
which Masonic students will look forward. We had the pleasure of meeting its
editor, Brother Albert F. Calvert, while in England, and it is a joy to
announce that our readers are to have the opportunity of meeting him in these
pages in the not distant future.
* * *
Another forthcoming book, which will be awaited
with interest, is the work of Brother Dr. Hammond, Librarian of the Grand
Lodge of England, and will be descriptive of the treasures of the Library over
which he presides. It will be finely illustrated, as we can testify after
looking over the plates, and besides the account of the Library it will
contain an introductory essay by Brother Hammond on the origin and development
of the Craft. Brother Hammond will also be among our contributors not many
months hence, in celebration of the bi-centennial of the Mother Grand Lodge.
* * *
Most heartily and earnestly we join in the request
that Brother A. S. MacBride, of the Lodge of Progress, Glasgow, publish
another volume of his Masonic studies. Surely his volume of lectures, entitled
"Speculative Masonry," is one of the best Masonic books ever written, and we
sincerely hope that it may be only one of many from the same pen. One of the
happiest days of our journey abroad was a visit to Glasgow, and the reception
given us by the Lodge of Progress, of which Brother MacBride is the honored
and beloved leader. Concerning this famous Lodge and its distinguished leader
we shall have much to say shortly, in the travel sketches we have it in mind
* * *
Years ago Brother George Fleming Moore remarked
that the true history of the Scottish Rite has never been written, and that is
the fact. Rumor has reached us of a History of the Rite now being written, and
we devoutly hope and believe that this is the book we have been waiting for.
While we are not yet permitted to announce the name of the author, we are sure
that it will be a thorough and careful piece of work and will do much to clear
the air of fog and set forth the facts in a true light.
* * *
Was Jesus an Essene?, by Dudley Wright. Unity
Publishing Society, Kansas City, Mo. 25 cents net.
The Adventure of Death, by R. W. Mackenna. John
Murray, London. $1.00.
Hinduism, The World Ideal, by H. Maitra. Palmer &
Haywood, London. 75 cents.
Ancient India, by H. Oldenberg. Open Court Pub.
Co., Chicago. 25 cents.
Abraham Lincoln, by Lord Charnwood. Constable &
Co., London. $1.50
The Cultivated Man, by C. W. Eliot. Houghton
Mifflin Co. 50 cents.
* * *
ARTlCLES OF INTEREST
Freemasonry in the Bible, by L. Bosman. The
The Eternities of Masonry, by A. B. Beresford.
Masonry in Politics, by J. E. Morcomb. American
Early Records of Modern Templar Masonry, J. L.
Christian Mysteries, by J. L. Davidge. South
Cuban Freemasonry, by F. de P. Rodriguez. Bulletin
Iowa Masonic Library
Masonic Research in Iowa, Interview with Ye
Editor. London Freemason
Labor Ideals of Masons, by J. G. Gibson. London
The Widow's Son, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic
The Lion in Freemasonry, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic
Dramatic History of French Masonry, by J. F. Renou.
The Blue and the Gray, by Ye Editor. Masonic Home
Masonic Toasts and Table Lodges, by J. L. Carson.
Virginia Masonic Journal.
The Word Blue in the First Three Degrees, by R.E.L.
Hall. The New Age.
THE PERFECT PRAYER
Dear Lord ! Kind Lord !
Gracious Lord ! I pray
Thou wilt look on all I love
Weed their hearts of weariness;
Scatter every care
Down a wake of angel wings
Winnowing the air.
Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the life of laughter
And with all the needy
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine today !
James Whitcomb Riley
THE QUESTION BOX
WESLEY AND MASONRY
A Brother asks if we were correct in saying some
time ago, in answer to a question, that Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was
not a Mason. Yes; there was a John Wesley initiated into Masonry during the
lifetime of the evangelist, but not the evangelist himself - albeit the great
preacher sometimes held services in a Freemason's Hall, as we learn from his
Journal. Our Brother will find the facts thoroughly sifted and examined in an
essay by the late Brother Crawley, in the Transaction of the Coronati Lodge,
(vol. 15). If our Brother does not have access to those volumes, we shall be
glad to give a more detailed aceount of the matter.
Some months ago you said that there were
intimations in Shakespeare to the effect that he knew something of Masonry.
Please give some examples. - J.H.L.
The Duke in Measure for Measure speaks of himself
as "a brother of a gracious Order," which may or may not mean the Masonic
order. Boindello, in the Taming of the Shrew, addresses old Vincentio as
"Worshipful Master." The Archbishop in Henry V. refers to "the singing
masons." A servant in Winter's Tale speaks of "working on the square." Mrs.
Quickly in Merry Wives refers to "the chairs of the Order." Herbert, in King
John, uses these words, which are surely significant:
"They whisper one another in the ear,
And he that speaks doth grip the hearer's wrist."
For further examples, together with an argument
trying to prove that Shakespeare himself was a Mason, see "Shakespeare a
Freemason," by J. C. Parkinson, pp. 52-63.
* * *
KITCHENER AS FREEMASON
In looking through the Glasgow Weekly Herald, of
June 24th, I ran across the following statement which may be of interest to
Members of the Society: "In all the Kitchener memoirs published recently no
mention seems to have been made of his Masonic connections. Yet he has held
some of the highest offices in the Craft. Strangely enough, there are few
English Masons who can give you the name of his mother Lodge. As a matter of
fact, Kitchener was initiated into the Order in Egypt, and there is in
existence a photograph of him wearing Masonic regalia." Very truly yours, A.
W. Hoy, Iowa.
* * *
ACTUAL PAST MASTERS
I have asked you twice for information of any kind
about the Actual Past Master's Degree. Have you neglected it, or is every one
else as ignorant on the subject as I am? - T.W.S.
Actual Past Masters are those who receive the
degree of Past Master in symbolic Lodges, as a part of the installation
service - after the manner of the Installed Master's rite in England - when
elected to preside, and are called Actual Past Masters to distinguish them
from those who pass through a ceremony in the Chapter as preparatory to
receiving the Royal Arch. It would not be proper to describe the degree, but
of its history and development our Brother may read in the article on Past
Master, in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.
* * *
THE FIRST IDEALIST
In The Builders, your little book which I much
enjoyed, you speak of Akhnaton, king of Egypt, as "the first idealist." Tell
me, please, where I can read more about him. - G.D.
It was Arthur E. P. Weigall, Inspector of
Antiquities, Upper Egypt, who described the Egyptian monarch as "the first
idealist." He seems to have been a pacifist as well, for he refused to fight
to retain a province of his empire on the ground that "a resort to arms was an
offense to God." He was born in Thebes in 1375 B. C., and his bones were found
in the tomb of his mother, in 1907. Almost any recent history of Egypt will
record his story, as for example "The Development of Religion and Thought in
Egypt," by Breasted - a most charming and important book.
RITUAL OF ANCIENT EGYPT
In the September Builder I note a question asked
relative to the Ritual of Ancient Egypt and find that I have in hand a
circular announcing such a publication, as follows: New Publication of the
Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, Ritual of the Mystery of the Judgment of the
Soul, From the Ancient Egyptian Papyrus, translated and edited by M. W.
Blackden, and described as of peculiar interest to students of Freemasonry.
Published by John M. Watkins, 21, Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London.
Price $1.30 post free. Perhaps this is the book the Brother is in quest of.
Fraternally, H. L. Seibert, Lakewood, Ohio.
* * *
THE CITY TEMPLE
Our Study Club has used your book, "The Builders,"
as a text-book during the last year, and it proved an inspiration to all.
Could you suggest another book suitable to follow it in the second year's
study? Also, would it be proper to tell us something about the City Temple and
its work in a future issue of The Builder? It would greatly interest many of
your Brethren, knowing that you have been called to that historic pulpit. -
One of the best Masonic books ever written is
"Speculative Masonry," by A. S. Macbride, of the Lodge of Progress, Glasgow,
Scotland, and we believe you will find it suitable and profitable for your
Club. The Society can secure it for you should you desire it. The story of the
City Temple is perhaps best told in the "Life of Joseph Parker," by Albert
Dawson. Address the author, 133 Salisbury Square, Fleet Street London E. C.,
price $1.50. Parker was the founder of the City Temple which stands in the
heart of the old city of London, a few squares from the Bank, "the cathedral
of the Free Churches," and is perhaps the most responsible pulpit in the
* * *
ETHICS OF THE BALLOT
Dear Bro. Newton: - "The Ethics of the Ballot" in
the May number, p 160, prompts me to the following, which I read about forty
years ago: "A young man from one of the best families in town - financially
socially and religiously, a trusted employe in a bank - sent in his
application, and the Brethren congratulated themselves and each other on the
influence the acquisition of such a desirable citizen would have on the Order.
It went the regular course and a black ball appeared. The W. M. then cautioned
the members to be particularly careful as two or three as well as himself had
expressed their opinion that it was a mistake. Still the ballot was foul and
others expressed themselves, and contrary to all law the W. M. allowed the
ballot spread the third time, and still one black ball appeared. Then others
were allowed to discuss it until finally all but one brother had spoken, and
of course all were looking at him. He was a physician, and when he arose he
said, 'Brethren, I cast the blackball; I know this young man to be an
irreligious libertine; I know he seduced the daughter of one of our members,
our Worshipful Master.'
Use this or not, in any way you like.
S. A. Pancoast.
* * *
THE EARLY DAYS: HISTORY VS. TRADITION
It is much to be regretted that one may not
attempt to arrive at the truth of History without being subjected to such
unwarranted abuse as characterizes the Article in the July number of The
Builder by P.G.M. Melvin M. Johnson of Massachusetts. Bro. Johnson evidently
does not comprehend that ridicule or attempted ridicule is not argument, or
that misstatement and deliberate misquotation is not legitimate criticism.
In a series of Articles in The Builder during 1915
Bro. Johnson cited several items which the leading Masonic Historians of the
country have declared possess little if any historical value, and of the truth
of some of his "facts," it is asserted that " it will require authentic
documents to satisfy an impartial reader." I ventured to "take friendly issue
with Bro. Johnson in some of his statements and conclusions," basing my
conclusions upon existing original records only, regarding the authenticity of
which no doubt has ever been expressed, and quoting such eminently able
authorities as Bros. Gould, Meyer and Nickerson. Nowhere did I make a single
statement which may truthfully justify the use of such a phrase as "gross
charges by innuendo," "insinuations of faked" statements, or "slanderous and
scandalous statements by way of insinuation and innuendo." The quotations
cited were carefully noted by me, page and volume stated, and no opinion of my
own given in any other way. I was exceedingly careful to say that "we
eliminate the ifs, buts, possiblys and every other form of expression which
implies doubt, - will present no evidence but that which can today be produced
in the Original Record, no copy, no substitute, nor any writing based upon any
man's recollection, nor will we admit on either side the employment of any
statement whose authenticity is susceptible of any reasonable doubt."
Certainly this is eminently fair to both sides of this discussion. The very
highest authorities have declared the Massachusetts "history" to be
susceptible of very grave doubt. The authenticity of the Henry Price
deputation is positively denied, and in the "fac-simile" published in the
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871, it is declared that the
figures of the date have been altered.
Brethren of the Craft, you who may read this
article, in quoting these authors, how say you, have I made "gross charges"
against any one by insinuation or otherwise?
I have made no claim that Masonry in America was
not born in Massachusetts, but I decline to accept Bro. Johnson's copies of
documents said to have existed a century and three-quarters ago, and I do not
ask him or you to accept any copy from me. I was simply giving my reasons for
the statement elsewhere made regarding one particular Ledge, Solomon's Lodge
No. 1, of Charleston, S. C., which I declared to be upon absolutely
unimpeachable evidence the oldest Masonic body in the Western Hemisphere the
existing Record of whose establishment is incontestable. Bro. Johnson has
produced nothing whatever to disprove this statement. If he can do so, by any
authentic original document, ante-dating our South Carolina Record, by one
day, I shall unhesitatingly yield our claim with infinitely larger courtesy
than he has seen fit to accord me.
One word more please. I proved beyond question
that the first public procession of the Craft in America was in Charleston on
May 26, 1737. Bro. Johnson admits the truth "that there was a procession of
Masons (though not of a Lodge or Grand Lodge, as such)" on that occasion, but
adds "there is nothing to even justifiably infer that regalia was worn." The
paragraph copied by me states positively that the occasion was an
Entertainment arranged for the "ancient and honourable Society of Free and
Accepted Masons" "who came to the Play House, in the usual manner and made a
very decent and solemn appearance" and "after the Play the Masons returned to
the Lodge in the same order observed in coming to the Play House." How it is
possible not to infer that they went as Masons, clothed as Masons, and
returned as Masons to their Lodge, must certainly be beyond the comprehension
of any candid reader.
Wm. G. Mazyck, South Carolina.
* * *
THE CHURCH AND FREEMASONRY
Dear Brother Editor: I have been very much
interested in the article on "The Church and the Craft," by Brother Mitchell,
appearing in our June number. While I am of the opinion that both institutions
have a noble and well-defined objective in the world today yet each must
proceed along certain distinct lines to accomplish their destiny. There are,
of course, various points of contact wherein they may coincide. Thus far we
are agreed, but I must take issue with my good brother in his perhaps
unintentional arraignment of the Church in its relations to social progress.
Let us, again, consider these two forces upon the
basis of their contributions to human welfare and uplift. What is the
Christian Church ? "First, it is a Commonwealth. In other words, it is a
society of men who meet together for common objects, and it differs from the
minor clubs or unions under which men avail themselves of the principles of
association and resembles those greater societies which we call states, in
this respect - that it claims unlimited self-sacrifice on the part of its
members and demands that the interest and safety of the whole shall be set by
each member above his own interest and above all private interests whatever.
Secondly, as all commonwealths are originally based upon some common quality
and for the most part on a blood relationship, real or supposed, of the
members so is the Christian Church based upon a blood relationship, but the
most comprehensive of all - the kindred of every human being to every other.
It is therefore absolutely open to all human beings who choose to become
members of it."
No institution has exerted such a wonderful
influence for the welfare of humanity as the Church. Founded by the
indomitable will of one man, it stands today, the greatest achievement mankind
has ever witnessed; it has experienced every change of form, reflecting the
dominant lines of thinking through all ages. Much is being written at the
present time concerning "The Social Mission of the Church." Not a few persons
are denying themselves the privilege of association with the Church, believing
that it can bring no message to them. Some think, as does Brother Mitchell,
that it goes forward "weighted down with dogmas."
It is fitting that we pause and consider these
questions. What is the Social Mission of the Church? Can the Church lend
impetus to economic reforms, identifying itself with class legislation and
still preserve itself as a sanctuary for every human heart? The supreme task
of the Church is still the preaching of the Gospel, intensifying the
individual conscience and bringing to us the precepts of redemption and
eternal life. The second task is the "reconstruction of congregational life."
The third great task is to "enter into some relation with the arrangements of
the world as it finds them. Christianity ought to stand aloof from no common
experience of life and the world and it should be open to the consideration of
all great questions." These three tasks, briefly stated, are the chief lines
of effort involved in the fulfillment of the Social Mission of the Church
today. But, "it is enough if religion prepares men's minds for great economic
changes and revolutions." We are constrained to admit that in the past, the
true character of the Church has been somewhat obscured by scholasticism. But
this has been but one more stage in its evolution towards its ultimate destiny
as the greatest moral force the world shall ever know. We can no longer
rightly say that the Church "takes a man because he has a creed" - it is
because he has a need.
What is Freemasonry? "Masonry is the activity of
closely united men, who employing symbolical forms borrowed principally from
the mason's trade and from architecture work for the welfare of humanity,
striving morally to ennoble themselves and others and thereby to bring about a
universal league of mankind which they aspire to exhibit, even now, on a small
scale." As Masons, we are taught that our institution is only for those who
are "moral and upright before God and of good repute before the world." The
Church takes every man as it finds him, seeking to awaken that innate desire
for companionship with the higher things in life. Having aroused this yearning
in men, they see their existence justified and feel that through surrender and
service can they approach nearer these ideals.
For the betterment of the great rank and file of
humanity Freemasonry can only extend its influence indirectly through its
adherents. We are a chosen body of men, selected because we possess certain
qualifications, requisite to a proper appreciation of the teachings of Masonry
and upon which, we are admonished to build our lives, applying the plumb,
square, level and trowel. We too, as all other institutions, distinctly state
certain principles to which petitioners must conform before they can
"participate with us in our labors and privileges." And religion does
recommend a man to Masonry, if by religion is understood the feelings and acts
of men which relate to God. The great teachings of our order are necessarily
confined to a small proportion of mankind. Therefore, despite its strong plea
for tolerance, it can never be as universal as the Church of Christ.
In conclusion, perhaps we have unconsciously
merited some opposition from the Church inasmuch as too often a brother
declares "Masonry is religion enough for him." But Freemasonry, even though it
were a religion, can never satisfactorily answer the four great fundamental
questions of every age - God Life, Death, Immortality. Nor can any institution
or belief which does not have for its inspiration the life and work of Jesus
Christ. Masonry is eternally a quest for light. If, profiting by Masonic
intercourse, we have learned to find good in every faith, and if we are truly
pursuing that eternal quest for light, we are inevitably led to Him w ho is
indeed the very Fountain of Light - the Man of Galilee, whose teachings have
illuminated mankind these two thousand years.
Leland Kress, New Brunswick.
* * *
AN ANCIENT PETITION
Dear Sir and Brother: - In your notice in the July
number of The Builder of my work on the "Ancient Documents relating to the A.
and A. Scottish Rite in the Archives of the Grand Lodge F. and A. M. of
Pennsylvania," the patent of Abram Forst dated April 4, 1781, is mentioned. On
page 18 of the book it states that "in his later years Brother Forst appears
to have fallen into poverty and returned to Philadelphia, where he applied to
the Masonic Fraternity for Charity." The only records upon our minutes show
that his petition was read before Grand Lodge September 5, 1791, and referred
to the committee on charity. No record of their action has thus far been found
in this case. Our records show that Bro. Forst was in the West Indies in
April, 1791. From his application to the Grand Lodge it appears that he
returned to Philadelphia during the summer of that year.
Since our Book was published a bundle of petitions
for charity from 1779-1809, undisturbed for more than a century in our
archives, has been found. These are now arranged, collated and indexed, among
which was the original petition of Bro. Abram Forst; a copy of this document
is attached as a further example of some of the struggles of our early
pioneers in the establishment of the Scottish Rite in America.
Julius F. Sachse, Pennsylvania.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER, GRAND
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
The Memorial of Abraham Forst,
Past Master &c. &c.
That your Memorialist is at this time much
embarrassed owing to unexpected heavy losses and disappointments and is
necessitated to supplicate the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge collectively or
the Worthy Brethren individually for the loan of a Small Sum of Money to
defrey a few debts he has incurred for Board, Lodging, &c. &c. for himself and
Son. And as he has a prospect of obtaining a Station in the course of next
Month, which will establish him in Such a line of life, as to secure a decent
Support for himself and Child; he is fully resolved to repay with Gratitude
and Sincere Acknowledgement whatever Sum the Brethren may be pleased to
Your Memorialist not being accustomed to make
application of this nature, is at a loss how to appologize for trespassing on
your time, therefore leaves it to the Subject, and conscious of having never
deviated from the strict and Sound Principles of Masonry, Your memorialist
trusts that he will meet with that Candor and Generosity which ought be the
characteristic of the Franernity, and the requested assistance which he is in
so much need of at this particular juncture and can be authenticated by
Several of your respectable Members. Your Memorialist challenges any man to
prove that he is not a strict Moral man & it may alledged with truth that he
has been very unfortunate during a Series of 10 years, but never guilty of a
dishonest or mean action.
And your Memorialist as in Duty Bound will ever
pray &c. Abr. h Forst,
Philada, 5h, Septemr, 1791.
A. C. and of Masonry, 5791.
If any of the respectable Brethren,
should at any time have occasion
to employ an accomptant or Book
Keeper, The Memorialist begs to
offer his services, till he is provid
* * *
"UNTO THE LEAST OF THESE"
The Atlanta Bodies of the Scottish Rite of Free
Masonry maintain a Hospital for crippled children. There is no limitation of
applicants on account of State Lines, Creed, Masonic connection or anything,
save that the applicant must be absolutely poor and unable to pay anything,
and there must be some hope of improvement being possible - nothing else.
We have recevied applicants from various States
and only three in whom we could trace any Masonic connection. The finest
orthopoedic surgery in the Country is given by the surgeon without charge or
fee of any kind. The Hospital is now located in two connected wood shingle
roofed cottages. The result of a fire would be appalling. There is no
operating room. Children must be carried to some Sanitarium, operating room
rented, and carried back to the Hospital after operation. Any movement after
severe bone operation is excessively painful. Some of these children must
undergo several separate operations. The Hospital can accommodate only twenty
patients. There are 4000 of these unfortunates in the State of Georgia alone.
We must build and equip a Hospital that will be fire proof and accommodate
from 76 to 100 children. To do this will cost about $75,000.00. To maintain
such an institution will cost about $30,000 a year. This, the Atlanta Bodies
propose to do but it will tax their resources to the limit of their capacity.
It is therefore necessary that we receive aid in building the Hospital. The
cures already effected have been remarkable.
I am only a poor little cripple,
Crooked, gnarled, twisted and knotted
I tugged at a starved, flaccid nipple,
The spawn of a father, besotted.
Born contorted and warped in this fashion
I live, because live I must;
The fruit of a drunken passion,
The result of a whirlwind of lust.
Yet somehow, within this poor framework,
From some source, God only knows where;
As if to rebuke this vile shamework,
Has entered a spirit most fair.
While I lie here so helpless and quiet,
Unable to turn or to move,
My thoughts in wild fancies run riot
In fields that my eyes can not prove.
Can you, who are born better sired
Who could do, if only you would,
Dream the Hell in which I am mired
Who would do, if only I could?
Can you feel the wild, passionate longing?
Can you hear that which doth to me talk?
Every moment my tired brain thronging,
Dear God ! If I only could walk.
God grant that unto you never,
May come such a thought, in a dream,
It would haunt you forever and ever;
And murder your sleep, with a scream.
There's one hope. But for me a grim specter
Bars even that one tiny door,
I have no one to aid - No protector,
Dear Christ! I am frightfully poor.
Had I Gold, then perhaps I could hire
The help of a great surgeon's knife
To fashion my clay from this mire
And fit me for something in life.
Yet though a great surgeon be ready
To save me, without charge or fee;
Though my soul and my nerve be both steady,
There is nowhere a home built for me.
My spirit cries out with wild yearning -
The saving knife beckons me - Come -
Oh Man, spare enough of your earning,
For Christ's sake; to build me a home.
Checks should be sent to
Jos. C. Greenfield, Gen'l Sec'y
* * *
MASONRY IN WAR-TIME
Dear Sir: In contrast to the attitude of the Grand
Lodge of England during the present war in excluding from meetings of the
Fraternity in Lodges under its jurisdiction all Brethren who owe allegiance to
enemy flags, or are descended from such it may be interesting to note the
action proposed by R. W. Henry Price, the Founder of Duly Constituted Masonry
in America, at a meeting of The First Lodge in Boston which was held on
October 10, 1744, viz:
"The Lodge being Open'd, Brother Henry Price
propos'd Capt: Delabraz as a Candidate and acquainted the Lodge that he was a
Gentleman who being a Prisoner of War was thereby reduced, but as he might be
servicable (when at Home) to any Bro whom Providence might cast in his way, it
was desir'd he might be excus'd the Expence of his making, provided each Bro:
would contribute his Cloathing, which the Rt: Worshl: Masr: was pleas'd to put
to Vote, when it was carried in affirmative, & by dispensation from the Rt: W:
Masr: & Wards: upon accot: of his leaving the Province very soon, he was
Ballotted in, Introduced & made a Mason in due Form. * * Voted That the Secr:
grant Bro: Delabraz a Letter of Recommendation."
I have a notion that even those Brethren of
neutral countries whose sympathies are entirely with England and her allies in
this war will regard this action of 1744 as more Masonic than the action of
1915. Indeed, I am reliably informed by an officer of the Grand Lodge of
England who was present when the vote in question was taken last year, that if
the question had been decided by the older and more experienced Brethren - say
for instance those who had attained to the rank of Right Worshipful - the
action of our English Brethren in Grand Lodge would have been quite different.
Melvin M. Johnson, Mass.
* * *
Dear Editor: An explanation would be interesting
of the attitude Masons should assume in regard to those non-masonic bodies who
are building upon Masonic foundations. Such as the White Shrine of Jerusalem,
The Senate, The Grotto, etc. The following interpretation was given by the
Grand Lodge of Nebraska, in its last communication:
"This Grand Lodge claims and will exercise the
right to determine the Masonic standing of any Mason who joins any society,
lodge or organization, a requisite to whose membership is membership in a
Masonic lodge, and therefore recommends the adoption of the following preamble
"Whereas, divers and sundry societies and
organizations are seeking to establish themselves in Nebraska and build on
Masonry as their foundation stone; and
"Whereas, it is the duty of the Grand Lodge of
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, to care for the welfare of the
members of its several lodges, and protect them from organizations that have
no relation to Masonry, and yet seek to attach themselves thereto:
"Therefore Be It Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, in the exercise of its sovereign
rights and powers, declares that it is unlawful for any Mason of this Grand
Jurisdiction to make application to or join any lodge, society or institution
that shall provide as a condition precedent that one shall be a Master Mason
in good standing, or shall have taken the degrees of Entered Apprentice,
Fellow Craft and Master Mason; providing that this inhibition shall not apply
to York and Scottish Rite bodies, the Order of the Eastern Star, or to the
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine."
Amendments to the Law - Sect. 96-A - "A lodge room
can be lawfully dedicated if occupied only by the following othe bodies: a
chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a council of Royal an Select Masters, a
commandery of Knights Templar, a body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite, a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a temple of the Ancient and
Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and a chapter of the Acacia
Fraternity and the Achoth Sorority.
Masonic Offenses - Sect. :148 - "In making
application to, a joining, any lodge, society or institution that shall
provide as a condition precedent that one shall be a Master Mason in good
standing, or shall have taken the degrees of Entered Apprentice Mason, Fellow
Craft Mason, and Master Mason, provided this inhibition shall not apply to
York or Scottish bodies the Order of the Eastern Star, the Ancient Arabic
Order Nobles of the Mysti Shrine, or the Acacia Fraternity."
Henry H. Andrews, Nebraska.
* * *
PENNSYLVANIA VS. MASSACHUSETTS
Dear Sir and Brother: Referring to the "Early
Days" in the July issue - Mazyck vs. Johnson - Massachusetts as usual seeks to
claim everything and attempts to fortify the claim by notice from the Boston
Gazette of April 1, 1734, which so far as it goes is all right; but how about
Pennsylvania? I am sending you by package post an electro of the heading of
Franklin Gazette of December 3-8, 1730, No. 108, which if you can find room
for, will speak for itself.
The true facts are, and cannot be controverted by
argume or sophistry:
Pennsylvania 1730 - Massachusetts 1734
Magna est Veritas et Praevalet.
It would be well if the R. W. Bro. of
Massachusetts would consult the Franklin Memorial Volume issued by the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1907.
So far as South Carolina is concerned, there are
evidence that Freemasonry was originally introduced in South Carolina by Bro.
Thomas Whitemarsh, a member of St. John's Lodge, in Philadelphia, and partner
of Franklin in the printing business in Charlestown, S.C., as early as 1701-2.
Julius F. Sachse, Pennsylvania.
Although you are just a poor man,
And your clothes are cheap and worn
If your heart has known repentance,
I'll welcome you to our home.
Even though your birth be humble,
If you want to be a man,
We'll believe in you, my brother,
And extend a helping hand
It matters not about your past,
Or the color of your skin,
Or what your education is,
Listen to the Voice within.
If you will spend your time and earnings
On a brother in distress,
Helping those who are afflicted,
And the weak ones' wrongs redress,
Then you are a man deserving
Of my love and my esteem
And I care not what your actions
In the eyes of others seem.
Should society disown you,
As inferior to its caste
Let it do so - I'll befriend you,
And be your brother to the last.
Z P. Smith.