The Builder Magazine
September 1916- Volume II - Number
OF "OLD GLORY" -- THE OLDEST FLAG
BY BRO. JNO. W. BARRY, IOWA
Again Dec. 27, 1779, at
Morristown, N. J., St. John, the Evangelist's Day is celebrated. This meeting
held in Arnold Tavern pictured in Fig. 24 where the secretary records 104
present with "Bro." Washington's name (40) at the head of the "visitors" but
unfortunately only the last name of each is given, which makes identification
in a few cases uncertain, so instead of saying ALL were officers in
Washington's Army, 'tis best to say "nearly all." From St. Andrew's Lodge to
Lexington in 1775, working in unity and celebrating St. John's Day Dec. 27,
1779, in a meeting attended by Washington and nearly all his officers!--Truly,
it is akin to the unobserved power in an electric generator, actuating every
move to establish Old Glory in honor. In the usual history there are of course
only distant references to Masonry at this time, but enough remains of lodge
records to show the inner workings.
GENERAL GRAND MASTER PROPOSED
This meeting of Dec. 27,
1779, was the meeting that called the first Masonic convention Lodge in
America to arrange for a "General Grand Master" in and over the said "Thirteen
United States of America." The Convention Lodge met the first Monday in
February following. Bro. Mordecai Gist was unanimously elected president. Such
an ardent patriot was he, that he named one of his sons "Independence" and the
other "States." Later he was G.M. of South Carolina.
Bro. Otho Holland Williams, a
bright, brave and brawny Mason, was secretary. As to the Masonic Convention
about the only result has been a series of like meetings from time to time
down even unto our day--but there is no General Grand Master yet. But the
meeting is itself a proof that the thought of those brothers was active in
matters far beyond the scope of ordinary lodge meetings in time of peace. They
had a vision of a great, free country--and by their effort the vision became
AMERICAN UNION LODGE AND
WASHINGTON LODGE NO. 10 JOINT HOSTS TO OVER 500
In October, 1779, Washington
Lodge No. 10, another military lodge, was instituted with General John
Patterson, Master; Col. Benjamin Tupper and Major William Hull, wardens. It
met in Starkean's Hall at West Point. This curious lodge building is shown in
No. 2541. On June 24, 1782, (42) a joint celebration of St. John's Day was
given in honor of the birth of the dauphin of France. The event occurred at
West Point in the "Colonnade," a peculiar structure erected by American Union
and Washington Lodges for the purpose. It is shown in Fig. 26. (43) Here came
Gov. Clinton and other leading men and women of New York and other states to
this the only really international celebration of St. John's Day on record.
Here over 500 dined and after 13 toasts had been drunk, each announced by 13
guns, "Bro. John Brooks," later governor of Massachusetts, made an able
address (44) --and it wasn't devoted exclusively to Masonry either.
What a striking proof of
Masonry's part in establishing Old Glory-- not theory--not assertion--but the
record of a joint meeting of military lodges acting as hosts not alone to the
military officers but to civil officers as well in Masonically honoring
France-- all engaged in the same effort to establish the great symbol--Old
THE TEMPLE OF VIRTUE
In 1782, the military lodges
were very active in Washington's Army at Newburgh, N. Y., and the need of a
larger meeting place was apparent. On Christmas, 1782, Washington in public
orders approved the plan of Israel Evans of American Union Lodge for a public
building and Benjamin Trupper of Washington Lodge No. 10 was made
superintendent of construction.
In No. 27 (45) is the picture
of the "Public Building" as it was called in official papers but known to the
soldiers as "The Temple of Virtue." The full record of "The Temple" is in
newspapers of the time now on file in The Newburgh Historical Society at
Newburgh, N. Y.
"The Temple of Virtue" was
the meeting house of Washington's camp at Newburgh in 1782-3. The original
drawing is 7 feet long and 18 inches wide, showing the Temple of Virtue
surrounded by the huts of the soldiers. The original sketch, now owned by
Luther Tarbell of Boston, was made by William Tarbell of the Seventh
Massachusetts Regiment. The late Major E. C. Boynton of the Newburgh
Historical Society had a copy made which is now in the Washington's
Headquarters Building, Newburgh. The original is several sheets of foolscap
pasted together and for ink, the juice of butternuts was used. "The Temple" is
minutely described by Major General William Heath giving the capacity and
other details. (46) In 1891 the Masons of Newburgh erected a monument there,
shown in No. 28. It commemorates a Masonic service never exceeded. The Masons
of Newburgh in 1891 joined with the Newburgh Revolutionary Association in
erecting the above monument on the site of the "Temple of Virtue." The
inscription on the granite tablet on the EAST side is as follows: "This tablet
is inserted by the Masonic Fraternity of Newburgh in memory of Washington and
his Masonic Compeers under whose direction and plan the "Temple" was
constructed and in which communications of the Fraternity were held in 1783."
On the "South" the tablet there reads:--
"On this ground was erected
the "Temple" or new public building by the army of the Revolution 1782-83. The
birthplace of the Republic." (47)
This monument marks the last
meeting place of American Union Lodge as an Army Lodge, but as a regular lodge
it is today No. 1 on the register of Ohio. After the Revolution John Heart
then its Master with Rufus Putnam and others of the members settled at
Marietta, Ohio, and later revived this famous lodge and Rufus Putnam "made" in
it became first Grand Master of Ohio.
ANOTHER "WEST GATE" SCENE
Above all, this monument
commemorates the very Keystone of Masonic service in making Old Glory
possible. The war had cost $123 per capita, the exhausting effect of which
will be better understood when compared with $96 the cost per capita of the
late Civil War. (48) So in 1783, Congress found itself in so poor and
penniless a situation that it was utterly unable to pay the soldiers even the
small amounts long due them. A hat cost $400, a suit of clothes $1600 and a
year's pay of a captain would not buy a pair of shoes. (49) Most of the
soldiers were waiting and many were exceedingly anxious to receive that which
was due them and some of them were determined to wait no longer. Someone in
Gate's command circulated unsigned letters among the officers urging that as
the war was over--if ever they were going to get their pay it should be "NOW"
before they laid down their arms and called a meeting in the "Temple" for
March 15, 1783. Here was the direct opportunity for a military dictator--a
king--a czar. It was a test of Washington's sincerity of purpose in working
eight years without pay for the principle of liberty. What did he do?
As soon as Gates called the
meeting to order Washington arose and made what eminent historians agree is
the most effective speech ever made in America. He well knew for more than
seven years they had larbored, honestly toiling, encouraged and buoyed up by
the promise that when the war was over they should receive that for which they
wrought. And now he was asking them to wait longer and to have an abiding
faith in the justice of the republic they had spent eight years to establish.
There in the "Temple" where they had met as Masons this address was received
as if from the Master of the Combined military lodges. Among many other things
said, he made them this vow:--
"For myself, a recollection
of the cheerful assistance and prompt obedience I have experienced from you
under various vicissitudes of fortune, and the sincere affection I feel for
the army I have so long had the honor to command will oblige me to declare in
this public and solemn manner that for the attainment of complete justice for
all your trials and danger, and the gratification of every wish, so far as may
be done consistently with the great duty I owe my country and these powers we
are bound to respect, you may fully command my services to the utmost extent
of my ability." (50)
It was in the course of this
address that he stopped to read a letter from Congress and excused himself for
putting on his glasses--saying "I have grown old in your service and now find
myself growing blind." (51) When he finished he withdrew to leave them free to
act and behold there could not be found even the traditional three to persist
in their murderous designs.
THE REAL WASHINGTON
This event showed the REAL
Washington, and makes one desire to know how the real man looked. There have
been so many pictures of him and so widely differing that it may be well to
show the real appearance of the man. By order of the legislature of Virginia,
Jean Antoine Houdon of Paris, France, the most noted sculptor of his time,
came to Mt. Vernon in 1785 and made a plaster cast of Washington's face and
head. This plaster cast is still preserved at Mt. Vernon and is considered by
competent judges to be the true Washington. The statue itself is in the
Capitol at Richmond. Lafayette pronounced it "a facsimile of Washington's
A nearer view of the face
shows the real Brother Washington as he looked about the time he faced the "Roughians"
in the "Temple," and made that supreme effort in behalf of American liberty
now symbolized in Old Glory.
This must ever rank as the
most important victory on American soil, namely the converting of those
officers and armed men to a full belief in the proposition that
"Beneath the rule of men
entirely great, The pen is mightier than the sword." From that day "Old Glory"
became in very truth the symbol of liberty.
THE FIRST FLAG CAPTURED
TAKEN BY A BROTHER MASON
Masonry was not confined to
Washington's immediate command. In Fig. 29 is shown a photograph of the first
flag captured and that too by Bro. Montgomery October 18, 1775, who a little
later lost his life that Old Glory might live. This flag is one of the most
valued trophies in the United States and is preserved with care in the flag
room at West Point.
THE GREATEST BAYONET CHARGE
In Fig. 30 is shown an event
which brought Masonry conspicuously before the world. It is Old Glory's first
bayonet charge. European commentators rank it as one of the greatest in the
annals of war.
When Bro. Washington asked
Mad Anthony Wayne if he thought he could storm Stony Point, Irving says Wayne
replied that "he could storm hell if Washington would plan it." Washington did
plan it and arranged for the attack to be made as soon after "low twelve" as
possible. Here is Wayne's letter announcing the result:--
"Stony Point, 16th July,
1779, 2 o'clock A. M. Dear General: The fort and garrison, with Colonel
Johnson, are ours. OUR OFFICERS AND MEN BEHAVED LIKE MEN DETERMINED TO BE
MASONRY PERPETUATES THE
MEMORY OF THAT FAMOUS CHARGE
Famous as was this charge,
yet it gave rise to a Masonic event whose remembrance will be green even when
the charge is forgotten, for in it the constitution and warrant of an English
military lodge were captured. Wayne turned them over to Gen. Samuel Holden
Parsons at the time S. W. of American Union Lodge. Bro. Parsons returned them
under a flag of truce with the following letter:--
"West Jersey Highlands, July
23, 1779, (52)
"Brethren:--When the ambition
of monarchs or jarring interests of States call forth their subjects to war,
as Masons we are disarmed of that resentment which stimulates to
undistinguished desolation; and however our political sentiments may impel us
in the public dispute, we are still brethren and our professional duty apart
ought to promote the happiness and advance the weal of each other.
"Accept, therefore at the
hands of a brother the Constitution of the Lodge Unity No. 18, to be held in
the Seventeenth British Regiment, which your late misfortunes have put in my
power to return to you.
"I am. Your Brother and
Obedient Servant. Samuel H. Parsons.
To Master and Wardens of
Lodge Unity No. 18 upon the Registry of England." (52)
LOYAL, PENNSYLVANIA WARRANTS
AN ENGLISH LODGE
The astounding thing is not
that Brother Masons returned the warrant but the resulting discovery that the
warrant of Unity Lodge 18 had been issued by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
It is only recently that such act could be explained as no record was ever
made of it by the Grand Secretary. At the battle of Princeton Jan. 3, 1777,
the warrant of this unity (169) 18 was captured and now and ever since has
been in possession of Union Lodge No. 5 A. F. & A. M., Middletown, Delaware.
(53) When the regiment occupied Philadelphia, the Provincial Grand Lodge fell
under Tory dominion and a new warrant was issued to Unity Lodge, but changing
from the original number of 169 to 18, under which it worked until 1786 when a
warrant from Scotland was applied for, as evidenced by the long letter sent
from Shelsburne Barracks, Nova Scotia, March 28, 1786, to the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania from which the following extracts are made:--
"Right Worshipful Brethren:
We the Worshipful Master & Wardens of Lodge Unity No. 18 held in this
Brittanick Majesty's 17th Reg. of Foot, & under Your Register--having heard a
Report which is spread through this Province of Our Warrant being by you
Cancelled & that one of the same Number has been granted to a Lodge in
"We have taken this method of
acquainting you that we have wrote to Our Mother Grand Lodge in Scotland,
willing to obtain a Duplicate of Our Ancient Warrant No. 169 without as yet
receiving any Answer, & we not Expecting that Our said Warrant No. 18 would
have been Declared Void, till we might have Obtained the Duplicate of our said
"We have further to Request
you should do us the honor of Communicating to our Worthy friend & Brother
General Parsons, the high sense we have of His Unexampled Goodness, in
restoring to us our Warrant which happy for us fell into his hands.... His
Generous Sentiments shall ever be Remembered by every Brother of No. 18 with
the Gratitude due to such benevolence of heart.
"Daniel Webb, Master."
"OLD GLORY" IN MASON'S CARE
UPON THE SEA AS WELL AS ON THE LAND
When our brothers on Bunker
Hill thrice repulsed the king's hardened regulars fresh from the campaigns of
Clive in India the world stood on tiptoe asking what kind of men those
Americans were. But when in 1775 our "Navy" of 8 ships with 114 guns was sent
to cope with England's 112 battleships with 714 guns, the world was too dazed
It was a saying of Jones who
first raised "Old Glory" on a ship of war, that "Men mean more than guns in
the rating of ships. (54) Nor was the proof long in coming. Our "Navy" sailed
in December, and in March, 1776, 8 ships with 150 cannons and 130 barrels of
powder were captured. During the war, in 18 sea engagements, 17 were won by
Old Glory. The closing record stood thus: captured 785 British ships, 15 war
ships, 12500 prisoners--all by a force of only 3000 men. (55)
The most famous was the Bon
Homme Richard against the Seraphis--a victory of undying renown for Bro. John
Paul Jones. In Fig. 31 (Color Plate) is shown the flag he then used, now
revered as the only existing flag of Bro. Jones and that UNWHIPPED American
When, in 1906 the body of
Bro. Jones was brought from Paris to Annapolis for more decent interment, his
Masonic petition was published as was also the action of his Paris Masonic
Lodge, where he was so well known. This lodge after Jones' great victory had
his bust made by Jean Antoine Houdon--the most famous sculptor of his time.
So when you read the
entrancing story of our navy in the Revolution, remember Masonry's part in its
planning and in its winning.
(40) Vide Grand Lodge Conn.
V. 1, p. 37.
(41) Vide History of The Town
of New Winsdor, p. 81.
(42) Vide Grand Lodge Conn.
V. 1, p. 45 and 46.
(43) Vide Chas. A. Brockaway--American
Union Lodge p. 14.
(44) Vide American Union
Lodge, Grand Lodge Connecticut, V. 1, p. 46.
(45) Vide History of New
Winsdor, p. 81. Also American Union Lodge Charles A. Brockaway, p. 12.
(46) Vide History of New
Winsdor, p. 81.
(47) Vide New Age 1908
Charles A Brockaway's article. Also History of the Town of New Windsor, p.
(48) Military Policy of the
United States. Maj. Gen. Emory Upton, Senate Document No. 499, p. 66.
(49) Vide same, p. 51.
(50) Vide Irving's
Washington, V. 4, p. 55.
(51) Vide Journal of American
(52) Vide Old Lodges of
Pennsylvania, Julius F. Sachse, p. 362. Original letter and later
correspondence now in possession of Pa. Grand Lodge
(53) Vide Old Lodges of Pa.,
Julius F. Sachse, p. 388.
(54) Vide Paul Jones
Commemoration U. S. Gov. Print.
(55) Vide Hamilton L. Carson,
p. 135 Sq., VI Modern Eloquence.
Sometimes within the shadows
of the night,
There slips from out the
hollow of my hand.
A concept of the True,
I do not understand.
Yet I despair not, and will
Putting behind me, failures
that are past,
With Purity, to Think, and
Act, and Live
Till I can hold it fast.
SOCIAL SERVICE: A HOSPITAL FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN
JOSEPH C. GREENFIELD, GEORGIA
pre-eminently a constructive institution. Founded upon an operative art,
claiming descent directly from a band of actual workmen, it is essentially a
"building up" fraternity. But it has changed from an operative to a
speculative art. Its members no longer roam over the country erecting
cathedrals and monuments of public interest, and affixing their own peculiar
marks to the hewn stones they used. They now appeal to the spiritual and
philosophic part of man's nature, to the intellectual and not to the material
side of his being. But the craft is still none the less a building one. It now
builds character; it builds humanitarian impulses; it rounds out and completes
the altruistic sentiment; it impels men to the recognition of their duty to
distressed and unfortunate humanity.
today is full of eleemosynary institutions. Homes, Hospitals, Retreats of one
kind or another, appeal to the hearts of men for aid and support. It would
appear on the surface that almost every phase of human need had been provided
for. And yet one of the most striking of these phases has been neglected, and
that is the cure or benefit of helpless children, who through disease,
poverty, heredity or neglect have become crippled and deformed, and who can
only look forward to a life of pain, humiliation and dependence.
The number of
institutions devoted to this class of sufferers is so small that they can
almost be counted on the fingers of one hand. Many surgeons will not treat
them at all; results are often slow, and when it is remembered that as a rule
the majority of those afflicted are from that class of citizenship utterly
unable to meet the heavy charges made by those competent to effect a cure, the
outlook is almost hopeless.
this fact, recognizing that a wondrous field for a charity that would be
constructive in its nature, and beneficial to the social fabric in general,
was before them; and in acknowledgment of a duty owed to humanity; the
Scottish Rite Bodies located in Atlanta, Georgia, in September, 1915, opened
up, and put into successful operation, the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital
for Crippled Children. This is not a Home, nor an Orphanage, nor a Retreat, -
it is a Hospital for the cure of such afflictions. Operations are performed
when necessary, and every attention known to modern medical skill is given the
Institution is operated along the broadest possible lines. It is purely a
Charity; there never has been, nor will there ever be, any pay wards. The most
progressive and skillful faculty in the South serves every department. The
question of religious affiliation, of State residence, of Masonic connection,
is never asked. The urgency of the case, and its probability of cure governs
the question of precedence in the admission of applicants. Already children
from Florida, from Alabama, from both the Carolinas, as well as from Georgia,
have been inmates. The only queries are: Can the child be benefited? and, Is
the parent or guardian unable to pay for the service ?
Many of the
cases are of surpassing interest. One little girl had curvature of the spine
so aggravated that the left shoulder was only four inches from the hip. When
placed in the plaster, and asked if she was in pain, she said: "Yes, but just
think, I am going to be straight." Another, a bright boy of sixteen, who
walked or rather crawled on his hands and knees, had his legs operated on.
After the casts were taken off, he leaned upon a crutch, and said to a
visitor: "This is the first time I ever stood erect." Still another in
addition to deformed feet, had hands so twisted that he was unable to lift
food to his mouth. His feet were corrected, his hands operated on, and he can
now clasp yours, can minister to his own needs, and in time will be a normal
And thus the
story goes, club feet, spinal curvature, infantile paralysis, Pott's disease
and a dozen other kindred ailments have come to the institution. In connection
with it a free clinic is operated, and local cases are cared for there, and in
their homes; thus leaving the hospital proper for the use of those from a
hospital has only been in operation about six months, already one hundred and
fifty‑two patients have received attention either at the institution itself,
or at the clinic.
Every type of
infantile deformity has come under our care. The processes of cure are oftimes
tedious and long drawn out. Patients are sent home for a brief season and come
back to have their bandages or casts removed or new operations performed.
Starting with room for twenty constant patients, so carefully have the plans
been worked out, that none stay longer than is absolutely necessary, and thus
every human being that loves his fellows; that feels the facility is being
worked at full pressure. Several perfect cures have already been effected, and
all under treatment promise a return to normal childhood, or a close approach
You should go
out and see what is being done with the money of the Rite. The scene is sad,
but uplifting and inspiring. You will come back a better man for your visit,
and proud of the fact that you are a unit in a fraternity that is doing so
much to make wealth producers instead of wealth consumers, and is opening up
to hopeless and helpless children a future from which many of the clouds have
been driven, and some portion of the happiness of living to which they are
entitled, made possible for them.
Plans are now
being perfected, looking to a great extension of the Institution and to
placing it on a stable and permanent basis. It is the desire of the Board of
Governors to erect fireproof concrete buildings, with operating rooms, nurses'
homes, isolation wards and all the equipment of an up‑to‑date, progressive and
effective organization. To do this, outside assistance must be secured. It was
not intended at the outset that the Scottish Rite bodies should assume all the
burden of its support. Their limit has almost been reached, and the need is so
urgent that the great loving heart of humanity must be enlisted. It is
intended that the Scottish Rite Masons of Atlanta and Georgia shall control
its actions and direct its policy. It is their institution; it was originated
by them; they are now fostering it; and it is a visible expression of their
love for the distressed and afflicted.
But a charity
of this kind is universal in its appeal. It appeals to Scottish Rite Masons
because it was begun and is being carried on by them. It appeals to all
Masons, because it epitomizes within itself that great fundamental doctrine of
the Craft - the Brotherhood of Man.
It appeals to
the business man, because it tends to relieve the community of those who may
in the future become a charge on the public treasury.
It appeals to
parents who rejoice in the fact that their own loved ones are perfectly formed
and normal boys and girls.
It appeals to
every human being that loves his fellows; that feels the tender touch of a
little child's love and gratitude; that can feel sympathy for a baby bearing
the burden of neglect and disease; to every one that recognizes that he has
been placed on earth for a purpose, and that a great part of that purpose is
the radiation of hope and happiness among those with whom he comes in contact,
or whose needs are brought before him.
To the end
that our hopes may be brought to fruition, and that our opportunities for
doing good may be made commensurate with the demands upon us, we invite the
co‑operation of every one who abhors suffering and loves humanity.
BY BRO. WM. F. KUHN, P.G.M.
The superficial thinker
ascribes all intolerance in the world to religious creeds, and, ignorantly,
thinks that the great day of universal toleration will be ushered in, when all
creeds are torn down and destroyed. He fails to recognize the fact that it is
not so much a question of creeds, but that intolerance is the natural product
of a dwarfed and misshapen intellectuality, the adopted child of a sterile
spirituality; that toleration is the offspring of a broad and comprehensive
intellectual development and the legitimate heir of a virile, active and
Man is the only animal which
has evolved the power of speech; speech implies words, or the sign of an idea;
words are the precursors of thought. To think is to reason and to form a
judgment; reason and judgment are the basis of a belief. Man is a believing
being, because he thinks. Even a disbelief, however paradoxical it may seem,
is, when reduced to its ultimate analysis, a belief.
A creed is but a systematized
belief, whether such belief or beliefs refer to the physical, intellectual, or
moral nature. It is impossible to conceive of a man, with his intellectual
nature, without a belief, and it is equally impossible to conceive of a man
with his spiritual nature, without a creed. If such a sentient being exists,
he is either suffering from an intellectual, or a spiritual vacuity, or both.
A man without an intellectual belief would be an intellectual monstrosity, and
a man without a religious creed would be a spiritual idiot. It might be well
to note the man, or any organization of men, who talk loud and long about
dogmas and creeds, who rail at churches for their supposed intolerance,
because, if you scratch such a man or such an organization, you will find
under the epidermis a most intolerable bigot or bigots, and so full of creeds
to bursting. An intellectual belief and a religious creed are a part of man;
the two are so intimately interwoven in his two-fold nature that to divorce
them would destroy the personality of the man. An intellectual or scientific
belief is made up of the same material as a religious creed. If the science of
Geology and Palaeontology can borrow millions of years, if the physical
sciences demand an ion, if the science of evolution postulates a primordial
cell, why should it be thought incredible or unscientific for our spiritual
nature to postulate a God? No, it is neither incredible nor unscientific for
the pilot-man to use his religious creed as the chart, his intellectual belief
as the compass, that will enable him to guide his ship by treacherous shoals,
through the narrows, through the darkness and storm, into the sunlit harbor of
a well rounded and successful life.
A belief in God and
immortality is a great and universal fact; a fact that science and philosophy
must recognize. The underlying truth and force of all religions, is man's
belief in a God and a hope of eternal life. Religion did not give birth to
this faith and hope, but this creed of a belief in God and a hope of eternal
life gave birth to religion. That man is a religious being, is a universal
phenomenon. This religious sentiment is "Like the finger of God writing upon
the soul, age by age a new and ever renewing destiny." It is ever reaching out
and endeavoring to comprehend a Supreme Intelligence, an Infinite Creator, a
just, holy and benevolent Father. This effort of our spiritual nature is not
derived from any of our physical senses; for no physical sensation can be
transformed into hope, love, or faith. Man knows that his spiritual nature and
the phenomena of his spiritual nature can not be described in the terms of the
physical universe. A thought can not be measured by a rule. Spiritual pain or
joy can not be weighed in a balance. Hope and love can not be solved by the
binomial theorem, nor can our soul's desire be revealed by mystical numbers.
This belief in God and hope
in eternal life has its root deep in the heart of humanity. The wise sage and
the untutored savage have alike pondered the question, "If a man die, shall he
live again?" The cradle asks the question, "Whence came I," and the coffin
asks, "Whither go I?" Man is conscious of his duality, although he may be
unacquainted with the simplest philosophical or metaphysical speculation.
Primitive and childlike man, in the early history of the race, grasped in his
feeble way that there is a God and that he was immortal. Even the barbarian
"Whence this pleasing hope,
this fond desire
This longing after
Or whence this secret dread
And inward horror of falling
Why shrinks the soul back on
And startles at destruction?
'Tis the Divinity that stirs
'Tis Heaven itself that
points an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to
Man, therefore, as he stands
in the presence of his intellectual and spiritual nature, worships, and builds
for himself a creed. Whether the creed that he erects is tolerant or
intolerant depends, absolutely, on his conception of Deity. It might be said,
as a man's God is, so is he. The early Hebraic creed considered God as a God
of terror, of vengeance, and of wrath; that he was a tribal, racial, or
national God only. About such a belief was built a self centered, intolerant
creed. Intolerant because it was selfish, for selfishness is the mother of
intolerance. But the belief as taught, especially, by the Prophet Isaiah, and
which today shines with such an effulgent splendor in the life and teachings
of Christ, is far different. It teaches that God is a God of love, a God of
forgiveness; that the Kingdom of God is not an empty ceremonial or outward
display, but it is in the hearts of men; that its fruits are justice, mercy
and service; a kingdom not established by the sword and by race prejudice, but
a kingdom of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood man. Such a creed is
free of selfishness; it is altogether altruistic. It is tolerant, because it
bears within the Gospel of Love.
"Teach me to feel each
Each other's burdens bear."
The Gospel of Love is the
world's panacea for intolerance. Freemasonry has such a creed. It is even
dogmatic and unchangeable. It is, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty."
This does not mean a belief in some notion of a God, some abstract formula,
some metaphysical or geometrical demonstration, but it means the God as
revealed in the sacred volume on our Altar, as taught in that "Inestimable
gift of God to an."
Freemasonry in this short
creed has no quarrel, or is it intolerant to Jew, Gentile, Mohammedan or Hindu
for their faith and trust as revealed in their Sacred Books. Freemasonry has
no quarrel with the an who has no conception of Deity and who has no sacred
Book from which to draw his inspiration and hope; but Freemasonry believes in
God, the Father, and he who can not accept this simple creed must remain
outside of our portals.
This simple dogmatic creed is
the very fundamental principle of Freemasonry. It is the cleavage between
belief and unbelief; upon it we build our beautiful system of morals; upon it
we base our belief in the brotherhood of man. Freemasonry without its belief
in God, the Father, and its imperative corollary, the Brotherhood of man,
would be a sham and a sacrilegious pretense. Upon this creed Freemasonry must
stand. If we can not accept it, then let us take down our Charters, close the
sacred Volume on our Altar, lock the doors of our halls and temples, and
retire from the world's moral activities as a soulless and spiritless
Freemasonry is not a church.
It does not design to establish a universal church, as some would foolishly
believe, neither does it purpose to disestablish any church; it makes no war
on church-creeds, but is tolerant toward every religious faith and belief; it
respects and honors every genuine believer, whatever his individual or his
church creed may be. No man who believes in the Fatherhood of God can be other
"There is a wideness in God's
Like the wideness of the sea;
There's a kindness in his
Which is more than liberty.
For the love of God is
Than the measure of man's
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind."
The most tolerant teacher
that ever lived, was presaged by the Prophet when he said: "And his name shall
be called Wonderful, the Prince of Peace." Why ? Because "He united love to
God, with love to man; courage to caution, perfect freedom from form, and
reverence for the substance in all forms, hatred for sin and love for the
sinner." He turned duty into happiness, wrote the laws into the heart, helped
us to walk in the spirit of love; for love begets toleration, and by it lifts
the world to the highest plane of peace and good will. Listen to the great
moral code that he gave to man :--
"Whatsoever ye would that men
should do unto you, do ye also unto
Hear his dogmatic creed which
amounts to a positive command:--
"Thou shalt love the Lord,
thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and thy
neighbor as thyself."
"This commandment I give unto
you, that ye love one another."
The following are the graces
that flow from obedience to this creed:--
"Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy."
"Greater love hath no man
than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."
"But the fruit of the spirit
is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."
"Neither do I condemn you,
go, sin no more."
"Father forgive them, for
they know not what they do."
Are these intolerant words ?
They are old and may even sound trite, but they are the very soul of
toleration, welling up from a deep, profound spirituality, and are ringing
clearer, stronger, deeper and fuller as years roll into thousands of
This self same spirit of
toleration should be the crowning glory of Freemasonry. To the critics of
Freemasonry, the religious zealot, on the one hand, who denounces Freemasonry
as Godless, and, on the other hand, to the dwarfed intellectual and spiritual
concept that declares Freemasonry is intolerant because it demands a belief in
"The one living and true God," we can but quote the words of the peace-loving
"Who fathoms the eternal
Who talks of schemes and
The Lord is God. He needeth
The poor device of man
I walk with bare, hushed feet
Ye tread with boldness shod,
I dare not fix with mete and
The love and power of God."
Toleration should be written
deep in the soul of every member of our Fraternity. For Freemasonry is out of
necessity an aid to every agency that has for its end the amelioration of the
human family. While it is not a church, it draws its inspiration from the same
source and walks hand in hand with the church in the broad field of humanity's
need. It can not from its very inception antagonize religion, because it
stands today as the proud champion of religion and religious liberty; the foe
of irreligion and irreligious liberty; for freedom, but not license; for
tolerance, but not anarchy; for civil liberty, but not tyranny; for purity,
but not shame; for patriotism, but not treason; for sobriety, but not
intemperance; for hope, but not despair; for love, but not hate. Freemasonry
knows no nationality, but its kingdom is in the hearts of men. Its power lies
not in the sword on the field of battle, but in the silent, yet potent, force
of the individuality of its members. It has a foundation, tolerant, solid,
eternal. Upon it we erect our moral temple and adorn it with the foliage and
flowers of a life whose feet are swift to run on missions of love, whose knees
are ever humble in the recognition of Divine favors, whose heart is expanding
in charity, whose hand will raise the fallen, and whose lips will bring joy
and gladness. It is altruistic, not egotistic. The spirit of Freemasonry is
preeminently progressive, and while it not only inculcates moral truths, it
also demands advancement along the line of scholastic development. It is the
promoter and encourager of every art and science that has for its end the
uplifting of man. It would appeal to the aesthetic, to the philosophic, and
would surround the mind and heart with everything that can beautify and adorn
The spirit of Freemasonry is
that which tuned the harp for the immortal strains of a Handel; a Haydn, and a
Mendelssohn; that touched the deep and majestic tone of a Milton, the
spiritual sweetness of a David, the genius of an Addison, a Whittier, a
Longfellow, and a Tennyson; that sounded the depths of unlimited space and
brought forth the music of countless worlds to the enchanted ear of a Kepler
and a Newton; that descended into the earth and unfolded its pages, penned in
the rocks of centuries, to a Gray and Agassiz; that touched the brush of a
Raphael and the chisel of an Angelo and made canvas, fresco and rocks speak in
living realities. That spirit that came like a gentle wind and dispersed the
metaphysical fog of ancient philosophy, dethroned its selfishness and placed
it upon the only sure foundation, that "I am my brother's keeper."
From such a creed will bloom
into eternal freshness and renewing youth, that all prevading sweetness, that
calm reliance, that loving toleration as expressed by Whittier:
"No offering of my own I
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He
And plead his love for love.
And so beside the silent sea
I wait the muffled oar,
No harm from Him can come to
On ocean or on shore.
I know not where His islands
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I can not drift
Beyond his love and care."
It is a great
thing to have forty years behind you without any great catastrophe and shame.
As time goes on, I think I feel more and more vividly a sense of relief when
those I love are safely through another year: the sense of relief is still
keener in relation to myself, for I suppose every man thinks his own perils
the greatest. The ice cracks in such unexpected places - the ship is too apt
to strike on rocks where the chart gave no warning of them - that mere safety
seems to me a much greater reason for thankfulness than it used to be. To do
some great thing is the ambition of youth; to do quiet duty honestly and
without serious falls, satisfies the heart when youth disappears.
- R. W. Dale.
rise from this confused sound of voices
faith than that our fathers knew,
religion which alone rejoices
In worship of
the Infinitely True,
Not built on
rite or portent, but a finer
reverence for a Lord diviner.
come from out this noise of strife a groaning
A broader and
a juster brotherhood,
equality of aim, postponing
seeking to the general good.
come a time when each shall to another
Be as Christ
would have him - brother unto brother
come a time when knowledge wide extend
man's pleasure in the general health
And all shall
hold irrevocably blended
individual and the commonwealth;
When man and
woman in an equal union
and marriage be a true communion.
come a time when brotherhood shows stronger
narrow bounds which now distract the world;
cannons roar and trumpets blare no longer,
ironclad rusts, and battle flags are furled;
When the bars
of creed and speech and race, which sever,
fused in one humanity forever.
our question. Thou art free.
We ask and
ask - thou smilest and art still,
knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the
stars uncrowns his majesty,
steadfast footsteps in the sea,
heaven of heavens his dwelling‑place,
the cloudy border of his base
To the foiled
searching of mortality;
And thou, who
didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self‑schooled, self‑scanned, self‑honored, self‑secure,
on earth unguessed at - Better so!
All pains the
immortal spirit must endure,
which impairs, all griefs which bow,
sole speech in that victorious brow.
It's not in
titles nor in rank,
It's not in
wealth like Lon'on bank,
peace and rest.
hae not her seat
And center in
We may be
wise, or rich, or great,
But never can
THE DOCTRINE OF THE BALANCE
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
READERS of Albert Pike will
recall the stately pages with which Morals and Dogma closes, setting forth, in
a manner unforgetable, the Doctrine of the Balance. Many had taught this truth
before time out of mind, no one more impressively than the man whom Pike was
richly indebted, (1) but his exposition is none the less his own. With vast
labor he brings together his findings, showing that to this result the wisdom
of the ages runs, what the sages have thought equally with what the mystics
have dreamed. Always it is a triad, suggested by the ancient idea of the
number Three, the singular, the dual and the plural, the odd and even added,
and the great emblem of the Triangle--symbol of perfection. It is seen in all
Masonic symbolism, from end to end and at every step of the Mystic quest for
the secret which every Mason is seeking.
Eloquently, and with every
variation of emphasis and illustration, he lays the matter before us, carrying
it into all the fields of human activity and aspiration. Sympathy and
Antipathy, Attraction and Repulsion, Fate and Freedom, each a fact of life and
a force of nature, are contraries alike in the universe and in the soul of
man, wherein we see eternity in miniature. As the earth is held in its orbit
by the action of opposing forces, so truth is made up of two opposite
propositions, as peace lies in the union of motion and rest, and harmony is
the fruit of seeming war. Here he finds the solution of the problem of the One
and the Many, of the Infinite and the Finite, of Unity amidst Manifoldness:
the principle of the Balance, the secret of the universal equilibrium:
"Of that Equilibrium in the
Deity, between the Infinite Divine Wisdom and the Infinite Divine Power; from
which result the Stability of the Universe, the unchangeableness of the Divine
Law, and the Principles of Truth, Justice, and Right which are a part of it; .
. Of that Equilibrium also, between the Infinite Divine Justice and the
Infinite Divine Mercy, the result of which is the Infinite Divine Equity, and
the Moral Harmony or Beauty of the Universe. By it the endurance of created
and imperfect natures in the presence of a Perfect Deity is made possible; . .
Of that Equilibrium between
Necessity and Liberty, between the action of the Divine Omnipotence and the
Free-will of man, by which vices and base actions, and ungenerous thoughts and
words are crimes and wrongs, justly punished by the law of cause and
consequence, though nothing in the universe can happen or be done contrary to
the will of God; and without which co-existence of Liberty and Necessity, of
Free-will in the creature and Omnipotence in the Creator, there could be no
religion, nor any law of right and wrong, or merit or demerit, nor any justice
in human punishments or penal laws.
And, finally, of that
Equilibrium, possible in ourselves, and which Masonry incessantly labors to
accomplish in its Initiates, and demands of its Adepts and Princes (else
unworthy of their titles between the Spiritual and Divine and the Material and
human in man; between the Intellect, Reason, and Moral Sense on one side, and
the Appetites and Passions on the other, from which result the Harmony and
Beauty of a well-regulated life." (2) And so on, through a passage of
singular elevation both of language and of thought, we are led by an ancient
truth which becomes a vision in the mind of a nobler thinker. My design is not
to add to his exposition, but to apply it with emphasis and illustration, if
so that it may be brought home to our "business and bosom" and be of real
service to us in the life which we live together, and in the life which each
must live alone. For it is the high service of Masonry that it puts a man in
the straight path which the wisest of the race have walked, leading him midway
between the falsehood of extremes, and bringing the highest teaching of the
past to the uses of the present. After all, how to live is the one matter; and
he is wise who joins the goodly Shakespeare gospel of Courage, Sanity and Pity
with that other Gospel of Faith, Hope, and Love. Every man will need all the
aid he can get, unless he be content, as no real man can be, to live in the
world as a mere looker-on at a drama in which others are actors,
"In God's vast house a
curious guest, Seeing how all works take their flight."
From bottom to top life is a
contradiction and a paradox, and the beginning of wisdom is to know that fact
and adjust ourselves to it. Light and darkness, heat and cold, mind and
matter, fate and free-will, asceticism and indulgence, socialism and anarchy,
dogmatism and doubt, reason and authority--no man may ever hope to live long
enough, much less to think deeply enough, to harmonize these paradoxes. The
way of wisdom is to accept both facts in each case, as the Two Pillars of a
Temple of Truth, and walk between them into the hush of the holy place. Either
one, without the other, is only a half-truth which ends in perversion, if not
in insanity, turning the hearty, wholesome, clear seeing spirit of manhood
into the pitiful narrowness and hardness of a bigot or a fanatic.
For example: "All is free-
that is false: all is fate--that is false. All things are free and fated--
that is true." (3) It is possible to make an argument in behalf of fatalism so
freezing that one is left with the feeling that he is no more responsible for
his thoughts and acts, than he is for the shape of his head and the color of
his eyes. Having listened to such an argument, each of us may say, as Dr.
Johnson did, (4) "I know I am free, and that's the end on it." On the other
side, one can present a thesis in proof of the freedom of man so convincing
that fate seems a fiction. Both are true, and the great truth consists of two
opposites which are not contradictory--that it is the Fate of man to be Free
if he fights for it, approves himself worthy of it, uniting his will with the
Will of the Master of the World! Otherwise, we men are slaves journeying
downward "to the dust of graves," slaves of greed and passion and a fatal
Asceticism is one extreme,
indulgence another. One would repress every natural instinct in behalf of a
pale, wan purity; the other would follow every fancy, driven hither and yon by
every gust of passion, at the mercy of every caprice. Between the two lies
temperance, keeping the balance between two absurdities, making a right use of
everything, and abusing nothing; its motto the wise words of the old Greeks,
"In nothing too much." Socialism seems to hold that the State is everything,
the Individual nothing--or at best only a cog in a vast machine, an atom in an
indistinguishable blur. Anarchy makes the State nothing, and the Individual
everything--each a law unto himself, and chaos at the end. Between the two
lies the way of wise government in which "Freedom slowly broadens down from
precedent to precedent," or grows gladly up from the life of a just and
intelligent people. There are certain things which every man must surrender in
behalf of the common good, and other things which it were a sin to abdicate,
the while a shifting, zig-zag line runs between dividing the man from the
By the same token, in
religion Dogmatism affirms everything, makes a map of the Infinite, and an
atlas of Eternity, so certain is it of things whereof no man knoweth. It talks
of God as if He were a man in the next room. It knows the origin of all
things, and the final destiny of humanity. Doubt denies everything, questions
the competence of the human mind to know Divine things, leaving us with the
assurance that nothing is certain but uncertainty; nothing secure but
insecurity. Again it is the doctrine of the balance, as in the natural world
peace is found amid the poise of powers. Between dogmatism and doubt is a wise
and reverent Faith, which dares to say, "Now we know in part--a tiny part, no
doubt--but knowledge is real as far as it goes, and what we know gives us
confidence in the vast Unknown. And so we make bold to trust the ultimate
decency of things and the veiled kindness of the Father of men, assured that
He who has brought us to where we are will lead us to where we ought to be !"
Of this fundamental paradox
of life the Cross is the symbol. Older than Christianity, as old, almost, as
human life, it is the supreme symbol of the race. When man first emerged from
the "old dark backward and abysm of time," he had a cross in his hand. Where
he got it, what he meant by it, many may conjecture but no one knows. The
Cross, like life itself, is also a collision and a contradiction--its four
arms pointing every whither, making it the great guide-post of free thought.
As long as a man keeps his poise, never forgetting the profound paradox at the
heart of all high thought, he may think as far and as fast as his mind can go.
For many of us, of course, the Cross is hallowed anew and forever by the name
of One whose life was a tragedy, whose love was heroic in its gentleness, who
wins by "that strange power called weakness," whose character is the sovereign
wonder of the world, and whose spirit is the holiest tradition of humanity.
Since this is so, since the
way of sanity, if not of salvation, lies in keeping our balance, why is it
that men lose their poise ? No man of us, when he thinks of the days agone,
but recalls acts which he not only regrets, but which puzzle him by their
strange stupidity. He would give almost as much to be able to understand them
as he would to forget them. Why is this so? Shakespeare has much to teach us
here, much of abiding profit to remember, if so that we may understand the
past and make a better use of the future. He everywhere shows that tragedy is
the fruit of treachery, and that treachery has its roots in obsession (5) --
some one thing that gets so close to the mind that it can see nothing else,
blinds it, preys upon it, making a man first a fanatic, and then, it may be, a
criminal. Macbeth was a man of noble nature; his wife was a lovely lady. They
became obsessed with ambition for place and power, and to what dark depths of
sin and shame that mad blindness led them that terrible tragedy tells us. This
lesson, taught so often by our supreme poet, is for each of us, teaching us to
keep our poise, and to flee an obsession as a plague. Whatever fastens itself
upon the mind, shutting out the light, marring the proportions and
perspectives of things, forebodes disaster.
Perhaps it is physical
passion. If so, it will turn love into lust and make the world a bawdy-house.
It may be political ambition, and a man throws everything to the winds in
order to win, forgetting that no office on earth is worth the sacrifice of
integrity--and, also, if he wins by trickery he is unfit to hold it. It may be
religion. Think of the crimes unspeakable, the brutalities unbelievable, which
have been committed by men in a frenzy of fanatical bigotry--dipping their
hands in blood and thinking they were doing the will of God ! They were
madmen. Plato said that all men are more or less insane, and that the man whom
we put in a straight-jacket is only a little more emphatically out of his mind
than the rest of us. The more reason, then, why we should keep our poise and
walk the quiet way of sanity and charity, in love of God and man.
After this manner we expound
the Doctrine of the Balance, as taught by Pike, reminding our Brethren, as we
remind ourselves, that the wisdom of life lies in freedom, serenity, and
forgiveness, in victory by selfsurrender to the highest laws of life, and that
we dare not turn either to the right or the left. By such teaching men become
happy and free; in this way we may grow old without being sad, and wise
without being cynical; and learn, at last, that everlasting gentleness which
is the highest wisdom man may win from the hard facts and the often strange
medley of his days. Let us also lay to heart the prayer quoted by Pike:
"Let Him, the ever-living
God, be always present in thy mind; for thy mind itself is His likeness, for
it, too, is invisible and impalpable, and without form. As He exists forever,
so thou also, when thou shalt put off this which is visible and corruptible,
shalt stand before Him forever, living and endowed with knowledge."
(1) Eliphas Levi. Digest of
his Writings. translated by A.E. Waite, especially pp. 79-83.
(2) Morals and Dogma, pp.
(3) Life of F.W. Robertson,
p. 32, note.
(4) Life of Johnson, by
(5) Shakespeare, by John
THE USE AND SYMBOLISM OF
COLOR IN MASONRY
BY BRO. FRANK C. HIGGINS, NEW
The subject of color in
connection with Masonry is one which has received very little attention from
students, in the past, but it is nevertheless one which is susceptible to some
extremely fascinating speculations and, to the writer's notion, deserves
greater attention than has hitherto been accorded it.
In Symbolic Masonry we
encounter reference to but three, the alternating black and white of the
Mosaic pavement denoting the "dual principle"; the pure white of the Lily and
the Blue color attributed to the Lodge and the Heavens which it is said to
imitate in certain particulars. From the latter consideration we derive
various notes of blue in lodge regalia and decorations. The Green of the
Acacia, though not dwelt upon, supplies the final note on Immortality.
In Capitular Masonry, the
prevailing color is Red and much weight is given to the colors of the four
Veils, respectively Scarlet, Blue, Purple and White, which are self-evidently
representations of those employed in the Tabernacle and subsequent Temples of
Israel. Red is the color of Vulcan, god of Fire, whom the Jews called Tubal-Cain
and whose number is 9, or 3 times 3.
If we are willing to accept
the theory that in the original intention of the sequence of Masonic degrees,
"Symbolic" Masonry was to represent the birth, education or development and
final test of the perfected soul, and "Capitular" Masonry to symbolize the
return of the liberated soul to the source of its being, we shall have no
difficulty, whatsoever, in assimilating the presence of these colors in Lodge
and Chapter, as indicated, with the ancient Semitic philosophy, in which Old
Testament Theology and, consequently, Masonry, had its rise.
The old Chaldean cosmogony,
which impressed the Egyptian, Phoenician and Hebrew cults alike, regarded the
Soul as a spark of the Divinity, precipitated to Earth, through the spheres of
the Seven planets and the Zones of the Four Elements, gathering in the course
of its journey, its mental, moral and spiritual attributes from the first
group and its physical elements from the second.
The original King Solomon's
Temples were the Zigurrats of Salmannu Sar* (Shalmanesar) of which the seven
stepped or staged Temple of Bel at Borsippa, the trans-Euphratean suburb of
Babylon, was, perhaps, the leading example. They were square edifices, like a
nest of seven boxes, one above the other, on a diminishing scale and joined by
outer staircases. Beginning with Saturn the most distant and slowest of the
planets to make a complete circuit of the ecliptic, they responded to the
correct sequence of the heavenly bodies in question, as known to the ancients,
and had attributed to them the colors of the spectrum, in the order of their
The lowermost or Saturn stage
was, however, colored black, the next or Jupiter stage was Orange colored, the
Mars stage Red, the Sun stage gold, the Venus stage pale yellow, that of
Mercury blue, and that of the Moon silver. Blue is therefore the color
universally symbolic of Hermes and the Hermetic philosophy on which
Freemasonry is based.
Each of these stories was a
temple to the presiding god of the Planet it represented and a school of the
science attributed to it. Thus the final stage in the education of the
neophyte was in the "Blue" edifice, prior to his admission to the uppermost
or, by reason of the peculiar construction of the Temple, middle chamber,
which was the observatory of the Priest Astronomers and Astrologers, who were
the interpreters of the will of the gods to mankind and the direct servitors
of their divine messenger Nebo, Mercury or Hermes.
The Hebrews in their
re-fashioning of the Chaldean cult, substituted the imagery of Jacob's seven
stepped ladder, which figure the Egyptians were also familiar with, as
evidenced by the numerous little seven stepped ladder amulets found in their
sarcophagi and, later, in Roman graves. The Veils of the Temples were clearly
symbolical of the elemental Zones. Water, Fire, Air and Earth, in Hebrew
respectively Iammim, Nour, Rouach and Iebeschah, the initials of which words,
"I. N. R. I.," having the numerical value of 10, 50, 200, 10, or 270, gave the
cabalistic number of incarnation, founded upon the nine months, of thirty days
each, of human gestation and which was also the number of the identified
Osiris and Horus, among the Egyptians; the hypothenuse of a right-angle of 162
Red stood for the element
Fire, Blue for Air, White for Earth, and Purple for Water, the latter,
presumably, because purple color was derived from a shell fish, the murex
Purpurea of the Tyrians. Their signs were the Lion, Eagle, Bull and Man of
Masonic heraldry. The Egyptians, who manufactured colored glass and must have
made experiments with light, observing that red and green produced black, made
these three colors representative of the J, V. and H. of their secret Supreme
Being, HUHI, who was none other than our mighty Jehovah. Alternating stripes
of Red, Black, Green, Black, standing for the Tetragrammaton, being the chief
characteristic of the Apron worn by the celebrating Hierophants of the
Mysteries of Isis. In their requisitions for Architects to construct their
sacred edifices the Hebrews always specified that they be workers in the four
symbolic colors and the symbolic metals which also belong to the planetary
Bezaleel and Aholiab,
builders of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, were "filled with wisdom of
heart to execute all manner of work of the engraver, and of the designing
weaver and of the embroiderer in blue, and in purple and in scarlet yarn and
in linen thread."
The gold, silver and copper
employed were respectively sacred to the Sun, Moon and Planet Venus, while the
Onyx stone and Shittim or Acacia wood, so lavishly employed, were symbols of
the planet Mercury, which, to them, became the "Angel of the Lord," Raphael.
The celebrated Tyrian
Architect, builder of King Solomon's Temple, is likewise described as skillful
to work in gold, in silver, in copper and in iron, in stone, in wood, in
purple, in blue, in fine linen and in crimson, and also to execute any manner
of engraving-- again a list of symbolic materials embracing the metals of the
Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars, the last two indicative of the physical qualities
of Attraction and Repulsion, which engender Vibration and which Science is
even now identifying as the great cosmic energy.
In the book of Kings the
Tyrian Architect is called "Hirm" and in the book of Chronicles "Churam," but
there is no doubt of them being the same individual. It will be recollected
that Uri, the father of Bezaleel, is described as a "Son of Chur," which was
Chr-Mse, "Son of Horus," the origin of the name "Hermes." The name Churam is
the Egyptian Horus-Ammon, the name of the Month of the Ram, in which the
Hebrews celebrated their Passover but which the Jews called Abib. (Now called
It is no stretch of
imagination whatever to attach the surname Abib to the Hirm of "Kings" as a
substitute for the Churam Abi of "Chronicles," when we are again confronted
with 5, 10, 200, 40, 1, 2, 10, 2, or 270, the very number of Osiris-Horus we
have already referred to.
Many Egyptian sculptures show
the figures of Priests holding before the Monarch or the gods, purifying
offerings of Fire and Water, the elements of which it was said the Earth had
been created and by which it would be destroyed. If, finally, a most
delightful theory may be advanced, we would (in our recognition of the
advancement of the ancient Seers in many branches of Art and Science which we
have only tardily come to justly credit them with), like to presume that part
of the universal adoration of Light as the dwelling place of the Deity and the
primordial source of substance employed in material creation, consisted in an
appreciation of color, as a property of light.
We are perfectly satisfied,
that the seven prismatic colors were recognized in the earliest ages of the
civilized World. We know that the ancients were acquainted with the
manufacture of glass and that in possession of this latter substance, they
could scarcely avoid something which is constantly occurring to the
astonishment of children, handling glass or crystal in the sunlight, the
production of the colors of the rainbow. Why, then, were four colors only
selected for the symbols of Matter and the Veils, representing the Elements,
by our ancient Brethren ? All scientists have heard of Wollaston's celebrated
experiment, performed in 1801 for the purpose of discovering the ultimate
composition of light. We quote the language of his paper in the Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society of Great Britain in 1802. He says:
"I cannot conclude my
observations on the dispersion of light without remarking that the colours,
into which a beam of white light is separable by refraction, appear to me to
be neither seven, as they are usually seen in the Rainbow, nor reducible by
any means, that I can find to three, as some persons have conceived, but that
by employing a very narrow pencil of light four primary divisions of the
prismatic spectrum may be seen with a degree of distinctness, that I believe
has not been described or observed before."
"If a beam of daylight be
admitted into a dark room by a crevice, 1-20 of an inch broad, and received by
the eye at a distance of ten or twelve feet through a prism of flint glass,
free from veins, held near the eye, the beam is seen separated into the four
following colors only: Red, a yellowish Green (which might pass as a muddy
White), Blue and Violet." The very diagram employed by Wollaston to illustrate
this experiment, a human eye viewing the four ultimate colors through a
triangular prism, suggests above all things the notion of the all-seeing eye,
in the Triangle, viewing His Creation as a compound of the four elements, as
those only known to and symbolized by ancient Science. The student desirous of
pursuing this subject farther will find extensive notes on the Biblical and
Classical employment of the seven prismatic colors, in Mackey's Encyclopedia
of Freemasonry, which detail various ancient conceptions in an interesting
*Literally, "King Solomon,"
also paraphrased by the Hebrews, Sar Salom, "Prince of Peace."
No theory of neutrality, be
it never so just, and experience of national isolation, be it never so
remunerative, can secure for the United States of America immunity from the
pains and penalties of Europe's agony, or can make the struggle of other
nations only a harvest time for American manufacturers of munitions of war.
When humanity goes up to its Golgotha, it means the blood-sweat of Gethsemane
for every nation.
--J. A. Macdonald. Democracy
and the Nation.
WHAT IS RELIGION?
"Religion is now seen to be
the spirit of all thought, the inmost soul of all our music, our art, and our
great literature. What the church calls salvation, the outer world calls the
civilization of man. What the church calls Heaven, science designates as the
triumph of the human spirit. What is best for man here is best for man
forever, for eternity is but the lengthening of our human night or day. The
greatest missionary movement on earth is the pity of man for man."
BY BRO. E. J. WITTENBERG,
(In answer to a number of
enquiries as to the possible influence of The Vehmgerichte on Masonry, we
reproduce from the Bulletin of the Los Angeles Consistory the following brief
essay by Brother E. J. Wittenberg, read--as we think very happily and
appropriately--at the conclusion of the presentation of the Twenty-first
Degree of the Scottish Rite. Brother Gould, in his History of Masonry, takes
up the question of the supposed influence of this old German court on blue
Masonry, and does not think much of it. There are resemblances and some
analogies, but nothing more. Still, further light may reveal other things, and
further light is what we want from every possible source. If this little essay
serves to provoke further study, it will do what it was meant to do.)
The founder of the German
Vehmgerichte, according to Westphalian tradition, was Charles I., Emperor of
Germany (Charlemagne), A. D. 742-814. This tradition, however, could only
apply to the Frohngerichte, or Free Field Court of Saxony, instituted by
Charlemagne for the purpose of coercing Saxons, who were ever ready to relapse
into the idolatory from which they had been reclaimed, not by persuasion, but
by the sword. The first authentic mention of the Vehmgerichte, and documentary
evidence, is found during the reign of Frederick I., Emperor of Germany (Barbarossa),
A. D. 1152.
Westphalia was the home of
these courts, and only upon the "Red Earth," as the confines of this old Duchy
were called, could their members be initiated. The place of session, known as
the Freistuhl (Free Seat), held on some hill or other well-known accessible
spot and was presided over by the Emperor, called Oberstuhlherr" (Over-Lord),
or his representative appointed by him, usually a noble or churchman of great
prominence, in the general chapter, and by a Freigraf (Free Count), called "Stuhlherr"
(Presiding Judge), in the subordinate courts, with fifteen Freischoeffen as
associates, the youngest of which acted as summoner. Before the Stuhlherr on a
table lay the emblems of his authority, the sword and the cord.
The Freischoeffen were
divided into two classes, "Offenbare" (uninitiated) and the "Wissende"
(initiated). This latter, Stillgericht (Sacred Tribunal), was closed to all
but the initiated; any one in attendance not a member on being discovered was
immediately put to death.
The applicant for initiation
as a Freischoeffe, among the Wissende, appeared before the dread tribunal
blindfolded, bareheaded and ungirt, where he was interrogated as to his
qualifications, good repute, ether he was a Teuton, freeborn and clear of any
accusation punishable by the tribunal of which he desired to become a member.
If his answers and sponsors were satisfactory, he then took the following
"I hereby swear by the Holy
Law that I will conceal the secrets of the Holy Vehme from wife and child,
from father and mother, from sister and brother, from fire and water, from
every creature upon which the sun shines, or upon which the rain falls, from
every being between earth and heaven. I furthermore swear that I will
communicate to the tribunal all crimes or offenses which fall beneath the
secret ban of the Emperor or this tribunal, knowing them to be true or
imparted to me by a trustworthy person or persons, and I will not forbear to
do so--for love nor for loathing, for gold nor for silver, nor precious
stones, and may I suddenly be seized, my eyes bound, my body cast down on the
soil, my tongue torn out the back of my neck and hanged seven times higher
than any other criminal, should I violate this my solemn oath."
He then received the
password, by which he was to know his fellows, and grip and sign by which they
recognized each other in silence.
The General Chapter of the
initiated, or Heimliche Acht (Secret Tribunal) was held once a year, and all
the members were liable to be called to account for their acts; reports were
made by the Stuhlherren (Presiding Judges) of all proceedings which had taken
place within their various jurisdictions during the year; unworthy members
expelled or punished; regulations were enacted for new and unforseen cases for
which the existing laws did not provide a remedy.
In the early history of the
organization, the accused could be absolved by taking the oath of purification
upon the handle of the judge's sword, but when it was found that criminals did
not hesitate to perjure themselves, the accuser, always a Freischoeffe, could
substantiate his charge even against the oath of the accused by three or more
witnesses. If the accused could discredit these by a number of one-half more,
he was still discharged, otherwise he was condemned, and sentence was passed
upon him and he was forthwith hanged on the nearest tree. If a thief,
murderer, or perpetrator of any other heinous crime was apprehended in the
very act, or if he himself confessed the deed, he was immediately hung,
providing at least three Freischoeffen were present when apprehended. If an
individual was strongly suspected of a crime, but without any certain accuser,
he was sometimes allowed to run the risk of the ordeal by fire, bier-right, or
combat. In the first ordeal, a fire was kindled and the person about to
undergo the ordeal was placed in front of the fire, surrounded by all who were
in any way interested in the result of the trial. Upon a table near the fire,
the plough-share over which he was to walk, the bar of iron he was to carry,
or if he was a knight, the steel gloves which, after they had been made red
hot, he was to put on his hands, were placed in view of all.
While the iron was placed on
the fire and heating, the following prayer was said:
"We pray unto Thee, O God,
that it may please Thee to absolve this Thy servant and to clear him from his
sins. Purify him, O Heavenly Father, from all the stains of the flesh, and
enable him, by Thy all-covering and atoning grace to pass through this
fire--Thy creature--triumphantly. O God, Thou that through fire hath shown
forth so many signs of Thy almighty power; Thou that didst cause the bush to
burn before the eyes of Moses and yet not be consumed, God that didst safely
conduct the three children through the flame of the Babylonians; God that
didst waste Sodom with fire from heaven, and preserve Lot, Thy servant, as a
sign and token of Thy mercy; O God show forth once again the visible power of
Thy majesty or Thy unerring judgment; that truth may be made manifest and
falsehood avenged, make Thou this fire Thy minister before us, powerless be it
where the power of purity, but sorely burning, even to flesh and the sinews,
the hand that had done evil, and that had not feared to be lifted up in false
swearing. O God, from whose eye nothing can be concealed, make Thou this fire
Thy voice to us Thy servants, that it may reveal innocence, or cover iniquity
The accused then approached
the fire, lifted the iron and carried it nine feet from the fire. The moment
he laid it down, his hands were wrapped in linen cloths and sealed. These were
removed on the third day, when he was declared innocent or guilty, according
to the condition in which his hands were found.
In the ordeal of bier-right,
the remains of the murdered man were placed on a bier before the Stuhlherr,
his arms folded on his breast, palms joined together with the fingers pointed
upward; the face, breast and arms bare, and the rest of the corpse shrouded in
a winding sheet of fine linen, so that if blood should flow from any place
which was covered, it could not fail to be instantly seen, it being the belief
at that time that the corpse of a murdered person would bleed on the touch or
at the approach of the murderer. At the head of the bier stood the challenger,
and at the foot, the defender.
The suspected person then
approached the bier, taking the following oath.
"By all that was created in
seven days and seven nights, by heaven, by hell, by my part of paradise and by
the God and Author of all, I am free and sackless of the bloody deed done upon
the corpse before which I stand and on whose breast I make the sign of the
cross, an evidence of my appeal and innocence."
Summons to the accused was
not generally served personally on him, but secretly nailed to his door or
some other neighboring place; the citation allowed him six weeks and three
days grace, and was thrice repeated.
If the accused appeared,
judgment was given according to the evidence; if he did not appear, he was
declared outlawed (Vogel-frei). This declaration was quickly made known to the
whole body, and the Freischoeffe who was the first to meet the condemned was
bound to put him to death by hanging. A dagger marked with the secret letters
"S. S. G. G." of the Heimliche Acht, signifying Stock, Stein, Gras, Grein
(stick, stone, grass and grain), was laid by the corpse as a sign that
judgment had been executed by the Secret Tribunal.
A power so formidable, from
which the most powerful princes were not exempt, soon raised the hostility of
those who feared becoming its victims, as well as those who saw in it an
engine of terrible oppression, and in the fifteenth century an association was
formed among the free cities and princes of Germany to resist the free judges,
and to require that the trial of accused persons should take place in the
open. Maximilian I., A. D. 1495, established a new criminal code, which
materially weakened the Vehmgerichte. In the sixteenth century they were
brought under the jurisdiction of ordinary courts, and although robbed of all
its old impressive forms, it still survived into the beginning of the
nineteenth century, when finally abolished in 1811 by order of Jerome
Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. The last Freischoeffe, Graf Engelhard, died in
1835 at Worl, in Westphalia.
In 1874, when the judiciary
system of Germany was reformed, a branch of this system, before which minor
civil cases are tried, was named a Schoeffengericht, consisting of one
presiding judge and two Schoeflen, and so far as I know these courts are still
THE GREAT LIGHT SYMBOLISM
1. This sacred symbol you
In high esteem as your
Since to our craft throughout
It is the Great Masonic
2. Though we may differ in
And fail in doctrine to
The men of this, and every
Accept its pure morality.
3. Within its pages you can
Those living principles of
Which can your daily walk
With deeds of clear fraternal
4. I charge you to revere
And heed its teachings night
Since on our altar it is
To guide us in the better
5. We cannot dictate as to
Nor here discuss the many
Which earnest, thoughtful
minds have framed,
To meet the world's religious
6. But we are taught within
To take each brother by the
And urge him with a solemn
By this great light to always
7. If from our sacred altar
The infidel or libertine,
Could wrest this Book of
The grandest code the race
8. That light that has for
To guide Freemasons on their
Then we no longer could
The freedom which we claim
9. But just as long as we can
Its golden rays of truth and
The Craft thereby may hope to
To yonder Lodge in heaven
10. Guard then this great
The guiding symbol of our
Defend it as you would the
That now enfolds your native
11. Live by its teachings
till you go
To that bright home beyond
Where you shall evermore
A blessed immortality.
--N. A. McAulay.
BY BRO. LEWIS A. McCONNELL,
THE making of Masons "at
sight" is held up by a number of writers to be the prerogative of Grand
Masters, a special right which they enjoy which is not enjoyed by the other
members of the fraternity; a right which was granted to them, either ancient
legislation, or exists by reason of the toleration of a custom, or by means of
a combination of both; if such right exists, then it is not only the right,
but also the duty of a Mason to inquire as to its source, since all rights
enjoyed by certain specially selected individuals which are not granted to
others, must have been granted to the possessor by a power superior to
It is most logically and
undisputedly set forth by Thomas Paine in that inimitable treatise upon human
liberties, entitled "The Rights of Man," that there are certain rights which
belong to each individual of which there exists no power to deprive him, and
that such rights are possessed by every other individual without distinction;
that such rights are not inherited or handed down from one generation to
another by legislation of a past generation which the present generation has
not the right to repeal; but that the descendents of each generation possess
the right to legislate for themselves regardless of the acts of past
generations, even though such past enactments may be framed so as to bind
themselves "and their heirs forever," language which has often been used for
the purpose of binding upon an unwilling future generation, the force of its
It cannot be a question which
admits of any doubt that a Grand Master gets his rights as such, whatever they
may be, not from the same source from which each individual secures those
rights which are admitted to belong to all men, but from a special authority,
and one which is superior to himself; for it is impossible to imagine a right
granted from an inferior power to a superior one, or for an individual without
such authority, to invest himself with rights which other individuals may not
He then secures such rights
from the general body of Masonry which had the power and right to promulgate
and adopt the constitutions and regulations under which his power exists, the
power of such body necessarily including the power to alter or amend any
enactment which it originally had the power to promulgate.
It therefore had the right to
require an adherence to ancient customs and usages, and to point out and
declare what were the ancient landmarks to which such requirements refer; and
any future Grand Lodge, being no less a power than any preceding one, has the
power to enact that its members shall adhere to such regulations, or to any
other regulations which it may see fit to set forth; but unless this later
Grand Lodge sanctions the enactments of a preceding one they cannot be binding
upon the present body of Masonry, unless it be true that one generation has
the right to legislate for a future one, which is plainly demonstrated not to
be true; and inasmuch as "truth is a divine attribute and the foundation of
every virtue" which Masonry professes to believe and sustain, we cannot admit
the principle of inherited rights or inherited powers.
Masonry very properly aims to
keep in sight the ancient landmarks of the fraternity, and yet, by some means
or other a number of customs have been introduced into the order which are by
no means ancient although some of them date back to a considerable length of
time, and which have been attempted to be set up as ancient landmarks; yet
whether or not they are such, it is the right of the present generation to
adopt them if it chooses, or to discard them, such customs possessing no
"hereditary" right to exist.
Great care being deemed
necessary in the selection of material from which to make Masons, enactments
have been universally made as to the requirements of the candidate, the
methods of his application for membership, the length of time necessary for
committees to examine as to his fitness, the necessity for the unanimous
consent of the particular lodge to which the application is made, the length
of time necessary to be allowed between his taking one degree and his
eligibility for the next, in order that he may become proficient before being
allowed to advance further.
Can a candidate who has been
given the three degrees "at sight" be said to have made suitable proficiency
in the preceding degrees? Has he complied with the requirements as to the time
given for an examination as to his qualification so that his being worthy and
well qualified may not be a matter of doubt ? Has he been given the time
necessary in which to post himself in one degree before being admitted to
another, as required ? Has he passed a clear ballot in the lodge in which he
is to be introduced after thirty days notice? If all these cannot be answered
in the affirmative, in what degree of consistency can any one uphold the
practice on the ground of ancient landmark, since the custom violates some of
the most important landmarks which are known to the order?
If there are any landmarks
seriously necessary for the good government of the order, these, which are
universal and unquestioned, should be considered as such, while the making of
a Mason "at sight" denies their importance and violates that divine attribute,
truth, which is one of the tenets of our profession which regards all men as
being equal, entitled to equal rights only, and for the support of which we so
particularly specialize as to the requirements of a candidate, and which we
recklessly violate when we make a Mason "at sight." And if for our authority
we claim an inherited right to do so regardless of the consent of the present
governing power, we then also violate the principles of truth, for we have
demonstrated that it is not true that such rights as inherited ones exist.
We therefore, with the excuse
of the permission of a shadowy landmark, by no means well defined nor
universally admitted, violate several prominent landmarks of the order of
which there is no question whatever !
Let us take a brief review of
the list of eleven persons made Masons "at sight" at various times, shown in
the article in the February number. Two are princes, three are Dukes, one of
whom was afterward Emperor of Germany, one a President of the United States,
two are Governors of States, one a British Captain at sea and the position of
the other three not given.
Now the principal excuse for
making Masons "at sight" is that it is an "emergency" measure, although in but
two of the cases above is an "emergency" shown, and those not vital to the
carrying out of the usual custom of Freemasonry in the regular manner.
In no less than three of the
cases it is plainly admitted that no emergency existed, as the Grand Master of
Pennsylvania claimed as a reason for the act, that he did not wish the custom
to become obsolete; while the Grand Master of Maryland explains that he has
done it "as much for the purpose of not having the custom become dormant as
for any other reason."
This sounds very much like a
reason which might be advanced by a tyrannical monarch who claimed an
inherited right of some kind not given him by divine law, as a "prerogative"
of which he was in fear that his subjects would see the folly of and deprive
him, unless he exercised it occasionally so as to accustom them to submission
to his claim!
When future generations of
Masons look over such lists, it might be that they would occasionally see a
case where plain John Jones or William Smith, a poor but worthy man,
supporting a large family and unable to spare the time from his daily toil
without loss to them, was for this reason made a Mason "at sight"; not by
virtue of an imaginary inherited right, but by the exercise of a virtue
warranted by the exercise of Masonic charity which might explain the
irregularity. But when they find only that such violations of Masonic
principles have never yet been done as an act of Masonic grace, and that the
Duke of Flubdub, the Marquis Folde-rol or the Maharajah of Singapore, have
been singled out as recipients of such special favor, they may well be led to
doubt the sincerity of the craft in its professions of making no distinctions
between the exalted and the lowly.
But if it should so be that
the prerogative of making Masons "at sight" should be generally regarded as an
ancient landmark, which it is doubtful that the majority of Masonic scholars
will admit, then such landmark, if such it be, should be placed side by side
with another noted landmark which was boldly set aside by the Grand Lodge of
England in 1723, because it restricted religious liberty and was, in the
opinions of writers of today, "a violation of the fundamental farshining
principles of Freemasonry." (I quote from Joseph Fort Newton). And the same is
certainly true of the custom, claimed by a few as a "prerogative right,"
sustained by virtue of a dim, shadowy and questionable authority, exercised at
times, not for expediency, but for the purpose of permanently foisting its
practice upon the fraternity, and then chiefly upon those who have been raised
to affluence in the world's affairs.
Does a "prerogative" allow me
to change the meaning of words, so as to conform with somebody's imaginary
special right? What is the meaning of the term "regular" ? Am I allowed to
recognize as a Mason one who has not, after all, been regularly initiated, or
is making a Mason "at sight" the "regular" method of initiating Masons?
It may be claimed that in
certain cases, unless this prerogative had been exercised, Masonry would have
been deprived of the influence and services of a number of worthy, well
qualified and gracious persons who would have been a benefit and ornament to
Masonry, thus incurring a loss to the fraternity. My answer is that nothing
can be lost that has not been previously possessed. How much did Masonry lose
by the fact that Abraham Lincoln never joined it? His life was such as to
exalt the very principles advocated and sustained by the teachings of the
craft, and thus was positive benefit to it, perhaps, to just as great an
extent as if he had been a Mason; because he furthered the exercise, by his
example, of those virtues which we encourage and revere. If a man believes in
the principles of a certain political party, enters into its work and furthers
its objects, the party has sustained no loss by reason of his never joining
its political clubs and organizations and placing his name on their records;
but has been an actual gainer by his encouragement and vote. Thus Masonry, by
the exercise of its principles by the immortal Lincoln, has been a gainer, and
therefore all we lack from his not being a member, is the pride we might have
had, but have not now, of being able to boast of our connections, of being
able to say "See that great man! He is one of us. Are we not proud?"
On the other hand, if the
Masons who joined the order "at sight" became Masons of their own free will
and accord, each one, in all probability, would have done so in the regular
manner; and if his zeal and respect for the order were not sufficient for
this, it is easy to see how little would have been the loss if he had never
joined the order at all.
Considering the whole
question in any light in which I have been able to view it, the so-called
right of a Grand Master to confer degrees in any other than the regular
manner, is not only useless, unauthorized and contradictory, but it is an
actual injury to the good name and well being of the fraternity, and if any
regulation exists which permits this practice, it should be abolished.
Think not, O
man, that thou art free,
prison walls detain
of thy will,
sentry stands on guard
To curb thy
For thee the
palace doors fly wide,
porter takes thy cloak
servants bow their pride;
commands the church,
high‑sent priests are dumb,
Nor dare to
lift God's light
To show thee
who thou art, nor speak
thou feelest in thy heart.
Thou art not
free, though armies at thy will
earth and sow red hate,
and princes call thee great.
For thee the
Nameless Terror walks,
strong justice locks thee in
outraged conscience talks.
Thou art not
free till God's great love is thine,
And then - no
prison walls detain
sparkling bayonets gleam -
soul is free,
For thou hast
poem Joaquin Miller wrote was composed by hims on Friday after he knew that
death was near. "This is my last message to the world," he told his wife to
whom he gave the paper on which he had laboriously penciled these lines.)
Could I but
teach man to believe,
Could I but
make small men to grow,
To break the
frail webs that weave
thews and bind them low;
Could I but
sing one song and lay
Grim Doubt, I
then could go my way
silence, glad, serene
from off the scene;
But, ah! this
disbelief, this doubt,
This doubt of
God, this doubt of good,
spot will not out.
learn to know one little flower,
perfect form and hue ?
thou have one perfect hour
Of all years
that come to you?
Then grow as
God hath planned, grow
A lordly oak
or daisy low,
As He hath
set his garden; be
thou are, or grass or tree.
up in heaven laid,
sure ascending soul,
life - be not afraid.
THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED
toiled, the builders, fitting well
blocks of equal shape and size
one quarry, that to heaven should rise
temple where their god might dwell,
above all gods of heaven or hell.
And as they
wrought in that long‑vanished day,
even blocks, a curious stone
Came to their
hands, for which no use was known;
Not like the
ones they used, nor shaped as they,
seemed, and so was flung away.
had touched it, but from glow
primeval fires 'twas flaming cast;
into rugged form, at last
by many waters to and fro,
Shaped as the
tide swings and the tempests blow.
hands its symmetry had wrought;
earth blind, saw not how passing fair
stone unlike all others there!
Saw not that
all life's secrets it had caught,
the thing for which they sought.
But when at
length the pyramid had grown
upon terrace to the sky,
could fill the summit's vacancy
was placed, majestic and alone,
Head of the
corner, the rejected stone!
- New York
By Bro. A.B. Leamer, IOWA
THE Altar has always had a
conspicuous place in the religious life of the peoples of all ages. The Ark
was the Altar that the Children of Israel carried with them on their nomadic
wanderings. Heathen, Hebrew and Christian alike have made much of the Altars
erected to their gods and it has ever been the shrine toward which religious
people have turned their faces and offered their prayers when in the act of
worship; and upon it they have offered up their oblation of praise and
The earliest altars were
built of unhewn stone, the idea prevailing that to use a hammer upon them
would pollute them; therefore in building their altars to Deity the ancients
threw up an altar of crude stone and upon this they placed their offerings of
incense and sacrifice.
The Altar was also a place of
refuge. Upon each corner of the altar was a horn and any one fleeing from the
wrath of his enemies would run and lay hold on one of these horns knowing that
he would be saved from destruction at the hands of the pursuers, and would
receive justice at the hands of those whose duty it was to deal out justice.
In early religious services it was the custom of the priests and the people to
move about the Altar as the sun passes about in his orbit, rising in the East,
passing to the South by way of the West, and as they passed they sang their
songs of praise, chanted their psalms and poured forth their peons of
thanksgiving to the deity that they worshipped; thus it is with Masonry, we
pass from youth to our meridian glory into the mellowing twilight to meet our
God at His Altar.
The center of all our
religious life and thought, and of all our ceremonial life and thought, is the
altar. In all of these rites, whether they be religious, ceremonial or
fraternal, the altar has ever held the central place; thus it becomes the
place where Jehovah dwells, from beneath which flow the waters of life for the
strengthening of the nations and the comfort of men. It is, then, more than
simply a table upon which we place the sacred writings, or the Holy Bible; it
is a sacred place, about which is gathered all the life and teachings
contained in the ceremonies.
Thus should the Altar impress
us with its sacredness and cause our minds to dwell upon the Creator of the
universe, and it should also lead the contemplative Mason to view the
ceremonies in which he engages with seriousness and reverence.
The old altar was one for the
burning of incense and the offering of sacrifice. The new altar is one of
devotion and sacrifice upon which we place the living sacrifice of our lives,
not to be burned, but to be consumed by service to God and man. Hereon the
candidate should lay his passions and his vices as an oblation to Deity, while
he offers up the thoughts and devotions of a pure heart as a fitting incense
to the Grand Architect of the soul.
The Altar is the holy place
in our great Masonic institution. We should therefore look upon it in its true
meaning, and when we see it standing in the center of the Lodge, with the Holy
Bible thereon bearing our great jewels, our minds ought instinctively turn to
a contemplation of God and His mercy, and we should be truer and better men
and Masons, and more loyal Sons of God.
BY BRO. HAROLD A. KINGSBURY,
THE CAUSE; THE MENACE; THE
We have in the Craft many
brethren who have been termed "Watch-Charm Masons." That is, brethren to whom
Masonry means but little more than the privilege of wearing a charm, button or
jewel- -men who have but little or no understanding of what Masonry really is,
for what it really stands, and what it really teaches.
This class of Masons may be
divided into two groups or types:--(1) Those who joined merely out of a desire
to wear a Masonic charm, and (2) those who affiliated out of a real desire to
become true Masons but, since affiliation, have never had the opportunity of
being started with understanding on the search for Masonic Light.
The first type owes its
existence to the fact that the members of a lodge cannot always accurately
gauge the motives which actuate an applicant for the degrees. The menace of
this type is that the brethren of it, not understandingly observing that in
the square and compass the triangle of the Spiritual dominates the square of
the Material, that the double-headed eagle bears the Delta upon its heads, and
that the Templars' charm carries the Passion Cross, are prone to make little
or no effort to live the symbolism that they wear, and in-so-far as they fail
to live that symbolism, then in-so-far do they fail to uphold and advance the
Craft. The partial cure--there probably is no complete cure--is to endeavor to
gauge yet more carefully than is now done, the motives of applicants.
We are not, here, primarily
concerned with this type and so let us dismiss it and hereafter consider the
second type, i. e., those who have the desire to become true Masons but need
to be started upon their way with understanding.
The existence of this second
group, or type, is due to several causes. The primary cause, and the only one
here considered, is this:--Very few, either of the officers or of the lay
brethren of our lodges, think so far as to instruct new members--or old ones
either-- in the veiled and underlying meaning of Masonry and Masonic
Symbolism. That is, few of the brethren who are--or at least ought to
be--informed bethink themselves to make an effort to conduct their less well
informed brethren "behind the scenes" of the lodge work and the monitorial
instructions. Of those to whom the idea does occur many answer their
promptings to instruct with, "Well I know so little I guess Brother A won't
miss much if he doesn't hear from me." Yet most of us can remember that, in
our early Masonic life, even a hint of the underlying meaning of the work or a
suggestion of a book to read would have been good for us and, in most cases,
The menace of this state of
affairs is that this primary cause has become self-perpetuating and, unless
counteracted, will undermine the foundations of the Craft. That is, it is
raising up a large body of brethren who are mere ritualists. For example:--How
--many Worshipful Masters today are moved to give a course of lectures similar
to, say, Oliver's "Signs and Symbols" ? To be sure it might be replied "How
many were there in Oliver's day?" But the point is this;-- many lectures along
the line of Oliver's are now available to any Master and why shouldn't each
Master be moved to at least read the printed page to his Lodge ?
These well-meaning, and
often-times ardent, non-understanding Masons of this "Type II" are just the
brethren who, simply because of their enthusiasm for Masonry, very frequently
become officers of our lodges and so become those to whom the new brother
naturally looks for instruction--which he does not, and cannot, get from that
source. The harmful results of such a condition are many. Any thinking Mason
can find many incidents in his own experience. For example:--
I once asked a recently made
Master Mason if any part of the work seemed, to him, to teach immortality of
the soul. He answered "No." And he is a well educated, quick-thinking young
man too--one who needed but a hint and a suggestion to start him right. He is
an enthusiastic reader of "The Builder" now. But--and here lies the
trouble--no member of the lodge to which he belonged had ever asked him that
Again, I have frequently been
asked by young Masons--and older ones too--"Why can't a Jew be a Mason ?" And
in more than one case, after I had carefully explained that whether an
applicant were a Jew or not had absolutely nothing to do with the question of
his admission, I would get the reply "Well I don't understand, for So-and-So
Lodge won't let them in." Now clearly such a condition comes from a failure of
certain brethren to grasp the true scope of Masonry and those who asked the
questions were just the ones who, unless faced understandingly in the right
direction, and directed to proper Masonic literature or the like, would have
helped to make, all unwittingly, another unmasonic lodge.
These two incidents are given
merely to show (1) a case in which a brother failed to understand what Masonry
ought to mean to him, and (2) a case in which a brother failed to understand
what Masonry ought to mean to others. And now as to the cure.
It would seem that every
brother having information ought to impart it. Not information as to whether,
in the lecture, "the" should be "the" and "a" should be "a," but real
information, such as books to read; courses of study to pursue; the meaning of
the work; the symbolism, particularly that which is obscure, and similar
matters. There is plenty of room for all kinds of teachings and teachers.
Elementary and incomplete teaching is better than no teaching at all, provided
that it arouses the learner and induces him to take up the study of Masonry.
Particularly does it behoove
every member of this Society, so far as his abilities and opportunities
permit, to teach, teach, and teach again. It gives pleasure to a member to
read, say, an article in "The Builder," but that article has done but a small
part of its work-- and the member has done none of his--if the member does not
impart his newly acquired, or refreshed, knowledge to some brother not so well
Let us, then, do each his
best to educate the "Watch-Charm Masons."
MAKER AND BUILDER
Therefore to whom turn I but
to Thee the ineffable name,
Builder and maker Thou of
houses not made with hands ?
What have fear of change from
Thee who art ever the same,
Doubt that Thy power can fill
the heart that Thy power expands ?
There shall never be one lost
good, what was, shall live as before.
The evil is null, is naught,
is silence implying sound;
What was good shall be good,
with for evil so much more good.
On earth the broken arcs, in
heaven the broken round.
"THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY"
CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL.
127. What is
the opinion of certain writers, relative to the five books of Moses and how do
they uphold their position ? 54‑1.
128. What was
found in the foundation steps to the pedestal of the Egyptian obelisk at
Alexandria, known as Cleopatra's Needle? Where is it now located ? 55‑1.
129. When did
a London Lodge adopt regulations extending its privileges to other professions
and what religions were admitted? 56.
130. Who may
participate in the society of Freemasons ? 56.
131. What is
the meeting of a lodge called and what do the three principal officers
represent? Page 58.
Masonic Laws are unique among secret Societies ? 58‑1.
133. What is
an inviolable law of Masonry ? 59‑1.
does Charles Whitlock Moore of Massachusetts say in regard to the study of
Freemasonry same as any other science? Page 100.
135. What of
Masonry and Masons prior to 1000 B. C.? 106.
136. Give the
date of the reorganization of the Craft and the establishment of the Grand
Lodge of England? What did it then become and what was its aim ? 108.
discovery was made, when removing the Egyptian obelisk from Alexander to
Central Park, New York City? 55‑1. How is this strong evidence accepted by
many?; 55. What disposition was made of the stones and emblems showing Masonic
signs ? 55.
138. What is
the author's purpose in publishing this book? 55‑2 56.
distinguished original historical Masonry from the traditional? 56‑1 On whom
was it conferred ? 56‑1. Why ? 56‑1.
140. When and
where was adopted a regulation extending its privileges to men of different
professions ? 56. Under what conditions? 55. With what result? 56.
141. What is
known of Sir Albert Pike as Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council of
the Scottish Rite? 32‑1.
142. Who had
informed the Pope as to the falsity of the stories about Albert Pike ? 36‑2.
143. What has
been the purpose of the author in presenting "The Story of Freemasonry?"
144. What is
the fourth specification? 83‑1.
diplomacy a place in the Council of Rome ? 40‑2.
146. What is
said of the race prejudice in Germany? What is said of the true spirit of
Freemasonry, in relation to Race Prejudice? 74‑1‑2.
147. What is
the meeting of a lodge called? 58. What requirement is absolutely necessary
for every candidate for its degrees? 58. How accepted? 59 What other law goes
with this requirement and with what result? 59. What is said of a Mason's
148. What is
required of candidate for Freemasonry before admittance? 86‑1.
149. In what
spirit and by whom were the several Papal edicts, epistles and allocutions
issued against Freemasons ? 23‑1.
150. How does
the Papacy regard Freemasonry? 23. What has been the effect on Masons of these
sweeping and bitter attacks upon the character and influence of Freemasonry by
the Roman Catholic Churc 26.
movement originated among American Catholic Churches ? 38. What decision was
announced by the Holy See in January, 1895? 38. Name the Societies condemned.
39. Why? 39.
course for the further study of Masonry remains for those who are not content
with the Primary methods adopted in "The Story of Freemasonry?" 114.
tribute did Cunningham give Masonry ? 86‑3.
does Benjamin Franklin say of Freemasonry ? 88.
155. Of what
grades is the Scottish Rite composed ? 69‑1 70‑1‑2‑3 71‑1.
156. Name the
ineffable Grades of the Lodges of Perfection. 69.
157. What is
necessary for the eligibility of every applicant for the Scottish Rite ? 69‑1.
158. What is
the status of Scottish Rite Masonry at the present time? 69‑1.
159. When and
where was the Supreme Council of the 33d degree of Scottish Rite Masonry
opened in America? What number of degrees are conferred under its jurisdiction
founded the Knights of Labor and the Grand Army of the Republic and what
caused the abandonment of the Pope's attempt to restrain Catholics from
joining same? 40‑1.
161. What is
said of the origin of Scottish Rite Masonry and who became its patron ? 67‑2
162. Who was
Leo Taxil and why did he write Anti‑Masonic Books? 28‑29.
damaging admissions did Leo Taxil make, relative to "Diana Vaughn" in his
so‑called revelations of Freemasonry and his false stories about Albert Pike ?
164. In what
did Leo Taxil see a field of revenue and the humiliation of the Roman Catholic
Church and how did he obtain that result ? 99‑1.
165. What is
said of Leo Taxil's Masonic career and how did he represent the crafts 29‑1.
166. What did
Leo Taxil write on Female Masons ? 29‑1.
charge did Leo Taxil make in another publication and by whom denied? 30‑1
inspired Leo Taxil to add Spiritualism to his schedule of Masonic practices
and beliefs, and how did the Pope Leo XII reward him? 31‑2.
falsifications did Leo Taxil publish of high grade Masonry ?
Leo Taxil's proposition in the Anti-Masonic Congress at Trent in 1896? What
was he required to do? 34‑2.
171. How did
Leo Taxil explain his actions ? 37‑1
effect did Leo Taxil's admissions have upon his audience as well as the church
173. What was
the result of the publication of Leo Taxil's voluminous works, false as they
were ? 34‑2.
174. What did
Leo Taxil say the public made him and what did he say about the crimes he laid
at the door of Freemasonry? 37.
175. What was
the nature of the movement which originated among American Catholics a short
time prior to the Leo Taxil episode, and what resulted therefrom ? 38‑1.
does the Society of Freemasonry teach ? 18‑1.
177. When and
where was the Anti‑Masonic Congress called and did their commission succeed in
establishing proof of the existence of Diana Vaughn ? 34‑2.
178. What do
you know of the story of Diana Vaughn ? 32.
179. How many
women were received into Freemasonry ? 83‑1.
180. Why are
women not admitted into Freemasonry ? 82‑1.
far, dim mystery withdrawn
Graal long since was caught away;
No man there
breathes so hardy as to say
or to tell when day shall dawn
radiance upon lea and lawn,
long lost Hallow to display.
blest for which the hermits pray,
might give their very life in pawn.
Yet in dark
thickets of the heart of man,
forms and phantoms of the night,
glory of eternity
stone those beings under ban;
the wilderness amid that light
pageant of the Graal goes by.
- C. L. Ryley.
THE BOOR OF
Time is a
river - books are the boats,
wrecked and lost from the floats,
Only a few -
the testings endure,
The Bible and
Shakespeare, these I am sure
Will live on
in all ages and lands,
Not lost on
the shore, nor hid in the sands.
This book has
come to us from the dark past,
light in its pathway first and last,
A message it
brings to you and me,
Spirit of the
inestimable gift of God to man, -
Guide of our
faith in the Great I Am.
On this Book
of books our faith relies,
A help to
those who open their eyes
To its pages
of truth, and not despair,
Nor pause to
weep in the silence there,
hearts uplifted - souls rejoice
In songs of
praise by an Angel voice.
Time is a
river - books are the rafts
its currents like arrow shafts.
volumes, great and small
Bible is above them all.
beginning the word was truth,
The Alpha and
Omega in age or youth.
The long Gulf
Stream of Brotherhood,
hearts in northern latitude,
The pilot of
the ship that sails,
His chart -
the Bible which never fails;
and his star shall be
headlight on the trackless sea.
waters faileth from the sea,
decayeth and dry land shall be,
sound of the grinding is low,
And man to
his long, long home shall go,
then shall lift the darkened pall,
And faith and
hope shall triumph over all.
- Odillan R.
not unlike other human institutions: it will not stand merely by its own
virtue. If it lacks the loyalty, courage, and strength to defend itself when
attacked, it must perish as certainly as if it possessed no virtue whatsoever.
Without acceptance of this principle Democracy is merely an imposture.
Battle. F. S. Oliver.
NOTE. - As
stated in the July issue of The Builder, Brother Robert I. Clegg of Cleveland,
Ohio, has accepted Brother Newton's invitation to write the editorials and
take charge of the questions and correspondence incidental to this number.
Brother Clegg's rare knowledge of and insight into things Masonic have had
ample demonstration in the past, to our Members, and it is a pleasure to
welcome his genial personality into this column. Geo. L. Schoonover,
CHETWODE CRAWLEY, LL. D., DC. L.
captivating personality ever rose in the firmament of Freemasonry than Brother
Crawley. He was Grand Treasurer of Ireland, a member of the Supreme Council,
Dean of the University of Dublin, and many other honors were his.
contributor to the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum he was known all over this world of
ours as a Masonic scholar of high degree. Thousands of miles from home there
were Grand Lodges proud to do him honor and to confer upon him such merited
distinction as was within their power to grant.
correspondent he was at the call of any one of us, no matter the official
prominence of him who wrote. Full of keen wit, brimming with information from
his abundant store of facts, brilliant with a literary style that adorned all
it touched, his letters were cherished in all lands. With what courtesy he
dignified argument and with what genial fellowship he corrected the erring!
of utterance he was a modern Mackey. He was not content with the plain
statement as was Hughan but weaved the graces of rhetoric freely into the
fabric of his recorded research. Few can follow continuously for long distance
reading the cool mathematical precision of Gould but Crawley was ever an
enchanter and in his lively company the path of progress was appealing with
pleasure and profit.
his eyes but never dimmed his mental vision. His hands grew feeble but his
grip no less friendly. As an ideal examplar of the Man Masonic he blazed a
way, even unto the last, abounding in good works.
He is dead.
His glorious sun has set. On March the thirteenth of this year Masonic
students everywhere lost the brightest of their number. Eternal Peace be his!
* * *
ARABIC ORDER NOBLES MYSTIC SHRINE
One of our
correspondents tells us that the name of the "Shrine" was by no means selected
in any haphazard method. Take the initials A.A.O.N.M.S. Transposed, these
letters are capable of being arranged into "A Mason."
"This is not
the result of accident for the Shrine founders were not limited to any certain
words or to any particular title in choosing a name for the new organization.
I am assured that they evolved the cabalistic initials after considerable
The idea of
the brother appeals to us. We sincerely trust the facts are as our informant
declares. That all "Shriners" are Masons is patent to all and we like to
believe that the several degrees received on the road to the Shrine have
further impressed the lessons of the first three.
indeed be a pleasing conviction to be assured beyond all possible doubt that
the founders selected the name with the avowed purpose of emphasizing the term
But if that
was the case how comes it that the fact is not better known? If it had that
impressive significance at the start why was it so soon forgotten? Granted,
for the sake of argument, that the words are intended to teach an important
lesson in themselves and it seems strange that the matter should so soon fade
from general recollection.
While we are
discussing the "Shrine" we are reminded that recently there came to our desk a
circular advertising a "History of the Shrine, giving the origin and history
of the Order from the year of the Hegira 25 (A.D. 644), at Mecca in Arabia."
On the contrary we had a letter about the same time from an Orientalist of
repute and a devoted Mason who stated that in his travels abroad he had made
careful study and that the Shrine was in his opinion the work wholly of
Brothers Florence, Fleming and their associates with some assistance perhaps
gained from a reading of the Koran.
probably equally well informed have so little in common in their rendering of
the points at issue there is ample opportunity for some of our members to
unravel the truth from this uncertainty. Did the Shrine result from the labor
of recent or remote years? Was it born of the devotion of a few whole-souled
Masons less than fifty years ago or did they merely give it a further lease of
* * *
research may be tried on the batch of certificates and of receipts that a
Mason is supposed to have within easy reach. At present there is no uniformity
to them. They are of all sizes and kinds.
If all the
receipts were alike in dimensions and if they carried such certification as
would meet the requirements of all Masonic bodies, then it would be an easy
thing to put them all into the one holder for safe keeping. That would be
convenient though bulky if the brother was a member of most of the bodies and
had a complete collection of documents.
of the writer of these lines are some of his Masonic certificates that were
evidently designee for framing. By no possibility could they be put into small
compass. One is about two feet long, and a second is but little less. The
various traveling certificates are usually too large for comfort in the pocket
though excellent for framing as wall decorations. Life membership certificates
are rarely of small measurements and therefore do not seem to be designed for
pocket purposes of any sort.
One lodge has
a neat receipt for dues that has on one side a miniature reproduction of its
charter and a concise certificate of the bearer's standing and of the lodge's
legitimacy. The whole thing is folded once in a final total area of not more
than two inches in any direction.
"Shrine" has adopted a card of uniform size there might be an advantage as
already stated if this size were more generally duplicated by other
A still more
radical plan has occured to us and that is to use a single piece of say
parchment or Japanese vellum or any tough thin paper. On this would be such a
compact certificate as would be acceptable in Lodges working under Grand
Lodges requiring these documents to be shown by visitors.
On the same
sheet there would be a space in which there could be printed some similar line
of notification as "The Bearer is also a member of the following Masonic
bodies and his dues are paid to the dates as witnessed by these seals." In the
spaces left for the seals so mentioned there would be affixed adhesive stamps
each bearing the date of the dues paid, the name and address of the Secretary,
the seal, and location of the Masonic body to which it referred.
beginning of the year the member on paying his dues to the Lodge would receive
the above described receipt. On paying his dues to the other bodies he would
be furnished with the stamps and these placed in the prescribed location where
they belonged would be neat and in very small compass, no larger anyway than
the seal impressed upon them.
A plan of
this description would reduce the difficulties already discussed and would
avoid the trouble of handling the individual receipts. Loss of any one
certificate or receipt is always an annoyance but once the stamps are securely
attached there would be but the single document to handle.
comprehensive document might be fitted to the card case and be constantly
within reach. How many times has a Mason away from home, and perhaps while he
was in his home city, failed to go to a Masonic meeting because he could not
lay his hand on some missing piece of paper.
* * *
there came to the preparation room of a Lodge in a leading city, a Lodge of
prominence in all particulars save one, a candidate for the Degrees of
Masonry. Many of his friends were zealous Craftsmen. Several relatives had
held office in the mystic circle. He himself had long had a most favorable
impression of the fraternity and nothing but circumstances beyond his control
had hitherto prevented his application being acted upon. Now he was able to go
satisfaction and with very great seriousness he presented himself for
initiation. From his boyhood onward there flashed across his mind all that he
had heard and imagined of the secret ceremonials. Its undoubted age set the
"work" in a unique category.
question Freemasonry must be the inheritor of ancient customs well calculated
to permanently impress important truths. What a fund of philosophy was in
store! What magic of psychological application was in prospect !
reasoned. His outlook was not without foundation. Each of us knows the facts.
And the Lodge had high repute. Its Master had twice occupied the East. Of
mature experience he was a workman of renown. Years previously he had been
presiding officer of that very Lodge, recently a sudden death in the line of
Wardens had brought him again into the chair of authority. In other branches
of Masonic activity he was also a ritualistic expert. His surroundings in the
immediate personnel of co‑workers, and in the beautiful accessories of the
Temple itself, were all calculated to reaffirm and to deepen the labor of the
controlling genius, the Worshipful Master.
defect was there. As the candidate influenced by his preliminary training came
unto the preparation room his mind was as plastic wax, ready for the thorough
and prompt retention of whatever impression might be applied. To him came the
Stewards, "Good Fellows" in all that the term implies.
Constitutional Questions, solemn inherently were nevertheless made almost
perfunctory by careless reading, if not indeed rendered nugatory by complete
forgetfulness of the main object - preparation of the candidate's mind,
something beyond and above all other preparation.
listened to a conversation about goats and gridirons, pokers and other piffle.
Some mock sympathy was extended to him. There was general mirth. Dignified as
were the subsequent ceremonies, they had a big handicap.
away. The candidate in turn became an officer. As a Steward he attempted to
profit by the example once set before him and to improve upon it. As Master he
caused the position of Steward to be filled only by those whose diligence and
dignity were ever under constant dicipline.
had happened to himself he took no chances.
Committees of Investigation he also placed earnest, watchful and impressive
that the after ceremonies gain their greatest efficiency when there is most
complete suitability of the raw material he insisted that preparation must
begin long before the candidate reached the preparation room. In none other
manner may the labor of the officers accomplish maximum good.
THE CHOICE OF
A WORKING LIBRARY FOR A LODGE
the close of a torrid day. Record breaking temperatures have prevailed. Driven
from offices by the fierce heat as soon as the labor of business is relieved
we enjoy the out‑of‑doors. At last we are free of the four walls, floors and
ceilings. Here we breathe a purer air. Gone is the grind. Our four walls are
the very horizon. Sheltered are we by the sturdy trunk, the spreading
branches, and the luxuriant foliage of a splendid tree. Planted in an easy
chair we scan lazily the evening newspaper and then drowsily watch the setting
sun descend in a bronzypurplish gold of glorious hue.
Over on the
fence hangs a coat. Out of the pocket peep a letter or two. Forthwith these
missives are taken. A few sentences stick out of them beyond all the other
the 'Library.' " Too hot for libraries.
does he say? "Did Brother Newton send you any books to review?" No indeed! And
"I think that was very kind of Brother Newton," say we.
letter is here from headquarters. "Advises that he has written you concerning
the 'Library' column." Um, oh well, there seems no help for it. Something must
be done about that column "copy."
Ah, here's a
find! This is truly some letter. "I wish you would discuss the questions
arising out of the development, as well as the beginning, of the ordinary
Now that is
sure some inquiry and some job.
Mind you, he
does not ask for a suitable Library for an individual but one for many. There
is a difference. A brother picks out his own collection of books fol the home,
his individuality is shown to some extent in the selection. But in the choice
of a Lodge Library the circumstances are not quite the same, the books are
chosen for various persons of quite unlike tastes and requirements - that is,
if any plan is adopted at all.
lodges have a "working" Library ? Only the other day in the course of an
inventory, a Lodge Library was disclosed. There it was, back at the far end of
a property room. From the dust on the glass you would assume that the contents
of the case had not been touched for months or perhaps longer. How shall such
a Library be galvanized into life, given at least the semblance of vitality ?
Let us take a
look at the books of the ordinary Lodge Library. Mainly reports are they.
Seldom do you get beyond a collection of the doings of Grand Lodge
Communications and the other books or pamphlets coming from the same source.
These are most valuable for their purpose but they are limited, too much so
for the general infolmation of the brethren.
them with the best of encyclopedias written for Masons. The finest of Masonic
histories are none too good for the Lodge Library. If you are in doubt as to
which is the best to buy of these books for the Library, then resolve the
doubt by buying all whose merits arouse any conflict in your estimation.
upon the amount of money you have decided to devote to the Library. Already in
the columns of The Builder lists have been submitted for the most economical
of Lodge Libraries as well as for the more expensive. If you are in doubt then
tell us your individual desires, the expenditures you prefer to make, and The
Builder has a department that will cheerfully meet your requirements in every
several books not to be obtained in quantity as yet. In this class we need
sundry additions to the fiction of Kipling, Cobb, Burrill, Ellis, Kennedy,
Lloyd, and others. In this section, the Masonic Library books of relaxation,
we ought to have some music. Wesley, Sullivan, Mozart, the last in particular
deserves cultivation. Few indeed, altogether too few, are the musicians who
know that Brother Mozart wrote very fine compositions for Masonic uses. These
ought to be reproduced and cultivated.
Of course you
will have in your Lodge Library the first volume of The Builder and Brother
Pound's "Philosophy." You must not neglect these essential sources of data
arranged primarily for we Masons of America.
More than the
collecting of literature is the absorption thereof. How shall the encyclopedia
be analyzed? How shall we proceed with the synthesis of historical essays?
Truly it is
one thing to collect‑books, and quite another to make studious uses of them.
in the "Table of Contents." Get acquainted with the "Index." Here and there
you will find mention of something that excites your interest. Go after that
reference. Probably that first passage or chapter suggests another matter
closely correlated and which on again referring to the index you will see has
further treatment elsewhere in that book, or maybe you will run across the
subject in some other volume of the Library.
This is one
way to unearth the material in the books. An easy way it is, but not the most
satisfactory from sundry angles.
Let us look
at this matter fron another standpoint. Suppose we ask ourselves a few
questions. "What, for example, is a most important feature, not the most
important feature, mind you, of Freemasonry?" Among them you will probably
reply "Age." In this opinion you are absolutely correct. How is this view to
be confirmed or amended?
You can pry
this information out of the encyclopedia by a search along the following
lines: Adonis, Mysteries of; Cavern; Cabyric Mysteries; Chaldeans; Crusades;
Cologne, Charter of; Comacines; Culdees; Druidical Mysteries; Druses; Egyptian
Mysteries; Essenes; Guilds; Mysteries, Ancient; Osiris, Mysteries of; Orphic
Only the most
complete of Masonic encyclopedias will contain such profuse references. Take a
few notes of every one of these little essays. Put your extracts on cards.
When you have collected the set of references assemble them in the order of
the dates, that is chronologically. Now you have an assortment of facts giving
you the best of foundations when you allude to the antiquity of the Craft.
Bring up your
information to the inception of the Grand Lodge system. Consider the
circumstances attendant upon that departure. Investigate conflicting sources
of Masonic authority, particularly in this connection look up Lawrence Dermott
and his Grand Lodge, and of the steps whereby the United Grand Lodge of
England came into being. Meantime you will not overlook the history of your
own Grand Lodge nor the course of the stream down which its authority from
start to finish has flowed even unto your own Lodge.
is but one of the many alluring paths of Masonic research. Other delightful
directions are waiting. Pursue any of them.
thought is this: The degree to which Freemasons are informed determines
Masonic influence. Initiation points the way but only the studious walk
warm it is! Long since the sun sank out of sight. Darkness has fallen upon us.
Alone these rambling comments are jotted down under the lamp with the air
still sultry. Around are books galore. Many of them just ache to be reviewed.
Let them wait. Truest of friends are books. Neglect annoys them not. Bedtime
approaches and no opportunity is left for even a parting dip into any of them.
A regretful glance is all that now their covers may receive from us. Good
Think it all
through from end to end, visit every altar that man has uplifted in the midst
of the years, fathom every philosophy and every faith, and the solitary hope
of man in life and death rests upon his kinship with the Eternal - rests in
the truth that "the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord." - J.F.N.
TRUE FOR ALL
your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart,
is true for all men; that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it
shall be the universal sense; for always the inmost becomes the outmost, and
our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.
years, or maybe more,
had run a country store.
kind face, bewhiskered 'round,
From morn to
night there always found.
Save at his
meals, and short they were,
believed all food's savor
be to business scent;
neglected, custom went
were run more pleasingly,
creed of Jones was such;
and perhaps not much
about. And yet old Bill
traits his life to fill.
Of this I'll
tell you, for behold
came, the last sale sold
And the doors
were locked, Bill set
Out brisk for
home, and soon to get
Lodge. A Mason he,
must confess it be
No more than
right to say out loud
Jones was not
an expert overproud.
He had his
failings, poor old Bill.
have laughed, well nigh to kill,
Had you been
there when long agone
Bill a Deacon.
He tried so
hard to fill the place,
You could not
keep a straightened face,
his memory played him.
were so very slim
That he soon
tumbled and resigned
In favor of
another whose mind
kinks than Brother Bill
troubles with his will.
Did Bill get
mad and quit ? Why, no!
I guess he
felt a little raw,
enough to show it.
he, there was no quit
In good old
Bill's Masonic way.
Just where he
stood, he stood to stay.
There was no
office then for Bill;
somehow fail to fill
In an office
for such as these
rhetoric is not to please.
But Bill he
waited not for long.
His heart was
in the work. Among
his welcome hand
Was as the
glimpse of Promised Land.
face, his cheery nod
manners - maybe odd
at the outer door.
And in the
work done on the floor
They lent a
help of potent force.
admit, and quite of course,
Bill found a
bigger job his place
Than that he
left. By saving grace
rule it is, you bet
We often find
the work we get
Is not our
kind, and then it's easy
For any man
of brains to see
stop but not unkind
Providence nor sore in mind.
your place as does old Bill,
His feet don't chill!
official ? Oh, I say,
heart of Jones' there's light.
Many a day
has he a sight
Of the vision
that sometimes comes
In palaces or
hope and dry a tear,
faith and banish fear.
Live on, good
Bill! Thy joyous smile
us when here awhile
And bring us
happier to that bourne
no traveler may return.
- R.I. Clegg.
conquered all men,
Even to the
Of our wide
earth - Gonnoske Komai.
THE RITUAL OF
What is the
Ritual of Ancient Egypt, and is it in convenient book form? What does "V. S.
L." stand for? - G.R.D.
The Book of
the Dead, that Elder Brother among books, has been deemed a ritual. We do not
think that the researches of the various Egyptologists have exhausted the
possibilities in this direction and from time to time we hear of further
attempts to unlock the old mysteries. Some months ago our good Brother W. John
Songhurst, Secretary of the famous Quatuor Coronati Lodge at London sent us a
circular announcing a book on the ritual of ancient Egypt but we did not
preserve the slip. It may be that he can supply another if our correspondent
will send on his address to Brother Songhurst, 27 Great Queen Street, London,
W. C., England.
What is known
as the "Egyptian Rite" was mentioned by Brother Waite as having its ritual
printed in the columns of L'Initiation, a French publication. However, he did
not give the date.
and Primitive Rite of Memphis claims to be derived from Egypt. One of its
leaders, J.E. Marconis, has written a couple of treatises upon it in French,
and Gottlieb has a brief history of it in English. No complete exposition of
its many degrees has appeared to our knowledge.
means the Bible, the Volume of the Sacred Law.
* * *
THE ORDERS OF
enlighten me regarding the Five Orders of Architecture, the Doric, Ionic,
Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite. I would like to know if any actual
organization exists and also the name and address of the Secretary. - J.P.K.
By Order in
architecture is meant a system of all the members, proportions and ornaments
of columns and pilasters, or the arrangement of the projecting and visible
parts of a building, so united as to form an ideal and complete whole. The
word "order," it is true, is sometimes applied (as with fraternal
organizations) to a class or body of persons united in some common bond but we
are not aware of the existence of such an organization as our correspondent
has in mind, so far as we are able to understand the questions.
* * *
CHARTERED BY WHITE GRAND LODGE
I have been
informed that a colored lodge has a charter from a white Grand Lodge in the
State of New Jersey. Please give me what information you can on that subject.
- H. S. B.
A number of
years ago one of the lodges in that State admitted to membership several
applicants not of the white race. They were few in number and it would not be
strictly accurate to call that lodge by any designation that implies the
majority of the membership was colored. The complete facts are discussed in a
pamphlet printed by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey and which can doubtless be
obtained by communicating with the Grand Secretary, Bro. Benjamin F.
Wakefield, Masonic Temple, corner of State and Warren streets, Trenton, N. J.
in the United States are usually sharply divided on the color line, foreign
jurisdictions are seldom so limited. Under such conditions abroad it would not
be at all surprising to find a colored lodge chartered by a white Grand Lodge.
* * *
I am looking
for something on Knight Templarism, something along the line of a clear
exposition of the teachings and principles of the Institution. I do not care
for the history of the Institution but more for an elucidation of principles
and their application in daily life, something which will help us to educate
our members more clearly as to its true purpose, aside from the instructions
in the ritualistic work. - M.P.O.
us if we say that of all books of instruction that seem most pertinent to such
a need there is none that appeals to us as does the Bible itself. Almost any
of the epistles of Paul suggest the very material you seek. Read the second
chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians and right up to its very climax in the
twenty‑second verse it will surely appeal to the Knight Templar. Or go on to
the sixth chapter of the same epistle with its symbolism of the whole armor of
God and note its applicability to every soldier of the cross. So convenient is
the Book of Books and so inexhaustible are its riches for the purpose named
that we need offer none other source of instruction for the Templar's first
* * *
THE WAGES OF
A MASTER MASON
kindly answer the following question through The Builder: What are a Master
Mason's wages? -J.N.H.
The wages of
a Fellow Craft deal with the material satisfactions of life, the things of the
present. The wages of a Master Mason are to enjoy the happy reflections of a
well‑spent life and to die in the expectation of immortality, the hope of a
blessed hereafter. Ah, my brother, when you and I rehearse the ritualistic
work do we not read the lessons aright, to teach the initiate how to plan his
future conduct, how to order his work through a lifetime, and how to die.
These are the duties of him who gives the brethren good and wholesome
* * *
THE PLACE OF
lecture this statement is made "Buried as near the S. of S. or H. of H. as
Jewish law would permit." What Jewish law affected the burial of bodies, and
what distance did it prescribe? - J.W.
the dead body was deemed a cause of uncleanness among the Jews, something to
be avoided as much as possible. Obviously it was out of the question to bury
the dead in a place reserved for the entrance of the officiating High Priest
and he only at an annual visit. But on the other hand it was an indication of
great respect for the dead that a body be interred as close to the sacred
precincts as could be done without giving arise to the contamination already
mentioned. That this distance was specified in exact terms we do not discover.
The Biblical word "nigh" is a fair specimen of distance designation under such
OF THE APRON
I have had
the privilege of visiting in a few jurisdictions and apparently all agree on
the E.A. method although not fully explained to the candidate why. In the F.C.
it would seem to me that as workmen, the ancient apron being a garment of
utility, the fullest extension of the lower part would be most consistent, and
that the triangle shape is consistent for a Master or Overseer who is not
obliged to consider it a garment of utility necessarily. I have seen these two
methods reversed and would like to know a little more about the "whys" than my
present meagre facilities allow to me. - J.C.K.
triangular folding may signify either of two things: First, that state of
relief from the rough labor of the common workman that comes after the heat
and burden of the day, when, contented with his service, he seeks refreshment,
or it may mean that thenceforth he that so wears it is qualified for more
advanced work than when it was worn as a protection against uncleanliness or
attrition. Secondly, it reminds one of the shape of that tool of unity, the
peculiar implement of a Master Mason for harmony. Elsewhere than in the United
States this working tool is not so commonly employed and therefore we are
likely to find some variations in the manner in which it is here symbolized
and discussed. To this cause is it probable that the discrepancy may be
* * *
Burns as you
know was given a military funeral. Why it was not Masonic is a question which
I have asked several of my friends without satisfactory replies. One of them
was of the opinion that our present service was of later origin than the death
of Burns. Brother Brown, in your January issue, says: "While a youth he
(Burns) had witnessed a funeral conducted by the Institution of Masonry. That
sight he never forgot." Presumably Brother Brown knows how it was then
conducted and he may also have the information for which I am in search. One
other Question: - To what did Burns refer in the lines:
mystic word an' gri'
In storms an'
tempests raise you up,
Some cock or
cat your rage maun stop,
Brother you wad whip
to hell - C.M.S.
suggestion of the friend that the death of Burns antedated our Masonic funeral
ceremony does not seem to fit the facts. Burns died in 1796 while the
Constitutions of 1754 give instructions as to the conduct of funeral
processions and presumably other parts of the ceremonies were settled and
practiced long before the passing of Burns. That he should not have had a
Masonic funeral was probably due to the rule of the 1792 Constitutions which
provided that "No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order
unless it be by his own special request communicated to the Master of the
Lodge of which he died a member." How few of us arrange these things today,
and how likely it is that Burns overlooked then, as we might now overlook,
that provision of the Constitutions. The second question is much more
recondite. One immediately thinks of the relation of cock and cat to
necromancy and so forth. But we will submit the verse to our readers for their
* * *
AND THE VEDAS
What is the
"Talmud" and the "Vedas" and do you know if they can be purchased? Also is the
"Septuagint" the old Testament as we have it today ? - J.A.K.
The Talmud is
the great Rabbinical literature which grew up in the first four or say perhaps
six centuries of the Christian era This immense store with the old Testament
jointly became the "Bible" of the Jews. Editions, condensed or elaborate, are
to be obtained in one or many volumes from dealers in theological treatises.
The Vedas are the literary productions of the Sanscrit, that far eastern
branch of the Aryan people. These form the foundation of the Brahmanical
system of belief and on them, too, such philologists as Prof. Max Muller have
expended tremendous toil. Numerous translations of verse, etc., are to be
obtained of this extensive product of the past. The "Septuagint" is an
Alexandrian version of the Old Testament but the Bible has experienced many
revisions since the Greek translation of 200 years B.C.
* * *
are mistaken as to "Billy" Florence, founder of the Shrine not having been a
Mason. Here is an extract from "One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata, 1808‑1908,"
published by Aurora Grata Consistory, N.M.J., (Brooklyn, N. Y.) 1908:
the 21st of April, 1867, the Lodge of Perfection held a special meeting at the
Metropolitan Hotel at two o'clock in the afternoon for the purpose of
conferring the Ineffable degrees by Communication upon Bro. William J.
Florence, who was 'about to depart for Europe,' as the minutes say. There were
present Ill. Bro. McClenachan and one other member of the Supreme Council for
the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, two from the Southern, and a number of
members of Aurora Grata. The degrees of the Council, Chapter and Consistory
were conferred upon Bro Florence before his departure. This was the trip made
by him to the Old World preceding the establishment of the Ancient Arabic
Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the United States. Bro. Florence
brought back monitorial, historical and explanatory manuscripts and
communicated the secrets of the Order to Dr. Walter M. Fleming of Aurora Grata
Consistory, who was empowered to introduce and establish the Order in America.
It was determined to confer the Order only on Freemasons, and on the 16th of
June, 1871, four Knights Templar and seven members of Aurora Grata Consistory,
32d, were made acquainted with the secrets of the Order by Dr. Fleming and
Bro. Florence. It was decided to engage in the establishment of the Order, and
on the 26th of September, 1872, the organization was effected and officers
elected. Nine of the thirteen founders of the Mystic Shrine in the United
States were members of the Aurora Grata bodies."
If this book
is not in your library it should be. Only last night I talked with a veteran
Mason who was active in those days. He says William J. Florence was a
stepbrother of Peter Conlin, police captain in New York City, and was brought
up as Conlin, changing the name or reverting to his father's name when he
reached years of discretion. Curious that today The Builder should come to
hand with a query as to Florence, and that the statement should be so
positively made: "He was not a Mason, but a Roman Catholic." Fie on the "but"
Somerville. New York.
* * *
your answer in the Question Box, headed "Church Initiations," here is an
extract from Gobbet d'Alviella's "Eleusinia," (French edition), p. 126:
sometimes been pretended that Jesus had a double teaching: One, exoteric, for
the body of the faithful, the other esoteric, for the Apostles, who were
especially charged with assuring the transmission of the mysterious doctrine,
against the day when the latter might be safely made public. This thesis,
which, formerly maintamed by Valentin and other Gnostics, had still found in
the 19th century, ingenious defenders, is today completely abandoned. If there
be a single evident historic truth, it is that the Christian cult, in its
beginnings, had nothing hidden. It was accessible to all who accepted the
Christ as a Messiah. . ."
think the body of evidence is against the Count's contentions, and I am not
ready to abandon the older theory; but his position in the world of letters is
such as to entitle his opinions to respect.
* * *
I wish to
call your attention to a slight error, if some one has not already done so,
made by Rt. Worshipful Bro. Parvin in his answer to the question of "A.J.H."
regarding the percentage of Grand Lodges of the American Union who have taken
a definite stand pertaining to the application of one engaged in the Liquor
quotes from "Recollection" regarding the Alabama law.
"In the Code
of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, we find the law to be that petitions from such
parties are accepted and no legislation made against receiving them into
When as a
matter of fact the Edicts of the brand Lodge of Alabama, are very strong in
their mandates against such parties being accepted.
I quote here
this Edict under the head of Membership, viz:
No. 277 -
"Membership - Liquor Dealers Ineligible - one who is engaged in the business
of selling spirituous, vinous or malt liquors is ineligible for membership."
"Same - This disqualification applies to a bookkeeper and traveling salesman
in the wholesale liquor house; also to a stockholder in a corporation engaged
in the business of selling liquor."
"Drug Clerk Eligible - A prescription clerk in a drug store where liquor is
sold by wholesale, is not engaged in the business of selling liquors, and
therefore not ineligible."
"Same - A traveling salesman for a wholesale drug house which also sells
liquor is ineligible for the degrees unless he confines himself exclusively to
the sale of drugs." Joseph E. Patterson, Alabama.
* * *
years I have been striving to find a spiritual basis for Freemasonry. I belong
to that "frenzied" minority, who holds that every symbol in Freemasonry has
its spiritual significance. I am one of those "dreamers" in Freemasonry, who
holds that the mission of Freemasonry is to spiritualize, through a spiritual
interpretation of its symbols, the consciousness of man, that he may be free -
free from consequences of sin. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall
make you free." I am one of those Masonic "hallucinists" who sees in the
raising of Hiram Abif, the salvation of man, and his at‑one‑ment with God; who
sees his return to that perfect spiritual consciousness from which he fell.
Now, my dear
brother, if you have any contributors to "The Builder" who can see beyond the
moral plane of Freemasonry, or its historicity, let's hear from them,
remembering that, "He who sticketh to the letter sticketh to the bark."
* * *
IS AN E.A. A
Have taken an
interest in the Question Box of The Builder, particularly in regards the
question of J.H.H. - "is an E.A. a Mason?"
Question, Where were you made a Mason? and, What makes you a Mason? Are the
answers not conclusive that an E.A. is a Mason?
I was made a
Mason in Grand River Lodge No. 151, and that Lodge, like all Lodges in the
Grand Lodge of Canada, transacts all of its business in the E.A. Degree, and
E.A's. are allowed the privilege of voting and make motions. F.C. and M.M.
Lodges are only held for conferring degrees or business extraordinary.
privilege that an E.A. has not is that after death he is denied Masonic
There is a
phrase in our Idaho work which I wish you would give me light on. "If within
the first square or angle of my work." What does it mean or convey?
* * *
THE ETHICS OF
I read with
interest the letter from Bro. G. Middleton on "The Ethics of the Ballot." This
is a point that has been much discussed by various brethren here and one that
has caused our Lodge some trouble. To my mind I consider it the DUTY (not
privilege) of any brother who knows anything detrimental about a proposed
candidate to report it at once to the Investigating Committee. I always feel
if I am a member of an Investigating Committee and if we bring in a favorable
report on a candidate who is rejected on ballot, the Lodge has passed a vote
of censure on myself and other members of the Committee. I would be glad to
hear what other Brethren have to say on this important matter.
* * *
Question Box" for July you say of the Dionysiacs, "They are the first order of
architects, or which we have record, who were a secret order practicing the
rites of the Mysteries." You also quote Prof. Robinson as saying, "We know
that the Dionysiacs of Ionia were a great corporation of architects and
engineers who undertook, and even monopolized, the building of temples and
stadia. . ."
knowledge of the classics I am aware that the Dionysiacs were "a secret order
practicing the rites of the mysteries" and that they "built temples," at least
in the sense that a Masonic lodge "builds" its temples or that a manufacturing
company "builds" a factory. Of the other statements I have never seen any
proof although such second hand statements as that you give here are common.
I would be
very glad if you could refer me to proof of these other alleged facts. I don't
mean references to some other encyclopedia but actual quotations from writers
contemporary with the Dionysiacs or at least earlier than the second century
statements about which I feel rather doubtful are:
Dionysiacs were an "order of architects" or a "corporation of architects and
"built temples" in the sense that a carpenter or an architect builds a house,
not in the sense that the architect's employer may be said to build it.
IV They "even
monopolized the building of temples and stadit." In connection with No. I., I
might suggest the question, were any but "architects and engineers" admitted
to membership ?
* * *
In a recent
number of The Builder there was a statement in which the writer stated that
the Baltimore Convention was held in 1843 in which 16 Grand Lodges were
represented. I was made a Mason in June, 1856 - was a student of Anthony
O'Sullivan, who was then Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer of the State of
Missouri and was a member of that Convention.
taught me, that the Baltimore Convention was held in June, 1842, in which all
the then existing Grand Lodges in the United States were represented excepting
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, they being York Rite Masons did not participate
or affiliate in any way in the proceedings of that Memorable Convention. That
Convention was composed of three delegates from each State Grand Lodge, Grand
Master, Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer. Missouri was represented by Joseph
Foster, Grand Master, and Anthony O'Sullivan, who held the dual position of
Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer. John Dove, Grand Secretary of the Grand
Lodge of Virginia, was the Secretary of that Convention. Everything pertaining
to English feudalism was eliminated and a purely American system was adopted
covering the first, second and third degrees. And from the Thomas Smith Webb
Monitor and Cross Masonic Chart, a monitorial lecture was adopted for each
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, was the Secretary of the
Convention. John Dove of Virginia, C.C. Moore, Editor of the Cincinnati
Gazette, a Masonic magazine, and Anthony O'Sullivan of Missouri, were
appointed as a Committee with power to act, to collate what had been agreed
upon and publish a monitor for the use of all the Grand and subordinate Grand
Lodges in the United States.
Convention adjourned sine die. The delegates returned to their several homes.
thereafter this Committee undertook the work. Moore of Cincinnati insisted on
injecting into the book a lot of stuff which had not been adopted by the
Convention. To this, Dove and O'Sullivan objected; soon thereafter Brother
and Moore could not agree as to the matter to be so published and while
dragging along in this way Moore died, leaving O'Sullivan as the sole survivor
of the Committee. Hence no National Monitor was ever published, leaving each
Grand Lodge jurisdiction the right to continue its own choice as to Lodge
I am now over
eighty‑two years young, and have been a Mason over sixty years, was taught
esoteric Masonry by O'Sullivan, who died of cholera in St. Louis in September,
1866. What little I know about Masonic history, I have learned by reading good
books, and along with other reading matter, I enjoy reading the many good
articles as published in The Builder. And at my advanced age, I am still a
student, a charter Member and Secretary of the Fresno, California, Masonic
Library Association. In this we boast of having the most complete Masonic
Library on the Pacific Coast.
* * *
- If you will turn to II Samuel, 7th Ch., 12th and 13th verses, and I
Chronicles, 17th Ch., 10th, 11th and 12th verses, or to the end of the last
chapter I think you will find the satisfactory answer to your question.
* * *
the question asked by E.P.H. in your June issue, a great deal of scientific
and other interesting data on the first of these can be obtained from the book
"Atlantis" by Ignatius Donnelly, published by Harpers. He presents an immense
amount of evidence on the subject drawn from a wide variety of natural
sources, and, to my mind, removes almost entirely from the realms of
reasonable doubt, the question as to whether Atlantis existed or not. There
are also two books by Dr. Le Plongeon, who with his wife, spent several years
in the interior of Central America and Yucatan, examining the ruins of the
ancient Mayax cities. He came to the conclusion that there was not only a
great empire, whose history has survived in the fragment stories about
Atlantis, but that the classic Greek alphabet is really a compilation,
somewhat after the style of the Norse Sagas, for memnonic purposes of the
events which led up to and accompanied the great cataclysms under which that
Lemuria, there is a small but concentrated book on the subject, known as "The
Lost Lemuria," by Scott‑Elliott. It contains certain maps and gives such
details as could then be obtained. But his authorities are not yet of a kind
generally recognized. Still as a contribution to a solution of this problem it
is worthy of consideration.
As to the
existence of the continent now named Hyperborea we have only that of geology.
That is indisputable as far as it goes, but it has yet to be collated and set
forth, even as a scientific hypothesis, so that it is still far from the field
of a layman's reading.
I must agree
with you as to the writings of Edouard Schure; on trying to get any
information from him, as distinguished from his own speculations, I feel as
though I had become lost in a cloud of feathers, and was badly in need of a
Steiner, of Vienna, (I think) has also written a book on Atlantis but it is
mostly occupied with the question of the mental development of our ancesters
at that time, and has nothing to say as to geography or other physical
conditions. N. W. J. Haydon, Toronto, Canada.
it would be -
To have at
To follow us
around the town, no matter where we strayed,
us with shade,
Or if it were
a lemon‑tree, with lemonade !
A PRAYER FOR
O God, I ask
for a larger soul, one that can feel Thy magnanimity. I would not only deal
justly with all men: I would pity those who deal unjustly. I would be without
bitterness toward those who wrong me. I would love my enemies and pray for
those who despitefully use me.
It is not
that I have personal foes, but that I feel the anguish that burdens the world.
The family peace is broken up. The waters we all must drink are muddled.
selfishness and greed, always savage, have slipped their leash and are running
wild through holy places, spoiling that which is beautiful and mocking at
love. And wherever their sinister trail has gone the sanctities of life are
forgotten. Lecherous hands reach out for the fair and pure. New perils are
laid for unsteady feet. The woes of the poor are multiplied.
brothers and sisters have been impressed for hateful work, and there are heaps
of fresh earth and wan, tortured faces watching over some of them. And
thousands of those who sleep and millions of those who watch had done no
violence, neither was any deceit in their mouths.
did not merit this ! Surely those who loosed the leash did not consider!
Something blinded them! Lord, open their eyes that they may see the fruit of
their sin, and, in the hour of their conscious shame, in Thy magnanimity,
And grant to
all who suffer the spirit of One who, deserving the best, received the worst -
and forgave. Amen.
Our own are
our own forever, God taketh not back His gift;
They may pass
beyond our vision, but our souls shall find them out
waiting is all accomplished, and the deathly shadows lift,
And glory is
given for grieving, and the surety of God for doubt.
We may find
the waiting bitter, and count the silence long;
we are dust, and He pitieth our pain;
faith has grown to fulness and the silence changed to song,
We shall eat
the fruit of patience and shall hunger not again.
hearts, who humbly in darkness and all alone
a dear lost presence and the joy of a vanished day,
with this message, that our own are forever our own,
And God, who
gave the gracious gift, He takes it never away.
HOUSE OF THE
hard‑working farm boy was accustomed, when his chores were done in early
evening, to climb up a nearby hill and gaze in rapture at a castle in the far
distance, which, reflecting the setting sun, looked for all the world like a
House with Golden Windows, which name this reflective boy bestowed upon it.
One day his
father gave him a holiday, and he started of in high spirits to find and gaze
upon his House with Golden Windows at close hand. Long was the road, and it
was near sunset when he arrived at the place. To his utter dismay the castle
of his dreams was an old, tumbledown building, with every sign of decay and
abandonment. Ready to burst into tears with disappointment, he was
disconsolately dragging himself off, when a little girl came round the corner
and inquired about his trouble.
"I came to
find the House with Golden Windows - and it's gone!" he sobbed.
"Why, no, it
isn't," said the girl. "Come and I'll show it to you," and she led him to a
hill back of the hut.
There, to be
sure, was a House with Golden Windows, gleaming wonderfully in the brilliant
amber of the declining sun; but it was far back along the road the boy had
trod so hopefully.
gazed in amazement: it was his own home!
I do not fear
to tread the path that those I love have long since trod;
I do not fear
to pass the gates and stand before the living God.
world's fight I've done my part; if God be God He knows it well;
He will not
turn His back on me and send me down to blackest hell
have not prayed aloud and shouted in the market‑place.
'Tis what we
do, not what we say, that makes us worthy of His grace.
Thermopylae's storied pass,
warrior to Leonidas
"My captain we are lost:
enemy draws near."
cried out the chief. "Be theirs the cost:
Are we not
near them, too? Then let them fear.
life's field your own heart shakes,
the foeman's also quakes.