The Builder Magazine
April 1917 - Volume III - Number 4
MASONIC SUBJECTS -- A FRATERNAL FORUM
(Announcing a Monthly
Department of Personal Opinion on Present-day Masonic subjects)
Edited by BRO. GEO. E.
FRAZIER, President, The Board of Stewards)
RESULTS speak louder than
words. In reviewing the first two years of the Society, the Board of Stewards
have been especially impressed with its loyalty to its original ideal, the
character of its membership, and the increasing use now being made of its
resources. Mere numbers give no adequate idea of its real strength, but it is
surely significant that the Society has enlisted the interest of fourteen
thousand Masons in two years. Its members include not only the rank and file
of the Craft, but a large percentage of the leaders and students of Masonry in
America, and not a few representative scholars from abroad. Indeed a list of
the present members of the Society in any state shows a striking combination
of the veteran Masonic leaders and the progressive young men of the
Naturally the high character
of the membership is making itself felt month by month in the contents of The
Builder, whose leading articles provoke a wide response both in the Society as
well as in the Masonic press of the country. This response finds expression in
the correspondence column of The Builder, which increases in interest and
value with each issue, and also in answer and comment direct from individual
members. Because of the directness, vitality and farreaching interest of this
response, the editor has taxed the limits of space devoted to it, often
withholding new articles to make room for letters of reply or elaboration not
infrequently as instructive as the original article. Fortunately this demand
has been met in part by the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, edited by Brother
Clegg, which is now an added and invaluable monthly feature. The Board of
Stewards is in entire sympathy with the Study-Club movement, and wishes to
make all possible provision to facilitate its growth and advancement.
All of which shows a very
real and vital interest in the study of Masonry, and the development of our
work so far reveals the wide range of Masonic activities--as a glance at the
Index of the first two volumes of The Builder will make plain. We have, then,
a trinity of working tools. First, we have fourteen thousand leading Masons
who are reading The Builder, and the number is rapidly growing. Second, we
have a hearty response from our members not only in appreciation, but in
comment, criticism, and practical suggestion looking to the application of
Masonic study to everyday life. Third, we have a list of contributors of
serious articles which embraces the names of many of the finest Masonic
students at home and abroad. Surely all this is as much an evidence of the
strength and virility of Masonry as beautiful temples, the perfect
exemplification of the ritual, or large numbers of candidates, excellent as
all these are.
Your Board of Stewards has,
therefore, felt the need of adding a department to The Builder that will bring
the experience and special information of its past and present contributors to
bear on present-day Masonic problems. We have accordingly established a
department of personal opinion, which will appear monthly commencing with an
early issue. This department will be edited by the President of the Board of
Stewards, and he will invite contributions to the department each month from
each writer who has contributed one or more articles to the magazine. At least
four and not more than six such expressions of personal opinion will make up
the department for each month. In order that opinions may be compared and
opposite viewpoints fully considered the President will announce a subject for
each month in the form of a query. Some possible subjects are:
a. Shall Masonic lodges
encourage the formation of local Masonic clubs for social purposes ?
b. Shall American Grand
Lodges unite in a National Grand Lodge?
c. Shall lodge dues be
increased to cover the financial support of Masonic charitable institutions?
d. Shall Masters and Grand
Masters be elected from the floor without regard to service in subordinate
e. Shall present Masonic
orders favor the promotion of new systems of Masonic or quasi-Masonic degrees
f. Shall Lodge officers be
financially interested in the sale of Masonic supplies ?
g. Shall Masonic lodges
appoint committees to investigate the non-sectarian administration of the
public schools ?
You are asked to read over
again the typical subjects just given. Please note that they are subjects
actively discussed in the official correspondence of practically all grand
lodges. They are live topics on which Masons have opinion, and on which
Masonic judgment must be passed. The subjects do not involve the discussion of
politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices.
The subjects given are
intended merely to sketch outthe possibilities of this department. Each member
is earnestly invited to suggest other and better topics. Please remember that
the department is not open to discussion on international policies or on
religious organizations or on sects, cults and theories of personal
application. The department is for the expression of personal opinion by our
own former contributors on subjects that are alive in the administration of
the Masonry of today.
The contributing editors of
this department of personal opinion assume responsibility only for what each
writes over his own signature. Each opinion must be expressed in one paragraph
of not more than six hundred words. All those who have contributed articles to
The Builder are invited to become contributing editors. The list will grow as
all new contributors to The Builder will also become contributing editors to
this department of personal opinion. Please note carefully that this
department offers the only vehicle in Masonry for comparing the personal
opinions of leading Masonic students as to present-day Masonic problems. With
this in mind one can readily appreciate the possibilities before us for
constructive thinking of a high order.
The Correspondence department
of The Builder will be continued and will afford each member of the Society an
opportunity to reply to any expression of opinion that he finds of especial
interest. It is the hope of the Board of Stewards that this new department may
stimulate many Masons to Masonic inquiry that will in turn lead them to
contribute articles to The Builder, and to join our list of Contributing
GEO. E. FRAZER, President of
the Board of Stewards.
Above all, that I may not be
a coward! That I may have couragc courage to be unmoved by the uncertainties
of life, and without dread of loss, whether of friends, of health or of
fortune: That I may come with a firm and tranquil mind to the work of this
day, fearing nothing--ready to meet bravely failure or deprivation.
That I may bring to the day's
efforts, good humor and a cheerful regard for all with whom I may come into
contact: That I may not judge others hastily or with bitterness.
That I may not be grasping,
but content with a fair share of this world's goods, willing to let others
have theirs: That I may be diligent in the performance of duties and cheerful
in manner: That I may be earnest in pursuit of the right.
That I may stand with open
mind ready to receive the Truth in small affairs and in large--whether in
learning new and better methods or in receiving that philosophy necessary to a
brave, tranquil, well-poised, well-harmonized life. John Brisben Walker
(Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association)
WORDS OF STRENGTH
By Friedrich Schiller, Born
Nov. 10, 1759.
There are three lessons I
Three words as with a burning
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the hearts of men:
Have hope. Though clouds
And gladness hides her face
Put thou the shadow from thy
No night but hath its morn.
Have faith. Where'er thy bark
The calm's disport, the
Know this--God rules the
hosts of heaven,
The inhabitants of earth.
Have love. Not love alone for
But, man as man thy brother
And scatter, like the
Thy charities on all.
Thus grave these lessons on
Hope, Faith and Love and thou
Strength when life's surges
Light when thou else wert
MASONRY AND KING SOLOMON'S
BY THE LATE BRO. WM. A.
Paine, William A., of English
parentage, date of birth unknown; a man of business and a gentleman of the old
school; Master of King Solomon's Lodge, Kingston, Jamaica, also a Royal Arch
Mason; lost his life in the earthquake disaster at Kingston, Jan. 14th, 1907.
He was a man of noble character, of winning personality, learned in the lore
of Freemasonry, devoted to its service, and a pioneer in his jurisdiction in
the cause of Masonic study. The essay here published is of unusual value for
its wide research and its clear reasoning; and while all of its readers may
not agree with the position taken, they must reckon with its argument opposing
the Jewish claims of Masonic origin.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT (For the above
information and photograph, and for Brother Paine's thoughtful paper herewith
begun, we are indebted to our Brother Member, E. T. Skinkle, 33d, of Chicago.)
IT is necessary that we look
at this important and instructive factor in the system of Speculative
Freemasonry from two separate and distinct points--the positive and the
The positive asserts itself
from the fact that Solomon's Temple, the traditions connected therewith, and
prominent Jewish Scriptural characters, are very extensively introduced; and,
in fine, that the Jewish Ceremonials and Types are considerably availed of as
the foundations on which the three Craft Degrees have been erected. With a
limited knowledge of the origin and history of the Ritual, and of the
Symbolism in Freemasonry, it is not to be wondered at that a very large
proportion of Masons consider they are orthodox in holding the opinion that
Solomon, King of Israel, and the two Hirams, were Freemasons, and that
Speculative Freemasonry originated at the building of the First Temple. I need
hardly say that it is only natural every Jewish Mason should hold firmly to
such a view.
The negative side of the
question is this:--"That Hiram Abiff was not slain. Solomon and the two Hirams
were not Masons, and that Freemasonry did not originate at the Temple." And as
I shall be able to show that we have Masonic history to support this negative,
and that we have only to deal with a series of interesting and instructive
legends, the sooner we recognize and admit the same, by placing the Temple and
the Jewish characters connected therewith under the legitimate and intelligent
classification,--allegory. The sooner we seek for the origin of the Legend of
the Temple, and the period in the history of Freemasonry, when it was
introduced, the earlier and the better shall we be able to understand really
what Speculative Freemasonry is; or, as in the words of one of our important
charges, "Be the better able to distinguish and appreciate the connection of
our whole system, and the relative dependency of its several parts."
If so great a Masonic student
as Dr. Oliver, in his early career, believed literally all that had been told
him in the Lodge Room, is it to be wondered at that the like erroneous view
still exists? The Doctor's experience can be best given in his own words: "The
Legend of the 3d when given as a naked and unexplained fact, and recited with
all the solemnity of truth, 99 out of every 100 candidates believe it
implicitly, and would esteem it a casus belli if any one were to express a
doubt respecting the most improbable particulars which it professes to record;
and when I was first initiated at an early age, I confess that such were my
Ragon, who died in 1866, and
was considered one of the ablest of French Masonic writers, thus refers to the
3d:--"All the fables which are introduced to excite the wonder and
astonishment of the Neophyte, and repeated as undoubted facts as preserved by
an ancient and accredited tradition, may be termed fanciful monstrosities,
because the Holy Scriptures tacitly disprove them, for they contain no
reference to the circumstanceS which constitute the Legend."
Grand Master Dalcho, in one
of his orations, says: "I candidly confess that I feel a great degree of
embarrassment, while I am relating to Ministers of God's Holy Word, or to any
other gentlemen, a story founded on the grossest errors of accumulated ages;
errors which they can prove to me to be such, from the sacred pages of Holy
Writ, and from profane history; and, that too, in a minute after I have
solemnly pronounced them to be undeniable truths, even by the Holy Bible on
which I have received their obligation."
Oliver says also, on the same
subject: "It is indeed indefensible as a sober matter of History, and the most
rational application of it, which the W. M. could make at the conclusion of
the ceremony, would be - to explain to the Candidate, that the drama in which
he has sustained so conspicuous a part, is merely symbolical; and, then
subjoin the reference. This course would be plausible, and prevent the
Candidate leaving the Lodge, either with a fallacy on his mind, if he believes
it to be true, or with a conviction that a clumsy and unworthy imposition has
been practiced on him; which, from a better knowledge of the facts, he at once
repudiates with a combined feeling of pity and disgust." *******
Such being the opinions of
eminent Masonic writers, printed and published for the instruction even of
entered apprentices, let us then ascertain the true definition as given by
Oliver and others. "Freemasonry is confessedly an allegory, and as an allegory
only must it be supported, for its traditional history admits of no
palliation. Whoever would remove Freemasonry out of the category, as an
allegorical institution, might as well destroy its existence; for in no other
character would it be able to hold its own. It is one consistent and
intelligible assemblage of symbols, and any attempt to explain it, by
reference to facts, is sure to fail: instead of a clear, beautiful, and
harmonious system connected in all its parts, a distorted caricature will be
produced without a single redeeming trait of character."
Dalcho, holding similar
views, says in addition: "Neither Moses, nor Solomon, nor Joshua, nor the two
Hirams, nor the two Saints John belonged to the Masonic Order. It is unwise to
assert more than we can prove, and to argue against probabilities. There is no
record, sacred or profane, to induce us to believe that Masonic these holy and
distinguished men were Freemasons. To assert which may make the ignorant
stare, but will rather create the contempt than the admiration of the
wise--let Freemasons give up their vain boastings, which ignorance has foisted
into the Order, and relinquish a fabulous antiquity, rather than sacrifice
I invite your attention to
the consideration of this fabulous antiquity as applicable to Solomon's
Temple. Locke, the philosopher of the 17th century, and whom we know was a
Freemason, says: "Religion is the only tie which will bind men, and where
there is no religion, there can be no Masonry." Max Muller asks us to bear in
mind--"That without a belief in a personal immortality, religion surely, is
like an arch resting on one pillar, or like a bridge ending in an abyss ;" and
Bulwer Lytton truly adds: "Though all the world were carved over, and
inscribed with the letters of divine knowledge, the characters would be
valueless to him who does not pause to inquire the language, and meditate the
truth." These three quotations supply religion, immortality, symbolism, a most
appropriate triad, pointing to the pillars of wisdom, strength, and beauty:
for wisdom abides in the man, who, with revealed religion as his guide, is
strengthened in his belief in immortality, by recognizing the beautiful
symbolism of Freemasonry, by which it inculcates so important a dogma.
Dr. Oliver considers that
wherever and whenever the true God was worshiped, in the midst of idolatry, as
in the time of Israel's apostacy under Ahab and Jezbel, that such worshipers
of Jehovah were the representatives of ancient speculative Freemasons, and
therefore he adds, at the erection of the First Temple, the Jews represented
the pure speculative element which, joined to the Tyrian pure operative
Masonry, was the first combination of speculative with operative. This can
only be viewed at the most as merely sentimental--nothing historical as
bearing on the point that either the Jews were architects, or that Solomon and
the two Hirams were Freemasons. Nor can any such sentimental amalgamation of
the Jew and Tyrian, at the first temple, be urged as analagous to the
combination of Pagan and Christian architects in the time of Constantine the
First at Bysantium, or of Romanistand Protestant architects in the 17th
century under Wren at the erection of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Findel, that great German
Masonic writer, entirely ignores Jewish origin and Temple traditions, and
although admitting much that is historical, is only willing to trace
Freemasonry from the German Gilds of the middle ages. Fort, a renowned
American writer, admits Jewish influence not Jewish origin, but that influence
as of a period long subsequent to the Second Temple, for he commences his line
of argument at the early Bysantium period of architecture.
Woodford, Past Grand Chaplain
of Grand Lodge of England, and equally a writer of note, considers "our
present speculative system, in its modern development, as undoubtedly
lineally and archaeologically the successor of the Gild Fraternities of the
operative Masons, but he asks 'whence did the Gilds obtain the Masonic
legends?' and he adds, I am not inclined to give up the legend of the temple,
or even a connection with the ancient mysteries altogether."
Mackey, the American Masonic
writer, referring to the 3rd degree, says, "When I speak of the antiquity of
Freemasonry, I must say, if I must respect the axioms of historical science,
that its body came out of the middle ages, but that its spirit is to be traced
to far - remoter periods, for Freemasonry is the successor of the Building
Corporations of the middle ages--and through them with less certainty, but
with great probability of the Roman Colleges of Artificers--its connection
with Solomon's Temple as its birthplace may have been accidental or a mere
arbitrary selection of its in ventors, and bears therefore only an allegorical
meaning. The Temple of Solomon has played an important part in Freemasonry.
Time was, when every Masonic writer subscribed to the theory that Masonry was
there first organized, that there Solomon and the two Hirams presided as Grand
Masters, initiated the symbolic degrees and invented the system of initiation,
and that - from that period in unbroken succession and unaltered - form has
it passed to us, down the stream of time." But Mackey goes on to say, "The
modern method of reading Masonic history has swept away this edifice of
imagination as efficiently as the Babylonish King demolished the structure
itself, upon which it is founded. No writer who values his reputation as a
critical historian would now attempt to defend the theory that Masonry
originated at the building of the First Temple."
Findel, Fort, Mackey--three
of as great celebrities in Masonic literature as are to be found entirely
ignore the Jewish origin; and if we bear this in view, together with the other
important fact, that Freemasonry is only a beautiful system of symbolism and
allegory, we cannot but admit that the Rabbi Mamonides' Commentary on the
Legends of the Talmudists is very appropriate, and a fitting Commentary on the
Symbolism of Freemasonry. His words are: "Beware that ye take not the words of
the wise men in their literal signification, for this would be to degrade and
sometimes to contradict the Sacred Doctrines. Search further for the hidden
sense, and if you cannot find the kernel, let the shell alone, and confess you
cannot - understand it."
(To be continued)
THE PERFECT ASHLAR
BY BRO. H. A. KINGSBURY,
Kingsbury, Harold A.; born,
Westfield, Mass., August 27, 1882; graduate in Chemical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., 1907; graduate in Law,
National University, Washington, D. C., 1910; graduate in Patent Law, George
Washington University, Washington, D. C., 1911; Member of Bar of District of
Columbia; Member of Bar of Supreme Court of United States; Assistant Examiner
U.S. Patent Office, 1908-1912; at present, Assistant Patent Counsel, The New
Departure Mfg. Co., Bristol, Connecticut; Washington Centennial Lodge No. 14,
Washington, D. C.; Mount Vernon Chapter No. 3, Washington, D. C.; Scottish
Rite Bodies, 4d to 18d, Springfield, Mass.; 19d to 32d, Massachusetts
Consistory, Boston, Mass.
IN the case of many of the
symbols used in Masonry it almost seems as though the ritual writers must have
followed the rule, "The importance to be given a symbol in the ritual should
be inversely proportional to the real importance of that symbol." Particularly
does this rule seem to have been applied to the case of one of the Jewels of
the Lodge--the Perfect Ashlar or Perfect stone Cube. For this symbol, though
casually dismissed with but two or three brief sentences in the monitorial
instructions, is, in reality, of very considerable importance and interest and
deserving of the careful attention of the Mason.
The Perfect Ashlar is one of
a group of three Jewels. Thus the symbol calls the Mason's attention to one
more of the many (not less than twenty) references, in Craft Masonry, to the
number Three - the most significant of all the numbers (unless it be Seven)
held in veneration in nearly every ancient system of religious philosophy, and
even having, in some of those systems, notably that of Plato, the importance
of a symbol of Deity.
Stone, the material of the
Perfect Ashlar, was considered of great importance in many of the ancient
religions and, indeed, in some was worshiped. Stone worship existed among the
early American races. There is good reason for believing that the Peruvians
worshiped stones, as the protectors of their crops. The Greeks originally used
unhewn stones to represent their deities. The Thebans represented the god
Bacchus by a stone. In the Kaaba at Mecca is a stone, Hajar al Aswad, which
was worshiped by the ancient Arabians and which present-day Mohammedans regard
with veneration. The Druids represented their gods by stones.
Stone is so evidently the
symbol of Permanency, Faith and Trust that it seems almost unnecessary to cite
examples here. But any one familiar with his New Testament will recall the
incident of the giving of the name Cephas, or Peter, meaning a stone, to simon,
who stood for the permanency, faith and truth of the Early Christian Church,
and will recall that Christ said, "Thou art Peter and on this rock I will
build my Church."
The cubical form of-the
Perfect Ashlar serves to further identify it as the symbol of Permanency,
Faith and Truth as the Cube, from the time of the Ancients has had this
significance. We have an example of it in Revelations (XXI, 16) where the New
Jerusalem is described as having its length, breadth and thickness equal, each
to the other, giving, of course, a cubical form to the city.
The fact that Masonry uses a
hewn, rather than an unhewn stone, for symbolizing Truth, furnishes an
interesting example of the ways in which the introduction of (comparatively)
self-evident conceptions derived from Operative Masonry has worked, in some
instances, curious changes in the more abstruse symbolistic systems which
Masonry has, apparently, inherited from the Hebrews and the Egyptians. That
is, in the Masonic system, following at this point suggestions from Operative
Masonry, the hewn and perfect condition of the Perfect Ashlar is understood to
emphasize and make yet stronger the symbol's reference to Truth, whereas in
the symbolistic systems of the Hebrews and the Egyptians a rough, unhewn
cubical stone was considered to symbolize Truth and a perfect, hewn stone was
understood to symbolize Falsehood.
However interesting and
important the various other symbolic significances of the Cube may be, the
symbolic suggestion that perhaps most concerns the Mason of today, and
particularly the American Mason of today, is this:--The Cube is the symbol of
the state and it is placed in the Masonic Lodge to constantly remind the
Mason, of the State, or political structure, of which he forms a part, and to
recall him to those duties which he, a citizen, owes to that State.
If one views a cube with his
eyes slightly above the top of it, and opposite one of its vertical edges, he
will find that, as indicated in the figure, there are three faces visible, and
three invisible, to him. The three visible faces symbolize the three
departments of the State, the Legislative, which makes the laws, the Judicial
which interprets them, and the Executive which executes them. The three
invisible faces symbolize the invisible soul of the State, Liberty, Equality
and Fraternity. As these three invisible faces are necessary to complete and
make stable the Cube so are Liberty, Equality and Fraternity necessary to
complete and make stable the State.
The Perfect Ashlar, in its
character of a symbol of the State, represents an ideal to be striven for--the
perfect State has not yet been finally developed. But, upon his first entrance
into Masonry, the Mason is presented with Working Tools with which to shape
and to gauge his work--the Gavel, symbolizing Force, and the Gauge,
symbolizing Rule or Law. And the Perfect Ashlar reminds the Mason that his
entered apprentice's Working Tools are given him to use and that it is for
him, a citizen, to apply them, using Force, properly held in restraint by Rule
or Law, to, so far as in him lies, make his ashlar a Perfect Ashlar and his
state a perfect State.
Destruction has its millions within its awful
To do its bidding night and day, and mandate all
Another host in other parts Construction does
To build our homes and cities fair, and all that
Construction and destruction
have been fighting hand to hand
Since this old world began to turn, and neither
rules the land.
But what construction does
today to build in modern ways
Destruction lays in desolate waste in future
One hand can swing the mighty
sword, and in its awful swath
The lives of millions fall like grain - why reckon
up the loss?
But two hands do the building as we raise the wall
Two hands bind up the
wounded, and two hands construct again.
One hand can raise the fire-brand from the
smoldering coals of hate;
Two hands must stop the raging flames before it is
One hand can give the signal
for the largest guns to boom
Two hands must raise above the dead the flowers
Two hands can build with stone on stone the
highest wall that's laid;
One hand can burst the fatal shells, and debts
alone are made.
One hand may wield destruction as it goes along
Two hands must do the healing, as we reap the
Why not use the brick and mortar, not the rifle
and the sword?
Why not use the trowel and level, at
Construction's signal word?
Why not use the square and plumb-line as we raise
our friendships kind?
For destruction's not external until cherished in
What's within brings forth the harvest; thoughts
rethought make up the seeds;
That same harvest may be useful, or a useless
growth of weeds.
Why delay internal plantings when destruction's
Go into internal pastures; there prepare the
There prepare it for the planting, like a garden
fair to see;
Sow it, watch it, tend and weed it, 'til from
weeds the ground is free.
By and by the crop grows stronger, and no weeds
can therein grow;
For the harvest forth is coming - a repayment for
By destruction things are severed from their
proper place in life.
By construction brought together; fitted 'gainst a
By destruction strong connections are at once
By construction once well welded - and redone by
When our lives are in their
fittings and each unit has its place
The design has form and beauty which the artist's
brush would trace;
With the back ground and perspective, and our
hopes the foreground fill -
There's construction in the picture; beauty
through the artist's will.
Faith it takes for all construction; faith it
takes to plan to do;
Faith it takes at the foundation, and to see the
Faith it takes when all's destruction to rise up
and build some more;
Faith it takes when broken idols lie upon the
Hope in all constructive action is the active
force to move.
Faith is passive in the planning, and the two,
Hope moves faith into an action which before was
in the breast,
And the two are both constructive counting for the
The resultant is construction, in both matter and
Putting useful things together which apart, serve
Two hands, with a mind and
feeling make for charity and love
They produce the world's resultant guided by a
By Geo. N. Foster, Lincoln, Nebr.
Justice is as strictly due between neighbor
nations, as between neighbor citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when
he plunders in a gang, as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war
is only a great gang of robbers. - Franklin.
BY BRO. ROSCOE POUND, DEAN,
HARVARD COLLEGE OF LAW
I. THE DATA OF MASONIC
At the outset we may well ask
ourselves why do we say Masonic Jurisprudence? Why not simply Masonic Law ? Is
there a science of Masonic law as distinct from Masonic law itself? For in its
original and etymological meaning and in the best usage, jurisprudence means
the science of law. It is true there are two other uses of the term. The
French use it to mean the course of decision in the courts as contrasted on
the one hand with legislation and on the other hand with doctrine or the
consensus of opinion of learned writers and commentators. To some extent this
French usage has been received with us, particularly in the phrase "equity
jurisprudence," signifying the course of decision in Anglo-American courts of
equity, which has gained currency through the classical work of Judge Story.
But it must be obvious that Masons do not employ the word in this sense.
Although the course of decision in Masonic tribunals in the form of rulings of
the Grand Masters and action of Grand Lodges thereon and of review of trials
in or by Grand Lodges, is an important form of Masonic law; it furnishes but a
part, and relatively a modern part, of the materials of what we are wont to
style Masonic jurisprudence.
By a not unnatural transition
from the French use of the term it has come to be used also chiefly in this
country, simply as a polysyllabic synonym for law. Medical jurisprudence, for
the forensic applications of medicine, has much vogue. Dental jurisprudence
for the law of interest to dentists, engineering jurisprudence for the law of
interest to engineers, architectural jurisprudence for the law of interest to
architects, are heard occasionally. These seem quite indefensible. But even if
they were not to be critized, they would not warrant Masonic jurisprudence,
for the latter term calls to mind not that part of the general law of the land
which has special interest for the Mason, but the internal law of the
fraternity itself. We come back, therefore, to our question whether Masonic
jurisprudence is simply a grandiose name for Masonic law or whether, on the
other hand, there is a science of Masonic law distinct from the law of each
Masonic jurisdiction? Is there, in other words, an organized body of knowledge
above and behind each particular local Masonic law upon which the latter rests
as fully and truly as the particular legal rules of one of our commonwealths
rest upon the principles of general legal science and the principles of
Anglo-American legal tradition? For the moment I shall assume that there is,
and my purpose in this course will be, not to expound dogmatically the rules
of Masonic law which obtain here or elsewhere, but to show, if I may, that
there is a science of Masonic law, to examine its material and its methods,
and to set forth its principles.
In studying the law of
politically organized society we say that it may be expounded dogmatically,
that is, the content and application of its several rules and principles may
be investigated and set forth, or it may be studied by one of the methods of
jurisprudence-- analytical, historical, or philosophical. In truth dogmatic
study is of little value except as it makes use of and rests upon these
methods of legal science. They justify themselves in the end by making for
effective understanding and criticism and improvement of the law of each
state. But they are methods of legal science generally, while the dogmatic
method is applicable not to jurisprudence but to a particular body of law. We
may study a particular body of law analytically, that is, we may investigate
the structure, subjectmatter and rules of a legal system in order to reach by
analysis the principles and theories which it logically presupposes, As a
method of jurisprudence, however, the analytical method is comparative. It
involves a comparative study of the purposes, methods and ideas common to
developed systems of law by analysis of such systems and of their doctrines
and institutions in their matured forms. Again, a particular body of law may
be studied historically. That is, investigation may be made of the historical
origin and development of the legal system and of its institutions and
doctrines, looking to the past of the law to disclose the principles of the
law of today. But here also, as a method of jurisprudence the historical
method must be comparative. lt involves a comparative study of the origin and
development of law, of legal systems, and of particular doctrines and
institutions in order to draw therefrom universal principles of legal science.
Finally, a particular body of law may be studied philosophically. That is,
investigation may be made of the philosophical bases of the institutions and
doctrines of a legal system in order to reach its fundamental principles
through philosophical speculation. When this method is pursued comparatively
and the philosophical basis of law generally and of general legal institutions
and universal legal doctrines is sought, in order to reach universal
principles, the philosophical method becomes a method of jurisprudence.
Formerly these three methods, the analytical, the historical and the
philosophical, contended for the mastery. Today we recognize that no one of
them is self-sufficient and that jurisprudence must employ each of them in
order to achieve a well-rounded science.
If we apply these ideas to
Masonic law, we may say that a dogmatic exposition of the law of any
jurisdiction would, indeed, very likely be profitable. But it would be
relatively of little value, certainly of little permanent value, unless it
made use of and rested upon the analytical, the historical and the
philosophical methods. Moreover these methods should be developed
comparatively, as methods of a Masonic legal science, if they are to give
their best results. On the other hand these methods are not pursued for their
own sake. In the end they must justify themselves by making the law of each
Masonic jurisdiction more scientific, better organized, more easy of
comprehension and of application and more eflective for the purposes for which
it exists. Unless he can give us principles of systematization, of criticism
and of improvement in those parts of our law which are subject to change, the
jurist has no claim upon the attention of a craft of workmen.
Another preliminary question
confronts us. How far are we justified in speaking of Masonic law? Is the body
of rules to which we give that name law in any proper sense of the term? Are
we warranted in applying to it the methods and in attaching to it the ideas
which are appropriate when treating of the law of politically organized
There are three common uses
of the term "law": (1) Law as used in the natural and physical sciences; (2)
natural law or law of nature as the term has been used by writers on ethics,
politics and the philosophy of law; (3) law in the juridical sense. In the
sciences, law is used to mean deductions from human experience of the course
of events. Thus the law of gravitation is a record of human observation and
experience of the manner in which bodies which are free to move do in fact
move toward one another. Similarly Grimm's law in philology is a record of the
observations of philologists as to the manner in which consonantal changes
have taken place in the several Aryan languages. By natural law ethical,
philosophical and political writers mean the principles which philosophy and
ethics discover as those which should govern human action and the adjustment
of human relations, and hence as those with respect to which obligatory rules
of human conduct ought to be framed. Law in the juridical sense is said to be
the body of rules, principles and standards recognized or enforced by public
or regular tribunals in the administration of justice. Obviously there is an
idea in common here, namely, the idea of a rule or principle, underlying a
sequence of events, whether natural or moral, or judicial. In this wide sense,
therefore, we may speak of the rules or principles which underly a sequence of
events in a fraternal organization as law, just as we should so style the
rules or principles underlying a sequence of events in a political society.
But this wide use of the term law has been the subject of much objection and
much dispute and we may put ourselves on firmer ground by looking at certain
analogies between the rules which govern the decision of controversies and the
adjustment of relations in a politically organized society and those which
govern disputes and adjust relations in religious organizations and in
At bottom we mUst rest the
whole structure of state and law upon the hard fundamental fact that in a
finite world, human demands are infinite. If there were enough material goods
to go around and enough room so that each of us might move in the widest orbit
his fancy could picture or hiS desires could dictate without coming into
collision with hiS felow men, we should not need any elaborate system of
balancing conflicting interests nor any elaborate machinery for putting into
effect the standards for delimiting and enforcing interests which result from
such balancing. Unhappily the material goods of existence do not suffice to
give to each everything which he may claim or which he does claim. Hence to
conserve the values of life and to eliminate waste men organize themselves and
organize or invent rules and standards and principles by which to eliminate
waste and make the available stock of values go as far as possible. In the
beginning these organizations are simply groups of kindred. Presently
religious and maternal organizations develop. Subsequently political
organizations arise. In time trade and professional associations are added.
All these seek in one way or another to secure to men values which might
otherwise be dissipated. They have their justification in the necessity of
conserving what would otherwise be lost in the struggle of individuals to
satisfy infinite claims upon a limited store. Accordingly, if we look for a
moment at the state, we see that it eliminates waste by means of the law in
several ways. For one thing it furnishes a rule of decision in case of dispute
and thus obviates resort to private war when controversies arise. One has only
to consider what happens today in case of an industrial dispute in order to
see what this means.
In an ordinary dispute
between man and man today we have a measure of conduct which is ascertainable
within reasonable limits in advance. If the dispute becomes acute, one party
or the other may summon his adversary before a public tribunal and may have
the dispute adjudicated upon the basis of settled rules, according to a
settled procedure, and with reference to settled modes of redress. When the
judgment is pronounced, it is not optional with the defeated party to adhere
to it or not. The whole power of the state is behind it and the force of
organized society may be invoked to carry it out. In an industrial dispute on
the other hand, we have no clear measure of conduct. Each party is referred to
his individual sense of fairness and to the general sense of fairness of the
public at large. But in a highly diversified community in which groups and
classes with apparently divergent interests understand each other none too
well and have conflicting ideas of justice, general public opinion is seldom
sufficiently definite and consistent to serve as a restraint upon the partisan
notions of justice entertained by the contending parties and hence is left to
be the judge of its own case. With no clear predetermined measure of
adjustment of such controversies, with no settled mode of procedure, with no
settled mode of redress and no strong, permanent tribunal, backed by the moral
sense of the community, long tradition, and the force of the state, to
pronounce and give effect to a judgment, there is no way to satisfy or to
coerce the disputants and in practice, as like as not, the interests of each
and the interests of society suffer equally. Society struggles to maintain its
interest in the general security and to prevent waste under such circumstances
by seeking peace at whatever sacrifice. It is not a question of equal and
exact justice. The paramount demands of peace and good order are to be met
first. The policy is not "let justice be done though the heavens fall," but
"peace at any price." Hence society endeavors to put pressure upon the
disputants, directly, indirectly, openly or covertly, to submit to arbitration
and to abide the award. A public service company may be threatened with
forfeiture of franchise. A private owner may be threatened with extra-legal
sequestration of his property. Both parties may be threatened with a report as
to the causes of the dispute and the issues involved to be made public after
an official inquiry. Press, pulpit and platform may exhort and rebuke. Thus in
one way or another a compromise or an arbitration may be brought about. But
when such a result has been achieved, no guide has been provided for the next
dispute. No precedent has resulted. Nothing has been accomplished beyond
averting or terminating a condition of private war in that one case. The whole
process is crude and wasteful. Every time that this happens we act over again
the inception of law. The Roman magistrate who stepped between the contending
litigants and called out, "Let go, both of you," the praetor who pronounced
the interdict, "I forbid that violence take place," and the indirect devices
whereby a case for arbitration was formulated, not upon direct statement of
their claims by the parties but through indirectly inducing or coercing a
reference or an arbitration, testify to a general condition of which the
special condition that obtains in a modern industrial dispute is perhaps the
last remnant. By furnishing a rule for decision and by furnishing a guide to
conduct the law enables society to reconcile conflicting interests, to
conserve values and to eliminate waste.
This same problem of
reconciling conflicting interests, of conserving values and of eliminating
waste arises in every group-- in religious and fraternal organizations no less
than in political organizations. And it is met in the same way. By slow and
painful development of customs through experience, followed by deliberate
formulation of rules invented for the purpose, men select out of the great
mass of possible claims those which seem to call most urgently for security,
define them, weigh them against other recognized inter ests and devise means
for giving them effect. This process of recognizing, delimiting and securing
interests when carried on by a political society is called lawmaking and the
rules and standards of conduct and rules and principles of decision thereby
set up are called law. In like manner the rules and standards of conduct and
the rules and principles of decision developed or devised to secure interests
and conserve values In the universal medieval church are called the canon law.
No less justly may we apply to the rules and standards of conduct and the
rules and principles of decision evolved or devised to secure interests and
conserve values in our universal fraternal organization the name of Masonic
law. For if it is said that we cannot enforce our law as the state enforces
its law--that the sheriff and his posse looms in the background of the latter
while the former is but hortatory--the answer must be that our law has behind
it the same sanction that was behind the law of the medieval church, namely,
excommunication and that this is essentially nothing else than the sanction of
the earlier stageS of the law of politically organized society--namely,
outlawry. The group in each case casts out the individual who, through
defiance of its law threatens a waste of the values which it seeks to secure.
Assuming, then, that we are
justified in speaking of Masonic law, what are the component parts of our
Masonic legal system; what are the jural materials with which the Masonic
lawyer must work ? I venture to distinguish three types of rules: (1) The
landmarks; (2) the Masonic common law; (3) Masonic legislation. I cannot deny
that in so classifying the jural materials of Masonry I am influenced by our
Anglo-American distinction of constitutional rules, common law and
legislation. And one should not turn to such an analogy hastily or
unadvisedly. For I shall endeavor to show in another connection that Masonic
jurisprudence has suffered in this country from overzealous attempts to mould
our law by the analogies of the political law of the time and place and from
the hasty assumption that our American legal and political institutions might
be relied upon to furnish principles of law for a universal fraternity.
Nevertheless the craft has engaged the hearty service of great lawyers for at
least two centuries and the revival from which we date the Masonry of today
took place in a time and in a country in which certain legal and politic ideas
were universally entertained and were almost taken to inhere in nature. Hence
we have more than analogy-- we have, if not a causal relation, at least a
relation of great influence.
Presupposing this three-fold
division, we have first, the landmarks, a small not clearly defined body of
fundamentals which are beyond reach of change. They are the prescriptive or
unwritten constitution (using constitution in the purely American sense) by
which every thing must be judged ultimately and to which we must all conform.
Second, we have Masonic common law--the body of tradition and doctrine, which
falling short of the sanctity and authority of the landmarks, nevertheless is
of such long standing, and so universal, and so well attested, that we should
hesitate to depart from it and are perforce wont to rely upon it whether to
apply our own law or to appreciate the law of our neighbors.
These first two elements of
Masonic law rest in tradition and in doctrinal writing. They take the form of:
(a) Tradition--the mode of conducting Masonic affairs which has been handed
down from master to master, from lodge to lodge for centuries and embodies the
experience of countless sincere, zealous, well-informed brothers; (b)
treatises, of which Oliver's Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence and Mackey's
Masonic Jurisprudence are the best types; (c) decisions of Grand Masters and
review thereof by Grand Lodges, recorded in the published proceedings of Grand
Lodges, chiefly in America; and (d) reports of the committees on
correspondence of our American Grand Lodges, in which the decisions in other
jurisdictions are reviewed and criticized and a comparative and universal
element is introduced which is of the highest value to the Masonic jurist.
These committees on correspondence have been much kicked at and it cannot be
denied that the work of some of them at times has been crude. Yet for the
present purpose their work has been invaluable. No one who has studied Masonic
jurisprudence attentively can fail to testify to the unifying force exerted by
these committees. The stimulus of their criticism, even when ill directed has
made our local Masonic jurists pause to think of the rest of the Masonic
world; it has exerted the scientific influence which is always involved in
comparison; it has worked everywhere for universality in our welter of
independent local jurisdictions, each ambitious to make its own law.
The two main elements just
enumerated make up the unwritten law of Masonry. A third element, namely,
Grand Lodge legislation, of which our American Grand Lodges have been
exceedingly prolific, constitutes the written law of Masonry.
A moment's digression is
required to explain these terms. As soon as legal systems attain any degree of
maturity, they are made up of two elements: A traditional element and an
imperative element. Following the Roman jurists, the traditional element is
generally known in jurisprudence by the name of the unwritten law--jus non
scriptum--and the imperative element by the name of the written law--jus
scriptum; not that we do not find the principles and rules of each today only
in writings, but because the latter was deliberately and authoritatively
reduced to writing at its inception.
Our main interest is in the
unwritten law--the traditional element--which, except as local decisions
interpret or apply local legislation, proceeds or purports to proceed on
universal lines and is or seeks to be in principle permanent and general, even
as legislation is ephemeral and local.
Let me develop this point a
bit. As has been said, a developed legal system is made up of two elements, a
traditional element and an enacted or imperative element. Although at present
the balance in our law is shifting gradually to the side of the enacted
element, the traditional element is still by far the more important. In the
first instance, we must rely upon it to meet all new problems, for the
legislator acts only after they attract attention. But even after the
legislator has acted, it is seldom if ever that his foresight extends to all
the details of his problem or that he is able to do more than provide a broad,
if not a crude outline. Hence even in the field of the enacted law, the
traditional element of the legal system plays a chief part. We must rely upon
it to fill the gaps in legislation, to develop the principles introduced by
legislation and to interpret them. Let us not forget that so-called
interpretation is not merely ascertainment of the legislative intent. If it
were, it would be the easiest instead of the most difficult of judicial tasks.
Where the legislator has had an intent and has sought to express it, there is
seldom a question of interpretation. The difficulties arise in the myriad
cases with respect to which the law maker had no intention because he had
never thought of them--indeed perhaps he could never have thought of them.
Here under the guise of interpretation the court, willing or unwilling, must
to some extent make the law, and our security that it will be made as law and
not as arbitrary rule lies in the judicial and juristic tradition from which
the materials of judicial law-making are derived. Accordingly the traditional
element of the legal system is and must be used even in an age of copious
legislation, to supplement, round out and develop the enacted element, and in
the end it usually swallows up the latter and incorporates its results in the
body of tradition. Moreover a large field is always unappropriated by
enactment, and here the traditional element is supreme. In this part of the
law fundamental ideas change slowly. The alterations wrought here and there by
legislation, not always consistent with one another, do not produce a general
advance. Indeed they may be held back at times in the interests, real or
supposed, of uniformity and consistency, through the influence of the
traditional element. It is obvious, therefore, that above all else the
condition of the law depends upon the condition of this element of the legal
Another feature of the
twofold composition of developed legal systems is of no less importance. The
traditional element rests at first upon the traditional mode of advising
litigants on the part of those upon whom tribunals rely for guidance or upon
the usage and practice of tribunals. Later it rests upon juristic science and
the habitual modes of thought of a learned profession. Thus the ultimate basis
of its author;ty is reason and conformity to ideals of right. On the other
hand the imperative element rests upon enactment. It rests upon the expressed
will of the sovereign. The basis of its authority is the power of the state.
The parallel with Masonic law
is exact. With us, the most important of our jural materials are in the
First, we must rely upon the
traditional element to meet all new problems, and the normal course of growth
in Masonic law is: (1) A new application of a traditional principle by the
decision of a Grand Master; (2) review thereof in a Grand Lodge; (3) comment
thereon by the various committees on correspondence; (4) the growth of a
consensus of opinion on the subject among Masonic jurists; and (5)
incorporation in some text book of Masonic law or in declaratory legislation.
Secondly, we must rely on the traditional element to fill all gaps in Masonic
legislation. Thirdly, we must rely on it to interpret legislation and to
develop legislation. Fourthly, above all, as we are a universal institution
and ought to legislate cautiously, we must rely on the traditional element to
furnish the principles of legislation and a critique of legislation. We are
not like a political organization- -mere will has no place in any theory of
Accordingly it is of the
first importance to have a theory of the unwritten law of Masonry and an
organized, systematic science of this traditional element of our law--in other
words, to have a science of Masonic jurisprudence.
What are the data of this
science ? What are the materials which we may use in constructing it?
I take it they are five: (1)
History; (2) general Masonic tradition; (3) philosophy; (4) logical (or
systematic) construction on the basis of history, philosophy and tradition;
and (5) authentic modern materials of Masonic common law.
Let me take these up in
order. First as to history. Here there are two questions: (a) What materials
does Masonic history furnish which are important for Masonic jurisprudence;
(b) what is the function of history in Masonic jurisprudencc how and for what
purpose should we use history in this connection ? On such an occasion one can
only speak summarily. In a few words, the historical materials which are
important for the Masonic. jurist seem to be five:
(1) The manuscript
constitutions of British Freemasons--a series of manuscripts the oldest of
which go back to the fourteenth century, which are the foundation of authentic
Masonic history. These are of especial importance on the subject of the
landmarks. Thus, when we trace in the manuscripts the old charge to be true to
God and holy church and the new charge of 1738 that if the Mason understands
his art aright he will never be a stupid atheist, history reinforces the
tradition contained in the master's obligation.
(2) Seventeenth and
eighteenth-century notices of English Masonry prior to 1717. From these
materials we are able to see how Masons met and what they meant by a lodge
prior to the rise of Grand-Lodge Masonry and are enabled to distinguish
between the landmarks and the common law as to Masonic organization.
(3) Old lodge records in
England and Scotland. These also throw great light upon the organization of
the Craft prior to 1717. When we find presidents and wardens and deacons as
the highest officers of lodges, we see again what was from the beginning and
what is simply common law.
writers who had or purported to have access to traditions current among Masons
at and prior to the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and to
old manuscripts not now extant. Even if some or much of the information which
they purport to give on the basis of such traditions and such manuscripts is
apocryphal, it has entered into the stream of subsequent Masonic tradition and
may not be overlooked.
(5) Grand Lodge records,
beginning in England in 1723, which show the settled practice of the formative
period of Masonry as we know it today.
Of these five classes of
historical materials, the fourth calls for some special notice. It is made up
of three well-known books which have exerted an almost controlling influence
upon our ideas of Masonic history and have largely determined Masonic
tradition. These books are: Anderson's Constitution (1723, second edition
1738), Preston's Illustrations (1772) and Dermott's Ahiman Rezon (1756, second
edition 1764). It would be out of place to attempt an appraisal of their
historical value here. Moreover the thorough-going critique of Gould, which
has definitely overthrown much which had long been accepted on the authority
of these books has not wholly destroyed their importance for Masonic
jurisprudence. As Hobbes puts it, "authority not truth makes the law." It may
well happen that historical mistakes may become fixed in the legal fabric. For
example, Lord Coke very likely erred in much that he laid down in his Second
Institute as to the history of our Anglo-American constitutional doctrine of
the supremacy of law. Yet his writing is the foundation of our public law and
his results have amply justified themselves. It is no fatal objection in
practical affairs that the conclusions must sustain the premises. Hence if
Anderson and Preston and Dermott cannot be vouched for landmarks, they must be
read diligently in order to reach the sources of much of our Masonic common
Let us turn now to the other
question, what are the uses of Masonic history ? One use is to correct
tradition, as for example, in the case of the apocryphal long list of royal
and noble Grand Masters. Another is to hold philosophy in bounds, as for
example, in the case of the controversy which raged once in one of our
American Grand Lodges as to the wearing of white gloves, on the theory that
gloves were unknown at the time of the building of the temple, or, again, in
the rejection of the letter G on philosophical grounds by another of our Grand
Lodges. Another use is to test doctrinal (systematic, logical) exposition, as
in the case of Mackey's twenty-five landmarks. But this correction by history
should not be pressed too far. It should not be used as the basis of rejecting
settled Masonic common law, shown by universal practice since the end of the
eighteenth century. For example, nothing is better settled than the doctrines
of territorial jurisdiction in Craft Masonry and the impropriety of invasion
of jurisdiction. If there are no landmarks here, there are settled principles
of Masonic conflict of laws which are a part of the universal law of the
Our second main source of law
is tradition. Today this is set forth in the form of doctrinal exposition and
Grand-Lodge decision. Much of it is declared by Grand-Lodge legislation. It is
of the highest value in fixing the principles of Masonic common law. But
elsewhere it is dangerous. It must always be corrected by careful historical
consideration of whether the tradition in question is authentic, immemorial
Our third main source of law
is philosophy, that is, deduction from principles found by philosophical study
of the ends and purpose of Masonry--for example, deduction from the principle
of universality, from the principle of organization of moral sentiments of
mankind, from the principle of furthering human civilization. It may be
compared with the metaphysical method in jurisprudence which seeks to deduce
all legal rules from or correct them by a fundamental principle of human
freedom. Philosophy is chiefly useful as a check on Masonic history. For
example, if one were to look only to history, he might make a strong argument
that the dinner or banquet following the work on important occasions was a
landmark. Certainly as far back as we have accounts of Masonic work we find
the brethren sitting about the board in this way. But consideration of the
purposes and ends of the order shows us at once that we have here but an
incident of ordinary human social intercourse. So in the case of the objection
to white gloves above referred to. The Masonic philosopher perceives at once
that we have here a traditional symbol and that purely historical
considerations cannot be suffered to prevail.
Our fourth main source of law
is logical construction. It has the same place with us as juristic science has
in the law of the state. It is of the first importance if the data are sound
and are well used. Mackey's famous text book of Masonic jurisprudence (1859)
is still the best example of the use of logical construction.
The fifth main source of
Masonic law is to be found in authentic modern materials of Masonic customary
law and in settled Masonic usage since the last half of the eighteenth
century. Indeed the general principles of this settled usage have all but the
force of landmarks. Thus Mackey recognizes: (1) Landmarks; (2) general laws or
regulations; (3) local laws or regulations. Here the second is substantially
what I call Masonic common law and the third what I call Masonic legislation.
Mackey says of the second: "These are all those regulations that have been
enacted by such bodies as had at the time universal jurisdiction. They
operate, therefore, over the Craft wheresoever dispersed; and as the paramount
bodies which enacted them have long ceased to exist, it would seem that they
are unrepealable. It is generally agreed that these general or universal laws
are to be found in the old constitutions or charges, so far as they were
recognized and accepted by the Grand Lodge of England at the revival in 1717
and adopted previous to the year 1726." This would receive Anderson's first
edition without question as a conclusive exposition of the principles of the
traditional element. Today it is clear that we cannot accept it. But the idea
at the bottom of Mackey's system is sound.
I take it we must distinguish
two things. (a) We may perceive certain settled principles adhered to by all
regular and well-governed lodges since the last quarter of the eighteenth
century. For example, with one exception it has always been recognized that at
least three lodges are required to set up a Grand Lodge. But we must be
cautious here. It will be noticed that Mackey assumes that fluidity is at an
end by 1721. We cannot accept this proposition. We must recognize a great deal
of fluidity till much later. But Ma,sonry is not bound to retain forever the
fluidity of the first half of the eighteenth century. (b) Next we must
differentiate from the principles themselves the development of these
principles (i) by logical deduction and juristic speculation, and (ii) by
judicial empiricism in the decisions of Grand Masters and the review thereof
by Grand Lodges.
The latter is almost wholly
American and much of it is worthy to rank with the best achievements of legal
development in any political organization. If the law of the medieval church
became for a time the law of the world and gave ideas and doctrines to the law
of the state which are valuable for all time, it is not at all impossible that
our universal organization, coming much later to the work of law-making, may
in its turn develop legal ideas of universal value and thus contribute
indirectly to the furtherance of civilization while contributing directly
thereto in its ordinary work.
BY BRO. GEO. W. WARVELLE,
I CONTINUE to hear
complaints from certain quarters concerning the wasteful extravagance in the
matter of refreshments, together with suggestions as to the good that might be
accomplished if the money so expended were applied to works of charity and
pure beneficence. But, notwithstanding these oft repeated admonitions from
those who stand on the watch towers of zion, the Craft jogs along in the same
old way and the banquet is still a potent factor in Masonic life. And yet,
this is strictly in keeping with the old precedents; a faithful adherence to
the old land. marks.
Freemasonry, in its
inception, was strictly a convivial institution, all reports to the contrary
notwithstanding. In later years it took on liturgic features,but the old
customs, in large measure, were continued and in modified forms are still
practiced. The custom of "refreshment" may be traced back to the mediaeval
Gilds, while the oldest records of the Masonic Fraternity, as a speculative
society, contain references to the feasting (including drinking) at the craft
The seventeenth century has
left many authentic references to the conviviality which characterized the
meetings in those days. Thus, Plot in his history, when alluding to the
Masons, says: "When any are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodge as they
term it in some places) and entertain with a collation according to the custom
of the place; This ended, they proceed to the admission of them." Plot was not
a Mason. Ashmole, in his diary, notes a meeting he attended at London in 1682.
Of this he says: "We all dined at the Half-moon Tavern in Cheapside, at a
noble Dinner prepared at the Charge of the new accepted Masons." And so, it
will be seen that from very early times a feast was an important part of a
It has been suggested, by
some of the English scholars, that this custom of a feast originated in the
actual necessities of the occasion; that many of the members of the early
lodges came long distances to attend the meetings and frequently on foot.
Hence, it was necessary that they should be provided with refreshment of some
kind either on their arrival or before setting out on their return journey.
You will see, therefore, that the J. W.'s call to refreshment was not an empty
formality in those days.
It would seem that in the old
days the feast always preceded the work, a custom that has not yet died out in
England. And as in nature the tendency is to constantly revert to earlier
types, so in human institutions we may observe the same phenomena. In many
localities the six o'clock dinner has taken the place of the eleven o'clock
banquet, while the old-time flow of post prandial oratory has been eliminated.
This was the custom of the Grand Lodge of England far into the historic
period, as witness the minutes of the "assembly and feast" at Stationers Hall
on June 22, 1721, when "after Grace said, they sat down in the antient manner
of Masons to a very elegant Feast, and dined with Joy and Gladness." After
this followed the regular business, and.then the Grand Master ordered the
Warden "to close the Lodge in good Time." * * *
But the banquet is too firmly
entrenched to be obliterated by any shell fire the disciples of the new
thought may pour upon it. The Freemasons are still, even as in the old days, a
social brotherhood and the customs of the fathers will long continue,
notwithstanding the edict "The Banquet must go." From the dawn of history we
may find the custom in connection with fraternal societies. It is not peculiar
to Freemasonry. In fact, our Masonic ancestors simply borrowed the custom from
those who preceded them. Long years ago, in ancient Greece, the banquet
followed the initiations into the mysteries, as witness the following, which I
quote from the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius:
"All the uninitiated having
been sent away, the priest clothed me in a new linen garment, and, taking my
hand, let me into the penetralia of the sanctuary. You will perhaps, ask,
studious reader, and be anxious to know, what was then done. What was done,
ask you? I would tell, if it were lawful to tell; thou shouldst know, if it
were lawful for thee to hear. But I will not detain in long suspense you, who
are, perchance, in a state of suspense with religious anxiety. Hear,
therefore, and believe, for the things I narrate are true. I approached the
confines of death, and, having trod the threshold of Proserpine, I was earried
back through all the elements. At midnight, I beheld the sun glittering with
clear light; l approached the gods of Hades and of Heaven, and adored them
face to face. Thus have I related to you things, which, although heard by
thee, thou canst not know. . . After this, I celebrated a most cheerful
banquet in honor of my birth day into these rites; pleasant was the banquet
and lively the entertainment."
I direct your special
attention to the closing lines of the above paragraph. They simply show that
mankind and human nature are much the same in all ages and all lands. * * *
A few years ago Admiral Dewey
is reported to have said, that he attributed his robust health and length of
days to these facts: that he had entered the navy and kept away from public
banquets. Perhaps all of us cannot take the first part of his prescription,
and perhaps also, the real worth lies in the latter part of it. Certain it is,
that while the 12-inch gun may have slain its thousands the deviled crab and
the overripe lobster have laid low their tens of thousands. It is not given to
all of us to die in behalf of a great cause. In fact, few of us care to die.
But everyone is privileged to incur indigestion and other gastronomic ills,
and this privilege the most of us insist in availing ourselves of with
It is said, however, that the
fatalities which mark the history of public feeding do not constitute its
worst reproach; that the gleater harm consists in the undigested ideas which
every well regulated banquet is bound to liberate. Bad food and poor talk make
a combination that is fatal to the soundest human system. Thus is it written:
Avoid the groaning board, my
The devilled crab, the
But, deadliest of all, avoid
The after-dinner speech.
Does the square that you wear
mean the test by your God
Of the work that you do, and
the word that you speak,
Of the will of your mind, the
thought of your heart,
Of the Past that is gone, of
the Future you seek?
The Compass you wear, does it
mean that you move
Within the true bound
appointed and sure,
Restricted desire, pleasure
A yielding of self to the
bonds that endure ?
The Triangle too--great
emblem of Him
Who is Maker, and Master,
Beginning and End,--
Do you wear it to show that
He is to you
The Source and the Aim that
all others transcend?
What means the gold trowel
that hangs at your chain ?
Does it tell of the mortar of
Love that you spread?
Of the joint well cement with
fine brotherly love?
Of the stones that now lie in
the well-mortared bed?
If 'tis not so, then take the
poor jewels away;
The meaningless bauble will
Yourself and the others you
meet on your way
As meaningless lies which
none ever believe.
John George Gibson.
NOTES ON THE ORIGIN OF
BY BRO. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE,
IT is said that in or about
1879, several Chapters under the obedience of the Supreme Council of France,
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, revolted from that authority and
re-incorporated themselves as La Grande Loge Symbolique de France. The
rebellion, as usual, was fomented by the Grand Orient.
It is impossible from the
confused evidence to decide what Degrees were conferred by the new body, but
they were probably the Craft Grades only and not the High Grades of the
Scottish Rite. The central body appears to have governed Lodges and not
One of the separated Lodges,
the nature of whose dissatisfaction is shown by its title of Les Libres
Penseurs, held its meetings at Pecq, a village in the department of Seine et
This Lodge on November 25,
1881, proposed that Mlle Maria Desraimes, a writer on humanitarian subjects
and the rights of women, should be admitted to Freemasonry.
The proposers were the W. M.
Hubron and six other Master Masons. The initiation took place on January 14,
1882, in the presence of Brethren drawn from all parts. From her subsequent
history, the candidate must have been also passed and raised, but there are no
particulars in the sources to which I have had access.
The Lodge was suspended, but
whether by the authority which it had helped to create, by the Supreme
Council, or by the Grand Orient, does not appear.
On March 14, April 1 and
April 4, 1893, Mlle Desraimes, acting under the influence of a certain Docteur
Georges Martin, was concerned in the initiation, passing and raising of 17
candidates. The information does not say whether they were women only or
members of both sexes, but the former probably.
Some kind of Temple was
founded about the same period, place not indicated; a Constitution was framed;
and an androgynous Masonic body thus came into existence, under the title of
Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise, being identical with that of the Schismatic
body already mentioned.
Its one Lodge at the moment
was called Le Droit Humain and that which it communicated was termed Universal
In 1900 the Lodge in question
adopted the 30 Degrees superposed on the Craft Grades by the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite.
This was brought about by the
intervention of French Masons said to be in possession of the 33rd Degree.
In 1903 there were centres at
Benares, Paris and London.
At the same period Joint
Freemasonry in the British dominion is stated to have used a Craft Ritual
appertaining to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
The movement seems to have
spread from France to India and thence to England.
The title in the British
dominions was altered from Joint Freemasonry to Co-Masonry about 1905.
The first English Lodge was
called Human Duty and is, I infer, number 6 on the Roll.
In 1908 there was a feud in
London, which has resulted in the foundation of an independent branch, the
reason being that the original body, under Annie Besant and her vice-regents,
constituted an automatic and irresponsible headship, in opposition to Masonic
The English Ritual used by
Universal Co-Masonry has been printed and had reached a second edition in
1908. It is called The Dharma Working of Craft Masonry, Dharma being the title
of the Lodge at Benares.
The Ceremony of the
Installation of the Worshipful Master and the Investiture of Officers has also
In the Ritual of the Three
Degrees the variations from our own form are at once numerous and slight, but
there are also certain new things introduced.
Some of them may be tabulated
(a) The W. M. is called
throughout the Right Worshipful Master, following the Scottish fashion.
(b) The rubrics are much
(c) The Entered Apprentice is
taken three times round the Lodge and is brought back on each occasion to the
(d) The second
circumambulation is opposite to the first, or against the sun; the third is
the same as the first, or with the sun.
(e) In the Second Degree,
after the usual circumambulations, the Candidate is placed in the centre and
passes through five stages or experiences, corresponding (1) to work on the
rough stone; (2) the arts; (3) Sciences; (4) the Humanities, and (5)
apparently rest after work, with the idea of work to follow.
(f) In the Third Degree the
Obligation is shortened and certain significant covenants are not found,
presumably because women take it. The wording also differs.
(g) The wording differs
throughout in many places and some of the prayers are changed.
THINGS NOT MADE
Thou art what we are; Thou
art what we do; Thou art what we say. Thou art all things, and there is
nothing which Thou art not. Thou art that which is made and all that is not
Edited by Bro. Robert I.
Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland Ohio
THE OFFICERS OF A LODGE AND
THEIR DUTIES by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
If we may properly assume
that the officers of the Lodge form the machinery of Masonry, the means to
make its labor most useful and efficient, the power plant of the institution;
then the Master is the governor or regulator, the very spark-plug of the
motor. Upon him rests responsibility for the rate of progress, the dignity of
the work, the spirit of the labor. With him much may be done, without him all
Of necessity, therefore, he
must be obeyed and he ought to be worthy of such obedience. So it was of old.
Let us turn to that ancient account of bygone laws and read from the White
Book of the City of London of what in those days of the past they esteemed due
and right from the members to the officers of the "mysteries," the gilds of
the Masons and the other operative and speculative crafts seven centuries ago.
OF THE PENALTY FOR REBELLING
AGAINST THE MASTERS OF THE MYSTERIES
"Item, it is ordained that
all the mysteries of the City of London shall be lawfully regulated and
governed, each according to its nature in due manner, that is no knavery,
false workmanship, or deceit, shall be found in said mysteries, for the honor
of the good folk of the said mysteries, and for the common profit of the
people. And in each mystery there shall be chosen and sworn four or six, or
more or less, according as the mystery shall need; which person, so chosen and
sworn, shall have full power from the Mayor well and lawfully to do and
perform the same. And if any person of the said mysteries shall be rebellious,
contradictory, or fractious, that so such persons may not duly perform their
duties, and shall thereof be attainted (convicted), he shall remain in prison,
the first time, ten days, and shall pay ten shillings for such contempt."
It was further provided that
on a second offense he should go to prison for twenty days and pay a fine of
twenty shillings, and on a third offense he paid thirty shillings and was
imprisoned thirty days, and so on for every further case of the like wrong
Why were the authorities so
very clear and helpful in stating what the City officials held proper to be
done in supporting the hands of the respective Masters ? It is not necessary
to guess at the motives behind their action. We can find them on record in the
very same code of laws. In the introduction to an ordinance relating to the
admission of members to these gild bodies, we note: "Because as well as in
times past, out of memory, as also in modern times, the City aforesaid is wont
to be defended and governed by the aid and counsels as well of the reputable
men of the trades merchant as of the other trades handicraft; and from of old
it hath been the usage, that no strange person, native or alien, as to whose
conversation and condition there is no certain knowledge, shall be admitted to
the freedom of the City, unless first, the merchants or traders of the City
following the trade which the person so to be admitted intends to adopt, shall
be lawfully convoked; that so, by such his fellow citizens, so convoked, the
Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, being certified as to the condition and
trustworthiness of the persons so to be admitted, may know whether such
persons ought to be admitted or rejected;--the whole community demands, that
the form aforesaid, so far as concerns the more important trades and
handicrafts, shall in future be inviolably observed, that so no person in
future may against the provision aforesaid be admitted to the freedom of the
There indeed are the reasons
why any city or community might well have a lively interest and a friendly
confidence in the long-established practices of such an institution as ours,
and to rely upon the aid and the counsels of good men and true assembled
lawfully and governed wisely by competent officers.
From the same source as the
foregoing quotations we take the approved obligation prescribed for the
officers of the old gilds.
OATH OF THE MASTERS AND
WARDENS OF THE MYSTERIES
"You shall swear, that well
and lawfully you shall overlook the art or mystery of Masonry, of which you
are Master, or Wardens, for the year elected. And the good rules and
ordinances of the same mystery, approved here by the Court, you shall keep and
cause to be kept. And all the defaults that you shall find therein, done
contrary thereto, you shall present unto the Chamberlain of the City, from
time to time, sparing no one for favor, and aggrieving no one for hate.
Extortion or wrong unto no one, by colour of your office, you shall do; nor
unto anything that shall be against the estate and peace of the King, or the
City, you shall consent. But for the time that you shall be in office, in all
things pertaining unto the said mystery, according to the good laws and
franchises of the said City, well and lawfully you shall behave yourself. So
help you God and the Saints."
Today the Master of a Lodge
also promises faithfully and impartially, to the best of his ability, to
perform all the duties belonging to the office to which he has been elected;
that he will conform to the "constitution, laws, rules, and regulations" of
the Grand Lodge and will enforce a strict obedience to them. He is likewise at
installation required to give his assent to the old charges pertaining to the
position of Master. These are in general the following:
"You agree and promise to be
a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law; a peaceable citizen,
and to cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which you reside; not
to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the government, but
patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature; pay a proper
respect to the civil magistrates, to work diligently, live creditably, and act
honorably by all men; hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of
the institution of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and
subordinate, according to their stations, and to submit to the awards and
resolutions of your brethren, when convened, in every case consistent with the
constitutions of the order; to avoid private piques and quarrels, and guard
against intemperance and excess; cautious in carriage and behavior, courteous
to your brethren, and faithful to your Lodge; to respect genuine brethren, and
to discountenance imposters, and all dissenters from the original plan of
Masonry; to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social
virtues, and propagate the knowledge of the art; to pay homage to the Grand
Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed, and
strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or general assembly of
Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and ground-work of Masonry;
that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in
the body of Masonry; to make a regular attendance upon the committees and
communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay
attention to all the duties of Masonry, on convenient occasions; that no new
Lodge shall be formed without permission of the Grand Lodge; and that no
countenance be given to an irregular Lodge, or to any person clandestinely
initiated therein, being contrary to the Ancient Charges of the Order; that no
person can be regularly made a Mason in, or admitted a member of, any regular
Lodge, without previous notice, and due inquiry into his character; that no
visitors shall be admitted into your Lodge, without due examination, and
producing proper vouchers of their having been initiated into a regular
Various implements of Masonry
are at the same time called to the Master's attention. Among them are the Holy
Writings, the Book of Constitutions (Masonic Code), and the By-laws of his
Lodge. Of these he is thus admonished:
"The Holy Writings, that
great light in Masonry, will guide you in all truth; it will direct your path
to the temple of happiness, and point out to you the whole duty of man.
"The Book of Constitutions
you are to search at all times. Cause it to be read in your Lodge, that none
may pretend ignorance of the excellent precepts it enjoins.
"You will also receive in
charge the By-laws of your Lodge, which you are to see carefully and
Several symbols, as the
Square, the Compasses, the Rule, and the Line, are at the same time used to
impress upon the Master's mind with renewed force on this solemn occasion the
principles of morality, the just limit of desires, the eminence obtained by
merit, the upright walk in the path of virtue, and the standards of rectitude.
Upon the Master is especially placed the duty of diffusing light and
instruction to the brethren of his Lodge.
Having selected and installed
the Master, a brother "of good morals, of great skill, true and trusty, and a
lover of the whole fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the
earth," we may indeed further fairly assume that he will "discharge the duties
of the office with fidelity."
THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER
The prerogatives and duties
of the Worshipful Master are many and various. His very title, quaint and old,
throws a flood of light upon his place and power. Master he is truly, but much
more than a mere ruler. "Worshipful" means one worthy of honor deserving of
respect and deference. For many hundreds of years it has been employed toward
those attaining high position in English civil life. Magistrates are still so
addressed in that country; their "Your Worship" being equivalent to our "Your
Honor," and meaning no more or less. To many of our brethren it may strike
upon the ear at first as savoring of irreverence the misuse of a word commonly
employed for religious purposes only. But to us it has no such significance.
We so designate the officer so addressed because it is he who holds greatest
preferment in the Lodge and thereupon we continue in speaking to or of him to
use that subtle word of distinction implying the very aristocracy of pure
personal worth and mental merit among his skilled fellows.
From the decision of the
Master there can be no appeal save only to the higher body; he can invite any
member to preside over his Lodge; he can issue a proxy to any member to
represent him at the Grand Lodge Communication; at the Communication of the
Grand Lodge he is independent in action--voting as he pleases irrespective of
any action taken by his Lodge; he alone is the judge as to convening and
opening Lodge and of the conduct of its business; he determines when special
communications of his Lodge shall be held and what shall be done therein; he
may cut short discussion on other business at any time and close the Lodge; he
controls the admission of visitors; his permission is essential, whenever he
is present, to the admission of members and candidates; he has charge of the
charter or warrant; he appoints whatever officers are appointed and he may
install all the officers whether elected or appointed if so he chooses; in the
absence of an officer he appoints the substitute; he announces the result of
balloting and elections; he appoints all committees; and while this is seldom
insisted upon he has from of old the privilege of being present at the
meetings of all committees and of presiding over them at his pleasure
--following the ancient practice recorded by Anderson nearly two centuries ago
that wherever Masons congregate together the Master is entitled to govern and
direct their labors on all Masonic matters; he may vote and also cast another
vote in the event of a tie but this is not universal though of ancient usage;
he is immune from trial by his Lodge; he decides points of order without
appeal permitted to Lodge, and he presides at trials and determines questions
Before the installation of
the Master-elect it is no means uniform in the several jurisdictions. usually
required that he shall have received the Past Master's degree.
THE SENIOR WARDEN
In the absence of the Master
the Senior Warden governs the Lodge; in the presence of the Master the Senior
Warden assists him in the Lodge government. At the Communication of the Grand
Lodge the Senior Warden is one of the three officers, Master, Senior and
Junior Wardens or their proxies, charged with the duty of representing the
In 1721 we find that the
regulations specified that "In case of death or sickness, or necessary absence
of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no
brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before. For the absent
Master's authority reverts to the last Master present, though he cannot act
till the Senior Warden has congregated the Lodge."
Under some foreign
Constitutions it is the case that among the sitting officers of the Lodge is
the Immediate Past Master and upon him devolves the duty of taking up the work
in the absence of the installed Master of the Lodge, the Senior Warden
assembling the Lodge but the I.P.M. assuming the East for all ritualistic and
monitorial purposes while the Senior Warden is in charge of other matters.
With us there is not that established method. The Master being absent the
Senior Warden takes his place and calls to his assistance whatever help he may
find is requisite in conducting the affairs of the Lodge, opening and closing
and performing all other functions as if he be indeed the Master of the Lodge.
THE JUNIOR WARDEN
The Junior Warden is presumed
to have especial control of the brethren at refreshment, as the Senior Warden
is assumed to be in charge of the Craft when at labor. These changes of
control within the Lodge are signified by the position of the columns placed
at the respective stations of the Senior and Junior Wardens. When the Master
and the Senior Warden are absent or incapacitated in any way, the Junior
Warden succeeds to the position in direction of the Lodge.
Let it here be stated that
the several officers of a Masonic Lodge do not in the event of any vacancy
each move up one station or position. The various officers remain as they
were, as far as this is practicable, and the vacancies are filled for the time
One of the prerogatives of
the Wardens that they share with the Master and Past Masters is that of being
eligible to election to the East.
In the absence of the Master
and the two Wardens a Lodge can only be opened and transact business by
Mention has been made of the
Master making appointments. It was one time the custom, (which yet prevails in
some jurisdictions) that the Senior Warden appoints the Junior Deacon, and the
Junior Warden in turn appoints the two Stewards. Custom as to the election and
appointment of the respective officers is by no means uniform in the several
The Treasurer is the banker
of the Lodge and has nothing to do with the collections which are made by the
Secretary and duly turned over to him. Of the receipt of these monies he must
make due entries and pay them out only on the order of the Master and with the
consent of the Lodge. Worth while is it to note here that the old custom of
the Grand Lodge of England provides for the election only of the Master and
the Treasurer, all other officers being appointed by the former. Evidently the
idea behind this practice was to avoid any appearance of collusion between the
two officers and to make each of them all the more directly responsible to the
electing body, the Lodge. Bonds are commonly and should always be exacted of
the Treasurer for the faithful performance of his duties. An honest man as
Treasurer will not object to every safeguard being thrown about and around his
financial relations to his Lodge.
The Secretary receives all
money due to the Lodge and pays them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt
therefor. He also observes the proceedings of the Lodge and makes a suitable
record of all things proper to be written. Both the Secretary and the
Treasurer make an annual report to the Lodge and the former is as a rule also
required to transmit this and a copy of the membership roster with all other
desirable particulars of the work done to the Grand Secretary at such dates or
times as the laws of the Grand Lodge require. The Secretary is indeed the
recording, the corresponding and collecting agent for the Lodge. From him
proceed all the summonses for meetings, regular or special. All dimits,
diplomas, and communications are issued by him. He is in charge of the seal
and the archives. In common with the Treasurer he submits his books and Lodge
property to the examination of a committee at such stated intervals as the
by-laws or the pleasure of the Master may dictate.
Among the appointive officers
is the Chaplain. Upon him rests the duty of performing such parts in our
public and private ceremonies as are required. Manifestly Freemasonry pretends
not to be a religion but does act as an auxiliary to whatever is great and
good, "a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night pointing the way,
teaching a gospel of love, leading men to light and life everlasting." To
further this practice and profession is primarily the place and function of
The Deacons have especial
duties. The Senior Deacon is the first lieutenant of the Worshipful Master,
carrying out his orders in the management of the affairs of the Lodge. The
Junior Deacon acts in the same capacity to the Senior Warden. The Senior
Deacon is the immediate connecting link between the Master and all candidates,
and similarly with all the members and visitors. The Junior Deacon assists the
Senior Warden upon the inside of the inner door in guarding the proceedings
against the intrusion of all those not qualified to enter. The two Deacons
jointly carry out the respective orders of the presiding officer in the proper
preparation of the Lodge and its adaptation to the several ceremonies.
The handling of the ballot
box, the reception of visitors and their introduction and accommodation, the
care of the altar and lights, all belong peculiarly to the duties of the
Senior Deacon. None enter or leave, no one opens the Lodge door, no one
instructs the Tyler, but with the co-operation of the Junior Deacon.
The Stewards assist the
Secretary in the collection of dues and subscriptions, keep track of the Lodge
table expenses, see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment,
that every brother is suitably provided for at the banquets, and generally
assist the Deacons and other officers in performing their duties. So
substantially has been the labor set for the performance of the Stewards from
the days certainly of Preston and of Webb who so record their functions. Yes,
it is even older for ten centuries ago in the old Constitutions we note that
then "The Steward shall provide good cheer against the hour of refreshment,
and each Fellow shall punctually defray his share of the reckoning, the
Steward rendering a true and correct account."
The Tyler permits none to
pass or repass unless they are fully qualified and possess permission. Upon
his early and punctual attendance will depend very much of the success of the
Lodge labors. He serves the summonses of the Lodge, prepares the room for the
Lodge meetings, lays out the jewels and other requisite items (as gavels and
so forth) for the use of the Lodge, and in the anteroom and the preparation
room he provides a supply of aprons or whatever else may be required. He is
never to open the door from without, nor permit it to be opened from within,
without the exchange of the preliminary alarms between himself and the Junior
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Seal.
Appeal, Right of. Secretary. Oath, Tiler's. Tiler. Obedience. Treasurer.
Officers. Wardens. Past Master. Worshipful.
The Worshipful Master's
Assistant, by Robert Macoy. "Worshipful" as title, THE BUILDER, Vol. I, p. 96.
The Worshipful Master's Assistant, by Delmar D. Darrah.
AN APPEAL TO OUR MEMBERS
Up to the time this issue of
the Correspondence Circle Bulletin goes to press more than 1,000 Lodges and
Study Clubs throughout the United States and Canada were considering, or had
already gone to work on, our plan for the systematic study of Masonry.
We know there are thousands
of other Lodges that would welcome the opportunity to take up this plan if it
were presented to them.
But how are we to reach the
remaining 13,000 Lodges ?
We should like to be able to
do so at an early date as possible in order that they may take up the work
before the course is much further advanced.
We have printed in circular
form under the heading "1,000 Wide-Awake Lodges" a complete list of
suggestions for organizing Study Clubs or introducing the study feature into
the Lodges at regular or special meetings once each month.
Will you help us to place
this circular in the hands of the officers of your Lodge? Many of them are not
members of the Society and we can not reach them except with your
Read on page 8 of this
Bulletin what a New Mexico Brother has to say anent this movement. Note
especially what he says in the fifth paragraph about a brother taking his
degrees. Does not this parallel your own experience? You will also agree with
what he says a little further on, that there is something in Masonry that most
of us failed to get. There is yet time for us to get this "something," and the
way to get it is through our Study plan. We shall also be helping each
newly-raised Brother in the future in a way that we ourselves were not helped.
A number of interested
members have heeded our call to send in complete lists of the officers of
their Lodges. This has enabled us to get in touch with these Brethren who
might otherwise never have heard of the Society or its work, and as a
consequence committees have in a majority of these instances been appointed to
put the Study plan into effect.
The fact remains that,
numerically speaking, we have as yet only scratched the surface. If our
members who are interested in the progress of the Society and its activities
in promoting the study of Masonry will lend their assistance very much can be
Brethren, the ultimate
success of this movement depends as much, if not more, upon YOUR INDIVIDUAL
HELP, than the work of Brother Clegg and those of us in the Secretary's
Therefore we ask you to lend
your aid to this movement by sending in a full list of the officers of your
own Lodge, from the Worshipful Master down to the Tiler. Do not depend upon
some other member of the Society in your community, but send in the list
YOURSELF. We would much rather have the lists duplicated than not to receive
them at all.
WHAT AN ENTERED APPRENTICE
OUGHT TO KNOW
BY BRO. HAL RIVIERE, GEORGIA
(The following article,
prepared as an address to a newly-made Entered Apprentice, appeals to the
Editor of this Department as peculiarly in harmony with the purposes for which
the Department itself is designed. It would seem to be a worthwhile
presentation of fundamental facts not now provided for in any Jurisdiction
with which we are familiar. That it answers many of the questions asked by
Initiates, and at the same time gives the candidate a glimpse of the high
idealism of the Fraternity at a time when his mind is most receptive, commends
the lecture to us as of great value. We believe that a Worshipful Master who
desires to give his candidates the best possible conception of Masonry, could
do no better, on the First Degree, than to present this lecture.)
Once upon a time a certain
man named Philip, while traveling from Jerusalem to Gaza, came upon a man of
Ethiopia, a Eunuch who was an officer in the court of an Eastern queen. This
Ethiopian was reading the Holy Scriptures but being of a foreign tongue and
unfamiliar with the history of the Scriptures and the idioms and symbols with
which they were illustrated, he was not able to interpret what he read to his
satisfaction. Philip drew near to him and seeing his perplexity asked, "Understandest
thou what thou readest?" The man replied, "How can I understand unless some
man shall guide me?" So, my Entered Apprentice Brother, if I should ask you
tonight if you understand what you have passed through, you would doubtless
reply in the words of the Ethiopian, "How can I understand unless some one
shall guide me?" Will you permit me to perform that service for you ?
Masonry, has been defined as
a beautiful system of Morality, veiled in Allegory and illustrated by symbols.
Now an allegory is a story told to illustrate or convey some truth. Some of
the most important truths have been handed down to us through allegories, that
being one of the favorite methods the Master used to convey his teachings. It
is one of the peculiarities of an allegory that its message may not be
understood by all men. One must be prepared within his own mind and heart to
receive the truth or else he sees it not. It is only a few of all those who
hear who perceive the lesson designed to be taught by the allegory. The great
majority, having ears to hear, hear not; having eyes to see, see not the
beautiful lesson but hear only a pretty story that interests for a short while
and then is lost. But the earnest seeker for truth, he who is duly and truly
prepared for its reception, sees beyond the veil of the allegory and perceives
the beautiful simple truth which it conceals from the multitude but reveals to
the chosen few.
A symbol is a visible sign
for an idea. From the earliest dawn of creation, man has realized that there
is a Supreme Being, a Creator who is all powerful. Many were the ancient names
he bore. As the sun was the most powerful, most wonderful object visible to
the primitive peoples, they used it as a symbol of the Supreme Being. The
majority, seeing no further than the symbol, worshiped the sun itself; but the
learned, the wise, the thoughtful ever regarded the sun as only a symbol of
God's power and saw beyond it to the Great Father over all.
So, my Brother, Masonry
teaches by allegories and symbols, and it is your part to extract from them
the truths that will be of service to you in the building of an upright
Masonic character. If you perceive only the stories that Masonry presents to
you and do not see deeper into what they are designed to teach, you will miss
the best part of Masonry, yet you may comfort yourself with the thought that
by far the great majority of Masons are no wiser than yourself. But if by
pondering over the allegories and symbols of these degrees you find the hidden
truth, a new world of wisdom, strength and beauty will be revealed to you.
In order to understand the
symbols of the three degrees it is necessary for you to know that, broadly
speaking, Masonry has come from two general sources. One of these was the
societies of stone masons who flourished in medieval times, and who were the
builders of those great cathedrals that are being so ruthlessly destroyed in
France and Belgium today. These societies gradually ceased to be bands of
operative workers and admitted men not really connected with the actual work
of building. By the year 1717 Masonic lodges had become purely speculative.
But the working tools of the operative Masons, the square, level, plumb, rule,
gavel, etc., were still retained as symbols to teach important truths in
character building. We, as Masons, no longer build temples and cathedrals of
stone but we build spiritual temples, temples of character, temples of upright
manhood and integrity.
The second great source from
which Masonry derived its symbolism was the ancient Mysteries. The relation
they bear to our order will be unfolded to you as you advance in the degrees.
It is only necessary to tell you here that in every ancient nation that
attained any degree of civilization, were secret organizations known as the
Mysteries, having initiation ceremonies. These organizations were composed of
the wisest men of those nations, and all the higher knowledge of religion,
art, and science was taught in them alone. Men waited and labored for years to
become prepared or worthy to be initiated into the Mysteries. It is said that
the great philosopher, Pythagoras waited for twenty years to be initiated into
the mysteries of Egypt. Moses seems also to have been an Egyptian initiate,
while St. John the Baptist came from the Jewish sect called Essenes, which
practiced the mystical rites. It has been claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was
an Essene, his teachings conforming somewhat closely to their practices.
In the ancient Mysteries of
India, the candidate might receive the first degree as early as eight years of
age. Then began a severe system of mental and moral training to fit him for
advancement, for with every degree it was intended that he should attain more
of perfection. He was invested with a three-ply cord called the zennar,
emblematic of their tri-une God. From that cord we get our cable tow. The
candidate was kept a long time in darkness before taking a degree, to reflect
upon the seriousness of the step he was about to take. Truly wanting light, he
was taught to worship God as the Source of Light. He was conducted regularly
around the room-- usually a cave or grotto hewn out of solid rock--passing
from East to West by way of the South, his right side being next the altar;
the priests chanted, "I copy the example of the Sun and follow his benevolent
course." He next made a declaration that he would keep himself pure, that he
would be obedient and would maintain secrecy. After that, he was divested of
his shoes and clothed in a white linen robe. We read in the Book of Ruth that
it was a custom in Israel that, to confirm a contract or agreement, a man took
off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor. You see in all these ceremonies, the
beginnings of some of our Masonic customs; and with these general principles
in mind you are ready to hear an explanation of some of the teachings of the
E. A. Degree.
Before initiation, Masonry
demands that a candidate be duly and truly prepared. This preparation should
be mental and moral as well as physical. Our Order subscribes to no system of
religious doctrine, but it requires that every man who presents himself as a
candidate for initiation shall declare a belief in one God, all-wise,
all-powerful, all-good, who reveals himself to mankind; also teaches that
there is life beyond the grave.
The candidate must come of
his own free will; must be a man, free born, twenty-one years of age, able to
read and write, and his moral qualities must be such as will bear a rigid
investigation by a committee of Master Masons appointed for that purpose.
Masonry tries to exclude those who come through mere curiosity or through a
desire for business or social gain. To be a member of the investigating
committee is one of the most serious duties a Mason is called upon to perform,
and every candidate deserves careful consideration; even then, many duly and
truly unprepared make their way into our lodges.
Masonry invites no man. He
knocks at the door of the lodge of his own free will, bearing nothing that
will indicate poverty or wealth, rank or station. At the inner door of the
preparation room all are equal, and entrance through this door into the lodge
room is only granted after the candidate has satisfied all present that he is
worthy and well qualified to gain admission, and comes as an earnest seeker
for Light and Truth. Gold cannot buy, rank cannot demand; neither can learning
guarantee admission unless a reputation for generosity, truthfulness and
rectitude of conduct be coupled with it.
Secrecy is the first great
lesson of the E. A. degree. This great virtue is necessary in our order so
that Masons will appreciate the lessons taught. As a secret shared between two
people binds them together, so the secrets of our fraternity bind the Brethren
together. If our teachings of beautiful truths were scattered broadcast
through the world, they would become commonplace; so they are taught under
secrecy, only to those deemed worthy to receive and practice them. Taken with
the salt of curiosity and expectation, they are the more readily perceived.
Nothing can more torture a
man than the pangs of remorse which a guilty conscience can force upon him.
Sharp instruments may torture the flesh, but unless the torture be unto death
a few short days suffice to heal the wounds and only the scars remain to
remind of the agony endured. But the torture of a guilty conscience is not so.
Memory of pledges violated, evil deeds done, kind actions left undone comes to
us after years have passed; comes as we lie upon our beds and chases "Sleep,
tired Nature's sweet restorer" from our eyes, and makes our bed a hell; comes
amid our innocent social pleasures and turns our joy to pain; a face, a word
or an odor may bring back the hateful incidents of a scene that no subsequent
life of purity and holiness and rectitude of conduct can banish from the
memory. Brother, guard well your actions, that henceforth no memory of evil
deeds disturb your peace or rack your mind and conscience.
We are taught that a Mason
should never enter upon any great or laudable undertaking without invoking the
aid of Almighty God. In the light of that lesson, prayer becomes a duty as
well as the privilege of every Mason. How few understand the nature and
effects of prayer. Prayer that has become merely a bed-time custom is not a
prayer; it is an incantation to soothe the conscience or satisfy the demands
of a habit formed in more innocent and unsophisticated days. The object and
effect of prayer are to bring the soul into conscious harmony with the all
wise Father, whose laws are true and just and righteous altogether.
"Prayer is the soul's sincere
desire," so says the old song. If that be true, (and who says not?) how
earnestly should the compasses be used to circumscribe our desires and keep
our passions within due bounds, so that no unrighteous, no unworthy, no
covetous, no licentious prayer insult the Father whose all-seeing eye looks
into the innermost recesses of our being. Prayer reveals a man to himself. For
what do you pray; on what do you meditate; what thought do you ponder over and
keep within your heart? Be sure that it will find expression in your outer
life, for "the within is ceaselessly becoming the without." Guard well your
thoughts, the source of all your deeds and actions.
The trust of a Mason is in
God. But before a man can trust in God whom he cannot see, he must learn to
trust in his fellow man who is made in God's image. As you placed yourself in
the hands of this lodge and followed your conductors through the ceremonies of
initiation, you exemplified your trust in your fellow man. So ever place your
trust in God and walk uprightly through life, fearing no danger; know that a
man's worst enemy is himself, and that one with God is a majority.
Masonic Light is the object
of every Mason's search. That is truly a laudable object. Light, ever and ever
more light; from the first faint perception of those Three Great Lights, the
Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, until he shuffle off this mortal coil, the
earnest Mason seeks for Light; seeks in the Holy Bible, that inestimable gift
from God to man which is given us as a rule and guide for our faith and
practice; seeks in the symbolism of the Square and Compasses; seeks in the
great book of Nature; seeks in the hearts and lives of men. If he realize that
Masonic Light is a symbol for Truth; if he see beyond the symbol to the Truth
itself, comprehending it by the light of knowledge and wisdom, then the full
glory of Masonic Light will shine in his heart, and he will go forth to bear
the light aloft and let it shine among men.
As the lodge is a symbol of
the world, in the circumambulation of the lodge room the candidate symbolizes
the progress of a man from ignorance to knowledge, and also the progress of
the human race from savagery to civilization. Cares and temptations of
business and pleasure throw obstacles in the way of men and of nations, and
challenge their capability and integrity. Both individuals and nations must
overcome obstacles and demonstrate their right to advance to broader fields of
As seen in the West, the
light of the sun is ever a declining glory. The East, as the birth-place of
the sun and source of light, has always been venerated by primitive peoples.
As devout Moslems pray with their faces toward Mecca, the birth-place of their
prophet, and as the ancient sun worshipers bowed to the rising sun, so Masons
give the highest place to the East, as the true source of all Masonic Light
and it is there the Worshipful Master has his station. Hence a Mason travels
from West to East on his search for Masonic Light, and hence also the regular
upright manner of approaching the East and rendering it due respect.
While demanding that all
Masons yield obedience to the tenets of the order, Masonry requires no act or
belief that will conflict with any of the exalted duties that a man owes to
God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself. Reverence for God,
patriotism and brotherly love are so frequently inculcated and so forcibly
recommended in the lodge, that the Mason who does not practice those virtues
is recreant to the trust imposed in him by his Brethren. Truth being the
center of all Masonic teaching and the highest principles of reverence,
patriotism and charity being founded on Truth, it follows that he who lives up
to the highest principles of Masonic duty will naturally practice all moral,
social and religious virtues.
He who is in conscience bound
to perform an act, to accomplish a purpose or to keep a secret, is bound by
ties though invisible, that are stronger than any bonds that could be forged
or contrived by man. The release of the candidate from the last ties that bind
him to the world he has left outside the lodge room, coupled with the
reception of light is a symbol of a new birth, a birth from the darkness of
ignorance and superstition to the light of wisdom, toleration, generosity and
all commendable virtues.
Charity should be a
distinguishing characteristic of every Mason. It is in the practice of this
virtue that man most nearly reveals his kinship to God. Hear Buddha on the
charitable man: "The charitable man is loved by all; his friendship is prized
highly; in death his heart is at rest and full of joy for he suffers not from
repentance; he receives the opening flower of his reward and the fruit that
ripens from it. The charitable man has found the path of salvation. He is like
the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the
fruit in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so is the joy of
him who helps those who are in need of assistance." If the cardinal virtues of
Freemasonry, which are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, were
practiced by all mankind, then charity, as an act of almsgiving, would cease.
For ignorance and intemperance and injustice would be banished from the world,
and the woes of misery and penury that follow them would then give place to
joy. But the poor we have with us always; so, as we administer our charity let
us remember that it is not only those who are in straightened financial
circumstances who need our assistance, but that the poor in spirit, the
despondent, the discouraged may be heartened and lifted up by kind and
encouraging words. Let us give bountifully of our love and sympathy to every
Brother in distress.
HAVE A QUESTION BOX IN YOUR
Assuming that your Lodge or
Study Club has determined to undertake Masonic study on a serious basis, and
is working toward our "Bulletin Course," the arrangement of a program, in
order to hold its interest, should be given careful attention. We are able to
say, from actual experience, that the reading of Brother Clegg's paper, and
the supplemental papers which are prepared by the Brethren, should occupy in a
formal way, no more than one hour.
Some of the papers will
provoke discussion. Others will not, since the material used in their
preparation will tell practically the whole story, and the authorities given
will only serve to clinch the argument.
In any event, discussion
aroused will probably not, on the average, consume more than another half
hour. Experience shows that when the Brethren get themselves comfortably
seated for Masonic discussion, the formal paper arouses in them an ordinarily
latent curiosity. And after the pre-arranged discussion is concluded, more
than one of the faces will suddenly light up, and immediately there will come
forth some question which has been bothering the Brother. And no sooner will
he have propounded his, than someone on the opposite side of the room will
remember that he, too, has a question which he has tried to answer, and
failing this, to get answered, to no avail.
Here is one of the very best
of symptoms. A discussion of these questions should by all means be entered
into. Let the presiding officer of the meeting answer them if he can. If none
of the committee in charge of the meeting are able to answer them all, have
the Secretary take the unanswered questions down. Let the Chairman then parcel
out these questions, answers to be brought in at the next meeting. Here are
samples of the questions that were carried over in one meeting of the kind:
Why did a Protestant Minister
move to take the Bible off the Altar in Lodges working under the jurisdiction
of the Grand Orient of France ?
What is the symbolic
significance of the position of the square and compasses in the Blue Lodge
What Grand Lodges does our
Grand Lodge recognize?
What does the word
"Orientation" mean, as applied to Masonic Temples ?
What is the present-day
tendency in the administration of Masonic charity?
What is the significance of
"The East" in the Masonic sense ?
These questions (all of them
inspired by Brother Clegg's paper on "Foundations and Fundamentals") were
carried over to the next meeting. At least six other questions were asked and
answered. There were brethren present who rather thought that they could
answer some of the above questions offhand, but it was thought advisable to
work them up more carefully and give all the best authorities on the subjects
At the succeeding meeting all
but one of the above questions were answered, most of them fully and all to
the satisfaction of the Brethren present.
Can anyone doubt that this
particular meeting was a success ?
Ninety-six per cent. of the
Brethren present at the beginning stayed through until after 11:00 P. M., when
the meeting closed! Many Lodges will feel that this hour is too late. That may
be true. But the fact remains that young men, finding all at once that the
study of Masonry, when directed along definite lines, holds a fascination for
them, and offers them a welcome diversion from the routine of business cares,
will want to stay by it. And they will go out from these study meetings, not
only inspired to further work, but actually elated with the opportunity to
discover what other men of the Fraternity are thinking. This is as it should
be. It brings back the Masonry of other days, when men glorified in its
fellowship, using each meeting of the Lodge to ripen the man-to-man intimacy
which results in true Brotherhood.
The plan works. It is working
in many, many Lodges. It will work in yours. With three or four Brethren
willing to make some search--and if necessary research--the full attendance of
a Lodge can find themselves absorbingly interested in the discussions that
will be born, almost automatically, from the reading of a formal paper.
A NEW MEXICO ESTIMATE OF OUR
STUDY CLUB MOVEMENT
In my search through the
Masonic exchanges which come to this office, there is no item of news more
gratifying than that Clubs for the Study of the Science and Philosophy of
Masonry are being formed all over the land.
This is truly the supplying
of a "long felt want" and is an augury for better things both civically and
It is neither my purpose nor
province to be a scold, but in common with many of my Brethren the realization
has been painful that we as Masons are not getting the good out of Masonry
that we should and we are not giving to the young members that to which they
The true story of the average
Lodge would read about as follows:
A profane petitions for
membership, he is elected, he is given the first and second degrees with
little more than the necessary quorum of members present. In order to have a
respectable number of Craftsmen present at his raising, the Master orders a
"feed," and, to make sure that they will not slip away, he puts on the second
section before the feast is spread; then, sad to relate, not more than a
handful remain to give the "newly Obligated Brother" a prefunctory
congratulation at the close of the Lodge.
Whether they have made a
Mason or just a member is not the concern of the majority; nor are they to be
severely criticised, for they received the same kind of a welcome from those
who preceded them.
In very truth Brethren it is
surprising, with the circumscribed opportunities for learning what Masonry
really is, that the Brotherhood entertain so high a regard for the order in
the abstract. They must instinctively feel that there is a something in
Masonry that they have failed to get, and that feeling prompts those who
become students to dig out for themselves those beauties, which with a little
help from their "better" informed Brethren, could have been acquired in half
the time and with more accurate deductions.
The teachings of Masonry are
sublime and ennobling, but these teachings must be sought elsewhere and beyond
the rituals and monitors of our symbolic Lodges.
The first two degrees are
only introductory to the third, and all Masonic students concur that the
Master's degree contains the basic principles, and is the "stone of
foundation" upon which the entire superstructure of Masonic philosophy has
been erected; but how few of us ever realize what that degree really contains.
It does not make the same
impression upon any two men, and the exchange of impressions in an hour's
fraternal gathering, at the close of the Lodge, or on some other night in each
month, would be far more beneficial to Masonry in general and the Lodge in
particular than the making of any number of new "members of the order."
It is readily perceived that
the organization of these Study Clubs has been undertaken with the
determination to stop the trend of making "members" by giving all, present and
to come, an opportunity to become Masons in fact as well as in name.
In this work the Fraternity
in New Mexico cannot afford to lag behind, for there is as great need of real
Masonry here as in any other jurisdiction; and, an appeal is hereby made to
our Scottish Rite Brethren to take the initiative in the work of organizing
Study Clubs all over the state. You know much better than they know themselves
the imperative need for Masonic study by the mass of members with whom you
come in contact
These clubs are in no way to
conflict with our Scottish Rite Clubs, nor need the Scottish Rite be ever
mentioned therein; and yet, your patently superior knowledge of Masonry,
acquired in the Scottish Rite, will prove to be a stronger incentive for
others to seek what they can there secure than any direct appeal.
--Scottish Rite Bulletin,
Santa Fe, N.M.
THE FOUR HIRAMS OF TRYE
BY BRO. A.S. MACBRIDE,
II. THE TWO *ARTISANS CALLED
IN the traditions of Masonry
connected with the M. M. degree, the central figure is that of "Hiram Abif." A
martyr to fidelity and honour, his memory has been held sacred by the Craft.
Yet, historically, there is very little known of him. By many, if not by the
most, of those who troubled themselves to think on the subject, the traditions
regarding him, until recently, were considered to be mythological legends
similar to those on which the ancient mysteries were formed, and altogether
devoid of truth. The fact that in the Biblical accounts of the building of
King Solomon's Temple there is no mention, nor apparently the smallest hint,
of his death, has been accepted as a proof that he did not die, during the
building of that structure. Dr. Oliver, the well known Masonic writer,
evidently considered the tradition of his death as mythical, for in the
"Freemason's Treasury," Lecture XLV, he says: "It is well known that the
celebrated artist was living at Tyre many years after the Temple was
But let us examine the
Biblical narrative a little more closely than we have hitherto done. Assuming
for the time being as correct, the generally accepted belief that only one
artisan of the name of Hiram, or Huram, is mentioned in that historical
account of the building of the Temple; we are immediately confronted with
three contradictions demanding attention. These are:
(1) in the descriptions of
(2) in the descriptions of
(3) in the periods named of
his arrival at the Temple.
In the first place then, let
us look at
THE DESCRIPTIONS OF HIRAM'S
In 2 Chron. H. 14, Hiram is
said to be: "the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan." In I Kings VII. 14,
he is described as: "the Son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali." Now,
no man can have two mothers, and no mother can belong to two tribes. On what
supposition then, can these two differing descriptions be reconciled? Is it
some mistake as to the tribe to which the mother belonged? With writers
unacquainted with the tribes of Israel, or of the peculiarities of Hebrew
history, that might be. But the writers of the books of Kings and Chronicles
had an intimate knowledge of all these things, and we can scarcely suppose for
a moment any such mistake.
The tribe of Dan occupied the
hilly country in the immediate neighborhood of the Philistines and Samson the
celebrated warrior and patriot was of that tribe.
* The word "Artisan" is here
used in its proper sense as one skilled in Art; a master of Arts.
Unable to subdue the
Philistines the Danites, after the death of Samson, migrated to the plains of
the upper Jordan around the city of Laish, which was then the granary of Sidon.
Their proximity to Tyre, no doubt, resulted in intermarriages with the Tyrians;
and hence, there would be nothing very remarkable in "the Son of a woman of
the daughters of Dan," being a famous artisan of Tyre.
The tribe of Naphtali were
located in the mountains on the northern border of Palestine; and from their
nearness to Tyre and the necessities of trade from the sea-coast, they had
regular intercourse with the Tyrians, and intermarriage would, consequently,
more or less result. Thus there seems nothing extraordinary in the recorded
fact, that a Tyrian artisan was "the son of a widow woman of the tribe of
There is little likelihood
that, in either of these two cases, the writer of the book of Kings, or the
writer of the book of Chronicles, would make any mistake in the matter of
lineage; for on this point the Hebrew writers seem to have been very
particular. The fact that in both instances the father is not mentioned, adds
weight to the correctness of the description of the mother; and, if there was
only one artisan of the name of Hiram at the building of the Temple, we have
before us the insuperable difficulty of believing that he had two mothers.
Let us now pass on to
consider, in the second place;
THE DESCRIPTIONS OF HIRAM'S
In 2nd. Chronicles II. 14,
Hiram is described as: "Skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in
iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in
crimson; and also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every
device." In 1st Kings VII. 14, he is called: "A worker in brass, and he was
filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass."
Now, just think for a little on these two descriptions. The one is skillful to
work metals--gold, silver, brass and iron; also stone and timber. In weaving
and in dyeing, in engraving and in every device, he is an expert. He is an all
around architect--a marvel, a genius, a man of large experience and, no doubt,
of ripe years, whose fame would be sure to go down the ages. The other is
merely a worker in brass--no doubt a man of good parts, but limited in
experience and knowledge--probably young in years, and, according to the
description, as yet only a worker in brass. This statement that his
craftsmanship is confined to brass is most carefully noted by the historian,
for it is reiterated in the description. He says: "A worker in brass filled
with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass," He
repeats the words "in brass," as if he was afraid that the individual he was
describing might be mistaken for some other person of the same name, also
celebrated as an artisan and a worker, at the building of the Temple.
Considering these two
descriptions, is it reasonable to believe that they refer to the same
individual? They are not loose, nor in any way vague. On the contrary, they
are very precise and detailed, and no one reading them, without prejudice,
would imagine them to refer to the same artisan.
We now come to our third
THE PERIODS NAMED OF HIRAM'S
ARRIVAL AT THE TEMPLE
In 2nd Chronicles II. 13,
before the work of the Temple was begun, Hiram king of Tyre in his letter to
Solomon says: "And now I have sent a cunning man endued with understanding,"
etc. In I Kings VII. 13, after the house of the Lord and the house of Solomon
had been built, we are informed: "King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of
Tyre." In the one statement we are told that before the house was built a
skillful man was sent to King Solomon by Hiram King of Tyre; in the other that
after the house was built Solomon "sent and fetched" Hiram out of Tyre. These
periods were twenty years apart; for the house of the Lord took seven years,
and the house of Solomon and the courts of the Temple other thirteen years in
To understand the biblical
narrative properly one has to keep in view that there are several "finishes"
mentioned, and that these refer only to certain parts of the work at the
building of the Temple. The first "finish" is mentioned in I. Kings VI. 9: "
So he built the house and finished it"--that is the mason-work, or shell of
the building. Then comes the second part of the work, consisting of the
carpenter-work of the roof, and of the chambers around about, as stated in
verses 9 and 10; and in verse 14, the narrative goes on to say: "So Solomon
built the house and finished it." The third part of the work described,
consists of the decorations--the gold plating and gilding. Verse 22 says: "And
the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house."
The fourth part of the work is stated to have been the internal fittings and
carvings of the house, and the building of the inner court, and the whole is
summed up in verse 38, as follows: "And in the eleventh year, in the month of
Bul, which is the eight month, was the house finished throughout all the parts
thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in
So far as we have followed
the narrative, the house itself, in its plan and embellishments, has been
finished; but the Temple is still far from being completed. The outer courts
and the houses of the king, with all their magnificence and ornamentation; the
pillars of the porch, and the altars and utensils of the inner court, have not
yet been begun. These were to take other thirteen years to construct and
finish. In the meantime, let us go on. The house of the forest of Lebanon, the
porch of judgment, Solomon's Palace, the palace for Pharaoh's daughter, and
the great court; had all just been built when the sacred narrative is abruptly
interrupted by the statement: "And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of
Tyre." All the work of building proper had been completed, but many things had
yet to be done before the sacrifices and magnificent services of the Hebrew
religion could be begun and maintained at the Temple. But, if Hiram was sent
by the king of Tyre before the work was begun, why did Solomon, at this
particular stage, need to send and "fetch" him out of Tyre ? Had he gone back
to Tyre after some years of laborious work, and was he again needed to
complete the building? There are one or two objections to the idea. If he did
return to Tyre, we would naturally expect the historian to give us some
indication of his having done so. But, search as we may, there is not the
smallest hint, or indication of that. All writers on the subject, differing as
they do on many points, agree that Hiram had the superintendence of the work
at the building of the Temple. Is it likely then, that he could have gone
back, while the work was unfinished? The time necessary for such a journey in
those days would have so interfered with the progress of the building
operations that we are scarcely entitled to assume such a thing, unless on
something approaching substantial grounds. The custom then, and for many
centuries afterwards, with artisans such as Hiram, was to make their home for
the time being wherever their work was. Building operations in connection with
temples were necessarily of long duration. In the present case they had
probably already stretched over fifteen years. The building of the holy house
had occupied seven years, and the royal houses and the courts were finished,
so far as mason and carpenter work were concerned; and, as they occupied
thirteen years to complete, we may safely estimate that at least eight of
these thirteen years had already passed when "Solomon sent and fetched Hiram
out of Tyre." In all probability then, Hiram had already spent thirteen years
in Jerusalem and, if alive, was still there. If that was so, why and wherefore
did Solomon need to send and fetch him out of Tyre? So far as all the records
go, the periods named of Hiram's arrival at the Temple are not consistent with
the course of events, and are contradictory to each other; so long as we
assume there was only one Hiram engaged at the work of the Temple.
These three contradictions as
to the Parentage, Qualifications, and Period of arrival at the Temple, which
we have now been considering, must apparently remain inexplicable, unless on
the natural and, at present, the only reasonable explanation that there were
two artisans of the same name, engaged at the work of that famous structure.
This hypothesis reconciles those contradictions, makes clear the biblical
narrative, explains certain hitherto unintelligible statements, and lends
corroborative testimony to the truth, in its substance, of the Masonic
tradition of the death of Hiram Abif. In the light of this hypothesis let us
now review the whole circumstances mentioned in the sacred narrative.
The first Hiram is "the son
of a woman of the daughters of Dan," and arrives at the beginning of the
building of the Temple. He is an all around artisan, skillful to work in
stone, timber, gold, iron, etc. He superintends the building operations. It is
a task of no common difficulty. A great Temple has to be built on the top of a
rugged hill, almost entirely surrounded by sharp precipices. Immense walls,
the lowest of which is to be 450 feet high, have to be reared up in the valley
out from the precipices, and the intervening space has to be filled up with
earth in order to make room for the Temple with all its courts and palaces on
the top. This work has to be done under the peculiar conditions that neither
hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron is to be heard in the main structure,
that is the sanctuary; while it is being built. All this would require great
skill, knowledge and experience. Stonework, timber-work, and metal-work of
various kinds have to be executed. The Sanctuary has to be covered inside and
outside with gold. Great curtains, with cherubims and other devices, have to
be manufactured. Carvings on stone, and on timber; engravings on gold and
silver; have to be done, and done in the highest and most skillful manner
possible. The work is not only stupendous in its nature; it is also
magnificent in its character. Well, the years pass on and, at the seventh, the
house of the Lord and the inner court have been built. Then began the work of
the outer courts and the royal palaces. These, while parts of the Temple
scheme, were not considered as parts of the sanctuary, and hence, sacred
silence was no longer a necessary condition. All was now bustle. The sounds of
hammer and chisel, and the stir of toil filled the air, while the great courts
and palaces were gradually erected. Other eight years passed in this work, and
Hiram the first, with his wonderful genius and skill, built a structure whose
fame has been echoed down through the long corridors of Time. Now it is at
this stage that Hiram the first disappeared and Hiram the second, "the son of
a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali" came into view. Everything, except the
molten brass-work, has been done. Why did Hiram the first not do it? That he
was perfectly capable, there can be no reasonable doubt. Why then, did Solomon
need to send for Hiram the second to do it? It is evident that Hiram the first
was no longer available. Why? Neither scripture narrative nor profane history,
so far as we can trace, give any answer to this question. But the traditions
of Masonry supply a very clear and natural answer. Hiram the first was dead,
and hence Solomon sent and fetched Hiram (the second) out of Tyre, to finish
the work. Everything had been completed except the brass-work. and Hiram the
second is described specially as "a worker in brass." Five more years passed
and the final finish of the Temple came. The mighty brass pillars--the casting
of which was a wonderful achievement--the various altars and utensils, the
golden candlesticks etc., were all made and put in their places and, with full
pomp and sacrifice, Solomon dedicated and consecrated the house of the Lord.
In this way, on the
assumption that there were two Hirams engaged at the work of the Temple the
sacred narrative is clear and coherent; and the seeming inconsistencies and
contradictions we have referred to, disappear.
But there still remain one or
two passages in the narrative which puzzle us. In I. Kings VII. 45, we read:
"And the pots and the shovels and the basins, and all these vessels, which
Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass."
In II. Chronicles IV. 16, after ascribing as in the book of Kings, the various
things made by Hiram--the pillars, the bases, the layers, and the sea with
twelve oxen under it--we read: "And the pots also, and the shovels, and the
flesh-hooks and all their instruments, did Hiram, his father make to king
Solomon, for the house of the Lord, of bright brass." Here we have evidently a
parenthetical remark interjected by the writer of the narrative with the
object of making plain to the reader some fact which would be otherwise
obscure. The words "of bright brass" arrest our attention. What do they mean?
They evidently want to emphasize that the pots, shovels, and all the work of
brass done by "Hiram, his father" were of bright brass that is, malleable
brass; while the pillars, the bases, the lavers, as mentioned in the context
were of cast brass. This distinction is associated with the words "his
father." Whose father could it be, but the father of the person whose work is
being described ? In verse II of the last mentioned chapter in Chronicles, we
read: "And Huram made the pots and the shovels and the basins. And Huram
finished the work that he was to make for King Solomon for the house of God."
Now, according to Hebrew scholars the words here translated "Huram" in both
instances, are distinct, and different in the original. In I. Kings VII. 40,
our translation should read: "And Chirom made the layers and the shovels and
the basins. So Chiram made an end of doing all the work, etc.": and in II.
Chronicles IV. 11, it should read: "And Chiram finished the work that he was
to make for king Solomon" etc.
In view of the distinction in
the names, and of the apparent parenthetical character of the 45th verse in I.
Kings VII. and of the 16th verse in II. Chronicles IV., the reading of the
sacred narrative appears to be as follows, beginning at I. Kings VII. 40:
"But Chirom made the lavers
and the shovels and the basins, and Chiram made an end of the work that Chirom
was to have made king Solomon for the house of the Lord: the two pillars, and
the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and
the two net-works, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the
top of the pillars; and four hundred pomegranates for the two net-works, even
two rows of pomegranates for one net-work, to cover the two bowls of the
chapiters that were upon the pillars; and the ten bases, and ten lavers on the
bases; and one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea:--but the pots and the
shovels, and the basins; and all those vessels which Chirom made to king
Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass."
In the same way beginning at
II. Chronicles IV. 11, we would read: "But Churam made the pots, and the
shovels, and the basins; and Chiram finished the work which Churam was to have
made for king Solomon for the house of God--to-wit: the two pillars, and the
pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the
two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the
pillars. He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases: One sea and
twelve oxen under it; But the pots, and the shovels and the flesh-hooks, and
all the instruments which Churam, his father, did make to king Solomon for the
house of the Lord were of bright brass."
This reading of the
narrative, seems to us, the only one that gives any appearance of consistency
and plain sense. The repetition of the name "Hiram" in I. Kings VII. 40, and
its use in verse 45; the repetition of "Huram" in II. Chronicles IV. 11, and
the words "Huram his father" are all inexplicable and confusing, as they
stand. The explanation that makes everything plain and clear is that Hiram the
son made the pillars, the lavers, etc., of cast-brass, and that Huram his
father made the pots, basins, etc., of bright or malleable brass. In this view
the words "his father" (in the original "Abif") is rendered quite natural and
intelligible, and accords with Masonic tradition.
In all the variations of the
Masonic traditions, the Hiram whose death occurred immediately preceding the
completion of the Temple is named "Hiram Abif." This designation becomes
significant only in view of the fact that another Hiram, his son, also
superintended at the building of the Temple and finished the work which his
father would no doubt have finished had he lived a few years longer. Why
should the designation "Abif" have been given if there was no other Hiram
engaged at the Temple? It surely. indicates not only another Hiram, but also
that the other was the son of the Hiram so named.
The Hiram whom Solomon
"fetched out of Tyre" is described as the son of a widow. This description
accords exactly with the theory now advanced. If Hiram Abif was dead and his
wife alive, his son Hiram would naturally be the son of a widow.
The expression "sent and
fetched" is peculiar and is also perhaps very significant. It seems to
indicate in all probability that the King Solomon sent an escort for Hiram.
Our Rev. Brother Rosenbaum thinks this was to protect him from his father's
enemies. With this we can scarcely agree. These enemies were all too
insignificant to demand for him a royal escort. Ordinary guards as was usual
for travelers, would have been sufficient so far as safety was concerned. A
royal escort was, and is a mark of honour and it seems much more probable that
this respect was shown to the son, in honour of the fame and memory of the
This theory of the two Hirams-Artisans
at the building of the Temple also harmonizes with the statement made by Dr.
Oliver to which reference has already been made, viz: "It is well known that
the celebrated artist was living in Tyre many years after the Temple was
completed." This statement has been used as an argument against the truth of
the Masonic tradition regarding the death of Hiram. But if there were two
Hirams the statement of Dr. Oliver and the tradition of Hiram's death may both
be true. Hiram the son may very probably have returned to Tyre and lived, let
us fondly believe, many years the worthy son of a noble father.
TO A SKELETON
The MS. of this poem was found in the Museum of
the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, near a perfect human skeleton, and
sent by the curator to the Morning Chronicle for publication. It excited so
much attention that every effort was made to discover the author, and a
responsible party went so far as to offer a reward of fifty guineas for
information that would discover its origin. The author preserved his
incognito, and, we believe, has never been discovered.
Behold this ruin! 'Twas a
Once of ethereal spirit full,
This narrow cell was life's
This space was thought's
What beauteous visions filled
What dreams of pleasure long
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love,
Have left one trace of record
Beneath this mouldering
Once shone the bright and
But start not at the dismal
If social love that eye
If with no lawless fire it
But through the dews of
kindness beamed -
That eye shall be forever
When stars and sun are sunk
Within this hollow cavern
The ready, swift, and tuneful
If falsehood's honey it
And when it could not praise
If bold in virtue's cause it
Yet gentle concord never
This silent tongue shall
plead for thee
When time unveils eternity!
Say, did these fingers delve
Or with the envied rubies
To hew the rock or wear a gem
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of truth they
Or comfort to the mourner
These hands a richer meed
Than all that wait on wealth
Avails it whether bare or
These feet the paths of duty
If from the bowers of ease
To seek affliction's humble
If grandeur's guilty bride
And home to virtue's cot
These feet with angel wings
And tread the palace of the
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MAUNDY
BY BRO. FRANK B. GAULT,
MASONIC observances and
ceremonies are founded upon authentic history or upon legends and traditions
our race cherishes with unremitting fervor. In our recurring commemorations of
these time-honored events we, in an appreciative way, reengage with those
ancient worthies in their notable contributions to human welfare. Thus the
Maundy Thursday feast reminds us of the closing scenes of the earthly career
of the Saviour of the world. Yea, more, for by our recurring celebrations of
this mystic banquet we perpetuate and we accentuate the greatest world-lesson
that ever fell upon the ears of our common humanity for inspiration and
guidance. The outlying incidents may be briefly told.
Our Lord was reaching the
culmination of his week of passion. A few days before he had entered Jerusalem
in triumph amid the waving of palms and the glad acclaims of an expectant
populace. The people looked for a king. Our Lord was truly to found a kingdom
but it was to be a spiritual kingdom, investing man with a new worth and
dignity. Peace on earth, social equality, liberty of conscience, and the worth
of the common man were to be ruling virtues in this new order of human
It was Thursday "Green
Thursday," the Middle Ages called it. Approaching night had thrown its
lengthening shadows o'er the Judean hills. The Son of Man, accompanied by the
Twelve, leaving the little city of Bethany, passed over "Olive's brow" to the
upper room in the city of David where, by prearrangement, the great Jewish
feast of the Passover was to be celebrated. It proved to be the first Maundy
Thursday feast, now so happily known as the "Mystic Banquet."
In that land the host met his
guests with a laver of water that they might bathe their feet after laying
aside their sandals, a most welcome attention after travel upon the dusty
roads. This service was committed to slaves. Upon this occasion there being no
host, provision for this refreshing act had been omitted. Observing this our
Lord arose and in simple but gracious manner washed the feet of his disciples
not, however, without some earnest protests.
Thus was exemplified in
unaffected sincerity and modest condescension the most impressive lesson in
human service and social democracy the race ever received. In thus bestowing
upon his disciples this omitted act of hospitality, although the courtesy of
menials, the Lord gave mankind an object lesson for all time which means that
he who rules must himself serve. Let us in this festal hour hearken unto this
effective lesson, centuries old, though too often neglected, that all must
serve. It is not the obeisance of the inferior to a superior; not a mercenary
hope of reciprocal gain; but the mercy that is unrestrained. Our civilization
is based upon this principle. Our firesides, our schools, our hospitals, our
neighborliness, our democracy itself, rest upon this law of human
relationship--we serve each other and together we are servants of the common
good. However humble that service, if it is needed, it must be rendered freely
This simple ceremony
concluded, our Lord, turning to his disciples, said, "A new commandment I give
unto you, that ye love one another." Here is the motive of the service--love,
good will to men, sympathy, devotion to well being, lending a hand.
Of kindred origin with the
word commandment is mandate, mandatory and mandamus. These words, indeed, are
identical. The day of the command, the Thursday of the commandment, the
mandate Thursday, and we have Maundy Thursday.
The literal and formal
observance of the washing of feet in a public manner by church and state
officials has long existed. The emperor of Austria, the king of Bavaria, and
the czar of Russia are notable examples. Usually the twelve oldest men in the
realm are selected and the sovereign through servants, performs the ablution.
Sometimes prelates of the church select twelve very poor men for the rite.
This incident and the new
commandment afford many candid variances of opinion as to important features,
but these must not be obscured by the imperative lesson,--our obligations to
our fellow man regardless of race, status or creed. The attitude toward
humanity exemplified at that Passover feast two thousand years ago is our
challenge. Democracy must be the ruling principle in the world, and humanity
our service, aristocracy, royalty, dynasty, imperialism, undeserved privilege,
and "man's inhumanity to man" must cease to disturb and destroy. The sorrows,
the distresses and the enmities of today show that the incident and the
commandment of that far-off first Maundy Thursday feast can not too often be
impressed upon a chaotic and unhappy world.
The democracy of service and
the service of democracy are the hope of mankind.
THE WORK OF A MASON
The work of the Freemason is
the important work of life. It involves the development of his body so that he
may be the better enabled to support himself and family; the development of
his mind so that he may be enabled to think and act intelligently and
rationally; the development of his soul so that he may gradually evolve into
that more perfect condition--the Master.
-- W. L. Sharp.
THE MASONIC COMPEERS OF
BY BRO. FRANK E. NOTES,
GREAT exigencies and great
occasions give birth to great men, and many a man who under ordinary
circumstances would not rise above mediocrity, has, under the spur of great
demands, become really and truly great.
There is always a tendency to
make heroes of those who took prominent part in the birth of the Nation; but
when all allowances have been made, the fact still remains that in proportion
to numbers the years preceding and following the organization of our National
government produced more men of courage, ability and true patriotism than any
other period in our history, not even excepting the years of the Civil War.
Among the colossal figures
that stood out prominently in those trying years, the Masons of revolutionary
times, the Masonic Compeers of our immortal Washington, are justly entitled to
have their names written high on the pillars of worldly fame.
There is an unwritten history
of the silent but patient influences of Masonry in producing the various
political associations of that period, and the mighty brotherhood of Masonry,
ever the friend of liberty, was omnipotent for good.
While there were doubtless
transient meetings of Masons in diflerent American colonies from time to time
late in the seventeenth and early in the eighteenth centuries, it was not
until about the time of Washington's birth that the workings of the order
began to assume definite shape and the written records of Masonry in America
commenced. In April, 1733, Lord Montagu, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
England, appointed Henry Price as "Provincial Grand Master of New England and
dominions and territories thereunto belonging." Organizing the Grand Lodge in
July of that year,. he granted a charter to eighteen brethren in Boston to
form "First Lodge," a name maintained till 1783 when it was changed to St.
John's Lodge. If Washington was the "father of his country," Henry Price was
in a like sense the father of American Masonry. In the following year, 1734,
his authority was extended to the whole of North America and he granted
warrants to brethren for lodges at Philadelphia, Pa., and at Portsmouth, N.
H.; and in December, 1735, for one at Charleston, S. C.
Prominent in the early
history of the country was the Randolph family of Virginia. Peyton Randolph
was the first president of the Continental Congress which convened in 1774. He
was also the last provincial Grand Master in that colony. In 1778 an
Independent Grand Lodge was organized in Virginia and Edmund Randolph, nephew
of Peyton, became its Grand Master in 1786. He was also Governor of Virginia
the same year and in 1787 was a member of the convention that drafted the
In 1787 an independent Grand
Lodge was formed in Georgia and Gen. James Jackson became its Grand Master.
Distinguished in his state for military valor, he was also, in 1788, its first
In the same year the Grand
Lodge of South Carolina was organized and in 1790 Gen. Mordecai Gist became
its Grand Master.
North Carolina organized its
Grand Lodge in 1787. Richard Caswell, who was the first elected Governor in
that state and who served as such in 1776, '77, '78 and '79, and again in
1787, was the second Grand Master in 1788. Also in national affairs he was
prominent in the Continental Congress and as a member of the Constitutional
Convention. Another prominent Mason in that state was Wm. R. Davie, Governor
in 1798 and Grand Master in 1790.
The first Grand Master of
Connecticut was Pierpont Edward in 1790. He was a son of the famous divine,
the Rev. Jonathan Edward, one of the early Presidents of Princeton College.
Gen. John Sullivan was
Governor of New Hampshire from 1786 to 1790. During his last term a Grand
Lodge was organized in that state and he was its first Grand Master. Gen.
Sullivan is noted for the splendid campaign he made in 1779 against the Six
Nations of Indians who were fighting with the British troops.
Gen. Rufus Putman was
prominent in Massachusetts, went to Ohio late in the eighteenth century and
became Grand Master in that state in 1808.
There were many other
prominent men who were Masonic Compeers of Washington, but the list is too
long to dwell upon.
How many Masons are familiar
with the part that Masons played in the Boston Tea Party? It was on the
evening of the 18th of December, 1773, when a party of Masons, mostly members
of St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston, assembled for the purpose of protesting
against the iniquitous tax on tea. Samuel Adams is said to have been a member
of that party. Gen. Warren, the first prominent martyr to the cause of
American Independence and once Grand Master of Massachusetts, was a member of
that party. Paul Revere, celebrated for his famous ride before the battle of
Lexington, at that time Junior. Warden of the Lodge and afterwards Grand
Master, was a leading spirit among the resolute Masons who emptied the tea
into Boston harbor.
While much of the specific
wording of the Declaration of Independence is credited to Thomas Jefferson,
Masons were the leading spirits in the movement. Almost simultaneously and
perhaps not knowing of the other's action, Samuel Adams in Massachusetts and
Richard Henry Lee in Virginia wrote vigorous protests in 1774 against the
tyrannous acts of the English government. It was Lee who in the Constitutional
Congress, June 12, 1776, made the motion that the colonies were and of right
ought to be free and independent.
The battle of Lexington was
the result of an attempt on the part of the British soldiers to arrest John
Hancock and Samuel Adams as arch traitors, but they were warned and escaped to
Philadelphia. Of the fifty-six members of the Continental Congress who signed
the Declaration of Independence, twenty-two are known to have been Masons and
quite a number of others are believed to have been members of the order, but
the imperfect records of those days leaves a doubt as to their membership. Of
the committee of five appointed to prepare the Declaration, three, viz:
Sherman, Livingston and Adams, were Masons. John Hancock, who was the
president of the Congress, was the first Mason to affix his signature. He was
afterwards for thirteen years Governor of Massachusetts. Of the first eight
signers of the declaration, seven were Masons. The Masons were the head and
front of the movement.
Besides Hancock and Adams,
the following Masons signed the Declaration:
Josiah Bartlett, first to
vote for and second to sign. He was at first a prominent physician, afterwards
a lawyer and for six years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire
and the first Governor of that state. He was also Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge in 1798.
William Whipple, born in
Maine two years before Washington, prominent as a lawyer and a Judge of the
Supreme Court of New Hampshire for three years.
Matthew Thornton, born in
Ireland in 1714 and an advocate of ability; for six years a member of the
Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
Robert Treat Paine, born the
year before Washington in Boston; was for fourteen years a justice of the
Supreme Court of Massachusetts.
Elbridge Gerry, a member of
the Constitutional Congress five times, member of the Constitutional
Convention, Governor of Massachusetts in 1810-'11 and Vice President at the
time of his death in 1814. It was from his work of districting the state that
we get the word "gerrymander."
Stephen Hopkins, Speaker of
the Massachusetts Assembly in 1742 and for several years following, Governor
of the state for thirteen years and for severalyears a member of the
Roger Sherman, prominent in
the legislative affairs of Connecticut, member of the first and several
succeeding Continental Congresses, and one of the five members of the
committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Among his distinguished
descendants were Senators Wm. M. Evarts of New York and Geo. F. Hoar of
Philip Livingston, member of
the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, and one of the
Committee of five who drafted the Declaration.
Oliver Wolcott, member of the
Continental Congress for several years and Governor of Connecticut for eleven
Francis Lewis, a native of
Wales, who engaged in commerce and amassed a large fortune much of which he
spent in the cause of American liberty, was a member of the Continental
Congress from New York, in which state he died at the ripe old age of 90
John Witherspoon, a Scottish
Doctor of Divinity who came to the Colonies after he had made a reputation as
one of the strongest preachers of his age. He became president of Princeton
College in 1768 and by his wise administration greatly raised the rank of that
institution. Sat in the Continental Congress for three years at a time at two
Francis Hopkinson, head of
the Navy during the Revolution, Judge of the Admiralty in Pennsylvania for ten
years to 1789 and then, as an appointee of President Washington, a United
States Judge till his death in 1791.
Lewis Morris, a wealthy
resident of New York who risked his fortune in the cause of liberty and whose
large estates were burned by the British in 1776.
Benjamin Rush, the most noted
physician of his age, who, with Richard Henry Lee moved the adoption of a
resolution for independence early in June, 1776. He was treasurer of the U. S.
Mint in Philadelphia from 1799 till his death in 1813. It was after him that
Rush Medical College in Chicago was named.
Benjamin Franklin, Grand
Master of Pennsylvania in 1784 and the most distinguished diplomat and
scientist of that period. George Ross, a judge of the Pennsylvania Admiralty
Court who died in 1779.
Richard Henry Lee, who,
although a Virginian, took strong grounds against Slavery in 1761. In 1784 he
was president of the Continental Congress and was the first U. S. Senator from
Virginia. His younger brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, was also a signer of the
Benjamin Harrison, four times
a member of the Continental Congress, twice Governor of Virginia, and the
father of William Henry Harrison ("Old Tippecanoe"), the ninth President.
William Hooper, a native of
Boston but a representative for several terms of North Carolina in the
Continental Congress. These twenty-two Masonic signers of the Declaration were
a sturdy group--men for the most part of great learning and influence. By
occupation eleven of them were traders and farmers, eight of them were
lawyers, two were doctors and one a minister of the gospel. Seven of them
served their states as governors and gave a combined service of 48 years or an
average of about seven years each. Seven of them were judges, mostly of the
highest courts, and rendered a combined service of 64 years or an average of
about 9 years each. Two of them were Grand Masters of Masonic Grand Lodges.
Statisticians tell us that
science and modern methods of living have greatly increased the average span
of human life in these latter days. But the twenty two Masonic signers of the
Declaration, living for the most part under primitive conditions, far outran
the average age of their fellows both in those times and now. Only two of them
died before the age of 50; twelve of them were over 70 years of age; five of
them were over 80, and one reached the age of 90 years; while the average span
of life for the whole twenty-two was 70 years. The earliest death among them
was in 1779, the latest in 1814. This is a remarkable exhibit of the strength
of mind and body of the leading founders of the government of our great
They did their work well and
were an honor not only to themselves, their families, their communities, their
states and the Nation, but they honored the great brotherhood to which they
belonged and were among the noblest representatives of true Masonry, which has
always stood for the highest patriotism. Of them may well be said,
"When mature growth had
marked their manly brows,
They sought our altar and
they made their vows--
Upon our tesselated floor
Bended their knees and placed
their trust in God.
Through all their great and
glorious lives they stood
As true, warm brothers,
foremost e'er in good;
And when they died, amid
Their mourning brethren bore
them to the tomb."
Upon their coffins were the
Of Masonry, which through
their life they graced.
The profound gratitude of men
Will follow them until the
dawn of morn
When Nations, true to
Shall nevermore shed
When Peace, the angel guest
of heaven divine,
Brings greatest happiness to
Would I might rouse the
Lincoln in you all,
That which is gendered in the
From lonely prairies and
Imperial soul, star of a
Born where the ghosts of
buffaloes still dream,
Whose spirit hoof-beats storm
above his grave,
About that breast of earth
Fire that freed the slave.
Let The Light Shine
The essence of Free Masonry
is light. Its function is to illumine.To be sure Masonry has its secrets and
mysteries, but so has sunlight. The one may be understood by the adept as the
other has been analyzed by the scientist. Opaque objects on the earth cast
shadows and in the movements of the planets the sun becomes eclipsed. So in
Masonry there are emblems of darkness and ceremonies wherein light is
extinguished; but these are only for contrast. Light, ever increasing light,
is the ideal.
And yet there are dimmers in
the Masonic World. A lodge is such if it fails to illumine, and so is a Mason
who does not let his light shine before men. Such lodges and such brethren are
like opaque objects in nature. Light either does not permeate them, or if it
does, it stays there instead of shining through or being reflected by them.
They not only shut ofl light from others, but really stand in their own light;
for if a lodge would flourish, or if a brother would get for himself the best
that Masonry can give him, that lodge and that brother must let the light
shine, not within only, like an electric light with dimmers on, but through
them and from them out into the world upon human institutions and upon
humanity outside the Craft.
The final test of Masonry is
its altruism, what it accomplishes, not for itself and its votaries only, but
for humanity; and he is the best Mason and does the most for his lodge and the
advancement of the Order, who most carries out into the business, political
and social world, the light with which he himself has been illuminated in the
lodge room, and who most lets that light shine, through his beneficent words
and deeds, for enlightenment and enlivening of his fellow men.
--Calvin Graves Greene, 33d
THE THINGS I SHARE
I thank Thee, Lord, for
strength of arm
To win my bread,
And that, beyond my need, is
For friend unfed:
I thank Thee much for bread
I thank Thee more for bread
I thank Thee, Lord, for
In cold and storm,
And that beyond my need is
For friend forlorn:
I thank Thee much for place
But more for shelter for my
I thank Thee, Lord, for
On me bestowed,
Enough to share with loveless
To ease their load:
Thy love to me I ill could
Yet dearer is Thy love I
SLOWLY our Republic is being drawn into the vortex
of world-war, which it cannot much longer honorably avoid. Indeed, by the time
these words are read it may already have made the plunge, taking up its great
white sword in behalf of the humanity of the nation and the humanity of the
world. Peace without victory, peace at any price, are becoming increasingly
impossible in theory and in fact. They are not just who will not fight for
justice; and there is one thing better than keeping the peace - that is having
a peace that is worth keeping.
No nation can turn hermit and live apart from the
world, shut in by a narrow, selfish nationalism. The world is too small, too
closely bound together, too delicately organized. In 1870 England held aloof
and saw France crushed, but she prepared disaster for herself. This lesson is
for us, because we have behind us three generations of national isolation, and
that policy is now obsolete. It is not whether America shall enter the war -
that hangs in the balance - but whether she shall enter the world, not for
conquest but for co-operation, for service, for sacrifice, if need be, in
behalf of a common civilization.
Some things there are more precious than life,
without which life is not worth living - Liberty, Justice, Mercy. If these
precious things can be secured by wise delay, by moral power alone, let us
give thanks; but if moral power is finally set at naught, let the aggressor
meet an invincible defender of humanity! If that issue is drawn, no one need
be told where American Masons will stand: they will insist that the flag
should stand for the protection of our citizens, and that our citizens stand
for the protection of the flag! A little high school girl wrote these words,
and through them her gentle hand will touch the heart-strings of thousands of
"This is my flag. For it I
All that I have, even as they
They who dyed those blood-red
Their lives that it might
This is my flag. I am
To answer now its first clear
And with Thy help, oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the
O Lord, let it not fail."
* * *
THE NEW THINKING
Every movement, every institution, has two wings,
and must have if it is to fly very far. Time out of mind they have been called
the Radical and the Conservative; the one looking to the future, and the other
seeking to conserve the hard-won inheritance of the past. Both are needed, but
they must be held in balance, each serving the other and working together,
else the result will be disaster and wreck. Between those who will let nothing
alone, and those who will allow no change at all, there is a middle path of
cautious and reliable progress. If we do not conserve what we have gained, we
cannot improve it. Nor can we really conserve it without improving it. But we
must have not only the wish but the ability to improve, else we shall lose
what we have while blunderingly trying to get what we want.
Now these principles apply equally to Masonry, and
ye editor confesses that he is a radical in heart but a conservative in
thought, having the disposition to improve and the desire to conserve,
seeking, as John Bright was wont to say, to "make the past glide easily into
the future." For that reason, he would have Masons be doers as well as
dreamers, conservatives but not mere preservatives, and radical without being
revolutionary - in short, Builders and not mere Agitators. For the same reason
he is ready and willing to listen to Brethren of the radical wing of the
maternity, who are making themselves heard of late, assured that they ought to
be heard because they have something to say, as witness the following words
from a letter before us:
"How can the Society undertake a progressive study
of Masonic fundamentals with its back turned to the future ? The facts are,
Brother, the Society has not dared to touch on a single vital issue before us.
While it may be a subject highly interesting to a close student, you would
hardly admit that a controversy over some technicality in the records of the
Mystics of the Middle Ages is a matter of vital importance to us here in the
flesh and blood now. I am a radical in thought, and although as were promised
that a circle would be drawn that would include all, we find that the promise
has not been fulfilled. If the motive back of the formation of the Society
visas the hope of diverting a rapidly growing radical sentiment into
conservative channels, I will admit that in part you have succeeded. But the
tide will turn and you will soon have to take cognizance of the radical wing
of the Society. Among the present-day subjects of vital interest to the Craft
are the following:
Universal military training, would it be used to defeat or to
aid Masonic Brotherhood ? Famous Masons who are working for a league to
enforce world-peace. Are Masons neglecting the public schools, if so what will
be the ultimate result? President Wilson’s challenge to the liberals of the
world on world peace,
is it a
challenge to Masonry or Democracy? What is Masonry doing today to uphold the
right of free speech, free press, and free public assembly ? Where must
Masonry stand tomorrow on present-day subjects, if its future is to be as
honorable as its past? Is Masonry an institution with definite objects in
view; if so, what are they? Is Masonry merely a set of rules for individual
conduct? Can Masonry squarely turn from its age-old admiration of its past and
resolutely face the problems of the future? Shall Masonry organize to combat
the growing influence of Romanism in American politics? Can Masonry afford to
allow its membership to form its opinions from a controlled press ?
But I hear you saying that these are political,
moral and economic questions, and have no part in the program of Masonry, nor
are they proper subjects for discussion in our journal. If this is your
thought, Brother, then I ask you where under high heaven can a poor soul go
for reliable information? Far be it from me to detract from the glory of
Masonry's past, but I am interested more in a glorious present and a bright
and shining future. Before the coming of the Builder, recent Masonry was like
the Chinese Empire, great in bulk, unwieldy, selfsatisfied and with no
particular object in view worthy of its manhood or traditions."
Here is the typical radical - God bless him -
eager, utterly sincere, impatient, a pace-maker but not a peace-maker, who
would transform the Masonic Lodge into a debating society, and so upset things
that it would take a generation to set them right. We respect his motive -
even if he suspects the motive which prompted the founding of this Society; we
admire his idealism and enthusiasm; but we cannot agree with his method. And,
after all, it is all a matter of method; since all of us want to do what is
wisest and best, making the present worthy of the past and prophetic of the
future. Of course our Brother exaggerates, after the manner of his clan,
leaving the impression that our present studies are devoted to untangling the
technicalities of the Mystics of the Middle Ages. But if he thinks that
honorable past of Masonry, to which he wishes us to be true, was made by
methods such as he recommends, he had better look into the old records a
Far, very far from it. Had our fathers followed
such leadership, there would be no Masonic Lodge today, or else it would be
only an indistinguishable atom in a welter of partisan feud. Suppose the
church should open its pulpit to issues such as our Brother outlines, it would
become a place not of devotion but of debate, and injure its influence - as,
indeed, it has done in so far as it has followed this program. No more can the
Masonic Lodge commit itself to such a program, unless it wishes deliberately
to invite destruction. What then shall we do? Ignore present-day issues, turn
our back upon them and leave them to be fought out in the spirit of feud ? Not
at all. Masonry, as an organized body, cannot deal with issues of this sort,
but Masons can. And it is the mission of Masonry so to train men in the spirit
of truth, righteousness, human sympathy and social obligation that they will
face and solve such questions in a spirit of justice, wisdom and truth !
Once for all ye editor stated his position in
respect to this whole matter in "The Builders," (pp. 244-250) and he sees no
reason to alter it by one iota; but instead all the more reason to insist upon
it, with due regard for his Brethren who disagree. He feels profoundly in the
matter, not because he is indifferent to the living issues of this dark and
troubled time - God forbid - but just because the tendency which our Brother
voices, now becoming clamorous, means the overthrow of the Order. Speaking
plainly, yet kindly, he is frank to say that if such a program were adopted by
the Masonic Order he would leave it instantly, and he would be followed by the
vast majority of its members. It would no longer be the Masonry he loves and
seeks to serve, but something so utterly unlike the Masonry whose past is
honorable, and so alien to its spirit, as to be its enemy. So may it never be,
while grass grows and the sun shines !
Masons may form groups, if they like, and discuss
the questions which our Brother suggests, and others of a sort similar; but
the Fraternity cannot indulge in such debates without disaster. In saying this
we are thinking far ahead to a time when the noises of today shall have
followed the feet that made them into the Silence remembering, too, the wisdom
of our fathers which has approved itself by results. Our Brother thinks we
have drawn a circle too small to include him in its embrace. No, no, it is the
other way round. Somehow, in thinking of this matter, we recall the words of
"Oh if we draw a circle
Heedless of far gain,
Greedy for quick returns of
Bad is the bargain !"
* * *
From Brother Oswald Wirth, of Paris, comes a very
gracious letter, not only expressing appreciation of the work of the Society
and its journal, but suggesting that it be made international. He is the
editor of Le Symbolisme, and he gives a hint of the difficulties that beset
him in publishing a Masonic journal under pressure of war conditions in
France. Indeed, Le Symbolisme is suspended temporarily, owing to financial
perplexities, but we trust that dawn will come soon, and that its gentle
labors may be resumed. The following excerpt, as setting forth a more
spiritual ideal of Masonry, may be of interest and profit to our readers:
"Since 1717, our Order has been especially
ceremonial; the material, external side has been too predominant. It is not
right to be contented henceforth to practice Freemasonry ritualistically; we
must come to comprehend it, to possess all the intelligence of it. It is
therefore no longer for men to wish to associate together, pay their dues, and
bear the symbols by which we must address ourselves, but to have intellects
capable of comprehending our philosophy. I am formulating no criticism in
regard to Masonic bodies, and I do not wish to interfere, at least not
directly, to reform them. That which interests me is the eternal wisdom to
which the symbolism makes allusion. It is necessary to revive this wisdom,
while searching everywhere for the remnants of its symbolic corpse. This is
the task to which I have assigned myself; but when I have tried to communicate
to others the fruits of my researches, I have found that Freemasons often show
less receptivity than the profane. Having been consecrated and initiated, and
placing there the value of Freemasonry, they believe too easily that they have
nothing more to learn. This experience decides me to propagate a Masonry of
the spirit independent of Masonic bodies.”
If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it
they are wrong. I do not say give them up, for they may be all you have; but
conceal them, like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of other mender. -
LIFE AFTER DEATH
DEAR EDITOR: - In the list of books received by
The Builder, I note the work of Sir Oliver Lodge, entitled "Raymond, or Life
After Death," purporting to give the communications received from his son who
was killed in Flanders. Remembering what you said about "Patience Worth," I
have a keen curiosity to know what you think of this book. I venture to
transcribe the following words written by William Dean Howells thirty-five
years ago, in his story, "The Undiscovered Country," and quoted in the March
Atlantic Monthly, fearing that you may have missed them. Speaking of
spiritualism and its materializations, he says:
"All other systems of belief, all other
revelations of the unseen world, have supplied a rule of life, have been given
for our use here. But this offers nothing but the barren fact that we live
again. It is as thoroughly godless as atheism itself, and no man can accept it
upon any other man's word, because it has not yet shown its truth in the
ameliorated life of men. As long as it is used merely to establish the fact of
a future life it will remain sterile. It will continue to be doubted, like a
conjuror's trick, by all who have not seen it; and those who have seen it will
afterwards come to discredit their own senses. The world has been mocked with
something of the kind from the beginning; it is no new thing."
I do not say that this expresses my view of the
matter. In fact, I do not say that I have any view, preferring to keep an open
mind, and being deeply convinced of a future life on other grounds. Perhaps
such a matter has no place in our journal, but if it has - and I recall your
saying that Masonry is concerned with all things human - some of us would be
glad to know your thought. Fraternally. - T.J.L.
My Brother, we live in dark and terrible times,
and the Unseen World seems very near, its gates thronged by a host no man can
number of the bravest and the best who are giving their lives for the things
that make life dear. Death, so multitudinous and overwhelming, has brought
immortality to light. For many, as for Sir Oliver Lodge, its silence is broken
by the accents of familiar voices - as in a cablegram that lies before us,
signed, "A Mother of Five" - and for all the assurance is doubly sure that
"Life is ever lord of Death and Love can never lose its own." The book by Sir
Oliver Lodge is noble and notable, not only for what it recites but for the
dignity, restraint and austere care of the recital. As he says in the preface,
only his sympathy with the appalling premature and unnatural bereavement due
to the war would have induced him to remove the veil from his own private
grief, and he writes in the hope that his words may help to heal hearts
wounded by the deep stab of war and death.
The book is divided into three parts: the first of
which tells the brief life of a boy, his letters home from the front, his
death on the field of honor - a pitiful page by his mother, and a memoir by
his brother. The second recites the messages supposed to have been received
from him after his death, telling, in his characteristic manner, of the after
life, trying to make its conditions real to his friends; of his interest and
solicitude for them, with many touches as beautiful as they are tender. The
third part is a discussion by the father of the meaning of it all - a majestic
piece of writing, in which the mind of the scientist masters the heart of the
father, making him critical of evidence, careful of fact, and doubly cautious
because his heart is involved. Altogether it is a book to make one pause and
ponder, and does not at all come under the category described in the words of
Howells thirty-five years ago; because it is the work of a great man of
science, and because the whole question is looked at in a different light now
Personally, we are in much the same case as
Brother Liggon, wishing to keep an open mind and a tender heart - not
mistaking sentiment for substance, fancy for fact - and, like him, utterly
convinced of eternal life on other grounds. Nevertheless, we confess that this
book has been a great inspiration, in that it has helped to make the unseen
world more real, more human, and has touched it with light and color and joy.
Certainly it makes it something more than a "barren" fact, and that means very
much to such as wait for those who return no more. Of Patience Worth we said
that, while we were unable to say whether her stories and songs were
revelations of the unseen, they were worthy of being such, alike for their
beauty and grace. And we say the same of this book. If it deals at times, in
matters seemingly trivial, we remember that they are the best kind of personal
identification even in a court of law, and not less so in the Court of the
Nor can we agree with Howells that such communications, as they
are now reported and studied, are "sterile" of influence and furnish no "rule
of life." What it means to have a real assurance - to be triumphantly
convinced - of the deathless life may be seen in the life of Frederick Myers,
who, by way of scientific psychic research, came to certainty about it. The
result was not simply a transformation, but a transfiguration. He seemed to
have a new character, a new personality - as William James has told us. A
passionate, disdainful impatient unhandy man, became tender sympathetic
endlessly patient and above all, radiantly hanny: and the fortitude of his
last days, amidst atrocious
sufferings touched the heroic. No, it does not delete life, but adds a new
hemisphere to it.
Such thoughts are surely timely in a world of
griefs and graves, and the more so on the eve of Easter day, when millions of
men, women and little children find their way to the House of Hope - in quiet
country meeting-houses, in old ivy-covered chapels, in stately cathedrals - to
renew the ancient expectation of their race. Happy are those to whom it is
given to see that there is no future life, but that life is one here and
hereafter - a vision of love, comradeship and character - and that death is a
shadowy gate through which we pass out of phantoms into reality, out of
darkness into light !
* * *
THE EASTERN STAR
A new and elaborate "History of the Order of the
Eastern Star," by Mrs. Jean M'kee Kenaston, of the Grand Chapter of South
Dakota, lies before us. Taking as her motto the saying of Lord Acton, that
"history, to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not
opinions," the author has done a very careful piece of work worthy of the
great Order whose story she tells with interest and charm. She has endeavored
to perform two duties: first, to interest her readers in the records and
achievements of those honored women and men whose acts combined to make
possible the greatest fraternal organization of women; and second, to produce
some evidence of the value and useful character of the Institution - that its
claims for Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness may be the more readily seen and
The work is well written, and informed by a noble
spirit, including a sketch of the origin of the order, a biography of its
founder, Dr. Morris - one of the best we have seen - the history of the
General Grand Chapter, and brief accounts of the Grand Chapters of the States,
as well as foreign Grand Chapters. To which are added the Mosaic Book, the
Manual of the Eastern Star Degree, the Book of Instructions, and the Rosary of
the Eastern Star - making the volume as nearly complete as it could well be.
The work is a distinct achievement in Masonic research, a real addition to our
literature, and we congratulate the author and the Order, the while we most
heartily commend the volume to our Members. The book is neatly printed and
* * *
"YOU IN AMERICA"
As an example of noble writing, as an example of
the spirit in which the men of Europe lay aside their dreams for the bitter
reality of war, we venture to reproduce the following preface to "The Last
Book of Wonder," by Lord Dunsany, of England. The dreams of this book will
grow more real as the memory of the Europe of today fades. Our hope is, that
out of the "burning house" not only his dreams, but the man himself will be
saved to give us more books of beauty, to cast upon us the spell of his
I do not know where I may be when this preface is
read. As I write it in August, 1916, I am at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry,
recovering from a slight wound. But it does not greatly matter where I am; my
dreams are here before you amongst the following pages; and, writing in a day
when life is cheap, dreams seem to me all the dearer, the only things that
Just now the civilization of Europe seems almost
to have ceased, and nothing seems to grow in her torn fields but death; yet
this is only for a while and dreams will come back again and bloom as of old,
all the more radiantly for this terrible ploughing, as the flowers will bloom
again where the trenches are and the primroses shelter in shell-holes for many
seasons, when weeping Liberty has come home to Flanders.
To some of you in America this may seem an
unnecessary and wasteful quarrel, as other people's quarrels often are; but it
comes to this, that though we are all killed there will be songs again, but if
we were to submit and so survive there could be neither songs nor dreams, nor
any joyous free things any more.
And do not regret the lives that are wasted
amongst us, or the work that the dead would have done, for war is no accident
that man's care could have averted, but is as natural, though not as regular,
as the tides; as well regret the things that the tide has washed away, which
destroys and cleanses and crumbles, and spares the minutest shells.
And now I will write nothing further about our
war, but offer you these books of dreams from Europe as one throws things of
value, if only to oneself, at the last moment out of a burning house.
* * *
ALBERT PIKE'S LETTERS
By the kindness of Brother J. H. Tatsch, of
Spokane, we have a copy of a letter written of Albert Pike, which he found
some time ago in Goddspeed's Bookshop, Boston. It breathes a spirit which
endeared Pike to those who knew him, showing the personal side in a way not
always brought out in our usual conception of the man. Brother Tatsch suggests
that we make request for copies of other letters by Pike, believing that such
a request might bring to light, from unknown places, much of value to the
Craft. We made such a request in one of the earliest issues of The Builder,
but gladly renew it, hoping that the prophecy may come true. The Society is
anxious to collect all possible material about Albert Pike, and we are sure
that our Members will assist in every way. The letter referred to was
addressed to Brother R.S. Spafford, in 1878, and is as follows:
My dear Friend: - I thank you with all my heart.
Simple words are the best. I am greatly touched by your kind words; and the
poems come to me as a voice from the old State which I left near forty-seven
years ago, not unkindly remembering me, now. I live here and rarely go out.
Gout has lessened by locomotive powers and my inclination to move. If you can
get about "fluently" come and see me. Please present my very kind regards to
Mrs. Spafford, and for her and yourself accept all manner of good wishes, and
especially that this New Year may prove a happy one for you both, until her
Faithfully your friend and
* * *
History of the Eastern Star,
by Mrs. J. M. Kenaston. Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. $2.50.
Ancient Times, a History of
the Early World, by J. H. Breasted. Ginn and Co., New York. $1.50.
Lincoln's Cooper Institute
Speech, by H. B. Rankin.
Valley Forge Revolutionary
Encampment Commission, by J. H. Fort.
Installation Address, by B.
H. Saxton, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
War the Cross of Nations, by
L. Swetenham. Robert Scott, London.
The Gentle Art of Making
Enemies, by J. M. Whistler. New Edition. London. $4.00.
THE QUESTION BOX
Dear Brother: - As a member of the Craft, I am
enclosing a brief letter herewith sent me by the Indo-American Book Co., which
explains itself: "The Harmonic Series, complete in three books, are now out of
print, and cannot be furnished. They were discontinued because some of the
claims set forth therein have been found to be untrue." Can you please inform
me as to which of the claims as set forth in those books have been found to be
untrue? Judging by the trend of this letter, it seems plain that thousands of
Masonic Brethren have been imposed upon. I shall be under obligations for any
information. - O.B.S., Georgia.
Thereby hangs a long tale, which we were familiar
with at the time we were writing replies to the dear Brethren who thought us
stupid and unspiritual because we did not accept the claims and theories
advanced by the TK. (The Builder, Vol. I, pp. 118, 143, 163, 181, 203-206).
Fortunately, we could not tell it then, and it would serve no good purpose to
recite it now. Let us be kind; it is a case calling less for censure than for
the sweetest charity which our Order has taught us to cultivate.
* * *
Some time ago you referred, in an address, to a
statement by Edmund Burke which you said had long been the basis of all your
political thinking, and that you first heard it used by the late Senator Hoar
in a Lincoln-day address in Boston seventeen years ago. I see that you refer
to it again in one of the sermons preached in the City Temple last summer, in
the volume entitled "An Ambassador," but you do not give it in full - at least
I infer that it is only reference. Will you please give it in full and tell me
where I may find it in the works of Burke? - A.W.P., Michigan.
It is indeed a remarkable utterance, and may be found in
"Reflections on the French Revolution," by Edmund Burke - Bohn Library Edition
of Works of Burke, pp. 368-9 - and is as follows: "Society is indeed a
contract. It is to be looked upon with reverence, because it is not a
partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a
temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a
partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection.
As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it
becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those
who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Each
contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primaeval
contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures,
connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact
sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral
natures, each in their appointed place."
* * *
Perhaps half a hundred Brethren have sent us the
following prayer, saying that it had been sent to them with the request that
they send it on to nine Brother Masons, forming an endless chain of prayer: "O
Lord, I implore Thee to bless all mankind. Bring us to Thee, keep us to dwell
with Thee." So far, good; it is a brief, wise, and universal prayer, like a
line caught from a vast litany of humanity. But the usual form of the letter
adds that this prayer was sent by all Masons in the olden time and that all
who wrote it would be free from calamity, and that those who did not pass it
on would be in danger of misfortune. What a pity to spoil the beauty of it
all, breaking the links which Tennyson said bind us as with "chains of gold
about the feet of God," with such a bribe and such a threat. It becomes a
matter of luck, like wearing a rabbit-foot, or some other token handed down
from old time magic - whereas prayer, if it has any meaning, much less worth,
is a wish sent Godward, a law of life. Over gainst this superstitious notion
of prayer set the noble words of George Meredith, in "Beauchamp's Career," and
write them in your heart:
"He who has the fountain of prayer in him will not
complain of hazards. Prayer is the recognition of laws; the soul's exercise
and source of strength; its thread of conjunction with them. Prayer for an
object is the cajolery of an idol; the resource of superstition. There you
misread it. We that fight the living world must have the universal f or succor
of the truth in it. Cast forth the soul in prayer, you meet the effluence of
the outer truth, you join with the creative elements giving breath to you. Who
rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered."
* * *
MANUAL OF MASONRY
Brother Editor: - I am anxious to find a manual of
Masonry that will cover each degree and each rite briefly, with such
information in general as an ill-read Mason would like to find in a small
space, and would be obliged if you will cite me to such a book, if there is
any. - R.P.H., Ohio.
Ye editor has long wished to write such a book as
you here ask for, but he fears that it will be among his lost and broken
dreams. As it is, the best book of the sort, (so far, is "The Problem of
Masonry," by J. G. Gibson, whose articles our readers have enjoyed. It is
brief, comprehensive, accurate, and written in a style simple, lucid and
singularly happy in its light and easy grace; the late Brother R. F. Gould
furnished an introduction, in which he commended the book most highly. It
contains a sketch of the history of the order, a chapter on each of the first
three degrees, on each of the several rites, with much else which every Mason
wishes to know. It is an English book, and will be difficult to obtain for a
while, unless copies can be found in this country.
* * *
Brother Editor: - Perhaps you do not know it, but
many ladies also read The Builder, and I, for one, very much enjoy it. We read
it aloud in our family circle. Some of us would like to know what you think
are the best books which the war has produced, if that is not too big a
question. - Mrs. I.B.N.
So far there have been over three thousand books published
about the war and that is only the beginning. For generations new books will
be appearing, and even then the whole story will not be told - nor the half of
it. Histories, biographies, memoirs, arguments, state documents, poems,
stories - there will be a stream of them swelling into a flood. We can name
only a few. The "Ordeal of Battle," by Oliver, is a very strong book, having
one of the finest prefaces ever written; while "The War and Humanity" by Beck,
shows what an American thinks of the vast tragedy - a brilliant book it is,
too. "Mr. Britling Sees it Through," by Wells, is one of the best war stories
behind the lines, showing the shock, the awakening, - both spiritual and
political - in England; also the enthusiasm of the author over his own
discovery of religion. "Mademoiselle Miss," made up of letters from an
American girl serving with the rank of Lieutenant in a French Army Hospital at
the front, is a book to stir the heart to the depth; and So is "My Home on the
Field of Honor," by Huard. One of the most brilliant series of
"Men, Women and Guns," by "Sapper," matched by "A Student in Arms," by Hankey
- this last notable for its glimpses of the religious aspects of the war. In
poetry there are the songs of Rupert Brooke, Emile Verhaven of Belgium,
Oxenham, and not least of all our own Alan Seeger, who fell in Flanders on
July 4th, 1916 - nor must we forget Cunliffe's collection of "Poems of the
Great War." But, my dear friend, much of the deepest and most heart-gripping
literature of war will never find its way into books, as for example the
following letter of a French soldier to his wife, found on his body after
battle, which you cannot read aloud in your home without choking:
"I am writing this letter to you in any event -
for one never knows. If it reaches you it will be that France will have needed
me unto the end. You must not weep, for I swear to you that I shall die happy
if I need to give my life to my country.
"My only care is the difficult situation in which
you will find yourself - you and the children. How can you provide for
yourself and the babies ? Happily you can count upon your former profession of
teaching and the full assistance of all my people. How I should like to feel
sure that some arrangement will be found.
DISCUSSES HIS CHILDREN
"As to the education of the little ones, I am not
worried. You will know how to direct it as well as I. I hope that they can
create for themselves an independent position as I had hoped to assure for
them had I lived. Kiss the dear little ones for their father; tell them that
he has gone on a long, very long, journey without ceasing to love them; to
think of them and to protect them from afar. I should like to have Cotte at
least remember me.
"There will be the baby whom I shall not have
known. If it is a boy, my wish is that he should be a doctor, unless after the
war France still has need of officers. You will tell him when he is old enough
to understand, that his papa gave his life for a great ideal - that of our
country reconstructed and strong.
"DON'T BLAME FRANCE"
"I think I have written the most necessary.
Good-by, my darling, my love. Promise me not to bear a grudge against France
if she has asked my life. Promise me to console papa and mamma and to tell the
little girts that their father, however far he may be, will never cease to
watch over them and to love them.
"We shall find ourselves one day reunited, I hope,
near Him who guides our lives and who has given me, near you and through you,
"Poor darling, I have not even time to think long of our love,
so great, however, and so strong. Good-by, the long goodby,
true one. Be strong. Your JEAN."
* * *
Brother Newton: - You have several times
recommended Hastings' Encyclopcedia of Religion and Ethics, and I should like
to know what you think of the article on the Inquisition. To me it seems a
lame and miserable apology for an institution infernal in the extreme. Two
sentences made me mad in six spots at once: "The tribunal of the Inquisition
conformed to a very high ideal of justice." And this: "Taking everything into
consideration we may hold that the institution and workings of the tribunals
of the Inquisition were the means of real social progress." Surely that is the
limit. - G.W.L., Nebraska.
We do not remember to have recommended the
Encyclopaedia as a whole, but only certain articles in it, notably the one on
Freemasonry and the one on Circumambulation; but we do say that it is a great
work, notwithstanding the article complained of. It was the policy of the
editor, Dr. Hastings, to entrust articles to men of the communions most
concerned, and so he selected Dr. Vacandard to write on the Inquisition. The
article is indeed an unconvincing defense, but it is interesting as showing -
what is repeated in regard to the atrocities of the present war - how far a
man will go in defense of a thing which it suits his interest or purpose to
explain away. He goes to great length, even making such use of Lea's classical
"History of the Inquisition" as to misrepresent him utterly - actually
garbling his words and twisting them every kind of way. It is absurd to say
that the evils and iniquities of the Inquisition were incidental. They were
inherent in the very genius of the institution, and foreknown - as, for
example, in the Bull of 1256 which authorized Inquisitors to absolve each
other, making a closed corporation of grime. The final verdict of Lea (111, p.
650) is overwhelming, when he says that the Inquisition "introduced a system
of jurisprudence which infected the criminal law of the lands subjected to its
influence, and rendered the administration of penal justice a cruel mockery
for centuries. It furnished the Holy See with a powerful weapon in aid of
political aggrandisement, it tempted secular sovereigns to imitate the
example, and it prostituted the name of religion to the vilest temporal ends.
It stimulated a morbid sensitiveness to doctrinal aberrations until the most
trifling dissidence was capable of arousing insane fury and of convulsing
Europe from end to end. On the other hand, when atheism became fashionable in
high places its thunders were mute." That does not read like a description of
a benign institution, or one that made for social progress. We could go into
detail? but we are soon to publish an article in three parts describing, in
cool fact, first, the organization of that infernal machine; second, its
procedure; and third, its attempt to destroy Masonry.
* * *
Brother Editor: - I do not want to seem to "butt
in" and raise a row, but do you understand that Masonry teaches the
resurrection of the body ? I have often thought of this, but never had the
nerve to ask anyone. So there now, throw this in the waste basket, if you want
to. - F.J.D., Minnesota.
No; Masonry teaches the immortality of the soul,
but it does not specifically affirm or deny the resurrection of the body -
leaving that issue for each man to interpret for himself, and so avoid the
"row" which our Brother fears. So far as Masonry is concerned, a man may
believe in the resurrection of the body or not, according to his faith. Beyond
the fundamental truths of faith it does not go - never adventuring into
speculative theology which is a breeding place of animosities of many kinds.
Personally - and our opinion is worth no more than that of another - we do not
believe in the resurrection of the body, as it is, or used to be, held. Nor do
we think the Great Light in Masonry teaches it. Certainly St. Paul
distinguished very sharply between the "natural body and the spiritual body,"
and when he spoke of the resurrection of the body he did not mean our body of
"flesh and blood," but our personality, the form and spirit of our life. Some
of our Brethren may not agree with this, and they are at liberty to disagree
and we promise not to start a "rough house."
HEBREW AND EGYPTIAN
If there is any one thing I am thankful for it is to have the
brethren give us the titles of the books which have helped them on the way to
Life and Light. In the last issue of The Builder, Brother Henderson mentions
two books I do not have as yet, while in regard to the third I wish you would
lose no time
in giving us
the bill of particulars, plans or specifications to demonstrate that General
Pike's volume "Morals and Dogma" needs revision.
As The Builder is a "research" publication may I
ask the various brethren to cite authorities for some of their more important
statements? For instance: Some time ago I read an article, I think it was by
Brother Norwood, in which he stated that the whole of Masonry was comprehended
in the stars or the science of astronomy. That bothered me for quite a long
time for I hardly knew where to look for the information without writing him.
Shortly afterward, however, I learned of James Morgan Pryse's New Testament
Restored. This book gave me a great deal of light on the subject.
In the February issue Brother Norwood has another
very interesting article in which he refers to the declarations of early
Christian Fathers relative to the pre-existence of Christianity before the
advent of the Master. Pryse also refers to the incautious admissions made by
early Christian writers regarding this matter but like Brother Norwood does
not cite any volume to which we can refer. Fortunately, however, I can
appreciate Brother Norwood's statement for the simple reason that within the
week I found on the shelves of an old bookshop, an old, badly dilapidated copy
of the Rev. Robert Taylor's volume entitled Taylor's Diegesis.
In the same article Brother Norwood states "Egypt
has left the records of a Masonry where may be found all our signs and most of
our words." Here, too, Brother Norwood should cite his authority. If I had not
found Gerald Massey's two volumes, "A Book of the Beginnings," I'd simply have
to take his "ipse dixit" and let it go until I ran upon the information in
some way or other. That, however, is a haphazard way of development of the
craft and I hope we can secure the information which will enable us to grow
Thinking it might be of interest to some of the
brethren I will quote some of the information Massey gives us:
"So Mote It Be" - vol. I, page 178: "The
Freemasons make use of a formula "So MOTE It Be," in stead of So Be It, or
Amen. This MOTE is purely Egyptian, a rare form of May it be. "MET" is to fix,
establish. "MET" is an ejaculation. "MET" means to pronounce conservative
formulae. (Pierret "Met") "So Mote It Be," is the conservative formula of the
Masons, as it was in Egypt of the Priests."
The same author also gives us a number of Egyptian words
with their Hebrew equivalents.
mmuth, a corpse, the dead,
state of dying, dead.
msa, a dart.
mash, an archer.
ser. goat kind of sheep.
mah, the womb.
ma, the mother.
chvt, measuring line.
kept, measured out.
sevekh, noose, tie, girdle.
ab, first ancestor, father.
ap, first ancestor.
bnh, to build, metaphorically
chbrth, the coupling point or
place of junction; chprth, the mercy seat and place of the two cherubs; in
Egyptian arks the two scarabs, afterwards featherwinged.
Khepr-at, house of the two
beetles; the crab constellation, as a place of summer solstice, the point
of junction; sign of the god Khepr.
mth, a rod, staff, rod that
blossomed, branch twig, sceptre, expansion, extension
hah, cry of joy.
shrth, supposed black marble
marble pavement tessallated in colors.
srut, sculpture, carve,
Succoth-benoth" 2 Kings xvii:
30, supposed image of the Pleiades.
bennu-t, the Phoenix
constellation, emblematic of the resurrection.
qdm, eastward, Eden, image of
the eternal and of the beginning.
khetam, shut, a circle, closed
seal ring with ankh, image of life.
qvn, a horn, symbol of male
Ka, karu and karunata male
shba(g), seven - the oath
covenant, or binding, is synonymous with number 7 in the Egyptian sefekh
as it is in the Hebrew read shevag.
shphchh, typical maid or
handmaiden, one of a family, as if a noun of unity, the concubine or
sefekh, a goddess, consort of
Taht. Her name is number 7. Sefekh is a survival of Khefekh or Khepsh, of
the Seven Star,s, who was once the "Living Word," degraded as the Great
kd, a symbolical pitcher Ecc.
kat. the womb.
The last words "kd" and "kat" are interesting for
the reason that the figures of speech in the third degree scripture reading
have long been a puzzle to me. This is a clue worth following.
Here is another - relative to the "grasshopper" in
the same reading which will be of interest to the Mason who is not satisfied
with the superficial explanation so often given of Ecc. XII.
This item is found in Note 84, page 169 of the
volume "Talks With Socrates About Life," published by Scribners, 1891. I
"To be closely cropped was regarded in Athens as a
badge of slavery, while flowing hair on the other hand was worn only by fops.
It was customary for boys to wear their hair long until they were admitted to
the rights of gitizenship, when it was cut off and dedicated to some deity,
generally a river god, although a visit was sometimes made to Delphi for the
express object of consecrating this as an offering to Apollo. Upon reaching
manhood, they allowed their hair to grow again. Thucydides (1, 6) speaks of
the golden clasps, in the shape of grasshoppers, wherewith the Athenians, in
the old times before the Persian Wars, were accustomed to fasten their hair in
a knot at the top or back of the head."
I think we'll make much greater progress if we can
refer to and verify the statements made by other research students instead of
having to devote so much of our time to gain the heights they have already
scaled. What do you think?
Yours very ,sincerely and
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
* * *
In the January number of "The Builder" just
received I notice the inquiry of Bro. John Whicher of California, in regard to
more light on the life of David Vinton, who is reputed to be the author of our
hymn, "Solemn Strikes the Funeral Chime." I do not have access to the previous
article referred to in the March, 1915, number, and so do not know how much
you may know of him. But my mother was a "Vinton" and I have the Vinton
Memorial Volume from which I can give you the following information which may
be of interest to you, to him and to other Masons:
The said David Vinton was the son of another David Vinton who
was a descendent of one JOHN VINTON, from whom all the Vintons in America
trace their descent. The DAVID VINTON, of Masonic note, was born in Medford,
Mass., Jan. 6,1774, and married in Providence, R. I., one Mary Atwell who
seems to have belonged to a prominent Providence family. Our DAVID, after
serving an apprenticeship in Boston at the goldsmith business with David
Tyler, went to Providence and established himself in business. He spent his
life in Providence, engaged in traffic; not rich but moderately successful. He
was quite prominent in the Masonic Fraternity, and compiled and published a
volume entitled, "The Masonic Minstrel," (do you know anything about that
book?), and according to the book, on a visit to Kentucky on Masonic business,
died about 1830 when 56 years of age. His wife was a woman of uncommon powers
of mind, and to her energy and force of character we owe the education and
training of the children. As early as 1818 Mrs. Vinton wrote a letter to John
C. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, and secured the admission of her son David
to the Military Academy. Later, two other sons attended the same school. (The
rules then were different, and this is the only instance of three brothers
attending the same school as Cadets.) After the death of her husband Mrs.
Vinton purchased an Estate called "La Plaisance," in Pomfret, Conn., where she
died in 1854. Two of the children became prominent clergymen of the Episcopal
Churgh. The Rev. Alexander Hamilton Vinton, D. D.,
was for many years. He was a graduate of Brown University and other schools,
and after practicing medicine for a few years, studied for the ministry and
was Rector of St. Paul's church, Boston, Mass. Another son was Rev. Francis
Vinton who also graduated at Brown; was also for awhile at West Point, and for
a while served in the Creek War. Afterwards he, too, studied for the ministry
and became Rector of several large Episcopal Churches in Providence, and later
of Grace Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1849 he was chosen Bishop of the Diocese
of Indiana, but declined the honor. In 1854 he lacked only a few votes of
election to the Bishopric of New York, at the election that elected the since
famous Bishop Potter to the place. Dr. Vinton was chosen later
assistant-minister of Trinity Church, New York, having charge of St. Paul's
Chapel in that parish. Yet two other sons of DAVID were prominent in Military
circles: John Rogers Vinton, who fell at Monterey, and was very prominently
commended by Gerl. Scott for his bravery. He was Brevet Major at his death.
Another brother was David Hammond Vinton who was also in the Mexican War as
Major of Staff and Quartermaster. One of the daughters was married to Lieut.
George Green of the U. S. Army. Truly a remarkable family.
Rev. C. L. Nye, Independence,
* * *
LINCOLN, THE FRATERNALIST
"Many of the best educated men of this and earlier ages never
had any extended experience with the schools.
A great number of the most religious men, in the history of the progress of
Man, have been obliged, for conscience sake, to remain outside the Churches.
And we are beginning to learn that one may be a Fraternalist without being a
member of a lodge.
In the last analysis it will be found that the Thought, the
Life and the Works of the individual count more than the professions. Perhaps
no Man of modern times illustrates the principle we present more fully than
does Abraham Lincoln.
He was educated without the help or the hindrance of the schools. He was
intensely religious without being hampered by the limitations of a creed. He
was a Fraternalist, "in his heart" without having been brought to the Light
through the process of lnitiation in the lodge.
Lincoln achieved self-control, self-reliance and
self-sacrifice - the three great achievements of Man - without any of the
"helps" which most of us need, or think we need, for the accomplishment of The
Great Work of fitting ourselves for the building of the Temple - that house
not made with hands - a perfect Moral Character.
Few, if any, of the Great Masters of Life have
been able to evolve within the hampering limits of the institutions of their
times. In almost every case they have either developed without the help of
institutions or have been ejected from the institutions within which they have
begun their struggles for individual perfection. They have usually discovered
that the "aids" of institutions were merely crutches to emphasize the
infirmities of those who used them. Strong individuals soon learn that they
must “tread the wine press alone."
Before the election of Lincoln to the office of
President of the United States, he found himself opposed by all of the
institutionalists of his day. Almost all of the products of the institutions
of "learning" despised him openly. The ministers of the church were against
him almost to a man. In reference to this last he says: "Here are twenty-three
ministers of different denominations (in Springfield, Ill.), and all of them
are against me but three. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian: God knows, I
would be one; but I have garefully read the Bible, and I do not so understand
this book. These men know that I am for Freedom in the territories, Freedom
everywhere as far as the Constitution and; laws will permit; and that my
opponents are for slavery. They know this; and yet with this book in their
hands in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going
to vote against me. I do not understand this."
Later in his experience Lincoln understood. He
learned, what all must learn, that Principle is one thing and the institution
built up around the principle is another.
So must all of us learn that there is no saving power in
lodges, as institutions, but that we shall grow and expand only as we
understand the Principle and apply to our Life and Conduct that which is
taught by the society, the association, the fraterluty, of our own Free-will
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven."
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, just
ninety-two years after the Masonic Fraternity began to teach character
building and just ten years before the Odd Fellows in America began to
establish night schools for the teaching of character formation instead of
character reformation. Fifty-five years after Lincoln was born, the Pythians
began to establish their schools in the United States for the purpose of
helping to restore reason by the process of fraternal education to a nation
that had been captured by policy-controlled men, legal-minded men and
Since February 19, 1864, the fraternal orders have
increased in the United States from three to over six hundred and some of
these fraternal orders have over a million members. Perhaps over 12,000,000
men in the United States now belong to these various fraternal orders which
teach men to shun war, hell and politics.
Oriental Consistory Official Bulletin of Chicago
of February 12, 1917, had the above contribution on Fraternity and Lincoln.
The word "Fraternalist" is substituted herein for the word "Mason" so that it
will apply to all fraternities that are teaching Brotherhood.
Joe Beatty Burtt.
* * *
MASONRY AND ITS IDEALS
Dear Brother: - "Masonry and Its Ideals" - that is
the subject, too vast and too profound to be more than indicated in an article
of this kind. The ideals of Masonry are co-extensive with the aspirations of
men. Whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is manly,
this appeals to one who has caught the vision of the spirit of Masonry.
Is it not worth while to pause and consider, and,
if possible, to discover what is the one thing, or the several things, the
underlying principle, it may be, that has enabled Masonry to survive these
thousands of years, not only to survive, but ever to be in the van of the army
of progress, civilization and enlightenment; that has caused men, real men,
virile men whose names will be remembered and honored as long as history is
read or tradition heard to be votaries at her shrine; and that has suffered
her to endure more vicious and virulent abuse, calumny and anethemas from
ignorance, superstition and blind hatred than any other institution, save one,
of which the world's annals tell and yet gloriously triumph ?
The fact that it is esoteric has no doubt been
conducive to its longevity, though that would not suffice, and certainly could
not explain its remarkable influence and power, because other fraternal orders
innumerable have had their secret signs, emblems and words and miserably
perished. Some have adopted this outward manifestation of Masonry, and others
that, which did not avail to resist the dreadful onslaught of time. The soul
of Masonry they did not find; its ideals they did not grasp. Whatever stands
the attrition and test of time is grounded on the immutable principles of
right and truth.
The history of Masonry is a history of the search
for light and truth. Every step of the candidate from the time he first seeks
admission until he beholds the last solemn scene is strewn with fragrant
flowers of truth. It has been sought at times with patient zeal, and again
with the feverish and fanatical enthusiasm with which the ancient alchemists
pursued the philosopher's stone, the universal solvent and the elixir of life.
And to what end? To teach men to know God and to love the good, the pure and
the true. Masonry is non-sectarian, but no atheist can become a Mason; it
points to the Supreme Being, and teaches the immortality of the soul, and he
who profits by the precepts and spirit of Masonry must be a reverent man.
Masonry is, too, a system of morality, the truths
of which are veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Her purpose is to
develop character, which, like an unseen garment woven about our souls with
invisible fingers from materials of imperishable beauty, sparkling with the
light of every virtue, guards us from all dangers and permits us to stand
unabashed and unawed in the presence of the forms clothed with the spotless
robes of holiness, and to light and show the way of the struggling brother.
"Morality is her foundation, Truth and Virtue are her pillars, and Brotherly
Love is the High Priest that ministers at her altars." Her basic principle is
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
Elbert Johnson, Miss.
* * *
My dear Brother: - We have in our Lodge Library a
pamphlet, the title page of which reads as follows: "Oration delivered at the
City of Detroit, to Zion Lodge No. 1 at their request on the anniversary of
St. John The Evangelist, December 27th A. L. 5810 by brother Harris Hampden
Hickman, published at the request of the Lodge, Pittsburgh, 1811." On the last
page of the pamphlet is the following: "The first charter of Zion Lodge was
obtained in the year 1764 from an authority in the (then) Colony of New York,
and was renewed in the year 1806 by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York."
Officers of Zion Lodge for
the year 1811:
W. Sylvester Day, Master.
Bro. Jonathan Eastman, S.W.
Bro. Augustus B. Woodward,
Bro. Philip Lecuyer,
Bro. James Abbott, Secretary.
Bro. Harris H. Hickman, S.D.
Bro. John Anderson, J.D.
Bro. Andrew W. Vanalstine,
Bro. George Johnston,
Bro. John Palmer, Tyler
This book came into the
possession of our Lodge in 1816. In two recent numbers of The Builder there
have been statements made that the first lodge of Detroit was founded about
It seems to me that Zion
Lodge should get into communication with the Grand Lodge of New York.
Wm. M. Simons, Secretary,
Hiram Lodge No. 18, Delaware,
THE APRON LECTURE
Written for and suggested by
Dr. Walter C. Miller, J. W., of Webb's Lodge No. 166, Augusta, Ga.
The coming years may bring to
The victory laurel wreath may
deck your brow,
And you may feel Love's
And have withal domestic
And fortune's god may smile
on you as now,
And jewels fit for Eastern
Hang over your ambitious
heart, and Fate
May call thee "Prince of
Men," or "King of Hearts,"
While Cupid strives to pierce
you with his darts.
Nay, even more than these,
with coming light
Your feet may press Fame's
loftiest dazzling height,
And looking down upon the
You may exclaim, "I can not
greater grow !"
But, nevermore, O worthy
Can innocence and purity
With all that's sweet and
tender here below
As in this emblem which I now
'Tis yours to wear throughout
a life of Love,
And when your spirit wings to
'Twill with your cold clay
rest beneath the sod,
While breeze-kissed flowers
whisper of your God.
O, may its stainless,
spotless surface be
An emblem of that perfect
Distinguished far above all
else on earth
And sacred as the virtue of
And when at last your naked
soul shall stand
Before the throne in yon
great temple grand,
O, may it be your portion
there to hear
"Well done," and find a host
of brothers near
To join the angel choir in
Till Northeast corner echoes
Then while the hosts in
silent grandeur stand
The Supreme Builder smiling
Shall say to you to whom this
"Welcome art thou to all the
joys of heaven.”
And then shall dawn within
your 'lightened soul
The purpose divine that held
The full fruition of the
Builder's plan -
The Fatherhood of God - The
Brotherhood of man.
- J. W. Crawford, "Capt.