The Builder Magazine
August 1917 - Volume III - Number
THAT IS IN THEM---A FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited by BRO. GEO. E.
FRAZER, President, The Board of Stewards
Henry R. Evans, District of
Harold A. Kingsbury,
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Geo. W. Baird, District of
H.D. Funk, Minnesota
Frederick W. Hamilton,
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Silas H. Sheperd, Wisconsin.
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
John Pickard, Missouri
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
T.W. Hugo, Minnesota
F.B. Gault, Washington
C.M. Schenck, Colorado
Contributions to this Monthly
Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has
contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are
selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of
politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of
the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions
of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility
only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on
the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Correspondence column.
QUESTION NO. 4--
"Shall the several Grand
Lodges issue charters to Military Lodges during the period of the great war?
If so, shall each jurisdiction issue such charters as it pleases, or shall all
the jurisdictions informally agree that not more than one charter shall be
issued for each regiment in active service? If not, shall American Grand
Lodges permit their members to attend French and Belgian lodges during the
period of the war?"
A Father and His Mason Son.
The formation of Military
Lodges should be encouraged in every possible way. My son, a Mason, now in the
Officers' Training School qualifying himself for active military service, I
feel as a father and a lifelong Mason, should have the privileges and benefits
of the Order while in the army of his country. There should be an agreement of
some sort, formal or informal, among the Grand Lodges standardizing as far as
practical the issuance of these charters, and the requirements or conditions
under which such charters may be granted and other exigencies that usually
arise under Military conditions. The whole matter ought to receive the
immediate and earnest attention of all Grand Lodges and provisions made for
such organizations and the attendance upon any and all true Masonic Lodges
wherever the soldiers and sailors of our country may be called to follow our
flag. As to whether a charter shall be issued each regiment it seems to me
that is a matter that depends upon the membership in the regiment and the
active interest in the Order and in the Military provision for Masons. In some
regiments there might easily be more members than one Lodge would serve to
advantage while in other regiments there might be an insufficient number. But
that is a part of the detail that can easily be met as occasions arise. F. B.
Grant Charters Where
In my judgment it is
expedient that Grand Lodges found Military Lodges for each regiment in active
service provided there be a request from the members of the regiment for a
charter. I think permission to attend French and Belgian Lodges will develop
the international spirit. H. D. Funk, Minnesota.
* * *
Avoid Narrow Technicalities.
A Grand Lodge should issue
Charters to Regiments or Men of War as they see fit. Any agreed on restriction
would be all right, but in case a Regiment is raised by some particular state,
the Grand Lodge of that State should have jurisdiction. I would permit Masons
to visit wherever they could, and avoid any narrow technicalities. It'll do
them good and do good to the Lodge visited. T. W. Hugo, Minnesota. * * *
French Masons Not Our
The various Masonic
Jurisdictions should informally agree that not more than one charter shall be
issued for each Regiment in active service. American Freemasons can not attend
Belgian and French Lodges, because such Lodges are not recognized as
legitimate. The Grand Orients of France and Belgium have abolished belief in
God as a prerequisite to membership and cut out the Great Landmark altogether.
They are not strictly speaking Masonic bodies. H. R. Evans, Washington, D. C.
* * * Favors Visiting.
My opinion is opposed to the
granting of charters to Military Lodges during the period of the present war.
The reasons which appeal to me are the probabilities of the frequent shifting
of troops which would prevent continuity of officers or membership and the
difficulty of securing quarters where the requisite safeguards might surround
the work. I believe that most of the advantages presumably sought might be
obtained through fraternal associations without the privileges and
responsibilities of Lodge organization. The idea of permitting the members of
American Lodges to attend Belgian and French Lodges during the period of the
war appeals to me strongly. Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
* * *
Three Positive "No" Votes.
1st. Shall the several Grand Lodges issue charters to Military Lodges during
the period of the great war ? No.
2nd. If not, shall American
Lodges permit their members to attend French and Belgian Lodges during the
period of the war ? No.
Military Lodges may have
been, and doubtless were, justifiable in the English, Irish and Scottish
regiments prior to and during the Revolutionary war in this country and also
during the war of 1812. Such Lodges may also have been justifiable in the
United States Army during the Revolutionary war, the war of 1812, and, in a
few instances, during the Civil War, but conditions have changed. In the
periods mentioned Masonic Lodges were few, but today a Masonic Lodge can be
found in every hamlet and town in the United States. The Masonic soldier,
wherever stationed in this country, has the privilege of Masonic visitation
and fellowship; nothing of Masonic privilege or interest can be added by
having a Lodge of his own connected with the Regiment. It is very questionable
if the best interests of Freemasonry can be conserved by organizing Military
The Grand Lodge of Missouri
does not recognize the Grand Orient of France, the Grand Lodge of France or
the Grand Orient of Belgium; hence a Freemason whose membership is in a Lodge
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Missouri can not visit a Lodge
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Bodies above mentioned. Special permits
can not be given. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
* * *
Favors Clubs. Military Lodges
should not be chartered without providing that they should initiate, pass or
raise none but members of their own commands, and that they should not hold
meetings in foreign territory of a recognized Grand Lodge without official
permission. Virginia permits dual or even multiple membership, so that the
members of a Military Lodge would not have to leave their home Lodges.
Each Grand Lodge should act
for itself as it sees fit. Any attempt at concert of action would tend toward
a surrender of that independent sovereignty which can not be too jealously
As to permitting Masons to
visit French or Belgian Lodges, that is a matter for each Grand Lodge to
settle for itself. There is a difference between visiting foreign Lodges and
permitting foreign Masons to visit our Lodges.
My own idea is that instead
of chartering Military Lodges it would be better to permit Masonic clubs, not
authorized to make Masons at all. They would answer for all Masonic
intercourse and raise no questions. The plan seems to work well at many
To sum up, I prefer clubs,
along the lines of the Acacia Fraternity, but would not object to Lodges,
provided their activities were restricted as above, and provided members were
not required to withdraw from their home Lodges. Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
* * *
A Military Lodge of 1898. I
am heartily in favor of the charter of Military Lodges during the period of
the war. This was done in American army of the Revolution, and is today being
done by all of the belligerent countries, with much success, and certainly
each jurisdiction should issue such charters as it pleases. Soldiers of each
regiment might not find it convenient to have the Grand Lodge back home hold
pow-wows when they do not know conditions, and unless we had a National Grand
Lodge or an Emergent Masonic Congress, I do not see how the fifty Grand Lodges
could decide upon one course of action.
I do not believe American
Grand Lodges will give specific permit to members to attend French or Belgian
Grand Lodges, but I see no reason why this should not be done, even though the
majority of our jurisdictions do not recognize these foreign Masons. Only two
jurisdictions recognize the independent Grand Lodge of France, and none of
them recognize the regular French Grand Orient or French Grand Lodge. Several
do recognize Belgium though the great majority do not, and neither does
England. But by leaving it to the members of Military Lodges to be chartered
to decide for themselves what is true Freemasonry according to the ancient
landmarks, America will have a chance to do a great deal in bringing about
world solidarity and better understanding between Masons.
I may mention that during the
Spanish-American war my own state chartered a Military Lodge which went to
Cuba, and I think it is largely in consequence that we recognize Cuba, Costa
Rica, Porto Rico and Peru.
Whenever Masons go into
another country and really get into social and business relations with the
Masons of the country, experience has shown that they are not so ready to
believe all of the wild tales told about foreign Masons coming from unreliable
Louisiana has done good work
and is still doing good work in bringing about real relations with Masons
scattered through South America and not recognized by a great many
jurisdictions in the United States.
I would like to suggest that
if we literally obey the landmarks without regard to red tape imposed by the
Grand Lodges and acted upon on the spur of the moment without due
investigation, there seems to be no good reason why American Masons might not
visit a lodge not in fraternal relations with one of the American Grand
Lodges. This would seem reasonable, because the American Grand Lodges are in
relation with each other. Thus, if the Philippines, Louisiana and New York
have given fraternal recognition to San Salvador, why should the rest of the
country prohibit fraternal visits? My own state for example (Kentucky),
recognizes only English speaking Masons, with the Latin jurisdictions
mentioned above, yet I do not conceive that I would violate my obligations
despite that fact, were I a member of a Military Lodge, or even merely a
traveler, should I visit a Belgian Lodge, because at least eight other
American lodges recognize Belgium. The same way with Hungary, which is
recognized by Alabama; Egypt, recognized by Arizona; Portugal, recognized by
Arkansas; Denmark, recognized by Missouri and New York; Germany, recognized by
a dozen states; Greece, recognized by Arkansas and North Dakota; Holland,
recognized by eight jurisdictions; Italy, recognized by four jurisdictions. I
recently was introduced to a French Freemason by one of our regular Masons and
I had quite a pleasant chat, and the Frenchman convinced me that Americans
generally have been believing a great many things about France that are not
so. If we are brothers in War, why not brothers in Masonry? J. W. Norwood,
Glorious History. Military
Lodges are almost as old as the institution of Masonry. In America, following
the example of the British, Lodges were to be found in the Colonial troops and
there is still to be found a certain cave in Virginia where Washington met
with his Lodge during the period of the old French and Indian Wars. Robert
Freke Gould in his scholarly work on Military Lodges mentions ten as working
in the Army of the Revolution. The pioneer of these was St. John's Regimental
Lodge deriving its warrant from the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York under
date of July, 1775. Among the others was "American Union" which "moved as a
pillar of Light in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey." Then there was Army
Lodge No. 27 of the Maryland line. This was warranted by the Provincial Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania, in 1780. Washington Lodge numbered two hundred and
fifty brethren. All of these ten Lodges were actively at work during the whole
period of the protracted struggle for American Independence and upon the
rosters were such names as George Washington, Major Generals Knox, Green,
Moultrie, Putnam, Stirling, Sullivan, Lincoln, St. Clair, Montgomery,
Worcester, Wayne, Lee and Pinckney. All of the Brigadier Generals were Masons
except two. Lafayette was raised in one of these Military Lodges by Washington
at Morristown, New Jersey. The gallant French Marquis stated afterwards that
he never fully enjoyed General Washington's implicit confidence until after he
became a Mason.
When the American Army went
into Mexico two Military Lodges accompanied the expedition. Of the Generals,
Wm. J. Worth was a Mason, as also John A. Quitman who after the occupation of
Mexico City became Military Governor. General Quitman was also Grand Master of
The prominent Masons
participating in our Civil War were as distinguished as those of Revolutionary
days. On the Masonic Roster were George B. McClellan, Winfleld Scott Hancock,
N. P. Banks, John A. McClernand, John A. Logan, George E. Pickett, Robert E.
Patterson. Benjamin F. Butler, Robert Anderson, Thomas H. Benton, and others.
There were Field Lodges in both Union and Confederate Armies. Says Gould: "The
experience of that great conflict was decidedly unfavorable to their utility.
The practice was to issue dispensations. When regiments in which they were
held were mustered out, or their individual membership retired to civil life,
the lodges ceased to exist." More than one hundred dispensations for Military
Lodges were granted during the Civil War. The Grand Lodge of Indiana granted
as many as thirty-three of these.
During our War with Spain in
1898 formal dispensations for Military Lodges were granted by the Grand Lodge
of Kentucky and the Grand Lodge of North Dakota. Some of our most prominent
Masons of that day were President William McKinley, General Nelson A. Miles,
General Russell A. Alger, General William R. Schafter, and Admiral Schley.
In the light of our past
experience, there is every reason for American Grand Lodges to charter
Military Lodges during the present war. Of course the number should be
At the present writing, all
indications strongly point to long participation by the United States in the
Strife of the Nations. France sustained the greater part of the initial
fighting while her ally Great Britain was "getting ready" for the fray. The
French Army has suffered so severely, been so depleted, that her Reserves of
1918, mere lads of seventeen, have been called to the tricolor. Not for many
months may France hope to sustain her hard-won front unaided. All that gallant
men could do to drive the barbarian from her terrain, Soldiers of France have
done, and the best blood of the Nation as many times before in history has
been sacrificed to the Prussian steel.
To the youth of America, our
first Conscripts of 1917, has fallen the great privilege of filling the breach
and holding the battle line won foot by foot by the Old Guard of France. To
our own Boys in Khaki falls the honor of sustaining the American Flag first
planted on foreign soil at Vimy Ridge. And not until the united American and
British Armies have forced the barbarous, Huns back upon their own accursed
terrain, meted out to them in full portion the utter ruin, the havoc and the
desolation they carried into Belgium and France--not until the flags of the
Allies are borne in triumph Unter den Linden to float from the Kaiser's
Kennel--can Peace come to the world, unless the unexpected should happen and
that is quite improbable.
With several years' sojourn
upon foreign soil tolerably sure, there will be many dreary weeks and months
in the trenches. What more or better calculated to sustain our soldier's souls
through the ennui and monotony of camp life, than the Light of Masonry, the
meeting of brethren in a regimental lodge? To many sorely tried heart the Five
Points of Fellowship will prove an open sesame. There will be an outlet to
many inner confidences only to be imparted "upon the Square."
As to issuance of charters it
would be unwise for Grand Lodges to issue such indiscriminately. Rather an
agreement between the several jurisdictions limiting their dispensations to
one for each regiment, and in some cases one for each division as
It would be a distinct step
ahead for our Grand Jurisdictions to permit the brethren under their control
to visit French and Belgian Lodges. After the dark days of stress the
craftsmen of these two countries have had to endure, it would be perfectly
Good Masonry to accord these foreign brethren full and free recognition.
International relations are now permanently changed. There is now less need
for a fraternal line of demarcation. Masonry like other Constructive World
Forces, must soon meet many demands for Charity Best results will follow the
extending of the Universality of our Institution. Our overseas brethren look
wistfully to America for fraternal help and recognition. Upon our answer
depends the whole future of Continental Masonry. Let American Masons offer the
same fraternal and moral support to the craftsmen of France and Belgium as our
Administration has accorded these respective Nations. Masonry must align its
forces, gather in its own the world over, if it would meet the new problems
presented and exert the full measure of its illimitable wealth and resources.
Let us in fact as well as in numbers become the most powerful constructive
force in all the world. Attainment of this ideal will make ours a Power to be
reckoned with, render quite impossible any such bete noir through which the
world is passing at this moment. Could Masonry today align the craftsmen in a
thunderous protestation against War, not even William and his myriad myrmidons
would dare say them NAY.
Our only complaint against
French Masonry has been the removal of the Great Light from its altars. For
this there were reasons as every Masonic scholar knows. Many times the
kaleidoscopic changes in French Politics placed Masonry under the ban. There
were haphazard meetings of the craft in lodge rooms previously prepared for
police raids and their sequelae, uncompromising persecution. Many of the
regular fittings of the lodge were absent in these hastily improvised
quarters, where personal safety was a prerequisite. Continental Masonry,
especially among the Latins, more particularly among the French, has ofttimes
been face to face with serious situations. On such occasions our Institution
has had to fight for its very life. By the same token, Latin and French
Masonry has been driven to play politics if it would live, and due allowance
must be made for a quondam departure from certain old landmarks, under such
Because nowadays we Masons do
not as prior to 1717 openly specify Christianity "or the religion of the
country in which we live" as a primary requirement of membership, makes most
of us none the less good Christians. By the same argument, because France does
not necessarily require a declaration of faith in the G.A.O.T.U. from a
petitioner for degrees, does not necessarily make all French Masons Atheists.
The time will never be more
fitting for American and English Masons to heal their continental brethren,
Masonically. If needs must, to facilitate matters we can close our eyes to a
technical departure from the landmarks. If we would extend our power for good,
we must draw to us our own throughout the world. Let us draw upon our Masonic
Charity and accord full and free recognition to the Masons of France and
Masons of Belgium who have won the right of recognition ;n the long fight for
Liberty. Ours to remember We are Masons All--All for One, One for All.
Every energy of a
world-united Masonry will soon be needed to repair damages done, succor our
halt and maimed brethren, and cast our bread upon the waters for the widows
and the orphans. Once united under the Great Lights of Liberty and Masonry
which are synonymous, any recurrence of a cataclysm like that through which we
are passing will be impossible. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Three "Yes" Votes.
Shall the several Grand
Lodges issue charters to Military Lodges during the period of the great war?
If so, shall each
jurisdiction issue such charters as it pleases? Yes.
If not, shall American Grand
Lodges permit their members to attend French and Belgian lodges during the
period of the war? Yes. C. M. Schenck, Colorado.
Grand Lodge Action
Necessary. I favor the granting of charters to Military Lodges for the
duration of the war. I would not say restrict the number allowed each regiment
to a single Lodge, but only one Grand Lodge should grant charters for the same
If regiments are organized by
States, then the Grand Lodge of that particular State should have exclusive
jurisdiction of that regiment, unless it or its Grand Master declines to
charter Military Lodges. In that case, any adjoining Grand Lodge should be at
liberty to act. These details could be easily arranged by correspondence of
the Grand Masters or by a Grand Masters' Conference.
Your last question whether
American Grand Lodges should permit their members to visit French and Belgian
lodges during the war is a large one. It opens up the whole vexed question of
"recognition." I can not say that, with the present Lights before me, I favor
it, though I should be delighted to see a complete understanding among
American, French and Belgian Masons.
It will doubtless be found
that Grand Masters are powerless to act in most jurisdictions in the matter of
chartering Military Lodges or in authorizing fraternal visitation of French
and Belgian Lodges, and that Grand Lodge action will be necessary. O. D.
Let Masonry Bind the Allies.
This is an exceedingly interesting question! If our Military brethren demand
the "Comforts" of Masonry in their Regiments why should they be denied? The
matter of territorial jurisdiction need not stand in the way; to my mind this
is the one and only objection.
Each Grand Lodge should grant
charters to Regiments hailing from their Jurisdiction, making a ruling that
only men of that Regiment should be initiated.
In this way a Regiment on
foreign service becomes its own territorial jurisdiction, and if the needs of
the service call for more than one Lodge, let the charter be applied for with
the knowledge and consent of the others. The courtesy of visiting and
receiving visitors should be extended and encouraged between Grand
Jurisdictions which are in fraternal recognition, of which each Lodge could be
kept advised. If this Great War is going to bind America and her Allies closer
together, why should not Masonry be one of the bonds ? Freemasonry owes its
existence largely to the Military Lodges of the Revolutionary period; the
trowel and the sword are old companions, and future generations may again
bless their union. J. L. Carson, Virginia.
* * * Closer Relations
Needed. I see no reason why the several Grand Lodges should not issue charters
to Military Lodges during the period of the great war. Such action has been
common in past wars and seems to have been productive of excellent results.
It seems to me that it would
not be possible, with our lack of general organization, to arrange for
anything like a parceling out of the regiments among the several Grand Lodges.
In my judgment each Grand Lodge, or Grand Master, would have to use its own
judgment in action upon petitions for dispensations or warrants.
I do not see how our American
Grand Lodges can consistently permit their members to visit the French Lodges,
as unfortunately the English, and I believe most of the American Lodges, are
not in relation with French Masonry. I sincerely hope that out of this war
will come a closer relation between the American and English Masons and their
Brothers on the Continent. Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
History Justifies It. It is
my opinion that should the need of Military Lodges arise it should be met by
the several Grand Lodges. The need of more than one Lodge in a regiment would
hardly occur, and caution should be used not to exceed the actual need.
History affords ample
justification for the granting of charters to Military Lodges, and where
granted with due consideration of the need and carefulness in the choice of
its Master and Wardens and with the understanding that it must use the utmost
care in not interfering with the Masonic jurisdiction where it may be
stationed, would promote the practice of Masonic principles when they were
most needed and at a time when Masons are removed from the refining influences
of home with watchful mother, affectionate sister or loving wife and
daughters. Even though the several Grand Lodges permitted their members to
visit the French and Belgian Lodges, (which, until a broader conception of
Freemasonry is more generally diffused, is of doubtful accomplishment), the
failure of Americans to understand the language spoken would make it a real
symbolic Masonry; very fine for the Masonic student but hardly filling the
requirement of the soldier.
There may have been cases
which made it questionable as to the advisability of chartering Military
Lodges, but there have also been cases where there was an abuse of Masonic
principles in regular lodges. A Military Lodge composed of just and upright
Masons, zealous to uphold the principles and practice the virtues of
Freemasonry, and fulfilling their duty to their country by offering their
lives, can reflect nothing but credit on our time-honored Craft; while denying
them the privilege would be an unnecessary hardship, and many a brother would
feel that should he die in a distant land, even the last rites of Masonry
would not be given him.
The Masonry of the heart as
well as the head tells us to grant the worthy soldier brethren charters when
the need is sufficient. Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin. * *
Let This War Free Masonry. It
is very trite to say that this great war is changing the face of the world,
but it is a deeply true saying. No age has seen such a religious revival as
has swept France since 1914; no age has seen such industrial progress as
England has accomplished in her factories since 1914; no age has seen such
patriotism as Belgium has evidenced since 1914; no age has seen one hundred
millions of human beings grasp liberty as has Russia since 1914. The cost has
been, and for months will yet be, most terrible. The cost demands results.
This is the time for Masons to live Masonry or else Masonry becomes an outworn
ritualism. Our petty territorial jealousies must not prevent our brothers in
the trenches from a full enjoyment of the solaces of the Craft. Blind
misunderstandings must not separate us from our heroic brother Masons of
France. This is the hour for American Masonry ! Rising in the beauty of vital
truth she must free Masonry from outworn barriers. Let us give full
recognition to Masonry in Belgium, in France, yes, and in Germany. The Square
and Compass should know no restrictions that will divide the allies of
democracy. The Grand Masters of American Masonry have the responsibility and
the opportunity; American Freemasons look to them for epoch making leadership.
We do not dare to fail this hour.
- George E. Frazer, Illinois.
THE SYMBOLISM OF NUMBERS
BY BRO. H.A. KINGSBURY,
THAT metaphorical road along
which the Mason travels in his progress through the degrees of the Blue Lodge
is flanked upon each side by many, many road signs directing his attention to
various by-paths leading to interesting fields of investigation and study. A
large number of these signs have been at least partially obliterated by the
destroying hands of the Prestons and the Webbs but, however it may be with
those directing the student's attention to Sun Worship, Persian Mysteries,
Egyptian Mysteries, Symbolism of Geometrical Figures, Symbolism of the Bible,
and so forth, there is one series of signs the units of which have not had
their legends even partially obliterated, and which all still plainly bear the
same direction to the traveler--"To the Study of the Symbolism of Numbers."
Yet, in spite of the frequent repetitions of this direction, many Masons hurry
along, not even realizing that there are any such signs and totally neglecting
a field of study that, as even the below-given short excursion along one of
these paths ought to show, is well worthy of cultivation.
Only the numbers one to ten
inclusive will be here considered and, of those, only the most important--
Three and Seven--will be at all expanded upon, as to treat each of the ten at
all fully would convert what is intended as little more than a brief synopsis
into a lengthy treatise.
That all of the numbers from
one to ten are respectively referred to in Masonry, and presented for
contemplation, can be shown by many examples, and the discovery of them
furnishes an interesting and instructive occupation for the student. To take
one set of references only--one of the sets brought forward by the Lodge
itself--the briefest consideration calls to mind that:--
There is one Master; there
are two Wardens; three supporting Pillars; four sides to the Lodge, marking
the Four Cardinal Points; five elected primary officers; six Jewels; seven
operative working tools necessary to the symbolic building of a proper Lodge,
i. e., the six usual Working Tools plus the Compasses; when the Lodge is in
the form of the Double Square (as it should be) the two Squares present eight
right-angles; there are nine primary officers, excluding the Tyler, and ten
primary officers in all.
First, to review most briefly
certain phases of the significances of these various numbers except Three and
Seven, and, then, to take up Three and Seven for somewhat detailed
One, the Monad, is the symbol
of the Male Principle in Nature.
Two, the Duad, is the symbol
of the Female Principle in Nature. It is also the symbol of Antagonism, of
Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, Osiris and Typhoon.
Four is the number of the
Tetragrammaton or Four-Lettered Name which, in the original Hebrew, consists
of four letters. Scriptural references to this number are very frequent. Out
of the Garden of Eden flowed four rivers. Zechariah saw four chariots coming
from between the mountains of brass. Ezekiel saw four living creatures each
with four faces and four wings. And St. John saw four beasts.
Five, made up, as it is, of
the first odd number, rejecting unity, and the first even number, is the
symbol of that mixed condition of order and disorder existing in the world.
Six is the number of the
angles of the Six-Pointed Star formed by the two interlaced Equilateral
Triangles and, so, calls attention to that ancient talisman, the Seal of
Solomon or Shield of David.
Eight, the cube of the first
even number, was held by the Pythagoreans to signify Friendship, Prudence,
Counsel, and Justice. Christian symboligists consider it the symbol of
Resurrection because Christ rose on the eighth day, that is to say, the day
(Sunday) after the seventh day (Saturday).
Nine is the number of the
angles in that Triple Triangle formed by placing three equal Equilateral
Triangles with their apices meeting in a common point and the Triangles
radiating from that point with the angle separating each Triangle from the
next equal to sixty degrees--the jewel of the Prelate of the Templars. As the
Equilateral Triangle is the symbol of Deity so the Triple Triangle composed of
three Equilateral Triangles is the symbol of the Triple Essence of Deity or,
to the Christian, the Mystery of the Trinity.
Ten, being the number of the
dots in the Tetractys, calls the attention of the student to that great
Pythagorean symbol. This number is the symbol of Perfection, and for this
reason--it is the sum of the numbers Three and Seven.
THE NUMBER THREE
To cite more than a few of
the very large number of references in Masonry to the number Three could serve
no useful purpose, as it is far better that the student investigate the matter
for himself. But, for a few of the more obvious examples, it will be noted
that there are three occurrences of each of the following: degrees in Craft
Masonry; Great Lights; Lesser Lights; Fellowcraft's Working Tools; Movable
Jewels; Immovable Jewels; Supporting Pillars, and lighted Cardinal Points.
Also there are all the various incidents of Three that follow directly from
the fact that there are three degrees, as three positions of the Square and
Compasses, and so forth.
Three, among practically all
the ancient peoples, was considered the most significant of all the numbers
and was, in many of the ancient religions, the number of certain of the
attributes of many of the gods. For example, Jove's thunder bolt was
three-forked, and Cerebus, the dog of Hades, had three heads. The Druids'
ceremonies contained many references to it. And in the rites of Mithras and in
those of Hindustan are many important references to it.
Three, as the sum of the
Monad and the Duad, is, symbolically, the result of the addition of the Male
Principle, symbolized by the Monad, and the Female Principle, symbolized by
the Duad, and, thus, plainly becomes the symbol of the Creative Power. It is
also the symbol of the three-fold nature of Deity--He who comprises the
Generative Power, the Productive Capacity, and the Result, and who is the
Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer.
THE: NUMBER SEVEN
As stated by Mackey, "the
symbolic Seven is to be found in a hundred ways over the whole Masonic
system." This statement is so true and the discovery of those many references
is so interesting and profitable to the student that no attempt is made here
to gather them together. But no student who neglects to make an effort to
discover them can get out of Masonry all that it has to offer him.
Seven is referred to in
practically all of the ancient religions. There were seven altars before the
god Mithras. In the Persian Mysteries there were seven caverns. The Goths had
seven Deities and in the Gothic Mysteries the candidate met with seven
obstructions. References in the Scriptures to Seven are almost innumerable. To
cite but a very few:--
Noah had seven days notice of
the commencement of the Deluge. The clean beasts were taken into the ark by
sevens. The ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat in the seventh month. The intervals
between the dispatching of the doves from the ark were seven days each.
Solomon was seven years building the Temple. And the Temple was dedicated in
the seventh month, the feast lasting seven days.
The few examples given above
of the occurrences of references to the number Seven indicate the peculiar
veneration in which that number has been held from the most ancient times. Its
different symbolical meanings are nearly as numerous as the different systems
of religious philosophy in which it occurs. But, to the Mason, following the
teachings of "our ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras," it may
well be the symbol of Perfection, this significance being plainly derivable
from the fact that Seven is the sum of the numbers Three and Four, the numbers
of the two perfect figures--the Triangle and the Square.
In concluding it is
emphasized that the above statements of the significances of the various
numbers are but a very small proportion of the many that might be made. There
are many symbolic meanings assigned to each of the numbers and, by
investigation, each student can find, among that large number of
interpretations, at least one meaning for each number that will appeal to him
and which will imbue Masonry with new life and new interest and will help to
convert what has, perhaps, become (through no fault of Masonry) a "dry as
dust" series of actions and words into a living system of instruction in
morals, philosophy, ancient history, and symbolism.
LIVE OUT THY LIFE
A creed is a rod
And a crown is of the night;
But this thing is of God:--
To be a man with all thy
To grow straight in the
strength of thy spirit,
And live out thy life in the
RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
BY BRO. J. GEORGE GIBSON,
Recently there have appeared
certain, and I may say almost numerous papers, which have dealt in a kind of
way with this subject, although not invariably as clearly as might have been
expected from a consideration of the names of the writers. And it has appeared
that there must be something to allow for in the fact that the very approach
was not quite so definitely an attempt to deal with the matter on its own
merits as an attempt to treat the subject comparatively. In order that Masons
may seat once just what is the relation of the Craft to both these experiences
or studies may we not try first of all to know exactly what Religion is, and
what Philosophy? And a description or definition should be such that it will
not only agree with the totality of the functions of each, but will also
exclude all else. May I then at once venture to define Religion as "That
course of life which is lived in reference to the authority of the Supreme
Creator and Ordainer of the Universe." The usual Masonic description of the
LORD as the Great Author of the Universe is not enough for Masons, and does
not take in much that is essential and indispensable. If we substitute
Architect for Author we do not improve things very much. A Religion cannot
continue in reference to something which has been and IS NOT. We cannot refer
all our lives to antiquity. There must be something, or some being now
existent and life-giving whom we may worship and serve. The death of the King
sets free the subject. Only the continuance of that King in his successors
maintains the authority. If the Supreme Being created and then left the active
work of the world in other hands having no reference to Himself then we cannot
serve. Consequently we cannot serve tables, nor books, nor traditions, nor
antiquities of any kind whatsoever. You cannot found a religion upon the VSL
unless that Book is venerated as the Word of a living Author and King.
Religion is a vitality and needs a vital Spirit, or it soon becomes a mere
ritualism. If once upon a time there was a real Triune, but now that has been
left out of all account, the 3, 4, 5 triangle means nothing vital to Masons.
If, however, there now is to be identified the same triune, the matter is
altogether different. Religion is the life of the present that is lived in
reference to the Supreme living Spirit of the Present. Grant the fact of a
presently living triune of the Divine and we have at once the reason for the
present religion that is built upon the Faith that accepts the fact of the
authority for the Life that is true religion. The WORD that once lived but is
now dead has no authority over the life of the modern mind. But if that WORD
did not die but lives ever, then religion is vital in reference to that WORD.
Traditional accretions may have beclouded our view of the Ancient Fact of the
Divine Life, and the superstitions that are born of these accretions may
bewilder us at times. But so long as the inner light of our Conscience and
spiritual experience is pure and prevailing we may leave the superstitions to
take care o themselves or give place to the light of TRUTH. The words of the
VSL may seem to lend themselves to meanings that are out of accord with the
Truth at times, but only to those in whose heart and life there is not the
approach of a RELIGION. We may read what we like into the Sacred Volume, but
to the pure all things are pure; and if we approach the Word we find the WORD
whatever the words may seem to mean. We cannot make a greater mistake than by
supposing that because the words may appear to be archaic the WORD is
inapplicable to the life of a religious experience. We may even have differing
opinions as to the Scriptures; but there are in all the varieties of our view
and vision outlines that are common in every human experience. This is the
experience of the Mason; and this is the reason why all Masons have regard and
veneration toward the VSL.
It seems strange, but really
the old view of a hostile Science is disproved by human experience, since the
very Religion which so many are willing to trace to superstition is derived
from Philosophy. Is this heresy? That philosophy as well as Religion may be
called progressive we do not deny. And we further are prepared to assert that
the very first religious desire proceeded from the revelation that followed
philosophical study. Even the fear which some are so ready to describe as the
origin of religion could not exist without the study of things as they
appeared to the first inquirer. Philosophy is the love of and the search for
WISDOM rather than that for mere knowledge. Its birth as a study we may find
pictured in the Eden Story. The mother of the Religionist then is Philosophy,
and as Philosophy has not yet concluded her work so the nature of Religion
must be capable of further light. This implies no disrespect to the wording of
the VSL, for since the modern criticism proceeded there has been a light shed
upon the very wording of the Sacred Law which has many times over increased
the glory of the ancient writings of all ages. Nay, the very authority of
philosophy is not doubt, but Faith. Philosophy is not only iconoclastic, but
is reverent and filled with the desire to find only the Truth. In the realm of
Religion the services of Philosophy are beyond value.
It may be said, though
without truth, that Revelation is here slighted. It is nothing of the kind.
Revelation is a function of the Divine, and philosophy but makes the natural
and wise use of its transcendent approach. The Authority for Revelation speaks
in dreams, which one man understands and another treats as a symptom of a
disordered mind. It speaks of mysteries that philosophic study can elucidate
but credulity obscures all with. He who is seeking Wisdom finds it in all
obscurity: he who seeks anything else is often apt to get lost himself. The
ignorant religionist observes phenomena, but cannot classify and relate them.
The student from that which is seen feels his way to that which shall appear.
The superstitious find the ancient scroll and press it to their bosom as
something sacred though not understanded of the people. The scientist gathers
other similars together and arranges all so that from the totality of the
product of research there comes a fine truth and a new light upon the old way
Even outside the relations of
Masons to the VSL we find Philosophy enlightening the path of the simple. In
the field of practical theology of late years there has been going on a
strongly marked conflict between the old and the new schools of thought. This
has been little more than the war that must take place between the
obscurantist and the credulous in every school when the eyes of philosophy are
turned upon the newer manifestations of the revealed religion. It is the old
order changing and giving place to the new. It implies no conquest of the
orthodox by the heretical. The upshot is the enlightenment of the old
orthodoxy by the light that superstition had covered with a bushel of
prejudice. A consequence is that what older forms of thought permitted are now
seen to be out of question in the life of one of the illumined. And the things
which once were regarded as the whole law and everything, are made to stand
revealed as but a very small part of it. What once was an act of benevolence
is now but the merest duty of a Mason. How wonderfully has the incidence of
life changed during the last twenty years. We can remember that the area of
the religious life was very circumscribed. Today there is the greatest
difficulty in finding space for a merely secular act. The altars which once
were barely tolerated in church are to be met with in the forum and in the
home. Standards are revised in regard to all the functions of Man's life.
Even Religion itself is not
respected in the same superstitious way as formerly. Its authority is no
longer the custom of the Fathers, for we have examined its demands by
scientific methods and are convinced that its authority is in the NOW as much
as it ever was in the will of the ancients. There is less perhaps of the
sounding of the charge against SIN in the method of the enlightened; but the
grip Man is taking of the neck of shame and iniquity is none the less
tenaceous. In every department of life, in all the walks of Man, in each of
the experiences of the Human mind it is more and more evident that an
enlightened Religion is a stronger power than all superstition could boast.
Never was the VSL held in such veneration as it is now, for never as now did
men learn to read by the Spirit and break away from the tutelage of the mere
letter. Religion depends today as never before upon true and reverent Science;
and the greater and more truly we find philosophy opening out the vistas of
Religion the better will that religion be. For religion at its best is the
corolla of Philosophy.
TO BUILD A MAN
To build a house or build a
man is very much the same:
You have to think, you have
to plan, you cannot build by guess.
The same foundation you began
before you built the frame
A man must have before he can
arise to a success.
Build then upon the solid
earth with fundamental things -
Courageous faith and solid
worth that do not change or fail
A lot of work, a little
mirth, and fellowship that brings
The brotherhood of man to
birth whatever ills assail
And on that good foundation
rear the man you mean to be,
On life's hard road a pioneer
for other men who toil,
A temple of both love and
cheer in your community,
A house to others very near
upon the comman soil.
With faith in men that does
not tire, keep blazing in your heart
A constant beacon to inspire
the hearts of others, too.
When hopes of other men
expire, when all their dreams depart,
Give them a brand from your
own fire to kindle them anew.
And you shall stand a shelter
then to ev'ry passer-by
A hospice unto other men who
journey down the way
To set them on their feet
again the road again to try -
A house of help and comfort
when the pilgrim goes astray.
What were a house, admittance
to its fellowship denied?
What pleasure such a house to
you, whose roof you do not share ?
What were a man who never
threw his own heart open wide
That men their courage might
renew, rebuild their visions there ?
Build such a house by such a
plan in such a life as this
No single creed or single
clan forbidden to your breast,
Your house a waiting wanigan
when men the highway miss,
Your heart a hearth where any
man shall be a welcome guest.
- Douglas Mallock.
THEY WAIT FOR YOU
Look not, O friend, with
Into the Past - look to the
brave young years !
Look to the Future: all is
there in wait,
All that you fought for by
the broken gate -
The faith that faltered and
the hope that fell,
The song that died into a
It is all there - the love
that went astray
With bitter cries on that
The joys that were so needed
by the heart,
And all the tender dreams you
Nothing is lost forever that
Cried out for: all is waiting
at the goal.
- Edwin Markham.
Be useful where thou livest,
that they may
Both want and wish thy
pleasing presence still.
Kindness, good parts, great
places are the way
To compass this. Find out
men's wants and will,
And meet them there. All
worldly joys go less
To the one joy of doing
- George Herbert
To live or to die apart is
beyond the scope of the individual destiny, for in the eye of God each man
that lives is the keeper not of his own but of his brother's soul. - Ellen
THE PILLARS OF THE PORCH
BY BRO. JOHN W. BARRY, GRAND
In cut No. 34 is shown the
rock beneath the dome. It is the sacred rock, the threshing floor of Ornan--the
spot upon which Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac. Under the rock is a
large cavern, believed to be the sepulchre of the Kings of Israel from David
When the very foundations of
buildings are no more, the contemporaneous coins used as money often remain
and afford valuable information. While the Jews coined but little, especially
in the earlier times, yet there are some of value to the matter under
consideration. In 65 A. D. the Jews revolted against their Roman governors,
and A. Eleazer, a Jewish high priest, issued coins upon which is a
representation of the Temple. See cut No. 35, from Madden's Jewish Coinage.
Its value to the question in hand is found in the fact that it was the work of
a Jewish high priest for the Jews, at a time when the inspiration of the
Temple was needed, and that the temple so shown is in harmony with the
buildings heretofore described. It will be noticed that this Jewish high
priest in preparing a coin that might help inspire his countrymen to heroic
deeds for their liberty, did not show a temple with pillars projecting above
it like twentieth century smokestacks.
There are two other views of
the Temple, which on account of their growing use in lodge work will be given
here. In cut No. 36 is shown Solomon's Temple by Rev. T. O. Paine, of Boston,
who has written and published a most superbly illustrated book on the subject,
showing the Temple in radically different light from any previous conception
of it. You will note that it is wider and wider toward the top. He claims
that, as above shown, it corresponds with "Holy writ" to the very minutest
detail. He makes Jachin and Boaz eighteen cubits high, and gives even the
weight of the metal in the shafts as thirty tons each. Cut No. 37 shows the
Jachin or Boaz as, he says, they are described in the Bible.
James Ferguson, an eminent
architect of London, has issued an exhaustive work entitled "The Temples of
The Jews." He submits scale drawings of Jachin and Boaz, showing them to have
been eighteen cubits high. To Herod's Temple he gives particular attention and
submits three elaborate drawings of it. One of these drawings is used in
slides showing "The Holy City," and is given now to make it clear that it is
not intended to represent the Temple of Solomon. though the pillars in its
porch are eighteen cubits high, as in Solomon's. It is seen in cut No. 38.
Ferguson is responsible for the central building only, and for nothing else
Heretofore attention has been
directed to such buildings as were in point. However, there is another line of
evidence entitled to our highest respect. It is the opinions of Masonic
investigators, Bible students, and architects, each of which classes having
considered Jachin and Boaz worthy of very careful research and painstaking
investigation. Naturally that which appeals to us most strongly is the ---
OPINIONS OF MASONIC
Eighteen cubits is the height
assigned to Jachin and Boaz in "The Symbols of Masonry," by Jacob Earnst, a
Mason of high degree, and on pages 266 and 267 he continues as follows: "In
our rituals we have heard them referred to as thirty and five cubits in
height, with chapiters o f five cubits, which conveys the idea that they were
forty cubits in height--a very inconsiderable degree of altitude in proportion
to their circumference, and not consistent with the rules of architecture, and
which certainly gives a very erroneous impression."
Albert G. Mackey, in his
"Encyclopedia of Freemasonry," says that the pillars of Jachin and Boaz are
very important symbols. He devotes seven columns to their discussion; shows
that they were eighteen cubits high, that they were within the porch and
supported the entablature, and adds: "It is evident, from their description in
Kings, that the pillars of the porch of King Solomon's Temple were copied from
the pillars of Egyptian temples." See pages 583 to 587, inclusive. In
corroboration of Earnst and Mackey, might be cited a few other Masonic
authorities, thus: Jeremiah Howe, page 416; Reynold's Mysteries of Masonry,
page 348; Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Encyclopedia, page 565; George Kennig,
page 561, and, in short, as I verily believe, all others that ever wrote on
Because of the important
symbolism and because of the peculiar and possibly somewhat obscure statement
in Chronicles III-15, Jachin and Boaz have been most attractive subjects to
Hebrew students and commentators on the Bible. While they differ in many
particulars regarding the Temple, yet they all, so far as I could examine, are
agreed that the true height of Jachin and Boaz was eighteen cubits. Smith's
Bible Dictionary (Vol. 1), page 688, puts it as follows: "The front of the
porch was supported, after the manner of some Egyptian temples, by two great
brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz, eighteen cubits high, with capitals of five
cubits more." In like manner might be cited, confirming eighteen cubits as the
true height, the following: Philip Schaff (Vol. IV), page 2314; J.T.
Bannister's Temples of the Jews, page 107; James Hasting's Bible Dictionary,
page 308; McClintock & Strong's work on the Bible, pages 725 and 841; William
Whiston, Joseph B. Lightfoot, T. O. Paine, and others beyond the limits of my
time or your patience.
No ancient building has been
so fruitful a source of discussion among architects as Solomon's Temple, and
though their opinions vary widely in many particulars, yet as to the true
height of Jachin and Boaz, their views coincide. Eighteen cubits is the height
agreed upon, and James Ferguson, before referred to, who has given exhaustive
study to the Temple of Solomon, submits a scale drawing showing the height to
have been eighteen cubits, and says: "This height, with the other members,
makes the whole design reasonable and proper." See his "Temples of the Jews,"
page 157. E. C. Hakewill, page 55 of his work on the Temple, confirms this
view. Also F. H. Lewis, G. E. Street, R. S. Poole, and in fact all without
exception, so far as I could learn, who have investigated the subject.
What may be called the direct
evidence regarding Solomon's Temple is confined to Josephus and the Bible. But
on the point under consideration both sources are full, complete, and
conclusive. In "The Antiquities of the Jews," by Josephus, page 251, Book
VIII, Chapter III, the most renowned work of Hiram Abiff is thus described:
"Moreover this Hiram made two hollow pillars, whose outsides were of brass;
and the thickness of the brass was four fingers breadth, and the height of the
pillars was eighteen cubits, and their circumference twelve cubits; but there
was cast with each of their chapiters lily-work, that stood upon the pillar,
and it was elevated five cubits; round about there was net-work interwoven
with small palms, made of brass and covered the lily-work. To this was also
hung two hundred pomegranates in two rows. The one of these pillars he set at
the entrance of the porch on the right hand and called it "Jachin," and the
other at the left hand and called it "Boaz."
The Bible, the one
all-sufficient witness, has been reserved until the last. The Bible record is
in four separate books, and three of them are so clear as not to admit of a
doubt. The fourth, when but the single verse is read, is not so clear, but in
connection with the other verses of the chapter is equally specific,
therefore, for the better understanding, the verses in connection will be
II. CHRONICLES, III-10 TO 15,
"10. And in the most holy
house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
"11. And the wings of the
cherubims were twenty cubits long, one wing of one cherubim was five cubits,
reaching to the wall of the house, and the other was likewise five cubits,
reaching to the wing of the other cherubim.
"12. And one wing of the
other cherubim was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house, and the
other wing was five cubits also, joining the wing of the other cherubim.
"13. The wings of these
cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet
and their faces were inward.
"14. And he made a vail of
blue and purple, and crimson I fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
15. And he made before the
house two pillars of thirty five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the
top of EACH of them was five cubits."
In verse 11, the wings of the
cherubim are said to be twenty cubits long, meaning the united length of the
four wings. Again, in verse 13, the wings are given as twenty cubits, but as
before, the meaning is the united length of the four wings. In the same way
the two pillars are given as thirty and five cubits high, meaning, as in the
case of the wings, the united length of the two pillars as they stood in the
porch. The language is very precise. Notice: "Two pillars of thirty and five
cubits high"--not each, but the two together. And then following immediately
this: "And the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits
high." Where is the warrant here for the statement so familiar to us all,
namely: "They were each thirty and five cubits in height, adorned with
chapiters of five cubits, or forty cubits in all ?"
At the first blush, there is
a slight discrepancy, for if the pillars were each eighteen cubits high, then
would their united length or height have been thirty six cubits instead of
thirty-five? Hebrew scholars and other investigators have almost uniformly
accounted for this apparent discrepancy as follows: At the joint of the
chapiter and pillar, the chapiter overlaps the pillar a one-half cubit, making
the united length of the pillars, as measured standing in the porch, appear to
be thirty-five cubits. A few others contend that the pillars were sunk into
the base or foundation, so that when measured standing in the porch their
united height appeared to be thirty-five cubits. It would seem that a one-half
cubit lap at the top would be too much, and it is, therefore, probable that
both contentions are right, except that the lap at the top was only four or
five inches, and the sinking into a socket at the base about the same, making
nine inches or a one-half cubit. Recent explorations in the Troad carry this
compromise view almost to a demonstration. The Troad, made immortal by Homer's
Iliad, contains the city of Assos, lying a short distance north of Smyrna,
Asia Minor. Here in 1881-2 J.T. Clarke, in behalf of the Archaeological
Institute of America, excavated a large tomb, corresponding in every detail to
the tombs of the kings at Jerusalem, and dating from the seventh century B.C.,
and also a temple contemporaneous with that of Solomon. There is still
standing there a doric pillar, sunk into the foundation and held in place by
lead poured round the base, much as water mains are now joined. (See reports
of the Archaeological Institute of America.) Assuming that Jachin and Boaz
were set this like this Assos pillar, then is the apparent discrepancy in the
Bible fully accounted for by a column contemporaneous with the Temple of
Solomon, and still standing, at Assos.
However, the height of Jachin
and Boaz is given in three other books of the Bible, and is not mentioned in
any other place than as here indicated. The statement is so clear that no
explanation or outside reference is needed. Hear and weigh this testimony:
FIRST KINGS, VII-15. "For he
cast two pillars of brass of eighteen cubits high apiece, and a line of twelve
cubits did compass either of them about."
SECOND KINGS, XXV-17. "The
height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass."
JEREMIAH, LII-21 AND 22. "And
concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a
fillet of twelve cubits did compass it, and the thickness thereof was four
fingers; it was hollow and a chapiter of brass was upon it; the height of one
chapiter was five cubits, with network of pomegranates upon the chapiter round
about, all of brass. The second pillar, also, and the pomegranates, were like
The foregoing Bible records
are so precise, each witness so confirming the others, that together they must
carry conviction to every one that can believe the evidence of recorded
history. But even were there no Bible records, the circumstantial evidence
adduced is so strong that the main facts would be apparent. For to the men who
could construct such a building as Solomon's Temple must be accorded full and
accurate knowledge not alone of the best buildings of their time, but of the
best building methods as well. Think of it, here is a building thirty feet
wide, ninety feet long, and forty-five feet high, and from the drawings alone
its several parts are made to size and shape in the mountains and quarries,
and, when assembled, they fit with such perfect accuracy and all is so well
done that the building stands four hundred and nineteen years, and no doubt
would be standing today had it not been wantonly destroyed in war time. At
least contemporaneous buildings are still standing, and the Dome of Rock, on
the site of Solomon's Temple, has already stood nearly two thousand years. It
would, therefore, be reasonable to conclude that the builders of Solomon's
Temple had full knowledge of the temples on the Nile, and no building has ever
been found there or elsewhere in which the pillars of the porch were higher
than the building. Why then charge the builders of Solomon's Temple with such
a blunder ?
Again, so well was Solomon's
Temple constructed, so excellent architecturally that it was for centuries the
type of Grecian architecture, and was many times duplicated in its main
architectural features. A few contemporaneous buildings remain to us to this
day, as have been shown, at Paestum and other points, and in no case are the
pillars of the porch higher than the main building, but in every case are in
strict accord with the Bible records of Solomon's Temple, confirming and
demonstrating the proposition that Jachin and Boaz were as given, "eighteen
cubits high apiece."
A little philosophy inclineth
a man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to
ST. JOHN'S DAY IN HARVEST:
BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD,
It is a custom to celebrate
the anniversary of certain events which have, to a great extent, produced
results of lasting good. If we were to celebrate the anniversary of all the
great events in the history of the world we would have occasion to celebrate
early every day of the year; but we limit these celebrations to those nearest
In Freemasonry, St. John's
days are, by our customs and usages, set apart as days on which "festival
communications" may be held. St. John the Baptist's Day, 1917, is the 200th
anniversary of the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge
from which every regular Grand Lodge either directly or indirectly derives its
authority, and we may well celebrate the 200th anniversary with appropriate
allusion to the events which then transpired and the conditions which then
It would be most welcome
knowledge to every Masonic student to know just what transpired at the
so-called "revival" 200 years ago. We are, however, seriously handicapped in
our studies of that important event by having no contemporaneous record of it.
The record we depend upon is contained in the second edition of Anderson's
"Book of Constitutions" (1738) and reads as follows:
"King George I. enter'd
London most magnificently on 20 Sept. 1714. And after the Rebellion was over
A. D. 1716, the few Lodges at London finding themselves neglected by Sir
Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master as the Centre of
Union and Harmony, viz., the Lodges that met,
"1. At the Goose and Gridiron
Ale house in St. Paul's Church-Yard.
"2. At the Crown Ale-house in
Parker's-Lane near Drury-Lane.
"3. At the Apple-Tree Tavern
in Charles-street, Covent-Garden.
"4. At the Rummer and Grapes
Tavern in Channel-Row, Westminster.
"They and some old Brothers
met at the said Apple-Tree Tavern, and having put into the Chair the oldest
Master Mason (now the Master of a lodge) they constituted themselves a Grand
Lodge pro Tempore in Due Form, and forthwith revived the Quarterly
Communication of the Officers of Lodges (call'd the Grand Lodge) resolv'd to
hold the Annual Assembly and Feast, and then to chuse a Grand Master from
among themselves, till they should have the Honor of a Noble Brother at their
"Accordingly, on St. John's
Baptist's Day, in the 3rd year of King George I., A.D. 1717, the Assembly and
Feast of the Free and accepted Masons was held at the foresaid Goose and
"Before Dinner, the oldest
Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge) in the Chair, proposed a List of
proper Candidates; and the Brethren by a Majority of Hands elected Mr. Anthony
Sayer, Gentleman, Grand Master of Masons (Mr. Jacob Lamball, Carpenter, Capt.
Joseph Elliot, Grand Wardens) who being forthwith invested with the Badges of
Office and Power by the said oldest Master, and install'd, was duly
congratulated by the Assembly who pay'd him the Homage.
"Sayer, Grand Master,
commanded the Masters and Wardens of Lodges to meet the Grand Officers every
Quarter in Communication, at the Place that he should appoint in his Summons
sent by the Tyler."
Among the regulations which
were adopted at this meeting the most important was, "That the privilege of
assembling as Masons, which had been hitherto unlimited, should be vested in
certain Lodges or Assemblies of Masons convened in certain places; and that
every Lodge to be hereafter convened, except the four old Lodges at that time
existing, should be legally authorized to act by a warrant from the Grand
Master for the time being, granted to certain individuals by petition, with
the consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in communication; and that
without such warrant no Lodge should be hereafter deemed regular or
constitutional." This regulation may be considered as the most far-reaching in
its effects of any rule that has ever been made by Masons for their
government; it is the foundation of OUI present jurisprudence in regard to
regularity. It is also of historical importance, as it states that the
privilege of assembling had been "hitherto unlimited."
Three years after the
formation of the Grand Lodge, in 1720, Grand Master Payne compiled the
"General Regulations," the 39th of which contained the following: "Every Grand
Lodge has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations or to alter
these, for the real Benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided always that
the old Land Marks be carefully preserv'd." This regulation clearly shows a
spirit of conformity to a basic law of an ancient Fraternity.
The organization of the Grand
Lodge in 1717 was called a "revival" by the writers of the 18th and some of
the writers of the 19th century, and implicit faith was placed on the
statement that Sir Christopher Wren was Grand Master of a Grand Lodge that
existed prior to 1717 and that he had neglected the fraternity; but there is
no evidence that Wren was even a Mason and therefore none that he was Grand
Master and there is great probability that he was not. The "formation" or
"organization" of the Grand Lodge of England seems to be a more definite and
appropriate expression of what actually happened; for we are told by Anderson
that they "constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro Tempore in due form" as
their first act.
This formation or
organization of the premier Grand Lodge has been termed a "gigantic blunder"
by a deep thinker and learned student of Masonic fundamentals. He believes
that the principle of co-operation was subordinate to an "organization." We
are sometimes in doubt as to where the happy medium lies, and are inclined to
believe we have it in the Freemasonry of today. We know its weakness and its
limitations, but they are the weakness and the limitations of the individual
and not the Fraternity. Its principles are basically sound and if perverted it
is mainly due to two causes, viz: the Masonic politician and the careless
investigating committee. Organization is a necessity and where men are
associated with each other it is necessary that they give up a certain amount
of personal freedom for the greater and more glorious liberty of all. We do
not wish to infringe on freedom of thought. The Freemason is, first of all, an
intelligent, free moral agent, and, so far as his Freemasonry applies to the
building of his own "Temple of Character," he is free to interpret its laws,
rules and regulations for himself; but when he associates with others in the
work of teaching the neophyte and in the general labors of the Lodge he is
subject to self imposed restrictions which he voluntarily assumes.
From an historical standpoint
the year 1717 is the most important in Masonry. It is the date which divides
the laws of Masonry into the ancient customs and usages and the modern
regulations, laws and edicts; it also in a great measure divides the known
from the unknown, for previous to the formation of the Grand Lodge in 1717 we
had but few authentic facts on which we can rely. Brother G. W. Speth, in his
splendid "Masonic Curriculum" describes the need of a chart for the use of the
Masonic navigator on the sea of Masonic history, and, after giving his opinion
of the value of Gould's "History of Freemasonry" as such a chart, says:
"We rise from the perusal of
this book with one fact tolerably well impressed upon our minds, viz., that in
the middle of our ocean lies an island, A. D. 1717, the period at which our
Craft underwent a reorganization of some sort; and we are conscious that
between this island and our own shores lies a tract which is fairly well
mapped out, but that beyond it extends a waste with scarcely a sounding more
than approximately indicated, stretching away into the distant past. Our first
effort must be to gain a clear insight into this past: we shall not altogether
succeed, and we shall possibly never even approach the shore at the other
side, although we may be able to fill up many blanks, to discover solid ground
here and there, mark the probable flow of the current and take some additional
Brother R.F. Gould in his
masterly essay on "Masonic Symbolism" says: "I conceive that there is ground
for reasonable conjecture, whether the Symbolism of Masonry, to a considerable
portion of which, even at this day, no meaning can be assigned which is
entirely satisfactory to an intelligent mind, must not have culminated before
the very earliest dawn of its recorded history.' Also that it underwent a
gradual process of decay, which was arrested but only at the point we now have
it, by passing into the control of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717."
Symbolic and traditional knowledge was of great importance to the ancient
world and it has been handed down through the centuries, a priceless gift of
the past to the present. Many of the most important truths of philosophy
survived the dark ages through hermetic, Rosicrucian and Masonic sources; but
with the invention of printing and later the popular thought which came with
the Reformation, men no longer relied to such an extent on symbols and
allegory; printed history replaced oral traditions and the methods of the
ancient form of instruction were replaced by ones more adaptable to the
conditions of the progressive age which was born with the invention of
printing and gradually developed a spirit of moral, political and spiritual
freedom which found its most pronounced expression in the English Revolution
of 1688. Taine says,* "With the constitution of 1688 a new spirit appears in
England. Slowly, gradually, the moral revolution accompanies the social: man
changes with the state, in the same sense and for the same causes; character
moulds itself to the situation; and little by little, in manners and in
literature, we see spring up a serious, reflective, moral spirit, capable of
discipline and independence which can alone maintain and give effect to a
constitution." Although the reaction of the rule of the sober, long-faced,
never-laughing puritan was carried to the opposite extreme and vices seemed to
be the most prominent trait of the Englishman of the Revolution and the
decades that followed it, there was an inner consciousness of moral
responsibility which was so well expressed in the writings of Addison, DeFoe,
Pope, Berkeley and others and which eventually found expression in their act
as well as their thoughts. Protestant thought was not new thought, but an
expression in different form of the Wisdom of the ages. Restraint of action
and liberty of thought are the cornerstones of civilization. Freemasonry has
been laying these cornerstones in every age and in many lands from time
immemorial. The Charge in the 1723 "Book of Constitutions" concerning God and
Religion could not have been written until the world was ready to receive it.
It was taught by Masonic symbol and allegory from time immemorial, but in 1723
it was given to the world as one of the fundamental principles of the
It is my humble opinion that
the fundamental principles of Freemasonry have come down to us from a very
remote antiquity and have been taught by symbolical, allegorical and at times
perhaps by hermetical methods and that we as individual craftsmen are most of
us, as yet, only entered apprentices in the full comprehension of Freemasonry
and that the Craft in 1717 needed an adjustment to meet the changed condition
which society had undergone.
That this organization of
1717 was not perfect and that its efforts to unite men of every country, sect
and opinion were sometimes fruitless is evidenced by the schisms that have
since become a part of Masonic history. These weaknesses are not, however, the
weakness of Freemasonry, but the failure of its votaries to apply themselves
with freedom, fervency and zeal to the task of subduing their passions and the
duty of improving themselves in Masonic knowledge.
The Mason who has studied the
events bearing on the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 knows
that its foundation was laid in the basic principle of the "Fatherhood of God
and the Brotherhood of Man" and he will endeavor to prove to the profane world
through his own actions that the Freemason is a builder--a Builder of
*Taine's History of English
Literature, Chapter 3.
REFERENCES--Hist. of Eng. (Macaulay);
Real Hist. of the Rosicrucians (Waite); Hist. of Freemasonry (Gould); Arcane
Schools (Yarker); Collected Essays (Gould); Preston's Illustrations; Hist. of
Eng. Literature (Taine); Historical Notes on Freemasonry (Baxter); A Masonic
Curriculum (Speth); Philosophy of Religion and History (Fairburn).
A PLEA FOR ACTION
BY BRO. JOS. C. GREENFIELD,
THE American nation is today aflame with patriotic
fervor. We are at war with the greatest military nation in the world. The vast
majority of the citizens of the United States approve of that war, and
irrespective of political affiliations, stand solidly behind the National
government in all the steps it has taken and is still taking, to prosecute the
conflict to a successful conclusion. Flag raisings, patriotic gatherings, the
blare of bands and the marching of armed men, have aroused the people to a
height of enthusiasm never before reached.
The best blood of the country is flocking to the
colors; the training camps for officers are overrun with applications from men
of intellect, character and business and financial standing; the hoarded
moneys of the people, both rich and poor, have been placed at the disposal of
the Government, as evidenced by the tremendous over subscription to the
Liberty bond issue; our women have caught the spirit of the times and are
cooperating with the food commission, with the Red Cross Movement, and with
any and every other agency in which their services can be enlisted.
What is the great Masonic fraternity doing as a
potential factor in the solving of the problems that the National crisis has
pressed to the front?
I know many have enlisted, but they did that as
American citizens and not as Masons. A few Lodges, and perhaps a Grand Lodge
or two have subscribed for some bonds. I have waited expecting that those who
control the National Grand bodies would issue a call to labor. But I have
waited in vain. Subordinate bodies keep grinding out members of a more or less
advanced degree, but the Grand bodies have not made any attempt to use the
vast forces at their disposal for any phase of the National good.
What can the Craft do? Many things. One of the
most important is the moral atmosphere that could be thrown around the various
camps. Here at different points, from half a million to two million men will
be gathered. These camps will be composed of all kinds of men. The proper
surroundings are most important. The public prints have lately been filled
with stories of the rotten conditions that have afflicted one of our naval
training cantonments. The harpies of the under world flock to such places -
they fatten on the bodies and souls of men. Can the Masonic fraternity assume
a better work than the correction of these evils ?
Can the Supreme Councils of the Southern and Northern
Jurisdiction, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, the General Grand
Chapter and the Imperial Council of the Shrine, do a greater work for the
order, for humanity, for America, for God, than keeping clean minds and pure
bodies in the men
we send out
to fight our battles ?
It has been reported that one-third of the men in
European armies suffer from private diseases. I do not know whether or not
this is true. I hope not, but cannot America point out the way to more exalted
manhood? The Masonic fraternity should be something more than a Mason-making
institution. It should be a man manufactory - and what higher service can it
do for the land than safeguarding the men who are offering themselves as food
for German cannon.
We have existed for hundreds of years. We have
performed great charities, and have received full credit for them. We have in
a measure taken care of those of the household of faith. But we have never
seen the country in the hour of such national need as at present.
We are living in perhaps the darkest hour of the
world's history and the dawn has not yet appeared. Let the Royal Craft rise to
the needs of the hour. Let those whom we have placed in high position, and to
whom we have been taught to look for inspiration and leadership, issue a
clarion call to action. Do they doubt their right to do so? There are times in
the life of an individual and a nation, when old methods must be relegated to
the rear and new precedents be set. The duty is upon us and we should rise to
And just as sure as there is a Divine power
controlling and directing all things, just so sure will the rank and file of
the craft endorse any steps along these lines, and rallying as a unit to the
banner of the Compass and Square, will follow whithersoever it leads, and
Masonry will emerge from the conflict purer, better nobler, for its labors for
the order, our country and humanity. BUT LET US DO SOMETHING!
THE GILD AND YORK RITES
By Bro. Charles Hope Merz,
Charles Hope Merz, A.M.,
M.D., Sandusky, Ohio. Born at Oxford, Ohio, father was Master of the Masonic
Lodge there for a number of years; received his education at Miami University,
Oxford, afterward graduating from Wooster, Ohio, University in 1883; graduated
from the Medical Department of Western Reserve University in 1885; has
practiced his profession in Sandusky since that time, his son Charles Merz is
Washington correspondent of the New Republic and one of its Editors; Past
Master of Science Lodge No. 50; member of Sandusky City Chapter R. A. M.,
Sandusky City Council R. & S. M., and Erie Commandery K. T.; has written for
Masonic Journals for a number of years; author of two brochures that have
attracted wide attention--"The House of Solomon" and "The Transition in
Masonry"; has lectured extensively before Lodges in various parts of the
country; active in Masonic Research, Charter Member of the National Masonic
Research Society; Honorary Life Member of the Cincinnati Masonic Library; was
Associate Editor of the Bibliophile, Member of the Magian Society of New York;
First Master for life of Lodge No. 24, Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers,
Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers, Leicester, England, he is the
American Secretary of this Society; Member of the Lodge of Research Leicester,
England; President of the Masonic Library Association and of the Society for
Masonic Research, Sandusky, Ohio. Dr. Merz's greatest activity has been along
the line of lectures on Masonic Symbolism which have called forth favorable
comment wherever they have been heard. He has in preparation two works on
Masonic subjects that will appear during the coming winter.
THOSE who claim that
"Freemasonry, as we know it, is in no wise derived from Operative Free
Masonry," are indulging in a belief not only contrary to that of the most
advanced Masonic authorities of the day, but one presenting many points
insufficiently attested and uncorroborated by documentary or other evidence.
To accept for one moment the
suggestion that a system so complex and curious and embracing so many have
phrases and customs, so many impressive symbols, and ceremonials, cleverly
regulated and reduced to system, was framed by a number of individuals met
rather to originate such a wondrous system, imposes our credulity. The traces
of antiquity are too numerous to be overlooked or ignored.
Speculative Freemasonry is
defined as "a beautiful item of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by
symbols." Operative Free Masonry is the practice, by the Craft, of tectonic
art--the science of building terms and other important structures, a working
in stone, accordance with "the ancient usages and established customs of the
Gild or Company." Beyond doubt Operative Free Masonry was originally a
Religion and Trade combined--and there was and is a great deal more in
Operative Free Masonry than mere work in stone.
Condel, in his "Hole Craft
and Fellowship of Mary" throws a great deal of light on Operative Freemasonry.
He states that the Worshipful Company of Masons of London was the connecting
link between the thic Monastic Architects and the present Society of the alld
Accepted Masons. That the Traditional and Oral teachings existing in Britain
in the 12th and 13th centuries were preserved by this Company after the
downfall of the church in 1530 until 1717. That it is the only demonstrable
source by which the old Constitutions of the middle ages reached the
Speculative Masons, and that it is only in connection with this Company that
any mention of Speculative Masonry is made in London in the 17th century or of
any Society meeting for the fostering of Symbolic Masonry.
This Worshipful Company of
Masons in 1646 underwent an esoteric division into a body of "Accepted"
Masons--persons in no way connected with the Craft and Operative or Free
Masons. Later the words became synonymous, to distinguish strictly Speculative
from Operative Masons. So the Mason's Company may be said to have been in a
dual condition--Speculatives and Operatives.
As early as 1620, and perhaps
earlier, certain members of the Mason's Company met to form a Lodge for
Speculative Masonry, and this act, given by the records of the Company,
concerning its "accepted members," is the earliest record of 17th century
Masonry in England. In 1472, the Company was granted a Coat of Arms, which has
served as the foundation for all subsequent corporations connected with
Masonry, whether Operative or Speculative. The motto on the Coat of Arms is of
the greatest importance. In the original grant, no mention is made of the
motto, but since early in 1700 it has been "In the Lord is all our trust"--the
motto in use today by the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons,
Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. The first Company was
known as The Fellowship of Masons, and to this Fellowship the grant was made
in 1472, but about 1530 the title was changed to the Company of Free Masons.
The Company of Masons of the City of London, in its early days, practiced and
was acquainted with all the moral teachings of the Fraternity, and when the
Monastic Gilds fell into chaos, the London Company of Masons preserved the
ancient traditions of the Gild, and amongst its documents a copy of those MS.
traditions, with the object of keeping the old order of things alive, and thus
assisted in handing them down to the 17th century Society of Free and Accepted
Masons, which revived the old order some time between 1680 and 1700. One thing
is very certain; up to about 1700, the Company and Society were hand in hand,
but after that date, the connection ended; and there is nothing show that
Speculative Masonry had a place in the thought of the members of the Company.
For thousands of years Trade
Gilds, Castes, Societies, Companies and similar Institutions have been in
existence, and in London alone there are some eighty existence at the present
day. To carry out its system, each Trade Gild divided its members and also its
methods into grades or degrees, and the officers and workmen were instructed
in that particular portion of the Art or Craft which belonged to the
respective degree of which they were members. Consequently it will be evident
that to obtain the full knowledge of any trade, a person must begin as an
Apprentice in the low grade and, by skill and attention to duty, gradually
work up to be a Master or chief ruler of his Gild. The number of grades or
degrees varied according to the practical requirements of the trade; but in
each instance, it followed that if a young man desired to work in any of the
trades, he must belong to the Trade Gild, as the members, would neither teach
nor work with an outsider.
An analysis of the
"Compositions" of fifteen trades, ranging from the year 1400 to 1700,
including the Weavers, Glovers, Brewers, Tailors, Joiners, Carpenters,
Goldsmiths, Smiths, Pewterers, Plumbers, Glaziers, Painters, Cutlers,
Musicians, Stationers, Bookbinders, Basket-makers, and the Bricklayers, Tilers,
Wallers, Plaisterers and Paviors, shows that an Aprenticeship was common to
all. Many of them had an obligation binding the members to the "Society,
Brotherhood, Fraternity and Company," and protecting the trade and esoteric
secrets. A number of them used Apprentice Indenture papers, and had chests
with three locks and keys. They were not to disclose the secrets of the
Company nor were they to slander or misuse one another. These fraternities
that met at various places, when the plate was brought out of the three locked
chest, and the clerk sat at the table with the books of the Gild, all sworn
men to do loyally and honorably and keep the secrets of the fraternity--there
was something more than the spirit of a trade protection Society to animate
their doings. None had repaired to tavern or tippling house on Sunday or
holiday during the time to divine service: none said to another "Thou lyest"
or "Art false." A Gild of Operative Free Masons still exists, as does the
Mason's Company of London.
In all the Ancient Charges
there is evidence of the commencement of moral teachings and of secret signs.
The Regius MS. (1390) recommends implicit truth. The Harleian MS. (1670)
mentions "several words and signs of a Free Mason to be Revealed," which may
be communicated to no one "except to the Masters and Fellows of the said
Society of Free Masons, so help me God." Here followeth the worthy and godly
oath of Masons. The MS. by King Henry VI says, "some Maconnes are not so
virtuous as some other menne, but for the moste parte they be more gude than
they would be if they were not Maconnes."
In the 17th century or
earlier, private gentlemen and Army Officers began to be admitted as members
of the Society of Free Masons in England and Scotland-- John Boswell, Esq.,
was a member of St. Mary's Chapel Lodge, Edinburgh, in 1600. Robert Morey,
Quarter Master General of the Scottish Army, was made a Mason at Newcastle in
1641. Elias Ashmole, the Antiquarian, and Col. Henry Mainwaring were made
Masons at Warrington in 1646. Morey was a Scotch Covenanter, Ashmole was a
Royalist and Mainwaring was a Parliamentarian. In 1647 Dr. Wm. Maxwell joined
the Lodge at Edinburgh. The minutes of St. Mary's Chapel Lodge record that
Boswell attested his "mark" at the meeting on June 8, 1600. The Earls of
Cassilis and Eglington were initiated in the Lodge of Kilwinning in 1670.
The full title of the
existing Society of Operative Free Masons is, The Worshipful Society of Free
Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers.
The Rough Masons and Wallers are inferior Craftsmen, doing rougher work than
that done by Free Masons. They are not Fellows of the Lodges of Free Masons,
but may be regarded as Associates, having ceremonies of their own. They are
regarded as "scabblers" and their work is not "in course." They are allowed to
enter the First Degree or Apprentice stone yard, but not the Second or Fellows
The Slaters, Paviors,
Plaisterers and Bricklayers (known as the Tilers and Bricklayers), are also
three separate and distinct Companies. Lambert, in his "Two Thousand Years of
Gild Life," gives the history of the Fraternity of Bricklayers, Tilers,
Wallers, Plaisterers and Pavers of the City of Hull. The Ordinances held by
this Fraternity, 1598, are very interesting. They had One Warden and two
Searchers, to be chosen "yearlie, for ever upon mondaie Sennitt after Sainte
James daie the apostle." They were to show reverence towards "the worshipfull
of the towne." Secrets of the town were not to be disclosed. Reverence to be
shown toward the Warden. The Warden and Searchers not to be misused in words
or deeds. One brother shall not "in anie wise misuse another in words."
Absence from meetings and at the "hower" appointed was forbidden. Not to be
absent from the election nor from the election dinner. Not to "lawe out" with
another. The Warden was not to "forbeare any man offending." Servants were to
learne good manners and resorte to divine service. Secrets of the brotherhoode
were not to be opened or disclosed. No apprentice to be taken for less time
than seven years. Not allowed two apprentices at once. None to "resorte to
the; ale-house nor cardes in time of their worke." None to do any "worke
before he have ended his first worke." None to be free unless serving seven
yeares. To resort to the "buriall of anie brother dieinge." Indentures to be
The title, Worshipful Society
of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and
Bricklayers, composed of so many distinct trades is at first sight surprising,
but on investigation it will be found that it was not an uncommon state of
affairs in the 17th century. In Kendall, in 1667, the 12th Trade Company
comprised Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Plaisterers, Slaters and
Carpenters. In Oxford a Company was incorporated in 1604 called "The Company
of Free Masons, Carpenters, Joiners and Slaters of the City of Oxford." In
Gateshead a most curious conglomeration of trades was incorporated by a
Charter of Cosin, Bishop of Durham, in 1671. The Trades enumerated are Free
Masons, Carvers, Stonecutters, Sculpturers, Brickmakers, Tilers, Bricklayers,
Glaysers, Penterstainers, Founders, Neilers, Pewterers, Plumbers, Millwrights,
Sadlers, Bridlers, Trunckmakers, and Distillers."
At Edinburgh, the
incorporation of St. Mary's Chapel at one time embraced a great variety of
Trades, such as Sievewrights, Coopers, Upholsterers, Bowmakers, Slaters,
Glaziers, Painters, Plumbers and Wrights, as well as Masons. Later there were
only two in the Union, the Wrights and the Masons, and finally these
separated, each becoming a distinct Corporation.
The greatest interest centers
in Durham, where we find the combination of Trades to be the same as the one
under discussion. In 1594, Bishop Matthew Hutton incorporated the "Rough
Masons, Wallers and Slaters." In 1609 Bishop James confirmed their Bye Laws
and Ordinances, in which they are designated as "Rough Masons, Wallers,
Slaters, Paviors, Tylers and Plaisterers." On April 16, 1638, Bishop Morton
gave a new Charter to the "Company, Society and Felowshipp of Free Masons,
Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers." The
Bishops of Durham were Counts Palatinate, so Charters originated from them.
These Operatives became Free
men of the City, which conferred many rights and privileges upon them, and
many of the gentry of the country became honorary members, regarding it as a
great distinction, just as today, many members of the mercantile and
professional classes become Free men and Liverymen of the Trade Companies of
The Mason's Company of London
was incorporated in the second year of Henry IV (1411) and was granted Arms in
the 12th year of Edward IV (1473), which Arms are still used by them. Conder
gives the date as 1472. The Slaters, though not a recognized Company, have
their Arms. The Paviors is a small London Company. The Plaisterers were
incorporated in 1501 and the Tilers and Bricklayers in 1508. Various disputes
have arisen among these Trades and others of a kindred nature as to what was
their respective work. In 1356, 1615 and 1632, these differences became very
acute. In 1677 the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, etc.,
received a Coat of Arms which still hangs in the Gild Hall at Durham, and
which is a combination of the Arms of the several Trades. In chief, on the
dexter side are those of the Masons: in the centre, those of the Slaters: on
the sinister side, those of the Paviors: below on the dexter side, those of
the Tilers and Bricklayers. The Arms in each case are similar to, if not
identical with, those of the London Companies. In London, the use of the word
"Free," in Free Mason, was allowed to lapse toward the end of the 17th
century. This was because it had ceased to be a distinction when members of
all the other London Companies were equally free, and probably because the
Free Masons had ceased to include Rough Masons, etc., in their Corporation.
About 1655-56, London and Westminster Free Masons dropped their association
with other Trades. On this point accurate information is difficult to obtain.
In 1871, after the passage of the Trade Union Act, the Rough Masons, Wallers,
Slaters and Paviors began to leave the Free Masons, and since 1883 have held
meetings of their own.
Operative Free Masons are
divided into two classes, "Straight" or "Square" Masons and "Round" or "Arch"
Masons, and each class is divided into seven Degrees or Grades. A man may
belong to one of these classes only, never to both, although he may be
transferred from one to the other, if the Masters so order it. When a man is
apprenticed, he selects the form he intends to follow. The square is the
symbol of the "Square" Mason, and the Compasses the symbol of the "Arch"
Mason. Blue is the color of the former, and red the color of the latter. Each
one of the seven Degrees has its own special secrets, working rules and
The Degrees are: 1,
Apprentice to the Craft of Free Mason. 2, Fellow of the Craft of Free Mason.
3, Super Fellows who have their Mark. 4, Super Fellows who are erectors on the
Site. 5, Intendents and Super Intendents or Menatzchim. 6, Passed Masters.
Those who have passed the technical examination for the position of Master.
Also known as Harodim. 7, The Grand Masters, of whom there are three.
Space forbids anything more
than an outline comparison of the Rituals of the Worshipful Society of Free
Masons (Gild) and the old York Rite, taken from a Ritual that dates from 1726,
and which, from its Operative tendency and the apparent detachment of the
Third Degree, is evidently derived in the first place from such a ceremony as
the Annual Drama of the Operatives, and in the second place from the Ritual on
which the London Third Degree was founded about 1728.
Worshipful Society of Free
1d Apprentice. Indentured for
7 years to a member of the Lodge. When approved, receives a well known pass
and is led to the porch of the Lodge. Takes a short obligation of secrecy so
that in case he is "barred," his lips are sealed. Here the Treasurer sees that
he deposits his fee and the Doctor that he is sound. He bathes and dons the
toga. The Deacon prepares and refreshes him. The ceremony does not differ
greatly from our own, but an actual collection is made for him, where ours is
symbolic. He is taught how to hold the chisel and hew the rough Ashlar. He is
girded with an Apron on which are the rule, chisel and maul. He is a Brother
for seven years but not a Free Mason.
2d. Fellow of the Craft. He
gives a month's notice of the expiration of his 7 years, and requests to be
made a fellow of the Craft. Upon which inquiries are made as to his character.
If accepted, he attends on a Saturday at High XII, and after his Indentures
are torn up, and his cord or bond taken away, he is admitted with a pass, grip
and word into a Lodge of the 2d. He receives as his working tools, the plumb,
level and square, in addition to those of the 1d. The Master tests him with an
Ashlar Cube and the gauge and he is himself tested by it. It is an
exemplification of the ancient Oriental lines--"O, square thyself for use, a
stone fit for the building is not left in the way." The obligation includes
that of our 3d, and the old Charges prove that this was the case in ancient
3d and 4d. Super Fellows.
These are Marked and taught fitting and marking, so that the stones can be
erected on the Site which has been consecrated holy ground.
Tools, Chisel and Maul.
Drama. The Wor. Soc. of Free
Masons (Gild) has its annual ceremonials of several sections. (1) It begins
with the organization of the entire levy at the erection of the Temple, and
there is an examination of all the duties and details from the 7d down to the
1d. (2) Next we have the method of fixing the centre and four corner stones
with a symbolic sacrifice. (3) The chief rite is a Passion-play on Oct. 2nd
annually. It follows very closely all the details of the old York Rite, but
there is no Concealment. The three traitors also relate to K. S. all the
details of their acts, which come more appropriately than when related by the
Master. Sentence is passed on the three and the mob deals with the 12. At the
end, the members beg K. S. to appoint a new G. M. M. and he appoints Adoniram,
and he, as in the old York Rite, establishes a new lodge of "Passed Masters,"
a body of men who are examined and found competent in the ordinary duties of
an architect. (4) An example against negligence--a lost corner stone. (5) The
Dedication. (6) A search for the vault which contains the centre. When
building he 2nd Temple, they find the column and the plans, carry away same,
also a certain scroll .
5, 6, 7d. Superintendents
(3300) Passed Masters (15) Grand Masters (3). The name of H. A. occurs only in
the 7d. The annual drama, when the Charges are brought out and read, is an
entire history of the construction of Solomon's Temple.
York Rite In opening an
Apprentice Lodge, there are the tools of a working Apprentice, ladder, etc.,
and the rough Ashlar is placed before those of the 1d. There is an obligation
of secrecy before preparation, a part of which is that he carries some papers
to prove that the "tongue of good report" has been heard in his favor.
Ceremony proceeds much like that of the Gild, and the obligation is equally
strict in both. The Master actually sets him to hew the rough Ashlar, though
no doubt it was mainly symbolical. He is invested with a plain lamb-skin
apron, the bib covering the breast with "the flesh side inwards." He gets his
2d in a month by this Rite.
All signs of an Apprentice
are removed, and the square, level and plumb take their place, also the
Perfect Ashlar Cube. He makes three rounds that his skill (as a supposed
Operative) might be tested. At the 1st round the J. W. hands him the plumb
rule to test the uprightness of his column. The 2nd time, the S. W. hands him
the level to try the horizontal position. The 3d round, the Master hands him
the square and tells him to examine and test the Perfect Ashlar and prove its
cubical dimensions. The investiture is turning down the bib of the apron. Thus
it represents the one now in use. Some old lines on the letter G and the noble
science of Geometry conclude the reception.
These have no relation with
Grand Lodge Masonry: they are Mark Man, and Master, of old, two Degrees, now
one degree in two parts. All the old Operative Lodges conferred a Mark. It was
struck out as useless in 1717.
3d. Casual Master. The Lodge
is opened in the F.C. Degree and the Candidate takes the Gild 2d O; B., our
3d. The last part of the ceremony then proceeds somewhat abruptly. A clock or
bell strikes XII to represent certain things related in the Modern and Ancient
Gild Rites. The relation does not differ materially from that now used, but is
full of much dramatic action. The ritual corresponds very closely to the rites
used by Aeneas to the Manes of his defunct friend. At the close, Solomon, to
reward 3 of the F. C., appoints the Officers of a "Casual Lodge of Masters" (a
sham lodge of 12) to be held in permanence. J.J.J. are tried and sentenced
with their three penalties. Then Adoniram is appointed successor and founds a
new Lodge of Perfect Masters. The Casual signs which occurred at the "cause,"
are worked up to close the Lodge.
Royal Arch Degree of the
Ancients. Contains same details, and is unquestionably a degree of dissidents
and extends to the Installation of the three Principals.
Installation. As modern
Freemasonry has no Art to rule, these exist only in name, as Wardens, Chair
Masters and Grand Masters. In the North Country (England) Lodges, which were
of Operative character and origin, were ruled by the Harodim or Passed
In every Degree of Operative
Masonry, the Candidate is admitted in the toga candida of the old Romans, a
white cloak open at the breast to show the wounds received in battle by the
applicant who sought a post. In all the Degrees the Candidate is treated as a
Living Stone. He is rough dressed in the 1d, polished as a cube in the 2d,
perfected in the 3d, and erected as a stone in the Living Temple in the 4d.
The three remaining Degrees have their Rituals, but as their names imply, they
are rulers of the work, and their Ritual deals with abstruse geometrical
problems and the details necessary to construct important buildings. As
bearing on the Operative phase of the question, I desire to submit an
Apprentice Indenture Paper, which explains itself. This paper is exactly
similar to one submitted to the readers of the Ars Quatuor Coronati, Vol. III,
by Brother John Yarker.
The Worshipful Society of
Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and
Lodge "Leicester," No. 91.
Established at Leicester, England, 1761.
THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH,
That Charles Hope Merz, M. D., of Sandusky, Ohio, U. S. America, doth put
himself Apprentice to the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons,
Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers (York Division), to
learn their Art and with them, after the manner of an Apprentice, to serve
from the day of the date hereof until the full term of SEVEN YEARS, from
thence next ensuing and fully to be completed and ended: during which said
term, the said Apprentice his said Masters faithfully shall and will serve,
their secrets keep, their lawful commands everywhere gladly do: he shall do no
damage to his said Masters nor see it to be done of others: but to his power
shall let, or forthwith give notice to his said Masters of the same: the goods
of his said Masters he shall not waste, nor lend them unlawfully to any, hurt
to his said Masters he shall not do, cause or procure to be done: he shall
neither buy or sell without his said Master's leave.
Taverns, Inns or Ale-houses
he shall not haunt: at Cards, Dice or Table or any unlawful game he shall not
play: nor from the service of his said Masters day or night shall absent
himself, but in all things as an honest and faithful Apprentice shall and will
demean and behave himself toward his said Masters and all things during the
said term. And the said Masters (and their successors from time to time), the
said Apprentice in the Art and Mystery of a Mason which they now use shall
teach and instruct or cause to be taught and instructed in the best way and
manner that they can, finding and allowing unto their said Apprentice
sufficient meat, drink, washing, lodging and all other necessaries during the
said term and one pair of New Shoes yearly and aprons.
AND for the true performance
of all and every the covenants and agreements aforesaid, either of the said
parties bindeth himself and themselves unto the other firmly by these
IN WITNESS whereof the
parties above said to this Indenture, interchangeably have set their hands and
seals this twelfth day of August, one thousand nine hundred and twelve.
Charles Hope Melz,
Apprentice. Clement E. Stretton, 1st Master Mason. Edward Peacock Male, 2nd
Master Mason. R. Ogden, 3rd Master Mason. Harry Smith, Clerk to the above
said Lodge. (Seal) Harry C. Bauer, Registrar.
Signed and Delivered by the
above named in the presence of John Yarker.
There is no question but that
originally Masonic Degrees were applicable to any nationality, as is the case
in the Operative ceremony today, but after Christian times and the acceptance
of the Jewish Scriptures, Solomon was adopted as the type of the highest
builder and wisest of men, and therefore a Judaic Commemoration ceremony was
added outside of or as an explanation of the Degrees.
The Grand Lodge of England in
1911 published an historical note by W. Bro. John P. Simpson, B. A. P. A. G.
Reg., which said: "The ritual of Freemasonry as far as the First and Second
Degrees are concerned, is in part, no doubt, derived from the ceremony of the
early Operative Gilds."
The note would have been more
accurate had it said mainly derived from the Operative ceremony--also the
Third and Mark Degrees. The Third Degree was an afterthought as regards
Speculative Freemasonry. As formulated in 1717, and laid down in the First
Book of Constitutions, there was no Third Degree. A Mason became a Master only
when he became Master of a Lodge. The ancient Charges in the present Book of
Constitutions will suffice to make this quite clear and this paragraph is the
same today as it was in the First Book of Constitutions in 1723, Sec. 4, Par.
2. "No brother can be a warden until he has passed the part of a fellowcraft,
nor master until he has acted as warden, nor grand warden until he has been
master of a lodge."
And the present Book of
Constitutions has a foot note added to this section which does not appear in
the Book of 1723 but was added in 1815: "N. B. In antient times no brother,
however skilled in the Craft, was called a master mason until he had been
elected into the chair of a lodge."
From the comparison of the
Gild and York Rites previously shown, it would appear that the Speculative
Third Degree is based on the Operative Rite, as it is an adaptation of the
Annual Ceremony of the Operatives on Oct. 2nd, when they commemorate the
slaying of the Third Master Hiram Abiff, a month before the dedication of the
Temple, celebrated on Oct. 30th.
It would make the present
paper too long to discuss this question farther. Speculative Freemasonry has a
survival of Operative Free Masonry in the Three Principals of the Royal Arch.
In the English Rite, the position of the Grand Master, the Pro Grand Master
and Deputy Grand Master in Grand Lodge, is a survival of an ancient custom and
they are seated very much in the same manner as K. S., H. K. of T. and H. A.
It is not a difficult matter
to trace the origin of the Royal Arch Degree. In laying the foundation of the
Temple of Solomon, in the Commemoration Ceremony of the Operative Gilds, a
vault was constructed, six cubits below the floor. Over the centre was erected
a Pedestal, in which were the plans and a Scroll, on which were inscribed the
first lines of Genesis. This foundation was laid out on the "Five Point
System" and the centre being fixed, it is guarded by four men armed with
swords in one hand and building tools in the other. When the fugitives
returned from Babylon, the centre of Solomon had to be found, and the laborers
were set to find the vault and report to the Passed Masters who had to report
to the Three Grand Masters. When the vault was found, three Passed Masters
descended and brought forth the plans and Scroll, which every Arch Mason
brings away today. The reviewers of this Degree could not understand why
modern Masonry had only one Grand Master while the Gilds had three. They
therefore gave the three Principals all the attributes of the original
builders of the first Temple. They held as their attributes, three rods, (3,
4, 5), by which they could form a square building or a 3 to 1 Temple. The
Royal Arch Principals have sceptres instead of rods and the private reception
of these Principals and their secrets is almost identical with those possessed
by the representatives of S. K. I., H. K. T., and H. A. Were the Pro Grand
Master called H. of T. and the Deputy G. M., Hiram Abiff, we should at once be
The Drama of all the
Mysteries has been of a spiritual nature, calculated to teach man to conduct
his earthly career in such a manner as to attain eternal life, and the
Candidate has always personified a God, slain and risen from the dead.
A Rite that transformed into
a Drama the career of our Saviour, was practiced by the Monks and Masons at
York, when Athelstan granted them a Charter. There is no record of a Hiramic
legend at that time. The Greeks and Romans introduced into Britain from Egypt
a system of Trade Mysteries. These were later modified into orthodox
Christianity by the Culdees, a Monkish fraternity who occupied Scotland,
Ireland and Wales and who taught and governed the Gilds during the Saxon
period. As related previously, there was engrafted upon the plain and simple
Anglo-Saxon Constitution of Masonry a series of Semitic legends that probably
came direct from Palestine through the French Masons, who traveled from France
to England from time to time. It is in France that we find the earliest
allusions to Solomonic legends.
Dr. James Anderson was
Chaplain of St. Paul's Gild in 1710. In the year 1714 he proposed that men of
position should be admitted to a sort of honorary membership, and the accounts
of that and the following year show seven fees of five guineas each. He was
expelled from the Worshipful Society of Free Masons for his disloyalty. All
the time St. Paul's work was in operation, the Gilds met at High XII on a
Saturday, but Anderson changed the time of meeting to 7 o'clock on Wednesday
evening, at the Goose and Gridiron, and in 1715 the Operatives found that
their old pass would not admit them. They complained to Sir C. Wren and Edward
Strong and the dissidents were struck off the rolls. This is the reason why
Anderson states that Wren "neglected" the Lodges.
We can readily see what
Anderson "digested." He made the Apprentice in a month instead of seven years.
He dropped everything of a technical nature, including the ceremonies of Mark
Mason. He built a moral Institution on the Mystery Society of the Ancients--
not Free Masonry, but an imitation of it--as he retained only so much of the
old Rites as suited his purpose.
There was no quarrel at York
that separated the Operatives and Speculatives. The former continued to hold
their meetings at High XII on a Saturday and the latter withdrew and met in
the evening, and their Ritual retained much of the Operative customs not found
in the Ritual of 1813.
Anderson never possessed the
higher secrets of the Masters VIId. We find this record: "At the Speculative
Grand Lodge of England, held Sept. 29th, 1721, The Duke of Montagu, as Grand
Master presiding, His Grace's Worship and the Lodge finding fault with all the
copies of the old Gothic Constitutions, ordered Bro. James Anderson, M. A., to
digest the same in a new and better method."
It is very certain that the
present 3d or Master Mason was unknown in London and unacknowledged by the
Grand Lodge before 1730. London undoubtedly derived it from York and there is
strong evidence to show that York had modelled it about 1726, adapting it from
a source outside of actual Degrees of work, hence London may have had it in
1728 for there was no rivalry between the North and South of England at that
time and communication was friendly. This is further confirmed by the fact
that York has always been looked upon as the seat from which modern
Freemasonry emanated, and this all over the world, for all Masons who lay
claim to the Ancient Ritual refer its origin to York.
In his "Arcane Schools,"
Yarker says: "In all these years the old Operative Gilds of Free Masons have
continued their work without changing the secrecy of their proceedings. They
have their Lodges in London, Norfolk, Derbyshire, Holyhead, Leicester York,
Durham and elsewhere. Of late years they seen to have become disgusted with
the vain pretensions of modern Speculative Freemasons and under authority of
their co-equal Grand Masters of the South and North, have, to some extent,
relaxed the secrecy of their proceedings." Again he says, in speaking of
Speculative or modern Freemasonry, "many parts are quite incomprehensible,
even to learned Freemasons without the technical part which only the Gilds of
the Free Masons can supply."
A careful and unprejudiced
examination of the two Rituals will go far toward convincing the Masonic
student that Speculative Freemasonry is irrefutablely based upon and has many
close resemblances to Operative Free Masonry. The Operative ceremonies are
actual and concrete and refer to realities, while the Speculative ceremonies
and allusions are symbolic and abstract and refer to idealities. The actual
must pre cede the symbolic, for the latter to have reference an, meaning, and
the concrete must exist before the abstract can be conceived. The realistic
must exist before the idealistic can be built upon it. The reason for many of
the Speculative ceremonies can be found in the Operative Ritual, but the
Operative ceremonies get no elucidation from the Speculative Ritual.
It would be a pleasure to go
into this subject more fully were space to permit. The writer hopes to publish
at an early date the Ritual of the Operative Free Masons. In the meantime, any
additional information will be gladly furnished upon request. Facts have been
given where they have been related as such, without any desire to impose upon
the reader's credulity.
This brilliant sphere--
A fairy looking-glass Large
as a tear--
Mirrors the things that pass,
Or far or near. Small though
It holds the sun and moon;
Of skies with stars
A mimic sea--
Itself, this magic orb
Is inly lit
With secrets that absorb
Man's utmost wit.
Souls thus might shine
Ere vanishing like dew:
O would that mine
Such transient glory drew
From depths divine!
Both folly and wisdom come
upon us with years.
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON,
AS an Ambassador from Masons in America to their
Brethren in Britain, I have the joy to report a most gracious welcome. Indeed,
such cordial and brotherly love was worth crossing the sea, even in war-time,
to enjoy. Last summer, while I was here on a visit, there was a little
restraint, if I mistake not, between us, owing to the attitude of America in
the world-war. At least I felt it to be so, perhaps beyond the fact, due to my
own irritation at our national policy. But that has now melted away even from
my imagination, and an American enjoys the warmest welcome everywhere, and
nowhere is it more delightful than within the circle of Masonic fellowship.
For example, it was my honor to attend a session
of British Lodge, at which a number of the men of America Lodge were guests,
met to celebrate the advent of America into the war and the closer relations
between the two countries. It was a gathering never to be forgotten. The
meeting was held in Free Mason's Hall, on Great Queen's Street, and was well
attended. British Lodge is one of the oldest Lodges in England, being No. 8 on
the Grand Lodge list, - older, in fact, than the American Republic - and it
was fitting that it should take the initiative. After a brief business session
- and all business is transacted on the First Degree - the Third Degree was
conferred in full form. Of this I may not write, of course, except to say that
the work is very different from the ritual of any jurisdiction known to me in
America - so different that, if I had not known what degree it was, I should
have had difficulty in recognizing it.
As usual, the Lodge meeting was followed by a
banquet, and it was while at table that the addresses were delivered - it
being my honor to speak for America. It was like a family reunion, and all
felt that the drawing together of these two great nations means unpredictable
things for the future of civilization. One in arts and aims and ideals, they
are now for the first time one in arms, fighting for a common cause in a
spirit of comradeship which is worth more than all diplomatic alliances. The
real American will now meet the real Englishman, and the real Scot, and when
those three men know each other things will be different on the earth, and the
future will be better. It seems to me prophetic of a new federation of nations
which must include, at last, even our enemies, in the fellowship of a nobler
world-society. A favorite hymn over here now is a joint national Anthem, the
first lines of which run as follows:
"Two Empires by the sea,
Two peoples great and free,
One anthem raise.
One race of ancient fame,
One tongue, one faith, we
One God, whose glorious name
We love and praise."
By the time these words are read, the centennial
of the founding of the mother Grand Lodge - the bicentennial - will have been
celebrated. Elaborate preparations are now being made to that end, albeit not
so elaborate as they would be but for the war - the shadow that hangs over
everything. The details have not yet been announced, but there are to be at
least two meetings in Albert Hall, which seats, I am told, some ten thousand
people; and to see that Hall full of Masons on such a day will be a picture
that will never fade. Ye Ambassador is to have the honor of attending those
meetings - except, of course, the one on Sunday morning, when he will be
engaged in his pulpit at the City Temple. And so, in his next "official
communication" he will be telling what an Iowa Mason saw at the centennial
session of the Grand Lodge of England.
Meantime, he makes note of another centenary - the
tercentenary of the birth of Elias Ashmole, described by his biographer as
"the greatest virtuoso and curioso that ever was known or read of in England
before his time." As astrologist, alchemist, herald, antiquary, engraver, his
thirst for knowledge was insatiable. He was made an M. D., had Government
offices, became an early Freemason - one of the first Accepted Masons of whom
we have record, in his "Diary" - followed the Rosicrucians, and had "the true
matter of the philosopher's stone bequeathed to him as a legacy." His large
library of printed books and MSS. he handed over to Oxford University. As the
final load departed he wrote: "The last load of my rarities was sent to the
barge and this afternoon I relapsed into the gout." A humorist, too! His
birthday was remembered at Oxford on May 23rd.
From across the great waters I send greetings to
all my Brethren, and especially to the members of the Research Society, in
which I have an abiding interest and concern. I shall be telling them of
Masonry and its workings on this side, from time to time, and after the awful
war is over, I hope to meet many of them when they visit the Motherland.
JOSEPH FORT NEWTON.
The City Temple,
London, E. C.
Fame is a vapor, popularity
an accident; riches take wings; those who cheer us today will curse us
tomorrow; only one thing endures - character. - Horace Greeley.
MASONRY IS SERVICE,
CONTINUOUS AND SINCERE
PLEASE see the Worshipful Master of his Lodge as
he wanted to be buried with his Mother. A few of us subscribed $75 and now
have his body temporarily in a vault." This is part of a brother's letter sent
from a few hundred miles distant. It explains much. You will understand right
away that the Editor closed his desk at once and spent the afternoon seeking
more light on the situation.
After a personal talk with the Master and
Secretary of the Lodge named, which by the way was not the Editor's Lodge at
all, and from an inspection of the records new and old, it was discovered that
the dead brother received his dimit exactly forty-nine years ago!
Where has the brother stood since that dimit was
granted ? Has he not up to and even subsequent to his death received Masonic
benefits although not subscribing to any Lodge? Actually it does seem that
under the circumstances the granting of the dimit made the member free of all
dues and of all Lodge duties for life and entitled by that document to
benefits of almost every Masonic kind.
Another case came along one evening at Lodge. At
the Master's request the Editor went out in answer to a telephone call, the
message being that a Mason was dead. He was not a member of any local body of
the Craft. At the house we found a couple of Masons, one a relative of the
dead brother and also well known to the Editor as a member of a local Lodge.
Both brethren spoke highly of the dead brother. Evidently he was a man of
worth, a Mason of estimable qualities.
"Did the family desire a Masonic funeral?"
Well, no. Already they had arranged for the burial
and had not contemplated a Masonic service. But the widow thought on account
of her husband's membership the local fraternity should be advised of his
death. She felt sure it would have been his desire that the brotherhood have
an opportunity to attend the funeral.
Frankly the Editor agreed to this reasonable
suggestion and said he would at once notify the Lodge of which the husband and
father was said to be a member. On going down to the Temple to make a report
he was directed to proceed with his plan. Accordingly he so advised the Lodge
by telegram of the death and asked for instructions.
A reply did not come by wire, as you might have
supposed; the answer came leisurely by mail. Neither was it quite what was
expected. It said that the deceased's name had over twenty years ago been
taken off the roster of that Lodge !
However, a few brethren did attend the funeral.
For he was assuredly a good husband and father, and it was not seemly that
they who as wife and children had loved him should have their confidence
shaken by any assurance or even a hint that he was not to be recognized as a
Mason of the highest standing. For this deception, if so it must be adjudged,
may we be forgiven. If weak, it was well meant.
Only quite recently the Editor was asked what
should be done when a member from another State had suddenly died and the
widow sought to have a Masonic funeral given the remains.
"Is he a Mason ?"
Everybody thought so but no one could recall ever
seeing him in a Lodge.
"Has any search been made among his papers ?"
Yes, and the curious part of it was that nothing
could be found to show his membership.
"Did he ever say where he was made a Mason ?"
Sure he did, but nobody knew more than the name of
the town, one of the largest in the land.
Oh, very well, then wire the Grand Secretary of
that State and every Lodge Secretary in the city.
Alas, the only telegram that came back telling of
any acquaintance with the dead said that he was "an unaffiliated Mason," an
expression not any too easy to puzzle out to a clear conclusion in a hurry.
These three instances, by the way, are all of
comparatively recent experience, within the past twelve months in point of
Ah, it is not for the Editor to say much more than
that somehow it does not seem impossible to make it certain that all men,
claiming to be Masons, shall in truth be what they say.
Is a dimit intended to be anything more than a
ticket to show that the authorized holder thereof has paid the price of
admission and has been received into fellowship but wants to change his pew?
Surely a dimit is not a release from all demands the fraternity may make. May
we not deem it a note soon due, and one never to go to protest? Maybe a
uniform law on the subject could be drafted that would be so straightforward
and meritorious as to warrant its adoption by all official Freemasonry.
Of those once members who to their loved ones
dissemble and cloak their severance with Masonic relations little need be
said. Their position is unmistakably dishonest. It places the family in a
false light when of all times they require sympathetic assistance, just when
they are leaning with full reliance upon a right no longer theirs to expect.
Lastly, what of those who have been ignorantly -
we would like to say, innocently - imposed upon? What of those who have winked
at such deceit?
Do we not need a revival of that serious view of
Masonry when none were recognized but those proved true ?
There are those who cannot make themselves known
as Masons save by stretching the tests almost to breaking. He that cannot show
himself to be a Mason should not be recognized as such. None should recognize
any as Masons until they have received knowledge of ample qualifications.
Wearing Masonic jewelry is not evidence except as
to the ability to get such decorations. Our tests are old but, they wear well.
They are sure. They will save annoyance; yes, sorrow. Be careful to try them
before assuming any naked assertion to be substantial as proof.
Furthermore, the examination of Masonic
qualifications is not a street or office enterprise. There is but one really
ideally suitable place, the Lodge; and but one fully competent authority, the
Master, to order it made. Thus it is that where but few are prepared to
examine and these seldom have the chance, the many will go unchallenged. All
the more reason therefore of caution with new acquaintances, and as has been
shown even old acquaintances merit circumspection and Masonic silence in the
absence of lawful information.
* * *
HOW DID YOU KNOW HIM TO BE A
Competent and cautious Senior Wardens thoroughly
satisfy themselves at the Lodge communications that all present are fully
qualified to remain. They know the duty incumbent upon them, a responsibility
not to be shelved. They will not wait until the last moment before convincing
themselves that every one within the doors is all he professes or appears to
At that stage of the proceedings the successful
officer will be as courteous as he is cautious. Should he be in the dilemma of
determining the status of any who have entered the room and taken seats prior
to the opening of the Lodge, he will at once confer with the Secretary and
other well-informed brethren. He will then approach the strangers with a
proper grasp of the situation.
In these days of large lodges there is always the
danger of failing to recognize all the members of the same Masonic body. What
an embarassing thing it becomes when knowledge is denied openly or
semi-privately of the standing of a visitor who later turns out to be of one's
own family of the faithful. Long will that chagrin endure. Lucky is the Senior
Warden who escapes the ordeal without inflicting also upon the unsuspecting
visitor a sore experience, a soreness due, it may be confessed, to the
infrequent visits he has made but for which he may not be at fault because of
absence from the neighborhood or like reasons over which he has had no
So unpleasant a situation, bad as it is, does not
compare with the stinging thorn planted in the consciousness when a visitor
proves undeserving of the confidence reposed in him. Negligence repentent
bitterly bites into the recollection of a blundering examination or of a
mistaken memory that passed the opportunity by without critical search. None
too exacting is the closest scrutiny.
He that warily recalls the just claims of the
whole Craft upon him will not be lured into hasty acceptance of a mere casual
acquaintance as being necessarily a Mason, worthy and well qualified.
Let us not shirk the whole duty that waits upon
responsibility. If it be ours to examine and to try an applicant for Masonic
recognition, then we should aim at proper information and see that we get it.
What is here said applies to the Examining
Committees as well as to the Senior Wardens. Yes, circumspection is always in
order within and without the Lodge to every unknown claimant of brotherly
Prudence pays, if onlv in peace of mind.
* * *
MASONIC SERVICE A SOLACE IN
Free-Masonry, if one loves and venerates it and
devotes himself to its service, will illuminate with content the autumn and
winter of his life, will enable him to live well and happy, and to die with
contented resignation; and the flood of its radiance will crown his grave with
the splendours of a glory neither transient nor illusory.
I firmly believe that there is nothing which will,
in self-approval, comfort and consolation, so well remunerate a man, when the
days of his life are shortening to the winter solstice, as faithful service in
the true interest of Free-Masonry. If in those darkening daye when past
successes and acquisitions no longer dazzle the judgment, and their glamour no
longer glosses over failures and faults and errors, one can be sure that he
has done all that circumstances and necessities and other exigencies have
permitted, to purify and strengthen, to exalt and magnify Free-Masonry, he win
hardly regret the Past or lack content and peace of mind in the Present.
I do not with leniency and indulgence judge
myself. I know of much wherein I have failed and erred, and that I might have
done much more and done it better for the Rite, the interest whereof I have
had so much at heart. But such is the story of every man's life. I am not
weary of the work, and shall not be; until I can work no longer. How could I
be, when I have had for almost thirty years the support, the confidence and
the affection of my associates in the Supreme Council and of the Brethren in
general throughout our wide Jurisdiction. I can wish for each of you no better
fortune than this, that the skies of his life's evening may be made as bright
as mine are, by grateful remembrances of encouragement and sympathy, and acts
of loving-kindness, on the part of the Dead whose memory is dear to him and
honoured by him, and of the living whom he loves.
And this I do wish each of you with all my heart.
"THE HOLE CRAFTE OF MASONRY"
THE various trades of early England, as ,
everybody knows, were organized into gilds, or craft associations. Owing to
the importance of its functions the builders', or mason's, gild always held a
high place among these societies; indeed, in many cities it may be said to
have dominated local affairs. For this reason several of these builders' gilds
lasted through the centuries, a few of them still existing at this present
time. This is true, at least, of the mason's organization in London known as
the "Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London." Organized in 1220 or
earlier it has maintained an unbroken existence through these more than seven
hundred years and meets as of old in its headquarters.
For a long time Masonic scholars have been
interested in this Mason's Company because in it they found a connecting link
between the Speculative Masonry of today and the Operative Masonry of old
days. Historians not a few have endeavored to trace the origin of Freemasonry
to all kinds of early movements:,the ancient mysteries, the Essenes, the
Culdees, the Knights Templar, the Hermeticists, the Rosicrucians, and what
not. But the best equipped scholars of the Order have insisted that the
Fraternity as we now have it developed out of the old builders' gilds which
once were so powerful in England. Those holding this view have considered the
records of the Mason's Company of London of the highest importance because in
them they have been able to trace the gradual evolution of the rites and
customs of the ancient architects into the symbolical ceremonies of the modern
Blue Lodge. Inasmuch as it gives us these records and traces this evolution
Edward Conder's book, "The Hole (ancient spelling for "Whole") Crafte of
Masonry" may rightly be considered one of the authoritative and important
works in Masonic literature.
Brother Conder was born in London, January 7,
1861, and was initiated into Masonry in 1892. In the course of time he became
a member of the "Inner Circle" of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research,
London. Having studied much in the early history of England (he was Fellow of
the Society of Antiquarians) he won so high a place among his associates in
that great society of Masonic scholars that he attained to the Master's chair,
the greatest honor, perhaps, that can be conferred upon a student of Masonry.
Many of his published papers attracted attention but his history of the
Mason's Company of London gained him his widest fame. He was peculiarly fitted
for this undertaking because lie had been made a Master of the Company in
It was at about this time that the "Court of
Assistants and Freemen" of the Mason's Company appointed him to write a sketch
of the history of the organization. His "original intention was to compile a
pamphlet of some twenty or thirty pages," but he found such a pile of facts
scattered through old records and unpublished manuscripts that his "pamphlet"
grew into a volume of more than 300 pages. For this let us be thankful because
it gave us one of the most valuable and interesting of all Masonic works. If
it; and others like it, were more widely read we would be saved from so many
of those half-baked and ill-informed theories concerning our origins which do
now so much scandalize the intelligent student!
The ''Hole Crafte" is divided into four parts,
preceded by a brief introduction. In the first part the author presents a
lucid account of the earliest beginnings of Masonry, tracing the story from
Egyptian architecture down to the builders of the Middle Ages. This part
serves as a helpful guide-book to a vast and bewildering field.
In the second part he throws together the
scattered fragments of information concerning the early builders' gilds that
are to be found in early English traditions and histories. This portion of his
story covers roughly the two centuries between 1000 and 1200. For the sake of
brevity he throws this into chronicle form after the fashion of early writers,
leaving the facts to tell their own story, and an interesting story it is.
Thereafter he publishes many portions of the
written records of the Mason's Company itself, beginning with the year 1620.
The Company once possessed earlier documents than these but they were
destroyed by fire. Unfortunately this part of the book does not lend itself to
easy quotation else we would include in our present account a number of
excerpts which throw badly needed light on the origins of much that is in our
own rituals. The reader must turn to the volume itself, which, fortunately is
not difficult of access.
Part four of the volume is in the nature of an
appendix and gives us an inventory of the books and manuscripts now in
possession of the Company; a list of its Masters and Wardens; a catalog of its
"Livery Lists" (the members entitled to wear uniforms); and a list of the
clerks that have had charge of its records. The first chapter of this part is
of the most interest to us because in it Brother Conder develops a theory as
to the origin of the term "Free" Mason. Briefly put, his idea is that the term
came down to us from the sculptors of old time, they having been called "free"
masons because they worked without plans, just as we still call a man a "free
hand" draughtsman who does not work with drawing tools as an architectural
draughtsman does. This theory has not found acceptance among the scholars but
it is as sound as some of the theories that have.
The theory that modern Masonry descended from
ancient practical architecture has often been set forth by our writers but on
very slender evidence; in this volume we are offered the facts on which the
theory rests. It may be too much to say that Brother Conder has DEMONSTRATED
the theory but he has come as close to doing so as any writer thus far. He
himself, writing in his introduction, has given this as the chief significance
of his work:
"The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of
London enjoys, besides the interest attached to it on account of its antiquity
and continuity, the peculiar distinction above all other gilds, of being one
of the principal connecting links in that chain of evidence which proves that
the modern social cult, known as the Society of Free and Accepted Masons, is
lineally descended from the old Fraternity of Masons which flourished in the
early days of monastic architecture, now known by the inappropriate title of
"I will not venture to assert that the Mason's
Company of London was the only channel by which the old constitutions of the
middle ages reached the Speculative Masons of 1700. Yet, so far as London is
concerned, it forms THE ONLY DEMONSTRABLE SOURCE; and, as far as we know, it
is ONLY in connection with this Company that any mention is made of
Speculative Masonry, as existing in London durmg the 17th century, or, in
fact, of any society of citizens meeting together for the purpose of fostering
* * *
When the Master of all Good Poets makes up his
diadem of early 20th Century singers he will surely not consider as the least
jewel of the lot the name of John Masefield. This man, at once very young and
very old, as all true poets are, has given us a number of volumes of verse
which will not soon die, containing as they do authentic gleams of
inspiration, sentences written out of life rather than reflection, and pages
born of experience rather than books. It is the sea, perhaps, that he has most
loved out of the divine largess of nature, the sea, and the ships that are the
legitimate children of the sea. There are poems in "Salt Water Ballads"
wherethrough there blows the veritable wind, and whips the wild spray, and
smells the salt. But that other sea, equally profound and almost as
mysterious, which we call the human soul, he has also traveled, with what
result those know best who have read his tragedies, "The Widow in the Bye
Street," "Good Friday," "The Tragedy of Nan," and "The Everlasting Mercy": in
the last named volume there is a description of a "conversion" which has
almost become classical in religious literature.
But poetry did not exhaust the seemingly
inexhaustible resources of this English mind. He surprised us all by
furnishing to the "Home University Library" one of the best brief studies of
Shakespeare in the language. When one true poet interprets another, the stars
have found a blessed conjunction!
And now comes his prose narrative of the Gallipoli
campaign. It will not do to describe it lest the reader be robbed of his own
toys of discovery; but if you will recall the story of that venture in blood
and war, if you will then try to imagine what that experience would naturally
have become while passing through the soul of John Masefield, you will begin
to anticipate the character of this book.
"Later," he writes, "when there was leisure, I
began to consider the Dardanelles Campaign, not as a tragedy, nor as a
mistake, but as a great human effort, which came, more than once, very near to
triump, achieved the impossible many times, and failed, in the end, as many
great deeds of arms have failed, from something which had nothing to do with
arms or with the men who bore them. That the effort failed is not against it;
much that is most splendid in military history failed, many great things and
noble men have failed. To myself, this failure is the second grand event of
the war; the first was Belgium's answer to the German ultimatum."
This volume was published by the Macmillan Company
early in this year, at $1.35.
* * *
The Open Court Publishing Company, of which
Brother Paul Carus is the head, has won the hearty regard of impecunious
students through its various series of low-priced books and reprints. Of these
it is probable that the score or so of volumes belonging to the series
"Religions, Ancient and Modern" have been of greatest service, though that is
not to forget the paper editions of the philosophical and religious classics.
Of this "Religions" series no volume will hold greater interest for the
Masonic student than the little brochure on "Mithraism" by W.J. Pythian-Adams,
since there are those who find hints and prophecies of Freemasonry itself in
that ancient Mystery Cult.
Mithras is first heard of as a god in Northern
Mesopotamia, 1350 years before our era. Beginning his "career" as a
subordinate deity he is at last exalted to equality with Ahura-Mazda himself
by Artaxerxes in 408 B.C. When the Persian Empire was overthrown in 331 B.C.
the Mithraic Cult was dispersed over Asia Minor from whence it gradually
invaded Rome. There it took firm hold and soon became one of the reigning
religions of the Empire, growing popular under Marcus Aurelius and even
winning as an initiate the Emperor Commodus. Being especially in favor with
the soldiers it grows in power until in 211 of our era the Emperor Caracalla
permits a shrine to be constructed under his Baths. Suffering a blow through
the triumph of Christianity in 312 it is revived under Julian only to be
extinguished through the imperial edict of Theodosius in the last years of the
Surely a cult which enjoyed so long a career must
have contained much truth within its teachings! Indeed there are those who
believe that much which passed into Christianity itself during the first four
centuries of its history flowed out of Mithraism. However that may be, the
fact remains that the students of initiation will find many rich pages to
reward a reading of its story.
THE QUESTION BOX
LORD BYRON, GRAND MASTER OF
MASONS IN ENGLAND 1747-1751
Dear Brother Editor: Not long ago at a Lodge
meeting I made the statement that Lord Byron was once Grand Master of Masons
in England and that some of the first New York Lodges had derived their
charters from England during his incumbency in office. A good Brother thought
I was mistaken about this. He could not think Lord Byron had ever been Grand
Master in England. - J. A. Jenkins, Colorado.
The official "Calendar" of the Grand Lodge of
England shows that "William, Lord Byron," was elected Grand Master of Masons
in England in 1747, serving in that capacity until 1752 when he was succeeded
by "John, Lord Carysfort." In Hughan and Stillson's "History of Freemasonry
and Concordant Orders" we are informed that Francis Goelet was appointed
Provincial Grand Master for New York in 1751 by Lord Byron, Grand Master, but
it is not known if Provincial Grand Master Goelet authorized the formation of
any Lodges. Harrison was the first active Grand Master, succeeding Goelet in
1753 and serving for eighteen years. During his term of office the following
warrants were granted: St. John's No. 2 (now No. 1); Independent Royal Arch,
No. 8 (now No. 2); St. Patrick's No. 8 (now No. 4); King Solomon's No. 7
(extinct); Master's No. 2 (now No. 5); King David's (moved to Newport, Rhode
Island, and now extinct). Also five others not satisfactorily accounted for.
Warrants were also granted to other Lodges outside of New York, some in
Connecticut, one in Detroit, Michigan, and one in Newark, New Jersey.
* * *
RITUAL OF THE SWEDENBORGIAN
Brother Joseph Hollrigl, New Hampshire, requests
information concerning the ritual of the Swedenborgian Rite. After careful
search and many inquiries we have been unable to locate a copy of any ritual
ever used by the Swedenborgian Rite, or even to convince ourselves that any
such ritual was ever printed. If any member can throw any light on this matter
will he please speak up ?
Beswick, in his "Swedenborg as a Mason," argues
that the Swedish occultist was an initiated Mason and father of a rite but
this is vigorously opposed, and we think with telling effect, by Dr. Tafel's
great work, "Documents Concerning the Life and Character of Swedenborg." The
curious reader will find other material in the New England Craftsman, vol. 3,
p. 205; The Tyler-Keystone, vol. 26, p. 32; Finders History; Reghellini's work
on French Masonry, and A. Kohl's "The New Church and Its Influence on the
Study of Theology in Sweden."
Here is an important subject that will lead a
student into many fascinating fields. Why won't some brother send us an
article on "Swedenborg and His Alleged Masonic Connections?"
* * *
COMPASSES OR COMPASS
Dear Brother Editor: In visiting Lodges in various
Grand Jurisdictions I have noticed that in some they refer to the Holy Bible,
Square and Compasses, while elsewhere the word used is "Compass." Which is
correct? - A.O., California.
A few years ago, Brother O.N. Wagley, one of the
Board of Custodians of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, made inquiries concerning the
use of the words "Compass" and "Compasses" in the various Grand Jurisdictions
of the United States and the replies received indicated that the usage of the
two words was about evenly divided among the Jurisdictions. The Oxford
Dictionary says the word is now generally used in the plural. "Compasses," as
does also the Century. A defense of the usage of each word from some of our
members in whose rituals they respectively occur might be interesting.
* * *
"HAIL" OR "HELE"
Dear Brother Editor:,A question has arisen in our Study Club as
to the derivation of the word "Hail."
I have been
informed that its use is obsolete except in Masonry and that the correct
spelling is "hele.",R. S., North Dakota.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word "hele" as
meaning "to hide, conceal; to keep secret," and "to practice concealment, keep
a secret, keep silence." Also see Mackey's Encyclopaedia, revised edition,
BALLOT FOR AFFILIATION
Dear Brother Editor: - In what Grand Jurisdictions
of the United States is a unanimous ballot required on a petition for
affiliation? - J. C., Iowa.
A unanimous ballot is required on petitions for
affiliation in all Grand Jurisdictions in the United States, except Wisconsin
and Iowa. See article on "Dimits," page 134, THE BUILDER, May, 1917.
* * *
RITE OF ADOPTION
Brother Editor: - I have read with much interest
your article "Masonic Training of the Young" on page 159 of the May BUILDER in
regard to a Louveteau (Lewis) and as I believe this can be made the means of
binding some of our boys closer to Masonry and also renewing the means of
binding some of the fathers, I will thank you to advise me where I can obtain
a complete copy of the ceremonies, instructions, obligations and prayers. -
Wm. L. Abbott, N. C.
Write Brother John H. Cowles, 33d, Secretary General, 16th
and S streets N.W., Washington, D. C., for a copy
of "Offices of Masonic Baptism, reception of a Louveteau and Adoption," by
Brother Albert Pike. The price, we believe, is $1.00.
* * *
"PASTOR" RUSSELL - MONlSM
Brethren: - Will you be so kind as to let me hear
your particular opinion or share me some information about the reliability of
the "Studies in the Scripture" (set of six bound volumes) edited by Pastor C.T.
Russell and also about the Charles W. Russell's Advanced Monism (there is a
league in the United States). Have long ago heard pale references of both.
Sincerely and fraternally, P.R. Panlilio, Angeles, Pampanga, P.I.
Our candid opinion is that the "Studies in the
Scripture" are valueless from the standpoint of the modern thinker. "Pastor"
Russell, as he called himself, performed a real service in leading many
thousands of our American people to study the Bible; but, unless all modern
Biblical science has gone helplessly astray, his own Biblical interpretations
were wild of the mark. The Bible is a field of such breadth that it has been
divided among scholars into many specialties; for this reason it is unsafe to
follow any one interpreter, even though he may be infinitely better equipped
for the work than Mr. Russell. If you are sufficiently interested we shall be
glad, as best we can, to offer you an outline for Bible study based on
We are unable to tell you anything about the "Advanced Monism."
If you will write to Brother Paul Carus, 122 So. Michigan Ave., Chicago, he
will be able to give you any information desired
about Monism. H.L.H.
NATIONAL AFFAIRS FROM A
Action Taken by the Grand
Commandery of Pennsylvania, Knights Templar, adopted at Sixty-Fourth Annual
Conclave Held in Pittsburgh, May ''2, 1917.
At time of our last Annual Conclave, the same war
conditions were rampant in Europe and on the seas as exists today but
sustaining a position of Neutrality, no matter what our views may have been as
to right or wrong of contest, it was our duty to hold our peace.
Now after all the happy years of peace that we
have enjoyed, and the hope of future peace for all time to come, for which we
longed, we have been forced into war's awful holocaust against our wish or
One of the warring nations has ruthlessly swept
aside every thought of the laws of God and Humanity. Treaties have been
violated, our right to freedom of the seas denied, our ships and property
destroyed, and the lives of our citizens sacrificed without explanation or
apology, until we could do nothing else than to take up arms if we would
maintain even a semblance of self-respect and a right to be ranked as a
Nation. We were compelled to enter the war as a last resort. We found that we
must assume our share of the risks and dangers to aid in compelling a fuller
understanding of rights among Nations, and what we believe to be our God-given
right upon land or sea.
Patriotism, loyalty to government and to our flag,
are found running through every Masonic degree. It is, therefore, deemed
especially fitting that this great Order of Christian Knighthood should show
to the world our loyalty to Country, our faith in God, and our love and
veneration to our Flag, and all it stands for before the nations of the world.
Therefore, the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania
assembled in its Sixty-fourth Annual Conclave held in the City of Pittsburgh,
pledges to our President, our National and State Administrations, and all in
authority in this war waged for God and Humanity, our moral and physical
support to the end that our National Dignity and Honour may be maintained and
a peace brought once more into the world, founded upon the ideal of true
Democracy, and recognizing the foundation of our Great Republic resting upon
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
May God maintain the right!
This is no time to quibble or to fool;
To argue over who was wrong,
To measure fealty with a worn
To ask: "Shall we keep still
or shall we fight?"
The clock of fate has struck;
the hour is here;
War is upon us now, not far
One question only arises,
"How may I serve my country,
day by day?"
There is no middle ground on
which to stand;
We've done with useless
The one-time friend, so
welcome in this land,
Has turned upon us at our
There is no way, with honor,
to stand back -
Real patriotism isn't cool -
You cannot trim the flag to
fit your lack;
YOU ARE AN AMERICAN - OR ELSE
LEE S. SMITH
THOMAS F. PENMAN
* * *
THE PROBLEM OF FOOD
To all Fraternal Organizations and other
Societies. The entire world is alarmed over the shortage of food and the high
cost of the necessities of life.
The Farmers have been warned and advised to increase their
acreage of food-stuffs, and all other persons to cultivate all idle lands, to
plant seeds and grow vegetables in their gardens and yards. This is a
patriotic call to every citizen, to economize at the one end, by conserving
our foodstuffs from unnecessary waste, and at the other end, to increase the
production of the
The idea being to have sufficient food that we may
live, and by the double process of saving and of increased production to bring
the cost of living within the means of people whose earnings are small.
The Banker tells us that "A penny saved is a penny
made," and it is equally true that a pound of meat, a bushel of grain, or
anything eatable saved, is just the same as that much more of food made or
After this long introduction, I sincerely and humbly appeal to
all Orders, Societies and Associations of every kind throughout this great
Country from now and until this cruel war is ove to forego the giving of all
Lodge or Society dinners, suppers, etc. Considering the thousands and
thousands of Lodges of all kinds and other Societies and Organizations of all
kinds who are in the habit of entertaining their members with suppers, etc.,
easy to be seen the enormous wastage annually of millions and millions of
pounds of food unnecessarily consumed, and amounting to millions and millions
Think again of the great population needing it,
this wastage would feed. Then think of this great wastage, added to the
increased production, how much more plentiful and how much greater would be
the reduction in the cost of all foodstuffs!
Then think of these many Millions of Dollars,
saved by the Lodges and Societies, laid aside in their Treasuries to meet the
great calls of suffering Humanity for assistance, which will come from all
points of the Globe.
Having been a Mason for forty-six (46) years, I
naturally would like to see the Masons of this Country initiate this movement,
but I think the question so broad and serious that all should agree to
co-operate in the best way possible to attain the end here sought.
I trust this article will appeal to all Societies
in this Country so that a start may be made and some action taken through
their Committees in a general appeal.
Will our Masonic Bodies be the first to act or
will some others take the initiative? In either case I believe the Country
would be equally and as sincerely grateful.
If the "Four Cardinal Virtues" mean anything, NOW
is the time to practice them.
Therefore, let us do our duty towards making food
so plentiful that none will suffer from the want of it.
This is a matter so momentous that as one of
humble station in life I have hesitated in its publication, but everything
must have a beginning, and being beyond the age to render physical service I
offer the next best thing in my power - my sincere ant heartfelt advice which
I most deeply and devotedly feel, if accepted in the same spirit as offered,
will be of very great benefit to our Country and our Fellowmen.
Chas. Millhiser, 32d,
* * *
CRYPTIC MASONRY AND THE
Dear Brother Editor: - Brother J. Angus Gillis in
his recent article in the January Builder on "Cryptic Masonry and the
Commandery'' writes as follows:
"Masonry is a
progressive science consisting of a
series of degrees, and as
practiced in the American system is divided into branches, or rites, which
when taken together, form the complete American System of Freemasonry."
I would like, as a seeker after light, to know
what Bro Gillis calls the American Rite? He says later in his article "Cryptic
Masonry is the top of ancient craft Masonry and Tem plary is the top of the
American system of Free Masonry.” Templarism is a trinitarian institution;
Free Masonry is not otherwise its membership would be restricted and its
universality destroyed. While so-called Masonic Knighthood is confined to
Freemasons it is not a part of any Masonic rite nor is it a part of Masonry.
Free Masonry in the United States emanated from the two early English Grand
Lodges and all its authority is derived from one or the other, and the
original (Moderns) Grand Lodge specifically stated that its Masonic system
consisted of three degrees only; while the newer Grand Lodge (Ancients)
incorporated the Holy Royal Arch into its systems. When in after years these
two amalgamated they decreed that Freemasonry should consist of three degrees,
E.A., F.C., and M.M., together with the Holy Royal Arch. Yet the strong
prejudice of the Moderns against this intrusion of the Royal Arch into the
system of Masonry persisted until finally an agreement was reached to place
the Royal Arch under a separate organization and retain the three degrees ONLY
in Free Masonry. Any attempt to ingraft a Christian order upon the body of
Masonry can be nothing else than a blow at its universality and is a distinct
attempt to stamp, or impress, a creed upon an institution priding itself upon
toleration, which has heretofore invited men of every greed and race to join
its ranks and thus consumate a worldwide brotherhood. This universality is the
real excuse for the existence of the Order today.
For myself I am a Scottish Rite Mason and a Knight
Templar, but I hold they are both entirely separate from Freemasonry although
the prerequisite for both is membership in a Masonic Lodge and therefore I
look upon them as subordinate, or we might go further and say co-ordinate
orders but not a part of the body of Masonry. Reductio ad absurdum why not
incorporate the Shrine and the Grotto into the American Rite!
* * *
HOW THE MASTER SHOULD BE
To the Editor: - The opinions expressed in the
“Fraternal Forum" confirm me more and more in the belief that my former
conclusions in this matter were about correct, namely, that neither plan
should be adopted, that the saving grace of common sense should always be
exercised and that a happy medium - combination of the two plans - is the only
one that can best conserve the interests of the Lodge as a whole.
Such has been the course pursued by the Grand
Lodge of Iowa. There have been all told forty-nine different Grand Masters. Of
this number, thirteen of them were elected from the floor, twenty-two had
served as Grand Senior Warden, and fifteen as Grand Junior Warden.
There can be no doubt of the fairness as well as
the great advantage of selecting the Masters from those who have shown
themselves competent as Wardens, so that I believe that where character and
competency are what the exalted position demands, then the Master should be
selected from the Wardens, but there should be no hard and fast rule in this,
so that in case some one should become a Warden, who has not developed the
proper kind of material for Master, the Warden should feel no slight upon him
if the Master were selected from the floor.
As to the committee on nomination, I think that
would be unwise and that the procedure as suggested by Bro. Johnson of
Massachusetts is the correct one to be pursued.
John W. Barry, Grand Master,
* * *
LEST WE FORGET
Dear Bro. Editor: - In your April issue I note
Bro. Keplinger of Illinois makes an excellent point when he urges that all
Masonic Research articles be accompanied with citations from authorities
consulted. As he uses my own derilictions to illustrate his point, which I
unhesitatingly confess, possibly I may be pardoned for calling further
attention to the matter.
It would seem that all of us ought to turn over a
new leaf and from now on enter into the spirit of research with a
determination to do better in the future. No one has insisted more than myself
on just the very thing urged by Bro. Keplinger, and behold I am of the
chiefest of the sinners.
There are a large number of very sincere students
of Masonry, who have spent years in accumulating data of considerable value,
and yet have failed to properly index and preserve their references. While
this does not make their work absolutely valueless, it puts them in the
position of self-assumed "authority" which their natural modesty would not
It reminds me of J. J. Montague's lines on "Leaks"
in the Boston American,
"Somebody told it to somebody
And somebody else to somebody
And somebody told it to me."
There is a word of course "on the other side,"
which I offer, not as a personal excuse or in defense of myself or others, but
as a suggestion of the difficulties we will have to overcome in the future.
For example, in gathering my own data, I once
accumulated a large library which is now the property of my lodge in another
city. I visited other libraries in various parts of the U.S., made copious
notes and today these notes are perhaps stored in a dozen places or completely
lost, having been thrown away as worked into articles.
This slipshod method I believe to be common to the
writing fraternity as barrels and barrels of reference and data seldom give
the housewife any pleasure.
I recall in particular the subject of "Chinese
Masonry." Heaven alone knows where all my references are now. This has
popularly been written of in Masonic research as supposedly connected with the
modern "Triad Society" because less than 100 years ago somebody in India wrote
to somebody in Scotland an article which was copied by somebody in America
that has been handed on down to the present time - as a bunch of speculation.
Among my references and authorities convincing me
that the Triad Society had nothing whatever to do with Chinese Freemasonry,
were included the insignia symbols and signs of both organizations, very
unlike. One was a personal interview with an American visitor to a Chinese
Lodge. Another is a note concerning an English officer whose life was granted
him by a Chinese Mandarin in the early days when China was a closed country to
Europeans. The Englishman and the Chinaman knew each other as Brother Masons,
though their systems were separated by thousands of years.
But anything I should now write on the subject
would lose real research value for lack of authority. It would be interesting
indeed for the origins of Freemasonry to be traced as far back as written
history and legend go with all the proper citations of where confirmation may
be had. It would take a life time of research to accomplish it, but I feel
that some day it will be done. At present our antiquarians are chiefly
concerned in comparing certain curious coincidences and similarities.
For example, the Gild System has left us many old
manuscripts, the Kabbalists and Hermetic philosophers a perfect hodgepodge of
hundreds and even thousands of books containing references to the elements of
what now form the Masonic degrees. The first two centuries the Christian
writers are exceedingly rich in material. Every religion and everything that
is known or discovered about "the ancient mysteries" will have to be checked
up. Then we reach the known limit of recorded history and the beginning of the
alphabet which takes us into the realm of archaeology, inscriptions on
monuments, oral legend, mythology, and so on back.
This requires a study of modern remains of living
fraternal orders among primitive peoples. There have been some attempts along
these lines by Churchward, Wehster, Lang, LePlongeon, and others. But taken
all in all, the work of each is separated sometimes by centuries from
I would propose that we begin with the present day, map out the
past into sections and assign a section to some one or more brothers
interested and see what results would be obtained. In this way we might
establish some authority of our own, unless each
of us already has made up his mind as to what he is going to find and intends
to find whether or no.
J. W. Norwood.
* * *
ADAMS AND MADISON
Dear Sir and Brother: - In the Correspondence
section of the November number of "The Builder," under Roll of Honor, John
Quincy Adams is mentioned in the list of Presidents of the United States who
were Masons. I believe this designation incorrect. John Quincy Adams was one
of the most active Anti-Masons of the Morgan period and made the assertion,
repeatedly, that he had never been a member of the fraternity. Without
referring to the authorities of the time, allow me to quote from Mackey's
Encyclopedia: "Mr. Adams, who has been very properly described as a man of
strong points and weak ones, of vast reading and wonderful memory, of great
credulity and strong prejudices, became notorious in the latter years of his
life for his virulent opposition to Freemasonry. He hated Freemasonry, as he
did many other things, not from any harm that he had received from it or
personally knew respecting it, but because his credulity had been wrought upon
and his prejudices excited against it by dishonest and selfish politicians,
who were anxious, at any sacrifice to him, to avail themselves of his
commanding talents and position in public life to sustain them in the
disreputable work in which they were enlisted. In his weakness, he lent
himself to them. The result was a series of letters abusive of Freemasonry,
directed to the leading politicians and published in public journals from 1831
to 1833. A year before his death they were collected and published under the
title of "Letters on the Masonic Institution." Some explanation of the cause
of the virulence with which Mr. Adams attacked the Masonic Institution in
these letters may be found in the following paragraph contained in Henry
Gassett's "Catalogue of Books on the Masonic Institution."'
"It had been asserted in a newspaper in Boston,
edited by a Masonic dignitary, that John Quincy Adams was a Mason. In answer
to an inquiry, Mr. Adams replied 'that he was not and never should be.' These
few words undoubtedly prevented his election a second time as President of the
United States. His competitor, Andrew Jackson, a Freemason was elected."
Whether the statement contained in the italicized words be true or not, is not
the question. It is sufficient that Mr. Adams was led to believe it and hence
his ill will to an association which had, as he supposed, inflicted this
political evil upon him and baffled his ambitious views."
In a letter dated Quincy, 22 August, 1831, John
Quincy Adams states that his father had never been initiated in the order and
says, in effect, that the report that he was a member, probably gained
currency from a complimentary answer of his father to a friendly and patriotic
address from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The elder Adams, however,
always appeared to hold a favorable opinion of the order and remarked upon the
character of his friends and other excellent men who were members of the
I have before me a printed copy of a reputed
letter of James Madison, dated Montpelier, Jan. 24,1832. It contains this
statement: "I never was a Mason and no one, perhaps, could be more a stranger
to the principles, rites and fruits of the institution."
Nelson L. Finch, New York.
* * *
As the whirlwind in its fury teareth up trees and
deformeth the face of nature, or as an earthquake in its convulsions
overturneth cities, so the rage of an angry man throweth mischief around him,
danger and destruction wait on his hand.
But consider, and forget not thine own weakness;
so shalt thou pardon the failings of others.
Indulge not thyself in the passion of Anger; it is
whetting a sword to wound thine own breast, or murder thy friend.
If thou bearest slight provocations with patience,
it shall be imputed unto thee for wisdom; and if thou wipest them from thy
remembrance, thy heart shall feel rest - thy mind shall not reproach thee.
Seest thou not that the angry man loseth his
understanding? while thou are yet in thy senses, let the madness of another be
a lesson to thyself.
Do nothing in thy passion; wilt thou put to sea in
the violence of a storm?
If it be difficult to rule thine anger, it is wise
to prevent it; avoid therefore all occasions of falling into wrath, or guard
thyself against them whenever they occur.
A fool is provoked with insolent speeches, but a
wise man laugheth them to scorn.
Harbor not revenge in thy breast; it will torment
thy heart, and disorder its best inclinations.
Be always more ready to forgive than to return an
injury: he that watcheth for an opportunity of revenge lies in wait against
himself, and draweth down mischief on his own head.
A mild answer to an angry man, like water cast on
the fire, abateth his heat; and from an enemy he shall become thy friend.
Consider how few things are worthy of anger, and
thou wilt wonder that any but fools should be wrath.
In folly or weakness it always beginneth; but
remember, and be well assured, it seldom concludeth without repentance.
On the heels of Folly treadeth Shame; at the back
of Anger standeth Remorse.
- R.A.M.H., New York.
THE HOME OF ROBERT BURNS
Though Scotland boasts a
Of patriot, king and peer,
The noblest, grandest of them
Was loved and cradled here.
Here lived the gentle
The loving cotter-king,
Compared with whom the
Is but a titled thing.
'Tis but a cot roofed in with
A hovel made of clay;
One door shuts out the snow
One window greets the day.
And yet I stand within this
And hold all thrones in
For here, beneath this lowly
Love's sweetest bard was
Within this hallowed hut I
Like one who clasps a shrine,
When the glad lips at last
The something seemed divine.
And here the world through
all the years,
As long as day returns,
The tribute of its love and
Will pay to Robert Burns.
- Robert G. Ingersoll, Aug.