The Builder Magazine
December 1917 - Volume III -
BY BRO. CHARLES W. MANN, New
MAN'S inhumanity to man has
made countless thousands mourn in the ages that have passed and will continue
so to do until the time shall come when swords shall be beaten into
ploughshares and spears into pruning blades.
As we are about to consider
the crosses, let us trace the origin of some of them. To endeavor to set
before you the circumstances which brought out the large variety of crosses
that have appeared since our Saviour suffered upon one of them would take too
much time. I have, therefore, selected seven primary and six secondary, which
I shall place before you, and I hope that the interest that centers around
them will prove as increasingly absorbing to you as the study of them has been
Crosses have been used in
various forms by all the nations and tribes of the East as a means of
punishment for enemies of criminals--excepting by the Jews. The Jewish method
of putting malefactors to death was by stoning or burning, according to the
Mosaic Law. From numerous writings upon the subject by La Croze, Jabolinski,
Zoega, Viscomte and others, we gather that the symbol of the cross appears to
have been most various in its signification. Justyn Martyr says the sign of
the cross is impressed upon the whole of nature. Man himself forms a cross
when his arms are extended from his shoulders. Leigh mentions forty-six
different kinds; Sylvanus Morgan, twenty-six; and Upton, thirty.
The cross is believed to have
been evolved from that more ancient instrument of execution, the pale, as
discovered by Gretser in Crecia Christy, Vol. I, Chap. 50, as follows: For
impaling (infixio), a long and sharpened piece of wood was employed, on which
the victim was put as on a spit.
Seneca describes this kind of
execution. Some drove a stake through the body and set the stake up in the
ground; others were suspended on crosses with their heads turned towards the
earth. This cruel mode of punishment is still in vogue in some parts of
Russia, China, Turkey and some of the more remote countries of the East.
The cross (La Crux) a gibbet
formed of two pieces of wood placed crosswise, metaphorically, the punishment
of the cross, as well as the pain it inflicts, and in a general sense, any
mental pain; suffering or heavy trial--in its simplest form consisting of two
pieces of wood, one standing erect, the other placed on top, crossing at right
angles. Its use as an instrument of punishment was probably suggested by the
shape so often taken by branches of trees. According to Cicero, it was
certainly customary to hang criminals on trees (Arbor Infelix). Seneca names
the cross, infelix lignum, the accursed tree.
EGYPTIAN CROSS La Crux Ausata
The Egyptian cross, the
oldest cross, will first claim our attention. This is the cross often seen
held in the hand of the gods of Egypt. It is a pale with a cross-beam on top
with a ring over its center. From this ring the culprit was suspended until
death ended his sufferings. This cross without the ring appears often among
Indian and Egyptian relics. It sometimes appears in the form of two pales
crossing each other in the center. These crosses are understood to be
symbolical ideas of Divinity or life eternal. A cross was to be seen in the
temple of Serapis as the Egyptian emblem of the future life. From Rufinius we
get the following: In an obelisk recently discovered in Nineveh there is a
representation of a king within an arched frame, having the Assyrian symbols
over the head and a cross like that of Malta on the breast.
PASSION CROSS, OR THE CROSS
In the cross of Christ I
glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers
round its head sublime.
The cross on which our
Saviour suffered was, according to Sozomen, discovered by the Empress Helena,
mother of Constantine the Great, in the year of our Lord 326. When
seventy-nine years of age she was induced by the warmth of her piety to visit
the place which the Saviour had rendered sacred by his presence and suffering.
The hatred of the heathens had led them to obliterate as much as possible all
traces of the memorable events which the life and death of our Saviour had
hallowed and to cover Mount Calvary with earth and stone and raise thereon a
temple to the Goddess Venus. A Jew, however, had treasured up what traditions
he would gather and was thus enabled to point out to Helena the spot where our
Lord had been buried. On excavation, it is said, three crosses were found, and
the title which that of Jesus bore was also found lying by itself. That the
crosses were wood all declare, but no one states the peculiar kind of wood,
nor is there any mention made to substantiate the tradition that the true
cross consisted of three kinds, cypress, pine, and cedar, or of four kinds,
cedar, cypress, palm, and olive. Lipsius declares that the cross was made of
oak, as this wood was the most abundant in Judea. The relics are said to
resemble oak. All the Scriptural writers seem to agree that only on the cross
of Jesus was placed a title. The wooden title is said to be still preserved in
Rome, not entire, for only diminutive fragments remain of the Hebrew letters,
so that no one can positively identify the characters. The Greek and Latin,
except the letter Zetta, are written after the eastern manner, from right to
left Nicetus holds that it is not all the work of one hand; the Roman letters
are firmly and distinctly cut, the Greek very badly. The history of the
discovery of this title is worthy of notice.
When sent by Constantine to
Rome it was deposited in a leaden chest above the vaulted roof of the ancient
church in Coma, in a little window, and then bricked into the wall, its
position being recorded in a Mosaic inscription without. Time almost destroyed
this inscription, making it illegible, and a window, owing to the carelessless
of workmen repairing the church. was broken open and the holy relic
discovered. This discovery and the genuineness of the title were authenticated
by Pope Alexander III.
THE CROSS OF CONSTANTINE
This is the miraculous cross
said to have appeared in the heavens and to have been observed by the Emperor
about sixteen years before the visit of his mother, the Empress Helena, to
Jerusalem. This cross is shaped very much like the one on which our Saviour
was supposed to have been crucified.
Constantine Caius Flavius
Valerius Aurelius Claudius, surnamed the Great (Roman Emperor A.D. 306 to
337), born A. D. 274 at Naissus, in Upper Moesae; died at Constantinople in
337. It is unnecessary to recite the biography of Constantine at length, but
simply state that he seems to have been the first great potentate to embrace
the Christian religion and to have given to the cross, that up to this time
had been looked upon only as an ignominious instrument of death, the hallowed
reverence and the inspiring influence it afterward attained. History speaks of
Constantine as a youth of fine physical appearance, endowed with great
strength and courage. His first service was under Diocletian, the Emperor, and
by his various efforts he rapidly rose to a place of great distinction. His
successes in Egypt and Persia gained him the title of Tribune. Upon the death
of his father in 306, he was made Emperor of the West, and Emperor of Rome in
310 after a decisive victory over Maxentius, at which time his victorious
legions entered the imperial city. There he was greeted as the Emperor of the
Roman Empire, Maxentius having been accidentally drowned. It was during this
campaign that Constantine, while in camp near Mentz, is said to have seen in
the sky a flaming cross, bearing the inscription in Greek "with this you will
conquer." From that time the symbol of Christianity appeared on the shields of
the soldiers and the banners of the Roman army. The life of Constantine the
Great as given by different historians is full of contradictions. That he was
cruel in some cases there can be no doubt, but justice governed oftener than a
baser sentiment; and that he was one of the greatest princes none can deny.
Tried by a standard of morality he might be found lacking. His character
scarcely warrants the belief that he was ever troubled by compunctions of
conscience or remorse; but as a statesman and politician, Constantine favored
and protected Christianity, though he was not baptized until just before his
death. It is certainly wonderful the change that came by the advent and
acceptance of the Christian religion by Constantine. The Christians had
suffered all manner of persecution and torture at the hands of the pagans of
Rome. Constantine changed all this by convening and attending the general
Council at Nice, in 325 A. D. Constantine openly declared the Christian to be
the official church of the Empire. Sunday was set apart for religious services
instead of games, and every attempt to restrain the liberty of Christians was
THE EXACT CROSS
This cross is composed of
five squares, four squares on the sides of a central square, or two pieces
crossed in the center forming four right angles. As this figure is exact in
every line, it was chosen to represent truth. It first appears as an Egyptian
mark on obelisks and objects of art. The cross of St. George was modeled after
this cross. Writers differ greatly about the identity of St. George, although
the identity of this cross is fully established. Spencer selects St. George as
the Red Cross Knight, the hero and champion of truth, who engages in a
terrible combat with a great dragon which he conquers and destroys, rescuing
Una, the pure and beautiful Goddess of Truth, from his awful folds. On
examination of different authors on this subject our belief is the St. George
who fought so valiantly under Diocletion is the real St. George, who with many
other Christian Knights, after defending himself against seven Saracens and
overcoming them, was finally captured by a greater force and suffered
martyrdom, dying in defense of the cross. There are two other writers who
declare that St. George was none other than the Bishop of Alexandria, and give
him the title of the regular Calendar Saint. If this is true, the canonizing
of this St. George was very strange, as his personal history reads very much
like some things we read about in the public press of today. The story of this
St. George is as follows:
George of Capadocia, or St.
George, the Patron Saint of England, was born about the beginning of the
fourth century at Epiphania in Celicia. His father was a fuller, and the
future Saint himself had a long struggle against the disadvantages of a poor
and humble birth. According to Gregory of Nacianzene, George distinguished
himself in his early career as a parasite of so mean a type that he would sell
himself for a cake. He became an army contractor, but it is said that he
fulfilled his contracts on bacon so badly that he narrowly escaped death at
the hands of the indignant soldiers. After this episode he fled to Alexandria,
where he became a devout churchman, engaged in public business and finally
became bishop of the city. It is said further that George owed his episcopate
to the pliancy of his conscience and the readiness with which he lent himself
to further the political views of the court. When George took possession of
the See he found a fierce persecution going on against the Trinitarians.
Instead of mitigating this evil he favored the persecution to such an extent
that he raised a rebellion against himself, and fled for his life; but being
soon after reinstated by the court he returned to Alexandria and signalized
himself by redoubling his cruelty, as might have been expected. His conduct
raised up enemies against him, even among his own followers. His downfall
could not be long delayed. A tyrannical act which he perpetrated toward the
pagans in his diocese irritated the people so keenly that they rose up en
masse, dragged him out of the fortress to which he had retired for safety,
paraded him through the streets on the back of a mule, and, after tearing him
to pieces, burnt his remains. Papebroche and Heylyn deny altogether that this
Bishop of Alexandria is the patron saint of England and give versions of St.
George's history which explain the reason why he is held in such high honor.
Among the Greeks St. George was held in the highest veneration as a soldier
and defendant of the Greek Church, the Christian religion, and the cross; and
his cross was adopted by them as a sign of victory. In England his renown
through song and story had increased to such an extent that by the time of
Edward the Third he had become the Patron Saint of the Kingdom of England. The
cross of St. George is a red cross in a field argent. This cross is also known
as the Red Cross. It was worn by the nine companions in arms who had charge of
the Holy Sepulchre, by permission of King Baldwin. It was placed upon the
sleeves of their coats and to distinguish them for their zeal in the defense
of the Christian religion, and to remind them that they must shed the last
drop of their blood in the noble and glorious purpose for which they were
enlisted. The principles to which they subscribed were piety, charity, truth,
fidelity to Heaven and the fair.
THE CROSS OF ST. ANDREW
The next form of the cross to
which I would call your attention is the form of the cross on which St.
Andrew, the first disciple of Jesus Christ and brother of Simon Peter, was
This form of cross seems to
have been built especially to try the faith and fortitude of the martyr, who
with arms and legs extended and tied to this form of cross, with no support to
the body, was left to linger for days before death relieved his sufferings.
This was to give him time to confess or recant. It may be said here, that St.
Andrew, pinioned to this cross, living for four days and recanting not, set
forth the power of his faith.
The story of St. Andrew is
short but pathetic. He was born at Bethsada in Galilee, and was the brother
(as has been said before) of Simon Peter, and was the first of the disciples
to become acquainted with Jesus, and introduced his brother Simon Peter to
Him. On the day they met they continued in His company and went with Him to a
wedding in Cana, and then returned to their ordinary occupations.
Some months after, Jesus
coming upon them while they were fishing, called them to Him and promised to
make them fishers of men. They immediately left their nets to follow and be
with Him; and never afterwards separated from Him.
Tradition assigns Scythia,
Greece, and Thrace as the scenes of St. Andrew's ministry. His crucifixion
took place at Patrae in Achaia.
This cross (crux decussata)
was adopted by that celebrated body of Knights known as the Knights of St.
Andrew and the Scotch Order of the Thistle. On the banners of the Ancient
Scotch kings may be seen this cross. It was ever borne by them as well as by
the Knights of St. Andrew in many a sanguinary battle as a reminder of their
faith that all followers of this standard must die for it, must never see it
lowered; and it is a singular fact that it never has been lowered; for,
combined with the Cross of St. George, on an area of red, it becomes the
Standard of the Empire of England, and the sun never sets upon it. It is the
greatest standard except one other floating under the canopy of Heaven today.
THE CROSS OF THE MILITARY
KNIGHTS OF PRUSSIA
This cross is called the
Teutonic Cross. As each of these crosses represent some important epoch in the
history of church and state, none, perhaps, is of more importance than this
which was adopted to be worn upon the standard of the Teutonic Knights. This
celebrated order arose out of the misery which reigned among the besiegers at
the celebrated siege of St. Jean D'Acre at the close of the twelfth century.
The privations and sufferings of the Christian soldiers excited the compassion
of certain German merchants who had been informed of their condition, and who
went to the place of siege and erected hospitals made of tents and rendered
other services of such value to the unhappy warriors that the German princes
enrolled these princely merchants in this order of knighthood. Their title was
Teutonic Knights of St. Mary of Jerusalem, and it had the special patronage of
Pope Celestine III. None could be admitted besides these merchants, who had
become ennobled, but those of noble birth. Their equestrian garment was a
white mantle with a black cross; and this with bread and water constituted all
the reward sought for by men who vowed to remain pure in body and mind, poor
in purse, and to give succor to Christians where it was most needed. This vow,
however, was strangely construed in later years.
At the beginning of the
thirteenth century this Order was powerful and rich, and carried forward a
bloody war in defense of the infant church of Prussia. So great was the hatred
of the pagan proprietors, who then inhabited Lithuania, that when they
captured a Teutonic Knight they immolated him in a most barbaric manner. One
of these valiant knights, after making a most desperate stand against the
force of these cruel foes, fell bleeding from a score of wounds and was
captured. He was placed upon his horse, securely bound, and the knight and the
horse burned alive. Thus perished Margarand Van Reschaun and many other
followers of the Black Cross of the Teutonic Knights.
THE CROSS OF THE KNIGHTS OF
ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM The Eight-Pointed Cross
This cross was dedicated to
St. John the Almoner, a Greek patriarch of Alexandria. The order bearing the
above title was organized in the year of our Lord 1058, and existed for nearly
seven hundred years, until extinguished by Napoleon in 1798, when he seized
the Island of Malta while on his way to Egypt. They were called Hospitallers
on account of their vow, in which they promised to devote their lives to
charity, obedience, and poverty.
Their dress was a plain black
robe, having an eight-pointed white cross on the left breast.
Of all the orders that have
flourished in the past, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem must hold the
highest place upon the walls of fame. This order had its beginning in a small
chapel and two hospitals, near the Holy Sepulchre.
A number of sojourning
pilgrims entered these hospitals and devoted themselves to this service. At
the time of the first Crusade, Peter Gerard was rector of the hospital. After
the conquest of Palestine the Hospitallers experienced high favor with the
Crusaders, many of whom, following that illustrious example of the illustrious
Knight Godfrey de Bullion, bestowed landed property in Europe upon them. In
1113 Pope Pascal II sanctioned this order by a bull, conferring special
privileges upon it. Gerard, now First Superior, established branch hospitals
in different parts of Europe. Upon the death of Gerard, in 1118, Raymond de
Puy became his successor. He was a man of strong martial instincts and tastes,
and he proposed to his brethren that while they should still maintain their
vows previously taken they should add to them that of bearing arms in defense
of religion. A proposition so strictly in accordance with the spirit of the
age was promptly acceded to, and the order became a military fraternity and
was organized as such by De Puy, who became its first Grand Master and
impressed his character upon it.
Passing rapidly to fame as a
military fraternal body, and to opulence from the gifts of pious persons, the
followers of the White Cross struck terror to the hearts of its enemies in the
East. Their deeds of conspicuous valor are recorded in history from their
earliest formation until the close of the eighteenth century. Their campaign
against the Saracens was one of signal brilliancy and one of their most
notable achievements on land.
About this time we find a new
cross making its appearance: The Union Cross of the Knights of St. John and
St. Mary of Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Malta, known as the Maltese Cross.
The history of this cross is
so closely interwoven with the other that its origin must be traced as a
contingent of the other which has just been described.
It is a compound cross, made
by joining four triangles at their apexes. When the fortress of Acre fell into
the hands of the Saracens, in 1291, the Hospitallers were established at
Limmoesa in Cypress, where they were recruited by drafts on all the
commanderies in Europe. In this Insular residence they became sailors and
navigators, and this was probably the time that they assumed their naval
character, as their vessels were continually in service conveying pilgrims to
the Holy Land. This led to sea fights in which the brethren became as
distinguished for skill and valor as they had been on land. In 1309, the
combined forces of Knights of St. John, St. Mary, and the Templars seized the
Island of Rhodes, which had been the home and headquarters of Mohammedan
corsairs and pirates, and soon converted that island into so strong a
Christian fortress that it gave its name to the fraternity. They held that
island for more than two hundred years, though assailed many times by the
Mohammedans. They took Smyrna and retained possession of that place until it
was taken by Tamerlane. The first siege of Rhodes took place in 1480 and was
successfully defended by the knights under the command of Sir Peter de
Aubusson, their Grand Master. A second siege took place in 1522, and the
knights under the then commanding Grand Master, Philip Villiers de Lislle
Adam, after holding the Turks at bay for six months, made an honorable
capitulation to the Sultan Solyman, the Magnificent.
The remnants of the order
proceeded first to Candia, then to Messina, and then to the mainland of Italy.
Charles the Fifth ceded to
them the islands of Malta and Gozzo and the City of Tripoli, March
twentyfourth, 1530. Malta was then a barren rock, but the knights made it one
of the strongest fortresses in the world; and they carried on the war with the
Turks, then the dread of Christendom, with so much energy that their new abode
furnished them with a new name, and a new triangle was added to the triple
triangle, forming the Cross of St. John, St. Mary, Rhodes, and Malta.
For two and one-half
centuries the Knights of Malta wielded a powerful influence in European
affairs. Piracy, that dread scourge of the eastern seas, was destroyed by
their valor; but in the later years of their existence, forgetting their
former vows, it seems that a fitting climax ended their career when that
wonderful soldier and man of destiny, Napoleon, the Emperor of the French,
closed it in 1798.
The last cross which we shall
consider will be the signal cross of the Crusaders, or the rallying cross.
Borne by the Crusaders it appeared upon the banners of the military
expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe for the deliverance of the
Holy Land from the domination of Saracens and Turks.
About seventy years after the
death of Christ, Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Titus; but sixty years
afterward the city was rebuilt by Hadrian, and the Christians were permitted
to return. Their occupancy only existed by precarious tolerance until
Constantine embraced the Christian religion and proclaimed it to be the
religion of the Empire.
For about two hundred years,
until Jerusalem was taken by the Saracens in 637, the Christians held sway in
the Holy City; but all toleration ceased when the Turks took the city in 1063.
That wild fanatical horde, though superior in force and military power, were
immeasurably inferior to the people whom they had expelled; and as they made
no scruple to plunder, insult, and kill the Christians, pilgrims to Jerusalem
began to bring back serious reports concerning their suffering in the Holy
This state of things
continued until Peter the Hermit took up the mission and began to preach the
redemption of the City of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre from the hands of
the infidels. The fame of this mighty and pious design now became universally
diffused. The greatest prelates, nobles, and princes attended upon the
preachings of Peter and became so infused and inspired at one of his
discourses that they arose and exclaimed as with one voice: "God willeth it!
God willeth it!"
The first Crusade occurred in
the year of our Lord 1096. We quote from the Princess Commena, who expressed
"The whole of Europe seems
shaken from its foundation and ready to precipitate itself in one united body
All orders of men now deemed
the Crusade the only road to Heaven and became impatient to open the way with
their swords to the Holy City. Nobles sold their castles and belongings at any
price. The infirm and aged contributed to the expedition by giving money and
valuables, and many of them not satisfied with this attended in person, being
determined to reach and behold with their dying eyes, if possible, the city
where Jesus Christ had died for the human race.
The hosts of the Crusaders
increased so fast that their leaders became apprehensive lest the very size of
the great host should prove the cause of the failure of the enterprise. For
this reason they permitted an undisciplined multitude, computed at more than
three hundred thousand, to go on before them under the command of Peter the
Hermit and Walter Gaultier. These took the road through Hungary and Bulgaria
towards Constantinople, and so sublime was their faith that they trusted that
Heaven would supply their necessities and made no provision for their march.
The more disciplined moved under their leaders, and having passed the straits
of Constantinople they landed and mustered on the plains of Asia over seven
hundred thousand men. Every one of these Crusaders bore the emblem of the
Cross. Their great desire was to once more place in the ascendency in the Holy
Land that precious symbol of their faith. Even women concealed their sex by
encasing themselves in the steel armor of a knight and accompanied this vast
host as a part of it, in many cases their sex only becoming known after they
had been slain. That they were moved by the same impulse to do and dare for
the cross was amply proven by their zeal and valor in many a fierce and
personal encounter with the infidels. Barret in verse says:
Not she with traitorous kiss
the Saviour stung--
Not she denied Him with
She while apostles shrank
could danger brave--
Last at His Cross and
earliest at His Grave.
The second Crusade was
preached by St. Bernard of the monastic Order of Bernardines, of which he was
the founder, and conducted in 1146. It was headed by the Emperor Conrad III
and Louis VII of France, with more than three hundred thousand men.
They were defeated by the
Turks near Iconium, and with difficulty escaped to Antioch. Louis' army
suffered reverses to such an extent that it was not strong enough to keep the
peace in Asia for the Christian principalities, and their destruction soon
It was at this period that
the great Soldam of Egypt appeared, and, having crushed both Christian and
Turk, entered the Holy City of Jerusalem as a conqueror. He held the city for
about forty years.
The third Crusade was
undertaken in 1188 by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Frederick, Duke of
Seabia, his second son. Frederick defeated the Soldam of Egypt at Iconium, but
his son Frederick having joined forces with Guy of Lussignan, King of
Jerusalem, in vain endeavored to reduce St. Jean D'Acre.
At this time Richard Coeur
D'Lion took command of the united forces of England and France, laid siege to
this important fortress and captured it, defeating the mighty Saladin. His
success was productive of nothing but glory, for in the end he was obliged to
return to Europe without even a remnant of his army.
The fourth, fifth, sixth,
seventh, and eighth Crusades were undertaken between the years 1195 and 1270
under leaderships of Henry the Sixth, Louis the Ninth, and other nobles,
princes, and knights, and were alike unsuccessful.
But let us now suppose that
the Crusades had succeeded to the fullest extent, what in that case would have
been the effect? Egypt, Syria, Greece, and even Turkey would have been under
the influence of the Cross and the Christian religion with all its attendant
elevating influences, and the dread of a mighty struggle that must come at no
distant date between the adherents of the Crescent and the followers of the
Cross would not cast its dark shadow over the eastern hemisphere.
This glorious emblem, which
we here have considered in its various detailed forms, stands for the mighty
uplifting of the human races. Its significance is deep as the sea, broad as
the earth, and high as the heavens. And as we look upon it let us not forget
that it is the symbol of our religion, which is the religion of Jesus Christ
BY BRO. E. M. SHOWALTER, P.
G. M., VIRGINIA
AT this hour, on this day, in
each year, in every asylum of Knights Templar under the jurisdiction of the
Grand Encampment of the United States, do members of this order assemble to
plight anew their vows of Christian knighthood; and to reverently drink to the
toast "For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior which is
Christ the Lord." And to its response also, which has been heralded in anthems
of praise and in the consecrated devotions of men through nineteen centuries
of unceasing struggle to bring themselves within the full rays of the light of
its interpretation, "Peace on Earth, good will to men."
As you lift your goblets from
the triangle about which you assemble on this occasion, yours is the
inheritance of the chivalry of the ages. In partaking of these several
libations, you do so, not as primitive creatures ignorant of the elements
which compose them and of the principles of which they are the symbols, but as
rational men who by intellectual development and culture have been brought to
a reasonable comprehension of these rites and observances and their
significance. And as you go from this place refreshed, having plighted your
unsullied honor in a reenlistment under the banner of King Immanuel, you do so
with the assurance that the sovereignty of your King is universal and eternal,
and that under the banner of His cross you can not fail to conquer.
Thus on each succeeding
Christmas do we celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace, and acknowledge
the sovereignty of Jesus of Nazareth. Not because of the antiquity of the
religious system which He gave the world, for Confucianism, Buddhism, and
Brahmanism antedated it by several centuries. Not because of imposing and
enduring monuments and temples and statues erected to Him, for in that respect
we were excelled in the very morning of civilization in the valley of the
Nile, where for thousands of years have stood temples set in avenues of
sphinxes and obelisks with statues of Athor and Osiris in granite, that have
outlived the gods which they represent. Nor yet because of the miracle of His
birth, the humble surroundings of His childhood or His crucifixion; for the
birth of Gotama is attributed to divine interposition; and we are told that
many of the Greek heroes were descended directly from the gods; and it is
claimed that prototypes of divinity in other religious systems have even
suffered death like unto the crucifixion on Calvary.
But you do have this
assurance of victory and you do celebrate this day of His birth; because, the
system of religious philosophy which is embodied in His teachings and in the
sermon on the Mount, and exemplified in His pure and blameless life, being an
appeal to Man's intelligence, to do right, not because of future reward or
punishment, but because it is right; to be just because it is just, and to
love truth for truth's sake; constitutes the purest philosophy and the highest
standard of living ever conceived by gods or men; whose foundation and
capstone, whose ritual and creed, whose confession of faith are all included
in one word of one syllable--LOVE.
I ask not for forgiveness,
Lord, nor help,
Nor strength nor mercy at Thy
Give me just faith, Oh Lord,
sincere and true,
Faith in my fellowman.
I see, Oh Lord, the wonder of
But ask not understanding of
Grant me a faith to guide me
in the world,
Faith in my fellowman..
FREEMASONRY AND THE MEDIEVAL
BY BRO. OSSIAN LANG, GRAND
HISTORIAN, GRAND LODGE OF NEW YORK
Ossian Lang was born October
29, 1865, of Scotch-English parentage, at Bradford, Yorkshire, England;
educated in England, France and Germany; editor of several prominent
educational magazines, "The Social Center," New York City, 1912-1913, "The
School Journal," Teacher's Magazine, and "Educational Foundations," New York
City, for twenty years, 1892-1912, "Young America," 1900-1901, and
contributing editor to "The Forum," 1902-1907; author of a number of
educational biographies, pedagogical studies, and story books for children;
served as President, Board of Fire Commissioners of the city of Mount Vernon,
N.Y., in 1910, Alderman, 1910-1912, President, Board of Aldermen, 1912-1914,
President, Recreation Commission, 1915, President Board of Education, 1916;
Master oś John Stewart Lodge No. 871, F. and A. M., 1910 and 1911, District
Deputy Grand Master, 12th Masonic District of New York, 1911-1912; Grand
Historian, Grand Lodge of New York since 1913; High Priest Mount Vernon
Chapter No. 228, R. A. M., 1906-1907; Grand Royal Arch Captain, Grand Chapter
of New York, 1911; Master of Phoenix Council No. 70, R. and S M., 1906-1907;
Correspondent Grand Council of New York since 1913; Commander, Bethlehem
Commandery No. 53, Knights Templar, 1907-1908; also active in Scottish Rite
Bodies. LODGES OF "ACCEPTED" MASONS
Lodges of accepted Masons
were to be found outside of London, as well as in the bosom of the London
Company, during the seventeenth century. Admission was accompanied by a short
ceremony consisting of an oath of fealty and the communication of "certain
signs" of recognition. It appears, further, that the "Constitutions" were read
to the initiates. These Constitutions contained what purported to be the
"History and Rules of the Craft of Masonry." The "History" was essentially the
information contained in the later Grand Lodge Constitutions of 1722-3, at
least so far as the portion relating to Britain is concerned. Many of the men
admitted to membership in the secret brotherhood were particularly interested
in the pursuit of the sciences and the study of history and archeology, the
names of some of these men appearing later on the register of the Royal
Society. A sort of connection between the Lodges of these "accepted" Masons
and the gild of operative Masons is demonstrable in London. A "dual condition"
existed in the London Company of Masons, the members of the Lodge or Lodges of
"accepted" Masons there forming a distinct body. The Lodges of "accepted"
Masons appear to have no continuous existence, their history representing
rather a series of sporadic revivals of "an old order." The final "revival"
resulted in the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, from which
year onward we have a continuous, clear and historic development of
As the Grand Lodge was formed
by representatives of Lodges which appear to have been sheltered, before 1700,
by the London Company of Masons, we shall have to inquire somewhat further
into the history of that Company.
OF GILDS IN GENERAL
First, a word about gilds in
When and how craft gilds--or
any sort of gilds, for that matter-- came into existence, is one of the many
unsolved questions of history antedating the invention of the printing press.
At one time it was quite generally believed that they represented an
Anglo-Saxon continuation, analogy, or adaptation of the Roman colleges or
solidarities of artificers. Since the publication of Hallam's "Middle Ages,"
this guess has been abandoned, and the gild is now looked upon as of
In Saxon times, they were
associations of neighbors or townspeople, devoted more or less to religious
and charitable purposes and formed a sort of artificial family, whose members
were bound together by the bond, not of kinship, but of an oath. + They
assembled for common worship and feasting and served often also as benefit
societies and burial clubs. They acted in many cases as private tribunals.
Women were equally with men eligible to membership. An oath of obedience to
the gild ordinances was administered to each
*The first gilds were
distinctly Christian and essentially democratic institutions. To judge from
the Carolingian capitularies of 779 and 789, in which the earliest mention is
made of gilds, they appear to have been regarded as dangerous to the State.
After the Conquest, they formed the basis of the corporations which the Norman
Kings recognized as established. + Gibbins, "Industry of England."
member as he or she joined.
Gild day was the day of the saint to whom the gild was dedicated, and formed
the occasion for the annual feast.
Gross, in an article on
gilds, in the "Encyclopedia Britannica," gives this summary description, based
upon a study of the oldest ordinances: "Prayers for the dead, attendance at
funerals of gildsmen, periodical banquets, the solemn entrance oath, fines for
neglect of duty and for improper conduct, contributions to a common purse,
united assistance in distress, periodical meetings in the gild hall--in short,
all the characteristic features of the later gilds already appear in these
The Norman Conquest marked a
new era for the fraternities, as it did for all England. The "Constitutions"
of 1723, which indicate to those who have "the Key of Fellowcraft" very
clearly the evolution of Freemasonry, record that "as soon as the Wars ended
and Peace was proclaim'd, the Gothic Masonry was encourag'd, even in the Reign
of the Conqueror."
Under Norman rule, the gilds
were recognized officially as established institutions and were invested with
important privileges. Only those who were members of some gild or "mistery"
were allowed to take part in municipal government. Gilds were in many cases
the chief or sole medium for acquiring citizenship in a town. ++ As a result
there was a rapid multiplication of gilds. Life in a medieval town made
membership in a local gild or fraternity quite desirable. The merchant gilds
and craft gilds gradually rose in importance. Men naturally chose membership
in the particular organization in which they made their living or which
corresponded most satisfactorily to their personal interests.
The craft gilds were composed
chiefly, though never exclusively, of handicraftsmen or artisans. Aside from
fostering more or less mutual protection and advancement, they undertook the
regulation of wages and apprenticeship, and the schooling of their members in
the technique of their craft or "mistery." Some of them became veritable
seminaries of technical education.
In the course of time,
conflicts arose between the master artisans and workmen. The former ruled the
gild. The journeymen or yeomen struggling for independence began to set up
separate fraternities in defense of their rights, but these soon disappeared
again, or fell under the supervision and control of the masters' gilds.
At London, in 1375, the right
to election to civic dignities, together with that of electing members of
Parliament, was transferred from the Wards to the City Companies. "Thence
forward, and for many years, the Companies engrossed political and municipal
power in London." *
++ Ashley, "Economic History
* Gross, in Ency. Brit., 11th
edition: In or about 1475, corporate franchise, which had belonged to the
Companies, was restricted to the liverymen of these Companies, representing
"selection of a superior class of householders to represent the rest." The
order issued by Edward IV, in that year, was that the Masters and Wardens
should "associate with themselves the honest men of their misteries and come
in their best liveries to the elections." The exclusive power of electing the
lord mayor, sheriffs, chamberlain and other corporate officers, is held to
this day by the liverymen of the Companies, "being freemen of the city.
A further increase of the
importance of the Companies resulted when these obtained charters from the
Crown. The charter from the King or Queen gave to the Company a virtual
monopoly of the trade it represented. "No one was allowed to carry on any
particular trade unless he was a member of the Company. . . The quality of his
goods must satisfy the requirements of the Court of the Company.... The Courts
(of the Companies) also appointed some of their fraternity to examine the work
of their members and to see that no one carried on his trade upon Sundays or
Saints' Days." +
In Ditchfield's "London
Survivals," we read that "the highest personages in Church and State were
eager to be enrolled as members," the reason being that the Companies enjoyed
valuable municipal privileges and played a prominent part in the social life
of the city.
Many of the Companies had
their own stately halls and have them to this day. "These halls are the homes
of ancient usage and customs which have lingered on through the ages and seem
to defy changes wrought by utilitarianism and the modern spirit of the age." +
THE LONDON FELLOWSHIP OF
How did the gild of Masons
fare? We find that, in 1356, rules for the guidance of the Masons of London
were passed before the Mayor, Aldermen and Sheriffs of the city. The Masons'
Fellowship, it appears from this record, was a Company "by prescription" and
had its ordinances and by-laws passed and sanctioned, from time to time, by
the Court of Aldermen.
That the Masons' Company,
first known as Fellowship of Masons, existed at that time, is proved by the
records at Guildhall, which show that it was represented on the Court of
Common Council, in 1375.
In 1530, the name of the
Fellowship was changed to the Company of Freemasons. This, so Conder reminds
us, was about the time "when Masons' fraternities connected with religious
houses fell into a state of collapse." The title, "Freemasons," continued down
to 1653, when the designation "free" was dropped from the title of the
Perhaps we ought to add a few
additional items of information concerning the Company to round out our
references to that organization. I have gathered these chiefly from
Parliamentary Reports, particularly those of 1884:
The tendency of
centralization of political government, which gradually weaned the gilds away
from the authority of the town government and brought them under the rule of
the crown, is shown also in the history of the Masons' Company. In 1472, a
coat-of-arms was granted to the "Craft and Fellowship of Masons."* The
earliest royal charter now in possession of the Company
+ Ditchfield, "London
*A copy of this oldest
document now in existence is printed in Conder's book.
was obtained from Charles
II, in 1677, on "petition by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company
of Masons in London." A new charter was granted by James II, after "the
Master, Wardens, Assistants and commonality of the Company had surrendered all
their powers." The former charter by Charles II, after being "inspected and
approved by Queen Anne," was reissued, following a recital that "by an Act of
the fifth year of Queen Elizabeth, the art or occupation of a Mason is
reckoned as a distinct art or occupation, and that all persons exercising the
said art were enabled and might be compelled to take apprentices to be
instructed in the occupation."
Members consist of freemen
and liverymen. An applicant must be "a male of full age and a subject of the
crown." He may qualify either by patrimony (if at the time of the applicant's
birth his father was free of the Company), by servitude (serving an
apprenticeship of seven years to a member of the Company), or by redemption
(by purchase). Membership may also be conferred as an honor. The governing
body, composed of the Masters, Wardens, and Court of Assistants, has been for
centuries the "admitting" authority; in other words, it controls the "calling"
to the livery The liverymen represent a small, select body, who pay an
admission fee of 15 pounds ($75.00).
Women are not admitted to
membership, although eligible in most gilds; the Tylers and Bricklayers'
Company, for instance, in which women can become members and are admitted to
The annual election of
officers takes place on St. Basil Day, June 14. The membership consists
principally of architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, masons, and stone
masons, but the Company has always had also a considerable number of members
not connected with any department of the building trade.
It is characteristic of
Anglo-Saxon gilds that persons not identified with any trade, might and did
obtain membership in them.* Almost every craft gild had "gentlemen" among its
members. "Gentlemen Masons" is a designation met with quite frequently.
BROTHERHOOD OF ACCEPTED
How can we now account for
the existence down to the close of the seventeenth century, within the bosom
of the Masons' Company, of a Lodge or Lodges of "accepted" Masons, all members
of the Company and given to literary, scientific, archeological and other
pursuits apparently in nowise related to operative Masonry ?
Other trade corporations had
"gentlemen members," too, but nothing like this. The oft-repeated statement
that the non-operative element formed a separate club, just because it was not
interested in mere trade regulations and shop talk, explains nothing. The
twelve principal livery companies of London would by reason of their
prominence and power have seemed to be far more attractive to the gentlemen
* Continental craft gilds
were more distinctly and exclusively associations of members of trades.
who joined the Masons'
Company, which is number 30 among the minor companies. Why did they not join
the Merchant Tailors' Company, for instance, which did much for the
advancement of education? Why did they join the Masons ?
A sort of answer may be
derived from Conder's "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons,"
where we read that the Masons' Company, of London, preserved "the ancient
traditions of the Guild when the monastic guilds fell into chaos." The archaic
character of these traditions undoubtedly had much interest for antiquarians
and the searcher after curious things. However, that is a mere surface view of
The search for the beginning
of the "curious secret brotherhood" yields equally unsatisfactory results, as
far as explanation of its connection with Craft Masonry is concerned. There
are indications, rather vague, that it existed during the reign of Henry IV
(1399-1413), and that it experienced a revival, some years after the monastic
gilds had collapsed--my own guess is that it was in 1570 or thereabout. After
a brief period of intermittent activity, it appears in Masons' Hall, in 1620,
as Conder noted. Another "revival" occurred soon after 1653. The "symbolic"
portion left the Company for good, soon after Ashmole's visit in 1682. Next we
have the final "revival" in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Accepted
Searching the "Constitutions"
of 1723 for significant clues, we shall find, for a starter, the following
"Now though in the third Year
of the said King Henry IV while an Infant of about four Years old, the
Parliament made an Act that affected only the working Masons, who had contrary
to the Statutes for Labourers, confederated not to work but at their own Price
and Wages; and because such agreements were supps'd to be made at the General
Lodges, call'd in the Act CHAPTERS and CONGREGATIONS of MASONS, it was then
thought expedient to level the said Act against the said Congregations.... Nor
is there any Instance of executing the Act in that, or in any other Reign
since, and the Masons never neglected their Lodges for it, nor ever thought it
worth while to employ their noble and eminent Brethren to have it repeal'd;
because the working Masons, that are free of the Lodge, scorn to be guilty of
such Combinations; and the other Free Masons have no Concern in Trespasses
against the Statutes for Labourers."
The closing part of the
latter sentence tells, as plainly as anything can be told, that brethren of
the Lodges, which constitute the "curious secret brotherhood," within the
bosom of the craft corporation, had "no concern with trespasses against the
statutes for laborers." This disposes of the oft-repeated fallacy which would
have us derive Freemasonry from operative masonry. The book of Constitutions
is quite insistent on this point, as for instance in a footnote, where we
"Many in all Ages have been
more curious and careful about the Laws, Forms and Usages of their respective
Societies, than about the Arts and Sciences thereof. But neither what was
convey'd, nor the Manner how, can be communicated by writing; as no Man indeed
can understand it without the Key of a Fellow Craft."
In other words: Whatever
suggestions of craft origins you man find in the "Laws, Forms and Usages,"
they explain nothing of the true derivation which must be looked for rather in
"the Arts and Sciences," that is in the secret teachings of the fraternity.
"Without the Key" of a fellow or initiated associate member of the operative
body, "no Man indeed" can understand this.*
The Act of 1425 seems to have
troubled the members of the Grand Lodge of 1717-1723 more than they were
willing to admit. They printed it in full in the historical preface, added a
lengthy footnote to their comments on it, and tucked away a space-filling
"Postscript" between the "Charges" and the "General Regulations," an "Opinion
of the Great Judge Coke upon the Act against the Masons." The footnote is
particularly interesting. It reads as follows:
"That Act was made in
ignorant Times, when true Learning was a Crime, and Geometry condem'd for
Conjuration; but it cannot derogate in the least Degree from the Honour of the
ancient Fraternity, who to be sure would never encourage any such Confederacy
of their working Brethren. But by Tradition it is believ'd, that the
Parliament-Men were then too much influenc'd by the illiterate Clergy, who
were not accepted Masons, nor understood Architecture (as the Clergy of some
former Ages) and generally thought unworthy of this Brotherhood; yet thinking
they had indefeasible Right to know all Secrets, by virtue of auricular
Confession, and the Masons never confessing anything thereof, the said Clergy
were highly offended, and at first suspecting them of Wickedness, represented
them as dangerous to the State during that Minority, and soon influenc'd the
Parliament-Men to lay hold of such supposed Agreements of the working Masons,
for making an Act that might seem to reflect Dishonour upon even the whole
worshipful Fraternity, in whose Favour several Acts had been both before and
after that Period made."
The insistence that the
Accepted Masons had no concern with trade regulations is significant, as we
have already pointed out. So is the further intimation that "Geometry" and an
understanding of "Architecture" were a distinctive possession of the Accepted
Masons. Here we have, in my opinion, the principal explanation of the puzzling
connection which we have noted between the Masons' Company and the secret
Fraternity existing within its bosom.
*Grandidier is an example of
how a non-Mason may err. It was he who first declared that Freemasonry was
derived from operative masonry, in his essays on the Strassburg Cathedral,
published in 1777. His unfounded conclusion was adopted by scores of other
writers, and for many years shrouded the real history of our fraternity in an
impenetrable fog, which has not altogether lifted to this day.
ARCHITECTURE AS THE
I shall be very brief in my
remarks on this point, as a fuller discussion would carry us too far away from
the specific purpose of the present discussion.
The medieval churches were
sermons written in stone, wood and glass. They were veritable books, as Emile
Male has most convincingly proved in his remarkable work on "Religious Art in
France of the Thirteenth Century." Victor Hugo, though he doubtless erred in
some conclusions, has made the fact vivid and clear in that remarkable chapter
in his "Notre Dame de Paris," which is headed "Ceci tuera cela." ("This will
Those who have read Victor
Hugo's book will recall the scene where the archdeacon "threw open his cell
window and pointed to the vast church of Notre-Dame, the dark outline of its
towers, its stone walls, and its hip-roof silhouetted against the starry sky,
and looking like a gigantic sphinx seated in the middle of the town." You will
recall how "the archdeacon stood a while without speaking, contemplating the
stupendous edifice," and how "then with a sigh he pointed with his right hand
to the book lying on the table, and with his left to Notre-Dame, and, looking
sorrowfully from one to the other, said: "Alas! this will kill that--cecituera
cela." The printed book will kill the art of writing in stone-- "printing will
Then Victor Hugo goes on to
explain. Let me pick out for you a few sentences here and there, which may be
helpful to our discussion:
"The human race has had two
books, two registers, two testaments-- architecture and printing, the Bible of
stone and the Bible of paper. Up to the time of Gutenberg, architecture was
the chief and universal mode of writing. In those days if a man was born a
poet he turned architect. Genius scattered among the masses, kept down on all
sides by feudality, escaped by way of architecture, and its Iliads took the
form of cathedrals. From the moment that printing was discovered, architecture
gradually lost its virility, declined and became denuded. Being no longer
looked upon as the one all-embracing, sovereign and enslaving art,
architecture lost its power of retaining others in its service. Carving became
sculpture; imagery, painting; the canon, music. It was like the dismemberment
of an empire on the death of its Alexander--each province making itself a
characterization of architecture is true to fact, particularly so far as the
medieval age is concerned. Architecture during that period was virtually "the
one all-embracing, sovereign, and enslaving art," commanding the services of
all other arts.
LABORING TOGETHER IN UNITY
Back of this
architecture--inspiring, shaping, regulating it--was the all-powerful Church.
Arts and sciences, political and civil life, practically everything, was
subject to the supreme rule of theology as defined by the doctors of the Roman
Papacy. Individualism was submerged in and by the unity of the whole. Western
Europe constituted one ecclesiastic solidarity, a brotherhood of men guided by
the dogmas of the Mother Church. Community life, as a natural sequence, had
its center in the church or cathedral. As all acts of civil life were
profoundly penetrated by the religious spirit of the age, this social center
opened its portals freely to every sort of cooperative undertaking. It served
as a place of reunion for the townspeople; fairs were held there; discussions
of grievances and plans for improvement were heard; gossip and news, accounts
of other lands by returned travelers, and other matters of interest were
unfolded; festivals, sacred and profane, were celebrated; the prices of labor
and merchandise were regulated. Life turned around the church. No wonder,
then, that the building of a cathedral was an event affecting everyone in town
and claiming everybody's keenest interest.
A letter written by a French
abbot to the Religious at Tutburg, England, in 1145, gives an idea of what
profound concern the building of a church was to the whole community:
"Who has ever seen anything
like this ? Princes, powerful and rich men, nobles by birth, proud and
beautiful women, bowed their necks under the yoke of chariots loaded with
stones, wood, corn, wine, oil and other material needed for the building and
the sustenance of the workmen. One could see as many as a thousand men and
women in harness drawing the car, so heavy was the load it carried. Advance
was slow and laborious. There was no boisterousness, no shouting. All labored
in solemn silence, so great was the emotion filling their hearts, conscious
they were helping to do the work of God."
THE CATHEDRAL COMMUNITY
The monastic orders, which
occupied themselves with church building, often furnished the principal
artisans from among their own numbers. The masons, carpenters, plasterers,
plumbers, metal and ivory workers, painters, glaziers, decorators, together
with a host of laborers, constituted a veritable craftsmen's city, under the
rule of a "master architect," or principal conductor of the work. Usually a
tent or frame structure was pitched against the rising walls of the building,
which served as a "lodge," or headquarters. Here the principal artisans met to
receive their orders, discuss technical difficulties, settle disciplinary
matters, and unite in worship. The most important room of the lodge was that
set aside for the master of the work; there he designed and gathered the
models of the various portions of the edifice.
The families of the artisans
lived in close vicinity to the church. An interesting side-light on conditions
is obtained from a record made by Archbishop Leger, of Vienna, in 1050,
telling how one of his faithful, a physician named Aton, interested himself in
the improvement and beautifying of the "little houses" (domnuncula) occupied
by the women employed in gold embroidery for vestments and other articles for
divine service. A school for the children of the craftsmen's city often grew
up in the shadow of the cathedral and developed in the course of time into an
important foundation. In short, the host of craftsmen, with their families,
who were gathered together for the building of a church, formed a center of
cooperation for divers industries and arts, laboring as a unit in the service
of the Great Architect of the Universe.
The form and spirit of such a
union was just what our "secret brotherhood" sought to cultivate. That
explains, perhaps, why its members affiliated themselves with Masonic gilds
and particularly the Masons' Company of London, considering, no doubt, the
traditions of the descendants of the cathedral builders best suited for their
THE "GEOMETRY" OF MASONRY
However, there is a deeper
and more clearly defined reason. It is suggested in the "geometry" of the
Cathedral. Orientation, forms, grouping, position,-- the building as a whole
and every detail of it, were regulated by a fixed code of symbolism. Nothing
was left to individual caprice. The cathedral, as we said before, was a book,
the Bible of the humble. The Bishop decreed what it was to teach, the lessons
it was to convey. Dogma, science, story, ethics were spelled out in characters
and signs having specific meanings attached to them by the church authorities.
The cathedral might represent a biography, catechism, church history, an essay
on eternity, a martyrology, Bible story, combinations of divers subjects, an
Encyclopedia or a symphony; whatever it was, the same rules and conventions
were followed. Accordingly, there was something impersonal about the product,
much as about a modern newspaper. Artists and artisans take their law from the
master of the work and they must submit to the dictates of the code, from one
end of Europe to the other. Art was organized as dogma was organized, to the
The symbolism of the church
services familiarized the faithful with the symbolism of the building, as Male
has shown. When the printed book appeared and the recording of thought in
buildings fell into disuse, symbolic art declined rapidly. Architecture became
a thing of individual fancy. Cathedral symbolism would be beyond the power of
the present age to interpret and at least three hundred years of the history
of the human race would be largely unintelligible, if the sacred traditions
had not been zealously guarded and transmitted from generation to generation
by a secret brotherhood, composed chiefly of architects, sculptors, painters,
musicians, poets and philosophers, who possessed the key to "geometry" and
knew the grammar of symbolism. This brotherhood is the same we met with in
Masons' Hall, at London, at Wiltshire and elsewhere.
The presence of students of
the natural sciences in the lodges of the brotherhood is easily explained.
Vincent de Beauvais's "Mirror of Nature" and the history of science in the
medieval age were to be read best in the carvings on cathedral facades.
Besides, the scientists were themselves attempting to build up a code of
symbols for the service of the developing physics and chemistry. There were
other reasons which we cannot discuss at this time.
A DISTINCTIVELY ANGLO-SAXON
I have purposely left
unanswered all questions relating more directly to the beginning and
development of the "symbolic" fraternity which, in England, met under the
shelter of the Masonic craft gild, until the close of the seventeenth century.
On the continent it had no such connections. The reason, already suggested,
was that continental craft gilds were exclusively trade organizations.
I have also refrained from
touching the problem of the origin of the symbology of the medieval church.
This and other related matters cannot well be considered here.
I trust, however, that I have
made it seem to you quite natural that, in London, the "symbolic" fraternity
should have been identified, in some sort of way, with the Masons' Company,
until the close of the seventeenth century. It probably is fairly clear to you
also now why a portion of that fraternity should have become identified with
the founding of the Royal Society "for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge,"
and why the later formed Grand Lodge of Accepted Free-Masons should in turn
have drawn some of its most valuable members from that society.
If you accept my findings, we
(1) That Freemasonry, as we
know it, is in nowise derived from operative Masonry.
(2) That a "symbolic"
fraternity existed, whose members, under Anglo-Saxon conditions, frequently
chose to obtain the freedom of the Masonic craft gild by "acceptance."
(3) That the explanation for
the preference accorded to the Masonic gild may be inferred from the aspect of
cathedral building in the medieval age, more especially the function of
Masons, to give form to symbols of predetermined significance, the brotherhood
striving to unite men of diverse interests and to preserve the "geometry" of
(4) That on the European
continent the brotherhood had not even an elbow-touch connection with craft
gilds, the latter being exclusively trade organizations.
(5) That the history of the
"Laws, Forms and Usages" of the Fraternity, while of less significance than
that of "the Arts and Sciences thereof," nevertheless is of considerable
interest, and serves to interpret much that could not otherwise be accounted
(6) That "Laws, Forms and
Usages" are largely derived from association with Masonic craft gilds and form
merely the outer shell or mold into which the substance was poured-which
developed into the kind of Freemasonry we know.
RED CROSS WORK AT THE FRONT
by Bro. William Howard Taft
Very many of our Masonic
bodies and the Brethren have shown a lively and helpful interest in the
activities of the Red Cross, contributing freely to its resources. This
account of the work was specially prepared for the National Masonic Research
Society through the courtesy of Brother William Howard Taft, formerly
President of the United States.
THE Red Cross idea was
fundamentally the relief of soldiers wounded in battle. The dreadful carnage
and unmitigated suffering of the wounded on the battlefield of Solferino, in
1859, was witnessed by the great Swiss humanitarian, M. Henri Dunant. Dunant
personally ministered to the wounded, organizing volunteers in the vicinity to
help him in the work. That was the start of the Red Cross movement of today
which has resulted in highly developed relief organizations in practically
every civilized country for the care of the wounded in battle.
As the only agency authorized
by the United States government to co-operate with the War and Navy
Departments in the care of sick and wounded soldiers and sailors, the American
Red Cross has accepted this as its first duty. The efficient conduct of this
war work has required the establishment of a very complex and highly
systematized organization which must be prepared to handle any emergency which
may arise. The further development of the idea has resulted in various phases
of Red Cross work which, while having an indirect bearing on the care of the
soldier and sailor, have been shown to play an important part in relieving the
misery created, directly and indirectly, by war.
The big men composing the Red
Cross War Council have taken the broadest possible view of the duty
confronting the American Red Cross in the present conflict. They hold it their
duty not only to care for the soldiers of this country, giving relief to its
civilian population, but as far as possible to care for the soldiers of the
allies and the peoples of the allied nations. In fact, the first army
organization ordered abroad by the War Department were six Red Cross base
hospitals sent at the request of the British Commission in advance of any
American troops. They were needed to care for the English and French wounded.
These base hospitals
constitute the principal service rendered by the American Red Cross in time of
war. They are the highest possible development of the volunteer service first
organized by Dunant at Solferino. The hospital staff includes a minimum of 26
physicians, two dentists, 65 Red Cross nurses, and 150 enlisted men of the
Medical Corps. The nurses are all highly trained and registered nurses, and
the physicians and dentists have to measure up to the strict requirements of
the medical corps of the army and navy.
Base hospitals are located at
a safe distance from the front, the wounded and sick being carried to the
hospitals in ambulances, of which there are 64,000 on the French front. The
American Red Cross now has more than twelve base hospitals in France and
nearly thirty others are awaiting the call of the War Department to be
mustered into service of the Army Medical Corps. There are today more than
fifteen hundred Red Cross nurses doing war work in France.
The Red Cross also organizes
ambulance companies which are composed of a captain, four first lieutenants,
two first-class sergeants, eleven sergeants, six corporals, one mechanic,
three cooks and 96 privates-- a total of 124 men.
Forty-five of these companies
have already been organized by the Red Cross, many of which are now seeing
foreign service, while the others are on duty in this country.
These ambulance companies
approach the nearest of any Red Cross organization to the actual fighting
front and theirs is a work fraught with much danger. Red Cross nurses are kept
at the base hospitals in comparative safety, the battlefield service of the
Red Cross nurse having been discontinued years ago.
Everything that highly
developed professional skill can do to relieve the suffering of the wounded
soldier has been enlisted by the American Red Cross for his care. The wounded
man is first taken to a "first aid" station where his wounds are bandaged.
These stations are just back of the fighting line and are in charge of
physicians who are regular members of the Army Medical Corps, a service
organized wholly independent of the Red Cross. From here the wounded man is
either returned to the trenches or, if his condition is serious and further
treatment is required, he is taken to the base hospitals where the
professional services are on a par with that of the leading hospitals in this
country. From the hospital the soldier may be returned to the front,
discharged or sent home on furlough.
The work of the American Red
Cross for the soldier today, however, begins far in advance of his reaching
Many of the troops had their
first experience with the Red Cross in connection with the recent canteen
service rendered by thousands of Red Cross workers to the troops enroute from
their homes to the various cantonments. This same canteen service has been
arranged to follow the men on their trip to the front after crossing to
Following some preliminary
training after their arrival at French seaports, the American expeditionary
forces again entrain for a trip across the country to stations in the
proximity of the firing lines, where many are now in training. The congested
condition of French railroads makes quick travel impossible and three days are
required for the journey. One hundred American women have gone to France to
take charge of the American Red Cross canteens and rest stations which are
scattered along the routes traveled by the men in going to and from the French
front. These stations are equipped with lunch rooms, baths, laundries, reading
and writing rooms, and a store of such delicacies and small articles as the
men may wish. Commendatory as was this work, it does not compare in importance
with the great work being done by the millions of patriotic lay women of
America who are today working day and night in Red Cross Chapters without
recognition or spotlight, in the making of thousands of surgical dressings,
hospital garments, comfort kits and knitted articles for the soldier.
Millions of bandages and
compresses and hospital garments were needed in the equipment of the many base
hospitals; these were made by the 25,000 women who had taken the special
courses in the making of surgical dressings conducted by various Red Cross
chapters. Thousands of comfort kits have already been made and supplied United
States troops, and a million more are now in the making. An equal number of
Christmas packages are being prepared by Red Cross workers to carry Christmas
cheer to the American soldiers in this country and France. A request for a
million and a half each of sweaters, mufflers, wristlets and socks has come
from Major Grayson M. P. Murphy, Red Cross Commissioner to Europe, upon which
Red Cross workers all over the country are engaged, knitting under the
direction of Miss Florence Marshall, director of the Woman's Bureau at
Another notable achievement
on the part of the women workers of the American Red Cross recently was the
supplying of thousands of bandages and compresses on very short notice to each
of 188 United States battleships and cruisers. This work was done at the
request of William C. Braisted, Surgeon General of the United States Navy, the
Navy Department supplying the gauze and raw material used in their
Probably the most important
phase of Red Cross work at this time, next to the preparations for the
immediate care of the sick and wounded soldiers and sailors, is the Red Cross
"Home Service" among the families of soldiers and sailors in this country.
Nearly a million and a half men are now enlisted in the various branches of
the military and naval service of the United States. Despite the care which is
being exercised to select men without dependents, and despite the contemplated
provision by the government, for the granting of separation allowances and for
securing the assignment of pay, there will be many homes--there are, indeed,
now many homes--in which, except for prompt, sympathetic and capable help,
there would be suffering during the absence of men at the front or on the high
Families which would
ordinarily be hard put to it by an attack of sickness, the sudden need for an
operation, the loss of a job, the advent of either death or birth, now,
without the judgment and counsel of the men of the household, are unable to
cope with the difficulties besetting them. During the stress of war, with its
rising cost of food, its industrial changes, its uncertainties in living
conditions, the home is handicapped by the withdrawal of the very person upon
whom at such a time it would depend most for aid in solving its problems.
Usually the man of the
household has been accustomed to transact all of the more important business
of the home. He it is who knows what to do when the mortgage matures, when the
insurance policy expires, when it becomes necessary to move into another
neighborhood, or when the oldest boy is graduated from school and needs to be
started in the right sort of job. Without his advice, the bewildered family
makes mistakes and the home is faced with danger and disaster.
This need was clearly
foreseen by the Red Cross War Council. To relieve the situation as far as is
humanly possible, the War Council organized the Red Cross "Home Service"
employing hundreds of trained social workers under the direction of W. Frank
Persons, Director General of Civilian Relief. While the Red Cross cannot
assume the financial care of dependent families, a responsibility too large
for any organization except the United States government itself, grants and
loans of money will be made to tide over financial depressions which are bound
to occur in many households.
With the return of the head
of the home, discharged because of wounds or sickness, the problem is likely
to become more difficult of solution. The reeducation of the breadwinner in
some new line of work will be necessary in many cases in order that he and his
family may not remain a permanent charge on the community. The Red Cross is
already conducting investigations abroad looking to the establishment of an
institute in New York for the re-education of soldiers discharged because of
the loss of limb, sight, or other cause which incapacitates them for further
military service and also makes impossible the resumption of their previous
Another work which is being
performed by the Red Cross in this country for the soldier is that of the
Sanitary Service in connection with the various cantonments and Army posts.
This Sanitary Service, under the direction of Dr. W. H. Frost, surgeon of the
Public Health Service, was established to co-operate with local and state
health boards in taking care of the peculiar sanitary conditions which
naturally arise from the congregation of large bodies of men in one locality.
In many cases it presents a problem which the local health authorities do not
consider themselves equipped to handle. To the same end, the Red Cross is
providing five laboratory cars which, stationed at convenient centers, can be
hurried to any of these cantonments to assist in quelling outbreaks of
This work for the American
soldier in this country has already resulted in the appropriation of more than
$1,500,000, while a part of the $12,000,000 appropriated for Red Cross work in
Europe has been for the care of our own troops. All this has been made
possible by the generosity of the American people in the raising of the
hundred million dollar Red Cross War Fund, the largest sum ever secured by
voluntary subscription for humanitarian work. This fund is being added to
constantly by contributions from all over the country.
If You Could
But know the world, and rule
And knowing, ruling have no
But sail the sea, and dread
And sailing miss the dawn of
But climb the mount, and
thread the maze,
And climbing find no note of
But rise above the moving
And rising losse the sweetest
Both know the world and feel
And knowing, feeling bear the
Both dream your dream, and
find your work
An endless task you would not
Find Joy, and Duty ever
The broken fragments ever
Within, without, below, above
One call and answer,--love
If your soul could hear the
Pray which of all would be
James T. Duncan.
Justice is always violence to
the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.--Defoe.
A fool is never master of
himself, much less of his people and wealth.--Buddha
Nothing on earth can smile
but man! Gems may flash reflected light, but what is a diamond-flash compared
to an eyeflash and a mirth-flash ? Flowers cannot smile; this is a charm that
even they cannot claim. It is the prerogative of man; it is the color which
love wears, and cheerfulness and joy--these three. It is a light in the
windows of the face, by which the heart signifies it is at home and waiting. A
face that cannot smile is like a bud that cannot blossom, and dries up on the
stalk. Laughter is day, and sobriety is night, and a smile is the twilight
that hovers gently between both--more bewitching than either.--Henry Ward
"Someone has said that when
the Creator had made all the good things there still remained some work to do;
so He made beasts and reptiles and poisonous insects, and when He had finished
there were some scraps left; so He put all these together, covered it with
suspicion, wrapped it with jealousy, marked it with a yellow streak and called
it a Knocker.
"This product was so fearful
to contemplate that He had to make something to counteract it; so He took a
sunbeam, put in it the heart of a child, the brain of a man, wrapped these in
civic pride, covered it with brotherly love, gave it a mask of velvet and a
grasp of steel, and called it a Booster; made him a lover of fields and
flowers and manly sports, a believer in equality and justice; and ever since
these two were, mortal man has had the privilege of choosing his own
FOR THE MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
BULLETIN---No. 12 DEVOTED ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY Edited by Bro. Robert I.
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF
MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for
its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's
Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former
issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as
supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with
the paper by Brother Clegg.
The Course is divided into
five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial
Masonry. A. The Work of a Lodge. B. The Lodge and the Candidate. C. First
Steps. D. Second Steps E. Third Steps.
Division II. Symbolical
Masonry. A. Clothing. B. Working Tools. C. Furniture. D. Architecture. E.
Geometry. F. Signs. G. Words. H. Grips.
Division III. Philosophical
Masonry. A. Foundations. B. Virtues. C. Ethics. D. Religious Aspect. E.
The Quest. F. Mysticism. G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative
Masonry. A. The Grand Lodge. 1. Ancient Constitutions. 2. Codes of Law. 3.
Grand Lodge Practices. 4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges. 5. Official
Duties and Prerogatives. B. The Constituent Lodge. 1. Organization. 2.
Qualifications of Candidates. 3. Initiation, Passing and Raising. 4.
Visitation. 5 Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical
Masonry. A. The Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light. B. Study of
Rites--Masonry in the Making. C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics. D.
National Masonry. E. Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study. F. Feminine
Masonry. G. Masonic Alphabets. H. Historical Manuscripts of the Craft. I.
Biographical Masonry. J. Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS Each
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Clegg who is following the
foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There
will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head
of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of
questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period
which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall
reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources
which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother
Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental
papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of
references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to
the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of
the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one
month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have
opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings
and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will
be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and
studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL
PAPERS Immediately following each of Brother Clegg's monthly papers in the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper
and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new
points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to
different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or
when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND
CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS The Lodge should select a "Research Committee"
preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a
month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at
a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be
transacted--all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been
opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge
over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully
prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom
references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with
their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Clegg's
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS 1.
Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental
papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of
the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire
into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those
used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at
the opening of the study period.)
2. Discussion of the above.
3. The subsequent sections of
Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one
at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
4 Question Box.
Invite questions from any and
all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their
particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions
they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to
facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the
paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them,
SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in
an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make
special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers
within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the
Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised
by any member of the Society.
FURTHER INFORMATION The
foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge
study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and
communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that
is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department
are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB
LEADERS by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
From the following questions
the Committee should select, some time prior to the evening of the study
meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at their meeting
which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire to
discuss Even were but five minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the
questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of
them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here given will
afford individual Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit
their own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study
meeting each month if desired by the members.
In conducting the study
periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the
text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto
another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning
from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a
note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or
inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened
QUESTIONS ON "PHYSICAL AND
1. What impressed you most on
the night you took the First Degree? Did your Lodge have a "preparation room"
? If so, in what condition w as it ? Did members there present say anything to
cause you to lower your estimate of Masonry? If so, why? Have you been guilty
of frivolous talk to a new brother in the preparation room for the first time
? "First impressions are the most lasting": what impressions should make
themselves felt on a candidate ? Do those impressions help to shape his future
Masonic activities ? How is a young man prepared to enter college? the army?
married life? Do the same mental laws apply in all such cases ?
2. If entrance to Masonry
were made more difficult would the Craft mean more to its members ? Do you
believe in "social clubs" in lodges? If so, why? If not, why not? What is the
relationship of the social life to Masonry ? of amusements ? What is the
function of amusement in human life ? What is he difference between an
"amusement" and a "recreation"?
3. Have you ever thought of
Masonry as a school? Does it have a course of studies? What are they? What
does Masonry teach ? Why is that teaching difficult to understand ? Does the
Second Degree make you think of a school ? Why ? Can you tell how it came to
have its present character? Can Masonry today be made to perform an
educational function ? How? What is education? Would it be a good thing to
have schools for candidates in which they could be taught the principles of
the Order prior to initiation? How could that be done in this country?
4. Has clothing a symbolical
meaning ? Any kind of clothing ? Do "clothes make the man" ? If not, why not ?
What dictates the style of dress? Is the present style custom a good one? What
are the advantages of changes of style in dress? Do you believe that Masons
should have a uniform in which to appear in public ? If not, why not? Is the
apron a part of a uniform ? What is its function ? Why do Masons wear aprons
in the Lodge room ?
5. Why is darkness always
thought of as a symbol of ignorance? Why do we say "Darkest Africa"? Why is
light associated with knowledge? What is the meaning of the word
enlightenment" ? How does Masonry give enlightenment ? What is "the shock of
enlightenment"? What is its meaning?
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS 1.
Have you ever observed the effect on your own feelings of wearing clothing (a
uniform, for example), to which you were unaccustomed ? What was the effect on
your emotions when you found yourself clothed for entrance into the Masonic
Lodge? Did these emotions help you in appreciating what followed ?
2. Do you know of groups of
men who seem to be hoodwinked by ignorance and prejudice ? Do you know if any
political, social, religious hoodwinks? What can Masonry do to remove such
3. Does a man ever need a
cable-tow in his growth and development? Should a man be held in restraint by
his superiors until he is able to govern himself ? Is the restraint under
which a boy is kept by his school teacher similar to the significance of the
Masonic Cable Tow?
4. Can a man get anything out
of a business venture, or job, or a college education, etc., who does not
throw himself into it ? How can a man expect to get anything out of Masonry if
he puts no energy into it? What is the cure for so-called "Masonic
5. What preparation must a
man make to get into the army? into a new job? into college? A man cannot
enter into any new field of experience until he is prepared: does Masonic
Preparation symbolize for you the laws governing all types of preparation? Is
your mind prepared to understand Masonry? Are you prepared to interpret it to
PART I--PHYSICAL AND MENTAL
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF GREATEST
THE first contact of the
candidate and the Lodge is of greatest consequence. First impressions are
lasting. A candidate seldom if ever forgets the conditions under which he
first came to the Lodge. Every detail stands out distinctly in his memory.
Years pass and many later incidents are effaced by time but the first
experiences remain with him almost as fresh and vivid as ever. All the more
responsible, therefore, is the burden upon those in authority that the Lodge
is first presented to the candidate, and he to it, in a manner fully worthy of
CANDIDATE'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The candidate in entering the
building and passing through the Lodge parlors and anteroom to the preparation
room should meet nothing that will give him aught but the most appropriate
reflections. Naturally he is in a serious mood. He has asked for membership in
the most mysterious of societies and has been summoned to appear for
initiation. Nothing is known by him of what is in store. That the ceremonies
will be impressive and inspiring may be taken for granted by him. So much at
least he can guess from the well-known reputation of the fraternity. An
institution of such prominence and permanence is likely to be neither dull nor
crude in what it does with the candidate.
With these elementary facts
firmly fixed as our foundation let each one of us frankly picture in our minds
the circumstances under which we first visited a Lodge. If there then occurred
anything not calculated to maintain the high regard of the candidate for the
fraternity the newcomer was not to blame for either the plan or the
surroundings. Whatever has occurred since our initiation in that Lodge, as far
as it concerns the reception of a candidate, is to some extent a part of our
CONDUCTING CANDIDATE TO LODGE
Let us proceed with the
candidate to his Lodge. He may or may not go alone. If he is taken there by
some member of the brotherhood let us hope most heartily that the guide is
something more than congenial. Discretion was never more needed. Light talk is
out of place. Other trivial acts are foolish if indeed they are not positively
wicked on the way to Lodge. Coming from the candidate's home to his Lodge
family of friends may there be no halt anywhere along the road.
Assuming that nothing has
interfered with the solemn and serious reflections of the applicant for
initiation while on his way to the Lodge, we may enter the building and here
under the very roof of official Masonry we can sometimes discover conditions
far from the best for the purpose. We may present to him the spectacle of a
card room and one not too clean at that, or of a smoking room not too free of
fog and odor-- and the latter be it remembered is quite objectionable to some
people, and in order to avoid offense it is well to bar all possibilities of
unpleasantness until we are certain there is absolutely no danger of
For we must assume that now
we are trying to make the best possible impression in the most permanent
manner. What we do must be lasting, not blasting. At this moment the candidate
takes the impress from his surroundings as if he were wax but he is as marble
or brass to retain them.
PRESERVE THE STRENGTH OF THE
Far be it from the intention
of the writer of this paper to decry or oppose the installation of Masonic
clubs and of all the attendant innocent pleasure that rightly accompany them.
Games, the reading of popular literature, and the enjoyment of tobacco are
without vice when pursued with due restrictions upon the user's habits and
with proper regard to the rights of others. In general, is it not safe to say
nevertheless, that these should not be mixed up with the ritual ?
Before going further with our
candidate in his journey toward an American Lodge we may inquire as to how far
this account of his travel is in accord with the practice elsewhere at the
present day and how closely is it in agreement with the customs of the early
Freemasons. Some of the Lodges claiming to be following in other lands the
pioneer practices of the fraternity have sundry customs of much interest.
These are founded upon the very desirable purpose that the first impression
shall be as healthy as it is permanent.
Beginning long before the
time set for the ceremonial, the candidate is caused to travel far and near
from one objective point to another, receiving and conveying and delivering
messages that are calculated to impress him with a due sense of the labor and
zeal and knowledge required of a Mason.
Thus he continues during the
day until footsore and weary, but neither discouraged nor disheartened he
finally arrives at the Lodge room just in time for the remainder of the
ceremony of initiation. Under this system of ritualism the tests of sincerity
and devotion are severe as might be expected. They are distinctly different
from what are familiar to us but of course possess peculiar merits of their
THE MASONIC SCHOOL
Masonry is a school.
Character is taught. Everything that is done has the one end, to engrave upon
the candidate certain things never to be erased. To do this deeply is the
purpose of the ritual and the duty of the ritualists. Candidates are students
in the school of Masonry listening to lectures and receiving instruction
through eye and ear.
When we teach a child to
write and to figure we adopt certain well established rules. We show him
examples and we make him memorize formulas. Then we cause him to do the things
we have done, to do for himself what he has seen and to obey when he has been
told. We explain the use of the plus and minus signs as well as of other
symbols. He soon sees that they are very handy because they group a lot of
explanation in a few simple signs.
The child is taught that
position is of importance, his hands and feet and body have all an influence
on what he does and that while they are directed by his mind and this in turn
is an expression of the work of his brain, the mind and particularly the
memory reflects what he has seen and what he was then doing. Childhood is
shown and told because we have found it advisable to appeal to as many as
possible of the senses at once in order to cause the more lasting effect.
The thoughtful Mason will see
the application of these truths. Masonry employs all these approved resources
of the teacher's art. In the light of these reminders the use of our system of
instruction is clearly seen to be standing on solid and substantial ground.
CLOTHING AS A SYMBOL
Reduced to its simplest
expression the true clothing of a Mason is the apron. Sometimes, as on the
occasion of public processions, white gloves are added to the street attire.
In certain foreign jurisdictions a sword is worn. Unless clothed befittingly
as becomes his Masonic advancement a member can not enter or take part in
There is unity in uniforms.
Aside entirely from the symbolism of clothing, of being clothed or unclothed,
it is a fact that a body of men is the more closely united when dressed alike
in any suitable clothing. Just as their garments are apparently of the one
piece of cloth so are they themselves parts of the one substance, fragments
fused by a common bond into unity and uniformed accordingly.
Every Mason in the uniformity
of his clothing, and the similarity of the experiences with clothing through
which he and his brethren have passed, is thereby again reminded of the
lessons taught by these means.
LIGHT AND SIGHT, DARKNESS AND
We learn that in the ancient
mysteries the candidate first encountered complete darkness and thence
progressed toward more enlightened conditions. To shut off the sense of sight
is therefore to repeat the initial experience in the mysteries of the
CABLE-TOW AND OBLIGATIONS
A tow-line enables a tug-boat
to draw a ship after it. There is a sense in which such a cable-tow connects
the source of energy with that which can not, for the time, be
self-propelling. When a stronger tie, bond or pledge is assumed, then the old
material connection can be cast aside. He that is bound to the brotherhood by
the abiding strength of love, devotion and light, needs no other harness on
CANDIDATE IS A FREE AGENT
We welcome not the unwilling.
Neither reservation nor evasion or reluctance may mark the applicant for the
mysterious Masonic rights and benefits. Uninvited he comes and upon him is no
compulsion born of us. No restraint from us relieves him of fullest
responsibility. He is free to act in man fashion, not as a child or slave.
INTENTIONS OF THE CANDIDATE
By a time-honored declaration
the candidate announces his intentions. This is done before witnesses. In some
countries the solemnity of the proceedings is increased by the use of a
special room for the purpose, called the Chamber of Reflection.
So much importance rightly
belongs to this part of the proceedings that all possible care may well be
taken to have the announcement of the candidate heard with all dignity and
fervor. He asserts that he has no unworthy motives, that he offers himself of
his own accord as a candidate and will conform to all the established customs
of the fraternity. There are other items of consequence but these are
contained in the various Monitors and Codes and need not be repeated here.
The form of the declaration
is very old and as usually given is similar to what is found as far back as
the era of Preston.
MENTAL AS WELL AS PHYSICAL
Too much care can not be
devoted to the use of the preparation room. This work is sometimes alloted to
young and inexperienced members of the Lodge. Then the case is bad enough. But
it is very much worse when the labor is undertaken by the indifferent or
negligent or flippant. If the Master and the other officers of the Lodge will
reflect that the better the candidate is physically and mentally prepared the
easier it is for them to make an impression, then they will realize how they
are affected by the shortcomings of the Stewards.
It is proper here to assert
that the true initiation of a candidate begins long before he enters the Lodge
room. There is in this fact a lesson of deportment. Are we always cautious in
what we say and do? Not only before the candidate but ever before the brethren
do we need to maintain carefully the conduct of a real Mason.
SYMBOLISM OF THE PREPARATION
To me this stage of the First
Degree of Masonry is deeply significant. There is a new birth. Out of the womb
of the laboring blindly-groping world there comes to the altar of friendship a
willing sacrifice. The old garb of ignorance is cast aside and the clothing of
knowledge is assumed. Eyes that were blind are opened and he that was in
darkness beholds the Eastern rays of the rising sun. New duties are defined in
the light of the dawning day. God, country, neighbor, self--for each is to be
held the balance true of our faith, our patriotism, our service and our
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL
The following articles to be
found in Mackey's Encyclopedia and THE BUILDER all have a bearing upon the
subject treated in the foregoing paper by Brother Clegg. Lodge and Study Club
Committees should decide upon those which they may wish to use and then assign
to some of their interested members the task of preparing and presenting them
as supplemental papers at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Cable
Tow; Declaration of the Candidate; Discalceation; Heart; Hoodwink;
Qualifications; Seeing; Shoe. THE BUILDER: Cable Tow, The, vol. 1, p. 215, (Q.
B.); p. 276, (Cor.); p. 278, (Cor.); vol. III, C. C. B. p. 5, this issue.
"Divested of all Metallic Substances," vol. III, p. 384, this issue. Metallic
Tokens, vol. II, p. 205. Preparing the Candidate, vol. II, p. 205.
THE CABLE TOW
(By R.W.Bro. S. Clifton
Bingham, P. M.)
It has been said, and I think
well said, that "Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and
illustrated by symbols." Whilst I have heard many other definitions, and so
probably have you, I think all will agree that it correctly conveys to all our
minds in the fewest possible words the aim and object of our fraternity. Some
doubtless look upon it as a convivial organisation only, but I rejoice to be
able to say that the number of those amongst us are steadily diminishing.
If we would understand the
sublime teachings of Freemasonry it is absolutely necessary that we should
study the meaning conveyed to us by the symbols brought forcibly before us at
every meeting. By such means alone can we hope to attain perfection and
qualify to become a stone in "that eternal mansion, that house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens."
A symbol has been defined as
a visible sign by or with which a spiritual feeling, emotion, or idea, is
conveyed. Is not the level to us always a symbol of equality? the plumb, of
uprightness? the square, of rectitude ?
If we carry ourselves back to
the earlier years, when our system was probably of a much simpler character
than it is today, and when comparatively few people had any degree of
education, the only method of conveying ideas to the large mass of people
would be by the use of symbols. The crown is to us a symbol of royalty; the
sceptre, of power. Indeed, what is our alphabet but a system of symbols, the
letters of which, combined in different ways, convey to us different meanings.
The symbol to which I intend particularly to refer this evening is apparently
in universal use amongst Freemasons, viz., the cable tow. In the earliest
rituals extant, and the pretended exposures which were so numerous in the
first part of the eighteenth century, this symbol was invariably used in
preparation of candidates for our Order.
What is a cable tow? The word
"tow" signifies, properly, a line wherewith to draw. One dictionary I
consulted defines it as "that which tuggeth, or with which we tug to draw." A
cable tow, therefore, is a rope or line for drawing or leading. In one of the
earliest so-called exposures it is called "cable rope." In its first inception
the cable tow seems to have been used only as a physical means of controlling
the candidate, and such interpretation is given in the E. A. degree. One
writer says it is emblematical of the dangers which surround us in this life,
especially if we should rashly stray from the paths of duty. It will also
remind the initiated to submit, while he is in ignorance, to being guided by
those whom he knows to be enlightened.
In the United States this
symbol is used in each of the three Craft degrees. In the E. A. exactly as we
do; in the F. C. it is coiled twice around his waist; and in the M. M. three
times. This seems a symbolic use of the symbol. I might here mention that my
ignorance of this use of the cable tow evidently caused me some doubt in the
mind of the worthy brother testing me at the door of a Lodge in the States.
The monitors says that the variation in the second and third degrees are to
symbolise the covenant with which all Freemasons are tied, thus reminding us
of the passage in the writings of the prophet Hosea, "I drew them with cords
of a man, with bonds of love." Some of the brethren will recollect the use of
this symbol in other degrees.
Whence came the cable tow?
That is a question somewhat difficult to answer. Fellows, author of an
interesting work on the mysteries, says:--"The necks of the Druidical priests
were decorated with gold chains in the performance of their religious rites."
In these is to be seen the arch type of the cable tow or tow rope, worn about
the neck of the aspirant to Masonic secrets, which is the subject of much
ridicule amongst the uninitiated. Indeed, the fraternity themselves do not
seem to be aware of its true import. They are not conscious that this humble
badge is a testimony of their belief in God, their dependence on Him, and
their solemn obligations to devote themselves to His will and service.
How long is it? How many of
us have troubled to find out, and yet if we carry our minds back to the solemn
obligation we took as M. Ms. we cannot overlook the point contained therein,
"if within the reach of my cable tow." Gadicke, a German writer on
Freemasonry, defines the length as three miles for an Entered Apprentice. I am
not in a position to argue this point, nor I expect are you. In ancient times
every adult had to present himself yearly before the sheriff or chief
authority of the county to renew his oath of fealty to his liege lord and the
King, nor were any excused from this service except they were a considerable
distance away; some writers say over fifty miles, a very considerable journey
in those days.
The subject of the length of
a cable tow was one of the questions for discussion at a National Masonic
Convention held in the City of Baltimore, U. S. A., in the year 1842. Mackey
says that after considerable discussion on the matter of definition of "within
the scope of man's reasonable ability" was arrived at.
History tells us that the
burghers of Calais, when that city was besieged by the English under Edward,
the Black Prince, came out in procession with ropes round their necks in token
of their submission.
According to Grimm, quoted by
Gould in his History of Freemasonry, a cord about the neck was used
symbolically in criminal courts to denote that the accused submitted his life
to the judgment of the court. When used upon the person of a freeman it
signified a slight degree of subjection or servitude. You will remember also
that when Benhadad's servants after his defeat by Ahab approached the latter
King, asking for mercy, "they girded sackcloths on their loins and put ropes
on their heads." This with the remaining portion of the verses, has been used
by many Freemasons to prove the existence of our Fraternity in those days. If
we accept the reasoning, we could hardly mistake the meaning of the ropes.
Its use amongst our operative
brethren is referred to by Bro. W. J. Shaw as follows:--"As a poetic symbol it
has a special reference to the idea of rescue and assistance, and as a form of
expression it has that significance in our Masonic rites. Upon the cable
depended the safety of the ship riding at anchor, the salvation of the man
overboard and in peril. On land it was also a means of aid and rescue upon
mountain and plain, and especially so in the use that operative masons made of
it in the construction of those magnificent buildings with which they adorned
Europe. Doubtless from every great structure, in their work of decoration, men
dangled by ropes from dizzy heights, and were rescued from perilous situations
by means of the cable tow of some fellow workman.
Our obligation, therefore,
simply is that, as the length of the Freemason's cable tow, or long rope, is
the measure of his means and ability to aid and rescue, it is his aid and
rescue his fellow if within the reach of his means and ability.
We are told that the timber
of the building of King Solomon's Temple was felled in the forest of Lebanon
and sent down in floats by sea to Joppa. Necessarily these floats or rafts of
timber must have been towed and connected to the boats used for that purpose
by strong ropes or cables. The use to which such a cable would be put would
cause it to be known as a cable tow. Hence, possibly, the expression "the
length of my cable tow."
When the floats reached Joppa
they would be released from the boats and secured to the shore (which we are
told was very precipitous) by the same cables with which they had been towed.
The expression so familiar to us, "a cable tow's length from the shore," will
be brought to our thoughts at once.
In this connection the cable
tow may be considered an apt symbol of obedience--that is of obedience to the
requirements of the ceremonies of our Institution and the principles of
morality and virtue inculcated thereby. Obedience to the dictates of our
Masonic duty, which must be performed even under the most adverse
circumstances, and if need be without fee or reward, except that gratifying
test of a good conscience.
As the float by aid of the
cable tow follows unduratingly the course intended by those who row the boat,
so should the seeker for light attend to the truths revealed to him and
faithfully follow the instructions and heed the solemn admonition of those who
are guiding him into the Temple of Light and Truth.
Let us remember that while
candidates are asked to yield a mere blind obedience for the time, no
unreasonable demands or unintelligible requirements are made.
Does not the cable tow, by
which metaphorically we lead our candidates into the Temple, remind us that we
too have duties to fulfil ? Let it be to us a symbol of that love and
affection with which the Masonic Brotherhood seeks to draw the initiates from
the darkness of ignorance to the glorious light and liberty of our Fraternity.
In humble imitation of the Divine plan, let us endeavour to draw our brethren
by the tenderest chords of affection, and bind them to us forever more by the
sweetest bonds of love.
You have heard the phrase
used occasionally in one of our ceremonies--"a two-fold cord is strong, but a
three-fold cord is not easily broken." I do not know if a cable tow is
composed of three principal strands or not, but if so the reference in both
instances surely is the three great principles of our Institution-- Brotherly
Love, Relief, and Truth.--Transactions of the Masters' and Past Masters'
Lodge, No. 130, New Zealand.
In the article "Evolution of
the Operative into the Speculative Craft," by Brother Wm. F. Kuhn, an error
was made by the compositor using a duplicate typeslug in place of one left out
entirely in the seventeenth line from the top of the inside column on page 341
of the November BUILDER. It should read: "Dr. Desaguliers, above all others,
is the great figure who changed the operative into the speculative craft. By
birth, education, training, and in his associations with the scientific and
philosophical schools, he was preeminently qualified for this work."
A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON
A Canadian Grand Master and
an American Past Grand Master are now at work compiling a series of articles
for us on French Masonry which will present the subject from two different
angles--the American and the Canadian. This series should be of vital interest
especially to our Canadian and American members who are now in the service of
King George and Uncle Sam and those who may be called later. We expect to be
able to publish the first of these articles at an early date--possibly in the
SEARCH AGAIN! BY BRO. H. L.
A SEARCH FOR A NAME
MASONIC Research!" I write
the words out slowly. I write them out a second time and stare at them.
"Masonic Research !" What a formidable forbidding sound they have ! They
conjure up pictures of sallow bookworms burrowing about in mildewy libraries;
or dyspeptic professors sitting up nights in a laboratory; or of some grimy
archeologist digging up the bones of Egyptian crocodiles; or maybe they
suggest some dapper young university graduate gathering data for a brand-new
factory efficiency system. There is no denying these associations; they are
there, and I do not wonder that many good Masons of the common walks of life
shy aside when a new movement calling itself a "Research Society" comes along
to bid for their attention. Did we make a mistake in calling it a "Research"
Society? Perhaps we did; some of us thought so at the time, but nobody, to
save his life, though everybody used his think apparatus to the limit, could
conceive of another name that would fill the bill.
A "research" Society it had
to be--and consequently IS. Now the task before us is to get abroad among our
friends, and our prospective friends, a new feeling about this word, a new
understanding of what it means when we use it. After all it is use and not the
dictionary that interprets our words to us, and it is just the purpose of this
little screed to say that we are using the word "Research" in a very different
sense to the uses described above. What we mean by Research is not what the
college professors would mean by it.
"RESEARCH" THE ONE CURE FOR
THE APATHETIC MASON
But even so, we are not
committing crimes against the dictionary for what is the dictionary derivation
of the word? Does it not come from "re" and from "search" and doesn't that
mean "search again" ? And what are we Masonic researchers but Masons who are
making "another search" in Masonry, digging up things we didn't know were
there, finding matters of fascinating interest which had been hidden from us
before? To the brother who has nosed about a little bit in Masonry and has
come to the decision that while its teachings of brotherhood are very nice
there is little in it to interest him, we say "Search again," brother. To the
man who thinks he has "studied" it and has come to its limits, we say "Search
again"--there isn't any limit to Masonry except the sky. We say that the one
cure for all the indifference, the apathy, the indolence, the "don't care a
shuck" of the watch-fob Mason can be remedied forever if we can get him to
make another search in Masonry.
METHODS OF "RESEARCH"
How can a Mason set about
this task of making another search? There are as many ways as there are men
but there are a few methods which anybody can use, and it will not be beside
the mark to note two or three of them. We will divide them into two classes;
the use of books, the not using books, and we will speak of the latter first,
as the high cost of books makes it more practicable to many of us.
"RESEARCH" WITHOUT BOOKS
Let us suppose that you are a
busy man, with many interests outside the Order, that you have an average
education, and that you don't care to read a lot about the subject. Can you
indulge in Masonic Research ? Try this plan. Go to Lodge at the next meeting
when a candidate is to be initiated; sit back in a comfortable chair and watch
every move that is made and listen to every word that is spoken; and as you
watch and listen keep saying to yourself, What does that mean ? How can I put
that meaning in my own plain words? How can I make use of that when I get
home, or when I get to work tomorrow? What is the LIFE VALUE of this for me?
When you are doing that you are making another search in Masonry and you will
be surprised to find how the "work" will open up to you and reveal surprising
You can do another thing, you
not-to-use-books researcher; you can hunt around among your fellow Masons
until you find a few who are like you in a desire to get under the skin of the
Ritual; then you can get them off into a corner, or invite them down to your
house, and you can begin to ask THEM the question which you had before been
asking yourself. You can say to them, "What did you fellows get out of this or
that? Why do you think the candidate was taken around three times? What is
your reason for the manner in which he is clothed? What means the Pot of
Incense which was swung before our eyes in the Third Degree lecture? You will
be perfectly amazed at the results, and so will your friends, for you will
discover how much fun it is to do Masonic Research with no other equipment
than one's own wits.
"RESEARCH" WITH BOOKS
Now let us suppose that you
have grown bolder, and more determined to get under the veils of Masonry; you
venture to dip into a few books; how will you go about that? The best plan is
to begin by reading a few short and simple works that deal with the subject as
a whole; Brother Newton wrote his "Builders" and Brother MacBride wrote his
"Speculative Masonry" for just such a purpose; and there are many others.
After you have gotten your aeroplane view you can then lay out a little field
for more special study. You will have no difficulty in finding a field, for
Masonry is as long and as broad as the life of man. You can choose the history
of the Order, or its Symbolism, or its Philosophy, or its Jurisprudence, or
you can find enough to keep you busy for a life-time in studying the
biographies of great Masons--men like Albert Pike, and George Washington, and
Robert Freke Gould, and William Preston, and so on.
When you have chosen your
special field it will be well to break that into smaller parts and specialize
on one of the parts. Thus, if you elect to read the history of the Fraternity
you can choose to study the medieval gilds, or the Comacines, or, say,
eighteenth century Masonry in England.
INDUCE THE MASTER OF YOUR
LODGE TO INAUGURATE "RESEARCH" MEETINGS
After you have discovered
what fascinations such a course of reading holds for you, you can again do
what you did before; you can hunt up a group of likeinded brethren and
persuade them to go with you to a little venture of forming a Study Club. If
you do that--but I mustn't go into all that would follow! Being an enthusiast
on the subject I would eat up all ae space in this issue!
Or--better than that--you may
be able to infect the Master of your Lodge with your new-born enthusiasm and
persuade him to make use of an hour or more during your regular meeting in
order to awaken the membership to the fascinations of Masonic Resarch:
"Research," I say advisedly, for all this time you have been engaging in that
very thing, little as you may have realized it.
RESULTS TO BE DERIVED FROM
What will be the results of
this adventure of making another search in Masonry? There will be many little
pleasant results, but there will be two great results, and it is of these only
that I have space to speak.
For one thing, you will have
unearthed the profound and exciting interest that lies in Masonry. I once
heard of a Tennessee mountaineer who sold his little farm for forty dollars;
he had been able to hunt squirrels and rabbits over that farm but he had not
been able to make a living. So he sold it to a group of men, and these men
took more than a million dollars worth of marble out of that mountainside
inside of a year! Are not many Masons like that man? They go rabbit hunting
around over Masonry without ever discovering the millions of dollars worth of
marble that lies under its surface. Your study will uncover to you all the
unimaginable riches of Masonry; it will reveal to you how interesting it is.
But there will be a still
greater result than that! Masonry is not a creed, or a mere set of antiquarian
teachings, it is a vast dynamo of power. The trouble with us all is that we
have this dynamo in our possession but we are not using it. We are like Hero
of Alexandria who toyed with steam, or like the alchemists who played with
electricity, without ever realizing what they had in their hands. If ever we
find a means whereby to set loose the living power that lies in Masonry we
will have performed a service that will outrival anything ever done to man.
Masonry is that full of potentialities! And if this is ever done it will be
done by the men who are not contented to take a lukewarm interest in Masonry,
but who go ahead with the determination to "make another search" into the
vitals of the greatest and oldest Fraternity in the world.
PROGRESS OF THE STUDY PLAN IN
Since September 1st and up to
the time of going press with this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin,
exactly one hundred and ten Lodges in Indima have appointed "Research
Committees" and are taking up the "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" as a part
of their monthly Lodge meetings.
As evidence of the
practicability of the plan and so show what the Indiana Masons think of it, we
present the following letter from the Chairman of Winslow Jodge No. 260:
"We have held our first
'Study Club' meeting. It was a success from every angle. I enclose a copy of
the notice of the meeting which was sent out to our nembers and a goodly
"The undersigned, as Chairman
of the Committee, conducted the meeting and had no difficulty in answering all
the questions, although I am free to say that I did not know such lack of
knowledge of the Institution existed among the membership as made itself
apparent at this meeting. Men whom I thought had given some study to the
Fraternity asked questions that surprised me and they were more surprised when
they were answered.
"At the close of the meeting
I asked an expression from every member present and all expressed themselves
as more than pleased with the meeting, each agreeing that he had learned many
things about the Fraternity, its aims and purposes, that he had never known
before. I then announced the program for the November meeting. Ten members
were given places on the program and each was eager to take the part assigned
him and to find out all he could on the subject assigned. All the work is
along the lines laid out by the National Masonic Research Society.
"I have the only stagger at a
Masonic Library in town and before eight o'clock Sunday morning I was besieged
by members wanting into my study to start their work.
"Every indication is that the
'Study Club' plan wil be a big thing for our Lodge. The Committee is well
pleased with its start and will keep the ball rolling while the interest
gains. "With best wishes, I am,
Fraternally yours, A. J.
THE TRIAL OF CHRIST FROM A
BY BRO. LOUIS H. FEAD, GRAND
Brother Louis H. Fead, the
sixty-seventh Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F. and A. M. of the State of
Michigan, was born at Lexington, Michigan, May 2, 1877, and is consequently
one of the youngest Grand Masters that ever presided over that Grand Lodge. He
graduated from the Lexington High School in 1893, attended Olivet College two
years, Detroit College of Law one year and graduated from the Law Department
of the University of Michigan in 1900; settled at Newberry, Michigan, July 25,
1900, and was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Luce County the same year,
taking the office January 1, 1901. Was re-elected every two years for six
consecutive terms when he was elected Circuit Judge of the Eleventh Judicial
Circuit, composed of the counties of Alger, Chippewa, Luce and Schoolcraft, in
1912, taking office January, 1913, his term expiring January 1, 1918. He has
just been re-elected for the full term of six years commencing January 1,
1918, without any opposition, either in the primaries or at the election. He
is also engaged in the banking business being vice-president of the Newberry
Bro. Fead is a member of all
the various bodies of Masonry and allied Orders.
Young in years, vigorous in
health, sturdy in manhood, richly endowed with brilliant qualities of mind and
best of all a big heart overflowing with love for his fellow man, Michigan
Masons are indeed proud of their Grand Master for 1917-18.
An address delivered before
the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada at the biennial
meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 25-27, 1917.
RESUME OF LEGAL PRINCIPLES
IT may seem to you, at first
blush, that the subject of this address is not strictly appropriate to a
Masonic gathering. During the meeting of the Relief Association, we have heard
much of Masonic relief and charity, and our minds have been tuned to that
idea. But Masonry could live without particularly teaching charity as it might
rely upon that natural impulse which prompts men of generous natures to extend
aid to those in want. On the other hand, Justice is one of the basic
principles of our institution, within which true charity is embraced, upon
which the idea of fraternity is builded and without which there can be no true
brotherhood. Consequently, it behooves the Mason to think much on the subject
of Justice, the rendering to every man his just due without distinction, and
to learn where he can, just principles that he may practice them. Where is
there a better field for his contemplation and study than the most famous
criminal trial in the history of the world, where all the diverse passions of
humanity were loosed, the trial of Jesus Christ? And in presenting it to you,
I desire to present the subject, stripped of religious aspects, as a legal
study, and in line with the duty of Masons to seriously consider the Masonic
principle of Justice.
Heretofore, our consideration
of the trial of Christ has always been tinged with a religious coloring. We
have been taught and have learned to look upon the tragedy as an unspeakable
outrage committed upon the Savior of Mankind, the Son of God. Its human side
has been seldom, if ever, presented to us; The divine character of Christ has
always been pre-eminent in our minds and we have viewed the scene either in a
humanitarian way, with horror at the cruelty and vicious hatred of the
persecutors of one who harmed no man and did only good, or in a religious way,
as the voluntary sacrifice by God of his own Son for the redemption of the
This evening, for a few
minutes, I want to consider this tragedy with you from a different viewpoint,
from its legal rather than its humanitarian or religious side. We are not now
considering Christ as divine, but as human. The trial is not that of the Son
of God but of Jesus the man, the carpenter, and the son of the carpenter, of
Nazareth. He is the prisoner at the bar, entitled to the protection only of
those laws provided for the protection of any person accused of crime, subject
to the punishment provided for the breach of the law, and, in all respects,
having the same rights and only the same rights as has any accused inhabitant
of the country. The justice or the injustice of the execution and the motives
of those who condemned him are entirely beside the question except in so far
as they may be pertinent to the legal phase of the controversy. Our purpose is
merely to discover whether the accused man Jesus was lawfully condemned in
accordance with the settled legal principles of the times and land.
The proposition before us may
be summed up in two questions: 1. Was Christ guilty of a breach of the law? 2.
If he was, was he regularly convicted and executed in accordance with the
provisions of the law ? As a partial answer to the first question and to bring
the viewpoint sharply to your minds, let me say that when Jesus said he was
the Son of God, he was guilty of blasphemy under the laws then in force and if
he had been regularly tried and convicted of that offense and executed by the
legally provided punishment of stoning to death, there could be no legal
exception to the execution, whatever one might think of its justice or
propriety. Judea, at this time, was a Roman province or dependency. As Judea
was an enlightened land, Rome, with that splendid administrative ability which
fostered self-government so long as there was constant recognition of Roman
supreme sovereignty, permitted her to enforce practically entirely her own
system of laws, through the instrumentality of her own courts and to inflict
her punishments, except where the sentence was death, in which case Roman
sanction was required, possibly to pronounce, certainly to execute, the
sentence. Both the Jewish and Roman legal systems were admirable and, in many
respects, persons accused and tried before their courts were much more fully
protected from unjust sentence than under our modern systems, although the
punishment of the guilty was more generally assured. And Jesus was tried, not
by a mob as we sometimes think, but before two courts of proper jurisdiction
and under both the Jewish and Roman systems of law whose enlightened
provisions are even now being gradually incorporated into Anglo Saxon
jurisprudence, from which they had been for centuries barred by the autocratic
and evil theories of the Feudal system.
In order that we may
intelligently pursue the inquiry, let us briefly state the principal
provisions of the law relating to the trial of criminal cases in Judea, the
bare enumeration of which will satisfy you, I think, that the present day
system is not immeasurably superior to the past in all respects.
The trial of the major
offenses was had before the Sanhedrim, a court of general jurisdiction,
composed of 71 rulers, priests, scribes and scholars, and having a general
place of meeting in the temple. The presiding officer was usually, but not
always, the High Priest. Upon extraordinary occasions, the Sanhedrim could
meet in the palace of the High Priest. In a capital case, that is one in which
the death penalty could be inflicted, twenty-one members were required to be
present. No Jewish court could conduct judicial proceedings on a feast day and
in a capital case, the court could not sit at night.
A person accused of crime
could be arrested only after a formal accusation setting out the crime of
which he was accused, unless he were taken in the actual commission of crime.
If arrested at night, he must be kept in ward until the next day.
In all cases, the accused was
presumed to be innocent until proved guilty. He could be tried and condemned
only if he were present. He could not be called upon to testify nor could he
be made a witness against himself. The charge must be proved by other
witnesses. Counsel must be appointed for his defense. Evidence in his favor
was to be freely admitted.
No one could be convicted
upon the testimony of a single witness; at least two must testify in the
presence of the accused and must agree together. Their testimony was required
to be scrutinized carefully and technically and, in case of slight
disagreement between them, it was insufficient to convict. The oath
administered to the witness was an adjuration "by the living God." This was
the most solemn oath a Jew could take and, when so adjured, he was bound to
answer and to tell the truth. It was the duty of the presiding officer of the
court to call the attention of the witnesses to the value of life and to warn
them not to forget anything they knew in the prisoner's favor.
In minor cases, counsel on
both sides were permitted to make an argument. In capital cases, only counsel
for the accused was heard.
After the testimony was in,
the votes of the younger members of the court were taken first, that they
might not be influenced by their older associates. A judge who had voted for
conviction could change his vote at any time. One who had once spoken for
acquittal could not change his vote to conviction. In capital cases, a
majority of at least two was required to convict. A verdict of acquittal could
be given at once. A verdict of guilty could not be pronounced until a day
after the conclusion of the trial. That day was to be spent by those judges
who favored conviction in fasting, prayer and religious meditation. If a
verdict of acquittal was not reached on the day the trial ended, the court was
imperatively obliged to adjourn to permit the full day of fasting and prayer.
Upon conviction, the
condemned man was led away to be stoned; but the court remained in session. An
officer stood at the door with a signal flag. Another followed the prisoner to
the further point from which he could see the signal. If any new witnesses
came to prove the innocence of the accused the signal flag was waved; and the
execution of the sentence was stayed until the new witnesses had been heard
and judgment again pronounced.
The spirit of the Jewish law
was well illustrated in the precise and technical rules protecting those
accused of crime. It was a common saying that the "Sanhedrim was to save life,
not to destroy life." It was under such a system that the Sanhedrim purported
to conduct the trial of Jesus and by that system the regularity of the
procedure is to be tested.
With this brief resume of the
important legal principles involved in the present discussion, let us take up
the various incidents in the trial of Christ and examine their legality.
I. THE COURT No enlightened
system of jurisprudence has ever sanctioned the participation of a partisan
judge in a case, of a judge interested in the outcome of the suit. Under the
Mosaic law the judges were admonished: "Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou
shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift." The theory was that the
judgment was God's. The courts were merely the human agents appointed to state
that judgment. The Sanhedrim, the Supreme Court of the Jews, was especially
considered to be above partisan feelings and its judgments were deemed to be
the nearest approach to exact justice attainable through human wisdom and
divine revelation to man. The enlightened rules and laws of Judea could have
no possible place for a partial or biased tribunal.
But the record reads:
"After two days was the Feast
of the Passover, and of the unleavened bread; and the chief priests and the
scribes sought how they might take him and put him to death.
"Then assembled together the
chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people unto the palace of
the High Priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take
Jesus by subtlety and kill him."
This record shows, not a
merely general enmity or personal hatred toward Jesus, but a direct interest
on the part of the judges, a conspiracy by them to accuse Christ and to have
him executed, and their subsequent conduct shows that the manner of carrying
out such conspiracy was by a trial in which they were the judges.
Consequently, it is my contention that the court which first tried Christ was
unlawfully constituted because it was composed of judges who had pronounced
the judgment of death against him in advance of trial and who were actually
conspiring to encompass his execution.
II. THE ARREST On the first
day of the feast of the unleavened bread or the Passover, Jesus and his
disciples celebrated the feast in the institution of what we now call the
Lord's Supper. After the feast, and in the evening, he went with his disciples
into the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He saw his end approaching and he spent
his few remaining hours in communion with his God. Three times he went apart
from his disciples and three times he returned to find them sleeping. The
third time he came out, Judas arrived, with a multitude from the chief priests
and elders of the people, and betrayed him with a kiss. This multitude was
composed of Roman soldiers, Temple guards and some of the members of the
Sanhedrim. And they laid hands on him and took him.
A short time before this,
Jesus had publicly come up from Galilee. He had entered Jerusalem on Palm
Sunday, attended by a great concourse of his followers. He had openly taught
in the temple and confounded the scribes. Consequently, there was ample
opportunity for a formal accusation against him and his arrest in the day
time. He was not, at the time of his arrest, engaged in the commission of any
criminal act. He was not even teaching his gospel. He had been engaged in
prayer. Under no provision of the Jewish law was there legal authority for his
arrest without a formal accusation being first made against him. Jesus knew
his arrest was unlawful and he reminded the members of the Sanhedrim present
of their breach of the law when he uttered that gentle rebuke:
"Are ye come out as against a
thief with swords and staves for to take me ? I sat daily with you teaching in
the temple and ye laid no hold on me "
I do not contend that the
illegality of arrest was sufficient to prevent Jesus' being brought to trial.
It would not result in an illegal judgment if the subsequent proceedings were
in accordance with the law. But it is important as indicating the length to
which the Sanhedrim went in furtherance of their conspiracy and as being added
proof of the disqualification of the judges for interest and bias.
III. THE TRIAL BEFORE THE
SANHEDRIM Saint John says "They led Jesus away to Annas first, for he was the
father-in-law of Caiaphas, the High Priest." The record is not very clear at
this point. Some sort of an examination seems to have been conducted by the
High Priest Caiaphas, either privately or in the presence of Annas, but as the
examination was not fruitful, it is of no particular consequence.
Jesus was then taken to the
house of the High Priest, where the chief priests and the scribes and the
elders were assembled. Whether this was an extraordinary occasion warranting a
trial in the palace of the High Priest is subject to grave differences of
opinion and therefore will not be dwelt upon. You will bear in mind, however,
that this was in the night-time, when no trial could legally be had of a
capital offense, and at the time of the Feast of the Passover, when no
criminal trial of any kind could be conducted. Under the Jewish law, the whole
of the proceedings of the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrim were invalid, as
much so as if a court in this state should try and convict a person of crime
on Sunday. The judgment would be void.
Nevertheless, Jesus was
arraigned at the bar of the Sanhedrim for trial. No formal accusation was even
then made against him. But in order to preserve the semblance of a trial,
witnesses were presented. The record reads: "The chief priests and elders
sought false witnesses to put Jesus to death." They found none because,
although there were many false witnesses, they did not agree together. It was
necessary, in order to convict, that there be two witnesses agreeing in all
respects in their testimony. Two witnesses were finally found. Matthew's
version of their testimony is that Jesus had said "I am able to destroy the
temple of God and to build it in three days." Mark differs in the language
used and narrates it as "I will destroy this temple made with hands and in
three days I will build another without hands." Both of the Evangelists say
the witnesses were false witnesses and Mark further says they did not agree
St. Mark's claim of
disagreement between the witnesses is not, according to the record, entitled
to any legal weight. The record affirmatively shows that the witnesses agreed
upon Christ's statement. The only disagreement appearing in the record is that
between Matthew and Mark as to what the testimony was.
Nor is there support in the
record for the designation of the two as false witnesses. The testimony they
gave was not strictly accurate, it is true, because what Christ had said was
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." But he was then
speaking in the temple at Jerusalem, which was the Jewish temple of God. And
it is not to be expected that the Jews understood that he "spake of the temple
of his body" in making the remark, as it is apparent his own disciples did not
so understand his words until after he had risen from the dead. The version
given by the witnesses, particularly as narrated by Matthew, was substantially
a correct rendition of the meaning which would ordinarily be gathered from the
words used and the place in which they were said. Substantial accuracy is all
that can be expected of a witness narrating what was said by another at a
The record does not show that
the witnesses were cautioned to forget no testimony favorable to the accused,
warned of the sanctity of life, or that they took the oath. As these were
customary details in the trial of all criminal offenses, it is probable there
would be a presumption that they were fully observed. It appears, however,
that no counsel had been appointed for Jesus and the judges were seeking
witnesses against him instead of in his behalf, as was their legal duty.
After this testimony, the
High Priest demanded of Jesus: "Answereth thou nothing ? What is it which
these witness against thee?" And Jesus held his peace. If this demand was a
call upon him to testify against himself, it was illegal as no accused person
could be so called upon. If it was an announcement by the High Priest, who
presided over the court, that the prosecution had finished and the defense
would be heard, Jesus had the right to hold his peace. The requirements of the
law had not been observed in his behalf, in the composition of the court, its
time of meeting or in the procedure. Whether a crime had been charged may be
doubted but it was evidently not a very serious matter as the High Priest
immediately abandoned the charge and proceeded along another line. Christ was
not condemned by the Sanhedrim on the charge testified to by the two
That the High Priest was, in
fact and illegally, seeking to require Jesus to testify against himself is, I
think, conclusively shown by the fact that upon Christ's refusing to testify,
the High Priest then besought him with the most solemn adjuration which could
be put to a Jew, one which he was obliged to answer "I adjure you by the
living God that thou tellest us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God."
Mark does not relate this incident as an adjuration but states the question to
have been "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" In either case, it
was a call upon the prisoner to testify against himself and was illegal.
To this demand, Jesus
answered: "Thou hast said; nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see
the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of
heaven." Immediately the High Priest rent his garments saying "He hath spoken
blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses ? Behold, now ye heard his
blasphemy. What think ye ?" And they said "He is guilty of death."
And they jeered and mocked at
him, spit in his face and buffeted him, and, covering his head with a cloak,
struck him and asked him to prophecy who had struck him. Imagine a scene of
this kind in the highest court of the land, where the most dignified
personages of the day were in attendance, if justice were the object of the
The illegalities of this
trial were many. The judges had denied Christ the presumption of innocence,
with which the law invested him, and had adjudged him guilty in advance of
trial; the court was held in the night-time and on a feast day; no counsel had
been appointed for the accused; he had been convicted, not upon the testimony
of two witnesses, but upon his own testimony given upon the demand of the High
Priest and, according to Matthew, after the adjuration which a Jew could not
refuse to heed; the judges had sought witnesses against him instead of in his
favor; the vote had not been taken in the manner prescribed by law; the High
Priest, who should have spoken last, with a dramatic rending of his garments,
expressed his opinion first and called upon the others to confirm it; the
verdict of guilty was pronounced at once, without the intervention of the day
of fasting and prayer and religious meditation.
The Sanhedrim itself
recognized the illegality of its own procedure in holding a night session and,
as soon as it was day, held another meeting. At this meeting, as recounted by
St. Luke, they all propounded the question to Jesus whether he was the Christ.
And when he said he was, they said "What need we any further witnesses? for we
ourselves have heard of his own mouth. And the whole multitude arose and led
him unto Pilate." It is unnecessary to point out that this day meeting was not
legal. It is subject to all the objections made against the one held during
the night before except that it was held in the day time.
IV. THE TRIAL BEFORE PILATE
The trial before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, began at the hall of
judgment in the early morning. It was held in the open air as the Jews would
not enter the hall on the feast day for fear of being defiled. This is not the
only instance in history of where a precise observance of the forms of
religion or ethics has attended an example of man's inhumanity to man. Christ
was brought before Pilate because the Sanhedrim had no power to put him to
death without the approval of the Roman Governor.
When they brought Jesus to
the hall of judgment, Pilate went out to them and said "What accusation bring
ye against this man?" Thus he made an express demand for a statement of the
charges. The priests made no specific charge but answered: "If he were not a
malefactor we would not have delivered him up unto thee." Pilate said to them:
"Take ye him and judge him according to your law." And they replied: "It is
not lawful for us to put any man to death."
This colloquy indicates that
the Jews were then seeking only to obtain the approval of the Governor to the
sentence of death for blasphemy which the Sanhedrim had determined upon. While
it was the duty of the Roman Governor to pass upon all cases where it was
sought to impose the death penalty, it was the frequent practice, in order to
avoid friction with the native authorities as far as possible, to approve the
sentence without investigation and as a matter of form. The failure of the
priests to make a definite accusation in answer to Pilate's question was
apparently a hint to him that such a practice would be very acceptable to the
Sanhedrim in this particular case.
There are several entirely
patent reasons for Pilate's refusing to act upon the hint. He knew that "for
envy they had delivered" Christ to him. He seems to have evidenced a
considerable respect for Jesus, of whose activities he had heard. Being a
Pagan, he could hardly be expected to wax indignant over superstitious
differences. Knowing the charge was conceived in envy and not apparently
deeming the matter of any particular consequence, he had little sympathy with
their purpose. Hence his contemptuous advice to try Jesus according to the
Jewish law under which he knew the death penalty could not be inflicted.
The priests also knew that a
charge of blasphemy would meet with little favor from the pagan Governor and,
accordingly, they concealed their true complaint and made against Christ the
accusation of treason against the Roman state.
"We found this man perverting
the nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is
Christ, a king."
Such an accusation could not,
obviously, be dismissed without investigation by the Governor. In addition to
his administrative powers, he was a judge, with power to try, condemn and
execute. Declining to exercise his administrative and discretionary powers in
favor of the death penalty for blasphemy upon the conviction by the Sanhedrim,
he was bound, as a judge, to determine this new charge of treason against the
Roman State in accordance with the laws of Rome for the trial of criminal
cases. The record shows that he endeavored so to do.
When Christ was so accused by
the chief priests and the elders, he answered nothing. Why ? The charge was of
a triple nature, (1) perverting the nation, (2) forbidding to pay tribute to
Caesar, and (3) claiming to be a king. The charge of perverting the nation was
too indefinite to be specifically answered. The charge of forbidding to pay
tribute was false and his accusers knew it. That very week when the Pharisees,
trying to entrap him, had asked him whether it was lawful to pay tribute to
Caesar, he had answered, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and
unto God the things which are God's." The charge of claiming to be a king was
oś a double nature, having both a political and a religious aspect, and he
waited for the specifications of what was meant. Pilate, as will be seen,
ignored the charge regarding the payment of tribute and conducted the trial
solely upon the charge of Christ's claiming to be a king, regarding that as
what was meant by the allegation of perverting the people.
He took Jesus into the
judgment hall, away from the others, and examined him privately. His first
question was "Art thou the King of the Jews ?" Jesus sought immediately to
know whether Pilate was proceeding with the trial from a political or a
religious standpoint and answered by himself asking a question: "Sayest thou
this thing of thyself or did others tell it thee of me?" The purport is
whether Pilate's question referred to a king as he understood the term and in
the sense that Caesar was a king or as the Jews understood it, as a Messiah.
Pilate was not concerned with the religious controversy. He made it plain that
he asked the question only in a political sense and, impatient at being
questioned by a Jew, peremptorily demanded: "Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and
the chief priests have delivered thee unto me. What hast thou done ?" Jesus
answered the question in both ways explaining, in a political sense, that he
was not a rival of Caesar because his kingdom was not of this world but, in a
religious sense, that he was a king in the kingdom of truth. And Pilate,
without waiting for answer, asked that brooding question which has haunted
free men with free minds since the beginning of time, "What is truth?" They
went out of the judgment hall and, before the whole of the assembled people,
Pilate solemnly pronounced a verdict of not guilty. "I find no fault in him at
In a legal way, the case was
then ended. Under our modern system of jurisprudence, we have a maxim that no
man shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense. That maxim was part
of the Roman law long before and after the time of Christ, was adopted from
thence into the common law of England and became the heritage of American
jurisprudence. Pilate's judgment, pronounced after investigation and before
the accusers, was final. All proceedings thereafter upon the same charge were
But the people were not
appeased. Either in reiteration of their former charge or as a new complaint,
they became "more fierce," saying, "He stirreth up the people, teaching
throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place."
Herod, the Governor of
Galilee, was then in Jerusalem. Pilate, finding that Jesus was a Galilean,
sent him to Herod for trial. This could be legally done. Frequently changes of
venue were ordered to the jurisdiction of the prisoner's home. The common
opinion seems to be that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod in order to escape the
responsibility of further trying him and to shift the burden of the trouble
which was gathering. Whether this is true, I do not know. But inasmuch as the
complaint then made was that Christ had been stirring up the people of
Galilee, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Pilate, having found him not
guilty of crime in Jerusalem, might desire that the Governor of Galilee pass
upon him claimed violation of law in that jurisdiction.
Christ was taken to Herod,
who was glad to see him because he wanted him to perform some of the miracles
of which Herod had heard, to act the mountebank. Christ refused to say
anything. And the chief priests and scribes accused him before Herod. While
the particulars of this accusation are not set out, it was evidently regarding
Christ's claim to be a king, as Herod mocked him, arrayed him in a gorgeous
robe and sent him back to Pilate. Evidently Herod did not consider the charges
serious nor proved. And Herod was a Jew.
Upon Jesus' return, Pilate
summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people together and once
more pronounced a deliberate judgment of acquittal.
"Ye have brought this man
unto me as one that perverteth the people; and behold, I, having examined him
before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye
accuse him. No, nor yet Herod; for I sent to him; and lo, nothing worthy of
death is done unto him. I will chastise him and release him."
From a legal standpoint, the
decision of Pilate to chastise Jesus may be justified upon only one theory.
Pilate, the judge, having found Christ not guilty of crime against Caesar,
transferred the case to Pilate, the Governor and Administrator, whose duty it
was to pass upon the sentence of the Sanhedrim. Having found that Christ had
done nothing "worthy of death," he accepted the verdict of guilty passed by
the Sanhedrim but modified the sentence and substituted for death, the penalty
of scourging, as he had the power to do.
The non-legal and generally
accepted theory, however, seems to be that Pilate's action was taken merely
for the purpose of appeasing the people, who were insistent in their desire to
punish Christ, and his statement that he would then release him was evidently
an invitation to the people to ask his release. It was the custom at the Feast
of the Passover to release a prisoner to be selected by the people. Pilate,
finding Christ not guilty, to give force to his implied invitation and to make
the selection sure, offered them the choice of Christ or the most vicious
criminal in the prisons, Barabas. And the people, being incited by the priests
and the elders, chose Barabas.
Pilate thereupon took Jesus
and scourged him; and the soldiers spit upon him and mocked him and crowned
him with thorns.
Under either theory, the
judgment was final and the case ended. If the decision was a complete verdict
of not guilty, the sentence of scourging was unjustified and illegal. If it
was an approval of the verdict rendered by the Sanhedrim, it was the
pronouncement of sentence upon that verdict and the sentence, having been
fully executed, was a complete bar to any further proceedings.
After the scourging, Pilate
brought Jesus before the people again, wearing the purple robe which had been
placed upon him in mockery and with the crown of thorns upon his head and a
third time pronounced a verdict of not guilty.
"Behold I bring him forth to
you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him." When Jesus appeared,
Pilate, seeking to awaken in the hearts of the people some feeling of pity for
the just and blameless man, presented him to those assembled, "Behold the
man." And his efforts to arouse pity met with that same response which has
usually been given by those who are consumed by partisan hatred, "Crucify him,
In this scene, however,
there is one redeeming feature. The people who, having been urged by their
leaders to demand the crucifixion of Christ, had been insistent in such
demand, were silent. They pitied him as he stood there. Only the leaders, the
chief priests and the officers, then cried "Crucify him."
Once more Pilate, angry at
the insatiable vindictiveness of the leaders, pronounced the verdict of not
guilty, this time, in the verdict, directly challenging them to themselves
assume the responsibility of executing Christ.
"Take ye him and crucify him;
for I find no fault in him."
And they answered: "We have a
law and by our law he ought to die because he made himself the Son of God."
The reason for this statement
by the priests is not very clear to me. They do not now seek to have the
sentence of the Sanhedrim confirmed. They seek the punishment of crucifixion
under authority of Rome. Religious claims would have but little force with the
pagan Governor, accustomed to the worship of many gods. It may have been an
involuntary statement justifying their vindictiveness, under the biting
challenge of Pilate. But the explanation which seems most reasonable to me
that it was an argument in justification of their attitude, addressed to the
people who had apparently begun to pity Christ, to impress upon them the fact
that Jesus had been guilty of blasphemy against the Jewish religion and to
turn their pity into antagonism. In no way could they more surely arouse the
resentment of the people than by the accusation that Jesus claimed kinship and
equality with Jehovah.
The statement had the effect
of attracting the attention of Pilate. Believing in the pagan myths of the
gods and the sons of the gods leaving the celestial spheres and commingling
with human beings upon the earth, taking the forms of humans but still
retaining their divine power, he became afraid lest Jesus be the son of
Jupiter or one of the other gods, and again questioned him in private. While
his curiosity was not entirely satisfied, he was so impressed that "from
thenceforth Pilate sought to release Jesus," a most proper attitude on the
part of the Roman Governor and Judge, in view of the numerous judgments of not
guilty he had pronounced.
His efforts were unavailing.
The argument of the leaders, appealing to the religious instinct and teachings
of the people, convinced them that Jesus should die. With cunning malignity,
they presented to Pilate the last and convincing argument.
Pilate's administration as
Governor had not been entirely free from corruption and extortion.
Investigation might disclose irregularities. Tiberius was a suspicious Caesar,
who believed without proof and delighted to humiliate and punish. Complaint to
Caesar was practically equal to condemnation by Caesar. And Pilate feared
complaint. Caesar's friendship was a most powerful but most unstable support.
Unable to convince Pilate as
a judge and not being able to accomplish the death of Jesus through the forms
of the law, the rulers attacked him through political argument, with veiled
hint of complaint to Rome.
"If thou let this man go,
thou art not Caesar's friend; whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh
The trial was ended. The
judge vacated his office, and gave way to the time-serving and fearful
Pilate took water and washed
his hands before the multitude, saying "I am innocent of the blood of this
just person; see ye to it." And "he delivered him to be crucified."
NO VERDICT OF GUILTY There
was no verdict of guilty. Even as the soldiers led him away to the execution,
the words of the judge hung on the air, pronouncing him a just person, not
guilty of the charges made against him. He was not legally executed. He was
murdered, either judicially or politically, it matters not which.
In telling the story of the
trial of Christ, I have dovetailed together the various accounts as related in
the four gospels in such a way as to most clearly present my conception of the
legal propositions involved, each of the accounts being incomplete. The
conclusion is irresistible that Jesus was never legally condemned by any
court. In the Sanhedrim, he was tried by partisan judges, acting at an illegal
time, with illegal procedure and pronouncing its judgment illegally. Moreover,
its sentence was disapproved by the officer having legal authority to pass
upon it and another sentence, within his power and discretion, was inflicted
instead. Before Pilate, he was four or more times pronounced innocent; he was
never found guilty of any crime and he was executed without warrant of law.
Before Herod, he had also been pronounced not guilty of the charges made
against him. He was the victim of religious hatred, going to his death to
satisfy the demands of those who feared to let men think.
To read the story of the
trial occupies only a few minutes. It is impossible to answer all the
questions which surge into the mind as one reads. The account is short, told
plainly and with almost legal calmness. Yet the story, as it is told, is of
infinite sadness. The injustice toward the central figure is heart-rending.
But what is infinitely more pathetic is that through the whole tragic scene,
there is no man, save one, who measures up to stalwart and loyal manhood. It
may be that the story is not all told. It may be that under the merciless
glare of the white light of Christ's character, men seem only base. Certainly,
among the Romans whose ideals of justice were of the noblest character, among
the leaders and rulers of the Jews who worshipped Jehovah with devotion, among
the vast crowds who followed Jesus, among the disciples who had lived with him
and from his own lips had heard his gospel and who afterward endured martyrdom
for his sake, there was a man. It is hard to believe that the story has been
In conclusion, let me merely
suggest an idea, told in legal language and illustrated from the trial we have
Sometimes, people are prone
to condemn the forms of procedure in our courts. Indignant because of the
circumstances or character of a crime, they immediately pronounce the accused
guilty and are impatient with the forms and presumptions with which he is
invested by law and in which it is the business of the court to protect him.
The forms of procedure in courts are the best expression of the settled
judgment of experts in the orderly conduct of a trial designed to arrive at
the truth. They change slowly because they should always progress, never
retrogress. They must always further protect against injustice rather than
foster it. So long as they remain, they ought to be most jealously followed.
Life and liberty are too sacred to be destroyed by the clamor or passion of
the moment. Had the forms of the law been followed in the trial of Christ he
would, in all probability, not have been condemned and executed.
In private life, also,
brethren, should we strictly observe the forms and spirit of the law. We often
try, before the bar of our prejudices, those who do not conduct themselves
strictly in accordance with our own dogmatic views and, without proof or a
chance to be heard, condemn them and demand that they be crucified by the
Pilate of public opinion. Sometimes, we may even drag them out of the agony of
another Gethsemane at night to pronounce our judgment and demand their social
or political or civic death. And for aught we know, they may be princes in the
kingdom of truth.
Let us arraign men only
before the bar of the Sanhedrim of our consciences. Let no passion, desire or
evil feeling prejudice the court. Let us hold them innocent until proved
guilty. Let the witnesses be two, and not false witnesses, who must agree
together. Let us appoint our Charity counsel for the accused and admit
testimony freely in their favor. If our verdict be not guilty, let us proclaim
it at once and loudly. If it be guilty, let it be pronounced only after a day
of fasting, prayer and meditation. Even after the judgment has been given, let
the court of our Humanity remain in session and the signal flags be set from
the judgment hall to the place of execution. And as the one we have condemned
is being led away to judgment, let the first fleeting witness of fact, doubt
or rumor in his favor stay the execution and a new trial be granted.
Paraphrasing what was said of the Sanhedrim, let it be said of us "He seeks to
save character, not to destroy character."
OPINION AND ACTION ON
MILITARY LODGES BY GRAND MASTERS
In response to an inquiry
sent out from the Secretary's Office to the Grand Master of every State and
Province in the United States and Canada asking for a report of any action
taken by the Grand Lodges or Grand Masters in the formation of Military
Lodges, or, where no action had been taken, the personal opinion of the Grand
Master as to the advisability of such Lodges being authorized, the following
replies have been received and are published for the information of our
Additional replies are being
received in each mail, which will be published in the January issue as those
here given have taken all the available space for this month. If your State or
Province does not appear here, look for it in the January number.
WOULD CAUSE JURISDICTIONAL
I have granted no
dispensation for the formation of Army or Military Lodges.
To grant such dispensation
while our men are in America would be to authorize the invasion of the
jurisdiction of some sister Grand Lodge, and even if that Grand Lodge made no
formal complaint or protest, the invasion would be no less real and illegal,
and might easily endanger the comity now existing between us.
Even for Lodges held in
Franee, where we are not in fraternal relations with the Grand Orient, I doubt
the expediency of such Lodges, or that they would accomplish the purpose for
which they are intended. Present experience with the methods of re-organizing
and consolidating troop units make it seem certain that the changes and
re-adjustments will leave men from a particular state so distributed that the
Army Lodge would be of little or no benefit. Walter Smith, Grand Master.
* * *
WILL CO-OPERATE IN ANY PLAN
TO PROVIDE MASONIC INTERCOURSE FOR BRETHREN AT THE FRONT
I endorse the war, and the
truly Masonic principle of unselfish service to the cause of Liberty and
democracy, so ably presented to the World by our President, for his nation and
people. Therefore, the men fighting the battles have my first and deep
I favor the plan of providing
Masonic intercourse for the brethren at the front, and affording those, found
worthy, desiring to unite with this brotherhood, Lodge facilities to do so. It
is my earnest wish and desire to co-operate to the fullest extent in whatever
plan or plans will best promote the desirable result. J. S. Reamey, Grand
* * *
GRAND LODGE HAS AUTHORIZED
GRAND MASTER TO GRANT DISPENSATIONS BUT NONE YET ISSUED
In answer to your inquiry I
desire to say that the Grand Lodge delegated the right to the Grand Master to
institute such Military Lodges as he, in his judgment, might think were for
the interest of the Craft. Up to the present time no dispensation has been
issued to such lodges. There is, however, a movement on foot to organize a
Colorado Military Lodge in of one the units now in the service of the
There is one obstacle in
granting a Military Lodge for Colorado Masons; we are not sure that enough of
Colorado men will be located in the same place, regiment or division to
support a lodge. It is a question, which has not apparently been opened, if a
Military Lodge formed by the Grand Lodge of one state can justly take soldiers
from another state into the lodge. Without discussing the point I will say I
must be reasonably assured that enough Colorado material will be available to
form a lodge and to maintain it before I will look with favor upon the
organization. As mentioned before, a Military Lodge is now forming in one of
the camps, but no dispensation has as yet been issued. L.D. Grand Grand
* * *
PREPARED TO ISSUE
The Grand Lodge of
Connecticut has taken no action on the question of the Military Lodges. As
Grand Master I am prepared to issue a dispensation under suitable regulations
to hold a lodge in France or elsewhere in the field if desired. Not having
issued such a dispensation I have not carefully considered the particulars.
L.J. Nickerson, Grand Master.
* * *
AFTER INVESTIGATION OF
PRECEDENTS IS OPPOSED TO MILITARY LODGES
When my attention was first
called to the matter of Military Lodges, I felt strongly inclined to issue
dispensations for same, Lodges to continue under dispensations during the war.
Before doing so, however, I thought best to investigate the matter more
thoroughly, get what information I could with reference to Military Lodges
during the Civil War. After a thorough investigation, I have fully decided
that I will not issue a dispensation for a Military Lodge.
I find that during the Civil
War, the Military Lodges in existence took in every person who applied
regardless of their character or anything else. I find further that very few
of these Lodges ever reported to the Grand Lodge under whose jurisdiction they
were supposed to work. No record made after the war anywhere of any work done
by these Lodges. Owing to the fact that a great deal of very undesirable
material was received by these Lodges, the natural result was the Masonic
order was in extremely bad odor in many sections.
I find that the best posted
Masons in our jurisdiction are opposed to Military Lodges.
I await with much interest
the ideas and opinions of Grand Masters in other jurisdictions.
Frank O. Miller, Grand
* * *
DOUBTS NECESSITY FOR MILITARY
LODGES, SUGGESTS MASONIC CLUBS
I have been approached by a
number of brethren with reference to granting dispensations for lodges to be
known as Military Lodges and to be operated in connection with some military
organization or unit. There is nothing in our law that permits a Grand Master
to grant such a dispensation and I so advised the brethren who came to me in
this regard. Some of these brethren wanted a dispensation for a lodge to have
all the powers of the lodges now in existence, that is, to transact the
ordinary business of a lodge, receive and act upon petitions, and confer the
degrees. Others wanted to organize for the purpose of transacting the ordinary
business of a lodge but without acquiring any jurisdiction over candidates for
the degrees. It was their desire to have an organization where they would
enjoy the fraternity and good fellowship of meeting together, and to confer
degrees upon candidates who had been elected in regular lodges, this work to
be done only upon request coming from the mother lodge through the proper
To my mind there is some
doubt as to whether there is any necessity whatever for lodges in connection
with the military or naval activities of this government. With reference to
the question of lodges of this kind having jurisdiction to receive and act
upon petitions, I am of the firm belief that this should not be permitted by
any jurisdiction, and I am sure that if a lodge holding a charter of this
character from some other jurisdiction should invade Illinois, by holding
meetings within its jurisdiction and receive and act upon petitions, this
Grand Lodge would resent it, and I cannot understand how any Grand Lodge could
defend such action. Lodges organized without any jurisdictional rights would
of course be much less objectionable, but the opportunity for supervision over
lodges of this kind is very limited and it has been demonstrated to the
satisfaction of all that the method of observation now in vogue in Illinois
has a very beneficial effect and I am of the opinion that there is danger in
granting dispensations or charters to lodges situated so that there can be no
supervision. All of this is from a Masonic point of view.
From a military point of view
the question arises as to whether organized institutions of this kind within
the military or naval forces of the government would have a beneficial effect
or not upon the discipline. I have given a great deal of thought to this
question and have had considerable correspondence with Grand Masters of other
jurisdictions and have come to the conclusion that there is no occasion for
the granting of charters or dispensations for military lodges. If the members
of the fraternity located in a particular camp, regiment, fort, on board a
battleship or at some training camp, believe that it would be desirable to
have a Masonic organization, they can, if permitted to do so by the military
authorities, organize a club, which to my mind will serve all of the purposes
of a lodge.
Ralph W. Wheeler, Grand
* * *
PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO
KEEP PROPER RECORD OF MILITARY LODGES
In re Military Lodges, the
Grand Lodge of Iowa has not authorized any Military Lodges and unless
conditions very materially change, rendering such Lodges a necessity, none
will be chartered.
There are many serious
objections to the Military Lodge, which only necessity can overcome.
It is almost impossible to
keep any proper record of a Military Lodge and most especially under the
conditions of war in effect today.
There are so many lodges
scattered throughout the United States that there certainly can be little
demand for a Traveling Military Lodge under the conditions of present day
warfare. Degrees are conferred by courtesy in nearly all of the lodges of the
United States, so that any brother really desiring degrees can get them in a
regularly authorized lodge no matter where he happens to be stationed. It is
true that this necessitates considerable work, especially upon the lodges near
the cantonments, but the Masons everywhere have arisen to their duties and are
only too glad to confer these degrees when authorized to do so by the proper
These being the conditions,
the Grand Lodge of Iowa as above stated will charter no Military Lodges at the
present time. John W. Barry, Grand Master.
* * *
TWO DISPENSATIONS GRANTED AND
OFFICERS INSTALLED BY GRAND MASTER SAUNDERS - ONE LODGE MEETS ON A "HIGH HILL"
IN THE OPEN
I am sending you the portion
of my address to the Grand Lodge, as Grand Master, upon the subject, which
shows my opinion. The Grand Lodge sustained me and continued the dispensations
until the close of the war and the return of the Regiments. Upon request of
the members of the Army Lodge the name Kentucky Rifle Lodge was changed to J.N.
Saunders Army Lodge. J.N. Saunders.
From sixteen officers in the
First Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United States, now the One Hundred and
Fifty‑ninth United States Infantry, I received the following petition and made
the following order thereon, viz: -
"To J. N. Saunders, Grand
Master of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.:
We, the undersigned officers
of the First Kentucky Infantry having volunteered our services to the country
in the war now waged, and being about to depart for foreign lands for active
service with the Army of the United States; we, each of us, being residents of
Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular lodge standing, under the
jurisdiction of lodges subordinate to The Grand Lodge of Kentucky F. & A. M.,
not disturbing our present relationship to our home lodges, hereby ask a
dispensation empowering us to meet as a Masonic lodge at or near the Military
Stations of said Regiment of the United States Army and there practice the
rites, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of Masonry; and in said
lodge to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said
Regiment who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess
all the requisite qualifications.
Wm. A. Colston, Fall City,
I.L. Shulhafer, St. George,
Harris Mallenckrodt, Phoenix,
No. 31, N. C.
C.V. Williams, Aurora, No.
F.J. Hardesty, Eminence, No.
J.C. Barnes, Donovan, No.
B.F. Ewing, Louisville, No.
Geo. M. Cheschier,
Louisville, No. 400.
Dan Carrell, Daylight, No.
Walter Byrne, Jr.,
Russellville Lodge, No. 17.
H.F. Rives, Solomon, No. 5.
F.S. Wright, Solomon, No. 5.
Ellis Duncan, Daylight, No.
Thompson Short, Lexington,
Hubert E. Royalty,
Breckenridge, No. 67.
Ben F. Offut, Preston, No.
All of them residents of the
Commonwealth of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular lodge standing,
under the jurisdiction of lodges subordinate to The Grand Lodge of Kentucky F.
& A. M., and officers in the First Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United
States, now One Hundred and Fifty‑ninth United States. Infantry, summoned to
active military service in a foreign land, not disturbing their present
relationship to their home lodges, ask me for a dispensation empowering them
to meet at or near their military stations as a Masonic lodge, and there to
practice the rites, perform the duties and enjoy the privileges of Masonry, to
receive to membership, to initiate, pass and raise soldiers of said Regiment
who are residents of Kentucky, who are found worthy and who possess all the
The Master Masons who make
this petition have evidenced the highest claim to all the rights and
privileges possible to be granted under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky; they have voluntarily offered their services and their lives in
defence of their country, in vindication of the rights of outraged
civilization, and in protection of peaceful homes, of guileless children and
defenseless women against the most barbarous and faithless military tyranny
the world has ever known.
The Dispensation Is Granted.
The petitioners are hereby
authorized to open and hold a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at or near the
Military Stations of said Regiment to be known as
W.A. COLSTON ARMY LODGE
with jurisdiction not
territorial and limited to residents of Kentucky in the service of the United
States with the First Kentucky Infantry, now One Hundred and Fifty-ninth U. S.
Infantry, I hereby designate Hubert E. Royalty to be Master, and I. L.
Shulhafer, to be Senior Warden, and Wm. A. Colston, to be Junior Warden, of
said Lodge, each of whom has been examined by me and found proficient in the
work and lectures of the symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This Lodge shall be governed
by the constitution and regulations of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A.
M., and the By-laws and Rules of Order as recommended by The Grand Lodge of
Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the authorized Book of Constitutions,
4th Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters admitted to
this lodge to retain such rank therein as though Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the
seal of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., at Stanford, Kentucky, this
27th day of August, 1917. (Signed) J. N. Saunders, Grand Master.
On August 27, 1917, at
Regimental Headquarters of the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth United States
Infantry, at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, with the assistance of
the officers of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, in the presence of most of the
Past Grand Masters of this Grand Lodge, and a large company of distinguished
Masons from different parts of the State, I opened W. A. Colston Army Lodge,
and installed the officers thereof.
From the following eighteen
officers and privates in the Second Kentucky Infantry, Army of the United
States, I received a similar petition:
First Lieut. J. M. Harper,
McKee Lodge, No. 144.
Captain E. B. Wise, Harlan
Lodge, No. 879.
First Lieut. Ena W. Walker,
Jackson Lodge, No. 731.
Captain George W. Jenkins,
Whitesburg Lodge, No. 754.
First Lieut. A. C. Cope,
Breathitt Lodge, No. 649.
First Lieut. Ura W. Bryant,
Island Lodge, No. 743.
First Lieut. Carter D.
Stamper, Proctor Lodge, No. 213.
First Lieut. Hiram Hogg, Jr.,
Booneville Lodge, No. 425.
Captain R.J.H. Spurr,
Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Captain F.W. Staples,
Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Major Robert W. Jones,
Lexington Lodge, No. 1.
Sergeant James Bowling, Red
Bird Lodge, No. 838.
Cook, Henry Evans, St. Helens
Lodge, No. 684.
Corporal Charles Barker, St.
Helens Lodge, No. 684.
Robert Stone, St. Helens
Lodge, No. 684.
W.O. Bradley, St. Helens
Lodge, No. 684.
Fred M. Curtis, Somerset
Lodge, No. 111.
Sergeant John M. Bartley,
Whitesburg Lodge, No. 764.
All of them residents of the
Commonwealth of Kentucky, Master Masons in good and regular lodge standing,
under the jurisdiction of lodges subordinate to The Grand Lodge of Kentucky,
F. & A. M., and officers and members of the Second Kentucky Infantry, now the
160th U. S. Infantry, summoned to active military service in a foreign land,
not disturbing their present relationship to their home lodges, ask me for a
dispensation empowering them to meet at or near their military station as a
Masonic Lodge, and there to practice the rites, perform the duties, and enjoy
the privileges of Masonry, to receive to membership, to initiate, pass and
raise soldiers of said Regiment, who are residents of Kentucky, who are found
worthy, and who possess all the requisite qualifications.
The Master Masons who make
this petition are the descendants of the home seekers who, bearing the rifle,
the Bible and the ax, converted "No Man's Land" into one of the greatest of
all the American States.
Masons of such descent,
Masons who voluntarily answer their Country's call to patriotic duty, to
hardships, to victory or to death are entitled to make such request.
The Dispensation Is Granted.
The petitioners are hereby
authorized to open and hold a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons at or near the
Military stations of said Regiment, to be known as
KENTUCKY RIFLE LODGES
with jurisdiction not
territorial, and limited to residents of Eentucky in the service of the United
States with the Second Eentucky Infantry, now the 160th United States
I hereby designate: Major
Roger W. Jones, to be Master; First Lieutenant Joseph M. Harper, to be Senior
Warden, Captain Keith B. Wise, to be Junior Warden, each of whom has been
examined by me and found proficient in the work and the lectures of the
symbolic degrees of Masonry.
This lodge shall be governed
by the constitution and regulations of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A.
M., and the By-laws and Rules of Order as recommended by The Grand Lodge of
Kentucky, F. & A. M., and published in the authorized Book of Constitutions,
4th Edition, pages 184-190.
All Past Masters, admitted to
this lodge to retain such rank therein as though Past Masters thereof.
Given under my hand and the
seal of The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M., at Stanford, Kentucky, this
25th day of September, 1917.
(Signed) J. N. Saunders,
On September 25, 1917, upon a
high hill, in the open, overlooking Camp Stanley, near Lexington, Kentucky,
guarded by military pickets who stood out of sight and hearing, and carefully
tiled by two Master Masons, I opened Kentucky Rifle Lodge, U.D., installed its
Master and Wardens, and, upon their appointment and election by the lodge,
installed the remaining officers.
The love and the prayers of a
grateful people go with the brave boys of these two lodges. They have
voluntarily answered the greatest call our country can make to its patriotic
sons, they have voluntarily enlisted in the holiest army that ever followed a
battle flag. We, who sit at home in the place of safety, cannot, dare not,
deny our soldier brothers, to the guardsmen of our homes, to the defenders of
our country, the sweet ministration of Masonry in their shell swept camps,
which we, in places of security, here at home enjoy.
I recommend the Grand Lodge
continue these dispensations until the close of the war and the return of what
will be the two battle scarred regiments.
J. N. Saunders. Grand Master.
WOULD STRAIN A POINT TO ADD
TO THE COMFORTS OF OUR SOLDIER BRETHREN
In this jurisdiction, we have
not yet been asked to grant dispensation for a Military Lodge to go overseas,
therefore the question has not been considered carefully in all its angles,
and I do not know that I am therefore prepared to give an opinion in the
matter as you request.
Personally, I would be
inclined to strain a point if it were going to be of advantage to our soldier
brethren and add to their comforts in any way. I do not see that any great
harm can come from a military lodge working in France or any other country,
providing they are taking members only from among the soldiers who went from
the country from which they received their charter. I believe though, that a
lodge of that kind should be limited to taking applications from people
hailing from the jurisdiction it received its charter from, because owing to
the principle of exclusive jurisdictions that we have established on this
continent, it would not be fair to allow them to take applications from the
people of the countries in which they might be residing.
These are briefly my views in
the matter. I have not time to prepare an article such as you suggest. If this
is of any service to you, you may use it in any way you wish.
P.E. Kellett, Grand Master.
* * *
NO ACTION BY GRAND LODGE -
GRAND MASTER OPPOSED
The Grand Lodge of Minnesota
has taken no action in the matter of the establishment of Military Lodges.
Personally I am opposed to them.
Albert Berg, Grand Master.
* * *
NO OBJECTION TO LODGE TO WORK
ONLY IN FRANCE WITHOUT POWER TO RECEIVE OR ACT ON PETITIONS
I have had only one
application for a Military Lodge and have refused it because our Grand Lodge
has held, during and since the Civil War, that exclusive jurisdictional
sovereignty is a reciprocal, as well as sound, doctrine and has denied both
the right of its own Grand Master to authorize lodges to work out of the state
and the right of other Grand Lodges to authorize lodges to work in the state
of Michigan, except by courtesy.
I think this position is
sound and approved by the best authorities. If, however, a Military Lodge is
chartered to work only in France, or in a recognized jurisdiction by courtesy
alone, the powers of the lodge would have a considerable bearing on its
advisability. In my judgment, it is not advisable to charter Military Lodges
with power to receive and act upon petitions. The feature of promoting
fellowship among Masons may be better taken care of by Masonic Clubs. It is
not the duty of Masonry to afford the opportunity to become Masons to those
who have evidenced no prior interest in it and contrary to the usual course.
Military Lodges, according to the experience during the Civil War as shown by
the correspondence reports of that period, however they may be originally
restricted, soon become irresponsible, get lax in the admission of material
and, because of frequent changes caused by the fortunes of war, do not remain
in safe hands. The greatest duty of lodges after the war will be to take care
of disabled brethren and their dependents. If our army now in training gets to
the firing line, that duty will be so onerous that it will tax to the utmost
the ability of lodges. The burden should not be increased by a lodge which
goes out of existence at the end of the war, which has no future
responsibility as to the conduct or care of its members and merely creates
obligations for others to bear. If the lodge be authorized only to work
degrees upon request of permanent lodges, the latter receiving and acting upon
petitions and holding the members, the situation would be entirely different.
I can see no objection to such a lodge if a feasible plan of membership and
control be devised.
Louis H. Fead, Grand Master.
GRAND LODGE REJECTS
At the last meeting of the
Missouri Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., held in St. Louis, September 19-21, 1917,
the question of special or Military Lodges was taken up on a resolution
introduced to establish such lodges, and to allow regular lodges in the state
to shorten the time between the degrees in order that those who had been
drafted might be made Masons before leaving. After a considerable discussion
pro and con, the proposition was voted down by a very substantial majority.
There is no question as to
advisability of the Grand Master of Missouri granting permission for the
organization of such lodges or for shortening the time between the degrees, as
the By-laws of our Grand Lodge strictly prohibit it and the Grand Master can
do nothing contrary to the Grand Lodge Law.
I am well satisfied that the
matter ended as it did for I am of the opinion that confusion would arise and
the unworthy material that would probably creep in under such conditions would
be very troublesome in the future and in the long run would possibly do more
harm than good.
W. A Clark, Grand Master.
* * *
MONTANA ARMY LODGE NO. 1
CREATED SEPTEMBER 8th
A Dispensation creating
Montana Army Lodge No. 1 was put into effect September 8th, 1917.
There is to be no
Jurisdictional invasion. The Lodge cannot meet in any other State of the
United States than Montana without first obtaining the consent of the Grand
Master of that State.
The membership in the
Military Lodge is that of Companionship only; affiliation with the lodges to
which the brethren belong is not severed. Those made Masons thereunder, when
the Dispensation is recalled (the Lodge is never to be chartered) will be
given dimits by the Grand Secretary and will be required to deposit them in
the Lodge nearest their home and petition for membership therein.
No one can be a Companion of
the Lodge, or be made a Mason therein, unless at the time of his entering the
service of the United States he was a citizen of the State of Montana.
F. D. Jones, Grand Master.
(COPY OF DISPENSATION)
LETTERS OF DISPENSATION
IN THE NAME AND UNDER THE
AUTHORITY OF THE
MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE
ANCIENT, FREE AND ACCEPTED
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
To All to Whom These Presents
May Come, Greeting:-
WHEREAS, The following named
brethren who are Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and citizens and residents
of the State of Montana, and members in good standing of Lodge under the
jurisdiction of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons of Montana, and elsewhere throughout the globe, and who are in the
military service of the United States of America, and forming a part of what
is known as the "Second Montana Regiment," regularly enlisted in the services
of the United States of America, now engaged in war with Germany and other
nations,................ have petitioned that they may be authorized to work
as a temporary Lodge under dispensation, during said war, without disturbing
their affiliations with the Lodges to which they belong in order that they may
meet as Masons, and thus encourage the practice of our sublime principles
while subjected to the trials and temptations of army life in time of war, and
to regularly confer degrees upon proper applicants, and to lay to rest, with
the honors of the Craft, any of their brethren who may fall while engaged in
the service of their Country - and it appearing to be for the benefit of our
Ancient and Honorable Order that their request be granted:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT KNOWN:
That by the power in me vested as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient,
Free and Accepted Masons of Montana, I hereby authorize our brethren aforesaid
to open and hold a temporary Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, at
the posts and camps of the Second Montana Regiment, or at some convenient
place near the same, without invading any other Jurisdiction, and to be known
"MONTANA ARMY LODGE NO. 1
Vesting them with power to
admit to companionship by affiliation in said Lodge, Masons serving in the
armies and navies of the United States who are regularly affiliated in Lodges
holding charter from the Grand Lodge of Montana, or, if affiliated elsewhere,
echo were at the time of entering the service of the United States, citizens
of the State of Montana; to enter Apprentices, pass Fellow Crafts and raise
Master Masons, regularly from among such citizen soldiers aforesaid, as any
Lodge under the jurisdiction of said Grand Lodge of Montana could do,
excepting that the jurisdiction of said temporary Lodge hereby authorized is
not territorial but is confined and limited to citizens of Montana in the
service of the United States as before mentioned.
That this warrant shall not
authorize the meeting or formation of a Lodge of Masons in any other State of
the United States than Montana without first informing the Grand Master of
said state and obtaining his consent to such meetings.
That no petition for degrees
shall be received by said Lodge while within the territorial jurisdiction of
the United States except from a person who at the time of his enlistment in
the service was a bona fide resident of the State of Montana.
I hereby appoint Brother
..... to be Worshipful Master, Brother ..... to be Senior Warden, and Brother
..... to be Junior Warden of said temporary Lodge.
All actual Past Masters who
may be hereby or hereafter admitted to companionship therein will retain their
rank as if really Past Masters thereof, so that in case of the absence of the
Master and Wardens, they may act as by law provided. In the event of the death
or total disability of the Master and both Wardens herein named, while the
Regiment is absent from the United States, the Lodge may, when regularly
convened, elect to these offices from their members, and such persons so
elected shall serve until the Grand Master has been notified and he shall
thereupon appoint to fill vacancies.
I require that all of the
said brethren and their associates be governed by the Constitution, laws,
rules, edicts and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Montana, and all of the
laws thereof, and to keep a record of their proceedings and promptly send a
copy of the same (after each meeting) to the Grand Secretary, and make return
as all other Lodges should do. In case of dissolution, from any cause, to
promptly transmit all books, papers, money, or other property of said Lodge,
with this dispensation, to said Grand Secretary. Further, at the termination
of the service of any one holding "companionship" with said lodge who is not a
member of some Montana Lodge of Masons, he and each agree to petition some
Lodge near his residence for affiliation therewith; and all withdrawals (dimits)
from the said "Montana Army Lodge" shall be obtained from the Grand Secretary
of said Grand Lodge.
That for the purpose of
aiding said Lodge in discharging its functions, and realizing the great
service our brethren and those who may unite with them are performing for our
country and our nation, I hereby suspend our statutory provisions with
reference to minimum fees for the degrees, and hereby authorize said Lodge to
fix said fees in such sums as it may find advisable.
This dispensation will
continue in force at the will and pleasure of the Grand Master, and shall be
subject to revocation at his pleasure.
LASTLY: The Master, Wardens,
Past Masters and brethren in companionship with said Army Lodge, by accepting
this Dispensation, solemnly engage and promise to conform to all of the
foregoing requirements, whether expressed or implied, and at all times to hold
themselves subordinate to, and under the jurisdiction of the aforesaid Grand
Lodge of Montana.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, witness
my hand as Grand Master of the said Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted
Masons of the State of Montana, with the Seal of the said Grand Lodge, and the
attestation of the Grand Secretary thereof.
Done in the Grand East in
Helena, Montana, this eighth day of September, Anno Domini 1917, Anno Lucis
The above Dispensation was
put into force and effect at the Consistory-Shrine Temple at Helena, Montana,
on September 8th, 1917, in the presence of Helena Lodge No. 3, Morning Star
Lodge No. 5, and King Solomon's Lodge No. 9, under our jurisdiction, by
* * *
SUBJECT HAS NOT BEEN
The M.W. Grand Master of New
Brunswick is at present out of the jurisdiction and, in his absence, I wish to
say that no action has been taken in this Grand Lodge respecting Military
Lodges; nor indeed has the subject been discussed. I know there are instances
of England having, in the eighteenth century, chartered Lodges in connection
with British regiments, but no doubt this is an historical matter with which
you are familiar.
J. Twining Hartt, Grand
* * *
BY-LAWS OF THE GRAND LODGE
PROHIBIT MILITARY LODGES
The establishment of Military
Lodges is prohibited by the By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, which
ruling will be in effect until the next session of the Grand Lodge, which will
be in April, 1918.
William M. Thompson, Grand
* * *
MATTER NOW UNDER
In reply to your inquiry as
to what steps, if any, have been taken by the Grand Lodge of Oregon on the
question of establishing Military or Army Lodges, I beg to advise you that the
matter is under consideration, but, up to the present time, no definite action
has been taken.
Such conditions as confront
us, at the present time, were evidently not contemplated in the Oregon Grand
Lodge Law, and the only action which would apply in this situation is the
granting of a Special Dispensation for an Army Lodge, which would only have
Oregon material to draw from.
Personally, I am strongly in
favor of our boys in the military service having the privilege and opportunity
of fraternal associations with their fellows. We recognize the "necessity of
congregating in Lodges" as one of the landmarks of Masonry, and if necessary
to the member while in civil life, it is necessary to a greater degree to the
brethren in the various war organizations, which are deprived of many of the
privileges they were accustomed to in civil life.
W.G. Shellenbarger, Grand
(Additional replies from
Grand Masters in January number.)
HOW DO WE KNOW YOU TO BE A
ONLY the other day we sat in
an Eastern office when there came in an officer wearing the uniform of the
army of the United States. He was not in the best health but looked of fine
frame and training. So it proved.
But he had been very ill.
Present-day demand is for the well and strong. None but the fittest are
scheduled for the far-off front in Europe. Of late he was discharged from
hospital. His condition caused him to be sent before a medical board of
examination. The verdict recommended him for retirement.
Retirement, to a soldier of
his fine fiber, was felt by him as a disgrace. In him thrilled the patriotic
impulse at flood tide. His heart was in the front rank and an order for him to
go to the rear was killing. What could be done for him to face the enemy and
go forward ?
He was a Mason. To him the
brethren were as patriotic and self-sacrificing as he himself. So to his
brothers he came with the plea that wherever they could they should speak on
his behalf, that his body and brain might go where his heart led on.
Are we like unto him? Do we
ache to get in the game? Or do we discourage and decry the duty ahead ?
Masons! This is not the time
to argue fastidiously with the crew or the captain. We are at sea in a storm.
Fine-spun theories about navigation are all excellent maybe in port when at
anchor but these are other days with pressing duties. Get busy on deck or go
What should be done with the
fussy folk who stand worrying in the doorway when the house is afire ? One
side with them !
Would you discuss the
chemistry of combustion if a life were in danger from the flames? No! Your
road would lie straight ahead and there you would go with a rush. Later on
when all is calm is a permissible period for talking, then is the time to
freely say your criticizing say. But not now !
Pay, don't say! We are Masons
and Masons are patriotic and law-abiding or they are not Masons.
Every Study Club is a center
of citizenship or it is nothing.
Unless we see more than a
strip of fabric in every flag, a bit of freedom in every thread of bunting or
khaki uniform, the faith is not in us, and we are indeed undone.
Masonry is citizenship in
action, putting every dollar of money and every drop of blood into the service
of a greater brotherhood among all men.
Masonry is for solemn
treaties kept, for womanhood respected, childhood protected, homes guarded,
manhood maintained and honored.
Masonry is here and now with
and for what was gained for us by George Washington, a heritage from him and
the other Masons of early days, that is only worth while so long as Masonry
lives up to his standards and follows in his footsteps.
Brother, where do you stand
and what are you doing for the common cause at this great crisis?
Are you begging for a chance
to serve? Or are you waiting to be asked to do your share? Maybe you are ill,
or perhaps some examining board would turn you down for the exact thing you
would like best to do.
Do what you can and all you
can. At least you can speak a good word to the rest. Encourage everyone.
Hearten all. Remember that unity is victory, concord spells success, every
laggard is a break in our ranks. Masons, what came you here to do?
Brethren of the Society:
America is at War. Every
patriotic citizen, and I am one of them, believes that luxuries and
unnecessary expenditures should be eliminated in the interest of our common
National emergency. I therefore ask you the question, is our Research work a
luxury or is it a worth-while endeavor? I believe that as we have defined it,
it is a necessity. If we as Masons are to take part in support of our Country,
we need now, more than ever before, to keep our Masonic principles clearly in
view. The great lessons which our Fraternity is teaching have a real value in
this crisis. To promote a clearer understanding of those lessons among our
membership will be our aim in continuing THE BUILDER. If I am right in this -
if the above opinion is held by the members of this Society, then we shall
have your support in the form of your 1918 dues. Will you give us this
evidence of your loyalty this month, if you have not already done so, and save
us as much postage as possible?
Geo. L. Schoonover.
EDITED BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
(The object of this
Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always
familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such
non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library editor will
be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to
study clubs and lodges, either through this Department or by personal
correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book - what is
its nature, what is its value or how it may be obtained - be free to ask him.
If you have read a book which you think is worth a review write us about it;
if you desire to purchase a book - any book - we will help you get it, with no
charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.)
THE CATHEDRAL BUILDERS
A LITTLE REVIEW OF LEADER
IN the great days of the
Roman Empire, as we all know, the various trades were organized into collegia,
or workmen's gilds; the carpenter's had theirs, the textile workers, the
stone masons, the dyers, the physicians, the lawyers, even the priests. Each
society had its central organization, its subordinate bodies, its common chest
wherefrom help might be given to members in distress, and nearly all made some
provisions for the burial of their dead.
Among these collegia none was
more powerful than the fraternity of builders, whose art was then held as a
secret to be made known only to the initiated. Whenever a public building was
to be erected, a city to be laid out, a wall to build, or a bridge, the
collegium of builders was called upon to do the work. So also with the
enterprises of colonization. Many times the Roman army would carry a group of
builders with it in order that they might the more readily set up some new
town in a territory conquered by Roman arms. It was in this way that one
collegium, at least, was carried as far as Britain where vestiges of its work
are said to be still in evidence.
When the barbarians came down
upon Rome and succeeded at last in sweeping everything before them, the
collegia suffered shipwreck like almost everything else. What became of them
all we do not know, we never will know. But it is a question of some urgency
to us Masons who like to trace our lineage back through the centuries of
builders to ask what became of the collegium of architects. Did they also
perish from the face of the earth? If so, how do we account for the rise of
architecture in Europe so soon after the invasion had run its course? Whence
came the sudden skill to erect the beautiful churches of Italy and France long
before the days of Charlemagne? Is it possible that there can be some link to
unite the cathedral builders of Europe to the old collegia builders of Rome?
Now it is the theme of Leader
Scott's book (Leader Scott was the pen name of a Mrs. Baxter of Florence) that
there WAS a tie between the Roman collegium of masons and the early cathedral
builders, and it is no difficult matter to condense her account of the matter
in a paragraph or two.
Briefly put she holds that at
the time of the general smash-up in Rome a group of trained Roman builders
took refuge on an island in the little Italian Lake of Como. On this island,
and in the more immediate neighborhood, they remained for many years
practicing their ancient art in such small scale as circumstances permitted.
At last, after the storm had blown over a bit they sallied farther forth until
they at last found the freedom and the opportunity to resume their normal
Space does not avail to trace
in detail anything of this emergence or the manner in which the old collegium,
or fraternity, grew in numbers and strength until kings and emperors began
once more to call them into service. Wherever they went, these Comacines, they
established Lodges and they built schools in which young apprentices might be
taught the secrets of the craft. In this wise they developed again not only
the art of building but also carving, sculpture, and even painting, and they
at last grew into the powerful gilds of the Middle Ages to which we owe these
stately cathedrals of such solemn beauty over which this war has caused us to
watch with anxious solicitude.
Now it is plain to see the
importance of the story of the Comacines to us Masonic students. We trace our
present organization back to the medieval cathedral builders; if the Comacines
were the parent body of these medieval cathedral builders then are they the
grandparents of Masonry, and it is through them that we trace our inheritance
from the old Roman collegia. And also, if we can hold DaCosta's theory that
the Roman Collegia received their initiation into the building art from the
ancient Phoenician builders' fraternities then are the Comacines one link in
the long historical chain which binds us up to the building of Solomon's
Temple, for, as is now abundantly proved, it was the Phoenicians that erected
Solomon's mighty house of worship.
Inasmuch as our purpose here
is to describe the contents of a book and to indicate its significance to
Masonry rather than to criticize, we shall attempt no analysis of Leader
Scott's argument or to indicate any of its weaknesses. It may be said,
however, that evidence is accumulating apace which may one day establish the
Comacine theory in the true House of History.
(Leader Scott's book runs to
more than 400 pages. To our members wishing a "boiled-down" version we
recommend "The Comacines" by Brother W. Ravenscroft.)
THE QUESTION BOX
(The Builder is an open forum
for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his
own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of
spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another;
but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each
to stand or fall by its own merits.)
WORKS ON MASONIC SYMBOLISM
I would like to inquire if
there is published any work which treats exclusively of Masonic Symbolism,
including that of the Blue, Chapter and Cryptic degrees? Something that I
could use as a text-book on the subject. I have "Signs and Symbols" by Oliver,
Mackey's Symbolism of Freemasonry as well as Mackey's Encyclopedia. - J.T.C.,
Yes, there are many works
which treat of Masonic Symbolism though you already have some of the best and
most complete. You might add Oliver's Landmarks, and his Dictionary of
Symbolic Masonry. Macoy's Revision of Oliver's Dictionary is also good.
For a more extended study you
might consider Bromwell's "Masonic Restorations," Thomas M. Stewart's
"Symbolic Teaching," John T. Lawrence's "The Keystone," "Sidelights on
Freemasonry," "By-ways of Freemasonry," and "Perfect Ashlar," F. Portal's
"Comparison of Egyptian Symbolism with Hebrew," H. C. Barlow's "Essays on
Symbolism," J. Finlayson's "Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry," J. G.
Gibson's "Masonic Problem," A. S. McBride's "Speculative Masonry," P.
Nicholson's "Symbolism of Freemasonry," Chas. H. Vail's "Symbols and Legends
of Masonry," and C. M. Boutelle's "Man of Mt. Moriah." This by no means
exhausts the list of such works, but it is enough to keep you busy for a time.
The last named book is a novel, but it is full of Masonic Symbolism and is
well worth reading.
* * *
MASONIC LITERATURE DEALING
WITH GRADES OF THE STONE AGE
I am glad you are engaged in
such a worthy undertaking. I am now free to enter into the study of the
Masonic sciences and devote some time to it and wish, indeed, more of our
Brethren in my Lodge might do so. As I have received most of my knowledge of
Masonry from scientific books not Masonic, I wish to ask you if there is any
Masonic literature dealing with grades of the stone-age, as for instance, the
passage grades in England and on the Danish island Tyen. If so, will you
inform me, that I may secure such? - A.P.O., California.
Thank you for your words of
commendation. We are glad you can devote some time to Masonic sciences and
trust you will be able to favor us with the result of your investigations. Our
undertaking to be helpful must be mutual, each contributing his mite to
complete and make perfect the structure of Masonic science. We are sorry to
say that we do not know of any distinctively Masonic literature of the
subjects named. You are doubtless familiar with the general scientific
literature of the subject. If you find anything distinctively Masonic we will
be pleased to be so advised. Can any reader of THE BUILDER furnish the
* * *
QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES
At the last meeting of our
Study Club we took up the subject as found in the September BUILDER, "The
Lodge and The Candidate - Proposing and Recommending," and some very
interesting points came up and I was requested to write you for further
information concerning the petition and recommending for a paper for our next
meeting. Send us any suggestions you may have to offer. - R.F.B., Iowa.
You will find the material
you are looking for in the Jurisprudence table on page 70 of the March issue
of THE BUILDER and also that on page 273 of the September issue. In the latter
article, in most instances, are included portions of the law in various States
having reference to the moral, intellectual and age qualifications of a
* * *
BOOKS ON MASONRY
If you have any important
public works or a list of books dealing on Masonry, I would like to have you
submit the same to me with your recommendation as toy their importance. -
W.S.C., Texas. '
See replies to J. T. C.,
California, and G. H. K., Minnesota, in this issue.
* * *
MATERIAL FOR A CIRCULATING
LIBRARY - LIST OF MASONIC MAGAZINES
With a view to starting a
circulating library of Masonic literature, we would appreciate it very much if
you would send us a list of twenty-five (more or less) of the most desirable
Masonic books and a second list of periodicals. - G.H.E., Minnesota.
On Symbolism see reply to
J.T.C., California, in this issue.
On Ritual you should have the
Monitor of your Grand Lodge. If your jurisdiction has no standard Monitor we
would recommend Simons', Webb's, and Ahiman Rezon. The latter is the name
given to the Monitor of the Grand Lodge of Ancients and has been followed with
modifications by the states which followed the ritual of this Grand Lodge
rather than that of the Moderns.
On Jurisprudence, Mackey and
Lawrence each have a good work, and there is also Look's "Masonic Trials" and
Lockwood's "Masonic Law and Practice." Also, do not overlook the Code of your
On History, the best is now
unobtainable, but there are some close seconds like Hughan and Stillson's
"History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders." L. Vibert's "Freemasonry
Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," J. F. Newton's "The Builders," Pierson
and Steinbruner's "Tradition, Origin and Early History of Freemasonry."
For general works on Masonry
and allied subjects we would recommend W. M. Adams' "Book of the Master," and
"House of the Hidden Places," A. F. Bloomer's "Ante Room Talks," J. D. Buck's
"Mystic Masonry" and "Genius of Masonry," W.S. Caldecott's "Solomon's Temple,"
R. S. Clymer's "Ancient Oriental Masonry," E. S. Ellis' "High Twelve" and "Low
Twelve," J. Fellows' "Mysteries of Masonry," G. F. Fort's "Antiquities of
Freemasonry," Sidney Hayden's "Washington and His Masonic Compeers," W. F.
Kuhn's "Chips from the Quarries," A.G. Mackey's "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,"
"Masonic Symbolism," "Jurisprudence" and "Cryptic Masonry," L. A. McConnell's
"Poems of the Temple," Robert Morris' "Masonic Poetry," Albert Pike's Poems,
and "Morals and Dogma," Leader Scott's "Cathedral Builders," W. G. Sibley's
"Story of Freemasonry," and A.L. Waite's "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry."
These are all desirable works
and your choice from this list will depend largely upon your own preferences.
Another very good list embracing some of the same publications was given on
page 144, Vol. I of "The Builder."
The list of Masonic
LIST OF MASONIC PUBLICATIONS
(From N. R. Parvin's Report
to Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1916.)
(From N. R.
Parvin's Report to Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1916.)
Island Masonic News
Grand Lodge Bulletin
New Age .
Washington, D. C
Collins Lodge Bulletin
Falls Masonic News
Falls, S. Dakota
Cheer Trestle Board
Providence, R. I
Johannesburg, S. Africa
and Past Masters' Lodge No. 130
Christchurch, N. Z
* * *
MASONIC FUNERAL CEREMONIES
When a member of the Order
dies and his relatives request that the Masonic Fraternity take charge of the
remains, can other Lodges of which the deceased was a member, i. e. the Odd
Fellows, Elks, etc., perform their ceremonies at the church? What Masonic
authorities will give light on this subject? - O. L., Colorado.
The "Colorado Craftsman," the
official Masonic Monitor adopted by the Grand Lodge of Colorado, gives the
reply to your query on page 104, as follows:
"Whenever other societies or
associations, of which the deceased was also a member, desire to perform any
ceremonies in the burial of a brother, they are not to be prevented from doing
so. The Lodge will show them respectful consideration, and whatever ceremonies
they may have must precede the taking charge of the body by the Lodge, or
after the body is buried by the Craft.
"The remains must be in
charge of the Lodge from the time it takes possession of the coffin, whether
at the residence, church, or in some cases from the entrance to the cemetery,
as occasion may require. The Lodge shall, under all circumstances, march in
the rear of all other societies, and immediately precede the funeral car or
hearse, and lead in all services at the grave and fully complete the burial."
You may obtain a copy of the
"Colorado Craftsman" from the Secretary of your Lodge or from Brother Charles
H. Jacobson, Grand Secretary, Room 319, Masonic Temple, Denver. It contains,
besides the Masonic Burial Service, monitorial instructions of the degrees of
Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, ceremonies of installation
of officers and an appendix giving the twenty-five Landmarks of Freemasonry
according to Albert G. Mackey and the old "Charges of a Freemason." The price
TIMELY SUGGESTIONS THAT
SHOULD BE OBSERVED BY ALL LODGES
Occupying for centuries a
commanding position in human affairs, having a great influence in the uplift
of mankind, strong in its protestations and demonstration of fraternal love
and equal rights, subjected to the most intense antagonism and enmities,
Masonry has drawn to itself the notice of all the world.
Error which, in a lesser
institution, would pass unremarked, is, in Masonry, in the opinion of a
multitude of men, guilt or selfish indifference.
It is not a matter of regret
but of infinite pride that the standards set by our brethren of former times
are so lofty and the splendid character of our institution is so universally
recognized that the world looks to us for great things, done as though they
were common, and considers as failure in us what would be hailed as success in
The war has imposed upon
Masonry great duties and obligations, to measure up to which is a great
privilege. The world is watching to see how the institution will meet its
problems. The fraternity is on trial. Now is the time to demonstrate to all
men that Masonry is a living thing, not a matter of sounding words without
meaning, and euphonious platitudes, but a strong, vibrant, virile institution
worthy the confidence and respect of a full-grown man.
Each Grand Lodge has its own
peculiar problems. It must direct its activities in a broad way, touching
Masons largely in the mass, and offering the opportunity for service on the
part of the lodges and brethren. From the very nature of its organization and
its limitations, it can come but little into intimate contact with the soldier
Masons and those they leave behind.
The grave responsibility and
the great opportunity fall to the lodges themselves. As they perform, or
neglect to perform, their obligations to the brethren who offer their lives
for the security of civilization, so will Masonry be esteemed or scorned. The
real and intimate work of the institution, the personal touch, that most
important and satisfying manifestation of Masonic love, can come only from the
lodges. To them is offered the opportunity for work and service which must
gladden the heart of every man who is indeed a Mason. Each Lodge must and
should be glad to care for its own members in that personal relationship which
neither Grand Lodge nor any other organization can reach.
The Masonic Relief
Association of the United States and Canada, with which are affiliated
forty-six Grand Jurisdictions and eleven thousand lodges, with no intention or
desire to weaken the initiative of individual lodges or to minimize their
work, but believing that all lodges should work somewhat in harmony and that
certain fundamentals are necessary, both to the due performance of Masonic
obligations and to the preservation of the fair name of the institution, would
recommend to the lodges affiliated with it the following procedure as a basis
upon which to build a structure of Masonic usefulness and true Masonic worth.
First. Each lodge should
enthusiastically and energetically support the plans presented by its own
Grand Lodge or Grand Master for the performance of the broader features of
Masonic war work.
Second. Each Lodge should
keep a complete record of every member enlisted in war service, with a history
of such service and of all the immediate family and dependents of the brother.
And should it happen that the brother fall on the field of battle, to rise no
more in body, it is recommended that his record be entered permanently in the
minutes of his lodge, with the honorable mention that he died that
civilization and democracy might live. The form following is suggested:
1. Name, age, residence and
occupation of the brother.
2. All other lodge and church
3. Names and residence of
father, mother, brothers and sisters.
4. Immediate family and
dependents, if any, and their residences.
5. Military rank and record
of the brother, showing successive promotions, if any.
6. Location from time to time
in war service.
7. Matters left by him in
charge of the Lodge.
8. General remarks.
Third. As many brethren have
no male relatives to whom they may leave the care of business affairs, such,
for instance, as the payment of taxes, insurance, rent, interest, etc., or to
whom the wife or mother can turn for advice and counsel, each Lodge should
appoint a committee to look after such things as may be requested by the
brother, that his mind may be at ease in the knowledge that his going will not
leave his business affairs neglected and his loved ones helpless or
Fourth. The officers in the
army and navy all agree that the most valuable thing that the people back home
can do fo the man in service is to frequently write him bright, chatty gossipy
letters, not filled with regret or sentimentality, but the unconstrained
letter of friend to friend or chum to chum. Every Lodge should appoint members
to carry on such a correspondence with their brethren, that they may not feel
themselves forgotten. Once in a while, let the Lodge write that a bouquet of
bowers had been sent to the wife or a plaything given to the baby as the
expression of a real love of brother for brother And once in a while, a box of
tokens, books, magazines, tobacco home-made edibles, or other little things
will cause the soldier in the silent watches of the night on guard, to thank
the stars twinkling above his head, and their Maker, that his Masonry has
brought him brothers.
Fifth. The greatest curse of
camp life is the dissipation which presents itself with fatal fascination in
hours of leisure. Disease, horrible disease, takes a fearful toll. Wholesome
amusement for the time off duty is imperative if the soldier is to come back
clean in body and decent in mind. Every Lodge and member should generously
contribute money for such entertainment. And if there is no Masonic
organization having such matters in charge near the camp where the brother is
located money should be offered to the Lodge or other Masonic agency nearest
the camp for the purpose of entertainment. A Lodge located adjacent to a
cantonment or camp should provide the opportunity for such entertainment. But
a Lodge which seek; to provide such entertainment can not and ought not to be
expected to bear the burden of the expense. The Lodges whose members are so
entertained are entitled to and ought to pay the cost.
Sixth. Take care of the
dependents. See that those whom the brother leaves behind are not in want.
Comfort those who mourn. Plant smiles where tears had been. Be a Masonic
Seventh. As the future will
bring its greater responsibilities in the care of brethren wounded and
shattered, and those dependent upon them, it is urged that each Lodge
establish a special fund for that purpose in which the generous brethren may
deposit their voluntary contributions from time to time, that the burdens of
the future may be met by the preparation of the present.
Eighth. As each Lodge will
also have its special problems, let all the brethren energetically seek their
solution. Upon the manner in which each Lodge performs its duties will depend
the standing of Masonry in that community. Let each Lodge resolve, and with
determination bring to pass, that, when the war is over, Masonry in its
jurisdiction will stand more respected than ever, and the world at large
convinced, beyond all question, of its good effects.
CHARLES BLASDEL, President,
WILLIS D. ENGLE, Secretary,
Masonic Relief Association of
the United States and Canada.
* * *
ENDORSES CALIFORNIA'S REFUSAL
TO ISSUE DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE
I have just received and read
through the October BUILDER. It seems to me that the question of traveling, or
Military Lodges should be settled now, and by uniform refusal. In our Great
War of the 60's, Drummond (and who better could we follow) refused
dispensations because to grant them would be invasion of the jurisdiction of
Virginia and other States. M. W. Brother Keesling might have pointed a moral
just here, in the fact that though Virginia's Grand Master, Col. Wm. H.
Harmon, was killed in battle, though churches both Sides of Mason and Dixon's
line, called down the wrath of God on their foes and split into separate
organizations of North and South, Masonry never ceased to be a solid
brotherhood elevating its votaries far above the passions of war. Save the
facts that Union soldiers visited our Lodges in perfect amity, that Major Wm.
McKinley and 362 others in blue were made Masons in our Winchester Hiram Lodge
No. 21, that a Com. Major (and Mason) saved our old hall, the oldest on the
continent, and that Masons among the conquerors here in Richmond thronged
Richmond Lodge No. 10 in that old hall to relieve Richmond's suffering people,
while our army was still fighting theirs to Appomattox, save, I say, these
items. I will not burden this letter with the many proofs of the Divinity of
Masonry which are the reasons why I am and have been a Mason for a lifetime.
Traveling Military Lodges
might have taken over Lodge rooms and outfit, but they did not. So we should
all be very careful of each other's rights. Soldier Masons at Camp Lee are
joyously welcomed in the Petersburg, Hopewell and Richmond Lodges. We are
conferring without a dollar of cost, all degrees we are requested to confer,
and Military Lodges are not needed. When they get to France, our soldier
Masons will be given all the courtesies possible by English, Canadian and
Australian Masons and I believe by those of France, although we of Virginia
recognize only the Independent National Grand Lodge.
So let's not create confusion
and perhaps discord by invasions of the rights of any, even of the
unrecognized Grand Orient. Grand Master Iieesling is right.
Jos. W. Ezzleston. P.G.M.
"DIVESTED OF ALL METALLIC
The alchemists of the Middle
Ages employed alchemical terms to express their grand philosophy. Some Masonic
authorities claim that much of our ritual is derived from the ritual of the
alchemists of the Middle Ages. A knowledge of the meaning of the terms they
employed is necessary to understand their philosophy.
Thus one of their favorite
expressions was "base metals."
"Base metals" stood for base
passions, and to be divested of metallic substances is to rid ourselves of
As our work is to transform
the individual from a lower state to a higher state, and as our goal is
ultimate perfection, the first thing then an individual must do, in order for
him to rise above the animal plane, is to divest himself of his metallic
substances, or his base passions. For the ideal of every individual is to
reach a higher estate of being, a purer life, and how are we going to perfect
ourselves, to rise from our animal state, if not by self examination and by
ridding ourselves of our base passions?
What are these base passions?
They are prejudice, anger, wrath, jealousy, envy, greed, fear, hate and lust.
These are the arch enemies of every individual. They are the enemies, the
devils or evils that keep us down to our animal nature, that bind us hand and
foot to our low state, a slave to our baser feelings.
That is why we demand, at the
outset, that the candidate, before he seriously takes up the work of the
degrees, that is, the degrees of his growth and self development, free himself
from his baser passions, the shackles, the things that bind him to the animal.
How is he going to advance to the next degree, or to a higher plane of being,
unless he removes the fetters that bind him down to these demon passions?
O, Brother, examine yourself,
and see if you are free from these base passions, see of you are in truth
divested of all metallic substances? You are not a free man, a real man, if
you let your base passions tie you down to the animal being. Are you free from
prejudice, are you free from anger, from greed, from hate and the rest of the
yields results. It will enable you to become acquainted with yourself, it will
enable you to find out some things you never knew about yourself. "Man know
thyself" was written over the portals of ancient temples. Very few men know
themselves, their real selves.
O, brother, look within
thyself, thine own temple, and discover the rubbish within. If you are honest
with yourself, if you desire to give yourself a fair chance, you will begin to
divest yourself of your base metals. One by one you will cast out the base
passions, and uncover the goodness within yourself that lies deeply buried. Do
not think this can be accomplished in a short time. It will require a great
deal of effort and struggle. But be patient. "Patience and perseverence" are
necessary. As you proceed and root out the passions, one by one, you will gain
strength and power, and a feeling of peace will come over you that will repay
you for your pains.
Bro. A. W. Witt, in the
Kansas City Freemason.
The mind of the scholar, if
he would have it large and liberal, should come in contact with other minds. -
Happiness is the motive of
every action of every man, even of him who hangs himself. - Pascal.