The Builder Magazine
April 1918 - Volume IV - Number 4
THOMAS J. SHRYOCK: AN APPRECIATION
JOHN H. COWLES, 33d ACTIVE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Many times we have heard expressions of wonderment on the part
of Masons living in other Grand Jurisdictions because of Brother Shryock's
long term of service as Grand Master of Maryland. It was our privilege to be
personally acquainted with him and to be numbered among those who loved him.
To such there was no need to make inquiry regarding these years of service In
every office to which he was elected in Masonry, he served with a superb
capacity, but it was the spirit in which he served that caused him to be
universally loved. As in life, so in death, many charities and benevolences
will have cause to remember his generosity and broadmindedness. His most
typical expression was that "the word 'can't' is not in my dictionary" - a
phrase which easily sounds the keynote of his ability as an executive. His
character, energy and kindly spirit mark him as the most unique, if not the
most prominent Masonic character of this generation.
THOMAS JACOB SHRYOCK, Grand Master of Maryland, was serving his
thirty-second year in that official position when called by the Grim Reaper,
February third, 1918, and the Masons of Maryland were so pleased and satisfied
with his administration that the chances are he would have served many more
This is the record for length of service as Grand Master of any
Grand Body of Masons in the United States. His administration of Masonic
affairs in Maryland has been wonderfully successful. Not long after he was
first elected Grand Master, fire destroyed the Temple, but it was rebuilt, and
a few years ago, fire again destroyed the Temple and it was again rebuilt. The
new Temple is one of the most beautiful and complete Temples in the United
States. In each case Grand Master Shryock was appointed chairman of a
committee of one to rebuild the Temple destroyed by fire. The finances of the
Grand Lodge have been especially well managed, deeply in debt at one time,
with its credit almost gone, he and his brother William H. Shryock, financed
the Grand Lodge, restored its credit and today the new Temple is almost paid
for, and the per capita may be reduced.
The Grand Lodge of Maryland has no Masonic Home, so the Grand
Lodge contributes to many Protestant Hospitals and Homes, and engages in
welfare work, and contributes liberally to charity.
Grand Master Shryock endorsed the Liberty Bond issues strongly
and the Masons of Baltimore alone invested nearly eight hundred thousand
dollars in them. The Masons of Maryland have also given about fifteen thousand
dollars to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association.
The wonderful success, the splendid harmony and the good works
of the Masons in Maryland are mostly due to his excellent leadership. He was
genial, kindly courteous, affable, and approachable, for he was truly
democratic. These virtues, added to his executive ability, have given the
Masons of Maryland the most concrete and perhaps best government of any Grand
Lodge. The Masons of Maryland at least were satisfied, and no doubt rightly
so, for they preferred to keep one good Grand Master in the harness rather
than to indulge in frequent changes.
Grand Master Shryock was born in Baltimore, February 27, 1851,
of Prussian descent, and his great-grandfather was Lieutenant Colonel in the
Sixth Battalion, Maryland Line, in the Revolutionary war. On the visit of
Lafayette to Alexandria in 1824, General Shryock's mother, then a little girl
and daughter of Thomas Shields, a Mason and member of Brooke Lodge No. 147 of
Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington Encampment No. 1, Knights Templar, of
Washington, D.C., was selected to recite a childish welcome to Bro. Lafayette,
on the occasion of a Masonic parade in honor of a visit of the great Frenchman
to Washington. Two Lodges formed the parade - Alexandria-Washington Lodge No.
22, of which Washington had been Master, and Brooke Lodge No. 147.
The General, as he was familiarly called by his intimate
friends, was active in other branches of Masonry. He was Treasurer General of
the Supreme Council, 33d Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern
Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Maryland, Grand
Treasurer of the General Grand Chapter, R.A.M., of the United States,
President of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association, Past
Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Maryland, Past Grand Master of the
Grand Council, Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery, and was an
honorary member of so many Masonic Bodies in this country and Europe that it
would make this sketch too long to name them.
In politics he was a Republican and had the distinction of
being the only Republican who ever held the office of Treasurer of the State
of Maryland. He was Brigadier General on the staff of Gov. Henry Lloyd, which
gives him the title, General, that thousands of friends lovingly called him
by. He served one term as Police Commissioner of Baltimore, and at the time of
his death was a member of the Sewerage Commission of that city. He was
president of the Lumber Company that bears his name, President of the Iron
Mountain and Greenbrier Railroad, Director of the Second National Bank,
Consolidated Gas and Electric Light & Power Company, Chesapeake and Potomac
Telephone Company, Bell Telephone Company, and other corporations. Was also
Treasurer of Springfield State Hospital, and President Board of House of
Reformation for Colored Boys. It takes a busy man to do things, hence his life
was full of service. All who came in contact with him loved him, and it is
impossible to describe the affection and veneration that all Masons in
Maryland have had for him, or to measure in words the loss which they now
BUILD A REAL UNIVERSAL MASONRY?
JOSEPH W. NORWOOD, KENTUCKY
HOPEFUL WORLD MOVEMENTS TENDING TO MASONIC SOLIDARITY
years ago Brother Norwood established LIGHT as an international Masonic
Newspaper. Under his able edit direction a staff of correspondents has been
built up for the purpose of obtaining first-hand information concerning
Masonic activities in all States and Countries. Through this channel Brother
Norwood has come in touch with the various Masonic systems and Rites
throughout the world, and has gathered from them something of their hopes and
aspirations, their national characteristics and their efforts in their own
Countries in behalf of the welfare of humanity.
article is a review of Masonic activities throughout the world at present,
presenting a bird's-eye view of possibilities which should be of real value to
our American Masonic leaders. We express no opinion as to the correctness of
Brother Norwood's conclusions, but present them for reflection and as a basis
years after I had been made a Mason, a member of another Lodge introduced to
me an Italian brother who desired to visit my Lodge. I examined his diploma,
questioned him closely, received the grip and word and satisfied myself that
he belonged to a regular Italian Lodge.
own Grand Lodge had made it impossible for this Italian Mason to visit or
communicate with us Masonically. Reflection convinced our Master, as it
convinced me, that Freemasonry was greater than Grand Lodge violations of "the
ancient principles," so we allowed this brother to visit us but did not
advertise the fact.
incident led to an investigation as to why Kentucky Masons were forbidden to
recognize Masons belonging to Lodges in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden,
Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Servia, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil,
Argentine or any of a dozen or more other jurisdictions whose members had been
taught to believe they were members of one universal family.
investigation developed the fact that while American Masonic Grand Lodges
generally recognize English-speaking Masonry of all countries, they recognize
no other; that there are really three other great groups of Masonic
jurisdictions, concerning which our American Masonry knows practically nothing
and seems to care less. These are Latin-speaking, Teutonic, and Scandinavian
it appeared as though myself and others had been misled when, after
initiation, we were told that we were then Master Masons, and as such entitled
to visit Lodges all over the world and that Masonry which regards all men as
brothers, was universal.
me some time to realize that Masonry, or rather the Spirit of Masonry, and the
Masonic Organization were two entirely different things. The former is the
only thing "universal" about the "world brotherhood."
two years or more ago, I determined to devote my entire time and energy to the
establishment of a medium through which American and English speaking Masonry
could keep constantly in touch with the activities of the rest of the Masonic
world, regardless of the question of recognition or ritual, this question of
why German Masonry, for instance, was "regular" and recognized in New York and
quite the reverse in Kentucky, was naturally uppermost in my mind.
BEGINNING OF DISINTEGRATION
correspondence and actual investigation, I learned a great many things about
that "why." Here are some of them:
the days of railroad, telegraph and cable, it was true that a Freemason in an
American Lodge could congratulate himself on affiliation with an organization
that recognized a brother Mason the world over. This happy condition obtained
practically everywhere until after our Civil War.
rift in the lute was the severance of relations between American and English
Masonry on the one part and French Masonry on the other. American Masonry
severed relations with France over a question of ritual and jurisdiction.
France had recognized a spurious Cerneau body in Louisiana* which had invaded
the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of that state. Years after France
discovered her mistake and withdrew the recognition. However the harm had been
meanwhile English Masonry was horrified by the action of the French Orient in
reverting to the original English Charge, which paid no attention to any
religion save that in which all good men are agreed, and in removing the
Christian and all other Bibles from the Masonic altar so there might be no
contention among members as to creed.
English Masons cut off relations with France as a godless and atheistic body.
America had already severed connections and felt justified in continuing the
status quo because of this "terrible" act. Gradually most of the world did
likewise and France was thereupon stigmatized the world over as "atheistic"
despite its denial and the fact that time and again it explained why a
Protestant Grand Master and Christian minister did this thing, and that the
Lodges upheld him.
WE EXPLAIN TO THE INITIATE?
taken just forty years of time, and this war, to bring us to realize how far
disintegration has gone. The craft as a whole is just beginning to understand
through an awakened press--through being brought face to face with actual
conditions as they exist today, that the Spirit of Suspicion, of Intolerance,
of Provincialism, has been substituted for the Spirit of Brotherly Love and
some examples of facts and conditions that no amount of sophistry or theology
on the part of the orthodox can satisfactorily explain to the newly made Mason
who was led to the door of our "Men's House" by a favorable opinion of our
institution gathered from the record of past glories and achievements.
Practically every Masonic jurisdiction in the world is recognized by one or
more American Grand Lodges --but not by all.
* At the
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana held February 4, 5 and 6,
1918, fraternal relations were resumed with the Grand Orient of France.
Grand Lodges have no means of taking uniform action concerning anything vital
to the life and spirit of the craft. There is neither uniformity of work,
ritual nor action. What is "good Masonry" in one state is so under suspicion
in another that without a catalog of regular Lodges, mere oral examination no
longer suffices to determine a brother's status as a Man and Mason.
states authorize cipher rituals, while others condemn them as violations of
the "ancient landmarks." There are innumerable lists of "landmarks," scarcely
two of them alike, and legislation is based upon these supposed lists.
have been thrown wide open to the invasion of various clandestine bodies
calling themselves Masonic, which absorb material from other countries which
we fail to "recognize." Yet we complain of the invasion of our jurisdiction by
these foreign Grand Lodges when they establish their own regular language
Lodges among us to meet this very clandestinism, and thereby widen the breach.
foreign correspondence committees have largely been composed of brethren who
seemingly have a contempt for any language they cannot read, and who have in
some cases actually spent their official lives discovering reasons why we
should not recognize foreign Masonry rather than reasons why we should.
too many cases of record, such committees depend upon like committees in other
states for their information concerning this suspicious foreign Masonry. And
while the blind are leading the blind, they hearken to the alleged tales of
Masonry in politics and atheistic practices from the very persons and
organizations whose life work is to destroy Freemasonry and all its fruits.
Naturally information from such sources cannot be relied upon--but we have
been relying upon it without either examining our own shortcomings or taking
the trouble to give our brethren a hearing.
INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS FOR SOLIDARITY IN EUROPE
is another side to this picture that is distinctly encouraging.
years ago, Past Grand Master Ed. Quartier La-Tente, of Switzerland,
established his International Masonic Bureau for Masonic Affairs at Neuchatel.
This Bureau began the laborious task of gathering and disseminating first-hand
information concerning Freemasonry of all countries, rites and jurisdictions.
It gained the adherence of Latin and Teutonic Masonry and the respectful
interest of British, and some American, Grand Lodges before the war
temporarily suspended its activities.
during the war, its work was approved by the Grand Lodge of Switzerland and
was resumed under the direction of Bro. La-Tente and a committee of officers.
It is now, besides gathering data, conducting a Bureau for the exchange of
Masonic and other prisoners of war, for finding lost Masons and relieving
various other distresses.
German Masonry, under the iron heel of autocracy had to sever relations with
the Bureau as well as with the Masons of enemy countries and the entente
cordiale between French and German, and English and German Masonry which it
was bringing about just before the war has been disrupted for the time.
Nevertheless this International Bureau stands today with hands outstretched to
all bodies, urging solidarity of world Masonry.
number of years International Masonic Congresses have been held by European
continental Masonry in Switzerland, Holland and France, and these have done
much to bring about something of unity of thought and action. The latest of
these Congresses met last June in Paris, with French, Spanish, Portuguese,
Italian, Servian, Belgian and some other scattering bodies represented, and
drew up a Peace Program strikingly similar to that later advocated by
President Wilson and the Allied governments in this war. This program
represented only the Masonic opinion of that Congress, but was officially
communicated to all governments as a suggestion--a pattern.
French Grand Orient, Dr. Magelhaes Lima, recently Grand Master of Portugal,
and the late Dr. Miguel Morayta, Grand Master of Spain, were strong advocates
of a Latin-Masonic Union in Europe and their work has borne fruit within the
past two years in bringing about a virtual solidarity of Latin Masonry on the
continent. One of the splendid accomplishments of this propaganda has been the
settlement of differences between the rival Masonic Grand Bodies of Italy, and
their recent union (last November) under Grand Master Ernesto Nathan. The
actual organization of a Latin Union, however, has not yet been accomplished
but is anticipated as the first step toward a greater sympathy and solidarity
with other racial Masonic groups after the war.
OF LATIN AMERICA
series of International Masonic Congresses has been held in South America for
the Latin Masons of the central and southern portions of this continent,
generally in Brazil or Argentina. And a like project for a Latin-Masonic Union
of American Masons is under way and will be discussed at the next Congress to
be held in Buenos Aires, May 25, this year.
the American Grand Lodges recognize any of these American Latin bodies save
Costa Rica, Cuba and Porto Rico, all in the West Indies. Peru is recognized by
a few jurisdictions because about twenty years ago there was some agitation
there over removing the Bible from the altar, which the Grand Lodge refused to
do, thereby winning the recognition of a few American Grand Lodges as a
has made somewhat of a specialty in first-hand investigation and because of
her Latin sympathies and understanding of Latin Masonry, has gone further than
any other American Grand Lodge in recognition of Masonry in Central and South
Massachusetts within the last two years has recognized the Grand Lodge of
Panama after investigation by a special committee and because of an amiable
disposition to agree upon jurisdiction in the Panama Canal Zone.
largest and most energetic Masonic jurisdictions remain a closed door to
American Masonry, largely through indifference and ignorance.
40,000 MASONS OF BRAZIL
for example, the most powerful of South American bodies, is doing Masonic work
of which no American Grand Lodge would be ashamed and which indeed none of
them have equaled. Yet it is "unrecognized."
not only supports its Masonic widows and orphans in much the same fashion as
do the Grand Lodges of the United States, but in the midst of hostile
environments-conducts night and day schools for young and old regardless of
creed or politics; devotes large sums to its own and other charities and
relief work; makes its Masonic Temples homes and places of refuge for the
distressed, and carries into the savage wilds of that immense country the
spirit of progress and civilization as no other human force can do or has
the direct interposition of Brazilian Masonry, through its actual Grand
Master, Dr. Nilro Pecahna, now Minister of foreign affairs, that nipped in the
bud the efforts of Imperial Germany to swing Brazil, and with her all South
and Central America, into line against the United States when it declared war
Pecahna and his Masonic brothers have done more to educate our Latin-American
neighbors in an understanding of that American brotherhood which the United
States wishes to evolve through the Pan American Congress, than any other
association of thinkers on this hemisphere. And from Brazil, Argentina,
Colombia, Venezuela and other South and Central American Countries, Freemasons
are constantly writing to LIGHT advocating closer union and the cementing of,
not only fraternal, but social and commercial, relations.
Latin Masonry, Cuba is best known to America as it is generally recognized
because of our close contact with its people during the Spanish-American war.
Master Curbelo of Cuba is a most ardent advocate of the Latin-Masonic Union
and in his enthusiasm a year ago addressed all the North American Grand Lodges
suggesting that there be a Federation of the Masonry of both North and South
America, to be expressed through a friendly Congress. No attention was paid
his fraternal suggestion save by the Grand Lodge of Michigan which flatly
refused to consider it!
AMERICANIZING THE PHILIPPINES
Philippines American Masonry established itself immediately after the
Spanish-American War and later erected a Grand Lodge, wholly American in
character and utterly unable to fraternize with the native Filipino and
Spanish Masons under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Grand Orient.
serious positions of Masons in those islands where but recently the church and
State were united, and Freemasons were shot to death for the crime of being
Freemasons, made some action imperative. And within the past year the American
Grand Lodge has solved this problem by taking into its bosom twenty eight of
these Spanish Lodges and chartering others, so that in a single day the
Philippines were unified. One of the recent additions to regular Philippine
Masonry is Brother Emilio Aguinaldo, former leader of his people against
Spanish rule and then against the misunderstood Americans.
wise and skillful leaders our brethren of the Philippines have planted Masonry
in the very Temple of Heaven in Peking, China; in Japan and other places in
the Orient, carrying with them the true spirit of Liberty through love and
co-operation and stilling the turbulent unrest of ignorance through education.
MASONIC OSTRICH OF MEXICO
Mexico, the sad spectacle of a split in the Valle de Mexico during the
revolution has brought the York Grand Lodge, purely American in character,
into almost general recognition in place of the original Grand Lodge. It is
greatly to be regretted that the American brethren, in their efforts to prove
their regularity, have constantly denied the existence of any other Masonry in
Mexico save their own, for despite their denials some ten Mexican native Grand
Lodges continue to flourish, including the Valle de Mexico. These are mostly
in fraternal relation and co-operation with Central and South American Masonry
who have found it difficult to understand why their American brothers withdrew
sympathy from them in time of need.
again is an opportunity for readjustment and understanding that may afford the
York Grand Lodge organization the chance to accomplish what the Philippine
Grand Lodge did, when passions and prejudices have been overcome. For by the
returns furnished LIGHT from these native Mexican Lodges their membership is
two to three times that of the York Grand Lodge.
a bird's-eye view of Freemasonry outside the pale of present American
recognition we find Teutonic Masonry (Germany and Austria-Hungary) voluntarily
cut off from English-speaking and Latin Masonry. But they still maintain
relations with Scandinavian Masonry (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) in which two
Kings are Grand Masters and the most learned men of the country are leaders as
well as students.
three neutral countries are the great peace center of Europe so far as Germany
is concerned, and here are centered the hopes of the German people for peace.
It was the king of Sweden, Grand Master of Masons, who surrendered half his
kingdom rather than "see brother slay brother" and from the Nobel Prize Awards
to the encouragement of all peace propaganda, the Spirit of Freemasonry is
nowhere more powerful than in Scandinavia, recognized by all the world save
some American jurisdictions.
Masonry in Europe and Latin Masonry in America have common ideals and aims and
are now virtually consolidated. The European Masonic Congresses are frequently
attended by American Masons of Latin jurisdictions.
English-speaking Masonry is generally recognized by America and in turn
recognizes many jurisdictions not generally recognized by America, such as
being so, could not a Master's touch bring them all together for united effort
in rebuilding the world after this war?
that it can--and that it will!
can supply that Master touch. Will she do it?
MUST BRING MASONIC WORLD TOGETHER
the elements of a great renaissance for world Freemasonry in America today.
together" movement has not only unified Italian Masonry but that of Argentine
within recent months.
our Grand Masters' Conventions, Grand Secretaries' Guild, and various state
Past Grand Masters', Masonic Veterans', Masters' and Wardens' Associations
which have brought about a general desire in the rank and file of the craft
for united action.
have no general advisory body such as England's United Grand Lodge which
guides the destinies of as many (or more) "Provincial and District Grand
Lodges" as we have State Grand Lodges. Or the Grosser Logenbund of Germany
with its eight independent Grand Lodges and Rites working in absolute harmony.
Or the national Grand Orients and Councils of Latin countries which unify the
work and studies of otherwise conflicting Rites.
have the International Masonic Relief Board of the United States and Canada,
including Cuba and Costa Rica to which all but one or two of our Grand Lodges
the Masonic War Relief Association which all our American Grand Lodges are now
supporting and which extends its aid to our Brother Masons of other countries
regardless of questions of recognition and Grand Lodge legislation.
our National Masonic Research Society whose researches and labors are now
encouraged and applauded by all jurisdictions.
our George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association whose worthy
purpose of preserving to posterity the true record of how and by whom the
American ideal of Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood was given expression in
the building of this Republic as a great Temple of Humanity, has received
almost universal approbation.
four great National activities of American Masonry not the forerunners of
still greater works of co-operation and unity? Are they not expressions of the
craft desire for united and virile action? May they not become the foundation
of some such plan for united action, for Grand Lodge co-operation in all the
branches of Masonic endeavor, as crystallized in Bro. George L. Schoonover's
proposal for a National Council for Masonic Defense ?
SIGNS OF THE TIMES Those to whom such ideas do not appeal would do well to
reflect upon "the signs of the times" showing the temper and desire of the
craft at large, outside books of ancient history and beyond the meaningless
beauties of oratory concerning patriotism and democracy and brotherhood so
convincingly expressed by after dinner speakers and Grand Masters at
brethren have so long been accustomed to tell us what Freemasons accomplished
in the Revolution, what they did in humanity's battles for freedom and
education, how they stand like the rock of Gibraltar for the spirit of
Americanism, for the public schools, for religious toleration and for this,
that or the other thing of the past, that they have perhaps not realized how
sincerely their hearers believe it all to be true and demand the same action
of Freemasonry today as they are told it took in the past.
glorious speeches as fill the days of every Grand Lodge communication, every
Masonic banquet or cornerstone laying, may be delivered by their owners in
part payment for the honors bestowed upon them. But they either mean much or
Freemasonry really champions universal brotherhood, it is the duty of all
Freemasons to work unceasingly for that ideal and all that it implies.
War has brought us at last face to face with a singular phenomenon in American
No set of
men on this earth have so gladly and so willingly rushed to lay down their
fortunes and their lives if need be, that the whole world may henceforth be
free--rid of autocratic rule and the divine right of individuals to say what
the rest of mankind shall say, do and think.
columns of Masonic news for the past year, since America has been in this war,
we find such little human touches as the first American killed in action
abroad, a Freemason; a Grand Master of Scottish Rite Masonry giving up his law
practice and with his brother going to Paris with the Y.M.C.A. workers only to
have his heart so wrung by the tragedies left on that land in the bloody path
of military autocracy that he and his brother felt they must get into the
trenches where they are now fighting the battle of humanity as simple
privates; a Grand Orator raising a company of soldiers among his brethren and
offering them to his government for the great sacrifice.
heard the burning words of brother Masons in khaki, both officers and
privates, when they were bidding good-bye to all they held dear, in the full
expectation of laying down their lives for their brothers across the seas;
have read the solemn, earnest exhortations of French, English and American
Masons serving their country at home and at the front. I know the exalted
spirit of these men of the rank and file. They are laying down their lives and
giving their all for brotherhood. Have they not a right to demand of us and of
our Grand Lodges that we make their dreams come true in fact as well as in
travesty on Freemasonry that we lay down our lives for Masonic ideals and yet
haggle over petty questions of jurisdiction and recognition and
regularity--matters of opinion separating brothers who have sworn a
brotherhood that disregards opinion and rests upon love and knowledge alone !
We can be
brothers in arms and die for each other. But we cannot be Masons and live for
each other. Separated in life, united in death.
RECOGNIZING FRANCE AGAIN
real Spirit of Freemasonry swept aside as chaff all passion and, prejudice of
the past, all puerile legislation and red tape of criticism, and brought only
Masonic love to the front in this great world crisis, will forever go down in
deathless story of Freemasonry in New York, California, Kentucky, Texas, Utah,
Rhode Island, Louisiana, and probably other states to follow, when posterity
writes the history of these times and how those states made it possible for
their soldier Masons to meet their French, Belgian and Servian brothers upon
the Masonic level as well as in the trench. No matter if dogmatic religion
once more climbs into the saddle after the war, the story of the present can
Texas recognized France, fully 75 per cent. of the delegates to that Grand
Lodge had sons or grandsons in the Army or Navy of the United States. The
great ideal of brotherhood came home to them as it did to their forefathers
who placed the five points of fellowship star on the Texan flag and laid down
their lives for the freedom of the present generation. Those men pledged every
dollar and every drop of their blood in this war for human liberty and their
worthy successors have done precisely the same thing in a resolution that will
go ringing down the ages with those other great Masonic documents, the
Declaration of Independence and the Social Compact.
Kentucky recognized France she was decidedly not carried away in a whirlwind
of emotion and sentiment. She appointed an official committee to gather
first-hand data concerning all the Freemasonry in the world so that she might
calmly and deliberately investigate for herself and find cause, if any exists,
why the entire Masonic world cannot recognize itself. It will possibly take
two years to complete these statistics and so arrange them that they may be
intelligently compared and analyzed. In the meanwhile Kentucky Masons occupy
the most enviable position in the American brotherhood, for they are free to
fraternize with their brothers in every country in the world.
Massachusetts, Manitoba, Louisiana, Florida and other states are seriously
debating similar investigations. The spirit of Fraternity will no longer be
denied nor will it longer hearken to the dry, dead voices of rumor and the
gossip of its enemies.
WHY NOT A
MASONIC CONGRESS IN AMERICA?
America stands on the threshold of a New Age for this old world and American
Freemasonry looks through the portals and finds the hands and voices and eyes
of the new generation to be turned toward us, imploring our love, our
sympathy, our leadership. Shall we be recreant to our trust?
Masonic Congress of American Masonry will mobilize a mighty army nearly
2,000,000 strong in the United States which can make the revival of
Freemasonry of two hundred years ago seem like an infant's effort in
comparison. We are rightfully leaders of the constructive forces that must be
utilized to rebuild the ravages of war.
1,851,972 American Freemasons to unite upon any one plan of action the 944,639
other Masons in the world would gladly join with us. As shattered Europe looks
to America today for its salvation, so do our brother Masons look for us to
lead the way to the work on the new Temple.
the greatest Fraternal nation in the world. Here are the statistics of world
Masonry January 1 of this year:
and New Zealand ................69,353
..................................114,402 Europe (including colonial)
.............693,869 South America ............................55,672
outside U.S....................... 944,639
million more Masons in this country than in all the rest of the world! And yet
we have only a little more than 4,000 Lodges the advantage, for in foreign
countries where Masonry has to struggle for its very existence against forces
from which we are happily free, it is quality rather than quantity for which
they strive. Therein lies safety.
of the recognition by some of the wisest of our national statesmen that
America was built upon Brotherhood and is indeed the greatest fraternal nation
in the world, our fraternal forces are even now being utilized quietly and
effectively to weld our peoples into presenting a united front in this war
that has astounded and mystified our enemies who imagined a free republic
would crumble to bits in a conflict of creeds, politics and races at such a
test as this.
FRATERNAL FORCES ARE BEING MOBILIZED BY UNCLE SAM
Commissioner Herbert Hoover was the first to avail himself of this powerful
constructive agency by calling together a congress of all the national heads
of our many fraternal organizations. There were no national heads or
representatives of united American Masonry. Some Grand Masters of states
attended and many individual Masons.
were national heads of the two Scottish Rite jurisdictions, of Knights Templar,
of Royal Arch Masons and Cryptic Masonry. And there were national heads of
every other organization from the Woodmen and Foresters to the Knights of
Mason was chosen chairman of that Fraternal Congress, Bro. George Fleming
Moore, the Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction,
whose power extends throughout the Pacific and into China and Japan.
Congress has since been called upon by other departments of our government,
notably the Secretary of the Treasury in connection with the Liberty Bond
campaigns and the Secretary of War in the settlement of questions arising from
the first limitations set by him upon War Recreation work in army cantonments.
Considering the foregoing may I briefly outline how easily American
Freemasonry may today meet the expectations of the craft and of the world by
assuming its rightful leadership in the work of reconstruction?
be an immediate conference of all State Grand Masters, called upon their own
authority and volition, to consider uniform recommendations to their Grand
Lodges for the erection of a National Masonic Council of Defense or any other
advisory body or Congress they may see fit to approve without disturbing the
sacred independence of their Grand bodies.
Schoonover has already drawn a design upon the trestleboard* worthy of deep
consideration, and indeed it has been considered by the recent Grand Masters'
convention in Washington during December. But that body has no power to act
nor would it have power to take any other action now save to agree among
themselves as to what they would suggest to their Grand Lodges.
them call Emergent Communications of their Grand Lodges and place before them
the facts and recommendations. There would be no need to await the Annual
Communications. There is need for action now and at once!
Grand Lodges should decide upon immediate action, representatives could at
once be elected to the National Advisory Council, or whatever the Congress
might be called should they or a considerable portion of them approve. Three
Masons make a Lodge we are told, and surely even three Grand Lodges could
establish this Council of Co-operation.
the Grand Lodges prefer to spend additional time in inquiry they could send
representatives to a National Congress to meet as soon as all the Grand Lodges
had been given a chance to consider the matter, with power to act. These could
then thresh out the details of the National Council.
Grand Lodges that immediately approved could erect the National Council and
the others could talk about it in a Congress until they were satisfied to
enter the Federation.
National Council was ready for business, the four great National bodies first
mentioned, the National Masonic Research Society, the George Washington
Masonic National Memorial Association, the War Relief Association and the
Masonic Relief Association, could be called into co-operation either as
integral parts of the Council or as friendly helpers. In time the world would
know that when the National Council spoke it reflected the united voice of
American Freemasonry without in any manner binding any Grand Lodge to assent
longer than that Grand Lodge voluntarily gave its support to the Council.
manner the national activities of American Masonry would be harmonious and
consistent. The Grand Lodges would be relieved of a financial burden by the
consolidation of these activities under one head. And best of all it would
pave the way for a universal adjustment of all International Masonic
relations, by consulting with similar Congresses, Federations and Councils of
other countries and racial groups.
indeed would dawn the day prophesied by Tolstoi, Hugo, Tennyson and others
when there will be a "parliament of man and the federation of the world."
FREEMASONRY IN FRANCE
GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
two "Obediences" in France, and three in Germany. They are as separate and
distinct as is the Grand Lodge of the ' District of Columbia and the Negro
Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, but it is not easy to make all of our
people understand this.
Orient (1) is the older of the French bodies: The Grand Lodge of France
separated from the Scottish Rite in 1804 but its Lodges still meet in the same
building with the A.A.S.R. and the personnel in the Rites is almost identical.
We have always been on terms of intimacy with the A.A.S.R. in France and in
all South American countries, and with them the Scottish Rite is often
mentioned as "Universal Masonry," though the writer knows of no friction
between the Scottish Rite and Symbolic Masonry in any part of the world.
Symbolic Lodges have separated from the A.A.S.R. in order to conform to the
English and American system for the purpose of securing fraternal intercourse.
(and properly) a Mason who could prove himself, was a welcome visitor in any
Lodge in any part of the world, unless the jurisdiction from whence he came
had been interdicted and any change from this plan is modern and is an
writer was made a Mason in a Lodge in Portugal, in 1867, in the French Rite,
and in the French language. The obligation was taken on a Holy Bible of the
King James edition, the Bible which was translated out of the original
tongues. This Bible is used by Protestants, Jews and Mohammedans, and being
from the original tongues it is reasonable to believe it has less errors and
less changes than the Douay edition which is translated out of the Latin
vulgate. The personnel of the Lodge that gave us light was made up of nominal
Roman Catholics, about 70 per cent; Jews about 20 per cent and Protestants
about 10 per cent. When asked what our religion was, we replied "The
Constitution of the United States and the Ten Commandments" which seemed to
satisfy the Lodge. They were liberal, tolerant men.
books recorded no living man's name, as in all other priest-ridden countries
each man was required to take a sobriquet, or a nom-de-guerre as they said,
for the reason that it was a penal offense to be a member of the Masonic
Fraternity in Portugal and when the priests finally did discover the Lodge and
caused its destruction, there was not the name of a living man on any record.
The members went to and from that Lodge singly or in pairs, each lighting
himself up the long flights of stairs with his wax taper (a rolino).
It is not
generally known that the Mohammedans believe in and read our Bible. Mohammed
himself believed in Jesus Christ and all his followers do. One of the most
bigoted sects of Islam is the "followers of Jesus," and its see is on the
north coast of Africa. The Musselman believes more in the Koran than in the
Bible and it has the advantage or recommendation of containing no words which
would shock the mind of a child. The Koran is in the Arabic, and there has
never been a translation except an English edition, but neither Arabs, nor
Turks nor Egyptians ever read that edition; if they cannot read Arabic they
are dependent on others to read for them.
English Lodges a Mohammedan is obligated on the Koran and a Christian on the
Holy Bible. The purpose of the obligation is to bind the postulant and for
this reason he is obligated on what he believes to be most binding. This is
recognized generally, but where we know only one book of sacred literature we
are too apt to believe there should be no other. We are taught that the Holy
Bible is the divine revelation of the mind and will of God to man but others
differ with us in that, but if we can impose an obligation that will bind any
and all, our principal purpose will have been accomplished.
Freemasonry has been defined as "a system of morals, veiled in allegory and
illustrated by symbols." It has never been claimed to be a religion, though
the priests call it a "sect." In the Entered Apprentice degree we are taught
that Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliates
true friendship among those who might have remained at a perpetual distance.
This, the French believe, is the acme of tolerance and they take it literally.
We claim no "apostolic succession" nor do we essay to administer extreme
unction, give absolution nor offer any assurance of admission to the Holy of
Holies above, but we do strive to make better men of our members.
no idea of the slings and arrows hurled constantly at Masons, in priest-ridden
countries until we have been there. The long years of peace and harmony we
have enjoyed have spoiled us and unfitted us for sympathy with our stricken
brethren abroad. Lodges in Italy and France have been raided. The Lodge was
interrupted by police at Voltaire's funeral. The writer was once detained at
Mentone, on the border between Italy and Monaco, and witnessed the seizure of
a Bible which an English-speaking woman was carrying into Italy. The guard
acting under orders, would not permit it to be carried into the country, but
held the Bible for her until she should pass out of Italy.
have come to us from abroad many appeals for a more intimate fraternalism. An
invitation to an International Masonic Congress was sent to more than two
hundred "Masonic Powers" about 1901, including the Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter,
etc., of the District of Columbia, and the writer moved in Grand Lodge that a
delegate be sent but there was not even a second to the motion, so lightly did
they regard it.
Powers" with European Masons means all Masonic organizations, as Grand Lodges,
Grand Chapters, Grand Commanderies, Consistories, etc., and these invitations
went to all the addresses the Swiss Masonic Bureau could obtain. It was stated
it was a congress, not a conclave; so that the doors were not tiled nor were
the esoteric sections to be discussed as the writer understood it and as it
turned out to be. The proceedings of that Congress were printed, and to my
surprise (and maybe amusement) I found the following report of what took place
at the banquet.
Watts, (Washington)--W. President and Brethren: I have the honor of presenting
to this distinguished body of Freemasons in Congress assembled, greeting from
the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Brethren of the Grand Lodge of the
District of Columbia, United States of America.
to say that the Grand Master is full of sympathy with the object of the
Congress as outlined in the several explanatory circulars received from
Monsieur Paul-Emile Bonjour, the Grand Secretary.
me further to say that we are of the opinion that any movement in keeping with
the sublime principles of the Order and that does not in the least degree
conflict with the ancient landmarks, has our approval and fraternal
the projectors for their kind invitation to participate in the deliberations
of this present Congress, I beg leave also personally to express my
appreciation for the courteous attention I have received during the time I
have been in the city.
behalf of my Grand Lodge we wish the Congress success and desire that
beneficial results may follow its labor-- which shall prove a blessing to all
-- especially the brethren."
Had I not
written very soon after this an essay on Negro Masonry for the International
Bulletin (2) the delegates who heard that very creditable address would have
supposed that the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia had sent that negro
speech of Dr. Watts was in English but the others were in French. The writer
made a full report on the above, which was printed in the 1902 report of the
Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia and may be found on page 339 et seq.
we come to the Grand Lodge of France! Why should we not at once accord it
recognition? It may be asked what French Masons have done to merit this. Their
Masonry was received from England and the writer believes the French are now
working more in accord with the first constitution of the Grand Lodge of
England (Anderson's) than are many American Lodges, which should be
the espionage of the "Holy Fathers" the French history of Masonry has been
greatly abridged and often suppressed, so that we have not the volumes to draw
on that we would wish but there are enough for this purpose.
the War for American Independence, called "The Revolution," there existed in
Paris a Lodge "Les Neuf Soeurs" of which the American Commissioner, Benjamin
Franklin, John Paul Jones, the peerless Naval Captain, Houdon, the unmatched
sculptor, Voltaire, the fearless, the great Helvidius and many other eminent
men were members. At that time there were atrocious oppressions of the people
not only by the rich and influential, but by the priests.
Lodge Neuf Soeurs there was Elie Dumont, a young lawyer, with a score of
followers who took up the people's cause against oppression. For a
verification we beg leave to invite reference to Les Memoires Secretes, Vol.
XXI, and to Ed. Tachereau, Vol. XXI, and Besuchet Precis Historique, Vol. II.
example is that of Jean Calas, a Hugenot who had been sentenced to punishment
"on the wheel" by the tribunal of Toulouse, and he was thus executed. His
offense was that he had assaulted his son who had been perverted to Romanism.
His widow and his children were despoiled of their property and belongings by
confiscation and they finally took refuge in Geneva and were sheltered by
Voltaire. Their cause was espoused by Voltaire who advocated it by printed
memorials, which he widely distributed. Elie Dumont defended the Calas family
in the French Courts without fee or reward and after three years of labor,
succeeded in having the judgment arrested and the widow's property returned to
same tribunal in 1746, a man and his wife named Siren, were condemned to death
for an assault on their son who had been perverted to Romanism and who had
forbidden the son from continuing his acquaintance with the men who had
proselyted him. The rest of the family took refuge in Geneva and their case
was appealed by Elie Dumont, who, after five years succeeded in having the
judgment reversed, so far as the confiscation went, and the family of Siren
was permitted to return to France and take possession of their property. We
could multiply these examples indefinitely if it were needed, but it is not.
Masonic Lodge became the target for Romish persecution and accusation. It was
charged with atheism. Masonry was branded as a society of atheists in general
but Voltaire was the central figure of their atrocious attack. Dumont and his
followers persisted in the defense of the inherent rights of the people and
lighted a fire of indignation, which kindled in the people a consciousness of
their inherent rights and was closely interwoven in the French Revolution
which followed and which history has so vividly recorded. Voltaire was obliged
to leave Paris to escape assassination. He took up his home in Ferney, near
Geneva in Switzerland, where he was held in high esteem. Napoleon I, who was a
Mason, had held the Pope of Rome a prisoner and this added to the anger of the
priests who believed and still believe that the Pope is the "Father of
Princes, the ruler of the Christian world and the Vicar of Jesus Christ" and
that there can be no proper government without his sanction.
If a man
goes on the street and cries "mad dog, mad dog," he will jeopardize the life
of every dog in sight, though there may be no mad dog at all. And if a mob,
believing a priest carries the keys of Heaven and Hell in his girdle, hears
his cries and accusations, they will give respectful and obedient attention to
his utterances without further consideration. This is practically the
condition which existed in Paris when the priests began to denounce
Freemasonry in general, and Voltaire in particular. As they made Voltaire the
central figure of attack it may be proper to examine his case. Take the
twenty-four volumes of Voltaire which have been printed in English and there
cannot be found in them a word to justify the accusation that he was
atheistic. He was without doubt, a Deist. In the little town of Ferney a
chapel was built by Voltaire for his neighbors to worship in. A marble tablet
over the door has engraved on it these words:
EREXIT VOLTAIRE. MDCCLVIII
"Erected to God, by Voltaire, 1758." When asked why he dedicated his chapel to
God he replied: "In London they erected their Temple to Saint Paul, in Paris
to Saint Genevieve, but I erect mine to God."
dying he said "I die worshipping God, loving my friends, not hating my
enemies, but despising superstition." (Vide Appleton's New American
Cyclopedia.) His accusers were the priests and the same frocked fraternity is
still accusing Masonry.
Anti-Masonic Congress which was convened at Trent in 1896, was attended by
more than 200 Bishops of the Romish Church and many times that number of
priests and zealous laymen. That Congress was
together with the concurrence and favor of Pope Leo XIII who in a special
brief, bestowed his benediction and approval on its aims and purposes.
Twenty-two influential Cardinals, over two hundred Bishops, the most important
clerical associations, the whole of the clerical press, sent their adhesions
to this Tridentine Council. Over five hundred ecclesiastics from the highest
to the lowest were present and all European States, England, France, Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United States of America,
the South American Republics were more or less numerously and influentially
and particular aim: To wage war on Masonry as an institution; on Masons as
individuals; in all countries and places where the order exists; to wage war
on Masonry as a body by collecting supposed documents and facts; assertions of
perjured Masons as evidence and thus bring to light, or rather coin, by means
of the press or special publications all the misdeeds of the fatal
institution; all the demoralizing influences it exercises; through obscene or
sacrilegious rites, corruption and occult conspiracies on man and
civilization; to wage war on individual Masons by opposing them in every phase
of their existence, in their individual homes, in their industries, in their
commerce, in their professional avocations, in all their endeavors to
participate in public life, local or general, etc."
reporter, Mr. Leo Taxil, had been employed to ferret out and report on the
vagaries of Masonry, and in his report he gave them an account of a smithery
in a cave under the Rock of Gibraltar where iron tools were fashioned for use
in devil worship.
speeches of the "Holy Fathers" on that occasion were drastic, atrocious and
anything but Christian-like. This Congress was as late as 1896, and must still
be fresh in the memories of Masonic students. And from it, we draw the lesson
that the purpose of those people has not changed with time. So it is but fair
to ask shall we accept the testimony of these prejudiced, fanatical sorcerers
against the French Freemasons ?
Orient of France by giving countenance to a spurious body of Scottish Rite
Masons in Louisiana, in 1858, caused English-speaking Masons, generally to
suspend relations with that Orient, one after another until such time as the
Orient should revoke its sanction of that spurious body. (Vide Report of Grand
Lodge of D. C. for 1870, pages 6 and 7.) It was not an interdiction, but a
tentative suspension of relations which the Orient was at liberty to
automatically heal by the revocation of its sanction of that spurious A.A.S.R.
body of New Orleans.
spurious body has long since gone out of existence but the Grand Orient has
never made any overtures to the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia nor any
other American Grand Lodge so far as the writer has been able to discover.
1878, the Report of the Grand Lodge of District of Columbia (p. 20) says:
action of the Grand Orient of France in expunging from its constitution the
necessity for a firm belief in Deity and the immortality of the soul was
called up as unfinished business and on motion, it was ordered that the
resolutions accompanying the report be considered separately.
"Resolved, That the action of the Grand Orient of France in ignoring the
foundation principles of Masonry--that of a firm belief in God and in the
immortality of the soul--meets with unqualified disapproval of this Grand
the last entry we can find in our reports of the Grand Orient.
the priests say) "let us consider this beautiful mystery." It is certainly not
an interdiction. There is no intimation of clandestinism, nor of irregularity
nor threat of permanent breaking off of relations.
Protestants disapprove of their failure to exact a firm belief in the
existence of God and of the immortality of the soul, more I think because we
are Christians than for any other reason. We believe even more we teach the
"resurrection of the body through faith in the merits of the Lion of the Tribe
of Judah," though the Jews among us cannot agree with that, but it is there,
and it cannot be found in the Anderson Constitutions, under which the Grand
Lodge of France is working today. We are perhaps unconsciously, gradually
blending our Christian faith with Freemasonry, while we believe or teach that
the latter unites men of every Nation, sect and opinion and concilates
friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual
writer happens to know that there is a Lodge in Swansea, Wales, under the
obedience of the Grand Orient of France which has the Bible on its altar on
which it obligates. The Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orient assured us
that they dedicate their Lodges to the Great Architect of the Universe, and
that they permit the sacred writings to be kept on the altar of any and every
Lodge that wants it. And this they regard as becoming tolerance.
Lodge of France, however, has never offended us in any way. It has not been
even charged of having committed the infractions which have strained our
relations with the Grand Orient.
Lodge of France is a separate, distinct and sovereign body recognized as such
by the Supreme Grand Council from which it was separated. It is in fraternal
amity with many sovereign Grand Lodges and has never, until now, asked formal
recognition of any American Grand Lodge. At the beginning of this European war
the Grand Lodge of France started a line of auto-ambulances, opened
soup-houses and lunch rooms, and equipped a hospital for the use of wounded
soldiers and for the aid of the indigent and needy of all nations without
regard to "race, creed, or previous condition of servitude."
now sending about 30,000 soldiers a month to Europe, most of whom go to
France; among these are many Masons. They naturally want to visit and as our
relations are strained with the Orient we should make it possible for them to
visit the Lodges of the Grand Lodge of France.
Personally we have advised our soldier-Masons of the District of Columbia that
they are at liberty to visit the Lodges of the Grand Lodge of France, but as
relations are strained with the Grand Orient we have advised that its Lodges
be not, at present, visited.
Orient means East.
Printed in three languages.
OF THE STORY OF OLD GLORY
JOHN W. BARRY, GRAND MASTER, IOWA
Builder: Your favor enclosing a letter from a California subscriber received.
His letter calls attention to the Flag number (October) of the Geographic
Magazine, wherein it contradicts sharply in some particulars my story of "Old
Glory" so handsomely published in THE BUILDER a short time ago. He wants to
know which is right.
question is proper, for the obligation of THE BUILDER to its subscribers in
such matters is unquestioned and as the author of the Story of "Old Glory," it
is squarely up to me to answer. Not to answer would be untrue to the purpose
of an organization calling itself a "research society." JOHN W. BARRY, Grand
number of the Geographic Magazine is so praiseworthy in many particulars that
an adverse criticism is made only in self-defense and in vindication of the
established facts of history and will be limited to the principal
FLAG" RAISED JAN. 1, 1776--NOT ON JAN. 2
Geographic Magazine (page 289) says, "Washington raised the Grand Union Flag
Jan. 2,1776, the day the Continental Army began its official existence,"
whereas THE BUILDER says the date was Jan. 1, 1776. Which is right? The final
authority is the "Orderly Book" of George Washington in his own hand-writing.
It reads as follows:
Quarters January 1, 1776. Parole--The Congress. Countersign--America.
giving commencement to the new Army, which in every point of view is entirely
Continental" (1) etc., etc. This proves conclusively that THE BUILDER is right
and the Geographic wrong.
OF LOYAL INDIA
4, 1776, Washington in writing to Joseph Reed, his secretary, then at
Philadelphia, among other things says: "We gave great joy to them (the Red
Coats, I mean) without knowing it or intending it, for on that day, the day
which gave being to our new Army, but before the proclamation had come to hand
we had hoisted the Union Flag in compliment to the United Colonies. But
behold, it was received in Boston as token of the deep impression the speech
had made on us. And as a signal of submission. So we learn by a person out of
Boston last night. By this time I presume they think it strange that we have
not made formal surrender of our lines (2)."
no clue in Washington's statement giving the remotest idea as to what this
"Union Flag" really was. Commenting on this, Benson J. Lossing, an eminent
American Historian, says (3):
hoisting of the Union Flag in compliment to the colonies should have been
received by the British as 'signal of submission,' was a question historians
could not answer until 1855, when the writer of this work discovered among the
papers of General Philip Schuyler a drawing of the Royal Savage with the Union
Flag at its mast-head."
drawing in colors of the flag on the Royal Savage, together with the
contemporaneous writing of Gen. Schuyler and others, showed definitely that
the "Union Flag" raised by Washington was the flag of the English East India
Company shown by the Geographic Magazine as No. 364.
the flag of loyal India--a flag which had been well known for 69 years. So the
"red coats" took it as "a token of submission" when Washington hoisted an
English flag so long and well known to them.
THING AS COLONIAL STANDARD
BUILDER carries the idea that this "Union Flag" was promptly abandoned because
it was an English flag. The Geographic says (page 288): "This was the flag
(364) which afterward figured so extensively in the literature of the day as
the Congress Colors, from the fact that it first floated over the Navy
controlled by Congress. Also known as the Grand Union Flag and the First Navy
Ensign, it was the Colonial standard from that day until it was superseded by
the Stars and Stripes, in 1777."
Geographic Magazine does not quote its authority except to say, "How long the
Grand Union Flag was in use has never been definitely established; but
official records of the navy fail to show that any other ensign was used until
after the Star Spangled Banner's adoption by Congress," (page 295).
from the fact that the "official records of the navy" fail to show that any
other ensign was in use, the Geographic Magazine discards all other evidence
and states that no other flag was in use. To offset the testimony of Trumbull
and of Peale, both eye witnesses, with reputations for fidelity to fact,
positive evidence of a decided character should be introduced. There is many a
fact of history which does not appear on the official records.
says (4): "After the Declaration of Independence the British Union was removed
from the colors of the new nation." This from a recognized authority sustains
the statement of THE BUILDER. It is very much to be regretted that the
Geographic Magazine gives practically no references but so far as I can find,
there is no authority of any kind to sustain the claim "that the Grand Union
Flag was the Colonial Standard from that day until it was superseded by the
Stars and Stripes in 1777." Indeed a British flag as the "Colonial Standard"
after the Declaration of Independence would be repugnant to every sense of
propriety. At a time when the people were destroying the statue and pictures
of the king--in fact bent on the destruction of everything suggesting British
rule, it would certainly be a manifest absurdity to have used a well known
British flag as the standard of the new nation for a year and a half.
historic fact seems to be that there was no such flag as "a Colonial
Standard"--that a variety of flags came into use following the Declaration of
Independence, including the stars and stripes. So that on June 14, 1777, when
Congress adopted the stars and stripes, that emblem was actually before
Congress and so well known that there was no discussion and the newspapers
made no reference to the event. Indeed it was not published until Sept. 2,
1777, when Dunlap's Pennsylvania Packet, a weekly newspaper, published the
flag resolution and then without comment. On this point THE BUILDER is
sustained by a great mass of evidence.
Geographic Magazine goes on thus:
their origin, there is no persuasive evidence in the official records of the
time which would lead to the conclusion that the Stars and Stripes were in use
before the resolution of June 14, 1777. It is true, however, that the
paintings of Trumbull and Peale do point to its earlier use. But, as to the
flags appearing in their paintings, it should be recalled that an anachronism
could be readily excused in the case of Trumbull, because he had left the
colonies while Washington was before Boston and was abroad for seven years.
Peale's picture of Washington crossing the Delaware, with respect to colors
carried, is believed to be a case of 'artist's license.' "
statement contains many errors. There are many authorities on John Trumbull
for he was a most active patriot in many ways. But probably the most generally
available is the Britannica (5). It shows that John Trumbull took military
training as part of his college course, joined the forces at Boston as
adjutant of the 1st Connecticut; became one of Washington's aids. In 1776
became Gates' adjutant general and resigned from the service in FEBRUARY,
1777. But in 1778 he joined Sullivan as a volunteer in the Rock Island
campaign and did not go to Europe until 1780 or 1781; that later Congress
employed him for $32,000 to paint the four pictures now in the rotunda of the
capitol at Washington. The resolution provided that he should paint the events
he had witnessed. So Trumbull, having been an active participant, is a
competent witness. His reputation as a painter was everywhere recognized and
rests on his FIDELITY to historic FACTS. Speaking of his painting, "Washington
at Princeton," Trumbull says (6): "Every minute article of dress, down to the
buttons and spurs, were carefully painted from the different objects."
Princeton was fought Jan. 3, 1777, six months before Congress adopted the
stars and stripes so there was no more reason for showing Old Glory there than
there was for showing it in his painting of the battle of Bunker Hill except
the one all-important fact to Trumbull, namely, that Old Glory was NOT at
Bunker Hill and WAS at Princeton Jan. 3, 1777.
Trumbull's reputation for fidelity to fact, his own statement that his
painting is true to fact, and the further fact that he was an eye witness and
competent to testify, repudiates the supposition that he has permitted an
anachronism in his painting.
ASSIGNING LEUTZE'S PICTURE TO PEALE
Charles Wilson Peale, the Geographic Magazine falls into another serious
error. "Washington Crossing the Delaware" was not painted by Peale but by
Emanuel Leutze who was not born until 1816 and therefore not a competent
witness to events before his time. However, his picture is true to historic
fact in that it does show the stars and stripes.
picture is a very different work and was bought by Congress because of its
HISTORIC accuracy. It is a full length portrait of Washington at Trenton. It
now hangs at the head of the Grand Staircase of the Senate wing of the Capitol
at Washington, D.C. At Washington's feet are captured flags and other trophies
while to the right Old Glory waves in triumph. It was painted in 1779 by
Charles Wilson Peale who commanded a company at the battle of Trenton and he
was therefore a competent witness.
years ago, his son Titian R. Peale wrote a letter quoted by both Preble and
Canby. Among other things he said: "The trophies at Washington's feet I know
he painted from the flags then captured, which were left with him for that
purpose. He was always very particular in matters of historic record in his
pictures; the service sword in that is an instance and probably caused its
acceptance by Congress."
us that his father commanded a company at the battles of Germantown, Trenton,
Princeton and Monmouth and then says: "I am sure represented the flag then in
use--not a regimental flag but one to mark the new republic." Is there
anything here that sounds like "artist's license"?
indeed be "anachronism" for Trumbull and "artist's license" for Peale, isn't
it strange that each unknown to the other should record in living colors the
stars and stripes in use at Trenton and Princeton in 1776-7? The Geographic
Magazine to say the least is a little inconsistent to mention "the carving on
Selden's powder horn" as authority (See page 292) and reject Trumbull and
OF THE FIRST STARS AND STRIPES While the Geographic Magazine makes no
suggestion as to who did make the first "Old Glory," yet it denies that honor
to the only one that ever claimed it, but admits that in 1777 she was engaged
in the making of flags. "The well known story of Betsy Ross, so called maker
of the Stars and Stripes, is one of the picturesque legends which has grown up
around the origin of the flag, but it is one to which few unsentimental
historians subscribe. There was, however, a Mrs. Ross, who was a flag-maker by
trade, living in Philadelphia at the time of the flag's adoption." (See page
Elizabeth Ross, popularly known as Betsy Ross, made flags from 1776 to 1827.
STORY IN BRIEF
Washington, accompanied by Robert Morris and George Ross, uncle of her late
husband, called on her "shortly before the Declaration of Independence."
Washington showed her the design of a flag he wanted made. She took the job
and the flag was so satisfactory that Robert Morris, chairman of the "secret
committee" on the conduct of the war, and George Ross, signer of the
Declaration of Independence and uncle of her late husband, ordered her to make
all the flags she could and that they would pay for the bunting themselves.
Betsy continued the making of flags thus begun until 1827, assisted much of
the time by her four daughters and other members of the family. In 1827 the
oldest daughter, Clarissa Sidney, took over the business and continued it
until 1857. Numerous participants have made affidavits duly attested
establishing the Betsy Ross story. These affidavits, complete and convincing,
are published in "The Evolution of The American Flag (7)." These affidavits,
together with other corroborating evidence, place the Betsy Ross incident on
an assured historic foundation.
HOPKINSON CLAIMS TO DESIGN NOT MAKE
Geographic Magazine offers no disproof of the Betsy Ross story except to refer
to Francis Hopkinson as "a more authentic designer of the flag" and quotes in
full a bill he filed for such service and for devices for the currency, etc.
True, but Hopkinson nowhere claims to have MADE the flag--only helped design
it, and it was in 1776 he was in Congress. He was familiar with heraldry and
it may be that he gave Washington the design having the six-pointed stars, for
in heraldry a five-point was not considered a star but a mallet or spur. But
when Betsy suggested a five-point star because she could make it with one clip
of her scissors, Washington, who never claimed to know anything of heraldry,
at once made the change. We see the effect still in our coinage for the stars
around the head of the goddess of liberty are six-pointed while on the other
side where the stars represent states, they are five-pointed. Look at a half
dollar for yourself.
Francis Hopkinson incident tends to confirm and not disprove the Betsy Ross
story for she claims only to have MADE the first stars and stripes flag,
giving Washington credit for the design.
PAID BETSY FOR MAKING FLAGS Practically all flags during the Revolution were
supplied by the states or by individuals. So in contrast to Hopkinson's
unrecognized bill as designer, here is one of actual money "paid to Betsy Ross
as maker of flags:
Navy Board, May 29, 1777 (8). Present William Bradford, Joseph Marsh Joseph
Blewer, Paul Cox-- An order on William Webb to Elizabeth Ross, for fourteen
pounds twelve shillings, two pence for making Ships Colours & c, put into
William Richards' Store. 14-S12-D2."
about $70 paid for the labor of making flags. Even today the slowness of such
matters in getting by the red tape to the pay stage would suggest that at
least some of the money was earned well back in 1776. Further, as Pennsylvania
did not adopt a state flag until Oct. 9, 1799, it is not unreasonable to
conclude in view of other known facts, that "Ships Colours" means the stars
WASHINGTON IN PHILADELPHIA, MAY 22 TO JUNE 5, 1776 (9) Betsy Ross and her
daughters were not of a literary turn of mind but were devout Quakers devoted
to the arts of the needle. Their recollection of the date of the visit of
Washington, Morris and Ross is given only approximately as "a short time
before the Declaration of Independence." It is therefore necessary to show
that Washington was in Philadelphia at that time, which is established by
letters he wrote from there at the time and by a number of entries in the
Journal of Congress.
Journal of Congress for May 16, 1776, contains a resolution instructing its
president, John Hancock, to request Washington to come to Philadelphia to
consult regarding "the ensuing campaign," and the manuscript of the Hancock
letter to Washington is now in the Library of Congress. In response Washington
accompanied by his wife arrived May 22 and remained until June 5, 1776, but
was not again in Philadelphia until Aug. 2, 1777.
31, he wrote to his brother saying that the attitude of England had become
such that there remained but one choice-- Independence (10). On May 28 he
wrote in detail to Major General Putnam at New York. Among the other things he
urged that he "Speak to the several Colonels and hurry them to get their
colors done"." So the records not only prove that Washington was in
Philadelphia at the time indicated by Betsy Ross but in addition that he was
mindful of the need of flags, particularly as he recognized that the only
course was "independence."
HOUSE In 1898 an association was formed to buy the Betsy Ross flag house and
maintain it as a shrine of liberty free to all the people. The charter members
number many to whom even "unsentimental historians" would bow in deference in
STRIPES USED FREELY DURING REVOLUTION
Geographic Magazine says that the "stars and stripes was not carried in the
field by the land forces during the Revolution." It is true bunting was scarce
and flags few and usually individual meaning not supplied by the Congress.
While company "colors" were carried yet the headquarters of all land forces,
all forts and ships did show "Old Glory." Further the Geographic Magazine
contradicts itself by showing the stars and stripes carried by the 3d Maryland
regiment. See flag 411, page 339 and described on page 352. It is the same
flag shown by THE BUILDER as 32. It is one of the few if not the only flag of
the Revolution still preserved. It is carefully guarded in the State House at
Annapolis and bears on the case the legend "No. 1 Old Glory (12)." What the
Maryland regiment did, it is more than probable other regiments did also. Thus
THE BUILDER is sustained and the Geographic Magazine refuted even out of
proof is the Bennington flag No. 395, page 339 and described on 348. This flag
is not only the stars and stripes but the stars are arranged around the year
1776, probably the date the flag was put in service.
GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE OVERLOOKS THE FLAG OF 1818
the Geographic Magazine omits the flag adopted April 4 and approved by the
President April 13, 1818, and substitutes another, thus again erroneously
contradicting THE BUILDER and perverting history. No. 8 in the Geographic
Magazine is given as the flag before Congress in 1818, whereas No. 22 in THE
BUILDER was the flag adopted and the ONLY one before Congress at the time.
pages of discussion which seemed to get farther and farther from agreement,
Congress referred the whole flag problem to Samuel Chester Reid (13),
commander of the Armstrong. He solved it by returning to the original 13
stripes and adding a Star for each additional state. Mrs. Reid made the sample
flag and it was presented with her husband's report to Congress and was
adopted without change, April 4, 1818, and in compliment to Mrs. Reid, its
maker, the new flag was raised over the Capitol April 13, though the law did
not go into effect until July 4, 1818. The Mrs. Reid flag then adopted had its
20 stars arranged in the form of one large star (14) and this form of Old
Glory was the ONLY one known to the interior of the country for many years.
Preble says: "This form was used for many years by the Military Department
whereas the Navy Department adhered to parallel lines." True, Congress made no
requirement as to the arrangement of stars because it adopted a specific flag
then on exhibition before them. It was a parallel to the action of Congress on
June 14, 1777, in adopting a flag then before them and well known. Congress
never specified the arrangement of the stars or stripes. So there came to be
used so many forms and proportions that there were 66 variations in use by the
various government departments. This led President Taft in 1912 to issue an
order covering the whole subject (15). It is assumed that page 312 of the
Geographic Magazine is in harmony therewith.
form of the flag so unfortunately omitted by the Geographic Magazine, the
historian James Schouler says (16):
flag of the United States, hoisted April 13, 1818, fol the first time over the
chamber of assembled representatives at Washington, WITH ITS TWENTY STARS SO
DISPOSED AS TO FORM ONE GREAT STAR in the center of the azure field while the
long red and white stripes danced in the breeze, spoke a parable. That
spangled host, soon to be increased in number, spoke of a Union to be
progressive and perpetual, while the thirteen stripes recalled the founders
whose memory must ever be cherished."
at the outset these errors are not pointed out in any spirit of captious
criticism. Indeed, they are sincerely regretted and it is earnestly hoped the
Geographic Magazine will correct them in an early issue.
NOTE: "The Story of 'Old Glory'--The Oldest Flag," by Brother John W. Barry,
the present Grand Master of Iowa, was first published in Volume II of THE
BUILDER, in 1916. This article has been reprinted in pamphlet form in two
styles of binding, red buffing at $1.00 and paper at 35c per copy. A
frontispiece in colors showing the evolution of the American Flag accompanies
American Archives, 4th Series, vol. IV, p. 568, also Avery, vol. V, p. 307.
American Archives, 4th Series, vol. IV, p. 750.
Cyclopedia American History, vol. II, p. 1432.
Avery, vol. VI, p. 68.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th Ed., vol. XXIII, p. 944.
Washington Irving's Washington, vol. IV, p. 327.
Evolution of the American Flag, Appendix C.
Pennsylvania Archives, 2d Series, vol. I, p. 164.
Journal of Congress for May 16, 24, 25th.
Ford's Writings of Washington, vol. IV, p. 105.
American Archives, vol. VI, p. 637.
Battle Flags, Clinton L. Riggs, p. 5.
Preble, p. 339 Vide American Encyclopedia, vol. VII, p. 251.
also Britannica, vol. XX, p. 905. Vide 14 Niles Register for 1818.
Executive Order, vol. 1637, Oct. 29, 1912, Taft.
History of U. S., James Schouler, vol. III, p. 106.
history of mankind is that of the slow advance of resolved
following laboriously just thought.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN---No. 17
TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
Bro. Robert I. Clegg
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
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.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in
subdivided, as is shown below:
1. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of a Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising
V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
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. On page two,
preceding each installment, will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" and a
list 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.
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
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 Committee 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 preceding 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
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
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.
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 paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental
(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.)
Discussion of the above.
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.
"QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
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.
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
HINTS TO STUDY CLUB LEADERS
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.
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.
ON "APPROACHING THE EAST"
many sections is the present study divided ? What are they? What is your
definition of the meaning of the word "orientation" ? When may the candidate
be said to be "oriented" ? To what were temples of ancient times dedicated ?
How were they oriented ? Why ? How were ancient cities oriented ? Where was
the altar placed in ancient times? Why? What was the situation of the Holy
place in the Temple of Solomon ? From whom did the Operative Masons derive
their practice of placing the Master's chair in the East? What did the Pagans
see in the Sun? Is there a representation of the Sun in the Masonic East? How
did the ancient peoples hope to find God? Through whom do we expect to find
north does the Sun reach in its summer journey ? Whence originated the thought
of the North as a place of darkness ? What did the North symbolize to the
ancient peoples ? What does it symbolize to us ? Why ? Have Masons today any
superstitions regarding the North?
the South symbolize? What stage of man's existence is symbolized by the South
? Whose station is in the South in the Masonic Lodge? Why? What order of
architecture is represented in the South? In the West? In the East?
the significance of the West? What place did the West occupy in Operative
Lodges ? In Greek mythology ? What does the expression "gone West" signify ?
the candidate instructed to face the East ? What does the East symbolize ?
Whence originated knowledge ? Name some of the symbols of the East visible in
the Masonic Lodgeroom. What celebrated characters in ancient and biblical
history came from the East? What nations are synonymous with the word "East"?
To whom did the East signify the dawn of a new day? Why are our dead buried
with their feet to the East ?
the significance of the candidate's approach to the East? How would you answer
the questions propounded in the present study paper concerning your duty to
God, your country, your neighbor and yourself? Are you in accord with the
answers given to these questions in that part of the paper just read? Can you
add to them? (Discuss the several duties of a Mason as outlined in the Entered
Points, p. 134. East, p. 226. Orientation, p. 537.
I--Symbolism of the First Degree, p. 235. Vol. II--What An Entered Apprentice
Ought to Know, April C. C. B., p. 7.
STEPS BY BROS. H.L. HAYWOOD AND R.I. CLEGG
this month combined the papers of Brother Haywood and Brother Clegg rather
than to print them separately as formerly and then to use one as a
supplemental paper, as we find that at many study meetings the supplemental
paper is sometimes neglected simply because to use it would necessitate
re-opening discussions that had already been closed. The material of Brother
Haywood's which we are using is taken from the manuscript of his forthcoming
book on "The interpretation of the Three Degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry," soon
to be published. EDITOR.
PART V -
APPROACHING THE EAST
portion of the ceremony has many things to tell us, which, in order to
simplify the discussion, we may break into four divisions: (1) Orientation,
(2) Symbolism of the Cardinal Points, (3) Significance of the East, and (4)
the meaning of the Candidate's Approach to the East.
Egypt, as Norman Lockyer tells us in his "Dawn of Astronomy," the most
brilliant of all works on Orientation, and as authoritative as it is readable,
it was the custom to dedicate a temple to some planet or star, to the Moon in
one of her phases, or to the sun at one of his various periods. Originally,
perhaps, a majority of the temples were dedicated to the rising sun; in that
event the building was so situated that on a given day in the year the light
of the sun would pass between the pillars at the entrance and fall upon the
altar at the moment of his first appearance above the horizon. This placing
the temple so as to face the dawn gave rise to the term "Orientations," which
means "finding the east." However, other temples were directed toward the moon
or star, and this also, by an accommodation of language, was called
orientation. The term was further used, in after days, when a building of a
city was laid out in harmony with the cardinal points; according to this usage
the City of Rome was oriented, for its first form was a quadrangle with a gate
facing in each direction. (A.Q.C. vol. 4, p. 87.) This custom was practiced by
the Jews, and indeed may be considered as universal throughout the ancient
world. Moreover it was carried over into Christian customs, for all the early
churches were oriented to the sun, the Apostolic Constitutions specifying that
a church must be "an oblong form, and directed to the east."
as the orienting of a temple was chiefly for the purpose of permitting the
light to fall on its altar on a given day, the altar was necessarily placed in
the west end of the building. This arrangement must also have been often used
by the Jews, even though they did reverse so many "heathen" customs, for Dr.
Wynn Westcott tells us that, "It is clear that both the Mosaic Tabernacle and
the Temple of Solomon had the Holy Place at the west." But, he goes on to say,
and this is a point especially deserving of our attention? "it is equally
certain that churches from the earliest Christian development have always
reversed the positions when possible." This is to say, though Christian houses
of worship were placed east and west as the heathen temples had been, they
were built with their altars in the east end instead of in the west. It is
from the Christian churches of Medieval times, no doubt, that the Operative
Masons derived their practice of placing the Master's station in the East.
pagans saw in the sun a symbol of Deity, in its rays an emblem of the Divine
forth-shining; accordingly they had the sun, or a representation of the sun,
in the East. We also worship a Deity whom we have clothed with Light, but in
our East is no longer the natural sun, or even a representation thereof, but a
man, the Master. To my mind this is a thing of profound significance, though I
can not place the weight of the name of any one of our authorities behind my
interpretation. Ancient peoples, like ourselves, were in search of God, even
as are we. They hoped to find Him in Nature, among the things that He had
made, even as the Wise Men followed a star in their search for Him; but
whereas they went "through Nature to God," we go "through man to God," and
believe that His completest unveiling will be found in the perfected human
soul, even as the Master of Masters said, "He that hath seen ME hath seen the
uses as an illustration the fact that the sun in its summer journey never
passes north of 23d 28', and that a wall built anywhere above that will have
its northern side entirely in shadow even when the sun stands at his meridian.
As this fact became known to early peoples it led them to look upon the North
as the place of darkness. Accordingly, in all ancient mythologies, that
portion of space was regarded with suspicion and even with terror. This
prejudice was carried over into the Middle Ages, and traces of it, often dim
and vague, survive to this day in popular customs. In his "Antiquities of
Freemasonry," Fort writes that the "North by the Jutes was denominated black
or sombre; the Frisians called it 'Fear corner.' The gallows faced North, and
from these hyperborean shores beyond the North everything base and terrible
proceeded." To the churchmen of medieval times it carried a like sinister
meaning, as we may read in "Animal Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture"
(E. P. Evans, p. 258); "The north is the region of meteorological devils
which, under the dominion and leadership of the 'Prince of the power of the
air' produce storms and convulsions in Nature and foster unruly passions and
deeds of violence in man. The evil principle, as embodied in unclean beasts
and exhibited in obscene and lascivious actions, was properly portrayed in the
sculptures and painting on the north side of the church, which was assigned to
Satan and his satellites, and known as 'the black side.'" Milton connects
Satan with the North and Shakespeare speaks of demons "who are substitutes
under the lonely monarch of the north." This cardinal point has a similar
meaning in Masonry, and the portion of the Lodge on the northern side should
contain no furniture or lights.
of the same symbolic reasoning the South stands for all that is opposed to the
North; in that direction the sun reaches his meridian, pouring light, warmth
and beauty. Accordingly, church builders of old time were wont to depict on
the South wall of their churches the triumphs of Christianity, and the
millennial reign of Christ. In the Lodge the Corinthian column, type of
beauty, is stationed in the South as is also the Junior Warden. It is the
place of High Twelve, and the scene of the labors of the Craft. As the West is
the place of the sun's setting and of the closing of the day it stands for
rest, for darkness, and for death. In Operative Lodges it was the place set
apart for finished work. In Greek mythology it was the place of Hades, that
is, darkness and death; as we may read in Sophocles.
life downstricken goes Swifter than the wild bird's flight, Swifter than the
Fire-God's might, To the westering shores of Night."
makes Arthur to go into the West and Ulysses to travel beyond the paths of the
setting sun; and at this day, it is said, soldiers in the trenches of Europe
speak of a dead comrade as having "gone West." To the West all men come at
last, men and Masons, to the beautiful, tender West, and lay them down in the
sleep that knows no waking.
the source from whence comes light. Knowledge has ever been associated with
the East. Thence came the Arabian contribution of algebra to our mathematical
information. Euclid and Pythagoras were therefrom, and the many who in mere
conversation unconsciously use such phrases as "the shortest distance between
two points is a straight line," or practically refer to "the music of the
spheres," are alluding to these industrious and thoughtful pioneer scientists
and philosophers whose names are forever famous among Freemasons. From the
East came the mysterious Magi, the three Wise Men, unto the manger at
Bethlehem. Around them has lovingly clustered, the legends founding and
formulating a great faith, the very graciousness of glory that is Christendom.
Led by a star, symbol serene of hope, they came. At the quaint and curious
cradle they gave their gifts, worshipped and went their way.
the mystical and ancient, is in the East. Monuments mysterious and of great
antiquity are scattered over the land with astounding freedom in numbers and
dimensions. Figures and hieroglyphics appear profusely on very many surfaces
and these inscriptions, more or less definitely deciphered, tell strange
stories of the world's oldest-known centers of civilization.
to the eastward sweeps India, China, Siam and Japan. These be homes of
philosophies profound and appealing. Down from a remote period of the earth's
history there has been nourished in these countries the blaze of a religious
reasoning not yet reduced to embers, only, of once active fiery faiths.
East then do we turn our eyes as did the Druids of Britain or the followers of
Mithras. They saw in the East the dawn of new days, a source of light and
warmth, a never-failing and never-faltering friend the hope for harvests, the
sure promise of sheaves of grain and garlands of flowers.
is one symbol that recurs again and again in Our Blue Lodge Ritual, like a
musical refrain, it is the East; of this I almost despair to speak, save in
crudest outline, so rich and so many-sided is the truth enshrined in it. As
the center of gravity is to the earth, and all things thereon, so is the East
to a Masonic Lodge; the Master sits there, the representative of a complete
humanity; the Blazing Star shines there, the mystic "G" at the center of the
rays; it is the bourne, the goal, the ultimate destination, towards which the
whole Craft moves.
interpretation of the East is valid, as I am profoundly convinced that it is,
the candidate's "approach to the East" is a symbolic act of far-reaching
meaning, for it means nothing less than that he has tuned his will toward the
perfecting of his own human nature in order to enter into communion with the
Divine; if he is compelled to advance by a certain regulated manner it is in
token of the fact that the soul itself is a realm of law and that he who would
reach the soul's highest development must walk in harmony with the spirit's
laws; and if, in the succeeding degrees, his manner of approach approximates
more and more toward a perfect step it is in recognition of the necessity of
gradual and orderly progress in the highest growth Always and everywhere, in
whatever condition or task a man finds himself, if he would "go up into the
seer's house," he must mount by those virtues of Purity, Beauty, and Truth
which are the hidden laws of the seer's own heart.
the mood wherein we all walk to the East, upright and regular of step ? None
other should be our manner if we but grasp the intent of the instruction.
time, too, we may also bear in mind the foundation of Masonic ethics. Do we
give heed to our duty to God? What is our- debt to Country? What may our
neighbors expect of a Freemason ? What owe we to ourselves?
there in Masonry that interferes with the very fullest performance of every
single syllable of just requirement an individual can fulfill in answer to the
to God is a sincere accord with all his wishes, to live in his world with
every willingness to do his will, to serve him loyally, to be his in all
things and for all ends. Nothing less may be the measure of a Mason's
country affords me home and property protection, a fair foothold among men, a
buckler and a bulwark against hostile armies, a place where prosperity is
surely possible and happiness most probable if I but do my part. Could I do
less? As a Mason I should aim at more. Patriotism assuredly among Masons is a
Am I a
distant neighbor? Am I friendly? Is there any better way of making friends
than by being one? Does duty to neighbor mean to a Mason aught else than a
courteous concern that they shall never receive from him anything but help in
misfortune, commendation in success, and always good cheer ?
Mason be selfishly solicitious of his own person and property? Certainly not
to the extent where it endangers the rights of others. A Mason is moderate of
claims personal to himself. He is cautious of acts whereby his body and mind
may suffer. Intemperance of appetite is as shunned by him as is the
intemperate word. Never does he over-indulge the body, or by malicious word or
deed wound another. Out of his mouth goes not the hasty ill-considered
judgment, neither into it enters the enemy to steal away his brains or cripple
his bodily powers.
these things, my brethren, when making a promise, assuming any obligation to
God or man. For these be indeed the thoughts that thrill the thinking Mason at
all critical times. Yes, they do truly come close to his mind and heart when
he sees the initiate first face Eastwardly.
faces the East aright and proceeds to approach thereto is wise and opportune
in purpose and in timeliness. His feet will walk the path deliberately if he
is but started properly and instructed intelligently. Well, how is he
instructed to proceed?
you know as well as I. You are aware of the manner of movement and the extent
thereof. Think well of its meaning. Grasp the importance of motion by a
the symbolism of all these acts. Not one of them is unimportant. Each has a
deep significance to the discerning eye. For of such is Masonry. It means
nothing to those that are blinded by prejudice, dumb of expression and deaf to
understanding. To the attentive glance much is revealed and to him that is
fortified and equipped by a cultivated consciousness the Craft opens a great
store of Knowledge when approaching the East.
I ask not
for forgiveness, Lord, nor help, Nor strength nor mercy at Thy hand. Give me
just faith, Oh Lord, sincere and true, Faith in my fellowman. I see, Oh, Lord,
the wonder of Thy work But ask not understanding of Thy plan. Grant me a faith
to guide me in the world, Faith in my fellowman.
"CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM AND OTHER ESSAYS" A REVIEW
JOHN SEAMAN GARNS, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
"Christian Mysticism" is the title of a slender little volume of essays by
Brother H. L. Haywood, Editor of the Library Department of THE BUILDER--a
volume which even the most casual reader will find richly rewarding.
author's foreword states the impulse out of which the book has grown: "the
hope that it may lead some kindred spirit to seek a closer walk with that
little band of God-intoxicated spirits who hold in their hands today, as ever
before, the destinies of religion."
initial essay, which lends its title to the volume, is an illuminating
introduction to mysticism in general. In it the author has rendered great
service to the lay reader by clearly discriminating mysticism from occultism,
on the one hand, and from religions or authority on the other. He then
proceeds to sketch with rare appreciation the spirit of each of the various
groups of mystics--Nature, Love, Philosophical and Devotional Mystics, as well
as that larger group of those who, like St. Augustine, Luther, Fox, Loyola and
many another "have never yielded themselves entirely to the life, albeit they
have tasted of its hidden manna and drunk from its brimming wells."
follows a spirited defense of mysticism from the oft-repeated charge of
other-worldliness and sloth on the one hand, and intellectual vagueness and
fuzzy mindedness on the other. Far from being a beautiful mirage conjured up
by visionaries along life's hard horizon lines, it is, the author feels sure,
"human nature's daily food."
close of the essay the author takes the interested reader by the hand and
points him helpfully forward into the literature of the subject, advising as
to the best order in which to read the books mentioned and what one may hope
to gain from each. Taken all in all, as a brief, practical and inspiring
introduction to mysticism, this little essay has probably never bee surpassed
in the literature of the subject.
remaining essays in the volume are the ripe fruit of the author's own mystical
experience. A the titles would indicate, "The Secret Place of the Most High"
and "The Invisible World" are short excursion into the world of spiritual
experience, under the guidance of one sure of foot and keen of vision. The
author's thought in all the essays is crystal clear; his style smooth and
flowing. To readers mystically inclined, as well as that larger audience of
uninitiated ones who would in brief compass get a first hand interpretation of
mysticism, the book will prove invaluable.
"Christian Mysticism" is published by The Murray Press, Boston, at fifty
cents. Copies may be had from the publishers or through the National Masonic
for age is a fair test of the vigor of youth Kingsley.
him as a revealer of treasure for you who reveals your faults.--Buddha.
DEGREES PROBLEM BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
"Degrees Problem" (it will long remain that--a problem) may be best stated in
a group of questions: What is a Degree? Why have we three degrees? How many
degrees did the old Operative Masons use? What were they? How did they
originate ? Whence came our Blue Lodge Degrees ? In answering these questions
in what way circumstances permit I shall try to observe the scientific rule of
keeping separate our theories of what may have happened from the facts which
show what did happen; and when a theory is required to bridge over a gap in
the facts I shall try to be frank enough to call it a "theory." This may in
itself prove a gain, for times without number Masonic writers, more zealous
than accurate, have offered as facts what really were theories having very
little evidence behind them. (Let this not be understood as throwing stones
against any of our writers, for in many cases--Oliver may be mentioned here--
their wildest theories have led ultimately to fruitful discoveries of facts;
besides, what weaknesses Masonic writers have had they have shared in common
with writers in other fields.)
division of our ritual into three degrees is one of the evidences that Masonry
is truly a "progressive" science for it is by this means that it adapts itself
to the gradual unfoldment of the candidate's comprehension. Gould defines a
"degree" as "representing a rank secretly conferred." Speth's definition is
more elaborate: "A Masonic degree is a rank and dignity with which one is, by
legal authority, invested; by a ceremony of initiation or reception, longer or
shorter, scenic, spectacular or instructive, or with scenic pomp." (A.Q.C.
vol. 1, pp. 77.) Hughan speaks to the same end in writing on degrees: "they
are conferred," he writes in the A.Q.C. Transactions, (vol. 3, p. 25) "only on
the favored few, to the exclusion of all others, with peculiar secrets
attached to each; separate obligations as respects their esoteric (secret)
character, and distinct ceremonies."
Lodge Masonry may be pictured as an elevated platform ascended by three steps;
indeed, the three degrees are sometimes spoken of as the "three steps," for
they represent stages of a progress. But a degree is more than a step; more
also than a rank, or grade, though it contains the meaning of each of these
terms within itself, because, as now used, every Blue Lodge degree is embodied
in a distinctive ceremony without which the degree can not be a degree. This
embodiment of the degree in its appropriate ceremony is a fact of high
importance, for around it evolves the whole controversy over the origin of our
"grading" of members according to their several stages of development, like
almost every other usage in Masonry, is no arbitrary arrangement but springs
up out of the requirements of human nature as grass grows out of the sod. This
is proved by the fact that in all forms of secret societies among primitive
races the membership was divided into grades, consisting, usually, of boys,
young unmarried men, married men, and elders. On this, Professor Hutton
Webster, whose "Primitive Secret Societies" gave us our information concerning
the "Men's House," makes this significant comment: "The tribe becomes in fact,
a secret association, divided into grades or classes out of which as a later
development arise the 'degrees' of the secret societies." And just as we have
words, grips, and secrets to distinguish the degrees one from another so the
primitive men were often physically marked--as by circumcision--and were
usually given a new name and a secret language. Such a custom as this would
not have survived through these almost countless centuries did it not fulfil
some requirement of our nature.
members of the old Operative Masons Lodges were similarly graded is a fact
which our authorities have not disputed, whatever may have been their other
differences. All of them would, I believe, agree with R. H. Baxter when he
says: "One thing is clearly determined, that from earliest times the grades of
Apprentice, Fellow, and Master were recognized, and it is purely a question
for debate as to whether separate ceremonies, with distinguishing secrets,
marked the admission to the different steps."
authorities have also been agreed that much of the symbolic material which now
composes our three Blue Lodge ceremonies was in existence long before the
Grand Lodge era, during which time our degree ritualism was given its present
form. Two or three citations will prove this. In his "Collected Essays" (p.
125) Gould writes: "Beyond all reasonable doubt the essentials of the three
craft degrees must have existed before the formation of the First Grand
Lodge--that of England--in 1717." Speaking of the Ancient Constitutions (or
"Old Charges") which were in use at least as early as the Fifteenth Century,
Baxter says that "only a slight stretching of the imagination is necessary to
read the whole of the essentials of the Three Degrees (including the Royal
Arch) into these documents." To the same end writes Woodford: "Where did the
Freemasonry of 1717 come from? To accept for one moment the suggestion that so
complex and curious system, embracing so many archaic remains, and such
skilfully adjusted ceremonies, so much connected matter, accompanied by so
many striking symbols, could have been the creation of a pious fraud, or
ingenious conviviality, presses heavily on our powers of belief, and even
passes over the normal credulity of our species. The traces of antiquity are
too many to be overlooked or ignored." Thus, these three representative modern
writers agree that the materials of which our three degree ceremonies are
composed existed, for the most part, before the era of Speculative Masonry;
and the moment we pass behind that date there is no time limit to be set to
the antiquity of these materials. "If we once get back beyond or behind the
year 1717, i.e. into the domain of Ancient Masonry, and again look back, the
vista is perfectly illimitable, without a speck or shadow to break the
continuity of view which is presented to us."
arises the questions, when was this symbolic material cast into its present
form? Was this done by the fraternity before the Grand Lodge period, or
afterwards ? This constitutes the famous "Degrees Problem" over which our
scholars have conducted so prolonged a debate.
dealing with this debate it will help us much to get first in mind the fact
that all the debaters agree that a Third degree was "concocted" after the
formation of the Grand Lodge, the proofs of which are many and conclusive. The
Anderson Constitution of 1723 recognizes but two degrees and uses "Fellow
Craft" and "Master Mason" as meaning the same thing; but in the 1738 edition
of the same Constitutions three degrees are recognized, thus proving that the
Third came into existence during the intervening period. The earliest mention
of the Third is found in a speech by a Dr. Drake, dated 1726, delivered at
York. The earliest known date of the use of the three degrees by a regularly
constituted Lodge is 1732. So much of an innovation was this Third Degree that
at first men were made "Masters" only in Grand Lodge; so slowly did the new
system take hold that we find, so late as 1751, that when George Bell was
deputized to constitute a Lodge at Cornwall he was only a Fellow Craft and was
not made a Master until some time afterwards. Subordinate Lodges were
permitted to make Masters in 1725 but the part seems to have been so seldom
understood that special "Masters' Lodges" were organized to confer the degree.
As more and more members among the various subordinate Lodges came to learn
the part, the "Masters' Lodges" died out and all Lodges "put on" the Three
Degrees. But even so, this system was not definitely and finally fixed until
after the "Union" in 1814; two years after this date R.H. Baxter says, "a
special Grand Lodge was convened at which the Lodge of Reconciliation opened a
Lodge in the first, second, and third degrees, successively, and exhibited the
ceremonies of initiating, passing, and raising a Mason. These ceremonies were
adopted by Grand Lodge as rehearsed, with two alterations in the Third, and
are therefore the true and only genuine ceremonial of the Craft for use at the
arrived at this point we can see that the real "Degrees Problem" hinges on the
question, Whence came the Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft degrees ? Were
they in use by the Operative Masons of ancient times ? Our scholars have
fallen into two "schools" in their answer to these questions, one holding that
the old Masons used only one degree ceremonial the other contending that they
"One Degree" theory. The first of our historians to advance this hypothesis
was Findel in 1862; but as it is W. J. Hughan whose name is most usually
associated with the "One Degree" school we shall let him present that side of
the case. "In the light of duly authenticated facts, distinct and separate
Masonic degrees are never met with, alluded to, or even probable, prior to
1716-7. . . It is still a difficulty with me to understand how brethren versed
in Craft lore can see proof that more than one esoteric (secret) ceremony was
known to and practiced by our Masonic forefathers anterior (previous) to the
Grand Lodge era." (See A.Q.C. vol. 10, p. 127.) "The antiquity or continuity
of Freemasonry is one thing, and that of degrees quite another." He admits
that the members of the old Lodges were divided into grades but he denies that
a separate ceremony was used in passing the candidate from the Entered
Apprentice grade to the Fellow Craft grade, and he can find no evidences of
any such ceremonial in the Ancient Constitutions. "The Apprentices became
Fellow Crafts or journeymen, on their 'essays' or work being passed by
competent judges . .; but never because of taking certain degrees (ceremonies)
until the last (Eighteenth) century." With this position Steinbrenner,
Murray-Lyon and other writers have agreed.
"Two Degrees" theory. The best statement of this "school" is George William
Speth's essay published in the A.Q.C. vol. 3, p. 28, and I would refer you to
that for a complete statement. In that argument he contends that "from the
14th to the 18th centuries, two ceremonies existed--that of making Masons, or
binding to the Craft- -and that of passing masters and admitting to the
Fellowship." He declares that in those ceremonies "there were secrets, other
than those of the manipulation of stone." If asked why we have no plainer
evidences of these two ceremonies in the latter Seventeenth and early
Eighteenth centuries he would reply "that the Masons of 1717 inherited
symbolism of the meaning of which they were ignorant; that to produce this
ignorance a long course of decay and deterioration must have obtained, thus
carrying our symbolism back for an infinite period." Speth believes that the
passing from the Entered Apprentice grade to the Fellow Craft grade was too
important a step not to have received embodiment in a ceremonial; that the
Fellow Craft must have received secrets unrevealed to the Apprentice; and that
the giving of these secrets must have constituted a separate ceremony, or
degree. With this position Gould, it seems, and Woodford agree, as do a large
number of modern Masonic scholars. Hughan, even, towards the last, with a rare
candor, acknowledged that the most recently discovered evidence points in the
direction of "two Degrees."
stands the case! When doctors fall out how shall we common folks agree?
Speaking for myself I am undecided as yet, though it seems to me that the "Two
Degree" theory is the more probable of the two; I believe that two simple
ceremonies must have been in use down to the Seventeenth century; that during
that period a great deal of symbolic material was brought in, or
re-discovered, by the Speculatives who were then accepted; and that this added
material increased the length of the ceremonies so much that they were split
up into three parts for the sake of convenience, the old Fellow Craft or
Second Degree being used as the Third, and the old Apprentice part being split
in two to give us our present First and Second degrees. However, this is only
theory, as is also the "One Degree" hypothesis, and they must be considered as
such. You also, brother, may fashion your own theory; if it is reasonable we
shall not quarrel, however much we may differ.
whatever manner these degrees came into existence, and whatever their age, one
thing is certain at least, there is a truth in them, and a symbolism, which
have proved worthy to teach the world. For Masonry has long aspired to be, and
in a strict sense, now is, a universal science.
KNIGHTS TEMPLAR IN NORTH CAROLINA
MARSHALL DE: LANCEY HAYWOOD, GRAND HISTORIAN
old files of newspapers in the North Caroline State Library, at Raleigh, are
many scattered items relative to Masonry, in its various branches, but the one
given below, concerning the Knights Templar, seems somewhat out of the
ordinary. It is from the Raleigh Register of December 31, 1813:
TEMPLAR ENCAMPMENT Notice is hereby given to Brethren, &c.--
Encampment at Mock's Old Fields, Rowan County, (N.C.) acting under charter
designated "Freeland Lodge, No. 33," on the registry and under the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee, will have
their regular meetings, (or Encampments hereafter) on Christmas, Good Friday,
and Ascension days.
will cheerfully be admitted, and due attention paid them. By order of the M.
W. H. P. &c.
Scribe. October, A. D. 1813.
several remarkable points about this notice. The Templars therein mentioned
profess to work by authority of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and
Tennessee, a body embracing the two States jointly until Tennessee formed a
separate Grand Lodge in 1813, but which never claimed jurisdiction over any
subordinate bodies except Blue Lodges. Furthermore, Freeland Lodge No. 33, in
Rowan County (as shown by the old Grand Lodge Proceedings) was a Blue Lodge.
The presiding officer in the above quoted notice, M. W. H. P. (Most Worshipful
High Priest?) sounds more like the Chapter than the Commandery of the present
day, as does also "Scribe" instead of Recorder, though the Scribe in a Chapter
is not the recording officer. On the other hand, the observance of Christmas,
Good Friday, and Ascension Day are anniversaries observed by the Knights
Templar, and not by the Royal Arch Masons.
mentioned newspaper, less than a year later, on March 24, 1814, contained an
obituary which has a bearing on the same matter. It is as follows:
Salisbury, on the 12th inst., after a long and complicated illness, Mr.
Francis Coupee, sen., editor of the "North Carolina Magazine," and member of
the Knight Templar Fraternity. He was interred on Sunday by a Masonic
procession, and the solemn performance of all the funeral rites of that high
order, in the presence of a great and respectable concourse of people.--Mr. C.
was a man of humane and benevolent affections--of a just, manly, and patriotic
spirit. He was a kind and affectionate husband, a tender and indulgent father,
a faithful and obliging friend, and a good citizen. He was left a loving wife,
eight children, a numerous connection of relatives, and a large circle of
friends and acquaintances to deplore his loss. He is gone ! His spirit has
fled to that world of spirits whence no traveller returns! And how applicable
to him are the words of the Poet!
how valu'd once, avail thee not,
related, or by whom begot:
A heap of
dust alone remains of thee;
thou art, and all the proud shall be."
be interesting to know where the Templars in Rowan County in 1813, were taught
the work they used. As for their authority to work, we may gain some light
from Redding's Illustrated History of Free Masonry, published in 1907, which
(on p. 670) says: "Blue Lodges sometimes conferred the Templar degrees." The
oldest Commandery now working in North Carolina dates back only to 1825, and
the several Commanderies of the State did not organize the Grand Commandery of
North Carolina until 1881. In Webb's Freemason's Monitor, edition of 1802, pp.
292 - 293, there is a brief chapter on Knights Templar in America, mentioning
the formation in 1797 of the "Grand Encampment" of Pennsylvania, with later
"Encampments" at Philadelphia (two), Harrisburg, and Carlisle. It also gives
"Encampments not under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania," these being:
Encampment in the City of New York. Jerusalem Encampment, New York. Montgomery
Encampment, Stillwater. Temple Encampment, Albany. St. John's Encampment,
Providence (R. I.)
collection of Masonic Songs in the back of this monitor will also be found,
among other poetic effusions, the "Knight Templar's Song."
Life, the Builder, demands more room,
his servant, Death,
him take to the earth once more,
of form and breath;
keeps for himself, of course,
timeless worth of the whole;
all light, all truth,
thought, and hope, and force;
builds them again a form more rare,
the advancing soul;
joy more deep and a faith more fair,
it owned before;
the Builder, is lord of Youth,
master of Death and Pain;
weights the balance with absolute truth,
side of permanent gain.
THAT IS IN THEM---A FRATERNAL FORUM
BRO. GEORGE E. FRAZER
PRESIDENT, THE BOARD OF STEWARDS
Baird, District of Columbia.
Evans, District of Columbia.
W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
W. Shepardson, Illinois.
(Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from
each writer who has contributed one or mor articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects
for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry
today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are
avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing
the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors
assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature.
Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in
the Question Box and Correspondence Column.)
NO. 10-- Shall each American Grand Lodge establish representatives at each
Central and South American Grand Lodge as a means of promoting Pan-American
harmony? If so, shall such representatives be residents of the foreign
jurisdictions to which they are accredited? If you do not favor the policy
involved, please state your conception of the attitude of American Masonry in
bringing about closer and more friendly relations between the nations of North
and South America.
Masonry in South America.
statement of the "next question for discussion" you have touched me on a
belligerent spot. For several years I have advocated by all means in my power
the extension of our acquaintance with our South American brethren and I am
glad you have now taken it up, as my field was necessarily limited.
American Masonry is not to be dubbed and declared the Masonic Pharisee of the
world and the hypocrite of the century it must get out of its
"holier-than-thou" attitude toward all other Masonic peoples who, by racial or
temperamental difference of make-up differ in how they do in certain
told that it was almost impossible to get into touch with the South American
brethren--I had not the least difficulty in getting in intimate and pleasant
connection and correspondence with the officers of three Grand Bodies. I did
not try for any more. I found the trouble was at this end. I found out this,
that one Grand Secretary returned a very fraternal letter with the request
that it be either written in English, or the charges for translation sent--
just think of it!
those I was fortunate enough to select for correspondents to be very
interesting and most anxious to become better acquainted. They were very
polite and courteous, very much more in earnest than any other Masonic Bodies
with whom I had ever been in touch. Of course they do not do things as we do,
but their principles are the same, their ideas coincide, they are hungry for
sympathy and size up with us in their average with our average, while their
stars are of as great magnitude as any which shine over us.
opinion, the first thing to do is for the Grand Lodges to unite on an
Ambassador to the Masons of South America--a big man, a broad sympathetic
Mason, an intelligent, courteous gentleman, an experienced philosopher who is
able to see things through the other fellow's spectacles, and who, while
well-versed in the acknowledged universal principles of Universal Masonry, has
forgotten the verbiage of the ritualist and the technical silliness of the
Masonic lawyer. Send him down and I will guarantee that his report will
coincide with what I have written. T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
* * * An
Earnest Negative. In reply to the question propounded for discussion in the
Fraternal Forum for this month I would emphatically say No !
"universality" has been misused almost universally. My conception of its
proper Masonic meaning is perhaps peculiar, but I think, logical and correct.
True, in a secondary sense it does mean "in every clime a Mason may be found,"
but that has been perverted to include organizations and men calling
themselves Masons who cannot properly be recognize as such. The primary and
principal meaning of universality is comprehensiveness. Our Institution is
more peculiar in this than in any other feature. It includes all good things
among men but is in no wise religious, philosophical or political
Masonry is its exact antithesis in this particular and also in being, like the
Church of Rome and the German (Prussian) Empire, governed from above, and is
not a Brotherhood. They are not of our household, however worthy of our
consideration otherwise. I would as soon recognize the Odd Fellows or Knights
of Pythias. These are honorable and good organizations, but each is doing a
specific branch of good work and we cannot unite with them without narrowing
our limitless horizon. Far be it from us to criticize them for their specific
beneficial features or for antagonizing the corruptions of the Church of Rome,
but neither one is of our mission.
I want no
"closer relations" with anything under God's blue sky except Ancient Masonry.
Disaster lies ahead of such "closer relations" and if the mistaken movement
goes far enough dissension and schism are not far away.
sorry I have not a copy of our special report (Foreign Correspondence
Committee) adopted unanimously last week by our Grand Lodge on a request for
French recognition. Perhaps our Grand Secretary would send it to you. It is
along the above lines and covers the ground more fully.
favor extending relief to French unrecognized Masons in distress, and even
those among German prisoners, on the ground that "these generous principles
should extend further. Every human being has a claim upon our kind offices. Do
good unto all, etc.," but I would not affiliate with an organization which
perverts Masonry or which has not as its fundamental the Fatherhood of God and
the Brotherhood of Man, and is not a democracy. Joseph W. Eggleston, Virginia.
* * *
Send Down a Delegation. Unless we can find some more potent influence than
that of establishing representatives at Central and South American Grand
Lodges, I doubt if the Pan American Masonic harmony will find the bonds of
Brotherhood drawn much closer, or receive much benefit.
instance, has the representative of the Grand Lodge of Ireland near the Grand
Lodge of Virginia, or the representative of the Grand Lodge of Illinois near
the Grand Lodge of Ireland, done to promote such harmony? I ask because I
know. (That's Irish.) The offices of representatives near Grand Lodges, from
my experience in many jurisdictions, are usually handed out to the brethren
worthy of some preferment that will give them Grand Lodge rank, but not active
Grand Lodge office, and they are usually not expected, or permitted, to "put
in their oar" in Grand Lodge affairs.
No ! a
delegation of prominent and properly accredited Masons will do more in one
Grand Visitation than a representative will accomplish in a life-time. Joe L.
Exchange of Representatives. I have long been in favor of a proposal that each
Grand Lodge establish representatives at each Central and South American Grand
Lodge, as a means of helping Pan-American harmony, for the reason that this
has been advocated so continuously by our Latin American Masonic brothers, and
I know from their personal assurance that it would accomplish the desired
effect. Many of my correspondents are Grand Lodge officers and Masonic leaders
in the Central and South American countries. They tell me that Freemasonry in
their belief is to be the strong cementing bond between the United States and
their countries. They do not seem to comprehend our attitude at all. I have
had suggestions that we American Masons co-operate with them in establishing
an international bureau of some sort for the purpose of getting our countries
better acquainted with each other. These suggestions take various forms, from
museums of South and Central American products, to a central bureau something
like that of Switzerland. Mexicans have assured me that their Grand Lodges
appreciate for the most part Americans, and have a sympathetic attitude toward
us and that the distrust of Americans by Mexicans is due to the exploitation
of their country by great corporations.
Brazil I was informed that the actual Grand Master of that country was
directly responsible with his brother Masons for swinging that nation into
line with America in this war. A member of the Colombian Supreme Council is
very much disgusted with his own country as headquarters for German propaganda
and wants to know if we in America could not co-operate with the Masons there
in a campaign of education, and so on.
think that if the American Grand Lodges knew of the great educational and
charitable work of the South and Central American Masons we would be only too
glad to establish firm Masonic relations with them, and they strongly state
that in that event they would be able to do tremendous work of conciliation.
American brothers have abandoned all hope of getting in touch with us at
present and are planning an international Federation of their own for May
favor the appointment as representative from American Grand Lodges not only
residents of foreign countries to which they are accredited, but natives as
well. I must say that I believe all this will be impossible to accomplish
unless our American jurisdictions can refer the matter with power to act, to
some central bureau such as was suggested by Grand Master Curbelo of Cuba
several years ago and practically ignored by us. Joseph W. Norwood,
Masonry Our Masonry? In reply to the question "shall each American Grand Lodge
establish representatives at each South American and Central American Grand
Lodge as a means of promoting Pan-American Masonry," I beg leave to say that I
am in doubt as to the propriety of this movement.
sea-going days I visited many South and Central American countries, but balked
at attending most of their Lodges, though frequently discussing the purposes
of Masonry with individual Masons with whom I became acquainted.
all I do not believe that Latin Masons understand Masonry as we do. We all
know that no nation has ever been able to change its religion without taint of
the preceding creed. The very bronze effigy of Saint Peter, in the church of
that name in Rome, is in reality but a statue of Jupiter.
Cholos of Peru and the Peones of Chile will attend the mass of the Church of
Rome and, within an hour, devotedly bow in reverence to the deities of their
ancestors, without, in all probability, knowing the difference. It is habit
with Masonry. Many American Masons seem determined to Christianize Masonry,
while the Latins are segregating in their Lodges apparently seeking relief
from the oppression of the soi disant Christianity in their Republics.
writer is looking at the situation as fairly as possible and is not influenced
by hearsay or public opinion, but speaks from personal experience.
average Latin Mason balks at the Master's Degree as being higher than the
thirty-third degree, but for peace and harmony and to secure the recognition
of American and English-speaking Masons, has separated the symbolic degrees
and formed his sovereign Grand Lodge which he believes, or at least hopes,
will bridge the chasm. But he has, beyond a doubt, a lingering belief that
Scottish Rite Masonry is "universal" Masonry. He often states this belief, and
has many good reasons for his statement.
many very superior men and Masons in the United States who cannot be convinced
that we should recognize any Grand Lodge of Scottish Rite origin, and as the
Latin nations rarely have a Masonic origin other than the Scottish Rite, we
can understand why they regard that Rite as "universal Masonry."
making a life effort to reconcile international or "universal" Masonry. The
very lectures in the Entered Apprentice degree instruct the candidate that
"Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion," and this is much
better executed in English, Scotch and Irish Lodges than in our own American
British Lodges visitors are admitted if they can prove legitimacy in any Lodge
not interdicted, while visitors to our Lodges are frequently turned away if
they come from a Lodge that has not been formally recognized. You can find
proof of this in the decisions of Grand Masters in the Grand Lodge
proceedings, year after year.
like to ask the reader to place himself in the position of a visitor thus
turned down. What would he do, naturally? Only a few years ago a prominent
Mason asked my advice concerning the eligibility of certain Argentine Masons,
then in the city, to visit our Lodges, as our Grand Lodge at that time had not
formally recognized Argentine. My view was that they were eligible--the
Argentine brethren, however, found the doors of the Scottish Rite open to
them, and a warm welcome awaiting them within, and did not return to our
my view of the situation, and my belief is that before we can amicably,
profitably and fraternally make the representative system a success in the
South and Central American countries we must first make visitations,
fraternalism and altruism possible.
but creatures of habit. What we learn in our early youth we are certain to
practice and soon it becomes a habit with us. This is why the Church of Rome,
in its wisdom, insists upon the parochial schools, opposes public schools, and
adopts babies, for what the little creature absorbs in its tender years it
will be certain to retain. George W. Baird, District of Columbia.
Masonry to South America. The Latin American seems to value his Masonry --to
be proud of it. We have some Latin Masons among us whose wives go to
confession. They are good fellows--good Masons, generally, as they see the
light--scoffers generally at church ceremonials. However, they love to pray in
their Lodges. The prayer rather ties them, as it were, to the "old regime."
Now in the balance of their Lodge work they have quite a satisfactory
substitute for church. This is particularly true of those who belong to the
Scottish Rite. As many join as are able.
Lodges they have, of course. How could they exist without the right and title
or opportunity to wear the lordly insignia their Grand Lodges afford? How
little the thing would amount to, were they not privileged to hold stately,
magnificent court, and in grandiose fashion, sign their names to gorgeously
"sealed" documents for transmission to the Masonic world. There is a condition
existant there, which has developed into a misfortune. It is the practice of
the Scottish Rite in most of the South American countries to confer within
their temples and under their seal, all the degrees of Masonry, from the first
to the thirty second. This is very unfortunate, inasmuch as their Rite
substitutes a great deal that is immaterial for our own satisfying, complete
and magnificent symbolism of the symbolic degrees.
their novitiates stop at the Master's degree. I have examined some of
them--once by authority of our Grand Secretary. They apparently know very
little concerning symbolic Masonry. The Scottish Rite practice has brought
symbolic Masonry into some disrepute among them. That Rite was to them, made
to fit into the niche vacated by the pot of incense.
peoples are endeavoring to be Masons through it all. Western civilization,
together with commercial connections with this country, will help along. A new
business system, wiping out their universal practice and desire to make
settlements but once a year must be adopted before we shall be able to take
the place of Germany in their markets. We in California know something of the
Spanish "grandee" methods of business. There are exceptions of course.
To make a
new man, from start to finish, out of our Southern brother is almost too much
to expect of Masonry in one generation. A representative from each of our
Grand Lodges to each of theirs would be but a small leverage. It would be
better to appoint one of their own residents each time to such a place. After
appointment, bring him over here once a year at our expense. Teach him some
"Blue Lodge" Masonry in all its truth and simplicity. Teach him of a Mason's
relation to God and Government, and of the absolute necessity of their
separation from the control sought to be exercised by Church--of a new baptism
for his wife and children at the font where liberty was baptised. So make an
American Mason (there is no North or South) out of a few of these delegates,
turn them loose among their native sons and daughters and time will tell the
story of a revolution for Liberty in spite of all--which shall bring light out
of darkness and salvation to an oppressed people. Denman S. Wagstaff,
* * We
Differ Only as to Details. My opinion is that an attitude of cordial and
fraternal esteem should be taken and maintained by the Masonic Bodies of North
America toward those of Central and South America. Sympathetic and careful
consideration should be given to the claims of regularity of all of the
Masonic organizations of our Southern neighbors and we should establish
fraternal relations and exchange representatives with every one of them found
to be practicing real Freemasonry. It is in every way desirable that the great
peoples of North and South America should know each other better fraternally,
socially, politically and economically. By all means let us shake hands with
our South American brethren. Our great ideals are identical however much we
may differ on details. O. D. Street, Alabama.
* * *
Congress at Buenos Aires.
room and place for more Pan-Americanism and we must prepare for a great
commercial war with the despicable Huns after the present carnage has passed
into history, unless, as I sincerely hope and pray, the fangs of the German
rattlesnake may be so thoroughly extirpated after America is through with the
abnormal monster, that Germany may occupy among the nations a place even
lesser than that of poor Belgium and Servia which she has ravaged to the
first means of promoting a better understanding between the Masonry of North
America and that of Latin America, I would recommend the sending of one or
more accredited representatives of one or more Grand jurisdictions of the
United States, or of a National Masonic Educational Society like ours, to the
International Masonic Congress to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina, May
25th, 1918. Such representatives might study the aims and purports of this
Congress, ascertain the dividing lines which have hampered recognition of
certain of our Latin American brethren and report back their findings in such
a manner as to reach all of the Grand jurisdictions of this country.
to the opinion of Sovereign Grand Commander Vicente Biagini that our present
status as regards our international recognitions is "an impossible
sociological consideration." The germinal idea of the forthcoming
International Latin American Congress called by the Masons of the Argentine
fundamental studies as may arise for debate.
Consideration of future action which may promote Pan-American Masonry.
Reception and consideration of any proposition from delegates.
and means of submitting propositions to the bodies interested.
Publications, communications and correspondence."
lies open to American Masonry to at least unofficially hear their Latin
American brethren upon their own ground. We can no longer afford to shut
ourselves behind a Chinese wall of exclusion. We must weld the chains of
Masonic universality stronger. Even as new conditions have again brought up
the old, old question of devising a possible means for again according
recognition to that French Masonry which played so important a part in
abolishing feudalism in France, through its spread of the Masonic philosophy
and the slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," so now with an eye to the
future should we welcome the invitation of Latin American Masons to at least
talk the matter over. More can be accomplished by having our representatives,
even though unofficially, present at such a representative Latin American
gathering than reams of well-elucidated arguments pro and con flooding our
Masonic grist mills from year to year.
crying need of today is action--quick and spontaneous action that may be
provocative of results. After cementing the bonds of a Pan-American
recognition it will be time enough to call a European International Masonic
Congress upon the same lines and so achieve ultimately the great need of the
future--a real world Masonry. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
* * * A
Canadian Opinion. The question that you submit for discussion is one that from
the wording of it, is of interest to American Grand Lodges only. For the sake
of promoting international harmony in its broadest sense, I would say that
everything possible should be done in the way of establishing friendly
relations between different bodies of Masons. This would involve, of course, a
careful searching into the antecedents of each of these foreign jurisdictions
and generally finding out everything possible about them.
has always been that more friendly relations should be established, if
possible, not only with South America but with the Masonic jurisdictions of
the whole world. If we talk universal Brotherhood we should act it as well,
and this end can never be accomplished by putting up artificial walls which,
in some cases, our neighbors cannot even look over. P. E. Kellett, Manitoba.
ROSCOE POUND, DEAN, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
MASONIC COMMON LAW
England, the common law, using the term to mean the traditional element of the
legal system, is the customary course of decision in the English courts from
the thirteenth century to the present, as developed and applied to the
conditions of the present by jurists and judges in the nineteenth century. In
America, the common law, using the term in the same sense, has four chief
constituents: (1) the course of decision in the English courts prior to
colonization, or at least prior to the Revolution, so far as applicable to the
social, political, economic, and physical conditions in America; (2) the
course of decision in American courts since the Revolution; (3) the course of
decision in England and other countries with England legal institutions since
the Revolution; and (4) international law, or the body of rules governing the
relations of individuals with foreign states and citizens of one state with
those of other states which has been received by general agreement of the
community of nations in modern times. Thus it will be seen there are two types
of rules which go to make up the common law of the lawyer--universal
principles, upon which English and American courts alike have proceeded since
the Revolution, and local American usages, of a general and permanent nature,
which have developed in this country since our independence.
same way we may recognize two types of usages in our Masonic common law: on
the one hand a universal body of usage, developed in eighteenth-century
Masonry after the revival of 1717, and on the other hand a general body of
usage developed in the United States, chiefly in the nineteenth century,
through decisions of Grand Masters and the review thereof in Grand Lodges, in
which the former is developed and applied. In this lecture I shall speak only
of the former.
common law, in the stricter sense, I take to be the body of tradition and
doctrine, developed in eighteenth-century Masonry, which is of such long
standing, is so universal? and is so well attested, that, although it lacks
the absolute authority of the Landmarks, it stands at the foundation of our
Masonic legal system. It is to be used to interpret and supply gaps in Masonic
legislation and it is never lightly to be set aside. Our fathers used to say
that statutes in derogation of the common law were to be strictly construed.
Whether or not this is true in the everyday law of the state it may well be
true in Masonry where these settled customs have entered into the very
structure of the Order. The foundation of all study of Masonic common law is
in Mackey's exposition of the Landmarks. We may grant that not more than
one-third of his twentyfive Landmarks are to be accepted as such. Nevertheless
he succeeded wonderfully in putting his finger on the significant points in
generally accepted Masonic usage. Everything that has been done since has been
done in the light of his exposition and on more than one point he said all
that was to be said. Hence the most effective mode of treating Masonic common
law is to take up his list of Landmarks seriatim and expound those which seem
to be rather doctrines or institutions of our common law as such, showing that
they are not to be classed as Landmarks.
Mackey puts as the first Landmark the modes of recognition. These, he says,
are the most legitimate and unquestioned of the Landmarks. To use his own
words, "They admit of no variation; and if ever they have suffered alteration
or addition, the evil of such a violation of the ancient law has always made
itself subsequently manifest." Indeed at first sight, nothing might seem more
fundamental, and yet Masonic history gives us pause.
thing, there is Preston's version of the causes of the great schism in Masonry
in the eighteenth century. Even if we do not accept this--and I take it Gould
has shown that we should not-- it is highly significant as to the development
of the important Masonic institution in question.
narrative is that in consequence of the expose of Masonry in Prichard's
Masonry Dissected, a change was made in the mode of communication of the
degrees, so that the words of the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees
were exchanged. This change, he gives us to understand, took place in 1739.
But there is pretty conclusive evidence that the order of the Moderns, which
Preston tells us, represents a change made in 1739, was the order which
obtained in 1737 and the assertion that there was a change, made by Dermott
and by Preston a generation later, seems traceable to two sources: (1) The
change from two parts to three degrees definitely established in 1738, which
was the cause of much discontent at the time and was one of the causes of a
revolt from the Grand Lodge of England in 1739; and (2) a statement of a
spurious ritual of 1766, one of a crop of spurious rituals and exposes of
which the decade 1760 to 1770 was prolific, that such a change was made in
consequence of Prichard's Masonry Dissected. What the author knew was that
Prichard's order and that of the Grand Lodge of England were not the same. Of
course Prichard could not be wrong! That Prichard's book had a considerable
influence on Masonic ritual is a significant as well as a curious fact,
showing how fluid the Masonry of the period really was. The conclusion that
the order of 1737 was what it remained till the union with the ancients in
1813 might at first seem to sustain Mackey's view. But how can we adhere to it
when we find that the prevailing order today is not that of 1737 and that two
distinct systems of recognition prevailed in England from 1747 to 1813?
are taught not to be dogmatic when we note that a distinct substitute word has
prevailed in many parts of the world and may possibly go back to Jacobite
Masons in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Even if we do not
accept the view that "macbenac" is mac benach (blessed is the son) and is an
allusion to the Pretender, the prevalence of this distinct word puts a heavy
burden of proof upon those who would assert the immemoriality and universality
of our present modes of recognition. If we suppose it to be a corruption,
analogus to "Peter Gower" and "Naymus Graecus," when we put our substitute
word of four syllables (pronounced as three) beside "macbenac" and the
mysterious "maughbin" of operative manuscripts, we may well wonder whether we
have anything more than a clever working into Hebrew of a corrupt word
hopelessly lost or an eighteenth-century endeavor to make a word worthy of the
occasion. At any rate, such reflections compel modesty in laying down
Landmarks. Perhaps the card or receipt for dues now required of the visitor in
more than one jurisdiction is not so counter to fundamental principles as has
cannot doubt that the established modes of recognition are upon a much firmer
basis than the ephemeral creatures of Grand-Lodge legislation and Grand-Lodge
decision. As far as anything can be established short of the Landmarks these
are established. They are a part of our common law and deserve to be cherished
Mackey's second Landmark is the division of Craft Masonry into three degrees.
Here he has support in the English pronouncement of 1813 "that ancient Craft
Masonry consisted of the three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and
Master Mason, including the Holy Royal Arch." But, he adds, "that disruption
has never been healed, and the Landmark, although acknowledged in its
integrity by all, still continues to be violated." A Landmark universally
violated since 1813 may indeed excite our suspicion. And here again history
compels us to take a different stand. For whether 1717 was a revival or a
beginning in Craft Masonry, there can be no doubt that the middle of the
eighteenth century did not preserve our high degrees --it created them. The
first known reference to the Royal Arch is in 1741. In that year the records
of a Lodge (No. 21) set forth that in a procession the Master was "preceded by
the Royal Arch carried by two excellent Masons." In 1744 Dassigny, an Irish
Mason, tells us that there was an assembly of Royal Arch Masons at York, that
the degree had been brought from York to Dublin, and that it had been
practised in London "some small space before." He also tells us that the Royal
Arch Assembly at York was "an organized body of men who have passed the
chair." The evidence seems clear that this was the first additional or high
degree. On the whole we may be pretty sure it was worked in England at least
from 1740 and Gould thinks it has its origin in the alteration of the Master's
creed in the constitutions of 1723. The Past Master's degree does not appear
till the Grand Lodge of the socalled Ancients in 1751, and this was not
admitted by the regular or so-called Modern Grand Lodge till 1810. But
gradually, as the thirst for high degrees grew, probably influenced not a
little by the growth of elaborate "systems" of high degrees on the Continent,
a practice arose of conferring the Royal Arch upon Masons not qualified to
receive it by a fictitious or constructive passing them through the chair, and
thus a Past Master's degree arose and in effect a new rite. For this a new
ceremony was evolved which, it is shown clearly enough, has no relation to the
simple communication of secrets known to Payne, Desaguliers, and Anderson.
This rite or these degrees were worked in the Craft Lodges, and during the
schism both the Modern and the Ancient Grand Lodges came to permit them
indifferently. Thus at the union it was possible to recognize the Royal Arch
as a component part of ancient Freemasonry. By this time, however, it had
achieved an independent existence. One might say, of course, that this is but
the tale of the disruption of which Mackey speaks. But there is clear
testimony to the contrary. In 1757, Manningham, Deputy Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of England (Modern), in a letter on the subject of the high
degrees, said: "These innovations are of very late years, and I believe the
Brethren will find a difficulty to produce a Mason acquainted with any such
forms twenty, nay ten years ago. My own father has been a Mason these fifty
years and has been at Lodges in Holland, France and England. He knows none of
these ceremonies. Grand Master Payne, who succeeded Sir Christopher Wren, is a
stranger to them, as is also an old Brother of ninety I conversed with lately.
This Brother assures me he was made a Mason in his youth and has constantly
frequented Lodges till rendered incapable by advanced age, and never heard or
knew of any other ceremonies or words than those used in general amongst us."
This is not conclusive. But it is very suggestive that the Royal Arch was
attributed by Ireland to distant York, and yet has no warrant in York records
till 1761. A priori, one must feel the true word is an essential part of
Masonry; that it is, as Dermott put it, "The root, heart, and marrow of
Masonry." Yet in the face of history this is no warrant for pronouncing it a
Landmark that communication of the true word is a part of Craft Masonry. On
the contrary it is notorious Masonic common law that this is a matter for
rites that build on Craft Masonry and vary infinitely in the details.
with the division into three degrees. I discussed the evidence upon this point
in a lecture last year upon the causes of divergence in ritual (1). Perhaps it
is enough to say that there seems indubitable proof that originally there were
two "parts" and that our present system of working the two parts in three
degrees arose in some way between 1723 and 1728 and was not accepted
universally for many years after the latter date. And yet nothing in Masonry
short of a Landmark could be better established. If the system of three
degrees cannot claim the immemorial existence that characterizes a Landmark,
it can claim to be of such long standing, to be so universal, and to be so
well attested--in that it is the common element in every rite that has ever
been devised--as to be a fundamental institution of Masonic common law.
Landmark in Mackey's exposition, namely, the legend of the third degree, was
considered in the last lecture. (2)
Mackey puts, as his fourth Landmark, to use his own words, "The government of
the fraternity by a presiding officer, called a Grand Master, who is elected
from the body of the Craft." Here again history gives us pause. Tradition does
indeed tell us of Grand Masters prior to 1717 and Anderson, in 1738, gave us a
long and palpably apocryphal list. As to Sir Christopher Wren, whom Anderson
has taught us to consider the last Grand Master prior to the so-called
revival, there is at least much doubt whether he was a Mason at all. And there
is every reason to hold that there were no Grand Masters prior to the election
of Sayer on St. John the Baptist's day, 1717. It might be said that the name
is not important if it may be shown that some such officer, elected from the
body of the Craft, has existed from time immemorial. But this cannot be shown
and evidently is not true.
abundant evidence as to speculative Lodges in England at least as far back as
1646, and have good reason to believe that speculative Masonry was widely
diffused in seventeenth-century England and that persons of the first rank
were joining eagerly. Had there been such an institution as a Grand Mastership
with the dignity and authority which it involves, it could not possibly have
left no trace in the voluminous writings and loquacious diaries of the time.
Moreover, we have actual written minutes of the Masons at York from 1712 and
minutes from 1705 were once extant and are authentically established. These
show that there was no Grand Lodge and no Grand Master at York till 1725.
Prior to that time there was an annual assembly of Masons presided over by a
"President" for the time being. But this President was a mere chairman of what
was really a sort of convention. In 1778 when a claim of priority was made for
the Grand Lodge at York, these presidents were made into Grand Masters. But
the contemporary records show they were nothing of the sort and that the Grand
Lodge organization at York in 1725 was fashioned upon the model of the London
Grand Lodge of 1717. Likewise in Scotland we have abundance of evidence,
including Lodge records, covering the whole of the seventeenth century.
Nowhere is anything disclosed at all like a Grand Mastership, unless it be the
appointment by the crown of a "Warden-General" for the Masons at the end of
the sixteenth century. This obviously proves too much.
be concluded, therefore, that the institution of the Grand Master is no
Landmark. Yet here also is an undoubted and fundamental institution of Masonic
common law. From the revival in 1717 to the present the Grand Mastership has
been the cornerstone of Masonic organization. It has established itself as a
universal institution and is as thoroughly a part of Masonry as anything short
of a Landmark may be. Hence one must needs feel some pain in reading in the
proceedings of American Grand Lodges that "the office of Grand Master is a
constitutional office"-- meaning that it is derived from, gets its powers by
virtue of, and has its prerogatives determined by Masonic legislation. One may
suspect, indeed, that those who so speak confound the "constitution" of an
American state and the "constitutions" of Freemasonry. The latter, let us ever
bear in mind, are but statutes. So far as we have a "constitution" in the
sense of American public law, it is to be found in the Landmarks. The Grand
Master is not the creature of Masonic legislation. To that extent Mackey was
absolutely right. If his office and his prerogatives are not Landmarks, then
we may grant that Masonic legislation in any jurisdiction may impair the
office and shear it of its time honored prerogatives. In the same way the
ruthless hand of the legislator may, as a mere display of power, alter any of
our established usages short of a handful of Landmarks. But unless and until
this is clearly and expressly done, the common law of Masonry prevails. Surely
the mouth of the Masonic legislator is speaking great things when he tells us
that we are to look to the pages of his codes to tell us the full measure of
the powers and prerogatives of the Grand Master, who is older than
legislation. For the Grand Master dates from 1717, while the first Masonic
legislation--itself only declaratory--is the compilation of General
Regulations by Grand Master Payne in 1720, approved by the Grand Lodge of
England in 1721. Legislation may alter and take away, but is not the source
and will not be until ignorance or innovation go so far as to lead some
jurisdiction to set up a "constitution" in the sense of American public law in
the place of the "constitutions" (as a body of legislation) which alone are
known to Masonic law.
fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Landmarks have to do with prerogatives of the
Grand Master and hence cannot be admitted to be Landmarks for the reasons
above set forth. If the office of Grand Master did not exist in form or in
substance prior to 1717 it is obvious that the prerogatives of that office
cannot be of immemorial antiquity. Some of these prerogatives, however, are
undoubted common law. Thus Mackey's fifth Landmark reads :- "The prerogative
of the Grand Master to preside over every assembly of the Craft, wheresoever
and whensoever held." As he is Grand Master only within his jurisdiction, this
means that he may assume the chair at any and every communication not only of
the Grand Lodge but of any subordinate or constituent Lodge. This is certainly
Masonic common law and is not a power derived from legislation, although
constitutions may have declared it. Until constitutions add or subtract
something we may not concede that they are sources. When they merely declare
we may look to the universal practice of Masons since the eighteenth century
and to the established customs of the Craft since the Grand Lodge system
became established as the real sources of Masonic law.
and seventh Landmarks in Mackey's system have to do with the prerogative of
the Grand Master to grant dispensations for conferring degrees at irregular
times and for opening and holding Lodges. Here again we have undoubted
institutions of Masonic common law. For we have here an idea perfectly
familiar to the formative period of Masonic Institutions however alien to the
political and legal ideas of today. The dispensing power was part of the royal
prerogative in England down to 1688 and a dispensing power for special
occasions upon special reasons was regarded-- and perhaps must to some extent
be regarded always-- as inherent in all magisterial office. Adaptation and
application of general rules to actual cases which are sometimes particular
rather than general in their significant characteristics is the essence of
are general rules the process of making them involves elimination of elements
of particular controversies which are special to those controversies. In
eliminating immaterial factors to reach a general rule, in view of the
infinite variety of controversies and the almost imperceptible differences of
degree in their approximation to recognized types, it is not possible entirely
to avoid the elimination of factors which will be more or less material in
some particular controversy. To take account of all these variations an
over-wide discretion in the magistrate would be required. On the other hand,
if exceptions and qualifications and provisos are appended to legal rules to
any great extent the system of law becomes cumbrous and unworkable. A
compromise must be made; a middle course must be found between over-wide
discretion and over-minute law making. Necessarily, therefore, legal standards
are more or less artificial. In the law of the state we meet this difficulty
by discretion of judges and magistrates? by the pardoning power of the supreme
executive, by a certain extra-legal power of juries to run away with the law
in bringing in a general verdict. All these are but phases of a dispensing
power that is inevitable if lifeless rules are to be made to govern creatures
of flesh and blood. Hence the equitable powers of the Roman praetor, the
interference of the Roman emperor in cases of shocking breach of confidence
that led to the law of testamentary trusts, the power of the Frankish king to
decide secundum aequitatem, the power of the Anglo-Saxon king to mitigate the
law, the power of the king's chancellor to deal with particular cases of great
hardship in accordance with equity and good conscience. Hence we commit the
regulation of public utilities today to administrative commissions rather than
to courts. Hence the ecclesiastical law recognized a dispensing power in the
pope and to less extent in the bishops. Thus the dispensing power of the Grand
Master is inherent in his office. It has its origin in the nature of things
and is but recognized and declared by Masonic legislation where such
legislation purports to confer it.
serious question arises with respect to the eighth of Mackey's list, namely,
the alleged prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight. This has
been the subject of much debate and clearly is not a general institution of
Masonic common law Brother Hughan, indeed, styled it an "American pretension."
But much misapprehension has prevailed in the discussion of the subject. Some
tell us that the power has not existed "since 1717," apparently reasoning that
it is incompatible with the Lodge and Grand-Lodge system that has prevailed
since that date. On the other hand we are told that it is a Landmark which has
been suffered to fall into disuse by some while others have vindicated it in
its integrity. Neither position can be maintained. When we are dealing with a
question of Masonic common law our only criterion is long-standing, general,
well attested usage. And authorities and jurisdictions will necessarily differ
as to the application of this criterion and will reach different results,
exactly as the courts of our states differ as to what are principles of common
law under which we live and reach different results so frequently that, with a
common foundation in each, the details of the traditional law differ in all
our states. Certainly one may say with confidence that the power in question
is not a general much less a universal institution of Masonic common law. But
if it is recognized and obtains anywhere by custom or declaratory legislation,
there is no reason why Masonic jurists elsewhere should hurl argumentative
thunderbolts at the authorities of that jurisdiction. The nine American Grand
Lodges that accept Mackey's twenty-five Landmarks in their entirety are at
least entitled to claim that with them this prerogative is Masonic common law
and rests in their law on a higher basis than such purely legislative rules as
those which in some American jurisdictions preclude those who follow certain
occupations from becoming Masons. For a logical argument may be made for the
power as an incident of the common-law prerogative of the Grand Master to
dispense with the law for grave reasons or on important occasions and it is at
least disputable whether some such power was not exercised by
eighteenth-century Grand Masters.
ninth Landmark is thus stated: "The necessity of Masons to congregate into
Lodges." He adds: "It is not to be understood by this that any ancient
Landmark has decreed that permanent organization of subordinate Lodges which
constitutes one of the features of the Masonic system as it now prevails. But
the Landmarks of the order always prescribe that Masons should from time to
time congregate together for the purpose of either operative or speculative
labor and that these congregations should be called Lodges. Formerly these
were extemporary meetings called together for special purposes and then
dissolved, the Brethren departing to meet again at other times and other
places according to the necessity of circumstances. But warrants of
constitution, by-laws, permanent officers, and annual arrears are modern
innovations entirely outside the Landmarks and dependent entirely on the
special enactment of a comparatively recent period."
comment of Brother George F. Moore in this connection is very pertinent. He
says: "This amounts to saying that a society of men must be a society--that an
association of men must associate, that a fraternity of men must fraternize. A
common definition of a Freemason is 'one of a secret association composed of
persons united for social enjoyment and mutual assistance.' But it is not so
clear that the meeting of Freemasons were to be called 'Lodges' nor is there
any evidence of a Landmark prescribing the use of the word 'Lodge'."
remember that the Lodges of seventeenth-century England were often mere
occasional assemblies of Masons and indeed were called "assemblies" at York.
Often any number of Masons who find themselves in a convenient place at a
convenient time are seen holding a Lodge. As a Landmark, therefore, this must
fail. Yet nothing is more undoubted in Masonic common law than the system of
regular and permanent Lodges that grew up in England after 1691, became an
established part of the Grand Lodge system of 1717, and obtained universal
authority in the Masonic world.
states his tenth Landmark thus: "The government of the Craft when so
congregated [i. e. in a Lodge] by a Master and two Wardens is also a Landmark.
A congregation of Masons meeting together under any other government, as that
for instance of a president and vice-president, or a chairman and subchairman,
would not be recognized as a Lodge. The presence of a Master and two Wardens
is as essential to a valid organization of a Lodge as a warrant of
constitution is at the present day. The names, of course, vary in different
languages; but the officers, their number, prerogatives and duties are
points are noteworthy in connection with the organization of a Masonic Lodge:
(1) the organization with a Master and two Wardens is analogous to that of a
parish in England, with the rector and two wardens. (2) It is the same as that
of the Craft gilds in England, where there was a Master or governor (or some
such title) and two wardens. (3) We know the title Master was not always used.
In York the chief officer was called President. In Scotland he was called
Warden. But this is not decisive and is no proof that there were not three
officers. (4) The Master and Wardens were recognized and their duties defined
in the old ordinances of the Steinmetzen of the fifteenth century. (5) The
relation of the number three to the numerical symbolism so universal in
Masonry suggests strongly the antiquity of the Master and Wardens.
whole this tenth of Mackey's Landmarks comes very near to fulfilling the
requirements. In a former article (3) I indicated my reasons for not so
recognizing it. But Brother Moore accepts it as a Landmark. At any rate its
place as an unquestioned institution of our common law is secure.
next to Mackey's eleventh Landmark. His language is: "The necessity that every
Lodge when congregated should be duly tiled is an important Landmark of the
institution which is never neglected. The necessity of this law arises from
the esoteric character of Masonry. The duty of guarding the door and keeping
off cowans and eavesdroppers is an ancient one which constitutes, therefore, a
if there is such a thing as a Landmark, we should have to agree that secrecy
is a Landmark. But notice that Mackey claims not only secrecy as a Landmark,
but also the mode of maintaining secrecy by purgation of the Lodge and by
tiling. Notice also the way he proves this, not historically, but logically or
analytically. This is a good example of the analytical method in Masonic
jurisprudence. Mackey's argument may be put thus: Masonry is a secret
institution in its very nature. Hence secrecy is an unalterable fundamental.
But the traditional incidents of secrecy, which are necessary to the
maintenance of this fundamental institution of secrecy, are logically
inseparable from secrecy and therefore they also are Landmarks. Consequently
in his Encyclopedia, under the word "tiler," Mackey says that the name tiler
and the office itself are based "not on any conventional regulation, but on
the Landmarks of the Order." In other words, not only secrecy, but the tiling
of the Lodge and the tiler, as a means of maintaining secrecy, are Landmarks.
Undoubtedly we must agree that secrecy is a Landmark. We do not need analysis
or logic for this. It is an immemorial, universal characteristic not merely of
Masonry, but of all the like societies which, as I told you in another
connection, have existed among all men in all times. But how far are the means
of preserving secrecy Landmarks? How far are they fundamental and immutable,
and how far are they but Masonic common law? This is not so easy to answer.
For myself, I should say they are not a Landmark. One might say that where
there is nothing against tradition in such a case we should accept it. And
here we have, so far as there is evidence, the evidence of universal and
immemorial usage. So one might say that the tiling of the Lodge and the
doorkeeper, sentinel, outside guard, or tiler are Landmarks. But this is only
saying that secrecy is a Landmark. As to the name "tiler"--we cannot be sure.
It is hard to say what the word means. Some think it means one who lays tiles
and is symbolical of the building roofed or completed. And in justification of
this we are cited to the old practice that when a clandestine or a cowan got
into the lodge a brother called out--"It rains"--signifying that the roof
leaked for want of proper tiling. This is ingenious, and may be so. Others
derive tiler from "tailleur," stone-cutter. This is philologically erroneous.
There is some philological evidence that it may mean only guard. If so, the
whole is clear. The symbolism of the roofed building is not well enough
established to make it safe to rely on this for a Landmark. Probably
recognition of secrecy and of purgation and tiling as a Landmark is as far as
we can go. Brother Moore accepts Mackey's view entirely.
states his twelfth Landmark thus: "The right of every Mason to be represented
in all general meetings of the Craft and to instruct his representatives is a
[twelfth] Landmark. Formerly these general meetings, which were usually held
once a year, were called General Assemblies, and all the fraternity, even to
the youngest Entered Apprentice, were entitled to be present. Now they are
called Grand Lodges and only the Masters and Wardens of the subordinate Lodges
are summoned. But this is simply as the representatives of their members.
Originally each member represented himself; now he is represented by his
certainly Masonic common law, but I am confident it cannot be maintained as a
the first place it contains a refutation in itself. If prior to 1717 all
Masons had a right to attend, what warrant was there in that year for changing
a right of personal attendance into a right to attend by representatives? This
shows that we are hardly dealing here with a Landmark.
(2) As I
showed in other lectures, the existence of these general assemblies prior to
1717 is involved in great doubt historically. I think there is evidence of
such assemblies in the seventeenth century. But I do not believe there is
evidence of regular assemblies, much less of a system of periodical assemblies
prior to 1717. To dispose of the matter in a few words, Masonic history is
against this alleged Landmark, and Mackey's argument for it as a Landmark is
in conflict with his assertion. But as a bit of Masonic common law, it is
passing it should be noted that here, as in so many cases of Masonic common
law, we have a purely English idea. Representation of every Englishman in
Parliament through the knights of the shire and the burgesses is the-obvious
analogy. Indeed Mackey's very language is taken from Blackstone. A very large
part of Masonic common law is English. But when we have an idea so peculiarly
English we may well pause and ask ourselves whether we are sure that we have a
matters of some practical importance are involved in the question as to the
existence of this supposed twelfth Landmark. One is the question, once much
mooted, of the right of the Entered Apprentice to ballot for candidates for
the Entered Apprentice degree. This was the subject of a characteristically
learned report by Albert Pike in 1854. As is well known, the question has been
settled in the negative. The other point is one still controverted in many
jurisdictions, namely, whether a Lodge of Master Masons is opened on the
Entered Apprentice degree or a Lodge of Entered Apprentices is opened. This is
really, it is submitted, but a matter of local law. One may think that the
local law should be this or that on general principles of Masonic common law.
But it cannot be that any Landmark is violated by a jurisdiction which takes
the one view or the other.
states his thirteenth Landmark thus: "The right of every Mason to appeal from
the decision of his Brethren in Lodge convened to the Grand Lodge or General
Assembly of Masons is a Landmark highly essential to the preservation of
justice and the prevention of oppression. A few modern Grand Lodges, in
adopting a regulation that the decision of subordinate Lodges in cases of
expulsion cannot be wholly set aside upon appeal, have violated this
unquestioned Landmark as well as the principles of just government."
how Mackey proves this Landmark. He says the right of appeal is essential to
justice: therefore it is a Landmark. It is a fundamental notion in justice
that there shall be a review of a decision; therefore it is fundamental in
Masonic justice. But unappealable decisions are known to all legal systems.
For example: Criminal appeals were not allowed in England till a few years
ago; judgments and decrees for less than $5,000 in our federal courts were not
appealable prior to 1891; petty judgments are unappealable in many states, and
judgments were not appealable in Roman law prior to the empire. Hence it is by
no means clear that Mackey's premises are maintainable. Moreover, as he
admits, the practice has not been universal in modern times. But the
conclusive objection is that this alleged Landmark assumes the existence of
Grand Lodges prior to 1717, which we cannot concede. Nevertheless this is
clearly a doctrine of Masonic common law.
states his fourteenth Landmark in these words: The light of every Mason to
visit and sit in every regular Lodge is an unquestioned Landmark of the Order.
This is called the right of visitation. This right of visitation has always
been recognized as an inherent right which inures to every Mason as he travels
through the world and this is because Lodges are justly considered as
divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. This right may of
course be impaired or forfeited on special occasions by various circumstances;
but when admission is refused to a Mason in good standing who knocks at the
door of a Lodge as a visitor, it is to be expected that some good and
sufficient reason shall be furnished for this violation of what is in general
a Masonic right founded on the Landmarks of the order."
This is a
matter of great difficulty, not merely as to the existence of a Landmark of
visitation, but also with respect to the limits of the right, whether founded
on a Landmark or on common law. That there is a Landmark that Masons have a
right of visitation is quite possible. There are several good reasons for
asserting this. (1) Originally Lodges were not necessarily permanent. The
Masons present at the time and place opened a Lodge. A striking illustration
of this may be found in Ashmole's well known account of his initiation. Under
such circumstances all who were there had a right to take part. But there were
also permanent Lodges in Scotland, at least, in the sixteenth century. (2) The
right of visitation, it may be said, inheres in the ideas of fraternity and
universality. So far as we can use logic and philosophy they sustain Mackey on
this point. (3) Visitation exists in all brotherhoods and societies in all
time, so far as not purely local. It is said to have been a maxim of the
Pythagoreans. (4) The old charges uniformly prescribe a duty of receiving
"strange fellows"--that is, foreign Masons--and of treating them well. This is
a very strong argument.
then, accept a Landmark of visitation. What, however, are its limits ? This is
one of the most difficult and vexed questions in Masonic jurisprudence. Hence
I prefer to regard visitation as a common law right, the limits and scope
whereof must be considered in the next lecture.
"Causes of Divergence in Ritual," THE BUILDER, vol. III, Nov. C. C. B: pp.
Masonic Jurisprudence - II, The Landmarks," THE BUILDER, vol. III, pp.
WASHINGTON was a man. He lived and did not die. He was a Mason. He was
Worshipful Master of his Lodge.
Not only did he express Masonry in his life, he loved Masonry
for itself. He was a large man. He had a goitre. He had a mole on his cheek.
He did not look like a Sphinx. He was human. He laid the cornerstone of the
National Capitol with Masonic ceremonies. In doing so he used a Freemason's
trowel. As Worshipful Master he sat in a large leather chair. That leather
chair now rests in a glass case, just a few feet from where it sat (though in
a building since burned down) when he occupied it as the Master of that Lodge.
The bases of the lights which burned in that Lodge Room still exist. But for
the ravages of fire, the bier upon which he was borne to his grave would still
be in existence. At the moment when he breathed his last, his physicians cut
the pendulum cold of the clock which for years had ticked away the hours in
his bedroom. It has never ticked since. The gloves which he wore as a Mason
still remain. They show that he had large - very large - hands. And, withal,
in that old Lodge Room there hangs his portrait, painted shortly before his
death. A human face, surmounting rounding shoulders, covered with long, white
hair. The face of a man who has lived much. An austere face - but a kindly
eye. An eye which knew Brotherhood, and appreciated it. The eye and the face
of the man and Mason whom, in 1788, was characterized by Edmund Randolph,
Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, as "our illustrious and well-beloved
brother, George Washington, Esq., late General and Commander-in-chief of the
forces of the United States of America," and who, with others, was granted a
Charter for Alexandria Lodge, General Washington becoming its first Master.
These intimate personal relics, and hundreds of others which
repose in that little old Lodge Room in Alexandria, prove that Washington was
a Mason, and loved his Masonry. Except perhaps the room at Mount Vernon in
which he died, there is no more hallowed place in all Virginia. His presence
is still there. You can feel it. And when Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22
is opened, there is a thrill for every Mason - even the words of the ritual
seem to be mellowed by the echoes of the days of long ago. To the American
Mason, at least, it is an holy place.
A Priceless Legacy? Yes. And a legacy house as every
red-blooded American Mason would not have it housed. As it stands, our legacy
is still subject to the ravages of fire, and nothing but the bravery of the
present members of the Lodge could possibly save more than a fraction of what
is left to us after the fire of 1871.
"To Us," because for eight years the "spirit of '76” has been
reawakened, and these priceless memoirs of the Father of Our Country are to be
preserved. The coming of the World War has heightened their value. Democracy,
and the FIRST Leader of American Democracy mean more to us than they did a
year or two ago. And so it was that on February 22 last, when the George
Washington Masonic National Memorial Association held its annual meeting, the
determination to see this great American Masonic Legacy properly housed was
stronger than ever. Even the death of General Shryock, the lamented President
of the Association, could not deter the representatives of a large number of
Grand Lodges there assembled. Rather was his death accepted as a challenge to
progress. And progress was
Cash and bona fide pledges to the amount of substantially
$125,000.00 were reported by the Treasurer. The goal which was set at the
beginning as the evidence of the practicability of the plan had been passed.
It is not enough to justify erection of a suitable building, even if other
circumstances were auspicious. But it is now only a matter of organization,
and a little more time.
Steps were perfected to expand the organization so as to
include the whole United States. Funds over and above the reported total of
donations to the building fund are in hand to carry the message of the need
for this Memorial into every Lodge in the United States of America. Progress
up to date proves that all that is needed is to present that message, and the
patriotic ardor of American Masonry will respond to the Call. No Grand Lodge,
and no Mason able to contribute his mite to a fund for this Washington
Memorial, will want to be left out. The success of the movement is at hand.
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.)
MERCY OF HELL"
IT is a notorious fact that the most eloquent sermons make dull
reading. The speaker makes his appeal to a crowd and must therefore set his
subject forth in those sweeping generalizations which ill accord with the
printed page addressed to a solitary mind; he is compelled to lay on his
colors with a lavish brush in order that the dullest of his hearers may see
the picture. While we listen, this goes well enough but to read it becomes a
different matter, for we enjoy the writer most who leaves something to our own
wit or imagination. Moreover, as Emerson was wont to remind himself, art is
ever warning its votaries with "thou shalt not preach" because nothing is more
fatal to a writer's appeal than the stiff, didactic temper of the moralist.
For these, and for other reasons suggested by these, it is not often that the
great sermonizer is also a great writer. Exceptions there have been but not
many: Bossuet may still be read, especially if one is at home in French; F.W.
Robertson has been listed among the makers of modern English prose; in this
country we have had Brooks and Swing. The list is so soon exhausted that when
a man appears who displays masterhood in both crafts we are all constrained to
heed so rare an apparition.
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, whose volume of sermons, "The Mercy of
Hell," has been recently issued by the Murray Press of Boston (at one dollar),
has other claims upon the public, but in nothing does he more challenge
attention than in his ability to both preach and write in the grand style. He
has the exquisite grace of the literary craftsman combined with the unction
and power of the prophet and one knows not which of the two to admire the
Dr. Newton has read prodigiously. In literature, history,
philosophy, in theology, and in certain specialties, such as Freemasonry, he
is so much at home that the most literate reader is astonished by the
erudition of a man only turned forty; but his thirst for knowledge has never
been permitted to discredit the arts wherewith knowledge is turned into light
and made to shine abroad. When the present writer asked him to name the
teachers to whom he owed most by way of literary inspiration he mentioned Mark
Rutherford, David Swing, Goldwin Smith, Theodore Watts-Dunton and Emerson; Dr.
Newton has saturated himself with the spirit and mood of these men so that one
will ever and anon catch echoes of them in the pages of "The Mercy of Hell";
but Dr. Newton's style, for all that it may owe to these and other masters, is
quite his own. It is a style as beautiful as it is original, capable of
effects like music and painting combined, and often really poignant in its
beanty, as those will remember who have read his marvelous sermon on "Why
It must not be supposed, however, that Dr. Newton is a preacher
who uses the sermon as a mere subterfuge for essay writing. The central, the
essential thing in him is the prophet, the mystic, the teacher of the art of
living the spiritual life, to whom the pulpit has become the house of the
seer, and the sermon a speaking of man to man about the highest things. His is
a religion without dogmatism, a faith innocent of metaphysical subtleties, and
everywhere in it one will discover the chaste beauty of the Mind of Christ;
the life of God in the soul of man; it is this which he sets forth in all his
scores of sermons, it is this which he is ever seeking, or which he is always
recommending with every art of persuasion. They who have grown weary of
sectarian exaggerations, and the gritty bitterness of much that passes for
evangelical faith, but who still require a house of doctrine in which the
spirit may find rest and refreshment, will find in the present volume that
which sounds like the voices of their own souls.
Dr. Newton's most signal contribution to the religious spirit
of the times, we may say, is his persistent emphasis on beauty as an essential
element in religion. If the Medieval Period can still send forth an
enchantment from its ancient towers it is because the worshippers of that
period counted beauty as necessary to the church as goodness or truth. When
the Reformation came, with its gray conventicles and its harsh moralities, the
note of beauty was almost lost out of the Gospel of "the Poet of Galilee"; but
now, we may thankfully say, the prophets of religion are once more awakened to
the need for an esthetic element in common worship, and it is Dr. Newton's
distinction that he has a place among those who lead this new renaissance
which contends that God is as incapable of ugliness as of falsehood.
The element of beauty in "The Mercy of Hell" is so blended with
the other elements that one cannot disengage it for special exhibition, but
those who care to see it in freest play may turn to the sermon on "The Vision
of the Dead." It so happens that two other master preachers have developed
this theme, Phillips Brooks and George A. Gordon; comparisons are odious,
especially when the living are concerned, but the student who lays these three
discourses before him will see at once that Dr. Newton's own distinctive note
is the loveliness wherewith he has enveloped his pages, a loveliness of
spirit, of thought, and of diction.
By this restoration of beauty to the craft of the pulpit Dr.
Newton has done much to reconcile the tradition which builds on the beauty of
holiness with that other tradition which builds on the holiness of beauty. He
has helped to do that which was so sorely needed, he has given the preacher a
legitimate place among those other workers who build "the House Beautiful,
which the creative minds of all generations - the artists and those who have
treated life in the spirit of art - are always building together, for the
refreshment of the human spirit." All who teach or preach, whether from the
platform or from the printed page, have long needed this recall to the primacy
of beauty in the presentations of truth and the appeals to goodness; they have
long needed such a warning "against the stupidity which is dead to substance
and the vulgarity which is dead to form."
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.)
In reading "The Trial of Christ From a Lawyer's Standpoint" in
the December issue of THE BUILDER, I was set to thinking, when I came across
the passage where Pilate, without waiting for an answer, asked the brooding
question which has haunted free men with free minds since the beginning of
time, "What is Truth ? "
I would appreciate your definition of Truth, as my mind wanders
to the words "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth," and the Eastern Stars say
"Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness," and, if I remember rightly the same word
is used again in both the York and Scottish Rites.
I have looked up the reference to the word in the Gospel of St.
John and have also consulted three dictionaries.
"What is Truth ? " If we could answer that question we could be
gods and know all the secrets of the universe. Pilate's question was put to
Truth itself, but he could not understand it. Truth is the great object of
Masonic study - the age-long quest of man. It is the reward promised to those
who are faithful, when their spiritual temple is completed. It has been lost
in the darkness of error, and, in this life at least, we must be content with
a substitute, which approximates to the real according to our faithfulness.
a tenet of our Brotherhood;
It is the
essence of Divinity;
It is the
spirit's native, mystic food;
It is the
magnet of eternity,
holds all that has been or is to be,
grand center, which is fixed in God,
Accepted, Ancient and the Free
Master - Whose impartial rod
hath felt which yet Life's rugged path hath trod.
eternal - all else but decay;
is God, and God is Truth, and we
shades of destiny that pass away,
in oceans of Divinity.
God's Junior Warden, beams on high,
and stars have faded into night,
the soul from earth to yonder sky,
life's mystery is lost in light
To be unveiled at last when it hath taken flight."
Books might be written on this subject, my brother, and not
exhaust it. No one definition that man can give can convey an idea of Truth's
nature. We can hint at its meaning but we can no more comprehend it than we
can comprehend God himself.
We do indeed find it in all our Masonic work, both in the York
and the Scottish Rites, because the search for Truth is but another name for
man's efforts to attain the Real and Eternal and free himself from delusion
and the temporal.
earth shall pass away,
heavens roll together
shall live forever,
through endless ages give
blessings to the sainted,
them, never, never."
* * *
DEFINITIONS OF MASONRY
You have struck a sympathetic chord in my makeup in your
article "First Steps - Entrance and Reception" in the January issue of THE
Your definition comes very close to one I have loved. You say
Freemasonry is a system of moral knowledge in action. Why not shorten it and
say "Masonry is morality in action" ?
Now I have twenty-four definitions by the following brethren:
Oliver, Dalcho, Mackey, Pierson, Pike, Connor, Drummond, French, Humphrey,
Parker, Saunders, Morris, Sickles, Fitch, Dutch Handbook, Mitchell and
yourself. I have but a small library and would like to learn more of this
Definitions may be divided into several classes. For instance,
I would classify Sir Gilbert Parker's saying that "Masonry is not the
exposition of a manufactured ritual, nor is it a revelation. It expresses the
underlying principles which govern all the religions which the race has loved,
and is founded upon the accumulated traditions which are necessities to
humanity," as a Scottish Rite definition.
The great apostle of Scottish Rite Masonry, Albert Pike, gives
the definition of a philosopher.
It seems to me that the Fellowcraft also has his definition,
several of them in fact. Oliver says: "Geometry is the basis upon which the
superstructure of Masonry is erected." Dalcho and Oliver say "a speculative
science founded on an operative art.
Mackey says "a science of morality," but it seems to me that
A.T.C. Pierson has the Fellowcraft's definition best of all. He says "the
science of sciences, because it comprehends within itself that of all others."
I merely mention the above examples to illustrate the idea, and
if you can point me to a further elaboration of it, I shall be very thankful
Definitions are only helpful when adding to our comprehension
of any subject. They limit or curb the tendency of our minds to looseness of
understanding or vagueness of vision. A good definition enables us to see
straight, look far, and acquire insight.
A definition may be so scanty of scope that it is little
better, if any, than the use of the word it aims to explain. This is the only
criticism I make of your definition and my own, - both are impoverished sadly
by their brevity. As mere trite expressions of an impression left upon our
mind, they have their uses perhaps, but they are too lame, impotent and bald
for full meaty meaning and wealth of ripe suggestion.
I commend to you my old paraphrase of St. Paul's definition in
I. Corinthians, 13th Chapter. Begin at the first verse if you wish, - I prefer
to begin at the fourth. In some versions of the scriptures we have the word
"charity" rendered as "love." I suggest you read it as "Freemasonry" wherever
"love" or "charity" occur in that memorable chapter.
I also like to think that Romans 12:11 defines something of
what a Mason should be.
All these definitions are faulty because not so sufficiently
sharp, exclusive and co-ordinating as to mark the Mason in any wise apart and
aside from all other good men. Truly he is of that goodly company but not all
of them are Masons.
My only answer to such a comment as the above is that I think
most of Masonry because to me it affords a rallying ground where we can
unitedly as Masons pool our efforts with the profane for the service of
mankind. A Mason is surely made so to prepare and guarantee him for such labor
and to consecrate him for a larger usefulness among men. As a Mason he
recognizes the brethren as equal to himself in standing and in dedication,
stones cut and gauged four-square for the temple of God, fitted to stand
together in closest unity strongly supporting each other.
But there is more than this to Masonic purpose and practice,
and this aspect is purely the attitude of the Mason to the world's work at
large, his labors with Masons and non-Masons. No definition aiming to be
complete and accurate will ignore this phase of Freemasonry.
You do not quote either the late Geo. W. Speth or the late Wm.
J. Hughan, or Oswald Wirth, all of whom have attempted to describe Masonry.
Brother Hughan's definition is not as well known as it deserves to be and
having it handy I copy it herewith. It first appeared in answer to some
comments by that able and now departed Masonic writer, Brother Joseph Robbins:
"Masonry consists in the erection, by aid of the proper working
tools, and on the plan laid down by the Grand Architect of the Universe on His
great moral and Masonic trestleboard, the Holy Writings, of a spiritual
edifice, composed of stones which have passed the overseer's square and
bearing the mark of the Craft thereon, wherein shall dwell the Holy Shekinah,
surrounding the Cherubim who guard the revealed Word of God. Any rite
administered to this end by the Craftsmen who have passed the door by the
words of wisdom, upon the steps of prudence, and with the salutations of
truth, is Masonic beyond all possibility of doubt."
The above very instructive definition I copy from page 440,
Official Bulletin, Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the
United States, Vol. 7, 1885.
And now finally, my brother, let me try again.
Freemasonry is a system of knowledge and of morals taught
secretly to the elect for public and private uses. What a Mason should be,
what he should know and what he should do is the purpose of Masonic teaching.
Masonry is rehearsed to the initiate by the rendition of ritual, imparted to
his mind by story, and impressed upon the memory by symbols,a triple guarantee
against forgetfulness. By stage-set drama, stirring story and the art of
symbolism, the eye, the ear and the recollection continually enrich the
understanding of the reflective members of the Craft. He that so learns its
lessons will not expect of it the mere establishment of historical facts, but
he may be sure that it will convey to him the finer philosophical doctrines of
truth. Such were the parables of Him that spake as never man spake. Even as He
taught in the enduring simplicity of a straight-forward story, and used the
nearby objects of street and field, home and inn, the whole chastened by the
tragedy of His death upon the cross, at the hands of those for whom He
labored, - so are we Masons today humbly and perhaps too often unconsciously
employing methods of instruction having a striking family likeness to those of
the glorified Galilean. R.I.C.
* * *
Our Study Club would appreciate it very much if you would
answer the following questions as soon as possible:
What is the present status of Masonry in Sweden? What is the
reason that Masons visiting that country from the several Grand jurisdictions
of the United States cannot lawfully visit Swedish Lodges?
We shall reply to your last question first by stating that, to
our knowledge, the Masons of Arkansas, District of Columbia, Missouri and New
York may lawfully visit Swedish Lodges, as the Grand Lodges of these States
have officially established fraternal relations with the Grand Lodge of
Sweden. Possibly the only reason that Minnesota Masons cannot lawfully visit
Swedish Lodges is that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota has never officially
"recognized" the Grand Lodge of Sweden and the latter, for no other reason
than this, is considered "clandestine" by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, if we
rightly interpret Section 65 of Article V of the General Regulations of
Minnesota, which defines a "clandestine" Lodge as "one without a charter or
dispensation from this Grand Lodge or from a Grand Lodge recognized by it."
Brother R. F. Gould, in his larger "History of Freemasonry,"
vol. IV, chapter XXVI, says that the history of Masonry in Sweden possesses an
interest peculiar to itself. The Swedes appear to have fallen away from the
simple teachings of the Craft as easily and early as the other nationalities
of Europe, but with this difference, that instead of flitting from one Rite to
another, constantly seeking variety, they have remained steadfast to their
first heresy, and still work the same ceremonies that originally rivetted
their attention about 1760. These ceremonies are in great part their own
invention, although based, not improbably - upon the degrees of the Clermont
Chapter; and as they have only been adopted by one Grand Body in Prussia, and
by Denmark, Sweden has ever since been practically outside the circle of
Freemasonry - a distant connection only of the great Masonic family. This want
of intimate Masonic intercourse, combined with a marked absence of indigenous
Masonic literature, is the reason that any history of Swedish Freemasonry can
be no more than a sketch.
In 1780 the Rite was rearranged and divided into three classes:
I. St. John's Lodges, comprising the Craft.
II. St. Andrew's Lodges, the Scots degrees: 4d, Elect or Scots
Apprentices and Fellows; 5d, Scots Master or Grand Scots Elect; 6d, Stuart
brothers or Knights of the East and Princes of Jerusalem.
III. Chapter: 7d, Confidants of Solomon, formerly Knights of
the West; 8d, Confidants of St. John; 9d, Confidants of St. Andrew. Beyond
this is a sort of Tenth Degree composed of three steps of honor - Knights,
followed by Commanders of the Red Cross and Vicar of Solomon. The ruling body
of the Order is this Tenth Degree, and its officers are called the Grand
Wardens of the Crown, Lamp, Sword, Square, Temple, the Standard, the Grand
Chancellor, Treasurer, and Architects, and at the head of all is the Vicar of
Solomon. Owing to the Christian color of Freemasonry in Sweden, Solomon
throughout is but a type of Christ, and his Vicar consequently becomes
Christ's Vicar, a species of Protestant Pope. That the office is now always
held by the King of the country is therefore only natural.
On January 24, 1798, the Duke of Sudermania wrote a long letter
to the Grand Master of England praying for a regular intercourse and mutual
representation. This was granted and in spite of the great difference in
ritual, the two Grand Lodges have ever since been in fraternal communion.
Our latest statistics show that there are 43 Lodges and 13,558
members under the Grand Lodge of Sweden.
* * *
INFORMATION CONCERNlNG CANDlDATES FOR INITIATION
(The following questions arere referred to us by the Chairman
of the Skowhegan, Maine, Study Club after a recent discussion of Brother
McCollum's paper on "The Ballot" which appeared in the October Correspondence
Circle Bulletin. Any opinions or comments on the questions or our answers
thereto by those of our members who are students of Masonic jurisprudence will
be given space in the Correspondence Columns of this
Question 1. Should any brother who has the right of balloting
and providing he is able to attend the meeting at which the ballot is to be
had, seek the investigating committee to inform them of any reason he may have
for thinking the applicant unworthy of being made a Mason?
Answer. We can see no objection to a Mason informing the
investigating committee of any reasons he may have for thinking the candidate
unworthy of becoming a Mason. It is his privilege to do so. Also every member
of a Maine Lodge has the right, under Section 102, Article VI, of the
Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Maine, to object to the initiation of any
candidate without giving his reasons therefor and such objection is equivalent
to a rejection by ballot. Such objection may be made privately to the Master
or to the Lodge and the reasons therefor cannot be required. Were the
brother's reasons communicated to the investigating committee before their
report to the Lodge, he would still have the right to file an objection to the
candidate's initiation with the Master or the Lodge.
Question 2. Taking it for granted the brother has given this
information to the committee, is he subjecting himself to trial for unmasonic
Answer. No. For if he were in possession of facts which, if
made known, would cause the candidate to be rejected it would be his Masonic
duty to reveal such facts to prevent unworthy material from being admitted
into the Lodge.
Question 3. If he informs the committee, is present at the
meeting at which the candidate is to be balloted upon, and asks to be excused
from voting, is he guilty of unmasonic conduct?
Answer. Not according to the Maine law which provides that any
member may be excused from voting by consent of the Lodge.
Question 4. Does a brother lay himself open to umnasonic
conduct by informing the committee of his objections, providing it is
absolutely impossible for him to attend the meeting at which the candidate is
to be balloted upon?
Question 5. Should a brother who is unable to attend the
meeting at which the candidate is to be balloted upon inform the committee or
the Master if he objects to the candidate's initiation?
Answer. See answer to question No. 1.
* * *
TABERNACLE ERECTED BY MOSES
We are told in the Entered Apprentice Degree that King
Solomon's Temple was situated due east and west after the style of the
tabernacle which Moses built on the banks of the Red Sea "to perpetuate the
remembrance of that remarkable east wind which wrought their mighty
deliverance, and likewise the better to receive the rays of the rising sun."
I have examined the parts of the Scriptures very carefully and
fail to find that this was the case. Will you kindly advise me if you can
locate the passage of Scripture that conveys this meaning? W.Y.D.,
If you are looking for a passage of Scripture which gives this
explanation of the reason why the tabernacle and temple were situated due east
and west, you will fail to find it. Both the tabernacle and the temple are
full of symbolical significance, which is not given in the Bible. Possibly the
significance was understood so well that it was not necessary to give the
explanation. In some cases it was not given because the people had not reached
a stage of development which enabled them to understand it. That every detail
had a symbolical significance was firmly believed by the people themselves,
but they were not always agreed as to what that significance was. Leyrer says
"as to the symbolic signification of the tabernacle there cam be no doubt that
the structure of the same was obviously determined by a complex and profound
symbolism; but its meaning
remains one of
the things which
will always be guess-work. Jewish Rabbis as well as Christian theologians have
exercised their ingenuity with more or less success." The scriptural account
gives very minute instructions as coming from God himself. Moses is to build
the tabernacle according to the pattern shown him in the Mount - Exodus XXV, 9
and 40; XXVI, 30; XXVII, 8; and according to this plan the tabernacle is to be
situated due east and west with the entrance in the East. (See Exodus XXVI,
14-25; XXVII, 9-19). Unless some significance was attached to it there would
be no object in giving such minute instructions, especially as the location of
each new camp must be chosen in view of these instructions. If as a matter of
fact this continual location of the tabernacle in the same direction
perpetuated the remembrance of the mighty east wind by which their miraculous
deliverance was wrought, it is natural to suppose that it was intended to do
so. Again as to the rising sun, the Jewish Encyclopedia says "the opening of
the gate toward the East had reference to the rising of the sun." (See Isaiah
XLI, 2 and 25; Psalms L, 1; XIX, 4, CIII, 12.) The East meant forward - the
direction of the face. West being behind, North to the left, South to the
right. (See Job XXIII, 8, 9; Gen. XIII, 14; XXVIII, 14; Numbers X, 5, 6.) East
is the part of the world where God planted Paradise. Many of the early
Christians thought that Paradise was situated in the East. Therefore, though
we may not be able to determine the origin of this explanation of the
situation of the tabernacle and the temple, it is not an unnatural one and we
know of no passage in the Scriptures with which it is inconsistent. We know
that many of the Hebrew writers as well as the Apostle Paul gave to many of
the early customs a symbolic significance which we do not find elsewhere in
the Bible, and it is therefore natural to suppose that much of the rich
symbolism of the temple like the parables of the New Testament was only
revealed to those who were able to understand it. It is probable that much of
it was even hidden from the earlier generations because they had not reached a
stage of spiritual development which would enable them to so understand it.
Masonic symbolism is of the same nature - it does not appear upon the surface
- it is like the truth that comes to the diligent seeker and is revealed to
him only as he is able to comprehend it. As illustrating a symbolical
interpretation of the tabernacle which developed many generations after the
tabernacle itself had passed away, read Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. C.C.H.
RECOMMENDS A MASONIC COLLEGE
Here is a matter I wish you would publish in THE BUILDER for
the discussion and action of the brethren:
Why not have a Masonic training school, or college, where the
Masons and their children, or others for that matter, could get a liberal
education ? We have those in the order whose early environment forced them to
make their own way in the world, and in so doing were denied the benefits of a
good education. Many of these, I think, would gladly avail themselves of the
opportunity of securing more light, or if unable to attend themselves, would
gladly and freely contribute to the establish.ment of such a school for the
benefit of others. We are taught that we should be lovers of the several arts
and sciences, and in what more fitting way could we live up to this teaching,
than by the establishment of such a school, and in so doing set up an
immovable landmark for the glory of Masonry and the betterment of the race - a
landmark which even the ravages of time would not efface.
If every Mason would contribute a dollar, or more if they so
desired, it would make in round numbers $1,500,000 which would be a sufficient
sum to start a school of which none of us would need feel ashamed.
suggest that such a school, if established, be not run for profit, but be
self-sustaining, and that it be centrally located, thereby serving the greater
number of people, for if located in any extreme of the country many would be
barred on account of the high traveling expenses, etc.
* * *
In the matter of physical qualifications discussed in THE
BUILDER and the article "Symbolism of the Perfect Man," by Brother Ticknor of
Maryland, in the September issue, in which he says "that the candidate
symbolizes, in his physical being, the perfect man, who alone is fit to enter
into the composition of 'that spiritual building that house not made with
hands, eternal, in the heavens,"' I take it that it is the perfect man, and
not the symbol, which "alone is fit to enter into the composition of that
spiritual building, that house not made with hands."
The perfect stone was made use of by the ancient masters to put
into the building, not as a symbol, but as part of the building, and is it not
the perfect man, and not the symbol, that goes into the spiritual building?
By hewing so closely to the line of symbolism, and endeavoring
to hold fast to an ancient operative landmark, is there not danger of losing
sight of the very root and foundation of our speculative teachings, that, "it
is the internal and not the external qualifications that make one worthy to be
a Mason" ? Is it not as a man thinketh and doeth, the life that he lives, that
counts? Are these not the fundamentals of our principles and teachings? Is a
man any less able to live and love, to do good, to practice our divine
precepts, because of having gone forth to defend the principles of right and
justice set forth in our teachings and in the doing thereof been deprived of
some symbolic member? On this account is he any less a man, or any less a
Mason; or is he any less worthy to be a man, or any less worthy to be a Mason
While symbolism enters largely into our teachings, and it may
be that the external or physical is the symbol of the internal or spiritual,
and that the symbol should be perfect even as the internal is perfect, and as
it was with the Great Initiate; yet it is not the teachings itself, nor the
whole of Masonry.
Should all of our principles and teachings stand in awe of one
landmark of our ancient operative brothers, who used stones not as symbols?
* * *
ANENT "MASONS" OF THE STONE AGE AND ACTIVITIES OF FRENCH LODGES
In the February issue of THE BUILDER Brother Jox sharply raps
Brother A.P.O. for attempting to find evidences of Masonry in the Stone Age.
He says that it is a scientific question. Surely Brother Jox would not do away
with the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In every age of the world Masons were the best men of that age.
Evidently the Stone Age man was a fierce, blood-thirsty character. We know
that all men are not alike even in this enlightened time - some might be
termed blood-thirsty even now. To judge this Age by the record being made by
this class there would be no abiding-place for Masonry. And statistics show it
to be a fact that there are fewer Masons per capita in the German Empire than
in any other "civilized" nation, yet there are some Masons even there, however
incredible it may be.
It requires no stretch of the imagination to believe there were
some good men, comparatively, in the Stone Age. The best men of that time, no
matter what they were called or named, even if they were "pretty hard
citizens," judging from our standard, they were the Masons of their time and
Age. The Divine spark is always in the heart of man, no matter how deepIy
* * *
Brother Kellett's able paper on the Grand Orient of France
reveals the same old story that has made sectarianism possible in the material
and religious world - a lack of understanding of our brother's true position
and what he really believes, perhaps, we might even say, our meddling, by
setting up a standard for him. Why should not he set up one for us ? No doubt
he would do so, were he less broad-minded and tolerant.
contrast the life of intense interest in a French Lodge under the Grand Orient
where are discussed sociological, legislative, economic and philosophical
questions, as compared with the average lifeless interest in our own Lodges,
except when there is a supper or work to do. Perhaps we had better be careful
about throwing rocks.
* * *
Please give me the floor, Brother Editor, until I remark to the
1. A Mason who subscribes for and reads THE BUILDER gets so
much more out of his Masonry that it is a real act of conservation; it really
pays him to be so engaged. Certainly any brother would be a very enthusiastic
and well-posted Mason if he could often consult with such brethren as Pound,
Newton, Clegg, et al., and two dollars a year for such a privilege would be
considered a trifling cost. Well, that is just what I am doing right along
every month in THE BUILDER and it is a "big bargain" at two dollars a year.
May I suggest that we each and every one of us secure at least one new member
for the Society and thus do good for all concerned? As a printer in the past I
know that a publisher has his financial problems now as never before. And our
publisher has his problems.
2. Masonry is made up of men that rally to every good cause
when it is properly presented to their attention: brethren, THE BUILDER is a
good cause and ought to be on at least a hundred thousand library tables. It
is an exponent of true Masonry.
An anti-Mason looked through a copy of THE BUILDER which he
found on my study table (I am a preacher) and remarked: "If Masonry is what
this Journal seems to indicate, it strikes me that it is a good thing." Such
light should be far more widely diffused, and to that end I pledge myself to
part to raise the number of members of the Society to one hundred thousand.
3. I have every number from the first, and every member joining
after the first year owes it to himself to stock up with the previous bound
volumes. He will be building for himself a Masonic library that will be prized
in the years to come. When old age comes on these bound volumes will be a
benediction to any Mason.
4. For after all, brother Mason, "this is the Journal you long
have sought and mourned because you found it not." THE BUILDER does not use
valuable space and ink to remark that, for instance, some illustrious brother
in California or elsewhere "has been confined to his home for a couple of days
with a slight attack of the grippe." But it gives us each month a feast of
Masonic history, philosophy, ethics, pictures, etc., and it is
run for the financial profit of any individual. It will put designs on every
thinking Mason's trestle-board - great designs.
5. And "lastly," brother Editor, without any suggestion from
you or yours, I crave permission to again ask the brethren to put the
circulation of THE BUILDER and the membership the Society to where it belongs
- in six figures.
W. Hart, Ohio.
If no one ever did a thing he didn't want to do
I do not think that we would get a whole lot done, do you?
If no one ever did a thing that wasn't any fun
There wouldn't be a lot of use on earth for anyone.
And here's a most peculiar thing about the whole of it:
Although we often hate to do our little daily bit,
The things that ultimately bring us joy and profit, too,
Are generally the little things we didn't want to do.