The Builder Magazine
May 1918 - Volume IV - Number 5
THE INSTALLATION CEREMONY AND RITE
BRO. A. S. MACBRIDE, SCOTLAND
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It has been suggested to me by Brother Joseph Fort Newton,
whose wish is to me a command, that I should write something on this subject
for THE BUILDER. I am not aware of having any special qualifications for such
a task, unless it be that, on last St. John's day (27th December), it was
fifty years since I was first installed as Master of a Lodge; and that I had
the good fortune to receive instruction, for two or three years, from a Past
Master who had then an experience as a Mason of upwards of fifty years. If, in
carrying out this suggestion, I appear egotistic to the reader, I hope he will
keep in view the difficulty I would otherwise have of conveying to him my
somewhat unique experience, in connection with this subject. For the sake of
simplicity, allow me to arrange my remarks under two parts, first, my
experience and information of this Ceremony and Rite, and second, the Form of
EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATION OF THIS CEREMONY AND RITE
first acquaintance with what is now known as the Installed Master's Rite was
in 1867, when first installed as Master in the Lodge, Leven Saint John,
Renton. It was in a somewhat peculiar and mysterious, albeit quite common
manner in Scotland at that time, that I received this honour. To understand
the circumstances properly, please present this picture to your mind's eye.
in a dimly lighted room in a small village inn, some 24 by 16 feet in size and
of somewhat plain and simple aspect. Through the centre of the room runs a
plain deal table to within 4 or 5 feet of the chair in the east. The forms
ranged on each side are filled, or rather packed, with about sixty or more
Masons, among whom are six or seven past-masters. There is more than the usual
number of grey heads present, for it is Saint John's night, and strong
associations of "Auld Lang Syne" have drawn them, some from a distance of five
or six miles, to spend a few hours together; and then to wend their way
homeward through the mirk and storm of a dark December night. These old
members range from thirty to fifty years standing and they love their
Mother-Lodge with the real "Perfervidum ingenium Scotorum." As usual on Saint
John's night, the meeting for Installation has been preceded by a torch-light
procession through the village. In an upper window of the inn a transparent
picture of the venerable saint, with his long flowing beard, has been placed;
with sufficient lighted candles behind it to make clear and life-like his
striking figure and features, to the delight and wonderment of the villagers,
old and young, who are congregated outside. The din and bustle of the entrance
of the processionists having subsided, the Lodge is "opened" on the first
degree. The Minutes of the Election are read and the Installing Master, who is
also the Retiring Master, briefly addresses the meeting and calls on the
Master-elect to come forward to the east. The Installing Master is a man above
fifty years, of average stature, dark, stout, and somewhat round shouldered.
He is not blest with a great store of knowledge and still less with the gift
of expression; yet he has a rough dignity of manner, and the knack of giving
to certain parts of the ceremony an impression of mystery and importance
which, to the general audience, is perhaps all the more impressive in
consequence of the very nebulosity of his phrases. The Master-elect is
twenty-two years of age, fair, of medium height and, through exercise, spare
in figure. By fortuitous circumstances he-has been unanimously elected into
the chair. He feels as if he was a pretender being crowned, without the
smallest right to the throne. His only claim is a popularity that attributes
gifts and virtues to him which he devoutly wishes he possessed. By force of
circumstances and not by choice he is in a position for which he has not had
the requisite training and experience; and, consequently, feels somewhat
disquietful and perplexed. The Installing Master reads the Charge from the
book of the Laws and Constitution of the Grand Lodge, administers the "oath de
fideli," invests the Master-elect with his apron and jewel; and then, forming
a half-circle of past-masters in front of the chair (thus screening himself
and the Master-elect from the brethren generally) he seizes the latter by the
arm, in the same way as is now done in a Board of Installed Masters, places
him in the chair and whispers in his ear the word of an Installed Master.
was the manner of my installation in 1867. The Lodge was all the time on the
first degree, and I have often thought that neither Murray Lyon nor Gould
would have suspected, from the minutes of that meeting, that a secret word and
grip, not belonging to any of the ordinary Craft degrees, had been then and
there imparted to the new Master without any of those present (except the
past-master) being in any way aware of the fact. Both of these distinguished
Masonic writers, it seems to me, have insisted too much on written evidence
before acknowledging anything contrary to their preconceptions. Hence Gould in
his history, vol. II, page 358, on this subject, quotes as follows from the
"General Regulations and the manner of constituting anew Lodge": "The
candidate . . . being yet among the Fellow Craft . . . having signified his
submission to the charges of a Master, the Grand Master shall, by certain
significant ceremonies and ancient usages, install him."- To this Gould adds
the remark: "It is in the highest degree improbable--not to say
impossible--that any secrets were communicated on such an occasion."
the highest respect for the opinion of this admirable Masonic historian, I
submit that my experience establishes the fact that it was neither
"improbable" nor "impossible" to communicate secrets on such an occasion. In
the old days, when the places of meeting were not so commodious and not so
well provided with adjacent rooms as they now are, Masons would naturally
adopt methods to suit their circumstances and to overcome their difficulties.
Both Murray Lyon and Gould, at times, deny the existence of things outside the
circle of their ken, and the lack of a little imagination has caused them to
dogmatise on the unknown -- a dangerous thing for historians at any time to
do. Notwithstanding all this, when we consider the fables that passed as
Masonic history before they appeared in the field, we can well excuse any
little slip that may become visible on the pages of their magnificent works.
Their careful studies ushered in a new and better era in Masonic literature,
and we can never be too grateful to them for the work they so well and so
other parts of the Ceremony of Installation in 1867, were substantially the
same in form as those now usual under the Scottish Constitution. At that time,
however, a great deal of information was imparted in private. Every Entered
Apprentice had his instructors, or intenders as they were called in the old
times. These were appointed immediately after his initiation, and were
responsible to the Lodge that he should show "suitable progress" in a
knowledge of the Craft when "tried" in open Lodge, before being "passed as a
Fellow-of-the-Craft. The apprentice and his instructors met frequently, and
his instruction continues until he was "raised" a Master Mason, and in most
cases for some time afterwards. These meetings were a great help to me and I
continued them for several years, even after my installation into the Chair of
Lodge Leven St. John. My principal instructor was a Past Master who had one of
the most retentive memories in my experience, and who had been a Mason for
upwards of fifty years. From him, as well as from others, I learned all they
knew of the various degrees and of the Chair Rite, but, so far as my
recollection goes, there was nothing beyond the single grip and word. The
tradition of the visit to the Temple at Jerusalem by the Queen of Sheba was
related at these private meetings, with a number of other stories; but not
with any special reference to the installing of a Master. Numerous tales
floated about and these were the common property of the Craft, irrespective of
degree. The tradition regarding the Queen of Sheba may, by some clever
brother, have been made the basis of a pretty little rite, just as the
tradition of the death of Hiram was, I believe, shaped and moulded into the
ceremony of the third degree by Dr. Desaguliers; but, when that was done, or
by whom it was done, there does not exist, so far as I know, any evidence
Turning to our historians for information on this Rite we find very little
real information. Gould in his History (vol. II, page 239) says: "There is no
evidence to show that the degree of Installed Master was invented before the
second half of the eighteenth century. Murray Lyon in his work (page 185)
remarks: "Previous to the introduction into Scotland of Symbolical Masonry,
advancement to the chief office in Lodges was unmarked by any ceremonial
further than the exaction of an oath of fealty from the newly elected brother.
Even after the operative element had been eliminated from Lodges, the form of
installation or "chairing" that was at first adopted was exceedingly simple.
On his election the Master was shown to the chair by the old Master, who
invested him with the jewel of office, and gave the salute in which the
brethren joined. With the introduction of "high Masonry" came the dogma that
no brother could legally preside in a Lodge until his reception of the Chair
degree. This step originally bore some resemblance to the chairing which is
clandestinely practised in many Scotch Lodges of the present day (1873)--a
ceremony in which order and misrule are made alternately to predominate, in
order the more impressively to inspire the novitiate with a sense of the
dignity and responsibility that pertains to the president of a Lodge of
Freemasons. This mock installation will now disappear before the Installed
Master's ritual recently adopted by Grand Lodge."
in 1872, at the February communication, that the Grand Lodge of Scotland first
recognised the Past Master's ceremonial of Installation. Previous to that
date, it was generally conducted in Scotland in the manner I have here tried
to describe as my experience in 1867. The reference of Murray Lyon to "order
and misrule" I never had any knowledge of, although such a thing may have been
common in some parts of the country. It should be noted that the whole
ceremony of Installation in 1867 was conducted while the Lodge was on the
first degree, in accordance with the Grand Lodge law then existing. In a copy
of the Laws and Constitutions of the Grand Lodge dated 1852 this law is stated
thus: "The installation of the whole of the office-bearers of a Lodge
including the Master shall be held in a just and perfect Lodge, opened in the
Preston in his "Illustration of Masonry," published in 1762 (edition 1801,
page 86), says: "The new Master is then conducted to an adjacent room where he
is regularly installed, and bound to his trust in antient form, by his
predecessor in office, in the presence of three installed Masters." From this
and the context of Preston's version of the ceremony it is evident that in his
day the "oath de fideli" was not administered in the Lodge, as the above
remark follows immediately after the reading of the charges. Today, in
Scotland, the Lodge must be opened in the first degree, in which the Charges
are read and the oath is administered. The new Master and the installed
Masters then retire to another room where the Chair Rite is performed. In
England the Lodge is opened on the second degree, and this is the only
practical difference now existing in this ceremony as practised under the
admirable little work by Br. R. E. Wallace James, Edinburgh, entitled "Digest
of Scottish Masonic Jurisprudence," there are various interesting items on
this and other subjects. It is therein stated: "An account of the early Irish
practice in Caementaria Hibernica (vol. 1, p. 21) disclosed why in Anderson's
time it was not necessary to exclude those who were not Installed Masters: In
Ireland they retired behind the chair of the S. W. and faced the west. There
are, indeed, good reasons for supposing that this secret ceremony is a
survival of the ceremony practised before the Grand Lodge era, when a Fellow
and Master of his craft was elevated above his fellows and authorised to
become Master of the Work and Lodge."
all this it seems to me apparent that the Installed Master's Rite, in
connection with the ceremony of Installation, has been practised certainly
from the middle of the eighteenth century and probably before that in the old
operative Lodges; and that, like many of our ceremonies, it has been evolved
from a rudimentary into its present more complex form a few years after the
great speculative evolution in 1717.
Scotland it is not recognized as a degree. It is sometimes called a "ceremony"
and sometimes a "rite," for the Grand Lodge has always maintained that there
are only three degrees in Masonry-- Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master--and
it holds that the "Mark Ceremony" forms a part of the Fellow-craft degree, and
that the Installed Master's Rite is a part of the Installation ceremony.
FORM OF INSTALLATION
comparison of Preston's "Ceremony of Installation" with the ceremony as
carried out today, it is evident that they are in all respects practically the
same. We may safely take it as certain, also, that the ceremony, given with a
fair amount of detail by Preston, was that which was in general use in England
from 1717, or shortly afterwards. The differences between the 1717 and 1917
versions are purely verbal, and even in these insignificant; and it may safely
be said that during this two hundred years not one single ceremony of our
Craft has suffered less change so far as the exoteric part is concerned.
Regarding the esoteric part, we have no data to guide us; and we can only
assume, from the fact given by Preston of the new Master being conducted to an
adjacent room and therein obligated, that secrets were then imparted and that,
practically, these were the same as are now given to all Installed Masters in
what is now known as the Chair Rite.
an early part of my Masonic career I have been accustomed to lay out the work
in which I was engaged in the form of a Plan. These plans gave the various
sections and details of the work and, to my mind, established a coherence,
clear and strong throughout, as well as affording help to the memory. The Plan
of Installation work which I have used for upwards of thirty years is as
the following abbreviations:
Assistant Installing Master
M. Installing Master
M. New Master
M. Retiring Master)
Section A. Preliminaries.
Section B. Charges and Oath de fideli.
Section C. Installed Master's Rite.
Section D. Installation of Minor Officers.
Section E. Chairing of N. M.
Section F. Address by I. M.
Details--Section A, Preliminaries.
Lodge opened 1st degree by R. M.
Minutes of election read.
M. hands over mallet to I. M. requesting him to take the chair.
M. and A. I. M. take their places--I. M. in chair; A. I. M. on his left; R; M.
on his right.
Introductory remarks by I. M.
Praise. 100th Psalm. R. M. leads N. M. to altar facing E.
Details -- Section B, Charges and Oath de fideli.
M. presents N. M. to I. M.
M. addresses N. M. in re the ancient custom of election and the qualifications
of a Master; and asks if he conscientiously accepts of the position.
M. asks A. I. M. to read Charges; receives N. M. assent to same. A. I. M.
calls brethren to "order."
Music. I. M. takes place at altar, facing W. opposite N. M. Oath de fideli
M. raises N. M. to the plumb. Music. I. M. returns to dais.
M. intimates retirement with N. M. to confer honours of an Installed Master,
and requests company and assistance of Installed Masters present; asks A. I.
M. to occupy the chair, install minor officers, raise Lodge to the third
degree and intimate when ready to receive N. M. A. I. M. calls brethren to
"order." Music. Installed Masters retire in procession.
Details -- Section C, Installed Master's Rite.
Form the Board.
Prayer and Obligation.
Dissolve the Board.
- A Board of Installed Masters is not permanent in its character and is
therefore not "opened" and "closed" like a Lodge. It is transient and is
formed for a special purpose. When that has been accomplished it is naturally
dissolved. Hence, I object to the terms "opening" and "closing," and prefer
the words "forming" and "dissolving," in connection with a board of Installed
Details -- Section D, Installation of minor office bearers.
Names of office bearers, except Master, read from minutes of election. As name
is read out each one takes position at altar-- highest office to the south.
Oath de fideli administered.
I. M. in front of dais, invests with jewel, etc. Each office bearer steps
forward as called on. Duties and symbolic meaning of his jewel briefly
explained; placed in his position in the Lodge; music interluded judiciously.
Lodge raised to 3d degree.
Details -- Section E, Chairing of the N. M.
Music. Procession of Installed Masters enters.
Perambulation. I. M. leads N. M. to north-east, southeast, south-west, and
north-west corners, and finally to the east and places him in chair.
M. calls on brethren to acknowledge N. M. by salute on 3rd degree. Salute
given. A. I. M. in the east, makes proclamation. Lodge lowered to 2d degree.
Craftsmen admitted. Salutation of N. M. called for and given. A. I. M. in the
west, makes proclamation. Lodge lowered to 1st degree. Apprentices admitted.
Salutation of N. M. called for and given. A. I. M. in the south, makes
M. hands Lodge charter to N. M. for his personal custody.
M. places before N. M. books of Laws and Constitutions of Grand Lodge and
By-laws of the Lodge, with counsel and admonition.
M. hands Mallet to N. M. Invokes T. G. A. O. T. U. to direct him in its use.
A. I. M. calls for "Grand Honours" brethren rise and respond.
Details -- Section F, Address by the I. M.
Advice to N. M.
Counsel to new office bearers.
Encouragement to brethren of the Lodge.
Inspiration to all in the great work of Masonry.
following is one of many addresses which it has been my privilege to deliver
at Installations. It was given recently in Lodge Progress, Glasgow.
WORSHIPFUL BROTHER: He is the true king who enthrones himself in the love of
his people; he is the true Master who installs himself in the hearts of his
brethren. He who loves most serves best, and he who would rule wisely must
serve well. True service is the foundation of all real government.
serving others we also do the best service to ourselves. The higher law of our
being is: we must bless, if we are to be blest; we must forgive, if we are to
be forgiven; we must lose, if we are to gain; we must serve, if we are to
rule. We have it on the highest authority, that he who is the greatest amongst
us is the servant of all.
true master serves as a teacher, and his first duty is to teach his Lodge how
to be independent of him. His function, like that of a window, is to transmit
the light; the less the glass is seen the more light it lets through. The more
a master loses himself in his work the greater will his influence be, and his
influence will be greatest when he has taught his craftsmen to be influenced,
least by him and most by truth. Do you wish to rule as a true master? Then
first master and rule thyself. With the sharp chisel of discipline, cut and
carve your heart and character into the form of the perfect ashlar; and every
true craftsman will work to your pattern. Be good, and you shall do good. Be
true, and you shall teach truth. The noblest service you can render the
brethren who have placed you there, is to set them a good example.
on then, my brother, and through all the difficulties and disappointments, the
toil and trial, and seeming chaos of human life, let the firm faith in a
Divine Plan working in and through all, sustain and encourage you; for
smallest effort is not lost;
wavelet on the ocean tossed
in the ebb-tide, or the flow;
raindrop makes some flow'ret blow;
struggle lessens human woe."
WORSHIPFUL WARDENS AND OTHER OFFICE BEARERS: In your respective offices, you
will each find a sphere for being useful, and for doing good. Remember that
while there must needs be diversity, there can be no disparity of office, in
the true Mason Lodge. The real measure of a man is not the place he fills, but
how he fills his place. There is no office in the universe too small for God,
the Almighty. In the tiniest dewdrop He finds room for the exercise of His
infinite skill, and the microscope reveals His greatness, perhaps even more
than the telescope. Is there not room then, my brothers, in the humblest
office of a Lodge, for the exercise of all the powers which we poor mortals
and shame from no condition rise;
well your part; there all the honour lies."
MEMBERS OF LODGE "PROGRESS": We are apt sometimes to confound prominence with
importance, and to imagine that that which bulks largest on our eye is of
greatest consequence. The cornice of a building is prominent, but is it more
important than the foundation that lies unseen in the earth? Is not the
peasant that raises corn for our food of more importance to us than the prince
in his palace? The people of a state are of greater consequence than their
governors; the members of a Lodge are more important than their officers. We
all stand together, and our duty is to fill our places wisely and well, like
stones in a building, true and square to those below, around, and above us. In
the perspective of the universe, in the measurements of eternity, there is no
distinction between the position of the monarch with his sceptre and the
beggar with his staff; between the master with his mallet and the apprentice
with his gavel. The only difference recognised is in the use they make of
their privileges and powers.
is no height nor depth in the eternal space;
humble work, but work ill-done, will bring disgrace."
WORSHIPFUL MASTER, WORSHIPFUL WARDENS, AND BRETHREN ALL: It is a little over
three years since men were everywhere boasting of the wealth and science, the
culture and civilisation, of what they proudly called this enlightened
twentieth century. The civilisations of Egypt and Syria, "the glory that was
Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." had grown and flourished, faded and
disappeared; but ours would go down the ages, prospering and progressing.
Today, what do we see? Death and destruction unparalleled even in the darkest
and most savage period of human history. Over the peaceful valley and fertile
plain, through the burning sands of the barren desert, down in the depths of
the sea, up in the clouds of the air, the messengers of hate speed, spreading
ruin and desolation in their track. The lusts and furies of hell have burst
their bounds, and the devil overruns the earth to work his will. Why?
Brethren, it needs no angelic vision to see why. Our boasted civilisation was
not built on the Square. The tie that held human society together was that of
self-interest backed by force. The moment our interests diverged the bond was
broken, and war--ruthless war--resulted. The ideal of a selfish
world-dominance; the culture of force; the glorification of the brute, that
obsessed and possessed the minds of men for the last two generations, have had
their inevitable sequence; and now we see our culture and civilisation
cracking like thin veneer under the iron heel of militarism, and the wealth we
worshipped disappearing in the seething, melting pot of this terrible war.
is not the place nor is it the time--even were I capable of the task--to
assign the blame for this awful crime to this man, or to that people; what I
want to emphasise is the broad, ugly fact that, for many years, the civilised
nations have been like armed bandits watching each other with jealous eyes;
and that, within each nation, the people have been divided into hostile
camps-- political, religious, social, and industrial. Strife and unrest
existed everywhere, and, alas! unrest and strife still exist everywhere today.
Amid all this the human heart, sick and weary, for years has been longing and
crying and now, more than ever, longs and cries for some neutral ground on
which men may meet together in unity and peace. Brethren, there is only one
spot I know of in this warring world that answers to this cry, and that is
here in the Mason Lodge, where race, creed, sect and party are not recognised,
and where men may be united together by the one, simple, grand Faith in the
Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. This unique position of our
institution places on us Masons a great and grave responsibility. The highest
interests of humanity demand that this neutral ground shall be jealously
preserved and sacredly conserved, for brotherhood and peace. But, you may ask,
how can this be when our imperfections and often our very honest convictions,
separate and divide us? Brethren, if we be true Masons this problem will be
readily solved. If we are true to the teachings of our Craft, we will agree to
acknowledge our differences without contention; when we "tyle" the door of our
Lodge, we will also "tyle" our hearts to all the antagonisms of the outer
world; when we put on our bodies this emblem of innocence and badge of
brotherhood, we will also clothe our souls with the spirit of fraternal
affection; when we engage in the labours of our Craft, we will work in
accordance with its Three Grand Principles of Love, Benevolence, and Truth;
and will thus hand down to posterity our ancient heritage, "hele and
unimpaired," to be a hallowed haven of peace, amid the storms and tumults of
human life. Thus, if Masons be true to Masonry, each Lodge will be a centre
from whence the influences of good-will and friendship will radiate through
human society. The silent Forces of the Universe are the mightiest. The
volcano may hurl its fiery bolts into the clouds, but the quiet power of
gravitation brings them back to earth. The destructive forces are temporal and
exhaust themselves; the constructive are eternal and inexhaustible. Before the
Temple was built at Jerusalem there was a period of din, discord, and
destruction. Rocks were rent and hills were removed, to provide a broad, level
foundation for the building. Then, in reverent silence, the great structure
was reared, and "there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard
in the house, while it was in building." And so, at last, will the mighty
plans of The Great Architect of All be accomplished, and the glorious Temple
of Human Brotherhood be established. Then shall the vision of the ancient
Prophet of Israel be realized: "And they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up a
sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall
sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them
afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it."
not growing like a tree
bulk, doth make Man better be;
standing long an oak, three hundred year,
fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere:
of a day
fairer in May,
Although it fall and die that night--
the plant and flower of light.
small proportions we just beauties see;
short measures life may perfect be.
ROSCOE POUND, DEAN HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
MASONIC COMMON LAW
said in the last lecture, (1) there is much to be said for a Landmark of
visitation. On the other hand, four points may be urged against such a
Landmark: (1) The serious differences among Masonic writers of authority as to
the existence of an absolute right of visitation; (2) The pronouncements of
important Grand Lodges to the contrary; (3) The obvious necessity of
restraints upon visitation under the conditions of today, which give great
force in this connection to what lawyers call the argument ab inconvenienti;
(4) The difficulties growing out of legislation in Grand Lodges with respect
to membership in clandestine bodies conferring higher degrees and the effect
thereof upon one's rights as a Craft Mason.
look at these in order.
While Mackey lays down the right of visitation as a Landmark and says in his
Principles of Masonic Law: "Every Master Mason who is an affiliated member of
a Lodge has the right to visit any other Lodge as often as he may desire to do
so," Doctor Morris lays down the contrary with equal positiveness, saying:
"There is no question in our mind but that a Lodge has the right to prohibit
intrusion from visitors at any and all times at its own discretion." Likewise
Brother Moore, whose excellent papers on the Landmarks have been referred to
heretofore says: "The very custom of asking permission to visit implies the
power to refuse the visitor admission." He concludes, therefore, that there is
a duty of hospitality, but not a right of visitation, that the duty is moral
rather than legal, and hence that there is no unchangeable Landmark. In other
words, visitation is an old institution of Masonic common law. But, since it
falls short of a Landmark, the subject is open to regulation, and the
circumstances of today call urgently for the regulation which has sprung up
through Masonic legislation.
Masonic decision and legislation have not regarded the right of visitation as
a Landmark. Thus, in 1857, the Grand Lodge of England decided that "the Master
and Wardens may refuse admission to any visitor of known bad character."
According to Mackey's view the sole question would be whether he was in good
standing in a regular Lodge. Brother Moore asks why he remains a Mason if he
is of known bad character? No doubt a strong presumption arises from his good
standing in another Lodge. Still a Lodge may not do its duty and such persons
may remain unchallenged. If so, when we are told that another Lodge may refuse
to receive them, the result is to deny Mackey's Landmark. In Massachusetts and
in Kentucky visitation has been held not to be an absolute right, but to be a
favor which the Master may grant or may refuse in his discretion. Michigan
also rests the whole matter on discretion, holding that a Lodge may admit or
exclude visitors as it sees fit. These holdings are wholly incompatible with
the alleged Landmark and amount to a recognition of the proposition for which
Brother Moore contends, namely, that there is no more than a moral duty of
This view of the so-called right of visitation becomes almost imperative under
the conditions of visitation today. With the best of intention toward the
honest Masonic traveler, we are compelled today, in view of the enormous
increase in the number of Masons, to restrict more and more the hospitality we
extend to the visiting brother. Imposters and Masons for revenue only,
traveling about the country, have not only required us to adopt elaborate
precautions in the way of boards of relief, extending even to an international
Masonic relief association, but have also driven our Grand Lodges to enact
somewhat strict rules as to visitation. Moreover, nearly everywhere, with the
great growth of the Order, clandestine Masonry has grown also. And this growth
of clandestine Masonry, rendered inevitable by the prosperity of legitimate
American Masonry, has been aggravated by controversies as to the legitimacy of
Scottish Rite bodies and by attempts of Masonic charlatans to peddle high
degrees of other rites, with which our Grand Lodges in many jurisdictions have
felt it necessary to deal by legislation. Thus in one of the great states of
the union--a state which took an honorable part in the spreading of Masonry
over the country--there is a so-called Grand Lodge made up entirely of
clandestine and irregular particular Lodges, having for their sole raison
d'etre a claim that the legitimate Grand Lodge had violated the ancient
Landmarks by declaring the Scottish Rite bodies of Cerneau origin to be
clandestine. The propriety of such legislation has been much controverted and
is not relevant in the present connection. It is enough to say here that the
competency of Grand Lodges to enact it seems indisputable. Nothing with any
degree of pretension to be a Landmark is violated and the question is simply
one of expediency. Hence such schisms have no legitimate basis. None the less
they do exist, and elsewhere clandestine so-called Grand Lodges exist with
even less justification. Obviously some barriers beyond the ordinary
examination by a committee become necessary under such conditions.
the Grand Lodge legislation last referred to leads to greater difficulties in
that as a result a Mason may be in good standing in one of two jurisdictions,
each recognizing the other, and yet, if he were a member in the jurisdiction
where he seeks to visit he wouldnot be eligible to sit in Lodge. For example,
in Iowa, if a Mason joins a Cerneau Scottish Rite body, the law of his Grand
Lodge pronounces him a clandestine Mason. Also in Pennsylvania an adherent of
the Cerneau Scottish Rite is not permitted to visit a Craft Lodge. Many other
states have like legislation. In view of such legislation, Brother George F.
Moore puts this case: "There is, we will say for example, a symbolic Lodge in
session in the District of Columbia, where there is no law forbidding a
regular Mason to sit with a Cerneau Scottish Rite Mason. Seated in this Lodge
are two or three 'Cerneauites' and Brethren are present from Pennsylvania,
Ohio, Iowa, and other states which have declared Cerneaus to be clandestine
Master Masons. The visiting brethren from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa are
prohibited by the Masonic laws of their own states from sitting in a Lodge
with the Cerneaus. They are not aware of the presence of the clandestine
Masons in the Washington City Lodge, and sit with them. Afterwards one of the
Cerneaus meets one of the Iowa Brethren who had sat with him in the Washington
Lodge, and the latter vouches for the Cerneau who is admitted because of this
voucher in a Lodge in another state. Has not the vouching brother violated his
obligation and the laws of his Grand Lodge ?
Clearly the Iowa brother has violated his obligation, and the laws of Masonry
in his own state by vouching for a "clandestine Mason."
such a situation may arise innocently and may very easily arise is
unfortunate. It puts the Masonic visitor in a most awkward position, and seems
to require him either to be offensively discourteous, or to know thoroughly
the Masonic legislation both of his own jurisdiction and of that in which he
seeks to visit, or else to abstain from visiting. As Brother Moore justly
observes in the paper already quoted from, we can hardly expect the visitor
from a state where a Cerneau Scottish Rite Mason is deemed clandestine also in
the Craft Lodges, to say publicly, if he visits in a jurisdiction without such
legislation: "If there are any Cerneaus present I must not sit here with you
because I make myself liable to Masonic laws of my own state." Very likely
those who deny the concern of the Craft Lodge with the higher degrees would
suggest to him that he inform himself at his peril before he visits. But what
becomes of the right of visitation under such circumstances? What shall we say
of the Cerneau in good standing as a Master Mason at home who claims by virtue
of Mackey's alleged Landmark an absolute right to visit a Craft Lodge in a
jurisdiction which pronounces him clandestine?
have here a question similar to the class of questions now very common in the
law of the state to which we give the name of Conflict of Laws. Some
explanation is necessary. In most of the cases which come before the courts in
Massachusetts, for example, the parties are American citizens residing in
Massachusetts and the transaction or occurrence out of which the controversy
arises took place in this commonwealth. But an increasing number of cases are
coming before tribunals which involve a foreign element. One or both of the
parties may be foreign; the transaction or some part of it may have taken
place abroad; or one or both of the parties may reside in another state of the
union or the transaction may have taken place in another state or with
reference to the laws of another state. In such cases the court must ask
whether and how far it is to apply the law of the foreign country or of the
other state, and the principles by which it answers these questions are said
to belong to the subject of Conflict of Laws. When the law was substantially
the same in our several states and interstate business was not extensive the
subject was of no great importance. Today, however, in view of the great
volume of interstate business and of foreign trade, and in view of the
increasing divergence in the laws of the several states due to the huge output
of legislation and judicial decision in recent years; the subject has become
one of great consequence as well as one of much difficulty. A like situation
has arisen in Masonry. When Masonic law and custom was simple and alike in all
substantial details in each of our states conflict of laws was not an item in
Masonic jurisprudence. Today Masons are so numerous and so peripatetic and the
law in most of our jurisdictions is becoming so minute, so detailed, and hence
often so diverse, that serious questions of what the lawyer would term
Conflict of Laws arise continually. Doubtless, so far as the lawyer's theories
of Conflict of Laws are grounded on natural reason and not merely upon
historical accident, they are available to the Masonic jurist where not in
conflict with the Landmarks or with Masonic common law.
general the lawyer holds that a man's status, opposition before the law, is
governed by the law of his home. Yet if his home law puts him in a position
unknown to the local law, it may not recognize the status, and even if the
local law does recognize the status it does not follow that effect will be
given to the legal results which it involves at home. If we may apply this
analogy--on the theory that it represents natural reason and formulates human
experience of the just way of solving a difficult problem--we may say that in
the case put the Mason's standing as a Master Mason is determined by the law
of his home jurisdiction, and yet the jurisdiction where he seeks to visit,
recognizing this standing, is not bound to give effect to the legal result
involved at home, namely, the right to visit. He is in good standing by the
law of his home jurisdiction, whose Masonic competency is admitted. But the
policy of the local law requires that we refuse to give to that standing all
the results which it involves at home. If such a solution is admissible under
Masonic law, it is surely expedient, and the practical necessity of some such
solution is a strong argument against an absolute right of visitation.
Mackey's fifteenth Landmark is thus stated: "No visitor unknown to the
Brethren present or to some one of them as a Mason can enter a Lodge without
first passing an examination according to ancient usage." In commenting upon
this supposed Landmark he adds that it "refers only to the cases of strangers
who are not to be recognized unless after strict trial, due examination, or
lawful information." Hence the visitor may be vouched for and the examination
may be dispensed with. There is some warrant for the claim of a Landmark here
in the pronouncement of the Grand Lodge of England that the Landmarks are
contained in the Master Mason's obligation. But after all the requirement of
voucher or examination is a necessary consequence of the fundamental principle
of secrecy. If we put secrecy as the Landmark, voucher or examination are but
common-law or customary modes of giving it effect. It is important to
recognize this not only because the practice of American jurisdictions varies,
but because the great increase in the number of clandestine organizations in
recent times and the ever-growing tribe of imposters render legislation on the
subject expedient if not imperative, and it would be unfortunate if we were
hampered by a Landmark. As to the first point, it may be enough to say that
some jurisdictions take the phrase "lawful information" to mean that he who
vouches for another must have sat with the other in a regular Lodge, while in
other jurisdictions satisfactory evidence will suffice although the brothers
vouching and vouched for have never sat together in Lodge. This divergence is
not inconsistent with Mackey's claim of a Landmark. But the continually
increasing reliance upon cards, receipts for dues, or diplomas is not unlikely
to encroach upon it very materially and emphasizes the desirability of
confining the absolute and unalterable requirement to the broad principle of
secrecy. Nevertheless, examination or voucher are the established customary
practice and, as in other matters of Masonic common law, legislative
innovation ought to proceed cautiously and with assurance of sound reason for
Mackey states his sixteenth Landmark in these words: "No Lodge can interfere
in the business of any other Lodge nor give degrees to Brethren who are
members of other Lodges." As in so many other cases, Mackey seeks to make a
case for this Landmark analytically. "It is," he says, "undoubtedly an ancient
Landmark founded on the great principles of courtesy and fraternal kindness
which are at the very foundation of our institution." But Landmarks cannot be
deduced from general principles in this way. Philosophy and logic may confirm
history, but they cannot demonstrate a Landmark in the face of history. The
conclusive objection to this supposed Landmark is that it assumes the
established system of permanent Lodges with local jurisdiction which dates
only from the eighteenth century. The second argument which Mackey brings
forward is universal recognition in Masonic legislation. He says: "It has been
repeatedly recognized by subsequent statutory enactment of all Grand Lodges."
The remarks of Brother Moore in this connection are very pertinent: "It is the
'statutory enactments' which have made the so-called Landmark, and not the
Landmark which has produced the statutes." In other words, the legislation of
our Grand Lodges on this subject is not declaratory of a Landmark, but Doctor
Mackey after studying the legislation was able to deduce a general principle
underlying it, which he sought to set up as a Landmark. Together with all
other rules that presuppose our modern Lodge system, it can only be a rule of
Masonic common law.
have here, however, a very important and difficult series of questions of
Masonic Conflict of Laws. Although courtesy and fraternal spirit obviate many
difficulties that might else arise, it is evident that they may not be relied
upon entirely. Legislation has dealt with the matter everywhere as between the
particular Lodges of the same jurisdiction. But as men move about so
frequently and in such large numbers and as the volume and detail of Masonic
legislation increases conflict between the legislation or usage of different
Grand Lodges becomes inevitable. Such controversies as those which have raged
over the question of perpetual jurisdiction illustrate the possibilities
involved. There must be some general principles by which we may be governed in
the absence of legislation and by which we may be guided in shaping,
interpreting, and applying legislation. The nature of the case calls for
something more than courtesy and comity, and Mackey's principle of
non-interference and of keeping hands off of those who are members of other
Lodges while giving us some guidance is not sufficiently definite. No doubt it
is dangerous to turn to the law of the land for analogies. If this is done too
much an alien element may creep into Masonry which would be undesirable. But
the problems of law are often the same, whether we look to the law of the
state, the law of the church, or the law of a fraternal order. And, so far as
the answers proceed on natural reason and not on history, so far as they are
universal and not the results of special circumstance of the society in which
they originated, the solutions arrived at in the one society, embodying
experience in the attainment of justice in the elimination of waste and
conservation of values by means of a rule--these solutions, I say, arrived at
in one type of society may well afford valuable suggestions for the law giver
in another type. Thus we may well supplement the principle of Masonic common
law contained in Mackey's fifteenth Landmark with the further principles of
exclusive competence of a sovereign to determine the status or legal position
of those subject to its authority, of the independence of legal control from
without involved in the very idea of sovereignty, and of recognition of rights
duly acquired under the law of other sovereigns as a matter of comity, which
human experience has established in connection with the legal regulation of
the everyday affairs of life. But we must not be dogmatic. These are but
principles by the light of which independent Masonic sovereignties may
co-exist, as independent political sovereignties co-exist. Details are subject
to legislation in which every jurisdiction ultimately must decide what it
seventeenth Landmark in Mackey's system is thus stated: "Every Freemason is
amenable to the laws and regulations of the Masonic jurisdiction in which he
resides, and this although he may not be a member of any Lodge." In other
words, it is said to be a Landmark that all Masonic bodies have jurisdiction
over all Masons residing within their territorial limits, whether affiliated
or unafflliated, and if affiliated, no matter where they hold their Masonic
membership. This alleged Landmark, as a Landmark, is open to the conclusive
objection that it presupposes a territorial jurisdiction in Lodges, something
which did not come into existence till well along in the eighteenth century.
Brother Moore goes further and denies that territorial jurisdiction over
foreign and unaffiliated Masons is Masonic law at all. He says: "If a Mason in
good standing in a Lodge chartered by one of our American Grand Lodges were
guilty of a Masonic offense in France made so by the French law, he would not
and could not be tried by a Lodge under the Grand Orient of France for the
offense. Nor would a member of a Lodge under the Grand Orient of France, who
has been guilty of a Masonic offense made so by our law, here be tried in one
of our Lodges, and much more so is it the case where unaffiliated Masons are
concerned. The status of the Mason is determined not alone by the fact of his
having been a Mason and becoming unaffiliated, but also by the relations
between the jurisdictions under which he became a Mason, and that where he
resides and has committed some Masonic offense. Some years ago nearly all the
Grand Lodges in the United States broke off fraternal relations with the Grand
Lodge of the State of Washington, because the latter had recognized certain
negro Lodges. While that condition existed does anyone for a moment suppose
that an unaffiliated Mason made in Washington state but residing in
Massachusetts, who had committed a Masonic offense in the latter state, would
have been tried for it in a Bay State Lodge?"
Perhaps a follower of Mackey might answer the last question by saying that it
might depend on whether, after the severance of relations, the Washington made
Mason was recognized as a Mason at all. As the point was that the Washington
Masons were communicating Masonically with clandestine Masons, such an answer
might well be returned. But in any event Brother Moore's next observation must
be conceded: "This alleged Landmark," he says, "illustrates very forcibly the
danger of generalizing without noticing all the facts which go to make up the
matter of common law, how far is there such a territorial jurisdiction over
resident Masons, regardless of where made?
understand Mackey's position and the position of Brother Moore, who criticizes
Mackey and not only rejects the alleged Landmark-- which undoubtedly we must
do--but also denies that there is any such jurisdiction by virtue of territory
at all--to understand the two positions, I say, we must turn to a burning
question in jurisprudence generally as to jurisdiction over crimes.
are four theories of criminal jurisdiction in the modern world. The first is
the territorial theory, the theory of the forum delicti commissi, the theory
that offenses are punishable and only punishable by the sovereign of the place
where the offense is committed, without regard to the allegiance of the
offender. This is the theory of Anglo-American law, and it is one to which our
law has thus far adhered very obstinately so that it has given rise to some
examples of the territorial theory of criminal jurisdiction as applied in
Anglo-American law may be of interest in the present connection. In one well
known case, an American editor in Texas wrote a libellous article concerning a
Mexican. Afterward, going into Mexico, where his paper circulated, the editor
was taken under process from a Mexican court and required to go before a Court
of Conciliation and enter into a settlement with the person he had libelled.
Thereafter he again libelled the Mexican in his paper and going once more into
Mexico was prosecuted criminally for the libel. The American government
insisted upon his release, asserting the principle of English and American law
that crimes are only to be prosecuted in the territorial jurisdiction in which
they are committed as a principle of universal law. In another well-known
case, one person, standing upon the North Carolina side of the line between
North Carolina and Tennessee, shot and killed another, who stood in Tennessee.
The crime being complete in Tennessee according to the common law could only
be prosecuted in that state. There could be no prosecution in North Carolina
because the act did not take effect there. On the other hand, as the murderer
was never in Tennessee, he could not be regarded as a fugitive from Tennessee
justice and therefore could not be taken from North Carolina to Tennessee on
extradition. This case shows strikingly the type of difficulties involved in
the Anglo-American theory, difficulties which indeed are compelling our
several states by legislation to adopt more liberal views of criminal
territorial theory grows out of our conception that there must be a trial by a
jury of the vicinage where the crime was committed. Historically it is a
feudal theory. Obviously, Mackey took it without question that the doctrine he
found in our American law books was a principle of universal justice and so
erected it as a Landmark.
second theory is the personal theory, the theory of the forum ligeantiae or
theory of the forum of allegiance. According to this theory, the sovereign to
which the offender owes political allegiance has jurisdiction to deal with him
for offenses done anywhere in the world. This is the Roman theory, and it is
held very strongly in the modern world by France. Hence Brother Moore, whose
studies in the Scottish Rite have led him to read the French authors, sees
this principle of jurisdiction and rightly criticizes Mackey for overlooking
it. But I think, with submission, Brother Moore is equally wrong in laying
down that there is no territorial jurisdiction over Masonic offenses. The
basis of my view that there is such a jurisdiction--not as a Landmark indeed,
but as a matter of Masonic common law--will appear from the other two theories
of criminal jurisdiction, which I am about to explain.
third theory is the theory of self-preservation, the theory of the forum
laesae civitatis, or theory of the forum of the injured state. According to
this theory, if an offense, wherever committed, is an injury to any particular
sovereign, if that sovereign can reach the offender, he may deal with him. For
example, in a leading case a Frenchman in Switzerland forged German government
securities. He then went from Switzerland into Germany. He could not be dealt
with by the French on the theory of the forum of allegiance because he was not
in France, and could not be dealt with by Switzerland on the theory of the
forum where the crime was committed because he was no longer in Switzerland.
The German authorities, however, dealt with his case on the theory of the
forum of the injured state, and this solution has generally been regarded as
proper in Continental Europe. I will speak of possible Masonic applications of
this theory in a moment.
Finally there is the theory of cosmopolitan justice, the theory of the forum
deprehensionis, or forum of capture, the theory that when an offense has been
committed anywhere in the world, by any person, no matter what his allegiance,
any sovereign in the world who happens to be able to reach him, may deal with
him in order to prevent failure of justice. The Italians insist in this
theory. The English and Americans cannot adopt it because of our requirement
of jury trial and producing of witnesses in court. Our mode of trial is in the
way of proof by deposition. But as no such difficulties are in the way of
Masonry, there would seem no reason why territorial jurisdiction should not be
admitted, so far as the self-preservation theory or the theory of a
cosmopolitan Masonic justice may require. In other words, we may agree with
Brother Moore in rejecting Mackey's alleged Landmark of a territorial
jurisdiction and yet may claim that there is such a jurisdiction as a matter
of Masonic common law, along with the personal jurisdiction for which Brother
Suppose, for example, a Mason made abroad or made in another state whether
unaffiliated or retaining his old membership, advertised his Masonic
membership generally and thereupon so conducted himself as to bring scandal
upon Masonry. Here there is an injury to the local Masonic sovereignty. There
is good ground for it to interfere, and the person is before it where he can
be reached. Masonic discipline can be given the same publicity which he has
given his membership. Are we to say this cannot be done? Again, why should we
not hold here to a doctrine of cosmopolitan justice? In such a case the
Masonic sovereignty on the spot may be far the best able to try the case and
to apply the remedy. Are we to take so narrow a view of Masonic justice as to
deny this jurisdiction? It seems to me that, if nothing prevents, the most
liberal view is perfectly open in Masonic jurisprudence and hence that Masonic
common law admits of both territorial and personal jurisdiction over Masonic
offenses. But, mark you, the territorial jurisdiction ought to be over general
Masonic offenses, over offenses which injure Masonry generally and hence are
either a danger to the local Masonic sovereign or are within a principle of
cosmopolitan justice, and not offenses against mere local regulations. As the
lawyer would say, they ought to be mala in se--not mala prohibita.
is generally very sound as to Masonic common law, where his wide experience of
what actually obtained in practice, his keen sense of justice, and his sound
common sense were safe guides.
how about Mackey's proposition as to territorial jurisdiction to try for
non-affiliation? Brother Moore rejects this idea wholly. His argument is "If
non-affiliation is a Masonic offense as is asserted by Mackey, every Mason
wherever he may be, is liable to be tried by any Lodge in whose territorial
jurisdiction he resides. This would, indeed, be a strange and, it would seem,
unbrotherly proceeding. It is quite true that the duty of the Mason to remain
a working member may be traced to the ancient Gilds, but to raise to the
dignity of a Landmark the proposition that every man once initiated must keep
his dues paid and thereby keep up his affiliation wherever he may be on the
surface of the earth or if he does not or becomes unaffiliated by dimit, he is
guilty of a Masonic offense for which he may be tried like a criminal wherever
he may be found, seems quite unmasonic. The unaffiliated Mason, according to
that principle, bears on him the mark of Cain and everyone who finds him can
slay him ! There is nothing to show this is a Landmark, and against such a
position is the conclusive argument that the permanent local Lodge is an
Moreover Mackey's idea that non-affiliation is necessarily, inevitably, and
unalterably a Masonic offense is not merely uncharitable, it is very unseemly.
While bestirring ourselves to collect dues to meet the expenses of the Lodge,
we are apt to forget some things of much more importance than the merely
financial side of Masonry. Every organization, no matter how high its
purposes, encounters this obstacle to the attainment of its ideals as it
becomes prosperous. Unhappily we cannot attain great things spiritually
without a certain material foundation. And it is very easy, in our zeal for
the former, to forget that the latter is but a means and to make it
consciously or subconsciously an end. At the end of the Middle Ages the
church, with its wonderful spiritual heritage, very nearly forgot its
essential character as something not of this world in the press of temporal
interests which were but the byproducts of its true activities. The
Reformation was the result. Let us not make the same mistake. For in our
proper zeal to punish wilful evasion of the duties of membership in a Lodge,
we may easily fall into the grave error of measuring too much by a money
standard and may easily commercialize the Fraternity. We may grant that the
unaffiliated are not exempt from Masonic discipline to the extent that their
conduct, ascribed by the world at large to Masons, may endanger the good
report of the Order, and yet we may not be bound to regard non-affiliation in
and of itself as an offense. Mackenzie's language on this subject is
noteworthy. He says: "That a Mason, by non-affiliation, does not relax his
fealty to the Craft at large or exempt him[self] from censure for Masonic
offenses from the Grand Lodge whence his certificate has been derived." I
think we may well add that the Masonic jurisdiction where he resides may deal
with him, at least in case his Masonic offenses committed in that jurisdiction
are injurious in their effects to Masonry in that locality. But it is quite a
different proposition to lay down that he must absolutely affiliate at all
events, and that his failure to keep up the payment of dues so long as he
lives is in and of itself to be branded as an offense.
Mackey's eighteenth Landmark has to do with the qualifications of a candidate.
Mackey states these qualifications thus: - "He must be a free-born man, and of
full age; . . . he must not be mutilated, a woman, an idiot, or a slave." This
alleged Landmark was considered in part in a former lecture. (2) So far as it
requires the candidate to be a man, free, free-born, and of the age of
discretion by the law or custom of the place, we may accept it. But the
requirement that the candidate be whole or unmutilated is not so clear. There
is, indeed, more to be said for Mackey's position than some have perceived. It
is not to be denied that primitive society looked upon the man who was not
whole very differently from the way in which we now regard him. In civilized
society there is a place for him. Serious physical injuries or physical
defects will not prevent him from being a useful and a happy member of
society. Very likely they may involve little more than inconvenience to the
afflicted person. In primitive society the situation was very different. The
man who was not physically whole was at least of no use to society and was
very likely to be a serious incumbrance. If he was congenitally defective
society in self-defense simply put him out of the way. If the defect was
acquired later the defective man, if he was able to drag out a miserable
existence, very likely had to associate with the women and children through
inability to take a man's part in the community. He had no place in the men's
house and hence primitive rites and secret societies were not favorably
inclined toward him. Thus there was an immemorial prejudice against the
physically defective which left traces even in so enlightened an institution
as the Roman law and even in so unworldly an institution as the canon law.
This immemorial prejudice against the mutilated or defective gains additional
support in Masonry from the requirements of the operative art and from logical
arguments based on the requirements of our ritual. Immemorial prejudice,
growing out of the circumstances of primitive society, the practice of ancient
rites, the requirements of the operative art, logical deduction from our
ceremonies, and a certain amount of Masonic usage combine to make a formidable
case. Most jurisdictions in the United States have accepted or assumed some
requirement of wholeness, and our American Grand Lodge proceedings are full of
discussions as to just what degree of mutilation will disqualify. Few things
have been more debated in Masonic common law. But much as may be said for some
such requirement as an ancient custom of the Craft, the practice in England is
conclusive that the doctrine as to wholeness is not even universal Masonic
common law. So far from admitting or regarding it as a Landmark, the English
Masons have never insisted on physical perfection as so many jurisdictions do
in America and our American distinctions and discussions are quite unknown to
them. At most, therefore, this is but common law, and any jurisdiction which
feels disposed to take a liberal view of the subject in the light of the
conditions of modern civilized society and of the purposes and ideals of
Masonry is clearly entitled so to do.
remainder of Mackey's list of twenty-five Landmarks were considered in a prior
lecture, (3) and require nothing further.
would be unjust to close this view of the leading principles of Masonic common
law without a tribute to Doctor Mackey. It has been necessary to criticize his
theories at many points. But this necessity of criticism should not blind us
to the permanent value of his work in formulating the main ideas that underlie
Masonic law. Where he erred chiefly was in assuming too rigid a body of
fundamental law. But this was a natural error for an American in the
nineteenth century. American lawyers of that time believed that an ideal
version of our traditional Anglo-American legal system was, as it were,
ordained by nature; they believed that the sections of our American bills of
rights simply declared universal and eternal principles inherent in the very
idea of free government. Hence it was not unnatural for an American Mason of
that time to assume that an ideal development of the generally received
customs of the Craft in America was the eternal jural order in Freemasonry. We
may reject this idea and yet recognize the invaluable service which Mackey
performed for us by working out and formulating the leading principles of our
"Masonic Common Law--Part I," THE BUILDER, April, 1917, p. 117.
"The Landmarks," vol. III, p. 211.
BRO. H. A. KINGSBURY, CONNECTICUT
Mason fails to realize that the Acacia, both in its occurrence as the Sprig of
Acacia and its occurrence as the proper material of the Horns of the Masonic
Altar, is a symbol--an example of the symbolism of natural objects and, more
specifically, an example of the symbolism of plants. Therefore, two
suggestions for interesting study offered by Masonry are neglected far more
often than they are heeded. This is hardly the place for the making of a full
investigation of either of these two fields of research, and no investigation
will be attempted. The most that will be endeavored is a brief review of
certain phases of the significances of some few plants, with particular
reference to the Acacia.
practice of assigning certain symbolic meanings and peculiar significances to
plants has come down to us from a time so distant "that memory of man runneth
not to the contrary" and, although so far as present-day usage is concerned
much has been lost, we moderns yet follow the practice to no inconsiderable
extent. To cite but a few examples: the olive is recognized by us as the
symbol of peace, the laurel of victory, the rosemary of remembrance, and the
oak of sturdiness and strength.
symbolistic systems of nearly all the ancient peoples included examples of the
symbolism of plants. Among the Egyptians the names of women, except those of
Egyptian queens, were, in the hieroglyphics, terminated, or accompanied by, a
representation of a bouquet of the flowers of the papyrus. The bunch of
papyrus was also the generic determination of the names of all plants, herbs
and flowers. The bean symbolized unclean things--a conception adopted by the
Pythagoreans and, therefore, of particular interest to the Mason--the apparent
reason for assigning this significance to the bean being that the name of that
vegetable, in the Hebrew, is the same, except for a difference in gender, as
that of the nomadic people, which people were an abomination to the Egyptians.
Referring further to the conceptions of the Egyptians; the fig tree was,
Portal in his "Egyptian Symbols" supposes, the symbol of marriage. The lily or
lotus was the symbol of initiation or the birth of celestial light, indeed, on
some of the monuments of Egypt the god Phree, the sun, is pictured as rising
from the cup of a lotus; this symbolical meaning--that the lotus is the symbol
of the birth of celestial light--was probably assigned to the plant by the
Egyptians because of the fact that the flower opens at the rising of the sun
and closes at the close of day.
legend taught in the Adonisian Mysteries, Venus placed the body of the dead
Adonis on a bed of lettuce. In the Druidical Mysteries the mistletoe was a
sacred plant. In the Grecian Mysteries the myrtle was of peculiar
significance. In the Mysteries of Dionysus the ivy was a sacred emblem. And in
the Egyptian Mysteries of Osiris and Isis the heath was held in veneration,
this-being due to the following circumstance:
related, in a certain legend taught in the Mysteries of Osiris and Isis, that
Isis, after a long search for the body of her husband, the god Osiris murdered
by Typhoon, discovered the body buried on the brow of a hill; there was a
heath plant growing near by. Hence, in the mysteries which Isis established to
commemorate the death and resurrection of Osiris, the heath plant was adopted
as sacred on the strength of the fact that it had pointed out to Isis, in her
search, the spot where the body of Osiris lay concealed. Let us now consider
the Hebrews, in early biblical times, the Acacia or, as it is rendered in the
Scriptures, the Shittah, was set apart from the other trees of the forest as
the one from whose wood various objects having a special religious
significance should be constructed. So that, as told in the Scriptures, Acacia
was the wood from which were made the sanctuary of the temple, the Ark of the
Covenant, the table for the shew bread, and all the articles of the sacred
furniture that ought properly to be constructed from wood, including the Horns
of the Altar. So, this tree comes to the Mason endowed with a special and
peculiar importance and with a history that well qualifies it for that
important place which it occupies in the symbolistic system of Masonry.
Mason the symbolic significance of the Acacia has a double aspect, as the tree
is the symbol Both of Innocence and of Immortality of the Soul. Its character
as a symbol of Innocence is dependent upon the two-fold meaning of the Greek
word for Acacia as that word signifies both the Acacia and the moral quality
of innocence or purity of life. It must be confessed that had not this
conception--depending as it does merely upon the double meaning of a word--the
sanction of Brother Albert Mackey, it might seem to some a straining after the
symbolical hardly necessary or called for, in a symbolistic system so rich in
clear and straightforward conceptions as is Masonry.
however it may be with the assigning to the Acacia the character of a symbol
of Innocence, the preeminent symbolic significance of the Acacia--that it is
the symbol of Immortality of the Soul--is both natural and beautiful, being
based upon and derived from the fact that the Acacia is an evergreen.
evergreen never yields to the Changing Seasons or gives up its hold on Life
under the attacks of Winter, so the Soul never yields to the Vicissitudes of
Mortal Life or surrenders its existence under the attacks of Death.
Acacia, then, presents to the Mason's attention an example of the symbolism of
natural objects and so points the way to interesting fields of investigation;
reiterates that lesson taught by every investigation of Masonic
symbolism--that practically everything in Masonry has a veiled significance
not apparent at first glance, and not intended to be so apparent, but
designedly so veiled in order that the Mason, to arrive at a basic knowledge
of his craft, must exert himself-- and, finally, it presents symbolically one
of the Great Teachings of Masonry--Immortality of the Soul.
Dedicated to Pleasantville Lodge, Pleasantville, New York on the
occasion of the public installation of officers, by Linda Germond
the daughter of a former member of Gavel, Bro. Gilbert A.
Germond, who lived as he should and has gone to the Higher Temple.
Father of brothers, the Giver of good,
Master of nations, the Worker in wood,
great elder Brother who lived as he should--
power to be stewards to earn a "well-done,"
love to be brothers and follow that One,
Man among fishers, the carpenter's Son--
help to be Masons in heart and in deed,
will to be craftsmen through life, quick to heed
Grand Master's bidding, where'er it may lead--
when Masons ever, with honors so high
man's sweetest thinking can them but espy,
bring to the altar, with Hosanna cry, Our lives.
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN---No. 18
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY
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 turn subdivided,
as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of a Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
Codes of Law.
Grand Lodge Practices.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
Change of Membership.
Division 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.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin
articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular
subject covered by Brother Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should
be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members
from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would
otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will
thus be presented.
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
Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members.
The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of
the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business
(except the Lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given
to the study period.
the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master
should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This
Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening.
All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned
should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive
grasp of Brother Clegg's paper.
PROGRAM 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.
THE "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
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB LEADERS
the following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the
evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to
use at their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper
which they desire to discuss. Even were but five minutes devoted to the
discussion of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be
impossible to discuss all of them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of
questions here given will afford individual Committees an opportunity to
arrange their program to suit their own fancies and also furnish additional
material for a second study meeting each month if desired by the members.
conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the
discussions closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long
at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that
the discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should
request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the
matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question
Box period is opened.
QUESTIONS ON "THE ALTAR"
is the derivation of the word "altar"? What is an altar ? What was the shape
and the material of the altars found in the ruins of ancient Babylonian cities
? Of those found in Assyria? Were the Assyrian altars plain or ornamented?
Describe some of these. In what way did ancient Egyptian altars differ from
those above mentioned? What sort of altars have been discovered in recent
excavations in Palestine? Describe one found at Gezer. How was the presence of
divinity indicated to the primitive Semites? What was the theory of the later
Hebrew worship ? How many kinds of altars were recognized by the priestly
regulations? What were their uses? Where was the burnt-offering altar
situated? Of what material was it composed ? What were its dimensions ? In
what respect did the altar of the Temple of Solomon differ from this ? What
was the purpose of the "horns" on the altar ? What custom developed from this
purpose ? Is there a sanctuary in Masonry ? Why? Describe the altar in Herod's
was altar of incense situated ? How did the altar of incense differ from the
altar of burnt-offering ? Describe the altar at Parion.
is the proper shape and measurement of the Masonic altar ? Is the altar in
your Lodge the proper shape ? How should the Lesser Lights be situated ? How
are they situated in your Lodge ? If different from the manner described in
the paper, why?
is the Masonic altar situated in American Lodges? In the French and Scottish
Rites and European countries ? What does the position of the altar in American
Lodges symbolize? Of what should the altar remind us ? Is the altar to us a
place of sacrifice? Of prayer? Why?
all Masonic obligations voluntary? How many times before taking the obligation
is opportunity to withdraw afforded the candidate ? o
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Altar, p. 50.
BUILDER: Vol. II.--Situation of the Masonic Altar, p. 208; The Altar, p. 277.
Vol. III.--American form of the altar unknown in England, P. 68.
STEPS BY BRO. H L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
word altar has its derivation from the Latin altus meaning high, and may be
strictly defined as a base or pedestal used for supplication and sacrifice to
gods or deified heroes. The altar is found from the earliest times in the
remains of Babylonian cities. The oldest of these were square erections of
sun-dried bricks. The chief material of those found in Assyrian mounds was
alabaster and limestone. They were of many different forms--one from Khorsabad,
which is now in the British Museum, was circular in shape at the top, the base
being of triangular form with pilasters ornamented with animal's paws at the
angles. Another shown in a relief at Khorsabad was ornamented with stepped
battlements, the equivalent of the familiar "altar-horns" in Hebrew ritual.
Ancient Egyptian altars were in the form of truncated cones, or cubical blocks
of basalt or polished granite. These had one, and frequently several, hollowed
out depressions in their upper surfaces which were used as receptacles for
fluids used in offerings.
shown in recent excavations in Palestine that the earliest altars, or
sacrificial hearths as they may be called, were circular spaces marked out by
small stones set on end. At Gezer a pre-Semitic place of worship was found in
which three such hearths stood together, and drained into a cave which may be
supposed to have been regarded as the residence of the divinity. These
circular hearths were later superseded by the Semitic developments.
primitive nomadic Semite the presence of the divinity was indicated by shady
trees, rocks, springs and other landmarks and from this grew the theory that a
numen might be induced to take up an abode in an artificial heap of stones, or
a pillar set upright for the purpose.
priestly regulations affecting altars are of a very elaborate nature and
designed to the theory of later Hebrew worship--the centralization of all
worship at one shrine. These recognize two altars--one for burnt-offerings and
one for incense.
first of these was situated in the center of court of the Tabernacle, made of
acacia wood, five cubits square and three cubits high. It was covered with
copper and was provided with "horns" at each corner, hollow in the middle, and
with rings on the sides through which staves might be run to enable it to be
carried. The altar of the Temple of Solomon was of similar shape though much
early days of our era, before the complete development of common law, the
hunted criminal, fleeing from his pursuers, would escape to a church and there
lay hold of the horns of the altar; in that he found safety, and an
opportunity to prove his innocence, if innocent he was. Out of this arose the
beautiful customs of "sanctuary," the chivalrous unselfish harboring of the
weak, the sorrowful and the afflicted. Is there not a sanctuary in Masonry?
Certainly there is, for in the Fraternity itself, in the privacy of its inner
fellowships, a brother will often find rest for his heart and protection from
the bruisings of the world, while a man is no true Mason in whose nature there
is not at least one inner chamber in which the weary may find rest and the
weak may have protection.
Josephus describes the altar in Herod's Temple as fifteen cubits high and
fifty cubits square, with angle horns, and an "insensible acclivity" leading
up to it. It was made without any use of iron, and no iron tool was ever
allowed to touch it.
second altar was the altar of incense, which was in the holy place of the
Tabernacle. It was of similar construction to the altar of burnt-offering, but
smaller, being only two cubits high and one cubit square and was overlaid with
gold. On this altar, an offering of incense was made twice daily.
altar at Parion, where hecatombs were sacrificed, was of colossal proportions,
each side measuring six hundred feet.
Masonic altar should be cubical in shape, and about three feet in height, and
should properly have horns at each corner to suggest, in the light of a hoary
usage, that it is a place of refuge.
East, the South and the West should be placed one of the representatives of
the three Lesser Lights, but never on the North, for that is the place of
darkness. On its top, in due arrangement, should lie the three Great Lights.
Thus equipped it may well be considered "the most important article of
furniture in a Lodge room," and the ground whereon it stands as "the most holy
situation, in the French and Scottish Rites, and in European countries, is in
front of the Worshipful Master, and, therefore, in the East. But in American
Blue Lodges it is placed in the center of the room, or rather, a little to the
East of the center.
reference to the ideas embodied in the altar, let us remember, here and
everywhere, that the Masonic life is not that which occurs in the Lodge room
alone, for that is but its allegorical picture, its tracing-board; but it is
that which a Mason should do and be in all circumstances, under the
inspiration of the Fraternity and its teachings. Thus understood, the altar
standing in the center of the Masonic Lodge is the symbol of something that
must operate at the center of the Masonic life.
serving as a table whereon the worshipper may lay his gifts to God, the altar
may well remind us of the necessity of that human gratitude which leads us to
return to Him the gifts He has showered upon us. This is that teaching of
stewardship found in all religions to remind us that our very lives are not
our own, having been bought with a price, and that our talents are held in
trusteeship to be rendered again to Him to whom they belong. Thus stated, I
know, the matter may sound bold and even unappealing, but once we encounter a
man who lives his life as a stewardship held in the frail tenure of the flesh,
we see to what high issues the character of man may ascend; such personalities
carry an atmosphere about with them as of another world, and radiate
influences that are light and fragrance. Surely, a man who denies this in his
practice, can never serve as a living building stone in Masonry's Temple !
than a place for gifts and a place of sanctuary the altar has of old served as
the place of sacrifice, and this usage is also recognized in our symbolism,
for therein we are taught that the human in us, our appetites, our passions,
yea our life itself if need be, must be laid down in the service of man and
the glory of God. How otherwise could Masonry remain Masonry if it is "the
subjugation of the human that is in man, by the Divine"?
altar as a place of prayer, let us ponder the following paragraph of Brother
Joseph Fort Newton, composed of those lucid sentences of which he is so
incomparable a master:
by a necessity of his nature man is ever a seeker after God, touched at times
with a strange sadness and longing, and laying aside his tools to look out
over the far horizon. Whatever else he may have been --vile, tyrannous,
vindictive the story of his long search after God is enough to prove that he
is not wholly base. Rites horrible, and even cruel, may have been a part of
his early ritual, but if the history of past ages had left us nothing but the
memory of a race at prayer, they would have left us rich. And so, following
the good custom of the great ones of our-former ages, we gather at this altar,
lifting up our hands in prayer, moved thereto by the ancient need and
inspiration of our humanity. Like the men who walked in the grey years of old,
our need is for God, the living God, whose presence hallows all our mortal
life, even to its last ineffable homeward sigh which men call death."
obligations of Masonry are never forced upon its novitiates. He who so desires
is given the opportunity at many stages of his initiation to withdraw and
proceed no further. Numerous times before reaching the altar the privilege of
withdrawal is accorded him and his further advancement is always of his own
free will and accord.
AND PRIVILEGES OF A LODGE UNDER DISPENSATION
BRO. CHARLES R. SMITH, P.G.M. NOVA SCOTIA
perusal of Mackey's Jurisprudence, as also of Preston and some sketches of
early Freemasonry, it is apparent that dispensations, as we understand them,
for the formation of new lodges were neither necessary or the practice in
ancient times. Mackey, generally recognized as a good authority, says "the old
charges of 1722 define a lodge to be a place where Masons assemble and work ;"
and this definition is extended by his describing a lodge as "an assembly or
duly organized society of Masons." And, by way of explanation, as it were, he
goes on to say "this organization was originally very simple in its character,
for previous to the year 1717, a sufficient number of Masons could meet, open
a lodge and make Masons with the consent of the Sheriff or Chief Magistrate of
the place." Apparently, according to Mackey, one, at least, of the important
requirements in those early days was to satisfy those in civil authority that
the proposed society was not dangerous to the Commonwealth or in any way
antagonistic to the peace and welfare of the places in which they were to be
statement, the latter part of which is largely supposition on my part is, to a
certain extent, borne out by Preston who says "That prior to 1718 lodges were
empowered by inherent privileges vested in the fraternity at large to meet and
act occasionally under the direction of some able architect, and the acting
magistrate of the county."
short time after this a new regulation was made whereby it was provided "that
the privilege of assembling as Masons should no longer be unlimited, but that
they should be vested in certain lodges convened in certain places and legally
authorized by the warrant of the Grand Master, and the consent of Grand
Lodge." And just here it will be noted that the word "warrant" and not the
term "dispensation" is used, and further, outside of the Ancient Landmarks
which we are bound to assume were respected in those early days, no special
authority was presumed to exist in the Grand Master alone for the regulation
provided for "the consent of Grand Lodge" as well. It cannot, therefore, be
claimed that the warrant here mentioned is the same as dispensation, as we
understand it, or as taking its place but rather as being issued or granted
solely for the purpose of giving the lodges some status and presumably to
regulate them in their work.
Assuming then that what I have stated is correct, it would appear that in
early times dispensations for the formation of new lodges were not issued or
granted at all. In support of this it may be stated that in many of the Grand
Lodges of the United States, at that time being Provincial Grand Lodges,
holding principally under England and Ireland, as late as 1763 and even later
Masons were permitted to meet and work without any dispensations whatever so
far as the records show, but to whom warrants were afterwards granted by the
ancient times, and even up to about fifty years ago, in the jurisdictions of
Massachusetts and New York and I understand in Pennsylvania and Virginia as
well, dispensations were not issued nor even charters granted, according to
the present meaning of the term. A number of brethren simply applied to the
Grand Master to be constituted into a lodge and he endorsed the application
with his consent which was accepted as a sufficient warrant and thereupon the
lodge was recognized in Grand Lodge. Again, in some instances a warrant was
issued to a single individual Master Mason empowering him to be the first
Master of a lodge and at such time and place as might be designated to gather
and organize the brethren into a lodge to confer the degrees, and upon this
being done the Grand Master issued his warrant of acceptance with recognition
by Grand Lodge following as above stated.
made diligent search and enquiry both in this and other jurisdictions to
ascertain with certainty the exact time when the practice of granting
dispensations for the formation of new lodges was first adopted but, outside
of what I have mentioned, my efforts have been in vain. Under these
circumstances, and without knowing the early custom of the Mother of Grand
Lodges--the Grand Lodge of England--the only conclusion arrived at is that in
the early history of this ancient and truly historic organization members of
the Craft "assembled" as already stated; that subsequently they received a
paper, called a warrant, from the Grand Master which was recognized by Grand
Lodge; that as the years rolled on and more care was taken the truly bright
and splendid idea suggested itself of granting dispensations instead of
warrants in the first instance; that the suggestion was adopted and carried
into effect, and in that way the practice of granting dispensations, as we now
have them, has been handed down to us to the present time. I may add, however,
that so far as I can learn, from a very early period in the history of
Freemasonry in Nova Scotia, if not always, it was the practice here, as well
as in the other Canadian jurisdictions, to first grant dispensations as we now
have them, these later on being followed by charters if the facts and
circumstances justified, the Grand Master recommended and Grand Lodge
approved. And this, I believe, is the universal practice in all regular Grand
jurisdictions at the present time.
IS A LODGE UNDER DISPENSATION?
appears to me, and Masonic law and authority bears it out, that a lodge U. D.
is simply a group of Master Masons who are specially authorized by the Grand
Master, whose creature it is, to initiate, craft and raise candidates, and
their authority does not extend beyond this specified authorization and such
other things as may be necessary to carry same into effect, and in addition
the powers to conduct and carry on the business of the lodge. This group of
Masons is entirely under the control of the Grand Master and the authority
under which they meet and work may be suspended by him at any time until his
action granting the dispensation is reported to and dealt with by Grand Lodge.
They have none of the general powers of a chartered lodge until they have been
granted a charter and duly enrolled as one of the constituent lodges of Grand
PRELIMINARIES TO PROCURING A DISPENSATION
Although Part I, Chapter XV of the Constitution of our Grand Lodge deals
pretty fully with what is necessary to be done in order to obtain a
dispensation a few additional remarks may not be out of place. If seven (there
may be more but never less than seven) Master Masons sign a properly prepared
petition which may be obtained, if required, from the Grand Secretary, and
submit same through the same official to the Grand Master, it is then for him
to act upon it. And just here it might be noted that as the petition requires
seven signers so, by the same token, the same number of important requirements
must be set out therein or appear thereby. First, as already stated, there
must be seven signers with the name and number of the lodge to which each
belongs, and Masonic rank; Second, these must all be Master Masons; Third,
they must all be in good Masonic standing; Fourth, good reasons must appear in
the petition for the formation of the new lodge; Fifth, the proposed place of
meeting must be designated; Sixth, the names of the principal officers, the
Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, must be given; and Seventh, the petition
must be recommended by the nearest lodge. And just here it may be well to
pause a moment and consider some of these requirements.
REASONS FOR THE DISPENSATION
is nothing wrong or unmasonic in the petitioners stating at length the grounds
upon which they base their application, but at the same time the Grand Master
is the only judge of the sufficiency thereof. A lodge U. D. being solely the
creature of the Grand Master and brought into existence, if at all, by his act
alone upon him rests the responsibility as to whether a dispensation should be
granted or withheld. Sometimes, (not very often, it is true), Grand Masters
refuse these dispensations, as they have an undoubted right to do, even after
all preliminaries have been complied with and the necessary recommendations
obtained. And while this is purely a matter for the Grand Master the question
may properly be asked-- assuming everything is regular and in order, upon what
grounds would he be justified in refusing? Now, recognizing that the M.W. the
Grand Master of Masons of Nova Scotia, by virtue of his office, is the Master
of Nova Scotia Lodge of Research, it is with some degree of diffidence that I
attempt to answer this question. However, with all due respect, it would
appear to me that time not opportune; material not sufficient; locality not
desirable; outlook not favourable; not generally advantageous to the best
interests of the Fraternity; too near an existing lodge and the possible, if
not probable, effect of granting the dispensation of having two weak lodges
where otherwise one strong one might exist, should be good reasons for
refusing the dispensation. But, after all, it comes back to the Grand Master
who, after obtaining the best information possible, will decide according to
his best judgment, and for the best interests of the Order.
should the Grand Master, in the exercise of his authority, refuse a
dispensation his decision is final. There is no appeal.
NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL OFFICERS
are unquestionably a number of reasons why the names of the three principal
officers of the lodge, the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, should be
stated. In the first place as these officers, and particularly the Master,
represent the Grand Master in the work of the lodge it is not only natural but
most requisite that he should know into whose hands he is placing the
government thereof. Again, very frequently Grand Masters, in addition to the
recommendations, make independent inquiry as to the efficiency and capability
of these proposed officers and in order to do so they must of necessity know
who they are. And lastly, as a lodge U. D. cannot elect officers it is
Masonically requisite that these three principal officers be named in the
RECOMMENDATION BY NEAREST LODGE
obtain and present to the Grand Master the recommendation of the "nearest
lodge" before any consideration will be given to the petition or dispensation
will be issued is not only necessary but in this, like many other
jurisdictions, is compulsory. One of the very few exceptions to this rule is
the Grand Lodge of England which does not require the recommendation of the
"nearest lodge," a recommendation from any lodge in good standing in the
jurisdiction being sufficient. And with all due respect to England, for many
and obvious reasons, I like our own custom, the custom practiced in, I think
all the Grand Lodges of the United States and Canada, far better and trust it
never will be changed. This recommendation, as I take it, must come from the
"nearest lodge" or in the case of a city where there are a number of lodges,
from all these lodges in good standing and holding their charter or charters
from the same Grand Lodge. To my mind, at least, it would be just as absurd to
obtain the recommendation of a lodge whose charter had been temporarily
arrested, or was at the time under suspension, as to obtain the signatures of
brethren as petitioners who were suspended Masons. It is submitted that the
recommendation of such a lodge would neither be expected or accepted by the
Grand Master who would require the recommendation of the nearest lodge in good
Masonic standing when the same was given.
PROCEEDINGS AFTER DISPENSATION GRANTED
place designated in the dispensation, and at a time arranged by the
petitioners, they assemble, when the dispensation is read by the Grand Master
if personally present, if not then by the District Deputy or some other
brother deputed by the Grand Master, and delivered into the hands of the
Master. The Master and Wardens named therein immediately take their stations,
when the Master appoints the other officers of the lodge from among the
petitioners, for, until a charter is granted, in reality there are no members
except the petitioners. Of course it is generally understood who these
officers are to be, but as a lodge U. D. cannot elect officers there is no
formal election. Once the Master and Wardens assume their respective stations
and the Master fills such other offices as are necessary the lodge is ready to
proceed with the work it is authorized to do, following as nearly as may be
the order of business of a chartered lodge. And just here I might remark that
an installation ceremony is not only unnecessary but would be highly improper
and unmasonic. The installation is a ceremony belonging to chartered lodges
only, and while it is true the Master acts in that capacity in the lodge U. D.
he is not installed as a Past Master until regularly elected as a Master of a
chartered or warranted lodge. As a matter of course it is customary and the
proper thing to do to elect the Master named in the dispensation as the first
Master of the lodge when chartered, thereby advancing him to the rank of Past
Master. But if not a Past Master already the mere fact of his being Master of
a lodge U. D. carries no such rank with it and neither does it entitle him to
a seat in Grand Lodge nor, while under dispensation, is the lodge recognized
by nor has it any representation in that Grand Body. And should the Master or
Wardens, during the time the lodge is U. D., die, remove from the district, or
otherwise become incapacitated from acting, the Grand Master fills their
positions. Being the founder of the lodge he is its sponsor as well, and while
U. D. he holds full and absolute control not only as before indicated but even
to the removal of the Master and Wardens, or any of them, should he so decide.
OF A LODGE UNDER DISPENSATION
already stated a lodge U. D. has the power to make Masons but not members. By
this I mean that candidates who are here made Masons do not receive Grand
Lodge certificates of membership nor are they enrolled as members of the
fraternity until the lodge is chartered. Again, not only under our
constitution but also under the constitutions of many other Grand Lodges,
signing of the by-laws is necessary to membership. Lodges U. D. have no power
to make by-laws so this is another reason why candidates initiated, passed and
raised in these lodges while Masons are not members. And here it might be
asked: what would become of these Masons suppose the lodge ceased to exist or
was never chartered? My reply is they stand in the position of unaffiliated
Masons to whom the Grand Secretary shall, upon the authority of the Grand
Master, furnish certificates entitling them to affiliate with other regular
while these lodges have no power to pass bylaws until chartered they do have
the right to pass necessary resolutions fixing or changing the time and place
for holding their meetings and other such like matters, and these resolutions,
as far as they go, have the effect of by-laws until a charter is granted. But
if any change is going to be made in these resolutions, or any of them, notice
thereof should be given at least at the previous meeting as also on the
summonses to the members for the meeting at which the changes are to be
considered and dealt with.
matter of course, and as already indicated, these lodges can receive and act
upon petitions for membership upon which the Master and Wardens have the right
to vote, the other petitioners being allowed to do so as an act of courtesy
only. I understand that in this, like some other jurisdictions, once a brother
has received his third degree, he is allowed to vote on petitions for
membership. But from the very best information I have been able to obtain,
that is wrong and irregular. Only the members have that right and as the
petitioners are really the only members, until charter is granted, that
privilege is restricted to them as above stated. This, to a certain extent at
least, is borne out by Section 18, Chapter XV of our constitution which
provides "for all members voting."
an unsettled question whether lodges U. D. have the right to receive
applications for affiliation. I do not know what the practice is in England
but in Pennsylvania, where they have a very old and most excellent Grand
Lodge, and in Massachusetts and Maryland these applications cannot be
received. On the other hand in New York and Virginia, and probably in some
other jurisdictions, the opposite practice prevails, so it is rather hard to
lay down any hard and fast rule in the premises. At the same time, considering
the very limited powers and prerogatives of such lodges, I would rather agree
with the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia that applications
for affiliation should not be received. This question however is settled for
us in Nova Scotia by the language of Section 3, of Chapter XV of the
Constitution, which permits lodges U. D. to receive applications for
lodge U. D. has no seal, cannot have one until chartered, and has no power to
grant dimits for that is a right which belongs to warranted lodges alone, and
then only subject to the regulations of Grand Lodge. In one jurisdiction, the
name of which I will not now mention, they allow members to resign from lodge
U. D., but that I consider is not only irregular but contrary to Masonic law
as we understand it.
conducting the business of the lodge, besides the three principal officers
before mentioned, it is necessary to have, at least, a Secretary whose duties
are the same as in a chartered lodge, two Deacons and a Tyler. These officers
are not elected but appointed by the Master and presumably are selected from
the list of petitioners, but after the lodge gets to work and new material is
being brought in I know of no law, Masonic or otherwise, which would prevent
the Master filling up the other vacancies from among the new Masons for, after
all, they are simply assisting in the work of the lodge. But let me say again
that even if these new Masons are appointed to hold office that does not make
them members of the lodge U. D. nor if they did not have the right before does
it give them the right to vote on petitions for membership.
lodge has also the right to an Investigating Committee which, like all other
committees, is appointed by the Master from among the petitioners for the
lodge. The Master may appoint the same committee to hold office while the
dispensation is outstanding or he may select a new committee on every
application or group of applications received at any one meeting. And taking
into consideration that it is never known for how long or how short a time the
dispensation may run I would favour the appointment of new committees as above
it will be noted that the lodge being the creature of the Grand Master, and
with very limited powers, has no power to consolidate with another lodge; for
to do so would be to exercise powers it did not possess, and neither under any
circumstances can it give a recommendation for the formation of a new lodge
and, if my view be correct, only those in good standing can give the same.
lodge has the right to receive visitors, but the greatest care should be
exercised in seeing that none are allowed to pass the portals except those
properly vouched for by a member of the lodge, or by presentation of
documentary evidence and after passing a thorough examination.
duty of guarding the lodge, as well as seeing that the work is carried on
"decently and in order" and in accordance with Masonic law and usage devolves,
almost entirely, on the Master of the lodge who may be called upon for a
strict account of his stewardship. In his absence the Senior Warden, and in
the absence of both the Master and Senior Warden, the Junior Warden presides
and the procedure, whoever is presiding, is about the same as in a chartered
while the Master, by virtue of his office and the authority in him vested,
although not a Past Master, can confer the degrees the Senior and Junior
Wardens, unless they are Past Masters, possess no such powers. And should
degree work have to be done they must call upon a Past Master, and under no
circumstances can they do it themselves, for that would not only be most
irregular and unmasonic but contrary to the very words of our Constitution and
case the lodge ceases to exist, and it does cease to exist if the membership
falls below seven, or if the dispensation is withdrawn, or if Grand Lodge
refuses a charter the regalia, funds and effects pass to the Grand Master who
in turn hands same over to Grand Lodge whose property they become.
STANDING OF PETITIONERS AFTER CHARTER GRANTED
it is perfectly regular for any Master Mason in good standing to sign a
petition for the formation of a new lodge the best opinion appears to be that
the Master or present officers of a chartered lodge should not be petitioners.
This view is held in many large jurisdictions and I think is in conformity
with our practice in Nova Scotia. Under our Constitution an officer cannot
dimit during his term of office, and if he signed a petition for a new lodge
and charter were granted while he was holding office he could not complete his
membership therein as, in my opinion, he should do if one of the original
petitioners for the new lodge. The fact of a Master Mason signing a petition
does not affect his standing in the mother lodge while the dispensation is
outstanding for he does not thereby become a member of another lodge. For,
although a lodge U. D. is called a lodge it does not become such until
regularly chartered. But, inasmuch as under our constitution, unlike that of
England, Scotland, Massachusetts and some other jurisdictions, dual membership
is not permitted once a charter is granted the petitioners should apply for
dimits to their mother lodges and enter into full membership in the new lodge
which they assisted in bringing into existence and of which they will become
charter members. Bear in mind, however, that I express no opinion as to this
being Masonically compulsory for it may just be possible, and Masonic
authorities differ on the question, that after charter is granted the
petitioners may return to their mother lodges. Should they fail to become full
members of the new lodge and do not return to their mother lodges (if they can
do so) they may render themselves subject to whatever pains and penalties
might be involved in membership of some kind in two lodges at the same time.
to add just a few additional words about lodges recommending petitions for the
formation of new lodges. Our constitution, section 4, Part I, Chapter XV,
provides that such recommendations shall be given only where "by examination
or in some other satisfactory manner the recommending lodge is in a position
to, and does vouch that the proposed Master and Wardens are capable of
conferring the degrees, etc." This is good as far as it goes, but inasmuch as
a large amount of responsibility rests upon these officers in imparting their
knowledge to the uninitiated, in some jurisdictions, Grand Masters will not
entertain these petitions unless and until the recommending lodge certifies
that the proposed Master and Wardens have exemplified the work of the three
degrees in open lodge in a satisfactory manner and have also shown efficiency
in conducting the general business of the lodge. This, certainly, does away
with any guess-work or favouritism and affords a guarantee which any Grand
Master would like to have.
asked to prepare a paper upon "new lodges under dispensation," with my
somewhat lengthy experience as Grand Master, I said to myself "that is easy";
but upon reading more fully and delving into the matter more carefully,
probably more carefully than I ever did as Grand Master, I found that there
was a lot more in the subject than I had before thought or anticipated. And in
endeavouring to do something like justice to the matter, and I do not claim to
have done full justice, I have corresponded with and sought information from a
large number of Grand Secretaries as well as from eminent Past Grand Masters
of other jurisdictions with whom I was personally acquainted. And I wish to
acknowledge the kindness, fraternal spirit and promptness of these
well-informed and distinguished brethren in not only coming to my assistance
with information they possessed but also in forwarding books and Masonic
literature bearing on the question, so if there is any merit in this paper,
and it is not for me to say there is, it is very largely due to this
information and assistance so willingly and cheerfully supplied.
now, brethren, while fully realizing that this paper is much more lengthy and
has involved more work than I anticipated, still if it will be of any benefit
to the Craft, as my hope is it may be, I will be more than repaid for the time
and trouble spent in its preparation.
IS NO SPOT ON OUR FLAG
BRO. A. W. ARMSTRONG
is no spot on our flag.
to it well.
not a star set in its blue,
stripe, neither red nor white.
it carefully through.
thread carefully scan.
down pride that will rise,
voice of praise to the skies
emblem of Freedom floats into view.
is no spot on our flag.
to it long.
much time to think and pray,
our flag in view night and day.
country is strong.
honor we'll prolong.
not burning tears flow,
the heart be all aglow,
Blinding the eyes to duty, nor search delay.
is no spot on our flag.
stain, thank God!
plaint ascends to the Throne,
Liberty, and that alone,
stain shall mark the sod,
bring disgrace to God.
flag beneath the Cross,
pure from every dross,
what all hell would hate, all heaven see.
SHALL BE NO SPOT on our flag
cause is just;
Where'er across the sea,
flag shall chance to be,
be our trust,
swords and scepters rust;
when the war shall cease
then will triumph peace,
of Liberty, flag of the true and free.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
are few more interesting characters than John Sullivan, and few who have been
less honored. John Sullivan was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
New Hampshire. He was born in the State of Maine, in 1740, of Irish parentage,
and died in New Hampshire in 1795. A
compatriot of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution recently
wrote the writer from Elmira as follows:
"It is true that the
Government has never demonstrated, even at the time or subsequently, its sense
of gratitude to John Sullivan. A careful study of the history of the times
convinces me that the Congress at that time had deteriorated in its personnel
- that politics of the approbrious variety had begun to assert itself, and
that Sullivan was not given a square deal."
At Elmira, New York,
there was a memorial erected by the State to commemorate the final victory of
John Sullivan over the Indians, which, from poor construction, neglect and
vandalism, was badly mutilated and which was replaced by the obelisk shown in
the accompanying cut; but the general Government has never memorialized the
During the convention
of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Denver, in 1902, Chairman Dunleavy, in
his address of welcome, said:
"The roll of honor in
the War of the Revolution shows such names as General Moylan and General
O'Sullivan who led the retreat successfully across Long Island, and in whose
honor today the National Congress is contemplating a memorial in New
This appeared following
the editorial in the National Hibernian (the official Organ of the Society)
which quoted the address of Archbishop Ireland which originated the movement
for a memorial to an Irishman in the Revolution, viz:
"At a recent banquet
given to the French Delegates in New York by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick,
Archbishop Ireland gave utterance to the following noble sentiments:
" 'I charge you, Sons
of St. Patrick, to see to it that in Washington City, near the statues of
Lafayette and Rochambeau, there be erected a monument to some Irish soldier to
commemorate the part Ireland took in the Revolutionary War.' "
As Sullivan was the
only general officer in that war who was Irish and famous there was hope that
this soi disant Irish Society would determine on a memorial for him. But for
some reason not disclosed, they asked an appropriation of $50,000 for a
memorial to John Barry instead. While Barry (who was the eleventh captain
appointed in the Colonial Navy) was a creditable officer, he was not a soldier
nor the peer of Sullivan, which gave us the impression that it was not Ireland
they wanted to commemorate.
The records of the War
Department do not show there was ever a general officer named O'Sullivan, as
Mr. Dunleavy called it, but there is a full record of John Sullivan whom he no
doubt referred to.
John Sullivan practiced
law in Durham, N. H., and served in the first General Congress where he was
regarded as a man of sterling qualities, and without a
He and his brother led
a force against Fort William and Mary, near Portsmouth, and captured 100
barrels of powder, (which was afterwards used at the battle of Bunker Hill,)
15 cannon, a lot of small arms and stores, etc., which was the first armed
hostility committed in the Colonies.
John Sullivan was
appointed a Brigadier in 1775 and commanded at Winter Hill, in the siege of
Boston; served in Canada, and conducted the retreat from that Colony, after
the death of General Thomas. He was promoted to Major General in 1776 and was
credited with the preservation of the Army on Long Island. He was taken
prisoner, but exchanged for General Prescott.
Christmas, 1776, he commanded a division on right; he commanded the right at
Brandywine, and defeated the enemy at Germantown. He repulsed the enemy at
"Butts Hill" and defeated the Indians under Brant, and the Tories under Sir
John Johnson at Newtown near the present site of the city of Elmira.
Sullivan resigned from the Army because of ill-health and again took his seat
in Congress. Later he was Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire and
was President of the Senate.
trouble of 1786 he saved the State from anarchy by his intrepidity, good
management and tact, and secured the ratification of the Federal Constitution.
Later he was a Federal Judge in New Hampshire, which office he held at the
time of his death.
Brother Sullivan was initiated in St. John's Lodge in 1767 and became the
first Grand Master of Masons in New Hampshire. He was buried with Masonic
honors at Berwiek, but his body was afterward reinterred in the Congregational
Cemetery near Portsmouth.
memorial was erected to his memory at Newton, on the centenary of the battle
at that place, but, as we have said, it was neglected, and mutilated by
vandals, and later gave place to the present obelisk.
letter from Elmira says: "It might be of interest to make a comment on the
vandalism. A boy of supposedly good family in Elmira was openly accused of
having mutilated the original tablet years ago. This contemptuous attitude and
lack of veneration for those who founded our country has continued into
manhood. The same individual today is among our prominent pacifists and is one
of the editors of a New York publication now under the ban of the Post Office
Department for disseminating seditious literature."
BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
are landmarks? We find ourselves confronted by a problem of such complexity
that we might fill up a volume with our discussions, but space and the further
demands of our studies compel us to a brief and simple treatment of the theme.
may divide and sub-divide a drop of water into particles ever so microscopic
but at last you will reach a point where a further division of your particle
will give you, not a speck of water but a gas, oxygen or hydrogen. This
smallest particle in which matter may be thus divided without losing its
identity the scientists call a "molecule." Suppose we use this as an analogy
of the analysis of Masonry. We may divide Masonry into elements, stripping
away one thing after another, but our elements will still be "Masonry"; but if
we go far enough in our "stripping away" process we shall come at last to a
point where any further division will destroy the identity of the Craft and
Masonry will cease to be Masonry. We shall have reached the "molecules." These
Masonic molecules are the landmarks.
might use another analogy, suggested by the word itself, which literally means
a "land marker," one of the most lucid definitions which I have ever seen is
that furnished by MacBride in his "Speculative Masonry," a beautiful and wise
book which I hope you will sometime read. He says: "In all ages stones,
pillars or other things have been erected to show the boundary lines between
different countries, between the territories of different tribes, and the
possessions of different individuals. These stones (and other objects, natural
or artificial--H. L. H.) were called landmarks and, as their preservation was
of importance, severe penalties were attached to their illegal removal and
Speculative Masonry, landmarks are certain established usages and customs,
occupying the position which usage and custom do in a community. Politically,
they are termed 'common law'; Masonically, they are termed 'landmarks.' "
does not follow, as MacBride himself warns us, that because a landmark is an
established use or custom, therefore an established use or custom is a
landmark. "It must, in addition, perform the function of a landmark; that is,
to mark out, more or less clearly, a boundary or dividing line between two
territories or possessions.. . . It has doubtless been a custom with Masons,
from the time of Moses, to blow their noses, but that custom does not make the
blowing of the nose a landmark.
these observations, the landmark in Masonry may be defined as certain
established usages and customs that mark out the boundary lines of the Masonic
world, in its internal divisions and in its external relations to the outer
last analysis MacBride's analogy with the "landmarks" and my own analogy with
the "molecules" mean the same thing at bottom, like "the vital organs of the
body," are absolutely essential to the existence of Masonry as Masonry. If our
Masonic writers have disagreed widely on the subject it is not so much because
they attach different meanings to the word as that they differ among
themselves as to just what these "vital elements" are.
first use of the term (landmark) appears to have been in Payne's 'General
Regulations' published with Anderson's Constitutions of office in 1718, first
term, and again in 1720, Preston's 'Illustrations of Masonry'--a standard work
these many years, clearly uses the word landmarks as synonymous with
established usages and customs of the Craft--in other words what I have called
Masonic common law." (I am quoting Roscoe Pound here, our present day Dean of
the Harvard Law School and American authority on Masonic jurisprudence. See
his article in THE BUILDER, July, 1917.) In 1819 the Duke of Suffolk, Grand
Master of England at the time, defined landmarks as the authorized ritual. Dr.
George Oliver used the term without defining it in 1820. In his "Historical
Landmarks of Freemasonry," published in 1846, he uses the word in a figurative
sense "as the phrase 'beacon light' for example, is used in Lord's 'Beacon
Lights of History.' " Four years afterwards, in his "Symbol of Glory," he
attacks the problem without much success, coming to the conclusion that what
landmarks are and what are landmarks has never been clearly defined. But in
1863 he makes bold to name at least forty landmarks, divided into twelve
classes, even though, in this book, "The Freemason's Treasury," he still
contends that "we have no actual criterion by which we may determine what is a
Landmark and what is not." But this attempt to make out a list is itself
significant for it proves that Oliver had come under the influence of Mackey's
famous classification. Mackey's great "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry," a
reference work that you should keep on hand, was originally modelled on
Lenning's "Encyclopedia" published in 1824. Neither Lenning nor the French
"Dictionary of Masonry" published in Paris the following year, attempts a list
of landmarks, and Mackey himself, in the earlier editions of his Encyclopedia,
devoted but twenty-four lines to the subject. But in the 1856 edition he comes
forth with his list of twenty-five which "obtained for a time a universal
acceptance." Inasmuch as this tabulation may be readily found in the easily
accessible Encyclopedia there is no need to reprint them here, but the theory
on which he based his classification is of importance to our study: "The
landmarks are those ancient and universal customs of the order, which either
gradually grew into operation as rules of action, or if at once enacted by any
competent authority, were enacted at a period so remote that no account of
their origin is to be found in the records of history. Both the enactors and
the time of enactment have passed away from the records, and the landmarks are
therefore of higher authority than memory or history can reach."
Mackey's list, as I have already said, was almost universally accepted for a
time, but various authorities have never tired of attacking both his
definition and list, Pike, for example, demolishing the whole outfit in his
most Pikeish manner. And there is no question that both his criteria and his
table are open to criticism; nevertheless it will be well to remember that
other authorities, for whom Roscoe Pound may speak, contend that, "all defects
to the contrary, his list may still stand in its main lines as an exposition
of our common law."
the lists proposed by various writers there is neither room nor need to speak
but it may well be worth our while to cite a few examples, grouping them
according to the three general points of departure, suggested by Pound--the
Historical, the Legal and the Philosophical.
Historical. From this point of view the scholar attacks the problem by
undertaking to show what are the essentials of custom, usage, law, principles,
etc., that have grown up in Masonry's historical development, and what have
been considered landmarks in the past by constituted authorities, such as
Grand Lodges, Codes, Constitutions, etc. Writing from this point of view,
Vibert ("Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," p. 4,) gives in a
rough classification ten points, all of which he considers essential to
Masonry, and which he uses as touchstones to determine what Masonry has
borrowed from other societies, and what it has originated itself.
seems to approach the problem from the same angle, as we may read in an
article published in the Iowa Proceedings for 1888: "Perhaps no more can be
said with certainty in regard to them than that they were those essential
principles on which the old simple Freemasonry was builded and without it
could not have been Freemasonry--the organization of the craft into lodges,
the requisite for admission into the fellowship and the methods of government
established at the beginning.... There is no common agreement as to what are
and what are not landmarks." Hextall goes further by saying that the original
landmarks were the building secrets of the operative Masons, while Hughan
agrees in the main, saying that "a landmark must be a regulation, or custom,
which can not be abrogated (cancelled) without placing offenders outside the
pale of the Craft; and all landmarks should practically ante-date the Grand
Lodge era (1717)." He mentions belief in God, secrecy, and male memberships as
belonging to this category.
Legal point of departure. Those who set out from this angle undertake to
discover "a body of universal unalterable fundamental principles which are at
the foundation of all Masonic law." Josiah Drummond takes this position: "If
landmarks are anything else than the laws of the Craft, either originally
expressly adopted or growing out of immemorial usage, the term is a misnomer."
With this position Hawkins, editor of an Encyclopedia, is in accord. After
quoting Justinian's definition of an unwritten law as "what usage has
approved" he writes: "Now the Old Lectures of the Craft are its unwritten
laws, either sanctioned by ancient custom, or, if enacted, at a period so
remote that no trace of their enactment can now be found." It will be seen
that Hawkins somewhat combines the Legal and the Historical points of view, as
indeed, others also do, for law can not well be divorced from history.
Philosophical. The point of view here has never been better expressed than by
Crawley: "The ancient landmarks of Freemasonry, like all other landmarks
material or symbolical, can only preserve their stability when they reach down
to sure foundations. When the philosophical student unearths the underlying
rock on which our Ancient landmarks rest, he finds one sure foundation in the
triple dogma (fixed teaching) of the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of
Man, and the Life to come. All laws, customs, and methods that obtain amongst
us and do not ultimately find footholds on this basis, are thereby earmarked
as conventions and conveniences, no way partaking of the nature of Ancient
landmarks." Of the same opinion is Dr. J. F. Newton: "Manifestly, by a
Landmark we must mean, if it is to have any meaning at all, a limit set beyond
which Masonry can not go, some boundary within which it must labor.... So, and
naturally so, the landmarks of Masonry are its great fundamental principles."
Of these he names four: universality; a Mason's organized fellowship and right
to that fellowship anywhere; qualifications; secrecy.
Pound, approaching the subject from all three points of view, at once offers a
list of seven: (1) belief in God; (2) belief in the persistence of
personality; (3) a "book of law" as an indispensable part of the furniture of
every lodge; (4) the legend of the third degree; (5) secrecy; (6) symbolism of
the operative art (of building); (7) that a Mason must be a man, free born,
and of age.
students differ, as do also the Grand Lodges that have legislated the matter.
Horsely names five; Woodford, eighteen; J. T. Lawrence, five; Findel, four;
Crawley (as we have seen) three; John W. Simons, fifteen; Rob Morris,
seventeen; the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, seven; of New Jersey, ten; New
York, thirty-one; Nevada, thirty-nine; Kentucky, fifty-four. T. S. Parvin, no
mean authority, will not risk one. (Josiah Drummond took him to task for
list might be indefinitely extended but already, I am afraid, if you are the
"plain man" I take you to be, you will have begun to feel confusion over the
whole subject, a feeling with which I can sympathize for I do not believe that
anybody, however learned, can produce a list of landmarks to satisfy all. Even
so, however, whether we can define it or not, there does exist that which is
essentially Masonry, and with that all agree, for, as Pound says, "a nation of
unalterable, fundamental principles and groundwork and a 'body of Masonry'
beyond the reach of innovation can be traced from the revival (when the first
Grand Lodge was organized) to the present." If your own Grand Lodge has
decided the matter for your state you are obliged to accept its classification
landmarks; if not, you may make up a list to suit yourself. Meanwhile it must
be remembered that other societies, even society as a whole, have been no more
successful in discovering the "fundamentals" than Masonry itself. For example,
how many theologians can agree on a list of essential Christian doctrines? How
many moralists can agree on a code of ethics? How many jurists can agree on
the body of the common law? We can feel the landmarks, even as we can "feel"
the bones present in our bodies; and just as bones can perform their functions
even when we can not see them, so with landmarks, the bony frame-work of our
Craft. Moreover, we can roughly approximate to the landmarks, and that is
usually sufficient for practical purposes just as we make shift with our
poorly defined body of common law.
motive behind the search for the landmarks is usually the attempt to discover
that which is peculiar to Masonry, that which is its own unique possession,
and which may be described as its "individuality." Can we discover this
"unique" element in our Fraternity and thus get at the root of all the
landmarks? Our teachings may be found in other societies, the church for
instance; ceremonies, rites, allegories are used by other secret bodies; our
very symbols are not all our own, for many of them have been used since
antiquity. My own theory, offered for what it is worth, is that the thing
"peculiar" to us is the manner in which we have combined and assembled these
teachings, rites and symbols, and the manner in which we have organized
ourselves to impress them on the minds of men. However, many things we hold in
common with other societies, our method of presenting these things is all our
own; and that is a matter of very great importance.
REFUSAL OF THE GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS TO RECOGNIZE THE GRAND LODGE OF PANAMA
Upon the return of the
Secretary, Brother Schoonover, from his visit to the Grand Lodge of Illinois
on the occasion of the recent Annual Communication of that Grand Body, he
handed in to the Editorial office a report of the Committee on Correspondence
of the Grand Lodge of Illinois on the recognition of the Grand Lodge of
Panama. This report was published on pages 31 and 32 of the January number of
THE BUILDER and called forth a reply from Brothers Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
and W.H.H. Odell, P.D.G.M., of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, in defense of
the legitimacy of the Grand Lodge of Panama, which was published in the March
number of THE BUILDER.
In justice to Brother
Charles H. Martin, Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence in 1917 of the
Grand Lodge of Illinois, we wish to inform our readers that the report printed
in the January BUILDER was not the report on the Grand Lodge of Panama which
was adopted by the Grand Lodge of Illinois, but one of two such reports which
were prepared by the Illinois Committee and submitted to the Grand Master and
his advisory board some days prior to the convening of the Grand Lodge, and
was rejected by the advisory board for the following:
the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons of the State of
"Your Committee on
Foreign Correspondence, to whom was referred the application of the Grand
Lodge of Panama for fraternal recognition, and an exchange of representatives,
would fraternally and respectfully report, that there is nothing in, nor
accompanying said application tending to show whether or not the said Grand
Lodge of Panama possesses the qualifications essential to a Sovereign Grand
Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons, as heretofore uniformly insisted upon by this
Grand Lodge as a condition precedent in order to recognition. From other
sources, however, it is learned that the first essential in order to
regularity of formation is entirely wanting, to-wit: 'Legitimacy of origin of
constituent Lodges uniting to form a Grand Lodge.' It appears that six Lodges,
(possibly seven), holding charters from the Grand Lodge of Venezuela, (or the
Supreme Council of Venezuela), united in the organization of this Grand Lodge
of Panama, and that possibly one Lodge has since its organization been
chartered by it. If those Lodges contributing to form the Grand Lodge of
Panama were in fact chartered by the Grand Lodge of Venezuela, which as above
intimated does not clearly appear from the evidence at hand, it is to be
observed that the Lodges contributing to form the Grand Lodge of Venezuela,
originally were chartered by the Grand Orient of Spain. The Grand Orient of
Spain was formed from and by Lodges of the planting of a Supreme Council.
"Neither the Grand
Orient of Spain nor the Grand Lodge of Venezuela has ever been recognized by
this Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge of Panama, of necessity can be no more
regular than the Mother, (Venezuela), and Grand-mother, (Grand Orient of
Spain), of the Lodges of which it was formed.
"On the other hand, if
the Lodges contributing to form the Grand Lodge of Panama, were in fact
chartered by the Supreme Council of Venezuela, the irregularity is still more
glaringly apparent, as this Grand Lodge has time and again given approval to
the doctrine that there is on earth no tribunal nor power competent to form or
warrant a Lodge of the original plan except a regular, sovereign Grand Lodge.
In one report, so approved, the following language was used:
" 'We utterly deny that
any body save a representative Grand Lodge can by warrant or charter create a
Lodge that has any claim whatever to the name of Masonry, or that can
administer its rites.'
"According to this
rule, repeatedly announced, and uniformly adhered to by this Grand Lodge,
neither the Supreme Council, the Grand Orient of Spain, nor the Grand Lodge of
Venezuela are, or ever were, competent to form or bring into being a Lodge of
the original plan, and hence not a single Lodge contributing to form the Grand
Lodge of Panama can be regarded as a regular Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons.
therefore recommends that the request of the Grand Lodge of Panama for
recognition and an exchange of representatives be respectfully denied.
"Charles H. Martin,
misunderstanding between Brother Schoonover and the Editor, the second report
above mentioned was published in our January number and we take pleasure in
calling the attention of our reader to the matter at this time.
BRO. HAL RIVIERE, GEORGIA
certain extent, a Masonic lodge is a school in that it endeavors to teach men
how to build upright characters. This teaching is done through the medium of
symbols and allegories, employing in a symbolic sense the working tools of
Operative Masons and the customs and practices of the builders' art, in order
to impress important lessons vividly upon the minds of the brethren. We have
good authority for so teaching because we read in the Holy Scriptures that
Jesus taught by parables and allegories. Indeed, it is said that without a
parable spoke he not unto them. That is the reason why so few understood his
meaning and why he had to explain his sayings even to his disciples. Just as
so many failed to understand him, so many men who have been made Masons do not
understand its lessons and failing to understand, do not live up to its
teachings. Such men sometimes bring discredit to our Order. Whenever anything
deserving of censure is found in the conduct of Masons, lay it to human
frailty, and not to the fault of this great institution.
few occasions I have heard of women who were prejudiced against Masonry on
account of the inconsistent actions of some member, saying that if that man
were a Mason they had a poor opinion of the Order. I know a young lady who
will not attend church saying she does not believe in religion because there
are hypocrites in the church and persons in active church work who are not so
good as she is. That young lady is a stenographer but I have not heard of her
giving up her position although she knows that some stenographers are improper
in conduct. We do not judge all stenographers by the standard of the worst,
neither should we judge the church or Masonry by the low standards set by some
of their members.
women have expressed an objection to Masonry on account of its secrecy.
Perhaps that prejudice comes from the fact that they have been told that women
are not admitted as Masons because they cannot keep a secret. That assertion
is absolutely untrue. Whether or not women can keep a secret has nothing to do
with their exclusion from our lodges. Membership is limited to men because it
was the ancient practice. Present day Speculative Masonry is founded upon the
customs of the ancient stone masons and we faithfully carry out their
practices. They were the men who built the famous edifices of olden times,
including the magnificent cathedrals that the invading armies of Germany have
damaged so greatly. The labors of a stone mason were very arduous and exacting
and it took a man in possession of all his strength and members to do such
work. These men traveled about from place to place as need required and were
forced to undergo many hardships; so of necessity, only men were so employed.
Even men with fingers, hands or feet missing were not accepted as apprentices
to learn the business; hence the exclusion of women at that time and also
today, because we follow the ancient customs.
intelligent women said to me, "I don't believe Masons have any secrets. It's
all a bluff. Besides if those secrets are so valuable in helping men to be
better, why don't you tell them to everybody so all people may be helped?"
Christ said, "Cast not your pearls before swine," meaning that we should not
set valuable truths before people unable to understand or unwilling to make
the proper use of them. Ability to understand a truth is a matter of education
and training and it is only to those who come seeking that these lessons are
taught step by step. Scatter our secrets broadcast and they would become
commonplace and carry no weight even with those capable of understanding them.
Masonry keeps secret no knowledge not possessed by the outside world but the
methods of teaching that knowledge and presenting it in graphic, impressive
form are secret as are also the various signs, grips and pass-words.
Possession of these secrets is a tie that binds the brethren together and the
beautiful ceremonies of the lodge keep before them the principles which the
prejudice which some women have had is giving way as the beneficial effects of
the Fraternity are seen. That some prejudice exists, I must admit; but that
the various reasons given for such prejudice are true, I must deny. There is
more to this business than pique because someone says a woman cannot keep a
secret; neither can one charge it entirely to "sour grapes" because women are
not made Masons. The real reason is deeper; it is ingrained in the female
nature and is the result of thousands of years of training, custom and
practice. I discovered it myself and after I have revealed it to you I believe
you will say that I am right. In order that you may be able to judge
intelligently I shall present the evidence in detail and then announce my
conclusion. In doing so I must make a hasty review of the progress of the
human race from savagery to civilization.
you ever see children playing on the floor with building blocks? Have you
noticed their delight when some figure is made? There is no mother who has not
run at the excited, delighted call of her babe as he balanced one piece upon
another and made various figures in his play. His delight was on account of
his having accomplished something that he did not know was possible. That
little scene typifies the beginning of architecture in the very dawn of
Architecture has probably had a greater influence in directing the progress of
the race than any one thing. We are so used to seeing buildings of every shape
and size that we probably think they always existed just so; but the art has
grown slowly and each new process has been worked out with toil and
difficulty. Imagine the delight of the primitive man as he produced his simple
architectural figures! Can't you picture the first man who ever made a square
hut? See him in his delight calling to a friend and showing him that each side
of his house is exactly as long as every other side. No doubt this friend
breathlessly listened and learned as he was taught how the thing was done.
Later other men were taken into their confidence and bound to secrecy, thus
forming the first secret society and possibly the first labor union.
knowledge increased, primitive men, being unable to write, gave permanence to
their thoughts and poetic and artistic tendencies through the medium of
architecture, building pyramids, temples, obelisks and cathedrals that are
veritable poems in stone. Can you doubt that the tools with which they
fashioned those works of art came to have a high value in their eyes and that
they early attached symbolic meaning to them ? The square, level, plumb,
compasses, rule, line, etc., seem very simple and ordinary to modern people
but who can realize the time and study spent in perfecting them?
Although the origin of these tools is lost in remote antiquity the discovery
of the square was certainly as important as the discovery of wireless
telegraphy. The men who first intelligently employed the plumb and level,
could we but know their names, deserve mention along with the inventors of the
telephone and telegraph. Though we know nothing of those individuals we do
know that early, secret societies were formed, guarding the knowledge
possessed by primitive peoples. Each tribe and nation had its secret society
among its men who came together in the Men's House to discuss all their tribal
affairs and to teach their traditions and practices to the boys as they came
to the proper age. The initiation ceremonies were the most important event in
the life of every boy, who from the time the ceremonies began, forsook the
company of his mother, sisters and-other women of the tribe and thenceforth
associated only with the men.
a peculiar fact that almost every nation, both ancient and modern, contains
more women than men, and all have had to face the problem of dealing-with the
surplus women. We call women the weaker sex but few of us believe that weaker
sex business; though it took a modern Kipling to express the feeling in words
man has always known, that "The female of the species is more deadly than the
male." In dealing with the problem of surplus women various methods have been
employed. In his day and time King Solomon tried to solve the problem by
marrying all of them.
ancient times, as among primitive peoples today, the men met the suffragette
question by strategy. They conspired in the Men's House against the women,
inventing plans to play upon their superstition and to keep them within due
bounds. The time of the tribal initiations was a favorite time for such
practices and when the boys came to the proper age, solemn warning was given
the women to keep within doors while the ceremonies took place. Processions
were headed by the priests and medicine men, and the women were terrified by
various apparitions, mysterious noises and ghostly stories. They were required
to prepare and set out food as an offering to the spirits which the men took
and served later at their lodges. These ceremonies sometimes lasted several
days and as the women during all that time, like Tam O'Shanter's wife, were
"Nursing their wrath to keep it warm," is it any wonder that they came to be
violently antagonistic toward secret societies? In addition to those
practices, among some nations the men spent practically all of their time at
the Men's House, sleeping and eating there; it was only a disgraced man who
would sleep at home and eat with the women.
now understand why some women are antagonistic to Masonry. Present day
civilization has not succeeded in stamping out the old antagonism engendered
in them by thousands of years of superstitious awe fostered by the men to
maintain control of the women. But in our enlightened day such feelings should
cease. It is an atavism, a reversion to type that is not complimentary to the
one who feels it. So, if there be one among our women readers who has opposed
lodge attendance, when lodge night comes again and friend husband begins to
move uneasily and look furtively toward the door and his hat, let her take the
said hat and say sweetly, "Now dear, (or Tom or Daddy, or whatever may be his
official title) this is lodge night; go on down there and learn to attend to
your Masonic duties like a true Mason." And if he wants to attend a called
communication occasionally and stay out until midnight, let her comfort
herself by thinking of the Fiji Island women whose husbands stay out at the
Men's House all night, every night.
you can send your men to the lodge in full confidence that they will return
none the worse. No institution has ever done more for the moral and mental
improvement of men than Masonic lodges, and if you will encourage your men to
cultivate an interest in their lodge, enter actively upon its work, study its
history and philosophy, the practice of the virtues which it inculcates, will
impress those virtues upon their characters, and being better Masons, they
will become better husbands, fathers and brothers. If women could realize to
what an extent Masonry has made for their safety and the betterment of their
lives they would encourage the men in lodge attendance and work. Working in
secret and without desire for publicity, the Order has thrown a protection
about the women of this nation that has done much for their safety. Little as
they may think of it, many a woman owes the fact that she is living in a happy
home surrounded by loved ones, to the delicate ministry of this great Order
which, when a man becomes a Mason, throws the whole protecting force of a
great membership about the female members of his home.
your own protection, encourage your men to become good, active Masons. It will
help them to be better men by holding before them the highest of ideals. If a
man be studiously and philosophically inclined it will open up for him a new
world and lend an; added interest to the study of history, science and
religions. Our Order invites no man but welcomes every worthy man who comes
earnestly seeking to help and be helped. But remember that Freemasonry is no
reformatory, nor house of correction. Brethren, pay particular attention to
the quality of the material that petitions for membership. Investigate
thoroughly. Be sure of the character of him whom you elect to receive the
degrees in your lodge. In doubtful cases give the lodge the benefit for it is
better that an occasional worthy man should suffer exclusion than that
unworthy men should creep in to hinder our work and render of no account that
which we have so carefully builded.
FURNISHINGS OF A LODGE
Pike was one of the most profound students of Masonry the world has ever
known. His chosen work was in perfecting and beautifying the degrees of the
Scottish Rite. It is not generally known that he also rescued from oblivion
the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees as practiced by
that Rite, which is the standard used in most Latin countries today, where the
York Rite has not obtained. His studies demonstrated to him the necessity for
exactness in the form of physical furniture to be used, in order to crystalize
the symbolic teaching of the Craft, and avoid permitting the whims and
vagaries of "tinkerers" from engrafting onto the Fraternity modern
"conveniences" which would, in a short time, detract from--if not entirely
destroy its teachings.
affords a Colorado Mason considerable pleasure to note that great ritualist,
in 1886, confirmed the ritual compiled from original sources by him in 1872,
showing, among other regulations, the following, which have been restored in
Altar shall be square (a cube). The Pedestals at the stations of the three
principal officers to be of the three principal Orders of Architecture. The
Lesser Lights to be "lighted candles" (not electric lights); the Candlesticks
to be three feet in height. That the apron should be square, of white
lambskin, the flap cut to a point in the center, and entirely plain, without
emblem or device; the width and depth of the apron to be fourteen inches. The
officers to wear "scarfs" of light blue silk. The jewels of officers to be of
silver. In balloting, the box to be placed upon the Altar and each brother to
salute the Master as he approaches to deposit his ballot.
curious reason is noted concerning the shape of the apron ---in addition to
the outline of the 47th Problem; lying in the fact that a line drawn from the
point of the flap when raised, to each of the lower corners of the square; and
the lines of the flap, when lowered, extended to the lower corners, produces
the outline of the five pointed star, known as the "Seal of Pythagoras" or
sign of health and life, upon which we are raised; and which in old Lodges, we
are told, was always depicted "on the center."
is very interesting, particularly in view of the fact that the Colorado
Regulations have been called radical, and "new-fangled." In our humble
opinion, Albert Pike is a pretty good authority to tie to, and Colorado Masons
should be proud to be in the front rank by adhering to the work as practiced
in its primitive simplicity, and as such, is rich in imagery and symbolic
significance. A Mason who does not know the reason for such things is a good
deal like a good blacksmith writing a physician's prescription. The blacksmith
may be all right, but we prefer to decline taking the prescription. There is a
library on the fourth floor of the "Temple," and when one-half of the books
contained in it have been read, the student may assume to know something. The
old story of the party masquerading in the lion's skin is amusing as well as
instructive.- -Rob Morris Bulletin.
BY THOSE THEY LOVE
God! When I read o'er the bitter lives
whose eager hearts were quite too great
beat beneath the cramped mode of the day,
see them mocked at by the world they love,
Haggling with prejudice for pennyworth
that reform which their hard toil will make
common birthright of the age to come--
see this, spite of my faith in God
marvel how their hearts bear up so long.
--James Russell Lowell.
BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, ENGLAND
UNFORTUNATELY I have
had to neglect my duties as Ambassador of late, or at least to omit my
reports, for which I beg forgiveness. The fact is that I have been spending
every odd hour in the great military camps, speaking to the men, visiting with
them, and seeing something of their life. My work has been chiefly among
Canadians and Americans, our New World men who are the finest in the
world,such erect, upstanding fellows they are, too, clear-cut, forthright,
with something of the large, free and liberal air of the fogless spaces of
In one thing the
Canadians are ahead of us. They have organized camp colleges, where their men,
many of them, like our own, college men, continue their studies - for which
they receive due credit in the colleges and universities at home. They are
real colleges, too. I have visited two of them, to deliver addresses at the
close of a term, and I find them doing thorough work, especially in science
and agriculture and the more practical branches. Naturally the literary side
is not so much emphasized, but it is by no means neglected. These colleges, of
course, have the approval of the authorities - not only approval, but
encouragement,and I see no reason why our people should not wake up to the
possibilities of such a work.
Two days ago I went to
speak to the great American camp, the name and location of which I must not
give too accurately. It was a delight to see those boys, who are so responsive
to all high things. I spoke in a large moving-picture theatre, which was
packed and jammed; then it was emptied, only to be filled again, and I talked
another hour. They actually did it a third time, and by the end of the third
hour I was "all in," as you can imagine. Another crowd was waiting, but I was
not equal to the task. They are from all over the Union, from Texas to New
York, and a more wholesome set of boys I never saw in my life. Not only
physically, but morally - which is quite as important in war - they are
admirably cared for by those in command.
Among those in the camp
I visited were the survivors of the Tuscania, and it was good to see men who
had gone through that ordeal. And funny, too, for they were togged out in
every kind of rig - by the kindness of a camp of English Tommies near by -
because those who did not lose their clothing, had it ruined by the sea-water.
Hence their plight, awaiting the arrival of a new outfit. But they were in
fine spirits. As one of them put it, they lost everything except their nerve,
their courage, and their determination to get the scalps of the Huns. Indeed,
the attack has put new iron into their blood and made them more anxious to
have a "go" at the enemy.
* * *
Please do not be upset
by the silly and outrageous dispatch published on that side as to what I
recently said about American soldiers in London. It was twisted out of all
likeness to what I had in mind. What I did say was, seeing the conditions
here, to ask of British friends to give our boys the same protection from
liquor and evil women which our own government and people give them at home.
In America, even in those places where liquor is sold, it is a criminal
offense to sell it to any one wearing the uniform of the Army or Navy. Of
course we cannot enforce such a regulation on this side. And so I asked our
friends here to help us in the matter. Most of our boys are proof against such
things - thank God - but not all of them; and at a time when every man is
needed, we must not allow wastage through wine, women and disease.
For, to say no more, if
the Government has a right to conscript a man, take his time, his strength,
and his life if need be, to do a great work, it has a right to conscript his
conduct - and in other matters actually does so - to keep him fit to do the
work he is sent to do. Hence our regulation as to selling liquor to men in
uniform. Surely it is a sound principle, both from the point of view of morals
and of military efficiency. It is folly to train a man, equip him, and send
him five thousand miles, and then have him rendered incapable of doing his
bit. Such was the first point of my protest, which the dispatch forgot to
And the second was
equally practical, namely, that with the food situation as it is, it is not
fair to allow a twenty per cent increase in the output of brewery supplies on
this side. In ordinary times such an item would be insignificant, but just now
it is as large as a tourist elephant with baggage. It does not set well with
our people to have wheatless days, sugarless days, meatless days, to save food
for the Allies, only to have a part of the food thus taken from their plates
made into liquor. Of course our English friends do not realize the feeling in
America in regard to the matter, else they would not do such a thing; and I
wanted them to know the facts in the case-how, in a country two-thirds of
which is dry, our people would not think kind thoughts about England under
And, as you well know,
it is a part of my work as a kind of unofficial, fraternal Ambassador to help
these two peoples to understand each other, and to thing kindly one of
another. Indeed, I can see no security for the future peace of the world
unless England and America do stand together, and that depends not upon what
diplomats do, but upon what the people think and feel. If you can find in
these lines an ambassadorial report, well and good - I am so hard pressed that
I can not write more at the moment.
* * *
By this time you will
have received Brother Ravenscroft's article on the Comacines, also Brother
MacBride's article on the Installed Master's Lodges. I have the promise of two
other articles at once, one by Brother
Calvert who wrote the history of the Grand Lodge of England, and an article on
Freemasonry in the War -that is, what the English Lodges are doing in war
service, and so forth. I shall try to get an article from some one who knows,
as to Freemasonry in Belgium - but I fear we cannot learn much about it. I
wish I could do more, but I am still unwell and have a hard time to keep
AS these words are
written there is the urge and surge, the stress and strain of the greatest
mortal conflict in all history. Raging across France, a torrent of Hun hatred
is stemmed but not yet stopped in sayagery by a slowly stiffening sturdy array
of perhaps weary though unwilted and undaunted heroes. They are our Allies.
Are we theirs ?
Well, are we? Yes, I
mean you and me, we Freemasons of the acknowledged Excelsior among the
nations. What are we doing? Where are we at? Isn't it our move? Say, here's a
thing or two we can get under way while we think out some method or agreement
on other matters on which we may not all see alike.
We will say nothing to
anybody about peace. We are out to win. We will win. Victory, nothing less.
First of all, victory! And we don't want the British or anybody else to hand
it to us on a platter. We don't ask them, we should not expect them, to pull
everything or anything out of the fire for us. We can do our share. Nothing
less shall be done by us. When we are not willing to take our own part we
don't deserve help from our friends. We must be more than willing to help. We
have the will power and we will set it to work.
We can do more than buy
bonds and stamps. We can persuade others to do likewise. Those of us as
ritualists or after-dinner speakers have now the chance for which we have long
been in training. Lesser lights can spread the illumination. Let it be known
that we are all very willing to serve on any or all committees.
A real Mason should do
a lot more than acquire bonds and stamps. These are excellent investments. We
are mighty poor Masons if our patriotism does not get by the purchasing point.
Can't we be patriots unless we are bought? Well, that is what it amounts to if
we are content to stop at the stage of making a mere profitable investment.
Figure it out for yourself, and then get busy.
Look over your stock of
books. Pick out all that you can spare and then hand them to the nearest
library for shipment to the cantonments abroad. Many a book you and I can
spare easily. Cull them out. They will do a wonderful amount of good in
cheering those on their road to risk their lives for you and me.
Having picked out all
the books for which you have no further use, now select a few more from your
collection. There is of course no especial merit in giving away only the books
that are useless to you. A true Mason will do more. Give some books of special
worth for you may be sure that someone will value them for the reasons that
gave them worth to you. If honest to goodness you cannot find in your heart to
give away a certain book, then buy another one for the purpose of giving it
away. You can then retain your copy and you will enrich every one who reads
your gift and you will enjoy your own copy so much the more.
Of all the splendid
enterprises that are under way in your neighborhood we need not undertake to
mention them in detail. All sorts of relief work is in progress. Do your bit.
Do it good naturedly. Do it often.
Above all, be of good
cheer. Be a booster, Help, don't hinder. Hustle, don't handicap. Clear the
way, don't litter it up. We are a big nation. We are gaining momentum. We
cannot afford to meddle or tinker with things in a fussy or frivolous or
fault-finding fashion. This is no time to heave a wrench into the machinery or
pour acid or emery into the bearings. When a friend is carrying our basket of
eggs we won't scare him into dropping them. We must wish him well. We must
hope all kinds of good luck for him. Yes, we must earnestly and ever pray for
him and all who act on our behalf.
For the President of
the United States we pray. For him we pray the stalwart and stately
statesmanship of Brother George Washington. We pray for him the governmental
genius of Brother Thomas Jefferson. We pray for him the philosophical serenity
of Brother Benjamin Franklin. We pray for him the judicial prudence of Brother
William Howard Taft, and we do pray for him the intrepid manly courage of
Brother Theodore Roosevelt. Amen. R.I.C.
is a balm for bitterness, there is a cure for pain,
is a solace for the heart whatever hurt it feels,
is an altar where a man can build his faith again
feel the very hand of God upon him when he kneels.
The woodland way, the
woodland world, is waiting heavy hearts,
God's hospital among
the trees beneath the sky and stars;
And in that hospice in
the woods the hurt of old departs
And leaves no mark upon
the man but badge of honest scars.
When doubt assassinates
your faith, when hope shall hope no more,
When with the load of
little things or larger things accurst,
Get out beneath the
evergreen beside the singing shore
And find the world
still the world it has been from the first.
- Douglas Mallock.
BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD
The object of this
Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always
familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such
non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will
be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to
Study Clubs and Lodges, either through this Department or by personal
correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book - what is
its nature, what is its value, or how it may be obtained - be free to ask him.
If you have read a book which you think is worth a review write us about it;
if you desire to purchase a book - any book - we will help you get it, with no
charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.
"FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1750"
BEFORE a building can
be erected materials must be collected; by the same token it is facts that
compose a history and often is it that the gathering of facts is the larger
half of the task. Brother Melvin Johnson's book, recently published under the
above title by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, of which he was Grand Master
at time of writing, is not a history, but it contains materials enough for
Prior to 1717 there
were no "duly-constituted" Lodges of Freemasons; with very few exceptions, all
were Freemasons "at large." Not being under the jurisdiction of any Grand
Lodges most of the bodies in existence before 1717 were very careless in
keeping records for which reason the labyrinth through which the historian
must make his way are enough to drive one mad. But there were some records,
scattered miscellaneously through old books, manuscripts, etc., and through
all these dismembered materials Brother Johnson has made his way, gathering
together with loving care all such data as may be of permanent value. These
data are now put into permanent form and made ready for nation-wide
circulation, the better for students who are to come; and it is a book which
such students will do well to get, for it will save them from a deal of labor
and innumerable slips of fact and theory.
There is here, needless
to say, no room for any detailed review of the contents of a book in which the
contents are so necessarily broken as in the present case, but the reader will
be interested to know that Brother Johnson's researches have led him to grant
the palm of priority to Massachusetts rather than to Pennsylvania. The author
is himself a citizen of Boston, and "no mean citizen of no mean city," and it
may be that the Philadelphians will hope to detect some bias in his arguments;
if so they must make good their contention by undermining the facts on which
Brother Johnson has built his argument. Those facts, as tabulated by him, are
1. The first Freemason
definitely known to be in the Western Hemisphere was Governor Jonathan Belcher
of Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1705.
2. The earliest use in
America, in writing or in print, of the word "Freemason," so far as is now
known, was in the "Boston News Letter" for January 5, 1718-9.
3. The first Lodge
meetings in America of which we may speak with any degree of definiteness were
held in King's Chapel, Boston, in 1720.
4. The first known
American newspaper account relating to Freemasonry was published in Boston,
May 25, 1727.
5. The first known
Warrant, Deputation, Commission, or other authority, issuing from the Grand
Lodge of England or its Grand Master (or from any other Masonic organization
or officer, for that matter) to be exercised in America was that (April 13,
1733) by virtue of which Hemy Price founded a Provincial Grand Lodge in
Boston, July 30, 1733.
6. The first particular
Lodge in America to be duly constituted was the First Lodge in Boston, July
7. The first Lodge in
America to be registered by the Grand Lodge of England in the official list of
Lodge was the First Lodge in Boston.
8. The first Masonic
officer in the Western World to have jurisdiction over the whole of North
Americ was Henry Price, whose authority was extended thus broadly in August,
9. The first exercise
of any Masonic authority in America of the right to grant provincial Masonic
powers was the appointment of Benjamin Franklin as "Provincial Grand Master of
the Province of Pennsylvania," February 21, 1734-5, by Henry Price, "Grand
Master of His Majesty's Dominions in North America.”
10. The first
independent Grand Lodge in America was Massachusetts Grand Lodge, which
organized and declared its independence on March 8, 1777.
Prior to 1733, there
had been meetings of Brethren in Boston, Philadelphia, and elsewhere in the
Colonies. Before 1721 such meetings had been regular. After 1721 they were
neither regular nor duly-constituted until that of July 30,1733. Therefore, in
studying organized, duly-constituted Freemasonry in America, it more than ever
seems certain that Henry Price was, as he said himself, the founder of
duly-constituted Masonry in America and that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts
is the first among her equals of the Western Hemisphere.
If some advocate for
the priority of Pennsylvania cares to make a reply we shall be glad to place
the columns of THE BUILDER at his
"Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750,” in substantial blue buckram binding,
225 pages, may be obtained through the Secretary's office. Price $1.36,
THE BUILDER is an open
forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under
his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as
such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and
Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times.
Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our
members, particularly those connected with Lodges or Study Clubs which are
following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions
will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
FRENCH LODGE "LES NEUF SOUERS" (THE NINE SISTERS)
"Recollections of My Life," he refers to the French Lodge "Les Neuf Souers" at
some length. It seems to have been a cradle of Liberty and the means by which
Benjamin Franklin was enabled to secure the influence of France in behalf of
the American Colonies in their struggle for Liberty. As it was, as the name
implies, a Lodge of unusually brilliant men, I thought perhaps a short history
of the Lodge and its more noted members might have been published and it was
to ascertain this and, if possible, to secure an English edition of the book,
that I wrote you. C.P. Lyndall, California.
* * *
There was an ancient
Lodge in Paris by the name of "Les Neuf Souers" (The Nine Sisters.) In 1897
Louis Amiable published at Paris "Une Loge Maconnique d'Avant 1789. La R.L.
Les Neuf Souers." The book contains 399 pages.
In December, 1904,
there was published in the New Age Magazine, an article by S.H. Amo (George F.
Moore, then editor of the magazine, now Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council) entitled "Les Neuf Soeurs (The Nine Sisters) An Old-Time French
It was in this Lodge
that Voltaire was initiated, Benjamin Franklin taking a prominent part in the
ceremony. Franklin affiliated with this Lodge and for two years was "Venerable
' (Master) of the same. On the death of Voltaire he acted as Senior Warden of
the Lodge of Sorrow held in his memory.
This Lodge held
Franklin in such esteem that it struck a medal in his honor, of which a copy,
supposed to be the only one now in existence, belongs to the Provincial Grand
Lodge of Mecklenburg. John Paul Jones was also a member of this celebrated
Lodge. The Library of the Supreme Council here, possesses a copy of the book
by Louis Amiable.
Boyden, District of Columbia.
* * *
For its peculiar
interest to our members at this time, we reprint the article mentioned by
Brother Boyden, from the December, 1904, issue of the New Age Magazine:
On the day before his
death Louis Amiable finished his work entitled Une Loge Maconnique d'Avant
1789. La R. L. Les Neuf Soeurs.
He died at Aix on
January 23, 1897. Formerly Mayor of the Fifth District of the City of Paris,
Councillor of the Court of Appeal at Aix-en-Provence, he was a distinguished
lawyer, scholar, author, and Freemason.
Among his writings are
L'Egypte Ancienne et la FrancMaconnerie, Le Mission de la Franc-Maconnerie. He
published other works about Freemasonry, and from his history of the "Nine
Sisters" we derive the facts given in this paper. It appeared in 1897, but has
not been translated into English.
The Lodge, Neuf Soeurs,
was founded in 1776 by the great astrotomer Jerome de la Lalande (Lelande) and
nine other Masons. The nine brethren were:
Abbe Cordier de Saint Firmin.
Abbe Robin, Canon.
Chevalier de Cubieres.
5. Fallet, Secretary of
the Gazette of France.
6. De Cailhava.
8. Chauvet, of the
Bordeaux Aeademy of Sciences.
9. De Parny, Equerry of
The Abbe Cordier de
Saint Firmin was born at Orleans in 1730 and died at Paris in 1816. He was one
of its most zealous members, and was connected with the Lodge during the whole
of his long life. He was an "Ecclesiastic" but was described as a "man of
letters" in 1806 on the Tableau of the officers and members.
In 1762 he published a
tragedy entitled Zarakma, and in 1793 a comedy La Jeune Eslave ou Les Francais
a Tunis (The Young Slave, or the French in Tunis). He wrote, and read in the
Lodge, numerous historical and other papers.
Voltaire was initiated
as a Freemason on the evening of March 7, 1778, in the Lodge Neuf Soeurs.
Lalande presided, assisted by the Count de Strogonoff (Privy Councillor and
Chamberlain of the Empress of Russia), as Senior Warden.
The Abbe Cordier de
Saint Firmin having obtained permission to speak, declared that he presented
Voltaire for initiation, saying that such an assembly of literary men and
Freemasons should be flattered by the wish expressed by the most celebrated
man in France to be admitted into the bosom of the Lodge. He also expressed
his hope that the great age and the feeble health of the illustrious Neophyte
would be carefully regarded during his reception. Lalande, the Venerable
Master, appointed a committee of nine members to receive and prepare the
candidate. This committee consisted of the Count de Strogonoff, Chairman, de
Cailhava, President of Meslay, Mercier, Marquis de l'Ort, Abbe Brignon, Abbe
Remy, Fabroni and de Fresne. The candidate was introduced by the Chevalier de
Villars, Master of Ceremonies, and entered the hall accompanied by Benjamin
Franklin and Court de Gebelin.
The candidate's answers
to the questions on philosophy and morality put to him by Lalande were of such
a character that the Venerable Master could scarcely restrain an outburst of
King Louis XVI was a
Freemason. On the first of August, 1775, the Lodge le
Militaire-des-Trois-Freres-Unis was founded "at the east of the court," for
the king and his two brothers, the Count of Provence and the Count d'Artois.
The king disliked
Voltaire, and was greatly irritated because of his initiation and the respect
shown him by the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, and for the imposing funeral
ceremonies which were celebrated on November 28, 1778, in honor of his memory.
It was on this occasion
that the Abbe Cordier Saint Firmin, who had proposed Voltaire for initiation,
announced that Madame Dennis and the Marchioness de Villette wished to be
admitted and to witness the funeral ceremonies. Their request was granted.
Before the Lodge closed
the annual request for a contribution to assist the poor students of the
university was made, and the Abbe Cordier Saint Firmin proposed that five
hundred books should be deposited with a notary to be used in promoting the
education of the first poor child born afterwards in the parish of Saint
At the banquet which
followed the ceremonies, Benjamin Franklin was present, and represented "the
Thirteen States of North America."
Louis XVI was, as we
have said, a Mason, and hence did not wish to set the Civil Law in motion
against the Lodge. But through Masonry
he tried to strike it a heavy blow.
The Chamber of
Administration of the Grand Orient complained that the Lodge had permitted
women in the hall of the Grand Orient at the time of a ceremony for which all
the brethren present had put on their Masonic regalia. Complaint was also made
of the publicity given to a Masonic festival at Auteul, and of the publication
in the national and foreign doings of the Lodge. Most important, however, was
the alleged reading during Masonic labor of literary works which were said to
be nonMasonic, and so bad that complaints had reached the ministers of
religion and the police.
The reasons given for
disciplining the Lodge were that these things might serve as a pretext for a
general persecution of all the Masons in France, which, though very unjust,
might have the appearance of being well founded.
Lalande demanded the
right to answer the charges in writing. Then the antagonists of the Lodge
hesitated and wavered. By a vote of 10 to 1 the affair was ordered terminated.
Still the Lodge was
vexed and annoyed by petty complaints for several months. It held a Lodge of
Adoption, and the Abbe Cordier de Saint Firmin, prominent and zealous as
usual, secured some candidates - two ladies - who were initiated on that occasion.
The charter of the
Lodge was about to be arrested, Lalande suspended as Master for six months,
and the Abbe for a like period for his part in the affair, and all the other
members for twenty-four days. The decree was actually made arresting the
charter and suspending the members for various periods. The Grand Lodge,
however, reversed this action as to all the Brethren except the Abbe Cordier
de Saint Firmin, who was made the scapegoat. Finally "the good Abbe issued
unhurt from this judicial test."
There were twenty-one
"Ecclesiastics" who were members of the Lodge which initiated Voltaire and
which honored him by the funeral ceremonies six months after his death.
Cordier de Saint Firmin,
who participated in the foundation of the Atelier, was not only zealous, but
was considered as the "general Agent" of the Lodge.
Long before that time
(1778) the Bulls of Pope Clement XII (1738) and of Pope Benedict XIV had been
issued. In these pronunciamentos the fraternity of Freemasons had been
formally and solemnly condemned.
Says Amiable: "But then
there existed in our country a Gallican Church which did not receive orders
from the Jesuits, nor was it the slave of the Roman court.
"'Our Abbes were better
Gallicans than to feel themselves smitten by the Papal Anathemas which had not
been 'officially registered' in France, and were devoid of all legal effect."
Pierre Nicholas Le
Changeux was born at Orleans January 26th, 1740, and died in Paris October
3,1800. He was a man of letters and a savant. At the age of twenty-two he
published an important work, Traite des Extremes du Elements de la Science de
la Realite (Treatise Concerning Extremes or Elements of the Science of
Reality.) It was remarkable for original thought and philosophical ideas. In
1773 he published his Bibliotheque Grammatical ou Nouveaux Memoires Sur Le
Parole et Sur l’Ecriture (Grammatical Library or New Memoirs on Speech and
Writing.) Le Changeux was a physician, a physiologist, and a botanist. He
published the results of his investigations from 1778 to 1782 in the Journal
of Physics of the Abbe Rozier, another very zealous Freemason, who was, from
its origin, one of the principal members of the Grand Orient.
Science owes to Le
Changeux the apparatus for registering meteorological variations. He announced
this invention in his two works published in 1781, Le Barometographie et
and Meteorographie l'Art d'Observer d'Une Manner Commode et Utile les
Phenomenes de l’Etmosphere. He appears as Junior Warden (Second Surveillant,)
in the Tableau of 1783, and is described as "of the Academy of Arts of
The Abbe Robin, who is
third on the list of the founders, was, to use our American phrase, also a
charter member of the Lodge. There were several ecclesiastics who bore the
name of Robin, and hence their biographies have been confused by many authors.
We do not know where he was born, nor when he was initiated, but we know that
in 1779 he published a work with the title Recherches sur les Initiations
Anciennes et Modernes (Investigations of Ancient and Modern Initiations.) This
book evinces great zeal for Masonry, but is not strong in its learning,
especially in that which relates to the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt. The author
also worked on the hypothesis that Freemasonry had its origin in Chivalry.
There is reason to
believe that the Masonic relations between the Abbe Robin and Benjamin
Franklin caused the Abbe to be appointed Chaplain to the French Exposition
which was sent to America.
In 1782 the Abbe
published his Voyage dans l'Amerique Septentrional en 1781 et Campagne de
l'Armee de M. Ie Comte Rochambeau (Voyage in North America), and in 1807
published a three-volume work with the title Voyage dans l'Interieur de la
Louisiana, de la Florida occidental, et dans les iles de la Martinique et de
Saint Dominigue pendant les annees 1802, 1802, 1804, 1805, and 1806. After his
return to France he resumed his place in the Lodge of which he had been one of
the founders. His name appears as an honorary member on the Tableau of 1806.
* * *
BULLS AGAINST FREEMASONRY
I would like to know
when the Catholic church issued its edict against the Masonic Fraternity. A
Past Master of a local Lodge has stated that "his reverence," James Cardinal
Gibbons, was a member of the Fraterrity and became a Knight Templar, before
such an edict was passed. From what I have read the Roman church fought the
Fraternity long before Gibbons was born. E.E.H., Maryland.
In Brother Albert
Pike's famous reply to the letter of Pope Leo XIII, called "Humanum Genus," we
find the following:
"The Bull in eminenti
of Clement XII dated 27th April, 1738, confirmed and renewed by that beginning
Providas of Benedict XIV, 17th May, 1761;
"The edict of Pius VII,
in 1821, and the Apostolic edict Quo Graviora of Leo XII in 1825; with those
of Pius VII in 1829; Gregory the XVI in 1832, and Pius IX in 1846, 1865, etc.
"The title of Bull in
eminenti by Clement XII is 'condemnatio Societatis seu Conventiculorum de
Libre Muratori, seu the Free Masons,' under the penalty ipso facto incurred,
of ex-communication; absolution from it, except in articulo mortis, being
reserved to the Supreme Pontiff."
You are quite right
about these Bulls being old when Cardinal Gibbons was born. We think, however,
that your informant is mistaken as to the Cardinal having taken the Masonic
degrees. He was born of Irish parents in Baltimore, in 1834, but shortly
afterward removed to Ireland where he remained until about seventeen years of
age. He was a clerk before he became a Romish student, and took his first
orders of priesthood in 1861.
Pike says that by a
Papal brief, issued in January, 1760, the Father Joseph Torrubia, pro-censor
and revisor of the Inquisition, was authorized to procure initiation into
Masonry, to take all the oaths that might be required of him, and to use every
means possible to acquire the most complete knowledge of the membership of the
Freemasonry of Spain.
In March, 1751,
Torrubia, having taken, "without sinfulness," the oaths required and having
been initiated, put into the hands of the great Inquisitor the ninety-seven
lists of membership of Lodges at that time in existence in Spain, and in
consequence of this, the King of Spain, Ferdinand VI decreed, on July 2, 1751,
the complete suppression of the Masonic Fraternity, and prescribed the
punishment of death without any form of prelim. inary procedurew against all
who should be convicted of belonging to it.
Congress at Trent, in 1896, (only twenty-two years ago,) was convened with the
approval of the Pope, and was attended by two hundred or more Bishops. A
report of this meeting may be found in Brother Baird's article on "Freemasonry
in France," in the April number of THE BUILDER.
MASONRY IN THE PHILIPPINES
We are taught that all
Masons are brothers and that Masonry binds all nations together into one
common family. The black and white squares can be seen upon the floors in the
Lodge rooms of all Lodges working under the jurisdiction of Spain, Portugal
and Scotland, but I am sorry to say we only see them upon the canvas in
America. These black and white squares signify that Masonry recognizes all
Nations whether black or white, brown or yellow, and I used to think Masonry
was universally recognized the world over but I have found out by actual
experience that I was mistaken.
Masonry was founded
upon the best laws the world has ever known and we teach them to our
candidates but, Brothers, do we practice what we teach? No, I must say we do
not. In November, 1916, when I left Manila there were six Lodges there working
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands. There is
one Lodge in Manila working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, another one working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Portugal and a large number of Spanish Lodges. There are two different
jurisdictions or Grand Lodges in Spain, one is recognized by England and
Scotland and the other is considered clandestine. The Grand Lodges of Spain
and Portugal are not recognized by any of the Grand Lodges of the United
States,* and of course when the Americans first went over to the Philippines
they were forbidden to visit or hold Masonic intercourse with either of these
Lodges. One can hear all kinds of rumors why we do not recognize these Lodges,
but the only one that I heard that may have had any grounds for its utterance
was that they did not have the Bible in the Lodge room. Under the Spanish law
it was worth a man's life to try to bring the Bible to the Islands.
Missionaries tried several times to do so but they were confiscated in the
Custom House, the men were imprisoned, and death would have been preferable to
the treatment they received.
When General Aguinaldo
was captured, one of his Aids was given a Bible. He was very much delighted
over it, he said he had often wanted a Bible, but had never seen one before.
The Lodges had to meet in secret, meeting first in one place and then in
another and often going out of the city and meeting behind haystacks. They
were hunted down like criminals because they were trying to meet as a Masonic
body and learn some of the blessed truths that our Bible teaches. Under these
circumstances would you condemn them if they did not always have the Bible
with them ?
Since the Americans
entered the Islands in 1898, there is no excuse for not having the Bible and I
want to say that they always do have one. It was no farther back than 1914
that one of the Padres in the northern part of Luzon gave a picture show and
the price of admission was a copy of the New Testament which the American
Bible Society had distributed to the people and after the show he called all
the people to an open space and made a big bonfire and burned all the
Testaments. These people are just as true Masons as we are and it is only some
petty technicalities of Masonic rules that keep our Grand Lodges from
recognizing them. The Grand Lodges of the United States recognize the Grand
Lodges of England and Scotland.
(*According to the List
of the Masonic Grand Lodges of the World, issued by the Masonic Relief
Association of the United States and Canada, the Grand Lodge of Portugal,
"Grand Orient Lusitania Unido Supreme Council," is recognized by the Grand
Lodges of Arkansas, Canada and North Carolina, and the Grand Spanish Orient is
recognized by the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia. - EDITOR.)
The Grand Lodges of
England and Scotland recognize the Grand Lodges of Spain and Portugal and I
know of no logical reason why we should not recognize them.
A great many Officials
in the Philippines, Judges of the Supreme Court and many of the other Judges
and Officials including the great warrior General Aguinaldo are numbered among
the Masons. I have sat in the Blue Lodge and in the Chapter with Vice Governor
Martin and I had the pleasure of being present and seeing Gov. Gen. Harrison
raised a short time before I left there. There was present that night in the
East, Masters and Past Masters and leading men of the Islands, of all the
prominent Lodges in the Islands working under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge of the Philippine Islands, the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grand Lodge
of Spain, and the Grand Lodge of Portugal. This kind of a gathering would have
been impossible a few years ago. It was through the untiring efforts of Judge
Hervey and a few more broad-minded men of his type that the Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands was organized and this gathering made possible.
The fourth Lodge
organized under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands
was organized for and composed of Filipinos, except three or four Americans
who organized it. They open their Lodge and do all their work in English and
they are doing remarkably well.
It was hard to make the
Filipino people understand that the Grand Lodge was organized for them because
they were not asked to help organize it. Owing to the Masonic Laws the
Americans could not hold Masonic intercourse with the Spanish or Portugese
Lodges so the only way to effect a union was to organize a Grand Lodge and
then invite them to come in and join it, and this is what they did. They did
not recognize them officially but they tolerated them, that is they visited
them and invited them to visit our Lodges. The leading members of the
Portugese Lodge and a good many of the leading men of the Spanish Lodges were
in favor of coming into our Grand Lodge but there were a good many that were
not. They were so long under the Spanish law where there was nothing but
greed, graft, gain and oppression that their first thought was some kind of a
trick to get them to become subject to our Grand Lodge, but when they were
told there were only six Lodges under our jurisdiction and they could easily
get twenty Lodges to come in, with each Lodge having the same power, they did
not know what to say.
Masonry is doing more
today to teach the Filipino the American ideals of Democracy than any other
organization. By its untiring, unselfish motives it is aiding our Governrnent
more than you have any idea in moulding and guiding the thoughts and lives of
that little body of leading men who are working out the destiny of the
In behalf of Masonry at
large and especially in the Philippine Islands, I earnestly hope that every
Grand Lodge in the United States will encourage the Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands by recognizing them and do everything possible to encourage
them in their broad views of Masonry and thus help our weaker Brothers.
* * *
WORK BY MILITARY LODGES
I have reviewed with
much interest the position taken by the various Grand Masters in relation to
granting dispensations for Lodges in the Army and particularly authorizing
such Lodges to initiate candidates.
Personally I do not
favor such dispensations, but in view of the fact that in some cases the same
are being granted, it occurs to me that where initiation is permitted it
should be only after the petition has been submitted to the home Lodge of the
soldier for determination. That is to say, his home Lodge should pass upon his
qualifications and if found to be a proper candidate for the mysteries of
Freemasonry it should then request the Army Lodge to confer the degrees. This
would, I believe, be a very important safeguard against the admission of
A. M. Jackley, Iowa.
first degree is essentially a degree or condition of purification. It is the
first step the candidate must take if he would climb the mystic ladder that
Jacob saw in his dream.
believe in evolution, and most of us do, we must recognize that the path of
our evolution is along the lines of our inner unfoldment, the evolution of our
latent goodness. There is a germ of goodness, of pure gold, in the breast of
every human being, which by cultivation and education can be developed into
light and power.
as the oak is in the acorn, so is the masterman in the average man of today.
And as culture is necessary to develop the acorn into the oak, so is education
and cultivation necessary to unfold the goodness that is latent in every man.
three degrees in Blue Lodge Masonry exemplify the ascent of man from the
unregenerate and materialistic being to a regenerate master-man--the
master-builder of character and manhood. It is Jacob's ladder or the
evolutionary path of man.
for man to rise into a higher and nobler manhood, he must needs make the first
step, or take the First Degree, which is that of purification. It is through
purification only that man can come or grow into mastership.
become a master-man, master over our thoughts, emotions and acts, we must
cultivate the latent faculties within ourselves and overcome the base, the
mean and evil within us.
is why we are taught, first of all, to "divest ourselves of all metallic
substances." The metallic substances" or base metals are the base passions,
vices and degrading habits that have become part of us. If man is to be
refined, to become better, he must give up, get rid of, and divest himself of
his baser self, which is not his real self, but the accumulated rubbish within
as much as it is necessary to remove the dross in order to uncover the gold,
so is it absolutely essential for man to rid himself of his dross to uncover
the gold or goodness within himself.
also taught "not to daub with untempered mortar." Masonry abounds in symbolic
emblems of the builders art to "imprint on the mind wise and serious truths"
and illustrate moral and practical lessons. Just as in the construction of a
temporal building the use of "untempered mortar" would endanger its stability,
so are we admonished that, in the building of our temple of manhood and
character leading to a successful life, we "do not daub with untempered
mortar," or base and degrading thoughts and acts. Every thought and deed
enters into the construction of our manhood, like so many bricks in the
construction of a structure. Then how careful we as builders or Masons should
be in the construction of our manhood. Shall we choose well tempered mortar of
love, kindness, forgiveness, or shall it be the selection of "untempered
mortar" of hate, anger, and would pull our structure down ?
common gavel teaches us to "divest our hearts and consciences of all the vices
and superfluities of life, thereby fitting our minds as living stones, for
that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens." The "gavel" is our will-power, directed by our minds. It is through
our will-power directed by our enlightened minds that we can free ourselves
from undesirable conditions.
dual, being both good and bad. There is constant struggle between the good and
the bad in man. The evil in him does not give up without a struggle. If he is
a slave to some passion, it takes strength of will-power and the repeated
exercise of it for that man to free himself of his vice. In proportion that we
exercise our will-power, our "common gavel," for good, for our upbuilding, do
we further increase this will-power, obtain strength of mind and develop
manhood and character. This will enable us to be successful in our chosen walk
of life. Remember, therefore, that the "gavel" is your free-will, and it is a
"common gavel," for it is "common" to all. Every man is endowed with this
inestimable gift by God.
careful we must be in our living, if we are to prove worthy to wear the
lamb-skin or white leathern apron, as an emblem of our innocence ! "The lamb
has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence; he, therefore, who wears
the lambskin is constantly reminded of that purity of life and conduct which
is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge
above where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides." Let the white
leathern apron always remind us that our lives must be blameless, spotless and
free from sin and wrong-doing.
or force is in itself unmoral; but it becomes moral or immoral depending on
the direction of its application. Our thoughts and acts are moral or immoral
depending upon what uses we put them to.
we see that the First Degree abounds in symbolic language which is positive in
its instruction. It teaches a positive philosophy, a positive living of a
life. The symbolic language in its literal sense has no meaning, and it never
was intended for the craft to stop short at its literal application. Those who
originated the institution of Freemasonry used this symbolic language to hide
from the profane and yet reveal to the initiated profound truths and practical
instruction for our rule and guide in our daily living. The lessons in this
degree are eminently practical. It is practical to be good, to be free from
vices and passion; for it lead to power, to health, to a long and successful
life. And it is impractical to be a slave to vices, to degrading habits; for
they sap our strength, our manhood, leading to disease, failure and untimely
Therefore we see that the First Degree is the first step a candidate should
take, and that is Purification. Have you taken this first step? If not, why
A. W. Witt, in the Kansas City Freemason