The Builder Magazine
February 1919 - Volume V - Number
MASSONS" - A RARE MASONIC PLATE
BY BRO. CHARLES C. HUNT,
DEPUTY GRAND SECRETARY, IOWA
THE PLATE entitled "Les Free
Massons," used as the frontispiece in this issue, is quite a rarity and has
occasioned considerable curiosity and disputation. It is made from one of the
original impressions which is preserved in the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar
Rapids. The plate was published in 1733-35 in connection with a list of lodges
of the Society "des Massons Libres," edited by Pine, himself a Freemason, and
dedicated to Weymouth, then Grand Master of England, whose arms appear in the
The portrait of Sir Richard
Steele in the medallion above the tavern signs, and beneath the Weymouth arms,
would seem to indicate him as a member of the Fraternity, yet this has been
denied by later writers.
Mr. Richard Steele,
familiarly known as "Dick" Steele, afterwards created Sir Richard Steele by
Queen Anne, was noted as a "man about town" and a close observer of everything
transpiring in London in his day. He was a contributor to the "Tatler" and
mentions the subject of Freemasonry incidentally by alluding to "certain
coteries of idle fellows who rail at woman-kind and have their signs and
tokens like Free Masons."
Steele was an author of some
repute, publishing a volume of dramatic works, 1723, containing plays written
by him as early as 1714; "Theatre and Anti-Theatre," republished 1791; two
volumes of "Epistolary Correspondence," reprinted in 1787; "Account of the
State of the Roman Catholic Religion throughout the World," 1715. His
connection with the Fraternity has been affirmed by some writers who mention
him as a "Free Mason of the York Rite, or Ancient Masons." It would seem
somewhat evident that Sir Richard was a Mason and a "good fellow," his
portrait being so closely allied with the "Tavern Signs," representing the
places of meeting of the Craft.
This same plate appears also
in Picart's Ceremonies, of 1736-37, a very rare work published in seven large
folio volumes, of which the Grand Lodge of Iowa has a complete set.
Brother Speth, in writing of
this rare plate, says:
"It represents in the
foreground the Worshipful Master, his Wardens and Brethren, all in the costume
of the early part of the last century; beyond them stretches a table in the
shape of a square, and behind this table rises a high panelled wainscoting.
The panel is divided into 129 smaller squares, on each of which appears a
number, the copy of a tavern sign, and the name of the tavern in question. . .
. . The plate is valuable as showing us the Masonic costume of the period, and
curious as suggesting that Sir Richard Steele must have been a Freemason. It
is indeed our only evidence on that point as, although many expressions in his
writings might be held to confirm such a view, we have no record in lodge
minutes, or members' lists, that such was the case.
"Picart's ceremonies was
published in many editions at various times and places, and in more than one
language, and I believe all of them originally contained the plate in
question, although the book is oftener met without it, some Masonic collector
having evidently taken it out. In many of the later editions the plate is
reversed, and the numbers of the lodges run from right to left instead of from
left to right."
The Transactions of the Lodge
Quatuor Coronati, as well as several rare Masonic works have referred to this
plate as one of the rare Masonic plates of the day and it has proved of much
interest to the Masonic student.
WAS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE A
BY BRO. ROBERT I. CLEGG, NEW
A few pertinent paragraphs
from the great Bard, bearing on words and phrases in common use among the
"Put on two leather jerkins
and aprons." -2 Henry IV., 2: 190.
"They will put on two of your
jerkins and aprons." -2 Henry IV., II, 4:18.
"Here, Robin, an I die, I
give thee my apron." -2 Henry VI., II, 3:75.
"The nobility think scorn to
go in leather aprons." -2 Henry VI., II, 2:14.
"Hold up, you sluts, your
aprons mountant." -Timothy of Athens, IV, 3:135.
"A carpenter--where is thy
leather apron and thy rule?" - Julius Caesar I, 1:7.
"Mechanic slaves with greasy
aprons, rules and hammers." - Antony and Cleopatra, V, 2:210.
"He will line your apron with
gold." -Pericles, IV, 6:64.
"You have made good work, you
and your apron." - Coriolanus, IV, 6:96.
"Being then appointed Master
of this design." -Tempest, I, 2:163.
"The singing Masons, building
roofs of gold." -Henry V., I, 2:98.
"What is he that builds
stronger than either Mason?" - Henry V., I, 47.
"Who builds stronger than the
Mason?" -Henry V., I, 57.
"Creaking my shoes on plain
Masonry." -All's Well That Ends Well, II, 1:31.
"You shall see him in the
triple pillar of the world." -Antony and Cleopatra, I, 1:12.
"And set it down with gold on
lasting pillars." -Tempest, V, 1 :208.
"And call them pillars that
will stand to us." - 3 Henry VI., II, 3:87.
"He is not our Craft's
Master." -2 Henry IV., III, 2 :297.
"Wooing poor craftsmen."
-Richard II., I, 4:28.
THE ABOVE very interesting
compilation appeared in the March, 1918, issue of the Rob Morris Bulletin, the
bright publication of Rob Morris Lodge, Denver, Colorado, and is of course the
production of its able editor, Henry F. Evans. One cannot but wish that our
excellent brother had had the space and time to elaborate his article at such
length and skill as his sound Masonic knowledge and literary capacity fully
warranted. Then indeed we should have the more nearly arrived at a solution of
the really knotty question behind the references he has patiently assembled
and which but whet our curiosity to a keener edge. There is no present
intention to offer a complete answer to the query. At the best we can but
carry forward the inquiry a short stage or two but we shall feel quite content
if we attract attention to the problem.
We are also denied the
satisfaction of going thoroughly and definitely into explanations. This cannot
be done in print. The reader must read between the lines. He must make his own
references. If his remembrance of ritual is hazy and incomplete there is but
one remedy, get the co-operation of some well-informed Mason, or better still,
take the article over to the lodge and read it to the brethren. Their reaction
will help. There is wisdom in the counsel of many.
Neither shall we on the
present occasion delve into the peculiarities, political or otherwise, of the
Elizabethan era. We have pointed out on another opportunity the Craft relation
of the gilds and their pageantry and we shall curb our temptation to go deeply
into Shakespeare's acquaintance with the trades and their customs. To take but
the single instance, William Blades has put on record so many allusions to the
one trade, printing, that Shakespeare might from the testimony of his literary
output be set down not unfairly as an exponent of that calling.
How much did he know of
Freemasonry ? We may perhaps meet the inquiry by submitting such evidence as
shows what he knew of things and of practices that especially concern
Freemasons. Obviously these can be but fragmentary and merely suggestive.
Clarence tells us of King
Edward's mysticism in these terms:
"Hearkens after prophecies
And from the cross-row plucks
the letter G."
- Richard III, I, 1.
One might infer that the
allusion is to some means of divination, forecasting the future, as the term
"cross-row" is to be found explained as meaning the alphabet. Sometimes the
alphabet was accompanied with a cross in the old primers or was arranged in
the form of a cross as a token of good luck. But the choice of the letter "G"
Falstaff's death gives in a
word by Mistress Quickly, "chrisom child," "Henry V.," II, 3, a striking
comparison. Knowing the fullness of the reference the Freemason can with
Shakespeare see the larger vision. For the child when christened was given a
white garment and annointed with oil, the while was said the following prayer,
"Receive this white, pure and holy vestment, which thou shalt wear before the
tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest inherit eternal life.
Amen." After the member of the Craft has thought over the Apron lectures of
Brothers Strobo and Shaver, and also conned over the color allusion by Stowe,
"Chronicles of London," to the gifts of the godfathers of "christening shirts
with little bands and cuffs, wrought either with silk or blue thread," he will
see no doubt what Shakespeare saw, the dying of an old man like unto an
innocent child, as one wearing and deserving the purity badge of an Entered
Apprentice, "went away an it had been any chrisom child."
Praise to excess is often
spoken of as if it were laid on with a trowel. So does Shakespeare speak of it
with reference to that very working tool of the Craft, see "As You Like It,"
Our friend and brother, the
great Pythagoras, was by no means unknown to Shakespeare who mentions him by
name and alludes familiarly to the theories associated with his school of
philosophy. For example:
"To hold opinion with
That souls of animals infuse
Into the trunks of men."
- Merchant of Venice, IV, 1.
Another instance is in
"Twelfth Night," IV, 2:
"What is the opinion of
Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?"
"That the soul of our grandam
might haply inhabit a bird."
Transmigration of souls is
elsewhere mentioned by Shakespeare, as in the "Tempest," IV, 1, and in
"Hamlet," IV, 5. That beautiful if fanciful -certainly not unscientific-idea,
"the music of the spheres," was also Pythagorian and well-known to
Shakespeare. Thus it is said in the "Merchant of Venice," V, 1,
"There's not the smallest orb
which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an
Does Shakespeare allude to
the North? Yes, he deems it the place of darkness and of evil. He mentions a
devil assigned to the north. The spirits, "I Henry VI.," V, 3, are sought
"Under the lordly monarch of the north." See also "I Henry IV.," II, 4, and
the "Merry Wives of Windsor," II, 2.
There is a noteworthy passage
in "King John," IV, 2:
"And when they talk of him
they shake their heads
And whisper one another in
And he that speaks doth gripe
the hearer's wrist,
Whilst he that hears makes
With wrinkled brows, with
nods, with rolling eyes."
The sight of the open hand,
as in the outstretched hand when extending it to clasp that of a presumed
friendly acquaintance or raising the hand when taking an oath in a court of
law or elsewhere or when elevating the hand in giving a military salute or
answering one, all these and similar acts had a wider meaning in the days of
Shakespeare than is even now known to many of the profane. Then it was not
uncommon to brand criminals or otherwise maim or mutilate them. The word
"stigma" means such an effect as if burned deeply by fire. Just as the
mutilated criminal showed that those in authority had branded him noticeably
to the end that the beholders could never mistake him for one unrestrained and
unrestricted, free of birth and will, so the person born deformed or
accidently so was deemed thus crippled or defaced by the will of God to
designate his evil nature. Accordingly in "Richard III.," I, 8, the
hunchbacked Duke is called:
abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that was sealed in thy
The slave of nature, and the
son of hell."
Bacon, about the same period,
and by the way we will not here venture into a discussion of the true
authorship of the plays of Shakespeare, but Bacon refers to the deformity of
the body accompanying a perversion of the mind. Thus, agrees Shakespeare,
"A fellow by the hand of
Quoted, and signed, to do a
deed of shame."
- King John, n, 2.
"And the blots of nature's
Shall not in their issue
Never mole, hare-lip, nor
Nor mark prodigious, such as
Despised in infancy."
- Midsummer Night's Dream, V,
"But thou art neither like
thy sire nor dam;
But like a foul misshapen
Mark'd by the destinies to be
As venom toads, or lizards'
- 3 Henry VI., II, 2.
Probably an allusion to the
branding by a heated crown is indicated by the words in "Richard III.," IV,
1. Assuredly there is some ground for the belief that some regicides, notably
the Earl of Athol executed for the murder of James I. of Scotland, were
tortured with a circlet of hot iron around the head. Note the passage:
"O, would to God that the
Of golden metal, that must
round my brow,
Were red-hot steel, to sear
me to the brain."
There is a classic story of
the tree that revealed to Aeneas the murder of Polydorus in discovering the
grave of the one so patiently sought. The account is to be found in Virgil or
Dryden's translation of that author, III, 22. Shakespeare seems quite familiar
with it. Thus in "Macbeth," III, 4, referring lo the fact that murder will
out, we are told,
"It will have blood; they
say, blood will have blood;
Stones have been known to
move, and trees to speak;
Augurs and understood
By magot-pies and choughs and
rocks brought forth
The secret'st man of blood."
The symbolism of the glove is
all but lost among Freemasons, not so in the days of Shakespeare. There was a
time when the giving of a pair of gloves to the newly-made Mason was as
significant as was the bestowal of anything else. Not infrequently a second
pair of gloves was given the new member to be in turn transmitted to the one
he loved best of the opposite sex. Today the Freemason is mainly accustomed to
the white gloves as an appropriate emblem of mourning to be worn at a Masonic
funeral or as adding a touch of Masonic uniform or "clothing" at any other
ceremonial of a public character. Shakespeare refers to the gloves as a favor
to be exchanged freely by friends but when once acquired and worn it could
only be demanded as the act of an enemy. For instance,
"Give me any gage of thine,
and I will wear it in my bonnet; then if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I
will make it my quarrel."
"Here's my glove; give me
another of thine."
"This will I also wear in my
cap; if ever thou come to me and say, after tomorrow, 'This is my glove,' by
this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear."
- Henry V., IV, 1.
Appropriately enough from a
Masonic point of view where the glove has equal weight with the apron in
symbolism, Shakespeare calls it "honor's pawn," and a "token of honor," as may
be seen by an examination of "Richard II.," I, 1; "Richard II.," IV, 1; "Timon
of Athens," V, 4.
We are taught as Masons that
the form of a lodge is oblong; its length from east to west, in breadth from
north to south, as high as heaven, and as deep as from the surface to the
center. Thus are we shown the universality of Freemasonry and that a Mason's
charity should be equally extensive. But the expressions must sound strange to
the young Freemason, much more strange than they would would have been to the
ears of Shakespeare. He uses east to west in the same limitless fashion thus:
"O heaven, that such
companions thou'ldst unfold,
And put in every honest hand
To lash the rascals naked
through the world
Even from the east to the
- Othello, IV, 2.
And as to the center, pray
consider the following,
"As true as steel, as
plantage to the moon,
As sun to day, as turtle to
As iron to adamant, as earth
to the center."
- Troilus and Cressida, III,
There is also the claim of
the self-confident Polonius who says,
"I will find
Where truth is hid, though it
were hid indeed
Within the center."
- Hamlet, II, 2.
While dealing to some extent
with the points of the compass we must not overlook the location of graves
upon which there is an interesting note in Tylor's "Primitive Culture," vol.
2, page 423. He says,
"It is not to late and
isolated fancy, but to the carrying on of ancient and widespread solar ideas,
that we trace the well known legend that the body of Christ was laid with the
head toward the west, thus looking eastward, and the Christian usage of
digging graves east and west, which prevailed through medieval times, and is
not yet forgotten."
He also quotes an old work to
the effect that the the laying of the head to the west was for the purpose
that the dead should rise looking toward the east. Did Shakespeare know of
this centuries-old belief ? He did, as may be seen from the following,
relative to the burial of the dead,
'Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his
head to the east;
My father has a reason for't."
- Cymbeline, IV, 2.
On many occasions we have
called attention to the punishment by drowning, the tying of the culprit to a
stake at low water and then leaving the body there for at least the period of
a couple of tides. Around this old English treatment of criminals grew up
certain expressions and superstitions of the liveliest interest to we
Freemasons. They are duly noted by Shakespeare. Thus of a rascal in the
"Tempest," I, 1, it is said,
"Would thou might'st lie
The washing of ten tides."
And in the "Midsummer Night's
Dream," III, 2, we find,
"Damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods
Falstaff's death is said to
"Even at the turning o' the
- Henry V., II, 3.
and in the passing of the
king in "2 Henry IV.," 4, is thus
recorded by Shakespeare,
"The river hath thrice flow'd,
no ebb between;
And the old folk, times
Say it did so a little time
That our great grandsire,
Edward sick'd and died."
Of symbolism we have a wealth
of references, too many for easy selection. In mere allusion to numbers there
is too large a choice as the mention of significant numerals is extensive.
Threes, sevens and nines are noted as of special importance by Shakespeare, as
truly they are to all Freemasons. In fact he has put into the mouth of
Falstaff, "Merry Wives of Windsor," V, 1, an explanation with which we may
conclude this compilation,
"They say there is divinity
in odd numbers,
Either in nativity, chance or
Of the symbolism of numbers
much is taught in Freemasonry. Three, five, seven, nine, and their multiples
are frequently met. All have a pertinent significance for the persevering
student of the message shown and conveyed by symbolism. Among the manifold
references it is well to reread in this connection the information to be found
in the Mackey-Hughan Encyclopedia, Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (the
article on "Number"), and Morals and Dogma (pages 548 et seq).
Was Shakespeare aware of the
peculiar associations that these particular numbers have for many if indeed
not all of us ? It is very likely that he was so informed. The obvious fact
that these numbers are uneven was not unnoticed by him. Nay, he goes further
and speaks of odd numbers in a way indicating his acquaintance with the
beliefs that had grown around them through the ages of mankind's infancy and
mental growth. Thus,
"They say there is a divinity
in odd numbers, either in
nativity,-chance, or death."
- Merry Wives of Windsor, V,
So magical was the impression
of odd numbers that Shakespeare to the better suggest the uncanny he puts into
the mouth of a witch the two words "one" and "three" where four is meant.
"Thrice and once the
- Macbeth, IV, 1.
In this he had classic
authority for his guide. But there is another example of very considerable
interest from our point of view. This is in the promise made by Cade to Dick,
the butcher of Ashford. Butchers in the reign of Elizabeth were forbidden to
sell during Lent unless by dispensation. Cade therefore makes a double
promise, to lengthen Lent and also grant a very unusual permission to kill.
The number in the promise could have obviously been one thing as another were
it not for the deeper meaning associated with the odd number.
"Therefore, thus will I
reward thee - the Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a
license to kill for a hundred lacking ane."
- 2 Henry VI, IV, 3.
There are instances where the
uses of the expression has indeed become so fixed a custom and habit in our
conversation that the symbolism and strength of lore is no longer noted by us.
Yet even here it is well worth the notice that Shakespeare prefers to employ
an odd number where with equal ease he might have used something else. As,
"Threescore and ten I can
Within the volume of which
time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things
strange: but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings."
- Macbeth, II, 3.
Shakespeare has also
reproduced an old charm or spell that may have been employed as an agency
against attacks of nightmare. Here it is as will be seen the mention of a
number is in both cases to an odd one.
"Saint Withold footed thrice
the old wold;
He met the night-mare, and
Bid her alight
And troth her plight,
And, aroint thee, witch,
- King Lear, III, 4.
"FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA PRIOR
BY BRO. A.G. PITTS, SECRETARY
PALESTINE LODGE, MICHIGAN
FREEMASONRY in America prior
to 1750" by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, is
a book of the kind that used to characterize Masonry. The author, to maintain
his thesis, relies especially upon the easy device of ascribing to former
generations the ideas of the present. Such a device is not only easy but
especially likely to be successful in Masonry. The average Mason is only too
ready to believe that the laws and customs of Masonry were the same in 1730 as
they are today.
The especial duty of the
National Masonic Research Society is to study the changes in these laws and
customs, to emphasize the fact that they have changed, and to prevent Masonic
literature from falling back into the condition it was when Hallam wrote:
"The curious subject of
Freemasonry has unfortunately been treated of only by panegryists and
caluminators, both equally mendacious."
This was said in 1856. Soon
after arose the new school including the Quatuor Coronati group--Hughan,
Gould, Chetwode-Crawley, Speth and the rest, who adopted and steadfastly
pursued the rigorous methods of modern historians. The most striking
illustration of the effect of this reform upon the profane world and of the
new respect for the Craft which the latter thereupon acquired is found in a
comparison of the articles under the heading "Freemasonry" in the ninth and in
the eleventh (latest) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The contemptuous
tone of the ninth edition is well known and has been often referred to. The
eleventh edition gives space to an article of extraordinary merit and of
Past Grand Master Johnson's
thesis is that Massachusetts has every kind of priority in the history of
"Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750." The first lodge in Boston was of 1733.
But there was a lodge at Philadelphia as early as 1730 and even a Grand Lodge.
How is he to secure priority for Boston in respect to these matters ?
He does it by heaping
injurious epithets upon the Philadelphia brethren. Witness the following
"1721 June 24. On this day
the Mother Grand Lodge of the Masonic world, that at London, adopted a
regulation quoted under '1700' supra. This has ever since been the law
forbidding the formation of a lodge without a Grand Master's Warrant.
"This Mother Grand Lodge then
had jurisdiction over the new world and every regular and duly constituted
lodge which existed in America during the period with which we are dealing
derived its authority directly or indirectly therefrom. At least from the
public promulgation of this rule (1723) every lodge which met in the colonies
without the required authority (and there were doubtless a number of them) was
irregular and not entitled to Masonic recognition. All such came under the
second paragraph of said Regulation VIII. Clandestine and irregularly made
Masons were no more entitled to Masonic recognition in the eighteenth century
than they are now in the twentieth century. The so-called lodges in the
colonies, therefore meeting without warrant in those early days are no part of
legitimate Masonic history until they 'humbled themselves' as did the Masons
of Pennsylvania when in 1734 they applied for and received recognition from
Provincial Grand Master Price 1734-6. Until then, under the law quoted they
were 'rebels.' And never in any phase of the life of the world have rebels
obtained the right of legitimacy unless the rebellion was successful. In
dealing with questions of precedence, primacy is to be accorded to regularity,
and obedience to law is to be preferred to violation thereof."
Section VIII upon which so
much is based, was adopted by the first Grand Lodge not later than 1723 since
it is found in the constitutions printed in that year. The statement is there
made that the regulations then first printed were adopted June 24; 1721. Maybe
there were, but we have no authority for the claim but the statement of Rev.
James Anderson and we have learned not to accept any statement of his unless
Here is Section VIII:
"VIII. No set or number of
brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the lodge in which they
were made brethren or were afterward admitted members, unless the lodge
becomes too numerous; nor even then, without a dispensation from the Grand
Master or his deputy: and when they are thus separated, they must immediately
join themselves to such other lodge as they shall like best, with the
unanimous consent of that other lodge to which they go (as above regulated) or
else they must obtain the Grand Master's warrant to join in forming a new
"If any set or number of
Masons shall take upon themselves to form a lodge without the Grand Master's
warrant the regular lodges are not to countenance them nor own them as fair
brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their action and deeds; but must
treat them as rebels, until they humble themselves as the Grand Master shall
in his prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his warrant, which
must be signified to the other lodges as the custom is when a new lodge is to
be registered in the list of lodges."
If the Grand Lodge which
adopted Regulation VIII had undertaken to legislate for Masonry everywhere we
should have many questions to ask as to where they got the authority to do so.
But we are spared this inquiry for these regulations are expressly entitled
"for the use of the lodges in and about London and Westminster."
Regulation III, printed at
the same time, requires each lodge to keep a list of all the lodges "in town."
Regulation XII provides that the Grand Lodge consists of the Masters and
Wardens of all the regular particular lodges upon record. If this be of
world-wide application and lodges not regular are irregular or clandestine
then the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster meant to so characterize the
scores of lodges in Scotland, in Ireland and in England outside the capital.
We shall see if that was its intention.
Regulation XIII provides that
apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Craft only in Grand Lodge.
Regulation XX that the Grand Master shall visit all the lodges "about town"
during his Mastership. Regulation XXII that the brethren of all the lodges "in
and about London and Westminster" shall meet at an annual communication and
feast. Regulation XXXIX that no new regulation can be adopted except by vote
of a majority of all the brethren present at the annual grand feast including
"Even the youngest Entered Apprentice." All this points irresistibly to the
idea of a local Grand Lodge, not one for all the world.
There follows a "postscript"
giving the manner of constituting a new lodge which is by the Grand Master
present in person. After that an "approbation" certifying that the regulations
were adopted with the "consent of the brethren and fellows in and about the
cities of London and Westminster" and ordering that they be received in every
particular lodge "under our cognizance."
The truth is that the first
Grand Lodge was formed to be a Grand Lodge for the four lodges which formed it
and with no idea of territorial jurisdiction whatever. It is most curious to
trace the growth of the idea of exclusive territorial jurisdiction until it
reaches its full stature (as it has done in America alone) when it appears as
the doctrine that there must be one Grand Lodge for each political State and
only one and that any lodge in that State which does not hold of the
established Grand Lodge of that State is ipso facto clandestine. Nowhere in
the world is there so perfect an illustration of the dictum of Past Grand
Master Simons (in his "Masonic Jurisprudence") that it is human nature to
encroach. Brother Simons also laid down in emphatic language the duty of
Freemasons to resist the never-ending, successive encroachments of Grand
Lodge. Since his time the encroachments have gone on until now what he
enjoined as a duty has become a crime and even the repetition of his
injunction to resist is a Masonic crime.
This is the significance of
the present inquiry. The question of precedency between Massachusetts and
Pennsylvania is of little consequence. What is of the utmost consequence is to
put the theory of Grand Lodge absolutism in its proper place. And a
contribution can be made to this work by a study of the origin of Grand
Lodges. The Grand Lodge of 1717 was successful beyond all expectation.
Organized by and for four lodges it began almost at once to be joined by the
other lodges of London and soon by those of Westminster. Already in 1723, as
we have seen, it is powerful enough to enjoin upon its lodges a refusal to
recognize any new lodge formed from among Masons under its authority without
the authority of its Grand officers. But up to that time the Masons under its
authority were only those who were members of its lodges.
In 1724 it takes the second
step; it ordains "that no new lodge in or near London without it be regularly
constituted, be countenanced by the Grand Lodge, nor the Master or Wardens be
admitted at the Grand Lodge." (Gould's History of Freemasonry, American
Edition, Vol. III, p. 127.)
This is the first appearance
of territorial jurisdiction.
It is significant that in
quoting this in the second edition of the Constitutions published in 1738
Anderson omits the words "in or near London." This interested omission is the
measure of the extent of encroachment between 1724 and 1738.
At a later meeting in 1724,
also, it was ordered that "if any brethren shall meet irregularly and shall
make Masons at any place within ten miles of London the persons present at the
making (the new brethren excepted) shall not be admitted even as visitors into
any regular lodge whatsoever, unless they come and make such submission to the
Grand Master and (Grand Lodge as they shall think fit to impose upon them."
(Gould, Vol. III, p. 129.)
As in the last preceding
quotation the boldface words indicate an omission made by Anderson in the
Constitutions of 1738.
Now we are in position to
understand what the Grand Lodge of 1717 understood by its characterization of
certain brothers as "rebels" in Regulation VIII. Philadelphia was not "in or
near London" and it was not "within ten miles of London." But, allowing the
Grand Lodge all the authority it claimed, it did not even claim to control
Masonry outside those territorial limits.
It may be remarked in passing
that there is evidence that, at least as late as 1726, in the words of Brother
Gould, "the 'beneficent despotism' which arose out of the unconditional
surrender of their inherent privileges by four private lodges, was not
submitted to without resistance by the Craft at large. (Gould, Vol. III, p.
In other words, even as far
as we have got in 1726, we find that the pretensions of the Grand Lodge are
treated with contempt "in and near London" and it is again to be noted that
this article leaves aside the very large question--the enormous question--how
did it come that four lodges could make new laws which should be binding upon
Masons who never belonged to any of the four ? But having asked the question
it will not delay us much to give the answer. By assumption and encroachment
But up to 1734 and much later
we can, for our present purpose, admit the validity of every law that they
passed leaving this question aside. It was many years before they ever claimed
jurisdiction over all England even, and they never claimed any jurisdiction
over Scotland or Ireland and they never claimed exclusive jurisdiction over
the colonies and other parts of the world.
In 1725 the regulation
allowing the making of Fellowcrafts and Masters at Grand Lodge only was
repealed. This marks the fact that the Grand Lodge had begun to secure the
adherence of lodges more than ten miles from London. In 1727 Provincial Grand
Masters were first appointed. In 1729 lodges were constituted in Bengal and at
Gibraltar and in 1729 a lodge at Madrid was received. In 1730 a Provincial
Grand Master was appointed for New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Upon this Brother Johnson
"The issuance of this
deputation, however, establishes three facts, viz:
"1. The then jurisdiction of
the Grand Lodge of England over these colonies.
"2. That regular and duly
constituted lodges could exist in the colonies only through the authority of a
Provincial Grand Master appointed by the Grand Master of England.
"3. That no one else had
authority to establish lodges in Pennsylvania, New York or New Jersey until at
least after June 24, 1732, the end of the term of the deputation.
"The establishment of lodges
in Pennsylvania during the term of Coxe's deputation and without his sanction
was therefore irregular and in direct contravention of his authority. (Gould,
Vol. IV, p. 362.)"
That reference to "Gould,
Vol. IV" is startling. If Gould said anything like that we have to revise the
opinion we have had of Gould for thirty years.
But be reassured "Gould, Vol.
IV," is a reference to that pirated edition of Gould which stands for all time
as a monument to American Masonry and a new demonstration of the evil effect
of extravagant pretensions. American Masonry, since it makes an excessive
parade of brotherly love, of rectitude and the like, might be expected to
steal the life work of Masonry's most distinguished scholar, allowing him to
die in poverty leaving his aged wife unprovided for. This we did--we
Americans. Fifty cents a set on the copies of Gould's History sold in America
would have made him comfortable and free from anxiety in his old age. He did
not get a cent. Every American Mason that owns or uses the American edition of
Gould's History owes Mrs. Gould a dollar.
This by the way. Perhaps an
apology is due for such a digression. All that it was necessary to say is
this: Volume IV of Gould's History, after page 300, is the American addition
to the History and "Gould, Vol. IV, p. 362," is one of the precious pages
which P.G.M. Drummond contributed.
But let us go back a little.
In 1725 we find a Grand Lodge at Dublin showing signs of having been in
existence for some time. In 1726 a Grand Lodge was organized for Munster
probably by a single lodge. In 1728 this Grand Lodge adopted regulations, the
tenth of which required each lodge to provide itself with a copy of the
Constitutions printed at London in 1723. Upon these regulations as a whole,
Bro. Chetwode-Crawley remarks:
"We have the same
restrictions on jurisdiction as were current in the Grand Lodge of England.
The provisions were only for constituted lodges within easy reach. Caementaria
Hibernica Fas. I."
We find a Grand Lodge at
Dublin in 1729 and in 1730 it published a book of Constitutions which is a
copy of Anderson's Constitutions of 1723. Thus that famous Regulation VIII is
almost precisely the same as already quoted above. In XXII "Dublin" takes the
place of "London and Westminster."
If the Grand Lodge of London
by its Constitution and regulations of 1723 was assuming jurisdiction over the
whole Craft then the Grand Lodge at Dublin was making the identical claim in
publishing its identical constitution and regulations of 1730 and these two
Grand Lodges were rivals and enemies. As a matter of fact Lord Kingston was
Grand Master of both Grand Lodges in succession--of the Grand Lodge at London
in 1729, and of that at Dublin and that at Munster (at the same time) in 1731.
As a matter of fact the Grand Lodges of Munster and of Dublin had not yet
thought of being Grand Lodges for any territory or of being other than Grand
Lodges for their own lodges wherever located, and the Grand Lodge of London
was only just beginning to have such thoughts. Lord Kingston, while Grand
Master of both Munster and Dublin in 1731, constituted a lodge at Mitchelstown
(near Cork in Munster) which held under the Grand Lodge of Dublin.
Thus Ireland narrowly escaped
coming under a system like that of Germany today where there are six Grand
Lodges no one of which has or claims any exclusive territorial jurisdiction
whatsoever. Undoubtedly to that extent the German usage represents the
original form and idea of Grand Lodges. It is amusing to reflect that some of
our Western Grand Lodges have made this adherence to the original form of
Masonry ground for denying recognition of German Grand Lodges at all.
The next Grand Lodge to be
noticed is that organized at York in 1725, of course in imitation of the one
at London. Again we find them adopting the regulations published by the Grand
Lodge of London in 1723. Under date of July 6, 1726, we find the Grand Lodge
of York expelling a Wm. Scourfield for making Masons "without the consent of
the Grand Master contrary to Article VIII." The conclusion is irresistible
that the Grand Lodge at York accepted the authority and force of the
regulations of 1723, applying them to its own locality as the Grand Lodge of
London applied them to London and Westminster and as the Grand Lodge at
Philadelphia applied them to Philadelphia.
Now let this be repeated so
that it will be clearly understood.
In 1730 there were four Grand
Lodges with identical regulations. Each Grand Lodge has its Regulation VIII.
Each then was forbidding the formation of lodges without its Grand Master's
warrant. Was the Grand Lodge of York, then, forbidding the organization of new
lodges at London or at Belfast or at Cork? Of course not. Was it assuming
exclusive jurisdiction over the whole Craft? Of course not. How shallow then
to claim that the Grand Lodge at London was doing so. And how careless (?) to
overlook the fact, which stares us in the face, that these regulations are
entitled regulations for the lodges of London and Westminster.
In 1736 the Grand Lodge of
Scotland was organized. Not fewer than 100 lodges were invited to take part
and thirty-three accepted the invitation. Melrose did not join until 1891, and
Kilwinning in 1744 resumed her independency and also her status as a Grand
Lodge and continued to grant charters for seventy years thereafter.
Finally in 1723 another Grand
Lodge was organized at London which proceeded to make itself "legitimate,"
according to the test laid down by Past Grand Master Johnson, by becoming
"successful." As soon as it had made good its footing it was recognized by the
Grand Lodges of Ireland and of Scotland and of York. Says Dr. Chetwode-Crawley:
"Toward the close of the
century the Grand Lodge of the Moderns (the one founded in 1717) stood
isolated among English-speaking Grand Lodges. Even in the Colonies, where it
had been first to plant lodges, the more democratic organization of the
Antients, aided by the ubiquitous Military Lodges, in which Ireland had such a
preponderance, rapidly and surely won its way to acceptance. It has been
generally found more convenient to ignore this isolation, than to accept the
conclusions that must be drawn from it. Caementaria Hibernica Fas. II."
It is notorious that the
union of 1813 between the Grand Lodge of 1717 and that of 1753 was a surrender
on the part of the older sister and to a large degree an admission that the
younger had run her out of the field.
It is extraordinary but not
at all inexplicable that never in this country has justice been done to the
Grand Lodge of Antients, that never has its history been truthfully written.
It is extraordinary because it is our real progenitor. The part of the Grand
Lodge of Moderns in the establishment of Masonry in this country is
negligible. Where the latter did succeed in establishing Masonry it was nearly
always sooner or later supplanted by Masonry which originated with the Grand
Lodge of Antients or with her affiliates, the Grand Lodges of Scotland and of
It is not inexplicable
because the history of this Grand Lodge is most annoying to certain Masonic
Grand Lodge authorities.
A Mason writing Masonic
history, with no axe to grind and no thesis to maintain, could write of the
origin of the Grand Lodge of Antients very simply and naturally. It has been
hushed up and covered up and made complicated because no one dared tell the
truth and take the odium.
In 1751 the Grand Lodge of
England had made much progress toward establishing the doctrine that it owned
the territory over which it had undertaken to establish exclusive
jurisdiction. Its claim was modest at its greatest extent. It did not claim,
as do American Grand Lodges, that its exclusive jurisdiction was necessarily
co-extensive with the jurisdiction of the political state. There was no
Kingdom of England in 1751, nor in 1717. The political state was the Kingdom
of Great Britain. England was no more a separate state at either date than is
the upper peninsula of Michigan (which probably ought to have a separate Grand
Lodge) today. No more a separate state than are those counties which formerly
comprised the two separate jurisdictions of Oklahoma and Indian Territory,
each of which formerly had its separate Grand Lodge, which Grand Lodges
assumed that when the political divisions were united they also must hasten to
But the first Grand Lodge did
want to own England. Then arose a rival Grand Lodge which called itself the
Grand Lodge of Antients, claiming the right to occupy the same territory and
by making its claim good it forever destroyed the doctrine that any Grand
Lodge can own any territory and forever established the opposite doctrine that
a Grand Lodge, being the creature of lodges, cannot be given by those lodges
what they themselves do not possess, that is to say, exclusive jurisdiction
over any territory whatsoever. What they do possess and what they can grant is
jurisdiction over their own members only.
Now we can go to work, we
Americans, those of us that do not hold and would not accept office in any
Grand Lodge, and rewrite American Masonic history giving its proper place to
the Grand Lodge of Antients in that history. We can take down James Anderson
from his pedestal and set up Lawrence Dermott in his place. Especially we can
put Masonic jurisprudence upon a rational basis. It is miles from having one
Let us have no more talk
about the "Mother" Grand Lodge. What P.G.M. Johnson means by that and what we
have long understood by it he expresses when he says (by implication) that
every lodge in the world derives its authority directly or indirectly
The three Grand Lodges in
Ireland none of them derived in any way or in any sense from the Grand Lodge
of 1717. All three were organized by lodges composed wholly or for the most
part of Masons who had never owed or paid allegiance to the premier Grand
Lodge. The same is true still more emphatically of the Grand Lodges at York.
True beyond any possible question or limitation of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland. And when we come to the Grand Lodge of Antients there is no evidence
that it is not true of it also. It has suited the purpose of the authorities
to represent it as founded by rebels and seceders. The burden of proof is on
them. They cannot produce any.
It is the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and the Grand Lodge of Antients that
spread Freemasonry over the earth and especially over this continent. They are
our mothers. We are all anxious to read a history of "Freemasonry Prior to
1800" written from this standpoint. Let some one write it. Not even the
present writer knows how it would read.
It may be the fault of my
method but only now I am ready to go back to my latest quotation from Brother
Johnson and to complete my reply to it.
He makes the statement, it
will be remembered, that no one had authority to establish lodges in
Pennsylvania, etc., except by authority of the Grand Lodge of London.
This statement is so
extraordinary that it is even doubtful what he means by it. It has never been
seriously questioned but the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland had
concurrent jurisdiction over the colonies and all over the world outside the
British Isles. The whole history of the early American Grand Lodges is a
history of the English, Irish and Scottish lodges uniting to organize a Grand
Lodge. Massachusetts herself derives from Scotland as much as from England,
and Scotland is, of course, not derived from England. To this day there is no
question of the right of any Grand Lodge to organize lodges in any country
which has no Grand Lodge and it is understood that Massachusetts has chartered
lodges for China.
To be sure the Grand Lodge of
Scotland did not exist in 1730-32. But there were two Grand Lodges in Ireland
and one of them became very active in chartering lodges in foreign parts.
Whether it chartered any prior to 1732 it is not worth while to inquire for it
certainly had the right to do so as much then as at any later time. It is not
likely that the Philadelphia Lodge had any warrant or other express authority
any more than did those that organized the Grand Lodges at London, at Cork, at
Dublin, at York and in Scotland. Why they needed any, any more than did those
other lodges, it is impossible for any candid person to understand. They also
had the same right to organize a Grand Lodge that the other lodges had. No one
would have questioned it in those days. The Grand Lodge at London had got no
farther than "ten miles from London." If the Masons of Ireland could organize
a Grand Lodge in 1730, and those of Scotland could organize one in 1736 why,
in the name of sense, could not the Masons of Philadelphia organize one in
1732? As late as 1738 the Grand Lodge at London recognizes the regularity of
the Grand Lodge at York, bracketing it with the Grand Lodges of Ireland,
Scotland and Italy. See the "Constitutions" of that date.
It is most probable that the
Masonry of Philadelphia was of Irish origin in some way. Dr. Chetwode Crawley
has pointed out that the Penns were Irish Masons as early as the days of the
Grand Lodge of Munster. This is not the evidence relied upon, however. What is
relied upon is the language of Dr. Benjamin Franklin's letter to Henry Price
at Boston, dated Nov. 28, 1734, in which he asks for a "charter."
Now at that time the only
Grand Lodge that knew anything about charters was the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
From Ireland they were adopted by the Grand Lodge of Antients in 1753 and the
oldest Grand Lodge began to use them in 1757.
What Brother Price granted to
Brother Franklin we do not know and especially we do not know and have grave
reason to doubt that Franklin, if he received anything, accepted it and acted
upon it. What he asked for was a charter for a Grand Lodge. Past Grand Master
Johnson quotes with great exultation a Philadelphia newspaper of March 20 to
27, 1735, which states that at a Grand Lodge held at Boston, Feb. 21, Grand
Master Price appointed Benjamin Franklin Provincial Grand Master for the
Province of Pennsylvania.
Now of course Brother Price
was himself only a Provincial Grand Master and had no power to appoint a
Provincial Grand Master. That, however, is only an attempt to write like
Brother Johnson. What Masonic authorities may lawfully do and what they
actually undertook to do in the early days are two very different questions.
But Past Grand Master Drummond asserts that "the record shows" that what
Brother Price sent was a deputation to hold a lodge at Philadelphia under the
Provincial Grand Lodge of Boston. Is he wrong? As a matter of fact there is no
record. Referring to the newspaper item Brother Johnson says:
"We are now for the first
time, in possession of the date of Franklin's appointment."
If the newspaper is his only
authority it does not prove much. We know that the Grand Lodge at Philadelphia
continued as a Grand Lodge at least until 1741. Also that what Brother
Franklin asked for was a charter "confirming the brethren of Pennsylvania in
the privileges they at present enjoy of holding annually their Grand Lodge,
choosing their Grand Master, Wardens and other officers who may manage all
affairs relating to the brethren here with full power and authority, according
to the customs and usages of Masons, the said Grand Master of Pennsylvania
only yielding his chair when the Grand Master of all America shall be in
place." (Gould, Vol. IV, p. 236.)
This is that "humbling
themselves" on the part of the Pennsylvania "rebels" to which Brother Johnson
refers in our first quotation from him. He is easily satisfied.
As has been said the question
of precedency between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts is of little consequence.
It is to be hoped that there will be found in the present inquiry license to
examine the question whether the modern doctrine as to the absolute and
unlimited power of Grand Lodges is a doctrine necessary or useful.
It may be readily admitted
that greater authority should be given to Masonic government than it had yet
acquired in 1734. The evil of the looseness of these days appears from Brother
Franklin's famous letter to Brother Price. He fears the establishment of a
rival (and cheap) Masonry in Philadelphia which will discredit the institution
and he believes that the sanction of some authority from Great Britain will
add weight to his Grand Lodge.
It is proper, perhaps, that
every Grand Lodge should enforce exclusive control over the territory it
occupies if it can. This does not alter the fact that the methods adopted in
many cases in the history of American Masonry have been most uncharitable,
unfraternal and disgraceful and such as would not have been adopted if we had
known the whole truth about the origin of Grand Lodge authority. Nor does it
alter the fact that such exclusive jurisdiction has not been found necessary
in other countries. Nor the fact that we are at liberty to consider a
different organization of the Freemasonry of the United States. One could be
found which would add to instead of diminishing the power, influence and
prestige of the Craft.
There is another
consideration which is important. The glory of Freemasonry is her great men.
"I say great men are still
admirable! I say there is at bottom, nothing else admirable! No nobler feeling
than this of admiration for one higher than himself dwells in the breast of
man. It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in man's
Benjamin Franklin ought to be
one of our Masonic heroes--second in this country to Washington alone.
Nevertheless if it were true that he was an irregular or clandestine Mason, if
it were true that he would act illegally for the sake of the petty vanity of
writing himself Grand Master, if he was a "rebel" and a self-confessed rebel
who made "humble submission" as such, then let the truth be told. In writing
history historical truth is above everything. But none of these things are
Among the seven or eight
Grand Lodges first organized none is more regular than Benjamin Franklin's.
This is the conclusion of Brothers Hughan and Gould. Everyone should read what
they have to say about it, especially Brother Gould. See the American Edition
of his great history at page 241 of Vol. IV.
Of all the founders of early
Grand Lodges the greatest name is Benjamin Franklin. Of all the early Grand
Masters the greatest name is Benjamin Franklin. The glory of furnishing this
name to Freemasonry belongs to us all. If Massachusetts cares nothing for this
the rest of us ought to.
Let us protest against
vilifying and blackening him without cause.
MASONIC RESEARCH WORK IN IOWA
REPORT OF GRAND LODGE
COMMITTEE ON MASONIC RESEARCH
A number of Grand Lodges
employ Research Committees to stimulate Masonic study among their members. It
is believed that those interested in the work of these Committees, in Study
Clubs, and Masonic research generally, will find something worth while in the
report of the Masonic Research Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, submitted
to and adopted by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication at Ottumwa last
Those who may desire further
information concerning the work of this Committee are advised to write Brother
C.C. Hunt, Deputy Grand Secretary, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
THE COMMITTEE on Masonic Research in coming before
you with a report for another year is impressed more than ever with the
greatness of the work. We have often heard the adage "Eternal vigilance is the
price of Liberty." Let us add a corollary to that truth "Unceasing diligence
is the price of progress." As a boatman rowing against the stream begins to go
back the moment he stops rowing, so as Masons we are striving to gain the
heights of truth where the horizon of our life is widened, our minds enlarged,
our sympathies broadened, our souls uplifted and our affections deepened, must
continue rowing against the current of indolence, indifference and
procrastination, if we would not allow ourselves to drift back to the lowlands
of ignorance, narrowness and selfishness. Your Committee has had to contend
against these currents during the past year, but we are glad to say that
progress has been made and that we are on higher ground than we were a year
ago. The Clipping Bureau, the Traveling Libraries, Masonic Lectures, Study
Clubs, distribution of papers and pamphlets, about which we reported a year
ago, have continued to give good results.
For instance, material for the Clipping Bureau is
more than double what it was then, and we hope to double it again during the
coming year. Thousands of short articles on different Masonic topics have been
clipped from magazines and arranged according to subjects which will be loaned
to anyone requesting them. Many members who have been asked to give a short
talk or address on some Masonic subject on various occasions have been able to
receive valuable assistance from this material. We hope during the coming year
to issue a catalog of articles on hand. We can here simply say briefly that
the clippings are divided into about 60 subjects and placed in letter files
with one or more letter files to each subject.
TRAVELING LIBRARIES AND BOOKS
Your Committee has found these libraries very
valuable in assisting lodges in taking up courses of reading and study. As
stated so often by your Grand Secretary, these libraries are furnished by the
Grand Lodge Library and are put up in two size cases of respectively one and
two shelves each. These libraries are loaned to any lodge requesting them for
a period of ninety days. Where a lodge is making a study of some particular
subject of Masonry we have attempted to supply them with library books on that
In addition to the Traveling Libraries, a large
number of individual books have been loaned for these purposes. Several
duplicate volumes of standard works have been procured. One or more copies of
each are always out on their mission to make man better, wiser and
Some time ago our M. W. Grand Master, Brother John
W. Barry, prepared two lectures, one on the "Story of Old Glory," a history of
our flag with special reference to Masonic activities in its design and
adoption, and one on "The Pillars," the latter being a piece of Masonic
research of unusual scholarly thoroughness. These two lectures proved of such
value that sets of lantern slides were made to accompany them. These slides
with a copy of the lecture, are now being loaned to such lodges or individuals
as may care to use them.
BROTHER BARRY'S LECTURES
The demand for them has been continuous during the
year and has extended beyond the confines of our own state. Requests for these
lectures have come from the Atlantic and the Pacific, Alaska and from Canada.
When these lectures were not in use by our own members we have been glad to
supply this demand in other states. We make no charge except the payment of
transportation both ways. It is gratifying to know that the lectures are doing
a useful work and that the brethren are finding them interesting. The Obelisk
lecture has been given in several lodges in and around Washington; D.C., and
is now at New York to be given in one of the large lodges of Brooklyn. Reports
from the brother who gave the lecture in these lodges indicate that it was
very well received and great interest manifested, and from this interest
several new members were added to the National Masonic Research Society. "The
Story of Old Glory" continues to be the popular lecture and we wish that every
lodge in the State could arrange to give it some time during the coming year.
SCHOOLS OF INSTRUCTION
The Grand Lodge Schools of Instruction, especially
the general schools, are continually growing in interest each year and this
year the attendance and interest shown has been greater than ever. The
indefatigable efforts of the Board of Custodians and members to impart
instruction in the ritualistic work cannot be too highly commended and it is
gratifying to know that the Craft appreciates these efforts and are each year
taking an increased interest in such instruction. In these days when so much
is said about parrot Masons, we are glad to say that the experience at these
schools proves that in this State at least, the term is not applicable to
those who are striving to become masters of the ritual so that they can dot
all the i's and cross all the t's to become not only word perfect but letter
perfect. If the ritual has no meaning for them whence this desire of
persevering labor to master its every word to its minutest detail. Men do not
spend time and energy to acquire that which has no meaning to them and the
schools have demonstrated that those who are most diligent in mastering the
letter of the ritual are also most eager to understand its spirit.
The general schools this year were held at Oelwem,
Sheldon, Shenandoah, Davenport and Grinnell. Each school lasted three days
with ritualistic instruction during the day and actual work in the evening of
two of the days. The evening of the second day, however, each school was in
charge of the Research Committee and devoted to the explanation of the
symbolism and practical application of the ritual which had been studied.
Particular attention was paid this year to the work of the Third Degree and
able, explanatory lectures were given by Brothers Naboth Osborne, of
Burlington, and George Williams of Newton. Brother Osborne addressed the
schools at Oelwein and Davenport and Brother Williams at the three other
schools. The address at each place was over an hour in length Though it came
at the end of a very strenuous day the attention paid throughout the entire
lecture was very close and marked, nor did the brethren hasten to leave the
hall when the lecture closed. A representative of the Research Committee was
present at each school and at the close of the lecture invited questions from
the brethren present. The invitation was accepted and all kinds of questions
asked, proving beyond questior the deep interest that the brethren are taking
in the practical application of the ritual to their every day life.
Mention was made both in the lectures and in the
questions and discussions that the principles of Masonry are at stake in the
world war in which our country is now engaged. In being true to our government
we are fighting for the protection of the principles of brotherly love, relief
and truth which are the very tenets of our professions as Masons. The
relations of Masonry to the war, however, will be covered by the report of the
Loyalty Committee and need be given only this incidental mention here.
In addition to the lectures given at the Schools
of Instruction the lodges themselves have arranged for others to be given in
their own community on the same or kindred topics. We do not know how many
have been thus given but information has been received of several given by
Brothers Robert D. Graham, of Denver, Colo., Robert Tipton, of Williamsburg,
Iowa, and Brothers John A. Marquis and Chas. W. Flint, presidents of Coe and
Cornell Colleges respectively.
THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH
Notwithstanding the fact that a large majority of
the members of the fraternity find their time largely taken up with war work
of various kinds, interest in the work of the National Masonic Research
Society continues to grow and the membership to gradually increase. Since our
last Annual Communication a number of our sister Grand Jurisdictions have
appointed committees on Masonic Research and Education and recommended the
adoption of the Society's "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" in the
subordinate lodges of their jurisdictions. Letters recently sent out to all
Iowa Masters by Grand Master Barry and your Committee on Masonic Research
urging that the lodges of this jurisdiction take up the study plan as part of
their monthly meetings for the purpose of educating their members in the
meaning of our ceremonies and symbols, have resulted in committees for this
purpose being appointed in some forty lodges, in addition to those in which
the plan has already been put into effect during the past few months. In
response to the call from other states, Brother Haywood attended two meetings
and gave an illustration of a Study Club meeting in each. On the evening of
January 16th, at St. Paul, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota was turned into a
Study Club and as a result the movement was endorsed by the Grand Lodge. In
Chicago, April 12th, under the auspices of the Masonic Employment Bureau, a
meeting was held at which representatives from a large number of Chicago
lodges were present. Brother Schoonover addressed the meeting and then it was
turned into a Study Club which lasted for two hours and those present
expressed themselves highly pleased with it. The outline followed in these two
States was the same as in Iowa and while the ritualistic work of the American
lodges, on which the study outline of the Research Society is founded, differs
in many respects from that of foreign countries, yet the fundamentals are the
same and the installments in THE BUILDER are being used as the subjects for
reading and discussion in the monthly meetings of lodges and Study Clubs in
far-off New Zealand, in the West Indies, in the Philippine Islands, and even
in England, the home of many lodges of Masonic Research. Our Canadian brethren
are not behind their American brothers in Masonic educational work, there
having been scores of Canadian lodges that have become interested in the study
movement during the past year whose members have affiliated with the National
Masonic Research Society.
Many Study Clubs have been formed by our soldier
brethren in the cantonments located in different parts of the country, and
even among the Masons now at the front in France. In these clubs the Study
papers and questions thereon which are appearing in the monthly issues of THE
BUILDER are being used as a basis for discussion. Even one of our large
battleships has its own Masonic Study Club which meets regularly and is
largely and enthusiastically attended by the officers and enlisted men who are
members of the Craft.
Brother Haywood has written a book on Masonic
Symbolism, which we hope will be soon published. Its purpose is to present the
subject in simple language and at the same time adapt it to the Masonic
student. As it is especially designed for lodges and Study Clubs, the
Committee overruled Bro. Haywood's objection and published two selections from
it for distribution to the lodges in pamphlet form. The pamphlet has been
widely distributed and favorably commented on.
Inasmuch as the present world war is drawing the
people of England, France and America closer together and the Masons of this
country are asking themselves why they should not be brothers in Masonry as
well as brothers in arms, and some of the Grand Lodges have deemed the subject
of sufficient importance to convene in special session to consider it, we
thought it a proper subject of Masonic Research for our lodges to consider. We
have, therefore, printed and distributed a paper on the subject of Masonic
recognition, showing the way in which our brethren "over the seas" are
beginning to consider the subject. Whether the views expressed in either of
these papers are accepted or not is of minor importance. If we have awakened
thought and aroused discussion which will lead to a better understanding of
the subject treated, the work will not have been in vain.
During the coming year we hope to furnish to the
lodges three lectures on the Symbolism of the Three Degrees, by Oliver Day
Street, of Guntersville, Ala. These lectures have been delivered before the
Pythagoras Club of Birmingham, and before various lodges where they have
aroused great interest and established their value in throwing more light on
our ritualistic work.
We cannot close this report without calling
attention to THE BUILDER, which is the organ of the Committee. We cannot begin
to tell you of the wealth of valuable material to be found in each number of
this publication. Its Study Club talks and discussions - its question box -
its correspondence department - its fraternal forum - its book reviews - its
jurisprudence studies - its papers on symbolism, Masonic Law and Philosophy -
its poems, lectures and papers covering every phase of Masonry give it a value
far in excess of the small annual membership fee in the National Masonic
You say you have no time to read; no time to
study; that your life is so full of work to be done, with duties to be
attended to that something must be neglected and therefore you cannot take
time to read Masonic publications or spend any time in study. Know ye not that
time spent in oiling the machine and keeping it in proper condition is not
lost time? Did you ever hear of the kingdom that was lost for want of a
horseshoe nail ? If you would improve yourself in Masonry, take a little time
each day to read some of the good things continually offered in our Masonic
papers and magazines. As the time spent by the youth in school is not wasted
time so it is true that the odd moments spent by the mature man in thoughtful
reading is time well spent.
Let us so plant
"That seeds of truth and love
And flowers of generous
And sweet it is the growth to
Of worth, of intellect, of
And lead it on from hour to
To ripen into perfect
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at
no other. - Burke.
BULLETIN -- No. 25
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF
MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for
its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's
Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former
issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as
supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with
the papers by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into
five principal divisions which are in
turn subdivided, as is shown
Division I. Ceremonial
A. The Work of the Lodge.
B. The Lodge and the
C. First Steps.
D. Second Steps.
E. Third Steps.
Division II. Symbolical
B. Working Tools.
Division III. Philosophical
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions.
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to
5. Official Duties and
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of
3. Initiation, Passing and
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical
A. The Mysteries--Earliest
B. Studies of Rites--Masonry
in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge
D. National Masonry.
E. Parallel Peculiarities in
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets.
H. Historical Manuscripts of
I. Biographical Masonry.
Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting
a paper written by Brother Haywood, 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 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
Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental
papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of
references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to
the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of
the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one
month later than their appearance. If this is done the 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
Immediately preceding each of
Brother Haywood'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 additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND
CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The lodge should select a
"Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings
should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the lodge called
for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the
lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given to the
After the lodge has been
opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the lodge
over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully
prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom
references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with
their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
1. Reading of the first
section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers thereto.
(Suggestion: While these
papers are being read the members of the lodge should make notes of any points
they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs
or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed
among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
2. Discussion of the above.
3. The subsequent sections of
Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up,
one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner. 4. Question Box.
MAKE THE "QUESTION BOX" THE
FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
Invite questions from any and
all brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their
particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions
they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to
facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the
paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them,
SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in
an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make
special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers
within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the
Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised
by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information
should enable local Committees to conduct their lodge study meetings with
success. However we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from
interested brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely
clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the
command of our members, lodge and study club committees at all times.
QUESTIONS ON "A REVIEW OF
"Re-view" means to take a
view again; it suggests that one may overlook something the first time he
looks at a thing: Masonry is so full of truths, as well as truth, that such
reviews are always fruitful. Do you keep "reviewing" your own experiences
What does "apprentice" mean ?
What is the profane world, according to Masonic speech ? Can you think of any
other word than "Obedience" which would best sum up the First degree? If so,
what? Tell how obedience is needed in learning anything, in entering any
sphere of life. Is Obedience the same as blind credulity ? slavery?
II Of what does the candidate
divest himself ? Why? What does the divestment symbolize ? What is the real
preparation demanded by Masonry? Did you so prepare yourself before seek
admission? What is the difference between a "Mason" and a "member" ?
III In what sense is
initiation a "new birth" ? How do you enter into any department of life? a
business? a profession? Is the newcomer always like a babe in his helplessness
and ignorance ? What do the pillars at the door symbolize ? Why ? How would
you define Masonry?
IV How do we know that there
are Powers more than human ? How can we come into relationship with those
Divine Powers? Do you really believe in prayer? What is prayer? Is it asking
for things or is it an attempt to get into a right relationship with God? Is
prayer for the lodge room only, or for the whole Masonic life ? What does the
altar symbolize ? What is the meaning of circumambulation ? Do we practice
truth in our every day life ? How ? Why ? Can you give illustrations ? What
obstructions did the candidate encounter ? What did they stand for ? How do
you get over obstructions in your home life ? your business or professional
life ? How does the Masonic manner of getting over them teach you how always
to get over them ?
V What does the East mean?
What is Masonic light? How is it found? How does a man "approach the east" in
getting an education? What is an obligation? What do the penalties signify?
What are the actual penalties for violating Masonic obligations? What does the
cable tow stand for? Why is it removed ?
VI What are the Great Lights
of Masonry ? The Lesser Lights ? Do you really try to live in those Lights
every day? How can we discover what is God's Will ? What are the laws of
brotherhood? How do you make yourself known to strange brethren ? What are the
uses of signs, etc?
VII What does the apron stand
for ? Why is it nobler than any other badge? Do you really believe that
service and labor are the noblest of things ? Why does the Northeast Corner
signify self-sacrifice? Explain the uses of the Working Tools.
THE BUILDER: Altar, The, May
1918 C. C. B. Approaching the East, April 1918 C. C. B. Apron, The, November
1918 C. C. B. Circumambulation, The Rite of, March 1918 C. C. B. Entrance
and Reception, January 1918 C. C. B. Lights, The, September 1918 C. C. B.
Northeast Corner, The, December 1918 C. C. B. Obligation, The, June 1918 C.
C. B. Prayer, February 1918 C. C. B. Preparation, Physical and Mental,
December 1917 C. C. B. Signs, October 1918 C. C. B. Salutation, Rite of,
October 1918 C. C. B. Tokens, October 1918 C. C. B. Tools, Working, January
1919 C. C. B. Words, October 1918 C. C. B. Working Tools, January 1919 C. C.
FIRST STEPS By Bro. H.L.
PART XII - A REVIEW OF FIRST
IN OUR previous studies we
have traversed those subjects which spring naturally from a study of a Mason's
first steps; every lesson has been a more or less detailed analysis of the
structure and meaning of each important division of the ritual insofar as a
candidate comes to know it at the beginning, and there is now no more to be
said about those matters until we have completed the full circle and are ready
to reapproach the study of the first steps from a new point of view. It will
be well, however, before undertaking our studies of second steps to pause for
a telescopic review of the ground hitherto covered lest we forget the
fundamental principles of the first steps through too great attention to
details; with a summary in our minds we shall be all the better equipped for
that which will be hereafter.
In the First degree the
candidate is always the Apprentice, that is, the beginner, or learner, the
untrained youth (metaphorically, at least) taking his first lessons in the
sublime art of life as that art is shadowed forth through our ritual. He has
come from the darkness, Masonically speaking, of the profane world; he has
humbly requested the privilege of birth into the world of Masonic light.
Knowing nothing of that world he has been compelled to trust himself to the
hands of trusted guides whom he has, for the most part, followed with implicit
obedience; the entire degree, from a certain high standpoint, is nothing other
than a lesson to teach him the necessity of thus learning from others. The
watchword of the degree may be described as Obedience.
II Before coming into the
life Masonic the candidate was made to strip himself of that which indicated
his adherence to the non-Masonic life; he was brought into the lodge in a
manner designed to teach him one of his first lessons the fundamental
democracy of the Order. He was also asked to prepare himself in mind and
spirit, and certain questions were asked to make sure that such preparation
had been made. Inasmuch as the Craft seeks to make Masons rather than members,
great care was taken to see that he was coming with the purpose to take
Masonry seriously; to undertake a greater matter with the right motive, that
is half the victory of achievement, and all possible means were utilized to
see that the Learner came in the right spirit. There was a certain order in
this procedure and in all that followed which it is not lawful to divulge but
it is possible to recall certain salient features in his initiatory
experiences; the reader will reassemble such things according to his memory of
his own candidacy.
III The brethren met him at
the portals in the persons of their trusted representatives, and through those
representatives, assured themselves that he had made application for admission
into the Order in due form; in causing him to seek admission in this due form
the lesson was impressed upon him that no man can enter any of the great
worlds of life until he is outwardly and inwardly prepared. He was told that
Freemasonry is an art of moral and spiritual living taught through symbols and
symbolical acts and he was given to understand that he was about to enter a
new life and was cautioned to walk circumspectly.
Among all the emblems and
furniture of the lodge none are more majestic in appearance or more suggestive
of truth than the Two Pillars; these were (or at least should have been) so
placed as to symbolize to the candidate that he was coming to a new birth.
Certain instruments were used to remind him that the real penalties for the
violation of Masonic obligations are felt in the heart and in the conscience.
IV The candidate who ventures
upon the path of initiation soon learns that he needs for that Way a strength,
a guidance, and a wisdom more than human; at the center of all worthy life
stands prayer; of this the altar is the symbol, as it is also the symbol of
every one of man's higher relations.
Through an ancient light
symbolism he was taught that every true Mason is one who evermore approaches
the East where is wisdom, healing and life; but he was at the same time shown
that no man can approach that East except he make the attempt in an orderly
fashion and according to certain fixed laws. The kingdom of light is not to be
entered violently or capriciously; order is Heaven's first law. In the
beginning of this, the real Masonic journey, he was taken to the altar where
his spirit was linked to the hearts of his new brethren by the mystic ties
that cannot be broken except at the peril of all the heart holds dear.
In one of our former studies
we paid much attention to the Rite of Circumambulation; through a study of the
evolution of that singularly impressive bit of ritual we found that it teaches
us the secrets of cooperation; life is harmony with one's self and with one's
environment; no man can live alone or die alone; he who does not keep step
with the powers of life will fall upon disaster, defeat and death. A man must
keep in step with the sun and stars and with all the orderly processes of
nature, and with the mighty will of God. Obstructions were met in the
candidate's pilgrimage, as they are met in every one of life's greater
journeys, but these, with the help of certain trusted friends, were overcome;
questions were more than once propounded which recalled to him that he was
entering the Masonic life voluntarily, for Masonry is a mistress who seeks not
lip service but the spontaneous love of the heart.
V Man loves to register his
new decisions in solemn vow and binding oath; the outward act fixes and
confirms the inward will. Through his Masonic vows the candidate was made to
feel, by an unforgettable symbolism, that he who sins against light and
brotherhood is guilty of a wrong that is hard to forgive and difficult to
atone. It was impressed upon him that Masons comprise an elect race, a secret
brotherhood, and that all Masonic secrets must be kept inviolate, lest the
fraternity be disrupted and the Order profaned. These lessons learned, he was
permitted to walk without leading strings; he was also permitted more freedom
to use his own eyes.
VI There was revealed to him
that which is the light whereby Masons are guided; there was the Will of God,
as symbolized by the Holy Bible; the laws of human fellowship, as symbolized
by the square and compasses; and through the strange symbolism bodied forth by
the three Lesser Lights he was taught the necessary lesson of Balance; Masonry
is a great moral system and he who would live it must keep each his part in
proper order and due proportion.
Masons live in all parts of
the world; there is no telling where a man may go or when he may need to make
himself known to his brethren; the candidate, in what manner we will all
remember, was furnished with certain means of recognition. So equipped he was
entitled to be known as a brother, and in the ceremony he was introduced to
certain officers of the lodge as such. The Masonic officer, like everything
connected with the lodge, is not only a fact but a symbol; he stands for the
laws which every Mason must observe; the democracy of the Fraternity is not a
Bolshevist anarchy but freedom it the bonds of law.
VII The profane world from
which he came set great store by its badges of distinction, most of which had
stood for some arbitrary or worthless distinction; he had abandoned all such
badges but he was then given another badge which is of far more worth than
Star and Garter: profane badges usually have an aristocratic significance and
lead a man to despise labor and the humble life; the Masonic badge given him
was one that reminded him that service is the only nobility and that only he
who labors in behalf of all belongs to true knighthood.
It was not sufficient that he
learn these lessons of democracy and service; he must be taught that it is
always necessary for a true Mason to be wilting to sacrifice himself, even to
the uttermost; accordingly he was taken to that place in the lodge room which
symbolizes the giving of one's self; such a man is the real cornerstone of the
Order and he was made to know that such he must be.- At the same time. lest he
construe this as a degradation of his manhood, he was taught that unadorned
human nature is the stuff whereof Masonry builds her temple.
All this was preliminary; it
prepared him in mind and body to fulfill his functions as a Mason tried and
true; after such a preparation his labors were to commence. In order to do
this he was given his Apprentice equipment of Working Tools, one of which was
to be used for knocking off the rough corners of his character, the other of
which taught him the need of measure in all things. Being an ashlar, a
building stone, he must make himself symmetrical in order that the master
builders might fit him into his place in the temple. Thus equipped and taught
he was ready for initiation into the Fellow Craft degree.
Have you ever, brethren,
found anything more true, wise, and beautiful than all this? Masonry is indeed
the sublime art, the spiritual science, the way of life: he who would truly
walk in its paths and follow its guidance would learn what life really is, to
what divine issues life may ascend. But the First degree is, after all, only
preparatory; for the candidate, and for us who study his experience, the best
is yet to be!
THE MOUNTAIN ALTAR
BY BRO LEWIS A. McCONNELL,
In isolated regions where
Life's burden I with patience
While oft depressed with
Though skies are bright and
Where mountains gleam with
And heavens are decked with
stars at night,
The fleeting dreams of
My leisure hours creep
My spirit gropes in fervent
Of mystic sweets, so oft
Upon my heart e'er coming
Where they are sparsely
Yet, in the desert oft abound
The rarest flowers with
To cheer environments around
And subtle fragrance spread.
Across the mountain's brow at
I view the growing lustre
Where steepled crags, of
Through centuries were
And as the floods of sunlight
Each pinnacle, my heart is
With rapturous awe, by these
And sentiment endeared.
The mystic wisdom of the past
Breaks in upon my soul at
As glowing lights their
Where melancholy reigned,
Revealing scenes of beauty
Whose rniracles, God's truths
O'er all His footstool
In vividness explained.
Oft have I at the altar knelt
And every inspiration felt
While yet each moral impulse
With mystic visions bright
And now once more, with
On mountain's brow the Master
And once again gives His
"Let there be light!"
It beams my being penetrate
While influences concentrate
Within my soul, and thus
Of mystic wisdom's lore
The fund of sweets for which
In earnest plea with fancy
Enriched with beauty every
From heavents richest store.
SEA AND FIELD CLUB, NEW YORK
BY BRO. WM. C. PRIME, NEW
THE RECONVENED 136th Annual Communication of the
Grand Lodge of New York is memorable, not only because of the fact that it
marked the first definite step by Freemasonry in the United States of America
to provide for war service and the inevitable consequences of war, so far as
the Craft might be concerned therewith, but also because though the general
thought of the legislation enacted at that session was for the future and the
protection and relief of consequences of the war after it should be over, the
enlightened Grand Master of New York foresaw the high desirability of
ministering to Freemasons engaged in the service, while the war was on, both
at home and abroad.
Just as the government plans for creating and equipping an army
and providing munitions, food, aircraft and other incidence of warfare
required study, formulation and development, as well as funds, so the action
of Free Masons in connection with a practical service to soldiers and sailors
enlisted in the great cause required thought
in planning and providing, and time for development.
The winter of 1917-1918 found at Camp Merritt, New
Jersey, a Y.M.C.A. Secretary hailing from a Montana lodge, who had found his
Masonic identity and connection of great service in reaching the heart of the
down-cast, lonely and homesick Masons among the troops gathered there at an
embarkation Camp for speedy departure overseas, knowledge of which led New
York to keenly aspire to serve. It could not serve without its own territorial
borders. Camp Mills, the only embarkation Camp provided within its borders,
was not then in operation. Other Camps and Cantonments were amply provided,
apparently, with every agency for the men's comfort that could reasonably be
afforded within the limits of the government's rule regulating fraternal
activities at such places.
In the course of a comparatively short time,
however, it became apparent that there was need of an adequate and
well-equipped rest place within the City of New York itself, at a central
point, where men could gather at convenience, read and write, lounge, play
cards and otherwise recreate.
In the autumn of 1918, the War Relief
Administration, authorized by the Grand Lodge of New York at its Annual
Communication in May, 1918, undertook to utilize for this purpose, three
stores on the ground floor of the Masonic Hall, corner of West 23rd Street and
6th Avenue, in New York City, a location as central as could be found. The
stores are contiguous, being separated only by partition walls, and are
approximately 75 feet deep by 20 feet wide, facing south on the north side of
23rd Street. These stores were thrown into one commodious apartment, though
kept separate, the method being by cutting through each partition a large
passageway. They were redecorated in a soft buff, the floors finished and
covered with grass rugs. They were furnished with mission furniture,
appropriately planned and designed; tables for magazines and newspapers;
writing desks, equipped with writing materials; a piano; a Victrola, and other
appurtenances of a well-appointed lounging place for a normal man.
In the basement of the same building and reached by a flight of
stairs from the corridor, affording entrance to the reading and lounging
rooms, is a large room 73 by 43 feet, with a high ceiling, which was used as a
banquet room by the several lodges occupying the building. It seemed
reasonable to divert this also for the present uses of the men in the service.
It has also been decorated and made cozy and attractive, amply provided with
electric lights and furnished with billiard and pool tables, and a shuffle
board. Adjoining it were quarters which were available for baths and lockers.
They have been plumbed with modern sanitary plumbing, equipped with five
enamel tubs and fine shower baths, furnished with hot and cold water, and
dressing rooms adjoining. Towels and other necessary appurtenances of such
service are provided, and the whole denominated Sea and Field Club, devoted to
use of men in the Country's service, soldiers and sailors, Masons and
nonMasons alike, without money
price. The name of the Club with an appropriate emblem of crossed rifles over
an anchor, is painted upon the windows of the Club rooms with the legend that
it is maintained for the free use of soldiers and sailors by the Grand Lodge
F. and A. M., of New York.
To make the service more extensive and promote the
use of the quarters thus provided, the club has allied itself with the War
Camp Community Service, whose emblem also decorates the windows in front of
the Club, and the literature of that organization advertises and approves its
facilities. In fact, it has been said by those who ought to know, that the
equipment and facilities of Sea and Field Club are more extensive and perfect
than of any other similar agency for the men in the City of New York.
This enterprise is maintained by the War Relief
Administration of the Grand Lodge of New York. Since it was opened, it has
enjoyed a very extensive patronage. The average use of the baths daily has
been well over 100 and it is probably not without interest that the first man
to bathe so appreciated the treat that he left the room as he found it, the
tub rinsed clean and dried and the floor mopped and dried, the soiled towels
carefully laid aside.
Apart from the satisfaction which the projectors
and managers of the enterprise have derived from realizing the pleasure of a
good work well done and unused quarters devoted to a useful purpose, their
ocassional opportunity to note the exclamations of pleasure and appreciation
by the men using the bathing facilities, who had not, in some cases, had a
chance at a tub for weeks, has been an extreme joy. Some of their talk would
make real comedy, especially the utterances of the chaps waiting for the men
ahead to clean up and clear out.
The housing of men in uniform over night has been
a perplexing problem for many months, and the War Camp Community Service has
been very active in their behalf, providing much accommodation, but all too
insufficient. None of their services of this character is gratuitous.
However, the War Relief Administration, in addition to the Sea
and Field Club, has taken over the Shelter at 215 West 21st Street, previously
operated by the local Board of Relief, a commodious building with sixty beds
available for men in uniform on the same basis as the service of Sea and Field
Club and maintained in connection therewith. This accommodation is also
The average attendance at the Club room is over
250 daily. The rooms are open from eight o'clock in the morning to midnight.
The enterprise has amply justified itself and the considerable expense which
was involved in its establishment. It contributes in no small way to affording
the men healthy surroundings and defending them from the pitfalls of a great
Buried in the rough sands of
Buried at the low water mark,
Where the tide ebbs and
flows, you see
Far across the bar in the
Buried is the secret - mark
A silent tongue that never
A mystery no human tongue can
Is buried where the ocean
- O. B. Slane. Illinois.
BY BRO. HAROLD A. KINGSBURY,
WHILE the Triangle is seldom
directly called to the Mason's attention there are but few of the symbols used
in Masonry which are so frequently placed before the Craftsman for him to
recognize and to contemplate if he but will. The presentations of this symbol
are, however, generally unemphasized and more or less veiled because that is
the way of Masonry with respect to its first-rate symbols, i.e., the Cube,
Point within the Circle, Square, Apron, etc., as distinguished from its
second-rate symbols, the Beehive, Ark and Anchor, etc. And these repeated and
partially concealed presentations are made with the design that the Mason will
have aroused in him a Spirit of Inquiry and, so, will turn his attention to
the symbol and, by his Masonic Craftsmanship, bring himself to a knowledge of
its history and to an understanding of its symbolic significance.
The Triangle appears in
Masonry in two forms, the Right Triangle, i.e., that Triangle which has one of
its angles a right angle, ninety degrees, or the one-fourth part of a Circle,
and the Equilateral Triangle, i.e., that Triangle which has all its sides
equal, each to the other, and, of course, has each of its angles equal to
sixty degrees. Although these two Triangles have, symbolically and
historically, certain features in common, for example, both were used as
symbols by the Egyptians and both present the significant number Three, yet
their symbolic suggestions are in many respects so different that they may,
not improperly, be considered as distinct symbols.
THE RIGHT TRIANGLE
Of all the references to this
Symbol this is obviously not the place to speak, but any Mason can profitably
occupy himself in discovering them. A few examples of the exoteric
presentations and references to it are: the Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid;
the Square of the Square and Compass, which Square, when a third, and
completing side is supplied, presents the Right Triangle; the stations of the
Three Principal Officers of the Lodge, together with the Altar, which define
two Right Triangles; and the Altar together with the Three Lesser Lights,
which, when those Lights are placed, as in some jurisdictions, at the stations
of the Three Principal Officers, rather than, as in other jurisdictions, about
the Altar, mark out two Right Triangles. Various other examples could be
cited, as there are many, but to do so would but defeat one of the principles
of Masonry the Mason must learn of Masonry by his own effort.
The Right Triangle is to the
Mason, as it was to the ancient Egyptians, the symbol of Universal Nature. The
Egyptians, long prior to Pythagoras, the statement in the Monitor
notwithsanding, knew of this symbol and of those peculiar properties set forth
in the statement of the Forty-Seventh Problem, "In any right triangle the
square (A in the figure) of the side (hypotenuse) opposite the right angle is
equal to the sum of the square (B and C) of the sides (legs) making the right
angle." And the Egyptians, making use of these properties for purposes of
symbolism, considered one leg as symbolizing Osiris, the Male, considered the
other leg as symbolizing Isis, the Female, and considered the hypotenuse as
symbolizing Horus, the Son and product of Isis and Osiris. Thus, plainly, the
Right Triangle presents to the Mason, for his most earnest and devout
consideration, God's Great Handiwork Universal Nature.
Moreover, this symbol, in
calling attention to Osiris and Isis, points out to the Mason the probable
Raurea of an important Legend and teaches him that that Legend is but another
and, so far as the specific character of its incidents are concerned,
relatively "up to date" version of a world-old legend told and retold to us,
as to the ancient Egyptians, by the rising, sinking, and rerising Sun and by
the Procession of the Seasons.
Again, the Right Triangle, in
calling attention to the Forty- Seventh Problem and, more particularly, to the
graphical representation of that Problem (as in the figure), brings up for
contemplation one of the oldest and most widespread symbols in the world the
Swastika (heavy lines in the figure). Here, then, is presented to the Mason a
symbol in the study of whose history he can profitably spend many hours,
learning of its occurrence in Egypt, Persia, China, Japan, India, Europe and
America; of the Burial Mound at Baharahat, India, dating from the third
century B.C. and having its surrounding wall in the form of an immense
swastika over one hundred feet in diameter; of the swastika's proud position
as "that ancient Aryan symbol which was probably the first to be made with a
definite intention and a consecutive meaning" (Enc. Brit. 4 641a), etc., etc.
THE EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE
This symbol, while perhaps
more emphatically presented to the Royal Arch Mason than to the Master Mason
is, nevertheless, a possession of the Master Mason and one that, however
unobtrusive the references to it may be, is by no means absent from the
Master's Lodge. Exoterically the Equilateral Triangle is presented by the
Compass of the Square and Compass as, when that symbol is opened to the extent
of sixty degrees (as it should be) and a third, and connecting, side,
connecting the ends of the legs, is supplied, we have presented the
Equilateral Triangle. Again, when the Three Lesser Lights are placed about the
Altar they define the Equilateral Triangle.
From time immemorial the
Equilateral Triangle has been preeminently the symbol for Deity. For the
Triangle is the primary figure from which all others are built up and the
Equilateral Triangle, being wholly symmetrical, is the one perfect Triangle
and thus clearly becomes the symbol for that Perfect Being in which all things
find their beginning This Symbol is so completely appropriated to the purpose
of a symbol for Deity and Perfection that to here treat of its various other,
and decidedly minor, symbolic significances would but obscure its pre-eminent
In conclusion, then, the
Triangle, in the two forms here discussed, teaches the Mason that far more
lies in Masonic symbolism and in Masonic instruction than appears upon the
surface; causes him to contemplate Universal Nature; points out the probable
source of an important symbolic Legend; draws his attention to what is
probably, the world's oldest symbol, and fixes his attention upon Deity and
Perfection. Is not the study of Masonic symbolism worth the while?
THE CRAFT IN ENGLAND IN 1918
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT,
ASSISTANT EDITOR "THE FREEMASON." LONDON. ENGLAND
IT IS with great interest, satisfaction, and
gratitude that a review can be taken of the progress made by the Craft in
England in the year 1918, conjointly with a summary of the progress made in
the three preceding years. The review serves to show how slight was the
foundation for the fears expressed by some on the outbreak of the war in 1914
that all Masonic activity was doomed and that expression should be given to
that fear by closing down all lodges for the period of the war and shutting
the door against any who might present themselves for admission into the
Order. Freemasonry in England, as, indeed, in all countries was never so
strong as it is to-day and its progress during the past four years has been by
leaps and bounds, and this notwithstanding the stringent care exercised by the
various constituent lodges, in accordance with the regulations issued by the
United Grand Lodge of England, in admitting applicants for initiation.
Applications for charters for new lodges have been most carefully scrutinised
and none has been granted except for special and urgent reasons. Thus the
number of new lodges for which warrants were issued fell from sixty-eight in
1913 to thirty-two in 1914 with a further drop to twenty-one in 1915. In 1916
there was a slight increase but only twenty-four applications were granted.
The year 1917 witnessed an advance to forty, but during the past year,
notwithstanding the strict scrutiny of applications, no fewer than
seventy-four new lodges were founded and warranted, nearly of which have come
actually into being. There have been various contributory causes to this
increase, not the least of which has been the known interest in the well-being
of the Craft, practically demonstrated on many occasions, by the M.W. Grand
Master, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught. The continued absence of the Pro Grand
Master, Bro. Lord Ampthill, has been felt, but its effect has been reduced to
a minimum by the intense activity, despite his great age, his numerous county
official engagements, and his sad domestic bereavements of the beloved and
revered Deputy Grand Master, Bro. the Right Hon. T. F. Halsey. But above and
beyond these reasons, in my opinion, lies the fact that men generally are
beginning to realize that the Craft of Freemasonry stands for the highest and
the noblest man can believe in and practice.
Perhaps, however, at any rate to the outsider, the
most striking illustration of Masonic activity has been in the magnificent
results during the past year, in particular, of the three great Masonic
festivals of the Institutions for Boys, Girls, and aged Freemasons and their
widows. In the aggregate these three Festivals realised well over 200,000
pounds, the sum which the late Grand Secretary, Bro. Sir Edward Letchworth,
once estimated as the total amount contributed to Masonic Benevolence annually
throughout the country, and in this sum he included the contributions to the
various Provincial Funds, of which at least one is attached to each of the
forty-six Provinces - in some instances there are two or three Provincial
Benevolent Funds. Now, that amount has to be set down as the sum contributed
during the past year to the three Institutions apart from the donations to the
Fremasons War Hospital, the Provincial Funds, and the Mark Benevolent Fund. In
this last instance, also, a record was achieved during the year on the
occasion of the Jubilee Festival when the result was announced at 10,000
Not only in the direction of the formation of new
lodges has the strictest care been exercised but with respect to the admission
of new candidates Grand Lodge has deemed it wise to formulate new and more
stringent rules, which have been welcomed on all sides by the members of the
Craft generally. Other proposals brought forward by the Board of General
Purposes for the betterment of the Craft, though meeting at first with local
opposition have, after explanation, been heartily agreed to as devised in its
best interests. To the President of that Board, Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, whose
disinterested and arduous labours on behalf of Freemasonry many deserved
tributes have been paid, was also due the admirable suggestion for the
formation of a League of Masons, of which, doubtless, more of a practical
character will be heard during the coming year. The year 1919 will also
doubtless see the erection of the proposed Memorial to the late Grand
Secretary, Bro. Sir Edward Letchworth.
But if the gains have been great, the losses have
been many - losses in personnel and not in stability, and sadness must come
over the perusal of the long list of active workers, who during the past year
have gone to join the Grand Lodge Above. Three Provincial Grand Masters are
among the number, all of whom proved by their deeds that they had the
interests of the Craft at heart - Bros. Hamon le Strange (Norfolk); General
Sir William Campbell (Worcestershire); and now, as the sands of the year were
running out, Lord Barnard (Durham). There should also be included the name of
Bro. the Duke of Northumberland, Past Provincial Grand Master of
Northumberland. Four District Grand Masters joined the great rnajority: Bros.
T. Sherlock Graham (Otago, New Zealand); Sir Henry A. Blake (Ceylon); Admiral
Sir Hastings Markham (Past of Malta); and John Locke (Past of Barbados). It
is, however, when we come to domestic Masonic life in England that the losses
are felt more severely, and no reminder is needed to recall the loss which has
been sustained by the withdrawal on the call of the angel Azrael of several
prominent Brethren whose soul aim seemed to be the betterment of the Craft,
men well known in London and the Provinces, and whose names were also renowned
in other circles. But though losses are, and should be, regretted, the sense
of loss is lessened by the appropriateness and popularity of the appointments
made in filling the official vacancies which have thus occurred, and no
appointments could be more popular than those of Bros. Col. W. F. Wyley, to
fill the principal Masonic vacancy in Warwickshire; Sir William P. Raynor to
the like position in West Yorkshire; Lord St. Levan in Cornwall, and General
Sir Francis Davies to a like position in Worcestershire, as well as the
appointment of the Rev. Canon Barnard to the post of Grand Superintendent of
Royal Arch Masons of Warwickshire. The same remark applies to the appointment
of Bro. G.H. Redwood as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Surrey in place of
the late Bro. J. D. Langton and that of Bro. Richard Gill as Deputy Provincial
Grand Master of West Yorkshire, who fills the Masonic vacancy caused by the
promotion of Bro. Sir William Raynor. Last, but by no means least, the
election of Bro. Percy G. Mallory, Past Assistant Grand Director of
Ceremonies, as Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, was hailed
with satisfaction by the members of the Craft generally and the supporters of
the Institution in particular.
Will a complete Roll of Honour be compiled during
the coming year? It will be a record of which no organization need be ashamed
and at present the lists published in the Masonic Year Book are detached and
incomplete. There is another point out of many on which the Craft in England
can congratulate itself. There have been many Masonic occupants of the
Metropolitan civic chair and it is no disparagement to them to say that the
present Lord Mayor of London, Bro. Sir Horace Brooks Marshall, Past Grand
Treasurer, is renowned throughout the country for his benefactions to charity
generally, his personal efforts on behalf of the poor and distressed and the
"Brethren of the Mystic Tie" for his consistent and persistent Masonic
endeavour right from the day of his initiation into the Craft, and
particularly for his arduous labours in connection with the Freemasons War
Hospital, of which he is the Treasurer.
THE TRESTLE BOARD DESIGN
BY BRO. L. B. MITCHELL,
What's the design, my
Upon the Trestle Board today?
Your Temple building has
And each day's work from sun
Should show in its design the
That means the building of a
The building that interprets
The ideal Trestle Board
The Temple building you essay
Should grow in beauty by the
E'en though it be a rugged
And your's to bear a heavy
But whereso'er the way may
Or whatso'er may be your
The heart must everything
That's in the Trestle Board
And while there's none can
build for you
It compensatingly is true
That none can your soul work
Or take from it its keener
And if its plan be bold and
As in the light it may
Yet others may the soul
That's in your Trestle Board
And in the Temple building
That Masonry unfolds to man
The Truth, as it is
Real Service and true
With Character is what
The best that is beneath the
And this will serve you to
The better Trestle Board
And there is in the mystic
So much that centers in the
So much that leads your loves
To social cheer and rest and
And yet, that traces in its
The larger way to build a
That helps you so much to
Your special Trestle Board
And now my brother, tell me,
What is your thought of
As helping you to find the
And leaving to your heart the
While ever pleading that you
From every moral blemish
O, what can hold more that's
Than this, your Trestle Board
Equality is the life of
conversation; and he is as much out who assumes to himself any part above
another, as he who considers himself below the rest of the society. - Steele.
PROGRESS IN PALESTINE
AS THE traditional land of
its origin and as the scene of its oldest legends Masonry and its adherents
must always maintain an interest, real even if sentimental, in Palestine. More
than most outsiders, therefore, Masons will watch with keen attention the
developments in that historic land in the brief time since it was freed from
the blighting and ruinous rule of the Turk.
Upon the recovery of
Jerusalem in December, 1917, the writer had occasion (1) to call attention to
the significance of that event from the standpoint of internationalism and
interreligious rapprochement and, having thus entered upon the study of the
subject he has naturally been interested in following it and especially in
observing how events have shaped themselves there in various fields of
1. Military. General Allenby
may fairly claim the title of the modern Joshua, if not that of the modern
David, for he literally "smote the Philistines, hip and thigh." It is highly
fitting that the Jewish community of Jerusalem should have presented him, at
the hands of Dr. Chaim Weitzman, the foremost living Zionist, with a scroll of
Torah the Sacred Law and that a Maccabean guard of honor should have attended
the ceremony. In that land of many battles General Allenby fought and won
perhaps the most remarkable of all. Not only Palestine "from Dan to Beersheba"
but all of Syria was freed from the Turks let us hope forever and the way was
thus opened to relieve prostrate Armenia as well as Mesopotamia and to end
that disgraceful anachronism the Turkish Empire.
Not the least interesting
feature of the accounts which have filtered in from the scene of those great
victories is the mention, in the despatches of September 24, of the Jewish
legion. One regiment of this was recruited in London and another in New York,
whence it sailed only last February, and it is gratifying to find this new
force so soon giving a good account of its presence. Coupled with General
Pershing's call for twenty-five more Jewish Chaplains it becomes evident that
the new Zionist need not lack the nucleus of an army.
Hardly less interesting was
the reference in the same despatches to the service of the Druses that strange
race and sect whose cult affords so much of interest for Masons, especially
those of the Scottish Rite (2) - who fought with the army of the King of
Hedjaz against the Turks in 'the land of Moab" east of Jordan.
2. Industrial. The Jewish
colonies which flourished in Palestine before the war were among the chief
sufferers from Turkish ferocity and one of the principal tasks of the
deliverers has been to repatriate the colonists and help them to restore their
too often devastated homes. The extension of this work so well begun has
occupied the attention of various agencies.
The British army has helped
the colonists with the loan of draft animals. Other animals and supplies have
been brought in by railway from Egypt, which, though built originally as a
military line, is proving of permanent and increasing value to the country.
The Palestine Fund
Restoration Commission of America has been most effective and is giving
special attention to water-supply and the modernization of Jerusalem.
Anronsohn, the Jewish agricultural expert, refused a tempting offer from
America in order to devote his whole time to the development of Palestinian
Early in the summer,
announcement was made from Petrograd of Zionist industrial activity among
Russian Jews the expansion of the Haboneh (Builder) Company, the organization
of a Zionist emigration society at Moscow with a capital of rbls. 10,000,000;
the formation of a steamship company for service between Odessa and Palestine
with a capital of rbls. 5,000,000; a Palestine Oil Company and a modern hotel
company for Palestine each with a capital of rbls. 3,000,000; and a Palestine
agricultural bank at Petrograd with a capital of rbls. 25,000,000. These are
some of the forces which are again to make the weary land, whose once
productive soil has lain fallow for two milleniums, rejoice and blossom as the
3. Educational. The Zionist
program includes the revival of ancient Hebrew culture including the language.
And this is being adapted to modern needs. A great Hebrew scholar has been at
work for some time on a new Hebrew dictionary which is to contain not only the
classical vocabulary but the additional terms needed in modern life.
Moreover a new Hebrew-English
and English-Hebrew lexicon has been prepared and, in order to facilitate
communication between resident Jews and the British army of occupation, is
being printed in serial form as a supplement to the Palestine News whose
editors are supervising the enterprise.
Another project is the
"scheme of 'The City of the
Book,' adjacent to the site reserved for the university settlement. The idea
is to concentrate there gradually the Hebrew book printing industry so as to
supply the whole of the Diaspora from Jerusalem with Jewish literature, sacred
and profane. Before the war the number of Talmudic, Rabbinic, and prayer-books
sold in different countries amounted to millions yearly. Warsaw and Vilna were
the principal centres of publication, but the war seems to have destroyed them
and Jerusalem could gather and utilize what remains of the skilled labour.
Adding the 'profane,' and especially educational Hebrew literature, of which
the demand is increasing daily throughout the world, a flourishing industry
could be created, giving sustenance to many thousands of families, and
strengthening the position of Jerusalem as a leading force in all branches of
the Jewish revival all the world over." (3)
Jewish elementary schools in
Palestine had been brought to an advanced state long before the war. A college
had been established at Jaffa and the beginnings made of a technical school at
Haifa, all of which prepared the way for the crowning event of the year in
Palestine, the foundation of the new Hebrew University. A commanding site for
it, on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem on the west and the Jordan
Valley on the east, was chosen months ago. There on April 11, amid the
applause of an audience of six thousand, Dr. Weitzman declared that a new
moral force would go forth from that site for the uplift of the whole Jewish
people. The foundation stone was laid on July 24, curiously enough the tenth
anniversary of the Turkish Revolution and later came the announcement that
Henri Bergson, the greatest of French, and perhaps of all living philosophers,
had accepted a place in the faculty of the new institution.
4. Political. Mr. Balfour's
declaration of Nov. 2, last, in favor of "a national home for the Jewish
people in Palestine" was indorsed by the King of Greece on Feb. 7, 1918, by
the French government on Feb. 12, by the Italian on Feb. 25 and more recently
by the governments of Holland, Serbia, Siam and the all-Russian government at
Omsk, while President Wilson has added his great influence by expressing his
Shortly after its declaration
the British government authorized the despatch to Palestine of a Jewish
Administrative Commission and this, headed by Dr. Weitzman, arrived in
Jerusalem on April 10 and was welcomed by representatives not only of all
three of the great monotheistic religions but of several branches of each.
Since then this commission has been at work in laying the foundation of the
new government. Dr. Weitzman returned to London on October 9, expressing
satisfaction at the results of his mission and speaking hopefully of the
future of Palestine.
As recited in one of their
"the Zionists are resolved
that the constitution of the
state they are building shall
contain not only all that is best in the fundamental law of the most
enlightened countries of the world, but something even beyond that. The
aspiration of the Zionists is to establish a model state in which the conflict
of the classes, the eternal warfare between capital and labor, will have no
place. There must be no room in Jewish Palestine, they are determined, for
exploitation for private gain, and the amassing plutocratic millions will be
impossible. Their high aim is a state that will exemplify the highest ideals
It is a mark of the practical
sagacity of those who are undertaking this interesting task that they have
turned their attention first to public health and sanitation. Disease has
already been reduced and special care is given to child welfare.
Another vital subject to
receive attention is the administration of justice. The old, corrupt,
inefficient and dilatory Turkish Courts have, of course, been superseded. But
the administrators have not made the mistake of uprooting suddenly the
Mohammedan law which has now prevailed in Palestine for so many centuries.
This has been retained for the present and an English Jew, recently stationed
in Cairo in the judicial service of the British government, and therefore
familiar with Arabic and Muslim law, has been transferred to Jerusalem and
placed at the head of the new judicial system. In time we may perhaps realize
a parallel to the Philippine situation with the old law administered in part
by American judges and with a gradual introduction of reforms in the subject
Such then are the first steps
in the Redemption of Palestine. As for the future and as regards the larger
aspects of the question I only wish that all might read a stimulating book
which has recently appeared under the title of "The World Significance of a
Jewish State." (5) For its main thesis is one which is bound to challenge our
profound attention, viz. "the possibilities for political good in an
independent Jewish Palestine mediating between an insistent East and a war
It was most fitting for
Zionists to observe the anniversary of Britain's declaration. In the years to
come that announcement seems destined to mean as much for the Jews throughout
the world as the Declaration of Independence has for the Americans. Both days
are likely to be "writ large" in the annals of human progress and as the Peace
Conference proceeds to grapple with its gigantic program it will find no
feature more interesting than that of carrying out this promise to the Jewish
people and thus insuring continued progress in Palestine.
(1) "Jerusalem Delivered,"
THE BUILDER, IV, 301.
(2) See The Far Eastern
Freemason, III, 335-338.
(3) London "Times."
(4) Special Bulletin No. 141
of that Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs.
(5) By A. A. Berle; reviewed
in The Nation, Vol. 107, p. 104.
THE BUILDER TRUE
BY BRO. LAWRENCE N. GREENLEAF,
The builder true is he who
seeks the universal good,
To whom life's purpose and
its goal is human brotherhood.
The helping hand, the loving
heart, the faith 'tis God doth plan,
These are the tools wherewith
to build earth's paradise for man.
So slow the work, 'tis scarce
perceived, as nations wax and wane,
While man still fights his
brother man and hate holds wide domain.
We oft lose heart and sadly
say, these evils needs must be,
What hope is there for
brotherhood with frail humanity.
Forgetful, ah! forgetful we,
amid our doubts and fears,
How in God's mighty universe
even time as naught appears.
Ten million years a ray of
light is speeding on its way,
A thousand years in His calm
sight are but as yesterday.
O thought sublime which soars
beyond the bounds of time or space,
Hushed are our dark
forebodings of a retrograding race.
With hope refreshed, with
mind elate, with broader vision see
The long, long way which
marks the course of human destiny.
What broods of passion and of
hate have met with overthrow,
What horrors have been left
behind, what centuries of woe,
What forces of stern nature
curbed, subjective to man's will,
What stores of wisdom have
accrued, what handicrafts, what skill
But grander than achievements
all in learning, science and art,
The glories of
self-sacrifice, the promptings of the heart.
'Tis these through all the
ages past reflect the light divine,
The conquests of the world
forgot, love's deeds still brighter shine.
BRITAIN AND AMERICA: THE
NEXT to the victory of right over might and the
overthrow of enthroned iniquity, we have nothing for which to be more grateful
than the reunion of our English-speaking race. Perhaps, in the future, the
historian will reckon this new friendship of Britain and America as the
outstanding fact in connection with the world-war. Certainly it is the most
hopeful asset left to our humanity as it turns from the terrible business of
destruction to the rebuilding of a devasted world. We stand at a grave and
critical hour - how critical, none of us alive will ever realize. The words of
John Galsworthy are none too strong:
"For the advance of civilization the solidarity of
the English-speaking races is vital. Without it there is no bottom on which to
build. He who ever gives a thought to the life of man at large, to his
miseries, and disappointments, to the waste and cruelty of existence, will
remember that if American or Briton fail himself, or fail the other, there can
be but for both, and for all other peoples, a hideous slip, a swift and
fearful fall into an abyss, whence all shall have to be begun over again. We
shall not fail - neither ourselves nor each other. Our comradeship will
Indeed, yes. Britain and America have got to stand
together, not in aggressive and jealous policies, but for the common welfare
of humanity. No petty matters, no differences of manner, no divergences of
material interest must mar a fellowship upon which the very existence of
civilization depends. If we who are kinsmen both in blood and ideal quarrel
and become disunited, our civilization will split and go to ruin. By the same
token, if we fail to pool our thought and hopes, and refuse to keep the
welfare of mankind in view, the future will be haunted by insecurity, as the
past has been.
It is an occasion not for boasting, but for grave
thought, that we are made the custodians of civilization; and our confidence
must be not in formal bonds, but in our spiritual affinities and our common
lovalty to the democratic ideal. There is no way out of the old welter of
rivalries, chicanery and strife, except to make the world democratic, and then
by education to remove the weakness and shams of democracy. Our history, our
geographical positions, our temperaments, and still more our ideals, make us
the trustees of mankind, and what we do will decide whether the civilization
built up since the fall of Rome is to break up and fall to pieces, or,
unified, move forward to a new day.
If there should be no League of Nations following
the war, what then? This, at least; upon the united shoulders of Britain and
America, by the providence of God, henceforth and forever, so far as we can
see, the peace of the world will rest. We did not seek this responsibility of
guardianship of the main line of human development; nor can we evade it. Our
genius of private liberty and public order at home, of honor and fair-dealing
and friendliness abroad, our ideal of a Commonwealth, of the service of man to
his neighbor, near and far, require of us a leadership of service in the
reorganization of the world. Our common and great Freemasonry demands it.
There may be, there surely should be, a League of
Nations following the war. Never again must we allow history to drift to and
fro, as hitherto. It will not be enough to hold a Peace Conference, sign a
treaty, and then each go his way to intrigue against the other. No; we must
lay hold of history with a common purpose and shape it after a new pattern,
adding to Divine Providence a sagacious, disinterested and forward-looking
Human Providence. So, and only so, can we transform a temporary military
association into a permanent League of Security, and insure those yet unborn
against another such a disaster.
The old nationalisms have broken down - our paths
have led us slowly out of isolation into the larger life of the world. Indeed,
the ideal of nationality as we know it is a modern idea, born of the ambitions
of the Napoleonic era, fashioned to sanctify political greed and hallow
military conquest. It must be transformed and made to yield to the spirit of
service. In letters of fire it is being written before us that the hope of the
world lies in the spiritual guide, which can take from nationality its
exclusiveness and dedicate it to higher ends. Hitherto, no matter what the
private life of men of state may have been, selfishness has been the first law
of statesmanship. Surely the tragedy of the war has prepared us for a new
vision, a new consecration, and a new renunciation.
For, renunciation, in some degree there must be,
else it is idle to talk of a League of Nations. Nations must renounce, as
individuals have been compelled to do. Otherwise the old anarchy will go on
indefinitely, one war following another forever. Unless we are ready for some
great brotherly feat of world service, putting the welfare of the race above
any interest of our own, we have not learned the lesson of the war. Let us
pray that in this Britain and America will lead the way, and that the Eternal
Creative Goodwill will find in our reunited race an instrument He can use for
the redemption of the world from cruelty and brutality.
Here is the great opportunity of Freemasonry, by its spirit
universal, by its genius brotherly and unsectarian. But a united world
requires a united Freemasonry. There are things that Masonry cannot do,
influences it cannot wield, voices it cannot utter,
moral demands it cannot make, services it cannot render, because it is
divided. Therefore, if we would really influence the new world into which we
are entering, we must draw together, lay aside old technicalities, and realize
our true character as an international fellowship, at once intelligent and
free. Here, again, Britain and America must lead the way, holding out hands of
good will to their brethren of the Craft everywhere. Joseph Fort Newton.
EDITED BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD
The object of this Department is to acquaint our
readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best
Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may
especially appeal to Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render
any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges,
either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to
learn something concerning any book - what is its nature, what is its value,
or how it may be obtained - be free to ask him. If you have read a book which
you think is worth a review write us about it, if you desire to purchase a
book - any book - we will help you get it with no charge for the service. Make
this your Department of Literary Consultation.
A BOOK FOR TODAY
"Patriotism and Religion," by Shailer Mathews,
Dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Published by
Macmillan's at $1.25.
DEAN MATHEWS is not always over vigorous in his
style but in this volume he writes with a vim conferred upon him by the
importance of his theme, albeit he does not permit his subject to run away
with him, as is the manner with many earnest writers. Patriotism and religion
are both on trial today; like everything else they have been thrown into the
furnace seven-times heated and there is a flutter in many minds to think of
the danger they seem to be in. Those who believe that wars spring from
jingoistic passions, who hope for a federation of mankind, a parliament of
man, a new internationalism, have come to hate patriotism as the feeder of
jingoism and the great obstacle in the way of the international state: those
who believe that wars come from national and racial rivalry, who tell us that
the church was utterly unable to prevent war and is now impotent to lead to
peace, tell us that religion is now dead and that the sooner it is buried the
What all such people need is the gentle art of
discrimination. There is patriotism and patriotism, just as there is, and
always has been, religion and religion. There is a selfish, parochial, junker
type of it which justifies Dr. Johnson's snort about patriotism being "the
last refuge of a scoundrel," but there is also another type which is the
friend, rather than the foe, of international comity. There is a religion of
an Old Testament "eye for an eye" type which is the enemy of the more generous
spirit which is now aborning, but there is also another kind of religion which
is the friend and aider of man in all his more forward-looking social efforts.
It is the merit of Dean Mathews' excellent little
book that he points out very clearly what kind of patriotism and what kind of
religion are worthy of survival and allegiance. Space does not here permit us
to epitomize his argument; all the more cheerfully do we refer our readers to
the book itself. It is one of those volumes which is worth owning because it
is so richly worth reading.
* * *
"The Development of the United States," by Max Farrand,
Professor of History in Yale University. Published by Houghton. Mifflin
& Company, at
There have been many kinds of history. The old
chroniclers were content to narrate a tale in the spirit of the fire-side
story teller, dwelling with love on each homely detail, but neither critical
nor scholarly. The court historians were hired scribes employed to throw a
glamour about the exploits of their employers, the kings and queens, or other
members of nobility; being ex parte such histories have little value as fact,
are little more, indeed, than "historical novels," which writings, we thank
our stars, are now passing from fashion. The literary historian, a Carlyle or
a Gibbon, saw in the past a mine of material whereof to fashion a thrilling
narrative, a panorama of colorful movement fit to appeal to the imagination.
The so-called scientific historian with his lust for "cold facts" has turned
history into a mere store-house of data out of which to fashion some hard
dogma. Now comes the "new historian"; he sees the past as a living organism
full of life and movement and his task is to display to us, actually at work,
the genetic forces which carried human life out of the past into the present.
Professor Farrand has written a history of the United States
according to the last named method, and a most satisfactory method it is, for
in consequence of it our own past becomes alive, almost intimate. Dates,
names, and battles, the stock in trade of old-fashioned chroniclers, are used
only when necessary to depict the living movements, and the whole amazing
story is kept so well in hand that it is told,
with vivacious English, in something over three hundred pages. He who reads
this book will learn, as he has never learned before, how garbled has been the
account in many of our school histories, many of which, as we now know, have
been edited by German propaganda.
* * *
PLYMOUTH ONCE MORE
"The Pilgrims and Their History," by Roland G.
Usher, Professor of History, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Published by the Macmillan Company at $2.00.
Nearly three hundred years have passed since the
venturesome band of religious enthusiasts landed on the sand-bars at Plymouth;
during this long period hundreds of historians and scholars have been busy
with the scant records. Every nook and cranny of history or tradition has been
searched with zealous care, so zealous that a mountain of material has been
accumulated. A "mountain of material" makes the specialist very happy but the
busy modern man needs the mountain passed through a sieve; he is too much
otherwise engaged to sift facts, weigh data, to wade through thousands of
documents. Many have never carefully read the story of the Pilgrims,
therefore, because there has been too much to read.
Now enters Professor Usher to bring relief to the
pressed modern man; he has gone through the mountain of material with critical
and meticulous care to give us the net results in as interesting a book as the
present writer has encountered in many a day. Through the power of his
scholarship and the magic of words he has called the dour pioneers back from
their sea-side graves; they are not the kind of men and women we have been led
to picture them but they are human and very likeable, and a reader is the
better for his acquaintance with them, their stern characters, their
uncompromisingness, their inflexible theocracies.
The Pilgrims gave us no new religion; they took
their theology from the Puritans at second-hand; but they did demonstrate the
fact that here on the new continent a group of hard-working people could make
a living without help from European capital. This was their great contribution
to American history and to demonstrate this is the most original virtue of
Professor Usher's volume.
* * *
"FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO." BY
W. H. HUDSON
"Far Away and Long Ago," by W.H. Hudson, published
by E.P. Dutton & Company, of New York, at $2.50.
In his "The Purple Land," "The Crystal Age,"
"Green Mansions," and other previous volumes Mr. Hudson gave his readers such
tantalizing glimpses of his early life in South America that many of us longed
to have him tell us at length the strange tale of his own life: now, happily,
that wish has been realized. Nor will any of the author's admirers find any
cause for disappointment in the winning pages of "Far Away and Long Ago";
herein is prose as limpid, as chaste, as hauntingly beautiful as that which
lent so irresistible a glamour to his earlier books. It is autobiography with
a difference; in reality an autobiography of a human spirit wherein the growth
of the soul is portrayed through incidents and experiences and through
glimpses of outdoor life masterfully described. Not for a long time will a
reader forget the description of Buenos Ayres, with its night watchmen, its
wild youth and its grotesque out-doors washing scene; or the neighbors, half
wild and wholly unique, to whom the boy often went avisiting; or the reticent
but truthful account of the writer's gradual growth out of a traditional
religion into a Wordsworthian nature mysticism. The readers of this wise and
genial volume will be tempted to agree with John Galsworthy in appraising
Hudson as our greatest master of language "now that Tolstoy has gone.”
* * *
THE MUSE MILITANT
"The Muse in Arms," an anthology of war verse
compiled by E. B. Osborn. Published by Frederick A. Stokes, New York, at
It was one of the favorite doctrines of Wordsworth that poetry
must be composed of experiences viewed retrospectively through memory: in the
midst of an experience we confuse its incidentals with its essence,
we cannot see
it steadily or whole; therefore we must draw away from it a space if we are to
see it justly and grasp its larger meaning for life. As a general rule this
canon holds good but there are exceptions to all rules and the book now under
review is a witness to such an exception to the Wordsworthian rule.
The poets represented in "The Muse in Arms" are,
or were, all men of action: their visions came where
The thundering line of battle
And in the air Death moans
oftentimes they actually composed their stanzas
while waiting to go over the top; and in many cases they made the last solemn
sacrifice before their songs found their way to print. Nevertheless, most of
the poems in this collection belong to genuine and lasting art. Taken as a
whole they give us an authentic autobiography of the British soldiers' soul
and a divine soul it is: absolute confidence in the justice of their cause; a
willingness to pay any price that England may be kept stainless; a
fearlessness in the face of death and of even worse disasters; an
unquestioning confidence in the reality of a life beyond "the West"; an
unfaltering sense of the nearness and reality of God; all this, combined with
a magnanimity of spirit, a loftiness of soul above hating even their enemies,
such is the inner heart of the poet-fighters whose memorials are here
preserved fittingly in a volume which it is a tender joy to read and a
reverent pride to own.
Work without hope draws
nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and
fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and
is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is
better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not
champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers
to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or
fall by its own merits.
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.
MACKEY'S HISTORY OF
Will you kindly give me your opinion of "The
History of Freemasonry," by Brother Albert G. Mackey, published by the Masonic
History Company, New York? I have not read this work myself. Is it as good a
work of this kind as Is available? E.S.H., Illinois.
The Masonic historians of the early half of the
past century (and previous to that time) were really not historians at all,
but panegyrists who accepted any and all traditions and fables that seemed to
shed lustre upon a Fraternity that is singularly able to do without such
lustre. Then came the new school, the scholars who cared more for fact and
truth than for "glory," and great is the work they have done. Accepting
nothing on faith they have passed all our traditions through the fine sieve of
exact research to the end that a valid and trustworthy Masonic history is at
last emerging. It is the great virtue of Albert Mackey that he was the first
American writer on Masonic history to go over to the side of the new school
and his significance, apart from the great work he achieved, lies in this
fact. His "History of Freemasonry" will ever have a unique interest for the
Masonic student precisely because it marks an entirely new epoch in our
But a deal of water has gone under the mill since
Mackey wrote his great volume; new manuscripts have been discovered, hundreds
of them, new facts have been unearthed, new interpretations have been brought
forward; therefore is it that the student will not rest content with Mackey,
necessary as he is. The historical essays of Speth, Crawley, Baxter, Vibert,
Waite, etc., and many others of the same school, are modern and valuable; and
there are historical chapters in Newton's "The Builders," and in MacBride's
"Speculative Masonry" which you cannot afford to miss; but the monumental work
on the subject is, of course, Gould's; that will not be surpassed in many a
day. Mackey and Gould would give you about everything you need.
* * *
LITERATURE CONCERNING KING
For some time past I have been searching for
literature (books, pamphlets, etc.,) dealing with the structure of King
Solomon's Temple, and the thought has come to me that perhaps you could direct
me in in this matter.
I should be obliged for any information on the
subject. The information I want is, of course, such as would assist one in the
interpretation of the ritual of the various degrees.
One of the best works on this voluminous subject
is Osgood's "The Temple of Solomon," published by the Open Court Company, of
Chicago. See also articles in the following: Hasting's Bible Dictionary,
Encyclopaedia Biblica, and Jewish Encyclopaedia. James Ferguson has published
a book called "The Temple of the Jews" which is very valuable. Trumbull, in
his "Threshold Covenant," includes much material as does also Stanley, in his
"Old Testament History." See Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati as follows:
vol. VI, page 8; vol. X, page 60; vol. XII, page 136; vol. XIV, page 172; vol.
XIX, page 112, and vol. XXI, page 264. Bishop Lightfoot published a long time
ago "A Prospect of the Temple," which may possibly still be available.
Pierson, in his "Traditions of Freemasonry," devotes several pages to the
subject, beginning with page 189. Waite, in his "Studies in Mysticism," (last
part), has much to say about the matter and so has Mackey in his "Symbolism of
Freemasonry." If you wish to get at the matter through modern biblical
scholarship, look up the commentary on Kings in the "New International
Critical Commentary." In reading the above you will encounter references to
other books too numerous to mention. H. L. H.
* * *
MATERIAL FOR MASONIC
Do you know of any book on Masonry that would
assist one when called upon for short talks on visiting a lodge or gathering
of Masons? Y.E.W., Kansas.
There is no one book known to us which would fill
your needs as described. However, there are certain Masonic themes always
appropriate, and on these there is an abundance of material. If you deal with
any point in the history of Masonry you will find useful Mackey's History,
Gould's History, Vibert's "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges,"
etc. For matters of interpretation we suggest Newton's "The Builders," and
MacBride's "Speculative Masonry." If you care to deal with the higher grades
there is nothing better than Waite's "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry."
Mackey's Encyclopaedia is a compendium on almost every imaginable Masonic
topic. Pound's "Philosophy of Masonry" deals with the larger issues and
meanings of the Craft. The various books published by Brother Lawrence, of
England, are of great assistance in preparing speeches, as also is Albert
Pike's "Morals and Dogma." Also, we shall not permit you to forget, there is
THE BUILDER; a search through the four published volumes and the current
issues will furnish you with worth while articles on well nigh every
imaginable Masonic theme. If you can furnish us with a list of topics
attractive to you, we can be more specific in our recommendations.
Most of the above volumes may be obtained through
the Society, or may be borrowed from almost any Masonic library. H.L.H.
* * *
"WHO WHO IN MASONRY"
Has there ever been published or compiled a list,
at all comprehensive, of prominent men who have been Masons, either in the
present century or in earlier times ?
E.J.R., New Hampshire.
The only such compilation of which we have
knowledge is the list of Presidents of the United States that have been
Masons; you will find such a list, not complete, in the Question Box for
An English concern has published a book called
"Who's Who in Masonry"; inasmuch as it confines itself to Englishmen, and they
prominent in the lodge rather than in the world, the volume may do you but
very little good.
If some studious brother, with plenty of time and money, were
to devote himself to the preparation of a "Who's Who in Masonry," giving only
the greatest, and telling us when and where each was made a Mason, he would
place the whole Craft under obligation to him forever. It is one of the few
virgin fields left to Masonic authorship. H.L.H.
FIVE REASONS FOR MASONIC
(Brother H. L. Haywood, our Correspondence Circle Bulletin and
Library Department Editor, conducts the meetings of the Study Club in his home
town of Waterloo, Iowa. We are informed that the Study Club has over one
hundred members. On the occasion of a recent visit to Anamosa by Brother
Haywood he told us of a paper read at one of the Fall meetings of the Waterloo
club. The description sounded so good to us that we wrote to the President of
the Club, Brother George C. Welker, who is also the author of the paper, for a
copy of it to give to the rest of our members. A reading of it will prove that
Brother Haywood cannot claim that he himself is the only "live one" in the
Waterloo Club. Brother Haywood is soon to take up his residence in Davenport,
but while the Davenport Study will gain a new member thereby, we do not think
that the Waterloo Study Club will deteriorate in any way while it has Brother
Welker to guide it.
During the vacation season the Study Club has been
a subject of my thoughts many times.
Vision of an apparent lack of interest displayed
by many of our members was not lacking, and when I say this, I do, not in any
way mean to exclude myself from the number.
I can shut my eyes and see a crowd of men
(sometimes a very small crowd) sitting in a semi-circle, like certain animals
in the far North that sit on their haunches and await the bits of meat thrown
to them by the driver of the team. Sometimes I wonder if we could be still
further true to the comparison and fall upon and rend our master if when we
meet some evening the bits of meat were not forthcoming.
This is but a homely comparison. It is not true to
the situation altogether, for unlike those teams of the frozen Northland, when
we gather in our circle after a period of other activities, we are not
mentally hungry enough to rend anything or anybody if the bits of meat should
fail to come our way.
Then again, our director is not a driver, but
rather a leader, and I fear the most of us are not broken to lead.
Yesterday afternoon I took my dictionary from its
place in the bookcase and finding the division of S’s I came to the word
"study." I found this is the definition:
"Application of the mind for acquiring knowledge.
To apply the mind with earnest and reasoned effort."
Then I turned to the C's and came to the word
'club." In the definition I found this:
"An association of persons to promote a common
object. Especially one meeting periodically or at stated times."
I said, "That should mean us." Only some of us are
periodic with variations in the length of the periods.
From the foregoing we conclude that a Masonic
Study Club is, or ought to be, an association of Masons meeting at stated
times to promote the application of the mind by earnest effort in acquiring
Masonic knowledge. This is such a big definition that I wonder if all of us
The question may arise, "Why should we study at
Masonry is a picture of human life. It is as
extensive as the universe and will admit of all the study we can give to it.
I have chosen five words, the meanings of which form five
reasons as to why we should study Masonry. Not because they
are the only reasons or the beast reasons, but because they are the
ones that come to my mind. Reasons are without number; in fact I do not
believe there is one reason why we should not pursue Masonic study. It will be
noted that the initial letters of the words chosen spell the word "study."
We should stabilize ourselves. To stabilize means
to acquire steadiness, or firmness of purpose. We cannot flit about mentally
like butterflies and develop steadiness or firmness of character. If we would
live and not merely exist we must have a fixed purpose in life.
We should study that we may tally. This may seem
very homely. The general environments of one are the environments of all. To
tally we must bring ourselves to correspond with our environments - to match
with them, as it were. Surely we need steadiness and firmness of character in
order that we may correspond with our environments.
We should also study that we may acquire utility.
Utility means quality or state of being useful. Utilitarianism means the
greatest good to the greatest number. To attain this is surely a laudable
We must have firmness of character or purpose
before we can correspond with our environments, and both conditions must
obtain before we can be useful.
Another purpose of study should be domination. Not in the sense
of kaiserism - no king ever had, or ever can have, a greater realm over which
to rule than "self." Domination is the act
authority, sovereignty, supremacy or control. The greatest ruler is the ruler
We must have steadiness of purpose before we can
correspond with our environments. We must have correspondence with our
environments before we can be useful, and we must possess stability,
correspondence with our environments, and utility, before we can dominate
The fifth reason for Masonic study is that we may
Originally a yoke was a bar or frame of wood by
which oxen were joined at the heads or necks for working together. To be yoked
is to be connected or bound together.
If we have stability we may be able to tally or correspond with
our environments and develop utility. At this stage
we may be
able to dominate or control self, and then we can make proper connection with
the Great Architect of the Universe.
If this little preachment is the means of giving
any of us a slight reason for better study, then I do not regret having
encroached upon the time of our director to read it.
The great world war has brought forth an
expression which should be a constant admonition to us. Let us repeat it over
and over again until it becomes a part of us, then do it.
That expression is, "Carry on!"
George C. Welker, Iowa.
* * *
AN INTERESTING LETTER FROM THE MASONIC CLUB. SAINT
Newton R. Parvin,
Grand Secretary A. F. and A. M.,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Dear Brother Parvin:
I have before me your letter dated October 4th,
1918. I do not know whether it has been answered, but fearing that it has not
I will endeavor to answer it.
PRELIMINARY ORGANIZATION WORK
Along in March, l918, a notice was posted in all
the Y.M.C.A. huts and in the Farmers Loan and Trust Bank here, calling for a
meeting of all Master Masons in this Base Section. This Base Section is a
military division and covers a territory approximately 200 miles long and 100
miles wide in which is located this port of Saint Nazaire.
We met at one of the Y.M.C.A. huts and had a very
gathering of several hundred Master Masons, most of them soldiers, a few
Y.M.C.A. and Red Cross workers. Officers were elected and committees were
appointed after which the meeting adjourned, all of us filled to the brim with
When it came time for these different committees
to meet and talk over the things necessary to be done, it was found that some
of the members had been sent away on some duty or other, so others had to be
appointed in their places. Many of these were, in turn, sent away and finding
it difficult to get together to do much, our activities ceased for a time. But
along in May a few pioneers again started the ball to rolling and this time it
resulted in the formation of our present Club.
The military situation in Europe last Spring was
very acute, as you probably know as well as we can tell you. American troops
and supplies were badly needed by the Allies and just as soon as the roads
became in the least degree passable the Americans began to move. Troops that
were here one day might be ordered away within twenty-four hours. This was a
proposition with which we had to deal. All of us had our military duties to
look after, and it was vitally necessary that these be attended to first.
Saint Nazaire is one of the base ports where fleets of troop ships arrived,
landed their troops in record time and immediately set sail for America to
take on more men.
The troops which were landed here went to a Rest
Camp located a mile from the docks where they went through the varous forms of
disinfection, received their fighting equipment, etc. Some of them remained
here for months, while others would be moved immediately.
Everything was bustle and motion, and the grim
purpose of our Government to do its part in the world war was everywhere
apparent. Consequently other things came second.
On the arriving troop ships when they docked were
many sick soldiers. Numbers of others became sick after landing and many were
accidentally injured in handling supplies in the process of unloading the
ships. Among these sick and injured were some Masons, I am both sorry and glad
to say. Sorry, because they were in distress, and glad, because it showed that
Masons were in the game and already giving their hearts' blood for their
country and its cause.
I became attached to the Base Hospital No. 101, in
Saint Nazaire, in January, 1918. In passing through the wards one day shortly
after my assignment I came upon a Mason and did all that was in my power to
make him comfortable and contented.
It grieved me very much to see soldier Masons die
and be buried without their White Aprons. I thought enough of my White Apron
to bring it with me, but up to this time I have met but one other brother who
had his with him. I know that it was practically impossible for the enlisted
men who were Masons to carry their Aprons with them.
It also grieved me to think that the Masonic
Fraternity was not here in the person of representatives who could do
something for us. With those of us in the service it was simply a question of
time; the time we had to spare from our duties was not adequate to the demands
that were made upon it for the proper attention of our sick and wounded
CLUB FINALLY ORGANIZED
After the organization of our Club it soon became
apparent that the burden would have to be carried by a limited number of us,
and those interested (among whom I wish to mention Brother Edmond Dupras, our
former Secretary) entered into the work with all our hearts and souls. We have
not accomplished as much as we have desired, but we feel that we have done the
best we could under the circumstances.
To summarize the results of our endeavors we have:
Organized the Masonic Club, Base Section No. 1, A.
Elected officers and appointed committees,
(executive, advisory, sick and wounded, entertainment, etc.)
Held business meetings every Tuesday night and
social meetings every Thursday night.
Hired rooms over a French cafe for our Club rooms.
Subscribed for two daily papers; begged an old
piano and some books from the Y.M.C.A., and Masonic journals from any
publishers that we could, in the States - for we were indeed poor at the
INITIATION FEES AND DUES
The initiation fee for officers was made ten
francs, and for enlisted men five francs. The monthly dues are 2 1/2 francs.
Because of the number of enlisted men here whose princely salaries are $33.00
per month (and some months either the paymaster does not show up, or they are
on the move so that they cannot get paid) we made the dues as low as possible.
GAVE TWO SMOKERS UNDER
Through the summer months we held two smokers. At
these smokers a charge of five francs was made, and we served a buffet
luncheon of salads, bread and butter sandwiches, hot roast beef sandwiches,
lemonade and coffee. We had talks by several brothers present and music from
volunteer musicians. We had a good time, and the proceeds went into our sick
and wounded fund. But we were not without our difficulties in arranging for
these smokers. This part of France is almost wholly Roman Catholic and many
were the obstacles that were placed in our way. Also in the French stores food
was very scarce and very high-priced. All the food which we used had to be
purchased from the U. S. Commissary, cooked at one of the Camp kitchens and
carried to the Club rooms.
WORK AMONG SICK AND WOUNDED
We tried to organize sick and wounded committees
in the different hospitals in this Base Section, but met with only halfhearted
support for the reasons before stated,everyone's time was taken up by military
In my trips through the wards in this hospital I
have found many Masons. Most of these I recognized by the rings they wore.
These I have visited with, and I have been authorized by the Club to advance
to needy ones sums us to twenty francs. I would go to the Red Cross and
Y.M.C.A. representatives and ask them to see that these men received anything
they had for distribution such as candy, papers, books, toothbrushes, etc. In
making such requests I have always met with hearty responses, for there are
many "square" men among these workers.
The lodge to which a brother Mason belonged
mattered not to us. We gave him what we could of our little store and helped
him sometimes to get better food, to obtain passes when they were
convalescing, and we would try to get them down to our meetings. These
"blesses" were always cordially and enthusiiastically received at our Club
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECEIVED
In response to the appeal which we sent to lodges in the States
for money and papers we have received the following donations
From Grand Master Schoonover
of the Grand Lodge of Iowa $500.00
From Ashlar Lodge of Detroit, Michigan $100.00
From Morgan Park Lodge No. 999, Chicago. Fr.
Several other Bodies and lodges have wirtten us
that they were sending, or had sent money to us, but so far we have not
received it. The Scottish Rite Bodies of the Southern Jurisdiction in the
Valley of San Antonio, Texas, sent us a check for $100.00, but it was not
certified properly and we have not been able to cash it.
READING MATTER AND WRITING
We have received the bound volumes of THE BUILDER
and the loose copies, new and old, that have been sent to us. Several
individuals have sent us copies of THE BUILDER and the New Age. I feel that
many others will be coming right along now. These are certainly very much
appreciated. Our hall is open every day from about 10 a. m. to 9:30 p. m. and
any brother who is in that district may drop in and read them. We have our
stationery on which the brethren may write home without having to use that
furnished by the Y.M.C.A., the Red Cross, or, what is worse, the K. of C. Some
of the brethren have at times been forced to use the K. of C. stationery
because there was none other available at Camps where they were located. In
this country you cannot run into a store every time you wish and buy what you
want. Even the simplest things are hard to get, for this country has been war
ridden so long that comforts and luxuries are not to be had.
THANKSGIVING DAY BANQUET
Our Club gave a Thanksgiving dinner this year and
everyone seemed to have a good time. At least those present said that they
did. I was so busy waiting on the table that all I had time to do was to drink
coffee and smoke while on the run.
I want to tell you about this dinner, not from the
point of self-praise, but simply to show you how hard it is to do anything
over here while we are tied up with our other duties.
I was appointed, with several others, to serve as
the Entertainment Committee to make arrangements for this Thanksgiving Day
banquet. On such days most of the officers have invitations to various places
of amusement, but we felt that it was our duty to give the enlisted men a good
time. We went along on very short notice, had the menus printed, and then
started rustling for the turkeys. We soon discovered there were no turkeys to
be had. We tried through the American and French markets, and through the
Commissary, but there was "nothing doing." We then decided that chicken would
serve as well, and bought 270 pounds from one of the American beef boats - but
if it had not been for a Mason on the boat we should not have obtained them.
About two o'clock in the afternoon of the twenty-seventh, the French woman who
runs the Cafe under our Club rooms threw up her hands and said "Impossebeel";
she could not get any help, and simply could not take care of our affair. When
I heard this I was in despair. Here we were, with a reservation of about 250,
and the game was off, as far as this woman was concerned. I spent a restless
night, but arose in the morning with a scheme which I proceeded to carry out.
I borrowed a Ford and sent it out to the hotel for
the food. I persuaded the cooks in the officers' mess here at the base
hospital, to make the pumpkin pies; the cooks in the enlisted mens' mess to
cook the chickens and glace the sweet potatoes, while the cooks in the nurses'
mess cooked the dressing. Another brother took three geese to a Frenchman's
house where he was acquainted, and had them cooked there. All of our cooks
here worked with a will all afternoon after their own dinners were over. The
banquet was scheduled for 6 p. m.
It was just about 5:30 when, after borrowing a
Ford from our Quartermaster and another from the American Red Cross, we
breezed up to the kitchens and started to pile on the food, right from the
ovens. We took with us two of the French maids who wait on the table at the
nurses' mess, and it was well that we did, for we needed them. When we drove
up to the hotel with the food it was 6:10 p. m., and the tables were already
filled with a clamoring crowd of "just and upright men," soldiers all, except
for a few Y.M.C.A. and Red Cross workers.
I went in and talked to them for a few minutes,
asking for a little more forbearance while the girls were carving the birds.
They answered with a roar of approval. Almost before I had finished talking
the food was being served. I called for some volunteer waiters among the
enlisted men and many of them responded. I elected myself head waiter and the
game started. I am enclosing a menu which will show you that we had a good
We called upon a brother Chaplain to open the
affair with prayer, which he did, and then followed short talks from many of
the brethren as the meal progressed. With music from half-a‑dozen soldier
musicians between times, everything was as merry as a marriage feast. When it
was all over we asked, "Are you hungry?" A roar answered, "Not" "Have you any
kicks?" Again a roar, "No!" "Are we down‑hearted?" "Not" So we all felt repaid
for the efforts which we had put forth.
During the course of the meal twelve new‑comers
arrived, saying they had lost their way, otherwise they would have been in
sooner. I asked a like number of those who had finished eating if they would
give up their seats to these brethren, which they did, and we fed them. Then
another party of twenty‑two arrived and again we requested places for them,
which were made. And then came more stragglers, until we had served about
fifty more than the hall would hold. All together we fed about 300. We charged
five francs a plate and paid the balance out of the Club treasury. It cost us
about ten francs a plate, as we got the food at cost. We paid 100 francs for
the use of the hall.
NEW YEAR'S PARTY
Now we are trying to prepare for a New Year's
party. We hope to hire a small French theatre that is run by a French Mason,
and have a doughnut party, distributing doughnuts and coffee between the acts.
We have written to Brother George F. Moore, a National Mason who, we are
informed, is now in Paris, to come and talk to us. Our whole idea is to do
something for the Master Masons in the American Expeditionary forces and
exemplify the fraternalism which we teach.
MASONIC CLUB ROOMS ONLY PLACE
IN ARMY WHERE OFFICERS AND MEN MEET ON A LEVEL
Our Club rooms are the only places in the Army
where all men can meet on a level. Here the distinction between officer and
enlisted man is not drawn, and since it is the enlisted man who is carrying
the burden the officers are glad to do whatever is possible to show them a
good time. At a Masonic gathering, all of us, officers and men, feel at home -
we feel that it is our own affair and it serves to draw the bonds of
URGENT NECESSITY FOR MASONIC
WELFARE WORK AMONG SOLDIERS OF THE A.E.F.
In closing, allow me to thank you in the name of the Masonic
Club, Base Section No. 1, for the help that you have given us. The armistice
has been signed, but there are many of us who will have to remain "over here”
for many months to come, and there are many Masons here that would appreciate
having a civilian Masonic secretary to look after us. We are willing to pay
dues, and willing to work and help, but it
is very hard
for us to do all the good things that we might be able to do if there were
someone here who could devote all his time to the work.
Sincerely and fraternally
Captain Robert C. Murphy, M.C.,
Masonic Club, Base Section No. 1,
Saint Nazaire, France,
* * *
THE OTHER FELLOW’S JOB
If I were the Thrice Potent
The Sovereign Prince, or Most
Or e'en the Illustrious
There are many plans I could
To correct the defects I have
The solutions seem plain as
I would soon have things snug
and in order
If the brethren would listen
The attendance is not what it
The work could be greatly
Those working the ritual are
And for this reason should be
The food and cigars at the
Are not the right kinds, as
And I would revise and
If the brethren would listen
There are many who feel just
as I do;
They tell all their troubles
But seem not inclined to take
They do not the remedy see.
Or else they would soon move
And change things the way
they should be;
But some day a change will be
When they learn to listen to
- Oriental Consistory.