The Builder Magazine
April 1920 - Volume VI - Number 4
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
ADMIRAL FARRAGUT was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, July 5th,
1801. He died August 14th, 1870, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he was
buried with Masonic honors. Later his body was removed to Woodlawn Cemetery in
David Farragut entered the navy at nine. He became a midshipman
at twelve and pursued his studies under Chaplain Charles Folsom on board the
Washington while serving in the Mediterranean. Returning to the States in 1820
he passed his Naval examination and served in the Mosquito Fleet against the
pirates in the Caribbean Sea. In 1825 he was promoted to Lieutenant; in
September, 1841, to Commander, and in September, 1855, to Captain. In 1858 he
took command of the Brooklyn and at the outbreak of the Civil War was awaiting
orders at Norfolk.
He was the greatest genius of the War. He was not a fearless
man, but a man who knew a good risk and had the courage of his convictions.
Other officers thought it would be impossible to run a fleet up the
Mississippi River past the forts, but Farragut heeded not. His tactics were
new. Instead of heading up the middle line of the river he ran his ships so
close to Fort Jackson that the yard-arms touched the parapets, and while this
fort fired over the ships the one on the opposite fired short. His general
attacks were successful rushes.
The statue of Admiral Farragut stands in Farragut Square in the
City of Washington, D.C. It is of bronze, of heroic size, and was modeled by
the wife of General Hoxie (nee Vinnie Ream). The metal from which the statue
and the Cohorn mortars surrounding it were cast, was from the original
propeller of the Hartford, the Admiral's flagship, and the castings were made
in the foundry of the steam engineering plant of the Washington Navy Yard.
This splendid memorial was unveiled in the presence of an
immense gathering, on April 25th, 1881. The flag used in the unveiling
ceremonies has a history worth recording.
When Farragut's fleet had laid New Orleans under its guns,
Congress in its wisdom and gratitude created the rank of Commodore for
Farragut. Knowles, the old signal quartermaster on the Hartford, took a blue
flag, a "number" from the signal chest, stitched a star in it, and it was
flown, the first Commodore's flag in our navy. When Farragut was promoted to
Rear Admiral, a grade created for him, Knowles stitched in a second star; and
when Farragut was made Vice-Admiral, and later Admiral, Knowles added the
necessary stars to the same old flag.
After the unveiling of the statue, Bartholemew Diggins, a
member of Brightwood Lodge No. 24 in the District of Columbia, who had been in
Farragut's gig crew all during the war, asked for that old flag and offered a
new one for it. The Secretary of the Navy granted his request. Many years
afterward, when Dewey returned from the Philippines, Diggins asked the writer,
who was about to go to New York to malie arrangements for Admiral Dewey's
reception, to present the flag to Dewey. The flag was duly presented, and it
was the only Admiral's pennant ever flown by Farragut or by Dewey.
While Farragut's Masonic connection is beyond doubt, the writer
has been unable to identify his lodge. Naval Lodge No. 87 was instituted at
Vallejo, opposite the Navy Yard at Mare Island, and there are members of that
lodge still living who greeted the Admiral when he visited there. Surgeon
General John Mills Browne of the Navy, who was Grand Master in California, as
well as Master of Naval Lodge, and also an active 33rd, was intimate with the
Admiral in California, and remembered him as a Mason and a promoter of
Masonry. He did not, however, remember the name of his lodge. This is but one
more object lesson which teaches us the need of better records. The lodge
which conducted the funeral at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has no record of the
Admiral's affiliation. His son, Loyall, writes that some orders were conferred
upon his father while he was a midshipman, at Malta, but he is not positive
what those orders were.
David Farragut was one of those rare characters who could
separate his duties, pleasures, cares and worries, not letting one encroach
upon the other. He was industrious to a fault, and expected others to keep
pace. He was an excellent seaman, which in his day was regarded as imperative.
He was reserved and dignified, yet approachable, never letting a meritorious
act of a subordinate pass without a word of approval, but was as careful to
reprove one committing an error.
PERTINENT FACTS ABOUT IRELAND
BELFAST PROTESTANT DELEGATION
We, the accredited delegates of the Protestant churches of
Ireland, representing one million and one quarter people, beg to submit to the
Protestant people of America the following statement:
We come here in the interests of truth and fair play, our views
on the subject of the separation of Ireland from Great Britain having been
grossly misrepresented by those engaged in the Sinn Fein propaganda. We have
not come here to raise either political or religious strife, still less to
entangle America in the domestic affairs of Great Britain. But we have come
believing it is due to the churches and the cause which we represent to state
the real truth about Ireland. The following article constitutes a simple
statement of facts, the accuracy of which can be tested by any one who desires
to do so.
Parliament for South Tyrone,
Square Methodist Church, Belfast.
Knockbreda Episcopal Church, Belfast.
Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.
Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.
Frederick E. Harte,
Square Methodist Church, Belfast.
Road Methodist Church, Belfast.
STATED by Sinn Fein agitators that Ireland is overtaxed by Great Britain. Let
us see how the matter stands. According to the official returns for 1918 -
1919 the fatal revenue contributed by England was
$3,455,310,000. From this
there was paid out of the British Exchequer for local expenditure in England
$719,237,500, leaving a balance available for Imperial needs such as army and
navy, consular and other services, of $2,736,072,500. Scotland during the same
period contributed to the British Exchequer a total revenue of $486,605,000.
She received back for local uses $97,637,500, leaving a balance for Imperial
purposes of $388,970,000. Ireland with practically the same population as
Scotland, contributed only $186,375,000, receiving back for local uses
$110,807,500, and contributing toward Imperial expenditure a sum of only
$75,567,500. It will be seen that while Ireland's contribution to the British
Exchequer is much less than that of England or Scotland, she receives back a
much larger proportion for her own internal uses. The enemies of Great Britain
claim that Ireland's contribution for Imperial purposes represents a loss to
her of $75,567,500. Surely, however, it will be conceded that as a part of the
British Isles she ought to contribute something toward the protection of her
coasts, policing of the seas and trade routes, payment of the huge war debt,
and upkeep of National affairs generally. But apart from the question of
obligation, is this sum a loss to her? Last year she received back $60,000,000
in war pensions, separation allowances, and gratuities to ex-soldiers, sailors
and their dependents living in Ireland. Further, she received $21,500,000 as a
bread subsidy, whereby the cost of every loaf of bread consumed in Ireland was
reduced in price by six cents. Ireland also received last year more than
$5,000,000 as out-of-work donation. These figures will illustrate some of the
ways - and there are many others - in which she indirectly receives back much
more than she contributed for Imperial purposes. The plea of overtaxation is
therefore groundless, and the day on which Ireland should cut adrift from
Great Britain would be to her a day of disaster and financial ruin.
Sinn Fein also declares that Ireland is denied any real voice
in her own affairs. If Parliamentary representation be a test, how does she
stand ? Ireland, with a population let it be remembered roughly equal to that
of Scotland, sends 105 representatives to the British Legislature, while
Scotland sends only 75. Ireland's representatives are elected on a basis of
one to every forty thousand of the people, whereas the representatives from
England or Scotland are elected
a basis of one to every seventy-three thousand of the people. Thus the vote of
one Irishman is almost equal to the votes of two Englishmen or Scotsmen, and
the Irish vote has often been the controlling influence in the British
In addition, the 32 counties of Ireland possess their own local
Councils and again these counties are subdivided into districts, and by the
same franchise, district councillors are elected. All such are Irishmen,
chosen by the people to carry on local government in each county, and to
strike their own rates of taxation within their own borders. No outside power
can interfere with the local rates of the county. In twenty-seven of these
counties all the county councils and most of the district councils are
composed of Roman Catholics. To every office in their gift, these men
invariably appoint only people of their own creed. Yet they are the first to
charge the Protestant people of Ulster with bigotry. Thus incidentally the
charge of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland is completely disproved. Ireland
has indeed the fullest voice in her own affairs.
It is also stated by certain self-constituted envoys from
America, who paid a flying visit to Ireland, that men and women are being
brutally treated in Irish prisons. We wish to point out that in passing
sentence on persons convicted of seditious offenses of a minor character, the
various law courts in Ireland desired only to bind over such persons to be of
good behavior for to say, twelve months, and to refrain from treasonable
practices. On agreement, the prisoners were at once discharged. On the other
hand, if they refused to give such an undertaking the alternative was a short
term of imprisonment. Sinn Fein agitators, in order to pose as martyrs before
the Irish people and their friends in America, refused to enter into
recognizances and therefore elected to go to prison. When in prison they
refused to eat good wholesome food, and proceeded to abuse the jailors and to
damage the buildings. In Belfast they destroyed a whole wing of the prison,
property valued at $10,000. On the complaint of the Sinn Feiners and the
"American envoys" a government commission presided over by a distinguished
judge, was set up to investigate the charges of alleged brutality to
prisoners. The complainants refused to appear and make good their case, and
the commission found the charges to be entirely groundless.
On the other hand, can any government abrogate its functions to
the extent of tolerating the following state of affairs, now alas ! rampant
throughout the south and west of Ireland? Sinn Feiners with blackened faces
approach the dwelling houses of peaceable, law-abiding people, Catholic and
Protestant alike. On the door being opened a revolver is pointed at the
hapless occupier. The marauders shout "Hands up!" and the house is thoroughly
searched for arms. Policemen and military officials and civilians have been
brutally murdered in the discharge of their duty, and the criminals have gone
unpunished, as no one will come forward to give evidence against them. For
other offenses against the law it is practically impossible to obtain a
conviction, the boards of Magistrates in the disaffected districts being
notoriously Sinn Fein in their sympathies. Even if the magistrates desired,
they dare not convict through terror of reprisal. Because of this, the
government has been obliged in certain disaffected areas, to set up special
courts over which preside two paid magistrates who possess no local interest
and who can, therefore, discharge the duties of the law without fear. In the
higher courts where trial by jury obtains, jurors have been afraid or
unwilling to convict in the face of the clearest evidence and therefore in
such areas, trial by jury has been temporarily suspended. The following
illustrates the state of matters in the south and west:
A few months ago sixteen young Methodist soldiers were
peacefully entering the Methodist church in Fermoy, County Cork, for purposes
of worship. They carried their rifles, lest in their absence from barracks
they should be stolen, but they carried no ammunition whatever. Suddenly they
were attacked by a party of armed Sinn Feiners who foully murdered one of them
in the doorway and wounded others. The ruffians made their escape in
automobiles standing ready, and from that day to this, not one of them has
A favorite topic with Sinn Fein is that of the depopulation of
Ireland, which they ascribe to the conduct of Great Britain. They conveniently
ignore the fact that at the time of the Act of Union in 1800 the population of
Ireland was 4,000,000, and that in less than forty years, under the Act of
Union, the population increased to 8,000,000. The Union, therefore, cannot be
the cause of depopulation. The factors causing depopulation were:
First - The desolating famine of 1846. The potato was the
staple food of the people, and exhaustion of the soil through lack of
fertilizers destroyed the crop for two disastrous years. In the overcrowded
agricultural districts of the west this caused widespread havoc, and no
government could avert the consequences of old and defective land economics
and violated laws of nature. Even today it is the work of the congested
district board by proper apportionment of the people to the soil and the soil
to the people, and, by the general development of agriculture, fishing and
railways, to make impossible any repetition of that tragedy.
Second - The inability of Ireland to compete with the vast
volume of agricultural imports which, with open markets, began to pour in from
overseas, caused many to seek brighter prospects across the ocean.
Third - The wide opportunities offered by the opening up of new
lands in America and elsewhere drew multitudes of Irish people from their
country. Those causes, so far as they belong to defective land laws, economic
conditions and the social framework, it has long been the aim of legislation
BRITISH PARLlAMENT HAS DONE FOR IRELAND
In order to redress the grievances from which Irish tenants
suffered, owing to defective systems of land tenure, the British government
has advanced $700,000,000 at 3 1/4 per cent interest in order that the farmers
might purchase their holdings. This low rate of interest wipes out both
principal and interest in seventy years, so that after that time there is
nothing further to pay. Three-fourths of the whole country is now so purchased
and belongs to the peasant occupiers. There is no land system in Europe to
compare with this. Scotland and England would gladly possess it.
The British government has loaned, through the district
councils of Ireland for the building of laborer's cottages, the sum of
$25,000,000 at 2.08 per cent interest. Between 50,000 and 80,000 of these
cottages are now built. They are neat, four-roomed dwellings, built of stone,
with slated roofs and with from half an acre to an acre of land attached. They
are let to the laborer at the nominal rent of from 30 to 36 cents weekly.
These weekly payments will at the end of fifty years clear off the entire
liability to the British government. The cottages will then become the
property of the district councils, to be held in trust by them for the
laborers. The money derivable from the rents will then go to the relief of the
rates in the districts in which they are set up. Is there any country today
which can furnish evidence of greater beneficence to the workers on its soil?
Neither England nor Scotland possesses a boon like this.
It is charged by Sinn Fein that Great Britain has prevented or
retarded the development of Ireland. The preceding facts are part of the reply
to this. In addition, the British government annually spends $1,250,000 for
the development of what are known as the congested districts of the west of
Ireland. This money is distributed by the congested districts board,
consisting of official representatives of the government, local
representatives, together with two Roman Catholic bishops and several Roman
Catholic priests. Harbours have been built free of cost and curing stations
erected for the furtherance of the fishing industry. Motor launches have been
sold to the fishermen on the instalment system, payment being made as profits
are earned, while experts have been brought from Scotland to teach the Irish
how to fish profitably their own seas. Light railways have been built to carry
the produce of land and sea to the proper markets, and fresh fish from the
west coast of Ireland can now reach the London markets in twenty-four hours.
Ireland is no poverty-stricken land. Before the war the Irish
people had on deposit in the Irish banks a sum of $380,000,000. Today after
five years this sum. Has increased to the amazing amount of $760,000,000. A
large proportion of this presumably belongs to the Sinn Feiners of Ireland.
There is, therefore, no necessity to go outside of the country for money if
the Sinn Feiners are really desirous of promoting industries. If further
testimony is needed as to the prosperity of Ireland the words of the late Mr.
John Redmond, spoken July 1, 1915, will suffice:
"Today the people, broadly speaking, own the soil. Today the
laborers live in decent habitations, today there is absolute freedom in local
government and local taxation of the country. Today we have the widest
parliamentary and municipal franchise. The congested districts, the scene of
some of the most awful horrors of the old famine days, are being transformed.
The farms have been enlarged, decent dwellings have been provided, and a new
spirit of hope and independence is today among the people. In town,
legislation has been passed facilitating the housing of the working classes -
a piece of legislation far in advance of anything obtained for the town
dwellers of England. We have a system of old age pensions in Ireland whereby
every old man and women over 70 is saved from the workhouse and free to spend
their last days in comparative comfort."
It is claimed by Sinn Fein that Ireland is a nation, and as a
nation possesses the right to secede from Great Britain and set up an
independent government. We emphatically deny this claim and all Irish History
is against it. Father McDonald, Professor of Theology, of Maynooth, the great
training college for the priesthood in Ireland, deals with the claim. The
words of Dr. McDonald may surely be expected to have weight with Sinn Fein.
In his recent book, "Some Ethical Questions of Peace and War,"
he denies that Ireland has the rights of a separate nation, and he plainly
declares what all history makes evident, that she never was a nation, "if
unity of rule and independence are requisites of nationhood." Ireland in
ancient times was but a congeries of warring tribes that never combined for
any common purpose.
In the year 1172 Henry II went to Ireland with the authority of
a Bull issued by Pope Adrian IV, confirmed by another Bull promulgated by his
successor, Pope Alexander III. He invaded Ireland for the purpose of restoring
order, and the Irish chiefs submitted to him. This was the first occasion on
which Ireland knew anything of real unity, and it was created for her by Henry
II. Two centuries later, in 1395, in the reign of Richard II, the chiefs
reaffirmed their submission, but in the reign of Henry VIII the allegiance of
Ireland to England was emphatically confirmed by a Parliament which met in
Dublin on June 12th, 1541, and which formally recognized Henry as King of
Coming to the reign of Charles I, a Catholic Confederation met
in Kilkenny on October 24, 1642. This was an assembly representing Roman
Catholic Ireland, and one of its: decrees was to the effect that "All the
inhabitants of Ireland and each of them shall be most faithful to our
sovereign the King and his heirs and lawful successors." Fifty years after in
the reign of James II the Patriot Parliament convened in Dublin in 1689, and
presided over by the King in person, recognized him not only as King of
England but as sovereign of Ireland.
Will Sinn Fein still assert that Ireland was a nation, and will
it still be maintained that Great Britain has not
never had any right to rule in Ireland?
Still it is asserted in the face of these facts that she
possesses the right to what is called self-determination. There is much
confusion of thought regarding this phrase, as if it implies that any
community forming part of a larger whole, by its own will may break away and
set up an independent government. Dr. McDonald has a good deal to say
regarding this. He points out that self-determination of a portion of a
country cannot be admitted unless no injury is to be done to the country as a
Ireland is and has been for many centuries a part of the United
Kingdom and her secession would disastrously affect the group of which she
forms a part. When a large portion of the United States of America, including
many of the Southern states, claimed the right of secession and
self-determination, Abraham Lincoln denied the claim and the North carried on
the great war to prevent secession, Lincoln held, and most people now admit
rightly held, that the forming of an independent government in the South would
spell disaster to the United States. The same applies to Britain today in
relation to Ireland.
Assuming, however, that Ireland possesses the right to secede,
this right equally belongs to that part of Ireland in which Unionists and
Protestants predominate. There are two peoples in Ireland, differing in race,
mentality and religion. If Ireland may secede from Great Britain, Ulster may
secede from the rest of Ireland, choosing how she shall be governed. Lincoln,
in American politics, faced the same kind of problem which faces Great Britain
and Ireland, and he enunciated this principle:
"A minority of a large community who make certain claims for
self-government cannot in logic or in substance refuse the same claims to a
much larger proportionate minority among themselves."
Lincoln applied this in 1860. The majority in the state of
Virginia decided to join with the South. In the western portion of the state
was a large compact minority who refused to secede from the North. Lincoln
recognized their right and created for them the state of West Virginia. On
this analogy if Sinn Fein Ireland possesses the right to secede from Britain,
then Protestant Ulster may claim the right to decide her own form of
But the claim of Sinn Fein to part company from the United
Kingdom cannot for a moment be allowed. Great Britain could not afford to let
Ireland go. The war has made vivid the fact that if the Sinn Fein rebellion
had succeeded and the German landing had taken place in Ireland, it would have
been a deadly blow to Britain. An Ireland of Sinn Fein dreams would be a
menace not only to the peace of Britain, but that of Europe and the world.
With her limited resources and peculiar strategic position, Ireland would
inevitably give rise to complex international situations. For Ireland's sake
she must remain an integral portion of the United Kingdom. Left to herself,
she would lapse into a state of internecine strife. Ninety-five per cent of
Ireland's trade is done with Britain, and with the fiscal barriers which as an
independent country she would immediately set up, her trade with Britain would
perish. No other country needs the fruit of her agricultural industry, and
Great Britain could draw supplies from European and other regions overseas.
For Ireland's sake, as much as for Britain's interest, the union must forever
AND THE WAR
It is fair at this point to apply the test of the Great War to
the record of Sinn Fein in Ireland. When the Allies in their fight for the
higher freedom of the world were sorely pressed, Sinn Fein stabbed them in the
back by raising rebellion in Ireland. Clear proof exists that this movement
was carried out in concert with Germany. A shipload of German arms carried by
a German crew and intended for the rebels, was intercepted off the Irish
coast. Sir Roger Casement, who came straight from Germany in a submarine with
assurances of help, was captured on the coast of Kerry. The rebellion, though
in its main purpose frustrated, involved frightful destruction of life and
property. It also realized Germany's wish to compel the retention of British
troops at home. The words of Admiral Sims in "World's Work" of November, 1919,
describe the subsequent activities of Sinn Fein:
no secret the Sinn Feiners sending information to Germany and constantly
laying plots to interfere with the British-American navies."
At the outset of the war, young Catholic Ireland responded
hopefully to the call of duty. Who has not heard of the gallant Munster,
Leinster and Connaught regiments, predominantly Catholic as they were? Sinn
Fein, however with its bitter anti-British propaganda, killed voluntary
recruiting, and following upon this came the crowning reproach. A fighting
race was prevented from sending its full quota of men to join their
hard-pressed countrymen in the Irish regiments. Against this dark background
stands out the example of Ulster. In Ulster out of a population of 1,581,686,
75,000 men volunteered, while from the rest of Ireland with a population of
2,808,523, 70,000 enlisted. From the city of Belfast with a population of
400,000, 46,000 joined the colors. When it is remembered that in Ulster are
the great industries which furnished so much of the war material, and that
large numbers of men were needed to operate these, the contribution of the
northeast is all the more striking. Ulster shipyards did 10 per cent of all
the government work in the United Kingdom. Ulster made 95 per cent of all the
aeroplane cloth used by the Allies. The Ulster Unionist members of Parliament
pressed the government to apply conscription to Ireland, and there is no more
thoroughly progressive body of men at Westminster than the Unionists of
Ulster. In the matter of social reform they are alongside the best minds of
the United Kingdom. Out of 22 members 18 of them are pledged to further for
Ireland such a local option temperance measure as Scotland will possess next
Such facts will indicate something of the mentality and ideals
of Protestant Ulster. It is not bigotry that desires to preserve in fact and
form the integrity of the United Kingdom. It is not bigotry that fears the
usurpation by ecclesiastical power of the inherent functions of the State.
WRONG IN IRELAND
It is freely admitted that in olden times Ireland suffered
disabilities and wrongs at the hands of England. Let it be remembered,
however, that it is only within comparatively recent years that humanitarian
principles have begun truly to come to their own among peoples. In the olden
days among all nations the strong hand was an argument freely employed.
Whatever the wrongs Ireland endured, and often she was herself greatly to
blame, for many years past the story of Britain's dealing with her has been
one of a generous endeavor to enfranchise, to benefit, and to bless.
Let it also be remembered that Protestants in Ireland suffered
from oppressive legislation and that Presbyterians united with Roman Catholics
to oppose harassing evils. But the living fact today is that the descendants
of those Presbyterians are among the staunchest defenders of the Union which
Sinn Fein seeks to dismember.
The Highlands of Scotland in the olden times suffered from
harassments comparable to those which vexed Ireland, yet today there are no
more loyal regions in all the realms of Britain than the Scottish Highlands.
The whole land of Scotland, paying four times the amount of annual
contribution which Ireland pays, is unalterable in her adhesion to the
integrity of the United Kingdom.
When we come to seek for the explanation of Ireland's troubles,
we are brought face to face with obtrusive facts. In those regions in which
the Roman Catholic church is dominant, the extraordinary authority of the
priesthood over their people is often used in ways frustrating or retarding
legitimate trade and industry. This takes effect in the southern provinces
when Protestants, who throughout Ireland are the pioneers of industry, come
under their ban. The following case will illustrate many others which could be
Some time ago there lived in a small town on the borders of
Cavan and Longford a young merchant engaged in the grocery and provision
trade. Wishing to develop his business he added a bakery branch and soon was
known as the vendor of the best bread in the district. Eve was a Presbyterian,
but the district was about eight-tenths Roman Catholic. He was not at that
time a politician or a party man of any kind whatever. He only desired to live
quietly and in a friendly fashion, developing his business. He was boycotted.
One day a respected Roman Catholic lady customer called and requested to know
the amount of her indebtedness to his store. He was surprised and sought an
explanation, the time for payment not being due. She broke into tears, said
she had no fault to find with him or the goods sold. She had done business
with him and his predecessor for years. Her parish priest, she said, had
ordered her to pay her account and never again to enter the store. She went on
to say that after a private mass celebrated at her house, she was entertaining
the priest and other guests to breakfast. The priest, looking at a loaf of
bread upon the table, asked who had made it. On being told that it had been
brought at the store of this Protestant merchant, he lifted the loaf and threw
it on the floor saying
that he would not eat in her house until she procured a "decent
Roman Catholic loaf." He proceeded to forbid her purchasing further in this
merchant's store. In the same manner this merchant lost dozens of his Roman
Catholic customers and realizing that there was no hope of liberty to develop
his business, he removed north. He is now, as the result of his energy, at the
head of a large manufacturing business, giving employment to many people.
A story such as this with all its serio-comic revelation of the
priestly mind, goes far to explain the lack of initiative and progress in
southern and western Ireland.
There are in Ireland two claimants to civil power. There is, on
the one hand, the State and on the other the Hierarchy of the Roman Church.
Acting sometimes in accordance with the will of the State and at other times
opposing that will, the Hierarchy evidences its consistent claim to be the
dominating factor in civil as well as religious affairs in Ireland. Where
power is, there lies the seat of government, and no state can toll erate the
continued passing of its power into the keeping of any other authority. Let us
illustrate briefly how the power of the Bishops rules in Ireland.
Michael Davitt, himself a Roman Catholic and a leader in Irish
political life, was roused to an amazing protest against the Bishops' "eternal
hungering after political influence and temporal power," and their "assumption
of authority to dictate to laymen what they should think and do in the affairs
of the nation."
The government in 1916, while the war was raging, and in order
to achieve a settlement in Ireland, proposed to put the 1914 Home Rule Act
into force, with the exclusion of six Ulster counties. This proposition was
accepted by Mr. John Redmond and Sir Edward Carson, but was vetoed by the
Hierarchy and the matter dropped.
In 1917 on the suggestion of the Prime Minister, Mr. Lloyd
George, a convention of representative Irishmen was set up in Dublin to draw
up a scheme of settlement of the Irish Question. This was a gathering of all
creeds. The Sinn Feiners alone refused to attend, but in spite of their
absence, it is admitted that this was an assembly representative of Irish
life. After many months of meeting and at a point when fiscal policy was under
discussion, a significant thing happened. When John Redmond was accepting
certain moderate propositions, the Roman Catholic Bishops were insisting on
drastic terms. Redmond arose and after referring to an amendment in his own
I came to the Convention this morning I found that I was opposed by three of
the highest dignitaries of my own church, some of my political friends also
disagreed with me, and though I believe I could carry a majority of the
convention with me, it would split my party and I cannot see that any useful
purpose would be served thereby. I would therefore ask leave to withdraw my
amendment as I feel I can be of no further use in the matter."
Thus the only statesman southern and western Ireland possessed,
against his own judgment, bowed before a will more powerful than his own. John
Redmond walked out from the Convention and in a few short weeks his life drew
to a close. The Convention came to an end. With such forces as Redmond and the
Hierarchy divided against themselves, what hope was there of a settlement
being reached ?
In 1917 conscription had drawn to the colors even the
middle-aged men of England, Scotland and Wales, and when these lands were
being bled white it was proposed to apply conscription to Ireland. The Bishops
of the Roman Catholic Church met and denounced the proposal. Archbishop Walsh
called it an oppressive and inhuman outrage. The proposal came to nothing.
It may not be generally known that in Ireland the cost of
Primary Education is altogether paid by the government, while for the most
part control is in the hands of the clergy. On the part of Protestants,
especially in Ulster, there is a strong desire to have the control of primary
education placed in the hands of duly elected public bodies, such authorities
having power to strike a local education rate. Reform of this kind is bitterly
opposed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, who resent any interference with
their control of education. Owing to the extraordinary growth during recent
years of the city of Belfast, and to the fact that during the war building
operations had entirely ceased, it was found that the school accommodation was
inadequate. On account of this, several thousands of children were left
unfurnished with educational facilities. The city council formulated a scheme
which was embodied in a Bill introduced into the House of Commons by a Belfast
Unionist Labor Member, supported by all the Unionist Members from Ulster. The
local Roman Catholic bishop, through his Parliamentary friends, opposed the
bill so strenuously that being a private measure, it could not pass. Thus even
the great predominantly Protestant city of Belfast is frustrated in its
educational ideals by the representatives of Rome.
In face of the above facts, it will be evident that the problem
of Ireland is one of deep and wide issues. It is not merely a question of Home
Rule. From the statements in this article it will be evident that Ireland
possesses the essentials of wide and generous liberty. She is not a Poland
striving for freedom. It will also be noted how she dealt with the Home Rule
scheme presented to her, and how it fared with a convention of Irishmen
assembled to prepare a scheme of government for their land.
But Home Rule is not the vital question. It is a question of
separation and this will never be conceded.
Sinn Fein in pressing its propaganda upon America, seeks to
appeal to the sympathy of a freedomloving people. To this freedom-loving
people we present our case.
In calling for America's aid for its cause, Sinn Fein reminds
the people of the United States of the part Irishmen played in the War of
Independence. Irishmen played a great part in achieving the victory of
America's cause, but they were not the forefathers of Sinn Fein Ireland. Up to
the forties of last century there was little more than a trickle of Roman
Catholic emigration from Ireland to America. The Irishmen who stood with
Washington were almost entirely Ulster men and their descendants, Protestants
of Ireland, and they formed 38 per cent of his victorious forces.
We place our case with confidence before the jury of the
American people. We ask that they do not allow themselves to be deflected from
the path of impartial consideration of the subject. Believing, as we do, that
the welfare of the future largely lies in their keeping, we desire the fullest
and most intimate understanding between the peoples of America and Great
In this spirit we submit to the people of the great American
Republic these few facts relating to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
THE COMMON GOOD
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, NEW YORK
ONE OF THE supreme needs of our time, as its deepest thinkers
agree, is a conception of the Common Good worthy of our human enterprise; the
perception that the good of humanity as a whole actually exists - not as a
dream, but as a reality - and that the good of any race, nation or class can
only be realized in the community of interest and obligation. For that reason
the ancient word is as true today as it was ages ago, and as true of a nation
as of an individual: "Who seeks his own loses the things in common."
In one of his poems William Morris speaks of the problems of
our day as a "tangled wood," until they are seen in the light of life's
meaning as a whole, and
"looking up, at last we see The glimmer of the open light,
From o'er the place where we would be: Then grow the very brambles bright."
Many great seers and thinkers have looked up seeking the
meaning of life, the goal of its uprising passion and desire, the purpose of
its organization in the home, in the state, in industry, in moral fellowship
and spiritual faith; and thus have tried to point the way out of the "tangled
wood" in which we wander.
Plato dreamed of an ideal Republic but his vision no longer
satisfies us, because of its stratification of society into castes. There is
the Augustinian vision of the City of God, written when the Eternal City was
reeling to its fall - not to name our modern Utopias of many and various kinds
- in which we see the human mind trying to form a worthy conception of the
goal of human development. But all these dawns are dwarfed by the ideal that
shone in the mind of the man of Galilee, to whom we owe a vision equal, alike
in its nobility and grandeur, to our human undertaking. In nothing did the
gentle Teacher more assuredly reveal His greatness than in His amazing faith
in the communal redemption of humanity; His vision of mankind living by the
law of love in a Beloved Community here, now, upon earth. He called it the
Kingdom of Heaven, and He exhausted the resources of His incomparable speech -
fresh as the dew and bright with colour - to make it real and vivid to men.
If the same ideal be set forth in the symbolism of Freemasonry,
it is a vision of a living Temple - noble, stately, sheltering all the holy
things of humanity - slowly rising in the midst of the ages; a Temple building
and built upon, each workman not only a builder, but himself a living stone,
foursquare and finely wrought, to be built into the whole; each generation of
builders adding an arch, a pillar, or a spire - as the grey old cathedrals
were uplifted, strong and piteous, matching the masonry of the mountains in
their grandeur, each race of Masons building upon the foundations laid by
their vanished comrades. In height, in depth, in breadth and beauty it is the
noblest vision that has come within sight of our groping human mind, in that
it flashes before even the dullest mind a vision of something immortal - a
sequence of aim and obligation, of cooperative fellowship, which annuls the
ephemeral and reveals the eternal in time.
Such must be our insight and faith, if our fraternal sentiment
is not to evaporate in misty eloquence, or else be only a rope of sand; the
faith that we are fellow-workers with the eternal Creative Goodwill, and
therefore made to be not only Builders but Brothers, made to share the large
innocence of nature and the unfailing love of God who cares more for a brother
than for all possessions; and that if we do not live after the law of our
highest nature, a veil falls over the beauty of the world, leaving us to
wander alone or to struggle together in confusion and strife. For, if we are
to have a philosophy, much less an ethic, of fraternity we must learn "that
goodness is not merely some form of similar activity of self and neighbour,
but is really an attitude of each to the other; the realization, indeed, of
spiritual kinship and unity," * - in short, that goodness is community,
fellowship, mutuality, and that it takes two men and God to make a brother.
More specifically, as the world now stands, we are faced by
four great and urgent issues, if our civilization is to endure, much less
fulfil its beneficent mission. Each of these issues demands a commanding
vision of the Common Good, each is a challenge to the practical brotherliness
of humanity, and if we are to meet them we must not lose "the glimmer of the
open light." First, and chiefly, we must organize the goodwill of the world
and make an end of war, otherwise war will leave the Temple of Man a charred
and smoking ruin, as it has well nigh done today. Second, we must meet the
threat of a corrosive anarchy with a profounder sense of communal fellowship
and obligation, in which each counts for one and nobody for more than one,
joined with a sense of the sanctity of the common will expressed in law,
order, and the fair humanities of society.
* Self and Neighbour, by W.T.Hirst
Third, so long as distances were great, and races lived far
apart, friction was not keenly felt, but today the world has shrunk to the
size of a neighbourhood and many races mingle. Inter-racial relations will be
an acute and vital matter in the days that lie ahead of us, doubly so in our
Republic where one feels always the presence of racial suspicion. As a welter
of rancors, as a wrangle of irritations it is hopeless; only brotherliness can
solve it. Fourth, the tangle of industrial unrest is hopeless if its issues
are left to be fought over by extremists, and the struggle may shatter a
society already cracked by the shock of world-war, here, again, there is no
hope save in a gradual deepening of communal interest and responsibility,
until, at last, private interest and vested interest are subordinate to the
Common Good. Inevitably, in the long last, the common good will replace
selfish interest as the ruling motive, even in the market-place, as necessity
dictated during the war.
Henceforth we must measure and interpret all human activities
and institutions as they stand in the service of the Common Good; as they are
related to the Temple whose builders we are. Not alone the Lodge, but the
Church, the State, the Home, the organization of life in art, in science, in
industry, in moral endeavour and immortal hope, have here their sanction and
consecration. Not otherwise may we know the worth and meaning of our
individual lives - so brief, so broken, so beshadowed - save as we see them in
the fellowship of the large purpose of the Master Builder. So, and only so,
are we redeemed from insignificance and futility, and our fleeting days
endowed with epic power and prophecy. It is when we enlist as the
fellow-workers of the Eternal that life reveals its own eternal quality, and
we learn the final answer to all pessimisms, all cynicisms, and all
The New Age stands as yet
Half built against the sky,
Open to every threat
Of storms that clamour by.
Scaffolding veils the walls
And dim dust floats and falls
As moving to and fro, their tasks
The Masons ply.
AT ONE WITH ALL THAT'S HEART BY BRO. L.B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
To be at one with all that is that's heart
Would seem to be the mastery of the art
Of knowing well the mistress of the earth
That mothers us and holds for us its worth.
The nature realm is all at her command,
The beautiful is lavish at her hand;
We're quite at home within her mystic spell
Because she knows the needs of heart so well.
The span of life reveals her thought and care
And she so oft anticipates the prayer.
The while we live we motherly are blest
And find in her, repose at last, at rest.
O, it is grand to live the conscious part
Of this old world, at one with all that's heart!
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 37
Bro. H. L. Haywood
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the
references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be
worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the
Course with the papers by Brother Haywood.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided,
as is shown below:
I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother 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.
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
monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done
the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in
advance of the meetings and the brethren who are members of the National
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions
after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother 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
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The
study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the
lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given
to the study period.
lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee
should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All
members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should
be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of
Brother Haywood's paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the lodge should
make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the
discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in
elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the
opening of the study period.)
Discussion of the above.
subsequent sections of Brother 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" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
questions from any and all brethren present. Let them understand that these
meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of
asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will
suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually
covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no
one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have
will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact
we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be
able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great
Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of
the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal
on any query raised by any member of the Society.
foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their lodge
study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and
communications from interested brethren concerning any phase of the plan that
is not entirely clear to them, and the Services of our Study Club Department
are at the command of our members, lodge and study club committees at all
ON "THE VITAL, PARTS OF THE BREAST" AND "THE GOLDEN BOWL AND THE SILVER CORD"
time you received your Third degree what particular impression did the method
of reception make upon you? Did you look upon this particular part of the
ceremony as simply a matter of routine, or did you endeavour to think out for
yourself the true meanings of the words "friendship, morality and brotherly
Can a man
who lives a secluded life apart from his fellows be said to know the true
meaning of happiness? Has the friendship of fellow-members of your own lodge
and those of other lodges with whom you have come into close contact been a
help to you since you became a member of the Fraternity? Has this friendship
caused you to change your opinion of any of the fellow-members of your own
lodge with whom you had but a speaking acquaintance prior to your becoming a
Mason? Has your own mind been broadened by such friendships?
your conception of the word "morality" ? Has this word been misused? Is a
system of morality necessary to the advancement of the human race? Why?
the derivation of the word "morality"? What was probably the sense in which it
was first used? What has it become to mean in Christian times? What is
"righteousness"? Give a few concrete examples of which you may have
knowledge. What is "right"?
brotherhood be possible among us men?" asks Brother Haywood. What is his
solution? What is our idea as to how it may be accomplished?
the evident purpose of the men who introduced this reading at this particular
place in our ritual? What were your own feelings when the words fell upon your
ears for the first time during our ceremonies? Did they portend at the time of
anything that followed in the ceremonies?
the usually accepted interpretation of this passage of Scripture?
Brother Haywood's interpretation?
ever heard an interpretation other than the two here given? If so, what is it?
"When the Almond Tree Blossoms," p. 138.
Love, p. 121; Friendship, p. 286; Points of Fellowship, p. 572-
STEPS BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART II -
RECEPTION - THE GOLDEN BOWL AND THE SILVER CORD
PARTS OF THE BREAST
entrance we were received in a manner peculiarly impressive; we were told that
as the vital parts of the body are in the breast so are the vital things of
the human world to be found in Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love. How
vague are these words! We have rolled them around in our mouths so much that
they have become smooth as billiard bags; they have been used so often for
merely oratorical purposes that they have grown nebulous and abstract; and
because they have become smooth and vague we are prone to let them slip
through our minds without depositing their meaning behind them, a thing fatal
to an understanding of Masonry, the essence of which lies in these three
Man is by
nature a social being. It has been proved that he can not exist as a sane
creature except he live among his fellows, for his very personality itself is
a social product; the language on his lips implies another to hear and to
understand; his emotions and affections seek another in whom to find
satisfaction. Not until the individual has found other human individuals who
can feel with him, think with him, and act with him can he know the meaning of
happiness. But it is a part of the tragedy of our lives that we are so clumsy
in uncovering our own souls, and others are so inexpert in understanding our
secret feelings, that our fellowship is never complete, so that the music of
companionship is continually being disturbed by jangling dissonances of
misunderstanding. With a friend, however, it is different; he is one with
whom we can live in harmony, as if the two lives could mingle like two
streams, his thoughts and our thoughts merging and the two spirits living as
one. Such a union is one of the sweetest experiences in all the world and he
who has found his friend may well congratulate himself as one who has
discovered the pearl of great price. Little wonder that our prophets and
seers have so often broken into rhapsody on this theme! that our literature
may count as its richest treasures such utterances as those of Emerson, Black,
Trumbull, Montaigne, Bacon and Cicero on this theme!
has been stretched to cover so many meanings, it has been forced into the
support of so many conflicting meanings, and been made fellow to so many
crimes against reason, that we can hardly blame many for refusing to discuss
it or even to think of it. But the word is necessary because the idea of
which it is the sign is a real and necessary idea. If men misuse it there is
all the more reason for our learning how to rightly use it.
morality? It is derived from a Latin word meaning "custom," and it is probable
that the Romans fast used it in the sense of living according to the custom.
In Christian times a richer meaning was poured into it so that it has come to
mean "the life of righteousness." But what is righteousness? It is living the
right way, doing the light things, thinking the right thoughts, a very Masonic
behaviour. But what is right? We might answer that question in two ways; we
might say that the right is that which gives us the fullest, completest life,
for it is the purpose of morality to give us life and give it more abundantly;
or, we might say that right is conformity to the law of our being. As the
scientist seeks to learn the laws of nature and to conform to them, so does a
righteous man seek to discover the laws of his own nature in order to conform
to them; he obeys the laws of the body by living clean and simply, he obeys
the laws of the intellect by thinking facts without prejudice or haste, and he
obeys the laws of the heart by loving only that which he finds to be good and
Brotherly Love much more might be said, though space may not permit,
especially that Brotherly Love which Masonry inculcates. How can brotherhood
be possible among us men? We are all so unbrotherly, we are so selfish, we are
so quick to take or give offense. The solution of this troublesome problem
lies in the fact that the one cure for unbrotherliness is brotherliness. We
love our enemies that they may cease being enemies. We make friends in order
to have friends. Brotherliness is a creative force. Brotherhood is not a
thing already made, it is a condition we must create, so that the very
presence of unbrotherliness is a challenge to brotherhood to do its best. When
our fellows in lodge act thoughtlessly toward us, and bruise and hurt us, it
is not for us to retaliate; insofar as we are true Masons we shall love them
even though they are not lovable; simply because the only way in which we can
make men lovable is by loving them. Brotherly Love, therefore, is a task, a
kingly task, quite the greatest, the most important, inside the whole compass
of life. Indeed, we may say that one of the chief purposes of Masonry is to
mobilize all men of good will in order that they may help to brother the world
into a world-wide brotherliness.
GOLDEN BOWL AND THE SILVER CORD
sacred sentences which fall on the ears of the candidate as he makes his
mystic round are so heavy with poignant beauty that one hesitates to intrude
the harsh language of prose upon such strains of poetry, solemn sweet. We may
well believe that the men who introduced the reading here had no other thought
than that the words might the better create an atmosphere in which the coming
drama of hate and doom might all the more impressively come home to the heart
of the participants. If such was their purpose neither Shakespeare nor Dante
could have found words or sentiments more appropriate to the hour. There is a
music and majesty in the twelfth Chapter of Ecclesiastes which leaves us dumb
with awe and wonder and our hearts open to the impressions of a tragedy
along-side which the doom of Lear seems insignificant and vain.
generations the commentators of Holy Writ have seen in the allegory of this
chapter a reference to the decay of the body and the coming of death; to them
the golden bowl was the skull, the silver cord was the spinal nerve, "the
keepers of the house" were the hands, the "strong men" the limbs; the whole
picture is made to symbolize the body's falling into ruin and the approach of
death. One hesitates to differ from an interpretation so true in its
application and so dignified by its associations. But it must be doubted
whether the sad and disillusioned man who penned the lines possessed either
the knowledge of human anatomy implied by the old interpretation or the
intention to make his poem into a medical description of senility. A more
thorough scholarship has come to see in the allegory a picture of the honour
of death set forth by metaphors drawn from an Oriental thunderstorm.
been a day of wind and cloud and rain; but the clouds did not, as was usual,
dispense after the shower. They returned again and covered the heavens with
their blackness. Thunderstorms were so uncommon in Palestine that they always
inspired fear and dread, as many a paragraph in the Scriptures will testify.
As the storm broke the strong men guarding the gates of rich men's houses
began to tremble; the hum of the little mills wherewith the women were always
grinding at eventime suddenly ceased because the grinders were frightened from
their toil; the women, imprisoned in the harems, who had been gazing out of
the lattice to watch the activities of the streets, drew back into their dark
rooms; even the revelers, who had been sitting about their tables through the
afternoon, eating dainties and sipping wine, lost their appetites, and many
were made so nervous that the sudden twitting of a bird would cause them to
start with anxious surprise. As the terror of the storm, the poet goes on to
say, so is the coming of death, when man "goes to his home of everlasting and
mourners go about the streets." Whatever men may have been, good or bad, death
brings equal terror to all. A man may have been rich, like the golden lamp
hung on a silver chain in the palace of a king; he may have been as poor as
the earthen pitcher in which maidens carried water from the public well, or
even as crude as the heavy wooden wheel wherewith they drew the water; what
his state was matters not, death is as dread a calamity to the one as to the
other. When that dark adventure comes the fine possessions in which men had
sought security will be vain to stay the awful passing into night. "Vanity of
vanities; all is vanity." The one bulwark against the common calamity, the
Preacher urges, is to remember the Creator, yea, to remember Him from youth to
old age; to believe that one goes to stand before Him is the one and only
solace in an hour when everything falls to ruin and the very desire to live
has been quenched by the ravages of age and the coming of death.
BRO. GEO. E. FRAZER, PRESIDENT. BROARD OF STEWARDS
Baird, District of Columbia. Joseph Barnett, California. Wm. F. Bowe, Georgia.
H. P. Burke, Colorado. Joe L. Carson, Virginia. R. M. C. Condon, Michigan. C.
E. Creager, Oklahoma. John A. Danlla, Louisiana. Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia. H. D. Funk, Minnesota. Asahel W. Gage,
Florida. Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia. Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
H. L. Haywood, Iowa. T. W. Hugo, Minnesota. M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts. P.
E. Kellett, Manitoba. John G. Keplinger, Illinois. Harold A. Kingsbury,
Connecticut. Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri. Dr. G. Alfred Lawrence, New York. John
F. Massey, Pennsylvania. Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut. Dr. John Lewin
McLeish, Ohio. Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky. Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin. John
Pickard, Missouri. A. G. Pitts, Michigan. C. M. Schenck, Colorado. Francis W.
Shepardson, Illinois. Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin. Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
Denman S. Wagstaff, California. S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
Contributions to this Department of Personal Opinion are
invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE
BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the
administration of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or
personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford
a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The
contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his
own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be
welcomed in the Question Box Department.
place ought the Masonic Lodge to fill in the Civic Life of the Community?
What place can the lodge fill in the civic life of the
The civil life of most communities is made up principally of
religious and political activities, in neither of which is it our desire to
become a party directly or indirectly, outside of these fields of activity
there is little opening for the lodge in the smaller communities.
Were it otherwise we could wage eternal war on the
encroachments of Rome, for example, or support any candidate for office who
would use his every effort to keep separate the Church and State, and the
"Little Red School House" safe for the Flag.
As it stands, practically every Mason directly, or indirectly
through his family connections, is connected with some religious, social, or
political organization working for the benefit of humanity.
There is a field in which the Masonic organization might become
a power in the land; viz.: The organizing of America - of the world - in a
fight to the finish against the "White Plague" - Tuberculosis.
Each brother might become a volunteer in the great war against
this scourge of humanity. Each lodge a centre for the collection and
classification of those affected. Each Grand Lodge or Jurisdiction a member of
a National Masonic Anti-Tubercular League, whose funds would be spent, not for
the benefit of Freemasons or their families alone, but for the benefit of the
nation at large.
Over 67,000 young men were eliminated from our draft and over
22,000 from our camps on account of the "White Plague"; this 90,000 represent
a large percentage of our national manhood, to say nothing of possibly a like
number of our womanhood. What has been done for these youths? NOTHING - They
were turned back into civil life, a horrible thought to contemplate.
Here was an opportunity for the Freemasons of America, the
opportunity still exists to take every case and assume responsibility for its
correction, alleviation, or cure. We could establish camps like our military
training camps, well located, and of great capacity, or take over those
already in existence before they are relegated to the dump pile, or scrap
heap, and in these establish our National Masonic Tubercular Camps, where
these suspects and those already affected could be systematically and
scientifically handled, free of all expense to the individual, the community,
or the nation, but carried on by the voluntary subscriptions of the Craft at
large, or by assessments systematically collected from the brotherhood by all
the Grand Jurisdictions through their dependent lodges.
We are continually being asked what we as Masons are doing for
the benefit of humanity at large and the good of our various communities in
particular? and I ask you what? With what pride we would point to such a
scheme, or any such effort for the amelioration of the condition of our
suffering fellow creatures, and give the world a concrete example of what we
Freemasons mean when we speak of the "Brotherhood of Man."
- J. L. Carson, Virginia.
* * *
"Disinterested Mind," A Problem.
of the Masonic Lodge in the civic life of the community is that of a community
fountain from which flows Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice.
The public mind is seriously agitated. Labor strikes; doubtful
condition of industrial investments; ever ascending scale of prices; active,
pernicious efforts of the demagogue; economic and political uncertainties;
these seem to be hastening the average community into a frenzy.
We must "sober up." Permanent solution can be the result of
only sincere and dispassionate thought. We cannot depend upon the decision of
a "disinterested" mind for we are all directly interested in the serious
problems which confront us. We must bring our minds to a condition fit for
discernment and decision.
The Masonic lodge affords a place for all good men to learn to
subdue their passions. There contending minds may meet on the level; there the
searching rays of the Great Light may expose the selfishness, the prejudice,
the avarice, the vices which now threaten the security of our established
institutions; there those discordant passions now within us may be dissolved;
there both wisdom and courage are inspired by the Grand Master.
The lodge is useless to the community unless those fortunate
citizens who enjoy its privileges will by counsel and example extend its
beneficent influences beyond the tiled precincts of the lodge room. With his
own passions subdued, his mind free from prejudice, his ambitions stripped of
personal interest, the Mason is in position to counsel, to influence and to
lead, not only in normal conditions but in times like the present. Whenever
those Masonic cardinal principles have found a permanent place in the life of
the community, the lodge will indeed have performed its function as a pure and
beneficent fountain and a solution for our present threatened crisis will have
* * *
You ask, "What place ought the lodge to fill in the civic life
of the community?" My view is none, as a lodge, save to so impress the lessons
of Masonry on its votaries that they will be better citizens in all respects.
We are an unique organization. Our basic principles include all good in
religions, politics, (in its highest sense) and personal life, but in no
particular should they ever be specific. Each mind views each question from a
different angle and each Mason should be permitted to be active in all civic
affairs according to his personal views. The lodge should be his resting
place, free from all mention of religious or political (civic if you prefer
the term) questions.
This is the Virginian conception of Masonry's mission and has
been for more than 150 years. Agitation for what is termed "a progressive
science," west of the Mississippi is the great reason we are to a man
determined to be led into no entangling alliances. I know this view will not
please those we deem misguided Masons, who want General Grand Bodies and
progressive movements in Masonry like the Masonic Service Association, and I
doubt if this article will appear in the discussion at the triennial or be
published in THE BUILDER, but you asked for my views and I give them frankly,
and assure you that they are the views of Virginia to a man, so far as I am
informed. We hold that the mission is to teach Masons to "walk uprightly in
our several stations in life before God and Man." We do not interfere as to
how he does it in either case.
Eggleston, P. G. M., Virginia.
in Civic Duties.
The Masonic lodge in any community should fill its natural
place as a source of all that is law abiding and elevating and be practically
an institution that would evolve the highest type of citizenship. Men who
would be able to draw the fine distinction between honor and honesty, men who
would be able to discern the fact that the probity and morality of a community
and a nation is only a reflex of that of each individual, men who will
fearlessly stand for the right and who will not hesitate to express their
opinions by speech and ballot.
A Mason, in his community, ought to stand for everything that
will promote good government, administered in the interest of all the people
and primarily as means to that end he should be an advocate of ample
facilities for free public education, unrestricted and unhampered by the
powers or doctrines of any church or creed.
Our lodges are prone to regard the conferring of degrees as the
main reason for their being. In fact in this day of popular Freemasonry, they
would appear to be degree mills pure and simple, when as a matter of fact part
of the time should be devoted to the direct education of the membership upon
lines indicative both of their civic and Masonic duties.
Davilla, Grand Secretary, Louisiana.
* * * * *
* * * *
The Masonic Lodge, in my opinion, should fill its ancient place
in the civic life of the community.
We may well strive to make our Fraternity do its work as well
as did our elder brethren. They had a wonderfully broad experience and vision,
even if a less specialized training than we have. Care must be taken, lest in
trying to improve Masonry, we ruin it.
Franklin and Washington were often sorely tried, yet they did
not drag Masonry into politics nor endeavor to make it a fraternal insurance
By training and inspiring men, Masonry has made the
Revolutionary War and the United States Government a success.
Masonry is a progressive moral science. It is a course of
ancient hieroglyphic moral instruction. That is its work and place in society.
Masonic principles, pure as crystal, were taught by the Great
Teacher of men in the little Roman province of Judea. He pleaded with us, not
that we work upon others but that we rebuild ourselves. He pleaded, not for
organization, not for laws, not for a plan of governing others, but for the
strength to govern ourselves. He taught and exemplified love and helpfulness.
He taught us to forgive the sinner, the wrong doer, the persecutor. He
admonished us to love one another and our enemies as ourselves.
Masonry advocates no particular religious creed but it teaches
the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It teaches the nobility of
work and the justice, inevitability and mutual benefits of proper wages.
The Masonic lodge should teach all these things as principles
and inevitable truths to be understood, absorbed and worked into the lives -
of its members, not as a propaganda to be enforced by its organization.
* * * * *
* * * * * *
Inasmuch as membership in every Masonic lodge includes the men
of the community who are selected for their high moral qualifications, it goes
without saying that they, both as individuals and collectively, should take a
commanding place in all activities tending towards civic righteousness.
Never in the history of the world is this more important than
at the present time when Bolshevism, class hatred, social unrest and a total
disregard for law and order dominate the activities of a no inconsiderable
element of the populations of most of the so-called civilized nations of the
The entire membership of every Masonic lodge should be actively
identified with and take a commanding part in all movements, not only in the
community but also in the State, Nation and the world at large, that tend
towards the maintenance of public order, respect for the law, good living
conditions for all, universal and compelling education (especially in the
United States of not only all children but of all alien adults), of universal
military training as a prerequisite for adequate preparedness, and finally of
all movements of a constructive nature tending towards the higher moral,
intellectual and social uplift of the community.
If such agencies are already in operation every Mason to the
extent of his time and ability should identify himself with as many of the
same as possible and render actual constructive service.
If such agencies are not in operation it should be the duty of
Masons as individuals or as a lodge to organize such in their respective
communities. By this I do not mean to indicate that these agencies should be
designated as Masonic to the public but the Masons of the community should so
direct their activities and take such a commanding part in the conduct and
maintenance of the same that the other elements of the community would at once
recognize that the membership of the Masonic lodge of their center is a vital
and necessary part of every organization and movement for their betterment and
In the present condition of labor agitation and strikes
together with the lack of cooperation between capital and labor the Mason and
his Masonic lodge can do much towards bringing about a harmonious relation
between the opposing factions. The vital necessity of maximum production to
relieve the high cost of living and the fair proportion of profits to be
apportioned between capital and labor together with the vicious circle
resulting from strikes with consequent loss of production, loss of capital,
loss of wages and consequent still higher cost of living can be presented with
mathematical accuracy to every capitalist and laborer. If the two million
Masons in the United States would take an active part in fearlessly and
accurately presenting the exact situation, through their own agencies or civic
agencies already organized, to every capitalist and every laborer in this
broad land and use their united strength to the end that equitable dealings
and absolutely good faith be maintained by all parties - the laborer, the
capitalist and the public - strikes wou not only soon be a thing of the past
but harmony and contentment would quickly prevail.
Masons as public spirited citizens can and should accomplish
To sum up - the Masonic lodge, through its membership, should
be the vital moving force for all that is best in the moral, social, civic and
intellectual uplift of the community in which it is situated.
Lawrence, New York.
* * *
"What place ought the Masonic lodge to fill in the civic life
of the community?" The most intimate and closest possible, varying only with
the different conditions and wants of that community. The lodge which lives
under the idea that it is accomplishing the work prescribed under its charter
by conferring a degree now and then, in a cloister-cell seclusion, and
neglecting its duty to its community is neither a Masonic lodge, nor any other
thing which is worthy of respect or consideration. The highest honor which can
be conferred on a Masonic lodge is the civic crown of leaves, and the highest
aim of its existence is to make Masons so that they can go out into their
community and as a lodge become a civic asset; their influence felt in every
good cause, the special guardians of the purity and integrity and efficiency
of our public schools, taking up public work which can only be properly
carried on by some influential organized institution, such as undertaking the
working out and carrying forward of what is known as the Infant Welfare work
of every community, as we do in Duluth, where we have the organization, the
doctors, the nurses, the milk stations, the free clinics four times a week,
free prescriptions, free everything in connection therewith, for instance, or
the work of the Atlanta brethren in looking after the deformed children of
their State, and other ways suitable to the needs of the community.
The field is so wide that every lodge can find something to do;
the brethren of the lodge will feel that it is living for something, is
accomplishing something Masonic, for Masonry is Work and Action. There is
however, one rock to avoid, on which many split - don't go into partnership
with anything, or anybody, neither church nor any other institution; pick out
something you can swing alone and go to it alone; get on you overalls, don't
scatter, don't depend on the women show them you can do something without
them. Use the rules and landmarks of Masonry, if you know what they are, to
guide you in all good works, and the closer you can get to the great public
heart the better Masons you are, the wider your service to the public the
better you are following out the tenets of the Order and the more sparkling
the jewels of devotion and love of humanity you will be entitled to wear.
* * *
The Masonic lodge, with its carefully chosen, worthy and well
qualified, duly and truly prepared membership, should be the active,
enlightened conscience of the community.
I do not think the Masonic lodge, as a body, is intended to or
should take any part in public affairs. Such activities usually result in
strife and dissension. If any worthy work is to be done there is almost always
an outside organization at hand to take it up. The Masonic lodge membership
should give it their personal and financial assistance but as a body it should
not enter into competition. To my mind, the Masonic lodge will exert a greater
and more lasting influence for good if it remains a silent, hidden, educative
force which manifests only through the devoted activities of its individual
members and then, not as Masons, but as men and citizens.
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
* * * * *
* * * * * *
It is quite difficult in a few words to define the place of a
Masonic lodge in civic life. As Masonry can best be taught by means of symbols
I would say that it should be as a great shining light whose burning radiance
is as constant and eternal as truth. Our ancient brethren built their lodges
either upon the hilltops or in low vales that they might detect the approach
of enemies from all sides in the distance. Might we not say that it was
significant also of a more important truth: that the principles upon which
these lodges were founded and the lessons they taught should be seen and known
by all men.
A Masonic lodge in a community should be evident by what it
stands for and by what it teaches. It should be a source of knowledge having
the confidence of all good people. If we study the history of Freemasonry as
it is associated with that of civilization, we will readily see that
Speculative Masonry is a result of civilization. We cannot conceive of Masonry
in a barbarous country. Such a state of society has never been capable of
introducing and maintaining its abstract principles of Divine Truth. We are
told there are no Masonic lodges in Russia. This will account in a great
measure for the lack of freedom in that country. Wherever Freemasonry abounds
education will flourish and the banner of freedom will wave. With the advent
in any country of a condition of civilization, Freemasonry has appeared,
"grown with its growth, and strengthened with its strength," and in return has
proved by a reactionary influence a patent instrument in extending, elevating
and refining the civilization which gave it birth, by advancing its moral,
intellectual and religious character.
The activities of a Masonic lodge in a civic community vary
with the time in the life of a nation in which it exists, but at all times it
should defend against all enemies, the eternal principles of liberty, justice
and truth - upon which it is founded. I feel that we are slowly but steadily
approaching a crisis, not in the life of one nation only, but of many -
nations, and that the time for a Masonic educational campaign is here. The
public at large should be enlightened as to what Freemasonry is, what it
teaches, and what it means in the lives of men and nations, and especially
should the younger generation be trained in the elementary principles and
virtues which will prepare their minds and hearts for the reception of the
greater lessons - the abstract principles of Divine Truth. While membership in
a Masonic lodge is not essential to good citizenship, every Mason knows how
hopeless our citizenship and the world would be without the principles upon
which Masonry is founded and upon which it lives.
There is an erroneous idea in the minds of some that
Freemasonry is a "secret society," and that there are within its teachings
many and mysterious wonders which it would conceal from the world. The public
should know the purpose and teachings of Freemasonry and that the secrets are
only to safeguard to its members certain rights and privileges, essential to
the Fraternity. They should know that the moral principles and the verities
upon which Masonry is founded are applicable in every day and hour of a man's
life, whether he be in the service of God and his fellowmen, at his usual
vocation, or at refreshment and sleep. Why not make the Masonic Service
Association both instructive and constructive, and through it, carry an
educational campaign into every community?
* * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *
All Valuable Institutions.
If we use the word civics broadly it will include politics,
municipal, county, state and national elections as well as charities,
hospitals, Red Cross, libraries, clean streets, etc.
That a Masonic lodge as such, should dabble in politics is
abhorrent. On the other hand no better expression of the broad principles of
Masonic charity can be shown than by the support of all such worthy objects as
tend to the physical, moral or spiritual betterment of the community.
It is well known that if a large number of people, closely
allied, become imbued with a spirit; desire or principle, automatically that
spirit, desire or principle will so permeate the community or section where
they live that it will become the ruling atmosphere and that one who is
unfamiliar with the section will feel such influence when coming into it.
I believe this is the place the Masonic lodge should take in
the community. Such a spirit permeating the lodge would work like a leaven in
the community and would wield a powerful influence. This spirit should
show expression in the
endorsement of all institutions for civic or civic betterment not only the
institutions of brick and stone but institutions in the broadest sense.
* * *
The Great War, in which all the world was engaged, is indeed
ended; but the spirit of great unrest, which has come because of that war, is
active throughout the whole world. And even in this fair land of ours there
are not wanting those who, as they look into the future, can see nothing but
disaster for all these institutions which we hold most dear; and there are
some who can see no ray of hope. But we who belong to the Ancient Craft, as
the returns come to us from all over the country, find that as never before
men are besieging the doors of our lodges, seeking entrance into our
time-honored institution. It is difficult for us to find time to initiate the
great numbers who are knocking at our doors. This state of affairs brings with
it privileges and also responsibilities. Responsibilities which affect not
only the welfare of Freemasonry, but which are fraught with profound meaning
for the welfare of our own country and for the welfare of the world at large.
In the various divisions of our Order there are many high
sounding titles which, if they were coined today would seem to be absurd. But
they come down to us with the fragrance of the life of a distant past clinging
about them, and the ages have read into them a meaning which is peculiarly
fine and strong. But among all the titles which Masonry has to show, the one
which is of most worth in this age of the world is the simple one of Brother.
When we pass the portals of the lodge, all titles which are worn outside in
the world slip from us and it makes no difference what rank the member may
hold outside of the hall, or what station he may occupy, he is, within the
lodge room, simply one of the brethren.
Our martyred President once said that no great question is ever
settled until it is settled right. So in this present time of unrest there is
great need of an institution so big and so strong that it shall be able to say
that all these questions which are now causing discontent can only be settled
in one way. And that is the right way, the just way, the way in which brethren
should settle all questions which arise among themselves. Therefore, it seems
to me that Freemasonry, with all that Freemasonry means and implies, is an
absolutely necessary thing in the world today, and that its principles of
brotherly love, relief, and truth are the most necessary principles upon which
the lives and actions of men should be based. Therefore, we, as members of
Masonic lodges, should in our communities, in our states, in our nation, stand
for the principles of sanity and righteousness; and should endeavor to see
that no profiteer on the one hand, who is possessed of great wealth, shall
oppress his neighbors; and that no Bolshevik on the other shall be able to
pull down and destroy the splendid fabric of our Government. We should, as
rapidly as possible, bring within our Order all good and worthy men of our
communities, and then we should, not as members of a political party, but as
citizens of the Great Republic, strive to see to it that perfect justice is
meted out to all men alike.
* * *
In the Charge of the Entered Apprentice degree we read:
a social being and it was not intended he should spend his life with his
thoughts concentrated upon himself; hence, in the social capacity, men should
endeavor by kind and friendly acts, to promote the happiness of one another."
Our lives must, or should, be spent in helping others, as well
as ourselves, helping them upward - "hitch your wagon to a star" someone has
said - giving them the hand of Fellowship to aid in pulling them out of the
quagmire of doubt, ignorance, misery and squalor into which they have fallen,
into a higher and purer mode of thought and living. For people live on the
plane of their mental vision.
The onward march of the human race toward Godhood requires the
thoughts and efforts of the best and strongest people. Masonry is not a
selfish organization. Great caverns - cesspools of evil, have been explored,
cleansed and purified through the efforts and influence of Masons. It has
always been a great, uplifting force in the world, striving for the bettermen
of the world's personal, social and civic conditions - the purification of
society - teaching men to look toward the Light that leadeth into the realms
of purity, use fulness and peace.
This warfare against the BAD and for the GOOD has ever been
waged by Masons. From the earliest days of the Order, Masonry and its kindred
Orders, by whatever name they have been known, and in whatever age or country
found, have been continually and consistently arrayed to increase the power of
the people for GOOD. Bolshevism and mob-rule have never found any place or
favor among Masons. The Brotherhood has worked by law and rule in
contradistinction to the anarchial methods of the mob and the debasing
influences of tyranical government.
To accomplish these results it is necessary to begin in the
homes of the people. These are the centers of social and civic life. Masonry
urges its votaries to use their influence in everyday life, wherever they may
be, for the propagation of the social virtues, the sacredness of the home, the
purity of womanhood and an upright conduct in all the varied relations of
life. It teaches the power of prayer, the Fatherhood of God and the
Brotherhood of Man.
Our teachings are that as lodges Masons do not meddle in
politics; neither do they discuss these subjects in their meetings. But there
is no reason why the improvement and betterment of social and civic conditions
as such should not be profitably considered, plans worked out, committees
appointed, money raised for relief, and various phases of civic work developed
and fostered by and in the Masonic Order. In these days of great unrest when
the world is torn and bleeding from the horrors of the most awful war in
history; when strong men's minds tremble and reason is dethroned, is it not
Masonry's duty to mankind to stem the tide of evil when it is at its flood and
use its great power to check the dreadful miasma that spreads its poisonous
germs through the very air we breathe? It has ever been the cradle and bulwark
of human liberties; its emblems have been worn by thousands who have suffered
and died in this latest debacle that others might live; and the crosses that
mark their graves in a foreign land will forever bear witness of a devotion to
duty and the cause of right and justice, that carries our minds back to
Calvary; and their spirits, ever hovering about and around us will be calling
to us, their brethren,
"to lay aside the staff and take up the Sword and Buckler, and
manfully fight our way, and with valor run our course;" promising that if we
do, "the Almighty, who is a strong tower unto all those who put their trust in
Him, shall evermore be our strength and confidence."
* * * * *
* * * * *
Any answer to the questions regarding the functions of a
Masonic Lodge which are to be of any real value to Freemasons, must be based
upon the teachings of Masonry.
"Masonry consists of a course of ancient hieroglyphical and
moral instructions, taught according to ancient usage, by types, emblems and
allegorical figures" and is "a regular system of morality veiled in allegory."
Its function is to teach this peculiar system to the individual who is
qualified to receive it and so desires. The function of the lodge is to carry
out this feature of Freemasonry. All other activities of a lodge are of
secondary importance and are not included in the Masonic system.
Freemasonry teaches morality to the individual, and the
individual improves himself in Masonry by using the tools and implements of
Freemasonry on himself (not others).
Of the many reform movements which have been advocated, the
only effective method is the individual one. If we learn to subdue our own
passions we are doing constructive work for higher community life - for
The lodge, as now organized, functions in two ways. When
opening or closing, or when initiating, passing or raising candidates it is
actually symbolical, and the officers, form and ceremonies are all symbolical;
but when it is transacting routine business it is simply an organization of
Freemasons. In its symbolic character it teaches the basic truths of morality,
but in its character of an utilitarian organization it may function as
anything from a convivial club to a reform society.
Experience seems to teach us that the closer we hold to the
real functions the more we may hope to accomplish. The Mason who has learned
to square his actions by the Square of Virtue will be a blessing and an
inspiration to the community in whatever capacity he may be permitted to
serve. He will be more efficient in political, social, industrial, and
economic life by acting as an individual, than it would be possible for him to
do if the lodge took upon itself functions which ancient usage does not seem
to warrant and good judgment seems to reject.
The lodge is a school of instruction in morality and open to
those who apply of their own free will.
It teaches only basic morality.
It does not teach dogmatically.
The closer it holds to these functions, the greater will be the
respect of the profane, and the greater the good to the community.
S. H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
* * *
This is an important and at the same time a difficult question.
Surely none will maintain that it should take no part in questions or matters
of public interest, and it is equally certain that there is a boundary line
beyond which Masonry should not go in dealing with public affairs. I believe
no man is quite wise enough to lay down a rule that will fit all cases. Much
must in every case be left to the enlightened discretion of the Worshipful
Master and of the particular lodge. It might often happen that one lodge could
with entire propriety participate in a public matter while another lodge at
the same time should have nothing to do with it. A lodge might at one time
take a hand while at another time it would be inexpedient, if not wrong, for
the same lodge to do so.
As a general rule, I believe Masonry should take an active
interest in all questions having for their aim the improvement of public
morals, health, and social and intellectual conditions, taking care never to
attempt to bind the conscience of its members on any question, but always
bearing in mind that liberty of thought and speech is one of the cardinal
principles of Freemasonry.
From considerations of expediency, for the sake of the harmony
of the Craft, it should as a general rule refrain from dabbling with any
question after it has become a subject of acrimonious dispute in the arena of
religion or partisan politics.
In all cases, discussion and action should be conducted with a
fraternal and tolerant spirit, becoming a band of brothers "among whom no
contention should ever exist except that noble contention or rather emulation
of who can best work and best agree."
With these general rules to guide us, I believe that few
questions will arise where any doubt will exist as to the propriety or
impropriety of Freemasonry's taking a part in a public question.
I believe Freemasonry in the past has been unduly conservative
on this subject, especially in the English-speaking jurisdictions. On the
other hand, there is no doubt that at times in some other jurisdictions, it
has been too radical.
In short, Freemasonry should make of itself a School of
Instruction not only to its members but to the community upon every civic
question that may arise, barring those that are properly classed as religious
or partisan political controversies.
GUSTAV A. EITEL, MARYLAND
BUILDER APRIL 1920
whom did Henry Wilmans receive the Select Degree, his power to confer it, and
to transmit the same to others? This is one of the many unsolved problems
regarding the origin of our Masonic degrees.
were found among the Eckel papers, recovered some years since, the Rules and
Regulations of a Lodge of Perfection founded by him in Baltimore in the year
1792, the year that he established a Grand Council of Select Masons in the
same city. As his name does not appear in the list of the many Inspectors of
the Rite of that period, and from the fact that in both documents he is styled
"Grand Inspector General," while the other Inspectors of that period are
styled Deputies, and from the further fact that he was in possession of the
25th, then the highest degree known, while the others appear to have been in
possession of degrees only to the 24th, leads to the supposition that he may
have derived his powers from the same source as Stephen Morin - the Council of
Emperors of the East and West, France.
Wilmans was of an ancient and prominent family of Bremen, Germany. It is not
known when he came to this country, but we find him and his brother Charles
Henry engaged in the shipping business on Gay street, Baltimore, in 1790.
Masonic record, like a meteor, was brilliant but transient. In addition to
the positions mentioned that he occupied, we find him in 1793 as the Charter,
or First, Master of Concordia Lodge, No. 13; in the same year Deputy Grand
Master, and in the following year Grand Master of Masons in Maryland.
presided at the Communication of the Grand Lodge December 18th, 1794, and
delivered an able address, when his name disappeared entirely from our
records, but I have ascertained from other sources that he died in 1795 at the
early age of 44 years, and was buried in the graveyard attached to Zion Church
of this city. If, as many believe, the degrees in question originated in the
Rite of Perfection, until we can ascertain where he received his powers as
Inspector General of that Rite, we shall perhaps not know the true origin of
the Select Degree.
the Grand Chapter adopted a resolution permitting "all Chapters to open and
hold Chapters of Select Masters and confer the degree upon such as they may
deem worthy." Prior to this Eckel, and perhaps Wilmans, also conferred the
degree in like manner on those they deemed worthy and who had advanced to the
degree of Mark Master.
new Constitution, adopted in 1824, the Select was made one of the regular
series of degrees and conferred after the Most Excellent, and it was retained
as such until 1852, when it and the Royal Master's degree were worked together
in Councils specially convened for the purpose upon Most Excellent Masters,
just before the conferment of the Royal Arch upon them.
and Select were conferred in special Councils, as stated, from 1852 to 1872,
with much pleasure and profit to the Craft, when, for the purpose of being in
"unison with the great majority of Grand Jurisdictions of our country," the
Grand Chapter adopted a resolution forbidding the conferring of any other
degrees than Mark, Past, Most Excellent and Royal Arch. Independent Councils
of Royal and Select Masons were then organized, representatives from six of
which on May 12th, 1874, formed in the city of Baltimore a Grand Council for
the State of Maryland.
Since the foregoing pages were prepared for the press I have most unexpectedly
become possessed of some facts referring to Henry Wilmans that I deem of
sufficient interest to record in connection with my remarks on Cryptic
28th, 1788, the Grand Lodge of Virginia warranted a lodge in the City of
Baltimore, known as Baltimore Union Lodge, No. 21, and which had more or less
vitality until 1795. Grand Secretary Brother George W. Carrington has
recently discovered in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Virginia the returns
of this lodge for the years 1792 and 1793; upon the first mentioned is a
memorandum to the effect that on March 12th, 1792, Henry Wilmans, Past Master
of Lodge No. 13, Charlestown, appeared as a visitor; no jurisdiction is
mentioned, but believing that the Charlestown here named was intended for
Charleston, S.C., I consulted Bro. Theodore H. Emmons, of Boston, who kindly
investigated the subject for me and found that there was a lodge known as St.
John's, No. 13, at Charleston, S.C., date of organization not known, but prior
to 1789. There can be no doubt therefore, I think, that this was the lodge of
which Wilmans was a member and Past Master, and that he must have resided some
time at Charleston prior to coming to Baltimore. I have traced him to
Baltimore as early as 1790. In the latter part of 1792 he founded in the City
of Baltimore a Lodge of Perfection and sometime during the same year a Grand
Council of Select Masters; and the probability is that he was at the time
affiliated with the lodge at Charleston, and continued so until April 13th,
1793, when he became the founder and first Master of Concordia Lodge, No. 13,
therefore seem that he was in possession of the degrees of the Rite of
Perfection while residing at Charleston, but the question is did he receive
them and obtain his powers as Inspector General from the Inspectors then
residing at Charleston, or did he obtain prior to leaving Europe? I am
inclined to the latter supposition for the reason as stated in my address,
that in the two documents in my possessions, he is styled Grand Inspector
General; while Myers and Spitzer, as well as nearly all the Inspectors of the
Rite Perfection at that date, in this country, were styled Deputy-Inspector
General. As his name does not appear upon the list of the Inspectors residing
in the country at that period it would seem that he never affiliated with
them, but exercised his powers of Inspector independently of them.
would now appear certain that the Select Degree was known at Charleston prior
to its introduction into Baltimore by Wilmans, I see no reason to modify my
critisisum of the claims of the Companions of South Carolina that the Royal
and Select degrees were known and worked at Charleston as early as 1783, and
that rituals of the same were deposited in the Council of Princes of Jerusalem
in 1788 by Jos. Myers; there being, as stated, no evidence whatever other than
the unsupported statement of the Companions of South Carolina, of their
recollection of events that occurred forty-one and forty-six years previously,
of the existence of the Royal Master's Degree earlier than 1807.
And it is
quite certain that there was no connection of the Royal and Select Master
prior to the organization of Councils of such by Jeremy L. Cross in 1819. If
there was any deposit of a ritual of Cryptic Masonry by Myers in 1788, it was
that of the Select Degree only; and it is possible that he obtained it from
Henry Wilmans, who about that time came from Europe, and this gave rise to the
story of the Berlin origin of the degree, as it is well known that, at that
time, Berlin was regarded as the headquarters, and Frederick the Great the
patron, of all the high degrees of Masonry.
George W. Warvelle, of Chicago, a few years since thoroughly investigated the
origin of the Royal and Select Degrees, and in his conclusion repudiates the
claim to the paternity of these degrees by the Supreme Council of the Southern
jurisdiction. He believes that the Select Degree was formulated and
introduced by Henry Wilmans and that the Royal Master's degree was formulated
and introduced by Ebenezer, Wadsworth of New York about the year 1807.
COUNCIL, No. 1, NEW YORK
excerpt from the printed history of Columbian Council No. 1, of New York City,
that it was "the first permanent body formed for conferring the Royal Master's
Degree." "It was organized September 2nd, 1810, by Thomas Lownds and fifteen
other Royal Master Masons." "It was a self-constituted and independent body,
owing allegiance to no one, untrammelled by landmarks, constitution or laws
save those of its own creation, with inherent powers to confer the degrees in
its possession or to form other councils for that purpose."
is known of the so-called orders which were associated with the Royal Master's
Degree in the work of the council. They must have appealed to its founders,
for it was evidently the purpose of Thomas Lownds and his associates to adopt
these ritualistic waifs and give them dignified standing by providing for them
'an house of habitation forever.' Their task of putting the new organization
on a firm footing however was infinitely complicated by the fact that they did
not have unchallenged authority over the Royal Master's Degree, with which the
council started, nor over the Select Master's Degree, which they subsequently
added to the list.
inexplicable reason the Select Master's degree did not figure in the council's
work until 1821, and it was obviously not the intention of the brethren to use
it when the council was formed. For three months the Royal Master's was the
only degree conferred?"
a number of years several Orders were also conferred. However, "The Royal
Master's was the only regular degree, the others merely being what for want of
a better term are called 'appendant orders.'
Super-Excellent degree appeared for the first time in Columbian Council at the
meeting of December 22nd, 1817, when four candidates received it. After the
order of Knights of the Round Table had been dropped from the list the
following spring, the Royal Master's and Super-Excellent Degrees constituted
the entire ritualistic work of the Council until December, 1821. On November
25th of that year Thomas Lownds created a council of Select Masters of
Twenty-seven and conferred the degrees on ten candidates. This council was
merged with Columbian a week later."
Ohio Grand Council Proceedings of 1880, we find Companion John D. Caldwell
presented "some facts of Masonic history bearing upon the Royal and Select
Degrees." In his "sketch" he arranges the early Inspectors General and Deputy
Inspectors General in chronological order, with a brief statement of their
"appointment" and "authority," and of the work of each in establishing lodges
are the authorities on which the Scottish Rite adherents base their claims,
and, as all our Masonic writers and historians quote from or refer to them, we
present from the "sketch," et literatum, all that refers to the Royal and
Caldwell uses the caption, "Whence Came We?" and says:
the origin of Cryptic Masonry in America? When answered properly there will
be no occasion to carp at carpet-baggers. Active-brained and persevering
peripatetics have brought to our doors as a continent, as a south, as an east,
and a west, the fragrant juicy fruit that we now relish, although we have
improved it by grafting.
England had in 1717 of Scriptural incident of Masonic ritual went to France,
and France and Germany built on the story, and back came to England the
ineffable and sublime degrees, Royal Arch, Knights Templar,. and Royal and
Stephen Morin, a Hebrew, learned in these rituals, received from united
Masonic authorities in France a patent as Inspector-general of the Rite of
Perfection - twenty-five degrees - and repaired to St. Domingo, where he
practised the Rite and appointed Deputy Inspectors. These Deputies were
Brother Henry Andrew C. Francken, also a Hebrew, Deputy Inspector General for
Jamaica and the British Leeward Islands, (or, as he claimed by his patent, for
West Indies and North America); and Moses Michael Hay Brother Col. Prevest for
the Windward Islands and the British army.
"Companion Francken, whether authorized or no came with his rituals and patent
as Inspector to Albany, New York, and organized in that place four bodies of
the new Rite: 20th December, 1767, Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of
Perfection, Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Rose Croix Chapter, Albany
Francken appointed in New York two Grand Inspectors: Dr. Samuel Stringer and
Sir William Johnson.
Moses M. Hays, an opulent and learned merchant, a Hebrew, a resident of
Kingston, Jamaica was appointed by Francken (some say by Morin) a Deputy
Inspector for North America. Hays appointed Isaac De Costa Deputy Inspector;
also, Solomon Bush of Pennsylvania, and others, Thrice Illustrious Inspectors.
of Grand Elect and Sublime Masons was held at Philadelphia, June 25, 1781,
where attended as Inspectors Simon Nathan, for North Carolina; Barend M.
Spitzer, for Georgia; Solomon Bush, for Pennsylvania; Isaac De Costa, for
South Carolina; Thomas Randall, for New Jersey; Samuel Myers, for Leeward
Islands; Moses Mendall Seixas, and Moses M. Cohen. This body met in the City
of Brotherly Love in 1782 and 1785. Col. Augustus Prevest, also P. Le Barber
Dupleisis, a refugee from West Indies, long afterwards a prominent Mason in
Philadelphia, and Joseph M. Myers, Inspector General of Maryland.
Frederick Dalcho, having left the Western army as lieutenant, after the
conclusion of the war by the treaty of Greenville, in 1795 repaired to
Charleston, South Carolina, a great centre for the French Masons after their
dispersion resulting from the revolution in West India Islands. Here Isaac De
Costa had in 1783 organized a Grand Lodge of Perfection; and here Myers,
Spitzer, and Fort conferred the Sublime degrees on Col. John Mitchell, late of
the United States army, and by Mitchell on Dr. Dalcho, May 24, 1801. Abraham
Jacobs, a Hebrew teacher of New York, who was initiated in St. Andrew's Lodge,
Boston, in 1782, here received the Sublime degrees.
May 31st, the Dela Motta Supreme Council - the first appearance of a governing
body of the A. and A. Rite - was formed in Charleston, South Carolina.
July 5th, a Grand Council of the Princes of Jerusalem was formed in same city,
Brother Abraham Jacobs, Sublime Grand Master. 'Twas he that in organized a
similar Grand Council at Savannah, Georgia.
archives at Charleston was the ritual of the Royal and Select Degrees, the
Select Master of 27, and similar rituals were in possession of the Inspectors
in the Northern States.
and 1805 Inspector Jacobs was at work in New York, conferring the Sublime
degrees, conferring them upon Thomas Lownds, who was conspicuous afterwards as
a Masonic ritualist.
Joseph Cerneau, a Jew from Jamaica, organized a Grand Consistory in New York
City, and in 1814, 22d January, this Consistory actually formed and elected
Grand Officers of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
6th August, Abraham Jacobs organized the Sovereign Consistory in New York
City. In 1808, 19th and 26th November, he conferred the Select Master of 27
(the Royal Master Degree perhaps) on the celebrated John J.J. Gourgas, who was
long at the head of A. and A. Rite, Supreme Council, Northern jurisdiction.
Thus M. M. Hays, who went to Boston, and in 1802 was Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts for a few years, had the Cryptic degrees. Solomon Bush
had them in Philadelphia; the Sublime Lodge at Albany; the Stringers and Yates
while the Council degrees are depreciated as mere side or detached degrees,
what shall be said of the additional degrees above the twenty-five of
Perfection, the only ones in practice up to the year 1802, when the
Thirty-third degree was announced, for the system established known as Scotch
Rite had then no existence, either in Europe or America? It substantially had
American birth at this late day; while the rituals of Select Master of 27 were
in existence a quarter of a century anterior to 1802. America then turns
carpet-bagger, and sends to Paris in 1804 Count de Grasse Tilley, one of the
founders of the Supreme Council at Charleston, in February, 1802, with a
'curiosity,' a 'novelty,' the Ancient and Accepted Rite, an entire new Rite of
thirty-three degrees; and the novelty was by the Grand Orient of France
incorporated in the College of Rites.
Supreme Council in 1802 announced its organization, with the schedule of their
regular degrees, they mentioned 'other degrees in the possession of individual
Inspectors, not in the Rite, but isolated, - as Select Master, or the elect of
27; Royal Arch, as given under the Constitution of Dublin; six degrees of the
Masonry of Adoption; Scottish Fellow Craft; Scottish Master; Scottish Grand
Master; with the Thirty-third, aggregating fifty-two degrees, which are
conferred in different parts of the world, and communicated generally free of
expense to those brethren who are high enough to understand them.'"
theory of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, origin of the Council
degrees was printed in our 1910 proceedings, from the account by Companion
Zimmerman Davis, Grand Recorder of South Carolina, (1909.)
account, however, was taken from the History of Companion J. Ross Robertson
(1888) and from Dr. Albert G. Mackey.
presenting the other side of the contention it is reprinted here.
discussion has taken place as to where, when and by whom these degrees were
instituted. It generally is conceded that they had their origin on the
Continent of Europe, and were introduced into this country during the latter
part of the eighteenth or early in the nineteenth century, and were originally
side degrees of the Rite of Perfection, which was founded between 1750 and
1760 in Paris, France, by a number of Masons who styled themselves "The
Sovereign Princes and Grand Officers of the Grand and Sovereign Lodge of St
John of Jerusalem." The cryptic degrees were honourary or side degrees
conferred by Inspectors-General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The
proceedings of the Supreme Council of A. and A. Rite for the Southern
Jurisdiction of the United States, held on December 4, 1802, contains the
following: "On the 21st of January, 1802, a warrant of constitution passed the
seal of the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, for the establishment of a
Mark Master Masons' Lodge in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Besides
those degrees which are in regular succession, most of the Inspectors are in
possession of a number of detached degrees, given in different parts of the
world, and which they generally communicate, free of expense, to those
brethren who are high enough to understand them, such as Select Masons of
Twenty-seven, and the Royal Arch as given under the Constitution of Dublin,"
History of the Scottish Rite, Charles T. McClenachan says: "The Royal and
Select Masters degrees were side or detached degrees of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite. In the Southern States of the Union, the Supreme
Council initiated, chartered and fostered Councils of Royal and Select
Masters; and as rapidly as they were self-sustaining they became independent."
Inspectors-General for the New World by the Grand Consistory of Princes of the
Royal Secret, convened at Paris in 1761, was one Stephen Morin, who was
present at a consistory held in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1769, and about that
time gave the degree to one Brother Francken at Jamaica, who conferred similar
authority upon Moses Hayes, of Boston, who likewise invested Moses Cohen and
Isaac DaCosta with like authority, the latter being designated as Deputy
Inspector General for South Carolina. Cohen, under his authority as Inspector
General, gave the degrees of "Select Masons of Twenty-Seven" to Abram Jacobs,
of Charleston, as is evidenced by a diploma to that effect dated November 9,
1790. (Brother Josiah H. Drummond, of Portland, Maine, who so efficiently
added to Brother J. Ross Robertson's work on the Cryptic Rite by his "History
of All Grand Councils in the United States," and to whom I am greatly indebted
for much of the material in this paper, says that this is the first document
known which contains a reference to these degrees.)
were, therefore, for at least half a century, three distinct authorities which
claimed the right by antiquity of conferring the degrees of Royal and Select
Masters - first, by the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite; second, by the Grand Councils of the Rite in various States of the
American Union; and thirdly, by certain Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons,
which claimed then, as many claimed as recently as 1888, that the Cryptic
Degrees should be given within the bosom of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
at the Annual Session of the Grand Chapter of Maryland, the Grand High Priest,
J. K. Stapleton, submitted documents upon the subject of the institution of
the Select Degree, independent of the Grand Royal Arch Chapters, which were
referred to a committee, which recommended that a circular be sent to the
several Grand Chapters regarding the matter. When this circular was received
by the Grand Chapter of South Carolina it was referred to a committee, which
made a report, from which the following extracts are made:
committee appointed at the last stated convocation of the Grand Royal Arch
Chapter in May last, to take into consideration and report upon the propriety
and expediency of the different Grand Royal Arch Chapters of the several
States respectively assuming jurisdiction and authority over the Royal and
Select Master's Degrees, and to which committee were referred the proceedings
of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Maryland upon the subject, respectfully ask
leave to state that they have made extensive and careful investigation into
the subjects referred to their consideration, and they offer the following
statement as the result of their enquiries:
have ascertained that the respectable brothers and companions, Dr. F. Dalcho,
Dr. Isaac Auld, Dr. James Moultrie, Sr., and Moses C. Levy, Esqr., with many
others, received their degrees in Charleston in February, 1783, in the Sublime
Grand Lodge of Perfection, then established in the city (Charleston), of which
body three of the above named brothers are still living, venerable for their
years and warm attachment to the glorious cause of Free Masonry, and highly
respected and esteemed in the community where they have so long and so
horrorably sojourned, and they are still members of the same sublime body.
Your committee have further ascertained that at the original establishment of
the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem in this city, on the 20th of
February, 1788, by the Illustrious Brothers Joseph Myers, Barend M. Spitzer,
and A. Forst, Deputy Inspectors General from Frederick II., King of Prussia,
Brother Myers then deposited in the archives of the said Grand Council of
Princes of Jerusalem certified copies of the said degrees from Berlin in
Prussia, which were to be under the future guidance and fostering protection
of the above named presiding body. The above named three respectable brethren
and companions are, and have steadily been, members and officers of the said
body Princes of Jerusalem; their evidence, therefore, must be conclusive upon
these points. Your committee are informed that the above named Brother Myers,
previously to his return to Europe, while pursuing his mercantile concerns,
resided some time in several of the cities of Virginia and Maryland, where he
communicated a knowledge of the degrees in question.
committee further states that the Grand Officers and the Sublime Council of
Inspectors-General have been since 1783 steadily in the habit of conferring
the degrees in question under their authority in the Southern and Western
States. Your committee have seen and perused the first copy of these degrees
that ever came to America, and old copies of charters that have been returned
by Councils in States where Grand Councils have been formed, and the bodies
surrendering have taken other charters for conferring the degree from such
Grand Councils of Royal and Select Master thus formed.
these statements the Grand Royal Arch Chapter will readily perceive that these
degrees have been under a regular and independent Masonic protection and
authority for more than forty-six years, and that they were thus circumstanced
in the United States of America at a period long antecedent to the
establishment of Grand Royal Arch Chapters, or even of Chapters of Royal Arch
Masons, in any part of the world."
corroboration of the above statements made in the report of the committee we
have the following:
manuscript record of Brother Peter Snell, who was, in 1827, a member of the
Supreme Council, contained the following memorandum:
Council Chamber, Charleston, S.C., February 10, 1827: I hereby certify that
the detached degrees, called 'Royal and Select Master,' or 'Select Masons of
27,' were regularly given by the Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection (No. 2 in
the U.S. of A.), established by Brother Isaac DaCosta in Charleston in
February, 1783, one of the original members of which M. I. Brother Moses C.
Levy, is still alive, and a member of it to this day, without ceasing to be so
for a day. And further, that at the first establishment of a Grand Council of
Princes of Jerusalem in Charleston, in February, 1788, by the Illustrious
Inspectors-General, Joseph Myers, B. M. Spitzer and A. Forst, Brother Myers
(who succeeded Brother DaCosta after his decease) deposited a certified copy
of the degrees from Berlin, Prussia, to be under the guidance and fostering
protection of the government of the above Grand Council of the Princes of
There is extant a ritual of the Select Degree purporting to be made in 1803 by
J. Billeaud. Bro. Drummond has examined it, had it copied, and has no doubt of
its genuineness, and that it is a copy of the ritual then in use. It came to
him from Companion Wilmot G. DeSaussure, of South Carolina, who had it from
Bro. John H. Honour, for a long time Grand Commander of the Supreme Council
for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, to whom it came from his
predecessor in that office, among the archives of that Supreme Council. He
(Bro. Drummond) says: "There is no reference in this ritual to any governing
authority whatever, nor to any degrees of Masonry save the third degree. it
recognized no permanent body whatever, but it is a ritual of a 'detached' or
'side' degree in every respect."
Drummond also has (in 1888) a copy of a ritual of both degrees bearing the
certificate of Moses Holbrook, dated February 10, 1829, in nearly the same
words as the one above attributed to Bro. Snell. By a certificate, dated a few
months later, it appears that Bro. Holbrook adopted that of Brother Snell.
for the early introduction of the Council Degrees in South Carolina. We learn
from Drummond and Dr. Mackey that Cryptic Masonry was gradually more or less
widely disseminated throughout the United States as Grand Councils were
organized in Connecticut in 1819, in Virginia in 1820, in North Carolina in
1822, and in New York in 1823, while single Councils were formed in various
States which had no Grand Council.
GERALD NANCARROW, INDIANA
I see thee in the distance
the shape long-taught;
frightening pictures of the grave
To me by
thee are brought.
Death, I see a lovely arch,
for the Soul
and reach a higher plane
openest not the doors of night
my spirit down;
thy pillars do I see
dazzling jewelled crown.
upwards still beyond thy heights
gleams another arch;
above, through others still,
I see the
path of march.
Thou art not a gate to shun
my soul to fear,
this stage, I have grown one day
Masonry, when rightfully understood, is "A system of pure
morality," emblematically taught. This wonderful code of morals comprehends
man's duty to himself, his fellowman, his God. Pledges to the faithful
performance of these duties are taken by every Mason under the most solemn
circumstances. This institution of Freemasonry, which has stood like the
Pyramids of Egypt immovable among the changing events of the ages, speaking
its message of justice and liberty to every generation.... While monarchs have
been crowned and dethroned, nations overwhelmed, and the earth itself peopled
and destroyed, this institution of ours has stood unchanged and unchangeable
in its mission for blessing the world. If this has been our glorious service
in times of peace and war in all the ages of the past, who is prophet enough
to forecast the invaluable service to be rendered by our honorable order in
this age in which all the nations of the world have undertaken to become
Pace, Grand Orator, Texas.
MASONIC LODGE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY LIFE
THE QUESTION as to what place the Masonic lodge should occupy
in the civic life of the community is most important. The time calls for
practical cooperation for the benefit of mankind. If we are to follow the
teachings of Freemasonry our duty is to shape the lodge work so that it will
tend to that end. If we sit back and allow our interest to become centered in
the dead-waters of the past, if we become unresponsive to the pressing calls
of the present, we will lose place in the world because of our lack of
flexibility, and of not being useful in the crisis that confronts us in this
day and generation.
We live in times seething with unrest, misunderstanding, and
untried propaganda. Hostile camps are being formed. Class is being ranged
against class. Parties are getting farther apart instead of closer together.
There is opportunity for us, out of this industrial chaos, to secure permanent
gain. There is need for all the influence that can be brought to bear to
"steady the boat." Much radical action is being advocated. It should not be
necessary to tear down present industrial structures, neither should we refuse
to build anew to meet changing conditions. If proper perspective is maintained
we should see clearly, each of us, his own shortcomings and realize that he
may not be altogether right nor the other fellow all wrong. Proper guidance
will show that nothing is to be gained by keeping our eyes glued on past
injustices and that the best results can be secured only by constructive,
In our Masonic lodge work there is need for more than mere
exemplifying of the ritual. There is need for a broader education. Unless
designs are lead to give this broader education, our full duty is not being
done to the incoming candidate. There are three well known lines of Masonic
1. The antecedents of Freemasonry, its mythology, its
2. The history of Freemasonry, tracing the course of its
development from the earliest days to the present.
3. The interpretation of Freemasonry, its missions, its ideals,
its service to mankind, ministering to the individual and through him to
This third course, on account of its practical nature is the
one, that it seems to me, most stress should be laid upon at the present time.
Much can be learned from our history and our antecedents, but the call of the
hour is for service, for action, and not for moralizing.
like this demands
minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands."
study time is to be given to the interpretation
of the mission, the ideals,
and the practical service of Freemasonry it will, undoubtedly, produce
activity that will redound to the general good. The interpretation that each
Mason figures out is what will count and what will be of worth to that
individual and through him to society.
To my mind, what Freemasonry needs now is not a rehearsing of
moral platitudes, no matter how high-pitched the thoughts may be, but a series
of clean-cut statements that will show the potentialities, and the real use of
the craft. We need to know what part the institution holds or will hold in the
thought and action of the day, and what part it should take in the seething
turmoil of unrest round about us. We need to know whether we are bound
together for a purpose or purposes worth while. We need to know, too, granting
our aims and ideals are right, if we are properly organized to efficiently
carry them out.
Freemasonry's main objects are: to make men friends, to refine
and exalt their lives, and to deepen their faith. If the questions that are
troubling the communities today are ever to be settled, it must be in an
atmosphere of mutual recognition and respect. A proper settlement can never be
made in an air of hostility and mistrust. Our Masonic organization can help
furnish this required atmosphere. Within the four walls of our Masonic lodge
rooms are gathered men of every walk and station of life. They meet upon the
level and they part upon the square. Surely such men, before the Masonic
altar, and under lodge auspices, could meet and discuss questions of moral and
social import affecting the life of the community without arousing anger and
distrust, and after hearing such discussion could go from the meeting better
informed and better than ever able to pursue as citizens, that even course
which alone will keep us off the shoals. Does it not seem that there is
opportunity for the Masonic lodge to be a real steadying influence and serve a
broader and more useful purpose? If questions of moral and social import are
to be discussed within the environment of our lodges much education could be
accomplished. Education and enlightenment are what are most needed today. Our
institutions could fulfill no more useful function than in furnishing the
means for this.
Freemasonry should in no sense become a political party, nor
yet a society for social reform. Our main strength in past has been that we
have announced no political or religious dogma. Each member has been entitled
to his own opinion and it seems to me that it would be a great mistake if the
discussions were allowed to end in definite resolutions being passed and in
the definite laying down of guiding lines to be followed. This should be most
strictly avoided. What is suggested is the mere hearing of discussion, so that
after having heard it the members could be better informed but perfectly free
to form their own opinions.
It is true we have gone on for a good many years without
attempting this. It is well to remember that this rule was handed down to us
from a time when it was a greater crime to think certain things than to commit
a murder. We are living in a more tolerant time. This system of suppression
and reproof has banished from our lodges everything but mere form. We deplore
the fact that members, many of them, will not attend the meetings and bear the
burden of their membership. What else can we expect from men of information
and intellect, if the habit of the usual lodge meeting is to be continued and
nothing of real mental food is there provided for them ? We must get beyond
the mere rehearsing of moral platitudes. Too often we are led to believe that
by merely stating them we are doing our duty. We sometimes take great credit
to our institution because such as this is heard within its precincts. We are
apt to believe that having voiced these moral truths our full weight and
influence is being cast. If we would fill a useful place in these
reconstruction days, it seems to me our lodges must become the meeting place
for men who are thoughtful members of society. They must be educational
centres and clearing houses of opinion as to all that tends to the welfare of
This is the day of many new "isms" and "panaceas." One needs to
be careful what course he follows. There is grave danger of deflection from
the proper course. The present discontent plainly indicates that there are
real ills to be corrected in every community. No one doubts, for instance, the
necessity for a just distribution of wealth. The method of accomplishing this
just distribution should be intellectually sought. We have heard a great deal
about democracy. There is much demand for really democratic government, the
referendum and the recall. Latterly, many thinking men have come to the
conclusion that it is just as necessary to make democracy safe for the world
as it is to make the world safe for democracy. More than anything else in the
world there is need for education and enlightenment.
Before determining whether these advanced theories are what is
wanted, one might well study the individual. Probably the individual you know
best is yourself. How much direct governmental authority should be invested in
me? Have I been properly educated to exercise such authority? Do I take the
time to study the more complex questions or do I rely on someone else to study
them and then instruct me ? Am I always cool and deliberate where vital
questions are concerned ? In short do I always think and act rightly ? There
are many, doubtless, just as strong or just as weak or weaker than I. What
about these men? Do they or can they always be trusted to think rightly on
these questions? Consideration along these lines will, doubtless, convince
most of us that knowledge and education on every-day subjects that affect the
life of our community are necessary.
Some will say that we cannot discuss such problems in lodge. It
would violate the ancient customs. The rules laid down by past generations
should not be a confining influence today. They may have been necessary in
olden times, but times, like everything else, change. In a time like the
present one would hardly think it right or proper to bring together men of
superior intellect, establish between them an intimate relationship and then
say that within that relationship each man should be a nonentity. If Masons
cannot meet and discuss matters of moral and social betterment without harmful
friction the fault is not in the discussion but in that they are not of the
quality for the making of Masons.
Coming back to the question as to what place the Masonic lodge
should hold in the life of the community, it seems to me that it almost
amounts to asking what work have we to do. One of the first works, it seems to
me, we should do is to make use of our splendid equipment and organization as
an educational force. There need be little fear of arousing antagonism if we
allow men to voice their own opinions. Under Masonic discipline and control
this would be unlikely. Any man who would fall away from the Craft because it
took a stand for education in order that its members might stand "foursquare"
might well be let go as a source of weakness rather than strength. We should
aim to catch the spirit and the impulse of the age. As yet it may be but a
blind groping towards the universal brotherhood of man. The harvest of all
time is surely ripening and this is not a time to sit smugly in sweet content
and rehearse sweet sayings. Unless Freemasonry can do more than this, unless
she can give her members added strength of head, heart and hand, she will be
more or less of a nonentity. This educational influence will not be in any
sense a cure-all nor furnish the ultimate solution. It would help men to see
that there is something better in life than materialism. After the refining
process of discussion our members would be evolutionary rather than
revolutionary, constructive rather than destructive. They would exercise a
tremendous influence over the community in which they live. Such a course
would lead to the better understanding between man and man, and consequently
to greater respect and sympathy one for another. It should develop the
principle of love instead of hate for our fellow-men. Would it not, also,
point unerringly to the light just breaking in the East, the dawn of a better
day? P. E. Kellett, Canada.
Masonry is a fraternal association in which nothing can place
one man lower than another save ignorance, debasement and crime. Let no man
among us think more highly of himself than he ought to think - let each man
esteem others better than himself, esteeming each brother highly for his
work's sake. And whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if
there be any praise, think on these things.
Geo. W. Laidley, P. G. M., West Virginia.
Influence is exerted by every human being from the hour of
birth to that of death. - Chapin.
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
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.
It will be our aim to publish in this Department each month a
list of such publications as we may be able from time to time to secure for
members of the Society. However, a book listed herein this month may be out of
stock next month, and further copies unobtainable, and for this reason it is
recommended that when ordering books or pamphlets from these lists the latest
monthly issue of THE BUILDER be consulted, and no orders be made from lists
more than thirty days old.
In the monthly reviews the names and addresses of the
publishers of the books are given in order that our readers may orber such
books direct from the publishers instead of through the Society.
SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
Sound of Hammer," by Edgar L. Vincent. Price may be obtained from the
publishers, The Methodist Rank Concern, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
WE ARE glad to possess this little book of devotional essays.
They are such as will warrant making mellow the hearts of those who have
become stony and hard. We are glad to recommend its being read, too, as none
can read it without being the having learned the justice of these little
The significance of Solomon's Temple from a spiritual
standpoint is set forth in a very charming manner in the first essay or two;
and from there on the little book travels many labyrinthine walks exploiting
the temple that man is to create.
It is wise, gentle, inspiring and comforting.
* * * * *
* * * * *
LEGENDS IN DRAMATIC FORM
Seven Who Slept," by A. Kingsley Porter. Published by Marshall Jones Company,
212 Summer Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Price $1.50.
A play by A. Kingsley Porter, entitled "The Seven Who Slept,"
has recently come to our desk, and has afforded us no little pleasure. Those
who enjoy the working over of old legends, in story or dramatic form, will
appreciate the reading of this work. The preface by the author affords a fine
treat in intellectual gymnastics. There is something whimsical in his
treatment of the indispensability of great illusions to the happiness of man.
We find it rather difficult, however, to enter always into the thought that
those things which are deemed by the author to be illusory are so.
Nevertheless the frankness with which Mr. Porter analyzes the
tendencies among men to take refuge and comfort by assuming things to be
illusory, urges us to commend heartily the reading of his work by all who
enjoy keen and subtle observations and criticisms of life. In one place he
seems to designate the ancient religion held by Rome and Greece as huge
illusions, of which there is no trace whatsoever left in the world.
He emphasizes the eternal necessity of illusion in the forward
march of the race by indicating that with the dismissal of the pagan cultists
there must needs come upon the scene another illusion to take its place.
Man hates vacuity, hence his imagination conjures up for him
some will-o'-the-wisp that he can follow until the futility of following is
impressed upon him by the promise of greater happiness through the following
of yet another will-o'-the-wisp. We are persuaded that the orthodox
philosopher and theologian, if there are such folks in the world, will take
exception to what Mr. Porter has designated as illusions, but his case is well
stated and a fine humor seems to pervade the essay which will warrant its
reading with deep interest. It will leave one in a mood provocative of deep
reflection upon much that pertains to human happiness.
* * * * *
* * * *
ARGUMENT FOR THE FORUM IDEA
Trial of William Penn and William Mead," by Dawn E. Seitz. Price $1.00.
Published by Marshall Jones Company, 212 Summer St., Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Seitz has accomplished a splendid work in resurrecting this
notable trial from the musty records of the past. It has particular
significance today, when freedom of speech, press and conscience are being
placed in some jeopardy. It will be a revelation to many, in as much as it
will reveal the slowness by which justice evolves so as to be meted out to man
without favor or prejudice. It may, indeed, be read with some profit in
connection with the notable exclusion of the socialist from the New York
legislature. Another service which it is calculated to give, and will give, if
read thoughtfully, is to convince us that while men may be punished, deported
or even executed, ideas which they may have held will persist. Things that
are, are not always as they should be, and such little books as the author has
given us may deepen the conviction that the Forum idea must spread.
A place must be furnished where men can air their views and
state their case without fear of arbitrary interruption that serves, as we
believe, to drive them into subterranean passages, there to become as
smouldering fires that will ultimately burst forth into insurrection. Our zeal
for the protection of our heritage
may at times become so illy
proportioned that instead of averting the disaster we but hasten it.
we gleam of the author's intent, the record of this trial is offered to the
public in the interests of justice and common sense in dealing with new
problems that tend to affect and change our old ways.
* * *
Theosophic Points, and Other Writings," by Jacob Bohme. Translated by John
Rollesten Earle, M. A. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 220 West 42nd St., New
York, N. Y.
John Rollesten Earle has done a splendid piece of work in his
translation of the writings of Jacob Bohme. Though the writings are frequently
in a difficult strain and consequently hard to understand, their message is so
vital that students of the religious life who have the mystic bent will find
in them a great comfort.
The consciousness of God is the all pervading thing. While the
visionary flights of the author impress us with characteristics that belong to
the fanatic, nevertheless we are in the company of one who is aware that the
Eternal Presence is such as men can continually commune with. The delicate,
frail shoemaker who protested against the intolerant Lutheran dogmatism of his
day may serve again to give us, in this day, when we are facing the tremendous
claims made by eminent men for spiritualism, a sane sense of spiritual values.
The book is written, as the author tells us, to aid those who are desirous to
"grow in the right man."
The simplicity of his great love attested to in the manner in
which he sought his revelations will continue a source of inspiration to those
who seek a consciousness of the presence of God in our earthly life.
In quiet fields he sought in deep prayer the Will of the
All-Wise Father and, as a noted Church historian says, he came away always
with a clearer sense of Peace and Joy.
Bohme's influence is one with the other great mystics who have
breathed into the world and into the hearts of men a clear longing for
spiritual happiness and union with God.
* * *
OF ALL RACES
We desire to draw attention to the publication by the Marshall
Jones Co., 212 Summer St., Boston, of the Mythology of All Races, in thirteen
volumes. As near as we can judge from the announcement it is one of the
greatest works of research by eminent scholars that has been entered into for
A little later, it may be our privilege to review a number of
these volumes and present their contents in elaborate form. We would advise
our readers to communicate with the Marshall Jones Co., in regard to this set
of books, if they are interested.
statues of snow, and weep to see them melt.
PUBLICATIONS ISSUED BY THE SOCIETY
bound volume of THE BUILDER $3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER (for delivery about
1st or 15th) 3.75
Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the
archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," Bro. J. W. Barry, P. G. M., Iowa, red
buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated. A story of the Flag and Masonry,
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers .50
Notes on the Comacine Masters," W. Ravenscroft, England. A sequel to "The
Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," a Masonic digest of
Leader Scott's book "The Cathedral Builders" and containing the latest
researches of Brother Ravenscroft which present a very logical argument for
the connection of Freemasonry of the present day with the Roman Collegia and
traveling Masons of the early times, paper covers, illustrated .50
of the First Degree, Gage, pamphlet .15
of the Third Degree, Ball, pamphlet .15
of the Three Degrees, Street, 68 pages, paper covers. The lessons and symbols
of each degree traced to their origin, in every instance that it has been
possible to so trace them. Brother Street gives many explanations of our
symbols in this little book on which our monitors but vaguely touch
Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, pamphlet .15
* * *
PUBLICATIONS FROM OTHER SOURCES IN IN STOCK AT ANAMOSA
Builders," a Story and Study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton,
formerly Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER $ 1.50
Encyclopaedia, 1919 edition, in two volumes, Black Fabrikoid binding
of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Jurisprudence, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Parliamentary Law, A. G. Mackey 2.15
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould 4.50
foregoing prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all
items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail not insured or
GERALD NANCARROW, INDLANA
the endless flood of years
stands a Bold Majestic Isle,
hearts aweary cease their tears,
aching souls find rest awhile.
the headlands of this Rock
beacon never tires
and welling fears to lock,
our dying spirit fires.
As to us
in an endless wave
swelling beams illume the way,
again the checkered pave
our journeyings are gay.
give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation, for
there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. - Seneca.
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.
TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, THE MASON
The December, 1919, issue of THE BUILDER related something
about a George Washington Memorial at Alexandria, Va. Not long ago I was in a
lodge in Tennessee where some kind of an announcement was read regarding an
Association taking the matter up, with the object of preserving for future
generations the Masonic possessions of George Washington. What is the Society
? Their address ? The plan ?
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association was
organized ten years ago, at the suggestion of brethren outside of Virginia,
who had visited Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 in Alexandria. They saw
there priceless relics and mementos of Washington's Masonic life, preserved
with loyal devotion by the lodge of which George Washington was the first
Worshipful Master, but not kept in fireproof quarters.
Believing that these relics were properly the heritage of
American Masonry, and that the Fraternity owed to itself and to posterity the
duty of preserving these evidences of Washington's membership in and devotion
to Freemasonry, agitation was begun to build a suitable memorial, in which
these relics should be kept. The lodge acquiesced in the proposition, agreeing
that if such a memorial were to be built in Alexandria by the Masons of
America, they would turn over these relics to the Association in perpetuity,
the consideration being that they should be housed in the memorial - as was
entirely proper, since the preservation of the atmosphere of this lodge is in
itself a memorial. No visitor ever sits in this lodge without feeling that the
echoes of America's First Citizen's voice are whispering to him. The writer
hopes that when the memorial shall have been built, the old lodge hall in
which No. 22 met while Washington was its Master may be reproduced with
historical accuracy, and such seems to be the consensus of opinion on the
subject, in the Memorial Association.
From time to time reports of the progress of this Society
towards its aims have been published in THE BUILDER. (See issues of July 1915,
February 1916, April 1918, April 1919 and December 1919.)
At the recent annual meeting of the Association, held February
23-24, 1920, the plans for an intensive campaign for funds were working
splendidly in a number of Grand Jurisdictions, and many more were about to
start. The total amount of the fund raised thus far approximates $275,000.00,
this amount being either in cash or investments, or in good pledges to the
The objective is $1.00 per capita from every Mason in the
United States. The larger part of this will be devoted to the erection of a
suitable memorial, and the remainder will constitute an endowment for
maintenance. Of the funds already in hand, the Committee on Ways and Means,
acting in conjunction with the officers, appropriated $25,000.00,
much thereof as may be necessary, for the purpose of obtaining a suitable
plan. In due time it is expected that the plan will be presented to the Craft.
Meanwhile the campaign is going on in as many States as it is possible to find
individuals who are willing to devote the necessary time to make it a success,
and it is hoped that every Grand Jurisdiction will be in motion during this
Louis A. Watres, Past Grand Master of Pennsylvania,
Scranton, Pennsylvania, is
President of the Association, and in active charge of the campaign: Lawrence
H. Lee, of Montgomery, Alabama, is Secretary, and John H. Cowles, Past Grand
Master of Kentucky, 16th and S Streets, N. W., Washington, D. C., is
The best review of Washington's Masonic career, conining
photographs of the relics, many etchings of original documents, etc., is
"Washington The Man and The Mason," by Brother Charles H. Callahan, of
Alexandria, Virginia, at the present time a Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of
Virginia. The proceeds from Brother Callahan's book are devoted to the
propaganda of the Association.
I agree with you that the Middle Chamber of the Fellow Craft
degree lecture was intended to symbolize the pay office - at least that was
Preston's idea of it - although the ritual tells us that it; was a part of the
Senior Warden's duties to pay the Craft their wares, and he was placed in the
west for that reason, while the Middle Chamber was certainly not in that part
of the building. The Middle Chamber also was middle only with reference to one
above and one below it - I Kings, VI, 6 - and only one dimension of it is
given, its width, and a room that is wide only without length or height would
be but a poor pay office.
I have been trying for some time to find a Hebrew scholar who
would tell me that the word translated "chamber" might also mean court; for if
the middle court was meant, it might have a Masonic meaning that would be
truly enlightening. The temple of Solomon is the only building of the kind, so
far as I can learn, that had a place set apart for people not of the faith of
its builders. Its outer court was the Court of the Gentiles, while the one
next within it was the Court of the Jews, and it was middle with reference to
that of the Gentiles and that of the Priests, which was within both. Now if
the 70,000 Apprentices and 80,000 Fellow Crafts were the non-Jewish residents
of Palestine as would seem to have been the case - II Chronicles, II, 17 - and
were perhaps as a reward for faithful service admitted to the Court of the
Jews, that would mean emancipation - citizenship, a very substantial reward.
The Middle Court was also middle with respect to one below and
one above it, for according to Ezekial's description there were eight steps
going up from the Court of the Gentiles to the Court of the Jews and seven
from the Court of the Jews to that of the Priests.
But I have not found a Hebrew scholar who will say that the
word translated "chamber" might mean court. The most scholarly one I have
found says it really means gallery and this agrees with Prof. Paine's
translation, as you no doubt know.
Do you not think it is time that our lectures in all the
degrees were rewritten? Comparatively little was known about the temple in
Preston's time, and he evidently did not observe that the description of it in
both Kings and Chronicles is for one looking outward, whereas our candidates
are led to suppose they are to find the Middle Chamber inside the temple
building. The right hand column is on the same side as the brazen sea, which
was on the right over toward the southCKings VII, 39, Chronicles IV, 10 - so
the candidate is really standing between the columns looking toward the
courts, and with his back toward the temple building.
Then again Preston has not described the columns accurately,
for each had two chapiters - one of five and one of four cubits - Kings VII,
16 and 19 - and it was the one of four cubits that was ornamented with lily
work, probably the lotus of Egypt. Now of what was the lotus the symbol? Does
it not at least suggest the winged sun?
I can find no winding stair of 3, 5 and 7 steps in any biblical
description of the temple, though such a stair was undoubtedly a feature of
far more ancient heathen temples. The three and the five would make the eight
between the Court of the Gentiles and that of the Jews, but if there had been
three steps by themselves anywhere in the temple I doubt whether any Jew would
have set foot on them as three was the most sacred number. In the blue degrees
of the Scottish Rite these steps are shown on the tracing board as in front of
the porch, where they certainly were not. C. A. Snowden, Washington.
Your letter about the Middle Chamber symbolism does not make
clear to me just what your difficulty is, but I shall endeavor to answer
certain of your questions in hope that I may somehow strike the center of your
In the first place, we must remember that the original records
are badly mixed up. The best Hebrew scholars that have ever lived have never
been able to agree about many of the details. Therefore, if we find
inconsistencies and improbabilities in our ritualistic interpretation we must
not be surprised.
It is well to remember that the Temple was more than once
destroyed and rebuilt, not to mention the numerous remodelings which were
almost always going on: it is hard to fix on any one detail and say, "There!
it is so and so in the Temple at such a time!" Anyhow, what matters it?
The word translated "chamber" means chamber: it does not in any
way refer to "court," which is a different word in the Hebrew, and which
Hebrew writers would never have misused, so familiar was it. The wall about
the Temple proper was made thick and hollow: inside the hollow were
partitioned little rooms, and there were three tiers, or stories, of these
rooms: in them the priests and Temple attendants kept their paraphernalia. If
"Middle Chamber" means anything, if such a thing ever existed, it was probably
the second tier of rooms, as just now described.
I do not think that "our lectures in all the degrees" should be
rewritten. Such a thing is impossible and undesirable, but I do believe that
the lectures could profit greatly by some revising, and nowhere is revising
more urgently needed than in the Middle Chamber lecture, which lecture, in our
modern state of knowledge, sounds often like the production of a college
As for the Pillars I have Already told what little I know about
the subject in previous issues of THE BUILDER.
You will find a good scholar's interpretation of all these
matters in Charles Foster Kent's "Student's Bible" series, especially in the
volume on the "Founders and Rulers of Ancient Israel." I am using these
volumes as college texts and I find them excellent. Professor Kent is reliable
as to erudition, and sound in his head, which last cannot always be safely
averred of writers on the Old Testament: moreover, he incorporates several
valuable bibliographies on these moot questions in the appendixes of his
various volumes. H. L. H.
Brother Haywood's articles on the symbolism of the various
degrees in each number of THE BUILDER are a source of very great interest and
profit to me. An idea has occurred to me, while reading his explanation of the
story of Jephtha in the January number, which I am taking the liberty of
passing on to you.
Is it not possible that the inclusion of this story is due to
the word "shibboleth" in the sense of a catchword in general literary usage?
You will find in the great Oxford Dictionary, as the third and figurative
definition of the word: "A catchword or formula adopted by a party or sect, by
which their followers may be discerned, or those not their followers may be
excluded." The following examples are given:
1638, E. Norice, New Gespel 3. - "His followers sequestering
themselves to such as were of their own way . . . gave themselves to mirth and
jollity, . . . as if it were the only Shibboleth whereby to be diseerned from
the miserable Legalists that held mourning and sorrow for
singe." 1687, Dryden, Hind and
P.4:1076. - "For them...their
foes a deadly Shibboleth devise." 1771, Wesley. Sermon xliv. -
"But he is the Shibboleth. Is man by nature filled with all manner of evil?”
1784, Cowper, Letter to Newton, 21 Feb. - "The mere shibboleth of party."
1809, Seott. Familiar Letters (1894) 1. v. 146. - "Knaves and fools invent
catch-words and shibboleths to keep them ('honest' persons) from coming to a
The last two examples are of special interest to us, as both
Cowper and Scott were, I understand, members of the Craft.
Does it not seem reasonable that the old ritualist, whoever he
was, introduced the story of this barbarous chieftain, who crowned his cruel
treatment of his enemies of his own race and religion and language by the
murder of his own daughter as a human sacrifice, simply because of the
The meaning of the word, as given by the Oxford Dictionary, is
also not without interest. It says:
"The word occurs with the senses 'ear of corn' and 'stream in
flood': in the passage now referred to LXX (i.e. the Septuagint, the Greek
translation of the Bible) and the Vulgate (the Latin translation) give the
former rendering: modern commentators prefer the latter, on the ground that on
this view the selection of the word is naturally accounted for as the
slaughter took place at the ‘fords of Jordan.’ “
The two meanings will thus account for the way it is
"emblematically depicted." W. Harvey McNairn, Canada.
* * *
PROCEEDINGS OF NORTH CAROLINA GRAND BODIES AND ARS QUATUOR
To complete our files of the Proceedings of North Carolina
Masonic Grand Bodies we are very anxious to procure any or all of the
following named Proceedings:
Lodge of North Carolina, 1787 to 1854, inclusive (Originals preferred.)
Chapter of North Carolina, 1847, 1848, 1851, 1852 1853 and 1854.
Commandery of North Carolina, 1891.
also be glad to purchase the proceedings of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 of
London, England, from the time of organization, November 24th, 1894, to date.
Pines, North Carolin
* * *
NAMED FOR ROOSEVELT
Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 1022, A. F. & A. M., Chicago,
Illinois. Instituted April 9, 1919, and constituted October 21, 1919. The
Secretary is Philip Sultan, 111 West Monroe Street, Chicago.
Roosevelt Lodge No. 650, F. & A. M., Cleveland, Ohio,
25, 1919. R. B. McHenry, 3148 Superior Ave N. E., Cleveland, Ohio, Secretary.
Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 697, A. F. & A. M., was
constituted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1919. Samuel Eckels,
1319 Alton St., Pittsburgh, Secretary.
* * *
In the Question Box for February I took particular interest in
the query of "T. A. Jr., Texas," in which he inquired where he might obtain a
bibliography of the best Masonic literature and the reply thereto.
I think I asked the same question from many brethren, and was
greatly helped by many, particularly by the Iowa Masoni Library; but it is
such a large subject that I am still a beginner.
In the course of my search for bibliographical data I have been
fortunate enough to pick up quite a collection of old and valuable catalogues
and bibliographical works, the most valuable of which are the "Masonic
Bibliography" by E.T. Carson (1874) and "Catalogue of Worcestershire Masonic
Library," with bibliographical notes by W. J. Hughan.
The bibliographical works which I possess, although perhaps
somewhat meagre, represent several years search in second-hand bookshops with
the assistance of several kind friends, as well as a considerable outlay of
Most of those in my possession deal with the older literature
and are more for the use of the advanced student than for beginners. I believe
the time is at hand when an up-to-date bibliography of Masonic literature
should be compiled. If a complete work of this kind would not be practical on
account of the few who might subscribe for it, then it would seem to me a work
dealing with, let us say, 2,000 of the most important works would be very
Perhaps one of the lists of our "Traveling Library" might
interest our Texas brother. I would also suggest that when I first became
interested in Masonic literature I found intense interest in the current
catalogues of the various Masonic publishing houses and bookdealers.
Sometime, when I have more leisure, it is my intention to
compile a list of my catalogues which I believe will be of interest to some of
the students interested in the study side of Masonry.
Our traveling library comprises books which, with the exception
of numbers 8, 18, 22 and 24, may be easily obtained. The list follows:
LIBRARY OF THE GRAND LODGE OF WISCONSIN
1. Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry in two volumes.
2. History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan and
3. The Poetry of Freemasonry, by Morris.
4. A Concise History of Freemasonry, by Robert Freke Gould.
5. The Arcane Schools, by J. Yarker.
6. The Roberts Constitutions, 1722, published by the N. M. R.
7. Philosophy of Masonry, by Roscoe Pound, LL. D.
8. Ancient York Masonic Rolls, by James B. Bardwell.
9. The Grand Lodge of England, by A. F. Calvert.
10. Kenning's Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, by George Kenning,
edited by A. F. A. Woodford.
11. The Builders, by J. F. Newton.
12. Masonic Jurisprudence, by Albert G. Mackey, M. D.
13. The Symbolism of Freemasonry, by Albert G. Mackey, M. D.
14. Low Twelve, by Edward S. Ellis, A. M.
15. Washington and His Masonic Compeers, by Sydney Hayden.
16. Symbolic Teachings of Masonry and Its Message, by Thomas
17. Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry, by J. Finley Finlayson.
18. A Short Masonic History (two volumes), by Frederick
19. Speculative Masonry, by A. S. Macbride, J. P.
20. Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry, by Rev. Charles H.
21. Military Lodges, 1732-1899, by Robert Freke Gould.
22. The Comacines, Their Predecessors and their Successors, by
W. Ravenscroft, F.S.A. -F.R.I.B.A.
23. Indian Masonry, by Robert C. Wright.
24. Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges, by Lionel
25. A Concise Cyclopsedia of Freemasonry, by E. L. Hawkins, M.
26. Sidelights on Freemasonry, by John T. Lawrence, M. A.
27. Things a Freemason Should Know, by Fred J. W. Crowe, F. R.
28. The Story of Freemasonry, by W. G. Sibley.
29. The Four Old Lodges, by Robt. Freke Gould. Silas H.
on Masonic Research, Grand Lodge of Wisconsin.
* * *
ATTAINMENT OF PERFECTION
As Masons we accept unconditionally the fact that Masonry is a
system of morality, peculiar only in its application. We must build character,
we are told, and are given the necessary implements, i. e. Masonic teachings
with which to perform this difficult task - for as St. Paul truly says, "There
are warring members at continual conflict within us."
Now, we are living in a scientific age, and it seems to me that
if the teaching of morality is to become more effective we must make the
teaching scientific. We must use logic, reason and faith - not the blind faith
that accepts what someone else has said or written, but only what appeals to
our reason and common sense. The Buddha is reported as saying that we never
should accept anything, whether uttered by a holy man or written in a sacred
document, unless it appeals to one's reason and sense of justice.
Now how are we to make the teachings of morality scientific ?
In the first place we must accept the fact of the existence of law in our
universe. No one denies that if you pick up a red hot poker, accidentally or
not, the result is the same extreme pain. Therefore, we recognize the
existence of a law which we designate as that of radiation or heat. When we
violate it we are immediately paid as it were for our transgression. No one is
foolish enough to jump off the roof of a ten-story building, knowing full well
that the law of gravitation will immediately draw us to earth with the result
of either losing our life or a badly fractured body. These things are
apparent, so much so, that there is a general acceptance and obedience of
But when we enter the domain of Ethics do we find the same
recognition of the law of action and reaction ? I'm afraid not. To be sure
there is plenty of lip acceptance of the well known axiom: "Be ye not
deceived, God is not mocked, as a man soweth so shall he reapeth." Why do men
so willingly violate the law of morality? Is it because they do not believe in
the above stated law - or is it because the effects of moral transgression are
not always apparent? Perhaps it is because men lack faith. Now having faith is
a tremendous thing - faith that expresses itself in action. We need not judge
others by their actions - they judge themselves by what they do and say.
We must teach men that they can no more violate and evade the
moral law, known by the Hindus as Karma, or the Ethical Law of Cause and
Effect, than can a man put out both of his eyes and be able to read a
newspaper. Men deceive themselves if they think that by being shrewd enough to
cheat others and glory over their ill-gotten gains, they have escaped
punishment of their misdeeds. I use the word punishment, not in the sense of a
wrathful Deity who is waiting for one of His ignorant children to commit a
misdeed and then to vent His anger upon him. Not so, but God has established
laws, moral as well as physical, and any violations lead to disaster of one
sort or another. His agents apportion to men in every life they live on earth
the exact results of previous lives - for how else can you explain the justice
of God if you find a child, or to put it more clearly, a soul encased in an
earthly vesture, equipped with the brain of an idiot, while another has a
perfectly normal body.
I ask my Masonic brothers to carefully ponder over what I have
written. Perhaps I have stated somewhat crudely what I believe to be the true
foundation of a Masonic edifice, built without hands. Man becomes perfect only
by the knowledge and application of God's laws. May His Light shine upon us
and all living creatures!
Chester Green, Massachusetts.
The most important period to a candidate is that period of
study and reflection in which he has opportunity, undisturbed, to assimilate
those sublime lessons taught him upon entering into Masonic life. Without
study and thought, he cannot assimilate. Without assimilation, he cannot grow
in Masonic stature. It has been a common spectacle, growing more and more
apparent with passing years, to see newly initiated Masons being importuned to
seek other rites and ceremonies without having had time to become acquainted
with even the rudiments of the sublime lessons placed before them for study as
Entered Apprentices, Fellowcrafts and Master Masons. The whole drama of life
as such is placed before them. It may be elaborated upon, but never increased
Emerson, P. G. M., Washington.