The Builder Magazine
December 1920 - Volume VI - Number
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MORDECAI GIST was born in Baltimore on the twenty-second of
February, 1742, the anniversary of the birthday of Washington. His ancestors
were wealthy and distinguished people whose names are often found in the
annals of the French and Indian wars.
Mordecai Gist was educated for an Episcopal clergyman, but on
the outbreak of the War of the Revolution he joined the first company
recruited in Maryland, and became its Captain.
In 1776 he was promoted to Major of a Maryland Battalion which
was prominent in the battle of Long Island. He saw considerable service in the
North, and was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded the Second Brigade
of Maryland soldiers. In 1779 he was transferred to the South, and at the
Battle of Camden, S.C., where De Kalb lost his life in 1780, he was
conspicuous for valor and for splendid generalship.
He was then assigned to recruiting and securing supplies and
clothing for the Army, and was eminently successful in that trying time. This
duty completed, he returned to the field and took part in the expulsion of the
enemy from the Southern States, and was present at the siege and capture of
Yorktown. He was, at that time, at the head of a Light Corps and rendered
eminently effective service at that critical period of the war. He was
accorded the credit of saving the day by a gallant charge in the Battle of
When the war had ended, General Gist purchased a plantation
near Charleston, S.C., where he lived during the remainder of his life. He was
buried in the Church Yard of Old Saint Michaels Church (Episcopal), and the
memorial shown in the frontispiece was placed over his grave by the Society of
the Sons of the American Revolution.
General Gist was the first Vice President of the Maryland
Society of the Cincinnati, which was instituted by General Knox at the close
of the war. His Masonic record is given in the Annual Report of the Grand
Lodge of Maryland for 1911. It reads:
“On the twenty-seventh of April, 1780, the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania granted a charter for Army Lodge No. 27 to the Masons of the
Maryland Line in the Revolution. Its officers were General Mordecai Gist,
Worshipful Master; Colonel Otho Holland Williams, Senior Warden, and Major
Archibald Anderson, Junior Warden. ., . .”
The writer would like to invite attention to the neglect of our
distinguished dead, and to the fact that the young, and still small Society of
the Sons of the American Revolution is doing the work of erecting memorials
which we Masons should have done long ago.
OF THE FINAL REPORT OF THE MASONIC OVERSEAS MISSION
TOWNSEND SCUDDER, P.G.M., NEW YORK
To the Masonic Grand Jurisdietions of the United States
participating in the efforts to secure governmental permission for the Masonic
Overseas Mission to engage in War Relief service overseas:
THE MISSION which you dispatched in January, 1919, to
Freemasons in the United States Forces Overseas begs leave to submit the
A report in writing of the negotiations of the Mission with the
United States Government for passports, bearing date December 31, 1918, has
heretofore been made. Thereafter, an opportunity having been presented for
affiliation with the A.E.F.Y.M.C.A. as a Masonic Unit, and, having been
accepted, pursuant, in part to the suggestion of the President and of Mr.
Raymond B. Fosdick that we ally ourselves “with a recognized relief agency,”
arrangements were perfected, so far as they could be, and passports applied
for through the Y.M.C.A. Further difficulty in obtaining passports was then
experienced, which was solved, however, by a visit to Washington, and
passports were actually issued and delivered to us on the 21st day of January,
1919. We immediately sought transportation by the first available steamer. The
long delay goaded us to get to our destination at the earliest possible
moment, and learning that the “Aquitania” of the Cunard Line was to sail from
Halifax February 1, still a troopship in the service of the British Admiralty
but carrying passengers on that voyage, we succeeded in securing passage on
that steamer and left New York January 30 for Halifax by rail. Each member of
the Mission carried hand luggage and in addition each had a small service
trunk; we took along, also, a large trunk containing stationery, typewriter
and supplies. On arriving in Boston one of the party accompanied the trunks
crosstown in an express wagon to safeguard their arrival at the North Station,
and saw them aboard the seven o'clock train for Halifax on the Boston & Maine
Railroad. This being accomplished we were reasonably confident that our
luggage would be duly delivered at our destination because transported on the
same train with ourselves, but on arriving at Halifax after midnight February
1, we were dismayed to find that but two of the six trunks were on the train,
the others, including the large trunk referred to, having been lost somehow en
route. The steamer was due to sail 9 A. M., and the next train to arrive from
St. John which could bring the trunks was scheduled to arrive at the same
hour. The agent of the line, to whom we appealed, was most sympathetic and
promised to do all that he could for us but feared the worst since the ship,
being still a troopship, was under the control of the Government, and he
doubted that her sailing could be delayed.
Pending the results of his efforts we had determined that two
of the Mission whose trunks had not arrived should remain ashore and, in the
event of their failure to arrive in time to sail, that they should return to
New York, and thence sail on the next available steamer.
However, by great good fortune and the kind offices of the
agent, Mr. Barrow, the steamer's sailing was delayed an hour and a half. Three
of us went aboard, leaving the other two ashore, and well within the time
appointed they joined us on board with all our property, and thus we sailed,
according to plan, with Mission and impedimenta intact.
The ship was dingy and rusty, with partitions removed and
furnishings very scanty; she had not been overhauled for months. All the ports
were blackened to prevent lights being seen without. The passenger list was
small and varied, but our accommodations, in the circumstances, comfortable.
We were booked to land at Liverpool, but, for reasons of state, the ship was
diverted to Glasgow, where we arrived at noon of Friday, February 7, and that
evening left by rail for London, having previously wired for accommodations.
Labor in both Scotland and England at the time of our arrival was in a
turmoil, and a railway strike was on effecting the London tubes. We had reason
to apprehend an extension of the disorder, and, therefore, sought to make all
haste to push forward toward our destination.
Arriving in London on the morning of February 8, we drove to
the hotel to find it crowded and no accommodations awaiting us. London was
overcrowded; the many hotels, diverted to Government purposes, had greatly
depleted available room for visitors. We were fortunate, however, in finding
shelter at The Thackeray in Great Russell Street, where we were comfortably
established during our stay, if one can do without heat, warm baths, and hot
water, difficult to get anywhere in those times.
We thought it advisable, while in London, to learn of the
activities of the Grand Lodge of England in war work and service; also to lay
before those in authority in that Grand Lodge the hopes and purposes of the
Masonic Service Association of the United States, recently projected, and
other matters of importance connected with our Mission. One of our members
having been taken ill, the days of his convalescence were profitably employed
in conferences with Sir Alfred Robbins, P. Colville Smith and other Grand
Lodge Officers, and in inspecting Masonic Relief Service, and studying the
activities of the A.E.F. - Y.M.C.A. in and about London, to the end that we
should be somewhat familiar with the method of operating “Y” huts and the
relation of that service to the men when we should undertake such work
ourselves, in accordance with the terms of the arrangement which we had made
with the “Y” before leaving New York. We had engaged to take over and operate
such hut or huts as might, in a conference at Paris between the “Y”
authorities there and the War Department, be mutually deemed advisable, the
same to be maintained as “Y” enterprises for all men in the service, but
designated by an appropriate tablet as Masonically supported. It was further
understood that all purely Masonic service should be outside such quarters.
This arrangement, it was calculated, would afford us a maximum of liberty and
freedom of action and, at the same time, of economy of expense and
organization in the matter of movement throughout the A.E.F.
Our interviews in London were highly satisfactory, and the
cordial reception which we had at the hands of our English brethren will long
and pleasantly be remembered. We there had the additional privilege of
attending the consecration of the Woodford Lodge in East London by a
ceremonial most impressive and in many particulars unfamiliar. Our reception
at the dinner following the consecration, attended by a large body of average
English Freemasons - business men of the City of London - and the hearty
response to our brief remarks, was wonderfully stimulating.
We had learned that Paris was not less congested than London
and therefore endeavored to make sure of accommodations when we should arrive
there. The work in London being finished, and arrangements to travel to Paris
via Folkestone-Boulogne having been effected through the Movement Order
Department of the “Y” (a very difficult route over which to obtain permits to
travel in war times, we found), we left London February 15, and arrived in
Paris the same evening, in a steady downpour of rain. London had been
intensely cold and disagreeable, but dry. Heat in hotels and public buildings
was unusual and deficient, and the discomr fort of living conditions intense.
Food was expensive and meagre, and we were assured that food, at least, would
be more abundant, and less expensive, in Paris. We were disillusioned.
Fortunate to a degree in being received at the hotel with which we had
communicated (an old French establishment familiar to one of the Mission) we
found Paris not less uncomfortable than London, no heat, little food, higher
prices, great congestion, and continuous, dreary daily rain.
We promptly sought opportunity with the “Y” authorities to
discuss our business, and to effect plans for the work which we had projected,
and, though we were met with cordiality by the officers of that institution,
the very conditions under which work was done in Paris and the circumstances
of the war, made progress agonizingly slow. For nearly four weeks we worried
along, making little headway and not knowing whether we should be able to
pursue our work and perform the service which we had hoped to render, or
should have to fold our tents and return home.
That time of uncertainty was by no mean wasted; it was devoted
to the full, and every minute of it, to canvassing the Masonic situation in
the A.E.F., and planning and arranging ways and means for undertaking and
pursuing our work, as soon as a foothold should be established.
We had carried with us from home a large number of letters from
Masons with the A.E.F., inquiring about Masonic activity, existent or
projected. Responses to these letters were prepared on the steamer, and mailed
on our arrival at Glasgow. Replies to our letters, which had announced our
expected arrival in France about February 15, and given an address there,
began to arrive before the end of February, and thus we started a chain of
We had understood, before leaving home, that a considerable
proportion of the Secretaries in the service of the “Y” were Masons, but
observation, contact, and the records which were subsequently opened to us,
led us to believe that not less than 70 per cent. of the “Y” Secretaries were
members of the Craft. We had been in correspondence with a Masonic
organization in the “Y.” composed of “Y” Secretaries, called the Trowel and
Triangle Club, which had existed for some months, and whose main purpose
seemed to be an occasional dining together, and the entertaining of persons of
interest or distinction. It had no other apparent activity; but we saw in it a
means, effectively and economically, to extend our influence, and by combining
effort, to reach and serve the members of the Fraternity in the service.
Its officers and members we found to be intelligent, zealous,
keenly alive Freemasons, some of them hailing from our own State. We promptly
got in intimate contact with these brethren, told them the story of our
efforts to get Overseas and to serve, all which stimulated in them prompt
sympathy and desire to cooperate. This resulted, gradually, in the formation
of a plan for the reorganization of that Club, ramifying, as it did,
throughout the entire A.E.F., and comprising, in its membership, a very large
number of the Secretaries at training camps, leave areas and with various
units of the army all over France and in Germany, and the utilization of the
Club, and, through it, of the Secretaries, members of it, throughout the A.E.F.,
as the connecting link between Masonic life in the A.E.F. and the Mission,
with its headquarters in Paris. Through the Trowel and Triangle Club, to
membership in the Board of Governors of which one of the members of the
Mission was elected, and with all of whose administration the Mission was
intimately in touch, we advertised promptly for the names and addresses and
the officers of all Masonic Clubs or other organizations in the A.E.F., with
the result that, within approximately two weeks, we were in receipt of a large
volume of mail and in close touch with the Masonic pulse of the Forces, and
equipped with intimate and reliable information regarding most, or all, of the
Masonic Club life, which then existed, and some of which had become dormant or
extinct by reason of the departure or impending departure for home of the
units with which connected. Conspicuous among our co-laborers in this service
were Sidney Morse, in charge of the Records Bureau of the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A..
John Garland Pollard of the Board of Discipline, Cass Connaway, Chief Counsel,
William L. Hartman of Denver, Colorado, and J. M. Crouch of West Virginia, in
charge of Paris Warehouse.
On March 11, 1919, the “Y” offered us the hut known as the
“Officers and Men's Club,” 31 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, which we immediately
accepted. The offer contemplated our taking it over and operating it as a “Y”
hut, bearing all expense thereof. Investigation proved it to be the original
headquarters of the “Y,” a palace, charmingly located, and capable, we
thought, of great development. It was serving, at the time, approximately 110
officers and men, some of whom - about 25 - were accommodated with rooms, and
all with luncheon and dinner at prices materially below the prevailing prices
of similar accommodations. The use of the building for months had, of course,
resulted in deterioration and the existence, we thought, of the restaurant,
led to conditions of untidiness which were better avoided. We found, also,
that the restaurant was a serious expense, all out of proportion, we thought,
to the service rendered. The method of its management seemed calculated to
pamper a few, instead of to serve many, and we concluded promptly to eliminate
the restaurant and to develop the usefulness of the institution to the
greatest possible extent. On March 14th, letters were exchanged covering the
agreement to take that property over, which we were fortunate in arranging not
to involve liability on our part for damage to property (a familiar invariable
consequence of the relation of landlord and tenant in France), and that we
should be at liberty to abandon the enterprise at any time on thirty days'
The figures of its operation for a year previous, which were
furnished us, showed an annual loss or excess of outgo over income of
approximately $30,000. The management of this enterprise we had no hesitation
in undertaking, in view, not only of the ditty, as weconceived it, of keeping
our bargain, but the necessity, as we found it - or then saw it - of our
having a definite status with the “Y” in the A.E.F., in order to maintain our
position and render any kind of service, Masonic or otherwise, to the men with
Fortune, however, was kind. It chanced that certain devoted
women had been interested in the conduct of that hut from its inception and
the thought of it being taken out of their control distressed them. We were
asked, first, to reconsider our proposal to abandon the restaurant, to which
we consented, temporarily. The agreement covering its operation by the Mission
was modified at our instance, by providing that we should conduct it in any
case from April 1st until June 30 (the end of a rent period; at which time the
tenant, under the lease, would have the right to abandon), with the privilege,
however, of abandoning it then on thirty days' notice to the “Y” and, if
continued thereafter by us at its instance, with the privilege of abandoning
it at any time during that continuance, on thirty days' notice.
Notwithstanding, the movement in “Y” circles to withdraw the
offer of the hut progressed, without interference on our part. Awaiting the
final decision we pursued our activities intensively in every direction.
The hut was not turned over to us, and we incurred no expense
in connection therewith, but by mutual consent we were relieved from the duty
of carrying on operations of that character or of devoting our time or energy
to such activities. Gradually we drifted into a service of a purely Masonic
character, and no question was raised or exists as between any party to the
original agreement, regarding the soundness of our position, or the propriety
of our conduct.
Meanwhile, we undertook also, the reorganization of the local
Masonic Club in Paris, and the placing of it in a position of usefulness. This
involved further advertising for local Masons, particularly among the officers
stationed in or near Paris and resulted, most happily, in procuring the
consent of Col. H. H. Whitney, Chief of Staff of the Paris Division, to act as
President, and Major Otto H. Lee, Assistant Judge Advocate, and Capt. Keely,
Q.M.C., as Governors, thus assuring to the Club not only the patronage of
officers, which was essential to its usefulness, but also their keen interest
in its welfare, with the result that its sessions were greatly popularized.
Brother J. M. Crouch was actively interested in the Trowel and
Triangle Club, and one of its Governors. He was also an intimate friend of
Judge George Fleming Moore and deeply interested in his enterprise at 10
Avenue Victor Emmanuel III. It was natural that Brother Crouch, whose friendly
interest in the activities of the Mission was early manifested, should suggest
the propriety of the Trowel and Triangle Club Governors holding their
meetings, and the members of the Overseas Masonic Club their sessions, in the
quarters at 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, and as spontaneously and in the
same kindly spirit as the suggestion was made, it was accepted. The Mission
had maintained its headquarters at the Hotel Peiffer, 6 Passage de la
Madeleine. It had been planned to transfer headquarters to the hut at 31
Avenue Montaigne, but late in March Brother Charles W. Connery, the manager of
the American Masonic Headquarters, 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, offered to
the Mission the use as offices, without charge, of the entresol rooms in that
building, and to decorate them for that purpose. The offer was gratefully
accepted and our quarters appropriately furnished by the Mission, and these
quarters were from early April, 1919, used by the Mission as a convenient
place to meet Masons seeking information and advice, relief and Masonic
This cooperation between the Mission and Brother Connery was
most genuine and comfortable, and reacted promptly in a marked increase in the
attendance of visitors at the building, 10 Avenue Victor Emmanuel III, and the
extension of its usefulness. It grew to be in fact as well as in name the
American Masonic Headquarters in Paris and France.
Continuously, members of the Mission were in the field. The
occupied territory at Coblenz and its neighborhood was visited, as well also
the leave areas, General Headquarters at Chaumont and its neighborhood, the
seaports - Marseille, Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, Brest and Le Havre - and the
intervening country in central France, where most of our forces were camped or
billeted. The time of the members of the Mission was devoted to visiting Clubs
and addressing the men, encouraging the formation of Clubs where none existed,
furnishing Masonic information to interested inquirers, and generally
rendering all and any assistance to Freemasons, which was within our power to
render. We early established pleasant relations with Major W.S. Solomon, 417th
Telegraph Battalion, Signal Corps, stationed in Coblenz, who hails from Rhode
Island, and who had undertaken the reorganization of the Third Army Masonic
Club at Coblenz. At the time we came in touch with him, the membership of that
Club was about 500. We aided him in every way in our power, and he was, by
great fortune, aided also by the presence and active cooperation of two “Y”
Secretaries in his neighborhood, Past Grand Master Davis of the Grand Lodge of
Rhode Island, and Deputy Grand Master Collins of the same jurisdiction, with
both of whom we had the most delightful and profitable relations. Before we
left, the membership of that Club was about 2,000, and included two sub-Clubs,
one made up of Ohioans, and the other of New Yorkers, each of which numbered
Soon after the arrival of the Mission in France there commenced
a regular system of granting leave to soldiers to visit Paris for a period of
three days, and approximately 300 - 900 men daily arrived in Paris on leave.
Shortly thereafter the Government inaugurated an educational program, the
purpose of which was to occupy usefully the men awaiting the determination to
evacuate France, and their transportation home, and considerable numbers of
men were assigned to the University of Paris, to the Sorbonne, and other Paris
and French educational institutions, and many were assigned also to
educational institutions in England. The plan involved a change in their pay
system and a transfer to a different paymaster, and commutation of housing and
rations amounting to the equivalent, with their pay, of approximately $3 per
day, not, however, payable in advance.
The Mission found opportunity for most useful service in
directing visiting doughboys to places of interest, hotels, amusement places,
etc., in Paris, and furnishing general information, for which at the time no
adequate provision had been made.
Soon, the problem of loaning funds to officers and soldiers,
members of the Craft, was sharply presented. The cost of living in Paris was
excessive, and they were in many instances short of funds, expecting pay and
with funds at home which they were unable to avail of. At one time the
American Red Cross had served in the matter of cashing checks. The Y.M.C.A.
had rendered similar service, but both had been discontinued. In this
situation the Mission realized that both an opportunity and a duty were
presented, and endeavoring to exercise discretion and discrimination, during
its entire stay in France, made loans, cashed checks, made advances and
assisted financially many members of the Fraternity engaged in the service.
That this service was appreciated by the beneficiaries thereof goes without
saying, and the loans were in most cases repaid promptly. But few thereof are
About the time of the arrival of the Mission in France the
withdrawal of our troops Mom the front, and from billets, at the instance of
the French Government, had begun, and thereafter rapidly progressed. The
expansion of Le Mans as a concentration district for our troops thus withdrawn
and prior to their dispatch to the seaboard for embarkation for home, was
undertaken, and a capacity of 350,000 men was planned. Early in March Brothers
Moore, Lay and Goodrich were commissioned to visit the Le Mans area after a
conference at Paris with Brother Harry B. Mook, Regional Financial Director of
the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. in that area, and we determined to aid and sustain an
American Masonic Club in that district. This Club was established with Bro.
Harry B. Mook as President, occupying the building at 45 Rue Chanzy, the rent
of which the Mission paid, and its membership approximated 900, besides which
it served a very large number of men, visitors to that area, or temporarily
On March 10th, Brother Goodrich visited Lyons to inspect that
field from a standpoint of Masonic service, and from there proceeded to Dijon,
returning to Paris.
On March 11th, Brothers Moore and Lay visited Marseille,
attended the weekly meeting of the American E.F. Masonic Club, which met in
the temple of the lodges of the Grand Orient at 24 Rue Piscatoris, and enjoyed
fraternal intercourse with both American and French brethren. They proceeded
on March 13th to Nice, an important leave area, where the situation was
canvassed with Bro. James G. Gipe, Y.M.C.A. Secretary, and arrangements made
to foster a Masonic Club in that area, and to guarantee its rent and necessary
expenses. From there they returned to Paris.
On March 17th Brother Prime visited Chaumont, investigated
conditions in that area, including the former aviation base at La Trecey; also
Neuchateau; and addressed Goodfellowship Masonic Club presided over by Capt.
A. C. Howard.
On March 22, Bro. Lay visited Saumur, and attended a banquet
held at the Budan Hotel by Villebernia Masonic Club, located at Camp
Strathcona and Mt. Royal, a few miles outside Saumur, 68 members of the
Fraternity were present. The members of the Club for the most part were
officers and men from the First Company, 14th Grand Division, and the 31st
Engineers. The camp had been a permanent one, with little change in its
personnel since June, 1918. They were engaged in the operation of the
railroads in connection with the S.O.S.
On March 24th, Bro. Lay visited Tours, attended a meeting of
the Acacia Club with Col. George E. Newell of Virginia in the chair, the
meeting of which was held in the Y.M.C.A. Headquarters.
On March 25th, Brother Goodrich visited Chaumont; also
Neuchateau, and neighborhood, with a view to ascertaining what service, if
any, the Mission could perform in that area.
On March 26th, Brother Lay visited Sunset Overseas Club at St.
Aignan, at which camp approximately 10,000 men were quartered, and addressed
over 250 men.
On March 26th, Brother Moore visited Coblenz and the occupied
territory, and attended a dinner of the N. Y. Club on March 28th, and of the
Third Army Club on March 31st. He also visited the Masonic Club at Mayen, and
generally inspected the district.
On March 27th, Brother Lay proceeded to Bourges, and
investigated with members of the Fraternity the desirability of establishing a
Club at that point.
On March 28th, he attended a meeting in the Central Records
office of Bourges, and they then decided to form a Club which the Mission
undertook to support. There were no social service attractions at that city,
except a K. of C. hut.
On March 28th, he went from Bourges to Marmagne near Mehun, a
camp of 5,000 men. Espoir Masonic Club meets on Wednesday nights, using the
Y.M.C.A. hut, and performing an important service.
On March 29th, the Masons in Camp at Bourges held a banquet at
the City Prefecture with Lieut. Col. Smith presiding, which Brother Lay
On March 31st, he proceeded to Gievres, the great warehouse
camp of central France, which joins and coordinates with the air station at
Pruniers, better known as Romorantin, and attended the East sub-Post Masonic
Club meeting. It had a membership of over 400 men and used a hut furnished by
the Camp Commandant in the officers' barracks.
On April 1st, he visited the Square and Compass Club at Gievres,
which met in the Jewish Welfare Hut. 200 men were present. He was also able,
through the “Y” Secretary, to arrange with the Commanding Officer for a hut
for the use of the Club. He there met Bro. Charles H. Huntley, a “Y”
Secretary, who was an active worker, and the originator, with Brother Porter,
of the S.O.L., a very popular so-called side degree, returning thence to
On April 5th, Brother Prime visited Bordeaux, accompanied by
Brother James D. Collins, Deputy Grand Master of Rhode Island, who was
planning to embark for home from Bordeaux, and with him visited Camp De Souge,
15 miles out of Bordeaux, and there conferred with offlcers, members of the
Fraternity, regarding the Masonic situation, and the possible service to be
rendered by the Mission. They also met a delegation from the Camp De Souge
Masonic Club at Camp De Souge who were planning to visit Liberation Lodge at
Bordeaux (holding obedience to the Grand Loge National) that afternoon, and
conferred with Major Gilbert in charge of the hospital at that point.
Returning to Bordeaux with Brother Collins, he attended a session of
Liberation Lodge in the Masonic Temple occupied by the Loge Anglais, founded
in 1734, under dispensation by the Grand Lodge of England, and at various
times thereafter holding obedience to the Grand Orient, or the Grand Lodge of
England, but now holding obedience to the Grand Loge National, and being one
of the constituent lodges which formed that Grand Body in the autumn of 1913.
He took part in conferring the Masonic degrees on four members of the A. E. F.
in the afternoon, and on eight in the evening. He also conferred with Capt.
John D. Hatch and associates regarding the establishment of a Masonic Club in
Bordeaux, which was shortly thereafter established with the zealous aid and
support of Bro. Collins.
Proceeding on April 6th to Nimes he investigated that leave
area from a Masonic point of view, and determined that it would close so
shortly thereafter as to require no service from the Mission. Proceeding to
Marseille that afternoon, he conferred with Bros. Charles M. Conant, Captain
A. C. Gilbert and other brethren regarding the American Masonic Club at
Marseille. The following day he attended a meeting of the American Masonic
Club at Marseille held in conjunction with Heather Hill Masonic Club of the
13th Engineers (which was about to return home) at the Macaroni Factory in
Camp Covington outside Marseille, and addressed about 400 brethren. Proceeding
that night to Beaune by way of Lyons, he arrived there on April 11th,
conferred with Bro. Mark E. Penney regarding the needs of that Camp, of
approximately 14,000 men, and visited the A. E. F. University, an extensive
establishment which had taken over a base hospital of many buildings on a
plateau overlooking the Rhone, situated about four kilometres outside Beaune,
and that evening attended a meeting of the newly organized Masonic Club, and
addressed about 200 members, leaving at midnight for Paris.
On April 9th Bros. Moore, Lay and Goodrich visited Le Mans, and
addressed large gatherings of Brethren, besides performing other important
On April 14th Bro. Lay visited Nevers and the American Masonic
Club at that place. He learned that the Club had raised a fund of over 5,000
francs for the placing of art glass windows in the Protestant Chapel at Nevers
as a memorial to the American Masons in the A. E. F., and attended the regular
meeting of the Club on April 15th. He proceeded to Bourges again on April 16th
in connection with the Club at that point, and arranged for quarters to
On April 16th, he again visited Espoir Club at Camp Marmagne.
On the 17th, he proceeded to Gievres, and visited the Trowel
Club which meets in the Y.M.C.A. hut.
On the 18th, he visited the Square and Compass Club at Pruniers,
where arrangements were made to decorate the graves of Masons on Easter
Sunday, and he attended the memorial service.
On April 19th, he visited Issoudun, and conferred with the
officers of the Felloweraft Club of Montierchaume Camp near Chateauroux, and
conferred also with Lieut. Poole, Secretary of Base Hospital No. 63, organized
in 1913 at Caen, and finally located at Chateauroux. He also met
representatives from four Clubs at Gievres, and Romorantin, regarding Masonic
work at Romorantin.
On April 20th, Easter Sunday, he attended the decoration of
graves in the American Cemetery at Gievres by the Trowel Club. 100 men marched
to the Cemetery. Six graves of Masons were decorated and photographs taken to
be sent home. That afternoon he attended a banquet of the Square and Compass
Club at Romorantin, with 175 men present, and in the evening attended Masonic
Memorial Services under the auspices of the Trowel Club in the main auditorium
hut of the “Y,” with 800 men present, and Red Cross and Y.W.C.A. women present
by special invitation.
On April 16th, Brother Moore of the Mission was compelled to
return to New York by reason of important business matters. He left
regretfully, after serving faithfully the entire period for which he
generously had volunteered.
From the time of his arrival in France until April 16th the
Chairman of the Mission was constantly in Paris in charge of the affairs of
the Mission and daily occupied with correspondence, conferences, assisting
brethren, and generally superintending the Mission's affairs. Excepting as
indicated in the above analysis of activities, Brother Prime also was occupied
assisting the Chairman, and attending to correspondence. The first few months
the Mission employed no Clerk, its voluminous correspondence being attended to
by the members.
On April 16th, the Chairman departed for Switzerland on an
important mission, arriving again in Paris on April 23rd.
In his absence Brothers Goodrich and Prime were constantly in
The Grand Master of New York had cabled the Chairman requesting
him to return in time for Grand Lodge, which was to sit May 6th, and great
difficulty was experienced in arranging transportation home. However,
accommodations were secured for the Chairman and Brother Prime, who left Paris
on April 26th, and Havre the same day, arriving in New York May 5th, the day
before the Grand Lodge convened. Brothers Goodrich and Lay remained in charge.
On the voyage home, we volunteered as Troop Secretaries, and served 252
casuals and 17 officers.
On May 1st all passes for American soldiers to be in Paris were
withdrawn, and all Americans in uniform were ordered to remain off the
streets. Not a wheel turned in Paris. All cars, taxicabs, subways, and all
means of transportation remained idle. All stores, restaurants, and places of
business were closed. Troops were brought into Paris, and thoroughfares
leading to central points were closely guarded in anticipation of labor
Provision was made at the headquarters at 10 Avenue Victor
Emmanuel III from possible danger to American women in Paris, particularly Red
Cross and Y.W.C.A. women, for whom cots and blankets were provided. A large
number of American women gathered there
On May 3rd, Brother Lay proceeded to the A. E. F. University at
On May 6th, he proceeded to St. Nazaire, and attended a meeting
of Masonic Club No. 1 which was organized July 8, 1918.
On the following day he visited the Montoir Masonic Club near
St. Nazaire, and Base Hospital No. 1.
At that time two ottier Masonic Clubs were in process of
formation in the St. Nazaire area, and to meet the needs of the Clubs he
assigned Brother Charles H. Huntley as General Secretary for Masonic Clubs in
that area, his salary to be borne by the Mission. He also arranged for a
distribution of cards to all home-coming soldiers.
The Labor Department of the Government had been anxious for our
cooperation in reaching homecoming soldiers with information and advice to
proceed, promptly on arrival, to their home towns and not to linger in cities
or near the seaboard, and respecting re-employment. We gladly afforded all aid
in our power in this endeavor.
On April 25th a delegation of doughboys from St. Aignan, headed
by Sergeant Starkey, visited Paris and presented the situation of upwards of
100 doughboys, members of the Fraternity, at that camp, about to be
commissioned officers, requiring uniform and equipment as a condition of
receiving their assignments, and without funds to purchase same, and solicited
the aid of the Mission in their behalf. St. Aignan was a casual camp, to which
all men for any reason detached from their units were assigned; also
replacement troops sent from home awaiting assignment; also men awaiting
sentence after trial by court martial, and doughboys awaiting commission after
examination for promotion. It was dubbed “St. Agony,” an obviously appropriate
term. Lieut. Col. Oliver S. Perry, a member of the Fraternity, was in charge
of the camp, and he, as well as other officers, members of the Fraternity, had
exhausted their resources in relieving and assisting Brethren in the service,
situated as reported by Bro. Starkey. The sum of 50,000 francs was requested,
for use as a revolving fund to relieve these brethren in their emergency. It
was represented that they were possessed of funds at home or of funds in the
hands of friends, neither of which were readily available, or at all,
excepting after great delay, and we were satisfied that a rare opportunity for
service was here presented. We desired, however, to be sure of our ground, and
requested Brother Starkey to return to St. Aignan, canvass the situation most
carefully and advise the minimum amount which would afford the relief desired.
On May 9th, Brothers Lay and Goodrich proceeded to St. Aignan
and there conferred with Col. Perry and other officers, members of the
Fraternity, and with Bro. Starkey. They presented a list of 74 candidates and
commissioned Second Lieutenants in financial need. It appeared further that
immediately a man received his commission, his findings as private stopped,
and he was required to pay his food at 10 francs per diem, and often was short
of funds until next pay day. Careful investigation established the worth of
the applicants, and the Mission deposited with Col. Perry 25,000 francs to be
distributed by him, Major McCatharan and Brother Starkey among the men deemed
worthy by them, in sums not to exceed 300 francs each, for which their
obligations were to be given, payable to the Mission. These obligations were
met with almost uniform promptness, and but a few thousand francs of the total
amount remain outstanding. The fame of this service, and its signal influence,
spread rapidly throughout the A. E. F. No other institution or organization
was prepared to, or endeavored to, furnish any similar service.
Brothers Lay and Goodrich returned to Paris, where they
remained in charge of the Mission's activities until their departure for home
on June 28th, constantly occupied during the entire day from early in the
morning until late at night in the office of the Mission in conferences with,
and assisting, members of the Fraternity seeking aid and advice.
On May 19th, they mailed letters to all Masonic Clubs enclosing
greetings from the Mission and literature prepared by the National
Superintendent of Bureaus for returning soldiers and sailors.
On May 28th, they distributed among the Masonic Clubs memorial
aprons contributed by the Bee Hive Lodge of Chicago, Ill.
The services of the members of the Mission were called for
several times in the conduct of Masonic funerals.
On May 29th, Wor. Brother C. D. Brooks, of Uncas Lodge, No.
949, Syracuse, who had been engaged in the educational activities of the
Y.M.C.A., and had planned to take part in the educational work of the A. E. F.
University at Beaune, was buried with Masonic services in the Suresnes
Cemetery outside Paris, conducted by Brother Lay.
May 30th, Memorial Day, Brother Lay proceeded to Montrichard,
and there delivered a Memorial Day address. From there he proceeded to St.
Aignan for a conference with Col. Perry regarding loans and other matters.
On June 20th, the Mission gave a dinner in honor of Col. H. H.
Whitney, President of the Overseas Masonic Club of Paris, at the Laurent
Restaurant. General Pershing had been requested to attend this function, and
wrote an appreciation, of which he afterward authorized publication.
The correspondence is as follows:
letter-head of the Mission)
John J. Pershing,
Chaumont, France. Dear Sir and Brother:
evening, June 20th, the Masonic Overseas Mission is giving a dinner in honor
of Colonel H. H. Whitney, President of the Paris Masonic Club at the
Restaufant Laurant, on the Champs Elysees, at 6:30 P. M., and would deem it a
great honor if you could arrange to be present.
that this may be possible, I am,
and fraternally yours,
June 14, 1919.
George S. Goodrich,
Victor Emmanuel III, Paris. Dear Mr. Goodrich:
received your cordial invitation of June 13th to dine with the Overseas
Mission to the Freemasons on June 20th.
I am indeed sorry that my military duties force me to be absent
on that date, and so I cannot have the pleasure of dining with you. I wish to
express my extreme regret as nothing would have given me greater pleasure. I
have heard nothing but the highest praise of the results of your generous
efforts in the American Expeditionary Forces, and desire to express to you
personally my hearty thanks for the consistently helpful attitude you have
JOHN J. PERSHING.
He did not attend the dinner. However, among those attending
were Col. H. H. Whitney, Majors Martin and Robinson, Cass Connaway, General
Counsel of the Y.M.C.A., Charles W. Connery, Manager of the American Masonic
Club, Sidney Morse, in charge of the Records Department of the Y.M.C.A., John
Garland Pollard of Virginia, member of the Board of Discipline of the Y.M.C.A.,
Ex-Governor Dunn of Indiana, Brother Newby of the Grand Commandery of the
United States, Major Ross Corbin, of the Red Cross, Sherif Pasha, a Turkish
Mason, and many others. Anticipating the return of Brothers Lay and Goodrich,
Brother Erastus C. Knight, who had been originally designated a member of the
Mission, but had taken up active duties in New York in connection with the
activities of the War and Relief Administration, and particularly in
connection with the care of wounded brethren during their presence in and near
New York at the various debarkation and Base Hospitals, was dispatched, and
arrived in Paris on June 13th in time to gain from Brothers Lay and Goodrich,
before they left, an intimate understanding of the various activities of the
Mission, it being planned that he should remain indefinitely after they left,
and as long as the need required. The fund raised by the American Masonic Club
at Nevers for stained glass memorial windows in the Protestant Chapel at
Nevers was turned over to the Mission, the glass ordered, and under its
auspices and supervision installed. The Chairman of the Mission returned to
Paris, after visiting London and attending the Peace Session of the United
Grand Lodge of England, and arrived in Paris, July 3rd, remaining there to
close up the various activities of the Mission, its relations with the Y.M.C.A.,
and with Headquarters, No. 10 Avenue Emmanuel III, also to settle all bills or
arrange for same. When he departed he left Bro. Knight to oversee the final
details. He sailed from Havre about the middle of August. Brother Knight left
Paris Aug. 30,1919, and arrived in New York with the records and other
property of the Mission.
You will remember that at the conference of Grand Masters held
at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 24th to 28th, 1918, which resulted in the
adoption of the tentative organization of the American Masonic Service
Association of the United States, the project of dispatching the Mission
overseas was brought before the assembled Grand Masters, and it was
unanimously voted that the Chairman of the Mission be appointed the
representative of the Masonic Service Association of the United States
overseas. The original plan by New York for Masonic Service overseas
contemplated impartial service to all Freemasons in the United States forces
whencesoever they hailed, and the Masonic Service Association of the United
States at the conference referred to adopted the Mission also as its Mission
to Freemasons in the United States forces overseas, and undertook to share pro
rata in the whole expense thereof. We bore letters of credit for fifty
thousand dollars, in addition to travelers checks, aggregating $5,000, in all
$55,000. The total expenses of the Mission, including outstanding loans but
not including the depreciation in the value of the franc, are approximately
$35,600, of which New York will pay her proportionate share, our sister
jurisdictions joining in this service having requested that they each pay on a
proportionate basis equal to what the membership of each bears to the total
membership of all contributing.
In closing this report, it is fitting that sincere
acknowledgment should be made of the cordial relations which at all times
prevailed between the Mission and the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. as well as of the great
service and assistance which that organization afforded us. All our
transportation in France and England was obtained through its Movement Order
Department, and Masonic Secretaries were assigned and transferred freely at
our request. Motor vehicles, mechanics, building material, hut equipment,
moving picture machines and films, entertainers, food and supplies of all
kinds were freely and promptly furnished upon our requisition, and while our
arrangements, as was proper, provided for payment for all such services and
supplies, we received great assistance, many facilities and favors for which
we could not compensate in money, and were not asked to.
The situation of our boys after the Armistice was signed, and
movement back from the front was commenced, concentrated for transportation
home, no longer with the stimulus of a fight unwon, with little to do and less
to occupy their minds, much of the time in mud, wet, cold, and general
distress of mind and body, can well be imagined. Words are inadequate to
express it accurately. To such men, in such a plight, yearning for home, and
in dire need of distraction, the Mission and its varied service was a
The influence of the Mission's presence, representing organized
Freemasonry in the United States, was also felt deeply by the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A.
The large number of members of the Fraternity in that service were greatly
heartened and stabilized thereby, and beyond doubt rendered more efficient
In closing this report the members of the Mission desire to
record their personal appreciation of the privilege of participating in this
service, and their admiration of the quality as men and Masons of the rank and
file of American officers and doughboys engaged in the World War. The memory
of the dear associations which they have enjoyed will never die.
GEORGE S. GOODRICH,
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT TO CANDIDATES
You are about to be initiated into Freemasonry. It is deemed
proper in this Grand Lodge that all candidates for our ceremonies shall know
in brief just what Masonry is, what its aims and purposes are, and in that way
any erroneous or trivial notions which you may have had will be entirely
removed and your minds free to receive the great truths which Masonry hopes to
You are to be congratulated upon having been found worthy to
pass the unanimous ballot of the members of this lodge, and it is of the
utmost importance that you so conduct yourself as to be always worthy of this
The Order with which you are seeking to unite is known in this
State as Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry. Ancient as having a recorded
history of more than two centuries, and still more ancient as having come down
from the old guilds or fellowship of Operative Masons, who worked upon those
wonderful cathedrals and other public buildings in Europe which were
constructed during the middle ages, and which have been and still are the
marvel of all who behold them. We do not desire our candidates to understand
that we claim any connection with those workmen who built King Solomon's
Temple, although we use in our ceremonies and ritual the symbolism of the
Free Masonry is made up always of free men - free born. Free
Masonry was originally composed of workmen who, by reason of special
privileges granted them by the church in the early middle age, were free to
travel and work without the usual restrictions which were common in those
Accepted Masonry, or Speculative Masonry, is distinguished from
Operative. The transitions to Accepted Masonry came about the beginning of the
18th century, when many gentlemen, scholars, scientists and clergymen, sought
and attained admission to the guilds of Operative Masons, and were known as
Gentlemen, or Accepted Masons. From 1717, with the organization of the Grand
Lodge of England, Masonry has been Speculative rather than Operative.
Our Order intends to make good men better, and thus wiser and
happier; men capable of rendering large service to their fellow men. This is
its main object. It is founded upon certain vital and fundamental truths,
chief among them is the belief in one Ever Living and true God, and our
dependence upon him. If there is any doubt in your mind whatever on this
point, you ought not to think of proceeding further. Other great truths will
be taught as you proceed with your degree.
Please bear in mind that there is nothing in Masonry which does
not have a serious purpose. Nothing is done to embarras you, or trifle with
your feelings. Your preparation for initiation all has a meaning which will be
With this preliminary statement, let me express the hope that
your mind will be at ease and in a mood to receive the important lessons which
Masonry is intended to teach you.
* * *
foregoing “Preliminary Statement to Candidates” has been authorized by the
Grand Lodge of North Dakota to be given to all candidates in that Grand
Jurisdiction prior to their preparation for initiation into the First degree.
It is designed to be delivered preferably by the Worshipful Master in some
suitable room other than the lodge room.
know the future of this life,
storms may come, what woes,
whether I shall conquer in the strife,
But I can
trust in Him. He knows! He knows!
chide no heathen in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults. -
generous is truly wise, and he who loves not others, lives unblest. - Home.
MARKS AND MARK MASONRY
CHARLES C. CONOVER, MICHIGAN
FROM NOVEMBER NUMBER)
DEGREE - ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
THE MARK degree seems to antedate any of the chapter degrees.
In England and most of her dependencies it is controlled by a separate
organization known as the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. These lodges take
their material from the Master's degree and they confer the degrees of Mark
Man, Mark Master and in some instances the Royal Ark Mariners. We naturally
first turn to Mackey's Encyclopedia for his viewpoint. On the subject of “Mark
Man” he says:
“According to Masonic tradition, the Mark Men were the Wardens,
as the Mark Masters were the Masters of the Fellow-Craft Lodges, at the
building of the Temple. They distributed the Marks to the workmen, and made
the first inspection of the work, which was afterward to be approved by the
overseers. As a degree, the Mark Man is not recognized in the United States.
In England it is sometimes, but not generally, worked as preparatory to the
degree of Mark Master. In Scotland, in 1778, it was given to Fellow Crafts,
while the Mark Master was restricted to Master Masons. Much of the esoteric
ritual of the Mark Man has been incorporated into the Mark Master of the
MASONRY - PLACE AND MEANING
When we read the story of the building of that house upon Mount
Moriah we are amazed at the magnitude, as well as the splendor of the work. By
the quarries, in Lebanon, and in the mountain that overlooked the Dead Sea,
men wrought by plan - Fellow Crafts and M. M.'s of the different lodges. They
apparently wrought also by piece in many cases; and it was important that a
careful record should be kept of work done, of work done well - and of the
worker, whatever he had done. This was done by a system of Marks. Whether each
family had a separate Mark, or each nation or each company of workmen, it is
impossible to say. But that Masons were in the habit of making such Marks for
purposes of signature there is no doubt. When few could read, and fewer write,
a plan of adopting some easily remembered Mark would be a great advantage. And
there is no doubt that the signature in some way of a man's workmanship was of
import; ance to the Wardens and the Overseers. Masonry has ever emphasized the
value standard in regard to membership in a lodge, both in operative and in
speculative labor; and we can easily understand that such a system of Marks as
we have discovered would become necessary, especially in a work of such
stupendous magnitude as the Temple of Jerusalem, or the other great works of
antiquity in which bands of workmen of different nations and languages and
habits were employed. The Marks would be, to the Overseers, both statement of
account and surveyor's report; and every man would receive praise and reward
or punishment as these marks were borne upon good or bad work. The apprentice
hand made a blind Mark of equal angles, and the F.C. a true mark of unequals.
In the former we find a standard easily followed, and the absence of a
personal characteristic of great importance. In the Mark of the Master was the
individuality of that skilled artisan. The standard of obedience was no longer
inexpertly and blindly emphasized; but the workman obeyed Masonic law by
expressing his own characteristic in the varying unequal angles. The circle
was avoided, and never became a Mason's Mark unless in combination with some
perpendicular or angle. The circle is the means to right lines; and in right
lines is Masonry builded. The study of the ancient Marks in buildings of all
nations and religions and Masonic tendency reveals some curious suggestions.
Mr. Godwin and M. Didron, in the forties of last century, brought these Marks
under the observation of antiquaries. The first, who was editor of the
“Builder,” submitted, in 1841, a most interesting communication upon the
subject to the Society of Antiquaries; and M. Didron, a Parisian student of
archaeology, communicated his own findings to the Comite Historique des Arts
et Monuments shortly afterwards. Various conclusions were reached by learned
men who took the matter up; but nothing appears to be conclusive beyond that
with which we have already stated. The Marks were the signature and the
challenge of the workmen.
And, just in the same way, the Mark Mason of today demands that
a Mark shall represent the responsibility and the account of the Mark Mason.
Just as in business the reputation of a merchant or manufacturer may be said
to be constantly in pledge against the fulfillment of a contract, so Mark
Masonry throws herself upon her character, upon her Masonic brotherliness,
upon her right to receive and to give. And just so her character stamps her
acts and her ideals. The Mark is found upon the obverse of the jewel, and not
upon the apron, which with the exception that there are no tassels and that
the ribbon is edged with crimson, rip sembles that of the M. M. Craft degree.
The jewel takes the form of the keystone of an arch. Upon one side are the
letters H.T.W.S.S.T.K.S., and upon the other Hebrew characters of similar
import. These are arranged round a space, circular, in which the Mark of the
wearer is inscribed. So that both the Royal Arch and the Mark are based
largely upon the content and construction of the arch in Masonry. The
principal difference is one of form. The Royal Arch deals with the secret the
arch has hidden; and the Mark illustrates more the value of the arch itself
and the lmportance of reliable work. (The Trestle Board, Vol. 26, No. 6
William J. Hughan of England, who with Robert F. Gould, were
the most painstaking Masonic history ans in separating the wheat of truth from
the chaff of fiction and tradition, has this to say about Mark Masonry:
During the centuries which immediately preceded the
establishment of the premier Grand Lodge of England and the World, the “Mark”
was directly connected with operative and speculative Freemasonry, and from
time immemorial, it has been the custom for the skilled Craftsman to chisel
his distinctive Mark on the stones he fashioned, so as to indicate his
It is this fact that differentiates the Mark degree from all
other ceremonies additional to the first three, and justified the formation of
the Mark Grand Lodge, nearly fifty years ago, so as to take under its wing
those lodges which worked with interesting and suggestive ceremony, the
English Craft agreement excluding it from the formally recognized series,
according to the Articles of Union of A. D. 1813-4.
The antiquity of Mark Masonry cannot be doubted. Operatively
considered and even speculatively, it has enjoyed special prominence for
centuries; records of the custom being followed by speculative brethren,
according to existing records, dating back to 1600, in which year, on the 8th
day of June, “Ye principal wardens and chief master of maissons, Wm. Schaw,
master of work to ye Kingis Maistie,” met members of the Lodge of Edinburgh
(now No. 1) at Holyrood House, at which meeting the Laird of Auchinleck was
present, and attested the minutes of the assembly by his Mark, as did the
operatives, in accordance with the Schaw statutes of December 28th, 1598,
which provided: That the day of reassauying (receiving) of said fallow of
craft or master be ord'lie buikit and his name and Mark insert in the said
That theoretical Masons selected their Marks just as the
operatives did, during the seventeenth century, is abundantly manifest, by an
examination of the old Scottish records of that period. One of the most
noteworthy instances out of many is the Mark Book of the Lodge of Aberdeen
(now No. 1 tris) which started in A. D. 1670, and is signed by 49 members, all
of whom but two have their Marks inserted opposite their names.
The Master of the “Honorable Lodge of Aberdeen” in that year
was Harrie Elphingston, Tutor of Airth and Collector of the King's Customs and
only a fourth part of the members were operative Masons, the roll of brethren
including the Earl of Findlater, the Earl of Dumferline, Lord Pitsligo, the
“Earl of Errolle,” a professor of mathematics, several ministers, doctors and
other professional men and tradesmen, such as wrights (or carpenters),
slaiters, glaziers, etc.
The names of the apprentices were entered in another list, the
Marks chosen by such being evidently similar to the fathers' in several
When a special and elaborate ceremony (with a distinctive
legend) was first used it is not possible to decide, but probably about the
middle of the eighteenth century, soon after the arrangement of the Royal Arch
as a separate degree. The oldest preserved records date from the year 1769,
and there is no lack of evidence as to the observance of the custom in
speculative lodges during that century and later, either in separate lodges or
under the wing of the Royal Arch. The Mark continued to be worked in England
as an unauthorized ceremony until the year 1856, when the Mark Grand Lodge was
founded and has proved a conspicuous success, having ultimately secured the
support of all the “time immemorial” and other lodges in the country, besides
having warranted several hundreds of lodges to work the degree in England and
the Colonies and dependencies of the British Crown.
The ceremony is very popular, especially in North America,
where there are over a quarter of a million subscribing members, * and is
recognized by all Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons there and elsewhere,
excepting in England. The Grand Lodge of Ireland includes it with the
additional degrees belonging to “the other Masonic Grand Bodies recognized in
it, and acting in union with it,” and the Grand Lodge of Scotland authorizes
the Mark to be “conferred on Master Masons, and the secrets only to be
communicated in presence of those who have taken the step in a lodge entitled
to grant it.” The Mark Grand Lodge in recent years has incorporated the “Mark
Man” with the “Mark Master”; and wisely so, as it was the former that was
conferred on Fellow Crafts, and the latter on Master Masons, during the
eighteenth century. - (The Trestle Board, Vol. 23, No. 4, October, 1909,
In a letter to the Masonic Home Journal of Louisville, Ky.,
Companion Alfred A. A. Murray, Grand Scribe E., corrects an erroneous idea
which had been published previously, and treats of the Mark degree in
As regards the Mark degree itself it was not worked in the
Fellow Craft lodges, but there were really two degrees, namely, that of Mark
Man, which was given to a Fellow Craft, and that of Mark Master, which was
given to a Master Mason. The degree of Mark Man was worked down to within
fifty years ago by various Craft lodges, and given to Fellow Crafts. The
degree of Mark Master was conferred as a separate degree in the same way as
the Royal Arch, and was expressly cut off by the Grand Lodge of Scotland,
about 1800, in the same way that the Royal Arch and the Temple were cut off.
Before that date they used to be worked by an inner circle of the lodge as a
sort of side issue not under the Grand Lodge of Scotland at all.
The Royal Arch and the Temple were, after 1800, organized as
governing bodies, and then the Mark Master degree was taken under the sole
control of the Supreme Grand Chapter, and continued so till, as I say, about
fifty years ago, when an agreement was made between the Grand Lodge and the
Supreme Chapter that the two degrees of Mark Man and Mark Master
figures show over half a million.
were to be amalgamated, and were to be conferred under the
authority of either body, but only upon Master Masons.
It is wise to get a clear statement made upon the point,
because I observe a very large amount of mistaken information is being printed
from time to time, which is derived from confusion of thought and want of
knowledge, and results sometimes in mistaken action.
DEGREE - ITS ROMANCE AND LESSONS
Companions in this country will be deeply interested in the
following article by Herbert J. Williams, Grand Scribe E., of New Zealand, as
it opens up a new thought and lesson from another angle than that with which
they are familiar. The rejected work was not that of another, but his own
which was misunderstood.
For the groundwork of the degree, Mark Masonry is indebted to
the building of King Solomon's Temple, which is the basis upon which the whole
superstructure of Freemasonry rests. And though today this legendary
foundation is recognized as being quite mythical, yet the end fully justifies
the means, in view of the great moral edifice erected.
The scene of our story lies in the great Temple building, and
the wonderful organization which controlled 180,000 workmen is recounted. The
first page of the history of the degree opens with the introduction of the
Fellow Craft, who desires enrollment in the arms of workmen, and as a Mark man
he works well and worthily, and receives his wages. The fact that he has
worked “well and worthily” may be noted in view of subsequent happenings.
After working in the quarries for some time, on one eventful day he
accompanies some of his fellow-workmen, and duly submits his work for
examination to the overseers, but for some unaccountable reason he presents a
stone which is not confined to right lines and angles, but was as a keystone,
wedge-formed, an entirely new departure from the rectangular. This in itself
was quite sufficient to excite the surprise of his companions and the
displeasure of the overseers, who refused to pass the stone, and as an
indication of contempt finally ordered it to be heaved over among the rubbish,
and the legend relates that it long lay hidden. For centuries it was believed
that the principle of the arch in building was not known at the time of King
Solomon, and it was only within the last few years that this statement has
been entirely disproved. Archways with regular keystones have been found in
the doorways of tombs at Thebes, which could not be of later date than 1540 B.
C., or 460 years before the building of the temple. And we are further told
that the Cyclopean gallery of Tyrius exhibits lancetstapled arches as old as
Abraham. It is assumed by Lawrence that the principle of the Arch was a kind
of guild secret, of which H ___ A ___ would be in possession, but it was not
known to the workmen generally. But to return to our romance. The Craftsman
who had been turned down by the overseers was on subsequent examination
denounced as an imposter, and narrowly escaped the penalty which invariably
followed such an indictment. But as time went on, and the building neared
completion, it was discovered by the Master that a certain stone was necessary
for the completion of the building, and the Master was satisfied that he had
is issued a plan of this particular stone. The overseers having been convened
in council, admitted having received it, but working strictly by plans, the
stone was rejected and cast aside. How it was subsequently found by the
skillful Craftsman, and the honor that he received is well known to each Mark
Master. That the Craftsman was a skillful worker must be admitted from the
excellence of his artistic work. That he was actuated by good motives may be
gathered from the record that from the commencement of his career he worked
“well and worthily.” Yet when the stone was rejected, he was deeply
humiliated, he was accused of working for self-glorification, and received
angry words and reproaches. As we know that his fellow-workmen were well
pleased at the humiliation of what they conceived , to be his vanity. Picture
to yourselves what this worthy Craftsman must have suffered, perhaps for
years, until the subsequent finding of the stone. Whether his work was the
result of seeing the plans, or whether as an artist he knew such a stone would
be required matters little, there is no record that he displayed the least
vanity or ostentation. On the contrary, after the finding of the stone, the
extreme value of which was recognized by H ___ A ___, he was advanced to the
degree of Mark Master and ordered to cut his name upon it. Again imagine the
feeling of the worthy Craftsman when the stone - his work - was being conveyed
with much pomp and parade to be fixed in its place. Well might he have been
excused for manifesting feelings of the utmost pride, and of retaliating on
those of his companions who had assisted at his humiliation. He had no such
thoughts, but rather in an ecstacy of joy gave the thanks to God that he had
Were there no other lessons conveyed in the teaching of the
Mark degree, this beautiful romanee and its moral should give ample
compensation. And there is no other character in Freemasonry who shows such
restraint under suffering, patience of endurance under the sneers and gibes of
his fellows, or such nobility of character in the hour of his unbounded
triumph. What a glorious example of the suppression of self, and the
glorification of the Supreme Architect.
To the ancient operative Mason the “Mark” was only a means of
identification, protected by his known ability and the registration of his
Mark, as signatures are, in our day, recorded in a bank.
In ancient Rome, when two friends were about to part, it was a
custom to break a piece of money or ivory in two, and having registered a
secret Mark, each retained a part, and this was a token of everlasting
friendship, and was called the “arrhabo.” Both word and custom were borrowed
from the ancient Israelites, for it is derived from the Hebrew “Arabon,” a
Among modern speculative Masons the Mark is no longer a means
of livelihood, nor is it a mere emblem of livelihood, nor is it a mere emblem
of ornamental appendage of the Mark Master degree, but a sacred token of the
rites of friendship and brotherly love, it is a veritable “tessera hospitalis,”
and when presented by the owner to another Mark Master, would claim, from the
latter, acts of friendship, which only a mutual obligation would warrant.
If a Mark is presented for the purpose of obtaining a favor, it
then becomes an “Arabon,” or pledge, and while it remains in the possession of
its owner, it ceases, so far as he is concerned, to be of advantage to him,
until, conforming to an ancient usage, of redeeming it from its former pledge.
In Rome the “tessera hospitalis” extended to the descendants,
and if the father exchanged a broken die on parting, the son honored it, as
this short quotation from an old Roman comedy will show, as between
Agorastocles and Poenulus:
Ag. - I am a son
of old Antidamus.
Poe. - If so, I pray you
Compare with me the hospital die
I've brought this with me.
Ag. - Prithee, let me see it.
It is, indeed, the very counterpart
Of mine at home.
Poe. - All hail, my welcomed guest,
Your father was my guest Antidamus.
Your father was my honored guest and then
This hospital die with me he parted.
Now that we understand the customs of the ancients, how easy to
comprehend the message of St. John the Evangelist, when he says, “To him that
overcometh will I give a white stone, and in it a new name written which no
man knoweth saving he that receiveth it,” or in a more literal translation,
“To him who overcometh will I give an arabon of my affection, and entitle hilt
to privileges and honor of which none else can know the value or extent.”
The symbolism of the Mark degree, unlike all other degrees in
Freemasonry, may be comprehended in one emblem - the Keystone. Around this is
woven the whole of the romance. It was this that caused the humiliation of the
skillful Craftsman, in his desire to produce good and useful work, and his
long period of sorrow and dejection by its rejection, and, consequently, to
this symbol he owed his honorable advancement, and the tardy recognition of
We need no legend to estimate the value of the Keystone in its
material sense. To the operative Mason of today it is an invaluable aid in the
science of architecture. How much more so would it be in ancient days, when it
would appear that the knowledge of its use and construction was actually
confined to a privileged few of the higher class of Temple builders. To
speculative Mark Masons of today it not only constitutes the jewel of the
degree, but it also bears the special Mark chosen by the Mark Mason on his
advancement to the honorable degree.
Now, what are the great lessons which the teaching of the
degree inculcates ? We may answer, primarily, “Charity,” in its highest
attributes. Not to judge harshly and condemn the actions of others because we
may not understand them. To act in charity to all mankind, and more especially
to our brethren in Freemasonry, is a Masonic command, which was not
exemplified by the overseers in their treatment of the skillful Craftsman's
work. Among some of the sterling precepts of the Mark degree we are enjoined
to do justice to all mankind, to love mercy, which equally blesses him who
gives and him who receives, to practice charity in all its phases, to maintain
harmony in our own persons, and to endeavor to promote it with others. To
quote an American writer: “The rejection of the keystone should teach us that
nothing has been made in vain. It matters not how worthless and insignificant
a creature may appear to our prejudiced eyes, we may rest assured that if
infinite wisdom has been employed in its creation, it has, in the economy of
Providence, its appropriate place and use; from it we may also learn never to
despond and grow weary in welldoing. Although our motives may be
misinterpreted and the work of our hands be misjudged by our erring fellowmen,
still may we have faith that there is over all a Judge who sees not with the
eyes of man.”
I wonder how many of us seriously consider the very great
responsibility that devolves on the members of this degree. In the concluding
charge the newlyadmitted brother is told that while he acts in conform ity
with the sublime precepts of the Craft, “Should misfortune assail you, should
other friends forsake you, should the envious traduce your good name, or the
malicious persecute you . . . among Mark Master Masons you will ever find
friends who will administer relief to your distresses and comfort in your
affliction.” Surely this constitutes the essential essence of true
Freemasonry, and were it only given practical effect would raise Mark Masonry
high above its sister branches of Freemasonry and would convert the ideal into
the real. - New Zealand Craftsman.
MASTER'S LOW WAGE
Bro. George W. Warvelle, Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter,
R.A.M., of Illinois, thinks it absurd that the century-old rate of a penny a
day still continues to be paid as the wages of a Mark Master, and this
notwithstanding the ever increasing high cost of living. Bro. Warvelle says:
This ridiculously low wage scale seems to have been the work of
the early American ritualists. I have in my possession two old English
rituals, of Mark Man and Mark Mason, in both of which there is a specification
of wages. In the former the rate was “nine shekels, equal to 1 2s. 6d. of our
money,” and in the latter it was “Twenty-five shekels, equal to 3, 2s. 6d. of
our money.” What the present rate may be in England I am unable to say, but no
Englishman would work for the beggarly stipend paid in the American Mark
lodges. I am inclined to believe, however, that our English brethren have
fixed these abnormally high prices to make up for the actual wages formerly
paid in England to the operative craft. As late as the year 1689 the wages of
Freemasons were prescribed by law at one shilling and four pence a day. To
demand more subjected them to severe penalties. In fact, it was really the
passing of restrictive laws commencing say, about 1356, that led to the
present speculative institution, and Masonic scholars of eminence assign the
year 1424 as the cessation of English Freemasonry as a strictly operative
association. - (Tyler-Keystone, Ann Arbor, Michigan, December, 1914.)
Bro. Wm. J. O. Astrop writes in the Tyler-Keystone:
I desire to draw attention to the statement on page sixty-two
of the Tyler-Keystone that “pure ancient Masonry consists of three degrees.”
In operative craft Masonry there was but one degree, that of the E.A., but as
an older apprentice was eligible to the chair, he was entitled to his Mark for
which he paid the clerk or Secretary of the lodge. The lodge of Kilwinning
Peebles charged thirteen shillings and four pence for registering this Mark.
The Mark thereafter could not be changed. For want of being able to write his
name the apprentice used his Mark as a signature as well as marking his work.
During the seven years usually spent in service as apprentice, his Master was
his guardian. He got his board, lodging and clothing from his Master, and was
allowed to venture out after dark to go to lodge or places of enjoyment only
unless accompanied by two fellows to bear witness that he was in respectable
company, so that no reflection would be brought upon the craft. Brethren would
travel fifty miles to defend his character and good name.
In his “Concise History of Freemasonry” Brother Robert F. Gould
gives the history of the Mark degree in its relation to Grand Lodges:
In 1856, March 5th, at a meeting of the Grand Lodge, it was
“That the degree of Mark Mason or Mark Master is not at
variance with the ancient landmarks of the order, and that the degree be an
addition to and form part of Craft Masonry; and consequently may be conferred
by all regular warranted lodges, under such regulations as shall be . . .
sanctioned by the Grand Master.”
The resolution, however, was negatived when the minutes were
brought up for confirmation in the following quarter. A Grand Lodge of Mark
Master Masons was formed in London during the same year, but it has not been
recognized by the “United Grand Lodge” of the Craft. We find then, among the
conflict of laws under the various Grand Lodges, that in England the Royal
Arch is recognized, and the Mark degree is not; in Scotland, the Royal Arch is
not, but the Mark is; and in Ireland both are recognized. The earliest known
reference to tie Mark degree, it may be observed, occurs in the minute book of
a Royal Arch Chapter at Portsmouth, under the date of September 1st, 1769.
one hour past high twelve, and it is time for us to awaken from our lethargy
and sleep of security, and note the signs of the times as they appear in the
trend of the world's affairs. If Masonry is to continue to be a teacher and
leader of the world in its march toward a higher civilization among the
nations of the world; if it is to continue to be the guardian and preserver of
those principles of justice and human liberty given us by our ancestors; if we
are to be the conservator of American liberty, schools and homes, and exert
any great influence upon the life and character of the brethren and the people
of the particular community in which we live, we must do more than wear our
Masonry in the lapel of our coats.
The time is near at hand, if not at our very door, when the
ignorant and vicious, the selfish and the avaricious, with a heart and mind
full of prejudice against the government, will find a fruitful field of labor,
and, if they are finally successful in their efforts, we will find the
separation of the church and state next to. impossible, and the teachings of
the youth of this great land, the honor, respect and love of the glorious
heritage bequeathed us by our Masonic ancestors, entirely out of order. Let us
then discharge our full duty as Master Masons, because as doing so we will be
actually discharging in harmony our full duty as American citizens. - Wm. A.
Westfall, P.G.M., Iowa.
see yourself to-day
children were at play?
building houses tall
within the garden wall
their blocks they laid,
the side walls made
block the houses grew
seemed that just a few
complete the maker's plans.
Too eager hands
breath and shining eyes
to have won the prize,
unsteady, grasping hands,
complete the plans,
see yourself to-day
children were at play?
builded castles tall,
humbled by their fall,
Builder's glad consent
wisdom builds the best-
with knowledge of the test
hurry in His task,
wisdom does not ask,
patience, O Great Builder!
wisdom, without murmur,
gain the heights we've scanned,
always feel Thy hand
see yourself to-day
children were at play?
Lincoln Cooper, in The Universalist Leader.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 43
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 FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP"
said of teaching by symbols? What method was used by the Jews in learning the
Ten Commandments? Give examples of the use of symbolism in teaching at the
present day outside of the Masonic Fraternity. Cite some of the things you
have learned through this manner of teaching in Masonry. Describe some of the
methods used in our kindergarten schools. Why did the old builders find it
necessary to teach their Apprentices moral truths? Where was the only place
this information could be obtained? Why?
did the master workmen adopt to convey this knowledge to the Apprentices? What
did the plumb symbolize? The level? The square? Give other examples of
builder's tools used as symbols.
Dr. Carr's theory of the origination of the symbol of the Five Points of
Fellowship? Have you ever heard any other theory? (A general question.)
the Five Points of Fellowship in the early Grand Lodge period? Why is it
presumed that the hand was superseded by mouth to ear or cheek to cheek?
"foot to foot" mean? Should we withhold our assistance until it is asked for?
Has the lodge a responsibility in this connection, or does the responsibility
rest entirely upon ourselves as individuals? What did your lodge do to help
your brethren in the Army ?
should we apply the second of the Five Points, "Knee to Knee"?
the admonition of the third of the Five Points, "Breast to Breast" ?
does the fourth point, "Hand to Back," refer?
the lesson to be learned from "Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear"?
would be the result if every Mason were to practice in his daily life the
precepts enjoined in the "Five Points of Fellowship" ?
Vol. II -
The Five Points Symbolism. Poem, N.A. McAulay, p. 295.
Vol. IV -
Symbolism of the Three Degrees, O.D. Street, p. 322. Mackey's Encyclopedia:
STEPS BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
- THE FIVE POINTS OF FELLOWSHIP
the best devices for remembering a thing is to tie it up to some familiar
object. Primitive peoples, who had few or none of the contrivances for
preserving records, such as writings, pictures, etc., habitually made use of
this method. For example, the Jews used to learn the Ten Commandments by
linking each one to a finger. By the same process, it is believed, the habit
of numbering in tens came into habitual practice through the ease with which
counting could be done by help of the ten fingers. Even today, and in spite
of the numberless artificial schemes now in use to help memory, the ancient
habits are still in vogue, as one may learn by watching children at study.
device for fixing a thing in memory, for making it take hold of the mind, is
one of the explanations, it is very probable, of the manner in which the old
builders symbolized the objects and practices of their art. The guilds had to
teach the Apprentice simple truths and elementary morality, not only because
it was necessary that he be a good and well instructed man in order to be an
acceptable Mason, but also because there were few or no public schools wherein
the youth might learn such things. If he was to learn them at all he had to
learn them in the guild.
instinct or experience the master workmen hit upon the plan of conveying this
instruction by tying each separate truth or duty up to some implement, or
building part, or building process, with which the Apprentice would come into
contact almost every day. The plumb was used as the symbol of uprightness, the
level of fellowship, the square of right conduct, and so on.
Thomas Carr, who has written so instructively of Operative Masonry as it still
exists, believes that it was in the methods for laying out the plan of a
building that we have the original symbol of the Five Points of Fellowship.
He says that a point was fixed at the centre of the plan; that by means of the
3, 4, 5 triangle a line was drawn out through each of the four corners,
thereby assuring that every corner would be a right angle; and that the four
lines and the central point became later the geometrical symbol of the Five
Points of Fellowship.
well have been the origin of the symbol but we know that at some early day the
five rules of fellowship became attached to the very different symbolism of
the limbs and organs of the body. In the Grand Lodge period it seems that the
symbols were the hand, the foot, the knee, the breast, and the back; later on,
at least in America, the hand was omitted and the mouth to ear, or cheek to
cheek, substituted. When this was done, or by whom, or why, we can not know,
but it may be guessed that the change was made because the body symbols were
so much more intimate and vivid and easily remembered than the geometrical.
On this matter we can only hazard a guess as is so often our alternative in
matters having to do with the history and development of the ritual. Whatever
may have been the original symbolism of the five points, whatever may have
been the evolution of the body symbolism, as the matter now stands, we have
the rules of right fellowship linked with foot to foot, knee to knee, breast
to breast, hand to back, cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear, and it is this
present system that we must endeavour to understand.
foot" means that we must ever be ready to go to our brother's help in case he
is in need of assistance. It is not enough that we should be willing that he
seek our aid; we must seek him, if we learn that he stands in want. This
applies to the lodges as well as to the member, and there are few better
reasons for pride in our Order than the swift, silent manner in which it
always flies to the brother in need. During the recent war, many of our
lodges were engaged in sending help and cheer to soldier brethren in the
cantonments and even in the trenches of Europe; a splendid interpretation
given to the whole world of the meaning of foot to foot.
foot that we may go, Where our help we can bestow; Pointing out the better
way, Lest our brother go astray. Thus our steps should always lead To the
souls that are in need."
Knee." Never are we more tempted to lapse into a selfish individualism than in
prayer, strange as it may seem; it is so easy, when bowing before the All
Father, to pour out our own confessions, our private feelings, and desires!
The very intimacy and secrecy by which prayer is preserved from
perfunctoriness and formality is itself one of the sources of selfishness in
it, because it tends to shut others from our thought. Masonry urges us to
take our brother with us when we go to God in order that our fellowship may be
lifted into heaven itself and thereby be made even more beautiful and divine.
If you would have a little book, reader, in which the social uses of true
prayer are sent forth out of a noble nature's own experience, lay hold of
"Letters to His Friends," written by that "Apostle of Intercession," Forbes
knee, that we may share Every brother's need in prayer, Giving all wants a
place, Where we seek the throne of grace. In our thoughts from day to day For
each other we should pray."
to breast." By this, as I understand it, a brother is not only admonished to
keep inviolate the secrets of his fellows but is also reminded that fellowship
is not transfigured into real friendship until it has been carried into the
heart. To interpret fraternity in the terms of relief and aid alone is to
leave it too external, too much in danger of becoming a mere matter of giving
and taking. Fellowship needs to become a matter of the spirit, an intimate,
emotional condition, which gives the brother a place in one's thoughts and
affections as well as a place beside one's body in the lodge room. This
spiritualizing of fellowship includes, as a part of itself, that guardianship
of our brother's secrets, already, referred to, and effectively described in
another stanza of Bro. N.A. McAulay's poem, from which I have been quoting:
to breast, to there conceal, What our lips must not reveal, When a brother
does confide, We must by his will abide. Mason's secrets to us known We must
cherish as our own."
back." This undoubtedly refers to our duty of helping a brother to carry his
material burdens; may we not also make it refer to burdens of a more
intangible character? If we could take an X-ray photograph of what is on his
soul as well as on his back, how surprised we would often be! Secret
anxieties, blighted hopes, unspoken sorrows, nameless griefs, worry, care,
these are not visible, often, but they are always real, and nothing is more
helpful to a man than to share with him the burdens on his mind and on his
back, our love to show To the brother, bending low, Underneath a load of care,
When we may and ought to share. That the weak may always stand, Let us lend a
cheek, or mouth to ear." Often is real brotherliness best shown in the manner
in which loving deeds are done! Ostentation in offering help, a too public
parading of one's kindliness, a thoughtless, tactless, blundering, obtruding
one's self on another, all this may of itself hurt more than it heals. How
delicate, how gracious, is that kindliness invoked by the symbol of cheek to
cheek, or mouth to ear! Such kindliness is as courteous and sweet as the
mercies of God.
cheek, or mouth to ear, That our lips may whisper cheer, To our brother in
distress; Whom our words can aid and bless. Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee."
the Five Points of Fellowship of which ours has been so brief an exposition;
may we not add to our thoughts this further suggestion, that the very manner
in which the five points are given to the candidate is in itself significant
of much? If we could only draw as close together in mind and heart as are the
bodies in that ceremony would not a great deal of our unbrotherliness die of
its own accord? Suspicion, jealousies, frictions, misunderstandings, in how
many cases do these spring from the distance that we permit to lie between
ourselves and our fellows! For is not this the cause of much strife, - not
that we are rich, or poor, or learned or ignorant, but that we are strangers?
To know a man better is almost always to love him better. And who will deny
that it is only in such intimacy, wherein body and mind are mingled, that we
are permitted to hear that real Building Word which is the great secret of
Masonry? And who can doubt that in such a fellowship we are translating into
very life and deed the three great principals of the Order, Brotherly Love,
Relief, and Truth?
O. B. SLANE, ILLINOIS
beginning was the word
oath-bound Mason heard,
says the word
gospel of St. John,
that the word
things by Him were made,
earth's foundations laid,
and stars obeyed
came all of life,
the struggle and the strifes
great Masonic word
darkness and the night,
glory of the light,
full upon the sight,
brethren on the square,
by faith and prayer,
It is true that in the fierce struggle for possession, we come
to hate those who possess, and to deny the right of property when this right
is in the hands of others than our own. But the bitterness of attack against
others' possessions is only a new proof of the extraordinary importance we
attach to possession itself. - From “Simple Life,” by Charles Wagner.
I would have none of that rigid and circumspect charity which
is never exercised without scrutiny, and which always mistrusts the reality of
the necessities laid open to it. - Massilon.
Be just and fear not; let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy
country's, thy God's, and Truth's. - Shakespeare.
Let us stand by our duty fearlessly and effectively. - Lincoln.
MORNING POST'S ATTACK ON FREEMASONRY
ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
(Reprinted by permission from the October issue of THE OCCULT REVIEW)
seventeen days in succession, ending July 30, "The Morning Post" published a
remarkable series of articles on 'The Cause of World Unrest," the work of two
anonymous writers, with occasional intervention on the part of leading
articles, generalizing on the subjects treated, and of occasional
correspondents, chief among whom is Mrs. Nesta H. Webster, author of a book
issued in 1919 under the title of "The French Revolution." As expressed in a
short announcement of July 12, the articles claim to disclose "the existence
of a revolutionary movement in which Jews and secret societies play a leading
24 another announcement stated that "thousands of new readers have been taking
'The Morning Post' during the publication of the series." Accepting this
implicitly on the honourable assurance of the oldest morning paper, I regard
it as incumbent on myself to review the whole question, in so far as it
affects the things for which I stand and the dedications of my literary life.
The nature of the secret societies incriminated emerges in another passage
which appeared on July 21 and affirmed (1) that for a long period of time a
conspiracy has been gradually developing for the overthrowing of the existing
Christian form of civilization; (2) that the prime agents of this conspiracy
are Jews and revolutionary Freemasons; and (3) that its object "is to pave the
way for the world supremacy of a chosen people." I propose on my part to show
that the writers are utterly misinformed, where it is possible for an
individual critic to cheek them, and that it would be curious therefore - as
well as difficult to suppose - if they are mainly or substantially correct
over their findings in those political realms which lie beyond my field of
It is to
be observed that the existence of a plot for "the destruction of all Christian
Empires, Altars and Thrones" is an old Roman Catholic thesis, put forward long
prior to the War. One of the forms which it took was a review of the Dreyfus
case, and it not only made common cause of the Latin Church against
Freemasonry, but seems to have been part of that cause. A periodical, called
La Revue des Societes Secretes, was filled with the case against Freemasonry
and the case against Israel. The management of both issues was of similar
value, being the enumeration and repetition of various less or more familiar
facts on which a false construction was placed, or of statements that were
probably untrue. Both forms being equally effective in impressing those who
were unversed, the first was pursued when possible. My thesis is that the
revelations in The Morning Post on "the cause of world unrest," the "most
formidable sect in the world" and "the terror in France," but especially on
"the red curtain in Freemasonry," the "arriere Loges" and the "ritual of
revenge" bear all the marks and signs of derivation from the same mint, appeal
to the same sources, and are speaking the same language as the French
anti-Masonry of the last thirty years and over. They are the work of writers
belonging to the Latin Church or alternatively content to depend - so far as
Freemasonry is concerned - solely on material which, during the period
specified, has been dished up in various forms for the one purpose with which
Rome is concerned on this side of its activity - namely, the forlorn hope of
destroying the "iniquitous sect" of Masonry, and presumably to maintain at
white heat the old hostility of France to Jewry and all connoted thereby. I
speak with a certain authority, for it happens that I know the leading
literature of anti-Masonry, on what it has depended from the beginning, and
the contentions which it will sustain to the end. It happens also that I am a
Freemason, holding the chief Rites and Degrees, under one or other obedience,
that I know the literature of Freemasonry, its history ab origine symboli and
the great cloud of its rituals. If I flourish, for once in my life, a trumpet
of this kind, it is in order that the anti-Masonic sect, wheresoever dispersed
over the world, in whichever of its disguises, and in this or that of its
regular, or casual journals, may learn exactly where they are. Finally, I am
a Christian and Catholic Mystic, and by Catholicism embraces all that belongs
to the eternal in the symbolism of Roman Doctrine and Ritual. It comes about
in this manner, that for me Emblematic Freemasonry is a Mystery of the
relations between God, Man and the Universe, set forth in the figurative and
sacramental forms of sacred ceremonial. It will be understood on this basis
that those various associations which, in France and other Latin countries,
while still wearing an outward guise of Freemasonry, regard the belief in God
and immortality, the intercourse between God and the soul represented by the
Bible and other Sacred Books as matters of personal opinion - to be held or
not according to mental predilection - have made void their Masonic titles.
They are cut off from communion with the vital and spiritual source: they may
be political or not, revolutionary or not, monarchical and otherwise
"reactionary," or the reverse of these; they are in no case part of my
concern. The question is whether the writers in The Morning Post have
followed a line of accusation which incriminates all Freemasonry even when it
offers a distinction; and the answer is that they have. Out of this there
arises the further question whether they and the Roman Catholic crusaders, on
whom they depend, are competent witnesses on the Masonic side of their
subject; and the answer is that they are not.
obvious and goes without saying that the articles are not written by Masons
holding under any obedience, and my thesis is that they betray the most
extraordinary ignorance on elementary matters respecting the Craft and its
developments. It is recognized from the beginning that English Freemasonry is
not to be included by their sweeping thesis concerning universal revolution,
but it is affirmed that "there is Freemasonry and Freemasonry." More correctly
there is Freemasonry and there are things which masquerade in its likeness but
do not belong thereto. Any one acquainted with the subject would know that
true Freemasonry is neither English nor English-speaking only, neither
British, Colonial nor American, to the exclusion of other countries. It is
certain that prior to the War Germanic Freemasonry had no poisoned wells of
political concern. There are also other countries - and I should place Sweden
among them - where "pure and ancient Freemasonry," with some flowers of its
later development, are equally uncontaminated as to root and branch and
blossom. But having made the distinction in question, like a proverbial sop
to Cerberus, the articles proceed to ingarner some time-immemorial charges of
French origin against Templar Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite as one of its
custodians, which is a charge against English as well as continental bodies.
The writers seem unaware that there are great Templar jurisdictions in
England, Scotland and Ireland, and also Supreme Councils of the Thirty-Third
Degree. I have said therefore that their line of accusation incriminates all
Freemasonry, even when it claims to do otherwise. It is not that there is
"malice afore-thought," of which I find no signs; but the writers have entered
a field which calls for special knowledge, and they have not even a
smattering. They affirm, for example, that there are at least thirty-three
degrees of Masonry, whereas there are fourteen hundred in the historical list
of Ragon, and over two hundred less or more in activity at the present day.
impossible within the limits of this study to enumerate all the
misconceptions, but the following examples may stand for the whole. (1) To
illustrate an alleged vengeance formula in the Craft rituals, it is said that
the candidate for the grade of Master hears for the first time of a murdered
founder, whose fate has to be avenged. This is erroneous. The legend is
concerned with an assassination which is represented as duly expiated in the
order of law and justice. There is no arriere pensee and there is no
consequence in the life of Craft Masonry. It will be seen that this invention
inculpates English Masonry as associated with a vendetta which is foisted on
Masonry abroad. (2) It is said correctly that there is the quest of a Lost
Word in Masonry, which Word is arbitrarily affirmed to be Jehovah, and
explained - with unthinkable logic - to signify natural religion. There is no
such meaning tolerated by the orthodox Grades. There are various Sacred
Names, carrying their proper philological import; in branches of Masonry
belonging to the symbolical time of the Old Covenant they are derived for the
most part from the Old Testament; but in those which belong to the New and
Eternal Covenant the Name is Christ. (3) The last misconception which I shall
notice among points of ritual and symbolism is the folly that terms the Craft
degrees Jewish, thus implicitly connecting them - under all their obediences,
English and continental - with an alleged Jewish peril. It is obvious that
allegories dealing with Solomon's Temple must contain Jewish material in the
nature of things. The imbecility is to draw any inference therefrom as to the
work of Jews in Masonry. Even "the Word of God" is Jewish in the Old
Testament, yet I fail to see that the circulation of the Scriptures is playing
into the hands of Israel, in order that it may possess the world. The Craft
rituals as we have them are the work of Christian hands, Protestant enough in
all conscience and therefore suspect by Rome; but Jewry had no share therein.
Passing now from ceremonial questions to matters of external fact, it is
affirmed that Philippe Egalite, Duc d'Orleans, was not only Grand Master of
the Grand Orient - a creation, by the way, of 1773 - but of the Templars
also. Now, it so happens that The Morning Post does not know what it means
when it speaks of Templar grades. There were something like six Rites
incorporating this element, all independent in origin, working and history.
Philippe Egalite stood at the head of none. The only purely Templar Rite in
France during his reign as Master was the Strict Observance, the titular
patron of which was in Germany, not in France where a Lyonnese merchant, named
J.B. Willermoz, was Provincial Grand Master of Auvergne. A certain Council of
Emperors possessed the Templar Kadosh Grade, but it was not a Templar Rite.
Philippe Egalite took such an active interest in Masonry and had so great a
faith in its possibilities that when he was elected Grand Master in 1771 his
presence could be hardly secured for installation; and he exhibited the
uttermost negligence in that capacity, while in 1793 he repudiated Freemasonry
in the Journal de Paris. He affirmed that it had once presented to his mind
"an image of equality," but that he had found the reality and so left the
phantom. He was further of opinion that there should be no mystery and no
secret assembly in a republic. The Grand Orient declared the headship vacant
and a few months later the guillotine closed the question so far as the
quondam Grand Master was concerned. These are the facts, with which we may
compare the long since exploded fictions reproduced by The Morning Post on the
subject of Philippe Egalite engineering his vast machine of Masonry to
(5) It is
affirmed that Frederick the Great of Prussia was Grand Master of a world-wide
system of Freemasonry. He was nothing of the kind. Masonic historians would
take a natural pride in giving such a celebrated, if not illustrious,
personality an important position in the Order; but the most that can be shown
is that he was President of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes at Berlin, his
correspondence with which remains to exhibit how far away the connection was.
The old, old story of the old false charter which represents him creating a
Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite as a system of Thirty-three degrees is
put forward as an historical fact, but it has been abandoned long since by
Masonic scholarship worthy of the name. (6) Reflecting here as elsewhere the
parti pris of Abbe Burruel, the Lodge of Les Amis Reunis and the Rite of the
Philalethes are represented as arrieres Loges in which the Revolution was
plotted. They were an open lodge and an open Rite existing in the face of day.
The account is otherwise muddled, representing Savlette de Langes as belonging
to the former and not the latter whereas he belonged to both, and was so much
the moving spirit of the second that it is supposed to have suspended its
labours when he died. As a matter of fact the Rite was founded within the
bosom of the lodge, and the Convention of Paris, held in 1784, indicates at
full length the real nature of its concerns. Fortunately the chief documents
on which Burruel relies for his foolish account are in my possession: they are
concerned with the occult sciences, not with Revolution.
is another and to me more important matter. The great French mystic, Louis
Claude de Saint-Martin, is represented as a political "fanatic" and a member
of the alleged revolutionary lodges. This is partly on the authority of
Barruel and partly on that of a converted Jew, named Lemann, who became a
Roman Catholic priest. The latter affirms that Saint-Martin "developed" the
"sect" of Pasqually after the latter's death. I cast back the statements into
the mouths of their makers. The French mystic had no sect, no Rite, though he
had a great number of unincorporated disciples. He did not belong to the Rite
of the Philalethes or Les Amis Reunis. He became a Mason in his youth, but
left the Order to follow "the inward way." I appeal to my Life of Louis Claude
de Saint-Martin, published in 1900. (8) As regards Martines de Pasqually -
whose very name is blundered, still following Barruel - The Morning Post
affirms that he "worked in France on very much the same lines as Weishaupt,"
founder of the Illuminati, "worked in Germany." In reply to this amazing
rubbish, I appeal to the same work of twenty years since, and need only add
here that in such case Weishaupt worked in "occult communications" by virtue
of which it was supposed that - the Christ of Palestine instructed the
Brethren of Pasqually's Masonic Rite of Elect Priests - Rit des Elus Cohens -
according to that which was called in their terminology la voie sensible. It
is a new view of the German revolution-manger, and The Morning Post will find
that "second thoughts are best." As against some other misstatements of Lemann
and Abbe Barruel, Pasqually was not a Jew. He was born in the parish of Notre
Dame (Saint-Hugues), town and diocese of Grenoble. The baptism of one of his
children on June 20, 1768, is on record in the municipal archives of Bordeaux.
(9) In or about the year 1780 that brilliant adventurer who called himself
Count Cagliostro, founded a Rite of Egyptian Masonry, which filled for a brief
period the Masonic world of France with wonder. This also is garnered by The
Morning Post into its indiscriminate net of revolution-plots. There could be
nothing more antecedently ridiculous, and again it happens that the rituals
are in my possession, while I am acquainted otherwise at first hand with the
written laws and constitutions. Egyptian Masonry was an occult Rite,
belonging to Hermetic Masonry and more especially designed to sustain the
claims of Cagliostro as possessing the Great Secret of the Universal Medicine.
I observe that the author of the article under notice identifies the "Grand
Copht" with Joseph Balsamo, so he has not read the evidence against this view
produced by Mr. W. R. Trowbridge, who is not a Mason and has no job in
Romanism or revolution questions.
this enumeration there remain over three matters which deserve studies set
apart to each. I have indicated a root-opinion on the part of The Morning
Post that the Templar Movement in Masonry is contained within the measures of
a single system, being in fact the Scottish Rite - a somewhat inchoate
collection of thirty high grades superposed on those of the Craft. It is a
development from that Council of Emperors, which superposed twenty-two Grades,
and as regards both they are not Templar Rites in the proper sense of the
words. The Rite of the Strict Observance was solely and militantly Templar,
ab origine symboli. It superposed three Grades, of which the first - or
Master of St. Andrew's - formed a connecting link between the Craft and two
exceedingly important modes of Templar chivalry. It used to be said that it
was Jacobite at the inception, but was certainly not. Here for the first time
- albeit by implication only - it is accused of political purpose, under the
Duke of Brunswick. As a fact the writer in The Morning Post does not know
that he is impeaching the Strict Observance: he seems to think in his state of
confusion that the Duke of Brunswick was "Grand Master of the German
Freemasons" because he was Grand Master of certain Ecossais lodges. As
regards the Scottish Rite - Antiquos Scoticus Ritus Acceptus, as it is called
in the forged Constitutions - it did not come into existence till 1801, and
then at Charleston, U. S. A. In this connection the articles remind us that
Stephen Morin carried a warrant from Grand Consistory of Masons, countersigned
by the Grand Orient, to America, and there began to confer high grade powers
on a number of Jews, among them Hippolyto Joseph Da Costa, who was not a Jew
at all, and at a subsequent date Would have died in the hands of the Holy
Inquisition at Lisbon, if he had not been rescued by English Masons, facts
perhaps naturally omitted by writers in The Morning Post. So much for Morin.
We hear also in 1901 of the first Supreme Council in Charleston when Jews were
again prominent, among them being Frederick Dalcho. Our contemporary is
unfortunate, for Dalcho, who was of Prussian origin and English birth, was for
twenty two years a priest of the American Episcopal Church, and a monument to
his memory is still standing in the vestry of St. Michael's at Charleston.
These are the kind of qualifications which pronounce on "Red Masonry" and
presume to talk of revolution in connection with the Scottish Rite. The same
fatal blundering pursues the articles when they proceed to Albert Pike and his
work in the Southern Jurisdiction of that obedience. The writer is of course
unaware that Pike reconstructed the rituals and that they stand therefore at
his value as a symbolist and critical scholar: the value is unfortunately
very slight. But those who suggest that he imported revolutionary notions
into his Masonic Order are talkers of rank nonsense, and the quotation from
his Morals and Dogma which is made in Article IV, on the profanation of
Masonry by plotters of anarchy - whatever its value as history - is sufficient
as to his own position. Among the evidences offered to the contrary are
ritual counsels to destroy Ignorance, Tyranny and Fanaticism. Very well: be
it agreed that this is part of the design of Masonry. Does The Morning Post
stand for ignorance, stand for Tyranny, and stand for Fanaticism? No; but
Roman Anti-Masonry - which it reflects throughout the Masonic part of these
articles - invariably regards every plan for their removal as a siege laid
against the walls of its particular Spiritual City. As one who knows all the
rituals of the Scottish Rite and has made a long critical study of many
codices of each, I am in a position to check wild statements respecting their
content. For example, I am familiar with some twenty separate and independent
versions of the Rose Croix, and I affirm that Barruel lied when he said that
the French ritual current at his period represents Christ as "a common Jew
crucified for his crimes." I challenge The Morning Post and its anonymous
contributors to produce any codex which does. In France then, as in England
now, Christ - for the Rose Croix - is the Son of God and Lord of Glory. I lay
down the same challenge respecting alleged "subversive forms of Freemasonry"
working "a ritual of hatred for the Cross." Templar or non-Templar, there are
no such grades. The Cross is an object of veneration in Christian Masonry,
and in some of the "philosophized" degrees it is treated as an universal
symbol. Now the Templar rituals were Christian in all their forms during the
eighteenth century, but a few were philosophized afterwards. The Rite of the
Strict Observance has been always Christian. Here again I know all its
rituals, including those which are held in great secrecy. They were
communicated to me after the same long delay and under the same great reserves
as was done presumably in the past. They are neither of Stuart legitimacy nor
of continental anarchy: they belong to things of the spirit and God known of
the heart; and the Templar Order in Britain - where it is governed by Great
Priory - in the Colonies and America, belongs to the same category. This
notwithstanding, the claim to descend from the old Knights Templar is a myth
and pure invention. Couteulx de Canteleu is a false witness on this subject,
just as Copin Albancelli is an hysterique insatiable about the Jews.
now to the German Order of Illuminati. It may have been observed that the
root-authority on which The Morning Post depends for its case against Masonry
is Abbe Barruel, in an almost forgotten work, entitled Memoirs of Jacobinism.
He is said to trace the origin of the French Revolution through a bewildering
maze of secret societies; but as a fact his societies are Masonic, plus German
Illuminism, the position regarding the latter being one of extreme
simplicity. The Bavarian Order of Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt in
1776, and it was suppressed by the Elector of Bavaria in 1789, some of its
active members and the author of its more advanced rituals having withdrawn
previously. Those who say that "it was continued in more secret forms" have
never produced one item of real evidence. The Morning Post affirms that the
Illuminate came out of their seclusion and at tempted a revolution at Berlin
in 1918. There is again not a shadow of proof that they did anything of the
kind, though a few revolutionaries of that date took over some catchwords
adopted by the original gang. Weishaupt assumed in his Order the name of
Spartacus, and The Morning Post reproduces a question raised by Mrs Webster -
namely, whether it was "mere coincidence" that the Spartacists of modern
Germany "adopted the pseudonym of their fellow-countryman and predecessor of
the eighteenth century." The simple and obvious answer is that it was not
coincidence but imitation. Mrs. Webster is not of any importance on this part
of the subject, but she has been cited often and has intervened at length in
the debate. It may be well to point out that she seems to be a member of the
Roman Communion, as shown by her invariable allusion to the "Catholic Church,"
meaning the Latin or Roman Rite. Her historical accuracy appears on August 3,
when she quotes an address of Lamartine to "his fellow-Masons." Now, in that
speech Lamartine mentioned expressly that he was "not a Freemason," and did
not understand "the particular language" of the Order. Mrs. Webster may or
may not have read the address which she cites: her evidence is not to be
trusted in either case. For the rest, I can tell Mrs. Webster and all others
who are concerned that the Order of Illuminate was revived in Germany to my
certain knowledge about 1893; that I have all its rituals, all its Statutes,
Constitutions and so forth; that it had nothing to do with polities and
nothing with revolution. It follows from all the evidence that Barruel was
not "justified by time" in his fantastic thesis of survival. The "formidable
sect" mentioned by Mr. Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on November
5, 1919, is certainly not a succession from Adam Weishaupt. As a scheme of
universal revolution German Illuminism looks formidable in the light of those
archives which were published by the Bavarian Elector. So also does the
Masonic Rite of Mizraim, with its Laws, Statutes and vast mass of
arrangements, not to speak of the rituals representing its ninety Grades,
suggest to an unfamiliar mind that it was a thing of great moment and very
wide diffusion, but the cumbrous scheme never kept half-a-dozen chapters
together, of all its Senates and all its Areopagite Councils. It was and
remains a scheme on paper, and this is the description applying to the
archives of German Illuminism, which were magnified in the mind of Barruel
till they looked like a colossal conspiracy diffused everywhere. I agree with
Lord Acton that the "appalling thing" is the design in matters of this kind,
but in the present case it is also the thing ridiculous, for Weishaupt's House
of Revolution was a house of cards, and the sands on which it was built were
the parchments on which he wrote. His scheme was in concealment behind the
ignorance of its members, and there was no influential centre to move the
puppets on the external stage. There was the amiable enthusiast Baron von
Knigge, who wrote up the advanced rituals and retired altogether when
Weishaupt wanted to correct them.
gross exaggeration to suggest that the Illuminati were "in secret control of a
multitude of lodges throughout Germany," for there was no such multitude in
existence; it is gross exaggeration to say that Freemasons were "initiated in
shoals" by von Knigge at the Convention of Wilhelmsbad in 1782. But if both
statements were literal no magnitude of external membership would have made
Illuminism a living reality when there was no vitality behind it. This is the
general answer to the thesis of Barruel and to those who at this day have
turned to bis forgotten book. It answers also the question of the articles,
whether the German Illuminate were the only or chief sect which had a hand in
the French Revolution. It was too invertebrate from the beginning to have had
a practical hand in anything, and it had passed out of existence. The mark
which it left upon Masonry was in Southern Germany, where the downfall of the
one Order caused the suppression of the other. All that is said about
Mirabeau, his visit to Berlin and his plot to "illuminize" French Freemasonry,
may be disposed of in one sentence: there is no evidence to show that Mirabeau
ever became a Mason. The province of Barruel was to colour everything, and he
laid on the blacks and the scarlets with lavish brushes. But he was largely
confined to the documents, and it is just one of those cases in which
documents produce a false impression, for the reasons given.
point is possibly the grand divertissement of all. Those who are entitled to
speak about secret societies in France at the end of the nineteenth century
are aware that Leo Taxil flaunted in the face of Paris his public confession
that everything concerned with Diana Vaughan, the Universal Masonic
Directorium, its supreme pontificate, Lucifer in the High Grades and Le Diable
au XIX (e) Siecle, were impositions of his own invention. Every one knows
that Dr. Batame, otherwise Dr. Hacks, whose name appears as author of this
work, had confessed previously, deriding the credulity of "catholics." I have
always felt sure that there would be a recrudescence of these mendacities when
people had forgotten the circumstances which led to their public exposure; but
I did not expect it to occur in the columns of The Morning Post.
now done. On the basis of these findings I deny that evidence has been
produced for the hand of Freemasonry even in the French Revolution. The
contrast made by Louis Blanc between Craft degrees for those who were to be
kept in the dark and "occult lodges" for the elect is opposed by the history
of French High Grades. The latter were as much open to those who sought them
as anything in the Craft itself. In the sense of Louis Blanc there were no
occult lodges. I am sure, however, that French Freemasonry was a finger-post
pointing in the direction of revolution. The Masonic watchwords of Liberty,
Equality and Fraternity were like a passing bell ringing out the old order.
And the French Revolution was like the German Reformation, a pretty bad thing,
but it had to come. The factory of the one was not in "shadowy sanctuaries"
but in the French Court, while in the other the factory was at Rome.
question of Co-Masonry I leave to those who are concerned. The lodges and
chapters are illicit from the standpoint of the Grand Lodge of England, under
whose obedience I abide as a Mason. The reasons are that it initiates women
and is empowered by an irregular jurisdiction. But I believe that The Morning
Post has discovered another mare's nest, while it is specifically wrong as
usual on its points of fact. The French Lodge Libres Penseuirs did not
transform into Le Droit Humain; the Order is not oriental; and its devotion to
the supposed Comte de St. Germain is an incident of theosophical revelations.
regards Latin Freemasonry in this twentieth century, I hold no brief
whatever. Wheresoever dispersed over continental Europe it may be playing the
game of politics, as it is aid to do in South America; but there is of course
no concerted effort as there is no central direction; and I have not heard a
single name of importance cited in connection with the alleged doings. It
would serve, I should think, no purpose for any serious government to concern
itself with the scattered groups unless and until they are caught in overt
now reviewed the whole position, and as regards "perils" and "protocols" I
make no claim to know; but having spent a great part of my literary life in
the criticism and exposure of fraudulent documents, one has acquired a certain
instinctive - or shall I say expert? - sense on the subject. The protocols are
stolen documents, presumably of French origin and therefore suspect, because
in Roman Catholic circles of that country the animus against Israel has ranked
second only to that against Masonry. Admittedly also there is no evidence in
support of them, though they are taken on faith at their face value by both
writers in The Morning Post. For myself I can say only that if the alleged
fact of a Jewish Peril rests on no firmer ground than these documents, we may
reach an aureum saeculum redivivum before an universal social cataclysm. For
me they are not suspect; they take their place in the class to which I have
referred. I shall believe in the protocols and their Elders of Israel when I
believe in the Charter of Cologne, the Charter of Larmenius, and the Ecossais
Constitution of Frederick the Great.
occupies an enviable position in the eyes of the world. It is regarded as a
pioneer in advancing civilization, a bulwark of civic righteousness, liberty
loving and God serving. Such a reputation has been earned and won by
generations of constant loyalty and devotion to the traditions, purposes, and
fundamental teachings of Masonry.
prohibition of proselyting and importuning of men to join our ranks has been a
great contributing factor in the enduring success of our organziation.
Quality, not quantity, is our like blood.
- Leon M.
Abott, Grand Master, Massachusetts
preparation for the right is to work diligently while the day lasts. The best
preparation for death is lief.
AND THE PROBLEMS OF MEN
THE WHOLE purpose of philosophy is attained when men are
enabled to think clearly and act wisely. To this end has the thought of all
great philosophers been directed. Long before Plato, through his persistent
questioning, strove to elicit from men their knowledge as to what constituted
truth and virtue, eager souls had been groping for the light that makes men
No man, having once rightly apprehended the significance of
Freemasonry, will be blind to the necessity of men directing their lives by
some sort of a philosophy. A man's philosophy is the reason he gives for the
deeds he executes in life. And his life in turn is the great witness to the
richness or the poverty of his philosophy.
Of the making of books there is no end, and so saying we are
but re-echoing the conclusions of a probable ancient brother. Such too may be
said of philosophy. Of philosophies there is no end. But what wonderful
understanding would one need to select wisely and value justly, for his own
governance and happiness, a practical and workable philosophy from among such
a number. This task is for the scholar, as most of us in this busy world have
not the time to devote to intense studies. Masonry rests on the principles of
the first great elemental philosophy, “Belief in God and the immortality of
the soul.” Providentally for us Freemasonry has preserved the record of man's
early thinking. Thus a philosophy of life has been brought down to us which is
radiant with a beautiful simplicity, and nowhere is it more practical than in
its application to the social and governmental activities of men.
Someone has told us that Masonry is philosophy teaching by
symbol, even as History is philosophy teaching by example. In Masonry we have
a philosophy that is practical for life and conduct everywhere and all the
time. It is a sign of a new day for Masonry that the Masonic Service
Association of the United States is confirming this conception. Evidently the
most important work to be done now is to emphasize fundamentals. To do this
effectively we must go back to the Landmarks of the Fraternity. Masonic
philosophy is embodied in those Landmarks. To translate those Landmarks into
civic duty and to bring to each Mason a realization of his own part is the
task of the Service Association. If the appreciation of the individual Mason
for these principles can be aroused the possibilities of the Service
Association program will be fulfilled. He who recognizes the value of such an
interpretation will live it. When not only one Mason but two million of them
apply Masonic principles to the era of readjustment and reconstruction which
now lies before us, our government and our society will be stabilized. By such
a process only can humane and righteous conditions be established on the
Masonic philosophy enjoins that life must be viewed reasonably.
As if to assure man that the time requisite for such contemplation shall be
set aside, it has measured the day into proportionate parts. Eight hours of
the twenty-four, it is impressed upon the new initiate, is for the service of
God and a distressed worthy brother, eight for work, and eight for rest and
refreshment. It must not be implied that a specified form of worship is
enjoined in the hours that have reference to God. Neither is it implied that
we are literally to seek out a brother daily that we may relieve him of his
distress, which usually is understood to mean his bodily necessity.
It is not altogether a modern thought that we can worship
through our work, but it is a thought that can be reconsidered to advantage,
especially in this day. Our work then must be worship and the period
designated as being set aside for the service of God must be devoted to our
spiritual enrichment, and not in ways derogatory to the growth of man's nobler
There are those to whom every form of work is drudgery. They
cannot think of work in terms of service. They cannot understand that any
task, no matter how menial, can be dignified by a definite aim. Perhaps they
see in the evolution of industry that the man who was once a skilled
handicraftsman is now a mere cog in a machine. If they would turn the canvas
around they would see what a boon to humanity as a whole intensive production
has become. They know that the unhealthy conditions in factories a generation
or two ago have given way to sanitation and comfort. Some are pessimistic and
feel that these improvements, like many others, have been won from unwilling
employers. Often this is true but on the other hand we must remember that it
was some considerate employer who first realized the relation between pleasant
sutroundings and efficiency.
The alienation of employer and employee, creating a condition
of almost social anarchy, is gradually being bridged. The idea that is going
to prevail after the wage and profit issues are adjusted, is that they are
co-partners. Whether the work to be done be simple or intricate, it is as
co-operators that good work, square work, the best work can be done. In
arriving at such mutual relationship the Masonic teaching regarding the right
use of the day will not only be appreciated but applied. No doubt, as some
theorists are fond of exclaiming, the world's work could be done in infinitely
less time if everybody worked, or rather if every ablebodied man worked. But
just at present we are not living in any Utopian realm; we are living in the
United States where eight hours a day, worked and not shirked, is considered
the requisite for both comfort and success.
To what use do we put the eight hours of rest after our eight
hours of labor are over? We chance to live where the eight hour day is in
vogue and our observation in traveling lends weight to our personal conclusion
as deducted from conditions at home. Are these young men who loaf and upon
whose hands time seems to be heavily hanging doing anything commensurate with
a service to God or a distressed worthy brother?
We fear that they are rather of those who brood sulkily over
working conditions and are naturally the prey of fanatical agitators. It is
the conclusion of some of our keenest students that Young America is neither
reading nor thinking. In this Young America must be included many who display
upon their coats the square and compass. Had the Masonic ritual told them its
full story, they would know how to employ the other eight hours, and their
lives would prove it.
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 order such
books direct from the publishers instead of through the Society. In many
instances the books may be found in stock at local book stores.
Balkans,” by William M. Sloan. Published by the Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth
Avenue, New York, N. Y. Price $3.00.
WE HAVE found “The Balkans,” a laboratory of history, to be
both a very readable and serviceable book. Professor Sloan, an astute student
and keen observer, has portrayed, as few men can portray, the Balkan situation
of past and present, and his prophetic utterances regarding the future may yet
prove to be attended with considerable degree of fulfilment. That he has kept
pace with the making of history is more than evident. A keen and observing
traveler, his pictures of the various peoples that inhabit the Balkan
Peninsula are highly interesting. What difficulties will be encountered in the
readjustment of Europe to normalcy, under the proposed League of Nations, are
markedly designated in Professor Sloan's work.
A brief work, yet so comprehensive and so prophetically
uttered. We are advised that it is in popular demand by students of history
everywhere. Impartiality of judgment is manifest throughout, and a thorough,
fair treatment of the problems of the small nationalities that make the
Balkans has been splendidly accomplished.
* * *
Prints,” by John Gould Fletcher. Published by The Four Seas Company, 67
Cornhill Street, Boston, Mass.
Mutual acquaintanceship among peoples will do much to dispell
those illusions that arise as a result of ignorance and bigotry and are too
often the great potent factors that generate wars. We are reminded of the
story told of Charles Lamb who at one time evinced his hatred for a chance
passer-by. When called upon to explain the grounds for his intense dislike,
his quiet naive reply was that he did not know the man, otherwise he could not
hate him. No doubt the essayist just then was desiring to teach a valuable
lesson. In the preface to “Japanese Prints,” John Gould Fletcher has very
pointedly signified the reason why we should become acquainted with the best
of the literature of the Orient.
His apt and capable distinction of the differences between the
mysticism of the East and that oil the West is charmingly stated. The only
difference, says he, between the Eastern and Western mystic, is that one sees
the world in the grain of sand and tells you all about it, the other sees and
lets his silence imply that he knows its meaning. Later he also speaks of the
necessity of sitting at the feet of the great poets of the Orient if the
desirable and coveted simplicity in English poetry is to be again achieved.
Through the medium of his delicate and sensuous poems we are
brought into a noble relationship with the genius that can appreciate the
beautiful and spiritual in life without being continuously desirous of playing
the role of interpreter.
It is the genius that apprehends divinity in things both great
and small. Affected writing about the emotional and subjective are very much
taboo in the poetry of the Orient and it is conspicuously absent in the
“Japanese Prints.” There is much to learn about the purpose of poetry as we
read these songs that universalize instead of personalize emotions. and employ
the imagery of descriptions that ranges from clouds to pebbles. The impersonal
is the crown that glorifies this little volume.
* * *
INSPIRATIONAL BOOK FOR “YOUNG AMERICA”
Who Dares,” by Leon C. Prince. Published by the Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth
Avenue, New York, N. Y. Price $1.00.
A timely little book, appealing to “Young America” to make good
after the manner revealed in the lives of those who dared to do great things.
It is a work full of inspiration to young life and takes its place in
importance with those productions of modern philosophers of optimism, ever
holding out to the present generation the vision of its possibilities, if
right thinking and sane, intelligent action are its portion.
That the author, who, by the way, is a college professor, has a
comprehensive understanding of the problems of young life, is revealed by the
masterly and incisive telling of the truth with which he deals.
* * *
INTERESTING BOOK OF FICTION
White Moll,” by Frank Packard. Published by the George H. Doran Company, 38
West 32nd Street, New York, N. Y.
Rarely have we been thrilled by a tale of life in the
Undenvorld as we have been by the reading of Frank Packard's “White Moll.” It
is a charming story written in a recent style, and packed with climaxes that
keep one perpetually alert as to what is going to transpire next. Free from
the taints of modern fiction, (burdened too frequently with the salacious), it
follows the adventures of a charming young woman who by strange experiences
comes to be regarded with both fear and veneration by the habitues of the
It is a novel calculated for summer reading with almost
old-fashioned villians and plots to read about, that after reading can leave
one as wholesome as when one started to read. Frank Packard is striking an old
key in a new way among fiction writers.
* * *
PIONEER DAYS IN OHIO AND THE MIDDLE WEST
Turkeys and Tallow Candles,” by Ellen Hayes. Published by The Four Seas
Company, 67 Cornhill Street, Boston, Mass.
A fascinating book of essays that adds much to the historical
literature of pioneer days in Ohio and the Middle West has just been published
by the Four Seas Company under the title of “Wild Turkeys and Tallow Candles.”
Its author, Ellen Hayes, a former professor at Wellesley College, has put all
of the charm of the days she describes into her book and in a series of vivid
pictures has given us a first-hand knowledge of the hardships, the thrift, the
courage and the devotion that characterized the old settlers of the days
between 1800 and the Civil War.
* * *
Year,” by Edna Ferber and Newman Levy. Published by Doubleday, Page and
Company, Garden City, N. Y.
We are told that this play is a timely satire on the
absurdities of professors at $1200 a year, and street sweepers at $2500 a
year, and will go “on the boards” this Fall.
It is a splendid and humorous arraignment of the shabby genteel
and pauper respectability as it is frequently evidenced in the under-paid
teachers and college professors. It is a delightful treatment of the day
laborer, who is remunerated lavishly for minding trains, while those who train
minds are subjected to gross, humiliating circumstances. This is a promise of
the satirical literature that must come into being to help in the solution of
our present social and economical difficulties. It is a human picture, such as
we are all familiar with, and dealt with in a fashion that is both healthy and
* * *
of Everlastings,” by F. W. Boreham. Published by the Abingdon Press, 160 Fifth
Avenue, New York, N. Y.
We have thoroughly enjoyed the perusal of this volume of sermon
essays dealing with texts that have made history. Their charm lies chiefly in
the manner in which the texts are revealed to be related to the lives of great
men. Only recently has the author of these essays been brought to our notice,
but the facility with which he wields the pen, evidencing a brilliancy of
mind, makes us desire to read more of what he has written. A refreshing power
is felt throughout this little work and none who read can help but be
profoundly touched as they learn of the significant part that these texts have
played upon the lives of men so far apart in time as Sir Frances Xavier, John
Bunyan, Wilberforce and Sir Walter Scott. The essays are inspirational,
reassuring and comforting.
* * *
OF BISHOP BASHFORD
Demand for Christ,” by Bishop James W. Bashford. Published by The Methodist
Book Concern, 150 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y. Price $1.50.
We are advised by the President of the De Pauw University that
the many requests for the publication of the addresses of Bishop Bashford was
the cause of the issuance of the present volume. That this noted churchman was
a statesman of no small calibre is emphasized in more than one of the
addresses in this book. His utterances on “America and World Democracy” and
“Christianity and Education” are destined to be pertinent reading for a long
time to come. These addresses contain the best of the good Bishop's heart and
brain. Their inspirational power is a dynamic incentive to right living.
* * *
OF A COMING PLAYWRIGHT
by Susan Glaspell. Published by Small, Maynard & Co., 15 Beacon Street,
Boston, Mass. Price $2.00.
We have in these plays the indication of the rise of a great
American dramatist. Her analytical sense, both penetrating and keen, has
enabled her to hold up to view many of the foibles and the idiosyncrasies of
our social life.
There is a wisdom pervading these plays that challenges
thought. Susan Glaspell may indeed well be hailed as one of the most powerful
of American dramatists contributing today to the making of American
literature. We shall await with interest for further productions from this
The following list embraces practically all the standard works
on Masonry which we are able to secure and keep in stock for the accommodation
of individual members of the Society, Study Clubs and Lodges.
We are finding it more difficult each year to procure new or
second-hand copies of the earlier works on Masonry of which, owing to the
limited market for them at the time of their publication, but a small number
of copies were printed.
We are continually in search for additional items which will be
listed in this column whenever it is our good fortune to secure them.
It is suggested that the latest list be consulted before
sending in orders and that no orders be made from lists more than one month
old, since our stock of these books is limited and a book listed this month
may be out of stock by the time next month's list is published.
Since the publishers are constantly increasing their prices to
us the following prices are subject to such changes.
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 3.75
Philosophy of Freemasonry, Pound 1.25
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the
archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition limited, 2.00
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
Pocket History of Freemasonry,” by Brother H. L. Haywood. (Special prices on
lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes) .25
Entered Apprentice Ought to Know,” by Hal Riviere. (Special prices on lot
orders for 25 or more copies for presentation purposes.) Pamplet, paper
* * *
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 $ 1.75
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 2.65
“Freemasonry Before the existance of Grand Lodges,” Lionel Vibert. A digest of
the researches of Gould, Hughan, Rylands, Speth and others on the origin and
early history of Masonry 1.75
History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould 4.50
Essays on Freemasonry, Gould 7.00
* * *
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
TWENTIETH-CENTURY FUNERAL SERVICE NEEDED
For many years I have refused to recommend, defend or excuse
what seems to me the atrocious burial service laid down in our Masonic
I am convinced that we should no longer delay the providing of
some funeral or burial service that will be more in keeping with the spirit
and faith of the twentieth century. The present ritual service is cold,
stilted, formal and comfortless. A service that should bring some ray of
comfort and of hope has too often brought a deeper sense of sorrow and
despair. Let us have a form that will give expression to the true Masonic
faith in the immortality of man, the supporting, protecting and comforting
power of an ever present and all loving God. Then indeed shall the trembling
lips of the widow and orphan tell us how blessed is the sacred ministry of
Abbott, Grand Master, Massachusetts.
* * *
The Committee on Burial Service reported to the Massachusetts
Grand Lodge the following recommendations covering the preparation of a
Masonic burial service:
“1. The Masonic burial service should be complete in itself.
That is to say, it should be so arranged that it could be used as a complete
service in case there were no church or other service held. It should,
however, be so arranged that it could be readily shortened so as to be used in
connection with a church service if desired.
“2. It should be simple and should be accompanied by
sufficiently full directions to make it easy to be conducted by those not much
experienced in such matters.
“3. It should be deeply religious, but not exclusively
“4. It should not be a repetition, whether in whole or part, of
any church service which might be used in connection with it.
“5. Its emphasis should be laid upon life, hope, and
“6. Its endeavor should be to comfort and to convey the
assurance of sympathy.”
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.
PERTINENT QUERIES ANENT THE SCOTTISH RITE AND KNIGHT TEMPLARY IN TEIE UNITED
STATES, ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
Will you please answer briefly through the Question Box
Department the following questions:
What basis has the current statement that Masonic Knight
Templary is an American invention ?
What is the relationship between the Knight Templar bodies of
Scotland and those of the United States?
Do not the American Knights Templar recognize Scotland's claim
to having sustained the Order since the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay, as set
forth in the prefatory notice to the Statutes of the United Order of the
Temple and Hospital in Scotland ?
Why is the name “Scottish Rite” ? Having recently sojourned in
Scotland, where I visited and studied with learned Masons, I found the Order
of the Temple considered as the zenith of Masonic attainment, and that Masons
there scarcely know of the Scottish Rite. Is it considered an historical truth
that the Scottish Rite is a French invention, and was considered clandestine
for many years by Grand bodies of England and Scotland ?
How did the Red Cross degree (degree of the Captivity or
Babylonish Pass) as conferred under the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of
Scotland, come to be attached to the Commandery series in the United States ?
Has the Royal Ark Mariner degree, as conferred under
jurisdiction of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, and under separate
jurisdiction in England, ever been conferred in the United States by any
A. H. H.,
You have certainly propounded a number of diverse questions,
Brother H. Two or three pages could be written in answer to most of them, but
I imagine what you wish is something short so I am confining the replies as
closely as possible to the point, taking up the questions seriatum:
KNIGHT TEMPLARY NOT AN AMERICAN INVENTION
What basis has the current statement that Masonic Knight
Templary is an American invention ?
This certainly is not a “current statement” outside the United
States, and I cannot remember having ever heard it in that country. I think
there is no doubt that the Masonic and Military Order first saw light in
Europe and a reference to Mackey's Encyclopedia will make it evident that such
is the belief of that ancient American writer. In speaking of the origin of
Masonic Knights Templar he says: “From the Baldwyn Encampment and its
coordinates, the old English and the American Templars.” The origin of this
Encampment which met, and still does meet, at Bristol, England, is unknown. It
was certainly working about the middle of the eighteenth century, and then
conferred the following degrees: 1d Entered Apprentice, 2d Fellow Craft, 3d
Master Mason, 4d Royal Arch, 5d Knight Templar and Knight of Malta, 6d Rose
Croix, 7d Knight K-H (the present 30d).
RELATIONS OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR OF UNlTED STATES
What is the relationship between the Knight Templar bodies of
Scotland and those of the United States ?
The Great Priory of Scotland is, I hear, in full communication
with the Grand Encampment of the United States.
SCOTLAND'S CLAIM OF SUSTAINING THE ORDER SINCE DE MOLAY'S MARTYRDOM
Do not the American Knights Templar recognize Scotland's claim
to having sustained the Order since the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay, as set
forth in the prefatory notice to the Statutes of the United Order of the
Temple and Hospital in Scotland ?
As far as I know, the American bodies make no reference to
Scotland's claim, but I do not think that they repudiate it. The tradition is
that the Order of the Temple when persecuted in Europe took refuge in Scotland
where the Knights were allowd to reside unmolested, and after a time united
with the Freemasons in that country. It is very well known, but, I believe,
ORIGIN OF THE TERM “SCOTTISH RITE”
Why is the name “Scottish Rite”?
The following explanation was given by me in Vol. I, No. 8, of
In the year 1307, a persecution of the Knights Templar began in
Europe by the Church and State, and the Order was practically broken up. It is
said that many of the Knights took refuge in Scotland, where they joined the
Freemasons. This is the explanation generally given of high grade Masonry, and
it is an undoubted fact that in many of these degrees, the symbols of the
Templars are mixed with those of the Craft. For this reason the high degrees
were said to be “Scottish,” although the earliest records of them come from
France, where they were organized by Ramsey, who put forward the above
explanation for the name.
Another favorite explanation is that these degrees were the
invention of the followers of the House of Stewart, the pretenders to the
throne of England, who intended to use them as a means of gaining political
Yet another explanation has, I understand, been put forward by
Schiffman. He states that about 1725, some Masons in France adopted the acacia
as their emblem and became known as “Freres Ecossis.” The ignorant mistook
this for “Freres Ecossais,” or “Scotch Brothers,” which gave rise to the
popular belief that the degrees which they possessed had their origin in
Scotland. The only difficulty in this explanation is the word “Ecossois,”
which I am unable to find in any French dictionary. The word “acacia” remains
unchanged in the French language, but its pronunciation is very similar to “Ecossois,”
or even “Ecossais.”
THE SCOTTISH RITE ORGANIZATION
Having recently sojourned in Scotland, where I visited and
studied with learned Masons, I found the Order of the Temple considered as the
zenith of Masonic attainment, and that Masons there scarcely know of the
Scottish Rite. Is it considered an historical truth that the Scottish Rite is
a French invention?
One can hardly say that the Scottish Rite is a French
invention, although most of the degrees appear to have had their origin in
France. The stages of evolution are as follows:
1743. Lyons Chapter, France, working six degrees
1764. Chapter of Clermont, Park, working twenty-five degrees.
This Chapter was succeeded or absorbed by the Council of the
Emperors of the East and West, in 1768. At the same time some of the degrees
were conferred by the Baldwyn Encampment
The Council of the Emperors of the East and West delegated
their power to Inspectors General and in this way the Supreme Council of the
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States was formed, having jurisdiction
over thirty-three degrees, and which established Supreme Councils in other
Most of the degrees are certainly of French origin, but if the
means by the term “Scottish Rite” the present organization, the initial effort
was certainly made in the United States.
STATUS OF SCOTTISH RITE DEGREES IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND
Was the Scottish Rite considered clandestine for many years ,
in the Grand bodies of England and Scotland?
From the middle of the eighteenth century, the present 18d and
30d could be obtained in the Baldwyn Encampment, so there is, I think, no
doubt that they at any rate were not looked upon with disfavor, although of
course the Rite is not and never has been recognized by the Craft as a part of
the Masonic system. Until the Supreme Councils of England and Scotland were
formed in the nineteenth century, no doubt, any “high” degrees, coming from
France would have been considered most irregular.
DEGREE PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED INTO UNITED STATES BY WEBB
How did the Red Cross degree (degree of the Captivity or
Babylonish Pass) as conferred under the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of
Scotland, come to be attached to the Commandery series in the United States?
These degrees are supposed to have been taken from the Scottish
Rite systems by some American Masonic organizer (perhaps Webb.) These are
certainly in a more rational place when conferred in connection with the Order
of the Holy Royal Arch.
“ROYAL ARK MARINER DEGREE” IN THE UNITED STATES
Has the Royal Ark Mariner degree, as conferred under
jurisdiction of the Supreme Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland, and under separate
jurisdiction in England, ever been conferred in the United States by any
In the first place, the degree of Royal Ark Mariner is not
under “separate jurisdiction” in England. It is conferred under the authority
of the Grand Mark Lodge, being governed by the Grand Master with the advice of
a Board called the Grand Master's Royal Ark Council.
In the United States the degree is the first of a long series
conferred by the Sovereign College of Allied and Christian Degrees, a body
organized in 1892. The present headquarters are in Norway, Maine, and there is
a lodge working in New York City. C.C. Adams, England
MOVABLE AND IMMOVABLE JEWELS
In the October issue of THE BUILDER you make me say that Albert
Pike calls the American explanation of the movable and immovable jewels a
modern “invention.” The word I used was “innovation,” quite a different thing.
Since writing that article I have run across a statement of
Robert Morris published in 1859 that he knew that Webb taught that the square,
level and plumb were the immovable jewels. In August, 1859, there appeared in
the Indiana Freemason an article by a brother who learned the work from a
pupil of Snow and who states that Brother Snow himself told him that this
brother had the work perfectly. From this article I quote the following:
“Some writers contend that by common usage the square, level
and plumb are the immovable jewels, and that such was Webb's teaching; but
with this assertion we do not coincide, and as we can not enter into an
this subject except orally, we will pass in review some of the evidence.
Certain we are that Snow, Gleason, and Preston did not so teach; for the
former we have living witnesses at hand, in addition to our own personal
knowledge, and for the latter we have a lecture by Preston on this subject,
which we will publish in part at some future time; this lecture says the
square, level and plumb are the movable jewels. This is confirmed by Brother
Gleason, who received the lectures in 1805 from Brother Webb himself. This
evidence is conclusive.”
Brother A. Trowbrigge, of Camden, N. Y., in 1860 called
attention to the fact that Webb in his Monitor mentions the movable jewels
first, and that in his lectures he taught following this the question, “What
are the movable jewels ? A. The square, level and plumb. Q. To whom do they
belong? A. To the principal officers in a lodge who are the representatives of
our three first M.’.W.’. Grand Masters.”
Brother Hiram Bassett, in the Voice of Masonry of August 15,
1860, gives the following reasons for calling the square, level and plumb the
“That the square, level and plumb are the immovable jewels, I
have no doubt; not the material tools used by operative Masons, but the great
moral principles which speculative Masons use, and which the metal jewels
found in a lodge merely symbolize. No one, I presume, will contradict that
these latter are immovable; but the great Square of Nature, the Level of
Equality, and the Plumb-line of Rectitude are immovable and unchangeable, and
exist the same yesterday, today and forever. In another sense, too, as
geometrical principles, they are immovable. Vary the angle in the slightest
degree at which the two sides of the square intersect each other, and it is no
longer a square; elevate or depress any portion of the level, it loses its
horizontal position, and is no more a level; and to remove the plumb one iota
from a strictly upright position, it ceases to be a plumb. Indeed if these are
not the immovable jewels, I am utterly at a loss to determine in what sense
any of the jewels of a lodge can be said to be immovable; for the ashlars and
trestleboard, as I conceive, are not immovable, either in their literal or
symbolical sense, as nothing material can be said so to be. Therefore, I
presume no one will contend that the simple metal tools are themselves the
jewels or principles by which a Mason is expected to regulate his life and
conduct. Does anyone suppose that it was a material standard that the Great
Architect of the Universe had reference to when he declared unto Amos that he
would set up a plumb-line in the midst of his people Israel, by which they
should be thereafter judged? Most certainly not. But it was the great
principle of moral rectitude which he placed in their midst as the standard by
which they should be tried. And in the final day we shall all be tried by this
same standard, together with the immutable and immovable square of truth; and
by standing these unerring tests, will we alone be redeemed, or rather
elevated to that perfect and immovable level upon which we all hope to meet
when our imperfect ashlars shall have been made perfect, and fitted to their
places 'as living stones in that house not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens.' And how else can they be made perfect, except by the application of
those unerring and immovable principles symbolized by the square, level and
plumb, agreeable with the designs laid down by the Supreme Grand Master in the
Book of Life - our spiritual trestle-board?”
If our American ritual tinker, whoever he may have been, when
he transferred the adjective “immovable” from the ashlars and trestle-board to
the square, level and plumb, had said that the latter were immovable because
they represented unchangeable
principles and the former movable because they represented a developing
character, he would have had a much stronger case
than he has. It may be, however, that this
thought was present,
even though it is
not given in the ritualistic explanation, and this may account for the fact
that it gained such ready and universal acceptance in this country.
QUATUOR CORONATORUM AND MA SONIC REPRINTS FOR SALE
A brother leaving the country has left with us for disposal the
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes I to IV, bound in regulation
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes V to XIII, complete with
binding cases, but not bound in.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volumes XXIII to XXIX, complete but
without binding cases and unbound.
Masonic Reprints Volumes II to IX, bound in half morocco.
Masonic Reprints Volume X, unbound and without binding case.
Irish Masonic Reprints Volumes I to III, bound in half morocco.
For the entire set of the above thirty-three volumes, together
with several loose numbers, some being duplicates and others odd issues, the
brother concerned is asking 35 pounds, packed and ready for shipping. The cost
of shipping to an American port would be around 3 10s. to 4 pounds. The books
are in quite good condition.
Masonic Journal of South Africa,
P. O. Box
2000, Johannesburg, South Africa.
* * *
I have a few duplicates of old and out of print books in my
private collection, which I would like to exchange with some other member of
the Society, for books which I do not have. Following are a few of my
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, N. Y., 1855, binding worn.
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, Louisville, Ky., 1853,
Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, Vol. XIV of Universal
Masonic Library, Lodgeton, Ky., 1856. Binding faded.
Revelations of a Square, George Oliver, 1855. Binding worn.
Webb “Monitor,” Providence, R. I., 1805 edition, calf.
Vol. XV of Universal Masonic Library, Lodgeton, Ky., 1856,
containing “Constitutions of 1723,” and “The History of Freemasonry.” (This is
the so-called Lawrie History, which was written by Sir David Brewster.)
“The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors,”
Ravenscroft. Cover soiled.
If I can get in touch with some of the members who have
duplicates to exchange I can probably find several other duplicates in my
I would be glad to exchange any of the above items for “Mystic
Masonry,” by J. D. Buck, or “Negro Masonry,” by W. H. Upton.
Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin.
* * *
The question has often been asked: “Are Masons better than
other men?” Of all the answers to this none is more succinct than that given
by a medical brother to King Henry VI: “Some Masons are not so virtuous as
some other men; but for the most part they are better than they would be if
they were not Masons.” This statement, amplified and expanded, forms to this
day the substance of many a Masonic oration. There are several other striking
answers in the once famous but now too much ignored document known as the
Leland-Locke MS. The last item in the interrogatory is especially worthy of
note: “Do Masons love one another mightily as has been said ?” the answer
being: “Yes, indeed, and it cannot be otherwise, for the better men are the
more they love one another.” It was the beauty and truth of this sentiment
which induced the great philosopher, John Locke, to become a member of the
Craft. The history of the document is interesting. It was first printed in
1748 and purports to be the copy of a MS. found after diligent search by Locke
in the Bodleian Library. It was included in most of the Masonic works
published during the latter half of the eighteenth century. No question was
entertained as to its authenticity until Lessing threw doubt on the subject.
Subsequent German writers were divided in their opinion. Scepticism culminated
in the statement of Bro. R. F. Gould that Fort was the only Masonic writer of
our day who believed in its credibility. On the other hand, Bro. Dr. Fort
Newton, in his illuminating work, “The Builders,” voices the incredulity no
further than to say that the MS. is not allowed by all to be genuine.
Freemasonry has suffered much loss at the hands of the
iconoclasts. In late years a school of writers has arisen who, is the words of
Bro. Fort Newton, reject almost everything that cannot prove itself in a Court
of Law. In a system such as Masonry, which depends on oral tradition, it is
absurd to expect in every case direct documentary proof. The more strict the
fidelity to obligation the fewer the records must necessarily be. The
arguments advanced against the time-honoured MS. are puerile, while the
intrinsic evidence of its veracity are irresistible. The very errors in the
text are witnesses of its truth. The blunder of calling Pythagoras “Peter
Gower” is just such as might be made by an illiterate Craftsman in adopting a
vernacular corruption of the French word “Pythagore”; similarly to confounding
the ancient Phoenicians with the modern Venetians would not be unlikely in the
days of the grandeur of Venice. The most plausible of adverse criticism lies
in the violently uncouth spelling which corresponds to no period of English
orthography; but this has little disqualifying cogency when we find in lodge
minute books within the last century such monstrosities as “Shuper exclant
Masons” and a “Sertifiket” of a “Resectobel Order.”
The document is supported by so many contemporary and credible
allusions as to make it almost inconceivable as a forgery.
In any case it deserves to be rescued from oblivion if only on
account of the sublime truths it contains. Among these is the statement that
Masonry enables men to be virtuous without hope of reward or fear of
punishment. The pursuit of virtue for its own sake and not for ulterior aims
differentiates Masonry from the dogmatic religions. Brotherly Love, Relief,
and Truth bring their own rewards and are not dependent on the enticements or
terrors of another world. Bro. Calvert has done good service in adding the
original text of the MS. as an appendix to Vol. III of the Authors' Lodge
Transactions, so that Freemasons can judge for themselves of its value.
Cockburn, P.G.D., England,
“What induces so many men without solicitation to become
Masons?” is often asked. Is it curiosity? If only that it is never satisfied.
Is it search for knowledge? Yes, partly, but also for truth which is great
arid shall prevail. Is it simply the gregarious instinct? Not altogether,
though all lonely men desire to link up with those whose friendship will not
languish. Is it a sense of littleness in the universe and isolation?
Sometimes, for many men have prayed the Breton monosyllabic prayer - ”Oh God
be good to me, Thy sea is so wide and my boat is so small.” Human sympathy
thrives on human intercourse and all real culture requires a social
atmosphere. Is it an appeal similar to that of religion? Is it because of the
example of true members of the Craft who have poise without pose - who have
neither artificiality nor affection, and who have pledged themselves to serve
their fellow-men and to render loyal obedience to properly constituted
authority? Is it because men introspectively ask (as we all should)-
“Am I a
friend to as many men
good staunch friends to me?”
Whatever may be the inducement to enter within the veils, the
older we men grow, we know that the most beautiful reward that any man in the
world can have is the gift of friendship generous, overflowing, bountiful,
- Bro. W.
N. Ponton, Canada.