The Builder Magazine

July 1920 - Volume VI - Number 7

 

MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS

VOLTAIRE

BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

IN A LITTLE TOWN called Fernay, a very few miles from Geneva, is a chapel, built for his neighbors by Brother Voltaire, a member of that famous lodge "Les Neuf Souers" (The Nine Sisters), in Paris.

 

Had anyone offered the writer, when a very young man, a volume of Voltaire, I would have declined to read it, because I then believed Voltaire to be an atheist. But when I looked on the inscription over the arch in front of this little chapel, and lead "Deo Erexit Voltaire. MDCCLXI" (Erected to God by Voltaire, 1761), I was sure he could never have been an atheist. The guide book tells of Voltaire being asked why he placed this inscription on the memorial, and he replied "In London they erect their Temple to St. Paul, and in Paris they erect their Temple to St. Geneveve, but I erect mine to God."

 

One of his biographers says "among his last words were these: 'I die worshipping God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, but detesting superstition.' "

 

Voltaire was an author, a playwright, a philosopher and a satirical writer. He was a man who dared to do what he thought was right; and though he did not court favor from any one, he was conscious of the danger he was running, which is evidenced by the location of his home, at Ferney, near the border line between France and Switzerland, that he might readily escape from one country to the other.

 

His enemies were the holy fathers. They called him an atheist; proclaimed it from their holy places until it came to be generally accepted as the truth. Voltaire was a protector of Protestants, and spent his money freely in that cause: this alone was enough to incite the hatred of the holy fathers. They raised objection to his burial in the parish where he died, and his remains were conveyed to the Abbey of Scellieres, belonging to one of his nephews, where they were interred. On the stone his friends were permitted to place the words "Ci-git Voltaire" (Here lies Voltaire). The holy fathers even interrupted the Masonic services, being held in private (if not secret), described in that splendid work "Une loge Masonique d'avant 1789."

 

Voltaire, whose real name was Jean Francis Marie Arouet, was born at Paris in 1694 and died there in 1778. He began to write verses before he was twelve years of age, his verses landing ready sales. His Jesuit teachers quickly discovered his talent (in the college of Louis le Grand) and one of them predicted that he would become the “corpheus of deism." His satirical and witty pamphlets caused his arrest and subsequent confinement in the Bastile, just after the death of Louis XIV, though he was barely twenty years of age at the time. He was in prison a year, during which time he wrote his epic on the Henriade, and completed a tragedy he had in hand, when the regent, pleased with these performances, released him.

 

Voltaire was almost as prolific a writer as Charles Dickens, but his satire was more keen. His verses on Louis XIV and Madame Pompadour were among the most daring. Among his principal works were "Histoire de Charles," "Roi de Suede," "he Temple du Gout," "Seven Discours sur l'homme," "Les Dictionaires Philosophique," "Histoire du Parlement" and "Histoire de l'establissement du Christianismea."

 

Forty-ight of his works have been translated into English. Not an atheistic word can be found in one of them, but it is plain that Brother Voltaire was a Deist. The accusation of atheism originated with the priests, is boomed by the priests and others who have not taken the trouble to inform themselves. When a man goes out into the highway and cries "Mad dog!" he jeopardizes the life of every dog in sight, and he will soon have a crowd repeating his cry. So it has been with Voltaire.

 

 

MASONIC SERVICE

BY BRO. GEO. SCHOONOVER, P.G.M., IOWA

 

An Address delivered at the Maundy Thursday Feast, Scottish Rite Temple, Duluth, Minnesota, April 1, 1920.

 

Wise Master and My Brethren of the Rose Croix:

 

I EL very happy to have the privilege of coming among you this evening, to partake of the communion of this holy occasion. It is a relief, too, to feel that for once I do not have to say anything for anyone else, or be in any sense the mouthpiece for others. Your Wise Master says I am a "free lance," and that gives me the privilege of interpreting the word "Service" as I understand it.

 

I speak to you tonight, therefore, in no other cpacity than as one of you called hither by the solemnty of this occasion to consider, if we may, something i the kind of service which Freemasonry in this day ad age might and should perform.

 

THE SYMPTOMS OF UNREST

 

It seems almost superfluous to speak to you of such a thing as unrest; everyone is thinking of it. Yor Inspector General, in his pastoral letter, has dwelt upon it; it has come to you from Brother Denfeld an a most striking and forceful way. Perhaps it would seem that there is little to be said upon the subject - and yet I very much fear that there is a great deal to ne said upon that subject, particularly as it applies to Freemasonry in this hour.

 

We have so many symptoms of what is called unrest that it is unnecessary to rehearse any except the tnost potent. I would not be considered an iconoclast, and yet, no sober-thinking man has any right in this day to sit still, hold his mind in a state of vacuity and say "There is nothing left for me to do." On the contrary, if problems are to be solved, they must first be acknowledged as problems, then analyzed, and finally, if found wrong, they must be met and overcome by the fearless application of a principles or set of principles, Which is right.

 

Our first duty, as Masons, is to be honest with ourselves, face conditions as they are, not as we would like to have them, and do our duty as we see it. We must do the things that are incumbent upon us now, in the way and manner which our position in civilization makes possible. What the forefathers did should be a guide to us. We should accept and revere the principle which guided them - but we must make the application of the principle for ourselves, just as they did in their day. In no other way, as I conceive our position, can we be true to them, and justify their faith in us.

 

What, then, are these symptoms of unrest which we must consider?

 

Democracies, today, are asking whether it is worth while to have fought a war - even for the high purposes which commanded us - because of the conditions which they see following that war. There has never been so tremendous and appalling an apathy as exists today in organized religion; there has never been a time in the history of the world when the whole world was in such a state of financial unrest. In Europe there has never been a time when that financial unrest was so complicated by the social unrest which exhibits itself as a problem over there. We find a similar social unrest exhibiting itself among us, for we are not satisfied with our work; we are not satisfied with our play; we are uneasy, all of us.

 

THE: CAUSES OF UNREST

 

Of course, the prime cause of it all is the reaction from the war. We have been keyed to the highest pitch of giving. We have given ourselves no less than our dollars, and we joined hands from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadian border to the Gulf, in a unified response to the needs of the world as we saw them.

 

It is natural that after so strenuous a performance we should relax. It is perhaps also natural that we should now be in a state of disaffection. But in all seriousness, is it natural that we should turn from hating the enemy only to hate one another? And, yet, that is exactly what we are doing! We are calling every other man except ourselves a profiteer; we are finding in every other man except ourselves a lack of sincerity. Somehow our organization has fallen to pieces - has become disrupted, and we wonder why.

 

Those of you brethren who know something of physiology know that when a man is mad he is subject to all kinds of disease. The very psychology of anger distorts the normal coursing of the blood; poisons are created within the system and poisons from withou gain admittance much more easily than at any othe time. That is the trouble with democracies today. I is more than mere indigestion - though some of ou orators would have us believe that an undigested mass of aliens among us is our only real difficulty.

 

There are those who tell us we are going to get over all this, that we will cool off and calm down. I believe that we will, eventually, and after much of trouble and discord, but there is just now a need that we cool down quickly. America as a whole has duties to perform, and there are those within her boundaries, many of them unfortunately citizens of this great republic, who would like to undermine that which we ought to do by causing us to be dissatisfied with the heritage which has been handed down to us from the days of the American Revolution. There are many of these groups, but they have one thing in common. Though their acts may take different forms, all of them are striking at the constitution of the United States of America. I am not going to deliver you any oration concerning that document; I am only going to recommend that you sit down for a couple of evenings this coming week and read it for yourselves. There is written into that document - by the hands of Masons, too, as we know - a statement of the fundamental principles upon which America rests. Often during the war we have said that Masonry is a bulwark of America. If it be so, then we ought to know something about the documents which have made America possible. For it was the conception of the Fathers of this Republic that this was to be a government of laws, and not of men.

 

THE ASSAILANTS OF OUR CONSTITUTION

 

This becomes important when we turn to consider who the assailants of the constitution are, and what are their motives. Many of them, no doubt, are doing what they are doing innocently; they know not what they do; many of them, no doubt, will deny that they are guilty of being assailants of the constitution. But if you will analyze the question closely enough - if you will bring honest thought to bear upon it, I believe that you will see that each and every one of them is in reality an enemy of our constitution. As an instance of this, consider a conversation overheard between two gentlemen across the aisle in the sleeper this morning. I do not know who they were; neither of them wore a Masonic pin, and I was glad to see that; but one was calling attention to a certain condition in the labor field, and the other, who was rather a pessimistic looking individual, not only agreed with him but went further. In one most venomous sentence he assailed a certain judge of the United States Court, in terms of personal hatred, because that judge had upheld a decision that was in accordance with law. The interpretation which he placed upon the judge's decision was, "Oh, that d-n old cuss, he wanted to show that he was going to run this thing."

 

That young man has not been educated in Americanism. He does not truly know what the word means. There are many like him. But if you were to ask him, whether by making that statement, he intended to undermine our Government, and the guaranties of law which we have, he would say, "No, we just want this thing to come out right," and through it all you could see that he meant that if it were to develop rightly it would come out his way. He could see the rights of his side of the question - he had not been taught to consider the rights of others.

 

Who are these people who are trying, with or without malice, to undermine this Government?

 

First are those who insist that mankind is born in strata, that the natural organization of society is it classes; that there is one class here and one built upor that, and one class there and another built upon thal and still another one built upon that, and so on, from coolie or peasant or proletariat up to the aristocrat ant the autocrat. My brethren, they have that classifies society in the Old World, and it is the cause of most of their troubles. And this first class of enemies or our Government would like to see the people of this country divided into classes; they want a labor class a capitalistic class, a farmer's class - and if they get these they will have a clerical class, too, whether the want it or not - and they want other kinds of classes I do not know just how they are going to find out who belongs to what class. If they organize that labo class, I am going to apply to be a member of it; I ar a poor cripple in one hand, and I do not work with m hands. But I put in at least two shifts of eight hour each day, just the same. And if they deny me th right to belong to that labor class because I do no have the grime of the engine on my hands or the dus from the saw on my clothes, then they are going t make of me a social outcast, because I have no desir to belong to any other class than the labor class.

 

But these people are now going one step further. They say that we are going to have a government by class; that we are going to have the rule of the minority take the place of the rule of the majority which is defined by our good old constitution. They go further still and they say "We have a right to carry on a private war, for the benefit of our class." A private war! No matter whom it may damage! Whether it keeps milk from the suffering babe, or coal from those who shiver, or keeps other necessities from those who need to eat and drink! Not content with asserting this "right" to carry on a private war for benefits of which their "class" shall have a monopoly, they are backing up their words by their actions. Strikes, authorized or unauthorized by the great labor organizations, show how divided those organizations are, internally as well as in their relations with one another. Everywhere is the same - the cry is for self.

 

Finally there are those open enemies of our Government who say that the only way to right the wrongs of the world is to overturn what we have and bring about a new industrial and civil order in all these fields. In the main these are the immigrants. They have come from an old world which was a world of autocracy. It gave us the example of a nation which denied itself a national conscience, and which claimed the right to impose the might of a "superior Kultur" on the world. Because these people found in America swollen fortunes, crooked politicians, and vice and corruption in our cities, they say to us, "These are the symptoms of autocracy; they are what we left behind in Europe; wherefore your democracy is as autocratic as that from which we have exiled ourselves; the slavery from which we fled we find duplicated here." This has been and is their plea. And because there have been injustices in our economic system; because democracy in its struggle for efficiency and intelligence has not yet been able to remove all its cesspools, those who were unfortunate and ignorant have listened to these exiles who brought their hate to America.

 

GERMAN AUTOCRACY AND GERMAN SOCIALISM

 

German autocracy spawned another German idea. It was the protest, the internal protest, of the German people, trying to negative tyranny. It was Marxian Socialism. Confronted by a type of civilization which dwarfed and strangled and poisoned initiative, Karl Marx developed his protest within the German nation. Born of hate, this protest held hate within itself. It would out-tyrannize the tyrant.

 

America must beware! Beware lest this child of hate, transplanted to our soil, shall continue to dwell within itself; shall refuse to see in our great bills of human rights and constitutional guaranties anything different from the autocracy of the past, simply because all the ills of humanity are not cured in a generation. Doctors make mistakes in diagnosis, and the victims die. Let us not permit foreign doctors who do not know our history, who have no respect for our institutions, to tell us that malignant symptoms today damn democracy eternally. Let us instead study our diseases, and by constitutional methods eradicate them, to the end that the civilization which our fathers founded in brotherhood and good will may not be converted into a charnel house of hate. It is for Americans to rally to the cause of humanity, that the friends of humanity may save us from diseases worse than any symptoms we can see.

 

OUR INDIFFERENCE TO OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM

 

Where must this awakening begin ? With ourselves, my Brethren ! The one great factor in our civilization which helps along this process of disruption, which these people would like to bring about, is our popular indifference to our political system. We do not vote when we have an opportunity; we forget what the right to vote has cost and seem to hold it valueless. A good fellow, one who has a hearty handshake, a jovial voice and a big broad grin too often gets our vote as against real brains. And when we suffer as a consequence, we simply go back and vote for the good fellow over again. And then another thing that we do in this country is to stick to our parties. Oh, my, how we do stick to them; how proud we are to be one or the other - I dare not mention either first. I am not making a political speech, and I am not saying anything about partisanship. But if you will go to your Morals and Dogma and read the Legenda of the Thirtieth degree, and then come and tell me that you are still a good Scottish Rite Mason, I will know that you are not going to bother very much with parties, after that. The great and essential difficulty with us todav is that we are failing to demand real statesmanship, and failing to realize that statesmanship is needed in the school district and the town and the county, as well as in the halls of Congress.

 

We have been unfortunate - to put it mildly - in trying to find a system by which to select our nominees for office. One system has seemed to make it easy for a boss to rule; the other has made it so expensive for a man to run for office that it almost puts a money value on the office itself because only men with an independent income can afford to enter the lists. But we are going to find a way of choosing the capable and honest, but modest, man who now sits back and says, "Not for me ;" we are going to find some way to draft him into the service of his country, just as we drafted men for overseas service, three years ago.

 

It is not by abandoning our parties that this result will be brought about, either. On the contrary it is by rallying to them, and making their pronouncements our expressions of opinion; making their nominees our nominees, that we are going to accomplish the muchneeded reform. Not the system, but ourselves, need fixing.

 

MASONRY'S PART

 

Brethren, I have tried in a very brief way to present you a background for what I really want to talk about. How about Freemasonry? Under the conditions which now prevail, what has it to say? What can it do?

 

Masonry does not concern itself with partisanship, or with public personalities, and I would be the first to raise my voice in protest, should it attempt to do so. We have no Masonic candidates for office and we write no Masonic platforms for political parties. But if you will find me a degree in Masonry which does not point each and every one of us to civic duty and to civic righteousness, I will petition to be released from the obligation of that degree. There is none.

 

We are all well enough educated in Freemasonry to know that its two fundamental doctrines are the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. They are really one doctrine, for the second flows out of the first just as a river flows out of the springs which feed it. Cannot these two fundamentals of Masonry be interpreted in terms of the present day need - are they only language, simply beautiful theories spun about a system of un-human allegory, and connected up into links forming 32 degrees? Is that your conception? Have these doctrines no practical value to you and to me? Are they incapable of being woven into your life and mine our lives as citizens, as well as individuals? If so, then I would like to resign my entire Masonic membership, for I do not believe that Masonry will live or has a right to live, unless it recognizes that it has a duty to perform and intends to perform it.

 

The monitorial explanations which we give in all our bodies apply principally to personal conduct, and I believe, and believe fervently, that we as individuals strive to take those lessons home and apply them in our lives; I do not think you Brethren who have just completed the thirty-second degree will ever be the same kind of fathers, sons or brothers that you were before this week. If you are, God help you - no one else can. We are taught in the Blue Lodge that the lodge is symbolical of the world, and that the teachings of the degrees apply to us, symbolize that which we should do in the world. Can it be possible that what we do in the world means only our personal and family relationships ? No, no. Those lessons must apply to us as citizens of the world, too, and if they do, then a wider field has been brought in for us to think about than we have heretofore considered.

 

We claim to be builders. If we are builders, we are practical; if we are builders we believe in helping one another and counseling with one another; we believe in the virtues of the builder - they are many, and perhaps a consideration of them would lead us into some strange channels of thought; in our lectures we discuss justice toward our Government; we counsel each and every candidate to be the kind of citizen which that implies. If we study our Masonic system we shall find that from the first degree to the thirty-second the fundamentals of what we now call democracy are written there in characters strong and bold.

 

We claim to be a "progressive science" and a "speculative system." To be progressive means that we give a service which is needful at the time it is needed; science must mean that we exchange ideas with one another in an effort to increase the fund of common knowledge. If we are "speculative," then we must offer a philosophy, something that is worth while to you and to me and something which teaches us, not only what our duties are, but how we ought to carry them out.

 

Our opportunities for this kind of teaching have been much restricted in these latter years. We have had such an inrush of men who desired to be made Masons, and such tremendous influx into our Scottish Rite, that it has taxed the capacity of all our bodies to take care of the degree work. Unfortunately our "work" has suffered, for it has taken but one form, the conferring of degrees. I call the process, as it is now handled, a degree mill. It has any steam roller that was ever started in this country, Masonically or otherwise, beaten by miles. It is going full tilt; you can hear it farther than you can a Ford. And while we are conferring degrees upon all of these candidates, rendering the ritual in a more or less haphazard manner, giving the charges just as fast as the human tongue can spin them out, we are neglecting to tell these initiates anything at all about what Masonry means, or what it stands for in the world. And what is the result ? Your young Mason does not realize that he belongs to anything more than a club ! The only thing about the whole rigmarole that appeals to his imagination and gives him some pride in his membership is the cost of it on the one hand, and the quality of the membership on the other! The quality of the membership is the one element which is really good ! For the rest, he sees so little in it that he comes to lodge for a meeting or two, or maybe ten, and he finds that the lodge, or the chapter, or the consistory is so large that there is no chance for him to take a part in the work, and very soon he begins to go to the movies, instead of coming to lodge.

 

Have we any right to blame him? We who are here are responsible for the acts of this fraternity of ours! Can we honestly say that the fault lies in the initiate? No, the fault lies in our leadership! It is they - and when I say "they" I mean all of us - who had better be doing some serious thinking to find out why it is that an organization conceived in the spirit of Masonry, intended to be the factor in human civilization that Masonry was intended to be, has degenerated until it is pretty nearly fair and honest to call it a "degree mill." It is time to call a halt and find some remedies for our own diseases - elephantiasis in particular.

 

The particular point in all this is that somehow we must find the time to add to the present work of our lodges and other bodies an element which belongs there, which was originally put there by those who conceived the mission of this fraternity, but which we have come to neglect. It is the all important factor which Brother Denfeld has explained to you so lucidly, education.

 

MASONIC EDUCATION MUST BE A FACTOR

 

Education we must have, or the world falls. Education Masons must have, too, for if democracy shall fail in the United States of America, it will fail because Masons are not doing their full duty. Masons were the godfathers of this republic; they were present and took a part in every important step that was taken when the United States of America was an infant among the nations.

 

You cannot tell me that a lodge of Masons would close, that the members would put on the regalia of an Indian tribe, go out into a harbor and dump tea into the ocean unless something had been said in the lodge beforehand about tea! And if tea was discussed in that little old lodgeroom, then another subject, which was just then equally popular, was talked about, and that was taxes! If our forefathers could discuss tea and taxes in a Masonic lodge, and then take the knowledge which they had received there out into the world and apply it as they applied it, then I for one, am willing to learn a lesson from them, even if I have to wear an Indian's uniform to do it. Because I can read in the Masonic ritual, or in the Masonic system, no two words which mean more than those two little words, "civic duty." They are full of dynamite, those words; we ought to be using them. Useless to claim that two million Masons imbued with those words could not work a revolution in the hearts of men! Cowardly, my Brethren, to say that they ought not to use the Masonic conception of justice and brotherhood for the cleansing of our political life.

 

In making this suggestion I do not mean to say that Masons are going to unite to vote for one individual party, or against another party, or talk for one and against another. I mean something entirely different. If every Mason were to let it be known tomorrow morning that he did not intend to vote for any platform that was not one hundred per-cent. American (I use "American" now in its most modern sense), that he was not going to vote for men who were not willing to let it be known that they intended to stand on such a platform; further, men who would let it be known that they would not kow-tow to clericalism in any form - do you think such practices would prevail ? If the two million Masons in America will stand for the principles of Freemasonry and let it be known to every man and woman in their respective neighborhoods that they stand for these principles, then every political platform will be cleansed. Every candidate will be a "He-American." If that is political interference, in an unMasonic sense, make the most of it, and prefer charges against me!

 

"Why ought Masonry to take a stand?" you ask. When saying this I mean that in every Masonic lodge or other Masonic body in America there should be told what Masonry is, and what it stands for in terms of civic duty. It can be so interpreted. And if it is done effectively, every Mason in the country will go out from those meetings an evangel of civic duty, and America will be purified. The manhood of our fraternity is a great moral force; mobilized in behalf of those principles which are common to democracy and Masonry, that force would be irresistible. And that is the kind of an army that we can raise over night, because we have it now.

 

WHAT MASONRY'S CONTRIBUTION COULD AND SHOULD BE

 

The contribution which Masonry can make, because of the unique position which it occupies, and ought to make, in keeping with its historic principles, is not a partisan contribution. It will not deal with legislation calculated to carry its practical philosophy into effect. It ought not and will not espouse the cause of men or parties. What it can and in my humble judgment ought to do is to bring to its own membership a keen, thoughtful appreciation of the underlying principles which are common to representative democracy, as typified in the American Republic, and to this fraternity of ours. Then, by impressing upon our friends and neighbors the real spirit of brotherhood, as exemplified in Freemasonry, we Masons can become the power which we ought to be. This is not departing from our landmarks; it is simply living those landmarks as citizens.

 

Consider what Masonry is, as now organized in the United States. I am not going to use the word "classes" because I hate the word worse than any other in the dictionary. But I will say this: that Masonry today in the United States is a cross-section cut right through our body politic. Our membership represents every phase of religious belief; it represents all shades of political belief; it represents all kinds of men, with all gradations of mental equipment. It represents everybody in America - the best manhood that America can offer.

 

Other agencies have tried and are trying to bring to the American people a more complete realization of what they ought to be doing in the performance of their civic obligations. Unfortunately, whether on account of unwise leadership in these agencies or otherwise, men have lost faith and do not listen to them. The church is among these, I am sorry to say, but statistics prove it to be true. It is but a few short months since a bill was introduced into Congress, the purpose of which was to provide for the Americanization of matured men and women, by means of schools of political economy, etc. That bill had hardly been read by the reading clerk, when someone on one side of the legislative hall gave it a kick, and a member of another party on the other side kicked it back, and it was a political foot-ball in less than two minutes. It is bound to be thus and it cannot be otherwise, when "Americanism," from a legislative viewpoint, must be defined by a political party in the accustomed language of partisanship.

 

Tell me, if you can, what agency there is in this country which has within its organization more than two million men who have had implanted in their minds the basic principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. Name one which has something to say in its philosophy about these problems which face us now. I have faced more than ten thousand men with that question and I have never yet had a response. The fact is that Masonry alone can rightfully claim to have cradled the philosophy of our Republic. In fact there is a very real sense in which Masonry is the parent of the republican idea. While feudalism was still building its castles and the arrogant ecclesiasticism of the middle ages was building its magnificent cathedrals, we find operative Masons caricaturing the autocrats on the back side of angels' heads. The obverse of the benign countenances of the statues in those cathedrals bear the impress of workmen in whose hearts true freedom had been conceived. With such an historic precedent it can be truly said that no other agency in America has a prior right to raise the American flag, with all that it symbolizes, and say, "Under God, this shall not fall." There is not another agency which has its forces drawn together by ties of obligation on a platform which will permit it to do that, and keep the act in perfect harmony with its oldest tradition.

 

Why is this true? It is because of this fact, my brethren: Freemasonry is a living example of the truth that men can "live on the level." It is up to us to prove to America that this is a living fact of existence. That we can do, only by education.

 

HOW MASONRY'S EFFORTS MAY PRODUCE PRACTICAL RESULTS

 

The great question is, "How should that education aim to help the Master Mason of today, and of tomorrow ?" To my mind that education should put into the mouth of every member of our fraternity an answer to the demagog or alien who advocates the over throw of government "of, by and for the people" as we have it in America. The bolshevik who wants to substitute the soviet for what we have, and the socialist who wants to substitute his theory for Americanism can be answered by Masons. For the Mason can poin to his altar and say "In reverence I have pledged my self to be a true man, just to my brother and just to my government. Because I have pledged myself to be just and equitable and fair-minded, and because two million other Masons have pledged themselves in like manner, a great organization of men exists throughout the world, where men meet upon a common level, act by the plumb and part upon the square. A place where discords are silenced, where differences are composed, where problems are settled by the will of the majority, the majority carrying out those policies hand in hand with the minority, on a basis of true brotherhood." And to the world he can say, "If two million in America can do this, then we can educate the rest of our people so that it will be possible for them, too!"

 

The Master Mason of tomorrow can show the democracy of our system. He can point to the Worshipful Master in the East, the greatest autocrat on the face of the earth, theoretically, but in practice one who is on the level with his peers. To the man who advocates that the rule of the minority shall govern the rule of the majority, the Master Mason of tomorrow can point out what happens in a Masonic lodge when a little clique tries to run it. Political methods are quickly invoked in the lodge to overthrow the autocrat. That is the kind of democrats we are, in Masonry !

 

Then how about those who say that a minority may conduct a private war in this country, to the detriment of the majority? Some say that this is a very delicate question; others advise that those who would organize a labor party should be allowed to go on; that they will only prove their own weakness, because only a small proportion of those who labor, either with head or brain, will be represented in such a party; that if you "give them rope enough and they will hang themselves." But this is not enough, my brethren! For even if the reaction proves the truth of the position thus taken, Brotherhood, the Spirit of Brotherhood, cannot accept such a philosophy! There are rights which are just and true involved in these struggles! There are rights which should be obtained by those who have them not, and others which should be retained by those who have them. There are wrongs which must be overcome, too. And if Masonic standards are to prevail, there will be a way by which those rights can be sanely and justly adjudicated.

 

MASONRY AND THE "EIGHT HOUR DAY"

 

We can go further than this in Masonry, and still keep our discussion within the reasonable bounds of Masonic propriety. Organized labor has been and is asking for the establishment of the principle of the eight hour day. Not every laboring man can ask this, because some of our greatest industries, such as the production of foodstuffs, cannot be organized on that basis during the growing season. Its brevity prevents. More than one Mason who has toiled with his hands has pointed to our division of the twenty-four hour day, as supporting his contention. He has that right, my brethren! The philosophy of Masonry does endorse the eight-hour day for work !

 

But if he comes to us for our endorsement, there is another side to it. For our admonition does not end with the mere statement of "eight hours for our usual vocations." We divide the other sixteen hours of the day into two other divisions of eight hours each, and only one of these periods is for his personal and creature comforts - "eight hours for refreshment and sleep." The other eight hours, which Masonry mentions first (mark you that!) belong "to the service of God and a distressed worthy brother! The obligation to this period of effort (if not "labor") is exactly equal to the other two ! And if organized labor will not stop with insisting only that eight hours of labor is enough, but will go one step further and accept the whole of the Masonic admonition and say "not only shall we labor eight hours, but we will devote eight hours to the service of God and a distressed worthy brother," the labor problem will be solved.

 

Apply the same sort of reasoning to the "capitalist" and bring to bear the philosophy of brotherhood to his station in life; insist that he be square and fair, and accept the trusteeship for humanity involved in his position, and we can bring about a kindred result. It is in a forum of brotherhood that our problems are to be solved, if they are solved rightly. And if they are not solved rightly and justly, they are not solved at all. That is what the world must learn, and learn quickly.

 

ANARCHY, SOCIALISM AND THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC

 

When we come to consider the philosophy of government, we find that there are two extremes. On the one hand is anarchy; on the other, socialism. Quite frequently we confuse the two, but we ought not to do so, because they represent the extremes of political philosophy. With anarchy, the right of the individual, his wish and whim are supreme. He is a Sinn Feiner (that means "for himself alone") and he raises his own banner; so long as he is strong enough to uphold that banner, he is right. Then there is the socialist; he raises a banner, too. What is written upon that banner? The State - that indefinable, impersonal thing - is supreme. You are born a part of the State; your life belongs to the State; everything that you have belongs to the State; your efforts must all be directed for the good of the State.

 

To neither the anarchist nor the socialist is a belief in God essential. A conception of God as a Father, loving His children and asking only that we obey His laws as a condition of prosperity and happiness, is superfluous. With the anarchist "Law" means merely the fulfilment of his own desire or whim - the law of the jungle, of the beast, who stakes his all on might. For the socialist the "Law of the State" is supreme. The State, to him, is humanity. If the mob is for a thing, then it is the right of the State, representing the mob, to enforce that thing. That is law. That is right. That is, and must be, supreme.

 

Our forefathers called the form of government which they set up in this country a Republic. "Democracy" does not mean the same as "Republic," but "Representative Democracy" comes very nearly meaning the same as the fathers intended "Republic" to mean. What is a "Republic," Brethren - or a "Representative Democracy," if you please? Study it in the light of the debates which they held in the constitutional convention and you will see that it is the middle path, blazed through the forest primeval, half way between anarchy and socialism - the road along which mankind can march toward a decent, orderly, and lawabiding life. Neither anarchy nor socialism squares with Masonry. But democracy in our American sense does, because your rights leave off where mine begin, and mine end where yours commence.

 

But, more than anarchy, more than socialism, our democracy says that in addition to these selfish rights, we have rights and privileges and duties which are common to us all. These rights and privileges are guaranteed in our Constitution and if history is going to count our Republic a success, then we also have to recognize those responsibilities which we have in common. Law to the anarchist is his supreme will, biased whim; Law to the socialist is the whim of the mob. Law in our republic tempers both these selfish claims, brings the successfully applied principles of the past to bear upon present-day problems, and declares that "as ye use the light which ye have, ye shall progress." Thus a balance is established between the individual and the State. Do not let the State run away with you; do not be so hidebound that law becomes a tyranny and blocks the path of progress. But bring all of these considerations together, and weigh the rights of each; bring all the knowledge and shades of thought to bear upon your problems, and by and by you will find yourselves travelling in that straight and narrow path which our forefathers declared to be the destiny of the American Republic.

 

This was the truth which was so clearly seen and its development visualized by the framers of our Constitution. This conforms to Masonry's "doctrine of the balance." Those passionate patriots, after months of toil, presented a Constitution based on the fundamental doctrine that all men are created free and equal - free in a more liberal sense of the word than had been won from feudal lords, and equal before the law and entitled to equality of opportunity. In clarion tones they proclaimed that by virtue of this Constitution man should henceforth exercise those rights peculiarly concerned with his private home life, unmolested by other men, so long as he lived up to the responsibilities incurred in that relationship. Likewise he was granted the right to worship as he believed was right, and none should say him nay.

 

But over and beyond this freedom of individual life and conduct, was interpreted for every citizen of this Republic, those great rights, those great duties, which should be ours in common. Everywhere was it impressed upon us that the hard-won privileges guaranteed by that Constitution could only be enjoyed, and their enj oyment made permanent, if every citizen watched over them jealously, maintaining them against all comers. We have not appreciated the fact that "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." That is no catch phrase. It expounds an awful truth. The eternal struggle of right against wrong, of poverty against riches, of the weak against the strong, of right against privilege is written there. Feudalism fell before the awakened masses of humanity; autocracy has succumbed before the more enlightened masses of humanity; democracy must and will succeed by and through the power of the educated masses of humanity - humanity educated to reverence God, trust His children and work for the redemption of man from his hatreds.

 

The crux of the whole problem is, "what is this Republic?" That is what we must come to know so well that we can interpret it to our neighbors and among our fellow citizens; we must come to know it so well, and appreciate it so keenly that we may, each and every one of us, be a missionary in behalf of it. We must tell our fellow-voters, for example, the difference between what our democracy says about home life and what the anarchist or the socialist says. We must call their attention to the fact that neither the anarchist nor the socialist has a God at all; he is his own God. We have to bring the public opinion of this country to a realization of the fact that these rights which are given to us all are common rights. Somehow we must make Masons realize what that little phrase "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" means, and that if they fail in their public trust, they must pay the price.

 

Socialism might work, if we were all angels. Anarchy would be a success, if we were all devils. MASONRY will work, better and better, as we emerge from the selfish toward brotherhood. What we have to do is to make Masonry work, as it will, if we but say so.

 

THE DOCTRINE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY

 

Need Masons fear to consider the pivotal question, the one around which all the rest revolve? Can Masonry, dare Masonry defend the system of private property? Everywhere we hear men assailing it. I have heard good men and brainy men say that it is a hard thing to defend. Those men have not been thinking; or at least they have not been thinking in Masonic terms. Today it is in Masonic terms that Masons should be thinking. For in my judgment the day has come when Freemasonry's real contribution to civilization is about to be made. Out of the dim past this heritage of ours has been brought down to us, a heritage of principles which have a bearing upon the distorted and tangled thought of the day.

 

If we are not going to defend the system of the private ownership of property, then we will have to abandon our building symbolism, because that building symbolism goes back in the history of man, to that time when he first built a fireside and said "This is mine; this woman is mine; these children are mine; I am going to nourish them, and I hold in my hand an instrument of death, with which anyone who assails them is going to be struck." And at the same time that he built that fireside, he built an altar, and he said "This, too, will I protect and defend at the peril of my life." And, brethren, remember that, whether a man goes to church or not, is no indication as to what kind of an altar he has erected in his heart. Every right thinking man has an altar, and every right thinking man is going to defend it. From that day until now, Masons have been builders, and if we are going to surrender the system of private property, then we must abandon our whole building symbolism, for we admonish our newly initiated builder to work with "skill, industry and zeal." We bring him to appreciate the meaning of thrift, of foresight, of permanency and durability. In other words, we show him that Freemasonry recognizes the existence of great moral virtues, and that those moral virtues are the foundation of the system of private property. And we press it home to him, if more is necessary to convince him, by offering him wages for work well done.

 

Nor do you need to stop here. Study your ritual and your charges. You will find that Masonry brings you something in its discussion of the building of Solomon's Temple; something which does not mean slavery in any form, but does mean that men work together, on a basis of Brotherhood, for the common end; a system which provides for the Master of the Work, the Overseer, the Fellow Craft and the Apprentice; a system which recognizes gradations on the basis of capacity and knowledge; which consistently endeavors by teaching to raise all to the level of the highest; and which upholds as its ideal definition of the true man and the true Mason, he who best conforms to the phrase "who best can work and best agree."

 

The other thing which we will have to abandon if we are going to throw private property into the discard and say that it belongs to all is the belief in the God whom we worship at our fireside and at our altar. The world knows that we adhere to this belief. Each and every one of us knows it, for we declare it in unequivocal terms when we enter a Masonic lodge. No godless political philosophy for us! No overthrowing of men's altars for the Mason ! You cannot believe in the Brotherhood which Masonry proclaims, unless you believe in the Fatherhood upon which it is based. Without God there is no such thing as a true Brotherhood. Without God there are no moral virtues. The Mason is not afraid to meet the issue squarely, for if he understands his Masonry truly, he does believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. He knows too, what that doctrine has meant through the centuries, and his whole Masonic system is an evidence of what has been won for mankind through the gradual dissemination of that doctrine.

 

MASONRY WILL NEVER ABANDON ITS LANDMARKS

 

Those who are offering their fanciful panaceas in exchange for the rights and privileges which the Constitution of the United States guarantees to us are trying to have us abandon the progress of the centuries for some theoretical thing which leaves out God and these moral virtues. They have a great responsibility upon their shoulders, and that responsibility is not so much to us as to the God who put them here. If they offer it ignorantly, the more need for us to promote education; if they do it through selfishness and hate, then so much the harder must we advocate our Law of Love, of Brotherhood.

 

For as Masons we will have to accept a large part of the responsibility for the settlement of these problems. The knowledge imparted by our system forges for us a chain of duty to civilization. What we need is to be inspired again with that enthusiasm and love of humanity which inspired the fathers of this country when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. What we need to do now is to show the world that Masonry upholds the principles which were written into the fundamental documents of this Republic, and does not stand for hurling man back into the abyss whence he emerged in the dawn of history. Builders we must be, builders of a Temple; not only "the temple, the house not made with hands," the character of the individual Mason, but builders we must be of a combined character for our Nation. That we have not yet accomplished. Mistakes we have made. We have not yet reached the ideal. But we Masons are awake now. Masons of the past were the makers of America. We of the present, challenged to meet the needs of a new world crisis, are going to be the upholders of the America which they founded. Join hands North, South, East and West, to proclaim anew that human brotherhood, our ideal for centuries past, shall yet pervade America, shall yet acknowledge the Fatherhood of God, and no matter who tries to tear down that ideal now, we, Masons, Patriots, believers in the destiny of our country, will fight to uphold that which has been won, and make right and truth and justice prevail for all men - our Brothers.

 

------o-----

 

DUTY

 

BY BRO. N.W.J. HAYDON, ONTARIO

 

Behold now Duty. How austere thou art.

To those who keep thy light shining within their souls

Thy gifts are sorrows deep, and joys so keen

They seem to pierce the heart.

 

Thy flowing robe's ensanguined with spent lives

Of martyrs, patriots, toilers, young and old.

Thy hood, of heaven's own blue - thy native place -

Is all bestrewed with flashing gems,

The tears of agony endured at thy behest.

 

Oh Duty; how hardly may we win to thy serenity,

Thy storm-encircled peace, how barred from man;

Pain at the heart and trembling at the knee,

Tears that burn to flow and lips white with resolve,

And cries unuttered, heard of God alone,

Then, above all, a soul that smiles and will not

Let its woes be known.

 

Surely thou art that World's Desire of old,

And we, like Ulysses, will meet the hidden swords

And risk the all-restraining grip of death

That we may gaze, unhindered, on thy face.

 

-----o-------

 

PARTNERS HERE

 

If you have made the fortune of the soul

Your heart will smile as life collects its toll,

And as you hand it out to bless and cheer

'Twill say to you, well done, we're partners here!

 

- L.B.M.

 

-----o-----

 

We do not count a man's years, until he has nothing else to count

- Emerson.

 

AMERICANIZATION WORK IN CINCINNATI

 

BY BRO. JOHN LEWIN, MCLEISH, OHIO

 

 

A FEW YEARS ago there stood over in the Mohawk District of Cincinnati, Ohio, a large tenement house of four stories built like a flatiron, overcrowded with foreigners sleeping eight and ten in a room, on the ground floor a saloon known as "Rosen's Cafe." The neighborhood was a tough one and it was hardly safe for a stranger to venture at night into the purlieus of the old Mohawk lest perchance he fall foul of the Mohawk Gang, a band of young American Apaches possessed of slight sympathy even for the curious investigator.

 

Presently came the war time and our attention was more earnestly directed to the needs and conditions of the foreign-born within our midst. The vanquishment of John Barleycorn compelled many a dispenser of wet goods to retire from business and whoever "Rosen" was, he too, followed the large army of ex-bonifaces, and the flatiron building, bereft of its liquid and gambling attractions, soon emptied itself and stood a silent monument of the days when the working man gambled and drank his week's wages away on the one Saturday night which represented his heaven.

 

Downtown in the big skyscrapers a little band of men representing all the civic organizations of Cincinnati had formed themselves into an Americanization Executive Committee with the objective of developing a semblance of Americanism among the large foreign population of the city. The problem confronting them was a formidable one. Of "enemy-aliens" - Germans, Austrians and Hungarians - there was a plentitude in Cincinnati. Of Roumanians, Czecho-Slovaks, Syrians, Serbians, Italians and Russians, veritable armies were scattered in different parts of the city, many of them hitherto utterly neglected, living in overcrowded habitations, unable to speak any language but their own, victims of consequent exploitation and injustice, shunted from pillar to post with little outlook for the future but a reversion to even more trying conditions.

 

The first task of the Americanization Executive Committee was the accomplishment of a thorough survey of Cincinnati's foreign-born by volunteer workers under the supervision of Dr. Randall J. Condon, Superintendent of Public Schools and Chairman of the Committee. This very thorough combing process definitely located the various foreign groups, - the Roumanians, Serbians and Hungarians in the heart of the Mohawk, the Russians, over a thousand and mostly of Jewish persuasion farther downtown about Clinton, Richmond, Barr, Ninth and other west-end streets; the Syrians in the neighborhood of the river front, and Pearl and Third Sts.; the Italians along Sixth Street and up into Kenton and Boone Sts., and so on, until one could glance at the card index compiled by the Committee and pick out his foreign group and individual at will.

 

Money was not wanting. The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and other Civic organizations practically poured their contributions into the War Chest of the Council of Social Agencies, providing funds for seventy different eleemosynary institutions and making liberal allotment therefrom to the work of the Americanization Executive Committee. With Dr. Condon's cooperation, night classes were formed in the public schools teaching English, Civics, American History, Federal, State and Municipal Governmental Principles, and above all, Americanism. The foreign born had been discovered in Cincinnati.

 

The classes were crowded. Some of the finest public schools in the city were at night buzzing beehives, for the foreign born. Splendidly competent teachers gave of their very best, imbued with enthusiasm at the task before them.

 

Still the Americanization Executive Committee was far from satisfied. Closer inspection of our guests from overseas had demonstrated that the foreigner is not such a bad fellow after all when you know him and break beneath the crust of his reserve. Once win his confidence and he will meet you half way. Convince him that there is something better ahead than the endless drudgery and exploitation of which he has been more than once a victim, and perhaps before you anticipate, he will have abandoned his dream of home-going and conclude that America after all is the best place in the world to live in, has more to offer for the individual, and by becoming a near-American his future assures an independence, and well-being quite impossible of attainment overseas. You have discovered a prospective American citizen.

 

It was the very worth-whileness of work among the foreign born that led the Americanization Executive Committee to the conclusion that these folks ought to have a club-house of their own, a hospitality house as it were, where group might meet group, old-world racial antipathies be quite forgotten, and Hungarian and Serb, Italian and Austrian, German and American, Roumanian and Russian, foregather under one roof and enjoy in common some of the things America has to offer from her plentitude. And so behold what was once Rosen's Cafe, dispenser of forgetfulness and instructor in craps, now a remodelled and up-to-date community center, on the ground floor an auditorium, a bathing plant, a men's lounging room and kitchen, above stairs a poolroom, ladies' rest room, music room, library, and director's offices. Some transformation this from the halcyon days of Rosen.

 

The first year's expense of The American House was approximately $13,900, a mere bagatelle when you consider just how many of Cincinnati's foreign born became acquainted, not alone with themselves, but also some very representative Americans. Friendships were cemented in the little tea-room when the leaders of the different groups came as guests to meet the Americanization Executive Committee who had made this big clubhouse a reality. Some of the finest ladies of the Queen City of the West came from the suburbs to meet these new found friends and their wives, established a calling acquaintance in the homes of the foreign born, sat beside them in the big auditorium, appeared with their husbands in the big Federal Court Room on naturalization days, and after the Judge had given them the glad hand of fellowship and citizenship, pinned upon the lapels of their coats the little American flags which showed them to all the world to be "one of us."

 

Much was accomplished in the first year of existence of The American House. Much remains to be done. We have but touched the crust.

 

An idea of our activities may be gleaned from a recent report. In February we had ten entertainments all by high class volunteer talent, each followed by substantial refreshments, practically donated. There were two especial celebrations of Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays with very excellent addresses by prominent local officials, followed by movies. A class in Citizenship and History is in session each Sunday afternoon from three to five o'clock, for those who cannot attend night school and yet would learn, taught by a young University man. Two sessions in English are given on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 o'clock. A mother's Sewing Class, Crochet Class, an American House Men's Club, international in membership, an American House Orchestra of seventeen pieces, all made up of kiddies splendidly trained, a Betsy Ross Club of neighborhood women - these are only a few of our activities. In the daytime we handle the individual cases. A Russian daddy wants to bring his three children from that dismal land of unrest. He has not seen them for fifteen years. We are trying our best to help him get them across. A German has paid $1,400.00 for a mythical piece of land for which the man who collected in weekly installments has refused to surrender the deed. A volunteer lawyer is handling the case. Numerous individuals want to go back home. We make their preparation as easy as possible. Others we instruct in how to get their first papers, how to complete the process.

 

A young Roumanian Lieutenant, with an A. B. and E. E. is stranded in Cincinnati. We find him a job in a high class industrial plant here, twenty minutes after his appearance, also find him a place to eat and sleep in a private home. Quick action this. Our daytime is devoted to the individual and it is through this personal contact and the making of a friend that we are able to impress upon him the importance of studying English, the first requisite for the future American in later studying Civics and good government, and then qualifying fully for that greatest thing in the world, American citizenship.

 

Ours is a hard job. Sometimes we fell pretty pessimistic, for it is a constant grind from nine A. M. to nine P. M., but then when your foreign born American friends drift into the auditorium and evince their profound approbation of the program you have been at pains to procure, when the women with their shawls come crowding into the evening classes and want to stay until ten or later, it is a downright satisfaction to feel that your clientele are interested.

 

Yes, the foreigner has been discovered in Cincinnati.

 

THE ROYAL ORDER OF SCOTLAND

 

BY BRO. CHARLES S. LOBINGIER, CHINA

 

 The Royal Order of Scotland occupies, in Scotch Masonry, a place corresponding to the Order of the Temple (Knights Templar) in the so-called York Rite of American Masonry.  Each is the culminating order of its respective rite and each is open to those only who have received the degrees of symbolic lodge and chapter.  Moreover, while their legends and symbolism differ widely, each is largely a Christian order.

 

Indeed the legend of the first degree (Heredom of Kilwinning) of the Royal Order, carries it back to the Culdees who introduced Christianity into Scotland; while the legend of its other degree (Rosy Cross) connects it with Robert Bruce and the gory field of Bannockburn where Masonic soldiers, who fought under that famous king, are alleged to have earned from him the reward of Knighthood in the form of this Order which they were privileged in their Grand Lodge to pass on to their successors.

 

The battle of Bannockburn was fought on June 24 (Summer St. John's Day), 1314, just a year after the widespread persecutions of the Templars had culminated in the tragic death, at the stake, of their last Grand Master, Jacques de Molai, "on a little island of the Seine" in Paris.  There are other legends which connect these two events and which tell of Templars who fled from those persecutions to Scotland, joined the army of Robert Bruce and helped him to win his great victory.

 

Passing, however, to quote "our Masonic Thucy-dides" (1)  . . . from fable to fact (and the Royal Order (2) has probably no more than its share, among the high grade orders, of fable) the tradition which connects it with the Masonry of France appears to have a basis of fact.  For Gould traces the Royal Order to an English Provincial Grand Chapter existing before 1750 of which he says that "there can be little if any doubt that it was an echo of French Scots Masonry"; (3) while another learned authority (4) has expressed the opinion that the parent English Grand Chapter "was an offshoot of the Emperors' Rite of Perfection or Heredom."

 

CONNECTION WITH THE SCOTTISH RITE

 

As both of these phases of eighteenth-century French Masonry were forerunners (5) of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, it will be seen how close is the connection in origin between the latter and the Royal Order of Scotland.  This is further illustrated by resemblances in the rituals, especially the phraseology, and it was doubtless that historic connection which attracted the great Masonic student, Albert Pike, and led him to establish the Royal Order of Scotland in the United States and to become its first Provincial Grand Master there.  For the same reason the Scottish Rite student of today will find more of interest in these quaint and curious degrees (6) of the Royal Order, and is better equipped to understand and appreciate them, than the devotees of any other Rite.  In the United States the Provincial Grand Masters following Albert Pike, have continued to be Scottish Rite dignitaries (7) and candidates are rarely if ever received into the Royal Order there who are not 32 degree Masons.  The Provincial Grand Lodge of the United States assembles annually; in the odd years at the same time and place as the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and in the even years with that of the Northern Jurisdiction, thus keeping in close touch with the leaders of the Rite throughout the country.  The degrees of the Royal Order are conferred only while a Supreme Council is in session, and the participants in the work, as well as the candidates, are active and usually prominent Scottish Rite Masons. But by the transplantation of the Royal Order to the Philippines the Scottish Rite Masons here who are eligible will have the opportunity of receiving its degrees at home - a privilege not enjoyed by their brethren of the United States.

 

EXPANSION

 

According to Gould (8) the Royal Order took root in Scotland after the middle of the eighteenth century. In legend and symbolry it is still Scotch and appeals no less strongly for that reason to thousands of American and other Masons whose ancestry harks back to the "bonnie braes" of Caledonia. (9) The King of Scotland is acclaimed as hereditary Grand Master (in succession to Robert Bruce) and at every Royal Order meeting a chair is kept vacant in the east for him. Traditionally, too, the Order was composed at first entirely of Scotchmen and limited to sixty-three, (10) evidently as the product of the sacred numbers 9 and 7. But this, if anything more than tradition, did not long continue, for as early as 1786 a Provincial Grand Lodge was erected in France (11) which, within a quarter of a century, came to comprise twenty-six subordinate lodges and chapters, including two in the French colonies, two in Italy and one in Belgium. (12)

 

Other Provincial Grand Lodges have since been erected as follows:

 

Glasgow and West of Scotland                        1859

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince

Edward Island                        1863

The Open Ports of China and the Colony

of Hong Kong                        1865

Western India                        1870

London and the Metropolitan Counties                        1872

Lancashire and Cheshire                        1874

Ontario and Quebec                        1875

United States of America                        1877

Aberdeenshire                        1883

Natal                        1885

Yorkshire                        1886

Northumberland, Durham, and Cumberland                        1893

Cape Colony                        1893

Canton of Geneva                        1893

 

In addition to the foregoing there are Provincial Grand Lodges of Hongkong and South China and of the Straits Settlements while a Provincial Grand Lodge of the Philippines has just been constituted.  Thus the Royal Order has spread to nearly every continent, encircling the globe and, from a national organization in a small country, has become more cosmopolitan, probably, than any other branch of Masonry except the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.  Like the premier Grand Lodge of England that of the Royal Order has its branches in many lands, but unlike the former the latter retains its direct connection and control as regards all the bodies which have emanated from it.  As the Provincial Grand Master of the United States observed in his address at the dinner above referred to, the Grand Lodge of the Royal Order is the only grand body of Great Britain which now exercises authority over a Masonic body in the United States.  And this unique position enables it to establish and preserve a connection between Scotch Masonry and that of other countries.  Nay more, in the Far East it is thus afforded a special opportunity, as the connecting link between the Scotch and American crafts, to use its good offices toward removing the unfortunate misunderstanding which has temporarily - let us hope no more- estranged the governing bodies of Capitular Masonry in the two countries.

 

That would be an achievement worth while and that alone would justify the extension of the Royal Order to the Philippines.  But it is hoped also thereby to render available here those rewards for Masonic service which Bro. Fensch, in the article already quoted, mentions as being offered in certain other provinces. "Indeed," he says, "at the present time members of the Royal Order of Scotland in the British colonies of China and South Africa, and possibly some of the other Provincial Grand Lodges, are given the prestige and honours usually accorded to Masons of the 33 degree and highest degree of the Scottish Rite." But these provinces, he further says, it must be remembered, "restrict the membership to . . . those who have become distinguished in Masonic work in the Orient."

 

PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

The charter for a Provincial Grand Lodge of the Philippines was issued some time since but no action was taken thereunder until the writer had visited the United States and ascertained from Provincial Grand Master, George M. Moulton, of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the United States, that such a course would be agreeable to him.  Both he and the other officers of that Grand Lodge manifested a broad and truly Masonic attitude in the matter, recognizing that it was entirely within the discretion of the Grand Lodge at Edinburgh and that, while the Philippines are American territory, their distance renders it more convenient and conducive to the welfare of the order to establish a Provincial Grand Lodge there.

 

Such a generous attitude having removed all obstacles the event was auspiciously consummated on the evening of March 15, 1920, at the new Masonic Temple in Manila.  The two degrees of Heredom of Kilwinning and Rosy Cross were conferred in full, and in the interval between them the company repaired to one of Manila's famous restaurants, near by, where a substantial repast, marked by much good fellowship, was partaken of.

 

The charter was then read and the newly obligated members requested to express their choice for officers by formal ballot.  The charter left their selection to the Provincial Grand Master but it was deemed better for the new body, and more calculated to start it with enthusiasm, to invite a formal expression from the members.  The balloting was accompanied by much good feeling, and the officers chosen include some of the most active and prominent members of the Craft in the Philippines.  Thus the Deputy Grand Master is a 33 degree Mason and is now Junior Grand Warden of the symbolic Grand Lodge of the Philippines of which body also the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden of the Royal Order is a Past Grand Master and at present, Grand Secretary.  The roster of officers below Provincial Grand Master is as follows:

 

Frederic H. Stevens, Provincial Dep.  Grand Master. Newton C. Comfort, Provincial Grand Sen. Warden. J. Frank Brown, Provincial Grand Junior Warden. Warren W. Weston, Provincial Grand Secretary. Aziz T. Hashin, Provincial Grand Treasurer Eugene A. Perkins, Provincial Grand Chaplain. Victor Hall, Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. Amos D. Haskell, Provincial Grand Banner Bearer. John J. Riehl, Provincial Grand Steward Frank Towle, Provincial Grand Steward. Elmer Jeen, Provincial Grand Guarder.

 

After the ballots had been taken the principal officers were, installed and formal proclamation was made that the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Philippines had now been constituted. Some business was then transacted, not the least important of which was the unanimous adoption of a resolution of thanks to M.'. W.'. James H. Osborne, Past Provincial Grand Master for the open ports of China, whose friendly and fraternal interest in the new Philippine body was one of the strong factors in securing its charter.

 

Profoundly appreciated also, was the Resolution recommended by Provincial Grand Master Moulton and adopted by the Provincial Grand Lodge of the United States as follows:

 

"Resolved, that the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland for the United States of America heartily approves of the action of the Grand Lodge at Edinburgh for the formation of a Provincial Grand Lodge of the R.O.S. to be located at Manila in the Philippine Islands, and the appointment of Bro. Charles Sumner Lobingier to be the first Provincial Grand Master thereof.

 

"We hail the addition of this new offspring to our parent body with great joy, and extend to it a most cordial welcome into fraternal relations, expressing for its membership, now and hereafter, our earnest wishes for the perpetuity and prosperity of their undertaking, and the fervent hope that its good works may be in evidence until the end of time."

 

The "Ides of March" will long be remembered as red letter day in the annals of the old Royal Order in new field.

 

(1) Gould History of Freemasonry, III, 75.  See THE BUILDER I, 125.

 

(2) Woodford (Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, 586), (1878), was "quite prepared to concede it a considerable antiquity as a high grade."

 

(3) History of Freemasonry, III, 76.  On page 92 of the same volume he says: "It cannot be too strongly insisted upon, that all so-called Scottish Masonry has nothing whatever to do with the Grand Lodge of Scotland, nor, with one possible exception - that of the Royal Order of Scotland - did it ever originate in that country.  If we add to this rite that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of 33 degree, we may even maintain that none of the Scots degrees were at any time practised in Scotland.  As a slight mark of distinction I shall therefore, whenever possible, allude to these degrees as Scots and not Scottish." (4) Allgemaines Handbuch der Freimaurerei, (Leipsic, 1863- 79) s.v. Heredom. (5) Gould, History of Freemasonry, III, 92, 93, 129. (6) One of the attractive features is that the Ritual is partly in rhyme. (7) The present Provincial Grand Master in the United States is Bro. George M. Moulton, 33 degree, who is also an Honourary Member of the Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction as well as prominent in all other branches of Masonry. (8) History of Freemasonry, III, 76. (9) At the annual dinner of the Royal Order which it was the writer's privilege to attend in Washington, Oct. 16, 1917, Scotch dishes were served, Scotch airs played, (partly with a bagpipe), the program cover design included a thistle, and one of the speakers was a Scratch General, lately from Flanders fields. (10) Bro. Albert Fensch, formerly of the Philippines, and who received the degrees of the Royal Order in Hongkong, wrote an article on the subject for the Texas Freemason (reprinted in the American Tyler-Keystone for September, 1915) in which he said: "The Provincial Grand Lodges of Hongkong, South China and Straits settlements still restrict the membership to sixty-three and they of those who have become distinguished in Masonic work in the Orient." (11) Gould, History of Freemasonry, III, 76, 161. (12) Thory, Annales Originis, 173.

 

THE MISSION OF VOLTAIRE

 

BY BRO. GILBERT PATTEN BROWN, NEW JERSEY

 

 The American and French Revolutions were the hopes of nineteen hundred years.  There was born at Chatinay, France, on February 20, 1694, a sickly and very small child - one of the most unique souls since the birth of Jesus, the Redeemer of men. No Gabriel heralded his birth, nor did "wise men" from far off countries come to his mother's bedside with costly offerings of significant homage, yet great was his mission among the "children of men." Francois Marie Arout De Voltaire, whose "Brutus" was played in the Colosseum at Rome, lived at a time when the world needed a reformer such as it had not seen since Paul preached at Athens, or Luther was in his spiritual gradient.

 

Voltaire was the forerunner of the Declaration of Independence. Such great philosophers, patriots, and seers as Paine, Jefferson, Franklin, Rush, Sherman, and Thornton were students of that lover of Shakespeare, Voltaire.  Paine was on the staff of Major General (Brother) Nathaniel Greene, of the Revolutionary Army.  He studied Voltaire and wrote essays of liberty by torch light on the drum-heads of the Continental host.  The seed-thoughts of the Declaration of Independence came from this student of Voltaire and were sent by Col. Richard Henry Lee on horseback to Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia in 1776, - just previous to July the 4th. In those days all the world was a stage as it is today, and the greatest of actors was this son of France.  So we will now view him as a playwright upon the great stage of life.

 

When wicked France awoke to the splendid genius of Shakespeare, Voltaire was in a rage.  He said that this Shakespeare, so savage, and so low, had some naturalness and sublimity, but that he had ruined the English theatre.  To a large extent this was true.

 

Voltaire's comedies and tragedies were among his most important works.  After Shakespeare's plays had received high honours in Paris, Voltaire in a letter to the Academy urged the claims of the French stage.  These claims were so strong that they awakened the most enthusiastic feeling, and as a result Voltaire's classic, "Irene," was given by the actors of the Comedie Francaise to illustrate the power of the French stage.

 

It was a memorable performance.  The great men of letters were present, Voltaire was carried on the shoulders of some of the audience and taken to his box amid cries of admiration for their "dear idol." During the wild scenes of enthusiasm as the evening advanced the author was crowned with laurel. Voltaire had now reached the age of 84 years, and this homage was grateful to him.  He only lived three months after this.

 

One of his tragedies was "Brutus," that was never played many times in France.  But when the French occupied Rome it was decided to give this work where there would be plenty of local colour.

 

The tragedy was given in the Colosseum. In order to make the stage setting perfect in detail the statue of Pompey at the feet of which "great Caesar fell," was transported to that historic spot and the Caesar of Voltaire fell where the great Caesar had fallen.  This statue of Pompey is in the Spada palace, not far from the Farnese.  It was found in front of the Basiliea, and the spot corresponds exactly with what one of the earliest historians says in regard to its removal by Augustus from the Curia.

 

The head of the statue was under a house, and the body was under another near by.  As neither of the house owners would give up his portion, Pope Julius III stepped in and bought both sections.  It was Cardinal Capodiferro who was active in bringing the matter of the quarrel to the Pope, and after its purchase Julius III presented it to the Cardinal, who owned the Spada palace.  At the time it was taken to the Colosseum to assist in Voltaire's "Brutus," the right arm was broken. It was, however, restored.  The figure is about nine feet in height and the face handsome, yet stern.

 

On the day of the old tragedy Caesar had been warned that there was a plot against him, and his wife implored him not to go to the senate.  But Brutus laughed at him for his prudence, and his litter took him there.  When he reached the hall of the senate the conspirators crowded around him as he moved to his seat. One of them came very near him and presented a petition for the pardon of his brother. Some of the others crowded nearer and grasped his hands and tried to put their arms around his neck, as if in supplication for this pardon. At first Caesar pushed them lightly back; then as they still pressed forward he used all his strength - for he saw the danger that threatened him.

 

Then the Roman who had asked for the pardon of his brother caught Caesar's toga and threw it around both his arms to make him helpless. And from  behind one of the conspirators stabbed at his shoulder. Caesar boldly caught at the handle of the dagger and still fought, as they thrust at him with their weapons; he even wounded one of them in his desperate effort to protect himself. But suddenly he saw Brutus pressing forward with the others, a sharp blade in his upraised hand.

 

"What! thou, too, Brutus!" he cried, and struggled no longer. He drew his robe over his face and they stabbed him till their daggers ran with blood. He reeled a little but was kept from falling for a few moments by the blows of the weapons. Then he fell at the feet of Pompey's statue, which was splashed with the blood of great Caesar.

 

The world needed a playwright - and Voltaire was heaven sent. Plays have their parts in the great subtotal of things. In his plays we seem to see Paul writing to Timothy that future generations might profit thereby - and at death Voltaire could have said as Paul did, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." - (II Tim.  IV, 7.)

 

I fully know the value of plays to the human heart. I have written them and have been an actor myself, so I fancy I see Voltaire anew in this light. Voltaire could have written even better ones than he did write had he been initiated into the mysteries of Masonry thirty years before he was given light in the world's greatest Democratic and Republican institution.

 

At the breaking out of the war of the American Revolution the record book of Masonic lodges in both Europe and America were full of the names of the leading men of civilization.  In America there were many lodges of note in Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and New York whose memberships consisted of the foremost men of the day.  But it was in Paris, France, that existed the world's most cosmopolitan lodge of the universal brotherhood, that of the Nine Sisters (named in honour of nine nuns, whose religious lives were worthy of emulation by all rational thinkers).

 

It was while our American Army lay in the snowbound huts of Valley Forge that Voltaire became closely associated with the chief diplomat and philosopher of the American Revolution - Benjamin Franklin, Senior Warden of the celebrated French Lodge.  On April 7, 1778, while all France applauded the cause of the American Colonies and that great Mason and patriot, General Steuben, was drilling and preparing the Army to whip the British in the next great battle, on the arm of Franklin slowly marched the great playwright Voltaire into the lodge room of the Nine Sisters, there to be made a Master Mason in "due, ancient and ample form." There had assembled upon that sublime occasion many of the great men of all walks and professions of life of Paris and vicinity.  It was truly a "gathering of the gods." Here the priest and the peasant sat side by side - the Deist and sectarian "met upon the level and parted upon the square."

 

Voltaire was the Shakespeare of the day.  Upon the foyer of membership were the names of fourteen clergymen, nine of whom were priests of the Society of the Jesuits. They were thinking men and longed for the good things of life.  Voltaire smiled upon his entrance. The ritual of Masonry found a warm welcome in the heart of the greatest soul of many centuries. At the close of the work Franklin and the rest admitted that they had learned more from Voltaire than they had imparted to him.  At a later period such of his admirers as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Thomas Paine, Robert R. Livingston, John Paul Jones and Robert Fulton visited the world's most unique lodge of Craft Masonry.

 

Voltaire was once headed for the Bastile by the powers of Stall, which was nothing short of the glove-covered hand of the French Jesuit as backed up by the "Holy Father" on the Tiber in Rome. Many Masons and freethinkers met their deaths at the hands of those creedmongers and political experts of France as the Revolution was about to burst upon the people.  Voltaire had to leave his native land or die in the Bastile. He took refuge in the land of Cromwell where he remained three years and was the lion of all literary societies in that country.

 

Voltaire broke the fetters of superstition for all time to come.  He was the greatest Deist in world history.  He died in Paris, May 30th, 1778, loved and lamented by the greatest minds of his generation.  Those of today whose intellects are large enough in all climes and countries to fully appreciate the great branches of the tree of universal liberty should bow in sacred reverence to the immortal name of Voltaire.

 

The Jesuits stole his remains from their earthly resting place.  Like the bones of his admirer, Thomas Paine, "no man knoweth" where they are.

 

Every great soul has a mission on this mortal plane - that of Voltaire was to teach the world the difference between religion and sectarianism.  His philosophy was congenial with the teachings of the ritual of Freemasonry.  While the tides of the seven seas ebb and flow twice in each twenty-four hours, and the minds of the children of men remain sane, as only a few of them do in these fleeting, morbid and aggressive times, Voltaire will be considered the greatest mind of a score of centuries.

 

NOTES ON THE EARLY HISTORY OF MASONIC RANKS

 

BY BRO. SIR FREDERICK POLLOCK, ENGLAND

 

IV. THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY PRACTlCE

 

WHAT can we infer from our documents as to the actual usage of the later Middle Ages? I submit, with all due reserve and subject to correction or new information, that it was something like this. Any qualified fellow of the craft may take a contract if he can find an employer to intrust him with the work and companions to work under him. So long as the building is in progress, be the time longer or shorter, he is "governor of the work" and called master, but strictly master only of the lodge he has formed for that special undertaking (there is no election of a master by the lodge in the purely operative period, except possibly, one may guess, if the master dies or is disabled before the work is finished). (42) In order to obtain the permanent rank of Master he must be approved and certified in a general assembly. We have seen that the proceedings were public, and that public officers were present who were not members of the craft. It is therefore most improbable that any new secrets were then and there imparted to the approved master; indeed it is hard to see what more he can have had to learn.

 

Now let us turn again to the statement in the Cooke MS. about the examination of masters. It is not a common form; the author whose work our scribe copied must have made it with a purpose. It looks as if he thought the practice of examination had been unduly relaxed, and wished to reinforce it by the mythical authority of King Athelstan, or it may be that he objected to the methods of new unionism (to use a modern phrase) whereby the congregations fell foul of Parliament, and intended to give his companions a hint that it was better to stick to their ancient office of keeping up the technical standard. Again he may have had some personal interest in the fees paid by masters on approval and have been anxious about their falling off. Fees were a great matter in the Middle, Ages. This, however, is guesswork.

 

Then the Cooke MS. has yet another curious passage after the "Points" - perhaps not in its right place, perhaps taken from a different source - where we hear of a class of "new men." "At the first beginning" (of the congregation) "new men that never were charged before be charged in this manner" - namely, in short, to keep no company with thieves, to work honestly, render true accounts in things for which they are accountable, behave as lawful men generally, "and that they keep with all their might and (sic) all the articles aforesaid." Something must be wrong with the text; for the duties specified are those of ordinary workers, but the Articles dealt with those of masters. One suspects an accidental omission; perhaps we should read "[all the points] and all the articles aforesaid"; but the lacuna may be more considerable. We can infer, as the MS. stands, only that at these assemblies a charge in the nature of general exhortation and distinct from the "articles" and "points" was delivered to masters or fellows, or both, attending for the first time, and that every man newly qualified as fellow or master was bound to attend at the first opportunity. Charges of this type are familiar to all Brethren in our modern ritual. To my mind the passage (assuming it to be a correct statement of actual practice) leaves us in doubt whether this exhortation was the preface to a formal admission, and does not enable us either to affirm or to deny that there was such a ceremony.

 

On the whole it seems likely that in the first half of the fifteenth century the craftsman who had executed one or two contracts with success was already apt to be so well content with the reputation of a de facto master as to be in no hurry to incur the trouble and expense of proceeding to the official completion of his title. Put that completion may have been expected of a mason who aspired to be master of the works for a great undertaking such as the building of a collegiate church or material additions to a cathedral or minster. Similarly, in a rough way, the M.A. degree is kept alive in England at this day mainly as a qualification for academic franchise or scholastic or ecclesiastical office. The university analogy further suggests that only formally approved master masons had an effective vote in the general assemblies. I have not found any clear indication of the time when the practical business of the congregations died out, or when they ceased to be even formally convened; but I should guess that the former date cannot be put later than about the middle of the sixteenth, or the latter than the first quarter of the seventeenth century.

 

V. THE TRANSITION PERIOD

 

In the sixteenth century there was a general decay of the old craft regulations, those of Masonry among them; but there was also a special reason for the standing of a master mason losing its importance. The introduction of the word "architect," hardly in use before the sixteenth and not common till the seventeenth century, marks the advent of a sort of men, trained not in the old craft ways, but in the new art that had come in with the new learning, who treated their profession as being of a higher order than the builder's industry. When the architect who had never been a craftsman was the real "governor of the work," and the master mason was no better than a foreman or clerk of the works, it was no longer worth while to be an operative master mason. The operative lodges gradually became little more than social clubs preserving the symbolic traditions of the craft with various degrees of care and fidelity, something like the Inns of Chancery in the legal profession when they ceased to be active bodies working in auxiliary subordination to the Inns of Court; and as a measure of self-preservation they reinforced themselves by adopting or "accepting" honorary members who had nothing to do with the operative craft. These "accepted" members were the ancestors of our modern fraternity, and "speculative" in the sense of having studied, or being deemed to have studied, geometry and architecture without being craftsmen. (43) We may see in the adoption of Sir Christopher Wren at the very latest stage of the transition, if it really took place, an expiring attempt on behalf of the attenuated operative tradition to revive its credit by linking it with the new school of architecture. But the fact is in doubt; we have here an example of perhaps the most troublesome kind of minor historical problem, where the affirmative side rests on weak though in itself not incredible evidence, the negative on the lack of confirmation in the quarters where we might reasonably look for it. (44) Aubrey's well known memorandum of 1691 (45) cannot, however, be dismissed as void of all foundation; no motive for invention appears, and if Wren was invited to become a brother late in his life, that is not unaccountable. The simplest explanation is that nobody thought of it sooner; or for some reason Wren may have had difficulties about accepting, and taken a long time to decide. A more careful diarist would have saved posterity much trouble by being at the small pains of ascertaining that the meeting he noted as appointed for that very day, May 18,1691, was actually held. But Aubrey was careless. Later inaccurate gossip is of no value as confirmation, but so far as its particulars are inconsistent with Aubrey's contemporary note it is equally worthless as contradiction. As Chetwode Crawley judiciously said, Aubrey's testimony remains admissible for what it is worthy. (46) It seems just possible that Wren was adopted in expectation of active assistance, and that he failed to render it; if so there might be a grain of truth in Anderson's otherwise very suspicious story of his neglect. (47) But, whether we decide for or against Sir Christopher's membership, or leave the matter as an unsolved puzzle, there is nothing in it to help us to any general conclusion.

 

We have anticipated a little, but the digression is not material. The really dark time of the transformation is the sixteenth century. Lodges had been temporary working associations for a time varying with the magnitude of the undertaking. They became local and permanent, with something of a superficial likeness to craft gilds, from which they were really as different as could be. There were, of course, real craft gilds of masons in the towns, distinguished from other trade gilds by the customary right of intercommoning, to borrow a legal term from another region, whereby the fellow of any one gild was entitled to be received and to work in the jurisdiction of any other. Hence the need of passwords and tokens for recognition. But we have no evidence that the fixing of lodges to a local habitation was accomplished by any process of amalgamation with gilds. That which actually happened in the singular case (so far as we know) of London was, as we shall immediately see, not so simple. It is easy to suppose then when a master mason of good repute had fulfilled a contract and had reason to expect another, his companions might find it more profitable to stay with him than to disperse in search of other work. That would account for a lodge acquiring a continuous existence, but it would bring it no nearer to the change of the master from the founder into an annually elected officer. I have not met with any light on the process, nor even any attempt to explain it. One little fact waiting to be fitted into its right place is that operative bodies continued to deliver the old charges, or abridgments of them, to their apprentices as late as the eighteenth century. (48)

 

Early in the seventeenth century we have a glimpse of the transition from operative to speculative Masonry nearly but not quite accomplished in the "new articles" that occur in a few MSS. of the constitutions. (49) No person is to be accepted a Freemason "unless he shall have ( ?) a lodge of five Freemasons at least, whereof one to be a master or warden" - where "master" is obviously the name of office only - "of that limit or division wherein such Lodge shall be kept, and another of the trade of Freemasonry." This is not altogether clear, but it seems that a lodge was not correctly formed without at least one operative member. Now the need for such a rule shows that in most lodges the majority had ceased to be operative. This was certainly the case, as we now know, in the Warrington Lodge to which Elias Ashmole was admitted in 1646; (50) indeed it is at least doubtful whether any operative mason was present. "I was made a Free Mason" is the whole extent of Ashmole's disclosure as to what passed, besides the date and the names of members of the lodge attending. Many years later, in 1682, Ashmole attended a lodge "at Mason's Hall, London" where six named persons "were admitted into the Fellowship of Free Masons." Ashmole "was the Senior Fellow among them," and the Master of the Masons' Company (of London) is named among "the Fellows" present. There is no word of Ashmole having ever gone through any other ceremony than that of Oct. 16, 1646, at Warrington, or of any one being called Master except in virtue of his office for the time being. The natural inference is that an "accepted," i.e. nonoperative Freemason was admitted as a fellow without going even in form through the stage of an apprentice (though a cumulative ceremony is not absolutely negatived), and that there was no speculative degree corresponding to the old operative rank of master mason, which had become obsolete, or confounded with that of fellow, in the course of the sixteenth century; whether practice was uniform everywhere we cannot be quite sure, but at all events there is no sign of different usages in London and at Warrington. Honorary degrees in universities are in like manner conferred without any mention at all of the stages passed through by an ordinary candidate, and indeed degrees are quite commonly so conferred by the governing body on officeholders if they are not already graduates of the university.

 

The Masons' Hall where Ashmole attended a lodge meeting was the hall of the Masons' Company of London, and the lodge was attached to the company in the sense that the company accepted honorary members through (and it seems only through) the lodge; but the company as a subsisting craft gild was more extensive than the lodge, and the records of the lodge, unfortunately not extant, were quite distinct from those of the company. This appears in the extracts from the Company's accounts, beginning in 1620, published by Bro. Conder. New members admitted to the Company and "coming on the livery upon acceptance of Masonry" paid distinct fees to the lodge and to the Company. (51) Apprentices taking up their freedom in the regular way of the trade after serving their seven years under a freeman might and commonly did pay a special fee of 3s 4d for "admission then to be a Master." This had nothing to do with the lodge, for there is no corresponding item in the fees paid by the "accepted'? members. It was therefore a survival of the old operative rank, consolidated with that of fellow - a rank still distinct from membership of any merely local body, even that of the eminent London Company, and carrying in theory the privilege of being free of the craft everywhere. Its working value, however, does not seem to have been rated high in the year 1636, judging by the amount of 3s. 4d. as compared with the 20s. paid "by way of gratuitie to this Companie." (52) By rights, it would seem, the 3s. 4d. should have gone to some representative of the general assembly of masons and not into the Company's account. Evidently there had long ceased to be any such person. I may add by the way that I cannot believe there was a Grand Master of Freemasons (except so far as the president of a general assembly, so long as the assemblies were held, may be regarded as such for the occasion, as Speth suggests in his commentary on the Cooke MS.) or any regular body acting like a Grand Lodge, before 1717. The "admission to be a Master" still practiced in the Masons' Company in 1636 appears to be the latest officially recorded trace of the use of that name in the old operative sense. An inventory of 1665 shows that the Company kept a list of "the names of the accepted Masons" - that is the members of the lodge "in a fair inclosed frame with lock and key." (53) Nothing in the Company's books tells us what became of that lodge. It may have died out or may have separated from the Company and continued under some new name; Bro. Conder suggests as a pious conjecture that the Lodge of Antiquity may have arisen from it. (54)

 

The formation of purely speculative lodges not having any professed operative character appears to have begun only in the eighteenth century, not without discontent on the part of operative lodge members. (55)

 

Finally we have Anderson's statement about the meeting of four lodges which was the origin of the Grand Lodge of England. (56) "They and some old Brothers met at the said Apple-Tree, and having put into the Chair the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge) they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro tempore in due form," etc. The same term is applied a little further on to the chairman of the assembly and feast held at the Goose and Gridiron on St. John the Baptist's day, 1717, when Sayer was elected Grand Master. It seems natural that an actual Master of a lodge should take the chair on both occasions. Anderson's phraseology may have been intended to minimize the fact that the only persons then recognized as master masons were those who were or had been Masters of lodges, Installed Masters as we now call them; but it does not appear to me that any certain inference can be drawn.

 

VI. THE SPECULATIVE RECONSTRUCTION

 

The state of things before the creation of the Grand Lodge of England seems to have been as follows:

 

In the community of operative masons there had been three grades, namely apprentice, fellow and master, resembling the undergraduate student, bachelor and master or doctor of a university.

 

The rank of master mason had become less important from the fifteenth century onwards. It was practically extinct about the middle of the seventeenth century.

 

In the subsisting lodges about 1700 there was only one rank, generally under the name of fellow, but it seems that an actual or past Master of a lodge was entitled to some precedence.

 

I have endeavoured to give a connected view of these stages, distinguishing those points which are established or made highly probable by good witness from those which are left open by the known evidence and give room for some latitude of conjecture. In my judgment no greater certainty is now to be looked for save by some unexpected stroke of good fortune.

 

The founders of modern Freemasonry, having in their hands copies of the "Old Charges," and perhaps other material now lost, were acquainted with the old operative classification and proceeded to reconstruct it in the speculative form now familiar to us.

 

Thus was our stately and superb edifice, for so we may justly call it notwithstanding all confessed errors in design and faults of execution, built up on the ruins of the medieval order. Our founders were credulous; their credulity, as too commonly happens, was not free from admixture of something indistinguishable from pious fraud; but the blemishes affect only details of their work. The last word must be of thankfulness for the daring ingenuity which rescued the permanent and cosmopolitan elements of the ancient craft symbolism and developed them with enhanced spiritual value.

 

 

(42) But this was at least sometimes otherwise provided for; see as to York Minster, p. 12 above. cp. art. 141 of the curre English Book of Constitutions.

 

(43) See Cooke MS., l, 623, and Speth's comment thereon.

 

(44) Especially the silence of Sir Christopher's son, who was certainly a Freemason. Preston's assertion counts for nothing, Anderson's for rather worse than nothing. The minutes of the Lodge of St. Paul s (1723) restore the balance but are not quite convincing. See the controversy summed up in Calvert. The Grand Lodge of England, 1917, pp. 44-52.

 

(45) Facsimiled in Chetwode Crawley's "The Masonic MSS. the Bodleian Library," reprint from Ars. IV. Coron., 1898.

 

(46) If it is worth anything it shows that Wren was not a Freemason before 1691. The alternative of supposing that Aubrey misunderstood his information or was misinformed, so that the ceremony may have really been an installation, would leave us with no standing-ground at all.

 

(47) Aubrey's entry is also strictly compatible with Wren, having at the last moment refused or failed to attend the meeting, and thus never having been adopted.

 

(48) Conder, op. cit., p. 142.

 

(49) Conder, The Hole Craft &c., p. 225.

 

(50) Facsimile from his diary in "The Masonic MSS. in the Bodleian Library"; many times printed, last in Newton, The Builders, p. 162, and Calvert, The Grand Lodge of England, p. 2, also in Conder, op. cit., 203-4.

 

(51)The Hole Craft &c., pp. 140, 171.

 

(52) Ib. pp. 162, 163.

 

(53) The Hole Craft &c., p. 179.

 

(54) op. cit., p. 13.

 

(55) Calvert, The Grand Lodge of England, p. 17.

 

(56) Book of Constitutions, 2nd ed., 1738, p. 109, Facsimiled Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, vol. 7.

 

 

THE MAN WHO SAVED BURNS TO SCOTLAND

 

BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ASSOCIATE EDITOR "THE FREEMASON," ENGLAND

 

THOMAS BLACKLOCK was born at Annan, Dumfries, on November 10, 1721. His parents, who were natives of Cumberland, were of the poorer class - his father was a bricklayer - but industrious and well-informed. Before Thomas Blacklock was six months old an attack of small-pox deprived him of his eye-sight and from that time his father seems to have made it his principal aim to lessen this terrible calamity by all the means in his power. His hours of freedom from labor were devoted to reading to his son, and he enlisted the friendly offices of neighbors in the same work during the day when he was unable to be at home. By this means the blind boy became acquainted with the works of Spenser, Milton, Prior, Pope, Addison, Thomson, and Allan Ramsay, and he also acquired some knowledge of the rudiments of the Latin language. He also acquired a love for poetry, and, at the age of twelve, began to compose imitations of some of the authors whose works had been read to him and he even essayed some original compositions.

 

Even in his first poem he gave evidence of the mildness of temper for which he was noted throughout his life. There is an analogy between him and Burns, whom, in later years, he befriended, in the fact that the first composition of the great Scottish bard, at the age of fifteen, was to a girlish companion. Blacklock's first composition was to a girl about his own age - "To a Little Girl whom I had offended," - urging her to avoid shrewishness:

 

Should but thy fair companion view

How ill that frown becomes thy brow,

With fear and grief in every eye,

Each would to each, astonished, cry;

Heavens! where is all her sweetness flown!

How strange a figure now she's grown!

Run, Nancy, let us run, lest we

Grow pettish, awkward things as she.

 

It was certainly a composition not to be despised as the production of a boy of only twelve years of age, and might even be classed as remarkable to find a sightless boy of that age discoursing upon the probabilities of sight.

 

The daily acquisition of knowledge and the frequent composition of poems continued until Thomas Blacklock attained the age of nineteen, when a second great misfortune overtook him. The father, whom he had loved so dearly and who had lavished such care upon him, was accidentally suddenly killed by the fall of a lime-kiln. Of that father he wrote in his Soliloquy:

 

Where now, ah! where is that supporting arm

Which to my weak, unequal, infant steps

Its kind assistance lent? Ah, where that love,

That strong assiduous tenderness, which watch'd

My wishes yet scarce form'd; and, to my view

Unimportun'd, like all indulging Heav'n,

Their objects brought? Ah, where that gentle voice

Which, with instruction, soft as summer dews

Or fleecy snows, descending on my soul,

Distinguish'd every hour with new delight?

Ah! where that virtue, which amid the storms,

The mighty horrors of tumultous life,

Untainted, unsubdued, the shock sustain'd?

So firm the oak which, in eternal night,

As deep its roots extends, as high to heaven

Its top majestic rises: such the smile

Of some benignant angel, from the throne

Of God despatch'd, ambassador of peace,

Who on his look impress'd his message bears,

And, pleas'd, from earth averts impending ill.

Alas! no wife thy parting kisses shar'd;

From thy expiring lips no child received

Thy last, dear blessing, and thy last advice.

Friend, father, benefactor, all at once,

In thee forsook me, an unguarded prey

For every storm, whose lawless fury roars

Beneath the azure concave of the sky,

To toss, and on my head exhaust its rage.

 

On the death of his father he gave way, for a time, to despondency. He was deprived of the stay on which he had hitherto rested and the fate of a homeless beggar sometimes presented itself as one that might befall him:

 

Dejected prospect! soon the hapless hour

May come - perhaps this moment it impends -

Which drives me forth to penury and cold,

Naked, and beat by all the storms of heaven,

Friendless and guideless to explore my way;

Till on cold earth this poor, unsheltered head

Reclining vainly from the ruthless blast

Respite I beg, and in the shock expire.

 

He lamented his blindness. He realized to the full the limitations which his addiction placed upon him:

 

The sacred fane

Of knowledge, scarce accessible to me;

With heart-consuming anguish I behold;

Knowledge for which my soul insatiate burns

With ardent thirst. Nor can these useless hands

Untutor'd in each life-sustaining art,

Nourish this wretched being, and supply

Frail nature's wants, that short cessation know.

 

He continued to live with his mother for a year after his father's death, when there happened to him that tide "which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." At the time of his father's death, which occurred in 1740, Blacklock's poems had been issued only in manuscript form, but they had already secured a wide circulation, and some of them fell into the hands of Dr. Stevenson, an eminent physician of Edinburgh. In 1741, at the request of Dr. Stevenson, Blacklock went to Edinburgh, and, after a short course at the grammar school there, proceeded to Edinburgh University, where he remained until 1745. Then the rebellion broke out and the poet returned for a time to Dumfries, where he found an asylum with his married sister, Mrs. McMurdo. At the termination of the rebellion he went back to Edinburgh, where he pursued his studies for a further six years, acquiring, among other stores of learning, a thorough knowledge of Greek, Latin, and French. The cost of this training was defrayed by Dr. Stevenson and to him Blacklock afterwards dedicated his Imitation of the Ode to Maecenas, which occupies the first place in his poems, as it does in those of Horace.

 

The first edition of Blacklock's poems had been published in Glasgow in 1746 and, in 1754, the second edition was published in Edinburgh, an edition appearing also in London in the same year, with a biographical notice of the author by the Rev. Joseph Spence, the Oxford Professor of Poetry. A subscription was opened immediately at the shop of Dodsley, a well known publisher of that period, for a quarto edition to be published at a guinea for large paper, and a hall a guinea for small paper copies. Blacklock meanwhile had made the acquaintance of Hume, the historian, who assisted in promoting the sale of this edition, which yielded the author a considerable sum. Further editions appeared in 1786, 1793, and 1796.

 

Blacklock, however, did not limit his literary efforts to poetry. In 1756, he published An Essay towards a Universal Etymology, and he was also the author, of the article on the Blind in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and he translated from the French a work on the education of the blind by Valentine Hauy, the founder of the Paris Blind School. Although not inaugurated in Blacklock's lifetime, it was through his persistence that some prominent Edinburgh residents established the Edinburgh Asylum for the Relief of the Indigent and Industrious Blind. In 1786, also, he published a translation from the French of two discourses on The Spirit and Evidence of Christianity by the Rev. James Armared, Minister of the Walloon Church in Hanau.

 

Blacklock had intended at the termination of his University course to give lectures in elocution to students intended for the bar or the church, but Hume dissuaded him from this undertaking. Possibly, the reason behind Hume's action was the fact that, in the dictation of his poems, Blacklock had acquired a vibratory sort of motion with his body, owing mainly to his inability to walk about unaided in consequence of his blindness. He refers to this habit in the poetic pen picture he has drawn of himself:

 

As some vessel tossed by wind and tide

Sounds o'er the waves and rocks from side to side,

In just vibration thus I always move.

 

On the abandonment of this idea, Blacklock determined to study Divinity and, after the usual probationary course, he was, in 1759, licensed as a preacher of the gospel according to the constitution of the Church of Scotland.

 

In 1762, Blacklock married Sarah Johnston, daughter of Joseph Johnston, a surgeon in Dumfries, and about the same time he was ordained minister of the town and parish of Kircudbright, a presentation fron the Crown obtained for him by the Earl of Selkirk The parishioners, however, objected strongly to the appointment and, after a legal dispute lasting nearly two years, his friends advised him to resign his right and accept a moderate annuity in its stead. He returned to Edinburgh in 1764 when he adopted the plan of receiving a limited number of students in his house.

 

Whether it was the outcome of his decision to enter the ministry cannot be said but his intimacy with Hume was severed and, by a singular coincidence, he became acquainted with Hume's opponent, Dr. Beattie, with whom was inaugurated a friendship to be severed only by death. Beattie was professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen and had written, besides poems, philosophical works designed to defend religion and morals against the sceptical theories enunciated by Hume. It is believed that it was owing to the influence of Dr. Beattie that the University of Aberdeen conferred upon Blacklock the degree of D. D. in 1767, the same year that he published Paracelsis. In the preceding year he had sent a copy of his poems to Dr. Beattie, who returned to him a poetical epistle which, afterwards, was prefixed to his poems. Part of it reads as follows:

 

Who longs to emulate thy tuneful art:

But more thy meek simplicity of heart;

But more thy virtue, patient, undismay'd,

At once though malice and mischance invade,

And, not by learned nor priestly pride confined

Thy zeal for truth and love of human kind.

 

This love of human kind was a prominent trait in Blacklock's character and there were several notable instances of it in his career. He engaged a boy from a village near Carlisle for the purpose of leading him about. Perceiving in the youth a willingness to learn, he taught him Latin, Greek, and French, and eventually secured for him the position of secretary to Lord Milton (then Lord Justice Clerk and sub-minister for Scotland under the Duke of Argyll). This young man was named Richard Howitt, who afterwards wrote the poem entitled Roslin Castle, a work of much promise, which he dedicated to Dr. Blacklock. Unhappily, the fatigue of the employment caused damage to his health and he died in 1794.

 

But the greatest debt that is owed to Dr. Blacklock is the fact that he saved Burns to Scotland, and perhaps to literature. He was one of the first to appreciate the genius of Scotia's famous bard. Dr. George Lawrie, of London, a man of high culture and character and on terms of intimacy with the leading Scottish litterateurs, had been struck with the excellencies of Burns' poems. He thought that the author was too great a man either to pine in provincial obscurity or to expatriate himself to a pestilential climate, as he proposed to do. Burns, as a means of escape from his many troubles, had accepted a position which had been offered to him in the West Indies. His passage to Jamaica had been booked. He had written his Farewell to the Brethren of St. James' Lodge, Tarbolton, when there came to hand a letter from Dr. Blacklock, which caused him to change his mind and remain in Scotland.

 

To quote Burns' own words:

 

"I had just taken the last farewell of my few friends; my chest was on the road to Greenock; I had composed the last song I should ever measure in Caledonia; when Dr. Blacklock's opinion that I would meet with encouragement in Edinburgh for a second edition fired me so much that I posted away to that city."

 

When Burns arrived in Edinburgh, says Dr. Currie, Blacklock received him with all the ardour of affectionate admiration; he eagerly introduced him to the respectable circle of his friends; he consulted his interests; he emblasoned his fame; he lavished upon him all the kindness of a generous and feeling heart, into which nothing selfish or envious ever found admittance.

 

"Dr. Blacklock," said Burns, "belonged to a set of critics for whose applause I had not dares to hope. His opinion that I would meet with encouragement fired me so much that away I posted for that city, without a single acquaintance or a single letter of introduction. The baneful star that had so long shed its blasting influence on my Zenith for once made a revolution to the nadir."

 

Walker, in his Biography of Burns, says:

 

"It was a fortunate circumstance that the person whom Dr. Lawrie applied to, merely because he was the only one of his literary acquaintance with whom he chose to use that freedom, happened also to be the person best qualified to render the application successful. Dr. Blacklock was an enthusiast in his admiration of an art which he had practised himself with applause. He felt the claims of a poet with a paternal sympathy, and he had in his constitution a tenderness and a sensibility that would have engaged his beneficence for a youth in the circumstances of Burns, even though he had not been indebted to him for the delight which he received from his works; for if the young men were enumerated whom he drew from obscurity and enabled by education to advance themselves in life, the catalogue would naturally excite surprise."

 

The intimacy between Burns and Blacklock was broken only by the death of the patron and, in October, 1789, less than two years before that event, we find Burns addressing a poetic epistle to Dr. Blacklock from Ellisland, beginning:

 

Wow! but your letter made me vauntie!

And are you hale, and week and cantie?

I kenn'd it still your wee bit jauntie

Wad bring you to:

Lord send you ate as weeds I want ye,

And then ye'll do.

 

In this and very many other instances we find Blacklock in his life exemplified the principles in his own Hymn to Benevolence:

 

Hail! source of transport, ever new;

Whilst thy kind dictates I pursue,

I taste a joy sincere;

Too vast for little minds to know,

Who on themselves alone bestow

Their wishes and their care.

 

Daughter of God! delight of man!

For thee felicity began;

Which still thy hand sustains;

By thee sweet peace her empire spread,

Fair Science raised her laurel head,

And Discord gnash'd in chains.

 

If from thy sacred paths I turn,

Nor feel their griefs, while others mourn,

Nor with their pleasures glow;

Banished from God, from bliss, and thee,

My own tormentor let me be

And groan in helpless woe.

 

Small wonder that it was said of Blacklock that he never lost a friend nor made a foe.

 

Heron wrote of him in the Edinburgh Magazine:

 

"There was, perhaps, never one among all mankind whom you might more truly have called an angel upon earth as Dr. Blacklock. He was guileless and innocent as a child, yet endowed with manly sagacity and penetration. His heart was a perpetual spring of overflowing benignity. His feelings were all tremblingly alive to the sense of the sublime, the beautiful, the tender, the pious, the virtuous; poetry was to him the dear solace of perpetual blindness; cheerfulness, even to gaiety, was, notwithstanding that irremediable misfortune, long the predominant eolour of his mind. In his latter days, when the gloom might otherwise have thickened around him, hope, faith, devotion, the most fervent and sublime, exalted his mind to heaven and made him maintain his wonted cheerfulness in the expectation of a speedy dissolution."

 

Sir W. Forbes said:

 

"With Dr. Blacklock I had the happiness of being well acquainted, and I look back with gratitude to his memory for the most instructive hours which I enjoyed in his company.

 

Blacklock was very sensitive with regard to his affliction and to the fact that he was regarded frequently as an object of curiosity:

 

the supercilious eye

Oft, from the noise and glare of prosperous life,

On my obscurity diverts its gaze,

Exulting; and with wanton pride elate

Felicitates its own superior lot,

In human triumph.

 

Frequently in his poem he refers to his loss sight:

 

For, oh! while others gaze on Nature's face,

The verdant vale, the mountains, woods, and streams;

Or with delight ineffable survey

The sun, bright image of his parent God:

The seasons, in majestic order, round

This vary'd globe revolving: young-ey'd Spring

Profuse of life and joy; summer adorn'd

With keen effulgence, bright'ning heaven and earth;

Autumn replete with nature's various boon,

To bless the toiling hind, the Winter grand

With rapid storms, convulsing Nature's frame,

While others view Heaven's all-involving arch,

Bright with unnumber'd worlds: and, lost in joy,

Fair order and utility behold:

Or unfatigu'd th' amazing chain pursue,

Which in one vast all-comprehending whole

Unites th' immense stupendous works of God;

Conjoining part with part, and thro' the frame

Diffusing sacred harmony and joy;

To me, those fair vicissitudes are lost.

 

And again:

 

And grace and beauty blotted from my view,

The verdant vale, and mountains, woods, and streams

One horrid blank appear; the young-ey'd spring,

Effulgent summer, autumn deck'd in wealth

To bless the toiling hind, and winter grand

With rapid storms, revolve in vain for me:

Nor the bright sun, nor all-embracing Arch

Of heav'n, shall e'er these wretched orbs behold.

O Beauty, Harmony! You sister train

Of graces, you who in th' admiring eye

Of God your charms display'd are yet transcrib’d

On Nature's form your heavenly features strong,

Why are you snatch'd for ever from my sight

Whilst, in your stead, a boundless waste expanse

Of undistinguished horror covers all.

Wide, o'er my prospect, rueful darkness breathes

Her inauspicious vapour; in whose shade

Fear, grief, and anguish, natives of her reign

In social sadness gloomy vigils keep.

With them I walk; with them still doom'd to share

Eternal Blackness, without hopes of dawn.

 

Yet, in his poems, Blacklock speaks of day and night, light and darkness, the eye, view, and sight; sun, moon, and stars; lightning and meteors; the beams of the sun; and the flashing, gleaming, glowing, glaring, and blazing of different objects. For instance, in The Shepherd's Preference, he says:

 

"In May, when the daisies appear on the green,

And flowers in the field and the forest are seen;

Where lilies bloomed bonnie, and haythorns upsprung,

A pensive young shepherd oft whistled and sung;

But neither the shades nor the sweets of the flower,

Nor the blackbirds that warbled in blossoming bower,

Could brighten his eye or his ear entertain,

For love was his pleasure and love was his pain."

 

Dr. Johnson, discoursing on Blacklock's poetry, observed that as its author had the misfortune to be blind, we may be absolutely sure that such passages are combinations of what he has remembered of the works of other writers who could see. He regarded Blacklock with reverence. In a letter which he wrote to Mrs. Thrale on 17th August, 1773, he said:

 

"This morning I saw at breakfast Dr. Blackloek, the blind poet, who does not remember to have seen light, and is read to by a poor scholar in Latin, Greek, and French. He was originally a poor scholar himself. I looked on him with reverence."

 

Johnson met Blacklock on two occasions and it was on his return from the Western Islands that he break-fasted with him. One incident in connection with this breakfast has been placed on record by one who was a boarder in Dr. Blacklock's house at that time. It is that Dr. Johnson drank nineteen cups of tea on that occasion. The writer goes on to say:

 

"I was twice in company with Dr. Johnson, when he came to Edinburgh, on his journey from the Hebrides. Being then a boarder in Dr. Blacklock's, my request to be present at the breakfast to Dr. Johnson was readily granted. The impression which I then received of him can never be effaced; but it was not of an unpleasant nature. He did not appear to me to be that savage which some of my college companions had described him; on the contrary, there was much suavity and kindness in his manner and address to Dr. Blacklock. The blinds poet generally stood in company, rocking from one side to another; he had remarkably small white hands, which Dr. Johnson held in his great paws during the most part of the time that they conversed together, caressing and stroking them as he might have done those a pretty child."

 

Dr. Johnson, it may be mentioned, is generally accredited as being the author of a laudatory notice of Dr. Blacklock, which appeared in the Gentleman Magazine.

 

In the circle of friendship Dr. Blacklock seemed to forget his privation of sight and the melancholy which, at other times, it produced, and he entered with cheerful playfulness into all that went on around him. He had no earnest desire for anything except knowledge. He looked upon virtue as the cause of happiness to man and vice as the cause of his misery, and his description of a guilty conscience is both poetical and just:

 

In hopeshis terror to elude

By day, he mingles with the crowd;

Yet finds his soul to fears a prey,

In busy crowds and open day.

If night alone his walks surprise,

What horrid visions round him rise;

That blasted oak, which meets his way,

Shown by the meteor's sudden ray,

(The midnight murd'rer's known retreat),

Felt Heav'n's avengeful bolt of late;

The clashing chain, the groan profound,

Loud from yon ruined tow'r, rebound:

And now the spot he seems to tread

Where some self-slaughtered corpse was laid;

Beneath his steps earth seems to bend;

Deep murmurs from her caves ascend;

Till all his soul, by fancy swayed,

Sees horrid phantoms crowd the shade.

 

He had a very lofty conception of Deity:

 

Hail Sovereign Goodness, All-productive Mind!

On all Thy works Thyself inscribed we find:

How variously all, how variously endowed,

How great their number, and each part how good!

How perfect then must the great Parent shine

Who, with one act of energy divine,

Laid the vast plan and finished the design.

 

The poetical works of Thomas Blacklock possess solid merits and will always repay perusal. There is no weak sentiment in any of his productions: the thoughts are vigorous and the expression intense. They were composed at a somewhat rapid rate and he would sometimes dictate as many as from thirty to forty verses as fast as an amanuensis could write them.

 

In his later years he became afflicted with deafness, but his gentleness of temper never forsook him. In 1787, age and infirmity obliged him to retire from active life, and on July 7, 1791, he passed away in the seventieth year of his age, after about a week's illness from a feverish disorder. He was buried in the ground attached to St. Cuthbert's chapel-of-ease, where a monument has been erected to his memory which bears an eloquent inscription from the pen of his dear friend and constant correspondent, Dr. Beattie.

 

 

EDITORIAL

 

 

FOR THE GOOD OF THE FRATERNITY

 

IT CANNOT be too often said that an Institution cannot be greater than those of whom it is composed. And as an Institution, Masonry has attained that pinnacle in which it is regarded by the majority of people with respect. The mysticism which once surrounded it has, however, given way to a regard which generally considers it as being the most eminent club that men may join, but after all a club. We are persuaded that this conception prevailing among people finds its genesis largely in the attitude which Masons themselves have assumed toward the Fraternity.

 

Such an idea among Masons may well be looked upon with concern, since if Masonry to its own members is considered as no more than a social club, there is grave danger that it will even become so.

 

To some among us today it even does not share the distinction of being an eminently dignified club, however, for it can be readily observed that the attendance upon lodge that should witness to their interest and devotion to the Masonic principle, is by no means as great as it ought to be.

 

We venture to make these criticisms knowing full well that we may be subjected to criticism ourself. Our apology perhaps lies in the fact that the temper of the times is to find the fault and flaw in the things concerned with human welfare. The testing times are upon us and only that which is proven gold by the fiery test will be suffered to live. Our purpose then is sincere, and what we offer is for the good of the Fraternity. Hence we emphatically declare that the conception of Masonry that is worthy can only be attained as Masons turn seriously of their own free will and accord, to question and discover for themselves the nature and mission of Masonry. There is indeed room for a mission of Masonic repentance that will redeem us from the Pharisaic lip service that we have fallen into observing so slavishly.

 

When an institution acquires a certain cheapness and popularity it is usually declining or being ushered out of the world.

 

Numbers have never made for quality, and the quantitive standard that is so noticeable in Masonry today must be repudiated if what Masonry can do for the world is to be accomplished. The theory that the more members made the better for the world is a fallacy and can readily be seen to be such if we examine for a moment the shoddy way of making members into which we have fallen.

 

The emphasis is too frequently put upon ritualistic initiation. We hear and read of fifteen or twenty candidates being "put through" in a day, until lodges are inflated in numbers, and so common is this tendency that were the whole membership of lodges to attend at one sitting there would not be sufficient room for their accommodation. But the tragedy of the affair goes deeper than this. Those who become members of the Fraternity in such grist-mill fashion fail frequently to discern the importance of the matter which they are undertaking. The remarks usually made by the candidate on invitation of the Master to speak - (his impressions) - are of such insipid character and superficiality as to at once betray his failure to have grasped the true meaning of Freemasonry as this meaning is expressed in its sublime ritualism. Can we wonder that such men brought among us - and too frequently young men - afterwards reveal the indifferent attitude? The education of the candidate and the spiritual enlightenment which is fundamental in Masonry, are both sacrificed to the work of initiation which, in many of our lodges, is accompanied by such buffoonery as to render it a travesty.

 

Masons in their life activity should be unlike other men, if Masonry does for them what it is intended to do. If we but recall that there have been times in history, yes even in our own time, when it took courage to be a Mason, we may readily surmise from what we know of many who enter the Craft these days, that if the same quality were exacted as a passport of admission into the Order, many that are among us today would not be there. Those courageous men who became Masons evidenced a like courage in the world without. They were citizens worthy of the appellation, and their influence was a positive one on the side of progress, patriotism and charitable enterprise. The character of the Institution was reflected in them.

 

From what we have learned through Masonic literature we believe that if we could have been privileged to talk with those older Masons, we should have found their conversations to have largely centered upon those matters of vital importance to human happiness. Masonry to them was something in action transforming the world. To talk about Masonry with many members of our own day, particularly those who are distinguished by their privilege of presiding over lodges, would be to discover that their talk would mainly be concerned with the numbers that they had raised during their term of office, or to accidentally make suggestions that Masonry ought to be concerned about the growth of this or that movement, which at best would be partisan, bigoted or provincial in character, and to enter the lodges over which these men preside would lead us to discover that rarely was there unanimity of opinion upon any one important thing which confronted the lodges or the nation. Masonic Masters should be leaders of men, imbued with the spirit of Masonry, versed in its history, profoundly convinced of its mission, who are able to imprint upon their following the right and just attitude that Masonry enjoins and lodges assume in matters of national import.

 

There is more serious business at hand in this country of ours at the present moment than the making of members by initiation, and to impress this fact deeply upon the minds of the Masters is an imperative duty. Masonry must know an awakening through an arise of the prophetic spirit in its ranks that will in unmistakable language declare again the nature and mission. Two million serious-minded men, imbued with the unselfish spirit, consecrated to the task of imprinting upon this land the Masonic ideal of fraternity, could bring to pass what seems at this moment the impossible. Two million Masons faithfully attendant upon Masonic meetings, guided by our wisest patriotic leadership, studying the problems of our own body politic, and brought to a common agreement on fundamentals, would be the pervading influence that would leaven the waste lump in the way of righteousness and democracy.  - Robert Tipton.

 

* * *

 

FRENCH MASONRY AND CIVIC EDUCATION

 

The Grand Lodge of France has recently issued to its constituent lodges the following circular:

 

"Consideration of the independence of the State toward the religious authorities has become a basis of our public rights.

 

"The beliefs of all individuals should be equally respected.

 

"But the Roman Church has never renounced the pursuit of political domination and the exploitation of religious aspirations for the acquisition of temporal power which she considers necessary to the exercise of her mission.

 

"The objects which are thus proposed are in formal opposition to the principles of the sovereignty of the people and the rights of democracy.

 

"Consideration of the re-establishment of a French Ambassador at the Vatican is a recognition of the sovereign rights claimed by the Pope; for he prepares and sanctions negotiations and secret alliances which are contrary to the ideals of the Republic.

 

"We declare that the measure proposed to Parliament, wrongly colored by the delusive or false protests of national interest and opportunity, is an enterprise of retrogression and constitutes a grave menace to the future of the country."

 

We do not quote the above circular for the purpose of arousing further discussion of the question of French Masonry. It is rather to call attention to the fact that the Grand Lodge of France continues steadily and with unrelenting vigor to educate its members in the principles which underlie her long enduring fight against the dominating clericalism of that country. Those who know the story of the open attacks of the church upon Masonry in France cannot but admire the appreciation of the Grand Lodge of France for the fact that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

 

The vilification heaped upon French Masonry by the Catholic church is an evidence that this kind of education in civic ideals has played a part in the history of France. The Grand Lodge of France according to the Year Book for 1920 has 136 lodges and 7,600 members. What could not an education of our two million Masons in 15,000 lodges accomplish if directed against anarchy, bolshevism, I. W. W.ism, and the other "isms" whose aim is to overthrow this Republic!

 

------o-------

 

PRAYER

 

BY BRO. GERALD A. NANCARROW, INDIANA

 

O let me clothe my naked soul

In garments white and drawn from Thee,

That when Thou callest from Thy roll

And death's dark hoodwink is applied to me,

I then may pass the threshhold to

That lodge above where Thou dost reign

And qualified by living true,

At Thine own feet Full Light attain.

 

Amen.

 

-------o------

 

Good thoughts, though God accept them, yet toward men are little better than good dreams except they be put in action.

- Bacon

 

THE LIBRARY

 

EDITED BY 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.

 

"THE CHILDREN'S LIFE OF THE BEE"

 

"The Children's Life of the Bee," by Maurice Maeterlinck. Published by Dodd, Mead & Co., 4th Ave. and 30th St.. New York, N. Y. Price $2.00.

 

A FEW YEARS AGO we chanced to read Henry Fabre's "Life of the Fly," a collection of essays in which the poet, philosopher and scientist engages our interest in a rapt way as he strives to enlighten us on the intricate workings of the insect world and incidentally tells us some anecdotes connected with his boyhood which adds to the charm of the work.

 

The translator, in his effort to portray the spirit of Henry Fabre, has given us the keynote of this great man's ambition in the literary world by quoting from him as follows:

 

"If I write for men of learning, for philosophers - I write above all things for the young. I avant to make them love the natural history which you make them hate; and that is why, while keeping strictly to the domain of truth, I avoid your scientific prose which too often, alas, seems borrowed from some Iroquois idiom!"

 

Obedient to the desire expressed here, Fabre has succeeded in calling the world to a heeding of the itjunction to "go to the ant, consider her ways, and be wise.”

 

We once read that to Maurice Maeterlinck was due the credit of having introduced Henry Fabre to the world. The kinship between both men is cemented in Maeterlinck's effort towards the study of the bee. On our desk there lies Maeterlinck's "Children's Life of the Bee." We read it with such avidity that the intelligent child manifests, and we confess to having found it wonderfully interesting and enlightening.

 

Indeed, we would like to see every library graced with this beautifully illustrated volume, for we feel that it would be generously thumbed by the little folks. If it is true that the childhood years determine the character of the man or woman to be, we would be rendering a real service in acquainting them with the philosophic wisdom of Maeterlinck as he has derived it from a study of the life of the bee. Our selfish world would suffer a serious revolution if the coming generation were ingratiated into the thought that men should live in a world constituency of interdependence, instead of ever being actuated by the passion to obtain those things which perish with the getting. Like the little busy bees, they would be working with reference to future posterity. Here too they would learn that they who do not work are not entitled to eat. And while the Nietzcheian concept of extermination of the weak and the drone could not be followed by humans, yet an intelligent community might compel to certain activity those who so insidiously avoid their common duties.

 

We are persuaded through a study of these splendid nature books that instead of building without any reference to beauty the homes or so-called homes in which we dwell, there would again arise amongst us such a passion for form and beauty in structure as animated those Master Builders whose genius is attested to by the monumental works that have survived the test of time and element, and which silently rebuke us for the shoddiness of living and of building into which we have fallen.

 

* * * * *

 

THIS HOUSING PROBLEM

 

“The Joke About Housing," by Charles Harris Whittaker. Published by Marshall Jones Company, 212 Summer St., Boston, Mass. Price $2.00.

 

Theodore Roosevelt is seriously quoted in this work as having a few months before his death uttered a warning about the change that has crept over us in the matter of landlordism and the housing problem. The author, with great ease and skill, has given the problem a very keen analytical consideration. No one who reads this work can but be impressed with the seriousness of the situation that is confronting us.

 

His plea for the establishment of communities where agriculture and industry strike a balance, is pertinently suggestive, and more than illuminating is his discussion of the relationship of good houses to industrial progress and welfare. We believe that Mr. Whittaker has struck a fundamental note in dealing with our economic problems. His sly contempt for faddists in housing reforms is very manifest and his plea for a review of our whole social order with a hope that thereby the pernicious practices and high rentals and tenement housing would be eradicated, is such as we stimulate our right-thinking men along right lines the adjustment of the housing question.

 

It is a timely work to be placed in the hands those interested in the shaping of the destiny of lages and small cities that do not desire to repeat follies of the large metropolis.

 

His discussion of the unearned increment is an validated by statistical references. The book is work of an able student, a clear thinker, with no small degree of prophetic utterance.

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

THE OLD RUSSIA

 

"The Way of Martha and the Way of Mary," by Stephen Graham. Published by The Macmillan Company, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.

 

Since the Russian debacle our viewing of the Russian people has largely been with reference to the Bolshevist movement. Conceptions which had formerly prevailed from a reading of the works of great Russian novelists, and study of great Russian painters and musicians have been substituted by conceptions derived from the statecraft of Lenine and Trotzky. Hitherto Russia has been regarded as a nation with a soul, whose aspirations were ideally embodied and expressed in its literature, music and art. A minor key seems to have prevailed in these departments of their national expression until our understanding of their aspirations resolved itself into a deep and often violent sympathy with their efforts for emancipation from the heel of the Czar and despotism.

 

Russian mysticism, functioning rightly, called the world from a crass materialism by stressing the spiritual values of human relationship, formulated during centuries of great suffering. To Tolstoy, probably, must be conceded the rank of major prophet of a new era, and while we see in the present Russian transformation an actualization of some of his ideals, yet we feel that had Tolstoy lived he would have staunchly repudiated much of what has come to be the prevailing governmental notion in Russia.

 

Menaced by Bolshevism, with its repudiation of standards of living that have become time-honored in the occident, the world for the major part is embittered toward her. Russia is sensed only in her effort to abolish privileged classes and the reduction to a dead levelism of all her people. The rise into power of the proletariat through the dethroning of the bourgeoise has engendered fear among the peoples of the globe where initiative and genius are accorded a position, and where reward for their services is considered legitimate and this feeling jealousy cherished. But in our fears arising from the economic transformation of Russia we have failed to take into consideration some inherent qualities of the Russian people which can best be determined by the perusal of the work of one who has given them a sympathetic study.

 

Men see Red everywhere today, and it is so evident that it is obscuring certain other pregnant qualities that will perforce come into play in the establishment of world equilibrium. Stephen Graham, in his book "The Way of Martha and the Way of Mary," written in 1914-15 with a view of closer cementing together the Anglo-Saxon and Russian peoples in the world war, has delineated for us the fact that fundamentally the Russian people are a religious people.

 

If we may believe Mr. Graham, their true nature is antipodal to the materialism that seems to so generally characterize the Russian people today. He portrays them as a people of simple, childlike faith with immeasurable capacity for courage, generosity and sacrifice. The Russian idea, he says, is remembered by virtue of the love of the Russian people towards the suffering, and faith in life, even if life should express itself in meanness, sordidness and crime. A great love toward the individual and for the individual instinct A consequent freedom amounting at times to seeming chaos. Withal life to them is a mystic play, and the actors are a mystic people.

 

We suggest the reading of this book, that an older Russia may be remembered in this time of tragic Revolution, and in the hope that in the portrayal of this older Russia we may hold in our own minds a continuance of faith in the possibility of their transformation.

 

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AN INTERESTING COLLECTION OF LETTERS

 

"The Corner of Harley Street, Being Some Familiar Correspondence of Peter liarding, M. D." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Company, 4 Park Street, Boston, Mass.

 

One is reminded in the reading of this charming collection of letters of those wise essayists such as the author of the "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table." They are so healthy and sane that they act upon one as a good tonic. The large view of life is everywhere apparent, and the gracious humor pervading the whole of them contributes to one's looking at life's problems especially as they touch upon the individual, in a wet proportioned way.

 

Many are the topics touched upon in this correspondence. A wise doctor with a keen perception of the neurotic basis of most of the ills of the individual prescribed such remedies as are within the reach of every man. We could wish that those who chance to read this collection of letters might be enabled to secure Robert Herrick's "Master of the Inn." In our mind they fitted beautifully as complementary pieces of literature. The smell of pines and rippling brooks, hills of heather and fields of clover, so charmingly described, translates the reader into their environment. Through them one enjoys transportation from the busy runs of life to where the balmy breezes with their health renewing powers rejuvenates and strengthen man.

 

Then the large gracious spirits of the men who predominate in the works enhances one's faith in mer and strengthens the hope that such men yet walk the earth.

 

JULY BOOK LIST

 

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

 

1915   bound volume of THE BUILDER            $3.75

1916   bound volume of THE BUILDER            3.75

1917   bound volume of THE BUILDER            3.75

1918   bound volume of THE BUILDER            3.75

1919   bound volume of THE BUILDER (for delivery about

February 1st or 15th)            3.75

 

Philosophy of Freemasonry, Pound             1.25

Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts          1.35

1722 Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition limited,            2.00

"The 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,             1.25

"The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers .50

"Further 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

Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, pamphlet            .15

Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, pamphlet            .15

Symbolism 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            .35

Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, pamphlet        .15

 

* * *

 

PUBLICATIONS FROM OTHER SOURCES IN IN STOCK AT ANAMOSA

 

"The Builders," a Story and Study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton, formerly Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER             $ 1.75

 

Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1919 edition, in two volumes, Black Fabrikoid binding             16.00

Symbolism of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey            3.15

Masonic Jurisprudence, A. G. Mackey            3.15

Masonic Parliamentary Law, A. G. Mackey            2.65

Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould  4.50

Collected Essays on Freemasonry, Gould  7.00

 

* * *

 

The 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 registered.

 

 

THE QUESTION BOX

 

"BUFFALO BILL" A MASON

 

I recently noticed an item in the Kansas City Star reading as follows:

 

"William F. Cody was baptized a Catholic at 6 o'clock the night before he died. His wife was also a Catholic."

 

At the time of Colonel Cody's death I read in a newspaper that he received Masonic burial. Would appreciate your giving me some light on the matter. W. D. B., Missouri.

 

Brother W. W. Cooper, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, to whom your inquiry was referred, has given us the following reply:

 

Colonel Cody ("Buffalo Bill") died at the home of his sister in Denver. A friend of mine obtained the following information from Buffalo Bill's nephew, a son of this sister:

 

Colonel Cody was unconscious, or partially unconscious, for perhaps two or three days before his death. While he was in that condition a Roman Catholic priest came to the house, probably at the request of some member of the family, and administered the rites of that church. The priest was not called in by request of Colonel Cody, and such rites had no meaning for the latter, because he was not in a condition to understand what was being done.

 

There is no question about the following statement. It is a fact and matter of record:

 

Colonel Cody received Masonic burial at the hands of Golden Lodge No. 1, A. F. & A. M., of Golden, Colorado. After his death his body lay in state in the Capitol at Denver, and it was then temporarily placed in a vault until a tomb could be constructed for its reception on Lookout Mountain, which is in the Denver Mountain Park just above the city of Golden. Some time in June, 1917, (the exact date of which I do not have at hand at the present writing,) the body was taken from the vault and given Masonic burial by Golden Lodge No. 1, at the request of the lodge at North Platte, Nebraska, of which Colonel Cody was a member, and undoubtedly by the desire of his family. The full Masonic burial service was given by Golden Lodge No. 1, in the presence of the family and an assemblage of thousands of citizens.

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

GOVERNOR LOWDEN'S MASONIC CONNECTIONS

 

Is Governor Lowden of Illinois a member of the Masonic fraternity? R. L. C., Iowa.

 

Governor Lowden was made a Master Mason in Oregon Lodge No. 420, A. F. & A. M., Oregon, Illinois, on August 4th, 1906. He is also a member of Rock River Chapter No. 151, R.A.M., Oregon, Illinois; Freeport Consistory A. & A. S. R., Freeport, Illinois, and received the 33d at Philadelphia, August 19, 1919; Dixon Commandery Knights Templar, Dixon, Illinois; St. John's Conclave No. 1, Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, Chicago, Illinois, and Tebala Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., Rockford. Illinois.

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

THE "HIGHER DEGREES"

 

Being a regular reader of several Masonic publications published in different sections of the Ignited States, I have recently read with much interest several articles relating to what are commonly called the "Higher Degrees" in Masonry. These articles were more or less a criticism of these degrees.

 

It seems to me that these criticisms are of no value whatever to the Craft, and that they are uncalled for. As Brother Albert G. Mackey has said, the Master's Degree is a wreck. In some respects when a candidate has finished the Blue Lodge it is like beginning an interesting and absorbing story, and when you have reached the bottom of the page you find the words, "To be continued." Then you are not finished until you have secured the remaining installments and finished the story.

 

As our Grand Secretary, O. Frank Hart, has so well said, no real blue-blooded American wants a substitute for anything. I earnestly believe if there were more Master Masons who really knew what they are supposed to know about the Blue Lodge there would be more Brothers who would not be satisfied until they had reached the summit in Masonry.

 

I sometimes think of Masonry as a large beautiful oak tree, the trunk representing the first three degrees, commonly called the Blue Lodge, and the many branches representing the higher degrees. There is so much in the Blue Lodge that the average man is hardly capable of grasping it, and it is necessary to have these higher degrees as side lights.

 

It is not my purpose to discredit the Blue Lodge, no, not at all, nor am I trying to make it appear that it is all in the higher degrees and that there is nothing to the Blue Lodge. What I wish to convey is the fact that there are so many beautiful lessons in the higher degrees, and they are well worth striving to receive. Wm. C. Lake, South Carolina.

 

* * *

 

CONGRATULATORY ADDRESS TO THE DUKE OF SUSSEX AND HIS REPLY IN 1813.

 

Union of the Grand Lodge of England. "Moderns" and "Antients" Reconciled.

 

Having been requested to send a short article to THE BUILDER, I venture to forward a few remarks on the above subject, although it must be one well known to your readers. The hostility between the two great sections of the Craft, the "Moderns" and the "Aritients," which lasted for about 70 years prior to 1813, reflects little credit on the Fraternal Spirit that should always characterize Freemasons and in these days of unity and concord it seems difficult fully to understand why such jealousy and ill-feeling should have existed for so long amongst the brethren of that period. One of the oldest "Modern" lodges in the world is the one that was known as The Dundee Arms Lodge No. 9, up to 1835 and since that date as "The Old Dundee Lodge" No. 18, (England). In the interesting Masonic plate (published in 1733-35 by Pine), which illustrates the frontispiece of the issue of THE BUILDER of February, 1919, the Old Dundee Lodge is referred to as being at that date (1733) No. 12 on the register of the English Grand Lodge, our brethren then meeting at The Castle Tavern, Drury Lane, London. The sign of our Tavern is duly portrayed on the engraved plate by Pine. For the sake of brevity, this lodge is generally referred to in this article as "Old Dundee" and it is from their ancient records that the address that their members in 1813 presented to the first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England has been extracted.

 

"Old Dundee," a lodge with a continuous existence of now nearly 200 years (1722 to 1919) originally took active steps in accordance with instructions received from the "Modern" Grand Lodge to prove its hostility to and disagreement with the practices of the "Antients" whom for about 60 years prior to the Union, it used to describe as "Irregular" Masons, but as soon as their Grand Lodge began to offer the Olive Branch of Peace to the "Antients," Old Dundee immediately came forward to assist in the good work of amity; in proof of which we find that our R. W. Master John Walton was in 1809 appointed to act as one of the members of the Lodge of Promulgation, assisting to represent the interests of the "Moderns." Your readers will remember that Earl Moira, the Acting Grand Master of the "Modern" Grand Lodge (1790 to 1813) issued a warrant bringing into existence this lodge for the purpose of "Promulgating the Ancient Landmarks of the Society," etc. The work of this lodge proved very successful and without burdening your pages with details (doubtless well known to your members) it is sufficient to state that as a result the happy and glorious union of these two opposing sections of the Craft was successfully effected, chiefly through the personal influence of the two Royal Brothers, the Duke of Sussex who represented the "Moderns" and the Duke of Kent who looked after the interests of the "Antients."

 

At a meeting held on the 27th, December, 1813, when the Duke of Sussex occupied one chair and the Duke of Kent the other, the United Grand Lodge of England first saw the light of day. The Duke of Kent then proposed his brother, the Duke of Sussex, to be the first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England, a position he occupied with great advantage to the Craft for a period of 30 years; viz., from 1813 to 1843.

 

Our brethren of "Old Dundee" thought that such an auspicious event should not be passed over in silence, more especially because their R. W. Master John Walton in 1809 in his capacity as a member of the Lodge of Promulgation had assisted in the good work of reconciling the acute differences that had been a stumbling block in the way of a re-union for so many years and so they resolved to prepare and present a congratulatory address to the Duke of Sussex, to which he sent a gracious and friendly reply. It is appropriate here to mention that before the union was effected the "Moderns" had virtually to admit that the Ritual as practiced by the "Antients" was more in accord with the traditions of the Craft than their own, and so the "Antients" in the end had their way almost exclusively in matters appertaining to the ceremonies, and as the humble representative (for the moment) of one of the oldest "Modern" lodges, I have to admit that truth demands the statement that the Craft owes much to the "Antients" for so preserving and consistently practicing the Ritual that the landmarks we cherish now so earnestly have been preserved for the use of Freemasons in perpetuity. The address we presented refers (inter alia) to the Prince Regent, and to the Earl of Moira (1754-1826). The Grand Master of the "Moderns" from 1790 to 1813 was H. R. H. the Prince of Wales (afterwards King George IV) whilst the Acting Grand Master from 1790 to 1813 was the Earl of Moira, who was created 1st Marquis of Hastings in 1816. Although much useful work in preparing the way in the union had been performed by the Earl of Moira, he was compelled to leave England in April, 1813, before the happy event was actually consummated, having been appointed to the important office of Governor General of Bengal and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in India.

 

On the 27th January, 1813, the Duke of Sussex and about 500 brethren were present at a farewell banquet given in his honor. An interesting and valuable Jewel was given to the Earl prior to his departure, known as the "Moira" Jewel. "Old Dundee" contributed to the cost of this as appears from the following verbatim extract from our Treasurer's cash book:

 

"1813 January 20. By cash paid the Grand Secretary towards the Jewel to be presented to Earl Moira by the Grand Lodge . .. . 5 Pounds 5 shillings."

 

On the back of the Jewel were the words:

 

"Presented in open Grand Lodge the 27th January 1813 to Brother the Earl of Moira, K.G. etc., as a token of Fraternal, affectionate and respectful gratitude for his zealous, constant and faithful discharge of the important trust reposed in his Lordship as M. W. Acting Grand Master during a period of upwards of 21 years."

 

The collar from which it was suspended and the Jewel were estimated to be worth 1500 Pounds, having been designed and made by Brother J. C. Burekhardt, S. G. D. in 1816 without any profit to himself, for which he received public thanks.

 

"Old Dundee" as a loyal lodge took various steps in order to comply with the requirements of the United Grand Lodge but I shall not refer to them here as they will be fully set out in the history of the lodge now in course of preparation and proposed to be published early in 1920.

 

The following are verbatim extracts from the minute book of the lodge which deals with the period of its history from 1808 to 1828:

 

1813, September 9. Lodge night. Brother J. Pickett, S. W., proposed "That an address of congratulation be presented to the Duke of Sussex, our present Most Worshipful Grand Master, for the honor he has received in being appointed to that high situation," which was carried unanimously. Brother Welsh proposed "That the Master, Wardens and Past Masters present be appointed a committee to prepare the same" which was carried.

 

October 14. Brother F. W. Wegener proposed "That the address now read and which was prepared by the committee by desire of the last meeting be presented to His Royal Highness, the Duke of Sussex, as the address of The Dundee Arms Lodge" which was carried unanimously.

 

Extract from Treasurer's book.

 

November 1. Paid Brother Stanfield for preparing the address to the Duke of Sussex ...........1 Pound, 15 shillings.

 

On the 9th December 1813, the lodge (then known as The Dumdee Arms Lodge No. 9) was meeting at its own private room in its own freehold premises situated at Red Lion Street, Wapping, London.

 

The following is an exact copy taken from the original minute book:

 

Lodge night. 9th December 1813. Brother Robert Shane, Junior, proposed "That the address from this lodge (which had been prepared by the Master, Wardens and Past Masters) to H. R. Highness, the Duke of Sussex, G. M., as voted to him on lodge night 14th October 1813 be entered in the minutes of this lodge together with the answer returned by him," which was carried unanimously:

 

To the Most Illustrious Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Inverness and Baron of Arklow in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, etc., etc., etc., Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, under the patronage of His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent.

 

Most Worshipful Sir:

 

We, the Master, Wardens and Brethren of the Dundee Arms Lodge, No. 9, most humbly presume to address your Royal Highness on your accession to the high and dignified office of Grand Master, an office the most honorable and important in the Ancient order of Freemasonry, and whilst we assure your Royal Highness of our implicit obedience to your commands as Grand Master, we cannot but express our gratitude for your gracious acceptance of the office, as well as our admiration of your talents as a Mason, and our most ardent esteem for you as a man.

 

Whilst we were still smarting under the keenest feelings of regret for the loss of our Reverend Brother (viz. The Earl of Moira) who so long and ably presided over us as Acting Grand Master, we were informed of the resignation of His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent (viz. The Prince of Wales, afterwards King George IV) from that distinguished situation which he had so long filled with so much advantage to the Craft, every eye was at once turned towards your Royal Highness of whose attachment to Masonry they had had so many convincing proofs and your gracious acceptance of the office, accompanied by the kind assurance of your Fraternal regard for the interest of the Craft in general gladdened every heart. The protection and patronage which Masonry has experienced during the long and happy reign of your Royal parent (viz. King George III) demands our utmost gratitude, for at the time when party spirit and the fury of innovation threatened social order, when the safety of the State called for the suppression of secret societies, the loyalty and fidelity of Freemasons was expressly acknowledged, the solemn assurance of their Grand Master was accepted and their meetings allowed to continue. For the third time has the English Craft been honored by having a Prince of the Illustrious House of Brunswick to preside over them and in addition to the benefits which they have received from your illustrious predecessors, they have now to acknowledge at the hands of your Royal Highness one of the greatest the Society has ever received, that of having the Acting Sovereign of the British Empire for their Patron.

 

That the kindness of your Royal Highness will not stop here we have your own assurance, of your persevering endeavors for the true interest of the order we cannot doubt, - and from the conciliatory disposition your Royal Highness has already manifested, we anticipate your endeavors to effect that Masonic Union so earnestly desired by our beloved Brother, the Earl of Moira, will (assisted by the cordial co-operation of your Royal Brother, viz. the Duke of Kent) be speedily crowned with complete success, and Freemasons hail the period of your Royal Highness Accession as the Augustan age of Masonry. Fervently entreating the favor of the Divine Architect of the Universe towards every branch of your Illustrious House, that He may bestow on your Royal Highness a length of happy days and that we may long have the satisfaction of hailing your Royal Highness as our Most Worshipful Grand Master are the sincere wishes of your Royal Highness' most devoted Brethren of the Dundee Arms Lodge.

 

Given under the seal of and signed in open lodge this 14th day of October in the year of our Lord 1813 and of Masonry 5813.

 

Answer of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Sussex, to the address of the Dundee Arms Lodge, No. 9.

 

Right Worshipful Master, Wardens, officers and brethren of the Dundee Arms Lodge, No. 9. Your congratulations upon my accession to the high and dignified office of Grand Master require my sincere thanks.

 

The patronage granted by His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent (afterwards King George IV) on his retiring from that high situation of your Grand Master, while it affords to you a lasting proof of his esteem and affectionate regard towards the Craft, will no doubt ever impress in your hearts sentiments of the warmest gratitude and most fervent loyalty towards His Person. To have been so fortunate as to have succeeded in bringing about the happy union between the two systems which was begun by your late Most Worshipful Acting Grand Master, the Earl Moira, must ever afford me the highest pleasure, as in carrying into execution the same, I have only faithfully discharged the trust imposed by you in me, and which at my noble friend's departure he had so anxiously recommended to my care. Your prayers for the favor of the Grand Architect of the Universe towards every branch of the Family to whom I have the honor to belong create in my breast sentiments of the most affectionate regard, and as to the expressions of attachment towards my person, I can only say that to live in your hearts is to anticipate and secure my happiness, as mine must be ever connected with yours.

 

Free Masons Hall, December the 1st, A.D. 1813, A.L. 6813.

(Signed) Augustus Frederick

 

It will be observed that the language of the address is rather fulsome and ponderous as was wont in those days, but the Grand Master in his reply breathes the true Masonic spirit, and after thanking our brethren for their prayers for his welfare, stated that his chief desire was to be loved by the Craft and that his happiness was bound up in theirs, worthy sentiments indeed and quite appropriate even in these democratic days.

 

The Duke of Sussex took an active and intelligent interest in the Craft for 30 years, right up to his death in 1843. He proved an ardent and zealous Mason and in many ways contributed to the welfare and prosperity of the Society.

Arthur Heiron, P. M.,

Old Dundee Lodge No. 18, England.

 

 

 

         

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