The Builder Magazine
July 1920 - Volume VI - Number 7
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
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.
GEO. SCHOONOVER, P.G.M., IOWA
Address delivered at the Maundy Thursday Feast, Scottish Rite Temple, Duluth,
Minnesota, April 1, 1920.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
N.W.J. HAYDON, ONTARIO
now Duty. How austere thou art.
who keep thy light shining within their souls
are sorrows deep, and joys so keen
to pierce the heart.
flowing robe's ensanguined with spent lives
martyrs, patriots, toilers, young and old.
of heaven's own blue - thy native place -
bestrewed with flashing gems,
of agony endured at thy behest.
how hardly may we win to thy serenity,
storm-encircled peace, how barred from man;
the heart and trembling at the knee,
that burn to flow and lips white with resolve,
unuttered, heard of God alone,
above all, a soul that smiles and will not
woes be known.
thou art that World's Desire of old,
like Ulysses, will meet the hidden swords
the all-restraining grip of death
may gaze, unhindered, on thy face.
have made the fortune of the soul
heart will smile as life collects its toll,
you hand it out to bless and cheer
say to you, well done, we're partners here!
We do not
count a man's years, until he has nothing else to count
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
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
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
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,
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.
ORDER OF SCOTLAND
CHARLES S. LOBINGIER, CHINA
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
Provincial Grand Lodges have since been erected as follows:
and West of Scotland 1859
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince
Ports of China and the Colony
and the Metropolitan Counties 1872
Lancashire and Cheshire 1874
and Quebec 1875
States of America 1877
Northumberland, Durham, and Cumberland 1893
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
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
PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF THE PHILIPPINES
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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."
of March" will long be remembered as red letter day in the annals of the old
Royal Order in new field.
History of Freemasonry, III, 75. See THE BUILDER I, 125.
Woodford (Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, 586), (1878), was "quite prepared to
concede it a considerable antiquity as a high grade."
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.
MISSION OF VOLTAIRE
GILBERT PATTEN BROWN, NEW JERSEY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.
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).
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
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.
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
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.
Jesuits stole his remains from their earthly resting place. Like the bones of
his admirer, Thomas Paine, "no man knoweth" where they are.
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.
THE EARLY HISTORY OF MASONIC RANKS
SIR FREDERICK POLLOCK, ENGLAND
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
(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.,
(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.
WHO SAVED BURNS TO SCOTLAND
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
but thy fair companion view
How ill that frown becomes thy brow,
With fear and grief in every eye,
would to each, astonished, cry;
Heavens! where is all her sweetness flown!
How strange a figure now she's grown!
Nancy, let us run, lest we
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:
now, ah! where is that supporting arm
my weak, unequal, infant steps
assistance lent? Ah, where that love,
strong assiduous tenderness, which watch'd
yet scarce form'd; and, to my view
Unimportun'd, like all indulging Heav'n,
objects brought? Ah, where that gentle voice
with instruction, soft as summer dews
snows, descending on my soul,
Distinguish'd every hour with new delight?
that virtue, which amid the storms,
mighty horrors of tumultous life,
Untainted, unsubdued, the shock sustain'd?
the oak which, in eternal night,
its roots extends, as high to heaven
majestic rises: such the smile
benignant angel, from the throne
despatch'd, ambassador of peace,
his look impress'd his message bears,
pleas'd, from earth averts impending ill.
wife thy parting kisses shar'd;
expiring lips no child received
dear blessing, and thy last advice.
father, benefactor, all at once,
forsook me, an unguarded prey
storm, whose lawless fury roars
the azure concave of the sky,
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
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
beg, and in the shock expire.
He lamented his blindness. He realized to the full the
limitations which his addiction placed upon him:
knowledge, scarce accessible to me;
heart-consuming anguish I behold;
for which my soul insatiate burns
ardent thirst. Nor can these useless hands
in each life-sustaining art,
this wretched being, and supply
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
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:
vessel tossed by wind and tide
o'er the waves and rocks from side to side,
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
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:
to emulate thy tuneful art:
thy meek simplicity of heart;
thy virtue, patient, undismay'd,
though malice and mischance invade,
by learned nor priestly pride confined
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
"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
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
your letter made me vauntie!
you hale, and week and cantie?
it still your wee bit jauntie
you ate as weeds I want ye,
In this and very many other instances we find Blacklock in his
life exemplified the principles in his own Hymn to Benevolence:
source of transport, ever new;
thy kind dictates I pursue,
I taste a
for little minds to know,
themselves alone bestow
wishes and their care.
of God! delight of man!
still thy hand sustains;
sweet peace her empire spread,
Science raised her laurel head,
Discord gnash'd in chains.
thy sacred paths I turn,
their griefs, while others mourn,
their pleasures glow;
from God, from bliss, and thee,
tormentor let me be
in helpless woe.
wonder that it was said of Blacklock that he never lost a friend nor made a
wrote of him in the Edinburgh Magazine:
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
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
was very sensitive with regard to his affliction and to the fact that he was
regarded frequently as an object of curiosity:
the noise and glare of prosperous life,
obscurity diverts its gaze,
and with wanton pride elate
Felicitates its own superior lot,
Frequently in his poem he refers to his loss sight:
while others gaze on Nature's face,
verdant vale, the mountains, woods, and streams;
delight ineffable survey
bright image of his parent God:
seasons, in majestic order, round
vary'd globe revolving: young-ey'd Spring
of life and joy; summer adorn'd
effulgence, bright'ning heaven and earth;
replete with nature's various boon,
the toiling hind, the Winter grand
rapid storms, convulsing Nature's frame,
others view Heaven's all-involving arch,
with unnumber'd worlds: and, lost in joy,
order and utility behold:
unfatigu'd th' amazing chain pursue,
one vast all-comprehending whole
immense stupendous works of God;
Conjoining part with part, and thro' the frame
sacred harmony and joy;
those fair vicissitudes are lost.
and beauty blotted from my view,
verdant vale, and mountains, woods, and streams
horrid blank appear; the young-ey'd spring,
summer, autumn deck'd in wealth
the toiling hind, and winter grand
rapid storms, revolve in vain for me:
bright sun, nor all-embracing Arch
shall e'er these wretched orbs behold.
Harmony! You sister train
graces, you who in th' admiring eye
your charms display'd are yet transcrib’d
Nature's form your heavenly features strong,
you snatch'd for ever from my sight
in your stead, a boundless waste expanse
undistinguished horror covers all.
o'er my prospect, rueful darkness breathes
inauspicious vapour; in whose shade
grief, and anguish, natives of her reign
sadness gloomy vigils keep.
I walk; with them still doom'd to share
Blackness, without hopes of dawn.
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:
when the daisies appear on the green,
flowers in the field and the forest are seen;
lilies bloomed bonnie, and haythorns upsprung,
young shepherd oft whistled and sung;
neither the shades nor the sweets of the flower,
blackbirds that warbled in blossoming bower,
brighten his eye or his ear entertain,
was his pleasure and love was his pain."
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:
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
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:
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."
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.
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:
hopeshis terror to elude
he mingles with the crowd;
his soul to fears a prey,
crowds and open day.
alone his walks surprise,
horrid visions round him rise;
blasted oak, which meets his way,
the meteor's sudden ray,
midnight murd'rer's known retreat),
Heav'n's avengeful bolt of late;
clashing chain, the groan profound,
yon ruined tow'r, rebound:
the spot he seems to tread
some self-slaughtered corpse was laid;
his steps earth seems to bend;
murmurs from her caves ascend;
his soul, by fancy swayed,
horrid phantoms crowd the shade.
He had a
very lofty conception of Deity:
Sovereign Goodness, All-productive Mind!
Thy works Thyself inscribed we find:
variously all, how variously endowed,
their number, and each part how good!
perfect then must the great Parent shine
one act of energy divine,
vast plan and finished the design.
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.
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.
GOOD OF THE FRATERNITY
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
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.
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.
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.
institution acquires a certain cheapness and popularity it is usually
declining or being ushered out of the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* * *
MASONRY AND CIVIC EDUCATION
Lodge of France has recently issued to its constituent lodges the following
"Consideration of the independence of the State toward the religious
authorities has become a basis of our public rights.
beliefs of all individuals should be equally respected.
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.
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.
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
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."
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!
GERALD A. NANCARROW, INDIANA
O let me
clothe my naked soul
garments white and drawn from Thee,
Thou callest from Thy roll
death's dark hoodwink is applied to me,
may pass the threshhold to
lodge above where Thou dost reign
qualified by living true,
own feet Full Light attain.
thoughts, though God accept them, yet toward men are little better than good
dreams except they be put in action.
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
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.
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.
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.
CHILDREN'S LIFE OF THE BEE"
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:
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
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.
* * * * *
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
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.
* * * * *
* * * *
of Martha and the Way of Mary," by Stephen Graham. Published by The Macmillan
Company, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* * * * *
INTERESTING COLLECTION OF LETTERS
Corner of Harley Street, Being Some Familiar Correspondence of Peter liarding,
M. D." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Company, 4 Park Street, Boston, Mass.
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.
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.
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.
The following list embraces practically all the standard works
on Masonry which we are able to secure and keep in stock for the accommodation
of individual members of the Society, Study Clubs and Lodges.
We are finding it more difficult each year to procure new or
second-hand copies of the earlier works on Masonry of which, owing to the
limited market for them at the time of their publication, but a small number
of copies were printed.
We are continually in search for additional items which will be
listed in this column whenever it is our good fortune to secure them.
It is suggested that the latest list be consulted before
sending in orders and that no orders be made from lists more than one month
old, since our stock of these books is limited and a book listed this month
may be out of stock by the time next month's list is published.
Since the publishers are constantly increasing their prices to
us the following prices are subject to such changes.
PUBLICATIONS ISSUED BY THE SOCIETY
bound volume of THE BUILDER $3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER (for delivery about
1st or 15th) 3.75
Philosophy of Freemasonry, Pound 1.25
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the
archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," Bro. J. W. Barry, P. G. M., Iowa, red
buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated. A story of the Flag and Masonry,
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers .50
Notes on the Comacine Masters," W. Ravenscroft, England. A sequel to "The
Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," a Masonic digest of
Leader Scott's book "The Cathedral Builders" and containing the latest
researches of Brother Ravenscroft which present a very logical argument for
the connection of Freemasonry of the present day with the Roman Collegia and
traveling Masons of the early times, paper covers, illustrated .50
of the First Degree, Gage, pamphlet .15
of the Third Degree, Ball, pamphlet .15
of the Three Degrees, Street, 68 pages, paper covers. The lessons and symbols
of each degree traced to their origin, in every instance that it has been
possible to so trace them. Brother Street gives many explanations of our
symbols in this little book on which our monitors but vaguely touch
Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, pamphlet .15
* * *
PUBLICATIONS FROM OTHER SOURCES IN IN STOCK AT ANAMOSA
Builders," a Story and Study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton,
formerly Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER $ 1.75
Encyclopaedia, 1919 edition, in two volumes, Black Fabrikoid binding
of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Jurisprudence, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Parliamentary Law, A. G. Mackey 2.65
History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould 4.50
Essays on Freemasonry, Gould 7.00
* * *
foregoing prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all
items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail not insured or
BILL" A MASON
recently noticed an item in the Kansas City Star reading as follows:
F. Cody was baptized a Catholic at 6 o'clock the night before he died. His
wife was also a Catholic."
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.,
W. W. Cooper, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, to whom your
inquiry was referred, has given us the following reply:
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
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.
no question about the following statement. It is a fact and matter of record:
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.
* * * * *
* * * *
LOWDEN'S MASONIC CONNECTIONS
Governor Lowden of Illinois a member of the Masonic fraternity? R. L. C.,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the Grand Lodge of England. "Moderns" and "Antients" Reconciled.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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:
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."
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."
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.
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.
following are verbatim extracts from the minute book of the lodge which deals
with the period of its history from 1808 to 1828:
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.
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.
from Treasurer's book.
1. Paid Brother Stanfield for preparing the address to the Duke of Sussex
...........1 Pound, 15 shillings.
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.
following is an exact copy taken from the original minute book:
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
His Royal Highness, the Duke of Sussex, to the address of the Dundee Arms
Lodge, No. 9.
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.
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.
Masons Hall, December the 1st, A.D. 1813, A.L. 6813.
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.
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.
Heiron, P. M.,
Dundee Lodge No. 18, England.