The Builder Magazine
October 1920 - Volume VI - Number
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
IN THE 1916 report of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts will be
found the entry that Richard Gridley, the brother of the Grand Master, was his
General Richard Gridley, the subject of this sketch, was born
in Boston in 1710, and died at Stoughton in 1796. He was at an early age
particularly clever in the strongest of the sisters of science, mathematics.
He became a surveyor, then a civil engineer, and later a military engineer and
the associate of the famous John Henry Bastide, the Dictator of His Majesty's
Gridley was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in the English
Army in 1745, and assigned to the comrnand of the Grand, or Royal, Artillery,
which was opposite the harbor of Louisburg, and which was captured by English
forces in 1745. Gridley erected all of the Pepperrell batteries. He drew the
designs for Governors Island in Boston Harbor, and for Fort Halifax in the
He was with Wolfe in the great battles of the Plains of
Abraham, back of Quebec, the importance of which historians have shied at,
for, in the belief of the writer, the success of Wolfe and Washington, and in
fact the whole of the British Army, in driving back the Romish French beyond
the St. Lawrence, made it possible for our colonists to establish a Republic
which guaranteed civil and religious liberty; a freedom which alone protected
our lives and consciences against compulsory superstition, sorcery and
vagaries. The writer verily believes that these Colonial battles were more
effective in establishing civil and religious liberty than the battles of the
Liberty, that right which we enJoy in saying and doing what
pleases us, provided it does not interfere with a like right in others: and
which liberty is fast being displaced by license, as the hyphenated American
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War Richard Gridley was
appointed Chief Engineer, and he constructed the defenses at Breeds (Bunker)
Hill the night before the battle, June 17th, 1775. He was afterwards
commissioned Major General, and commanded in the Continental Army.
The name of Gridley is enrolled in so many of the Army Corps,
Divisions, Regiments and ships lists of the nation that it is almost a
household word. Another Gridley, broken in health, under orders to return home
to die, commanded a ship in Dewey's fleet at Manila, in 1901. Commander
Gridley's relief arrived on the eve of the battle. He begged that he might
carry his ship through the action, come what might, and Dewey was big enough
to withhold the orders returning Gridley home, until after the battle. “Steve”
Gridley, as he was called, was at the front and in the thick of the fight.
OLIVER DAY STREET, J.G.W., ALABAMA
Since this report on Masonic conditions in Mexico was submitted
to the Grand Lodge of Alabama in December, 1919, much additional information
from that country has come into our possession. The most important of this are
three pamphlets printed in Mexico City a few months ago. One of these,
entitled “York Grand Lodge of Mexico, Free and Accepted Masons,” by Cecil C.
Freston, is in the form of a printed communication addressed to “Mr. Oliver D.
Street, Chairman of Foreign Correspondence Committee, M. W. Grand Lodge of
Alabama, F. and A. M.”, and was published in December, 1919. Another entitled
“The Irregularities of the so-called York Grand Lodge of Mexico,” is by Dr.
Earnest Forbes, and was published early this year. The third, entitled “York
Grand Lodge of Mexico,” is by a Committee on Publicity of that Grand Lodge.
While all are controversial in tone, yet they are important contributions to
the Masonic literature of that country.
Most of this recent information is only confirmatory of the
statements and conclusions of this report, yet some of it is new and corrects
some errors into which we had fallen. Some of this we have appended in the
form of notes, deeming it best not to alter the original text.
Oliver D. Street
MASONRY both of the York and Scottish Rites was introduced into
Mexico early in the last century. Five lodges chartered by New York in 1826
formed a Grand Lodge in October of that year for the government of Craft
Masonry in that Republic. (Trans. Leicester Lodge of Research 1912‑'13, p.
There soon ensued between the partisans of the two Rites a
bitter struggle which was carried into politics. It would seem that each
Masonic faction attempted to utilize the political parties of the day and that
the political parties in turn attempted to utilize the Masonic factions. Grand
Lodge is said to have closed in 1828. (See York Grand Lodge Pamphlet  p.
In 1833, certain of the leading brethren of both Rites in order
to put an end to the unseemly struggle and to place Masonry on a proper basis
formed the Grand Orient of the Mexican National Rite. This was a compromise
system consisting of the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry and six others
practically borrowed from the Scottish Rite. The compromise did not succeed
and soon the Mexican National Rite found itself also drawn into the political
By the year 1859, the warring factions, namely, the “Yorkinos”
(partisans of the York Rite) and the “Escoseses” (partisans of the Scottish
Rite) had just about succeeded in exterminating each other. A few fragments of
each remained but nothing worthy of recognition as organized Masonry. At this
period there existed at Mexico City a lodge “Union Fraternal” chartered about
1855 by the Grand Lodge or Supreme Council of Cartigena, New Granada
(Columbia), which will be noticed further in the course of this report.
The year 1859 marks the beginning of a new era for Masonry in
Mexico but not one of peace and prosperity. In this year, Brother Albert Pike,
the then Sovereign Grand Commander for the Southern Jurisdiction of the
Scottish Rite, dispatched Brother Lafon Ladebat to Mexico with instructions to
attempt to place Masonry in that country on a sound basis. It has been stated
(but we are unable to say) that Ladebat's instructions forbade his
establishing Scottish Rite bodies with authority over the first three degrees.
If such ware Ladebat's instructions. he violated them by creating at Vera Cruz
a Supreme Council claiming jurisdiction over the Blue degrees, and it began to
establish lodges throughout Mexico.
Thereupon the fragments of the old Mexican National Rite and of
the old Scottish Rite, still lingering in the Republic, began to take notice.
The former attempted a renewed organization in 1863, and the latter on
December 27, 1865.
Thereupon ensued a brief struggle between this new Supreme
Council of the Scottish Rite and the Ladebat Supreme Council but this was
ended in 1868 by the union of the two. During the same year a loose sort of
fusion was brought about between this united Supreme Council and the Grand
Orient for the Mexican National Rite. The Grand Orient retained control over
its own ritual and internal government. It seemed that at last Masonry in
Mexico was about to close its wrangling and present a solid front for the
spread of Masonic principles. But this unity was of short duration. About
1870, the “Supreme Grand Orient of the Scottish Rite” was formed, claiming
exclusive jurisdiction over all Scottish Rite Symbolic lodges. A little later,
about 1872, the Mexican National Grand Orient severed its understanding with
the Supreme Council. There also sprang upon about the same time what was
called the “Reformed Scottish Rite” but it was regarded as clandestine by
nearly all Mexican Masonic bodies. (See York Grand Lodge Pamphlet, p. 60.) We
mention these Scottish Rite bodies because they have had an ineradicable share
in the creation of such Masonry as may now exist in Mexico. Not even the York
Grand Lodge has been unaffected by these influences.
The Supreme Council and the Mexican National Grand Orient seem
to have renewed their loose compact about the year 1882. This year marks the
beginning of another epoch in the history of Mexican Masonry.
It would be in vain as well as profitless to our present
purpose to attempt to trace further the devious, obscure and confused path of
Masonic history in Mexico prior to 1882. Suffice it to say that at that date
all Masonry of the Craft, Symbolic, or Blue degrees, except possibly a few
lodges of the old Mexican National Rite, had fallen under the control of
Scottish Rite bodies, of which there were at least three, contending with each
other for supremacy. There were so-called Grand Lodges in several of the
states of the Mexican republic, but they owed and acknowledged their
allegiance and subordination to the higher bodies of the Scottish Rite.
To summarize, it seems that at this period (1882) there existed
in Mexico, (1) a small remnant of the old Grand Orient of the Mexican National
Rite, (2) the united Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite controlling the 4th
to 33rd degrees, with its subordinate Grand Lodges in various states,
controlling the three degrees, (3) the Reformed Scottish Rite, very weak, and
(4) the Supreme Grand Orient of the Scottish Rite, exercising control over the
first three degrees only, also very weak. (1)
It was under these circumstances that early in January, 1882,
the Grand Lodge of Colon and the Island of Cuba chartered three Symbolic
lodges at Vera Cruz. On January 28, 1883, these three lodges formed a Grand
Lodge at Vera Cruz under the name of the Independent Symbolic Mexican Grand
Lodge, temporarily claiming jurisdiction throughout the Republic of Mexico
over Symbolic Masonry. So far as we can ascertain its organization was in
strict accord with the rules for the erection of an independent Grand Lodge of
Ancient Craft Masonry.
The Scottish Rite Supreme Council and its subordinate Grand
Lodges bitterly resented the action of the Grand Lodge of Colon and the Island
of Cuba in establishing these lodges, claiming it was an invasion of their
territory but Cuba justified its course by insisting that in the absence of
any independent Grand Lodge of Ancient Craft or Symbolic Masonry in Mexico
that country was unoccupied territory. Thereupon, in their effort to head off
this movement, the Supreme Council undertook in April, 1883, to establish in
Mexico City a “Central Grand Lodge” to hold jurisdiction over all Symbolic
lodges in the Republic, but this aroused so much opposition on the part of its
own subordinate lodges and Grand Lodges that the movement was dropped, and a
decree promulgated May 27, 1883, effective June 24, 1883, whereby the Supreme
Council absolutely and unconditionally surrendered control of Symbolic Masonry
to the Grand Lodges then existing in the several States or that might
thereafter be erected.
The Independent Symbolic Mexican Grand Lodge at Vera Cruz
announced from the very beginning that its purpose was not permanently to
monopolize for itself the whole of Mexico, but that it would gladly surrender
the territory of any State, except Vera Cruz, to a regular Grand Lodge as soon
as one was formed therein. The result of the combined actions of this Grand
Lodge and the Supreme Council was that soon there were independent Grand
Lodges in many of the Mexican States. Conditions thus seemed auspicious for
the orderly development of Freemasonry along lines that have proven so
wholesome in other countries.
On December 24, 1889, by solemn treaty the Supreme Council
again renounced forever its claim over the three Symbolic degrees and the old
Grand Orient of the Scottish Rite disbanded. This was part of a plan well
conceived but mistakenly executed whereby all Symbolic Masonry was to be
united in one central governing body for the entire Republic. Accordingly in
February, 1890, there was formed the “Gran Dieta Simbolica,” to which the
several State Grand Lodges were to be subordinate, with Porfirio Diaz, the
then President of Mexico, as Grand Master and Dr. Ermilio G. Canton as Grand
Secretary. The position of President Diaz seems to have been purely nominal
and Dr. Canton was in fact the real head of the “Gran Dieta.” (10 Ars Q. C.,
p. 68.) It started off auspiciously and at the height of its prosperity held
under its sway seventeen State Grand Lodges and about 225 lodges. Its position
was analogous to what would be that of a General Grand Lodge for the United
States of America, so often proposed but as often rejected. It practiced only
the three degrees and while the Scottish llite ritual of these degrees was the
official, lodges were allowed to work in the York Rite. (7 Ars Q.C., p. 73.)
The following Masonic organizations seem to have been in
existence which did not unite in the formation of the “Gran Dieta” and which
never united with it, namely, (1) the fragment of the Mexican National Rite,
(2) the Reformed Scottish Rite, (3) the United Mexican Grand Lodge of Vera
Cruz, (4) the Grand Lodge of the Federal District, and (5) the Independent
Grand Lodge of the Federal District, an entirely different body from the
“Grand Lodge of the Federal District.” (6 Ars Q. C., p. 115.) Though it has
been claimed that the Reformed Scottish Rite and the Mexican National Rite
were both already dead. (7 Ib., p. 72.)
The alleged discarding of a declaration of a belief in Deity,
the alleged removal of the Bible from its altars, and the alleged admission of
women, proved its ultimate undoing. We say “alleged” because all these charges
were denied. On July 1, 1901, the “Gran Dieta” dissolved. It had been
practically dead since 1895, several of its most influential Grand Lodges
having withdrawn. In the early '90's the statement was made that the Grand
Orient of the Mexican National Rite consisted of only a “few lodges” but was
respected because it was “the first Masonic organization” in Mexico and for
the great men whom it had numbered among its members; that it was preserved
“as a kind of souvenir.” (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1892, p. 135.)
With the dissolution of the “Gran Dieta” in 1901, began another
era of independent State Grand Lodges, and this era was still prevailing when
Masonry, like everything else in Mexico, was torn to atoms by the Revolution
still in progress.
The Republic of Mexico, like our own, consists of separate
States and Territories and a Federal District. The States are twenty-eight in
number and the Territories two. Theoretically with them, as with us, there may
be one Sovereign Grand Lodge in each State, in each Territory and in the
Federal District. A recent communication received by your Committee from the
Grand Lodge “Benito Juarez” in the State Coahuila, says:
“Generally speaking there is a Grand Lodge in every State of the Republic,
founded when at least three Symbolic lodges had been installed in the State.
In no State of the Republic can there be two Grand Lodges at the same time,
because Blue Masonry is prohibited to invade territories occupied by another
Grand Lodge. After a Grand Lodge has occupied a vacant territory and has
installed three lodges, these will form their own Grand Lodge for that State.”
This wholesome policy does not, however, appear to have been
nor is it now universally observed by Mexican Masons or Grand bodies.
Our information is that at present there are, or recently were,
four Grand Lodges in the Federal District, each claiming to be sovereign and
independent, and each exercising jurisdiction not only in the District but in
several States. They are:
1. The Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, Mexico City.
2. The York Grand Lodge, Mexico City.
3. The Grand Lodge of the Federal District, Mexico City.
4. The Independent Grand Lodge of the Federal District, Mexico
We are not certain that the one numbered three of the foregoing
is still in existence and the one numbered four is the creature of the
so-called Reformed Scottish Rite and is regarded as clandestine. (2)
are, or lately were, Grand Lodges in other States as follows:
Calientes The Grand Lodge of Aguas
The Grand Lodge of Basabal
The Grand Lodge of Campeache Campeache
Chihuahua The Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge “Benito
Durango The Grand Lodge of Durango
Guanajuato The Grand Lodge of Guanajuato
Guerrero The Grand Lodge of Vicente
Hidalgo The Grand Lodge of Hidalgo
The Occidental Mexican Grand
Juarez The Occidental Grand
California The Grand Lodge of Lower
California La Paz
The Grand Lodge of Morelos Cuernavaea
Leon The Grand Lodge of Nuevo
The Grand Lodge of Oaxaca Oaxaca
The Grand Lodge of Puebla Puebla
Potosi The Grand Lodge “El
Potosi” San Luis Potosi
Sonora The Grand Lodge of Sonora
Tamaulipas The Grand Lodge “Light of
the Frontier, No. 14” Nuevo
Tamaulipas The Grand Lodge “Ignacio
Tamaulipas The Grand Lodge “Jacob De
The Grand Lodge of Tlaxcala
Cruz The United Mexican Grand
Lodge Vera Cruz
Yucatan The Oriental Grand Lodge of
Yucatan Merida (3)
Our Circular of Inquiry was sent to all of these Grand Lodges
but replies were received from York of Mexico, Valle de Mexico, Cosmos, Benita
Juarez, Nuevo Leon, and Vera Cruz only. Brother E. V. Anaya, a member of the
supreme Council, A. & A. S. Rite, of Mexico, stated in “American Freemason”
for March, 1918, that Tamaulipas at Tampico, Occidental at Guadaljara, and
Oriental at Merida were then working regularly. There have been and may yet be
other Grand Lodges in the Republic not mentioned in the foregoing list. The
statement is made in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (1897), vol. 10, p. 68, that each
State of the Republic had its own Grand Lodge. (4)
Valle de Mexico. - The Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, Mexico
City, logically comes in for first treatment. It was formed in 1865. The
charge has been made that brother James C. Lohse arbitrarily divided Lodge
“Union Fraternal,” into three lodges, namely, “Union Fraternal,” “Emules
d'Hiram,” and “Eintracht,” and that these three then united to form the Grand
Lodge “Valle de Mexico.” Brother Lohse and the “Valle de Mexico,” on the other
hand, claimed that this division was but the separation of “Union Fraternal”
into its “original parts” (whatever this means) and that the formation of the
three lodges out of one was under the circumstances entirely regular. (5) Your
Committee confesses its inability with the lights before it to decide the
“Valle de Mexico” claims some sort of descent from the old
Grand Lodge founded in 1826. (6) The best information, however, that we have
been able to get is that “Union Fraternal” lodge, from which “Valle de Mexico”
was formed, was chartered by the Grand Lodge (or Grand Orient, or Supreme
Council) of Cartigena, New Granada (now United States of - Columbia), a
Scottish Rite body, at some date prior to 1855. (See Alabama Cor. Rep. 1902,
The “Valle de Mexico” claims to have lodges in the States of
Guanajuato, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, Hidalgo, Sonora, Zacatecas, and Lower
Until 1878, “Valle de Mexico” worked in subordination to the
Scottish Rite bodies but in that year it declared its independence.
Upon the formation in February, 1890, of the illstarred “Gran
Dieta Simbolica” at Mexico City, “Valle de Mexico” became one of its
constituent Grand Lodges as “Valle de Mexico, No. 1,” that is to say, it was
recognized as the senior Grand Lodge upon the roll of the “Gran Dieta.” It
never, however, surrendered its independence completely. It adhered to the
“Gran Dieta” until August 13, 1895, when it again declared its independence,
and remained independent at least until 1910, since which time there are
charges and evidences that it has again fallen under Scottish Rite control at
least in part.
So far as we can ascertain the only Grand Lodges, recognized by
us, which recognize the “Valle de Mexico” are Cuba, Indiana, Louisiana,
Queensland, and Tasmania. It claims others but the claim is not borne out by
their lists. It has been several times refused recognition by Alabama. (See
Proceedings 1902, p. 91; 1905, p. 56; 1906, p. 79; 1911, p. 166; 1913, p.
At one time the “Valle de Mexico” gave promise of developing
into a regular and well ordered Masonic governing body, but about 1910 it fell
influences of the Scottish Rite Supreme Council of Mexico. This led to a
disruption in 1910, resulting in the formation of two Grand Lodges, each
styling itself “Valle de Mexico.”
The merits of this division have been the subject of
acrimonious dispute. Each charged and still charges the other with causing it
by its unlawful and irregular practices. Each claims to have had the support
of a majority of the lodges and Masons of the original “Valle de Mexico.” The
faction under consideration still calls itself “Valle de Mexico” while the
other faction in 1911, changed its name to “York Grand Lodge of Mexico,
legitimate successor to Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico.”
At the 1911 Annual of York Grand Lodge, the Grand Master
thereof, J. J. Reynoso, gave the following account of this schism:
“At the last Annual Session of this Grand Body (April, 1910),
we had thirty-two lodges, of which five were under dispensation with a total
membership of 1,426. At that session we regret to say that some of the
representatives of seven lodges expressed themselves as dissatisfied with the
election as decided by a large majority vote and left the Grand Lodge room.
These lodges were Benito Juarez No. 3, Union No. 6, Felix Diaz No. 7, Lealtad
No. 15, Ignacio Ramirez No. 20, all chartered, of the Federal District. These
lodges together with Benito Juarez No. 24 of Guadalajara, commenced agitating
for a separation of the lodges working under the Scottish Rite ritual from
those working under the York ritual.
“It was believed that such separation could be amicably
arranged and the discussion of such an arrangement between the interested
parties had even reached the point of the drawing up of a basis of separation
which was signed by the Committees of the Scottish ritual lodges of the
Federal District and of the York ritual lodges of the Federal District, to be
submitted to all of the lodges of the jurisdiction, when on June 23,1910, we
were astounded to learn that the seven Scottish ritual lodges above mentioned
had held a secret meeting, without advice to the other lodges of the
jurisdiction and then and there declared the Annual Session of the Grand Lodge
(April, 1910) irregular and the elections illegal and proceeded to elect
themselves as officers of the Grand Lodge “Valle de Mexico.” Among these
representatives was our Grand Secretary, who turned over to the seceders the
offices and records of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary. They then
demanded of the other lodges of the jurisdiction by telegraph that such lodges
join them within three days or be declared irregular.”
To this demand two other lodges under charter and three under
dispensation yielded, making a total of thirteen lodges which joined in the
new movement. To an impartial observer the merits of this controversy appear
to rest with the York Grand Lodge and this division appears to have been due
to two causes, racial prejudices and the age-old antagonism in Mexico between
the York and Scottish Rites. The new “Valle d Mexico” carried with it nearly
all lodges and Masons speaking Spanish, while the “York Grand Lodge” carried
with it nearly all those speaking other languages. In1911, the York changed
its official language to English. Manuel Levi, who led the “Valle de Mexico”
faction, is now the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Mexican Supreme Council
of the Scottish Rite. It very doubtful if the present “Valle de Mexico” is
independent of the Supreme Council. Its adversaries charge and evidence
indicates that it is not. (7) We do not, however, wish to be understood as
attempting to judge the question either of its origin or of its subsequent
regularity. We desire further information.
York Grand Lodge. - This Grand Lodge owes its existence, as
above stated, to a dissension that arose in 1910 in the bosom of the old Grand
Lodge “Valle de Mexico.” The “York” carries upon its seal the legend
“Organized October, 1825,” but this can be regarded only as a flourish and as
a suggestion that the genuineness of its Masonry traces back in some way
through the old “Valle de Mexico” and “Union Fraternal” lodge to the old
Mexican Grand Lodge formed in 1826. This thread of descent must, however, be
admitted to be of an exceedingly tenuous nature. (8)
The following Grand Lodges, recognized by us, recognize the
“York,” namely, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Costa Rica, District of Columbia,
Cuba, Idaho, Kansas, Manitoba, New York, Philippine Islands, Prince Edward
Island, Texas, Utah, Victoria, Virginia, and West Virginia. It also claims
recognition by California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, England, Ireland, New
Brunswick, New South Wales, Scotland, San Salvador, South Australia and
Tasmania, but their lists do not bear out this claim. Further information
concerning it will be found in our general Reports on Foreign Correspondence
for the year 1916, p. 195; 1917, p. 213; 1918, p. 111, and also for the
The “York” was refused recognition by Alabama in 1913, pp.
The York Grand Lodge does not restrict itself to the Federal
District but has lodges in the States of Sonora, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi,
Puebla, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato and perhaps
others. It claims jurisdiction over “all Symbolic York Rite Masonry throughout
the Republic of Mexico.” (Alabama, 1912, pp. 32-33.) (9)
This claim of jurisdiction in States outside of the political
subdivision in which the “York” is located has been denounced by some Grand
Lodges as in violation of the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction,
so jealously maintained by American Grand Lodges. (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1912, pp.
81-2.) The “York” replies that, so far as Ancient Craft Masonry is concerned,
the entire Republic of Mexico is unoccupied territory, thus invoking another
well-settled Masonic doctrine. It claims that so-called Mexican Grand Lodges
are either non-existant or are subordinate to
the Scottish Rite Supreme
United Mexican Grand Lodge. - We have already given an account
of the formation at Vera Cruz of the “Independent Symbolic Mexican Grand
Lodge” in January, 1883, with seven lodges. In June, 1883, a rival body called
the “Grand Lodge of the State of Vera Cruz” was erected as an independent
Grand Lodge, claiming to have been first organized in 1869. If this date be
the true one, it was as a subordinate of the Supreme Council of the Scottish
Rite and it did not claim independence until after the Supreme Council in
April 1883 renounced its control over the Blue degrees. In November, 1885,
these two Grand Lodges united, forming the “United Mexican Grand Lodge of Vera
Cruz.” It maintained its independence of the “Gran Dieta.” (Alabama Cor. Rep.
1896, p. 95.) It is recognized by Louisiana and Cuba. Frankly, it can prove
about as strong, if not stronger, case of regularity of formation than any of
the Mexican Grand Lodges. (11)
The receipt of our Circular of Inquiry sent this Grand Lodge
was acknowledged April 30, 1919, and we were advised that it had been referred
to their Committee on Foreign Relations. We have, however, to date received
nothing further from it. It was stated in 1913 that this Grand Lodge was
strongly dominated by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite. (Trans.
Leicester Lodge of Research 1912-13, p. 119. See also York Grand Lodge
Pamphlet , pp. 41, 50-52.)
Grand Lodge of Federal District. - This Grand Lodge was formed
at Mexico City, on June 23, 1883, by fourteen Symbolic lodges of the Scottish
Rite. No lodge of the York Rite participated. Carlos K. Ruiz was chosen Grand
Master. At the same time and in the same Temple, another so-called Grand Lodge
was formed with Porfirio Diaz, the then President of Mexico, as its nominal
Grand Master. The Ruiz body quickly secured complete ascendancy over its Diaz
rival. In March, 1896, President Diaz was elected Honorary Grand Master of the
Ruiz body. The Grand Lodge of the Federal District did not unite with the
“Gran Dieta.” (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1896, p. 95.) Alabama declined to recognize
this Grand Lodge in 1885. In 1891, Grand Master G. W. Tyler, of Texas, stated
that the “Federal District” then had no subordinate lodges but this charge was
immediately and indignantly denied. (12) Brother Carlos K. Ruiz from 1883 was
the enlightened leader in propagating the idea of an independent Grand Lodge
in each State of the United States of Mexico with jurisdiction over the
territory of the State and with exclusive control of the first three degrees.
In short he seems to have grasped completely the system that has worked so
well in our country.
“Cosmos.” - This Grand Body in 1890 joined the “Gran Dieta
Simbolica” but in 1896 it proclaimed its independence of that body. It had
trouble with its constituent lodges and by 1903, is alleged to have been
reduced to a single lodge. In this year enough members were taken from this
lodge, and two other lodges were formed of them under charters from the United
Mexican Grand Lodge of Vera Cruz. The three then “reorganized” the Grand Lodge
A somewhat different version of this “reorganization” obtained
currency to the effect that this one lodge was arbitrarily divided into three
and that these reorganized “Cosmos.” (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1909, p. 41.) We
confess we do not know what the precise facts were. It continued to work and
to grow slowly until the present disturbances began in that country, as a
result of which several of its lodges fell asleep.
Another “reorganization” was had and according to
communication recently received from it by your committee it now boasts five
lodges with a membership of about 400. The Supreme Council 33d, A. and A. S.
Rite has by treaty recognized the Grand Lodge “Cosmos” as the sole governing
body of Symbolic Masonry in the State of Chihuahua. It works according to the
Scottish Rite ritual. It is recognized by Connecticut and Louisiana. It also
claims recognition by California and New Mexico, but the lists of recognized
Grand bodies published by them do not support the claim. Alabama refused it
recognition in 1905. (Alabama Proc. 1905 p. 56; See also Alabama Proc. 1908,
At one time the “Cosmos” was generally held to be irregular by
not only the Grand Lodges of the United States of America but by some of those
of Mexico on the alleged ground that it excluded the Bible from its lodges. We
do not know its present attitude on that question but we do know that its
lodges are dedicated “To the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe” and
that its documents are so inscribed (22 Ars. Q. C., p. 216.) A writer in 1913
made the statement that “Cosmos” was then strongly dominates by the Supreme
Council of the Scottish Rite. (Trans Leicester Lodge of Research, 1912-13, p.
119; See York Grand Lodge Pamphlet , p. 61.)
“Benito Juarez.” - From this Grand Lodge, named for the great
Mexican citizen and President, Benito Juarez, we have received a very full
reply to our Circular of Inquiry.
It was founded at Saltillo, State of Coahuila, in 1890, under
the auspices of the “Gran Dieta Simbolica.” Upon the dissolution July 1, 1901,
of the “Gran Dieta,” it assumed independence and sovereignty. It now claims
jurisdiction over the two important States of Coahuila and Durango. On April
29, 1906, the Grand Lodge “Progreso,” which also claimed jurisdiction over
Coahuila and had its seat at Torreon, united with “Benito Juarez.” “Progreso”
had been formed in 1905 by three lodges under the Grand Lodge Santos Degollado.
At present “Benito Juarez” has nine lodges working with a
membership of over 300, while several other lodges are sleeping, owing to the
political conditions. It controls only the first three degrees and professes
to observe the “Ancient Charges and Landmarks as laid down by Dr. Anderson in
1721.” The official ritual of the three degrees is that of the Scottish Rite
but any lodge may employ “any regular and recognized ritual” it may desire.
“Benito Juarez” claims not to have failed to hold a single meeting at the
appointed time, notwithstanding the political conditions prevailing in Mexico.
It also professes to work in conformity to the “ancient landmarks and customs”
and that it has never intermeddled in politics or religion and has constantly
respected the de facto authorities who have governed the State.
Aguas Calientes. - This Grand Lodge was in existence in the
'80's but when or under what auspices it was formed we do not know. (Alabama
Cor. Rep. 1892, p. 133.) If not dead, it is now dormant.
Campeache. - This Grand Lodge was formed before June, 1885, and
in 1886 declared its independence of the Scottish Rite bodies which created
it. We know nothing of its present condition.
Guanajuato. - This Grand Lodge was in existence in 1883 with
six lodges. (3 Gould's His., p. 372.) Its present condition or whether in
existence we do not know.
Hidalgo. - Formed as an independent body about 1885 by six
Mexican, three English, two French, and one Italian lodges. Whether it still
weathers the political storm we do not know.
“Independent Grand Lodge of Federal District.” - This body is
to be distinguished from the “Grand Lodge of the Federal District” mentioned
above and seems to be appendant or subordinate to the Reformed Scottish Rite.
It is considered clandestine by all the Mexican Masonic bodies excepting the
Reformed Scottish Rite (if such be still in existence). (13)
“Jacob DeMolay.” - A Grand Lodge of this name existed in the
State of Tamaulipas in 1887. (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1887, p. 90.) Whether still
claiming existence or whether it was changed or merged into the Grand Lodge
“Ignacio Ramirez” or “Light of the Frontier No. 14” we have not ascertained.
Juarez. - Of the time, place, or circumstances of the
organization of this body we have been able to learn nothing. We only know
that it was working in 1918.
Lower California. - This Grand Lodge was formed about 1884 by
the Scottish Rite bodies. (Alabama Cor Rep. 1887, p. 68.) We do not know its
present status, if it exists.
Mexican National Rite. - There is a Grand Lodge of this name,
claiming jurisdiction over Symbolic Masonry throughout the Republic, which is
not recognized by the other Mexican Masonic bodies. It is not the old “Mexican
National Rite,” which has been dead for several years, but it is a new
organization “arrogating to itself a name and origin to which it is not
Morelos. - This Grand Lodge was in existence as a Scottish Rite
subordinate in 1883 with five lodges (3 Gould's His., p. 372.) On May 23,
1885, it declared itself independent. (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1886, p. 66.)
North Tamaulipas. - This Grand Lodge under the name of “Light
of the Frontier, No. 14” was in existence in 1892 as a subordinate of the
“Gran Dieta.” The “No. 14” means it was the fourteenth Grand Lodge on the roll
of the “Gran Dieta.” (Alabama Cor. Rep 1892, p. 130.) It was recognized by
Louisiana and Georgia. We know nothing concerning its recent fate
Nuevo Leon. -This Grand Lodge was formed by lodges chartered by
the United Mexican Grand Lodge, Vera Cruz. It refused at one time to place the
Bible on its altars on the ground that it is “a sectarian boots which has no
place in Freemasonry,” and thereby called down upon itself much adverse
criticism. This rule is now changed and the Bible is regarded as a fundamental
requisite. (22 Ars Q.C., pp. 216-217; See York Grand Lodge Pamphlet ,
pp. 41, 61.)
We know this Grand Lodge is still in existence because your
Committee is in receipt of a circular from it, dated September 15, 1919, in
which it appeals to the Grand Lodges of the United States for a better
understanding not only between the Masonries but between the peoples of the
two countries. This spirit manifested in this circular is in every way
Oaxaca. - Formed about 1883 as a Scottish Rite subordinate.
(Alabama Cor. Rep. 1886, p. 65; Ib. 1887 p. 68.) It was reorganized as an
independent body on February 5, 1886. Said to be still working in 1909
(22 Ars Q.C., p.216.) (14)
Occidental Mexican, Jalisco. - In existence in 1883, as a
Scottish Rite subordinate, with seven lodges. (3 Gould's His., p. 372.)
Independent in 1889 but in 1890 passed under the control of the “Gran Dieta.”
Independent again in 1901, and still working as such.
Puebla - In existence in 1883, as a subordinate to the Scottish
Rite bodies, with six lodges. (3 Gould’s His., p. 372.) Became independent in
1885. (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1886, p. 66.) In 1909 had been dormant “for some
years.” (22 Ars Q. C., p. 216.) (15)
Tamaulipas. - After a slumber of some years we revived in 1909.
(22 Ars Q. C., p. 216.) Do not know its present status. (16)
Tlaxcala. - In existence in 1883 as a subordinate to the
Scottish Rite bodies, with five lodges. Became independent in 1885. Passed
under the control of the “Gran Dieta” in 1890. (3 Gould's His., p. 372;
Alabama Cor. Rep. 1886, p. 65-6.)
Vicente Guerrero. - In existence in the '80's but we know
nothing of its present condition. (Alabama Cor. Rep. 1892, p. 133.)
Yucatan. - In existence in 1883, as subordinate the Scottish
Rite bodies, with six lodges. (3 Gould His., p. 372.) Was recognized by
Louisiana. Working actively in 1918 as an independent body.
Of the remaining Grand bodies listed in the above table we have
no further information than there shown.
Owing to the unsettled conditions in Mexico both from the
Masonic and the political point of view, not to speak of any other reason, we
do not recommend recognition of any of the Mexican bodies claiming to be
We append the three following interesting letters touching
Mexican Masonry as an
(For the translation of the letter from the Valle de Mexico we
are indebted to the fraternal courtesy by Brother William J. Rowe, of
OFFICE OF SECRETARY
GRAND LODGE A.'. F.'. & A.’ M.'. “VALLEY OF MEXICO.”
P. O. Box No. 10, Mexico, D. F.
Number 323. Or.’. of Mexico, May 21st, 19;19, E.'. V.'. To the
Grand Lodge A.'. F.'. & A.'. M.’. of Alabama,
Guntersville, Alabama, U. S. A.
Prosperity Strength Union
Worshipful Grand Master & Brother:
We have in our possession your Circular (without date) relating
to the action taken by your thigh Bodies, seeking to find a way to enter into
relations with all Masonic Powers in both the Hemispheres, the institution
being of Universal character; and requesting that you be given the information
as per questions in said Circular:
In replying, we are honored to state that it has and always
will be of great responsibility to the Masonic populace to remain lofty in
their ideals without sacrificing in any way the proper egoism for the good of
Universal Brotherhood. It is for this reason, that the activity of your Grand
Lodge, in seeking relations with all lodges, is worthy of great praise and set
an example of the highest Masonic spirit which is justly deserved by a Grand
Lodge composed of elements of such Large Virtues, Firm Tolerance and love for
the institution. Proof of that Masonic Spirit has been given in so noticeable
a manner in the Circular.
Complying with your Just and Noble desires, we give you the
information that you desire, giving this in concrete form so as to avoid a
This Grand Lodge is derived from the extinct Grand Symbolic
Regimen of the United States of Mexico, which in its time surged from the
extinct Grand Lodge “Santos Degollado” universally accepted and recognized.
Our archives date from the year 1878. Before the Revolutionary
movement of 1910, this Grand Lodge was composed of forty-five lodges.
Afterwards and in view of the abnormal existing conditions, we have twenty-two
active Tiles with strong hopes of elevating fifteen other lodges that are
Our Jurisdictional Territory embraces the Federal District,
States of Mexico, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, Hidalgo, Sonora,
Zacatecas and Lower California.
The exact title of our Grand Body is “Grand Lodge of Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons Valley of Mexico.”
We have in our Ritual all the Rites that are universally
recognized and we only control in our Jurisdiction the three degrees of
The Philosophical Degrees are circumscribed to their radius of
fundamental action, absolutely not mixing in the Symbolic Regimen.
In the Territory of the Republic there are various Sovereign
and Independent Grand Lodges existing, and even when in some States of the
Union two or more Grand Lodges have or exercise Masonic authority, that
authority rests only and exclusively in the territory occupied by the lodges
of their obedience without interfering in the Regimen and Sovereignty that
each one controls.
In the territory of the Republic there is a Grand Lodge
existing that calls itself “Rito Nacional Mexicano” and which the other Grand
Lodges existing in said territory do not recognize. There are many reasons
that have caused similar state of affairs, among them, the fact that the true
and legal “Rito Nacional Mexicano” has ceased to exist several years past, the
said body arrogating a title and origin to which they are not entitled.
Our relations with Bodies of other Rites are Fraternally
essential as we consider the Brothers that perform and instruct the York as
well as the Scottish Rite Fair and Just.
We find our Archives to be honored with correspondence of that
Grand Lodge during the year 1908 and for unknown reasons, our relations have
remained in suspence since that time.
We believe the time has come for us to effectively realize the
Fundamental Principles of Brotherhood and that is only accomplished by
exercising Tolerance and a great desire for Union and Plosperity which are
absolutely essential in this great cause.
The Grand Lodge A.’. F.’. & A.’. M.’. of Alabama is worthy of
great Honor, having initiated with such energy and good will the Symbol of
Fortitude and can rest assured that the fruit of their labors will be reaped
by the good impressions left in all hearts of the great work verified by the
Sacred Laws of Justice and Duty.
For better understanding, we enclose the Treaty between this
Grand Lodge and the Supreme Council of the 33 degree and last Gr.’. Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite fo the Jurisdiction of the United States of Mexico,
not giving you more data concerning our International Relations and list of
friendly guarantees with the Grand Symbolic Bodies of the Exterior, as it
would make this letter too lengthy.
Receive therefore, our sincere and enthusiastic applause and
that flattering success will crown your Noble efforts.
We greet you with the highest honors that you deserve and to
which you are entitled.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master,
Ignacio Cortes, 32d
The first Grand Sec'y.
S. Palma, 14d
GRAND.’. LOG.’. “BENITO JUAREZ”
Antiguos LL.’. y AA.’. MM.’.
Estado de Coahuila.
Gran Secretaria No. 330.
Circular of Inquiry Received from Grand Lodge of Alabama.
1. Regarding time, place and circumstances of the formation of
our Grand Lodge, I enclose herewith a booklet in the English language, “The
History and Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Coahuila, Benito Juarez,” and
with reference to the number of lodges participating; there are at present
nine subordinate lodges in this jurisdiction and several more lodges which are
not working now, due to our political commotions, will soon begin work again.
2. The reply to the first part of this question will be found
in the enclosed pamphlet. Our territory comprises the States of Coahuila and
Durango. The State of Coahuila is the third largest in extension in the
republic of Mexico and one of the very richest in mines, agriculture and
cattle. The State of Durango is also extensive and rich.
3. This question is also answered in the booklet. At present
there are more than three hundred active members.
4. The exact title of our Grand Body is in the Spanish
language: “Gran Logia 'Benito Juarez' de Antiguos, Libras y Aceptados Masones
del Estado de Coahuila,” or in English: “Grand Lodge 'Benito Jaurez' of
Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Coahuila.” Benito Juarez was
a prominent figure in the republic, a great Mason, and considered by all
Mexicans as one of the great men of America, and in Latin America he is given
the title of “The well deserving of all America.”
5. The Grand Lodges of this republic control only the three
Symbolic Degrees, or Blue or St. Johns' Masonry, the other degrees, from the
fourth to the 33rd, belong to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of the
33rd and the last degree of the republic of Mexico, residing at Mexico City.
Since several years ago the Masonry of this republic celebrated a treaty
whereby the Symbolic Bodies became independent and sovereign, united in Grand
Lodges with well defined jurisdictions. Generally speaking, there is a Grand
Lodge in every State of the republic, which was founded when at least three
symbolic lodges had been installed in the State. In no State of the republic
can there be two Grand Lodges at the same time, because Blue Masonry is
prohitited to invade territories occupied by another Grand Lodge. After a
Grand Lodge has occupied a vacant territory and has installed three lodges,
these will form their own Grand Lodge for that State.
6. The Grand Lodge of the State has jurisdiction over all
lodges of her dependency, although the subordinate lodges are free,
independent and sovereign with regards to their internal government. The
latter are united to the Grand Lodge by the constitutional covenant and they
owe her obedience, within the law, and while they govern themselves freely
they must report to the Grand Lodge the movement of their members, of the
treasury and a resume of the work of the lodge. They are represented in the
Grand Lodge by delegates, with right to vote, they assist in the making of
laws and in the elections of the Grand Officers. Sentences of the subordinate
lodges pass to her for review and revision, in case of non-confirmity of a
decision. Aside from this, although the Ancient, Free and Accepted Scottish
Rite is of the official, each lodge has the privilege to work in any regular
and recognized rite she may desire, by giving notice to the Grand Lodge.
Instruction is given to the brethren in all rites and besides the old
sciences, which comprise the Royal Art, the modern, social and political, are
7-10. The seventh and eighth questions are partly answered in
previous replies. There are treaties of friendship in force with several
Masonic Grand bodies in this republic and also foreign, maintaining friendly
relations with the whole Latin American continent and several European Grand
Lodges, with whom we are in correspondence. The Supreme Council of the 33rd
and last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the United States
of Mexico maintains friendly relations since many years with all Supreme
Councils including the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the United
States of America and was represented at the Grand Convention at Laussanne,
Switzerland, and forms part of the Confederation.
Our Grand Lodge has its residence in Torreon, state of Coahuila,
and its members have not missed working a single day set for its meetings,
notwithstanding the political disturbances the country is undergoing, and in
conformity with our ancient landmarks and customs it has never intermeddled in
politics or religion and has constantly respected the dispositions of the de
facto authorities who have governed the State.
Recognized by all Masonic authorities in the republic our
members have found protection and help, whenever needed, and liberal as our
rite is, we do not make distinctions in nationality, religion or race of a
brother to give him assistance.
As I have said before, we do not limit ourselves to extend our
relations to the Grand bodies of this republic only; we are also in connection
with foreign bodies, particularly Latin-American, and if we in the past have
neglected our sister republic to the north, the reason is, that we have been
informed that those who do not belong to the York Rite, profess the Protestant
religion, and express themselves in correct English, have been slighted, a
thing which we have regretted very much and which has been the cause that
numerous Mexicans living in the State of Texas seek the Mexican National Rite.
God grant that the Grand Lodges of the United States, in a
spirit more fraternal, less egoistic and more in accordance with the
Constitutions of the Scottish Rite and with the Old Landmarks, will inaugurate
a new era of good relationship between the regular Grand Lodges of the two
Americas and in this manner shall we the Sons of the Widow better fulfill our
great mission and enable us to help the whole world in these difficult times.
Respetable Gran Maestro,
Jesus Maer Bosque.
N. R. Garcia. [ Seal.]
AA.’.LL.’. Y AA.’. MM.’.
Estado de Chihuahua
Grand Lodge A.’.F.’. & A.’. M.’. of Alabama.
Frat.’. Num. 429.
This Grand Lodge was united to the “Grand Dieta” in 1890, and
proclaimed its independence in 1896 according to the unanimous consent of all
the constituent lodges.
In 1899 entered a treaty of Alliance and Friendship with the
Supreme Council of the 33 Gr.’. of the A.’. and A.’. S.’. R.’. for the Masonic
jurisdiction of Mexican Republic. In this Treaty, which is still in force, it
is recognized the territorial jurisdiction for the Estate of Chihuahua, of the
Grand “Cosmos” Lodge.
Some disturbances among its membership were the cause for the
apostasy of two of its constituent lodges, and in order to avoid this abnormal
condition, from one of the loyal lodges were taken the necessary members to
constitute two new lodges, that under warrant started to work at once, and a
short time after, such new lodges were granted their charters issued by the
Grand United Mexican Lodge of Vera Cruz, which is one of the most reputed and
credited as regular in this Republic.
Previous to the above proceedings, in the early part of the
year 1903, was started the reorganization of the Grand Lodge “Cosmos” with the
help of the Grand United Mexican Lodge of Vera Cruz, represented by the V.’.
Bro. Rafael L. Molina, who duly installed the officers of the constituent
lodges “Constancia y Trabajo No. 1,” “Mariano Escobedo No. 2” and “Hidalgo No.
In 1901 were entered friendly relations with the Grand Lodge of
California, and with the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, U. S. A.
In 1903 the Grand Lodge of France appointed as Guaranty of
Friendship before this Grand Lodge Cosmos the Bro. Rafael L. Molina.
The work of increasing of the institution was continued
uninterruptedly until, unfortunately, the political events of our country came
to interrupt such work.
Having been proclaimed sleeping, some of the constituent lodges
of this High Corps were reorganized and now are in active and regular work.
The following lodges constitute the “Grand Cosmos Lodge”:
“Constancia y Trabajo No. 1” - V.’. Master, Pedro Escapite;
Secretary, S. Villalobos.
“Mariano Escobedo No. 2” - V.’. Master, Eduardo L. Becerra;
Secretary, M. F. Monzon.
“Perseverancia y Lealtad No. 12” - V.’. Master, Martin Rubio;
Secretary, Ramon Rodriguez D.
“Benito Juarez No. 10” - V.’. Master, Jose Murillo; Secretary,
“Guelatao No. 5” - V.’. Master, Filiberto Guenrostro;
Secretary, Baudelio Perez.
The above five lodges are in actual work with a membership of
no less than four hundred all together, according to the A.’.A.’.S.’. ritual,
under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge “Cosmos” of State of Chihuahua,
which is the only Masonic Power recognized by the following High Corps for the
three symbolic degrees:
Supreme Consejo del 33d - Mexico, D. F.
Grand Lodge “Valle de Mexico” - Mexico, D. F.
Grand Lodge “Unida Mexicana” - Vera Cruz, V. C.
Grand Lodge “Occidental Mexicana” - Guadalajara, Jal. Mex.
Grand Lodge “Oriental” - Merida, Yuc.
Grand Lodge de Estado - Monterey, N. L.
Grand Lodge “Benito Juarez” - Torreon, Coah.
Grand Lodge de Chile - Chile.
Grand Lodge - Lima, Peru.
Grand Lodge - Guatemala, Guatemala.
Grand Lodge Cuscatlan - San Salvador, C. America.
Supreme Consiglio del 33d ed ultimo gardo - Roma, Italia.
Supreme Counseil de la Rep - Argentina - Buenos Aires.
other Corps with whom now we have re-established our interrupted relations.
you our fraternal greetings.
Balderrama. [ Seal.]
The present status of Masonry in Mexico, in brief, seems to be
There are twelve Grand Lodges at work. These claim and exercise
jurisdiction over the first three degrees only, except the lodges may, as in
this country, confer the Past Master degree on Masters-elect. Eleven of these
Grand Lodges recognize each other as regular and as a rule use the Scottish
Rite Symbolic ritual. They do not recognize the York Grand Lodge and have no
Masonic intercourse with it.
There is a Supreme Council of the A. & A. Scottish Rite,
located in Mexico City, claiming exclusive jurisdiction throughout the
Republic. It receives applicants for its degrees from the group of eleven
Grand Lodges above mentioned and did until November, 1919, receive them from
members of the York Grand Lodge, but it now strictly forbids any intercourse
with or recognition of members of the “York.”
An unofficial letter from Brother Jose Cos, Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Supreme Council, says:
This Supreme Council claims no jurisdiction, whatsoever, over any Symbolic
body or over the Capitular bodies, Chapter, Council and Commandery of the York
only possible connection this Supreme Council has with Symbolic bodies is, as
it is in all other jurisdictions the world over, to know that the Lodge of
Perfection does not accept an application from any Symbolic Mason of the Third
degree unless he is a member of a lodge which owes allegiance to a legally
constituted Grand Lodge;
There is, in this Jurisdiction, a Philosophic body by the name of “Rito
Nacional Mexicano” which claims jurisdiction over Symbolic bodies but this
body has been declared by this Supreme Council as spurious. (See copy of
Balustre No. 78, transmitted herewith.)”
There is also Mexico City Chapter of Royal Arch Masons holding
under the Grand Chapter of Texas. On December 26, 1919, the High Priest of
this Chapter submitted a decision at a regular meeting of the Chapter, holding
the eleven Grand Lodges above mentioned to be regular and all others in
Mexico, including the “York,” to be illegitimate.
There are also a Council of Royal and Select Masters, Mexico
City Commandery No. 1, and Anezeh Temple, A.A.O.N.M. Shrine. We are informed
that all these bodies are now drawing the line on the “York.”
The strongest point of attack made against the “York” is that
it is a body of foreign Masons speaking a foreign language who have attempted
to monopolize Symbolic Masonry in the entire Republic. The “York” virtually
admits this charge; its Grand Master at its 1919 Annual said, “we are a mere
nucleus of Americans and English here in a foreign country.”
(1) Freston states (p. 4) that the Supreme Grand Orient ceased
to exist February 26, 1890. Its lodges passed to the several Grand Lodges
within whose territory they were situated. (Light, Vol. 4, p. 63.) We are also
assured that the so-called “Reformed Scottish Rite” has died out.
(2) A well informed brother in Mexico writes that “the Grand
Lodge of the Federal District of Mexico” went out of existence in 1904, when
it united with the Grand Lodges “Santos Degollado” and “Valle de Mexico,”
carrying with them the rights of those bodies to Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico.
The so-called “Independent Grand Lodge of the Federal District of Mexico,”
says this brother, was a revival “by a person or persons who were not even
members, and used for political and pecuniary purposes, calling its Grand
Lodge 'Distrito Federal,' after the old Grand Lodge.” He pronounces this last
Grand body “absolutely clandestine and so pronounced by all students of
Masonry in Mexico.” (Concerning “Santos Degollado,” see York Grand Lodge
Pamphlet , pp. 26, 27-8, 44.)
(3) A recent unofficial letter from Brother Jose Cos, Sovereign
Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Mexico, says that the following
Grand Lodges mentioned in the foregoing list are “dead,” namely, “Distrito
Federal,” “Distrito Federal Independente,” Aguas Calientes, Durango,
Guanajuato, Vicente Guerrero, Hidalgo, Morelos, “Ingnacio Ramirez.” He says
the following “never existed,” namely, Basabal, Juarez, Lower California,
Sonora, “Light of Frontier, No. 14,” “Jacob de Molay” and Tlaxcala.
These Grand Lodges may have “never existed” otherwise than on
paper, but all have been from time to time mentioned in Masonic publications.
Brother Cos says we failed to mention the regular Grand Lodge of Tamaulipas.
(Concerning a Grand Lodge at Victoria, Tamaulipas, see York Grand Lodge
Pamphlet , p. 26.)
Brother Freston, in his pamphlet, (p. 8), says he understands
that there is a Grand Lodge in the State of Tabasco. We have never met with
other reference to it. There was also at one time a Grand Lodge in the State
of Mexico. (York Grand Lodge Pamphlet , p. 26.)
(4) Of the foregoing list it is quite certain that the
following have ceased to exist, namely, Aguas Calientes, Basabal, Campeache,
Durango, Guanajuato, Vicente Guerrero, Hidalgo, “Occidental” of Juarez, Lower
California, Morelos, “Light of the Frontier, No. 14,” “Jacob de Molay” of
Tamaulipas, and Tlaxcala.
Baluster No. 79, issued in November, 1919, by the Supreme
Council of the Scottish Rite for Mexico shows the following Grand Lodges as
existing and at work in Mexico, namely:
Grand Lodge “Unida Mexicana” of Free and Accepted Masons of the
State of Veracruz.
Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons “Valle de
Mexico,” Mexico, D. F.
Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Oaxaca.
Grand Lodge “La Oriental” of Free and Accepted Masons, Yucatan.
Grand Lodge “Cosmos” of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of
the State of Chihauhau.
Grand Lodge “Benito Juarez” of Ancient, Free and Accepted
Masons of the State of Coahuila.
Grand Lodge of the State of Nuevo Leon.
Grand Lodge “Occidental Mexicana” of Ancient, Free and Accepted
Sovereign and Independent State Grand Lodge “El Potosi” of Free
and Accepted Masons, San Luis Potosi.
Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Tamaulipas.
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Puebla.
The Supreme Council strictly forbids its members receiving or
holding Masonic intercourse with any Mason or Masonic body not embraced within
this list. This inhibition is especially directed against the York Grand Lodge
of Mexico, which it regards as an “irregular body” for the following reasons,
Because it was illegally organized by a group of Masons who segregated
themselves from the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico.
Because immediately after the so-called organization took place, and claiming
to be the successor of the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, which body has never
ceased to exist, did on its own self-constituted authority proceed to include
all other jurisdiction throughout the whole territory of this Republic, a
jurisdiction which the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico has never pretended, nor
pretends now to possess.
Because upon exercising the mentioned jurisdiction, and by establishing lodges
in various parts of the Republic, it has invaded the Masonic territory of
various regular Grand Lodges legally chartered in this country.
Because by having adopted the English language as the official one, it has
simply become a self-constituted Grand Lodge of foreigners, included within
the territory of a free, sovereign and independent nation.
Because by asserting to be the only regular Symbolic body within the territory
of the Republic of Mexico, and their lodges working in the English language,
it has dispossessed all Mexicans who are not familiar with the aforesaid
language, of the right to make themselves regular Masons.
Because there has been permitted in some of their lodges the use of
ceremonies, vesture equipment, and certain badges highly improper for the
symbolic degrees, and thus flagrantly violating their spirit and traditions.”
State Grand Lodges shown in our list, the well-informed brother above
these Grand Lodges of States are in a very precarious condition on account of
the years of internal troubles which have thinned the membership but as this
is only a temporary condition it will not change the standing of those Grand
Lodges and probably those others which are mentioned by you as having once
existed may again come to life.”
Brother Forbes, who is friendly to “Valle de Mexico,” admits in his pamphlet
(p. 10) that the Columbian records disprove that three charters were issued
for “Union Fraternal” but only one, and that the manner of formation of “Valle
de Mexico” was “clandestine, irregular and illegitimate.”
Brother Forbes, who is a protagonist of the “Valle de Mexico,” in his pamphlet
(p. 53), denies that “Valle de Mexico” claims any connection with the old
Grand Lodge of 1826. He admits that it originated in 1865, and was formed from
“Union Fraternal” Lodge chartered by the Supreme Council Neogranadino of
charge is indignantly denied by Brother Forbes in his pamphlet (p. 54). He
such a deliberate lie that it has to be characterized as one, and the lie was
told in order that foreign Grand Lodges should believe that the York Grand
Lodge was the only Masonic institution in this Republic which did not owe or
give obedience to the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, and the foreign
Grand Lodges would be inclined, for this reason, to accord recognition to the
York Grand Lodge. To say nothing of this being a deliberate lie, you can
easily see how the Mexican Masons were belittled and disparaged in the eyes of
symbolism everywhere on earth, it being supposed that your Grand Master told
the truth - that Mexicans had spurned Symbolic Masonry and had returned to the
fold of the Scottish Rite, from which they were liberated in May, 1883.”
Brother Forbes, in his pamphlet, says that the York Grand Lodge cannot produce
“a scintilla of evidence to maintain its allegation” of descent from the Grand
Lodge of 1825. He further says:
a lie, or false statement, which ever you like to call it, and was never used
by the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, to which Grand Lodge the York Grand Lodge
claims to have succeeded. It was used only by the somewhat astute politicians
who gained control of the Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, when changing its name
to the York Grand Lodge, solely for the purpose of impressing foreign Grand
Lodges that the York Grand Lodge was an ancient and regular institution.”
learn from Brother Freston's pamphlet as well as from other sources that the
Grand Lodge “Valle de Mexico” now claims jurisdiction over Symbolic Masonry
only in the Federal
District, coupled with the right to found lodges in any State or Territory
where there is no Grand Lodge.
(10) Freston says (p. 7) that the lodges of “Valle de Mexico”
in common with all Mexican Grand Lodges except the York, work according to a
“Colonial Rite, probably Prussian in its origin.” We understand from other
sources that they use the Scottish Rite ritual of the first three degrees.
(11) Brother Freston, (a partisan of the York Grand Lodge),
says in his pamphlet (p. 8) of the United Mexican Grand Lodge of Vera Cruz,
“that it is undoubtedly a legitimate Grand Body.”
(12) Our latest information is that the Grand Lodge of the
Federal District went out of existence when, in 1904, it voluntarily united
with Grand Lodge “Santos Degollado,” which in 1908 merged with “Valle de
(13) Late information from reliable sources in Mexico City is
that both the “Reformed Scottish Rite” and the “Independent Grand Lodge of the
Federal District” are now unknown there and have been so for many years. (See
York Grand Lodge Pamphlet , pp. 26, 60.)
(14) In November, 1919, Grand Lodge of Oaxaca was working and
is recognized by the other Mexican Masonic Grand Lodges, except the York.
(15) Grand Lodge of Puebla is again at work and is recognized
as regular by the Mexican Masonic bodies, according to late and reliable
(16) Late information is that the Grand Lodge of Tamaulipas is
still at work. Brother Freston in his pamphlet (p. 7) savagely attacks it in
“2. The Grand Lodge of Tamaulipas, Dr. Guzman, G. M., Tampico.
Colonial Rite. This Grand Lodge was illegally formed by one Lic. Teodoro
Montemayor, as a political move to assist the late General Bernardo Reyes in
his fight for the Presidency as against Don Porfirio Diaz. The old Grand Lodge
of Tamaulipas died a natural death some years ago for want of members. The
building in which they met had been donated to the Craft by one General
Flores, an enthusiastic Mason of the old times. A condition of the gift was,
that if ever the Craft ceased to work the building was to revert to the
Government. To avoid this a fragment of one lodge, 'Vitrex No. 1,' always kept
alive, held a meeting once in about six months. They admitted anybody that had
the price, Negro, Arab, Syrian, Chinese, Mexican stevedores, - anyone that
could pay five pesos for the degrees. When Montemayor was named a
'Propagandist' on behalf of General Reyes, he conceived the idea of reviving
this lodge, and of using the Craft for political purposes. Accordingly, he
divided Vitrex Lodge into two parts and organized a stevedore lodge in a small
nearby village with timber taken from the docks and loading gangs of the
stevedores. He gave them the degrees free, in consideration of their voting
for his man. Out of this element he organized his Grand Lodge. The Charters
were obtained from the Grand Lodge of Vera Cruz, which Grand Body, when the
true facts were brought to its notice, promptly revoked them. However the harm
was done and when the seceders from the Grand Lodge in 1910 formed their
spurious Grand Lodge, recognition was promptly given to the body under
discussion, and what is even worse, after the good old lodge of Vera Cruz
enacted the unholy treaty with the pseudo Grand Lodge Valle de Mexico, they
recognized Tamaulipas Grand Lodge also.”
By mismanagement and misapplication of Masonic principle we can
bring our splendid form of institution into ill repute; but if liberty,
justice, equality and fraternity control the functions and actions of our
institution, we shall have found an effective remedy for the disease that
promotes dissatisfaction and strife.
Frank W. Settlemier, P. G. M., Oregon.
The tasks set to children should be moderate. Over-exertion is
hurtful both physically and intellectually, and even morally. But it is of the
utmost importance that they should be made to fulfill all their tasks
correctly and punctually. This will train them for an exact and conscientious
discharge of their duties in after life. - Hare.
HUNGARIAN MASONIC PERSECUTIONS
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
THE OFFICIAL dissolution of Hungarian Masonic lodges and
organizations has again directed public attention and opinion to the terrorist
activity in Hungary, but it is necessary to emphasize the fact that this
action of officialdom must be separated from the Communist prosecutions which
have recently taken place. Freemasonry did not take the slightest part in the
creation or support of Bolshevism in Hungary, although, in spite of that fact,
the members of the Craft have become the victims of the present reactionary
propaganda, which regards the objects of Freemasonry as obstacles to its
In Hungary today it is a crime to be a Freemason, and the
punishment for such crime is discharge from official employment, internment
and imprisonment. The Masonic lodges have been stigmatized as “immoral and
unpatriotic secret societies” and the “Awakening Hungarians” have condemned
all Masonic societies. They did not even wait for the government to give an
official and legal form to the sentence, but began, without delay, their
On 25th April last - more than a month before the official
dissolution of Masonic associations - a detachment of the notorious
Brachialgewalt, accompanied by a number of civilian “Awakenings,” forced an
entry into the Lodge Arpad, when they turned over the furniture, confiscated
all documents, and sealed up the library; an example which quickly found many
imitators. In Ujpest a group of terrorists entered by force the Lodge
Vilagossag, where they committed a similar action, while in Magykanizza the
Masonic Temple was also confiscated. In Budapest, on 15th May, the palace of
the Symbolical Grand Lodge of Hungary at 47 Podmaniczky-utca, as well as the
buildings of the Lodges Galileo and Hajnal were requisitioned, without any
It was not until 29th May that the Hungarian government gave
its sanction to these atrocities and dissolved all Masonic organizations, the
work of which had already been paralyzed by the terrorists. The “Magyar Kurir”
wrote as follows concerning this measure:
“We are informed by competent circles that the Minister for
Home Affairs, by his order No. 1550, 1920, has definitely dissolved all
Freemason lodges, associations, and institutions. It is a well-known and
officially established fact that Freemasonry had a considerable, almost
decisive, role in calling forth the war, and later, during the war and after
the armistice, in the development of defeatism and destruction, as well as in
the raising of the Karolyi revolution and of Bolshevism. The wealth of the
lodges will come under official confiscation and will be utilized by the
government for humanitarian and cultural purposes, but, before everything, for
the support of actions of nationalistic and Christian tendencies.”
The untenability of this semi-official interpretation is
obvious. In the first place, it commits a striking contradiction by stating
that Freemasonry called forth the war as well as pacificism-stigmatized as
“defeatism” - for the statement concerning a part supposed to have been played
by Masonic brethren in the incitement of Bolshevism is sufficiently disproved
by the fact that, in the first weeks of Bolshevist rule, the People's
Commissariat for Home Affairs dissolved the lodges and confiscated all their
possessions. Even the moderate Social Democrats did not identify themselves
with the Craft. In the congress of the Hungarian Social Democratic party held
at Easter, 1918, a resolution was carried, according to which a member of the
Social Democratic Party cannot be a member of a Masonic lodge, because
Freemasonry was held to be a “bourgeois organization.”
The Freemasons who sought refuge in flight to foreign countries
are issuing a proclamation by means of which they hope to call the attention
of their European comrades to the recent happenings in Hungary and seeking
their support and sympathy against the officially sanctioned atrocities of the
CRAFT SHALL BELIEVE IN ME
L.B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
parting time at last shall come
tried to set the seal
spirit of the mystic home
Art that is ideal,-
prayed my way with heart and hand
Light has helped to see,
blest upon the border-land
Craft shall believe in me.
tried to be true to the Art
the years as they have passed,
that which allures the heart
Truth of things at last.
may have stumbled here and there
all so love to be,
how richly will I fare
Craft shall believe in me!
It may be
I've sometimes left the way
quest of other things,
some have marred the harmony
soulfulness it brings;
It may be
I've faltered on the way
seek the Light and humbly pray
Craft may believe in me.
thereby to them shall come
bit of joy
truly blest in what I've done
dear old Art's employ;
will be the by and by
angel whispers me
'twas not in vain, my “passing by,”
Craft believes in me.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 41
Bro. H. L. Haywood
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the
references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be
worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the
Course with the papers by Brother Haywood.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided,
as is shown below:
I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood, who is following
the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry.
There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. On page
two, preceding each installment, will be given a list of questions to be used
by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out
every point touched upon in the paper.
possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from
other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered
by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as
supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the
monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise
possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be
monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done
the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in
advance of the meetings and the brethren who are members of the National
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions
after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper
and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new
points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to
different brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or
when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The
study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the
lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given
to the study period.
lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee
should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All
members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should
be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of
Brother Haywood's paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the lodge should
make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the
discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in
elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the
opening of the study period.)
Discussion of the above.
subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers
should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner. 4.
"QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
questions from any and all brethren present. Let them understand that these
meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of
asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will
suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually
covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no
one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have
will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact
we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be
able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great
Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of
the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal
on any query raised by any member of the Society.
foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their lodge
study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and
communications from interested brethren concerning any phase of the plan that
is not entirely clear to them, and the Services of our Study Club Department
are at the command of our members, lodge and study club committees at all
ON "ETERNAL LIFE"
BUILDER OCTOBER 1920
conducting the study meetings the Chairman should endeavour to hold the
discussions as closely as possible to the text and not permit the members to
speak too long at one time, or to stray onto another subject.
it becomes evident that a discussion is turning from the original subject the
Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or
phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when
the Question Box period is opened.
Brother Haywood consider to be the central idea of the Legend of the Third
respect does the term "Eternal Life" differ from Future Life? Immortality?
Brother Haywood's definition of "Eternal Life"? How would you define it?
the two component parts of human nature?
group of our activities has reference to the body?
man's "spirit"? What is this "spirit" eternal?
the principal fault of many of us? What is the result of this faith? What is
the remedy for this condition?
the "Lost Word" the symbol of "Eternal Life"?
agree with Brother Haywood's conception of the "Raising"? If not, wherein do
you differ from him? (A general question.)
necessary for us to seek outside of our Blue Lodge ritual for the "Lost Word"?
If so, why?
indexes to Volumes I, II, III, IV and V of THE BUILDER for references to
"Immortality" and "Resurrection." Mackey's Encyclopedia:
Immortality of the Soul, p. 347; Resurrection, p. 621.
STEPS BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART VI -
which I believe to be the central idea in the whole Hiram Abiff drama, and,
consequently, the profoundest interpretation of it, is that which is embodied
in the term used as the title of this section. I have chosen to consider it
in a section apart, not only because its importance is deserving of such
emphasis, but also because the truth of Eternal Life is so confused, so
mingled with other very different ideas, in the minds of men, that we have
need of a careful analysis of the matter.
Eternal Life we do not mean quite the same thing as that meant by a Future
Life. Future Life, by virtue of the very words used to describe it, is a life
that is supposed to lie in the Future, beginning after death; Eternal Life
will be lived in the great Future, true enough, but is something more than
Eternal Life the same as Immortality, for Immortality means deathlessness -
that is, an existence of endless duration. It suggests a picture of life
lived on a level line, of which line there is no end. Eternal Life includes
this conception of infinite duration but it also includes much besides.
Eternal Life is not to be identified with Resurrection. According to this
latter hope the man who dies will be raised from the dead, and will be the
same man that he was before death. This also may be true, in some sense
doubtless is true, but it is not the same truth as that meant by Eternal Life.
then, do we mean by Eternal Life? Briefly it may be put thus - there is
something in every man, call it spirit, soul, a divine spark or what you will,
which even now is not concerned with time or space, but exists above or
outside them. This God-like thing in us need not wait for death to make it
Eternal; it is Eternal now.
most ancient times, as is proved by the history of every religion, men have
found human nature to be a kind of double thing, one half of which is very
different from the other half. In behalf of simplicity we may, as many
teachers have done, call one of these halves the body, the other the spirit.
Under one or the other of those two words we may group all of our activities.
of our activities has reference always to the body. If we work to earn money
it is that we may clothe, and feed, and shelter the body; if we seek pleasure
it is to please the same body; if we desire possessions it is that the wants
and needs of the body may be satisfied. By this very nature, it is plain to
see, these activities are temporal, because the body, around which they all
revolve, soon breaks down and is at last destroyed by death. It is because
food is to feed the temporal body, and clothing to cover it, etc., that we
call these things temporalities. What use will we have for money, for houses,
for land, clothing, food, and all similar things, when we no longer have a
body by which to use them?
is in each of us another set of activities which have reference to the
spirit. By virtue of its very nature man's spirit is a thing that seeks
Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. Just as food is the satisfaction of the
stomach's appetite so are these the satisfaction of the spirit's craving. And
it must be noted that the things for which the spirit has need are not in any
sense necessarily tied up to, or dependent on, the body, or the earth of time
and space; in all worlds, with or without a body, and under any imaginable
circumstances, the spirit will necessarily keep on its search for Goodness,
Truth and Beauty. For this reason we are justified in describing this life of
the spirit as Eternal.
It is the
great tragedy in the life of many men that they so entirely devote themselves
to the body's needs that they forget, or neglect the spirit's needs. Giving
themselves up to the search for things, for temporalities, they leave the
divinest cravings in them to go unsatisfied; as a result, they become
materialistic, self-centred, vain, greedy, and animalistic; the soul becomes
dissatisfied, God becomes unreal, and the future life uncertain; and they even
fall into the fatal habit of making such goodness, truth and beauty as they do
find in themselves or others, into a mere means to an end. Such a man's whole
life revolves about himself; he becomes his own world and his own God, and out
of such a state grow the fears, doubts, superstitions, quarrelings, graspings,
prejudices, envyings, and hatreds which so often make life a mere scramble
after the things of self. In other words, the body is set at the centre of
existence so that all the man's life is made up of temporalities.
remedy for this condition is to change the centre of gravity so that the
spirit is master and the body is servant, so that search is made for the
eternal things instead of wholly for the things that pass away. When this
occurs, selfishness, envy and materialism vanish; the soul becomes the great
reality; God draws very near and becomes very certain; the perspective of life
is changed and its scale of values is reversed. To be horrorable and true, to
love others, to live in pity, charity, and kindliness, to know eternity as
present and the present existence as a brief place of an endless life, all
this becomes for such a man the great ideal toward which all his energies are
bent. Loss and disease may be serious but they are not fatal; even death is
robbed of its terrors because the man's treasures are out of the reach of
Eternal Life. This is the "life of God in the soul of man," eternity in the
midst of time, a divine-human experience possible in the Here and Now. To
reach such an existence is in the power of every man; nay, it is the
birthright, the God-intended plan, of every child of the race.
it seems to me, we have the reality of which the Lost Word is the mystic
symbol; and he who has found that word within him is victorious always,
whatever betide. If he is betrayed by the friends in whom he has trusted,
waylaid by ruffians, put to death in the midst of his creative and benignant
work, and thrown into an unmarked grave, he is not defeated or destroyed; the
God-like spirit within him, dedicated to the Eternal Values, raises him up
from the level of death to the perpendicular of the life that even now is
be the true interpretation of the Raising, we can no longer agree with those
who see in it merely a ceremony in witness to the Future Life of the soul. How
could it be? The Raising is not accomplished on the Other Side of the grave
but on This; out of the very disaster which overwhelmed him, out of the midst
of that dreadful "masterful negation which men call death," the master is
lifted up and made victorious. The Spirit is conqueror even Here.
Furthermore, and as I have already hinted, this interpretation makes void the
theory which would have us believe that the Lost Word must be sought outside
the Blue Lodge Ritual. When is the Master raised? Is it not in the Third
degree? Is not the very Power that raises him itself the thing we mean by the
Work? It is true that the secret is elaborated and made plain in a higher
degree, but the power, the actual upraising energy of which such a word must
be a mere symbol, is present, and does its work, inside the limits of the
understanding came home to me and opened up within my mind, the whole of the
Blue Lodge ritual, nay, the whole of Masonry became transfigured; dark places
became filled with light; obscure symbols, often so cryptic and dim, became
eloquent with wonderful meanings; I found every ceremony, from the first
activities of the preparation room on to the solemn awful tragedy moving with
steady tread and predetermined plan on toward the sublime climax. Freemasonry
rose in my vision to the most divine heights and I saw that it has in its
heart an Eternal Gospel which gives it a place among the great religions, and
among the noblest of all the philosophies, wherethrough men have sought for
light on the brief broken, bewildering mystery of existence, and strength to
live, unconquered and unashamed in the midst of so many enemies and defeats.
N. W. J. HAYDON, CANADA
wide are thy mansions, Oh Pain,
the woeful dwellers therein;
babe, kept from its mother's breast,
little child whose feet forget their dance,
stripling and the strong man bow to thee,
gentle maid, the mother suffering long,
age-all own thy might.
thy long corridors their sighs resound
who watch, or wait, the long hours through,
hearts, too, thy grim strength casts its shade.
places, Pain, are full and overflow
those white altars where thy victims lie;
that upper chamber where the fierce light
the little table and the quiet form
which thy white-robed ministers
with quick and skilful hands
the dreadful fight twixt Life and Death.
that silent room whose undraped couch
the scarred shell of all our hopes and fears.
The black-robed servants of our God
A God of
life and joy - what paradox -
teach us thou'rt His love's chief messenger,
us nearer the vision of His face.
thy pearl-hued wings are tipped with rosy dawn
who pass thy gates; but those who stay
see in them only sunset hues,
unyielding blank of empty hands.
When wilt thou be content?
average Mason pays little attention to Masonry after he attains to the sublime
degree of a Master Mason. He is not often seen in the lodge room. When called
upon to render a Masonic service, he occupies himself in making excuses and
explanations. If each Mason would simply devote thirty minutes of each day to
Masonry; to rendering a service to a distressed brother, to obtaining a more
accurate knowledge of what Masonry means; in the search for greater light and
knowledge, the Masonic Fraternity would become a power, and the individual a
giant of intellectual strength, which, when united with his fellow member,
would make this world better. Masonry knows no prejudices-and makes no
promises to its initiates; but it does exact service from all good
Masons-service which is taught in the lectures of the three degrees. The
reason you know them not is because you are not familiar with Masonry. You
have received the three degrees; it is true you wear the badge of a Mason
prominently displayed, but if by chance you should be suddenly challenged, you
would utterly fail. The question is, what are you going to do to improve your
knowledge ? Are you going to leave untouched the workshop of Masonry? Are you
going to remain content with your own limited knowledge, or are you going to
arouse yourself from the helpless Masonic state in which you find yourself ?
Are you going to be content with a few empty honors which may have
accidentally come to you and which you have not earned? Masonry is knocking at
the door of every member, pleading with its votaries to help make men better.
Masonry is beating a perpetual tattoo upon your door, and begs you enter the
vineyard and take up the burden-as a Mason this work is absolutely and
entirely your duty.
Springer, P. G. M., Philippine Islands.
malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God
gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in. That
this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government
of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the
earth. - Lincoln.
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
tell us that there never has been a woman Freemason. Perhaps that is true.
This question has been called to the attention of the able scholar and devoted
Mason who contributes this series of articles. Can Freemasonry enlarge its
borders to include women or must they forever remain outside the pale? If they
are to be made Masons in literal truth in what way can we reorganize the
ritual so as to eliminate certain features which might prove embarassing to
them? If they cannot be admitted into full membership in what way can the
spirit and teachings of this ancient Fraternity be made available to them?
Since Freemasonry began to be this has been a moot question; it is still. It
will be for years to come. It is a theme of perrennial interest. For this
reason we are very glad indeed to give to our readers the reasoned and mature
judgments of a scholar who has every right to speak on this interesting
FREEMASONRY FOR LADIES
Ritual of Adoptive Masonry here given differs from that appearing in the
August number of THE BUILDER. It was published in 1791, in the French
language, from which it is now for the first time translated.)
PREPARATION OF THE LODGE AND OF THE CANDIDATE
SISTERS and brethren are convened in a spacious apartment, brilliantly lighted
with wax candles, five of which are placed in the south, while five others are
placed on a pedestal in the north, and arranged in such a manner as to
illuminate a picture illustrating the angel expelling Adam from the Garden of
Master, wearing white gloves and apron, his breast decorated with a silver
ladder pendant from a white ribbon, and holding a silver trowel in his right
hand, takes his seat in the north part of the lodge. The Grand Inspectors,
wearing white aprons and gloves are placed at right angles to the Grand
Master. One has a silver hammer and the other a miniature silver Tower of
Babel, pendant from white ribbons from their breasts.
northern situation of the Grand Master is in accordance with the traditional
belief that this is the most appropriate situation for one whose duty it is to
sisters and brethren wear embroidered aprons and, during the ceremony of
initiation, the former sit to right and left of the Grand Master's throne,
while the latter, holding white wands in their hands, arrange themselves in an
oblong, from north to south, in order to receive the candidates for
Master instructs one of the sisters (who is assisted by a brother), preferably
the sister who has proposed the candidate for initiation, to see that the
candidate is properly prepared. This preparation consists first of depriving
her of all jewelry and money, the intention being that she shall be reminded
of the fact that intellectual worth only is considered of value by the members
of the Order. A white veil is then thrown over her head and, blindfolded, she
is conducted by the brother to the entrance of the lodge.
OPENING THE LODGE AND OF INITIATING A CANDIDATE
Master commands attention by clapping his hands in a peculiar manner five
times, an act which is repeated by the Inspectors. Both sisters and brethren
rise and the Grand Master addressing the Junior Inspector says:
the duty of every Mason?"
"To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent."
Master: "Brethren and sisters, may we hear and may we obey. Let us work and
let us be silent.
members and visitors salute the Grand Master and intimate their obedience to
his commands by clapping their hands five times.
candidate is admitted by five taps at the door and the brother who acts as her
guide hands her over to the charge of an Inspector who conducts her round the
lodge and leaves her standing in front of the Senior inspector, who asks the
the cause of this intrusion?"
"A lady desires to become a Mason."
communicated to the Grand Master who asks the candidate:
curiosity any share in your request?"
Master: "Are you willing to be rid of the prejudices common to your sex? If
so, we are willing to admit you to our ranks."
Master: "In order that you may be enabled to persevere in those sentiments,
brethren and sisters, assist the candidate and conduct her to the entrance gf
the Temple of Virtue."
is then removed and the candidate is welcomed by the members of the lodge who
signify their willingness to admit her into their company by striking their
aprons with their hands.
brethren with their wands then form an arch under which the candidate passes
and advances by slow, measured steps to the pedestal. She kneels on a cushion
and with her right hand placed on a Masonic apron, repeats the following
obligation, word for word, after the Grand Master: OBLIGATION
presence of the Creator of All Things, and of the members of this lodge, and
by that honor, which is the distinguishing characteristic of a virtuous woman,
I promise to keep strictly and truly the secrets of Masons and Masonry under
the penalty of being excluded from the company of my friends here on earth and
from Paradise hereafter."
approbation of the members is intimated by the striking of their aprons with
their hands. The candidate then uses and is invested by the Grand Master with
an apron and a silver ladder, and he addresses her as follows:
Master: "You are now, madame, an initiated Mason and as such I can entrust you
with the sign, the grip, and the pass-word. Give me the pleasure to address
you as a sister and as such to salute you with the kiss of peace."
INSTRUCTION IN THE FIRST DEGREE
principal part of this catechism is undertaken generally by the Grand Master
or some other brother proficient in the science, but the original intention
was that every member should, in turn, take part in the answers.
Master: "What is the duty of an initiated Mason?"
"To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent."
Master: "Are you an apprenticed Mason?"
"I believe so."
Master: "Are you not certain?"
"It is prudent to be doubtful of everything and certain of nothing."
Master: "In what manner were you admitted into the lodge?"
"I was blindfolded."
Master: "For what reason?" Answer: "To intimate that my curiosity could not be
gratified, and that I could only attain to the knowledge of the sublime
mysteries if possessed of the fortitude to persevere."
Master: "Where were you received as an apprentice?"
"Between the Ladder of Jacob and the Tower of Babel."
Master: "What does that Ladder signify?"
"Its meaning is mysterious, but, so far as I can understand it, I conceive
that the duty of all mankind is indicated by it."
Master: "Will you explain your meaning?"
"It is emblematic of prudence and justice."
Master: "Into how many parts is the figure divided?"
Master: "What are they?"
"Two external sides and three internal steps."
Master: "Be more explicit and inform the lodge in what manner prudence and
justice are depicted."
"Prudence is indicated by one of the external parts, which is held to
illustrate the veneration and love due to our Creator. His justice is
indicated by the other side, which is also held to be symbolical of the
attention and love due to our neighbors."
Master: "What do the steps indicate?"
"The moral virtues, the practice of which will lead us to immortality."
Master: "What does the Tower of Babel represent?"
"The pride of the children of the earth. The only presevative against that
destructive passion is the inner exercise of temperance."
Master: "How do you arrive at this knowledge in Masonry?"
"Through the Arch."
Master: "What does that Arch represent?"
"Unity and Strength."
Master: "Give the sign of an initiated Mason to your sister."
forefinger and thumb of the right hand are applied to the left ear of the
Master: "Give her the salute also."
on the left cheek.)
Master: "Give me the pass-word."
Master: "What does that word denote?"
Master: "What is meant by Benevolence?"
Master: "What is worn by an initiated Mason?"
"The symbol of Jacob's Ladder."
Master: "Whither will that ladder lead?"
Master: "And what is the duty of an initiated Mason?"
"To hear, to obey, to work, and to be silent."
PREPARATION OF THE LODGE
brethren and sisters who have already passed the Second degree only are
permitted to be present for the purpose of forming a lodge for the admission
of the candidate. They assemble in a convenient room, in the center of which
is placed a tree, on which is fruit.
light in the room is supplied by means of spirits of wine and salt, placed on
a pedestal. On the east side of the lodge is a star; on the west a painting
of death; on the north a representation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden;
while in the south is placed a buffet with wines, sweetmeats, etc.
officers, brethren and sisters are placed in the same order as in the previous
chain of considerable length and a bracelet engraven with the words "Virtue
and Silence," are placed on the pedestal.
PREPARATION AND INSTRUCTION OF THE CANDIDATE The initiate is conducted by a
brother or sister to an ante-room, where she is received by the Inspector, who
hands to her a white ribbon, which is fastened round her right arm, by means
of which she is led into the lodge. Previously to this, however, the
Inspector asks her if she is willing to submit to the trial belonging to the
second degree, that of Companion, and a reply in the affirmative being
received, she is blindfolle and handed over to the care of the Brother
Inspector, who notifies the fact to the lodge by giving five shouts.
Master: "What is your request?"
"An initiated Mason is desirous of being admitted as a Companion and offers
herself voluntarily for the purpose of undergoing the trials necessary to
attain to the knowledge of the Second degree."
Master (to Candidate): "Know that in order that you may attain to this dignity
to which you aspire it is essential that you display fortitude, for if the
least fear is evinced by you, it may cause you to be rejected."
Inspector): "Lead the candidate to the pedestal in order that she may behold
the danger of her situation" (at this moment the veil is removed). (To
Candidate): "Behold the trials to which you are exposed. Travel towards the
west and behold the nature of your existence and remember that the charms of
beauty will not avail when your sun is set. The picture now before you is a
true representation of what you must come to. May this picture never be
effaced from your memory. As there is no true picture without a shadow,
observe in the east a light: that is emblematical of the star of life."
candidate is then conducted to the pedestal where she is told to kneel.
Master: "Have you infringed your vow as an initiated Mason?"
"I have not."
Master: "Will you persist in keeping inviolate the obligation you are about to
be entrusted with, as well as the one you have taken already?"
"I hope so to do."
Master then places a silver chain around her neck, saying:
not, sister, to suppose that this chain is an emblem of slavery; on the
contrary, it points to the union of friendship which, as a Companion, you are
to evince for all members of the Order."
promise by the penalty attaching to my former vow never to speak of the
secrets of this degree, to be a friend to the whole of the human race, to
abstain from eating the core of apples, to wear the bracelet of the Order, to
sleep with it this night, and never to reveal the secret which that bracelet
candidate then rises and is divested of the chain and ribbon, and invested
with the bracelet of the Order.
Master: "Notwithstanding your vows, I anoint your lips with the seal of
discretion, that being the only security in Masonry. Receive likewise this
fruit, refresh yourself with it, but reject the core: you will then become One
Companion tastes the fruit, the members as a body saluting her with cries of
Master then seats the Companion on his left and, giving the signal for
silence, addresses her as follows:
silence of Masonry is as horrorable as it is ancient; the pass-word of this
degree is as ancient as the Creation, and its antiquity is proved beyond the
possibility of doubt. The honor, therefore, which is attached to it, which
you will hereafter experience, is beyond your comprehension at present or my
power to express. You ought peculiarly to rejoice in your present situation,
for many have attempted to attain to the knowledge of this degree, but have
been rejected, and the disappointed candidates thus withdrawn have experienced
a shame seldom known to human beings except on such humiliating occasions."
INSTRUCTION IN THE SECOND DEGREE
Master: "What is the duty of a Companion Mason?"
"To obey, to work, to hear, and to be silent."
Master: "Are you a Companion?"
"Give me an apple and I will prove it."
Master: "How were you received as a Companion?"
"By the anointing of my lips and by tasting the fruit."
Master: "With what were your lips enointed?"
"The seal of discretion."
Master: "What is the meaning of this sign?"
"It is to teach Us that the lips of Masons are never to be opened to reveal
our mysteries except to those who, upon examination, prove to be One of Us."
Master: "What does the fruit signify?"
"It implies friendship as wc all partook of the same upon our admission to
Master: "As you assemble as sisters what is its further significance?"
"The essence of stability."
Master: "In what way?"
"In our having virtue as the basis of our superstructure."
Master: "How did you arrive to the dignity of a Companion?"
"By means of a tree."
Master: "Where was the tree?"
"In a garden."
Master: "What was the name given to this garden?"
"Eden, the same as that in which Adam and Eve were placed at the Creation."
Master: "In what part of the garden was the tree, to which you allude,
"In the center of it."
Master: "By what name was it called?"
"The tree of knowledge of good and evil."
Master: "By what was the garden bounded?"
"By a river."
Master: "What does this river represent?"
"The stream is indicative of the rapidity of the human passions, which are to
be restrained only by Masonry."
Master: "What became of Adam and Eve?"
"They were expelled from the garden."
Master: "For what reason?"
"For their disobedienre to the commands of their Maker they forfeited their
Master: "What lesson is inculcated by their conduct?"
"It teaches us that should any one of us violate the vows we have taken as
Companions the consequence will be that we shall be refused admission to the
Master: "Why is a Companion forbidden to eat the cores of apples?"
"Because the core is supposed to be the seed of the forbidden fruit."
Master: "I present you with this apple and desire that you will prove to this
lodge that you are a Companion Mason."
Companion takes the apple, from which she abstracts the core, which she places
on the pedestal.
Master: "Why was the serpent introduced into the garden?"
"The serpent is an emblem of eternity as well as the symbol of the origin of
Master: "Why is this emblem placed in so conspicuous a part of the lodge?"
"As we are at present only in a state of probation it is a monitor to us to be
diligent in our vocation so that we may merit by our conduct here a greater
degree of happiness beyond."
Master: "Why should you be reminded of the origin of evil?"
"In order that we may recognize the necessity of seeking for happiness."
Master: "Where is happiness to be found?"
Master: "What is the principal aim of Masons?"
"To make each other happy."
Master: "What is the duty of a Companion Mason?"
"To obey, to work, to hear, and to be silent."
conclusion of the meeting a supper is provided and when the Companions are
seated the Grand Master calls upon the newly-admitted Companion to rise, when
he addresses her as follows:
you partake of the refreshment provided in honor of your reception, it is
necessary that the mysteries of the degree to which you have been admitted
should be explained to you. The representation of death is that of the state
of man after his fall, owing to the lack of discretion in the female who was
created to be his companion in Paradise. As the oracles of truth have
declared the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, but as the day
of wrath is also declared to be accompanied by a day of mercy, I therefore now
cordially welcome you into this second degree, that of felicity, in the hope
that the present company will be to you as a second Paradise. From this day
we admit you to our table and request your participation in our refreshments,
which are emblematical of the tree of life and of the essence of Masonry."
degree in Masonry being regarded as of the highest importance, it is very
rarely granted and the ceremony is worked only on particular and special
occasions. It is regarded as the highest indiscretion to entrust any but the
most worthy with secrets and favors which are the property only of the
worthiest of the sex.
Companion who aspires to the Third degree must be proposed at the last but one
of the two lodges preceding that when she desires to be admitted. This
condition is obligatory and can on no account be dispensed with. The object
of the proposition being considered at two meetings of the lodge is to give
ample opportunity for any objection against the candidate being brought
forward, void that every member of the lodge may be made acquainted with the
proposition, notice of the proposal is sent to every member of the lodge.
second meeting a ballot is taken for the candidate, and if in her favor the
Grand Master requests the member who proposed the Companion to desire her
attendance at the next meeting. If the ballot is not in her favor the
proposal cannot be made again.
OF THE LODGE
temple in which this degree is conferred is generally reserved for this
special purpose. The tapestry and decorations, however, are of so costly a
character that many lodges have to resort to the expedient of having them
represented on canvas.
temple is brilliantly illuminated. At the north end of the room is depicted a
rainbow, which extends from the eastern to the western extremities, and in the
center is a representation of the sun, encompassed by the moon and stars. On
the west side of the temple Europe is represented by a lady in a very rich
habit of several colors, seated between two crossed cornucopias, the one
filled with all kinds of grain and the other filled with black and white
grapes. She holds a miniature temple in her right hand and, with the
forefinger of the left hand, she points to representations of sceptres and
crowns, a horse amid trophies of arms, and a book with an owl seated above
it. Several musical instruments are placed close to the picture, as well as a
pallet and pencils. Adjacent is a representation of Noah's Ark, resting on a
mount, with the dove entering it with an olive branch in its mouth. Jacob's
Ladder, reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending
upon it, is also depicted.
represented by a blackamoor woman, almost naked, with an elephant's head for a
crest, a necklace of corals and coral earrings, and a scorpion by the side of
her ear. She holds in her right hand a cornucopia, while ears of corn are in
her left hand. A fierce lion stands by her on one side, while a viper and a
serpent are on the other.
east Asia is represented by a female clad in a rich embroidered vestment and
wearing a garland of various flowers and fruits. She holds in her right hand
branches with sprigs of cassia, pepper, and cloves, and in her left hand a
smoking censer, while by her side is a kneeling camel. Near by is a model or
picture of the Tower of Babel and an angel with a trowel in his hand
preventing the sons of Nimrod from proceeding with that structure. There is
also represented the town of Gomorrah in flames with Lot's wife transformed
into a pillar of salt.
is represented by a naked woman of tawny aspect, having a loose veil on her
shoulders and wearing round her body an omarnent of feathers of divers
colors. She holds in one hand a bow; on her left is a human head pierced with
an arrow, a lizard lying on the ground by her feet.
pedestal covered with an embroidered cloth is placed in the center of the
temple. The subjects of the embroidered work are representations of the
sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, which is on the surface of the pedestal, while
on the part which hangs in front of the pedestal is a picture of the pit into
which Joseph was cast by his brethren. A gold salvar is placed on the
pedestal, which holds a silver box which encloses the form of a human heart
with tools wherewith to shape it. A red velvet cushion with gold tassels is
placed on the carpet near to the center of the saloon.
officers of this degree consist only of the Grand Master and his Deputy, the
latter holding a naked sword in his right hand during the ceremony. The jewel
of the Third degree is a sword.
member on initiation is presented with a silver trowel which is worn
afterwards on the left breast, and admission into the lodge is refused unless
the member displays this jewel.
Master is placed in the north part of the lodge, the Deputy near to the
pedestal, while the rest of the assembly are placed in a oblong running from
north to south.
candidate is received in an ante room by the sister who proposed her, by whom
she is blinfolded and conducted to the door of the temple.
candidate being placed comfortably and every preparation for the ceremony of
reception being made, the Deputy Grand Master commands attention and order by
presenting the sword, the emblem of his office, to the Grand Master, who draws
his trowel across the point.
Deputy Grand Master then perambulates the lodge exactng the same compliment
from every one present. After this is done he takes his accustomed seat, and
when his sword has been placed in an erect position, the Grand Master declares
that the lodge is formed and that the candidate may enter. The candidate is
conducted to the left of the Grand Master's chair, when she is informed that
the dignity of this degree is so great that she will not be blindfolded during
any part of the proceedings in order that she may be fully cognizant of its
solemnity. The silver ladder which is worn by the Grand Master is then taken
from his breast and placed on the carpet in front of him.
Master: "Sister Companion, ascend the Ladder of Jacob."
done in the usual manner.)
Master: "What is the position of a sister?"
"At the summit of felicity."
Master: "Take off the candidate's shoes and let her kneel at the altar of
addressing the candidate, he says:
"It is in
consideration of your merit that you are placed in this position, for you are
about to receive the highest honor it is in our power to confer. You have
become One of Us; now place your hand on this salver and be made perfect by
repeating the promise to continue in your perseverance."
is now taken from its position and held by the Deputy Grand Master over the
candidate's head, while she repeats the following obligation:
promise in the presence of the Masons now assembled, and by the sword now held
over my head, that I will not divulge the secrets of Masonry, neither what I
now lmow nor what shall be communicated to me, in consequence of this present
undertaking, except to those who have already taken this obligation. "I
promise also to protect and succor every one now present on all, and every
occasion, according to the ability granted to me by Providence.
promise these things upon my word and honor. If I fail, may shame and infamy
be my portion and may I be pointed at as unworthy of the respect and esteem
inseparably attendant upon worthy Masons."
of the sword is then presented to the candidate and is kissed by her, when she
is commanded to rise.
Master: "It is required of every sister on admission to this degree that a
present be made by her to the lodge in return for the favor conferred. You
will be assisted in your choice by the Deputy Grand Master, but your own
industry will, no doubt, produce the proof of your ingenuity which will be
worthy of our acceptance."
Deputy Grand Master then hands to her a box of tools and superintends the work
which has been previously decided upon.
point refreshments are frequently introduced, after which the candidate
produces the model of a heart which is formally examined by all the members of
Master: "A heart has been produced. Sister, you have consummated the great
mystery of Masons. The heart is the great secret of Masonry. Our science has
no other object save to regulate the passions. In a state of nature the heart
is cruel and ungovernable. Our art, as Masons, effects the change, and we
become the reverse of that inhospitable condition. We are as you have
experienced kind and cheerful, meek and humane. Advance and receive the
reward due to your work and skill. You are invested with this trowel as the
key to the Third degree. This will admit you to our assemblies and now, at
this particular moment, demands from us our secrets. The sign of this degree
is given by drawing the trowel across the point of the sword, and then kissing
the point of the sword, as at your reception. The pass-word of this degree is
Master then delivers the following address to the candidate:
Your admission into this degree having made you on an equality with us all, it
only now remains for me to describe and explain to you the symbols on the
tapestry, which will conclude the ceremony of reception into this degree.
Every blessing that we enjoy is derived from the Providence of our Creator,
and this Providence is fittingly depicted by the sun, moon and stars. The
rainbow which encompasses these luminaries is to remind us that vice once
caused the world to be deluged and that our conduct as members of this Society
is to be such as not to incur the repetition of the divine vengeance.
of Noah is introduced for the express purpose of proving that the faithful
Mason will always be provided for, let the winds, the waves, and the storms of
the world rage ever so high. A place of refuge will never be wanting for the
wife, the virtuous and the good. The Tower of Babel is emblematic of the
false strength of those who are deficient in the science of Masonry, and the
messenger with the trowel indicates that one moment of divine direction can
put to nought and confusion the works of men. The sacrifice of Abraham is a
proof that no temporal enjoyment should supersede the supreme dictates and
that when our duty requires us to act we should acquiesce willingly in the
divine will. The sleep of Jacob is a similitude of our condition after death
and his after conduct of the respect due to the Creator from the sons and
daughters of mortality. The city of Gomorrah in flames is presented to our
view and shows the inevitable destruction of the vicious and the
transformation of Lot's wife is at once applicable to what your position would
have been had your inclinations prevented you from aspiring to this dignity.
The pit into which Joseph was cast by his brethren would also have been
applicable to your condition, had not your merits prevented your refusal at
the ballot, for, in that case, your situation would have been like to that of
Joseph, as not only would you be absent from your friends at this gathering,
but you would have the mortifying reflection of knowing that you had been
to demonstrate the universality of our science, representations of the four
quarters of the globe are introduced. Europe is depicted as a lady in a very
rich habit, and the various ornaments that surround her are emblematic of her
arts and arms generally and show that she is first in point of consequence and
the principal part of the world. Asia is depicted by a heroine wearing a
garland of flowers and fruits, thus intimating that this quarter of the globe
produces delightful things necessary for human life, as shown by the garment
in which she is decked, particularly the profuseness of the rich materials in
which it abounds; the bundle of spices in her right hand and the distribution
of them to other parts of the world; the censer holds some of the pleasant-
smelling gum which continent produces; while the camel is an animal peculiar
to this region. Africa is represented by an almost naked woman, thus showing
that the continent does not abound in materials for clothing; while the
elephant's head, the lion, the viper, and the serpent are characteristic of
the animals having their habitation there. America is depicted also by a
naked woman, as showing the condition of the earliest inhabitants. The bow
and quiver denote that the natives live by hunting; the human head pierced by
an arrow indicates that many are cannibals; while the lizard on the ground is
an animal inimical to the human race.
manner we communicate the knowledge derived from the mode of reception of
candidates to this degree, and thus, you will, in turn, communicate it to
OF THE THIRD DEGREE
Master: "What is the duty of a Mason?"
"To work, to hear, to obey, and to be silent."
Master: "How long is it since you reached this degree?"
"Seven months and more."
Master: "Who assisted you in your benevolent undertaking?"
"One who was well conversant with the degree."
Master: "By what name do you distinguish him?"
"The Deputy Grand Master."
Master: "Who presided in the lodge on that occasion?"
"The Grand Master."
Master: "Give further proof of your attainment."
"I know how to ascend the Ladder of Jacob." (Reference is here made to the
plant bearing that name which will be known to students of Botany.)
Master: "Probably the Iadder to which you refer is the ladder of the
"The construction is materially different."
Master: "Describe the ladder which you have ascended."
"The foundation is on the earth and it ascends to felicity. The rungs are at
equal distance so as to form regular steps to the summit."
Master: "What are the materials of which this ladder is composed?"
"Such as have existed from time immemorial and such as will exist to the end
Master: "What name is given to the base?"
"The footstool of the Almighty."
Master: "How many steps are there?"
"They are innumerable."
Master: "How were you enabled to take the first step?"
"By the exercise of sensibility." Grand Master: "What is this exercise of
"The union of souls truly noble."
Master: "What principle does it teach?"
"That as I had fought and obtained happiness, so it is my duty to communicate
it to others."
Master: "What enabled you to ascend the second step?"
"A conscious dignity of spirit."
Master: "What name does the world generally give to this principle?"
Master: "What is its Masonic description?"
"It enjoins Masons to be strictly just where no public law can compel, to
fulfil our engagements in an equitable manner, and to hold as sacred the trust
reposed in us."
Master: "What enabled you to ascend the third step?"
"The practice of sincerity."
Master: "In what does that consist?"
"Not in deceit and guile, but in social well-being, the outcome of a generous
Master: "What exchange do those of a contrary principle experience?"
"They barter kindness for a shadow of joy and are deceived more than they are
able to deceive."
Master: "What enabled you to ascend the fourth step?"
Master: "Its utility?"
"The control of the passions, preventing us front judging wrongfully."
Master: "What are the effects of experience?"
"A conduct void of reproach and such as to merit esteem here and initiation
Master: "What enabled you to ascend the fifth step?" Answer: "The knowledge I
had obtained through the medium of Masonry."
Master: "In what manner?"
"By the cardinal virtues which were allegorically represented in the first
degree which, when united, signify wisdom."
Master: "Explain this union."
"It is impossible to exercise the practice of temperance without having a due
preparation of fortitude or to be in the possession of prudence without that
Master: "Having ascended the step of wisdom is it necessary to delineate the
"It is not, for so soon as mortals arrive at that step, the difficulties of
the ascent are dissolved and the path to felicity made clear."
Master: "What is the signification of Noah's Ark in the Deluge?"
"It refers to the heart of man in an uncultivated state."
Master: "Why did Noah build it?"
"As a refuge for himself and family."
Master: "How came he to obtain the knowledge of the approaching Deluge?"
"By attendance at the Grand Lodge of Masons over which the Creator presided."
Master: "When did he enter the Ark?"
"So soon as he perceived the waters overflow the usual boundaries."
Master: "What moral does this convey to us?"
"That it is our duty to frequent lodges in order that the precepts inculcated
there may teach us to avoid vice, which will, when true Masonry is neglected,
occasion the destruction of the world a second time."
Master: "Of what material was the Ark?"
"An incorruptible wood called cedar."
Master: "What lesson does the employment of this wood inculcate?"
"That the secrets of Masonry cannot be penetrated by envy and thai the malice
of its enemies recoils on to the breast of its propagators."
Master: "What was the form of the boards of the Ark?"
"Every one was placed on a true level."
Master: "The intent of this form?"
"To prove the quality of Masons and that their unity is the mainspring of
Master: "Why is the Tower of Babel introduced into the lodge?"
"As a warning against pride, which is totally at variance with the genuine
dictates of the science."
Master: "To whom did it owe its origin?"
"The rebellious Nimrod."
Master: "What was his object in erecting so high a structure?"
"To create for himself a name among men and to make himself equal to God."
Master: "How long was the building carried on?"
"Until it pleased the Creator to frustrate his design by the introduction of
foreign languages the use of which threw the workmen out, in consequence of
which they separated, left their work and travelled and finally settled in
various parts of the world."
Master: "What became of the edifice?"
"Being deserted by the human race, in process of time it became the habitation
of wild beasts."
Master: "What lesson is to be derived from this incident?"
"To give respect to the promises of God, to place our whole confidence in Him
alone, to divest ourselves of false pride, and to work, having truth for our
foundation and wisdom for our superstructure."
Master: "Is there not a further lesson to be derived?"
"It is that a lodge is badly formed whenever concord and obedience are absent,
and that when such conditions prevail it will inevitably fall into confusion."
Master: "What lesson is inculcated by the rainbow?"
"That harmony prevails in a well-conducted lodge."
Master: "What does the town in flames represent?"
"The horror which every good Mason feels at the recollection of the abominable
crime that brought the fire from heaven."
Master: "What does the sleep of Jacob represent?"
"The peace and tranquility in the breast of every worthy Mason."
Master: "Why is an initiate deprived of light at her reception?"
"To convey to her the darkness of the uninitiated in respect to Masonry."
Master: "Why do we assemble in lodges?"
"Because as often as we meet we renew our friendship."
Master: "Is there any other inducement?"
"That we may communicate to each other our secrets."
Master: "What is the duty of a Mason outside the lodge?"
"To work to hear, to obey, and to be silent."
answers to the first and last questions in the catechisms of the three degrees
should receive particular attention. They are as follows:
Hear. Obey. Work. Silent. Second: Obey. Work. Hear. Silent. Third:
Work. Hear. Obey. Silent.
the primary duty of an initiate is to hear; that of a Companion, to obey; and
that of a fully-admitted Mason, to work; but of members of all degrees, to be
concluding the catechism the Grand Master demands the compliment to the sword
as at the reception, and the members are dismissed with the words:
lodge is perfect and may it ever so remain. As we met so let us part, with
goodwill to all. We congratulate one another. Let us reverence the jewel of
the Order and depart in peace."
GENIUS OF ROBERT TREAT PAINE
GILBERT PATTEN BROWN, NEW JERSEY
IN BOSTON, Massachusetts, there are several old time
graveyards. Notable for its many Masons sleeping therein is the “Granary
Burial Ground” on historic and busy Tremont Street, for here have long since
crumbled back to Mother Earth the mortal parts of Robert Treat Paine, a few of
whose many virtues will here be told in brief.
Born in Boston, March 11, 1731, Robert Treat Paine, whose life
demonstrated the true nobility of New England ancestors, is at this time
worthy of our attention. The Paines were Masons, as were the Warrens, Hancocks
and Quincys of Revolutionary fame.
As we follow the life-labors of those sons and daughters of New
England whose names are enrolled in the Boston Hall of Fame, we find a reason
for the pride we have in family traditions and influences. This section of the
country has much of old English conservatism that preserves a pride of race.
With the Paines we have an example in point of a distinctive
New England family, loyal and honorable, proud to trace its history to the
James Paine who was a member of the expedition against Canada in 1694. Robert
Treat Paine's father was pastor of a church at Weymouth and sometime after
1730 he removed to Boston, entered commercial life and became a successful
Robert's mother was the grand-daughter of Governor Robert Treat
of Connecticut, and for this relative young Paine was named. About the time
that he graduated from Harvard, Robert's father lost his property and that he
might at once be a help rather than burden, Robert took a position to teach
school and made a success of the work.
With the true New England idea of seeking a fortune in sea
life, Robert's next venture was as master of a vessel, making three voyages to
North Carolina, following this with a voyage to the coast of Greenland as
captain of a whaler. There seemed nothing incongruous to Paine in coming home
to take up a study of law and theology, and at 24 years he was chaplain of a
frontier regiment at Lake George.
Before he settled down as a lawyer he preached for a while at
Shirley, but at the age of 26 he was admitted to the bar, and began practice
He was only 34 years old when in 1768 he was sent as a delegate
to consider the conditions of the country. He was chosen to conduct the
proceedings against Captain Prescott and his soldiers for the Boston Massacre
of 1770. He was elected a delegate to the first Continental Congress, and to
the second Provincial Congress at Cambridge.
As a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1776, he voted for
the Declaration of Independence, and also signed this famous document. In 1777
he was elected unanimously Attorney General for Massachusetts, and was a
member of the committee that conferred with members of other colonies for the
price to be paid for labor, for provisions and for manufactured goods.
Robert Treat Paine voted for the adoption of the State
Constitution; he was for 14 years judge of the Superior Court; and he was one
of the founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
At Lake George was working a Masonic lodge in the British
troops as there had been at Lewisburg and at Crown Point. Here Paine is
thought to have been made a Mason though the records are not quite clear as to
the same. At any rate, he was a most enthusiastic Craftsman.
When he was 28, on Tuesday, June 26, 1759, we find him at the
home of General John Greaton(?) at “Roxberrie” at the “Celebration of the
Feast of St. John the Baptist,” in company with other notable Masons, such as
Major Henry Price, Governor Andrew Belcher, Honorable Benjamin Hollowell,
Colonel John Leberett, Colonel Jeremy Gridley, LL.D., Honorable John Rowe,
Richard Hooton, (the father of Mrs. Joseph Warren), Colonel Joseph Webb (later
Grand Master), Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver, Honorable Hugh McDaniel and
others of eminent fame of their generation.
In December of the following year we find him in company with
General Jedediah Pleble (father of Com. [Brother] Edward Preble U. S. N.),
General Richard Gridley, Honorable Fitch Poole, Colonel James Frye, and one
hundred and fifty more notable Masons at a celebrated Masonic banquet.
He appears to have been active in “St. John's Lodge No. 1” of
Boston. For a period of 19 years the records of this old lodge are lost. While
at present the lodges in Massachusetts are not numbered, this lodge is still
known as the outcome of the first chartered lodge in Boston under Major Henry
Price, the founder of New England Freemasonry in 1733.
In the Granary Burial Ground on Tremont St., in the Athens of
the new world sleeps Robert Treat Paine beside many of his brethren in
Freemasonry - the most notable being Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Colonel
Jeremy Gridley (father of the Boston Bar), and Paul Revere. Robert Treat Paine
died in Boston, May 11, 1814. In every one of these United States of America
there should be at least one Masonic Body named in his honor.
The writer has many times visited St. John's Lodge of Boston
where Robert Treat Paine often met his brethren in fraternal intercourse. He
has more than a score of times stood upon the sacred soil of this honored
graveyard of Boston. There are no hot-beds of flowers there growing, nor do
costly monuments grace that Heaven-like spot, but the true religion of the
eternal God is there in evidence to the metaphysical mind, and Robert Treat
Paine, the Boston preacher, lawyer, and patriot there rests till time will be
A most interesting chapter of our Colonial history would be a
full account of Captain Robert Treat Paine's whaling voyage. He was a good man
at any occupation or profession he ever followed. While the ex-whaling Captain
(a genius to the letter) was in the zenith of manhood there were alive in the
ethical life of “ye modern Athens” three of the most noteworthy Masonic Bodies
ever chartered in Anglo-Saxon world Masonry - St. John's Lodge, the Lodge of
Saint Andrew, and the Massachusetts Lodge.
the hearts of these Masons of Colonial and Revolutionary Boston was the spirit
of the “Boston Tea Party” of December 16,1773 born - then came the war of
1775-1783 - the hope of 1900 years.
The greatest document since the “Sermon on the Mount” - the
Declaration of Independence was nothing short of the spirit of the ritual of
Freemasonry, and Robert Treat Paine with the assistance of Samuel Adams,
created the sentiment that placed John Hancock (of the lodge of St. Andrew)
President of the Continental Congress, a body composed of over 98 per cent. of
DARKNESS TO LIGHT
THOMAS G KERWIN, ILLINOIS
the Alarm when he gave it;
trust in the Name of the Lord
at the feet of the Master
Faith as taught in the Word.
remember the Sabbath and keep it
lesson he learned on the way.
in the Sanctum Sanctorum-
Death for Integrity's pay.
him to toil in the quarries
Work he presented was Square.
Tried in the Chair Oriental-
rulings impartial and fair?
wrought at our Temple's Completion-
Beauties symbolic arise;
Greeted as Skilful and Faithful-
Acknowledged both Zealous and Wise.
him from Babylon journey
mountains and rivers and slopes-
Passing the Veils interposing
Night and his fondest hopes.
Divine Treasures he brought us-
Words of the Prophets fulfill;
Companion then we Encrowned him:
rewarding Devotion and Skill.
aside are his Tools now forever;
earth's toiling and worry and strife
Starry Sanctorum Exalted
Higher and Holier Life.
Substitute Word will avail there;
Realm he'll find out the Right:
Signet of Truth must he enter
of Perfection and Light.
PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM AND THE SMITH-TOWNER BILL
FIVE MILLION people in the United States who cannot read or
write.” What an appalling statement! Vouched for, we are assured
authoritatively, by the discoveries relative to the Selective Service Act.
That such a formidable percentage of the people can be a menace
to the prosperous and happy development of this country is at once apparent,
and any effort launched in the direction of banishing such an unenviable
situation is to be heartily commended. Such a movement should be universally
Unfortunately, however, this is not the case, for we are
finding decidedly militant opposition on the part of a small section of the
citizens of this country to a bill which is now before Congress, endorsed by
powerful educative bodies representing several large universities and colleges
as well as educative and welfare clubs all over the country - a bill which
would contribute in a large part to the solution of the problem of illiteracy.
The objectors to the bill, so far as we can ascertain, are
religious partisans whose policy for many a century has given rise to the
belief that ignorance is not a bad thing for a people since it serves well for
the increase of a religious faith.
The bill in question as those who read it will find Cand all
Masons ought to read it - in no wise militates against any sectarian
institution. The parochial school of the Roman Catholics is still suffered to
exist, as are other sectarian schools - a matter of course that had the writer
the deciding power would be eliminated from our educational system tomorrow.
But since toleration is a cardinal virtue which we love to observe we can
still suffer their existence, providing that they remain self-supporting. In
the foregoing sentence, we believe, is found the real bone of contention that
has aroused the ire of certain Roman Catholic priests and journals that have
been so pronounced in their denunciations. We are indeed reluctant in
believing that all the Catholic citizenry of this country share the point of
view of these protesting priests and journals.
It would be a sorry day if many millions of the population of
these United States objected to a program of Americanization made definitely
possible and practical through the passing by Congress of the educational
measure known as the Smith-Towner Bill on the ground that its effect would be
to banish God and religion from the school, and ultimately from the land. It
is gratifying to note that an expression of such fears repudiates much of the
ugly criticism that was wont to designate the public school as Godless. Or is
it possible that the critics referred to were suffering from an illusion that
most of the citizens of this country were educated in Catholic institutions?
Let us affirm here and now our belief that the public school of
this land has educated the greatest of its great citizens, that its extension
will render the service destined it should render, and that no sectarian
school can or ever will supplant it, that its future is to be greater than its
past, and further and last, that there shall be no division of monies for the
realization of sectarian educational programs.
The Smith-Towner Bill, or any other bill of like character,
ought to become a law. The road to the Mexicanization of this country is to
invite the religious supervision of our educational life such as our neighbor
to the South has experienced. The Americanization of this country is assured
as we thoroughly de-Europeanize ourselves and work out our destiny in
conjunction with the spirit of the wisest and best who have graced this
country, and who set their unalloyed stamp of approval upon the effort of the
State, through its public schools, to educate the citizens of these United
States in the principles of justice, right and truth, and those trained unto
respect for these three can never be Godless or loveless of their kind.
The attendance at our lodge meetings is not what it should be.
I do not mean to imply that non-attendants are not good Masons; nevertheless I
am convinced that this is partly due to our officers, who, for various
reasons, do not make the meetings attractive enough, disregard the importance
of punctuality in meeting, and do not exemplify our work properly. There seems
to prevail only the desire to get through with the meeting in record-breaking
time, and this, coupled with a very scant knowledge of our laws, is not
conducive to bring about a good attendance. Some of the better informed
brethren in our lodges should take up subjects of interest, explain the
meaning of the ritual, symbols, tradition and history, and thus evoke enough
interest and enthusiasm to make our meeting nights more attractive to our
members, in particular to our newly-raised Master Masons. Our ritualistic work
should be as near perfect as possible, but how few of us realize the meanings
and thoughts which can only be understood by research and investigation.
I heartily approve the action of some of our lodges which have
joint meetings every so often, attended by the neighboring lodges, who
exemplify work, discuss topics of interest and have some well informed brother
carefully prepare and deliver a lecture.
I believe the formation of study clubs, under the supervision
of some able brother in every district would bring about satisfactory results
and should be encouraged. The study side of our great institution has been
neglected, thus retarding progress. My brethren, true Masonry stands for good
citizenship, for patriotism, and for good government. Masonry demands but
little, and it gives in abundance; it champions every movement leading to
social betterment; it banishes and condemns ignorance, intemperance and
injustice, and while it demands obedience to the tenets of the Order, it
requires nothing that will conflict with any of our duties to God, our
country, our neighbor, our family or ourselves.
Goldenberg, P. G. M., New Mexico.
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with
time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature
being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to
Masons. The Library Editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance
to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through this
Department or by personal correspondence.
It will be our aim to pahlish in this Department each month a
list of such publications as we may be able from time to time to secure for
members of the Society. However, a book listed herein this month may be out of
stock next month, and further copies unobtainable, and for this reason it is
recommended that when ordering books or pamphlets from these lists the latest
monthly issue of THE BUILDER be consulted, and no orders be made from lists
more than thirty days old.
In the monthly reviews the names and addresses of the
publishers of the books are given in order that our readers may order such
books direct from the publishers instead of through the Society. In many
instances the books may be found in stock at local book stores.
“Democracy and Ideals,” by Professor John Erskin, Columbia University.
Published by George H. Doran Comoanv. 38 West 32nd Street, New York, N. Y.
THIS LITTLE BOOK is for real Americans and those in the making,
and consists of lectures first delivered to soldiers in the Service and, as
our author informs us, is “intended to form a study of American character and
its needs.” He has, as he indicates a little later, tried to express from
several angles a conviction that we in the United States are detached from the
past, and that this detachment is the striking fact in all our problems; that
if in the future we are to become and remain a nation, we must collaborate for
common ends. It is a work clearly analytical and the close observations it
reveals are such as will tend to the making of our conglomerate population
better Americans. His distinction between the American and old world idealism,
is such as ought to be impressed upon every student in the land.
It is a book reflecting the soundest optimism in regard to the
possibilities confronting us as Americans, and it ought to be generously
distributed in our colleges that their students may apprehend with that clear
insight what Professor Erskin indicates as the real American character.
It is a book both broad and deep, apprehending those things
brought by immigrant peoples that we must assimilate, and pointing clearly the
grounds for repudiation of those things that have been tolerated and too
frequently openly cultivated by Americans and which, as a consequence, have
contributed more to our discomfort than to our success. The quest for the
ideal as it should be pursued by us as a people and a nation is clearly
stated. Our lack of capacity of defining what is our ideal is pertinently
suggested and what hitherto has characterized us as Americans, the pursuit of
success above our fellows, or the acquisition of money acquired without
effort, is markedly arraigned. That in these United States we are working out
the greatest experiment in government and social living hitherto entertained
in the mind of man, is thoroughly understood after reading these chapters. And
the way to make of America a real melting pot where through fusion of many
peoples, one great and glorious nation can be realized whose economy can meet
universal approval and be the example for all peoples, is ably demonstrated.
It is a book well worth the reading and we earnestly commend its perusal to
every Mason who is interested in a greater and nobler America. Professor
Erskin has indeed done an immeasurable service for Americans.
* * *
Philosopher, and Other Cat Tales,” boy Peggy Bacon. Published by The Four Seas
Company, 67 Cornhill St., Boston, Mass. Price $1.25.
A charming and readable little book of modern fables, quaintly
and uniquely illustrated. Children undoubtedly will find keen enjoyment in the
reading of these nine tales. Artfully constructed, they embody the adventures
of cats, Princesses and common folk, and those of maturer years will
appreciate the satirical humor that they contain.
We would commend the perusal of this little work to both young
* * *
First Valley,” by Mary Farley Sanborn. Published by The Four Seas Company, 67
Cornhill St., Boston, Mass.
This work of Mary Farley Sanborn is one of those new efforts in
the field of literature arising as a result of the recent wave of interest of
psychic phenomena. It is daring from its inception to its close inasmuch as
the setting is in the realm of disembodied spirits. It is a good thing that
the work is designated as a novel, else many might be tempted to repeat its
story as a portion of the mass of evidence submitted these days as to the
reality of life after death.
The story is told in a vivid style and is calculated to hold
the interest of the reader through keeping him in an expectant and speculative
mood from beginning to end. The First Valley is the first stage in the
pilgrimage of the human soul after leaving this earth. The transition to this
spiritualized second earth - for such the First Valley seems to be - is told
in such a manner as evidences wonderfully the author's imaginative and
It is a healthy little book, being void of those neurotic
touches that so frequently pervade books of this character. Throughout its
pages there is reflected a wise philosophy which, if heeded, will make human
life richer and better.
* * *
OF THE SHRINE
of the Imperial Council, A.A.O.N.M.S.” Compiled and edited by the Committee on
History, William B. Melish, Chairman, 612 West Sixth Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio.
We are in receipt of the History of the Imperial Council
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America, 1872-1919,
compiled and edited by the Committee on History, William B. Melish, chairman.
Its prefatory essay is a brief and concise statement of the origin and
development of the order in America. It also contains pertinent suggestions
regarding the philosophy and history of Freemasonry. It will be of interest to
Nobles to learn of those connected with the genesis of the Nobility in America
and the observations that are made with reference to the works of the
distinguished Fleming, Florence and McClenachan, who were the prime movers in
the establishment of the Order.
The record and history of the Imperial Council and its work,
together with a former history of the order, are ably written. Devotees of the
Temple will find in these records of the Imperial Council a work rich in
* * *
PRO WILSONIA ADMINISTRATIONE
The World and Wilson,” by George Creel. Published by Harper & Brothers,
Franklin Square, New York, N. Y.
We are in receipt of the book, “The War, The World and Wilson,”
by George Creel. We venture to prophecy that this will be one of the most
pertinent pieces of propaganda material that the Democratic party will use in
the present Presidential Campaign among thinking people. Written in a racy
style, at once lucid and admirable, it presents the record of the Wilson
administration, especially its war work, in a fashion that makes the book at
once convincing and formidable.
The picture of Mr. Wilson, the Man and the President, is a
careful and masterly analysis. Those who have been disposed to criticizing the
President will discover in the chapter dealing with this subject a logical and
powerful defense that will - we are ready to assert - be hard to refute.
Indeed the promiscuous critics of the President will find here a presentation
of opinion that will warrant - especially at this time of Mr. Wilson's going
out of office the abandonment of judgment that has frequently been pronounced
in bitter, if not malicious terms.
If the future will bear out Mr. Creel's apology for the
administration - and such indeed we feel it to be - it may well come to pass
that succeeding generations will acclaim Mr. Wilson as being the great
outstanding figure of our times.
Interesting are the chapters that touch upon why Mr. Roosevelt
and General Wood were not permitted to go to France. We, however, confess a
dislike to the chapter dealing with General Wood. But we are glad in the
interest of fairness and justice, however, that Mr. Creel has drawn attention
to the prominence enjoyed by Republicans in the administrative direction of
the war activities. In the heat of partisan strife the sense of fairness and
just dealing with our opponents is too frequently forgotten.
As the apologist for the administration we feel that where Mr.
Creel speaks of the American achievements in the great war that he slyly
intends to convey that the American genius in particular is with specific
reference to the Democratic administration. Being a propagandist we naturally
forgive him. His treatment of the League of Nations, the Peace Treaty and the
Foreign Policy is confirmedly Wilsonian, and is an able exposition. It is a
powerful handbook for political purposes in the present campaign and the
Democratic Administration is to be congratulated upon the possession of such a
virile spokesman and able defender of its policies such as Creel proves
himself to be.
The following list embraces practically all the standard works
on Masonry which we are able to secure and keep in stock for the accommodation
of individual members of the Society, Study Clubs and Lodges.
We are finding it more difficult each year to procure new or
second-hand copies of the earlier works on Masonry of which, owing to the
limited market for them at the time of their publication, but a small number
of copies were printed.
We are continually in search for additional items which will be
listed in this column whenever it is our good fortune to secure them.
It is suggested that the latest list be consulted before
sending in orders and that no orders be made from lists more than one month
old, since our stock of these books is limited and a book listed this month
may be out of stock by the time next month's list is published.
Since the publishers are constantly increasing their prices to
us the following prices are subject to such changes.
PUBLICATIONS ISSUED BY THE SOCIETY
bound volume of THE BUILDER $3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
Philosophy of Freemasonry, Pound 1.25
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the
archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition
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
“Freemasonry Before the existance of Grand Lodges,” Lionel Vibert. A digest of
the researches of Gould, Hughan, Rylands, Speth and others on the origin and
early history of Masonry 1.75
History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould 4.50
Essays on Freemasonry, Gould 7.00
* * *
foregoing prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all
items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail not insured or
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion.
Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his
own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all
members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic
subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected
with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic
Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before
publication in this department.
MOVABLE AND IMMOVABLE JEWELS
As you know, the American system and the English system quote
the movable and immovable jewels in exactly the opposite manner. Could you
inform me where I can find the authority for each system, or the reasons given
by each system for its
definition? G. L., Colorado.
According to the American system the movable jewels are the
Rough Ashlar, the Perfect Ashlar and the Trestleboard while the square, plumb
and level are the immovable jewels The reason assigned is that the former have
no particular loca tion in the lodge, while the latter are confined to the
East, West and South respectively.
In England, and almost universally outside of the Unites
States, the square, plumb and level are called the movable jewel because being
emblems of office they are transferred with the officer they represent. The
others are immovable because they are each assigned to a particular place in
Where the American explanation and designation originate I do
not know. Robert Morris attributes it to Webb, while Albert Pike calls it a
modern invention and has a strong argument for this position since the
American explanation originated in, and is confined to, the United States.
Even in the United States the English form is found in the oldest rituals.
The Rough Ashlar represents the Entered Apprentice on his first
admission into the Masonic Order. It is not a shapeless mass of rock but,
though rough, has already assumed the shape of a rectangular solid. Thus the
candidate must have
least a good reputation before he can be elected to receive the degrees. The
place where he is first examined after his entrance is in the South, therefore
the place of the Rough Ashlar is in the South, just in front of the Junior
The Perfect Ashlar represents the brother to whom the working
tools of Masonry have been applied and his character has been modeled in
accordance therewith. The Perfect Ashlar is ready to be tried by the working
tools of a Fellow Craft, hence it is placed in the West just in front of the
As to the Trestle Board, I can do no better than to give the
description of it and the lecture as given in England:
“As the Trestle Board is for the Master to lay lines an draw
designs on, the better to enable the brethren to carry on the intended
structure with regularity and propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may
justly be deemed the spiritual trestle board of the Great Architect of the
Universe in which are laid down such divine laws and mortal precepts that were
we conversant therewith and adherent thereto they would bring
us to an
etherial mansion not built with hands but one eternal in
* * * *
give the authority for the English or America systems. The English lecture is
the movable jewels.
square, level and plumb rule.
are they called movable jewels?
Because they are worn by the Master and his Warden and are transferable to
their successors on nights of installation.
the immovable jewels.
Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars.
are they called immovable jewels?
Because they lie open and immovable in the lodge for the brethren to moralize
C. C. A.,
* * *
OF JURISDICTION FROM LODGES OF CONCURRENT JURISDICTION
leaflet received from the Grand Lodge of Connecticut find the following:
33, paragraph 3, was amended so that, in case lodges having concurrent
jurisdiction, a waiver by one of the lodges makes the same complete.”
furnish information as to how many Grand Jurisdictions in the United States
have adopted a ruling similar to the above?
J. F. R.,
submitted the following two questions to the various Grand Secretaries in the
United States and give herewith a tabulation of their replies, supplemented
with explanatory footnotes:
Must a request for a waiver of
jurisdiction over an applicant for the degrees be acted upon by all lodges
located in a territory where concurrent jurisdiction prevails?
Does the consent of one lodge in such
territory make such waiver complete?
District of Columbia No
New Mexico (6)
North Dakota (7)
South Dakota (10)
Oldest lodge in such territory may grant
If applicant never petitioned any lodge,
then no waiver necessary. If he did, then lodge he applied to acts only.
Amendments adopted February, 1920, provided as above. - George A. Kies, Grand
has but two lodges having concurrent jurisdiction. The above questions,
therefore, do not apply to this jurisdiction. - Geo. E. Knepper, Grand
Waiver must be obtained from two lodges having jurisdiction, one of which must
meet as near as any other to the residence of the applicant. -F. B. Hamilton,
According to our Michigan law, territorial jurisdiction cannot be waived by
our lodges in favor of any other jurisdiction. The only kind of waiver our
lodges are authorized to make is their personal jurisdiction, that is over the
rejected material of their own lodge, or over their work partially completed.
- Lou B. Winsor, Grand Secretary.
(5) 0ur law does not permit a
waiver of jurisdiction. - John
(6) We have no more than one lodge in any community in this
jurisdiction. - A.A. Keen, Grand Secretary.
(7) This question is a new one in this jurisdiction. Not until
this year have we had a second lodge in any of our cities and hence, so far as
I know, the question has never come up. It would be my opinion, however, that
the waiver would have to be from all lodges holding jurisdiction. - Walter L.
Stockwell, Grand Secretary.
(8) The applicant for a waiver may designate the lodge to which
he would petition, and that lodge alone may waive jurisdiction. It is subject
to the objection, however, of lodges of concurrent jurisdiction. - W. M.
Anderson, Grand Secretary.
(9) Waiver of jurisdiction in Pennsylvania is obtained only
through the Grand Master, by the Grand Master of the jurisdiction requesting
Inquiry by one lodge of another in Pennsylvania is direct
between the lodges, which is not a waiver of jurisdiction, and is of one lodge
only. - John A. Perry, Grand Secretary.
(11) The provision of our Grand Lodge by-laws is: “Provided,
That a lodge may receive the petition of a profane residing within the
jurisdiction of another lodge in the State when waiver is granted by unanimous
secret ballot of the lodge holding such jurisdiction.”
We have only one case of two lodges holding concurrent
jurisdiction, viz., the two lodges in this city (Sioux Falls). The question
has never been raised, and no decision or construction of the law above stated
has ever been made in a case such as your inquiries cover.
Possibly the lodge to which the application should be made
might be held to have complete jurisdiction to grant the waiver without the
consent of the other. But, as I say, the matter has never been decided. - C.
L. Brockway, Grand Secretary.
(11) Waivers of jurisdiction were practically done away with by
the last Grand Lodge, when it amended Edict Seven, making it read as follows:
“Lodges shall not make a Mason of any one who has become a
resident in their jurisdiction less than twelve months before presentation of
It will be seen by this that a waiver of jurisdiction is not of
any benefit, as the applicant must reside twelve months within the
jurisdiction of a lodge before petitioning.
Under the old law, where a petitioner resided in a town where
there were two or more lodges, a waiver of jurisdiction had to be obtained
from every lodge in the town, as will be seen by reference to our Code, page
54, section 5. Of course, under this law, the consent of one lodge would not
make the waiver complete. - Stith M. Cain, Grand Secretary.
(12) We have no cities or towns with more than two lodges.- H.
H. Ross, Grand Secretary.
(13) We can waive jurisdiction only over an elected candidate,
Entered Apprentice, or Fellow Craft. - C. A. Nesbitt, Grand Secretary.
(14) 0ur law is as follows:
“Where a waiver of jurisdiction over a petitioner residing
within the concurrent jurisdiction of several lodges is sought, it shall not
be necessary to obtain waiver from more than one of such lodges. The applying
lodge at the time such waiver is requested shall, under its seal, notify every
other lodge having jurisdiction and, if the waiver is granted, shall submit to
the Grand Master, when his dispensation to confer the degrees is asked, the
evidence of such waiver and that due notice was given to such other lodges.”
Our lodges can waive jurisdiction only to lodges having an
adjacent jurisdiction. - H.W. Tyler, Grand Secretary.
(15) We do not have any legislation on the above subject. -
J.M. Lowndes, Grand Secretary.
The Volume of the Sacred Law views darkness from two distinctly
different aspects. From one viewpoint it is something to be feared, dreaded,
loathed, while from the other it is something eminently desirable and of great
The darkness in which we all commence our Masonic career is of
the latter order and it rests with each of us whether or not we possess
ourselves of the treasures that await our appropriation. Let us remember that
the fact of light, “and it was light,” is the result of definite effort. “And
God said 'Let there be light.”' Let us also bear in mind that Truth does not
suddenly burst on our minds as a completed science but we are commanded to
“search the Scriptures” and to “know the Truth,” implying definite effort and
enquiry. It is to help and encourage us in this search of the treasures that
lie buried in darkness that these lines are penned. No degrees confer
knowledge ready-made or bestow the treasures of the darkness from which we
emerge, or enter, in order to discover the greater things beyond. We emerge
truly, and yet our emergence is almost as overwhelming as was our darkness so
vast is the field of research awaiting our efforts and yet withal so glorious
the treasures, the reward of our investigation. We emerge only to reenter, but
we reenter with a new inspiration, a more noble purpose and with definite
direction in our quest, for we know that the darkness will yield its
Let us search then and become richer in intellect and spirit.
Darkness has treasures innumerable and as much of life's greatest blessings
are the gift of darkness, so should our treasures be the gift of our darkness
and our persistent exploration of its blackness, gradually turning it into
that which we most desire.
The darkness of nature produces the brightness of the flowers
and the glory of the trees; the darkness of the earth transmutes vegetation
into power-producing coal; while the darkness of the tomb revealed the might
of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The darkness of astrology produced the more
exact science of astronomy, the darkness of superstition surrounding the
“medicine man” produced the surgeon's skill, while the literary treasures of
today are the crystallized results of past gropings in darkness.
And thus we might continue; the darkness of sickness and
disease inspired medical science with all its modern miracles of healing; the
blackness of poverty, unbearable and unjust, gave us more equitable laws and
fraternal organizations, while thepolitical and social injustices of the past
gave birth to the ballot, Factory Acts, Trade Unions and ideals of
citizenship; and even the gross blackness of war produced the treasures of
self-sacrificing devotion that will for all time sparkle as jewels among the
history of nations.
The debt of humanity to darkness for the treasures it has
produced is immeasurable. Even that Great Light upon our altars is in part at
least the treasure of the darkness of Israelitish exile, for in those dark
days the great scribe Ezra collected and arranged that which became to the
nation the rule and guide for their faith and practice on their return to
their native land.
The teaching then, for all those truly in search of light, is
the recognition of these things as being representative of a principle of
life, which if grasped and applied will surely make us wiser and consequently
happier men. In other words there are still Treasures of Darkness awaiting our
appropriation. Even with the fuller light of the sublime degree how much is
still darkness for the average candidate. Even with all the light of past
experience how much failure is common to us all.
My brother, there are treasures of knowledge in the symbolic
teaching of Masonry that you must find for yourself by serious search and
conscious appropriation and which you alone can discover for yourself. The
darkness of past failures yields treasures for us in the truths learned from
those deflections and are personal and inward but become true gems of
character if rightly appropriated.
May I point to the greatest of all the Treasures of Darkness,
as the Treasure above all treasures that every Mason should seek. “In the
beginning God said 'Let there be light”' and the physical treasures of the
world were partially revealed, many still awaiting man's search. Later, God,
seeing the world in moral darkness said “Let eternal truth shine forth” and
“the light shined in the darkness” and spiritual treasures were partially
revealed, many others still awaiting man's search.
And who should be any more competent to search where that great
Treasure is to be found than all Master Masons? Instructed in the whole course
of life as far as its natural end they are led to discover the power of the
Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the greatest Treasure of life's darkness. Is that
Treasure ours by definite search and conscious appropriation? Once more let us
remind ourselves that all knowledge, mental, moral and intellectual
improvement, or progress in any direction is only the result of intelligent
personal effort. The great culminating Treasure is to be found in our
teaching; it is there half-revealed and half-concealed; passed over by some,
ignored by others, but to the faithful searcher revealed in beauty and power.
Seek and ye shall find and yours shall be the Treasure of Darkness.
Charles B. Sinden, Canada.
* * *
What is the sacred symbol?
If this question were asked in a gathering of Masons it is
doubtful whether any definite reply would be forthcoming. Yet in a system of
morality illustrated by symbols it stands to reason that there should be no
ambiguity concerning the form of that symbol which above all others has been
singled out for the supreme dignity of such an objective.
It is generally supposed that the sacred symbol and the letter
G are identical, but insofar as it is regarded as the initial letter of God or
of Geometry, a letter is merely an abbreviation and is by no means a symbol.
The problem of the significance of the letter has been
considered so inscrutable that the authorities have abandoned the attempt to
solve it, and in despair have pronounced the subject to be open to exoteric
Yet the letter G. though not itself the sacred symbol, does
actually represent it. The process by which this representation took place is
in reality surprisingly simple. The foundation of Masonry, operative or
speculative, is the square, which is the time honored symbol of material and
moral truth. No symbol therefore could be held in higher honor by Freemasons.
The square has been justly called the great symbol and it is also the sacred
symbol, because in former days it was a synonym of the I)eity. The method of
forming a square in any given position was a strictly guarded trade secret of
the Craft. Therefore to mention it in the presence of the uninitiated would
have been regarded as an act of irreverence and impropriety. A gloss was
accordingly required to convey the meaning to a brother while concealing it
from the world at large. Such a gloss was ready to hand in the ancient and
medieval form of the letter G. which as the gamma in the Greek alphabet and as
gebo in the Gothic was a perfect square. That the gamma and the square were
viewed as identical is proved by the fact that the figure of four gammas
conjoined was known in heraldry as the Gammadin, and to medieval Cathedral
builders as the Tetragammaton.
It appears to be clear therefore that the sacred symbol has
always been the square, that it came to be called the G because of a former
identity in shape with that letter and retained the designation after the form
of the G had been changed. The recent attempt of Masonic iconoclasts to
discredit and obliterate the letter G is founded on a misapprehension of its
origin and meaning. It should surely be retained either in its original or in
its actual shape on account of its interesting archeological
Cockburn, P.G.D., England,
Music is well said to be the speech of angels. - Carlyle.