The Builder Magazine
April 1921 - Volume VII - Number 4
Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
HENRY DEARBORN, physician, soldier, patriot and statesman, was
one of those remarkable characters who covered much ground and did it well. He
rose to the rank of Major General in the Army of the Revolution, and yet the
rising generation probably can tell us less about him than they can about the
champion boxer or the stroke oar in the college race crew.
This Republic, which we hear lauded in many Fourth of July
orations, owes as much to General Dearborn as it does to any division
commander in the Revolutionary War. General Dearborn was born in New
Hampshire, in 1751, of English ancestry, and died at Roxbury, Mass., in 1829,
where he was buried. Past Grand Master Melvin M. Johnson, of Massachusetts,
informs the writer that the remains of General Dearborn, and those of his
wife, were removed to Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, in 1834. No memorial
was erected to mark either burial site.
Dearborn was a man of great endurance, powerful, enthusiastic
and sanguine. When he learned of the Battle of Lexington he immediately
organized a company of sixty men, marched to Lexington, making sixty-five
miles the first day, but unfortunately arrived too late to get into the fight.
He was made a Captain in Stark's Brigade, and was at Bunker
Hill on the 17th of June, 1775. He accompanied General Arnold to Quebec, going
through the dense woods of Maine, was taken prisoner at Quebec, paroled, and
soon afterwards exchanged.
He served under General Gates at the capture of Burgoyne and
distinguished himself and his regiment by a gallant charge at the battle of
Monmouth, in 1778. He then served with General John Sullivan (who was
afterwards Grand Master in New Hampshire) in the expedition against the
Indians in 1780, and also with the Army in New Jersey in 1781, and the
following year was on garrison duty at Saratoga. He was appointed Marshal of
the District of Maine, by General Washington.
He served two terms in Congress and was Secretary of War for
eight years. He held that the Republic expected every man to do his duty and
was remiss if he did less, that the reward for the performance of a great act
was in the pleasure one experienced for having performed it.
In 1809 General Dearborn was Collector of the Port of Boston,
and in 1812 was commissioned the senior Major General in the Army and
Commander of the Northern Department. In the spring of 1813 he captured the
town of York, in Upper Canada, and also Fort George at the mouth of the
Niagara, being afterwards recalled and placed in command of the military
district of New York City.
General Dearborn in 1815 resigned his commission in the Army to
accept the position of Minister to the kingdom of Portugal, where he remained
for two years, being then recalled at his own request.
His life was published by General Henry A. S. Dearborn who was
a prominent member of the Bar in Boston.
It is a pleasure to note what a great number of our
Revolutionary ancestors were Freemasons; how pure and upright they were, but
it is a pity their biographers have failed to record their Masonic membership.
The only memorials to this great man and patriot are a street
in the city of Boston named after him, and Fort Dearborn, at Chicago, shown as
the frontispiece in this issue of THE BUILDER through the courtesy of the
National Geographic Society.
The War Department will furnish gratuitously small markers for
the graves of Revolutionary soldiers, and even one of these modest and
inexpensive stones would afford some pleasure to the descendants of
Fort Dearborn, which was but a block house, has vanished, and
the rising generation who thread their way through the curves and tangents of
Dearborn Street probably have never known whence or why the street received
Brother Dearborn was made a Mason in St. Johns Lodge,
Portsmouth, N. H., in 1777.
IN THE BRITISH ISLES IN 1920
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
WHEN THE YEAR opened, the Craft in England had to regret the
absence of its Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught, who had been compelled to
seek convalescence, after an acute bronchial attack, in the south of France.
The year ends with the Grand Master again absent from the country, but this
time, he having been restored fully to health, he is on his way to India as
the accredited representative of his king and country, and the latest report
to hand, coming exactly at the moment these words are being written, is that
the Duke of Connaught is “enjoying better health than he has enjoyed for some
time.” Deo Gratias.
The past year has witnessed the foundation in England of a
record number of lodges, warrants having been granted for the consecration of
no fewer than 162, as compared with 129 in 1919; 88 in 1918; 39 in 1917; 24 in
1916; 21 in 1915; 30 in 1914; and 68 in 1913; this last being the average
pre-war figure. The growth of the Craft in England and the increase in the
number of lodges has necessitated the appointment of a second Deputy Grand
Director of Ceremonies in the United Grand Lodge and of Assistant Provincial
and District Grand Masters in the larger Provinces and Districts.
In Royal Arch Masonry, the progress has been marked in
proportion, 71 chapters having been warranted during the year. Six Grand
Superintendents have been appointed to provinces and two to districts: W.
Lascelles Southwell to Shropshire, Lord St. Levan to Cornwall, Edward Holmes
to Leicester and Rutland, Dr. E. H. Cook to Bristol, Rev. Dr. E. C. Pearce to
Cambridgeshire, Major R. L. Thornton to Sussex, Sir George Fletcher Mac Munn
to Punjab, and James Mac Kenna to Burma. Here, as in the Craft, it has been
found necessary to appoint a second Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies in
consequence of the increasing number of Chapter consecrations.
The principal change in the government of Mark Masonry has been
the appointment of Sir Richard Vassar-Smith as Deputy Grand Master in
succession to Mr. R. Loveland Loveland, K. C., who has rendered long and
valuable service in this degree in particular, but in all branches of Masonry
A similar story is told by the Scottish Masonic authorities.
New lodges are being formed, some in very remote districts, and the enthusiasm
for the Craft and its many branches, apparently is deep-rooted and sincere.
Certain restrictions as to the number of candidates that may be initiated at
one time have been introduced which has led to the introduction of “waiting
lists,” thus affording an additional test for the neophytes. The Earl of
Eglinton and Winton has been installed as Grand Master Mason in succession to
Brigadier General R. Gordon Gilmour, Scotland being more democratic in its
constitution than England, the Grand Mastership, in normal times, changing
annually. One of the most important Masonic events of the year was the
official visit of a deputation from the Grand Lodge of Scotland to the Grand
Lodge of England.
In Ireland, Colonel Claude Cane has succeeded the veteran Sir
Charles Cameron as Deputy Grand Master, who has devoted some seventy years of
his life to Masonic work and propaganda. Ireland also, during the year, has
lost its Grand Secretary, H. E. Flavelle, who was also well known as an
The support given to the three central Masonic institutions has
been well maintained, the aggregate amount collected at the annual festivals
totalling up to no less a sum than 293,188 pounds from 16,056 Stewards; while
the Mark Benevolent Fund also enjoyed a record festival, 975 stewards being up
to the sum of over 10,050 pounds. All the institutions have once more accepted
the whole of the qualified candidates without subjecting them to the ordeal
and expense of a ballot. The Freemasons Hospital and Nursing Home, placed at
the disposal of the military authorities for the purposes of a War Hospital,
has, during the year, reverted to its original purpose and has already well
justified its existence, despite the doubts of many, when the scheme was first
propounded, as to its necessity. There was no formal opening ceremony, but the
Grand Master paid an informal visit at the time of the transfer and gave a
welcome to the first patients. The Old Peoples' Institution has now 1400
annuitants on its books, while 777 girls and 905 boys are being educated and
maintained in the other institutions. During the year, R. Percy Simpson has
resigned from the secretaryship of the Girls' School, and, just at the closing
of the year, comes the news of the passing of James Morrison McLeod, who, for
more than twenty-seven years, guided the affairs of the Boys' School in a
masterly and highly successful manner.
Many honors, politic and civic, have fallen to the lot of
prominent Brethren during the year, but none gave greater pleasure than the
Baronetcy conferred upon the Deputy Grand Master, Sir Frederick Halsey. The
Earl of Stradbroke, Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk, has now left to take
up his duties as Governor of Victoria, but this is the only province in
England which is not under the direct government of its appointed head. During
the year three Provincial Grand Masters have been installed into office: F. M.
LaMothe, Isle of Man; Louis S. Winsloe, West Lancashire; and the Bishop of
Thetford, Norfolk. Four District Grand Masters have also been appointed:
Major-General Sir George Fletcher MacMunn, Punjab; James MacKenna, Burma; John
Langley, Egypt and the Soudan; and Henry J. Hyde-Johnson, Nigeria.
The Masonic Million Memorial Fund, originating with the Grand
Master, is making steady headway, an impetus having been given to the scheme
during the year through the acquisition by Grand Lodge of the long line of
premises adjoining the existing Masonic buildings in Great Queen Street. The
Duke of Connaught has now expressed a wish to meet all the Provincial Grand
Masters in conference upon the scheme immediately after his return from India.
One of the most notable events of the year has been the
formation of the grand jurisdiction of Queensland, which promises to be one of
the strongest of the overseas jurisdictions.
A notable attack on the Craft was made during the year by a
prominent London daily, but the readers of THE BUILDER have already been made
familiar with the trenchant and effective reply of Brother A. E. Waite.
The obituary list of the year has not been heavy, but it
contains some noted names of hard workers in the Masonic cause. Four Grand
Wardens have passed away: Lord Egerton of Tatton (who was also Past Provincial
Grand Master for Cheshire); the Earl of Dartrey; Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Gerard
Smith (Past District Grand Master Western Australia); and Sir Thomas Vezey
Strong. Two Grand Chaplains in the persons of the Rev. Richard Peek and Bishop
Stevens have also joined the Grand Lodge Above. Other notable names in the
list are Judge Woodfall, the Rev. C.E.L. Wright (who bequeathed his Masonic
collection to the Grand Lodge Library), Sir Gabriel Stokes, R. G. ; Venables,
Sir David Mercer, and Riehard Luck, all Past Grand Deacons, Percy F. Wheeler
and James Morley, Past Assistant Grand Registrars; Dr. Hill Drury, J.R.
Cleave, William Lestocq, and James W. Mathews (founder of the Genesius Club of
Instruction), Past Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies. But not all the
ardent lovers of the Craft and workers in the cause are included in Grand
Lodge lists. Many names could be mentioned, but to the writer and to many
others, the passing of Frederick Henry Buckmaster, London Rank, an ardent
student of Masonry in all its branches and one who was a thorough
exemplification of what a Mason should be in practice as well as in
idealism, will be felt
for many days and years.
And the future? As a body we are the admiration of the world
for our noble exemplification of our Masonic principles of Brotherly Love,
Relief and Truth. We can honestly lay claim to that achievement as a body.
Have we the same right to claim it as individuals? Do those who are dependent
upon us regard us individually with the same high esteem and respect as the
world at large appreciates us a body? By the populace we are acquitted as
possessing high ideals and acting up to them; what is our individual position?
It is a personal question, and the answer cannot here be written. It must be
LODGE OF ARIZONA ADOPTS N.M.R.S. STUDY CLUB PLAN
At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodg of Arizona the
Committee on Foreign Correspondence made the following recommendation to the
Grand Lodge, which was adopted:
“Your Committee recommends that each and every Master of a
Subordinate lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction be directed to immediately
proceed to the formation of a Study Club (provided that one has not already
been formed in his lodge), to meet at least once every month and on a date
when no degree work is in progress; that each lodge decide for itself the
manner of carrying out the objects of this recommendation, but we recommend
that each lodge follow the general outlines of the Study Club plans as
promulgated by 'THE BUILDER' of Anamosa, Iowa. Further, that the incoming
Grand Master see that this recommendation is carried into effect at the
earliest possible date and that each lodge be required to report to this Grand
Lodge at its next annual communication the progress and results of the
formation of the various Study Clubs.
February 8, 1921. Committee.
Good character is human nature in its best form. It is moral
order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience
of society, but in every well governed state they are its best motive power;
for it is moral quslities which, in the main, rule the world. - S. Smiles.
WHENCE CAME FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. E. ELLISON, CALIFORNIA
A REVIEW OF THE HISTORICAL FORCES WHICH TENDED TO GIVE THE
FRATERNITY ITS PRESENT CHARACTER
IT IS AN ambitious undertaking to attempt to compress the
history of this venerable institution within the limits of a brief article.
Let me say at the outset, that it is not my intention to enter into details.
Rather, I propose to draw a brief sketch, or, more accurately, an outline of
the historical forces which tended to give the Fraternity its present
character. Let me add that I do not lay claim to original research or
discovery in Masonic history. I shall only try to piece together information
obtained from a general reading, not only of Masonic, but also of so-called
The origin of Freemasonry is unknown. All attempts to
penetrate the veil which enshrouds the birth-place and cradle of the
institution have proved fruitless. True, our tradition informs us that “it
has existed from time immemorial,” but is not that in itself an admission that
we do not know when or where it originated? Probably we shall have to content
ourselves with Topsy's philosophy and say that it “just growed.” I mean by
that, that it has sprung into existence in response to that instinct which
impels man to seek the association, the friendship, and the protection, of his
Up to a generation or two ago, it seems to have been the
accepted belief among Freemasons that their Fraternity was in no particular
the work of man but of divine origin; that is to say, it was believed that at
some time in the remote past the G.A.O.T.U. had handed down the peculiar
mysteries of Masonry to some of the personages of whom we read in the Old
Testament, and that these mysteries had been minutely and regularly
transmitted down through succeeding generations. There was, of course, some
question as to who first received the divine revelation. That honour has been
variously accredited to King Solomon, Moses, Noah, Tubal Cain and even to
Adam. But, in either case, the belief rests upon a foundation no stronger
than the legends which we find embalmed in the so-called Ancient Charges or
Gothic Constitutions, or in Dr. Anderson's “Constitutions and History of the
Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons,” and has been
discarded because it could not stand the test of scientific historical
HUMAN ORIGIN OF THE FRATERNITY
We now look upon the Fraternity as of purely human origin - the
product of the minds of those who comprise it and have comprised it. In other
words, it is a reflex of the hopes and ideals, the aims and aspirations of its
membership. At the same time, it has been subjected to pressure from without,
because the men who comprise the Fraternity are also members of the larger
surrounding human society, and their viewpoint as Freemasons is consciously or
unconsciously influenced by the education, the training and the experience
they have acquired in the outside world.
We know that there is a constant change in the current of
thought with reference to almost every subject and condition of life. As
science advances and knowledge increases we are gradually throwing off many
beliefs which our forefathers religiously entertained, just as, by the swine
law of progress, many of the things to which we today pin our faith will be
disproved and rejected by our descendants.
Like every other human institution, Freemasonry has been
affected by this change. The history of the Fraternity, therefore, in a
measure runs parallel to the history of the intellectual development of
humanity. On its long march down the centuries, each age has put its seal and
imprint upon the institution; it has been impressed with the philosophy
characteristic of successive ages; and it has accepted, absorbed and preserved
in its system many customs and usages, many forms and ceremonies, many beliefs
current in the outside world during different periods. With the passage of
time, some of these have become obsolete and have been discarded, others are
being carried along in the body of Freemasonry, although the original
significance of them has been lost sight of or forgotten, and still others
have been invested with new meaning - new symbolism.
MORAL PHILOSOPHY DIVINE
There is one thing divine and immutable about Freemasonry,
namely, its moral philosophy. But in that respect it does not differ from
other organizations which undertake to teach men their duty to God and to
their fellows. There is no progress in moral doctrines. The Moral Law - the
Ten Commandments - is as true today as on the day it was handed down to Moses
in thunder and lightning at Mount Sinai. The Golden Rule of the Carpenter of
Nazareth is as truly a living ideal in our day as on the day He first gave it
to the world in His Sermon on the Mount.
OLD BELIEF ABANDONED
Why has the old belief in the divine origin of Freemasonry been
abandoned? In the past century tremendous strides have been made upon every
field of knowledge, including that of history. Within the memory of living
men, the sites of the cities of ancient civilizations have been relocated and
their ruins excavated. The languages of peoples who have long since vanished
have been reconstructed and translated into modern tongues. The pyramids of
Egypt have been explored and their hieroglyphs deciphered. The temples of
Ancient Greece and the catacombs of Rome have given up their secrets. The
gravemounds of the Scandinavian chieftains have been opened and have laid bare
their wealth of historical treasure. Travellers have explored the countries of
Asia, where no white man formerly had set foot, and have returned with the
sacred books of religions established centuries before the Christian era.
From the material thus obtained, coupled with the fragments of ancient
learning which have come down to us, the modern historian has presented to us
a reconstructed history, enabling us to form a clearer conception of the lives
and habits, the religious, social and political institutions of the ancient
MYSTO-RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES IN ANCIENT TIMES
Among other things, we have learned of the existence in highest
antiquity of secret mysto-religious societies, similar in some respects to our
present day Freemasonry. This historical fact has received close study at the
hands of Masonic students, who have devoted years of labour in an endeavour to
establish the descent of our Fraternity from the mystic brotherhoods of
ancient times. Some of our learned brethren have essayed the task of tracing
the pedigree of Freemasonry back to the birth of civilization, and in order to
demonstrate the ancient origin and high descent of that institution, have
attempted to reconstruct the rites of the Ancient Mysteries. I shall not
attempt to examine the various elaborate pedigrees that have been traced, or
the ingenious arguments that have been advanced in support of them. The fact
is, that no satisfactory written or other authentic record has come down to us
concerning the secret rites of these Mysteries. Consequently, the efforts made
to reconstruct them from the references available are not likely to have met
with better success than would the attempt on the part of a profane of our day
to give to the world the benefit of our Masonic ceremonies.
It should be remembered that we are here dealing with the
customs and usages of peoples who have long since disappeared from the earth,
with whose institutions we are, after all, but imperfectly familiar, and whose
viewpoint it is difficult if not impossible, for us to obtain. Let us also
bear in mind that the secrecy of present day Freemasonry is as nothing when
compared with the jealous care with which the ancients guarded their secrets
from the profane. The laws the Brahmins, for instance, provided that if an
uninitiate was caught listening to the reading of the sacred books, he was to
be punished by pouring hot oil into his ears, and if he had succeeded in
committing to memory any portion of the text, his throat was to be cut.
LEGENDARY OR TRADITIONAL HISTORY
We shall divide the history of the Fraternity into two parts.
The first, we shall call the traditional or legendary period, by which we mean
the time before accounts of current events were committed to writing; when all
information was perpetuated by oral communication from father to son, and from
generation to generation. The second, we shall call the historical period,
and by that, we, of course, mean that part of the life of the Fraternity
concerning which we draw our information from authentic records, whether found
in lodge books, in the public archives, or in the literature of the day. The
first period is like a desert “without milestone or finger post,” and the
Masonic explorers who have attempted to trace the path of the Fraternity by
its “footprints upon the sands of time,” have traversed so many divergent
roads, and have arrived at so many conflicting conclusions, that their labour
is of little value to us. Each succeeding writer has torn down and destroyed
the hypotheses of those who have preceded him, in order, as it seems, to make
room for his own theory.
The historical period we shall again roughly divide into three
eras. The first, (commencing about the year 1200 and ending about the year
1550), we shall call the Operative period. The second, (commencing with the
Reformation and ending in the year 1717), for want of a better name, we shall
designate as the Operative-Speculative period. The third, (commencing with
the so-called Great Revival, the formation of the first Grand Lodge, and
carried down to our own day), let us call the Speculative period. We will now
consider these eras in the order named.
OPERATIVE PERIOD (1200-1550)
Bearing in mind the proposition we laid down at the outset of
this discussion, that the character of the Fraternity has been largely shaped
by surrounding conditions, let us briefly review the social and political
institutions of the time.
FORMATION OF GUILDS
When the Roman Empire fell before the invasion of the
barbarians of the North, the conquerors built upon its ruins a number of small
tribal states. The people were barbarous and quarrelsome, and these states
were in constant warfare with one another. For centuries might was the only
law. Anarchy reigned supreme. The great civilization of the Romans became
engulfed and disappeared. This is the period known in history as the Dark
Slowly and painfully civilization had a new birth. The tribal
governments gave way to national authority. The people fell under the
softening influence of Christianity. Wars became less frequent, and men again
began to practice the arts of peace.
During the disturbed period of the Dark Ages, the artisans and
workmen of the cities, in order to obtain protection from the repacity and
cruelty of then feudal lords, banded themselves together into trade guilds, or
corporations, and step by step, by means of bribe, purchase, and quite often
by open rebellion, succeeded in wresting from their lords paramount the
privilege of regulating the affairs of their respective crafts, and, later,
established the complete self-government of their cities. The Masons, like
their brethren of other crafts, also formed corporations; but since their
employers and feudal lords, in the majority of cases, were ecclesiastical
dignitaries, Princes of the Church, it was to them that the Masons applied for
their charters of privileges. References to these instruments have been found
in the fabric rolls and archives of medieval churches.
But the most interesting information concerning the organized
life of our forefather Masons in medieval times is to be found in the
so-called Ancient Charges or Gothic Constitutions. The originals of these
curious documents were drawn at a time when the art of writing was known only
to the members of the theological profession, and they bear the imprint of the
credulity and ignorance which characterizes all the literature of the period.
Their contents are usually divided into two parts. The first, purports to be
a history of the craft from its inception down to date, and is valuable
chiefly as showing what was the belief of our Masonic fore-fathers concerning
the origin and progress of their craft. As a chronicle of actual events it
has no value at all. The oldest existing document of this kind is the
so-called Halliwell Poem, composed about the end of the fourteenth century,
although it bears internal evidence of having been compiled from much earlier
The Buchanan MS., a seventeenth-century Scotch Constitution,
may be taken as the type for all these documents. In it we are told that God
gave the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences to Jabal, Jubal and Tubal, the three
sons of Lamech; that when He was about to take punishment upon the world for
its sins by the Flood, the sciences were enclosed in two pillars; one made of
wood, that it might not sink; the other of marble, that it might not burn;
that after the Flood the pillars and the secrets they contained were found by
Hamarynes (Hermes), the father of all wise men, who taught the sciences to
Abraham, and were by him brought into the “Londe of Egypt,” where he imparted
them to his “Goode Clerke Euclid.” From Egypt the sciences were in due course
of time introduced into Palestine.
The building of King Solomon's Temple pays an important part in
the narrative, and we are told of Hiram, the King, and Hiram, the Builder, the
latter being referred to as the King's Son of Tyre. We are told, further, that
in the days of Charles Martel, the science of Geometry, which our operative
forefathers regarded as synonymous to Masonry, was brought into France by one
Naymus (Mamon) Grecus, who had been employed at the building of the Temple.
Now that edifice was erected about one thousand years before Christ. Charles
Martel ruled in France nearly eight hundred years after Christ, so that our
good brother Grecus must have attained the rather unusual age of nearly
eighteen hundred years. Of course, the matter of bridging the span of
eighteen centuries by the life of an individual did not trouble the legend
writers of the Middle Ages. I am citing these things to show that the
“legendary” history of Masonry is simply a compendium of sacred and profane
history coloured by the romance so generally accepted during that period.
The second part of these documents contained the rules and
regulations of the Craft, and taught members their duty to God and to one
another. Many of these ancient regulations have come down to our own time and
are a part of the body of our laws under the name of Ancient Landmarks.
It should be added that in the days before Grand Lodges had
been formed, the status of a lodge was determined by it having in its
possession a copy of these Ancient Charges. These, therefore, served the
purpose of our present day charters.
CLAIM TO DIVINE ORIGIN
The Masonic Craft is unique in the respect that it is the only
one of the medieval guilds for which divine origin was claimed, or which
itself laid claim to have been established by Biblical personages. The
probable explanation of this claim is to be found in the fact, that the Masons
were almost exclusively employed upon religious edifices and therefore in
close contact with the writers of history, as it was then written, and were
especially favoured by the historians by having ascribed to their craft high
antiquity and a long line of royal patrons and protectors. We should bear in
mind that in the Middle Ages high descent was regarded as of great importance,
and that many families, and nations even, claimed to be able to trace their
ancestry back to the flood and even to a more remote period.
The intimate association of the Masons with the members of the
religious order, also tended to give to their craft that semi-religious
character which it has maintained ever since.
The Masonic guilds also differed from other medieval trade
corporations in the fact that in the former masters, journeymen and
apprentices remained members of the same society. In other trades, especially
in the commercial pursuits, the guild masters became wealthy and arrogant, and
made use of their power to oppress their journeymen and apprentices, with the
result that the latter formed guilds of their own as protection from their
In the Masonic craft there was no opportunity for great
financial gains. The masters did not undertake work on their own account, as
do our modern building contractors. The owner of the building to be erected
furnished all the material entering into its construction, and the craftsmen,
from master to apprentice, were engaged to supply the skill and labour
required in preparing plans and specifications, shaping the material and
assembling it in the edifice. The master was the executive head of the job -
the master workman - and laboured side by, side with his “companions and
varlets” (fellow-crafts and apprentices) in the lodge or on the scaffold.
The pay was modest, considering the character of the work and
high requirements of the trade, not only in manual dexterity, but technical
training and scientific knowledge and artistic sense. Still the craft had high
standing among the trades, and ranked among the most honourable of
professions; and its members enjoyed certain exemptions and immunities which
may account for the fact that they assumed the name “Free Masons.”
BLACK DEATH-STATUTES OF LABOURERS
About the year 1340 Europe was scourged by a dreadful
contagious disease, known as the Black Death. So virulent was the contagion
and so frightful its ravages that the population in many countries was
decimated, and in certain districts completely destroyed. In consequence,
there existed a great scarcity of labour, especially in the skilled trades.
The workmen, as might be expected, took advantage of this scarcity to improve
their wages and conditions of employment. Their efforts met with strong
opposition from the employing classes, who complained to King and Parliament
against what they regarded as exactions on the part of the workmen. Drastic
legislation was enacted prohibiting and punishing any attempt to increase
wages above the level prevailing prior to the pestilence. This and kindred
legislation has been classified in history as the Statutes of Labourers.” It
did not have the desired effect, as is shown by the fact that in every
succeeding Parliament the Commons renewed their complaints and grievances, but
the only remedy proposed was to increase and sharpen the penalties of the law.
Finally, a statute was enacted outlawing all forms of organizations having for
their object the regulation of wages and denouncing such organizations as
conspiracies. This was intended as a death blow to the guilds; but it failed
signally. The guilds formed themselves into burial societies and continued in
existence under that guise.
The prosecutions of the Masons under the Statutes of Labourers
were especially vigorous and severe, and the members of the lodges, therefore,
were compelled to assemble in secret. It is an interesting question whether
this may not be the period referred to in the Monitor, where we are told that
“our ancient brethren assembled on the highest hill and in the lowest vales,
the better to observe the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers.” Prior to this
time, according to the Ancient Charges, the Masons in given districts met
openly in Annual Assembly, and their meetings were attended by members of the
nobility as well as the civil magistrates. It may be well to explain here that
a “cowan” in Masonic language is one who attempts to practice the craft
without being a member of a regular lodge, and having been duly apprenticed to
Curiously, the oldest lodge minute extant, that of Edinburgh
Lodge No. 1, Scotland, contains an account the trial of one George Patton, who
had vexed the souls of his brethren by putting a cowan to work for two days
and a half. The minute is dated July 31, 1599.
The lodges also adopted the expedient of admitting to
membership men of high birth and station and placing themselves under the
patronage and protection of these new brethren. This gave to the lodge an air
of respectability, enabled its members to obtain employment on public
buildings in preference to cowans, and insured them a measure of protection
from the severity of the Statutes of Labourers. The number of non-operative
members gradually increased, and they became known in the Fraternity as
“Accepted” Masons or “Geomatics.”
It was during this era that the beautiful Gothic style of
architecture was developed and perfected and the noble churches erected which
distinguish the ancient cities of Europe where they stand as eloquent
witnesses to the skill and industry of those who built them, and the art and
science of those who planned and designed them. The architects of succeeding
ages have copied and imitated, but have never been able to improve upon either
the style or construction of these famous edirces.
DECLINE OF GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE
The Reformation was followed by a decline in church building.
The property of the church was confiscated by the temporal powers, and
Freemasonry as an operative science became almost a lost art
OPERATIVE - SPECULATIVE, PERIOD (1550-1717)
We have now arrived at the most interesting period in the life
of Freemasonry, the time when the societies of builders and architects were
transformed into speculative or philosophical associations.
Although this era is closer to our own day than that of
Operative times, the lodge records are extremely meagre and fragmentary.
True, they bear sufficient testimony to the fact that Freemasonry had a
continuous existence from earlier times, and also to the dual character of the
membership of the lodges; but the lodge books are silent upon the subject we
are most interested in, namely, how the so-called speculative element became
superimposed upon the operative.
In Order to form an opinion on that subject, it is necessary to
consult contemporary literature, supplemented by information concerning the
lives, habits and intellectual pursuits of men who were prominent in the
Fraternity. Assembling all the information thus made available, we can form a
POWER OF THE CHURCH
Let us first briefly survey the social and political and life
of the people. The power of the Church had advanced so rapidly during the
last centuries of the Middle Ages, that it had become the dominant factor, not
only in religion, but in the affairs of state. So powerful had it become
politically, that the Pope of Rome could compel a German Kaiser to stand
barefoot in the snow for three days, clad in the penitential hair shirt, while
begging forgiveness. The Church proudly proclaimed the doctrine, that “as the
sun is a greater light than the moon, so is the spiritual greater than the
temporal power.” Kings and princes ruled only at the will and pleasure of the
Holy Father at Rome. The influence of the Church extended to every detail of
life, and from the cradle to the grave.
During the Middle Ages the Church had been the repository of
all learning, and it was also the patron of the arts and sciences. This
position suited it, because it served to glorify religion and to exalt the
power of the Church. In its capacity as Keeper of the Public Conscience, the
Church was also the censor of public morals and beliefs, and no one was
permitted, except by its sanction, to give utterance to any new idea upon any
subject. As is always the case with irresponsible power, the Church became
arbitrary, despotic and tyrannical. Its sole care was to preserve the
existing order, and it therefore prohibited the publication of any
innovation. It mattered not whether a new idea or scientific discovery
conflicted with the dogmas of the Church. The fact that it was contrary to
the accepted belief was sufficient to exclude it. The author was haled before
the ecclesiastical tribunal and ordered to recant. His books were burned by
the common hangman, and the author himself was indeed fortunate if he did not
share the fate of his work. History records the names of many men who were
thus compelled to deny great scientific discoveries they had made, and of
others who refused to recant and sealed their conviction with their blood.
The Reformation changed all this. That event was not only a
protest against the many religious superstitions perpetuated by the Church,
but was a revolt against the mental bondage laid upon the people. No sooner
was the yoke lifted than men began pursuing knowledge upon every field and in
every direction. They threw themselves with especial enthusiasm upon the
study of the natural sciences in an effort to solve the mysteries of Nature's
wondrous laws. Having no previous experience, and no rules of reason to guide
them, they indulged themselves in the wildest speculations and the most
extravagant flights of fancy.
Among the studies which occupied the time of the scientific men
of that day were the following: They studied the heavens, believing that in
the courses of the celestial bodies they could foretell coming events. They
experimented with the transmutation of the base metals into gold. They tried
to compound a salt, or panacea, which should be a sovereign remedy in all
diseases which flesh is heir to. They travelled in search of the fountain of
eternal youth. They practised magic, white and black. They endeavoured to
form a “word,” or combination of letters, which when properly pronounced would
enable them to command the spirits, which, as was then believed, inhabited the
sea and air, etc. The generic term for all these studies was the Hermetic, or
secret, philosophy. Although we may smile at the vagaries of these sages, we
must not forget that humanity owes them a debt of gratitude. Upon their
labour and industry our modern sciences rest. The astrologer, who studied the
stars and cast horoscopes, is the progenitor of the modern astronomer. The
alchemist, who laboured to transmute the base metals, is the forerunner of our
chemist. Much of our medical science is founded upon the experiments of the
Hermetics who tried to produce the universal salt.
ROSICRUCIANISM AND THE KABBALA
The mystic philosophy of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross and
of the Hebrew Kabbala was given to the world about the middle of the sixteenth
century and were widely studied by the learned men of the day.
In those days there were no universities in the modern
acceptation of that term. The Hermetic philosophers, who were as a rule poor
men, attached themselves to the households of men of high rank, who provided
them with the necessary materials for conducting their experiments and also
afforded them protection from the ignorant and bigoted populace. In those
times it was not quite safe to be known as a seeker after truth. The common
people regarded the Philosophers with superstitious dread, believing they were
in communion with evil spirits, a belief which was no doubt strengthened by
the peculiarities of dress and habits affected by the Hermetics. Many of them
lost their lives at the hands of enraged mobs who believed they were rendering
both God and humanity a service by ridding the world of them. It might be
added that the noble patrons of the Philosophers were not actuated by any
desire to promote the general knowledge. They sought their help, believing
them capable of foretelling the outcome of wars and intrigues. Greed for gold
was no doubt their motive for patronizing the science of alchemy.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOCIETY
The bearing of these facts upon the history of Freemasonry, is
obvious. We have already noted that in the Middle Ages a number of lodges
placed themselves under the patronage of powerful princes and nobles, and we
stated the reasons which impelled them to this step. Many of these high and
mighty men also became employers of Hermetic philosophers, and we are not
overstepping the bounds of probability in stating that the noble patrons
introduced the Hermetic philosophers into the craft societies, where, under
the seal of secrecy imposed by the obligation, they exchanged views, discussed
the progress of their experiments, and thus gradually transformed the lodges
into speculative or philosophical societies, finally incorporating in the
ritual the so-called speculative element, which ultimately gave to Freemasonry
its present character.
At this point it will be noted that, while Freemasonry as an
operative art was practised in nearly every country of Europe during the
Middle Ages, it is in the British Isles alone that we find the speculative
element embodied in the Masonic system.
In Germany and France the operative societies continued to
exist until the middle of the last century, when they were imperceptibly
merged into the modern trades union movement. In point of efficient
organization the German “Steinmetzen” were in advance of their brethren in
other countries, having in 1549 organized their craft under a national
government, with headquarters at Strassburg, the Master of Works of the
cathedral of that city being the Grand Master.
EARLY “ACCEPTED” MASONS
The earliest “accepted” Mason on record is John Boswell, a
Scotch nobleman; who was a member of a lodge in Edinburgh in the year 1600.
Earl Morey (Murray) is also an early “accepted” Mason. He was only the patron
of the Masons in his domain, but also rated a great Hermetic philosopher. He
was admitted in the year 1641. Elias Ashmole, a great English antiquary and
Hermetic and Rosicrucian writer, was “made” in Warrington Lodge, England,
SPECULATIVE PERIOD (1717 - )
We have now arrived at the last period of our review, at the
opening to which the Fraternity “threw off the trammels of the operative art”
and evolved into a benevolent philosophical society, in which form it has
spread to every quarter of the globe and is being practised in every country
where the people have arrived at a sufficient high state of civilization to
appreciate its beauty.
Let us again take a view of the social and political
conditions, as they presented themselves during the first decades of the
period we are now considering.
ABSOLUTISM IN GOVERNMENT
The Reformation had broken the power of the Church, but in
doing so it had helped to build up another power which, in course of time,
became an even greater menace to human freedom and progress. As the Church
declined in importance, the authority of the kings advanced. Step by step,
the king became absolute, both in state affairs and in the government of the
Church. The latter became the handmaid of the temporal power. Government
control by both pulpit and press, and other means of public expression,
rendered it difficult and dangerous for the people to air their grievances,
and gradually they were deprived of every right and privilege. “The King can
do no wrong” became the principle by which the nations were governed.
The only country in which the people had maintained in their
own hands a share in government, and where the personal rights of the citizens
were respected, was England. When the king of that country attempted to make
himself absolute, the people rose in rebellion and assumed the reins of power
into their own hands. England, therefore, was regarded with great admiration
and respect by the people of continental Europe, and her institutions were
studied and praised by the reformers of other lands. In time the effects of
the revolution in England made themselves felt on the continent. About the
beginning of the eighteenth century the system there had become so rotten and
corrupt that it was ready to fall of its own weight. The “forward looking”
men of the time boldly condemned and denounced the existing order and demanded
its overthrow. Art and science had a new birth. This was the so-called Golden
Age of literature.
During this period a new religious cult sprang up, known as the
Deists. They took the ground that all religious dogmas are the invention of
the priests with a view to keeping the people in ignorance and subjugation,
and they declared that the only right way to worship God was in his wondrous
works. They also preached the “Brotherhood of Man” and gave to the world the
slogan: “Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood.” There is no doubt that
Freemasonry became deeply impressed with the new religion; one of the chief
tenets of our Fraternity being religious toleration, its only requirement
being belief in the Supreme Architect.
In the early days of the eighteenth century, a number of the
foremost men of science and letters of continental Europe visited England,
some to study her institutions and others to escape persecution at home.
Naturally, they associated themselves with men of their own views and
pursuits. At this time the most prominent members of the Royal Society, a
body of British scientists, were members of the Masonic fraternity. They
introduced their visitors into the mysteries of the Craft. When the latter
returned to their own countries, they came as missionaries for the new
SPREAD OF FREEMASONRY
The society spread rapidly from England and Scotland to other
countries of Europe and also to America. The men who were labouring to
establish the new principle in religion and government made use of the
fraternity to propagate these principles, and did so most effectively. It was
not long, however, before the powers of the time began to recognize in
Freemasonry a menace to the existing order and took steps to suppress it.
Kings pronounced banishment and death penalties upon its votaries. The Church
hurled its anathema against them. And the blindly bigoted populace pursued
them in frantic fury. To this rule there were some exceptions. King
Frederick II, of Prussia, who, as Crown Prince, had been made a Mason, on his
ascension to the throne took the Fraternity under his immediate protection and
raised it to the dignity of a semi-public institution. A king of Sweden had
prohibited the practice of Freemasonry under pain of death. His successor
repealed the edict and bestowed marked favour upon the Fraternity. This
monarch was at the time engaged in a struggle with the old nobility.
Accordingly, he sought to make use of Freemasonry in his cause by securing the
admission of men who had made their mark in art, science and literature, thus
creating a new nobility of mind and attainment with which to combat the old
aristocracy of birth and wealth. The impress thus left upon the Fraternity in
Sweden has persisted to our own day. The Craft was introduced to America in
the year 1738, and here it found fruitful soil. We shall, perhaps, never know
the full extent of the part played by the Fraternity in establishing upon this
continent the principles of justice and democracy. We know that a number of
those who signed the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons, and among
those who were in the forefront of the struggle for independence were men who
had taken the oath upon the Masonic altar. In short, the early history of
this nation is intimately associated with the history of the Masonic
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MOTHER GRAND LODGE
The history of Freemasonry during the period we are now
considering commences with the establishment of the Mother Grand Lodge. On
St. John's Day, 1717, the Masters and Wardens of four lodges meeting in London
assembled at the “Goose and Gridiron” tavern, and, having put the oldest
Master Mason in the chair, they erected and proclaimed the Grand Lodge of
England, which is the mother and model of all grand bodies.
Shortly thereafter a committee was appointed to examine the
Ancient Charges and to “digest them upon a new and better form.” One of the
members of this committee was Dr. James Anderson, a Scotch Presbyterian
minister, author of the first printed work on Freemasonry. His “Constitutions
and History of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted
Masons” was published by order of the Grand Lodge and was widely read. It
passed through a number of editions; but it is no longer regarded as a
textbook, since more recent investigation has shown it to be historically
inaccurate and in other respects unreliable.
The committee doubtlessly introduced a number of innovations in
the ritual as well as in the form of government of the Craft; but they simply
built a new superstructure upon an old foundation. The basic principles of
the Fraternity have remained unchanged through all vicissitudes of time.
Closing this discussion, I would express the hope that the
members of the Fraternity would give to its history a more close study. It
will enable them to understand and appreciate many things about their glorious
Craft which are now a sealed book to them. It will tend to increase their
respect and admiration for their ancient institution, and that can but result
in making them better Freemasons - and that means better men.
CLUBS IN THE A.E.F.
CHARLES F. IRWIN. OHIO
UPON THE entrance of the United States into the World War, the
several Grand Lodges considered carefully the advisability of issuing charters
to Military lodges. Most of them declined to do so. Since the war and our
return to peace-time conditions, the wisdom of this decision is apparent to
those who were in the army and who were identified with the Masonic activities
which were carried on through the Masonic Club movement. Although the writer
assisted in the conferring of the several degrees in lodges which came over to
France from several Grand Lodges at home, yet I am convinced that in most
cases it would have been as well both for the candidate as for the Craft in
general had the postulants waited till they returned to America. Usually there
sprang up in the minds of soldiers a sudden desire to enjoy whatever
privileges or benefits might flow from Masonry. They were hastily entered,
passed and raised without time to consider the several steps or to familiarize
themselves with the lectures. They therefore could in the nature of the case
get but the superficial view of the Fraternity and not the underlying
The decision to refrain from issuing military charters or
dispensations left the Craft within the army to their own devices. The heroic
struggle of the Grand Lodges of America to send a Commission to France to
provide for the Craft in the A.E.F. - their efforts to break through the
“invisible government” which hedged in those who had the authority to grant
the passports, is embodied in the report submitted by the Committee under the
leadership of Justice Scudder, of New York. The Justice presented a bound copy
of this report to me in Paris and it made fine reading not only for us
Americans but also for my British and French Masonic brethren. I took pleasure
in loaning it to numbers of both these classes.
One of the evidences of the vitality of the Craft is found in
the spontaneity with which the Craft got together under the most unusual and
unpromising circumstances for social intercourse and for comradeship.
Before embarkation for foreign service groups of the Craft had
gravitated together in the several cantonments and embarkation camps. Aboard
many transports of British and American registry were found Masons in the
crews. By the courtesy of these marine officers and brethren, cabins were
thrown open for our use and we held conferences and rallies as we passed
through the strain of expected submarine attacks.
After landing in France the natural places for Masonic Clubs to
open were at the ports of entry and the centers of largest concentration of
troops. Consequently the clubs of Brest, St. Nazaire, Bordeaux, Le Mans,
Paris, Tours, etc., were the earliest. As early as the fall of 1917 these
clubs were coming into existence. Being left necessarily to our own devices,
and under the severe strain of fighting conditions we were in no shape to turn
our attention as actively toward Masonic club life as we were after the
signing of the armistice. Yet, early in the spring of 1918, the clubs began to
appear in the training camps and even in individual units. The latter were
invariably itinerant clubs and suffered a more severe strain for support than
the permanent clubs of the camps and depots.
With the Army of Occupation, the Masonic Clubs entered the
Rhine Valley and speedily became the centers for relaxation and fellowship for
Masons of high and low degree. The Club at Coblenz was a fine example of
these. With its commodious parlors and its fine spirit of fellowship it has
left an indelible record on the members of the Craft who enjoyed its
hospitality. This club still ministers to the Craft.
It is to be noted here that four of the welfare organizations
which worked with the army abroad were strong supporters of our clubs and
rendered us splendid support. I refer to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Jewish
Welfare Board, and Y.M.C.A. The Y.M.C.A. especially gave us invaluable
assistance for which American Masonry can not be too appreciative. This
organization was offered and manned to an unusual degree by Master Masons. One
club - the Overseas Club of Paris - was composed almost exclusively of
secretaries and officers of the Y.M.C.A. The earliest attacks upon that
institution sprang from sources which have ever been opposed not only to the
principles for which the Y.M.C.A. has stood but also opposed to Masonry. To
attack the Y.M.C.A. meant to attack Masonry at the same time.
The places where the clubs should assemble were matters of
grave importance. Technically they could not be held in military buildings.
Actually many of them were held in military buildings and were patronized by
those in high command. The clubs usually came into existence in the same way.
A few enthusiastic Masons met together and proposed a club. Investigation
discovered who were Masons and an invitation was issued for those to assemble
in a certain place on a specified date. Usually this proved to be a Y.M.C.A.
hut. For in every hut you could find one or more Masonic secretaries. The club
contained the usual officers - president, vice-president, secretary and
treasurer. In addition to these came several committees, the number varying
according to the strength of the club. Meetings were held weekly and programs
were put on. These were made up of music, oratory, and reminiscences. Later in
the period of overseas life, contact was had with the Entertainment Section of
the A. E. F. and troupes were assigned to the Masonic clubs just as they were
to the huts and other places of troop meetings.
Later we also organized the work of the clubs in several of the
bases so as to have the presence of the American girls working in the several
welfare organizations. Thus an element of the home life proved invaluable. At
these special social meetings dances and other forms of entertainment
prevailed. One thing was by common consent observed and that was the deposit
of military titles as we entered the door. It was unique in the American Army
to hear a buck private greet a Brigadier General as “Brother Smith.” It was
even more illuminating as to the democracy of Masonry to see that aforesaid
buck private tag an officer of high rank in a “Paul Jones” and sail away with
the fair prize. I really think for the first time we understood why this
American custom was called “Paul Jones.” When our French guests beheld it for
the first time they were amazed. For in their country it meant the height of
rudeness to part a couple in the midst of the dance.
At every regular meeting of a club much attention was given
“for the good of the order.” The sick, the distressed, those who were
staggering under burdens imposed by the war, such received our attention.
Flowers were sent to the sick in the hospitals, and laid upon the caskets of
the dead. Masonic emblems were placed on the graves. The cases of Masonic
soldiers were investigated and their desires forwarded so far as military
custom would permit. We ministered to the dead in several ways. In all parts
of our overseas army brethren who died were laid to rest by Masons. Though we
could not use the formal ceremonials, yet we employed ceremonies understood by
the Craft. One of many incidents comes to my mind. A Richmond, Virginia,
brother had died in the camp in which the writer served as Camp Chaplain. At
once there arose in the minds of the club the thought that he might be laid
away Masonically. A regiment was in camp whose Chaplain had at one time been
Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. I refer to that prince of
men, Captain Charles Dubell, of the Episcopal Church. I trust his many friends
may read this and let him know of my humble tribute to his merits. Brother
Chaplain Dubell chose for his pallbearers soldiers who were Masons. The
officer who commanded the detail of troops was a Mason. In fact every man who
had anything to do with the funeral was a Mason, and improvising with his
inimitable skill, Brother Chaplain Dubell committed this brother to the bosom
of mother earth with words which were understood to every Master Mason
present. The writer had occasion to bury a Surgeon, the head of one of the
Indiana Hospital Units at St. Nazaire, and in the sight of many soldiers, he
laid away the brother, having as Wardens two Jewish brethren, and improvising
much of the burial ritual of our Craft. One of these Wardens by the way was a
Captain and the other a Sergeant.
Opportunities also came frequently to forward the interests of
brethren who were sick or wounded. An officer, a member of an Illinois lodge,
lay with his hip encased in a plaster cast. He was headed back to America and
indications were unfavorable for his recovery. Ascertaining that he was aboard
the hospital ship I secured a pass, boarded the ship, and entered the hospital
bay. There, as they loosed the cables that held the ship to France, we placed
our arms about this brother and whispered in his ears words of cheer and
fellowship. And before we were able to leave the ship in the lower harbor, we
sought the ship's surgeon, found him one of our number, and said good-bye with
the assurance that our brother who lay in weakness would receive princely
care. Later correspondence establishes the fact that this occurred.
During most of this time the several clubs were self-upporting.
When you consider that the “free money” possessed by the average doughboy per
month was $5 or $6, and that he paid 25 cents a week dues and an assessment of
25 cents whenever flowers were to be ordered, you can measure faintly the hold
Masonry had on its membership overseas. But a new period came with the arrival
of the Overseas Commission headed by Justice Scudder and Merwin E. Lay
representing the Grand Lodges, and of Charles Connery, representing the
southern jurisdiction Scottish Rite. These separate commissions established
headquarters in Paris, under the same roof. They worked in harmony and opened
club rooms which were used by scores of the brethren sojourning in Paris or
passing through that city. They endeavored to secure a list of the older clubs
which had been formed throughout the A. E. F. and I believe they have a large
list of the clubs. It would be well for members of the many A. E. F. Masonic
clubs to forward their club names, locations, and further information to THE
BUILDER to be added to the list.
These Commissions found many of the older clubs to be heavily
in debt. This grew out of the fact that these older clubs at the old ports of
entry were now the centers of the movement of troops homeward. By this time,
the spring of 1919, the Masons were becoming aware of the worth of their clubs
and they availed themselves of them at the ports of embarkation. Thus
Bordeaux, St. Nazaire, and Brest faced serious deficits in their treasuries.
The Commissions as soon as they discovered this condition forwarded moneys and
erased the indebtedness. Moreover they financed the establishment of
secretaries over these clubs at the ports of embarkation. Secretary Witte at
Brest, and Secretary Huntley at St. Nazaire were two of the number. They were
in the uniform of the Y.M.C.A. but were supported entirely by the Masonic
These army clubs proved to be the breeders of friendships that
have spread clear across the American continent. The brethten who met amid the
shock of battle, who served in the back areas, and who endured that long
strain when all hearts turned homeward and all feet marked time, and who
sailed the Atlantic toward the civilian life; all these cemented friendships
which today are ripening into the richest of experiences. My own most pleasant
memories cluster around hundreds of these Masonic friendships and I am sure
that scores from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Gulf to Canada will
recall those days we spent together when they see my name at the head of this
The Masonic itch to create side degrees appeared everywhere at
home and abroad. Numerous mushroom degrees appeared, to flourish for a day in
some one locality and then fall asleep. The Order of the Frog was one which
the writer helped to exemplify. Amid this transient growth, there emerged one
degree which will remain as the flower of American Masonry in France. It
originated in the aviation camps at Ramorattin, in the brain of secretary
Charles Huntley, of Schnectady, N. Y. Its beauty and the potential power in
its imagery were so apparent that it was impossible to hold it within the
bounds of the one camp. Thus it slowly spread to neighboring camps. It is
called the “S. O. L.” Degree. Its similarity to our army “hardluck” slang
proved a little unsatisfactory. But since these letters have no connection
with the army slang, the name will doubtless prevail permanently.
Unfortunately most of the troops had begun to return home before the worth of
this degree was recognized. It was when the Commissions at Paris saw its value
and financed the project of sending Brother Huntley to the various military
centers to impart it, that it began to grow in numbers. The degree is purely
military. Its one lesson is exalted patriotism. It is Masonry militant. It can
be obtained only by Master Masons who served overseas. Also by any overseas
soldier who becomes a Master Mason, and by the sons of any former overseas
Mason. Thousands have received it, the number being now probably between 5,000
and 10,000. It would be worth while for any brother eligible to receive it to
correspond with Brother Charles Huntley, Schenectady, N.Y., who is the
Adjutant General of the Grand Dugout of America. The writer provided the 6
ritual and administered the degree to 400 in Brest in August of 1919, in the
space of two afternoons and evenings. And literally hundreds of others were
asking for the degree when the writer sailed with his ritual.
Masonry thus touched the soldier life on every side. It gave
him entertainment; it furnished him friendships; it ministered to him when
sick, and laid him away when he died; it spread its arms about him so that
space and time lost their meaning to him; it has perpetuated itself on the
tablets of a thousand hearts. The emblem of the Square and Compasses for the
soldier of yesterday has become today the symbol of a brotherhood that is
invincible, true, glorious, eternal.
G. A. NANCARROW, INDIANA
O keep me
striving after Thee, my God,
I ask no
lighter way to tread;
not flowers but e'en the rod,
my soul on hunger's bread.
would grow to Thee in nature's part;
Not at a
bound to scale the heights
the hungerings of my heart
to Thee through days and nights.
To win to
Thee though eons intervene,
shall labor through the dust
thousand groping lives which lie between-
for Thou hast said I must.
grants Liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and
defend it. - Webster.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 47
Bro. H. L. Haywood
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the
references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be
worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the
Course with the papers by Brother Haywood.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided,
as is shown below:
I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood, who is following
the foregoing outline. We are now in “First Steps” of Ceremonial Masonry.
There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. On page
two, preceding each installment, will be given a list of questions to be used
by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out
every point touched upon in the paper.
possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from
other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered
by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as
supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the
monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise
possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be
monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done
the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in
advance of the meetings and the brethren who are members of the National
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions
after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately preceding each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper
and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new
points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to
different brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or
when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
should select a “Research Committee” preferably of three “live” members. The
study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the
lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given
to the study period.
lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee
should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All
members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should
be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of
Brother Haywood's paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental
(Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the lodge should
make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the
discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in
elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the
opening of the study period.)
Discussion of the above.
subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers
should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner. 4.
“QUESTION BOX” THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
questions from any and all brethren present. Let them understand that these
meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of
asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will
suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually
covered at all in the paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no
one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have
will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact
we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be
able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great
Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of
the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal
on any query raised by any member of the Society.
foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their lodge
study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and
communications from interested brethren concerning any phase of the plan that
is not entirely clear to them, and the Services of our Study Club Department
are at the command of our members, lodge and study club committees at all
ON “THE EMBLEMS”
the monitorial lecture on “The Hour Glass.”
manner was the Hour Glass symbol commonly used by operative Masons? Is the
emblem a modern one? How was it used in funeral ceremonies in early days? What
is the lesson we should learn from this emblem?
the monitorial lecture on the “Scythe.”
any answers to the questions asked by Brother Haywood in this section of his
the ritualistic lecture on these emblems.
the First degree symbolize? The Second? What does the drama of the Third
degree symbolize? Did you realize the significance of the Hiramic Legend the
night you were raised? Was its meaning entirely clear to you at that time, or
did you have to study it out later?
BUILDER: Vol. IV. - Acacia, p. 323; Hour Glass, p. 325; Scythe, p. 325;
Setting Maul, p. 323. Mackey's Encyclopedia Acacia, p. 7; Hour Glass, p.
337; Scythe, p. 674, etc.
STEPS BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART IX -
THE EMBLEMS - CONCLUDED
WRITING of Masons' Marks, Brother Gould notes that one of the commonest has
ever been the figure of an Hour Glass. “The Hour Glass form, very slightly
modified, has been used in every age down to the present and in almost every
country. According to some good authorities, it was a custom (at the period
immediately preceding the era of Grand Lodges) to inter an Hour Glass with the
dead, as an emblem of the sands of life having run out.” What could more
clearly prove the hold which this simple eloquent symbol has ever had on the
imagination of man? “The sands of life! they are swiftly running away. Be up,
mortal, and about your task. Soon the night cometh when no man can work. In
the grave man will seek him out no more inventions; what you do you must do
while it is still called Today!” Such is the message of the Hour Glass, too
simple to need any interpreter. He who has learned how to transform time into
life, how to make the years leave behind them that which perishes not, who
lives the Eternal Life in the midst of time - such a one has learned the
lesson of the Glass.
hour Glass is the symbol of the fleetingness of a mortal life in which all do
fade as doth the leaf, in which the sands are ever running out, the Scythe is
the figure of Time which is itself that stream in which the sands are borne
along. Time! What a mighty theme! The libraries of the world could not hold
the books that might be written about this eternally fascinating, eternally
elusive mystery! least of all would it be possible in a page or two to capture
its secret, so infinite are the suggestions of one small symbol in Masonry's
House of Doctrine.
ever with us, flowing through our minds as the blood courses through our
veins, yet does it mystify us; and the more thinking we do, the more
mysterious does it become. We divide it into Past, Present, and Future, but
what is the Past? has it ceased to exist? If so, why does it continue to
influence us; if it continues to exist why do we call it the Past? What is the
Future? Is it something already made, awaiting us Out There as the land waits
for its explorer? What is the Present? We feel that it exists said “Now” it is
still future; the moment I have said it, it belongs to the past. How can one's
mind lay hold of that which is always becoming but never is? If one's mind can
not apprehend it how can it be said to exist? It is such puzzles as these that
have led our most opulent minds to despair of ever surprising its secret from
Nevertheless, Time is here, a part of the scheme of things, for good or for
bad; indeed, it seems to be the very stuff of life itself, as Bergson has
shown so convincingly in his “Creative Evolution.” Existence itself is a
process of duration and man begins to die the moment he is born.
stately solemn words of the Lecture, offered in elucidation of the symbol,
leaves the mind saddened, and weighted, with a sense of the frailty, or even
futility, of life. Wm. Morris, who is in so many ways the poet of the
Builder, felt in the same way about it. All through his pages one feels its
presence like a shadow, against which life's little events become etched into
brighter relief, so that the little amenities of the day became all the dearer
in that they flutter so fragilely over the abyss of eternity, all the more
precious because “the sweet days die.” But there is no need that we be
shadowed by the sadness-sweetness of this melancholy. Time is a part of the
scheme of things, it is the very form of life, so that he who accepts life
must also accept Time and look upon it as friend and ally rather than enemy.
Time helps to solve our problems, assuages our griefs, and always does it
carry us farther into the strange advantages of existence. The most
triumphant minds have trusted themselves to it, as a child to its mother,
learning how to transform it into ever richer life, not lamenting the past,
nor impatient for the future, but living in an Eternal Now which must be such
Time as heaven knows. “Man postpones or remembers,” complains Emerson; “he
does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or,
heedless of the riches which surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the
future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with Nature in the
present above time!
souls live many an eon in Man's brief years,- To him who dreads no spite of
Fate or Chance, Yet loves the Earth, and Man, and starry spheres, Life's
swiftness is the pulse of life's romance; And,when the footsteps fall of
Death's advance He hears the feet; he quails not, but he hears.”
above all things fitting that the ritual which began with the candidate's
birth into the world of the lodge should end by bringing him to that death
which is but a larger birth into the Grand Lodge above; thus does our sublime
symbolism, like the sky, gather all things into its embrace and overarch the
end as well as the beginning. So also is it fitting that the ritual throws
about the instruments and trappings of the grave the memories of the slain
Master, thus reminding us that death may be transfigured by a great soul into
a paean and a triumph.
To die is
as natural as to be born. Death is no interloper in the universe, but one
with its laws and its life; in truth, it is itself the friend and servant of
life in that it keeps fresh the stream and removes the out-worn and the old
“lest one good custom should corrupt the world.” The very act of death proves
this, for, however much we shrink from its approach, we yield peacefully to it
when it comes. Of this all our physicians testify, as witness these words
from one of the noblest of them, Dr. Osler:
careful notes of about five hundred death-beds, studied particularly with
reference to the modes of death and the sensations of the dying. Ninety
suffered bodily pain or distress of one sort or another; eleven showed mental
apprehension; two positive terror; one expressed spiritual exaltation; one
bitter remorse. The great majority gave no sign one way or another; like
their birth their death was a sleep and a forgetting.”
as it is, death will ever remain solemn, and even sad, not only because of
what comes after, or “because of the body's masterful negation,” but because,
as the Lecture reminds us, the day of death is a kind of judgment day, for it
brings to an end and sets a lasting seal upon, the life of a man. The world
with its problems, its imperious needs, its gray tragedies, and ancient
heart-breaks, is left behind; the man's career is ended, and the influences of
his life, the harvest of his deeds - all these are now taken from his control.
What he has done he has done, and death places it beyond his changing.
Surely, it must be an awful thing for a human being to realize at the last
that, so far as he has been concerned, there is less happiness, less love,
less kindliness and honour among men than before he entered life. To so live
in the midst of this mystery-haunted world, to so work among the winged days
that little children may be happier, youth more joyous, manhood more clean,
and old age less lonely; to so live that men will hate less and love more, be
honourable in public dealings as in private acts, create more than destroy; to
so live that the great Kingdom of Brotherhood may be brought near and man be
bound closer to man, and woman closer to woman; that it is to be a Mason!
SERIES OF STUDY CLUB ARTICLES TO BEGIN IN THE APRIL ISSUE
With this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin is
concluded Subdivision E of Division I of the Main Outline of the Bulletin
Course of Masonic Study, “Third Steps.”
In the April issue we shall publish the first instalment of a
new series of articles on “Philosophical Masonry,” or, in plain words, “The
Teachings of Masonry.” It has been found necessary to deviate somewhat from
the plan of the Main Outline as originally laid out for the reason that early
in 1918, after having published a number of papers by Brother Clegg, it was
found that a series of articles on the three degrees had just been completed
by Brother Haywood who had written them with the intention of having them
published in book form. These articles proved to be just what we needed to
cover Subdivisions C, D and E of Division I of the Main Outline of the Course
of Study, and arrangements were accordingly entered into with Brother Haywood
for their use.
It developed in this series Brother liaywood had covered not
only “Ceremonial Masonry,” but also “Symbolical Masonry,” thus combining
Divisions I and II of our Main Outline. It is for this reason that the Outline
has been re-arranged and we are taking up the study of “Philosophical
The introductory article of the new series, which appears next
month, will give the reasons for such a series in explanation of what “the
teachings of Masonry” mean, and tell us how we may each of us arrive at our
own “Philosophy of Masonry.”
What is Freemasonryt What is its function in the world? What is
it trying to do? How did it come to be? What is it like as a whole? Such are
the questions to be answered by such a course as this.
To understand his Fraternity the Mason himself needs to know it
in its general principles, fundamental ideas, etc.
There is no authorized interpretation of Masonry - it is the
duty of each Mason to think it out for himself. “Thinking Masonry out” - this
is to make for one's self a “Philosophy of Masonry.” Each of us requires the
help of a Philosophy of Masonry in order to do this.
Masonry is a world-wide institution, centuries old, which is as
complex as a civilization. In order to find one's own proper place, one should
know the Fraternity's own life and development as a whole.
Masonry is an international organization which annually costs
the world nobody knows how many millions in men, money and effort. To justify
such a society and such an expenditure, is one of the purposes of a Philosophy
How can one arrive at his own “Philosophy of Masonry?”
He can study its development through the past, plot the curve
of its tendencies, and thereby learn what it has Factually been doing.
There is a great deal in the various activities of the Order -
speeches, books, study clubs, etc. - which appeals directly to the mind. The
philosopher of Masonry can study these activities as they actually are.
Masonry revolves about a few great ideas. These are eadly got
at and must be studied with care.
Problems of human society at large can be Sstudied from
Masonry's point of view - this is one way of arriving at
Philosophy of Masonry.
We can study the works of Masonic philosophers in the past:
Oliver, Preston, Pike, etc.; and in the present: Waite, Pound, and others.
One may study the monitorial interpretations, and lectures in
the various degrees. The ritual as it now stands is to!a certain extent
Such are the points to be covered by Brother Haywood in this
new series of articles.
As heretofore, supplemental references to articles in back
numbers of THE BUILDER and in Mackey's Encyclopaedia will be given prefacing
each of Brother Haywood's papers to enable the members of lodges and study
clubs to prepare additional papers on the subjects covered monthly by Brother
Hnywood, and this new series will have just as much, if not more, interest to
every Master Mason as those that have already been published in the study
SOCIETIES IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
STATEMENT is made very frequently both in the Roman Catholic press and from
the pulpit that members of that faith are not permitted by their church or
papal decree to become members of any secret society whatever may be their
constitution or however harmless their character. In accordance with such
interpretation of Roman Catholic jurisprudence, consistent Catholics refrain
from associating themselves with the Masonic Order, and also from such
organizations as Druidism, Forestry, Buffaloism, Ancient Britons, and the
like. The Roman Catholic statement, however, demands qualification, for the
prohibition applies only to societies not under the jurisdiction or government
or oversight of the Roman Catholic clergy. For there are affiliated to the
Church in all parts of the world certain societies to which only Roman
Catholics may belong, which have certain forms of initiation or admission,
which meet behind closed doors, their minutes of proceedings not being
published; some of which, moreover, engage in revolutionary propaganda, which
constitutional acts are inhibited by Masonic Constitutions.
the most famous and active of these societies at the present day is that known
as the Knights of Columbus, which, as a body, has recently recognized
officially the existence of an Irish republic, with Eamon de Valera as its
president, and which has passed resolutions urging the United States Senate
and House of Representatives to do the same without delay. The object
underlying such resolution is apparent. It is well recognized that were the
Senate and House of Representatives to do any such thing, there would, at
once, be an open break in the diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom
and the United States, which might, and not improbably, result in another
outbreak of war. The Knights of Columbus, which is a very powerful
organization, limited in membership to Roman Catholics, has been, not inaptly,
described as the Pope's most powerful secret society in America; yet we do not
read that this resolution has received papal condemnation or disapproval, so
that it may quite fairly be assumed that it has the papal sanction. There is
ample proof in many published statements that the members of this society work
under clerical direction: the following quotation will suffice. In 1916,
Archbishop Munderlin, in an address to the Knights of Columbus, as reported in
the Chicago Evening American of 9th March, 1916, said: “I will expect you to
be ready. I am your leader, your thinker, and your director. I will tell you
what to do and will expect you to do it. I need you men. Never differ from
your bishop. He thinks for you.”
in Ireland, America, and other counties, another society of a similar
character. It is known as the Order of Hibernians, and it is a continuation of
the famous Ribbon Society, which was prominent in Irish life some years ago.
These Ribbonmen appeared in the early part of the nineteenth century, after
the suppression of the rebellion in 1798, and was formed from among the
surviving members of the United Irishmen, Whiteboys and Defenders, all of whom
took an oath “to burn, destroy, and murder all heretics up to my knees in
blood.” Each Ribbonman took an oath (see Report of Select Committee on the
State of Ireland, 1832) in the following words: “I swear I will to the best of
my power cut down kings, queens, and princes, dukes, lords, earls, and all
such, with land-jobbing and heresy. I swear I will never pity the moans and
groans of the dying from the cradle to the crutch, and that I will wade knee
deep in Orange blood.” All these societies were under the direction and
control of the Catholic clergy, confined in their membership to Roman
Catholics, and among their objects were to assist Roman Catholicism and the
visionary idea of Ireland as an independent nation. The system did not
receive the support of all Irish Catholics. Mr. A. M. Sullivan, his work, New
Ireland, (seventh edition, pp. 41 and 42) says:
alas! when one comes to review the actual results of the Ribbon system in
Ireland - to survey its bloody work throughout those fifty years - how
frightful is the prospect? It has been said. and probably with some truth,
that it has been too much the habit to attribute erroneously to the Ribbon
organization every atrocity committed in the country, every deed of blood
arising out of agrarian combination or conspiracy. An emphatic denial. and
challenge to proofs, have been given to stories of midnight trials and
sentences of death at lodge meetings. Very possibly the records of lodge
meetings afford no such proof, though there is abundant evidence that at such
assemblages threatening notices and warnings were ordered to be served and
domiciliary visits for terrorising purposes were decreed. But vain is all
pretence that the Ribbon Society did not become, whatever the original design
and intention of its members may have been, a hideous organization of outrage
and murder. It is one of the inherent evils of oath-bound secret societies of
this kind, where implicit obedience to secret superiors is sworn, that they
may very easily and quickly drop to the lowest level of demoralisation, and
become associations for the wreaking of mere personal vengeance.”
concluding paragraph of the chapter devoted by Mr. A.M. Sullivan to “The
Ribbon Conspiracy' (it must be remembered that Mr. Sullivan was a Roman
Catholic and a Nationalist), he says:
1835 to 1855 the Ribbon organization was at its greatest strength. For the
last fifteen or twenty years” (he wrote in 1877) “it has been gradually
disappearing from the greater part of Ireland, yet, strange to say, betimes
intensifying, in a baser and more malignant form than ever, in one or two
localities. With the emigration of the labouring classes it was carried
abroad, to England and to America. At one time the most formidable lodges were
in Lancashire, whither, it is said, the headquarters were removed for safety.”
America the society became known under various names, such as the “Molly
Maguires,” “Buckshots,” etc., and there are some interesting details
concerning its machinations and iniquities to be read in E. W. Lucy's book,
The Moly Maguires, particularly the sworn evidences of Detective McParlan.
Membership was confined to Roman Catholics of Irish birth or parentage. At
the time in its history of which Lucy wrote, it had an elaborate organization,
each lodge consisting of a president or body-master, together with a vice
body-master, secretary, assistant secretary, and treasurer, making five
officers at the head of each lodge. Then there were higher bodies, which had
each a county delegate, county secretary, and county treasurer, who were
assisted by a county committee. Above these were state officers, consisting
of state delegate, state secretary, and state treasurer; while, above these
again, were national organizations, consisting each of national delegate,
national secretary, national treasurer, and president of the Board. But the
over-ruling body was known as the Board of Erin, which consisted of
representatives from England, Ireland, and Scotland, which met at various
intervals, in one or other of the three countries. The members of the main
body were known to each other by signs and pass-words, or sentences, which
were issued by the Board of Erin and changed four times in the year. Some of
these are given in Lucy's book. One ran:
Emperor of France and Don Carlos of Spain, They unite together and the Pope's
tenant right in Ireland flourish, If the people unite and the landlords
trouble of the country may soon be at an end,
the answer was given:
likewise the man who will not her defend.
Beaconsfield's time, the greeting between members was:
you think of Disraeli's plan, Who still keeps Home Rule from our native land?
answer to which was:
with good words and men at command We will give long-lost rights to our native
part of 1875 the greeting was changed to:
Gladstone's policy must be put down, He is the main support of the British
crown; to which the fellow-member made reply:
Catholic lords will not support his plan, For true to their Church they will
Carleton, in his interesting novel, The Tithe Procter, a novel, be it
remembered, founded absolutely on fact, proof of which is given by him in the
preface, and a novel which deals entirely with the machinations of a secret
society, the membership of which was limited to Roman Catholics, says:
condition of all secret and illegal societies in Ireland is, indeed, shocking
and most detestable, when contemplated from any point of view whatsoever. In
every one of them - that is, in every local, body, or branch of that
conspiracy - there is a darker and more secret class, comparatively few in
number, who undertake to organize the commission of crimes and outrages; and
who, in cases where they are controlled by the peaceably-disposed and enemies
to bloodshed, always fall back upon this private and blood-stained clique, who
are always willing to execute their sanguinary behests, as it were, con
amore. In other cases, however, as we have stated before, even the virtuous
and reluctant are often compelled, by the dark and stem decrees of these
desperate ruffians, to perpetrate crimes from which they revolt.”
important secret society, from the Roman Catholic point of view, is that great
and wonderful organization, the Society of Jesus, better known, perhaps, as
the Jesuits. It consists, not only of the clergy, and of these there are two
classes, professed and unprofessed, but also of various branches of lay
associations and societies. There are also various sodalities, meeting
ostensibly for devotional practices and religious purposes, but which meet in
secret conclave, initiated members only being admitted. The most important of
these latter is that known as the Prima Premaria. This society was founded in
1563, and established canonically in 1584, by a Bull issued by Gregory XIII,
and which bas attached to it a number of branches in all parts of the world.
The suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, says Waterton, in Pietas
Mariana Britannica, “did not affect the Prima Premaria, for the ex-members who
continued under the name of the English Academy, kept up the sodality until
they were driven out of Liege in 1794, in which year they came to England and
established themselves at Stonyhurst. Consequently, the Stonyhurst sodality,
tracing an unbroken descent from the year 1617, is, perhaps, the oldest
existing branch in the world of the Prima Primaria.” In December, 1857, a
branch was founded at the well-known London Jesuit church in Farm Street,
Berkeley Square, W, “for gentlemen only.” One of its rules is that “only those
are to be admitted into the congregation who are in a respectable position in
life and with some pretensions to a literary education.” Another runs: “Upon
sodalists, moreover, it is enjoined that they should always obey, with a
prompt and ready will, the counsels and commands of their directors.” Yet
another says: “The immediate superior of the congregation of the Prima
Primaria, by virtue of the Apostolic Constitution, is the Father General of
the Society of Jesus. To him consequently belongs the government of the
Congregation: it is in his power to make laws; revoke or modify them, since
everything depends on his authority.” Another rule given in the Manual for the
use of Sodalities affiliated to the Prima Primaria tells us that “those are
excluded from the congregation who suffer from epileptic fits, or are
physically or accidentally deformed.”
society, also closely connected with the Jesuits, is that known as the “Holy
League of the Heart of Jesus,” all members of which have to make the following
solemn promise: “Freemasonry and all other secret societies having been
condemned by the infallible voice and authority of the Vicar of Christ. I . .
. . obedient to that authority, solemnly resolve and engage never to belong to
any such secret association, under whatever name it may be called; but, on the
contrary, to oppose to the utmost of my power, their influence, their
teaching, and their acts. Amen.”
obligation is elaborated in the Handbook of the League, where part of the
constitutions is set out as follows:
reverend directors, our promoters and associates, will understand the motives
which should prompt the Director General of the Holy League to issue the
following instructions: In order the more thoroughly to enter into the
intention of the Holy Father expressed in the teaching of the late Encyclical
Letter, Humanum Genus, (directed against Freemasonry), we earnestly beg of all
our Directors, both diocesan and local, to require in all receptions of
associates of either sex to the Holy League, and, in the case of our
promoters, as a necessary condition, the promise never to enter into any
secret society, and not to give encouragement or help to any of them.”
not, perhaps, be known generally that some of the branches of the Children of
Mary, the members of which form an attractive and striking figure in many
open-air Roman Catholic processions, now so frequent in the summer months, are
branches of the Prima Primaria, erected by a diploma of the General of the
Society of Jesus, and enjoy all privileges of indulgence attached to it in
common with all other sodalists. A distinction, says Waterton, must,
therefore, be made between the Children of Mary, or lady sodalists, who are
affiliated to the Prima Primaxia, and those local or convental fraternities,
known by the same name.
Pope Pius IX organized the “Militia of Jesus Christ,” a Catholic Crusaders
association, which had as its third aim: “to array against the powerful
organization of the secret societies leagued against the Lord, and His own
innumerable army of devoted Catholics, ready to fight in open day, with all
the means at its power, those who work in secret and in darkness.” It is
unnecessary to point out that the objects of the attack were not the Jesuits
and other Roman Catholic secret societies, who, undoubtedly, correspond
thoroughly to the description given. According to a correspondent of the
Daily News this Militia numbered more than a million members, principally in
France and Belgium, within a very short time of its formation.
Memoirs of Saint-Simon (Volume III, p. 268, 1902 ed.), we are told that “the
Jesuits constantly admit the laity, even married, into their company. The
fact is certain. There is no doubt that Des Noyers, secretary of state under
Louis XIII, was of this number, and that many others have been so too. These
licentiates make the same vow as the Jesuits, so far as their condition
admits: that is, unrestricted obedience to the General, and to the superiors
of the Company. They are obliged to comply with the vows of poverty and
chastity by promising to give all the service and all the protection in their
power to the Company; above all, to be entirely submissive to the superiors
and to their confessor. They are obliged to perform with exactitude such light
exercises of piety as their confessor may have adapted to the circumstances of
their lives, and that he simplifies as much as he likes. It answers the
purposes of the Company to ensure to itself those hidden auxiliaries. But
nothing must pass through their minds, nothing must come to their knowledge
that they do not reveal to their confessor, and to the superiors, if the
confessor thinks fit. In everything, too, they must obey, without comment the
superior and the confessor.” This, of course, is in accordance with the
enormous claims made by the Church of Rome, not only to be the administrator
of the laws of God, but also to be empowered to make fresh laws, which must be
obeyed with equal rigidity, under penalties and punishments. This claim is
well set forth by the Rev. Edmund J. O'Reilly, S. J., in his book, The
Relations of the Church to Society, wherein he says: “The Church's
jurisdiction, like that of any State, comprises legislative an executive
powers. The Church not only administers divine laws, but makes laws herself.
Some of them are in great measure identified with her administrate of divine
law. She imposes on her subjects the obligation of receiving her declarations
of faith, and, more less, under ecclesiastical penalties. But, besides doing
this, she imposes other obligations in connection with faith and morals. She
commands and forbids acts that are not already respectively commanded or
forbidden by God. All this she does for the better attainment of her end,
which is the salvation of souls. These laws of the Church are human laws,
enacted in virtue of authority received from God, but still human laws, liable
to abrogation, mortification, and dispensation, where circumstances may so
require or render expedient.”
AWAKENING IN MASONRY
It is quality and not quantity that Masonry seeks in her
membership and we are not at all interested in acquiring members unless they
shall be, or appear likely to become, Masons in fact as well as in name.
I have the courage to believe from my observation throughout
the state, and my correspondence with other jurisdictions, that a greater and
more vital interest is being taken in what Masonry stands for than ever
before, but whether or not that awakening of interest in vital topics is a
by-product or in any sense due to the war conditions, is not really important.
The salient thing is that there is this awakening of interest, and it is most
decidedly a feature which must be taken into account in our calculations, and
as we recognize the fact, we realize that more and more it is true that the
eyes of the world are upon us, and that our responsibility is correspondingly
If we can once get the great mass of the brotherhood to realize
that there is nothing more important than the recognition of the common bonds
of humanity, that the doctrine of brotherhood means in very fact just what it
says, that we are all descendants of one Almighty Father, that we are linked
together in fact as well as in name, by an indissoluble tie of sincere
affection, I venture the prediction that we will see the Masonic order take
its rightful place as a dynamic force in the nation, and in the life of the
people, and that it will command recognition not alone for its professions,
not alone for the beauty of its doctrines, but deservedly for its solid,
practical accomplishment in all constructive policies and endeavors for the
uplift and unity
of humanity. - P.G.M. Webster, California.
“Alas, a Gospel of Brotherhood, not according to any of the
Four old Evangelists, calling on men to amend each his own wicked existence,
but a Gospel rather according to a new Fifth Evangelist, calling on men to
amend each the whole world's wicked existence, and be saved by making a
Constitution.” - Carlyle, The French Revolution.
THE WORLD will never be better than the men who inhabit it.
Everything begins and ends with the individual. One man living a Brotherly
Life is worth a thousand lectures on Brotherhood. Men can make many things by
wholesale, but great souls, faithful and generous hearts are made one by one.
Commonplaces ! it will be said. Even so. Bread, meat, sunlight, night and day
are commonplace, but by such things men live. The trouble is that we fly so
high that we overlook what is near by, building air-castles without
foundation. Freemasonry is the realization of God and the practice of
brotherhood, and it must begin with each of us in his own life.
Once for all the Great Brother of Galilee set forth this fact
with unforgettable vividness in a story that one can read in two minutes. He
told of “a certain man,” - it might be any man of any race who went down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, and was set upon by thieves who robbed him, beat him,
and left him half dead. One can see the hard faces of the robbers silhouetted
against the rocks - low-browed, dark-faced, with cruelty in their eyes - the
plagues of society, desperadoes by calling, murderers by vocation.
There are the Priest and the Levite who journey that way,
passing by the man in his distress. They are not hypocrites; they are simply
men who separate religion from human service, as most men do. They tried to
unite devotion to God with contempt of the need of mankind. They thought God
lived in the Temple, listening to songs and prayers, not knowing that He is
out on the highways of life where men faint and fall. It is the old atheism
which divides piety from humanity, and thinks of religion as a sweet, dreamy
emotion, rather than a matter of practical service.
There is the Samaritan - a heretic, an outcast, - with divine
instincts, quick and keen sympathies, responsive to human need, asking no
questions, but doing the thing that needed to be done. There is the innkeeper,
kindly but business-like, glad to welcome the man who has been unfortunate,
but glad also to have a paying guest, and happy to be assured that everything
will be settled on business principles. It is an immortal picture of our human
society, and in the living wisdom of the world there is nothing to surpass it
alike in vividness and comprehensiveness.
The medicine for the sickness of the world, the way out of the
blind alley into which it has run, the hope of a better day of justice and
goodwill, lies in the actual practice of brotherliness between man and man.
Nothing can take the place of it. There is no substitute for it. No plan, no
scheme, no programme for a better world order is worth the paper it is written
on, without men of the brotherly spirit. Whoso lives the brotherly life,
however obscure he may be, does more for the world than all the orators.
Professions of Brotherhood in a Masonic lodge are of no more value than
professions of religion in a church - unless they are acted upon.
Such words need to be said again and again, each man to
himself, if only to keep alive the sense of solemn and high responsibility in
our own hearts. No one may shirk this matter, or shift it to another, without
weakening the basis of society and making all holy things less secure. The
Samaritan did not report the case of the man by the roadside to the Society
for the Relief of the Distressed. He got down off his donkey, picked the man
up, and took care of him. He did not denounce the Priest and Levite. He saw it
as his duty, did it, and went on about his business.
But let us go a little further. Some one has said that it is
easier to give five dollars to a begger than it is to forgive a man who rides
his logic ruthlessly over our pet prejudices. It is easier to help a man who
is down - whether by his own folly or the fault of another - than to give a
square deal to one who is in the race with us for the prizes of life.
Philanthropy is one thing; justice is another. In time of dire need men want
charity; justice they want all the time. The ancient prophet had the true
order of things when he told us what is required of us: “To do justly, to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Here is the idea in a very striking,
searching poem by Ina Coolbirth:
to which I hasten with swift feet-
within my grasp,
and joy to clasp,
there one whose body I must make
footstool for that sake,
ever and for evermore denied,
to turn aside!
“The principal intention of forming societies is undoubtedly
the uniting men in the stricter bands of love; for men, considered as social
creatures, must derive their happiness from each other; every man being
designed by Providence to promote the good of others, as he tenders his own
advantage; and by that intercourse to secure their good offices, by being, as
occasion may offer, serviceable to them.”
Brockwell, A Charge to Masons, 1749.
Masonry is organized brotherhood. Because fellowship is a
source both of joy and of power, because we can do together what we could
never do alone, men are drawn together and joined together in a great
fraternityj the better to promote the principle and practice of brotherhood in
their own lives and in the life of the world. Such an order of men, ancient,
universal, beneficent - made up of select men trained and sworn to help make
righteousness prevail - is a prophecy of that spirit, that tendency, that tie
which at last
bind each heart and nation
grand brotherhood of men
Masonic philanthropy is an honor and an ornament to the Craft.
It does the work of the Good Samaritan, taking care of the widow, the orphan,
the aged and infirm with a munificence as beautiful as it is gracious.
Besides, in ways innumerable and untraceable the spirit of Masonry mitigates
the hard lot of many outside the order. Only the art of an angel could record
the ways in which Masons help one another, showing a brotherliness truly
practical in sickness and in difficulty. Wrought in secret, under cover of
Masonic silence, only a tiny part of this untiring ministry is known to the
world - and that is as it should be.
Unfortunately the thieves who robbed the man on the road to
Jericho escaped. Nothing more is said about them in the parable. No doubt they
robbed other travellers. Here is one of the dark problems of the world,
weaving a shadowy fringe on the borders of human society. The Good Samaritan
did not remove the cause of the misery he helped to heal. He could not do it
alone. Hence the necessity of organized fraternity, that together we may clean
out the den of thieves, and make the highways of the world safe for all who
travel on lawful avocations. The State, in any great conception of it, is an
organized brotherhood, and Masonry labors unceasingly to inculcate that idea.
An unworthy citizen cannot be a good Mason.
Masonry is organized patriotism. Neither a political party nor
a religious sect, it none the less stands for just laws and the spirit of
loyalty and co-operation without which the state cannot be stable and
effective. Patriotism is the translation of private faith and individual
righteousness into terms of public virtue and social service. Nothing less
than this is worthy of the name. The crying need of today is to extend the
spirit and principles of Masonry to the whole life and transactions of mankind
- and this must begin by extending them to all the transactions of Masons. The
failure to do this accounts for the deficit between private morality and
public morality. Men as a group, as a party, as a corporation will do what not
one of them would do as an individual. The responsibility is distributed until
it evaporates; and so we have a public and corporate life which is a reproach
to the character of the community. When we are truly patriotic this will not
Practical brotherhood, if it has any meaning at all, means that
all men, regardless of race, rank, or creed, shall have an opportunity to live
and to live well - that even the humblest child, to the measure of its
capacity, shall be admitted to the full inheritance of humanity. It will not
merely be friendly to, but will help forward every wise effort in behalf of a
full, free, happy, useful life for all classes, and will seek to organize
civilization to that end. Masonry, in its organized capacity, may not
formulate or support definite political and social programs; but it will
create and cultivate in its members the will and the passion to be champions
of every cause which endeavors intelligently to build a better human order.
all blind until we see
the human plan
is worth the making if
not make the man.
these cities glorious
we build the work unless
builder also grows.
That is to say, Masonry is the application of noble ideas to
practical life. If it merely ends in fine emotion or eloquent sentiment, it
fails. Ideas do not work themselves out automatically. Some seem to think that
all we have to do is to throw a great idea into the world, and then by virtue
of some magic power that truth possesses, it will begin to work and bear fruit
of its own accord. It is not so. There must be soil for the seed, and hard
work in its cultivation. Ideas by themselves are ghosts until they are
incarnated in men, and the men are organized for the service of the truth.
Great ideas are simple enough, but their application is complex
and difficult. For example, many men today - men who are in no sense
Socialists - refuse to accept the present industrial order as final. It makes
money, but it mutilates humanity. Commercially it may be a triumph, but
humanly it is sadly imperfect, and its injustice is only equalled by its
ugliness. We cannot see the next step, but there must be a way to bring back
beauty and joy into the work of the world, which is now so often a drudgery
and a grind. Ruskin was right when he said that life without industry is sin,
and industry without beauty is brutality. He was also right when he wrote:
“There is no wealth but life - life, including all its powers
of love, of joy, of admiration. That country is richest which nourishes the
greatest number of noble and happy human beings; that man is richest who,
having perfected the functions of his own life to the utmost, has also the
widest influence, both personal, and by means of his possessions, over
the lover of others.”
Our ancient Operative Brethren came nearer solving these vexing
questions than any one has ever come since. They worked as a fraternity; they
had joy in their work, and saw spiritual meaning in it. Labor was a joy to
them because it was constructive, and because they never lost the human touch
- which is the saddest tragedy of modern industry. Their labor was communal.
Each man worked as a brother in a community, not as a cog ln a machine. It was
mixed with friendliness, comradeship, and goodwill. They regarded their
ingenuity - both as artists and as artisans - as a form of divine
inspiration, a holy and consecrated skill, for which they gave thanks as a
community on Whit-Sunday. The Master was not a Foreman or an Overseer; he was
a Brother, a friend, a teacher.
Surely modern industry is not the better for the loss of this
spirit of reverence and cooperation - brotherly leadership and communal
responsibility - which distinguished the fraternity of Operative Freemasonry.
Today Master and Man are far apart. They have little personal contact. Social
welfare work in factories is too much like a sop to the discontented - too
much like a form of charity. Men go to their work as if driven, finding no joy
in it, shirking it as much as possible. Our ancient Brethren never thought of
getting all they could for as little work as possible. The whole idea of using
men to make money, instead of using money to make men, is foreign to the
genius and history of Masonry. No Mason was regarded as a “hand”; he was a
fellow, a brother - not an animated tool but a human being. There is no hope
of peace in the industrial world until this spirit of humanity and fraternity
is recovered - restoring the status of labor, and also its high obligation.
Masonry did it once; Masonry can help to do it again
Masonry is an international fraternity. Its members are
prepared to travel in foreign countries and work and receive the wages of a
Master Mason. Each is enjoined to be loyal to his own country, without hatred
of other lands - knowing that other men love their countries as he loves his.
In all the teaching of Masonry there is a recognition of the human race as a
family, a brotherhood - a sense of the fact that the good of humanity as a
whole does actually exist - and that is the one thing needed today. The world
is perishing for lack of Brotherhood, and though we have the great ideal on
our lips, it has not yet found its way into our hearts and hands.
make you mad when you read about
poor, starved devil who flickered out,
he had never a decent chance
tangled meshes of circumstance?
makes you burn like the fires of sin,
you are fit for the ranks - fall in!
make you rage when you come to learn
clean-souled women who could not earn
live, and who fought, but fell
cruel struggle and went to hell?
make you seethe with an anger hot?
we welcome you - share our lot!
has blood that will flood his face
sight of Beast in the holy place;
has rage for the tyrant's might,
powers that prey in the day and night,
has hate for the ravening Brute
strips the tree of its goodly fruit;
knows wrath at the sight of pain,
needless sorrow and heedless gain;
knows bitterness, shame and gall
thought of the trampled ones doomed to fall;
He is a
brother-in-soul, we know;
brain afire and with soul aglow;
sight of his eyes we sense our kin-
you battle with us - fall in!
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
THE MARKED tendency among men is to think in terms of their own
calling. We recall a time when we were engaged in the vocation of mining. It
was at an early period of our life, but we remember very distinctly that all
things of import were in some degree considered with reference to our own
vocation. One felt that the importance of mining was primary in character. If
men should cease to go down into the depths of the earth and bring forth coal,
commerce would stop and households would perish. There probably was some
recognition at times that the farmers were indispensable, but the knowledge of
complexity of civilization and a genuine dependence on coal of all who
participate in civilization, gave us a sense of our immeasurable importance.
We think that this, probably, was something of the emotion that possessed
those engaged in the great Steel industry when the strike was being carried on
a little over a year ago. Had success come to the strikers, the country for a
while would be thinking quite pertinently in terms of Steel.
There came to our desk sometime ago two or three books dealing
with Steel. The poet endeavoring to interpret it, and the steel worker, a name
much maligned by the public press (justly or unjustly, it is not ours at this
time to say), Em. Z. Foster, told of the struggle about Steel, and then a
group of Churchmen, of whose integrity and uprightness there is no question in
the minds of any, sought to indicate to the people of the country the tragedy
of Steel. To the first, of course, the poems of Strandberg, which in a subtle
way incorporate both the struggle and the tragedy, will probably belong the
credit, ultimately, of arousing the consciences of men to things nefarious in
the industry, and what we may conveniently designate at this time as
We are not unmindful at this juncture of a certain eastern
minister, a man whom, we have been assured, can neither be bought nor bribed,
resenting the criticisms and reflections of the commission of his fellow
ecclesiastics, entered the ring of controversial conflict like some medieval
gladiator, in defense of those practices of the great corporations that
governed steel whose privileges and prerogatives he felt were being
unrighteously and unjustly assailed.
As our interests here, however, are in books, and our chief
anxiety is to have the people at large judge rightly on the question affecting
in so marked a way the happiness and prosperity of the American people, we are
but anxious to draw the attention of reading Masons to these publications,
believing in that fairmindedness that has characterized the fraternity that
will enable its members to pronounce a just verdict and one that will be
consistently American and for the promotion of happiness generally. Our
interest centering in such a specific way upon a program which we conveniently
designate as Americanization, we feel urged to say that in brief these books
point out that the major portion of those engaged in the steel industry, of
foreign extraction, anxious to become Americans, cannot become so, under the
conditions and circumstances imposed upon them in the steel industry. Only a
fair consideration of these documents will assure us of the justice of such a
conclusion. That we might not be accused of partiality or prejudice, and that
we might vindicate our position of keen desire to have all Masons acquaint
themselves with the vital problems whose solution means weal or woe for
America, we but urge that these works be read and considered in a true,
impartial, and Masonic spirit.
The publications are: “Report on the Steel Strike of 1919,”
(Inter-church Commission of Inquiry Report); “Smoke and Steel,” and “The Great
* * *
The amazing genius and prolific powers of writings of H. G.
Wells are again amply testified to in his “Outline of History,” published by
the Macmillan Co., 66 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y., ($10.00). One wonders
indeed how it were possible to undertake such a task in the face of the wide
and searching reading necessary to produce such a work, especially when we
consider the yearly output of literature of one kind or another that generates
in the fertile brain of England's premier novelist. That the “Outline of
History” is infinitely more than a sentimental generalizing of which the
average educated man may be capable through his knowledge of history is
clearly shown by a perusal of the names of the collaborators of Wells in his
marvelous achievement. Connected with his own name and revealed throughout the
book as keen critics and admiring helpers are some of the leading scientists,
archaeologists, etc., of Great Britain.
One feels that to have written such a work, having its genesis
in the misty dawn where astronomers find their field for speculation, and
coming down through those departments of life of interest to the geologist,
biologist, and archaeologist, even down to the present, climaxing with the
Great War, Wells must have exhausted all sources of information which were of
pertinent value in the writing of the “Outline.”
Not a little of its charm is contained in its Wellsian
phraseology, his brilliancy of intellect being everywhere apparent. We feel
that it is timely, bringing hope to a chaotic world through the revelation
that progress is certain and sure, even though it is slow in development.
Whatever cataclysmic disasters have befallen the efforts of men in the attempt
to mold the world, arising out of the ruins of the old, there has ever emerged
the enthusiastic effort to renew and rebuild. War is revealed as the fateful
fallacy, and nowhere is this better emphasized than in the brief chronicling
of the ancient civilization of the island of Crete, where for a thousand years
because of a general peace, the arts and all things conducive to human
happiness seemed to have flourished.
One wonders, on closing these volumes, what Wells will attempt
next; whether his prophetic genius will prove to be as great as his capacity
for accurate retrospection. This will probably be proven when he writes a book
that will be prophetic in its imports as it is deducted from the observances
of his “Outline of History.”
* * *
We have just had the pleasure of reading what is probably the
most talked of novel of the season - ”Main Street,” by Sinclair Lewis. Our
first pronouncement upon this book would be that it was a condition and not a
place. Saying such would be analogous to the conception of Heaven that
prevails in most minds today, but to make such comparison is to at once
realize that “Main Street,” as a condition, is far more cognizable than
Heaven. We venture to assert that no more daring arraignment of mediocrity in
life has ever been made. It is so pertinently realistic that one senses it
immediately as a delineation of those circumstances, conditions and places
with which the majority of us are most familiar.
The little western town, with its characters that have so much
to do about nothing, is but a microscopic portrait of the whole United States.
The rare soul, ever the pertinent power in the transformation of things from a
condition of dull mediocrity to an advanced step of living, fighting against
malignant forces disguised in the garb of respectability, is admirably
portrayed here. The price of her protest is sensed in her defeat. “Main
Street” does not become transformed from a place of petty selfishness and
arbitrary notions to one of freedom and utmost good will toward all, in a day,
but the hope that is perennial is that the Carol Kennicotts, with their
eternal agitation, do succeed in lifting things a little higher and pushing
things a little forward. The manner in which this is accomplished is probably
best emphasized in the book where she leads her husband to look at the
sleeping babes in their cot, and says to him, “Do you see that object on the
pillow? Do you know what it is? It is a bomb to blow up smugness. If you
Tories were wise you wouldn't arrest anarchists; you would arrest all these
children while they're asleep in their cribs. What that baby will see and
meddle with before she dies in the year 2000! She may see an industrial union
of the world, she may see aeroplanes going to Mars.”
The book, indeed, is not only a study but a challenge.
Now comes “Potterism.” Our first characterization would be that
it was the English “Main Street.” Such is true as far as its analytical phase
is concerned, but whereas “Main Street” is microscopic, we would feel like
pronouncing Potterism as telescopic. We sense in it a very sane arraignment of
the most marked phases of our everyday life. Its description of the chaotic
thinking of the day is accentuated as the author makes manifest the cause of
such muddle-headed confusion. There is little room left for believing anything
but that we are all representative of some phase of Potterism, and that the
genius whose sanity and respect for truth and fact is his greatest
characteristic is a rare specimen in our midst and, like the hero of Potterism,
he is likely to be killed.
It is a splendid thing to be revealed just as we are,
especially when what we are is but the revelation of possibilities for further
deterioration in matters of taste, ideals, and modes of living, for thereby
desires might be created within that will crave redemption. We sometimes feel
that we are having more than our fill of the literature that is dubbed
realistic, but of books of this character of which these days there are a
multitude, there are books to some purpose and those that are utterly
worthless; that reveal but snobbery at work seeking the distasteful to exploit
it, and which erstwhile caters to the most base and vain in man.
The narrative in Potterism related by Arthur Gideon we feel to
be worthy of second reading. It is clear, erudite, and serviceable. The
selfishness, greed, and love of the sensational, so alluring to the mass is
here noted and understood in all its nakedness. That the cheapness of life
that is such a major quantity is the result of the great convulsive change in
the world conditions one can hardly question.
That this book may in some measure be a ministrant to the
regaining of right concepts of living and proper values is devoutly to be
wished, and those critics whose word is worth hearing have spoken in some
measure in regard to it. Delightfully written, throbbingly interesting, one is
carried along catching the variety of viewpoints set forth, and finally left
in a frame of mind that ought to warrant better things, if sufficient numbers
read the book.
* * *
Frances Kellor has made a very subtle analysis of what is
probably the most compelling problem before the American people in her book,
“Immigration and The Future.” The clear-cut apprehension of the nature of the
problem is at once ascertained when the author distinguishes between what is
the grave concern of both Europe and America. Here in America the problem is
of amalgamation and assimilation of the various nationals that come to our
shores, and Europe reveals her keen interest in preserving national unity and
character. A thoughtful presentation of the view taken by Europe of America is
given in a very convincing way. Europe's concern will be in no small degree an
effort to retain her hold upon those immigrants of their respective countries
who come to these shores, if for no other reason than in some great emergency
they may be found to speak a good word for them. An appreciation of this
viewpoint will be accentuated by recalling the effort of Germany and her
conception of dual citizenship. In plain words, the effort of foreign
countries will be to keep those who come to these shores still in vital
relationship to them. To continue such relationship will be to intensify the
racial and national difficulties of Europe in this country, and the sorry
experiences of the war, brought about with those whose racial and national
affiliation would not admit of them sensing the American viewpoint as readily
as we desire, determine that the American policy shall be one of a severence
of relationships on the part of the immigrant to old lands from which he came,
and demand that he subjugate himself to the assimilation process whereby he
The difficulties, advantages, and necessities relative to this
problem the author has admirably stated. The analysis clearly distinguishes
the romantic aspect that largely characterized immigration in the past and the
economic considerations that are to determine immigration in the future.
Indeed, immigration is to be thrashed out purely on an economic basis.
The formidable list of names cited by the author as advisers,
and those whose patriotic interest in the problem reveals their utmost concern
for America's future? is a formidable one and comprises men from all walks of
public life in America.
At this moment of severe agitation regarding the immigrant
problem the book will be a most serviceable instrument in the hands of all who
are endeavoring to shape the Americanization movement from a wise and sane
To illustrate further the character of the.work and in order
that our readers may judge whether or not they need this book on their shelves
we are appending an epitome of the work as it is presented by the publishers:
“American Labor wants immigration suspended for a period of
years. American Business anticipates expansion that requires immigration.
American Public Opinion is for America first. Europe wants to control its
nationals wherever they are.
“These are the questions America must answer in its future
“Is immigration essential to the economic development of this
“Is America a necessary asylum for the foreign-born?
“Will the troubles of Europe be solved in America?
“Shall immigrant savings be spent in America?
“Shall America become a one-language country?
“What shall be done with the foreign-language press?
“Shall American citizenship be compulsory?
“Shall aliens be registered?
“Shall immigration be dealt with abroad?
the answer? - Race Assimilation or Race Separation?”
For our part we deem it indeed a most timely and indispensable
It is published by the George H. Doran Company, . 38 West 32nd
St., New York, N. Y., and may be had at
all first-class bookstores.
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.
THE PAPAL WARNING AGAINST NON-ROMAN CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS
A large number of requests have been received from our reader's
for a full translation of the text of the warning against non-Roman Catholic
organizations issued by the Pope of Rome through the Papal Secretary, Cardinal
Merry Del Val, November 5th, 1920.
A careful perusal of the secular press, supplemented by an
examination of a number of the leading Roman Catholic journals, has thus far
failed to uncover a complete translation, but we reprint herewith, in answer
to our numerous inquirers, a textual translation of the warning, which
appeared in the Christian Science Monitor of February 5th, 1921. Editor.
The most eminent and reverend cardinals who are, like the
writer whose name is subjoined, inquisitors general in matters of faith and
morals, desire that the ordinaries should pay vigilant attention to the manner
in which certain new non-(Roman) Catholic associations, by the aid of their
members of every nationality, have been accustomed now for some time to lay
dangerous snares for the faithful, especially the young folk.
They provide in abundance facilities of every kind which
apparently aim only at physical culture and intellectual and moral training,
but in point of fact corrupt be integrity of the (Roman) Catholic faith and
snatch away children from the church, their mother.
These organizations enjoy favour, have at their disposal
material resources and the zeal of influential people, and render
distinguished services in the different fields of beneficence; it is not
surprising, then, that they impose on inexperienced people who have not made a
close examination of these works.
"INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL CULTURE"
But no thoughtful person can have any doubt of their real
spirit; for if up to the present they have allowed people only gradually to
obtain glimpses of the end whither they tend, they proclaim it today in the
brochures, newspapers and periodicals which are the organs of their
Their object, they state, is to insure by good methods the
intellectual and moral culture of the young; and making this culture their
religion, they define it as full and complete liberty of thought outside and
independently of every religion or deity nomination. On the pretence of
bringing light to young folk, they turn them away from the teaching of the
church established by God, the light of truth, and incite them to seek
severally from their own consciences and within the narrow circuit of human
reason the light which should guide them.
The principal victims of these snares are young students of
both sexes. These young boys and young girls who need the help of others to
learn the Christian doctrine and to preserve the faith inherited from their
fathers come under the influence of people who despoil them of this precious
patrimony and lead them insensibly today to hesitate between contrary
opinions, tomorrow to doubt all things whatsoever, and in the end to embrace a
sort of vague and indecisive religion which has absolutely nothing in common
with the religion preached by Jesus Christ.
CREDIT GIVEN FOR BENEFICENT WORK
These maneuvers cause much more considerable ravages in the
souls - would to God that they were less numerous - who, owing to the
negligence or ignorance of parents, have not received at the domestic hearth
that early instruction in the faith which is a primordial necessity for the
Deprived of the use of the sacraments and excluded from every
religious practice, accustomed to regard the most sacred things only with the
most complete independence of judgments these souls thus fall miserably into
what is called religious indifferentism, which has been condemned by the
church on numerous occasions, and which implies the negation of all religion.
Thus one sees these Christians in their bloom, on a road where
they have no guide, perishing in the darkness and torture of doubt; to make
shipwreck of the faith; is it not enough to refuse the mind's adhesion even to
a single dogma?
It will happen, perhaps, that one may chance to hear from the
lips of these young folk some sign, and may find in their hearts some dying
shadow of piety, or even that they show more than ordinary ardor in their
devotion to works of beneficence; this may be taken as the effect of a long
habit, or of a more gentle temperament, or of a more sympathetic heart, or, in
a word, of an entirely human and natural virtue, which of itself is devoid of
all value in regard to eternal life.
Y.M.C.A. IS NAMED
Among these societies it will suffice to mention that which,
having given birth to many others, is the most widespread (by reason
especially of the important services which it rendered to a large number of
unhappy people in the course of the terrible war) and disposes of the most
considerable resources; we mean the society called the Young Men's Christian
Association and in abbreviation form the Y.M.C.A.
Non (Roman) Catholics of good faith give it their support
inadvertently, considering it an organization of advantage to all, or, at
least, inoffensive to every one, and it is also supported by certain (Roman)
Catholics who are too confident, and are ignorant of what it is in reality;
for this society professes a sincere love of young folk, as if nothing was
dearer to it than the promotion of their corporal and spiritual interests; but
at the same time it shakes their faith, since, by its own confession, it
proposes to purify it and to impart a more perfect knowledge of real life by
placing itself "above every church and outside every religious denomination."
("What the Y.M.C.A. Is and What It Proposes," brochure published at the
central office, Rome).
What good can be expected from those who, banishing from their
hearts the last vestiges of their faith, go far from the cradle of Jesus
Christ, where they enjoyed happiness and rest, to wander at the instigation of
their passions and of their nature?
NEW ZEAL IMPLORED
Therefore, all of you who have received from Heaven the special
mandate to govern the flock of the Master are implored by this congregation to
employ all your zeal in preserving young folk from the contagion of every
society of this kind, whose good works, presented in the name of Christ,
endanger the most precious gift that the grace of Christ has given them.
Put the imprudent on their guard and strengthen the souls of
those whose faith is vacillating; arm with the Christian spirit and courage
the organizations of the young of both sexes existing in your dioceses, and
establish others like them; to provide these societies with the means of
counteracting the conduct of their adversaries, appeal to the generosity of
the more well-to-do Roman Catholics.
Also get parish priests and directors of organizations for the
young to fulfil their mission bravely, and particularly by the diffusion of
books and pamphlets, so as to raise up barriers against the encroaching waves
of error, to expose the tricks and snares of the enemy, and to give
efficacious aid to the defenders of the truth.
It will be your duty, then, at the regional meetings of Bishops
to treat this grave question with the attention it merits and, after
deliberation, to come to the decisions that will appear practically suitable.
In this connection the Sacred Congregation asks that in each
region an official act of the hierarchy declare duly forbidden all the dally
organs, periodicals, and other publications of these societies of which the
pernicious character is manifest, and which are profusely distributed with a
view to sowing in the souls of Roman Catholics the errors of rationalism and
Here a note calls attention to Fide e Vita (Faith and Life), a
monthly review of religious culture, the organ of the Italian Federation of
Students for Religious Culture, San Remo; to Bilychnis, a monthly review of
religious studies, Rome, and Il Testimonio (The Testimony), a monthly review
of the Baptist Churches, Rome.
Metropolitans are charged with the duty of making known to the
Holy See, within six months, the resolutions and decisions occasioned by the
situation of each diocese.
Given at the Palace of the Holy Office, Rome, on the 5th
November, 1920. R. CARD. MERRY DEL VAL, Secretary.
* * *
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MEMORIAL OFFER TO THE AMERICAN LEGION
Many inquiries have reached us of late for full information
concerning the Knights of Columbus' proposition to turn over to the American
Legion the sum of $5,000,000 from the former's “War Fund.” The following press
reports give the status of the matter at the time we go to press with this
number of THE Editor.
OF COLUMBUS MEMORIAL
Due to the interest which is being manifested in the proposal
of the Knights of Columbus to appropriate out of its war fund moneys the sum
of $5,000,000, to be used in the construction and equipment of a building in
Washington for the American Legion, the terms of this offer, now under
consideration by the National Executive Committee of the Legion, are hereby
published in full. They are as follows:
The K. of C. propose and offer to appropriate the sum of
$5,000,000 of its War Funds moneys to and for the following uses and purposes:
1st. Four million dollars, or as much thereof as may be
necessary (any surplus reverting to the principal of the Endowment Fund
hereinafter referred to), to be used to erect, furnish, and equip a building
in Washington, D. C., to be known as The American Legion National Memorial and
to become upon completion the property of The American Legion subject to the
conditions and purposes hereinafter expressed.
Said building is to be erected on a plot of land to be secured
by The American Legion, preferably by Act of Congress devoting some public
land in Washington for this purpose.
The building is to be devoted as far as possible to patriotic
uses and the public welfare.
Its purpose under the control of The American Legion shall be
to serve as a memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of
the nation at war; to serve as an evidence of the people's gratitude to those
who enlisted but happily survive their service; to serve as an incentive to
the coming generation to serve their country freely and bravely when war may
come in the future.
AUDITORIUM AND HEADQUARTERS
It shall provide for an auditorium to accommodate 10,000 or
more people and smaller halls for gatherings of the public - all free, if
possible; if not, at the lowest charge commensurate with maintenance and
upkeep. It shall provide free headquarters for the business and affairs of The
American Legion and appropriate space for the Spanish War Veterans, the United
Confederate Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Grand Army of the
Republic, and a room for the Knights of Columbus; also quarters for such other
bodies devoted to similar purposes as may from time to time be determined.
Said building to be erected, furnished and equipped by a
committee consisting of three members to be designated by the Knights of
Columbus; three members to be designated by the American Legion; and the
Secretary of War, for the time being, if he will accept; otherwise, by the
Superintendent of State, War and Navy Buildings, if he will accept; otherwise,
by such person, preferably a public official, as the President of the United
States shall designate. The architects shall be Magenis & Walsh, of Boston,
2nd. One million dollars of said five million shall be set
aside and known as The American Legion National Memorial Endowment, to be held
by a Board of Trustees, with fullest powers to manage, to invest and reinvest
said fund and consisting of the head of The American Legion, for the time
being; the head of the Knights of Columbus, for the time being; and the
Secretary of the Treasury for the time being, if he will accept; otherwise, by
such person, preferably a public official, as the two first named shall
designate. In case of vacancy the body represented shall have the right to
fill, and a vacancy in the third place mentioned shall be filled by the two
AND FUNDS TO REVERT
The income from this fund shall be devoted to the upkeep,
lighting, heating, and cleaning of the building as in the discretion of said
trustees seem best.
The committee hereinabove designated and the trustees shall
serve without compensation. Their expenses shall be paid from the building
fund and from the income of the Endowment Fund respectively.
In case The American Legion shall cease to exist, then and in
such event the title to said building and land shall revert to the nation for
such purposes as the United States Senate shall determine, and the Endowment
Fund shall revert to the Knights of Columbus to be subject to the same trust
as the War Fund from which it is taken.
News Service. Washimrton. D.C.
REJECTS MEMORIAL OFFER
Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1921. - The American Legion decided
last night that, while it could not accept “in its present form” the offer of
$5,000,000 from the Knights of Columbus for the construction of a war memorial
in Washington, it would accept the tender if certain revisions in it were
The executive committee announced the appointment of a special
committee to confer with Knights of Columbus officials to ascertain whether
that organization is “willing to revise the offer so as to tender the fund
The Knights of Columbus offer was made with provision for a
building committee with three members each to be appointed by that
organization and the American Legion and one by the Secretary of War, and also
for three trustees to administer the maintenance fund of approximately one
million dollars each organization to name one trustee and the Secretary of War
Members of the committee explained that there was no objection
to the nature of these conditions, but that it was thought best to accept the
offer only if made unconditionally.
The following were named on the committee to confer with the
Knights of Columbus: John J. Wicker, Jr., Richmond, Va.; John G. Emery, Grand
Rapids, and T. Semmes Walmsley, New Orleans.
After discussing the proposal at a session which lasted until
midnight, the executive committee of the legion, which convened here today for
a three day meeting, issued a statement in which it said:
“Acting on the offer to the Knights of Columbus to donate
$5,000,000 to the American Legion for the erection and maintenance of a
national memorial building in Washington, the national executive committee of
the American Legion decided that it was not best to accept the offer in its
“A special committee is to be appointed by the national
commander to confer with Knights of Columbus to ascertain vhether the Knights
of Columbus are willing to revise the offer so as to tender the fund
unconditionally. It was decided that if such revision is made the offer will
News Service, Washington, D.C.
* * *
Mention was made in THE BUILDER several months ago of Jeremy
Cross, to whom is accredited the authorship of the lecture on the “Broken
Column.” Since I do not have access to any reference works on Masonry except
my copies of THE BUILDER and can find nothing about the life and activities of
Cross in them, will you please give me some information along this line? F. H.
Jeremy Cross was a pupil of Thomas Smith Webb, who was
practically the founder of our American system of Freemasonry, and who was
Grand Master in Bhode Island in 1813. Cross was born in Haverhill, New
Hampshire, June 27, 1783, and died there in 1861. He was made a Mason in 1808.
Webb's modifications of the lectures of Preston became
generally accepted throughout the United States, and Cross, who had become
highly proficient as a pupil, traveled extensively and taught the work in
several States. Webb having borrowed liberally from the works of Preston,
Cross did the same from Webb and published in 1819 “The True Masonic Chart or
Hieroglyphic Monitor.” In this work he published a number of engravings of the
different emblems of Masonry as memory aids which so popularized the work that
it almost superseded the monitor compiled by Webb. Cross later published a
Knight Templar monitor.
Mackey says that Cross received the appointment of Grand
Lecturer from many Grand Lodges and traveled for many years extensively
through the United States teaching his system in lodges and other Masonic
In his later years he made an effort to establish a Supreme
Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Bite. His efforts along this line
proved unsuccessful and he shortly thereafter retired to private life. He died
at the age of seventy-eight.
* * *
Will you kindly give me the statistics on the Masonic
membership of the United States and the English-speaking nations throughout
the world? W. B. F., Montana.
Such statistics are difficult of exact compilation for the
reason that the fiscal years of the several Grand Lodges vary. We give
herewith, however, the figures for 1919 and 1920 as nearly as it has been
possible to cotnpute them. This information has been collected by Brother
Robert I. Clegg, one of the Board of Editors of THE BUILDER, and just
published by him in the “Masonic Year Book” of the Masonic History Company:
Official reports of the Grand Jurisdiction in continental and
insular America for 1919 show that at the end of the fiscal year there were
2,086,808 members in 15,225 subordinate lodges.
The largest Grand Lodge is that of New York, which then had
jurisdiction over 872 lodges and a membership roll of 202,777; while the
smallest is Nevada, with 22 lodges and a membership of 2,078.
The United Kingdom comes second, with an aggregate of 5,130
lodges and a total membership of 327,764; England contributing 3,442 lodges
with 240,000 members; Scotland, 1,115 lodges with 69,745 members; Ireland 530
lodges with 18,000 members. Australia has seven Grand Lodges, with 1,025
private lodges and a membership register of 74,733; while Canada has nine
Grand Lodges, 1,057 private lodges and 118,112 members.
The above figures were compiled by Brother C. C. Hunt, Deputy
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and he has very kindly brought
them up to date for us as regards the United States. His revision follows:
Total membership of the Masonic fraternity in the United
States, 2,246,724, furnished by the Grand Secretary of each jurisdiction, from
the last figures obtainable from them, in
of Columbia 13,723
Philippine Islands 4,107
in a recent number of THE BUILDER contains an inquiry from Bro. Jeme M. Whited
of San Francisco, for “Masonic
plays.” On the same page there is an interesting note by Bro. Dudley Wright
concerning the Knights of St. John. The proximity of these two items is,
doubtless, accidental; but there is, nevertheless, a connection between them.
The history and symbolism of the Knights of St. John figure in more than one
brand of Masonry; e. g. in the Commandery as the “Knights of Malta” and in the
Constantinian Orders as the third and highest of the ordinary grades.
That peculiar Syrian sect known as the Druses has also
certain connection with Masonry. The 25d of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite, at least as worked in the northern jurisdiction, is based upon its
history and symbolism.
Now it happens that Robert Browning left us a five-act play
entitled “The Return of the Druses” in which not only that peculiar sect but
the Knights of St. John (of Rhodes) form the characters.
The scene is laid in the fifteenth century on an island of the
southern Sporades, in the Aegean sea, which had been colonized by Druses from
Lebanon but was ruled by the Knights of St. John from Rhodes through a
Prefect. The particular prefect in command up to the time of the play seems to
have ruled harshly and to have incurred the hostility of the Druses, one of
whom - an initiate - is made to say:
our Nation's state? Too surely know,
who speak'st to prove met Wrongs like ours
Rake revenge: but when I sought the wronged
'The Prefect stabbed your son - arise!
daughter, while you starve, eats shameless bread
pavilion - then arise,' my speech
Fell idly - 'twas, 'Be silent, or worse fare.
Endure, till time's slow cycle prove complete.
may'st thou be that takest on thee to thrust
Into this peril - art thou Hakeem ? ' “
Hakeem, be it remembered, was the Druse Khalif or prophet who,
some three centuries before had disappeared (the Druses do not believe that he
died) and whose reincarnation is one of the articles of the Druse faith.
Another Druse initiate of the isle was Djabal who sought to
rouse his people against their oppressors and lead them back to Mt. Lebanon
and who took advantage of the popular belief by declaring himself Hakeem and
announcing that he would presently be changed into the prophet.
the old Prefect having died
Knights at last throw off the mask - transfer,
tributary now, and appanage,
islet they are but protectors of,
own ever-craving lord, the Church,
licenses all crimes that pay it thus-
their Prefect, were to be consigned
to I know not what vile pact,
Knights' Patriach, ardent to outvie
His predecessor in all wickedness;
of villany complete, there comes
Patriach's Nuncio with this Master's Prefect
Their treason to consummate.”
Upon his arrival, which was to have been the signal for the
Druse uprising, the Nuncio seeks to persuade them of Djabal's imposture:
ye does this wizard style himself?
Biamrallah? The third Fatemite?
this jargon? He - the insane Khalif,
three hundred years ago, come back
and blood again?”
Djabal believes himself betrayed by a young Druse girl with
whom he is in love but who, overcome at his reproaches, and believing him to
be indeed Hakeem, falls dead before him. In sore distress Djabal tells the
henceforth be far away.
mere mortal ken - above the Cedars-
shall see ye go, hear ye return,
Repeopling the old solitudes, - thro' thee,
Khalil for my delegate? To him
Bow as to
me? He leads to Lebanon-
the curtain falls he states himself and cries
the Mountain. At the Mountain, Druses.”
The play is full of dramatic episodes and stirring passages and
provides a fitting subject for the best histrionic talent of our craft. It
leads, too, into many interesting though half forgotten by-paths of history,
and appropriate scenery might be found by reproducing views of the Hospital of
the Knights of St. John at Rhodes. This famous building, erected about the
time covered by the play, has recently been restored by the Italian
administration of Rhodes and converted into a museu n of which it has been
said that none other “in the Near East can vaunt a residence of such
monumental and historic value.”
Here, then, we have a play which, if not strictly Masonic,
deals with subjects of great interest to Masons and leads to a deeper study of
the origins and ramifications of our world-wide order.
S. Lobingier, China
* * *
INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE AND FREEMASONRY
Widespread as are the enterprises of the yeoman Catholic Church
and of our ancient Craft there is one feature wherein we Freemasons are
fettered. The Church of Rome has long encouraged and required a common means
of intercommunication between the congregations of all countries. Latin is the
language employed for this purpose. We need not now discuss the ecclesiastical
dialect that is used by papal authority nor its suitability for the worshipper
in his devotions; these are matters of some importance but we may put them
aside for the present. Suffice it to say that the Roman Catholic Church has by
universal choice of Latin enabled its priests and the executive officers of
all ranks and of all nationalities to have an intercourse that has undoubtedly
done much for uniformity of practice and the avoidance of misunderstanding.
How much we as Freemasons have lost by lack of the very same benefits, only
those of us may infer who seek to be informed of the work of the Fraternity
the world over.
For these reasons the several attempts at an international
language have been followed with sympathetic interest in the hope that out of
them there would arise a really practical means of reaching hands over the
seas and the quicker gaining a knowledge of the status and aims of brethren
At the various international language congresses attempts have
been made to assemble the Freemasons in attendance. Such was the case at the
one held at the Hague last fall. An English brother learning of my desire to
know what might have been accomplished, was good enough to bring me into
correspondence with the presiding officer of the Committee organized at the
Hague. Synopsis of the business done there has been forwarded to me together
with an announcement from the Secretary. These have been translated and they
are submitted herewith:
LEAGUE OF FREEMASONS
A resume of the report of the Convention of Esperantist
Freemasons at the Hague on the occasion of the Twelfth Universal Esperanto
There were present at this convention thirteen Freemasons, male
and female, from England, Holland and Seotland. Freemasons from Spain, Italy
and France, although registered for the Hague Congress of Esperantists were
not able to come to Holland.
The President was Brother Paul Blaise, of the Lodge Albert of
The order of the day (program of procedure) was to reestablish
the Universal League of Freemasons.
The proposition was made that the Universal League of
Freemasons be a League for the spread of Esperanto among Freemasons.
As regards the question of who would be able to join the
League, the President said “We will be as far as possible broadminded in the
Concerning the first proposition they unanimously accepted the
“The Freemasons of the various nations, convened at the Hague,
on the occasion of the Twelfth Universal Congress of Esperantists, express the
desire that the Universal League of Freemasons be re-established with the
object of studying the best means of spreading our language among the
Freemasons of all countries.”
Concerning the second proposition they decided to accept as
members all Freemasons, male or female, of whatsoever Grand Orient, Grand
Lodge, or Order, he or she might be.
Owing to various causes, the conference was of opinion that it
would be best that the executive officers should have the headquarters in a
neutral country. All were of the same opinion and Holland was selected as the
As President they elected Brother Dreves Uitterdyk, Hilversum
(Grand Orient of Holland), and as Secretary Brother F. Foulhaber, Borgerstrant
103, Amsterdam (Lodge “George Martin II, No. 93, Universal Co-Masonry”).
After an inspiring address from the President, Brother Blaise,
to zealously advocate our language in the Lodges, in order that we should have
a great and more fruitful convention at Prague, the meeting was closed.
(The Secretary adds the following communication.)
Very dear Brethren and Sisters:
Here is a resume of the report of our first after-the-war
convention. Our League, while reawakened, yet is found in a chaotic condition.
As regards many of its former members we do not know whether they are living.
This nnnouncement is just to take measures to reunite the brokenup fraternal
organization in order that we may fervently work for “our holy cause.”
Relative to the needs of our International Language in an Order
as important as is ours, we ought not to have unlike opinions. The Masonic
Fraternity throughout the whole world fain would have it. The Institution
where we are missionaries, asks for it. Many other important organizations
already very well understand its utility and turn it to nccount. We, as
bearers of the new culture, should not linger in the rear ranks. Our duty is
to go in the front of the civilizing agencies and to show mankind its ideal
and for that ideal point the wny.
The field of our labor is great and ought to be systematically
cultivated. As unity is the requisite for harmonious cooperation, the
headquarters advises you to act as follows:
1. Make a translation of the above report and write an article
about our language and get it printed in the Freemnsonss journal of your
2. Subscribe to the “Bulletin,” the official organ of the
International Bureau of Masonic Affairs. (Five Francs, yearly). The editor,
Brother Quartier-In Tente, has promised to us a page dedicated to Esperanto.
In that page will appear all information relating to our League.
3. Have your address printed with the addition of the word
“Esperantisto” in the Masonic Year-Book issued from the same office (Rue Beaux
Arto 26, Neuchatel, Switzerland).
4. Send all news concerning Esperanto in Freemasonry to the
Secretary of the Universal League of Freemasons, also the issues of your
Masonic publication in which appear articles about Esperanto.
5. Let it be known when your Grand Lodge or Grand Orient will
have national or international conventions in order that we may be able to
consider in what manner our language may be better advertised during these
6. Translate the various technical terms pertaining to our
Order and if you are able the whole ritual of the three first degrees. It is
necessary that we should have as far as possible and very soon the terms and
the whole ritual in Esperanto in order that we will be ready when the language
shall officially be neceptable. Send these to the Secretary so that we may
Inter on compare the different translations and eventually offer a choice of
7. Send as soon as you can your subscription for 1920. (Fifty
Cents). Kindly forward it by international reply coupons. Following the
payment you will receive your membership card. Seeing that this small sum at
the preselit time will not suffice, and since the Treasury is in an empty
state, gifts of money will be freely acceptable.
8. Buy the very fine pamphlet “The Liberty of Conscience and
World-wide Freemasonry” (La Libereco de la konscienco kaj In tutmonda
Framasonaro), to be obtained from Sinjoro F. Schoofs, Anwerpen Kl. Beerstrant
45, Belgium, (10 centimes).
9. Found a section of the Universal League of Freemnsons if in
your neighborhood there are some Brother Esperantists.
Between the several nationalities Brethren still find this great wall of
diversity of tongues, this wall of n thousand years which shall divide them.
Help us to destroy that wall. The great success of our Twelfth Congress give
to us the needful energy: Onwards Let each one fulfil the admonition of the
Executive Officers according to his strength. If each bears n brick we shall
be able to build the Temple.
With fraternal salutations and handclasp.
On carefully reading the statements we are impressed by the
fact that in the purpose to be broad the Committee has gone very far. We for
example do not recognize as Masonic the organization of which the Secretary is
a member. Therefore the project is very seriously handieapped at the very
start and at headquarters. The reader will also note that among the
suggestions is the one of translating the rituals. Of course this is out of
the question for an American Freemason. But the particulars are all of much
importance to us and we hope that other attempts may bring results in which we
Americans can take an active part. This article will at any rate show the
necessity for great care in correspondence with foreigners claiming to be
members of the Craft. Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
“VEST POCKET HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY”
The Book Committee of the Cincinnati Masonic Library
Association, after careful examination, has recommended that the Library
purchase one hundred copies of “A Vest Pocket History of Freemasonry,” by H.
L. Haywood, and acting upon this recommendation, I have been authorized to
make such purchase.
For a long time we have been trying to locate some small
pamphlet that would cover the subject of Masonry generally that could be read
by the average young man in less than an hour, and yet contain enough detail
to be interesting enough to carry the reader through to the end. Most short
works have attempted to make the subject matter interesting through the use of
fiction, or assertions based more on the imagination of an unreliable writer
than on known facts, and it is a dangerous thing to place a work of this kind
in the hands of one who is reading his first book on Masonry, and who, in nine
cases out of ten, will make the first book his last, through one excuse or
It is the beginner you have to coax to read, and it is usually
harder to get him to read the second book than it was the first, and, I
understand, this is true generally throughout the country.
It seems to me that writers should have these things in mind
when writing on the various Masonic subjects today. It certainly would be a
big help to librarians in increasing the circulation of books in their
libraries, and, in the near future, Masons would be generally the better
informed. You can not create interest in a dry and voluminous work of any
kind, except in a book-worm, and there are very few book-worms being taken
into the Masonic fraternity today. With all due respect to the lodges and
their membership, most of them are book-shy.
Brother Haywood has carried out well the idea we have had for
some time, and if I had any criticism to offer, it would be that he should
keep in mind the fact that a great many Masons who should, at least, read the
work, are men who for the first time are hearing of the persons, creeds,
sects, times and places mentioned by him, when they see these in his essay,
and that particular care should be taken that explanatory phrases are added,
wherever these appear, that the reader may not become discouraged because he
is a little weak on history or literature. In almost every instance Brother
Haywood seems to have had this in mind, and I felt that I wanted you to know
our appreciation of his and the Research Committee's efforts along this line,
and we shall await with interest the future efforts of these people as
promised in the “Foreword” of the pamphlet referred to.
I do not mean to discredit the need of larger and more detailed
and comprehensive works - not at all, for they are necessary adjuncts to the
library of any reliable writer, but I am more concerned with the beginner in
Masonry just now.
I might say that it is our purpose to take up this pamphlet
with the Masters of each of the lodges in this county, and those across the
river in Kentucky, about fifty in all, and urge that each Master adopt the
policy of presenting this pamphlet to each Mason as he is raised, having the
lodges get their supply through us, selling to them at the exact cost to us.
Bonham, Secretary and Librarian,
Masonic Library Association, Cincinnati, Ohio.
* * *
RAISED BY FATHER AND BROTHERS
The Masons of Butte, Montana, had a unique experience of
witnessing the conferring of the degrees in Masonry on the seventh son of one
of the members of the fraternity when Charles R. Gieser became a member of
Butte Lodge No. 22, A. F. & A. M., the work of all three degrees being
conferred during sessions at which all of the stations, from Worshipful Master
to Junior Steward, were filled by the father and six brothers of the
candidate. It is a record for Montana for the father and six of his sons to
confer the degrees of Masonry on the seventh son. Another feature of the work
that was out of the ordinary is that only one of the members of the Gieser
family has ever held office in a Masonic lodge, although they are all
enthusiastic Masons and all members of Butte Lodge No. 22. George Gieser, Jr.,
is Senior Warden of Butte Lodge No. 22.
* * *
ORIGINAL MEANING OF SOME OF OUR SYMBOLS
It is a cardinal principle in treating of Masonic symbols that
most of them have been imported into our modern ritual minus the original
explanation of their significance and minus any explanation at all worthy of
Indeed the whole treatment of the subject should resolve itself
1. The establishment of this principle.
2. Study of the question in each case why the true meaning is
lost. It is usually conjectured that the early ritual mongers adopted the
symbols not knowing the meaning and not caring much. An alternative
conjecture, in many cases, is that the true significance frightened them. They
were very orthodox, very narrow, very conventional and very unscrupulous with
the unscrupulousness of highly moral, self-righteous men.
3. Especially the study from countless sources outside of
Masonry as to what Masonic symbols may be conjectured to have originally
The meanings assigned in the modern ritual are almost
invariably not worth considering or learning or passing an examination upon.
Perhaps the most striking illustration of point two is the sun
and moon as symbols. I do not doubt but that they really meant something to
our medieval brethren nor that the Presbyterians who had Masonry in their
charge in 1717 would have altered that genuine significance to the childish
explanation of the ritual of today purposely if they did not do it ignorantly.
Compare the fact that one of the Scottish Rite degrees
originally taught the Manichaean heresy and that traces thereof can be found
therein today. Not for nothing has Freemasonry been denounced as devil
worship. Of course the fire is in ludicrous disproportion to the smoke but it
is true here as often that where is much smoke there is some fire.
Consider the explanation given of one symbol that “it teaches
Masons to be general lovers of the arts and sciences.” Can any one doubt but
that is a substitution for the original explahation? I believe that to have
been almost the most significant of all their symbols to the medieval
ancestors of modern Masonry.
All this is suggested by the treatise upon the “Book of
Constitutions” contained in the February BUILDER.
I do not doubt but that symbol originated in the practice in
medieval times of securing a “book” as the warrant for constituting a new
lodge. The treatment of this symbol would consist in getting together all the
information available as to what such book consisted of and how the book was
secured. I do not purpose treating it but to show what I mean I refer to that
Chapter of Gould's History entitled the “Stonemasons of Germany.”
Modern writers almost always in treating of this symbol wander
down to the modern “constitutions” of Grand Lodge. There is no analogy. The
modern article which most nearly resembles the “Book of Constitutions” is the
lodge charter. The significance of showing that guarded by the Tyler's sword
obvious. Past Grand Master Upton somewhere speaks of the “ludicrous idea” that
the modern Grand Lodge Constitution corresponds to the ancient Book of
Constitutions referred to in the ritual. A. G. Pitts, Michigan.
* * *
We are constantly receiving inquiries from members of the
Society and others as to where they might obtain books on Masonry and kindred
subjects, other than those listed each month on the inside back cover of THE
BUILDER. Most of the publications wanted have been out of print for a number
of years. Believing that many such books might be in the hands of other
members of the Society willing to dispose of them we are setting apart this
column of THE BUILDER each month for the use of our readers. Communications
from those having old Masonic publications for disposal will also be welcomed.
Postoffice addresses are here given in order that those
interested may communicate direct with each other.
By Bro. Elmer G. Smith, Box 102, Tooele Utah, “The Cathedral
Builders,” by Leader Scott; “Ancient Charges,” by W. J. Hughan.
By Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, 564 Pape Ave., Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, a copy of Da Costa's “Dionysiac Artificers.” Brother Haydon has been
trying for years to find a copy of this work, but without success, and will
gladly enter into an arrangement with some more fortunate brother for the
temporary loan of a
By Bro. T. J. Fox, 638 East Water St., Princeton, Indiana,
“Mystic Masonry,” by J. D. Buck.
By Mrs. Albert Clark Stevens, 80 South Clinton St., East
Orange, N. J., Volumes l to 4 and 15 to 30, inclusive, Universal Masonic
Bro. H. M. Jacobs, 10212 64th Ave. South, Seattle, Washington, “Ahiman Rezon,”
Mackey; “Comparison of Egyptian Symbols and Hebrew,” by F. Portal; “The
Chaldean Account of Genesis, etc.,” by Geo. Smith; “The Temple of Solomon,”
Open Court Co., Chicago; “The Temple of the Jews,” by Ferguson; “Prehistoric
Antiquities of the Aryan People,” by Schroeder.