The Builder Magazine
June 1921 - Volume VII - Number 6
The Columbus, Georgia, Masonic Club
HAL RIVIERE. GEORGlA
THE COLUMBUS MASONIC CLUB, though hoped for by a number of
earnest Masons for several years, came into being as a direct result of the
establishment of the Infantry School of Arms at Camp Benning during the war.
Realizing the need of the boys of the School for some place of recreation in
the city, the Club idea was developed and after a period of preparation
extending over almost a year, was formally opened in November, 1919.
The present Club room is a hall of ample size on the top floor
of the Masonic Temple, which previous to the establishment of the Club, was
rented to the Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Junior Order and several other
fraternal orders. After ample notice was given these bodies to secure other
quarters, the hall was remodeled and other alterations made on the same floor,
giving locker space for St. Aldemar Commandery of Knights Templar, and
preparation and paraphernalia rooms for the two Blue Lodges and Chapter.
These alterations were quite extensive and consumed the greater
part of the summer of 1919, but Columbus Masons can now boast that few cities
of her size have such complete Masonic quarters as she, and none has a Club
where a closer feeling of brotherly affection exists.
This enviable spirit of brotherhood is largely brought about by
the fact that there are no memberships in the Club, every regular Mason being
free to come and go regardless of residence or length of his sojourn in the
community. In addition, all soldiers and sailors in uniform, regardless of
Masonic membership, are welcome. There they find tables with paper for
writing, books, magazines, games and bath. There also they find the two
Custodians of the Temple and Mal agers of the Club, Rev. J. C. Harrison, a
retired Methodist minister, and Brother J. A. Walton, Past Grand High Priest
of the Grand Chapter of Georgia. These two elderly gentlemen have the love of
God and of Masonry in their hearts, and are devoting the autum of well spent
lives to the service of the brethren Brother Walton is official instructor for
Mount Herma Lodge No. 304. A few weeks ago Brother Harrison received an
invitation to attend the annual conferene of his church, but being a busy man
replied, "Read Nehemiah 6:3."
The Columbus Masonic Club received one thousand dollars towards
its equipment from the Grand Lodge of Georgia in recognition of the services
to be rendered the soldiers of Camp Benning; the remainder of the equipment
fund was appropriated by Columbian Lodge No. 7, Mount Herman Lodge No. 304,
Darley Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and St. Aldemar Commandery, besides
numerous donations by individual members of these bodies.
The Club is supported by the same bodies, each bearing an equal
share of the expense, while the Masonic Temple Association pays part of the
salaries of the custodians, janitors and elevator men.
Last May a Lodge of Perfection of the Scottish Rite was
organized in Columbus, and as soon as the uncertainties of its infancy are
past it also will bear its share in the maintenance of the Club.
Each of the above bodies, except the Lodge of Perfection,
annually elects one of its members as a Masonic Club Director, and these four
men, together with
Early H. Johnson, President of the Masonic Temple Association, who acts as
Secretary and Treasurer of the Masonic Club Directorate, manage the affairs of
the Club. It is owing to the tireless and whole-hearted work of Brother Early
Johnson that the Club idea came to be a reality. It was he who went before the
Grand Lodge Committee on Appropriations and secured their recommendation; it
was he who made the plans and saw that the designs were executed; it is he who
watches over the Club with a jealous eye; too much praise cannot be given him
for having done a good thing for Masonry.
Camp Benning, which will soon be the largest and most important
military school in the world, is located eight miles from Columbus on a tract
of 93,000 acres of land. The camp has developed so rapidly that neither it nor
the City of Columbus has been able to satisfactorily house the large body of
instructors and student officers. Under such conditions the importance and
opportunity for service to the soldiers, of the Masonic Club, can hardly be
overestimated. It has been a veritable haven of rest to many a homesick young
officer, who was ordered to the school and arrived to find that he could
secure no rooms so that his family could join him. In many cases the Club has
helped such men to secure rooms, and where not able to be of such assistance,
it has offered the next best thing to a home, a hearty Masonic welcome and the
freedom of the Club.
Columbus, together with its suburbs, Phenix City and Girard,
Alabama, is a city of about 50,000 people, having a Masonic membership of near
900. It is safe to say that one-fourth of these visit the Masonic Club in
Columbus some time during each week. It is a common thing to see some boy with
his arms around "Dad" Harrison or to see a crowd about him as he puts "Lead
Kindly Light" or "Silver Threads Among the Gold" or some other old, sweet,
familiar melody on the Victrola. It makes one feel with Peter, "Lord, it is
good for us to be here."
BY BRO. GEO. L. SCHOONOVER. P.G.M., IOWA
WHAT IS this "unrest" that is about us everywhere? How is it
evidenced in our social organism? If we are to cure it we must know something
of its symptoms. The radicals, like certain quack doctors, are offering us
remedies. It seems that what the body politic needs just now is an
old-fashioned family physician, whose knowledge of the family history forms a
background for his prescription.
What are these symptoms? The most acute, because of the number
of people it affects, is the distrust existing between Capital and Labour.
Each fears the other, looks upon the other as an enemy, rather than as a
co-worker. The advocates of class war are aggravating this situation.
Young men and women say that they are failing to find food for
their spiritual hunger in the churches, yet never was the spirit of a rising
generation more earnest or more hungry. Their war experiences seem to have
torn a veil from their eyes, so that they are no longer content with inherited
Statistics seem to tell us that we are the most generous nation
in the world, but there is too much alms giving, and not enough personal
effort. Men offer their money, but withhold themselves.
There seems to be a desire to disregard our laws, rather than
to support them. Do we forget that laws are made for the protection of all?
Equal justice can never be administered when evasion of, and a defiant
attitude toward law prevails.
The tangled diplomacy of nations merely typifies the political
disturbances underneath all governments. Men are wondering what is to come.
The financial barometer is cloudy, and business waits.
We have grown hysterical in our play. The frantic whirl of
society tells of the effort to escape from idleness. Too many have failed to
find the job that needs them - the work that brings contentment.
The story told by the so-called "radical" magazines and the
season's "best sellers" depicts these same symptoms. It is a sordid story,
one we want to deny, of realism run rampant. Deny it we cannot, if we are
honest with ourselves. But protest we must against their angle of approach.
They are using the searchlight. They are uncovering the dingy, dirty,
detestable corners, and trying to convince us that only these corners exist.
They tell us that equality among men is lost, that materialism controls all
life, that the maneater of the jungle has a better moral code than we have,
and that our life resembles his in that it is a succession of killings,
gorgings and satiations.
The literature of the last two years tells a story of lost
illusions, lost traditions which have been cherished and fostered through
generations. To prove to us that these will not bear close scrutiny the
radical throws his searchlight into many dark corners which have never felt
the cleansing effect of sunshine. Because some beliefs will not stand the
light, he would sweep them all away, insisting that none are genuine, that all
The realistic writers are ruthless in painting nothing but
shadows into their picture of modern conditions. Yet we cannot altogether
reject their picture. The shadows are there. But they forget that shadows
exist only where there is light. It is this light they ignore. The
bitterness with which they tell us what we are is not only an evidence of the
degree of their disillusionment; it is an expression of their hunger for what
is true, and their disappointment in failing to find it. What they have
written seems to say, "We have tried your illusions, and they have failed us.
We want something concrete, something we can take hold of, something we can
Many thinking men have had a parallel experience. They have
passed in review the teachings of the seers and the prophets. They have
traced the development of religions. They have seen dogma piled upon dogma,
creed upon creed. They have seen creeds broaden. They have witnessed the
tendency of political influence and intrigue to leave their impress upon
religions. They have seen wars between men and nations born of differences of
creed and tongue. History has appeared as a succession of conflicts over
statements of religion almost as often as contests for commercial supremacy.
They have failed to find in existing creeds a reasonable answer
to the questions "Why am I?" and "Why am I decent?" Because of this they are
prone to say, that all religion is formalism, and that it will not satisfy
modern conditions. This is not true. The fundamental truths are there, and
it is necessary only to push aside the trappings which hide them. The
doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man contains the
principles taught by all the great teachers, and the truth of them is proven
by the fact that the creeds containing them still live.
When the realist asks us to justify our inherited beliefs we
cannot give answers that are reasonable, even to ourselves. Why? Because, for
our eyes, the trappings partly obscure the truth. We have not thought the
problem through. With the insistence of a crusader he says, "You must think
it through." Smug complacency will not give him the answers to which he is
entitled. His questions go to the roots of our faith.
A Mason's faith is based upon certain great fundamental
principles. It is these principles, applied to the present unrest, which will
furnish the answers that will convince.
On bended knee we acknowledge the Fatherhood of God. Every
symbol in the lodge furnishes a motive for right living and right thinking.
Every working tool is an instrument for right accomplishment. To understand
our symbols and to use our working tools is our only excuse for existence.
Only by thinking right, by living right and by building right can we make
Masonry play the part for which it was created.
We can apply these principles today as our Masonic forefathers
did. They wrote the doctrine of the Brotherhood of Man into American Law and
Institutions in a definite way. They founded a government by bringing
together into one set of fundamental documents five great principles:
Religious Liberty, Equality before the Law, Equality of Opportunity, the
Dignity of Labour, and Charity. These were conceived as embodying the Rights
of Man, and alongside of these Rights were placed, in an equally definite way,
the Responsibilities of every citizen.
The statement of these Rights might have been taken from a
number of historic sources which mark the struggle of the common man for a
place in the sun. The coupling of these Rights with the Responsibilities of
citizenship was an untried idea. It had not been applied in the government of
any nation. It was an idea conceived and born in the hearts of Masons, and it
was from the Masonic system that our forefathers borrowed the idea of a
government by, of and for the people, a government of laws rather than of men,
government of authority delegated by, and responsible to, the whole people.
In building upon the foundation which they laid we have made
mistakes. Injustices have crept in. Equality before the Law has not been
complete, Equality of opportunity has not come to everyone. We have not
always kept the ideal of the Dignity of Labour before us. We have not always
been tolerant. We have always been charitable. But these principles are
still here. They are the high lights of the picture which the realist has
The Leaven of Life is contained in the doctrine the Fatherhood
of God and the Brotherhood of Man. Ours is the duty to use the leaven in such
a way as restore the faith which it seems is in danger of being lost. We as a
Fraternity have the opportunity to show our distracted generation that the
shattering of some of our traditions does not undermine the fundamental truths
involved in others. Those truths cannot be undermined. They are eternal.
Not only must they interpreted but they must be applied to every day life. The
spirit of the application must be a spirit of Brotherhood, involving Good
Will, Honesty of Purpose, Toleration and Unselfishness.
K. OF C.
FAILS TO ACCEPT LEGION CONDITIONS
Eliminate Divided Control of Memorial Building, and Offer Rejected.
The $4,000,000 building in Washington, with a $1,000,000 fund
for maintenance, offered by the Knights of Columbus out
of the fund
raised by it during the war, to the American Legion will not be built, it has
been definitely decided, due to the failure of the supreme board of directors
of the Knights of Columbus to agree to the elimination of conditions in the
original proposal under which the legion would not have had complete control
the structure. That the Knights of Columbus would not change in any way the
conditions calling for divided control became known following a session of its
supreme board of directors, recently held in Washington.
Some time ago the Young Men's Christian Association made an
offer of $500,000 of its war funds to the legion, with certain conditions,
which offer, it was announced, would not be accepted unless the Y.M.C.A.
agreed to the elimination of all conditions. This elimination was promptly
agreed to, and the money was accepted. In replying to the original offer of
Columbus, the legion's executive committee presented the same conditions as to
control presented to the Y.M.C.A. and agree to by the latter. - Capital News
Service, Washington, D. C.
A thing of beauty is a joy for evermore.
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness, but still will keep
Full of sweet thoughts, and health, and quiet breathings;
Therefore, on every morning let's be wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth.
TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD. P.G.M. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
WILLIAM WHIPPLE, a signer of the Declaration of Independence,
was a member of St. John's Lodge No. 1, located at Portsmouth, N. H. He was
born in Kittery, Maine, in January, 1730, and died in November, 1785. He went
to sea at an early age in merchant vessels, and was in command of a vessel
before he was of age.
It may seem paradoxical that so many boys who go to sea,
leaving schools and academies behind them, acquire a substantial education.
However, such is the rule, and in Whipple we have an object lesson. Coming
into intimate contact with men of the world, with the wily foreigner, the
methodical importers and exporters and with the laws of the nations of the
world, imparts to the seafaring man much that is not taught in universities.
The school gives its graduates but the foundation on which to build a
profession, but it does not give the profession per se.
In 1759 Whipple became a merchant in Portsmouth. In 1775 he
became a member of the Provincial Congress at Exeter, and the following year a
member of the Continental Congress. Two years later he was commissioned a
Brigadier, and commanded New Hampshire troops at Saratoga. In 1778 he
cooperated with General John Sullivan (also a Mason) in - the siege of
Newport, and afterwards became financial receiver of the State of New
Hampshire. In 1782 he was appointed Judge of the Superior Court of the State.
The grave of General Whipple is in the North Cemetery at
Portsmouth, N.H., and near it is the unmarked grave of Captain William
Thompson, the sixth Captain on the original Navy List.
The memorial to Whipple is not a grand affair - not such as
would have been erected over the grave of so great a man had he lived in more
prosperous times. It is a simple granite cube, about three feet in height,
surmounted with a marble slab. The inscription reads:
deposited the remains
Honorable William Whipple,
departed this life
28th day of November, 1785.
elected and thrice attended
State of New Hampshire,
Particularly in the memorable year
America declared itsef independent
Of Great Britain.
He was, also, at time of his
Of the Supreme Court of
A firm and ardent Patriotism
Was united with
And every social virtue
The memorial does not record the great act of General Whipple
in signing the Declaration of Independence, but that is history. It does not
record his Masonic membership, which was probably not the custom, but his
lodge has his Masonic record, and the Nation's History records his signature
to the Declaration.
Many mementoes and recollections cluster around the
neighborhood where Whipple's remains lie: the site and ruin of Fort William
and Mary, where the New Hampshire Minute Men made their famous attack, the
famous old house known as "The Earl of Halifax Tavern," which was built by
Brother Stavers, of St. John's Lodge, in 1767, where the lodge once met and
where the Grand Lodge was organized with John Sullivan as Grand Master. Among
the visitors at this meeting were the peerless George Washington, General
Joseph Cilley, Alexander Scammel, Henry Dearborn, Major Edward Sherbourne,
Winborn Adams, Andrew McClary, Lieutenant Elijah Hall, U. S.
N., Captain Zach Beal, John
Dennett, Jere Fogg, James Gray, Michael McClary and Dr. William Parker. All
lodge room is a model of the ship "America," fifty-four guns, built in
Portsmouth by order of the British Government in 1749, and during her
construction St. John's Lodge held two meetings on board. From the minutes the
following excerpt has been taken:
night Brother Smith, Brother Wallace, Brother Jenness and Brother Campbell
were made Masters by vote of ye lodge.
John's Lodge cannot be praised too highly for the care and preservation of its
records. It has set a record for all the rest.
CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
BUILDER JUNE 1921
victim of this savage decree is said to have been a Frenchmen, the author of a
book entitled An Apology for the Society of Freemasons, which book was ordered
to be burnt by the Ministers of Justice in one of the most frequented streets
of Rome. The papal decree e concerning this offender was worded as follows:
February, 1739. The Sacred Congregation of the most eminent and most reverend
Cardinals of the Holy Roman See and Inquisitor-general in the Christian
republic against heretical provity, held in the convent of St. Mary Minervam,
thoroughly weighing that a certain book, written in French, small in its size,
but most wicked in regard to its bad subject, entitled The History of and an
Apology for the Society of Freemasons, By J. G. D. M. F. M., printed at Dublin
for Patrick Odoroke, 1739, has been published to the great scandal of all the
faithful in Christ, in which book there is an apology for the society of
Freemasons, already justly condemned by the holy see; after a mature
examination thereof, a censure, and that to be by our most holy lord, Pope
Clement XII, together with the suffrages of the most eminent and most reverend
lords, the Cardinals, by the command of his holiness, condemns and prohibits,
by the present decree, the said book, as containing propositions and wicked
"Wherefore that so hurtful and wicked a work may be abolished, as much as
possibly it can, or at least that it may not continue without the perpetual
note of infamy, the same Sacred Congregation, by command as above has ordered
that the said work shall be burnt publicly by the Minister of Justice in the
street of St. Mary supra Minervam, on the 25th of the current month, at the
same time the congregation shall be held in the convent of the same St. Mary.
"Moreover, this same Sacred Congregation, by the command of his holiness,
positively forbids and prohibits all the faithful in Christ, that none dare by
any means, and under any pretence whatsoever, copy, print, or cause to be
copied or printed or written, or presume to read the said book in any language
and version now published or (which God forbid) may be published hereafter,
and now condemned by this decree, under the pain of excommunication, to be
incurred ipso facto by those who shall offend therein; but that they shall
presently and effectually deliver it up to the ordinaries of such places, or
to the inquisitors of heretical pravity, who shall burn it, or cause it to be
burnt, without delay.
Antinus Capellorius, notary-public of the Holy Roman and Universal
Bower, who was Counsellor of the Inquisition at Macerata, in his History of
the Popes published in 1768, says that Clement XII (who was a Florentian named
Lawrence Corsini) "began his Pontificate with obliging Cardinal Corsica, and
those whom he had employed, to give an account of their late administration,
and answer the many accusations brought against them by persons of all ranks
and condition. They were tried by a particular Congregation appointed for that
purpose, and it plainly appearing that they had defrauded the Apostolic
Chamber of immense sums, they were sentenced to make them good which reduced
them almost to beggary. We are told that a very small share of the sums which
they were forced to refund came into the Apostolic Chamber, His Holiness
having privately disposed of it to his nephews and relatives.... He was a man
of learning and an encourager, of the learned, but left no writings behind him
besides some Bulls, and among these one, allowing the Protestants who should
embrace the Roman Catholic religion to continue in the possession of the
Church lands which they held before their conversion. He improved the Vatican
Library with a noble collection of scarce and valuable books." Bower, it may
be stated, resigned his office in the Inquisition and left the Church of Rome
because of the treatment meted out to an innocent Man who was driven mad by
his sufferings in the prison of the Inquisition and of a nobleman who expired
under the hands of his torturers, of both of which inhuman and shocking scenes
he was an eye-witness.
same year also the Inquisition tortured a Mason, one Dr. Crudeli, Master of
the Florence Lodge, and kept him in prison for a considerable time. He
suffered the most unmerited cruelties for maintaining the innocence of the
Association. When the Grand Lodge of England was informed of his miserable
situation, they decided that a foreigner, whatever his rank, had claim upon
their sympathy, and they transmitted to him the sum of twenty pounds for
procuring the necessaries of life and they also exerted every nerve for
effecting his liberation. The death penalty was, however, a matter for the
secular authorities and not under the control of the Inquisition, so far as
Florence was concerned. It was not until December of that year that the Grand
Lodge of England succeeded in their negotiations for the freedom of Dr.
Crudeli, through the new Grand Duke, Francis Stephen, subsequently Francis I
of Austria, who had been initiated into the Order in 1731 at the Hague. When
afterwards the Inquisition offered pardon for self-denunciation and a hundred
crowns for information, and made several arrests, the Grand Duke interposed
and liberated the prisoners.
commands were eagerly welcomed in Spain and the Bull received the royal
executer there, while the Inquisitor-general, Orbe y Larreategui, published it
in an edict dated 11th October, 1738, pointing out that the Inquisition had
exclusive jurisdiction in this matter. He called for denunciation within six
days of all infractions under pain of excommunication and of a fine of two
hundred ducats. The edict was ordered to be read in the churches and to be
affixed to their portals. Then arose a conflict between the spiritual and
secular powers. In 1740, Philip V issued an edict under which a number of
Masons were sent to the galleys, while the Inquisition vindicated its rights
by breaking up a lodge in Madrid and insisting upon punishing its members.
Freemasons were thus the victims whichever party issued the decree.
sometimes asserted by Catholic writers that the Inquisition was a purely
secular organization, so that it may be of interest to record its actual
reigning Pope was the head of the Inquisition, which was known in Rome as the
Holy Office: he nominated all the Cardinals who composed this Congregation.
He also nominated all the presiding Inquisitors of the secondary tribunals.
They held their office at the will of the Pope, who had the power of deposing
them from their office without acquainting them of the cause of their
disgrace. The Holy Office at Rome was composed of Cardinals and Consultors.
The Cardinals formed the tribunal: they were the judges, the Consultors
composed the jury and had to be Canonists or regular priests. Each
subordinate tribunal was composed of three judges, three secretaries, a
sergeant-major, and three consulters, except in Italy, where the tribunal was
composed of an Inquisitor, assisted by a Vicar, a Fiscal, a Notary and some
Consulters. Each of these tribunals had several gaolers and a large number of
other officers. An Inquisitor had to prove his descent from an old-established
Catholic family, none of whose ancestors had been charged before a tribunal.
An oath of fidelity to preserve the secrets of the Inquisition had to be
taken, and the violation of this meant the death penalty, no excuse being
possible nor was there any appeal in mitigation of the sentence allowed.
Inquisition was empowered by the Pope to deal with (1), heretics; (2), those
suspected of heresy; (3), their abettors, protectors, and all persons who had
shown them any favour; (4), magicians, sorcerers, enchanters, and those who
made use of witchcraft; (5), blasphemers; (6), persons accused of having
resisted the officers of the Inquisition, or of having questioned the
jurisdiction of that body. Under the name of heretics were included all who
had written, taught, or preached anything contrary to the Holy Scriptures,
symbols and articles of faith, the traditions of the Church, those who had
left the Roman Catholic Church and embraced another faith, those Roman
Catholics who had praised the practices or ceremonies of other cults, those
who were of opinion that good was to be found in all religions, if faithfully
practised and good faith exercised, those who uttered or taught any opinion
contrary to the sovereign and illimitable authority of the Pope, or who denied
that the power of the Pope was above that of the temporal power of princes and
monarchs: in short, any who questioned or criticised the ultimatum of the Pope
on any subject whatever.
the Roman Catholic priests in Holland attempted to enforce obedience to the
commands of their superiors. Penitents who came to confession were asked if
they were Freemasons: if they were, the certificate for Holy Communion was
refused and they were expelled forever from the Communion table. After a
time, however, the States-General interfered and prohibited the clergy from
asking questions that were unconnected with the religious character of the
under papal compulsion, the Grand Master of Malta in 1740 caused the Bull of
Clement XII to be published in that island and forbade the meetings of the
Freemasons. In 1741, the Inquisition pursued the Freemasons at Malta. The
Grand Master proscribed their assemblies under severe penalties and six
Knights of Malta were banished from the island in perpetuity for having
assembled at a meeting.
had been opened in Rome on 15th August, 1735. It worked in English, but in
1737, under the Mastership of the Earl of Wintoun, the Inquisition seized its
serving brethren and it was closed on 20th August of that year. In the
archives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland is an old parchment-bound Minute-book
with the following explanatory memorandum prefixed by a brother named Andrew
Lumsden, dated Edinburgh, 20th November, 1799:
Clement the twelfth having published a most severe edict against Masonry, the
last lodge held at Rome was on the 20th August, 1738, when the late Earl of
Wintoun was Master. The officer of the lodge, who was a servant of Dr. James
Irvin, was sent, as a terror to others, prisoner to the Inquisition, but was
soon released. This happened about twelve years before I went to Rome,
otherwise I should no doubt have been received as I was a brother of the Lodge
of Edinburgh Dunfermline.
record of the Roman lodge remained, after its suppression, in the hands of the
Earl of Wintoun, till his death in December, 1750, when it was given by his
Lordship's executors to Dr. Irvin, the only brother of that lodge then
remaining at Rome; and who, I believe, wrote its original statutes in Latin.
the death of Dr. Irvin, his widow gave the record to me, as she had heard her
husband call me 'brother.' I carefully preserved it, till I delivered it at
Paris to John Macgowan, Esq., to be by him given to my cousin, Sir Alexander
Dick, of Prestonfield, Baronet, who, before the death of his brother, Sir
William Dick, was known by the name of Dr. Alexander Cunningham, and belonged
to the Roman lodge.
the death of Sir Alexander Dick, his son, the late Sir William, returned it to
Mr. Macgowan, who now put it into the hands of the Right Honourable Sir James
Stirling, Baronet, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and Grand Master of Scotland, to
be, by his lordship, deposited among the archives of the Grand Lodge.
the progress of this record, which is attested by Andrew Lumsden."
Clement XII had issued his Bull in 1738 many Freemasons in the Romanist States
of Germany founded, at Vienna the Order of the Mopses, admitting both men and
women to membership, and claiming to be devoted to the papacy. According to
some writers the founder of this Order was the Duke of Bavaria, himself a
Freemason. The title is undoubtedly derived from the German mops, meaning "a
young mastiff," which representation is also claimed to have been the badge of
the Order, symbolic of fidelity and attachment.
King John V of Portugal was persuaded by his entourage that the Freemasons
were heretics and rebels and he issued an edict against them. An era of
persecution and torture at the hands of the Inquisition followed, the best
known case and the one of which the fullest particulars are available being
that of John Coustos. After his release from prison Coustos published a full
narrative of his arrest and subsequent tortures, and the following story is
given in his own words:
desirous of furnishing my readers with every possible proof that I actually
underwent the tortures narrated in these pages, I submit the wounds, still
visible upon my arms and legs, to the inspection of Dr. Hoadley and to Mr.
Hawkins, and Mr. Carey, surgeons; and I feel grateful to those gentlemen for
having authorized me to state that they are quite satisfied the marks resulted
from great and peculiar violence, and that their position corresponds exactly
with the tortures hereinafter described.
"I am a
native of Berne, in Switzerland, and a lapidary by profession. In the year
1716, my father came with his family to London, and easily obtained there
letters of naturalization.
twenty-two years' residence I went to Paris, and worked for the French king in
the galleries of the Louvre. Having thus spent five years, I removed to
Lisbon, with the ultimate design of settling in the Brazils, allured by the
vision of gold and jewels so abundant there, and the certainty of acquiring a
fortune. But the King of Portugal, by advice of his council, deemed it
impolitic to permit a foreign lapidary roam through a colony abounding with
precious stones of whose value and extent the government labour to keep even
their own subjects in ignorance. At Lisbon therefore, I was content to
settle, having lost all hopes of being permitted to emigrate. Employment in
my profession I found in abundance, and soon could have amassed a competency,
for age, had I escaped the cruel grasp of the bloodthirsty inquisitors. These
tyrants detain at the post office the letters of all about whom they entertain
suspicions. Mine they from time intercepted, hoping to discover some allusion
to Freemasonry, I being notorious as one of the most zealous professors of
that art. Not discovering, however, any passages which struck at the Romish
religion, or tended to disturb the government, yet still bent upon the
discovery of the Masonic secret, they resolved to seize one of the leading
brethren, and I was selected being the Master of a lodge. With me they
associated the Warden, Mr. Alexander James Monton, a diamond cutter, born in
Paris, and a Romanist. He had been settled six years in Lisbon, where he was
jeweller to the court.
reader must know that our lodges in Lisbon were not held at taverns, etc., but
alternately at the private dwellings of chosen friends; there we used dine
together, and practice the ceremonies of our Craft. Ignorant at the time that
Masonry was interdicted in Portugal, we made no attempt at secrecy, and were
soon denounced by the treacherous zeal of a lady residing in a house opposite
to mine, who, at confession declared we were Freemasons; that we debarred
women from our assemblies, and, consequently, could be nothing less than
dangerous revolutionary conspirators. The officers of the Inquisition were
soon on the alert. My friend, Mr. Monton, fell the first victim, he being
seized in manner following:
jeweller and goldsmith, who besides was familiar of the Holy Office, came to
his house, saying he was commissioned to inquire the expense of resetting a
diamond weighing four carats. They agreed about the sum; but as this was
artifice merely, in order that the familiar might become acquainted with
Monton's person, he declined leaving the jewel until after consulting the
owner, and hearing his opinion of the arrangement. I happened to be present,
which greatly delighted the inquisitor, who had got the unexpected sight of
both his victims at once. He went off, requesting both of us to call on him
the next day. Business not permitting me to accompany him, Monton went alone
to receive the diamond said to be worth a hundred moidores. 'Where is your
friend, Coustos,' said the traitor, for he had the day before showed him
several stones, which he pretended to be desirous I should polish. Monton
replied that I was on change, and he would fetch me. But the inquisitor and
his five sub-alterns, afraid of losing half their prey, beckoned him into the
back shop, and after several signs and tokens had passed between him and his
myrmidons, he rose up, whispered a few words in private, and retiring behind a
curtain, demanded his visitor's name and surname, telling him he was a
prisoner in the king's name. Unconscious of any crime for which he could
justly incur his Portuguese majesty's displeasure, he gave up his sword the
moment it was demanded of him. Finding he had no other weapon, they asked
whether he wished to know in whose name he was detained. 'Yes,' said Monton.
'We seize you,' said the guards, 'in the king's name, and in that of the most
Holy Inquisition; and in its name we forbid you to speak, or even so much as
to murmur.' Then, a door at the bottom of the shop, which looked into a
by-lane, flew open, and the prisoner, accompanied by the commissary, was
dragged towards a small chaise with the blinds close drawn down, so that were
any friends near, they might remain ignorant of his fate.
device was to spread a report that he had absconded with the diamond entrusted
to him. How greatly was each of his friends shocked at this slander! As we
all esteemed his probity none would give credence to the base report, and we
unanimously agreed, after weighing the matter, to go in a body to the jeweller
and reimburse him, firmly persuaded that some fatal and unforeseen accident
must have led to the disappearance of our friend. He, however, refused our
offer, politely assuring us that the owner of the diamond was far too wealthy
to be regardful of its loss.
sometimes penetrates all disguises with which falsehood seeks to cloud her; so
this generosity in persons to whom we were in a great measure strangers made
us suspect some foul play, a conjecture confirmed by a fierce and open
persecution which immediately arose against Freemasonry, I myself being seized
four days after.
acquaintance, hired by the Inquisition, seeing me in a coffee-house on the 5th
March, 1742, between nine and ten of the clock at night, denounced me to nine
familiars, who lay in wait with a chaise near the spot. I was in the utmost
confusion when, on quitting the coffeehouse with two friends, they seized me
only, 'I had passed my word,' they declared, 'for the diamond which Monton was
charged with purloining; therefore certainly I was his accomplice, and had
engaged my friends to offer payment in the hope of concealing my crime.'
purpose did I attempt a justification. Seizing my sword the wretches
handcuffed me, thrust me into a chaise drawn by two mules, and thus was. I
hurried off to share the captivity of my friend. But, undaunted by these
severities, and their repeated denunciations of vengeance in case I attempted
to accost the passers-by, I tore open the wooden shutters of my caleche, and
loudly hailed one of my friends, Mr. Richard, my companion in the
coffee-house, conjuring them to apprize all our brethren of my imprisonment,
and warn them that the only means of averting a similar fate was to go
voluntarily to the inquisitors and denounce themselves. Deeds of villainy are
deeds of darkness.
here observe that the Holy Office rarely ventures to seize its prey in broad
daylight, as in the case of Monton, unless they judge he will be too much
paralysed by fear and the, novelty of his position to make either an outcry or
resistance. For myself I reckoned so confidently on the zeal and courage of my
fiends that my first impulse was to draw and defend myself, calling on my
friends to set their backs to the wall and follow my example. No sooner,
however, did they see my rapier out than, overwhelmed with terror from being
better advised as to the consequences of resistance, they all forsook me and
fled. Left alone with these wretches, the whole nine fell upon and pinioned
me, as already described. When a person is arrested all the world abandons
him. His relatives go into mourning, and scarcely venture to intercede in his
defence; nay, steps are taken to bribe and intimidate the dearest friends into
accusing each other.
the carriage rattled over the pavement until we reached the Casa Sancta, and
swept into a court-yard overshadowed by the dark grey towers of that dreary
office. I was now ordered to alight, and handed over to an officer until the
grand inquisitor had been informed of my being caught in their snare. They
took advantage of this interval to make a rigorous personal search, the rule
being to deprive the prisoner of any gold, silver, buckles, knives, etc.,
which he may have about him. They then motioned me to follow, and led the way
to a lone dungeon, expressly forbidding me to speak unless addressed, not to
strike against the walls; but in case I wanted assistance to knock at the door
with a great padlock that hung outside, and which I could reach by thrusting
my arm through the iron grate. 'Twas then that, struck with all the horrors
of a place which I had read and heard such baleful descriptions, I sank into
the blackest melancholy, picturing to an excited fancy all the pains and
penalties that might hereafter be associated with my imprisonment.
day's incarceration passed in these anxious terrors, aggravated by the dismal
moans of other captives, my neighbours. And night, usually associated with
solemn silence brought no intermission. The shrieks of men and, if I may
judge from the voices, of women, undergoing the punishment of scourging for a
violation of the command to speak not - so vehemently urged on me - forbid all
sleep. I rose to pace my cell. Dawn at length broke through the lofty grated
lattice, and full wearily it came. Time seemed no longer to revolve. These
twenty-four hours succeeding my capture, had for me the duration of years.
days' time, a lay brother whom I had not yet seen entered my prison, and
without one word uttered or sign made, began to crop my hair. Bare-headed, and
with naked feet, he then marched me into the presence of my abhorred judges,
viz., the president and four junior inquisitors.
"Immediately on my entrance they instructed me to kneel, lay my right hand on
the Bible, and swear in the name of Almighty God, that I would truly answer
all questions demanded of me. My own and my parents' Christian name and
surname, the place of my birth, my profession, religious faith, and how long I
had resided at Lisbon, were then entered in a book. This done, the chief
inquisitor spoke thus: 'Son you have heinously offended in aspersing the Holy
Office, as we know of a certainty. Now, therefore, we exhort you to
confession, and to accuse yourself of all and several the crimes committed
from the earliest moment at which you could discern betwixt good and evil, to
the present hour. Thus doing, you may excite the compassion of our holy
tribunal, ever merciful and kind to such as love and speak the truth.'
then thought proper to tell me that the diamond transaction mentioned above,
was merely a device to gain a convenient opportunity of arresting me. On this,
I besought them to let me know the real cause of my imprisonment; that I had
never in my life spoken evil of the Romish religion; having so demeaned myself
during my sojourn in Lisbon, that I could not be justly accused of saying or
doing aught contrary to the laws spiritual or temporal, of his Portuguese
majesty's dominions. That I belonged to a society comprising individuals
professing various religious tenets, one of whose laws expressly forbade all
disputation on matters of doctrine, under a severe penalty. When I perceived
the inquisitors confounded the word society with religion, I assured them my
society could be considered religious one only as it obliged its members to
live in charity and brotherly love, however widely they differed on matters of
faith. They then asked how this society was called. I replied that I could
tell them its name in English and French, but was unable to translate it into
Portuguese. Keenly fixing their eyes on me, they all pronounced alternately
the words 'Freemason,' Francmacon'. The true cause of my imprisonment was now
revealed. After a pause of silence, during which they conferred apart, they
suddenly demanded what was the constitution of Freemasonry. I set before them
as well as I could our ancient traditions. That James VI of Scotland had
declared himself its protector, and encouraged his subjects to enrol
themselves therein. That, besides, the ancient kings of Scotland so esteemed
this honourable Craft for its devoted loyalty, that they promoted among its
members use of a special toast; and 'God preserve the king and brotherhood'
precedes the goblet at all their feasts. That those monarchs were often Grand
Masters of lodges; when otherwise, a nobleman was selected who received from
the king a pension; at his election a money gift from all beside. That Queen
Elizabeth ascending the English throne in unsettled times, took umbrage of all
secret societies, and resolved to suppress them; but first of all she
commanded certain of her council, with the archbishop of Canterbury, to enrol
themselves in that of Masonry. Obeying the queen's orders, they made so
advantageous a report of their loyalty as removed her Majesty's alarm, and
Freemasons have ever since enjoyed in Great Britain and the places subject to
it, the most perfect countenance and all due liberty, which it is their proud
boast never to have once abused.
inquisitors next demanded what was the tendency of this society. I replied:
'Every Freemason is obliged at his admission to take an oath on the Holy
Gospel, that he will be faithful to the king, not enter into any plot or
conspiracy against his sacred person, or against the liberty of the country
where he resides; and that he will cheerfully submit to its established laws.
That charity was the foundation, soul, and bond of unity, linking us together
by the tie of fraternal love, and making it an imperative duty to assist
poverty in the most liberal spirit, without distinction of religious belief.'
then they called me 'liar,' declaring it to be impossible we should practise
these good maxims, and yet be so jealous of our secret as to exclude women
from its participation. The judicious reader will smile at the inference,
which if true, would certainly apply to the dark and mysterious tyranny of the
Holy Office itself. However, I answered them: 'Women, my lords, are excluded
in order to suppress occasion of scandal, and because in society they are
usually found to be unsafe guardians of a secret. The founders of Masonry
are, therefore, by their exclusion, thought to have given a signal proof of
their wisdom and foresight.'
insisted I should reveal to them the symbols and tokens of a lodge.
oath,' said I, 'taken at my admission, never to divulge directly or indirectly
what then transpired, forbids me; and I humbly trust to your lordships'
justice that my principles may find favour in your sight.' To this they
answered: 'In our presence your heretical vow avails not - we absolve you from
it.' The nature of my reply they seemed to anticipate. I was at once thrust
back into my damp, noisome dungeon, where I fell sick. Partially recovered, I
was sent for to be interrogated whether, since my abode in Lisbon, any
Portuguese had been received into a lodge. I replied 'No.' True it was,
indeed, that Don Emanuel de Sousa, lord of Calliaris, and captain of the
German guards, hearing that the person was at Lisbon who had made the Duc de
Villeroy a Freemason by order of the French king, Louis XV, had desired M. de
Chavigny, ambassador of France to find me out. But knowing Freemasonry to be
forbidden, and aware that M. de Calliaris was a nobleman of great economy, I
found an expedient to disengage myself from him by asking fifty moidores for
his reception, a demand which, I was persuaded, would at once put an end to
his desire to be enroled amongst us. As regarded their threats of torture I
referred them to Mr. Dogood, an English Roman Catholic and Freemason, who had
settled a lodge in Lisbon fifteen years before, and who, being of their own
persuasion, could more properly appreciate their power to, absolve us from an
referring to a previous examination, when I said it was a duty incumbent on
Freemasons to assist the needy, they asked whether I had ever relieved a
necessitous object. I named to them a poor woman, a Romanist, who, being
reduced to the extremity of want, and hearing that we were liberal of alms,
had addressed herself to me: I gave her a moidore; when the Franciscan convent
was burned down the fathers made a collection, and I have them, upon the
exchange, three-quarters of a moidore; that a poor Roman Catholic, with a
large family, who could get no work, being in the utmost distress, had been
recommended to me by some Freemasons, with a suggestion that we should make up
a purse among ourselves in order to set him up again; accordingly we raised,
among seven members, ten moidores, which money I myself put into his hands.
They then asked whether I had ever given alms privately out of my own purse.
I replied that the above gifts were mainly derived from fines levied at the
meetings of the Brotherhood. 'For what faults?' inquired they. 'Those,' said
I, 'who take the sacred name of God in vain pay the quarter of a moidore; less
profane oaths or indecent words, the quarter of a new croisade; the fractious
and disobedient were also fined.' Finding all their efforts to shake my
resolution, either by terror or cajolery, of no avail, they threw off all
disguise, called me 'dog of a heretic,' and vowing I was already damned, so
that neither purgatory nor absolution would avail me. The proctor then
proceeded to read the heads of the indictment or charge, which was as follows:
said Coustos having refused to discover to the inquisitors the true tendency
and evil designs of the assembly of Freemasons, and having, on the contrary,
persisted in the assertion that Freemasonry is good in itself: wherefore the
proctor of the Inquisition demands that the said prisoner be prosecuted with
the utmost rigour; and that the court do now proceed to tortures, in order to
extort from him a confession that the several articles of which he stands
accused are wholly and altogether true.'
up the paper he drove me before him to the torture room, built in the form of
a square tower, illuminated by two small torches only, making a darkness
visible; and, to prevent the shrieks of the sufferers from being heard
without, the doors are lined with felt. After preparing their instruments, an
operation ostentatiously performed before my eyes, six wretches laid hold of
me, stripping me naked to my drawers, and casting me on my back. An iron
collar was placed round my neck and secured me to the scaffold. They next
fixed a ring to each foot, and stretched my legs apart with all their might.
Afterwards two ropes were twisted round each arm and two round each thigh,
and, being passed under the scaffold through holes made for the purpose, four
men, upon a signal, suddenly drew them tight. These ropes pierced the flesh,
even to my bones, making the blood gush out at the eight different places thus
bound. An inquisitor stood by; at each interval in the torture he addressed
me. 'Sir,' said he, with a marvellous hypocrisy, in the most anxious and
affectionate tone, 'why will you thus endure suffering - why so cruel to
yourself? Remember, should you expire under the torture, in the sight of
Heaven you are guilty of the crime of felo de se.'
persisted in keeping silence, the cords were thus four times drawn together.
At my side stood a physician and a surgeon, who, sometimes, feeling my temples
or my pulse, directed the tormenters to suspend operations. During these
pauses, I lay in a heap upon the ground, until some partial restoration of my
faculties, when the tender-hearted inquisitor gave the signal for their
these sufferings elicited no confession - but that the greater the cruelty the
more fervently I supplicated heaven for constancy and courage - six weeks
after they led me once more to the tower. I was directed to extend my arms
with the palms outwards; a rope being attached to each wrist, they turned a
windlass, and gradually drew them nearer and nearer to each other behind,
until the backs of the hands touched. Both my shoulders were dislocated; from
my mouth issued a stream of blood. The operation being thrice repeated, I was
taken to my cell, where the surgeon, in setting my bones, put me to almost
expiration of two months, being a little restored, a new executioner, clothed
in a long black garment which concealed his person from head to foot, with a
mask upon his face, having two holes for sight, came to my cell and conducted
me to the torture-room. Around my body he placed a heavy iron chain, which
crossing upon my stomach, terminated at my wrists. The tormenter stretching
these ropes with a roller, pressed and bruised my stomach; and wrists and
shoulders were again dislocated. The surgeon, however, set them directly.
The sympathizing inquisitor, having repeated his condolence and his
exhortations, withdrew, making a sign in doing so for the recommencement of
different times they had me on the rack. I was reduced to the state of a
helpless cripple, unable during some weeks to raise my hand to my mouth, and
my body swelled with inflammation caused by these frequent dislocations. I
have too much reason to dread that I shall feel their effects through life,
being seized from time to time with thrilling pains, unknown to me ere I fell
into the bloody hands of these hellish inquisitors.
period for a general auto da fe being arrived, I was compelled to walk with
the other victims. When at St. Dominic's Church, my sentence was read, and I
found myself condemned to the galleys for the space of four years.
had leisure to reflect on the means best adapted to obtain my liberty. I
succeeded in communicating with my brother-inlaw, Mr. Barber, entreating him
humbly to address the Earl of Harrington in my favour, as he had the honour to
live in his lordship's family. This nobleman, whose humanity and generosity
have been the theme of abler pens than mine, undertook to procure my freedom.
Accordingly, his lordship spoke to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, one of the
principal secretaries of state, that he would supplicate our sovereign to
order his minister at Lisbon to demand me as a British subject. His Majesty,
ever attentive to the felicity of his subjects, and desirous to relieve them
from all their misfortunes, graciously assented. Instructions were at once
sent to Mr. Compton, minister at Lisbon, to demand an immediate audience of
the Portuguese minister, and Admiral Matthews, then sailing with a fleet to
the Mediterranean, carried these instructions out. His orders were, to anchor
for four-and-twenty hours only in the Tagus, and within half that period to
see me safely delivered on board some English vessel about to sail for
England. The tenor of this dispatch was too significant to be dallied with.
An order came for my immediate release, and I left the prison of the galleys
on the 25th October, 1743.
our sovereign, King George II, my most dutiful acknowledgements for having
graciously condescended to interpose in behalf of an unhappy galley-slave. I
shall retain as long as I have health, the deepest affection and loyalty for
his sacred person, and shall be ever ready to expose my life, as every
true-hearted Freemason is bound to do, for his Majesty and all his august
following the celebrated auto-da-fe at Lisbon - in July, 1844 - another
Freemason, a friend of Coustos, John Baptist Richard, 26 years of age, who had
been denounced as a Freemason, renounced the Protestant religion in order to
regain his liberty, which he succeeded in doing on payment of the costs of the
prosecution. Among the names of those denounced to the Inquisition at this
time were Englishmen named Gordon, Fox, Ivens, Vandrevel; Frenchmen named Jean
Pietre, Lambert Boulanger, Jean Ville Neuve, Felix, Julian, and Carmoa.
Gordon and Fox were already initiated when they went to Portugal, and it may
be that this Gordon is the same as the brother indicated by O'Kelly as having
introduced Freemasonry into Portugal.
It is not
without interest to note the way in which the authorities first discovered the
fact that Coustos and Monton were Freemasons. It appears that Monton's wife,
in conversation with a Mme. la Rude, the wife of the Jeweller, was so
indiscreet as to reveal the fact that her husband was a Freemason. Mme. la
Rude, who was jealous of the property of her two friends, made this known to
another friend, Marie Rose Clave, with the result that Monton, Coustos, and
another Freemason, a Frenchman named Brusle, were arrested. Several
foreigners were members of the lodge of which Coustos was Master, but, when
interrogated, they denied their membership.
almost if not quite, incredible that such things could have happened within
the last two hundred years, but the narrative of Coustos was verified at the
time it was written, and there is no reason to suspect as untrue or
exaggerated any one of the statement he has and, Monton returned with Coustos
to London where both were well cared for by the English brethren. His
narrative, together with a history of the Inquisition, was published in 1745,
and again in 1746. There is a copy of the very rare first edition in the
PAID TEACHERS URGED AS VITAL NEED
for Support of Free Public Schools and Those in Charge Made by N.E.A.
The cause of education has been given a wonderful impetus
throughout the country, in the opinion of competent observers, during the past
several months, due, in the first place, to the desire for knowledge developed
as one of the results of the war and, in the second, to the agitation of the
subject in state legislative bodies and in the national Congress. While the
state and federal legislative bodies have in every instance had economy as
their slogan, yet the leaders have not permitted economy to be urged at the
expense of educational advancement.
It is being pointed out by the National Education Association
that, at a time when teachers are being selected throughout the country and
salaries fixed, it is well to be on guard to the end that there be no
retrenchment in the cause of education. In an authorized statement on this
subject the Association has this, in part, to say:
"Our free public school system is an integral part of our free
government, essential to its life and prosperity. The only secure foundation
for democracy is an enlightened and intelligent electorate.... This fact was
recognized by the far-seeing statesmen who founded this nation. William Penn
declared that the only way to preserve free government was by the education of
all its citizens, 'for which,' said he, 'spare no cost, for by such parsimony
all that is saved is lost.'
"Washington urged his countrymen 'to promote as objects of
primary importance institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge.'
Jefferson, Adams, and Madison taught that the education of all the people
furnishes the greatest safeguard for our free institutions.
"The greatest need of our country today is competent, well
qualified teachers to train the future citizens of the nation. . . The schools
of tomorrow should be taught only by the best, and the profession of teaching
must be made so inviting that it will attract and hold the best.
"Let us cut down expenditures for luxuries; let us reduce
appropriations wherever it can be done with safety, but for the perpetuity of
those ideals and principles which are nearest to the hearts of the American
people, there can be no backward step in the development of a strong,
intelligent, patriotic citizenry, upon whom must depend the preservation of
the things for which we have made such sacrifice in blood and treasure. The
hope of America is in her free public schools. To elevate their standards and
promote their efficiency should be the purpose of every American statesman and
citizen." - Capital News Service, Washington, D. C.
EDUCATIONAL MEASURE AGAIN INTRODUCED
Bill Goes Promptly to Committee on Education, Where Favorable Report Is
Expected in Short Time.
The Department of Education bill is now formally before the
special session of Congress, it having been reintroduced on the first day by
Representative Horace M. Towner of Iowa. It will be introduced in the Senate
shortly, the committees there having now been made up.
Briefly, the bill as reintroduced in the House provides for the
appropriation of $7,500,000, or so much of this sum as may be actually
necessary, in the Americanization of immigrants; $50,000,000 to be used in
equalizing educational opportunities in the states and for partial payment of
teachers' salaries; $20,000,000 for physical education, and $15,000,000 for
the preparation of teachers.
The bill as introduced is changed from the original one,
reported out favorably and strongly by the House committee on education, in
verbiage only. Judge Towner believes that as a result another favorable report
from the committee will be forthcoming shortly, thus giving the measure a
favorable position on the calendar of the House. With this advantage, its
consideration in the Senate will not call for as much time as it would
Judge Towner has expressed himself as pleased with the strong
newspaper indorsement given the measure not only during the last session but
during the vacation of Congress. In addition, indorsements of the bill are
coming in daily from all sections of the country to members of the two Houses.
Due to the delay occasioned by failure to get consideration of the education
measure in the last Congress, it has been possible for the author to get a
clear insight into other proposed measures having to do with education, and to
clarify provosions in his in such way as to care for most of these under the
one bill. - Capital News Service, Washington, D.C.
ASHMOLE AND THE MASONIC CRAFT
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
ASHMOLE has sometimes been described as "the first Freemason in England,"
meaning by that expression that he was the first known outside the ranks of
the operatives to be initiated into the Craft on English soil. This, of
course, is inaccurate as Sir Robert Moray was initiated at New- castle-on-Tyne
five years prior to Ashmole. Moreover, in the record which Elias Ashmole
supplies of his own initiation, there were other gentlemen already initiated
and holding office in the lodge who, certainly, were not connected with
operative masons. The phrase, occasionally is varied and Ashmole is said to
have been "one of the first Freemasons in England." Again, there is no proof.
There were undoubtedly lodges existing in England at that time, although all
records, if any were kept, have been lost, or, at least, have never been
traced. The presumption is either that minutes of the proceedings were not
kept or that they were not preserved with the same care as in later years and
that exercised at the present day.
facts, however, do not detract from the interest that attaches to the entries
made by Elias Ashmole in his Diary, the first of which reads as follows:
Oct. 16. 4.30 p. m. I was made a Free Mason at Warrington in Lancashire with
Col. Henry Mainwaring of Keringham in Cheshire. The names of those that were
then of the Lodge: Mr. Rich. Penket, Warden, Mr. James Collier, Mr. Rich.
Sankey, Henry Littler, John Ellam, Rich. Ellam, and Hugh Brewer."
Richard Garnett, in his biography of Elias Ashmole, in the Dictionary of
National Biography, says - though he quotes no authority for his statement -
that the first formal meeting of Freemasons in England was held in 1646.
Albert Pike, the great American Mason, says:
had some inducement that led him to seek admission into Masonry - some object
to attain, some purpose to carry out. Even his utter silence as to its
objects, nature, customs, and work of the Institution is significant. There
was something IN the Institution that made it seem to him worth his while to
join it, and what there was in it then there may have been centuries before.
He is even more reticent about it than Herodotus was about the Mysteries of
the Egyptian Priests."
William H. Rylands, who has made a special study of Masonry in Warrington and
the surrounding districts in the seventeenth century, particulars are
available of the persons mentioned in this entry in Ashmole's Diary. His
fellow initiate was Colonel Mainwaring, a scion of the younger branch of the
Mainwarings of Peover. Randle Mainwaring went Karrincham about 1445 his
father having purchased the estate for him. Colonel Mainwaring was born in
1608, and succeeded to the estate on the death of his father in 1638. He
also, like Ashmole, was a prominent figure during the whole of the civil war,
being principally engaged in and about Chesire, his native county. He died in
1684. Richard, the Warden, who, apparently was in charge of the lodge, was a
member of the old family of Penket, or Penketh. His grandfather was Richard
Penketh, of Penketh, mentioned in the Herald's Visitation to Lancashire made
by St. George in 1613; his grandmother was a daughter of Thomas Sankey, of
Sankey, gentleman, and his father was Thomas Penketh, of Penketh. In the
Parish Register of Warrington, 11th June, 1591, is the entry: "Richard Penketh,
gentleman, to Mary Entoughe." Richard Penketh, who was present in the lodge,
died in 1652, six years after Ashmole's initiation, and must have been some
eighty years of age. He was the last of his race to hold the family property,
for, in 1624, Sir Thomas Irelande exchanged the hall and demesne of Penketh
with Thomas Ashton, "late the inheritance of Richard Penketh." James Collier
held lands at Newton-le-Willows, and married Ellen Bretherton, of the old
Lancashire family of that name, and died in 1674, being buried at Winwick.
Richard Sankey was a member of a family which had held lands near Warrington
from 1275, these being known as Little Sankey and Great Sankey. In the
Warrington Parish Register for 1621, the baptism of Edward, son of Richard
Sankey, gentleman is entered: evidently the Edward, who, in 1646, copied the
Sloane MS, one of the most valued Masonic possessions as a document of the
Ancient Charges. Henry Littler was also of a family settled in Cheshire,
whose names are frequently found in the lists of jurors. The Ellams were of a
yeoman family, then long resident in the parish of Winwick. Richard's will
begins: "I, Richard Ellam, of Lymm, co. Chester, Freemason," etc.
facts prove incontestably that Freemasonry in that day, and, presumably, for
many years previously, had ceased to be operative and had became speculative.
particulars have yet been ascertained of the lodge in which Ashmole was
initiated. It had either ceased to exist in 1717, when the Grand Lodge of
England was formed, or, if existing, it did not join that body then or
afterwards. The oldest existing lodge in Warrington is the Lodge of Lights,
No. 148, warranted on 8th November, 1765. One, however, was warranted by the
Antient or Atholl Grand Lodge in 1755, the warrant being sold, in 1791, to a
lodge meeting at Quebec, which afterwards removed to Maidstone, but this
ceased to exist in 1812.
Masonic entry in Ashmole's Diary appears at the date of 10th March, 1682, and
p.m. I recd a Summons to appear at a Lodge to be held the next day at Masons'
Hall, London"; and on the following day he wrote the entry:
"Accordingly I went and about Noone were admitted into the Fellowship of Free
Masons. Sr William Wilson, Knight, Capt. Richard Borthwick, Mr. Will.
Woodman, Mr. Wm. Grey, Mr. Samuel Taylor & Mr. William Wise.
the Senior Fellow among them (it being 35 years since I was admitted). There
were p'sent beside myself the Fellows after named.
Thos: Wise Mr of the Masons Company this p'sent yeare, Mr. Thomas Shorthose,
Mr. Thomas Shadbolt, Waindsford Esqr. Mr. Rich Young, Mr. John Shorthose, Mr.
William Hamon, Mr. John Thompson & Mr. Will: Stanton.
dyned at the halfe Moone Tavern in Cheapeside, at a Noble dinner prepared at
the charge of the New-accepted Masons."
William Wilson, the first initiate mentioned in this list, was originally a
stonemason, but blossomed out into a builder and architect. He married the
widow of one Henry Pudsey and through her influence obtained knighthood in
1681. He built Four Oaks Hall for Lord ffoliott, as well as Nottingham
Castle. He was also the sculptor of the statue of Charles II at the west
front of Lichfield Cathedral. He died in 1710, in his seventieth year.
important point for consideration is whether Ashmole had attended any Masonic
lodges between the first and second entries. His Diary is Silent on that
subject, but it is also silent on many other subjects concerning which
information would be of value. It may be that he regarded Freemasonry as too
secret an organization for details to be inserted at any great length or
frequency, but, in view of his initiation having taken place at Warrington,
may have looked upon a summons (not an invitation) to attend the meeting of
this London lodge as worthy of record. It by no means follows that he had not
attended a Masonic lodge or failed to keep up his connection with the Craft
between 1646 and 1682. The deduction may even be made that he had, in some
way, maintained his connection with the Freemasons through the intervening
years. This, indeed, is the only possible surmise that will account for the
summons being sent to him.
William Sandys, who was a Past Master of the Grand Master's Lodge, No. 1, the
author of A Short History of Freemasonry and the author of the article
relating to Ashmole in the Encyclopedia Metropolitans, says, in the latter,
that at the same time Ashmole was made a Mason at Warrington a society of
Rosicrucians was formed in London on the principle of the societies
established in Germany about 1604, and partly, perhaps, on the plan of the
Literary Societies, allegorically described in Bacon's New Atlantis as the
House of Solomon, and he states positively that Ashmole was a member of this
Society, which met at Masons' Hall, London, but, so far, there is no
corroborative evidence of this statement. It is, however, also stated by his
biographers that Sir Robert Moray, Ashmole's forerunner in the annals of
English Masonic initiations, was also a member of the Rosicrucians, and Moray
was a friend of Ashmole as well as of Thomas Vaughan, who was undoubtedly a
Campbell, in the Biographia Britannica, says that in some of Ashmole's MSS.
there are very valuable collections relating to the history of the Freemasons,
but there are no papers of this nature in the Bodleian collection. On 26th
January, 1679, a fire broke out in the Chambers adjoining his in the Middle
Temple, by which he lost a library he had been thirty-three years in
collecting, but his manuscripts, which were at South Lambeth, of course,
escaped. Whether this history of "Freemasonry was ever written or the notes
for such a work ever made will probably remain forever unknown. On this
question, however, Dr. Knipe says:
the ancient society of Freemasons, concerning whom you are anxious to know
what may be known with certainty, I shall only tell you, that if our worthy
Brother, E. Ashmole Esquire, had executed his intended design, our fraternity
had been as much obliged to him as the brethren of the Most Noble Order of the
Garter. I would not have you surprised at this assertion or think it at all
too assuming. The sovereigns of that Order have not disdained our fellowship,
and there have been times when Emperors were also Freemasons. What from Mr. E.
Ashmole's conclusion I could gather was that the report of our societies
taking rise from a Bull granted by the Pope in the reign of Henry III to some
Italian architects to travel all over Europe to erect chapels was ill
founded. Such a Bull there was and those architects were Masons: but this
Bull, in the opinion of the learned Mr. Ashmole, was confirmative only and did
not by any means create our fraternity or even establish them in this
kingdom. But as to the time and manner of that establishment something I
shall relate from the same conclusions. Saint Alban, the proto Martyr of
England established Masonry here and from his time it flourished more or less
according as the world went, down to the days of King Athelstane, who, for the
sake of his brother Edwin, granted the Masons a charter: though, afterwards,
growing jealous of his brother, it is said he caused him to go with his page
to be put into a boat and committed to the sea, where they perished. It is
likely that masons were affected by his folly and suffered for some time; but
afterwards their creed revived and we find in our Norman princes that they
frequently received extraordinary marks of royal favour."
Ashmole been able to perform for Freemasonry the same service that he rendered
to Knighthood in his History of the Garter doubtless many of the questions
which brethren have for years been trying to answer in a satisfactory manner
would a long time since have passed into the realm of proven facts or
G.A. Nancarrow, Indiana
power makes the highest mountain top
of sand so tiny none can see;
oceans, in comparison, a drop
morning dew that glistens on the lea?
power makes the endless stream of years
primal dawn a moment in the span;
power makes a man and all his peers,
with it, as monads in the plan?
power holds the mighty firmament
the earth as though it were a clod?
answer through the universe is sent
thunders: The Omnipotence of God.
EMBLEMATIC FREEMASONRY, BUILDING GUILDS AND HERMETIC SCHOOLS
ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
EMBLEMATIC FREEMASONRY is the Craft of Building moralized, it follows that
intellectually, at least, our figurative and speculative art has arisen out of
the Operative. Here is a first link in any chain of connection with the
building world of the past. But it seems certain also that the Free and
Accepted, or Speculative, Masons had Operative documents, such as the
so-called Gothic Constitutions and Old Charges, for part of their heritage.
The proof is that soon after the revival of 1717, these documents were put
into the hands of Dr. James Anderson "to digest .. . . in a new and better
method." They were things apparently in evidence, and he was not commissioned
to search them out. Beyond this omnia exeunt in mysterium. Almost from year
to year our documentary knowledge of Constitutions, Charges, and Landmarks
extends slowly. There is also new light cast from time to time on the general
history of architecture in Christian times. But no light is shed on the
antiquities of art of building moralized. The existence of such an art prior
to 1717 remains almost as much a matter of speculation as the art itself is
speculative. We are led almost irresistibly to infer that it anteceded this
date and a few remain among us who believe that it may have been old in the
year 1646, when Ashmole was made a Mason at Warrington, but there is no real
evidence. So also there are zealous and capable writers by whom our knowledge
is expanded from time to time, however slightly, on particular sides and
respecting the archaeology of architectural history, on Roman Collegia,
Dionysian artificers, and Comacines. They furnish at the same time many
plausible and taking speculations. But they do not help us in respect of
Freemasonry, as we now understand the term, because no evidence of building
association is of service to our awn purpose unless such association embodies
our "peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by
Hittites of Syria and Asia Minor may have been of "Hametic descent" and may
have built the Temple at Jerusalem; the Etruscans, from whom architecture was
learned by the Romans, may have been Hittites; at the downfall of Rome, the
Roman Collegia may have settled in that island on Lake Como, which is familiar
at the present day as Isola Cpmacina, and may have become Comacines; the
Comacines may, in turn, have merged into the great Masonic guilds of the
Middle Ages. But, if so, all this is part and parcel of the history of
architecture and not of Emblematical Building, unless and until we can show
that, practical Masons as they were, their system of secret association
included what is called in the Craft degrees a side of Speculative Masonry and
in the appendant degrees an art of building spiritualized. But it is just
this which is wanting, or we should have taken the closing long since in the
lodge of our debate on the origin of Freemasonry. There are not unnatural
sporadic vestiges, few and far between. It is said that the Comacines had a
motto affirming that their temple was "one made without hands," and this
reminds us assuredly of the Mark degree; but it is not to be called evidence
for a developed speculative element prevailing amongst those old masters. Nor
can I think with Brother Ravenscroft, in his memorable series of papers
contributed to THE BUILDER in 1918, that the two pillars of Wurzburg
Cathedral, once situated on either side of the porch and bearing respectively
on their capitals the letters J and B, can be termed "a good illustration of
the way in which symbols were transmitted even from the temple of Solomon to
the medieval craftsmen and thence to our Speculative Masonry." It seems to me
simply that the Cathedral builders were acquainted with Holy Scripture.
conclusion which is forced upon me is that only by the use of liberal
supposition can the Comacines and those who preceded them be made to connect
with our subject. We may take H.J. Da Costa as an early authority in England
for the Dionysian fraternity and his successor, Krause, for the links between
Masons of the Middle Ages and the Roman Collegia. The views of both have been
summarized ably by my friend, Brother Joseph Fort Newton, but that which is
valid therein belongs to the history of architecture. It was, I think, Krause
who said that each Roman collegium was presided over by a Master and two
decuriones or Wardens, each of whom bore the Master's commands to the brethren
of his respective column. The word "decurio" is here translated "warden," to
institute an analogy by force. According to Suetonius, the Latin office in
question was that of a captain over ten men, whether horse or foot, and was
therefore military in character. The first authority on the Comacines is
Leader Scott (who is Miss Lucy E. Baxter) in "The Cathedral Builders," a most
fascinating romance of architecture, which contains also some great and
valuable historical lights. Joseph Fort Newton described it as an attempt to
bridge the gap "between the classical Roman side and the rise of Gothic art."
Again, therefore, it is a question of architectural evolution, and I must say
personally that, taken as such, it is to be questioned whether the gulf is
really spanned. I can understand on the hypothesis the development of Italian
architecture, more or less degenerated from classical types, but not the
genesis of the great schools of Gothic building. It is to be understood,
however, that this question exceeds the warrants of my subject to connect any
ritual mystery which obtained ex hypothesi in the old Collegia, or among
Comacine lodges, with the living mystery of Speculative Masonry, of which she
speaks with derision, but evidently know's it only through an Italian source.
As a student of the Secret Tradition in Christian times I could wish that the
facts were otherwise in the great story of all these ancient guilds. I could
have wished that their supposed pageants of secret initiation were, as the
speculations say, Dionysian representations of mystical death and erection,
and that they are reflected at a far distance in our Sublime degree. But if
these stories are dreams, or still awaiting demonstration, we have to face the
fact, and the question remaining over is whether we can look elsewhere. Now,
it happens that there is one direction which has been regarded not
unfavourably as a possible source of light. It is that of Hermetic Schools in
England, and these, speaking broadly, may be classified as three-Alchemical,
Rosicrucian, and Kabalistic. They had a common bond of interest and tended
here, as elsewhere, to merge one into another. There are evidences to show
that the experiment of Alchemy in England is an exceedingly old pursuit, but
in the early part of the seventeenth century it had sprung into greater
prominence. The rumour of the Rosicrucian fraternity was also raising
curiosity in Europe. Hermetic literature - not only with a modern accent but
also for the time in vernacular language - extended greatly, and schools of
theosophy sprang up in several countries. The root of the Rosicrucian
movement was in Germany, but the impulse reached England and some of the most
famous names connected with the subject are identified with this country.
Hence came Alexander Seton and hence Eirenaeus Philalethes, who has been
regarded as one of the great masters of Hermetic Art. Here also was Robert
Fludd, who must, I think, be regarded as not only advocate and apologist in
chief of the Rosicrucian art and philosophy, but as a fountain-head. Here,
too, was Thomas Vaughan, mystic as well as alchemist. And here, in 1640,
lived Elias Ashmole, alchemist and antiquary, founder also of the Ashmolean
Museum at Oxford.
of Masonic opinion has looked in the past and a section looks still towards
Elias Ashmole and his connections in some way, yet undetermined, as the
representatives of this transition from Operative to Speculative Masonry. In
France there has been practically no doubt on the subject from the days of
Ragon, though concerning the value of his personal view I must speak with
desirable plainness elsewhere in this paper. In America the distinguished
name of Albert Pike can be cited in support of the thesis. After every
allowance has been made for the position of such a speculation, still almost
inextricable, it can be affirmed that it seems to offer a place of repose for
all the tolerable views, because it harmonizes all - on the understanding that
Ashmole and his consociates are not regarded personally but as typifying a
leavening spirit introduced there and here, and at work during the period
intervening between 1640 and the foundation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717.
Pike was like Ragon unfortunately, a man of uncritical mind, and summarize his
findings under all needful reserve.
Masonic symbols which he identifies used in common by Freemasons and Hermetic
and Alchemical literature are the Square and Compasses, the Triangle, the
Oblong Square, the legend of the three Grand Masters, the idea embodied in a
substitute word, which might well be the most important of all together with
the Sun, the Moon, and Master of the lodge. It was, moreover, his opinion,
based on this and other considerations, that the philosophers - meaning the
members of the Hermetic confraternities - became Freemasons and introduced
into Masonry their own symbolism. He thinks finally that Ashmole was led to
be made a Mason because others who were followers of Hermes had taken the step
before him. However this may be, I have said elsewhere that the influence of
the Rosicrucian fraternity upon that of Masons has been questioned only by
those who by those who have been unfitted to appreciate the symbolism which
they possess in common. It does not belong to the formative period of
Emblematic Freemasonry, but to that of development and expansion. The nature
of the influence is another matter and one, moreover, in which it may be
necessary to recognize the simple principle of imitation up to a certain
point. The influence has been exercised more especially in connection with
other Rites, as to which it is impossible, for example, to question that those
who instituted the eighteenth degree of the Scottish Rite either must have
received something by transmission from the old German Brotherhood, or,
alternatively, must have borrowed from its literature.
Ashmole was connected with Rosicrucian or otherwise with the representatives
of some association which had assumed their name is an inference drawn from
his life. His antiquarian studies led him more especially in the direction of
Alchemy, but regards this art he did not remain an antiquary or a mere
collector of old documents on the subject. He was to some extent, a practical
student and, moreover not simply an isolated inquirer. He had secured the
assistance which has been regarded always as next but one to essential,
namely, the instruction of a Master. The alternative is Divine Aid, which is,
of course, a higher kind of Mastery. He was associated otherwise with many of
the occult philosophers, alchemist astrologers, and so forth, belonging to his
period. The suggestion that he acted as an instrument of the Rosicrucian
Brotherhood, or as a member thereof, in transfiguration of Operative into
Speculative Freemasonry is a matter of faith for those who have held hold it.
Of direct or indirect evidence there is not particle. Supposing that such a
design existed at period, he is not an unlikely person to have been concerned
in planning it on the part of himself and others or to have been delegated for
such a purpose. But the design there is again no evidence. It has been
affirmed further in the interests of the claim that meeting of an Alchemical -
presumably Rosicrucian - society perceiving how working Masons were already
outnumbered in membership by persons of education not belonging to the trade,
believed that the time was ripe for a complete ceremonial revolution and that
one founded on mystic tradition was drawn up thereon in writing, constituting
the Entered Apprentice grade, approximately as it exists now. The grade of
Fellow Craft was elaborated in 1648, and that of Master Mason in 1659.
the reveries of Ragon, categorical in nature, accompanied by specific details,
all in the absence of one particle of fact in any record of the past. It
seems to me, therefore, that no language would be too strong to characterize
such mendacities and that they can belong only to the class of conscious
lying, but the charge against Ragon is more especially that he elaborated the
materials of a hypothesis which had grown up among successive inventors
belonging to the type of Reghellini. If there were Rosicrucians in England at
the date in question, it may be presumed that those who, according to
Ashmole's own statement, communicated to him some portions, at least, of the
Hermetic secrets would not have withheld the corporate mysteries of their
Fraternity. But, on the other hand, there is at present no historical
certainty that the Hermetic Order possessed any such corporate existence in
England at that period. However this may be, in the memoirs of the life of
Elias Ashmole, as drawn up by himself in the form of a diary, there is the
following now well-known entry under date of 16th October, 1646:
made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire with Colonel Henry Mainwaring of
Kartichan in Cheshire; the names of those that were then at the Lodge: Mr.
Richard Penket, Warden; Mr. James Collier, Mr. Richard Sankey, Henry Littler,
John Ellam, Richard Ellam, and Hugh Brewer.
noteworthy points in this extract, over and above the main fact which it
designs to place on record, are that neither candidate was an operative by
business and that the work of initiation was performed evidently by the
brother who acted as Warden. At that period Elias Ashmole was under thirty
years of age. His father was a saddler by trade, his mother was the daughter
of a draper and he himself solicited in Chancery. But while still in his
youth he tells us that he had entered into that condition to which he had
aspired always, "that I might be able to live to myself and studies, without
being forced to take pains for a livelihood in the world." The admissions of
16th October, 1646, are not required to prove the practice of initiating men
of other business than that of Masonry and and its connected crafts, or even
of no business at all, but it should be observed that here - as in cases of
earlier date - the reception was in the capacity of simple brothers and not of
nature of those studies which were engrossing Ashmole about the time of his
initiation may be learned by the publication, five years later, of his
Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, being a collection of metrical treatises
written in English at various dates on the subject of the Hermetic Mystery and
the Philosopher's Stone. They appear to be connected only with what is called
technically the physical work on metals and the physical medicine or elixir,
not with those spiritual mysteries which have passed occasionally into
expression under the peculiar symbolism of Alchemy. At the same time Ashmole
is careful to explain his personal assurance that the transmutation of metals
is only one branch of Hermetic practice:
is but a part, so it is the least share of that blessing which may be acquired
by the Philosopher's materia, if the full virtue thereof were known. Gold, I
confess, is a delicious object, a goodly light which we admire and gaze upon
ut pueri in Junonis avem, but as to make gold is the chief intent of the
Alchemists, so was it scarcely any intent of the ancient Philosophers and the
lowest use the Adeptio made of this materia. For they, being lovers of wisdom
more than worldly wealth, drove at higher and more excellent operations; and
certainly he to whom the whole course of Nature lies open rejoiceth not so
much that he can make gold and silver or the devils be made subject to him as
that he sees the heavens open, the angels of God ascending and descending and
that his own name is fairly written in the Book of Life.
be added that this exposition is a faithful reflection of Rosicrucian doctrine
as it is put forward, directly or indirectly, under the name of the
Brotherhood in German books and pamphlets of the early seventeenth century.
Supposing that circa 1650 there, was an incorporated Rosicrucian School in
England, no person is so likely to have been a member as Ashmole, and it is
not possible to imagine him in separation therefrom. Indeed, I am by no means
certain that his testimony is not thinly presumptive of membership, being so
to the manner born of it in thought and figures of speech. But if we can
tolerate - however tentatively - the Rosicrucian initiation of Ashmole, we may
take it for granted that he did not stand alone. On the whole it seems barely
possible that on 16th October, 1646, a Brother of the Rosy Cross was made a
Mason, with or without an ulterior motive in view. It follows expressly from
his frank and honourable testimony concerning himself that he was one who had
only seen the end of adeptship, even within the measures that he conceived it,
while as regards any other Rosicrucians to whom he may have been joined we
know very little concerning them.
be seen that the Ashmole hypothesis is but a part of the wider claim of direct
Rosicrucian influence on the foundation of Emblematic Freemasonry. I agree
with the opinion that in so far as it has been advanced in the past this claim
has lapsed. It affirms that the House of the Holy Spirit, being the
Rosicrucian Brotherhood in Germany, had a Secret House in England, which
either transfigured itself into the thing called Speculative Masonry or
revolutionized the old Operative Craft along speculative lines for its own
purposes, presumably that it might have recruiting centres available and more
or less openly manifest. There is no evidence whatever to support this view.
The Rosicrucian zeal of the occult philosopher and intellectual mystic, Robert
Fludd, left no trace behind it, until the time came for it to influence in a
rather indefinite manner the impassionable enthusiasm of Thomas Vaughan, and
this also led to nothing. Rosicrucian Society in England of which we hear
belongs to the early nineteenth century. In particular, Fludd's activities
had no bearing on any Masonry of the early seventeenth century, even if
Robertus de Fluctitus was the Mr. Flood who presented a Book of Constitutions
to the Masons' Company, as recorded in an inventory taken before the Fire of
question at issue has been relieved from these reveries there remains the more
reasonable suggestion that the Operative Brotherhood came gradually and not
unnaturally under the influence of persons who belonged to both associations.
It would attract also those who were simply Hermetic students, though isolated
and unattached as such. Attached or otherwise, Ashmole is a case in point,
though his place in Freemasonry of the mid-seventeenth century is a subject
for very careful adjudication. The influence which in this manner would begin
to be exercised, consciously or unconsciously, would be Hermetic in a general
sense rather than Rosicrucian exclusively; but this is a distinction which
will not be realized readily by those who are acquainted only at second-hand
with the mystical and occult movements of the seventeenth century. As to the
ritual side of the Operative Masonry in that century we know next to nothing,
while of Rosicrucian ritual procedure - if any - we know nothing at all.
rough outline is the case as it stands for the interference of two Hermetic
Schools in Freemasonry prior to the first historical evidence for the ritual
of the Third Craft degree and apart from any long since exploded hypothesis
which has sought to connect the Brotherhood with older Mysteries by means of
direct transmission within their own bonds. I have registered my feelings
that some day it may assume a less uncertain aspect, in other words that
sources of additional knowledge may become available. I know that the
root-matter of the Third degree belongs to the Secret Tradition and is not
only of the Hermetic Schools but of Schools thereunto antecedent. This is not
a speculative question or one of simple persuasion. It is, moreover, no
question of history and does not stand or fall with particular personalities
and with claims made concerning them. As regards these there is work
remaining to be done - that is to say, in the purely historic field, but
unfortunately the subject has only a few sympathizers in England and among
these a small proportion only who are qualified to work therein. In the
meantime it remains that the position of Hermetic Schools, so far delineated,
is not unlike that of speculation on Comacines, Roman Collegia, and Dionysian
architects. When we pass, however, to the third Hermetic School the position
is, I think, different. The root-matter of much that is shadowed forth in the
traditional history of the Craft, as regards the meaning of the Temple and the
search for the Lost Word, is to be found in certain great texts known to
scholars under the generic name of Kabalah. We find therein after what
manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon's Temple was spiritualized - we
find profound meanings attached to the two pillars J and B; we find how a Word
was lost and under what circumstances the chosen people were to look for its
recovery. It is expectation for Jewish theosophy, as it is for the Craft
Mason. It was lost owing to a certain untoward even and although the time and
circumstances of its recovery have been calculated in certain texts, there has
been something amiss with the methods. Those who were keepers of the
tradition died with their face towards Jerusalem, looking for that time; but
Jewry at large the question has passed long since from the field of view, much
as the quest is continued by Masons in virtue of a ceremonial formula but
cannot be said to mean anything for those who undertake and pursue it
officially. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and the
destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters of
Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the
Word did not return into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired
Cyrus to project the building of a second temple and the return of Israel into
their own land, they went back empty of all recollection in this respect.
to which reference is made in that Divine Name out of the consonants of which
we have formed Jehovah, or, by another speculation, Yahve. When Israel fell
into a state that is termed impenitence it is said in Zoharic symbolism that
VAV and HE final were separated. The name was thus dismembered, and this is
the first sense of loss which is registered concerning it. The second is that
it has no proper vowel points, those of the name ELOHIM being substituted or
alternatively, of the name ADONAI. It is said, for example: "My name is
written YHVH and read ADONAI." The epoch of restoration and completion is
called, almost indifferently, that of resurrection, the world to come and the
advent of Messiah. In such day the present separation between the letters
will reach its term, once and forever. It is also to this Kabalistic source,
rather than the variant account in the first book of Kings or Chronicles, that
we must have recourse for the important Masonic symbolism concerning the
pillars J and B. There is very little in Holy Scripture to justify a choice of
those objects as particular representatives of an art of building
spiritualized. But in late Kabalism, in the texts called The Garden of
Pomegranates and The Gates of Light there is a very full planation of the
strength which is attributed to B, the left hand pillar, and of that which is
"established" in and by the right hand pillar, called J. As regards the
temple itself, I have explained elsewhere after what manner it is
spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi-Kabalistic texts, so that it
appear as "the proportion of the height, the proportion of the depth, and the
lateral proportion" of the created universe. It offers another aspect of the
fatal loss Israel and the world which is commented on in the Tradition. That
which the temple symbolizes above all things is, however, a House of Doctrine,
and as the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and substitution were
perpetuated through centuries, owing to the idolatry of Israel at the foot of
Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated by the breaking of the
tables of stone on which the Law was inscribed, so, does Speculative Masonry
intimate that the Holy House, which was planned and begun after one manner,
was completed after another and a word of death was, substituted for a word of
these are among the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the
Sublime degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a
speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building guild, even
when this has been symbolized? The answer is that all about the period which
represents what is called the "transition," and indeed between the sixteenth
and eighteenth centuries many Latin-writing scholars of Europe were animated
with zeal for an exposition of the tradition in Israel, with the result that
memorable and even great books were produced on the subject. But this zeal
for Kabalistic literature had more than a scholastic basis. It was believed
that the texts of the Secret Tradition showed plainly, out of the mouth of
Israel itself, that the Messiah had come. This is the first fact. The second
is in Ceremonial Masonry itself, and, namely, that although the central event
of the Third degree is the candidate's raising, it is not said in the legend
that the Master Builder rose, thus suggesting that something remains to come
after, which might at once complete the legend and conclude the quest. The
third fact is that in an important high grade of a philosophical kind, now
almost unknown, the Master Builder of the Third degree rises as Christ. The
dismembered Divine Name is completed therein by insertion of the Hebrew letter
SHIN, thus producing YEHESHUAH, the official restoration of the Lost Word in
the Christian degrees of Masonry. It follows that although the opening and
closing of the Third degree and the legend of the Master-Builder, with all
their speaking Mysteries, may seem to come from very far away, they are not so
remote that we cannot trace them to their source.
It is to
be observed that the presence of a Kabalistic element in the traditional
history of the Craft by no means connotes antiquity, and antiquity is a
difficult thing, to predicate of the Third degree, at least in its present
form. By whomsoever created or developed, its author was a student of the
Secret Tradition in Israel, and drew great lights therefrom, possibly at first
hand, but much more probably perhaps from those Latin commentaries and
synopses already mentioned. The bulk of these were already compiled, whether
we place his work late in the seventeenth or early in the eighteenth century.
Much of it was available previously, supposing that more considerable
antiquity could be predicated of the Third degree. But we must cleave to that
which is evidentially reasonable in this respect until time or circumstances
shall provide better warrants. For Speculative Masonry as a whole we may have
to rest content also, if we cannot date it much further back than the close of
the seventeenth century, recognizing that its present characteristic
developments are to be sought in and about the Revival period. Such
recognition puts an end to romantic hypothesis, but the great intimations of
the Third degree remain a speaking pageant in Symbolism, however late its
origin. The quest of the Word remains, with all Zoharic Theosophy behind it
and all the rites of Christian Masonry in front. The mythos connects our
Order with the figurative Mysteries of past ages, while the opening and
closing of the lodge in that degree are much greater than anything in the
memorials of Greece and Egypt.
therefore, reach a general conclusion on the Hermetic Schools and their
alleged intervention for the transformation of an Operative Guild into an
Emblematic Freemasonry and it shall be expressed in such a manner as will be
without detriment to ourselves or our connections as loyal and devoted
Masons. In Dionysian architects, Roman Collegia, Comacines, and Building
Guilds of the Middle Ages, I have failed to discover any traces of an art of
building spiritualized. I have taken the old Gothic Constitutions and have
sought to digest them like Anderson "in a new and better method"; but, however
they were passed and repassed through the mental alembic, they have yielded
nothing corresponding to a "system of morality veiled in allegory and
illustrated by symbols." Not even the Regius MSS. betray a single vestige,
though I have followed Gould anxiously. As regards the Hermetic Schools, and
speaking, if I may venture to say so, as one who knows the literature, the
allegation of Albert Pike is true in respect of a few world-wide symbols which
prove nothing and false in all things else. There is no legend of three Grand
Masters in Alchemy; there is no Substituted Word; and there is no Master of
the lodge, for there is no need of ritual procedure among all its cloud of
witnesses. The witness of Alchemy to Masonry is the witness of Elias Ashmole,
the sole alchemist in the seventeenth century whom we know to have become a
Mason. The Rosicrucian influence I believe to have been marked in character
and exercised for a considerable period, but we know it only in its
developments which belong to the eighteenth century, and are, of course,
beyond our scope. Provisionally, and under all reserve, I am inclined to hold
that it began earlier, but more especially as an atmosphere belonging to the
formative period of Emblematic Freemasonry. But the great Rosicrucian maxim
cited by Robert Fludd about 1630 must be ruled out unfortunately.
Transmutemini, transmutemini de lapidibus mortuis in lapides vivos
philosophicos, does not signify that the Brothers of the Rosy Cross had either
joined or invented our figurative and speculative art; it is rather a contract
established between material and spiritual alchemy. For the present, at
least, we are asked also to set aside the winning speculation concerning a
secret school of Emblematic Masonry co-existent through several generations or
centuries with the Operative Guild and sometimes identified with Rosicrucians.
There are no Rosicrucian traces prior to 1578. Moreover, the alleged school
is a notion arising out of a false construction of the Regius MS.
left in this manner with the Kabalistic element about which I have spoken
plainly. But now, as a last point, supposing that there is no trace of the
Third degree prior to 1717, that after this epoch it was devised by a group of
Masonic literate or alternatively by an anonymous brother, whether famous like
Desaguliers, or obscure; what, then, is our position? My own at least is this:
that the Third degree was formulated on the basis of the Ancient Mysteries and
illustrated by the light of Kabalism: facts about which there is no open
question; that it belongs as such to an old and secret tradition, though not
in respect of time; that it stands on its own symbolical value and that, in
the words of Martines de Pasqually: We must needs be content with what we
have. As a student of the past, again I could wish that it were otherwise;
but in this, as in all else, the first consideration is truth. There are high
grades of Masonry for which no one in his senses predicates antiquity, and yet
they are great grades. They are even holy grades, which, from my point of
view, carry on the work of the Craft towards something that stands for
completion. I conclude, therefore, with an affirmation which I have made in
other places, that antiquary per se is not a test of value. I can imagine a
rite created at this day which would be much greater and more eloquent in
symbolism than anything that we work and love under the name of Masonry. Yet,
for what Masonic antiquity is, let us call it two hundred years, under all
needful reserves, such an invention would not have the hallowed and beloved
associations which have grown about our Emblematic Craft. Here is the matter
of antiquity which really signifies: it is part of the life of the Order. And
after all the fables and all the fond reveries, the false analogies and
mythical identifications with other and immemorial Mysteries, it is again the
life which counts, the life of that great world-wide Masonic organism, in
which we ourselves live and move and have our Masonic being.
journey is ended,
worked out the mandates of fate;
at the uttermost gate.
life and its longing,
trial, its trouble, its sorrow,
the infinite morning
Of a day
without a tomorrow.
to dust and decay,
grown weary and old;
worthless to me from today;
my soul you can hold.
I lay you
down gladly forever,
life that is better than this;
where partings ne'er sever,
gate swings wide at my knocking;
endless reaches I see
friends, with laughter come flocking
To give a
glad welcome to me.
the maze has been threaded,
the ending of strife;
that death should be dreaded,
the beginning of life.
Wenonah Stevens Abbott
NOVEL ILLUMINATIONS AT THE lMPERIAL COUNCIL OF THE SHRINE AT
On June 14, 15 and 16, Des Moines, Iowa, will have the
distinction of being one of the most beautifully and strikingly illuminated
cities in the world. The 47th session of the Imperial Council, Ancient Arabic
Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, will be held there on these dates, and one
of the most elaborate and artistic lighting schemes of the kind ever devised
is being planned for it. This work is under the direction of W. D'A. Ryan,
famous illumination engineer, and director of the Illuminating Laboratory of
the General Electric Company at Schenectady, N.Y. Mr. Ryan's success in
devising the lighting of the Panama-Pacific Exposition, including the famous
Tower of Jewels, brought him world‑wide notice.
As the visiting Noble disembarks from the train at Des Moines
he will be greeted by an Arch of Welcome spanning Fifth Street. Beneath the
arch will be a huge key, symbolic of freedom of the city. The arch will be
flanked with slender jewel-studded minarets and adorned with Shrine emblems,
and will present a beautiful array of colors as powerful searchlights are
trained upon it at night. To the left and right as the visitor passes toward
the arch will be the state capitol and the courthouse, thrown into sharp
relief by floodlights, and before him will stretch a thoroughfare, festooned
with red, green and yellow lights, leading to the "Arabian Way." Overhead will
be a series of illuminated six-pointed stars suspended between trolley wire
poles. Not only will these stars glitter brilliantly at night, but also by
day, as they will be outlined by Novagems reflecting the sunlight in many
This avenue of light will lead into the "Arabian Way" which
will have reviewing stands on each side and will be lighted by four overhead
decorative fixtures. At the end of this Arabian Way will be a minaret‑flanked
jeweled screen adorned with Shrine emblems and sparkling with colors as the
rays of searchlights are thrown upon it. From this central screen will radiate
sidelights through the street crossing the thoroughfare at that point. The
"Arabian Way" will also be the scene of a notable display of fireworks. Back
of the screen will be a searchlight fan, and colored light will be thrown upon
clouds of steam.
The parade will pass through the "Arabian Way" and in streets
comprising the line of march where illumination in addition to that given by
the street lights is desirable, special lights will be installed. The
six-pointed stars will also be display over these streets. Throughout the
business district of the city a special decorative arrangement of the street
lighting will be carried out.
One of the spectacular features of the illumination scheme will
be the roofing over of a bridge with festoons of colored lights alternated
with illuminated fezzes, the whole strung from central poles thirty feet high
to twelve foot poles fastened to the sides of the bridge, thus giving the
effect of a huge tent. On this bridge dancing will take place. Everywhere, of
course, there will be bunting, and the city will be in gala trim in honor of
"Gone West!" Over the purple hills and beyond the softly
glowing rim of life's day the warrior's spirit takes its flight. Out of the
morning, across the white archway of noon-tide, down to the sunset! Out of the
din and clamor, out of the bitterness and strife, out of the fierce passion of
the combat, into the dreamless silence whose shadows mark the pathway to the
stars! Out of earth's darkening horizon, through the curtained gloom of night,
far upon the shoreless sea of fadeless light! Out of the agony of life's
Gethsemane, over the quaking summit of Calvary, into the realm of glory, where
God's banners never furl, where victory is sure! So the stainless knight of a
stainless cause moves down the west, where earth's last glimmer fades and
dies, and into God's spreading dawn, whose light is eternal, whose breath is
cool and sweet. "Gone West!"
- Grand Master Pettigrew, South Dakota.
STUDY CLUB PAPERS DISCONTINUED UNTIL SEPTEMBER
In accordance with the custom of previous years the study club
papers will be omitted in the July and August issues of THE BUILDER. This is
done in order that we shall not get ahead of the lodges and study clubs
following the Bulletin Course of Masonic Study, who usually "call off" during
These papers will be resumed in the September issue.
OUR STUDY CLUB PLAN
"The Bulletin Course of Masonic Study," of which the foregoing
paper by Brother Haywood is a part, was begun in THE BUILDER early in 1917.
Previous to the beginning of the present series on "Philosophical Masonry," or
"The Teachings of Masonry," as we have titled it, were published some
forty‑three papers covering in detail "Ceremonial Masonry" and "Symbolical
Masonry" under the following several divisions: "The Work of a Lodge," "The
Lodge and the Candidate," "First Steps," "Second Steps," and "Third Steps." A
complete set of these papers are obtainable in the bound volumes of THE
BUILDER for 1917, 1918,1919 and 1920, and the monthly numbers for January,
February, March and April, 1921.
Following is an outline of the subjects covered by the current
series of study club papers by Brother Haywood:
THE TEACHINGS OF MAAONRY
General Introduction. - A. Reasons for a course explaining what
the "teachings of Masonry" mean. - B. How one can arrive at his own Philosophy
of Masonry. - Conclusion. The Philosophy of Masonry is not a study of
philosophy in general, but such a study of Masonry as a philosopher gives to
any great intellectual problem.
1. - The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
2. - The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
3. - The Masonic Conception of Education.
4. - Symbolism.
5. - Secrecy.
6. - Masonic Ethics.
7. - Democracy.
8. - Equality.
9. - Liberty.
10. - Masonry and Industry.
11. - The Brotherhood of Man.
12. - The Fatherhood of God.
13. - Endless Life.
14. - Brotherly Aid.
15. - Schools of Masonic Philosophy.
This systematic course of Masonic study has been taken up and
carried out in monthly and semi‑monthly meetings of lodges and study clubs all
over the United States and Canada, and in several instances in lodges
The course of study has for its foundation two sources of
Masonic information, THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia.
HOW TO ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be organized separate from the lodge, or as a
part of the work of the lodge. In the latter case the lodge should select a
committee, preferably of three "live" members who shall have charge of the
study club meetings. The study club meetings should be held at least once a
month (excepting during July and August, when the study club papers are
discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at a special communication of the lodge
called for the purpose, or at a regular communication at which no business
(except the lodge routine) should be transacted - all possible time to be
devoted to study club purposes.
After the lodge has been opened and all routine business
disposed of, the Master should turn the lodge over to the chairman of the
study club comnuttee. The committee should be fully prepared in advance on the
subject to be discussed at the meeting. All members to whom references for
supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their material,
and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper by a
previous reading and study of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
1. Reading of any supplemental papers on the subject for the
evening which may have been prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the
chairman of the study club committee.
2. Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper.
3. Discussion of this section, using the questions following
this section to bring out points for discussion.
4. The subsequent sections of the paper should then be taken up
and disposed of in the same manner.
5. Question Box. Invite questions on any subject in Masonry,
from any and all brethren present. Let the brethren understand that these
meetings are for their particular benefit and enlightenment and get them into
the habit of asking all the questions they may be able to think of. If at the
time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, send them in to us
and we will endeavor to supply answers to them in time for your next study
The foregoing information should enable study club committees
to conduct their meetings without difficulty. However, if we can be of
assistance to such committees, or any individual member of lodges and study
clubs at any time such brethren are invited to feel free to communicate with
FREEMASONRY offers no doctrine as to the nature and attributes
of God. It has no theory to propound, no philosophy to promulgate, as to His
relations to men and to the universe. The Craft assumes that God is a reality,
a sacred and unquestioned reality, in the mind of every man who proposes
himself for membership in a lodge, and it leaves to that man the prerogative
of fashioning his own theological and philosophical theories. A man may
believe in the Trinity or deny the same; he may believe in the deity of Jesus
or not; he may hold that God created the universe out of nothing or he may
prefer to think that the universe is co‑existent with God; and he may, whether
he be of one persuasion or another, remain a good Mason. But this does not
mean that to Freemasonry God is unreal; far from it. Many of the things and
persons most real to us, friendship, truth, father, mother, friend, are none
the less real for not being defined, or even capable of being defined.
There is no desire herein to preach to the reader, for that is
not the function of these columns, but even at the risk of so doing, there is
something to be said about God which it is well for all to ponder. That
something is this: Masonry does not demand that we define, or accept any
definitions of Him, but it does demand that He be real in every Masonic life.
During the solemn moments of initiation the candidate, of his
own free will, confesses that his faith is in God, and this confession is
accepted by the Master with instant and cordial approval. He assumes his
obligations as in the presence and name of God, and acknowledges his inability
to fulfill the same except that God help him. His various journeys in search
of light, wherein he is confronted by many dangers and conflicts, are
undertaken in prayer, both by himself and the Master. If, with a free mind and
a clear consciousness, the man does all this as if it were only so much
meaningless show, and if he goes away from so solemn an experience to think of
it all as merely an interesting piece of acting in which he himself has been a
participant, the man is a hypocrite who, by such trifling with the things that
are the most solemn to every soul, endangers the very integrity of his
spiritual nature. If his initiation is to be real to him, then must he ever
feel that it has been a genuine pact between him and his Creator. Unless the
man is genuinely sincere while accepting such a rite as Masonic initiation, it
is far better for his character and his happiness as a man that he never seek
it at all.
By the same token God must be real to the lodge, else its very
existence must become a mockery. Its center is an altar; its great light is a
Book that symbolizes the revelation of the Divine Will; God is the center of
the ritual as the sun is in the midst of its planets; He is the guarantor of
its prmciples; and all its teachings are made in His name. Unless He be real
the whole thing falls to pieces as a sham, and Masonry itself were better out
At the present moment a wave of new life is sweeping across
American Masonry which is best compared to eras of spiritual awakening wherein
new religions are born, and new epochs of culture are initiated. Never before
have so many men thronged the gates of the Fraternity, or so many able men
gladly volunteered to accept the burdens of management and leadership. A new
dawn is upon the great Order, and mighty things are destined to be done. In
all its branches Masons are working at Masonry to strengthen and to renew it,
to understand, and to promulgate it. In this revival of interest, when lodges
vie with each other in efforts to make Masonry become all that it can become
to state and individual those leaders will be wisest and their work will be
most enduring who ever remember that the cornerstone of it all, in all its
senses, is T.G.A.O.T.U.
EDITED BY BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
HOW SCANTY, meager, and unpromising are the beginnings of any
literature. But the seed sown ultimately grows into great fruitful trees.
There is an eternal fitness about using trees as symbols, and we do not
confess to any particular timidity in describing or dealing with literature as
a tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Nearly all things, when the man of science is through with his
investigations, prove to have had very insignificant starts in life. Only the
poet and the rhapsodist describe beginnings otherwise, but their viewpoints,
let us not forget, are by no wise mean ones. Poets are not so much concerned
with the form as with the content; they discern the things of the spirit, the
illimitable endeavoring to express itself through the limitable, the infinite
through the finite.
Chas. F. Horne in his introduction to that valuable set of
books, The Sacred Literature of the East, has the following to say, indicative
of the purpose and character of man's earliest written efforts: "The volumes
offer, first, the oldest discovered documents of each ancient civilization, so
that the reader may see for himself what vague stirrings of thought first came
to man. Sometimes these earliest fragments embody religious ideas from days
far, far older than the Divine revelations to Moses. Sometimes they deal with
the moral rather than with the spiritual world, proverbs which show how man
had resolved to deal with man, thousands of years before Christ's great
command, 'Love one another.' Sometimes they are boasts of a vain conqueror;
sometimes songs of joy; more often cries of terror. But in each case they are
the earliest visions which open to us the human heart." Such indeed was the
beginning of the literature of the race.
* * *
Our ruminating about the beginning of literature sent us to a
rereading of those luminous paragraphs in H.G. Wells' Outline of History
dealing with the beginning of languages. Says Mr. Wells: "The first languages
were probably small collections of words; they consisted of interjections and
nouns. Probably the nouns were said in different intonations to convey
different meanings. If Palaeolithic man had a word for 'horse' or 'bear' he
probably showed by tone or gesture whether he meant 'bear is coming,' 'bear is
going,' 'bear is to be hunted,' 'bear has been here,' 'bear is dead,' 'bear
did this,' and so on. Only very slowly did the human mind develop methods of
indicating action and relationship in a formal manner. Probably men did not
indulge in those days in conversation or description. For narrative purposes
they danced and acted rather than told. The growth of speech was at first a
very slow process indeed, and grammatical forms and the expression of abstract
ideas may have come very late in human history, perhaps only 400 or 500
generations ago." Such was the beginning of human language according to the
conclusions of science, or Mr. Wells.
* * *
As we study the genesis of American literature how little, and
oftentimes crude, it seems. Indeed it may be yet said, with a great deal of
truth, that we are but in the beginnings of the creation of an American
literature. Hitherto most of our literary output has been largely a reflection
of European writers, or in other words we may say, for the greater part our
literature has been English in style and matter - written by Americans. There
are robust indications, however, that a real American literature, strictly so
in character and content and of high excellence has been steadily given to the
world since the advent of Whitman. His message was told in a new and unique
way, and through it was sensed the breadth of vision and the spiritual
aspirations of a new people, that were not so much the product of many older
peoples, but were those of older peoples, made new by something inherent,
mystic, beautiful and big, to be found in the northern portion of the western
hemisphere. We are not forgetful of the genius of those other great spiritual
writers of America commencing with Bryant; we are here but emphasizing the new
that in our judgment is more interpretative of America.
Interested as we are in beginnings brings to mind a little book
that recently afforded us an hour of real enjoyment. Its title, This Simian
World, we felt was happily conceived. (Its author is Clarence Day, Jr., and it
is published by the Alfred A. Knopf Co., 220 West 42nd St., New York, N. Y.,
at $1.50.) We proud humans are often guilty of a contemptible way of regarding
what we speak of as the brute creation, and as someone has said, "with an ugly
emphasis upon brute," and we believe it good medicine to induce humility, to
be reminded occasionally that we bear many marks upon our bodies of our lowly
ancestry and, as we are inclined to think these days of declining social
amenities, in our manners as well. Was it not Schopenhauer that said that the
more he saw of some people the more he respected his dog? However that may be,
many men these days will feel like endorsing the following:
"As for me, I am proud of my close kinship with other animals.
I take a jealous pride in my simian ancestry. I like to think that I was once
a magnificent hairy fellow living in the trees, and that my frame has come
down through geological time via sea jelly and worms and amphioxus, fish,
dinosaurs and apes. Who would exchange these for the pallid couple in the
Garden of Eden?"
The author's deductions are sound philosophy told in a humorous
vein. Considering our lowly ancestry, if such is acceptable, we may comfort
ourselves during these days of neurotic agitation (which are probably but the
birth pangs in our further evolution) that we have done pretty well.
The great paramount question of the little volume is, Just what
would we have been had we had any other ancestry but simian? Certain of the
larger specie of life that has inhabited the globe were exterminated we are
told by science, through becoming so large and immobile that their more agile
and cunning competitors soon made easy shift of them. Recently was heard the
remark that man is becoming shorter legged and after a while, because of a
certain cumbersomeness he will unavoidably acquire, he too will succumb to a
more powerful opponent. Selah. This Simian World seems to suggest, however,
something infinitely comforting - nothing as yet has arisen to equal those of
simian ancestry, and a development from any other specie that is upon the
globe at the present time other than development from the simian would be
destined to extinction. The simian has prevailed because of his fitness. The
world needs humor and our monkeyishness affords it.
It is a vast distance to travel, from considerations either
serious or humorous of the beginnings of man, to that of the beginnings of
certain expressions in connection with man's intellectual life. Not very many
moons ago, as the gods view things, man was engaged in simian chattering;
today the highly developed human specie is a marvel for words. It were not bad
did but words convey something worth while, but alas, we could join our
peevishness over it to that of Carlyle's. "Words, Words, Words," was his agony
of protest. There is so much likeness and so little freshness. Fiction is too
frequently but a garbling of the same thing over and over again, usually
resulting in gross deterioration of an idea which, when primarily presented,
had something about it that was enlivening and of human interest. One indeed
must be possessed of an almost uncanny sense for discerning what to read and
what to let alone in the world of fiction today. The discriminative faculty is
not the possession of many of us, and we but acquire anything approximating
sane selection after much experimenting or painful effort.
Robert Lynd, an Englishman of letters, says, for example, that
book reviewing is criticism teaching by quotations, but it is something more
than that, if viewed through the works of such a man as Henry Menckin who
could synthesize in a few brief sentences the importance of a man's message.
He indeed has acquired superlative ability that places him upon the pinnacle
of literary judgment, when he can epitomize an opinion of a thing as Theodore
Roosevelt did when he dismissed the Idylls of the King as "tales of blameless
curates clad in mail."
* * *
New departures are as interesting to your true student of life
and progress as beginnings. We picked up a little book the other evening
written unpretentiously and without any assumption of literary attainment upon
the part of the author; a little book in which any brother of the mystic tie,
we believe, would be much interested. The author of the book says that it was
written for the sheer fun of the thing, but underlying, as we are further
informed, was the purpose to tell of "a thorough old‑fashioned American Mason
who; through his homely sayings and strong convictions and emotions, set forth
the principles of belief and conduct taught in Freemasonry." We have taken
liberties with these quotations by transcribing them into our own language.
We characterized this little work as a departure, that interest
may be riveted upon the further reading of the work itself, and to indicate as
well the unexploited field of fiction that awaits the facile pen of those
writers of fiction who might be Masons.
The Tiler's Jewel by Harlan Hogue Ballard, 33d, is just such a
tale as one could hand to anyone as a true photograph of the man who is indeed
a Mason; who reflects in his life and conduct those heroic principles of life
that Freemasonry enjoins upon its followers. When Freemasonry finds expression
in fiction as well as in philosophy, its redemption from being a degree mill
will have been accomplished in no small measure. ("The Tiler's Jewel,"
published by The Stratford Company, 12 Pearl Street, Boston, Mass. Price
* * *
The third volume of "The United States," edited by Charles
Ramsdell Lingely, Professor of History, Dartmouth College, has been received.
We are much concerned about recommending this work as a serviceable history in
short form, to be used in connection with the educational work of the Masonic
Service Association of the United States. It is decidedly imperative that our
speakers be thoroughly equipped for the great task before them, and for those
busy men who volunteer their services in connection with the educational
program this volume, with its companion volumes, will prove of immense value.
Indeed it would not come amiss if Masonic lodges would place in their
libraries for the perusal of their busy members this little group of books.
The first and second volumes are respectively titled, "Colonial Beginnings,"
by Winfred T. Root, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin, and "Growth
of a Nation," by Max Farrand, Professor of History, Yale Unuversity. Published
by the Century Co., 353 Fourth Ave., New York, N. Y.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
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 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 each month
for the use of our members. Communications from those having old Masonic
publications will also be welcomed.
Postoffice addresses are here given that those interested may
communicate direct with each other, no responsibility of any nature to be
attached to the Society.
It is requested that all brethren whose wants may be filled
through this medium communicate with the Secretary so that the notices may
then be discontinued.
By Bro. T. J. Fox, 638 East Water St., Princeton, Indiana,
"Mystic Masonry," by J. D. Buck.
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 "Dionysian 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 copy.
By Mrs. Albert Clark Stevens, 80 South Clinton St., East
Orange, N. J., Volumes 1 to 4 and 15 to 30, inclusive Universal Masonic
By Bro. E. A. Russell, 751 Linwood Place, St. Paul, Minn.,
"Symbolism East and West," Aynsley; "The Gods of Egypt," Budge; "Dionysian
Artificers," Da Costa; "Secret Tradition in Masonry," and "Studies in
Mysticism," Waite; "The Cathedral Builders," Scott; "Freemasonry and the Great
Pyramid," Holland, and "Egypt the Cradle of Freemasonry," De Clifford.
By N.M.R.S., Anamosa, Iowa, "Leaflets of Masonic Biography, or
Sketches of Eminent Masons," by Cornelius Moore, published at Cincinnati in
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Catalogue of
the Masonic Library of Samuel Lawrence," "Mystic Masonry," by J. D. Buck,
"Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry."
FOR SALE OR EXCHANGE
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Stray Leaves
from a Freemason's Note Book," by George Oliver. This volume also contains
"Some Account of the Schism showing the presumed origin of the Royal Arch
Degree." Univ. Mas. Lib. edition. Price $3.00. "Lights and Shadows of
Freemasonry," by Robert Morris. (Fiction and anecdotes.) Price $3.50.
By Nelson L. Finch, Broadalbin, N. Y.:
"The History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould. The London
edition, six volumes, 4to cloth, full gilt, 1884. Price $16.50.
"Discourse on Masonry," by Thaddeus Mason Harris, D. D., 1801.
"Tales of Masonic Life," by Robert Morris, 1860. Price $3.00.
"Digest of Masonic Law," George W. Chase, 1859. Price $1.50.
"Practical Masonic Lectures," by Samuel Lawrence, 1874. Price
THE QUESTION BOX
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 POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE
The representation of the Point Within a Circle seems to me to
be properly a geometric figure. Sometimes we see the two Saints pictured
standing beside the two parallel lines in other illustrations we find the mere
letters "B" and "E", and this last form of the figure is, doubtless, the
original diagram. One is led to suppose that the left‑hand line was formerly
lettered "A B C," and the one on the right "D E F." according to the usage of
mathematics. "On the vertex rests the Book of Holy Scriptures." But, in regard
to this, Brother John Yarker, in describing an old chart, notes that the
object there shown is not a book but possibly an hour‑glass or a money box.
Could it not, however, be simply a few straight lines, having some exact
proportion to the rest of the figure ?
I do not know whether I am making my suggestion clear or not. I
am trying to identify the Point Within a Circle as a practical, scientific
diagram used by the builders of the medieval churches - a working tool, so to
Lest I be misunderstood, I will add that I have read many of
the symbolic explanations of this figure, and am taking no exception to any of
them. Our working tools - to select an example - teach wise and serious
truths, yet each has its ordinarily, obvious, operative use, and so it is with
every symbol of Freemasonry, unless we except the Point Within a Circle.
I have used many sheets of paper, trying to find the true and
original use of this figure. In doing so, I have incidentally learned many
things that serve to polish and adorn the mind, but I have failed to meet with
the amount of downright success that one desires. I would like to know if any
other brother has speculated on this matter. Is it treated in any book ? What
has this strange figure to do with the lost secret of Gothic proportioning?
In the first place I do not agree with the statement that every
symbol of Masonry has an "ordinary, obvious, operative use" as a working tool.
For instance take the Mosaic Pavement, Holy Bible, Rough Ashlar, Perfect
Ashlar, Pot of Incense, Bee Hive, All‑Seeing Eye, Anchor and Ark, Winding
Stairs, Three Steps, etc. It is true that most of the symbols of Masonry have
an operative use, possibly all of them to some extent; but in some of them the
operative use is only incidental. They all, however, have a speculative use
and in some of them, the speculative use entirely obscures the operative. I
believe this is true of the point within a circle. There is an operative use
to which it may be put, but whether it ever was so put I do not know. Brother
Caffyn thinks that the letters B and E may refer to the middle letter of a
geometrical figure as ABC and DEF. I do not think so. These letters refer to
the two Saints John and simply signify Baptist and Evangelist.
Let us for a moment consider the significance which has been
attached to this figure. In Christian symbolism two bearded figures standing
on opposite sides of a sphere or circle, with a dove on the top, represented
the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Brother Clegg calls attention to the
fact that in a work on "Christian Iconography" there is a reproduction of a
miniature taken from a manuscript of the thirteenth century in which the
Trinity is represented by two bearded figures holding between them on their
outstretched hands a circle or sphere. On the top of the sphere is a dove with
outstretched wings which, to some extent, looks like an open book.
The Egyptians think the point within a circle represents the
Sun Osiris. It has been used to represent the astronomical sign of the sun.
In the Kabala the point is the creative knowledge of God, the
circle the space in which He placed the things which He created. The two
perpendicular, parallel lines represent the justice and mercy of God, which
are equal and upright because presided over by His perfect wisdom. Albert Pike
says that the use of the Holy Bible to represent this perfect wisdom is a
modern addition to the symbol, but whether we use the dove or the Holy Bible
or some other object, is not material if the intended lesson is taught
However, the question asked refers to the possible operative
use and not to the symbolism. Brother Wm. T. Bowe in an article in THE BUILDER
of July, 1918, in which he attempted to prove that the point within a circle
was used to make a perfect square. His argument is based on his interpretation
of the old "Stonemason's-saying." The oldest copy of this poem is dated about
1500 and translated is as follows:
"What in Stone‑Craft to see (be seen) is
Which no error nor by‑path is
But line right (straight as a line), a line (ruler?)
Throughdrawn the Circle overall
Thus findest thou three in four stand
And thus through one in the centre go
Also again out of the centre in three
Through the four in the Circle quite free.
The stonework craft and all the things
To investigate makes the learning easy
A point which in the circle goes
Which in the square and three angles stands.
Hit (find) ye the point then have ye done
And come out of need fear and danger.
Here with have ye the whole science
Understand ye it not so is it in vain
All which ye learnt have
Of that bewail yourselves soon, therewith depart."
Brother Bowe says "a line through drawn the circle" means a
line drawn through the center of the circle from the points where the two
perpendicular, parallel lines touch. If a line is now drawn through the foot
of the perpendicular lines touching the circle we have three sides of a
perfect square which is the "three in four" referred to. (See figure 1.)
"Through one in the centre go" means a line from the center of side one. "Out
of the Centre in three" means a line from the center of line three. "Through
four in the Circle quite free" means from the free part of the circle or the
part not enclosed by a line. This is the upper part of the circle. Thus if we
draw lines from the center of sides one and three, or the point where the two
perpendicular lines touch the circle, to any point in the free part of the
circle we have a right angle. (See angles ABC and AEC, figure 1.) The rest of
the poem means that this knowledge - how to make a square or right angle,
makes Stone Craft knowledge easy. If we but find the right point we can not go
wrong. "Come out of need fear and danger." This is certainly ingenious and it
does give a method of constructing a square but it is much simpler to draw any
line through the center of the circle and connect any point in the
circumference with the extremities of this line. It is interesting to note
that if lines are drawn from the point where the Holy Bible rests to the point
where the parallel lines touch the circle that these lines so drawn form two
sides of a perfect square. If drawn from any other point they form two sides
of an oblong square.
Another interpretation of the "Stonemason's-saying" is given by
G.W. Speth. (See figure 2.) "The line throughdrawn the circle overall" means a
line that will go all around the circle and the only line we have in this
problem that will go all around the circle is a line equal to the radius of
that circle. This line will go around six times forming a hexagon. After every
other vertex of this hexagon is joined we have a triangle, and if on one side
of this triangle we construct a square, "Thus findest thou three in four
stand." This square is equal to the area of the circle, and the great problem
of squaring the circle has been solved. Proof: "Through one in the centre go."
That is, in the center of this square through or by means of one, go "out of
the center in three," "through the four in the circle quite free." ("One" is
the unit of length in this case, or in other words the radius of the given
circle, "the centre" is the center of the square, and "four" is the square.)
That is by means of "one," the radius of the given circle, from "the center"
of the square, which is also in "three" the triangle, describe a circle
through "four," the square. The circle and the square, we can see are of the
same area. Such is the argument of the poem. As a matter of fact there is a
difference of about one twenty‑fifth (1-25) in the area of the two, but it was
probably close enough for the practical purpose of a Stonemason. In the length
of the square the error would be about one inch in every four feet.
We must remember that we have no historical evidence that the
point within the circle was ever used otherwise than as a symbol. Yet there
are practical uses to which it might be put. For instance if the workman
wishes to make a right triangle with a given hypotenuse and one side of a
given length, but the length of the other side unknown, (figure 1), he can
draw a circle with a diameter equal to the given hypotenuse AC. Draw AC
through the center of this circle. From A, with a radius equal to the given
side, describe an arc which will cut the given circle in some point as E. Draw
EC, and AEC is the triangle required. This is only one of a number of uses to
which it might be put. It should be borne in mind that the use of proportion
was known to the Ancients and that if a figure of given dimensions was used in
the form of a tool it could be applied to any figure desired and corresponding
dimensions determined by means of a computation in proportion.
I will give one other fact about this figure. If from any point
A in one of the two parallel lines (see figure 3) a line AD is drawn to the
other parallel line touching the figure at some point as F and from the points
A and D lines are drawn to the center of the circle C, the angle ACD will be a
right angle. This can be reversed and if it is desired to draw a line from any
point A in one of the parallel lines which will just touch the circle, draw AC
then draw CD at right angles to AC meeting the other parallel line at D, then
draw AD which will just touch the circle.
* * *
A RITUAL WANTED
Connected with our lodge we have a Fellow Craft Club which has
as its principal object general assistance in the work of the lodge, and the
promotion of social activities. The officers believe that interest in the club
can be promoted by the adoption of some initiation ceremony.
It is desired to separate it widely from Masonic degrees in
order that there may be no suggestion of burlesquing. It is desired that the
ceremony shall be amusing, and yet above the "slap‑stick" variety of "stunts."
Can you suggest to me any such ritual ?
A.S.P., New York.
We have not been able to locate any such ritual as that for
which you ask. Will some reader come to our rescue ? If anyone knows of
something that would suit the purpose above described, please forward your
suggestions to THE BUILDER and we will see that our New York brother
immediately receives it.
* * *
FREEMASONRY A NON‑SECTARIAN INSTITUTION
In my studies of the history of our Order I learn to divide it
into two classes, viz., Masonry and Freemasonry.
Masonry was a Trades Union.
Freemasonry is a Brotherhood.
Masonry was Theistic or Deistic and Monotheistic
Freemasonry is Christian and Trinitarian, all its symbolism is
Christian, the Hiramic Legend was written by Constantine, the first Christian
Emperor of Rome, in the year 312 A.D.
If these things are true, where has the unconverted Jew any
place in Freemasonry? In my studies of Masonic authors (historians) I learn
that the Jew was not admitted to Freemasonry until 1728‑32 - just recently I
read in the Encycloptedia Britannica that the Jew was not admitted until 1832.
Of the above tell me what is correct and what is error.
In the period before the formation of modern Speculative
Masonry, that is, prior to 1717, there were in almost every English town
stationary guilds which controlled a monopoly of the building trades. The
guilds devoted to building were often called Masonic, and it is certain that
modern Masonry has inherited much from them. They were not trades unions, but
guilds - a very different form of organization and with very different
purposes. Also, it is believed, one set of guilds were free to travel about
from place to place in order to work on cathedrals and other church
structures, with which the ordinary town guild was not familiar. These, it
seems, were called Freemasons, and many of us believe that the modern Order
inherited more from the Freemasons than from the town guilds.
But the Freemasons were not more a Brotherhood than were the
town Masons, for both contained religious elements, had sick benefits, etc.
That is the only distinction there is between Masons, if you wish to so
designate them, and Freemasons.
Such a distinction as you have made between the religious
character of the Masons and the Freemasons (using your terminology for the
sake of a clear reply) is without foundation in fact. The traveling Masonic
guild and the stationary town guild were both Christian, and both compelled
their members to take an oath to support the Holy Mother Church, that is, the
The symbolism of modern Freemasonry is not Christian - it is
either mystic or philosophic - and is as acceptable to the nonChristian as to
the Christian. It received the non-sectarian character immediately after the
formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717. The Jew has therefore as much a
place in it as any other.
It is impossible that Constantine ever wrote the Hiramic
Legend. We would refer you to the article on the subject by Brother Haywood in
the Correspondence Circle Bulletin section of the September, 1920, number of
* * *
A ROMAN CATHOLIC DAILY NEWSPAPER
A brother lodge member told me recently that the Roman
Catholics now have a daily paper in this country. Is this true?
It is. The Daily American Tribune, a sheet of eight pages, is
published by the Catholic Printing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. John D. Gonner is
Business Manager and Nicholas C. Gonner is Editor‑in‑Chief. Subscription
prices are $8.00 a year, $4.00 for six months. It is the first and only Roman
Catholic daily to be published in this country in the English language. A
recent issue reports that there are twenty‑five dailies of this kind in
Germany. The editors seem much encouraged by the success of their new venture.
* * *
THE FRATERNAL SIDE OF THE OLD GUILDS
On page 103 of THE BUILDER for April Bro. Joseph Fort Newton
spoke of the Operative Masons as follows: "They worked as a fraternity; they
had joy in their work, and saw spiritual meaning in it.... Their labor was
communal. Each man worked as a brother in a community, not as a cog in a
machine. It was mixed with friendliness, comradeship, and goodwill.... The
Master was not a Foreman, or an Overseer; he was a Brother, a friend, a
teacher." I read a couple of books while I was in college which gave a very
different picture of the old Guilds. Has not Brother Newton rather overstated
the fraternal side of it? I think there was as much friction, trouble,
grasping selfishness in that system as in our own. Of course, I believe firmly
in brotherliness, and goodwill and all that; don't write as a cynic, but ask
Dr. Newton if he didn't exaggerate.
If Bro. Newton were not so busy a man your question would have
been referred to him; as it is, the present writer is obliged to answer for
him, though without his authorization. You are probably right in your general
view of the guild system, including the Social, Merchant, and Craft varieties.
The Craft guild system, to which you doubtless refer, lasted but three hundred
years (in England, that is), and was in fact a very strict, rigid, and rather
inhuman form of industrial organization. It was built on the old Town System,
and each Craft guild was confined in its operations to its own community, and
was subject to the laws of its own community, which were, from a modern point
of view, rather selfish laws. The apprentice system was not an easy system,
neither were the general conditions of work very happy. The Roll Books, Town
Records, and the general statutes of England and many of the old cities of
England for the Craft guild period, teem with laws and regulations governing
the life of the guild member down almost to the last detail. At the end of the
period the very clothes which a guild member had to wear were regulated by
guild and municipal law. Labor riots were not uncommon, and there was always a
deal of trouble between master and men. Brentano, it seems, is largely
responsible for the widespread notion that the Guilds were at bottom fraternal
in character; modern historians of the economic life of England are agreed
that the guilds were purely economic in their origin and nature.
Nevertheless, Brother Newton has not, the writer believes,
overstated himself. In the first place, he speaks of the old Operative Masons,
who were in a class apart, and maintained a system in which brotherliness and
goodwill did overtop the more sordid motives. In the second place, it is true
of the Craft guild system as a whole that, selfish and harsh as it was in many
ways, it encouraged, far more than our present capitalistic system, the
sentiments of brotherliness, religiousness, and joy in work.
CORRECTIONS CONCERNING WASHINGTON AND HANCOCK
I observe in the March issue of THE BUILDER two historical
inaccuracies. Perhaps they are not very important, but as THE BUILDER is
extensively quoted as authority I am sure you would wish your statements to be
Our good friend Baird in his article on John Hancock speaks of
him as having been Grand Master of Massachusetts. We in Massachusetts rejoice
in his membership but he was never Grand Master and was not even Master of his
In another paragraph reference is made to the initiation of
George Washington in Alexandria-Washington lodge. Washington was initiated in
Fredericksburg Lodge many years before Alexandria-Washington Lodge was
Frederick W. Hamilton. Grand Secretary, Massachusetts.
* * *
MONTANA MEMBERSHIP FIGURES
I notice in the April number of THE BUILDER you give the
Masonic membership of Montana as 13,813. This should be 15,926, the total
membership as of December 31, 1920.
W. C. MacArthur, Montana.
* * *
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GRAND LODGE OF MISSISSIPPI
The following Resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Grand
Lodge of Mississippi, F. & A. M., at its Annual Communication held in the City
of Jackson on February 22, 1921, and is fraternally promulgated for the
information of the Masonic Craft of Mississippi and brethren wheresoever
ACTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION ON K. OF C. WAR CHEST FUND OFFER
Whereas, The Knights of Columbus has recently submitted to the
American Legion a proposition to make use of the sum of $6,000,000 of the War
Chest Fund, allotted to that organization for the building of a memorial
auditorium to be known as the "Knights of Columbus Hall," under the auspices
of the American Legion, and
Whereas, The War Chest Fund was created by the American
Government during the stress of war with foreign nations, at a time when three
millions of our boys were in France and Belgium, and was contributed largely
by those who were not members of or affiliated by relationship or otherwise
with the membership of the Knights of Columbus, and
Whereas, The War Chest Fund was created for the relief of our
boys serving in the American army at home and abroad, and not for the purpose
of building auditoriums for the glorification of any fraternal, religious or
political organization, and
Whereas, The American Legion has declined to accept the money
tendered, for purposes above set forth, unless all restrictions as to its
disposition were withdrawn;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Masons of
Mississippi, in Annual Communication assembled, heartily applauds and endorses
the action of the American Legion and puts itself on record as strenuously
objecting to the disposition of any part of the War Chest Fund, no matter in
whose custody it may be, except in carrying out the purposes for which it was
created, namely, the industrial and vocational education of our disabled
soldiers, who offered their lives upon the altar of sacrifice, and the
children and dependents of such;
Be It Further Resolved, That the Grand Secretary be directed to
send a copy of these Resolutions to the Grand Master of Sister American
Jurisdictions, also to the Commander-in-Chief and Divisional Commanders of the
American Legion, urging them to stand steadfast in protecting and maintaining
the true ideals of our American Government.
THE SMITH-TOWNER BILL AND OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
Whereas, The public school system, the bedrock of the Republic,
is a matter of vital concern to the Nation, as well as to the State and
Whereas, The parochial school idea, in contrdisticntion to that
of the public school, is un-democratic and makes for a separation along
sectarian lines of the children of the Nation, who are the future guardians of
the Republic; and
Whereas, There is a certain Bill, now pending in the Congree of
the United States, known as the Smith-Towner Bill, the puropse of which is to
provide for a Department of Education, with a Secretary in the President's
Cabinet at its head, in order to coordinate and administer more efficeintly
the various educational activities of the National Government; and
Whereas, The Bill also provides Federal aid to the States for
the removal of illteracy; for the Americanization of foreigners; for physical
education, health and sanitation; for the better training of teachers, and for
the partial payment of teachers' salaries, and better educational
opportunities for all the children of the Nation, particularly in the rural
Whereas, The precedent for Federal aid has become thoroughly
established. The National Government appropriates money for the support of
good roads, for colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, and also for
vocational education, household arts and other forms of special education. Aid
should undoubtedly be extended for the other purposes provided in this Bill;
Whereas, The BIll is carefully drawn to prevent centralization
and to preserve to the states and local communities the management of the
public schools. It provides: (1) That its provisions shall not become
operative until accepted by a state and until at least an equal amount of
money has been provided by the state or local authorities; (2) That the money
appropriated to a state shall be distributed and administered by the state in
accordance with state laws; (3) That education in all its phases "shall be
organized, supervised, and administered exclusively by the legally constituted
state and local education authorities of the state", and
Whereas, Thousands of children in America have no free school
advantages and other thousands attend school in unsanitary buildings, taught
by uneducated teachers; and
Whereas, The Smith‑Towner Bill rests on the assumption that in
order to insure national prosperity and preserve our American institutions
there must be developed through education a citizenship physically,
intellectually and morally sound, and that because of this fact the National
Government is vitally interested in the promotion of public education in all
the states; and
Whereas, This Bill creates a Department of Education and
provides Federal aid for encouraging the states in the promotion of education.
It makes for efficiency in administration by consolidating the various
educational agencies of the Government into one department under a responsible
head, equal in rank to the heads of other executive departments. Every other
great nation in the world has a department devoted to education.
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons of the State of Mississippi, in Annual Communication
assembled, reaffirms its unqualified endorsement of our public school system
and pledges every influence within its power to maintain and safeguard the
same from the assaults of those who would destroy and create in its stead a
system of parochial schools, supported by public taxation, dominated and
controlled by and under the absolute influence and power of an autocratic
Hierarchy, upon ideas foreign in conception and directly contrary to the
theory of that American Democracy upon which this Nation is builded, for the
safety of which the flower of American manhood gave its lifeblood upon the
battlefields of France and Belgium;
Therefore, Be It Further Resolved, That the Grand Lodge
endorses the efforts of those who seek to create a National Department of
Education with a Secretary of Education in the President's cabinet as its
head, along lines set forth in the Smith-Towner Bill, as above, the several
states to have absolute and exclusive organization, supervision and
administration by the legally constituted state and local educational
Be It Further Resolved, That the Grand Secretary be directed to
transmit a copy of these Resolutions to the Grand Lodges of the various
states, to the State Superintendent of Education, to the President of each
State Teachers' Association, to the President of the National Teachers'
Association, to the President of the United States and also the members of our
National Congress, to be assembled after March 4, 1921, and to urge upon our
National authorities the necessity of prompt action in bringing to successful
fruition the objects set forth in these Resolutions.
"Lord God of Hosts,
Be with us yet-
Lest we forget,
Lest we forget."
Oliver Lee McKay,
Grand Secretary, Mississippi.
* * *
COMMANDER GALBRAITH'S LODGE
The writer's attention was called to the January issue of THE
BUILDER in which you stated, in answer to an inquiry in your Question Box,
that Bro. Fred W. Galbraith, Jr., Commander of the American Legion, was a
member of Hoffner Lodge, Cincinnati, Ohio. Believing that you wish to be
correctly informed on all matters Masonic, we wish to state that Bro.
Galbraith is a member in good standing in Avon Lodge No. 542, F. & A. M.,
Cincinnati. The writer was personally present at his raising and participated
in the work.
It was sufficient for your inquirer that he is a member of the
Craft but inasmuch as Bro. Galbraith is now a prominent figure in the Legion
and the matter may arise again in some connection, it is desirable that you
have the correct data, which we submit in a very friendly spirit and with our
M.F. Platt, Ohio.
* * *
THE DIVINE IMAGE
I am sending you a copy of a short address given in a Toronto
lodge recently by the Master, Brother John A. Copeland. I trust you can find
space for it in the columns of THE BUILDER as it is somewhat unusual. It is as
When the Great Architect, Governor and Ruler of the universe
created mankind, we are told He made each of us in His own image, a trinity in
unity - Mentality, Spirit and Body. This earthly tabernacle in which Mentality
and Spirit are housed is a wonderful mechanism, its movements under control of
the Spirit, or will‑power, with Mentality the directing force.
All three are one; each without the other is incomplete - three
rule a lodge, but no less than three.
Lacking Mentality to guide, the Spirit would act simply under
Analogically, this trinity in unity applies to the officers of
our lodge: We have the Worshipful Master, or Mentality; the Senior Warden, or
Spirit; the Junior Warden, or Body. Those three rule a lodge, but they must be
a unit to rule a lodge - three in one, a trinity in unity.
Our lodge startlingly resembles the human form divine. While
the Master is represented by the head, all the other members have their
Incorporated in the Body are many organs and senses whose
usefulness is unquestioned. Vision comes to us through two eyes. Candidates
are conducted in the degrees by two Deacons, who are eyes to the seeker after
Two hands we have. This lodge has two Stewards, who are the
hands of it. As the hands make possible the execution of the will, so the
Stewards carry out the desire of the Master of the lodge.
One mouth we have, to receive food. Our lodge has one Inner
Guard, who receives candidates and members, the food of the lodge.
One nose keeps guard over everything intended for admission to
the mouth as food, and one Tyler censors every would-be entrant to the lodge.
Our brain receives and records every impression, and the
parallel of the brain in the lodge is the Secretary. Both must record
faithfully whatever is desirable to retain, eschewing falsehood and evil.
One stomach: one Treasurer. Just as the stomach receives and
digests the food for the life of the body, so the Treasurer takes charge of
and assimilates for the life of the lodge the financial income.
Two feet and two legs conduct the body with circumspection. Two
auditors watch that the lodge is progressing satisfactorily.
Like to the heart is the Director of Ceremony, as he infuses
vim into the lodge and its functions through his stately and well-conducted
As the hair covers the head, so the Chaplain sheds a benison
over all, and contrives to infuse the proper religious tone.
While flesh and sinews are components of the body, so our
members compose the lodge.
To have the body complete and healthy every organ and part must
be useful. Our lodge to be perfectly robust must have all the officers and
members working lustily in unison and concord.
N.W.J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
THE OLDEST SECRETARY OF A LODGE
We believe our lodge, Siloam No. 780, A. F. & A. M., Chicago,
Illinois, has the distinction of having the oldest active secretary in the
United States, if not in the world, - Brother Edward F. Cass, - who was born
February 25, 1831, ninety years ago, in Cornville, Maine. He was made a Mason
in the St. Andrew's Lodge, Bangor, Maine, in 1855; admitted to Siloam,
Chicago, in 1884, and for the past twent-one years has served our lodge as
secretary and is now serving his twenty-second. He uses crutches and still
carries in his body a bullet received in the Civil War; but his eye is just as
keen, his laugh just as spontaneous, and his heart just as young as it was
sixty-five years ago when he received the sublime degree.
Geo. M. Elworth. Illinois.
There is no greater every-day virtue than cheerfulness. This
quality in man among men is like sunshine to the day, or gentle renewing
moisture to parched herbs. The light of a cheerful face diffuses itself, and
communicates the happy spirit that inspires it. The sourest temper must
sweeten in the atmosphere of continuous good humor. - Carlyle.