The Builder Magazine
May 1921 - Volume VII - Number 5
Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons
GEO. W. BAIRD, P. G. M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
JAMES KNOX POLK, the eleventh President of the United States,
was a member of Columbia Lodge No. 31, Nashville, Tennessee. He was initiated
in that lodge on January 5th, 1820, was raised in September of the same year,
and later served as Junior Warden.
Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, November
2d, 1795, having descended from the Ulster-Irish, those sturdy people who had
made up so large a portion of Washington's Army. His ancestors were named
Pollock which was abbreviated to Polk. His father was a farmer who in 1806
moved to the valley of the Duck river in Tennessee.
After going through the common schools of Tennessee, Polk
became a student at the University of North Carolina in 1815, from which he
was graduated with honor in 1818, and at once was admitted to the bar. In 1825
he was elected to Congress, where he beeame a conspicuous figure in opposing
the Administration of President John Quincy Adams. He was nominated for
Speaker by the Democrats but was not elected. But a good man was elected, Mr.
John Bell, and Polk became his substantial supporter. Polk served fourteen
years in Congress and finally declined renomination. He served his state as
Governor and was nominated for President in 1844, with a splendid running mate
in George M. Dallas for Vice-President. His opponents were Clay and
Frelingheisen, and to be elected over such giants of altruism, ability and
integrity, is proof of his worth.
Polk's Secretary of State was James Buchanan, (Past Master of
his lodge); the Secretary of War was William L. Marcy, and the Secretary of
the Navy was the famous George Bancroft. The first question the administration
had to settle was the Texas-Mexico affair. There are men living who think we
did not “tote fair” with Mexico but President Polk, with his able cabinet,
went deeply into it before making a move. The Nation was then small; our
resources undeveloped, and with only the skeleton of an Army and very little
Navy, the President felt we were on the defensive. He backed General Scott in
his invasion of Mexico, and saw that a fair deal was made. Another problem to
be faced was the dissatisfaction of the French over their sale of Louisiana,
and their eagerness to recover it. Spain was also regretting having parted
with Florida. The question of deciding on the national lines between Oregon
and Canada presented the most acute issue the Administration had to meet but
proved to be the least difficult as we had honorable people with whom to deal.
Polk was alive to the planting of our flag on the forts in California and
commended Commodore Sloat.
The principal measure which distinguished President Polk's term
of office were the adoption of the low tariff of 1844; replacing the
protective one of 1842; the establishment of the independent treasury system
by which the revenues of the Government are collected in specie without the
aid of Banks; the creation of the Department of the Interior, and the
admission of Wisconsin as a state.
He said, when nominated in 1844, that he desired but one term,
and in 1848 was big enough to stick to his word and decline renomination.
President Polk retired from office in March, 1849, and died at his residence
at Nashville, Tennessee, on the 15th of June following, at the age of
fifty-four years. Though too young to have personal recollection of Mr. Polk,
the writer clearly remembers hearing him discussed, and the impressions
received by a child are the most lasting. He was of medium size, with a
retreating brow, a sharp, penetrating eye, quick in his motions, and plain and
unostentatious in his dress and demeanor. His character was unsullied, without
James Knox Polk was buried in Nashville and the beautiful
memorial shown herewith was erected over his grave. The inscription is:
of the United States, born November 2d, 1795,
Mortal remains of James Knox Polk
resting in the vault beneath.
born in Mecklenburg County
emigrated, with his father,
Polk, to Tennessee in 1806.
beauty of virtue was illustrated
excellency of Christianity was
exemplified in his death.
James Knox Polk,
1803 ‑ ‑
* * *
public policy he defined.
established and extended the
boundaries of his Country.
planted the laws of the
shores of the Pacific.
influence and his Counsels
principle of the
apply the rule of
* * *
Rutherford County, Tenn.,
Polk Place, Nashville, Tenn.,
woman, a devoted wife, a true
are the dead
in the Lord.”
* * *
was devoted to
public service. He was
successively to the first
the State and Federal
Governments. A member of the
of Congress and
of the most important
of the House of
of Tennessee and
of the United States.
SIDELIGHTS ON MASONRY IN THE A. E. F.
CHARLES F. IRWIN, OHIO
FOR YEARS to come incidents will be coming to light which will
reveal Masonic experiences in the army overseas. It is with a desire to
contribute a few to this growing fund that I present the following. Having had
a year's experience abroad as Chaplain and having been active in the
propagation of Masonic fellowship, necessarily numerous occurrences came under
my observation which have special meaning to the Craft. Some of these are
humorous and some are connected with the more sombre side of army life.
In old Brittany there is an ancient city by the name of Vannes.
It was in this city that one of the “Three Musketeers” later served the Church
as Bishop. Also Vannes was Queen Anne's capital city before her domains were
fused into the Empire of France by her marriage to the monarch of that
country. Her former Parliament building is now used as a museum. It is filled
with material of the greatest interest to the antiquary. But I was more
especially attracted by a certain parchment I discovered one day within the
showcase devoted to ancient Roman relics. Inquiry revealed the ignorance of
the custodian as to its meaning or whence it came into their possession. It
was a Scottish Rite Passport with the date 1783 upon it. I determined by hook
or crook to secure a picture of it. But sudden removal to another post delayed
this purpose several months. Finally in the spring of 1919, in company with
Captain Henry Kuntzman, C.A.C., a brother Mason, I revisited this city. In
company with a French friend and his family we went to the old palace. While
the daughters claimed his attention in another room, the Frenchman pried open
the showcase and removedthe parchment. This we pinned to the jamb of the old
window and Captain Kuntzman took two exposures.
Restoring the parchment, we
returned to our post. Later development proved the films to be failures which
was a great disappointment to us. I am sorry not to have taken a pen copy of
the paper for it was in due form and had all the indications of a genuine
passport. I am at present negotiating with certain Masonic friends in France,
and hope eventually to secure a reproduction for future publication.
* * *
One spring morning in 1919, the long distance phone in
headquarters called me and I found an urgent summons to come to Savenay, ten
miles distant, at my earliest opportunity. A surgeon was in critical condition
and was calling insistently for me. The nurse calling me was an Eastern Star,
and the Captain was a Mason. I presented the facts to my commanding officer,
himself the honorary president of our Camp Masonic Club. He immediately placed
his own car at my disposal and with a pass permitting my travel, I set out. On
arrival at the hospital I found this brother in a serious condition. Suddenly
stricken down while in the discharge of his duty, his vocal cords were
partially paralyzed and his case practically hopeless. Evidently he was
loosing his moorings for a long journey. I was permitted but a few moments in
which to converse with him. These were sacred moments. I whispered in the ear
of a failing brother words which pointed beyond the grave. Before leaving I
desired to learn why he had called for me when other chaplains were within a
few steps of his cot. The Red Cross nurse told me that he had been stationed
in Camp Montoir adjacent to our camp and was a frequent visitor at our Club.
And as I was its president he had necessarily been brought into touch with my
work among the Craft. In his dark moments when he felt the great event
approaching, his heart turned back toward those hours when we had all met upon
the level and parted upon the square and he felt that I would come very near
to him. The next day he was carried to the hospital ship and I have never
learned further concerning him. He came from a city in Indiana.
* * *
Turning the pages of my Masonic diary I come upon the
following. It was my habit several evenings each week to visit the club held
in the French lodge “Trait d'Union” in St. Nazaire. Thus I became intimately
acquainted with many French brethren. One evening they instructed me in a Sign
of Recognition used throughout their country, whereby one Mason might know
another. As you know, our French brethren never display any emblems and thus
their mode of ascertaining the presence of one of the Craft on train, or in
cafe, or upon the crowded street is by means of this sign. Naturally this
information fired me with zeal to experiment. It is our American
characteristic. There was a prominent merchant in the city, unknown to me,
except by sight. I had reason to surmise he was a Freemason. Walking up the
avenue one afternoon, I spied the merchant approaching. Furtively I gave him
the sign! But alas, he passed on and apparently did not see me or the sign.
But in a moment or two I felt a touch on my arm. Turning I found myself
looking into the face of this merchant. Smiling, he invited me to accompany
him down the avenue. And soon I was in the midst of a most delightful group.
He introduced me to several other business men and when we parted, it was with
the understanding that I visit each of them in his own home. Most of the
friendships formed which admitted me into the homes of the French came through
these fraternal ties.
* * *
The “Loge Trait d'Union” of St. Nazaire is an ancient lodge
established in the 18th century. St. Nazaire was the port of embarkation for
the fleet which took Maximilian's army to Mexico. It is on the edge of Henry
of Navarre's country. It has always been a progressive spot, although not one
of the most important harbors. The Masons who compose this lodge are a group
of most excellent gentlemen. They constitute the flower of the city. Inasmuch
as the First Army was partly directed to this Port of Entry, the relations
between the French and the American Masons ripened in 1917. In an unbroken
progression this cordiality remained until the Port was emptied of American
troops. I came in touch with these men in the winter of 1918-19. To this day
those friendships abide. The correspondence between us keeps alive the
brightest and the best of the experiences encountered while overseas. In July,
1919, when the word went out that Base No. 1 was to be closed and we were to
scatter, tjhe brethren of this lodge, as a mark of esteem, presented me with a
white lambskin apron. It is one which was in actual use. It is about six
inches square. So far as I have been able to discover only one other apron was
presented to an American by French lodges. It was to Capt. Robert Murphy, M.
C., now stationed at Fort Sheridan, Ill.
* * *
The date May 11,
starred in my diary. Upon reading I find that on that sunny morning, at eight
o'clock, 150 American Masons were the guests of the lodge “Trait d'Union.” A
candidate was to be examined for entrance into Masonry. The opening of the
lodge was very dissimilar from our American ritual. Also the examination of
the candidate. The latter was introduced blindfolded and seated in the center
of the room. For nearly three hours question after question was put to him. In
this way his inmost thinking was revealed to the craft and upon this
examination depended his Masonic future. I could not help but contrast it with
the “one hand in the hopper” methods that prevail so largely in America. One
incident on this day stands out clearly. The Venerable Master signified his
desire for the American brethren to examine the candidate. At once our men got
busy. The very first question put to him was this: “Do you believe in the
existence of the everpresent God?” His reply was in these words: “My reason
has not been able to find a satisfactory proof, although my heart replies most
emphatically in the affirmative.” When the vote was taken as to his admission,
in conformity to the expressed desire of the venerable Master that we vote, we
did so. The candidate received a unanimous affirmative vote. He would have
made excellent material for any American lodge. When you know that I am an
old-fashioned Scotch-Irish Presbyterian you can know that his theology was
* * *
French lodges reverse the direction of the square and
compasses. That is to say, we always place the compasses above and the square
below, the points of the compass extending in a downward path, and the arms of
the square upward. But in French Masonry the direction is reversed. The points
of the compasses point toward the sky and the arms of the square toward the
earth. They do not have any fixed method as to elevating the points of the
compasses above the square.
* * *
Another date comes from my diary. It is that on which the first
news came to us of the death of Brother Theodore Roosevelt. Our Club in Camp
Meucon, Brittany, was in session when a brother arose and reported that this
illustrious Mason had entered “that house not made by hands, eternal in the
heavens.” A motion was at once passed that our club communicate with Mrs.
Roosevelt our deep sympathy for her in her sorrow. In a few weeks a most
gracious card was received from her in which she expressed her appreciation of
our thoughtfulness and our sympathy. I took this card to the Club and read it
to the crowded room. For several moments we rose and stood in silence
remembering that all differences cease at the side of the open grave. All were
conscious that here was an American who placed his native land first in his
thinking. He was loyal to its Constitution and to its Institutions. His
Americanism endeared him to millions of his fellow citizens. Three names were
heard on the lips of most army men overseas, when the catalogue of our great
was rehearsed. They were Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt. The first and the
last were Masons.
* * *
The grave of Lafayette always had a strange attraction to the
Masons who visited Paris. At first the Parisians could not tell you where he
was buried. At length they memorized his resting place for almost every
visiting American would inquire, “Where is Lafayette buried?” After the
formation of the Paris Dugout of the S.O.L., the membership took frequent
opportunity to visit this sacred spot. On July 14, 1919, the great “Bastile
Day,” a group of these S.O.L. Masons entered upon a pilgrimage to the Rue de
Piepus 35, and standing beside the grave of this great man, connected in a
peculiar way to their ritual, they laid wreaths upon the tomb, at the same
time rendering a portion of their ritual. A picture was taken of this group by
Brother Frank D. Lewis, Everett, Washington. Copies can be secured from him at
a moderate cost. Especially every S.O.L. member and Dugout ought to possess
Occasionally we ran across crude tradition as to the
devilishness of the Freemasons. One which I encountered most frequently among
the peasants of Brittany was to this effect: Every time the Masons gave a
banquet, they caught a small Catholic child and served it just as we would a
succulent roast porker. I recall hearing this story while at the table of a
wealthy, educated Frenchman, a counseller of a large French city. When I asked
him the source of this and similar stories, he shrugged his shoulders, threw
out his hands in their peculiar gesture, smiled and said, “le pretre.”
* * *
This brings to mind the evidences throughout France of the
ecclesiastical opposition Masonry has encountered there. Our French brethren
have had to fight for their existence. Yet in one hundred years every
constructive piece of legislation in France has been introduced by Masons and
fought through their House of Deputies. The separation of church and state
fifteen years ago grew directly out of the efforts of Masonry. We felt the
touch of the unseen hand even in the American Army. Personally I was advised
soon after landing in France to lay aside my ring which shows the insignia of
the Consistory. I can truthfully say the ring never left my finger. I cannot
say that I felt personal antagonism at any time. Yet I had incidents come
under my observation that proved conclusively that opposition did exist. The
feeling engendered manifested itself in several places in the army.
Unfortunately disputes even crept within army organizations and caused
Traces of this bitterness were stated to have come to the
surface at LeMans during the period of the return of troops. However I cannot
personally vouch for the accuracy of this. In Base No. 1, the following came
under my own observation:
The St. Nazaire Masonic Club desired to present a plan for the
entertainment of our American Masons and Masonic women, also for our French
brethren and their families. A committee interviewed the manager of a local
theatre and secured his promise of the theatre for a certain evening. Shortly
prior to that date they sought him again with the request that they be
permitted to rehearse their play on his stage in order to familiarize
themselves with its architecture. He showed much embarassment and confessed
that he had heen visited by the local ecclesiastical authorities who stated
that the American army would soon be gone and that if he permitted the
American Freemasons to use his theatre that they would see that he was
blacklisted and that would mean his commercial ruin. He gamely assured us he
would keep his word. But this was not required of him. The play was given at
“Liberty Hall” down on the docks.
* * *
Few can realize under what difficulties our clubs continued to
work in France. The frequent transfers of military leaders robbed us of
secretaries and other officers constantly. I recall one period when one club
lost four secretaries in four continuous weeks. When you consider how much
rests on the shoulders of the secretary you get a faint approximation of our
difficulties. And for this reason we must ever praise the fidelity of the
welfare workers who were stationed more permanently than the military. These
brother Masons kept the fires burning on our club hearths and many a Masonic
club owed its life and its vitality to these faithful men serving in the
Salvation Army, Red Cross, and Y.M.C.A. The last days of these clubs always
cast a shadow over the brethren who remained to the very last. To gather in
rooms where a short time before music, merriment, and the interplay of the
deepest emotions had prevailed, and to see the little handful of brothers
sitting around sent us out saddened and yet comforted. The clubs had served
their purpose. They had contributed to the welfare of the Craft abroad. And
when the last moment came, when club records had been boxed and sent to Paris,
when equipment had been disposed of mostly to our French brethren, we turned
the big brass key in the lock and as we descended the stairway we whispered
one to the other, “So mote it be.”
* * *
There is one church building in Paris that bears the Masonic
symbols above the main entrance. It appears that the Masons who built the
edifice desired to play a practical joke on the clergy. So they carved the
symbols of their Craft in a very prominent place. When the church was
completed the presence of the symbols was discovered and the Bishop ordered
them to be destroyed. However, the Parisians love a good joke and they opposed
the destruction of the Masonic marks. And today you can see them standing out
above the main entrance. Our French brethren enjoyed calling our attention to
this “bon mot.”
* * *
The Scottish Rite Consistory of Nantes exemplified their work
on Easter of 1919. Hundreds of American Scottish Rite men availed themselves
of the opportunity to view the French work. These brethren displayed a perfect
familiarity with the work and their dramatic powers were of a high order. In
this Temple is shown a Master Mason's apron made of colored beads. These are
so arranged that the working tools of the first three degrees are shown. Early
in the fourteenth century two French explorers came up this relic in a native
village in the heart of Africa. It gives evidence of antiquity and no
explanation has been supplied to tell how this apron found its resting place
in such a remote spot.
* * *
My diary supplies the following items: In compny with a group
of fellow Masons, I left Brest for a run up-country. While passing through a
small village we were attracted by the appearance of the local church. Within
the entrance we found the usual bas relief plaster casts of the Apostles. What
attracted me was the peculiar posture of the hands and feet of each apostle.
Suddenly it dawned on me that they were on the step and under the due-guard
and sign of Masons of several degrees. I called the group together and we took
some exposures of them. These films were handed later to a Frenchman to
develop. These particular exposures were entirely missing. Even the negatives
had sought passage to Ethiopia
CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
FREQUENT intervals, now for nearly two hundred years, the heads of the Roman
Catholic Church have been launching their papal thunders against Freemasonry
alleging that it is not only anti-Christian, but Atheistic in its
constitution, that at its doors lie the many wars which have taken place
during that period, and that it has been responsible for the innumerable
revolutions that have disturbed nations, and the myriads of seditious plots
which have been hatched, particularly since 1717, when the Mother Grand Lodge
of the world was first organized. These statements, unsupported by any
evidence that would be accepted in any court of law conducted on
constitutional lines, have been accepted as veridical by the sheep of the
flock, who have passed them along, until, finally, they have made their
appearance in the bigoted press with even more embellishments than the now
proverbial story of the Russians passing through England during the last war.
allegations can be disproved at once an examination of the Constitutions of
the Craft of Freemasonry, which differs from all other societies in that it
imposes a test on all applicants for admission into the Order, i. e.,
subscription to a belief in the existence of the Supreme Being and in the
immortality of the soul. That is the test for admission into Craft, from which
the member can, if he wishes his candidature is accepted, pass into the Royal
Arch and Mark Masonry. But when he seeks admission in some of the so-called
"side" or "higher" degrees, finds his way barred unless he declares himself to
of Christian faith, and in more than one of these has to assert, without
equivocation, that he is a Trinitarian. The result is that whilst in Craft,
Arch, Mark Masonry, Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Parsees, and
others may be admitted, that is possible in all branches of Masonry.
from this Theistic declaration, no candidate is accepted unless he declared
his allegiance to the law of the land, nor unless he declares that he will
never be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of
the nation, and that he will behave himself conformably with the laws of his
spite of these explicit obligations, which have to be taken by all, without
exception, we find Popes and Prelates who, during the last two centuries, have
been repeating times innumerable that Freemasonry in every country is engaged,
if not solely, at least principally, in a warfare against Church and State.
The papal denunciations have been repeated parrot-like by the lesser lights
and believed in by the multitude, who are inhibited from seeking authentic
information at the fountain head.
instance, Monsignor Dillon, D. D., in his "War of Antichrist with the Church,"
secret society is framed and adapted to make men the enemies of God and His
Church, and to subvert faith; and there is not one, no matter on what pretext
it may be founded, which does not fall under the management of a Supreme
Directorate governing all secret societies on earth. The one aim of this
Directorate is to uproot Christianity and the Christian social order, as well
as the Church from the world - in fact, to eradicate the name of Christ and
the very Christian idea from the minds and the hearts of men."
Dillon obliges by giving the names of one or two of the "Grand Directors" to
whom he refers as governing the whole of the secret societies of the world,
the Craft of Freemasonry included. Only one name need concern us in this
investigation; it is that of the late Brother John Yarker, a very
distinguished scholar, who held many important offices in what are known as
the "higher degrees," but who never attained rank in the United Grand Lodge of
England. He was also a member of and held high office in certain
quasi-Masonic bodies not recognized by the Grand Lodge of England. Now has
any one of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, who repeats this absurd
statement about a Grand Directorate as set forth by Monsignor Dillon,
considered the position for a moment? John Yarker is said to have been Grand
Director during part of the time of the Grand Mastership of the late King
Edward VII, and the present ruler, H. R. H., the Duke of Connaught. Can any
man in his right mind imagine either of these exalted personages receiving and
obeying instructions from John Yarker, or, indeed, any other individual? The
assertion is so ridiculous as to carry with it its own refutation.
statement is also made repeatedly by Roman Catholic controversialists that
Freemasonry is international and that members of English lodges are at liberty
to enter, and fraternize with the members of, any and every lodge throughout
the world. Freemasonry is international up to a point. There are certain
landmarks set forth in the Ancient Charges which must not be departed from, if
Freemasonry in its original institution, so far as can be ascertained, is to
be upheld, and no English Freemason is to be permitted, under pain of
expulsion, to enter any lodge where those ancient landmarks are not observed.
Freemasonry may be described as a religious institution, but not as a
religion. Its most ancient landmark is the recognition of, and belief in, the
existence of a Supreme Being. It was the deletion of this fundamental tenet
on the part of the Grand Orient of France and other Jurisdictions, which led
to the United Grand Lodge of England and other Masonic Grand Bodies, to cease
communication with them, and to prohibit intervisitation, which ban holds good
at the present moment.
constitution of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, many eminent members of
the Roman Catholic Church have held office in the Grand Lodge of England. Some
have even been appointed to the highest possible position - that of Grand
Master. Among others, we have the name of Robert Edward, Lord Petre, who was
regarded as the head of the Roman Catholic body in this country in his time,
and who was Grand Master from 1772 to 1776, presiding over a Society against
which the thunders of the Vatican had been launched at least twice before that
time, thus proving that in England, at any rate, the Papal fulminations had
been of no effect.
in the "Weekly Register" (a Roman Catholic organ) in 1865, said:
Wiseman, with his natural kindness of heart, never spoke unkindly of English
Freemasonry, and two of his predecessors (then known as Vicars-Apostolic) were
active members of London lodges. Two members of the present English Hierarchy
are understood to have been initiated in their early days and I can vouch for
two influential members of English Chapters (meaning Canons) being also
Freemasons." It is an open secret, also, that the Papal Bulls are equally
ineffective in their prohibition in many instances at the present day.
Charles Cameron, Deputy Grand Master of Ireland, in his annual statement to
the Grand Lodge of Ireland, in 1919, made the following announcement:
"It is an
extraordinary thing how common is the opinion that Freemasonry is opposed to
the Roman Catholic religion. We know that a great many members of that
community formerly belonged to our Order. I had the pleasure of meeting three
Roman Catholic judges - Judge Keogh, Lord Morris, and Lord Justice Barry - at
Masonic dinners on several occasions, about some forty or fifty years ago -
before some of you were born. We know that the Roman Catholics have seceded
from us because they were obliged to do so by the direction of their Church,
but many of them have told me they would like to become Freemasons if they
were permitted to join the Order. There are thousands of Freemasons in purely
Roman Catholic countries. Ninety per cent. of the French population are
members of the Roman Catholic Church - nominally, at all events - and still
Masonry flourishes in France, and also in other Roman Catholic countries. In
Ireland, at all events, we are a non-political body in every sense of the
word, and equally non-sectarian."
somewhat tedious, however, to wade through the mass of misrepresentations
which present themselves on every occasion when the Roman clergy venture upon
expositions of Freemasonry. Monseigneur de Segur in his work, "La Franc-Maconnerie,"
says that in order to be admitted to certain Masonic lodges, it is
indispensable that the candidate should bring with him a particle of the
Adorable Sacrament, which he must procure by some means or the other, and that
the fist act of initiation consists in trampling on it. He assures his readers
that this horrible rite is performed in several lodges of Paris, Marseilles,
Aix, Avignon, Lyons, Chalons, and Laval, cities and towns where the greatest
piety exists and which are, above all others, the nuclei of Roman Catholic
life and devotion in France. He describes a Masonic Mass, celebrated in Rome,
on an altar lighted by six candles of black wax. Each member was obliged to
take with him a consecrated Host, and all these Hosts were placed in a
receptacle on a table, while every new candidate trod on a crucifix, spat on
it, and, finally, drawing his dagger, struck repeated blows on the sacred
shudder involuntarily when these lines are read, and would that it were not
necessary to write them, for no Freemason would, or could, if bound by his
undertaking, ever be a party to the reviling of any faith or creed or to such
a dastardly outrage as Monseigneur de Segur describes. Let him be assured
that whatever may have been the organization to which such horrible fiends
belonged, it certainly was not Masonry.
subsequent instalments of this article the various Bulls, Allocutions, and
Encyclical Letters of the Popes on Freemasonry and other Societies will be
given, with details of the oral examinations of, and the tortures inflicted
by, "the Holy Office of the Inquisition," together with particulars of other
persecutions of Freemasons by the "Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."
question as to the cause of the hostility of the Church of Rome towards the
Masonic Order has often been the theme of discussion and debate, with the
attainment of no definite result. It may not be possible to fix with accuracy
the date of the origin of the Masonic Craft, but few today would dispute its
continuance through the Middle Ages in the Craft or Trade Guilds of England
and other countries. Religion figured largely in the proceedings of these
Guilds, many of their ceremonies taking place in the Guild Chapels. The
Guildsmen were devout Roman Catholics, which accounts for the fact that the
waning power of the Guilds is distinctly traceable in its origin to the period
of the Reformation. The occasional references and allusions to the "Masonic
Society" in various writings also date their commencement to the same period.
These references became increasingly numerous until 1717, when Freemasonry
became an organized constitution, to be honoured, shortly after its
establishment in this manner, with the promulgation of a Bull by Clement XII.
The Guilds performed "misteries"; their membership was limited; oaths had to
be taken on admission and on certain occasions afterwards; their proceedings
were conducted in secrecy, but the Roman Church issued no Bull against these
societies. But when Freemasons did these things, they were wrong; nay, more,
they became a menace to Society and to the Church. The Church of Rome raises
no objection secret societies when they are composed of its members - they
have always existed in the Catholic Church, they exist today - but when
conformity to the Roman Church and its doctrines is not made a test for
admission, then the society is inimical to the morals and well-being of the
(the pseudonym of Sir David Brewster in his History of Freemasonry, states
that "in order to encourage the profession of architecture, the bishop of Rome
and the other potentates of Europe conferred on the Fraternity of Freemasons
the most important privileges; and allowed them to be governed by law customs,
and ceremonies peculiar to themselves." This condition of things, however, did
not last, and he goes on to point out that "in after ages, when Masons were
more numerous, and when the demand for religious structures was less urgent
than before, the bishops of Rome deprived the Fraternity of those very
privileges which had been conferred on them without solicitation and
persecuted with unrelenting rage the very men whom they had voluntarily taken
into favour, and who had contributed to the grandeur of their ecclesiastic
establishment." Possibly, however, the reason for the inhibition is due less
to the cause assigned by Lawrie that "secret associations, indeed, are always
a terror temporal and spiritual tyranny" than to the personnel of the new
organization. For it must not be forgotten that two of the most active
workers in the early day of the history of the Grand Lodge of England - before
the issue of the first Papal Bull against Freemasons or the inauguration of
any concerted opposition to the Craft - were Dr. J.T. Desaguliers and the Rev.
Dr. James Anderson, the former the son of a French refugee Hugenot minister
and the latter a Scotch Presbyterian minister, neither of whom, in private
life, could have any sympathy with, but rather opposition to, Roman Catholic
claims and pretensions.
earliest Masonic inhibitions were not, however, the work - directly, at any
rate - of the Church of Rome. Most writers give the date of the initial
prohibition as 1735, with Holland as the venue. Llorente in his History of
the Inquisition, assigns an earlier date. Llorente may be regarded as a
reliable authority, since he was secretary of the Inquisition at Madrid from
1789 to 1791 and, therefore, had access to original documents and records. He
first severe measure against Freemasons in Europe was that decreed on 14th
December, 1732, by the Chamber of Police of the Chatelet at Paris: it
prohibited Freemasons from assembling, and condemned M. Chapelot to a penalty
of 6,000 livres for having suffered them to assemble in his house. Louis XV
commanded that those peers of France, and other gentlemen who had the
privilege of the entry, should be deprived of that honour, if they were
members of a Masonic lodge. The Grand Master of the Parisian lodges being
obliged to quit France, convoked an assembly of Freemasons to appoint his
successor. Louis XV, on being informed of this, declared that if a Frenchman
was elected, he would send him to the Bastille. However, the Due D'Antin was
chosen and, after his death, Louis de Bourbon, prince of Conti, succeeded
him. Louis de Bourbon, due de Chartres, another prince of the blood, became
persecutions took their rise in Holland in the year 1735. The States-General
became alarmed at the rapid increase of Freemasons, who held their meetings in
every town under their government; and as they could not believe that
architecture and brotherly love were their only objects, they resolved to
discountenance their proceedings. In consequence of this determination, an
edict was issued by government stating that though they had discovered nothing
in the practices of the Fraternity, either injurious to the interests of the
Republic, or contrary to the character of good citizens; yet, in order to
prevent any bad consequences which might ensue from such association, they
deemed it prudent to abolish the assemblies of Freemasons. Notwithstanding
this prohibition a respectable lodge having continued to meet privately at
Amsterdam, intelligence was communicated to the magistrates, who arrested all
the members; and brought them to the Court of Justice. Before this tribunal,
in presence of all the magistrates of the city, the Master and Wardens boldly
defended themselves; and declared upon oath that they were loyal subjects,
faithful to their religion, and zealous for the interests of their country;
that Freemasonry was an institution venerable in itself and useful to society;
and that though they could not reveal the secrets and ceremonies of their
Order, they would assure them that they were contrary to the laws neither of
God nor man, and that they would willingly admit into their Order any
individual in whom the magistrates could confide, and from whom they might
receive such information as would satisfy a reasonable mind. In consequence of
these declarations, the brethren were dismissed, and the town secretary
requested to become a member of the Fraternity. After initiation, he returned
to the Court of Justice and gave such a favourable account of the principles
and practices of the Society that all the magistrates became brethren of the
Order and zealous patrons of Freemasonry.
same year - 1735 - several noble Portuguese, with more foreigners, instituted
a lodge in Lisbon under the Grand Lodge of England, of which George Gordon was
Master, but no sooner was the slightest suspicion entertained of its
existence, than the clergy determined to give the clearest evidence of their
hatred to the Order by practical illustration.
Elector Palatine of the Rhine also prohibited the Order in his States and
arrested several members at Mannheim, in consequence of their disobedience.
assemblies were also abolished in France in 1737 under the pretext that
beneath their inviolable secrets they might cover some dreadful designs
hostile to religion and dangerous to the kingdom.
Lodge of England, regarded by all Freemasons as the Mother Grand Lodge of the
world, was not founded until 1717, but Joseph Lavallee in his Histoire des
Inquisitions Religeuqes d'Italie, d'espagne, et de Portugal, says that, in
1710, Nicholas Augustan de Seras, merchant, of Cette was charged before the
Inquisition at Vallodolid with being a "sorcerer Freemason," and that in 1722
one John Lilburn was brought to the auto-da-fe at Lisbon on the same charge,
it being stated that he had assisted at nocturnal meetings where the demon
Gamaliel presided in person and that he (Lilbum) had drank and eaten in
company of other demons brought from the infernal regions, with whom he had
afterwards signed a pact, promising to be their servant and to perform all
that they should order him to do.
Freemasonry, also, was not under the ban of the Church when its introduction
into Tuscany led the Grand Duke Gian Gastone to prohibit it. His death on 9th
July, 1737, caused his edict to be neglected. This demise, however, had
another result as well. The clergy represented the matter to Pope Clement
XII, who sent an inquisitor to Florence, who made a number of arrests, but the
offenders were set at liberty by the new Grand Duke, Francis of Lorraine, who
declared himself the patron of the Order and participated in the organization
of several lodges. At this time the Papal Court began to make a stir about
Freemasons. We find the Pope in consultation with Cardinals Ottobone, Spinola,
and Zondedari, and the Inquisitor of Florence, and on 28th April, 1738,
Clement XII issued his famous Bull on the subject. In this document the only
accusation brought against the Craft is its secrecy, but this was sufficient
for the creation of a new heresy, furnishing the Inquisition with a fresh
subject for its activity.
was as follows:
Condemnation of the Societies or Conventicles De Liberi Muretori, or of the
Freemasons, under the penalty of ipso facto Excommunication, the Absolution
from which is reserved to the Pope alone, except at the point of death.
Bishop, servant of the Apostles of God, to all the faithful of Christ, health
and apostolical benediction.
(unworthy as we are) by the disposal of the divine clemency, in the eminent
watch-tower of the apostolic see, we are ever solicitously intent, agreeable
to the trust of the pastoral providence reposed in us, by obstructing the
passages of error and vice, to preserve more especially the integrity of the
orthodox religion, and to repel, in these difficult times, all danger of
trouble from the whole Catholic world.
come to our knowledge, even from public report, that certain societies,
companies, meetings, assemblies, clubs, or conventicles, called De Liberi
Muretori, or 'Freemasons,' or by whatsoever name the same in different
languages are distinguished, spread far and wide, and are every day
increasing; in which persons, of whatever religion or sect, contented with a
kind of affected show of natural honesty, confederate together in a close and
inscrutable bond, according to laws and orders agreed upon between them;
which, likewise, with private ceremonies, they enjoin and bind themselves, as
well by strict oath taken on the Bible, as by the imprecations of heavy
punishments to preserve with inviolable secrecy.
therefore, resolving in our minds the great mischiefs which generally accrue
from these kind of societes or conventicles, not only to the temporal
tranquillity of the State, but to the spiritual health of souls; and that,
therefore, they are neither consistent with civil nor canonical sanctions;
since we are taught by the divine word to watch, like a faithful servant,
night and day, lest this sort of men break as thieves into the house, and like
foxes endeavour to root up the vineyard; lest they should pervert the hearts
of the simple, and privately shoot at the innocent, that we might stop up the
broad way, which from thence would be laid open for the perpetration of their
wickedness with impunity, and for other just and reasonable causes to be
known, have, by advice of some of our venerable brethren of the Roman Church,
the Cardinals, and of our own mere notion, and from our certain knowledge and
mature deliberation, by the plentitude of the apostolical power, appointed and
decreed to be condemned and prohibited and this by our ever-present valid
constitution, we do condemn and prohibit the same societies, companies,
meetings, assemblies, clubs, or conventicles, De Liberi Muretori, or
Freemasons, or by what other name they are distinguished or known.
"Wherefore all and singular, the faithful in Christ, of whatever state,
degree, condition, order, dignity, and it preeminence, whether laity or
clergy, as well seculars as regulars, worthy all of express mention and
enumeration, we strictly and in virtue or holy obedience, command that no one,
under any pretext or colour, dare or presume the aforesaid societies, De
Liberi Muretori, or Freemasons, or by whatever other manner distinguished, to
enter into, promote, favour, admit, or conceal in his or their houses, or
elsewhere, or be admitted members of, or be present, with the same, or be
anywise aiding and assisting towards their meeting in any place; or to
administer anything to them, or in any means publicly or privately, directly
or indirectly, by themselves or others, afford them counsel, help, or favour;
or advise, induce, provoke, or persuade others to be admitted into, joined or
be present with these kind of societies, or in any manner aid and promote
them; but that they ought by all means to abstain from the said societies,
under the penalty of all that act contrary thereto, incurring excommunication
ipso facto, without any other declaration: from which no one can obtain the
benefit of absolution from any other but us, or the Roman Pontiff for the time
being, except at the point of death.
moreover, and command, that as well bishops and superior prelates, and other
ordinaries of particular places, as the inquisitors of heretical pravity
universally adopted, of what state, degree, condition, order, dignity, or
preeminence soever, proceed and inquire, and restrain and coerce the same, as
vehemently suspected of heresy with condign punishment for to them, and each
of them, we hereby give and impart free power of proceeding, inquiring
against, and of coercing and restraining with condign punishment, the same
transgressors, and of calling in, if it shall be necessary, the help of the
secular arm; and we will that printed copies of these presents, signed by some
notary public, and confirmed by the seal of some person of ecclesiastical
dignity, shall be of the same authority as original letters would be, if they
were shown and exhibited. Let no one, therefore, infringe, or by rash attempt
contradict this object of our declaration, damnation, command, prohibition,
and interdict; but if anyone shall presume to attempt this, let him know that
he will incur the anger of Almighty God, and of the blessed apostles Peter and
from Rome at St. Mary's the Greater, in the year of the Incarnation of our
Lord, 1738, the fourth of the calends of May (28th April, N.S.) in the eighth
of our pontificate."
was fixed up and published at the gates of the palace of the Sacred Office of
the prince of the Apostles and in the usual and accustomed places of the city
by Peter Romolatius, cursitor of the Most Holy Inquisition.
a week afterwards - on the 4th May, 1838 - the Bishops of Siga, Cambysopolis,
Trachis, and Olena - titular bishops in England - published an episcopal
denunciation of Freemasonry, stating:
enjoin that the Catholics be discreetly warned against entering into the
Society of them who are vulgarly called 'Freemasons,"' and, in April, 1842,
the bishop of Olena promulgated an injunction to be observed in the London
district declaring that by a response of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy
Office, 5th July, 1837, it hath been declared that "a confessor cannot
lawfully or validly, grant sacramental absolution to men belonging to the
Society of Freemasons, who are incorporated under, and mutually bound by, the
obligation of an oath of secrecy, unless they absolutely, positively, and
forever, abandon the aforesaid condemned society. This rule must be
implicitly followed, where the penitent is avowedly associated with the body
of Freemasons, or where, in confession, he declares himself to be a
year following the promulgation of the Bull - on 14th January, 1739 - the
Cardinal Secretary of State issued an edict pronouncing irremissible pain of
death, not only on all members, but on all who should tempt others to join the
Order or should rent a house to it or favour it in any other way. This decree
was issued in the name of the High Priest of the God of Peace and Mercy! It
was as follows:
Joseph Cardinal Firrao, of the title of St. Thomas in Parione, and of the
Sacred Roman College, Cardinal Priest.
the holiness of our sovereign lord Pope, Clement XII, happily reigning, in his
Bull of the 28th April last, beginning In eminenti, condemned, under pain of
excommunication reserved to himself, certain companies, societies, and
meetings, under the title of Freemasons, more properly to be called
conventicles, which, under the pretext of civil society, tempt men of any sect
and religion, with the strict tie of secrecy, confirmed by oath on the sacred
Bible, as to all that is transacted or done in the said meetings and
conventicles; and whereas such societies, meetings, and conventicles are not
only suspect of occult heresy, but even dangerous to the public peace, and the
safety of the ecclesiastic state, since if they do not contain matters
contrary to the orthodox faith, to the state, and to the peace of the
commonwealth, so many and strict ties of secrecy would not be required, as it
is wisely taken notice of in the aforesaid Bull; and it being the will of the
holiness of our said lord, that such societies, meetings, and conventicles
totally cease and be dissolved, and that they who are not constrained by the
fear of censures, be curbed at least by temporal punishment.
"Therefore, it is the express order of his holiness, by this edict to prohibit
all persons of any class, state, or condition soever, whether ecclesiastical,
secular, or regular, of whatever institute, degree, or dignity, though
ordinarily or extraordinarily privileged, even such as require special mention
to be made of them, comprehending the four legations of Bologna, Ferrara,
Romagna Urbino, and the city and dukedom of Benevento; and it is hereby
forbidden that any do presume to meet, assemble, or associate in any place
under the said societies, or assemblies of Freemasons or under any title or
cloak whatsoever, or even be present at such meetings and assemblies, under
pain of death and confiscation of their effects, to be irremissibly incurred
without hopes of grace.
likewise prohibited, as above, to any person soever to seek or tempt anyone to
associate with any such societies, meetings, or assemblies, or to advise, aid,
or abet to the like purpose, the said meetings or assemblies, under the
penalties abovesaid; and they who shall furnish or provide a house, or any
other place, for such meetings or conventicles to be held, though under
pretext of loan, hire or any other contract soever, are hereby condemned, over
and above the aforesaid penalties, to have the house or houses, or other
places where such meetings and conventicles shall be held, utterly erased and
demolished; and it is the will of his holiness that to incur the abovesaid
penalty of demolition, any human conjectures, hints, or presumptions, may and
shall suffice for the presumption of knowledge in the landlords of such houses
and places, without admission of any excuse soever.
because it is the express will of our said lord that such meetings, societies,
and conventicles do cease, as pernicious and suspect of heresy and sedition,
be utterly dissolved; his holiness does hereby strictly order that any persons
as above, who shall have notice for the future of the holding of such
meetings, assemblies, and conventicles, or who shall be solicited to associate
with the same, or are in any manner accomplices or partakers with them, be
obliged under the fine of a thousand crowns in gold, besides other grievous
corporal punishments, the gallies not to be excepted, to be inflicted at
pleasure, to denounce them to his eminence, or to the chief magistrate of the
ordinary tribunal of the cities, or other places in which the offence shall be
committed, contrary to this edict;with promise and assurance to such
denouncers or informers, that they shall be kept inviolably secret and safe,
and shall farther obtain grace and immunity, notwithstanding any penalty they
themselves may or shall have incurred.
that none may excuse himself from the obligation of conforming under the
borrowed pretext of only secret, of the most sacred oath, or other stricter
tie, by the order of his said holiness, notice is hereby given, to all, that
such obligation of any secret, or any sort of oath in criminal matters, and
already condemned under pain of excommunication, as above, neither holds nor
binds in any manner, being null and void and of no force.
our will that the present edict, when affixed in the usual places in Rome, do
oblige and bind Rome and its district, and from the term of twenty-one days
after, the whole ecclesiastical state, comprehending even the cities of
Bologna, Ferrara, and Benevento, in the same manner as if they had been
personally notified to each of them.
Rome this 14th January, 1739."
1738, the Chief of the Inquisition in Lisbon, having learned of the existence
of Freemasons in that city, applied to several persons whom he believed to
have knowledge of their proceedings, with the object of ascertaining definite
information on the point. The first to whom he appealed was Charles O'Kelly,
professor of theology, at the College of Corpo Santo, who stated that in a
restaurant in the Rue de Remolares, belonging to an Irishman named Rice, there
was held a Masonic lodge, attended by several individuals, many of whose names
he gave, declaring at the same time that they were excellent Roman Catholics,
judging by their constant attendance at the services held in the Church of
Corpo Santo. The persons indicated were questioned, when they at once
admitted their membership of and frequent attendance at the lodge in question,
declaring that there was nothing in the Masonic ceremonies contrary to their
religion, but that as they were good Roman Catholics they would obey the Holy
Father and abandon Freemasonry, since the Pope had condemned it. The
following were, at the same time, denounced by them to the Inquisition: Hugh
O'Kelly, a retired Irish Colonel and Master of the lodge at that time;
Lieutenant Denis Hogan of the Alcantara cavalry; Thomas French, merchant;
James O'Kelly, dancing master to the royal family; Michael O'Kelly, his
brother, owner of glass works; Charles Carroll, merchant; Sergeant-major
Charles Mardel, a German engineer; and three Dominicans, Fathers Patrick
O'Kellan (or Kinide), Tilan, and Leynan. They were all questioned and their
replies, which are on record, are of interest to the Masonic historian. The
Master, Hugh O'Kelly, who was interrogated three times, declared that
Freemasonry had existed in Portugal since 1733, having been introduced into
that country by a Scotsman named Gordon; that he had been initiated two years
previously, but had only attended a lodge entirely composed of Roman
Catholics, which was known as "La Maison Royale des Francs-Macons de la
Lusitanie," which had no connection with the Protestant lodges, of which he
knew nothing; that their meetings were held on the first Wednesday of each
month; and that their discussions were limited to subjects of general
interest, economical and recreative questions; that the lodge practised three
degrees, Apprentice, Companion, and Master, but that meetings in two other
grades - Excellent Master and Grand Master - were held once in every year;
that they observed the festival of St. John, but that, in obedience to the
pontifical interdict, the lodge had been dissolved and that the majority of
the members had abandoned Freemasonry. A minority had, he believed,
affiliated with a Protestant lodge, but their names were unknown to him.
Thereupon, the Inquisition abandoned its pursuit of Roman Catholic Freemasons
but sought to obtain further information with respect to the Protestant
lodges. (To be continued)
FREEMASONRY AND PRESENT DAY PROBLEMS
LORNE J. ELLIOTT, CANADA
FREEMASONRY AND MODERN LIFE
MASONRY is but brotherhood gathered into lodges; and though we pride ourselves
in the claim that ours is the greatest as well as the most ancient of human
institutions, I suggest that its degree of superiority exists chiefly for
ourselves, resting perhaps in some slight degree of fact, but not so as to
render unworthy by comparison the other great organized brotherhoods. In
spirit all true brotherhood is Masonry. It is well for us to concede and
appreciate that fact.
also be well to recognize some limitations of the service of Masonry. It can
never take the place of the great religious brotherhoods. Let me suggest to
Masons that our order finds its place of best service in being; supplementary
to organized religion. Our Order has no place for the family, the wife, the
child, the mother, the sister. We offer no salvation for the degraded - the
deeply sinning. We may relieve, but we do not receive the poverty stricken.
With such admissions to make - and yet they cannot truly be called admissions,
for they grow out of the very purposes of the Order, - we must bow in
reverence and humility before the great efforts of man through his churches
and religious societies to teach high spiritual conceptions of life to the
young, to share the grand ideals of love and truth with the other members of
our families, to bring to the fallen the grace and knowledge of salvation, and
to give a welcome and uplift to the poor and downtrodden amongst men.
of Masonry that excludes a gracious recognition of these broader services of
religion fails in brotherhood, and may I add that in modern life when there is
a strong call to men to seek personal pleasure and pursue the phantom of
excitement, such recognition of the services of religion demands an active aid
to, perhaps an injection of new and more virile blood into, the forces of
religion, not for the propagation of sectarianism, but for the furtherance of
the human and spiritual service for which nearly all such bodies stand.
Freemasonry can never displace the church in the life of the family and of
humanity in general. Its members ought not to allow their Masonic allegiance
to displace a wider religious brotherhood.
is in part a peculiar reverent sensing of and seeking after association with
an Infinite Personality. Through such association, man truly and abundantly
lives and moves and has his being. Masonry aims to bring together in
fellowship mature men who are not strangers to such a sense and yearning, that
they may extend their speculations in the great mysteries of life, establish
faith in man and among men and then go out to practice those virtues and
further those principles which flow therefrom. In the everyday world the
value of such an aim is beyond query. Freemasonry is intended to exemplify
faith applied to human relations. The church is essentially a mission to
redeem - Freemasonry seeks only to preserve and develop the already fit.
spoken of religion. I turn now to education. One of our troubles is that
active religion among men of our limited natures must take on some form of
sectarianism. In a practical sense that is not wrong, since those who believe
alike can best act together. But that beliefs must be real and reasonable
there must be minds in some way trained to comprehend. Otherwise the
heart-sensing and seeking I have referred to as religion will be buried under
a cloud of superstition and fear. The churches early recognized this and were
amongst the first to afford educational facilities and to endeavour to give
that advantage to all, the poor as well as the rich. It would be out of place
to single out any one church as especially helpful. The church to which I
belong has a worthy record in this regard during its short history; but I may
quote regarding another branch as follows: "One of the cardinal requirements
of democratic Calvinism has always been elementary education for everyone." -
Joseph Shafer, in "The Origin of the System of Land Grants for Education." I
refer to this for a purpose. Education in its true sense - the leading out of
the powers of man to discover, to invent, to understand, to direct, to
accomplish for the increasing welfare of the race, materially, intellectually,
spiritually - is the great power for human good in equalizing broad
opportunities and happiness in a highly conceived sense, and in bringing the
minds of men to comprehend themselves, the Infinite Personality to whom they
are related, and the illimitable possibilities that lie about them. I fear
today we are being led into the error of attributing to the agitation of more
recent bodies all the advances of modern life. To the efforts of
philanthropically minded men in all ranks of life - to the brotherhood
organizations including particularly our churches - as much as to any other
influence is attributable that greatest driving power as it is also the truest
evidence of human progress - public education.
does public education involve? Its benefits are especially for the poor or
those of only meager means. To their children it widens the perception of
life's possibilities: it brings to the individual the power of increasing his
store of knowledge; it enlarges his power of accomplishment.
is also a tremendous resultant of which today we are feeling the doubtful as
well as the beneficial results. Public Education increases the power of
organisation to propagate ideas and enforce demands. Increased cohesive power
in this regard will be in proportion to the extension of general education.
This, it must be admitted, was not the original purpose of its advocates - but
in a vague way it must have been foreseen, and it assuredly is very clearly
demonstrated today as an inevitable product. It appears as one of the springs
whence flows the power of present day labour organization, for evil as well as
for undoubted good.
circumstances are worth noting:
great many of those to whom public education comes unsought refuse or are
inapt in availing themselves of its privileges to anything like a complete
public education does not go far enough. The result is, masses of men pass
into life bearing a sense of inequality and natal unfairness, and so hold a
grudge against the successful - especially the highly successful men of gifts
and attainments. Added to these are those who have the rudiments of power to
gather new ideas but have not learned the vastness of the ocean of truth that
must be explored in order that the real nature of truth may be known and truth
itself assimilated. These offer a fertile field for the agitator and the
extremist. It is so easy to obscure the tremendous progress of the
civilization of today as compared with conditions of, let us say, one or two
or five centuries ago. It is so easy to suppress the fact that neither
evolution nor revolution can greatly increase the happiness of the immediate
generation of toiling of men - that progress of any kind comes only as a
result of steady and long continued effort assisted by life-giving rains that
come, not at our beck and call, but nevertheless come; and that if it is the
permanent advantage of humanity that is sought, that comes first the blade -
then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear; the corn itself again
falling into the ground as a step in a further evolutionary process. It is so
easy to exasperate the unsteady mind with a recital of injustice, so easy to
obscure the truth as to the nature of progress and so natural that the
unprepared mind, especially in mass thinking, should be led to rush to the
ready-made panacea to which the cocksure fanatic is always ready to point.
The need is for a broader, deeper, better adapted public education.
To us as
Masons whose traditions are those of liberty and brotherhood, of meeting upon
the level and paring upon the square, to whom the search for light is real,
the subject is of more than passing interest.
public education is producing leaders and listeners. Some are certain to be
extremist by nature. Such men are not infrequently well-intentioned according
to their view point. They are generally narrow in concept, lacking in
patience; non-normal in perspective. They have seized some partial but
important truth; all other related qualifying truths are rigidly excluded.
They may be extreme Capitalists or Red Socialists. It matters little which.
The narrowness of view, the self-centred sufficiency of their attitude, their
impatience of moderate opinion and action are the same. The one declares
desire for change to be heresy; the other that the capitalistic theory of
economics must be ruthlessly destroyed. The great mass of the people provides
the soil for their labour. But what has that to do with education? Very
much. A century ago - to fix a safe point of departure - the lack of general
education was due, in no small degree, to a tenderness as to taxing property.
No such tenderness is evident today - the day of universal suffrage and the
graduated income tax. We may forget complaints on that score as being
relatively imaginary. The voting power today is in the hands of the
multitude. It is going to elect leaders to satisfy it. Public education is
preparing those leaders. If the mass of voters be reasonably sound in
judgment and understanding of facts and principles, reasonably satisfactory
results will follow. Leadership tends to pass into the hands of the
extremist. The moderate man is the regulating influence. The extremist knows
that; and is today seeking to gain control of the educational organization of
the land. A certain radical, of some ability in expression, on the occasion
of his election as a popular representative made the confession - or boast -
that he has been teaching in the public schools for the express purpose of
educating the children in the facts of the falsehood of the capitalistic
doctrine and that he intends to continue to do so. He invited an election
crowd of admirers to be present when he stands in the legislature and points
his accusing finger at the Minister of Education and to support him in what he
has to say. No one would deny the propriety of stating such a case in the
legislature of any country. It is a very proper place to discuss the matter.
But can we permit our schools to become seats of propaganda, not seats of
learning; places of agitation, not places of education; affording
opportunities to the well- or ill-meaning fanatic rather than the clear
thinking educationist? Education is the leading out of the mind; to develop
power; not the training of it in onesided opinions; to grasp basic principles
that the ages have established, not to adopt the mere reasoning of the
teacher; to learn the uses as well as the danger of experiment; in other words
to fit the youth to think and decide, not to fill him with ready-made
statements, class prejudices and untried opinions. Even the powerful Lenine
has said, "Those who are engaged in the formidable task of overcoming
capitalism must be prepared to try method after method until they find the one
which answers their purpose." The attack is being made upon our schools and
must not be overlooked. Through it we will learn of weaknesses to be
remedied. But we must guard the true purposes of our national education, and
make and keep our schools broad, generous, free, undivided and unprejudiced.
say further along practical lines that we must do the following:
our nation's schools from being halls of propaganda. (2) Teach the certainty
and sacredness of human progress along evolutionary lines - if the spirit of
men is kept pure. (3) Establish in the minds of the children a strong national
love - not a hatred of other nations, but a reverence for our own - without
which there can never be a true international spirit. (4) Teach definitely
that law and order are fundamentals of progress and social happiness. (5)
Teach morality - nay, even religion in its universal sense (6) Extend the
period of compulsory school attendance, gradually, making the later years a
period of specializing in intellectual, mechanical, business, scientific or
agricultural pursuits, according to the capacity and tendencies of the child.
The lengthened period, if better adjusted to the needs of the child, will in
the end pay in mental qualities, efficiency and intellectual attitude of the
developed man; and at the same time will be another element in forcing that
further readjustment of family earnings which is undoubtedly necessary for the
more poorly paid families of today. (7) By wise and sympathetic measures
prevent our teachers from linking up with class propagandist organizations,
since that must interfere with the true nature of the education they are
intended to impart.
unionism, one of the greatest of modern educational forces, has its open
points of criticism. Unfortunately a great deal of such criticism is of the
usual destructive character. Some labour leaders perhaps understand that sort
best, yet the reception given the Premier of Canada last summer when he
seriously gave constructive criticism augurs well for the growing
statesmanship of the saner leaders of labour in Canada. The educational power
of labour, as well as the future influence upon statesmanship necessitate a
more generally sympathetic public attention to labour unionism in the future
than has been accorded in the past. I must not dwell upon that, as I desire
to be more particular in dealing with certain matters.
AND SOCIALISTIC PROPAGANDA
I do not
pretend to go to the root of the subject of social unrest - a condition which
strikes to the heart of modern life. The very recent English Miners' strike
with its threatened accompanying results is an illustration fresh in our
minds. Some elements may be looked at.
it will be admitted that a large body of workers live from hand to mouth. At
times poverty is very real. These do not generally give expression or
direction to general unrest; but in great upheavals they become recruiting
grounds for the direct action of the revolutionist. The interests of social
stability, as well as the spirit of Masonic charity and justice demand that
scientific methods should be adopted to correct this hitherto constant
menace. Assurance against unemployment and sickness are expedients under
consideration until a more thorough-going cure is applied.
probably larger, group of mankind have the voice and power organized, audibly
to set forth and effectually to develop a class-conscious dissatisfaction.
The spearhead of these is found in the labour unions of modern life. Public
education, the gift of "government of the people, by the people, for the
people," has made possible the wide communication and appreciation of ideas,
the invention and organization of forces and the discovery of methods of
resistance and attack, which must either lead to progress or reduce to
disaster; must either produce an advanced industrial and social order by
evolution or revolution or destroy the good we have in the attempt. The
ruthless surgeon's spirit of "Kill or cure" is manifest and frightens the
world today. There is as well the more unobtrusive physician's method that
tries to diagnose the ailment, and by assisting nature to restore the healthy
action of the body instead of aiming at an artificial mode of life.
is the great human malady? A few have more than enough - a great many far too
little. Some arrogate to themselves the privilege of commanding; others
unwillingly must obey. There are inequalities in life, in the distribution of
the profits of industry; in the distribution of the honers of the people; in
the enjoyment of social position and fellowships; in all that men seek in
life, inequality is rampant, and men, born as brothers, free and equal, cry
out against it in all its forms.
once admit that inequality exists; let us particularize a little. It exists
not only in the financial and social rewards that come to men; it exists in
men themselves. We might imagine financial equality; we could not have a
realized social equality in the world today. We may hope for financial
equality of reward for work done - we could not have equality in management.
We may suggest equality of compensation for all sorts of service - we could
not have equality of service itself. We plant two seeds, the one grows puny,
the other strong. We give two boys equal business education; one becomes a
wealthy merchant, the other, a very poor one. We allow two boys to choose
their own paths in life - one becomes a jockey the other a minister of the
gospel. Two boys decide to become artists. Both receive adequate training in
the art of expression in line and colour. One has the gift of reproducing on
the canvas, life in its beauty and truth. He serves humanity as humanity
desires him to serve. For his service he is accorded his living. The
financial rewards that come to him are in proportion to the appeal his work
makes to human-kind. The other loves his art, determines to pursue it, but
his work is dead and nearly useless. Are his rewards to be the same? The
world's method of continuing the one and discontinuing the other is apparent.
You and I
meet a darky porter and a young lecturer in our university. In our eagerness
for equality we endeavour to bring them together in intimacy and permanent
friendship. Their financial rewards for services rendered are likely about
the same. The probabilities are our efforts will be in vain. Social
equalities arise more from similarity of life and thought than from likeness
of earnings. Those whose association together gives natural pleasure soon
find companionship and social equality; and even where financial ability
enters into social consideration, it does so more because of mutual ability to
afford mutual pleasure than from mere adoration of money possession.
not equal in ability, equal in training, equal in industry, equal in quantity,
quality or usefulness of service; and so far the world has gone on the
principle of making the individual reward proportionate to the world's
estimate of the value of the individual service. In many cases the estimate
has been harsh and crude, but in large measure has been based upon a real and
fundamental principle, and that fundamental principle has not been equality of
trace the matter a little further. Suppose there were equality of reward - so
that the manufacturer who invests and directs his capital and furnishes
opportunity for useful employment of many who are workers, but only workers
with things, not creators of method or plan, or organizers of brain and brawn,
or furnishers of capital to be risked in the venture of industry and trade,
were to receive nothing for his superior services, one would forthwith
necessarily wipe out all our system of credits on which so much of commerce is
carried on, and, with all the financial methods and gains involved, would pass
the usefulness of personal thrift and savings and industry and energy beyond
the standard expressed in the standard wage. And what would be that standard
wage and who would fix it? At best it would be an equal division of the
product of a certain period. But that product would still depend, (1) on the
stored-up savings of the past to support mankind in its efforts at production;
(2) on the individual adaptation of men to their work; (3) on individual
initiative and invention, and, (4) on individual industry and energy,
exercised without hope of reward for expert or extra service - the most
capable being expected to surpass his fellows voluntarily; the lazy to do his
best, the unfit to do what he could - all receiving alike. It is suggested
that in a pure democracy, so-called, all would do their best in the common
interest, since the interest of all would be the interest of each. Only a
plausible agitator would seriously argue this - but let us see: How does such
a principle operate in a case where there is absolute equality of right and
interest? Today the poorest adult, as well as the richest; the most ignorant,
as well as the wisest, has a vote and is eligible for membership in
parliament. If the best judgment of all the people were brought to bear upon
public matters in the common interest, what would we expect as to the quality
of our popular representatives and public confidence in them? Yet in no phase
of modern life is there more of distrust dissatisfaction and unrest.
Nevertheless there is absolute equality. We, democracy, fail to produce
results because when the common interest is submitted to our care, we are not
interested, we do not act on our best judgment. We do not act on the
knowledge we have, that the interest of all is the interest of each. Would we
do better in industry on a basis of equal reward for labour, good, bad or
indifferent? Why should we be expected to? There would be democratically
elected overseers, I presume, superintendents and managers - more elected
representatives democratically chosen - who would regulate, reprimand, fix
employment and service, and if need be deprive the constituent of part of the
supposed equal distribution of the products of labour - more local politicians
- an extension of control and lessening of the liberty of the individual in
occupation, employment and decision. To say the least a recital of even these
facts suggests repelling difficulties.
same elected managers would necessarily dictate the kind of employment, the
places and changing of places of labour. A friend of mine recently returned
from the coast says that the climate there is so pleasant that men have been
hanging around unemployed hoping for a chance to work so that they may
continue residence there - and that, when the farmers of the west were calling
for help. With equal remuneration and an equal right to choose place and sort
of employment and an absolute right to have such employment provided for all
at all times, I suggest a great majority would seek the kindlier climates, the
more congenial occupations, since none would need take thought for the morrow,
that onerous duty being entrusted to the impersonal shoulders of "the State" -
let "the government" look after that! Either that or else we must be regulated
in all things by elected managers whose decisions, arbitrary as they must be,
would be subject to the whim and change of public opinion.
advocate of compulsory equality must admit that only a system of inequality of
reward would drive men to reach out for greater opportunities at the cost of
greater personal effort and inconvenience. Such it was that peopled these
vast western prairies under northern skies; such it is that impels the
prospector, the miner, the forest-ranger into undiscovered lands; such it is
that calls the capitalist, large or small, to invest his savings or profits
amid the risks of trade and industry. Inequality of reward is crude and often
unfair, even cruel; but I suggest that equality of reward is equally crude and
much more inefficient.
do men really desire equality? Or is the spirit of envy to which perhaps none
of us is wholly a stranger, one of the effective causes of the outcry against
the present system? One thing is certain, until men really and truly desire
equality at any personal cost they are not ready to receive it. Are we ready
to welcome the unskilled to an equal participation with skilled? I have heard
speakers say the ditch digger has a harder job and is entitled to as much
remuneration, at least, as the bank manager. It may be so - through I suggest
that at least one element other than unpleasantness of employment or useful
nature of service enters into the fixing of individual rewards, namely the
number of human beings whose lives are directly touched (and the immediate
depth of that touch) by the service rendered by the individual. My quarrel
just now however, is not with the claim so made, but with the supposed general
value of the illustration. Let us take another - I would ask is the inapt and
unskilled labourer around the shops entitled to as much reward as the highly
expert machinist? Let the latter answer. Moreover in this country with its
opportunities, I venture the suggestion that there are more unskilled than
skilled, yet that in the majority of cases fair opportunity has been afforded
to become fitted for better positions.
tempted to inquire into the causes of inequalities. This paper is already
growing to too large proportions seriously to develop that phase. Suffice it
is to say that there are certain features of modern life which are impressed
with the stamp of the public problem; such as (1) the poorer light and food
conditions of the child in the poverty-stricken home; (2) parental illness,
and (3) enforced unemployment due for instance to industrial depression.
There are others. There is a growing tendency toward some paternal action by
the state to deal with such handicaps: and "in the increasingly complex nature
of civilization and economic development where the individual becomes more and
more an atom in great movements the state must tend towards a greater
paternalism" - but not so as to imbue either young or old with a sense of
needlessness of self-reliance. A moderate course must be taken, and those who
seek human welfare must be prepared to face a steadily increasing absorption
of incomes to meet these growing recognitions of human brotherhood. But
there is another feature regarding profits and inequalities of financial
returns. There is a tendency to forget that the man engaged in industry and
making large profits gets out of his profits only what he uses - the rest goes
into business in one form or another and so serves humanity. For him to put
all his profits into wages would mean that the business could not by his
efforts grow, nor its service be extended.
touch two interests, both for the public good, but in a measure in mutual
conflict. If too much is taken from the gross value of the product to enlarge
the business and its community service, personal wrong is done the worker;
while if nearly all over cost be given in wages, the business and its service
cannot expand and the very existence of industry is imperiled. No fund can in
such case be stored up either for expansion or against the day of inevitable
loss. It must be apparent to reasonable men that no hard and fast fixed rule
or rate of profits, even, is possible unless at the same time there be a
guarantee to the investor against loss. Experiments have recently been made
in regulating profits and while they have proved far from successful and in
some measure injurious, nevertheless they had some temporary regulating value
to meet temporary needs and have been worth while as experiments. This,
however, has been demonstrated, that a great deal must be left to the judgment
of capable, successful men in the management of business and the appropriation
of the proceeds of production. The radical declares, of course, that means
employers (grouped under the impersonal term "Capital") will simply continue
to squeeze and defraud the worker, individually helpless to defend his rights.
There is enough truth in this to make it plausible. It, however leaves out of
consideration some pertenent and influential facts.
Employers are men with hearts, men who have proved their mental capacity by
their own success. (2) Their fellow-employers desire peace and good-will in
industry as a condition of further success and increasingly by example, by
competitive force in finding workers and by social and business impressions
upon one another must exercise a powerful influence upon the conditions of
employment. (3) The spread of public education and the extension of general
information and of knowledge and of efficiency and of understanding as well as
of sane organization will enable the great mass of men who must be employed to
present their needs intelligently as well as fairly and more and more, by
degrees, to take a part in the democratic administration of business.
too, the spur afforded to diligence and effort by fear of not having enough on
the one hand or by hope of success on the other cannot be gainsaid. Some
assert that mere pleasure in useful service is sufficient. Unfortunately
habits of industry are not formed that way. Men like to make their way by
free and independent individual effort. But consider times of prosperity.
The over-rich tend to become indolent, i. e., they work no harder than their
needs require. Does not the same rule apply to the labourer - and especially
to the naturally indolent? Observations of men during the recent period of
prosperity have borne testimony to the slackening of even reasonable effort as
the sense of individual need for steady, intensive, service was relaxed. The
indolent rich pays the penalty - his riches take to themselves wings - while
the loser becomes perhaps a disappointed, but not necessarily a useless,
worker. The indolent worker who has become satisfied and said to his soul
"take thine ease" he too pays, in the end the penalty. Are we to create the
condition but remove the penalty? The needs of the individual are very
personal. To the vast majority of men they furnish a useful spur to the
certainty of steady effort. Is there then to be no chance, no improvement, in
the condition of the mass of workers? The answer is to be found in history.
He would daringly pervert the truth who would assert that conditions of labour
have not improved. I venture the assertion that the conveniences and
opportunities enjoyed by the workers of today rival those of the reasonably
well-to-do of, say, two centuries or even two generations ago: Schools, postal
service, railways and street transportation, cheap enough for all, sewage
systems, water works, lighted streets, electric lights in homes, cheap books,
the public press, a simplified and cheapened system of administration of
justice - manhood and womanhood, suffrage, etc. These are but suggestions of
the progress of the past in which all the people share. I suggest such
progress - changes from former conditions have brought comfort, conveniences
and power formerly little to be hoped for by the multitude of men. Steady,
persistent progress in invention and organization, increasing production
tremendously have made these blessings so common that they are almost despised
in the harsh criticisms of the hour. To all that, the critic answers that the
needs of men have increased proportionately. That is not true. Man's needs
are no greater - but he has become accustomed to having his whims satisfied.
Further objection is raised that the rich have enlarged their wants and
opportunities as well. That is true - but it does not rebut the evidence of
actual world progress. Jealousy prompts the criticism, as a supposed
demonstration of fatal defects in our ecomonic system. Further with the
increase of wealth and wants of the rich have come also tremendously enlarged
opportunities of the poor to become well-to-do or even rich; likewise greatly
increased risks for the owner of wealth that he may lose it. Wealth now is
obtained by the hazard of investment in productive effort rather than by
inheritance of lands or by conquest as it once was. Greater production has
benefitted the worker as well as all mankind by increasing comforts and
conveniences and evening up opportunities. Such a retrospect gives unbounded
hope for a future, if men bend their energies toward steady development and
industry rather than towards freedom from work as an end in itself or towards
engendering and fixing distinctions of industrial organizations.
however, been questioned whether greater production has lessened liability to
and danger of unemployment with consequent suffering. "The lift has been from
bare necessities to comforts and comforts have come to be considered
necessaries." The fact that such necessary comforts are generally available
does not assist the man or the family of the man who cannot find a market for
his powers. Here at least is a place where organized labour and the
public-spirited employer should find ample ground for common thought and
splendid changes of the past, invention in industry, and discoveries in
organization have just nicely begun.
the mere seeking after equality of results as distinguished from the progress
of general human happiness is a poor motive in the affairs of men. I must
quote a paragraph from Booker T. Washington's story of his life, "Up from
Slavery." He says: "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of
questions of social equality" (and, of course, social equality is just as much
for the black as the white) "is the extremist folly" (i.e., I take it as an
agitation looking to immediate fulfilment) "and that progress in the enjoyment
of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and
constant struggle" (not quarrel and hatred, of course) "rather than of
artificial forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of
the world is long in any degree ostracized. It is important and right that
all the privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we
be prepared for the exercise of those privileges. The opportunity to earn a
dollar in a factory is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a
dollar in an opera house."
to be changes of course-development. The question is not so much "are we to
expect change" as "how should we prepare for the changes that are to come and
how ought they to be brought about."
are on the lips of men today. One is heard much more than the other. They
are Evolution and Revolution.
Masons pride ourselves upon the past. We refuse to break it. We expect
progress, but we venerate our traditions. Our ritual points to the past for
inspiration to face a hopeful future only part revealed. What part or lot
have we in new times, new methods, a much talked of new era?
American jurist, Judge Street, in his work "Foundations of Legal Liability,"
pays this tribute to English-speaking peoples: "Our veneration for precedent
has without doubt retarded progress: but it has given a priceless treasure in
the law reports - that continuous record extending over more than six
centuries of the reasoned decisions of the English judges. It furnishes
indubitable evidence of the law-abidingness of the English-speaking people, a
feature which is indelibly stamped upon every aspect of their civic and
political life." There are those whose methods incite the wish to destroy at
one fell swoop the entire structure of precedent and experience. Revolution,
admitted or unacknowledged, is their way towards progress. On the other hand
it would be hard to find a man of sane mind who does not desire real
substantial progress. Change is not necessarily progress; and we allow to
pass too easily the unjustifiable statement that things are so bad that
anything would be better than what we have.
revolution gains anything for its own generation. It took twenty years of war
and blood to work out the French Revolution; and generations to reestablish a
stable government of peace and order. When that time came there was a
reasonably free democracy of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, but the
generation that began it passed away in blood and tears.
southern states of the United States rebelled to establish their idea of state
freedom, involving negro slavery. The North took up the quarrel with negro
freedom its impelling ideal. It took more than a generation of war, followed
by heart anguish and bitterness, to bring liberty to the slave. It was worth
while if there was no other way. My present point is that the generation that
aims at reforms by war or revolution gains nothing but sorrow. Even on the
question of negro slavery it may well be questioned whether cooler judgment
and greater patience would not have accomplished negro freedom in the United
States in the way in which the British Empire freed its slaves, and that with
less sorrow and bloodshed even for the negro himself.
popular revolution for reform that I am aware of has brought anything of gain
to the human race comparable with what might have been gained by patient,
steady, moral pressure of earnest men imbued with high ideals.
look at the French Revolution. No one questions that subsequent French history
is superior to what preceded. But listen to the Historian Guizot in the
liberty of the Press existed solely for the revolutionary papers."
been our sad fortune to witness more than once those revolutionary explosions
which are the fatal work of certain audacious men, fanatic or corrupt solely
intent on the success of their views."
priests had constantly the honour of awaking in the breast of the
revolutionary leaders the most violent passions."
have no more of Jesus," exclaimed one of the jury in the revolutionary
tribunal. "He commanded to obey the laws, Marat crushed them to pieces."
make Terror the order of the day" another expression of the time.
stopped," said the jury, "by the forms prescribed by law ... the loquacity of
the accused renders the discussion very long ... will the trial then be
interminable? Why witnesses? The whole of France accuses them....
actress was borne in triumph to the altar in the church of Notre Dame. . . .,
words, guillotine, national razor, patriotic abridgment, ordinary jokes of the
Mountain, resounded in the streets."
revolutionary tribunal was in operation from March, 1793: The registry of
condemnations had reached the number of 577. From June 10th to July 27th,
1794, 2,285 unfortunates perished on the scaffold. Fouquier-Tin-ville
comprehended the thought of Robespierre. For the dock he had substituted
benches upon which he huddled together at one time the crowd of the accused.
One day he erected the guillotine in the very hall of the Tribunal ...160
accused persons had been brought from the Luxembourg prison under pretence of
a conspiracy in prison ... the judges sat with pistols ready to hand: the
president cast his eyes on the lists for the day and called the accused. "Dorival,
do you know anything of the conspiracy?" "No." "I expected you would make that
reply; but it won't succeed. Bring another." "Champigny, are you not an
ex-noble?" "Yes." "Bring another." "Guidreville, are you a priest?" "Yes, but
I have taken the oath." "You have no right to say any more. Another." "Menil,
were you not a domestic of the ex-constitutional, Menon" "Yes." "Another." "Vely,
were you not architect for Madame?" "Yes, but I was disgraced in 1789."
"Another." "Gondrecourt is not your father- in-law at the Luxembourg?" "Yes."
"Another," "Durfort, were you not in the body-guard?" "Yes, but I was
dismissed in 1789." "Another." "So the examination went on . . . sometimes
errors were evident in the lists." "I am not accused," said a prisoner one
day. "No matter: what is thy name? See, it is written now, Another." The
Marechale de Mouchy was old and did not reply to question. "The citoyenne is
deaf," said the registrar. "Put down that she has conspired secretly," replied
Dumas. It became necessary to forbid Fouquier-Tinville to send more than
sixty victims a day to the scaffold.
guillotine and grapeshot were too slow. One conceived the idea of crowding
the condemned into ships with valves.
the story of the Terror of the French Revolution.
we talked of a "peaceful" revolution in Russia. The idea is now buried in a
record of massacre, terror and famine.
fact is revolutions are not bloodless-they are inevitably accompanied with
fear, suspicion, jealousy, vengeance, hate, terror, demoralization. And
further, in the end it takes a real and ruthless tyrant and undemocratic
usurper to bring a semblance of order out of chaos. This it is which makes
Wells excuse Lenine and Trotsky, who have filled their land with horrors in
the name of a sort of Democracy. There is little doubt their present conduct
is the inevitable, invariable incident of revolution.
we to learn from this? Much, especially if we turn to the other side of the
picture. There is little doubt, instead of the Revolution, France might have
made great constitutional gains, all too grudgingly and too slowly accorded,
it is true. England, aided no doubt by the Wesleyan revival, and steadied by
the British spirit of compromise and adaptation avoided revolution. And who
would exchange the Democracy of our Empire won by common sense and earnest
give and take, for the democracy of a France, that came through blood and
terror, tyranny and defeat?
days the word "revolution" is too flippantly used. We hear far too much of
the eventual good that flowed from the French Revolution and far too little of
the terrible cost at which it was purchased. When men of the British race
stop to think of the path of Revolution and remember that Revolution is not
the British way, they will abhor the flippant use of the word and look to the
steadier, surer, and after all, in the end, speedier method of evolution,
developed on growth of knowledge, established in precedent, proceeding by the
true method of all progress, from the known to the nearest unknown.
has Freemasonry to do with the situation? Something at least-perhaps a great
deal. I suggest that the man who has not in his life, somewhere, either in
present fellowship, or in stored up experience, a definite brotherhood
connection, is not an approximation of his best self, either in thought or in
action. We live in faith. There can be no progress without faith. "Faith is
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Today we
hear "Faith without works is dead." What may be the works of Freemasonry? To
generalize, they are to inculcate the principles of good citizenship and to
uphold liberty, justice and law. These are so general I have indicated lines
of thought for Masons. I look to the time when under other leadership will be
a Masonic Association, for citizenship and public and social service - not
polities at all - but useful service in the public interest. For instance,
this fall a worthy young man of special attainments was unable because of lack
of funds to take advantage of a scholarship he had won. An appeal was made by
some one interested in his line of activity. It would have been worth while
to organize th Masons interested through our Association to get behind him.
That is a mere illustration. The luncheons we have held, open a field for
such a service organisation without multiplying evening meetings; and thereby
may be provided that avenue of effort so many of our young men look for but
think they do not find in our Order today. The possibilities for work and
service lie before us in splendid breadth. I can only suggest that out of
such a beginning may come a real brotherhood grip upon the social and economic
movements of our time.
without works is dead." May I state the converse - Works without faith have no
enduring life. So with more immediate pertinency to the body of my paper I
turn to the spirit service of Masonry. We need today to discover and teach
the value of the individual. The sense of individual littleness is too strong
upon us today. A man does his work. He produces. His product is of value to
the human race. But that is not all. The individual must learn the
significance of his own character quality on the circle of his own family and
acquaintances, in furthering good-will, honour, truth, and charity. This
personal possession is perhaps the richest endowment a man can have. Easy to
say; hard to really accept. Yet its acceptance is the mortar into which are
laid the foundation stones of world happiness.
second place, the individual must learn to have faith in Humanity. No man has
a right to believe less in the average of his associates than in himself. The
following paragraph is rich in human worth and religious depth:
"BELIEVING IN HIM"
no greater calamity can come to any man than that he should lose his faith in
his fellow man. When that happens with any, in anything like completeness,
not only does the joy and zest of life go, but any possibility of real and
abiding usefulness goes also. When you hear any man questioning and doubting
the sincerity and goodness of his fellows, do not scold or censure him, but
pity him as you would a lost soul, for, unless some speedy help come to him,
that's what he is indeed. There is no greater peril facing the world today
than that of the breakdown of men's faith in one another: In such a day as
this, it is so easy to magnify and multiply the instances of perfidy and bad
faith in such a way that it seems as if there were no longer any goodness and
soundness at the heart of things at all. To resist such a tendency and to
call to our help every influence that can aid us to resist it, is the part of
wisdom and the way of society. We may set it down as a rather sure rule that
we will help the world, in this day or in any day, only to the extent to which
our faith in our fellow man remains strong and vital and unconquerable. And
life will have joy and sanity and satisfaction only in the same degree and
the words of a Christian writer, writing as such. None the less striking are
the more mundane sentences of a great lawyer, Sir Henry Maine, in his book,
strong disinclination of most men to regard morality as advancing seems to be
especially powerful when the virtues on which Contract depends are in question
and many of us have an almost instinctive reluctance to admitting that good
faith and trust in our fellows are more widely diffused than of old.... From
time to time these prepossessions are greatly strengthened by the spectacle of
frauds unheard of before the period at which they were observed and
astonishing from their complication as well as shocking from their
criminality. But the very character of these frauds shows clearly that before
they become possible the moral obligations of which they are the breach must
have been more than proportionately developed. It is the confidence reposed
and deserved by the many which affords facilities for the bad faith of the few
so that if colossal examples of dishonesty occur there is no surer conclusion
than that scrupulous honesty is displayed on the average of the transactions
which in the particular case have supplied the delinquent with the
lessons men need to be ever re-learning are Reverence and Faith. Faith not
necessarily in the sense of creeds but in the spirit sense of real recognition
of the predominant place of ever living Personality. A combination of
reverence for and faith in personality - experienced from the religious
standpoint in what we term fellowship with God, and seen in the practical
sense in man's struggle towards light and right - this combination will never
be destructively critical but will always be Masonically constructive. Here
is the great and ancient service of Masonry. It pledges it membership to
nobility of character, charity in judgment in order that it may establish and
perpetuate a society of men in whom those who know them intimately can believe
and trust. Conceive the extension (in some lessening but nevertheless actual
degree) of that trust to relate itself lodge to lodge and man to man in the
widening reaches of our Order, and one senses Masonic possibility, nay, the
actuality for human good.
world so thought-tossed as ours, with the problems I have touched upon and a
hundred others, the potential value of Living Brotherhood can be gloriously
imagined. If the Masonic body can learn its own value as, at least, a school
of right human relations, it will have taken the second regular step towards
the fuller redemption of Modern Life, and the ushering in of the day of Good
Will to men and of the Happy New Year to all.
his time, and fevers not
hot race that none achives,
wear cool wreathen laurel, wrought
crimson berries in the leaves,
shall reign a goodly king,
his hand o’er every clime,
peace writ on his signet ring,
PERSONNEL OF THE SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
H.R. PARTLOW, ARKANSAS
IT IS CONCEDED that the Declaration of Independence, as a
document, may be looked upon with favor for its literary excellence. It
readily responds to any analytic method used by literary critics, and for the
right use of words it is a model. This matter has been a subject for much
comment by literary critics and, upon close investigation, one discovers that
the words are especially selected with a view of carrying force and conviction
to the mind of the reader. A study of the words used show that the selection
is nearly altogether taken from pure English words - words which have been and
are now in general use for forcefulness. While this instrument contains over
15,000 words there is not a single example of improper use. The sentences are
well arranged for vigor, emphasis and impassionate discourse. The style is
clear; all phrases or clauses are placed so there can be no doubt as to
construction; every sentence is completely dominated by the central thought
and all subsidiary matters are subordinated and dependent upon this central
thought; no parenthetical expressions to switch thought away from the main
subject. It is an instrument in which all modifiers, clauses and phrases are
used so as to give emphasis to the subject matter. No stilted or exaggerated
style, and free from figures of speech which might deter the thought from the
central idea. The thought division is perfect and preserves unity throughout.
Each subsequent division grows out from its predecessor progressively until
the climax is reached. The whole instrument abounds in earnestness and force,
and aside from the principles of right and justice therein enunciated, it is a
document of literary excellence and would have a permanent place in our
language as a classic.
The literary merit, however, is easily accounted for. The
personnel of those who composed the Declaration of Independence comprised the
most scholarly men of the time. It may be doubted whether any political body,
past or present, comprises so large a proportion of educated men advanced as
to age to give them much experience and judgment. The number who had regularly
graduated from the colleges of Europe and America was twenty-seven, Harvard
college alone furnishing seven. Also, many of them visited and studied at the
fountainhead of British constitutional liberty. Robert Conrad says that
twenty-five studied in the institutions of the mother country. Twenty other
members, though not regularly college graduates, possessed an academic
education equal, if not superior, to the ordinary courses given in the
universities at that time. The remainder were men of good common-school
educations. All were men of extensive reading, enlightened views, and enlarged
sagacity. There was not one uneducated member. In view of this the literary
merit of the document is easily accounted for. Many of the signer notably Dr.
Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, possessed rare
qualifications as writers on political subjects.
The last line of the famous document says: “We mutually pledge
to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.” When one
considers that every member, except Samuel Adams, “the poor gentleman,”
possessed considerable wealth, nearly all had ample competence without having
to work. All had something to lose and nothing to gain, except liberty and
freedom, and for that they mutually pledged to each other their lives, their
fortunes and their sacred honor.
All of the fifty-six signers, except eight, were native born,
grew up in an environment conducive to develop ruggedness of character,
independence of thought, and self-reliance. Of those born on foreign soil,
Ireland furnished three, England two, Scotland two, and Wales one. Of the
native born, nine were from Massachusetts, two from Rhode Island, four from
Connecticut, three from New York, four from New Jersey, five from
Pennsylvania, two from Delaware, five from Maryland, four from South Carolina
and nine from Virginia.
A man's pursuit in life has much to do with his thinking and
affords much to judge of his expressions, either oral or written. Twenty-four
of the signers were members of the legal profession, a body of whom it may be
said that they have been the original assertors and faithful champions of
constitutional liberty in all countries. The lawyers of this country were very
active in helping and assisting in organizing the large army of the late war.
Thirteen of the signers were planters or farmers, nine were merchants, five
physicians, one a clergyman, one a mariner, and one a
surveyor. A majority were
Much has been recently said of the relative strength of
intellect between men advanced in age and young men. It has been claimed by
Dr. Osler, for instance, that a man's usefulness is entirely extinct at a
given age. This leads one to enquire into the respective ages of the signers
at the time of their deliberations. The youngest member, Rutledge, was
twenty-seven; the oldest, Dr. Franklin, was past seventy. The mass of signers
were in the most vigorous season of life forty-two out of the fifty-six being
between the ages of thirty and fifty years. Only three were thirty years of
age or less. Eleven were between the ages of thirty and thirty-five; ten from
thirty-five to forty; ten from forty to forty-five; ten from forty five to
fifty; three from fifty to fifty-five; two from fifty-five to sixty; four from
sixty to sixty-five; two from sixty-five to seventy, the oldest being the
venerable Franklin, in his seventy-first year. The average of the signers was
forty-three years and ten months. The ardor of youth was tempered with the
cautious experience of age.
The longevity of the signers has often been discussed by
students of history. The average age of the signers at the time of death was
eighty-six years and four months. Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the last and
oldest survivor, was at the time of his death ninety-five years old. Was it a
portion of their earthly reward that they should be spared to see the
development of a Iiberty of which they had planted the seeds? All were eminent
men and leaders in the various walks of life. Not one of all that sacred band
died with a stain upon his honor. The annals of no history can claim such a
political body. Why should not every schoolboy and schoolgirl be made
acquainted with the history of these men and let the famous band be cherished
as in the tradition of William Tell, if such be a tradition?
It is said that on the bank of Lake Geneva stands a little
chapel, erected and dedicated early in the fifteenth century, to William Tell,
and that its walls and ceiling are covered with frescoes and paintings,
representing certain exploits of the noted patriot. Also, that annual
pilgrimages are made to this chapel by Swiss patriots to pay homage to his
memory. It is not certain that William Tell ever lived but, if not, the
tradition or legend is sacred to the heart of every Swiss citizen and is an
inspiration for patriotism.
The exploits of the signers are and should be revered in
America with the same sacredness as the exploits of William Tell. The
principles of the Declaration of Independence should be as familiar to every
schoolboy and should be as sacred as any classic in the English language.
As to religious conviction, they were men of fixed thought and
action. Many of them were men of deep piety and all were temperate in both
thought and action. In addition to intellect there must be another element
added to man's makeup to constitute a mature man - a man with balanced
judgment and a man of force and action, and that is character. He must have
laid his foundation deep and builded well to make the useful citizen necessary
for public trust. Hardships, plain and simple living, ardent study, and
patriotic environment educated and prepared these men for the duty before them
and well did they perform the same.
At least twenty of the signers were Masons and, without in any
way seeking honor for the institution, it may be said that the principles
enunciated in the famous document are in every way compatible with
It is well, now and then, for every American citizen to
consider well the privileges and advantages of his government as compared to
other governments. A man who advocates the abolishment of the principles of
the government is a dangerous citizen, and these very principles are likely to
be subverted by reason of class legislation. The hope of bringing our people
from a chaotic condition to one of order and refinement is up to the two
million Masons in America, for if they keep faith with the tenets of the order
they will make public interest and love of government above any and all
H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
sod and of seraphim,
men and of stars,
the secret, cryptic, dim,
behind your bars?
the Voice behind your words
murmurs round the grass and stones?
the wind, the call of birds,
its mystic overtones.
of noon are on the wheat,
is laughing round the corn;
them all what splendors beat
never yet to sight were borne!
spirit-wise some presence runs
the lake and in the sky;
is not the light of suns,
its beauty for the eye.
the hills, along the streams,
things are beating round the air;
dim, their ghostly gleams
surround me, everywhere.
is more than all we see;
sky the sky surrounds;
than earthly witchery
enchants, the heart imbounds.
our present sense of mind
has strange affinities;
from time and space to find
be souls unincarnate
play about my bodied soul?
their voices, glad, elate,
laughters round my being roll?
theirs the hands which beat the chimes
sound within my spirit's cells,
theirs the secret call of rhymes
ring in me like hidden bells?
of pain, in hours depressed
inert among the clods;
happier times, with flesh at rest,
myself among the gods.
those fields and shining hills,
lake's high wooded cape,
presence all my being thrills,
I hear a
Voice, I see a Shape.
long who liveth well,
is life but flung away;
longest who can tell
things truly done each day.
and use thy wisdom well,
wisdom speaks, must live it too;
He is the
wisest who can tell
he lived, then spake, the true.
WITH THIS issue of THE BUILDER we are deviating somewhat from
the former make-up of this Department, having discontinued the “Correspondence
Circle Bulletin.” Henceforth this Department will be found immediately
preceding the Editorial Department, as in this number.
As announced in the April issue, the first and second divisions
of the Main Outline of our “Bulletin Course of Masonic Study” were completed
in that issue, and we now enter upon a study of “Philosophical Masonry,” or
“The Teachings of Masonry.” This series will comprise some fifteen or sixteen
papers by Brother Haywood and will probably be completed late in the Fall of
1922, after which will begin a new series on some other phase of Masonry.
As our study club plan is being inaugurated in many new
districts each month we are constantly in receipt of inquiries from interested
brethren as to whether they should take up the plan in their lodges or study
clubs with the articles in current issues of THE BUILDER, or endeavor to start
with the first papers in the Course, which were printed in 1917. We are
recommending to these brethren that they begin with the article in the current
number of THE BUILDER, as each article is complete in itself and written in
language to be easily grasped and understood by the youngest Master Mason.
We are contemplating the reprinting of former papers in
manuscript form on the multigraph for the convenience of the members of lodges
and study clubs desiring them in some other form than the bound volumes of THE
BUILDER, so that those who may wish to do so may begin their study meetings
with the first papers of the Course. We have personal knowledge of lodges that
are using one of the first papers at one meeting and the current paper at
their next meeting alternately.
We shall be glad to answer inquiries from brethren who may
desire information relative to these earlier papers in manuscript form. Among
the papers to be thus reprinted are the
Approaching the East.
The Anchor and Ark - The Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid.
The Book of Constitutions - Sword Pointing to the Naked Heart.
Builders and Building Tools.
The Hour Glass - The Scythe - Emblems of Mortality.
The Hiramic Legend.
The Lost Word.
The Lion's Paw.
The Letter G.
The Liberal Arts and Sciences - The Ammonitish War - Corn, Wine
The Middle Chamber in Speculative Masonry.
The Northeast Corner.
The Oblong Square and Due Form.
and Mental Preparation.
Golden Bowl and the Silver Cord.
Tokens, Words; and the Rite of Salutation.
Weeping Virgin - The Temple.
The Winding Stairs.
The Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice.
The Working Tools of a Fellow Craft.
ORGANIZE A STUDY CLUB
Simply select a committee of several “live” members of your
lodge - such committee may consist of three or more brethren - and set apart
one meeting night each month for the study meeting. These meetings may be held
either at a special communication, or at a regular communication at which no
business except the regular routine should be transacted.
Inquiries will be welcomed from all brethren desiring further
details of the Study Club plan. When writing for such information, please give
the name and number of your lodge.
The following references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's
Encyclopedia will furnish much interesting material upon the subjects touched
upon in the following paper by Brother Haywood. These references should be
assigned by the Study Club Committee to different brethren who may compile
papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances
the articles themselves, or extracts therefrom, may be read directly from the
originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel
able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed
appropriate without any alterations or additions.
The notes or papers thus prepared should be read at the opening
of the study meeting, before the paper by brother Haywood is taken un.
Vol. I. - The Philosophy of Masonry, pp. 7, 31, 64, 78,106.
Vol. II. - Reflections on the Philosophy of Albert Pike, p. 9;
Masonry: Its Philosophy and Influence in War Time, p. 181.
Vol. III. - Religion and Philosophy, p. 234.
Vol. V. - Symbolism in Philosophy, p. 102; Freemasonry as
Philosophy, p. 266.
Encyclopedia - (Revised Edition):
Antiquity of Freemasonry (and Freemasonry's symbolic expression
of religious ideas), p. 66.
Definition of Freemasonry, p. 202.
Ethics of Freemasonry, p. 252.
Exclusiveness of Freemasonry, p. 256.
Mysteries, Ancient, (the priesthood of olden times teaching
secretly by symbols the
first philosophies), p.497.
Oaths, their purpose, their reasonableness and their
justification, p. 522.
Primitive Freemasonry, Fundamental features of the Institution,
Religion of Masonry. The religious aims and practices taught by
its philosophy, p. 617.
Secrecy and Silence, p. 675.
Speculative Freemasonry, and its Moral, Religious and
Philosophical Doctrines, p. 704.
Symbolism, the Science of, as an investigation of the meaning
of Masonic symbols and the uses of their interpretation as a practical and
impressive means of the moral, religious and philosophical instruction of
Freemasons, p. 754.
See also references under the following headings: Symbol;
Symbol, Compound; Symbolic Degrees; Symbolic Lectures; Symbolic Lodge;
Synbolic Machinery; Symbolic Masonry, etc., on pages 751 to 755. Note also
Emblem, p. 240, and Token, p. 789; Badge, p. 913, and Apron, p. 72.
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
PART I -
this all about? This is a question I asked myself many times during my
initiation experiences. It is a question, brother, which you doubtless asked
yourself, and so has every other man who has forged on to the end of the Third
degree. The language of the ritual, stately and beautiful as it usually is, is
to most of us a mystifying speech; and the stations and stages of the dramatic
actions are equally bewildering to the novice. Therefore is it that we ask
the question, "What is it all about?"
have become familiarized with the ritual, and have learned something of its
drift and its meaning, we discover that the Fraternity itself, as a whole, and
apart from any mystery in any one part or detail, is something almost too
complex to grasp. A member grows so accustomed to the goings on of his home
lodge, that he loses his first sense of strangeness, but even so he hears ever
and anon such things of the antiquity, the universality, and the profundity of
Freemasonry as it exists in history and in the great world, as to make him
feel that for all his familiarity with one Masonic lodge he is very much in
the dark about the Masonic Fraternity in its entirety.
Freemasonry? What is it trying to do? How did it come to be? What are its
central and permanent teachings? It is to answer these questions - and they
are such questions as visit the mind of almost every Mason, however
indifferent he may be - that the philosophy of Masonry exists. To learn "what
it is all about," in the whole more especially than in the part, it is for
this that we philosophize about our mysteries.
would you answer the newly-initiated brother who asks the question, "What is
this all about?" Did you ask yourself that question? How did you answer it?
What advantage is there in trying to learn what Freemasonry means in the
largest sense? What is meant by "the philosophy of Masonry"?
Why do we
philosophize about it? How many reasons can you give for the necessity of
philosophizing about it? Have you ever read a book explaining Freemasonry?"
individual who secures membership in a Masonic lodge becomes thereby the heir
to a rich tradition; that to which initiation gives him access is not
something put together in a day, and it will profit him little if he makes no
attempt to enter into his patrimony. He must learn something of the history of
Masonry; of its achievements in the great nations; of its outstanding
teachers, and what they have taught, of its ideas, principles, spirit.
Initiation alone does not confer this knowledge (and could not): the man must
himself strive to make his own the inexhaustible riches of the Order. He must
be taught the larger purposes of the Fraternity to which he belongs.
no authorized interpretation of Freemasonry. The newly initiated brother does
not find waiting for him a ready-made Masonic creed, or a ready-made
explanation of the ritual - he must think Masonry out for himself. But to
think Masonry out for one's self is no easy task. It requires that one can
see it in its own large perspectives; that one knows the main outlines of its
history; that one knows it as it actually is, and what it is doing; and that
one knows it as it has been understood by its own authentic interpreters and
prophets. It is not easy to do this without guidance and help, and it is to
give this guidance and help that such studies exist as this new series on
which we are now embarking. In the series of Correspondence Circle Bulletin
articles which we have been following for the last three years we have been
confined to the ritual. For the next year we shall have a larger field, and
one that includes the ritual only as one among many other items of interest.
Brother Haywood's first reason for the study of the teachings of Freemasonry?
How much of Freemasonry can a man learn from initiation? How else can he
learn? What would you give as "the larger purposes of the Fraternity"?
should one try to think Masonry out? Could you, unaided by books or another
person, write an intelligent and intelligible answer to the question, "What is
the meaning of Masonry?"-
still another reason for a study of philosophy, or as we here more familiarly
describe it the teachings of Masonry. Our Fraternity is a world-wide
organization with Grand Lodges in every State and practically every, Nation.
In this country alone it is a vast affair of some two million members and
forty separate and independent Grand Lodges. To sustain and manage and foster
such a society costs the world untold sums of money and human effort. How can
Masonry justify its existence? What does it do to repay the world for its own
cost? In one form or another these questions are asked of almost every member,
and every member should be ready to give a true and adequate answer. But to
give such an answer requires that he shall have grasped the large principles
and be familiar with the outlines of the achievements of the Craft, and this
again is one of the purposes of our philosophizing on Masonry.
we arrive at a philosophy of Masonry? How are we to learn the authentic
interpretation of the teachings of Masonry? What is the method of procedure
whereby one who is neither a general scholar nor a Masonic specialist may gain
some such comprehensive understanding of Masonry as has been called for in the
preceding paragraphs? In short, how may a man "get at it?"
to "get at it" is to read one or two good Masonic histories. There is no need
to go into detail or to read up on the various side issues of merely
antiquarian interest; that is for the professional student. There is only need
to get the general drift of the story and to catch the outstanding events. To
learn what Masonry has actually accomplished in the world is to gain an
insight into its purposes and principles, for, like every other organization,
it has revealed its spirit through its actions. From a knowledge of what the
Order has been and what it has done in the past one can easily comprehend its
own present nature and principles, for Masonry has never had need to break
with own past! The Masonry of today does not make war on the Masonry of
yesterday. Its character emerges clearly from its own history as a mountain
stands out above a fog; and what it has ever been - at least in a large way -
it is now, and doubtless always will be.
history forges ceaselessly on evermore renewing and making itself. It is
going on today and the process is one that keeps publishing itself to the
seeing eye, for, after all, there is not much that is secret about the rich
and tireless life of the Fraternity: indeed, this life is constantly revealing
itself everywhere. Grand Lodges publish their Proceedings; men engaged in the
active duties of Masonic offices make reports of their functionings; students
of the Craft write articles and publish books; Masonic orators deliver
countless speeches; special Masonic conferences, whatever be their nature,
make known their business; most of the more important events get into the
daily papers; there are scores and scores of Masonic papers, bulletins and
journals, weekly, monthly and bi-monthly, and there are many libraries, study
clubs and learned societies everywhere endeavouring with tireless zeal to make
clear to members and profane "what it is all about." So it turns out that to
learn this for one's self one does not need to take any one man's word for it;
he can look about, and listen, and read up a little, and thereby form his own
conclusions. It is amazing, when one looks into it how much of the labour
going on in the Craft is designed to make clear, and to propagate and enforce
the principles and teachings and spirit of our great Order. To learn what are
these teachings asks of us no rare talents, no "inside knowledge," but only a
little effort, a little time.
would be your estimate of the money cost of Freemasonry to the United States?
to the world? How many Masons are there in the United States? in the world?
How many lodges are there in the United States? What does Masonry give in
return for its cost? What reasons other than those given by Brother Haywood
can you give for a study such as this?
Masonic histories can you name? Whose is generally considered the best? What
advantage does a Mason derive from reading such a history? Would a knowledge
of Freemasonry's own past be of any help to a lodge worker in present day
affairs and problems? What is the character of Freemasonry as it "emerges from
its own history"? What is there secret about the Order? If a man were to ask,
How can I find out what is going on in American Freemasonry? how would you
answer him? Can you name half a dozen Masonic periodicals? Have you ever read
the Proceedings of your own Grand Lodge? How many can you name of the "few
great ideas" about which Masonry constantly revolves? What is the difference
between an "idea" and an "ideal"? How can a member learn what are these "great
ideas"? Where and how are they taught? Did your initiation cause you to think
about life differently?
novice the Masonic world seems very confusing, it is so many-sided, so
far-flung, so clamorous with voices and the din of action; but this, after
all, need not frighten us away from an attempt to grasp that world with a
comprehensive understanding, for all of Masonry constantly revolves about a
few great ideas. These ideas confront one at every turn - what becomes more
familiar to an active Mason than such words as "Brotherhood," "Equality,"
"Toleration," etc., etc. - so that the youngest Entered Apprentice need have
no difficulty in getting at them. If he does get at them, and if he learns to
understand them as Masons understand them, they will help him greatly to gain
that comprehensive and inclusive understanding which we have been calling the
philosophy of Masonry.
has been said as yet of the great teachers of Freemasonry. In the older days
there were Anderson, Oliver, Preston, Hutchinson, etc.; then came the
philosophers of the middle years, Pike, Krause, Mackey, Drummond, Parvin,
Gould; Speth, Crawley, and others, and in our own day Waite, Pound, Newton,
etc, etc. In the writings of these men the great and simple ideas of
Freemasonry become luminous and intelligible, so that he who runs may read.
addition to all this the member may take advantage of those interpretative
devices which are a part of the Craft itself, the lectures and monitorial
explanations built into the ritual of all the rites and degrees. None of
these are infallible - nor are any of them made compulsory to believe but even
when they stray farthest from the original meaning of our symbols they are
always valuable in reviewing the ideas and ideals of multitudes who have
originated or used them.
to show why we should strive to make for our own mind a philosophy of Masonry,
and in how many ways one may arrive at that philosophy. There remains only
one word in caution. A study of the philosophy of Masonry is not a study of
Philosophy; the Masonic student as such has little interest in Plato and
Aristotle, in Neo-Platonism, Mysticism, Scholasticism, Rationalism, Idealism,
Pragmatism, Naturalism, etc. Masonry touches upon the circumference of each
of these and the other major philosophical systems, no doubt, but there is no
such thing as a Masonic philosophy any more than there is such a thing as a
Masonic religion. We speak of a philosophy of Masonry in the sense that we
speak of a philosophy of government, or industry, or art, or science. We mean
that one studies Masonry in the same large, informed inclusive and critical
way in which a political economist studies government or an astronomer studies
the stars. It would be a blessed thing if more of our members were to lift up
their eyes from the immediate and often petty affairs of their own lodge room
in order to gaze more often on those profound and wise principles which are to
our Fraternity what the laws of nature are the universe.
name a great Masonic teacher not mentioned in article by Brother Haywood? Whom
do you consider the greatest interpreter of Masonry? Can you tell the
differences between the groups mentioned by Brother Haywood? What is idea at
the bottom of present-day Masonic thinking? In way does the ritual explain
itself? What is a "philosophy"? What does the word mean? What means the
phrase, "A Philosophy of Freemasonry"?
PRESSING MASONIC NEED
IF THERE is any one thing that cries out loudly for some
attention from our Masonic leaders it is the sad state of Masonic literature
in this country. When one considers the size and power of our Order, and of
the heaving restless life now fermenting in it, it is a cause for wonder that
nobody has yet discovered that what we call our “literature” is the darkest
disgrace imaginable. Not that it is wanting in quality or power, for much of
it is beyond cavil, but that the whole thing at present is in such a
dilapidated state! Let us consider!
It is safe to say that nine of the ten books to be found in the
private possession of Masons have come from the pen of the old school of
writers who, though they were as admirable a group as one could imagine, are
now very much outgrown. I myself have a huge respect for the indefatigable Dr.
Oliver, to use an example or two, but I know that no real Masonic scholar of
the last ten years ever dreams of referring to Oliver as an authority! The
Craft owes a vast debt to the patient genius of Preston, but Preston's pages
are so outgrown by the advancement of Masonic learning that he belongs to the
ancients. The same thing can be said of a score of the men belonging to that
familiar group. The same thing cannot be said of Mackey for, after the middle
of his life, he came under the influence of modern scholarship, but everybody
knows that Mackey has to be supplemented by later writers, unless one wishes
to endanger his whole conception of Masonic history. I myself am firmly
convinced that the prevalence of queer and quaint ideas as to the origins of
Masonry, and the dogged refusal to change any of the fixed ideas about the
same, are due to the fact that so many of the Masons who do read books, read
only the works of the old school. It would be a great shame if we were to
discard this old school to which our indebtedness is immeasurable, but it is a
still greater shame that so few have ever discovered how obsolete are many of
This, however, is not in itself the worst evil. A greater evil
consists in the fact that the bulk of the really worth while books that we do
get come from England and are written by Englishmen. If the reader will glance
back through the files of this magazine he will discover that except for
references to Pike and Mackey, the great majority of references are made to,
and quotations are made from, that group of Masonic scholars who made up the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, or other men who belong to the same school
of thought. To that school belonged Gould, Crawley, Speth, Hughan, etc., with
whom none of our own men, except T.S. Parvin, Pike, Drummond and Mackey, can
for a moment compare. The writings of these men are now the chief treasure of
Masonic learning. But unfortunately they were all Englishmen, and the Masonry
of England is so very different from ours that in many cases their books are
misleading to an American reader. And what is far worse, their books are
either too expensive for the average man to purchase or they are entirely out
of print. I was amazed not long ago to discover that out of a list of some
thirty of the best of their books, about twenty are unobtainable. So that,
though they gave us a Masonic literature we can be proud of, it is unhappily
become a Masonic literature that is unobtainable.
But the worst of all evils consists in this: That much of the
Masonic literature we have turned out in this country is utterly vitiated by
ignorance or by faddism. Visit some large Masonic library; go down the shelves
to note the books written by Americans; and then observe how many of those
books are most palpably the work of crude amateurs who knew little of their
subject: and how very many of them offer us some wild theory that only a
faddist can bear to read! It is a crying shame, that an Order which numbers
two million Americans, and they the pick of the lot, should have so much to
answer for by way of foisting onto the reading public such an array of shyster
stuff as would bring the blush to a Romanist medievalist!
What we need is for somebody, or somebodies, with the ability
and with the means to lay the ground plans for a real and worth while American
Masonic literature. To do that would cost less than the erection of one Temple
and would count far more. It would pave the way for a new school of writers
who would ever keep before themselves the aims of scholarship and the needs of
our own Masonry. It would give us a number of readable books that would
gradually but inevitably replace the trash which so often passes as Masonic
There are a dozen men in this country now living who, were the
means at hand, could do for us what the Coronati group did for England: why
doesn't so man, why don't some group of men, give their Masonic bequests
toward such a purpose? We should have enough temples if they did, and we
should have something without which our temples do not possess their full
value. For the men who will do this there awaits an enviable name and fame!
* * *
THE BUILDER has under way the preparation of a short Masonic
glossary, to be published in several parts. The purpose of these brief studies
will be to make clear the meanings and usages of a number of the words and
phrases in commonest use among Masons, such as, for example, the following:
Cowan, cable tow, hoodwink, tyler, clandestine, heal, purge, jurisdiction,
In order that the list may be a complete representation of the
terms most frequently used, we are asking you to send us the words and phrases
you wish to have defined. When writing, put “Glossary Editor” on the outside
of the envelope. Do this now, before you forget it - this is the first and
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
THE BALMY DAYS of the first weeks in March did much to infect
us with spring fever. As they arrived our longing to roam the country came as
an irresistible temptation. We know of a very pretty stream, not far distant,
where there is an enviable round of pleasure in store for the disciple of Ike
Walton, and we are patiently waiting the arrival of that day when dry roads,
fair skies, and consent of law permit us to cast a line again. 'Tis the spring
fever no doubt that impells this urge to live in the great out of doors.
Speaking of the great out of doors naturally brings to mind
some of those great apostles of the out of doors, and especially at this time
of the heralding of the passing of that grand old man among American
naturalists - John Burroughs. Turning to the “Summit of the Years” we find
this genuine and spontaneous outburst of the soul of a nature-loving man: “The
longer I live the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and wonders of the
world. I hardly know which feeling leads, wonderment or admiration.” And no
doubt we are thereby won to a desire to see things through his keen eyes. And
again this wooing utterance: “I have not been a hermit; but my temperament and
love of solitude and a certain constitutional timidity, and shrinking from all
kinds of strife, have kept me in the by-paths rather than on the highways of
Only a nature lover could say that he has loved the feel of
grass under his feet and the sound of runnins streams at his side. “I am in
love with this world,” he buoyantly declares. In view of these utterances we
are rather surprised one morning when we read the following from the pen of
one who himself we are confident, judging from his writings, is a true nature
lover: “Was he (Burroughs) a nature lover? Yes, in a serene, unemotional,
married life sort of way.” To which we append: “Is married life then, indeed,
but prosy?” “He (Burroughs) was too self-centered, too scientific, too
surgical,” continues our genial friend, which makes us further ruminate as to
whether those little animosities and prejudices that exist among musicians,
and not a little discoverable among medical doctors, is not found in
considerable degree among nature lovers. But enough: good John Burroughs, one
of America's greatest naturalists and friend of Roosevelt, has gone the way of
all flesh, but his works in which still breathes the soul of him live after
him, to sweeten the way of life and make those who will yet read him, wiser
and better. As an admirer of Burroughs says, so we re-echo, “Of John Burroughs
his friends and relatives are able to remember that there were no gray days in
his life. For him the sun was always shining. His soul was wrapped up in
nature and he loved all lovable things of - this earth,” No American, they say
of him, lived a more helpful or wholesome life.
* * *
The balmy weather and mellowing sun did much those early March
days to dry out the upper portion of our garden, and one day we were
consentingly allured to leave our study and go and dig in it awhile. The
morning hour is one that usually finds us devoted to books or writing, and to
turn our back completely upon our work made us, we confess, feel a little
guilty. Usually when we succumb to the call of the garden we rummage the
garret for old clothes that we might wear, but this particular morning we
didn't evince our usual desire. Instead we took a few books out with us. We no
doubt must have presented an interesting picture. We do not dress
immaculately, and we were certainly not garbed as gardeners should be garbed,
and to be seen with hands begrimed, making occasional perusals of a book of
Criticism we had, while a fork or rake rested on one's knee probably proved
very amusing to the casual passerby. But what a lovely time we had! The feel
of the soil was good for one's soul, and the work in the open air with an
occasional whiff of smoke-savored breeze, - sure harbinger of spring in our
part of the country, - how it seemed to compel expansion of one's self ! And
then there were some visitants whose presence richly crowned the morning, and
they too were harbingers of spring. The two little, chatty children (members
of my own household, by the way) who visited us intermittently were stirred by
recollections of a former spring, when the disciple of Walton, with their
assistance, would diligently hunt for the unsuspecting earthworm and our
finding of one that morning was as the capitulation of an adventure. The
youngsters did not seem at first to enjoy the feel of the wriggly creatures in
their hands, and so kept dropping them, only, however, to pick them up again.
We have on the north side of our garden again another symbol of
spring, - a tree “that lifts its leafy arms to pray.” Some day its aspiration
will be rewarded, and it will be a thing of beauty. (No doubt this will bring
to mind Joyce Kilmer's “A Tree that Looks at God All Day,” from which we took
the above quotation.)
As we were resting awhile from our digging and were telling our
prattling inquisitors of the mysteries of seed time, there chanced to visit
the tree a gaily bedecked cardinal. His merry, cheery whistle at once
acquainted us with his presence. He impudently cocked his eye at us as if
inquiring why we were not laboring to discover for him a choice morsel. The
children and I, catching what we interpreted as a suggestion, enthusiastically
went to work to look for Mr. Earthworm, whom we soon found, and with dispatch
threw to where the cardinal could obtain it, feeling free of any intervention
of the earthworm's pleasure on our part, for predatory purposes. It was a
morning indeed when we could have joined Pippa in her song:
year's at the spring
at the morn;
lark's on the wing;
snail's on the thorn;
right with the world!
Awe have so delighted ourselves with ruminating and suggesting
the joy of that morning that one might think that we were little interested in
aught else, but we remarked awhile ago, you recall, our taking with us a book
of Criticism into which we spasmodically dipped, and from which we turned
feeling that after all there was greater joy, at least for us, that day in
turning the soil and watching it transform in color from black to brownish
hue. There was something really wonderful in that transformation. Some unseen
majestic wand was being passed over it, and there was a response that charmed
In the Chandogya Upanishad one may read, “All this universe is
Brahma! from him it does proceed; into him it is dissolved; in him it
breathes.” Of a surety the ineffable Presence is felt, but an external
expression that knows no quiescence, with harmony resplendent, a throbbing
pulsating one in many, even the Spirit of the Universe, is speaking to us. If
the world is an illusion as the Vedenta suggests, it is a glorious one, or if
the shadow of the something behind things, then that something must be
wondrous grand, and worthy of man's worship. The quiet basking in the presence
of nature's beauty we believe would do much to dispel the world's diseases and
Green grasses here and there are projecting their speary heads,
and Ruskin with his dilations about grass being the symbol of Humility and
Cheerfulness comes back to us. “There are also several lessons symbolically
connected with this subject,” says Ruskin, “which we must not allow to escape
us. Observe, the peculiar characters of the grass, which adapt it especially
for the service of man, are its apparent humility and cheerfulness. Its
humility, in that it seems created only for lowest service, - appointed to be
trodden on, and fed upon. Its cheerfulness, in that it seems to exult under
all kinds of violence and suffering. You roll it, and it is stronger the next
day; you mow it, and it multiplies its shoots, as if it were grateful; you
tread upon it, and it only sends up richer perfume. Spring comes, and it
rejoices with all the earth, - glowing with variegated flame of flowers, -
waving in soft depth of fruitful strength. Winter comes, and though it will
not mock its fellow plants by growing then, it will not pine and mourn, and
turn colorless or leafless as they. It is always green; and it is only the
brighter and gayer for the hoar-frost.”
* * *
We now come to consider our Critic and musical writer, James
Gibbons Huneker, whose few books shared our interest with gardening the
beautiful spring morning. He was a man of such versatility that the awesome
impression that one received after reading him was that he must have known
everything, in the way of books. His versatility was as charming as it was
rare, and his cosmopolitanism amply testified to by his knowledge of a wide
range of literature and of those of the specie literati was truly marvelous.
He knew the spokesmen of peoples as they are represented in Literature, Art,
and Music, but peculiarly, his judgments upon the great of the Literati were
generally opposite of what has come to be the accepted judgment of most
people. The popular literary idol was always subjected to severe handling by
this critic. He, probably, was one of the great modern affirmative forces that
reveal the necessary province for the Iconoclast.
There is something overbearing and supercilious about the
iconoclastic's judgment of great men or those who have come to be considered
great ,and this something, too, frequently subjects them to be relegated to: a
place where we consign all muck-rakers, fault-finders, and their ilk.
In Huneker's treatment of Tolstoy, for example, if one had not
read Tolstoy, and was introduced to him for the first time through the essay
on Tolstoy or Dostoevski, one might be led to think that Tolstoy was a huge
pretender. Huneker at times seems to enjoy peeping in through the window of
the homes of his subjects, not for the sake of gaining a proper perspective,
mind you, but to discover some small discrepancy in character, that he might
parade it before the world as the evidence of inconsistency between preachment
and: practice. Tolstoy, for instance, is reported to have smoked a cigarette
after every one had gone to bed, and this is seized upon as a bit of evidence
to be used as an indictment for inconsistency. Was it Brander Mathews that
told us a short while ago that Harriet Beecher Stowe had one time imbibed a
little too much wine during a call on one of her friends ?
It is true that Huneker, while pointing out this apparent
contradiction in Tolstoy's life regarding what he stood for and what he
practiced, has the grace not to use it to disparage Tolstoy, but he cites this
little thing, as he confesses, as testimony of Tolstoy's humanity. And so from
genius to genius, and would-be geniuses, this man flits like a butterfly, not
seeking the nectar, however, primarily, but stating with apparent delight
those limitations and idiosyncrasies that are ever the part of man because he
One is inclined to think, after a treatment of Dostoevski, that
one can only write truly the experiences of the Race as one is compelled to
share them unto the fullest. So far indeed there is probably more than a
modicum of truth, but this is no ground for disparagement of those who
endeavor to tell what their faculties of observation reveal. But back to our
garden. Because this man has said in criticism of Tolstoy, that the Moujk is
not the ultimate critic of art, but those who live in the artistic realm. Very
true, but tnuch that goes for art in the artistic realm can not be appraised
as art by the commonest of men, and we have a conviction that if the artistic
norm is attained there ought to be something of appeal that is universal in
its content. These intellectuals, with their Bohemianism and their highbrow
proclivities, far in our consciousness from common folk who dig in gardens,
appear to us as but a group of neurotics.
* * *
It is a good thing to turn from one to whom Iifer and men are
simply things for analysis to one who shared its hopes and knew its sorrows.
America is richer because of her having known the noble ministry of Doctor
Frank Gunsaulus, and the city of Chicago that was the seat of spiritual and
humanizing efforts, is considerably the poorer for his passing. But as with
Burroughs so with Gunsaulus, - his works embodying his genius so redolent with
prophetic instinct and comforting and uplifting in import lives after him.
With his passing which was a personal sorrow, we took down from our book
shelves his “Paths to the City of God” (a gift of his of long ago) and scanned
again and again fond passages contained therein. Then it was that the full
force of what a mutual friend said of him recentlt dawned upon us with renewed
force. Said Dr. Newton: “A God-endowed preacher whose mysticism was at once
the inspiration and the illumination of his multifarious activity, - it is a
story of which America ought to be proud. He was the first citizen of his day,
if not the most distinguished - the incarnation of its genius an the prophecy
of its future.”
There is a fine passage in his sermon on meditation that
wonderfully reflects the secret of the greatness of his work: “Why is one
thing done - one product - nobler than another? Why is the statue from the
chisel of Thorwaldsen finer than a piece of marble upon which just as many
hours by just as sharp chisels have been as laboriously spent? Why is the
Declaration of Independence greater than so much paper written over far more
beautifully by a writing master? Why! Behind the statue of Thorwaldsen is a
vast eventide of meditation. Ideas and sentiments, thought and passion - the
whole inner life stands behind, making it noble with the deliberate grandeur
of the soul. It is more than it seems, because Isaac has gone out to meditate
at eventide and the high converse of his spirit has made its path in every
pure white chisel course. The Declaration of Independence is the very shrine
to which the spirit of America meditating at eventide, in darkness smitten
with noon, or in twilight hours of freedom, has brought the fruitage of its
meditation; and ideal life has given to it imperishable worth.”
It was he himself that told us a few years ago that the three
great moral forces of Chicago at one time were Robert Collyer, Jenkyn Lloyd
Jones and David Living, and now comes another noble spirit discerning in him
the greatest of his generation because of his great moral energy to which we
reverently add our Amen.
A good character is, in all cases, the fruit of personal
exertion. It is not inherited from parents; it is not created by external
advantages; it is no necessary appendage of birth, wealth, talents, or
station; but it is the result of one's own endeavors - the fruit and reward of
good principles manifested in a course of virtuous and honorable action. - J.
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.
OF PRESIDENT HARDING'S CABINET
Will you please inform me through THE BUILDER how many of the
men in President Harding's Cabinet are Masons, and the lodge to which each one
J. E. H.,
Attorney-General Harry M. Daugherty. Profession - Attorney at
Law. Born Washington Court House, Ohio. Age 61 years. University education.
Practiced law Washington Court House, Ohio, 1881-88. Elected to state
legislature in 1888, serving five years. Chairman state Republican executive
committee 1912, also twice chairman state Republican central committee of
Ohio. Campaign manager for Harding at Chicago convention.
He and his family are members of the Broad Street Methodist
Church in Columbus, Ohio.
Brother Daugherty is an Entered Apprentice of Fayette Lodge No.
107, F. & A. M., Washington Court House, Ohio, and we are informed that he has
taken steps to have the remaining degrees conferred in a Columbus, Ohio, lodge
as soon as possible.
Henry C. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture. Profession - Editor
and Publisher. Born Rock Island, Illinois. Age 64 years. Collegiate education.
Farmer and live stock breeder in Iowa, 1887-91. Editor, manager and publisher
of farm publications from 1893 to present time. Bank director. Member United
States live stock industry committee. Secretary Corn Belt Meat Producers'
Association for fourteen years. Long interested in Y.M.C.A., being a member of
the International Committee.
Brother Wallace is a member of Pioneer Lodge No. 22, A. F. & A.
M., Des Moines, Iowa.
Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy. Profession - Attorney at
Law. Born Evansville, Indiana. Age 51 years. Ex Congressman. Practiced law in
Detroit, Michigan. Joined navy in Spanish-American war. Joined marines in
1917; became sergeant, retired as major, January 1, 1919. Member Fifty-ninth
to Sixty-first Congresses. President Detroit Charter Commission. Episcopalian.
Home in Detroit, Mich.
Brother Denby is a member of Oriental Lodge No. 240, F. & A.
M., Detroit, Michigan.
Secretary of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover. Profession - Mining
Engineer. Born West Branch, Iowa Age 46 years. University training. Wide
experience in geological and mining enterprises, United States and abroad.
Chairman American Relief Committee, London, 1914-16; Relief in Belgium,
1916-18. United States Food Administrator, 1917-19. Honored and decorated by
foreign nations for war services. Received 10% votes Republican National
Convention for Presidential nomination. Near East Relief, 1920-21.
Secretary Hoover is a Quaker and a member of the Friends Order
of Salem, Oregon. Not a Mason.
Secretary of the Treasury W. A. Mellon. Profession - Banker.
Born at Pittsburg, Penna. Age 66 yearn University education. Entered banldng
business 1874. President of Mellon National Bank, 1920 to present Active in
industrial and financial developments in western Pennsylvania. Trustee
University of Pittsburg, and with his brother founded Mellon Institute of
Industrial Research. Identified with many charitable and welfare
Secretary Mellon is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is
not a Mason.
Secretary of Labor James J. Davis. Profession - Labor Leader.
Born Tredegar, Wales. Age 47 years. Went to Pittsburg, Penna., with parents at
age of four. At eleven years of age began work in steel mills, becoming a
puddler. Removed to Elwood City, Indiana, 1893. Held city and county offices
there. In 1906 he reorganized the Loyal Order of Moose, of which he is now the
head. Member of Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, and has
always been active in union affairs. Secretary Davis is a Scottish Rite Mason,
Knight Templar and Shriner.
Postmaster-General Will H. Hayes. Profession - Attorney at Law.
Born Sullivan, Indiana. Age 41 years. Graduate of Wabash College. Prominent in
county, state and national Republican politics during last twenty years.
Member law firm of Hays and Hays. Bank director. Chairman of the Republican
National Committee since 1916. Presbyterian. Member Sullivan Lodge No. 263, F.
& A. M., Sullivan, Ind. K. T., Scottish Rite and Shrine, Indianapolis.
Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes. Profession - Jurist. Born
Glenn Falls, N.Y. Age 68 years. University training. Practiced and taught law
in New York, 1884-1900. Conducted insurance investigation, New York
legislature, 1906-06. Governor of New York, 1907-08 and 1909-10. Associate
Justice United States Supreme Court, 1910-16. Republican nominee for
President, 1916. Practiced law since in New York. Conducted government
aircraft investigation, 1918. Protestant. Not a Mason.
Secretary of War John W. Weeks. Profession-Banker. Born
Lancaster, N.H. Age 60 years. Graduate United States Naval Academy, 1881.
United States midshipman, 1881-1883. Member of firm of bankers and brokers,
Boston, 1888-1912. Member of Congress, 1906-13. United States Senator,
1913-19. Candidate for Republican Presidential nomination, 1916; received 106
votes. Served in Massachusetts naval brigade ten years, and in volunteer navy
during Spanish-American War. Protestant. Not a Mason.
Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall. Profession - Farmer,
rancher, miner and lawyer. Born Frankfort, Ky. Age 69 years. Educated in
country schools. Served in New Mexico legislature and as associate justice New
Mexico Supreme Court sines 1912. Protestant. Not a Mason.
* * *
“LANDMARKS” OF TEIE GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS
many “landmarks” are recognized by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and what
E. E. R.,
The Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts define
“landmarks” as follows:
“The Landmarks are those ancient and universal fundamental
principles of the Craft which no Masonic authority can alter or repeal.”
Lodge of Massachusetts recognized the following landmarks:
Monotheism, the sole dogma of Freemasonry.
Belief in immortality the ultimate lesson of Masonic philosophy.
Volume of the Sacred Law, an indispensable part of the furniture of a lodge;
legend of the Third degree.
symbolism of the Operative Order.
Mason must be a freeborn male adult.”
list of landmarks is not declared to be exclusive.
* * *
ISRAEL PUTNAM A MASON?
General Israel Putnam, of Revolutionary fame, a Mason?
He is so said to be a Freemason by Brother Sidney Hayden, on
page 375 of “Washington and His Masonic Compeers.” His Brother, Rufus Putnam,
it may be pointed out, was a very active Freemason
and the first to be elected as Grand Master of Ohio. A chapter, from page 311
to page 334, is devoted to General Israel Putnam in Cornelius Moore's
“Leaflets of Masonic Biography.” This essay says much of General Putnam's
military services but little of his Masonic connections. On page 333 we read:
“Putnam was a Freemason - a tried and true one. History has not
told us specifically when or where he was initiated, and the Craft in
Connecticut have been tardy in searching out the facts. It is well known that
he belonged to the Order, and was connected with a lodge located at or near
Pomfret, in the vicinity of which he resided. The lodge has long since ceased
to work, we believe, and the records are probably lost; but the fact that the
brave old general was a member of it comes down to us unquestioned.”
Brother Moore certainly had no doubt of the Masonic membership
of General Putnam. What he says of the Connecticut connection led me to
inquire of a Brother in that state whose opportunities and qualifications make
him easily first as a source of information on such matters. In response he
kindly says of the foregoing quotations:
“I have no data to show that General Israel Putnam was a Fre
emason in any Connecticut lodge. I do not believe that any lodge existed
anywhere near Pomfret during the years when Putnam would have been likely to
have been made a Freemason.
“According to the biographies, he was born in 1718, died in
1790, and had a paralytic shock in 1779 which probably finished his
activities. The only other lodge in that locality is Moriah Lodge, No. 15,
which was located, at first, at or near Windham but this was not instituted
until 1790. Hence I do not believe it possible that he was a member of any
“There was a military lodge, 'American Union,' formed by
dispensation in 1776 and which lasted throughout the Revolution, but I don't
believe the records contain any reference to Putnam. I am inclined to doubt if
he ever was a Freemason.”
The reference made by my able correspondent to American Union
Lodge suggested a reference to the few facts obtainable from that historic
institution. The Worshipful Master, Jonathan Heart, settling at Marietta,
Ohio, the old charter was used at the formation of a local lodge, now No. 1 on
the Register of that state. An examination of the historical address delivered
by Past Master Toler at the Celebration on February 19, 1915, of the 139th
anniversary of the founding of the lodge, discloses no mention of Israel
Putnam though we note the initiation of his brother Rufus and of other notable
brethren. While there so far appears on record no documentary evidence of the
when and where of General Israel Putnam's initiation there has ever existed a
strong tradition to that effect and the earnest expression of that conviction
by Brothers Moore and Haydon is at least some evidence of the fact. Beyond
that stage we await the patient persistence of the Masonic historian to yet
unearth the necessary testimony demonstrating the Masonic standing of this
and highly distinguished American. So near and dear was he to Washington, that
loyal supporter of the Fraternity, that we must find it on that account alone
the easier to think of him as a Craftsman. R.I.C.
SUGGESTIONS FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON MEMORIAL PROGRAMS
The evening of Feb. 22nd, Illustrious Lodge No. 63, A. F. & A.
M., put on a program which I had arranged shortly before. The next issue of
our local paper contained an article on the occasion. I sent a copy of the
paper to P.G.M., W. N. Kendrick of Spring Valley, Minn., who has the
Washington Memorial matter in charge for Minnesota. A few days later he called
me up asking me to have 350 reprints of this article printed and sent to him
as he wished to send one to each lodge in Minnesota.
In having these reprints, I thought perhaps it might be of a
benefit to both the lodges and the National Masonic Research Society if notice
was made where the articles came from which worked in so nicely on an occasion
of this kind, so I had the matter added to the article. The article reads as
Plainview (Minn.) News, Feb. 25, 1921)
A good representation of Masons assembled at the lodge rooms
Tuesday evening to commemorate the birth anniversary of George Washington. The
new player piano purchased by the Eastern Star furnished entertainment until
the hour for the regular program.
Dr. E. E. Smith had arranged a very interesting and instructive
program by choosing articles dwelling upon Washington, from Masonic
publications and had them read by members.
The first, “Washington, the Man and Mason,” was read by J. H.
Wichman. This article told of Washington's character, his public activities
and the part taken by him in the Masonry of his day.
“Washington's Masonic Connections,” read by Tom Askew, was
devoted mainly to facts concerning the standing of Washington as a Mason.
Rev. Prescott read “The Religion of George Washington.” This
told of his being baptized in the Presbyterian church and of the influence of
religion upon his life.
J. W. Seay read an article, “Alexandria-Washington Lodge “ of
which lodge Washington was Master at the time he was President. This article
contained a history of the lodge and also told of the relics in its possession
which are connected with Washington. Among them are a life size painting of La
Fayette in full regalia as he appeared when presiding over that lodge; a
portrait of Washington painted by Williams for which the lodge has a standing
offer of $100,000; another picture, the property of Washington, valued at
$150,000; and a great many personal effects of this great man together with
lodge equipment used by him.
The last number on the program was “The Memorial to
Washington,” read by B. E. Rohweder, explaining the plans and accomplishments
of the committee in charge of raising the memorial fund.
A reproduction of the Williams portrait of Washington was
exhibited and proved of much interest. The picture marks the scar on his face,
the mole under his ear and poc marks on his nose.
C. W. Donaldson brought a unique relic which had been handed
down in his family. It is a contract, in the handwriting of Washington,
between him and Jas. Donaldson stating the terms upon which Donaldson was to
work for Washington.
At the conclusion of the program all present signed up for a
donation for the memorial fund.
Articles taken from “The Builder,” published by the National
Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa:
“The Memorial to Washington” - issue of July, 1916.
“Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22,” “Washington, the Man and
Mason,” “Williams Portrait of Washington” - issue of February, 1916.
“The Religion of George Washington” - issue of February, 1918.
“Washington's Masonic Connections” - issue of May, 1920.
I wish to extend to you my personal thanks for the fine
articles you are presenting in THE BUILDER. There are many articles that I
have in mind that will be used at future times as substance for a program on
special occasions. The majority of lodge members are not readers of Masonic
publications and when such articles are presented, create merited interest and
attention. I am going to work in your articles on “Great Men who were Masons”
at some future occasions.
The article enclosed, published in our local paper, will put
matters before our people who are not members of the order and will perhaps
clear up some ideas held by certain folks. We are too much given to hide our
light under a bushel while others are continually striving to force themselves
into the limelight. And from appearances, they are succeeding very well
* * *
In the April, 1920, issue of THE BUILDER appears Part II of
“The Cryptic Degrees” by Bro. Gustav A. Eitel, in the course of which he
quotes, on pages 102-103, from the Ohio Grand Council Proceedings of 1880
portions of an article by Companion John D. Caldwell, as follows:
“In 1761 Stephen Morin, a Hebrew, learned in these rituals,
received from united Masonic authorities in France a patent as
Inspector-general of the Rite of Perfection - twenty-five degrees - and
repaired to St. Domingo, where he practiced the Rite and appointed Deputy
Inspectors. These Deputies were Brother Henry Andrew C. Francken, also a
Hebrew, Deputy Inspector General for Jamaica and the British Leeward Islands,
(or, as he claimed by his patent, for West Indies and North America); and
Moses Michael Hays, Brother Col. Prevost for the Windward Islands and the
“Companion Francken, whether authorized or not, came with his
rituals and patent as Inspector to Albany, New York, and organized in that
place four bodies of the new Rite: 20th December, 1767, Ineffable and Sublime
Grand Lodge of Perfection, Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Rose Croix
Chapter, Albany Sovereign Consistory.
“In 1769 Francken appointed in New York two Grand Inspectors:
Dr. Samuel Stringer and Sir William Johnson.”
Since this account contains certain errors which should be
corrected, I desire to call your attention to the following:
In the Proceedings of the New York Council of Deliberation, A.
A. S. R., for 1906 will be found a photographic reproduction of the original
minute book of Ineffable and Sublime Grand Lodge of Perfection of Albany, N.
Y., from the “Memorandums,” at the beginning of which, the following is taken:
“About the 7th October, 1767, Messr. Pfister & Gamble were
Introduced at New York, to Mr. Henry Andrew Francken, who a day or two after,
by Authority invested in him, Initiated them in the 11 Degrees of Ancient
Masonry, from the Secret Master being the 4th to the Perfection, which is the
14th and Known to be the utmost Limits of Symbolick Masonry.
“About a week after the above date Mr. Francken Conferred on
them the 2 first Degrees of Modern Masonry or Masonry Revived, and proposed to
them, that if they chose he would erect A Lodge of Perfection at Albany and
appoint Wm. Gamble Master thereof (protempore) until Sr. William Johnson
should have the refusal of it. they thankfully accepted of his offer. on which
gave them a Draft of a Constitution, whereof a fair draft was to be made when
they arriv.d in Albany & five Brethren should be Initiated into the 14th Degr....”
From this it will be seen that Henry Andrew (not Henry Andrew
C.) Francken did not come to Albany and organize four bodies of the Scottish
Rite, but that certain Albany Brethren ourneyed to New York, where they met
Brother Francken. He showed them his commission of authority and initiated
them into the degrees from the fourth to the sixteenth inclusive. He also gave
them a draft of a Constitution (or Warrant) of which a “fair draft” was made
in Albany by Brother William Gamble, who was a civil engineer, and sent to New
York, where it was signed and sealed by Brother Francken on December 20, 1767.
A reproduction of this document will be found in the June, 1920, issue of THE
BUILDER, page 160, in my article on “The First Lodge House owned by a Masonic
Lodge in America.”
A Council of Princes of Jerusalem was apparently organized at
the same time, but there is no record of any Rose Crois Chapter or Consistory.
The present Albany Sovereign Chaptex of Rose Croix and Albany Sovereign
Consistory, S.’.P.’. R.’.S.’., received their Warrants on November 16, 1824,
from the Southern Jurisdiction, later being transferred to the Northern
Apparently, Sir William Johnson never took a very active part
in the work of the lodge, for he did not receive the fourteenth degree until
April 12, 1769, when a special meeting oi the lodge was held for that purpose
at Johnson Hall, in Johns town, N. Y., under special Dispensation from Brother
Francken and there is no record of his having been made a Grand InsDector.
Isaac H. Vrooman. Jr.. New York.
* * *
THE OWNER OF THIS RING?
The Secretary of the Scottish Rite Bodies, of Freeport, Ill. is
making a careful search for the owner of a Scottish Rite ring found by a
German prisoner of war, in a camp near Bordeaux France. The ring is marked
“Wm. Pogle, March 16, 1918,” and doubtless belonged to an American soldier
serving in the A.E.F. “over there.” The ring will be returned to the owner
under certain conditions. We wish this notice to be given as wide pubIicity as
possible to assist in locating Wm. Pogle, who, doubtless will wish to recover
his ring, if for nothing else than the sentimental association of its loss and
recovery through army service.
Walter B. Erfert. Sec'y. Masonic Temple. Freeport. Ill.
* * *
In reply to the inquiry of J. W. McC. on page 26 of the January
number of THE BUILDER, may I suggest that the letter G is the anglicized form
of the third letter of the Greek alphabet-gamma.
It is a pity it was not left in its original form, which
too plain to be misunderstood.
Sturgeon Medhurst. China.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A “COLLEGE” LODGE
The institution of the Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge A. F and A.
M. took place on the evening of December 15, under the direction of the Deputy
Grand Master of the Second Masonic District, Guy H. Holliday, at Odd Fellows
Hall, Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Professor Frank Vogel, in charge of the Department of Modern
Languages, was appointed Master and will be assisted by Professors Vannevar
Bush and W. H. Timbie of the Electrical Engineering Department. They will be
assisted by some of the student members of the Technology Masonic Club. Major
R. H. Pendleton and Captain H. F. Clark of the Military Science Department
were appointed treasurer and secretary respectively.
This is the first Masonic lodge to be instituted in any
educational institution in this country and, as far as known, it is the first
of its kind in the world. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has granted its
approval of the request of the Technology Masonic Club to confer the first
three degrees of Freemasonry upon the alumni members of the faculty and
students who may be elected to receive these degrees.
The lodge has been named after the late president of the
Institute, Richard C. Maclaurin, who was a past Master of his lodge in New
Technology Review, Massachusetts.