The Builder Magazine
October 1921 - Volume VII - Number
Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
VAN RENSSELAER, "the first of the Patroons" in the State of New York, was born
in the City of New York, and was Grand Master of Masons of that State for four
years. We excerpt the following from the History of the Grand Lodge of New
Van Rensselaer, known as the Patroon, an American statesman, and patron of
learning, was born in New York, November 1, 1769, the fifth in descent from
Killien Van Rensselaer, the original patroon or proprietor of the Dutch Colony
of Rensselaerwick, who in 1630, and subsequently, purchased a tract of land
near Albany, forty-eight miles long by twenty-four wide, extending over three
counties. He was educated at Princeton and Harvard colleges, and married a
daughter of General Philip Schuyler, a distinguished officer of the
Revolution. Engaging early in politics, at a period when they were the pursuit
of men of the highest social position, he was, in 1789, elected to the State
Legislature; in 1795, to the State Senate, and became Lieutenant Governor,
president of a State convention, and Canal Commissioner. Turning his attention
to military affairs, he was, at the beginning of the war of 1812, in command
of the State militia, and led the assault of Queenstown; but the refusal of a
portion of his troops, from constitutional scruples, to cross the Niagara
River, enabled the British to repulse the attack, and the General resigned in
disgust. As president of the Board of Canal Commissioners for fifteen years,
he promoted the New York system of internal improvements; as Chancellor of the
State University, he presided over educational reforms; and as president of
the Agricultural Board, aided to develop the resources of the State. At his
own cost, he employed Professors Eaton and Hitchcock to make agricultural
surveys, not only of his own vast estates, but of a large part of New York and
New England, the results of which he published in 1824; he also paid Professor
Eaton to give popular lectures on geology through the State. In 1824 he
established at Troy an institution for the education of teachers, with free
pupils from every county. Widening the sphere of his political interests, he
went to Congress in 1823, and served several terms, exerting a powerful
influence, and securing the election of John Quincy Adams as President of the
United States. After an active, useful, and honorable career, worthy of his
high position, he died at Albany, January 26, 1839."
foregoing shows a splendid record, one to make the fraternity feel proud, it
omits so much that the fraternity ought to know. Van Rensselaer received the
degree of LL. D. at Yale in 1825.
writer has always believed that teaching, particularly teaching the laws of
nature, is the grandest occupation of man; that the laws of nature are the
laws of God; that nature never makes mistakes; that she will make intelligent
answer to every question intelligently asked, and will repeat her replies
Grand Master Van Rensselaer established the great Polytechnic Institute at
Troy, omitted Greek and Latin from the curriculum, and made a point of applied
niechanics and mechanical engineering, he laid a foundation for the skill and
science that made the Republic grow, more than any peaceful move that has ever
been made. It was the origin of the degree of mechanical engineering, and
though the Institute was not the first to establish that chair, per se, it
produced the graduates who were the first professors of M.E. in the colleges
when establishing that degree. Early in the time of the civil war many of the
Troy men entered the engineer corps of the Navy, which was the beginning of
turning the art of marine engineering from a trade to a profession. A number
of these left the Navy to be professors in colleges, and today there are
recognized more than twenty kinds of engineers.
Washington had advised discouraging all immigration, save such as could bring
us some useful trade or art, which made it imperative to produce machines to
do the work of men. The wisdom of Grand Master Van Rensselaer may be
appreciated when we consider this. He builded wiser than was dreamed of in our
philosophy. Machine design, construction and operation has developed the
Nation. By it the air is navigated; the surface and the depth of the sea, as
well as the land are traversed. A factory girl now spins as much as several
hundred girls did, when the work was all done by hand. Transportation has been
rushed over iron rails, while other nations were using pikes. Machine design
is today an exact science, instead of a tentative art, and for blazing the way
to make this possible we must hail Grand Master Van Rensselaer as the pioneer.
lenient to the poor among the tenants on his vast estates, whose arrears, for
rent, had aggregated about $400,000 when he died, which resulted in the
complete breaking up of the estate. (See E. P. Cheyney's "Anti Rent
CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY
DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
IN THE "GACETA"
of the Spanish Government, dated 23rd February, 1826, the execution of a
person accused of Freemasonry is thus referred to:
"Yesterday was hanged in this city Antonio Caso (alias Jaramalla). He died
impenitent and sent into consternation the numerous concourse present at the
spectacle; a terrible whirlwind making it more horrible, this taking place
while the criminal was expiring. He came forth from the prison blaspheming,
speaking such words as may not be repeated without shame, and although gagged,
he repeated as well as he could 'Viva mi secta! Viva la Institucion Masonica!'
So he was dragged by the tail of a horse to the scaffold. Notwithstanding the
efforts which priests of all classes had made, they had not been able to
induce him to pronounce the names of Jesus and Mary. After he was dead, his
right hand was cut off, and dragging his body, they took it to a dung-heap.
Thus do these proclaimers of liberty miserably end their lives; and this is
the felicity which they promise to those who follow them - to go to abide
where the beasts do."
the French troops evacuated Spain, though without stamping out Freemasonry,
for, in 1829, fresh signs of its existence in Barcelona being discovered,
Lieut.-Col. Galvez was hanged and two other members of the Craft were
condemned to the galleys for life.
at Sligo, one Thomas Mulhern died. He was a zealous Freemason and an equally
zealous member of the Church of Rome, treasurer of his parish church as well
as officiating in the same capacity for certain Roman Catholic charities. In
every respect he was regarded as one of the most attached and intelligent lay
assistants in the Roman Catholic Church in his district. When he was seized
with the illness which culminated in his death, his wife sent immediately for
the parish priest, the Rev. M. Dunleavy, to administer the Sacraments, but
that privilege was refused on the ground that the dying man was a Freemason.
He was permitted to pass from this world without the consolation of these
Sacraments and no Roman Catholic priest would consent to read the burial
service over his mortal remains. His body, therefore, was committed to the
earth without any religious ceremony, in the presence of several lodges in
same time M. Motus, director of the Luxembourg Iron Works, died of a fever,
the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church also being denied him on his
deathbed, because he was a Freemason. He died at Mersch, where Catholic
burial was refused him, and the body was conveyed to Fischbach, where he had
lived. The priest there declared that he would not allow the corpse to be
buried in any place other than that where unbaptized children were buried, to
which the Burgomaster replied that he would cause the grave to be dug where he
thought fit, and the deceased Brother was buried alongside the Burgomaster's
the monk Fortunato de Saint Bonaventure wrote in his periodical "Contremine" -
remedy for Freemasons is altogether simple: every time they attempt to
assemble, meet them with the bludgeon, the memory of which would be very
lively on the backs of some and on the imagination of others, and it would
come some time to bring peace to the kingdom."
Nicolini, in his History of the Pontificate of Pius the Ninth, is responsible
for the statement that "The Centurioni were a gang of robbers and vagabonds
enlisted in bands after the revolution of 1831. They were headed by priests
and monks, who preached to them that to kill a liberal was the surest passport
to heaven. They did not wear any uniform, but were a sort of secret society,
protected and paid for by the government."
of the famous liberator, Daniel O'Connell, has frequently been mentioned in
Masonic journals and newspapers, but the full circumstances have not, as yet,
been given at one time. O'Connell, the greatest orator, as well as the
greatest lawyer and logician that Ireland ever produced, was initiated into
Freemasonry in 1799 in Lodge 189, Dublin, of which he became Master in the
following year. It is said that no one ever carried out the duties of his
office with more brilliant success than he, who himself acknowledged that he
felt deeply interested in his Masonic work, which was proved plainly by his
unceasing activity. O'Connell was standing counsel to the Grand Lodge of
Ireland in some tedious litigation caused by an unscrupulous Grand Secretary
and the Irish Rolls bears his signature under date of 24th July, 1813, as
Counsel representing the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Bro. William White, who was
Deputy Grand Master of Ireland from 1830 to 1840, used to declare with pride
that he had received his degrees at the hand of the great liberator. It is
easy to conceive with what skill a man so highly gifted as he was would
perform his work and how attentively the brethren would listen to that
fascinating voice which bewitched the Courts of Justice and the Senate. In
addition to his membership of his Mother Lodge, he was founder of a lodge in
Trales, of which he became the first Senior Warden and a joining member of
Lodge No. 13, Limerick. He afterwards withdrew from all his lodges because of
the enforcement of the Papal Bull in Ireland and, on 19th April, 1837, the
following letter from his pen appeared in the "Pilot" newspaper of London:
Editor of the 'Pilot:'
"Sir, - A
paragraph has been going the rounds of the Irish newspapers purporting to have
my sanction, and stating that I had been at one time Master of a Masonic lodge
in Dublin and still continue to belong to that society.
since received letters addressed to me as a Freemason and feel it incumbent on
me to state the real facts.
true that I was a Freemason and a Master of a lodge. It was at a very early
period of my life and either before ecclesiastical censure had been published
in the Catholic Church in Ireland prohibiting the taking of the Masonic oaths,
or, at least, before I was aware of that censure. I now wish to state that,
having become acquainted with it, I submitted to its influence and many, very
many, years ago unequivocally renounced Freemasonry. I offered the late
Archbishop, Dr. Troy, to make that renunciation public, but he deemed it
unnecessary. I am not sorry to have this opportunity of doing so.
"Freemasonry in Ireland may be said to have (apart from its oaths) no evil
tendency, save as far as it may counteract in some degree the exertions of
those most laudable institutions - deserving of every encouragement - the
great, the important objection is this - the profane taking in vain the awful
name of the Deity - in the wanton and multiplied taking of oaths - of oaths
administered on the Book of God, either in mockery or derision, or with a
solemnity which renders the taking of them, without any adequate motive, only
the more criminal. This objection, which, perhaps, I do not state strongly
enough, is alone abundantly sufficient to prevent any serious Christian from
belonging to that body.
having been dragged before the public on this subject it is, I think, my duty
to prevent any person supposing that he was following my example in taking
oaths which I now certainly would not take, and, consequently, being a
Freemason, which I certainly would not now be.
the honour to be,
next meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, on the 4th May following,
attention was drawn to the letter by Deputy Grand Master White, when two
resolutions were proposed, the first that a committee be appointed to take
into consideration the letter and to report on the same to a subsequent
meeting of the Grand Lodge; the second, or, rather, the amendment, was that
the Grand Secretary be instructed to write Mr. Daniel O'Connell to ascertain
if he was the author of the letter in question, or, in other words, to make
certain of the genuineness of the communication. The amendment was passed by
a large majority, and O'Connell's reply to the query of the Grand Secretary
was short, but to the point. He merely wrote in his own hand:
"I am the
author of the letter above alluded to.
it was proposed, seconded, and carried by the Grand Lodge of Ireland without a
Brother Daniel O'Connell formerly of Lodge 189 be excluded from all the rights
and benefits of Freemasonry," the ground being the misleading character of the
regard to Dr. Troy, whose name was mentioned in Daniel O'Connell's letter, it
has been frequently stated in the public press, particularly of the period at
which O'Connell wrote, that Dr. Troy, the Archbishop, and Dr. Tuohy, the Roman
Catholic Bishop of Limerick, were both respected members of the Order. The
Freemasons Quarterly Review of 1842 said that "it was at a levee at the Duke
of Richmond's court, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, that the secret was
discovered. As Dr. Troy was standing near the vice-regal chair, he happened,
by mere accident, to make one of the old-cherished signs which was caught up
by another brother, who immediately responded. An introduction took place
immediately after and in the course of the conversation which followed, Dr.
Troy said, 'You shall ever find me Brother Troy, but not as priest or
bishop."' The Rev. John Thaer, a native of Boston, U. S. A., formerly a
dissenting minister, but afterwards a Roman Catholic priest in Limerick, was
also a Freemason.
publicity given to O'Connell's letter seems to have instigated a series of
petty persecutions, or, as they may be appropriately termed, "pin-pricks." On
27th March, 1842, to quote one illustration, the parishioners of St. Michael's
Roman Catholic Church were, publicly cautioned not to attend the Masonic ball
to be held in aid of the Masonic Orphan Charity on the following Thursday
"under penalty of exposure and denunciation from the altar" on the following
Sunday, when the names of those attending would be duly published.
about this time that the Archbishop of Tuam addressed the following letter to
the Rev. J.U. McDonough, a Roman Catholic priest in Canada:
dear sir: - Having been informed by you that there are in Canada some
misguided Catholics who would strive to justify the practices of Freemasonry,
scruple not to assert that it was sanctioned by priests and Bishops in
Ireland, allow me to tell you that this was never the case; and that these men
are only aggravating their disobedience to the Church by the additional guilt
of calumny. I have had extensive acquaintance, not only with the present race
of ecclesiastics, but also with some of those venerable men of more ancient
standing, some of whom are no more, and I can confidently state that neither
in this city, nor in any other part of Ireland, was the bond of Masonry
sanctioned by any portion of the clergy. That Freemasons' lodges were then
more numerous and frequent than now, may be true; but their existence, in
contempt and defiance of the repeated denunciations of the clergy, cannot be
brought as an argument of their sanction of the same, more than the prevalence
of other evils against which they do not cease to raise their voices, could be
adduced as a proof of similar connivance."
Francis Xavier Carnana, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rhodes and Bishop of
Malta, issued a Pastoral Letter against Freemasonry, which he ordered to be
posted on the doors of, and read in, every Roman Catholic Church in Malta.
The Letter, which is a vile document and speaks for itself, was as follows:
Franciscus Xaverius Carnana, Venerabilibus Fratribus et Dilectis, Capitulo,
Clero, Populoque Diocesis Melitensis, salutem in Domino Sempiternam.
it to be a duty of our pastoral ministry to conceal as much as possible such
sins as may be committed by a few persons in secret, so that the bad example
of these may not be known to, or followed by, other, to the scandal of the
Church and corruption of good manners. Up to this period this policy has been
followed by us, for our ecclesiastical doctrine teaches us through the Holy
Spirit, to listen for a time silently, and meanwhile search diligently: audi
tacens simul et quaerens.
draw your attention to that iniquitous congregation, that detestable lodge;
for we are at a loss by what epithet to denounce a meeting held in a building
in an obscure corner of the city of Senglea. After long suffering, we are
still grieved to see that the several means which, with evangelical prudence,
we have hitherto adopted to overturn and eradicate this pernicious society
have proved futile; so that at length we feel ourselves under the necessity of
publicly, loudly, and energetically raising our voice to exhort, in the name
of our Lord, all our beloved diocesans, to keep far away from this infernal
meeting, whose object is nothing less than to loosen every divine and human
tie, and to destroy, if possible, the very foundation of the Catholic Church.
We also threaten with the thunders of that Church any persons who, unhappily
for them, may belong to any secret society, whether as a member, or in any way
connected with, helping or favouring, directly or indirectly, such society or
any of its acts.
anguish of heart, heard long ago, almost immediately on its first assemblage,
of the creation of this diabolical lodge, and being very desirous that the
land under our spiritual dominion (these islands of Malta and Gozo) should
continue in ignorance of what was doing under the veil of darkness, in an
obscure part of the city of Senglea, by a few ill-advised individuals, and
that none of our flock should by chance, or from motives of interest, be
tempted to join this pestilential pulpit of iniquity and error - we have as
yet only adopted the evangelical advice of secretly warning and admonishing,
leaping always that the attacks made on the human and divine laws established
among us mislit be foiled, and become harmless; but seeing now, that, in spite
of all our silent workings, the meetings of this lodge still continue, we
openly, and with all that apostolic frankness, characteristic of the Catholic
clergy, in the name of God Almighty, and of His only true Roman Catholic and
Apostolic Church, and authorized as we are expressly by the papal authority,
denounce, proscribe, and condemn in the most public manner, the instalment,
union, meetings, and all the proceedings of this lodge of abominations; as
being diametrically opposed to our sacred Catholic religion, as destructive to
every celestial law, every mundane authority, contradictory to every
evangelical maxim, and as tending to disorganize, put to flight, and utterly
destroy whatever of religion, of honesty, and all good there may be in the
Holy Catholic Faith, or among our peaceful citizens, under the deceitful veil
of novelty, of a badly understood philanthropy, and a specious freedom.
therefore believe it to be our duty, most beloved diocesans, to address you
under these deplorable circumstances; to encite you to entertain the most
profound horror and the deepest antagonism for this lodge, union, or society,
which endeavours, although as yet in vain, to vomit hell against, to
stigmatize the immaculate purity of our sacred Catholic religion. Its
pernicious orgies anticipate the overthrow of that Order which reigns on
earth, promote an unbridled freedom of action, unchecked by law, for the
gratification of the most depraved and disorderly passions. Do not allow
yourselves to be deceived by their seducing language, which proffers humanity
fraternal love, but, in reality, tends to discord, universal anarchy, and
total ruin, the destruction of all religion, and the subversion of every
philanthropic establishment. Their agents industriously hide their malignant
intentions by deceitful and never-to-be-redeemed promises. The great
solicitude evinced to conceal every action of this society under a mask will
make you distrust its word, for honourable undertakings are always manifest
and open, courting observation and inquiry; sins and iniquities alone bury
themselves in secrecy and obscurity.
of families, and you, also, to whom is entrusted the education of youth, be
diligent and be careful of your precious charge; see that they be not
contaminated by this plague spot, which, although now confined to one
domicile, yet threatens to spread the pestilence amongst us; scrutinize the
books they read, examine the character of their associates. It is a
well-known practice of this secret society to seduce over youth, under the
specious pretext of communicating to them, disinterestedly, scientific
knowledge. Flee, then, O beloved diocesans, as from the face of a venomous
serpent, the society, the very neighbourhood of, and all connection with these
tutors of impiety, who wish to confound light and darkness, trying, if
possible, to obscure the former, and make you embrace and follow the latter.
You cannot possibly gain anything good from disturbers of rule and order, who
show no veneration for God and His religion, no esteem for any authority,
ecclesiastical or civil: - men, deceitful and fashioning, who, under a show of
social honesty, and a warm love for their species, are stirring up an
atrocious war with all that can render human society honourable, happy and
them as so many pernicious individuals, to whom Pope Leo XII, in his
often-repeated Bulls, ordered that none should give hospitality, not even a
of such persons, bring around you honest and just men, who give 'unto God that
which is God's and unto Caesar that which is Caesar's,' endeavouring to do
their duty to God and to their neighbour.
we absolutely prohibit persons of any grade or condition from having any
connection with this lodge, from cooperating, even indirectly, in its
establishment or extension. We order them to prevent others from frequenting
it, or giving to its members a place of meeting, under any pretext. We place
every one under an obligation to denounce to us all persons who may belong to
this lodge in any capacity, either as members or agents of a secret union,
founded by the devil himself.
Valettae, in Palatio nostro Archiepiscopali, die 14 Octobris, 1843."
be explained that the lodge referred to was the Union of Malta, No. 407, which
was constituted in Bermola in 1832, although the first minute extant is dated
3rd November, 1840. It was removed to Senglea in 1843, where, as evidenced in
the foregoing remarkable epistle, it aroused the ire of the Roman Catholic
Bishop. On the publication of Bishop Carnana's Apostolic Letter, the
secretary of the lodge wrote to the Chief Secretary of the Malta Government,
lodging a formal complaint, in which communication he said:
our proceedings in this matter officially known to you, not as a Fraternity of
Freemasons, well knowing that as such we are not recognized by the government,
but as British subjects entitled to be protected by the law from molestation."
following communication was also sent to the Grand Secretary of England:
and Brother:- The Right Reverend the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rhodes and
Bishop of Malta, Don Francis Scaverius Carnana, having recently issued a
pastorale, the object of which was to prohibit and suppress the meetings of
Freemasons and other secret societies, and which pastorale is more
particularly directed against the Union Lodge, 588 established at Senoea, one
of the suburbs of Valetta, Malta, holding their warrant from the United Grand
Lodge of London:
meeting of the brothers was held at their lodge on Monday, the 13th instant,
when the following resolutions were unanimously passed:
That in consequence of the publication of a pastorale by the Roman Catholic
Bishop of Malta on the 14th ultimo, tending to bring into disrespect the
Masonic body and endeavour to suppress their meetings, it is imperiously
necessary to appeal to the United Grand Lodge in London for such assistance
and aid as the circumstances of the case may, in their opinion, call for.
That the original document, if procurable, together with a translation of the
same, be forwarded to the Worshipful Pro Grand Master, for his perusal, with
as little delay as possible.
That, knowing the feelings of her Majesty's Judges to be opposed to, the
proceedings of Freemasons, no attempt at redress shall be sought in the Malta
courts of law.
pursuance of the above resolutions, we beg to forward for the perusal of the
Worshipful Pro Grand Master copy of the original document, and a translation
of the same, praying that effectual assistance from him which the case so
of the W. M., at the united request of the officers and brethren of the Malta
Brother Wm. White G.S.,
Grand Lodge of England, London.
15th November, 1843,
answers to those communications have hot, however, been placed on record.
in his Encyclical Letter, Qui pluribus, dated 9th November, 1846, Pope Pius IX
did, not refer to the Freemasons by name; it is undoubtedly to that body that
his fulminations are directed when he says:
already know, Venerable Brethren, that there are other deceits and frightful
errors with which the children of this age contend against the Catholic
religion, and the divine authority and regulations of the Church, and
endeavour to trample under foot all laws, as well of the Church as of the
State. Such is the tendency of those wicked enterprises which have been
undertaken against this Roman See of Blessed Peter, in which Christ laid the
impregnable foundation of His Church. Such is the aim of those secret
societies which have emerged from their obscurity to devastate and destroy all
that is most venerable, both in the Church and in the State, and which have
been repeatedly anathematized and condemned by the Roman Pontiffs, our
predecessors, in Apostolic Letters, which anathemas, in the plentitude of our
Apostolic authority, confirm and command to be diligently obeyed."
interesting to know that these "secret societies" are in this Encyclical
Letter placed on the same level of iniquity as "those most crafty Bible
Societies, which, reviving the old device of the heretics, do not cease to put
forth an immense number of copies of the books of the Sacred Scriptures,
printed in various vulgar tongues, and often filled with false and perverse
interpretations, contrary to the rules of the Holy Church, which they
continually circulate at an immense expense and force upon all sorts of
interesting to note that, notwithstanding the many Papal Bulls and
Encyclicals, the register of the Grand Orient of Lusitania has the names of
the Archbishop of Evora and D. Januaire, Bishop-elect of Castello Branco, as
being present on the occasion of the election of a successor to the Comte de
Tomar, Grand Master.
Popes, from the time of Leo XII have condemned all secret societies, but,
apparently, despite the specific character of the condemnation, this
prohibition did not extend to societies limited in membership to members of
the Roman Catholic Church, or formed for the propagation of aims sanctioned
directly or indirectly by the authorities of that Church. 'History records
the formation of many such societies, originating after the date of the first
sweeping condemnation. About 1850, or earlier, there was formed in Portugal a
secret society which was called the Order of St. Michael of Ala. This Order,
according to the first article of its Statutes was essentially secret,
militant, and political. It had for its aim, according to its articles, the
maintenance of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman faith, and the restoration
of the Portuguese legitimacy. One of its political means of action was
recourse to arms when necessary. Its members took an oath or obligation to
preserve inviolably the secrets of the members and the things done in and out
of lodge. The Order consisted of several degrees: Novices, Chevaliers,
Commanders, Grand Crogs, Master, and Grand Master. Each group of Novices,
with its Chevalier, formed a College; a group of Chapters, with a Commander,
formed a Chapter; a group of Chapters, with a Grand Cross, formed a Province,
of which the Masters and Grand Master were the Superiors. This elaborate
constitution notwithstanding the fact that the Popes and Catholics generally
accuse Freemasonry of being secret and say to Freemasons, "If the acts which
you practice in association are innocent, why do you stipulate for secrecy?"
Or, as Dr. Cullen, in his Lenten Pastoral of 1859, said: "As secret societies
are the cause of the greatest evils to religion, tending to promote impiety
and incredulity, and are most hostile to the public good, the Catholic Church
has solemnly excommunicated all her children who engage in them. Hence, no
Catholic can be absolved who is a Freemason, a Ribbonman, or enroled in any
other secret society."
11th February, 1857, at a meeting of the Grand Lodge of England, presided over
by the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, the Earl of Carnarvon moved: "That the
Grand Lodge having seen with regret the antagonistic position assumed by the
Roman Catholic Church towards Masonry, desires the Board of General Purposes
to draw up a statement of the principles of the Order, that the same may be
sent to the Masters of all lodges under the Grand Lodge of England in Roman
Catholic countries, to be used by them as they shall think fit." After much
discussion, however, the motion was negatived, and if comment may be made upon
the outcome, may it not be said that the negative decision was a wise one.
The Earl of Carnarvon, however, speaking at Stonehouse the following month,
said that at Malta, the Mauritius, Trinidad, and Hong Kong Freemasons had been
deprived of their civil and religious privileges and had been interdicted from
baptism, marriage, and burial by the Roman Catholic clergy.
Freemasonry was introduced into the Republic of Ecuador by the Grand Orient of
Peru, which organized lodges in Guayaquil and Quito. Three years later, the
Dictator, Garcia Moreno, sought admission into the Fraternity. His
application was refused on account of his notoriously immoral character; and,
in revenge, he called in the Jesuits, who ruthlessly suppressed all the
lodges. Moreno was assassinated in 1875, but twelve months elapsed before the
population were able to shake off the oppressive yoke of the priesthood.
full ripeness of His Time,
His vast prepotenices
round their grace-work to the prime
shall see the plan sublime
conquers all things,
is expensive - Gibson
WOLF JOINS THE MITAWIN
ALANSON B. SKINNER, WISCONSIN
Alanson B. Skinner is one of the most widely known of the younger
anthropologists and his numerous books and scientific articles have secured
for him an international reputation. He has traveled extensively and made
detailed studies of the Indian race from the Isthmus of Panama to Hudson Bay.
With the natural instincts of a Mason seeking "more light" he has joined
numerous Indian fraternities and participated in their rites. He is the
recognized authority on the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin and has published
three interesting works covering their material culture, social organization
ceremonies and mythology. His book on the "medicine ceremonies" of the
northern forest Indians has just been published by the Museum of the American
Indian of New York City. His services have been given to the American Museum
of Natural History, the Museum of the American Indian and to the Public Museum
of Milwaukee. In the last named he is now Assistant Curator.
article that follows, Brother Skinner relates an account of one of the
initiatory ceremonies that he has experienced. In explaining the article he
states that his story is a combination of two or three experiences rather than
of one, though for the convenience of the article he has written it as of one
LODGE OF THE MASTER
MATCIKINEU, the Terrible Eagle, sat dozing in the dusk in his round rush-mat
wigwam. The fire smouldered, but random drafts slipping in through the
swinging mat that covered the door encouraged little dancing flames to spring
up, and these illuminated the far interior of the lodge, so that it was
possible to observe its furnishings down to the mustiest cranny. Around the
inner circumference of the wigwam ran a broad, rustic bench, supported by
forked sticks and thickly strewn with balsam boughs on which lay bearskin
robes. The inner wall of the home was hung with woven reed mats, bearing
curious, antique designs in angular figures and conventional floral motifs.
Over Terrible Eagle's head, on smoke-stained poles, swung several mat-covered
oval bundles, festooned with age-blackened gourd rattles, war clubs, and
utensils and weapons of unusual portent. These were his sacred war and hunting
bundles, packets of charms whose use and accompanying formulae he had obtained
personally from the gods, while fasting, or purchased at a great price from
others more fortunate than he. For Terrible Eagle was a renowned partisan or
war leader, a hunter, and the greatest of all Matc Mitawuk, or Masters of the
Grand Medicine Society, a secret fraternal and medical organization, to which,
in one form or another, nearly every Indian of influence in all the Great
Lakes and Central Western region belongs.
covering was quietly thrust aside and Anam, a wolf-like dog, trotted in to
curl up by the fire, while after him, first dropping a load of faggots from
her shoulders, stumbled Wabano-mitamu, the Dawn Woman, wife of Terrible Eagle,
who crouched down grumbling to enter the lodge and turned on her time-gnarled
knees to drag kindlings in after her.
the noise, Terrible Eagle stretched and yawned, then reached over his head and
took down a calabash shell rattle, and began to shake it gently, while Dawn
Woman shoved aside the birch-bark boxes that cluttered the floor, stirred up
the fire in the round, shallow pit where it was glowing, and set among the hot
embers a large, round, deep, pointed-bottomed kettle of brown earthenware, the
base of which she screwed into the ashes by a quick circular motion of the
rim. Into this she poured some water from a birchbark pail; when it began to
simmer she added a quantity of wild rice, smoked meat, and as dried berries,
which she stirred with an elaborately carved wooden paddle. The random swish
of Terrible Eagle's rattle now began to articulate itself in the form of a
tune, the motif of which might have been borrowed from the night babblings and
murmurings of a woodland trout brook. It rose in hissing cadences like the
prattle of water racing down the stony riffles; it fell to the purring
monotone of a little fall burbling into a deep pool. Then, suddenly, Terrible
Eagle raised his voice in song - a song without meaning to the uninitiated -
without merit to the ears of youths and lovers - yet a song potent with the
powers of manitous and ancient as the pine forests.
manituk, hawatukuk, ke'neaminum" - "You, my gods, I am singing to you!"
kina, ketcinau!" "Look you, old fellow," cried the Dawn Woman, squatting
beside her cooking, "why do you sing that sacred song? There is no need to
rehearse the chants of the manitous when ice binds the rivers and snow
blankets the land! When new life dawns with the grass blades in the spring,
then we will need to refresh our memories; not now, while the gods sleep like
- silence, - old partner! You do not know everything! Even now there comes one
seeking the knowledge of the path our brethren and fellows have trod before
us. Listen !"
was hushed; outside the heavy silence of the Wisconsin forest in midwinter
oppressed the ears. Then came the crunch and squeak of approaching snowshoes
slipping over the crusted drifts.
Dawn Woman! Prepare the guest place, spread robes behind the fire, dish out a
bowl of soup ! Some one of our people desires to enter!"
ceased before the doorway, and Terrible Eagle, now hunched before the fire,
paused, before dropping a hot coal on the tobacco in his redstone pipe, to bid
the guest to enter.
came the hearty response, and a tall, dark warrior, bareheaded save for a
fillet of otter fur around his brows, ducked under the doorway and silently
passed around the fire, on the left, to the guest place, where he seated
himself, tailorwise, on a pile of robes. He was clad in a plain shirt of
blue-dyed deerskin, deepIy fringed along the seams; in flapping leather
leggings; high, soft-soled moccasins; and a leather apron handsomely
embroidered with colored porcupine quills, wrought in delicate, flowered
figures. He bore no weapon, and on his swarthy cheeks two round spots of red
paint were seen in the firelight.
newcomer had devoured a bowlful of steaming stew with the aid of a huge wooden
ladle, he lay back among the robes, puffing comfortably on a long-stemmed pipe
with bowl of redstone, filled and lighted for him by the old man. As the
cheerful odor of tobacco and kinnikinick permeated the lodge, the stranger
began to speak. He informed the old people that his name was Muhwase, the
Little Wolf, of the Wave clan of the Menominee; that he had come all the way
from Matc Suamako, the Great Sand Bar village on the Green Bay of Lake
Michigan; that the young men had opened their war bundles and danced
preparatory to going to war against the Sauk, but that the latter had heard
the news and fled southward; and ended with all the gossip and tittle-tattle
of his band.
not until Dawn Woman slept and the stars were visible in the winter sky
through the smoke hole of the lodge, that Little Wolf went out abruptly; he
returned bearing a huge bundle which he dumped on the floor at the feet of
Matcikineu and silently took his place on the lounge once more.
trembling hands the old man undid the leathern thongs, unwrapped the bearskin
with which the bundle was enclosed, and spread before him an array of articles
that brought an avaricious sparkle to his red-rimmed eyes.
nekan! Well done, my colleague!" he exclaimed. "These are valuable gifts, and
in the proper number. Four hatchets; four spears; and four knives of the
sacred yellow rock (native copper); four belts of white wampum; and four
garments of tanned deerskin, embroidered with quillwork; and much tobacco.
Surely this gift has a meaning?"
"Grandfather! You to whom nothing is hard," replied the visitor, "It is true
that I am nobody. I am poor - the enemy scarcely know my name. Yet I am
desirous of eating the food of the Medicine Lodge, as all the brethren have
done who have passed this way before me!"
my grandson! I shall call together the three other Pushwawuk, or Masters, for
their consent. What you have asked for may seem as nothing to you - yet it is
life. These songs may appear to partake of the ways of children - yet they are
powerful. I understand you well - you desire to imitate the ways of our own
ancient Grand Master, Ma'nabus, who was slain and brought to life that we
might gain immortality! Good ! You have done well; in the morning I shall send
invitation sticks and tobacco to summon the leaders here, that your
instruction may begin at once!"
It was an
hour after sunset. In the rear of Terrible Eagle's lodge sat Matcikineu and
three other old men, with Little Wolf at their left. Before them lay the pile
of valuable gifts, and on the white tanned skin of an unborn fawn stood the
sacred towaka, or deep drum, hollowed by infinite labor from a short section
of a basswood log, holding two fingers' depth of water, to make its voice
resonant, and covered with a dampened membrane of tanned buck hide. Across its
head was balanced a crooked drumstick, its striking end carved to represent a
loon's beak. Before the drum was placed a wooden bowl-in the shape of a
miniature log canoe, heaped with tobacco, and four shishikwunun, or gourd
rattles with wooden handles, which shone from age and usage. A youth tended
the fire and kept the air redolent with incense of burning sweet grass and
cedar. Dawn Woman and Anam, the dog, guarded the door.
his hands over the sacred articles before them, Terrible Eagle began a prayer
of invocation, calling on the mythical hero and founder of the Medicine Lodge,
Ma'nabus, on the Great Spirit, the Sun, and the Thunderbirds, the good God
Powers or manitous of air and earth, and also upon the Evil Powers who dwell
in and under the earth and waiter hidden in the dismal places of the world, to
appear in spirit and accept the tobacco offered them and dedicate the fees
presented to the instructors.
prayer was ended, all those gathered in the wigwam ejaculated "Hau," and the
other three elders commenced to smoke and listen, while Terrible Eagle began
the instruction by relating the history of the origin of the Medicine Lodge.
Taking the drumstick in his hand, Matcikineu gave four distinct strokes on the
drum and recited in a rhythmic, but solemn tone, hushing his voice to a
whisper when it became necessary to mention any great Power by name.
how Mate Hawatuk, the Great Spirit, sat alone in the Heavenly Void above the
ever extending sea and willed that an island (the world) should appear there;
how he further willed that there should spring up upon this island an old
woman, who was known as "Our Grandmother, the Earth," who was the earth
personified. He recited how the Earth Grandmother, through a divine mystery
gave birth to a daughter; how the Four Winds, desiring to be born as men,
entered this daughter's body and how, when the hour of their birth came, so
great was their power, the mother was torn to death and they were not born.
This made women forever after liable to death in travail.
related Terrible Eagle, our Earth Grandmother gathered up the shattered pieces
of her daughter, and placed them under an inverted wooden bowl, and prayed,
and on the fourth day, through the pity of the Great Spirit, the fragments
were changed into a little rabbit, who was named Mate Wabus, or the Great
Hare, since corrupted into "Ma'nabus," who was to prepare the world for human
Rabbit grew in human form to man's estate, when he was given as a companion
and younger brother a little wolf, but the Powers Below, being jealous, slew
the wolf brother. Then, Ma'nabus in his wrath attacked them, and, being the
child of the Great Spirit, they could not resist him. In fear the Evil Powers
restored his younger brother to life, but, since he had been dead four days,
the flesh clave from his bones and he stank, and Ma'nabus, in sorrow, refused
to receive him and sent him to rule the souls of the dead in the After World
at the end of the Milky Way in the Western Heavens. Hence, human beings may
not come back to life on the fourth day.
wits' end to appease Ma'nabus, the Evil Ones called on the Powers Above who
are of good portent. They erected a Medicine Lodge on the high hilltops,
oblong, rectangular, facing east and west. The Power of the Winds roofed it
with blue sky and white clouds. The pole framework was bound with living,
hissing serpents instead of basswood strings; the food for feasting was
seasoned with a pinch of the blue sky itself. Then the Powers entered. The
gods of Evil took the north side where darkness and cold abide; the good
Powers Above sat on the south. Then they all stripped off the animal natures
with which they were disguised and hung them on the wall of the lodge, and all
appeared in their true forms, as aged persons.
council, guided by the admonitions of the Great Spirit, they decided to give
to Ma'nabus tho ritual of the lodge, with its secret - long life and
immortality for mankind - as a bribe to cease his molestation. But Ma'nabus
refused to receive their message, until the otter volunteered to go and bring
him, when he came, and was duly instructed and raised, by being slain and
brought to life again, thus showing the great potency of the Powers who opened
very ceremony, just as it was given Ma'nabus and later transferred to his
uncles and aunts, the Indians, with its rites, rituals, formulae, medicines,
and secrets, is the same," concluded Terrible Eagle, "as we perform today, as
all the brethren and fellows have done who passed this way before us, since
the Menominee came out of the ground in the dim mystical past."
ended the old man struck the drum four times, crying, "My colleagues, my
colleagues, my colleagues, my colleagues!"
Terrible Eagle had concluded his part, there was a recess for refreshment and
relaxation, which lasted until each had smoked. Then another old pushwao or
master, took up the work. He related to the candidate the identity of the
Powers Above and Below who had given the Medicine Lodge to mankind through
Ma'nabus. There were, he said, four groups of Evil Powers, who sat on the
north side of the lodge. First were the Otter, Mink, Marten, and Weasel;
second the Bear, Panther, Wolf, and Horned Owl; third the Banded Rattlesnake,
the little Prairie Rattlesnake, the Pine Snake, and the Hognosed Snake. The
fourth group was composed of lesser birds and beasts. The Upper World, which
had not offended Ma'nabus, was not so well represented, and was composed of
various predatory birds, such as the Red Shouldered and Sparrow Hawks. These
sat on the south side, and in ancient days human lodge members had been seated
according to the nature of their medicine bags.
of any of these animals might be used as containers or sacks for the secret
nostrums of the craft, but the Dog and Fox, which were formerly associated
with the Wolf, had by their cunning and their custom of eating filth and
carrion, become too closely associated with witchcraft and were now taboo.
master then told the candidate that each of these animals had severally
donated some special power to aid mankind. Thus the weasel gave cunning and
ferocity in war and the chase; the snapping turtle, probably one of the vague
fourth group of Evil Powers, had given his heart which beats long after it is
torn from his bosom to grant long life. Each animal had four songs sung in his
honor during the session of the lodge, said the elder, and the third
instructor would teach these to the candidate.
master informed his pupil that in his opinion the Medicine Lodge and its rites
were found far to the east, in the country by the Great Sea where the dawn
rises, for he had once met a party of warriors from the far-off Nottowhy or
Iroquois, who spoke of a society and its ritual given them by the animals,
which had for its object long life and immortality for men.
Woman now fetched steaming rice and fat venison, marrow bones, and dried
berries, and the little party feasted. The hour was very late; yet none
thought of sleep. After the feast the third elder did his part.
selected a calabash rattle, and, sometimes rattling, sometimes drumming an
accompaniment, taught the songs of the lodge to Little Wolf. There were songs
of opening and songs of closing, as well as the animal songs, each repeated
four times - the sacred number - and each in groups of four. Each was made
obscure and unintelligible to eavesdroppers by the addition of nonsense
syllables. Some, indeed, were so ancient and so clouded by vocables that
nothing but their general meaning was remembered even by the brethren. These
passed for songs in a secret magic language. Some chants were in other
languages, particularly Ojibway, and all ended with the mystic phrase,
"We-ho-ho-ho-ho," which meant, "So mote it be." The songs had titles, but
these names, too, were magic, and often gave no inkling of the meaning or
wording of the song, and most of them avoided naming the animals or gods to
which they referred, except by circumlocution or by merely mentioning some
prominent characteristic or attribute of the creature.
were songs for the "shooting of the medicine" - an act which was so secret and
mysterious that the candidate was as yet kept in the dark as to its meaning, -
and others for dancing, for thanksgiving, and for dedication.
third elder had ended his synopsis of the songs, which the candidate had later
to purchase and learn at leisure, the fourth and last past master took him in
hand. His part, he said, was short, yet important. He showed the neophyte
certain paraphernalia which the candidate would be ceremonially given when the
proper time and place were at hand. The articles the eider had provided were
the tanned skin of an otter, the nostrils of which were stuffed with tufts of
red-dyed hawk down; the under surfaces of the four feet and tail were adorned
with fringed rectangles of blue-dyed doe leather, embroidered with
conventional flower designs in colored porcupine hair and quills. This was to
be the medicine bag of the new member. Through an opening - a slit in the
chest of the otter - one could thrust one's hand and find in the little pouch
made by the skin of the left forefoot of the animal a small sea shell, called
the Konapamik, or medicine arrow, by which the essence of all the sacred
objects contained in the bag was ceremonially "shot" or transferred to the
bodies of a members' lodge brethren during the performance of the ritual.
skin contained three other medicines. These were sacred, blue face paint, the
color of the sky; a mysterious brown powder holding a seed, wrapped in a
packet with a fresh water clamshell; and another mixture of pounded roots
called "the reviver," or "apisetchikun."
clamshell was a sacred ancient cup, in which the accompanying powder and seed
were placed with a little water and given to all candidates to drink. The
mystic seed was supposed to be the badge of the Medicine Lodge and was to
remain in the candidate's breast, forever, even until he had followed the
pathway of the dead along the Milky Way to that bourne from which no traveler
returns, eternal in the heavens.
apisetchikun, or reviver, was a powerful drug for use at all times when life
ebbed low, through sickness or magic.
then," said the last instructor, "are the ways and sacred things of Ma'nabus,
given us Indians to have and to use, as long as the world shall stand!"
saying, he in turn retired, and the party rolled in their blankets to sleep
before the sun could look in through the smoke hole of the wigwam.
the season when buds burst and the young owls, hatched while the snow was yet
on the ground, were already taking their prey. The discordant croaking of the
frogs came as a roar from the marshlands. The arbutus was blooming.
on the top of a warm, sunny knoll was an oblong, dome-roofed structure of
poles, covered with bark and rush mats. It was oriented east and west, and its
length, a full hundred feet, contrasted oddly with its breadth of twenty.
the evening of the fourth day of the Mitawiwin, or Medicine ceremony. The
preceding three days and nights had been spent by the four masters, led by
Terrible Eagle, in preparing Little Wolf within a room formed by curtaining
off one end of the lodge proper; in giving him his ceremonial sweat bath of
purification; and in hanging the initiation fees - four sets of valuable
goods: clothing, robes, weapons, copper utensils -on the ridgepole at the
eastern end of the lodge, and in dedicating them.
sun set the four old men and the candidate entered the lodge, followed by the
men and women of the tribe who were already members of the society. Going in
at the eastern door the procession filed along the north side, and passing
once regularly around, the people seated themselves on the right of the door,
with the candidate on the west side of them, next to Terrible Eagle.
having largely passed in quiescence and instruction, towards dawn an officer
of the lodge approached Little Wolf and stood before him, facing the east.
Thrusting his hand into his medicine bag he drew forth his sacred clamshell
cup and the powder containing the seed, which he compounded into a drink,
while he sang a song called "What Otter Keeps."
preparing the thing that was hung (the little seed), and that which was hung
had finished and Little Wolf had swallowed the draft, this officer retired,
and another came forward and took his place, singing. As he ended, he stooped
over, coughed, and retched violently until he cast forth a sea shell; this he
held in the palm of his hand, and, chanting, displayed it to the east, west,
south, and north, and then caused Little Wolf to swallow it that it might
remain in his body forever, the Symbol of immortality, and the badge of a
lodge member. When this had been accomplished the assistant gave place to a
third, who sang his four songs and painted the candidate's face with the
sacred, blue paint. Then a fourth and last assistant came before the candidate
and the masters, bearing an otter skin medicine bag, which he laid at Little
Wolf's feet, while he sang four songs concerning Ottel, the most famous of
which was entitled Yom Mitawakeu, or "This Medicine Land," but which held no
reference to otters whatever!
old men conducted the candidate four times regularly around the lodge, while
they related to him somewhat of the story of the ancient Master Ma'nabus, whom
he now represented. On the last circuit Terrible Eagle led him to a seat near
the western end of the lodge and there placed him with face toward the east,
remaining with the candidate, standing behind, and holding his shoulders.
and women seated around the walls of the lodge sat tense. The silence was
unbroken, save for the woods' noises outside; the great dramatic moment had
assistant masters, who had just performed before Little Wolf, now assembled in
the east, facing him, and the first, taking his medicine bag in his two hands
and holding it breast high before his body, sang to the rapid beat of the drum
a song entitled "Shooting the New Member." At its end he gave the usual sacred
cry of "We-ho-ho-ho-ho," blew on the head of the otter skin, and rushed
forward as though to attack the candidate.
of the neophyte impersonator of the ancient hero the attacker paused and
jerked the head of his otter upward, crying savagely, "Ya ha ha ha ha!" The
magical essence of the bag supposedly striking the candidate, he staggered
slightly, but was steadied by his faithful friend, only to meet the feigned
attacks of the second and third assistants, at each of which he reeled once
more. But the charge of the fourth fellow was so violent that the candidate
fell flat on the ground. Stooping, the last man laid the medicine bag across
the back of the apparently unconscious brother, to be his thereafter. At a
sign from Terrible Eagle the four assistants approached the prostrate
candidate, and, raising him to his feet, shook him gently to remove their
shots and restore him to life.
all was rejoicing. Steaming earthen kettles, filled with delicious stews and
soups of bear and turtle flesh, partridges, and young ducks, were carried in.
Laughing, jesting, and good-natured banter filled the lodge until the last
wooden bowl was scraped clean, when the utensils and scraps were carried out
and the drummer struck up a lively dancing tune. After the men and women had
had each four sets of songs, a general dance took place, wherein the members
circled the lodge, the new brother among them, shooting each other
promiscuously with jollity, vying with each other to rise and point their bags
or fall prone on the earth. All the time a loud and lively chant was sung:
through them! I pass through them! I pass through even the chief!"
take part, invisible though ye be beneath us!"
was over, and Keso, the sun, was almost noon high, the four assistants took
down the initiation fees from the ridgepole and distributed them to the four
old masters and the others who had taken prominent part in the ceremonial, and
all the Indians filed out of the western door, singing:
brethren, I pass my hand over you! I thank you!"
the Little Wolf, watched the last of his erstwhile companions strike their
camps; saw the coverings stripped from the lodge structure; saw the last party
vanish in the brush.
He was a
Mitao! A member of a great fraternal organization, who might travel westward
to the foothills of the Rockies, north to the barren lands, south to the
countries of the Iowa and Oto, east to the land of the Iroquois, and find
brethren who had traveled the same road, or at least one fundamentally
similar. He had shown his fortitude and fidelity, those two great cardinal
virtues of the Medicine Lodge, and he had come through the sacred mysteries
alive and in possession of the secret rites that had been handed down by word
of mouth since the days when the Menominee first came out of the ground !
way to learn how to do a thing is to do it.
would learn, to run an automobile, get behind a steering wheel and put your
foot on the brake.
would learn how to play baseball, put on a mit and take your turn at bat.
Edison says we learn how to do more things in the first six years of life than
in all remaining years.
reason for this is that as children we aren't afraid to tackle anything.
would apply the same will power to our tasks in later life that we applied in
learning to walk we could make a success of everything.
tackling a new job the only way to proceed is to roll up your sleeves, and do
the job itself. It will do you little good to discuss the job abstractedly. In
three hours of actual conflict with the problems you will learn more than in
three weeks of conversation with your predecessor.
men recognize this principle. Officers spend the best part of a life-time
studying the art of war as an abstract proposition. One year of actual warfare
teaches them more than a life-time of study. In the roar of the battle the
"peacetime" general is retired.
beginning to recognize this principle in our educational system. Purely
academic studies are being supplemented by practical work in elementary, high
school and college curriculums.
inner side of every cloud
And so I
turn my clouds about
always wear them inside out
COMACINES --- THEIR PREDECESSORS AND THEIR SUCCESSORS
W. RAVENSCROFT, ENGLAND
PASSING from these four worthies, it may with safety be said they were
undoubtedly the patron saints of the most important section of the building
communities during the splendour of medieval operatve masonry, and until the
period of its decay. We come now to what may be considered the central and
most important part of our study, and shifting the scene from Rome - that city
of splendour, with its teeming population, many times larger than in the
present day, its pomp, luxury, and pride - we find ourselves on a little
lonely, but very lovely island, in what is perhaps the most lovely lake in all
Europe, the Island of Comacina in the Lake of Como. It is, I believe, the
only island the lake possesses, and rising abruptly from its blue-green
waters, covered with foliage, all but uninhabited, it rests on the bosom of
the lake in spring like an emerald gem.
side the shores of the lake slope sharply up and up, rich in foliage of varied
tints and plentifully dotted with villages, all picturesque and all teeming
with associations of the past in architecture, legend, and old customs, which
survive to the present day; while away to the north-east over Bellagio and
beyond lie the snow-topped mountains which link on the scene to the great
Alpine ranges. To stand on an elevated part of this little island, so near
the mainland, yet so far removed from the sound of human voice or industry
(its silence, indeed, broken only by the song of birds, a not too common thing
in Italy at the present day, however plentiful such may have been in the days
of St. Francis) and to look east west north south - whether bathed in glorious
sunshine with every detail reflected in the water of the lake as in a mirror,
or when the black clouds roll up from the mountains and sweep down upon the
lake, the thunder breaking on the stillness and echoing from hill to hill - is
a thing not to be forgotten; and then to think of its story, of the past,
equally characterized with sunshine and tempest, and the great influence the
men of this tiny island exercised on Western Europe, is to realize that here
is one of the rare spots where Nature and man have combined to put their
indebted to Dr. Santo Monti of Como for some interesting notes he kindly lent
me, relating to the island, from which, by his permission, I extract the
following: "The isle itself, called Cristopoli by the Longobards, measures
about a mile in circumference, 'and has a long, glorious, and sad history. . .
. There were monuments which dated as far back as to the fifth century of our
era. Now the island is nearly abandoned, uncultivated, and contains a few
vestiges of the old fortifications and the churches. The population of the
island must have been extremely numerous then, according to the chronicles;
the churches thereon were not less than nine (chapels and oratories
included). One of them was dedicated to S. Euphemia with a chapter of twelve
canons, including Bishop Litigerio, in 1031. Of all these churches only the
remnants of three are left. One of them is at the east end of the isle, it
has been heightened a story and actually serves as a barn or shed for the
cattle; the ancient part of it inside as well as outside is of well-wrought
stone, so closely combined (especially inside) that it seems of a single
piece. The portion of the outside wall is decorated with semicireular arches
alternately supported by 'Mensolac' and vertical cords, with capitals of
cubicular form and square bases. Under the last of these arches there is a
window. The church with the north facade finished in two equal absides, with
a window towards east in each; outside the choir presents a sole semicircle
(which contains the two absides).
second remnant, little rising above the earth, is that of a very spacious
edifice called the Dome, and the spot where it stood still conserves the name,
but no other traces remain of it. Judging by the foundation it must have been
solidly constructed. A little farther toward the north are the vestiges of
the third, consisting of the choir, which, semicircular in shape, is decorated
with the cord design (vertically) composed alternately of stone and 'terra
cuite.' The bases of these cords is simple flat stone. The inside of the
edifice is filled with debris. In one of these nine churches, probably in the
one dedicated to S. Euphemia, there was a marble slab 1.84 x 0.70 metres, in
round characters comparatively well executed considering the period. It was in
praise of Bishop Agrippino, of the first half of the seventh century. When
the island was devastated and the church and other buildings destroyed in
1169, the above named slab was transferred to the opposite shore, where it
found a place in the parochial church on the main altar, where it served as a
desk thereupon. A few years ago it was taken away and moved into the basis of
the said altar, where the inscription can be read without any difficulty."
Agrippino was consecrated in 606. He prepared for himself a tomb in the
church of St. Euphemia on the island, and was buried in it in 620.
concludes from the foregoing and other evidence in his possession that the
remains of the churches in the island are previous to the seventh century. It
has been my good fortune to pay two visits to this island, the second of which
was on Saturday, June 1, 1907, and one was gratified subsequently to learn
what Dr. Monti had to say respecting the little sanctuary, the discovery of
which occasioned my second visit and subsequent correspondence with him.
COMACINA AND THE COMACINES
history of the islani is very little known to English-speaking people, albeit
a tragic one, and it may be of interest here to give a few details, without
pretending to do more than that. We are first introduced to the Island of
Comacina as a very strongly fortified place, built by the Gauls, and
afterwards rebuilt by the Romans, as a defence against the people of Grisons,
one of the Swiss cantons lying north of the Lake of Como, and at no great
year A.D. 480, when the Emperor Zeno sat upon the throne of the East Theodoric
the Ostrogoth, practically master of Italy, took a good deal of interest in
the island on account of its beauty and habitableness, and, as we are told,
this extension meant further fortification, since it would have required a
considerable amount of strength to render it the desirable spot for habitation
which Theodoric would require it to be. Not only so, but being in a
convenient situation some twenty miles from Como, and surrounded by water, it
had from time to time become a storehouse of treasure, so that we read it had
within its walls a vast accumulation of wealth.
association is with the great General Narses, through whose action or
inaction, as the case may be, the island fell to the Lombards.
about in this way:
an eunuch, short of stature, bent and ugly, was at the age of sixty selected
by Justinian, the Emperor of the East, and placed in command of the army in
Italy as a General, although he had never seen service before. And,
notwithstanding this, he showed such marvellous skill and discernment as to
skill and discernment as to thoroughly justify the extraordinary step the
Emperor had taken. Indeed, after having been once recalled to Constantinople,
he was found to be the only man capable of carrying on the wars in Italy
against the barbarians, and in a second campaign he practically mastered the
kingdom. Goths, Huns, and Vandals had successively been beaten back or
amalgamated; and when Narses was a second time recalled, the only hostile
nation on the horizon was the Lombard. Narses was apparently recalled because,
through the failure of means of support for his army from the capital, his
taxes on the people bore so heavily that they petitioned the Emperor to remove
him from the command.
refused to obey the order of the Emperor (then Justin II) to return, and hence
the story that the Empress Sophia cried: "I know what to do with the old
eunuch: he shall be confined to his proper place in the women's quarters, and
forced to spin wool with the maids."
receiving this insulting message, Narses is said to have replied: "Then I
shall spin such a coil for the Empress as she will never unravel so long as
or not Narses took his revenge by inviting the Lombards to come into Italy is
uncertain, but doubtless, if their coming was not due to his action, it was
more or less encouraged by his inaction.
in the year 568, when Narses was ninety years of ago The Imperial Captain
Francilio held the city of Como, together with the Island of Comacine and the
surrounding country, for the Empire, and one of the fast results of the
attitude taken by Narses was a Lombard attack upon Como under Alboin, which
for some time it sustained; but when, after a time, it fell, Francilio retired
to Comacine, where, with considerable bravery, he entrenched himself. This
also was in the year 568.
appears to have kept his hold on the island until the year 584, when, being
again attacked by the Lombards, under Antaris, who naturally found in this
little fortress holding by the Empire, when all around was slipping away, a
menace to the security of his kingdom. After a six months' siege, the island
fell into their hands, and Francilio, having secured honourable terms, retired
was accomplished by a fleet of boats, which surrounded the island and starved
out the garrison.
Lombards had called the island Christopolis, because, like Christ, it had
become the refuge of the hopeless, a very sanctuary of the destitute and
fugitive, gentle and simple. The vast treasure stored in it by many cities
fell into the hands of the Lombards.
close of the sixth century we find Comacina again undergoing a siege. This
time it is held by an insubordinate chieftain, one Gardulf, Duke of Bergamo,
who, having been already subdued once, rose in arms against his King, Agilulf,
who was in some sense the founder of the Lombard Kingdom. Agilulf besieged
and captured the island, took the Duke prisoner, and, contrary to all
expectation, spared his life, partly from chivalrous, and partly from
year 686 a conspiracy was made against King Guiniperto, the sixteenth King of
Lombardy, by one Alahis, to drive him from the throne. While the King was
gone to the chase, Alahis stirred up sedition in the royal city of Pavia,
whence the King was obliged to withdraw to the Island of Comacine, where be
fortified himself strongly. But the partners to the conspiracy made a voyage
to the island unknown to Alahis, and besought the King to pardon them for the
wrong they had committed; and Alahis being at that time absent from the city,
the conspirators restored Guiniperto to his former position.
Guiniperto reigned over Lombardy until the year 700, when at his death the
succession of his son Liutperto was disputed by Regimperto, Duke of Turin and
cousin of Guiniperto. Liutperto was a minor in the care of Arisprando, a
faithful warrior. With a large body of troops Regimperto defeated Arisprando
at the Battle of Novara, and usurped the throne, which soon passed to his son,
Aribert II (701-712). (One authority says this man was the son of Alahis, who
had recently died.) He took Liutperto prisoneer and put him to death, and
Arisoprando fled to Comacina.
was pursued by Aribert, and, dismisting his own forces, fled into Bavaria,
whereupon the island was levelled by the soldiers of Aribert. The latter took
vengeance on Arisprando by blinding his wife and children, and depriving them
of their ears and tongues, but allowed one infant, Liutprando, to escape with
his father, thinking him to be too young to be dangerous. Little did he
imagine what the sequel would be, for Arisprando, collecting forces in
Bavaria, descended into Italy like a bolt from the blue, and defeated Aribert
at the moment when his power seemed to be at its zenith.
latter hurried to Pavia, seized as much gold as he could carry, and in his
flight was drowned by the weight of his treasure in attempting to cross the
River Ticino. Arisprando then ascended the Lombard throne, and, dying shortly
after (712), bequeathed it to his son Liutprando, who became the most
illustrious of the Lombard Kings, and about the year 718 rebuilt Comacina.
interval of peace for the island may then have set in, for the star of
Charlemagne was in the ascendant, and the time for the foundation of the Holy
Roman Empire was drawing near.
intervals of quiet must have been periodically enjoyed, or the devastation
with which the island was overthrown time after time could not have been
effaced so thoroughly as it evidently was. Moreover, it is stated that
Charlemagne restored it, and probably from that time onward for a considerable
period the Comacine Guild would be able to mature and develop and exercise its
ever-widening influence in both East and West. Final peace for Comacina,
however, was not to be, and its downfall was brought about in a quiet
grown in pride and splendour, and in her imperial haughtiness she was pressing
hard upon the smaller cities of the neighbourhood, particularly Lodi and Como
two of the men of Lodi laid their case before the Emperor, Frederick
Barbarossa, who swore to avenge their wrongs. On their return these
ambassadors were treated as fools, for no one believed in the promise of the
Emperor, and all judged that, in consequence of what they had done, the yoke
of Milan would be heavier than before. But, although delayed, the Emperor's
threat was ultimately carried out with a vengeance on Milan, which awed and
terrified the whole of the district, and Lodi and Como, for the time at least,
were relieved of the oppressor.
took side with the Milanese, and hence incurred the bitterest hatred from the
men of Como; thus, when the opportunity came, they took their revenge. They
had already sacked the island in 1124, had seen their own city destroyed in
1127, and rebuilt in 1152; and now, about the year 1160, or shortly after,
they attacked Comacina again, setting fire to it after a desperate struggle.
Still the islanders would not come to terms, and so the neighbouring country
was put to fire and sword, as also Borgo di Menagio.
and other things the Milanese besieged Como, when the latter was succoured
with provisions by the confederate lands of the Lario, to the great detriment
of the islanders, who forbade them the passage. Moreover, the siege of Como
was shortly raised, and then they reassembled their forces and took their
revenge on the islanders severely, capturing also the fortress of Nesso. The
hour had come for vengeance, and Como took care it should not pass unheeded,
while at the same time the blow should be dealt so effectively as to remove
all possibility of recovery. A decree was obtained from the Emperor that it
should never be rebuilt, and practically that decree has held good to this
says it was in 1169 the final blow was given. And so its tragedy closes, and,
indeed, except for the one church now standing on the island, it has remained
desolate, probably much in the condition in which it is found today -
destitute of inhabitants, save the one cowherd who looks after his few head of
cattle, and shorn of all dwellings except the one ruined chapel now used to
house both cattle and cowherd.
thrilling story could be told if only details of the history of this stubborn
little island were available! And how strangely it reflects in miniature the
way in which throughout the Middle Ages, especially in Italy, the arts of
peace and the horrors of strife flourished side by side.
II or his successor, Rudolf I, gave the island to Leo, Bishop of Como, in the
year 1253, with conditions restricting him not to fortify it; and in 1467 the
people of Como restored the ancient church on the island in honour of St. John
the Baptist, and placed in it a marble having a badly-constructed inscription,
which, translated, runs as follows:
"It is in
the year 1160.
island was destroyed there was a great pestilence. The ancient church being
restored saved the lives of those bringing sacred gifts when overwhelmed by a
hailstorm. The first day of May saw the commencement of the work, and the
last day put the finishing touch to it, in the year 1400 - add 67 and all will
garbled sentence probably refers to two, if not more, different periods, and
it is translated from Ballarini's Compendio delle croniche dena Citta di Como,
published in Como 1619.
the present church on the island can be identified with this restored building
it is difficult to say, but the present building dedicated to St. John the
Baptist is, according to Dr. Monti, of the sixteenth century.
Jovius, in 1559, wrote conceming the Island of Comacina, and the following is
a translation of what he says: "Over against this portion of the Salarian
shore there stretches an island facing it lengthwise, displaying as one sails
by the ruins of an ancient city, [destroyed] by order of the people of Como,
that the Larian people, warned by this punishment, might be admonished to
preserve their fidelity to their parent city of Como. This city was famous in
the time of the Goths, who had such confidence in its fortifications that they
stored in it the treasures of all their nation."
Longobardus writes in his History "that the Isle of Comacina, in the Larian
Lake, was captured and overthrown by Aripertus, King of Lombardy, when
Arisprandus, who had brought up and trained Liutperties, the boy-king, had by
chance fled thither after his defeat in the battle by Novaria. However, after
the arrival of Charlemagne, who overthrew the kingdom of Lombardy, I found the
island restored. From this island our family of the Jovii derives its origin,
and there are extant evidences of the wealth of our ancestors - to-wit, the
Church of Mary Magdalene in the town of Stabium, distant over against the
island across the Eudipus by the very short passage of two stadia. These
ancestors of the Jovii contributed fields from their estates with pious
liberality for the succour of the needy and of travellers, and for 600 years
there had remained in our family the uninterrupted privilege of nominating the
prefect and priest.
we bear today also on our coat of arms, as proof of our descent, the castle of
the island, superimposed an the Larian waters, with the addition of the Roman
Eagle, with which Fredericus Ahenobarbus honoured our family, just as lately
we have added the Columns of Hercules, by the gift of the Emperor Charles I,
who looked with extremely favouring eyes on our zealous efforts.
the destruction of Milan, however, the people of Como, aided by the resources
of Ahenobarbus, in revenge for the recent treachery of the islanders,
completely devastated the island, ordering the inhabitants to remove to Varena,
adding the decree, for a severe public example, that no one should ever build
again on the island. And so it has remained for 400 years, hideous with its
enormous ruins; and today, with merely the church remaining, which was spared
through superstitious awe, it remains a habitation for the rabbits."
were the masters who lived at Comacine? Mention has already been made of the
survival of the Architectural College in Rome after the other guilds had been
suppressed, and to this college probably belonged some at least of the nine
martyrs to whom we have been alluding. But when Rome fell under Goth and
Vandal, and reached a condition such as is pictured by Gregory the Great,
there was no further call for the fraternity in Rome, and, accordingly, about
A.D. 460 they, being now entirely Christian, fled, and travelling northwards,
settled themselves in the district of Como, choosing for their headquarters
the Island of Comacina, where they fortified their position, and in the sixth
century held their own against the Lombards for twenty years before being
subjugated; while in the twelfth century again they held their independence
until overthrown by Como, and condemned to desolation by Frederick Barbarossa.
It is, of
course, impossible to fix the exact date of their coming to Comacina, but it
is noteworthy that it was in 480 that Theodoric interested himself in the
island, and caused building work to be done upon it. This is the more
suggestive, since it points to the probability, not only of a connection
between Theodoric and the Comacine masters, but also suggests their
association with Ravenna. Further, it is clear that when Belisarius entered
Rome, after it was besieged by Totila in A.D. 547, he found people willing to
help with the rebuilding, but none skilled to guide them.
Documentary evidence, dating back to A.D. 643, refers to them as the Majestri
Comacine, and although it is not certain whether this appellation located them
on the island or is intended to apply to the district around Como, it is clear
that by this time they were a compact and powerful guild, capable of asserting
their rights, and that the guild was properly organized, having degrees of
different ranks and Magistri at their head. Now, when we consider that during
what historians have generally regarded as the Dark Ages, between A.D. 500 and
1200, there was a perfect and consistent link between the old and the new, and
a perfect and consistent development of architecture - be it Lombard
Byzantine, as at Ravenna and Venice; Romanesque, as at Pisa; Lombard Gothic,
as at Milan; Norman Saracen, as in Sicily and the South, each style having its
individuality, and yet at the same time its relation to the other - we can
form no other conclusion than that to a well-organized body of men such order
must be attributed.
when we further consider that in the twelfth century the round arch prevailed
in Italy, Germany, France, and England, with details having wonderful
similarity and practically Lombard in character; that in the thirteenth
century, when pointed arches mingled with the round ones in Italy they did so
in all the other countries mentioned; and that the art of church building was
in full power when other arts and commerce were but just beginning, we are
forced to the conclusion that nothing short of a sound organization can have
brought about such a result. And our conclusion that to the Comacine Masters
are mainly due the mighty achievements spread throughout Western Europe is
borne out by fact. To them can be traced the churches of S. Ambrose at Milan,
the cathedral at Monza, S. Fidele and S. Abbondio at Como, S. Michele at Pavia,
S. Vitale at Ravenna, S. Agnese, S. Lorenzo, S. Clemente and others at Rome,
as well as the more ornate cathedrals of Pisa, Lucca, Milan, Arezzo, Brescia,
etc., and the cloisters and aisles of Monreale and Palermo. Through the
Comacines architecture and sculpture spread to France and Spain, Germany and
England, and there developed into new amd varied styles, according to the
exigencies of climate, material, etc. It was from these brethren at Como that
Gregory sent artificers to England to accompany St. Augustine, and Gregory II
sent such to Germany with Boniface, while Charlemagne fetched them into France
to build his church of Aix le Chapelle, the prototype of French Gothic, and,
as some say, modelled on S. Vitale, Ravenna.
really wonderful how little seems to be known of these Comacine Masters, and,
indeed, until Leader Scott drew attention to them, what little was known
appears to have been confined to a small circle. This is what the late Rev.
Charles Kingsley says in his lecture on the Roman and the Teuton (1891): "Then
follow some curious laws in favour of the Masters of Como, Magistri Comacines,
perhaps the original germ of the great society of Freemasons, belonging, no
doubt, to the Roman population who were settled about the Lake of Como, and
were hired on contract (as the laws themselves express) to build for the
Lombards, who, of course, had no skill to make anything beyond a skin tent or
a log hall."
Jackson, R.A., in his review of Le Origini dell' Architettura Lombarda
(Architectural Review for August, 1907) says: "Signor Riviera traces a
reminiscence of the old Etruscan art which preceded that of Rome, coexisted
for a long time with it, and to which there is good reason to think Roman art
owed a much larger share of its peculiar character than has been generally
admitted. In Germany it is recorded that Bishop Rufus of Treves brought
artificers from Italy to repair his cathedral - possibly among them were
members of the mysterious Guild of Magistri Comacine, of whom so little is
known with exactitude."
indeed so little known with exactitude, but a great deal may be, and, indeed,
chapter and verse can be given for a large part of what we claim for the
Comacines. We have already noted that they were called into England, Germany,
and France, and there is no reason to doubt that to a very large extent,
whenever some building of importance was wanted in Western Europe oneof the
lodges of Comacines was applied to. The notion so common amongst us that the
great cathedral and church builders were the ecclesiastics may be true in the
sense that they promoted these works, but that they were the chief architects,
except in rare instances, cannot be borne out by the facts of the case.
Doubtless some were admitted to the Guilds of Craftsmen as lay members, while
others qualified as architects, but in the main skilled and properly organized
workmen were called in. They were even summoned back to Rome, and, indeed,
their hand is to be found in all the great buildings of the ages between A.D.
500 and 1200, and in many after that.
good illustration of this it fell to my lot to find. The interesting church
of S. Ambrogio at Milan has a very fine atrium, and on the outside there is a
tablet with this inscription:
ARCIVESCOVO DU MILAN
DCCCLXVIII AL DCCCLXXXI
English reads, "Auspert of Bissone, Archbishop of Milan from 868 to 881, built
this atrium." But Leader Scott says, Look amongst the foliage and you will
find the real name of the architect, "Magister Adam." So on two occasions I
did look with all the care I could bring, and, not withstanding two of the
custodians of the church, one of whom had been there for forty years, told me
there was no such person as Magister Adam concerned with the building, but
that Auspert built the atrium, my search at the last moment, and just as I was
giving it up as vain, was rewarded, not where Leader Scott said exactly, but
not far off. There on the top of one of the shafts of the main entrance to
the church were the letters indeed, "Magister Adam," but upside down.
It mas no
small pleasure to fetch one of the men who had denied Magister Adam's
connection with the church, and to see the undisguised surprise with which he
regarded my discovery, and the truly amusing way in which he reluctantly
abandoned his scepticism. The explanation of the "Magister Adam" being upside
down may be that, according to some critics, the atrium of St. Ambrogio was
rebuilt some two hundred years after his time, and that in replacing this
particular stone it got put in the wrong way up. But this is only one case
among many - for instance, on a monument in Sta. Maria in Trastevere one reads
the name of "magister Paulus,"* and on the Palazzo Ragione in Milan there is a
little equestrian statue of the Podesta Oldrado, dated 1233, by Benedetto
Antelami, chief of the Comacine masters. I quite believe that careful
research would demonstrate the custom of calling in the guild to prepare the
design as well as to execute the work. Moreover, it is a significant thing
that, after the removal of the lodge of Lucca to Florence, on December 14,
1321, no great work in architecture arose either in Lucca, Pistoja, or Pisa,
while all the great Florentine buildings date after this time.
as to the development of architecture under the Comacines. The Romans had
evolved an art in which architectural treatment largely masked real
construction, especially when the latter was in cement or brick. Their
adornment was superficial, and it was for the Comacines to develop the style
which chiefly in Italy became a treatment of real arches (round) on real
columns (the latter often taken from older Roman buildings) and slightly
pitched wooden roofs, which they afterwards developed internally into barrel
vaults. Then came upon them the side influences from the East and South, that
from the East bringing the Dome and Byzantine ornamentation, and that from the
South (Saracenic) developing into the Italian Gothic or Pointed styles, which
matured into the completeness of our Northern cathedrals both in France and
England, until the whole succumbed to the enormous sweep of the Renaissance,
which appropriated all the Roman orders, together with the vault and the dome,
and ultimately supplanted the architecture of the Middle Ages.
tomb is to a Cardinal who died in 1407, and on it is written "Magistri Paulus
fecit boc hopus." Magister Paulus must therefore have probably worked this
work after 1407, the date of the Cardinal's death.
GOT TO STOOP TO LIFT
lots of good in this here world,
of folks are fine;
to straighten what is knurled
and mates of mine.
like to help us, but a few
great error drift:
never seem to see that you
to stoop to lift.
female taxis to the slums
for the Lord
her satins to the bums,
satins can't afford.
don't fully understand,
then she is miffed;
you lend the helping hand,
got to stoop to lift.
no satin-slippered way
a human heart;
cannot be the finer clay
And us a
men up it will not do
and let them shift.
Christ got down, and so must you-
got to stoop to lift.
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
The following paper is one of a series of articles on
"Philosophical Masonry," or “The Teachings of Masonry," by Brother Haywood, to
be used for reading and discussion in lodges and study clubs - From the
questions following each section of the paper the study club leader should
select such as he may desire to use in bringing out particular points for
discussion. To go into a lengthy discussion on each individual question
presented might possibly consume more time than the lodge or study club may be
able to devote to the study club meeting.
In conducting the study club meetings the leader should
endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the tenet of the paper and not
permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another
subject. Whenever it becomes endent that the discussion is turning from the
original subject the leader should request the members to make notes of the
particular points or phases of the matter they may wish to discuss or inquire
into and bring them up after the last section of the paper is disposed of.
The meetings should be closed with a "Question Box" period,
when such questions as may have come up during the meeting and laid over until
this time should be entered into and discussed. Should any questions arise
that cannot be answered by the study club leader or some other brother
present, these questions may be submitted to us and we will endeavor to answer
them for you in time for your next meeting.
Supplemental references on the subjects treated in this paper
will be found at the end of the article.
PART IV -
THE MASONIC CONCEPTION OF EDUCATION
were no schools when Freemasonry came into existence. Medieval Europe had
much learning but no great public institutions for the diffusing of it. There
were a few seminaries where men might receive an "education" for the
priesthood, and there were, here and there, a few monasteries, nunneries,
brotherhoods, lay organizations, and what not which dispensed to a handful of
young people the rudiments of knowledge. Of schools as they now exist, and
have existed for two or three hundred years, there were none. Nor was there
in any community a daily press, or weekly periodicals, or a library, or cheap
books, or a learned society, or a correspondence school.
you begin a discussion of the subject endeavour to define your own conception
of "education." Could you tell how youths were educated five hundred years
ago? What was a nunnery? A monastery? A lay brotherhood? A seminary? When did
printing first bring knowledge into the reach of the poorest ?
was such a thing as education, often of a high type, and sometimes of a degree
never afterwards excelled for the Medievalists gave us the greatest
architecture that has ever been known, and some of the greatest pictures, and
much wonderful sculpture, not to mention the flowering out of the religious
spirit: these gifts could not come from an ignorant and debased people, such
as the medievalists are by many often supposed to have been. To erect a St.
Mark's or a St. Peter's, to build such a city as Venice, or to paint such
pictures as those of Tintoretto, or to conceive the ideal and spirit of the
Franciscan Movement required a trained intelligence, a directed and fruitful
genius, which can only come from that discipline of the human nature that we
know as "education."
the greatest thing produced by the Middle Ages? ("Medieval" means "Middle
Ages"). What did the church of that day have to do with education? Does the
church still foster education? By whom were most of our American colleges
founded? How was a cathedral built? What kind of an education did that process
people had no schools whence came such an education? The answer to this
question is found in the system of apprenticeship which was in universal use
with those guilds and brotherhoods that built Venice, and erected the
cathedrals, and painted the pictures, and created the sculptures. Instead of
going into a public school the youth went into a guild. Instead of studying
from a teacher who sits behind a desk with a book in his hand, the medieval
student learned from a master in the very operations of work. Instead of
receiving a diploma on sheepskin he was given the means of proving to anybody
that he was himself a master workman, entitled to receive a master's wages
wherever he might go.
yourself into the place of some medieval architect entrusted with work on one
of the huge cathedrals which became at once the wonder and despair of all
subsequent builders. You had to have skilled workmen. You were compelled to
find men who knew how to hew stone properly out of a quarry, how to dress it
in the rough, how to read plans, how to solve geometrical problems, how to
carve, to erect scaffoldings, to round an arch, throw up a spire, and also, in
many cases, how to organize and direct other workmen. Where would you find
such men? You would draw from the ranks of intelligent youths such as gave
promise of skill and you would very carefully have them trained in all these
processes, and, because many of these processes were valuable trade secrets,
you would take great care to bind these youths to you in a secrecy from which
knowledge might not escape clandestinely to the outside world.
necessity for educating youths into the extremely difficult arts of fine
building was one of the causes which led to the founding of Freemasonry.
Because of this necessity the trade union grew into a lodge. Members were
bound together by solemn ties, and local organizations were compelled to
affiliate themselves together into a wide Brotherhood of workmen.
student was called an "apprentice," or "learner," for such does the word mean
in nearly all languages. There were no books wherewith to teach him, so his
masters taught him by means of the work itself, and the tools and practices
used in the work. And since these students had to live together in closest
unity it was necessary also to train them in morality, for without morality
there can be no permanent association. And because these young men were to
work on religious buildings being erected by religious organizations it was
inevitable that religion should come to have a central place in the scheme of
education. In all this we have the beginnings and the conditions out of which
Operative Masonry reached that stage in its history wherein it became
transformed gradually into Speculative, or Symbolical Masonry, learning, or
knowledge, or enlightenment (one may use any of these terms), had come to be
at the core of it. But since the knowledge of actual building arts was no
longer of any purpose to the members of the Fraternity the old "work" was
gradually transformed into symbols and allegory, and the "apprentice" in the
new order of things was set to learn the art of building manhood and
apprenticeship still in use? Where? By whom? Would you like to see it return
into practice? What was a guild? How did the guild differ from our modern
"trade union"? Were the early builders "ignorant stone masons"? How did they
secure the knowledge to do what they did? What did a "lodge" mean to them?
What did initiation mean? Why was the lodge kept in such secrecy? What was a
trade secret? In what way did the necessity for educating youths to be
builders bring about the organization of Operative Masonry? Why was the
teaching of morality so important in Operative Masonry?
early eighteenth century when the old Operative Craft was made over into the
Symbolical institution as we now know it, it happened that one of the major
prophets of the new day, William Preston, was burning with an enthusiasm for
education. There were schools in England for the sons of a few rich, but no
school for the masses, and among those young men who found their way into the
transformed Masonry there were few with any education at all. Preston said,
"Let us then make the lodge into a school room. While we are making Masons of
these youths let us at the same time give them the rudiments of knowledge." So
he worked out an elaborate system of lectures in which were set forth
something of all the subjects between the five senses and the fine arts. The
Second degree as it now stands is to a great extent the result abiding
memorial of that noble endeavour. When Freemasonry first came into existence
in the form recognized as such by us it was very largely an educational
institution. When it found its great rebirth in England during the Grand
Lodge era it rapidly became a centre of knowledge. It has searched for
"light" from the beginning; it has always inculcated in its devotees a desire
for "more light" - today it continues to hold up as its ideal of human
perfection the man of "enlightenment." Therefore this emphasis which to we
place on the need for light is not a hatched-pseudo-emphasis, but a passion
deeply rooted in very nature of our Order, and inseparable from it.
the Second degree mean to you? What can you tell about Preston? Could you now
improve the Second degree how? How could the modern lodge be made into a
true of Masonry's attitude toward education, is equally true of its attitude
toward that institution which is the custodian of education, the public
school. Those who wonder why we should keep so watchful an eye upon every
educational enterprise any time satisfy their wonder by a careful study the
birth, the growth, and the culmination of our Fraternity.
be quite useless, to many another essayist has learnt to his sorrow, to
attempt to fashion a definition of education, for it is one of those
fundamental profound conceptions which defy analysis and escape words: but
even so it is a thing that we recognize without understanding it and describe
without defining. There was a time when by "education" men referred to a fixed
body of knowledge, inherited from past times, crowned by tradition and
approved by authority, which was gotten into the minds of students by a
certain fixed method. This quantum of knowledge was supposed be invariably
suited to all minds, whatever their cast or bent, and the boy who could not
master it was thereby catalogued among the dunces, or the shirks. There was a
great deal more truth in that old conception of education than the present day
reformers are willing to admit but even so it is a conception which we must
abandon. There is no such thing as a quantum knowledge the acquirement of
which constitutes education, for education, so the psychologists have made us
see, is quite another kind of thing.
being comes into this world quite helpless and quite ignorant. He is so
dependent on others that the word "baby" is almost synonymous with the word
"helplessness." He cannot talk, or read, or walk, work, or feed, or clothe
himself - a being more abjectly helpless it would be hard to imagine. An
adult man, if he be normal in all ways, must be able to work so well that the
world will pay him money for it. He must be able to make his wants felt, his
thoughts known, and his qualities appreciated. He has a wife to cherish, a
family to support, a home to maintain. He must know something of the
functions of citizenship. He must be able to take his place with his fellows
in all the thous and activities of normal life.
know what Masonry has done toward upholding our American school system? What
agencies are at work to tear down that system?
education that bridges over the wide gulf between the helplessness of the babe
and the manifold richness of the adult nature. Parents, insofar as they are
tutors of their own children, schools, books, teachers, and the individual's
own experience, are all so many instruments of education, and it matters
little how a man secures education so long as he is an adult able to fulfil
all his normal functions in the various relationships of life. What particular
kinds of knowledge a man must have, whether it be Latin and Greek, literature,
science, philosophy, civics, what not, depends on the nature of any particular
man and upon the conditions under which he has to live his life. Anything is
good education that enables us to be happy in our life environment.
it will be seen that education is by its own inherent nature a social thing.
It is something that prepares a man to live with his fellows, to work with
them and for them, to understand them, to get on well with them. It is a
thing that makes possible the fulfilment of the fragrant saying to the effect
that it is a good and beautiful thing for brethren to dwell together in
unity. And since education is by its nature a social thing, a thing fraught
with all the fates of society, then it is perfectly self-evident that
education must be defined and managed by society itself, and for society's own
good. To permit any group to turn education into an anti-social engine, so
that it functions against all in the favour of a few, is as foolish a thing as
to turn loose upon society all the hordes of confusion, anarchy, and war.
because of this fact that Freemasonry is so keenly interested in and concerned
for "the education of all the children of all the people." The "Temple" which
the Craft is building is nothing other than the human family living happily
together. The equality and democracy for which it has ever stood is nothing
other than its preaching of the fact that men and women are by nature brethren
and should live together as such. If there are any educational agencies, or
any types of education, upon which Freemasonry wages a tireless war, it is
because those agencies are promulgating an education which teaches men that we
are not all brethren, and that it is not wise for us all to try to live
together in harmony. Any institution which insists upon democracy as
Freemasonry insists upon it must everlastingly be concerned much with the
institutions of education. Like schools, like people.
institution which demands so high an educational ideal on the part of the
outside world should, so it would seem, itself set a shining example. This is
the whole pith and contention of the National Masonic Research Society. There
is no known way whereby, through a kind of magic, we can find light in
Masonry. If a man wishes to learn something of history, he studies it; so, if
a man would learn Freemasonry he must study it. Initiation is no occult
process whereby, without the exercises of his own faculties, and minus the
necessary acquisitions of knowledge, a man may be conducted into the full glow
of truth, Masonic or otherwise. Those who would become real Masons must work
to that end - the light does not come miraculously but at the end of a
toilsome way. Thete is a vast deal -far, far more than most men dream - of
knowledge and truth hidden away in our traditions, our history, our customs,
our laws, and, above all, in our incomparable ritual, but a man can no more
become possessed of that treasure without working for it, than he can come
into an understanding of Greek without studying it. Masonic Research does not
mean a delving into the dust bins of antiquity for rare lore - it means a
digging out of Masonry that which there is now in it for truth, and for light.
sentences may sound like broad generalizations, but if so, they are
generalizations of facts that are real enough. To some of us it seems a sin
and a shame that hundreds of lodges do not scruple to push a man from one
degree to another until he has had them all, and all the badges that go with
them, without so much as an effort made to tell him what it all means, without
so much as a step taken toward leading him into a realization of all that he
has experienced. No wonder that there are so many Masons who have nothing of
Masonry save the name!
agree with the definition of education given in the paper? Do you believe
yourself to be an educated man? What has education to do with democracy? Why
is there a vital relationship between the principles of Masonry and the
principle of public education? How can Freemasons set a good example to the
Encyclopedia - (Revised Edition):
Apprentice, p. 70. There are twenty-one references under this head which
should be noted with the one treating of "Apron," p. 72; "Initiation," p. 353,
and "Mysteries" and "Mysticism," pp. 496-500. All contain most suggestive
information relative to the instruction and meaning of the first steps in
educating the candidate. See also "Preparation of the Candidate," p. 578, and
"Preparing Brother," p. 578.
Builders of the Middle Ages, p. 117.
Masters, p. 161
p. 261 Fellow Craft, p. 261; Fellow Craft Perfect Architect, p. 262. These
references should be read with the one dealing with "Degrees," p. 203, and "Desaguliers,"
p. 207. Of the latter to whom we may not unreasonably credit some service in
the science of the Second degree, it has been said that he "taught two
gracious kings to view all Boyle ennobled and all Bacon knew."
449. On pages 449-452 there are twenty-two references to the word "lodge" or
the Masonic terms of which it is a part. It is not surprising that the word
dealing with congregations of Freemasons solemnly convened for work and
worship should have so prominent and frequent a use by the brethren.
p. 579. See also "Prestonian Lecture" and "Prestonian Lectures" on p. 582; "Harodim,"
p. 319. Preston, a most methodical student and writer, laid down the
monitorial portion of the work which was later concisely arranged by Thomas
Smith Webb whose biography on page 841 should therefore be read in conjunction
with that of Preston.
Colleges of Artificers, p. 630.
Travelling Masons, p. 792.
Bulletin Course of Masonic Study," of which the foregoing paper by Brother
Haywood is a part, was begun in THE BUILDER early in 1917. Previous to the
beginning of the present series on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings
of Masonry," as we have titled it, were published some forty-three papers
covering in detail "Ceremonial Masonry" and "Symbolical Masonry" under the
following several divisions: "The Work of a Lodge," "The Lodge and the
Candidate," "First Steps," "Second Steps," and "Third Steps." A complete set
of these papers up to January 1st, 1921, are obtainable in the bound volumes
of THE BUILDER for 1917, 1918, 1919 and 1920, and the remaining papers of the
series may be had in the 1921 bound volume which will be ready for delivery
early in December. Single copies of 1921 back numbers are not obtainable, our
stock having become exhausted.
is an outline of the subjects covered by the current series of study club
papers by Brother Haywood:
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
Introduction. - A. Reasons for a course explaining what the "teachings of
Masonry" mean. - B. How one can arrive at his own Philosophy of Masonry. -
Conclusion. The Philosophy of Masonry is not a study of philosophy in general,
but a study of Masonry such as a philosopher gives to any great intellectual
1. - The
Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
2. - The
Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
3. - The
Masonic Conception of Education.
Masonry and Industry.
11. - The
Brotherhood of Man.
12. - The
Fatherhood of God.
Schools of Masonic Philosophy.
systematic course of Masonic study has been taken up and carried out in
monthly and semi-monthly meetings of lodges and study clubs all over the
United States and Canada, and in several instances in lodges overseas.
course of study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopaedia.
ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
clubs may be organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of
the lodge. In the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably
of three "live" members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The
study club meetings should be held at least once a month (excepting during
July and August, when the study club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER),
either at a special communication of the lodge called for the purpose, or at a
regular communication at which no business (except the lodge routine) should
be transacted - all possible time to be devoted to study club purposes.
lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should
turn the lodge over to the chairman of the study club committee. The committee
should be fully prepared in advance on the subject to be discussed at the
meeting. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been
assigned should be prepared with their material, and should also have a
comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper by a previous reading and study
FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Reading of any supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may
have been prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the
study club committee.
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper.
Discussion of this section, using the questions following this section to
bring out points for discussion.
subsequent sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in
the same manner.
Question Box. Invite questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all
brethren present. Let the brethren understand that these meetings are for
their particular benefit and enlightenment and get them into the habit of
asking all the questions they may be able to think of. If at the time these
questions are propounded no one can answer them, send them in to us and we
will endeavor to supply answers to them in time for your next study club
foregoing information should enable study club committees to conduct their
meetings without difficulty. However, if we can be of assistance to such
committees, or any individual member of lodges and study clubs at any time
such brethren are invited to feel free to communicate with us.
sun of life is low,
dewy shadows creep,
me before I go,
lay me down to sleep."
I am at
the journey's end,
sown and I must reap;
no more ways to mend-
Now I lay
me down to sleep.
more to doubt or dare,
more to give or keep;
me the children's prayer,
lay me down to sleep."
learned along the way-
path or stony steep-
wisdom than to say,
lay me down to sleep?"
you more wise to tell
shadows round me creep?
over, all is well....
Now I lay
me down to sleep.
who studies carefully all that is said and done at the entrance to the lodge,
when the candidate seeks admission thereto, will find food for long
reflection. Indeed, in the whole circle of ideas suggested by the Ritual, not
another one is more worthy of the carefullest thought than that which is
taught by the entrance ceremony, because in that ceremony the Fraternity
declares, in the plainest words and actions, what it requires, by way of
qualification, of its devotees. What it requires is much, far more than most
Masons perhaps have ever realized, but even so it may be summed up in this,
that Masonry demands of candidates sound manhood, nothing more and nothing
consider. It is not demanded that the candidate be rich, or that he be famous,
or learned, or that he be of one race rather than another, or that he be old
or young: nor is he asked if he believes in any one or the ten thousand creeds
which vex men's minds, or if he belongs to this school of philosophy rather
than to that. He gains admission by none of these things, but "by being a
man," and by possessing the attributes and qualifications which normally go
with being a man."
manhood is meant force of character; good judgment, ability to work, to carry
responsibilities, to fulfill one's duties; manhood is the salt of the earth,
the hope of the world, the foundation of government, the guarantee of
progress, and the salvation of man. the race is not to be saved, if ever it is
saved, by opinions, theories, dogmas, and creeds, but by men and women who
together know how to use good sense, wisdom, and experience. The special
abilities that give men prominence, and the gifts and graces that lend them
distinction, are all secondary to that. And what is true of the world at large
is true of that world within the world, Freemasonry. The Order can do all that
is its mission to do if it have enough manhood within its borders: without
manhood it can do nothing.
* * *
advance carries with it its own dangers, in Masonry as well as in the world at
large. In the great advance now being made by the Fraternity there lurks one
of these dangers which a wise Mason will do well to consider. This advance
means, in the majority of cases at least, the shouldering of debts for
ambitious building enterprises, the raising of fees for initiation, and the
increase of dues. In some instances brought to the attention of the writer
Blue Lodges have raised their initiation fees to one hundred dollars, and a
few to one hundred and fifty dollars: along with these high fees naturally go
high dues of fifteen, twenty or twenty-five dollars a year. Consider what this
means! How can a man who works for three dollars a day afford to pay one
hundred dollars initiation fees? If he already chances to be a member of the
Order how can he afford to pay yearly dues of fifteen or twenty dollars? The
thing cannot be done, and this means that as the Fraternity raises the bars of
entrance in just that proportion will it shut out an ever increasing mass of
otherwise worthy men.
uphold the tendency to increase fees beyond a reasonable limit urge that it
helps to shut out undesirables, and that the Fraternity is growing too rapidly
anyhow. But that is not the point. Among the laboring classes are men quite as
worthy of membership and quite as capable of Masonry as can be found in any
other classes; and if these men chance to be already in the Order it is
working an unjust hardship on them to raise the annual dues beyond their
ability to pay.
and this is the gravest matter of all, this action which shuts out a large
class of American life endangers the genuine democracy and equality of the
Order. As things now stand, the Order appears to be quite as rich and powerful
in the goods of this world as is healthy for it.
entrance to the lodge the candidate is made to understand by the way in which
he is clothed, and by the state of his pockets, that it is his manhood and not
his possessions that count; and that it is out of his manhood that real
Masonry is to be built. What an inconsistency it is to tell him this at the
door and then to tell him the exact opposite at the secretary's desk !
have time, so many things I'll do
life happier and more fair
whose lives are crowded now with care;
to lift them from their low despair,
have time, the friend I love so well
know no more those weary, toiling days;
her feet in pleasant paths always,
her heart with words of sweetest praise,
have time! The friend you hold so dear
beyond the reach of all your sweet intent,
know that you so kindly meant
her life with sweet content,
the time! Ah, friend, no longer wait
scatter loving smiles and words of cheer
around whose lives are now so dear;
not need you in the coming year-
many Protestants believe that the famous Index Expurgatorious of the Roman
Catholic Church is now a thing of the past, and soon to be buried, like the
coat of mail and the castle moat, in the merciful oblivion of everlasting
unfortunately, is not the case. The Index is now what it has ever been, and as
vigorously used. Indeed the late Pope, Leo XIII, took pains to have it
overhauled, its bureau reorganized, and its constitutions revised and
republished. These Leonine Constitutions are published herewith for the
benefit of the faithful in our own fold who may have curiosity about such
has been taken from an excellent work on the subject: "The Censorship of the
Church of Rome," by George Haven Putnam, Litt. D., and published by G.P.
Putnam's Sons, 2-6 West 45th Street, New York, N. Y. The author, who is a man
of great erudition, and has had a lifelong penchant for such researches, has
canvassed his subject to the last limits of detail and interest, and he who
would produce anything to supersede it must be prepared for great labours.
Not the least admirable of the many admirable traits of Dr. Putnam's two
volumes is his good humoured fairness, his desire to prove loyal to the truth
as well as to his theme; to an intelligent man, himself experienced in the
history and art of publishing, this has been doubtless no easy virtue while
dealing with such materials as comprise the history of The Censorship of the
Church of Rome.
of prohibiting publications not favourably received by the lords of the church
is performed by a bureau known as the Congregation of the Index. The
description of this body may be left to the pen of Dr. Putnam who, on page 427
of his second volume, writes as follows:
Congregations date in their final organization from Sixtus V (1585). The
series now comprises eighteen. These Congregations might be compared in the
nature and in the exercise of their functions to the standing committees of
the United States Senate, excepting that their decisions do not have to be
referred to any general body for action. These decisions are final unless
disapproved by the pope. The pope retains for himself the official headship
of the Congregation of the Index on the ground that the work of this
Congregation has to do directly with matters of doctrine. The working body of
the Congregation of the Index comprises ten or twelve members with votes,
including always a group of cardinals. In addition to these voting members,
there is a varying number of consultors (advisers) who are called in as
experts in different divisions of knowledge, but who have no votes in the
decisions arrived at. The Congregation which bears the name Propaganda is
charged with the responsibility of receiving and sifting miscellaneous
business, referring each division of such business to its appropriate
Congregation. The Congregation of the Index has from the outset been
conducted under the influence and under the practical control of the Order of
the Dominicans. The secretary, who bears the name 'commissaries' and who is
always a Dominican, has the general responsibility for the selecting and the
shaping of the business of the Congregation. It is to the commissaries that
suggestions are submitted by ecclesiastics or others concerning books which,
in their judgment, call for the consideration of the Congregation. The
commissaries is also himself under obligation to submit titles of doubtful
books of which he has personal knowledge."
DECREES CONCERNING THE PROHIBITION AND CENSORSHIP OF BOOKS
PROHIBITION OF BOOKS
1. OF THE
Prohibited BOOKS OF APOSTATES, HERETICS, SCHISMATICS, AND OTHER WRITERS.
books condemned before the year 1600 by the Sovereign Pontiffs, or by
Oecumenical Councils, and which are not recorded in the new Index, must be
considered as condemned in the same manner as formerly: with the exception of
such as are permitted by the present General Decrees.
books of apostates, heretics, schismaties, and all writers whatsoever,
defending heresy or schism, or in any way attacking the foundations of
religion, are altogether prohibited.
Moreover, the books of non-Catholics, ex professo treating of religion, are
prohibited, unless they clearly contain nothing contrary to Catholic Faith.
books of the above-mentioned writers, not treating ex professo of religion,
but only touching incidentally upon the truths of Faith, are not to be
considered as prohibited by ecclesiastical law, unless proscribed by special
EDITIONS OF THE ORIGINAL TEXT OF HOLY SCRIPTURE AND OF VERSIONS NOT IN THE
Editions of the original text and of the ancient Catholic versions of Holy
Scripture, as well as those of the Eastern Church, if published by
non-Catholics, even though apparently edited in a faithful and complete
manner, are allowed only to those engaged in theological and biblical studies,
provided also that the dogmas of Catholic Faith are not impugned in the
prolegomena or annotations.
VERNACULAR VERSIONS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE
7. As it
has been clearly shown by experience that, if the Holy Bible in the vernacular
is general permitted without any distinction, more harm than utility is
thereby caused, owing to human temerity all versions in the vernacular, even
by Catholics, are altogether prohibited, unless approved by the Holy See or
published under the vigilant care of the Bishops with annotations taken from
the Fathers of the Church and learned Catholic writers.
versions of the Holy Bible, in any vernacular language, made by non-Catholics,
are prohibited and especially those published by the Bible Societies, which
have been more than once condemned by the Roman Pontiffs, because in them the
wise laws of th Church concerning the publication of the sacred books are
Nevertheless, these versions are permitted to students of theological or
biblical science, under the conditions laid down above (No. 5).
which professedly treat of, narrate, or teach lewd or obscene subjects are
entirely prohibited, since care must be taken, not only of faith, but also of
morals, which are easily corrupted by the reading of such books.
books of classical authors, whether ancient or modern, if disfigured with the
same stain of indecency, are, on account of the elegance and beauty of their
diction, permitted only to those who are justified on account of their duty or
the function of teaching; but on no account may they be placed in the hands
of, or taught to, boys or youths unless carefully expurgated.
CERTAIN SPECIAL KINDS OF BOOKS.
books are condemned which are derogatory to Almighty God, or to the Blessed
Virgin Mary or the Saints, or to the Catholic Church and her worship, or to
the Sacraments, or to the Holy See. To the same condemnation are subject
those works in which the idea of the inspiration of Holy Scripture is
perverted, or its extension too narrowly limited. Those books, moreover, are
prohibited which professedly revile the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, or the
clerical or religious state.
12. It is
forbidden to publish, read or keep books in which sorcery, divination, magic,
the evocation of spirits, and other superstitutions of this kind are taught or
or other writings which narrate new apparitions, revelations, visions,
prophecies, miracles, or which introduce new devotions, even under the pretext
of being private once, if published without the legitimate permission of
ecclesiastical superiors, are prohibited.
books, moreover, are prohibited which defend as lawful duelling, suicide, or
divorce; which treat of Freemasonry or other societies of the kind, teaching
them to be useful, and not injurious to the Church and to Society; and those
which defend errors proscribed by the Apostolic See.
SACRED PICTURES AND INDULGENCES.
Pictures, in any style of printing, of our Lord; Jesus Christ, the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the Angels and Saints, or other Servants of God, which are not
conformable to the sense and decrees of the Church, are entirely forbidden.
New pictures, whether produced with or without prayers annexed, may not be
published without permission of ecclesiastical authority.
16. It is
forbidden to all to give publicity in any way to apocryphal indulgences, and
to such as have been proscribed or revoked by the Apostolic See. Those which
have already been published must be withdrawn from the hands of the faithful.
books of indulgences, or compendiums, pamphlets, leaflets, etc., containing
grants of indulgences, may be published without permission of competent
LITURGICAL BOOKS AND PRAYER BOOKS.
authentic editions of the Missal, Breviary, Ritual, Ceremonial of Bishops,
Roman Pontifical, and other liturgical books approved by the Holy Apostolic
See, no one shall presume to make any change whatsoever; otherwise such new
editions are prohibited,
litanies - except the ancient and common litanies contained in the Breviaries,
Missals, Pontificals, and Rituals, as well as the Litany of Loreto, and the
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, already approved by the Holy See - may
be published without the examination and approbation of the Ordinary.
one, without license of legitimate authority, may publish books or pamphlets
of prayers, devotions, or of religious, moral ascetic, or mystic doctrine and
instruction, or others of like nature, even though apparently conducive to the
fostering of piety among Christian people; unless issued under license, they
are to be considered as prohibited.
NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS.
Newspapers and periodicals which designedly attack religion or morality are to
be held as prohibited, not only by the natural, but also by the ecclesiastical
Ordinaries shall take care, whenever it be necessary, that the faithful shall
be warned against the danger and injury of reading of this kind.
Catholics, particularly ecclesiastics, shall publish anything in newspapers or
periodicals of this character, unless for some just and reasonable cause.
PERMISSION TO READ AND KEEP PROHIBITED BOOKS.
only shall be allowed to read and keep books prohibited, either by special
decrees, or by these General Decrees, who shall have obtained the necessary
permission, either from the Apostolic See or from its delegates.
Roman Pontiffs have placed the power of granting licenses for the reading and
keeping of prohibited books in the hands of the Sacred Congregation of the
Index. Nevertheless the same power is enjoyed both by the Supreme
Congregation of the Holy Office, and by the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda
for the regions subject to its administration. For the city of Rome this
power belongs also to the Master of the Sacred Apostolic Palace.
Bishops and other prelates with quasi-episcopal jurisdiction may grant such
license for individual books, and in urgent cases only. But if they have
obtained from the Apostolic See a general faculty to grant permission to the
faithful to read and keep prohibited books, they must grant this only with
discretion and for a just and reasonable cause.
who have obtained Apostolic faculties to read and keep prohibited books may
not on this account read and keep any books whatsoever or periodicals
condemned by the local Ordinaries, unless by the Apostolic favour express
permission to be given to read and keep books by whomsoever prohibited. And
those who have obtained permission to read prohibited books must remember that
they are bound by grave precept to keep books of this kind in such a manner
that they may not fall into the hands of others.
X. OF THE
DENUNCIATION OF BAD BOOKS.
Although all Catholics, especially the more learned, ought to denounce
pernicious books either to the Bishops or to the Holy See, this duty belongs
more especially to Apostolic Nuncios and Delegates, local Ordinaries, and
Rectors of Universities.
28. It is
expedient, in denouncing bad books, that not only the title of the book be
expressed, but also, as far is possible, the reasons be explained why the book
is considered worthy of censure. Those to whom the denunciation is made will
remember that it is their duty to keep secret the names of the denouncers.
Ordinaries, even as Delegates of the Apostolic See, must be careful to
prohibit evil books or other writings published or circulated in their
dioceses, and to withdraw them from the hands of the faithful. Such works and
writings should be referred by them to the judgment of the Apostolic See as
appear to require a more careful examination, or concerning which a decision
of the Supreme Authority may seem desirable in order to procure a more
CENSORSHIP OF BOOKS
I. OF THE
PRELATES INTRUSTED WITH THE CENSORSHIP OF BOOKS.
what has been laid down above (No 7), it is sufficiently clear what persons
have authority to approve or permit editions and translations of the Holy
one shall venture to republish books condemned by the Apostolic See. If, for a
grave and reasonable cause, any particular exception appears desirable in this
respect, this can only be allowed on obtaining beforehand a license from the
Sacred Congregation of the Index and observing the conditions prescribed by
Whatsoever pertains in any way to Causes of Beatification and Canonization of
the Servants of God may not be published without the approval of the
Congregation of Sacred Rites.
same must be said of Collections of Decrees of the various Roman
Congregations; such Collections may not be published without first obtaining
the license of the authorities of each Congregation, and observing the
conditions by them prescribed.
Vicars Apostolic and Missionaries Apostolic shall faithfully observe the
decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda concerning the publication of
approbation of books, of which the censorship is not reserved by the present
Decrees either to the Holy See or to the Roman Congregations, belongs to the
Ordinary of the place where they are published.
Regulars must remember that, in addition to the license of the Bishop, they
are bound by a decree of the Sacred Council of Trent to obtain leave for
publishing any work from their own Superior. Both permissions must be printed
either at the beginning or at the end of the book.
author, living in Rome, desires to print a book, not in the city of Rome but
elsewhere, no other approbation is required beyond that of the Cardinal Vicar
and the Master of Apostolic Palace.
THE DUTY OF CENSORS IN THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF BOOKS.
Bishops, whose duty it is to grant permission for the printing of books, shall
take care to employ in the examination of them men of acknowledged piety and
learning, concerning whose faith and honesty they may feel sure, and that they
will show neither favour nor ill-will, but, putting aside all human
affections, will look only to the glory of God and the welfare of the people.
Censors must understand that, in the matter of various opinions and systems,
they are bound to judge with a mind free from all prejudice, according to the
precept of Benedict XIV. Therefore they should put away all attachment to
their particular country, family, school, or institute, and lay aside all
partisan spirit. They must keep before their eyes nothing but the dogmas of
Holy Church, and the common Catholic doctrine, as contained in the Decrees of
General Councils, the Constitutions of the Roman Pontiffs, and the unanimous
teaching of the Doctors of the Church.
after this examination, no objection appears to the publication of the book,
the Ordinary shall grant to the author, in writing and without any fee
whatsoever, a license to publish, which shall be printed either at the
beginning or at the end of the work.
THE BOOKS TO BE SUBMITTED TO CENSORSHIP.
the faithful are bound to submit to preliminary ecclesiastical censorship at
least those books which treat of Holy Scripture, Sacred Theology,
Ecclesiastical History, Canon Law, Natural Theology, Ethics, and other
religious or moral subjects of this character; and in general all writings
specially concerned with religion and morality.
secular clergy, in order to give an example of respect towards their
Ordinaries, ought not to publish books, even when treating merely natural arts
and sciences, without their knowledge.
also prohibited from undertaking the management of newspapers or periodicals
without the previous permission of their Ordinaries.
PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS OF BOOKS.
book liable to ecclesiastical censorship may be printed unless it bear at the
beginning the name and surname of both the author and the publisher, together
with the place and year of printing and publishing. If in any particular
case, owing to a just reason, it appears desirable to suppress the name of the
author, this may be permitted by the Ordinary.
Printers and publishers should remember that new editions of an approved work
require a new approbation; and that an approbation granted to the original
text does not suffice for a translation into another language.
condemned by the Apostolic See are to be considered as prohibited all over the
world, and into whatever language they may be translated.
Booksellers, especially Catholics, should neither sell, lend, nor keep books
professedly treating of obscene subjects. They should not keep for sale other
prohibited books, unless they have obtained leave through the Ordinary from
the Sacred Congregations of the Index; nor sell such books to any person whom
they do not prudently judge to have the right to buy them.
PENALTIES AGAINST TRANSGRESSORS OF THE GENERAL DECREES.
and every one knowingly reading, without authority of the Holy See, the books
of apostates and heretics, defending heresy; or books of any author which are
by name prohibited by Apostolic Letters; also those keeping, printing, and in
any way defending such works; incur ipso facto excommunication reserved in a
special manner to the Roman Pontiff.
who, without the approbation of the Ordinary, print, or cause to be printed,
books of Holy Scripture, or notes or commentaries on the same, incur ipso
facto excommunication, but not reserved.
who transgress the other prescriptions of these General Decrees shall,
according to the gravity of their offence, be seriously warned by the Bishop,
and if it seem expedient, may also be punished by canonical penalties.
that these presents and whatsoever they contain shall at no time be questioned
or impugned for any fault of subreption or obreption, or of Our intention, or
for any other defect whatsoever; but are and shall be ever valid and
efficacious, and to be inviolably observed, both judicially and
extrajudicially, by all of whatsoever rank and preeminence. And We declare to
be invalid and of no avail, whatsoever may be attempted knowingly or
unknowingly contrary to these, by any one, under any authority or pretext
whatsoever; all to the contrary notwithstanding.
will that the same authority be attributed to copies of these Letters, even if
printed, provided they be signed by the hand of a Notary, and confirmed by the
seal of some one in ecclesiastical dignity, as to the indication of Our will
by the exhibition of these presents.
therefore may infringe or temerariously venture to contravene this document of
Our constitution, ordination, limitation, derogation, and will. If any one
shall so presume, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God,
and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
St. Peter's in Rome, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and ninety-seven, on the 25th day of January, in the nineteenth
year of Our Pontificate.
J. De Aquila Visconti.
Registered in the Secretariat of Briefs,
of Indexes Which Were Issued Under the Authority of the Church, or Which,
Having Been Compiled by Ecclesiastics, Were Published Under the Authority of
London, Henry VIII, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Paris, the Sorbonne.
Paris, the Sorbonne.
Lucca, the Inquisition.
Louvain, Theol. Faculty, Emperor Charles V.
Louvain, Theol. Faculty, Emperor Charles V.
Louvain, Theological Faculty.
Rome, Paul IV.
Trent, Pius IV.
Antwerp, Theological Faculty of Louvain.
Antwerp, Theological Faculty of Louvain.
Antwerp, Theological Faculty of Louvain.
Rome, Sixtus V.
Rome, Clement VIII.
Rome, Alexander VII.
Rome, Innocent XII.
Namur and Liege, Hannot.
Vienna, Archbishop and Emperor.
Rome, Benedict XIV.
Rome, Gregory XVI.
Rome, Gregory XVI.
Rome, Pius IX.
Rome, Pius IX.
Rome, Leo XIII.
Rome, Leo XIII.
Rome, Leo XIII.
schedules of Church Indexes or even of papal Indexes could be prepared that
would be in precise accord with each other. An Index of one date would be
reissued some years later with a later date, but sometimes without change of
text; in the majority of instances, these later issues carried with them
supplements in which were summarised the prohibitions of the years succeeding
the original issue. The above schedule, which may be taken as approximately
complete, is intended to cover only those Indexes which were issued under the
authority of the Church and the State, and which, having included, in addition
to the classified lists of books condemned, separate 'constitutions,' decrees,
or briefs, may be accepted, at least for purposes of reference, as
constituting each a separate Index publication."
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
constantly receiving inquiries from members of the Society and others as to
where they might obtain books on Masonry and kindred subjects, other than
those listed each month on the inside back cover of THE BUILDER. Most of the
publications wanted have been out of print for years. Believing that many such
books might be in the hands of other members of the Society willing to dispose
of them we are setting apart this column each month for the use of our
members. Communications from those having old Masonic publications will also
Postoffice addresses are here given that those interested may communicate
direct with each other, no responsibility of any nature to he attached to the
requested that all brethren whose wants may be filled through this medium
communicate with the Secretary so that the notices may then be discontinued.
George D. MacDougall, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada: "History and
Cyclopedia," by Oliver and Macoy; "A Concise Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry," by
E. L. Hawkins; "Masonic Facts for Masons," by W. H. Russell: "Genius of
Freemasonry," by J. D. Buck; "The Traditions, Origin and Early History of
Freemasonry," by A. T. C. Pierson; "Illustrations of Freemasonry," by Wm.
Preston; "The Spirit of Freemasonry," by Wm. Hutchinson.
D. D. Berolzheimer, 1 Madison Ave., New York, N. Y.: "Realities of Masonry,"
Blake, 1879; "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons," Condor,
1894; "Masonic Bibliography," Carson, 1873; "Origin of Freemasonry," Paine,
Ernest E. Ford, 305 South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California; Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum, volumes 3, 6 and 7, with St. John's Cards, also St. John's Cards
for volumes 4 and 5; "Masonic Review," early volumes; "Voice of Masonry,"
early volumes; Proceedings Grand Council of California for the years 1877,
1878 and 1879; Transactions Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction for the
years 1882 and 1886.
Henry H. Klussmann, 310 Monastery St., West Hoboken, New Jersey: "The Masonic
Eclectic," volumes 1 and 2, published by Masonic Publishing and Manufacturing
Co., New York, N. Y.; "The Historical Landmarks and Other Evidences of
Freemasonry," by George Oliver,.D.D., published by Masonic Publishing Co., Wm.
T. Anderson, 3 East 4th St., New York, N. Y.
David E. W. Williamson, P. O. Box 754, Reno, Nevada: Perdiguier's "Livre du
Compagnonnage," and W. H. Rylands' "Freemasonry in the Seventh Century,"
quoted in Gould's "Concise History of Freemasonry."
H. Sandelands, 9258 91st St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: "The Spirit of
Freemasonry," by Wm. Hutchinson; "Signs and Symbols," by Dr. G. Oliver;
"Symbolical Teachings of Masonry and Its Message," by T. M. Stewart;
"Sidelights on Freemasonry," by J. T. Lawrence.
Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of
Samuel Lawrence," "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry."
Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Stray Leaves from a Freemason's Note
Book," by George Oliver. This volume also contains "Some Account of the Schism
showing the presumed origin of the Royal Arch Degree." Univ. Mas. Lib.
edition. Price $3.00. "Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry," by Robert Morris.
(Fiction and anecdotes.) Price $3.50.
RIGHT OF WAY
L. B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
to us in numbers now where once there was but one,
that leads up to our doors seems fairly overrun;
the question comes to us, how can the Craft today
popular and still maintain its old-time mystic sway?
A new and
faster age is here and we're of it a part
there's so much in this old world that tends to win its heart Away from what
once seemed to be held more in Brotherhood,
what we have always taught to be man's highest good.
So let us
welcome to the Art all who are qualified;
things that they most need should not be to them now denied; They've nowhere
else to go to find what we in Truth can give,
mission is to teach to them that Brotherhood must live.
within the past has come to us to do and dare,-
to keep this world of ours in fairly good repair,
may come to us again as in our country's past
was ours to forge the dies that were for freedom cast.
these days of dire unrest we're finding but our own
to build the Temple walls that henceforth may be known
one place where truth and love in altruistic sway
the beauties of its Art by its own right of way.
no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal
in its inhabitants for the good of their country.
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.
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 m
Block's article on "The Finality of Masonry" aroused my curiosity to know
something about Mr. George B. Foster to whom he refers.
BUILDER for August, last, page 222.) George Burman Foster was a professor of
theology in the University of Chicago until his death a year or so ago. He
became the theological storm center at three separate times: first, by his
publication of "The Finality of the Christian Religion"; second, by the
publication of "The Function of Religion in Man's Struggle for Existence"; and
third, by the heresy trial in which his brother Baptists of Chicago tried to
oust him from his ministerial fellowship on account of certain things said in
the last mentioned book.
* * *
frontispiece of THE BUILDER for August last has interested me much. But what
is meant by "Mopses" ? I see that it has some reference to "female
Freemasons," but what is the connection?
District of Columbia.
refers to the dog. If you will return to the picture you will note that one of
the ladies is handing a dog to the candidate. That animal was used by those
androgynous lodges as a sign of faithfulness, and it was that use which won
for them the sobriquet "mopses." The term, so it is supposed, came from the
German "mops," which means a pug dog.
* * *
never been able to get clear in my mind just what is meant by Masonic
Jurisprudence. Perhaps you can help me out. Also, maybe you can recommend a
book or two on the subject so that I can get posted.
Jurisprudence has to do with all matters pertaining to Masonic Law, and to
such customs and usages, the Landmarks for example, as have to do with Masonic
law. Mackey's Manual of Masonic Jurisprudence may be recommended as, perhaps,
the best work on the subject. THE BUILDER has published a number of articles
on Jurisprudence, notably the series prepared by Bro. Atchison which ran
through Volume III, beginning with the January issue; and the articles by Bro.
Roscoe Pound, on pages 105 and 211 of the same volume, and pages 117, 136 and
317 of Volume IV.
* * *
OLD LODGES" AND WHAT BECAME OF THEM
Oftentimes I have wondered whatever became of those "Four Old Lodges" which
figured so conspicuously in the rise of modern Speculative Masonry? Did they
go out of existence?
absorbed by other bodies ? If they are still working they should be famous
shrines for Masons the world over, and I think we should hear more about them.
G. L. C.,
Fortunately for us Bro. R. F. Gould devoted one of his most valuable essays to
this very question. This essay was read at an installation meeting of
"Fortitude and Old Cumberland Lodge,
on March 5, 1900, and may be found in its published form in his "Collected
Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry" which was published by William Tait,
1913. The following paragraph, on page 186 of that volume, answers your query:
of the Time Immemorial lodges have had their mutations of fortune. Antiquity
seceded, became a Grand Lodge and eventually returned to the fold. Original
No. 2 is dead. Fortitude and Old Cumberland has lost its rank; and the Royal
Somerset House and Iverness was erased from, but after a lapse of a few years
restored to the roll. Nevertheless, the three lodges which survive, gven if
they were at the bottom of the list of lodges instead of where they are, would
always have connected with them associations which belong to no other lodge,
so that if they have not priority of rank they stand in priority of estimation
over all other lodges. It is somewhat remarkable that no histories of these
lodges have been written. But the fame of Old Antiquity, the vicissitudes of
Fortitude and Old Cumberland, and the galaxy of worthies who were members of
Somerset House and Iverness, may yet, let us hope, serve as founts of
inspiration from which future chroniclers may draw freely, and as freely
record in lodge histories the eminent services rendered to Freemasonry by
previous generations of distinguished Craftsmen, whose names adorn the rolls
of either of the three still surviving lodges of Immemorial Antiquity; or, to
vary the expression, the three living English lodges, of whose existence "the
memory of man runneth not the contrary."
* * *
I had an
argument with a Brother Mason which we have agreed to leave to you to settle.
I said that the Cryptic Degrees of Masonry included all those that belong to
Royal Arch Masonry. He said that the term refers to only three of those
degrees Is he right, or am I ?
G. J. H.,
mistake your inquiry you are neither one right, for the term "Cryptic Degrees"
should be used only of the two degrees known as Royal, and Select Master. The
word "Crypt" comes from the Greek term "Krupto," which means "to hide," and it
was early used of a vault or underground cavern, such as the catacombs where
the persecuted Christians were wont to hide. Accordingly, Cryptic Masonry is
that which has to do with the vault. There was a vault, it seems, under
Solomon's Temple; stones were hewn out there, it is probable, and much of the
work done in preparing stones for the building was carried on in it.
* * *
recommend a book on the cross as a symbol ?
L. B. T.,
making of such books there has been no end. The French savants have devoted
more time to the subject than any other group of scholars: if you read in that
language write us again and we shall give you a list of titles. In English you
will very probably find what you are looking for in the two following volumes:
"The Cross in Tradition and History," by W. W. Seymour, Putnam's, 1898, and
"The Cross in Ritual, Architecture and Art," by George S. Tyack, William
Andres and Company, London, 1900.
tell me something about "The Free and Accepted Americans" ? I think they were
a kind of secret political body in the early days of the last century, but
that is as much as I can learn about them.
organization was formed about 1853 as a native American patriotic secret
society. Its founder was a man named William Patton and its first meeting was
held in a stable, the second in Convention Hall, New York City. In 1855 there
were fifty-nine temples in New York City and Kings County. It later was
absorbed by the Know Nothing party and did not survive the Know Nothing
movement. Its original name was American Brethren. It was afterwards known as
Wide Awakes but the most common name was the Templar's Order of the American
Star, Free and Accepted Americans. The form of the name indicates that many of
its members or at least its founders were Masons but I have nothing to show
that the organization itself was ever affiliated with the Masonic Order. See
McMaster's History of the United States in chapters dealing with the period.
PERTINENT COMMENT AND A REPLY
entirely friendly spirit, but none the less emphatically, I must make protest
against the third paragraph of your editorial on "A Pressing Masonic Need" in
the May issue of THE BUILDER. I am surprised that you should use such a word
there as "evil," where it is so uncalled for.
second paragraph, you use the word "shame" in the positive degree to describe
a condition of mind, and rightly so. The cheerful ignorance of very many
highly placed brethren, let alone the undecorated masses, is only equalled by
their careless attitude in these matters.
fourth paragraph, you use the word "evil" in the superlative degree, and
rightly so. With many of us in Canada the term "American Masonry" is becoming
a synonym for all that is inaccurate, unreliable, and fanciful to the limit,
both in work and word. Your presses seem to turn out "literature" somewhat as
Lenine's print rouble notes; you know the results.
have no justification for using the word "evil" in the comparative degree - or
any other - to describe the condition so well set forth in your third
paragraph. It might be styled "regrettable," but I do not concede even that,
for why should the young man be blamed for having less wisdom than his fathers
What opportunities have United States Masons had to develop Masonic
scholarship? Your field of original research is much more limited than that of
your English and European brethren; you have of native origin, only that
referred to by Bro. Parker in your issue for last November ("Freemasonry among
American Indians"); of imported subjects you have little besides the quarrel
as to seniority between the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania,
which is of only local interest at present, and the various methods of work
due to brethren, immigrants from the British Isles and Europe, uniting as best
they could in territories where no Grand Lodge had previous jurisdiction, and
without any standard save their memories and good intentions.
why is it "unfortunate" that "the chief treasure of Masonic learning" is of
English origin. It will then be equally unfortunate that your best racial
stocks, with their genius for self-government are also imported from
Anglo-Saxon origins,: and that you have strayed so far from the standards of
your s only true American (Indian) predecessors.
the cart before the horse in stating that "the Masonry of England is so very
different from ours that . . . their books are misleading to an American
reader." That fault is more properly a reflection upon American ritualists.
Our "Emulation" work which dates from 1814 at least, is still available for
comparison and realignment but to assure themselves, since 1776, that
am I in my Mother's house
mistress in my own"
leaders have "improved" the work much as the villiage choir did Handel. The
actual fact now is that the Masonry of the United States is so very different
from that of England that your books are misleading to an English reader, and
that has application as between your own Grand Lodges, too.
however, admit the truth of your closing sentences in this objectionable third
paragraph. The editions of our good books are too small for all but
contemporary readers, and always will be so long as the degree mills work and
men have the conviction that Freemasonry is but a pleasant social order with
some funny trimmings. Even in 1878, the learned author of Kenning's Cyclopedia
writes that our literature is often "a drug on the market," which would
indicate that the proportion of those who take Masonry seriously, to the
general membership who don't, was no greater then than it is today.
Most Wor. Bro. Schoonover, in support THE BUILDER, is doing just what you ask
for, and that from your readers - helped thereto by your united efforts, past
and to come - will appear those able to carry on the ideals set up by Quatuor
Coronati. But if it takes three generations to make a gentleman, how long will
it take to make a scholar in a line of thought that is not associated with
commercial or professional needs ? I think you will admit that this requires a
type of mind and circumstance that your young nation has not yet produced.
If any of
the words in the editorial in question can, by any fair interpretation, be
construed to mean that I have described English Masonic literature and
scholarship an "evil" then all those words are at once and in toto recalled
and recanted: but of course that was not the point of the paragraph at all.
The "evil" lies in the fact that we American Masons are so largely compelled
to depend on a Masonic literature that is foreign to us. What would your
English brethren say, Brother Haydon, were they suddenly to be deprived of
their own literature and as suddenly made dependent on American books and
writers? American Masonry is in many ways quite different from the English
variety, and I can well imagine that English Masons, under such an imagined
condition, would feel like walkers in a fog as they would try to make their
way through the chapters written about American Masonry and by American
Masons. Some of us, by dint of keeping everlastingly at it, have gotten
English Masonry more or less straightened out in our minds, but the great
majority of American Masonic readers are in a different way: some of the very
best books ever written on Masonic themes are shut to them simply because they
can't find their way about in the fields of English Masonic life. It is that
state of affairs that is the "evil," not the fact that we have access to
English literature. As to that literature THE BUILDER has been second to none
in recommending it, and using it, and praising it, and promoting it.
I do not
believe for a moment that the mere fact that we are "a young nation" (we are
young only in a certain very restricted sense as your Gilbert Chesterton once
pointed out in a valuable essay) has anything to do with our Masonic
scholarship, any more than it has had anything to do with our American
scholarship in other lines. The fact that Henry Charles Lea was an American
did not prevent him from writing the best histories of the Inquisition ( see
what Lord Acton says about them) that have ever been written, and the fact
that Motley was born here did not make it impossible for him to write a
history of the Rise of the Dutch Republic. We have the same facilities for
Masonic scholarship that we have for any other. scholarship; also, I believe
we have here and there in the great body of American Masonry many minds quite
as capable of the highest performances in the subjects in question as minds
bred by any other nation.
this "evil" about which I wrote? Why haven't we something adequate by way of a
national Masonic literature? I believe it is because American Masonry some
eighty or ninety years ago took a certain "set," or fell into certain ruts,
one of the results of which is that it has been indifferent to, and often
actually hostile to, any attempt to spread abroad the true light concerning
Masonry's own history and character. To this very day, and in some Grand
Jurisdictions as well as in subordinate lodges, the mere suggestion that
something be done by way of encouraging Masonic study and Masonic literature
will be greeted with a great hue and outcry, as though some unhappy brother
were about to abolish the ancient landmarks. It is because our traditions have
so long looked in a very different direction that we have no body of Masonic
literature worthy of us, and little encouragement to anybody to try to produce
such a literature.
that we have little Masonic background and few Masonic traditions. Is it your
thought that all Masonic literature should be antiquarian in its nature ? It
does not seem so to me. We need first-class histories of the Masonry of each
and every one-of our Jurisdictions; we need a reliable one-volume history of
Masonry in the United States; and we need a general clearing up of origins as
a whole: but we also need, and as badly, a body of literature that can
describe, appraise, and interpret Masonry as it now exists, here and abroad.
wish me to say that "the Masonry of the United States differs very much from
the Masonry of England," instead of vice versa, very well; it is merely a
matter of words. The fact remains that, for one or a thousand reasons, the
difference is there: and by token of that fact is it that we need a literature
that understands conditions as they are here and addresses itself to ollr own
Masonic mind in such a way that we can understand "what it is all about."
* * *
Brother Dudley Wright's article in the June issue of THE BUILDER it is
suggested, in the second sentence, that Sir Robert Moray who was initiated
five years prior to Ashmole - which would be in 1641 - was the first
speculative brother of whom we have record. It may be of interest to know that
in "Two Centuries of Freemasonry," published by M.'.W.'. Brother Ed
Quartier-la-Tente, of Switzerland, there appears on page twenty-one this
fairly early date non-professionals had themselves received into the guild of
Masons. The first of whom history makes mention was a Scotchman, Mr. John
Boswell of Auchinleck, who signed the notes of a meeting of the lodge of
Edinburgh on June 6, 1600."
writer then gives us a little more information about Sir Robert Moray by
stating "The first to be admitted on English territory was also a Scotehman,
viz. Robert Moray, a general of the Scotch Army, admitted May 20, 1641, by
members of the ancient lodge of Edinburgh who were serving in the Scotch Army.
As Moray was not a member of the guild, he at once became a Master."
much to interest United States brethren in this book of Brother la Tente, but
if he issues a second edition I hope he will rectify the numerous errors of
proof-reading which should have never been allowed to pass.
N. W. J.
* * *
SPIRITUALITY AMONG THE EARLY BUILDERS
June number of THE BUILDER appears an interesting and instructive paper on
"Emblematic Freemasonry," by Brother Arthur E. Waite, and while one feels
indebted to him for the courteous way in which he differs in some of his
conclusions from what certain of us hold, it is rather astonishing to find him
drawing those conclusions.
and perhaps the principal one of which I am thinking, is contained in the
following words of Brother Waite:
Dionysian Architects, Roman Collegia, Comacines and Building Guilds of the
Middle Ages I have failed to discover any traces of an art of building
Brother Waite means that in these he has failed to find the Legend of the
Third Degree it might be difficult to show that he is wrong. But although that
may be a very important part of our speculative system it is not the whole,
and many good Masons are of the opinion that it has no great antiquity and
that without it our system could still be one veiled in allegory and
illustrated by symbols. And, if so, I venture to suggest that there is
abundant evidence that the Medieval Builders spiritualized their art.
Naturally I turn to the Comacine Masters in whose columns at Wurzburg Brother
Waite only sees evidence that the Cathedral Builders were acquainted with Holy
whether they derived their information with regard to the Temple of Solomon
from Scripture or from other sources surely the association of mystical names
with them indicates a purpose quite outside of mere historical fact or
of their use of the Lions, especially in positions architecturally wrong where
they carry columns on their backs - or of their grotesques - meaning nothing
unless something spiritual? Why do they carve on their lodge at Assisi a rose
in connection with the open compasses? What do they everywhere mean by their
interlaced work which, if for ornament only, would come very near being a vain
I do not
wish to labour the point but I think I could show by many more illustrations
that throughout the work of the Comacine Masters there are evidences of a
regards Leader Scott who, as Brother Waite says, was the first authority on
the Comacines, may I mention she was Mrs., not Miss Baxter, and she had, I
believe, a brother who was a Freemason of some learning, so that her knowledge
of modern speculative Masonry was not exclusively derived from Italian
sources, as Brother Waite suggests. I think this brother, if I remember
aright - I have not the book at hand for the moment - wrote one or two
chapters of the "Cathedral Builders."
* * *
OLDEST LODGE SECRETARY
sent me a clipping from THE BUILDER for June 1921, to the effect that Brother
Edward F. Chase of Siloan Lodge No. 780, A. F. & A. M., of Chicago, Illinois,
was the oldest active secretary in the United States if not in the world, and
that he was born February 25th, 1831.
father-in-law, Robert Vickers, a member of Virginia City Lodge No. 1, Virginia
City Chapter No. 1, and Virginia City Commandery No. 1, was born February
15th, 1830 making him a year and ten days older than Bro. Chase.
been secretary of the Chapter and recorder of the Commandery for over twenty
years and still holds said positions and I think you will not find more neatly
and better kept record, than his.
seldom misses a meeting and walks from his home to the lodge room more quickly
than lots of younger men.
* * *
APPRECIATION OF BROTHER BLOCK'S ARTICLE IN THE AUGUST ISSUE
just finished reading "The Finality of Masonry" by Brother Louis Block, P.G.M.,
in "THE BUILDER" for August. In my opinion this is the most valuable
constructive contribution to Masonic thought that has been published for a
long time. Especially is it valuable under the conditions created in the
fraternity by the "making" of so many Masons during the past five years,
whereby the fraternity is confronted with problems that seriously threaten its
influence in society. We have too many brethren whose conception of Masonry
does not extend beyond the word of the ritual, and who are therefore unable,
even if they desire, to exemplify in their lives, the spirit of Masonry. It is
the spirit, not the word alone, that makes Masonry a living force needed now
more than ever before in my Masonic experience for the salvation of Masonry
be well if Brother Block's contribution were read in every Masonic lodge in
the United States. At the earliest opportunity I shall present it to the
School of Instruction in this Masonic District.
E. Manson, Pennsylvania,