The Builder Magazine
October 1922 - Volume VIII -
The Religion of America
BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, NEW YORK
America belongs to the soul as much as to the body, and therefore, like
Olympus in the Homeric poems, is rightly found in the geography of the
spiritual world. It would be better, perhaps, if we learned to think of it in
this wise oftener than we do - better for America as well as for ourselves,
and that in ways the most practical. At any rate such is the theme of the
author of this beautiful essay, and he has won such fame as an interpreter of
the religious implications of the American ideas as gives his words great
weight. Readers of THE BUILDER will he interested to know that Brother Newton
has recently produced a brilliant book entitled "Preaching in London"; it is
published by The George H. Doran Company, 244 Madison Avenue, New York. In
due time it will be reviewed in the Library Department.
RELIGION is a universal and elemental power in human life, and to limit its
scope by restrictive adjectives would seem, at first glance, to be
self-contradictory. For this reason, the idea of an American religion borders
on inconsistency. Since all souls are alike genetically, and the divine life
flows into all similarly; since human life pulsates to the same great needs,
the same great faiths, the same great hopes, why speak of the religion of one
nation as if it were unique? Is not the religious sentiment a supreme
revelation of the essential unity of humanity, and the ultimate basis of
Exactly, but the very fact that religion is the creative impulse of humanity
promises variety of form, of accent and expression. While humanity is one, in
the economy of progress a distinctive mission and message is assigned to each
great race, for the fulfilment of which it is held accountable before the bar
of history. Naturally, in the working out of that destiny the impulse common
to the race is given form, colour and characteristic expression by the social,
political and intellectual environment in which it develops. Thus the
religion of Greece with its myriad gods, albeit springing from the same
impulse as that of Egypt, is yet different. And the modern man looks with a
new wonder upon the various costumes in which the religious sentiment has
appeared in different ages and nations, and rejoices in its variegated life as
adding infinitely to its picturesque reality and philosophic interest.
same token, no one can read the story of mankind aright unless he sees that
our human life has its basis and inspiration in the primary intuition of
kinship with God. The state, not less than the church, science equally with
theology, have their roots in this fundamental reality. At the center of
human life is the altar of faith and prayer, and from it the arts and sciences
spread out, fanwise, along all the avenues of culture. The temples which
crowned the hills of Athens were works of art, dreams come true in stone; but
they were primarily tributes to the gods - the artistic genius finding its
inspiration and motif in religious faith. Until we lay firm hold of the truth
of the essential religiousness of human life, we have no clue to its meaning
and evolution. So and only so may anyone ever hope to interpret the eager,
aspiring, prophetic life of America, whose ruling ideas and consecrating
ideals have their authority and appeal by virtue of an underlying religious
conception of life and the world.
it becomes increasingly manifest that this republic of ours - this melting-pot
of all nations an races - has its own unique and animating spirit, its
mission, and its destiny to fulfill. Just as to the Greeks we owe art and
philosophy, to the Hebrews the profoundest religion, to the Romans law and
organization, and to the Anglo-Saxons laws that are self-created from the
sense of justice in the people; just so this nation has a distinct
contribution to make to the wealth of human ideals. America is not an
accident. It is not a fortuitous agglomeration of exiles and emigrants. Nor
is it a mere experiment to test an abstract dogma of state. It is the natural
development of a distinct life - an inward life of visions, passions, and
hopes embodying itself in outward laws, customs, institution ways of thinking
and ways of doing things - a mighty spiritual fact which may well detain us to
inquire into its meaning. Because we are carving a new image in the pantheon
of history it behooves us to ask whether or not from this teeming,
multitudinous life there is not emerging an interpretation of religion
distinctively and characteristically American. In a passage of singular
elevation both of language and of thought, Hegel explains why he did not
consider America in his Philosophy of History, written in 1823:
"America is the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the
burden of the world's history shall reveal itself. It is the land of desire
for all those who are weary of the historical lumber-room of old Europe. It
is for America to abandon the ground on which hitherto the history of the
world has developed itself. What has taken place in the new world up to the
present time is only an echo of the old world - the expression of a foreign
life; and as a land of the future, it has no interest for us here, for, as
regards history, our concern must be with that which has been and that which
Written by a great - thinker who studied the history of the world as an
unfolding of the divine life of man, and who searched every age for the
footprints of God, those words are truly memorable. They are a recognition of
the unique and important mission of our republic, and its unescapable
responsibility in the arena of universal history. Much has happened since
Hegel wrote, and the drama of our national destiny, as so far unfolded, is a
fulfilment of his prophecy, as witness these words wherein one also of our own
poets has set that history to music:
is the new world's Gospel: Be ye men!
well the legends of the children's time;
a chosen people, God has led
steps across the desert of the deep
across the desert of the shore;
Mountains are cleft before you as the sea
the wandering tribes of Israel's sons;
onward rolls the thunderous caravan,
coming printed on the western sky
cloud by day, by night a pillar of flame;
prophets are a hundred to one
them of old who cried, 'Thus saith the Lord';
told of cities that should fall in heaps,
yours of mightier cities that shall rise
yet the lowly fishers spread their nets
tree of knowledge in your garden grows,
single, but at every humble door."
RELIGIOUS QUALITY OF AMERICA
then, is the quality of the religious America as it has revealed itself in our
national life? Socrates was right when he said that the real religion of
Greece was not to be found in its temples. Emerson made a like remark with
respect to the religion of England. Just so, much of the theology taught among
us, even today, was transplanted to our shores from lands and times alien to
our own, and, if taken literally, it would be incompatible with our
fundamental national principles. It was the product of minds whose only idea
of the state was that of an absolute monarchy, a shadow of vanished empires, a
reminiscence of ages when the serfdom of the people and the despotism of
constituted authorities were established conditions. Its idea of God, of man,
of salvation are such as would naturally occur to the subjects of a monarchy,
and this may be one reason why they hardly touch the actual life of men in our
land. Fortunately our fathers kept
theology and their politics apart, seemingly un-aware of the conflict between
them. If Puritanism crystallized in grotesque forms about the idea of
conscience, the genius of the Cavaliers was individualism. Out of these
apparently antagonistic ideals, nurtured each upon its own soil within our
national domain, has come that life which is destined to embody the religious
spirit in a form peculiar to America. So that, if we would know the theology
of America, to say nothing of its religion, we must go further than to the
creeds of our churches, and find it in the life of the people, their temper,
spirit and character.
Obviously, if we are to know the religion of America we must seek it in the
Spirit of America, and what may that spirit be? Here we find an unusual
diversity of judgment, both among native and foreign students, but they fall
into two general classes. There are those who tell us that we are a crude,
sordid folk, sodden in materialism, and others who are equally sure that we
are a race of incurable idealists. Let us hasten to admit that both classes
of our critics are right, and that it is precisely this blending of
self-interest with other-selfness, this robust realism working on a basis of
the ideal, seeking to make tangible the unbrought grace of life and its finer
values, which constitutes the chief glory of our nation. What idealism alone
leads to and ends in, India shows us. What its opposite results in, some
think they see in the unimaginative, scientific efficiency of Germany. These
two must be held together, that so our materialism may incarnate our idealism,
and our idealism consecrate and transfigure our materialism.
Because this is so, because our national spirit has this dual aspect, it is a
blunder to leave either element out of account in the interpretation of our
history. Historians are apt to emphasize the purely material causes of our
national growth, interpreting it as a matter of chance, of geographical
environment, or, as is now the fashion, of economic necessity. Thus we find
the grand traits of New England character attributed to the harsh climate, to
sterile soil, to hostile conditions, while the Revolution and the Anti-Slavery
movements are held to have been primarily commercial in their motives. It is
not true. While no one can deny the influence of geography and industries, it
is little short of blasphemy to overlook those deeper causes those glowing
sentiments that have touched the hearts and fired the souls of our people.
America is a land of commercial opportunity, but our hearts are not in our
ledgers and our aspirations are not expressed in profits. What really rules
this nation is a passionate attachment to the ideals of freedom and
fraternity; and the soul of our people finds voice, not in the record of bank
clearings, but in the far-flung visions of our national poets and heroes.
Stephen Graham, having followed the Russian pilgrimage to the Holy City, came
with the poor emigrants to America, and tells us that it was a journey from
the most mystical of all lands to the most material. And yet, if we take
Tolstoi as the typical man of Russia, of its strength and gentleness, and its
strange lights and shadows, and place him alongside Lincoln, the most typical
man of America, who will say that America is not also a land of mysticism?
Indeed, when Lincoln fell fifty years ago, it was Tolstoi who said, "He was a
Christ in miniature." To say that America is idealistic is only another way of
saying that it is instinctively and intensely religious; that our national
life is rooted in spiritual reality; and this profound religiousness has
touched our history to finer issues, turning an almanac of prices into an Epic
of Humanity - nay, into a chapter in the very biography of God.
Consider now the religious meaning of the basic ideas and aspirations of our
American life. Before there was an American republic, thinkers in other lands
had wrought out the gospel of liberty, equality, and fraternity as a
speculative thesis; but our fathers proceeded from theory to practice, and
that, too, with an unshakable faith in human nature. Holding that government
must be by the people and of the people, they ceased theorizing and brought
forth on this continent a nation dedicated to the truth that man has as
inalienable right to be free-trusting the free man to guard his freedom and to
find in his freedom the solution of whatever problems may arise. That is to
say, they reversed the theological teaching of ages, and risked the fate of
our nation on faith in the essential goodness of human nature and its kinship
with God! Surely he is blind who does not see how radical is the religious
meaning of this first principle of our American theology. America is a symbol
of confidence in human nature; it assumes the inherent divinity and sacredness
of man, and our history has justified that faith.
this is a government of the people, the hideous dogma of the state as an
abstract entity, a collective fiction, leading a life of its own, above and
beyond that of the men who compose it - the frightful dogma which makes the
state a kind of mortal God who can do no wrong, an irresponsible Moloch whose
necessity is law, and to which liberty and right are to be sacrificed - has no
place in America! Thank God we know nothing of the atheism that the state must
do what it has to do, law or no law, right or no right, and that reasons of
state justify anything, no matter how infernal! No, we are the state, and if
our nation is guilty of a crime, each of us is guilty, in his degree, of that
crime. America, by the very genius of its national faith, repudiates the
political infamy of Machiavelli and all his ilk, holding the moral law to be
as binding upon the state as it is upon the life of the individual man. In
other words, our fathers took God into account and had respect for His eternal
moral order, when they founded this republic, basing it, as they did, upon a
religious conception of life and the world.
Foreign critics have often pointed out how visionary and unworkable such a
principle is: nevertheless it works. To be sure, it has its inconveniences at
times. As Gerrit Smith used to say, living in an autocracy is like taking a
voyage on a great ocean liner, and sailing smoothly over the sea. Its
appointments are perfect, its service delightful, but we have nothing to do
with the running of it. Whereas, living in a republic is like riding on a
raft. It is less comfortable, our feet are wet half the time, and we have a
lot of trouble - but we run the raft! Carl Schurz, in his talks with Bismarck,
put it in another way. In a monarchy, he said, details are well handled but
the general tendency is wrong. In a republic the details may be muddled, but
the general trend and direction are right, and he thought it better to be
right in great matters even if we handle the details of national life
unskilfully, than to be efficient in minor matters and wrong fundamentally.
Always, a new idea of man implies and involves a new conception of God. It
was natural for the men who bowed low when the glittering chariot of Caesar
swept along the streets of Rome to think of God as an omnipotent Emperor,
ruling the world with an arbitrary and irresponsible almightiness. For men
who live in this land of the free such a conception of God is a caricature.
The citizens of a republic do not believe that God is an infinite autocrat,
nor do they bow down to divine despotism; they worship in the presence of an
Eternal Father, who is always and everywhere accessible to the humblest man
who lifts his heart in prayer. Republican principles necessarily involve
faith in the Fatherhood of God. The logic of the American idea leads to faith
in a Divine Love universal and impartial, all-encompassing and everlasting.
Mayhap we find here a hint why so many men, like Lincoln and Hay, have lived
outside the church, not because they were irreligious, but because the
theology of the church is not in accord with the theology of the republic.
America, itself a realized vision, is another name for Brotherhood. By a
process of assimilation we have admitted men from all the nations of the earth
into our national fraternity, extending to them the right of equal suffrage
and citizenship. They walk with us along our avenues of trade; they sit with
us in our legislative halls; they worship with us in our temples. Americans
all, each race brings some rich gift of enterprise, idealism, and tradition,
and all are loyal to our genius of liberty under wise and just laws many races
without rancour, many faiths without feud. How many of us here today could
repeat the words of John Hay:
I look to the springs from which my blood descends, the first ancestors I ever
heard of were a Scotchman who was half English and a German woman who was half
French. Of my more immediate progenitors, my mother was from New England and
my father from the South. In this bewilderment of origin and experience, I
can only put on the aspect of deep humility in any gathering of favourite
sons, and confess that I am nothing but an American."
we are giving an actual illustration of the Brotherhood of Man - an
illustration that is also a prophecy. Here the genius of America is one with
the teachings of all true religion, since the spirit of fraternity is the
essence of both - having its springs in Love, its attainment in Sacrifice, and
its mission in Service. May this spirit grow and flourish to the confounding
of all inhumanity! America knows nothing of a Slavic race, nothing of a
Teutonic race, nothing of a Saxon race, but only the Human race, one in origin
and destiny, as it must be one in a great fellowship of sympathy and service.
No wonder the religious spirit of America is victoriously optimistic. As
James Bryce said, American patriotism is itself a religion, in its confidence
in the ultimate triumph of its principle, and in its conviction that this
nation has a mission as an evangelist of liberty and fraternity among men - as
truly as the Hebrew had a mission of righteousness to the ends of the earth.
Of the influence of this spirit upon theology, a great Frenchman has said:
country where everything succeeds, where at the feast of life there is room
for all, where every man sits by his fireside in peace, believes what seems
true to him, and worships God in every way his heart loves best, it must be
difficult to conceive of a heaven with a narrow gateway and a salvation
limited to a few. The American is therefore naturally an optimist."
is the religious spirit as it has revealed itself in this land, coloured by
the genius of republic, and the social, industrial and political conditions
under which our nation has grown - a faith profound and fruitful, hearty,
wholesome, joyous, facing the future with a soul of adventure, often
beshadowed but never eclipsed, sometimes retarded but never defeated. If it
is revolutionary, it is also redeeming, lifting humanity out of despotism into
liberty, demanding the right of every man to stretch his arms and his soul, to
seek that truth by which no man was ever injured, and to look up from the lap
of Mother Earth into the face of God the Father, and climb "upward through law
and faith to Love." It is a great and simple faith in God and man, in the law
of right and the golden rule of love; it is religion of the future, vital with
the vitality of the universe, the spirit of God moving in the heart of a great
people - Emmanuel!
in dumb resignation
lift our hands on high;
like the nerveless fatalist
Content to trust and die.
faith springs like the Eagle
soars to meet the sun,
cries exulting unto Thee,
Lord, Thy will be done.
will! It bids the weak be strong,
bids the strong be just;
to fawn, no hand to beg,
brow to seek the dust.
Wherever man oppresses man
Beneath Thy liberal sun,
Lord, be there Thine arm made bare,
righteous will be done!"
SWINGING THE AXE IN YOUR DISTRICT?
"'Is education a
profession or a mission?' If any of you have any axes to grind, you had better
leave them outside before you enter the hall.
" 'The progress of
education is,' Dr. Jacks states, 'being seriously retarded at the present time
by a number of ax-grinding interests with which it has somehow got itself
associated. First of all there is the political ax, then the economic ax, and
a third, more difficult to name, called the religious ax....
" 'Education, as it is
now beginning to be understood, includes the whole culture of the citizen, his
character as well as his intellect, his ideals in life as well as his
technical aptitude. A certain effect of giving education its proper place in
public life will be to raise the personnel of public life all round....
"'Nor will they get the
best teachers in the elementary schools so long as that impression remains,
which reduces teaching to one of the most dismal and uninspiring avocations
pursued by man.' . . .
"We are beginning to
wake up to the fact that education is co-extensive with the whole of a man's
life and that fact is causing a tremendous revolution. The establishment of
continuation schools and the movement for adult education, which is going
ahead with a rapidity we do not realize, are significant of the profound
change in the public mind as to the whole meaning and scope of education. In
other words, the truth is beginning to dawn that unless education is kept up,
it is not education at all. Therefore the education to begin with must be one
that can be kept up, or it is not education. From the very beginning the eye
of the teacher must be fixed on the whole life which he is beginning to
" 'Of all vocations,'
said Dr. Jacks, 'it seemed to him that that of the teacher ought to be the
most delightful, the most inspiring and the most romantic, and it would come
the most delightful when its true significance had been grasped by the
public.’ “ - Dr. L. P. Jacks, Oxford - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
BRO. DOUGLAS D. MARTIN. EDITOR THE DETROIT MASONIC NEWS
the tramp of feet to the drums' dull beat
the flash of plume and steel,
with martial tread, 'neath a Cross of Red
ranks of the Templars wheel.
the ancient sign of an honored line,
white - half black as hate,
de Bouillon reared and the Moslem feared
old Damascus gate.
the battle song of a day long gone
the Templars drew their steel,
the Cross might stand in the Holy Land -
they died for their high ideal.
days of old when their fraters bold
forth in faith to die,
they march today in their brave array,
Cross of their creed held high.
knightly endeavor, striving forever
merit their frater's fame;
honor their pride, who have never denied
love for their Captain's name.
AMERICAN MASONIC FEDERATION AND ITS CLAIMS TO HIGHER DEGREES
BRO. CHARLES C. HUNT, IOWA
BUILDER for September, Brother Hunt furnished an account of the claims of the
American Masonic Federation, of which Mathew McBlain Thomson was head, to its
Blue Lodge titles, along with a very clear exposition of the groundlessness of
such claims. He now presents a second article to deal in a similar manner
with that same clandestine organization's claims to the Higher Degrees. In
THE BUILDER for November will appear a third article to give an account of the
trial held at Salt Lake City last May at which Thomson and two of his fellow
conspirators were convicted of fraudulent use of the mails, fined, and
sentenced to a federal penitentiary. The three articles together will
constitute an exceedingly interesting study of the moot points in Masonic
history and jurisprudence, as well as tell the story of one of the most famous
cases in American Masonic history.
Brother Charles C. Hunt was born in Cleveland, Ohio, November 9, 1856. He
moved to Monticello, Iowa, and there lived until 1888 when he left to attend
Grinnell College from which he graduated in 1892. After teaching school for a
few years he became Deputy Treasurer of Poweshiek County, Iowa; after twelve
years in that office, he became County Treasurer for six years, and State
Examiner for four years. He was raised in Lafayette Lodge No. 52, A.F. and
A.M., July 24, 1900; was Worshipful Master, 1904-1908 inclusive; was exalted
in Hyssop Chapter, No. 52, R.A.M., Malcom, Iowa; Knighted in De Paynes
Commandery No. 6, Oskaloosa, Iowa; and received the 32 degree, A.&A.S.R. in
Des Moines Consistory No. 4. He was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of
Iowa, 1919-1920. Since 1917 he has been Deputy Grand Secretary of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa. Brother Hunt's numerous Masonic writings, many times reprinted,
have made his name familiar to Masons the country over.
former article I considered the case of Thomson's so-called American Masonic
Federation principally from the standpoint of the Craft degrees. Mathew
McBlain Thomson, however, in 1900, before the organization of the American
Masonic Federation, had formed a Council to work what he called the Scottish
Rite degrees, from the fourth up. He claimed to have authority to do this by
virtue of a charter issued to him on the second day of April, 1898, by the
"Scottish Grand Council of Rites," and which reads as follows:
all Free and Accepted Masons of whatever degree, Greeting: Know that we, the
Most E. and R. Sovereign Grand Master and High Priest of the Scottish Grand
Council of Rites authorize and empower our trusted and well beloved Frater,
Cousin and Brother in the Bond, Matthew McBlain Thomson, xlvii, 3,3, 90, 96,
to confer on any worthy Mason any degree recognized and wrought under our
Grand Council, and to establish Councils, Conclaves or Tabernacles for working
the same, in any country where there is not already a Grand Body working such
degrees, and this shall be his warrant for so doing.
witness our hand and the seal of Grand Council, at Airdrie, Scotland, this
twentieth day of April, A. D. 1898.
and R., S.G.M. and H.P."
Peter Spence who signed this patent was a member of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, and thus a semblance of authority was given to Thomson by this
instrument. Later, Peter Spence withdrew from the so-called Grand Council of
Rites, that body having been declared to be clandestine by the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, and thus Thomson lost whatever colour of title he may have had to
these degrees. For it must be remembered that this so-called patent was the
only authority he had or claimed to have for this purpose.
connection with this patent, Thomson traces his Chain of Title to the higher
degrees as follows:
of Title of the Higher Degrees or the Early Grand National Scottish Rite,
Ancient and Accepted, from time immemorial in Scotland to the 'Confederated
Supreme Councils' Incorporated into the American Masonic Federation in the
United States of America, together with a few brief explanatory notes.
Craft Degrees known as 'Blue' and the Higher Degrees as 'Red,' 'Green,' 'First
Black,' 'Second Black,' 'White' and 'Purple.'
will be understood that 'Mother Kilwinning' was the great chartering or Mother
Lodge of Scotland, having granted many charters for working the Craft degrees
under shelter of which was worked the higher degrees.
higher degrees were divided into two classes known as 'Charter Degrees', 'Side
Steps'; the former were conferred only at stated assemblies and with a
required number present; the latter could be conferred by individual Fratres,
and this system was continued to the year 1800, when the degrees were worked,
not under shelter of the Craft Charters, but under shelter of a Templar
authority obtained from the Early Grand High Knight Templars of Ireland.
the Charter of Renunciation granted by the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland
to the Scottish Encampments only provided for the government and working of
the Royal Arch and Templar Degrees, the other degrees of the system were given
a separate government under control of Patriarchs, entitled 'The Grand Council
of Rites,' which governed the Green, White and Purple degrees, the Templars
still being in a sense in control, as the Grand Commander of the Encampment
was invariably the Grand Master of the Council.
Grand Council of Rites worked all the degrees which it had previously worked
from Times Immemorial, and also as worked under shelter of the Templars, with
this exception, that it no longer worked the Templar Degrees. The full title
of the high degrees as worked by the Grand Council of Rites, are known as 'The
Early Grand National Scottish Rite, Ancient and Accepted.'
"Mother Kilwinning of Time Immemorial."
"Charter granted by Mother Kilwinning to the Craft lodge designated 'High
Knight Templars' of Ireland, dated October 8, 1779, from which eventually was
formed the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of Ireland."
"Tabernacle or Council of Patriarchs who conferred the high degrees and 'Side
Steps' under shelter of the Craft charters and in the Craft lodges."
Early Grand Encampment of High Knights Templars of Ireland claiming a previous
existence for more than a century, grants charter to the Fraters of Scotland
to a law passed in Scotland and by virtue of that law, the Grand Lodge of
Scotland forbade her daughter lodges from working any degrees but those of E.A.,
F.C., with Mark, Master Mason and the Installed Degree; therefore, the Fratres
in Scotland applied in 1800 to the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland and
received Templar charters under which the Patriarchs worked them under shelter
of the Craft charters."
1822 the Fratres of Scotland applied for and received their Independence from
Ireland's Early Encampment, and Robert Martin became their first Grand
1822 the Tabernacle or Council of Patriarchs, becoming tired of sheltering
under other wings, with the consent of the Early Grand Encampment, branched
off and changed their name to that of the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland."
the 20th day of April, 1898, the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, through
Peter Spence, Grand Commander and High Priest, granted a patent to M. McB.
Thomson, as the Representative in the United States of America, to form
Councils, Conclaves, etc."
by virtue of that Patent Fratre M. McB. Thomson, through the assistance of the
Supreme Council of Louisiana (of which M. McB. Thomson was also a member),
the Confederated Supreme Councils of the United States were formed, and on the
23rd day of April, in the year 1907, the said aforementioned Confederated
Councils received formal recognition from the Grand Council of Rites of
on the 9th of January, 1912, M. McB. Thomson, by virtue of his Patent and by
Consent of the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, the Confederated Supreme
Councils were incorporated as an incorporation within a corporation; that is
to say, filed as in the American Masonic Federation, and the Grand Council of
Rites formally have recognized the same and thus we are members of the
Imperial Confederation of the World, receiving our Charters and Diplomas from
the Grand Council of Rites of Scotland, and each member being registered of
"Confederated Supreme Councils of the Early Grand National Scottish Rite,
Ancient and Accepted, in the A.M.F."
THOMSON'S TEMPLAR THEORY
De Payence and eight others in 1118 banded themselves together by vows to
protect the Palmers or Pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem."
this small beginning the Templars grew in power and favour until they had
scattered throughout Europe more than 9,000 Manors."
Templars were established on the South Esk in Scotland in the twelfth century,
during the reign of David I (1121-53), and further grants were given by his
grandson, Malcolm IV, William the Lion, and by Alexander II."
"Philip the Fair of France, and Clement V, Pope of Rome in 1309, caused the
dispersion of the Templars everywhere excepting in Portugal and in Scotland.
In Portugal by Dispensation of the Pope of Rome they took the name of the
Order of Christ."
Scotland it continued its existence side by side with the Knights of St. John
until 1560, when Sir James Sandilands, Preceptor of Torphican, surrendered to
the Scottish Parliament all of the Priory lands. In the meantime the Templars
had become merged into the Order of Masonry, as may be seen by old records in
the Scotch lodges."
Templar degrees were conferred by the Tabernacle or Council of Patriarchs as
related heretofore in connection with 'Side Steps.'"
"Mother Kilwinning being the Custodian of such degrees, the brethren in
Ireland applied for and received a Charter to confer Craft degrees under
shelter of which they also conferred the high degrees, the charter being of
date October 8th, 1779."
virtue of Charter from Mother Kilwinning was formed the Grand Encampment of
"Council of Patriarchs conferred the Templar degrees in Craft lodges under
shelter of Craft charters until the year 1800, when they applied for and
received Charters from the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland."
1800 to 1822 there were 59 Encampments chartered in Scotland from Ireland and
two more, No. 60 and No. 61, unchartered."
June, 1822, Fratre Robert Martin was made Provisional Grand Master of the
Provisional Grand Encampment, and in July of the same year, after Encampments
No. 60 and No. 61 had received their Charters, Robert Martin was made the
first Early Grand Commander of the Early Grand Encampment of the Temple and
Malta of Scotland with complete independence of the Early Grand of Ireland."
Early Grand Encampment of Ireland having ceased to exist as such, the Scottish
Branch, both by time immemorial and by virtue of the Irish charters, is thus
the Mother of all such degrees. The oldest in existence."
Early Grand Encampment of Scotland gave to M. McB. Thomson power and authority
as their representative to form Encampments, etc., in the United States of
America and elsewhere. Therefore there is not a link missing.
seems strange that one with Thomson's intelligence could have called this a
Chain of Title. Even as it stands it is very vague and the inferences drawn
from it are by no means sound, even if the statements made are accepted as
true, which we cannot do.
true that Mother Kilwinning lodge was the great chartering lodge of Scotland,
and that in 1779 she chartered a lodge in Dublin. But this charter granted
authority to confer the Craft degrees only, and although this Dublin lodge did
as a matter of fact, confer the Templar degrees, the authority to do so, if it
existed at all, came from other sources. In fact, on at least three
occasions, that is in 1811, 1813 and 1827, being applied to in regard to the
Templar degrees, Mother Kilwinning Lodge asserted that "The brethren of
Kilwinning Lodge have never gone further in practice than three step Masonry."
TEMPLAR CLAIMS FALL TO PIECES
should be noted that while Thomson traces the Templar degrees through Mother
Kilwinning, by way of Ireland, back to Scotland, he does not make a consistent
chain. He states that through Mother Kilwinning was formed the Grand
Encampment of Knights Templar of Ireland, but he traces the Scotch Templars
from the Early Grand Encampment of Ireland, whose source he does not trace,
nor does he show any connection between the two Encampments he mentions.
Murray Lyon, whom Thomson recognizes as an authority on Masonry in Scotland,
says that the Order of Knights Templar "was introduced into Edinburgh in 1798
by brethren serving in a regiment of English Militia, then quartered in that
city, under a warrant emanating from Dublin. In all probability it was in
virtue of a dispensation from this Military Encampment that the first Grand
Assembly of Knights Templar was set up in the Scottish metropolis. It was
constituted in 1906 under an Irish charter, and in 1810 it originated a scheme
for instituting a Supreme Court of the Order in this country."
does not trace it to Mother Kilwinning or to the Dublin lodge chartered by
Mother Kilwinning, nor is the Templar body referred to by him the same body
from which Thomson claims a charter.
fact is that prior to 1909 there were two bodies claiming to control the
Templar degrees in Scotland. It is not necessary to consider the question as
to which had the best claim to regularity, because the two united on April 3,
1909. It is, however, a fact that the one mentioned by Lyon was generally
recognized throughout the Masonic world while the one to which Thomson
belonged was not.
Sometime after the union of these two bodies some of Thomson's associates
brought suit in the Supreme Court of Scotland to have the amalgamation set
aside. The Court, however, held the union valid, and in rendering opinion,
among other things, said:
"Without going further back in the history of Masonry than 1900 it appears
that in that year there were two governing bodies of Templar Masons in
Scotland, Grand Encampment and the Great Priory called the Chapter General up
to 1906. Into the origin and earlier history of these respective bodies it is
not necessary to inquire.
feeling that it was in the interests of Templar Masonry that these bodies
should unite began to take definite shape certainly not later than 1904.
amalgamation was effected on 3rd April 1909."
satisfied that amalgamation was desired and in the end eagerly desired by the
vast majority of Grand Encampment Templar Masons. One of the moving causes
was undoubtedly the failure on the part of those associated with Grand
Encampment to obtain recognition from similar bodies, not only in Scotland,
England and Ireland, but in other parts of the world, and notably in America.
The fact of this non-recognition is clear, the reason for it is not so clear,
although it is impossible to ignore that the working of spurious degrees by a
body called the Scottish Council of Rites, several of whose officers were
members of Grand Encampment, was to some extent at least, prior to the close
of 1906, the cause of it."
Thomson claimed to have power and authority from the Grand Encampment of
Scotland to form encampments in the United States and elsewhere. This was not
the case since as stated above, the only authority from Scotland which Thomson
was able to produce was the patent from the so-called Grand Council of Rites,
and this Grand Council did not have, or claim to have, any authority over the
Thomson published in his magazine, "The Universal Freemason," in 1911, the
report of the Grand Commander to the Council of Rites at its meeting held in
Glasgow, Scotland, in 1910. In this report it was stated that the Grand Lodge
of Scotland, the Supreme Royal Arch of Scotland, and the Grand Encampment of
Scotland had each certain Masonic degrees over which it had control, and that
there was no conflict between them and the Grand Council of Rites. The
statement continues: "These Supreme Masonic jurisdictions, like our own
Council, are all separate and distinct bodies and do not cross or conflict
with each other." This being so, the patent from the Grand Council of Rites,
even if it were recognized as a regular body, could not grant authority to
confer the Templar degrees.
SCOTTISH GRAND COUNCIL OF RITES
regard to the Grand Council of Rites from which he claimed authority, Thomson
has the following to say.
Scottish Grand Council of Rites occupies a unique position among Masonic high
grade bodies, claiming as it does to be self-existing, the parent of many, the
offspring of none. It is the custodian and preserver of those legendary and
philosophical degrees so dear to bygone generations of earnest and
enthusiastic Masons, though little known to their present day successors, if
we except the noble and zealous band of Masonic students who prize knowledge
more than ribbons and jewels. It embraces within its bosom all Rites and
Systems which have in the coarse of time been grafted on, or gathered around,
the parent stem of Scottish Masonry, excepting always the Craft, Royal Arch
and Knight Templar degrees, controlled by Grand Lodge, Supreme Grand Chapter
and Grand Encampment, and which, by its constitution, it acknowledges to be
the property of these Grand Bodies, and with which it has neither the right
nor inclination to interfere. That the principal degrees embraced in the
various Rites (these Rites themselves being but modern methods of arranging or
grouping ancient degrees) were known to our Ancient Brethren and practised by
them in Scottish Craft lodges in the eighteenth century, is admitted by all
Masonic historians, and can be amply proved by old diplomas and documents
still existing, and that when forbidden by Grand Lodge to work other than the
Craft degrees in the Blue Lodge, they transferred their knowledge and
continued their work in the then recently organized Templar Encampments, of
which they became the leading spirits, is equally well known. Here, however,
after a time the spirit of change and reconstruction manifested itself, and
the possessors of the higher grades becoming tired of sheltering under the
shadow of other wings, sought at last an abiding place of their own, where
Scottish Masonry, which had enriched the Masonic systems of the world, could
be governed in the land of its birth by Scottish Masons in a worthy and
fitting manner, without foreign aid or interference, and the result was the
Scottish Grand Council of Rites.
"During the years which have passed since the force of circumstances compelled
the Grand Council to withdraw from the shelter of Grand Encampment, numerous
degrees which have been worked by Grand Chapter and Grand Encampment have been
placed under its control and many other degrees and orders which had been
introduced into Scotland from foreign sources, such as the Sat Bhai, the
Mystic Shrine, the Eastern Star, etc., have there found a shelter also."
this it will be seen that even in his own account he admits that the Grand
Council of Rites had no authority over the Craft, Royal Arch or Knight Templar
degrees, and that with the bodies working these degrees "it had neither the
right nor inclination to interfere." It will be noted however that the Grand
Council of Rites does claim jurisdiction over practically all Masonic degrees
except those of the Craft, Royal Arch and the Temple. It will, therefore, be
well to consider briefly the nature of this organization and its claims to
Practically all we know about it is information furnished by Thomson himself
or men associated with him. D. Murray, Lyon does not mention it in any of his
writings. Gould refers to it, but is careful to say that his information comes
from Mathew McBlain Thomson. Waite mentions it, but questions the source of
his information and says it is "frankly partisan." If it had any standing at
all in Scotland, some reference to it would have been found in the writings of
D. Murray Lyon, as nothing of importance to Masonry in that country seems to
have escaped his observation.
PERSONNEL OF GRAND COUNCIL OF RITES
Inglis, as Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee of the Grand Lodge of
Scotland, made an investigation of this body and found that it had no building
of any kind, or any office in Scotland except the living rooms of its
Secretary, Robert Jamieson, a time-keeper to a firm of engineers. The
membership of this body is under fifty, consisting principally of enginemen
and miners in and around Ayrshire, Scotland; quite decent fellows, according
to Brother Inglis, but easily deceived in matters Masonic. It would seem that
if this body was not organized by Thomson himself it had fallen under his
influence to such an extent as to grant him anything he desired.
true, as stated by Thomson, that originally the degrees of the Chapter and
Commandery were conferred under a lodge warrant. It is probably true that
other degrees were also so conferred, but this practice did not long
continue. At no time was it held that the Craft lodges had control of these
degrees. The control was vested in those who had the degrees and the Craft
charter authorizing them to meet as Master Masons was also used by them as
authority to meet as Royal Arch Masons, Knights Templar, etc. Possibly this
was because there was no general head over such degrees. Possibly it may have
been because these degrees were considered an outgrowth of the Craft degrees,
or it may have been because of numerical weakness. At any rate, as these
degrees grew in favour the sentiment that each should have an organization of
its own became so strong that Grand Chapters, Commanderies and Encampments
were formed, and after the formation of such bodies, the degrees ceased to be
conferred under lodge charters, it being generally recognized that the bodies
formed by the possessors of the degrees alone had such control. It should be
noted that such bodies were formed by the Masons who had certain definite
degrees meeting and forming the organization to control those degrees. They
were not formed by virtue of a charter from any other Masonic body.
an organization, after being regularly formed, was generally conceded to be
the only authoritative body from which a charter to confer the degrees
embraced in the organization could issue. The result was a multiplicity of
organizations in addition to the Craft lodges, variously known as Lodges,
Chapters, Commanderies, Priories, Councils, Conventions, Conclaves,
Preceptories, Encampments, etc., of different kinds and degrees. Each of
these had control of its own set of degrees, and each to a large extent was
independent of the others.
is one explanation of the growth of Masonic rites, in fact some writers define
a Masonic rite as the arrangement of a number of Masonic degrees into a single
system. Thus, we have the Capitular Rite, the Cryptic Rite, the Scottish
Sometime about the middle of the nineteenth century a few Masons in England,
among whom were Hughan and Gould, advocated the union of all these rites into
a single system under the wing of a "Grand Council of Rites." This suggestion,
however, was not seriously considered by the Masons of England, and there
seems to have been no results from it, but these suggestions may have been the
origin of the plan which Thomson later worked out.
in 1870 referred to a "Council of Rites" as working well in Ireland and
Scotland but the organization he described was very different from the body
which Thomson used in these later years. According to Hughan the Council of
Rites of Scotland was simply a working agreement by which each Grand Body
recognized the jurisdiction of the others, and that the degrees of each rite
should follow each other in regular and recognized order. He says that in
Scotland, "the Grand Lodge recognizes the three Craft degrees alone, including
the Mark. The Grand Chapter gathers under its wing the degrees of Mark Master,
Past Master, and Excellent Master, and requires them to be taken before the
Royal Arch degree, which in turn is a prerequisite for Knight Templary. This
same Grand Chapter issues warrants to work the Royal Arch Mariner and the Red
Cross degrees. The 'Royal Order' must be joined before a candidate can be
received into the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and thus there is
a gradation acknowledged throughout, and all the degrees, excepting the Mark,
are kept apart from the Craft.
Ireland, the Grand Lodge displays much more system, and has developed, within
the last few years, a most excellent method whereby to regulate and control
all the degrees beyond the third. The Constitutions provide for the members
not being permitted to wear any jewel, medal or device belonging to any order
or degree beyond that of Master Mason (in which, however, the jewel of a Past
Master of a lodge is included) in the Grand Lodge, and strictly prohibit as
unlawful all assemblies of Freemasons in Ireland, under any title whatever
purporting to be Masonic, not held by virtue of a warrant or constitution from
Grand Lodge, or from one of the other Masonic bodies recognized by and acting
in unison with it."
bodies named by Hughan as recognized by the Grand Lodge of Ireland are: 1 -
The Grand Lodge; 2 - Grand Royal Arch Chapter; 3 - Grand Encampment of Knights
Templar; 4 - The Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Rite. The degrees of
Masonry must be taken in the order named. Thus, the degrees of the Ancient and
Accepted Rite could not be taken until the petitioner had received all the
degrees of the Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery. There is also a system by which
reports are made between the different bodies, so that brethren suspended,
expelled or restored in one body can be similarly treated in the others.
will be thus seen that the Council of Rites described by Hughan was an
arrangement between the various Masonic bodies and not an independent
organization controlling those bodies. Such an organization as Thomson
described the Scottish Grand Council of Rites to be could only be formed by
the virtually unanimous agreement of all the Masonic bodies concerned
throughout the world. It certainly could not be formed by any organization,
Masonic or otherwise, assuming control of Masonic degrees. It was because of
the fact that the Scottish Grand Council of Rites did thus attempt to assume
control over Masonic degrees that it was declared clandestine by the Grand
Lodge of Scotland.
the Scottish Rite degrees proper Thomson claims that they originated in
Scotland and were afterwards introduced into France by the Chevalier Michael
Andrew Ramsay, where they were worked over into various rites, among them that
of Perfection, which later grew into what he calls the clandestine branch of
the Scottish Rite in America. It is impossible in this short article fully to
state and answer his contention in regard to this, and I can only briefly say
that his claim is that the American Scottish Rite came from France, not
Scotland, while his authority came direct from Scotland and is the only
regular branch of Scottish Rite Masonry.
SCOTTISH RITE DID NOT ORIGINATE IN SCOTLAND
answer to this, it is perhaps enough to say, as was proved at Thomson's trial,
that no one of the so-called higher degrees originated in Scotland, and that
the only recognized branch of the Scottish Rite in Scotland, as in the rest of
the world, descended from the Charleston body, and this branch entered
Scotland by way of France.
Thomson, in "The Universal Free Mason," Volume 2, Page 100, says in regard to
the various rites of Masonry:
Grand Council of Rites of Scotland controls all the supplementary degrees not
controlled by Grand Lodge, Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter and Grand
Encampment of Knight Templars: it will be interesting to trace how the several
Rites and Orders which it controls came into its
primitive Early Grand Scottish Rite is the oldest practised by the Grand
Council: it consists nominally of XLVII degrees; as, however, three of those
are the property of Grand Lodge, two of the Royal Arch Chapter and seven of
the Grand Encampment, the actual degrees of the E.G.S.R. controlled by Grand
Council is thus only 35. These are all degrees of work and while some of them
are peculiar to this Rite, others are common to all the Rites, they having
been taken from Scotland originally as we have shown above. The Rite of
Misraim came into possession of Grand Council from Ireland in 1820: the Rite
of Memphis from England in 1852.
Grand Council in 1822 after its formal separation from the Grand Encampment
and establishment as a separate body authorized the segregation of the 30
degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite which had before worked as part of
the E.G.S. Rite and since then has issued a separate diploma for them thus
Eastern Star was given to Coila Council Ayr by the author of the degree, Rob.
Morris, while on his route to the Holy Land in 1860-1, and by it to Grand
Council. The Mystic Shrine was given by Bro. Florence, its founder, to the
brethren of Glasgow Council.
Sat Bhai was brought to it by Scottish brethren from the East Indies: and the
Order of St. Lawrence reached it by way of Canada."
most of this it is sufficient to say that there is no evidence to support the
statements here made, and even if they were true, it would give no authority
for chartering bodies in any country where there were similar bodies already
in control. As a matter of fact, the Grand Council of Rites assumed an
authority it did not have even in Scotland, to say nothing of the other
countries. Therefore, as stated above, it fell under the condemnation of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland; and Masons under the jurisdiction of that Grand Lodge
were forbidden to affiliate with it. Thomson and Jamieson held membership in
lodges under the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and for continuing to be concerned
in conferring clandestine Masonic degrees, were tried, found guilty and
expelled from Masonry by that Grand body.
SPOTS IN EDUCATION
"As one of the features
of the national conference of school supermtendents, now in session in
Chicago, the Institute for Public Service is staging its usual exhibit of what
it calls 'high spots in education.' The schools of the entire country have
been combed for material with the result that there is established a veritable
clearing house of information and suggestion. Whatever is novel or important
anywhere is illustrated by chart or model. Doubting Thomases who contend that
parental interest in education is practically nil will find, for example, a
series of posters showing cities and even countries in which every school has
its parent-teachers association and one city school where 1400 fathers
regularly attend 'fathers association' meetings. Other late developments to
which the attention of educators is directed are improved systems of
vocational guidance and training, the best methods of school publicity,
adaption of radio equipment to school purposes, and the progress of the
movement away from the little red schoolhouse and toward the central building
to which the pupils are brought in busses. Special mention is also made of one
suburban city which pays its elementary teachers $4500 a year and looks upon
this unprecedented salary as a sound investment." - The Christian Science
Monitor, March 1922 - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
MADE WITH HANDS”
dream I saw the very House of God,
Eternal in the heavens, not made with hands;
living stones souls gathered from all lands;
on celestial league, and rod on rod
everlasting joy the wonder glowed.
Impregnable to all assaults it stands;
the sea, above its shifting sands;
resting on cold earth's reluctant sod.
Myriads of angels, each with heavenly span,
According to the measure of a Man,
to the line stone on translucent stone.
in song's glory the seraphic choir,
harp and cymbal, trumpet, lute and lyre,
with music the One Timeless Throne.
George Benson Hewetson.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON
BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD. P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON was
the first Master of St. Patrick's Lodge in New York. He was born in County
Down, Ireland, in 1715 or thereabouts; and died in Johnstown, N. Y., July
11th, 1774. Johnson was a brigadier general, a colonial officer, baronet, and
one of the most picturesque figures in a colorful and exciting time. He came
to this country at the behest of his uncle, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, who
owned large estates in the valley of the Mohawk, and who was anxious to have
his brilliant young nephew take charge of his holdings. Accordingly the young
Johnson established himself in the Mohawk valley at a place which Sir Peter
called Warrensburg, and which was about twenty-four miles from Schenectady.
Johnson, who was a
trader by instinct, and who seemed to have a sixth sense with Indians, soon
learned many dialects and won the respect and esteem of the tribes by his fair
treatment and good faith. The Mohawk Indians adopted him with the title of
sachem, and they gave him as his name Wariaghejaghe, which means in English,
"He who has charge of affairs." When bickerings arose among the various Indian
commissioners Governor Clinton of the colony appointed Johnson justice of the
peace, made him colonel, and put him in military charge of the Six Nations.
In 1748 Johnson was
given command of all colonial troops for the defense of the frontier, and
proved to be an excellent organizer. In 1750 he was appointed a member of the
Provincial Council. One of his most famous exploits as a leader among the
Indians was in quieting their disturbances at Onondaga, at which time he acted
under commission from the Governor.
Johnson built a home on
the North side of the Mohawk river that became famous in the annals of
colonial times: it was a great stone mansion built like a fortress: indeed it
was fortified and it came to be called Fort Johnson.
Johnson was a delegate
to the celebrated Congress at Albany in 1754; and he was a notable figure in
the grand council held with the Indians on that occasion. General Braddock
commissioned him "sole superintendent of the affairs of the Six Nations, their
allies and dependents": later on he was created a major general. As major
general he was made commander-in-chief of the Provincial forces in the famous
expedition to Crown Point: and he was in command of the forces that defeated
Baron Dieskau at Lake George (Johnson gave its name to that lake), which
victory saved the colonies from the ravages of the French, prevented an attack
on Oswego, and went far to undo the disastrous consequences of Braddock's
defeat at Monongahela. Historians are of the opinion that the honors of the
battle at Lake George were, in strict right, due to General Lyman, but Johnson
was commander-in-chief and to him was accorded the glory of winning a conflict
of strategic importance: the British Parliament created him a baronet and
voted him 5,000 pounds in order to uphold the dignity of his new title.
In 1756 Baron Johnson
received from George II a commission as "Colonial Agent and sole
Superintendent of the Affairs of the Six Nations and Other Northern Indians,"
which office he held as long as he lived. It was at this same period that he
and his Indian forces took part in the abortive attempt to relieve Oswego and
Fort William Henry. A year later he was with Abercrombie at the repulse of
Ticonderoga. After Prideaux was killed Johnson succeeded to the command and
routed the French under General Aubrey. He was in command of the Indian forces
in the defense of Amherst, and was present at the capitulation and surrender
of Canada to the British. All this, in a way that I have not space here to
describe, had much to do with the securing of intellectual, political and
religious liberty in what later became the United States.
King George gave Sir
William a tract of one hundred thousand acres of land north of the Mohawk:
this was a Royal Grant, and came to be called "Kingsland." It is probable that
the Six Nations would have joined Pontiac in his rebellion in 1763 if it had
not been for Johnson's influence.
Sir William is to us
Masons an interesting figure because he was a member of the Fraternity at a
time when Masonic lodges reflected the crudeness and roughness of colonial
days. He was, as I have already said, a very picturesque figure and in many
ways his career was one of the most remarkable in our history. He was
domineering, ambitious and bold as a buccaneer, afraid of nothing, and a lover
of action; he despised the conventions of polite society and went his own way
regardless of opinion. This is shown in his alliance with the famous Molly
Brant, sister of the Indian Chief Joseph Brant who became a member of a
Masonic lodge, so it is supposed, in England. Earl W. Gage has given an
account of this in "The Journal of Masonic History" (vol. 3, page 429) which I
shall quote: "In early boyhood he (Joseph Brant) became a favorite with Sir
William Johnson and the laughing black eyes of his handsome sister, Molly
Brant, so fascinated the rough baronet that he took her to Johnson Hall, as
his wife. Sir William believed that Indians could be tamed and taught the arts
of civilized life, and he labored with great energy, and not without some
success in this difficult task."
In the battle at the
head of Lake George, already mentioned, which occurred in 1755, Baron Dieskau,
who had command of the French, was wounded and captured. Sir William Johnson
took the distinguished captive into his own home and nursed him back to
health. After Baron Dieskau returned to France he sent Johnson an elegant
sword: the two enemies had become fast friends. In one of the skirmishes that
led up to this battle Colonel Ephraim Williams was killed. After his death it
was discovered that he had left his property to be used as an endowment fund
for establishing a college. This was the way in which Williams College began.
These incidents serve to show how thrilling was life in those early days.
Sir William Johnson
gave great attention to agriculture and was the first to introduce sheep and
blooded horses into the valley of the Mohawk. He lived like a lord and was
hospitable to the limit. His grave is in St. John's Episcopal Church Yard, in
the city of Johnstown, N. Y., and is marked by a very modest slab of marble on
which his name is legibly inscribed.
* * *
JOSEPH BRANT'S MASONIC AFFILIATION
By a singularly happy
coincidence three letters discussing the Masonic career of Chief Joseph Brant
were sent to THE BUILDER at the time Brother Baird's article, printed above,
was preparing for the press. They dovetail so interestingly into the story of
Sir William Johnson that we insert them here as a kind of codicil to that
story in preference to printing them in The Correspondence Department, for
which columns their three authors prepared them. - Editor.
BRANT MADE A MASON IN ENGLAND ?
BRO. A. D. GIBBS NEW YORK
I have read with
interest the story in the March BUILDER, page 71, by Brother Arthur C. Parker
of New York on "American Indians in Freemasonry." He states that Chief Joseph
Brant was a Mason and a member of St. Patrick's Lodge, of which Sir William
Johnson was Worshipful Master.
St. Patrick's Lodge,
No. 4 (originally No. 8), was chartered in 1766 by the Provincial Grand Lodge
of New York, with Sir William Johnson as its Master. In Johnson Hall, at
Johnstown, N. Y., which still stands, is a room equipped with ancient lodge
furniture which the caretaker informs us is the original furniture of the
lodge. It certainly bears every evidence of antiquity.
Sir William Johnson
occupied this home until his death in the spring or summer of 1774. Sir
William was married "by Indian custom" to Molly Brant, a sister of Chief
Joseph Brant. Brant was, of course, a frequent visitor at the Johnson home and
for a time acted as secretary to Sir William. It is well known that Brant was
a Freemason and one would easily and naturally be led to believe that he was
made a Mason in the lodge over which his "brother-in-law" presided as Master.
However, if we are to
believe Masonic history, such is not the case. We are told in the Encyclopedia
of Freemasonry, Revised Edition (Mackey & McClenachan), that Brant was made a
Mason in London in 1776. Stone's "Life of Brant" informs us that Brant went to
England late in 1775, and returned early in March, 1776. England, at that
time, was desirous of securing the active support and assistance of the
Indians of the Six Nations, and Brant was their leading chief. His support was
necessary. While in London he was shown every attention and treated like
royalty. His portrait was painted by a famous artist. If it is true that he
was initiated in London, it is reasonable to suppose that his initiation
formed a part of the honors extended to him by the British people. In any
event, he returned to America thoroughly won over to the British cause. He was
landed secretly near New York City and found his way through hostile country
At this time, March
1776, Sir John Johnson, a son of Sir William, resided in Johnson Hall, where
St. Patrick's Lodge is said to have held its meetings. Whether Sir John was an
offlcer in this lodge I cannot say, but he was at that very time Provincial
Grand Master of New York State, or Colony. Sir John was from the first an
active Tory, and was at this time uncter parole to general Schuyler. In May,
1776, he broke his parole and fled to Canada, where he became Brant's superior
officer and with Chief, now Captain Brant, conducted many raids on the Mohawk
Valley. From May, 1776, to the close of the Revolutionary War Brant and
Johnson entered the valley only as enemies of the patriots who remained. From
this time on St. Patrick's Lodge must have been under the control of the
supporters of the America cause, and Brant and Sir John would have hardly
dared to try to meet on the level with the brethren regardless of Masonic
circumstances or facts, if they are facts, is it possible that Brant was ever
a member of St. Patrick's Lodge at Johnstown? Brant resided in Canada after
the war, outside of the jurisdiction of our Grand Lodge.
History records several
instances where Brant heeded the sign of distress. There is no record showing
that Rt. W.’.G.’.M.’. Sir John Johnson ever heeded any sign of distress,
Masonic or otherwise. He waged ruthless and barbarous warfare against old
friends, neighbors and Masonic brothers, many of whom must have been members
of his own lodge.
It is, of course,
possible that Brant may have taken some degree of Masonry in St. Patrick's
Lodge before the war with England, and that further degrees were conferred in
England. Unless this is the case, I don't see how he could have been a member
of that lodge.
This subject and the
history of St. Patrick's and other Mohawk Valley lodges are worthy of study
and research, and I for one would appreciate more light on the subject.
* * *
OLD-TIME ACCOUNTS OF BRANT
BRO. ARTHUR C. PARKER, NEW YORK
I have been much
interested in the letter from Brother Archie D. Gibbs, of Norwich, N.Y.,
relative to the Masonic affiliations of Captain Joseph Brant, the noted Mohawk
Indian. Brother Gibbs mentions my "article" in the March number of THE BUILDER
and questions my statement that Brant was a member of St. Patrick's Lodge of
Johnstown, N. Y.
Permit me to state that
the article quoted was sent to THE BUILDER merely as a letter replying to the
questions raised by Brother Slane regarding American Indians who had been or
were Masons. The subject of the letter was not especially concerning Joseph
Brant I must confess that in my hurried writing, I accepted the popular
tradition that Brant was a member of his brother-in-law's lodge, the current
belief in which is natural enough.
Brother Gibbs suggests
that Brant may have been a Mason in England. Upon looking over my files I fail
to find any direct evidence of this, though the inferential and indirect
evidence seems to point out that this is the fact.
In looking over "The
Freemasons' Library and General Ahiman Rezon," by Samuel Cole, (Baltimore,
1826), I find the following quotation from the Hudson Whig, (N. Y.):
interesting anecdote will illustrate the important influence of Freemasonry in
the most distressing and eventful scenes of military life. At the battle of
the Cedars, thirty miles above Montreal, on the St. Lawrence, Capt. M'Kinsty,
of Col. Patterson's regiment of continental troops, was twice wounded, and
taken prisoner by the Indians. His intrepidity as a partisan officer, had
excited the fears and unforgiving resentment of the savages. They determined
to put him to death. Already had the victim been bound to a tree and
surrounded by the faggots intended for his immolation. Hope had fled; and in
the agony of despair he uttered the mystic appeal which the brotherhood of
Masons never disregarded; when, as if heaven had interposed for his
preservation, the warrior Brandt interposed and saved him. The Indian Warrior
had been educated in Europe; and had there been initiated in the mysteries of
Freemasonry. Feeling the force of his obligation, he immediately preserved his
brother's life, and ultimately obtained his ransom. Captain M'Kinsty died in
June 1822." - Hudson Whig. (Undated).
The name M'Kinsty is a
mispelling for McKinstry, and the spelling "Brandt" is used for Brant. To
continue this story, I quote from the handbook of Hudson Lodge, (N. Y.), No.
7, and from a footnote on page 20:
"The history of Brother
John McKinstry's wonderful escape from a horrible death has often been told.
He was a captain in the continental army and being wounded at the Battle of
Cedar, was captured by the Indians and carried away for torture by fire. He
was bound to a stake and fire applied, when the Captain, in his extremity,
although surrounded only by savages, made the grand hailing sign of distress
of a Master Mason. This was seen and recognized by Thayendanagea, chief of the
Mohawks, also known as Joseph Brant, who was a Mason. Brant instantly rushed
to his assistance, rescued him from the flames (he is said to have ransomed
him from his captors with an ox), took him to his wigwam and cared for him.
Later he sent him to his home in safety. After the bitterness engendered by
the war had passed away, Brother McKinstry was visited by Brant at his home in
Greendale, opposite Catskill-on-the-Hudson. In 1805 he had the pleasure of
sitting in this lodge (Hudson No. 7) with his red brother, on the spot still
occupied by the lodge. (See minutes of communication, Dec. 16th, 1908)."
The subject of early
Hudson and Mohawk valley lodges, cited by Brother Gibbs as worthy of further
expansion, is an interesting one and should be treated in a special article. I
have some notes along this line but feel that it is best not to treat of this
in a letter.
Suffice to say, in
conclusion, that Brother McKinstry remained an ardent Mason during the
remainder of his life. He was one of the founders of Hudson Lodge. This lodge
was chartered March 7, 1787, the charter being a copy of the famous "Athol
Charter," devised by Prince John, Duke of Athol, Grand Master of Masons of
England, of the Ancient York Grand Lodge.
The story of Joseph
Brant, Indian warrior, British collegian, Tory raider, Anglican lay reader,
Chief of the Mohawks, founder of a church and school, at once a savage and a
gentleman, should be written for THE BUILDER. There is a splendid monument to
Brant at Brantford, Ontario, and his grave closely hugs the walls of the
church which he established and which Queen Anne endowed.
* * *
BRANT'S ASSISTANCE TO MASONS IN DISTRESS
BRO. ALANSON SKINNER, WISCONSIN
I regret that I cannot
add very much to the able discussion of the Masonic career of Brother Joseph
Brant given by Brothers Gibbs and Parker. I distinctly recall having run
across a statement in some contemporary document to the effect that Brother
Brant was made a Mason in England, and that, if I am not mistaken he visited a
lodge on Staten Island, New York City, when the boat upon which he was
returning was still lying off the Narrows. But I am unable to have access to
any of the local historical documents which may contain this data, and I hate
to trust my memory.
Brother Brant is said
to have saved worthy distressed Brother Masons from his own warriors and their
more savage Tory instigators at the famous Cherry Valley massacre, and it is
further said, and generally credited, that when Lieutenant Boyd was captured
by the Seneca during Sullivan's punitive expedition into the Iroquois country
in 1778, Brant rescued him on hearing Boyd give the grand hailing sign of
distress, and tried to save his life. However, during Brant's absence, the
infamous Tory Colonel Butler ordered or permitted the Seneca to torture Boyd
It seems to me that
Brother Parker is of all Masons in the best position to obtain information on
Brother Brant, for Brother Parker has at his command the resources of the New
York State Museum and its library, besides the most intimate knowledge of the
Iroquois, their history and customs of any man in America, unless it be
Brother Wm. M. Beauchamp of Syracuse, N. Y. If either of these brethren can be
persuaded to write the story of Brant for us, the Craft will be the richer in
light and knowledge.
Watching the dawn upon its turrets break
beauties leaping to each ray of light),
Methought I heard Christ calling (as one might
to an older brother): "Buddha, wake!
toil with me. From thy calm eyelids shake
dreams of ages; and behold the sight
earth still sunk in ignorance and night.
thy labor - now thy portion take.
vast the effort for one Avatar.
brave disciples are not overwise,
kindred creeds they alo not understand;
cross they worship, yet thy temples mar.
brother Buddha, from Nirvana rise,
let us work together, hand in hand."
EGYPTIAN INFLUENCE ON OUR MASONIC CEREMONIAL AND RITUAL
BRO. THOMAS ROSS, P.G.M., NEW ZEALAND
PASSWORD leading from one of the degrees is said to take its rise from a
circumstance detailed in the Book of Judges that occurred in the early history
of Israel. Although the meaning of the word is in Hebrew, synonymous with an
ear of corn or a flood, yet the episode from whence the word arose gives no
reason for using it, as we do, to denote plenty. If on the other hand, we
turn to the characteristics attributed to the Egyptian goddess Isis, we find
that she fills the conditions exactly. Isis was the Great Mother Goddess,
she was also the goddess of Agriculture, of Corn, and of Maternity; she
represented fruitfulness on land and sea and in the air, as the mother goddess
she is shown full-breasted, the mother and nourisher of mankind; she was the
tutelary deity of the husband-man and the sailor. Her misfortunes and
sufferings, when nursing the child Horus, appealed to every Egyptian mother
(see Fig. 17). Not only was she the mater dolorosa of Egypt, but she enlisted
the sympathies of the Roman mothers and Italian painters delighted to do her
honour centuries after, though under a totally different name (see Figs. 18
was best known in Asia and Europe, as a corn goddess, under the names of
Ceres, Cybele and Demeter, and always we find her portrayed with the ear of
corn, the sign of plenty. In the Vatican there is a statue of Isis, with the
child Horus standing by her side. You will observe the sculptor has departed
considerably from the Egyptian model (see Figs. 19 and 19a). Isis is now the
Roman Matron and Horus is now Harpocrates, the Roman God of Silence. In her
right hand she holds the sistrum, in the left a jar of water, the sun and the
crescent moon is on her head and her robe is trimmed with ears of corn.
mural painting in Pompeii we find her as Demeter, seated, a basket of corn on
her arm, while with her left hand she supports a torch, emblem of the heat
that produces fruitfulness (see Fig. 20). As Ceres we have her standing with
a sheaf of corn on her right arm, supporting a torch in her left
while her headdress is a coronet made from ears of corn. A relief from Athens
shows her seated on a throne holding the disk in her left hand, while in her
right there is a basket of corn. At her side is a lion, symbol in Egypt of
the sun's heat and strength (Figs. 21 and 22).
we consider the universality of the worship of Isis, as the mother goddess and
goddess of fruitfulness, is it not a fair assumption to make that Isis, who
was believed to cause the waters of the Nile to rise and thus bring abundant
harvest, would be the password carried away by our Hebrew brethren when they
departed from Egypt? Any of the pictures of Isis, Ceres, Cybele (and you must
note the similarity of sound with the word), would be in exact accord with an
ear of corn near to water - meaning plenty.
Book of the Dead there are many passages referring to the penalties meted out
to those who fail in their obligation to the Great Architect. The fear of
mutilation of the body and its several parts made the Egyptians exceedingly
attentive to the embalming and preserving, not only of the body itself but
also of the bowels. They were taken out of the body and after being
mummified, were put into four jars and placed in the tomb alongside the
mummy. These vessels were called Canopic jars: they had as lids the
distinguishing emblems of the four sons of Horus - the head of an ape, a man,
a jackal and a hawk - and represented the four cardinal points, N. S. E. W.
we read that the goddess Sekhet "tears out the bowels and kicks them into the
fire," we can readily understand the care and caution the Egyptians would
exercise against the calamity of having the bowels burnt to ashes, and these
ashes scattered to the four cardinal points by having them deposited in these
following quotations are from the Book of the Dead: "Let not my head be cut
off, let not my brow be slit."-Chap. xe. "Let not my head be taken off or my
tongue torn out - Chap. xc. "Take ye not this heart into your grasp." - Chap.
xxvii. "Let not my heart be torn away from me, let it not be wounded, and may
neither wounds, nor gashes, be dealt upon me." - Chap. xxix. B. Many more
quotations could be given, but these are sufficient to show the close
connection between the Egyptian religion and our ritual.
processions referred to in the religious texts are all in one direction and
follow the course of the sun in the northern hemisphere from E. to S., S. to
W. and W. to N. The Book of the Am Tuat, or underworld, a companion work to
the Book of the Dead, teaches that the sun god died every day at sunset, that
he was carried in the divine bark through an underground river or passageway
during the twelve hours of night, at the twelfth hour he was reborn when he
emerged in the eastern horizon to take up his daily round in the firmament.
During these twelve hours he went through twelve regions, each of which was
guarded by doors. At every door wardens were stationed, described as "the
gods who open the gates to the great soul." On approaching the gate the word
was given, when these wardens were commanded to "open the doors and unfold the
portals of the hidden place."
sixth division is the domain of Osiris (Fig. 24), where may be seen the outer
and inner doors guarded by wardens. The corridors are swept by fire, and in
the interior sits Osiris, judge of the dead and "Lord of Hades, Earth and
each large city and town there was a circular lake called the Sacred Lake, and
round its shores the divine bark was towed, where these rites, merged with
those of Osiris, were practised on initiates to the mysteries.
apron was the badge of authority in Egypt, and was worn by the king as head of
the priesthood when performing the religious ceremonies in the temple, and as
Grand Master when assisting at the initiatory rites in the mysteries. On
these occasions it was looked upon as the distinctive badge of his office. In
the temples and tombs there are quite a number of drawings of the Grand
Master's apron, all bearing solar emblems. Fig. 25 shows Seti I being brought
before Osiris. You will observe that the king, in addition to the apron,
wears a collar denoting his rank. Fig. 26 shows several different aprons
indicating the high rank of the wearer.
apron of Rameses the Great, the sun, instead of being placed in the centre, is
at both lower corners, while the rays converge towards the centre. If the
apron of Seti and Rameses denote the higher offices in the craft, surely the
humble plain white lambskin shown in Fig. 27 must represent the Egyptian
Entered Apprentice. Well might it be said that "a Freemason's apron denotes
an Order more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle."
temple dedicated to Osiris, we have a relief of the tomb of Osiris, over which
there grows the acacia tree (Fig. 28), in its branches sits the Bennu bird or
Phoenix, emblem of immortality and symbol of the soul of Osiris, while in the
left hand corner is the all-seeing eye, the hieroglyph for Osiris. A singular
circumstance in connection with the Acacia is the fact that it is never
pictured except near to the tomb or bier of Osiris.
most familiar of Masonic emblems, next to the square and compasses, is the
five-pointed star, called in our ritual "the blazing star of glory in the
centre." In the Egyptian writings the stars are always five-pointed, never six
or seven or more.
most important star in Egypt was the brightest in the heavens, Sirius, called
by them Sothis. On the 21st July, when Sirius arose immediately before the
sun, it marked the sidereal New Year; it also heralded the rise of the Nile.
The sacred river, overflowing its banks, broke up the drought, brought
fertility to the land, and thus provided food in abundance for man and beast.
chart of the stars (Fig. 29), found on the walls of the tomb of Seti I (B.C.
1326), the stars are five-pointed. Here Isis is identified with Sothis, as it
was believed that the tears of Isis, shed over the misfortunes of Osiris,
caused the Nile to rise. The constellations in the chart are difficult to
identify, as the groupings and names are different from those in use today.
Alongside of Isis is Osiris, to whom Orion was sacred, and to the left are two
of the planets, these being led round the heavens by Isis and Osiris.
hieroglyph for God is always written as a short-handled axe, and the word it
stands for is Neter, or NTR (see Fig. 30). In one of the tombs we have Anubis,
the god who attended the dead, bending over the mummy of the deceased, while
the soul, winged and in the shape of a bird, hovers over the body, in one hand
the crux ansata, emblem of eternal life, in the other the breath represented
by a reel (see Fig. 31). The first and second lines of hieroglyphs in this
scene simply spell the name of Anubis, or ANPU, while the third line reads
ANPU, God, son of Osiris Ra the Great God. Here each time the word God is
used the hieroglyph of the axe is written.
Book of the Dead we have two goddesses adoring the sacred disk of the sun god
Ra on an axe (see Fig. 32). Now the question arises, Why should the axe be
selected to represent divinity with its might and its power of authority? And
to get a solution to that question we must go back to the earliest
civilizations of prehistoric humanity, when men worshipped objects of nature,
such as trees and stones and animals. When in process of time mankind began to
use tools and used an axe to cut down trees, break stones and slay animals,
they had at last found an instrument that was more powerful and mightier than
the spirits that dwelt in the trees and the stones and the animals. This
weapon would therefore eventually become an object of reverence. Not only
that, but the strong man who would wield the axe most effectively would be
looked upon as a demigod, and would in time be worshipped as the Great
that as it may, the fact remains that from the earliest times the axe was
always depicted as the hieroglyph and symbol for God, while the word NTR and
variants of the spelling of this word, were employed to mean strength and
power and authority, as may be seen in this extract from the Book of the Dead.
of the oldest writings we have an illustration of an early king of the First
Dynasty, King Ten, dancing before the god Osiris and carrying, in addition to
the sceptre of royalty, the axe, the emblem of power and authority.
Operative masons in Egypt never used the gavel to knock off superfluous knobs
and excrescences, but always a chisel, which was struck by a wooden mallet.
of the mallets have been found in the tombs and may be seen today in a few of
the museums of Europe (Fig. 33).
tombs at Thebes there are numerous illustrations of operative masons dressing
large stones with the mallet and chisel (Fig. 34).
tomb at Amada Colonel Villiers Stuart found a very fine scene of Amunoph II
who lived 1550 B. C. (about the time of the incident of Joseph and his
brethren). The painting shows the king seated on his throne attended by
courtiers waving a fan and holding up a standard representing a sun. In his
hand the king holds the axe, an implement similar to the gavel which is placed
in the hands of the Worshipful Master as an emblem of power and authority when
installed in the chair of King Solomon (Fig. 35).
turning to the Bible the story of Hiram Abif is extremely meagre, while the
doctrine of the immortality of the soul, so clearly laid down as a landmark in
Freemasonry, is, to say the least hazy and ambiguous. "The dead know not
anything, neither have they any more a reward. (Ecc. ix. 5). "As the cloud is
consumed and vanisheth away so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up
no more." - (Joh. vii. 9). "All flesh shall perish together, and man shall
turn again into dust" - (Joh. xxxiv. 15).
dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence." - (Ps. cxv.
17). These and many other passages that might be quoted appear to point to
death as being the end of all things.
great prototype of Hiram Abif was Osiris, the Egyptian god-man. When Osiris
was born a voice was heard to come from heaven: "The lord of all the world has
come." Plutarch, in his "Osiris and Isis," tells us that when he obtained
manhood he became King of Egypt, and applied himself towards civilizing his
countrymen. He taught them useful industries, gave them laws, and instructed
them in religion. Set, his brother, being apparently jealous of Osiris,
entered into a conspiracy to take his life, "and leaving privily taken the
measure of Osiris' body he caused a chest to be made exactly of the same size
banquet Set, by a stratagem, got Osiris to lie down in this coffin, "upon
which the conspirators immediately ran together, clapped the cover upon it,
and then fastened it down on the outside with nails, pouring likewise melted
lead over it. After this they carried it away to the riverside and conveyed
it to the sea." Isis, the sister wife of Osiris, searched for the coffin, and
in finding it she, by her magical powers, brought back to life the dead body
of Osiris, who then became God of the Dead, King of the Underworld and
Mediator between the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Man.
the dawn of Egyptian civilization until several centuries after the birth of
Christ the story of the god-man who suffered and died and rose again was
rehearsed in every temple in Egypt, while the initiates into the Egyptian
mysteries underwent a symbolic death and raising as the humble representatives
some of the tombs we see Osiris depicted in different aspects. Fig. 36 shows
him first, as King of Egypt, with the sceptre of sovereignty in one hand and
the crux ansata in the other; second, swathed in mummy form as Lord of the
Underworld; third, as Judge of the Dead, wearing the cap of the underworld
with the two ostrich plumes, and holding in his hands the sceptre and flail;
fourth, similar in figure, but with the head of the Phoenix, emblem of the
soul of Osiris; fifth, Osiris draped, and wearing a disk symbol of Ra, the sun
god, with whom he is often identified; he also wears the ram's horns, with the
Uraeus serpents, surrounded with disks, emblems of royalty; under the horns we
have the tet, the emblem of stability, and one of the symbols of Osiris. The
four horizontal lines in the tet represent the four cardinal points.
hieroglyphics read: "Osiris, eternal ruler, lord of Abydos, lord of the ages,
mighty one of the Elysian fields (heaven), and resident of the West": that is,
of the dead, as in Egypt, from time immemorial, when a man died he went West.
Those on the right read: "Osiris, son of Nut (the sky goddess), begotten by
Set" (the earth god), or sun of heaven and earth, showing that he was both
human and divine.
was called Lord of the Underworld because all who died had to appear before
him to be judged for the deeds done in the body - and note that just as in a
Masonic lodge all are equal meeting on the level - so in the judgment hall of
Osiris a man was judged only according to his good or evil deeds, his birth,
high or low, being the gift of the Creator, was unnoticed.
are innumerable varieties of the portrayal of the judgment scene in the Book
of the Dead, each artist giving his own conception of how it should be
represented. In our picture (Fig. 37) the suppliant soul had been a
doorkeeper in the temple of Amun Ra. Osiris is seated on a throne within a
shrine, upheld by beautiful lotus pillars, where he is attended by his sister
goddesses, Isis and Nepthys, while before him, standing on a lotus, are the
four children of Horus already referred to.
the scribe of the gods, records the judgment on a pallet with a pen, the
verdict being, "His heart has come out of the balance sound, no defect has
been found in it." Anubis, the jackal-headed god, who watches over the dead,
says: "I watch over the weighing." In one of the scales is the heart of the
deceased in a vase-shaped vessel (the hieroglyph for heart), while in the
other is the emblem of Maat, the goddess of truth and uprightness. Seated on a
phylon is the devourer or eater of the dead, who watches ever ready to destroy
those who are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Behind all is Horus
bringing in the deceased, this time accompanied by his wife.
a frieze at the top there are generally shown seated the forty-two assessors
of the dead, who are each one a representative judge of the forty-two cardinal
sins a good Egyptian was expected to avoid. This part is called the negative
confession, and the soul was supposed to address each one of these assessors
by name and deny committing the particular sin of which he was the judge.
addresses were after this style: "Hail thou from Annu, I have not done
iniquity. Hail thou from Kher Aha, I have not robbed with violence. I have
not committed theft. I have not made light the bushel. I have not uttered
falsehood. I have not defiled the wife of any man. I have not committed any
sin against purity." And so on throughout the whole forty-two. If the soul was
found pure in heart he was admitted to a material heaven, where, as we have
already seen, he was entitled to receive every comfort dear to the heart of an
was not only judge of the dead, he was also identified with the Sun God Ra; he
was the god of agriculture and the personification of the vivifying powers of
nature; while Isis, as his divine consort, was the universal Mother Goddess,
the Corn Goddess, and the type of reproduction and generation. On these two
great Egyptian deities were founded the whole system of the Egyptian
mysteries. The search for, the finding, and the rating of the body of Osiris,
was the heart and kernel of the Isis cult.
25th December every year there was an important festival of Isis, when the
whole of Egypt was plunged into deepest distress and despair. The ceremonies
commenced with an impassioned lamentation over the death of Osiris, and the
search for his body, and on the third day, the finding of the body by Isis was
celebrated with great rejoicing.
temples we have pictures of the raising of Osiris (Figs. 38, 38a and 38b),
which are undoubtedly part of this great ceremony. In one we have Osiris
lying in his bier, at the head kneels Isis, while at the foot is a frog,
signifying the resurrection. The early Christians seem to have adopted the
frog as this symbol, a lamp being found in a Christian church with the figure
of a frog and the Greek words, "I am the resurrection." There also hovers over
Osiris, two hawks or eagles. The bier of Osiris is always in the form of a
lion, so that we have here the eagle's claw and the lions paw.
next scene we have Osiris being attended to by Anubis, the guardian of the
dead with Isis at the foot and Nepthys at the head. Behind Anubis stands a
frogheaded god, figuratively the deity who presided over the resurrection or
raising. In the third scene we have the ceremony of the raising completed -
the officiating god presenting the newly-raised Osiris to Isis and Nepthys.
In this picture there is also the tet, or emblem of stability, representing
the four cardinal points signifying that Osiris is now established to stand
firm for ever throughout the four quarters of the globe.
learned Roman and Grecian writers, who visited Egypt from the fourth century
B.C. to the third century A.D., were initiated into the Egyptian mysteries,
but so strictly were they bound by the penalty of their obligation that little
of the ritual can be gleaned from their writings. Herodotus, who visited
Egypt about 360 B.C., writes: "They have also at Sais the tomb of a certain
personage, whom I do not think myself permitted to name. Near this there is a
lake, upon which there is represented by night the accident which happened to
him whom I dare not name. The Egyptians call them their mysteries. Concerning
these, at the same time that I confess myself sufficiently informed, I feel
myself compelled to be silent." We see from this that even the name Osiris was
forbidden to be uttered to the profane, it being apparently one of the secret
"Herodotus states again and again that the Grecian mysteries were borrowed
from Egypt. It is a sufficient testimony to this that these religious
ceremonies are in Greece, but of modern date, whereas in Egypt they have been
in use from the remotest antiquity."
Osiris-Isis mysteries appear to have been favourably received in Italy, a
college of the servants of Isis having been founded in Rome about 80 B.C., and
in 44 B. C. a temple was erected to the same worship.
year 105 B.C., at Puteoli, a temple was built for the worship of Serapis, a
combination of the Osiris and Apis bull-worship. About the same time a temple
was set up in Pompeii for the worship of Osiris-Isis (see Fig. 38c). This
temple was destroyed by an earthquake, but was rebuilt, and was in use until
the eruption of Vesuvius, when it was overwhelmed in the catastrophe that
overtook Pompeii. The building as the visitor sees it today, shows the altar,
pedestals, hall of initiation and hall of mysteries. In excavating this
temple there were found two skulls (emblems of mortality), a marble hand and
candlesticks, all of which had been used in the ceremonies attending
initiations into the mysteries, which were performed with full dramatic
Apuleius, a Latin writer of the second century A.D., and who was an initiate,
says: "The initiation is conducted under the image of a voluntary death with
the renewing of life as a gift from the deity." Speaking of his own experience
he says: "I came to the borders of death, I trod the threshold of Isis (the
underworld), then came back through all the stages to life; in the middle of
the night I saw the sun shine brightly."
A.D. the Emperor Theodosius decreed that Christianity should be the state
religion throughout the Roman Empire, and in 390 A.D. he ordered the
destruction of the statue of Serapis worshipped in the Serapeum at Alexandria;
yet in the year 457 A.D. Isis was worshipped in her temple at Philae on the
Nile. And when in 577 A.D. this temple was converted into a Christian Church,
the worshippers of the Isis cult petitioned the Governor of Egypt to leave
them unmolested in their ancient rites and ceremonies. As this is the last we
read of the Isis worship the question for us at this stage will be - granted
that the Osiris-Isis cult and the rest of the Egyptian mysteries had much in
common with the ceremonies of Freemasonry - how came they into the old Masonry
practised in England, Scotland and Ireland some centuries ago? In reply let us
bear in mind that during the first four centuries of the Christian era there
was a constant communication between Rome and Britain, and there can be no
doubt that the mysteries of Isis and Osiris and the worship of Serapis would
be practised by the Roman pioneers who settled in Britain. Druidism, an
earlier off-shoot of the Osiris Ra sun worship, had been in use from an early
age, and to-day, in England, Scotland and Ireland, are found remains of those
circular enclosures, proving that the Druids followed the sun's course in
the fall of the Roman Empire there came into the south and east coast of
Britain incursions of Scandinavians, Saxons and Norman-French, the latter
bringing with them the new and better religion, so that today we have to seek
in the highlands of Scotland Wales for survivals of the old sun-worship.
Day, the harbinger of summer, when the sun; is beginning to warm the earth,
was celebrated in England and Scotland for centuries. Many of us reared in
the homeland will remember the rites of bathing in May dew, the ceremonies of
the Maypole and its attendant rites. In Scotland the commencement of winter
was observed with the quaint customs of Halloween.
the last century the Beltane or Baals fire was celebrated on 1st May, when
from every prominent hilltop bonfires were lighted, while the people joined
hands and danced in procession round the fire.
northeast coast of Scotland, in a town called Burghead, there was unearthed
some fifty years ago a Roman bath in an excellent state of preservation. From
time immemorial the inhabitants of this town on New Year's Eve (old style),
with almost religious ceremonial, burn the clavie. The clavie, a barrelful of
combustibles, is carried through the town, the glowing embers being thrown at
every door to keep evil spirits away. When the clavie arrives at the harbour
where old Roman galleys sheltered nearly two thousand years ago, a handful of
corn is thrown into each ship to ensure prosperity throughout the coming
year. The object of the custom and its meaning is lost in the obscurity of
bygone ages - even the name clavie is a puzzle to archaeologists. Might not
clavie come from the Latin clavis (a key), the unlocking of the mysteries of
those early Roman colonists? The clavie was finally consumed on a freestone
altar, and near this altar was discovered a freestone slab with the figure of
a bull in relief (Fig 39). When we compare this drawing with the Apis bull
(Fig. 40), worshipped by the Egyptians and Romans, we cannot fail but to be
impressed with the striking likeness there is between the two, nor can we get
away from the idea that the artist of the Burghead bull was acquainted with
the rites of Serapis, and was trying to picture the Apis bull of Egypt. I
think we may fairly deduce from these old customs that, in spite of the
powerful influence of Christianity, the ceremonies of sun-worship and the
rites of Isis had got so deeply interwoven with the life and customs of the
people that it held until a few years ago a strong place in their affections.
England and Scotland, for centuries previous to the formation of the three
Grand Lodges, there were Masons' lodges where the sun's course, its position
of rising, meridian and setting, were duly observed, where the vital parts of
the Isis-Osiris mysteries were performed and where many of the penalties,
signs, passwords and ceremonials observed were almost identical with those in
use in the Book of the Dead and other works revealed to us by the Egyptian
closing I venture to say that from the little I have placed before you we are
quite justified in repeating the words laid down in our lecture: "The usages
and customs of Freemasonry, our signs and symbols, our rites and ceremonies,
correspond in a great degree with the mysteries of Ancient Egypt."
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
BRO. 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 text of the paper and not permit the members to speak too long at one time
or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident 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.
on the subjects treated in this paper will be found at the end of the article.
the lore of Freemasonry nothing more appeals to the imagination of the young
initiate than the story of how travellers have found Freemasons among the
wilds, and how our mysteries have been discovered amid the most ancient
peoples, in old China, in Central America, "in Egypt 40,000 years ago." These
stories are as romantic as Kipling's bloody tale, "The Man Who Would be King,"
which is itself a hint of the universal existence of the Craft, because they
appeal to the imagination, and conjure up the picture of a Fraternity which
has always existed, and now exists everywhere. One must be on his guard
against these stories, for it is fatally easy to fabricate them; if a man sets
out to prove a theory he usually can dig up something somewhere to serve as
evidence, like those
. . .
"Learn'd philologists, who chase
panting syllable through time and space,
it at home, and hunt it in the dark
Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's Ark."
even so, many of the accounts of the universal diffusion of Masonic secrets
and traditions are as well authenticated as anything we have, and are not to
be despised, though a man be ever so high-brow a critic. And though they are
to have each and everyone a question mark placed after them, they nevertheless
serve to give to one's mind a kind of composite picture of the Universality of
Freemasonry, than which there is no nobler theme inside the pale of the Great
Teachings which it is now our province to be studying.
believe that it is safe to say that now, at this present moment, and as a
matter of fact, Freemasonry is Universal, - and that for many reasons.
be that the body of Freemasonry, as we know it, came into existence only two
hundred years ago; but the soul of Freemasonry, its spirit, many of its
principles and its symbols, have been among men from a time since which the
memory of man runneth not to the contrary. In China, in the ruins of ancient
Latin-American civilizations (I have just seen the carving of a Masonic apron
- so it is interpreted by the authorities - on a plaque taken from a city of
the Mayas that is several thousand years old, how many thousands I can't
recall), throughout medieval Europe, among the so-called Dark Ages, in Ancient
Rome, Greece, Egypt, and even in India, one may here and there encounter
organizations, teachings, emblems, and symbols that are singularly like our
own. Some things in our Fraternity have evidently existed everywhere and
diffusion through past times is only equalled by the cosmopolitanism of
Masonry as it now is. If one travels in the far north, in Siberia or in
Alaska, he may encounter a Masonic lodge. If he goes into the Sandwich Islands
(as at Papeete) or to the last reaches of southern Australia, he may come upon
a building bearing the square and compasses. There are lodges in China and
Japan, in the Malay Archipelago, in India, in the Balkans, and in the midst of
Africa. Masonry has its center everywhere: its circumference nowhere.
evolution of the Craft reveals a steady progress from an institution that once
was attached to one church and to one task to an institution that now
over-reaches all the creeds as the sky over-arches the earth, and accepts the
responsibility of a thousand tasks. In that history one encounters an event
which stands as a high light in the history of the human spirit, - the
utterance "Concerning God and Religion" in the Constitutions of 1723 - and
which is the noblest expression of the spiritual universality of the Order
that we know.
Mason is obliged by his tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly
understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist or irreligious
Libertine. But though in ancient times Masons were charged in every country
to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, yet it is
now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all
men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves: that is to be Good
men and True, or men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denomination or
Persuasion they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Centre of
Union and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among persons that must
have remained at a perpetual distance."
this it has been well said that if "that statement had been written yesterday,
it would be remarkable enough. But when we consider that it was set forth in
1723, amidst bitter sectarian rancour and intolerance unimaginable, it rises
up as forever memorable in the history of men! The man who wrote that
document, did we know his name, is entitled to be held till the end of time in
the grateful and venerative memory of the race. The temper of the times was
all for relentless partisanship, both in religion and in politics." In that
famous Article the prophetic soul of Masonry, "brooding over years to come,"
anticipated the highest triumphs of the genius of tolerance which was yet to
be, so that Crawley could well say that "in the eyes of the philosophical
historian, the proudest boast of our society must always be, that in the
Revival of our Craft A. D. 1717, we distinctively adopted the doctrines which
found expression two generations later, in the Philanthropy of Howard and the
humanity of a Wilberforee."
piece with this famous pronouncement was the Act of Union in 1813. During the
long process through which the Fraternity was achieving its unity out of the
particularism of the old days of transition it was inevitable that there
should be misunderstandings, schisms, feuds, and jealousies: all these came to
a head in 1750 or thereabouts in the open warfare between the rival Grand
Lodges, the so-called "Modern" and the so-called "Ancient." For long it
appeared that the Order, like the religious, political, and social
institutions of the time, was merely talking about a unity and a universality
that it had neither the will nor the power to bring into existence: but at
last Freemasonry overcame its own internal feud, which had been as bitter as
the rivalry between two churches, and thus demonstrated that men can do such
things, if they but have the mind.
two outstanding events, the Act of Union, and the adopting of the great
paragraph concerning God and Religion, remain unto this day to inspire every
Mason to believe that union is possible among men, however diverse they may be
in interest and creed: more, they cheer and encourage because they demonstrate
that it can be accomplished, and such a demonstration is worth more than many
homilies. So long as we have those two outstanding triumphs to look back to
we need never lose hope for the ultimate unity of the whole Masonic world, and
the whole non-Masonic world. Union and universality, such things axe not mere
visions, dreamed by poets in solitary cells.
as many examples as you can to show the antiquity of Masonry. Do you believe
that Freemasonry has everywhere and always existed? Who were the Mayas? Did
the ancient Chinese have Freemasonry? Do the American Indians? Is it the same
as ours, if so? How do you account for it? We have Masonic documents written
more than 500 years ago: how widespread was Freemasonry then? Where and in
what shape did it exist in the ancient world? In what countries now existing
would you fail to find Freemasonry? Why is it shut out of Hungary and Russia?
How long will it remain shut out? Why was it abolished in Poland? Do they have
it in Bulgaria? in Serbia? in Jugo-Slavia?
Furthermore, the Fraternity as it now exists, with all its faults upon it, is,
as I like to think, itself the great argument for the coming of unity among
men. For consider. Men of all races, of all colors, of almost every creed,
tongue, nation, and location are now, as an actual fact, Masons, and therefore
bound to all the rest of us, however far away we may be in all those
particulars, by a tie that is growing stronger every year. Not always does
that tie hold - the Great War broke it - but it is a tie nevertheless, and
there will come a time when no war will be able to snap it in twain. If each
one of us could see the world as God is able to see it, not at one point, and
for a moment, and then in a most faulty fashion, but as a whole, calmly,
clearly, understandingly, I am sure that we should see the Masonic Fraternity
standing there among men as one of the noblest of all the noble things in that
vision; like the moon breaking through the clouds on a stormy night would be
its tender brotherhood and its constant yearning and striving for more
brotherhood; and its refusal to be defeated or balked when brotherhood, for a
time, fails or is broken.
need not hesitate to acknowledge the many defeats which the ideal of
Universality has suffered even in the house of its friends but every such
fact, if we are to be true to things as they really are, must be confronted by
this further fact, - That Universality in Masonry, for all its failures, is a
living and therefore a shaping ideal. One wishes that he might write those
last words in some new way to make them dig deep into a reader's mind in order
to avoid the pitfall of a too easy thinking of them. An ideal is a force to
be reckoned with, and not a dream hanging helpless in the void. Masons
believe in Universality; they strive for it; they shape things to bring it
about; they make sacrifices in its behalf; they are always, in proportion as
they truly understand their art, eager to let differences lie if so be that
they can bring men closer to men. That being true there is no need ever to
feel discouragement because the perfect day has not yet come; if we were all
doing mere lip service to our ideal, pessimism might be justifiable, but not
as long as we strive for universal brotherhood.
Moreover, it is wise for us, even when confronted by some apparent failure of
Universality, to see that failure as it actually is, and not as it is
hurriedly reported to be. There is in point, for example, the long
disagreement between the Grand Orient of France and the Grand Lodge of
England, and other Grand Lodges in the world. That break in Masonic
fellowship is made use of by our enemies more than any other thing to heap
sarcasm upon Masonic aspirations towards unity. Well, that rupture is an
unfortunate thing for all sides, view it how we may, but just what does it
amount to? It amounts to this, that the Masons living under these two Grand
Lodge systems cannot visit in each other's lodges, or approve one or two of
each other's doctrines. But there is no enmity. Masons under the Grand
Orient do not make war on English Masons. They do not hate each other. In all
ways now possible they aid and assist each other. In all ways, save in those
ways controlled by the lack of formal recognition, French Masons and other
Masons live in amity and brotherhood. Some day the breach will be healed,
just as will the still wider breach existing between the lodges of Germany and
lodges among the Allied Nations.
carrying out their ideal there is no reason why Masons may not make free use
of all the agencies now employed generally to further internationalism,
understanding among peoples, and mutual intercourse. The scientists have
their congresses, business men have their conventions, statesmen their
conferences: one may hope to see American Grand Lodges use these same
instrumentalities in behalf of a better understanding among nations. The
Trowel is the working tool of the Master Mason; we must make use of it now
more than ever, while a discordant and broken world lies about us. It is
unfortunate that certain of our leaders hesitate to use the Trowel lest they
mar its shining surface, forgetting the while that it is to be used and not
what way does the evolution of Masonry prove it to be universal in character?
Can you describe the early part of the eighteenth century in England? Whom do
you believe to have been responsible for the Article concerning God and
Religion? Can you give an example of the bitter partisanship of those times in
religion? What was the religious character of Operative Masonry? Why did it
cut itself loose from any one religion? How did the "Ancient" Grand Lodge
originate? Describe its feud with the "Modern." How was the Union brought
about? If those two bodies were able to unite, could not churches unite? Do
you believe that our Grand Lodges should resume fraternal relations with
German Masonry? Does the tie now hold between English and Irish Masonry? How
many races are there? Are they all represented in the Masonic family? Does the
fact that Masonry can unite all prove anything as regards political relations,
churches, etc.? If so, what?
is an ideal? What is the relation between ideal and fact? Is a true ideal a
"fact on the way"? In what way does Universality remain an ideal? Do you agree
with the interpretation of the relations between the Grand Orient of France
and of the English Grand Lodge given by Brother Haywood? Are you in favour of
recognizing the Grand Orient? If not, why not? Do you hate French Masons
because you do not agree with them? How can Masonry use the Trowel? What
agencies are at hand which we might use to bring about better international
relations? Should Masonry assist to bring about better political relations
between countries? How and why?
necessary implications of Universality, so it seems to me, are not enough
understood. Universality being a fact and a living ideal, certain things
follow, and these it is well to consider.
evident that an Order which speaks a message to a world has found something
that the world can understand and needs. Its acts, its principles, and its
symbols are a kind of great Esperanto which perpetually translates itself into
the languages of all men everywhere. Diverse as are the conditions under
which men live, political, social, economic, and religious, men have certain
common needs. Just as it has ever been one of the great desiderata of
statecraft to discover a common ground whereon nations might meet politically,
so has it ever been one of the great hopes of men to find such a ground in
morality, and in the human things of life. It is evident that Freemasonry has
made that discovery. What it has to give is what men everywhere feel the need
of, else it would remain, as almost all institutions do, a merely local and
transitory thing. The things that Freemasonry has to give are simple enough,
and to us may be commonplace, but just as it required a great social genius to
discover an alphabet, which children can learn and all men can use, so has it
necessitated an equal genius to discover just those things, and their right
combination, to meet the needs of men everywhere. The fact that Masonry is
everywhere welcomed as soon as it is discovered and its nature understood,
gives us each one a heightened confidence in that which Masonry is.
the Universality of Masonry implies that human nature is everywhere the same,
which fact, though it may be familiar enough to most of us, is not by any
means admitted by many of a different faith. Socrates counted it a great day
when he discovered that behind the varying languages and dialects and nodes of
thought and expression all men had the same kind of mind: Spencer found
himself in a new world of thought when he at last saw that "humanity is an
organism." "Men change," said the wise Goethe, "but man remains the same."
Racial distinctions, sex, colour, language, creeds, governments, these have
broken our human family into diverse and often quarrelling groups: but while
men change in language, in theories and in customs from generation to
generation, there is that in man which does not change, either in time or
place, a common humanity which ever remains the same, and stretches under the
world, as the earth retains her unbroken identity beneath the many
inequalities of her surface. From the mist-hung distance of the remotest
times down unto our own hour man has thought, loved, laboured, dreamed,
prayed, hated, fought the while he has walked "the dim and perilous way of
life." His spirit has sought goodness, truth, and beauty, and he has evermore
craved the companionship of his fellows. It is the misfortune of too many
creeds, moralities and sects, be they political, social, or religious, that
they cater to the accidental and temporary needs of men, and too often divide
rather than unite our hard-driven struggling race. It is the glory of
Freemasonry that it speaks the revealing word to that in each of us which is
universal, thereby helping to build in the midst of the years "an institution
of the dear love of comrades" in which the mind is free to think, the hand to
do, and the heart to love. William Penn believed that death would remove our
masks and that we would all then discover ourselves to be of one religion.
The Universality of Freemasonry lifts the masks of all differences and proves
that we are now all united in our humanity, that God has made of one blood all
nations that dwell upon the face of the earth.
regards to morality and religion this seems especially true. There is much in
the morality of every people that cannot help being local and therefore
temporary; and this is not to be held against it because a morality, if it
function at all, must adjust itself to the details of life; but if an
institution tie itself too rigidly to those local things in morality it cannot
possibly function among another people, where conditions are so different.
Some men believe that all morality is purely local, made up of prejudices and
accidents, and that there is no ethic everywhere valid. Masonry contradicts
this. Masonry proves itself wiser than many other institutions, because it,
in the words of Albert Pike, "is the universal morality, suitable to the
inhabitants of every clime, to the man of every creed."
Freemasonry makes no attempts to adjudicate the religious quarrels of the
race. It does not take the position that there is one true religion among a
great many religions wholly false, nor does it take the opposite position that
all religions are equally indifferent. Its position is entirely its own. It
takes the position that, letting religions be as they are, they one and all
possess certain fundamentals everywhere alike, and it is on these fundamentals
that Masonry takes its stand. In a letter which a Deputy District Grand
Master once wrote to George William Speth there occurred this sentence:
have just initiated Moung Ban Ahm, a Burman, who has so far modified his
religious beliefs as to acknowledge the existence of a personal God. The
Worshipful Master was a Parsi, one Warden a Hindu, or Brahmin, the other an
English Christian, and the Deacon a Mohammedan" Mr. Ahm believed in the
existence of God, in the immortality of the soul, and in the brotherhood of
man: that was sufficient. He was not disturbed in whatever other beliefs he
had because if a man holds to the three mentioned his religion can function
inside the Masonic Fraternity. And once in the Fraternity he could find no
reason to quarrel with his brother the Brahmin, or his other brother the
Christian, or his brother the Mohammedan, because in every case the doctrines
peculiar to each were not called for in Masonic workings, and therefore such
doctrines could have no chance to come into conflict. Inasmuch as the only
religious doctrines that operate in Masonry are belief in a personal God, in
immortality, and in brotherhood, the man who holds them is, for Masonry,
sufficiently equipped, and Masonry has no reason to find fault with whatever
he may further believe: and because nearly all men in the world, be they ever
so far removed from us in America, believe in those three great doctrines, and
because Masonry builds upon them, Masonry may be said to have a genuine
religious Universality. And this, if you will consider a moment, is a very
great thing: because prophets and leaders and teachers and religions without
number have ever been searching for just such a foundation.
even if early Masons had hit upon so universal a foundation for a Fraternity
it would have availed little had they not at the same time devised a form of
organization equally universal. It is worth while to consider this a moment,
because it is almost never discussed. History furnishes us with an
illustration whereby it can be quickly considered for our present purposes.
Why was it that the Reformation, as launched by Luther, soon grew stagnant,
and became a merely local German affair? It was because in Germany it was
suffered to flow into the mould of German social life, and this mould not
existing elsewhere, the Reformation was unable to function outside Germany.
The spirit and doctrines of the Reformation were there but Luther and his
followers were notable to give them a vehicle wherein to travel into other
countries. Now it was the peculiar glory of Calvin that he was able to give
the Reformation just such an organization as enabled him and his followers to
take it anywhere. They devised for it a vehicle that would serve as well in
France as in Germany, and in Scotland as in France, and it was therefore owing
to Calvin that the Reformation became, so far as the Western world is
concerned, a universal thing. Early Freemasonry might have been as true in
principle and spirit as it now is and yet, for lack of vehicular means, have
remained a local English sect, or club. Fortunately it was not so, and that
because our forbears possessed a genius for organization equal to that for
Freemasonry is not the only great institution in society, nor is it
responsible for healing over all the divisions of the world, be they
religious, political, social, economic, racial, or what not: but it has found
a way to surmount those barriers in order to penetrate into every land, and
that is sufficient for its purpose. Because of this it has an unlimited
are works yet left for Freemasonry to accomplish greater than the twelve
labours of Hercules." Many of these labours lie inside the Craft itself where
there still remain many obstacles to internal Unity, and therefore to external
Universality. There are many Masonic rites in the field and these are not
always working together as smoothly as they should. There are Masonic bodies
of the same rite that do not always agree, as is the case now among a few of
the Grand Lodges of Mexico. And, as already mentioned, the sundering of
peoples by the late War has broken the unity of the Order. It is a part of
our task to heal over these divisions. It is a part of our task to make
Masonic unity prevail.
does Masonry have to give that all men need? Do other institutions have it to
give? In what sense is it true that men are everywhere the same? Do you agree
with Spencer that "humanity is an organism"? What is Masonic morality? Why is
it more universal in character than other moralities? What is the religion of
Masonry? Why is it that the Masonic organization can everywhere function? Can
you think of other organizations of which this is true?
(1915) - Masonry and World Peace, p. 27; War and the Mystic Tie, p. 210; The
Relation of Masonry to the Liberation of Spanish America, p. 259.
II (1916) - Sectarianism and Freemasonry, p. 109; Edwin Markham - Poet of
Brotherhood, p. 118; The Political Pseudo-Masonry of South America, pp. 147,
233; Masonry, Its Philosophy and Influence in War Time, p. 181; Discussing the
Previous Question, p. 242; Toleration, p. 265; Non-Christian Candidates, p.
302; The Empire of Freemasonry, p. 306; Evidences of Symbolism in the Land of
the Incas, p. 361; Indian Freemasonry p. 371.
III (1917) - Masonry Among Primitive Peoples, p. 18; The Fellowship of Masonry
p. 41; Secret Societies of Islam, p. 84; Masonic World Unity, p. 87;
Aboriginal Races and Freemasonry, p. 96; Toward Brotherhood, p. 141; Masonry -
Its Patriotic Opportunity, p. 143; For Freedom and Fraternity, p. 167;
Religion and Philosophy, p. 234; The Reception of the Flags, p. 198;
Freemasonry in the Far East, p. 305; Masonry in Panama, p. 327.
IV (1918) - Internationalism and Freemasonry, pp. 43, 72; Military Lodges in
Cuba, p. 54; Can We Build a Real Universal Masonry? p. 100; Freemasonry in
France, p. 106; Unification in the Philippines, p. 179; English and American
Brotherhood - A League of Masons, p. 192; "A League of Masons," p. 214;
Masonry in Greece, p. 218; "Jerusalem Delivered," p. 301.
(1919) - California's Recognition of French Masonry, p. 11; Alabama Grants
Full Recognition to Grand Lodge and Grand Orient of France, and Swiss Grand
Lodge "Alpina," p. 79; The Plan of Masonry, p. 266.
VI (1920) - Impressions of the Masonic Service Association Meeting, p. 22; The
Common Good, p. 93; The Mystic Tie, p. 153; Cuban Viewpoint of World
Freemasonry, p. 217; a Bird's-eye View of Masonic History, p. 236; A Survey of
Masonry in Foreign Countries, p. 247; Masonry in Mexico, p. 264; Freemasonry
Among the American Indians, p. 295.
VII (1921) - The Religious Teachings of Freemasonry, p. 82; Whence Came
Freemasonry, p. 90; Practical Brotherhood, p. 102; Travelling In Foreign
Parts, p. 190; Toleration and Freethinking, p. 196; Little Wolf Joins the
Mitawin, p. 281.
VIII (1922) - Masonic World Unity, p. 55; American Indians in Freemasonry, p.
71; Masonic international Association, p. 99; Masonry and the World's Work, p.
131; Masonic Toleration, p. 137; Toleration and Freemasonry, p. 160.
Mackey's Encyclopedia-(Revised Edition):
Almighty, p. 408; Ancient Masons and Their Controversy with the Moderns, p.
55; Antiquity of Freemasonry, p. 66; Atheist, p. 84; El, p. 235; Freemasonry
in France, p. 276; Freemasonry in Hungary, p. 342; Freemasonry in Poland, p.
574; Freemasonry in Russia, p. 655; Freemasonry in War, p. 836; God, p. 301
(The reader may also note to advantage the reference, on page 301, to the
initials of the Hebrew words for Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, forming, when
combined, the English name for Deity); Grand Orient of France and the Grand
Lodge of England, p. 278; "I am that I am" (Eheyeh asher Eheyeh), p. 234;
Jehovah, p. 363; Religion of Masonry, p. 617; Religious Qualifications, p.
619; Universality of Masonry, p. 817.
STUDY CLUB PLAN
Our Masonic Study Club
Course, 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,
1922, are obtainable in the bound volumes of THE BUILDER for 1917, 1918, 1919,
1920 and 1921.
Following is an outline
of the subjects covered by the current series of study club papers by Brother
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
The Masonic Conception of Education.
Ritualism and Symbolism.
Initiation and Secrecy.
10. - Democracy.
11. - Masonry and
12. - The Brotherhood
13. - Freemasonry and
15. - The Fatherhood of
16. - Endless Life.
17. - Brotherly Aid.
18. - Schools of
This systematic course
of Masonic study
has been taken up and carried out in monthly and semi-monthly meetings of
lodges and study clubs all over the United States and Canada, and in several
instances in lodges overseas.
The course of study has
for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE BUILDER and
ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be
organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of the lodge. In
the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably of three
"live" members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The study
club meetings should be held at least once a month (excepting during July and
August, when the study club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at
a special communication of the lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular
communication at which no business (except the lodge routine) should be
transacted,all possible time to be devoted to study club purposes.
After the lodge has
been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the
lodge over to the chairman of the study club 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 of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
1. Reading of any
supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may have been
prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the study club
2. Reading of the first
section of Brother Haywood's paper.
3. Discussion of this
section, using the questions following this section to bring out points for
4. The subsequent
sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in the same
5. Question Box. Invite
questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all brethren present. Let
the brethren understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit
and enlightenment and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they
may be able to think of. If at the time these questions are propounded no one
can answer them, send them in to us and we will endeavor to supply answers to
them in time for your next study club meetmg.
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
communicate with us.
THE UNUSUALLY able
article by R.’.W.’. Brother Thomas Ross on "The Egyptian Influence on our
Masonic Ceremonial and Ritual," the second and concluding half of which
appears in this issue, was originally delivered as a lecture in Dunedin, New
Zealand, and should have appeared in our pages long ere this. But we first
wrote to ask permission of Brother Ross to publish his lecture, and this,
owing to a delay in the mails, was the cause of a long postponement: and then,
the permission received, we believed it wise to publish with his article his
own original illustrations, and this also delayed us much.
It so happened that the
mail which brought the final revision of Brother Ross's article brought also
an article from another very scholarly Mason who argued throughout that
Freemasonry sprang originally from the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece. It also
happened that about the same time the writer was discussing the origin of
Freemasonry with a Masonic journalist of exceptionally wide reading, who
averred with great emphasis that Freemasonry came from the Roman cult of
Mithraism. Others, so the reader will recall, have argued that our Order came
from the Roman Collegia, from the Essenes, etc., etc.
Among these multitudes
of counsellors who would lead us this way and that what is a plain man to do?
Is there any mediating theory along which he can Travel without danger of
falling aside into the tangle of some one of the conflicting (though friendly)
Why cannot we believe
that Freemasonry has had many origins ? Why may it not be likened to the Gulf
of Mexico into which so many river systems empty themselves ? Brother Ross is
undoubtedly right in believing that something has come into Freemasonry from
the Egyptian cults. Brother Haydon is right in believing that we owe many
things to Eleusis. The writer's friend is right in thinking that we have
received something from Mithraism.
Also, it must be
recalled that ancient religions and philosophies did not exist apart from each
other but rather lived in a fluid society where each and all intermingled and
interchanged their ideas and synnbolisms. What was more common than the use of
pillars? or than the worship, or symbolic use, of the sun, moon, and stars?
The alchemists of ancient Babylon made use of the Point Within a Circle even
as did the Egyptians, and to them it meant both gold and the sun. Hundreds of
cults employed passwords, and made use of secret initiations. The ideas of a
dying and a rising again, and of a redemptive death, were common to all five
or six of the great religions of the early Roman Empire. And what is true of
the cults and philosophies of the ancient world is also, and equally, true of
the cults and philosophies of the Middle Ages. All of them made use of
symbols, ideas, and often words, borrowed from a wide field of anterior or
May not the same thing
be said of Freemasonry? It is a piece of syncretisrn. It is like a noble
building erected of stones brought from many older buildings, some of them
long since fallen into decay. If this be true then it is possible that many of
the rival theories of Masonic origin may all be sound in part: it is only
necessary that the various champions do not each one claim too much for their
own particular hypothesis.
* * *
Law is not the harsh
forbidding thing it is often imagined to be, but something human and kindly,
and full of beneficent influence. It protects us during the day and watches
over us at night, and the hearth-side of every home is kept inviolate through
its power. If its existence is often made manifest through a court
proceedings, or a day in jail, or a tax notice, that is an unfortunate
accident of circumstances, and is not to distort our imaginations into the
belief that lex tarrae, the law of the land, is a despotic and cruel monster
that loves the sound of clanking chains. Far from it, and that for many
reasons ! The whole purpose of law is humane; it is the giver and the
guarantor of liberty; and apart from it life becomes harsh and cruel.
Let it be supposed that
a certain man, Mr. A. B., purchases a home for himself and family. He pays
five thousand dollars for the residence. How is he to know but that some other
man will come by some day and take the place away from him? the law will
protect him. How does he know that if he were called to prove his right of
possession he would be able to do so? the law has provided the means. Suppose
he sells the place to a stranger and the stranger's check proves to be
worthless; how is he to recover his own? the law will give it back. Suppose
Mr. A.B. quarrels with his neighbor over the property line; how is this to be
settled and a chronic family feud averted? the law will draw the line.
When Mr. A. B.'s wife
goes upon the public highway does some wild fellow leap upon her or beat her
to the ground in order to take away her purse? the law preserves the safety of
the public street so that even little children are safe thereon. Suppose that
Mr. A.B.'s little son is made the heir of some wealthy relative: how is the
lad to prove his right to the inheritance? the law furnishes a birth
certificate. What if some enemy seeks to traduce Mr. A. B.'s name so as to
ruin his professional business ? the law will give him safety for his
And so it goes on, as
an endless series of exaxnples, equally simple, might prove. The good will of
the law is built in about our lives at every point, so that whichever way we
turn, or wherever we may be, or whatever we may be doing, it is there to
protect, to guide, to support us. One is able to lay his head upon an
untroubled pillow at night because its arms are about him. One can live at
peace with his neighbors through a long and happy life because it maintains
order, and binds us all up together in a kindly comity of good fellowship or
neighborly love. Fully to know it, rightly to understand it, reveals to us how
that like Duty in the Wordsworth poem, the lex terrae is the "daughter of the
voice of God." It is often stern? yes, but so is love itself, so is
tenderness, so is sympathy, so is every other beneficent thing in our human
And what if at times
men of ill will evade the law, or twist it to their own ends? what if unjust
and unwise laws are often laid upon the statute books? Not for that reason
will a sensible man turn upon law itself as an evil and a tyranny. Those who
say, Let us do away with laws and with law-makers know not what spirit they
are of. And as for those that make light of it with cynical persiflage, and
openly flout it, they are children of the Evil One, which is only another name
SPLENDOR OF GEOMETRY
"Mathematical Philosophy: A study of Fate and Freedom. Lectures for Educated
Laymen," by Cassius J. Keyser, Adrain Professor of Mathematics in Columbia
University. E. P. Dutton & Co., 681 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y. Price $4.70.
clerk Euclide in this wyse hit fonde
craft of gemetry yn Egypte londe
Egypte he tawghte hyt ful wyde,
dyvers londe on every syde,
erys afterwarde y understonde
that the craft com ynto thys londe
craft corn into England, as y you say,
tvme of good Kvng Adelstone's day."
THESE QUAINT lines,
printed on page 43 of this remarkable book, put a Mason immediately at his
ease, for they are quoted from the Regius Ms., written in 1390 or thereabouts,
the oldest of all known Ancient Charges, and the most precious document inside
the entire orbit of Masonic literature. It is entirely in consonance with the
fitness of things that Professor Keyser should quote from a Masonic document,
because his entire book is written to celebrate the glories of Geometry, which
is the Masonic science par excellence, and the one intellectual art most
cherished by the Masons of the long ago, who dreamed of curves and angles by
night, and wrought them in stone and mortar by day. The men who built Europe's
abheys and cathedrals were mathematicians by nature who wrought in great
fabrics the divine mysteries of number. Could they return to earth today they
would find the delight of their souls in such books as "Mathematical
Philosophy," and among all the symbols now employed in Blue Lodges they would
give their heartiest assent to the Letter "G" which hangs in the East to
perpetually remind us that the key to Masonry is in the Geometry of which that
letter is the initial. Like Professor Keyser himself they would join with the
choir of those great thinkers who have possessed what Plato defined as
"magnificence of mind" in ascribing to Mathematics honor and glory as being
man's nearest approach in this life to that which is eternal. "What is the
hovering angel wooing our loyalty to what is best in thinking? What is the
muse of life in the world of ideas? An austere goddess, high, pure, serene,
cold towards human fraility, demanding perfect precision of ideas, perfect
clarity of expression, and perfect allegiance to the eternal laws of thought.
In mathematics the name of the muse is familiar: it is Rigor - Logical Rigor,
which signifies a kind of silent music, the still harmony of ideas, the
intellect's dream of logical perfection." The Mason's dream, we might add, of
the application of the Square and the Compasses to all the processes of the
As I have said in a
review of "Manhood of Humanity" by Count Alfred Korzybski, which book should
be read in connection with "Mathematical Philosophy," and which is very ably
summanzed in Lecture XX, the most influential group of thinkers now in the
world is composed of a number of men who are bringing about an alliance - I
came near saying merger - between mathematics, philosophy, and logic. These
men are showing that when the processes of mathematical demonstration are
pushed far enough they yield logical and philosophical principles; when logic
is made exact it inevitably adopts the language of mathematics and employs
mathematical symbols: and that when philosophy is rescued from the playboys of
thought in order to be made to serve a sober and useful purpose in real life
it inevitably turns toward a working arrangement with mathematics and logic.
Professor Keyser and his colleagues believe that all the arts and aisciplines
will be drawn in, sooner or later, to this new League of Science in order that
all of man's activities shall be held under the inflexible but benignant sway
of the Muse of Rigorous Thinking. To eliminate prejudice, gush,
sentimentality, party spirit, moonshine, taboo, and an unholy reverence for
tradition in order to make way for loyalty to facts, exact thinking, patient
research, and a calm but daring surrender to Truth as Truth is known to
trained thought, that, so these men believe, is the hope of the world, and it
is what they are aiming at when they try to being all thinking into vital
touch with Mathematics, which is itself the very soul of Rigorous Thinking.
To read ''Mathematical
Philosophy" with pleasure and understanding one must possess the equivalent of
at least one college year of mathematics: if one is blessed with this modest
equipment he will discover the book to be as refreshing as a cold plunge, and
as fascinating as music. The volume is arranged in twenty-one lectures, and
these, as far as has been possible, have been made to preserve the freshness
of oral speech. Postulates, infinity (of the mathematical variety),
non-Euclidean geometries, hyperspaces, mathematical psychology, the psychology
of mathematics, Korzybski's concept of man, and human engineering, such are a
few of the themes which move through the stately procession of these chapters.
Throughout the 465 pages one hears, like deep organ tones, the notes of
Professor Keyser's own voice, and feels the impact of his powerful
personality. H. L. Haywood.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly
receiving inquiries from readers as to where they may obtain publications on
Freemasonry and kindred subjects not offered in our Monthly Book List. Most of
the books thus sought are out of print, but it may happen that other readers,
owning copies, may be willing to dispose of the same. Therefore this column is
set aside each month for such a service. And it is also hoped - and expected -
that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic works will communicate the
fact to THE BUILDER in behalf of general information.
are here given in order that those buying and selling may communicate directly
with each other. Brethren are asked to cancel notices as soon as their wants
In no case does THE
BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications thus bought,
sold, exchanged or borrowed.
By Bro. 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, 1811.
By Bro. G. Alfred
Lawrence, 142 West 86th St., New York, N. Y.: Proceedings of the Scottish Rite
Body founded by Joseph Cerneau in New York City in 1808, of which De Witt
Clinton was the first Grand Commander, and which body became united, in 1867,
with the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R.
Also Proceedings of the Supreme Council founded in New York by De La Motta, in
1813, by authority of the Southern Supreme Council, of which he was Grand
Treasurer-General, these Proceedings from 1813 to 1860.
By Bro. Frank R.
Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "The Year Book," published by
the Masonic Constellations, containing the History of the Grand Council, R. &
S. M., of Missouri.
By Brother Silas H.
Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of Samuel
Lawrence"; "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry"; "The Source
of Measures," by J. Ralston Skinner 1876, or second edition 1894; "Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum," volumes I to XI, inclusive.
By Bro. Ernest E. Ford,
30S South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 3 and 7, with St. John's Cards, also St. John's Cards for volumes 4
and 6; "Masonic Review," volumes 1, 2, 7, 31, 32 and 43 to 50, inclusive;
"Voice of Masonry," volumes 2 to 12 inclusive, and volume 15; Transactions
Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction for the years 1882 and 1886; Original
Proceedings of The General Grand Encampment Knights Templar for the years 1826
By Bro. George A.
Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All kinds of Masonic literature in
Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
By Brother L. Rask, 14
Alvey St., Schenectady, N. Y.: "Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists," by
E. A. Hitchcock, Janesville, N. Y., about 1865; "The Secret Societies of all
Ages and Countries," by C. W. Neckethorn; "Lost Language of Symbolism," by
Harold Bayley, published by Lippincott; "Sacred Hermeneutics," by Davidson,
Edinburgh, 1843; "Solar System of the Ancients Discovered," by J. Wilson,
published by Longmans Co., London, 1856; "The Alphabet," by Isaac Taylor,
Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1883, or the edition of 1899 published by Scribners,
New York; "Anacalypsis," by Godfrey Higgins, 1836, published by Longmans,
Green & Co., London; "Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum," any volume or volumes.
By Bro. J. H. Tatsch,
Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: Fascilus 2, "Caementaria
Hibernica," by Chetwode Crawley; Volumes 1, 2, 6 and 8, Quatuor Coronati
Antigrapha; "Some Memorials of Globe Lodge No. 23," Henry Sadler;
"Constitutions of the Freemasons," Hughan, 1869; "Numerical and Medallic
Register of Lodges," Hughan, 1878; "History of the Apollo Lodge and the R. A.,
York," Hughan, 1894; any items on AntiMasonry, especially tracts, handbills,
posters, old newspapers, almanacs, etc., relating to Morgan incident,
1826-1840, and recurrence of same from 1870 to 1885.
By Brother N. W. J.
Haydon, 664 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "The Beautiful Necessity,"
and "Architecture and Democracy," by Claude Bragdon.
By the National Masonic
Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa: "Discourses upon Architecture," by Dallaway,
published in 1833; any or all volumes of "The American Freemasons' Magazine,"
published by J. F. Brennan. about 1860.
By Bro. J. H. Tatsch,
Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 6 to 26, in parts as issued, with St. John Cards; "Masonic Repdnts and
Revelations," Sadler; "The Natural History of Staffordshire," Dr. Robert Plot,
1686, folio; "The History of Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould, Yorston
edition, 4 volumes; "History of Freemasonry in Europe," Emmanuel Rebold, 1867;
"Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literatur," August Wolfstieg, 1911-13, two
volumes and register, paper, as issued; "History of Freemasonry," Mackey, 7
volumes; "History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders," Hughan and Stillson;
fascimile engraving Picard's "Les Francmassons," 1735, fine copy.
By Brother A. A.
Burnand, 690 South Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, California: Various Masonic
publications including such as a complete set of "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum";
"History of Freemasonry in Scotland," by D. Murray Lyon, (original edition);
Thomas Dunckerley, Laurence Dermott, etc.
By Brother Frank R.
Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "History of Freemasonry,"
Mitchell, 2 volumes, sheep; "History of Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould, 4
volumes, cloth in good condition; "History of Freemasonry," Albert G. Mackey,
7 volumes, linen cloth, new; Addison's "Knights Templar," Macoy, 1 volume,
cloth; "Museum of Antiquity," Yaggy, 1 volume, Morocco; "History and
Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry," Macoy and Oliver, new, full morocco. Also
THE BUILDER is an open
forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under
his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity
of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as
such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against
another, but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction,
leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and
Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times.
Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our
members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are
following our Study Club course. When requested, questions will be answered
promptly by mail before publication in this department.
OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY
you please inform me of the (origin of St. Patrick's Day and why the Roman
Catholics celebrate on that day?
Patrick was made a saint by the Church of Rome, and therefore a day was
officially set aside for him in the Calendar of Saints. St. Patrick was a
great and noble man whose personality and career appealed to the Irish people
and this popularity caused the celebration of his day to become a popular
holiday. This may appear to be a very indefinite reply but it is difficult to
know how else to frame it, seeing that the "origin of St. Patrick's Day"
cannot be referred to any one individual or act.
may care to know something about St. Patrick himself who, though his own
proper person became almost entirely hidden behind a great smoke-screen of
legends and miracle-stories, was really a hero worthy of every man's
reverence. Patrick, whose British name was Sucat, was born in Britain - some
think it may have been in Scotland - about 390 to 400, therefore this famous
Irish Saint was not himself an Irishman, which is a kind of Irish bull that
history has played on us. He was the son of a deacon in the church and the
grandson of a priest - in those days the clergy married like other human
beings - nevertheless he was not, as a youth, particularly religious. When
about fourteen or fifteen years of age he was captured by a gang of Irish
pirates and sold off to slavery in Ireland, where he resided for six years,
when he made his escape. Some historians believe he went to Gaul, others that
he returned home; be that as it may we know that he became very devout and
determined to return to the Irish heathen as a missionary. This he did in
432. He was so successful that when he died in 461 he had established an
everlasting fame, and had made that appeal to the popular imagination which
inspired such a wealth of legends.
Patrick a Roman Catholic? The evidence goes to show to a fair and candid mind
that he was not a follower of the pope. Space does not permit here an
exhibition of all the evidences on this famous question so I shall content
myself with two: first, the evidence from the history of early British
Christianity; second, the evidence left by Patrick himself.
Christianity was planted in Britain at an early date - so early, that British
bishops sat in the Synod of Arles in 314. The faith was very probably
introduced by the Roman army. That army withdrew in 410 or thereabouts, after
which time there was little or no intercourse between the British churches and
Rome. The Angles, Saxons, Jutes, etc., came in and drove the British
Christians into Wales where gradually there grew up a powerful British Church,
owing no allegiance whatsoever to the Roman popes. The popes made overtures to
this Church in the sixth century - 100 years after Patrick's time - but to no
avail. On this point two historians may be quoted. Gieseler says that "the
union was close between the British and Irish churches; they retained many old
arrangements. That the Britons acknowledged no ecclesiastical power of the
pope over them is proved by their opposition to the Roman regulations, an
opposition which continued in Ireland down to the twelfth century." Lappenberg
makes the same point, and as clearly: "The points of difference between the
Roman and British Churches (established probably on the oldest direct
tradition from Judea) were, the time of celebrating Easter, the form of
tonsure, the administration of baptism, the ecclesiastical benediction of
matrimony, the manner of ordination, but above all, the refusal to acknowledge
the supremacy of the pope."
Patrick was a British Christian and since the British Church owed no
allegiance to Rome it is very probable that Patrick himself was not a
old age Patrick wrote an account of his own career and his religious faith.
Among historians this work, named "Confessions," is very generally held to be
genuine. In this autobiographical account Patrick not only says absolutely
nothing about any connection with Rome but sets forth a creed very different
from that officially promulgated by Rome at that period. Here is what Neander
has to say on this: "If Patrick came to Ireland as a deputy from Rome, it
might have been expected that in the Irish Church a certain sense of
dependence would always have been preserved towards the mother Church at Rome.
But we find, on the contrary, in the Irish Church afterwards, a spirit of
Church freedom similar to that shown by the ancient British Church, which
struggled against the yoke of Romish ordinances.
find subsequently among the Irish, a much greater agreement with the ancient
British than with Roman Ecclesiastical usages. This goes to prove that the
origin of the Irish Church was independent of Rome.
"Again, no indication of his connection with the Roman Church is to be found
in St. Patrick's Confession; rather everything seems to favour the supposition
that he was ordained Bishop in Britain itself, in his forty-fifth year."
all this it would appear that, strange as it may sound, Patrick was neither an
Irishman nor a Roman Catholic.
* * *
CHRISTIANITY AND THE MYSTERY RELIGIONS
Being a pastor as well
as a more-or-less (less, I fear) Masonic student I have long had it in mind to
make a study of the relationship between early Christianity and the old
Mysteries. Can you furnish me with a few titles of books that may help me to
get a start? Perhaps I shall get something together some day to send to THE
BUILDER. G.L.K., Illinois.
You have hit upon a
subject that continues to fascinate the best theological minds of the day, and
you should therefore, once you have worked your way a bit into the field, have
no difficulties with securing adequate literature. But it will first be well
to divest your mind of all your previous opinions about the Mysteries - if you
will permit a stranger to speak thus - for on nothing have men thought and
written such inordinate nonsense. If many of our writers - and these number,
alas, a few Masonic scribes among them - were to come suddenly upon one of the
old Mystery cults in full blast, they would not recognize the thing, so widely
have they been speculating. But to the books, of which only a few titles need
to be given: "The Mystery Religions and the New Testament," by Henry C.
Sheldon, and published by The Abingdon Press of Cincinnati and New York, is a
beginner's manual written from the orthodox Christian point of view. It is
most elementary, and in many ways unreliable, but good as a primer. Next in
order, because a bit more erudite, would come "The Evolution of Early
Christianity," by Shirley Jackson Case, an advanced and well equipped scholar
of the faculty of the University of Chicago; the work is published by the
University of Chicago Press. Beginning on page 287 of that book, and
following, you will discover a very extended bibliography in several
languages. Turn next to the article on "Mysteries" in Vol. IX of Hasting's
"Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics." That done you will be ready for "St.
Paul and the Mystery-Religions" by H.A.A. Kennedy, and similar works. Nor must
you overlook Lecture X in "The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the
Christian Church" by Edwin Hatch, published by Williams and Norgate, 14,
Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London, 1907, as The Hibbert Lectures for
1883. It is a very important book. Once you have accumulated and digested all
this material write up your conclusions for THE BUILDER; in all the world one
will not find a more fascinating subject, and there is much in it of peculiar
interest to us Masons.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE DRAMAS AND THE MORALITY PLAYS
In 1891 I was initiated
in Masonry in Denmark. Later on
I was promoted -
as it is called in Scandinavia - to the Scottish degrees, and then in 1908 to
the Knight Templar degrees. It looks to me that the main difference between
the rites which you follow over here and the Swedish rites is that the
candidate in the Swedish rites is the principal actor, while over here he is
more of an onlooker. A little while ago I attended a Scottish Rite Reunion
here and while watching it the idea came to me that the dramas performed in
the various degrees - very impressive dramas they are - in some way must have
descended from the medieval Morality Plays performed first by the Roman
Catholic church outside the church buildings when the old dramatic art, long
buried under the wreckage of the Roman Empire, first began to revive. These
were also, in some countries, taken up by Protestant churches and performed in
the same way. I have seen these plays in Scandinavia, and only the other day I
noticed that "Jedermann" had been performed in Salzburg, Tyrol. How can I
examine into this question? has any one attempted it? is there any book that
teaches us the meaning of the Scottish Rite ? C. B. OLivarius, Michigan.
Your suggestion is a
most interesting and important one, and has long attracted the attention of
Masonic students - as see Brother David E. W. Williamson's letter in THE
BUILDER for December - but to date nobody has yet given any satisfactory proof
of the Mystery Play origin of any of the orthodox Masonic rites. In the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin for November 1916 you will find an instructive
article on the matter by Brother Robert I. Clegg who has had the subject in
mind these many years past. Both Brother Clegg and Brother Williamson would
doubtless be very glad to exchange views with you: if you care to get in touch
with them write them care THE BUILDER. Thus far the one book that deals at
large with the Scottish Rite degrees is Pike's "Morals and Dogma"; it is not
always an easy book to read, and there are many gaps, and the whole volume
needs badly to be brought down to date, but even so there is no other
interpretation of the degrees that anywhere approaches it. If you have any
luck in your researches in this question, Brother Olivarius, put them into a
paper and send them to THE
* * *
MANY MASONIC BODIES ARE THERE?
Will you please give me
a list of all the Masonic organizations there are? It appears that there are a
great number of
them. D.L.O., Illinois
Mercy! frater, you ask
an impossible question if you have in mind all bodies, male or female, that
require Masonic membership as a condition of affiliation, for they are as
countless as the leaves of Valambrosa, and their number, even so, it appears,
waxes more and more. The only Masonic bodies in existence are those which
comprise the Blue Lodge, and the York and Scottish Rites: the others, worthy
as they may doubtless be, are not entitled to that name. Can any reader supply
us with a list of all such organizations? If so, the same will be welcomed to
these columns. It is not necessary - and perhaps not possible - that the list
include every one: nor would a few omissions be serious, seeing that all of
them, save a half dozen or so, might pass utterly out of existence without
loss to the Masonic Fraternity.
WOLFSTIEG'S BIBLIOGRAPHY AND EARLY MASONIC PERIODICALS
There are two inquirers
in the June number whom I may be able to help: W.J.J. Wolfstieg's
Bibliography, page 191. I obtained a copy of this (in 3 vols.) uncut, paper
covers as published, from Quaritch, the great London book dealer on May 27,
1921 at 3-10-6 which at the present rate of exchange is $15.86 (1-$4.51).
W.R.M. Early Masonic Periodicals, page 190. As this is a New York brother, if
he will write me, I will help him locate what he wants.
Good lists of all
Masonic periodicals are published in:
E. F. Carson's Masonic
T. C. Lawrence: Catalog
of Masonic Library, 1891.
G. Kloss: Bibliographie
der Freimaurerei, 1844.
T. S. Parvin: Catalog
of the Library, Grand Lodge of Iowa, 1873 and 1883.
Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literature, 1911-13.
Grand Lodge of New
York, Catalog of the Grand Lodge Library in Proceedings as follows in reports
of Grand Librarians:
1879 pp. 66-76; 1883
pp. 34-50; 1884 pp. 42-51; 1885 pp. 7690; 1886 pp. 115-128; 1887 pp. 88-101;
1888 pp. 110-124; 1889 pp. 76-85; 1890 pp. 105-115; 1891 pp. 153-162; 1892 pp.
60-67; 1893 pp. 92-97; 1894 pp. 87-92; 1895 pp. 90-96; 1898 pp. 95-101.
Berolzhheimer, New York.
* * *
FURTHER NOTE ON WOLFSTIEG'S “BIBLIOGRAPHIE"
Page 191, THE BUILDER,
June issue, has a few paragraphs on a German book by August Wolfstieg on the
Bibliographie der Freimaurerishen Literatur. Brother Eisenlohr in answering
the question in the text indicates that there are two volumes. Please let me
point out that the work is published by the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer and by
reference to the Jahrbuch for 1921-1922, page 135, I note there are three
volumes containing respectively the following pages: 990; 1041, and 536, the
last volume containing the index. Mention is made that the price will be
quoted on request. I would suggest the original inquirer be kindly referred to
Dr. J. C. Schwabe, Secretary Verein Deutscher Freimaurer, Leipzig,
Fichtestrasse 43, Germany.
I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
With reference to the
question of "T. H. F., Florida" in the March issue of THE BUILDER regarding
The Broken Column would you refer this Brother to page 42 of the latest
edition of Brother Newton's "The Builders," which throws further light on the
subject. Melvern B. Arlidge, Ontario.
* * *
JEFFERSON NOT A MASON
The writer having been
given the task of writing a history of Masonry in Virginia determined to try
to settle the question of whether or not Thomas Jefferson was a Mason. A
correspondence covering all the places in which it was thought there might be
some indication of his having had some Masonic relations, or in which there
might be some indication that he was a Mason, shows a negative result both in
Europe and America. His own letters would not suggest that he was, even though
he wrote to Masons as such. The fact that the Declaration of Independence
reads as if it could not have been the work of a profane adds weight to the
argument of those who have for years doubted as to the real authorship of that
document. He claimed to be the author but how could he have been and not have
been a Mason? Let casuists settle the question if casuists can settle
anything. Jos. W. Eggleston, P. G. M., Virginia.
* * *
BEN LEON'S MODEL OF THE TEMPLE
As regards my question
and the reply from D.E.W.W., which was published in THE BUILDER, April, 1922,
page 124, you will be interested in view of his statement "There is no
evidence. The story is absurd," etc., to read the following from a letter just
received from Rt. Wor. Bro. Lionel Vibert, to whom I addressed the same
He writes me: "Your
query you will find dealt with very fully in A.Q.C. xii and another note in
xiii. The party you refer to was a certain Rabbi Jehudah Ben Leon, who went
about with a model of the Temple on which he lectured. There was a good deal
of contemporary interest shown in the Temple, but the idea that there was
therefore some contemporary change made in the Craft ritual is one for which
there is no evidence. The Temple is clearly referred to in the legend long
before Charles II. It is in the Cooke text, the very earliest form of the
story, of date 1400 or thereabouts. But what the nature of the reference to it
in the lodge ritual may have been we do not know. We can be fairly certain
there was some story of the death of a builder, but what exactly that was is
"Robert Race's paper on
the Third Degree published by the Manchester Association, and the Leicester
Research, in their Transactions shows very convincingly that the degree was
originally a private play, like the mediaeval Mysteries, performed among the
Masons; again, there is strong evidence from what is preserved of the Baldwin
Rite at Bristol, that the original Installed Master was put in the place left
vacant because of the death of H. A. This is now quite lost to Craft Masonry
and only appears in a later degree. It is a remarkable gap in the narrative,
as we have it, that nothing is stated to be done about a successor to H. A.
But there is nowhere anything that will help us to date the ritual or any
possible redrafting or reconstruction
of it." N.W.J. Haydon, Ontario.
* * *
I have read with
interest several items appearing in THE BUILDER citing instances of brethren
who have served long and faithfully in Masonic offices. How about some
recognition of the young brothers who have established records of unusual
I wish to mention one
case for Montana. Brother Claude W. Patterson, born May 25, 1894, was elected
Worshipful Master of Corinthian Lodge No. 72, A. F. & A. M., in December,
1919, at the age of 26 years. He served as Master during the year of 1920,
until May 25th, at that age, and for the rest of the year at the age of 26.
Perhaps there have been
similar cases, but I have never heard of another brother serving as Master at
the age of 25.
V. Cline, Montana.
* * *
Brother William M.
Payne, born August 31, 1891, served as Worshipful Master of Euclid Lodge No.
64, A. F. & A. M., La Junta, Colorado, for the year 1917, having been
installed December 14, 1916 at the age of 25 years.
I was Master of a lodge
in Wisconsin when 26 years of age. G. H. Winchell, Colorado.
* * *
The title of the
youngest Worshipful Master is claimed by his friends for Brother Franklin
Slye, a student at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York. Brother Slye was
born at Dover, Ky., on September 25, 1898. In March, 1920, Brother Slye joined
St. Lawrence Lodge No. 111, at Canton, N. Y. In the following December he was
elected as Junior Warden, and in December, 1921, as Worshipful Master, being
23 years of age at the time of his installation. Arthur C. Parker. New York.
* * *
CONCERNING BROTHER W. N. GRUBB
In the article "Another
Oldest Secretary" appearing in the April copy of THE BUILDER I notice that
Brother Lloyd Steinberg, Virginia, has made a slight mistake which I would
like, with apologies to him, to correct.
He says that Brother
Grubb was made a Mason January 1, 1879 in Ruth Lodge No. 64. To be exact
Brother William Newton Grubb was Raised February 15, 1878 and made Secretary
of Ruth Lodge No. 89, June 24, 1879 and in December 1921 he began his
forty-third term as Secretary of Ruth Lodge.
Of course this little
difference is of no consequence but as a member of Ruth Lodge No. 89 I would
appreciate it if you would make the proper corrections. We in Ruth Lodge are
proud of our true and faithful Secretary and hope that he will be with us for
many more years.
I would like to say
right now that I think that THE BUILDER is a wonderful Journal, and only wish
that every brother were a subscriber. Thanking you for the pleasure that I
have derived from THE BUILDER and wishing you all the success possible in the
coming years, I am,
* * *
DAN - THE MASON
On the night of March
31st, 1922, the Masons of San Antonio and vicinity assembled at the Scottish
Rite Cathedral and celebrated the 75th birthday anniversary of one of San
Antonio's most beloved Masons, "Uncle" Dan Ludlow, Secretary of Anchor Lodge
For thirty-six years
Uncle Dan has labored indefatigably in the interest of Anchor Lodge and its
membership. When he was elected Secretary the membership was only ninety-eight
and today we are proud to say Anchor Lodge is the second largest Blue Lodge in
the state, with a membership of 1300. Uncle Dan has not only witnessed this
growth, he is directly responsible for much of it, he has labored faithfully,
and oftentimes he has discharged his duties at the cost of personal sacrifice.
Anchor lodge is his pride and joy and Uncle Dan is San Antonio Masons' pride
Uncle Dan was first
made a Mason in Embro, Canada, in Thistle Lodge No. 250, on March 26, 1874.
Later he demitted to Speed Lodge No. 180, at Guelph, Canada. On June 2, 1886,
he became a member of Anchor Lodge No. 424: he was elected Junior Warden June
24, 1887, and became Worshipful Master June 22, 1888: he was made secretary
pro tem in 1889 and in 1890 was elected Secretary, which office he has held up
Tice Crandall, Texas.
* * *
AS TO THE CARDINAL VIRTUES
In regard to the
cardinal virtues, about which a paragraph appeared on page 124 of THE BUILDER,
April, 1922, I should like to refer you to "Wisdom of Solomon," chapter 8,
A. Rosen, Texas.
Upon referring to the
book above mentioned, chapter 8, verse 7, we find this excellent saying: "And
if a man loveth righteousness, the fruits of Wisdom's labor are virtues: for
she teacheth soberness and understanding, righteousness and courage; and there
is nothing in life for man more profitable than these."
* * *
MASONRY EXCLUDE THE AGNOSTIC
I note with interest
your definitions of various religious theories in the February issue of THE
BUILDER. There is one point made by you, however, to which I must take
exception, and that is your definition of Agnosticism. The latter part of your
explanation is correct, but the word does not properly denote nor even connote
a disbelief in the existence of God. Agnosticism is equally oposed to Theism
(or Deism) and to Atheism. The agnostic merely denies the ability of the
finite to comprehend the infinite. The term was formulated by Huxley to
distinguish his position from that of a rejection of belief in a Deity.
I cite the following
definitions from dictionaries of recognized authority as supporting my
"The doctrine that
neither the nature nor existence of God, nor the ultimate character of the
Universe (i. e., whether it is material or ideal) is knowable."
"Any doctrine which,
while professing belief in God's existence, denies the knowableness of His
Thus Mansel and
Spencer, as well as Huxley, were Agnostics.
I believe it may also
fairly be said that the exponents of Pantheism are generally agnostics also.
The distinction which I
have made is, I believe, vital, for whereas no man may be made a Mason without
expressing a belief in a Deity, there is nothing in Masonry to exclude the
agnostic. Indeed, to my own personal knowledge, many members of the Craft are
agnostics. The Theist, and more particularly the Deist, not only believes but
insists that he knows of the existence of a personal God. The atheist
expresses equally positive knowledge of the non-existence of any controlling
power, personal or non-personal. The agnostic regards both extremes as equally
absurd, and while he may believe in a personal Deity, or in several Gods, or
merely in the pantheistic doctrine of the one Reality of which all earthly
expressions are but integral phenomena he at the same time recognizes the fact
that this belief is nothing more than a personal conviction and a guess, a
more or less futile attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible, and that so
long as he is confined to finite form and finite limitations, he cannot hope
nor expect to understand or explain the infinite. D. A. Embury, New York.
Our point was that
Agnosticism is un-belief, not dis-belief. Are you right in saying that the
finite cannot comprehend the infinite ? in higher mathematics we are doing it
all the time. - Editor
* * *
CITY OF SAINTS"
Having read the
articles "Mormonism and Masonry" by Bro. Sam H. Goodwin in your issues of
February and March, 1921, also the one in the issue of February, 1922, I
thought the following excerpt from "The City of the Saints" by Sir Richard F.
Burton might interest your readers. This is from the second edition, London,
1862, p. 462.
"Mr. Little also
recounted to us his experiences among the Indians, whom he, like all the
Mormons, firmly believed to be children of Israel under a cloud. He compared
the Medicine lodge to a Masonic hall, and declared that the so-called Red men
had signs and grips like ourselves; and he related how an old chief, when
certain symbolic actions were made to him, wept and wailed, thinking how he
and his had neglected their observances. The Saints were at one time good
Masons; unhappily they wanted to be better. The angel of the Lord brought to
Mr. Joseph Smith the lost key-words of several degrees, which caused him, when
he appeared amongst the brotherhood of Illinois, to 'work right ahead' of the
highest, and to show them their ignorance of the greatest truths and benefits
of Masonry. The natural result was that their diploma was taken from them by
the Grand Lodge, and they are not admitted to a Gentile gathering. Now
heathens without the gate, they still cling to their heresy, and declare that
the other Masonry is, like the Christian faith, founded upon truth, and
originally of the eternal church, but fallen away and far gone in error. There
is no race, except perhaps antiquaries, more credulous than the brethren of
the Mystic Craft. I have been told, by one who may have deceived himself, but
would not have deceived me, that the Royal Arch, notoriously a corruption of
the Royal Arras, is known to the Bedouins of Arabia; whilst the dairy of the
Neilgherry Todas, with its exclusion of women, and its rude ornamentation of
crescents, circles, and triangles, was at once identified with the 'old
religion of the world whose vestiges survive amongst all people.' But these
are themes unfit for an 'entered apprentice."' W. S. Brown, South Carolina.
* * *
Brethren will note that
it is a Mormon, not Sir Richard Burton, who is expressing himself in this
paragraph. The reference to the Todas is interesting. How their dairy ritual
has ever escaped our argus-eyed symbologists is a mystery. By a happy
coincidence ye editor is now engaged in reviewing a book on the Today It will
soon appear. - Editor.
* * *
ANOTHER BOOK ON THE LOST WORD
In the reply to R.E.M.,
Texas, on the "Lost Word," in THE BUILDER, July, page 219, one of the most
important and best monographs on this subject was omitted, namely: "The Lost
Word" by Garrison, published in Geo. F. Fort's "Early History and Antiquities
of Freemasonry." I do not know whether this is included in all editions but my
copy (1875) has it.
Berolzheimer. New York.
* * *
ARE MASONIC SICK CARED FOR? AN URGENT REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
I have been asked to
gather information as to what individual lodges, and also all bodies acting in
concert in other cities, have done or are doing to provide for local and
sojourning brothers who need surgical and medical attention, either in
hospitals or at their homes.
Full details are needed
as to who pays the bills, where the cases are handled, who arranges the
details, what discounts are made, whether the beds are in wards, rooms, or
separate buildings, under Masonic name, auspices, control, etc. Please send
all information, no matter how trivial, it may be just what I need. We have a
number of varied cases to take care of, and wish to know how others have done
Holden, 623 Ochsner Bldg., Sacramento, Cal.