The Builder Magazine
February 1923 - Volume IX - Number
"LET THERE BE LIGHT
SHORT SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF CONFUCIUS
SECRET SOCIETIES OF CHINA
Bro. Dudley Wright, England
ACCOUNT OF THE RELIGIOUS STRUGGLES OF
EARLY AMERICAN COLONIES
Bro. Benjamin Wellington Bryant, California
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SUPREME COUNCILS
Bro. Perry W. Weidner, Secretary General,
Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.
PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
National Masonic Research Society was founded in 1914 at Anamosa, Iowa, under
authority of the Grand Lodge of Iowa to serve as a national association for
the dissemination of Masonic knowledge and for kindred activities. It is
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Editor-in-Chief - H.L.Haywood
Robert I. Clegg Ohio.
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio.
Joseph Fort Newton, New York.
Alanson B. Skinner, Wisconsin.
Hugo Tatsch, California.
Dudley Wright, England.
Address all communications to
National Masonic Research Society,
First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
ARTICLES IN THIS MAGAZINE COPYRIGHTED, 1923,
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
Entered as second-class matter January 2, 1915, at the post office at Anamosa,
Iowa, under the Act of August 21, 1912. Application for transfer to Cedar
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Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in section
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FRONTISPIECE . ......Confucius
SHORT SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF CONFUCIUS By The Editor
MASONIC EDUCATION IN IDAHO - Idaho Freemason
SECRET SOCIETIES OF CHINA - By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SUPREME COUNCILS By Bro. Perry W. Weidner,
33d, Secretary General, A. & A. S. R., Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.
DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON? (Continued from January Number) By Bro. Arthur Heiron,
ACCOUNT OF THE RELIGIOUS STRUGGLES OF THE EARLY AMERICAN COLONIES By Bro.
Benjamin Wellington Bryant, California
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - STEPHEN GIRARD - By Bro. G. W. Baird,
P. G. M., District of Columbia
STUDY CLUB - The Teachings of Masonry - Part XVIII, Schools of Masonic
Philosophy - By Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
LOST WORD Poem - By Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
EDITORIAL - The Chinese Sages
LIBRARY - A Book on Chinese Masonry
QUESTION BOX - Uniform Work a Comparatively Recent Development
the Stars and Stripes Were Made Official
Ravages of the Anti-Masonic Movement
Masonic Funeral Customs
CORRESPONDENCE - Rabbi Ben Leon's Model of the Temple
Lodge Attendance Was Increased 100%
Concerning Brother Gabriel McGuire
Acknowledgment to Professor Philadelpheus.
More Research Societies
Worshipful Master at Twenty-three
Short Sketch of the Life of Confucius
MAJORITY of Chinese words are ideograms; they are a symbolical picture of the
idea for which they stand. Confucius may be called the ideogram of China. In
his own life he gathered up into a single focus the history and meaning of his
nation so that he who understands the great teacher can understand the great
Long before Confucius was born China had climbed to a very high level of
civilization. That development may be said to have culminated in him; just
why it should have stopped then we may be able to see as a result of the study
of his life. That it did stop, there is no question, for the arrest of
civilization in China is one of the most astounding of the phenomena of
history, and utterly destroys the popular theory about necessary progress.
"The compass was known," says one authority on the subject, "some twenty-six
hundred years before Christ, but the Chinese never became a maritime nation.
Gunpowder has been known in China some seventeen hundred years before Christ,
but the Chinese have never become a warlike people. Paper was manufactured
some two hundred years before Christ and the art of printing by block types
was known two hundred years after Christ, that is, twelve hundred years before
Gutenberg. Despite these advantages probably not over five per cent of the
entire population of China could read and write in 1900, and Chinese writing
has not advanced even to the alphabetic stage."
Confucius' day China was not yet an empire but occupied only about one-sixth
of its present area and was divided into some hundred and fifty separate
states. Each state was ruled by a petty king or duke or marquis who in turn
paid tribute to the more powerful rulers; in short, the ten or fifteen million
of the Chinese were then living in a state of society very similar to that of
feudal Europe. Just as there was culture in feudal Europe so in that ancient
China art, music, literature and social etiquette were highly developed. But
in the course of time all the political divisions and jealousies bit down deep
into the people's life, and a period of decadence set in during which such
conditions obtained as are impossible to describe.
When Confucius appeared it seemed that the breath of the creative spirit was
blowing over the whole world. The Jews built their second temple and laid the
foundations of that national religion which remained in full vigour down to
Jesus' day; Buddha set rolling the wheel of his law over India; Pythagoras
founded his so influential sect among the Greeks; and Confucius, own fellow
countryman, Lao Tsze, created Taoism, a religion that numbers more adherents
today among the Chinese than any other. But, as Mencius said, conditions were
bad in ancient China: the central government was very weak and corrupt;
polygamy of a debased type prevailed; murder was common, and everywhere it
seemed that the ancient order was breaking down.
BIRTH OF CONFUCIUS
was during the Chow dynasty, third in the history of the people, that
Confucius was born, supposedly in the year 550 B.C. His real name was Chin
K'ung, but this was later changed by his followers to Pu Tse K'ung, which
means "The Master K'ung," a title that Jesuit missionaries latinized into
"Confucius." No Chinaman ever sprang from a grander lineage than he. His
father was a public official of great courage and such physical powers that if
one were to describe some of his exploits a reader would not believe the
tale. His name was Heih and he had nine daughters and one crippled son by his
two wives. Desiring a more robust son he decided to marry again at seventy.
So he sought out a friend in a neighbouring clan who had three marriageable
daughters and asked for one of them. He was given the youngest, a girl of
seventeen, and it was from this ill-assorted union that Confucius sprang.
Heih died when the lad was three years of age, leaving the family in rather
destitute circumstances so that Confucius himself afterwards explained his
ability to do many things by saying that he had been obliged to do much work
when a boy.
fifteen Confucius was seized with a passion for learning, and steeped himself
in writings of the poets and sages who had lived before him. At nineteen he
was married, a son being born to him in his twentieth year. Of this boy
little is known except that, like Buddha's son, he became an obscure member of
his father's sect. Two daughters also more born to him and these also sank
into oblivion as women almost always do in that land which has been so
deficient in its appreciation of womankind.
this time Confucius was appointed keeper of public stores and superintendent
of parks, the latter as thankless a job as it is at the present time. His
mother died when he was twenty-four, and her death almost broke the heart of
her son, who mourned her in such a way as makes the one supremely human and
likeable event in his history. For immemorial ages the Chinese had levelled
the graves of their dead, but Confucius, conservative that he was, raised a
large mound over his mother's grave in order, so he said, that whatever
happened he would never lose sight of her resting place. For three years he
mourned for her, not even playing his flute, to which he was devoted, during
that whole period.
his twenty-second year Confucius became a teacher, not of boys but of young
men who desired instruction in the conduct of life. There is no question but
that he proved to be one of the greatest pedagogs that ever lived, and he soon
gathered a large company of students about him. Two members of a royal house
were enroled in his circle after a time. During his visit to the court of
these noble students Confucius had an interview with Lao Tsze, the founder of
Taoism, and one of the greatest men that has ever lived, a mind so profound,
endowed with such a genius for religion, that his writings, in many portions,
sound as if they might have been written yesterday. But the pragmatic mind of
Confucius was not equipped to understand a mystic like Lao Tsze and the two
never drew very close together.
517 the state of Lu, in which Confucius resided, fell into such disorders that
he and his disciples went elsewhere seeking a home. But, judged according to
the standards of his time he was so peculiar and he held up so high a standard
for men and monarchs, that nowhere was he warmly welcomed; so after many
wanderings he and his friends returned to Lu where he remained a private
teacher during the next fifteen years.
Becoming more and more influential he was finally made chief magistrate of a
city and later on the minister of crime in a province. According to all
accounts he was wonderfully successful in public office. He was so
successful, indeed, that he made of his state the best governed in the land.
At that a neighbouring province or two became jealous and alarmed, fearing
that the state of Lu might grow to such strength as to absorb their
territory. Accordingly the Marquis of Ts'i determined on a peculiarly Chinese
method for weakening the strong state. Instead of declaring war on some
pretext or other as a less crafty ruler would have done, he sent around a
troop of beautiful dancing women and a number of fine horses to the ruler of
Lu. Much to Confucius' disgust this potentate fell into the trap and soon
forgot all the sage's counsels in his infatuation with the girls.
Very much chagrined and humiliated Confucius resigned his offices, gathered a
group of disciples about him, and left the country. It is an open secret that
he hoped his leaving would arouse the Marquis of Lu to send for his return,
but that did not happen. The state soon lapsed into its old corruption.
Confucius was fifty-six years of age when he embarked on this voluntary
exile. He had been cherishing a Carlyle dream of a fatherly and kingly ruler
and went everywhere seeking for such a man. For thirteen years he sought in
vain, everywhere received with respect but nowhere given a position of power
as the counsel of a sovereign, the post that he most desired. Many
interesting events occurred during that itinerancy but there is not here space
to tell of them.
After this wandering he returned to Lu and went again into private life,
refusing the public offices that were then offered to him by the new Marquis.
He contented himself with teaching his disciples, who now numbered some three
His wife had died many years before but he had ordered the young men and the
family not to mourn for her. Confucius' family life evidently had meant little
to him: there is even a tradition that he divorced his wife but no real proof
for this has been discovered. He did not even mourn for the death of his son
who died shortly after the last return to Lu. The death of a favourite
disciple at this time, however, shook him profoundly.
himself died in 478, being then 74 years of age. His passing was not such as
to awaken in us either much reverence or admiration. One day he was seen by a
disciple standing at a door leaning on his walking stick and crooning to
"The great mountains must crumble
The strong beam must break,
The wise man must wither away like a plant."
a disciple who overheard this lament he said, "No intelligent ruler arises to
take me as his master. My time has come to die." Shortly thereafter he took
to his bed in which he lingered for seven days. He made no signs of emotion,
and seemed melancholy, embittered and disillusioned with life.
His disciples buried him with great pomp just outside the city of Kuihfow
where his tomb may be seen to this day marked by a tablet on which is
inscribed, "The resting place of the great perfection." His disciples built
huts in be neighbourhood and lived three years mourning his passing. Some
40,000 or 50,000 of the sage's descendants still live in the neighbouring
News of his death went thru the whole empire, awakening the people, when too
late, to a sense of their loss. They discovered that a truly great man had
been living in their midst unappreciated. His sayings and the books that he
had edited began to be circulated everywhere. To this day every applicant for
official position in many parts of China must pass an examination in the
Confucian classics. Confucius living sought in vain for recognition from his
empire; Confucius dead passed into the spirit of his people where he today
lives with growing power. Of such an influence as his one might write in the
words which Emerson used of the memory of Burns:
am afraid heaven and earth have taken too good care of it to leave anything to
say. The west winds are murmuring it. Open the windows behind you, and
hearken to the incoming tide, what the waves say of it. His teachings axe the
property and the solace of mankind."
How did Confucius come to wield so wide an influence? I must confess that I
have sought in vain for an answer to that question. He is to me the greatest
puzzle I have ever studied. To an Occidental who has sat at the feet of such
men as Lincoln and Emerson this eastern sage makes almost no appeal at all.
They are flame and life; he is ice and a dead perfection. He had self control
and a quiet kind of courage but in those qualities which appeal to the
imagination he was almost wholly lacking. The accounts of his life tell how
he dressed, and how he sat in all circumstances, and how he liked his rice
cooked, and his meat cut, and what clothes he wore, and that he would not talk
after he retired for the night. He was punctilious, was cautious in his own
meticulous fashion, but of passion, of chivalry, of force and verve he had
almost nothing. I know of no modern book so much like the story of Confucius
as Herbert Spencer's Autobiography wherein the English sage devotes whole
pages to the shape of salt cellars and the manner of carving a roast. There
may have been passion and life behind the exterior; his long and passionate
mourning for his mother and his fondness for music might seem to indicate
that; but if there was, he reposed it and concealed it.
How he came to wield such an empire over so great a portion of the human race
is still a mystery to us; but there is no question that he has been a power in
the world, a greater influence, perhaps, than any other moralist who has ever
When he appeared, as Mencius said, he found the existing order in danger of
dissolution. How to preserve it against destruction became his life work.
Not being a great original thinker, not having the insight into the roots of
things himself, but being, according to his own words, "transmitter rather
than creator," he naturally turned to the past. It was there, in the
teachings of the ancient sages and in the deeds of the ancient rulers that he
found his guidance. He did not write any books himself but gathered out of
the past such matters as he felt would best conserve his nation, and he gave
these in volumes to his disciples.
But in choosing from the ancient leaders he ignored all that might be of a
religious element, and preserved only the secular. In religion he was
apparently an agnostic, tho this is said with some reservation inasmuch as
Confucianists themselves are divided on the question. But the very fact that
his own followers cannot determine whether he believed in God or not shows
that for him what we call religion was a matter of no great importance. To
this day Confucianism is not in our sense a religion but a code of ethics of
such a character that one may remain a Confucianist while believing in some
other religion, as in the case with a multitude of Chinamen who are
Confucianists and Taoists or Buddhists at the same time. His one concern was
to make this life as healthy and happy as possible, improving the conduct of
the people, and teaching them etiquette. In short, as Wu Ting Fang has put
it, "Confucius' aim was to show how to go thru life like a courteous
His ideal of character he called "The Superior Man." Those who believe in
Nietzsche's doctrine of the Superman will do well to ponder this fact. The
first virtue of this Superior Man is to be loyalty, not loyalty to his own
conscience or to his ideals but to the past, for all of Confucius' ideals are
but the shadows of the dead. Of progress he had no conception. He was
undoubtedly the world's greatest conservative.
is this conservatism that has enabled China to maintain her integrity of race
and nationality during all these centuries, for Confucius taught her to
conserve her material wealth, her vitality, her scholarship, and her more.
Confucius the state was a creation of nature no more to be changed than is the
structure of the beehive. A benevolent despot was to rule over an obedient
people Confucius hoped that if fatherly and strong rulers could be developed
and if the people would prove loyal to them an ideal political government
might sometime be developed. Indeed, he seemed to hold a dream of a kind of
paternally socialistic state like that of Plato or of the old time
communists. So important did politics seem to him that he gave it almost the
value and dignity of a religion, a modern scholar saying that he would have
served the world greatly had he done nothing more than "Sublimate statecraft."
built his ideal of the state on the theory of the family because to him the
family relationship lies at the basis of all social life. In this he was
wise, far wiser than many of the impetuous reformers of our day, and there is
no country where the relationships between brothers and sisters, parents and
children, and the husband and wife are of a more enduring character than in
China. There is much lacking in the finer qualities of the home, its poetry,
its religious element and its spontaneous love; but in spite of these defects
the Confucian family is enduring.
Much has been made of the fact that Confucius taught the Golden Rule; he did
teach it in a negative form a world apart from the golden rule taught by
Jesus. According to Jesus we are TO DO to others what we would that others
would do to us; the Chinese sage taught that we are simply to refrain from
doing evil to others. Of this, one writer who has long lived in China
observes: "The Chinese are really addicted in a wonderful and commendable way
to letting others alone; they are neither obtrusive or officious. But an act
of pure chivalry is seldom to be beheld among the four hundred millions.
Foreigners who have lived among them for tens of years have never seen a
chivalrous soul dash out to rescue a suffering captive, nor save a stranger
who was in peril."
MASONIC EDUCATION IN IDAHO
Members of the National Masonic Research Society in general, and of Study
Clubs in particular, will find an excellent statement of the general aims of
Masonic education in the brief article printed below from the pen of the
Chairman of the Educational Committee of Idaho, and republished here by
permission of The Idaho Freemason. This journal made its appearance in June
last under the competent editorial direction of Brother Frank G. Burroughs,
Masonic Temple Building, Boise, Idaho. It carries a section devoted to Masonic
education among its regular departments.
CHARLES W. MACK
than anything else in the world there is need for education and enlightenment.
activities of a Masonic Lodge in a community vary with the time in the life of
a nation in which it exists, but at all times it should defend against all
enemies the principles of liberty, justice and truth upon which it is founded.
I feel that we are approaching a time when Masonic education will be needed by
every Mason, and that the time for this education is now.
one great aim of every Masonic lodge should be to bring the teachings of our
Order to every man who joins our organization, and to teach him Masonry as it
touches our daily lives. The ritual is a nucleus, or foundation, upon which to
start our Masonic education, but that is not enough - it must be brought
before us in a practical way, and in a way that it will reach and every man
who enters our portals; it is necessary that we explain and bring out the
lessons as given to us, and further, that by example in our daily lives, we
demonstrate that we understand what we are taught, and that the high
principles of our Order are doing for us what it is intended they should do.
Freemasonry's main objects are to make men friends, to refine and exalt their
lives. If the questions that are troubling us today are to be settled, it must
be in an atmosphere of mutual recognition and respect. A proper settlement can
never be made in an air of hostility and mistrust. Our great Order can help
furnish this required atmosphere.
Masonic education will not only explain and bring out the great lessons of our
Order to our membership, but it will develop leaders in our organization, and
will increase the interest in our lodges which will bring out attendance far
greater in number and enthusiasm than has heretofore been thought of.
my wish and hope that every lodge in this State will have its Masonic
educational meetings every month, following a course as outlined by the Grand
Lodge, and that we shall have a Grand Lecturer who will be in the field the
greater part of the year, instructing our lodges in the ritualistic work, as
well as carrying out the educational program.
Freemasonry is the subjugation of the human that is in man by the divine; the
conquest of the appetites and passions by the moral sense and the reason; a
continued effort, struggle and warfare of the spiritual against the material
and sensual. - Albert Pike.
THE SECRET SOCIETIES OF CHINA
BROTHER DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
CHINA has, in all probability, as ancient a veridical record of the existence
of organized secret societes as any nation. The soil for their growth is
thoroughly congenial and, as one writer has expressed it, they "spring into
life as weeds on a rubbish heap, wherever oppression and tyranny abound, and
it has been by combinations of this character that the Chinese people have
been able to resist the oppressions and demands of the mandarins."
The whole empire is honeycombed with these societies which include among their
members persons in almost every rank of official and private life, although
many are induced or even compelled to join from fear of vengeance if they
refuse or in the hope of securing aid in time of distress, rather than from
any wish to carry out the designs to which they pledge their assistance.
Secret societies, says Kesson, "are entirely suited to the Chinese genius,
which appears to delight in mysteries and enigmas and to confound language and
ideas for the sake of being able to unravel them again. They are suited to a
people in whose character there is nothing direct, but who seek the simplest
ends by a ruse, or some needless piece of strategy."
The earliest notice of an aboriginal secret Chinese League is toward the close
of the Han dynasty (circa second century B.C.) A secret society, recruited
mainly from among Chinese litterateurs, was organized by three patriots solely
for the purpose of defending the throne against "Yellow Cap" rebels. This
association was known as the "Red Eyebrows," because its members marked
themselves in that way before going into battle. The "Yellow Caps," however,
were joined by the "Copper Steeds" and the "Iron Shins" and together they
fought for and were successful in securing a change of government. The "Red
Eyebrows" maintained their existence, although there is scarcely any farther
trace of the League until the twelfth century.
the fourteenth century a secret society, unquestionably meriting that title,
entered the arena. It was a religious and, possibly, of a Buddhist character,
seeing that the members adopted the title of the "White Lotus." It faded out
of sight until the seventeenth century, when it is found lending its aid to a
usurper who sought to wrest the throne from the Ming dynasty. Their united
efforts were unsuccessful, but shortly afterwards the Ming dynasty succumbed
to onslaughts of the Manchu invaders.
Many of the secret societies of China have originated with purely benevolent
and philanthropic, objects, but, in time, the zeal of the members, sometimes
from force of circumstances, has degenerated into political fanaticism and
frequently the most important political changes in the empire have been due to
The time of the greatest activity of the Chinese secret leagues or societies
was from the beginning the eighteenth until the close of the nineteenth
centuries, particularly from 1766 to 1795, during the reign of the Emperor
Chien Lung, which period witnessed the rise of man of these association which
the emperor sought vainly to suppress and exterminate.
8th January, 1845 the Legislative Council of Hong Kong pass the following
"An Ordinance for the suppression of the Triad and other secret societies
within the island of Hong Kong and its dependencies:
"Whereas the Triad Society and other secret societies prevalent in China exist
among the inhabitants of the island of Hong Kong, and whereas these
associations have objects in view which are incompatible with the maintenance
of good order and constituted authority and with the security of life and
property and afford by means of the secret agency increased facilities for the
commission of crime and the escape of offenders:
"1. Be it therefore enacted and ordained by th Governor of Hong Kong with the
advice of the Legislative Council thereof that from and after the passing of
this Ordinance if any person or persons being of Chinese origin in the said
island or its dependencies shall be a member or members of the Triad Society
or other secret societies as aforesaid he, she, or they shall in consequence
thereof be guilty of felony and being duly convicted thereof, shall be liable
to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding three years, with or without hard
labour, and at the expiration of such term of imprisonment, that such person
shall be marked on the right cheek in the manner used in the case of military
deserters and be expelled from the said island."
1889 a law was passed in the Straits Settlements for the suppression of
Chinese secret societies, which led to the seeming disappearance of many of
these inimical organizations, but there is reason to assume that the
disappearance was apparent only and that the various units remained almost as
active as formerly, but worked with greater caution and secrecy.
THE GREAT HUNG LEAGUE
the laws of the various societies no Chinaman may belong to two societies at
one and at the same time; if he is already a member of one and desires to join
another, he must first sever his connection with the one of which he is
already a member. The largest and most important organization, however, the
Great Hung League, permits neither resignation nor secession, and the member,
on initiation, takes an oath that he will never leave the society.
The following are extracts from section 255 of the Penal Code of China:
"All persons who, without being related or connected by intermarriage, shall
by brotherhood or association among themselves, by the ceremonial of tasting
blood and burning incense, be held guilty of the intent to commit the crime of
rebellion; and the principal or chief leader of such association shall
accordingly suffer death by strangulation after remaining for the usual period
in confinement. The punishment of the accessories shall be less by one
degree. If the brotherhood exceeds twenty persons in number, the principal
offender shall suffer death by strangulation immediately after conviction; and
the accessories shall suffer the aggravated banishment into the remotest
provinces. If the brotherhood be formed without the aforesaid initiatory
ceremonies of tasting blood and burning incense and according to the rules of
its constitution be subject to the authority and direction of the leaders
only, but exceed forty persons in number, then the principal shall still
suffer death by strangulation, as in the first case, and the accessories a
punishment less by one degree.
"If the authority and direction of the association is found to be vested in a
strong youthful membership, that circumstance alone shall be deemed sufficient
evidence of its criminality; and the principal shall accordingly suffer death
by strangulation immediately after conviction; the accessories, as in the
preceding eases, shall undergo aggravated punishment.
"If the association is subject to the authority and direction of the elder
brethren, and consists of more than twenty but less than forty persons, the
principals shall be punished with one hundred blows and sent into perpetual
banishment to the distance of three thousand li. If the association under the
last mentioned circumstance, consists of any number less than twenty persons
the principal shall suffer one hundred blows and wear the cangue for three
months; in both cases the punishment of the accessories shall be one degree
less severe than that of the principals."
The cangue is a heavy wooden collar, taken off at night only if the sentence
is a long one.
The sites for the Lodges are always carefully chosen with a view to
concealment and are situated for the most part in obscure mountainous and
wooded districts. The more inaccessible the spot the better suited for the
meetings. Professor Schlegel once discovered the following description of the
entrance to a Lodge in the Province of Shantung: "A stone road leads to the
first pass called the Heaven-Screen Pass. Past this is the Earth-Net Pass.
Next comes the Sun-Moon Pass, at which pass each brother is obliged to pay one
mace and two candareens (about one shilling). After this pass comes a stone
bridge over a river, which leads to the Hall of Fidelity and Loyalty, where
are the shrines of the Five Ancestors, flanked on the right by a council-room
and on the left by the court; here the Brother must produce his capital (three
Hung cash) and his diploma. From this goes a long road along the mountain
chain Hinling, guarded on the one side by the mountain and on the other by the
sea. At the end of this road is the outside Moss Pass, called also the
Pavilion of the Black River. Thirteen Chinese miles farther on is the Golden
Sparrow frontier, so called on account of the name of the mountain at whose
feet it lies. Past this are four buildings; over the front one are written
the words 'To extend the Empire let Righteousness flourish.' The second one is
called the Palace of Justice, with the civil entrance to the left and the
military entrance to the right. The Lodge follows immediately." [See
bibliography at end.]
BROTHERHOOD OF THE MYSTIC CROSS
The Suastica, or Brotherhood of the Mystic Cross, claims to have been founded
in B.C. 1027, by Fohi, and to have been introduced into China in B.C. 975. It
has three degrees, viz., 1. Apprentice; 2. Tao Sze, or Doctors of Reason; 3.
Grand Master. Apprentices wear the Jaina cross worked on a blue ribbon; the
Tao Sze, a cross of silver; and the Grand Masters one of gold. The initiate
takes five vows: 1. to worship God daily, to obey the law, to walk in purity
and truth, to assist the Brethren of the Order, and to obey all its rules; 2.
to pursue wisdom, to eschew avarice, to be charitable, to assist the poor and
necessitous, never to take furtively the property of another, directly or
indirectly; 3. to be pure and chaste, abstinent, and studious; 4. to be
sincere and never to deceive another, to be free from lying, to avoid
affectation in language, duplicity, and calumny, never to flatter, never to
drink to excess any intoxicating liquor; 5. to keep faithfully all the sacred
The Pe-lin-kiao, or White Water Lily Society, claims to date from the reign of
Ling-Ti, who was emperor in the second century of the Christian era. He was
of a tyrannical disposition and is said to have beheaded several hundred
literates, which caused the bringing into existence of this society, which was
founded by three brothers named Chang, who equipped three powerful armies to
overthrow the tyrant emperor. Demetrius Boulger is of opinion that this the
original secret of China and the parent of all subsequent societies. The name
"Water Lily" is said to have been chosen on account of the popularity of that
plant. Huc says: "The poets have celebrated it in their verses, on account
of the beauty of its flowers; the doctors of reason have placed it among the
ingredients for the elxir of immortality; and the economists have extolled it
for its utility." The members of the society assert that it was once
prophesied that one of their number would be emperor of China, which probably
accounts for the chiefs of the Order regarding themselves as commissioned by
High Heaven to regenerate the Empire. In the early part of the eighteenth
century the leaders were Wang-lung and a man named Fan-iu, and they had a
following of twelve thousand. The first-named made himself master of the town
of Shoo-chang-hien, but was soon driven thence, when he and many of his
followers perished. Nothing more was heard of the society until 1777, when
the members again rose in insurrection, but only again to be defeated. The
heads of the leaders, including two women, were cut off and placed in cages
for public inspection. The object of the society, behind its ostensible
benevolent activities, was the overthrow of the Mentchoo-Tartar dynasty and
the restoration of the Ming. The presiding Master was always given the title
of Emperor and Son of Heaven, and he was invested with every imperial honour
and dignity. After a plot to overthrow the dynasty in 1803 the members were
accused of holding unorthodox opinions, of being possessed of magical powers,
and of meditating treasonable practices. As a result of the order of
suppression issued against them the society disappeared, but reappeared for a
short time in a more formidable and extensive confederacy, known as the
Society of Celestial Reason, but this was afterwards merged into the Triad
Society. At the time of the kidnapping of Sun Yat Sen in London, in 1896, it
was stated that he was not only an active member of the White Lily Society,
but a prominent leader of that revolutionary society. As a matter of fact he
was a member of the Triad Society or of the Hung League. Sir James Cantlie
and C. Sheridan Jones in their Life of Sun Yat Sen refer to this matter in the
powerful and widespread body, 'The Triad Society' has existed almost ever
since the Manchus ascended the throne, but it consisted of men of philosophic
ideas without the capability or courage to put their ideas into practice. It
was not until Sun Yet Sen came to the front that the idea was given concrete
shape and brought to practical issue: the old Triad Society, however, gave
little direct help during the recent crisis, the members being afraid of
action for they well knew what failure meant. In China the death penalty was
ever at hand when reforms were even whispered, and it was only when Sun took
his life in his hand and boldly declared his intention that any one was found
courageous enough to denounce the throne openly."
some of the rites and ceremonies of the White Lily Society there seem to be
traces of a Nestorian form of Christianity. The mandarins often confounded
Christian gatherings for meetings of this society and punished the members
THE BLACK FLAGS
The Black Flags was another secret society opposed to the Manchu dynasty and
their members were so successful in their propaganda in certain provinces that
they established an imperium in imperio where they reigned virtually supreme
and their flat was law. In 1888 a Chinaman in New York of the name of Lee You
Du died. It was reported in the newspapers of the time that he had been a
general of the Black Flag Order in China.
The Gee Hin Society is believed originally to have been an offshoot of the
Black Flag Society. Brother J. Vopley Moyle in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol.
vii., says that the society had certainly existed for several centuries and,
like many other Chinese secret societies, was founded for the express purpose
of overthrowing the Tartar rule and replacing the Ming dynasty on the throne
of China. It has branches in Burma and the Straits Settlements. It is
governed by three principals or headmen, who are elected for life, and who are
assisted in the government by councillors. The routine business of the Lodge
is left entirely to the secretary. In 1807 the number of members in Penang
alone was estimated at 26,000 and the Society had at that time, in addition to
Lodge premises, property worth over $20,000 invested in houses and lands in
the province of Wellesley. In 1887 four members of this society were
sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment for conducting an Agency for the
introduction of members. The Straits Times of 17th September, 1889, contained
a full report of the trial of a number of prisoners who were proved to be
members of this, or of the Sam Tien secret society at Sarawak. The six leaders
were shot; eleven active members who carried out the orders of the leaders and
frightened, beat, and, in some cases, murdered non-members, were sentenced to
receive six dozen strokes with a rattam, to have their heads shaved and to be
imprisoned during the Rajah's pleasure. The following account of the
initiation ceremony was given by a subpoenaed witness before the Commissioners
appointed under the Penang Riots Enquiry Act of 1867:
"At eleven o'clock we were taken into the Kongsee House (Lodge) two by two,
passing doors successively after certain questions were asked and answered at
each door, two guards being stationed at each door.
"At each of the doors we were asked:
Where do you come from?
From the East.
For what do you come here.
We come to meet our Brethren.
If the Brethren eat rice mixed with sand, will you also eat of it?
Yes, we will.
"The doorkeepers then showed us a broad-bladed sword and asked:
Do you know what this is?
What can this knife do?
With it we can fight our enemies or rivals.
Is this knife stronger than your neck?
My neck is stronger.
"Each candidate was told what answer to make and afterwards was allowed to
enter. The secretary was standing on a table while another person was
standing on the ground in front of him beside a tub of water. The secretary
ordered this person to prick the third finger of the left hand of each
candidate with a needle and the blood that trickled from it was allowed to
drop into the tub of water. After this the candidate was made to pass under
another and higher table behind the secretary and upon which there was a Joss
(Chinese god) where the candidate received three cents, was told to go to a
small charcoal fire at the back and step over it, the left foot first. Near
by were three square blocks of granite, on which the candidate was made to
step with the left and right foot alternately. After passing these blocks the
candidate was conducted to a man who kept a kind of shop and took the three
cents that had been given to the candidate, giving him in return some
cigarettes, Sirth leaves, and sweetmeats. There the candidate waited until
all the candidates came up, when all were led to the front of a Chinese altar
with a Joss on it. All knelt, rose again, and each drank a little water from
the tub in which had been dropped the blood from the fingers of all the
candidates. After returning into a room the candidates returned to the altar
where they saw the Secretary dressed like a Chinese priest. All the
candidates knelt while the Secretary read in Chinese from numerous folds of
red paper. When he had finished reading, a fowl's head was cut off and the
Secretary then read the papers he had read, telling the candidates that if
they did not obey the rules of the Society they would meet with the fate of
the decapitated fowl."
The oath contained thirty-six articles, with penalties for transgression
varying in severity from death to beating and fines. Members pledged
themselves on oath to consider and treat the fathers and mothers of other
members as their own; to rise and join the standard of the "true Lord" of
China when he should appear; not to reveal the secrets of the society, nor to
show its diploma or statutes to anyone; to relieve a member in distress; not
to seduce a member's wife under penalty of death; not to refuse money to
enable a member to escape from justice; not to cheat or rob a brother member,
under the penalty of the loss of one or two ears. To ridicule a member on
account of poverty entailed a punishment of thirty-six blows; to reveal the
fact that a member smuggled opium meant the loss of both ears and 108 blows.
Members were forbidden to marry the widows of other members, and a severe
punishment awaited the member who left the society. The initiation fee in
Penang was three dollars and in Burma twenty-four rupees. Mr. W. A.
Pickering, writing in 1879, said that for many years there had been no Grand
Master of this society, as no person dared come forward to undertake the
onerous and responsible duties of the office, but each branch was under the
direction of a General Manager, a Lodge Master, a Van Guard, and a Red Baton
or Executioner, with a varying number of Councillors or District Head men, who
carried out the orders of the Superior. This Society was evidently connected
with the Triad Society and the Hung League.
(To be concluded)
Herbert A. Giles..............Historic China.
Herbert A. Giles..............The Civilization of China.
Kesson ....................Cross and Dragon.
Dr. Milne.....................Account of Triad Society (Journal R.A.S., vol.
Pere Leboucq.................Associations de la Chine.
Lieut. Newbold................The Chinese Triad Society (Journal R.A.S., vol
Sir George Staunton...........Translation of Penal Code of China
Demetrius Boulger.............History of China.
Gustav Schlegel...............The Hung League.
Cantlie and Jones.............Sun Yet Sen.
Chinese Repository, vols. 16 and 18.
Blackwood's Magazine, December, 1896.
Journal of American Folk Lore, vol. 3.
Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.
Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, September, 1852.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SUPREME COUNCILS
BROTHER PERRY W. WEIDNER, 33d,
Secretary General, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,
Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.
THIRD International Conference of regular Supreme Councils of the Ancient &
Accepted Scottish Rite was held at Lausanne, Switzerland May 29 to June 2,
1922. The following Supreme Councils participated:
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States
the Transactions of its labors the Supreme Councils seem to have done a
constructive work in several matters.
First, they took notice of Spanish violation of territorial rights of
Freemasonry in the United States. The delegates from the Southern and Northern
Supreme Councils of the United States declined to participate in the
Conference with Spanish delegates seated until Spain would acknowledge error
and make some guarantees that this offense would be removed. A special
commission was appointed by the Conference consisting of Ill.. Brothers E. C.
Day, 33d, and Perry W. Weidner, 33d, of the Southern Jurisdiction of the
United States of America; Barton Smith, 33d, and James I. Buchanan, 33d, of
the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction; and Ill.. Brothers Auguste Barcia, 33d,
and Manuel Portela, 33d, of the Spanish Supreme Council. At a conference held
by these brethren on the subject it appears that the Spanish delegates were
very desirous to meet the views of their American brethren and cordially
concurred in presenting to the Conference the following:
the International Conference of Supreme Councils, 33d:
special commission of the Conference of Supreme Councils having investigated
the complaint presented by the Supreme Councils of the Southern and Northern
Jurisdictions of the United States about the invasion of their territory by
the Supreme Council of Spain, requests the Conference to invite the Supreme
Council of Spain to retire from their territory.
this the Spanish brethren presented to the Conference the following statement,
which was signed by all three of the delegates from the Supreme Council of
Spain, the first of whom was Brother Auguste Barcia, at the present time Grand
Master of the Grand Orient of Spain.
the Assembled Conference of Supreme Councils at Lausanne, Switzerland:
undersigned delegates of the Supreme Council of Spain to this Conference
hereby solemnly declare at the earliest possible moment after their return to
Madrid they will cause the Supreme Council of Spain to take immediate action
to withdraw the charters of all Bodies claiming to be Masonic under its
obedience within the territory of the States of the United States and the
District of Columbia. We also solemnly promise that we will use all influence
and power resting in us to secure like action by the Bodies in the same
territory under the obedience of the Grand Orient of Spain. We also promise
that we will not encourage or tolerate any action or attitude contrary to the
wishes of the brethren of the United States of America relative to the Bodies
under the obedience of organized Masonic authority in Spain, in the Island of
Porto Rico, and the Phillippines.
(SIGNED) Auguste Barcia, 33d, G..M..L.'. G.'.O.'.E.'.
Manuel Portela, 33d
this communication was received and accepted by the Conference upon the motion
of Illustrious Brother Barton Smith, 33d, which was seconded by Illustrious
Brother E. C. Day, 33d, the delegates from the Supreme Council of Spain were
International Conference also admitted to seat representatives from the newly
organized Supreme Councils of Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, both of which were
organized in 1922, and it resolved to hold the Fourth International Conference
in the city of Buenos Ayres, in the Argentina, in 1927, upon dates set by and
under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Argentina.
Conference did another constructive work and made clear that regular Supreme
Councils do not countenance irregularities. This is set out in the report of
the section having to deal with such subjects:
the International Conference of Supreme Councils, 33d:
second section, having under consideration questions relating to the
protection against any irregular and clandestine organization, submits the
RESOLVED, that in the opinion of this Conference every Supreme Council should
be supreme, sovereign and free from the control or direction of any other body
or organization in the method of selecting its members and officers, the
duration of the term of office of its officers, the qualifications and
regulations of membership in its subordinate Bodies, in its powers of
legislation, and in the discipline of its members and subordinate Bodies
throughout its entire Jurisdiction, subject to the rights of regular Grand
Lodges which govern membership in the first three Degrees of Masonry,
consistent with the landmarks and laws of Ancient Craft Masonry.
RESOLVED, that hereafter any Supreme Council granting or withdrawing
recognition from any other Supreme Council shall immediately notify every
other Supreme Council of such action and the reasons therefor; and if the
withdrawal of recognition is approved by a majority of the Supreme Councils
represented at this Conference, the Supreme Council from which recognition is
withdrawn shall be debarred from participating in future International
Conferences until the cause of the withdrawal of recognition has been removed
to the satisfaction of a majority of the said Supreme Councils, and of the
first Conference after said withdrawal of recognition.
RESOLVED, that hereafter any Supreme Council, other than those already
represented at this Conference and the Conferences of 1907 and 1912, seeking
representation at International Conferences of Supreme Councils shall satisfy
the Conference that it is organized and is existing in harmony with the
principles laid down in the Grand Constitutions and Regulations of 1762 and
1786, as those Constitutions and Regulations have been generally promulgated
and remain in force.
RESOLVED, that in the opinion of the Conference Bodies of Free and Accepted
Masons, or other persons who confer Degrees, perform Rites, or conduct the
business of Scottish Rite Masonry, or the Supreme Council thereof, who are not
either mentioned in the list of those invited to be present by delegates to
this Conference or recognized now or hereafter as regular, by at least a
majority of the Bodies in the list of invited and admitted or recognized
Bodies, are irregular and clandestine, and no regular Scottish Rite Masons
should, under any circumstances, hold any intercourse with any such irregular
Body, or any member acting under it, or of any of its subordinate Bodies. And
hereafter no Body shall be considered a Supreme Council in any country unless
it shall have obtained recognition and established fraternal relations with
every existing regular Supreme Council, within a period of four years from the
date of its organization.
RESOLVED, that regular Supreme Councils recommend to all organizations at
their regular obedience not to entertain any relation with irregular Bodies in
accordance with the preceding paragraph and to this end each Supreme Council
will communicate to all organizations at its obedience the list of all regular
Supreme Councils and the present resolutions.
RESOLVED, that each Secretary-General, or other proper officer of each Supreme
Council, forward to each of the other Supreme Councils by this Conference
considered regular, a list of all Masonic Bodies, whether under the Scottish
Rite of, otherwise, recognized as regular, and also a list, so far as
possible, of all Bodies known to be regular.
regret and deplore that many good men who would make good Masons and be a
credit to the institution of Freemasonry have become members of irregular and
clandestine organizations calling themselves Masonic. We advise all such men
who are upstanding in character and morals to take immediate steps to become
members of regular and internationally recognized Masonic Bodies, and
recommend that when any such apply to regular Bodies that they be given
courteous consideration and helpful assistance in accomplishing their worthy
The petition for recognition of the Grand Orient of Denmark is covered by the
rules adopted by the Conference and we therefore recommend that no action be
taken by this Conference regarding such petition.
also treated the subject of Italian Masonry by unanimous agreement in the
the International Conference of Supreme Councils, 33d:
Committee of the second n begs to submit the following report:
having read the communications concerning the Supreme Council of Italy
received from the Supreme Council of Egypt and from Mr. Camera, relating to
certain claims for recognition, and considering that the Supreme Council
headed by M..P..Bro.. Raoul V. Palermi is the only regular Supreme Council
in Italy and is in such capacity duly recognized by all the Supreme Councils
represented at this Conference, the Committee proposes to the Conference or
Supreme Councils that no action be taken on the above said communications of
the Supreme Council of Egypt and of Giovanni Camera,
passed the following resolution which was presented by Ill.. Bro.. Leon M.
Abbott, 33d, M..P.. Gr.. Comm.. of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction:
RESOLVED, That the delegates to the International Conference pledge themselves
to use every lawful and legitimate effort and influence within their power to
establish universal and permanent peace among nations. That we heartily
approve the efforts that have been and are Being made by the representatives
of the various National Governments to bring about greater harmony and a
better understanding and relationship among the peoples of the world.
Ancient Constitutions of our Rite define the ends of our Society to be these:
"the harmony, the happiness, the progress and the well-being of the human race
taken as a whole, and of every individual man in particular." Our Rituals
teach that these ends can be reached only through a practical application of
the rule of brotherly love. We would, therefore, constantly remind each of the
members of the Rite, wherever dispersed, of his duty and obligation to use his
personal influence in his daily intercourse with all men to establish the
sovereignty of this rule.
we pledge ourselves to renew and make more effective our efforts to overcome
hatred and bitterness, to destroy ignorance and superstition, and, through the
light of education, to bring joy and peace into the hearts and lives of men of
every tongue and race and creed.
would seem from all the foregoing that the Supreme Councils are resolved to
establish a close communion with all regular Masonic Bodies, discountenancing
every other form of so-called Masonry.
International Masonic Association, of a rather unreserved membership, and
which claims to be devoted to universal Freemasonry, held its last conference
at Geneva during October 1921. [See note.] It may be well to note the list of
the Masonic Bodies that participated therein:
Grand Lodge of New York, U. S. A.
Lodge of Vienna.
Orient of Belgium.
Lodge of Bulgaria.
Lodge of Spain.
Orient of France.
Lodge of France.
Orient of Italy.
Orient of Netherlands.
Orient of Lusitania Unite of Portugal.
Lodge of Switzerland Alpina.
Orient of Turkey.
reading the above list it will be observed that few of the above Bodies are in
fraternal relations with the Grand Lodges of the United States of America and
some of them are notoriously irregular and yet the Grand Lodge of New York,
the Grand Orient of Belgium, and the Grand Lodge of Switzerland sat in
conference with these irregular brethren and agreed to the following:
1. The object of the Association is:-
maintain and develop existing relations between Masonic Grand Jurisdictions.
create new relations.
2. The Association and each Grand Jurisdiction forbids itself all interference
in the domestic affairs of other Jurisdictions.
Grand Jurisdiction is invited to exchange with associated Grand Jurisdictions
its Programme of work and to promote opportunities of contact with a view to
harmonizing and co-ordinating efforts held in common. Nevertheless the fact of
membership in the Association does not imply an obligation to entertain direct
relationship with other Grand Jurisdictions which are members.
3. All Grand Jurisdictions belonging to the Association must be composed of
it is reported that, notwithstanding the last mentioned subject, one of the
Bodies that sat in this conference has recognized so-called Co-Freemasonry and
agreed to exchange guarantors of amity, although it limited visitation to
their Bodies "strictly masculine," which seems at least rather odd. This
action was done by the Grand Orient of France.
does seem odd to many who follow closely the work of the Masonic Fraternity in
the United States than an American Grand Lodge, knowing full well the effort
that is being made on all sides in this country to keep Freemasonry clean and
free from alliance with any irregular institutions, should participate in such
action of the Grand Lodge of New York at its last communication was watched
with interest and it appears that that great Body of Freemasons did not ratify
the International Masonic Conference, nor did it even agree to a temporary
membership. It seems that the Grand Lodge believed it had a monetary
obligation, since it had representatives at the conference, which it felt
constrained to meet as the following resolution will indicate:
Geneva Conference (such payments not, however, to be construed as acceptance
of membership in such Association nor to prejudice or forestall such future
action in relation thereto as the Grand Lodge may deem ovine and proper)
regular Masonic Bodies would welcome a conference of all regular Symbolic
Lodges of the world and it is believed that they themselves would be glad of
the opportunity of having better understanding and of knowing each other
better; but it is also believed that Grand Lodges keeping uppermost in their
work the protection of the Craft, its rites and its landmarks, would neither
favor nor countenance the association with any Masonic Bodies concerning which
there is question as to their regularity or being a part of an association or
conference which "does not imply an obligation to entertain direct relation
with other Grand Jurisdictions which are members" - in other words an
association without regard to regularity.
- A full account of the meeting/of The International Masonic Association by
Bro. Townsend Scudder of New York was published in THE BUILDER, April 1922,
1922 BOUND VOLUME OF THE BUILDER
bindery is finally caught up with back orders for the 1922 bound volume, and
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bound copies of THE BUILDER should not be confused with ordinary files of
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Increasing orders for complete sets of bound volumes clearly indicate that THE
BUILDER is recognized as an excellent reference work. The articles appearing
from month to month have more than an immediate interest: they are a
contribution to the enduring literature of the Craft. A complete set of THE
BUILDER is an encyclopedia of Freemasonry - a work which is augmented annually
by a fresh volume.
volumes of any year may be had at $3.75 for buckram binding and at $4.75 for
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desired, subscribers may send in their complete files of any year in exchange
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$2.75, plus return postage charges.
WAS DR. JOHNSON A FREEMASON?
SOME PHASES OF HIS LIFE
BROTHER ARTHUR HEIRON, ENGLAND
CONTINUED FROM JANUARY NUMBER
"SAMUEL JOHNSON," A RARE NAME
IS STRANGE to note how parents, whose surname is "Johnson" scarcely ever
christen their sons by the title of "Samuel."
search through the official Directories reveals the fact that in the year 1922
there is no Barrister-at-law, Solicitor, Chartered Accountant, Medical
Practitioner or Dental Surgeon bearing the name of "Samuel Johnson" practising
in London, England or Wales; neither is there any clergyman of that name.
The London Telephone Directory for April 1922 also proves that there are only
two named "Samuel Johnson" out of the long list of about 200,000 subscribers!
The Post Office Guide for 1920 discloses no such name; so it is a reasonable
statement to make that there must have been very few by the name of "Samuel
Johnson" in London in 1767; and still fewer those who admitted that they knew
their Wapping as Dr. Johnson did in 1783.
DR. JOHNSON'S MELANCHOLY"
From childhood he was afflicted with a species of melancholia causing him at
times great mental depression; his personal friend, Rev. George Strahan, Vicar
of Islington, writing in 1785, described it as a "morbid melancholy," which
Johnson often said was the infirmity of his life. In 1770 Dr. Johnson in a
Prayer beseeches the Almighty to "Mitigate, if it shall be best unto Thee, the
disease of my body and compose the disorders of my mind."
was once found by Mrs. Thrale on his knees with a clergyman beseeching Divine
help that his reason might be spared. There is no doubt that this
"Melancholy" accounts for much of Johnson's irregular life and conduct and
every allowance must be made for one so afflicted.
EXTRACTS FROM "BOSWELL"
1763, (aged 54). "He mentioned to me (Boswell) now for the first time, 'That
he had been disirest with Melancholy, and for that reason had been obliged to
fly from study and meditation to the dissipating variety of life.'"
1761 (aged 55). "About this time, he (Dr. Johnson) was afflicted with a very
severe return of the hypochondriae disorder which was ever lurking about him."
Dr. Adams said, "I found him in a deplorable state, sighing, groaning, talking
to himself and restlessly walking from room to room." Dr. Johnson himself
said, "I would consent to have a limb amputated to recover my spirits."
1765 (Easter). Dr. Johnson said "Since last Easter I have reformed no evil
habit; my time has been unprofitably spent.... My memory grows confused and I
know not how the days pass over me. Good Lord, deliver me!"
1782. Dr. Johnson (aged 72) wrote, "My health has been from my 20th year such
as has seldom afforded me a single day of ease."
DR. JOHNSON'S ILL-HEALTH IN 1767
"His Devotional Records"
1767, Aug. 2. "I have been disturbed and unsettled for a long time and have
been without Resolution to apply to Study or Business, being hindered by
1767, Aug. 17. "By abstinence from wine and suppers, I obtained sudden and
great relief, and had freedom of mind restored to me, which I have wanted for
all this year, without being able to find any means of obtaining it."
Boswell says, "I received no letter from Johnson this year." (1767.)
"His Diary affords no light as to his employment at this time."
(Note: A "Samuel Johnson" was "Made a Mason!" in the "Dundee Lodge" No. 9 at
Wapping on 11th June, 1767; was he not identical with Dr. Samuel Johnson of
1768, Sept. 18. Townmalling in Kent (at night), "I have now begun the 60th
year of my life. How the last year (i. a, 1767) has past, I am unwilling to
terrify myself with thinking."
"This day it came into my mind to write the history of my Melancholy; on this
I purpose to deliberate, I know not whether it may not too much disturb me."
Now the above statements (or rather confessions) made by Dr. Johnson himself
on Aug. 2nd and Aug. 17th, 1767, and on Sept. 18th, 1768, point clearly to the
fact that he was at that period unfit to perform any study or business owing
to a severe attack of "Melancholy" and it is suggested that in order to create
a diversion to his disordered mind and body, he set out to "Explore Wapping"
and whilst so engaged met some of our members and in that way was induced to
join the Lodge, not so much that he had any keen desire to become a Mason, but
because of his great love of tavern and club life, for a Mason's Lodge was
renowned in those days for its good fellowship and social attractions.
THE DUNDEE LODGE BOOM
1767 the Lodge Room of the Dundee Lodge No. 9, at Wapping, would display the
brethren seated at tables (covered with green cloth) set out on trestles in
the middle of the room, on which were placed bowls of steaming punch, bottles
of wine, rum, Hollands, brandy, sugar, lemons, nutmegs and glasses, and for
the smokers "church-wardens," screws of tobacco (called "papers"), and pipe
lights were also supplied; all for the delectation of members and visitors,
for drinking and smoking in open Lodge and also in Grand Lodge too were then
quite in order; full details of purchases of the above items and their cost
appear in the Treasurer's books of "Old Dundee"! Songs and toasts (especially
when the Lodge was "called off from labour to refreshment") were then the
vogue; the Book of Constitutions of 1756 officially prints nine Masonic songs
(including those belonging to the "Master," "Wardens," "Fellow Craft," and "Enter'd
Prentice"), whilst in preunion days there was a list of over 100 Masonic
Toasts to select from. (Note: Our Lodge still possesses its copy of this book
of 1756 and the many thumbmarks and wine-stains plainly visible on the pages
thereof, give ocular proof that our Master and Wardens actually sang these
songs from same in the "Dundee Lodge" No. 9, at Wapping, in 1767.) These
customs would surely interest a man of Johnson's bohemian tastes especially
when suffering from an attack of his "Melancholy" and thus help to divert his
thoughts from his mental sufferings. Bye-Law No. 30 (passed and added to the
Rules of the "Dundee Lodge" in 1764) states that "Any Brother who is a Member
of this Lodge who shall Behave Anyways Irregular on a Lodge Night, shall pay a
Fine of Two Shillings for the Use of this Lodge, and shall Make Good All
Damage that he may Do or Cause to be Done to any of the Furniture etc."
Johnson was renowned as a great talker, very argumentative and his forcible
comments might easily have led to a breach of this regulation, but as he was a
powerful fellow, his physical strength would enable him easily to take good
care of himself if a fracas ensued in such an emergency! Boswell informs us
that "Johnson one night was attacked in the street by four men but kept them
all at bay till the watch came up carried both him and them to the
round-house." Garrick also tells us that "In the play-house at Lichfield,
Johnson having for a moment quilted his chair, gentleman took possession of
it, and when Johnson on his return civilly demanded his seat, rudely refused
to give it up; upon which Johnson laid hold of it, and tossed him and the
chair into the pit."
JOHNSON'S "PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS" (published 1875)
Dr. Johnson shortly before his death in 1784 destroyed by fire a large number
of his private papers, but saved the manuscript of his "Devotional Records."
He handed the original to his intimate friend and spiritual adviser, Rev.
George Strahan, the Vicar of Islington with full authority and instructions to
publish same and accordingly they were printed in 1785 and are generally known
as Johnson's "Prayers and Meditations." The actual manuscript of same is still
in the possession of Pembroke College, Oxford, where Johnson studied from 1728
They represent a very human document, full confessions and regrets, also full
of contrition and repentance pointing out to all of us how much easier it is
to preach than to practice. Johnson tried hard to conquer his weaknesses
(which were to a great extent induced by his "Constitutional Melancholy") but
often failed, and the fact that he deliberately saved these sacred memoirs
from destruction and wished them to be published, is vastly to his credit and
can only mean one thing, namely, that he desired that this record of his
constant failings, yet yearnings for a better and nobler life, should be used
as Boswell says, "in the hopes of doing good," and as a warning and an
inspiration for those who should come after him. These "Prayers and
Meditations" must be carefully read to be fully understood and appreciated.
"Monday, April 20, 1778.
"This year, the 28th of March passed away without memorial. Poor Tetty,
whatever were our faults and failings, we loved each other. I did not forget
thee yesterday; Couldest thou have lived! I am now, with the help of God, to
begin a new life."
(Johnson's elderly wife, called "Tetty," died on 28th March, 1752; evidently
he missed her restraining influence.)
JOHNSON'S GREAT LOVE OF LONDON
1770. Dr. Johnson was much attached to London and preferred it to the
Country. He walked the streets at all hours; at 12 noon he was frequently
found in bed; he never refused to go with Boswell to a Tavern, and often
visited Ranelagh which he deemed a place of innocent recreation.
EXTRACTS FROM "BOSWELL"
1777, (aged 68). "No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,
for there is in London all that life can afford."
1784, (aged 75). "The town is my element, there are my friends... there are
TAVERNS AND CLUB LIFE
Johnson was very partial to Tavern-life; his own home was so unattractive, it
is no wonder that he was glad to dine out. His wife died in 1752, when he was
only 43 years old and he had no children. His praise of Taverns is
proverbial; he told Boswell once: "No, Sir, there is nothing which has yet
been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good
tavern or inn." Dr. Johnson was also instrumental in forming about five clubs,
the most important being the far-famed "Literary Club," which, with the
assistance of Sir Joshua Reynolds he founded in 1764; this club first met at
the "Turk's Head," Gerrard Street, Soho. Johnson's favourite taverns were the
"Mitre" in Fleet Street, and the "Crown and Anchor" Tavern in the Strand; at
all these inns Masonic Lodges used to meet; it is therefore certain that
Johnson and Boswell when visiting same must often have met members of the
Craft attending to their Masonic duties, and even perhaps mingling with them
when a Lodge "called off" from "Labour to Refreshment."
The "Mitre" Tavern almost faced the entrance to Fetter Lane in Fleet Street
and formed part of the site now occupied by "Hoares Bank." The "Crown and
Anchor" was on the south side of the Strand, opposite the Church of St.
Clement Danes where Dr. Johnson was wont to worship; and his favourite seat in
the gallery (just behind the pulpit) is still pointed out to interested
visitors. The "Crown and Anchor" was a very popular tavern in the 18th
Century, possessing a large and spacious room on the first floor and the Grand
Lodges of both the "Moderns" and "Antients" frequently met there, sometimes
holding in this Inn their "Quarterly Communications." An interesting fact to
note is that these two Taverns, the "Mitre" and "Crown and Anchor" were also
favourite inns frequented by William Preston, the "Masonic Lecturer," and it
is therefore almost certain that he and Dr. Johnson must often have met there.
JOHNSON'S KINDNESS TO CHILDREN
Boswell says: "Johnson's love of little children which he discovered upon all
occasions, calling them 'pretty dears' and giving them sweetmeats, was an
undoubted proof of the real humanity and gentleness of his disposition;" he
also displayed "uncommon kindness to his servants," and though poor himself,
sometimes on his way home late at night would put pennies into the hands of
children sleeping on doorsteps in the Strand.
Dr. Johnson were indeed a Freemason, he seems to have hidden his tracks rather
cleverly, but yet certain items peep out here and there which lead one to
suspect that after all he was pretty well acquainted with the ceremonies of
the Craft, but for some reason best known to himself observed a discreet
silence on the matter.
Dr. Johnson Delivers a "Charge"
1773, Boswell was elected a member of the famous "Literary Club," and on being
introduced for the first time makes the following statement:
(1) "Upon my entrance, Johnson placed himself behind a chair ... and gave me a
'Charge,' pointing out the conduct expected from me as a good member of the
Club." Now, why did Dr. Johnson select this unusual word that has such a
special signification to the Craft; surely he could have given an address or
exhortation? Boswell had previously received a "Charge" sane years earlier,
when he was "Made a Mason" in "Canongate Kilwinning" Lodge, No. 2, at
Edinburgh. (See later on for details.)
"Eye of Omnipresence"
(2) In 1774, Johnson writing to Boswell said, "I am now writing and you when
you read this, are reading under the 'Eye of Omnipresence.' Had Johnson ever
listened to a ceremony of Holy Royal Arch?
"Rev. Dr. Dodd"
(3) In 1777 the Rev. Dr. Dodd, Chaplain to Grand Lodge had been sentenced to
be hanged for forgery; and although a stranger to Johnson begged his
assistance. After some hesitation, he [Johnson] agreed to help and wrote the
draft of a letter that Dr. Dodd (a Freemason and an officer of Grand Lodge)
was to address to His Majesty beseeching a pardon, or at any rate a reprieve;
but it is strange to note that Dr. Johnson when giving his valued help used
these words to Dr. Dodd: 'I most seriously enjoin you not to let it be at all
known that I have written this letter. Tell nobody."
Why should Johnson be thus ashamed to admit to a kind act; did he fear that
his own connection with the Craft at Wapping might thereby be revealed?
(Note: In spite of Johnson's eloquence Dr. Dodd was hanged on 27th June,
(4) In 1778, Boswell said to Johnson, "But you would not have me to bind
myself by a solemn obligation?" Johnson (much agitated) replied: "What a vow -
O, no, sir, a vow is a horrible thing, it is a snare for sin."
(5) In 1780, Dr. Johnson went to see a Freemason's funeral procession when he
was at Rochester.
"Profession of Freemasonry"
(6) These actual words were used by Dr. Johnson in an essay he wrote on the
"Life of the King of Prussia," first published in the "Literary Magazine" for
1756. The extract is as follows:
(The King of Prussia, Frederick III) "then declared his resolution to grant a
general toleration of religion and among other liberalities of concession,
allowed the profession of free-masonry."
This is the only recorded occasion (known to the writer) when Dr. Johnson
actually spoke of Freemasonry; his "Dictionary of the English Language"
published in 1755 is silent on the subject.
DR. JOHNSON'S "BOHEMIANISM"
Johnson, when middle aged, at times lived a very irregular life, especially
when suffering from the "morbid melancholy" that seemed to take all the poetry
out of his existence, so that when a severe attack came on he had to throw
aside his literary work and seek relaxations and relief in dissipation and
amusements of lighter character, hence his fondness for taverns and clubs, his
great love of London and its underlife, his constant attendance at Ranelagh
and its gaieties. It will be noted that Dr. Johnson is quite honest with
himself, does not excuse his own frailties or attempt to exonerate his conduct
except perhaps when he places the chief blame for his lapses on his "vile
EXTRACTS FROM BOSWELL
1752, (aged 43). One night Beauclerk and Langton, two of his friends, having
supped at a Tavern in London and sat till about three in the morning, called
up Johnson, rapping violently at the door of his chambers in the Temple, till
at last he appeared in his shirt with his little black wig on the top of his
head instead of a nightcap, armed with a poker in his hand. He agreed to join
them, saying: "What is it, you dogs I'll have a frisk with you." They went to
a neighbouring Tavern, made a bowl of "Bishop" (Johnson's favourite beverage),
then walked down to the Thames, took a boat, and rowed to Billingsgate
(adjacent to Wapping). Beauclerk and Johnson were so well pleased with their
amusement that they resolved to persevere in dissipation for the rest of the
day. (Dr. Johnson often took a boat on the river and rowed past Wapping on his
way to Greenwich.)
1763, (aged 54). Boswell says, "It must be own that Dr. Johnson was not a
temperate man either in eating or drinking."
this period he told Boswell "that he generally went abroad about four in the
afternoon and seldom came home till two in the morning; he owned it was bad
habit." Boswell further states, "That Johnson after he came to London and had
associated with Savage and others was not so strictly virtuous in one respect,
as when he was a younger man. It was well known that his amorous inclinations
were uncommonly strong and impetuous." Johnson once remarked "Why, Sir, I am a
man of the world, I live in the world, and I take in some degree the colour of
the world as it moves along."
Johnson's "Meditations and Prayers" Boswell says he thus accuses himself:
1764, Good Friday (aged 55): "I have made no reformation; I have lived totally
useless, more sensual in thought and more addicted to wine and meat ... my
appetites have predominated over my reason." He then solemnly says, "This is
not the life to which Heaven is promised," and he earnestly resolves an
JOHNSON AND THE "THRALES"
1765 he was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Thral of Streatham. The husband was
the owner of a large brewery at Southwark, London. They showed Dr. Johnson
great hospitality and kindness, provided him with a separate apartment at each
of their two houses, and for about sixteen years the learned sage was their
constant guest; they considering the privilege of enjoying his conversation
and company an ample recompense. Thrale died in 1781 leaving Dr. Johnson one
of his executors; the business was then sold for 135,000 pounds Robert Barclay
(a Quaker) the originator of "Barclay and Perkins," now one of the most
important breweries in London, who still place the head of "Dr. Johnson" on
the labels of their bottles of beer. It was "when the sale of Thrale's
brewery was going forward, that Johnson appeared (in his character of an
executor) bustling about, with an ink-horn and pen in his button-hole like an
exciseman; and on being asked what he really considered to be the value of the
property which was to be disposed of, answered, "We are not here to sell
parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the
dreams of avarice." The widow Mrs. Thrale, thus became wealthy at her
husband's death but she soon tired of the company of the learned Doctor (who
was fast becoming a confirmed invalid) and without consulting him, allied
herself in marriage with Signor Piozzi, an Italian music-master, much to
Johnson's chagrin and disgust; it is even said that he had himself cherished
hopes of leading the rich widow to the altar!
Dr. Johnson undoubtedly owed much to the generosity of the brewer and his
wife, and under the influence of their quiet home life at Streatham, he
certainly lost some of his rough ways and brusque manners; the Thrales also
took him as their guest to Bath, Wales, Paris and Brightelmstone (Brighton).
an illustration that Dr. Johnson at times could unbend and enjoy some innocent
fun, the following further extract from Boswell is given:
1770, (aged 61). "Two young women from Staffordshire visited him when I
(Boswell) was present, to consult him on the subject of Methodism, to which
they were inclined. 'Come' (said he), 'you pretty fools, dine with Maxwell
and me at the Mitre, and we will talk over that subject,' which they did, and
after dinner he took one of them upon his knee, and fondled her for half an
extract from Boswell's "Tour to the Hebrides"
(An incident in the Isle of Skye)
1773, Sept. 27. Monday. "This evening one of our married ladies, a lively
pretty little woman, good humouredly sat down upon Dr. Johnson's knees and
being encouraged by some of the company, put her hands round his neck and
kissed him. 'Do it again,' said he 'and let us see who will tire first: He
kept her on his knees some time, while he and she drank tea. He was now like
a 'buck' indeed.'.......... "To me Boswell it was highly comick, to see the
grave philosopher ... toying with a Highland beauty!" (Johnson at this date
was 64 years old.)
The following story was recently told to the write by a Scotsman (not,
however, a Freemason). "About 1910, on a holiday tour in the Isle of Skye,
his attention was directed to an old ruined building (near Corrichatachin),
and he was informed that was the old farmhouse in which Dr. Johnson and
Boswell stayed in 1773, and that one evening after the punch bowl had been
circulating freely, Johnson beckoned two of the serving maids to approach him
and then placing one on each of his knees, put his arms round them and said,
'Now, let us have a dance together.' The learned sage then indulged in a kind
of jig on the farm-house floor with these two servant girls; you can imagine
how eagerly they subsequently told their mothers of the honour thus conferred
upon them, viz., that they had danced with the great Dr. Johnson!
"This story is still current in the local village." (It will be noted that his
friend Boswell writing in 1785, describes Dr. Johnson as a "buck;" in 1922 he
would perhaps he better designated as "a good old sport.")
(To be concluded)
ACCOUNT OF THE RELIGIOUS STRUGGLES OF THE EARLY AMERICAN COLONIES
BROTHER BENJAMIN WELLINGTON BRYANT, CALIFORNIA
THE BUILDER is so often asked for information concerning the part played by
various churches in the development of early American colonies that Bro.
Bryant was commissioned to prepare an article on the subject. He gives a rapid
and restrained account in which inquiring brethren may find an answer to many
of their questions. Brother Bryant has on hand an accumulation of facts
concerning early American Freemasonry other instalments of which, so it is
hoped, may appear in THE BUILDER later on, and ultimately in book form.
IT IS universally recognized that the struggle for religious liberty played a
most important part in the early settlement of our country and in the creation
of our national fabric. The details of the struggle are not so well known,
and unfortunately there appears to be an effort on the part of some to obscure
many of the most important events as well as to belittle the heroism and cast
doubts upon the sincerity of the faith of the founders of our nation.
Many of our popular histories have been tainted in this way, and, sad to
relate, those designed for use in our public schools have been so far
denatured that it is well nigh possible to gain from them a clear conception
of fundamental, causes in American history. The works of John Bach McMaster,
and for the more recent historical period of James Ford Rhodes, are notable
exceptions. These, and the works of some of the historians who wrote in an
age when it was not considered necessary to appease the vanity or flatter the
conceit of any particular party or sect, are veritable mines of information
for the student of unbiased history. There are a few of the special histories
of the Colonial period which may be consulted with real profit, and on certain
points a careful reading of some articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia will
yield valuable information.
Because Freemasonry and the ideal of religious liberty are so mutually
dependent, and because both our institution and this ideal are so closely
interwoven with our national history, it seems incumbent upon Masons to
familiarize themselves with this phase of our history. Hence a review of some
of the less familiar phases of the subject in the columns of THE BUILDER may
not be amiss.
THE PERIOD OF BITTER RELIGIOUS STRUGGLES
Much has been written of that ferment of intrigue and sudden death out of
which the Reformation finally emerged. That struggle continued during the
first two centuries following the discovery of America. The Spanish sent our
their missionaries, backed by fire and sword, to Central and South America,
the West Indies, and even to the southern boundaries of what is now the United
States. Whatever measure of culture and civilization existed among the native
inhabitants of the central and southern parts of the continent, (and there are
numerous indications that it was far from negligible) went down in such a sea
of blood as has seldom disgraced the name of the white race. Under Catholic
France, settlements were made at an early date in the northern part of the
continent, and the results of the alliance between the Jesuit priest and the
American Indian were scarcely more credible.
England the separation from the Roman communion was a terrific blow to the
papal hopes for world domination; the thunders of the Vatican had echoed
without ceasing across that island until the destruction of the Armada
rendered null the bull of Sextus V that had been designed to depose Elizabeth;
while the hanging of the Jesuits, Garnet and Oldecorn, discouraged further
Gunpowder Plots and gave the English a temporary respite. Religious
persecution and suspicion pervaded every class, and, in the words of
Eggleston, "every one was sure that divine authority was on his side, and that
human authority ought to be." (1) However, it was only after a century of
bitter, and often bloody, contest that in 1701 the Act of Settlement vested
the title to the English crown in the Electress of Hanover and her Protestant
Meanwhile the reformed English Church had suffered a new reformation within
its own ranks - the reforming of religious organizations had become
fashionable - and a little group, finding that both parties were ready to make
common cause to the jeopardy of their own devoted heads, fled first to
Holland, and later to America, to seek asylum for their faith.
Leaving behind them a maelstrom of religious bigotry, these early colonists
brought with them fresh and bitter memories of the lengths to which man's
inhumanity to man might be carried in the name of religion. With the English
Church alone they might in a semblance of peace; indeed they were not entirely
sure that they were irretrievably divorced from it; but with the Roman Church
they knew that there was no truce. Hence, it is not strange that they took
steps to prevent that organization from gaining a foothold in their new home.
The separation from Church and State was an undreamed of condition in that
day, and the Puritans made their religious edifice to be an integral part of
their body politic; but, considering the time, they made a most radical
advance in the direction of freedom of thought. The farewell sermon of Pastor
John Robinson to the Pilgrims as they were leaving Leyden, Holland, should not
be forgotten, for it is one of our brightest beacons of progress and throws a
flood of light on mental attitude of those early colonists. According to the
paraphrase of Winslow, which is the only word of that famous sermon,
used these expressions, or to the same purpose; We are now ere long to part
asunder, and the Lord knoweth whether he should live to see our faces again:
but whether the Lord has appointed it or not, he charged us before God and His
blessed Angels, to follow him no further than he followed Christ. And if God
should reveal anything to us by any other instrument of His, to be as ready to
receive it, as ever we were to receive any truth by his Ministery: For he was
very confident the Lord had more truth and light yet to breake forth out of
His holy Word."
Fleeing from the horrors of Old World conditions, the Colonists found here a
constant menace from the Catholic colonies of France to the North, and of
Spain to the South. Frequently and bitterly they felt the edge of that menace,
as the authorities of those settlements, inspired perhaps by their Jesuit
spiritual leaders, incited the Indians to strike against the Protestant
Colonies. And, as if this were not enough, they saw the Jesuit explorers
pushing down the Mississippi, thus hemming them in.
Only by the miscarriage of the scheme of La Salle for the colonization of
Louisiana and the establishment of a string of French forts and trading posts
from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, was prevented the planting of an almost
insuperable barrier to the westward expansion of the English Protestant
colonies. In the circumstances it is not strange that the colonists wrote
into their political code some very emphatic religious "reservations."
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts the laws of 1631 excluded all except Puritans from the freedom
of the body politic; and that lovable trouble maker, Roger Williams, even
compromised the loyalty of the Colony somewhat by persuading the Governor to
cut the cross from the flag as a "Popish emblem." (3) In 1647 the laws of the
colony were amended to exclude priests - some say the Jesuits were
specifically named, but I have been unable to verify this. If any priest
returned to the Colony after being driven out, he was to be put to death. The
charter of William and Mary in 1696 granted full liberty of conscience to all
except papists. Laws had been passed in 1692 against French Roman Catholics
settling in the colony.
meeting at Fanueil Hall in 1746 adopted resolutions demanding that Catholics
be required to prove, as well as affirm their loyalty to the Colony, and in
1770 the act of 1647 was reaffirmed. (4) The odour of papal incense was far
too strong around the reigning Stuarts to please these Puritan Colonists, and
when the regicides Gaffe and Whatley appeared in their midst, these were
permitted to go freely about the streets of Boston and Cambridge, and to
attend devotional services. When news arrived of the passage of the Indemnity
Act, these men fled to Rhode Island where they remained for nearly two years.
Later they were protected by the colonists in New Hampshire for a tune, and
finally returned to Massachusetts where they remained until their deaths. (5)
the whole, and notwithstanding all that has been said of their intolerance,
the fact remains that the Massachusetts colonists represented a great advance
toward religious liberty. They were sincerely Protestant, and possessed no
illusions as to the identity of their real enemies, or the price they must pay
if those enemies should gain a foothold in their midst. Their so-called
bigotry was a product of conditions, not of inherent cruelty. Goldwin Smith
says of them: "At the worst they were never guilty of forcible conversion, nor
did they rack the conscience, like the Inquisition." (6)
Rhode Island, established by Roger Williams, who was the cause of so much
discord in Congregational Massachusetts, was the first commonwealth where full
liberty of conscience was written into the law.
person within sayd colonys, at any tyme hereafter, shall bee anywise molested,
punished, disquieted, or called in question for any difference in opinione in
matters of religion, and [he] doe not actually disturbe the civill peace of
our sayd colony: but that all and everye person and persons may, from tyme to
tyme.... freelye and fullye have and enjoy his and their own judgments and
consciences in matters of religious concernments; they behaving themselves
peaceablie and quietlie, and not using libertie to lycentiousnesse and
profanenesse, nor to the civill injurys or outward disturbance of others; any
laws, statute, or clause therein contayned, or to be contayned usage or
custome of this realme, to the contrary hereof, in anywise, not-withstanding."
Much has been said of Rhode Island toleration, but there do not appear to have
been many Catholics in the colony at any time to put that commonwealth's
toleration to the supreme test. The few who did settle there were at times
denied the franchise. (8)
RELIGIOUS TOLERATION IN NEW YORK
New York, under the Dutch, was officially Protestant, but inclined toward
toleration. However, Sidney Fisher remarks that "the Dutch looked askance at
papists, having had most bitter experience with them when the Spanish
Inquisition slaughtered the people of the Netherlands by thousands." Comparing
anti-Catholic outbreaks in New York with the Salem witch-craft craze, he says
further that "to the Dutchman a papist seemed far more dangerous than a witch
who rode a broom." (9) The English confirmed the property rights of the
Dutch Reformed Church and granted full toleration to other forms of the
Protestant faith. The General Assembly in 1682 granted religious liberty to
all Christians and the Colony had a Catholic governor for a time, in the
person of Thomas Dongan. A Jesuit priest, Father John Smith, quietly held
Catholic services. (10) But with the Revolution of 1688-89 in England came a
change in this policy and all Catholic priests and teachers were ordered to
keep away from New York under severe penalties.
The Leisler Rebellion of 1689-90 seems to have borne a distinctly
anti-Catholic aspect, though other motives have often been attributed to its
leader. In 1700 a law was passed which provided that every Roman Catholic who
voluntarily came into the Colony was to be hanged. This was designed to
prevent the settlement of Jesuit priests among the Indians, and was the most
severe statute enacted against them in any of the colonies. In the
disturbances and panic incident to the "Negro Plot" of 1741 in New York and
New Jersey, Catholics were accused of complicity and Father John Ury was
convicted and hanged for the crime of being a "Popish Priest." (11)
The General Assembly of New Jersey in 1668, excluded a Catholic because of his
religion. The government of the Colony was intrusted to Lord Cornbury by Queen
Anne in 1701, with instructions to grant full liberty of conscience to all
except papists. The Colony had passed laws of similar tenor in 1698. (12)
Pennsylvania seems to have kept to the ideal of toleration in her colonial
laws, and Catholics were permitted to exist and to hold services, provided
they were not too public about it. Toleration was extended to them with a
sort of tacit understanding that they should be as inconspicuous as possible.
William Penn wrote from London to James Logan in Philadelphia in 1708: "With
these is a complaint against your government, that you suffer public mass in a
scandalous manner. Pray send the matter of fact, for ill use is made of it
against us here." (13) The province was never free from a religious test
imposed upon office holders. When Penn's rights of government were suspended
in 1693-94, and Governor Fletcher of New York was directed to assume control
of Pennsylvania affairs, the latter was required by his commission to
administer to all who should be chosen members of the General Assembly the
oaths and tests required by the Toleration Act of William and Mary. These
oaths and tests were directed against the claims of the Pope to temporal
supremacy; and against the mass and other doctrines peculiar to the Catholic
faith. Fletcher's zeal resulted in the imposing of these tests, or their
equivalent, on all officials, thus absolutely disfranchising Catholics in
Pennsylvania. (14) During the French War hostility to France is said to have
provoked an attack on the Catholics in the Colony. The Quakers protected
Virginia made it clear at an early date that Romanists were not wanted in that
Colony. The reception accorded Lord Baltimore when he landed there after the
failure of his Avalon venture in Newfoundland was, to put it mildly, lacking
in hospitality. The House of Burgesses passed laws requiring strict
conformity to the rites of the English Church, and in 1641 enacted a statute
that prohibited Catholics from holding public office. The second charter,
granted to the colony by James I, prohibited the admission of Catholics to the
The charter which Oglethorpe obtained from George II for Georgia in 1732
provided liberty of conscience to all except papists. According to the laws of
North Carolina in 1697, minors might not be committed to papists for
instruction. South Carolina in 1697 granted liberty of conscience and worship
to all except papists.
EXTENDED ACCOUNT OF MARYLAND
Maryland requires more extended notice, being the only one of the thirteen
colonies which was established under Catholic auspices. The first settlement
was founded under a charter from James I by Lord Baltimore, a converted
Catholic who seems to have stood high in the favour of the king. Goldwin
Smith says that he "endowed the colony with toleration for the 'spiritual
benefit' of a church which, elsewhere dominant and persecuting, was depressed
and persecuted in England." (15) However, according to Sidney Fisher, "the
religious liberty which prevailed in Maryland under the Roman Catholics was
forced upon them by circumstances which they could not avoid.... The
grandiloquent phrases in which the first settlement of the Maryland Catholics
at St. Mary's on the Potomac is described as the home of religious liberty,
and its only home in the wide world, can deceive only the ignorant.... the
Catholic colonists dared not establish their religion to the exclusion of all
others. It was a question in the minds of most Englishmen whether these
people who believed in the authority of a foreign power to depose English
kings and foment rebellion against them, and who were continually plotting the
overthrow of the British government, should be allowed to exist at all." (16)
is true that Calvert brought over both Catholics and Protestants in the first
party but there is no reliable data to indicate the proportion of each faith.
There is an interesting story of the efforts of the party to slip away from
England without taking the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, but it is not
necessary to recite it here. The followers of each faith were permitted to
bring with them clergymen of their own denomination, but the Protestants seem
to have brought none, nor did they apparently make any efforts to secure one
until some years later. As late as 1642 it appears that there were none in
Calvert himself attended to the matter for the Catholics and secured the
detail of two Jesuit priests from the General of the Order at Rome. It is said
that the Provincial in England privately furnished Baltimore with arguments in
defense of the policy of toleration before the party sailed. (17)
1639 an Act for Church Liberties was passed which was a typical example of the
subtlety of the party in power. It was enacted that "Holy Church within this
province shall have all her rights, liberties immunities, safe, whole and
inviolate in all things." The phrase, "Holy Church" is supposedly a
substitution "the Church of England" in a similar passage of Magna Charta,
and, to quote Eggleston - "was worthy of Bunyan's Mr. Facing-both-ways.
Interpreted by judges holding office at the will of a Catholic proprietary, it
could have but one meaning. For the outside world it might bear another
sense. It did all that could be done in the circumstances for the Roman
Catholic religion and for Catholic ecclesiastics." (18) As to toleration, any
denial of the divinity of Christ was a capital offence!
The victory of Cromwell over Charles I incited the Protestants to strike for
power, and the party of the Pope and the proprietary were defeated in a
miniature pitched battle at Providence. The government of the Baltimores
returned with the Restoration, and Charles Calvert, the third of that line,
appears in some manner to have quieted the religious quarrels of the Colonists
for a time. The period of quiet was short lived, however, for the Revolution
in England brought another uprising against the Catholic brand of toleration
and the Church of England was established as the official faith of the
Colony. Thus, in 1689, the Catholics were deprived of liberty to practice
their rites in their own colony.
During this time the Baltimores themselves had learned from experience that
the Jesuit was far from being an unmixed blessing. It seems that these
priests had scattered themselves among the Indians of the Putuxent and
Pascataway tribes, who received them kindly and readily became converts. They
bestowed upon the Jesuit fathers large tracts of land - out of "gratitude"
William Hand Browne is careful to state. (19) These tracts became the property
of the Jesuit Order. Browne says: "The priests, moreover, dwelling in the
wilderness and no longer under the shadow of praemunire were disposed to claim
the immunities and exemptions of the bull In Coena Domini and to hold
themselves free from the common law, and answerable to the canon law only, and
to ecclesiastical tribunals. Baltimore was a Romanist in faith, but he was an
Englishman with all the instincts of his race. He at once planted himself on
the ground that all his Colonists, cleric or lay, were equal before the law,
and that there should be no land held in mortmain in the province ...
foreseeing that this was likely to bring him into conflict with the Jesuit
Order, he promptly took a decisive step. He appealed to Rome to have the
Jesuits removed from the missions, and a prefect and secular priests appointed
in their stead, and an order to this effect was issued by the Propaganda."
The trouble was finally patched up when the Jesuits surrendered their lands.
The provincial, Father More, in the extremity, deciding that the conditions of
plantations were not in conflict with the bull in question, executed a release
of all lands acquired from the Indians. The order for the removal of the
Jesuits was then rescinded. It was a complete victory for Baltimore.
MARYLAND BECOMES PROTESTANT
Maryland emerged from the turmoil incident to the accession of William and
Mary with a royal governor, and with the Protestants outnumbering the
Catholics in the Colony in the ratio of twelve to one. In 1715 the fifth Lord
Baltimore renounced the Catholic faith and the proprietary control of the
Colony was restored to the family. In 1718 even more stringent laws deprived
papists of the franchise and barred them from public office. So passed
Romanism from its first and only stronghold in the thirteen colonies.
Coincident with it must have passed in great measure the fear, hitherto ever
present in the Protestant mind as long as the Stuarts reigned or there was a
possibility of their return to the throne, that England might become a Roman
Catholic dependency of France. The fresh courage growing out of the presence
on the throne of William and Mary, and later of Queen Anne, injected new life
into England and her colonies.
was a period of great portent. Events of tremendous importance to the cause
of human liberty were shaping themselves. With 1701 came the Act of
Succession and the throne was at last securely in Protestant hands. The
contest that had raged for more than two centuries was decided and the British
nation was definitely and finally out of the control of Rome.
America only the fall of Quebec and Montreal which occurred in 1759-60, was
needed to finally banish forever the possibility of a great Catholic empire on
this continent and to establish that principle of freedom of conscience and
worship which is a corner-stone of Protestantism. Catholic France was driven
from Canada, and that country was securely under a Protestant power. Catholic
Spain had already passed the meridian of her advancement in this hemisphere.
The great clock of eternity had ticked off another round of the waning night
and was about to strike the hour that would mark the dawning of that "New
order of the ages" which is proclaimed on the yet uncut reverse of the Great
Seal of the United States.
(1) Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation, New York, 1899, p. 113.
(2) Dexter, The England and Holland of the Pilgrims, p. 587.
(3) Goldwin Smith, The United States, New York, 1907, p. 12.
(4) Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. X, pp. 28 and 787.
(5) Jameson, Dictionary of United States History, Boston 1897 p. 548.
(6) Goldwin Smith, The United States, p. 12.
(7) Osgood, The American Colonies in the 17th Century, New York, 1904. Vol. 1,
p. 370; also Preston, Documents Illustrative of American History, New York
1686, pp. 110 et seq. (8) Sparks, Men Who Made the Nation, New York, 1901, p.
(9) Fisher, Men, Women and Manners in Colonial Times, Vol. II, pp. 85-86.
(10) Osgood, The American Colonies in the 17th Century, Vol. III, p. 444.
(11) Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. X, p. 35.
(12) Ibid., p. 792.
(13) Repplier, Philadelphia, The Place and the People, New York, 1904, p. 39.
(14) Osgood, The American Colonies in the 17th Century, Vol. II, p.345.
(15) Goldwin Smith, The United States, p. 48.
(16) Fisher, Men, Women and Manners in Colonial Times, Vol II, pp. 150 et seq.
(17) Eggleston, The Beginners of a Nation, p. 242.
(18) Ibid, p. 251.
(19) Browne, Maryland, p. 55.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - STEPHEN GIRARD
BROTHER G.W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
STEPHEN GIRARD was a great merchant, a great philanthropist and a great Mason.
He was strictly accurate in all his dealings, and as a business man was very
exacting, but liberal withal.
Stephen Girard was born near Bordeaux, France, in 1750, and died in
Philadelphia in 1831. He was the son of a sea captain and himself began to go
to sea at an early age, making one voyage to the West Indies when he was only
fourteen years of age. It was through his voyages to the West Indies that he
came to know something about the United States. At that time French
possessions in the West Indies were very extensive, and it was our misfortune
in agreeing to protect these possessions that led to our war with France.
Stephen Girard became master of a ship, then part owner, and later owner. He
settled in Philadelphia in 1776, married the beautiful Mary Lum (she
afterwards became insane), and became a grocer, wine dealer, and in time a
merchant on a large scale. When the war of 1812 had ended he took advantage of
conditions and opened up a profitable trade with the West Indies. He was a
farseeing man, able to make profitable ventures in the midst of the hazards of
war: he drove close bargains, but he always met his obligations promptly, and
he had the confidence of the people.
During the historic epidemic of yellow fever which so decimated the population
of Philadelphia in 1793 he volunteered to serve as manager of the hospital at
Bush Hill. During the second epidemic of 1797 he again took the lead in
relieving the distressed and did not hesitate to use his own hands, his own
time, and his own money in assisting the most loathesome cases, after many
citizens had fled.
1810 Girard helped to bolster up the economic security of the United States by
purchasing a million dollars of stock in the Bank of the United States, at a
time when that institution was almost defunct. Later on he established the
Bank of Stephen Girard. When the Government in 1814 tried to float a loan of
$5,000,000 and only $20,000 of it had been taken, Girard came to the rescue by
advancing the Government $5,000,000, in those days a vast sum.
was active in procuring the charter of the second Bank of the United States
amid was himself made a director. During all this while he contributed to
upbuild, to improve and to adorn the city of Philadelphia. He was frugal in
his private habits almost to the point of parsimoniousness, but he was not
Girard was a strictly self-made man, and unpretentious in every way,
especially in his dress. The story is told that a young man upon arriving at a
hotel mistook Girard for a porter, and offered him a quarter to take his bag
to his room. Girard carried the bag up and accepted the quarter, which,
however was a Spanish coin I worth about twenty-two cents. The young mans
handed him his card and' asked him to take it to Mr. Girard, upon which he
astonished the youth by saying, "I am Mr. Girard." The young man was profuse
in his apologies and asked of Mr. Girard the favor he had come for, but Girard
replied, "I will not do this, because you do not tote fair; you promised me a
quarter but you gave me less. I cannot do business with you."
Another characteristic story is told of him. A drayman's horse was
accidentally killed. A crowd gathered to pity the poor drayman for his loss.
Girard raised a coin above his head and said, "I pity the drayman five
dollars, let us all chip in and buy him a new horse."
Girard left about $9,000,000 worth of property, the largest fortune ever
accumulated in this country up to that time. His relatives received but little
of it. To the Pennsylvania Hospital he left $30,000. The Deaf and Dumb
Hospital received $20,000; $10,000 went to the public schools; and $20,000 was
put in a fund for Masonic charities. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania accounts
for the Masonic fund in its annual reports, and the Masons in the Keystone
State delight to be informed year after year of the good still being done by
Girard's famous bequest.
Girard was a radical and a freethinker as was shown by his naming his ships
such names as "Rousseau," "Voltaire," "Helvetius," and "Montesquieux." Because
of this he was sometimes accused of atheism, which accusation, as is usually
the case, was a calumny.
most famous of all of Girard's bequests was that which provided for what is
known as Girard College. He laid down in his will some specifications that
caused a great stir at the time, as witness this clause: "I enjoin and require
that no ecclesiastic, missionary or minister of any sect whatsoever, shall
ever hold or exercise any duty whatsoever in the said college; nor shall any
such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the
premises appropriated to the purposes of the said college.... I desire to keep
the tender minds of orphans . . . free from the excitements which clashing
doctrines and sectarian controversy are so apt to produce."
the strength of this obnoxious clause Girard's heirs-at-law contested the will
in 1836 and had Daniel Webster argue the case before the Supreme Court of the
United States. The will stood.
1851 the remains of Girard were removed from Trinity Church to Girard College
and there placed in a handsome sarcophagus in one of the college buildings
which has been described as "the most perfect Greek Temple in existence." His
remains were followed by a procession of Freemasons and they had charge of the
memorial, a photograph of which is herewith given, is a fitting one: it is a
portrait statue of the modest man who had done so much for the city and
country of his adoption and who saw to it that his fortune continued to work
after his death, as it had done during his life, for the welfare of his fellow
Philadelphia I have the information that Girard was made a Mason in 1788. "His
certificate, dated 28th January, 1788,* gave his membership in Union Blue
Lodge No. 8, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons
of Charleston, State of South Carolina."
According to another records Girard was initiated in Lodge No. 3
(Pennsylvania), September 7, 1778. Both records seem authentic. It has been
suggested that Girard was not able to prove himself to a Mason in 1788 and was
initiated a second time, an irregular proceeding not impossible in that
formative period of the Craft. - Editor.
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
series of Study Club Articles by Brother H. L. Haywood will begin next month
to be called "Chapters of Masonic History." His first series, which covered
Ceremonial and Symbolical Masonry, is now in press preparatory to being issued
in book form. It will be followed immediately by the publication in book form
of the series on "The Teachings of Masonry," the eighteenth and concluding
chapter of which appears in this issue. The new series will differ in every
way from the preceding series except that it will continue to be arranged in
form suitable for use by Study Clubs.
histories are too long or too technical for popular use; others are too short
or too skeletonal; in his new Study Club series Brother Haywood has sought to
find a golden mean. Guided by his extensive knowledge of the wants of the
average reader he will present in connected form such information as is
essential without long digressions or technical arguments, but at the same
time he will try to base his narrative on the findings of the best Masonic
scholarship. Unlike most of the chronicles of the Craft already published,
"Chapters of Masonic History" will do full justice to the stirring story of
American Masonry, from the early eighteenth century, through the Revolutionary
period, down to the present time.
PART XVIII - SCHOOLS OF MASONIC PHILOSOPHY
LECTURES on the Philosophy of Freemasonry" by Roscoe Pound, of the Law School
of Harvard University, is the book wherewith to begin a study of the
Philosophy of Masonry in a technical and systematic manner. The book is not
bulky, and the language is simple, so that a novice need have no difficulties
in reading it. I value this little manual so highly that I shall bring this
series of studies of the Great Teachings of Freemasonry to conclusion by
giving a rapid review of its contents, the same to be followed by reference to
two or three schools not canvassed by Brother Pound, and by a suggestion of my
own concerning Masonic philosophy.
The eighteenth century in England was a period of comparative quiet, despite
the blow-up that came at the end of it, and men ceased very generally to
quarrel over fundamental matters. It was a period of formalism when more
attention was paid to manner than to matter. Also, and this is most
important, it was everywhere believed that Knowledge is the greatest thing in
the world and must therefore be the one aim of all endeavour.
William Preston was a true child of his century in these things, and he gave
to Freemasonry a typical eighteenth century interpretation. This is
especially seen in our second degree, most of which came from his hands, or at
least took shape under his influence, for in that ceremony knowledge is made
the great object of Masonic endeavour. The lectures consist of a series of
courses in instruction in the arts and sciences after the fashion of
school-room discourses. "For what does Masonry exist? What is the end and
purpose of the order? Preston would answer: To diffuse light, that is, to
spread knowledge among men." In criticizing this position Brother Pound has
the following provocative words to say: "Preston of course was wrong knowledge
is not the sole end of Masonry. But in another way Preston was right.
Knowledge is one end - at least one proximate end - and it is not the least of
those by which human perfection shall be attained. Preston's mistakes were
the mistakes of his century - the mistake of faith in the finality of what was
known to that era, and the mistake of regarding correct formal presentation as
the one sound method of instruction. But what shall be said of the greater
mistake we make today, when we go on reciting his lectures - shorn and
abridged till they mean nothing to the hearer - and gravely presenting them as
a system of Masonic knowledge? ... I hate to think that all initiative is gone
from our Order and that no new Preston will arise to take up his conception of
knowledge as an end of the Fraternity and present to the Masons of today the
knowledge which they ought to possess."
Have you ever read "Philosophy of Freemasonry" by Brother Roscoe Pound? What
can you tell about the eighteenth century in England? Tell what you know about
William Preston. What was his idea of the purpose of Freemasonry? In what way
was he wrong? In what way was he right?
a very different cast, both as to intellectual equipment and moral nature, was
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, born near Leipzig in 1781, the founder of the
great school of Masonic thought of which Ahrens afterwards became so powerful
an exponent. In the period in which Krause grew up conceptions of the human
race and of human life underwent a profound change: thinkers abandoned their
allegiance to the Roman Catholic theological leaders of the Middle Ages with
their dependence on supernatural ideas and resumed the principal idea of the
classical Greek and Roman scientists and jurists which was that man must be
known for what he is actually found to be and dealt with accordingly. The
goal of all endeavours, according to this modern way of thinking, is the
betterment of human life in the interest of men and women themselves - a
vastly different conception from that of the Middle Ages, which was that human
life must be twisted and hewn to fit a scheme of things lying outside of human
life. Krause believed that Freemasonry exists in order to help perfect the
human race. Our Fraternity should work in cooperation with the other
institutions, such as Government, School, Church, etc., all of which exist for
the same purpose. According to what principles should Masonry be governed in
seeking to attain this end? "Krause answers: Masonry has to deal with the
internal conditions of life governed by reason. Hence its fundamental
principles are measurement and restraint - measurement by reason and restraint
by reason - and it teaches these as a means of achieving perfection."
Contemporaneous with Krause, but of a type strikingly different, was the Rev.
George Oliver, whose teachings so universally influenced English and American
Masonic thought a half century ago. Romanticism (understood as the technical
name of a school of thought) was the center of his thinking, as religion was
the center of his heart. Like Sam'l Taylor Coleridge, the most eloquent
interpreter of Oliver's own period, he rebelled against the dry
intellectualism of the eighteenth century in behalf of speculation and
imagination; he insisted that reason make way for intuition and faith; he
attached a very high value to tradition: and he was very eager to reconcile
Christianity with philosophy.
"What then are Oliver's answers to the three fundamental questions of Masonic
"1. What is the end of Masonry, for what does the institution exist? Oliver
would answer, it is one in its end with religion and with science. Each of
these are means through which we are brought into relation with the absolute.
They are the means through which we know God and his works.
"2. How does Masonry seek to achieve its end? Oliver would answer by
preserving, handing down and interpreting a tradition of immemorial antiquity,
a pure tradition from the childhood of the race.
"3. What are the fundamental principles by which Masonry is governed in
achieving its task? Oliver would say, the fundamental principles of Masonry
are essentially the principles of religion as the basic principles of the
moral world. But in Masonry they appear in a traditional form. Thus, for
example, toleration in Masonry is a form of what in religion we call charity;
universality in Masonry is a traditional form of what in religion we call love
of one's neighbour."
Albert Pike was, during a large part of his life contemporaneous with Oliver
and Krause, and consequently grew up in the same thought world, but for all
that he worked out an interpretation of Masonry radically different from
others. In spite of all his studies in antiquity and in forgotten
philosophies and religions Pike, at the bottom of his mind, attacked the
problems of Masonic thought as though no other man before him had ever heard
of it. He was impatient of traditions, often scornful of other opinions, and
as for the dogmas and shibboleths of the schools he would have nothing of
them. What is genuinely real? that was the great question of his thinking:
and accordingly his interpretation of Freemasonry took the form of a
metaphysic. He was more interested in nature than in function.
"1. What is the end of Masonry? What is the purpose for which it exists? Pike
would answer: The immediate end is the pursuit of light. But light means here
attainment of the fundamental principle of the universe and bringing of
ourselves into harmony, the ultimate unity which alone is real. Hence the
ultimate end is to lead us to the Absolute - interpreted by our individual
creed if we like but recognized as the final unity into which all things merge
and with which in the end all things must accord. You will see here at once a
purely philosophical version of what, with Oliver, was purely religious.
"2. What is the relation of Masonry to other human institutions and
particularly to the state and to religion? He would answer it seeks to
interpret them to us, to make them more vital for us, to make them more
efficacious for their purposes by showing the ultimate reality of which they
are manifestations. It teaches us that there is but one Absolute and that
everything short of that Absolute is relative; is but a manifestation, so that
creeds and dogmas, political or religious, are but interpretations. It
teaches us to make our own interpretation for ourselves. It teaches us to
save ourselves by finding for ourselves the ultimate principle by which we
shall come to the real. In other words, it is the universal institution of
which other spiritual, moral and social institutions are local and temporary
"3. How does Masonry seek to reach these ends? He would say by a system of
allegories and of symbols handed down from antiquity which we are to study and
upon which we are to reflect until they reveal the light to each of us
individually. Masonry preserves these symbols and acts out these allegories
for us. But the responsibility of reaching the real through them is upon each
of us. Each of us has the duty of using this wonderful heritage from
antiquity for himself. Masonry in Pike's view does not offer us predigested
food. It offers us a wholesome fare which we must digest for ourselves. But
what a feast! It is nothing less than the whole history of human search for
reality. And through it he conceives, through mastery of it, we shall master
Tell what you know of Kraus. What was Krause's conception of the purpose of
Freemasonry? Do you agree with him? Tell what you know of Rev. George Oliver.
What was his philosophy? What did he believe to be the purpose of Freemasonry?
How would you criticise Oliver's theories? What was Albert Pike's general
outlook? What is the end and goal of Masonry according to his theories? Do you
agree with Pike's philosophy of Masonry?
Brother Pound, it seems to me, might well have included in his survey two
other well defined schools, one of which, it is probable, is destined to
out-do all its predecessors in influence. I refer to the Historical School,
and to the Mystical School, neither of which thus far has developed a leader
worthy of conferring his own name on his group, though it may be said that
Robert Freke Gould and Arthur Edward Waite are typical representatives.
The fundamental tenet of the historical school is that Freemasonry interprets
itself through its own history. This history is not broken into separate
fragments but is continuous and progressive throughout so that the unfolding
story of Masonry is a gradual revelation of the nature of Masonry. Would you
know what Masonry actually is, apart from what in the theory of men it appears
to be? read its history. Would you know what is the future of Masonry? trace
out the tracks of its past development, and from them you can plot the curves
of its future developments. Would you discover what are the ideals and
possibilities of the Fraternity? study to learn what it has been trying to do
in the past and is now trying to do.
This philosophy makes a profound appeal to men in this day when science, with
its interest in history, development and evolution, rules in the fields of
thought, and I have no doubt that more and more it will be found necessary for
the leaders of contemporary Masonry to master the history of past Masonry,
especially because Masonry, more than most institutions, derives from and is
dependent on its own past. Nevertheless, in Masonry as in all other fields,
philosophy cannot be made identical with history for the reason that such a
method does not provide for new developments. What if some mighty leader -
another Albert Pike, for example - were to arise now and give the course of
Masonic evolution an entirely new twist, what could the historians do about
it? Nothing. They would have no precedents to go by. An adequate philosophy
must understand the nature of Masonry by insight and intuition as well as by
history. Also, Masonry must not shut itself away from the creative genius of
new leaders, else it petrify itself into immobile sterility, and condemn
itself to the mere repetition of its own past. A great public institution
must ever-more work in the midst of the world and constantly learn to apply
itself to its own new tasks as they arise in the world; otherwise it becomes
no institution at all, but the plaything of a little coteric.
the school of Masonic Mysticism it is more difficult to speak, and this partly
for the reason that mysticism itself, by virtue of its own inner nature,
cannot become clearly articulate but must utter itself darkly by hints and
symbols. On the one side mysticism is ever tending to become occultism; on
the other side it has close affinities with theology. All three words -
mysticism, occultism, and theology - are frequently used interchangeably in
such wise as to cause great confusion of thought. Owing to this shuffling of
use and meaning of its own ideas and terms the school of Masonic mysticism has
thus far not been able to wrest itself free from entangling alliances in order
to stand independently on its own feet as an authentic interpreter of the
Great Teachings of the Craft. But in spite of all these handicaps a few of
our scholars have been able to give us a tolerably consistent and, in some
cases, a very noble account of Freemasonry in the terms of mysticism. Notable
among these is Bro. A.E. Waite, whose volume, "Studies in Mysticism," is not
as widely known as it should be.
Brother Waite - unless I have sadly misread him, a thing not at all
impossible, for he is not always easy to follow - the inner and living stuff
of all religion consists of mysticism; and mysticism is a first-hand
experience of things Divine, the classic examples of which are the great
mystics among whom Plotinus, St. Francis, St. Theresa, Ruysbroeck, and St.
Rose of Lima may be named as typical. According to the hypothesis the
spiritual experience of these geniuses in religion gives us an authentic
report of the Unseen and is as much to be relied on as any flesh-and-blood
report of the Seen; but unfortunately the realities of the Unseen are
ineffable, consequently they cannot be described to the ordinary non-mystical
person at all except in the language of ritual and symbolism. It is at this
point that Freemasonry comes in. According to the mystical theory our Order
is an instituted form of mysticism in the ceremonies and symbols of which men
may find, if they care to follow them, the roads that lead to a direct and
first-hand experience of God.
What two schools of Masonic philosophy were omitted by Brother Pound? What is
the principle theory of the historical school? Name some representatives of
the historical school. What are some of the shortcomings of the historical
philosophy of Freemasonry?
What is meant by mysticism? How would you define Masonic mysticism? What is
Brother Waite's theory of Masonry? Do you agree or disagree with him?
I may come at last to speak for myself I believe that there is now shaping in
our midst, and will some day come to the front, a Masonic philosophy that will
not quarrel with these great schools but will at the same time replace them by
a larger and more complete synthesis. I have no idea what this school will be
called. It will be human, social, and pragmatic, and it will exist for use
rather than show. It will not strive to carry the Masonic institution to some
goal beyond and outside of humanity but will see in Freemasonry a wise and
well-equipped means of enriching human life as it now is and in this present
familiar world. We men do not exist to glorify the angels or to realize some
superhuman scheme remote from us. Human life is an end in itself, and it is
the first duty of men to live happily, freely, joyously. This is God's own
purpose for us, and, unless all modern religious thinking has gone hopelessly
astray, God's life and ours are so bound up together that His purposes and His
will coincide with our own great human aims. When man is completely man God's
will then be done.
things now are we men and women have not yet learned how to live happily with
each other, and there is a great rarity of human charity under the sun. Why
can't we learn to know ourselves and each other and our world in such wise as
to organize ourselves together into a human family living happily together?
That, it seems to me, should be the great object of Freemasonry.
What do you think of Brother Haywood's own suggestion concerning a Masonic
philosophy? What would such a philosophy be good for? What would be a good
name for it? What, according to his theory, is the purpose of Freemasonry?
Mackey's Encyclopedia-(Revised Edition):
Freemason, pages 282-283.
Freemasonry, pages 283-284.
Revival, pages 622-623.
Preston, William, page 579.
Krause, Karl Christian Friedrich, pages 417-418.
Oliver, George, pages 527-529.
Pike, Albert, pages 563-564.
Gould, Robert Freke, page 304.
Mysteries, Ancient, pages 497-500.
Mystical, page 500.
Mysticism, pages 500-501.
O. D, page 301
God, page 301
Vol I (1915) - Krause, p. 31; Oliver, p. 54; Pike, p. 78; Preston, p. 7;
Philosophy of Masonry: 20th Century, P. 106; The History of the Ritual, p.
Vol. II (1916) - Reflections on the Philosophy of Albert Pike, p. 9; Masonry;
Its philosophy and Influence in War Times, p. 181; Scottish Rite Philosophy,
p. 382; Albert Pike, pp. 69, 77, 137, 141, 182, 207, 268, 310, 153, 313, 93;
The Webb Ritual in the United States, p. 166.
Vol. III (1917) - Masonic Jurisprudence, p. 105; Religion and Philosophy, p.
Vol. IV (1918) - Internationalism and Freemasonry p. 43.
Vol. V (1919) - The Catholic Treatise on Masonry, p. 180; A Preface to Masonic
Symbolism, p. 99.
Vol. VI (1920) - Masonry and the Problems of Men, p. 338; The Symbolism of
Freemasonry, p. 226; Reply to Humanum Genus, p. 35; For the Good of the
Fraternity, p. 194; Speculative Masonry p. 130; Place of Masonry in the
Community p. 95.
Vol. VII (1921) - Teachings of Freemasonry, pp. 136, 166, 261, 292, 326, 355;
The Preston Conception of the Lodge, p. 261; Preston and the Second Degree, p.
Vol. VIII (1922) - Life's Story of Albert Pike, p. 58; Albert Pike a Prophet
of Masonic Protestantism, p. 202; Preston Lectures and the Saints John, p.
204; The Teachings of Masonry, pp. 17, 50, 80, 114, 146, 178, 277, 313, 345,
375; Masonry and the World's Work, p. 131.
H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
young Augustine held by sleep or trance
cry a lordly voice, "Take up and read,"
words he found were such a mighty screed
changed his life with all its circumstance.
words are like strong men with sword and lance
trample down at will a lesser breed!
move with such a power from deed to deed
gods and men are chaff where they advance.
Word it was and rich beyond all cost
Craftsmen used upon Moriah's height
through ruffian malice it was lost.
Remaining lost we find ourselves in plight
dour and drear that till we learn its powers
can't be life or health for this dead world of ours.
For account of words heard by Augustine see "Confessions of St. Augustine.
Pusey's Edition. Book VIII, Section 29.
IS IT that such a mighty master of the art of life as Confucius has never
received his due mead of recognition and appreciation among us ? Of the Jewish
leaders we know very much. Mohammed has had a profound influence on our
culture, Buddha has drawn thousands of Occidentals to a reverent study of his
life and teaching, but of Confucius, and also, it may be added, of Mencius,
who in a sense was to Confucius what St. Paul was to Jesus, the majority of
men living in the western world care little and know less.
is this? The great gaps in race and in time have had much to do with it; so
has the extreme dissimilarity of language; and so has religious prejudice; but
even so, many have bridged wider gaps in order to become acquainted with
lesser men, then why not in this case? One may imagine that this is so because
Confucius was a sage and not a seer or a prophet, and that men do not discover
in such leaders the fascinations they feel in a Buddha, an Isaiah, a Plotinus,
or a King Asoka. There is nothing to fascinate one in a man who lives in the
cold gray light of reason' whereas in the mystic, with his ventures into the
Unseen, most men find a great charm.
the Hypatia of the Kingsley romance found herself confronted by the terrible
crisis of her career she attired herself in symbolical raiment, went into see
elusion, and then induced the trance of the Hellenic mystic. She let herself
sink down into the abyss of abstraction until every sense of the external
world fell away so that she felt herself falling from nothingness to
nothingness, stripped of every human attribute and became, according to her
own belief, a mere impressionable wax for the words and visions of the Divine.
There is something interesting in such gymnosophy: it is appealing and
romantic, and draws people like an exciting tale. To get away from the
workaday world in this wise, to live in a trance or ecstacy, toward this goal
many of the prophets, seers, and mystics have tried to make their way; they
have been enamoured of the unknown, the unseen, and have clutched at the
mysterious forces which play behind the scenes. To all the great Chinese sages
this kind of thing appeared useless, and often dangerous. Gods, First and Last
Things, Heavens, Hells, Satans, Eternities, Trances, Abysms and all that, they
ignored entirely or else pushed to the circumference of their minds; and they
taught people that it is safer to walk in the cool light of day.
is a thing of such vast mysteriousness - so one may venture to paraphrase
their teachings - that it scorns our imagination; nevertheless one should not
let himself become obsessed by the Unknown. The only life we possess and
really know is our every day life, and this same every day life is therefore
the thing of chiefest value. In a million years from now what other life can
one possess than this which he calls "to-day's ?" Always, if a man exists at
all, his life must necessarily be this same commonplace familiar every-day
life. Consequently since this every-day life is our one sure and supreme
possession, so these sages taught, a man is wise to make it as serene and
beautiful as he can. To that end men must learn the art of manners, of
deportment, and of behavior; the most tedious or humdrum tasks should be
shaped to the uses of beauty, just as the builder will carve a fine ornament
for some unnoticed angle of a roof. To bring all one's wisdom, one's ability,
one's genius to bear upon one's daily life, that is the authentic message of
the sages, and whatever be their language or their accent, one will discover
it as a refrain in the teachings of them all, from Confucius, and Socrates,
and the Jewish proverb makers, down to Francis bacon and Benjamin Franklin.
a philosophy no means complete nor can it satisfy all the needs of human life,
nevertheless it is a high and eternal lesson. And it is a lesson that
Freemasons are interested in because they use as one of their Working Tools an
emblem that represents this same truth. The Twenty-four Inch Gauge is in
itself a small thing but the idea for which it stands has within it all the
dignity of Confucius' Gospel. Proportion in life, the wise adjustment of means
to ends, nothing over-much, the golden mean, the expenditure of time and
energy in proportion to the aims sought - such ideas have not the intriguing
interest of Hypatia's trance, but they are of greater value to a wise man.
a non-commercial incorporation it is impossible for this Society to develop a
Masonic book business after the fashion of those concerns which devote
themselves exclusively to books as a money making enterprise. We began by
selling to our members a few titles of our own publishing. In the course of
time, and as a result of a desire to serve readers in search of Masonic
literature, we continued to add to our stock until now our list, as printed
anew in the inside back cover of the January issue of THE BUILDER, comprises
nearly all the worth-while titles at present on the market. As rapidly as new
titles are available, or old titles reissued, they are added; and our hope is
ultimately to keep on hand every Masonic book (in English) that can be had,
and is worth having.
Meanwhile our members can continue to assist us in the future, as in the past,
by calling our attention to titles overlooked, or to new books not otherwise
brought to our notice. If they understand that all profits are returned to the
treasury of the Society in order to enlarge the scope of its services to the
Craft, they can lend a hand with all the more grace and readiness. Those who
desire to purchase or sell second hand books on Masonry are entitled to free
notice of the same in THE BUILDER, providing their notices are kept within
reasonable bounds as to length and frequency.
Masonic books, gentle reader, are a necessity to Freemasonry. It is to our
shame by "our" is meant Masonry in "largest commonalty spread" - that up to
now so little has been done by our rulers and leaders to develop a literature
adequate to our needs. ("Needs" is used in a very literal and strict sense.)
One may be an intelligent man who does not read Masonic literature but he
cannot be an intelligent Mason. More and more, as Masonry develops in numbers
and power, it will be discovered that a Masonry without a literature is a
Masonry without a mind. The able brethren at Salt Lake City who prepared
themselves to prosecute the American "Masonic" Federation, discovered how
impossible it is to advance one step in a clear understanding of Masonry
without the use of Masonic books. One of the lawyers (a brother Mason) who
worked most actively in preparing the brief for that trial remarked to the
present writer, "I used to wonder why any Mason should bother himself about
reading Masonry: now I know." Knowledge of Masonry in the large sense is
necessary to the guidance and the governance of Masonry, and such knowledge
can no more be snatched out of the air than any other knowledge.
in point also to say here that an increasing number of Masons are awakening to
this fact, and their awakening means that an ever larger number of Masons in
the future will learn to read Masonic books. The man who can study and write
about Masonry now has a great opportunity before him. And so with publishers.
It will be a golden day for the Craft when the largest and best publishers
discover what is the need for an adequate literature, and make use of their
great experience and resources for the production of such a literature. The
National Masonic Research Society has been at work for some months to persuade
some of them of this opportunity, and thus far not without success.
important still, the need (the word should be printed in red) for a Masonic
literature should be brought to the attention of those affluent Masons who
desire to place their means at the disposal of the Fraternity. Why shouldn't
these brethren lend a powerful aid to Freemasonry by making it possible for
some of our most gifted writers to publish such Masonic books as are most
badly needed? It would be easy to include just here a list of fifty subjects
on which nothing is obtainable, but which are of greatest importance to the
practical success of the Masonic enterprise. To endow new temples is a noble
thing; why not endow a few Masonic authors? Nothing else that a wealthy Mason
could do would more powerfully assist to build up the empire of light within
the Order, or more certainly accoutre it to wage its warfare for humanity.
BOOK ON CHINESE MASONRY
FREEMASONRY IN CHINA, by Herbert Allen Giles, W. M. Ionic, No. 1781, E C., and
District Grand Senior Warden, Hongkong. Privately printed, Shanghai, 1890.
Small quarts, 38 pp. and addenda. Originally published forty-two years ago.
(First edition, Amoy, China, 1880, 34 pp.)
book presents facts which are of vital interest to the Craft today. It
effectively disposes of the claims that there is a Chinese Freemasonry almost
identical with the Freemasonry we practice today in America or the British
Empire. Brother Giles was frequently asked, "Have you a Freemasonry in China
?" In answering the questions he responds, "What do we mean when we ask if
Freemasonry exists in China? Do we confine ourselves to the comparatively
modern system in vogue at the present day among western nations, with its
ritual of doubtful date, its signs, its passwords, and its Book of
Constitution? If so, then I would affirm that our noble Fraternity does not
exist now among the Chinese, and has never existed in China at all."
However, the author does show the antiquity of some of our present day Masonic
symbols, and herein lies the value of his book. The familiar emblem of square
and compasses, which term in Chinese is usually expressed "compasses and
square," is traced back through the centuries to Confucius and to Mencius.
Brother Giles gives three quotations from the writings of Mencius (who lived
about two hundred and eighty years before the Christian era) which are of
sufficient interest to be reproduced here:
compasses and the square are the embodiment of the rectangular and of the
round, just as the prophets of old were the embodiment of the due
relationships between man and man."
Master Mason, in teaching his apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the
square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the
compasses and square."
carpenter or a carriage builder may give a man the compasses and the square,
but he cannot necessarily make him a skillful workman."
Mencius is only one of the Chinese philosophers who used Masonic terms in a
familiar way. A book known as the "Great Learning," written between three
hundred and five hundred years before Christ, gives us the Golden Rule,
followed by the statement that "this is called the principle of acting on the
Omitting mention of other Chinese writers of note, and coming down to
comparatively modern times, we learn of an edict issued about two hundred
years ago in which the Emperor says: "The wisdom of our sons may ripen day by
day, and they may walk within the limits prescribed by the compasses and the
square." Three other passages of the same imperial document use the word
"compasses" in a metaphorical sense.
learned brother also effectively disposes of the myth that the ancient
Emperors of China wore a jewel identical with our square, which was
transmitted at death by every occupant of the throne to his successor as a
badge of imperial sway. Brother Giles points out that the "jewel" referred to
was merely a musical stone, opened at an obtuse angle, and, never having had
any operative Masonic significance, would be entirely out of place as a
speculative Masonic symbol.
referring to the Masonic apron, an emblem which has been seized upon by
amateur antiquarians in many fields to support claims for Masonic antiquity
otherwise unsubstantiated, we quote Brother Giles again: "Let us now take the
apron, that distinguishing badge of a Freemason. Masonically speaking, it is
considered as dividing the body into two halves, the upper and nobler half
containing the brain and the heart, which are thus separated from the merely
corporeal and baser half below. Now the Chinese have for centuries recognized
this division of the body, and in their ancient ceremonial of several thousand
years ago an apron of some kind undoubtedly played a part. Such an article of
dress is in fact mentioned in the 'Discourses of Confucius', and is depicted
in the old illustrated dictionary of the classics as ornamented with a plant,
seven stars, an axe and the character a or ya. The plant or shrub will of
course commend itself to the notice of every master mason, while I may add
that the Chinese symbol for an axe placed inside of the symbol for square, is
the identical character by which the term 'master mason' is expressed in the
written language of China." Other instances of the use of an apron are then
cited, clearly indicating that Freemasonry has never had a monopoly of this
all too brief work closes with some comments on present day Chinese secret
societies, and illustrates points of similarity between their ceremonies and
those of Freemasonry. Startling as these similarities are in some respects, it
can be seen very readily how a superficial observer would be convinced that
native Freemasonry exists in China. There is no doubt in our minds that
persistent claims of this sort are based upon unwarranted conclusions, and
that a methodical study of the subject would soon dispel these beliefs.
* * *
our consideration of Freemasonry in China, a book by Hosea Ballou Morse
entitled The Gilds of China should not be overlooked. (Longmans, Green and
Company, 1909.) While not Masonic in the sense in which we use the term, the
work is of value in a study of the various fraternities of the Orient. The
book is a contribution to the story of China's economic development, and
concisely relates the history of the religious fraternities, craft gilds,
merchant gilds, political societies and organizations existing for similar
purposes. There are frequent comparisons throughout the volume with the gilds
of medieval Europe, especially England. Masons interested in the gild origin
of Masonic ceremonies and practices will find this book of much value. An
excellent bibliography and a comprehensive index are included in the
ninety-two pages of printed text.
* * *
HISTORY OF BROTHER STEPIIEN GIRARD'S FRATERNAL CONNECTIONS WITH THE R.W. GRAND
LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA, by Norris S. Barratt, P. M., and Julius F. Sachse, P.
M., Curator and Librarian of Grand Lodge, Philadelphia, 1919.
History offers no tale that savors more of romance than that of the diminutive
one-eyed French sea captain who settled in Philadelphia at the eve of the
American Revolution, and who, before his death in 1831, had built up a fortune
second to none in the country at the time. Stephen Girard was one of those
lonely souls who inspire in their fellow men no desire for the more intimate
relations of friendship and understanding, endure often, in consequence,
judged as harsh and bitter. Yet when half of the city had fled from the dread
scourge of yellow fever; when thousands were sick and dying without care; when
the dead lay rotting in the streets, in homes and in hospitals, Girard was one
of the few who feared not to remain and to perform the most menial, loathsome,
and dangerous offices for the victims, even going with his own carriage to
gather them up.
the country's finances were in a serious condition during the War of 1812 it
was Girard who came to the rescue while citizens of native birth and ample
means were hesitating. At his death it was found that he had bequeathed the
bulk of his estate for the foundation of an institution pre-eminently
American, - a college for non-sectarian education. Furthermore, he had hedged
his gift about with such safeguards as should insure its perpetuation on the
same broad and Masonic lines.
Brother Girard was made a Mason at Charleston, S. C., in Union Blue Lodge No.
8, in 1778, and never severed his connection with that jurisdiction. His
philanthropic efforts, however, were all devoted to the benefit of the city,
the state, and the Masonic jurisdiction where his fortune was gained. He was
buried from the German Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church of his home city,
December 31, 1831. Various civic, fraternal, and charitable organizations, in
which he had been interested, were invited to attend the services. The Grand
Lodge attended in part regalia, having dispensed with their aprons to avoid
friction, for it was in the midst of the anti-Masonic craze. However, when the
brethren entered the church, the clergy immediately left it, and it appears
that no services were held over the remains until some twenty years later when
the body was re-interred in the sarcophagus at Girard College, where it now
rests. At that time the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania officiated with
appropriate cerise monies. By one of the provisions of Girard's will, the
Grand Lodge was made the custodian of a considerable sum to be devoted to
Masonic charity. That fund has increased until it now amounts to upwards of
account of Brother Girard's Masonic connections has previously been published
in the third volume of "Freemasonry in Pennsylvania," but the matter contained
in that large work is now made available to a wider circle of readers by a
reprint in a neatly arranged pamphlet of fifty-two pages, which is in itself a
worthy token of the esteem which our Pennsylvania brethren still cherish for
the memory of this worthy and patriotic Mason. - B.W. Bryant.
BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own
opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society
at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly
invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study
clubs which are following our Study Club course. When requested, questions
will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
UNIFORM WORK A COMPARATIVELY RECENT DEVELOPMENT
ask you a question that came up in our Study Club ? A brother posed the query
to me - I am leader of the Club - "When did uniformity in work become
necessary? have we always had it?" I passed the question up. Please give me
light. J. C. D., Connecticut.
Uniformity of work in this country came into demand some half century or so
ago. Prior to that time subordinate lodges were left pretty much to their own
devices, though there were some "workings more popular than others and
therefore of greater prestige, as is now the case in England where lodges are
granted a freedom in the choice of ritual that would appear strange to us. The
movement for uniformity of work in the American jurisdictions made its way
slowly, and in the face of much opposition, as a quotation will illustrate.
During its seventeenth annual communication the Grand Lodge of Iowa debated at
great length, and with much acerbity, the proposal to adopt some one working
to the exclusion of all others. Commenting on the report of this debate the
well-informed Masonic editor, Brother J. F. Brennan, expressed himself in a
paragraph that leaves nobody in doubt as to his opinion:
"Uniformity of work seems to have exercised this Grand Lodge more than any
other in the Union. It is possible they may secure this ignis fatuus, but not
probable; nor can we agree with those who strenuously desire it, that its
possession would be of any permanent value. If the spirit of Masonry remains
intact, its letter may well be entrusted to the good sense of those who have
it in their keeping. That there are gross inconsistencies in the language, and
departures from historical facts in the statements of even the real old
original Barney work, and every other work that exists representative of the
York Rite, as given in the lodges of America, is evident to every reader of
history and lover of common sense who has ever heard them. That Masonry has
suffered in its body or spirit from such inaccuracies, however, we do not
believe. Men are more willing to be satisfied to continue in a beaten track
than blaze and clear a new one; and it must be evident to all, that neither
Webb nor Barney, Cushing nor Gleason could have received the language of the
lectures of Masonry less obliquely or more correctly than those who succeeded
them. Granted that Webb got them directly from Preston, which is not true, it
cannot be contended that he did not alter them to suit himself; for it is well
known that the Webb work is not the Preston work, nor is it important it
should be. Neither is the work practiced in the lodges of Great Britain at the
present day. And yet the Mason taught here can avail himself of all the
advantages conferred upon him by Masonry in any part of that country."
* * *
THE STARS AND STRIPES WERE MADE OFFICIAL In the last meeting of our Study
Circle we got into a discussion about the flag. Some of the brethren claimed
we use it only by custom; I held that it is by law, but I can't find the law.
Can you give me some information through the Question Box? E. A. S., Texas.
are in the right. A Congressional committee reported in a bill on January 2,
1817. It occasioned a long debate. The bill was passed in 1818, and approved
April 4, 1818. It is simple and brief, and can be given full:
Act to Establish the Flag of the United States.
"Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That froth and after the fourth day of July
next, the Flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and
white; that the union have twenty stars, white in a blue field.
2. And be it further enacted, That on the admission of every new State into
the Union, one star be added to the union of the Flag; and that such addition
shall take effect on the fourth of July next succeeding such admission."
we are at it we may as well give the dates on which new stars were added:
Illinois, Dec. 3, 1818; Alabama, Dec. 14 1819; Maine, March 15, 1820;
Missouri, August 10, 1821; Arkansas, June 15, 1836; Michigan, January 26,
1837; Florida, March 3, 1845; Texas, December 29, 1845; Iowa, Dec. 28, 1846;
Wisconsin, May 29, 1848; California, September 9, 1850; Minnesota, May 11,
1858; Oregon, February 14, 1859, Kansas, Jan. 29, 1861; West Virginia, June
19, 1863; Nevada, October 31, 1864; Nebraska, March 1, 1867; Colorado, August
1, 1876; North Dakota, November 3, 1889; South Dakota, November 3, 1889;
Montana, November 8, 1889; Washington, Nov. 11, 1889; Idaho, July 3, 1890;
Wyoming, July 10, 1890; Utah, January 4, 1896; Oklahoma, November 16, 1907;
New Mexico, January 6, 1912; Arizona, February 14, 1912.
* * *
RAVAGES OF THE ANTI-MASONIC MOVEMENT
the Anti-Masonic movement prove as disastrous to Masonic lodges as we are
often told it did ? or do our Masonic orators sometimes exaggerate a little in
telling about it?
"The Anti-Masonic Movement" by Brother Emery B. Gibbs, in THE BUILDER,
December 1918, page 341. Meanwhile you will care to read of the experience of
one state in that devastating time. The Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New
York for 1860 contain a paragraph that speaks for itself: the "tornado"
referred to was the Anti-Masonic Movement.
the commencement of the present century there were 91 lodges, with a
membership of about 5000, in a population of 588,603. This was the era of
Livingston, Morton, Hoffman, Astor, Jay and Van Wyck. In 1810 the lodges had
increased to 172, with a membership of 8600, in a population of 961,888. In
1820 there were 295 lodges (numbered to 128), and a membership of 15,000 in a
population of 1,312,812. This decade witnessed the tornado which swept over
the States, so that in 1830 the number of lodges, which in 1825 had run up to
480, with a membership of over 20,000 was but 82, and a reliable membership
was scarcely exceeding 3000, in a population of 1,918,131. In 1840 the
institution began to exhibit symptoms of resuscitation, and brethren awakened
from the blight and persecution of the ten preceding years as from a terrible
dream. The number of lodges then was 79, - 22 in New York, and 27 in 14
counties west of the Hudson River, with but about 5000 members, in a
population of 2,428,921. The increase was slow, but steady, to the year 1850,
when there were 172 lodges in the three Grand Lodges then existing, with about
12,000 members, and the population of the State then was 3,097,304. At the
present time (1860) there are 432 working lodges (numbered to 477), and a
membership of over 30,000 and the population is computed at about 4,000,000.
It will thus be seen that the ratio was in 1800 one to every 117 inhabitants;
in 1810 one to 111; in 1820 one to 91; 1825, one to 80; 1830, one to 637;
1840, one to 485; 1850, one to 258; and in 1860, one to 133; and it should be
borne in mind that there are computed to be in the State 5000 unaffiliated
Masona, who are recognized as such, making the ratio now to be one to every
114 inhabitants - a state of prosperity fully equalling that of the best days
of the Fraternity."
* * *
MASONIC FUNERAL CUSTOMS
Masonic funerals and elsewhere there is a custom of crossing or folding the
arms over the breast. Where did this custom originate and is there any special
reason for the left hand or arm being over the right ? L. E. L., Nebraska.
for the last point in your query it may well be that the left hand or arm is
held uppermost for the reason that in all the more general systems of
symbolism the left hand is held to be unlucky, or weak, or the sign of
surrender, or the indication of death. In Latin the word "sinister," which
means extreme bad luck, originally meant "left hand." In placing the left hand
over the right it may be that the triumph of weakness and death over life and
strength is thus indicated. The only attempt at an interpretation of this
symbolical act as a whole known to us is that given in an essay on "The
Funeral Rites and Service of Masons" by the Hon. Charles Scott, which was
published in The Freemasons' Magazine for April 1860, and which we hope some
day to republish in THE BUILDER:
funeral grand honors are given in the following manner: 'Both arms are crossed
on the breast, the left uppermost, and the open palms of the hands sharply
striking the shoulders; they are then raised above the head, the palms
striking each other, and then made to fall smartly upon the thighs. This is
repeated three times, and as there are three blows given, each time, namely,
on the breast, on the palms of the hand, and on the thighs, making nine
concussions in all, the grand honors are technically said to be given 'by
three times three.' On the occasion of funerals, each one of these honors is
accompanied with the word 'Alas,' audibly pronounced by the brethren. It will
be observed, that in the arms folded on the breast, and palms of the hands
resting on the shoulders, there are formed two living triangles, and two sides
of a third, or lower triangle, whose base has been removed, or cut off. The
reference is striking or sublime.
next motion, or sign, is the outstretched arms, and then the palms of the
hands brought together over the head. The hour has come - death has taken
place - the ghost is given up. Each arm falls perpendicularly to its own side,
pointing to the dust, and the world of departed spirits."
BEN LEON'S MODEL OF THE TEMPLE
the wording of a communication in the October number of THE BUILDER under this
head (page 323) implies that my reply in the April issue of THE BUILDER to
N.W.J. Haydon, Ontario, was inaccurate, permit me to say that the letter from
Bro. Lionel Vibert of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, quoted by N.W.J.H., is not
an answer to the same query that was submitted to me. My Ontario brother
asked, as I recollect it, whether a model of the Temple had been exhibited in
the time of Charles II or before the Grand Lodge era, and whether there was
any evidence that it had influenced our ritual. To which I replied that the
story was absurd and that there was no such evidence.
judge that N.W.J.H., like myself, is a student who is trying to ascertain the
period when the Hiramic legend entered the "work." As the subject is of deep
interest and as Bro. Vibert refers to the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum of 1899,
Volume XII, let me quote from the article of which he speaks, which was
written by that eminent Mason, the distinguished Bro. W. J. Chetwode Crawley,
whose work from beginning to end threw so much light upon the history of the
Craft. This is the opening paragraph:
is not a little remarkable that the two cardinal epochs in English Freemasonry
were associated with the appearance in London of Models of the Temple of
Jerusalem. At the first epoch, that of the Revival of Freemasonry, the Model
ascribed to Councillor Schott had arrived in London, and was on exhibition in
1723 and 1730. At the second epoch, when the organization of the Antients was
struggling into existence, the Model of Rabbi Jacob Jehudah Leon was on view
in 1759-60. The formed exhibition seems to have won its way to popular favor
and cannot have been without effect on the rank and file of Freemasons at the
very time when our legends were being moulded and harmonized. Much of the
outside interest in the affairs of the Craft was doubtless due to the
object-lessons presented by these popular Models of the Building to which, it
was understood, Freemasons referred their origin."
Charles II died in 1685 and as these models were exhibited in London in 1723,
1730 and 1759-60, it is quite obvious that either Bro. Vibert or I
misunderstood the question asked by N. W. J. H. Despite Bro. Crawley's
attainments as a historian and a scholar, the interest of outsiders to which
he refers shows that, when the models were exhibited, it was generally known
that Freemasons "referred their origin" to the Temple. Hence it is obvious
enough that the exhibition of the models could scarcely be said to have
influenced a fraternity that already was built, so to speak, about the Temple.
Vibert, in his letter to Bro. N.W.J.H., himself says that "the idea that there
was, therefore, some contemporary change made in the Craft ritual is one for
which there is no evidence." To quote Bro. Vibert again, "The Temple is
clearly referred to in the legend long before Charles II," and he refers to
the Cooke MS. It is that very reference in the Cooke text which convinces me
of the antiquity of the legend and will you permit me to quote just this part
of it, though it must be familiar to all readers of THE BUILDER:
the kyugis sone of Tyry was his master mason, And [in] other cronyclos hit is
seyd and in olde bokys of masonry that Salomon confirmed the charges that
David his fadir had geve to masons. And Salomon hymself taught hem [them] here
[their] manors [customs] but lityll difl!erans fro the manors that now teen
is copied from Vol. I, page 161, Clegg's Revised Mackey's History.)
just happens that the last number received from the publisher of Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum (Vol. XXXIV, 1921, page 59) has a very valuable article by Bro.
Eustace B. Beesley on the Colne manuscripts of the Old Charges, illustrated
with facsimiles. In the first of these "the kyugis sone of Tyry" of the Cooke
MS. has become "Hiram of Tickus" and in the later MS. he is "Hiram Ticku." The
senior MS. says: "And shear was one Hiram of Tickus A mason's sonne that was
Master of Geomitry and that was the chiefest of all his Masons and of all the
gravings and Carvings and of all other maner of Masonry that belonged to the
Temple the wittnes in the Bible," etc. The date of the elder of the Colne MSS.
is given in the table in Goulds "Collected Essays" (page 9) as the
seventeenth century and of the younger as eighteenth century.
Bro. Vibert's letter to Bro. N.W.J.H. he speaks of the Robert Race paper on
the Third Degree as "showing very convincingly that the degree was originally
a private play." Bro. Race's essay has certainly added great weight to the
belief of nearly all Masonic students on this point, but that play has not yet
been found, nor has the least trace of it been discovered. With all the
Masonic students of the world, however, bending their energies toward the
search, success may be achieved.
D.E.W. Williamson, Nevada.
* * *
LODGE ATTENDANCE WAS INCREASED 100%
recently received a letter requesting suggestions for the improvement of THE
BUILDER. I do not know what could be done to improve that publication as in my
judgment it answers every requirement. I am the present Master of the Lodge of
the Temple No. 110 F. & A. M., this city, and throughout this year I have
quietly endeavored to conduct a campaign of education. Ten different Masonic
speakers have addressed the lodge on various phases of Masonry. I have
delivered short speeches on the following subjects: In the Entered Apprentice
Degree, "The Lambskin Apron" and "The Masonic Lights"; in the Fellowcraft
Degree, "Boaz and Jachin, A Message in Brass," "The Legend of the Winding
Stairway" and "The Middle Chamber"; and in the Master Mason Degree, "The
have had a Past Masters' Night, A Treasurer's Night, a Secretary's Night, a
District Deputy's Night, a World War Veterans' Night and a Schoolmen's Night
and will hold a George Washington Night on November 2nd. Our Lodge has given a
reception to my predecessor in office and the class raised by him, and also
held one Open Masonic Mass Meeting. I have given to every Mason raised by me
either a copy of Newton's "Builders or Street's "Symbolism of the Three
Degrees." I have mailed to every member of my lodge a copy of Haywood's "Vest
Pocket History of Freemasonry." Our average attendance has increased more than
100% and I attribute it entirely to the educational campaign. I wish that
every member of the Lodge was a subscriber to THE BUILDER. It has been a
wonderful help to me in the preparation of the Masonic talks I have given.
There is no greater need in the Fraternity today than that of Masonic
education and I cannot too much commend THE BUILDER for its educational value.
the Master of a Masonic Lodge catches a clear conception of the dignity and
sublimity of the office he occupies and the mental, moral and spiritual
grandeur it symbolizes it makes him very humble in the throne room of his own
Howard R. Cruse, New Jersey.
* * *
CONCERNING BROTHER GABRIEL McGUIRE
have just read Brother Regennitter's letter on page 356 of THE BUILDER for
November, in which he makes inquiries concerning Brother Gabriel McGuire,
pastor of Ruggles Street Baptist Church of Boston. You might be interested to
know that Brother McGuire is well known among Masons and among members of many
other organizations in and near Boston. He is at present the pastor of a large
church in Vancouver, B. C., having gone there after a long pastorale at
Ruggles Street, Boston. He is one who will not be forgotten by any who has had
the privilege of his acquaintance.
Lincoln K. Drake, Massachusetts.
* * *
ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO PROFESSOR PHlLADELPHEUS
refer back to my article entitled "Further Notes on the Eleusinian Mysteries"
which appeared on page 133 of THE BUILDER for May? In preparing that article I
wrote to the Museum at Athens to ask for photographs of sculptures suitable
for this particular article. The Curator believed that none of the photographs
or picture cards kept in stock for public sale would be suitable for my
purposes, therefore he went to the trouble to have some original photographs
made. I believe that this may be of interest to your readers. Also, I should
like to make this public acknowledgment - all the more sincere for the delay
occasioned - of the kindness of Professor Alexander Philadelpheus, Curator of
the Archaeological Institute of Athens.
N.W.J. Haydon, Ontario.
* * *
MORE RESEARCH SOCIETIES
list in the November issue of THE BUILDER, pp. 353-4, lacks two very important
publishing research organizations, viz.:
Manchester Association for Masonic Research: Secretary, Chas. P. Noar, 50
Murray Street, Higher Broughton, Manchester, England.
Masters and Past Masters Lodge No. 130 Christchurch: Secretary, S. Clifton
Bingham, P. O. Box 235, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Berolzheimer, New York.
* * *
WORSHIPFUL MASTER AT TWENTY-THREE
the October issue of THE BUILDER you published an item under the heading of
"Young Worshipful Master." I believe I can mention the youngest in the
country. On July 4th, 1922, Brother Chas. H. Owens was installed Worshipful
Master of Hurtsboro, Lodge No. 346, Hurtsboro, Ala. Bro. Owens was
twenty-three years old at that time.
L. Borom, Georgia.
are all at work in our new quarters, full sails set, ready to travel fast and
far. Drop in for a visit when coming this way.
* * *
cover is lithographed by the stone method. Changing a stone takes time. This
accounts for the fact that the January cover continued to locate us Anamosa.
Auf Wiedersehen, Anamosa!
* * *
impossible for me to reply personally to all the letters that have come in
about "The Visitant." Many thanks, kind friends. The poems are now being
published in book form.
* * *
shall be one hundred months old in April next. The event will be signalized by
a special number - very special.
* * *
Brother Jacob Hugo Tatsch has a penchant for Masonic book plates and is now
preparing an article on the same. If you possess such a thing please send him
copies, care THE BUILDER, stating the name of the designer, date and any other
facts of interest.
* * *
"Chapters of Masonic History" begins in The Study Club Department next month.
We should have a lot of fun with this series.
* * *
Brother Fred Wm. Powell, an old-time Middlesex man, but. now a resident of
Willmot, Minnesota, has called attention to two errors in the November issue.
"Hertfordshire" is misspelled at top of page 354. On page 356 it is said that
"Mrs. Irene S. Eggleston was chosen in 1810," etc.: this is a manifest error.
Will Brother John Kyllingsted of Mississippi correct this for us? Thanks,
Brother Powell, you have a sharp eye.
* * *
wish I was a rock
A-sittin' on a hill,
just a-sittin' still.
wouldn't eat, I wouldn't sleep,
wouldn't even wash.
just sit there 10,000 years
rest myself, b'gosh.
was written by some inspired soul who felt as we did after moving.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE AND EXCHANGE
are constantly receiving inquiries from readers as to where they may obtain
publications on Freemasonry and kindred subjects which are not offered in our
Book List printed on the back cover of THE BUILDER.
Titles which cannot be readily procured through our American and European
connections will be printed in this column, thus enabling readers having
copies to dispose of them if they so desire. Inquirers are requested to state
what prices they are willing to pay, for we are frequently able to obtain
books at reasonable prices which might be sold out if we were first obliged to
have the price approved by the prospective purchaser. Such figures will be
considered confidential and will not be published.
also hoped - and expected - that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic
works will communicate the fact to THE BUILDER for the benefit of Masonic
Postoffice addresses 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 are supplied.
ease does THE BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications
thus bought, sold, exchanged or borrowed.
Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 1 to 11, inclusive; "One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata," C. A.
Brockway; "Cryptic Masonry," Mackey; "Cryptic Rite" and "History of F.M. in
Canada," J. Ross Robertson; "Migration of Symbols," Goblet d'Alviella; "Ante
Room Talks," A. F. Bloomer; "Stellar Astronomy and Masonic Astronomy," Robt.
H. Brown; Freemason's Manual," Jeremiah How; "English Guilds," Toulmin Smith.
Bro. George A. Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All Kinds of Masonic
literature in Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
Bro. N.W.J. Haydon, 564 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "The Beautiful
Necessity," and "Architecture and Democracy," by Claude Bragdon.
Bro. Frank R. Johnson, 306 East 10th Street, Kansas City, Ho.: "The Year
Book," published by the Masonic Constellations, containing the history of the
Grand Council, R. & S. M., of Missouri.
the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids,
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. "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," volumes 1 to 5; "Quatuor
Coronati Antigrapha," volumes 1, 2, and 8; "Caementaria Hibernica," 3 parts,
also part 2 separately W. J. Chetwode Crawley; any books by Hughan, Gould,
Sadler and early American Masonic writers.
Bro. D. D. Berolzheimer, 334 Fourth Ave., New York, N. Y.: Any Proceedings or
Books of Constitution prior to 1840 of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of New York;
also any miscellaneous publications St. John's Grand Lodge and Phillips Grand
Lodge, New York.
the National Masonic Research Society, 2920 First Avenue East, Cedar Rapids,
Iowa: See back cover of this issue for special announcements; January, 1923,
issue contains list on inside back cover.
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
Aim of this Society is to uphold the principles of Freemasonry, first, by
conducting and encouraging original investigation into the history, philosophy
arid symbolism of the Craft, and secondly, by assisting to diffuse a better
understanding of those principles among Masons everywhere. It exists to
promote Masonic Fellowship, to encourage Masonic study and to make the lore of
the Craft available to every student. Its Journal, "THE BUILDER," offering a
forum for frank, free and fraternal discussion of every possible aspect of
Masonry, is a prerogative of membership, and subscription for one year is
included in the annual dues, which are payable in advance.
undersigned, a Master Mason in good standing
in.............................Lodge No. ............
located at............................(City) ............................
(State) under the Jurisdiction of the
Lodge of ............................ desires to be recognized as a member of
Masonic Research Society, such membership to include subscription to THE
beginning with the issue for
. (Month) 192
Amount Enclosed, $
Annual Dues: U. S. and Possessions, Canada, Cuba
Mexico, $2.50; Foreign, $3.00.
and No. or P. O. Box ............................
CAREFULLY SELECTED BOOKS
publication and distribution of Masonic books is one of the manifold
activities of the National Masonic Research Society. The books herein
described are part of an extensive list to be issued during the coming months.
BOOKS BY ROSCOE POUND, LL.D.
Carter Professor of Jurisprudence, Harvard University
Deputy Grand Master of Masons
PHILOSOPHY OF MASONRY
interesting and eminently practical book consists of five lectures on Preston,
Krause, Oliver, Pike and "A Twentieth Century Masonic Philosophy: The Relation
of Masonry to Civilization." These lectures were delivered before the Harvard
Chapter of the Acacia Fraternity, and reprinted from THE BUILDER in response
to numerous requests for them in compact form. Readers who wish to pursue the
subject further will be aided by the bibliography appended to each lecture.
(See Study Club article on page 55, this issue.) Printed on heavy paper,
substantially bound in blue buckram, 92 pages and index $1.25, postpaid.
LECTURES ON MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE
subject skillfully discussed in this book is one that often perplexes and
confuses students. Masonic Jurisprudence differs in many respects from civil
law and customs. Brother Pound treats the subject in five chapters under "Data
of Masonic Jurisprudence," the "Landmarks;" "Masonic Common Law" and "Masonic
Law Making." This is a book which especially should in the hands of Lodge
officers" and those who are interested in the peculiar customs of the Craft. A
comprehensive index adds to the value of the work. Heavy paper, buckram, 112
pages $1.50, postpaid.
VEST POCKET HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY
Haywood. (Special prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation
purposes.) Single copies $.25
MORMONISM AND MASONRY
Goodwin, Grand Secretary of Utah. Printed for the Society by the Grand Lodge
of Utah. A fascinating story of a little known chapter in the history of
American Masonry. Paper binding, 38 pages $.25
AN ENTERED APPRENTICE OUGHT TO KNOW
Riviere. (Special prices on lot orders for 25 or more copies for presentation
purposes.) Single copies $.15
COMACINES, THEIR PREDECESSORS AND THEIR SUCCESSORS. and FURTHER NOTES ON THE
Ravenscroft. The two works in one binding, paper covers, illustrated $1.00
STORY OF OLD GLORY, THE OLDEST FLAG
Barry, P. G. M., Iowa, paper covers, illustrated. A story of the Flag and
DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
Arthur Edward Waite, with introduction by Joseph Fort Newton. A treatise on
the esoteric interpretation of Masonic lore and ceremonies. $.15
BUILDERS A STORY AND STUDY OF MASONRY
Joseph Fort Newton, former Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER, is nova the fastest
selling Masonic book in the world. It is being translated into several
languages. (Special price in lots of twelve or more copies.) Bound in
substantial blue cloth; beautifully printed. Single copies $1.75
NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
complete list of books obtainable through the Society appears on the inside
back cover of the January issue.