The Builder Magazine
February 1926 - Volume XII -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Modern Operatives and Their Claims - By BRO. C. WALTON RIPPON, LANCASHIRE,
the Northeast Corner - COMMUNICATED BY THE TUBERCULAR SANATORIUM COMMITTEE OF
Freemasonry in Kentucky - By BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio - PART I
Pulaski - By BRO. WILLIAM M. STUART
Men Who Were Masons - Pierpont Edwards - BY BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P.G.M.,
District of Columbia
Ark of the Covenant in the Light of Modern Research By Bro. Arthur C. Parker,
Ceremony of Installing a Grand Master in 1768 - By Bro. BRO. A. L. KRESS.
Associate Editor. Pennsylvania
IN A NAME?
Symbolism of the Old Catechisms - By BRO. R.J. MEEKREN
GOODNESS AND SEVERITY OF THE LAW"
FREEMASONRY AND ITS PROGRESS IN ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: WITH BRIEF
HISTORY OF THE GRAND LODGE, F. & A. M., OF GEORGIA 1786‑1925
TORQUEMADA AND THE SPANISH INQUISITION
LITERARY GENIUS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
ADDRESS By BRO. TOLER R. WHITE, Arizona
QUESTION BOX and CORRESPONDENCE
SUPPRESSION OF CHARGES OF UNMASONIC CONDUCT
DO OTHERS THINK ?
AS A SYMBOL
CIRCLE, CLUB OR GROUP?
WANTED AND FOR SALE
Modern Operatives and Their Claims
BRO. C. WALTON RIPPON, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND
very glad to present this article to readers of The Builder. Bro. Rippon is on
the same side of the controversy as Bro. Springett and we will welcome any
further defense of these claims. If all that can be said for them is brought
together, our readers will be able to judge for themselves.
two articles by the editor in the November and December issues of THE BUILDER
are hardly just to the memories and reputations of these English Masons of
repute in their own country, and contain some discrepancies. On page 332 we
are told that Stretton was a "north of England Civil Engineer," and on page
367 that "he was apprenticed in a large engineering works in the north of
England" and "was not apprenticed as a stone mason but as an engineer." Now
Leicester is in the the north of England and Stretton's life work was done in
the neighborhood of that town.
civil engineer in England is not necessarily, and in many instances is not in
fact, a practical mechanical engineer; he lays the "track" or designs the
canal on which the other runs his trains or propels his boats. In a paper read
at Lodge 2429, Leicester, on the 4th of January, 1910, Stretton says:
October, 1866, when 16 years of age? I was articled, at my own request to a
Civil Engineer, a premium being paid for my training. Part of the instruction
was to have a month's practical work with stone masons in a stoneyard.
the following May the writer and five other 'premium apprentices were sent to
a stone mason's quarry and yard."
various practical jokes had been played on them and 15 /(about $3.50) gratuity
or footing money handed to the leading craftsman, who threw it on the ground
with the remark "Freemasons don't drink Cowan's money," they were advised by a
foreman to leave the yard. The owner said to the boys, "They [the workmen]
don't want your money, and if you wish to learn anything about Masons' work,
you'd better join the Worshipful Society of Free Masons."
first step towards obtaining membership was to fill up a form of application,
a copy of which he gives. This being completed was posted up at the door of
the stoneyard and the candidates were in due time advised to attend on the
following Friday at High Twelve [noon], bringing no valuables and only
sufficient money to pay the fees. The routine was divided under the following
to become a member.
CONSULTATION with the Superintendent.
APPLICATION to the Super-intendent; form filled up and handed in.
NOMINATION; proposed, seconded, and supported by five other members.
CONSIDERATION by the officials.
COMMUNICATION of provisional acceptance.
APPLICATION at NO. 1 StoneYard at High Twelve.
EXAMINATION by Surgeon.
INTERROGATION as to age, Character, and trade knowledge.
FREEDOM to follow at the end of Seven Years.
the end of the month's training in the stoneyard, as arranged with the
employer, we had to terminate our time, and there seemed no way of obtaining
release from the seven years' bond. It was explained that we were bound for
seven years, and that period we must serve, but as there was at that time
insufficient work in the yard, we must be placed on the 'Journey list,' and
travel the country, taking a job where we could find one, and making
application to any 'Free Masons' Arms' in case of distress. We were sworn as
'Journeymen,' paid our fees, and were bound over to return to the yard, to be
'made Free' at the conclusion of the seven years.
inn-keeper of every Free Masons' Arms was sworn as a 'Serving Brother,' so
that 'at certain intervals' he could enter the lodgehis wife was also sworn as
a 'Mason's Dame,' so that she could serve in the lodge as a waitress when
required. She might act as nurse to any Mason who was ill, or had met with an
accident, and her conduct was specially provided for in her 'oath.' "
second paper read at the meeting of the same lodge, Sept. 25, 1911, stretton
published the forms of application covering the degrees above the Fellowcraft,
those of the two earlier being set out in the first mentioned paper.
oath in the First Degree provides for branding with the mark of a traitor,
being "throatalled," and after the mention of twenty-four hours goes on "so
that my soul have no rest by night or by day." The traitor's mark was derived
from the scythe, to be mown down from right to left against the sun, and thus
to go against El Shaddai is fatal. The double-ended scythe was the branding
mark of the traitor, and this was cut on both cheeks. If you take the marks on
both cheeks and Cross them you form a reversed Swastika; going against the
sun. The Operative tradition teaches that unless a body be properly buried in
peace, with the proper Ceremony according to the rank of the Mason, that the
soul will have no rest by night or by day; and this has always been regarded
as a terrible punishment for any Mason.
late W. Bro. Dr. Carr also furnishes a paper the lodge meeting March 25, 1912.
In this he speaks of the neck cord or C--T--being removed when the candidate
is "made free." In the Second Degree he received an additional sign in which
he represented the Sq--L--& P-R--. In a paper given to the Lancashire College
of the Societas Rosicruciana Anglia in November, 1912, W. Bro. Carr says:
amounts to a practical certainty, that in the Ritual of the Operative Free
Masons existing today, we have the same Ritual as that which existed among the
operatives two centuries ago, and from which the Speculative Ritual was then
derived. The evidence in favor of this view seems so accumulative, and so
increasingly weighty, that it amounts to such proof as would accepted by an
average man, in the conduct of his own business affairs, and the ordinary
matters of daily life."
my knowledge of Dr. Carr, after working with him in several degrees up to the
time of his death, from conversations with him in his own house relative this
matter, from the photographs he showed me and the facts that he was a graduate
of an English University, a member of one of our legal schools, the Inns of
Court, a Provincial Grand Warden in the Craft and the Mark Degrees, attaining
Grand or Provincial rank in others, I say without any hesitation that he was
absolutely incapable of lending himself to any attempt to mislead his
brethren. Bro. Stretton also was Provincial Grand Warden of Leicestershire,
and President of the local Society of his professional colleagues, and any
attempt to mislead men who knew his antecedents and working life would have
been met with ridicule and exposure.
Masons like Bro. John T. Thorp and the Rev. Canon Covey-Crump (amongst others)
listen to anyone they do not hesitate to say what they think and certainly to
call attention to anything which they consider misleading. Could Stretton
sketch his operative career, giving details of every step, over a period of 42
1/2 years from his entry to his attaining the position of Solomon, before his
professional and Masonic brethren without incurring ridicule and refutation if
the whole of it were imagination and fabrication? I cannot conceive of the
writer of the article to which Bro. Rippon takes exception desires to say how
reluctant he was to express the opinion that the evidence he has been able to
collect seems to indicate that Bro. Stretton may have been the originator of
the Modern Operative Society and their Rituals; more especially as latter was
now unable to reply for himself. But the question has much more than a
personal aspect. Masonic history has suffered too much in the past from the
fogs and mists of fable invention, to make students willing to allow a new
myth to be created. It follows that these claims should be thoroughly
criticised before they become a tradition. It is a fact that no documentary
evidence has yet been presented to indicate that the Operative Society had any
existence prior to the time that Bro. Stretton told us about it.
writer would also like to thank Bro. Rippon for his correction of a very
careless blunder. His own knowledge of England is almost entirely confined to
the part south of the Thames and in writing he loosely thought of all the rest
as north, forgetting that the "North of England" has a quite definite
geographical delimitation. The term "gentleman apprentice" was also rather
loosely used. "Premium apprentice" or perhaps "indentured apprentice" would be
the proper terms to be applied, the other is a colloquial expression current
among the workmen--at least in the South of England.--Ed.]
the Northeast Corner
COMMUNICATED BY THE TUBERCULAR SANATORIUM COMMITTEE OF NEW MEXICO
letter accompanying this article Bro. R. J. Newton, Secretary of the Committee
says: “ . . . The brethren here believe that we must prove the need for the
work the new Sanatoria Association proposes to do by facts and figures and by
citations of specific cases. I am frank to admit that the situation is worse
than I believed it to be and I think that the publication of such ‘case
histories’ as I found in the files of the El Paso Relief Bureau and Temple
Lodge Albuquerque, will be a revelation to the Fraternity …. “ And what Bro
Newton had told us personally some months ago was bad enough.
MASONRY takes care of its own." That is the Masonic tradition.
to the legend of the fidelity of the Master Builder stands the deeply grounded
belief that a Mason, in distress, will always be succored by his brethren.
believe it. The profane world believes it more strongly than Masons
themselves. And the women believe it even more implicitly than the men.
their faith well‑founded ? Certainly the teachings of the Craft for some
centuries have stressed the duty of fraternal aid and assistance to the
brother in need - but are these teachings put into practice ? Were they in the
past? If so, is Masonry of today less mindful of its duties and obligations?
is an age of doubt, of scepticism, of challenge. No existing institution is
free of criticism, or will escape the hammer of the iconoclast. Political
doctrines, religious dogma, forms of government, the claims of science, every
institution of man, and even that Book itself which has been the inspiration
and guide of millions must stand the acid test, must answer the question,
"What is your real value, your practical and net worth, to the world of men
today?" That net worth will, in time, be determined. The thought or thing, no
matter what it be, that does not measure up to the practical and spiritual
needs of mankind will be discarded, junked and thrown upon the scrap heap of
the world. That which is good in it may be used again in another form, but the
thing itself will pass from the sight and sound of men.
Masonry, like all other institutions, cannot escape this inquisition. Thinking
Masons realize that we are now undergoing the judgment. It is not a judgment
of the profane world, but rather is it a trial by members of the Fraternity
itself, who seek to know if we are meeting our obligations, to the world, to
each other and to ourselves. They are asking if we practice that which we
preach and if not, why not?
Mason can bring an indictment against the Craft and prove that it is
delinquent in its duties. But no Mason can truthfully say that Masonry is
doing all that it can do and all that it should do to make the highway of the
world a smoother, straighter road for men to travel and to make this a safer,
saner, happier world for our children. It has often been said that we can
prove anything by the Bible. So we can prove by examples of practical charity,
or by failure to do acts of humanity, that Masonry is perfect, or imperfect.
That it meets its obligations, or that it fails to do so.
National Tuberculosis Association has made several estimates of the number of
tuberculous Masons in America in the last few years. With a
tuberculosis death rate of 141 per 100,000 living men, over 20 years of age,
any group of 3,000,000 would suffer an annual loss of 4,230 lives. This does
not include such tuberculosis deaths as are ascribed to other causes. If there
are nine living cases to every death as estimated by the National Tuberculosis
Association, then there are nearly 40,000 living cases of tuberculosis needing
treatment in America today.
thousands of consumptives go West every year, in the belief that the climate
of that semi‑arid region will arrest their disease, and that many of them
become in time charges upon public charity, in whole or in part, has been
proven by investigations of the United States Public Health Service and the
National Tuberculosis Association. That this migration is increasing has also
been proven by an investigation made this year by the National Tuberculosis
Association. That there are many Masons among these unfortunate sick has been
shown by two incomplete investigations of the Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Commission of the Grand Lodges of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, and by the
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Committee of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, acting
alone. Masonic relief workers of El Paso have recently estimated that there
are 600 non‑resident sick Masons in that city and Albuquerque Masons have
listed 200 cases. Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Antonio
and the smaller cities and towns have their share.
of our Northern and Eastern brethren have said that the sick should not go
West because there are plenty of hospital beds in the North and East for them.
This statement is not entirely correct for only five states, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island have a sufficient number
of hospital beds for consumptives, according to the standard of the National
Tuberculosis Association, of one hospital bed for every annual death from
tuberculosis. But the following states, in the order named, furnish half of
the migration of consumptives to the Southwest: Illinois, New York, Missouri,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and
Minnesota. Only two of these states have adequate hospital facilities, New
York and Minnesota, and New York is second in the number of tuberculosis
migrants to the West. As a Past Grand Master of New Mexico said, "The North
and East may have the hospital beds, but we have the hospital patients."
repetition of figures can convince Masons and Masonry of the number and needs
of the sick as strongly as the citation of actual cases. One man killed before
your eyes is more shocking to you than to read of a thousand killed in battle.
For the information of the Craft there is submitted a limited number of "case
histories" of brethren all of whom are, or were, victims of tuberculosis and
health‑seekers in the Southwest. These are not selected because they are worse
than others. They are typical of many. These are but a few of the known cases.
This issue of THE BUILDER could be filled, if the space were at our disposal,
with similar histories of Masonic "lungers" and what happened to them when
they took their stand in the northeast corner of the Southwest, waiting. Some
of them still wait - but many waited in vain.
is the challenge to American Freemasonry today. By the way we meet it will the
world and three million Freemasons determine if the Craft has the vision and
talent for spiritual leadership which can make it the greatest force for good
in America in the years to come, or if we shall some day read upon the walls
of our Temples, "Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting."
you one of these members of our Grand Lodge of Sorrow, what would be your
verdict? Would you say that "Masonry always takes care of its own?" Consider
some of these cases and try to put yourself in their place.
MAN BRANDED AS FAKER
No. 2. Grand Lodge of Scotland. Claimed he was shipped to Albuquerque by
Masonic Relief Association, Cincinnati. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, expended
$66.09 on brother for relief and advised home lodge and asked for refund of
this amount. After nearly a year the home lodge replied: "It is not customary
for us, when advancing relief, to reclaim it from the applicant's mother
lodge. It is with reluctance that we came to the conclusion some time ago that
we warn the Relief Associations in America from advancing money to this
brother, as he has now traveled over a considerable part of the states and
obtained relief rather freely." All of which may be true but the fact remained
that the brother was consumptive and was accepted as such for admission by the
U. S. Public Health Service and sent to Ft. Bayard Hospital. Receiving no
compensation, had no money and no clothing fit to wear. The Sojourners' Club,
Ft. Bayard, outfitted him with clothing and gave him small amount of cash.
CURE ' PROMISED - COST HIS LIFE
No. 10. Grand Lodge of Kansas. Applied for help within short time after
arrival at Albuquerque. Confined to bed at cheap hotel with bad cold. Had
funds for ten days only. Temple body, Albuquerque, arranged for treatment in
sanatorium for $70 monthly and wrote home lodge asking them if they would pay
expense. If not, would they pay brother's transportation home? They agreed to
pay for return home and to try to get him into tuberculosis hospital there.
Brother then refused to go home because a doctor had guaranteed to cure him in
three months. Home lodge agreed to pay him $50 monthly for three months.
Patient planned to take small cottage with another sick man and "batch" it.
Died suddenly within three weeks. Home lodge paid extra expense incident to
final illness. Buried at Albuquerque.
GAVE $250 - MASONS GAVE $50
No. 16. Grand Lodge of Arkansas. Anthony Lodge, No. 48, New Mexico, wired and
wrote home lodge about brother's need of hospitalization. Brother was living
with farmer 40 miles from El Paso, very sick and having slow hemorrhages. Hard
pressed for money. Anthony Lodge "got no satisfaction" from home lodge
secretary, but it is believed that as a result of these communications home
lodge asked El Paso Relief Bureau to investigate patient's condition. Previous
to this the secretary of home lodge had drawn on the brother for the amount of
his dues and he was very much worried about his inability to pay and feared
suspension. After receiving Relief Bureau report dues were remitted and lodge
contributed $50 for hospital care. The patient's home lodge of Elks
contributed $250 for hospital expense. Patient died in hospital.
WILL PAY FOR WINTER’S STAY?
No. 30. Grand Lodge of Illinois. Applied for aid shortly after coming to
Albuquerque, stating that his home lodge was helping him some. Needed medical
attention. Examination was secured for him and three months' rest ordered.
Money advanced for food and lodging by Temple Lodge which was reimbursed by
home lodge, which also advised, "Do not know what we will be able to do for
Bro. ___ I am sure that he should stay there (Albuquerque) this winter, if
possible, but our lodge is out of funds and the members have been caring for
him out of our pockets but so many of the members do not live around here and
lots of them poor that it is uphill work to keep him going, however we are
going to do the best we can. He is worthy but has spent all his means on a
sick sister who died with the same trouble and he cannot help himself."
SMALL SON IN DEADLY DANGER
No. 34. Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, found brother
quite sick living in two‑room shack with no one but thirteen‑year‑old son to
care for him. Son also worked long hours in grocery store to support father.
Brother had been sick for several years and had never had proper care. Was in
serious condition, shack filthy and patient had not had a bath for six weeks.
No chance for recovery and boy endangered because of dirt and filth and poor
nourishment. Brother placed in Methodist Sanatorium at reduced rate and home
lodge notified. They had been helping out of lodge funds and contributions.
Assistance also given by Masonic Home Board of Oklahoma. Brother is steadily
improving and has chance for recovery if can be kept in institution for
TAX‑PAYERS TAXED FOR NON‑RESIDENT SICK
No. 39. Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Wife of brother applied to Relief Bureau, El
Paso, for help. Brother unable to ‑work and she was needed at home to care for
him and three children. Emergency relief given and home lodge asked to
contribute $25 monthly for support of family. Secretary at once sent $25 and
promised to bring case before lodge for action. Home lodge refunded money
advanced for emergency relief and sent additional $25. Later wife fell and
broke both arms which made bad matters worse. Home lodge took up collection
for brother and appointed committee to visit his (blood) brothers to seek
their help. Later family became practically destitute due to brother's
inability to work and home lodge gave further assistance and named a committee
to take case up with Grand Lodge. Wife later got job in store leaving sick man
to care for three children. Some little help given by his family. Finally
Relief Bureau appealed to Grand Lodge of Louisiana for help reciting all the
facts and giving two‑year history of family. At this time they were about to
be evicted and it was necessary to put father in county hospital, children in
a home and the mother was then able to take care of herself. Another appeal to
home lodge brought $47. The brother died in hospital and his family had his
body returned for burial, although the wife and children remained in El Paso.
It developed that two other brothers of this patient were patients at the
county hospital for some time before and during his illness. El Paso County
tax‑payers and citizens were taking care of three men from another state,
whose relatives were able to pay to have body of one of them shipped home for
WORK WITH LIGHTER PAY
No. 41. Grand Lodge of Michigan. Home lodge forwarded $50 to Temple Lodge,
Albuquerque, and asked for investigation and report on this brother who seemed
to be in pretty good condition but troubled with pleurisy which made it
impossible to do heavy work. He had secured light work at $10 per week which
will help in his support.
A TEMPLE - CAN'T HELP SICK BROTHER
No. 45. Grand Lodge of Tennessee. Home lodge requested El Paso Relief Bureau
to make investigation of physical and financial condition. Brother found to be
better than formerly, but in debt for living and medical expenses about $120
with $4 on hand. Emergency relief given and home lodge notified that he would
need $50 monthly for at least six months. Second letter required to get
answer. Secretary replied, "I was instructed to send Bro. $10 each month to
help pay his expenses. We would like to do more but we are under a very heavy
expense just now, in fact for the next ten years, we have just about completed
our new Temple at a cost of nearly $60,000 and we have borrowed quite a great
deal of this and of course we have to pay this back in monthly payments and
just can't pay out very much other than this. We have two more brethren in a
hospital and keeping up several charity cases."
BUREAU HELPED - HOME LODGE REFUNDED
No. 48. Grand Lodge of Ontario, Canada. Brother, a health‑seeker, applied for
and received help from Relief Bureau, El Paso, while seeking employment which
was difficult to find. Total of $78.92 advanced him and reported to home lodge
which made a refund of same.
APPEALED FOR HELP - WIRED ANSWER "COLLECT"
No. 50. Grand Lodge of Georgia. This brothel. wife and babies, living with and
supported by ` brother‑in‑law, who was not a Mason, but a consumptive himself
and a health‑seeker. Entire income of family of 13, $100 monthly. Brother's
wife sufferer from asthma; baby sick and all children down with measles at one
time. Living in three‑room cottage and all children endangered because of two
consumptives living in crowded quarters with them. Six months' old baby found
by physicians to be tuberculous, due entirely to close association with sick
father. Appeal made to home lodge for relief by El Paso Relief Bureau
absolutely disregarded. No attention paid to telegrams. Finally home lodge
secretary replied to Bureau's appeal for assistance and sent the reply.
"Collect." Later secretary wrote claiming that sick man who was unable to work
and was being supported by a consumptive brother‑in‑law and had no income, was
supporting relatives back home, therefore needed no help for himself. Relief
Bureau again fully explained circumstances but still no help forthcoming.
Bureau finally made appeal to Grand Lodge of Georgia to compel home lodge to
do something for sick brother. No help secured. Brother and his wife then
placed in County Hospital and after some time he is able to do some light
work. The brother‑in‑law died of tuberculosis and this brother is now helping
his family in addition to trying to support his own.
LODGES WERE LIKE THIS ONE
No. 53. Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Brother applied for help to Relief
Bureau, El Paso, which was given and refunded by home lodge. Secretary said,
"Our lodge is interested in his welfare and is anxious that he recover his
health and have his family join him so that they may enjoy life together
again. The fraternity in El Paso are away ahead of us here in the east in
having that Employment and Relief Bureau as we have nothing of the sort here."
TO EAST WILL COST HIS LIFE
No. 57. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Investigation made by Temple body,
Albuquerque, at request of home lodge disclosed fact that brother quite sick
and unable to work. Wife working half‑day. Selling jewelry to get money needed
for living expense. Brother wishes to go back east to secure funds to live on
in New Mexico, but this would mean speedy end for him. Facts reported to home
BROTHER TO SUFFER OR WANT
No. 59. Grand Lodge of Indiana. Brother had been living in small New Mexico
town but came to El Paso hoping to secure light work and to live cheaper.
Voice almost gone and unable to work, apparently would not be able to for some
time to come. Sister was sending him $25 monthly and expenses $50 to $60. Home
lodge asked by Relief Bureau to contribute balance of support. Home lodge
secretary replied that they had been helping the brother and sent small check
for emergency relief and promised to take up with lodge. "We certainly do not
wish any of our membership to suffer or want.”
Brother came into office of Bureau with three cents, entire cash on hand the
day this check arrived. Later got $30 from sister and asked Bureau to hold
lodge check until needed. Lodge made him monthly allowance of $25 and their
support had much to do with his improved condition. Later brother went to
Tuscon, Arizona, for the winter but asked that his monthly remittances be sent
through Relief Bureau. Came back to El Paso in spring as his throat was giving
him trouble. Relief Bureau helped him get needed clothing.
sister was compelled to quit work to care for a bed‑ridden mother and could
send him no more money. Facts reported to home lodge. Patient has failed in
last few months and throat is worse. Relief Bureau wrote, "Brother is still
holding up his head and making a fight that certainly wins the admiration of
all with whom he comes in contact." Returned home much against home lodge's
wishes to help take care of folks.
MONTHS CARE MIGHT HAVE SAVED HIM
No. 62. Grand Lodge of Virginia. Home lodge requested investigation of
brother's physical and financial condition, which was made by El Paso Relief
Bureau. Brother in need of care for next six months or would have complete
breakdown. Trying to work but unable to hold permanent job. Wife entered
hospital to complete course as nurse. Home lodge advanced $50 for emergency
IS MASONIC CHARITY.” MORE NEEDED
No. 63. Grand Lodge of Ohio. Home lodge had been helping brother for three or
four years. He was trying to make a living by carrying papers with help of
14‑year‑old son. As he grew worse, was unable to continue all of his route and
became involved in debt to employers account using collections to pay living
expenses. Home lodge paid up indebtedness to publishers and advanced $25,
making total of $800 they had given this brother. Inquired as to amount needed
to care for him. Advised that wife and boy working, but nurse needed for few
months as brother was sinking and death expected soon. This expense was paid
and when brother died $500 was paid by the Widows' and Orphans' Fund, the home
lodge secretary having paid this brother's dues to save this insurance for his
widow and child. Masonic funeral given in El Paso and Relief Bureau aided
widow in collection and investment of insurance money. Widow retains her
position and boy is carrying paper route. Home lodge wrote, "This lodge is
very grateful for the wonderful service you have rendered. It shows that El
Paso has a Relief Bureau that is a real organization and that is a credit to
the Fraternity." Home lodge also requested special attention to the son of
COLLECTION NECESSARY TO HELP SICK BROTHER
No. 66. Grand Lodge of Nebraska. Brother patient at Methodist Sanatorium and
applied for help as his means were exhausted. Had been sick for four years.
Said that he had been main support of father and mother until he broke down
and that they were now helping him. Asked for help from home lodge. Temple
Lodge, Albuquerque, wrote them and they replied that they had been helping
him, and had contributed $100 to return him to Southwest after he had come
home on a visit. Prior to that had been making monthly contributions, amount
not stated. Secretary reported lodge had no funds now but would take up a
collection at next meeting and would ask Grand Lodge to aid, which aid was
NOT TO HELP A SICK; BROTHER
No. 69. Grand Lodge, District of Columbia. Wealthy home lodge sent this
brother to Albuquerque apparently with no restriction on his expense account
and he proceeded to abuse their generosity and charity by extravagant living,
contracting bills for unnecessary things and calling upon them for
considerable sums from time to time. Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, endeavored to
restrict him and to induce home lodge to do so. Their attitude is shown by the
statement, "We do not want you to run out of funds or be obliged to call on
resources other than ours." Probably expended $2,000 on this brother who did
not show proper appreciation of their fraternal interest.
ABANDONED BY HOME LODGE AND GRAND LODGE - DIES
No. 71. Grand Lodge of _____ (name withheld). Home lodge sent this brother to
Albuquerque at their expense July 3, 1922, and requested Temple Lodge to "look
after his welfare" and "advance him such pecuniary assistance as may be
necessary," which they would refund, such assistance to continue until advised
otherwise. Temple Lodge placed brother in Presbyterian Sanatorium and complied
with request of home lodge in every way, sending bills and statements for
expenses, reporting brother's condition. In September, 1922, brother was moved
to a private boarding house and physician dismissed in order to reduce
expenses. On Nov. 8, 1922, home lodge advised Temple Lodge that they would be
compelled to discontinue paying any further sum for expenses incurred by the
are of the opinion that a lodge ought to extend temporary relief to members,
but we do not think that the Order could be expected to keep a member
permanently, in feet it would be impossible for most lodges to do so, and if
it was done in one ease it would create a precedent that would be difficult to
continue." The home lodge also notified the brother that their support would
Lodge then asked the Grand Secretary of New Mexico to take up with the Grand
Lodge of _____ the matter of securing further aid for this brother who had
been shipped to New Mexico by his home lodge and then abandoned to the care of
Temple Lodge. This appeal was made just prior to the 1922 meeting of the Grand
Lodge of (name withheld) and was considered by the Grand Lodge at its annual
communication and resulted in the adoption of the following: "Your committee
are of the opinion that each lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction should look
after its own indigent members to the best of their ability, and it is not
incumbent upon this Grand Lodge to dictate to a subordinate lodge as to how it
should disburse its Charity fund, so long as such lodge does not repudiate any
just obligations made by the lodge. And that as this Grand Lodge has no
charity fund of its own, there is no way to take care of any ease of this
nature, except by placing such brother in the Old Folks' Home. We therefore
offer the following: Resolve, That Grand Sec. be authorized to forward a copy
of the above to the Grand Sec. Of New Mexico and that no further action be
taken by this Grand Lodge."
Pending action on this appeal to the Grand Lodge of ______, Temple Lodge
continued to care for this brother. On Jan. 1, 1923, the Grand Secretary of
______ advised the Grand Secretary of New Mexico of this action, which he
promptly reported to Temple Lodge. Final action in this case is covered in a
letter from Temple Lodge to the home lodge which shipped the brother to
the meantime (Nov. 6 to Jan. 2) Bro. ______ was here without funds and was
unable to leave his room to try to make arrangements for his support. In feet
from the date that he received your letter stating that you would not be
responsible for any further expenses on his behalf, he went from bad to worse.
His doctor advised us that it was impossible for him to aid Bro. in his
recovery if he continued in the same state of mind, that of utter despondency.
could not possibly have complied with your instructions and set this brother
adrift to shift for himself in his condition. We felt that we were duty bound,
in the name of humanity if for no other reason, to take care of him. This we
did until he asked that we send him home before he died, as he felt that he
could not last but a short time here, under the existing circumstances."
two months after the receipt of this letter the home lodge reimbursed Temple
Lodge $232.94 balance of money expended on this brother.
STANDING BY THEIR SICK BROTHER
No. 74. Grand Lodge of Iowa. Disabled ex-service man receiving $100 monthly
compensation. Wife employed and getting along nicely until wife contracted
pneumonia, baby became sick and brother had to undergo minor operation, all of
which resulted in indebtedness of over $400. Home lodge advanced $300, to pay
bills, which with discounts secured by Temple Lodge, Albuquerque, reduced
indebtedness to about $50. Home lodge asked to be kept advised as to brother's
condition and future needs.
MASONRY HELPS FAMILY OF DECEASED BROTHER
No. 76. Grand Lodge of Mississippi. Step‑son of a brother who died in 1913,
sick with tuberculosis in El Paso. Wife and niece also tuberculous. An
ex-service man drawing small compensation which was temporarily held up for
some reason and family in want. Mother came to Relief Bureau with watch fob,
Masonic emblem with name and number of lodge thereon, only evidence of dead
step‑father's Masonic connection. Relief Bureau advanced $10 for emergency
relief and wrote home lodge which reported records destroyed in 1914. Relief
Bureau then wrote Grand Secretary of Mississippi who replied that father died
in 1913, in good standing. Home lodge and Grand Lodge then co‑operated in
advancing $100. Young man died in very short time thereafter but this money
helped very much in last days of illness. Wife will receive pension of $30
monthly. Wife returned home to Mississippi. Mother and niece now under care of
PATIENT PAYING BACK MONEY LOANED
No. 80. Grand Lodge of Texas. Brother working for the railroad and becoming
unable to continue was placed in Hotel Dieu. Mother came to El Paso as boy was
to undergo operation. Family unable to bear extra expense and home lodge
appealed to advanced $100. Operation successful and patient improved. Home
lodge contributed additional $50 to take care of further expense. Patient had
to come back to hospital twice at later dates. The home lodge advanced him
money directly and he is reported to be paying back money advanced.
No. 86. Grand Chapter of Alabama. Applied for relief to Masonic Bureau, El
Paso. Claimed he wrote home Chapter several times, without reply. Bureau wrote
Chapter for help. Commandery remitted dues and advised that they were in very
bad financial condition. After several months, Chapter sent $10 and wrote that
it was all they could do at present and all that had been authorized. "Will
ask the Chapter to assist him to the limit, but the Chapter meant nothing to
him before he was taken sick and now that he is unable to work it is the first
Order he calls upon." The Chapter had been advised that the Companion was
unable to work account of his illness.
SAW CHILD S PICTURE BEFORE DEATH
No. 91. Grand Lodge of Missouri. Brother very ill and later died of
tuberculosis in El Paso. Only request was for a picture of his little girl and
Relief Bureau asked lodge in town where divorced wife lived to get one from
her. After some difficulty with former wife picture secured and sent but came
after his death. Relief Bureau attended to all details of funeral and assisted
members of family who came to him just before he died. Home lodge wrote, "This
lodge thanks you sincerely for the kind treatment given our late brother in
his last illness and the splendid service given to his family."
INSURANCE PAID - PROTECTED WIDOW
No. 99. Grand Lodge of Louisiana. Brother very ill at Government hospital and
wife came to El Paso to be with him before death. Needed money to pay life
insurance for wife's protection after death and to help pay for her expenses
while with him. Home lodge sent $100 at once. Brother died and Relicts Bureau
took care of all details of shipment of body and care of widow.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE M.S.A.
Committee of the Masonic Service Association co-operated with a similar
committee of the New Mexico Grand Lodge in an investigation of the condition
of tuberculous Masons in the Southwest. A report of the work, which has not
yet been completed, was made to the recent Chicago meeting of the Masonic
Service Association and considerable time was given to the consideration of
this Masonic relief problem. The Association adopted resolutions, recognizing
the seriousness of the problem, and endorsed the National Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatoria Association as the proper agency to administer relief. An appeal was
authorized to all Grand Jurisdictions for funds for the organization work of
the Sanatoria Association. The first response to this appeal was made by the
Grand Lodge of Texas, which contributed $1,000 for development of this Masonic
"Freemasonry interferes neither with religion nor politics, but has for its
foundation the great basic principles of the Fatherhood of God and the
Brotherhood of Man; therefore, no Atheist can be a Freemason. It strives to
teach a man the duty he owes to God, his neighbor, and himself. It inculcates
the practice of all virtues and makes an extensive use of symbolism in its
Freemasonry in Kentucky
BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio
INTRODUCED in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by sturdy pioneer
settlers to a wilderness country, the territorial part of Virginia long the
favorite hunting grounds of northern Indian tribes, the story of Freemasonry
in Kentucky forms what is probably the most interesting and colorful account
of any Grand Lodge Jurisdiction in the United States. Beginning with first
settlement, virtually every step of the early history and progress of the
State seems linked with the Fraternity. While much has been written of general
historical nature, but little, strangely enough with such a fertile field in
which to labor, has ever appeared in the latter connection, and nothing at all
of its Masonic story during years of settlement preceding the formation of its
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge. This last is due, case of so many other Grand
Jurisdictions, to the loss of early records, where any were kept, and
adherence to "Ancient" Constitutions which imposed the utmost secrecy upon the
Craft, and forbade any secret code or written record of whatever nature under
penalty of expulsion. To this latter provision the Masons in Kentucky have
steadily seemed to cling. It was not until more than a half century after a
Grand Lodge had been established that the first, and last, extensive account
of Freemasonry in the State was compiled and published by Rob. Morris when he
served as Grand Master in 1858. This was a monumental work of facts carefully
gathered and authenticated through years of laborious research, and much of
the following was drawn from this source. Inasmuch as in pioneer days there
was a necessary relation between civil and political conditions of a country
and its Masonic history (and none more so than in Kentucky) it is thought
proper to first set forth certain facts relative to the early settlement and
progress of the State.
middle of the eighteenth century Christopher Gist, intrepid backwoodsman and
pathfinder, was sent out by a group of Virginians who had formed a land buying
enterprise known as the Ohio Company, to explore the country west of the
Allegheny Mountains. Descending the Ohio River in the face of great dangers he
made examination of this wild but beautiful region as far as the Falls, where
later Louisville was built. Then swinging southward he returned by circuitous
route through the wonderful Blue Grass country and virgin forests of Kentucky.
Moved by his wondrous tales of discovery several other adventurous spirits
made trips westward during the next two decades and explored the territory to
the east, north and south. Chief among them were Daniel Boone and Simon
Kenton, the most celebrated Indian fighters and pioneers of the eighteenth
century. From the year 1775 settlement of the country began and by 1779 the
little hamlets of Harrodsburg, Boonesboro, Limestone (Maysville), Louisville
and Lexington had been established as well as several scattered trading
through these and subsequent years there was much fighting of a desperate
character with the Indians of the north, who, angered at the invasion of their
"happy hunting grounds" by the whites, watched every cabin and conducted
numerous raids upon the settlements and stations, killing and scalping men,
women and children, driving off stock and burning their cabins until the
territory became known as the "dark and bloody ground." History records that
between the years 1777 and 1782 many fierce an d bloody battles were fought,
in which members of the Craft participated; the Kentuckians in every instance
being overwhelmingly outnumbered, but often inflicting severe punishment upon
their savage foe. The greatest disaster occurring to the settlers was in 1782,
when after a force of 500 Canadians and Indians led by Simon Girty, a renegade
white, had unsuccessfully laid siege to Bryan's Stations, a force of one
hundred and eighty-two Kentuckians who had set out in pursuit was ambushed and
badly defeated at the Blue Licks with a loss of a third killed and several
taken prisoners. For some time, however, General George Rogers Clark,
Kentucky's most noted hero, had in retaliation been conducting raids against
the tribes to the north destroying crops and laying waste their towns. After a
final expedition to the Miami towns of the Ohio country in 1782, following the
Battle of the Blue Licks, no large body of Indians ever again invaded
Kentucky. Many minor but bloody conflicts were fought in the territory from
1788 to 1793, when roving bands of savages again swooped down upon isolated
stations and cabins and took further toll of settlers' lives. History
estimates that in the nearly twenty years of terror and bloodshed at least
1,000 were slain and many carried away into captivity. Undoubtedly the
greatest dangers, hardships and vicissitudes ever known to pioneer existence
were undergone by these early emigrants in the "dark and bloody ground," who
could look for no assistance from the colonies, engaged as they were in the
War of Independence, and perforce fought a lone fight.
the close of the Revolution in the spring of 1783 ensued a rush of emigration
from beyond the Alleghenies and the eastern half of the territory soon became
quite settled. Plans were laid as early as the following year for a separation
from Virginia, the Mother country, and the formation of a state. For various
reasons it was not until June 1, 1792, however, that the independence of
Kentucky was won and a state born, the first in the Mississippi Valley, with
Colonel Isaac Shelby, hero of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War, as
beginning of this decade furious fighting had again broken out with the
Indians who, driven from Kentucky, conducted similar warfare against the
settlers in the Ohio and Indian Territories. With the scenes of battle now
shifted northward large forces of Kentuckians led by General Charles Scott, a
hard two-fisted fighter of the Revolution, participated with militia and
regular troops in the several ensuing engagements. A crushing defeat
administered to the enemy at Fallen Timbers, Toledo, Ohio, in 1794 by the army
of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, assisted by 2,600 mounted volunteers from
Kentucky under Scott, finally brought an end to savage warfare in this
what part Freemasonry played throughout these trying times has never become
known but it is believed not to have been a negligible one. No records from
those early days in Kentucky have ever come to light nor is it thought any
were kept in a period when "Silence and circumspection" were Masonic virtues
practiced much more literally than now. Whether Daniel Boone was a Mason has
often been debated. From the fact that in 1845 there was a turnout of Masons
in full regalia who participated in the ceremonies attending the re-interment
of his remains at Frankfort; that the Grand Lodge of Kentucky later
contributed $50 toward the erection of a monument in that city; and further,
that several lodges in the state have been named in his honor; conclusions
might be drawn that he most probably was a member of the Craft, but like so
many of the old-time brethren never stated or left record of his affiliation.
Unofficial information is at hand that General George Rogers Clark held
membership in the Order. A Virginian by birth he came to Kentucky with the
first settlers in 1775, moved there a year later and became famous in the
Indian wars which followed. He was a brother of William Clark, a noted
explorer, who with Merriweather Lewis in 1803 set out to cross the Rockies and
became the first American to view the Pacific Ocean. Both William Clark and
Merriweather Lewis were Masons. That General Wayne held membership in the
Fraternity is recorded in Masonic history. General Scott was born in Virginia
and coming to the Blue Grass country in 1785 soon became prominently
identified with its history and affairs, serving as Governor of the state from
1808 to 1812. In Peters' Masons as Makers of America Scott is listed with the
many others of Washington's generals who were enrolled in the Craft. It is
also believed that Colonel Isaac Shelby first Governor of Kentucky, was a
Mason like so many of the early pioneers of the West; but as in case of Clark
this has not been definitely established.
and by whom Freemason was first brought to Kentucky will likely never become
known. Even such an indefatigable student as Rob. Morris was unable to unearth
anything of a definite nature in years of research. Assuredly, however, it had
its introduction with earliest settlement and was thereafter no longer to be
confined in scope to the long strip of land east of the Alleghenies. In the
beautiful language of Morris:
emigrant whose slow moving wagon surmounted those barriers brought some
knowledge of Masonry from the east to the west, some family tradition, some
incident of a charitable character to relate to his children when they should
arrive at their wildwood home; and this was the germ which was to expand into
a great stock. Many came from Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and
Connecticut possessed of light and knowledge of the Institution. Among their
scanty books were to be found the 'Ahiman Rezon' of Pennsylvania or one of the
various editions of Dermott or Anderson; and when they were set down amid the
cheerlessness of the forests far from the pleasant influences of schools and
churches and the social gatherings of their former homes, what wonder that
thoughts of their old Masonic homes, of fraternal circles at labor and at
refreshment possessed their minds with the keenest desire! What wonder that
the faintest suggestion of the establishment of a lodge within ten, or twenty
or thirty miles of the log cabins was hailed with ardor, or that signature and
influence and open purse were offered unreservedly to perfect the idea! Such
elongations of the Masonic cable-tow were rarely witnessed as those displayed
by the emigrant Masons in the 'dark and bloody ground,' thirsting for the
'social joy' connected with the 'great design'.'
the pioneer brethren who felt the need of that fraternal society and
friendship to which they had been accustomed and was not to be afforded by
their isolated position in the wilderness were those residing in or near
Lexington Town. As early as 1785 a little band of eight settlers from this
vicinity began planning the erection of Masonic Lodge. In consequence a
petition was later forthcoming to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Virginia
praying that a charter be granted to organize a lodge. This in due time was
favorably acted upon and a warrant issued these brethren under date of Nov.
17, 1788, to form Lexington Lodge, No. 25, naming Colonel Richard Clough
Anderson as first Worshipful Master. Colonel Anderson, a Virginian and
distinguished soldier of the Revolution, was a brother-in-law of General
George Rogers Clark, having married the latter's sister. With the arrival of
this charter candles were set aglow in a little log structure and sent their
flickering rays into the gloom of the wilderness, the first Great Lights of
Masonry to be erected in the western country. The next lodge to become
established was at Paris by virtue of an authority emanating from the same
source under date of Nov. 25, 1791, which was styled Paris Lodge, No. 35. Then
after a lapse of several years came the constitution of Georgetown Lodge, No.
46, on Nov. 29, 1796, at Georgetown; Hiram Lodge, No. 57, on Dec. 11, 1799, at
Frankfort, and Ahraham's Lodge at Shelbyville, under dispensation in the year
1800 and later known as Solomon's Lodge, No. 5. The warrants or other
authority for the formation of these last three lodges likewise were of
other pioneer states of the early West the first legislators and principal
public officers of Kentucky were nearly all of the Craft. Indeed, the first
appointments of Governor Shelby for Fayette County, wherein was erected
Lexington Town, were exclusively of Masons. Silent testimonial of the
influence of Masonry in those days is perhaps to be noted in the Seal of the
State. This shows within a circle two figures' standing with hands clasped in
an attitude of Brotherly Love. Further, what appears to be the letter "G" is
to be seen in the inscription at either end of the words "United We
Stand--Divided We Fall," a most appropriate and fitting motto for this state.
the close of the eighteenth century in view of the long and tedious journey
entailing attendance upon the Grand Lodge meetings in the Mother Jurisdiction,
the seats of the Kentucky lodges and that of the Grand Lodge of Virginia being
more than 700 miles apart and the fact that the Grand Charity Fund could not
be extended to any brother or Mason's family in the State nor could the work
of the lodges be inspected by the Grand Master for this reason, it was deemed
expedient by the brethren of Lexington Lodge that in order to promote the
welfare of the Craft a Grand Lodge be formed in Kentucky. Invitations were
accordingly sent the other four lodges and a meeting arranged to take place on
Sept. 8, 1800, in Masons' Hall Lexington, each lodge to be represented by its
delegates. These assembled on this date and an organization was effected with
John Hawkins as Chairman of the Convention and Thomas Bodley, Clerk.
Resolutions were then passed by the fifteen brethren present that a Grand
Lodge be established in the State and that a respectful address to the parent
body in Virginia be drafted setting forth the several reasons actuating the
lodges in seeking separation from its jurisdiction.
1800, representatives from the five lodges met in the same place for the
purpose of opening a Grand Lodge and holding its First Grand Communication;
James Morrison of Lexington Lodge, as the oldest Past Master present, taking
the chair and appointing temporary officers. After charters or dispensations
had been surrendered and the credentials of all approved, an election of
officers was held. As a result the following were chosen as the first Grand
Officers of the newly-formed governing body and installed in due and ancient
form: William Murray, Master of Hiram Lodge, Grand Master; Alex. Macgregor,
Master of Lexington Lodge, Deputy Grand Master; Simon Adams, Master of
Abraham's Lodge, Grand Senior Warden; Carey L. Clark, Past Master of
Georgetown Lodge, Grand Junior Warden; James Russell, Grand Secretary; John A.
Seitz, Grand Treasurer; Thomas Hughes, Grand Senior Deacon; Nathaniel
Williams, Grand Junior Deacon; Samuel Shepard, Grand Pursuivant, and John
Bobbs, Grand Tyler. Next the "Ancient" Constitutions and By-Laws of Virginia
were adopted for use until such time as regulations for the government of
Kentucky lodges could be prepared. These Constitutions had been used by the
Virginia brethren since 1792 and were virtually the "Ahiman Rezon" of Lawrence
Dermott, the celebrated Irish Mason and leader of the group which seceded from
the Grand Lodge of England after its organization and formed the so-called
Ancient Grand Lodge. (1) The five lodges were then numbered according to the
dates on their respective authorities ranking thereafter in the order named:
Lexington Lodge, No. 1, Paris Lodge, No. 2, Georgetown Lodge, No. 3, Hiram
Lodge, No. 4, and Solomon's Lodge, No. 5. Until one of its own could be
designed, the seal of Lexington Lodge was adopted as the official seal of the
newly-formed Grand Body. In the absence of parchment or vellum for the proper
execution of new charters it was directed that written forms of authority be
prepared on paper, to remain in effect until more formal charters could be
issued. To cite an instance of the delay and inconvenience to which the
pioneers of those early days were subjected it was ten years before the
parchment warrant of Lexington Lodge was received. A committee was then
appointed to address each Grand Lodge in the country and inform them of the
organization of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the reasons therefor. With the
confirming of these proceedings by those present they were subscribed by the
newly-elected Grand Officers and this epoch-making session came to a close.
The Grand Lodge of Virginia later approved the action of the Craft in Kentucky
in withdrawing from its jurisdiction, her reply being received some time in
the year following and read in Grand Lodge at the session of October, 1801.
William Murray, first Grand Master, was Attorney General of Kentucky when
elected to this exalted station and has been followed in that office by many
men who were prominent in affairs of State and Nation. It was William Murray
who generously donated to Lexington Lodge the lot whereon to build "Masons'
under the circumstances and in manner related was born the Most Worshipful
Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Kentucky, formed at a
time when but half of the state was settled, and that still little better than
a wilderness; while all that territory lying west and north of the Green River
was yet an unbroken forest. Though all the five lodges within the confines of
the state shared in its inception, yet upon Lexington Lodge, No. 1, devolves
the credit and honor of having suggested and taken the initiative in the
establishment of a ruling body of the Craft; the first in the country west of
the Allegheny Mountains. From its very beginning some of the most
distinguished citizens of the Blue Grass state were included in its personnel.
These lent their able assistance in the development of the new Grand Lodge and
in the safe guidance of its destinies throughout later troublous years.
each constituent lodge contributed its share of intellect none had a larger
representation, or a more conspicuous part in its affairs, than Lexington
Lodge. Especially was this so in earlier years, for of the thirteen Grand
Masters who served for varying terms from 1800 to 1820 eight were numbered
among its members, comprising some of the brightest stars in the Masonic
firmament of Kentucky: James Morrison, John Jordan, Jr., George W. Bibb,
Joseph Hamilton Daviess, Daniel Bradford, Thomas Bodley, Samuel H. Woodson and
Henry Clay. This old lodge has enjoyed an uninterrupted existence for nearly
140 years and is today one of the most thriving bodies in the state, its
membership from the little handful which began labor in 1788 having grown to
approximately 700. Of the other four lodges all are still upon the Grand Lodge
Roster with the exception of Georgetown Lodge, No. 3, whose charter was
forfeited in 1804.
is only fair to say that many competent scholars have come to the conclusion
that the "Ancient" Grand Lodge was not formed by seceders from the Grand Lodge
of 1717, but by independent or "St. John's" lodges which had never been
connected with it. [Ed.]
BRO. WILLIAM M. STUART
the distinguished foreigners, Masons as well as soldiers, who aided mightily
in the American Revolution, not the least was Count Casimir Pulaski, a native
of the province of Lithuania in Poland. Count Pulaski was educated for the
law, but fate ordained that he should be a soldier. The internal troubles of
Poland led, in 1769, to a rebellion against King Stanislaus, and in this
insurrection both Count Casimir and his father, the old count, were concerned.
Eventually Casimir's father was captured and executed. The next year Count
Pulaski was elected commander-in-chief of the rebel army, but was unable to
gather a sufficient force to make headway with his cause.
conceived a desperate undertaking. It was no less than a plan to seize the
king, place him at the head of the troops by force and thus, with royalty as a
figure head, rally a sufficient number of fighters to beat back the army that
Catherine of Russia had dispatched to invade Poland. In conformity with this
hazardous plan, forty young men, of whom Count Pulaski was one, entered Warsaw
disguised as peasants. For a time fortune favored the adventurers. Meeting the
equipage of the king in the street, they stopped it, took hence His Majesty
and conveyed him in safety without the walls of the city. But here the hue and
cry became too hot for them; they were forced to abandon their royal prey and
make their escape.
soon after this abortive attempt Pulaski's force was defeated, his estates
were confiscated, himself outlawed. Thereupon he entered the service of the
Turks. Eventually he went to Paris and, the war of American Independence now
being on, had an interview with Benjamin Franklin. Through the influence of
Poor Richard, Count Pulaski was induced to come to America and cast in his
fortune with the struggling patriots. This was in 1777.
PULASKI COMES TO AMERICA
Whether Masonry had anything to do with Pulaski's meeting Dr. Franklin and the
ensuing result is not now known, at least to the writer. It is, however, a
rather remarkable fact that a majority of the foreign soldiers whom Franklin
influenced to take up our cause were of the Ancient Craft. Franklin's Masonic
status is too known to need exposition. To Washington and Congress Franklin
recommended Count Pulaski an officer famous throughout Europe for his bravery
and conduct in defense of the liberties of his country against Russia, Austria
time, however, there was no command offered this distinguished officer, as
Congress, to use an apt phrase, was "getting rather fed up" on foreign
soldiers of fortune. Hence for the present he was content to serve as a
gentleman volunteer with the light horse. In this capacity he fought in the
bloody Battle of Brandywine and distinguished himself for his bravery,
approaching to foolhardiness. More than once he rode up to pistol shot
distance of enemy's line to reconnoitrer.
Battle of Brandywine was remarkable, if for no other reason than that
Washington, with a poorly equipped and largely untrained army of eleven
thousand troops, fought, without being annihilated, an enemy, perfectly
appointed and drilled, numbering over eighteen thousand men. And although
Washington was outflanked and had part of his army crushed, the result was
little less than a drawn battle for the patriots, owing to the resolute stand
and splendid fighting of the division commanded by Bro. Nathalliel Greene.
Washington now recommended to Congress that Count Pulaski be commissioned a
brigadier-general and placed in command of the cavalry. "This gentleman," said
Washington, "has been, like us, engaged in defending the liberty and
independence of his country, and has sacrificed his fortune to his zeal for
those objects. He derived from hence a title to our respect that ought to
operate in his favor as far as the good of the service will permit."
Congress was not slow in adopting the suggestion of the commander-in-chief. At
the onfall of Germantown, where the American army, confused by a heavy fog,
retreated in the very moment of victory, the count again won honors by his
steady conduct in covering with his cavalry the retreat of two divisions of
PULASKI'S LEGION AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS
months after the Battle of Germantown, Count Pulaski resigned his command and
asked of Congress authority to raise an independent corps, to consist of a
troop of horse, sixty-eight in number, together with two hundred foot. This
authority was granted and "Pulaski's Legion," as it was presently called, was
raised in 1778, chiefly among the better families of Baltimore. Many of the
officers, though, were foreigners.
Numerous stories have been told concerning the horsemanship of the count. Says
Lossing: "It is related that, among other feats, that daring horseman would
sometimes, while his steed was under full gallop, discharge his pistol, throw
it in the air, catch it by the barrel, and then hurl it in front as if at an
enemy. Without checking the speed of his horse, he would take one foot from
the stirrup and, bending over toward the ground, recover his pistol and wheel
into line with as much precision as if he had been engaged in nothing but the
management of the animal." Anyone who has witnessed the justly famous "monkey
drill" of the regular cavalry in the American army of the present can not help
but speculate as to whether this mode of rough riding did not originate in the
days of Pulaski.
General Lafayette had been wounded in the Battle of Brandywine and for a time
was under the care of the Moravian nuns of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. While in
the hospital at this place he was visited by Count Pulaski. Learning of the
presence of the distinguished foreigner, the nuns of the Moravian order
prepared for him a beautiful banner of crimson silk, richly embroidered with
intricate needlework. It was twenty inches square and intended to be attached
to a lance when borne in battle.
Although the youthful Lafayette was not a Mason at this time, being later
raised in a military lodge, it is supposed that the Count was a member of the
Order when he came to America. Whether he was consulted as to the design on
the banner we do not know; but certain it is that on one side is a Masonic
design; being no less than the All-Seeing Eye enclosed by a triangle.
Longfellow has written a poem concerning this famous banner, the last two
verses of which read:
thy banner. But when night
round the ghastly fight,
vanquished warrior bow,
him--by our holy vow;
prayers and many tears;
mercy that endears;
him--he our love hath shared;
him--as thou wouldst be spared.
thy banner; and, if e'er
should'st press the soldier's bier,
the muffled drum should beat
tread of mournful feet
the crimson flag shall be
Martial cloak and shroud for thee.
the warrior took that banner proud,
was his martial cloak and shroud."
spring of 1778 the British launched an expedition against Little Egg Harbor on
the Jersey Coast, a rendezvous for American privateers. The invading force
comprised three hundred regulars and a large number of Loyalist volunteers;
the whole being under the command of Captain Patrick Ferguson, a talented
officer who was to meet his death at the Battle of King's Mountain later in
the war, as was related in the article on Nolichucky Jack in a recent number
of THE BUILDER. As the expedition was long en route, many of the privateers
received warning and put out to sea, others fled up the river to a place
called Chestnut Neck, whither they were presently followed by Ferguson. The
town and shipping were completely wrecked by the vengeful British.
the troops sent against the marauders at this time was Pulaski's Legion,
accompanied by a gun of Proctor's artillery. Unhappily, a deserter from the
legion carried word to Ferguson that the Americans were encamped but twelve
miles up the river; the infantry being quartered in three houses by
themselves, while Pulaski with the cavalry was located at some distance.
FERGUSON AND PULASKI MEET
intelligence was enough for Ferguson, enterprising soldier as he was. Taking
two hundred and fifty men, he proceeded up the river in boats and at four
o'clock the next morning approached the spot occupied by the Legion. The
oarlocks had been muffled; it was very dark. A few smouldering brands
indicated where the campfires of the previous night had been. There was no
light in the houses that loomed ghostlike and grey through the haze of early
morning as the boats neared the shore.
grated on the beach, and yet there came no hoarse challenge of sentry. Perhaps
the guards were asleep. It is possible that none had been posted; although
that would be hard to believe concerning an officer of Pulaski's stripe.
Silently Ferguson marshalled his men and led them to surround the three
houses. A sudden gruff command and the blaze and roar of a volley of musketry
were the first intimations that the sleeping Americans had concerning the
presence of the foe. Then ensued a scene of confusion worse confounded. Some
of the suddenly aroused men of the Legion thrust their muskets out of the
shattered windows and fired at random into the gloom. Others rushed from the
houses, only to be spitted like partridges on the bayonets of the British
regulars. Hoarse shouts, cheers, screams and groans, blended with the constant
banging of muskets to produce a pandemonium of horror. And so the bloody work
went on unchecked. In the official report which Captain Ferguson later made to
his superior, he says: "It being a night attack, little quarter, of course,
could be given, so there were only FIVE PRISONERS." At this moment Ferguson
was tasting the sweets of victory; but in time he was to behold men of his
command being shot down like rabbits by the infuriated mountaineers of
tumult of the conflict now roused the cavalry camp at which Count Pulaski was
personally located. Through the foggy dawn came the wailing of a bugle,
followed soon by the pounding of hoofs and the cries of charging dragoons.
Hastily collecting his men, Ferguson embarked and succeeded in getting well
out into the stream before the cavalry arrived. There was much random firing,
but the British were safe. All that remained for the horsemen to do was to
bury fifty men of the infantry who had been butchered. Among the dead were two
officers of foreign birth. During the winter of 1778-79 Count Pulaski with
his Legion was stationed at Minisink. This was one oldest settlements in
Orange County, New York; dating back as far as 1669. It was located between
the sites of the present towns of Goshen and Port Jervis, among the Shawangunk
Mountains. In February, 1779, Pulaski was ordered to join General Lincoln's
army in the South, and this left the Minisink region without the protection of
Thayendanegea, the famous Mohawk chief, commonly known as Joseph Brant, was
not long in seizing the opportunity thus presented. At the head of a
considerable force he invaded the country round about Port Jervis plundered
and burned, then, upon the approach of a body of militia, retreated up the
Delaware Valley. He was overtaken near the location of the present village of
Lackawaxen and a severe battle ensued. Owing to the lack of ammunition the
Americans were finally defeated and a large number slain. Brant, who was a
Freemason, saved the life of Major Wood of Goshen when the latter
inadvertently gave a Masonic sign; not at the time being of the Order. Having
been apprized of the reason for his life being spared, the major hastened to
affiliate himself with the Craft. This was not by any means the only time
during the war that Brant recognized and honored the sign.
SAVANNAH BESIEGED BY THE CONTINENTALS
October, 1779, General Lincoln, in conjunction with the French Count D'Estaing,
laid siege to Savannah, Georgia, then occupied by General Prevost with a
British force of two thousand, eight hundred and fifty. The combined French
and American army numbered about five thousand, of which rather more than half
were French. A fierce bombardment failing to reduce the place at once,
D'Estaing urged an assault. Fearing the effect of the autumnal storms along
the coast, he wished to take his fleet away as soon as possible. Accordingly
the morning of the ninth of October was selected as the time to launch the
Unfortunately, a sergeant of one of the Charleston militia companies deserted
during the night of the eighth and divulged to Prevost the complete plan of
attack. The British general at once took measures to profit by this
information. Just before dawn on Oct. 9 the French and American armies pressed
forward through a heavy fog to the attack, under cover of a tremendous burst
British were waiting. They opened with such a devastating fire that the French
column was crushed almost at once, D'Estaing himself being wounded and borne
from the field. The Americans pressed forward and forced an entrance to a
strong position known as the Spring Hill Redoubt. Across the ditch and up the
glacis they swarmed, planted the flag on the parapet and strove valiantly to
hold what they had gained.
Against this forlorn hope the British commander massed his best troops. A
contest grim and great followed. Here fell many of the bravest. Sergeant
Jasper, the hero of Fort Moultrie, perished while carrying the flag. The line
was swept away.
PULASKI KILLED IN THE BATTLE
meantime Count Pulaski, at the head of two hundred horse, was endeavoring to
force his way into the town in another quarter. Galloping in advance of his
troops, carrying the banner that had been presented to him by the Moravian
nuns, he had crossed the ditch and abatis when he was struck by a grapeshot
and fell from his horse. His first lieutenant seized the banner, rallied the
troops and continued the charge. But the constant blazing of guns in front,
the whining grapeshot and musket balls annihilated the heads of the columns
and drove the men back in confusion. By ten o'clock the French had given up
the contest and the Continentals were retreating. The combined army lost over
eleven hundred men in the terrible assault.
of Pulaski's men found him in a great pile of dead and wounded. They bore him
from the field, still alive but mortally hurt. He was taken to an American
man-of-war and there he died. Under a large tree on St. Helen's Island, fifty
miles from Savannah, they buried him. Congress voted to erect a monument to
famous banner was given by the first lieutenant, Charles Litomiski, to Captain
Bentalon, who took the flag to Baltimore when he retired from the army.
Lossing records: "It was used in the procession that welcomed Lafayette to
that city in 1824, and was then deposited in Peale's Museum. On that occasion
it was ceremoniously received by several young ladies. Mr. Edmund Peale
presented it to the Maryland Historical Society in 1844, where it is now
carefully preserved in a glass case. But little of its former beauty remains.
It is composed of double crimson silk, now faded to a dull brownish red. The
designs on each side are embroidered with yellow silk, the letters shaded with
green. A deep green bullion fringe ornaments the edges." (Lossing wrote in
1852.) And so that courageous nobleman who lost father, estates and title in
defense of his own land, gave his life for the land of his adoption. Never did
he forfeit honor. Pulaski is a name of which both America and Masonry are
Men Who Were Masons
BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
PIERPONT EDWARDS was the son of Jonathan Edwards, the author of the famous
treatise on the Freedom of the Will that at one time had such a tremendous
influence on Protestant theology. His mother was Sarah Pierpont (or Pierrepont,
as the name is sometimes spelled), herself a daughter of a well‑known New
England Divine, the Rev. James Pierpont of New Haven, Conn.
Jonathan Edwards was minister at Northampton, Mass., when his second son, the
subject of this sketch, was born, to which charge he had succeeded on the
death of his grandfather, the Rev. Mr. Stoddard, to whom he had been
assistant. While the young Pierpont was little more than a baby his father was
dismissed from‑ his pastoral charge by the representatives of the congregation
on account of his inflexible insistence on the highest standard of admission
to the communion table. Following this he took up work at Stockbridge, Mass.,
where he engaged in missionary work among a tribe of Indians domiciled there.
As the only school available was composed of both Indian and white children
this led to Pierpont's brother, who was six years his senior, speaking the
Indian tongue as well as his own, and doubtless Pierpont himself also learned
as much of it as a child of such tender years might be expected to do, though
of this there is no definite record.
six years in the work the post of President of Princeton University was
offered to the father, and the family removed thither. Unfortunately in less
than a year he died of smallpox and was followed to the grave very shortly by
his wife, so that Pierpont and his surviving brothers and sisters were left
orphans. They, however, were not friendless and were carefully brought up.
Pierpont is believed to have received his education at Yale, though other
authorities state that he graduated at Princeton in 1768. It is possible that
he was a student at both universities. After obtaining his degree he studied
law and was admitted to the bar, and began to practice at New Haven in 1771.
He was very highly thought of as a lawyer, not only for his extensive legal
knowledge, but for his forcible and fearless advocacy of any cause that he
judged to be right
Haven he became a member of the Masonic Order, being initiated in old Hiram
Lodge, now No. 1 on the Grand Lodge roll of Connecticut, the lodge that had
among its members so many characters prominent in the War of the Revolution.
In due course he became Master, which honorable office he held for two years.
outbreak of the Revolution Pierpont took an active part. Like so many others
he joined the army, but the scanty records of the time tell us little beyond
the bare fact. Without doubt he honorably discharged all the duties that fell
to him to do. When in 1779 American Union Lodge of Morristown, N. J.,
celebrated the festival of St. John the Evangelist he is mentioned as one of
the many officers of the Revolutionary Army who were present, among whom were
Washington, Jackson, Alexander Hamilton, and also Benedict Arnold.
the War was ended and peace concluded he became interested in politics, as
every lover of his country naturally was. He was a member of the Continental
Congress and later was elected several times as representative for New Haven
in the General Assembly, and was Speaker of the House in 1789 and 1790.
Previously, in 1788, he had been a member of the Connecticut Convention at
which the Constitution of the United States was ratified. In 1806 President
Jefferson appointed him Judge of the United States Court in Connecticut, which
appointment he held until his death.
Pierpont Edwards had a very positive and courageous character, which
considering his ancestry is not to be wondered at. The son of the austere
minister who was ejected from his church by a worldly and latitudinarian
congregation, was one of the founders of the Toleration Party in Connecticut.
His advocacy of this cause roused the hostility of the Calvinists and lost him
many supporters in his political life. But this opposition to him did not
endure a great length of time, and whenever any question of importance arose
it was generally recognized that his motives were pure and unselfish, that he
loved the Commonwealth, and that he generally was on the right side. One
example of his acceptance of duty is his acting in his legal capacity as
trustee and administrator in settling the estate of Arnold after the latter
had been declared guilty of treason and had fled the country. This could not
have been a task calculated to increase his popularity among the unthinking
and showed that he was far from being a politician as the word is now
Although so active in public life he appears from stray records to have been
interested in sundry mercantile adventures. Probably he did not devote much
time or attention to these. To take a partnership in a trading voyage then was
about equivalent to buying some speculative stocks on the exchange today.
in 1783 thirteen of the old lodges in Connecticut met in Convention at New
Haven to establish some general regulations for the good of Masonry, he
represented his lodge, and was elected secretary of the Convention. He was
also chosen as one of a committee of four to act as general guardians of the
Craft in the state. All these lodges had received their warrants from the
appointed Provincial Grand Masters who derived their authority from England.
Most of them held under the Grand Lodge of the Moderns, but approximately a
third were under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. With the independence of the
United States this authority seemed to be at an end and in May, 1789, another
Convention met at Hartford to consider the formation of a Grand Lodge.
Pierpont Edwards was a delegate at this meeting, and was chosen chairman of a
committee to prepare a plan of action to submit to meetings to be held on the
following July. When the Convention re‑assembled Edwards presented the report
of his committee, which included not only a plan for the formation of a Grand
Lodge but also a Constitution for its governance. This was adopted and the
Grand Lodge was formed. On a ballot being taken for the office of Grand Master
Edwards was elected. He was re‑elected the following year, after which he was
succeeded by William Judd. He died in April, 1826, at New Haven, where he was
buried. Though not one of the well‑known figures of the Revolution he was one
of the many sincere and active patriots without whose support the more
prominent leaders would probably have failed. Local tradition says that he was
a very charitable man and detested anything in the nature of gossip. That he
was respected by his brethren in the Craft is obvious from the positions he
Ark of the Covenant in the Light of Modern Research
Bro. Arthur C. Parker, New York
READERS of The Builder will remember the most interesting and instructive
account of Indian Secret Societies and initiation ceremonies by Bro. Parker
which was reproduced in the May and June numbers for 1924. The author is the
State Archeologist of New York, which should be sufficient evidence of his
qualifications to speak on the subject discussed in the present article.
we penetrate the innermost veil of the Temple and view through the clear light
the sun, unobscured by the smoke of priestly incense, the Holy of Holies?
Ark of the Covenant is of the most interesting and important institutions
mentioned in the Hebrew scripts as these were finally codified. Its story
gives a wonderful glimpse of Hebrew religion and history. The dramatic
episodes clustering about the story of the Ark have made it a conspicuous
symbol in Freemasonry, and we find it used in certain degrees of the Scottish
Rite, no less than in the Royal Arch. Of such major importance is the Ark that
we find it displayed upon the seals and arms of almost all Grand Lodges.
Whence came this Ark, and what is its true history? Dare we ask for more light
than that commonly given in traditional explanations? If so, let us consider
the Ark in the light that actual investigation, archeological exploration, and
philological science (1) have shed, and weigh our present belief in accord
with the injunction to "prove all things".
Critical Hebrew scholars are agreed that the Hebrew word aron, translated in
our English Bible "Ark" means nothing more or less than box, coffer or chest.
Box is the accepted translation. This same word (aron) is used to describe the
coffin in which the mummy of Joseph was carried out of Egypt and into Canaan
(Gen. 1, 26; Ex. xiii, 19) and it is also used to mean collection-box, being
applied in Kings xii, 10, and 2 Chron. xxiv, 10, to mean the box provided as
the receptacle for the money offerings of the people for the repair the
this same word which is employed in Ex. xxvii, 1, ff., and we are told that
the aron here described was made from costly material by Bezaleel after the
specifications laid down by Moses (Ex. xxv, 10, ff.) after he descended from
the mountain with the second tables of the law (Ex. xxxiv, 29), but
Deuteronomy plainly tells us that Moses constructed the Ark himself, of plain
shittim wood (acacia) just before he went up to receive the tables of the
testimony in the first instance.
According to the scriptural account the Ark rested for some time at Gilgal
after the passage of the Jordan, and later was removed to Shiloh. It was from
Shiloh that the Israelites took the Ark of the Covenant in order that it might
rest in their military camp before the battle with the Philistines. To the
Israelites Yahweh militant was a war god to be invoked accordingly; but their
shouting was in vain and the Philistines captured the Ark, hoping thereby to
secure the power within it. But the scriptures relate that the enemy was
afflicted supernaturally and that they sent back the Ark in consequence, after
which it was placed in safe keeping at Kirjath-jearim. In the reign of Saul we
hear of the Ark of Nob. From Kirjath-jearim David took the Ark to the house of
Obed-edom and from thence to his palace at Zion. Finally we hear of the Ark in
the Temple of Solomon where a special sanctuary had been prepared to receive
it. Here the sacred chest remained as a central feature of the scribal
accounts of the Hebrew mysteries until the religion of Yahweh had so far
fallen into decay that the people gave themselves over to idolatry and placed
their idols in the very sanctuary itself. The priests of the Lord, unable to
endure this profanation, removed the Ark from the Temple, carting it from
place to place to preserve it from the anger of the princes. Josiah then
ordered the priests to return it to the sanctuary and leave it there. ( 2
Chron. xxxv, 3.)
ARK SAID TO HAVE BEEN CONCEALED
According to tradition, the prophet Jeremiah, before the Babylonian captivity,
foretold the national calamity, and removed the Ark to a certain cave in that
mountain which Moses ascended before his death. The priests who went with him
placed certain marks on the spot, hoping thereby to remember the hiding place;
but when the priests went back to again discover the Ark they could not find
it, and the prophet reproved them for their curiosity and proclaimed that the
spot should remain unknown until such a time as all the scattered people
should be gathered together again and reconciled.
Talmudic version differs slightly in that it relates that Solomon having had
revealed to him that the Assyrians would one day plunder the Temple and carry
away its treasure, took the Ark to an underground chamber and concealed it
there together with other sacred articles, including Aaron's rod, the pot of
manna, the priestly pectoral and the holy oil. Other Hebraists affirm that
Nebuchadnezzer took the Ark to Babylon. In the book of Esdras we read a lament
that the Ark was stolen by the Chaldeans. But all scriptures and traditions
agree that the Ark never reappeared in the second Temple.
Hebrew traditions relate that no one save Moses shall discover the Ark, but at
the second resurrection (and here we quote st. Epiphanius) "the Ark shall be
raised and come forth out of the rock, it shall be placed on Mount sinai, and
all the saints shall be assembled about it, waiting for the Lord's return, and
endeavoring to defend themselves from the enemy who would take it. Jeremiah at
the same time sealed the stone [where the Ark was hidden] writing with his own
finger the name of God upon the place, in like manner as if it had been cut
with iron. From this moment a dark cloud spread over the name of God and has
kept it concealed to this very day, so that no one has been able to discover
the place or read the Divine name. This cloud appears every night with great
brightness over the cave, to show, as it were, that the glory of God does not
forsake His Law. And the rock, before mentioned, lies between two mountains
where Moses and Aaron died."
Mohammedans have distinct traditions of the Ark and relate that within it are
the shoes that Moses pulled off when he communed with God (Ex. iii, 5). They
inform us that the Ark was given to Adam by God and that it passed through the
hands of the patriarch down to Moses to whom it was given as the dwelling box
of the God. They tell us that the Israelites bore it before them in battle
because the power within it blew as a strong wind and fiercely, so that the
enemy was completely overcome.
CHESTS USED IN OTHER RELIGIONS
Children of Israel during their enforced sojourn in Egypt became familiar with
the sacred arks and chests of the Egyptians and long before Moses is reputed
to have enclosed the tables of the law in the Ark of the Covenant, he had seen
arks and holy coffers in the temples of Egypt. They came out of the land of
their captivity quite familiar with the idea of arks with cherubim and
seraphim and mystical contents. One has only to view the inscriptions and wall
paintings of the Nile land to see what the Israelites had in mind when their
Ark was made. Those of Egyptian origin were phallic in nature and contained
among other things the symbols of generation and fertility. To them the great
mystery of life and its origin, and the mysterious elements in nature that
contributed to produce or generate life were sacred things to be venerated by
the highest religious rites. Thus, a flowering rod or a male animal symbolized
the father principle in nature, while an egg, a pot of "manna" or a vase
typified the mother principle. Let us pause to view the well-known "Ark of
Phile" where we see amid emblems of male and female life an ark or chest borne
upon a lunar boat carried by priests with solemn ceremony. This ark shows the
cherubim and seraph in the same attitude as depicted or carved in
representations of the Jewish ark. Over the Ark of Ph is the winged sun with
uraei (representations of the sacred serpent) which the Jews modified to the
shini cloud in which Yahweh manifested himself, and was metaphorically called
in more than one eastern tong the "Sun of Righteousness." Despite all the
attempts of the prophets the Jews never totally escaped from the influence of
their Egyptian teachings, and orientalists have no difficulty in finding in
the scriptures references to the constant leaning of Hebrew thought toward
Egyptian doctrines, symbols and mysteries. Thus did the Israelites come out of
Egypt with a distinct picture of a holy ark or box in mind, and in their
belief their welfare was bound up with its safety. (2)
long before the Egyptian captivity the tribes Israel and their cognate kinsmen
have been familiar with the arks of Babylon and Assyria. These also were
phallic and bore the symbols of the lingam and yoni -- the male and the female
principles in nature. In many of the Babylonian and Assyrian sculptures we may
see winged figures, sometimes priests and sometimes eagle-headed men, gathered
on opposite sides of a representation of a sacred grove or altar. These winged
priests or angels (seraphim and cherubim) hold in their right hands the cones
of the male palm and in their left small hand bags, in which the cones, no
doubt, had been kept. These cones are directed toward the thirteen
representations of the female palm or palm flower of seven petals and the
action is that of pollenizing the flower. The tree or sacred lattice from
which these "flowers" project is the female principle, or the mystical "tree
of life." Borne upon a chest or base it becomes an arkite charm. Abraham, it
will be remembered, came out of Ur of Chaldea, and in Abraham's mind were
pictures of these Assyrian shrines. Indeed, wherever the Hebrews went, they
were never far from some sacred ark belonging to one cult or another. (3)
HEBREW TRIBES RESEMBLED THE ARABS
pre-Mosaic Hebrews were nomads with a primitive religion similar to that of
the Arabs of the deserts. Their political organization was similar. Their
culture was more like that of the nomadic Arabs than of the civilized
Phoenicians, Canaanites and Babylonians. Like the Arabians the Hebrews built
shrines of stones, or set up stones to be worshiped as gods or as the abodes
of gods. Stone worship is apparent all through the scriptures, and we find a
sacred stone or mazzebah in every sanctuary. On these stones were poured drink
offerings and they were anointed with oil. (Gen. xxv, 14.)
not strange that tablets of stone engraven with the words of the law should be
thought sacred and carried in arks as objects of veneration and that the same
phallic emblems employed by the Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians should be
associated with them. The ark idea was one deeply engrafted in the minds of
Asiatic peoples and in entering Canaan the Israelites did not escape it, for
they found arks in the temples and sanctuaries of even the heathen Canaanites.
These arks and their deities were frequently worshiped by the Israelites, and
the Yahwistic prophets are constantly rebuking them for seeking out strange
chests or arks were used by the early Greeks and Romans who, like the nations
of Asia, placed in them their sacred relics, charms and fetiches. Apuleius and
Plutarch describe the arks of Egypt, and Pausanias tells of the sacred ark of
the Trojans which contained all their religious mysteries and which was taken
in the siege of Troy and fell to Euripilus as his share of the booty. Nor is
this idea of a sacred ark holding emblems of heaven's promises peculiar to
Asia and the Levant, for all through the two continents of America the various
tribes of American Indians had their sacred arks or boxes, and these were
carried into battle just as was the ark of Yahweh militant by the Jews, to
give success in battle. Like the Jews they believed that the god-power within
the sacred bundle would rush out and destroy the foe, and like the Hebrews,
their arks were sometimes captured by the enemy, and as frequently brought
back because they had brought calamity to their captors.
THE HEBREWS HAVE MORE THAN ONE ARK?
the Rabbi Judah ben Laquish who flourished in the second century A. D., who
first suggests a plurality of sacred arks. He contended that there were two
arks that went with the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings. In one was
the complete tables of the law and in the other fragments of the first
tablets. More recent investigations seem not only to confirm the suppositions
of the Rabbi Judah but go far beyond in showing that there were many arks by
the Israelites and that even the carefully edited scriptures of the Hebrews
fail to eliminate all evidence of this fact. We now know that the books of the
law were written long after the prophets and that the Hexateuch is the result
of a compilation of several earlier accounts. It was Jean Astruc, a French
physician, who first called the attention of the theological world to this and
his discoveries have now been generally accepted by Biblical students. It is
shown by these that the Scriptures embrace what are known as the Elohistic and
the Jehovistic accounts, which explains the apparent differences of certain
similar accounts, as for example the sixth and seventh chapters of Genesis.
Thus arose the designations of J and E to mark the sources of the older
stories of the Bible, later augmented by the Deuteronomic code called D. Then
came the code of the Law of Holiness, H, which forms the greater part of the
Book of Leviticus. Later scribes compiled the ecclesiastical traditions and
religious teachings of the earlier time, beginning with the creation, and
running through the whole Hexateuch, which is known as P or the Priestly code.
After the captivity JEDHP were once more edited and combined to form the
Hexateuch as we have it at the present time, and it was this completed work
that was issued on the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles as recorded by
with all the careful editing received by these old documents of the Jews
certain things have not yet been erased, despite the attempts of the priests
to bend the older writings to fit the changing faith and beliefs of Israel.
With the Jewish faith the "Ark of the Covenant" became a central religious
institution, and the legends clustering about the Ark make it an object of
extraordinary prominence. It was with considerable care, therefore, that in
compiling the older codes, it was sought to eliminate all allusions implying
the existence of several arks, and the doctrine of a single holy and mystical
"Ark of the Covenant" written into the P code. This is so far apparent to the
critical student of the Hebrew language and religious writings that Professor
William R. Arnold in his "Ephod and Ark" published in the Harvard Theological
Studies (Cambridge, Mass., 1917), states:
historical ark of Yahweh was not a unique but a manifold object, attaching to
every Palestinian sanctuary that possessed a consecrated priesthood, and the
theory of a single ark corresponding to that of a single legitimate sanctuary,
is the last surviving neuteronomistic conceit in the theological science of
the present day."
ARK CALLED AN EPHOD
Reference to the other arks in the Old Testament is hidden behind the word
"ephod," which word had been consistently substituted by the scriptural
editors. We read of the ephod as a loin cloth or apron, and David is described
as wearing a linen ephod when dancing before the Lord. Again we find that in
priestly times the ephod is used to describe the ceremonial vestment of the
priest. But a third application of this word shows no relation to the former
descriptions and we find it was a solid object used in divination. In 1 Sam.
xxi, 9, we read of the sword of Goliath wrapped in a cloak lying in the
sanctuary of Nob "behind the ephod." What then is this ephod and why have the
priests substituted this word for another which they wish to blot out ? What
is the expunged word ? This word for which the "solid" ephod has been
substituted is none other than aron, an ark or chest. It is the same priestly
instrument of divination that was used all through the land of Palestine. In
substituting ephod for ark the late priestly editors sought to protect a
doctrine that had grown up and to eliminate the grosser references to the use
of the "sacred coffer."
pause for a moment to read from the original Hebrew through a careful
translation made by Dr. Arnold, professor of Hebrew at Andover Theological
Seminary, what the prophet Jeremiah himself had to say of the "box of Yahweh."
Let us remember that the Israelites were scattered and that the monarchy of
Jeroboam had been broken up. The wretched remnant of North Israel for three
generations had lived in captivity and their God had been relegated to a
position of equality with other deities invoked with pagan rites among the
sacred groves of Canaan. To these Israelites Jeremiah addresses the following
you wandering children, declares Yahweh, for I am your owner. And I will take
you one from a city, and two from a clan, and will bring you to zion and I
will give you shepherds after my own heart, and they will feed you with
knowledge and discretion. And it shall come to pass that when you increase and
multiply in the land of those days, declared Yahweh, that men will no longer
speak of the box of Yahweh nor will it enter their minds nor will they invoke
it, nor will they resort to it; neither will it be manufactured any more. (Jer.
iii, 14 - 16.)
Professor Arnold commenting on these texts says:
box of Yahweh here referred to is not an individual object but an institution.
Neither the fictional Sinaitic box of Jewish dogma nor yet the supposedly
unique historical box of Solomon's temple, was resorted to and invoked in the
days of Jeremiah by the people of North Israel. Evidently, too, the object
which the prophet has in mind has been reproduced again and again in the past
and might conceivably be multiplied indefinitely in the future, so that he
cannot be alluding to a box whose essential character consisted in its
harboring an ancestral fetich of the age of Moses. Nor should we overlook the
significant implication of the context, it is as the cherished instrument of
divine guidance that the sacred box is to be superseded by the ministrations
of prophecy. For the rest it is apparent that Jeremiah had never heard of the
fiction of 1 Kings vii, 9, regarding the Solomonic box, and that it would have
been quite foreign to his temper to sympathize with it. To his mind, the box
of Yahweh was a pagan excrescence which could not be too thoroughly
judgment of the modern student of Biblical knowledge the individual ark or
chest left in Solomon's Temple was not of such special intrinsic value as to
tempt the spoilers of the Temple, whether Shishak (1 Kings xiv, 25), Hazael (2
Kings xii, 18), Tiglathpileser (2 Kings xvi, 8), Senacherib (2 Kings xviii,
15) or Nebuchadnezzer (2 Kings xxv, 13 ff). Certainly in the elaborate catalog
of objects taken from the Temple by these raiders if the ark or chest had been
a valuable article it would have been specifically mentioned and its loss
proclaimed as a calamity. If by some chance the box survived the ravages of
four centuries of stormy Hebrew history, a thing scarcely to be expected of a
wooden box of acacia wood, housed in a damp stone building often out of
repair, it would have finally perished in the flames when the Temple was
destroyed. Very likely the Solomonic box fell into decay long before 586 B. C.
when the Israelites lost their independence. Jeremiah would scarcely have
saved it for he was not an advocate of divination by means of a sacred box but
a believer in "inspired human speech," a long step ahead in the evolution of
the Hebrew faith.
Although, it is true, that priestly divination had taken the place of the rite
of divination by means the box of Yahweh, still the priests remembered their
ancient right of bearing this box before them and the traditions of invoking
the counsel of Yahweh by its means were still current, though such invocations
were frowned upon by the prophets who now led the religious thought of the
ESTIMATE OF THE ARK CHANGED
years after the destruction of Solomon's Temple the question arose as to the
purport of the Solomonic ark about which so many traditions clustered. The box
of Yahweh had now become a dogma and the scribes to fortify these priestly
legends are believed by some modern theological critics to have deliberately
interpolated Deut. x, 5 and 1 Kings viii, 9, 21. The original accounts of the
tables of the law, according to competent authorities on the Hebrew scripture
had nothing whatever to say of a box or ark. Nor, on the other hand, did the
original stories of Solomon's Temple have anything to say about the Sinaitic
tablets. The fact that the Hexateuch was compiled long after the writings of
the prophets gave the scribes ample time to interpolate, edit and gloss the
original documents before them, and nothing is clearer than the fact that
scribal midrash has altered completely original meanings and words in the
critical student is referred to the Harvard Theological Studies III, "Ephod
and Ark, a study in the records and religion of the ancient Hebrews," by
William R. Arnold, Hitchcock Professor of Hebrew in Andover Theological
Seminary. Dr. Arnold discusses, from the original Hebrew, this most
interesting subject about which so many interesting traditions have arisen.
"Ark of the Covenant" as an actual object in the sanctuaries of Israel served
a useful purpose in the religious life of the Hebrew and directed the
attention of an ignorant and wayward people toward a Jehova (Yahweh) who was a
greater deity than man had yet conceived. And when the arks had passed out of
existence as material things the Hebrew faith took a higher and more spiritual
form. It was mistaken zeal for dogma that led the scribes and Rabbis to
interpolate and gloss their scriptures in later years and so attempt to efface
the real character of the arks or sacred boxes. That the religion of the
Hebrews should have grown out of varied beliefs in magic, in sacred charms and
in the ability of certain persons to influence the Deity for the purposes of
material gain is no impediment to the religion finally evolved. All mankind at
one time believed in magic and to a large extent still does, but that does not
detract from the fact that through painful errors, woeful mistakes and vain
invocations, man may even yet discover God, when he his seen his error and
searched aright. The story of the Hebrew faith is a story of an evolution
toward spirituality and toward a higher conception of Deity than ever held
During the past fifty years critical students of archeology, philology and
history have produced a vast array of facts relating to the early history of
the Hebrews and the evolution the Yahwistic religion of Israel. These facts
were not available to the compilers of the canonical books now comprising our
Old Testament when the council met at Nicea or Trent to determine what books
were inspired and what were not. Thus after years of critical research in
Bible lands, we of today a given a totally different perspective of many of
the institutions and doctrines of the Hebrews.
has only to attend the lectures given in any great Theological seminary or to
read the books prepared by the professors teaching in these institutions to
note that a vast change has come over the theological world with respect to
the externals of religious belief and dogma.
John P. Peters, D.D., Sc. D., Rector of St. Michael's Church, New York, and
former Professor in the Philadelphia Divinity School, in his "Religion of the
Hebrews" (1914), in discussing the ark says: "Was the Ark, then, a
modification of the Egyptian god-ship, or is it in any sense due to the
Egyptian use of ships to convey the gods from place to place? It seems to me
probable that we should recognize here Egyptian influence, and that the
Egyptian ship became among the Hebrews a box, very much as in the Hebrew flood
story the Babylonian ship became a box."
The sacred boxes or box-shrines of most oriental nations were not portable,
for, like the pre-Mosaic Hebrews, it was generally believed by the Asiatics
that the gods were localized and fix to certain spots or mountain peaks. The
use of portable arks or box-shrines as traveling dwelling places for the god
was an idea which the Hebrews developed in a special way. It was an important
link in the evolution of the God idea. With most of the Levantine peoples the
sacred box was not removed from its "holy of holies" except in emergency, or
for the purpose taking it to another shrine.
Ceremony of Installing a Grand Master in 1768
Bro. BRO. A. L. KRESS. Associate Editor. Pennsylvania
Nov. 23, 1768, John Rowe was installed as Provincial Grand Master for all of
North America at Boston, Mass. A detailed description of the ceremony was
recorded in the Grand Lodge minutes "for the direction of those who may have
the Management of such a Solemnity on any future Occasion," which may be found
in the Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1733 -
1792, pages 148-161.
brethren assembled at the hall and after the Grand Lodge was opened, Henry
Price, acting as Provincial Grand Master, proceeded to read the Duke of
Beaufort's deputation appointing John Rowe as Provincial Grand Master. The
Grand Secretary then proclaimed him to be such, the lodge signifying their
approbation "by the usual significant testimonial of Three times Three." After
a procession around the hall and a short address by Henry Price, a minister
present offered the following beautiful Masonic prayer:
PRAYER "O most Glorious and Eternal God! who art the infinitely allwise
Architect of the Universe: We thy Servants; Assembled in Solemn Grand Lodge,
would now extol thy Power and Wisdom in the Works of Creation and Providence:
Thou said let there be Light and there was Light: The Heavens opened and
declared thy Glory, and the Firmament Spangled with thy handy Work; The Sun
who Rules the Day, gave Light to the Moon; the Moon who Rules the Night, tells
to the listening Earth the surprising story of her Birth, so that there is one
Glory of the Sun, another Glory of the Moon, and one star differs from another
star in Glory, and all by most Wondrous signs and Tokens, without Voice, Sound
or Language, solemnly Proclaim Divine Mysteries. We adore thee for that
distinguishing Characteristick thou hast given of Man, being made in thine own
Image, and hast above all thy Creatures made him Lord of this lower World, and
given him a capacity to imitate thy Moral Perfections. We beseech thee to give
us thy Servants at this Time, Wisdom in all our doings, Strength of Mind in
our difficulties and the Beauty of Harmony in all our Communications with one
another: But Grant, O Lord! that thy servant now about to be Solemnly invested
with the Authority and Rule over the several Lodges in this part of the World,
may be endued with Knowledge and Wisdom to instruct and explain to us the
Mysteries of Masonry: and grant that we may understand, learn and keep all the
statutes and Commandments of the Lord, and this Holy Mystery, pure and
undefiled unto our Lives end; that Brotherly Love and Charity may always
abound among us; let this be always the Cement of our Society, each one
striving how to be most beneficial to Mankind.
when we have finished our Work here below, let our Transition from this
Earthly Tabernacle be to the Heavenly Tabernacle above, where safely Lodged
among thy Jewels, we may Shine with Thee for ever and ever.
ask all in the Name of him who stood on the Pinnacle of the Holy Temple, even
Christ Jesus, our Lord, Amen.
foregoing prayer, performed by the Revd. Brother Bass, The Grand Master Elect
standing before Solomons Chair,--and Grand Master Price at his Right hand, The
Bible open at the Gospel of St. John, the Compasses open and the Square laid
thereon all laid on the Table before the Grand Master, he proceeded to give
the following Charge to the new Grand Master:
'Right Worshipful Brother. The first and most essential requisite towards a
right conduct in the great trust you are undertaking is to study the utility
as well as to enforce the practice of all moral and social duties.
'Here sir, is the Bible, the Compass, the Square, the Level and the Plumb
Rule, the Symbols of Masonry: The first is to be the Rule and Guide of your
faith; the others are well known Instruments necessary to Builders. The
Compass teaches us Prudence and circumspection; the Square teaches us Justice
and Truth; The Level and Plumb teaches us the Equality of states, and
Uprightness of Conduct among Masons. If there be any virtue and if there be
any Praise, think on these Things.'
Grand Master Price took the Collar with the Jewel appending thereto, and put
it over the Neck of the new Grand Master, and said, 'Receive this Jewel as the
Badge of Dignity; The Sun here Represented, as it enlightens, warms and
cherishes the Earth, so you are to be the Great Light and Comforter of the
lodges; The Compass extended on it, sheweth, that his Dimensions and
Influences are within the Compass of Science, of which you are to be the
Patron. Let me now Seat you in Solomon's Chair (The Grand Master gently with
both hands placed the new Grand Master in the Chair) and Cover you with the
distinguishing Badge (and put his Hat upon his Head) of Superiority; and may
you long enjoy this eminent Station, for the good of Masonry, and be a Crown
of Honour to ourself for ever and ever.'
Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, and all the other Grand
Officers, Masters, Wardens, and Brethren of Lodges in Course, Congratulated
the New Grand Master upon his exaltation and then retired to their places.
the new Grand Master called to Order by a Stroke of the Hammer and stood up
and gave his Benediction to the Brethren, as follows:
the Grand Architect of the Universe, pour down his Blessings on this Society,
and enable me to discharge the great Trust reposed in me, to the Honour of his
Name, and the Royal Art: and may there never be wanting such to fill the Chair
who shall promote Masonry, and the Good of Mankind, so long as the World
endureth. Amen !'
Lodge was closed in Form.
the Marshall call'd forth the Officers and Brethren in the Order they were to
be formed for the Grand Procession to Church, as follows:
Grand Tyler, with the Constitution Book open on his left arm, and a Naked
Sword in his Right Hand
Bands of Musick, belonging to the 59th and 64th Regiments.
Brethren of Newburyport Lodge.
Master and Wardens of Newburyport Lodge.
Stewards of the Apprentices Lodge
two Wardens of the Apprentices Lodge.
Brethren of the Apprentices Lodge, two and two.
Secretary and Treasurer of the Apprentices Lodge.
Master of the Apprentices Lodge.
The two Stewards of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
The Wardens of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
The Brethren of the Fellowcrafts Lodge, two and two.
The Secretary and Treasurer of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
The Master of the Fellowcrafts Lodge.
The two Stewards of the Masters Lodge.
The Wardens of the Masters Lodge.
The Brethren of the Masters Lodge, two and two.
The Secretary and Treasurer of the Masters Lodge.
The Master of the Masters Lodge.
The three Grand Stewards.
The Plumb carrier, The Chaplain, The Level carrier.
The Square carrier, The Bible carrier, The Compass carrier.
The Grand Sword bearer with the Sword of State.
The Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer.
The Grand Wardens.
The Deputy Grand Master, The Grand Master, The past Grand Master.
The past Deputy Grand Masters and past Grand Wardens.
The Grand Marshal.
procession then moved to Trinity Church where the Reverend Brother Bass
preached a sermon."
the practice of the Moderns to charter "Masters Lodges." No one so far has
given us any satisfactory explanation for this or what distinguished these
"Masters Lodges" from others. We find them in many places. Bro. M. M. Johnson
believes these "Masters Lodges" worked the "Chair Degree." It is interesting
to note that in the above ceremony, the jewel of the Master of the "Masters
Lodge" was the Pantheon, while that of the Masters of the other two lodges was
the Square. I judge the Pantheon was intended to symbolize Solomon's Temple.
Has anyone any opinion as to its significance as used above?
public processions of that time, the brethren walked hand in hand, in twos.
There was some debate as to aprons for the above occasion, and it was finally
agreed "that those Brethren who do not choose to Line their Aprons with Green
Silk, may wear them plain, or line them with any other Colour'd Silk but Blue
or Red, and no Precedency be taken by any Brother with a Lined Apron, to those
who wear Plain ones."
L. CLEGG, Ohio
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN. Ohio
E. MORCOMBE, California
FORT NEWTON, New York
C. PARKER, New York
M. WHITED, California
E. W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
is a strong tendency at the present day to resort to new laws ad hoc on every
possible occasion. Is some reform demanded, some abuse to be removed or any
emergency arise, straightway a brand new piece of legislation is proposed,
more often than not hurriedly drafted in the first place and ignorantly
amended in the second, before it reaches the statute book.
a state of affairs to which a democracy is peculiarly exposed and it is not a
healthy state. Those familiar, for example, with the history of Athens will
remember how in its decline the flood of laws, enactments and decrees rose
higher and higher. It is quite certain that in the great majority of cases the
situation held out as the reason for proposing a new law today is not due to
the lack or sufficiency of old laws to serve the purpose, but to failure in
their enforcement. It is a pathetic fallacy, due we must suppose chiefly to
ignorance, that a new law will set everything right. No need to bother about
the machinery of enforcement, that is a detail, and like most details
uninteresting. There is no opportunity in it for a campaign, for honor and
glory - and political advancement.
same general tendency seems likely to overflow into the affairs of the Craft.
Grand Lodges, not content with the traditional organization and the old and
well‑tried sanctions under which it operated, are experimenting more and more
with new regulations, some of them very radical in principle. There is a
constant increase of centralization. More and more the old rights and
privileges of the lodges are being curtailed. More and more the ancient powers
of the ruling Masters are being put into the hands of Grand Lodge officials -
generally in the name of executive efficiency, uniformity of work, or
maintenance of discipline.
unusual piece of legislation recently passed by one of our Grand Lodges may be
cited as an example. Not only is it a completely new departure in itself, but
it is also apparently retroactive, a most dangerous thing in principle and
establishing a very bad precedent. According to this enactment it seems that
every Mason who has been tried and condemned on a criminal charge in the
courts of the state is to be ipso facto and automatically expelled from the
Fraternity, without any further investigation or the privilege of a trial
before his brethren. Privilege is hardly the proper word, for it is one of the
ancient rights of a Mason which date back to the ages when the Craft was
Operative as well as Speculative.
very probable that many brethren will not at first see the point. If a man is
a criminal he is unfit to be a Mason. He should never have been permitted to
enter, and the quicker he can be got rid of the better. The automatic method
does get rid of him without any formality or fuss or delay, and is therefore
to be commended. This is very plausible, but the reasoning on which it is
based is fallacious. For instance, there is a tacit assumption that the
verdict of the court is infallible. When the point is raised we must admit
that it is not, that innocent men have often been condemned. Are we to desert
a brother in the hour of his greatest need? But further there is yet another
assumption, that what is a crime before the law of the state is necessarily
un‑Masonic conduct, an offense against the laws of the Craft. We know very
well that this is not the case when we stop to think, even though in great
part the two codes may agree. Political offenses, for example, have never been
regarded as in themselves censurable from the Masonic standpoint. A rebel
against the state is not as such to be condemned by the Craft. Hundreds of
cases could be cited to substantiate this. Again, Masonic law does not view an
action from the same point of view as that of the state. To the latter if the
action falls within a certain external definition it is a crime. Motives and
circumstances may be considered in determining a sentence, but do not affect
the question of guilt in the eyes of the law. But motive and circumstances
make all the difference in estimating moral delinquency, and it is with that
alone that Masonry is concerned. It follows that many actions are un‑Masonic
and dishonorable that are legal, and some things are legal crimes that are not
dishonorable or immoral. Possibly very few, but the possible existence of any
means the possibility of grievous wrong to a brother if the action of the
Masonic code become a mere reflex of the juridical machinery of the state.
what is the reason held out for the passage of such a disturbing enactment?
The answer is illuminating - it is because a number of lodges have failed to
do their duty in the past. Either no charges have been preferred, or
inadequate penalties were inflicted. Here we have the root of this radical and
dangerous growth laid bare. It is not the deficiency of machinery to meet the
case, but its non‑enforcement. If lodges have not done their duty and nothing
was done about it whose fault was it? If the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge
had done their duty in the matter no cause for scandal could have arisen.
Either the particular lodges would have taken appropriate action when directed
so to do, or they would have ceased to exist. Perfectly adequate means exist,
of ancient establishment and well tried, to remedy the evil, but they are
allowed to lie idle; and for that reason a new and dangerous process is to
supersede it, which because it is automatic presumably is expected to work.
But if the evil lies in non‑enforcement will the present law be enforced? In
the same breath as it were that we are told of it, it is also suggested that
certain exceptions will be made in the retroactive clauses. That is, in
effect, that discretion will be used - by somebody. Discretion is an excellent
and necessary thing, only in an automatic law there is no room for discretion
legally, it is irregular, and itself a breach of or disregard for the law.
lies the sting of the whole matter, these new rules and regulations that
over‑ride the old established laws of the Craft are proposed, not because the
latter are not good, or are no longer suitable to present day circumstances,
but because they have not been enforced. The new rules in general are even
more difficult to enforce than the old, and so we start on a downward slope,
continually inventing new laws today to meet the inoperation of those of
yesterday, while the habit and temper of non‑enforcement is continually
growing stronger. In the language of the Scripture it would be well to "Stand
in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and
* * *
IN A NAME?
one point of view very little. As Shakespeare remarked the rose would still be
a rose whatever it was called. Yet practically there is a great deal in a
name, and it makes a great deal of difference l in our communications with our
fellows whether the right name, the right descriptive word be used. And
"right" in this connection means the word that has the most power to evoke in
the hearer the same thought as is in the mind of the speaker. That this can be
done exactly is hardly possible, we come nearest to it in the technical
terminology (which might be called the private slang) of scientists, engineers
and such like people. This kind of speech is about very closely defined things
or objects, the subsidiary associations that words used in ordinary
conversation possess for most of us are kept down to a minimum, so that a
technical expression means, and can mean, only one thing - to those familiar
is not the case, for instance, with the name with which we started. A rose can
mean many things from a blushing maiden to a member of a widespread order of
plants. It may recall old‑fashioned gardens, or the hopes and joys of the long
buried past - anything with which it has been connected in our lives.
being thus almost living things, part of our mental furniture, growing in
meaning as we advance in knowledge and experience, they really have an
importance not easily estimated. For example, some of our correspondents are
inclined to criticize the term "Study Club" as not the best title for the
organization it is intended to designate. In the letter published in the
January number of THE BUILDER the confusion caused by the possibility, in a
large lodge with many social activities, of mistaking it for some other club
is advanced as a reason for making a change. We are inclined to go rather
deeper for a reason, though without any intention of belittling the one
advanced, for indeed the first requirement in a name is that it should be
unambiguous, that so far as possible it shall be sufficiently distinctive to
prevent such confusions and mistakes. Nevertheless there seems to be a more
fundamental inappropriateness in the term. A club is primarily a social
organization. All the primary associations that we have with the word are of
this character. A club tout seal is a place where a special group of men - or
women - can meet and talk, lounge, play, eat, and perhaps sleep. Certain kinds
such as the golf, the country, the athletic, which specializing in some social
amusement, sport or recreation, nevertheless keep in line with the primary
conception. Now far be it from us to suggest that Masons interested in
learning more about the institution of which they are members cannot or do not
enjoy themselves when they meet together, that there shall be no social
intercourse at their gathering. The very existence of the National Masonic
Research Society is bound up with the contention that this kind of study can
become a most interesting and fascinating pursuit - in common speech that it
is great fun, and can give all kinds of thrills to the student in search of
elusive facts; and so there is no reason why those interested in studying
Masonry should not have a club. But we begin here to come up against the
customary usage of words. We have, for example, plenty of Historical Societies
and Associations, but no Historical Clubs. There are no Biological or
Mathematical or Engineer Clubs in this sense. It seems that the word "club" is
on a somewhat lower level; or perhaps on a different plane, would be a more
non‑committal way of putting it. Architects may belong to a Society, Organists
to an Association. If in a large city we find a Club of Architects or
Organists, we understand at once the distinction and the different purpose of
the two organizations.
proper place for Masonic instruction is the lodge. It is true that under the
present circumstances in this country there is not much likelihood of many
lodges realizing this, or trying to revive this well‑nigh obsolete function.
But as it really is their function no machinery should be set up to do this
work of a character such that it will tend to perpetuate the present state of
affairs. For this reason the word society or association were better avoided
as implying a too self‑sufficient and independent organization. The word
"group" has been suggested, and it certainly seems to fill most of the
requirements, but it is perhaps too indefinite. Of all possible terms "circle"
certainly seems the best. In the first place it has associations with reading
and study. In Germany the "Correspondence Circle" has long fulfilled similar
functions to those of the National Masonic Research Society with us. On the
other hand, though suggesting a group with some form and coherence, the
organization is so slight that it can easily blend with any other - it is
quite within usage to speak of a circle, a learned circle, an upper or inner
circle, in a larger and more inclusive organization. A Study Circle in a lodge
is ready at any time to coalesce with the lodge itself when the Master and
brethren are willing.
other hand "Study Club" has already a tradition behind it, and it may be that
by now it would not be well to change it. It would be interesting and
instructive to learn how our members feel about it.
Symbolism of the Old Catechisms
BRO. R.J. MEEKREN
light that may be shed on the subject of Masonic symbolism by those curious
documents which have been grouped under the term "Old Catechisms" has now to
be considered. There are not many of them, and few but students know much
about them or even of their existence. This is not at all the place for
anything like a full account of them, yet a brief description may be of
assistance in estimating whatever value they may be supposed to have. Two of
them appeared in print in 1730 as exposures of the secrets of the Craft, and
have since then been reprinted a number of times; they were both reproduced in
full in the Appendix of Gould's History. The catechism proper of one of them
is also to be found in Mackey's History. Other documents of similar character
have turned up in more recent times, some of which have been published in
various Masonic journals and Transactions; there are about a dozen of them all
told, including the MS. recently discovered by Bro. W. J. Songhurst, Secretary
of Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
matter contained in these documents it must be confessed appears as strange to
the Mason today as it must to the profane, though naturally, seeing that it
professedly relates to the Craft, certain things are referred to that form
part of our own system. As for example the lodge, the Temple of Solomon, the
square and compasses, and so on. But the natural judgment on first examining
any one of them would be that it was an invention by somebody who really knew
no more about Masonry than any outsider could pick up.
closer acquaintance with the different documents might lead to a modification
of this view, however. It is possible that they represent, fragmentarily,
parts of the old Operative esoteric system. Though it must be admitted that
with no record of the intervening stages of the evolution, it certainly leaves
the matter open to doubt how the Speculative system could have been erected on
such a meager foundation. The chief argument would be the incomplete nature of
the documents in question. Mackey assumes quite decidedly that the Catechism
he reproduces represents the ritual "accepted by the Speculative Freemasons
from their Operative brethren, and used until the genius of such ritualists as
Desaguliers invented something more worthy." (1)
Whatever they may be they are not rituals. The most that could be said is that
they have some ritual references and give some disjointed description of the
ceremonies of admission. Their contents vary a great deal, but the most
natural conclusion is that they are copies of, or based on, memoranda made by
individuals for their own use, for the purpose of retaining so much as would
be necessary to establish their claims to be received as members of the
Fraternity. This supposition fully accounts for their incompleteness and
unsystematic nature. One of them, the Mason's Confession, published in the
Scots Magazine in 1755, purports to give what an anonymous individual, who had
come to regard the Institution as sinful and invented by the devil--"idle
nonsense" and "horrid wickedness" are the terms he uses--is able to remember
of his admission to the Fraternity some twenty-eight years before; apparently,
judging by internal evidence, in a lodge of strongly Operative character.
Another, the Sloane MS. No. 3329, appears to be a compilation from more than
one source, with some unsympathetic comment by the compiler. All the others
seem to have the character suggested above, that of private memoranda.
our present purpose no more need be said on this score. Disregarding their
origin, and making no judgment on their value or authenticity, but merely
taking them as they stand, let us see what they offer in the way of symbolism.
There is, however, one other document, though it is of even more questionable
character, to which it may be useful to refer, one which has been reprinted
many times and is even yet to be obtained, and that is Prichard's Freemasonry
Dissected. The reason that it may be useful in this connection is that though
much longer and more diffuse, and much more coherent in arrangement, yet there
is nothing in its first part that has not a parallel in one or other of the
Old Catechisms, though more frequently in a less developed form. One might
suppose the notorious Dissector compiled his account from different sources;
or on the other hand it may be taken as additional support for the supposition
that the other documents contain only fragments of the actually existing
catechisms. But that again is a question apart from the inquiry on which we
are engaged. The point is that it does seem allowable to compare the often
times cryptic phrases of the more archaic documents by comparison with the
expanded account of the Dissection, when that may appear to shed some light
upon this very obscure subject.
very first point that strikes the attention is the existence of some kind of
initiatory rite. That such existed was well known to the profane even in the
17th century, as witness Plot's account, and Aubrey's note in his Natural
History of Wiltshire, both of which have been often quoted. (2) But such a
ceremony, or in fact any ceremony at all, however simple, must be to some
degree symbolic. From the four documents that pretend to give some account of
this initiation (The Mason's Examination, The Mystery of Freemasons, The
Mason's Confession, and the unpublished Chetwode- Crawley MS.) we learn the
following. The first describes a form of preparation of the entrant at the
door; his knee is specifically said to have been made bare, and everything
made of metal is taken from him. Later his elbow is spoken of as bare also.
The Mystery corroborates this by mentioning a demand by the doorkeeper for any
weapons he may have, and later describes him as being bare knee'd. It might
almost be supposed that the breast was bared, too, but this is not explicitly
PRIMITIVE MAGIC APPEARS
these requirements have a suspicious flavor of magic about them. The
deprivation of everything made of metal about the person as a preparation for
the performance of a ritual, magical or religious, may even go back to a
period of transition from the use of stone implements to the higher culture in
which bronze and iron were used. The requirement would in any case carry the
origin of the ceremonies back to a time when its necessity was generally
presupposed. It is quite certain that this condition did not exist two hundred
years ago in England, nor the anthropological knowledge for its comprehension.
Indeed one may guess that there was even then a tendency for it to break down
into a purely formal requirement, the giving up of some metal instead of all,
as the surrendering the sword, then very commonly worn by all men above the
lowest classes, and with this there would be the possibility of an obvious
interpretation--that of submission, good faith and peaceful intention.
same way the baring of parts of the body would appear to have in origin the
purpose of making actual contact with sacred objects. In the old form of
judicial oaths, still in force in some countries, the Bible is kissed, as
earlier still were the holy relics on which the oath was taken. The hands of
kings were kissed, as are those of priests in the Greek Church. The Holy
Sacrament may not be received with gloved hands, and Moses was told to remove
his shoes on holy ground. So according to the Confession the entrant had his
bare elbow on the Bible, and the Mystery says he knelt bare knee'd within the
square, while both say the compasses were held to the breast. As the two
latter instruments seem to have been sacred, almost fetich objects, the
sanctity of the oath was increased by contact with them while taking it. The
following quotations will show the way in which they were regarded:
was the Master clothed?
yellow jacket and a blue pair of breeches.
you know your Master if you met him?
. . by his habit.
colour of his habit?
and blue, meaning the compass which is brass and iron.
from the Confession:
is your Master?
not so far off but he may be found.
if the square be at hand it is offered on the stone which they are working . .
. and so the square is acknowledged to be their Master.
set you the square?
in two irons in the wall, if two will not serve three will
that makes both square and level.
author comments on this to the effect that two nails are driven into the wall
at the same height on which one limb of the square can rest, and another
perpendicularly underneath so that the other limb can be pushed up against it,
the three points naturally out line a square, and give also a horizontal. He
adds, however, that "ordinarily they ca' in but one" and goes on to remark
that "the reason it is said to set the square and not hang it, is They're not
to hang their Master."
the matter is even more explicitly stated later on where the question is
many points in the Square?
are those five?
square our Master under God is one, the level's two, the plumbrule's three,
the handrule's four and the gage is five,
references to these implements will be quoted later in another connection
which will further illustrate the estimation in which they were apparently
held. We will now consider some other accounts of the preparation. Prichard
has the following description of the entrant's condition:
"Neither naked nor clad, barefoot nor shod, deprived of all metal and in a
right moving posture."
last phrase might be modernized "in a most pitiable state."
this may be compared the Examination:
was you made?
Neither naked nor clothed, standing or lying, but in due form.
the Essex MS.:
posture did you pass your oath in?
neither setting nor standing, lying, hanging nor properly
kneeling, clothed nor naked, shod nor barefoot, but as a Brother
Sloane MS. has:
were you sworn by?
and the Square.
Whether above the clothes or under the clothes?
which arm ?
presumably refers to the necessity of the square being in contact with the
body, and may be better understood by the following from an additional
question and answer in the Mystery, apparently not quite consistent with the
was you doing while your oath was tendering?
kneeling bareknee'd betwixt the Bible and the square.
which the note is added,
There's a Bible put in the Right Hand and the Square under the
Dumfries-Kilwinning MS. No. 4 gives the following account; the spelling is
were you brought in?
Shamefully with a rope about my neck.
posture were you in when you [were] received?
Neither sitting nor standing nor running nor going but left knee.
rope about your neck?
hang me if I should betray my trust.
upon your left knee?
Because I would be in so humble a posture to the receiving Royal
might perhaps be paraphrased, "Because it was fitting I should be in such an
humble posture when receiving the Royal Secret."
such primitive rites as seem to underlie these variant accounts are hardly
symbolical. The metal was taken from the person of the neophyte for the same
reason that a surgeon washes his hands in a disinfectant, to remove a
dangerous influence that would militate against the success of what was to be
done. Of course the primitive science had no foundation in fact, but it was
based on reasoning and the action following from it was logical, and so to
say, a matter of commonsense. At a later stage, with increased knowledge the
original reason becomes obscure and finally forgotten. Conservatism however
maintains the action, and so new, and usually mystical, reasons are invented.
But at the period to which our documents belong mystical reasons would not
serve; it was on the whole a shallow, materialistic, unbelieving age, and so
the stress is laid on the personal humiliation involved, and the ceremony does
in a sense become truly symbolic. Not of course that this aspect was entirely
new. All societies and communities tend to magnify their own importance, it
goes to make up the elusive thing called esprit de corps. If these sources
give us any real information it would seem that the Operative organization
insisted that it was honored by no man, however great, who joined it, but that
itself honored all whomsoever it received whatever their rank and station. In
form at least it insisted that the entrant came of his own will, and made him
submit to forms certainly well designed to express humility and submission.
majority of these documents state explicitly that the proper place for
performing these ceremonies was out of doors. There is no need to remark that
this is also a mark of its primitive origin. For example, the Essex MS. has
was you made a Mayson?
just and perfect lodge.
many make a lodge?
and the Square with 7 Right and perfect Maysons in the highest
Mountains or in the lowest valleys in the world.
was you entered?
just and perfect lodge.
makes a just and perfect lodge?
Master, two wardens, four fellows with Square, Compass and common
that this again makes the number seven. Gudge undoubtedly is a dialect form or
corruption of gauge. Then follows:
was you made?
Valley of Jehosaphat behind a rush bush where a dog never heard to bark or a
cock crow, or elsewhere.
last clause, "or elsewhere," is apparently an emendation following the disuse
of the traditional outdoor meetings. And because of this disuse the "lowest
valley" receives a Biblical name and is obviously on the way to a symbolic
Confession has this:
should the Mason word be given?
top of a mountain from crow of a cock, the bark of a dog, or the turtle of a
place ye your lodge?
sunny side of a hill that the sun may ascend on't when it
proviso that the place be out of hearing of the sound of the common domestic
animals means that it should be far from human habitation. This is brought out
in the Chetwode-Crawley MS.:
makes a true and perfect Lodge?
Masters, five apprentices, a day's journey from a Borrowstown without Bark of
a Dog or Crow of a cock.
form of expression at the least verges on figurative or poetic symbolism.
number of those present seems to have been regarded as important, and except
in one case is always uneven. The Sloane gives six, two masters, two
fellowcrafts, and two "Interprintices," but says "five will serve." The
quotation from the Essex MS. Given above stipulates "five or seven." The
latter seems to have been regarded as the proper number taking the evidence as
a whole, but in an additional fragment appended to the Essex we have this:
how many Masons was so called?
odd number from three to thirteen.
Confession mentions another number:
made you a Mason?
Almighty's holy will made me a Mason, the square under God made me a Mason;
nineteen fellowcrafts and thirteen entered 'prentices made me a Mason.
Confessor remarks that there weren't really this number present, but "so I was
taught to answer."
Essex MS. and two others have the following explanation, which itself needs
odds make a lodge?
Because all odds are men's advantage.
seems to mean that odd numbers are lucky-- which again is magical.
THE LODGE WAS SITUATED
that the Confession placed the lodge on the sunny side of a hill that the
first rays of the rising sun might strike it, for that seems to be the
meaning. Every one of our authorities (except an appended fragment to the
Kilwinning MS.) has something to say about the situation of the lodge.
Essex and the two parallel versions have this:
doth that Lodge stand?
Perfect East and West as all holy temples do.
Examination and the Mystery:
and West as other temples are.
stands your lodge?
and West as kirks and chapels did of old.
Because they were holy and so ought we to be.
Prichard gives as a reason: "Because all churches and chapels are so or ought
to be so," while Kilwinning and two others mention the orientation of the
Temple of Solomon to account for it:
way stands your lodge?
and West because all holy churches and temples stand that way and particularly
the temple of Jerusalem.
though the Essex does not refer to the Temple in this place it has later the
following question and answer:
what part of the temple was the Lodge kept?
Solomon's porch at the west end of the Temple where the two
pillars are set up.
this is probably an explanation on the same lines as the identification of the
deep valley in which a lodge might be held with the Vale of Jehosaphat. The
original setting or situation was East and West, in reference to the rising
sun. It was naturally associated with the orientation of churches with which
of course the Operative Masons were familiar; and after the Reformation, as
the Bible became a popular book, the Temple analogy would almost inevitably be
adopted if it had not appeared before, which is quite possible. There are
other indications that the East and West direction was regarded as important.
The Chetwode-Crawley MS. has:
way blows the wind?
and West, out of the South.
Prichard has only "Due East and West" for answer to the question.
fact that in several forms the lodge is called after St. John may be of
importance in this connection. We begin to get a composite picture of a lodge
formed on a hilltop towards the east. It would almost appear that the original
time of assembly was sunrise, or rather just before it. Now the assembling on
hilltops on midsummer day before dawn was a very widespread and persistent
folk custom of a primitive religio-magical type. But midsummer day is also the
day of St. John the Evangelist, a coincidence that seems significant, for
there are certain independent traditions that may point to the lodges
originally meeting only once a year. But such a state of affairs, one would
judge, had long passed at the period to which the relics we are considering
properly belong. It is perhaps not surprising, in view of the zealous
Protestantism of North Britain, that in the two versions of definite Scottish
origin no reference to the Saint appears. The Sloane MS. (which Gould however
thought was drawn, at least in part from Scottish sources) does mention him,
was the word first given?
tower of Babylon.
did they first call their lodge?
holy chapel of St. John.
Perhaps it was from some such variant that Prichard got the word "holy."
whence came you?
the Holy Lodge of St. John's.
as we have seen it appeared in the "holy temples" referred to as a reason for
placing the lodge East and West.
above quotation from the Sloane MS. there seems to be a reference to the
history of the Craft in the Old Constitutions, which assigns the first
definite organization to the occasion of building the Tower of Babel. While
the second answer seems to indicate an attempt to explain or rationalize the
ascription of the lodge by assuming that it had first met in a sacred building
dedicated to St. John.
we leave the lodge there are some other references that should be considered.
Prichard has a set of questions as to the positions of the Master, Wardens and
a Senior and Junior Entered Apprentice. The arrangement seems rather
self-conscious and artificial The Examination and Mystery both seem to be
corrupt at this place, but together they seem to indicate the following as
Masons take their place in work?
Master's place southeast, the Warden's place northeast and the
fellows the eastern passage.
Essex and its parallels seem to have had:
is the Master's point?
east window waiting the rising of the sun to set his men at
is the Warden's point?
west window waiting the setting of the sun to dismiss the
last is intermediate between Prichard and the former quotation. It would be
comparatively late as the presence of windows supposes a building. The more
primitive arrangement fits into the old outdoor meeting very well. The lodge
would be a level area on the hilltop marked out or enclosed in some way,
leaving an opening to the east and presumably another to the west, for
designating the particular passage as "eastern" implies more than one. The
entrant conducted in at the latter would be approaching the sunrise, and those
forming the lodge would be all facing him. There are several references to day
and night, of which the version in the Confession is representative:
day's for seeing, the night for hearing.
Prichard and the Kilwinning MS. make two bites of it. The former has:
the day for? To see in.
the night for? To hear.
the Mystery describes the entrant being taken "by two Wardens" through a "dark
Entry" and "conducted from Darkness into Light." But before we go further with
this it may be as well to consider another point which is stressed in all our
documents except the Trinity College MS. As the latter has only eleven
questions and answers in all it can hardly be supposed to be complete, so the
omission is not very significant. The question in the majority of cases is
many lights in your lodge?
which, however, the answer varies considerably. The majority agree that there
are three, but the Kilwinning MS. and the second catechism in the Sloane MS.
have only two. They are said to be, giving some typical answers:
a right east, south and west.
southeast, south, and southwest.
the northeast, the southwest and the eastern passage
Essex group explains them as representing the three persons of the Holy
Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, while the Examination refers them to the
Master, Warden and Fellows, and the Chetwode Crawley MS. says "one denotes the
Master, the other the word, and the third the fellowcraft."
explanations in the instances where two only are given are; Kilwinning:
riseth in the east and sets all men to work, and sets in the west and so turns
all men to bed.
Sloane says "that there is one to see to go in and another to see to work."
these varying forms a general underlying meaning seems present. The lights
originally had to do with celestial phenomena, and not with such
artificialities as windows and candles. On our supposition of an outdoor
assembly before dawn on St. John's Day all these references seem to arrange
themselves in something like order. The neophyte, brought to the lodge while
it is yet night, is in darkness, represented at a much later period by a dark
anteroom. He can only hear directions given to him. At sunrise he receives
light, physically, as well as symbolically by being "entered" to the Craft,
and being entrusted with its secrets. That the lights are sometimes explained
as referring to the Holy Trinity, or to the Master and celestial luminaries,
are only inevitable symbolical developments.
KEY OF THE LODGE
subject has by no means been exhausted but we will consider only one more
point, the key. There is as much unanimity in mentioning this as there was on
the lights, but even more importance seems to have been laid on it, though its
possibilities seem much narrower. We may take the Essex MS. as typical:
you a key to the lodge?
is its virtue?
open and shut, and shut and open.
do you keep it?
ivory box, between my tongue and my teeth, or within my heart
all my secrets are kept.
Further questions refer to a chain to this key, "as long as from my tongue to
my heart." Other variants speak of the key lying under a "green turf or a
square ashlar," or in "a bound case under a three-cornered pavement a foot and
a half from the lodge door." The chain also appears as a "cable." The Sloane
is the key of your lodge door made of?
not made of wood, stone, iron or steel, or any sort of metal, but a tongue of
good report behind a brother's back as well as before his face.
the Kilwinning MS. explains thus:
head is the box, my teeth is the bones, my hair is the map and my tongue the
is a dialect form of mop. Probably the turf or "divoy" has the same meaning.
Prichard combines most of this, and makes something of a play on words - "Does
it hang or lie?" by which apparently we are to understand that being a tongue
of good report it will not lie about a brother, but that its owner would
rather hang first. Really it would seem that the earlier conception was that
the key was not the tongue, but the word. Though the tongue as the organ of
speech was probably always confused with it.
up this rather tedious discussion, granting the supposition that these
catechisms do represent in part what might be called the formal esoteric
teaching of the Operative Craft, we see that the symbolizing tendency was
present. It might plausibly be supposed that it was at an earlier period even
more developed than we find it, as there are many signs of these accounts
being corrupt and deficient; though it is really more probable that such
questions and answers formed the text on which the young Mason's instructors
or "intenders" expounded at length according to their knowledge and ability
rather than that they included a full exposition of the mysteries of the
Craft. Those who expect to find symbolism shadowing forth the deepest
mystical, philosophic and cosmic truths will of course be disappointed, and
perhaps contemptuous. Let them remember Naaman the Syrian. The imagery of the
Scriptures themselves deal chiefly with the affairs of every-day life and the
thoughts, feelings and desires common to all men. Why should that of our
Operative predecessors be expected to have had something different, something
more occult? They were practical men, and their codes and secrets related
especially to their work and the ordinary circumstances of their lives. It is
after all not a little thing to teach even common morality--it is really not
very common-- and if a system of symbolism will help to enforce the lesson it
is justified. And so far as such a system is true it can be fitted in or
adapted to teaching greater and deeper truths still, as far as the human mind
can go--towards the East, the place of light.
Mackey, Revised Edition, p. 980.
Gould's Concise History, pp. 99, 119. Mackey 658. Gould's Collected Essays
should be referred to, especially the first "On Some Catechisms, etc., in the
Scottish Idiom and the sixth On the Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism, though the
author uses the word symbolism in a way peculiar to himself. There are many
valuable papers in A.Q.C. that should be looked up by the student fortunate
enough to have access to them.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
what way could ceremonies based on primitive magic have become part of the
symbolism is implied in the adoption of an admission ceremony into a society,
and what forms might it take?
could the simple symbolism of light and darkness be developed?
kind of symbolism would it be natural to suppose the Operative Masons to have
GOODNESS AND SEVERITY OF THE LAW"
in their certainty and severity that many laws are most beneficent. Even of
the laws against murder and other crimes as horrible this is true: for if a
man knows beyond doubt that the gallows or the penitentiary will follow his
deed, such a fear will recall him to his senses when nothing else can, inside
himself or without. Most attempts to soften the severity or to make uncertain
the executions of these laws are inspired by a false sentimentality which
cannot bear to think of inflicting pain on any human being. The sentimentalist
should favor making fear of wrong doing absolutely ubiquitous, for only thus
can men be prevented from crime. The justest mercy to those of murderous
disposition is to neutralize their criminal impulses by a fear that operates
automatically wherever they are. Such a fear does more to maintain security
for all citizens than any number of policemen or penitentiaries, and in the
long run keeps men out of prisons, which is certainly more kind to them than
any amount of coddling after they are behind the bars.
CRAFT IN GEORGIA
FREEMASONRY AND ITS PROGRESS IN ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: WITH BRIEF
HISTORY OF THE GRAND LODGE, F. & A. M., OF GEORGIA 1786‑1925. For sale by the
compiler, T. C. McDonald, P. M. 27 West Alabama Road, Atlanta, Georgia. Cloth,
294 pages. Price postpaid $5.25.
McDonald deserves the plaudits of his Georgia brethren for bringing together
into permanent form so many facts of local Masonic history; it is to be hoped
that such appreciation will be forthcoming by the large sale of the book in
Atlanta and vicinity. The volume is indeed a labor of love.
something remains to be desired in the treatment that the compiler has given
his subject, it cannot be denied that much labor has been put into it.
Material is included that future historians and biographers cannot disregard;
this feet assures the work of a place in the literature of Georgia
Freemasonry. The numerous articles on miscellaneous subjects which have been
included in the work,‑ cannot be endorsed without reservation, but the
critical student will know what to cull.
work is very profusely illustrated, including many fullpage groups of lodge
officers. There are also a number of pictures of general historical value that
will appeal to the student of Masonic history in this country. There are
biographical sketches, portraits of most of the Past Grand Masters of Georgia
who are still living. The work will naturally be of interest chiefly to the
brethren in the state for whom it wins written, and the compiler and author is
to be commended for his work on their behalf. It has been very highly
recommended by the chief Masonic authorities in the state, and we trust it
will meet the appreciation of the Craft in Georgia.
* * *
TORQUEMADA AND THE SPANISH INQUISITION. By Rafael Sabatini. Published by
Stanley Paul & Co., Ltd., London. May be purchased through the Book Department
of the National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis,
Mo. Fifth edition, cloth, illustrated, table of contents, 404 pages. Price
is the root of religious persecution? To its victims it naturally appears
devilish and its ministers cruel and bloodthirsty men possessed of the spirit
of utter wickedness, and this is true whether it be Christian sect against
Christian, or Christian against Mohammedan or Jew in any combination. Taking a
present day example, it is not easy for us to do justice to the motives of the
Turks in their policy of extermination of the last remnants of the Christian
populations of Asia Minor. Motives here are mixed as elsewhere, the mob
spirit, racial antagonism, national resentment (it must be remembered that the
Assyrian Christians fought bravely and effectively on the side of the Allies
in the war) desire for plunder and like human and unworthy objects and desires
have their part, and the religious one is apt to appear but the cloak of
hypocrisy. Yet Islam is one of the great ethical religions, its creed is
devoutly held, its moral effect is good, at least so far as it goes; and what
is much to our present point, the Mohammedan is ready himself if need be to
endure persecution for his faith. Indeed the probability is that a larger
percentage of people in any Mohammedan country would choose death rather than
apostasy from their faith than would be found among Christians in America.
Torquemada himself would doubtless have gone to the stake not only willingly
but joyfully, had it been to witness to the faith that was in him. He does not
seem to have been especially cruel by nature, he certainly was a man of
irreproachable conduct and absolutely without any shadow of self-seeking in
his character - what twist is it in human nature that can produce this
intolerant cruelty in people who in their normal relations as neighbors,
friends, citizens, are fairly decent and capable of kindness and compassion?
The author points out what is probably the immediate reason, quoting from the
historian Lecky, that religious persecution has its root in the belief or
doctrine of "exclusive salvation."
logic of the Inquisitors sounds to us much like the genial conversation of the
Walrus with the confiding oysters in Alice in Wonderland.
time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things -
ships, and shoes, and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings
why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.
were the Inquisitors instructed to question the accuse "vaguely" so that he
might perhaps "betray matters or per sons hitherto unsuspected." They were to
address him "wit great sweetness," and the following was given as an example:
now, I pity you who are so deluded in your credulity and whose soul is being
lost; you are at fault, but the greater fault lies with him who has instructed
you in these things. Do not then take the sin of others upon yourself.... And
so that you may not lose your reputation, and that I may shortly liberate and
pardon you and you may go your ways home, tell me who has led you - you who
knew no evil - into this error. “
such "kind words" the inquisitor was to proceed, always assuming the main fact
to be true, and confining his interrogations to details. It sounds like the
very extreme of hypocritical cruelty; yet the truth was that it was probably
quite sincere, and most certainly that it was seriously intended. What is more
it is implicit in the attitude of all persecutors for religion's sake, whether
Puritans hanging Quakers, Church of England rulers ferretting out Roman
Catholics and dragooning Covenanters; Presbyterians harrying Prelatists;
Calvinists persecuting Zwinglians, and the rest - the underlying premiss
necessary to their arguments, whether of self‑justification or of accusation
against their opponents (and victims) is "only those who believe as we do can
be saved." This being granted, especially when supported by the doctrine of a
terrible and eternal place of punishment for those who have not received
salvation, makes any and every atrocity justifiable and even meritorious if
directed to the end of forcing the unbeliever, or the misbeliever, to renounce
his error. But this is not wholly satisfying. While we can see how this belief
operates when existent, it is only to present a fresh puzzle in the new
question. How did such a belief arise - or, rather, how is it that a revival
of religion, or the preaching of a new one, seems as a matter of fact to have
always brought in its train this idea, or feeling, of exclusiveness? The
answer is probably to be found in religious psychology. As a matter of fact
the phenomenon is no peculiar to religion. It is quite natural, and even
normal, for the mind to take for granted that the familiar way of doing a
thing is the only way; and the first feeling roused in the individual when
told of another is often incredulity and even resentment. For example, most
women (in a position to have one) are very insistent that a maid servant shall
do the housework in a particular way; and how many suggested improvements have
been turned down by foremen and managers with an authoritative "it can't be
done." Much more is this true of religion which embodies the highest and
deepest interests and motives of life. From this standpoint indifference or
agnosticism must be regarded as a religious attitude negative in latter state
of mind come the claims of some form of positive religious belief. Or it may
be the case of a conventional and habitual religious connection, that in
essentials is really much the same thing as the negative attitude, out of
which the man is driven by the preaching of a purer and more living form. In
either ease the new belief, whether in a new religion or a more vital form of
the old one, is accepted as the one great thing in life. It is of such
importance in the eyes of the convert that it is most difficult for him to
believe that any other can be compared with it, or have any value; in other
words, it seems to him to be the only way of attaining salvation.
feeling being present, intense in proportion to the strength of the religious
belief, it is but a step to fortify it with logical reasons and even to make
it an article of faith. It is in this way that the paradoxical effect has come
about that the higher and purer forms of religion have produced the greatest
intolerance and the highest degree of persecuting zeal among their followers.
the process in a nutshell, the value and importance of "the Faith," whether
Christian or Mohammedan, Orthodox or heretical, to the individual believer led
to the naive assumption that no other belief could be true. Because the
individual felt that without it he would be lost, would be still "dead in
sin," it was argued that God must condemn all who did not believe in or adhere
to it. Out of the individual's own vivid realization of the depths from which
he had escaped he created a terrible place of punishment for sinners and
unbelievers - at first perhaps purely metaphorical and symbolical, as in the
Book of Revelations of St. John, but very soon almost inevitably understood
literally. With such a belief it is obvious that the roughest and most drastic
methods of saving others from such a fate would seem justified, just as a
child may be severely whipped for playing with matches. Conversely, now that
belief in hell has been so generally discarded among us, and a wider
conception of religion adopted, it is very difficult to maintain our
missionary zeal. Our most potent arguments (seemingly at least) have been
lost. It is hard to strike a balance; but at least these considerations help
us to see that the persecutor in all periods is a most human character.
present work the author devotes one chapter to early persecutions, both of the
Christians by the Roman authorities, and later of the pagans by the officially
recognized church. In the next he briefly sketches the foundation of the
Inquisition as an institution in the Crusade against the Albigenses in the
South of France. The rest of the book is devoted to the Spanish Inquisition
proper. In this country it became well nigh an imperium in imperio, not only
independent of the state but almost more powerful than the Pope himself; and
Torquemada was the man who established it and laid the foundations of its
power in the face of the genuine reluctance of the Queen and King, and the
opposition of the ruling classes both of state and church.
Isabella, the Catholic, was a very remarkable woman, and one of the most
capable rulers the world has known. Spain was divided into many small kingdoms
and principalities, and to a number of these she succeeded as heiress of her
utterly incapable brother, Henry IV of Castile. Her marriage with Ferdinand
united the whole country with the exception of the Moorish kingdom of Granada,
fated soon after to fall. An incredible state of anarchy existed, worse even
than that under the robber counts of Germany. There was no law, no justice, no
peace. In a very short time Isabella (there is no doubt that she was the
predominant partner and the driving force) reformed the whole state. The
lawless nobles, amazed and confused, were brought up short and reduced to
order. An effective police was established, justice was done, offenders
swiftly punished, and an era of unprecedented prosperity ushered in. Yet she
authorized the Inquisition, which, in the long run, seems to have been one of
the chief causes in reducing Spain from one of the greatest world powers to
almost an international non-entity.
occasion of the organization of the Inquisition was the problem of the
so-called "New Christians," who were of Hebrew descent. There had been Jews in
Spain from the earliest times. As elsewhere they were traders and money
lenders, and given the least opportunity became wealthy, and powerful with the
power wealth confers. As elsewhere then, and now, there was great prejudice
against them and they were frequently subject to mob violence, as well as
official persecution of a spasmodic kind. At the end of the fourteenth century
these persecutions popular and official attained a climax. Thousands of Jews
were slaughtered, and thousands saved their lives by an enforced acceptance of
baptism. Such converts could hardly be expected to be enthusiastic believers
in their new religion. With many undoubtedly it was merely a mask, but even
those who may have really accepted the Christian faith it was difficult to
give up the habits and customs of daily life belonging to their people. Even
their methods of cooking were later made the grounds of a charge of "judaizing."
It was chiefly to seek out among these converts those who were inclined to
return to their old faith that the Inquisition was demanded by Torquemada. But
once set up, the secret tribunal remorselessly extended the scope of its
activities until no one was safe. None so high or powerful that they could
escape, and none so low or obscure as to evade observation.
vivid and full account is given of the methods of the inquisitors. Physical
torture was not so frequently or lightly employed as it is popularly supposed
to have been. Its use was hedged with restrictions - but sooner or later if
the suspect did not fully confess or submit it was employed; but always done
in due form.
must be admitted," says the author, "that the records show none of that
fiendish invention which is so widely believed to have been employed. The
cruel subtilities of the inquisitors were spiritual rather than physical."
According to the code there were five degrees of torture: (1) the threat; (2)
being shown the instruments; (3) being prepared; (4) being bound upon the
"engine"; (5) the actual application. For further details on the unpleasant
subject the reader is referred to the work itself. It must be said that the
author does not dwell any more than is necessary on these matters, and the
account is as free from gratuitous horrors as the subject will allow.
"Instructions" prepared by Torquemada seem to make suspicion and proof
equivalent. The former word is nearly always used where it would seem more
natural to us that "proof" or "evidence" was intended. The person under
suspicion was not to be told the precise charge against him, as has already
been noted nor his accuser, or the witnesses against him. It was argued that
it was better for the innocent to suffer than the guilty to escape. Nay more,
it was seriously advanced that the innocent should be willing to suffer.
short, to burn at the stake for crimes never committed is a boon, a privilege,
a glory to be enjoyed with a profound gratitude toward the inquisitors who
vouchsafed it. One cannot help feeling a pang of regret at the thought that
the scholiast [Pegna, who wrote a commentary on the Instructions] should have
been denied that glory."
ease is treated very fully from actual records that have been discovered; it
is that of a young "New Christian" by name Yuce Franco, who seems to have been
present at the ritual killing of a Christian boy (afterwards canonized as the
"Santo Nino") by a number of Jews and New Christians. This ritual murder was
carried out in a cave near La Guardia. It seems to have been an actual fact
and not a popular invention based on racial antipathy; but curiously the
intent does not appear to have been a mockery of the Crucifixion, as the
Christians naturally supposed, but rather a piece of witchcraft with the
object of protecting the Jews and injuring their enemies by magical means. But
again the reader must be referred to the book for details.
are we to think of this Institution? Could it from any point of view,
considering the times and circumstances, have been justified? Today it would
be hardly possible to say so, yet fanaticism and intolerance very easily
spring up in any community if unchecked by knowledge, and once started along
the path it is not far to go before like results are reached. It will not be
amiss even for us to bear in mind what Sabbatini says of Torquemada's
are rash who see hypocrisy in the priestly code that is to follow. Hypocrites
there may have been, must have been, and many. Yet the system itself was not
hypocritical. It was sincere, dreadfully tragically, ardently sincere, with
the most hopeless, intolerable and stupid of all sincerity - the sincerity of
fanaticism, which destroys all sense of proportion, and distorts man's
intellectual vision until with an easy conscience he makes of guile and craft
and falsehood the principles that shall enable him to do what he conceives be
his duty to his fellow man."
a fascinating book and one that is difficult to drop once the reader has
* * *
LITERARY VALUES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
LITERARY GENIUS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. By P. C. Sands. Published by the Oxford
University Press, 1924. May be purchased through the Book Department of the
National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Blue
cloth, index, 123 pages. Price, postpaid, $1.65.
little book was intended as a text book for Scripture Study in schools, and
grew out of a series of lessons devised on quite new lines. These lines are
indeed so new - to all but specialists in Biblical criticism - that the work
should be of great interest to the general reader whatever his religious
convictions. The author has no dogmatic axe to grind. He is evidently a
sincere Christian of orthodox views, but this one gathers almost entirely from
the way in which he says things, the turn of his phrases. His primary purpose,
and one to which he faithfully and scrupulously adheres, is to show the
literary value and interest of the Bible, and especially of the Old Testament,
both in the original, and in what must most concern all but the smallest
minority of his readers, the English version. It is a work to be most highly
recommended, and after reading it many will doubtless feel inclined to turn to
the pages of the old Book to see how they appear in the new light.
* * *
MASONIC MEDITATIONS. By Franklin Riley Poage. Published by the author. May be
purchased through the Book Department of the National Masonic Research
Society, 1950 Railway Exchange Bldg., St. Louis, Mo. Cloth, table of contents,
frontispiece, 157 pages. Price postpaid $1.85.
this little book the author has presented his brethren with a series of
suggestive essays on various aspects of life as it should be lived by a Mason.
Though each one is complete in itself, yet in the arrangement there is a
logical progression to be observed. "Searching or Finding" sets the keynote,
followed by "In the Heart." Bro. Poage sets down a few of the thoughts that
these phrases and their associations might suggest to a Mason. Then follows
"Life Organized" by the application of rule and order, the twenty-four-inch
gauge of the Entered Apprentice, and so on to "Moral Mastery."
"True Work" a traveler is quoted as saying that other peoples think that
Americans care for quantity rather than quality. It is true that the loving
and careful workmanship of the true craftsman is not greatly in evidence among
us, though it is one of the moral lessons for which Masonry stands. Every
man's work will be tried, as by fire, said St. Paul, and what is deficient,
what is of poor materials, will be destroyed and the true value of what he has
done made manifest.
"Inasmuch" consists largely of reflections upon the great work being done by
the Shrine for crippled children. The remainder of the book is more
miscellaneous in character, but a very high level of literary style is
maintained all through. Bro. Poage writes in a very pleasing manner. The book
would make a very excellent gift to any Mason, and especially to the
newly-raised Master, to whom it will open up vistas of the moral teachings of
the Craft. It would also be very useful to those who have to prepare addresses
at Masonic functions, for texts, suggestions and illustrations are to be found
on every page.
make-up and the printing are excellent; there are very few errors in the proof
reading. There is a brief introduction by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton.
ADDRESS By BRO. TOLER R. WHITE, Arizona
was delivered after the raising of two Ministers of the Gospel to the Sublime
Degree of Master Mason.
all know a week from this evening we shall come together again for the purpose
of electing a corps of officers for the next Masonic year, so, as tonight's
work closes the active labor for the current year, it seems to me a sort of
valedictory for myself and, so far as activity in their present stations
concerned, for those who have so well assisted me the official work of the
lodge for 1925.
material with which to round out the year's labor there is none that could
afford me greater pleasure than these upon whom we have this evening carved
the words "MASTER MASON", men who have consecrated and dedicated their lives
to the service of The Great Architect of the Universe, and noblest and most
beautiful vocation within the choice of man to follow.
Church in its broad sense as covering all denominations is the greatest
institution we have, and as her handmaiden Masonry has always upheld and
supported her. It should not be possible for any Mason who before our altar
declares his trust in Almighty God to view the work of his ministers without a
feeling of admiration for them and for their devotion to the cause of Him who
was born in a manger and died on a cross in order that mankind might have not
only eternal life, but also a most wonderful and beautiful happiness during
his sojourn upon the earth.
Mason should study the life of Christ, for in it we find exemplified all the
great tenets of our Institution, and one who endeavors to incorporate those
principles into his daily life must of necessity conform very closely to the
example given us by the Master. Nowhere and at no time has any other given
such demonstration of brotherly love as when after pleading daily with His own
people He exclaimed in the anguish of His great heart, "O Jerusalem, how oft
would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathereth her chickens
under her wings," and, also when from the cross He prayed His Father to
forgive His enemies, for He said, "They know not what they do."
feeding of the multitudes we find a record of one of the greatest pieces of
material relief work ever done. We see in His healing of the sick additional
demonstration of His endeavors toward the relief of His fellow creatures. No
other man has approached His record in the practice of this great principle.
And as to His belief in the virtue of truth, which we are taught is the
foundation of every virtue, we have the evidence of His daily life, for
notwithstanding the influence that might have come to Him through important
personages He never hesitated to rebuke them when occasion arose.
as Masonry is not in any sense a religion, but rather the handmaiden thereof,
we as Masons should lend our loyal support to the efforts that these, our
newly-raised brethren, are putting forth in the upbuilding of the cause of The
Great Architect of the Universe, whose votaries we profess to be, and to whom
we must all eventually bend our knees.
Referring to the query in the January issue of THE BUILDER, regarding Charles
Carroll, of Carrollton: Schultz, in his "History of Freemasonry in Maryland,"
refers to Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, but does not attempt to connect him
with Masonry. Below is a portion of the minutes of the Special Communication
of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, held for the purpose of participating in the
exercises in connection with the commencement of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
July 4, 1828:
"Agreeably to previous arrangements the Grand Lodge formed a procession in the
following order, and proceeded to the Exchange in Gay Street [Baltimore],
where they were met by the venerable Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, the last
surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, who followed in the rear
of the Grand Lodge; and the whole proceeded to the head of Bond Street where
the right of the Grand Civic procession rested.
deputation from the Blacksmiths' Association next advancing, presented Mr.
Carroll the pick, spade, stone-hammer and trowel prepared by them for the
occasion and made the following address....
deputation from the stone-cutters now came forward, and the ear containing the
Foundation Stone was driven to the l spot. While the stone was preparing, Mr.
Carroll, accompanied by the Grand Marshal of the day, and by Mr. John B.
Morris, and bearing in his hand the spade just presented, descended from the
pavilion and advanced to the spot selected for the i reception of the
Foundation Stone, in order to strike the spade into the ground. He walked with
a firm step and used the instrument with a steady hand." . . .
be that his participation in the above ceremony gave rise to the impression
that he was a Freemason.
B., Washington, D. C.
* * *
cannot refrain from writing you relative to the article in TFIE BUILDER for
November, 1925, on tubercular brethren and the proposed action to remedy their
right minded person would wish to do all he could to help any and all of these
unfortunates, but it certainly does irritate me when I see that any
individual, or number of them, not only go into a matter of this sort with all
their energy in action, so far as anything they themselves can do is
concerned, but far worse than this, incite others to follow their example,
without having the slightest knowledge of the effect of their efforts, which
only too often are injurious rather than helpful. Most people would say they
should be given credit for their intention, but why credit one for doing vast
harm when, if he would only refrain from doing anything at all, it would be
in the report of the Sojourners' Club that "Many of them carried burdens of
grief, and worry for loved ones at home, without means of support." This is
absolutely what I have always maintained; it is quite certain that this grief
will do more harm in almost every instance than the environment. It is the
worst possible thing in most instances for these people to go away from home,
the dictum of most medical men in the country notwithstanding. It is generally
supposed that abundance of fresh air, food and sunlight does the business. All
these can be had at home in the vast majority of cases. I know that our state
has built a large plant for the care of these people, and I feel that the
money spent in erection and maintenance, to say nothing of the sums spent for
transportation of patients and attendants, would take care of many times the
number of afflicted and do them all much more good if they were all left at
home and given proper care.
of course, presupposes that the disease is not communicable, which I insist
upon, having had many years of experience and never yet having seen a case
acquired from another. Everything must have a cause, and if those who should
know will ever take the trouble to investigate they will soon learn that all
these cases have wasted a tremendous amount of nerve energy, a drain that
possibly no one could withstand long. The sensible thing to do is to find what
is at. the bottom of this and remedy it, when the individual will build up. No
case of pulmonary tuberculosis should die if properly treated at a reasonably
early period. It is little short of criminal to encourage these people to
flock to the Southwest, thousands of miles from home and loved ones, when
there is nothing in prospect but grief and want. I know that they can all get
as much sunshine, fresh air and food in South Dakota as they can anywhere and
if by any possible chance the real truth would ever be thoroughly disseminated
instead of the foolish theories which have cursed the inhabitants of the earth
for lo these many years, this particular affliction would soon be mastered.
now, is it not absurd to read how these good people spent a large proportion
of their money for transportation for both living and dead! There is
absolutely not a grain of sense in the whole proceeding. Not only let them
remain at home but encourage them to do so, and if necessary force them to do
so; at least do not undertake to raise vast sums of money to be worse than
thrown away. I speak from actual experience of more than thirty years in the
practice of medicine, and no theory goes with me at all.
state, community, lodge, should look after their quota of such eases, and no
one can do it better than they if they pursue the proper plan. These folks
going away from home is about the same as farm or other laborers going to
other states when there is plenty of work at home. I maintain that a man who
is a good workman has a vastly better chance of securing and holding
employment in his home community than anywhere else.
F., South Dakota.
* * *
SUPPRESSION OF CHARGES OF UNMASONIC CONDUCT
charges are preferred against a brother for un-Masonic conduct, can these
written charges be held up by the Secretary, owing to the social prominence of
the accused ? The undersigned contends that once charges are preferred the
lodge must act upon them regardless of any such considerations.
reference to your inquiry as to whether charges which have been preferred
against a brother for un-Masonic conduct can be held up by the Secretary of
the lodge, it can only be said that no Secretary has the power to withhold
anything properly brought to his official attention, because he is merely an
instrument of the lodge and cannot act for the lodge under any circumstances,
except as may be specifically provided in the by-laws of that individual
lodge. Charges of un‑Masonic conduct against a member must be placed before
the lodge for action according to the Grand Lodge laws of Minnesota and the
collateral provisions which may exist in the by‑laws of the lodge in which the
charge is made. This is generally true of all jurisdictions everywhere.
* * *
DO OTHERS THINK ?
it not for your request for constructive criticism and suggestions this would
not be written. I am repeating a suggestion made once before without apparent
effect. Undoubtedly I am old‑fashioned, but I remember the dictum of my
sophomore rhetoric of nearly forty years ago that the purpose of all discourse
is either to inform or to persuade. Of many points made to that end, the only
one which I distinctly remember is economy of the recipient's attention. As an
editor of manuscripts for departmental publication, I try to keep this point
carefully in mind. It is a prevalent vice of periodicals of about every kind
to break articles suddenly at the end of a page, or sometimes in even less
excusable places, and direct the reader to some distant page, to be hunted
for, there to continue the line of thought. To command my obedience, the
article must be of very exceptional interest, and I usually don't obey. In
time this habitual disobedience promotes indifference, and I have felt that
tendency in the case of THE BUILDER. The magazines usually plead the necessity
of catering to the advertisers, and so splitting up the reading matter, but
THE BUILDER has not this incentive for even so slight an annoyance to readers.
And now you have the benefit of my one suggestion, which probably means only
wasted time at the typewriter.
C., Washington, D. C.
* * *
very anxious to secure all possible information of a Masonic nature about
Major General Henry Knox who was our first Secretary of War, as we are
organizing a military lodge at Boston to be called Major General Henry Knox
unable to find anything about the Masonic career of Major General Henry Knox,
first Secretary of War of the United States, beyond the bare feet that he was
a Mason. He was particularly prominent in the formation of the Society of the
Cincinnati. That in itself would indicate that he had Masonic connections, as
it is hardly likely that the idea of such an Order would have occurred to
anyone who was not already a member of some kind of fraternity. Also the
greater number of the first members appear to have been Masons.
Perhaps some of our readers may be able to furnish more information.
* * *
AS A SYMBOL
September I received an account of the laying of the "foundation stone" for a
Masonic Temple at Long Sutton, England, the place where I was born. In the
ceremony conducted by the Provincial Grand Master, it stated that corn, wine,
oil and salt were used. Can you enlighten me as to the symbolism of salt?
M., New York.
Unfortunately we have not any English formulary for the consecration ceremony
at hand. In one used in Scotland salt is not included. It is however used in
the Royal Arch consecration ceremonies as practiced in Canada.
Mackey's Encyclopaedia, under the heading "Salt," it is said that in the Swiss
ritual this substance is added to the corn, wine and oil, and here it is
expressly stated to be a symbol of wisdom and learning, which should
characterize a Mason's lodge. The foundation stone is sprinkled with salt with
this formula: "May this undertaking, contrived by wisdom, be executed in
strength and adorned with beauty, so that it may be a house where peace,
harmony and brotherly love shall perpetually reign."
probable that the corn, wine and oil is taken from the Old Testament, and
probably from the Psalms. Another possible meaning of the salt is that in
oriental countries the sharing of salt between two strangers creates a bond of
hospitality, or brotherhood, between them. With this underlying idea it would
be very suitable for us in the dedication of a building where Masons are to
hold their meetings. It may also have an allusion to the saying in the New
Testament, "If the salt has lost its savour," which again would have an
* * *
understand that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts instituted various lodges in
Chile, China and the Canal Zone. I would like to know if these lodges are
considered as regular lodges or clandestine.
quite true that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has chartered lodges in the
Canal Zone and in China. This is a perfectly legitimate proceeding as neither
of these countries have any Grand Lodge organized within their limits, and
therefore according to the law of jurisdiction, as followed in America, it is
open to any Grand Lodge to charter lodges in such unoccupied territory. As a
matter of fact, there are also lodges chartered in China by the Grand Lodges
of England and Scotland and other governing bodies in Europe. Wherever the
Grand Lodges which chartered these subordinates are in communication with each
other, the subordinate lodges can also have intercourse and are regarded as
regard to Chile the question would be different as there is a Grand Lodge
formed there. However we have no information that any foreign Grand Lodges
have chartered lodges that country.
must however be emphasized that this is the American view of the law governing
jurisdiction. The Grand Lodges in other parts of the world do not wholly agree
with this and follow their own rules, which has often led to disputes and
sometimes to the severing of fraternal relations. In any case whether such
lodges as you speak of are recognized or not by other Grand Lodges, they
cannot possibly be called clandestine in the proper sense of the word.
* * *
CIRCLE, CLUB OR GROUP?
regard to the article appearing in the Question Box of the January issue of
THE BUILDER, referring to Study Clubs, and your desire for an expression of
opinion as to a suitable name, may I give you my own experience in the matter?
A number of men in my lodge who are interested in the subject of Masonic
study, formed a group for this purpose. Inasmuch as the object was Masonic
study, without any social or club connections, we have designated our
organization as the Masonic Study Group.
B., New Jersey
* * *
WANTED AND FOR SALE
Library is lacking Vols. 3, 7, 19 and 25 of The Universal Masonic Library,
published by Robert Morris, 1856. We have available for exchange or sale Vols.
5, 10, 12, 15, 21, 22, 24, 27 and 29. I would be very pleased to hear from
anyone desiring to obtain these or wishing to dispose of those we require.
Letters may be addressed care of the Editor.
following is an extract from The Norfolk Chronicle, or The Norwich Gazette,
which was printed and published in Norwich, Norfolk, England, on Saturday, May
full Court of Mayoralty on Sunday his Royal Highness Prince William of
Gloucester was admitted to the honorary freedom of this City.
Thursday afternoon, between three and four o'clock, hi Royal Highness left
this City, accompanied with the universal respect and admiration of all ranks.
Prince during his residence visited several times the Lodges of Freemasons, to
the Craft and Mysteries of which he is particularly attached. On Tuesday night
the Royal George Chapter was held at the White Swan, by his Command, over
which his Royal Highness presided - several brethren were exalted, and the
Prince established his character as a perfect master of Masonry, in the
strictest sense of the word. The evening before his departure he honored the
Theater with his presence, to serve a brother Mason."
* * *
bas‑relief at Dendirah Osiris is shown rising from a bier. In another he is
shown enclosed in a tree, and is called in the inscriptions "the one in the
tree" and "the solitary one in the acacia." At the temple of Philae he is
shown lying dead with stalks of wheat springing up from his body, while a
priest stands close by pouring water over it from a libation vase. An
inscriptions reads: "This is the form of him whom one may not name, Osiris of
the mysteries, who springs from the ebbing waters.”
is little doubt that in origin Osiris was a deity of vegetation and more
especially of the various kinds of grain.