The Builder Magazine

April 1927 - Volume XIII - Number 4

 

IS Freemasonry Neglecting Opportunities?

By BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada

I HAVE been asked to show wherein Freemasonry of today is neglecting its opportunities, and to do so justly it is needful that we ascertain just what these opportunities are and what responsibilities they bring. In the case of an Institution like ours, which has been definitely organized for a specific purpose, and is well over its second century in its present form, it should be a fair statement that its opportunities are ties and that they will have become clearly stated in its Constitutions.

 

Let us take a first take a look at these Constitutions, for some of us may not be thoroughly familiar with them, although we have all been charged to make ourselves acquainted therewith in order that each one might become instructed in the duties he owes to the Craft in general. Note the words, the duties, he owes, by reason of his admission into our ranks, not merely social usages which can be observed or set aside at pleasure.

 

We find that this Constitution is based on certain Old Charges of a Freemason, and there is documentary evidence that these Old Charges have existed in writing for nearly six hundred years at least. There are seventy-eight manuscript copies of them known today, the oldest dating from the end of the 14th century. Our Masonic scholars have exercised a great deal of learning in trying to trace their origins through the customs and lengths of a time when all book learning was a prerogative of one class only and the great bulk of the people had to depend entirely on what they were told.

 

THE CHARGES OF A FREEMASON

 

These Charges cover, in six main sections, all the relationships that were expected to be formed by the membership of the Craft, among themselves and with their fellow men; and it is due entirely to the special phrasing of the first that our Order has today spread all over the civilized world, has over two hundred years of continuous and beneficial service to its credit, and is likely to last as long as the most sacred and the most important duties of citizenship are subject to human disagreement.

 

It may be strange to some, but it is a fact in our history, that when Freemasonry was recognized in 1717 and the first Grand Lodge established, it was a clergyman, a Presbyterian divine, who was given the task of "digesting" these old Charges, which had been the working rules of the Operative Lodges then dying from lack of support, into "a new and better method." These brethren so changed the character of our Order that instead of recognizing only the authority of the Established Church of England, and of the English monarch as divinely appointed to that office, it became possible for men of any religious faith or political party to seek admission, to enter our ranks, and to gain our highest honors. All these possibilities are contained in the new first section, and our history stands as proof of the success that followed this revolutionary overturn of our previous usages.

 

It is in considering this first section that I hope to find the substance of what I have to say, and I hope the effort will at least cause some to hunt up their copies of the Constitution and become better acquainted with these Old Charges. There is a great deal of reliable as well as speculative literature to be had on this subject, both in book and magazine form, so that no brother need plead ignorance of these vital matters because of being denied access to them.

 

You may well ask how it became possible for such changes to be made, and in such wise that both then and since they have been accepted and justified by their appeal to the best that is in us. The answer to these questions is contained in this quotation:

 

Masons unite with the virtuous of every persuasion in the firm and pleasing bond of fraternal love; they are taught to view the errors of mankind with compassion and to strive, by the purity of their own conduct, to demonstrate the superior excellence of the faith they may profess....

 

Thus Masonry is the center of the union between good men and true, and the happy means of conciliating Friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

 

These sentences are pregnant with our successes and our failures, and by our own professions are we condemned to the extent that we avoid their implications.

 

THE DESIRE FOR FRATERNITY

 

An answer to the first question will be found by a brief survey of English and European history during the centuries preceding. The Golden Rule was almost invariably set aside for political and commercial advantage, might and right, and the spread of the new religion was accompanied by deceit, crime, murder and persecution, even to death by torture. Civil war, fostered by the grossest ignorance and credulity, was the constant condition of church and state, and the records of all parties are bloodstained in the degree that they had power to enforce their will. Is it any wonder that men should have become utterly exhausted by their burdens of war and taxation, should have welcomed with joy a method of association made possible by a strict omission of all subjects of political and religious contention? And thus in two hundred years an idea advocated by a few elderly men, of no particular social standing, spread all over the world, counted a voluntary membership of over three millions, drawn from all classes of society, all ranks of learning and all grades of wealth. Nothing approaching such an achievement is to be found elsewhere in history!

 

Yet, with all these successes what else must we admit, at least so far as this North American continent is concerned ? Every year members drop out, often for reasons that are definitely the result of our present methods. Masonic honors are conferred upon those who have no better claims than blatant self assertion and aggressiveness in their pursuit. The duties of Masonic charity are treated with indifference by individual members and left almost entirely to lodges and Grand Lodges. The practice of Masonic scholarship is ignored so that an estimate of 10 per cent of our membership would be over-liberal of the number who concern themselves with more than entertainment and ceremonial. Masonic friendship is at a minimum, because lodge membership is too large to permit our knowing each other as intimately as we should.

 

PRESENT CONDITIONS NO IMPROVEMENT

 

As for "viewing with compassion the errors of mankind" in matters of religion and politics, I ask you to consider the feelings exhibited while the union between the Methodist and Presbyterian churches was coming into being, and those made evident all over the country during the Scopes' trial in Tennessee. Had these quarrels taken place even in 1717, they would have resulted in the use of fire and steel and, if words could kill, there would be many more widows, orphans and homeless people on this continent today than there are, even though government has prohibited the general use of lethal weapons.

 

Every election, from President to mayor, causes more poison to be thrown against reputations and intentions by those who will not try to "demonstrate the superior excellence of the faith they may profess, by the purity of their own conduct." We as Freemasons are vitally concerned in all these things, many of us directly by our public positions, and all of us by the power of our personal influence, even in our own small family or social circles. What are we doing about it?

 

Is it living up to our professions to be content with listening to this address, to agree with its message more or less, as evidence of our intellectual powers, and then put the blame on Freemasonry because it is neglecting its opportunities to aid in the improvement of humanity, while we continue to walk comfortably along the path of least resistance and most profit to our own concerns? Freemasonry lives amongst us today only because we are members of the Masonic Order. It will honor us by its prestige or stain us with its disrepute exactly as we try to learn and meet our Masonic duties or neglect them. One little swamp mosquito can infect a grown man with yellow fever, so that he dies or becomes a permanent invalid. One careless smoker, whether Freemason or not, can set the prairie or the timber limit on fire with all the terrible consequences that are told in our fire loss reports.

 

THE REMEDY SUGGESTED

 

As destructive criticism alone is of little use, and the physician should try to heal as well as diagnose the disease, I will therefore venture to offer a few suggestions in the hope that they may be considered worth acting upon. The most important duty we neglect lies in the quality of our membership, as proven by our annual loss through suspensions for non-payment of dues. A small percentage of this is legitimate and result of the lean years that have followed the Great War, but the remainder are mostly men who should not have found a place amongst us, who were not well enough known to their proposers and seconders and who were received without sufficient test.

 

I respectfully submit for one thing that the questionaire used in this Grand Lodge (Canada) does not bring out the information we need, and that the much more elaborate one adopted by the Grand Lodge of Alberta is also open to improvement. Our attitude to applicants should be positive, not negative; not why should we refuse him but why should we admit him? How often do proposers and seconders know an appliant well enough to make on oath, if need were, the statements they write on the forms supplied ? We know a man in business and like him, but later he is found to be selfish and callous in his home. We know a man socially and like him, but in business he proves to be a smooth rascal. Very seldom do we get to know a man under both conditions, yet Masonic admission implies both, and more, and we profess to "guard our portals"; our authorities warn us to do so constantly. The Society for Masonic Research in Toronto has brought out a compilation of all the questions asked by Canadian lodges, with some of their own, which is worth serious consideration as a remedy for this disease.

 

GUARDING THE PORTAL

 

It is not only too easy for men to join us, but far too for them to make progress in our ranks. In Switzerland an interval of a year is imposed between each degree, and proofs of proficiency do not consist in repeating set answers to a few questions, none of which appear to mean anything more to the candidates than so many words. In that country Freemasonry is a very serious matter; each applicant is required to prove himself by his behavior during a term of waiting before he becomes a candidate for a higher degree, and by submitting in writing, before receiving advancement, his understanding of his Masonic experiences. Upon that piece of original thinking does his progress depend. How do you suppose such a method would affect our growth in numbers?

 

The next opportunity we neglect is our duty towards Charity, and our attitude in this respect is pitiable. There are practically no individual gifts, except on the rare occasions when a lodge allows the hat to be passed as well as giving a grant from its funds, and these grants do not compare with those expected from our Grand Lodge funds. When we stood in the Northeast Corner we promised to personally help distressed worthy brothers, but in practice we ignore our promise, since grants from lodge or Grand Lodge funds do not touch our pockets directly.

 

That we are not poor is proven by our temples, by the frequency and quality of our entertainments. We cheerfully pay dues of a size to support such expense, which help no one but our caterers, but what sentiments have we heard when it is proposed to increase them for the sake of larger benevolence. Recently a little lodge in Jerusalem marked its second installation of officers by subscribing eighty guineas ($400) towards the English charities and an annual report of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand showed an average voluntary contribution of $4 per member towards their Charity Funds, over and above that required by their annual dues. But one Grand Lodge in Canada (Nova Scotia) supports a Masonic Home; attempts to do so in our other Grand Lodges have failed.

 

The point does not enter here of the merits of a Masonic Home, compared with private relief as is done in Ontario; the point is that our capacities in this respect are being dishonored by shear neglect to cultivate them. We could make a splendid start by financing a few scholarships for Masons' children whose education must be stopped by the death of their parents, or by endowing beds in hospitals for the benefit of poor Masons or their dependents, to whom the costs of a serious illness or an operation would be devastating.

 

A third opportunity which does not get its share of attention is Masonic scholarship. Regalia makers flourish and grow fat; jewels, robes and chains of office are in steady demand, but wealth of knowledge is at a discount. The history of our magazines is one of constant struggle against indifference, of enthusiasm for Masonry crushed under a burden of uncollectible arrears, caused by a too liberal confidence in a professed desire for knowledge. Of those in our chief seats, who should lead us to more light, how many encourage us by example as well as precept?

 

It is true that many Masons cannot become well read, for every man's powers are limited and the proportion of those who study for the love of learning is, naturally, small. But why should any of us be satisfied merely with those suggestions that are all our ceremonies can impart; why need we be content with the narrow limits of personal associations? We are told that Freemasonry is like the British Empire in that on its limits the sun never sets, yet the small concerns of our lodge are, for the most of us, the whole field of our observation. Like Gray's peasants, many of us "think the rustic cackle of our burgh the murmur of the world."

 

MASONIC LITERATURE UNSUPPORTED

 

We know that Freemasonry sets no religion over another, prefers no form of government to another and, for that reason alone, is it possible for brethren to dwell together in unity despite the war of creed and policy outside our lodges. But no member denies himself, for that reason, his daily paper, the journal of his profession, or other literary aid to intelligent citizenship. Is Freemasonry less worth attention than these, because it is not a source of physical wealth or public honor? Are our claims to be descended from the "Ancient Mysteries" limited to the once guarded secrets of the skilled worker in stone, wood and metal ?

 

To admit this, even tacitly, by our indifference towards our literature is to deny any truth to the Junior Warden's lecture, is to regard our Senior Warden's lecture as a tinkling cymbal and our Past Master's charge as but sounding brass. Why should we enter our brethren into the Craft as new-born babes, pass them into the grave duties of manhood and raise them into the crown of a future life if these are intended to be nothing more than preliminaries to a pleasant social evening ? The church exists to do this for us, and does it better with men trained to the task. If we can do no more, let us at least cease to be hypocrites, cease to call upon the name of T.G.A.O.T.U. before we sit down to smoke and listen to stories we do not repeat at home.

 

Freemasonry may indeed be one of the Lesser Mysteries; it may be, like the Prodigal Son, wasting its substance in a far country, forgetful of its origin and careless or blind to the inherent purpose that has kept it going under many names and through many centuries. But it is indeed the portal to the Greater Mysteries, as in the days of Eleusis and, if we do not choose to lift our eyes to that bright Morning Star of daily progress in Masonic knowledge, then will we continue to stumble amongst mere repetitions of meat and mummery until we too drop out into the N. P. D. class, unless, happily, death saves us first!

 

To each is given a bag of tools

A shapeless mass and a Book of Rules;

And each must make, e'er time be flown,

A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

 

----o----

 

Effects of Anti-Masonry on the Masonic Fraternity 1826-1856

By BRO. ERIK McKINLEY ERIKSSON, Iowa

 

(Concluded. All rights reserved)

 

IT has been customary to say that anti-Masonry did not affect the South. If this statement should be changed to say that political anti-Masonry made little progress in the South, it would be substantially true. But a glance at the accompanying chart makes it apparent that every Grand Lodge south of the Mason and Dixon line suffered at least in the matter of attendance at the communications. In the cases of some Grand Jurisdictions it is possible to associate other factors with anti-Masonry in explaining the decline. In fact, in some instances, other causes appear to have been more important than anti-Masonry in bringing about a decline of Masonry in the South.

 

LITTLE EFFECT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

 

It is evident that the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was not affected by anti-Masonry enough to curtail its public appearances. This is well demonstrated by the various appearances of the Grand Lodge at dedicatory and other ceremonies, at which time public processions were held. Such occasions were the laying of the cornerstones of a new Masonic Hall in Washington, Sept. 19, 1826, of the First Presbyterian Church, April 10, 1827, and of the Trinity Episcopal Church, May 31, 1828; the funeral procession and memorial service for DeWitt Clinton, March 29, 1828; the laying of the cornerstone of the first lock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, May 29, 1829, with President Jackson present; the laying of the cornerstone of the "German Church" in Washington, Aug. 20, 1833; and the laying of the cornerstane of Jackson City, Jan. 11, 1836, with President Jackson assisting Grand Master William W. Billing.

 

In 1827 the number of lodges in the District was augmented by the chartering of the tenth lodge. But in spite of external signs of prosperity it is clear that all was not well with the Grand Lodge and the individual lodges internally. One evidence of this is the fact that the Grand Lodge proceedings from 1829 to 1844 were not printed, and were unavailable until 1881. A proposal in 1832 to consolidate the 10 lodges into 7 also indicates that difficulties were being experienced.

 

A few of the lodges were especially affected during the period. The first to go out of existence was Brooke Lodge, No. 2, in Alexandria. In 1835 Union Lodge, No. 6, surrendered its charter. These two lodges were destined never to be revived. On Nov. 1, 1836, Columbia Lodge, No. 3, was authorized to close its affairs, but the surrender of its charter was not accepted until 1838. Meanwhile, in 1836, Federal Lodge, No. 1, had given up its charter, jewels, tools and implements but in 1837 these were restored when the lodge was revived. As late as 1842, Evangelical Lodge, No. 8, offered to surrender its charter but the offer was refused, pending an effort to heal the internal dissensions, which nevertheless, seem to have caused it to die. It can hardly be said that prosperity returned to the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia before 1845. In that year a public funeral procession was held for ex-President Jackson and a new lodge was chartered. By 1856 there were 50 per cent more lodges in the District of Columbia than there had been at the beginning of the period of anti-Masonry.

 

ANTI-MASONRY IN MARYLAND

 

In considering Maryland it should be remembered that organized political anti-Masonry made little headway in the state in spite of the facts that Baltimore was the seat of the second Anti-Masonic National Convention and that William Wirt, the anti-Masonic presidential candidate in the election of 1832, was from the state. Nevertheless, the lodges in the jurisdiction were somewhat affected, as the decreased representation at the Grand Lodge indicates. In view of the fact that, out of 82 lodges chartered up to 1826, 49 had by that time either forfeited or surrendered their charters, it is a question whether the decline between 1826 and 1839 should be regarded as especially extraordinary. Judging by the previous record, it is fair to suppose that, even had there been no special feeling against the, Masons, a considerable decline would have taken place. It was not until 1845 that a noticeable improvement began to be manifested in the Masonic Institution in Maryland, but even thereafter its upward progress was so slow that by 1856 it had not reached the numerical strength attained three decades earlier.

 

THE CRAFT UNHEALTHY IN VIRGINIA

 

Anti-Masonry cannot be considered as doing anything more in Virginia than to aggravate an already bad condition in the Masonic Institution. The proceedfngs for 1826 make it clear that Masonry in the state was anything but healthy at the time. They show that out of 144 lodges which had been chartered, 45 were "dormant," 4 were "extinct," 7 were under the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges, 14 were delinquent, while one number (59).was not at the time assigned. Only 55 lodges were represented while but 73 had made returns. During the year there were reported 64 suspensions, 24 expulsions, 40 rejections and 26 reinstatements.

 

Similar reports were made in later years, with, however, an increase in the number of delinquent and dormant lodges and a decrease in the number of rejections, reinstatements, suspensions and expulsions. New charters were issued during the period when anti-Masonry was raging most strongly farther north. Between 1826 and 1837, inclusive, charters granted included 3 in 1827, 1 in 1830, 2 in 1833 and I in 1837. During the same period at least 3 lodges, long dormant, were revived. It should be noted that in December, 1837, the time of the annual communications were changed from December to January, which accounts for the fact that no communication was held in 1838. With the revival of 4 lodges in 1839 and 6 in 1840, it may be said that the condition of Masonry in Virginia was improving. But its upward progress was so slow that by 1856 it had not reached a much higher plane than it occupied in 1826.

 

NORTH CAROLINA AND THE MOVEMENT

 

Anti-Masonry had had little effect on Masonry in North Carolina prior to 1832, but in that year some of the lodges were reported in "embarrassed circumstances" financially, and there was a considerable drop in Grand Lodge representation. At the same time 14 lodges reported accessions to their membership during the year. In 1833 one charter was surrendered and 34 lodges were reported as in arrears for dues. The returns of 14 lodges showed withdrawals of members but 11 showed that work - in some cases a considerable amount - had been performed. By 1834 work was at a standstill, and only 10 lodges were represented. Delinquent lodges were given a year to make good their arrearages.

 

By the time of the annual communication, Dec. 7, 1835, some improvement was noticeable in spite of the fact that both the Grand Master and the Grand Treasurer submitted their resignations at the beginning of the communication. The returns showed that work had been performed in 9 lodges. Nothing was done to punish the delinquent lodges nor was any drastic action taken in 1836. But in 1837 the lodges delinquent for two years or more were required to surrender their charters to the Special Grand Lecturers appointed at the time, unless they should make immediate settlement of their accounts. At the 1837 communication a new lodge was chartered and thereafter reports of new lodges were common. By 1856 the Grand Lodge of North Carolina was practically twice as large as it had been in 1825.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA MASONRY ALSO UNHEALTHY

 

As in the case of so many jurisdictions, Masonry in South Carolina was not in a prosperous condition at the time the anti-Masonic excitement was being created in New York and elsewhere. The proceedings for 1826 furnish their own commentary. Out of 55 lodges on the Grand Lodge list, 5 were extinct, 3 had consolidated with other lodges, 2 had surrendered their charters, 9 were suspended, 19 others had made no returns, 2 numbers (17 and 24) were not assigned, while only 15 lodges were in good standing. Under such conditions it is not to be wondered at that, in the next 15 years, Freemasonry in South Carolina should have suffered a further decline, under the pressure of anti-Masonic feeling. The lowest point in South Carolina's Masonic history was reached when the Quarterly Communication, scheduled for June 29, 1838, at Charleston, could not be held because only 3 lodges, less than the required quorum, were represented. From that year until 1844 the Grand Lodge proceedings were not published. By 1841, improvement began to be noticeable, and by 1856 the Grand Lodge of South Carolina had attained a strength considerably greater than that of thirty years earlier.

 

INTERNAL TROUBLES IN GEORGIA

 

In no state was there less reason than in Georgia to blame the decline in Masonry on anti-Masonry, during the period after 1826. It is much more reasonable to blame the decline on internal dissensions among the Masons themselves. For some time trouble had been brewing but it did not come to a head until 1827. In that year a definite split took place in the Grand Lodge. Thirty of the lodges adhered to what was called the Milledgeville Grand Lodge, while the rest formed the Savannah Grand Lodge. In 1829, the Milledgeville Grand Lodge, having previously given warning of its contemplated action, declared the charters of the 14 lodges that formed the Savannah Grand Lodge to be forfeited. In the following years a rapid decay took place in both Grand Lodges. In 1835 only 16 of the Milledgeville lodges still existed, while evidently Solomon Lodge, No. 1, at Savannah was the only remaining lodge in the Savannah Grand Lodge. In 1839 peace was restored in the Masonic circles of the state by admission of Solomon Lodge to the Milledgeville Grand Lodge. This action was coincident with the beginning of an extraordinarily rapid development of Masonry in Georgia which was to result in 217 lodges being on the Grand Lodge list in 1856.

 

WEAKNESS OF THE CRAFT IN FLORIDA

 

The establishment of the Grand Lodge of the Territory of Florida in 1830 with 3 lodges as the original members is indicative of the general impotency of anti-Masonry in the South. However, it was not until 1837 that the Fraternity began to make any considerable progress in the jurisdiction. By 1856 the original number of lodges had multiplied over ten-fold.

 

REORGANIZATION IN ALABAMA

 

In Alabama Masonry made considerable progress for a few years after 1825. By 1828 the number of lodges had increased from 21 to 28. However, many of the lodges were delinquent. In 1829 the charters of 10 lodges were forfeited and the charters of 2 other lodges were surrendered. At the same time one new charter was granted. During the next few years the fortunes of Alabama Masonry were variable. Because of a change in the time of the annual communications from December to January, no meeting of the Grand Lodge was held in 1832. In 1833 one charter was granted and the next year two were granted, while at the same time three charters were forfeited. By this time only 12 lodges in Alabama were active, and of these only 3 had existed in 1825.

 

The lowest point of Masonry in Alabama was reached in 1835 when no annual communication was held because the constitutional number (7) of lodges were not represented. Only 2 lodges made returns during the year. On Dec. 5, 1836, only 6 lodges appeared for the annual communication. After adjourning for two successive days, the Grand Secretary reported that “owing to the lapsed state of Masonry, the subordinate Lodges of this Grand Lodge had suffered said Grand Lodge to become extinct." Then followed a most extraordinary action. The representatives present resolved themselves into a convention and proceeded to draw up a new constitution and by-laws, carefully omitting the requirement that 7 lodges must be represented to constitute a quorum. It was then resolved that the 12 lodges which had been active should be "reinstated" [sic] on application to the new Grand Lodge. Officers were elected and on Dec. 8, 1836, the Grand Lodge "opened in due and ancient form."

 

Regardless of what might be said of the irregularity of the procedure, it served to bring Alabama Freemasonry through its most severe crisis. From that time on rapid improvement was made, so that by 1856 the Alabama Grand Lodge was among the strongest in the United States.

 

LITTLE DISTURBANCE IN MISSISSIPPI

 

The figures in the chart tell about all that is necessary to say about Freemasonry in Mississippi after 1825. There was some decline, with the lowest point reached in 1833. Thereafter reports of new charters began to appear in the proceedings so that by 1839 there were two and a half times as many lodges in the state as in 1825. By 1856, the Grand Lodge of Mississippi was a close rival of Alabama so far as numerical strength was concerned.

 

NO SUSPENSION OF WORK IN TENNESSEE

 

Masonic work was not suspended in many of the Tennessee lodges during the whole period of the anti-Masonic furore. Throughout the period there were new charters granted while reports of charters surrendered or forfeited also appeared. Though the total number of lodges in the jurisdiction declined during the period, the condition of the Grand Lodge never became critical. By 1842 the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was developing rapidly so that by 1856 it was to include 258 lodges as compared with 35 in 1826.

 

FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES IN KENTUCKY

 

What has been said about Masonry in Tennessee might also be said of Kentucky. The troubles in that jurisdiction were not due to anti-Masonry so much as to a burden of debt which hung over the Grand Lodge. This difficulty was removed in 1833 when the Masonic Hall, which had been heavily mortgaged, was surrendered to the mortgagee. Within a short time

 

Masonry in Kentucky was on the up-grade and by 1856 there were 281 lodges in the state as compared with 55 in 1825.

 

GRAND LODGE OF MISSOURI PERSEVERES

 

The Grand Lodge of Missouri had been established in 1821 and in 1825 included only 4 lodges. Four of its member lodges had been in Illinois but these had withdrawn in 1824-1825 to join the Grand Lodge of Illinois, while a fifth withdrew in 1825. Three others surrendered their charters, leaving only 3 lodges on the list after the annual communication at St. Louis, Oct. 3, 1825. But instead of giving up, the Grand Lodge of Missouri persevered so that by 1839 it had increased its membership to 11 lodges. By 1856 this number bad been increased to 170.

 

NO EFFECT IN LOUISIANA

 

As anti-Masonry does not seem to have touched Missouri, it appears entirely safe to say that it affected Masonry in Louisiana not at all. The prosperity of Masonry during the period under consideration was affected by the prevalence of cholera in New Orleans, especially, and by a disagreement with the Grand Lodge of Mississippi over the matter of jurisdiction. But the chief explanation of the low state of Masonry in Louisiana during the period is to be found in the three-cornered fight for supremacy waged by the advocates of the York, Scottish and French (Modern) rites. Not until after their differences were taken care of by a convention which met at Baton Rouge in June, 1850, did Freemasonry in Louisiana enter on a period of prosperity which was to result in there being 106 lodges on the Grand Lodge list in 1856.

 

From the analysis that has been made it is evident that most of the Grand Lodges had begun to recover from their depression, brought on by anti-Masonry and other factors, by the end of the decade of the thirties. The establishment of eight of the present Grand Lodges between 1837 and 1856, inclusive, as shown by the table, is the best possible evidence that the recovery of Masonry was well-nigh complete.

 

THE NATIONAL MASONIC CONVENTIONS

 

Further indications of Masonic recovery were to be seen in the Masonic Conventions held at Washington and Baltimore in 1842 and 1843, respectively. For several years the Grand Lodge of Alabama had urged the desirability of holding a Masonic national convention. This persistence bore fruit when, from March 7 to 10,1842, a convention was held at Washington, composed of delegates from 10 Grand Lodges, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, South Carolina and Alabama. The convention made important recommendations to the Grand Lodges. One was the recommendation that Grand Lecturers be appointed who should meet at least once every three years to compare their lectures and thus secure uniformity. It was further recommended that certificates should be demanded of strangers seeking to visit lodges. The custom of taking promissory notes for fees, a previous cause of untold trouble, was roundly condemned. The 1843 convention was composed of delegates from 15 Grand Lodges. It undertook to make Masonic work uniform throughout the country but in this it was doomed to failure.

 

Space does not permit a fuller account of the effects of anti-Masonry on the Masonic Fraternity. An examination of the histories of local lodges would reveal many interesting bits of information showing what the Masons of that time endured. For instance, there was New England Lodge, No. 4, of Ohio, which for a time held its meetings in a ravine. On the other hand it would be shown that there were some lodges which were hardly molested, such as Lancaster Lodge, No. 57, also in Ohio. A more detailed study would also reveal the sporadic but only occasionally successful attempts to bar Masons from serving on juries. It would allow an account of unscrupulous men who traveled from place to place professing to expose in "lectures" the alleged evils of Masonry, illustrating their "lectures" with a demonstration of what purported to be "The Immolation of William Morgan." It would permit discussion of the seceding Masons, especially those who hastened to publish Anti-Masonic Almanacs and exposes or who otherwise sought to profit by their renunciation of Masonry. It would permit an account of the part played by the press, both for and against Masonry. It could be brought out that through the 141 anti-Masonic newspapers established by 1832, or through speeches and pamphlets, pressure was brought to bear on non-Masons to openly denounce the Masons. Those who would not do so were labelled "Bats" or "Masons' Jacks." On the other hand it would be possible to show how probably five-sixths of the newspapers of the country, if they did not support Masonry, at least did not become openly hostile to the Institution. It has only been possible to hint at the part played by defenders of Masonry.

 

In closing, it should be said that, while thousands of Masons withdrew from the Institution under the pressure of anti-Masonry, some of them to become the outspoken leaders in opposition to the Fraternity, other thousands remained loyal. It should be said that the anti-Masonic excitement was not entirely harmful in its effects on the Fraternity. The elimination of those who had joined the Institution for unworthy reasons was a direct benefit. Subjected to the great wave of anti-Masonry, the Masons were forced to discard objectionable practices and to heal internal dissensions. Certain it is that the Masonic Fraternity, purged by the fires of persecution, emerged from the period of the excitement with its membership composed only of men of the most substantial type. On such a foundation it was possible to build the great structure which even before the Civil War had been raised to a much higher point in the United States than at any previous time.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

 

As far as possible, the proceedings of the Grand Lodges, in the original form, or in reprints, have been carefully examined. In learning what proceedings were published during the period much use was made of Josiah H. Drummond's Masonic Historical and Bibliographical Memoranda (Brooksville, Ky., 1882).

 

The proceedings of the various Grand Lodges which were used had titles as follows (with slight variations in a few cases for some years): Transactions of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, 1816-1827 . . . [Reprint]; Abstract of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York . . . 1828-1839; Early Records of the Grand Lodge of the State of Vermont, F. & A. M., From 1794 to 1846, Inclusive [Reprint]; Journal of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire . . . 1825-1842; Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Maine, 1825-1840, 1841-1845; Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . . . 1825-1839; Reprint of the Early Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . . of Rhode Island . . . 1820 . . . 1840, Vol. II; The Early Records of Free-Masonry in the State of Connecticut, 1789-1845 [Reprint]; Origin of Masonry in the State of New Jersey, and the Entire Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, From Its First Organization . . . 1786-1857 [Reprint]; Stated Communication of the Grand Lodge of Delaware . . . 1825, 1827, 1829; Reprint of the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, Vols. V, VI, VII (1822-1848) ; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of the State of Ohio . . . From 1808 to 1847, Inclusive [Reprint]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of Indiana . . . 1817-1845 [Reprint]; Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of Illinois . . . 1840-1860; Transactions of the Grand Lodge . . . of the Territory of Michigan . . . 1826, 1827; Reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia, 1810-1845; Proceedings of the R.W.G. Lodge of Maryland . . . 1826-1844; Proceedings of a Grand Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Virginia . . . 1826-1828, 1830-1835, 1837, 1839; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons of North Carolina . . . 1825-1837, 1839, 1840; Abstract of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free-Masons of So. Car. . . . 1825-1832; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of the State of Georgia . . . [Savannah, 1824-1826], [Savannah and Milledgeville, 1827], [Milledgeville, 1826, 1828, 1829, 1831, 1832, 1835-1840]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge . . . of Florida . . . 1830-1859 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . . of Alabama . . . 1821-1839 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi . . . 1818-1852 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the M. W. Grand Lodge . . . of Tennessee . . . Vol. 1, 1813-1847 [Reprint]; Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky . . . 1825, 1827-1829, 1832, 1833, 1837, 1838; The Official Record of the Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of the State of Missouri . . . 1821-1840 [Reprint].

 

Most of the statistics given in the table for 1856 were adapted from a table contained in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa . . . 1857.

 

Histories of Freemasonry in various states have been consulted but, generally speaking, they have contributed little that was not found in the proceedings. Those available were as follows: Ossian Lang's History of Freemasonry in the State of New York (New York, 1912); Charles T. McClenachan's History of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity' of Free and Accepted Masons in New York From the Earliest Date . . . (New York, 1892), 4v.; Peter Ross' Standard History of Freemasonry in the State of New York . . . (New York and Chicago, 1899) ; Lee S. Tillotson's Ancient Craft Masonry in Vermont (Montpelier, Vt., 1920); Henry W. Rugg's History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island . . . (Providence, R.I., 1895) ; Alfred Creigh's Masonry and Anti-Masonry. A History of Masonry, As It Has Existed in Pennsylvania Since 1792 . . . (Philadelphia, 1854); W. M. Cunningham's History of Freemasonry in Ohio From 1791 . . . (Cincinnati, 1909); Daniel McDonald's History of Freemasonry in Indiana From 1806 to 1898 (Indianapolis, 1898); John C. Reynold's History of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Illinois . . . up to and Including 1850 (Springfield, Ill., 1869); John Corson Smith's History of Freemasonry in Illinois 1804-1829 . . . (Chicago, 1903) ; George W. Warvelle, ed., A Compendium of Freemasonry in Illinois. . . . (Chicago, 1897), 2v.; Jefferson S. Conover's Freemasonry in Michigan . . . (Coldwater, Mich., 1897); Kenton N. Harper's History of the Grand Lodge and of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia . . . (Washington, D. C., 1911); Edward T. Schultz's History of Freemasonry in Maryland (Baltimore, 1885-1886), Vol. II; John Dove’s History of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Virginia, Its Origin, Progress, and Mode of Development, in Two Lectures . . . (Richmond, 1854); Albert G. Mackey's History of Freemasonry in South Carolina . . . (Columbia, S. C., 1861); T.C. McDonald's Freemasonry and Its Progress in Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia, With Brief History of the Grand Lodge . . . (Atlanta, Ga., 1925); Rob Morris' History of Freemasonry in Kentucky . . . (Louisville, Ky., 1859); and James B. Scot's Outline of the Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Louisiana . . . (New Orleans, 1873).

 

In addition to other works previously cited, the following pamphlets were used: Jesse B. Anthony, compiler, Review of the Grand Lodge Transactions of the State of New York, From the Year 1781 to 1852. Together With Other Facts Appertaining Thereto (Troy, N. Y., 18,69) ; and Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the rise and progress of Free-Masonry in Louisiana, and the accumulation of Rites in and by, the State Grand Lodge (New Orleans, 1849).

 

Numerous histories of individual lodges which existed during the anti-Masonic period were examined, but space will not permit them to be cited.

 

Grateful acknowledgment is made of valuable assistance rendered by Dr. Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary (Massachusetts); Wm. L. Boyden, 33d, Librarian Supreme Council, A.&A.S.R., Washington, D.C.; Fred W. Hardwick, Grand Secretary (Kentucky); John A. Davilla, Grand Secretary (Louisiana); Charles B. Davis, Grand Secretary (Maine); John F. Robinson, Grand Secretary (Delaware); Harry M. Cheney, Grand Secretary (New Hampshire); Chas. Insco Williams, Grand Archivist (Virginia); William L. Sweet, Grand Master (Rhode Island); William B. Clarke, Grand Steward (Georgia); Frank F. Baker, Grand Secretary (Georgia); C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary (Iowa), and J. Hugo Tatsch, Curator, Iowa Masonic Library.

 

----o----

 

Why I Believe in God

 

BRO. JOHN J. LANIER, Kansas

 

The inspiration of the religion of the modern thoughtful man is neither deism, theism, nor pantheism but theopanism.

 

Theopanism is the opposite of pantheism both in etymology and meaning. They come from the two Greek words, reversed, pan and theos; pan means all, and theos means God. Pantheism means that all is God and everything is a part of God, theopanism means that God is all in all.

 

The all is spirit, personality; in all is the manifestation and revelation of infinite personality in and as the world of nature and man, it is God revealed to our senses: and for spirit, God, to do this he must embody himself as matter.

 

Theopanism does not teach that man and nature are self-existent but the continuous ever outgoing energy, thought, life and personality of God. Should this activity of God cease--were God an inactive God--they would not be. They are not a part of God, but God incarnate as man and embodied as nature. In other words: God is spirit, man is his soul, and the material universe is his body; in an indivisible unity all space and all time; because God is omnipresent, unchanging, and eternally active spirit as taught in Ps. 139:7-8.

 

Whither shall I flee from thy spirit?

 

Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

 

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there.

 

If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

 

This is Theopanism which is found in a saga which Max Muller translates from the wisdom of the East, a parable, which tells how the gods met in council to discuss where they should hide their divinity. One suggested that it be carried to the other side of the earth and be buried; but it was pointed out that man was a great wanderer, and that he might find the lost treasure on the other side of the world. Another proposed that it be dropped in the depth of the sea; but the same fear was expressed--that man, in his insatiable curiosity, might dive deep enough to find it even there. Finally, after a space of silence, the oldest and wisest said: "Hide it in man himself, as that is the last place he will ever look for it." And it was so agreed, all seeing at once the subtle and wise strategy. Man did wander over the earth for ages, seeking in all places, high and low, far and near, before he thought to look within himself for the divinity he sought. At last, slowly, dimly, he began to realize that what he thought afar off, "hidden in the pathos of distance," is nearer than the breath he breathes, even in his own soul. "Once man learns this deep secret life is new and the old world is a valley all dewy to the dawn with a lark song over it."

 

GOD IS MAN AND NATURE

 

In ancient times this saga brought a great light to those who sat in the darkness and the shadow of death; and when we cease to believe and love this truth the darkness of death covers us with the shadow of its gloomy wings. Through the shadow of such an eclipse the world passed during what is called the dark ages, but out of which it has been passing for the last three hundred years. The moment the world regained the essential truth that although God transcends man and nature yet he is man and nature, it bounded forward by leaps and bounds like a steed of war charging gloriously into battle. The recovery of this truth unmade the medieval ages and made modern Europe and America of today.

 

Under the inspiration and mighty impact of the great truth that the world of nature and the world of man are alike the visible temple of deity, again came back the idea of the sacredness of man, and the virgin love and passion of man for nature. Under this new inspiration the Bible again became the record of God revealing himself as the sheeny lustre of green leaves, the laughter of running waters, the majesty of snowclad mountains and the immensity of the sidereal heavens, clothing himself with light as with a garment, and walking upon the wings of the wind !

 

WHY BELIEVE IN GOD ?

 

Anaxagoras said, "If an ox could think, his god would be an infinite ox," which means that the First Great Cause can be no less than man is. I am a person, and no less than I am can be the author of my existance and being. Therefore I believe in the personality of God.

 

An objection is felt by many to the use of the word personality in connection of the unseen power of the universe, that it implies those limitations which belong to personal beings as we know them on earth. In answer we can only say that we are not tied to the use of the word if anyone will invent a better.

 

SOMETHING HIGHER THAN PERSONALITY

 

I am quite content to believe with Mr. Herbert Spencer "that the choice is not between personality and something lower than personality, but between personality and something higher," and if you will, I am ready to call that Great Power the personality which is above human personality, but I cannot call that Great Power "it." Every word we use is weak and unfit. In speaking of that Great Power we say "he," but he is an inadequate word, for it implies limitation of sex. "They" is misleading because it suggests the possibility of the divergence of will. But if "he" and "they" are inadequate and misleading words, "it" is still more so, for we cannot think of that power which is behind all things and which humanity must depend upon as being a mere abstraction or a neutral and willess thing.

 

TRUE ACCOUNT OF LIFE

 

We have seen the advance of religion, pointing humanity from age to age forward and onward to higher ideals and larger life. All these things, we say, are due to the influence of one mighty force, that unseen power, that will within the world, which seems recognized in one form or another by the clearest and profoundest thinkers; and seeing all this we cannot speak of that power and that will as being "it" rather than "he." Hence, I cannot but believe that the true account of life is, that it is an education of beings who think and will and love by a being who thinks, wills and loves; and, until some better phrase is found, I shall call this an education of persons by a person whose personality is as much higher than theirs as the consciousness of a human being is higher than the consciousness of a plant, and in comparison with whose love our love is but the faintest shadow of a shade.

 

PERSONALITY OF GOD AND MAN

 

Belief in the personality of man and belief in the personality of God stand or fall together. When faith in the personality of God is weak, or is altogether wanting, as in the pantheistic religions of the East, the perception which men have of their own personality is found to be in an equal degree indistinct. The feeling of individuality is dormant. The soul indolently ascribes to itself a merely phenomenal being. It conceives itself as appearing for a moment, like a wave on the ocean to vanish again in the all-engulfing essence whence it emerged. Philosophical theories which substitute "matter" or an "unknowable" for the selfconscious Deity, likewise dissipate the personality of man. If they deny that God is spirit, they deny with equal emphasis that man is a spirit. The pantheistic and atheistic schemes are in this respect consistent in their logic; but out of man's perception of his personal attributes arises the belief in a personal God. On this fact of our own personality the validity for the argument of theism depends.

 

PERSONALITY THE UNITY OF THE WHOLE

 

That which I see, that which I hear, that which I think, that which I feel, changes with each moment of my varied existence. I who hear and see and think and feel am the one conscious self, whose existence gives unity and connection to the whole.

 

Personality comprises all that we know of that which exists; relation to personality comprises all that we know of that which seems to exist. And when from the little world of man's consciousness and its objects we would lift up our eyes to the inexhaustible universe beyond, and ask to whom all of this is related, the highest existence is still the highest personality; and the source of all being reveals himself by his name, "I Am."

 

SUBSTITUTES OFFERED FOR A PERSONAL GOD

 

So here we have before us a theory of the universe; time-honored, coherent, concrete, positive, august; and abstract criticism is powerless against it; futile unless supported by some positive hypothesis to take the place of what it seeks to remove; seeing that, after all, the universe is a fact, and some account of it needs be true. What then are the positive hypotheses which are offered us as substitutes for a personal God? There is Hegel's Idea. There is the Blind Will which Schopenhauer sought to substitute for the Hegelian Idea. There is the Supra-Conscious Unconscious with which Hartman sought to improve upon Schopenhauer's Will. There is the Moral Order of Fichte, Matthew Arnold's Eternal-Not-Ourselves that makes of righteousness. Not one of these notions is conceivable apart from personality.

 

They are derived by abstraction from the various functions of personality and when severed from their source they become not merely hypothetical but absolutely meaningless; words, mere words; full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. We feel as we peruse them that their authors and adherents alike have unconsciously personified these abstractions, and to this surreptitious reintroduction of personality all their plausibility is really due.

 

MATERIALISM

 

Materialism looks at first sight more solid. But materialism is in precisely the same case, since matter regarded by itself is another meaningless abstraction. We know matter only at first hand within our own bodies, and there and there alone we are inside of it, and can view it from within. But matter in our own bodies is in intimate unity with personality. And we have no reason to suppose that matter ever exists or can exist or there is such a thing as matter unsustained by spirit. And what is true of matter is more obviously true of energy and force. Thus no positive hypothesis can be offered as a substitute for a personal God, which is not an abstraction from personality, and therefore demonstrably unreal; or an abstraction inconsistently personified, and therefore demonstrably untrue.

 

AGNOSTICISM

 

Agnosticism professes to rest upon physical science, but physical science makes two assumptions which may be very briefly summarized and which are incompatible with the agnostic position. In the first place it takes for granted that the universe can be known, or in other words is intelligible. This assumption or conviction is so obvious and universal that it easily escapes notice altogether. But it involves the important conclusion that the universe is a work of mind since we cannot attribute intelligibility to any sour but intelligence. Thus the initial presupposition of physical science is metaphysical, and carries us at once beyond the region which the agnostic calls the known.

 

Again physical science assumes that our perceptive faculties are trustworthy. But our perceptive faculties do not stand alone. They are inseparably bound up with our emotions and our will, as part and part of our personality, and the conviction of their veracity must by consequence imply that our other facilities are equally as veracious. But our other faculties as inevitably lead us to see moral purpose in the universe as our reason to see rational arrangement; and here again we are beyond the limit of what the agnostic knows. To accept these conclusions is to abandon agnosticism to reject them is to make any kind of certainty impossible, and reduce all knowledge to mere opinion; in her words, to abandon science. In fact to deny divine is to deny human personality, and that is what the agnostic really does.

 

WHAT JESUS TAUGHT

 

We woefully fail to understand how radical and volutionary these teachings of Jesus are: "No man hath seen God at any time." John 1:18. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father for the Father in me. The works that I do the same shall ye do." John 14:9-12.

 

This absolute statement, "No man hath seen God at any time," destroys all the mythologies in the Old Testatament, as for instance, in the second chapter of Genesis where God is represented as appearing to Adam and Eve and walking in the garden and talking with them. Not only in this chapter but wherever similar things are taught in the Old Testament, Jesus' answer is. "It is mythology. No man hath seen God at any time."

 

The Christian religion is not a mythological religion. The proof of it is that his religion is reproduced in the life of humanity. In a sentence it is: Man is the son of God; the highest, final and only true revelation of God there ever has been or can be, is man. He who hath seen the perfect man hath seen God, and he who doth not find God in such a man will never find him at all.

 

WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

 

The question every person wants answered is, What is God like? Jesus answered this question when he said: "No man hath seen God at any time, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

 

Since God is Spirit, and no man hath ever seen or can see spirit, mind, thought only as these reveal themselves in material form--God must be like the highest spiritual revelation revealed to man in material form; if not, God must be forever unknown. This highest revelation of God is man himself--an invisible spirit clothed in a human body. Of all men so revealing themselves Jesus is, we believe, the most perfect embodiment of God. Therefore the historic Jesus is the unveiling of the divine nature in human history. The inner reality of the universe has looked into human eyes through the eyes of Jesus Christ.

 

We adore the Godhead as unveiled in the personality, teaching and Spirit of Jesus. He is the personality of God incarnate. He is the source and origin of the Christian Church. He and his religion are historical, not mythological. It is the reproduction of himself in human lives.

 

The critical tendency which in the name of history seeks to show that Christianity is an electric religion, having its origin in various aspirations and tendencies, cults and philosophies, in the first century of our era, fails to do justice to the personality of Jesus as constituting the magnetic center which attracted all these things to itself.

 

It is interesting to note that Sir James Frazer, who, whatever his personal attitude toward Jesus may be, is as a student of religion surely unrivaled in the width and variety of his knowledge, is perfectly clear as to the relation of the personality of Jesus to Christianity. He says:

 

"The historical reality both of Buddha and of Christ has sometimes been doubted or denied. It would be just as reasonable to question the historical existence of Alexander the Great and Charlemagne on account of the legends that have gathered around them. The great religious movements which have stirred humanity to its depths and altered the beliefs of nations spring ultimately from the conscious and deliberate efforts of extraordinary minds, not from the unconscious cooperation of multitudes. The attempt to explain history without the influence of great men may flatter the vanity of the vulgar, but it will find no favor with the philosophic historian.

 

"The reason for Christianity's triumph over the various mystery-cults, which were the most influential of its rivals, is that the Lord of the Christian religion is a historic personage, whereas the heads of these cults are mythological."

 

The final and satisfactory proof that the Christian religion is historical and not mythological is that it is reproduced in human life, which in the nature of the case is impossible in mythological religions whose origin is not historical human experience but the imagination of great poets--Homer, for instance.

 

The supreme and final test of the religion of Christ is "the works that I do, the same shall ye do!" The Christian religion can be reproduced in my experience and your experience. If it cannot, it is not a historical but a mythological religion, and will vanish from the earth as all mythological religions have done. But Christianity will never vanish because God does reproduce himself as Son in us.

 

INCARNATION OF GOD

 

The essence of the Christian religion is that God is Spirit who embodies his life as the cosmic universe and incarnates his personality as man, for "that which hath been made was life in him and the word was made flesh." God is personal spirit, the living principle and essential life of the Cosmos, and is incarnate as Lord, Jesus Christ. There is but one personality in the one God of the universe, and that personality partially incarnates itself in all men and perfectly as Jesus.

 

As revealed in the New Testament, Jesus is not the Great Exception but the Great Example and the Great Power we all have it in us to become. In him we find the fulfillment of the law of our own Being, and the more clearly we see this the more the complete life will assert itself in us. If we look at Christ in this way, we shall find that we are dealing with a Living Fact inherent in the ultimate nature of man, and which is therefore reproducible in everyone.

 

----o----

 

Honest men esteem and value nothing so much in this world as a real friend. Such a one is as it were another self, to whom we impart our most secret thoughts, who partakes of our joy and comforts us in our affliction; add to this, that his company is an everlasting pleasure to us.--Pilpay.

 

----o----

 

Masonry, Territorial and State in Florida

 

By BRO. PHILIP C. Tucker, Florida

 

GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON, of the United states Army, was made Governor of the Provinces of East and West Florida by President James Monroe March 10, 1821. And the exchange of flags was made by Governor Don Coppinger, of East Florida, to Lieutenant Robert Butler, of the United states Army, as Representative of Governor Jackson, at Fort Marion, San Augustine, and by Governor Don Calleva, at Pensacola, to General Jackson, in person, with fitting ceremonies.

 

The first Masonic Lodge chartered in the territory that I can find any record of, was La Esperanza, No. 47, of San Augustine, by the Grand Lodge of South Carolina. Its members consisted of those of Spanish birth who had been members of San Fernando Lodge, No. 20, on the roster of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, which had been suppressed by the Spanish government in 1810, and whom had, in 1820, joined with others in organizing Floridian virtues Lodge, No. 28, on the roster of South Carolina. Desiring a lodge to work in their native tongue they now petitioned for a charter. This was granted with the understanding that it was a revival of San Fernando Lodge, No. 20. It only lived a year when all its membership removed to Havana, Cuba, voluntarily returning its charter to its mother Grand Lodge.

 

There appears to have been another lodge in San Augustine at this date but of it we have but the following record from the report of the Master of Jackson Lodge, of Tallahassee:

 

That on the 23rd of June, 1825, occurred the death of Thomas Penn, Worshipful Master of Montgomery Lodge of St. Augustine, and that Jackson Lodge buried him with Masonic honors on the 26th.

 

We have no record of its mother lodge or other officers.

 

On the rolls of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina for 1824-5-6 were the names of "Floridian virtues Lodge, No. 28, La Esperanza Lodge, No. 47, both of San Augustine, Fla., and Good Intentions Lodge, No. 17, of Pensacola"; and of No. 17 we have no other record.

 

On the 24th of December, 1824, a dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge of Alabama "to open a Masonic Lodge at Tallahasse, Fla., to be named Jackson Lodge, No. 23." The petitioners were Robert Butler, Robert W. Williams, Isham Green Searcy, Ede Van Ervain, E. R. Downing, R. D. Jouralman, David Thomas and D. B. Wright.

 

This lodge organized June 3, 1825, incorporated by the Territorial Legislature Dec. 7, 1825. General Robert Butler was its first Master and served for four years. It numbered on its roster most of the leading men of the territory of that day: William P. Duval, the first Governor of the state, and Richard Keith Call, the second, were both among its charter members.

 

The second lodge organized in the territory was Washington Lodge, No. 1 (on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of Georgia), Nov. 9, 1827, at Quincy, in Gadsden County, Fla. (This county was named after General James Gadsden, Aide to Gen. Jackson, and who later negotiated "The Gadsden Purchase." His name is among the early members of Jackson Lodge, of Tallahassee.) It was organized on the 24th of January, 1828, with Henry Yonge, M. W. Master, Francis A. Cash, Senior Warden, and Henry Gee, Junior Warden, receiving its charter the same year.

 

The third was Harmony Lodge, of Marianna, Jackson County. Bro. George F. Bartzell, G. S. Warden of G. L. Florida, stated to Bro. Andrew Scott, an old citizen of Jackson County and a member of the Grand Lodge of Florida, "that the original charter of Harmony Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee." He was doubtless correct, as he was familiar with the early history of Jackson County and a citizen thereof, often honored by his Masonic brethren. There are no records of this lodge in existence prior to 1838 and the records of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee are also missing, while the copies of the letters of the Grand Master of this Grand Lodge, returning the original charters to their respective Grand Lodges, were destroyed when the Grand Lodge building of Florida was wrecked in the great storm of 1858 at Tallahassee.

 

FORMATION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF FLORIDA

 

These three lodges, Jackson, Washington and Harmony, all of the Ancient York Rite, met at Tallahassee Fla., in convention on July 5, 1830, and duly organ ized "The Grand Lodge of the Territory of Florida," with John Pope Duval as Grand Master; James W Exums, Deputy Grand Master; John Lines, Senior Grand Warden; Henry Gee, Junior Grand Warden Thomas Munroe, Grand Secretary, and Isham Greer Searcy, Grand Treasurer.

 

The progress of the Craft was slow during territorial days, the country being a veritable wilderness. A few sparse settlements existed along its eastern cost, adjoining the United states, and at its western boundary and others sprang up along the boundary line of Georgia and Alabama. The Indian troubles too prevented settlement.

 

In January, 1834, when the Grand Lodge convened at Tallahassee, there were no minutes or records available for action of that body, as its Grand Secretary General Isham Green Searcy, was absent in the field in service against the hostile Indians and had no time to prepare them and was too distant to forward then to the capital.

 

The first permanent lodge chartered was Hiram, No. 6, at Monticello, 1836. Its existence was very feeble at first, being dormant in 1845 when the State Grand Lodge was organized, but revived in 1846, and has since held its own on the rolls.

 

Orion Lodge, No. 8, was chartered in 1839, at Pleastant Grove, near the boundary line of Georgia. In 1842 it was removed to Bainbridge, in Decatur County, Ga. That jurisdiction claimed an invasion of rights so, in January, 1843, at the regular session of the Grand Lodge, it unanimously voted to surrender jurisdiction if Georgia would enroll this lodge upon her roster. This being accepted as a solution it was voted, in 1844, that No. 8 should never be appropriated for another Lodge, and that its officers should be always entitled honorary membership in the Grand Lodge of Florida. This is still a standing regulation. The lodge is still active.

 

Other lodges, that worked temporarily under dispensations, were never chartered, others became dormant, so that in 1845 there only existed seven lodges in all, and two of them received their charters in January of that year. These seven lodges were: Jackson, No. 1, of Tallahassee, Fla.; Washington, No. 2, at Quincy, Gadsden Co., Fla.; Harmony, No. 3, at Marinna, Jackson Co., Fla.; Franklin, No. 6, at Apalachicola, Franklin Co., Fla.; Madison, No. 11, at Madison, Madison Co., Fla.; St. Johns, No. 12, at St. Augustine, St. Johns Co., Fla., and Dade, No. 14, at Key West, Dade Co., Fla.

 

REORGANIZATION OF THE GRAND LODGE

 

On June 23, 1845, a special communication of the Territorial Grand Lodge was held, Grand Master Jesse Coe presiding, to organize a state Grand Lodge and amend its constitution, and to provide for the erection of a Grand Lodge building at Tallahassee.

 

This business was duly performed, and news of the death of Ex-President Andrew Jackson at his residence at The Hermitage, in Kentucky, on the 8th, having been received at Tallahassee on the 24th, proper resolutions were passed and a eulogy pronounced by Gen. Robert Butler, Past Grand Master. (He was an honorary member of this Grand Lodge.) On the same date, the first General Assembly of Florida met at Tallahassee to organize the new state Government under the act of the United states Congress authorizing the admission of Florida as a state into the Union.

 

The Craft prospered and throve until the blight of civil war overcast the Union. With her sister states of the South, Florida joined the Confederacy. Sections of her territory were invaded, battles were fought and skirmishes took place within her borders. Her industries were of agricultural nature, and her means of marketing her produce was by sea; no railroads existed of any great extent so that the blockade of her sea coast paralyzed all industry, while most of her adult males were absent in other states fighting with the armies of the South. Grand Lodge regularly held its stated communication, but many lodges were dormant, their lodge rooms destroyed by invading armies and their membership scattered.

 

In January, 1866, there were 53 lodges upon the rolls, but only 24 there represented and but 30 made full returns, with less than 1500 names upon their roster many of the brethren were from recent camp or northern prisons, still clad in gray uniforms, side by side with those in blue of the force who had occupied the state after the surrender. All met as brethren with the determination to put their shoulders to the wheel of progress and work for the Craft's advancement.

 

In 1858 the Grand Lodge suffered a serious loss when a severe storm wrecked the Grand Lodge building in Tallahassee, destroying many early records. But they soon rebuilt the edifice and drove bravely forward. As the state advanced in population new territory developed and railroads were constructed; the Craft grew with leaps and bounds.

 

In January, 1869, a resolution was adopted that the regular communication be held in Jacksonville, on the east coast, instead of at Tallahassee, in western Florida, where it had always met previously. This was duly carried and in 1870 that city was declared its regular meeting place and steps taken to erect a temple suitable for its needs. A lot was bought in 1891 and the cornerstone laid with fitting ceremonies in 1892 (January). The structure was ready for use in January, 1893, and duly dedicated. steps were also taken in that year towards the establishment of a Masonic Home and Orphanage on the initiative of Past Grand Master Albert W. Gilchrist and the nucleus of a fund formed. The bonded indebtedness on the temple having been paid by 1894, a fitting celebration was held and a history of its erection written by Deputy Grand Master Granville Beale.

 

On the 75th anniversary of the organization of the Grand Lodge a musical program, vocal and instrumental, was rendered and an historical address delivered by Most Worshipful Samuel Pasco, Past Grand Master.

 

THE BUILDER OF THE NEW TEMPLE

 

In January, 1907, the facilities of the temple at Bridge and Forsythe streets, Jacksonville, proving inadequate to the growing needs of the Order a resolution was presented at the annual communication to sell the building and lot and use the proceeds to purchase another at Main and Monroe streets on which to erect a modern concrete fireproof seven-story building. This was carried and provisions made to issue bonds to the amount of $110,000 to meet the expense. Committees were appointed to carry out this project. Contract was let Dec. 14, 1907, the cornerstone laid Jan. 22, 1908, Grand Master Elmer E. Haskell officiating. The building was finished and dedicated Jan. 20, 1909.

 

In 1918 the Masonic Home and Orphanage funds having reached proportions where it was considered safe to purchase a property for that purpose, a suitable building was found in st. Peterburg, Fla., originally erected for hotel use and offered at a price considered satisfactory. It was accepted and the dedication took place on 7th of April, 1919. Legislation by the Grand Lodge has satisfactorily cared for its maintenance and mortgage indebtedness since.

 

At the last annual communication, 1925, the number of lodges on the roll of the Grand Lodge was 250, while the individual members of the Craft numbered 26,871.

 

----o----

 

The Masonic Lodges in the 17th Leicestershire Regiment

 

By BRO. R. V. HARRIS, Associate Editor, Nova Scotia

 

THE next reference to this historic regiment and its lodge is to be found in the Nova Scotias Gazette Dec. 12, 1783, in which we find the following advertisement:

 

The brethren of Lodge Unity, No. 18, held in H. M. 17th regt. of infantry, intend holding their festival of St. John 27 December and dining at Mrs. Dawson's tavern, near Cornwallis's barracks. Any brethren who wish to dine with them will give in their names to Qr. master serjeant Humpage, on or before the 23d inst., as no application can be taken after. By order of the master. DAN. WEBB, Secretary.

 

Friday, 12 Dec'r 1783.

 

We have not been able to determine the location of the Cornwallis barracks nor Mrs. Dawson's tavern.

 

At the St. John's Day dinner of St. John's Lodge, No. 211, we note the presence of visitors from Lodge 18, and again at the meeting of that lodge on Jan. 5, 1784.

 

At this time, and after 1781, the several lodges in Halifax were accustomed to hold a "Quarterly Communication" for the discussion of matters of common concern. At an emergency meeting held on Dec. 16th, 1783, at the Golden Ball, we find present "Cockburn, Mr.; Humpage, S. W.; Cassady, J. W.; Webb, Secy." of the "17th Regt. Unity Lodge 169 and 18 in Pensyla Lodge Night ye first of every month." At the same meeting the Master and Wardens of Lodge 90, in the 33rd Regiment, were also present.

 

The Lodge being Opened, The Worshipful Master acquainted the Body, that the Occasion of Assembling the Communication at this time, was an information of the arrival in Town of Two Lodges of Free Masons, who were strangers to us, viz. one in the 17th Regiment, and the other in the 33rd. And that he had Ordered the Secretary to Summon the Masters and Wardens of those two Lodges to attend, that we might see, and be properly informed concerning each others authority, as Freemasons, to the Mutual Satisfaction of all the Lodges here, and for the promoting of harmony among the Masons in this Town. And the said Brethren attended accordingly and produced their Respective Warrants, which were read and found to be legal and good to the full satisfaction of this body. The Warrant of St. John's Lodge, No. 211, (of Halifax) was in like manner produced, and Read to the aforementioned Brethren, with which they were well satisfied.

 

And the Lodge was clos'd in harmony, until the third Monday in January, 1784, Then to meet at the Lodge Room of No. 156.

 

Unity Lodge, however, was not represented at the January or March meetings, 1784.

 

The next record of the lodge in Nova Scotia is in the form of three parchment certificates in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, which, because of their great interest, we quote in full:

 

We, the Right Worshipful Captain, &c. of The Royal Arch Excellent Lodge of Masonry, Unit No. 18, held in his Majesty's XVIIth Regiment of Foot & on the Registry of Pennsylvania.

 

These are to Certify that the Bearer hereof Our Trusty and well Beloved Brother John North (1) was by Us Installed a Past Master of Lodge Unity, No. aforesaid and was by Us Initiated into the Sublime Secrets of Royal Arch, Excellent Masonry, he having with due Honour and Justice to the Royal Craft, Justly supported the Amazing trials of Skill & Valour attending his admission into Our said Royal Arch Excellent Lodge.

 

We therefore Recommend him as a just, Honest, faithful, Worthy Brother.

 

Given under our hands & Seal of Our Lodge at, Lodge Room in Halifax this 1st day of May, 1784. George Cockburn, H.P.H.J. Cassidy . 1st. ) Wm. Boyer, K. John Gale, S. Daniel Webb, R. A. C,. William Humpage 2nd. G. Ward William Page  3rd.

 

Wm. Davidson, G. Secretary

 

SEAL

 

To this seal is attached a faded ribbon upon which is impressed a wax seal depicting two pillars, united by an arch, surmounted by a Royal Crown. Between the two pillars resting on the ground, is a pyramid of five steps. Beneath the Arch is a blazing sun. The inscription around the edge of the seal is "Lodge Unity" "Royal Arch. 17 R. No. 18." Beneath the ribbon and the seal is a print of the seal, evidently in lampblack. John North's signature does not appear anywhere on the parchment.

 

The second certificate (2) bears the same date (May 1, 1784) and was issued by an "Assembly of the Knights of the Red Cross, held under the sanction of Warrant No. 18, Lodge Unity in His Majesty's 17 Regiment of Foot, and on the Registry of Pennsylvania" to "our trusty and well beloved Brother Sir John North" who was "by Us installed and Dubbed a Knight of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Red Cross." It is signed by "George Cockburn, K., Henry Cassa 1st G., Daniel Webb, 2nd G., and William Davidson Secretary."

 

The seal is red wax dropped on a wide green ribbon resting on a pink one, both interlaced into the lefthand margin. The seal shows three spans of a bridge upon which, in the center one, is erected a tau cross, the upright of which has a serpent entwining it, a star to the right of the upper part of the serpent, and a hand grasping a sword to the left. The tau rests on the serpent's head and above the tau are the letter I.H.S. Around the edge of this seal are the words, "Lodge Unity No. 18, 17th Regt." Under the seal and ribbon, the same design is stamped in printer's ink or lampblack on the certificate, and on the outer fold the neatly written signature "John North."

 

The third certificate indicates that Bro. John North had received further light in Masonry. It reads:

 

In the name of the Most Holy, Glorious & undivided Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

 

By the C. G. and Grand Wardens of Lodge Unity, No. 18, held in His Majesty's 17th Regiment of Foot & on be Registry of Pennsylvania.

 

We do hereby certify that the Bearer hereof Our Trusty and Well beloved Brother, John North, was by Us Installed and Dubbd A Knight of the Most Noble and Right Worshipful Order of Knights Templars, he having with fortitude and due Honour, justly supported the Amazing trials attending his admission.

 

We therefore Recommend him as a Worthy Honest, Faithful & Valiant Brother.

 

Given under our hands & Seal of our Lodge at Our Lodge room at Halifax, this 30th Day of June, 1784. George Cockburn, C. G. Daniel Webb, 1st G Warden Henry Cassady, 2d G Warden Wm. Davidson, G. Secretary.

 

The ribbon and wax seal of this certificate is missing but the usual black impression appears on the certificate itself. It shows a skull and above two cross bones. Above the skull are the words "17th Regt.," and below the cross bones the words "No. 18." Above the whole design are the words "Memento More." John North's signature does not occur on the parchment.

 

As the seals on these certificates all bear the number 18, it is evident that the seals must have all been engraved after the lodge had been rechartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1777. It is also evident that the lodge at that time must have conferred the Royal Arch, Red Cross and Knight Templar degrees. We know from other sources that up to this time, 1777, the lodge had not worked, and from the same source we learn that their military activities and martial vicissitudes did not permit the exercise of Masonic functions between their departure from Philadelphia in 1778 and April, 1784, a month before the first certificate issued to John North. While it is conceivable and not improbable that they acquired their knowledge of these degrees from their military brethren in the nineteen other regimental lodges which wintered in Philadelphia in 1777-8, it is more probable that they brought their knowledge of these ceremonies from Ireland between 1772-4.

 

The next reference to the Lodge in Nova Scotia is in the Minutes of the Quarterly Communication at Halifax July 28, which record the presence of Bros. Webb and Humpage, of Lodge 18, at this meeting.

 

Bro. O'Brien of No. 211, Bro. Geddes of 155, Bro. Kelley of the Union Bro. Hill of the Virgin, Bro. Webb of No. 18 and Pro. Middieton of No. 90 were appointed a Committee to see that proper attention be paid to any sick Brethren, as occasion may require and to continue in that office until the next regular stated Communication.

 

In August the 17th Regiment was transferred to Shelburne, a new town then coming into existence about 150 miles southwestward from Halifax. Here about 10,000 people, mostly Loyalists from the American colonies, were busy establishing themselves in new surroundings. At this time Lieut. Col. Johnston was the officer commanding the Regiment.

 

Before leaving Halifax for Shelburne, the following letter was addressed to the Grand Lodge of Scotland:

 

Halifax, N. S. 27th August 1784. Sir, The Various Vicissitudes of Fortune as well as that of War having prevented us from writing Sooner & Oftener, than we have done to you, & now as we have some Recess from the Fatigues of War & the Multiplied Miseries that attend it, as well as the Probability of Our remaining some time longer in America, We should think Ourselves highly Culpable of the Greatest, as well as the most Enormous Impropriety were we to Omitt acquainting you with the Most Material Occurrences which have Accrued since our Arrival in the Western Hemisphere, Viz. from the year 1775 to 1784.

 

And sir, we have in the first Place to inform you (for the Information of the Grand Lodge) that the 2 first years after we Arrived in America we had no Opportunity of Calling a Lodge together. Our Military duty Requiring a Constant & almost perpetual attendance. That in the year 1777 a Ship loaded with the Baggage of the Regiments (on her Passage from New York to Philadelphia) in which was our Lodge Box, which Contained our Warrant, Jewels, Fund and every Other Necessary Apparatus belonging to Our Lodge, was Captured by the Enemy. We, was then left Distressed, no warrant to work under & berefit of every Masonic implement, as likewise Our Fund in which every Pecuniary Matter of our Lodge was Deposited. We, was then in a Dilema scarcely to be Described. One Alternative was left, to make Application to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which being done there still remained a Difficulty to Combat with namely a Sufficient Corroboration of the Legality of Our request, It not being in our power to Convince them Occularly, thro' the loss of our Warrant, as formerly mentioned. We was then under the Necessity of Conveening all the Military Lodges then in Philadelohia (to the number of nineteen) to Convince the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania of the Propriety of Our request. They accordingly granted us a Warrant under which we worked since the Above Mentioned Period.

 

And as We think it Necessary you should be acquainted with the form of our said Warrant we do herewith send you enclosed a Copy of it for your Satisfaction.

 

In the Year 1778 we had the Mortification to be Captured at a Place Called stoney Point-or Hudson's River the whole Regiment fell into the Hands of the Enemy, & in Consequence Our LOdge Box likewise. We again lost every Article belonging to Our Lodge as before, but fortunately Our Warrant (by some means unknown to us) fell into the hands of a Worthy Brother, one of the American Generals, whose name is Samuel Parsons who generously Returned it to Us, accompanied by ye Enclosed very Polite Letter, which we do Ourselves the Honor of Transmitting to you.----We were imprisond at that time in Philadelphia Goal in which Miserable situation we remained till Christmas in the Year 1780. At Our Exchange & return to the British Army, we were immediately Employed in Actual Service & on an Expedition to Virginia was again Captured with Lord Cornwallis, the 17th October 1781. Since which Period we had it not in Our Power to do any Business till April 1784, but we have the happiness to Inform you, that We have followed every point of Masonry with the Greatest Regularity since the time above mentioned.

 

These sir, are the Most Material Occurrences since Our Departure from Europe-We now have to request in what Manner it would be most Suitable to Correspond with Our Mother Grand Lodge, so as to Make any Remmitances of Cash, to the Grand Charity fund, to pay all Back dues and any other Charges, that the Grand Lodge may have to make;

 

We likewise Humbly Crave a Renewal of our old Warrant, No. 169 if Vacant-Likewise we wish that we Could have the Names of Our Present Lodge No. 18 Registered in the Books of the Grand Lodge.

 

These sir, are our Wishes & most Sanguine Expectations which We humbly Request you will be so kind as to Grant. Wm. Davidson, Secretary."

 

After arriving at Shelburne the brethren of Lodge 18 found themselves among Masonic brethren, military and civil, and before long Lodges 3, 4, 5 and 10 were chartered by the newly organized Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.

 

Some disagreement seems to have existed for a time between the brethren of Unity Lodge, No. 18, and No. 3, known as Parr Lodge, but this difficulty was cleared up as appears from the following letter from the Grand Secretary to the Secretary of Unity Lodge:

 

Halifax, 22d Jany 1785.

 

Sir & Brother.

 

I have it in command from the Right Worshipfull Grand Lodge to aquant you, that the Proceedings and resolutions of the Lodge No. 18 held in his Majesty's 17th Reg. of Foot the 29th October 1784, for with-holding all Brotherly intercourses or Communications from those Brethren, whose late conduct rendered a proceeding of that kind so absolutely necessary, hath been laid before that Right Worshipfull body, and received their highest approbation. And at the same time I am ordered further to inform you, that, since the period alluded to, Parr Lodge hath made full satisfaction to the Grand Lodge for their late Conduct, and are immediately coming under their Warrant from this R.W. Grand Lodge, which is returned to them by this conveyance, You will therefore from after the time of their Installation (which I have reason to suppose will soon take place) consider them as Brethren. It is to be wished that the others would follow the example of Parr Lodge & that peace, Harmony & Brotherly love might prevail throught the whole of that Settlement. You will be pleased to lay this before your Worshipfull Lodge, and assure the Worshipfull Master, Wardens & Brethren that the Grand Lodge have the highest confidence in your Lodge, that will on all occasions render every service in their power for the just support, honor & Cement of the Craft.

 

Wishing you all health & prosperity, I have the Honor to be, Sir and Bror

 

Your ever affectionate Brother and very Humble Servant, J. Peters, Gr. Secrety.

 

Bror Wm Davidson, Secy No 18

 

This difficulty out of the way the brethren of Unity Lodge participated in the Institution of Parr Lodge on Feb. 9, 1785, when the ceremonies were conducted by R.W. the Rev. William Walter, D. D., Past Grand Master of New York, and Unity Lodge was represented by Daniel Webb, Master; Henry Gillett, P. M.; John Chamber, P. M.; William Humpage, S. W.; Eliphat Humpage, J. W., and William Davidson, Sec'y.

 

At the institution of Solomon's Lodge, No. 5, in December, 1784, Unity Lodge was represented by Bros. Cockburn, Webb, Humpage, Davidson, Ash, Ayres and Chambers. At the installation of Hiram Lodge, No. 10, in March, 1785, we find Bros. Daniel Webb, Master; William Humpage, S. W.; William Davidson, J. W., and Henry Cassady recorded as present.

 

The regiment and its lodge remained at Shelburne until August, 1786. During this period they corresponded with the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the following letter being of considerable interest:

 

UNTO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL THE GRAND MASTER, GRAND WARDENS &c &c OF ANTIENT YORK MASONS HELD IN THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.

 

"Right Worshipfull Brethren. We the Worshipfull Master & Wardens of Lodge Unity No. 18 held in This Brittanick Majesty's 17th Regt. of Foot, & under Your Register--having heard a Report which is spread through this Province of Our Warrant being by you Cancelled & that one of the same Number has been Granted to a Lodge in Pennsylvania.

 

We, have taken this method of acquainting you that we have wrote to Our Mother Grand Lodge in Scotland, willing to obtain a Duplicate of Our Antient Warrant No. 169, without as yet receiving any Answer, & we not Expecting that Our said Warrant No. 18 would have been Declared Void, till we might have Obtained the Duplicate of our said antient Warrant; We, therefore humbly request you will be so Obliging as to Inform us whether or not there is any Foundation for the very Disagreeable Report so Industriously propagated in this Province, if there is, we shall Instantly Desist from working under Our Present Warrant, till we Can Obtain a property Authority from Scotland or England.

 

We should think ourselves peculiarly happy if at the same Time you send an answer to this that you would likewise transmit to us an account of all Back dues from our last Settlement, to this present time, in Order that the sum due, may be Remitted to you by the earliest Opportunity.

 

We, should have Often Wrote to you had not our unsettled situation as a Military Lodge Prevented us by being Constantly in Motion from one Place to Another; however we took the first Opportunity of Writing to you (at the Conclusion of Peace) from New York, to which we received no Answer.

 

The strongest Reasons induces us to think that some Irregular body of Masons (Probably within Your District) are working under our Antient Warrant No. 169, if you would be so kind as to make Enquiry thro' the Different Grand Lodges of the United States of America, respecting the same, it would be a Lasting Obligation & ever gratefully Remembered while a Lodge exists in His Brittanick Majesty's 17 Regiment of Foot if a Discovery is made & information sent to us.

 

As an addition to your many kind & obliging Favors. We have farther to Request you should do us the honor of Communicating to Our Worthy friend & Brother General Parsons, the high sense have of His Unexampled Goodness, in restoring to us our Warrant which happy for us fell into his hands, we likewise beg leave to return the General Our Grateful & sincere thanks for the very Polite Letter Accompanying the Same. His Generous Sentiments shall ever be Remembered by every Brother of No. 18 with the Gratitude due to such Benevolence of heart.

 

We have the honor to be, Right Worshipfull Brethren, with the Greatest Defference and Esteem Shelburne Barracks, 28th March 1776 Yours &c. &c. &c. Daniel Webb, Master.

 

To the Right Worshipfull Willm. Ball Esq. or (pro tempore) Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

 

W. Humpage, S. Wardens E. Humpage, J. Wardens Wm. Davidson Secv."

 

 The following reply was sent to the brethren of the 17th Regiment of Foot at the Shelburne Barracks:

 

PHILADELPHIA August 11th, 1786. Brethren.

 

Your much esteemed favor of the 28th March last duly came to hand and was laid before the Grand Lodge at their last Quarterly Communication when I was directed by them to advise you that they were very happy to hear from you & to find that you continue united together in love & harmony.

 

The Grand Lodge not having for a long period of time heard from you, and supposing that the Lodge in consequence of the war had dissolved did grant a Warrant of the same number which you work under, but at the same time did not nor do they yet consider the same vacated and they still wish to consider you as under their jurisdiction.

 

The books of the Treasurer having by some means during the war got lost He is unable to make the statement of your account with the Grand Lodge, they therefore request that you would ascertain the same from your Books as near as may be calculating as dues to the G. L. five shillings for every Initiation and 4/ per annum from every member.

 

Every possible attention shall be paid & diligence used to find the Warrant mention'd to be lost and if found they will take great pleasure in transmitting it agreeable to your desire.

 

The Grand Lodge happy at all times to render you every service in their power have directed that a lettter be written to our worthy Brother General Parsons in your behalf, on the subject of his attention and politeness to you.

 

The Grand Lodge will be pleased to hear from you from time to time and you have their best wishes for the welfare and prosperity of your Lodge.

 

I am Brethren with every respect & Esteem, A. H., Secy. of the G. L. of Penna. The Worshipful Masters, Wardens & Brethren of Lodge Unity No. 18 held in his Brittanic Majesty's 17th Regt. of Foot at Shelburn Barracks. (A. H., the Secretary, was Bro. Assheton Humphreys.)

 

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania seems to have made inquiries respecting the missing Warrant for Lodge 169, for in the records of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge held at the Bunch of Grapes, Boston, September, 1787, we find a letter from the D. D. Master of Pennsylvania "Requesting information (if any could be given) of a warrant granted to the officers of the 17th British Regiment of Foot supposed to be lost within the United States."

 

The regiment and its lodge left Nova Scotia for England in the fall of 1786, and on arrival made application to the "Ancients" Grand Lodge of England for a new Warrant. This Warrant, No. 237, was dated Jan. 24, 1787, for a lodge to be held at Chatham, Kent, where the regiment was then in garrison.

 

In connection with this lodge the following advertisement, which appeared in La Gazette de l'Ile de Jersey for Dec. 22, 1787, is of interest. The Gazette, it may be mentioned, was the first newspaper to be published in Jersey. Its first issue is dated Aug. 5, 1786.

 

TO THE FREE-MASONS.

 

The Brethren of Lodge Unity No. 237, held in his Majesty's 17th Regiment of Foot, on the Registry of the Grand Lodge of England, intend celebrating the festival of St. John the evangelist at the house of Mr. John Waters in Mont Orgueil Castle, on Friday the 27th inst. Any antient York Masons who wish to participate in that festivity with them will give in their names in writing to Brother Oyers, Bridgefoot Barracks, on or before the 24th inst.

 

By order of the Master. Th. Gavin, Secl etary. N. B. Dinner on the table at half past four o'clock.

 

This warrant evidently lapsed in 1792. While stationed in Ireland in 1802, another lodge, No. 921, was warranted in the 17th Regiment by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. This warrant was exchanged in 1824 for the vacant number 258, under which the lodge worked until 1847. since that time there has not been a lodge attached to the regiment.

 

Thus ends the interesting record of Freemasonry in the 17th (Leicestershire) Regiment, a virtually continuous record of a hundred years; a record of warrants from the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland, Pennsylvania and England. What influences radiated forth from the lodge room in that hundred years will never be known, for the records are scattered to the four winds of heaven.

 

NOTES

 

(1) John North's name is the only one of the above which does not occur in the muster rolls of the 17th Regt. for the period mentioned. It is probable that he belonged to the 33rd Regt. or some other Corps stationed in Halifax at the time.

(2) The oldest Red Cross certificate or evidence of any kind of the degree itself known to exist is believed to be that dated Aug. 1, 1783, issued by St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 40, at Charleston, S. C. In the present case it would seem clearly established that the degree was conferred in Philadelphia as early as 1777-8.

(3) History of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts I. page 344.

 

----o----

 

AN APPEAL TO THE CRAFT BY HUGH MANITY

 

When the following communication came into our hands we confess to having a good deal of doubt as to its bona fides. In consequence certain inquiries were made which resulted in convincing us that the writer was all that he claims to be, and that in addition he is an exceptionally well educated and intellectual man. The name given is of course an assumed one. Ed.]

 

Humanitarianism being a basic tenet of Masonry, permit me to call your attention to a class of people whom your organization might help without incurring a heavy sacrifice. I mean the clergy.

 

I am a Roman Catholic priest. There are a good many of my confraters who would like to quit the priesthood. They are discouraged from taking that step by the problem of gaining a livelihood. Their vocational training is of little value for industrial and commercial pursuits.

 

The reasons for their desiring to leave the priesthood are various.

 

Forced celibacy is one of them. It means the repression of a strong natural instinct. Frequently it is accompanied by a loneliness that may become exceedingly oppressive.

 

Financial worries form another. Parish work usually implies an unceasing appeal for funds for the erection or maintenance of church, school, rectory, school sisters' convent and for the current expenses. since the World War, with its inflated prosperity also, a veritable epidemic of diocesan "drives" has set in, for a new seminary, cathedral, orphanages and what not. Sacerdotal life is just one continuous begging performance, necessitating at times high pressure methods, regular hold-ups. The Peter's Pence has become a national Derby, the American bishops racing with each other. The one who sends the fattest purse to Rome wins the prize. He may expect to rise in the hierarchy, with the cardinal's hat as the ultimate goal. Th priests have to squeeze the money out of the people. Many a pastor becomes worn out.

 

While many bishops are prudent, just and kind there are others who lack in these qualities. Some are unreasonable tyrants. The canon law is no protection against them. An American priest is at the mercy of the bishop.

 

The American Catholics have no voice in the appointment of their bishops. They have to accept whomsoever the Italian autocracy, known as the Vatican, place over them. Money has nearly always talked rather loud at the Vatican. Many an American ecclesiastic with no other attainments to his credit than a sinister dexterity in courting the Italian autocracy--sometimes by soothing its itching palms with the right kind of balm -is promoted to a prosperous bishopric. It is exactly that type of man who is most liable to prove a tyrant.

 

In the thinly populated districts in the South and West, where the Catholics are few and far between, many a priest has to struggle with hopeless poverty. Take the case of a certain confrater in South Dakota whom I recently met. The church and rectory stand alone in the windswept prairie. The nearest railroad station is thirty-seven miles away. His widely scattered congregation consists of about twenty families, nearly all of them poor homesteaders. Of course he cannot afford any household help. He himself has barely enough to eat. He cannot keep any chickens, dog or cat, for when he goes away to make the rounds in his second-hand flivver there is nobody near by to feed the animals. "I am the only livestock around my place," he jocosely commented. This is a lonely, dreary life for a cultured young gentleman who has been twelve years to college and university. He has no prospect of obtaining a better place in the next decade or two. For the large diocese has only two or three comfortable pastorates.

 

Such poverty forms a vivid contrast to the luxury some of our bishops and pastors in the metropolitan cities are rolling in. This social maladjustment could be easily rectified by an interdiocesan exchange of the clergy. Before an assistant pastor in a prosperous metropolis is promoted to a pastorate, let him first serve three years in the southern and western missions. It will be a valuable experience for him in every way. But our espicopate has not thought of this.

 

To be alone, one has either to be a saint or a fiend, an old adage avers. To be a saint is not so easy. Nor could every saint sustain prolonged solitude. He is likely to become moody and gradually drift into insanity. To be a fiend is not congenial, least of all to a man with a sacerdotal training.

 

Such a dreary existence easily leads to despondency. Despondency again often entails the loss of moral courage and strength; thus such a solitary priest is in danger of tumbling from the pinnacle of spiritual idealism into the very depths of moral degradation. Corruptio optimi pessima, "the corruption of the best becomes the worst," says the old maxim. He becomes a moral derelict, possibly behind a facade of respectability and virtue. He tries repeatedly to climb out of the mire, only to slide back more deeply.

 

Whatsoever the reason be, for which a priest wants to quit the priesthood, it would seem to me a worthy charity if American Freemasonry, the largest and most resourceful organization in the country, assisted him in finding a suitable position as teacher at a college or high school, or some such occupation.

 

When a priest steps out of the presbyterate there is automatically a steel curtain set up between himself and his Catholic relatives and friends. Not that they would hate or reproach him. But it would cause mutual embarrassment to meet again. It is considered an honor to have a priest in the family. It is a mortification or stigma to have an ex-priest. He will even stay away from the funeral of his parents to avoid embarrassing the living.

 

Thus a priest who renounces the priesthood suddenly finds himself all alone in the world. He will appreciate a kind lift from good fellows in the new environment.

 

Such an ex-priest should not be expected to denounce the church and defame his former confraters. Those defrocques who have stooped to such a course are almost invariably bad eggs.

 

A priest who has become dissatisfied with his calling and is anxious to relinquish it is rarely ever an asset to his church. It will be to the best of all concerned if he step out of the priesthood altogether. I trust that every Catholic bishop will support me in that.

 

I am not familiar with the inner workings of the Protestant ministry. I suspect, however, that there are some ministers who for various reasons would like to abandon the ministry to pursue some secular avocation. It would he all around for the best if the desired change were facilitated and accelerated.

 

Now here is the suggestion: Could not American Freemasonry establish a bureau call it the Clergy Redemption Bureau--that would assist such prospective ex-priests and ex-ministers in finding suitable secuiar positions? Said bureau could send out circulars to the clergy offering help to such as contemplate quitting the ministry. It should assure them of the strictest secrecy.

 

There are about 25,000 Catholic priests in the United States. I hazard the guess that annually a couple of hundred of them would avail themselves of such an offer.

 

One ex-priest, one ex-minister and a typist would probably constitute a sufficient personnel to conduct such a bureau. The annual upkeep would probably not exceed ten thousand dollars. This expense should assuredly not prove a heavy burden on an organization of the size and wealth of American Freemasonry.

 

If the plan works in the United States it might be given a trial also in other countries.

 

The beneficiaries would be a well educated class of people who, moved by the highest ideals, had in youthful enthusiasm embraced a noble calling. Somehow they have become disillusioned, or for other reasons no longer desire to be identified with it.

 

----o----

 

When thou seest the great Prelates with splendid mitres of gold and precious stones on their heads and silver croziers in hand; there they stand at the altar chanting those beautiful vespers and masses, thou art struck with amazement....

 

Men feed upon the vanities and rejoice in these pomps, and say that the Church of Christ was never so flourishing as at present.... Likewise that the first prelates were inferior to those of our own times. The former, it is true, had fewer gold mitres and fewer chalices, for indeed what few bhey had were broken up to relieve the needs of the poor; whereas our prelates for the sake of obtaining chalices will rob the poor of their sole means of support.

 

But dost thou know what I would tell thee? In the primitive Church the chalices were of wood, the prelates of gold; in these days the Church hath chalices of gold and prelates of wood. [Savonarola. 1498.]

 

----o----

 

EDITORIAL

 

R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge

 

BOARD OF EDITORS

 

LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa

ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois

GILBERT W. DAYNES, England

RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri

GEORGE H. DERN, Utah

N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada

R.V. HARRIS, Canada

C. C. HUNT, Iowa

CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania

A. L. KRESS, Pennsylvania

F. H. LITTLEFIELD, Missouri

JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California

ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York

J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa

JESSE M. WHITED, California

DAVID E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada

 

WHICH WAS THE FIRST MASONIC CLUB?

 

BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, one of our Associate Editors, has been for some time at work on the enormous task of collecting everything possible of Masonic interest connected with the military efforts of the U.S.A. in the Great War. Completeness is perhaps hardly to be hoped for, even approximately, but so far Bro. Irwin has collected a tremendous amount of material and has thousands of names indexed of Masons who served overseas. He is at present preparing an article on the earliest Masonic Clubs or like organizations formed in connection with the Military and Naval forces of the country, and one question he wishes to decide is which of these has the honor of being the first. He has, therefore, asked us to make a last appeal through THE BUILDER to anyone who may have information in any way bearing upon this point. It will probably be better for those answering to write to him direct. His address is 127 Wall Street, Wilmerding, Pa. We hope that any of our readers able to throw any light upon this particular subject will respond - and "do it now." Even if they have nothing to say on this question Bro. Irwin would be glad to have any Mason who served in the military forces of the country to write to him so that he may have their present addresses, and this more especially in the case of those who have or had any official positions in clubs and similar organizations. The request naturally is not made to those who are at present in correspondence with Bro. Irwin.

 

* * *

 

HUMANITY

 

WE believe that there will be very few who will read the communication that appears under the title of "An Appeal to the Craft" and not feel some sympathy for the writer; although it will probably seem strange that it should have been addressed to American Freemasons. The first thought on reading it is very naturally that it is some kind of hoax, yet a second reading would alone raise doubt from the evident sincerity of the writer. Without breach of confidence we may say that he submitted to us papers and other MSS. which fully explained his position. It is not that his church has no place for him, for he has held positions of importance, and might again if he so desired - on terms of submission, but that he has come to feel that there is no place for him in the Church, at least in any official capacity. He has not "lost his faith," he does not want to give up his religion, but he can no longer work with what may be called the political machinery of the organization.

 

We have said that the writer is an intelligent widely read and well informed man, yet he shows a subtle but fundamental misapprehension of Freemasonry. This gives rise to a number of reflections. In spite of the shuddering interest that many Roman Catholics seem to take in the Institution, in spite of all that Roman Catholic authors have written about it, they do not seem to understand it. One point especially, the matter of organization. Romanist writers constantly assume that Freemasons the world over are parts of a great machine with some central governing council by which action is directed everywhere, something in fact like the Jesuit Order, at least as depicted by its opponents. It is the strength of the Craft (and paradoxically in some ways a weakness) that it is not a machine, hardly an organization in any but the most superficial sense, but simply a number of men, who have been through a common experience (of initiation) and who are obligated to friendship and brotherhood and good will and charity to all the world. So little is it an organization that except in most flagrant cases there is no discipline, and it is left to the conscience of each to perform what he has voluntarily promised. Potentially wealthy as the Freemasonry of the country is taken as a whole, there is no organization that could undertake what the writer suggests. The difficulties that have obstructed the course of the movement to aid our own members who are victims of tuberculosis is proof enough of this. If we cannot help those we have specifically and categorically promised to aid in their need to the limit of our ability, it is obvious that nothing like this can be done.

 

Yet again there is in this misapprehension something else. We are used to being condemned, either calmly or courteously, or with contumely and abuse, by members of the Roman Church. Why should they take the trouble to do this? It would seem that behind this condemnation is something like fear. When French-Canadian children will cross the street to avoid passing close to a Masonic hall it is because they believe the devil has a place and habitation there. The extravagant absurdities of Leo Taxil were swallowed not by ignorant school children but by the leaders and rulers of the church. If it were once realized, as is so patent from within, that Freemasonry is incapable of any general campaign or subtle working for some, for any, defined object, perhaps they would cease to fear, and so cease to notice us. Freemasonry is incapable of anything like this because such methods and such objects are absolutely foreign to its principles, traditions, tenets and teaching.

 

Perhaps this belief of those outside may also humble us a little. It is believed that we do the things we profess, that we not only preach brotherly love, relief and truth, but practice it also. A little shame would do us no harm - if it lead individually and collectively to that self-improvement which can only exist in good will and benevolence to our fellows.

 

* * *

 

NATIONAL OR NOT?

 

AS we intimated last month the ruling bodies of the Craft move very slowly. This is a characteristic of all organizations and should not be quarreled with for it is in the nature of things. Still less should the zealous and devoted brethren who fill important and influential official positions be blamed. It is very hard, without resorting to the worst methods of propaganda, to make those who have not seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears to realize fully the need. And in spite of all that has been said certain complete misconceptions remain. One of the outstanding Masonic journals of the country, so far as the quality of its contents goes, recently said that it doubted whether the problem of Tuberculosis was one properly to be dealt with nationally, and in others we have seen the question of another dreaded disease, cancer, also raised. If there be any idea in the minds of the brethren anywhere that to deal with Tuberculosis will logically lead to a cancer campaign we feel that a most important and fundamental difference should be pointed out and emphasized - a difference that makes the first a national problem indeed, and that is simply the patent fact that the Tubercular subjects seek health by migration to the Southwest. If there be any migration of those afflicted with cancer or other diseases it is to the nearest large city where they may hope to find more skilled surgical and medical treatment. The point of the problem is this, we have said it before and expect to have to repeat it again owing to the difficulty of adequately presenting the matter in mere printed words - the point is that three Masonic jurisdictions in the United States who are among the weakest financially and in numbers are striving to care for the necessitous brethren from all over the country, and especially from those jurisdictions that are strongest numerically and wealthiest financially. If this does not make it a national problem, if any one will deny that this makes it a national problem, we shall feel like giving up in despair. We should like in any case to have the arguments - if anyone takes the position by which it is supported, we promise to give them the fullest publicity.

 

If, and it is undoubtedly the fact, the climate of the Southwest is favorable to the cure of tuberculosis, physicians who publicly argue that some other part of the country is just as good, send members of their own family so afflicted to the Southwest, it will follow naturally that the purely local cases will be very few, and statistics bear this out. The brothers who need aid are from other parts of the country almost without exception. It is therefore not only a question of helping a brother in need and likely to die, but of helping good Masons, who are nobly and self sacrificingly doing all they are able, to do their duty - and are well nigh crushed by the burden. Justice demands that they be assisted, and for this reason it is necessary to emphasize again that this is pre-eminently a case for national action.

 

* * *

 

THE CHIEF JUSTICE APPROVES

 

Chief Justice William H. Taft has handed down a "decision" which will be of interest to every member of the Masonic Fraternity in the United States. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort and the Chief Justice has the last word on all matters before it.

 

In a letter to Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master of New Mexico, and President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, Chief Justice Taft wrote as follows:

 

I am very glad that the Grand Lodge of New Mexico is devoting its energies to the establishment of National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria in those states that enjoy the air and environment that are so useful in combating the white plague. The possibility of greatly reducing that scourge of human kind has been demonstrated. It is most humane and generous of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico to make the effort which it is making in this direction. I commend the movement and sincerely hope it will be successful.

 

William H. Taft.

 

* * *

 

FORMER PRESIDENT TAFT'S VIEWS

 

Former President Taft believes that if it is constitutional for the Federal Government to spend money to save hogs and cattle, it is also constitutional to spend money for the conservation of human life. In a speech at Albany, N. Y., March 18, 1910, be said:

 

We have an Agricultural Department, and we are spending $14,000,000 or $15,000,000 a year to tell the farmers by the results of our research how they ought to treat the soil and how they ought to treat the hogs and how they ought to treat the cattle and the horses, with a view of having good hogs and good cattle and good horses. There is nothing in the Constitution especially about hogs or cattle or horses; and if out of the public treasury at Washington we can establish a department for that purpose, it does not seem to be a long step or a stretch of logic to say that we have the power to spend the money in a bureau of research to tell how we can develop good men and good women. Some of our enthusiastic conservators of national resources have calculated how much the life of each man and each woman in the community is worth to that community. I do not think it necessary to resort to that financial calculation in order to justify the saving of human life, such as can be accomplished by the results of research and advice that will proceed from a properly established bureau of health.

 

----o----

 

THE NORTHEAST CORNER

 

Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association

 

Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A. F. & A.M.

 

MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.

 

OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 

HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master, President

RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President

JAFFA MILLER, Vice-President

ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary

JOHN W. TURNER, Treasurer

FRANCIS E. LESTER, Executive Secretary,  Las Cruces, New Mexico

 

ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.

ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.

CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Verplanck, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.

FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.

GEORGIA - Dr. J. P. Bowdoin, Past Grand Master.

IDAHO - Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.

KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.

MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis.

Mississippi - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.

Missouri - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.

MONTANA - Dr. W. J. Marshall, Missoula.

NEW JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.

NEW MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.

NORTH CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.

NORTH DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.

OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.

RHODE ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.

SOUTH CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.

SOUTH DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.

TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.

TEXAS - Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.

UTAH - Fred M. Nye, Ogden.

VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Past Grand Master, Brattleboro.

WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Tacoma.

WISCON - Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.

WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.

 

ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.

ROBERT J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N. M. T. S. A., Las Cruces, New Mexico

 

Help to Open the “Door of Hope”

 

THE National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association offers to the Masonic bodies and Masons of the United States, A GREAT OPPORTUNITY for immediate action to secure relief and hospitalization of migratory tuberculous Masons and sick members of Masons' families.

The Association has an opportunity to buy the Tuberculosis Sanatorium formerly operated by Dr. R. B. Homan, in El Paso, Texas. The property is favorably located. The Main Building has a capacity of nearly one hundred patients. This building also contains the dining rooms, kitchen, etc.

 

There is another brick building containing twentyfour patients' bed rooms and there are also four small cottages for patients. In addition there is a small building for employes and a four-room bungalow for nurses, or which may be used as a superintendent's residence.

 

The Main Building was recently completely repaired and renovated, at a total cost of approximately $50,000. The other buildings will need repairs to make them serviceable.

 

The National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association can immediately begin its work of relief and hospitalization in the Main Building. Later, the other buildings can be put into service when needed and when funds are available.

 

The property is to be sold to the highest bidder under foreclosure proceedings, and while the result of the sale cannot be foretold, the price is not expected to go over $65,000. An additional sum of about $10,000 will be required for equipment. $25,000 more will provide for repairs on other buildings. For a total of $100,000 we may secure an institution that will hospitalize one hundred patients, at an average cost of about $1,000 per bed, while new construction would cost from $2,500 to $5,000 per bed.

 

Women and children may be cared for in the Main Building until the two-story rear building is ready for occupancy. It is planned to provide for children suffering from bone tuberculosis, in addition to caring for those with pulmonary tuberculosis. It is difficult to secure hospitalization for these children in Shrine or other hospitals, because of the length of time required for their treatment.

 

PLANS FOR FINANCING

 

If Masonic bodies, and organizations affiliated with, or whose membership is based upon Freemasonry, and Masons, will each contribute a part of the purchase price, the needed funds can very quickly be secured.

 

An appeal is made to all such bodies, and organizations, to "buy" a part of the sanatorium, so that the total amount needed for purchase and equipment may speedily be secured and the sanatorium opened AT ONCE.

 

The plan has been adopted of naming patients' rooms, sleeping porches, beds and the service rooms, or units, of the Sanatorium for Masonic and other bodies, or individuals, contributing the proportionate part of the purchase price of same. Suitable tablets or signs will be placed over the door of each room in recognition of the contribution made, or in memory of some departed Masonic brother, or some other loved one.

 

Contributions for the following amounts will secure such recognition, or memorials:

 

Rooms

 

Name of Service                   Proportionate Part of Purchase Price

Sanatorium Offices                   $5,000

Reception Hall                   2,500

Social Room                   3,000

Dining Room                   2,500

Serving Room                   1,000

Kitchen                   5,000

Heating Plant

and Boiler Room                   5,000

Nurses' Room                   1500

 

Main Building

Patients' Bed Rooms,

with Bath                   1,000

Patients' Bed Rooms,

without Bath                     750

Sleeping Porches                   500

 

Women's and Children's Building

 

Patients' Bed Rooms                   500

 

Cottages and Bungalow

 

Four Cottages                   1,000

One Bungalow                   3,000

 

 

Patients' beds will be named for organizations and individuals contributing $2~50, and a suitable tablet or sign will be placed upon patients' beds naming the bed for the contributor, or for one whom the contributor designates.

 

FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT

 

Following is an estimate of cost of furniture and equipment. For contributions of the amounts listed below a suitable tablet or sign will be placed in each room naming the donor of the cost of the furniture or equipment.

 

Sanatorium Offices (not including

medical equipment)     $1,000

Reception Hall    500

Social Hall       1,500

Dining Room 500

Serving Room 150

Kitchen        2,500

Patients' Bed Rooms            150

Sleeping Porches              50

 

Those contributing the purchase price of a room may, if desired, add to their contribution the cost of furnishing same.

 

COST OF OPERATION

 

While the average cost of operating a tuberculosis sanatorium is $1,000 per annum, in order to insure the best of care and treatment for patients $1,200 a year, or $100 per month, is a safer estimate for the first year of operation. Contributions of $25, $50, and $100 or more are asked to pay expenses of hospital care for one or more weeks or months.

 

Contributions of $1 or more will help to "carry on" this work of salvaging sick men, women and children.

 

The National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association also asks American Freemasons to contribute funds for home relief; for hospitalization of patients in other institutions when and if necessary and for transportation of patients and members of their families and other incidental expenses of the work of relief and hospitalization.

 

The Sanatoria Association also asks funds for the general expenses of its operations, including educational work among American Freemasons and their families, to disseminate information as to the nature, cause and prevention of tuberculosis. This educational work is recommended by the National Tuberculosis Association as one of the best methods for the prevention of the spread of tuberculosis. "Prevention is better than cure."

 

DESCRIPTION OF SANATORIUM BUILDING

 

The Sanatorium was operated by Dr. R. B. Homan, of El Paso, under lease, until he built his own institution. This Sanatorium had a national reputation as one of the leading tuberculosis hospitals of the Southwest. While it has not the modern features of a new institution erected at present costs, yet splendid results in the treatment of patients were secured in this hospital up to the time of Dr. Homan's removal two years ago.

 

When sufficient funds are secured to erect a larger, modern Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, this building will continue to render great service as a receiving hospital, or as an infirmary for the advanced cases, who may thus be segregated from the early stage and hopeful cases, or may be used for both these purposes.

 

The real estate consists of approximately eleven acres of land situated in the city of El Paso, Texas.

 

Its location will have several distinct advantages. First, it will be possible during the first year of operation for the Association to secure without cost as to indigent patients, the services of a large and complete medical staff, representing all branches of the profession. Second, the thriving city of El Paso will afford opportunities for employment to members of patients' families and patients themselves may obtain whole or part time employment, when physically able, and yet remain under supervision of the sanatorium for some time after discharge.

 

THE MAIN BUILDING

 

The Main Building of the institution is three stories high, built of tufa clit stone and brick and is semi-fire resisting. It is steam heated and has electric elevator service. The building is "L" shaped and practically all bed rooms have outside exposure.

 

The ground floor contains a large reception hall, office rooms, a large assembly or social room, dining room, kitchen, storage rooms, etc. There are also nine patients' rooms, six of them having glazed sleeping porches.

 

The second floor has thirty-three patients' rooms, twenty-two of them having glazed sleeping porches.

 

The third floor has twenty-three patients' rooms, seventeen of them having glazed sleeping porches.

 

Twenty-eight patients' rooms are equipped with private or connecting baths.

 

Approximately one hundred patients can be cared for in this building when operated at its full capacity.

 

SECOND BUILDING

 

This is a two-story brick building located in the rear of the Main Building. It contains twenty-four patients' rooms, each with a sleeping porch and bath, etc. It is steam-heated.

 

This building will require repair and renovation before it can be used. It is planned to use it for the care of women patients, relatives of Masons and for women members of the Eastern Star. Children suffering from bone and pulmonary tuberculosis will also be cared for in this building.

 

COTTAGES AND BUNGALOW

 

Four small frame cottages are located in between the Main Building and the Second Building. These cottages need repair and renovation.

 

A four-room brick bungalow, located near the Second Building, will likewise need some repair. This can be used for housing the nurses, or as the superintendent's residence.

 

The property is estimated to be worth an amount considerably in excess of the price at which it is anticipated it may be purchased.

 

TIME FOR ACTION

 

Five years have been spent in discussion of this great problem of relief and hospitalization of Masonic tuberculars, while many vainly hoping for help, have died. If we, in our various Masonic organizations, and as individuals, will spend five minutes in action, we can, through this institution, actually begin this great and practical work of Masonic brotherhood.

 

Send your contributions direct to the Secretary of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, Alpheus A. Keen, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, at the Masonic Temple, Albuquerque, New Mexico. However little it may be it will help to save a brother's life.

 

* * *

 

“CLAIMS UNABLE TO HELP SICK BROTHER"

 

Brother 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 bad 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.

 

“HOME LODGE HELPED - PATIENT REFUNDING"

 

Brother No. 93. Grand Lodge of Georgia. Brother afflicted with tuberculosis, also crippled with rheumatism. Home lodge assisted him over long period, sending him to Hot Springs and supporting him at El Paso. Wife also tubercular and left him to return home. Brother improved under treatment and finally secured employment at Beaumont. Home lodge advanced $783 total and brother had begun to repay same.

 

----o----

 

The Precious Jewels

 

By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN

 

IN the Study Club last month we discussed the probability that an apparent confusion in the early references to the ashlars as jewels of the lodge was due, at least in part, to a technical expression of working masons having been later understood in its more general sense by non-operative brethren which resulted in an actual reversal meaning. The original finished test-block becoming th e "rough ashlar," the stone in its native state as taken from the quarry, and the partly worked, or roughed-out stone becoming t h e later "perfect ashlar," the stone squared and polished and ready to be set and adjusted by the implements of the Fellowcraft. Dint, or dent, the terms in question are variant forms of the same word, which means, as a verb, to strike or beat, and as a noun the marks or indentations caused by blows. A stone worked with the "bush hammer" or "claw tool" shows a surface covered with fine parallel indentations. Though such a surface is far from being a true plane it may nevertheless, if well wrought, be a quite sufficiently close approximation thereto for the comparatively coarse trying and testing required for ordinary stone work--it would not have done for such work as that of the Great Pyramid for example, where the thickness of the joints of the casing was no more than that of tissue paper, but such work was not done by the Mediaeval craftsmen, not because they were unable had it been demanded, but because it was not required in their style of architecture, in which fine jointing of the stones played little part. Before all things they were practical men, and believed as fully as modern production experts in economy of labor. It is always to be noticed in Gothic mouldings, capitals and carving, that the work is carefully designed to involve the minimum of cutting away of the stone. It therefore did not concern them to work the faces of the joints any finer than was required for stability in the erection.

 

It might be well worth while to find out, if anyone interested were in a position to do so, whether dint or dent is ever used in this sense by stone masons in Scotland or the north of England at the present time, or during the last century. It may be noted, however, that the New English Dictionary under "Dent" gives the following fifteenth century quotation from Trevisa:

 

"After many manere castynge, hewyng dentynge and planynge."

 

This would seem by the context to confirm the supposition that "to dent" was used as a technical term, though it gives no indication of the process to which it was applied. Casting is proper only of metals, planing would naturally refer to wood work, hewing might be either of wood or stone, and if the latter, denting might have been so intended also. The finishing process above described is the only one known to us to which the term would be at all applicable. Another rather curious obsolete use of the word is given, namely, "to smooth," but not in the usual sense of making a smooth surface, but that of neutralizing the "sharpness" of an acid. The analogy underlying this use may however be that of subduing the strength of the acid or corrosive fluid, and thus to be equated with such a phrase as "by dint of arms," for example.

 

Another explanation is also possible and one not so far removed as to be incompatible. The Confession tells us that the "dinted ashlar" was not only used "to adjust the square" but also to "make the gages by." Gage or gauge, in old French Iauge or Jauge, is a very comprehensive word, and is applied to all kinds of measuring appliances, and to a considerable extent to special or standard measurements themseves. It is not now often, if ever, used for a graduated rod or scale for determining linear distances in terms of some unit of length, such as the foot or the metre, though it is so used in modern Speculative phraseology. This may well be a survival of what was once common usage, but we have not been able to find any independent examples confirming it. A Scottish form of the word is Gadge. The Examination and the Mystery both inform us that . . Square, Compass and Common Gudge" are necessary to a just and perfect lodge; while the famous Haughfoot Minute of 1702 (1) and the Chetwode Crawley MS. both speak of a "Common Judge." These references must be to some measuring implement of very general application in order to account for the epithet "common" being applied to it in the first of these references. In the passage from the Confession quoted in a preceding article (2) respecting the five points in the Square, we find the Handrule and the Gage given as the fourth and fifth, respectively. The Rule is essentially a straight-edge, but in modern usage the term is usually applied to a measuring rod, such as, for instance, a two-foot rule. But of course the most natural and obvious form of an instrument of linear measurement is a straight-edge marked with feet and inches or whatever it may be. We are, however, inclined to think that rule or hand-rule here means a straight-edge pure and simple, as such "rules" are very necessary in stone-cutting and they take a form not at all convenient for measuring purposes. If so, we must conclude that "gage" in Scottish operative usage was a measuring rod or scale.

 

STANDARDS OF MEASUREMENT

 

The question of standards of measurement does not often come to our notice in everyday life. Rulers and yard-sticks and tape measures are so abundant and accurate that we accept them just as we do many other things civilization gives us. The immense amount of scientific knowledge, of care and skill, that lies behind their standardization, preservation and reproduction is realized by very few. It is a far cry from the time when twenty-five men, taken at random as they came out of church after hearing Mass on Sunday morning, were made to stand in a row each with his toe touching the heel of the man in front and the whole distance covered taken to be twenty-five feet, and accepted as a standard for the regulation of yard-sticks and ell-wands and so on in the neighborhood. Yet this and kindred methods were used, and were much more nearly accurate than might be supposed, being based on the principle of averaging differences. In England there were Royal Standards from very early times, but they were far off--at Winchester or London--and not easily accessible, so that local standards of all kinds were in use. It is therefore not impossible that in a permanent working lodge of Masons there should have been a standard unit of measurement; and if there were also, as we have concluded, a standard testing block, it would be the most natural thing to incise the unit of length upon it. With one edge marked in feet and inches it would be possible to make a measuring rod out of any stick or piece of lath for a given purpose, or enable new-comers to make gages for themselves if their old ones varied from the local unit. The word "dented" might thus be taken as meaning "indented," in the sense of havling a standard scale of feet and inches engraved upon it. However upon the whole, though the evidence of the Confession seems to point to something of this sort, and though it appears probable enough in itself, the term seems more likely to have been derived from the method of finishing the surface of the stone.

 

We are now, perhaps, in a position to solve provisionally the problem raised by Prichard's use of the word "rough" to designate the ashlar. While "dinting" may possibly have been a technical term for finishing stone, to dint or dent in general usage implied the injuring of a surface by accidental or destructive blows, as indeed it still is. We suggest therefore that the change may have come about through the term "dented" being misunderstood by non-operatives by being taken in the common sense of the word, the whole answer having become a mere unintelligible formula to them; and that someone, in trying to reproduce what he had heard, used another word that to him appeared to mean the same thing. But whether this was the way in which the error arose or not it seems quite certain that an error there was, and that the Confession must be taken as better representing the original. We shall find later on further confirmation of the use of the word "dinted" as a qualification of the ashlar.

 

THE BROACHED THURNEL

 

The third of this group of "jewels" now comes up for more extended consideration. A great deal has been written on the subject and much ingenuity displayed, a good deal of which we can only think misplaced. Mackey in the article already referred to takes "Thurnel" to be derived from tournell, old French for a turret, or small tower. He says, speaking of the "pointed cubic stone" of the French charts: On inspection, it will be at once seen that the Broached Thurnel has the form of a little square turret with a spire springing from it. And he goes on to quote Parker's Glossary of Terms in Architecture to the effect that broach or broche denotes

 

. . . a spire springing from the tower without any intervening parapet; and so concludes that the mysterious phrase simply meant "the Spired Turret" and adds:

 

It was a model on which apprentices might learn the principles of their art, because it presented to them, in its various outlines, the forms of the square and the triangle, the cube and the pyramid.

 

The less said about this, however, as a method for instruction in the art of the Gothic builders the better. (3)

 

Others, unfortunately, have taken up the idea and elaborated it, chiefly along symbolic lines. Here we are unable to follow them; our attempt to elucidate these survivals is based on the general hypothesis that their origin is to be found in a real craft organization, and not in a mystical, philosophical school of occultism somehow mixed up with Operative Masons, or masquerading as such. On this general theory we are forced to reject the idea that any elaborate object such as this should have been made by practical men for purely symbolic purposes. One great characteristic of Gothic work is its honesty and frankness. Nothing is put in merely for decoration or because it would look well; the ornament is all made out of the essential parts of the structure, and as has been remarked by many writers on the subject the more important the member structurally the more prominently it was emphasized by moulding and carving. It would not be unnatural for such men to symbolize and moralize their tools and their methods of working, but it does not seem at all in keeping to suppose that they dragged in such an artificial and, in a sense, purely gratuitous symbol as this would have been. Besides, the fundamental point has not been touched--that this stone was to be worked on, not examined or studied--and the work was of a kind that was, in some places at least, called broaching.

 

BROACH AND BROACHING

 

Now broaching is still a process used in mechanical engineering, and a broach is a file-like tool used for forming holes in metal; chiefly for holes of angular or irregular shape, as the drill is better for circular ones.

 

Bro. Speth pointed out long ago (4) that in Scotland the term "broached work" is used for stones that are rough hewed, and that there is a tool, called a Thurnal, Thurmer or Turner, which is used "to broach" with. It is apparently the same thing that is called a Pricket or Prichet in some parts of England, and in America is sometimes called a Point. It is a chisel drawn out with four faces instead of two, and brought, not quite to an actual point, but nearly enough so to leave only a cutting edge of from three-sixteenths to one-quarter of an inch in widtih. It is purely a "roughing out" tool, and is used especially in working granite. Speth therefore suggested that the Broached Thurnel was really the Broaching-thurmal; and it must be admitted that the suggestion is a very attractive one. The difficulty is that to accept it we have to suppose another error in both Prichard and the Confession. This we should be quite content to do if it affected the former only, but the author of the Confession, as we have said before, is so close to the operative practice of his day, and is so explicit in his statement that it was for the apprentice "to learn to broach upon," that in him such a mistake seems highly improbable.

 

There seems little doubt that the real solution of the mystery is that advanced by Bro. Dring (5), which is that Thurmal or Dornal is derived from Ornel, the name of "a kind of soft white building stone." The New English Dictionary gives several examples of the word from old documents, as for example one of date 1442.

 

Fraughtage of x tonne of ornell fro london vn to ye College.

 

It was sometimes spelled Urnel, and a record of 1348 is quoted:

 

Eidem pro ijs pedibus de Vrnel emptis pro eodem in grosso xv. s.

 

Dr. Craigie suggested that Dornal came from the French d'Ornaulx, "of Ornal," but we are inclined to think that Bro. Dring's theory is more probable, that the "d" sound was carried over from the preceding word by prothesis. Broached ornal or urnal, could very easily become broached dornal when transmitted orally. And it is very easy for a "d" sound to be changed to "th," especially in Scottish dialect. We are inclined to this supposition because other instances of the same thing have happened. Bro. Dring himself quotes a very amusing instance. A certain brother wanted lo identify the plant called Vacacia, and must have been rather taken aback when it was explained to him that it was a "sprig of Acacia" that was referred to and not "of Vacacia." The broached dornal or thurnel would on this hypothesis be a piece of "ornal" roughed out and ready to be finished; a partly worked stone in short.

 

SPECULATIVE TECHNIQUE

 

Some rather curious notions of the technique of building have been derived by zealous Freemasons, based not on any knowledge of the occupation but purely on the allocation of working tools in the different degrees. It seems very curious that such absurd and baseless ideas should ever have been seriously advanced, when it would have been so easy to obtain information on the subject. Yet such "explanations" are to be found even in the works of those who are regarded, and justly, as authorities in the Craft. The Speculative Entered Apprentice is given a two-foot rule and a common gavel-or in England a mallet and chisel. From this it has been inferred apparently--of course the interest was purely symbolic---that the stones were cut by the Apprentices, while the Craftsmen stood round with plumb square and level to set them as soon as they were finished--this process of setting or laying being supposed -again for purely symbolical reasons--to be much more skilled work than merely cutting the stones. One would suppose that if the unfortunate apprentices had only gage and gavel to work with that the Fellowcrafts would not find the stones very true or easy to lay-except as rough or rubble work. Finally the master holds the trowel and spreads the mortar. Perhaps this bold invention of a suppositious operative technique is not of very great importance, yet it would have been possible to have based the symbolism on facts had there been any desire to seek for them. At least to any one with practical knowledge the whole effect of the moral teaching is lost in the contemplation of the ludicrous absurdities involved on the technical silde. The worst is that this is all comparatively recent. In the earlier rituals the Apprentice alone was given tools, and these included a square. This procedure was much closer to to what must have been operative practice. To give the Apprentice his tools formally was as appropriate as to give him an apron, but before he could pass Fellow he had to learn the whole craft, to use all the tools. To give them to him later would be meaningless. Technically, of course, the "marking off" and "roughing out" a stone is no task for a novice. When we consider all the factors that have to be taken into account, the natural bed of stone, the best way to get most out of it and so on, it is seen to require much skill and experience, although it not unnaturally seems (to the purely speculative mind) the proper place for the Apprentice to begin.

 

Without doubt the first tasks he was actually given were such things as running errands, taking tools to the smith, bringing beer for the men, and cleaning and tidying up, but such duties would hardly fit into a symbolic scheme! As a matter of fact, using the "claw tool" or bush hammer to finish the surface that had been rouhly wrought by a skilled craftsman would be the kind of mason work he would be first taught.

 

However, our best authority says that on this stone he was to learn how to "broach," which we have taken to mean the process of roughing out. A consideration of the method by which a stone is worked down to a plane surface may help us. Stone used for cut or carve work is always of such an internal structure that it is naturally inclined to break along certain planes. It would not be good to "work" otherwise, and would be rejected as waste, or used for foundations or for "rubble masonry."

 

SQUARING A STONE

 

But the blocks, as broken out of the quarry, are only very approximately square, though enough so to make the lines on which they should be cut fairly obvious. The first thing is to obtain a basis to work from. Usually what are to be the ends will have the largest excrescencies knocked off with the hammer or common gavel, by eye, so as to make it possible to mark a straight line with a straight-edge and chalk; or charcoal perhaps if the stone were white. Then with mallet and chisel a draft or drift, sometimes rather erroneously spoken of as a "bevel" by Masonic writers, is run across the end; that is, a narrow flat surface is worked, the line drawn being a guide to the depth, and the width no greater than is needed to give a resting place for the straight-edge; a little wider than the chisel edge as a rule. The surface of this cut is finished with some care till the straight-edge will touch it all along. The next step is to mark off the opposite end, and the problem is to get the second draft in the same plane as the first when the intervening surface is not only rough but also, of course, higher than the line worked. Two straight-edges are used--usually hoards about an inch thick, three or four feet long and four inches or so wide, the two edges planed true and parallel. One of these is rested on the surface of the draft already cut, the second is held against the other end of the stone by one man, while another from the distance of a few feet "sights" over the upper edge, the man holding it moving it according to directions until it coincides with the line of the other. Then the mark is made and the second draft is run. This when being finished is not only tested for straightness but also for "winding." The workman keeps stepping back and sighting until he is satisfied that the two straight edges are in line. If they are not, one end of that further away will be hidden when the other end is visible. It is a simple device, but one that is capable, with care, of very accurate results. The next steps are comparatively simple. All that has to be done is to mark the sides in line with the ends of the two drafts already cut, and then work down to it. This done, there is a narrow ledge all round the stone cut down to the plane required. From this, by means of the square, lines can be marked out for the corners, which when done will determine the surfaces of the sides and ends. It is usual, however, to finish one surface before going further. This finishing consists of two processes, a roughing out and a finishing proper, and it is the roughing out that was probably meant by broaching or pointing. The apprentice put on to this work would have the drafts to guide him, and could test his work as he proceeded by simply laying a straight edge across it.

 

The conclusion that seems legitimate in view of all these considerations is that the Catechism which comes nearest to a real operative tradition said that the jewels of the lodge consisted of a square pavement, or floor upon which plans could be drawn full size in chalk or charcoal; a carefully finished stone with accurately cut angles placed with its surfaces exactly perpendicular and horizontal, and possibly marked with standard units of length, for adjusting or making the measuring and testing tools by; and last a roughed out or partly worked stone which was to be the first real introduction of the Apprentice to the technical manipulations of the Craft.

 

NOTES

(1) Gould's Concise History, p. 189, and also Essays, p. XXI.

(2) THE BUILDER, Feb., 1927, p. 56.

(3) Since this was written a passage in Agricole Perdiguier on the Compagnonage has come to our notice, in which he describes the methods by which the Compagnons instructed the junior members in a kind of trade school. It is possible that he has rather heightened the effect in his description in order to glorify the organization of which he was a devoted member, but it is not likely that what he says is without foundation in fact. His description is not very definite, but he speaks of a kind of erection that was used as a model or concrete illustration of different kinds of mouldings, jointings and so on. One gets the impression that it was something like an elaborate gothic pinnacle, or like the bases on which market or churchyard crosses were erected. He notes that it was criticised by some as useless as such work was then no longer used, so that it would appear to have been a survival. The passage certainly appears to give some support to Mackey's idea, if we suppose that a cubic block surmounted by a pyramid was a degraded representative of such a structural model. We do not think, however that it affects the argument advanced in the article, though it seems possible that the actual form taken by the Broached Thurnel in France may have been due to an infiltration of ideas from the working masons and their methods in that country.

(4) A.Q.C. XII, p. 205.

(5) Ibid, XXIX, p. 261.

 

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THE LIBRARY

 

The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.

 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, THE FIRST CIVILIZED AMERICAN. By Phillips Russell. Published by Brentano's, New York. Cloth, illustrated, table of contents, index, 326 pages. Price, $5.25.

 

MR. RUSSELL says that Benjamin Franklin was the first civilized American "because at an American period eminent for narrowness, superstition and bleak beliefs, he was mirthful, generous, open-minded, learned, tolerant and humor-loving. Because he was the first American man of the world in the sense that he was the first American world-man." The excuse for the title of this work, if excuse be needed, is amply supported by the study of Franklin presented by the author.

 

It is in form a biography, but it is more than that. We have here a study of the mental development of the man who made the American Revolution possible, at least so far as the essential facts and financing was concerned. There is no need to dwell on Franklin's life, the various incidents are sufficiently well known to the average American to make such a recapitillation needless.

 

Franklin may well have his name inscribed in the hall of pseudo-saints in which will be found statues of Washington, Lincoln, Paul Revere and other patriotic heroes. He is generally classed with them and as often suffers from that imaginative elevation which accounts for the fables that have grown up around so many of America's great men. This particular point has often been emphasized, but as long as our textbook writers continue to believe that an individual must be a godlike man before be is a suitable example for educational purposes we shall suffer from the same fallacious pictures of such individuals as we have in the past.

 

The author of the present volume is to be congratulated on his treatment of Franklin as a human being. He smooths over none of his defects, and pardons none of his sins. There is, however, an attempt to show that in his erotic moments Franklin was only living up to, or down to, as one prefers, the standards of his age. This feature helps to make the work more than an image of the man, it tends to assist in picturing the age and the work becomes a study of the 18th century as a result. To those readers of THE BUILDER who have seen Prof. E. E. Boothroyd's recent articles in THE BUILDER on this period and found them interesting, Mr. Russell's book will come as a most entertaining confirmation of the evidence presented by our contributor. Material of this kind serves as indirect *evidence to support the assertion of some Masonic scholars that the Hiramic Legend must be older than the Grand Lodge and by no small period of years, on the ground that it was spiritually impossible that it could have been invented then.

 

This bit of Masonic interest is entirely aside from the main interest Masons generally have in Frankliniana, namely, that the first civilized American was a member of the Craft. This point is totally neglected in Mr. Russell's work which is, perhaps, pardonable. The biographers of Franklin have not made any to do about it and naturally Masons lay more stress on such things than non-members. Nevertheless Masonry must have bulked largely in the life of a man who retained an active interest over such a long period, that it is curious it should not have been at least mentioned.

 

It is certain that those who read this book, and everyone should, will feel that they have acquired a genuine understanding of Franklin, the man. They will feel too a regret that almost 150 years separate us from the time of his death, for they will feel that they would like to shake his hand and perhaps comment on his life's work in terms of no less complimentary than the simple, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

 

E. E. T.

 

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MASONIC PRESIDENTS, VICE-PRESIDENTS AND SIGNERS. By William L. Boyden. Privately printed. Cloth, index, 71 pages.

 

This is a compact little book, giving authentic information upon a subject that has had much eloquent attention by Masonic speakers though usually among students, arousing more curiosity than satisfaction. From of old there has existed a conviction in the Fraternity that about all the signers of the Declaration of Independence were brethren of the Craft. That by far the greater number of the Presidents and Vice-Presidents were also Freemasons was also a tradition as frequently and confidently mentioned by many. For years these claims have been allotted much more prominence than was given any detailed enumeration of the existing records to support such broad statements. Many who have done research service have found inquiries of this kind constantly awaiting them, as from time to time there came forward the exceptions among the curious who, not satisfied with the sweeping assertion of Masonic orators, were desirous of getting the dates and some real knowledge of the places where each of these well-known persons got his degrees in the Craft. Now it so happens that even when we know that a brother has taken the degrees we may not be sure when and where these were given him. A President, Andrew Jackson, was also Grand Master of Tennessee. Obviously he got the degrees somewhere and yet this certainty has unfortunately tc be backed up only by a probability that he received the Masonic light at Nashville, in Harmony Lodge, No. 1, say some time between October, 1788, and March of 1800. In the latter month and year he visited a lodge at Knoxville and was recorded there as a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 1. When questions of this sort are up for settlement it is well to allow for the loss of lodge records by various causes and for less attention being paid formerly to even getting all the facts into official documentary evidence. Generally speaking there is every likelihood that the records available will never catch up with the procession and keep pace with the facts, the bound documents of old lodges suffering from the assaults of corroding causes, the destruction by fire, war and flood, as well as the negligence that omits to preserve statements or to treasure books of record, even the lodges involved have themselves in several instances disappeared. To meet and combat such situations was the task taken up by Bro. William L. Boyden. He has given in this useful and timely handbook the Masonic records, in a condensed form, of the Presidents of the United States, Vice-Presidents and signers of the Declaration of Independence, who were members of the Fraternity. His research leads him to conclusions not at all comforting to the frequently heard circulators of sweeping claims. For instance, Bro. Boyden starts in his "Foreword" with the unusual assertion:

 

The statement, current for years, that fifty of the fifty-six signers (of the Declaration of Independence) were Freemasons is absolutely without proof, and no one has yet been able to even approximate this number by the slightest evidence in support of the assertion.

 

Bro. Boyden furthermore says nothing of the possibility that Washington was a Royal Arch Mason. The apron presented to him bears emblems suggestive of that important branch of our Institution. His lodge worked the degree at a very early date in America during Colonial times. But these circumstances, suggestive though they be, are not as conclusive as we could desire and they do not weigh sufficiently to get any place in Bro. Boyden's book. For some unexplained reason the detailed particulars of Bro. Aldai E. Stevenson's Masonic career are not easy to get. Bro. Boyden is not the only student to find difficulties in the way. This former Vice-President of the United States was Master of two lodges, member of a Chapter, a Council and a Commandery, but the complete records of initiations, affiliations, etc., are, to say the least, elusive. Perhaps some Illinoisan Freemason will supply these details of so prominent a brother in public life and in the Craft; he was Grand Orator on Oct. 7, 1896, when he in that capacity addressed the Grand Lodge of Illinois.

 

The fine record given by Bro. Boyden of the beloved and sagacious Franklin omits but two items of any consequence that now occur to me. One is that be was a visitor to Lodge St. David at Edinburgh, Scotland, on Oct. 10, 1759. The entry on the old Minutes - which I have had personally the pleasure of examining, thanks to the courtsey of Past Master Alex M. Mackay - is as follows: "Br. Franklin, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphia." See also in this connection the note contributed by Bro. A. M. Mackay to Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, page 270, part 3, volume XXI, 1909. The statement that Frank]in, in 1776, affiliated with Masonic lodges in France needs elaboration at least to the extent of telling us what were these lodges. In fact Freemasonry in France has been so closely in line with principles and practices advocated by Franklin, that this similarity suggests an influence worthy of more exhaustive investigation than thus far it has received. Bro. Boyden records the election in 1782 of Franklin as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, at Paris, but on page 136 of Amiable's history, "Une Loge Maconnique d'Avant 1789," we are told that he was elected Worshipful Master on May 21, 1779. n page 145 of the same work, we learn that Franklin was Worshipful Master for two years, his authority having been renewed in 1780. In May, 1781, the Marquis de LaSalle took the place of Franklin as presiding officer, and he in turn was succeeded by the Comte de Milly. The reference by Bro. Boyden to Franklin's election in 1782, does not have the support of Louis Amiable's account but it does have the endorsement of Bro. Julius F. Sachse's treatise on "Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason," pages 5 and 107. However these are minor points and only mentioned to illustrate how perplexing a problem is this subject that is commonly so lightly undertaken and voiced but to which Bro. Boyden brings a refreshing and an astute research . May it prompt and encourage further study in the same direction.

 

R. I. C.

 

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THE STORY OF PHILOSOPHY. By Will Durant. Published by Simon and Schuster, New York. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated, 577 pages. Price, $5.25.

 

THE thoughts of preceding generations have always been of interest to the general reader. Many scholars have tried to reconstruct the life of a given period from the writings of contemporary authors. Both fiction and non-fiction have come in for their share of consideration. This is, generally speaking, a delightful occupation for students, but there are many of us who do not feel the inclination to follow such a practice and prefer to rely on others for such information as we desire. It is almost inevitable that both novelists and scholars will include in their writings something of philosophy. Such implicit philosophies are generally the reflection of the thought of the age. Mr. Durant has strayed from the general practice and has taken the philosophers, or better, the outstanding philosophers of each period as subjects for his Story of Philosophy. By means of the examples he gives we are assisted in forming conclusions relative to the type of thought prevalent at different periods in the history of the world, in spite of the fact that the work itself confines its scope to a discussion of purely philosophical events.

 

There is a multitude of readers who have seen the names of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Francis Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant and others mentioned in the course of their reading. Doubtless many of them have wondered what it was they said and have even resolved to read at least something about them. If they have ever attempted to follow out their resolution they realize how difficult it is to find out what it was all about. Mr. Durant has solved the problem for such as these in a very clear and intelligible account of the different schools with a critical discussion and a brief criticism which compares the theories of several philosophers. In addition to this the author has given a brief biographical sketch of each man who forms the topic for discussion which adds greatly to the interest of the book.

 

Mr. Durant has the happy faculty of writing on a subject often thought too heavy for popular consumption in such a manner that everyone can understand it, and what is even more important it is made sufficiently interesting for everyone to enjoy reading.

 

In spite of the easy style it is not to be understood that the book is one for the tired business man who finds his most enjoyable relaxation at such dramatic performances as are advertised as glorifying the American girl, etc. It does, however, form the healthiest sort of reading for the man who prefers to spend his evenings trying to improve his own mental makeup and who seeks real inspiration for the next day's work. The book is not one of applied philosophy, but it would be great sport to work out the applications.

 

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ADDRESSES AND ESSAYS OF THE MASONIC EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CLUB OF REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN. Published by the Peerless Printing Co., Ltd., Regina, Sask. Paper, table of contents, 178 pages.

 

THIS book shows, perhaps more clearly than would be possible by any other means, the work that might be accomplished by any study club. It is composed, as its title indicates, of a number of addresses delivered before the club from its inception in 1924 through 1926. Because the group is one which is made up, not of Masonic scholars but of ordinary Masons who profess to a desire to know what the Craft teaches and its history, the contents of the volume illustrate clearly the kind of information for which the average member of the Fraternity craves.

 

The statement that the club is not composed of scholars should not be taken as in any sense a derogatory one. It is meant as no more than a distinction between the erudite student who delves into the depths of detail to clarify one particular point which, after all, has no particular interest for the average Mason, and the scholar of another type, namely, those who make an effort to collate the opinions of the deeper students and present them in an intelligible manner for the education and delectation of those desirous of knowing more about a given subject. Both types of students are essential in any scheme of education and both do work which must be commended by all.

 

The lectures contained in the present volume cover almost every branch of Masonic study. They touch on history, symbolism and philosophy, and range from a discussion of the advantages of Masonic education to a lecture on Hiram Abiff. They are short, concise and entertainingly presented. They are not of the wild fantastic type one too often meets in a Masonic lecture, and are based upon the works of the soundest Masonic scholars. Although there is no documentation it is evident that authorities of generally accepted authority have formed the basis of the discussions.

 

There are some small errors, quite pardonable seeing that the organization is new, and its members do not have access to all that has been written on Masonry, and even more pardonable when one enters into the spirit of the occasion and realizes that these papers are written for the amusement of the audience rather than for the criticism of research students. The reviewer has found no error whose importance is sufficient to warrant a close analysis of the problem involved and none that might change the conclusion drawn, and none that are likely to lead the reader far astray.

 

The book is one that is to be praised and the Education and Research Club is to be congratulated on its first publication. We hope there may be many others.

 

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THROUGH SCIENCE TO GOD. By Floyd L. Darrow. Published by The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis. Cloth, table of contents, index, illustrated, 299 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.65.

 

THE strife between the so-called Modernist and Fundamentalist factions which seem to occupy the center of the stage in religious circles today has, perhaps, caused many people to wonder about God. The Fundamentalist denounces the Modernist as an atheist, the Modernist denies the charge, and as strongly denounces the Fundamentalist as one who is blind because he will not see. Whatever side of the controversy be taken the reader will find in Mr. Darrow's book an explanation of the God of Science which is, to the mind of the writer at least, incontrovertible evidence that the Modernist has a God. The arguments are sufficiently strong to warrant the assertion that there can be no refutation, unless one calls a dogmatic reliance on the Bible by this name.

 

This, however, is aside from the question and there is no need to enter into a discussion of the Bible here. Let it be said that the author shows that even to science there must be a God and that science is unintelligible without God. He says further that the God of Science is one which in the minds of thinking men is more omnipotent, more powerful and more wonderful than that pictured in, to use his term, the legends of the Bible.

 

The book forms one of the strongest pleas for religious toleration it has been my pleasure to read. No Fundamentalist denies the existence of the solar system or the stellar universe, yet he dogmatically asserts that we must believe in the Bible as it is written and as literal history. This is the same attitude as was expressed by the Church in relation to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Priestley and many others who have assisted us in coming to a true understanding of Divinity.

 

Unless one is fanatically prepossessed with the dogma of religion he cannot help but derive some lasting good from Through Science to God.

 

* * *

 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WITCHCRAFT. By Ian Ferguson. Published by Geo. G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., London. Cloth, table of contents, bibliography, 216 pages. Price, $2.10.

 

WITH most of us interest in witches ceased when the Halloween period no longer carried with it the urge to engage in the mischievous pranks of childhood. Fairy tales, in which witches play an important part, fascinated us at one period, but the interest lagged and was completely lost. The history of the witch is not generally known, and neither is the philosophy. Witch trials and burnings are known to have token place, and even today one sees a reminder of the Salem persecutions in the form of a monument adorning one of the main thoroughfares of that colonial city.

 

In the work now under consideration we find a treatment of the subject somewhat different from that followed by Miss Murray in her Witch Cult of Western Europe. Mr. Ferguson deals with the history only incidentally. He alludes to the various stages of development only because he desires to give his general thesis a chronological order. To him, history is the calendar by which time is recognized in the development of mental attitudes. It is the thoughts of the people which elevated the witch to the position she once occupied, and when tumbled her from her high pedestal into the abyss of Medieval persecution which forms the major interest in his discussion.

 

The witch comes, in magical religions, to occupy the place of ruler of the tribe. This is, in large measure, due to faith in the efficacy of his charms. Belief in his great powers to subdue the wrath of the gods. Because of this faith early Christianity was forced to adopt certain of the rites of primitive religions in order to satisfy the wants of the people. Mr. Ferguson traces in interesting and entertaining fashion the change in thought which finally resulted in witches being considered the agencies through which satan worked. The witch idea is carried down to the present day and spiritualism and mysticism come in for their share of discussion.

 

One is inclined to judge that the picture drawn of the Middle Ages and the misery of the lower classes is too sweeping, though the author draws it largely by quoting from others. There is one apparent slip that sounds strangely. In speaking of the stifling of thought by the church, the author says:

 

The dim stirring Of the intellect was evident in the speculative fields of astrology, a subject with heretical boundaries and for which Galileo was to die.

 

Galileo of course did not die for anything but of a "slow fever" in old age, many years after his condemnation by the Inquisition, not for speculative astronomical theories, but for venturing into the realms of theology and attempting to prove his scientific doctrines by Scripture. He was indeed most leniently treated, and the imprisonment to which he was condemned amounted to no more than residence in the household of a Cardinal who was his warm friend.

 

Taken with some caution it is a very useful introduction to the subject, it is well written and makes exceedingly interesting reading.

 

* * *

 

ALBERT PIKE'S YEAR BOOK. Compiled by Claire C. Ward. Published by Macoy Publishing Co., New York. Cloth, 77 pages. Price, $1.60.

 

A SHORT pithy saying for each day of the year forms the contents of this book. They might be classed as proverbs, or could rank with the early morning Scripture reading which was common not so very long ago. They would form a splendid adjunct to this custom and would provide the reader with a thought on Masonry with which to start the day.

 

The excerpts are taken from Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma and are published by permission of the Supreme Council A. and A. S. R. They should prove of value to Craft as well as Scottish Rite Masons. The pen from which they come is sufficient guaranty of their Masonic applicability.

 

E. E. T.

 

* * *

 

THE MASONIC WHO'S WHO. Edited by Dudley Wright. Published by A. Lewis, London. Cloth, illustrated, 512 pages. Price, $10.00.

 

THOSE who have need to inquire about men of prominence, Masonically, will welcome this new book by Bro. Wright. There are many who wish to know the affiliations of great men who are Masons as well as of great Masons. The present work is an attempt to fill the need, and deserves the hearty commendation of the Craft.

 

It is natural that some errors and omissions would creep into a pioneering effort of this kind. It would also, quite naturally, be expected that the American list would be largely deficient, and so it is. American Masons will as a result find the work in its present state of little assistance. The English list is fairly complete but even this has very curious omissions.

 

A suggestion that the page size as well as the type size be reduced may not be out of order. It certainly would make the work more easily handled, and as it is primarily for reference small type would riot cause undue strain.

 

There can, however, be nothing but praise for the industrious brother who has acted as editor. We must express the hope that the next edition will be published in the near future and that many of the inadvertent omissions will be filled.

 

* * *

 

NEW BOOKS RECEIVED

 

Handbook of All Denominations, prepared by M. Phelan. Published by the Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn.

 

In Savage Australia, by Knut Dahl. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., New York.

 

Days Pleasant and Unpleasant in the Order of the Sons of Italy in America, by Robert Ferrari. Published by the Mandy Press, New York.

 

Tall Timbers; Giants in Contrast, by Chesla A. Sherlock. Published by the Stratford Co., Boston, Mass.

 

----o----

 

THE QUESTION BOX

and CORRESPONDENCE

 

FUNDAMENTALS IN FREEMASONRY

 

Bro. A. H. Norris, of Pennsylvania, wanders too far afield for me to follow him in a Masonic journal. His objections to the Old Testament are not new - I met them sixty years ago and am ready to discuss them with him if he can find a religious paper that cares to thresh over that old straw, but I cannot ask THE BUILDER, "The New Age," or "The Shrine Magazine" to open its columns to the theological issues Bro. Norris raises.

 

I agree with him that the action of the Grand Lodge of Missouri does not bind Pennsylvania or New Mexico, but he seems to have entirely overlooked my quotation from Mackey:

 

In all lodges in Christian countries the "Book of the Law" is composed of the Old and New Testaments; in a country where Judaism was the prevailing faith, the Old Testament alone would be sufficient, and in Mohammedan countries, and among Mohammedan Masons, the Koran might be substituted.

 

My position is that American Freemasonry requires a belief in the one living and true God, and recognizes the Holy Bible as one of the Great Lights. It gives no such recognition to any other book. But I cannot agree with him when he says, "Granting, for argument's sake, that the God of the Bible is the God of Freemasonry, it is obvious that we must first know what the God of the Bible is before we can come to any conclusion.' refuse to follow him, in a Masonic paper, into that theological discussion into which he would lead us.

 

I have read the Old Testament many times. I am sorry for the man who can read it carefully and not find in it a nobler conception of God than man had reached in any other way be ore the New Testament was written. But Freemasonry does not attempt theological definitions but leaves each Freemason free to interpret the Bible for himself.

 

C. H. Briggs.

 

I fully agree with Bro. Briggs' opinion that the point raised in my article could hardly be made the subject of a controversy in the pages of THE BUILDER. I will even admit that my question as to how he would explain the lower and primitive (not to say savage) conception of God to be found in parts of the Old Testament was rhetorical rather than serious. That he himself would explain, or explain away, the lower conception in the light of the higher I took for granted, my point was precisely that explanation and reconciliation is needed, that once we try to give a meaning to the time-honored phrases we find ourselves in the presence of problems and difficulties.

 

One more word I should like to add, in regard to the quotation from Mackey. Since when and by what authority was this eminent brother constituted the supreme arbiter in Masonic doctrine ? It is a fact that in lodges in India, under the Grand Lodge of England, which falls under his definition of a Christian country one would suppose, that candidates may be obligated on one of several sacred books according to their profession of faith. This being permissible by English Grand Lodge usage seems to me to bear out the position of a "Lay Brother," as indeed, taken at its face value, does also the last sentence in Bro. Briggs' letter.

 

A. H. Norris.

 

* * *

 

I do not offer Mackey as authority for Pennsylvania but he is good enough for Missouri, which adopted his language by the unanimous vote of its Grand Lodge. Twenty-two years later the Grand Lodge took similar action. The New Age for March, 1927, says:

 

As Albert G. Mackey was Secretary-General of the Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, when Albert Pike became Grand Commander, and had many facilities for knowing while writing his celebrated History of Freemasonry, his assertions are entitled to the greatest weight.

 

I did not know before that any one questioned the correctness of his statement concerning American Freemasonry.

 

In this country all the degrees in the Lodge, the Chapter and the Council, and the Order of High Priesthood and the Order of the Red Cross in the Commandery, are founded on Old Testament history or tradition. Abraham and Melchisedeck, Moses and Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram, the builder, Jeremiah and Gedaliah, Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Cyrus and Artaxerxes, Darius and Zerubbabel all move before us in more striking dramas than any other ancient book unfolds. What England may do for lodges in India is of small importance to us.

 

C. H. B.

 

* * *

 

The action of the Grand Lodge of Missouri referred to simply makes that Grand Lodge the authority instead of Mackey, and such action is binding only on Missouri Masons. Bro. Briggs has placed his own indefinite interpretation on this and thus becomes, apparently, the interpretative authority for the Grand Lodge of Missouri, which means precisely nothing. The permissive use in India merely shows at least that there is authority higher than a P. G. M. of Missouri, for other interpretations. It would be interesting to learn what construction would be placed upon the passage by the Grand Lodge in session. If the city lodges of St. Louis and Kansas City, and even the country lodges in the more enlightened districts of the state, could overcome the widely known character of the Ozarks, I venture the opinion that Bro. Briggs would find himself with the minority. As for the Biblical characters mentioned by Bro. Briggs, they are entirely aside from the question, as they have nothing to do with Craft Freemasonry.

 

A. H. N.

 

[Bro. Briggs' letter was submitted to Bro. Norris, and the latter's reply to Bro. Briggs. However interesting and important the question of the authority of Albert Mackey may be, or the source from which it is derived, it certainly is not the question at issue, and the chairman must therefore call the meeting to order. - Ed.]

 

* * *

 

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY

 

Was the Boston Tea Party a Masonic lodge called from labor to refreshment?

 

H. H. Limes, Ohio.

 

The implication conveyed by this question is that the Boston Tea Party was the work of a Masonic lodge. One might even infer that the lodge had been opened in due form and after calling off from labor adjourned to conduct a party, returning to the lodge room and closing in regular form.

 

I do not think that anything like this was the case. Though there is available no list of names of the persons taking part in this famous episode, we have reason to conclude that several members of the Fraternity were involved. It is a tradition of an old lodge in Boston that all of the preliminaries were arranged in the Green Dragon Tavern and that the directing genius was Joseph Warren. Paul Revere was a member of this lodge as were several other American patriots. It seems reasonable to suppose that Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Webb, Thomas Melville, Adam Collson and Henry Purkett were participants as well as the two previously mentioned. Warren was at the time Master of this lodge and certainly if he took part in it he was not objecting to any of the other members assisting.

 

I think it may be safely concluded, however, that while a number of Masons took part in this protest against unjust taxation that they did not act officially as Masons. If their ideals were sufficiently high to protest against. unfair taxation, they certainly were sufficiently high to prevent them as Masons from taking part in a purely political demonstration. Whatever part they played it seems must therefore have been as private citizens and not as a Masonic Lodge.

 

* * *

 

THE KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN

 

I was very much interested in your review of the pilgrimage of the English Knights of St. John in the March, 1927, BUILDER. The Knights of St. John, or as we generally know them, the Knights of Malta, are now attracting a good deal of Masonic attention.

 

It is not generally known to those Masons who have received the Masonic degree of Knight of Malta, that the Order of Malta holds in its bosom two other noble and religious orders, to-wit: The Order of the Holy Sepulchre and the Order of St. Lazarus. The wealth of these orders was given to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem as part payment for the turning over to the Pope of Rome of a brother of the Sultan of Turkey by Pierre D'Aubusson, Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes (another name of the Knights of St. John, or Hospitallers) in the latter part of the 15th century. Grand Master D'Aubusson also received a cardinal's hat and the privilege of filling all of the religious offices of the Order without control of the Papacy.

 

It has been stated that Knights of the Holy Sepulchre are still made at Jerusalem by the Superior of the Franciscan order.

 

In Masonry Knights of Malta were formerly created in what were known as Councils of Trinity. The Knight of Malta, now as a Masonic degree, is the last one conferred in a Commandery of Knights Templar. It was stricken out in 1856, but reinstated in 1862.

 

To even the casual student it seems strange to see an order incorporated in one that it destroyed, and even occupying an insignificant place in it.

 

All Masons ought to know that Masonic Knights of Malta are not descended from the real Knights of Malta any more than is Ancient Craft Masonry descended from King Solomon or the Scottish Rite from Frederick the Great.

 

Burton E. Bennett, Washington.

 

* * *

 

THE SYLLABUS

 

We used your "Syllabus" for the first time at our last meeting. Bro. Schmalzel, who handled the first lecture or section, put in lots of hard study on the assignment and gave to the fourteen members present what he had found in the books, and in his own words, which is of course a better way than reading from the texts. Best of all, the one who delivers the lecture gets a great deal out of it even though the ones listening get only parts of it. Everyone present was much interested throughout the hour and quarter taken up. The second lecture has been assigned to another member for our meeting Feb. 25, to be handled in the same way.

 

I explained to the brethren that in my opinion each one of the members should purchase at least one, better two, of the books used in the outline, and as each assignment is made study over the part of the text to be covered in the lecture and be in position to express an opinion on questions that might come up for discussion. I urged the brethren to subscribe to a good MaS6nic periodical and suggested THE BUILDER. Will you assist me in this by mailing to each of our members one sample copy of your next number?

 

It was of much interest to me to learn that the Benson Group was the first to receive your outline of study. That being the case we will have to make sure that we do our part.

 

C. M. Quinn, Benson, Ariz.

 

* * *

 

GEN. BENITO JUAREZ

 

Was General Benito Juarez, former President of Mexico, a Mason? If so, will you please tell me why certain religious organizations hold a common belief that Benito Juarez took the hemlock in compliance with a penalty exacted of him by Masonic bodies?

 

I would like to know the truth regarding this matter.

 

Carl Lagerfelt, California.

 

Because of the scanty information available on this subject, the above query was referred to a prominent member of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico. The following information is gleaned from his reply:

 

Benito Juarez was a member of the Mexican Masonic Fraternity. Inquiry among well posted Mexicans proves nothing as to the exact cause of his death. It is rumored that he was poisoned at a banquet, but there is nothing certain about it. He may have suffered from an attack of acute indigestion, apoplexy, etc. The fact that he was 66 years old and had experienced a very strenuous and dangerous life would seem to point to the latter conclusion as the most tenable.

 

Juarez was an intelligent and bitter enemy of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is very likely that the poison theory of his death is due to church propaganda.

 

* * *

 

LAWRENCE WASHINGTON A TUBERCULAR

 

In 1751, one hundred and seventy-five years ago, George Washington accompanied his brother Lawrence to Barbados as nurse and companion, Lawrence being a victim of tuberculosis.

 

The migration of consumptives to a milder climate has been going on for many years. It will continue in spite of efforts to stem it by publicity as to hardships consumptives endure because of lack of money.

 

* * *

 

A PITIFUL CASE

 

One of the largest and richest, at least potentially rich, northern jurisdictions was recently appealed to for aid for a tuberculous young woman, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Her brother, a Mason, is also tuberculous and is receiving some help from his Masonic lodge.

 

Attempts to secure help for the sick woman from the Grand Lodge, the brother's lodge, the Eastern Star chapter, have been unsuccessful. The Grand Master of the state writes:

 

I have checked all the information concerning Miss and her brother, ____, and found the facts to be as they represented them.

 

Unfortunately the Grand Master has no funds from which to draw for the relief of such class. I am referring all of the data to the Board of Trustees of the Masonic Home, in order to determine if there is any ruling which will permit them to spend their funds for the relief of such a case.

 

Prior to the receipt of this letter the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association had arranged to pay about two-thirds of the cost of hospital treatment, the sick woman to pay the balance as long as she is able to do so. Recently the following letter was received by the Association from her:

 

In reply to yours of Jan. 20, 1 wish to say that words are inadequate to express my gratitude for the aid the Association is giving me in this unequal struggle. And I hope the help is coming from a (name of her native state) contribution, as I feel it isn't right that Masons in the Southwest should provide hospitalization for those from other states. However, it is my earnest desire that Masons and Eastern Stars throughout the eastern states will respond to the great work the Masons in the Southwest are doing for tuberculosis.

 

It is with the deepest of regret that this has occurred, but I sincerely hope to be able to refund to the Association all that is now being expended for my care, to be used in helping another in similar circumstances, for without this help I could no longer hope for a recovery.

 

This is a beautiful institution, and I am happy here, as I have been accustomed to a Christian environment most of my life.

 

Concerning physical condition, my case is classed as moderately advanced, but on recent examination my physican reported an improvement.

 

I am very grateful to you and God for this blessing of fraternal love.

 

* * *

 

AUTHOR'S NAME WANTED

 

In THE BUILDER for July, 1915, at page 168, appeared a poem entitled "Building the Bridge at Twilight." Is it possible to find out the name of the author? If so I would very much like to have it, as a number of people are interested in it.

 

H. S. R., Iowa.

 

This query was referred to Bro. W.P. Matheney who has been making a collection of Masonic verse. He states that he has seen this poem in a number of different places, but nowhere with any indication as to its authorship. We would be very glad if there be any among Our readers who know where this poem originated to have them communicate with us.

 

 

 

 

         

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