The Builder Magazine
December 1927 - Volume XIII -
Masonic Charity in America
BRO. E. E. THIEMEYER, Research Editor
almost immediately apparent that there are difficulties in the way of any
attempt to compare English Masonic charitable activities with American. If we
should endeavor to analyse the latter in the manner adopted by Bro. Gilbert W.
Daynes in his article on Masonic Charity in England, we would be confronted
with the task of writing not an article but a book, and a sizable volume as
well. In treating the English side of the question there is only one Grand
Lodge to be considered, but in this country there are forty-nine jurisdictions
which would require consideration. There are wide variations in the amounts
expended for charity by the various American Grand Lodges which make any
attempt at generalization almost impossible. It is necessary, therefore, that
certain things be taken for granted, and that other matters receive no mention
whatever. The purpose of this article is not so much to show what we are doing
as to throw some light upon what we are not doing.
as existing American Masonic charities are concerned they may be grouped under
three or four heads. By far the most important is the Masonic Home --we are
not interested in the others. Almost every jurisdiction in this country
maintains some sort of an institution for the care of the aged and the
orphans. These homes are designed to fill the same need as the English
institutions, but whether or not they do so is a matter of considerable doubt.
There is not much that can be done for those who are approaching the end of
their span of life. Their requirements are, in most cases, limited. The
providing of a comfortable and congenial home, with opportunities for
recreation and amusement, is about all that can be offered. It seems that the
American Mason is as capable of providing this need as is his E1nglish
brother. Capability is not really the criterion, we are as capable of doing
anything in the way of charity as efficiently and effectively as the Masons of
England, but the question is, Do we measure up to our capabilities? There is
some question on that score even in the case of our homes for the aged. It is
not necessary to enter into that phase of the matter at this time. For the
present it may be granted that our Masonic Homes, so far as this function is
concerned, are equal to those of the Grand Lodge of England.
it comes to the orphans an entirely different problem confronts us. There is
an obligation to those of our brotherhood to see that their children are
fitted to become useful members of society. The ramifications of that problem
are too numerous for detailed analysis. The American Masonic Homes depend
largely upon the public school systems for the education of their charges.
This is somewhat different from the practice prevailing in the Royal Masonic
Institution for Boys, and the similar school for girls. These homes are really
boarding schools. The children are given a good education, even to training in
a trade or profession if the student shows ability along some particular line.
So far as the writer has been able to learn, there is nothing of the kind in
American Masonry. It is certainly true that an education is provided, but it
is only an education of sorts. Usually it ends with high school, and in some
cases a course in a business college finishes the schooling. This is not
really first class equipment for the struggle for existence which is to
follow. The reason for this practice is not far to seek. There are too many
organizations, you may say, or the funds are lacking. Perhaps both of these
are true, but one is reminded of the story of why a man could not buy an
automobile. He had thirty Ieasons according to his own confession. The first
one was that he did not have the money, and the other twenty-nine made no
According to the latest proceedings published by two American Grand Lodges,
one of them considered among the three wealthiest jurisdictions, and the other
just about average on this score, the total income for Masonic charities,
meaning by this, homes and charity funds, was approximately $650,000. The
total membership of these two jurisdictions is approximately 320,000. In other
words, these two jurisdictions comprise slightly over 10 per cent of the total
membership of the Craft in America, and since they are above the average in
wealth, they may be fairly taken as a criterion for the rest of the Masonic
Fraternity in America. In order to make the estimate as favorable as possible
we will take the expenditure of $650,000 as 10 per cent of the total spent by
all jurisdictions, and adopt the usual estimate of the number of Masons in
this country, namely 3,000,000. We then have the interesting fact that
3,000,000 Masons spent a total of six and one-half million dollars for
organized Masonic charity, an average expenditure of $2.17 per member.
make a comparison with the English figures. According to Bro. Daynes, the
three Royal Masonic Institutions, for Boys, for Girls, and the Benevolent
Institution, had an income last year of $1,120,000 in round numbers. The
United Grand Lodge of England has an approximate total of 250,000 members. We
thus arrive at an average expenditure among the English Masons of almost $4.50
per member. Remember this fact, it is important, THE ENGLISH MASON SPENT MORE
THAN TWO AND ONE-HALF TIMES AS MUCH FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THEIR HOMES AS THE
AMERICAN BROTHER SPENT IN ALL ORGANIZED GRAND LODGE CHARITY. Are you proud of
we take all English Masonic charity into consideration the figures are even
more impressive. The total revenue of the English charities during the last
year was approximately $1,450,000, an average of almost $6.00 per member. At
the present time we are, not interested in the other funds, but there is food
for thought in the mere fact that there are such things as the English
Benevolent Fund in existence.
picture of American Masonic Homes in comparison with those of England would,
perhaps, be more interesting if it were interpreted in another way. A country
with twelve times as many Masons as the Grand Lodge of England is spending, in
caring for its aged and orphans, approximately four times as much money. There
is one other interesting feature that has thus far been left out of
consideration entirely. The English Masonic Homes are not supported by per
capita taxes automatically deducted from the annual dues of the members. The
funds are acquired chiefly by subscription, and apart from any dues paid by
the members to their lodges.
question of what individual lodges do for their distressed brethren or their
dependents has been left out of consideration in both English and American
instances. The discussion has confined itself wholly to organized Grand Lodge
view of these facts it seems apparent that it is time for an awakening in the
American bodies. A question may be asked in conclusion: Is American Masonry
spending for the erection of massive temples and costly edifices money that
should be spent for charity ? In doing this are we not listening to our ritual
exhortations to practice charity and misinterpreting them so that in fact we
preach charity and practice vanity ?
Thou What Thou Readest?"
BRO. C. GORDON LAWRENCE, Canada
are two great text books in Freemasonry. They were commended to your attention
early in your Masonic career. Without some knowledge of them you can never
become proficient in our art, nor can you share largely in our mysteries. They
are the Books of Nature and of Revelation.
the Book of Nature we may learn much about the character of our Supreme
Architect. Evidences of a wise and mighty plan present themselves to the
enquiring mind. We learn that the Great Spirit who was the Builder was the
Designer as well. The beauty of the design bears witness to the spirit of an
the immensity of space we learn of His infinite greatness. From the
immeasurable power of natural forces; the sun's power to hold all the
innumerable worlds in place; the irresistible power of the tides; the terrible
power of the earthquake. From such as these ye learn how omnipotent is their
Author. From the certain succession of day and night, summer and winter; from
the regular return of the planets in their courses, we learn how orderly is
the mind of the Great Designer. From the glory of the sunset, and the wonder
of the snowflake, and the sigh of the night wind, we know that in Him wisdom
and strength are combined with beauty. "The sun's look and the sea's voice and
the earth's wonderful breath" all bear the impress of the Divine Artist.
MYSTERIES OF NATURE
Book of Nature is beyond our limited comprehension. Mankind has proceeded but
a little way in an attempt to read it. After all the centuries we are still
like little children just beginning to learn the art of reading. But our
efforts receive constant encouragement. Before the dawn of history men in
Chaldea and Egypt had begun to study the stars. At last the telescope was
invented and turned toward the sky. "I have seen farther into space than any
other man," said Herschel. "I have seen stars so far away that the light from
them can only reach the earth after a journey of many years.
undreamed-of section of Nature's Book was opened for us by the invention of
the microscope. Louis Pasteur and others, who were still at work when we were
born, uncovered for us the infinitely small. In the days of the Hebrew
psalmists it was considered a grand experience, rare no doubt to the Jew of
that day, to "go down to the sea in ships and see the works of the Lord and
His wonders in the deep." But we live to see even greater wonders in a single
drop of water.
Chemistry, in the modern sense, is an entirely new science. The discovery of
radium by Curie is only the better known of many equally wonderful that have
been made in our lifetime. Elements and forces entirely new to us must now be
taken account of in our reading of Nature's witness to her Creator, and a
restatement of natural philosophy becomes necessary.
shall never exhaust the treasures of the Book of Nature. Our little day ends
before we have fairly begun the task. The multiplicity of interests that have
arisen from the division of labor distracts our attention.
VOLUME OF THE SACRED LAW
is also to be studied the Book of Revelation. "As a Mason, you are to regard
the volume of the Sacred Law as the great Light in your profession." The Book
of Nature shows us God portrayed in the inanimate part of the universe. In the
Book of Revelation we see Him reflected in the mind of man. But the image is
not constant. It changes according to the ability of mankind to reflect it. In
the words of Robert Browning, it "decomposes but to recompose again."
early ages of history the almighty nature of the Deity was uppermost in man's
mind. He is realized then as a terrible person who must be satisfied and
propitiated with costly sacrifice. In that stage of revelation the human
attitude to the Creator is that of fear.
came in the course of time the realization that the infinite might of the
Creator is controlled according to a purpose. He is not subject to whims nor
sudden fancies. He does not act from caprice nor from spite. His purpose is
right and His character is that of righteousness. With this development in
man's idea of God there came the problem how to explain what appears to be the
unfair treatment afforded to many whose lives are apparently exemplary. The
inscrutable mystery of pain still remains to taunt us. But notwithstanding
difficulties insuperable men came to believe that God is altogether upright
last the ideas of might and holiness are supplemented by a discovery of His
tenderness and mercy. To speak of the dawning consciousness as a discovery is
only to look at the development from man's side. If you prefer to say that God
revealed these truths about Himself, you imply that the human mind had become
sufficiently qualified to receive them. The Divine Master does not pass His
apprentices to a higher degree until they have made themselves fit to receive
it. The mystery of the Divine tenderness could not have been communicated to
those who had not yet been initiated into the knowledge of His righteousness.
"To him that hath shall be given," for he alone has the ability to receive.
God's tenderness is meant His sympathy with and provision for the weak and the
unfortunate; His pity for the wayward and the oppressed. The Book of
Revelation proceeds to record that in the reign of Caesar Augustus came One
who penetrated more deeply into the mysteries than any before and who assures
us that "God is Love."
human mind had all through the ages been qualifying itself to perceive new
features of the Divine countenance. The human character had been coming
gradually to such a state that it could more adequately receive an impression
of the Divine. Mankind is ever trying to place itself in proper position to
receive an ever grander expression of the Most High. To attain to that proper
position is man's part of the great process. Always in the mind of the Master
there is the desire to enlighten the suppliant. Always in the suppliant there
has been something to hinder complete vision. Who knows how often by a Hand
unseen the human race has been guided along the path of progress? Achievement
is no less human because it has been inspired from on high.
THESE TWO AGREE
have, my brothers, these two great Books of Nature and of Revelation. They
each proclaim, but in a tremendously grander style, just what we have tried to
express in hymns and psalms and music and ceremonial, viz., the greatness and
the holiness and the loving-kindness of that Great Spirit in Whom we "live and
move and have our being." Freemasonry requires of us a due attention to them
both. Neither alone is sufficient for proficiency in our art. It may be (let
us say it reverently) that neither is yet complete. God, we may be sure, has
not yet exhausted His resources. The Great Designer has plans (is it not
likely?) that are not yet outlined on His Trestle Board. Why should we suppose
that He has ceased to plan, and to create, and to adorn? Why should we suppose
that we have received already all that He has to reveal? Because the first
degree is wonderful may not the next be more wonderful still? This little
taste of life has afforded its achievements, its triumphs, its satisfactions.
Here in the midst of numerous hindrances, with a desire for the better only
faintly experienced, we have never the less enjoyed at least a glimpse of the
Light Supernal. But awaiting our fitness to appreciate them are all the
possibilities that can originate in the loving mind of an Infinite Parent.
SHALL WE UNDERSTAND?
certain occasion an officer of a royal household was returning from a
pilgrimage to the Temple, and "sitting in his chariot he read Esaias the
Prophet." There approached him one who courteously enquired, "Understandest
thou what thou readest?" His reply was that which comes to your lips as you
attempt these great text books in Freemasonry, "How can I except someone
should guide me?" The bewilderment which overwhelms us as our eyes are opened
to the Light, our inability to comprehend the Heavenly Wisdom, our fear of
misinterpreting what concerns us so greatly, these compel one to ask that
"someone should guide me."
Guide, my brothers, is never lacking. Along a path unknown, led by a Hand
unseen, mankind proceeds on its way toward perfection. For the Architect is
Himself the Builder, the Author is Himself the Interpreter, God is Himself our
MANKIND has a curious habit of using tabu names for things of religious
import, and this is as true of the uncultured savage as of civilized men; or
perhaps the stress should be the other way about, it is as characteristic of
ourselves as it is of primitive man. A few samples will suffice to show that
this is true. A priest seems much more exalted than an elder, which is all the
term properly means, and more so is a bishop than the simple overseer who was
chiefly charged with the finances, such as they were, of the early Church. We
speak of the font, which is but a spring or fountain, and of the chalice when
we mean a cup. But perhaps these terms are too ecclesiastical to count. Then
what of the Scriptures, which are merely writings, or the Bible, which is
simply the books?
tendency so universal must surely have an equally comprehensive source in
human nature. Those things that are sacred or holy, that mean most to us in
our inner lives, are not easily or lightly spoken of; and as language changes
(as every living language is constantly doing) conservatism clings to old
names for holy things, till at last they have become obsolete and we have
forgotten practically what they really mean. This instinctive tendency is in
itself a wholesome one, but it may easily lead to barren formalism, to a
complete divorce of religion from common things, and the separation of those
higher conceptions and ideals that alone make our daily life and its drudgery
and petty interests ultimately worth while.
in this way that at the end of the year we celebrate the festival of the
Nativity, scarcely realizing that we are using a word borrowed from another
language that means simply "the birth;" and birth is very much a matter of
common life--a matter of stable and byre, and hovel and slum, as well as of
the palace and the palatial modern hospital equipped with all the resources
science has placed at our disposal. Birth is a thing that concerns us all, as
much as meat and drink, and raiment, and houses and lands and cold cash, and
sleep and death. Whether we speak figurative]y of the birth of events or
ideas, or literally of living beings, of souls clothed in flesh and blood,
birth implies ever the relation of parent and offspring, mother and babe.
Beginnings and endings--that is for the individual. Endings and beginnings--so
for life as a whole, which goes on from generation to generation. Are the two
separate, or are they but different points of view ? Does the individual begin
absolutely at birth and end finally as such in death ? We do not know, at
least not as we know that two and one make three, or that day comes with the
rising of the sun. Whether there be an ultimate essential difference between
knowledge and belief is a question of philosophy, but practically there is a
plain distinction. We believe perhaps--or perhaps not--but we do not know.
Now, it seems, we may not know-- but we can believe.
it would seem, it has ever been. Prehistoric man buried his dead with food and
fire, weapons and ornaments. Why ? There is no record to tell us what he
thought or believed, but what he did tells us silently that, perhaps, in some
dim fashion he looked for a new beginning after the end--a beginning anew.
Mors janua vitae, "death the gate of life," death is birth into new life. And
this was not only guessed at for man himself, but it was seen to be true also
of nature; and, confirmed by correspondences and analogies, the guess grew
into belief. To say the belief was first a guess is to say nothing of its
truth and validity. All discovery is born of guesswork, surmise is confirmed
by evidence, conjecture leads to experiment, and so to knowledge, even of the
most rigidly scientific type. Man guessed, and then believed; perhaps in this
case without sufficient proof, that is a point each must determine for
himself, but at least it seems as if it were in some sort of necessity.
midst of winter, when the warm pleasant days were gone like a dream, and the
sun retrograded further and further to the south, and the nights grew longer
and longer, it might well seem that the end had come, the end of all things,
the winter to be followed by no springtime, the night never to be dispersed by
another dawn. How should man know? Even though summer they are dead, and of
the dead it is not necessary to had followed winter before within his memory
and that speak evil. They were part of the world against which of his fathers,
was that proof that it would continue so both Jew and Christian bore testimony
and they had to do? It is not logical proof and he did not know. be fought
with any weapon at hand. But looked at in What wonder if he resorted to magic
to renew the life the perspective of history, they were but stages--stages
that was necessary to his life, to bring it again to a new birth ? And when
the days did again begin to lengthen, visibly and palpably, and the sun to
rise higher every day, it was little wonder that here was set the beginning of
the new year.
countries and climates differ. In eastern lands and in the south, the seasons
are not the same as we know. It is the coming of the rain that is so ardently
desired, that causes the earth to blossom and become fruitful. In the north it
is the return of the sun. Christmas, the birthday of the Lord, is a western
feast, that spread eastward. The heathen Angles and Saxons of Britain, so the
Venerable Bede tells us, kept the feast and called it modra niht, the night of
Mothers! How strange--and yet is it ? We are reminded how all over the ancient
world, behind the pantheon of the gods of Olympus, ranged in their ordered
hierarchy, existed the worship of the nameless Mothers. We hear of them in
scattered references and stray inscriptions, but no contemporary record has
revealed the mystery of the rites performed in their honor. In villages and
obscure cities they were worshipped, and here and there they emerged into the
light of day, and stood veiled and mysterious with the other deities. Demeter
at Eleusis, and Bona Dea, the good goddess, at Rome. But of their rites none
ventured openly to speak. In Asia was the Mountain Mother, worshipped in caves
and on rocky peaks--she was one and many, here Cybele, there Artemis of the
Ephesians, many breasted and nurse of all life. Astarte, too, or Ashtoreth, as
her name appears in the Old Testament, the abomination of the Gentiles. What
are such as these to us ? Once they had living and powerful cults. Carrying
over the crude naivete of primitive thought into a high culture they became,
in their orgiastic rites, rather incitements to evil than expressions of
fundamental human needs. The Prophets and the Apostolic fathers denounced them
bitterly and vehemently. But now they are dead, and of the dead it is not
necessary to speak evil. They were part of the world against which both Jew
and Christian bore testimony and they had to be fought with any weapon at
hand. But looked at in the perspective of history, they were but stages -
stages from which some were already passing. Let us remember that any cult may
deteriorate and decay, even the highest, and that other forms of the worship
of the mothers were refined and spiritualized apart from Christianity. The
figures of Isis suckling the infant Horus, and Krishna in the arms of
Devadetta. Not wholly spiritualized indeed, nor in the minds of all devotees.
But it is not fair to judge possibility and trend by the conservatism of
peasants, whether in India or Egypt or modern Europe, whether of heathen cult
early church was not interested in such things as anniversaries. The first day
of the week commemorated the Resurrection; and the Passover in its Christian
guise, became the feast of Easter. Even in the second century and later the
remembrance of the Birth was not only deprecated but opposed. It was of no
importance; the Epiphany--the showing forth, the revealing or exhibition--of
Jesus as the Christ to Jew and to Gentile in the persons of the shepherds and
the wise men from the East and to the multitude at Jordan where John
baptized--this first became a day of observance. The objection against the
remembrance. of the Nativity was that the birth-days of the Emperor, who was
also a god, were celebrated as a religious festival. Perhaps, too, in the
background lay an unexpressed fear of the parallel between those dark veiled
Mothers of mountain crag and rocky cleft, of the wild maenads (who were
matrons, not maids) and that gentle mother who brought forth her first born in
the stable at Bethlehem, and laid Him in a manger "because there was no room
for them in the inn."
Beginnings and endings; endings and beginnings. The old Mothers died; they
faded into vague figures of folk-tale and folk- observance, hags, witches,
vampires, and their place was taken by Mary, the mother of the Lord according
to the flesh. Did they die? Or have they survived in a new and more spiritual
avatar? Or did the Virgin inherit from them part and place, as the younger
generation ever does from the elder? That they were figures of myth and
mysterious ritual, while Mary was a young woman of Judah, of the lineage of
King David, who lived in the time of the Emperor Augustus, makes no
difference; many a real person has become a figure of tradition and myth.
Perhaps in some degree a mythology grows up about every human being who is
remembered. But in this case the parallels between the child born to be
savior, and redeemer, and His mother, and those earlier mothers and their sons
that men had projected and externalized from their needs and yearnings and
their ideals and hopes, was too deep and too far- reaching to be denied, and
little by little the symbols of the old came back, more or less changed and
disguised, and attached themselves to the central figures of the new faith.
surprising when we come to examine closely how little we are definitely told
in the Canonical Gospels on the subject when compared with the wealth of
detail supplied by legend. St. Matthew tells us of the doubts of Joseph and
how they were resolved by an angel who appeared to him in a dream. He also
tells of the magi who had seen a star and had come from the east to worship
the new- born king. St Luke relates how the annunciation was made to the
Virgin Mary, and how it was that she and her husband came to
Bethlehem--because of a census ordered by the Roman government. And how the
night of the birth other angels told it to certain shepherds. Meagre material,
it would seem, to serve as foundation for the superstructure erected upon it.
The earliest representations of the Birth are from the Catacombs; they are not
many. Here the mother is represented seated, with one, two or more figures,
representing the magi, offering gifts. She is clothed as a Roman matron, while
the men are in Phrygian dress. Phrygia was hardly "the East" from Palestine,
but it was far east of Italy, and so it served. In the fresco, a reproduction
of which is shown in Fig. 6, there are two bearing gifts. In another fourth
century painting, from a tomb, there are four symmetrically disposed, two on
each side of the seated mother. St. Luke says nothing of the number of wise
men who followed the star, but he mentioned the three gifts which very early
took on symbolical import, gold, frankincense and myrrh, and soon it was taken
for granted that they were three who bore them. It was supposed also that in
their own lands they were kings; and then the symbolism was carried further
and they were supposed to be of different racial stocks to represent the
better all nations and languages, and of different ages to represent all
states and stages of human life. In a fifth century relief at Ravenna they
have thus become three, but they are still all young and in Phrygian cap,
cloak and trousers.
another relief, now in the Lateran Museum (Fig. 2), which is probably fourth
century, they are shown as three, but other details have appeared. The mother
is seated, the swaddled babe, absurdly disproportionate in size, lies in the
manger under a low shed roof before which stand an ox and an ass. Between the
crib and the mother is a young man with a crooked staff who is probably one of
the shepherds. Behind the three "easterners" is an elephantine camel as a
further label to designate who they are and whence they came. Thus early did
the two main types of representation of the mother and the child appear.
Perhaps one of the earliest of the crib is a fresco from a tomb in the
cemetery of San Sebastiano. It is very crude, and shows the babe alone with
the heads of an ox and an ass seen over it. In a fragment of a sarcophagus of
about the year 340, the babe lies on what seems to be a low mound (perhaps a
pile of hay!), by it is a young man with a curved rod in his left hand who
seems to beckon others who approach. Then come the ox and the ass, and then
the first of what may have been several shepherds. The first only remains, and
the hands of another behind him holding a branch of laurel. The mother does
not appear in either of these, and in this they are almost, if not quite
unique. And indeed, even here she may have been shown originally in the parts
of the work now lost.
the Renaissance, representations of the circumstances of the Nativity have
been of three points --the annunciation to the Virgin by the Angel Gabriel
--the vision of Joseph is rarely if ever treated; the adoration of the
shepherds in which the babe lies in a manger, or naked on the ground; and last
the homage of the three kings, in which the mother seated holds the child in
her arms. Often the stable has by this disappeared, or become a palace, and
the Virgin is crowned and clothed in royal robes. But the quaint wood-cut by
Durer, shows stable, ox and ass, and the exotic camels. Here the three kings
are of different ages and races, the youngest being a negro. In Fig. 5 by the
same artist is the Nativity. One elderly shepherd worships at a distance from
the kneeling mother, while Joseph draws water from the well. The buildings are
half ruinous and represent such a wayside hostelry as presumably might have
been found near Nuremburg in his day. But Durer was not typical though he
reproduced the type, even the dilapidated buildings and the pitcher of water
were traditional details with a long history behind them, perhaps also the
tree growing on the ruined wall. In the beautiful picture by Tintoretto at San
Rosso in Venice, the mother seated on the hay in a loft above the stalls where
an ox is lying, lifts the covering from her babe lying beside her to show it
to the wondering shepherds and shepherdesses, while the light from the opened
heavens streams through the broken roof, where the beams make three crosses, a
dark foreboding of the future.
painting of da Fabriano, now in Florence (Fig. 3), another conception is seen.
Joseph is asleep, the ox and the ass are lying down. The mother alone adores
the babe. In the distance the angel is awaking the sleeping shepherds. The
stable is here a cave, and this was another traditional detail.
and the ass were appropriate enough. The mother laid her babe in a manger we
are told. A manger implies a stable, a stable implies the animals. But there
were other reasons, or other meanings. Two generations ago it would not have
been necessary to explain that every passage in the Old Testament that would
bear it was given a Messianic interpretation, was supposed to be prophetic.
Perhaps it was so, even when there is obvious contemporary meaning enough. In
Isaiah is that wonderful millennial passage in which occurs the verse
wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the
kid, and the calf, and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little
child shall lead them.
is in the first chapter that it is said
knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but Israel doth not know, my
people doth not consider.
seemed that even the ox and the ass came to adore the new- born king, while
the ruinous building signified the end of the old dispensation, of the
stiffnecked people who rejected their Lord. But perhaps there was also a dim
memory of sacred animals connected with the Mother. Diana of the Ephesians
suckled beasts as well as men. We can never be sure when a tradition is wholly
the Renaissance onwards, artists observed more or less, according as they
broke the fetters of tradition, the unities of time and space in their
representations of the birth. But by the eighth or ninth century a grouping
had become stereotyped that persisted even to the fourteenth century and
later. Of this the two reliefs shown in Figs. 1 and 7 are early and late
examples. In them the mother reclines in the center, beyond her is the babe
lying in the manger, behind that again stand the ox and the ass. Above are
angels, one of which on the right speaks to the shepherds, whose sheep and
goats, which again are made symbolic, occupy the lower right-hand part of the
group. Below on the left sits Joseph, generally in an attitude of depression,
and with an expression of doubt and despondency. Under the mother are two
women who are engaged in washing the new-born babe. All these details
constantly reappear. Often enough the star is shown, sometimes the three kings
with their gifts, as in Fig. 7, where they are still in Phrygian garb. In Fig.
1 this space is unusually occupied by the annunciation. The dove is shown
descending upon the veiled woman who listens to the angel. There is another
strange feature about this relief of which no explanation has been given. The
figure which by all analogy should be Joseph has horns distinctly showing on
the head. By itself it might be taken that Joseph had been replaced by Moses,
who was often thus represented owing to a mistranslated text in the Vulgate.
The colossal Moses of Michael Angelo is horned. But here we have more than
horns, from under the shrouding cloak appears a cloven foot. Was the doubt
that Joseph had felt concerning the chastity of his affianced bride here made
to symbolize the doubt and fear of the Adversary at the birth of the Redeemer
who was to destroy his kingdom? It is hard to say.
Giovanni of Pisano had any such thought as this it is another indication that
with the growing feeling for historic unity this traditional aspect of Joseph
was felt to be incongruous with the rejoicing at the birth. In the later
groups of this type his expression is changed, and later his attitude also,
though for a while he remains seated in his corner. But he is now made to look
at the mother and child with wonder and reverence and love.
two nurses or midwives have no warrant in scripture, though they constantly
appear. Like the ox and the ass they seem appropriate enough, but it is to be
doubted if so persistent a detail was derived merely from its congruity. It is
probable that they are taken from the Apocryphal gospels, in some of which two
midwives are made to give unwilling testimony to the virginity of the mother.
But the washing of the infant, wrought by Giovanni with such loving care and
truth to life, recalled another aspect of the Epiphany-- the baptism at
were two other details that appeared very early, one of which is well known,
and the other has hardly ever been noticed, though artist after artist put it
in. The first is that the stable became a cave. There are strange compromises
in composition in order to combine a rude or ruined building with a rocky
cleft or grotto. But often the building disappears entirely. Again we are
haunted by the parallel--the mountain mother, Bona Dea, worshipped in the form
of a stone-- the earth mother whose sacrifices were offered in a pit --heroes
whose mothers bore them in caves--Mithra who was born of a rock, and whose
rites were celebrated in caves.
is impossible to think that the cave of the Nativity derived directly and
consciously from this. Undoubtedly it was introduced as a bit of realism, when
pilgrimages to the Holy Land became frequent and many knew as a fact that the
birthplace at Bethlehem was shown in a cave. Was there any genuine tradition
of a real fact here? Had it been locally handed down from generation to
generation? Again it is impossible to determine, all that can be said is that
caves are common in Palestine and that they have been, and are, frequently
used as stables and sheepfolds. Yet on the other hand it is precisely in Asia
Minor that the Mountain Mother was supreme, and the mystic birth in a cave
celebrated for unknown ages.
other detail is less persistent as it is less prominent; indeed only by
considering a series of such representations does its presence make itself
felt; and that is the tree. In Fig. 1 it does not appear in the group, but is
shown at the right in the form of a geneological or Jesse tree--showing the
ancestry of the Lord. In many others it is, and probably the artist thought it
no more, a natural adjunct of the scene. Yet there it is again and again--
Durer puts it in. In very early representations its presence is more obvious
because of the work being more crude. In Fig. 3 is the sapling against which
the sleeping Joseph seems to lean. Fig. 7 seems at first sight to be
exceptional for its period; in other ivory carvings of the same type it occurs
again and again, but closer inspection shows on the winding ledge what is
probably intended for a budding bush or shrub. And finally, in that early
fragmentary relief mentioned above remain still the hands of a figure holding
a laurel branch, here conceived, doubtless, as the sign of victory. But
generally the Christian intended the tree of life guarded in Paradise and now
again made accessible to mankind, or else that other tree which legend said
grew from seed of its fruit planted by Adam, out of which, in the fulfillment
of the ages the cross was constructed. But again, behind all this there is the
disturbing memory of the tree in the mother cult. The Asherah, and the green
trees on the mountain tops spoken of in prophetic denunciations, the pine tree
of Attys--but what need to go further. Again the parallelism disproves
nothing, only it sometimes causes wonder whether true prophecy was found only
in the pages of Holy Writ.
story that is so briefly and allusively told in the Gospel clothes itself
inevitably in images of our own experience. Tell it to a child and it thinks
at once of such things as it has seen--a barn behind the house, with horse or
cow stalls. And in the experience of men at large traditional memory has so
predominant a place, that the details of old legends could not but creep in.
Barred out consciously at the door they came in unobserved by cracks and
crevices. The evangelists were interested chiefly in the life and death of the
Lord; at first, writing as they were for those who even if they had not seen
him with their own eyes may have had converse with those who had, the birth
was taken for granted. But later came those who could not believe that the
God- head would have stooped to the material world, who held that His body
must have been an illusion, an appearance, or at least composed of some higher
and more spiritual substance, and that He appeared suddenly, without parentage
or human relationship; and then it became necessary to insist that He came
into the world as every man. As He Himself said, men seek for signs and
wonders, and none are vouchsafed. Why should they be ? The miracles lie in the
facts, the common things, of daily life. Throughout the ages mankind had
looked for a child to be born--a child who should grow in strength and wisdom,
and go forward and do the things that his fathers had not been able to do. And
in the fullness of time the child was born, who was to be Savior, the Christ,
whose name was to be Wonderful, the Prince of Peace. Thus through the
centuries the story has been repeated, and set forth in painting and
sculpture, as the artist was able. Hieroglyphics, picture writing, all of it,
on different levels. Mnemonics for each to clothe from his own memories. The
mother raising herself on her couch to look at the wonderful baby in its
manger cradle, still all her own; or adoring in the stillness of the night
while others sleep. Common events in every life, repeated a thousand times
every day in palace and hovel, yet ever new and miraculous, could we but
is an initiation, a bringing to light, a revelation of hidden mysteries. All
rituals symbolize it, according to the cultural level either crudely and with
direct realism, or obscurely and with refined allusions. To enter upon any new
path is in a sense a new birth, to take new responsibilities, to come into new
relationships, to learn new truths, to enter upon mysteries. But to be reborn
or twice born implies also death. Here again is a circle, the turning wheel of
life--or of the law. Death and birth--birth and death. Wherever we make a
beginning one follows on after the other, and it matters little where we
begin, at least so far as the symbolism is concerned. Out of darkness into
light. Out of the light of day into the darkness of the tomb and thence to be
reborn to new life. There is initiation and initiation. Formally and ritually
into the knowledge of formal mysteries; really and spiritually so far as we
may--so far as we earnestly seek. The Christian is baptized into the Way, the
washing of water symbolically represents the cleansing from sin, the entering
on a new life, a new search. It is an initiation ritually, it may be the
beginning of one in truth and reality. Initiation is a beginning, in ire, to
go, to enter in. So the Latin conceived it; but to the Greek it was the end,
telos, the completion, the consummation, perfection; thus St. Paul wrote of
those who were perfected, initiated. And he set forth a yet deeper symbolism,
that baptism was a ritual death, shared with the Lord, in which the old was
left behind, and a new creature born. But he, like all teachers and prophets,
was concerned with the reality and not the form.
shepherds watching their flocks by night saw the heavens opened and the glory
of God, and heard the angelic choir singing-- "Peace on earth, good-will
towards men." Or as the Vulgate has it, "Peace on earth to men of good-will."
To them comes that peace that passeth understanding, that the world does not
give nor can it destroy. But other versions have another reading. Peace on
earth, content to mankind-- contentment--eudokia--satisfaction,
fulfillment--because a babe had been born and was lying in a manger. And they
rose up and came with haste and found Mary, the mother and her child, he that
was to come, the Desire of all Nations.
Essenes in Masonic Literature
second volume of THE BUILDER it was stated, in an answer to a question
regarding this mysterious sect, that Da Costa was the first (in his sketch of
a history of the still more mysterious Dionysian Architects) to trace the
genealogy of Freemasonry through the Essenes. This is yet another instance to
prove how difficult it is to discover when a given opinion first arose, and
the danger of making definite pronouncements in such cases. Da Costa wrote in
the first decade of the nineteenth century; the first mention of the Essenes
in connection with Masonry that the present writer has been able to find (and
it is highly improbable that there will be anything very much earlier
discovered) is in 1730. It is to be found in that rare and curious work, A
Defence of Masonry, published anonymously in December of the above year. It
has since been proved that the author was Martin Clare, who was Junior G. W.
in 1735, and who, owing to a careless and misleading utterance of George
Oliver, has been confidently supposed by later writer to have been an early "tinkerer"
with the ritual.
Defence of Masonry is obviously written by a man of considerable learning, and
one who was a forerunner of all the school of students who have sought to
explain the usages of the Craft by references to religious and other customs
gathered indiscriminately from every possible source. Unfortunately he was not
an accurate scholar by any means, and it seems very probable that he may be
ultimately responsible for a number of statements which have been repeated
time after time but which have no foundation in fact. One example is the
account given of the death of Hipparchus the Pythagorean. It is not directly
connected with our subject, but Josephus (one of our two chief authorities)
describes the Essenes as being like the Pythagoreans; a statement, however,
that is only to be taken as a descriptive analogy suited to the Roman public
for which he wrote, and not as implying that he thought, or intended to
assert, any connection existed between them. The passage here referred to in
Clare's work runs as follows:
. . .
there was a false brother, one Hipparchus, of this sect [the Pythagoreans],
who, out of Spleen and Disappointment broke through the Bond of his Oath, and
committed the secrets of the society to writing, in order to bring the
Doctrine into contempt. He was immediately expelled the School as a Person
most infamous and abandoned, as one dead to all Sense of Virtue and Goodness;
and the Pythagoreans, according to their custom, made a tomb for him as if he
had been actually dead. The Shame and Disgrace that justly attended this
Violation of his Oath threw the poor Wretch into a Fit of Madness and Despair
so that he cut his Throat and perished by his own Hands, and (which surprized
me to find) his memory was so abhorred after Death, that his Body lay upon the
Shore of the Island of Samos and had no other burial than in the sands of the
this surprised the author, it certainly surprises us still more when we find
that the authority he gives, Book V of the Stiomateis of Clement of
Alexandria, says no more than the following, and this merely as a casual
illustration to the subject he has in hand:
they say that Hipparchus the Pythagorean being accused of writing the
[esoteric teaching] of Pythagoras in plain terms was expelled from the school,
a pillar being raised for him as though for one dead....
words in brackets do not appear in the original Greek, but are understood from
what has immediately preceded this sentence (2).
hard, however, to think that the author of the Defence deliberately fabricated
the additional details. He cites also Iamblichus and Porphyry, both of whom
wrote lives of Pythagoras. The latter, unfortunately, has not been accessible,
so that it has been impossible to see if anything to the point is to be found
in it. Iamblichus, however, does say something of a certain Hipparchus, it was
not an uncommon name. This is in a rather lengthy rebuke or exhortation
addressed to him by one Lysis, which begins thus:
reported that you philosophize to everyone you may happen to meet, and
publicly, which Pythagoras did not think fit to do. And these things indeed, O
Hipparchus, you learnt with diligent assiduity, but you have not preserved
them . . . [from the vulgar or common herd presumably]. If, therefore, you
will abandon these [practices] I shall rejoice; but if not you will be dead in
my opinion . . .
remainder of the speech has nothing more to the point but merely goes on to
give the arguments for not teaching the esoteric parts of philosophy without
strict discipline and proving of character beforehand, and Hipparchus is not
again mentioned by name. Nevertheless the beginning certainly does sound like
an official reprimand with a veiled threat of condign punishment. In another
place Iamblichus tells us that any disciple or student who failed to "make his
grade," or who was deemed unsuitable for other reasons, either intellectual or
moral, was loaded with gifts of gold and other wealth from the common treasury
and dismissed from the school; after which a pillar was raised for him as if
he were dead, and if they met him afterwards they pretended he was a stranger.
This form of rejection of the unfit disciple would most likely be used for the
expulsion of an offending initiate also. Still we have here no suicide, or
leaving the body on the seashore. A little further on, however, there is a
brief remark on a person called Hippasus, who was said to have belonged to the
school, and "divulged and described the method of forming a sphere from twelve
pentagons," in consequence of which
perished in the sea, as an impious person, but obtained the renown [i.e. in
the profane world] of having made the discovery.
most charitable supposition, and inherently the most probable, too, is that
the passage in the Defence was written without verification of the references,
and that several different passages had been confused in the author's memory.
His general purpose in writing might also excuse some departure from his
authorities, if under cover of that he really intended (as seems certain) to
convey a special meaning to the initiated. But however legitimate this might
be in itself it was dangerous, as the event has proved; for unlearned and
careless and enthusiastic writers have copied and recopied it as literal fact.
In any case it shows the necessity of caution in accepting what he says later
on about the Essenes.
latter is all comprised in one paragraph of some length, and as authority for
the statements made the Vita Contemplativa of Philo and the Antiquities of the
Jews of Josephus are cited. Curiously the most detailed description of the
Essenes given by Josephus is not in this work, but in the Wars of the Jews;
and in the Antiquities he refers to this account as a reason for not in that
place describing the sect at length; which is another indication that Clare
quoted from memory. But the matter in the last part of the paragraph is all
taken from Philo, and does not deal with the Essenes at all, but with the
Therapeutae of Egypt. Of course, it has been often asserted that they were one
and the same organization with the Essenes, but the fact remains that Philo
speaks of the Essenes as living in Palestine and the Therapeutae in Egypt, and
gives no indication whatever that he regarded them as the same. Besides, the
Therapeutae admitted women to their society which the Essenes did not, and
further, they anointed themselves with oil in the usual Oriental manner, while
oil was regarded as a defilement by the Essenes. It therefore seems impossible
to suppose any close connection between the two sects. The passage of especial
interest in the paragraph under discussion is as follows, the italics are in
before he was receiv'd as an establish'd Member, he was first to bind himself
by solemn obligations and Professions, to do Justice, to do no Wrong, to keep
Faith with all men, to embrace the Truth, to keep his Hands clear from Theft
and fraudulent Dealing, not to conceal from his Fellow-Professors any of the
Mysteries, nor to communicate any of them to the Profane, though it should be
to save his life; to deliver nothing but what he received [of these mysteries,
presumably] and endeavour to preserve the Principle that he professes. They
eat and drink at the same common Table, and the Fraternity that comes from any
other place are sure to be received there; they meet together in an Assembly,
the Right-hand is laid upon the Part between the chin and the Breast and the
Left-hand let down straight by their side. All this is very specific, and
very exciting. Let us follow it up and see what has been done with it by later
writers. The Defence was reprinted with the second edition of Anderson's
Constitutions in 1738, and thus its contents were widely disseminated though
the original work practically passed out of existence. One curious mistake was
perpetuated, which definitely proves that the editor, James Anderson, did not
verify the author's references; nor have we seen that it has been noticed
elsewhere. The author of the Defence cites Josephus' Antiquities, Book VIII,
Chapter 2, for the account of the Essenes mentioned above. As a matter of fact
this chapter tells us about the wife of Solomon, his wisdom and riches, and
his correspondence and treaties with Hiram of Tyre for the building of the
Temple, while the first reference made to the Essenes comes in a much later
chapter and, as already noted, his principal account of them is in another
work altogether. The other authority given is Philo's Vita Contemplativa but
no specific reference is given (3).
Lexicon of Masonry Mackey has the following statement, under the heading "Essenes":
of Alexandria, who in two books written expressly on the subject of the
Essenes has given a copious account of their doctrine and manners, says that
when they were listening to the secret instructions of their chiefs, they
stood with "the right hand on the breast a little below the chin, and the left
hand placed along the side." A similar position is attributed by Macrobius to
Venus when deploring the death of Adonis....
does not, however, give any reference for this last statement. The first part
is certainly not a literal copy of the passage in the Defence any more than of
Philo. We now learn, also, that the attitude was one employed by the Essenes,
and assumed by inferiors when listening to their superior, and that they are
standing. Also that the hand is now laid on the breast, whereas before it was
on the part between the breast and the chin, which one would naturally take to
be the neck.
Lexicon was published in 1855; in the article on the same subject in the later
Encyclopaedia this passage was deleted for some reason, though otherwise the
account was expanded. Perhaps in the meantime Mackey had looked up the
original ! Before coming to that, however, we will give another quotation from
a well-known English Masonic author, John Yarker. In his Arcane Schools (page
157) he gives us yet another development--he says:
addressing their Chiefs they stood with their right hand below their chin, and
the left let down by the side.
Chiefs are now dignified by a capital letter ! But the phrase "let down by the
side" is peculiar, and reminds us of that in the Defence, "and the Left-hand
let down straight by their Side." It is not quite a natural way to describe
the attitude in the modern usage of the English tongue, and it looks almost as
if Yarker had followed Mackey, but with the Defence version in his mind at the
same time. Yarker gives no references at all, but he goes on to say that "a
select class of the Essenes were termed Therapeutae," which is simply baseless
guess-work hazarded in favor of a theory, though again it is possible he took
the opinion from someone else. It is only a step from saying the Therapeutae
were the same as the Essenes to saying they were a higher degree. Whatever the
arguments may be worth for the hypothesis that the latter were an Egyptian
branch of the Essenes, recruited from the Hebrews resident in that country,
and they are certainly far from conclusive to say the least, as we have seen
there is no shadow of reason for supposing them a select class or inner circle
of the sect. Rather the reverse seeing they admitted women.
now high time to go to the original and see what Philo actually did say. He is
describing the Assembly of the Society, at which, as has been said, women were
also present, though separated by a screen from the men, just as was customary
in the Christian Church at a later time. He says:
seventh day the various members meet for common worship. They arrange
themselves according to age, sitting on the ground, the right hand between the
chest and the chin, but the left tucked down along the flank. The senior
recluse then delivers an address to which all listen in silence (4).
Mackey did look this up it is no wonder he so completely dropped his earlier
statement. But then he should have said so and exploded the fairy tale. It
would be interesting to know who first adorned the tale by inserting in the
account given by the author of the Defence, which is accurate enough so far as
it goes (though misleading by its omissions) the detail that Philo was
describing a posture taken, or gesture made, while standing? It was not like
Mackey to have drawn on his imagination in such a case. So far no earlier
version has come to light, but in view of the difficulty that dogs every
attempt to discover the real origin of any assertion or statement of this
kind, this is in no way conclusive that Mackey was the culprit; it is most
probable he copied it from someone else.
another instance to show how easy it is to make a slip, no less an authority
than Robert Freke Gould, in the first chapter of his Concise History (it
remains unamended in the Revised Edition), makes the following statement:
two members of this singular sect, on meeting for the first time, at once
recognized each other by means of signs,
the paragraph in which this occurs begins:
references to the Essenes by ancient authorities are brief and unsatisfactory.
We leal n, however, that, etc.,
reader natural]y concludes that the points in the summary that follows had
direct authority in these brief references of ancient writers. Bro. W. Wynn
Westcott in his paper on the subject before Quatuor Coronati Lodge (5) says
that "in a recent letter" (1915) Gould admitted that he could not give "any
original authority for this statement." If he had been able to do so it must
have been from some document hitherto unknown to students. It was evidently a
case of "Homer nodding," the reiterated statement copied by one uncritical
writer after another slipped in by accident.
the Essenes would naturally be thought of by Masons seeking to find traces of
the lineage of their Fraternity was really inevitable. The articles in THE
BUILDER this year by Prof. Strauss are proof enough, for he built up his
hypothesis without knowledge of the fact that it had ever been advanced
before. If, as he maintains, their proper name in their own country was Banaim,
Builders, he has produced another argument, one that, so far as we know, Bros.
Yarker and Rosenbaum alone among Masonic writers have touched upon, and Yarker
did not develop it at all. He got the suggestion apparently from de Bunsen,
who so far as the present writer is aware was not a Mason. It is supposed by
this last that a tradition passed from the "Egyptian and Jewish Gnostics" into
Christianity, and that "it had the doctrine of a spiritual development which
transformed them into living stones, hence denominated Banaim or builders,
that is of a bodily temple, and therefore they neglected the material temple
Presumably he had in mind the allusions of St. Paul to building, and living
stones, and to Christ as the "headstone of the corner." The coincidences are
indeed striking and they have been freely used in framing the rituals of the
various grades superposed on the three symbolic degrees. But returning to
Gould's statement about the Essenes, where did his idea that they had secret
signs for recognition come from?
were a sect of the Hebrews at about the time of the beginning of the Christian
era, but they were more than a sect, for they were organized in an ascetic or
monastic fraternity. This at least seems quite clear. Also they had apparently
a form of initiation, including a baptism and an oath. They wore a white
garment, by Masonic writers freely called an apron, but which was probably a
loin cloth, and carried a paddle or hatchet. This latter was probably very
small and easily portable; its use (for the curious who do not know) is given
in the Book of Deuteronomy in Chapter 23, verse 13, though there it is
described as being part of the spear, the weapon of the nomad herdsmen,
probably an enlargement of the butt. Besides this they had grades; a secret
teaching imported "figuratively," which is of course taken to mean by
allegories and symbols; and finally they aided and assisted each other, and
strange members were welcomed and greeted as if well known.
combination of all these points is too attractive an analogy to Freemasonry
not to have found supporters; and in the manner only too frequently
exemplified, inferences were drawn and glosses freely inserted in the text,
which were then copied as if it all came from the original.
now consider the peculiar attitude or gesture described by the author of A
Defence of Masonry; his interest in it is evidently that he supposed it to
have some ritual significance (as perhaps it did) and that it might have been
used as a sign for recognition, like the bending of the ankle by which Lucius
in the Golden Ass recognized the priest of Isis. Add to this the statement of
. . .
though meeting for the first time, the members of this sect at once salute
each other as intimate friends (6),
the thing was done. Nothing more was needed than to put the two together and
we have evidence conclusive--to the uncritical--that the Essenes had signs and
tokens just the same as Freemasons. The trouble is that the second statement
quoted says nothing whatever about the means of recognition but is confined
solely to the way in which stranger members were received. It does not exclude
such private means of course, but neither does it imply them or require them;
while if there were such signs, there is no reason whatever to suppose that
one of them was the attitude taken in the assembly, squatting Oriental
fashion, on the ground, the knees drawn up, the left arm under the outer
garment down by the side, and the right hand up near the left shoulder--if
anyone doubts the description let him try it by sitting down on the floor with
a dressing gown wrapped round cloak wise. Whether a ritual posture or not, it
is a very natural one.
spite of all this we cannot dismiss the Essenes entirely, as at least a
subject of interest to Masonic students. Though it is really impossible to
make out any direct connection between them and Freemasonry-- an institution
indigenous to Northwestern Europe so far as anything is certainly known of
it--nevertheless Essenic sect has the twofold interest of being a fraternity
possessing certain mysteries and of being native to the country in which
Masonic traditions and myths are centered. The Essenes come on the stage for a
little while and then vanish. It cannot be said dogmatically that they existed
before we first hear of them, but it would be very improbable that they had no
antecedents. Even if their organization was not much older than the record we
have, we may yet on socio-psychologic grounds almost certainly postulate some
previous institution on which it had been modelled, and from which a tradition
had filtered down more or less directly. To pursue this speculation would
exceed the limits of the present article, but it may be recalled that the late
Bro. W. Simpson in a work (7) published nearly thirty years ago, advanced the
hypothesis that the Book of Jonah was based on the myth or narrative version
of an initiatory rite, and collected references that tend to show that such
rites may have existed from early times among the Hebrews. Whatever may be the
final judgment on this hypothesis, it is at least a very interesting one, and
as the book in question has been long out of print the subject might well form
the basis of some future article.
conclusion it may be pointed out that the final reasons for disbelieving in
any connection between the Freemasons and the Essenes lies in the very
considerations which have been taken by the advocates of the theory as
pointing to its probability. The traditions of the Craft all point to the Holy
Land, Jerusalem, the Temple, to Jewish rites and sacred teachings, while its
mythical heroes bear Biblical names. If all this were a real inheritance it
would be impressive. Unfortunately, the further back we can trace the
mysteries of Masonry, the poorer they become in this material and the richer
in elements that belong to ritual survivals of a Western European type. The
conclusion is obvious that the Hebrew element is largely adventitious, and it
is almost completely demonstrable that by far the greater part of it has been
borrowed and adapted during the strictly historical period of Freemasonry, or
more precisely since 1730. This however can only be dogmatically asserted
here, the proof must be sought in the story of the evolution and development
of the Masonic and quasi-Masonic rituals and their symbolism, whenever that
can be written.
the Defence of Masonry is professedly a reply to Masonry Dissected, the best
seller of the day (it had run through four editions in the preceding three
months) we may suppose that Martin Clare so framed this passage as to
administer a sound slap to Samuel Prichard, who describes himself on the title
page of his pamphlet as "late member of a Constituted Lodge." The curious
story told by Laurence Dermott of the fate of one Tom Tadpole, whom he
asserted to be the author of The Three Distinct Knocks, and the unhappy end of
the "learned gentleman that wrote the pamphlet entitled Boaz and Jackin" who
"in a fit of jealousy cut his throat on Thursday, the 8th day of September,
1763," seem to have been actuated by similar motives. These are related in a
note to the "Address to the Reader" in Ahiman Rezon.
For the text of this passage and the translation the writer is indebted to his
friend (and brother) Prof. F.G. Vial. B.D., D.C.L., who has made an especial
study of the works of Clemens Alexandrinus
The passage intended is apparently in chapter 3, but it gives very little
Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics v. Therapeutae.
A.Q.C., Vol. 28, p. 73.
Gould, History of Freemasonry, Vol. 1, p. 28, note 5 (Yorston Edition).
Simpson, The Jonah Legend
BRO. L.F. STRAUSS, Massachusetts
article has already appeared in the "Banner of Israel," but Bro. Strauss
regards it as an important link in the development of his researches as set
forth in the two articles on the Essenes which appeared in THE BUILDER for May
and July respectively, and has obtained the permission of the publishers of
the above- mentioned periodical to reproduce it here. It will, we believe, be
interesting as it views familiar things from a point of view that is probably
unfamiliar to many of our readers.
congregation is assembled in the synagogue at Nazareth. The law, the books of
Moses are laid on the altar. The adult members of the congregation are called
up by their names to assist according to custom in the reading of the law. Now
the name of Joshua ben Joseph resounds clear and distinct, and there steps
forward a figure in human form, clad in the garments of the men of his time.
did he look like? What was the outward appearance of that figure which came
forward at the call of Joshua ben Joseph ? Thousands of artists have exercised
their imagination trying to conjure up a figure, a face that would correspond
to the conception in the minds of millions of the being which has become their
guide, their model, their hope and refuge and which when on earth answered to
the call of Joshua ben Joseph.
parents were pious Jewish people. Mary, his mother, presented herself at the
Temple in Jerusalem for purification according to the prescribed ceremonies
after the birth of a son; she presented her son for redemption within the
prescribed period. At the time of his "barmizfa"--a ceremony scrupulously
observed by orthodox Jews in our own day--the boy is brought to the Temple in
Jerusalem. After this ceremony which in a way corresponds to the Christian
practice of confirmation, a boy is recognized as a member of the congregation;
he has a vote, a voice in the assembly; from now on he is responsible for his
own actions. This fact readily explains the silence of the Gospels in regard
to the parents of Jesus when relating the subsequent career of Joshua ben
Joseph, the Messiah, or Jesus, the Christ.
were spent the years between his twelfth year, the time of his "barmizfa," and
his thirtieth year, which marked the beginning of his career as teacher, as
guide of the human race and the Light of the World ? Traditional Jewish lore
makes him join the Order of the Essenes.
knowledge of the whereabouts of Jesus between his twelfth and thirtieth year
were necessary to the sons of men, it would have been given.
annals relating the life of Jesus deal mainly with his acts that took place
between his thirtieth and thirty-third year. In these annals we are presented
with a most graphic account of the sayings and doings of a most extraordinary
being who was walking up and down the hills and valleys of Judea, "doing
good," healing the sick, exhorting to righteousness and proclaiming the glad
tidings that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that it has come.
answer to the question, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for
another ?" he points to the fulfillment of the signs that w ere to mark his
coming. In answer to the definite question, "Art thou the Messiah ?" the
answer is, "I am."
annals given to the world of the life of Joshua ben Joseph, known the world
over as the Lord Jesus, or Jesus of Nazareth, give us a very brief account of
his career. While we have four separate records, these present in but a
slightly differentiated form a few details in the life of the most wonderful
being that ever visited our earth in human form. There are some things in
connection with these records that will strike a thinking man as strange, very
strange even when considered from the human standpoint.
nature of man is selfish; our own personality projects itself often
unconsciously, sometimes even against our will, into our thoughts and works.
The writer of a book wants first of all to impress his personality upon the
minds of others. Now, the very opposite attitude do we find in the writer or
writers of the Gospels, the biographies of Jesus. In place of
self-glorification we find self-depreciation and a self-effacement that has no
analogy in human history. It matters not whether the Gospels are the work of
his immediate disciples or the work of their followers. Disciples or followers
sink completely into the background before a great luminous figure that has
stood, and stands today, as the Light of the World.
high Joshua ben Joseph must have towered above his contemporaries can be seen
in the self-related actions of his chosen disciples. How little they could
understand. How crude, how small, was their mental, moral and spiritual
capacity when placed by themselves alongside their Master ! The much praised
Peter--what a braggart! The sons of Zebedee thinking most of all of their own
place in the coming Kingdom !
is no reason to suppose that this self-depreciation was intended, or that the
writer was conscious of any self- depreciation. One aim can be distinctly
recognized, and that is, to present the Master in as truthful a light, in as
graphic a manner as possible.
self-depreciation is not natural, is not human, and must be looked upon, when
considered from a human standpoint, as a factor in a super-human that is a
divine guidance in the giving of the narratives which we call today the
connection with this, I wish to emphasize the fact that "the things of the
Spirit" are "spiritually discerned." The natural man receiveth them not, is
utterly incapable, unfitted, to grasp the inner meaning of life, the essence
of religion, the relation of man to his God. From this it follows that in
order to derive any benefit from, or to have an insight into the message
revealed in the Gospel, spiritual discernment is an absolute prerequisite.
A. Levi once said before the Congregation Keneseth Israel: "About 1897 years
ago (it is not known at what part of the year) there was born in Nazareth, to
humble Jewish parents, one Joshua ben Joseph, or Latinized, Jesus. At the age
of twelve he appeared in Jerusalem and saw enough to leave an indelible
impression on his mind. Nothing is later heard of him till the age of about
thirty. He then appears in the role of a reformer opposed to the formalism of
the Pharisees and the materialism of the Sadducees. He traveled around after
the manner of teachers in Israel, preaching his belief in Moses and the
prophets and his conviction that heaven and earth might pass away but no jot
or tittle of the law would. He appeared to have been a believer in the mission
of Israel to be a blessing to humanity."
intellect sees in Joshua ben Joseph an ideal man. We use once more the words
of Rabbi Levi, who, after referring to the execution of Joshua, or Jesus, for
which he blames the Roman governor, declares: "Thus thro' the hatred of the
Roman governor there was condemned to an ignominous death, one of the noblest
teachers in Israel, one of the brilliant glories of the Jewish people; but he
was a man, an ideal man, he was not God, he was godly. He was not the Son of
God, but the son of God as all men are. . . . Do we reject him? Never as a
pious reformer, as a conforming Jew, as a brother worthy of profound esteem,
respect and love. Do we then accept him ? Never as a God, the Son of God, or
Levi here states the position of millions of Jews. It is the position based on
human reason, the conclusion formed by human intellect unaided by the
spiritual eye. Yet even human intellect can see, or can be made to see and in
fact has seen something more.
look with the mental eye at the successive visible scenes following the
execution of Joshua ben Joseph.
the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." How well do these words of
Zachariah describe the situation. The Rabbi has suffered a most ignominous
death. No miraculous interference had prevented the execution of the Great
Teacher as some of his disciples had confidently expected. Their cause was
irretrievably lost. The man in whom they had so much confidence was defeated.
the last human anchor, was gone. Despair, black despair, filled their hearts.
We read, "The disciples fled," eager to seek a place in which to hide their
shame and confusion.
then there took place a miracle, the only undisputed miracle in all annals of
human history, indisputable, on account of its visible effects in our own day.
A coward is changed into a hero, a small band of trembling fugitives into a
troop of heroes, who went fearlessly to the four corners of the earth and
conquered a hostile world. What power had wrought this miracle ? Let us give
the explanation and conclusion formed by Jewish intellect: "That the movement
did not end with the crucifixion, but gave birth to that belief in the risen
Christ which brought the scattered adherents together and founded
Christianity, is due to two psychic forces that never before had come so
thoroughly into play. First: the great personality of Jesus which had so
impressed itself on the people of Galilee as to become a living power even
after his death. Second: the transcendentalism or other-worldliness in which
these penance doing saintly men and women, of the common classes in their
longing for godliness, lived. In entranced visions they beheld their crucified
Messiah expounding the Scriptures for them, and breaking the bread for them at
their feasts, or even assisting them when they were out on the lake fishing
was not the living but the departed Jesus that founded the church (2)."
question now arises, what produced these "psychic forces that never before [or
ever afterward] had come so thoroughly into play?" Could these "psychic
forces" which revolutionized the world, and overcame the Roman Empire, have
been generated through hallucination ?
mind, the unspiritualized intellect, cannot help but recognize a force which
"never before had come so thoroughly into play." What generated this force?
What answer has the rationalist to this question ? The effect of hallucination
? But not even a Hindu yogi tries to satisfy hunger through conjuring up a
picture of food.
"It was not the living but the departed Jesus that created the Church." The
"departed" Jesus ! How could the "departed" Jesus have done this when "dead,"
if he had been a man, a dead man ? Will some rationalist answer this question?
another place in the Jewish Encyclopedia we read: "There are utterances of
striking originality and wondrous power, which denote great genius. He
certainly had a message to bring to the forlorn, . . to the lost sheep of the
house of Israel (3), to the outcast, to the lower classes, to the 'Amharez,'
to the sinner, to the publican; and whether the whole life is in reality a
poetic imagination, in him the Essenic ideal reached its culmination."
might agree with the writer in the Jewish Encyclopedia when he says: "To
explain the mental and moral greatness of Jesus, his wonderful career, the
logical thinker need not recur to the hidden ways of mysticism; a careful
study of his historical environment will readily account for that
extraordinary phenomenon." We must not forget that he was the child of an
extraordinary people, a people that had been set aside thousands of years
before for a great specific purpose; a people at whose start its legislator
held up the ideal: "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy
nation. Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy."
already stated, up to the time of his execution, there is nothing in the life
or career of Joshua ben Joseph that human reason cannot explain, or explain
pivotal point, the crux of the question comes when the unprejudiced and
sincere mind considers the situation that took place after his execution.
These scenes cannot be explained away from the rationalist's standpoint
because their effects are clearly visible, not only in the nineteen hundred
years which have passed and gone, but they are seen and felt all around us,
they are manifest in the hundreds of millions of human beings to whom no name
is dearer and sweeter than the holy name of the Lord Jesus, whose profane
pronunciation they call blasphemy.
am writing these lines I wonder what it was that caused the writer in the
Jewish Encyclopedia to say, "It was not the living but the departed Jesus who
created the Church." Now if such were the case could there be any other
explanation than that he had triumphed over death and was at the seat of
power? Must not then his mission have been from God? Must he not have been the
Messenger promised to our ancestors thousands of years ago; must he not have
been in truth the Messiah who was to become the Light of the World?
Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 51.
Ibid, Vol. 3, p. 169.
Matt. Ch. 10, V. 6.
Curious Masonic Watch
Communicated by BRO. G. M. READE, Minnesota
PROBABLY a good many brethren have had their attention drawn to "Masonic"
watches that are now being supplied by those firms that manufacture and supply
Masonic charms, jewels and so on. The advertisements would lead anyone to
suppose that this was an entirely new idea; and perhaps so far as the
designers and manufacturers are concerned it may be. However, this is not so.
Our eighteenth century brethren were very partial to these Masonic watches. In
those days mass production was yet unknown, and each watch was an individual
work of art and craft, made entirely by hand. Many of these designs were most
elaborately wrought. The old watch and clock makers spared no pains upon their
work, and it made no difference whether it was on the exterior or the interior
working parts. In some old clocks the very wedges that keyed the frame
together were filed into ornamental curves, and engraved with designs almost
too small to be seen without a glass, while the wheels instead of having
straight and plain spokes were cut out into beautiful and fanciful patterns of
pierced work, filed out with the true artist's care.
tradition still persisted in the eighteenth century, and in watches of the
period the covering plate, or "cock" that protected the movement was highly
ornamented with pierced designs and engraving. It was only natural that some
should receive Masonic designs, either specially to order, or to attract
Masonic purchasers. The second of the illustrations gives a good idea of a
watch of this type. There are hundreds of such movements to be found in
first illustration shows a watch which is perhaps now quite unique, though
originally it had a mate. It is in the possession, or rather in the care, of
one of the lodges in Belfast, Ireland. The present owner is the great-grandson
of the man for whom it was made, a Bro. Edwards who was an aide de camp to
General Stopford in the Peninsular War. It was made by a watchmaker named
Bannerman, who apparently had left his work bench and listed for a soldier.
Whether he made it during the campaign or not does not appear, but it is
possible. Nor do we know if he was a Mason. Bro. Edwards designed the face
himself, and gave Bannerman the order to make the watch for him to this
happened after their return home, that Bro. Edwards was at a Masonic banquet
at which the then Duke of Suffolk was also present, and the latter happened to
see the watch and said, "Halloo, Edwards, what have you there?" Bro. Edwards
handed it to him and told him about it and at the Duke's request a second
watch was made identical in every respect. These two were the only ones.
Whether the second is still in existence is unknown.
arrangement of the emblems is very skilfully and appropriately done, and the
putting the sun in the place for "high twelve" is very ingenious, while
outside the minute circle below "low" six is the crescent moon and stars.
description is as follows: In the center is the circle and parallel straight
lines. The point is represented by the main pivot for the hands. Below is the
letter "G" and above the volume of the Sacred Law. The first figure is a
single column of the Doric order, with what appear to be flames issuing from
the capital. This may refer to the pillar of fire in the wilderness. In the
margin above it is the trowel. Two is represented by the two brazen pillars of
the porch of the Temple, adorned with network and surmounted by globes. Above
it is the square ashlar. The enamel has been chipped and cracked here and the
ashlar is not easy to make out. Three is made of the three burning tapers or
lesser lights. The margin has here been broken away so that the emblem above
is lost. Four is made of a Doric column and a pair of calipers. The object
above is unrecognizable. Five is the square, and in the margin are the
"emblems of mortality." Six is composed of the Charter or Warrant in a roll, a
dagger or sharp instrument and a Corinthian column. Below is the moon and
stars. Seven is ingeniously formed from the compasses and ladder with "three
principle rounds." The margin is broken here, too, so that the second emblem
is missing. Eight consists of the folding twenty-four-inch rule or gauge, and
a two-legged derrick from which is suspended a perfect ashlar by means of a
lewis. Though partially broken, we can see plainly the sprig of Acacia and the
hill top. Nine is made of three columns, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, the two
latter crossed. The two black marks in the margin are indecipherable and
appear to be injuries or holes in the enamel. Ten is built up out of a
long-handled "setting maul," a gavel and a chisel. The emblem above appears to
be the beehive. Eleven is composed of the square, level and plumb, and above
them the 47th Proposition of Euclid. Twelve, as before mentioned, is
symbolized by the sun, above which is the All-seeing Eye.
second emblem at figure ten is really intended for the beehive, and it looks
much more like it in the original than in the reproduction, we have two
symbols now no longer in use in Great Britain but which have always been in
use in America, the second being the trowel. On the other hand there are the
lewis and chisel which are still explained in the former country but which
seem never to have been known in this.
Land of Behest
Bro. F. BENSON, Illinois
this season of the year the thoughts of all Christians are directed toward a
little country on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is scarcely
two hundred miles long and from East to West probably does not average more
than seventy-five. Not only does the Christian world revere this almost
insignificant area on the Earth's surface, but it is the Holy Land for the
Jew, Greek, Moslem and Christian alike. Geographies call it Palestine, our Old
Charges or Manuscript Constitutions refer to it as "The Land of Behest" and
add that it is now called the Country of Jerusalem.
indeed remarkable that one of the world's smallest countries should have been
the battlefield of so many nations for thousands of years, and that for its
possession has been shed the blood of countless multitudes. All this has been
done for religion, not one faith, but many. The paradox lies in the fact that,
in spite of its gory history, this country was the birthplace of the Prince of
Peace. To this event do modern Christians owe the fact that their eyes are
turned toward the Holy Land during the present season. Whether Jesus the
Christ was actually born on Dec. 25 we do not know, and after all does it make
any difference? The Nazarene lived and died for humanity Modern Freemasonry
should be existing for the same cause. The feast of Christmas has come to be
considered an occasion for rejoicing and for the exercise of good will toward
all. It is the time of year when we dream of Brotherly Love, of peace on earth
and good will towards men. It should not be necessary for the Mason to have
such a season since the practice of this virtue should be a part of his
endeavor the year round, but it hurts no man to be reminded occasionally that
there are others on this mundane sphere and that a part of his thought should
be directed towards them.
little town of Bethlehem," the birthplace of Christ, and so the birthplace of
Christianity, lies a short five miles to the southward of the Jaffa Gate to
the Holy City. A splendid road passes through the Plain of Ephraim, and
suddenly the well, where tradition says the "three wise men" stopped to water
their camels and saw reflected in the water the star which led them to the
manger of the Christ-child, comes into view. Farther along is the Tomb of
Rachel, the wife of Jacob and the daughter of Laban. This spot is one revered
by Jew, Christian, and Mohammedan alike. Then comes Bethlehem, which means
"House of Bread," and which besides being the scene of the Nativity was the
childhood home of David and the scene of the beautiful story of Ruth, his
accompanying illustration is somewhat deceptive, as at a casual glance
Bethlehem seems to lie in a valley. In reality it is upon a hill in the center
of a gigantic cup, and the "Little Town" overlooks several valleys, one of
which is still known as the Field of the Shepherds.
interesting feature of a visit to Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity,
built about 330 A. D. over the cave reputed to be the very stable in which
Christ was born, and on which spot the Romans had formerly built a Temple to
Jupiter. The outside of the church is very simple and plain, but on the inside
there are forty-four huge Corinthian columns, taken from the pagan temple that
earlier stood on the site. The building has the appearance of being very old
and the pagan columns lend dignity and simplicity to the whole. Steps lead
down to the grotto now called the Chapel of the Nativity, and where the manger
is still shown. The cave is about forty feet long by twelve wide and ten high.
It has stone walls and a marble pavement. Near the altar is a silver star in
the pavement with the Latin inscription Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus
natus est. It was in this cave, so the tradition says, that the angel warned
the Holy Family to flee to Egypt.
far from Bethlehem are the pools of Solomon which, as the picture indicates,
are fairly well preserved, though the masonry shows indications of their great
age. The rugged nature of the country is plainly visible in this illustration.
Jerusalem itself is sufficiently interesting to warrant an article of its own.
It was originally named Salem, and later Jebus. Doubtless its present name is
derived from a combination of the two. It is built on two hillsides and the
valley between, with deep gorges all about it.
present site has seen some eight cities, so that the streets upon which Christ
walked are in some places a hundred feet or more below the present level but
the old street lines remain. The two hills on which the city stands are Mount
Moriah and Mount Zion, each about 2500 feet above sea level. The place is a
natural fortress. Its present population is about seventy thousand, of which
probably forty-five thousand are Jews, ten thousand Moslems, and fifteen
thousand Christians, the great majority of whom are Greek Orthodox. All of the
modern section, more than half of the city, both in extent and population, is
outside the walls which fenced the "Old City." These walls are in splendid
condition and built of a yellow limestone, which is as well the material for
most of the old houses of the city. The walls are about forty feet high and
from twelve to fifteen feet thick, level on top with watch towers at short
intervals. Some of the rocks were actually put in place by the masons of
Solomon, Herod and Agrippa. Of the eleven gates only six are open, the others
having been walled up many years ago.
Through the gate called "Golden," one finds his way to the holiest of the many
holy places in the city. Mount Moriah is venerated by the three religions
which are prevalent among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Surrounded by a rock
wall and containing about thirty-six acres it composes about one-sixth the
area within the city walls. It has been a place of religious sanctity for
thousands of years. Here Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac when he
was shown the ram caught by its horns in the thicket; here David built his
palace and erected an altar unto the Lord; and here, too, King Solomon built
that Temple, which has been marveled over by succeeding generations. To this
spot was conveyed the cedar from Lebanon which formed so large a portion of
the structure and which was floated down the sea coast to Joppa, thence
carried overland to the seat, of building operations on the Mount.
of the enclosed area is now open, but it is all paved, and there are beautiful
colonnades standing in the open court. A magnificent marble pulpit is erected
in the court which is used for services on certain feast days when the mosque
is wholly inadequate for the accommodation of the vast crowds, sometimes
numbering more than twenty thousand. These buildings and the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre suffered much damage in the recent earthquake. The Mount is
some 2400 feet high and still rises in three separate terraces as it did in
Solomon's time, and these are yet designated the Court of the Gentiles, the
Court of the Israelites and the Court of the Priests, though it is centuries
since the Temple worship ceased.
the northwest corner of the enclosure stands a beautiful minaret on the site,
it is said, where the Roman soldiers rescued St. Paul from the mob. This spire
is plainly visible in the left and to the rear of the accompanying
illustration. At the opposite corner is a subterranean structure now known as
the "Stables of Solomon." It is reached by a short stairway, and has over a
hundred massive stone columns. If built by Solomon, it was probably used by
him as a storehouse, but there is no doubt that it was actually used as a
stable by the Crusaders. Inside this area is the Mosque El Aksa. It was
formerly a Christian Church and is the largest single structure in Jerusalem,
measuring 272 by 184 feet.
object of greatest interest on Mount Moriah at this time is this Mosque of the
Caliph Omar. It is built over the rock which was probably used as a threshing
floor in ancient times by Orman the Jebusite, and which marks the site of
offering on this sacrificial hill. The rock is directly under the great Dome
of the Mosque, and still is in its original position and natural state, being
in fact the apex of Mount Moriah. It is about six feet high and sixty feet
long by twenty to forty feet wide. Although the rock is fenced off by a high
wooden railing and a circular grill or screen of iron erected by the Knights
Templar, which no one is permitted to enter, the grooves across the face to
carry the blood from the sacrificial offerings of olden times are still
visible. It was from this rock that the Prophet Mohammed, sitting on his
favorite horse, ascended to heaven, horse, rider and all. The Mohammedans
vouch for the veracity of this statement. It is also believed by the followers
of the Prophet that Gabriel will stand on this rock and blow his trumpet on
Judgment Day and that all souls will immediately rush there to be judged by
Mohammed and Christ. Under it is a cave, in which is a well, called by the
Moslem the Well of Souls.
Mosque was built about the year 700, but it was enlarged by the Crusaders who
thought it was King Solomon's Temple. It was while occupying the Temple that
some of the Crusaders formed the Order of Knights Templar. It was again
enlarged by the Moslems about 1600. The Dome of the Rock stands on an
irregular platform some ten or fifteen feet high, with marble steps leading up
from the Cardinal Points, and terminating in beautiful arcades, over a
pavement of marble mosaics and flagstones. The building has eight sides and is
a perfect octagon set in a circle 177 feet in diameter. Each side measures
sixty-six feet seven inches in length. The lower portion of the building is
covered with marble slabs and the upper with glazed and colored porcelain
tiles in the Persian style of the sixteenth century, while on the frieze are
cut verses from the Koran. The dome is one hundred fifteen feet high, nearly
as large as the dome of the United States Capitol, and is of a greenish copper
color; it is surmounted by a crescent of gold. The building on the inside, on
account of the iron grill work, gives one the impression of being circular.
The roof and walls on the inside are covered with glass mosaics and beautiful
arabesque carvings. The roof is supported by marble columns, probably taken
from the temple built by Herod, and the floor is of marble, but covered with
very rich Turkish rugs. There are also beautifully carved arches over the
metal doors, and the light filters in through stained glass windows, which
gives a soft and mysterious illumination to the interior, and especially is
this light pleasing as it falls on the marble pulpit.
Dome of the Rock is regarded as a perfect specimen of Byzantine Architecture
and has been copied in many parts of the world. In the Temple area there are,
in addition to the buildings mentioned above, Moslem schools and dwellings,
and there are several altars in the open court.
area is regarded by the Moslems as so sacred that neither dogs nor smoking is
permitted within it. It is said that no Jew will enter this section lest he
might walk on the sacred ground which the sanctum sanctorum of King Solomon's
Temple once occupied. One is inclined to think of this spot on the day that
the Queen of Sheba, from the Southland, with her great retinue, paid a visit
to the wise and sometimes wicked King Solomon. She presented him with 120
talents in money, many precious stones, and great stores of spices, but the
wily old King only put a little more gold dust in his flowing hair to make it
sparkle in the sunshine, poured a little more perfume on his robe of state,
exhibited proudly his gold chariots, diamond crown, many warriors and
servants, gave the "old lady" a big feast, wished her a pleasant trip back
home, and bade her a fond farewell, for with his seven hundred wives and three
hundred concubines he was as satisfied to spend his last years on the throne
wickedly as he had been to pass his first years as a ruler wisely. That is,
judged by our modern ideas concerning morality.
Holy City, in fact the entire country of Palestine, is rich in Biblical lore.
There is, perhaps, no more interesting place in the world, but above all the
interests of modern Palestine the fact that it was the birthplace of
Christianity, with all that that means, stands out most forcibly.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
STUDY CLUB AGAIN
CERTAIN brother, who shall be nameless, being sufficiently familiar with the
Editorial Staff to treat it with undue levity, insists that it is pure waste
of time to write editorials as nobody ever reads them. At times we fear there
is more painful fact than jest in the assertion. Another brother recently
complained of the change in the Study Club Department, saying that from a sort
of post-graduate course it had descended to the kindergarten level, apparently
not having read what we said about it last month. Surely the advanced students
owe a fraternal duty to those brethren who are in the kindergarten class, to
use his term, and to assist them to obtain further light by easy stages. At
least, we frankly admit, without the financial support of those in the
kindergarten and the elementary grades we should not be in a position to do
much for the post-graduate students.
said last month, the new departure is an experiment, and if not successful
will not be continued. In fact the department would probably be eliminated.
The proper place for advanced articles is in the body of the. magazine. We may
add, for the benefit of those who were interested, that the authors of the
Study Club articles during the past two years intend to continue the series.
The next subject to be taken up will be the Lights of the Lodge. We gladly
forgive our critic in this case because of our gratification in finding that
there was one member of the Society who read the Study Club articles with
interest and appreciation.
* * *
SHADOW OF THE VATICAN"
be as well to explain once more what these articles are and what the purpose
of the author is in publishing them. He is, as we have said, a priest of the
Roman Church. He is one of those - of many, so he believes - who are
dissatisfied with the administration of the affairs of his Church in this
country, with the autocratic methods of its rulers, and the abuses and
intrigues to which they give rise. He is writing primarily for the members of
his Church with the hope that perhaps some redress may be found. His
criticisms must therefore be read as those of a friend however severe they may
seem. It may be well to repeat that we are fully satisfied that he has no
personal motives, no axe to grind, no grudge to satisfy. He is not one who has
had reason to feel that he has been passed by in preferments, or that he has
suffered any personal injustice. We have no hesitation in saying that we
believe that his object is simply what he says it is, the faint hope (for it
is very faint) that his open criticism may lead to some crystallization of the
latent discontent that he believes to exist among the members of his Church in
the United States, which will lead to a relaxation of the present Italian
domination, to something more of self-determination and to a reform of the
worst of the abuses of which he complains.
articles, then, being addressed to members of the Roman Church by one of
themselves, what have we to do with it?
author would have greatly preferred to publish them in some Roman Catholic
periodical; but unfortunately that was out of the question. He, therefore,
tried the secular press and found that that was equally impossible. He was
given to understand that it would not do to offend the Church, of which it
seems the press of the United States is mortally afraid. It is a serious
allegation, but one that has been made before, more than once. And we can say
that facts have come to our knowledge, since the manuscript was first
submitted to us, that go to show that not only are the daily newspapers afraid
to publish anything that might offend the Roman Church, no matter how true it
may be nor how much the interests of the public might demand it, but that even
the more weighty and serious magazines and reviews have the same fear.
Furthermore, the author found that it would be difficult to publish it in book
form unless he took all the expense and risk upon himself and acted as his own
publisher. That was the situation so far as he was concerned, and he bad
practically given up hope of his work ever seeing the light of day.
man can write an article or a book criticizing the Methodist, or the Episcopal
Church, or Christian Science, or the system of public education, or the Army,
or the Navy, or the Government, and he will have no special difficulty in
finding an editor or a publisher to accept it. Any institution in the country,
and the country itself, can be freely criticized - but the agents of publicity
fear to touch one favored organization. Why?
answer is fairly simple. Leaving aside those periodicals and publishing houses
that are controlled by Romanists, there is a fear, justified or not, that the
members of the Church in question will act as a unit to injure the business of
such publicist in any and all of the many ways that this can be done by
concerted action. There is no need to enumerate them here, it is enough to say
that it needs little imagination to see that the financial effects might be
be that in certain quarters religious intolerance still survives. There may be
Protestants in this country who still believe Romanism to be idolatry, and who
apply to it all the prophetic denunciations of the Old Testament, and the
Apocalyptic ones of the New concerning the Scarlet Woman, and Babylon the
Great, but truly we do not think there are very many, or that they have much
weight. If there be any uneasiness in the minds of non-Romanists, and there is
evidently a good deal, it is due precisely to such situations as the one just
described. It is not religious antagonism or intolerance that exists, the
Roman Church is not viewed with apprehension as a church or a religion, but as
a potential political power with aims quite alien, even if not necessarily
opposed, to those of the state.
say here as distinctly as possible, for the benefit of those who read hastily,
that we are not here asserting that it is so, all we say is that many believe
it to be so. That is the situation from the public point of view.
then is our position in the matter as Masons, as an organ of Masonic research?
stated editorially last May that
. . .
numbers of Masons in this country think and take for granted that Freemasonry
is an anti-Roman Catholic institution.
repeat it. Regardless of the fact that there is no warrant for such an opinion
in any ritual, code or constitution in any Grand Lodge in the United States,
regardless of the fact that every Mason who has any knowledge of what Masonry
is or stands for, knows that it is not so, it is yet true that a very large
number of the members of the Fraternity simply take it for granted that it is
anti-Roman. And this brings the matter within the purview of any organization
engaged in Masonic education. And that is the situation from THE BUILDER'S
point of view.
perhaps not quite all. It may be objected that it would have been sufficient
to have merely repeated once again that Freemasonry in religious matters as in
politics is neutral, that tolerance of all opinions and beliefs is incumbent
on the Mason. But this has been done scores and hundreds of times. Every
Masonic orator says it on almost every occasion; every Masonic journal repeats
it every so often; and, such is the working of the human mind, often enough
the very brethren who in one situation believe that Masonry is antiRomanist
will in another applaud these same sentiments or even give utterance to them.
man seeks medical advice concerning some symptom, a persistent pain in the
eyes, let us say, or a sore that will not heal, the physician is not content
to give him an opiate or a salve. He makes a full examination of his patient's
physical condition. It may be the symptoms betoken the advance of some serious
disease. It is evident that merely repeating that Masonry is tolerant and
neutral has only a narcotic effect. The underlying causes of the situation
need inquiring into.
BUILDER takes no sides in the discussion, nor are we responsible for the
opinions of the writers of the articles we have published. Our part was merely
to make reasonably sure that they knew what they were talking about and kept
within the limits of courtesy and fair criticism. We have rejected a number of
other articles that did not in all respects meet these requirements or were
not relevant to the problem. The address of Theodor Masaryk that appeared in
the October number did in places verge on the savage, and is perhaps also not
entirely just, but it is at least by a man brought up in the church he
attacked, and who, by his own confession, sought to remain in it. Our chief
reason for reproducing it was to exhibit how largely this forecast of twenty
years ago has been falsified in the event. He thought the Church was in a
decline, that the then comparatively recent formulation of the dogma of Papal
Infallibility was going to be increasingly detrimental to it. Instead there
has been a revival, especially since the war; the Church is becoming, it would
seem, more aggressive; and internally, Ultramontanism, the Italian dominance,
seems stronger than ever. It is precisely that centralization, that autocracy
of Rome, that gives rise to the abuses and tyranny which Dr. Cadius (and
others) hold to be detrimental to the spiritual activity of his Church, and
that also inspires many non-Romanists with the fear that the Roman Church is a
sort of army of occupation controlled from a foreign country. A revival of
nationalism, of some measure of self‑government of the Church in different
countries, would seem to be calculated to remove the complaints of the one
party and the apprehensions of the other.
A. J. M., whose letter appears in the correspondence columns, is inclined to
question the relevance of the two articles on schools and marriage in the
Province of Quebec. This rather brings home the fact that THE BUILDER is to an
extent not always realized an international journal. We must grant that from
the Canadian point of view they are not particularly et propos, because
conditions are rather different there. We believe that it is those who have
the least contact with Romanists who fear them most, and who are most
intolerant. There is no doubt that Protestants and other non-Romanists in the
Province of Quebec are less concerned about alleged intrigues and far-reaching
plans to dominate the country than those of Ontario, where they do not live so
intimately with their Roman Catholic fellow-citizens. And there is a moral to
be drawn from this fact. Familiarity is said to breed contempt, but it also
leads to friendliness. One cannot well go on suspecting and fearing people
whom one finds in daily life to be kind and honest neighbors - at a distance
one can imagine anything. Furthermore, as the two articles mentioned show
incidentally, and it could easily be confirmed with a wealth of evidence, the
non-Romanist in Quebec feels perfectly secure. The Roman Church does not
interfere with him or his concerns, he is perfectly free in the pursuit of
happiness and well being in his own way. Whether it would continue so if
Quebec was a sovereign state or not is another question, but a purely academic
one, and communities are not, as such, interested in academic questions.
Another difference between Canada and the United States is that the Roman
Church is in the former country practically identified with the French
Canadian people. Canada is engaged in the difficult and idealistic experiment
of harmonizing two races and two cultures and two languages, each of which
necessarily must modify the development of the other, but neither of which has
any right to dominate or obliterate the other, nor yet the power to do so. It
is doubtful if the British statesmen, who a hundred and more years ago were
responsible, had realized the difficulties whether it would have been
attempted; but whether blundered into or not the experiment was worth making.
Roman Catholic country, the state must inevitably in some way recognize the
church. In recognizing it, it to some extent controls it. Even in republican
France the government makes reciprocal arrangements with the Church, and it
has a real power of influencing and modifying the temporalities of the Church,
which is all that the state is interested in. But in such a democracy as the
United States the position is quite different. The state cannot recognize any
church, and therefore cannot exert any control over its affairs. If,
therefore, and the whole question lies in this "if," the members of any church
or any society, act as a disciplined unit under their leaders in all public
affairs they may easily obtain the influential position of holding the balance
of power. It was precisely the apprehension of such an eventuality that led in
many quarters to condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan quite as much as alleged
acts of overriding the laws and usurping quasi-judicial powers. But if a
purely American organization may be judged and condemned on this ground, why
not one that is governed and controlled by a foreign authority? It all depends
on the "if," on a question of fact; do the members of the Roman Church act as
a political unit?
on this question of fact that Dr. Cadius will, we believe, throw some light.
He presents a picture of the working of the Church from within. Such an
account will give much more direct information than any amount of observation
from without. The question of course will still remain how far it is an
accurate picture, and just what bearing it may have on the problem as a whole.
We are not judging or thinking for members of the N.M.R.S. nor for Masons
generally. All we can do is to provide such material as seems relevant to the
question, and to exercise such care as we can that the authors are
final question may be asked. Supposing that on investigation it is found that
the apprehensions and the disquiet felt by so many have some real
justification, will any advance have been made towards removing that erroneous
opinion existing among ill-informed members of the Craft that Masonry is as an
institution hostile to Romanism? It must be confessed, the issue in that event
would appear doubtful. But that cannot be helped. If a man's eyes are
troubling him, his physician may find that it is not new glasses he needs but
a course of treatment for indigestion. Clear thinking will solve the question;
but it is necessary to think before one can think clearly. American Masons
must learn to distinguish between their obligations as Masons and their duties
as citizens, and not lay the burden of the latter upon Freemasonry as some
seem inclined to do.
been our original plan to begin the publication of this series of articles in
the October number of THE BUILDER. It would seem that a word of explanation is
due to our readers. Certain obstacles arose, and the date was set on to
November. Unfortunately the hindrances were not all removed in time to get it
into that issue. It then seemed better to defer it to the beginning of the
coming year, for the obvious reason that the whole series would thus be in one
regret this delay very much, but it may be that some advantage will arise from
it. The series will all be in one volume, and it has been decided to make the
several installments longer than was originally planned so that the conclusion
will appear not much, if any, later than was originally intended.
* * *
CANDIDATES for the mysteries of Freemasonry are supposed to be men of mature
age, of reasonable intelligence, of good character, and sufficient ability to
at least earn their own living and expend their earnings at their own
discretion for themselves and their families, if they have families. Seeing
that these are qualifications necessary for the candidate, one would suppose
that Freemasons in general form a body of mature men, of reasonable
intelligence, and so on, down to being able to spend their own money at
discretion. Very quaintly, however, it is being asserted in various quarters,
and the chorus seems to be growing, that when these mature men of average
intelligence, etc., etc., are gathered, organized, or congregated into a lodge
that they no longer have these qualities, and that consequently their powers
of discretion should be limited by new laws, regulations, decisions and
rulings in addition to those we already have. In other words, we are in the
presence of a new Landmark in the making. Lodge funds are to be used only for
argument advanced sounds very well. Money paid into the lodge treasury in the
way of dues and fees is "in the nature of a trust fund." If it be dissipated
by payments for non-Masonic purposes, however innocent or worthy in
themselves, what is to happen when a need arises for the exercise of relief -
when some brother falls ill and requires assistance - when he dies and his
family are left destitute? Some lodges, very few unfortunately, like the wise
virgins in the parable do make preparations for future contingencies. Some put
aside all initiation fees, others a percentage of their receipts, others
budget a certain sum each year to go into a reserve for such purposes. But
here is the amazing thing. Masonic funds being as it is said in the nature of
trust funds cannot be used except for Masonic purposes. A contribution to a
hospital, to a local or national charity, to a fresh air fund is not Masonic.
But banquets, entertainments, cigars, furniture, fixtures are Masonic. A lodge
may spend all its money without reproach for these and their like. It may even
go into debt for them, and the surveyors of Landmarks say not a word. But
imagine their outcry if any misguided lodge were to borrow money to contribute
to some charitable or benevolent cause.
all, what business is it of anyone else what the members of a lodge choose to
do with their own money? They are free to fix what amount they please for
annual dues. A minimum sum they must have to meet the amount due to the Grand
Lodge, what more they may choose to add to that is their own affair. And it
being their own money it is equally their own affair how they spend it -
whether on Masonic suppers and cigars or un-Masonic charities. Has the
exercise of benevolence to those in distress become an un-Masonic action? Is
it un-Masonic for a group of Masons to collectively engage in a charitable
question of lodge reserves is another matter entirely. If a Grand Lodge
enacted that its constituent lodges should set aside a certain amount annually
for every member of the lodge, or so much for every candidate initiated, that
would be a different matter. Most Grand Lodges, however, have deemed it better
to have a collective reserve under Grand Lodge control. But outside of such
specific enaction it really seems an unwarrantable interference with the plain
rights of a lodge to rule how it shall expend its own money; especially to
forbid it to spend it for charitable or benevolent purposes.
Nowhere else in the world but in America has such dictation ever been dreamed
of. In all other countries Masonic lodges frequently contribute to such
objects, and it is considered most proper that they should. A lodge whose
members collectively act in this way will not be likely to fail in its
obligations to distressed brethren.
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, Past Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President
L. ELSER, Executive Secretary
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. BOWMAN, Treasurer
J. NEWTON, Editor, Manager N.M.T.S.A.. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Masonic Tubercular Relief
Annual Address to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico in February last, in
discussing this movement I made the following observations:
faith in our Fraternity is strong enough to cause me to believe that if given
the opportunity, through the sanction and cooperation of the Masonic leaders
of the several Grand Jurisdictions and the officers of all other Masonic
bodies, every American Freemason will gladly contribute at least $1.00 per
year for the relief and hospitalization of our brethren and the members of
their families who are afflicted with tuberculosis.
responsibility for the financing of this work and for salvaging Masonic lives
and homes in such manner, rests primarily upon the Grand officers and leaders
of American Grand Jurisdictions, and upon the officers of all Masonic bodies.
name of our sacred and binding obligations, and in the name of our afflicted
brethren from whom is emanating the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress, I implore
the Masonic leaders of thought and action to extend to our brethren this
opportunity to practice the great teachings of our Fraternity and to aid in
financing this humanitarian movement.
Millions of dollars are garnered in the treasuries of Grand Lodges and
constituent Lodges; and more millions in the treasuries of other Masonic
bodies, and in those of organizations affiliated with or claiming some
connection with Freemasonry. These millions are growing into more millions.
Why this great accumulation of wealth? For what useful purpose is it designed?
Is it for the construction of costly Temples or to enable the Craft adequately
to finance some great work for the relief of, and genuine material service to,
the Fraternity and humanity?
we continue to levy assessments for the erection of great Masonic edifices and
Memorials, while closing our purses and shutting our eyes to the distress of
our sorely afflicted brethren and turning a deaf ear to appeals for funds in
aid of a relief program designed upon a National scale, the financing of which
would require the contribution of but the insignificant sum of $1.00 per
annurn by each American Freemason? Shall not a comparatively small portion of
the accumulated and hoarded wealth of the Fraternity be annually contributed
to a general fund to be administered as a sacred trust by the Sanatoria
Association, organized by the Masons and controlled and directed by
representatives of each Masonic Grand Jurisdiction, for the benefit and relief
of our afflicted brethren and their families? Are not the lives of Freemasons,
and those of their wives and children, more valuable to the Fraternity and to
America than mere wealth alone? Aye, are they not wealth itself?
quote the words of the poet, Gray, in his beautiful "Elegy in a Country
fares the land, to hastening ills a prey.
wealth accumulates, and men decay."
Following the Chicago Meeting, acting under authority there conferred, an
appeal was made for contributions, upon the basis of fifteen cents per capita
of Masonic membership. Before Masonic bodies had time to act upon the appeal,
we had an opportunity to purchase a Sanatorium in El Paso, Texas, in
first-class condition, for about fifty cents on the dollar of its real value.
cost, including furniture and equipment, would have been $75,000.00. Our first
appeal was immediately supplemented with a full statement concerning the
opportunity to acquire a "going hospital, wherein immediately to commence our
work of relief."
appeals were made to every Masonic Grand body, including the Scottish Rite,
the Shrine, the Grotto, and the General Grand Chapter of the Order of Eastern
Star. The response was negligible.
Shortly thereafter the great Mississippi Flood became a menace, and the
brethren of the states directly affected were compelled to make plans for the
relief of those who were, or would be, in distress. More than $500,000.00 was
contributed to Flood Relief, and the Cause of Masonic Tubercular Relief was
lost sight of in this dramatic disaster. Freemasons contributed liberally to
aid flood sufferers and to replace property losses, but would not or did not
visualize the necessity and duty and obligation to respond to an appeal for
aid in the effort to save Masonic lives, Masonic families and Masonic homes.
aforesaid address to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, in discussing our first
appeal the following observations were made, to-wit:
economic phase of our problem affords an interesting study, and provides
convincing and conclusive evidence of the importance and value of salvaging
the health, the lives and homes of our tubercular brethren; but the
controlling and actuating motive is and should be OUR OBLIGATION.
appeal for funds with which to finance the work will demonstrate, during the
present year, whether or not American Freemasonry has a soul. It will
demonstrate whether or not we observe the letter or the spirit of the law;
for: "Faith without works is dead."
first appeal for funds, upon the basis of fifteen cents per capita, calls upon
each American Freemason to contribute at least the price of one good cigar for
the assistance and relief of his sick brethren. The cost of attempting to
collect this sum from each individual would be prohibitive. Hence we ask that
each Masonic body contribute that amount from its treasury, in which event
there will be no expense of collection. If there are no available funds in the
treasury, we ask that each Masonic body circularize its membership, either
constituent Lodges or individual members, asking for voluntary contributions.
We believe that such action will provide average contributions far in excess
of fifteen cents per capita.
during the ensuing year, contributions from all Grand Lodges average fifteen
cents per capita, the total sum contributed will equal $487,500.00. With this
amount it is proposed to construct an initial or first hospital unit of one
hundred bed capacity, at an estimated cost of $250,000.00; to set aside
$100,000.00 for the first year's operating expense; and an equal amount for
home relief work, and hospitalization in existing sanatoria, pending
completion of the Masonic Sanatorium; to continue the educational and
publicity campaign and to carry on the administrative work.
remarks upon this subject concluded as follows, to-wit:
Grand Jurisdictions are wealthier than others and are financially able to care
for their own members, whether they do or not. According to our conception of
Masonic obligations, they are binding upon us, no matter where a needy brother
may be found; our obligations are not limited by State lines or by any other
boundaries. We are, or we should be, one common brotherhood. Shall we continue
as forty-nine separate organizations, not interested in each other's problems,
and not interested in our own brethren if they wander from their homes? Or
shall we unite as one family to care for those who have fallen by the wayside,
who are down and out through no fault of their own?
national organization has been perfected and a plan outlined, a Design has
been placed upon the Trestleboard, whereby succor and relief may be afforded
to our tuberculous brethren. If they are longer neglected their blood will be
upon our hands.
fallen to our lot to speak for these brethren of our "Grand Lodge of Sorrow."
They are a great, inarticulate mass, scattered in thousands of homes
throughout this great, free and wealthy land of ours. They cannot personally
make their plea to the Fraternity. Therefore, in their name we have made a
plea to the Masons of America, to stretch forth their hands to aid our fallen
brethren and to assist in raising them again, to stand among us as men and
great true heart of American Freemasonry is to be found the answer to our
and varied have been the reasons assigned by the various Grand Jurisdictions
which have declined or failed to join the organization or to respond to the
appeals for cooperation and financial assistance.
has been borne in upon our minds the conviction that jealousy upon the part of
certain leaders of the Masonic Service Association has engendered a spirit of
antagonism, or lack of sincere, genuine cooperation. It has also been
demonstrated that numerous Masonic leaders are fundamentally opposed to a
national organization of this or any other character, and believe in zealously
safeguarding the sovereignty of each Grand Jurisdiction, and limiting Masonic
relief work of every and any character strictly within the confines of their
several jurisdictions, coupled with the assertion that they will take care of
their own tuberculars within their own borders if they will stay at home and
that they will even take care of their own, thus afflicted, who may migrate to
more favorable climates in the hope of obtaining relief; but as to the latter
assertion, our experience has demonstrated that its fulfillment is the
exception rather than the rule; and I am confident that this statement can be
corroborated by the experience of other Grand Jurisdictions within the
confines of the great "Tuberculosis Triangle." It is contended by some
opponents of the association that the admittedly superior climatic advantages
of the arid and semiarid Southwest are not essential to the treatment and cure
of tuberculosis; but it is a noteworthy fact that statistics have revealed
that by far the larger percentage of tuberculars who have migrated to those
regions were advised so to do by their local physicians.
not my purpose to discuss or argue with reference to the two schools of
thought upon this subject. Suffice it to say that the basic and primary
purpose and object of the association was not the establishment of Sanatoria
in any particular section of the country, but to arouse the Fraternity to a
realization of the impelling obligation and imperative necessity to organize
upon a broad national scale to deal with the great problem. It should be
remembered that tuberculosis is an infectious and communicable disease,
wherein it differs from certain other diseases to which the human flesh is
heir and the death toll from which is great; and it should also be remembered
that tuberculosis is a great menace to the children of the adult brethren or
parents who may be afflicted with the disease and that it is highly important
to educate the public as to the best means not only of prevention but for
opponents of the project urge that the movement is a departure from the
fundamental teachings of the Order, chief among which is training the
individual Mason to practice individual charity.
seems to me that one of the fundamental teachings is service; and that the
character of the service demanded by the magnitude of the tuberculosis problem
is such as to render it imperatively necessary to organize upon a basis and
scale commensurate with the magnitude of the situation now confronting the
the greatest difficulties encountered has been that incident to the succession
in the leadership of the various Grand Jurisdictions. Grand Master Charles F.
Roberts, of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, aptly said:
change and men change with them. Grand Masters come and go, with varying ideas
of the relative values of matters in which our Fraternity is concerned. What
seems important to me may not be so regarded by my successors, but we have the
comforting assurance that the policies and ultimate purposes of Freemasonry
are fixed, and that necessarily the efforts of all are directed towards the
same worthy end.
not my purpose here to challenge the sincerity of any brethren whose opinions
differ from mine or from those entertained by my intimate associates in the
conduct of the affairs of the association. For them as men and Masons I
entertain the highest respect and fraternal regard but from my viewpoint it
seems deplorable that American Freemasonry cannot unite in this great cause,
and contemplation of the apparent apathy and indifference, and inability or
unwillingness to envision the cause from a broad national standpoint, "maketh
the heart sick."
sanatorium which we had an opportunity to purchase in El Paso and which should
now be in operation as the "First National Masonic Sanatorium," was purchased
by a Catholic Nursing Order, and is now rendering service as a Catholic
Sanatorium. It was financed in short order, without fuss or feathers; there
was an immediate and adequate response to the call for the requisite funds.
been said that the establishment of such a Masonic Sanatorium would constitute
a standing invitation for migratory consumptives. The answer is: suppose this
were true; are we not organized for the great fundamental purpose of
contributing as largely and expeditiously as possible to the relief of our
tubercular brethren and members of their families afflicted with the dread
disease, in the effort to salvage and restore them to health, activity and
economic production at the earliest possible date? Time will not permit an
elaboration of the economic features of the problem. Suffice it to say that
upon the basis of statistics of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New
York the total economic loss from the death of 4,309 American Freemasons who
die each year is over $93,000,000.00.
foregoing observations indicate that the prospects for the successful
consummation of our work of organization are not encouraging at the present
time; but "Rome was not built in a day" and it may well be that several years
must elapse before our hopes are fully realized.
However, as a result of the campaign of education, there has been stimulated
in many jurisdictions a marked degree of activity in the line of tubercular
is not recognized or admitted. The facts are thus laid before your
organization; and your advice and counsel are solicited as to the best method
for attaining the great objective. Your members have studied and worked upon
relief problems, and by virtue of their knowledge and experience should be
able to offer invaluable suggestions.
abandonment of the movement would be tantamount to admitting that Freemasonry
cannot function outside of Jurisdictional lines, or upon a national scale;
that its protestations are as "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal"; that it
does not practice what it preaches; that it has been "weighed in the balances"
and found wanting, and that it is incapable of that degree of cohesion and
coordination essential to dealing efficiently and effectively with the
existing situation. American Freemasonry is on trial, and will stand or fall
according to the final answer to our sick brethren, standing in the Northeast
corner, pleading for help, which has been so long withheld and the failure to
render which has resulted in the death of so large a number while we have
debated among ourselves.
many more Masonic lives will be sacrificed, how many more Masonic homes will
be destroyed before the sleeping giant of American Freemasonry arouses to meet
the need and to fulfill our sacred obligation?
is your answer, what do you advise and what will you do?
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Educational Committee and Its Work
Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan, through its Committee on Masonic Study and
Research, has been bringing to the attention of the Craft in that jurisdiction
various matters relating to the Craft degrees. The last year was devoted to
the Second Degree, the preceding one to the Entered Apprentice ceremony and
the present season is to carry the work through the Third Degree.
program for the current year is quite comprehensive and is reprinted below to
enable our readers to know what is being done in that locality as well as to
assist existing Study Clubs in the arrangement of programs. References, as
recommended by the Study and Research Committee, are included for convenience.
NOVEMBER - Opening Third Degree. Review of previous degrees.
M. M. Handbook, p. 16.
Meaning of Masonry, p. 124.
DECEMBER - Preparation, Exception, Prayer, Circumambulation.
Sanderson's Examination, p. 79.
Mackey's Symbolism, p. 141.
Street's Symbolism, p. 144.
JANUARY - Obligation, Points of Fellowship.
Sanderson's Examination, p. 81.
Street's Symbolism, p. 155.
FEBRUARY - The Legend of the Degree.
M. M. Handbook, p. 74.
Mackey's Symbolism, p. 228.
Haywood's Symbolism, p. 268.
Address of M. W. Bro. Thornton given in full in the book of Essays published
by the Regina Masonic Research Club.
- Sprig of Acacia, Eccl. xii, The Lost Word.
Sanderson's Examination, p. 91.
Mackey's Symbolism, p. 249.
Street's Symbolism, pp. 157-161.
Haywood's Symbolism, p. 256.
Moral Teachings, p. 57.
- Apron, Working Tools.
M. M. Handbook, p. 62.
Street's Symbolism, p. 145.
The Completed Temple. The qualifications of a M. M. or when is a man a M.M.
M. M. Handbook, p. 106.
Mackey's Symbolism, p. 86.
Closing Third Degree. Summary of the Symbolism of the Third Degree.
M. M. Handbook, pp. 101 and 106.
Sanderson's Examination, p. 58.
Committee further recommends that each of the above subjects be consulted in
following books are kept by the Grand Lodge and are recommended by the
Sanderson's Examination of the Masonic Ritual.
Haywood's Symbolical Masonry.
Wilmhurst's Meaning of Masonry.
Teachings of Masonry.
guide to the method of treating the various subjects the Committee has
supplied the following outline covering the November topic:
opening of a lodge in any degree is of the greatest importance, for, depending
entirely upon how well that duty is performed will the work of the degree be
appreciated and become of personal benefit. Although lodge work is carried on
by the assembled brethren we should not forget that the meaning is personal
and individual, each degree only adding to and strengthening that of the
former degree, reaching its climax when the candidate passes through the
valley of the shadow of death to behold that bright and shining morning the
meaning of which the Master is at some pains to make plain to the Master Mason
who henceforward is expected to follow that light implicitly.
back then to the First Degree we discover that: The candidate is prepared
without the lodge - is admitted to a lodge already opened by the method used
in that degree. He is in darkness (without knowledge) and is to be trained or
taught that the degree is only a preparatory school in which is exhibited
symbolically all things that he must avoid, and also those he must practice
and emulate in order to be in a fit and proper state to be advanced to the
Second Degree and permitted to explore into the secrets and hidden mysteries
of nature and science; and it may be here asserted by the experience expressed
by all ancient initiates - without true preparation the laborer labors in
vain, for nature does not give up her secrets for any purpose less noble than
for the highest benefits of mankind.
"Having learned that the purpose of all nature is for the benefit of mankind
and that even man must sooner or later pass through another great and
mysterious change to another life the opening ceremony of the Third Degree
prepares all his mental processes to pass through the ordeal; an ordeal that
is beautifully told but of its real significance the raised or resurrected
Master Mason alone can tell for no two receive quite the same impression yet
once assembled with their brethren the result would apparently be the same.
will at once be apparent to the student who analyzes the motive of each degree
that a detailed opening of the lodge in each degree is the only one that can
be of value to the 'seeking' Mason, for the reason that the mind is raised by
complete and successive stages to an appreciation of the final epoch and
transition to another life.
come out of the turmoil and strife of our everyday life, to rush into a
serious contemplation of the higher and sacred truths which Masonry attempts
to unfold to its members is impossible without the three steps of opening
which are the means of inducing that peaceful, quiet and contemplative
attitude necessary to Divine union."
References: Any brother preparing a paper on this subject should first read
one or more of the following books: The Meaning of Masonry by Wilmshurst; The
Magic of Masonry by Powell; Ward's M. M. Handbook.
circular letter sent to all lodges by the Committee on Masonic Study and
Research embodies the following suggestions for arousing interest in the
might be possible for neighboring lodges to adopt similar programs and then on
one or two meetings arrange a fraternal visit, the visiting lodge giving the
paper and the home lodge leading in the discussion.
a paper is given it is important to get a discussion on the topic as it is
generally acknowledged that this does as much if not more good than the paper
itself. In order to facilitate this work it is suggested that a copy of the
paper be given to the Brother, who is to lead the discussion, a few days
before the actual meeting. This gives him a chance to emphasize the points
that appeal to him, to look up any references he may wish, and be in a
position to offer the friendly criticism that causes a general discussion.
essential too to have a 'question box' at each meeting and your Committee are
prepared to take care of any questions that come up which cannot be answered
by any brother present."
work of Masonic Education in the Jurisdiction of Saskatchewan seems to be most
ably handled. The above outline of their program for the coming year is
comprehensive, and the material furnished with it seems to carry a number of
concrete suggestions which might be adopted to advantage by many American
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.
FREIMAURERISCHES LESEBUCH, Eine Einfuhrung in das Freimaurerische Schriftum
Band II, by Dr. August Horneffer. Published by the Verein Deutsches Freimauer,
Leipsig. Boards, analytical table of contents, 183 pages.
"Freemason's Reader" is highly interesting and instructive. In it we are given
enlightening glimpses into the German Weltanschauung, there is no real
equivalent for the word in English; the German world-view, way of looking at
things, may serve. The work is made up of a selection of speeches and
addresses made by leaders in the realm of German thought and life, by
scientists, philosophers and statesmen. Of course a statesman may speak like a
scientific philosopher, and conversely a philosopher may be scientific and
student of psychology will find much valuable material, material that
constitutes a striking body of evidence for the supremacy of the subjective
over the objective world - "things are not what they seem"; that is, things
exist for the individual as they impress themselves mediately through his
prejudices, predilections, and according to his understanding, upon the inner
man, the ego, or, according to Prof. Freud, the superego.
quite special interest are two addresses, the one by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1853,
when he was fifty-three years old, and the other by his son, Kaiser Frederic
I, in 1883, at the age of fifty-one. What a contrast! The latter is
sufficiently brief to be quoted in full:
must not rest in our search, our examination and exploration. We ought not to
maintain or support the traditional simply because it has become valuable, and
dear to us, as a heritage, because it has become a cherished habit. As far as
we are concerned we should ever be mindful of the principle, not stagnation
similar contrast is presented to the reader in an address by Johan Gottlieb
Fichte in 1803, and a discourse by Dr. Horneffer, the editor of the book, in
which he enunciates a set of ideas or doctrines. Fichte says:
as, in the eyes of a Freemason, the earthly purpose is to the eternal, the
heavenly purpose, so is the profit, interest and advantage of the state in
which he (the Mason) lives to the profit and advantage of the whole of
humanity. . . . In his (a Mason's) inner being, patriotism and
internationalism are inwardly united, the two are in a definite relation.
Patriotism actively constitutes internationalism, humanity constitutes the
idea, the ideal. The first is appearance, the second the inner side of the
appearance, the invisible in the visible world.
ideals presented by Dr. Horneffer are very widely different:
Germanization and Humanization are one and the same thing. There is no
abstract humanity. . . .
Master of Nazareth stood above patriotism as an ideal only in so far, and
because, he was more than human. In so far as he was human he was a child of
his time. For every people internationalism must be conformed to patriotism. .
this reason we German Freemasons are opposed to political equalization just as
we reject human equalization. God has made us Germans. . . .
author here represents, mirabilissime dictum, the general attitude, the
standard, the ideal of a large majority of the human race, but in the opinion
of the present writer this was not the ideal of the founders, the pioneers of
our organization, the Fraternity and Society of Freemasons; and it was not the
ideal of, nor is it in accord with the teachings of Him from whom we learned
to say, "Our Father, Who art in Heaven." For if He is our Father, then all
human beings are brothers in fact; and of this He gave us one great lesson,
one great example when He washed His disciples' feet.
* * *
OUTLINE INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS. By T. H. Robinson, D. D.
Published by the Oxford University Press (Milford). Cloth, 244 pages. Price,
is an admirable book for those interested in the origins and the comparative
study of religions. There is an increasing body of seekers after true
knowledge as opposed to the knowledge of dogmatic assertion. The latter of
course has its value which varies in proportion to the truth it contains. But
a true student cannot remain satisfied under any tutelage which precludes
investigation and discussion.
Fortunately, Dr. Robinson is not dogmatic. He is meticulously careful in
avoiding statements of preference. One feels that he is bent only on eliciting
facts, allowing them to speak for themselves.
there is more in the book than facts; there is the correlation of them. The
arrangement of material follows a plan that is both logical and natural. One
cannot claim that it is also chronological because, in dealing with the
primitive ages of human development, it is not always possible from the
evidence to state the time-order of religious progress; in the strictly
historical periods other considerations carry more weight than mere
chronology. In order to illustrate this latter point, let us turn to the
concluding chapters of the volume (vii-ix). Chronologically, Islam is the
latest monotheistic phenomenon. Yet it is not by any means the most
significant in wealth of content, or in evolutionary power. Islam is a static
religion. Accordingly the author treats of Islam first, and reserves the place
of honor to Christianity as the climax in an age-long spiritual pilgrimage
(pp. 178-207; 208-244). No one nurtured in the bosom of Christian civilization
will quarrel with him for that.
who have browsed among the pages of Frazer's Golden Bough and read carefully
Otto's Idea of the Holy will be interested in the author's treatment of the
feelings and beliefs which group themselves about such words as mana, psyche
and pneuma, anima and spiritus. The discussion arises in the course of a
masterly review of the various types of theory which are based on the
available facts of primitive religion (pp. 30-46). In this section the author
also separates clearly the belief in the prolongation of life after death from
the religion of primitive man. Monotheistic faiths exhibit the two in close
conjunction, belief in the continuity of life here and beyond the grave
depending upon belief in God. But the evidence seems to indicate that
originally these two lines of thought, or better, instinct, were collateral
and independent of one another.
Although Hebrew history and prophecy are the special province of Dr. Robinson,
his statement of the monolatrous conditions of pre-exiled Israel does not
appear convincing. While many scholars will accept his affirmation as
descriptive of the religion of the masses, the teaching of Amos and Hosea is
undiluted monotheism (pp. 102-3; 167-171).
Nevertheless it may be said that the book is lucid, eminently readable (with
occasional gleams of humor) and strongly to be recommended not only to
beginners in the study of religion, but also to more advanced students who
desire to see the subject of their investigation presented in a concise yet
* * *
WRITE: A Book of Helpful Suggestions on Various Phases of Writing. Published
by the Corona Typewriter Company, Inc., Groton, New York. Price, $1.25.
book, if you follow its suggestions carefully, will make money for you."
Indeed a most enticing sentence with which to open a volume!
truth compels me to admit that it is one of the best little books I have ever
read on the subject. Above all, it is intensely practical; it tells in simple
and well chosen words just what you wish to know. It is the sort of book which
every magazine editor prays his contributors will read before burdening him
with manuscripts such as I have seen in my day.
Barton contributes a chapter on "Developing a Style." It is as terse and to
the point as his own well-read editorials. Ray Long, now vice-president and
editor-in-chief of the International Magazine Company, which publishes, among
others, such magazines as "Good Housekeeping," "Harper's Bazaar" and the
"Cosmopolitan," presents a chapter, "The Writing of Fiction," which prompts
one to drop his work and start right out on one of those fine ideas which come
in the silences of the night but which fall so flat after the next morning's
breakfast. Mr. Long's articles are illustrated by practical examples, and
leads one to the chapter on "How to Prepare a Manuscript," so that it will
possess the ear marks of a professional writer and have a better opportunity
little book closes with a bibliography of literature on writing. The titles
are excellent ones, really selected with care, and not put in merely to fill
volume is recommended to all writers, especially to those of the Masonic
Craft, even though contributions to Masonic literature are not productive of
the money which is promised in the introduction of How to Write. But perhaps
efforts to produce Masonic literature may be good practice for manuscripts of
a more remunerative nature, for, after all, it is continuous practice which
develops a writer. Even Masonic scribes are paid occasionally for their
labors; I speak from experience!
* * *
ROYAL ROAD TO ROMANCE. By Richard Halliburton. Published by The Bobbs-Merrill
Co., Indianapolis. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 3,99 pages. Price,
fact that Mr. Halliburton's first book was published two years ago may be
reason enough for not noticing it in review columns of the press. It would
doubtless be more timely to make mention of his later work, but it is of so
little importance compared to the earlier effort that the preference is given
to The Royal Road to Romance, an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable book.
Halliburton, a Princetonian, enjoys the plague of the wanderlust. The choice
of words may be criticised in the above sentence, particularly by those who
are plagued by the same desire for wandering, but in this case the word
"enjoy" describes the sensation more nearly than any other. The author had the
craving for travel and actually satisfied it and therein does he differ from
most of us.
story can be told in few words, but the author consumes a volume of almost 400
pages and not one of them should be omitted. The present writer would not
object if the narrative were carried to twice its length. It is no more than
the adventures of a young collegian filling the interval between school and
the business world with a "vagabond voyage around the world," to use a phrase
of his predecessor, Harry A. Franck.
trips of Franck and Halliburton differ in many ways. Their itineraries are not
the same, and their observations show marked differences in character. Franck
is a student of life and his tale palls at times because of his minute
descriptions of customs, though the tale is interesting nevertheless.
Halliburton, on the other hand, is a romanticist and revels more in the beauty
of a landscape than in the peculiarities of its people. Both are keen
observers; both are college men, and both gained their desired ends. Their
aims were different and their tales vary accordingly, but this is not the time
for such comparison.
enumerate all of the bright spots in the journey of Halliburton would require
more space than is available. It is impossible to forget his ascent of the
Matterhorn, possibly because when the summit was reached Halliburton was awed
by the scenery while his companion was engrossed in the more prosaic thought
that there was one place in the world where it was possible to spit a mile.
Paris is interesting primarily because it recalls places and events and not
for any unusual happenings in the tale. The visit to Andorra, a little
republic in the heart of the Pyreness, is a fascinating bit of narration, and
Gibraltar furnishes anecdotes enough to satisfy anyone.
this is overshadowed by the night spent on top of the Pyramid of Cheops. A
foolish prank you may think, but none the less a stopping place on the Road to
Romance. It is no more than a way station however, because we are enthralled
by the beauty of the Taj Mahal and a night spent in its gardens. Romance must
have been in the air that night, but for the satisfaction of a craving for
romance could anything have been more healing than the Valley of Kashmir?
There is the romantic ballad, one of the Indian Love Lyrics, you must know it,
the Kashmiri Song, it is one of the most romantic bits of music I know, and
from Halliburton's descriptions the country lives up to its reputation.
narrative follows the established rules of story telling, and leads to a
climax in Japan, but not before the author has had many interesting adventures
in the South Seas. The midwinter ascent of Fujiyama alone is the most
thrilling adventure of all and in some ways the, most romantic.
as the book itself is concerned there is little to say, except that it is up
to the standard set by the narrative. It is well bound and printed on a good
quality of paper. The illustrations are well done and copious in quantity. The
Royal Road to Romance is a book everyone should read and it is suitable for
* * *
QUATUOR CORONATI, Vol. xxxviii, Parts I and II .
Quatuor Coronati Lodge and its Secretary and Editor, Bro. W. J. Songhurst, are
to be congratulated on the progress being made in catching up with the arrears
in publication, due to the war and the consequent period of depression. At the
present rate of progress the normal state of affairs may soon be looked for.
During the year 1925 W. Bro. J. Heron Lepper was Master of the lodge, which,
it is needless to say, is one of the highest honors in the select circles of
Masonic scholarship. We trust that many of our readers will make the
acquaintance of the valuable History of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, recently
reviewed in THE BUILDER, of which he and Bro. Philip Crossle are the joint
first paper in the two parts under review is one by Bro. Boris Telepneff on
Russian Freemasonry in the reign of Alexander I. The history of the Craft in
Russia is very obscure, and any new light upon it is very welcome. The first
definite historical starting point seems to be the Provincial Grand Mastership
of Gen. James Keith. He was appointed in 1740 by his brother, the Earl of
Kintore, then Grand Master. He had been in the service of Russia for some
years at the time of this appointment.
the reign of Catherine II, Masonry seems to have flourished greatly, in the
higher social circles especially. There are rumors that Paul I, who succeeded
Catherine in 1796, was a Mason, but they are unsupported by any real evidence.
It was at this time that the Knights of St. John were driven from Malta (1798)
by Napoleon and an attempt was made to reestablish them in Russia. Paul I took
up their cause, and is said to have made all the Masters of Lodges in Russia
promise him personally never to open a lodge without his permission, and in
return made them Knights of Malta. Freemasonry thus became dormant, or at
least concealed any activity that may have existed. When Alexander followed
Paul there were great hopes that the lodges might be permitted to resume their
labors because of the new Emperor's known liberal tendencies. In 1803 the
prohibition against secret societies was relaxed in the case of the Masonic
Fraternity, and Alexander himself became an initiate.
were two tendencies manifested in the Craft. One towards Christian mysticism,
the other following French liberalism, and presumably also the scepticism that
went with it. To these were added the Swedish system, which derived directly
from the Rite of Strict Observance. This, as is well known, was an exclusively
Christian system, and still is for that matter. The government found this
apparently a useful instrument and favored it accordingly while the lodges
under French influences were regarded with suspicion.
However even those lodges which were approved were under strict supervision;
all were required to furnish lists of members, times of meetings, and so on.
Bro. Telepneff thinks that this had the effect of driving some of the more
liberal lodges underground.
Swedish Strict Observance, with its absolute subordination, enslavement it
might almost be called, of the Craft degrees to the higher grades did not
appeal to the German and Germanophile element, with the result that
Schroeder's rite was introduced. This and Fessler's rite were at one in
seeking to return to the "original plan" of Masonry and restoring directive
power to the Craft proper. The result was much dispute between the opponents
of the "High Grades," and those who supported them in their privileged
position. The disagreement reached such a pitch that in 1815 two Grand Lodges
were formed out of the members of the Directorial Grand Lodge Vladimir, which
before this was at least nominally the ruling body of the Craft. It is
impossible to give even a sketch of the story of these two bodies. The one
holding by the Swedish Rite was more cohesive, but much the weaker
numerically. The other attempted no supervision of its constituents, who were
free to work as they saw fit. Bro. Telepneff points out the gradual
deterioration that set in, both in spirit and in the quality of membership.
The final result was that many Masons became thoroughly dissatisfied with the
developments and some even communicated their fears to the government and
advised the suppression of the whole organization. It would seem that the
lodges did not actually become political centers, but they did, apparently, in
many cases, serve as stepping stones or antechambers to secret societies of a
revolutionary type. The Emperor, after much hesitation, finally issued a
decree closing all the lodges, and in August, 1822, the last meeting was held
to hear the edict read and to act upon it and thus pass out of existence. The
real reason for this was not the decree, but the fact that the spirit had
departed from the Russian Craft and only the shell remained to crumble at the
Students of the ritual will be interested in a very full account that is
quoted from the Russian author A. P. Stepanov of the form of admission in 1817
in a Russian lodge. It tallies closely with the briefer accounts given by
Tolstoi in some of his works, and is parallel to French forms of the same
following paper was one by Bro. Geo. W. Bullamore on the Antiquity of the
Third Degree. This was pretty severely handled in the ensuing discussion,
especially by Bro. Daynes. In his method, however, there does seem to be some
justification for Bro. Bullamore. The facts are all pretty well known by this
time to all students of Masonic origins, and those new ones that have
occasionally turned up in recent years are nearly all of the same kind as some
one or more of those previously known. The problem is very much that of the
archeological expert who tries, for example, to reconstruct a Greek vase from
a miscellaneous heap of pottery fragments. In museums such reconstructions can
sometimes be seen where the pieces are fastened to a core of plaster or other
material, and many of the fragments perhaps do not even touch the surrounding
ones. We have a number of isolated scraps of evidence and the problem is, to
find some pattern into which they will all fit. Items that really connect
exist, but there are many that stand by themselves; and presumably
reconstruction will always be hypothetical, and depend on the imagination and
preconceptions of the individual.
bias that Bro. Bullamore exhibits, and it has affected many besides him, is
that of trying to find evidence for things that developed later than 1730
before that date. Leaving aside his suggestions regarding the Knights Templar,
he seems quite seriously to hold that "Mark" Masonry existed, at least in the
form of a class of Masons he denominates "Mark Fellows," and he quotes Bro.
in operative days the mark was not selected or conferred without some sort of
formality conducted in open lodge.
formality we may indeed surmise, as the minutes of Mary's Chapel and other
like records indicate. The newly entered Mason selected his mark, and it was
"booked," and a fee was paid to the Clerk for doing so. As the author of the
day that a prentice comes under the oath he gets his choice of a mark to put
upon his tools, by which to know them. . . . Hereby one is taught to say to
such as ask the question, where got you that mark? A. I laid one down and took
cryptically, alludes to the fact that the fee for registration was "one mark
Scots." Here we have a simple formality, but hardly a ceremony. The most
probable hypothesis to account for the use of "Mark Masonry" is that it was a
deliberate attempt to preserve the custom of choosing a mark, once universal
and as much a matter of procedure as registering the apprentice's name, but
which with changed conditions had gradually lapsed.
Bullamore's theory seems to be that there were three kinds of Masons, each
with a fraternity and ceremonies and secrets of its own, the plain Masons, who
seem to be the same as the layers; the Mark Fellows, who were stone-cutters
and carvers; and the Masters who were architects. By an amalganiation of these
elements he would account for our present three degrees. To revert to our
illustration of piecing broken pottery, it seems rather like increasing the
size of the core in order to find places for all the fragments far enough
apart so that no one could say positively that some intervening part is not
conceivable that would connect them. Naturally the only way to disprove such a
reconstruction is to find some other arrangement that brings the pieces closer
together, and perhaps puts some of them in actual contact.
much is made in the paper of the introduction of the chisel in the 12th
century. This undoubtedly marked an epoch in technique, but the use of the
chisel does not mean that the axe or gavel-hammer was discarded. It continued
to be used for roughing out the work and would form part of every mason's kit.
Early ornament was not worked with the axe but with the pick, and in effect
the pick was chisel and mallet in one - only it needed far greater manual
skill, just as the adze needs far more skill than the plane. On the other hand
work could be done with the chisel that would be practically impossible with
the pick, so that, as has happened in other crafts, a new tool lessened the
skill of hand necessary but opened new avenues of development.
more thing only can be touched on: in his reply at the end of the discussion
Bro. Bullamore advanced some evidence that seems on its face to indicate that
the "book" mentioned in most of the Old Charges, upon which the oath was
taken, was not the Bible, nor even the Gospels, but the book or roll of the
Charges itself. This opens up a new question altogether, and one that needs
Part II there is a paper by Bro. W. J. Williams on Alexander Pope, and another
by Bro. J. Heron Lepper on Irish Ambulatory Warrants with the rather romantic
title of "The Poor Common Soldier." Both are of very great interest. It may
surprise most people to learn that Pope was a Roman Catholic and even more to
learn that in addition he was a Freemason. However, as Bro. Lepper stated in
the discussion up till about a hundred years ago, the majority of Masons in
Ireland were Roman Catholics, and Bro. Williams pointed out in his paper, the
Grand Master was himself a Roman Catholic in the year that the name "Alexr.
Pope" first appears in the list of members of the lodge at the "Goat at the
Foot of the Hay Market."
the late Bro. Chetwode Crawley who first suggested that the Alexr. Pope of the
list referred to was the well known poet. Bro. Daynes, who always proves
himself a most vigilant critic, points out that Bro. Williams has not brought
us at all nearer to certitude on the point. Pope is not a rare name, nor yet
is Alexander. There is no proof that the Freemason was also the poet. But Bro.
Williams, in his reply, said he had merely taken the suggestion for whatever
it might be worth, and showed from Pope's writings that, whether a Mason or
not, he freely satirised the Craft and its members.
Lepper's paper adds a lot of new information regarding military lodges, many
of which came to America at one time or another, and were very influential in
shaping the form that Freemasonry took in this country when it declared itself
independent. A very interesting argument is offered that the lodge Parfaite
Egalite registered under the Grand Lodge of France, as belonging to "the
Regiment of Walshe" may have had some documentary proof of its claim to have
been constituted in 1688. Originally this was an Irish regiment in the service
of James I and which later fought for James II against William of Orange in
Ireland. From thence what was left of it went to France and entered the
service of the French King. As Bro. Lepper says if students of Trinity College
in Dublin were joining the Fraternity in 1688 why not (and indeed a fortiori)
part concludes with the account of the annual summer outing of the lodge in
1925 by Bro. Lionel Vibert. This time the visit was made to Dorset, which is a
country rich in antiquities of all periods, from prehistoric times to those
that in comparison are but of yesterday. The members of the lodge who made the
pilgrimage seem, as usual, to have had a very interesting and enjoyable time.
* * *
PILLORY. By John Bond. Published by the Fellowship Forum, Washington, D. C.
Cloth, illustrated, table of contents, 76 pages. Price $1.10.
seems strange that anti-Catholic propaganda so often falls into the same
errors as pro-Catholic publicity. That such is the case is strikingly
illustrated in the present volume. There is no need to go into great detail,
but the underlying principle of all propaganda seems to be the publication of
facts, expurgated to meet certain needs. In other words it is generally
impossible to say that a bit of pro-something or anti-anything publicity is
fallacious in its premises if the propagandist knows his business. The facts
may be absolutely correct, founded upon the best of historical evidence, and
yet be so written as to give a false impression. This is, of course, not
deliberate lying, but it is the very essence of the science of propaganda.
Pillory is clearly an illustration of this type of publication. The book is
well written, devilishly clever in its construction, and doubtless will
succeed in its purpose. John Bond is by far the best writer on the staff of
The Fellowship Forum. He has a way of telling the truth, as far as he goes,
and the result is far more effective than the blatant criticism so often seen
in the pages of some periodicals. The book deals with the Pope Alexander VI,
Roderigo Borgia. The reputation of the fumily is too well known to require
much comment. Their dissoluteness is known on every hand and when it is
expressed in modern English the effect is enormous. The impression is gained
immediately that any organization which permitted such license and immorality
is, and cannot help but be, as immoral at the present time. That is precisely
what Bond wants to convey.
more is said I should like to make the statement that I hold no brief for the
Roman Church, but I do like to see fairness in criticism.
been said that we cannot understand a man until we know the times in which he
lived. There is the secret of Bond’s book. Instead of telling anything about
the moral standards of the fifteenth century, he proceeds to allow us to judge
by modern rules of conduct. That Alexander VI was worse than even his times
seems possible, but it does not appear that he was very much worse. There have
been other churchmen who had illegitimate children, others who poisoned those
who stood in their way, and doubtless others who indulged in the Bacchanalian
orgies which characterized Alexander VI. These were not so severely
criticised, and their escapades are not so we known. The mediaeval period was
steeped in this sort of thing.
book should be read by everyone. It is interesting, but it needs an historical
background of the period to modify the effect of the horrors depicted. It must
also be remembered that the "Counter-Reformation" was really a great
reformation in the Roman church, even if not on lines that Protestants would
approve. It would also be possible to argue that if it had occurred earlier
there would never have been any Protestants. However, in the nature of things,
when the corruption had so completely affected the central organization, the
impulse to reform could only be supplied from without, which made the revolt
labelled "the Reformation" a necessary antecedent.
* * *
SON OF MAN AND THE NEW NATIONS. Published by the Danite Publishing Co. Paper,
not familiar with the precise creed of the Danite organization, and it is not
easy to fathom the meaning of this pamphlet. It seems to be rather eclectic,
based upon the Bible, especially the apocalyptic parts, Revelations and the
more obscure prophets. But with this is apparently material drawn from the
Kabbalah, Alchemy and other mystical schools, including Astrology.
Vegetarianism seems to be also part of the creed which would there parallel
Buddhism. The end of the world, or day of judgment, seems also to be looked
for, though not exactly in the traditional way apparently, while California it
seems is to be the center of a new world order in the millennium to come.
* * *
FOUNDERS OF THE REPUBLIC. By Claude G. Bowers. Paper, 36 pages. Twentieth
Century American Novels, by William Lyon Phelps. Paper, 28 pages. The Foreign
Relations of the United States, by Paul Scott Mowrer. Paper, 34 pages. A Study
of English Drama on the State, by Walter Prichard Eaton. Paper, 32 pages.
Published by the American Library Association, Chicago. Price, 35c each.
are reading courses, each prepared by a recognize authority in the special
field. They are component part of a much larger group of pamphlets published
by the American Library Association under the general heading Reading With a
Purpose. It is the design of each of these courses to sketch briefly the field
to be covered and to suggest certain books which will enable one to gain a
working knowledge of the subject without following the haphazard practice so
common among readers generally. There is no intention upon the part of the
compilers of these reading curricula to limit the list to those books of which
mention is made, but merely to suggest a point from which to begin a
systematic study of any particular subject. It is only natural to suppose that
anyone who read the books prescribed will find references to other works which
will encourage him to delve deeper into the subject he has chosen. A strong
recommendation for following these courses is the moderate price of each of
the books recommended and the fact that all of them will be found in any good
public library. It is not necessary to buy the texts, though it does seem
likely that anyone having a real interest in any of the subjects will want to
own those books which are mentioned in the course, as well as others which may
suggest themselves. The average total cost of the books to which reference is
made is between $20.00 and $25.00 for each course.
WAYFARERS' CLUB IN ARIZONA
Wayfarers' Club, located at Whipple, Ariz., was organized Dec. 1, 1920. Its
membership consists of Master Masons who are patients at this U. S. Veterans'
Bureau Hospital, and who are suffering from tuberculosis, ex-patients,
physicians at the hospital and a few subscribing members from brethren who
reside in Prescott. Patients in this hospital come from all states of the
Union, and only about 5 per cent from the State of Arizona.
Initiation fee is $1 and dues are 50 cents per month. Patients not drawing
compensation or those whose financial conditions will not permit, pay no dues.
assistance of this club is extended to all sick or disabled Master Masons,
whether members of the club or not.
purpose of this club is to care for their more unfortunate brethren,
distribute flowers, speak words of cheer and perform those acts of kindness
and brotherly love which their home lodges are unable to do on account of
their distance from the brethren.
accomplish this, it is necessary to have funds with which to work. The various
Masonic bodies in this state and from afar have contributed from time to time
to this work. At present our funds are low, and we are taking this method of
appealing to you for assistance.
are no salaried officers in this club and the following statement for the
fiscal year, July 1, 1926, to June 30, 1927, will give you an idea of bow our
funds are used:
Balance carried over $118.79
Dividends from defunct bank 130.18
Stationery and printing 46.75
Entertainment, charities, etc 388.91
club is sponsored by Aztlan Lodge, No. 1, Prescott, Ariz., and has upon
various occasions been given the approval of the Grand Lodge of Arizona, whose
officers are honorary members of this club.
soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate
their miseries, to relieve the distressed, and to restore peace to their
troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view.
this work appeals to you, if you believe in it, if you want it to be done, may
we not hear from you at an early date?
* * *
your July issue W.B.S. asks in regard to the origin of the Teutonic Cross,
which he finds used in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Teutonic Cross is known in heraldry as the Cross Potent. It is also known as
the Cross of Jerusalem, although the latter is usually shown with four small
crosses added, one in each angle.
Cross Potent acquired the name Teutonic Cross through its use by the German
pilgrims. The Teutonic Order was organized in Jerusalem about 1190. Their
dress was a mantle with a Cross Potent embroidered in gold. Emperor Henry VI
gave them the black Cross Potent. Later King John, of Jerusalem, added to this
a Double Cross Potent, gold. Then Emperor Frederick Il added an Imperial Eagle
in an escutcheon in the center of the cross.
cross is described in heraldry as "A Cross Potent, sable (black) charged with
another Cross Double Potent, or (gold) and surcharged with an escutcheon
argent (silver) bearing a Double-Headed Eagle sable (black)."
* * *
not see what object is to be gained by "attacking" the R. C. Church. I feel
that the Masonic Order and the R. C. Church are so diametrically opposed that
there can never be any rapprochement between them, and the antagonistic
attitude of recent articles will do much to disturb that neutrality which has
existed between the R. C's and Anglo-Saxon Masonry for some years. I cannot
help expressing the fear that politics may possibly be at the bottom of this
anti-Catholic campaign and, if such is the case, then it strikes me as not
only a very dangerous movement, but contrary to the principles of the Order as
a non-political institution.
will not, I am sure, think that I would bar all references to Roman
Catholicism in a Masonic journal. In a research magazine I think that they
should be confined to the contacts made between the two organizations in their
historical aspect, or in the exposition of divergence in their respective
not see what the article on the Quebec school question or that on the Quebec
marriage laws has to do with Masonic research, though, of course, of great
general interest. I think the first article dealt very fairly with the
subject, but the second seems dangerously critical of the Quebec Bench. To
attempt to deal adequately with the paper would necessitate looking up some of
the recent annulment cases, and would be much better handled by a lawyer, but
I will make a few general observations.
paragraph headed "The Limits of Ecclesiastical Authority" is a true statement
of the case, but I do not agree with the writer's conclusions that the
decisions have gradually acquired quasi-civil authority.
is a tendency among those unfamiliar with the Code - particularly amongst
newcomers to the Province - to criticise it in other particulars besides
marriage, but familiarity with it engenders respect. This has been my own
article in the Code concerning impediments to marriage reads . . . the other
impediments recognized according to the different religious persuasions . . .
remain subject to the rules hitherto followed in the different churches and
recall that a very recent decision annulled a marriage between two of the
Jewish faith because of an impediment recognized by their Church.
solemnization of marriage confers certain civil rights upon the parties
contracting it, which remain, even if the marriage is not, recognized by the
various religious communities (not necessarily R. C.). For example, unless a
contract is made before marriage, the parties become common as to property (i.
e., on the death of one of the consorts, the other takes half of the estate.
This is putting it roughly). Surely, if persons find themselves married in the
eyes of the law by a marriage unrecognized by their Church, it is but
equitable that they should be able to sue for an annulment of that marriage,
and the civil rights created by it.
practice of declaring marriages null and void ab initio has always existed in
Quebec, certainly since the promulgation of the Code in 1866, and the grounds,
as I have shown above, are not confined exclusively to Roman Canon law, nor is
it true to say that "the Courts still occasionally grant annulments of
marriage for reasons other than those recognized by the State." Further I find
no reference in the Code to "undue influence" or "duress" as grounds for
objections can be raised to a marriage being annulled “on a number of grounds
other than those recognized by the rest of the Dominion?" Quebec is a
sovereign state in matters of marriage, the provinces retaining control at the
time of confederation. Art. 185 of the Civil Code reads: "Marriage can only be
dissolved by the natural death of one of the partners; while both live, it is
indissoluble." Consequently no action for divorce can lie in the Quebec
courts. If a petition for divorce goes to the Federal House, it is granted on
division only, the R. C. members voting against every petition.
developed criticism of this article more than I intended, and am afraid that
my comments are not very well ordered.
above is part of a letter to the Editor. As our correspondent suggests that
perhaps the author of the article referred to may not fully appreciate the
situation, we may say that Prof. Vial is a native of the Province of Quebec;
that he was born and educated in Quebec city, where the English speaking
residents are a very small minority, and that he has a very wide acquaintance
with French Canadians both in town and country, and that there is no one who
is less likely to "attack" the Roman Church. Neither is THE BUILDER attacking
it, as we have once more explained in the editorial columns. At the same time
Bro. A. J. M. gives another point of view that requires consideration.
* * *
KNIGHTS OF MALTA
THE BUILDER has given to its readers a good deal of information about the
Knights of Malta and since one branch of Masonry confers this degree, it may
be of interest to Masons to know the correct way to address the Master of the
parent stem of the Knights of Malta. This is especially true since recently
the Pope of Rome has introduced into this country this most exclusive order
which in Europe admits only nobles of high and long degree.
the 17th century the members of the college of cardinals were addressed as
"Most Illustrious" and "Most Reverend." In the forepart of the 17th century
Pope Urban VIII ordered that the cardinals (princes of the church), the
electors of the Holy Roman Empire and the Master of the Order of Malta, should
have the title of "Eminence" and should be so addressed.
1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved as it was feared that Napoleon would
make himself Holy Roman Emperor. This left this title of honor only to the
members of the Sacred College and to the Master of the Knights of Malta.
Knights in this country belonging to the Roman branch are mostly millionaires
and considered equal to the members of the oldest European nobility, should
their Master, and themselves by courtesy, personally be addressed as "His
Eminence"? Burton E. Bennett, Washington.
further letter has reached us from Bro. Bennett containing a newspaper
clipping of an Associated Press report describing the marriage of Princess
Anna of France to Prince Amedo of Savoy on Nov. 5 of this year. The point of
interest in the present connection is that the bridegroom is said to have been
in the uniform of a Lt.-Col. of Artillery and "wearing his many decorations,
chief of which was the Order of Annunciata and the Order of Malta."
regard to the question raised as to the proper title of address of the members
of the Order in the United States we have no information at hand. If any of
our readers knows the answer we should be pleased to insert it as a matter of
* * *
would seem that in my recent articles I have failed to make my position clear.
Bro. R. J. Meekren on page 304 of the October BUILDER says: "It would seem in
fact that Bro. Briggs really holds that only those professing belief in the
creed of one of the Protestant denominations are properly eligible to
me to say I do not hold any such opinion. Freemasonry has nothing to do with
the creeds - we leave these to the churches. All I insist upon is that a man
shall accept Masonic fundamentals.
I was initiated in Cooper Lodge, No. 36, at Boonville, Mo., in December, 1879,
1 had stated in my petition that I was a firm believer in the one living and
true God. Early in my Masonic career I was taught that no man, especially a
Freemason, should ever engage in any great or important undertaking without
first invoking the aid and blessing of Deity. I was told that in the beginning
God created the heaven and the earth, that the Holy Bible was one of the Great
Lights, that it was God's inestimable gift to man, and it was commended to be
the rule and guide of my faith and practice. Since then I have served as
Worshipful Master, High Priest and Commander. I was elected Grand High Priest
in 1894, Grand Master in 1899, and am now Grand Prelate of the Grand
Commandery of Missouri. I have been President of the Convention of Anointed
High Priests of Missouri and Sovereign of St. Andrew's Conclave, No. 11, Red
Cross of Constantine, have been a Royal and Select Master since March, 1888,
and a member of Ararat Shrine since June, 1889, and for a number of years a 32
degree Scottish Rite Mason. I have attended five Convocations of the General
Grand Chapter of the United States, have visited Grand Lodges of other states
and seen the Masonic degrees conferred in other Grand Jurisdictions and have
yet to learn that the instruction given me when I was initiated has become
the contrary the Grand Lodge of Missouri has always stood by these
fundamentals. During the past year I installed the officers of seven lodges.
In each instance I required the Master-elect to admit "that it is not in the
power of any man or body of men to make innovations in the body of Masonry.”
The man who does not accept these fundamentals ought not to petition a lodge
may be many good men who do not believe what Freemasonry teaches. Let them
make fraternities of their own. Let them found the Grand Imperial Order of
Snollygosters and take in every good fellow who does not like to retain God in
his knowledge, but Freemasonry is good enough and broad enough for me. I am
not willing to accept any doctrine of Human Brotherhood which has not as its
basis the Fatherhood of God. On that rock Freemasonry builds and stands
* * *
a striking coincidence that the college fraternity to which I belong bears a
strong similarity in symbolism to the Lodge of the Holy Cross, of the Island
of St. Croix, Danish West Indies. The fraternity "Sigma Chi" founded in 1855
at Oxford, Ohio, uses a white cross as its main emblem. This without its
academic and fraternal symbols is a facsimile of the main emblem of Lodge of
the Holy Cross, instituted at the aforesaid location in 1779.
the coincidence is certainly striking and perhaps Bro. Black is entitled to
draw the conclusion that there may be some connection between the lodge and
his college fraternity, I am inclined to think that he is carrying the
symbolism a bit too far. I too, am a fraternity man, though not a member of
Sigma Chi. I recollect several years ago hearing Dean Thomas Arkle Clark of
the University of Illinois, one of the best known and most thoroughly posted
men in the field of college fraternities, make reference to the fact that a
great many colleges used a cross in one form or another as a part of their
emblem. It was his opinion that the cross almost always symbolized the
crucifixion. A student of symbology will agree that this is most likely in a
Christian country. Perhaps Bro. Black is as familiar with college fraternity
badges as the writer and it will not be necessary to mention more than Alpha
Tau Omega, Sigma Nu, Phi Delta Theta, the last uses a sword which is no more
than a modified cross, to call to mind the similarity. It is perhaps
coincidental that the Sigma Chi cross and that of the lodge are the same, but
I am firmly convinced that a better and more likely source for the symbolism
would be the New Testament and not the lodge at St. Croix.