The Builder Magazine
January 1927 - Volume XIII -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Historical Notes on the Grand Lodge of Ohio, F. & A. M. - BY BRO. J. J TYLER,
Mormonism and Masonry Unanswered Questions - By BRO. S. H. GOODWIN, Utah
BROTHER'S CONCEPTION OF GOD
Historical Notes on the Grand Lodge of Ohio, F. & A. M.
BRO. J. J TYLER, OHIO
"GRAND Convention of Freemasons in the State of Ohio" was held at Chillicothe
Jan. 4, 1808, for the purpose of forming the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
Representatives were present from Marietta, Cincinnati, Warren, Zanesville and
Chillicothe. The lodge at Worthington was represented by its W. M., the
Reverend James Kilbourne, but for some reason, not now known, his credentials
were deemed insufficient and the lodge was not allowed a representative in the
convention. The formation of the Grand Lodge of Ohio antedates that of the
Most Worshipful United Grand Lodge of England five years.
next Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was held at Chillicothe
Jan. 2, 1809, being "the day appointed by the grand convention for the first
Grand Communication of said Grand Lodge." The Grand Lodge consisted of the
accredited delegates of but four lodges that met in convention and organized
the Grand Lodge, the American Union No. 1 of Marietta not being represented.
"About the time it would have been necessary for them to commence their
journey, an alarming and unprecedented inundation had laid that town under
water, and the distress and confusion inseparable from such a situation
probably prevented the attendance of their delegation." The credentials of New
England Lodge had not been approved and only four lodges surrendered their
charters and submitted their by-laws, Chillicothe, Zanesville, Warren and
Although the Grand Lodge had been regularly organized by five lodges the
previous year, yet the legality of continuing its existence with a
representation from but four lodges seems to have been a matter of grave doubt
as the subject was referred to an able committee, of which the Honorable Bro.
Lewis Cass (General Cass was the first Grand Master of Ohio and later be came
Grand Master of Michigan) was chairman. Their report was adopted by the Grand
Lodge and a copy sent to all other Grand Lodges "in the Union."
this report the committee state that although it was customary for five
subordinate lodges to be present previous to any business being transacted,
yet only four lodges were present at the formation of the Grand Lodge in
London, and "if the present opportunity should pass, and the work we have
already performed be lost, we have little prospect of the establishment of a
Grand Lodge in this state for an indefinite period." The constitution of the
Grand Lodge of Kentucky was adopted for temporary use.
name adopted at the time of the institution of the Grand Lodge was "The Grand
Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons
of the State of Ohio," and it was later incorporated under that name.
THE OTHER LODGES RECEIVED THEIR CHARTERS
Grand Lodge of Ohio was the sixteenth Grand Lodge established in the United
States. The six Masonic lodges existing in the State of Ohio at the time of
the formation of the Grand Lodge in 1808 were:
American Union Lodge, No. 1, organized June 28, 1790, by Capt. Jonathan Heart
who was the last Worshipful Master of a military lodge by that name. The
organization took place at Fort Harmar (the first military post in the
Northwest territory and was built in 1785) opposite Marietta. This lodge is
now American Union Lodge, No. 1, Marietta, Ohio.
Novo Caesarea Lodge, No. 10, was chartered Sept. 8, 1791, by the Grand Lodge
of New Jersey, and after a union at a later date of two factions is now known
as Novo Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Erie Lodge, No. 47, was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Connecticut Oct. 19,
1803. Later, after a long period of inactivity, it was reorganized as the
present Old Erie Lodge, No. 3, Warren, Ohio.
England Lodge, No. 48, was chartered at the same time as Erie Lodge, No. 47
(Oct. 19, 1803), and is now New England Lodge, No. 4, Worthington, Ohio.
Amity Lodge, No. 105, was chartered June 24, 1805, by the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania and is now the present Amity Lodge, No. 5, Zanesville, Ohio.
Sciota Lodge, No. 2, was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Nov.
22, 1805, and is now Sciota Lodge, No. 6, Chillicothe, Ohio.
ENGLAND LODGE, NO. 4, F. & A. M.
England Lodge, No. 4, of Worthington, Ohio, was chartered by the M. W. Grand
Lodge of Connecticut as No. 48 on the roll of the Grand Lodge Oct. 19, A. D.
1803. The lodge continued to work under this charter until the convention
called to meet at Chillicothe on the first Monday of January, 1808, to form a
Grand Lodge. At that convention the lodge was represented by its Worshipful
Master, the Reverend James Kilbourne, but for some reason, not now known, his
credentials were deemed insufficient and the lodge was not allowed a
representation in the convention.
first meeting of the Grand Lodge, held on Jan. 2, 1809, New England Lodge was
requested to join with other lodges in the Grand Lodge, and to send its
representatives to the next Annual Communication.
next Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, in 1810, New England Lodge was
represented by its Worshipful Master, the Reverend James Kilbourne, who was
elected Junior Grand Warden by the Grand Lodge to which office he was
re-elected in 1811.
1818 Bro. Chester Griswold, of New England Lodge, was elected M. W. Grand
Master of Masons in Ohio, and Bro. John Snow was elected R. W. Senior Warden.
1819 John Snow, who was then Master of New England Lodge, was elected M. W.
Grand Master, which position he held until the Grand Communication of 1824,
and in 1829 he was again elected Grand Master and served one year as such.
1820 the present brick lodge building was erected on a lot owned by John Snow
who, in April, 1824, for the consideration of ninety-five dollars, executed a
deed conveying the lot with its appurtenances to Jeremiah Morrow, as Governor
of the State of Ohio, and his successors, to hold the same for the use of the
lodge and Horeb Chapter for the uses and purposes named forever.
lodge continued to work through the anti-Masonic period (1828-1842) and was
represented at every Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio except
1832 and 1833. In 1829 and 1830 the Annual Communications of the Grand Lodge
of Ohio were held in this building. "The last communication of the Grand Lodge
of Ohio to be held in the old Temple was occasioned by the visit of Sir Alfred
Robbins, of the Grand Lodge of England, on May 31, 1924, at high noon, by
Grand Master Bro. C. M. Vorhees, of Columbus, Ohio."
1887 the M. W. Grand Lodge of Ohio, for the protection of its subordinate
lodges and their members from the impositions of the promoters of
clandestinism, declared the so-called Cerneau bodies to be "irregular, illegal
and un-Masonic," and subsequently issued an edict prohibiting all Masons of
its obedience from becoming members therein or promoting in any manner the
interest of bodies declared by it to be clandestine.
response to a mandate of G. M. Levi C. Goodale requiring their renunciation of
Cerneauism, at a meeting of New England Lodge, No. 4, in April, 1891, "a
resolution was adopted declaring that New England Lodge renounced its
allegiance" to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and that it "would act as an
independent lodge." Being largely in majority in officers and membership the
rebellious members immediately took possession of the lodge room, charter and
all other property of New England Lodge. As soon as advised of the situation,
Grand Master Goodale arrested the charter of New England Lodge, No. 4 (1891),
but a short time later it was restored and the lodge has continued to work
ever since as New England Lodge, No. 4, F.&A.M.
proceedings of the Grand Lodge show that about April 28, 1891, twelve disloyal
members of New England Lodge, with three other Masons, members of a loyal
lodge, organized a so-called Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
of Ohio. The suspended members having been in the majority, as has been
stated, retained possession of the lodge building, furniture, library and
records and even refused to surrender the old charter of 1814, and "an action
was begun by the suspended and expelled members claiming to be beneficiaries
under the Snow deed, to cancel and set aside the deed." The case was carried
through the courts until it reached the Supreme Court of Ohio, by which "it
was decided that the loyal members were the proper beneficiaries under the
deed made by John Snow to the Governor of Ohio."
September, 1907, the Clandestine Lodge surrendered the property to its
rightful owners, New England Lodge, No. 4, and at the first stated meeting in
October, 1907, the lodge held its first meeting in the old building since its
surreptitious possession by the clandestine body.
Ohio Freemason of January, 1912, "official publication of the Grand Lodge of
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio," lists seventeen lodges -Ohio, 7,
Pennsylvania, 8, and New Jersey, 2.
of "Decision No. 4," in the M. W. Grand Master's address to the Grand Lodge of
Ohio, Dayton, Oct. 25, 1887.
Inquiries have been made by a large number of brethren as to the legality of
certain bodies in this jurisdiction claiming to be Masonic, which go under the
name of Cerneau Bodies of the A. and A. S. Rite.
Answer. - A reference to my decision No. 18, made last year, and approved by
the Grand Lodge, has, in most cases, been a sufficient answer. But a more
specific answer has been requested by some who are members of such bodies, and
who desire a direct answer to the question, "Are they regular and legal, or
irregular and illegal?" To such, the answer has been as definite as could be
desired, viz.- That they are irregular, illegal and un-Masonic, and ought not
to be countenanced or recognized in any manner.
Mormonism and Masonry Unanswered Questions
BRO. S. H. GOODWIN, Utah
Sage of Concord has somewhere expressed his disapproval of those who demand
consistency in the conduct of life. He advised those to whom he addressed
himself to think and act today, regardless of what was thought and done
yesterday, or of any contradiction that may follow on the morrow. Such a
course as this may present no difficulties in the case of a dreamy philosopher
and apostle of Transcendentalism, but with a prophet and herald of a new
evangel, the situation is not so simple, for to his other functions is bound
to be added that of exemplar. In other words, he must commend this newly
discovered "more excellent way" to others by his own strict adherence to its
requirements. Further, for one who claims to have been divinely commissioned
to proclaim to an apostate world that all of its religious forms and beliefs
are wrong and unworthy of acceptance, (1) and that he alone, of all the sons
of men, has been made custodian of a new faith that is to save a lost world
--for him to be indifferent to such an important matter as agreement between
precept and practice in his own conduct, and for this inconsistency to involve
a manifest disregard of the plain teachings of the latest very word of God, of
which that same prophet is the sole messenger: such circumstances are bound to
call for an explanation, "for if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who
shall prepare for war?"
the "uncertain sound" given forth concerning Joseph Smith's connection with
Freemasonry, and the consequent bewilderment among certain of his followers
that furnish the subject of the present paper. "Why was Joseph the prophet a
Freemason ?" and "Why is the church [Mormon] opposed to secret societies?"
These questions--more particularly the first one--slightly varied in form have
often appeared in print in church publications and have long been subjects of
interest, and sometimes of discussion by followers of this latter-day prophet.
informed Craftsman a casual reading of these interrogatories will probably
disclose the secret of their vitality as being rooted in an obvious and
perplexing inconsistency on the part of the founder of this new faith. The
Mormon church, organized in 1830, is based upon the Book of Mormon; and for
this, and for the other standard works of the church, all of which are the
veritable Word of God, and which beyond dispute inculcate opposition to secret
societies, Joseph Smith was primarily and immediately responsible. The
teachings of these books on this subject are so clear and unmistakable that
they are used by the leaders of the church, as the ultimate authority, to
discourage any connection. of the disciples of this faith with such
organizations. Yet, Joseph Smith himself became a Mason at Nauvoo--Why ?
previous papers the present writer has set forth some of his findings with
reference to certain contacts of Mormonism with Masonry. (2) In this study
attention is directed to certain of the attempts made by church writers during
the past sixty years, or thereabouts, to explain the Mormon prophet's
connection with Freemasonry and to minimize the influence of the palpable
contradiction between his teachings and practice in this respect. The
necessity for such an explanation and a justification of the glaring
inconsistency referred to becomes apparent when we consider, for example, the
unparalleled claims of the prophet and the exalted position assigned to the
head of the church by his followers. This will be made manifest as we proceed
but an illustration or two may well be given place here. Said a recent
president of the church:
to God and Christ, on earth, is placed one unto whom the keys of power and the
authority of the holy Priesthood are conferred and unto whom the right of the
presidency is given. He is God's mouth-piece to his people, in all things
pertaining to the building up of Zion and to the spiritual and temporal
salvation of the people. He is God's vicegerent. (3)
Joseph Smith it was declared by the same official:
Lord raised him up . . . and endowed him with divine authority. (4)
fact is well known, as intimated above, that the Mormon church is opposed to
secret societies. This antagonism is based on the explicit teachings of the
"Book of Mormon," "Doctrine and Covenants," "Pearl of Great Price," and the
"Holy Scriptures Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation by
Joseph Smith." The first three books named are the standard works of the
church, that is, they have been adopted as such by formal action of the
church, while the fourth furnishes a part of the contents of the "Pearl of
Great Price." And the additional fact is worthy of record here that inasmuch
as these books purport to be later revelations of the will and purposes of the
Almighty, and since the doctrine of immediate, or continuous, revelation is a
basic principle of the organization it follows as a matter of course that they
largely supersede the Great Light as a rule and guide to faith and practice.
Indeed, the Mormon prophet himself did not hesitate to assign first place to
his "Golden Bible," as witness this statement, recorded in his journal:
the brethren [the twelve apostles] that the Book of Mormon was the most
correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man
would get nearer God by abiding by its precepts than any other book. (6)
recently two members of the council of the "twelve apostles"-on different
occasions--touched on the superiority of the standard books of the church. One
declared that in many instances the sacred writings believed in by
Christianity are not equal to the modern revelations given by Joseph Smith and
recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. The other stated "that the Bible at
best is only a record--not the gospel, and gives no authority to act in God's
unmistakable hostile references to secret organizations in the several books
named above and especially in the Book of Mormon are so numerous, and their
meaning is so unequivocal that there is no escape from the conclusion, it
would seem, that to those who accept these volumes as containing the authentic
revelations of the divine will, membership in any secret society--outside of
the church--is strictly prohibited. And this, as will be shown presently, is
the construction placed on those passages by the teachers and leaders of the
previous study on the general subject of Mormonism and Masonry, the present
writer traced these strictures to the Mormon prophet's reaction to that
bitter, malignant anti-Masonic environment in the midst of which he lived at
the time the alleged "translation" from the "plates" was being made and given
to the world. (7) The fact will be recalled that in the earlier study just
alluded to the point was made that at the time William Morgan disappeared
Joseph Smith lived only a few miles from Batavia; that a year, almost to a
day, after that disappearance the "golden plates" were given into the hands of
the prophet; that during that period and subsequent thereto--as well as for
some time previously-he had been subjected to those powerful influences which
wrought such tremendous changes in the entire social fabric of that part of
New York and bereft the people of both willingness and ability to weigh facts
fairly, and united them in the one common purpose to destroy the Masonic
institution. In common, too, with the great majority of the inhabitants of
those pioneer settlements Joseph Smith and his father's family had been caught
in the swirl of religious excitement--generated in those immense camp meetings
that marked the period just antecedent to that now under review-which for
years intermittently gripped the people of Western New York and gave birth to
an unhallowed brood of sects and isms and religious controversies. The young
prophet himself has put on record the fact, as noted by another, that his
first great psychic experiences were aroused by a revival, one result of which
was his first "vision." No better preparation than this could have been had
for the ready acceptance of the vicious and groundless charges made by the
enemies of Freemasonry, or to assure their reappearance in the Book of Mormon
along with many other echoes and reflections of the prophet's environment. (8)
SMITH'S KNOWLEDGE OF MASONRY
too, Joseph Smith must often have witnessed the conferring of the various
Masonic degrees by renouncing Masons in great public mass meetings called for
the purpose, and have been familiar with the long series of resolutions often
presented at church conferences and public mass meetings, which recited the
alleged misdemeanors and crimes of the Craft, including about every offense in
the criminal calendar, and which were adopted with the greatest enthusiasm and
given trumpet voice through the press. Further, it will be recalled that in
the paper on "Anti-Masonry in the Book of Mormon," referred to above, evidence
was presented which established beyond reasonable doubt that the principal
charges formulated by the enemies of Masonry during that period reappear in
the Book of Mormon, often in the very phraseology in which the original
resolutions were framed. To be sure all these references to secret societies
in the Book of Mormon appear under the transparent disguise of an alleged
history of an ancient American secret society which operated, it is said,
among the early progenitors of the Mormon faith, but the real source of these
passages cannot be successfully controverted. Their manifest origin in the
unhealthy religious and antiMasonic atmosphere in which the prophet lived so
impressed his contemporaries that attention was called to the fact by them as
something generally understood and about which there was no controversy. (9)
And the additional fact is not without significance in this connection that
Oliver Cowdrey, Joseph Smith's first amanuensis and one of the "witnesses" to
the "divine origin" of the Book of Mormon, was "bitterly opposed to the
PRESENT ATTITUDE OF THE MORMON CHURCH
much with reference to the origin of portions of the Book of Mormon appeared
to be necessary in order that certain facts essential to a proper
understanding of the background of the present study might be in possession of
whatever the manifest origin of the Book of Mormon, and its unmistakable
reflections of local conditions of the period, to the Latter Day Saint it is
the veritable word of God, the keystone of his religion, as the prophet
insisted. Hence its pronouncements with reference to secret organizations are
authoritative, binding, and declare the will of the Almighty. And the position
of the church with reference to these societies, if one may judge from
oft-repeated utterances of those who are authorized to speak for that
organization is in harmony with these teachings. Evidence in support of this
statement is abundant but only a few illustrations can be given here.
F. Smith, later president of the church, in reply to a correspondent who
requested him to "give some Bible and Book of Mormon evidences that secret
societies are the institutions of the evil one," gave a considerable list of
references to three of the books named above (but none from the Bible) and
reason why the church, through its authority, is opposed to its members
connecting themselves with oath-bound secret combinations must be clear to
every well-informed Latter Day Saint. Revelation has plainly pointed out their
origin, character and tendency. (11)
another occasion the same writer, when discussing "Secret Societies," quoted
at length from the Book of Mormon, (12) and stated that it was eminently
proper that attention should be directed to this subject, among other reasons
. . .
that our young men who in some quarters are being induced to become members of
secret organizations may be reminded of the word of the Lord on this subject.
very strange that Latter Day Saints, with the Book of Mormon in their hands,
should become entangled in these institutions against which a prophet of God
has so emphatically raised his voice--institutions which threaten the
liberties of all people and portend the destruction of whatever nation fosters
them.... But all this aside [he had discussed at length reasons given by these
young men for such action], the saints have the word of the Lord upon this
subject, and they are made acquainted with the warning that the Lord has
placed on record concerning secret organizations; and whatever the seeming
advantages may be, the word of the Lord ought to restrain men who believe in
that word from becoming connected with those institutions. Whatever they may
have in view now we have the word of the Lord for it that they will seek to
overthrow the liberties of all lands and of all people who foster them, and
with such affairs Latter Day Saints ought to have nothing to do. (13)
reader who is at all familiar with the character of the charges so often
hurled at the Craft by their anti-Masonic enemies will readily detect a
strongly reminiscent flavor in some of the phraseology of the last quotation.
For example: " . . . institutions which threaten the liberties of all people
and portend the destruction of whatever nation fosters them"; and: " . . .
they these secret societies] will seek to overthrow the liberties of all lands
and of all people who foster them."
reasons for the opposition of the church to secret societies have been urged
by the authorities, as in the following instance:
church is provided with so many priesthood organizations that only these can
be recognized therein.... There is enough to do in the Ward organizations
under church control.... No member of the church should be led away by men who
under any pretext seek to induce them to become members of any organization .
. . outside the control of the church. (14)
a well known truth that the counsel of the first Presidency of the church, in
all cases, has been and is against our brethren joining secret organizations
for any purpose whatsoever . . . however worthy their aims . . . they are
outside the pale of the church and by joining them, young men divide with
man-made organizations their allegiance to the church.... In joining other
societies than the church, young men render themselves liable to have their
feelings, in whole or in part, alienated from the church.... Those of the
brethren who are still in doubt as to the evils of secret organizations, will
find abundant proof in the history of the church, as written in the Book of
Mormon.... The members of our church who have faith to heed the advice of the
authorities thereof, will not ally themselves, under any pretense with any
organization not instituted by the Lord for the building up of Zion. (15)
serious objections presented by church leaders against membership in these
secret societies include, among others: interference with "quorum duties";
furnishes an excuse for not paying tithe -the lodge dues being given
preference--and membership makes such demands upon the resources that Elders
have declined to go when "called on a mission." (16)
has been said to indicate the position of the church on this subject as well
as some of the reasons for that position. Before taking leave of this phase of
the subject, however, it may be well to introduce one or two quotations to
show the character of the measures adopted by the church authorities for
dealing with those who, in the face of the plain teachings of their sacred
books and the known disapproval of church authorities, become associated with
president of the church when addressing a large gathering of young people, in
the Salt Lake Tabernacle, on the subject: "Secret Societies," used the
of the fallacies and wickedness in the people doing this [that is, becoming
members of these organizations]. They are bound to hold secret all that
transpires and to defend their members whether they are doing right or
wrong.... Now I'll tell you what the church has done about this. We have
passed a resolution that men who are identified with these secret
organizations shall not be preferred as bishops or sought for as counsellors.
The same when it comes to selecting Mutual Improvement Association officers.
The men who have done this have disqualified themselves and are not fit to
hold these offices.
own responsibility, I will say that any man who is a member of these
organizations ought not to be allowed the privileges or blessings of the
same official returned to this subject on another occasion when speaking at a
Quarterly Conference of the church. If any of the followers of the prophet
present had been uncertain as to the mind and purpose of the church in this
matter that uncertainty must have been dissipated by the president's words. He
authorities of this church have the right, and will use it to excommunicate
members who will set aside the authority placed over them by God, for all
members must act in harmony with their bishops and stake (sic) presidency.
the Mormon church is opposed to its members having any connection with secret
societies must be manifest. That the grounds of this opposition are to be
found in the teachings of the four books named in an earlier paragraph is no
less clear. That Joseph Smith, "by the spirit of revelation," was the
instrument used by God to give to the world these latter-day revelations is
not only admitted but is proclaimed by the church. That this herald of a new
gospel was not only selected from among all the sons of men for this "divine
mission," but for a period of something like seven years (1820-1827), he was
especially tested, trained and instructed for this peculiar responsibility, is
also affirmed, and that without any qualification whatever. To him was given
the high privilege of standing next to "God and Christ on earth." More, "The
assertion of Joseph Smith that he had seen the Father and Son in a cloud of
light, is true." (19) More unusual still it is matter of record that one of
these two, addressing the prophet, "pointed to the other, saying: "This is my
beloved Son, hear him !" (20) And further, in order that no part of his
preparation should be wanting it is recorded that:
May, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized, and by John the
Baptist, ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. His words in ordaining them
were--"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of
the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of
sinsand this shall never be taken away again from the earth, until the sons of
Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." (21)
the foregoing statements represent facts, fully confirmed, the literature of
the church clearly teaches. Yet, the prophet Joseph Smith, occupying a
position in relation to Deity unique in the world's history; with unequalled
opportunities of knowing the will of God by direct revelation, and the purport
of the teachings of the sacred records of the church touching secret
societies--he of all men, disregarding the will of the Most High as therein
set forth, allied himself with the most reprehensible of all these
organizations and became a Freemason! And this connection with Masonry appears
not to have been regarded by him as a mere incident, or matter of
indifference, as certain church writers would have us believe. (22) On the
contrary, Freemasonry appears to have met with his hearty approval and
support. He seems to have been the first candidate to receive the degrees in
the newly organized Lodge at Nauvoo; by example at least he encouraged his
followers to become Freemasons, and this they did in almost incredible
numbers; he visited other lodges with Grand Lodge officers; he approved the
building of a Masonic hall in Nauvoo, was present when the cornerstone was
laid, and six months after the dispensations of the Nauvoo lodges had been
annulled by the Grand Lodge he attended the dedication of the building and,
apparently, continued to be present at the meetings of his lodge up to the
time of his death. On occasion, too, and in emergencies, he did not hesitate
to appeal to, and invoke the assistance of the Fraternity, as witness these
words from that strange and inexplicable document of the many for which he was
responsible, "An Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys":
appeal, also, to the fraternity of brethren who are honored by kindred ties,
to assist a brother in distress, in all cases where it can be done according
to the rules of the order, to extend the boon of benevolence and protection,
in avenging the Lord of his enemies, as if a Solomon, a Hiram and a St. John,
or a Washington raised his hands before a wondering world and exclaimed: "My
life for his." Light, Liberty and Virtue forever. (23)
again, in that final, tragic moment in Carthage jail, when the bullets of a
frenzied and irresponsible mob cut short his life, the last words that fell
from his lips were a fragment from the Masonic ritual. (24)
CAUSE OF THE INCONSISTENCY
foregoing facts have been set out with considerable detail in order that the
reader whose acquaintance with the situation may be limited, may have before
him some of the elements that enter into the problem presented by the
prophet's unexplained change of base with reference to secret societies. Now
to summarize, briefly, before passing to the next phase of the subject.
have shown that the Mormon church is opposed to secret societies; that this
disapproval rests upon nothing less than the clear unqualified teachings on
the subject in the several basic books adopted and accepted by the church;
that Joseph Smith, founder of the church and "prophet, seer and revelator" of
that organization was responsible for those books; that the numerous
references to secret societies to be found in these works, more particularly
in the Book of Mormon, represent his unmistakable reaction to the anti-Masonic
environment in which they were produced, and finally, that the prophet,
regardless of the repeated warnings, denunciations and explicit teachings of
the word of God, not only became identified with Masonry, but he appears to
have approved of the institution and to have given to it the measure of
interest, time and service of the average member.
these facts in mind we are in position to understand the significance--to his
followers--of the prophet's action, and to appreciate the anxiety of the
leaders of the church to lessen the influence of his amazing and perennially
APOLOGISTS FOR SMITH'S ACTION
present writer does not-know how early the necessity for an explanation and
justification of Joseph Smith's connection with Masonry made itself felt. He
does know that fully fifty years ago a prominent church writer dealt with the
prophet's inconsistency in this matter and presented what he conceived to be
the motives that prompted this action. Earlier than that, we suspect, the
adherents of this faith were too busily engaged in solving the very real and
immediate problems incident to settlement in a new and forbidding country, and
wresting from a reluctant, sage-brush desert subsistence for themselves and
families to give any thought to such questions. Then, too, the bulk of the
membership were people of mature years--fruits of the missionary campaign
carried on from the very beginning of the church. They were of the same
generation as the prophet; the influence of his person and story was still a
dominating factor in their thought and faith and life, and the gospel he
proclaimed--had it not received the martyrs' seal in Carthage jail? But with
improved material conditions: the coming of something like order, and an
established community life, and the institutions which are a part of such
life, the area of interests naturally widened, and opportunities were afforded
for a consideration of the foundations on which was builded this new faith.
more influential than anything else in the matter under consideration, we
suspect, was the coming to maturity of a younger generation in this household
of faith. They were young children, or were not born when the events occurred
which sifted and solidified the membership of the church, and made possible
its later development. The older people could very well go on ignoring any
problems or perplexing questions growing out of their early history, or could
regard them as a part of "the mystery of faith." But their children did not
start out from their point of view, and were without that experience which
confirmed their parents' conviction that with leaders who were the very
mouthpiece of God there was no occasion for concern. With them, without some
rational explanation of apparent and acknowledged contradictions, their faith
might be weakened, or even blighted. At all events this theory finds support
in the fact that the discussions of the questions which furnish our present
subject--as well as of the more serious ones respecting the methods employed
in "translating" the Book of Mormon--have for the most part first appeared in
the literature prepared for the young people f the church.
Considerably more than twenty-five years ago the attention of the writer of
these lines was first directed to the subject of this paper, and the
questions, together with the answer given at that time, at once engaged his
interest. The communication containing these queries was addressed to the
editor (later a president of the church) of a then recently established young
people's magazine. In reply to the question, "Why was Joseph the prophet a
Freemason?" the editor did not venture to formulate an answer, in his own
words, but instead referred his correspondent to a certain passage from the
prophet's journal. This reads:
. . .
I preached in the grove on the keys of the kingdom.... The keys are certain
signs and words by which the false spirits and personages may be detected from
true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed....
There are signs in heaven, earth and hell; the Elders must know them all, to
be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition. The devil
knows many signs but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. (25)
SMITH'S OWN EXPLANATION
uninitiated these words are likely to convey little of meaning, and to suggest
even less of reason for connecting them up as an answer to the question under
consideration. As just noted, the editor made no comment. Apparently he
considered the words themselves a complete and sufficient answer to the
question asked. Under the circumstances the assumption seems to be justified
that the significance of this passage is so generally understood by Latter Day
Saints, and the reference to the prophet's connection with Masonry so clear
and unmistakable that all that was required to explain and justify his action
was to give book and page where his words are to be found. But what are we to
understand by Joseph Smith's statement just quoted? This, it would seem: That
the prophet felt that he should become a Mason because he believed the Masons
had in their possession certain "keys," in the form of signs and words which
it behooved the Elders to know so that by this means "false spirits and
personages may be detected from the true," and further, that "the Elders must
know them all, to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent
imposition." And this interpretation seems to be confirmed by the fact that
hundreds of Mormons became members of the Nauvoo lodges, and that in this
number were included the four men, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford
Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow, who in the order named became presidents of the
church as successors of Joseph Smith. How Masonic signs and words could be
used in the manner and for the purpose indicated, the present writer would not
attempt to explain--he does not know. It is barely possible, of course, that
the prophet had in mind another purpose than the one just given. The fact is
matter of common knowledge that his followers today claim that the Masonic
signs, grips, words and ceremonies which form a part of the Temple rites of
the Mormon church were revealed to Joseph Smith by an angel, and that, long
before he became a Mason, and that he desired to determine for himself the
character and extent of the resemblance, and the agreement between the Masonic
ritual and the one in use among angelic beings who made known to him these
it may be well to note the fact, in passing, that the angelic origin of the
Temple ceremonies which seem to be so largely Masonic, and the use to be made
of them, have not always met with full acceptance by followers of the prophet.
A single illustration of this must suffice.
sixty years ago a vigorous church writer expressed himself in no uncertain
terms on this subject. He was discussing "The Keys of the Priesthood," in
response to a quotation from a reader who wished to be reassured that the
"Keys" of the Priesthood which Joseph Smith had given to the world came to him
as a duly authenticated divine revelation. In this connection he said:
is a great deal of talk among Latter Day Saints about his [Joseph Smith's]
having "keys" given to him; or in other words, certain "signs and key-words"
by which he could tell those spirits who belonged to the true order from the
false. It is taught that there is a sort of divine Masonry among the angels
who hold the priesthood, by which they can detect those who do not belong to
their order. Those who cannot give the signs correctly are supposed to be
imposters. Now it is assumed that these secret signs were made known to Joseph
Smith, and that by their aid he was able to escape deception from evil spirits
and hence it is argued that the authority of the priesthood is known to have
come from a divine source.
pointing out what he characterized as "the folly of such an idea," which he
says may be "seen at a glance," he continued:
there is an idea of which a grown up, reasoning man ought to be ashamed, it is
the notion that the God of the Universe and angelic beings has no better way
of detecting devilish spirits and unauthorized beings than by certain grips
and secret words--that, in other words, they need such a puny, imperfect thing
as a species of Masonry by which to keep the evil and the pure apart. (27)
appears to be good sense as well as sound reason in these paragraphs, but the
views of the editor of the young people's periodical, as indicated by his use
of the excerpt from the prophet's journal noted above, appear to be in harmony
with those generally held by church teachers.
PROBLEM STILL OPEN
whatever measure of comfort or satisfaction the editor's correspondent may
have derived from the answer given, for others it seems not to have been
convincing or to have been accepted as final. In other words, the answer did
not answer--the problem remained, and remains, unsolved. This appears from the
fact that quite recently in the columns of the same magazine (and twenty years
after the answer referred to above was given) the present editor of the
periodical remarked, under the caption, "Masonry and Mormonism," that an
inquiry had been received by the church authorities "relative to the prophet
Joseph Smith's connection with Masonry, and its connection with Temple
ceremonies, and to the endowment rites having been copied from Masonry, etc."
The editor added, that the inquirer sought information on these subjects, and
that an explanation had been submitted "which we think will adequately answer
the frequent questions that come to the Improvement Era regarding them." These
words show that Joseph Smith's connection with Masonry, and the palpable
inconsistency of his action in this particular, continue to be a stumbling
block to the younger and more thoughtful ones among the faithful.
present instance the one whose "explanation" was to lay for all time this
troublesome subject very discreetly avoided all reference to the probable
motives that actuated the prophet and were responsible for his affiliation
with the Craft, and devoted his argument to establishing the origin of the
Temple ceremonies. This he finds in a "revelation" recorded in the "Book of
Abraham," which purports to be a "translation" of an Egyptian papyrus which
Joseph Smith obtained, it is said, with a mummy that came into his possession.
He concludes the exposition of his theory with this comforting, if not
Saints may rest assured that what we have through the prophet, in relation to
the priesthood and its sacred mysteries, resulted from the revelations of God
to Joseph Smith, and not from the prophet's incidental and brief connection
with Masonry. (28)
earlier writer does not hesitate to meet the issue squarely and to answer the
question as to motives in the following manner:
will be remembered what an unconquerable aversion Joseph Smith manifested,
even as a boy of fifteen, to receiving any particle of faith or authority from
the churches of Christendom, and also that he was commanded by the personage
in the first vision to join none of them. What then is the significance of his
becoming a Freemason? This: He understood that the chain of Masonry is the
endless chain of brotherhood linking all the worlds--the heavens and the
earths-but he believed that this earth had lost much of its purpose, its
light, its Keys, and its spirit--its chief loss being the Key of revelation.
For instance, his conception might be expressed in the statement that the
Masonic Church on earth ought to be in constant communication with the Masonic
Church in heaven thus constituting a universal brotherhood indeed,
notwithstanding its many nations, races, religions, civilizations and
the foregoing recital of facts it must be plain to anyone that while answers
and explanations have frequently been tendered, and all by friendly writers,
the question: "Why was Joseph the prophet a FreeMason?" has not been
satisfactorily disposed of. The problem presented by his strange indifference
to the divine will, of which, presumably, none had a more complete and
accurate understanding than he, remains a problem still: "a stone of stumbling
and a rock of offense" to many of his followers.
view of these circumstances perhaps the present writer will not be thought
presumptuous if he adds his own speculations on this subject to those herein
recorded. That undue weight may not be attached to his views he freely admits
that he can claim no measure of that "authority" which others have brought to
a consideration of the subject of this paper and which we are justified in
assuming especially qualified them to give a categorical, if unsatisfactory,
answer to this troublesome question.
writer's opinion not one but several considerations were influential in
leading the prophet to reverse himself in the matter of Freemasonry.
the first place, the anti-Masonic movement--so manifestly responsible for the
numerous unfriendly references to secret societies sprinkled over the pages of
the basic books of the Mormon faith--was a dozen years behind him. In the
meantime he had securely established himself in a distant state as the
recognized leader of a numerous and devoted people to whom he was the very
"mouthpiece" of the Almighty. His favorite brother and inseparable companion,
Hyrum Smith, who exerted a continuous and very great influence over him, had
long been a member of the Craft, though apparently, not active therein; so
also had Heber C. Kimball who, next to Hyrum Smith perhaps, stood closest to
Joseph Smith; and many others among his faithful adherents and close personal
friends and admirers were members of the Fraternity. Furthermore, a Masonic
lodge was about to be established in Nauvoo toward which many of his followers
were favorably inclined and in which they would hold membership. It would
hardly be the part of wisdom for him, the prophet, seer and revelator, the
revered leader and guide in all other matters to be excluded from an
institution in which so many of his people would most certainly find a place.
Besides, as intimated in an earlier paragraph, by holding membership in the
lodge he would be in a position to make use of that organization-as he had
made use of all other organizations created as occasion arose and of which his
people were members--to bind them more closely to himself and to make it
contribute to the accomplishment of the ends he had in view. Membership in the
lodge made possible its correlation with the other agencies which he used so
adroitly and effectually to extend and solidify his power. And in view of
certain well-known characteristics of Joseph Smith, especially the strong
tendency to "show off," and to get into the "limelight," (30) the fact that
the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois-a skilled and astute
politician and at the time a candidate for the State Legislature, and who was
looking for votes--was willing to bestow upon him the unusual distinction of
making him a "Mason at sight": this of itself would be an influential factor
in the matter. Nor is it improbable, in view of all that is known of the
irresponsible and practically unlimited power Joseph Smith exercised over his
people at the time Nauvoo Lodge was organized, that he felt quite indifferent
to any necessity of harmonizing precept and practice, if indeed such a thought
occurred to him at all. The mandate against secret societies was to be found
only in the books which he had given to the church and of the actual origin of
which only he had definite and indisputable knowledge. There was none to call
him to account, and he knew, as others did not, how much of value to attach to
the pronouncements contained in the books which he had given to the world. Why
shouldn't he become a Mason, if it pleased him?
motives here suggested are not given as being the only ones that probably
influenced the prophet's action, but we are fully convinced that, to say the
very least, they are quite as likely to have been responsible for his
affiliation with Masonry as any of those put forward by his followers, who,
recognizing the anomalous position of their prophet, have thus far sought in
vain for a satisfactory explanation of his conduct in this particular, and for
a solution of the problem presented by these "Unanswered Questions."
Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 727
Little Masonic Library, Vol. 8; THE BUILDER, Vol. 10, 1924, pp. 323, 363.
Conference Reports, April, 1898, pp. 68, 69; Oct., 1901, p. 96.
Conference Report, Oct., 1917, p. 3; Separatism in Utah 1847-1870, F. D.
Daines, Annual Report of American Historical Association, 1917, p. 334.
History of the Church, Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol. iv, p. 461;
The Mormon Point of View, N. H. Nelson, Vol. i, 1904, p. 146.
Apostle M. J. Ballard, Salt Lake Herald, Dec. 29, 1919, p. 5.
THE BUILDER, Vol. 10, 1924, pp. 323, 363.
Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals, F. M. Davenport 1905, p. 187;
Psychological and Ethical Aspects of Mormon Group Life, 1917, p. 14. E. E.
Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon, A. Campbell, Millenial
Harbinger, Feb., 1831; Journal of a Residence and Tour of the U.S. of North
America, 1833-34, E.S. Abdy Vol. i, pp. 320-325; Vol. iii, pp. 40-42, 54-59.
From Palmyra to Independence, R. Etzenhouse, 1894, p. 345, 347.
Improvement Era, Vol. iv, 1900, p. 59
Ether, Chapter 8
Improvement Era, Vol. i, 1898, pp. 374-376.
Improvement Era, Vol. vi, 1903, pp. 150-151.
Improvement Era, Vol. vi, 1903, pp. 305-307
Gospel Doctrine, Jos. F. Smith, 1920, p. 135
Provo Enquirer (Mormon), Nov. 12, 1900.
Provo Enquirer (Mormon) Jan. 13, 1902.
Millenial Star, Vol. xxxv, 1873, p. 794; Conference Report, April 4, 1926, p.
From Liverpool to Salt Lake, Linforth, 1855, p. 71; cf. History of the Church,
Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol. 1, p. 5. Note, pp. 40-43, Doctrine
and Covenants, Sec. 27; 128:20; Apostle M. J. Ballard, Salt Lake Herald, Dec.
29, 1919, p. 5
From Liverpool to Salt Lake, Linforth, 1855, p. 71.
Improvement Era, Vol. xxiv, 1921, p. 939.
General Joseph Smith, Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys (Pamphlet), Dec.,
1843, cf. History of the Church, Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol.
vi, Note p. 75.
Note: B. H. Roberts, writing years after the event, argues that the prophet
could not have had in mind any thought of assistance from a man-made
organization, but must have thought only of divine help. But John Taylor, at
the time editor of the Times and Seasons, and later a president of the church,
who was with the prophet at the time of the tragedy in Carthage jail and was
wounded by one of the bullets intended for the two brothers, wrote an account
of the events of that afternoon a few days after they happened. He had no
doubt as to the Masonic import of the last words of the Mormon prophet. Times
and Seasons, Vol. v, July 15, 1844, p. 585; cf. History of the Mormon Church,
B. H. Roberts, Note 1, Americana, Vol. vi, July, 1911, pp. 695-96.
Gems from the Life of Joseph, Compendium of the Gospel p. 257, cf. History of
the Church, Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol. iv, p. 608
M. J. Ballard, Salt Lake Herald, Dec. 29, 1919, p. 5; History of the Church,
Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol. ii, pp. 235, 348-351; Improvement
Era, Vol xxiv, 1921, p. 938.
Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 8, 1870
Improvement Era, Vol. xxiv, 1921, p. 938; cf. Little Masonic Library, Vol. 8,
chapters 7 and 8.
Life of Joseph the Prophet, E. W. Tullidge, 1874, pp. 391-392
History of the Church, Period i, Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts, Vol. vi, Note,
disturbance was caused in May, 1842, by a bitter controversy between Gen. John
C. Bennett and Joseph Smith. The former had been thwarted in his personal
ambitions and now repudiated all connection with the church, saying he had
only joined the Saints in order to be able to expose their leaders. From the
slanders he originated came the stories that were used to rouse the passions
of the mob that killed Smith. It was however a schism in the community rather
than in the church. Bennett was forced to resign the office of Mayor which
Smith unwisely accepted. Bennett was tried and expelled by Nauvoo Lodge, but
his part was taken by Bodley Lodge at Quincy which preferred complaints to the
Grand Lodge which seem to have been found baseless.
Past in the Light of the Present
BRO. ERNEST E. THIEMEYER, Missouri
the Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth in the early seventeenth century they
doubtless had little intimation of the importance future generations would
place on their adventure. It is within the powers of modern conception to
believe that even in wildest dreams a vision of the bustling empire of the
present could have come to these hardy pioneers. Equally hard to picture is
the idea that they gave any thought to the possibility of a mass of mythical
stories growing up around them. This might be carried farther into the
development of American history and it would be no more easy to believe that
two such figures as Washington and Lincoln ever dreamed of becoming almost
saintly heroes. It is a tendency, however, to picture the outstanding
personages who have gone before as beings who could do no wrong. The saying
that "the evil men do lives after them, but the good is oft interred in their
bones" has worked, at least so far as America is concerned, in direct
opposites. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were intensely human
characters, but they have been raised upon pedestals of imagination and
crowned with virtues. This frequently makes their lives examples to be held up
for the admiration and worship of the younger generation. That the great good
these men accomplished should not be a source of inspiration is most untrue,
but the mythical character which hangs like a mantle about such men causes the
youth to be a bit disappointed en he finds his hero was actually of flesh and
blood similar to his own.
figure who as a subject for worship attains a the heart of every child. It may
be the dramatic character of the part he played in the Revolution; be his
daring hatred of the then existent laws and the officers charged with their
enforcement. It makes no real difference the truth remains that Paul Revere
stands out as a dominant character. Aside from the purely historical
significance of the man and his acts there is another point which doubtless
will prove interesting. What traces has he left behind and what are the
surroundings of these relics today?
place and only one can supply this information - Boston. Much is said of
Lexington and Concord and the route of Paul Revere's ride. The neighborhood in
which Paul Revere lived receives only passing comment. In the northern portion
of Boston, not very far from the busy North Station, one finds narrow, crooked
streets and on one of them is struck with a not very impressive, but quaint
two-story building. Its rough board finish makes it strangely incongruous in
its more modern surroundings. The feeling of curiosity changes to one of
respect when it is learned that this is the house in which the famous horseman
lived. A closer examination reveals that the windows are of leaded glass, the
panes diamond shaped and some of them faintly purple in the sunlight. The
feeling of age grows when one realizes that these colored panes are originals
and the coloring is due to the action of light and time on certain chemicals
in the glass.
door is opened and one beholds a room bare almost to the extreme. There is not
much furniture, but the table in the middle of the room would gladden the
heart of any collector of antiques. Typically colonial, the furnishings are
just such as might have found a place in the home of an early American
patriot. Immediately to the rear a door opens into the kitchen, on the second
floor two bedrooms. An interminable amount of space could be taken up with
descriptions of this house, but we shall pass on with no more than the comment
that much of the furniture belonged to Paul Revere, the balance is made up of
pieces typical of the period and of such nature as to make the equipage of the
place as near as possible to what it was one hundred fifty years ago.
sense of austere ruggedness pervades the place and it is hard to imagine this
as the home of one so incensed with the ideals of our revolutionist. It is
felt, however, that if the owner became possessed with an idea of right he
would have been determined to fight for his ideal and die for it if necessary.
The bustle of the street is forgotten and for a few moments one reflects upon
the past, almost lives in the period.
thought of fleeting time and much more to be accomplished drives one from his
revery and into the street. The view is of an almost squalid Italian section
of modern Boston. The odor of fermenting grapes pervades the early autumn
atmosphere. Huge cans of refuse from the anti-Volsteadian activities greet
one's eyes and nostrils at every turn. This is frequently since the feeling is
experienced that a warning to automobilists such as is found near Marblehead,
and reading “Our streets are narrow and crooked; please drive carefully,"
would not be out of place. A short walk in the direction of the Charles River
and to the west of the house brings one to the Old North Church. If it so
happens that your visit is timed for noon or late afternoon you will be
followed by a swarm of swarthy olive-skinned children begging to act as guides
through the maze of garlic, spaghetti, etc., to say nothing more of crooked
streets, that leads to the church. Our guide was an Italian of eight summers
who knew his history and recited it in much the manner of the child at a
school celebration. A word of warning is necessary. Be stocked with pennies
and small change or you may find your guide deserting you for a more lucrative
story of North Church is interesting, but sufficiently well known to require
no repetition. Those who have visited any early American churches would find
it boresome because they are all alike. Suffice it to say then that the
original pews are still in use and the church still enjoys the protection of
the Episcopal Diocese of Boston. Services are held regularly and the
congregation is made up largely of descendants of the families who attended in
shorter walk up a hill to the west and we find Copp's Hill Burial Ground
crowning a bluff of the Charles River and commanding a view of Charleston and
the Bunker Hill Monument. On the gate is a bronze plate bearing the following
HILL BURIAL GROUND
INCREASE MATHER 1723
LAKE, DAVID COPP, NICHOLAS UPSHALL, JOHN PHILLIPS, ANTHONY HAYWOOD, JOHN
CLARKE AND OTHERS OF THE EARLY INHABITANTS OF BOSTON
THIS GROUND WERE PLANTED
DESTROYED THE VILLAGE OF CHARLESTON
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
Inordinate curiosity, perhaps it would be better to say morbid curiosity,
makes you swing open the large iron gate and glance around. If your gaze
should wander to the west you would be struck with a seeming incongruity. The
monuments are all small, in the nature of headstones, but above the even rows
rises a monument of recent design. The Mason is first struck with the gray
granite and its broken column. Closer examination is called for and next a
gilt medallion bearing the jewel of a Grand Master rouses your interest to
fever pitch. The inscription clarifies matters and you realize that you stand
before the grave of the founder of Negro Masonry-Prince Hall. There has been
much written on this most interesting subject, and there is no need for our
continuing the discussion. The inscription says:
PRINCE HALL GRAND LODGE
A. M. of MASSACHUSETTS
24th, A. D. 1895 A. L. 5895
could be on the opposite side? We search for an inscription, but our attention
is distracted by a small stone immediately in back of the monument. The
lettering is badly eroded, but it is not difficult to make out that
LIES YE BODY OF
GRAND MASTER OF THE
COLORED GRAND LODGE OF
Dec. 7, 1807.
reverse we read that
LIES YE BODY OF
FEBry- THE 26th
Because of nothing in particular except perhaps a deeply instilled instinct to
turn to the right we follow the western wall of the cemetery. Before fifty
feet have been covered we receive another shock. Glaring from a headstone of
more than average height is a square and compass. Our attention is undivided
and we learn that the stone was erected
Neptune's waves and boreas blast
tost me to and fro
well escaped from all their rage
anchored here below.
I ride in triumph here
many of our fleet
signals call to weigh again
admired Christ to meet.
all those I've left behind
wash'd in Jesus blood
when they leave this world of sin
ever with the Lord.
IN MEMORY OF CAPT. ROBERT NEWMAN, JUN.
DIED AT SEA Dec. 14, 1816.
began as a sight seeing tour has rapidly changed character and is now
furnishing food for thought. We view the morning in retrospect, Prince Hall,
the gateway to Copp's Hill, and here we stop. Who were the men mentioned
there? The frailty of the human mind where names are concerned has overtaken
us and only one stands out - Cotton Mather. In one of those fanciful flights
of imagination we think of Salem. Its quaint streets, wonderful colonial
doorways, the witch monument-here we have it, some where we have beard that
Cotton Mather was associated with Salem witch trials in some way. The thought
is dismissed, we wonder what connection that has with the Masonic graves in
Copp's Hill. Then with some amusement we remember that Montague Summers in his
"History of Witchcraft" says that Albert Pike of Charleston was Grand Master
of a modern sect of Satanists. According to the same author the modern
Satanist is only a survival of the old witch, so perhaps it has more
connection than appeared at first blush.
Somehow we don't recall which side Cotton Mather favored in the Salem witch
prosecution, but we have a feeling that it wasn't the witches.
Cotton Mather did favor the Satanistic cult from Summers' point of view he may
have been a Mason. This brings an interesting comparison, though it cannot be
laid that there is any reason to believe it. Paul Revere, Grand Master of
Masons in Massachusetts, Albert Pike, Supreme Grand Commander of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite, and Cotton Mather, all Satanists according to some
people's views. But we wander and our mind is filled. with foolishness, let us
turn back to Capt. Newman.
now thoughts begin to chase each other through our brains. Paul Revere and
Capt. Robert Newman both Masons. Is there any connection between them? While
we ponder on this though an iron memorial meets our gaze. It is readily
learned that it was erected-by the Sons of the American Revolution. The plate
attached adds to our quandary:
didn't know before, he would by this time be quite sure that April 19, 1775,
was the date of Bro. Paul's famous ride. Living in the past for an hour or
more as we have done inclines one to dream. The crowded streets and tenements
fade from view, all grows dark. It is a night one hundred fifty-one years ago.
We discern faintly a man on the far river bank with his horse. Standing
faintly white against the night sky is the tower of Old North Church. All is
dark and still. A light flashes from the spire, hoofs beat and Paul Revere is
off. Where did that light come from? Who put it there? The dream grows hazy,
was it the sexton?- But there is no one to answer our question. Even this
unsatisfied doubt cannot cause regret that American history has lived, even
though the moment was brief.
BROTHER'S CONCEPTION OF GOD
author of this exceedingly frank confession of the faith that is in him
desires us to withhold his name for very good personal and private reasons.
What he has written will doubtless prove very provocative. We are hoping to
present other articles on the same theme from different points of view by
competent brethren The subject is gone into more fully on the Editorial page.
SOME few months ago I was so rash as to express myself on the subject of
evolution. If recollection does not fail, I went even to the extreme of saying
that the evolutionary theory of genesis was possibly more susceptible of proof
than the account in Genesis. Much to my surprise I was told that I had no
right to hold such an opinion as long as I was a member of the Masonic
Fraternity. The condemnation may not have been as harsh in form as this, but
this was the gist of it. It is this incident which in no small measure
accounts for the full and frank confession I intend to make. It is only after
some thought that I have deemed it proper to express myself on the subject of
God and Freemasonry, and farther than that to make an effort to define the
rather hazily coordinated set of ideas which I call God.
in defense of this decision is necessary. No one realizes any more fully than
the writer that the subject of religion is banned as a topic for discussion in
the lodge. This might, on the surface, seem to preclude the possibility of
anyone defining his God; really it does not. Religion is one thing and God
quite another. In a general sense it may be said that God is the ideal and
religion the means by which we hope to attain that ideal. I shall steer a path
as far from religion (in the above sense) as is possible. There is only one
point which it is hoped to make clear. It is not necessary to call to mind a
certain portion of the ceremony of initiation in which the candidate makes for
himself a short but very significant answer. Usually it consists of just two
words: "In God." The main purpose of this discussion is to define what I meant
when I professed to put my trust in God. A secondary object is to defend
myself and others who are in the same category from the darts of such
thoughtless critics as the one above mentioned and to justify not only my own
membership in the Masonic Fraternity, but the membership of others whose Deity
is as indefinite as my own.
might as well be confessed before going any farther that I do not know what
God is, that is, with any degree of certainty. At times it seems to be one
thing and then, when the surroundings undergo a change, it may be something
very different. There are times when I believe that God is an entity that
lives and breathes as I do. That is when I permit myself to forget the things
I have been taught and revel in the pure joy of living. This experience comes
to all of us, I believe. There are other periods when some thought is given to
the subject and the evidence carefully weighed on every side, which leads to a
conception one might call his rational Deity, the other being his emotional
God. At this time it is not necessary to state in more detail the meaning I
have in mind, it will, I think, become apparent as the thread of the
discussion winds itself through the haze of thought which always surrounds
this subject in my own mind.
human race is made up of creatures who are largely influenced by environment.
It is necessary, therefore, to make some sort of a statement on past life and
surroundings before we can begin to look at this subject of God with anything
like understanding. By this is not meant an understanding of God, but an
understanding of my conception of God. The sort of information necessary
falls, I think, into three main divisions, first, home life and what might be
termed extra-curriculum activities; second, secular education; and last,
religious education. In no one of these three can I profess to anything but
ordinary experiences, just such surroundings as are met day in and day out by
the great mass of American people.
early life was what one would expect to find in an ordinary American home
where peace and contentment are the chief assets and financial status average.
I cannot say that any of my extra-school life was either abnormal or
subnormal. I enjoyed the out of doors, still do for that matter; played the
usual games and associated in the usual manner with my companions. Of recent
years, it must be confessed that I have found my recreation in fields which
are not usually enjoyed by people of my own age. It is, I think, rather
unusual to find those who are still on the near side of thirty enjoying
reading, other than fiction, to the exclusion of most of the lighter pleasures
of life. It is in this respect only that my present make-up is anything but
as education is concerned my equipment is no cause for wonder. The traditional
grammar school training including the three R's and such other material as is
usually confided to the pupils in public schools, was the basis. There was no
such thing as elective work until I reached high school. It was here that I
acquired my first taste of science. I liked it and made most of my
opportunities. Such Botany, Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, and Geology as
came in my path were elected for no particular reason except that I found them
interesting. Aside from the work in science the curriculum required a certain
amount of English, foreign languages, mathematics, history, etc. It was in
college, however, that my interests were allowed to run away from my better
judgment. Here my work was confined principally to Geology and Chemistry. A
smattering of other work was included, but I soon found that there was no
incentive in these fields. I continued my language work because I expected to
use it after years. At this period I was determined to take up oil geology and
expected to be called to foreign fields. The lack of balance in this training
is quite clearly illustrated by the fact that fully two-thirds of my college
work was done in scientific subjects and the other third principally of
advanced work in foreign languages.
would be unfair to consider that education ceased with the formal exit from
schools. I have done, perhaps, more reading since the close of my school life
than the average person. At first it was purely fiction, not entirely of the
best seller class, but rather following the recommendations of men who were
supposed to know the good from the bad. Lately I have delved somewhat into
anthropology, philosophy, psychology, history and such subjects. Religious
training is a phase of education which may raise some controversy. For this
reason I am intentionally avoiding the mention of any particular sects or
creeds. It is sufficient to say that during my lifetime I attended three
different denominational churches. All widely divergent and all, to me,
equally interesting. In none of them have I been able to find just what I
want. Early in life I went to the church of which my parents were members. A
natural and inevitable proceeding. I went through the formality of becoming a
member of the church and attended with some regularity for two years
afterwards. I was about half way through high school when I lost interest. A
little later I changed and became a member of another parish and a different
denomination. The causes for this change are twofold. One is, I think,
unimportant, at least it appears so in retrospect. This was that I was
dissatisfied with the doctrines of the church of which I had originally been a
member. I cannot recall at this writing just what it was that caused me to
cease attending church, but have a feeling that I had lost interest in the
proceedings because they meant nothing in particular to me. The other, and
doubtless most important reason for the change was that one of my schoolmates,
of the opposite sex, attended the institution into which I wandered. For
almost four years I attended regularly, transferred my membership and even
today it remains there though I have been inside the building only once in the
last six years. A few years ago I strayed into another denominational
institution. This was after a period of stress which will find its story later
in the discussion. For a year or more I tried my best to see something that
would hold me to this belief. I then gave up in despair and have been to
church only occasionally in the past two years.
all of my church experience, with the possible exception of the first
affiliation, I have made an honest effort to see and believe in the God of
these churches. In the first case the cessation of interest was due possibly
to some unconscious urging which told me that there I could not find that for
which I was searching. The chief difficulty encountered was collating my
scientific training with religious doctrines. Whether or not this was the real
reason for my losing interest in churches and creeds, I would not care to
state. I disqualify myself as judge on the grounds of incompetency.
this preface we can begin to trace mental developments and changes which have
led to the conclusions I now hold. My first recollection of any conscious
objection to church doctrines comes at a period shortly before I graduated
from the secondary school. I had been studying physiography for several
months. The time came when theories of earthly origin were up for discussion.
I could not understand how the Biblical account of creation could be
coordinated with scientific theory. Still I was not ready to give up the idea
of a Creator. There was much I did not understand and I cannot truthfully say
that conditions here have changed greatly since them. I had not come into
contact with evolution as yet, perhaps, it would be better to say that such
contact as had been made did not mean very much to me. It was not until I
reached my sophomore year in college that evolution came to have a very
definite significance. At that time I was studying palaeontology. The fossil
remains which have been dug up from the geologic past were most interesting;
it was a revelation to see the whole fauna and flora of the world today
unfolding in gradational steps before your gaze. Here is where I found that
for which I had long sought. A clear picture of how man came into being. It
needed no God to make the present condition of man clear, no explanation was
necessary. He started out as a simple creature and by force of circumstances
came to be what he is. To my mind there was only one course open and I took
it. Up to this point I think I might have been classed as an agnostic. I was
not certain that a God existed, I was willing to have anyone who could present
sufficient evidence prove his existence to me. There was now a change,
however; instead of passively resisting a belief in God, I absolutely denied
that such a Being existed. In other words, I became an atheist. Looking
backward I think I am here perhaps a bit harsh in my judgment of myself. There
were times when I wondered about the whole thing, my disbelief was not always
assured. This phase of the subject may be allowed to rest for the moment; I do
not want to confuse my emotional personality with my reasoning one. I can well
remember long evenings in my room at college where arguments on religion were
not barred, but welcomed. Many of my friends and colleagues staunchly defended
the existence of a Supreme Being and I as firmly denied. Religious discussions
always wound up with some such argument as this. It seemed that I could not
avoid it, and I cannot say that I wanted to; it was too pleasing to me to
flaunt my newly acquired wisdom. So far as I ever thought of myself, I became
a mass of living protoplasm, here today, and gone tomorrow. Carefully,
sometimes almost painfully, I went over the details of my theory, arguing both
for and against, yet the atheist always won over the agnostic. For three years
approximately I held to this opinion. At least the rational, reasoning being
that was in me held to it.
only six months before I became a Freemason that my attitude changed. How that
change came about forms an interesting story in itself, interesting to me at
least, and there are things in relation to it that must be told if this is to
be anything like as complete a confession of faith (or lack of faith,
according to the point of view) as I should like it to be. Before taking up
that side of the question, I want to retrace a bit and picture the emotional
beliefs that sometimes caused me to doubt what, to me, were the rational ones.
As has been indicated, I have always been fond of the out of doors. It was
always my custom to get into the open country whenever the opportunity
offered. Until I went to college I always had plenty of company. Thoughts did
not run away with me because I was always occupied with the others and with
things around me. At college, however, things were a bit different. It was not
always possible to find someone who was free to roam as I liked to do, and
often the impulse would come over me when there was no one in close enough
proximity to tag along. This led to my wandering off alone. After the first
few afternoons I began to enjoy it. The habit grew and finally it was rare
that I even looked for a companion when the impulse came over me. I packed up
and went. It was only a mile or so from our house to a winding creek, a steep
bluff on one side, and a fertile flood plain a mile or so wide on the other. I
took to wandering along this stream. In the spring of the year the birds were
plentiful and more often than not I would pick a shady spot and lie down.
Nearly always in this season of the year when the plants were sprouting new
leaves and everything was fresh with the newness of spring, I would fall into
a revery. The beauty of the landscape always appealed and particularly at this
season. To try to follow my thoughts through one of these idle afternoons
would be impossible. But I did often wonder about everything around. How did
the birds happen to be colored as they were? What made them so beautiful? Why
did the trees assume the shapes they had? What was responsible for the massed
beauty of the whole scene? Perhaps I was beginning to find God. In my own mind
I often thought that I was, but then on returning to town things would assume
an entirely changed aspect and the old method of reasoning would persuade me
that I was as much of an atheist as ever. Even in the course of my reveries, I
could always find reasons within the bounds of scientific theory which would
explain the things I wondered about. Still there were times when I often
thought there must be something in the form of a Creator. It seemed impossible
to imagine such coordination as one finds in nature just happening.
the chain to date leads first through belief, to doubting belief, to unbelief,
and finally to doubting unbelief. It seems that we are arguing in a circle and
coming back to the original starting point. This is in a sense true, and there
is one step needed to complete the change. What was responsible for the return
to belief? I finally came to see that even though evolution explained many
things which I had hitherto found unexplainable, there was still a question
for which no answer had been found. Roughly, and a bit inaccurately stated,
evolution teaches that man grew out of a lower form of life. We can carry this
back to the dinosaurs, the shellfish, the trilobites, and finally we come to a
little one-celled animal called the amoeba. The great interrogation point is
here inserted. Where did the amoeba come from? It was this question which in
the final analysis was responsible for my coming back into the fold of
believers. The circle is complete, not because it has come back to the point
from which it started, but because today I have a firm belief in a
supernatural power which I call God. The belief is the same as it was earlier
in life, but the God is different and consequently the circle is not quite a
circle, but some other figure--a spiral perhaps.
origin of the amoeba, unexplainable by any process of reasoning which had
hitherto formed a part of my mental processes, caused me to see that there
must be someone or something responsible for that spark in the simplest of
creatures which we cannot reproduce in any scientific laboratory. The same
science which could not offer an explanation of this one point prompted the
discard of the personal element in a search for God. Because evolution to me
thoroughly proves the method in which man came into being I cannot conceive of
a God in the likeness of man. The Bible says somewhere that God created man in
His image and likeness. I do not think so, but think that man created God in
his image and likeness. Reasons for this conclusion are plentiful and may be
found by consulting almost any good reference work on cultural anthropology.
If we desire to trace the rise and development of religion we find first that
man worshipped forces which he did not understand. We come at a later stage to
idol worship and the anthropomorphic deities. These are clearly images,
physical reflections of man's thoughts. They represent God in the way man
thought he should look. When we reach that stage of development where idol
worship is prohibited we do not find idols, but we find mental images taking
the place of idols. Today we find, in the Christian world at least, that God
represents everything that is good in man. He becomes a mental image of the
perfect man. This stage is, to me, no more than a glorified ideal, and when we
consider the closeness of idol and ideal as they appear on paper and as they
are in derivation, we can easily see how close idol worship and the worship of
mental images really are. The one is no more than the concrete reflection of
the anthropomorphic God, the God in man's image, is one of the question, of
what material will we construct a Deity ? Man was not in existence when the
breath of life was blown into that flowing cell we now call the amoeba. Since
this was the first of God's living works shall we say that the God we should
worship was a sort of glorified creature of the same type? That is on the
surface a foolish question. Those of my readers who have ever had the
privilege of looking through the lens of a high-powered microscope at the
creature mentioned will agree with me that no such creature, no matter how
glorified, can ever account for the wonders of the world which surround us.
Even if God is pictured as such an entity we are degenerating to that already
criticised idol worship. We are finding something tangible, some mental
picture, some ideal upon which to fasten our faith.
mind there is no need for any sort of a picture, mental or physical, by which
to imagine God. We have seen that there must be something to account for the
life we find in this simplest of living creatures. Let us, then, content
ourselves with calling it something without trying to fasten any recognizable
characteristics to it. The only way in which God can be recognized then is
through the wonders performed. This Divine Something, commonly called God, is
the power which created life, or possibly Life itself, it is the power which
caused the evolutionary forces to follow the paths which led to the
development of man. It is, aside from this, the power which accounts for the
unity, the harmony, the beauty which surrounds us. It is the directing force
which accounts for things as they are.
statement was made above that God was the ideal and religion the means by
which we hoped to attain it. This statement perhaps holds true of religions in
general, but, so far as the writer can see, is not strictly true where God
becomes such an entity as has just been pictured. The ideal must be divorced
from the religion. I think this God might be termed Aristotlean in character.
"Divine Providence coincides completely for Aristotle with the operation of
natural causes" (Aristotle, Ethics, i, 10; Zeller, Aristotle and the Earlier
Peripatetics, ii, 329). Continuing along this line we find a being
incorporeal, indivisible, spaceless, sexless, passionless, changeless,
perfect, eternal. One would not agree with the statement that "God moves the
world as the beloved object moves the lover," as Aristotle puts it (Aristotle,
Metaphysics, ix, 7), for this seems to deny a Creator and the writer's belief
is that God did create life. Because, however, God is, as he thought,
Spaceless, Sexless, etc., it cannot take the form of an ideal toward which
religion may strive, but becomes a striving toward a goal, the attainment of
which is as much God's desire as our own.
separated religion must be defined. It takes on the nature of a philosophy of
life, but it is a philosophy directed by the same Power that has directed the
evolutionary processes from the beginning. The God I have in mind has
delegated to it the task of keeping the forward movement of the world in a
progressive state. We know not, and neither does it matter, what form this
progression takes, so long as it conforms with the evolutionary laws which
have been built up through the ages and under the direction of God. If the
immutable laws of nature are to continue in their present paths, man, who is
apparently only in the ascendency of his power, is to become supreme, the most
numerous and the most powerful species in existence. The next stage will be
man's degradation, his fall from the throne, and this period in his natural
history will see the rise of a new and more powerful race, not of men, but of
creatures of some sort. They will be an outgrowth of the environmental
developments which have made it impossible for man to survive.
duty and our religion immediately becomes clear. Our lives must be so ordered
that when the final decline of man sets in and the new race rises, this new
species will be in every way superior to man. Religion under such a line of
thought is just as moral and just as good as the religions of the past. It is
only by keeping clean and fit, both mentally and physically, that we can hope
to meet the conditions which surround us. In one sense this verges on the
science of eugenics. But that phase of the question need not be considered
here. On the other side, we must think and act correctly. What is to be the
guide to such right thinking? There is no better source book than the Bible.
It is a collection of experiences of a race from time immemorial and it is the
experience of a race of men which progressed. The race may or may not be in
supremacy today, that is non-essential. If they have given way to something
better, we can profit by the method of living which enabled them to reach
supremacy. We can discard those things which, on the basis of modern thought,
seem to have given rise to their decline. We can survey the races that have
surpassed them and learn of the things which enabled the new to dominate the
old. In seeing those things which point toward retrogression and avoiding
their contacts, we can rest assured that the mental habits thus formed will be
passed on to our descendants and that they in turn will steer clear of those
things which caused our decline. So, it is that by an avoidance of detrimental
influences we build up the race and lay the foundations for the new and better
race which is doubtless to come.
will need little explanation to collate this belief of God with that expressed
in Masonic ritual. It is well to consider, however, that we are not asked to
express a belief in God, but a trust in God. In either case the justification
is as immediate. I place my trust in a force which is responsible for life.
This God is just as much responsible for man as is the God of Genesis; the end
is the same, it is only the means by which God becomes responsible for man
that differs. I believe fully in my God as the hope and salvation of the human
race. The difference being that the salvation will come in a different manner.
Instead of a hypothetical, highly imaginative after world, man is to be saved
by the production of a new race in which the good in man will live after him
and the evil be interred with his bones. Since I was not asked to define in
precise terms just what the God I trusted and believed in was I can see no
reason why anyone has any just cause for complaint because I happen to hold to
an opinion which differs from his. I do not ask him to change his God and
substitute mine in order to stay in the Fraternity. I respect the opinions of
others, they are doubtless as near right as I am, and I leave them to enjoy
such happiness as they may get from the contemplation of their God. I ask no
more for myself.
this subject, we might accept in final analysis the words of Will Durant in
his Story of Philosophy, "Inductive data fall upon us from all sides like the
lava of Vesuvius; we suffocate with uncoordinated facts; our minds are
overwhelmed with sciences breeding and multiplying into specialistic chaos for
want of synthetic thought and a unifying philosophy. We are all mere fragments
of what a man might be." Like men--no conception of God is complete.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
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
are two days in the year that by tradition are set aside for observance by
Freemasons. That they are also feasts of the Christian Church, and were before
that festivals of a primitive paganism, does not lessen or abrogate their
immemorial connection with the Fraternity; they are the days of St. John in
Harvest and St. John in Winter-the Baptist and the Evangelist. The one, who
said of himself, "I must decrease," is celebrated at midsummer, about the
longest day of the year; the other, who was to all the earth a messenger of
the good tidings and peace and good will towards men, at that time when the
days have begun to lengthen once more. That our Lord was born on the
twenty-fifth of December and St. John on the twenty-seventh, is perhaps
possible but certainly not probable. Just as the church later often took over
the ancient sanctuaries of primitive divinities and hallowed them to the
service of the new faith, so did it take over the old festivals. And for what
reason should it not have done so? The symbolical fitness is patent to all,
and the time when men could see that once again the sun was returning on his
annual course, was the time set to rejoice at the coming of the day-spring
from on high, the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem, that little city of Judah,
and the wondrous star which led the wise men from the East to the manger
cradle; and also to remember that beloved disciple, the second of the perfect
parallels in religion as in Masonry.
was the origin of this connection of the two Holy Saints John with the Masonic
Craft is far from certain. That it happened by chance is hardly to be
credited. True, men and cities and gilds and countries and confraternities
adopted patron saints as a matter of course; yet nearly always there was some
reason for the particular choice. And why did -the Masons adopt two patrons of
the same name whose days have so intimate a connection with the course of the
sun? Here again a symbolism is obvious-beginning and completion, laying the
foundation and setting the cape stone; but what such a thought had to do with
the actual choice it would be hard to say. What is certain is the fact that
the two Saints are so closely associated with the Craft that in many countries
what we call the "Blue Lodge," the Symbolic Degrees, is known simply as St.
United States this connection is largely lost, except for one or two allusions
in the ritual. Here and there may perhaps be found an old lodge that still
includes June 24 and Dec. 27 in the list of its stated assemblies. In this
they retain an echo of the time when these two days were not only the chief
days of meeting, but perhaps the only ones, the days when apprentices were
entered, and Fellows passed as Masters of their Craft. Fortunately this lapse
has not occurred elsewhere and there may be hope that in the future the
Masonry of this country will recover this ancient usage.
However, of this perhaps more on another occasion; it is another aspect of the
season of which we would speak. It is a time of ending and beginning.
Christmas, St. John's Day, and New Year, are three high points of a festival
that runs from the Eve of the Nativity to Epiphany. The cape stone of our
year's labor was seated last month, and the volume of 1926 completed. With
this we lay the foundation stone of the New Year's work. It is not for the
craftsman to say whether it be truly squared, and firmly set, let others
judge. But here we wish our readers, and fellow members of the Research
Society, a happy and fortunate New Year; and if they will help as they have in
the past, our new work may be confidently carried forward in the hope of a
DESIGNS ON THE TRESTLEBOARD
as in the lodge room the assembled brethren listen again to the instructions
given to the youngest Apprentices (and it does them no harm) so here our
senior members will please to bear with us patiently while we once more say
something of the National Masonic Research Society, its objects and aims, and
the purpose and policy of its organ, THE BUILDER. Properly speaking, or rather
in the sense that the word is usually applied to a periodical, THE BUILDER has
no policy. Possibly there may be some exception taken to this statement in
view of our advocacy of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association. Bro. R. J. Newton, the Publicity Manager of the Association, is
chiefly responsible for that, for it was he who converted the Executive of the
Society from an attitude of comparatively passive approval to one of active
support. This matter is, however, in a different category; it is one that
touches all Masons directly whether they are interested in research and study
or not. It is a matter of relief and of justice, one of obligation in short,
and we conceive that for this no excuse or explanation is needed and none will
be offered. There are thousands, literally, of our brethren in dire need, in
danger of death, not to speak of their wives and children. And those who have
so nobly sought to assist them are taxed far beyond their strength. It is a
national question, and as we have members all over the whole country it was
and is our plain duty to do what we can. There is no especial credit attached
to it; practically every Masonic periodical in the United States has taken the
question up and is doing its part for this cause in its own field. So much
then for that. Outside of this exceedingly practical and imperative problem
THE BUILDER has no purpose other than that of acting as a means of
communication between members of the Society and affording an open forum for
the discussion of all such questions dealing with Freemasonry as may be
properly broached in public.
Scattered all over the country, or indeed all over the world, as our members
are, it is physically impossible for them to meet together, even infrequently;
it is only through the pages of a regularly published periodical that the work
of individuals can be brought to the knowledge of others, and examined and
discussed. THE BUILDER is therefore the substitute for a monthly meeting,
neither more nor less. There is in this manifest disadvantages, but also
fortunately some compensations. In any case it is the only possible machinery
for the purpose.
what it is, still less than in the case of other magazines, has the Editor in
charge any responsibility for the opinions expressed by contributors, no more
indeed than a judge on the bench for what the learned counsel for the defense
may say on behalf of his client, or the presiding officer of a deliberative
assembly for the motions he puts or the resolutions passed; so long as all is
done in order and within the bounds of decency and decorum. The judge may have
a strong opinion as to the rights and wrongs of the case before him, but it is
his place only to hold the balance even between the opposing parties and see
that both sides have opportunity to argue their contention.
Nevertheless there is a very heavy responsibility laid upon the editorial
staff. THE BUILDER has only a very limited amount of space available, just as
law courts and legislatures have but a limited amount of time. The result is
congestion. Thus there is an ever present problem of what is to come next. We
have the same duty as the Master of a lodge, without his opportunities of
learning what question is best taken up now and what may be deferred. There is
only one object in view, the advance of Masonic knowledge and the interest of
our members, but all this has to be gauged on the slightest indications. If
those who are not pleased in any given case will but remember this they will
perhaps be more ready to excuse in a spirit of fraternal charity.
field of Masonic research is a much wider one than is usually supposed; and we
are in no wise limited to any part of it. It is generally, but erroneously,
taken for granted that the history of the Order is the only subject properly
its object. History is most important, much more so than multitudes of our
brethren realize. At any moment a dry fact of history may be brought to life
by some question of present day policy. There have been many controversies in
the Fraternity that would never have arisen had the opponents had more
complete historical knowledge. Our ritual, our symbols, our teaching, our
jurisprudence is all rooted in the past. It is not a question of dwelling on
"departed glories," as one brother puts it, but of obtaining material by which
the future is to be shaped. But on this it may be possible to enlarge at some
future time, at present we merely wish to make the point, that the recording
and publication in accessible form of patiently collected facts, dry and
uninteresting as they may be, is a real necessity for the future. Some space
therefore must be always allotted to such matter as this.
there is the question of symbolism and symbolic teaching. As Speculative
Masonry is defined "as a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and
illustrated by symbols," this too is a subject of moment. The nature of a
symbol or allegory is to teach by suggestion, by association of ideas,
consequently they are always applicable however the conditions of society at
large may change, and as these conditions are in a state of continual flux
there is always place for further and newer applications.
Finally, there are the practical questions of the present day. These are
nearly always controversial, not to say explosive. Yet they need discussion,
and especially should they be discussed in an atmosphere of pure
investigation, or in the spirit of an impartial, unprejudiced search for
truth. And right here we will find the practical use of history. No one of the
questions of the hour can be safely decided, in line with the spirit of the
Fraternity, without a knowledge of what is relevant to it in the past, or what
has been done elsewhere in the world.
to be admitted that such questions raise many difficulties. Still, as some
uncritical partizans would write history by projecting present-day conditions
backwards, so it is possible to discuss the present in the dry light of
historical research, putting aside prejudice and passion. Not easy, but
course of consultation and correspondence a number of such questions of
practical moment have emerged, and some we hope to have presented in THE
BUILDER during the coming year. One which is more and more taking up the
attention of the rulers of the Craft is that of Masonic Education. There are
many problems involved here, its nature and scope, the responsibilities (if
any) of ruling bodies, and the most efficient machinery. This last, of course,
touches us as a Society very closely, as it is the very work on which we are
Another concerns the tendencies and the direction in which they are leading,
to be observed in the Order today. Such tendencies as those as are exhibited
in our lodges with enormous membership, in which the personal friendship and
fraternal relationship that should exist are in imminent danger of being lost.
What shall it profit a lodge to gain the whole world on its roll if it lose
its soul in doing it? Then there is the tendency to centralization and loss of
ancient rights, towards getting involved in questions of religious and
political import. Not yet have these become prominent, but it behooves us to
see whither we are going before we have gone too far.
it seems on a survey of the field that there is much of interest and much of
the greatest moment to do. The difficulty is going to be to get it all in, but
this is a problem that must be solved as best it can as we go forward.
the past year there has been a revival of a question that many educated people
supposed had been threshed out thirty years and more ago, the relationship of
science and religion. This seems the more curious as the fashionable vogue in
science is now in full reaction against the mechanistic and materialistic
views that held the field a generation ago. Due to research into the structure
of matter, and the theory of relativity, the current theories in scientific
circles seem far more favorable now to a spiritual interpretation of the world
than was the case even ten years ago. Masonry, we are emphatically told, has
no dogmas, no creed. It teaches by symbols which each may interpret for
himself. Yet one thing is demanded of the candidate for our mysteries, that he
profess faith in God. In a sense there seems a contradiction here, for belief
in God is a religious dogma, that is, it is a creed that is taught by all
there is no doubt that under this simple requirement there are hidden wide
differences of opinion. It is asserted by some brethren that a certain
limiting conception of the Deity is also demanded, as for example, that it
must be believed also that God is a Personal Being, as well as the First
Cause, and Origin of all things. This is a question that has bearing on many
other problems. There is no doubt, judging by the many articles and books
written by brethren of occultist and theosophical tendencies, that other
conceptions of the Deity exist in the Order side by side with those we may
call Theistic. Masons of what, for distinction, we may call the orthodox
school, seem always to ignore these; they never condemn them, even when they
urge most strongly that their own views are the only ones allowable. What,
then, is the actual state of affairs? Are the latter right, or is Masonry
tolerant of more indefinite interpretations?
was a question that it seemed appropriate to discuss at this time, and the
matter was brought to a head by the receipt of the article that appears on an
earlier page of this number. It is a very intimate personal confession, and
outlines a definite spiritual progress. Reading it with sympathy (for what
believer has not at some time been beset by doubt?) it seems pretty certain
that the stage reached at the conclusion cannot be a permanent one. The
progress is definite towards at least a theistic belief on the part of the
seems obvious that this brother does not believe in the unique inspiration of
the Bible. This raises other questions. His position cannot be opposed on the
grounds of Scriptural texts, at least not without discussion of their
authority, but only by arguments drawn from science and philosophy whose
authority he does acknowledge. But the main questions raised are these: Does
the simple requirement made by Masonry of a belief in God imply any particular
conception of God? If so, why has not such conception been explicitly defined?
And furthermore, what right would any Grand Lodge have in the matter of laying
down such definition, and what should be the attitude of other Grand Lodges in
the case that this were done? If belief in God means (Masonically) belief in a
personal Deity, have we not then the beginning of a dogmatic creed, a thing
that it has always been said did not exist? We hope to have these questions
and others that will naturally arise, fully discussed by a number of competent
brethren from all points of view. A Lay Brother's Confession of doubt and
faith comes opportunely as an introduction and a challenge.
MASONIC PERIODICALS FROM A LIBRARIAN'S VIEWPOINT
BRO. J. H. TATSCH, Iowa
examination and care of many Masonic periodicals in the course of library
routine, chiefly in filing and binding, brings points to the fore that are not
observed by the casual reader, but which add greatly to the serviceability of
begin with, I believe that the city in which the magazine maintains its
headquarters should appear on the outside front cover as a part of, or close
to, the title. There are a number of magazines of similar name, and in order
to identify any of them, it is necessary to turn through many leaves.
Magazines that are clipped (and all good ones are) lose their identity if the
name of the publication does not appear on each page. The best place is at the
top; some of them have it in small type in the lower corners. The month and
year, or exact date if published at lesser intervals, is a great convenience
to students when printed on each page at the marginal edge. This is especially
true when searching through bound volumes, for almost invariably an article
referred to in a periodical is described by name of the periodical and date of
issue, rather than by volume and issue numbers.
issue should have a volume and issue number, so that readers who preserve
their files will know when volumes end, or if they are complete. A new Masonic
periodical launched during 1926 is deficient in this respect.
greatest sorrow in a librarian's life, insofar as periodicals are concerned,
is a change of size in the middle of a volume. I have one publication in mind
which changed sizes three times in one year. Fortunately, not all are such
grievous offenders; but it is surprising to note how many changed size and
form at an awkward period.
as a careful reader is concerned, a book without an index is a useless
encumbrance. The expense of preparing one is nominal; but it enhances a volume
one hundred fold. The same applies in still greater .:measure to a bound
periodical, for to seek something in a magazine that has no index is like
looking for a needle in a haystack. Much that is of inestimable worth to
Masonic students is lost to the world because it is effectively buried in
pages of dead type. The magazines which publish indexes are providing
longevity insurance for themselves, and will exert an influence exceeding the
life of the publications.
OFFICERS OF THE GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
United Grand Lodge of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of England is a
collective body comprising, a general representation of all private lodges on
record, the Grand Stewards of the year, the present and Past Grand officers,
with the Grand Master at their head. I propose in this article to deal only
with the Grand Master and the Grand officers.
Grand Master is nominated yearly at the Grand Lodge held in December, and
elected at the Grand Lodge held the foIlowing March. The Grand Master so
elected is regularly installed on the day of the Grand Annual Masonic
Festival, which is held on the Wednesday following St. George's Day, the 23rd
April. To this Festival are to be admitted all regular Masons who provide
themselves with tickets from the Grand Stewards, at present costing one
the occasion of the Grand Master's Installation he appoints the Grand officers
for the year, who are thereupon installed or invested. At first the Grand
officers consisted only of the two Grand Wardens, but from time to time
additional appointments have been authorized. Today the Grand officers
annually appointed in April are as follows: Pro Grand Master (who must be a
Peer of the Realm ' and is only appointed when the Grand Master is a Prince of
the Blood Royal); Deputy Grand Master; Two Grand Wardens; Two Grand Chaplains;
Grand Registrar; Deputy Grand Registrar; President of the Board of General
Purposes; Grand Director of Ceremonies; Twelve Grand Deacons; Two Assistant
Grand Chaplains; Two Assistant Grand Registrars; Grand Superintendent of
Works; Two Assistant Grand Superintendents of Works; Two Deputy Grand
Directors of Ceremonies; Twelve Assistant Grand Directors of Ceremonies; Grand
Sword Bearer; Deputy Grand Sword Bearer; Two Assistant Grand Sword Bearers;
Two Grand Standard Bearers; Six Assistant Grand Standard Bearers; Grand
Organist; Assistant Grand Secretary; Grand Pursuivant; Four Assistant Grand
Grand Officers also include the President of the Board of Benevolence,
annually appointed and invested by the Grand Master at the December Meeting of
Grand Lodge, and the Grand Secretary and Grand Tyler, who upon appointment by
the Grand Master continue in office without reappointment during the pleasure
of Grand Lodge.
is only one elective Grand office besides that of the Grand Master, viz., the
Grand Treasurer. The Constitutions provide that he shall be nominated at the
September Meeting of Grand Lodge from members of Grand Lodge who have not
already held Grand office, and be elected at the Grand Lodge in March. In the
event of a contest a postal ballot is provided for. Voting papers are to be
sent to each private lodge and every member of that lodge who is a member of
Grand Lodge is entitled to record his vote.
addition to the Annual Appointments the Grand Master makes a number of
promotions in Grand Rank, when important services to the Craft deserve further
acknowledgment. He also annually confers Past Rank upon a number of brethren
Annual Grand Festival, held at Freemasons' Hall, London, on Wednesday, 27th
April, 1925, the Pro Grand Master, Lord Ampthill, referring to these
Appointments and Promotions, said:
are aware of the existence of a vague idea that every Lodge in the
Jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England ought to have a Grand
Officer in turn, while there are Lodges which claim that their antiquity and
their high reputation entitle them to have Grand Lodge collars regularly
allotted. I wish to make it clear that the conferment of Grand Rank is a
personal distinction and not a Lodge recognition. It is an honour to any Lodge
to have a Grand Officer among its members; but the Lodges which are not so
fortunate have no more cause to complain than towns and villages which do not
happen to be the birthplace of eminent citizens. Even if Grand Rank were given
as a recognition to Lodges, it would obviously be impossible to satisfy 4000
Lodges with the fifty appointments which the Grand Master has at his disposal.
Nothing short of a miracle on the lines of the miracle of the loaves and
fishes could meet a requirement of that kind.
nature of our time-honoured constitution is such that, once we have elected a
brother to preside over the rest in the capacity of Master of a Lodge, we
leave it to his discretion to select his own Officers. On precisely the same
principle, we leave it to the personal discretion of the M. W. Grand Master to
select his own Grand Officers. Just as the Private Lodge elects only the
Master and the Treasurer, so Grand Lodge elects only the Grand Master and the
Grand Treasurer. The same principle runs right through the Craft; and it is a
wise principle of governance which has stood the test of time. The duty of
selecting the Grand Officers you have thus entrusted to the Grand Master is
one of exceeding difficulty, which naturally has been increasing with the
growth and expansion of the Craft.
would not be possible for the Grand Master to deal single-handed with all the
matters which are left to his determination; and he, therefore, summons to his
assistance, as all his predecessors have done, some of his principal Officers,
and particularly those whose tenure of office is not restricted to a single
year. The committee of personal advisers thus formed is known as the Grand
Master's Council. This is a natural and legitimate outcome of the authority
vested in the Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of England, just as it is
absolutely within the right of the Worshipful Master of a Private Lodge to
hold regular consultations with experienced Past Masters of his Lodge. The
Grand Master's Council assists the Grand Master in all those matters which are
left to his personal discretion or belong to his office; and one of the most
difficult and important tasks that fall to its lot is the selection of the
names of brethren to be submitted to the Grand Master for appointment to Grand
Rank. Five or six hundred recommendations have every year to be examined,
tabulated, and classified. Countless enquiries have to be made. Many and
various considerations, personal, social and local, besides the Masonic record
of the nominee, have to be regarded. It is impossible to set up any definite
standard or test of merit. Everything has to be taken into account; and the
only invariable test is that the distinction of any individual brother should
be of credit and acceptance to the Craft.
while individual merit is thus the primary consideration, it is essential that
there should be a fair distribution of Grand honours as between London and the
Provinces and Districts, and again as between the larger and the smaller
Provinces and Districts. You will see, therefore, that the difficult task of
advising the Grand Master in this matter has to be performed with
conscientious care and all possible vigilance: and all his advisers are deeply
sensible of their responsibility towards the Grand Master and for the honour
and reputation of the Craft
concluding his remarks the Pro Grand Master emphasized the reciprocal duty and
striving of the Grand officers, whereby the value and distinction of Grand
Rank might be maintained and enhanced.
James H. Cooke, 32d, a disabled ex-service man in California, confined to his
bed by reason of injury received during the World War, has requested THE
BUILDER to aid him, through the medium of its columns, in the prosecution of
his hobby, which is the collection of stamps. There are many brethren getting
parcels in the daily mail with United States stamps attached. These can be cut
off in a second of time and will make Bro. Cooke happy with something that
would otherwise go to waste.
will be glad to receive pre-cancelled stamps of all denominations excepting
only the familiar two-cent variety containing the head of our first President
as is used on our letters. He asks that they be left on the wrapping paper,
which protects them from tearing, as to detach them renders them thin and
useless unless they are soaked off. Any and all stamps coIlected may be sent
directly to Bro. Cooke, whose address is Box E, Carmel, Cal.
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A. F. & A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. TURNER, Treasurer
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Verplanck, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
GEORGIA - Dr. J. P. Bowdoin, Past Grand Master.
- Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis.
Mississippi - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
Missouri - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.
MONTANA - Dr. W. J. Marshall, Missoula.
JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.
DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
- Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Past Grand Master, Brattleboro.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Tacoma.
- Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy
Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N. M. T. S. A., Las Cruces, New Mexico
"Smiling Sam" Shafer
you read his experience you may wonder what he has to smile about.
Shafer is a member of New Philadelphia Lodge, No. 177, of the city of the same
name. He has been a sufferer from tuberculosis for about thirteen years. He
was formerly a railroad telegrapher by occupation and was with the Baltimore &
Ohio Railway for eight years before his first break-down. He tells his own
story in telegraphic style:
the spring of 1913 began to show signs of illness -suspected tuberculosis. On
strict examination found nothing, but owing to inside steady confinement
doctors advised me to get away for awhile and go to Denver. Went to Denver and
remained four months, returned East, said to be well. Returned to work and in
six weeks began to show signs again. I quit inside work then and got away for
a year and roughed it in Michigan. Seemed to get along fine.
1915 resumed railroad work again, and soon, work getting so strenuous owing to
the war, not enough men, in 1918 had a complete relapse after training 35 days
to be a train dispatcher. Had several hemorrhages and it was then that I
realized that I was up .against real tuberculosis. Doctors advised me to try
the Ohio State Sanatorium; went there on Aug. 12, 1918, and left May 1, 1919,
improved in weight but no change in lung condition. Was then advised by the
doctors of the Ohio State Sanatorium that I had a tubercular cavity in left
lung. They suggested that I get out of Ohio and come to Southwest, New Mexico
-or Arizona, but owing to lack of funds I could not come when they advised and
instead tried to work and results were that I worked fourteen months at
telegraphy .and contracted colds until I was down, and when I landed in Tucson
in the fall of 1920 1 had a complete ,collapse. Was confined in St. Mary's
Hospital for -seven months at expense of $150 a month. Got to the point where
I could get around but never able to sustain myself, and after staying there
nearly three years was told that I would have to resort to thorocoplastic
surgery in order to get anywhere.
back East in the summer of 1923 and decided to try surgery. In November, 1923,
came to Albuquerque and consulted some doctors, and on Nov. 20, 1,923, 1
underwent the first operation, having portions of eight ribs removed. This was
not successful and again on May 13, 1925, I underwent the same operation, this
time having portions of ten ribs removed. The results are favorable, while not
so good as should be considering the amount of suffering, time and expense,
and all indications are that I may have to undergo a little more surgery in
order to collapse the lung completely.
income is $65 a month from the Elks with an occasional boost from the members
of my Masonic Lodge. My only hope" is that they keep me in a dry climate for,
as you know, my chances would be rather slim back East."
Shafer first got into touch with the advocates of the building of Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria about four years ago. On March 24, 1926, he wrote
pleased to advise that I am still alive, but not able to do any work. Have
often wondered what was ever done by the Masons."
are many Masons like Bro. Shafer who need hospital care and who "wonder what
was ever done by the Masons" in the matter of providing sanatorium care and
treatment for Masonic consumptives. The question comes from many hundreds of
sick, "When will the Door of Hope (the entrance to the first Masonic
Sanatorium) be Opened to them?"
Hartwell E. Roberts, Reid Lodge, No. 163, Mansfield, Ark.
No. 125. This brother's story is covered in the following letter written by
the Secretary of a southwestern lodge to his home lodge:
____ died here suddenly and is to be buried tomorrow in El Paso. I am reliably
informed that Mrs. _____ is in very poor financial condition and will probably
have to have some help to defray burial expenses. While I have not been able
to, talk to her to find out the exact condition I will do so as soon as I can
and advise you. She is by no means a well woman; had a severe, stroke of
paralysis, or something akin to it, last year, from which she has never
recovered. It was only the indomitable will of Bro. ___ that kept him earning
a living the past few years. The week before he died he ran a temperature of
103 while working in the local bank. He simply could not take time to rest and
this led to his death, Which was due to heart exhaustion or failure. He died
in his sleep without a struggle."
like this brother, driven by the necessity of providing food and shelter for
loved ones, lose all chance far life because they do not, or will not, ask for
* * *
Admiral R. E. Coontz, U. S. Navy, stationed at the Naval Operating Base,
Hampton Roads, Virginia, recently in command of the Pacific fleet, is
practically interested in the Masonic Sanatorium. He writes:
in complete sympathy with your worthy effort. I hope that the various Masonic
Jurisdictions, whose members come to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and the
Southwest, will take the matter up and push it to a satisfactory conclusion."
Coontz also made a contribution to the cause.
* * *
Antonio Mason, Bro. Harry Rogers, was elected President of the Rotary
International. Bro. Rogers is interested in all Masonic activities and was one
of the first and largest contributors to the work and expense of the Texas
Tuberculosis Sanatorium Committee, which was operating without any
appropriation from the Texas Grand Lodge.
* * *
Masonry itself is to remain strong and healthy it needs at this time an
interest or cause closer to its heart that will bring to its members the
spirit of brotherhood and sacrifice and permit them to feel that they are a
living part of this spirit, because they are enacting it in real life.
The Precious Jewels
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
the Study Club last month we took under consideration the construction of the
Gothic arch in order to obtain more light upon the technique of the Operative
Freemasons of the Middle Ages. It was noted that the voussoirs or "vault"
stones of which the arch is composed were, in theory at least,
interchangeable, being cut to the same curves and angles though differing in
length. It is not at all likely, however, that this interchangeability was
developed at all in practice, except perhaps by accident, as there would be no
practical advantage in it. Each stone was undoubtedly intended for a certain
position and marked accordingly.
The voussoir being worked, the next step would be to cut the mouldings, and
these also would naturally be worked from templets. It is very curious that
Speculative Masons have dwelt so exclusively on squared work. It is possibly
easier to fit in with a symbolic system, but unfortunately it has led to
extraordinary assertions as to the difficulty of squaring a stone. It is
highly probable that there were many cowans, the lowens, losses, layers and
rough masons of the Old Charges, who could square a stone well enough. What
distinguished the Freemason was ability to do work "neither oblong nor
square," carved and moulded work. It is significant in this respect that none
of the Old Charges speak of squared work; when a traveling mason turned up the
master was to give him work "if he had any mould stone" to be done in his
place, if not he was to "refresh him with money" to enable him to go on to the
This regulation is coupled with two others, that no mason, or sometimes more
specifically, no master or fellow, was to make any mould square or rule for
any rough layer, and that no layer was to be set to work on mould stone either
within the lodge (with the fellows) or without it (off by himself somewhere)
even if he had a mould (or mould square) of his own making. It is quite
obvious that the later copyists had but the vaguest idea of what it was all
about from the many extraordinary corruptions in the various texts; some of
them evidently had no ideas at all, but copied blindly what they read in the
document before them. Two chief forms or variants have appeared. In one, very
numerously represented, the "square" has been separated from the first part of
the compound term "mould" just as we saw it had probably been separated from "astler"
in the list of jewels given in the Examination, so that the prohibition reads
"no mould, nor square, nor rule." But on reflection this does not seem very
significant. Neither rule nor square was peculiar to the mason's craft, and
both are such simple, obvious tools that there could be no secret about making
them. A cowan, if too unintelligent or clumsy to make them for himself, could
get a carpenter, for instance, to make them for him. The latter would be under
no prohibition in the matter. A mould-square or rule must have been some
special appliance not easily understood or made.
The other corruption, while seemingly straightforward enough, has turned the
provision into pure nonsense. The Inigo Jones MS. is an example. It says:
That no Master or Fellow make any Mould or Square or Rule to Mould Stones
withall, but such as are allowed by the Fraternity.
can only suppose that this was an attempt to amend a corrupt text in the light
of the theory that was abroad, quoted by Aubrey from Dugdalel and often
retailed since, that the Freemasons were a highly organized body of men
working under orders from a central authority. The copyist saw something in
his text that seemed to prohibit someone from working by a mould of his own
making; and it not being clear who was forbidden, or why, assumed it applied
to members of the Fraternity, and so added the saving clause about what was
allowed by the Craft. But from the infinite variety of mouldings actually
existent it would be hard to imagine what was not to be permitted.
THE TRANSITION STAGE
Another inference emerges from the consideration of the different versions of
these regulations. They do not appear at all in the very oldest documents, in
the later ones their meaning has been forgotten and they have become largely
unintelligible. It is probable that their introduction into the Masonic code
marks the beginning of the period of transition, of the decay of the lodge as
an Operative organization. A new style of architecture was coming in, the
professional architect began to appear, while the more intelligent rough
masons were trying to better their position, and finding themselves able to do
the new work. Apprentices who had served their time were neglecting their
"Admission" or "Entering" to the old fraternity. In Scotland unequivocal
records exist of this state of affairs, and it is also there provided that "cowans"
may be employed if fellows of craft can not be obtained. The masters would be
tempted to employ the outsiders, perhaps because they were cheaper, perhaps
because they were more under their power; for the accepted mason, even if
working as a journeyman, was his master's equal. In order to stem the tide new
rules would be made, tacitly allowing the employment of the rough mason or the
"lewis" (who is in some cases expressly described as one who has learned the
trade as an apprentice but who has not been admitted according to the manner
and custom of making masons) but forbidding their employment on the more
skilled kinds of work.
THE MOULD SQUARE
have seen that the arch would have to be drawn in full in order to find the
length of the arcs--perhaps in the case of large ones it might have been half
size. It would also be necessary in order to find the angles of the keystones,
which could not be worked in the same way as the voussoirs. In addition to
this it would be necessary to draw the profile of the mouldings. In Fig. 1 we
have shown such a profile or section as it might have been laid out on a
squared floor or pavement. Assuming the cross lines to be six inches apart,
which is much closer than would be probable, the outside thickness of the arch
is a little under three feet, while between the inner and outside curves it is
almost eighteen inches. It would be very natural in practice to make each
measurement in round numbers where possible, but it was shown here somewhat
less in order to show how lines could be set off from the squares.
The various rounds having been drawn inside the rectangles of the main
dimensions the templets would be made from them. The modern way is to cut the
profile of a moulding out of thin sheet metal, but the term "mould square"
does not seem to fully fit such an appliance. We suggest that basically the
old method was to use a square into which thin pieces of wood were fitted that
could be cut out to fit the curves. If a groove were rabeted on the inside of
the two limbs of the square the same tool would serve for any mouldings by
changing the pieces inserted. Fig. 1 shows the form such an appliance may have
The tradition of moulded work still lingered, apparently, as late as 1730, for
Prichard refers to it in a confused way:
What do you learn by being an Operative Mason? A. Hue, Square, Mould-stone,
lay a level and raise a Perpendicular.
The first part of the answer, as printed, is simply nonsense, but in the light
of the clauses in the Old Charges relating to the subject we may suppose the
original form of which it is a corrupt rendering was, [To] hew, square [and]
mould-stone, or something equivalent; though that itself would probably not be
very old, as the question is obviously intended to balance the preceding one:
What do you learn by being a Gentleman Mason? A. Secrecy, Morality and Good
Such explanations would not appear until a stage had been reached where the
non-operatives formed at least a very considerable part of the membership of
MOULDS AND MOULDINGS
Since the above was written we happened upon a number of pertinent quotations
relative to the word "mould" as used in a technical sense by masons. They are
collected in that mine of valuable reference The New English Dictionary, to
which we are in a number of special points already so greatly indebted. The
definition of the word in this connection is "a pattern, a templet." The
quotations to illustrate its use range in date from the fourteenth to the
eighteenth centuries. It is highly probable that more modern instances still
could be found. We give several of them as typical; the earliest is from the
Ely Sacrist Roll of 1323:
Bordis empt' pro moldis cementariorum faciendum.
which might be rendered:
Purchasing boards for making molds for the masons.
The next is from Langland's Piers Plowman, and without the context does not
have much meaning, but it is probably allegorical:
any masoun made a molde yer-to moche wonder it were.
Another, of date 1513, the precise origin of which is not given, is as
Lyme, sand . . . moolds, ordinaunces, and every other thyng.
And last, is one from Smeaton, designer and builder of the famous Eddystone
gang of masons . . . who were according to moulds and drawings to hew the
seems obvious from these that the word has been pretty continuously used for
centuries in a much more general sense than that of "mouldings." In fact it
might be taken as a technical term for the "shape" of the stone purely and
simply, and thus might even have been applied to square ashlar work. Still it
is very doubtful if it were ever given this extension of meaning even if quite
logical. Technicalities are governed by convenience. Square would fully
designate one form, mould-stone would include every thing that was worked to
some shape that was not square. It would thus include "moulded" stone in the
sense used above, as stones bearing members of ornamental mouldings. But this
wider usage makes it very possible, and even probable, that the "square" with
the curved blade, depicted in the window at Chartres, was a "mouldsquare." In
that case the form suggested in Fig. 1 may have to be rejected on the very
good ground that it is not required, a sufficiently satisfactory
interpretation for the term being found in ascribing it to an implement of
which the actual form has come down to us.
THE DRAWING FLOOR
must now return to the "square pavement" or "floor" set aside for the drawing
of such full sized details as were necessary. There is no need to suppose that
it was always, or even generally paved with tile or flagstone, or whatever it
might be, although where the work was going to take a long period of years to
bring to completion, this may perhaps have been done. It is barely possible
that the term was understood in its primary sense of a floor of beaten or
rammed earth. A wooden floor would have served equally well as a stone one, or
the ground might have been levelled and laid with cement or plaster, as is
done by the Persian Craftsmen. Or even finely sifted loam well beaten down, or
clay spread over the space and smoothed over. Any or all such methods would
have served, and circumstances would determine which was most convenient in
any given case. In shape, the area would probably have been longer than wide
for the purely practical reason that most of the details to be laid out on it
were greater in elevation in proportion to ground plan.
is most likely that in many cases, when it was possible, the actual floor of
the building erected was used for this purpose--the flagged or tiled pavement
of the church or other structure. But when the work quite new other means
would have to be adopted.
The floor, having been prepared, the first thing to be done in using it would
be to lay down a base line. This might be ruled, or if of any length, done
with a tightly stretched chalked cord, a method still in use by carpenters.
Cutting this at right angles a center line would have to be drawn. The right
angle would doubtless be found by the simple geometric construction of
intersecting arcs. We say doubtless, because it is the simplest and most
direct method of doing it. Now if the work to be done was of sufficient extent
and importance to warrant the preparation of a special floor, it would
obviously be of great advantage to have these lines permanently marked, so
they would not have to be drawn afresh for every design laid down. It would
also follow, seeing it is not very convenient to rule lines of any length on
the ground, that a series of lines crossing each other at right angles at
equal distances would be very helpful. In Fig. 1 such lines are shown very
close together. Probably they would not have been at smaller intervals than
two or three feet. At two feet apart any desired point in the whole area could
be determined within the appropriate square by means of a two-foot rule, or
twenty-four-inch gauge, or with a pair of large compasses. In a number of old
representations of Mason's tools we find just such compasses depicted. As for
example, in the illustration here reproduced from THE BUILDER, August, 1925,
where the two legs of the instrument, judging by the height of the figures,
must be three feet or more in length. Compasses of this size would not be used
on a drawing board but would be well adapted for the purpose suggested.
this discussion has been rather lengthy it may be as well here to
recapitulate. It must be understood that what we have said is almost entirely
hypothetical, but we think nevertheless that it does give an outline of a
practicable technique of design which is adapted to the conditions, so far as
they can be reconstructed, and which fits in with such facts as have come down
to us. It is generally known that the details of Gothic work were left very
largely to the individual craftsman to work out for himself; while working
drawings in the profusion and minuteness of detail that would be necessary
today were out of the of the question, if for no other reason than the
difficulty and expense of obtaining materials on which to make them. The only
drawings that have come down to us are of the nature of sketches. Had larger
plans, drawn to scale, been customary, we could confidently expect that some
of them would have survived among the wealth of records in the muniment rooms
of old churches and cathedrals. On the other hand, if made on the spot, as
required, they naturally would not be preserved, for one could be effaced to
make room for the next. The use of a floor for the purpose of making large
full size designs is borne out by parallel cases, such as old time sail-makers
lofts and ship yards, and in some cases modern structural steel work. That it
would be divided into squares, and the whole area bounded by a rectangular
outline, is more conjectural, but the convenience is so obvious that it seems
hardly possible it was not employed, and it agrees with the consensus of the
Catechisms that the pavement was square, and the other tradition that it was
chequered, or divided into smaller squares. Finally we may mention cases where
what appear to be full sized details of arches, mouldings, columns and so on,
have been carefully incised on stone floors and pavements, as at Limoges and
Clermont. It is possible that these permanent records cut in stone were used
for making "mould squares" and other gauges and templets. Building operations
in those days were rather leisurely as a rule and often interrupted. It would
save much trouble and the making new measurements to have these models ready
to hand when work was resumed. (2)
THE EFFECT OF TABLE LODGES
There is one more consideration which might help to explain the change from a
square or mosaic chequered pavement to a trestle board that has already been
mentioned but on which a word or two more may be said. This is the fact that
many lodges through the eighteenth century were opened and closed and worked
with the members seated about a table. A great variety of practice seems to
have existed. Even in the second half of the century it would appear that in
some places candidates were initiated, the lodge being so arranged. In other
places initiation ceremonies were performed in another room, or another part
of the same room, or the table removed. Where the more slovenly habit
prevailed, as we may surely call that in which the members remained at the
table, it is probable that the diagrams that properly were drawn on the floor
were transferred to the table. That working tools, lights, etc., were is
certain. And in some cases there was a cloth with emblems embroidered or
painted on it covering the table. (3) The only question is, how early did this
habit come into vogue? That can only be conjectured, but it seems probable
that all these variations of practice must go back much earlier than 1717.
There could hardly have been time for such divergencies to come into being had
the re-organization of the Craft resulted in a standard form. Whether within
or without the fold of the Grand Lodge the variations must have existed. It is
not offered as an argument but it is merely suggested, that had the table
habit grown up in the first decade of the century, or earlier, there would
have been an obvious and concrete reason for the change in phrase from
"pavement" to "trasel board," aside from such possible misunderstandings as
were supposed in an earlier article of this series.
(1) This is quoted by Gould, Concise History, p. 99.
(2) A.Q.C. VI, p. 104.
(3) Referred to in Study Club, August, 1926, p. 249. Some of the printed works
assume that the members of the lodge were seated round a table during the
ceremonies. That lodges were commonly opened and closed at table, and lectures
given is well known.
(4) THE BUILDER, November, 1926, pages 344-5.
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.
BELIEVING WORLD. By Lewis Browne. Published by the Macmillan Co., New York.
Cloth, table of contents, index, bibliography, 334 pages. Price, postpaid,
religions of mankind are an index to the stage of cultural development he has
attained. In the early stages religion consisted largely of magical
ceremonies. The village or tribe feared its environment and these rates were
practiced as a means of allaying the fear. It is not these primitive religions
which have the widest appeal, however. The more modern faiths are however of
interest to almost everyone. Is it because they are dissatisfied with their
own beliefs? Not necessarily. It seems to be the natural curiosity of mankind
- the desire to know something about these things so often mentioned. So often
we hear of the religions of Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, and very often these
names mean no more than a designation for a religious sect and possibly we
know something about the localities in which they make their widest appeal.
Farther than this we know little. The desire is often felt, less frequently
expressed, to know what it is that these beliefs have to offer, and to learn
how they came into being.
means of satisfying this curiosity is not immediately at hand. As a result
often the desire for knowledge dies at its birth. It frequently goes through a
resurrecting process and may at some later time furnish a motive sufficiently
strong to encourage an effort to attain the wished for information. If the
experience of the writer is a fair criterion the investigator finds himself
confronted with a mass of material of so formidable a character that it would
require much laborious reading and concentrated effort to acquire even the
most meagre knowledge of the subject. The average individual cares not for a
detailed and scholarly analysis of the philosophies of religions, neither does
he seek a history minute in its treatment. The necessary information must be
placed in a brief outline if a long-felt want is to be satisfied.
are in this world comparatively few people who are sufficiently interested in
primitive religions to read twelve volumes of Sir J. G. Frazer's Golden Bough.
There are not many more who could muster enough courage to tackle the single
volume just to satisfy an idle curiosity. One does not care to read the Sacred
Books of the East to learn about Oriental religions. This is not surprising in
view of the fact that few Christians read the Bible to learn about their own
becomes apparent that we need a concise and popular history of religion which
will satisfy the wants of the ordinary reader. Detail can be omitted and the
discussion of philosophies must be couched in language sufficiently clear to
be intelligible without the expenditure of too much effort. Such a book has
recently come to light and is to be found in Dr. Lewis Browne's This Believing
asset possessed by this work is its appearance. The efforts of scholars when
published only too frequently have a formidable and forbidding appearance.
They look as deep and dry-as they often are. Few indeed are the great students
who are gifted also with an interesting style. Dr. Browne aside from his
scholarly attainments is an artist and has profusely illustrated his work with
drawings that are a joy to behold. His style is readable and holds the
interest. What more could one ask? There is, however, more. It is
typographically a splendid piece of work, sufficiently so that to lovers of
books it will be a delight for this alone.
arrangement of the work follows the old custom, eight books, each with an
introductory illustration in keeping with its subject. The first book treats
of the beginnings, and the second with primitive religions in what might be
termed a transition stage from magic to more purely religious beliefs. As to
the balance of the work, each book is devoted to religions in certain sections
of the world, India, China, Persia, Israel, Europe and Arabia each come in for
their share of the discussion.
of the author's conclusions might be questioned. He has, however, followed
generally accepted opinions throughout his work and for this reason his book
merits the strongest recommendation to readers who are not interested in
technical details concerning the study of comparative religions.
* * *
TRAVELS OF MARCO POLO, THE VENETIAN; With an Introduction by John Masefield.
Published by E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. Cloth, table of contents,
illustrated, notes, appendix and index, 461 pages. Price, postpaid, $3.20.
LIFE OF BENVENUTO CELLINI, A FLORENTINE ARTIST. Translated into English by
Anne MacDonell, with an Introduction by Henry Wilson. Cloth, table of
contents, illustrated, notes, index, 368 pages. Price, postpaid, $3.20.
works are certainly to be numbered among the world's most remarkable books,
one written about three hundred and sixty years ago and the other nearly two
hundred and seventy years before that. Both are autobiographies, and of both
the authors were Italians. The earlier of the two lived when the Crusades were
still a living memory, in the height of that wonderful, restless, swiftly
advancing period known as the Middle Ages; the other at their end, in the
glory of the Renaissance. One was a diplomat, courtier and administrator in
far countries; the other, one of those extraordinary all-around
artist-craftsmen in which that period was so comparatively rich and other ages
-so poor. Soldier, gunner, musician, sportsman, and one must add, according to
our rules, assassin as well; inventor, mechanic, draughtsman, sculptor,
jeweler, seal cutter, die maker, but before all, and all the time, a
goldsmith. Not so great as Leonardo or Michael Angelo, the latter of whom he
knew and immensely admired, yet he was only just below their class. The one an
engineer more than a printer, the other a painter more than an architect;
Cellini was, unlike them, chiefly a metal worker, preferring small work to
large - the description of that Hiram who was sent to King Solomon would, as
it stands in the Bible, have fitted him exactly. One more thing in which he
was the child of his age, he made sundry essays in the art of poesy, and many
a professional writer might envy the terse, vivid style of his "Life."
Autobiography is almost always interesting even when the subject of the tale
is himself nobody and of no particular account. Few men have written of
themselves with the complete frankness of Cellini, he was fettered neither by
modesty nor shame, praised his own work as liberally as that of others, and
told of his passing love affairs as he might have spoken of eating or
drinking. Marco Polo is much more restrained. Unlike the other he had no
desire to write, and it was only in the enforced idleness of a dungeon at
Genoa that he was prevailed on by a fellow prisoner of war, who was something
of an author, to dictate his life and adventures. He tells how his father and
uncle first sailed in their own ship as merchant adventurers to Constantinople
and proceeded thence into the Black Sea, and how by various accidents more
than by fixed design they came to Bokhara, and there meeting some envoys of
the great Kublai Khan were persuaded by them to go to China; the journey being
not a matter of months but of years. The Khan was delighted to see them, and
eventually sent them back home with letters to the Pope, and a request for a
hundred missionaries to come and preach Christianity in his dominions. They
carried out this embassy, in the course of more years; but arrived in Europe
at a time when one Pope, Clement IV, was recently deceased and his successor
not elected. Waiting two years, they gave up in despair and decided to return
to China, this time taking Marco along with them. What an adventure trip for a
boy of fifteen! And he was not to see his own land or his own people again for
twenty-five years, during which years he traveled the length and breadth of
happened, extraordinarily enough, they had actually set out from Aiasso, a
port east of Tarsus from which the caravans started, when they heard that
Tedaldo, Papal Legate in Syria and Egypt, had been elected Pope and they
hurried back (he was then at Acre, the last place held by the Crusaders) to
see him before he left for Rome. He gave them letters to the Great Khan, but
was only able, apparently, to find two men to go as missionaries, two
Franciscan monks. These proved very fainthearted, and before the journey was
well begun turned back frightened by the rumors of fighting. One wonders what
differences might have been written in history had the hundred been sent, and
carried out the work.
of the places passed through on this second journey were never seen again by
Europeans until the latter part of last century; Marco Polo's account indeed
suffered neglect and disbelief until quite recent times, simply because he
told the truth, and the truth was not what people expected or wanted to hear.
entered China via the great Gobi Desert, recently of newspaper fame through
the discovery of fossil dinosaur eggs, and were warmly received by the
Khan-emperor of China and overlord of most of Asia. The latter took a great
fancy to the Italian boy, or young man rather, for he was about twenty-one
when he reached China. Again one is moved to wonder at the journey.
Chinese official records mention his appointment to public office, as a sort
of Commissioner, and member of the Imperial Council. The Emperor employed him
on what were apparently "go, look, see," missions, to find out how things were
going in distant places, and to make personal reports by which official ones
could be checked. The independence and honesty of the three "outer barbarians"
caused him to put great trust and confidence in them, and incidentally to make
them all three very wealthy. Naturally their position was not altogether easy
or safe, but they retained the Emperor's favor all through to the end. At the
last they began to be homesick. Kublai would not listen to any suggestion of
their going home, and they feared to press the matter, but they began to get
very anxious. The Emperor was getting old and they doubtless had justification
for believing his successor might not be very friendly. A diplomatic mission
saved them. A state marriage between a Mongol princess and a king of Tabriz
was arranged and the Polos as "skilled in navigation" were sent with the
bride's escort-a two years' voyage from China to the Persian Gulf, to find on
their arrival that her husband-elect was dead. Apparently his son married her.
However, the Polos were able to make their way from Tabriz to Trebizond and
Constantinople and thence to Venice, where they arrived weary and ragged and
unknown, and were refused entrance to their own home. However, in their rags
were sewn up the value of several kings' ransom in pearls and precious stones,
and so they established their identity. It seems that wealth, especially in a
form so appealing to the imagination, is as convincing as proof of identity as
it is potent in other respects. These details we get from other sources, the
book merely says they arrived safely "in the enjoyment of health and great
riches" and that they "offered up their thanks to God."
thing is very striking about Marco Polo's account of the countries and cities
of Asia; and that is his constant references to the existence of Christian
churches. Over and over again we read "there are Christians" in such a city,
or sometimes "there are many Christians here", or the King or governor of such
a place is a Christian. When some hundreds of years later these same countries
began to be opened up to European commerce all trace of Christianity had
passed as completely as footprints in the sands of the seashore. It is a
curious and not very comforting fact. For the rest the picture we have
presented to us does not match at all with the customary idea of the agelong
immobility of the Orient. It seems that then it was as restless and changing
as Europe itself.
Marco Polo's account of his travels strikes the reader with the matter-of-fact
solidity of Robinson Crusoe, Benvenuto Cellini's account of his adventures,
more circumscribed in point of space, reads like a fantastic romance. The only
thing that seems to keep us within touch of reality are the constant
references to his work and the detailed descriptions of his designs. His
escape from the Castle of Sant Angelo ranks high among the stories of such
adventures, and like Baron Trenke in like case he broke his leg in falling
from the outer wall, yet managed to get clear away to his friends.
incidentally the high esteem that these artist-craftsmen had for themselves.
Some came from the lowest ranks, some were of good family, but talent raised
them to a position in which birth was forgotten. Cellini was less of a
flatterer with the great than others, and his freedom of speech was constantly
offending his patrons. A strange character reveals itself, generous, honest,
fiery-tempered, revengeful, religious, after his own fashion-his Bible reading
in the dungeon of Sant Angelo might match that of Bunyan, and the wonderful
visions he had also; and with all this, simply and matter-of-factly immoral
according to our ideas. One feels that he would have been well worth knowing
were one able to keep from a quarrel with him.
* * *
CAN'T WIN. By Jack Black. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth,
394 pages. Price, postpaid,
DELINQUENTS AND CRIMINALS, THEIR MAKING AND UNMAKING. By William Healy and
Augusta F. Bronner. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, table
of contents, index, 311 pages. Price, postpaid, $3.70.
* * *
two books are very different in character, there being in truth but a slim
connection between them. Nevertheless the story of Jack Black might well form
an account of one of the cases in Delinquents and Criminals, so that it is not
inappropriate to consider them together.
latter book is a study of the effectiveness of modern juvenile court methods.
Several hundred cases have been utilized to furnish evidence upon which to
base conclusions. Cases were studied first in the Juvenile Court, methods of
treatment collated, and then in a follow-up of the same cases results were
determined. It was astonishing to learn of the outcomes, 40.6 per cent were
failures, the successes were 32.8 per cent, 17.6 per cent were not found and
the balance were either dead, indifferent successes or confined in
institutions for mentally abnormal patients.
failures were found thirteen known homicides, thirty-nine professional
criminals in the 256 males who did not succeed. In the female list there was
one chronic thief, one swindler and forger, and twenty-two were definitely
prostitutes. In other eases the offenses were not compiled.
becomes apparent that something must be wrong with our method of treating
juvenile delinquents. This conclusion is born out by the story of Jack Black.
Had his case been differently handled, in spite of unfortunate conditions in
childhood and youth, he might have been an honest man. This reformation came
later in life, through the kindness of individuals who seemed to understand
effects of uniform treatment for all who are classed as criminals is clearly
shown in Black's story and just as plainly in the study of Healy and Bronner.
The actual prediction of careers by these students was born out in many cases.
There is, of course, no method by which we can judge what might have happened
had these cases been differently handled except that we can compare them with
other studies where methods of treatment recommended were followed and success
books lead one to conclude that the only way in which we will satisfactorily
solve the criminal problem is by a careful study of individual cases and a
specific treatment for each case. A careful diagnosis, including environment,
mentality, personal weaknesses, etc., will give us something upon which to
work. Corrective measures can be more accurately recommended and we will
doubtless secure better than 38 per cent of successes under such methods.
Delinquents and Criminals, as has been indicated, is a book of statistics. It
covers every phase of the problem carefully and offers suggestions for further
research. It is a book which every good citizen interested in the welfare of
the country should read and study.
Can't Win is, on the other hand, an autobiography of a reformed criminal. It
is interestingly and entertainingly written for the most part, though some
sections seem unnecessarily dull. It points a sufficiently obvious moral, yet
one that too many at the present day are prone to forget. A deeper question is
also raised, and that is regarding the validity of the practical aims and
ideals of the majority of people in our modern world.
* * *
MYSTERY AND BIBLE MEANING. By T. Troward. Published by Robert McBride & Co.,
New York. Cloth, table of contents, 323 pages. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
are three attitudes, three points of view. regarding the Holy Scriptures.
Though quite distinct it is possible for the first and second to be mingled.
The one is that they are literally inspired, and that the writers were but
faithful amanuenses writing at the dictation of God, and that they must be
taken at their face value. Another, and it is as old, if not older than the
first, that they are mystical and symbolical in character, and contain the
deepest and most recondite mysteries veiled under allegories and parables. The
third is in its full development quite modern, and that is the critical, which
would use all the aids of historical, archaeological and philological science
to explain and interpret them. The first two assume inspiration, the last does
not necessarily exclude it. The author of the present work decidedly takes the
second of these three points of view. With this he is also an apostle of a
type of faith which may be classed with what is known as New Thought and
Christian Science. Unlike many such writers his work compels respect if not
line of interpretation has analogies with Masonry. He stresses the symbol of
light and of Temple Building, and from an occasional expression here and there
it might be inferred that he was himself a member of the Craft. By profession
a lawyer, and for many years a judge in India, it is natural that his
arguments should be clear and telling, and a certain dispassionate reserve
tells of the habit of judicial impartiality. Nevertheless he is here an
advocate of his own strongly held beliefs.
impossible in the space available -to discuss the argument in detail, but we
can briefly indicate their trend and the conclusions to which they lead. Like
all of the school to which we referred him above he believes that the material
is absolutely dependent upon the spiritual. That strife and competition, and
the restless, acquisitive rush of modern life is unnecessary. That if we
withdraw ourselves to a higher plane all these mundane needs will naturally
and simply come as it were of themselves, as sunshine and rain and beauty come
to the lilies of the field. There is undoubted warrant for this in the
teaching of our Lord, and it is hard for a Christian to deny even if he doubt.
chapter on the Devil be emphasizes the non-existence of evil. Evil is to good
as cold is to heat or light to darkness, not an entity but a relation. There
are more good or less good, or so little good as to be practically no good,
and in consequence there can be no spirit or principle of evil. This again is
hard to deny on philosophic grounds, and many of the early Christian fathers
could be quoted in its favor.
object to be attained is freedom from subconscious Tear and doubt. Belief in
God as the continuous source of our own lives and individuality, the
realization of which, while solving all problems automatically, removes
anxieties and worries, hates, envies, jealousies, and finally working down to
the material plane will produce or enable us to obtain all that we need to
live happy, full and useful lives. As he puts it, it is hard to refuse a
general assent, although in detail one may not agree. One notices, though not
so much so as in most of such works, a lack of finality, an apparent ability
to come to any definite conclusion. This is not in itself to be complained of,
for the nature of things makes it impossible for the seer to clearly tell what
his vision may have been. The legitimate objection is to a sort of implication
that such a definite solution will be reached, so that as one gets towards the
end, it seems as if it must come out on the next page or in the next chapter.
Mystery can only be adequately dealt with mysteriously, by hints, by figures,
by allegories-an attempt to deal with it plainly in words of two syllables
leads simply to anti-climax and pathos. This is however a general criticism of
the type-the present work deserves it comparatively very little. Those who are
inclined to this kind of religious belief will find the book, we believe, very
valuable, and they may feel, if it be any comfort to them, that those who are
not will find it very difficult to deny what is said without endangering the
foundations of their own orthodoxy.
* * *
GREAT BAN: A Study in Masonic Interpretation. By Lyman Brightman Russell.
Published by the author. Paper, 22 pages. A limited number available. Price,
is really a very suggestive piece of work, and its value is not to be measured
by its length. It is not in any way conclusive as the author has lacked access
to certain information relevant to his thesis; information, it must be
confessed, exceedingly difficult to obtain.
first four pages comprise a little essay on symbolism generally which is one
of the best things of the kind that the reviewer has seen for a long time. The
matter under the next heading, "The Symbolism of the Lodge," we feel more
main part of the pamphlet however deals with the derivation of the "Substitute
Word," a subject naturally of very great interest to Masons. Since Mackey
endeavored to interpret the form of the word now used from Hebrew roots, and
incidentally sought to change the number of syllables to bring it back to what
he supposed was its proper pronunciation in view of his theory of its origin,
no one has published anything further on the subject. We are heartily in
accord with Bro. Russell that it is not a Hebrew word, though not for the same
reasons that he advances.
argues that it is of Aryan origin, either Persian or Indian. We would agree
that its roots are probably Indo-European, but should be inclined to look for
them in some western language.
course he does not deal with any significant word in use among American
Masons, but only with certain forms, two especially, cited in Pound's Masonic
Jurisprudence, and which will be found elsewhere, as in Gould's essays. One of
these has been supposed to have been an invention of the rather mythical "Jacobite"
Masonry, while the other is given in one of the earliest known printed
catechisms. This last is the word Maughbin, and is really the one that Bro.
Russell seeks to interpret. He derives the first part from the root "mag,"
meaning great. It appears in the Latin magnus, and in some languages tends to
end in a guttural sound.
second syllable he equates with the Persian "Ban," meaning master or ruler.
The same word is used in the Balkans today in the same sense, and a "Banate"
in that part of the world is an administrative district. He would thus
interpret the word as meaning the Great Master.
is very attractive, and if the word be accepted as a real one, and in its
original place it seems almost to be used as a name or a title, then some such
meaning as this would seem very natural.
wish, however, he had either translated it in full for the title page, or left
it untranslated, for as it stands it suggests something entirely foreign to
his subject. If the pamphlet should be reprinted we hope this will be done.
INTERVAL BETWEEN DEGREES
reading an article not long since, having reference to the introduction of
Royal Arch Masonry into the Republic of Texas, I came upon the following
1835 one Samuel M. Williams, prominent in the early history of Texas, went
from San Felipe de Austin to New York. By what right of jurisdiction, by whom
recommended, or by what custom the bodies of New York acted, the record is
silent, so far as we have seen, but by dispensation he received the three
symbolic degrees the same night, in Independent Royal Arch Lodge, No. 2, New
York, Nov. 21, 1835. Was exalted a Royal Arch Mason in Jerusalem Chapter, No.
8, New York City, receiving all the Chapter Degrees on the same date, viz.,
Nov. 25, 1835, and on or about Dec. 1, 1835, received the Orders of Knighthood
in Morton Commandery, No. 4."
you give me any information as to the correctness of the above statement?
cannot find anything about the Bro. Samuel M. Williams about whom you make
inquiries. However, I do not think that the account which you quote is
necessarily to be suspected. It was quite customary in those days for the
interval between the degrees to be waived. Apparently lodges and chapters
often took this upon themselves without any reference to the Grand Officers.
It was particularly done in just such cases as this of Bro. Williams, that is
to say when a man was about to leave the locality or when he was a sojourner
there. Also the rules of jurisdiction were much more elastic, or rather, had
not been so closely formulated as they are today in the United States. In
other parts of the world this sort of thing could even yet occur. As for
example, in England the lodges have no territorial jurisdiction at all and a
prospective candidate can join any lodge in any part of the country as he
* * *
RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE
give me a brief history of the Red Cross of Constantine ?
is the Premiere Council of the Order located?
was an article upon this subject in THE BUILDER for December, 1923, by M. W.
Bro. George W. Warvelle, P.G.M. of Illinois and a Past Grand Sovereign of the
Order. This gives a very complete account of the Order as it at present
exists, and a sketch of its history, both real and traditional.
Red Cross of Constantine is a Masonic degree the full title of which is the
"Masonic and Military Orders of Rome and of the Red Cross of Constantine." The
Order is conferred on Master Masons or of higher Craft rank, according to
English practice. Mackey's Encyclopedia gives the following information: "A
degree founded on the circumstance of the vision of a cross, which appeared in
the heavens to the Emperor Constantine. It formed originally a part of the
Rosaic Rite, and is now practiced in England, Ireland, Scotland and some of
the English colonies, as a distinct Order, the meetings being called
"conclaves" and the presiding officer of the Grand Imperial Council of the
whole Order, "Grand Sovereign." Its existence in England as a Masonic Degree
has been traced, according to Bro. R.W. Little (Freemasons' Magazine) to the
year 1780, when it was given by Bro. Charles Shirreff. It was reorganized in
1804 by Walter Rodwell Wright, who supplied its present ritual. A fuller
account of its rise and development is given in Mackey's "History," revised
edition (Clegg's), on page 1414. Contrary to the English practice it is
necessary in this country for a Mason to have attained the Royal Arch before
he is eligible to the Order. All of the literature published by the Order is
singularly reserved about the address of the Imperial Council. There is,
however, a St. Bartholomew Conclave, No. Des Moines, Iowa, from whom the
address might be obtained.
* * *
MEDIAEVAL PLANS AND CONTRACTS
regret that in the reprint of my lecture in the Merseyside Transactions,
quoted in Nov., p. 347, there was a typographical error not observed until too
late. The contract - it should have read - was circa, 1430, not 1630. This was
amended in the reprint recently published in the Masonic Record. I have now
the actual date, "Monday before the Feast of the Natyvyte of Sainte John the
Baptist." [xi. Hen: VI, 12, 1433.] There were two John Assers, temp.
1417-1446, who were well known in Chester and district. They were father and
afraid the amendment takes away some of your argument, for there were detailed
working plans available generally by 1666, but it does not prove that two
centuries earlier the Masons had little to guide them and worked by common
knowledge, or collective knowledge, acquired in their lodges, and by
well acquainted with Westminster Abbey, but cannot place your Fig. 2. Can you
tell me what part of Edward the Confessor's Shrine is referred to? I can tally
off Fig. 1 mostly, on the spot. You will remember the pieces of mosaic or
stone were triangular and square where used for filling. The work is mostly
Florentine, circa 1268 to 1307.
correction in the date of this contract, which puts it back into the fifteenth
century instead of the seventeenth, does entirely invalidate the immediate
conclusion that was drawn from it in the Study Club for last month, i. e.,
that even so late as the seventeenth century there were Masons capable of
working without detailed plans at a time when, as Bro. Hobbs remarks,
professional architects and their plans had taken the place of the old
"Masters of the Work." But this does not affect the general course of the
argument at all, for the comment was made only in passing and was merely
incidental in character. In fact, the correct date makes the example even more
apposite as support to the conclusion it was desired to emphasize.
mosaic designs illustrated as Figures I and 2 were taken from Lethaby's work
on Westminster Abbey. From the account given of the latter it would appear
that the design does not now exist as a mosaic, but has been conjecturally
restored from the indentation left in the plaster in which the tesserae were
very much obliged to Bro. Hobbs for his interest and timely correction.
* * *
PARTICULAR, PRIVATE, OR SUBORDINATE?
Recently I saw an article by Bro. C. H. Claudy, in which he says that the word
"subordinate" is not correct when applied to a lodge. What do you say to this?
presume that the article you speak of is one of the more recent "Old Tiler
Talks." Bro. Claudy has a great gift for giving good and wholesome instruction
on matters Masonic in a most interesting form. In this particular case we are,
however, inclined to disagree with him. "Subordinate" is very generally used,
as he admits, and there is usually a sufficient reason for the widespread
adoption of a word in any given connection. The earliest term for a lodge as
distinguishing it from the Grand Lodge was "particular." This was used in the
Regulations that Anderson tells us were formulated by Grand Master Payne in
1720. These rules seem to have marked a definite stage in the evolution of the
Grand Lodge system. At the very first there seems little doubt that the Masons
in and about Lon(Ion in the year 1717 intended only to revive the General
Assembly spoken of in the old MS. Constitutions of which every Mason was a
member, and which every Master and Fellow was obliged to attend on receiving
due notice. In accordance with this idea the Grand Lodge was at first also
called a General Lodge. It would seem that the term "particular" was in
distinction to this conception of the Grand or General Lodge being composed of
every member of the Craft within hail. Payne's Regulations, however, very
early turned it into a representative institution obviously based on the
constitution of the British House of Commons. Even so traces of the older
conception are to be seen in the articles dealing with the Annual Feast,
especially in Articles XXXVII and XXXIX, where it is expressly stated that
even the Apprentices could speak and make motions and vote on any proposed
changes in the Constitutions and Regulations. Once, however, the Grand Lodge
had become a representative body it naturally came to be regarded as the
source of Masonic authority, or perhaps more accurately as the proper channel
through which such authority was employed. The Regulations had at the same
time crystallized the individual lodges, making them rigid and permanent
bodies where by previous tradition they were only particular groups of Masons
meeting more or less at hazard. The lodge then tended to become a select
coterie of Masons especially congenial to each other. There being no thought
as yet of territorial jurisdiction every brother and every candidate could
pick and choose his lodge. This system still prevails in England, and the term
"private" very aptly expresses the nature of the underlying conception.
America Freemasonry almost from the first had a strong legalistic bent. The
bulk of Masonic Jurisprudence is to a very great extent of American origin and
to a very great extent remains peculiar to America. Legalism, with its passion
for clearcut definitions and regulated relationships has tended to give powers
to the Grand Lodges that are unheard of in other parts of the world, where the
individual lodges still retain to a very great extent their original autonomy.
This process would seem in recent years, following the general trend in civil
and political affairs towards centralization, to be much accelerated. Every
time one of our Grand Lodges meets it would seem that the constituent lodges
are fettered by some new rule, or shorn of some old right. It is surely not
without significance, then, that the use of the word "subordinate" has become
so general that it is given as the proper term in such a well-known work of
reference as Mackey's Encyclopaedia. It is true that the Grand Lodge is formed
by its constituents in the first place, and that the representatives of the
individual lodges always compose it, nevertheless, once created it becomes
supreme, and without any quibbling (whether it ought to be so or not is
another question) any individual lodge is subordinate to it in every practical
sense of the word. It is only necessary to imagine what would happen were a
lodge to try to exercise some of the powers that a hundred years ago every
* * *
STATUS OF THE FELLOWCRAFT
attention has been drawn to a paragraph in the Fraternal Correspondence Report
in the Proceedings of an American jurisdiction. It relates to a decision of
the Grand Master of Manitoba to the effect that a Fellowcraft is a member of
the lodge in which he has been initiated and passed. The writer of the report
seems to find this strange. He, says: "As we view things here a Fellowcraft is
neither a Mason nor a member Of the lodge." This sounds more than strange to
me, amazing would seem a better word for it. Is not the candidate told in the
Change in the First Degree that we "congratulate you on being admitted a
member of our Ancient and honorable Institution?" and is he not asked in the
lecture, "Who are you that want instruction?" to which he is taught to answer,
"A Free and Accepted Mason." Could you inform me if this opinion is general in
the United States, and if so, how it came to arise?
Unfortunately we have no definite information on this last point, but there is
no doubt that the opinion is very widespread in this country that Entered
Apprentices and Fellowcrafts are not members of the lodge, and even that they
are not yet Masons at all, strictly speaking. This would appear to be a kind
of pseudo-logical deduction from the former opinion. And this in spite of the
language of the rituals, which in somewhat different words to those quoted
above imply just as clearly that the Apprentice duly entered is a Mason, with
duties and rights as such.
this matter Freemasonry in the United States has developed on a line peculiar
to itself, in quite sharp distinction to that of the rest of the world. The
theory seems to have developed within the last hundred years, but we have not
any definite information as to when it first appeared, or where. It would
seem, however, from a number of indications, that Rob Morris had a great deal
to do with its propagation and standardization, so to speak, though it is
hardly likely that he originated it entirely. The evolution of the new
doctrine may be briefly outlined thus: originally the lodge was regarded as a
lodge of Masons, and in principle it so remains everywhere except in the
United States. In order to form and open lodge it was necessary to have every
rank and grade in the Craft represented; it was not a lodge of any special
grade. When there was any matter to be considered or business to be transacted
that pertained entirely to a higher grade, all those present who had not
attained to it were directed to retire; but before the lodge could be duly
closed they had to return again to take their part. As the ritual was
developed and expanded this naturally led to the retiring of the lower grades
being accompanied by set forms, which though ritualistic had a very obvious
necessary end in view which it will not be necessary to specify further.
Gradually these forms came to parallel the original opening ceremony more and
more closely, and by mutual reaction led to the theory of superior lodges
whose membership was restricted to the higher degrees, and these later came to
take the aspect of distinct entities in themselves. The lodge was still a
lodge of Masons of all grades, but in addition there were also lodges of
Fellowcrafts and of Masters. From this it was natural that the lodge proper
should come to be regarded as a lodge of Entered Apprentices, and that
expressions to this effect should be inserted into the ritual. Though Masonic
students familiar with the many variations in the traditional forms will be
able to find that there are a number of traces still left which reveal the
Originally, in this country, as elsewhere throughout the world today, the
business of the lodge was all transacted in the inclusive "lodge," or as we
now say, a lodge of Entered Apprentices, The next stage in this country seems
to have been a custom of transacting business on any degree as seemed
convenient. If candidates were to be initiated, then on the first. If any
brother was to be passed or raised, then it might be done on the appropriate
degree, to save more than one form of opening and closing. The last and
pre-sent stage was to restrict it entirely to the lodge of Master Masons, thus
entirely reversing the original arrangement. Concurrently with the reaching of
this stage of development, the idea grew up (quite naturally) that the
Fellowcrafts and Apprentices were not members of the lodge because they had
been crowded out of all their original rights and privileges in it. But as
they had to be made in some kind of a lodge, the theory arose that these
lodges were separate entities of a somewhat shadowy kind, which were formed
and opened by the Master of the Master's lodge, under the authority of its
charter. On this line of argument, the Fellowcraft had membership in an
occasional body which never met except to pass Apprentices, and which had no
other function than this.
logical evolution from a basis of original misconception has even gone so far
that it had been seriously proposed that the presentation of the apron should
be transferred to the Third Degree on the ground that till he has been raised
a man is not yet a Mason.
subject is a very complex one and deserves fuller treatment, and a good deal
remains to be determined as to the actual development of this American
doctrine. It may be noted, however, that according to the Anderson's
Constitutions, Apprentices not only had a right to be present at the meeting
of the Grand Lodge, but it is explicitly stated that they have a right to
speak and to vote. If in the Grand Lodge, then much more in their own would
they have this right.
* * *
number 10 of THE BUILDER, of October, 1926, on page 292, in the article on the
Rite of Strict Observance is a mistake on line 44. It is not the Convention of
Wiesbaden but of Wiesenbad, a little village near Hanau (near Frankfurt am
Main). I hope that you will be interested in this.
Markert, Leipsig, Germany.